it’s (almost) a wrap

My life goes by the academic calendar, which means the year is just about over. One big meeting, one more reference shift, clearing up a bunch of odds and ends. I thought I should probably update my blogging presence here, so why not note a few things I’ve been up to and things I plan…

from schooled skepticism to informed trust

Mike Caulfield has written a handy (and free!) classroom-ready book about fact-checking and provides useful case studies for students and anyone who wants to fine-tune their bullshit detector. Also, he has explained why simply studying a document for clues (a checklist approach) doesn’t work and four moves you can make instead: corroborate, trace the story’s…

why we can have nice things

I was super excited to speak at a symposium at Metro, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, which organizes some wonderful programs for librarians and other cultural workers in the city. The theme was Libraries in the Context of Capitalism and it drew participants from all over and from different lines of work. Two days…

2017 top ten plus

I have posted my top ten crime fiction books of the year for a long time here and at a previous WordPress.com site. I figured I would carry on the tradition, adding in some other books that stuck with me and linking to the reviews I wrote at Reviewing the Evidence for most of them….

the black box problem

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed;  image courtesy of Dan Lingard. There’s another fascinating study out from the Stanford History Education Group, the folks who studied high school and college students’ capacity to figure out what news is fake, finding that they don’t really know how to do that. Turns out – surprise! – trained historians don’t really know…

the things we forget

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed; photo of a protest, 1970, courtesy of the Library of Congress via Washington Area Spark. We’ve been watching the new documentary series on the Vietnam War, which is excellent but also exhausting and upsetting and full of sparks of memory: Oh, that guy! I remember him. Wait, this thing is about to…

summer time

I’m sitting in a mostly dark room on a summer night watching lightning flare in the distance. This is a good thing; it’s too dry and rain would be welcome, even if it comes with some weather drama. Normally it would still be light in the sky at 9:00 pm, one of the things I…

fahrenheit 404

Battle For The Net Video Bumper from FFTF on Vimeo. This essay is reprinted from Inside Higher Ed. We have always been at war with the Internet. No, I’m not talking about trolls or flamewars but efforts to keep this globally interconnected digital space a place where freedom can thrive. What that freedom looks like,…

how not to fight terrorism

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Fairchild I suppose it’s inevitable, given that information-driven tech-centered global corporations dominate the list of Big Rich Companies, that information systems play a significant role in 21st century terrorism. ISIS has famously made effective use of social media platforms for recruitment purposes. So have white nationalists…

how libraries became public II

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed; photo courtesy of Toshiyuki IMAI Here’s another interesting thing about the origins of American public libraries. We have women to thank for most of them. Oh, sure, Andrew Carnegie had something to do with it. Unlike his fellow mega-rich philanthropists who built libraries, he didn’t want to build palaces. He…