IMLS Matters in Tennessee

Let's be honest - your state's stats probably look much the same - and the more needed your libraries are, the more affected they're likely to be! 

  • Library Land
    • Reading by Example: What Kids Learn About Books from Watching You "The fact that she — someone I admired — read made me want to read and eventually grew my appetite for devouring books. It didn’t matter to me what she read; I never did develop a taste for romance novels the way she loved them, and she never did understand why I would read science fiction and fantasy novels with such passion. But she shared a love of reading with me."  
    • 10 Books We Wouldn’t Have Without the NEA  "To put it more simply: NEA grants help writers. The grant money gives writes time to work on their creative output in a world that rewards them very little for such endeavors most of the time. To highlight this, we’d like to share some incredible books that have felt the impact of the NEA grants awarded to their authors."
    • Reader Privacy for Research Journals is Getting Worse  "Despite the backwardness of most journal websites, there are a few signs of hope. Some of the big journal platforms have begun to implement HTTPS. Springer Link defaults to HTTPS, and Elsevier's Science Direct is delivering some of its content with secure connections. Both of them place trackers for advertising networks, so if you want to read a journal article securely and privately, your best bet is still to use Tor."
    • National Library Groups Oppose Bill to Make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee  "On March 23, 2017, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation entitled the 'Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.' The bill would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. Under current law (17 USC 701), the Librarian of Congress selects the Register." This is an area that should most definitely be under the purview of the Librarian of Congress.
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • How to set up a VPN in 10 minutes for free (and why you urgently need one)  "Soon every mistake you’ve ever made online will not only be available to your internet service provider (ISP) — it will be available to any corporation or foreign government who wants to see those mistakes. Thanks to last week’s US Senate decision, ISPs can sell your entire web browsing history to literally anyone without your permission. The only rules that prevented this are all being repealed, and won’t be reinstated any time soon (it would take an act of congress)." Your private data is now a public commodity. But there are still some ways to protect your privacy - here's a good start: V(irtual) P(rivate) N(etwork). Learn what it is and how to get one - because your private bits should not be for sale. 
    • Facebook officially launches “Town Hall” for contacting government reps, adds local election reminders Now the site you're stuck on because that's how you keep in touch with everyone will also help you be a more responsible citizen. That's nice. "...Zuckerberg...said he wanted Facebook to focus on increasing civic engagement in a world where 'participation in voting sometimes includes less than half our population.' With the addition of 'Town Hall,' Facebook took a step towards this goal. The feature makes it simpler for users to know who represents them in government, and reach out through whichever means the politician lists on their Facebook page." 
    • The Strange History of Ransomware "When people first hear about ransomware, there is always this moment of stunned disbelief. It sounds like a plot line snatched straight from dystopian fiction: you flip open your laptop only to discover you have been locked out of all your files.A ransom note hovers into view, written in bad English and a potpourri of fonts, explaining you have one week to pay $500 in bitcoins, otherwise you will lose access to your data forever. Really." Here's an interesting history of data held hostage. 
    • Inside the Secret World of Tamagotchi Collectors Great, now I miss my Tamagotchi. I remember it being tons of fun; I also remember it becoming very demanding...
  • Randomnesses
    • Winners of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards "The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, has announced the winners of its Open categories and National categories for 2017. This year's contest attracted 227,596 entries from 183 countries. The organizers have again been kind enough to share some of the winners and runners-up with us..." So very pretty! 
    • After 141 Years, Baseball Finally Chooses an Official Hot Dog "MLB announced today that Nathan’s Famous Inc., the fast-food chain that started as a Coney Island stand in 1916, will be the league’s official hot dog, putting the wiener alongside other sponsorship categories including lawn care, cloud storage and insurance." I'm not a big baseball fan - but I do love a good hot dog. 
  • U.S. News
    •  Not Trump
      • Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs "The pressure inside parts plants is wreaking a different American carnage than the one Trump conjured up at his inauguration. OSHA records obtained by Bloomberg document burning flesh, crushed limbs, dismembered body parts, and a flailing fall into a vat of acid. The files read like Upton Sinclair, or even Dickens." This is why it's vital to have worker's protections - people's lives and livelihoods are more important than corporate profit. 
      • Five things to know in U.S. women's hockey team showdown with USA Hockey "An emergency meeting is scheduled for noon ET today as USA Hockey’s 90-member board of directors is expected to vote on an agreement that would end the women’s national hockey team boycott of the IIHF Women’s World Championship." While women players are technically paid the same as the men players, they receive far fewer additional benefits - and their pay isn't ancillary to professional hockey positions. The women would like to earn a living wage, and be treated the same as the guys. Seems reasonable to me.
      • Jewelry store puts up a billboard that says 'It's OK to throw rocks at girls.'  "Last month it was the infamous "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it" sign that stirred passions and protests. This month it's a message from an Asheville jewelry store." While some people think it's a clever way to sell diamonds, others think it promotes violence against women. Personally, I think diamonds are overrated and stupid, anyway.  
      • ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Will Face Off Wall Street Bull for Another Year "The four-foot 'Fearless Girl' statue was installed in front of the bronze 'Charging Bull' in time for International Women's Day earlier this month as a way of calling attention to the gender pay gap and lack of gender diversity on corporate boards in the financial sector, the Wall-Street firm that installed the popular statue has said."
      • Bishop of Oregon stands in support of “Dreamer” arrested by ICE "Francisco works for a local community organization coordinating a food pantry for low income families and he coaches a soccer team." Yeah, he sounds like a really bad hombre. 
      • Affordable Care Act Repeal Is Back on the Agenda, Republicans Say Aw...but Trump promised we could keep the ACA! We'll see - I don't know how they can make enough people happy to actually get a conservative bill passed. 
      • The Countries Holding The World's Nuclear Arsenal "Currently, there are an estimated 14,905 nuclear warheads in the hands of just eight countries. At the top of the list, as compiled by the Federation Of American Scientists, are of course Russia and the U.S. With a combined arsenal of almost 14,000, this particular hangover from the cold war is still plain to see. Up to now the two have been undergoing programmes of disarmament - of this 14,000, over 5,000 are officially retired and awaiting dismantlement. Last week, however, Donald Trump stated that he intends the U.S. to be 'top of the pack' when it comes to nuclear arsenal. As our infographic shows, although the two countries are on a very similar level, Russia would currently hold this particular accolade." OK, look at this, guys - I really don't think ramping up our nukes is either necessary or desirable! Sheesh...

      • Infographic: The Countries Holding The World's Nuclear Arsenal | Statista

    • Trump
      • Sanctuary city mayors fire back at Trump administration's threat to cut fed funding "'If they actually act to take away our money, we’ll see them in court,' vowed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said taking federal funding from the city would be 'unconstitutional.'"
      • Nunes admits meeting with source of Trump surveillance documents on White House grounds "The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee acknowledged Monday that he had made a secret visit to the White House last week to view intelligence files he then cited as proof of potentially improper spying activity against President Trump, casting new doubt on the independence of a congressional investigation into Russian election interference." Good grief... 
      • Trump is Wrong: America's Our Allies Are A Critical Strategic Advantage "We should obviously continue to evaluate whether our current security agreements make sense, and a little jaw-boning to urge our allies to pay more for the common defense makes sense.  But we also need to remember that the alliance network created since Wold War II has served us well, and is a key element of our national power."
      • Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record "The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots. The president did not utter the words 'climate change' once, instead emphasizing that the move would spur job creation in the fossil fuel industry." Because more money for the wealthy is far more important than a stable environment for the rest of us. 
        • Related:  What Trump’s new climate actions mean: A FAQ "On Tuesday, a week after the end of the sixth-warmest winter in the continental United States in recorded history, President Trump will announce a series of actions meant to unwind or dramatically halt Barack Obama’s efforts to fight climate change.  What does this mean? What will the effects be? Can Trump keep his promises on energy job creation? Allow us to answer those questions in the form of a FAQ."
        • Also related: The Plant Next Door: A Louisiana Town Plagued by Pollution Shows Why Cuts to the EPA Will Be Measured in Illnesses and Deaths "The air pollution crisis in St. John the Baptist may be the best illustration of why we need the EPA — and how the imminent slashing of the federal agency’s budget will be measurable in illnesses and deaths." It's shady that Trump's budget proposal is likely to cut the agencies and programs most responsible for protecting citizens from the health risks of living next to businesses that produce toxic waste. If it succeeds, we can expect a rise in everything from asthma and rashes to cancer and other deadly diseases. 
      • Trump administration sought to block Sally Yates from testifying to Congress on Russia "The Trump administration sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the House investigation of possible links between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s campaign, according to letters provided to The Washington Post.... According to the letters, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers her possible testimony — including on the firing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn for his contacts with the Russian ambassador — to be off-limits in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by attorney-client privilege or the presidential communication privilege." Not sure how that matches up with the Pres's insistence that "Trump Russia story is a hoax"


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