A pointed and realistic viewpoint on the state of journalism today.
One of my responsibilities as Research & Strategy Librarian at Calgary Economic Development is fact-checking data points and verifying statements. At times I have explained (repeatedly) why specific information can or cannot be used. Statements in the media or elsewhere are often misleading and taken out of context to suit specific purposes including marketing, messaging and promotion. Using critical judgement, objective analysis and interpretation of data, reviewing methodology and investigating sources are essential and routine activities when sourcing information. I have developed a categorized inventory of verified statements and data points for staff to use when creating content and marketing collateral. The inventory is updated on an ongoing basis. I am available on request to fact-check any content before publication, ensuring all statements are verified and sourced. I highly recommend all organizations develop such a resource.
True story: The Government of Alberta recently issued a news release with an incorrect statement and source for an important factual statement about the provincial film industry. I contacted the media representative twice to request a change to the statement and the source. Thankfully, the news release has now been revised. How do I know the statement source was incorrect??? My organization is the source…and I completed the analysis to develop the statement. Lesson learned: Consider the source.
This great How to Spot Fake News infographic from IFLA outlines the questions we should be asking when viewing media. Be critical!
One of the most popular buzzwords in library-land at the moment is ‘curation’. It’s used to describe anything from old-fashioned collection development to human filtering activities on social media like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The word ‘curator’ gets used too liberally to describe the stuff people do on the web and, in my humble option, dilutes and pollutes the professional things that librarians do.
Librarians are so much more than assemblers of information, but let’s begin a discussion in this column about the difference between ‘curation’ and the activities performed by librarians. Is there really any way what someone does on Facebook is remotely like the work product of information professionals in special libraries? READ MORE: Curation: Buzzword or What? | Lucidea
We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump…
…Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside. READ MORE: Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It’s Too Much Like TV | MIT Tech Review
Fantastic article relating to authoritative content on the web. Well worth the read start-to-finish.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy may be the most interesting website on the internet. Not because of the content—which includes fascinating entries on everything from ambiguity to zombies—but because of the site itself. Its creators have solved one of the internet’s fundamental problems: How to provide authoritative, rigorously accurate knowledge, at no cost to readers. It’s something the encyclopedia, or SEP, has managed to do for two decades. READ MORE: This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of | Quartz
(Edmonton) When you live 400 kilometres from the nearest library, getting information can be a real challenge. Professor Ali Shiri of the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies is leading a project to address this issue. Together with co-investigator Dinesh Rathi, Shiri and a team of collaborators have begun to bridge the information gap for some of Canada’s most isolated people with a project called Digital Library North.
Currently, people in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region—an area that spans 90,650 square kilometres—must travel to the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre to access hard-copy information. The challenges with distance and winter above the treeline limit the access. The SSHRC-funded project will create a digital library infrastructure to address the unique information needs in Canada’s northern regions over the next three years. READ MORE: Creating the first cultural digital library in Canada’s North | University of Alberta.
When writing business documents (aside from emails), most people turn to word-processing software. That’s not the only option. You can do everything — outlines, drafts, revisions, and even layouts, if you’d like — in PowerPoint or similar presentation programs. That’s what I’ve used to write my books, internal documents, sales collateral, and web copy, for several reasons. READ MORE: Why I Write in PowerPoint | Harvard Business Review
Raise your hand if you like sitting through slide-show presentations. How about reading dense, jargony business documents? These are the staples of modern business communication, and yet they’re enjoyed by precisely no one. Enter Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design. Duarte thinks she can redesign business communication with Slidedocs, a new concept she defines as “a visual document, developed in presentation software, that is intended to be read and referenced instead of projected.” Think of it as a kind of a hybrid between slide-show presentations and prose documents—but one that eliminates the most annoying qualities of each. Duarte’s new book on Slidedocs, which she wrote entirely in PowerPoint, has just been released as a free download on her website. READ MORE: Book Written Entirely In PowerPoint Aims To Reinvent How Businesses Communicate | FastCompany
The B.C. Court of Appeal has released its decision in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, a closely watched case involving a court order requiring Google to remove websites from its global index. As I noted in a post on the lower court decision, rather than ordering the company to remove certain links from the search results available through Google.ca, the order intentionally targets the entire database, requiring the company to ensure that no one, anywhere in the world, can see the search results.
In May, the Obama Foundation announced that Chicago will be the future location of the Barack Obama Presidential Center, which will include a library and museum. The center will become the 14th institution in the National Archives and Records Administration’s presidential library system, which includes centers dedicated to all presidents from Herbert Hoover onwards.
Over the years, millions of public and private dollars and ostensibly, man hours, have been spent curating these institutions. Which begs the question: why?
Franklin D. Roosevelt began this tradition when, in 1939, he decided to hand over his personal and presidential records to the federal government when leaving office. Two years later, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum was built in Hyde Park, New York to house these records. READ MORE: Why Do Presidents Get Their Own Libraries? | Atlas Obscura.
Maker Media founder Dale Dougherty speaks with such an infectious exuberance about creating and building that after speaking to him you want to go home and resurrect that project that’s been sitting in your garage or bedroom. From a magazine, to a series of faires and camps for children, Doughterty’s Maker Media reach – and enthusiasm – spans the globe and beginning today, it’s launching a beta of its new MakerSpace social network.
MakerSpace beta invitations are available [on request]. Like the Google model of beta invites, anyone that gets an invitation, can invite a few friends. If you don’t get into the beta, the full site will launch out of beta later this year. But, if you’re lucky enough to get onboard, you can create a profile, find and bookmark projects you find interesting, and post your own projects. Maker is calling it a place to “show and tell.” READ MORE: Makers are getting their own social network | Engadget
I just signed up! Looking forward to finding some ideas for the CoderDojo program I volunteer with. Also available from Makerspace.com is a free makerspace playbook with all you need to know about getting a makerspace up and running in their school or community.