Journalist and librarian Marcus Banks discusses the role, relevancy and impact of librarians in all sectors as we are increasingly overwhelmed with information and yet access to actionable resources is often blocked by fees and paywalls, and the goal of knowledge sharing is subsumed and often ill served by conflicting agendas. Librarians remain critical advocates for open access, teachers of digital literacy skills, proponents of services to all Americans, and touchstones for identifying truth in an increasingly growing sphere of fake news and information that fails to serve democracy, education, and commerce.
Report – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Casts Doubt on Criminal Forensics
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) stated in their report – “Among the more than 2.2 million inmates in U.S. prisons and jails, countless may have been convicted using unreliable or fabricated forensic science. The U.S. has an abiding and unfulfilled moral obligation to free citizens who were imprisoned by such questionable means.” Ken Strutin’s article features information about the PCAST Report, its reception by advocates and critics, and related articles, publications and developments concerning the science of innocence.
In a previous article here on LLRX, Gigi Sohn wrote about how the new Federal Communications Commission majority revoked the approval of nine companies to become Lifeline providers and how that would weaken the Lifeline program and widen the digital divide. Sohn follows up with a discussion of how the E-Rate program, which makes broadband services more affordable for America’s schools and libraries, is in the FCC majority’s crosshairs. And much like the case of Lifeline, Sohn argues the majority is using procedural steps and administrative tools to weaken the E-Rate program.
Lifeline is one of four FCC programs intended to ensure that all Americans have access to modern communications. This article by Gigi Sohn, who served as Counselor to the Chairman in the Office of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler until December 2016, elucidates how the new FCC majority fundamentally dislikes the Lifeline Program and will seek to weaken it by any means possible. She begins her discourse with a primer on the Lifeline program to allow researchers to educate themselves with the facts as the battle over dismantling this program evolves.
Chris Meadows calls our attention to a Yale Law Journal by Lina M. Khan published in January 2017 titled Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox. The author presents an argument in favor of modifying antitrust law in light of the realm of competition created by a burgeoning, powerful and often narrow group of players in specific e-commerce marketplaces. For librarians, researchers, professors and student among others, the issue of pricing and competition in the ebook market is particularly salient.
This is an introduction to a critical effort to support local public libraries throughout the United States, not in competition with any other efforts, programs or initiatives, but with the goal to fund a robust, long lived and essential endowment in response to ongoing defunding of critical library staffing and resources in our communities, especially poor land rural localities.
Are you overwhelmed by social media applications, many of which are not permitted to use in your private or public work place. If so this guide by Pete Weiss offers several alternatives to assist you with lightweight applications that bypass controversy in favor of utility.
From arenas that encompass government, research, academic, international, health and medicine, science and technology, economics and finance, libraries and open source collections around the world, Marcus Zillman has compiled a benchmark resource on search engines from which researchers may choose to support a wide range of projects, programs and publications.
Marcia Burris synthesizes and re-frames the long standing concept of a sole source provider for legal research services.
An Amazon Echo device is the subject of a prosecutor’s search warrant related to an Arkansas murder case. Nicole Black illuminates how such devices are complicating issues related to consumer privacy and vendor responses to search warrants. The ubiquity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in homes will no doubt result in more warrants for the data they collect.