21 Quotes to Kick Off Your New Year


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new year quotes

Kick Off the New Year!

I love to step outside and watch the first rays of the sun early in the morning. There’s something about the newness of the day that gives me energy.

Whether the smell of a new car or the ref’s whistle signaling the start of a game, I love beginnings.

The new year is full of hope and opportunity.

Here are some quotes to inspire your new year. To your success!


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” –Abraham Lincoln
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“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” –Helen Keller
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“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Jim Rohn
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“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” –G.K. Chesterton
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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” –T.S. Eliot
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Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet


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Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet

After Dawn Finch

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. --Neil Gaiman

“Thanks to the internet, we no longer need libraries or librarians.” You most likely hear some variation on that theme pretty regularly.

Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay “Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library” (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here are 10 reasons why libraries are still better than the internet.

  1. Libraries are safer spaces. The internet brings people together, often in enjoyable and productive ways, such as over shared interests (pop culture blogs, fanfic sites) or common challenges (online support groups). But cyberbullying and trolling can leave people reluctant to engage with folks they disagree with or to share their ideas in the first place. Libraries are places where people can gather constructively and all are welcome.
  2. Libraries respect history. Web pages are ephemeral, and link rot is a real problem. The content of library collections is much more stable. Printed materials are generally published on acid-free paper, which will not disintegrate. And librarians are leading the way to bring similar stability to the web through services like the Internet Archive and perma.cc.
  3. Librarians digitize influential primary sources. While looking at historical artifacts is valuable, repeated physical handling can damage them. Making digital versions of important works available online—as in the National Library of Medicine’s Turning the Pages project—is one solution. Library digitization projects also provide information to people who do not have the resources to travel to a particular library. Librarians are using the emerging technology of the internet to further the timeless mission of providing better access to information. The internet is the platform that enables this progress, but librarians are doing the work.
  4. Librarians are leaders in increasing online access to scholarly information. The open access movement makes scholarly articles available to all readers online, and librarians have been strong advocates of the movement for more than a decade. This access is especially critical when reporting the results of medical research, which is often funded by taxpayer dollars.
  5. Librarians are publishers. Scholarly publishers still provide the journals and books that researchers develop. But librarians have joined these efforts by becoming publishers themselves. New librarian-led publishing initiatives take full advantage of the web and generally make new work available on an open access basis. One example of library publishing, which is common in academic libraries, is the institutional repository. These repositories collect and preserve the broad range of a college or university’s intellectual output, such as datasets gathered in research studies, computer code used in software development, and conference proceedings.
  6. Libraries host makerspaces. Given that makerspaces provide venues for creativity, learning, and community, it only makes sense that libraries champion them. The maker movement has grown rapidly—in 2016 there were 14 times as many makerspaces as in 2006. Both public and academic libraries host makerspaces. You can learn about makerspaces online, of course. But to visit one you have to venture into the physical world.
  7. Librarians can help you sort the real news from the fake. While a plethora of useful, accurate, and engaging content is available online, the web is filled with inaccurate and misleading information. “Click bait” headlines get you to click on the content even if the underlying information is superficial or inaccurate. Misinformation is the spread of deliberate falsehoods or inflammatory content online, such as the Russian-backed ads placed on social media during the 2016 US presidential election. Librarianship has always been about providing objective, accurate, and engaging information that meets the needs of a particular person. This has not changed, and it is why librarians are experts in information literacy.
  8. Librarians guide you to exactly what you need. Google is an impressive search engine, but its results can be overwhelming, and many people do not know to filter them by content type (such as .pdf) or website source (such as .gov). Google offers many search tips, which are useful but generic. A conversation with a librarian can clarify exactly what you are looking for and figure out the best way to use Google—or many other resources—to find it.
  9. Librarians do not track your reading or search history to sell you things. Amazon’s book purchase recommendation feature is useful for learning about new books. But this usefulness comes at the expense of your privacy because your reading data is valuable business intelligence for Amazon. The same is true for your web searching history, which is why you often see ads for a product for weeks after searching for it just once. Librarians value and protect your privacy.
  10. Librarians do not censor. One core value of librarianship, as exemplified by the work of ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation, is thwarting censorship and allowing the free and full exchange of ideas. The internet is a powerful tool for information sharing, but it takes human advocates to stand for information freedom.

Libraries continue to provide benefits that are both tangible—such as community spaces and human interaction—and harder to quantify—access, privacy, intellectual freedom. The internet is an indispensable and irreplaceable tool for modern living. But it is not a library and will not replace the work of librarians.”


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I have an MLS, do you? Do you need it?


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I have sat back and read the various posts in many places about the “need” for the new executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) to have an “ALA-accredited Master’s Degree or a CAEP-accredited Master’s Degree with a specialty in school library media.” I have remained largely silent in those discussions. I’ve remained silent because I have already cast my vote in favor of making the degree a PREFERRED qualification, and didn’t think there was a need to state or reiterate my position publicly. I’ve also stayed silent because I am currently a member of the ALA Executive Board and I did not – do not – want what I say to appear to be a reflection of the views of the Board as a whole. I am speaking here as a member – as a LIFE MEMBER – of the American Library Association, and not as a Board member.

I earned my Master of Library Science Service (MLS) from the then School of Communication, Information, and Library Science Studies at Rutgers University. The year after I completed the degree, the School added an “I” and began to offer the degree of Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). They subsequently changed the name of the school to be the School of Communication and Information and more recently dropped the “L” from the degree and they now offer a Master of Information degree. I have to admit it sounds rather cool to be a “Master of Information” but I don’t know if they were really going for the “cool points” when that decision was made.

We are now at the tail end of the trend towards dropping the “L” from the names of schools that either once offered, or still offer, a “library degree”. Most have become schools of information science or information studies or some other combination of words that include “information” and not “library”. I’m not going to draw any conclusions from this fact, but will ask that you think about what it says about those who have made a commitment – arguably – to educating the next generation of librarians, or should I say information professionals?

But the discussion of the schools may only be tangential to the ALA Executive Director degree requirement. Although the changes at the schools are possibly a reflection of what is happening in libraries – certainly what I see happening in academic and research libraries, with which I am most familiar. The work that we are doing continues to evolve and often requires skill sets and educational backgrounds different from those typically conveyed in a “library” school. In some sense, I applaud the schools for realizing the need to change. We certainly recognize that shift in some libraries and have begun to hire staff that have the appropriate mix of experience and education that is likely to lead to success in the positions – even if that education does not include an MLIS. And hiring these people does not devalue the MLIS as we will continue to hire MLS-holders where it is appropriate; it is merely a recognition that for some positions, we need something other than the MLIS. If someone with an MLIS ALSO has the other skills and education, then great for them, as they become (potentially) even more marketable (i.e. qualified).

The question I will address here, however, is does the ALA Executive Director need to hold an MLS? I don’t think so. I do believe that the executive director needs to have a grounding in the issues that libraries face and those for which we advocate on behalf of our users and our communities. And they need to be a strong leader. I might even say they need to be a strong association leader. That’s it. period (well, there are all the qualities that come with being a leader, etc.).

The position is one of leadership. Some have argued that we need to have MLIS-holders running our libraries and therefore need to have an MLIS-holder running our association. They have drawn comparisons to the fact that the Library of Congress now has (finally) an MLIS-holder as its Librarian. To them, I say YES. I could argue (even if I don’t completely agree) that the LIBRARY director (of whatever library) should have the library degree. The ALA Executive Director, however, will not be leading a LIBRARY; he or she will be leading an ASSOCIATION. And, by the way, the association has a library that is managed by a librarian. Association Executives come from many fields of study. The person could have an MBA, a JD, a BA, or any other academic credential. We do want someone who understands and has led membership organizations, who understands and can speak about library issues, and who can advocate for libraries and library workers. There are people who do just that who do not have an MLIS.

Yet others argue that the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association are headed, respectively, by a doctor and a lawyer. Furthermore, as the body that accredits the degree in that profession, it would be an anathema to have the accrediting agency (in this case, ALA – as the appointing body of the Committee on Accreditation) be headed by someone who doesn’t hold the very degree that we accredit. It is certainly true that the directors of these two associations (and probably others) hold the degree that the body accredits.

I thought it worth examining the accreditation standards for those organizations, as well as those of the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation. Again, I believe it necessary to remind readers that I am not writing this as a member of the ALA Executive Board, but rather as a member of the Association.

The standards for accreditation set by the American Medical Association’s Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the Curriculum Standards [PDF] (Standard 303) of the American Bar Association describe a core set of prescribed educational outcomes that are required for one to earn the respective degrees in these fields. And one also has to continue their education and professional growth to remain certified in these professions. Not so in our profession!

The standards for the American Library Association [PDF] seem not to have a similar core set of educational outcomes. I question, therefore, what makes a librarian a librarian if the body that accredits the members of this profession does not define a core set of knowledge that is required to be considered a member of the profession? In examining the requirements for the degree at several schools there isn’t even a standard for the number of credit hours required for the degree. For example (and I admittedly only looked at five six of the nationally ranked programs):

I’ve provided links for anyone interested in examining the curricular requirements (such as they are) at these schools. With this seeming disparity, I now ask, what makes a librarian a librarian if there is no common set of required knowledge? And without a response to that question, why should we have someone with an ALA-accredited degree (which can vary in scope and content) to lead the Association?

Orchid Labs is Developing a Blockchain-Based Internet Protocol to Defeat Censorship and Surveillance


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From Axios:

Orchid Labs says that it has developed blockchain-based protocol that lets users access the internet free of censorship, restrictions, and surveillance.


The main idea is to incentivize people with unused internet bandwidth to share it with other users (presumably in places with restrictions), in exchange for payment via Orchid’s Ethereum-based tokens. The company also says it’s a more viable option than Tor and virtual private networks (VPNs), which are increasingly difficult to access in places like China.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to Orchid Protocol Web Site and FAQ

In Their Own Words (via FAQ):

2017-10-29_09-50-18Orchid is an open-source project committed to ending surveillance and censorship on the Internet. The Orchid protocol uses an overlay network built upon the existing Internet, which is driven by a peer-to-peer tokenized bandwidth exchange, creating a more inclusive, liberated Internet. Orchid Labs Inc. is a Delaware company with the mission of promoting and supporting the research and development of the Orchid Protocol. Orchid Labs Inc. was founded in 2017 by leading technologists and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Orchid protocols are available in private alpha to select recipients today. Later this year, all Orchid software will be published to the open source community. Early in 2018 we plan to offer a public beta of the Orchid Protocol to help billions of users on all corners of the globe make Internet Freedom a reality.

See Also: Orchid White Paper About Protocol: “Orchid: A Fully Distributed, Anonymous Proxy Network Incentivized Through Bandwidth Mining”
47 pages; PDF.

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Massachusetts: Amazon Will Stop Supplying Textbooks to UMass at End of 2018


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From MassLive.com:

Amazon will stop providing the University of Massachusetts campus with textbooks at the end of December 2018, exercising an opt-out clause in its contract with the university.

In 2015, Amazon and UMass signed a five-year contract that replaced the Follett Corp. textbook operation, although that company continued to run the store in the Campus Center. The arrangement was expected to save students about 30 percent. Amazon was one of six companies that bid to provide the service.

Amazon decided to end the arrangement, said UMass spokesman Daniel J. Fitzgibbons in an email. He did not know why. No one could be reached at Amazon.

UMass will release an RFP for a new supplier and the school hopes to have a new contract in place by the Summer of 2018.

Read the Complete Article

See Also:  Amazon Textbook Contract Ending in December 2018 (via The Massachusetts Daily Collegian)
October 19, 2017.

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