The MIT AgeLab, in collaboration with founding member Monotype, has launched a new research consortium called the Clear Information Presentation consortium (Clear-IP) that will look at how typography and design affect readability and reading comprehension of content that is viewed at a glance. Although there has previously been research into readability of print-based media,the way we read has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Our default method is no longer to read ink on paper but digital type on screens of all sizes – from handheld phones and tablets to large-scale billboards. Most of us now consume information at a glance: a brief look at a text message, a pop-up notification on your desktop, the screen of your smartwatch or the Sat Nav in your car. We often read on the move and in visually noisier environments than ever before. Clear-IP will investigate how reading behavior is changing in an increasingly mobile world, where more and more information is taken in at a glance, as well as the factors that underlie what makes a piece of information more legible or easier to understand.
Monday, 30 January 2017
Cornell's Legal Information Institute (LII) has launched The Inbox Project in partnership with the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE). The project, part of LII's Wex community-built legal encyclopedia, is a collection of materials that are related to email anti-spam law. It includes information about national and international legal frameworks dealing with email and electronic commerce, including comparison tables. According to the site:
"This Inbox Project collection will seek to answer important questions about the law governing commercial email, including the following: What laws control spam? How do anti-spam laws deal with free speech issues? How have anti-spam laws been interpreted and enforced? Can I make a case against a spammer? What would an effective spam-control law look like, and how might legislators write one? How can I avoid spam-related problems with my business?"
Sunday, 29 January 2017
The University of Minnesota library recently launched Umbra Search African American History, a search interface that provides access to over 400,000 digitized materials that document African American history. These are freely available resources that are in the digital collections of more than a thousand partner libraries, archives, museums and other institutions located across the United States. The materials include music, oral histories, photographs, maps, handwritten letters, and more. Director of the project Cecily Marcus says:
"No library is able to digitize all of its holdings, but by bringing together materials from all over the country, Umbra Search allows students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before. Umbra Search partners have amazing collections, and now those materials can sit side by side with related content from a library on the other side of the country.”
Saturday, 28 January 2017
Friday, 27 January 2017
“The Office of the Registrar of the SCC, recognizing that web pages or websites that the Court cites in its judgments may subsequently vary in content or be discontinued, has located and archived the content of most online sources that had been cited by the Court between 1998 and 2016 in order to preserve access to them. These sources were captured with a content as close as possible to the original content".
The GPO is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 2 pm Eastern time titled "Beyond Google - Another Look at Finding Government Information." The webinar will cover intermediate and advanced searching techniques, deep web search engines, and ways to find and use "hidden" resources. During the webinar, sample searches will be for statistics, born-digital, and digitized historical publications. You can register here.
Friday, 13 January 2017
The Government Publishing Office (GPO) has announced the release of a new edition of their Style Manual. It's available as a free download in several different formats from the GPO website. According to the announcement,
"Besides a thorough revision throughout, new features in this edition include:
- GPO’s most recent digital initiatives
- Updates to foreign nation information
- Updates to State demonyms
- Treatment of words related to native entities recognized by the Federal Government
- Clarification of punctuation rules
- Updates to capitalization, abbreviations, and computer terms
- Inclusion of many suggestions from users."
"the American Library Association (ALA) and Google, Inc., announced a call for Library and Information Science (LIS) faculty to participate in Phase Two of the Libraries Ready to Code project. This work will culminate in graduate level course models that equip MLIS students to deliver coding programs through public and school libraries and foster computational thinking skills among the nation’s youth."
Thursday, 12 January 2017
The ABA Journal has an interesting article about the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. The project has been identifying lynching deaths that occurred "during the reign of racial terror that lasted from the end of Reconstruction through the 1950s." It aims to create an archive of documents, photographs, news clippings, and interviews about as many of these deaths as possible—particularly the overlooked and unnamed among them. The idea is to create a record of each murder, a trove for historians and researchers and family members who are searching for news of their ancestors.
Those great govdocs librarians from North Carolina are having another information-filled webinar next Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 from noon to 1 pm. The topic is Research Data Management, and the presenter is Katharin Peter, the Social Sciences Data Librarian for the Von KleinSmid Center Library for International and Public Affairs at the University of Southern California. The webinar will present an overview of Research Data Management including: data management planning, how data fits into the research lifecycle and scholarly communication, and key resources/strategies for liaison librarians working with faculty and other researchers. You can register for the session here; it will be broadcast using Webex.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Not sure how to feel about this one. The Orlando Sentinel reports that two staff members of the East Lake Library in Florida have been suspended for allegedly creating bogus borrowers, in order to outwit automated book-culling software designed to discard titles that are not being read. The accused have alleged that the practice is widespread among librarians fighting to protect book budgets. After an anonymous complaint was filed about the library an investigation revealed that librarians had created several fake identities with false addresses and drivers’ license numbers. Support for the librarians has come from digital activist Cory Doctorow of the Boing Boing blog. He attacked the use of automated stock systems, calling it “datafication at its worst”.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Erwin Chemerinsky has written an article for the ABA Journal on two freedom of speech cases that are on the Supreme Court docket for January oral arguments. The article discusses Lee v. Tam, aka "the Slants" case and Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, a case involving what to call it when a merchant charges higher prices for using a credit card rather than paying in cash.