Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The meaning of life is 42, but does this sign included or exclude?

Do the signs at your library include or exclude?

This was a sign at the blood bank.  I have read The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (a very long time ago), so I thought I knew the quote it was referring to. I may still work if you have not read/watched it (or at least I think it does), because the key point is how long blood lasts (or at least that is how I read it). 

There is a however to this.  Because I was taking a photograph in the interview room (you have to answer a lot of questions before you can donate blood, plasma or platelets), this started a discussion with the nurse who had not read the book, seen the film or television series.  She was commenting on how excited another donor had been seeing the poster.  This made me wonder if it was too niche.  I think it works even if you don't know that that many of the words form a quote as the key point is blood lasts 42 days so there needs to be continuing donations.  It highlights that there can be many ways to read a sign.
Life, the universe and everything - sign at the blood bank


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A few thoughts on Algorithms of oppression by @safiyanoble

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce RacismAlgorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book. There are detailed and glowing reviews of this book available elsewhere. These glowing reviews are deserved. I will keep my comments brief, as I want you to read this book, and not my review. Instead I will say, if you use search engines, you should read this book to be more aware of the bias in the tools which you use. If you work in a library and assist clients through using a search engine, you should read this to be more aware of the bias in the tools which you use.

This book, as well as highlighting the research of the author, generously showcases other relevant research about bias in search engines and library catalogues.

It contains strong calls to action for librarians, archivists and information workers, which is also relevant for museum and gallery staff as well. Quoting from location 3081 Now, more than ever, we need libraries, universities, schools, and information resources that will bolster, and further expand democracy for all, rather than shrink the landscape of participation along racial, religious, and gendered lines.

When I checked the holdings on Trove Australia on 7 April, there were two libraries in Australia showing that they have this title.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Instagram and local studies - a project from Reading UK by @Reading_21

This shows a recent student project which has local studies elements.  You can read the aim below.
This has great prompts for local studies. You can read more about it here. The following image show the statistics for participation.
Have a look on twitter and instagram for the hashtag  and you will see some lovely local studies images.  As you can see from the image below, similar things have been done elsewhere, but it is still something few libraries have tried. It would be interesting to see if you could turn up new photographs to collect as a result of something like this.