Link in a chain breaking

When Information Disappears

Discussion of the future of libraries so often focuses on subscription access and inviting study spaces or makerspaces, but the problem of digital preservation looms in the background. Who should preserve digital content? Which digital content should be preserved? By whom? What happens if this information is not preserved?

Screenshot of Vitagene Facebook ad

The Value of Private Health Information

I suspect we will see more and more options to customize medical care and health efforts based on our DNA and other medical data, and we should carefully consider the potential privacy implications of these efforts, especially when they occur outside of the sanctity of a doctor’s office and are driven by a company who may have interests beyond our health. As I like to prompt my students to think about, what is the value of this information – to me and to others? And, given that value, who can/should I share it with?

Book Review: Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin

Overall Rosenbloom’s book engaged me intellectually in a way I was not expecting, and still addressed the issue (who the heck makes books made out of human skin?) that got me to pick up the book in the first place. It turned out to be a really interesting lens through which to consider medical ethics, ethics regarding human remains, and collection development ethics all rolled into one unique issue

A Parler content filter, denying the keywords “climate change,” “Trump” and “election.”

Living in the Filter Bubble

We should consider whether tech companies are taking personalization too far, but we should also resist the urge to embrace that customization to an extent that might inhibit personal growth and evolving perspectives. And we need to continue to make sure the next generation understands the importance of looking at multiple perspectives, especially if it is going to be harder to do so organically as we absorb information.

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

Educating Children in a Time of Masks

When it became clear that masks and online education would be a part of fall teaching this year, I know many of us in academia (and education more broadly) discussed potential challenges for accessibility when teaching with a mask. But as an academic librarian who is childless, I didn’t think about the broader potential impacts of mask wearing, or online learning, on children trying to learn early literacy skills.