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Librarian Blog

Shedding light on the eclipse

The solar eclipse is due in the U.S. environs on Aug. 21, and we're doing our part to help you get ready to view it safely.
We're partnering up with NASA@MyLibrary to provide glasses for viewing the actual eclipse, and we will have those available on Aug. 21 for our solar party that starts at 11 a.m. (We will celebrate with Solar Tea, Moon Pies, Milky Ways, Starbursts, etc.)
But, we have scheduled several other events with an "eclipse" theme. For adults, we have a Moth-like story session that will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at the library. We're asking story-tellers to limit their talks to between 3 and 10 minutes. (Call me to register in advance.)
Other events are also scheduled for children and adults, so come by the library and check it all out.

The JFK files

At long last, the federal government is ready to start releasing withheld documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the investigation that followed.
At long last is actually 25 years since the passage of an act by Congress hiding the records from public view. Those same records had been kept under wraps since the actual assassination in 1963.
For all of these years, the matter of who killed Kennedy and why has not been resolved. Numerous movies, special projects, etc., have dealt with circumsantial evidence pointing this way or that. Nothing definitive has been turned up. The result is that we have the official Washington word that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Few seriously believe that to have been the case.
Wouldn't it be interesting to learn right now in the summer of 2017 that the Russians were involved?
Regardless, watch our TV sets and the internet for what comes out of D.C. starting this week. We may all be surprised.

Post-post-truth

The word "post-truth" is now in the Oxford dictionary. And it is the word of the year for the authors of the OED, a definitive resource on English usage, spelling, grammar, etc.
Post-truth as defined by the OED is "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."
So it is we are said to live in such a state of confusion. Facts aren't facts. Truth isn't truth. Hard evidence means nothing.
What, one is compelled to ask, comes next in term of a political state of being?
I mean, besides "stupid."
 

Forget it

Google is back in a French courthouse to fight recent rulings that it scrub its websites of individuals' names after a certain length of time to protect these people's rights to be forgotten.
The French impulse to let people go about their business without having others mind it for them is admirable. Google's desire to have a complete file on everything and everyone in the world is also admirable.
The conflict has been at least partially resolved in favor of some privacy in certain European countries. The rub is that, because Google is global in reach, what it might scrub from sites availalble to Parisians might still be available to people using Google in Paris, Texas, for example.
The complexity of sorting all of this out makes my head hurt.
In the United States, courts have long recognized that when it comes to privacy, people do have a right to be left alone after a certian period of time. That's a good rule.
In the long run, I'd like to see some precedent set in Europe over this matter that could have applications across borders.

Why book sales are up

In Great Britain, sales of real books are rebounding and outpacing sales of e-books, according to UK researchers.
Why?
Because you can show off a real book. You cannot show off an e-book.
So, it is all about image?
Apparently that is the case. Sales of print books are forecast to rise by 25 percent in the next five years, a story by Katie Morley pubished last week says.
E-books are declining this year for the first time.
The simple truth is that people aren't necessarily reading more print books. They are shelving them so people think they've read them.
When you think about it, this is really kind of pathetic.
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