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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.
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."
Where to find things now
We've been in a bit of a transition here for the last several months as we try to expand the area we have in the library for young-adult materials and programs.
At one time, we had just a couple of big book shelves devoted to what we call YA materials.
Now, we have about a third of the big room that once comprised the entire library devoted to that age group. It's the area where we once had biographies and large-print books -- right around the fireplace on the north wall.
So, if you come looking for a biography, you'll be confused. Likewise for large-print book searches.
Instead, we have relocated the biographies so they are part of the nonfiction collection. The large-print books are nearby on their own sets of shelves.
Now, we have our 3D printer and our Maker Space materials handy to the YA part of the library so everything is, as they say in some parts of Texas, right handy.
Why book sales are up
In Great Britain, sales of real books are rebounding and outpacing sales of e-books, according to UK researchers.
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.
How is this for a nice little poem:
There you'll find me
Push, crash, tumble & fall
When morning comes
Love, Star Girl
It may not be Robert Frost, but it does sound nice. And it is just kind of a random sequencing of words that make sense in context even if they don't when taken apart.
Actually, each line is a title of a YA book. And the books are stacked on top of one another to form a title-poem, with each title contributing something to the whole.
Kristina Minor, our librarian for young adults, found out about doing this through a course she is taking at LSU, and she and young patrons are putting works together, one on top of another, to delineate a piece of poetry that is purely serendipitous.
Come by and check these out. And then build your own.
A cautionary tale
To become famous!
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