Census 2020 – closer than you think!

It’s just over one year until the 2020 Census takes place – April 1st, 2020.

Of course, not all census activities take place on THAT day.  Much happens in the lead up before April 1st, and survey results are collected for a few months after that day.

Sno-Isle Libraries will be playing a number of roles throughout the process.  We will be key participants in the Complete Count Committees for Snohomish and Island Counties.  Census Bureau employees will be holding hiring information sessions at some of our locations.  New for this census is that the survey will be taken online – meaning we will definitely be seeing people in the libraries needing assistance!

Over the next few months, we’ll be planning the best way to meet the needs of our customers, whether it’s a link on the public computer desktops, dedicated census computers, drop-in sessions, or…?  We will also provide information and training for staff to ensure we’re ready.

I receive email updates from the Census Bureau, and will share interesting tidbits here in this blog.  For example, here is how people will be notified it’s time to take the census survey:

How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!

 

~Anne

The Public Domain – New Entries in 2019!

Here’s some exciting news for 2019 – for the first time in over 20 years new works will be entering the public domain!

This is an exciting announcement for everyone, thousands of written works, musical compositions, films, paintings and photographs will be free of the bonds of copyright.  Some of you may be old enough to remember when changes to copyright law were passed in 1998, with the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

sonny

Copyright can be very confusing – if you’d like to read up on the details you can do so here.

What can we look forward to having unfettered access to in the new year?  Plenty.  1923 was a big year in entertainment, the arts, and literature.

You’ll be excited to know that beginning January 1st you will be able to publicly perform a mashup of The Prophet and Yes! We Have No Bananas should you be so inclined.

2019-book_gibran_prophet + 2019-music_yes-we-have-no-bananas + YOU = ???

The possibilities are endless!

Ubiquitous YouTube

Have you recently turned to YouTube to learn how to do something?  You’re not alone – over half of the respondents in a recent Pew Research Center study reported using YouTube videos to help them learn something new.

PI_2018.11.07_youtube_0-01

The study also looked at YouTube as a content provider for children:

The findings also highlight YouTube’s key role in providing content for children. Fully 81% of all parents with children age 11 or younger say they ever let their child watch videos on YouTube. And 34% of parents say their child watches content on YouTube regularly. It should be noted that YouTube explicitly states that the platform is not intended for children younger than 13, and that the site provides a YouTube Kids option for children that has enhanced parental controls.

Wow.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, 61% of respondents that let their children watch YouTube videos felt their child had encountered unsuitable content.

Pew also analyzed the YouTube recommendation engine, and found that recommendations tended towards longer and more popular videos as they worked through several iterations.  The findings in this section are particularly interesting.  Here’s the process they used to analyze recommendations – try it and see if you experience the same thing!

PI_2018.11.07_youtube_0-07
This report is full of information that can help us learn how people use technology to access information, and how algorithms can affect the variety of information people are exposed to (or lack thereof).

Have you made any interesting observations from you or your family members’ use of YouTube?

Verifying RINCs – Family Histories and other Genealogy Titles

Memoirs

One of my new responsibilities as the Information Services Lead Librarian is looking over RINCs that are classified as REF – most often these are family histories or other genealogy titles.

This week for some reason there were a lot of these requests – maybe as the weather worsens people are turning to their winter activities, including hours of genealogy research.  As I worked through the list I did a Google search for each title.  I found the full text of several of them online from sites like HathiTrust or the Internet Archive.  Other sources may have these titles as well.

I highly recommend a Google search as part of the verification process, even though it’s not specifically called out on the verification form.  In some instances I added the author’s last name to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, and that  brought up a result that wasn’t there in the first search.

So many of these books have been digitized in the last few years.  Providing our customers with the link to the digital item lets them access the book immediately, often saving 8-10 weeks of waiting for the physical copy.

 

WA State Supreme Court strikes down death penalty

Today Washington’s state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that capital punishment is unconstitutional in Washington state.  Washington becomes the 20th state in the union without the death penalty.  The eight prisoners currently on death-row will have their sentences changed to life in prison.

According to the opinion of five justices, the “death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

Governer Jay Inslee’s statement on the ruling.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s statement on the ruling.

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Everything you always wanted to know about Snopes

Snopes is one of our favorite tools for verifying and debunking information.  The Seattle Times has a great article today:

Snopes, the country’s most popular hoax-debunking site, is run by its founder out of a 97-year-old house in Tacoma. And is it ever busy, with 47 of its “Hot 50” posts having something to do with politics. Did Starbucks put President Trump’s photo on its floor? Is Bill Gates a bad tipper? Here’s a sampling of the truth-squaded rumors you’ll find there.

It’s either a treasure trove or your worst nightmare!

If you thought that you had hidden that old year book where no one could find it, you’re in for a surprise.  Ancestry has just added a huge number of high school year books to its database.   To find it:

  • Research
  • Genealogy
  • AncestryLibrary
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose Schools, Directories, and Church Histories
  • On the right side there is an area called Featured Data Collections and you will select U.S. School Yearbooks 1900-1990

You can do a search, but that probably isn’t what most customers want to do.  They want to browse!  So you have to go up to the top right box and pull down the state, city, and high school:
You can adjust the page size to read more comfortably on your computer screen, too.

Not all of our high schools are included, but here’s a quick summary of what’s there:

Arlington HS 1909-1989 incomplete
Coupeville HS 1910-1989 incomplete
Darrington HS 1953-1960. 1976
Edmonds HS 1927-1989 incomplete
Granite Falls HS 1919-1989 incomplete
Lake Stevens HS 1924-1989 incomplete
Lakewood HS 1982-1988 incomplete
Langley HS 1953-1975 incomplete
Lynnwood HS 1971-1989 incomplete
Mariner HS 1978-1982 incomplete
Marysville HS 1910-1986 incomplete
Marysville Pilchuck HS 1971-1988 incomplete
Meadowdale HS 1969-1989 incomplete
Monroe HS 1946-1989 incomplete
Mountlake Terrace HS 1955-1988 incomplete
Oak Harbor HS 1922-1988 incomplete
Scriber Lake HS 1985
Snohomish HS 1943-1989 incomplete
South Whidbey HS 1987
Stanwood HS 1925-1987 incomplete
Sultan HS 1922-1988 incomplete
Twin City HS 1953-1959 incomplete
Woodway HS 1969-1989 incomplete

And won’t it be nice to be able to say “yes” when someone asks you for the old high school yearbooks!

Incomplete means that the span of years does not include every year within the span.  But Ancestry is constantly adding new content, so anything is possible.