Information Services @ Sno-Isle

The spot where information about information lives

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.

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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!

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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.

It’s been a quiet summer, right?

As I look through the smokey haze this morning, I’m amazed that it’s August 15.  There has been a lot going on this year.  Time has certainly flown, hasn’t it?

We’ve had some significant changes in Information Services this year and I’d like to give you a brief rundown of where we are to date:

Joy Feldman now has the title of Lead Librarian for Early Literacy.  While it sounds different than Early Learning Coordinator, it’s really a better reflection of the work that Joy does with children from birth to 3rd grade and their parents, caregivers, and educators.

Emily Felt is our new Lead Librarian for Business Services.  Many of you know Emily from her time at Coupeville, Sultan, and Monroe.  She’s been a very active member of the Business Services Team and has great plans for re-invigorating our services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

I hope that you had a chance to participate in the IdeaScale campaign about the two vacancies in Public Services.  Our Lead Librarians are connected to core services and strategic priorities and they’re not limited to a specific age group.  When you have a question, contact one of them and be assured that your question will probably be shared and solved by the whole group–they collaborate!

May Top Ten in GVRL

Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints: Factory Farming
History Behind the Headlines, vol. 1
Tourette Syndrome 2013
Issues That Concern You: Vegetarianism, 2014
Business Plans Handbook, vol. 36
Whooping Cough 2012
Savings and Investing 2012
Encyclopedia of Management e7 2012
Encyclopedia of Management Theory, vol. 1
Knives and Swords 2010

Some serious topics for springtime!

GVRL in April

The top ten were:
Eyewitness Travel Guide: Back Roads Germany, 2014
Collaborative Grantseeking 2011
Medieval Weapons 2007
Daily Life in Victorian England, 2nd ed.
The Handbook of Community Practice e2 2013
The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2011
Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, vol. 1
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, 2nd ed., vol. 1
Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, vol. 236
Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd ed., vol. 1

As always, this reflects our customers wide variety of interests.

 

Federal court records–what’s ahead?

Access to federal court records could be changing in the future.  It’s complex system that is fee-based for all but Supreme Court filings.  Take a few minutes and read this excellent summary of where things stand right now and what things could be like in the future.

GVRL in February

Here are the top ten titles:

Babycare 2011
How to Write Your Will e18 2009
Creation Myths of the World: An Encyclopedia, 2nd. ed., vol. 1
Mythology and Culture Worldwide: Aztec Mythology
America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the UnitedStates, vol. 2
The College Blue Book, 44th ed., vol. 3
The Hobbit 1995
Literary Movements for Students, 2nd ed., vol. 2
Contemporary Musicians, vol. 1
Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions e8 2009

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