Impeachment Papers – DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has made a collection of documents pertaining to the impeachment of President Trump available as a pdf download or for reading in a browser.

DPLA is proud to release this preliminary version of The Impeachment Papers: A Compendium of Documents Related to the Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump and The Report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian Active Measure Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election.


Coming Soon – Information Services Staff Survey!

It’s that time again!

The Information Services Staff Survey will take place from October 26th to November 4th.

Please, contain your excitement.

Each year the Washington State Library asks us to share statistics about library usage, including the number of customer transactions that take place.  Since it’s totally unreasonable to ask you to track every transaction year-round, we run the staff survey twice a year to collect the numbers that we then extrapolate for a full year estimate.

math lady

There will be plenty of time ahead of the survey dates to practice getting into the habit of recording your interactions, and to clarify any confusion about the different types of transactions.  To get ready you can review the Information Services Staff Survey page on the intranet.  The ARL survey is live if you’d like to take a look at the form (please don’t click the submit button).

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 7064.


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!



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.


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.


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!

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?

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.


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.

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

Tax Forms

Tax forms have not arrived yet and the IRS website does not have all of the 2017 forms or instructions available at this time.

Note:  Publication 17 (Tax Guide for Individuals) is no longer available in print format.  It can be found here.

Fact Checking the State of the Union

There’s something new that’s happening during the State of the Union address, scheduled for January 30.  The Reporters’ Lab at Duke University is beta-testing a real-time fact check during the actual address to Congress.  And there’s definite street cred here:   itt draws on automation and fact-checking work from researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, the Internet Archive, MIT Media Lab, and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.