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The Surprisingly Complicated History of Conan the Librarian

The Surprisingly Complicated History of Conan the Librarian

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, learn whether ‘Conan the Librarian’ debuted as a Monty Python sketch idea.


Posted on: January 17, 2021, 6:56 am Category: Uncategorized

ACRL: 2020 top trends in academic libraries

2020 top trends in academic libraries

A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education

Posted on: January 17, 2021, 6:49 am Category: Uncategorized

Ithaka S+R: “Data Repository Platforms: A Primer”

Ithaka S+R: “Data Repository Platforms: A Primer”

“From a Post by Nicole Betancourt at Ithaka S+R:

Since there is a robust landscape of research data sharing spaces, we decided to conduct exploratory, high-level research on a number of data repositories, primarily to inform our own data deposit protocols. We regularly deposit data from the US Faculty SurveyLibrary Director Survey, as well as several other research projects with ICPSR. Recognizing that our research on a variety of characteristics of data repositories may yield utility for other researchers, today we are publishing a summary of our findings.

Repository platforms included in the summary report are:

  • Dryad
  • Figshare
  • Harvard Dataverse
  • Mendeley Data
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
  • Zenodo

Direct to Complete Post/Report

Posted on: January 17, 2021, 6:15 am Category: Uncategorized

Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020

Press Release: Overdrive [January 12, 2021]

Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020

CLEVELAND – January 12, 2021. A record 102 public library systems from around the world empowered readers to borrow over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks from their digital collections in 2020. This represents the most systems ever to reach this milestone through OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. Contributing factors include increased digital book usage due to the pandemic, elevated interest in social justice titles and BIPOC authors and strong circulation growth for children’s and young adult titles because of remote learning.

These 102 systems from the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand achieved the elite “Million Checkout Club” status with 29 reaching the milestone for the first time. Noteworthy achievements include Toronto Public Library attaining the highest number of checkouts in OverDrive history for the 8th time (8 million), Santa Clara County Library (CA) attaining the highest year-over-year circulation growth (147%) of any Million Checkout Club library and Los Angeles Public Library earning the title of #1 library system in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

The complete list of Million Checkout Club libraries can be found here.

The top 10 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating library systems for 2020:

  1. Toronto Public Library
  2. Los Angeles Public Library
  3. King County Library System (WA)
  4. National Library Board Singapore
  5. New York Public Library
  6. Multnomah County Library (OR)
  7. Seattle Public Library
  8. Hennepin County Library (MN)
  9. Harris County Public Library (TX)
  10. Calgary Public Library (AB, Canada)

The top 5 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating consortia and shared collections:

  1. Wisconsin Public Library Consortium
  2. The Ohio Digital Library
  3. Greater Phoenix Digital Library
  4. Tennessee READS
  5. Digital Downloads Collaboration (OH)

In 2020, these libraries joined the “Million Checkout Club” for digital books the first time:

  • Saskatchewan Library Consortium
  • Bergen County Coop. Library System (NJ)
  • MontanaLibrary2Go
  • Westchester Library System (NY)
  • Camellia Net Digital Catalog
  • Vancouver Public Library
  • OC Public Libraries
  • Montgomery County Public Libraries
  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
  • NorthNet Library System
  • Download Destination
  • Ocean State Libraries eZone
  • San Jose Public Library
  • Fort Vancouver Reg. Library District
  • Contra Costa County Library
  • Peninsula Library System
  • eLibrary NJ
  • NC Kids Digital Library
  • Northern California Digital Library
  • Santa Clara County Library
  • Hamilton Public Library
  • downloadLibrary
  • Henrico County Public Library
  • Timberland Regional Library
  • Pima County Public Library
  • Halifax Public Libraries
  • Hawaii State Public Library System
  • Douglas County Libraries
  • Mississauga Library System

Public libraries reached record digital circulation through innovative activities and campaigns designed to raise awareness of and engagement with digital books. Examples include:

  • Stratford Public Library in Canada created a video series highlighting the perks of library card membership including access to digital books that advertised in movie theatres across the city.
  • Northvale Public Library (NJ) transitioned their children’s library programming to virtual by streaming events on their library Instagram and Facebook Live.
  • Wake County Public Libraries (NC) produced a Libby app training video promoted via Wake County Government’s website and covered by local news.
  • The second Libraries Transform Book Pick, an American Library Association sponsored event in September, connected thousands of readers across the U.S. with a featured ebook through their public libraries to generate conversation across communities.

To find a public library near you, download the Libby app (iOS, Android) or visit

About OverDrive

OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017.

Posted on: January 16, 2021, 2:46 pm Category: Uncategorized



Boats, Bread, and Biblioburros: Unusual Libraries Around the World




Posted on: January 16, 2021, 6:44 am Category: Uncategorized

WHO: Let’s flatten the infodemic curve

Let’s flatten the infodemic curve



“We are all being exposed to a huge amount of COVID-19 information on a daily basis, and not all of it is reliable. Here are some tips for telling the difference and stopping the spread of misinformation.

Due to COVID-19, most of us have a new word in our vocabulary: epidemiology. It is the branch of medical science that deals with the ways diseases are transmitted and can be controlled in a population. Now it is time to learn another new word: infodemiology.

As humans, we are a curious and innovative species. We want to understand the world around us and stay up to date on the challenges we face and how to overcome them. One of the ways we do this is by seeking out and sharing information – lots of it. Even scientists around the world are working hard to keep up with the thousands of studies that have come out since COVID-19 appeared.

But it is not only scientific studies. There are also official communications from governments and health agencies around the world. Then there are news articles and opinion pieces, and messages from vloggers, bloggers, podcasters and social media influencers. You may also see information shared by friends and family on social media or messaging apps.

All of this is called the infodemic: a flood of information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Infodemiology is the study of that information and how to manage it.



Navigating the infodemic: top tips to identify misinformation or disinformation

Misinformation Infographic_V4

Here are seven steps you can take to navigate this wave of information and decide who and what to trust:

1. Assess the source

Who shared the information with you and where did they get it from? Even if it is friends or family, you still need to vet their source. To check for fake social media accounts, look at how long profiles have been active, their number of followers and their most recent posts. For websites, check the “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages to look for background information and legitimate contact details.

When it comes to images or videos, make it a habit to verify their authenticity. For images, you can use reverse image search tools provided by Google and TinEye. For videos, you can use Amnesty International’s YouTube DatViewer, which extracts thumbnails that you can enter into reverse image search tools.

Other clues that a source may be unreliable or inaccurate include unprofessional visual design, poor spelling and grammar, or excessive use of all caps or exclamation points.

2. Go beyond headlines

Headlines may be intentionally sensational or provocative to get high numbers of clicks. Read more than just the headline of an article – go further and look at the entire story. Search more widely than social media for information – look at print sources such as newspapers and magazines, and digital sources such as podcasts and online news sites. Diversifying your sources allows you to get a better picture of what is or is not trustworthy.

3. Identify the author

Search the author’s name online to see if they are real or credible.

4. Check the date

When you come across information, ask yourself these questions: Is this a recent story? Is it up to date and relevant to current events? Has a headline, image or statistic been used out of context?

5. Examine the supporting evidence

Credible stories back up their claims with facts – for example, quotes from experts or links to statistics or studies. Verify that experts are reliable and that links actually support the story

6. Check your biases

We all have biases, and these factor into how we view what’s happening around us. Evaluate your own biases and why you may have been drawn to a particular headline or story. What is your interpretation of it? Why did you react to it that way? Does it challenge your assumptions or tell you what you want to hear? What did you learn about yourself from your interpretation or reaction?

7. Turn to fact-checkers

When in doubt, consult trusted fact-checking organizations, such as the International Fact-Checking Network and global news outlets focused on debunking misinformation, including the Associated Press and Reuters.

Information, misinformation and disinformation

Information is what we call things that are accurate to the best of our current knowledge. For instance, COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019 and is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. One of the difficulties with any new pathogen, like this coronavirus, is that information changes over time as we learn more about the science.

Misinformation, on the other hand, is false information. Importantly, it is false information that was not created with the intention of hurting others. Misinformation is often started by someone who genuinely wants to understand a topic and cares about keeping other people safe and well. It is then shared by others who feel the same. Everyone believes they are sharing good information – but unfortunately, they are not. And depending on what is being shared, the misinformation can turn out to be quite harmful.

At the other end of the spectrum is disinformation. Unlike misinformation, this is false information created with the intention of profiting from it or causing harm. That harm could be to a person, a group of people, an organization or even a country. Disinformation generally serves some agenda and can be dangerous. During this pandemic, we are seeing it used to try to erode our trust in each other and in our government and public institutions.

How to navigate misinformation and disinformation

It helps to think of misinformation and disinformation spreading in the same way as viruses. One person might share fake news with their friends and family, and then a handful of them share it with more of their friends and family, and before you know it, potentially harmful or dangerous information is taking over everyone’s newsfeed.

But just as we can protect against COVID-19 with hand washing, physical distancing and masks, we can slow down the spread of misinformation and disinformation by practising some information hygiene. Before sharing something, ask yourself these questions:

How does this make me feel?

Why am I sharing this?

How do I know if it’s true?

Where did it come from?

Whose agenda might I be supporting by sharing it?

If you know something is false, or if it makes you angry, don’t share it to debunk it or make fun of it. That just spreads the misinformation or disinformation further. Learn more about how you can report misinformation online.

Good places to go for reliable information are the websites of your national Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization. Remember, though: information will change as we learn more about the virus.


What WHO is doing

WHO has developed guidance to help individuals, community leaders, governments and the private sector understand some key actions they can take to manage the COVID-19 infodemic.

For instance, WHO has been working closely with more than 50 digital companies and social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitch, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google, Viber, WhatsApp and YouTube, to ensure that science-based health messages from the organization or other official sources appear first when people search for information related to COVID-19. WHO has also partnered with the Government of the United Kingdom on a digital campaign to raise awareness of misinformation around COVID-19 and encourage individuals to report false or misleading content online. In addition, WHO is creating tools to amplify public health messages – including its  WHO Health Alert chatbot, available on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber – to provide the latest news and information on how individuals can protect themselves and others from COVID-19.


A version of this content originally ran on The Spinoff and has been adapted for use by WHO under creative commons.



Related links

Posted on: January 16, 2021, 6:21 am Category: Uncategorized

What is a hotspot? How to connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, or set up your own personal hotspot

What is a hotspot? How to connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, or set up your own personal hotspot

Posted on: January 16, 2021, 6:04 am Category: Uncategorized