Monday, September 30, 2013

Autism headlines: Lisa Jo Rudy urges caution

Mug shot: Lisa Jo Rudy
Lisa Jo Rudy
One of the most important responsibilities of an information professional is to empower clients to evaluate the credibility of information for themselves.

At Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lisa Jo Rudy offers suggestions about what to watch out for when reading stories in the media about “cures” or “causes” of autism.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Daryl Hannah raises attention for women on autism spectrum

On Facebook, sharing a link to an essay about actress Daryl Hannah, Autism At relates, “I feel a certain obligation to post this sort of celebrity news, though I personally don’t find it especially compelling ... do you guys enjoy reading about ‘celebrity autistics?’”

My response is that the main focus of the essay (by the consistently informative Emily Willingham) seems less to do with Daryl Hannah and more to do with misdiagnosis or under-diagnosis of women and girls. As a woman diagnosed in adulthood, I feel this is a legitimate issue that vitally needs more attention.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bookmobile transformations mirror those in libraries

Mendocino County Library’s “Traveling Branch Library”
The National Center for Educational Statistics lists 864 library bookmobiles in operation in the United States, with an average annual cost of $200,000 to keep them on the road. For Library Journal, Bob Warburton argues that bookmobiles are in a state of transformation, much like the libraries they serve.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jackson County: countwide library district proposed

Library card for Jackson County Library Services. Silhouette of hiker against wooded mountain background bearing caption "Explore"Ryan Pfeil reported this week for the Medford Mail Tribune that Jackson County officials may put a countywide library district on the May 2014 ballot.
“The decision comes on the heels of a survey that polled 500 likely voters — those who have voted in at least two of the last four elections — in Jackson County. Of those surveyed, 52 percent supported creating a special district to fund libraries with a tax rate of 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, survey results show. That’s $120 for a $200,000 home.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chrastka: Take library card sign-ups door-to-door

Mug shot: John Chrastka
John Chrastka
At Library Journal, John Chrastka has a great idea to energize library card sign-ups: going door-to-door or tabling. His commentary is a valuable resource during Library Card Sign-Up Month.
“To shake a person’s hand, look them in the eye, and introduce yourself as their librarian is powerful. The library is one part of civil society where people don’t laugh when you say ‘I am from the government and I am here to help.’ For staff, friends, trustees, and volunteers, this is a powerful opportunity to say to someone ‘I am here as your neighbor. Let me tell you about our library.’”

Monday, September 23, 2013

‘Invisible’ disabilities pose job hunting challenges

People with “invisible” disabilities face a quandary when seeking work: to conceal or reveal the disability, each with potential consequences for finding and keeping employment? For the New York Times, Katherine Bouton provides an excellent, in-depth, report.

Oregon libraries: Per-capita circulation

A Library Data Visualization tool, designed by the Connecticut State Library, shows circulation per capita in Oregon. In Jackson County, circulation per capita is 7.84.

Data came from the 2011 Public Library Survey, collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Circulation per capita was determined by dividing total circulation per year, 1,594,623, by the service area’s population. Total circulation per year included circulation of all library materials of all types, including renewals.

Use the graphic’s filters to view circulation rates for other states or the entire U.S. or to limit libraries by the size of the communities they serve.

Autism: Letters help shape perceptions in media

At, M. Kelter offers perceptive analysis of autism coverage in the media, arguing that a wider range of stories are conveyed through the “new media” of blogs and social posts, but are limited to fragmented audiences.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Banned Books Week 2013: Sept. 22 to 28

Banned Books Week is being observed this week, Sept. 22 to 28. According to the American Library Association, “Banned Books Week stresses the importance of preventing censorship and ensuring everyone’s freedom to read any book, no matter how unorthodox or unpopular.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Largest city in Oregon is ‘Poverty’

Oregon Center for Public Policy infographic: More Live in Poverty (668,359) Than in the City of Portland: (668,359 versus 587,865)
Image credit: Oregon Center for Public Policy
“If poverty were a city in Oregon, it would be the state’s largest city,” according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy.

The policy center released a fact sheet on Thursday, the same day the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to cut funding and tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. One in five Oregon residents received “Oregon Trail” benefits last month, according to KDRV Newswatch 12 reporter Rob Scott.

Friday cat blogging: Cat wears bow tie, works as assistant librarian

One of the coolest things I saw this week: Kuzya wears a bow tie and works as assistant librarian at the Novorossiysk Library in Russia. Ryan Broderick on Buzzfeed has summed it up so well, there’s really nothing more for me to say.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How does social media affect your credit score?

U.S. and international lenders are examining Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles of potential borrowers. As related by Erika Eichelberger on
“Companies like Neo and LendUp seized an opening in the market to provide low-income borrowers, who may lack bank accounts or have bad credit, an alternative to payday loans. Though credit-worthiness is typically based on factors like employment, finances, and whether you make your credit card payments on time, these companies argue that they are able to serve borrowers that traditional banks deem risky because they are able to evaluate credit risk based on more subtle social media-based indicators.
“The problem, consumer advocates say, is that because there are few regulations governing this new way of grading borrowers’ trustworthiness, applicants can be subject to unfair and discriminatory decisions by lenders.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Biblio Tech book-less library: Sign of things to come?

Computer stations at the new BiblioTech bookless public library in Bexar County, Texas.
Artist’s rendering courtesy of Bexar County, Texas
Is this a sign of things to come in public library service? Biblio Tech, a book-less public library, opened this week in Bexar County, Texas.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

EqUUal Access, UUA launch test of accessibility certification

The Accessibility Banner consists of a dancing chalice surrounded by six accessibility symbols: a wheelchair, signing hands, a brain, an ear, a Braille symbol and a person walking with a cane. The dancing figure was chosen because it symbolizes how we could all 'dance' if there were full accessibility for all. The surrounding double circles symbolize Unitarianism and Universalism. The heading words 'Accessible and Welcoming to All' are in an italic font to suggest or hint at the dancing theme.
EqUUal Access, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Association, is embarking on a two-year field test of accessibility certification for member congregations.

“The program helps congregations learn about accessibility issues through worship, workshops, and other means. When the certification program has been completed a congregation can vote to be recognized by EqUUal Access.”

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Books in dumpster distract from greater issue

Talk about a buried lead: A proposal to change education requirements and eliminate specialization of staff at Fairfax County Public Library in northern Virginia receives only a brief mention by NBC reporter Jackie Benson in a video report from a meeting of the Library Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No respect for journalists who condone child murder

At, writer Tommy Christopher calls for a complete retraction and discipline for everyone involved in a CBS This Morning report that excused the murder of Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year-old child with autism.
“On Friday’s CBS This Morning, reporter Sharyl Attkisson delivered a report that was fatally flawed on several levels, but I hesitate to even mention the reporting itself, because even if everything in the report was 100% above-board and true, it would not support the sick conclusion that permeates it: that Alex Spourdalakis’ mother had no choice but to murder him. This sounds like an exaggeration, surely, but it is not. This was the explicit message of CBS News’ report.”
Christopher offers a lengthy analysis of omissions and distortions in the CBS report. I won’t duplicate his efforts. Suffice to say the choice of footage and commentary suggests a no-win, hopeless situation in which child murder was the only way out.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Solved: that DRM issue in OverDrive

A Library2Go workshop at the Ashland library provided me with the necessary final step to perform a Digital Rights Management (DRM) upgrade to use my OverDrive Media Console. At No. 2 among 60 ways to use a library card for Library Card Sign-Up Month, library workshops explain how to access eBooks on patrons’ personal gadgets.