61% of Facebook users have taken a voluntary break from using the site at one time or another and 27% plan to spend less time on the site this coming year. Even so, two-thirds of online adults are now Facebook users.
We asked the 61% of Facebook users who have taken a break from using the site to tell us in their own words why they did so, and they mentioned a variety of reasons. The largest group (21%) said that their “Facebook vacation” was a result of being too busy with other demands or not having time to spend on the site. Others pointed toward a general lack of interest in the site itself (10% mentioned this in one way or another), an absence of compelling content (10%), excessive gossip or “drama” from their friends (9%), or concerns that they were spending too much time on the site and needed to take a break (8%).
As librarians struggle with the task of redefining their roles in a digital age, many are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores.
“The library should be as they say, a third place — you have home, work or school, and then you come to the library because it is the center and heart of the community,” Ms. Caserotti said. “Our staff is 100 percent committed to hospitality, customer service and welcoming people to the library as if they were visiting our home. We need to remember it is their library, not ours, and they are paying for it.”
Expect more : demanding better libraries for today's complex world. [R David Lankes]
-- Libraries have existed for millennia, but today many question their necessity.
"If libraries need to be providing us access to these services and training us about them, don’t they also have an obligation to let us know about threats to our privacy? Can’t they represent the community voice in the public discourse on such issues? Expecting more from libraries means expecting them to be informed about threats to privacy on a global scale and having them actively working with the community to come to an informed level of consent on disclosure.
"Since FTC staff’s first survey of kids’ mobile apps in 2011, staff found little progress toward giving parents the information they need to determine what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it. The report also finds that many of the apps surveyed included interactive features, such as connecting to social media, and sent information from the mobile device to ad networks, analytics companies, or other third parties, without disclosing these practices to parents."
"A shift is underway in library space, from being configured around collections to being configured around research, learning and related social behaviors. In this way, space is an important aspect of how a library engages with its users; it is a service in itself, not only part of the infrastructure to manage collections."
"Several public libraries, following the lead of San Francisco’s Main Branch, have hired social workers, for instance, to help them deal with the homeless, many of whom depend on the nearest public library for everything from Internet access to daily ablutions. The Greensboro, N.C. public library started providing haircuts and blood pressure screenings to these needy visitors. In Gainesville, Fla., the Alachua County Library District has coped with declining in-person access to government services by forming the Library Partnership, a facility containing both a library and various community services. By this means the library has made itself into a gateway for local residents seeking health and legal services, rent and utility subsidies, counseling and tax help, not to mention book and clothing drives and weekend food for kids nourished by the food lunch program during the week. Like so many libraries, the one in Gainesville goes far beyond providing food for thought."
"Every aspect of the library profession is retooling. Catalogers are working with batch loads of records more than they do original cataloging. Collection development librarians are working with patron-driven acquisition models more than approval plans or firm orders. Archivists are deriving new value from their digitized collections with text mining techniques. Public services are spending less time at the reference desk, and ethnography might be their new tool for learning about users. APIs are the newest tools of web developers."
A chilling Google report reveals law enforcement is seeking -- and getting -- more and more of our personal info
Between June and December 2012, the United States made 8,438 requests for information about 14,791 Google users. Overall, the amount of data requested by the government has been rising quickly — by more than 70 percent, reports Google, since 2009, when the House of Representatives went to such pains to tell us how “the Internet and the capabilities of modern technology cause data privacy issues to figure prominently in the lives of many people in the United States at work, in their interaction with government and public authorities, in the health field, in e-commerce transactions, and online generally.”
Reputation.com is building a business around helping people store personal data about themselves as a way to manage their online reputations.
"EXECUTIVES in technology, retail, marketing and other industries like to say that data is “the new oil” or, at least, the fuel that powers the Internet economy. It is a metaphor that casts consumers as natural resources with no say over the valuable commodities that companies extract from them. "
Demanding Better Libraries For Today's Complex World...
"The librarians of the Free Library [of Phiadelphia] chose a different path. The first thing they did was to hire homeless men and women to be bathroom attendants to keep the bathrooms clean. Then the Library started a café. The café was a community-wide effort. Major funding came from Bank of America. The equipment was donated by Starbucks. The food came from a neighborhood bakery. The café was staffed, trained, and managed by formerly homeless men and women now in a program to transition to work."
Consider this by-the-numbers comparison of the present and future Main Library.....
Public Meeting Spaces: 16
Public Study Rooms: 14
Public Computer Lab: 64
Children's Computer Lab: 10
Teen's Computer Lab: 6
Genealogy Computer Lab: 2
Special Interior Features: teen area, cafe, auditorium, quiet reading room, self-check out units, art gallery, electronic classrooms, meeting rooms with audiovisual services, expanded children's area, used book store, automated materials handling system, themed wood ceiling and other special interior design features
Public Meeting Rooms: 2
Public Study Rooms: 3
Public Computer Lab: 29
Special Features: ground floor atrium, patio, used book store
"I’ve argued elsewhere that there are three factors that directly influence our ability to fulfill the library mission. Two of them are ownership (the ability to have physical possession of a file, the better to preserve and manage it), and integration (the ability to provide some polish and convenience to the user experience).
But the third factor is equally basic: cost. Right now, publishers and distributors (in this case, Random House and OverDrive) have driven up the price of an ebook so far that it really doesn’t make sense for libraries to buy it. People who read ebooks don’t stop reading on paper; if anything, they seem to read more in all formats.
Considering the difference between the cost of paper and digital formats, I really did consider buying paper only. For now, that’s just prudent: I can reduce the waiting list faster by purchasing multiple copies at discount.
But you know what’s coming next: the book that is published e-only, or that comes out as an ebook first, and on paper two months later. This is an attempt—successful, so far—to lock us out of the market by outright denial on the one hand, or through ballooning costs on the other."
"The first is the notion of place, a thing the Internet was supposed to have obliterated. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the digital future: place kept mattering. It turns out that people often need somewhere to go, especially people who aren’t affluent enough to live in big houses. People with large families might need some peace and quiet, or a change of venue for study that is removed from the television and the refrigerator. People who live alone—and their ranks are increasing daily—might just want a little company while they read. An ideal place for all these folks should be safe, convenient and most of all public—a place where you don’t have to buy anything yet can stay as long as you like. Libraries are the very definition of such locales, and our unending need for this place that isn’t home, work or café accounts for a lot of their persistence. Library patrons themselves will tell you that. After she was laid off by Home Depot, Shamika Miller visited the public library in Tracy, California, almost every day during 2008 to look for work. As she told the Wall Street Journal, “There’s something about the library that helps you think.
The second reason libraries persist is the notion of improvement, something that has been an article of faith among librarians and their civic backers for as long as there have been libraries in this country. We Americans were early proponents of universal education and individual initiative, and we long ago recognized the importance of giving people a chance to make their lives better by gaining knowledge and cultivating their minds—in other words, improving themselves both materially and intellectually. It’s an idea redolent of Ben Franklin and Samuel Smiles, Horatio Alger and even Dale Carnegie."