On the proposed elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Museums and libraries in America, institutions that largely depend on federal funding, are in danger of closing their doors. If you like visiting the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Aquarium, or you’re one of the many people that depend on your hometown public library, this is a cause for concern. A message from the American Library Association:

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget, American Library Association (ALA) President Julie Todaro today issued the following statement:

“The President’s proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in his FY2018 budget just released, and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds, is counterproductive and short-sighted. The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality.  Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive through their states into an incredible range of services for virtually all Americans everywhere to produce what could well be the highest economic and social “ROI” in the entire federal budget.

“The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funded through IMLS is the primary annual source of funding for libraries in the federal budget. IMLS distributes the majority of LSTA funds to every state in the nation according to a population-based formula. Each state library determines how to best spend its allocated federal funds, which must be matched at the state level. The range of services provided to millions of Americans through LSTA grants is matched only by the creativity of the libraries that receive them: veterans transitioning to civilian life, small businesses seeking to expand their business online, summer reading programs, resources for blind and hearing-impaired patrons, resume writing and job skills workshops and computer coding courses to teach youth 21st century job skills.

“America’s more than 120,000 public, school, college and university and many other libraries are not piles of archived books. They’re trusted centers for education, employment, entrepreneurship and free inquiry at the core of communities in every state in the country – and in every Congressional district. And they’re staffed by the original search engines: skilled and engaged librarians.”

Are you an artist? Learn how to incorporate other work into your own.

It’s called Fair Use. Learn how to mix, collage, and use things that inspire you into your own work without infringing on copyright. Check out the infographic below.

From the College Art Association on the topic of Fair Use in the Visual Arts:

For centuries, artists have incorporated the work of others as part of their creative practice. Today, many artists occasionally or routinely reference and incorporate artworks and other cultural productions in their own creations. Such quotation is part of the construction of new culture, which necessarily builds on existing culture. It often provides a new interpretation of existing works, and may (or may not) be deliberately confrontational. Increasingly, artists employ digital tools to incorporate existing (including digital) works into their own, making uses that range from pastiche and collage (remix), to the creation of new soundscapes and lightscapes. Sometimes this copying is of a kind that might infringe copyright, and sometimes not. But whatever the technique, and whatever may be used (from motifs or themes to specific images, text, or sounds), new art can be generated.

PRINCIPLE: Artists may invoke fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium, subject to certain limitations:

LIMITATIONS:

  • Artists should avoid uses of existing copyrighted material that do not generate new artistic meaning, being aware that a change of medium, without more, may not meet this standard.
  • The use of a preexisting work, whether in part or in whole, should be justified by the artistic objective, and artists who deliberately repurpose copyrighted works should be prepared to explain their rationales both for doing so and for the extent of their uses.
  • Artists should avoid suggesting that incorporated elements are original to them, unless that suggestion is integral to the meaning of the new work.
  • When copying another’s work, an artist should cite the source, whether in the new work or elsewhere (by means such as labeling or embedding), unless there is an articulable aesthetic basis for not doing so.

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Free Speech or Hate Speech?

UPDATE: Seems like a line was drawn over the weekend. Simon & Schuster cancelled Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal, as debated below.

The following news story from about a month ago (Jan 2017) tackles the argument: do publishers, in this case Simon & Schuster, get to decide what is published despite a clear concern that the book may contain flagrant hate speech? In a university, there are policies enforcing the rights of free speech amongst students and faculty in the classroom to encourage critical nuanced debate. What do you think about the arguments brought up in this article to address this particular situation?

 Excerpt from the article:

“Trying to suppress hateful speech doesn’t make it go away,” says [Joan Bertin, executive director of the NCAC]. “I mean, I think the whole idea of free speech requires us to be active participants, and when we hear ideas that we think are bad and harmful, it requires us to say ‘why,’ not just say ‘shut up.'”

But publisher Dennis Johnson says another equally important right is at stake here: The right to protest.

“This is not about censoring right wing voices,” he says. “This is about combating hate speech and its entry into the mainstream.”

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February Library Hours

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Writing Center Hours Spring 2017

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Net Neutrality: What it is, and how it may change

If you are one of many people in the US who use the internet (and if you’re reading this right now, that’s you!), you probably need to understand what net neutrality means. Here is the Wikipedia article definition: “Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.”

Just 6 months ago, the The U.S. Court of Appeals, under President Obama, backed the FCC’s defense of a free, open, and neutral internet, with certain regulations tacked on to protect this neutrality. You can read more about it on whitehouse.gov.

What will happen under the new 2017 administration? If you like the freedoms of an Open Internet (or simply a fast broadband network), you should be concerned. But, as always, there are two sides to any argument. Take a look at the article below published from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The article links out to many other sources to assess Trump and the new administration’s views. Why do you think they are against net neutrality? Who are the major parties involved? Is the language for an anti-neutrality stance confusing? Read this Atlantic article from 2014 for even more information about the debate, and this Forbes article arguing against net-neutrality.

Trump and His Advisors on Net Neutrality

December 19, 2016 | By Kerry Sheehan

Through the combined efforts of EFF and a coalition of public interest groups — and four million of you who wrote in to the FCC — we won carefully tailored and essential net neutrality protections in 2015 and defended them in court in 2016. But how will the incoming Trump administration impact net neutrality in 2017? We’ve collected a range of statements on the positions of Trump, his transition team, and those who are likely to guide the new administration on this issue.

Trump took a swipe at net neutrality in a November 2014 tweet, stating, “Obama’s Attack on the Internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target Conservative Media.”

The Republican Party platform [PDF] was also critical of net neutrality, and Trump’s transition team is stocked with staunch opponents to net neutrality.

more….

ProQuest Database maintenance

For those of you using the library databases, ProQuest research databases will be down for an overnight stretch during the last weekend in January. Please contact us with any questions or additional help: 813 253 6231library@ut.edu.

Over the weekend of Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 Jan. 2017, a ProQuest product maintenance window will launch worldwide to upgrade infrastructure, enhance security, and maintain reliability of ProQuest products. During this 8-hour window, some ProQuest products will be unavailable.

  • United States (EST): Saturday, 28 Jan., 10:00 p.m. through Sunday, 29 Jan., 6:00 a.m.

Winter Break Hours

Current library hours are always on our website

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Can you spot fake news? Studies show it’s harder than you think…

A recent NPR article illustrates some dire news: most students in the US can’t tell real news from fake. The reliance on social media for news may be the culprit, or the growing lack of ability to critically evaluate neutrality and authority (many websites are getting better at being convincing). Read the article below. The take away? Don’t accept anything online at face value. Fact check!

Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

-Camila Domonoske, NPR

If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed.

That’s one implication of a new study from Stanford researchers that evaluated students’ ability to assess information sources and described the results as “dismaying,” “bleak” and “[a] threat to democracy.”

As content creators and social media platforms grapple with the fake news crisis, the study highlights the other side of the equation: What it looks like when readers are duped.

Read more…

Have a restful and happy Thanksgiving break

The library will be closed Wed. Nov 23 until we reopen on Sunday 27. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here at Macdonald-Kelce we are grateful for the wisdom of the many writers, professors, and great minds whose work lives in the stacks of all the world’s libraries. Here’s a quote by Kurt Vonnegut, beloved author, free thinker, humorist and humanist, reflecting on humanity’s gift for love, and the ability to be joyful with what you have:

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“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” — Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, 2007