Volume 45, Number 2 - March/April 2021
Local news is in peril; the sources are not sustainable.
By Marydee Ojala
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Last (and First) ALA Midwinter
When Online Fact-Checking Is a Trap: The Weaponization of Media Literacy
We're all in favor of fact-checking, right? Bob Berkman doesn't disagree, but he adds a note of caution. Some basic principles that librarians employ to determine accuracy and reliability are being used by conspiracy theorists and extremists to make false claims and misinformation seem credible. News sites that urge readers to "make up their own minds" based on facts presented echo information literacy precepts but twist them to encourage acceptance of falsehoods. Librarians beware!
By Robert Berkman
Delving into the past is a research activity for genealogists as well as historians, and newspapers play a critical role in uncovering events from decades earlier. Modern researchers need access to those articles to understand their ancestors and the times in which they lived. Public library director Jessica Hilburn compares two major sources for older news, Newspapers.com and NewspaperArchive.com, and provides criteria to help choose between them.
By Jessica Hilburn
Bridging the User Interface Gap: Bulma, Bootstrap, and Foundation
Pratt Institute librarian Nicholas Dease reviews three web development tools that will simplify library website design. Library websites are complicated, since they must integrate a number of applications and resources, making seamless user experiences difficult. Users need to know whether or not they are actually on the library's website, which points to the importance of a unified design.
By Nicholas Dease
Filling the need to make policy content discoverable, since policy documents are not routinely indexed to be included in library discovery systems or Google Scholar, the new initiative called Policy Commons wraps each item with metadata, assigns a unique persistent identifier, and stores an archival copy if permission is granted. As a type of grey literature, policy documents are now much more findable.
By Toby Green
Navigating Security Risks in the Remote Work Era: A Necessary Evil
The pandemic has made digital technology all the more crucial, both in our professional and private lives. Carly Lamphere takes a close look at how this increased reliance on technology has put users more at risk for all kinds of nefarious security breaches, from Zoom Bombing to phishing schemes and webcams that can spy on us.
By Carly Lamphere
International Students and Information Literacy
This information literacy librarian revisits his thoughts about how information literacy affects international students. After traveling thousands of miles and learning to adjust to different food and customs, the struggle of international students to make sense of academic research transcends simply learning English.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Financial Ratio Analysis for Companies and Industries
Financial ratios are used to compare one company against industry norms or other companies. Although they are mathematical formulae, you don't need to excel at math skills, since many databases and websites have done the computations for you. Use them to determine the financial health of companies.
By Marydee Ojala
Journal-Level Metrics in the Electronic Publishing Era
Electronic publishing has changed the landscape for bibliometric, or citation-based, metrics, which had their origins many years ago. Academic librarian Elaine Lasda reviews how the Journal Impact Factor from Web of Science, CiteScore from Scopus, and Dimensions are handling metrics in an era of electronic publishing.
By Elaine M. Lasda
Recommended Reading on Makerspaces, Open National Libraries, Trustworthy Information, and Sustainable Libraries
By Jennifer A. Bartlett
While libraries have always faced continuing challenges in obtaining funding and proving their value, remote working has necessitated rethinking services and resources. How to insert these into clients' workflows is one pivot point. Agility, innovation, and creativity are called for.
By Mary Ellen Bates