Text Size

Librarian Blog

From medium to cold

Billions of people world-wide are on Facebook.

Millions use Facebook's news feeds as their sole source for information.

And there's nothing out there that might slow those trends.

Here's what Facebook does, according to a Sunday article in The New York Times: It uses algorithms to figure out what you like to read/see/experience when you go to Facebook news sites. Then it finds more of the same and feeds that to you. You don't need to browse. You don't need to bother picking through things you might not want to see. Nothing uncomfortable or disturbing will pass your eyes.

And, so, all your biases, prejudices and preconcieved ideas will be underscored and amplified and reinforced, and it will be the same for everyone else on Facebook.

How is democracy going to work when all you access is, say, National Enquirer?

I see this kind of thing as insidious and harmful. Not to mention what it means for the future of newspapers, which is already pretty dismal.

More on 3D printing

Looking down the road, I think it's fair to say that sooner than later we will have a 3D printer available at the library for patrons to use.

Prices have fallen dramatically as competition has increased for the printers themselves, and that makes them look for attractive.

But, I've been doing some reading about care and feeding of 3D printers, and it seems that you surely get what you pay for. That's in terms of everything -- speed of printing, cost of materials, time involved, maintenance and ease of use.

The University of Nevada, Reno, just completed a couple of full years of providing 3D services to all patrons, and their report, explained in an article posted by Patrick Colegrove at Educause Review Online this past week, is favorable.

What they have learned is just what I said above, you get what you pay for. And what they paid was quite a lot, more than we could ever afford.

That doesn't mean we won't continue to explore this new frontier of library services. I see us getting into a maker space within the next 12 months, in fact. So watch this space for news.

Now's the time ...

With the holidays looming right before us, it is time for you and your friends to start working on that home movie for entry in the first Wimberley Film Festival and competition.

The library is sponsoring this event, which won't happen if we don't get some entries.

Movies should be 5 to 7 minutes in length, including credits, and should be submitted to us on a DVD.

I've heard there's some interest in the home-school community here, but no one has come around to get a copy of the rules.

Deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

Lights! Camera! Action!

How Wimberley skews

In our planning here at the library, we take into account all the demographic information we can get our hands on.

Today, a new dataset was released through the Texas State Library from a company called ESRI. The data give us a snapshot of what our ZIP code -- 78676 -- looks like.

And basically the information just confirms what Census data have already shown: We are older than the rest of the state and nation; we are wealthier; and we are more likely to be retired or, at least, empty nesters.

Not many surprises there. But, what does that kind of data tell us about what we should plan for in library services? We're talking about that.

Take hacking seriously

Just days before Christmas last year, my bank canceled my credit card.

Seems that my personal data had been stolen in the monumental Target hack.

A few weeks ago, the bank canceled my credit card again. This time, I was somehow involved in the Home Depot hack.

I never got an apology from Target. And I'm still waiting for one from Home Depot, but I'm sure not holding my breath.

So, I am very much on board with the movement to hold corporate boards of directors responsible for the safety of their customers' information.

I read about it recently online. My favorite quote is from John Kindervag, security analyst at Forrester: "We live in the post-Target era. There's a moral obligation to consider firing an executive team because of a data breach. It's a huge business failure."

Amen to that.

Meanwhile, I'm no longer shopping at Target or Home Depot. Maybe if all their customers took seriously this business of being hacked, we'd get directors attention.

DMC Firewall is a Joomla Security extension!