Library Late Fines are Not Helping Anyone by Beth O’Brien

5/30/17

This author is discussing what the library’s main function is versus the benefits associated with late fines.  A Chicago library is cited as having no negative effects when they abolished late fines.  Also a Colorado library is cited as having no negative effects and several positive ones.

The author does then clarify that they are not espousing holding the patrons responsible., simply finding daily fines as picky.  The methods to attempt retrieval are that if your materials are more than two weeks overdue your card is suspended until you have returned that material.

*Jeez, at the public library I work at it can be a month to three months or more before the fines/penalties accrue enough that the account is suspended.  This attempt at more lenient policies is actually stricter than some libraries are at present.  Yes, daily fines are nit-picky, especially if there is no grace period.  They can be a barrier to certain populations, but on the other hand they are a way of teaching personal responsibility.  I HATE hearing people say that they do not use the library/let their kids use the library because they are afraid of the fines.  I really do just want to shake them and say “You’re getting the materials for three weeks, you can renew them for another three weeks.  If you cannot get them back in 45 days the let us know and we will see if we can make an exception!”  We aren’t monsters, personal responsibility has to take some part in this process.*

Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students by Amy Harmon

New York Times; June 4, 2017

This is an interesting, liberal, article.  This is based on one science teacher’s experiences and some inference to some form of research done on the part of the author.  This article is a blatant attempt to state that the liberal views of climate change are correct, anyone who disagrees is uninformed.  There is no middle ground, no discussion, no real attempts to be open to another viewpoint.

I adore how the scientists cite that since we have had the warmest winter since 1880 the world must be heating up due to human intervention.  What was their excuse for the warm winter in 1880?  We have had the warmest winter in 136 years, so for the last over 130 years we have not had a winter as warm as the one back in the 1800s?  Are human’s helping the environment more than they are harming, probably not.  However, your ‘evidence’ is not really concrete.  No matter how loudly you holler that evidence, the fact that your only actions in response to your ‘evidence’ being questioned is to then begin to insult those doing the questioning means that your ‘evidence’ wasn’t very sound to begin with.

 

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating by Jess Bidgood and Jeremy B. Merrill

New York Times May 29, 2017

This is an interesting article depicting an area that I had not thought of in regards to cheating.  Since I have not had opportunity, yet, to explore code beyond the basic HTML where everything is fairly routine I was unaware of how different each code can/should be from programmer to programmer.  This article explains that with the uptick of enrollment, complexity of homework, and availability of collaborative resources it becomes very easy for students to take shortcuts or blur the line between asking for help and plagiarizing.

I am glad that I read this articulate article, it helped me to gain insight into an aspect of coding I was unaware of.

Fiber Artist Feature – Nicole Frost Frostyarn

http://www.strauchfiber.com/wordpress/?p=1017

This artist entered into the fiber arts field due to a friend giving her some yarn and advising that she utilize that since meditation was not likely to hold her interest.

She has been doing so for nine years, since she became sober and moved home.

Her inspiration is space themed items, though the batts in the article seem to be more victorian inspired.  She is of the opinion that ‘More is More’.

This is a great article, it really makes me think about other peoples creative journeys.

The Pressure to Publish in Journals Drives too Much Cookie Cutter Research

https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/jun/30/pressure-to-publish-in-journals-drives-too-much-cookie-cutter-research

This seems to be a very interesting article.  The first few paragraphs outline how real life research questions become academic topics mainly aimed toward publication rather than information gathering.

This is a particularly telling paragraph:

“Steadily the report was shorn of the information needed to make it useful. And thus the government could pay many tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds, yet end up with a bland, deliberately incommunicative report, crafted to be hard for academic referees to criticise.”

Academic research is a very competitive field.  I enjoyed reading this article and it does bring up an ethical issue as well.  Is your responsibility to your own career and being published in a big journal or to the investor who is funding your research?  While it can be argued that the two are not mutually exclusive, there is a conflict there.    Certainly food for thought when directing my students toward research, also something to consider when telling the students during the analysis process using CRAAP; “To test for accuracy see if this agrees with what you know about the topic then decide if it is new and innovative or inaccurate.”

Fixing ‘Failed’ Fiber

http://www.strauchfiber.com/wordpress/?p=1008

This is a fantastic article that explores how fiber ‘mistakes’ can be easily fixed with a drum carder.  Everything from a splotch of too bright color to a bit of felting in the dye pot can be fixed with a drum carder.  The too bright color can be mellowed out with a few passes through the drum carder and carding the fiber can fix some of the felting by reintroducing air.  Admittedly if the fiber is too felted all you will be doing is breaking apart the fibers and introducing ‘nepps’ into your batt.  But really those can also be called ‘texture’ and creating an ‘art batt’.  This is also a great reminder for me that dimension can be added at other points in the creation process other than the dye bath.  *Don’t forget the sparkle*