News from the Reference Desk Category: Digital Literacy

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials and exceedingly relevant  for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999.  In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer but unknowingly provides the means to do so.  For example, libraries safeguard against infringement liability by requiring patrons to acquiesce to not partake in ‘Conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement. before using our internet services.’  Copyright Trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant.  Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.

New Web Resource: National Geographic Virtual Library

The Library now subscribes to National Geographic Virtual Library and National Geographic Kids (brought to you by the incredible database company, Gale Cengage). The Virtual Library contains every single page of every issue of National Geographic since it began publication in 1888, all issues of National Geographic Traveler, published since 2010, and over 300 books.

The incredible photography takes on an amazing glow. Take a look at the about the Photo Ark article for proof of that. Every Last One. 

All articles can be saved to your computer, Google Drive, or saved to your folder in a Gale account. You can print them or email them to yourself or others.

Oxford Dictionaries

MPPL now subscribes to Oxford Dictionaries, the online dictionary that does everything you want an online dictionary to do (according to a review I found in Booklist, Sept. 1, 2010). That sounds like a tall order because most people just want spelling and definition, but Oxford Dictionaries surpasses all expectations. Is has not just definitions and spellings but also rhymes, audio files, related words, word origin, examples in sentences, and links to their foreign language dictionaries which are all included in this package. The other dictionaries are French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic. Also, you should check out the Oxford Dictionaries fun, informative and trippy Oxford Words blog.

Fake News Resources

What is Fake News?

“Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.”– PolitiFact

Fake news is a type of completely made up and deliberately spread story, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and to attract maximum attention and, with it, gain revenue or political gain.– The Guardian

Fake News is NOT:

-New– it’s been around since the advent of printing.
-News you disagree with
-News that paints someone who you admire in an unflattering light.
-Satire (see below).

How to Spot Fake News

-Some sites are upfront about publishing satire, e.g. The Onion, Borowitz Report, ClickHole. Check the “About” section of a site if unsure.
-Avoid sites that end in “.com.co” and “lo”; these are more often than not entire fake news sites.
-Be aware of promoted or sponsored posts– companies have paid for these to appear on social media feeds, websites, and even Google searches.
-If a story elicits a strong emotion response, read on! Shocking headlines (clickbait) are often designed to stun readers into sharing them without fully reading the article.
-Use multiple sources to fact-check stories.

Albuquerque Public Library Guide to Fake News
FactCheck.org
PolitiFact
Snopes
AllSides
Hoaxy
25 Fake News Sites Found on Facebook (compiled by Dr. Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College)
The News Literacy Project
12 Examples of Native Ads (And Why They Work)

Access to Online Courses

Gale Courses

Never stop learning.  Whether you’re looking for college-level, professional development, or personal enrichment courses, Mount Prospect now offers hundreds of online courses that are accessible anywhere online, 24/7. Gale Courses offer well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow students.

Gale Courses offers access to online learning courses that are available anytime, anywhere, any place. Other benefits include:

  • Courses are free for all patrons interested in any discipline
  • Gale Courses is easy to use; you use your library account to sign up and log in
  • With six-week courses, you can join programs year-round

Gain valuable knowledge you can immediately apply to your life or on the job. There’s definitely something for everyone:

Career & Professional Development: Many courses are tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest-growing occupations. Examples include: Accounting, Resume Writing, Business and Management, Grant Writing and Nonprofit, Real Estate, Healthcare, and Sales and Marketing.

  • Computers & Technology: Courses cover all skill levels from beginner to advanced, even focusing on specific software applications. Examples include: Introduction to the Microsoft Office Suite, Database Management, Graphic and Multimedia Design, and The Internet.
  • Personal Enrichment: A wide array of courses truly offers the opportunity to transform lives, whether related to hobbies, education, or life resources. Examples include: Children, Parents, & Family, Digital Photography, Health &Wellness, and Test Prep.

Contact us at reference@mppl.org to learn how you can benefit from this great resource.  Or visit http://mppl.org/webresources/gale-courses/ to get started.