The Perseid meteor showers began this weekend! I started to go out to see them last night, but the air gets so funky here at night that I didn’t step outside. I love watching this annual display and may have to bite the bullet and step outside (Or breathe it, as the case may be.) I think I’ll spend most of the day today reading while the Olympics play out. That was my plan yesterday, but I made the impromptu decision to go see “Hope Springs”.
I spent a lot of time on Twitter, too! One of the gems I found there led me to Joyce Valenza’s Twiplomacy post. She introduces us to this site which analyzes world leader’s use of Twitter.
The governments of almost two-thirds of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter: 45% of the 264 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state and government, but just 30 world leaders tweet themselves and very few on a regular basis.
This study shows that while the social network invites direct interaction between users, few world leaders take advantage of this opportunity to develop connections. Almost half of world leader accounts analysed don’t follow any of their peers. A quarter of world leaders and governments follow President Barack Obama and the White House, but @BarackObama and the @WhiteHouse have established mutual Twitter relations with only three other world leaders: Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg, the UK Prime Minister and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
This gets to one way I like to use Twitter, and it speaks to my librarianship. As a librarian, I want to know what leaders are reading, from where they get their information. On Twitter, while I like following people who will interact with me and who will follow me back, I really like to follow the people who leaders follow. So, when I follow @leeandlow, @donnabrazile, @ajenglish, I look to see who they follow. If I were teaching, like Valenza I would take my students to twiplomacy and teach them how to use Twitter more reliably.
Do know someone with dyslexia or other problems reading print? If so, introduce them to Bookshare, an accessible online library. Mindshift recently wrote about the service.
Bookshare books aren’t just PDFs of print pages. Each page is scanned and processed through an optical character recognition program that translates the image file into a text file. That file is proofread to eliminate typos and ensure that things like odd page layouts haven’t damaged readability. Finally, the file is formatted so that it can be “read” in a digital voice by screen reading software — a computer program that reads what’s on the screen — or fed to a Braille notetaker.
UT Austin and U of North Carolina are both in court arguing the right to base admission on race. UNC last week used a recently released 10 year multidisciplinary study to support their case. In reporting about the cases, HigherEd included the response by Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a group that doesn’t want race as a consideration for admissions.
“The issues chosen to show how racial diversity correlates with property? How about tax? ….), and of course law itself is a discipline in which such correlation is more likely than most others (Is there a Latina perspective in chemistry? Mathematics? Economics? Engineering? Russian? Etc.) Even if there are some educational benefits to having racial diversity in a class on “Race and the Law,” that would not justify racial preferences in undergraduate admissions to the University of Texas.”
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/08/10/new-research-value-diversity#ixzz23LawkuGe
Inside Higher Ed
Cinco Puntos gives praise to librarian Francisco Vargas!
Debbie Reese takes heat for calling attention to the lack of diversity in NPR’s recent 100 Top Teen list.
Tarie presents the Second Philippine National Children’s Book Award winners.
APALA site posts award nomination forms for the upcoming JCLC Convention.
And with that, I’m off to the Olympics!