Thursday, December 06, 2018

Remembering Linton Weeks: Librarian Who Decolonized the Way Books Were Catalogued

The hedonist and the artist. If excess often accompanies creativity, why do so many artists seek asceticism   Artists and creativity 

Robot Janitors Are Coming To Mop Floors At a Walmart Near You Bloomberg

Farrell, Henry John and Schneier, Bruce, Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy (October 2018). Berkman Klein Center Research Publication No. 2018-7. Available at SSRN: or /a> “Existing approaches to cybersecurity emphasize either international state-to-state logics (such as deterrence theory) or the integrity of individual information systems. Neither provides a good understanding of new “soft cyber” […]

Russell Cope | Australian Library and Information Association

POP 20-The Future of Parliaments and Their Libraries 

Remembering Linton Weeks: Librarian Who Decolonized the Way Books Were Catalogued - Smithsonian Magazine – Dorothy Porter challenged the racial bias in the Dewey Decimal System, putting black scholars alongside white colleagues

“In a 1995 interview with Linton Weeks of the Washington Post, the Howard University librarian, collector and self-described “bibliomaniac” Dorothy Porter reflected on the focus of her 43-year career: “The only rewarding thing for me is to bring to light information that no one knows. What’s the point of rehashing the same old thing?” For Porter, this mission involved not only collecting and preserving a wide range of materials related to the global black experience, but also addressing how these works demanded new and specific qualitative and quantitative approaches in order to collect, assess, and catalog them…All of the libraries that Porter consulted for guidance relied on the Dewey Decimal Classification. “Now in [that] system, they had one number—326—that meant slavery, and they had one other number—325, as I recall it—that meant colonization,” she explained in her oral history. In many “white libraries,” she continued, “every book, whether it was a book of poems by James Weldon Johnson, who everyone knew was a black poet, went under 325. And that was stupid to me.”

Consequently, instead of using the Dewey system, Porter classified works by genre and author to highlight the foundational role of black people in all subject areas, which she identified as art, anthropology, communications, demography, economics, education, geography, history, health, international relations, linguistics, literature, medicine, music, political science, sociology, sports, and religion. This Africana approach to cataloging was very much in line with the priorities of the Harlem Renaissance, as described by Howard University professor Alain Locke in his period-defining essay of 1925, “Enter the New Negro.” Heralding the death of the “Old Negro” as an object of study and a problem for whites to manage, Locke proclaimed, “It is time to scrap the fictions, garret the bogeys and settle down to a realistic facing of facts.” Scholarship from a black perspective, Locke argued, would combat racist stereotypes and false narratives while celebrating the advent of black self-representation in art and politics. Porter’s classification system challenged racism where it was produced by centering work by and about black people within scholarly conversations around the world…”

Citizens’ chambers: towards an activism of selection by lot
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Sortition weakens many of the pathways by which political cronyism and party influence occurs, says Nicholas Gruen.

Roger Wilkins' review calls for national online voting platform
iVOTE: An independent review finds the NSW online voting system secure enough for the next state election, but says security needs to be constantly improved ‒ and it should be expanded to a national level.

Can you spot a high-risk supplier?
PROCUREMENT: Officials sometimes make the mistake of assuming another unit or organisation has completed due diligence checks on suppliers. ICAC offers tips for spotting the red flags.

What makes a high-performance agency?
WORKPLACE: The very understanding of what a high-performance staff and culture looks like is changing dramatically, says Kathy Hilyard, KPMG’s public sector partner. (Partner article)

Information Security Manual update: 20% less cyber controls
CYBERSECURITY: The Australian government's ISM guide has been simplified with the removal of 258 recommended cybersecurity controls and the addition of 63.

Making Australia a renewable energy exporting superpower
RESEARCH: An energy transmission network between Australia and Indonesia could help both nations achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050.

Why we need to protect Austalia's digital heritage

Stanley Shanapinda
Digital identity assets, such as property records and Parliamentary proceedings, embody who and what Australia is as a nation. We need to do more to protect them.

Washington Post op-ed:  When Higher Taxes Brought Americans Together Instead of Dividing them, by Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation; Northwestern):

The uniting power of new taxation.

This month marks the centennial of the armistice that ended the First World War. Commentators have used this historic event to reflect on the many international legacies of the Great War. But the war also had a profound political impact domestically in the United States, especially on tax policy, and this legacy has been far less discussed.

Inside Higher Ed, Open Searches and Diversity:

Hoping to increase faculty diversity, UC Davis is holding eight open searches focused on candidates' contributions to diversity, instead of narrow disciplinary expertise.

The University of California, Davis, is launching a pilot hiring program that eliminates the requirement — typical in department searches — that candidates have a specific disciplinary specialty. Davis says the research-backed approach will help it increase faculty diversity. ...

Davis is funding the program with some $422,000 of a $7 million University of California System-wide investment in faculty diversity, in addition to existing campus funds.

Fortune, How The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Reduced The Value Of The Child Care Credit