Recalls: Government websites you should know

government recallsIt seems like the news constantly brings word of new recalls. Sometimes it’s cars. Sometimes it’s food. Sometimes it’s toys.

There seems to be no limit to what can get recalled. What are we supposed to do, besides wait for the random news story, to keep up with them all?

Six government agencies have collaborated on a site for you to find information, report dangerous products, or just find safety tips. It’s called, logically enough, www.Recalls.gov. Continue reading

Victory for Google Books, larger victory for the public

book scanning for Google Books

Book scanning at the University of Michigan, one of the libraries participating in Google Books

Have any of your Google searches turned up pages from a book?

Google began to experiment with scanning books in 2002 and announced plans to establish a digital library, now known as Google Books, in 2004.

The project quickly became mired in controversy as the Authors Guild, some individual authors, and several major publishers sued Google for copyright infringement.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently upheld a 2013 district court ruling on Authors Guild v. Google that Google’s activities constitute fair use under copyright law. The Authors Guild plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. Continue reading

Where’s the proof? In the pudding? Clichéd confusion

proof of the pudding, chocolate

Is the proof under the strawberry?

I just heard someone else say, “the proof is in the pudding.” What’s that supposed to mean?

Sayings become clichés for a reason. They express a thought in a short, easily memorable form that people over a wide range of time and geography want to express. So it gets used over and over.

Sometimes people get careless and don’t say it correctly. All meaning goes out the window, but unfortunately, the mangled version sometimes takes on a life of its own. It becomes as common as the correct, meaningful version, or maybe even more common. Continue reading

4 library tips for busy college students

Library circ desk

Circulation desk

Writing papers and preparing for other assignments can take a lot of time. You can probably think of all kinds of other things you’d rather do with your time.

Worse than time spent researching and writing papers is time wasted researching and writing papers. Here’s how to put your time to productive use: Continue reading

The Library of Congress Turns a Page

james billington 13th librarian of congress in  history

James Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress (1987-2015)

The Librarian of Congress is not an official who makes the news often, but the current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, announced his retirement last June. President Obama will appoint the next Librarian of Congress, becoming only the 10th President in history to have that opportunity. Billington was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987.

You know that the Library of Congress is the library, well, of Congress. Congress created a library for its own use very early in the nation’s history. But it has become more than that. It’s America’s unofficial national library.

It affects the workings of every other library in the country. And you can use it without leaving home through its website Continue reading