Whether you’re chatting with your grandkids, catching up with distant friends, collaborating with a colleague across the country, checking in with an incarcerated loved one or applying for a job out of state, video calling is increasingly part of everyday life. Skype, Facebook Videocalls and Google Hangouts all enable us to look into the eyes of the person we’re talking to.
On weekday mornings a crowd typically gathers in front of the library doors. Rain or shine, a few dozen people stand around waiting for staff to open the library so they can get on the computers, pick up their holds or work on their projects in the relative peace and quiet we provide. Some rub the sleep out of their eyes while slowly adjusting to the waking world, others stand up straight, clutch steaming coffee cups, backpacks on their backs or briefcases in hand. Others have blankets draped over their shoulders to ward off the morning chill.
How many online accounts do you have? My list includes Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, Nextdoor, Ello, Flickr, Delicious, PearlTrees, Pinterest, Pandora, Amazon, Yelp, GroupOn, iTunes, Yelp, even Myspace...the list goes on and on. And for every one of those accounts, I agreed to the Terms of Service without reading them. If you’re like me (and be honest, who really reads the full terms of service?), that’s a problem.
What is the best thing to do during the long cold winter months? Why, read of course! Anyone who is a Book Person (and aren’t we all) can tell you that the best way to spend a cold day is curled up with a good book, listening to some tunes and sipping from a steaming mug of tea.
I’m upping the ante a bit now- in case a blog post wasn’t enough to get you all fired up, we’re having a Net Neutrality Party! Wait what? A Net Neutrality Party? Back up Simone, and explain what good this will do and why such a dry theme might lend itself to an awesome all-ages library learn-and-make party.
Ok actually this is more of a rant than a discourse. I tried to be civilized but got all riled in the writing of it. Read on, though, read on- albeit ranty, it is fair and balanced in that I’ve given them both an equal shot at impressing me.
This is Juan Carlos Garcia. He owns a delightful little bodega just east of Franklin St. and Bruce Randolph called La Tienda Garcia. Walk into his store and the first thing you’ll notice is the divine smell of the fruits and vegetables on display in stacks — fresh plump apricots, bristling pineapples, fragrant melons, sweet yellow mangoes and of course, enough chile peppers, cilantro, tomatoes and onions to make salsa for a small army.
Ok, I’ve heard this comment from so many otherwise tech savvy people that I’d like to take a moment to explain hashtags. There are many explanations on the internet- but here’s mine, short and sweet (I hope).
A hashtag is a pound sign (#) in front of a word or series of words that becomes a clickable link to everything else that has the same hashtag in the place where it’s posted (say, twitter or Facebook). In effect, it has two functions.
Net Neutrality is a phrase that’s been in the news a lot lately, and it’s not a simple thing to explain. But often, important things are not simple things. Net neutrality matters to anyone who uses or will use the internet, whether at home or at places like public libraries, schools or community organizations.
We have a new routine at my house. When it’s getting towards bedtime my two and a half year old stands expectantly by the couch and begins her nightly chorus of “can I play Stickman? Can I play Stickman? Mommy, can I play Stickman?