Resources for Verifying News

Last night, we had a great discussion about fake news, media literacy, and the role of the public library to help people find reliable sources. Big thanks to Sean Corcoran and Allison Butler for leading the discussion, and to FCTV for streaming the program live to Channel 13. I also would like to thank the audience for all of their participation and thoughtful comments and questions.  I hope everyone learned a little bit more about how to identify reliable news sources.  At the bottom of this blog, you will see a list of online news resources and ways to improve your media literacy.

I began the evening with a few quotations:

“The highest purpose of the library is to serve as the armory of the truth, to defend it against lies that serve the powerful.” John Overholt, Curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Neil Gaiman

“When Oxford Dictionaries announce post-truth is Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realise action is needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking — a crucial skill when navigating the information society.” IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations

“Standing up for our values also means, as we all surely know, that we must be especially careful to provide the highest level and quality of service to people and communities who see the world differently, and who maybe aren’t unhappy about the new direction of the country.

Indeed, the American Library Association Code of Ethics states: ‘We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.” That’s not always easy or comfortable, it’s just crucial because it’s everyone’s library. We absolutely cannot afford to start eroding confidence in who we are and what we do.” Joseph Janes, Library Journal, March/April 2017

And for those of you interested in the erroneous Moby-Dick quotation about cranberries that I mentioned last night, you can read my blog on this here. And as a bonus, my blog on an erroneous Scott F. Fitzgerald quotation! (And do read the comments at the bottom of that blog entry! We even were mentioned on a blog created in New Zealand!)

All of the resources below will help you with your media literacy skills and give you a hand identifying true news from untrue news. And remember, you can always ask a reference librarian for more help!


Center for News Literacy: Stony Brook University School of Journalism. It is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet.

Factcheck.org: A Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fighting Fake News, and article by Marcus Banks from American Libraries Magazine

How to Spot Fake News from IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)

Indiana University East Campus Library: How to identify and avoid fake news

Mass Media Literacy: Their mission is to ensure that all Massachusetts students are taught the critical thinking skills needed to engage with media as active and informed participants in the 21st century.

Massachusetts Library System Fake News Resources

The News Literacy Project: a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach middle school and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age.

Snopes: a small staff of researchers and writers dedicated to investigating and analyzing rumors.

Storytellers Without Borders, a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Public Library

The Trust Project at Santa Clara University

You might also be interested in this six volume set of books in the Reference Room: Encyclopedia of Journalism, General Editor, Christopher H. Sterling. Of particular interest, the section on “Self-Regulation” which includes a history of news scandals.

 

Notice from Lynda.com

Lynda.com users impacted by data breach in December 2016

The Lynda.com security team determined that an unauthorized third party breached a database that included information about our Lynda.com users. Certain user information, like learning history, was exposed. Any users who had email addresses or passwords exposed were notified directly by Lynda.com in December 2016. For the small percentage of users who had cryptographically salted and hashed passwords exposed, Lynda.com invalidated their passwords and required that they create new ones. There is no evidence that any of this data has been made publicly available.

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact Lynda.com through their Support Center.

Friday Reads: All the Old Knives

This month the FPL Fiction Book Club read an espionage novel entitled All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer. This is the fifth espionage novel we have read in a six-month series that began with Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent and will end next month with Swimmer by Joakim Zander. One of the first questions, which I was not able to answer the day we discussed the book, was where does the title come from? We all knew about the idea of someone stabbing you in the back, but not about the old knives part. So, after a little investigation, I discovered that in fact this is a quotation by Phædrus from his Fables. It is translated as: “All the old knives that have rusted in my back, I drive in yours.” (By the way, Phædrus also gave us “to add insult to injury.”) Another quotation related question was what was “that old Stalin quote about tragedies and statistics” that is mentioned in the book. That quotation is attributed to Stalin and it is: “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”

The most interesting thing to me, as the one person who attends both the Wednesday evening group and the Thursday morning group, was how radically different the two groups responded to the same book! The Wednesday evening group LOVED the book, and the Thursday morning group thought the author (who said it took him just a month to write the novel) should have done at least one more rewrite!

The plot is extraordinarily timely as it involves two CIA officers in Vienna, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, who were lovers at the time of a hostage crisis. Celia leaves the CIA and ends up in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Henry has tracked her down to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to put it behind him once and for all. Most of the novel takes place at a dinner at a restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea and the point of view switches between Henry and Celia. The author had the idea of setting this thriller at a restaurant after he watched the Masterpiece dramatization of Christopher Reid’s poem The Song of Lunch, which starred Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. As he writes in the introduction to the book: “I wondered if I could write an espionage tale that took place entirely around a restaurant table.”

The people that loved the book, loved the pacing, and the story, and the fact that it was a quick read. The people who loathed the book thought there wasn’t enough story, the changing of point of view was too confusing, the character of Celia was unbelievable, and the prose wasn’t engaging enough. EVERYONE agreed that the ending was superb!! This novel is soon to be a major motion picture, so we are all waiting to see how the movie will differ from the novel.

The next meeting of the FPL Fiction Book Club will be March 15th at 7:00 PM or March 16th at 10:00 AM. The book we will be discussing is Swimmer by Joakim Zander, and you can pick up a copy at the Reference Desk.

 

Spritsail Winter 2017

Reminisce- defined by Webster – “is one of several English verbs starting with re- that mean “to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind.” Others in this group include remember, recall, remind, and recollect. Reminisce distinguishes itself from the others by implying a casual recalling of experiences long past, often with a sense of nostalgia.”

How appropriate a word for the vintage images by Donald Fish often published in the weekly Falmouth Enterprise.
In the winter edition of Spritsail there is an interesting article about Donald Fish,

The Man Behind the Vintage Falmouth Photographs. Mr. Fish has a connection to our library, he is an uncle of Carrie Aiken, Circulation Assistant, and also part-time Circulation Assistant and freelance writer, Christine Lynch, wrote the article about him in Spritsail:
Mr. Fish has some very early connections to the town: he is a descendant of one of Falmouth’s earliest residents, Jonathan Hatch, for whom Hatchville is named, and on his mother’s side, a descendant of William Parker, who arrived on the Mayflower. Perhaps this lineage has some bearing on Mr. Fish’s interest in old photos!

As a youngster growing up in Falmouth, he and his friends would often scour the town dump for bottles to turn in for change. Often they would come across inexpensive box cameras that had been tossed out. Mr. Fish managed to put together a working camera from the discarded parts and so began an avid interest in photography only interrupted by his service in World War II. A self-taught artist he purchased a good quality 35-mm camera and dabbled in moving pictures.
No longer interested in scouring the town dump, Mr. Fish started hunting for historical photographic treasures at yard sales, flea markets and second hand shops. A mentor from the Falmouth Historical Society, Lewis H. Lawrence, encouraged Donald and allow him access to the Society’s archive room.

Mr. Fish estimates his collection to be a “couple of thousands” photographs and stereoscopic slides!
Having designed a personal filing system for his collection, it allows him to find particular images in moments!

Mr. Fish was honored with the prestigious Falmouth Historical Society’s Heritage award in 2015, which “recognizes individuals or organizations who have provided outstanding leadership over time to help preserve the character, culture, stories, vistas or other aspects of Falmouth’s rich history, or have inspired others to do so, resulting in a lasting legacy. “
He hopes to keep his collection privately owned but available for public display and print media.
You can find the winter 2017 edition of Spritsail in the Local History section of the Reference Department at Call # REF LocHist 974 SPR v.31 no.1 Win 2017.

Spritsail

Spritsail Volume 31, Number 1
Winter 2017

Spritsail, a Journal of the History of Falmouth and Vicinity is published by the Woods Hole Historical Collection
The cover story of this issue features “The House That Was,” an article by Maria C. Ward. In December 1905, the fairytale-looking house on Quissett Avenue was newly purchased by Jane Webster from Ella Shearer. With two turrets, a round extension, and many gables in the style of a French Chateau, the property’s address was simply listed as Quissett Avenue, since street numbers were not in existence.
It sat on grounds that in the 1930’s became known as the Webster gardens. The gardens were free and open to the public. Blue flowers dominated and Mrs. Webster, whose husband, E.S., founded the engineering firm Stone and Webster, loved to roam the gardens incognito.
Determined to protect her Quissett enclave, Mr. and Mrs. Webster purchased 45 acres of undeveloped land, as well as the old Ames estate to prevent it from becoming a hotel or resort.
Many gatherings both public and private were held at the house. A 1934 meeting of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society featured as guest speaker Stephen Vincent Benet. In 1932, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, headed by Mr. Webster, entertained 500 garden lovers. Family occasions were also celebrated there, including Mrs. Webster’s 90th and 95th birthdays!
The cover photo of this issue features a grand image of the Webster House on a field of blue, notably called “Webster Blue”.

Tax Forms are Here!

Tax forms have arrived in the library. They are located in the downstairs hallway in the cafe area. We have basic IRS forms 1040, 1040A & 1040EZ, plus instructions and Massachusetts resident and nonresident booklets.

You can also find tax forms on the IRS website. View their list of current forms and publications here.

Download Common Tax Forms & Instructions

2016 1040 form  [instructions]

1040 Schedule A

1040 Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business)

2016 1040EZ form

2016 1040-ES form

W-9 Form[instructions]

Helpful Publications

Check the status of your refund

Find a professional tax preparer

Find your local IRS office

Form 1040 Tax Tables

2016 Federal Tax Guide

Free Tax Preparation

The Community Action Committee of the Cape Cod & Islands offers tax preparation assistance to those who are eligible. Contact them for more information and to schedule an appointment: 508-771-1727

The Falmouth Senior Center offers tax assistance to those who meet certain income requirements. Contact them for more information: 508-540-0196

 

 

Friday Reads: Bloodmoney by David Ignatius

The FPL Fiction Book Club, Books on the Half Shell, met this week to discuss this espionage thriller.
The book is initially set in Pakistan where we meet Omar as he watches the devastation and death of his family caused by a U.S. drone –We are then introduced to General Malik, head of the ISI- Inter-Services Intelligence, the intelligence service of Pakistan. He is conversing with Cyril Hoffman, Associate Deputy Director of the CIA. Malik wants to know about “this other CIA organization and their operatives…” Hoffman denies there is such an organization. Well then, who is killing these “unofficial” agents and why? Are Americans conducting covert operations unbeknownst to the CIA? Meet Jeff Gertz, head of a counterintelligence agency known as the Hit Parade. His operatives /agents are, in fact, being killed.
Is there a leak? Gertz asks Sophie Marx, a bored agent with a history of counterintelligence successes to investigate. The action takes off from there is this gripping thriller. Was there a double game?
Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist, paints a very real picture of U.S. /Pakistani relations. Ignatius spent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East, his knowledge of the tribal groups and landscape are expansive.
The Thursday morning book club had a new participant, Bob, who once served in the Foreign Service as a diplomat to the Middle East. His insightful comments and anecdotes added another dimension to our discussion. In addition, Bob knows Davis Ignatius quite well. They were neighbors in Washington! We do hope Bob plans to attend more book club meetings.
Join us on February 15 at 7:00 PM or February 16 at 10:00 AM, we will be discussing the next title in our Espionage series, All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer. Copies of the book are available at the Reference Desk. We hope you can attend either meeting!

Gardens Around the World

“From Winterthur to Versailles; from the spice gardens of old Ceylon to the topiary of Anna and the King of Siam…a trip around the world”

Need gardening inspiration on these wintry afternoons? Please join us for a slide program as Henry T. Callan navigates our journey through “Gardens Around the World.”

Starting at the gardens of Williamsburg, this international tour will take us to the English gardens at Hampton Court, to those of the Palace of Versailles in France and to the courts of the Alhambra in Spain. Then on to South Africa, to the Taj Mahal in India, to the Botanical Gardens of old Ceylon, the summer gardens of Anna and the King of Siam, and finally to Japan to compare the dry landscape gardens of Buddhism to the lush moss gardens of Kyoto.

Please join us on Saturday January 21 at 1:00 PM for this entertaining and informative program!

Free as this presentation is sponsored by the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library.

Mindfulness, Gratefulness, and Happiness Books on The Point

On today’s book show Mindy Todd, Jill Erickson, and Eric Linder of Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham encouraged everyone to start the new year reading about and maybe even trying to practice a bit of mindfulness, gratefulness, and happiness. Below is our list of picks and listener picks as well, including a bonus list of books that didn’t make the air, but might interest you. Thanks for listening, and thanks for calling in with your suggestions. Happy New Year! And should you have missed the show on WCAI, you can listen online!

 

Mindy’s Pick

E. B. White on Dogs edited by Martha White

 

Eric’s Picks

Listening Below the Noise: a meditation on the practice of silence by Anne D. LeClaire

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Chet & Bernie mysteries by Peter Abrahams

“The First Time Percy Came Back” in  Dog Songs: thirty-five dog songs and one essay by Mary Oliver

“The Snakes of September” and “Touch Me” in The Wild Braid: a poet reflects on a century in the garden by Stanley  Kunitz

The Outermost House: a year of life on the great beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston

 

Jill’s Picks

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, drawings by Robert Lawson. Read more of the backstory of The Story of Ferdinand at Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac.

An excerpt from War and Peace by  Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer: an approach to life in fullness by Brother David Steindl-Rast

99 Blessings: an invitation to life by Brother David Steindl-Rast. You might also want to take a look at his web page gratefulness.org and his TED talk.

Wherever You Go There You Are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

All the Odes by Pablo Neruda, particularly Ode to Happiness and Ode to the Tomato

The Power of Off: the mindful way to stay sane in a virtual world by Nancy Colier

52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal

 

Titles For Which There Was No Time Left!

Five little books all by Thich Nhat Hanh, part of a Mindfulness Essentials collection published by Parallax Press:

How to Sit
How to Walk
How to Love
How to Eat
How to Relax

Dancing with Joy: 99 poems edited by Roger Housden

The Book of Joy: lasting happiness in a changing world by His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams

The Lost Art of Reading: why books matter in a distracted time by David L. Ulin

Growing Up Mindful: essential practices to help children, teens, and families find balance, calm, and resilience by Christopher Willard

America the Anxious: how our pursuit of happiness is creating a nation of nervous wrecks by Ruth Whippman

10% Happier: how I tamed the voice in my head, reduced stress without losing my edge, and found self-help that actually works by Dan Harris

 

Listener Picks

How to Meditate by Eknath Easwaren

Last of the Saddle Tramps by Mesannie Wilkins with Mina Titus Sawyer

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver

The Fisherman and His Wife: a brand new version by Rosemary Wells (e-mailed to us after we went off the air)

 

North by Northwest

The North Falmouth Branch of the Falmouth Public Library is to be open five days a week!

Beginning on Tuesday, January 3rd the North Falmouth Branch of the Falmouth Public Library, with the help of staff from the West Falmouth Library, will be open five days a week, Monday through Friday for six months.  West Falmouth Library has begun an extensive remodel of their historic 575 West Falmouth Highway building.  It closed on December 12th  and plans are to reopen in June, 2017.  West Falmouth Library is an independent non-profit library corporation and not part of the Falmouth Public Library, but both are members of the regional CLAMS (Cape and Islands Libraries Automated Materials Sharing) library network.  To keep library services readily available for patrons of the West Falmouth Library, the two libraries have agreed to pool their resources.  The North Branch will add Tuesdays and Thursdays to their usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule with the additional hours being staffed by West Falmouth Library personnel.  Laurie McNee, North Falmouth Branch Librarian said, “I have met with the West Falmouth staff and am very excited that we can work together to serve the patrons of both villages and all of Falmouth!”

The new hours for the North Falmouth branch beginning January 3rd will be Mondays and Fridays 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and Wednesdays 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The branch is located at 6 Chester Street, North Falmouth, at the intersection of County Road.