Skip to main content

University of Michigan School of Information


UMSI Fun Size for 1/10/19: Skills most in demand in 2019

The world of information - in Fun Size!

UMSI's Fun Size digest features tiny, delicious news tidbits relating to information and library topics. Reach us at [email protected].

Cool tools
Anti-snoring sleep masks, adorable, cuddly robots, a 10-second toothbrush—just a few of the coolest items at CESselected by CNET from the thousands on display at the Consumer Electronics Show, going on now.

The beautiful and the banned
Argentine artist Marta Minujin used 100,000 copies of banned books to build a full-sized replica of the Parthenon in the German city of Kassel, symbolizing resistance to political oppression as part of the documenta 14 art festival. compiled this photo essay.

Thumbs down for Facebook
While a job at Facebook may be high on some graduates’ lists, what with high salaries, free food and walking trails, some young engineers are turning thumbs down on working at the social network, the New York Times reports. Seems they’re balking at what they consider the company’s rep for “fake news, invasions of privacy and just showing people more ads.” 

Game On? Not in Hong Kong
What’s the matter with kids today? First, they don’t want six-figure jobs at Facebook, and then they turn up their noses at the idea of being paid to play esports. Hong Kong’s efforts to transform itself into an esports mecca are running into a few obstacles from young people uninterested in careers as e-athletes, according to

No college required
For those who do dream of landing work at a tech giant, it could be getting easier. Facebook and Google are among the companies that don’t require a college degree, according to CNBC Make It. A tight labor market is making companies more open-minded regarding candidates, and skills matter more than degrees. This article includes the most in-demand hard and soft skills for 2019

95 and newly released 
New Year’s Day marked the release into the public domain of tens of thousands of books, movies and cartoons that are now free and legal to download, repurpose and share – including works by Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, Robert Frost and Kahlil Gibran. Our own HathiTrust just uploaded over 53,000 works published in 1923. Motherboard shares tips  on the best sites to find your favorites. 

Dead trees not dead yet!
Sure, downloading books is easy and e-books are convenient, but e-books have apparently been declining in popularity since 2013, while printed book sales are up 10%. Printers were hustling to keep up with demand for popular titles over the holiday season, says

Make them go away 
It’s not that we don’t “like” them, but some family and friends overpost, cluttering up our social media streams with too many pix of kids, selfies and political rants. TheNextWeb has instructions  on how to mute these chatterboxes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram discreetly. 

A cure for writers block?
Sure, artificial intelligence is threatening blue-collar jobs, but it will never replace workers in intellectual or creative fields. Or will it? From, we learn that Forbes is now experimenting with the use of AI to jumpstart articles for its writers, including surfacing story ideas based on a reporter’s previous work. Rough drafts could be next. 

Good vibrations
What’s shakin’? Could be your phone, if you’ve been spending too much time online. ScienceBlog reports  that researchers at Cornell Tech applied behavioral economics to help users voluntarily limit their time on Facebook by having their phones vibrate when they exceeded their self-imposed time limits. When the shaking stopped, people went back to their old bad habits, though. 

News from UMSI: 
Privacy @ Michigan: The second annual Privacy@Michigan Symposium, in conjunction with International Data Privacy Day, will take place on Monday, January 28 from 1:00-6:00 pm in the Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington, on central campus. Various speakers from several disciplines across the university will discuss privacy’s role in society here at U-M and worldwide.  The public is welcome to attend.