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University of Michigan School of Information


UMSI Fun Size for 9/21/2018: Salty librarian spouts off

It had a blue cover…
Library shelves are filled with mysteries, but librarians need to be sleuths themselves sometimes. In New York, a band of literary gumshoes gather to track down books based on readers’ sketchy memories. If anyone can find it, a research librarian can. Atlas Obscura is on the case.

Spot the Facebook Fake
Think you can tell a real Facebook post from a fake one? The New York Times offers a visual quiz to test your deductive skills and provides tips to help you identify future phonies in your feed.

Go incognito on Amazon
Face it: Amazon knows a LOT about you – what you bought, what you looked at, what you borrowed, what you asked Alexa yesterday – it’s all sitting there on those honking big Amazon servers. USA Today has five tips for keeping your private information off Amazon.

Salty librarian spouts off
Library Dos and Don’ts from a pepper-tongued librarian, rated R for language. (You have been warned.) One example: Don’t reshelve books. You may not know the alphabet as well as you think you do. Lit Hub shares her huffy blog post.

No free lunch for SF techies
Tech Valley employers are famous for perks like free meals in the company cafeteria, but city officials are feeling stiffed. The promised boost to the local economy won’t happen if workers don’t go out to lunch. San Francisco is considering banning cafeterias in new office construction, the New York Times reports.

23andMe and thee?
Police recently tracked down a suspected serial killer whose distant relative had shared DNA samples in a genealogy database. According to the Washington Post,the case raises concerns about how popular services like and 23andMe are collecting and sharing data with researchers. Before you swab and send, make sure to read the company’s privacy policy so you know exactly what they’ll do with your info, and you won’t become the next Henrietta Lacks.

Google map tricks
If you’re just using Google maps to find your way from point A to point B, you’re missing out on a lot of features, according to PC Reviews. They’ve got 33 map tricks you might want to try, like measuring distance of your daily walk, finding accessible routes or building your own street view.

Don’t keep quiet
NPR is launching a new series, “The Keepers,” described as “stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the collections and cultures and collections they keep.” And they’re looking for suggestions for future shows. Out your favorite culture keeper!

Better pay for teachers
To supplement their paychecks, some K-12 teachers take second jobs, but few are as lucrative as those highlighted in this BuzzFeed News article. Thanks to Instagram, some teachers are using social media to leverage their classroom skills into six figure incomes – much more than their day jobs pay.

News from UMSI
This summer, the Regents of the University of Michigan approved UMSI’s plan to begin offering an all-online Master’s degree in Applied Data Science, starting in Fall 2019. This will be the first online degree offered by the University of Michigan. So far, over 25,000 people have expressed interest in the program. Read more.