Managing records, genealogy, and libraries

This week's newsletter focuses on topics in the archives, library, and genealogy worlds, along with much more!

Hello everyone. I hope all of your weeks are going well.

I’d like to focus on, this week, two “moments” I created on Twitter. The first of these focuses on Lisa Haralampus's in-depth response about federal records management. It is great that someone with her expertise and knowledge is working with NARA, the type of people that should be working for that federal agency. Some of the stuff she said was relatively technical, but I’m glad that she engaged in a discussion with me, and other users, on Twitter.

The second moment focuses on a new subsidiary or property of Ancestry.com, called AncestryHealth, turning the company into a psuedo-healthcare company. Of course, this will allow the company to amass more personal information, raising the questions of how that information will be handled and why this expansion is even necessary.

That brings me to some articles I saw this week. Apart from calls in Hack Library School calling for library science and social work to collaborate more and issues with library policy, there was a wonderful post by Rachael Woody, a member of the SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA), compiling a list of resources to “help use[,] identify and articulate the value of archives.” With that, it connects to an article about how ancient scrolls buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvias can now be read again and a few articles in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies. The latter includes an assessment of Wikimedia projects at medium-sized institutions and a financial analysis of art historical records.

Finally, there were some articles which highlight positives and negatives in the library world. Libraries in Milwaukee are removing their toxic receipt paper and aiming to boost literacy with mini-libraries in laundromats, while the public libraries across the country are removing their late fees. Another article I found focused on accessibility problems at a new Queens Public Library branch, since fiction sections were only available via stairs but are now being moved to a more accessible location.

With that, my newsletter is concluded. Hope you all a great rest of the week.

- Burkely