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2013-2014 COSLA Survey: Overview Results from the American Library Association’s survey of Chief Officers of State Library Agencies

July 14, 2014 Comments off

2013-2014 COSLA Survey: Overview Results from the American Library Association’s survey of Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (PDF)
Source: American Library Association

Libraries continue to provide their vital community service despite the cuts of the past five years. There continue to be reductions in hours and flat budgets – but perhaps the constant budget cuts are leveling off for public libraries. That flattening (and some increases) may not recover losses from years of state belt-tightening, highlighted in our trend graph.

Public libraries continue to look for ways to keep pace with broadband needs –few respondents feel that their libraries are prepared to handle the bandwidth loads in the coming years.

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Measuring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Twitter

July 11, 2014 Comments off

Measuring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Twitter
Source: AAAI Publications, Eighth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

Traditional mental health studies rely on information primarily collected through personal contact with a health care professional. Recent work has shown the utility of social media data for studying depression, but there have been limited evaluations of other mental health conditions. We consider post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a serious condition that affects millions worldwide, with especially high rates in military veterans. We also present a novel method to obtain a PTSD classifier for social media using simple searches of available Twitter data, a significant reduction in training data cost compared to previous work. We demonstrate its utility by examining differences in language use between PTSD and random individuals, building classifiers to separate these two groups and by detecting elevated rates of PTSD at and around U.S. military bases using our classifiers.

Over-filtering in schools and libraries harms education, new ALA report finds

July 10, 2014 Comments off

Over-filtering in schools and libraries harms education, new ALA report finds
Source: American Library Association

Schools and libraries nationwide are routinely filtering internet content far more than what the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires, according to “Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later (pdf),” a report released today by the American Library Association (ALA). CIPA requires public libraries and K-12 schools to employ internet filtering software to receive certain federal funding.

“Over-filtering blocks access to legitimate educational resources, and consequently reduces access to information and learning opportunities for students,” said Barbara Stripling, ALA president. For example, some school districts block access to websites containing information about foreign countries, such as China and Iran, even as those websites are required online reading for the Advanced Placement curriculum.

“Today’s over-implementation of internet filtering requirements have not evolved in the past decade to account for the proliferation of online collaborative tools and social networks that allow online students to both consume and produce content,” said Courtney Young, ALA president-elect.

“Filtering hurts poor children the most,” said Young. “These children are the most likely to depend on school and library provided internet access. Other children are likely to have unfiltered internet access at home or through their own mobile devices.” There are 60 million Americans without access to either a home broadband connection or a smartphone.

Finally, schools that over-filter restrict students from learning key digital readiness skills that are vital for the rest of their lives. Over-blocking in schools hampers students from developing their online presence and fully understanding the extent and permanence of their digital footprint.

Academia — Technology — 2014 Third Annual ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I State of ResNet Report

July 9, 2014 Comments off

2014 Third Annual ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I State of ResNet Report (PDF)
Source: Association for College & University Technology Advancement, National Association of College and University Chief Business Officers, University Housing
Officers-International

The ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I Study reveals that schools are making strides in providing better coverage and bandwidth, but are grappling with a laundry list of needs—holistic planning, better communication between departments, tighter security, etc.—while processes like resource allocation and diagnostics haven’t kept pace. Administrators are trying to build better and bigger networks with yesterday’s tools. It’s our hope this study will provide a knowledgebase of practices and priorities to help administrators anticipate, plan ahead, and to address the challenges as they scale infrastructure to meet demand.

National Athletic Trainers’ Association (Nata) Advance Releases Executive Summary of Exertional Heat Illnesses Position Statement and Issues New Research on Heat and Hydration

July 7, 2014 Comments off

National Athletic Trainers’ Association (Nata) Advance Releases Executive Summary of Exertional Heat Illnesses Position Statement and Issues New Research on Heat and Hydration
Source: National Athletic Trainers’ Association

At NATA’s 65th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis today, leading health care professionals advance released an executive summary of the association’s exertional heat illnesses position statement. This is an update to the original 2002 guidelines and will be published in its entirety in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication. A copy of the executive summary is available at http://www.nata.org/press-room.

In addition to the guidelines, the NATA Research & Education Foundation unveiled hot topics in heat illness as presented by study authors and as part of the convention’s Free Communications program.

“Exertional heat illnesses are largely preventable within the confines of organized sports when appropriate protocols are put into place,” said Douglas J. Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute, director of Athletic Training Education, Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and chair of the position statement writing group.

“This includes heat acclimatization, body cooling, hydration, modifying of exercise based on environmental conditions, among other considerations. These guidelines are not just for athletes – they are also valuable for individuals exposed to warm weather environments such as those in the military or individuals whose work necessitates heat exposure.”

Exertional heat stroke is one of the three leading causes of death in sport (and the leading cause in the summer). The period of 2005 to 2009 had more heat stroke deaths than any other five year period in the 35 years prior. There were 18 deaths from 2005 to 2009; from 2010 to 2014 (still being tracked) there are now an estimated 20 to 22 deaths.

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013 (PDF)
Source: National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) today announced the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013. The list, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research.

The NAI and IPO compile the list each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

Psychology — Gifted Children and Adults—Neglected Areas of Practice

July 2, 2014 Comments off

Gifted Children and Adults—Neglected Areas of Practice
Source: National Register of Health System Psychologists

Working with gifted and talented children and their families and with gifted adults is a neglected area of practice for psychologists. Two widespread myths among educators, pediatricians, and psychologists, is that gifted children and adults are quite rare, and that bright minds have few issues and seldom need special help. In fact, gifted children and adults are defined as those in the upper three to ten percent of the population in any of several intellectual domains (NAGC, 2010). Clinical and educational practice usually focuses on disadvantaged persons and obvious psychopathology. Many are unaware that talented and gifted children are at risk for underachievement, peer relationship issues, power struggles, perfectionism, existential depression, and other problems, and that bright adults often have job difficulties, problems with peers, spouses or children, and existential depression that stem from giftedness. In addition, few psychologists understand that special issues can arise when a child or adult is twice-exceptional—that is, gifted as well as having diagnosable condition such as a learning disability, vision difficulties, auditory issues, ADHD, etc. As a result, many gifted children and adults are being overlooked, misdiagnosed, and receiving treatment that may be inappropriate.

Causality: School Libraries & Student Success (CLASS) White Paper

July 1, 2014 Comments off

Causality: School Libraries & Student Success (CLASS) White Paper (PDF)
Source: American Association of School Librarians
From press release:

The white paper resulting from the “Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS)” forum, convened by the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) and funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is now available for view and comment on the AASL website at http://www.ala.org/aasl/research .

In April 2014, 50 research scholars from across the nation gathered in Chicago to plan a national research agenda focused on demonstrating the positive influences of effective school librarians and quality school libraries on student learning. Leading the discussion was Dr. Thomas Cook, a professor and faculty research fellow from Northwestern (Ill.) University. Considered one of the most influential methodologists in education research, Cook’s interests include social science research methodology, program evaluation, school reform and contextual factors that influence adolescent development, particularly for urban minorities.

REALTORS® in the American Workforce, by State

June 20, 2014 Comments off

REALTORS® in the American Workforce, by State
Source: National Association of REALTORS®

The interactive map below allows you to look at the share of REALTOR® members by state and, by using the slider in the top left corner of the map, through time.

What stands out in the map, regardless of the year’s data that you look at, is that there is geographic variation in the ratio of REALTOR® members to employed persons by state. If you take a look at this variation over time, you find that there is also some consistency in the shares by state.

Hawaii is a perennial leader, coming in with the highest share of REALTOR® members per employed persons in 19 of 34 years. Arizona is a close second, coming in with the highest ratio in 15 of 34 years. These two states are the only two to rank number one in this metric from 1980 through 2013. In that time, the highest share of REALTOR® members per employed persons ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 percent.

By contrast, the state with the lowest share of REALTOR® members per employed persons has been more variable. In the 34 years observed, Mississippi, Maine, West Virginia, South Dakota, and North Dakota have all rotated in and out of this position. In every year, the state with the lowest share of REALTOR® members per employed persons has ranged between 0.2 and 0.4 percent.

Changing Fertility Regimes and the Transition to Adulthood: Evidence from a Recent Cohort

June 17, 2014 Comments off

Changing Fertility Regimes and the Transition to Adulthood: Evidence from a Recent Cohort (PDF)
Source: 2014 Meetings of the Population Association of America

Recent demographic trends have produced a distinctive fertility regime among young women and men in their teenage years and their twenties — a period sometimes called early adulthood. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, show that by the time the cohort had reached ages 26-31 in 2011, 81% of births reported by women and 87% of births reported by men had occurred to non-college graduates. In addition, 57% of births had occurred outside of marriage for both men and women. Moreover, 64% of women (and 63% of men) who reported a birth had at least one child outside of marriage, a figure that rose to 74% among women (and 70% among men) without 4-year college degrees. It is now unusual for noncollege- graduates who have children in their teens and twenties to have all of them within marriage. The implications of these developments are discussed in light of the differing transitions to adulthood of non-college-graduates versus college-graduates and the growing social class inequalities in family patterns.

See: Most millennial moms who skip college also skip marriage (EurekAlert!)

Exports and American Information and Communications Technology Companies and Workers

May 30, 2014 Comments off

Exports and American Information and Communications Technology Companies and Workers (PDF)
Source: Technology CEO Council

The information and communications technology (ICT) industries are a vital part of the American economy, employing 4.2 million U.S. workers in 2012. Every sector of the economy relies on ICT hardware, software and services to some degree. In addition, over 70 percent of ICT spending occurs outside of the United States. Access to global markets enables American ICT companies to make substantial investments in research, capital spending, and worker training in the United States; increase productivity across sectors by developing innovative products and processes; and generate new ideas, firms, and jobs that maintain the pre-­‐eminence of the U.S. ICT industries. Thus, growth of ICT exports is an essential element in the success of efforts to expand business opportunities for American workers and employers generally.

In 2012, U.S. ICT exports exceeded $270 billion, or more than $1 out of every $8 in total U.S. exports. They include $201 billion of domestically manufactured goods like Intel or Micron semiconductors; $72 billion of ICT services such as consulting services provided by companies like IBM and Xerox; data and computer processing services like those provided by EMC; and royalties collected by U.S. companies for software purchased by customers around the world.

This study explores the importance of ICT exports to states and congressional districts across the United States. All 50 states and 435 congressional districts – plus the District of Columbia – export ICT hardware, software and services. The foreign markets are many, and varied.

Analysis of Unintentional Insider Threats Deriving from Social Engineering Exploits

May 29, 2014 Comments off

Analysis of Unintentional Insider Threats Deriving from Social Engineering Exploits (PDF)
Source: 2014 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops

Organizations often suffer harm from individuals who bear no malice against them but whose actions unintentionally expose the organizations to risk—the unintentional insider threat (UIT). In this paper we examine UIT cases that derive from social engineering exploits. We report on our efforts to collect and analyze data from UIT social engineering incidents to identify possible behavioral and technical patterns and to inform future research and development of UIT mitigation strategies.

NACAC College Openings Update: Space, Financial Aid and Housing Still Available For Fall 2014

May 27, 2014 Comments off

NACAC College Openings Update: Space, Financial Aid and Housing Still Available For Fall 2014
Source: National Association for College Counseling

More than 250 colleges and universities still have openings, aid and housing available to qualified freshman and/or transfer students for the Fall 2014 semester, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC’s) annual College Openings Update (formerly the “Space Availability Survey”).

Now in its 27th year, the Update is a tool for counselors, parents and teachers as they assist students who have not yet completed the college application and admission process after the May 1 response deadline observed by many colleges. In cases where well-qualified students may not have applied to a range of institutions, or may have been turned down by all schools to which they applied, the Update provides an opportunity to be identified and possibly accepted by competitive institutions, and to obtain financial aid and housing.

“This announcement is a ‘win-win’ for all parties, if students need to rethink their admission options,” said Joyce E. Smith, NACAC CEO.

“Part of demystifying college admission is understanding that, for many institutions, the application process is a year-round endeavor,” said Smith. “Some colleges accept applications throughout the year, while others may continue to have openings available even after the May 1 national response deadline. We hope students and families will benefit from knowing that these options are available to them each year.”

Both public and private colleges and universities are listed on the Update.

Skills Shortage Threatens Future Earnings and Growth Prospects of U.S. Manufacturers, According to a New Report from Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Skills Shortage Threatens Future Earnings and Growth Prospects of U.S. Manufacturers, According to a New Report from Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute
Source: Accenture and the Manufacturing Institute

U.S. manufacturers may be losing up to 11 percent annually* of their earnings as a result of increased production costs stemming from a shortage of skilled workers, according to a new study from Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute.

The scale of the issue is illustrated in the study, “Out of Inventory: Skills Shortage Threatens Growth for U.S. Manufacturing,” in which 39 percent of the 300 U.S. manufacturing executives surveyed described the shortage of qualified, skilled applicants as “severe,” and 60 percent said it has been difficult to hire the skilled people they need. In addition, more than 50 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their production by at least five percent in the next five years.

Furthermore, as the report notes, when manufacturers are unable to fill roles, overtime, downtime and cycle times increase; more materials are lost to scrap; and quality suffers. More than 70 percent of the respondents reported at least a five percent increase in overtime costs, and 32 percent reported an increase of 10 percent or more. As manufacturers used overtime to maintain base production levels, 61 percent said their downtime increased by at least five percent, as they lacked enough people to run and maintain the equipment. Cycle times also increased at least five percent at 66 percent of the respondents’ companies.

Governors’ Guide to Modernizing the Electric Power Grid

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Governors’ Guide to Modernizing the Electric Power Grid (PDF)
Source: National Governors Association

Governors have a strong interest in ensuring that the electric power grid functions safely, reliably, and efficiently. Although it functions well overall and utilities have made many upgrades, the grid needs modern technologies and new infrastructure to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, including mitigating increased storm- and cyber-related threats, integrating the use of more renewable energy resources, and capitalizing on the greater availability of data on grid performance and electricity usage. Most recently, an attack by gunmen on a utility substation in California that caused damage but did not result in a power outage has drawn attention to another vulnerability of electricity infrastructure. By modernizing the grid, states and utilities have an opportunity to address those challenges, improve the operation and efficiency of the electric power system, and drive economic opportunities. Governors can help regulators, utilities, and customers better understand the benefits of grid modernization in terms of increased reliability, resiliency, and energy efficiency and how those benefits compare to the costs. Governors also can promote greater coordination among state, federal, and private partners—on transmission development, cybersecurity threats, and renewable integration—which can help modernization efforts occur more quickly and cost-effectively.

Investing in Place: Two Generations’ View on the Future of Communities

May 9, 2014 Comments off

Investing in Place: Two Generations’ View on the Future of Communities
Source: American Planning Association

APA’s latest national poll surveyed Millennials and Baby Boomers on community preferences and dispels popular assumptions on how to improve local economies and attract new residents.

The wide-ranging national survey finds that Millennials and Baby Boomers want cities to focus less on recruiting new companies and more on investing in new transportation options, walkable communities, and making the area as attractive as possible. The poll also showed the perceived importance of shared economies, high-speed internet access, and housing where they can live as they grow older.

The 2014 NaBITA Whitepaper: Threat Assessment in the Campus Setting

May 1, 2014 Comments off

The 2014 NaBITA Whitepaper: Threat Assessment in the Campus Setting (PDF)
Source: National Behavioral Intervention Team Association

The NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool (“Tool”) was first introduced in 2009. The Tool provides a rubric for behavioral and risk evaluation and helps create a common language for Behavioral Intervention Teams (“BITs”). It now commands respect as the tool most commonly used by campus behavioral intervention and threat assessment teams across the United States (Bennett & Lengerich, 2011; Van Brunt et al, 2012). Given the prominence it has achieved, we at NaBITA are mindful of our ongoing obligation to update the tool, to validate it, and assure that it continues to reflect best practices. While our trainings and our literature describing the use and application of the tool have evolved, this marks the first substantial revision to the tool itself, and an update of the 2009 Whitepaper that first introduced the tool to the field.

Hat tip: PW

Putting A Value On Priceless: An independent assessment of the return on investment of special libraries in Australia

April 29, 2014 Comments off

Putting A Value On Priceless: An independent assessment of the return on investment of special libraries in Australia (PDF)
Source: Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Health Libraries Inc (HLInc), ALIA Health Libraries Australia (HLA), and the Australian Law Librarians’ Association (ALLA) have collaborated to carry out this investigation into the return on investment of special library and information services in Australia.

The partners commissioned award-winning firm SGS Economics and Planning to survey special libraries across the nation and from this to assess the return on investment of these services to their organisations.

The definition of ‘special’ includes health, law, government, business, industry, media, research and other library and information services that are designed around a specific user group. These services are often hidden from public view, but are essential contributors to the knowledge-base of their organisations.

The survey took place between June and September 2013, and was supplemented by in-depth case studies.

The indicative result from this work is that special libraries have been found to return $5.43 for every $1 invested — and that’s a conservative estimate of their real contribution. For example, it takes into account the time saved by doctors, lawyers, corporate executives and political advisors searching for answers, but it does not take into account the improved quality of the results supplied by trained information specialists. It looks at how much it would cost users to have to buy the information they gain for free from the library, but it does not assess the savings achieved by library staff negotiating advantageous prices with information suppliers.

Employee Distrust is Pervasive in U.S. Workforce

April 28, 2014 Comments off

Employee Distrust is Pervasive in U.S. Workforce
Source: American Psychological Association

Despite the rebound in the U.S. economy and an improving job market, nearly 1 in 4 workers say they don’t trust their employer and only about half believe their employer is open and upfront with them, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey released today.

While almost two-thirds (64 percent) of employed adults feel their organization treats them fairly, 1 in 3 reported that their employer is not always honest and truthful with them. “This lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance.”

“The layoffs, benefit cuts and job insecurity that accompanied the recession put a strain on the employee-employer relationship and people aren’t quick to forget,” added Ballard. Workers reported having more trust in their company when the organization recognizes employees for their contributions, provides opportunities for involvement and communicates effectively.

Although a majority of workers reported being satisfied with their job overall, less than half said that they are satisfied with the growth and development opportunities (49 percent) and employee recognition practices (47 percent) where they work. More than a quarter (27 percent) of U.S. workers said they intend to seek new employment in the next year.

Alarm Management: Determining the Best Approach for Your Community

April 25, 2014 Comments off

Alarm Management: Determining the Best Approach for Your Community (PDF)
Source: International Association of Chiefs of Police

Since 2002 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the alarm industry have worked together to reduce alarm dispatches through the work of the IACP’s Private Sector Liaison Committee (PSLC) and Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP). Much progress has been made, including the establishment of alarm management committees in 13 state associations. Improved technology and better educated consumers, coupled with local ordinances and enhanced verification procedures, have produced a significant decrease in the number of calls for service resulting from false alarms in many communities. However, the proportion of false alarm calls remains high, well over 90% of all calls. As a result, false burglar alarms continue to be a significant issue for many law enforcement agencies.

Today’s fiscal environment leaves many law enforcement agencies struggling to provide critical services with fewer resources. In 2011, police responded to more than 38 million false burglary alarm calls. For many jurisdictions, alarm calls represent the most frequent call for service, placing a significant burden on agency budgets and personnel. A November 2012 Urban Institute report found that reduction of a single false alarm saves 40 minutes of officer time, and $50-$120 in associated costs.

A law enforcement executive has a range of alarm management options to consider. Regardless of the option(s) selected in a particular jurisdiction, addressing false alarms requires public-private cooperation between the law enforcement agency and the alarm industry. An agency’s strategy will be driven by state laws and local ordinances, resources, and local political and community perspectives and customs, prerogatives, and demands. This document outlines the key issues, response options, research studies, and IACP’s official position and resources on alarm management to aid in the development of an alarm management strategy.

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