Tag Archive | libraries

Health guidelines for reopening, and other April COVID links

This CBS New York article lays out some specific criteria for Governor Cuomo starting to lift New York’s lockdowns and relax its stay-at-home orders. In short:

  • Hospitalizations have been on the decline for 14 days
  • At least 30% of hospital beds and ICU beds available
  • Ready to do contact tracing, with 30 tracers per 100,000 people
  • Positive tests are on the decline even when a lot of testing (it doesn’t say exactly how much) is being done
  • Each individual business that wants to reopen must present a plan to keep its workers safe, and industries with lower contact risks will reopen first

Different parts of the country are in all different places pandemic-wise, so you’d have to hold each state or city up to that list individually and see how it compares. Take this article about Texas’ plans to enter the first stage of reopening on May 1:

  • Hospitalizations have “held steady” (for 17 days? It isn’t clear)
  • Hospitals aren’t filled to capacity (doesn’t say how close they are)
  • Ready to do contact tracing, but even with the number of tracers they plan to add, it’s only about 7 tracers per 100,000 people
  • Infection rate “has been on the decline for the past 17 days” (doesn’t say how much testing there is)
  • First stage of reopening includes “restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters…museums and libraries”, apparently all of them, limited to 25% capacity. State-licensed healthcare professionals, too, “can reopen offices with precautions.” Childcare and summer camps are still closed; next phase of reopening can only begin after “two weeks of data to confirm no flare-up of Covid-19.”

So…not as reckless as they could be, but not as cautious and well-prepared as you might hope for, either?

And the order of business reopening seems…odd. For another comparison, Ohio is doing non-urgent medical services first, followed quickly by manufacturing and construction; consumer retail will be held off for 2 weeks, presumably more if infections flare back up; and restaurants are being saved for even later. Libraries in particular are designing their own reopening timeline, where the first stage involves staff providing limited on-site services (e.g. reference calls, interlibrary loan, shelving returns from the drop box) without being open to the public at all.

Ugh. I really hope we can thread this needle, but it’s not going to be easy.

Anyway, have some links. (I pulled out the good-for-the-soul ones and saved them for the end.)

Officials on the Council to Reopen Crystal Tokyo

Officials on the Council to Reopen Crystal Tokyo

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Undersea spaghetti monster, dinosaur tails, ancient cookbooks, and other fun things

An interlude with nice things.

Dinosaur tail found fully preserved in amber, and yes, it’s feathery.

“A team from BP was carrying out routine operations near an oil well, using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 1325 metres, when they spotted the creature, which they nicknamed the flying spaghetti monster.” The noodly appendages are real. RAmen.

Mall space got repurposed into gorgeous loft apartments.

“The Ptolemaic dynasty was able to spend big on the institution thanks to the riches of Egypt’s fertile land and resources from the Nile, including papyrus, the ancient world’s main writing material. As a result, the library had an edge in development over others. The Ptolemaic kings were determined to collect any and all books that existed—from the epics, tragedies, to cookbooks.

“Olio wants to make it easy for busy food sellers to avoid wasting food. ‘These vendors usually don’t have enough surplus to donate to a charity or something, but they still end up having to throw away quite a lot at the end of the day.'”

I asked other immigrants about their first moments of culture shock in the United States. Here’s what they told me.” Braces, junk food, chatty cashiers, and more.

“Hebrew marks gender prolifically (even the word “you” is different depending on genders), Finnish has no gender marking and English is somewhere in between. Accordingly, children growing-up in a Hebrew speaking environment figure out their own gender about a year earlier than Finnish-speaking children; English-speaking kids fall in the middle.

When pigs fly” and equivalent metaphors, in different languages, illustrated.

Some feel-good stories for the end of the year

“‘She runs to my arms and said, “I need to see my mommy,“‘ Boggs said.”

“Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school.”

“Today, the high school graduation rate for Tangelo Park is 100 percent. And no, that is not a typo.

“Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, ‘at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.’

China has self-service libraries in the subway. And we don’t. America, I am disappointed in you.

Although we did a pretty good job turning this abandoned Wal-Mart into a library.

The octopus – now nicknamed Jock the janitor – took up tidying after watching staff at Loch Lomond Aquarium wipe his glass.”

“They exchanged the rings that they had been wearing for 20 years, but now they can legally call them wedding rings.

Link roundup, on books and other things for reading

“When I asked him about it, he confirmed that, no, the museum didn’t print them. Because it couldn’t afford to. The Cartoon Art Museum is on such a tight budget that it can’t afford the cost of mounting a half-dozen extra labels on foamcore down at the copy shop.

Fifty Shades of Grey and a history of publishing, including fandom’s interactions therewith. Read all the links for extra detail. There’s commentary on FFA as well. (And, wait — from not too long ago — “the trilogy has captured twenty-five percent of the adult fiction market in recent weeks“? What? Just…what?)

“The Nook edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace (in its English translation) has been de-Kindled, quite literally.

Century-old mummified frozen lobotomized corpses: the setup for a confusing question of copyright law, obviously.

Cache of five hundred preserved but previously unknown fairy tales discovered in a German archive. Archivists are awesome.

“In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files.” With associated video. If you want Internet in your steampunk setting, this would be the thing to base it on.