This week’s headline quotes Guinevere de la Mare, co-founder with Laura Gluhanich of the Silent Book Club, which invites members to meet up at a bar, library, bookstore, or other venue to silently read whatever they would like and talk about anything, before and after the designated reading time (NPR "A novel concept: Silent Book Clubs offer introverts a space to socialize").
You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures.
What new information has sparked your interest? Drop me a line to let me know what you're reading or discovering that helps you consider the future of libraries.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
CityLab "Boston saved $5 million by routing school buses with an algorithm"
A look at how Boston Public Schools (BPS), which had one of the highest per-pupil transportation costs in the country, found a solution to their transportation challenge in the form of an algorithm that used anonymized BPS data sets to create efficient routes and optimal start times for each school.
Books and Reading
NPR "A novel concept: Silent Book Clubs offer introverts a space to socialize"
With over 70 chapters, Silent Book Club has members meet up at a bar, library, bookstore, or other venue to silently read whatever they would like and chat about anything, before and after the designated reading time.
Communities and Demographics
CityLab "The innovations of the creative class affect a rural area’s fortunes"
A new study [$] by researchers at Oklahoma State University and Purdue University uses detailed data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service Rural Establishment Innovation Survey (REIS) to examine the effects of innovation on the performance of rural business and the factors associated with innovative rural businesses – while innovation is higher for firms located in urban areas rather than in rural ones, in both rural and urban areas innovation is closely tied to the degree of presence of the creative class.
Engadget "The co-founder of Masterclass wants people to try college courses online"
One of the founders of Masterclass, the celebrity-taught online learning site, is launching Outlier, a site that covers academic subjects like calculus and psychology available for college credit through the University of Pittsburgh and treated as legitimate credits both by Pitt and other colleges.
TechCrunch "Apple brings contactless student IDs to a dozen more universities"
Apple announced the expansion of its contactless student IDs in Apple Wallet to twelve more U.S. universities, allowing over 100,000 college students to carry their student ID on their iPhone or Apple Watch, where it can be used for a variety of tasks including paying for meals and entry into buildings. See also CNET "Alexa, time for class: How one university put an Echo Dot in every dorm room"
The Washington Post "Extreme climate change has arrived in America"
A Washington Post analysis of more than a century of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data across the lower 48 states and 3,107 counties has found that major areas are nearing or have already crossed a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) mark – in the 2015 Paris accord, international leaders agreed that the world should act urgently to keep the Earth’s average temperature increases “well below” 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 to avoid a host of catastrophic changes.
Wired "Instagram now fact-checks, but who will do the checking?"
Facebook said it would expand a fact-checking program to its Instagram image-sharing service, allowing users in the US to report content they believe to be false – while repeatedly-flagged posts will be sent to fact checkers at organizations like PolitiFact, the Associated Press, and Factcheck.org, those fact checkers aren’t obligated to review content, but can choose the posts they think are the most important or impactful to evaluate.
The New York Times "How YouTube radicalized Brazil"
A New York Times investigation found that YouTube’s search and recommendation system appears to have systematically diverted users to far-right and conspiracy channels in Brazil – engineered to maximize watch time, YouTube’s recommendation system suggests what viewers should watch next, often playing videos automatically, in a never-ending quest to keep viewers glued to screens by emotions like fear, doubt, and anger that are often central features of conspiracy theories and right-wing extremism.
The Verge "Reddit launches five-day live-streaming test"
Reddit is testing a live-streaming feature, the Reddit Public Access Network (RPAN), that will let eligible users live-stream to a new subreddit called r/pan – the company is being “incredibly judicious with the rollout of RPAN,” it says, and even created additional policies specifically for people using the new feature.
The Evening Standard "A Facebook Café is coming to London"
Facebook will open five Facebook Café pop-up coffee shops across the United Kingdom between August 28 and September 5 to help encourage people to run simple privacy check-ups – Facebook has said the café strategy is a result of a recent poll that found 27% of Londoners don’t know how to customize their social media privacy settings.
Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces
Engadget "7-Eleven's cashier-free mobile checkouts are available in NYC"
7-Eleven has formally launched its cashier-less Mobile Checkout feature in New York City after some testing in Dallas – customers can use the 7-Eleven app to scan any product with a barcode and buy it, scanning a QR code at a "confirmation station" to let the store know that you're not shoplifting.
Reuters "Nike aims sneaker subscriber scheme at $10 billion U.S. kids market"
Nike will join the growing list of subscription service providers with a new Nike Adventure Club plan that offers parents a $20, $30, or $50 a month plan that provides a new pair of Nike sneakers once a month, once every two months, or once every three months. See also Fortune "Fashion rental competition is increasing among stores"