Liberia: The Cultural Gap

first_imgMonrovia – Growing up in Liberia, whenever I call my name, I garner the stares and expressions of a name that sounds too strong or otherwise traditional. In fact, I get the feeling from facial expressions that the name belongs to another world, especially in my case, as both names are purely Liberian indigenous names. While in secondary school, it was worse. The calling of my name was greeted with instant laughter, jeers and intentional mispronunciations, intended to instill humiliation and fear. I remember many colleagues couldn’t bear the emotional bullying associated with bearing traditional African names and opted to have their names changed. This is typical of the average Liberian classroom where western names are pronounced with distinction and claimed with pride but traditional Liberian names are wrongly pronounced and treated with disdain. The name carrier bore the burnt of the struggle and left to face the accompanying degradations.The name scenario is a tip of the iceberg of the extent to how wide Liberians have negated their culture with western cultures, and in some cases other African cultures over their own cultures. A Liberian would prefer to be proudly called by another West African name and claim lineage to that country or ancestral history, but would refuse to proudly bear his name given under sacred conditions by his or her grandparents. Treasured and rich names with deep history are relegated to borrowed names. There are varying examples to the nature and breadth of how Liberians have abandoned their cultures over the years to diffusing and assimilating completely into others. This trend has affected generations to such a dangerous extent that there remains a major gap in the culture. Major tribes have histories of their founding fathers and how they came to being but have chosen to ignore those stories, completely forgotten to speak native dialects, hence a whole generation of young children grow up unable to speak their dialects. Ironically, the inability to speak one’s language comes with a false sense of sophistication. The ignorance of one’s history and cultural practices meant a man was too ‘civilized’ to conform. The reality is sad. A society without a clear definition of its history and culture has no foundation to build upon, and no purpose. We have a completely shattered appreciation of our culture from clothing, cuisine, language, history, etc. Every society has a signature delicacy that is known by foreigners upon entering that country. We have several dishes, from hot cooked palm butter and bitter roots to potato greens with red palm oil, bitter balls mixed with okra and fresh water palm oil to torborgee and rice, palava sauce and rice, domboy and pepper soup and GB with wollor soup. These are delicious delicacies that can be marketed and possibly exported to showcase the kinds of food we eat as Liberians. Culture is the melting pot of a group of people and the lining that binds us together. How many average Liberian kids understand the relevance and role of traditional chiefs, traditional dance ceremonies for birth, funerals, and other occasions?There is a surge in learning how to speak like other West Africans, copying their accents, but afraid to identify with our own accents. We have to develop ourselves and develop a spirit of cultural identity.Cultural identity is often defined as the identity of a group, culture or an individual, influenced by one’s belonging to a group or culture.A developmental psychologist, Jean S. Phinney, formulated a three stage model describing how this identity is acquired.The first stage, unexamined cultural identity, is characterized by a lack of exploration of culture and cultural differences – they are rather taken for granted without much critical thinking. This is usually the stage reserved for childhood when cultural ideas provided by parents, the community or the media are easily accepted. Children at this stage tend not to be interested in ethnicity and are generally ready to take on the opinions of others.The second stage of the model is referred to as the cultural identity search and is characterized by the exploration and questioning of your culture in order to learn more about it and to understand the implications of belonging to it. During this stage you begin to question where your beliefs come from and why you hold them. You are now ready to compare and analyze them across cultures. For some, this stage may arise from a turning point in their lives or from a growing awareness of other cultures, and it can also be a very emotional time. This is often the time when high school students decide to go on an intercultural exchange program.Finally, the third stage of the model is cultural identity achievement. Ideally, people at this stage have a clear sense of their cultural identity and are able to successfully navigate it in the contemporary world, which is undoubtedly very interconnected and intercultural. The acceptance of yourself and your cultural identity may play a significant role in your other important life decisions and choices, influencing your attitudes and behavior. This usually leads to an increase in self-confidence and positive psychological development.It seems we’re walloping in the first stage of cultural identity and are mimicking other cultures and taking the opinions of others about ourselves. Until we realize who we are, where we come from and what we want, the road to the future would be blurred, and we risk becoming cultural chameleons.Lekpele Nyamalon is a Liberian writer and poet, an OSIWA Poetry fellow and can be reached at: nyamalon@yahoo.com Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Say hello to the Internet of Robotic Things

first_imgDonal Power Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tags:#Internet of Things#IoRT#IoT#robotics#smart edge Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puckcenter_img The latest Internet of Things (IoT) sub-segment to emerge is the Internet of Robotic Things, where intelligent robots operate with relative autonomy.As reported by ZDNet, ABI Research is championing the emergence of IoT-powered robots.In essence the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT) describes devices that are able to combine data from various sources, monitor events, determine a best course of action and manipulate objects in the real world.And though the IoRT concept has been kicking around for a few years, ABI’s practice director of robotics Dan Kara says the technology is still in the early stages.However, he says new innovations are starting to appear in this space, like iRobot which uses Amazon Web Services to connect consumer robotic devices to the cloud.He says that increasing investment in IoT initiatives and cloud-based technology will accelerate innovations in the robotics sector.“Both commercial and consumer robotics systems can benefit from these capabilities,” he said. “Low-cost, miniature cameras and accelerometers developed for mobile phones and tablets provide just one example. Similarly, the robotics sector benefited from the technical ‘tailwinds’ resulting from massive amounts of spending and research for defense robotics systems in the early 2000s.”Robots in the cloud?IoT architectures, standards and technologies can give future robots capabilities powered by cloud-based computing, communication with other robotic systems and sensor input from their environment.“Smart edge devices can share embedded, local data with robotic systems, describing themselves and providing other information,” said Kara. “Combined with additional data captured using the robot’s onboard sensors, this enriched set of information can be used by robotic systems to make decisions locally and then act accordingly. Alternatively, this information can be augmented with distributed data and processing in the cloud and subsequently acted upon.”This follows a recent report that in the near future, we are going to see farming robots that are not only much cheaper than human labor, but capable of executing tasks with much more efficiency and accuracy. Such robots could lead to higher crop yields for farmers and a workforce that doesn’t need to rest every few hours. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts last_img read more

Report: Atletico 4 Sant Andreu 0

first_imgDiego Simeone’s 400th match in charge of Atletico Madrid ended with an ultimately comfortable 4-0 victory over Sant Andreu that sent them into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey.Atletico’s most decorated coach watched the from the stands at the Wanda Metropolitano due to a three-game Copa del Rey ban carried over from last season and his team had to weather a woeful first half before sealing the second-leg win and a 5-0 aggregate triumph.Simeone made seven changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Girona at the weekend and they were fortunate not to go behind once again when Elhadji Bandeh hit the post for the fourth-tier visitors in the 33rd minute. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The introduction of Thomas Lemar for the second half proved key and his opener kick-started an eight-minute spell that included goals for Nikola Kalinic and Angel Correa, with Vitolo getting in on the act late on.Sant Andreu had a chance to take a surprise lead after Santiago Arias sold Antonio Adan short in the 21st minute, but the goalkeeper recovered to deflect Josue Rodriguez’s attempt over.Bandeh struck the upright with a looping header and only a brilliant stop from Adan three minutes before half-time kept another effort from the striker out.Lemar took less than three minutes to ease Atletico’s concerns after replacing Toni Moya at the break by firing a powerful 20-yard drive in off the post.1 – Thomas Lemar has scored his first goal at Wanda Metropolitano after nine games played & eight shot on target at home in all competitions this season. Start pic.twitter.com/CkJ0lfEv4t— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 5, 2018The hosts doubled their lead five minutes later when Kalinic nodded Arias’ right-wing cross beyond Jose Segovia.Correa made it three in the 55th minute with a brilliant turn on the right side of the box and an exquisite finish inside the far post with the outside of his boot.Sant Andreu were floored and the final blow came nine minutes from time, when Vitolo tapped home a cross from Saul Niguez. What does it mean? Simeone forced to use key resourcesThis should have been a simple tie for Atletico’s second string to see out convincingly, but their woeful first half forced the hosts into changes. Rather than being able to grant the likes of Lemar and Rodrigo a rest during a congested part of the calendar, they had to be used earlier than expected to avoid an upset.Lemar changes the gameKalinic spurned a pair of great opportunities and Bandeh threatened to punish them in the opening period. Any anxiety building within the Wanda Metropolitano dissipated when Lemar fired home the opener early in the second half. The World Cup winner finished the game with an assist for Correa and won the ball back to start the move from which Vitolo scored.Gelson wastes his chanceHis goal was the difference between the two sides in the first leg, but Gelson Martins was unable to make the most of just his third start of the season up front. The Portugal forward did not register a single shot or create a chance and the fact Kalinic, Correa and Vitolo all got on the scoresheet will likely hinder his hopes of an increase in game time.What’s next?Atletico host Deportivo Alaves on Saturday and a win would, at least temporarily, send them joint-top of LaLiga. Sant Andreu will aim to return to winning ways against Europa. read morelast_img read more

NFL Coaches Yell At Refs Because It Freakin Works

In the first quarter of a scoreless 2016 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos faced third-and-6 from their own 44-yard line. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas ran a 15-yard out, breaking toward the Broncos’ sideline. He did not catch Manning’s wobbly throw, but there was contact on the play, and Denver’s players and coaching staff appealed to the official for a pass interference call on Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan. They got one, and the Broncos got a first down, scoring the game’s opening touchdown four plays later.On the ensuing drive, the Patriots faced third-and-3 at their own 27-yard line. Rob Gronkowski ran a wheel route up the Broncos’ sideline with T.J. Ward in coverage. As the Patriots tight end turned to look back for the ball, the defender made contact and shoved him, preventing a catch. Both Gronk and Tom Brady yelled for a penalty. The flag did not come, and the Patriots were forced to punt.Similar plays led to different outcomes that benefited the team on the sideline closest to the on-field action. Most NFL refs would likely say they are immune any sideline bias. “If I make a call because a coach is screaming at me on one side of the field and it’s wrong, that’s a bad day for me,” former NFL official Scott Green told us. (The NFL declined to comment.)But as it turns out, a sideline bias in the NFL is real, and it’s spectacular. To prove it, we looked at the rates at which refs call the NFL’s most severe penalties, including defensive pass interference, aggressive infractions like personal fouls and unnecessary roughness, and offensive holding calls, based on where the offensive team ran its play.1Some of this research was published in March in Economic Inquiry.For three common penalties, the direction of the play — that is, whether it’s run toward the offensive or defensive team’s sideline — makes a significant difference. In other words, refs make more defensive pass interference calls on the offensive team’s sideline but more offensive holding calls on the defensive team’s sideline. What’s more, these differences aren’t uniform across the field — the effect only shows up on plays run, roughly, between the 32-yard lines, the same space where coaches and players are allowed to stand during play.The following graphs show the penalty rates per 1,000 plays for defensive pass interference and aggressive defensive penalties, which include unnecessary roughness, personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct, and horse-collar tackles.2The data includes regular-season games between 2010 and 2014, and uses coin-toss information provided by Football Outsiders and play-by-play data from Armchair Analysis. To estimate penalty rates, we used a model of penalty outcomes that depends on yard line and which sideline (offensive or defensive team’s) the play was closer to. Additional methodological details can be found here. So what could be causing this phenomenon?Refs are faced with a near-impossible task. They make judgment calls in real time, relying on just their eyes and their experience. Deprived of the advantages, like instant replay, that we enjoy from the couch, refs have less information to help them resist the normal subconscious urge to draw on external cues for assistance in making borderline calls. In psychology terms, this process is called cue learning. It’s why we laugh longer in the presence of other humans laughing,4Which, in turn, is the reason that many TV comedies use a laugh track. why we eat more in the presence of overweight company, and why our judgment of persuasive speeches is influenced by the audience’s reaction.The most common cue in sports is crowd noise, and because crowd noise almost always supports the home team, the way the fans sway the referees is the No. 1 driver of home-field advantage in sports. And one notable experiment suggests that how loud a crowd is helps refs decide whether an interaction should be penalized. A pair of German researchers showed actual referees old video clips of possible soccer infractions, with crowd noise played at high or low volume. Refs looking at the exact same interactions were more likely to hand out a yellow card when they heard a lot of crowd noise than when the volume was low.It follows, then, that screaming and hat-throwing football personnel may also have an effect on referee choices. In football, this sideline bias even seems to supersede refs’ tendency to support the home team: The differences in the penalty rates from sideline to sideline are several times larger than the differences in penalty rates between the home and away teams.That bias can affect the outcome even when officials have time to confer. In a 2015 playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford threw a third-and-1 pass to Brandon Pettigrew. Officials initially called defensive pass interference on the Cowboys’ Anthony Hitchens.But the flag occurred right in front of the Cowboys sideline. This led to some confusion. It also led to a helmetless Dez Bryant yelling at the official.After conferring with each other, the officials picked up the flag, a decision that Mike Pereira, Fox Sports’ rules analyst and the NFL’s former vice president of officiating, said was incorrect. Brian Burke of Advanced Football Analytics calculates that when the official picked up the flag, the Lions’ chances of winning that game dropped by 12 percentage points.Dallas won 24-20.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions. Refs throw flags for defensive infractions at significantly higher rates when plays are run in the direction of the offensive team’s sideline; near midfield, defensive penalties are called about 50 percent more often on the offensive team’s sideline than the defensive team’s. Close to the end zone, where the sidelines are supposed to be free of coaches and players, these differences are negligible.For offensive flags, that association is reversed, at least on holding penalties.3Offensive pass interference calls didn’t vary by proximity to either team’s sideline. Here’s the rate of holding calls made on outside run plays, which shows how the defensive team’s sideline can help draw flags on the offense. Around midfield, offensive holding gets called about 35 percent more often on plays run at the defensive team’s sideline. read more

We Talk Curling And Stats With The Guys Who Won The Gold

Embed Code It all started as a predawn tweet: More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed But after the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team won gold in Pyeongchang, we knew it had to become reality. So, on Friday, despite bad weather in the Northeast — which left Nate calling in from an airport tarmac after his flight was diverted — I was joined in the FiveThirtyEight podcast studio by Olympic champion curlers John Shuster, Tyler George and Matt Hamilton.We talked about curling analytics, the team’s new celebrity fans and where the sport goes from here. You can listen to it on your phone by subscribing to our NBA podcast, “The Lab,”1Sadly, we don’t have a curling podcast feed … yet. or by clicking the play button below. By Neil Paine Here are some excerpts from the conversation.On advice for first-time curlers:Hamilton: “My best advice would be, don’t fall. In my first game at the Olympics, I fell. So don’t go down — it’s still hard ice. But in seriousness, if you go in with an open mind and are really curious about the sport itself — not just the throwing aspects, but actually immersing yourself in what curling is about — you’ll find all these people who are so willing to help and teach and get you into the strategy, which is really the draw. … Making shots is great, and it felt good when you made your first couple of shots in curling when you tried it, but when you finally learn why you’re throwing that shot, why making that shot set you up later in the game to win, it’s just a remarkable feeling. It really is like chess on ice, just that mental game mixed with a finesse game, mixed with the brute force of sweeping. It has all the aspects of a really fun game.”On preparing with analytics guru Gerry Geurts of CurlingZone.com:Hamilton: “He sat us down at our summer camp and explained to us where we sat [among] elite players at certain things, like with the hammer/without the hammer, up by one with the hammer/down by one with the hammer … and it went on for all of the potential scoring scenarios. And he gave us feedback [on] which positions we could be better at, which ones we’re really good at, where we need to keep doing what we’re doing. Then he gave us some info on other teams in those same kind of numbers. … I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come into play at all.”On the flaws of using curling percentage to judge players and teams:George: “It’s incredibly subjective because it depends on what types of shots you’re playing. And the way that they do stats for the television events [is] really simplistic because they’re only going on make/miss or how close you were to making the shot [but] not factoring in the difficulty of the shot. … So for the viewer at home, looking at our percentages, they probably thought that we weren’t playing nearly as well as our record would imply. … But a lot of that is because we’re playing with a lot more rocks in play. We’re making a lot more difficult shots, but the viewers are not seeing that.”On the role analytics might have in the game in the future:George: “There’s a major change coming up next season where they’re literally changing the rules in the game, where stats are going to have to be applied to figure out what the best strategies are … (Editor’s note: The change involves being able to add one extra protected stone to the area in front of the house.) It doesn’t seem like much — it’s only one more rock that you can’t take out to play — but it completely changes the strategy of how you start ends out, and they’ve been using it in Grand Slam events so far. So you see it maybe six or seven times a year, and teams are still kind of tinkering with strategy on how to defend, especially [because] it’s a way more offensive game. … Stats are going to be huge in figuring out the best ways to go about defending with this new strategy because we just haven’t done it that much.”On whether curling will be able to capitalize on its newfound popularity:Shuster: “I think you’re going to see it because [of] the ratings that we were getting during the Olympics and the ratings we’ve been getting with “Curling Night in America” the last couple of years. What happens is, we haven’t had national television coverage between Olympic cycles, and then every Olympics we get more and more coverage and the ratings get better and better. And then all of a sudden, NBC Sports Network ran “Curling Night in America,” so we had a weekly show going on. After we won the gold, they’re going to show one live game every single day during the world [championships] that are coming up in Vegas. … I think curling right now could be on [the same] trajectory as something like poker was 10 years ago. If the world championships are high-quality, entertaining TV this year, people are going to demand it more, and we’re going to start seeing it on more of a regular basis moving forward.” read more

Womens Basketball Jennifer Sullivan joins coaching staff

Former Missouri State assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jennifer Sullivan is joining the Ohio State women’s basketball team as an assistant coach after spending five seasons with the Lady Bears, Ohio State announced Friday. In her five seasons in Springfield, she helped lead the Lady Bears to 93 wins and four postseason appearances, making the NCAA Tournament in 2016. “I am really excited to add Jennifer to our staff,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said in a press release. “Her basketball knowledge and her diverse background will be a great asset as we continue to build a championship program.”From 2001-2005, Sullivan was a three-year starter at Memphis, recording 800 points, 310 rebounds and 99 steals during her career. “I’d like to thank coach McGuff for giving me this opportunity and I am excited to join the Ohio State women’s basketball program,” Sullivan said in a press release. “His brand of basketball is fun and exciting and I can’t wait to add my skills to the staff and help continue the success the team has enjoyed in recent seasons.”Prior to her coaching stint at Missouri State, Sullivan was the associate head coach and the recruiting coordinator at the University of Louisiana Lafayette from 2012-2013. Also, she spent three seasons as an assistant at Arkansas State. read more

Zanetti – Win but do more than that

first_imgInter’s vice-president Javier Zanetti speaks about his new book “Vincere, ma non solo”, and also delivered a message to the team ahead of their game against PSV.Zanetti released a new book titled “Vincere, ma non solo”, translating to “Win, but do more than that” in English. An apt message as Inter Milan prepare for a must-win Champions League tie against PSV on Tuesday.“My new book is different compared to my last one: it doesn’t concern my career as a footballer, but my adventure as a director,” Zanetti told the club’s website.“This is an important new stage in my life. Many people thought I would only be focusing on the sporting side of things, but for me, it’s vital to look at things from all aspects and to make my contribution to all the club’s projects.“The biggest challenge is sustainability. We are working with this in mind: we are taking part in many international projects with the aim of increasing the amount of money coming in. After a career as a footballer, this new challenge fascinates me a lot.“I am making my contribution so that the club can increase its revenue and the team can become more competitive. Inter has changed a lot.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“Ownership changes have taken place and I feel very comfortable in transmitting the values of the club as we look to continue along the path we’ve taken.”Inter Milan need to beat PSV in San Siro and hope Barcelona at least draw with Tottenham for them to qualify for the knockout stages.“Before we think about the result in the match between Barcelona and Tottenham, we need to do our job. We need to win our match, although it won’t be easy.“We will have to do our best to beat PSV Eindhoven, and then we can hope for a positive result at Camp Nou. Based on our performances, I think we deserve to make the Round of 16. Let’s hope we do,” Zanetti said.“We knew it would be a difficult group when the draw was made, but we also knew there was the possibility we could do well. We want to keep playing until the end, and we have to approach the match with confidence.”last_img read more

Woman accused of pointing gun at officer during marathon pleads not guilty

first_imgWoman accused of pointing gun at officer during marathon pleads not guilty June 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, John Soderman 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A 58-year-old woman who allegedly pointed a realistic-looking pellet gun at San Diego police officers on the roof of a downtown parking structure, prompting an officer to fire two shots at her as runners from the Rock-N-Roll Marathon went by on the street below, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges of resisting an executive officer and misdemeanor hit-and-run.Mona Elease Williams was ordered held on $100,000 bail. She faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted.Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Williams was spotted in her car near the entrance to the parking structure Sunday morning by an officer who thought he saw a gun pointed at him.Williams proceeded to the top of the parking structure and allegedly pointed her gun at an officer, who fired two shots at her but missed, the prosecutor said.Williams then threw the pellet gun over the side of the structure and was arrested, Runyon said.Another responding officer accidentally shot himself in the leg.Runyon said the defendant has a criminal history dating back to 1979 when she was arrested for attempted murder and pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon.A readiness conference was set for June 15 and a preliminary hearing for June 19. Updated: 6:19 PMcenter_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: June 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, John Soderman, last_img read more

Vancouver caregiver disciplined for abusing elderly residents

first_imgPreviously: Registered nursing assistant Susan Meade was charged with unprofessional conduct for mentally and physically abusing elderly adults for whom she was caring.What’s new: The Washington State Department of Health suspended Meade’s license for three years.What’s next: Meade cannot work as a nursing assistant and must complete anger management training before petitioning to her get her license back.A Vancouver nursing assistant who mentally and physically abused three elderly adults for whom she was caring, including rubbing a soiled disposable brief in the face of one woman, has lost her license for three years.The Washington State Department of Health also ordered Susan Meade, a registered nursing assistant, to complete anger management training before petitioning to have her license reinstated.Meade was charged in March with unprofessional conduct for abusing three residents of a Vancouver adult family home. The charges were the result of a state Department of Social and Health Services investigation and a subsequent investigation by the Department of Health related to incidents that took place in early 2009.Meade’s case was the focus of an Aug. 21 Columbian story, “When trust is betrayed.” The daughters of one of Meade’s victims spoke out about their mother’s time in Meade’s care.last_img read more

Libraries go hightech to stay relevant in the digital era

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Now playing: Watch this: 2:18 That creates challenges for librarians, who have championed privacy, even standing up to the US government over requirements in the 2001 USA Patriot Act to share records with law enforcement. Given how much of our lives has moved online, providing internet connections for patrons is another increasingly important part of library operations. The New York Public Library has rolled out a host of services aimed at closing the digital divide, including computers and laptops at its locations, free Wi-Fi and loaner mobile hotspots. Three quarters of the people who check out the hotspots live in households earning less than $25,000 a year, says Tony Marx, the library’s president and CEO.Libraries also serve as human go-betweens for prisoners and information that’s often readily available online. The San Francisco Public Library’s letter-writing service, called Reference by Mail, handles questions from the incarcerated population in the western half of the country, while a similar program at the New York Public Library handles the eastern half. A third library, the Harris County Public Library in Houston, takes letters from prisoners in Texas.Some of the inquiries are serious, such as requests for information about transition to life outside prison. Others are light, such as requests for song lyrics.CNET also looked at ways you can get free, legal books online and how to read e-books and magazines from your local library.Originally published April 8.Update, April 9: Adds more details of the package. Update, April 11: Adds more detail. This library puts tech in the hands of its patrons The Library of Congress is putting our historical treasures… Share your voice Post a commentcenter_img The Next Chapter is a multipart series that examines the changing role of libraries in a connected world.  James Martin/CNET Think of a library and you’ll likely conjure up images of a building stuffed with dusty books and a disciplinarian ready to “shush” you for the slightest decibel-related infraction. That image hasn’t changed for decades, even though libraries have. Libraries are repositioning themselves as cultural and learning centers for the digital age. Many lend out mobile hotspots, often for weeks at a time. Others offer classes in the latest tech, such as 3D printing and music-editing software. And libraries have some of the savviest social media editors around.On Sunday, libraries across the country began celebrating their evolving mission during National Library Week. Melinda Gates serves as honorary chairwoman of the annual event, which is sponsored by the American Library Association. Gates is an appropriate choice: She and husband Bill began funding computers, internet access and software for libraries in low-income communities through an organization they established in 1997.CNET used the annual celebration to examine how libraries are changing. We found institutions adapting to the new world, addressing new needs and discovering new challenges. Tags 0 The Broward County Libraries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are a good example of what the modern library looks like. The library has established lounges, called Creation Stations, to give visitors access to tech, as well as to teach digital skills. They offer classes and workshops in basic activities, like creating online resumes and coding. And Broward County is finding ways to bring library services to patrons who might never set foot in the building.”When people think of a place or a space, or they need something, the library [should be] the first thing that comes to mind,” Kelvin Watson, Broward County Libraries director, says in his office in the Main Library.The Library of Congress, the world’s biggest library, is also embracing technology in order to make its massive collection available to everyone. Scanning the collection is a mammoth undertaking. The Library’s 826 miles of shelving house just some its 170 million items. Still, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden says it’s a part of her institution’s cultural mission.”We’re throwing open the treasure chest, as we like to say, because this is the world’s largest library, with so many unique items,” Hayden told CNET. “We want to make these things accessible to people who could never come in person.”Libraries are also using social media to reach their patrons. The New York Public Library maintains an active presence on Twitter and Instagram, and created new versions of classic novels to appeal to a generation of readers that are more likely to scroll through a text message than turn a page. A San Francisco Public Library campaign prompted patrons to post photos of their library cards. The University of Liverpool Library’s snarky Twitter account set of the #shelfwich hashtag after employees found partially eaten sandwiches next to books.New technology, such as e-books, has also created an environment that can be at odds with the traditional role libraries have played as champions of privacy. E-books and audiobooks, now standard at libraries, make protecting privacy harder. Titles are usually provided through private companies, which can access your data. And today’s software can create more comprehensive records about you than a simple list of the books you checked out. 3:14 Culture Digital Medialast_img read more