Category Archives: information

Pew Research Center’s “Libraries at the Crossroads” Report

The Pew Research Center has released

Libraries at the Crossroads: The public is interested in new services and thinks libraries are important to communities (September 15, 2015)

The “Summary of Findings” reads:

American libraries are buffeted by cross currents. Citizens believe that libraries are important community institutions and profess interest in libraries offering a range of new program possibilities. Yet, even as the public expresses interest in additional library services, there are signs that the share of Americans visiting libraries has edged downward over the past three years, although it is too soon to know whether or not this is a trend.

A new survey from Pew Research Center brings this complex situation into stark relief. Many Americans say they want public libraries to:

  • support local education;
  • serve special constituents such as veterans, active-duty military personnel and immigrants;
  • help local businesses, job seekers and those upgrading their work skills;
  • embrace new technologies such as 3-D printers and provide services to help patrons learn about high-tech gadgetry.

Additionally, two-thirds of Americans (65%) ages 16 and older say that closing their local public library would have a major impact on their community. Low-income Americans, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely than others to say that a library closing would impact their lives and communities.

Cross-posted at Legal Research Plus.

No Valid Copyright in the “Happy Birthday” Song Lyrics

In a decision filed yesterday, Chief Judge George H. King of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has held there is no valid copyright in the “Happy Birthday” song lyrics — please see here.

For some news coverage of the case, please see here.

Cross-posted at Legal Research Plus.

2015 Global Peace Index

The Institute for Economics and Peace has released:

Global Peace Index 2015

Some highlights from the Executive Summary:

This is the ninth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks the nations of the world according to their level of peacefulness. The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and ranks 162 independent states, covering 99.6 per cent of the world’s population. …

In addition to presenting the findings from the 2015 GPI and its eight-year trend analysis, this year’s report provides an updated methodology to account for the economic impact of violence on the global economy. …

Last year the global GPI score remained stable. However, while the average level of global peacefulness was stable, a number of indicators and countries did deteriorate while others improved. Four out of the nine geographical regions experienced an improvement in peace: Europe, North America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central America and the Caribbean. The other five regions became less peaceful. The most substantial changes in the Index occurred in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where several countries suffered from an upsurge in violence related to sectarian strife and civil conflicts, resulting in the region being ranked as the least peaceful in the world.

Cross-posted at Legal Research Plus.