American Library Association • December 9, 2014

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Reading on the inside

An inmate at the Adult Corrections Facility in Hennepin County, Minnesota, participates in the library’s Read to Me program

Megan Cottrell writes: “Hennepin County (Minn.) Corrections Librarian Dan Marcou’s program, Read to Me, is one of at least half a dozen around the country that helps incarcerated parents connect with their children at home by making a recording of themselves reading a children’s book. The parents are allowed to send the book and recording to their child, and they can often read the book during an in-person visit as well. Read to Me—which received the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award in 2004—has been operating since 1998 and is part of a larger relationship between the county’s libraries and correctional facilities that goes back 30 years.”...

American Libraries feature

Seed libraries and state laws

Rebecca Newburn helps a young patron explore the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library in  Richmond, California. Photo by Michelle Sixta

Greg Landgraf writes: “The rise of seed exchanges—now numbering more than 300 across the US—has been accompanied by plenty of enthusiasm from librarians and patrons. But Cumberland County (Pa.) Library System’s Simpson Seed Library attracted a whirlwind of controversy and misinformation over the summer after receiving a letter (PDF file) from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, warning that the seed library might not be complying with state law.”....

American Libraries feature

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Text and data mining primary source materials

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ALA meets with New York publishers

The ALA delegation (left to right): Sari Feldman, Erika Linke, Carolyn Anthony, Courtney L. Young, Keith Michael Fiels, Alan S. Inouye, and Barbara Stripling

Alan S. Inouye writes: “In the first week of December, a delegation of leaders from ALA met with executives of Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Hachette Book Group to discuss the current state and future of library ebook lending. This delegation was led by ALA President Courtney L. Young and the cochairs of ALA’s Digital Content Working Group, Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke. Also included in the delegation were President-Elect Sari Feldman, Immediate Past President Barbara Stripling, Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and Alan S. Inouye, the director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. Several publishing executives made explicit note of the strong ALA presence, reaffirming ALA’s commitment and priority to library ebook and digital content issues.”....

AL: E-Content, Dec. 9
American Libraries iTunes app

Make sure you are eligible to vote in ALA elections

Check to be sure that your American Library Association membership is up to date so that you can vote in the March 2015 ALA elections. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be ALA members in good standing as of January 31, 2015. Members will receive notification by email confirming their eligibility to vote. This year, members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect and for 33 councilor-at-large candidates....

ALA Membership Development
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Time-lapse video: How the ALA Exhibit Hall gets set up

Screenshot of time-lapse video

As we gear up for the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago next month, check out this two-minute time-lapse video that documents the work that went into setting up—and breaking down—the 2014 ALA Annual Conference┬áthis past summer in Las Vegas....

American Libraries video
AL Live

The national impact of library programming

National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment

A December 8 report released by ALA explores the growing area of library programming and proposes an ambitious, eight-year research plan to explore how programs reach library users and impact communities. The National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment presents a research agenda to understand and quantify the characteristics, audiences, outcomes, and impacts of library programming in the United States. Readers are invited to comment on the report’s findings; comments may be shared privately on the website. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #libraryimpact....

ALA Public Programs Office, Dec. 8

10 quick tips for library advocacy

Advocacy tips from the Illinois Library Association

Illinois Library Association Executive Director Robert P. Doyle offers these suggestions for keeping up on your library advocacy efforts: “1. Challenges to library materials happen everywhere, so stay informed on intellectual freedom issues. 2. Never underestimate the power of one individual to have a positive or negative impact. 3. Have clear, concise materials selection and internet policies and procedures for handling complaints.”...

Illinois Library Association

What is the value of a public library?

Screenshot of bar scene in Roxanne

Abby Noland writes: “What is the value of a public library in the community? This is a basic question and a good question for anyone to ask. Whenever I hear this question, however, I think of the movie Roxanne with Steve Martin. Remember the scene where Martin’s character is in the bar and a barfly insults his nose? Martin turns to the barfly and tells him he can do better than that. He can give him numerous ways to comment about his nose, such as: ‘Fashionable: You know you could deemphasize your nose if you wore something larger, like Wyoming.’ My mind flashes to something like this when I am asked to explain the value of a public library in our community. Here are some examples.”...

Rutland (Vt.) Herald, Dec. 6

15 top resources on digital citizenship

Digizen logo

Many of the facts you teach your students will be long forgotten by the time they graduate, but the hope is that the practical lessons—the ones that can benefit them for years to come—are the ones that will stick. Digital citizenship is something that can equip students for a lifetime of safe, responsible internet use. How can you mold your students into stand-up digital citizens? Use these resources to help you plan....

Edudemic, Dec. 4

The internet makes Americans feel better informed

Younger adults say the internet has made them more aware of pop culture

Kristen Purcell and Lee Rainie write: “A new survey (PDF file) by the Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans believe their use of the web helps them learn new things, stay better informed on topics that matter to them, and increases their capacity to share ideas and creations with others. These generally positive attitudes are buttressed by the view that people like having so much information at their fingertips, rather than feeling information overload. Moreover, this positive judgment extends to the broader culture. Most believe that average Americans and US students are better informed than in the past.”...

Pew Research Center, Dec. 8

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