American Library Association • December 19, 2014

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Youth Matters: Outcomes-based futures

Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun writes: “It’s easy to get caught in the trap of responding to the newest technology or educational stratagem when planning your program of service for youth and their families. Instead, start by thinking about the impact you want to have on children and teens and develop services that support those. For example, instead of focusing on bringing youth and families into the library because you have a 3D printer, focus on what you want young people to learn by using those printers.” Karen Pundsack has more about outcomes here....

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.; Public Libraries Online, Dec. 17

Queens Library board terminates Tom Galante

Contents page from the Nov./Dec. 2014 issue, as viewed on the iOS app

The Board of Trustees of the Queens (N.Y.) Library voted unanimously on December 17 to oust embattled CEO Tom Galante (right) for cause. The board approved a resolution following an executive session of more than two hours at the library’s Jamaica central office. Galante has been under fire for nearly a year, since a series of reports in the New York Daily News led to investigations by city agencies and the FBI, who are probing the library’s and Galante’s spending. Galante’s lawyer, Hillary Prudlo, said that her client planned to sue for wrongful termination....

Queens (N.Y.) Chronicle, Dec. 17; New York Daily News, Dec. 18

Sponsored Content

Ray Abruzzi

Text and data mining primary source materials

Ray Abruzzi, Senior Director, New Product Strategy, Gale

Electronic access to Gale’s series of primary source archives, Gale Digital Collections, has forever changed scholarship and research. However, many researchers have requested access to the data behind these databases—to break the data from its shackles and analyze it in new ways.

Gale logoGale, a part of Cengage Learning, is now making this possible. Researchers with access to one or more GDC can now request the data behind the digital collections through their library. We hope to drive a new wave of discovery and strengthen the library’s role as the center of scholarship.

Read more


The great British library betrayal

Campaigners in 2012 fought a high-profile but unsuccessful attempt to keep Kensal Rise Library in northwest London open. The library was opened by American author Mark Twain in 1900 on land donated by All Souls College

Library services in the UK are on the brink of disaster and can only be saved if they become more like coffee shops with Wi-Fi, sofas, and hot drinks, a December 18 report recommended. A combination of funding cuts and declining attendance threatens the viability of the library network unless urgent action is taken, according to the Independent Library Report for England (PDF file). The report, which has been hailed as the last chance to halt a decline in which 324 libraries have closed since 2011, recommends a complete “reinvigoration of the library network” for the 21st century, with every library in the country fitted with Wi-Fi to attract people who would otherwise spend time in cafés....

The Independent (UK), Dec. 17
Modern Language Association

Pew Research report on the future of privacy

Government and industry have aligned and allied to almost totally eliminate consumer and citizen privacy. This will not be allowed to change at scale—it is too convenient and too profitable for all parties involved.—Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information

Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson write: “The terms of citizenship and social life are rapidly changing in the digital age. No issue highlights this any better than privacy, always a fluid and context-situated concept and more so now as the boundary between being private and being public is shifting. This report (PDF file) is a look into the future of privacy in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade. To explore the future of privacy, we canvassed thousands of experts and internet builders to share their predictions.”...

Pew Research Internet Project, Dec. 18
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Just say no to digital hoarding

If you are constantly increasing the size of your data plan or buying new digital devices with ever more storage capacity, you just might be a digital hoarder

Dominic Basulto writes: “We have become a nation of digital hoarders. We save everything, even stuff that we know, deep down, we’ll never need or be able to find. We save every email, every photo, every file, every text message, and every video clip. If we don’t have enough space on our mobile devices, we move it to a different storage device, maybe even a hard drive or a flash drive. Or, better yet, we just move it to the cloud. And, in developing these digital hoarding instincts, the big technology companies are more than a little complicit.” The answer? Perhaps an erasable internet....

Washington Post, Dec. 16; New York Times: Bits, Dec. 18

New IMLS budget is $1 million more than FY 2014

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

On December 16, President Barack Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September 2015. The legislation includes $227.9 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is $1 million above FY 2014 funding. The additional funds will assist with the agency’s planned relocation for the coming year. The total amount appropriated for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act is $180.9 million....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 17

Duluth calls for change in Minnesota seed law

Seed packet at Duluth (Minn.) Public Library

The Duluth City Council has passed a resolution asking the state legislature to change Minnesota’s “seed law” to allow for the free exchange of seeds. This fall, the state Department of Agriculture told the Duluth Public Library its seed-sharing program violated the law, which requires seeds to be tested and labeled before they are sold or given away. When the legislature convenes in January, State Sen. Roger Reinert (D-Duluth) intends to propose an amendment that would exempt seed libraries and seed sharing from its requirements for testing and labeling if there is no exchange of money....

Minnesota Public Radio, Dec. 16

Six technologies that will change PCs in 2015

Intel's RealSense 3D depth-sensing camera in action

Agam Shah writes: “In an era of slick gadgets, PCs are the dinosaurs, ensnared in wire clutter, sporting tired 2D cameras, and stricken with the occasional blue screen of death. Technology coming up in 2015, however, is set to make PCs more interactive, fun, and perhaps nosier than you’d like them to be. Interactive computers will have 3D cameras that behave more like eyes, with the ability to recognize objects and measure distances. Sensory input through sound, voice, and touch will help PCs respond to and anticipate our needs. Here are six disruptive technologies that could change the face of computing in the next year.”...

Computerworld, Dec. 16

Joyce Valenza’s top 10 tech trends

Infographic: Top Tech Trends for 2015

Joyce Valenza writes: “Here’s an expanded version of my annual Top 10 Tech Trends, along with an infographic summary. The trends we see this year emphasize significant opportunities and the critical importance of transformative library leadership as we rethink our platforms, collections, space, and new opportunities for instruction. Leadership from the center is not new, but perhaps it is a new school essential in a transitional time. We are smack in the middle of a paradigm shift.”...

NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 18

The enduring charm of A Christmas Carol

Cover of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Carla Land writes: “I personally love the book A Christmas Carol and I read it every December. The language that Dickens used is unlike anything we use in everyday communication in 2014. Not once does Tiny Tim ever LOL, and none of the ghosts ever *smh* at Scrooge and his cluelessness. Honestly, I can see how it could be hard for some to sit down and read page after page of the lengthy descriptions Dickens used—after all, we want to get to the meat of the story with the ghosts and the grumpy old man learning to appreciate kindness and friendship over money—but when we take the time to read what Dickens wrote, he paints some amazing images in our heads.”...

YALSA The Hub, Dec. 19

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