American Library Association • November 7, 2014
Recorded Books

For more ALA and library news on a daily basis, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Citizens vote “yes” on library funding

Park Ridge (Ill.) Public Library thanked its supporters for passing a referendum seeking additional tax dollars

Election Day 2014 turned out to be a success for many library systems across the country seeking to raise or continue funding. Voters approved a $108.5 million plan by the Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library to build five new facilities, renovate 13 others, and complete a system-wide technology upgrade. In the Detroit area, voters approved a tax increase to provide funding that will restore services and collections at the Redford Township District Library. New Mexico residents passed Bond B, which provides $10.8 million for public, academic, public school, and tribal libraries. Here are some other returns....

American Libraries Online, Nov. 5–7

What a library levy means to a West Virginia town

Posters for the Kanawha County (W.Va.) Public Library levy campaign

Deborah Fallows writes: “I was standing at the front desk of Charleston, West Virginia’s main library on Election Day 2014 when a burly man in worker’s clothes stopped by just to announce to the librarian, ‘I voted yes on the levy!’ It was an important day for the libraries of Kanawha County. Passing the levy would mean almost $3 million a year for the next five years, which amounts to about 40% of the libraries’ budget for operations and staff. Losing the levy would mean—well, no one even wanted to contemplate that.”...

The Atlantic, Nov. 7

IRS provides update to libraries on Tax Forms Program

Man filling out tax form

Emily Sheketoff writes: “On November 4, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it will continue to deliver 1040 EZ forms to public libraries that are participating in the Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP). TFOP offers tax products to the American public primarily through participating libraries and post offices. The IRS will distribute new order forms to participating libraries in the next two to three weeks. Public library leaders can discuss the management and effectiveness of TFOP with leaders from the IRS on February 1 during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.”...

District Dispatch, Nov. 5
Simmons SLIS

For rural communities, it’s more than just a library

US Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner joined the Village of Lake Odessa at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new community library

James J. Turner writes: “In a knowledge-based economy, libraries have a central role in helping rural residents learn and communicate. I stressed this point at a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Lake Odessa (Mich.) Community Library. Libraries are increasingly important for rural communities. They have expanded their role from lending books to offering meeting spaces and providing high-speed internet connections, the latter often being difficult to obtain away from urban centers. The expansion of the Lake Odessa Community Library is an investment in new economic opportunities for the area.”...

Washington Post, Nov. 3
ALA Midwinter Meeting

LeVar Burton to speak at 2015 Midwinter Meeting

LeVar Burton

Passionate and lifelong children’s literacy advocate, actor, producer, director, and educator LeVar Burton (right) will offer an unmissable treat for Midwinter Meeting attendees when he appears as an Auditorium Speaker on February 1. For three decades, Burton has been capturing the admiring attention of both audiences and his industry peers. He was host from 1983 to 2009 of the beloved original Reading Rainbow PBS series, is cofounder of the award-winning Reading Rainbow digital library, and is currently developing the next generation of innovative children’s educational media....

Conference Services, Nov. 6

Promoting access for blind and visually impaired patrons

Two different types of refreshable Braille display laptop readers demonstrated at the 2011 Universal Learning Design Conference, Brno, Czech Republic

Mike L. Marlin writes: “On June 28, 2013, delegates from member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency, signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. This historic treaty, intended to ease international copyright restrictions on publications for print-disabled readers, still requires ratification by at least 20 WIPO member countries in order to become legally binding. At the 37th UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2013, a parallel resolution, the Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability, passed overwhelmingly.”...

American Libraries feature

Inexpensive tablets and apps for children with autism

Puzzle Piece display

Catherine Shu writes: “TechCrunch first profiled Puzzle Piece, a startup that makes affordable tablets and apps geared toward children with autism, in May. Though educational apps are helpful for teaching social skills to children with autism and helping them with their schoolwork, many families could not afford a tablet. Puzzle Piece wants to make tech accessible to all families, with a 9-inch Android tablet that costs $29 and a $19-per-month subscription plan that gives children access to a library of more than 80 apps.”...

TechCrunch, May 1, Nov. 4; CNN Money, Apr. 2, 2012

Netflix to adapt Lemony Snicket for TV

Lemony Snicket books

Netflix is entering a new area: live-action family entertainment. The streaming company has acquired rights to the best-selling series of books A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), with plans to adapt them as a live-action series. Narrated by Snicket,the books recount the tale of the orphaned children Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire at the hands of the villainous Count Olaf, as they face trials and tribulations, misfortunes, and an evil uncle. Netflix announced that “Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress, but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary, and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.”...

Deadline: Hollywood, Nov. 5

Libraries and Buy It Now: A difficult decision?

Buy It Now button for ebooks

Robert C. Maier writes: “When Simon & Schuster announced in June that it was extending to the entire US a pilot project originally started with the New York City Public Libraries, it became the last of the Big Five publishers to license its ebooks for loan by libraries. But there is a catch. This is the requirement that libraries licensing S&S titles also offer them for sale to borrowers through a prominently displayed Buy It Now button. For many public libraries, this requirement puts the long-held belief that all services should be free to the end user without commercial inducements at odds with another long-held principle—that readers should have access to all published material in the format of their choice.”...

AL: E-Content, Nov. 5

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing