American Library Association • November 21, 2014
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Gunman shoots three at FSU’s Strozier Library

Strozier Library, Florida State University, Tallahassee. Photo by David Heller, Orlando Sentinel

Florida State University students, faculty, and staff are heading back to class November 21 after one of the most horrific days in the university’s history. Police say Myron May, a 31-year-old attorney and FSU graduate, shot two students and one library employee at 12:25 a.m. on November 20 in the lobby entrance of Strozier Library. Up to 500 panic-stricken students were in the library when the chaotic scene unfolded. Two minutes after May began firing, police shot and killed him in the wheelchair ramp of the library’s outside exit. Students recalled the tense moments in the library later that day. One student survived because a bullet lodged in a library book he had just checked out....

Tallahassee Democrat, Nov. 20; Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 20; Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Nov. 20; ABC News, Nov. 20

USA Freedom Act stalls in the Senate

Sen. Patrick Leahy was the lead sponsor of the USA Freedom Act

The Senate failed November 18 to advance legislation on bipartisan surveillance reform, dealing a significant setback to the Obama administration’s plans to end the National Security Agency’s mass collection of Americans’ communications records. Lawmakers fell two votes shy of the 60 needed to proceed to a floor debate on the USA Freedom Act. Although advocates, including ALA, vowed to continue to press for curbs, some officials said privately that the prospects are uncertain as a GOP-controlled Congress takes over in January and as renewed fears of terrorism could begin to shift public attitudes. This analysis, by one of the USA Freedom Act’s principal supporters, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., above), offers background on why reform is needed....

Washington Post, Nov. 18; ALA Office of Government Relations, Nov. 19; Sen. Patrick Leahy

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Simon & Schuster drops “Buy It Now” requirement

Example of a Buy It Now button

Robert C. Maier writes: “Simon & Schuster (S&S) announced November 20 that it will no longer require libraries to display a ‘Buy It Now’ (BIN) button in order to lend its ebooks. Instead, libraries will be able to opt into the BIN program at their option. This change eases tension among S&S, libraries, and ebook vendors, and it opens the door to a full partnership with S&S and greater access for library patrons to the publisher’s ebooks. No other publisher had a BIN requirement. Many libraries found the BIN requirement to be coercive and beyond the bounds of business terms (price, loan limits, and time limits) already instituted by the Big Five.” ALA President Courtney Young welcomed the change....

AL: E-Content, Nov. 20; Simon & Schuster, Nov. 20; ALA Washington Office, Nov. 20
Simmons SLIS

2015 Class of Emerging Leaders announced

2014 Class of Emerging Leaders, Team F

ALA has selected 50 library staffers to participate in its 2015 class of Emerging Leaders. The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. The program kicks off with a day-long session during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Following this session, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months....

Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Nov. 18

Phil Klay wins National Book Award for fiction

Cover of Redeployment

Phil Klay won the National Book Award for fiction on November 19 for his debut short story collection, Redeployment (Penguin), which draws on his experience serving as a Marine in Iraq and captures the terror, boredom, and occasionally the humorous side of war. In an emotional acceptance speech, Klay described returning from the war, being treated as if he were unstable, and being asked by children if he had killed anyone. Some of the stories take place in Anbar Province, while others are set in the US as soldiers struggle to readjust to civilian life.” Ursula K. Le Guin won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; watch her acceptance speech (6:08)....

New York Times, Nov. 19; YouTube, Nov. 20
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Midwinter Scheduler is open

I'm attending Midwinter

Use the online Midwinter Scheduler to plan for your sessions, programs, and other activities. Browse, select, add, update, get recommendations, create your calendar, share (or don’t), make a list of exhibitors, and find the other ways it will help you plan and track your time at 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, January 30–February 3....

Conference Services

50 dark novels for the dark days of winter

Cover of Coin Locker Babies, by Ryu Murakami

Emily Temple writes: “We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. That’s good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, but less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Read some dark books, of course. After all, there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Here are 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to come.”...

Flavorwire, Nov. 20

Time-management tips for book discussion leaders

Cover of The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown. The quirks, talents, and motivations of the three sisters are more fully understood once the reader has some background

Sue Dittmar writes: “Being a discussion leader takes up a big chunk of time, and you have to be willing to sacrifice at least a few hours each week. If the leader isn’t willing to learn more about a book than what’s printed on its pages, a club most likely will not last longer than a few gatherings. This isn’t an easy undertaking. Time management comes into play and, honestly, I often skid into discussion with the ink still wet in my notebook. But I do have a few tricks that have helped me out. These have been revised time and time again.”...

The Booklist Reader, Nov. 20

Detekt tool sniffs out spyware

Detekt logo

Eva Galperin writes: “Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote internet users’ computers. Software like this is designed to evade detection by its victims. That’s why the Electronic Frontier Foundation supports Detekt, a new malware detection tool developed by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri. Detekt is an easy-to-use, open source tool that allows users to check their Windows PCs for signs of infection by surveillance malware that we know is being used by government to spy on activists and journalists.”...

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 20

Scroobius Pip’s poem, “Library”

Screenshot from Scroobius Pip's Library

Scroobius Pip is a spoken word poet and hip hop recording artist from Stanford-le-Hope in the UK. His animated poem “Library” (2:15) was commissioned by Chris Hawkins for BBC 6 Music’s celebration of libraries and performed on his weekly radio show, The Beatdown....

YouTube, Nov. 20; BBC 6 Music

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