American Library Association • November 25, 2014
Recorded Books

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A home to the homeless

Z! Haukeness from the Shine Initiative, a nonprofit based in Madison, Wisconsin, keeps a prominent profile in a glass room in the middle of Madison Public Library, where he and a coworker spend 30 hours a week helping patrons find housing and jobs and apply for food stamps

Ellyn Ruhlmann writes: “Just before 9 a.m. on a Tuesday in Madison, Wisconsin, people line up on the corner outside Madison Public Library, waiting for the doors to open. Some of them have spent the night on nearby street benches or on the pavement near the building. They’re ready for a soft chair and dry air. Jane, who prefers not to give her last name, says she’s classified as chronically homeless. Jane says she didn’t start coming to the library until she became homeless. Now she’s drawn to it for many reasons; it’s one of the few places she can go where it doesn’t matter what she wears or whether she has money.”...

American Libraries feature

The Ferguson library gives a lesson in community

Ferguson Library's quiet oasis sign

Mary Elizabeth Williams writes: “What you need right now, at this particular moment in American history, is a story that doesn’t stoke your feelings of rage, depression, and moral exhaustion. And I am here to give it to you. Thank God for libraries. In the tumultuous aftermath of the November 24 announcement of a grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in August, many public services in the Ferguson, Missouri, area have shut down. But not the Ferguson Municipal Library.”....

Salon, Nov. 25

17 AASL members are Lilead Fellows

The Lilead Project recently announced the participating fellows in its 2015–2016 Lilead Fellows Program. Seventeen members of AASL were included in the list of 25 participants. The program is an advanced and intensive professional development program designed to empower, enable, and equip school district library supervisors to think differently about their library programs and to be effective and inspirational leaders for change in their districts. The 18-month program will focus on developing leadership skills in integrating information literacy instruction, technology use, and advocacy for library programs....

AASL, Nov. 21

Sponsored Content

Seth Cayley

Punch authors revealed for the first time

Seth Cayley, Head of Research Publishing, Cengage Learning EMEA

In 2014 Gale, part of Cengage Learning, published the online Punch Historical Archive, containing every issue of the magazine. Although best known for its superb cartoons, the biting wit of Punch’s articles deserves wider recognition; full-text searching in the archive will allow researchers and students to explore the magazine in new ways.

Gale logoFor much of its life, the magazine’s articles were written anonymously. The mocking figure of “Mr. Punch” was mainly the public identity of the magazine, not its contributors. However, in reality, Punch was put together by a tight brotherhood of writers....

Read more


Mark Twain, LC, and plagiarism accusations

Cover of Mark Twain's America

Daniel Hernandez writes: “An independent scholar, Kevin Mac Donnell, of Mac Donnell Rare Books in Austin, Texas, announced on a Mark Twain web forum in early November that he had uncovered a hefty amount of plagiarism in Mark Twain’s America, an illustrated biography by Harry Katz and the Library of Congress published by Little, Brown. He noted that its chronology of Twain’s life seemed to be lifted without attribution from Mark Twain A to Z, a reference book by R. Kent Rasmussen. More scholars have since joined Mac Donnell on the forum in scrutinizing Mark Twain’s America, and they now say the text includes over 100 factual errors as well.”...

Quartz, Nov. 23
University of Alabama

How college students really do research

Students researching, Falk Library, University of Pittsburgh

Emily Singley writes: “We hear a lot about how college students ‘only search in Google these days’ or ‘never look past the first page of results.’ How true are such commonly held assumptions? Are they supported by recent examinations of student research behaviors? For answers, I looked at seven studies published within the last three years (PDF file). This is what I learned.”...

Usable Libraries, Nov. 22
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Mita Williams at Midwinter

Mita Williams

Some of our oldest public libraries were born out of mechanics institutes, and many of our newest public libraries feature makerspaces. In her ALA Masters Session, “Mechanic Institutes, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces, TechShops, Incubators, Accelerators, and Centers of Social Enterprise: Where Do Libraries Fit In?” at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, Mita Williams (right), founder and board member of Hackforge, will offer a field guide to these new spaces and point out the differences that make a difference. The session will take place on Sunday, February 1....

Conference Services, Nov. 21

First Folio found at Saint-Omer town library

The Saint-Omer First Folio

A Shakespeare First Folio has been discovered in the rare books collection in the library of Saint-Omer, France, where it had lain undiscovered for two centuries. It is only the second known copy in France of a publication that is seen as one of the most valuable books in the English language. Town librarian Rémy Cordonnier said he came across the folio in September when he was selecting books for a forthcoming exhibition on historic links between England and northern France. The work has several pages missing, including the title page, which could account for its remaining unidentified for so long....

The Telegraph (UK), Nov. 25; La Voix du Nord (Lille), Nov. 25

Six iPad apps turn photos and videos into comics

Sketch Cartoon Me app

Here are six apps that students can use to create beautiful cartoons in their multimedia projects or in activities that involve comic strips, digital storytelling, and presentations. All of these apps are easy to use and do not require any advanced technical skills. Some of the things students can do with these apps include: take pictures and turn them into cartoons, capture cartoon videos, draw cartoon sketches, customize and add different effects to pictures, and convert photos into cartoon avatars....

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, Nov. 23

Six best productivity apps of the year

Timeful app

Jill Duffy writes: “As the year is creeping to a close, I’ve been thinking about the apps that have come out this year and made life more organized and productive for individuals. This list covers some of my personal favorites, as well as those that seem to benefit the more disorganized people in my life. For example, Timeful is a free iPhone app that intelligently helps you find time to do the things you want to do, without overriding the things you have to do.”...

PC Magazine, Nov. 24

Scottish Book Trust wants a library card for every child

Scottish Book Trust logo

Every child in Scotland should be automatically enrolled in their local library, according to the director of the Scottish Book Trust, Marc Lambert, who made the call at the start of Book Week Scotland on November 24. He said the move would not only benefit children but would also secure the future of libraries. Hundreds of events are taking place at libraries across Scotland this week as part of the national celebration of reading. Lambert also said that libraries must communicate with their users and potential users better....

BBC News, Nov. 23

How is a library open house like a Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving display

Melanie A. Lyttle and Shawn D. Walsh write: “It’s true: Library open houses and Thanksgiving dinners are more alike than you might believe. We just had a library open house for nearby public library directors and board members. And it sure felt like we were cleaning up and preparing for a major family gathering. It was all friends and colleagues and people we’d known for a while, but just the same, we wanted to make sure our ‘house’ was just perfect. It felt just like buying new furniture to improve the look of your home right before your relatives visit. With Thanksgiving a little way away, we thought the parallels were funny and appropriate.”...

Public Libraries Online, Nov. 24

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