American Library Association • April 3, 2015
ALA Annual conference

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April Foolswatch 2015

Sacramento’s Library of Cats

Greg Landgraf writes: “Libraries are regular participants in the annual April Fool’s Day ritual of mirth and frivolity. Here are some of our favorite bibliobuffooneries from this year. Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library announced that its Library of Things had evolved into a new Library of Cats, with apparently a lengthy borrowing period: ‘Patrons can now borrow a kitten and return a cat.’”...

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 3

Next AL Live: The present and future of ebooks

3M AL Live

Join American Libraries for a new episode of American Libraries Live—a one-hour discussion on “The Present and Future of Ebooks,” which airs live at 2 p.m. Eastern on April 9. This free, streaming video broadcast can be viewed from your home, library, or on the go. This episode of AL Live is sponsored by 3M....

American Libraries, Mar. 26
Recorded Books

Indiana, Arkansas modify “religious freedom” laws

Indiana residents protest the religious freedom statute

Following a week of demonstrations, negotiations, and national media attention, both Indiana and Arkansas on April 2 modified their recently passed “religious freedom” statutes in an attempt to add antidiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. However, legal experts say the changes to Indiana’s law “would only prevent Christian bakers, florists, and other similar businesses from denying services to same-sex couples who are seeking to get married in 11 Indiana communities where such protections already exist” as local ordinances—such as Indianapolis and Bloomington. The revised Arkansas law now mirrors the language of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Clinton in 1993, though some gay activists say that the law would still provide aid and encouragement to those who discriminate....

Indianapolis Star, Apr. 3; Little Rock Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Apr. 3

Support school librarians during School Library Month

April is School Library Month

Wendy Stephens writes: “April is School Library Month. Here are some easy strategies for public librarians seeking to build productive partnerships with their school colleagues. Most importantly, get in touch with your local school librarians. Sometimes this can be the most difficult aspect of cross-agency collaboration. I’ve noticed that, especially with regard to youth services librarians in larger, more bureaucratic public library systems, outreach specialists may try to follow a chain of command, asking for the building principal or even the superintendent for access to the school librarians.”...

YALSAblog, Apr. 1

Five resources to help students understand poetry

National Poetry Month on Boomwriter

Richard Byrne writes: “April is National Poetry Month in the US. Writing and or understanding poetry can be a challenge for those of who don’t consider ourselves the creative writing type. Surely we have students who feel that way too. Here are five resources that can help us understand and create poetry.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 2

Serving library patrons on the Autism Spectrum

April is National Autism Awareness Month

Renee Grassi writes: “April is National Autism Awareness Month. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 68 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder nationwide. This dramatic increase is affecting how libraries provide appropriate programs and services. The state of Illinois has kickstarted the conversation with Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum.”...

ALSC Blog, Apr. 2; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Illinois State Library

Architects’ plans for new MLK Library in Washington

In this new rendering, you can see the public utilizing 3D printers in the proposed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library makerspace

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., is a national landmark that has been neglected for far too long. DCPL is moving forward with preliminary designs that give an in-depth look at what the library may look like after its $208 million renovation. Architecture team Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo have released some of their design plans....

Curbed DC, Apr. 1

Library of Congress gets poor marks on IT

LC computer kiosks

The Library of Congress has not aligned its strategic plan for information technology with its overall strategic plan, leaving the agency “without a clear direction for its use of IT,” according to a March Government Accountability Office report (PDF file). The world’s largest library is “not effectively managing” its $119 million in IT investments for fiscal year 2014, and is struggling in key areas such as privacy controls, the report found....

FCW, Mar. 31

New Drexel vending machine dispenses iPads

Checking out an iPad at a Drexel University kiosk

After successfully introducing a vending machine in 2013 that dispensed MacBooks for 24-hour student use, Drexel University, in collaboration with the Free Library of Philadelphia, is introducing an iPad vending machine. Located in the University’s Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, the kiosk will make a dozen iPads available to Free Library cardholders and Drexel students....

Drexel News Blog, Apr. 2; Jan. 4, 2013

Hackerspace project: Build a PirateBox or a LibraryBox


Alexander Byrne writes: “Not everything needs to be on the internet. Sometimes what you want is just a place to store your files that doesn’t require you to go back and forth between computers, transferring files by flash drive. You might be able to achieve this with either the PirateBox or the LibraryBox, both of which take an inexpensive router, a USB flash drive, and a little know-how on the use of a Secure SHell (SSH) session. But once set up, it will provide you with a wireless network to connect to, apart from the internet, where files can be downloaded from the Box to a computer (LibraryBox or PirateBox) or uploaded from a computer to the Box (PirateBox only).”...

CCGC in Libraries, Apr. 3

Every hero has a story at the Omaha Public Library

Screenshot from Every Hero Has a Story video

This stop-motion animated library book-drop rescue video (4:23) features Pete the Cat, Batman, Minions, Harry Potter, and other familiar characters. It was created by Librarian Karen Pietsch to promote Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library’s Summer Reading Program....

YouTube, Mar. 24

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