American Library Association • April 10, 2015
ALA Annual conference

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The American Dream Starts @ your library

American Dream digital supplement

Since 2008, more than 144 US libraries have received funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to build innovative and effective programs for adult English-language learners. The American Dream Starts @ your library digital supplement from American Libraries celebrates success stories that have resulted from these generous grants and have helped libraries expand collections, improve technology, and increase public awareness of programs and resources for new Americans and immigrants....

American Libraries, Apr. 9

Former KU librarian bequeaths $1 million

Alexandra Mason

A distinguished librarian at the University of Kansas from 1957 until she retired in 1999, Alexandra “Sandy” Mason (right) was the first librarian at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. She died in June 2011, leaving a $1.03 million estate gift to KU Endowment from her TIAA-CREF retirement account to benefit the library. Her gift will establish the Ann Hyde Fellowship for Medieval and Early Modern British and European Manuscripts in honor of Mason’s lifetime friend, Ann Hyde....

University of Kansas, Apr. 9
Recorded Books

The evolving role of the college librarian

Weird reference question asked at New York Public Library in 1948: “Can I get a book telling me how to be a mistress of ceremonies at a musical orgy?”

Hammad Rauf Khan writes: “No job is without its perils, and for a college librarian today, one of those just might be having an associate dean overhear you explaining to a student how to create a more accurate BDSM scene for a photo shoot inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey. It was awkward, but part of my job as a librarian is to help patrons research a topic, whatever that topic might be.”...

Washington Post, Apr. 8

Live-action gaming events in academic libraries

Capture the Flag participants at Wake Forest University

Hubert David Womack, Susan Sharpless Smith, and Mary Beth Lock write: “The Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has developed a series of successful live-action gaming events during the last four years. Our events, such as Capture the Flag and Humans v. Zombies, have served as models for other academic libraries’ outreach efforts. While hosting such large events presents challenges, the logistics are manageable and the cost can be minimal.”...

College and Research Libraries News 76, no. 4 (Apr.): 210–214

Free ebook offer from Brian Grazer

Cover of A Curious Mind

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced it would donate a free ebook copy of Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer’s new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (coauthored by journalist Charles Fishman), to school and public libraries for every ebook or hardcover book sold at retail, up to 5,000 copies. The book and the promotion launched April 8, and the promotion will continue through National Library Week (April 12–18)....

AL: E-Content, Apr. 8

Storytelling for teens, kids, adults

Cover of Animal Shenanigans, by Rob Reid

Karen Muller writes: “In December 2014, the New Jersey State Library predicted ‘5 Public Library Marketing Trends to Expect in 2015.’ One is ‘visual storytelling.’ We’ve seen the rise of this in social media and online news. Do we even read a story now if there is no accompanying picture? But it is the story that is important. Aesop used fables to teach a particular character trait; similar stories are used today to help children learn how the world works. Here are seven recommended books on storytelling.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.; New Jersey State Library, Dec. 19, 2014

Top 10 historical fiction titles for youth

Cover of The Madman of Piney Woods, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Ilene Cooper writes: “This year’s top 10 historical fiction titles will transport young people from ancient times to 1960s America, with stops in different countries and centuries. All were reviewed in Booklist between April 15, 2014, and April 1, 2015. The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis is set in 1901 Canada, where African-Canadian Benji and Irish-Canadian Red have intriguing encounters with a strange hermit living in the forest.”...

Booklist Online, Apr. 8

Teens, social media, and technology 2015

Boys are more likely to play video games

Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” according to a new study (PDF file) by the Pew Research Center. More than half (56%) of teens (ages 13 to 17) go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often....

Pew Research Center, Apr. 9

Global threats to net neutrality

Internet users in India

The Federal Communications Commission recently adopted strong net neutrality rules that should prevent cable and phone companies from creating fast and slow lanes on the internet. But policymakers in other parts of the world, particularly in Europe and India, are considering very different kinds of rules that could hurt consumers and start-up internet businesses....

New York Times, Apr. 10

Dyslexic fonts on OverDrive

Dyslexic font

In early April, OverDrive released a new version of the OverDrive app that included the option to select a dyslexic font when reading ebooks. Standard typefaces are often difficult for people with dyslexia to read, as the letters are hard to differentiate and words tend to jumble together. Dyslexic fonts provide greater contrast in letters, which solves this problem. To select the dyslexic font, tap the center of your device’s screen when reading a title and choose the font options button. Then simply select which dyslexic font you’d like to use....

OverDrive Blogs, Apr. 7

Talon learns to use the library

Screenshot from Talon Goes to the Library

Eagle mascot Talon learns to use Wake Technical Community College’s Bruce I. Howell Library in Raleigh, North Carolina, in this clever video (1:02) promoting National Library Week, April 12–18. The mascot turns in a Talon-ted performance as he helps students with homework, gets shushed, and checks out a book....

YouTube, Apr. 9

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