American Library Association • April 28, 2015
ALA Annual conference

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Baltimore libraries stay open during emergency

Enoch Pratt Free Library CEO Carla Hayden (ALA President in 2003–2004) welcomes patrons on the morning of April 28 by placing a “Come in! We’re open” sign on the door of the Pennsylvania Avenue branch as a state of emergency continued following a day and night of turmoil in Baltimore

With a state of emergency declared and schools closed across Baltimore on April 28, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has chosen to stay open, providing a hub of comfort and community to all city neighborhoods, including the ones most affected by the mayhem. The library’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch is right at ground zero for the worst of the devastation, across the street from the widely televised burning of a CVS Pharmacy. Director of Communications Roswell Encina said he hoped that today would mark a turnaround for Baltimore, with the focus turning to healing the community....

MTV News, Apr. 28

ALA to testify on library funding

ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff

Emily Sheketoff (right), executive director of the ALA Washington Office, will advocate for federal library funding at an appropriations hearing before the US House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, April 29, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building....

ALA Office of Government Relations, Apr. 27
Recorded Books

Re:Create launched to promote balanced copyright

Re:Create logo

Ten organizations joined together April 27 to launch Re:Create, a new coalition dedicated to promoting balanced copyright laws in the United States. The coalition, which includes ALA and the Association of Research Libraries, will work to ensure that copyright laws are clear, simple, and transparent, while also fostering innovation, creativity, education, and economic growth....

Re:Create, Apr. 27; District Dispatch, Apr. 28

Theft of materials from NYPL probed

Benjamin Franklin workbook

A federal grand jury in Manhattan is looking into the theft of eight rare books from the New York Public Library, including one written by Benjamin Franklin. The books, seven bibles created between 1672 and 1861 and a pre-1776 workbook that Franklin authored for his printing house, were brought to the Doyle auction house in May 2014. Although some of the books had library call numbers, the seller Margaret Tanchuk said they had been in her family for decades. She offered to sell them back to the library for a sizable sum. “This material was evidently stolen from the library, and now someone is trying to profit from it,” said NYPL spokesman Ken Weine....

New York Daily News, Apr. 25

Sexuality exhibit sparks controversy in Charlottesville

NOW exhibit at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

A display at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia, has sparked some controversy. A few parents are upset about the mature, sexual content it contains and they took their concerns to the library board on April 27. The Charlottesville National Organization of Women exhibit at the central library includes books on sex education, abortion rights buttons, condoms, and other forms of birth control....

WVIR-TV, Charlottesville, Virginia, Apr. 27

East Lansing library receives $1.5 million donation

East Lansing (Mich.) Public Library

East Lansing (Mich.) Public Library Director Kristin Shelley announced at a Books, Bites & Bids event on April 10 that an anonymous donor has given $1.5 million to the library for capital improvements. She hopes to raise an additional $1.6 to $2 million in matching community funds by May 2016 in order to renovate the entire building. The plans also include redesigning the floor plan, adding a dynamic children’s area and group area, and expanding the maker studios....

East Lansing (Mich.) Public Library, Apr. 21

Public library portraits of California’s homeless patrons

Edward Rideau reads Statutes and Amendments to the Codes of California at the Sacramento Public Library Central Branch. Photo by Fritz Hoffmann

Fritz Hoffmann writes: “On a recent visit to the Sacramento Public Library, I was surprised by the high number of homeless patrons I saw there. Seeing them in that quiet space, consumed by traditional media, I was struck by the difference between them and most of society with its 24/7 connection to streaming digital media. I began this photo project to take myself out of my own patterns and habits, to change my perspective, to observe, to listen, to understand, and to share this place of quiet.”...

National Geographic: Proof, Apr. 24

Washington study makes the case for school librarians

Lead staff as a proportion of schools with libraries in Washington State

A recent study in the state of Washington showed the wisdom of investing in school librarians. As part of the study, Elizabeth Coker performed a data analysis (PDF file) of a 40-question survey conducted by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction among 1,486 of the 2,428 K–12 schools in the state. The results (PDF file) showed that students attending schools with certified teacher-librarians perform better on standardized tests and are more likely to graduate. The reason is that certified teacher-librarians “are far more likely to be directly involved in teaching curriculum-designed around Common Core standards.”...

I Love Libraries, Apr. 27; Washington Library Media Association, Apr. 15

LC donates books to Alabama high school library

Phil Campbell (Ala.) High School librarian Sissy Moore goes through a box of donated books she just received from the Library of Congress

Long after an EF-5 tornado destroyed Phil Campbell (Ala.) High School on April 27, 2011, school leaders are still trying to recover from the devastation. A new school opened in September 2014 and it’s taking donations from other organizations to fill the library shelves. In late April, librarian Sissy Moore got a special delivery from Washington. Through Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), the high school received dozens of books from the Library of Congress....

WHNT-TV, Huntsville, Ala., Apr. 27

A typical case of repair work

The Poetry of Nature. Left: Cover. Right: Interior illustration

Don Stankavage writes: “Many books within the various general collections of the Smithsonian Libraries arrive at the Book Conservation Lab in need of similar treatment. Recently, a science book titled The Poetry of Nature, selected and illustrated by Harrison Weir and published in 1868, required some attention. As it was in a very typical state of disrepair, it gave us an opportunity to outline a standard treatment process.”...

Smithsonian Libraries Unbound, Mar. 20

Quiet books deserve more love

Cover of Hold Me Closer Necromancer, by Lish McBride

Geri Diorio writes: “When you think about YA fiction, there are some big books: The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Twilight, Fangirl, Grasshopper Jungle. They are great books not in need of any additional promotion. Everyone knows about these titles. But there are other books that are just as good, just as heart-rending, powerful, and emotionally satisfying, but for whatever reason, they did not hit the publicity jackpot. They are what I call quiet books. Here are some quiet books; books that I feel deserve more renown.”...

YALSA The Hub, Apr. 28

Seven library technologies we’d like to see

Real-world touchscreen interface for interactive documents and books

Piotr Kowalczyk writes: “To improve technological literacy in local communities, libraries should be equipped with relevant technologies. Here are seven technologies—some of them in a concept phase—that could be used in libraries in the future. These are real examples and not just general ideas. For example, a digital interface for print books.”...

Ebook Friendly, Apr. 24

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