American Library Association • August 21, 2015
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Preserving Africa's heritage from Rwanda to Timbuktu

Image of damaged pages from a manuscript in Timbuktu showing the effects of chipping. (Photo: Alexio Motsi and Mary Minicka for the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project.)

During the World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, the IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section held a panel discussion on “Fostering Collaboration to Build and Preserve African Cultural Heritage.” Topics included documenting personal testimonies of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, digitizing newspapers and 19th and 20th century government documents from Liberia and Nigeria, and preserving ancient Islamic manuscripts in Mali....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 21

Libraries in times of crisis

Julia Brungs, IFLA policy and projects officer.

George Eberhart writes: “The IFLA Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression held a panel discussion Tuesday, August 18, at the World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town on ‘The Role of Library and Information Workers in a Time of Crisis.’ Simon Edwards, director of professional services for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK, said the scope of potential crises that librarians face worldwide is vast, ranging from personal crises to community, national, and global crises that threaten the entire species.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 20
Recorded Books

Why 2030 matters: Libraries and South Africa’s future

Alinah Kelo Segobye, former deputy executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa, speaking at IFLA's World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, August 18, 2015.

George Eberhart writes: “The August 18 plenary session at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town featured archaeologist and Africanist Alinah Kelo Segobye, former deputy executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Segobye credited the public library system with ‘providing an escape’ from the traditional chores a girl has to do at home. A teacher had urged her to get a library card and expand her horizons because the ‘high illiteracy rates throughout the continent especially affect the prospects for girls and women.’”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 19

New ALA eCourses for fall

Cover of Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff eCourse.

ALA Publishing has announced several new and updated e-courses for the fall. Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff is a a six-week facilitated eCourse taught by Kathy MacMillan, starting September 14. Metadata and Linked Data—An Introduction is a six-week facilitated eCourse taught by Dr. Oksana L. Zavalina, starting Oct. 5. Engaging Teens with Digital Media: Creating Stories and Games is a four-week facilitated eCourse with Kelly Czarnecki, also starting Oct. 5. Becoming the Copyright Specialist in Your Library is a four-week facilitated eCourse, also starting Oct. 5; Lesley Ellen Harris will serve as the instructor....

ALA Publishing, Aug. 20

Best social media extensions for Chrome

Silver Bird Plus extension for Chrome.

Sandy Stachowiak writes: “Browser extensions for social media come in all shapes and sizes. From notification tools to tiny pop-ups, there is one for every taste. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know which ones work well, work pretty well, or do not work at all until you experiment with them. Each of these social media extensions for Chrome provides a great way for you to keep up with your accounts and best of all, they consistently work well.”...

MakeUseOf, Aug. 20

Rockaway Beach library reopens after Sandy

Sign in the Peninsula Branch of Queens (N.Y.) Library. (Photo: Katie Honan/DNA Info.)

Nearly three years after being destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the Peninsula Branch of Queens (N.Y.) Library in Rockaway Beach reopened on Tuesday, August 18, with a brand new collection, a larger space, and more programs. The one-story building underwent a $3.6 million renovation and now features additional classroom and meeting spaces, a separate space for teens, an enhanced children and family room, and the only surfing and skateboarding collection in the Queens library system....

DNA Info, Aug. 17

50 pounds of books headed to South African preschoolers

(left to right) Sthembile Mkhize (NWPLS), Anele Moko (head librarian, Tswaing Local Municipality), Ian Segone (NWPLS), Desiree Mtshweni (NWPLS), Michael Dowling (director, ALA International Relations Office), Senovia Welman (in Paul’s former hat), Paul Hover (in his new South African hat), Ernest Bampoe (treasurer, LIASA North West Branch), Joanne Arendse (Cape Peninsula University of Technology and visiting librarian, Virginia Tech).

George Eberhart writes: "A suitcase full of 50 pounds of books is on its way to a preschool in the North West Province of South Africa. And it’s all thanks to kids at a daycare center in Virginia, a Virginia Tech academic librarian, a South African academic librarian, a team of public librarians from the North West Provincial Library Services (NWPLS), and a chance hat exchange in Lyon, France, in 2014."...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 19

Classical jokes in classic children's books

Winnie the Pooh

Frances Myatt writes: “Ancient Greece and Rome make awesome settings for children’s books, as anyone will know if they’ve read Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books, The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence, or Rosemary’s Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth. But while these books are very clearly inspired by the classical world, many other children’s books have also been influenced by the legends and language of Greece and Rome, in ways you may not have imagined.”...

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 19

Back-to-school picture books to help kids feel ready

Cover of Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea.

Julia Smith writes: “For the August issue of Booklist, I pulled together a list of (mostly) recent back-to-school picture books in ‘That Back-to-School Feeling,’ but it barely scraped the surface of what’s out there. So, guess what! I’ve got even more for you! Get out your #2 pencils—it’s time to take some notes!”...

Booklist Reader, Aug. 20

Nine books for people who hate reading

Covers of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Blood Child, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

What do you recommend to people who swear they hate reading? Sadie L. Trombetta offers some advice: “I have some news for you: reading is awesome, and you probably don’t dislike it as much as you think. You just haven't found the right book yet.” Her diverse list of nine includes everything from thrillers and a graphic novel to a sci-fi short story collection and even a play....

Bustle, Aug. 14

Yvonne Craig, crime-fighting librarian Batgirl, dies at 78

Yvonne Craig as Batgirl (Photo: Len Trievnor/Getty Images).Yvonne Craig, TV’s original Batgirl, has died at 78. Batgirl was the crime-fighting alter ego of Barbara Gordon, Gotham City’s librarian and daughter of the police chief. Craig also voiced the character of Grandma in “Olivia,” the animated series based on the Caldecott Honor–winning books by Ian Falconer....

NPR, Aug. 19

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