American Library Association • August 28, 2015
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The restoration efforts of Tulane University

BELFOR employees restore materials from the Tulane University libraries at a facility

Terra Dankowski writes: “Eight feet of water filled the basement of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library—an area larger than a football field—at Tulane University in New Orleans. Across the street from Howard-Tilton, four feet of water filled the basement of Jones Hall. A large collection of government documents, newspapers, microfilms, and special collections was damaged. The music collection was particularly hard hit, with all recordings destroyed. In total, more than 700,000 individual print volumes and recordings, 1.5 million individual pieces of microform, and 700,000 manuscript folders and archival items were submerged.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 27

Follow up with Bayou La Batre

A cargo ship and fishing boats left grounded in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, after Hurricane Katrina came through in 2005. Photo: NOAA

Terra Dankowski writes: “In 2005, Alabama Public Library Service Director Rebecca Mitchell told American Libraries that the most damage to libraries in her state occurred in Mobile County. That’s where Mose Hudson Tapia Public Library in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, was completely destroyed, and materials contaminated by mold could not be salvaged. The city built a new facility—renamed City of Bayou La Batre Public Library—at a new location approximately two miles north in Irvington, that opened in early 2007. ”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 27
Recorded Books

Coming together as one Mississippi

Hancock County (Miss.) Library System's destroyed Pearlington branch after Hurricane Katrina. Photo: Hancock County Library System

Terra Dankowski writes: “Hancock County (Miss.) had already lived through the destruction of Hurricane Camille in 1969. ‘We were measuring everything in terms of Camille,’ says Courtney Thomas, executive director of Hancock County Library System (HCLS). ‘When Katrina came along, we learned that Camille was not the strongest thing that could hit us.’ More than 50 people in Hancock County died as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and Thomas believes that’s because many had stayed in structures that had withstood Camille.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 26

Pineville Elementary rebuilds after Katrina

Pineville Elementary

Terra Dankowski writes: “In 2005, Susan Cassagne, president of Mississippi Library Association and now executive director of Mississippi Library Commission, told American Libraries that Hancock and Harrison counties took the brunt of the storm for Mississippi. In the Harrison County city of Pass Christian, an estimated 90% of homes were damaged or destroyed. Tidal waves surged to 27 feet. We reported on the harrowing story of the 13 police officers who rode out the storm on the roof of the Pass Christian Public Library in 130-mile-per-hour winds. It is no surprise that the school library at Pineville Elementary in Pass Christian was not spared.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 26

Changes at Barnes & Noble may indicate a privilege problem

A Barnes and Noble bookstore is photographed in Orlando, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Nick Norton writes: “On a few recent trips to my local Barnes & Noble, I noticed something odd. The comfy chairs the store used to have were gone. At first I didn’t think much of it—or at least not until I needed a place to sit and read my prospective purchase. When I asked various store associates about the lack of seating, I was met with responses that were surprising, unsettling and worth exploring more closely. The employees—albeit not overtly—said Barnes & Noble chose to get rid of its big, cozy chairs to prevent the homeless from loitering in its stores.”...

USA Today, Aug. 25

Librarians are delivering books by bike to low-income areas

A child with book stands in front of the Bibliobicicleta.

Rebecca Vipond Brink writes: “Low-income neighborhoods aren’t just susceptible to be food deserts—they can also be book deserts. Underfunded and understaffed libraries as well as prohibitive distances to libraries mean that kids who live in poverty don’t always have the access to books that they should. Librarians are a crafty and resourceful lot, though, and they’re looking to improve access to books where it’s needed most.”...

The Frisky, Aug. 26

The world's greatest sports library checks out

Countless detailed subject files, curated over more than 60 years, comprise the meat of the SI library. Photograph: Jeff Pearlman

Jeff Pearlman writes: “Earlier today I spent about four hours researching my latest book project inside the Sports Illustrated library on the 32nd floor of the Time Life Building. It’s a place I consider to be my editorial home....Alas, in a few weeks it will die. The Sports Illustrated offices are moving downtown; a case (I assume) of a changed business and a changed business model. Space will be reduced; offices will be sliced. The library—my library—will vanish. Forever.”...

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 26

The hidden conveyor belt under the Capitol for moving books

Book tunnel conveyor belt under the US Capitol

Elliot Carter writes: “Most people who work in the US Capitol don’t know about the 100-year-old book conveyor tunnel underneath them that used to connect the building to the Library of Congress. It’s long since abandoned, but it’s still down there.”...

Gizmodo, Aug. 26

Podcasts to help build your teen collection

Use podcasts to help with collection building

Anna Dalin writes: “Are you a library staff member responsible for purchasing teen materials for your collection?  If so, I encourage you to include listening to podcasts about teen literature and other teen media as part of your research into what to buy. In addition to tools such as collection analysis, surveys of your teen user population and media reviews, podcasts produced by those who have a passion for teen materials are a truly valuable resource.”...

YALSA: The Hub, Aug. 26

Turning your library into a haunted house

Haunted house props

Christopher Brown writes: “For the last few weeks, the crickets in Philadelphia have begun playing at night. This is the signal for the end of Summer Reading, the time to begin planning back-to-school visits, and the time to start planning a haunted house. Haunted houses can be easily created, relatively inexpensive, and a fantastic draw that remind community members that the library is vibrant and exciting. They can also be nightmares for staff and patrons if they’re not planned and executed properly.”...

ALSC Blog, Aug. 26

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