American Library Association • December 4, 2015
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2015 I Love My Librarian Award winners

2015 I Love My Librarian Award winners

Ten librarians were honored with the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award for their exceptional public service to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. The winning librarians were selected from more than 1,300 nominations submitted by library patrons nationwide who use public, school, college, community college, or university libraries. The nominations included stories about how their favorite librarians helped improve the quality of life in their communities....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 3

US House passes ESSA

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi prior to the ESSA vote

On December 2, the US House of Representatives passed S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act. The bill now moves on to the Senate and, if passed and signed into law, will be the first piece of federal legislation in over 50 years to provide school libraries with a dedicated revenue stream to enhance school library services and resources. AASL President Leslie Preddy and ALA President Sari Feldman released a joint statement in response to the vote....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 2; Washington Post, Dec. 2
Recorded Books

Holiday gift guide for librarians and book lovers

Eyeglasses holder

Alison Marcotte writes: “The holidays and winter season are upon us, and while you may be inclined to curl up and read a book, it’s time to seek out unique gifts for family and friends. Whether you’re shopping for your librarian friend, literary relative, or yourself, here are some fun, memorable book-themed gifts that show you care. For example, you could perch your reading glasses on this humorous shisham wood eyeglasses holder.”...

American Libraries feature, Dec. 3

Penguin Random House ebook announcement

ALA leaders gathered in New York to meet with several publishers. Back row, from left: ALA Past President Courtney Young; Erika Linke, DCWG cochair and Associate Dean and Director of Research and Academic Services at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries; DCWG cochair and director of Skokie (Ill.) Public Library Carolyn Anthony; and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. Front row, from left: Julie Todaro, dean of library services at Austin (Tex.) Community College and 2016-2017 ALA President; OITP Director Alan Inouye; ALA President Sari Feldman; and OITP Program Director Carrie Russell

Penguin Random House announced December 3 that it will implement perpetual access for all of its ebook titles and cap prices per title. ALA welcomes improvement in long-term access and pricing, but the new cap of $65 continues a significant premium over consumer ebook and library print titles. The new structure will phase out the Penguin model of one-year lending and reduce the price for some previous Random House titles with a $65 cap on all Penguin Random House e-titles starting January 1....

AL: E-Content, Dec. 3; Publishers Weekly, Dec. 3
Libraries Transform

Digital content in public libraries

Cover of Digital Content in Public Libraries

ALA and the Book Industry Study Group have released the results of their first joint research initiative, Digital Content in Public Libraries: What Do Patrons Think? Library patrons were asked about preferences for print or digital formats, collection assessment, preferred devices, and other issues that affect the use and distribution of published content in public libraries. The study will serve as a tool to furthering the understanding of the ebook marketplace....

ALA Public Awareness Office, Dec. 3

Sharp eye at Boston PL steers missing map home

A portion of Samuel de Champlain's Carte Geographique de la Nouvelle France

A rare map advertised in a New York antiques dealer’s summer catalog was created by explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1612 and provided a description of the New England coast and what would later become Canada. But the map had defects. And it was those flaws—slight tears where it had once been folded and a tiny mark where a hole had been repaired—that caught the attention of the Boston Public Library’s eagle-eyed map curator, Ronald Grim. “I was fairly certain it was ours,” said Grim....

Boston Globe, Dec. 4

Easier to move 300 books than reclassify one LGBT title

Cover of This Book Is Gay

The Wasilla (Alaska) Public Library will move its entire YA nonfiction collection in response to a complaint about one young adult gay-sex-education book. Parent Vanessa Campbell complained about This Book Is Gay in September after her 10-year-old son pulled the sexuality guide for LGBT young people guide off a shelf in the library’s children’s section. Library Director Kathy Martin-Albright decided to move more than 300 titles housed in the library’s downstairs children’s section upstairs to be interfiled with adult nonfiction by December 11....

Anchorage Alaska Dispatch News, Nov. 24, Dec. 1
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Morrissey wins 2015 Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Cover of List of the Lost, by MorrisseyMorrissey, the former frontman for The Smiths, has won the Literary Review’s 23rd annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award for List of the Lost (Penguin). The novel follows four Boston relay runners who are cursed by an old man in the woods. The judges were swayed by an ecstatic scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his plucky girlfriend Eliza. Morrissey won out over finalists George Pelecanos, Joshua Cohen, and Erica Jong....

Literary Review, Dec. 2

Why Hamilton College merged its library and IT departments

Hamilton College's Daniel Burke Library. Photo by Nancy Ford

Carl Straumsheim writes: “Joan Hinde Stewart’s tenure as president of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, may be remembered as the time when the liberal arts college fully committed to a need-blind admissions policy. But in a recent meeting with Inside Higher Ed, Stewart stressed what she considered another of her top accomplishments: merging the library and information technology operations into one department.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4; Mar. 18, 2010

The birth of fashion magazines

Spread in Weldon's Ladies' Journal (April 1895)

Livia Gershon writes: “If you’re an American woman, there’s a good chance your vision of how women should dress, talk, and act owes something to Cosmopolitan or Sassy or some other magazine targeting a female audience. The women’s magazine as we know it—a lavishly illustrated celebration of consumption and beauty aimed at a popular audience—emerged in England in the 1870s. In a 1994 paper for the Journal of Design History, Christopher Breward explains how this new format grew out of shifting views of a woman’s role in society.”...

JSTOR Daily, Dec. 1; Journal of Design History 7, no. 2 (1994): 71–89

Do your students know how to evaluate a website?

Screenshot from Evaluating Sources video

Julie Greller writes: “Most students are really not sure how to tell if a website is trustworthy. In fact, when I teach classes on research, several students mention at the beginning of the lesson that all they need is Google to do their paper. By the end of the lesson they have retracted that statement. How savvy are your students? Here are 16 resources on website evaluation.”...

A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Dec. 4

Amazon Fire’s new Blue Shade feature

Amazon Fire's Blue Shade feature

Sarah Perez writes: “An update rolling out now to owners of Amazon Fire tablets offers a new Blue Shade nighttime reading mode that will allow you to comfortably read while reducing the exposure to the artificial blue light emitted by electronic devices like tablets that has been shown to cause sleep disturbances. The Fire OS 5 update (code-named Bellini) uses specialized filters to limit exposure to blue light, which can prolong the time it takes to fall asleep, delay REM sleep, and reduce levels of alertness the following day.”...

TechCrunch, Dec. 2; Harvard Health Letter, Sept. 2; Washington Post, Sept. 1, 2014

Here be dragons in literature

Cover of The Book of Dragons (1901), by Edith Nesbit

Beth Carswell writes: “While most cultures have their own folkloric version, dragons can be divided into two main categories: East Asian dragons, generally depicted as benevolent, wise, and lucky; and Western or European dragons, more commonly evil, aggressive, and fearsome, much like the serpent of the Old Testament. In science fiction, in fantasy, in children’s books—for all your winged, scaly, fire-breathing needs, enjoy this list of books featuring some of literature’s greatest dragons.”...

AbeBooks, May 1

Open-world games are changing the way we play

Screenshot from Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Jake Muncy writes: “Open worlds are changing how we play video games. I’ve long thought this was a bad thing, but this year I’m beginning to change my mind. Bethesda’s widely hailed Fallout 4 is one of the latest examples of an open-world game, a sprawling epic that can suck you in for hours on end. But it’s an older game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, that’s got me rethinking vast game worlds. After hundreds of hours, The Witcher 3 for me remains an open plain, full of unexplored depths.”...

Wired, Dec. 3

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