American Library Association • December 11, 2015
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Libraries win as President Obama signs ESSA

Screenshot of President Obama signing the Every Student Succeeds Act, December 10, 2015

On December 10, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the first piece of federal legislation in more than 50 years that uses federal funding for effective school library programs. The Washington Office of the American Library Association issued a statement on District Dispatch. Arnold F. Shober writes that the legislation is also “another step in the federal retreat from the classroom,” granting states and districts the power to measure, identify, and remedy academic inequality....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 10; District Dispatch, Dec. 10; Brookings: Brown Center Chalkboard, Dec. 8

Boston’s best eats: A Midwinter preview

2016 Midwinter Preview

Marie Morris writes: “Eastern Massachusetts enjoys one of the country’s most dynamic dining scenes, encompassing everything from budget-friendly storefronts for students to over-the-top places that put the special in special occasion. These restaurant listings cover a range of cuisines and prices, emphasizing Boston neighborhoods that are convenient to Midwinter and its affiliated hotels.” Find out about the many firsts that ALA will be experiencing in Boston at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, January 8–12....

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.
Recorded Books

Shakespeare’s “infinite book of secrecy”

The Chandos portrait of William Shakespeare (artist and authenticity unconfirmed). Held by the National Portrait Gallery, London

Michael Dudley writes: “On April 25, 1616, in a small town 100 miles northwest of London known as Stratford-upon-Avon, a clerk noted in the town’s burial register the passing and interment of a ‘Will. Shakspere, gent.’ It was not until 1623 that one of the most significant publications of all time, the First Folio, first suggested to the world that the Sweet Swan of Avon was, in fact, the author of the plays. It is, therefore, no mere poetic hyperbole that the upcoming 2016 national tour of the First Folio is called ‘First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare.’”...

American Libraries feature, Dec. 11

ALA and privacy advocates oppose cybersecurity bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan is attempting to reconcile two cybersecurity bills, including the CISA, for passage in Congress. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

ALA has joined with 18 other privacy groups to issue a letter to the White House and Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the final version of a cybersecurity bill they claim will dramatically expand government surveillance while failing to tackle cyberattacks. Republican House speaker Paul Ryan (right) has been leading the charge to push through legislation and reconcile two security bills, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015....

The Guardian (UK), Dec. 9; Fight for the Future, Dec. 9
Libraries Transform

James LaRue to head ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

James LaRue

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom welcomes the appointment of James LaRue (right) as its new director (and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation) effective January 4. LaRue brings a rich and diverse background to this role. He is currently CEO of LaRue and Associates, with an active career in writing, speaking, and consulting. Previously he was director of the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries and library services director at the Greeley (Colo.) Public Library....

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Dec. 9

3D printing in libraries

Cover of Toward a More Printed Union

Libraries are now the leading place where the public accesses 3D printers. Whether it’s to provide opportunities for children to experiment with new technologies or encourage innovation in small business, policymakers should look to include libraries in their programs. Toward A More Printed Union: Library 3D Printing Democratizes Creation, a new report written by Charlie Wapner of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, highlights the 3D printing leadership of libraries....

Office for Information Technology Policy, Dec. 9
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Muppets book will stay in kindergarten curriculum

Cover of For Every Child a Better World

A Muppets book about how children experience poverty around the world is on track to remain in Marshfield, Wisconsin, elementary schools, despite objections from a school board member who has garnered national attention. On December 9, an eight-member panel voted unanimously to recommend that the Marshfield School District continue using the book For Every Child a Better World by Jim Henson in kindergarten social studies curriculum....

Marshfield (Wis.) News-Herald, Dec. 9

Apply for a grant to attend IFLA in Columbus

IFLA 2016 World Library and Information Congress logoTime is running out to apply for a Fellowship Grant to attend the IFLA 2016 World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, August 13–18. The deadline to apply is December 31. The congress venue will be the Greater Columbus Convention Center....

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Columbus Metropolitan Library is transforming itself

Architect's plan for renovated Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library

The Main Library in Columbus, Ohio, is undergoing a stunning transformation, with the restoration of its graceful, historic Carnegie building and renovation of the ugly cube stuck on its back during the last renovation, in 1991. Prepare to be awed when it reopens in June. The new children’s area is as big as a branch library. There will also be a homework-help center, a computer area, a teen area, and a life-skills center where, for instance, adults can get help writing résumés....

Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Dec. 11

New plan for Brooklyn Heights branch

A rendering of the proposed Brooklyn Heights building by Marvel Architects

In a newly-negotiated deal involving the embattled Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, the developer has promised a bigger library than was previously proposed and a new separate branch built on another site. Councilman Stephen Levin announced his support December 10 for the controversial deal after last-minute tense discussions involving elected officials, Brooklyn Public Library leaders, and developer Hudson Companies....

DNAinfo New York, Dec. 10; Stephen Levin tumblr, Dec. 10

Toronto’s Digital Innovation Hubs

Screenshot of Arduino device from Toronto Public Library video

The Toronto Public Library created this video (7:46) to showcase its Digital Innovation Hubs, digital learning workspaces with free access to technology and training at the Toronto Reference Library, Fort York branch, and Scarborough Civic Centre branch. The hubs include 3D design and printing, digital design workstations, tablets, cameras, musical instruments, green screens, robotics, programming, and community events....

Toronto Public Library YouTube, Dec. 9

One-fifth of Americans go online constantly

Three-quarters of Americans go online at least daily

As smartphones and other mobile devices have become more widespread, some 21% of Americans now report that they go online “almost constantly,” according to a Pew Research Center survey. Overall, 73% of Americans go online on a daily basis. Along with the 21% who go online almost constantly, 42% go online several times a day and 10% go online about once a day. Some 13% go online several times a week or less often. And in this survey, 13% of adults say they do not use the internet at all....

Pew Research Center, Dec. 8

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