American Library Association • February 10, 2015

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Serving patrons with dementia

Karen Maki, deputy director of Gale Borden Public Library, with a traveler who is participating in the Tales and Travels program

Terra Dankowski writes: “Tracey Degnan arrives 10 minutes early carrying a suitcase filled with large-print books, illustrations, photographs, name tags, fake passports, a big blow-up globe, reading packets, and souvenirs. Sometimes she brings music, miniature flags, dolls, coloring sheets, or scented objects to pass around—whatever it takes for Degnan, life enrichment liaison at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois, to help stimulate her travel companions’ memories and engage their senses as they visit a new, faraway land. Welcome to Tales and Travel, a recreation program designed to encourage participation, conversation, and expression among Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients by simulating the act of traveling.”...

American Libraries feature

Next AL Live: Library Learning Goes Online

AL Live logo

Online learning is changing the way schools work. From elementary to graduate school to continuing education—online tools are creating new horizons in distance learning and supplement in-person learning. The next free episode of American Libraries Live is airing at 2 p.m. Eastern time on February 12 and will cover the topic of Library Learning Goes Online. Our expert panel includes moderator Heather Moorefield-Lang, Forrest C. Foster, Rebecca Miller, Lauren Pressley, and Paul Signorelli....

American Libraries, Feb. 6

Longlist for Andrew Carnegie Medals announced

Andrew Carnegie Medals

Forty-three books comprising the longlist for consideration for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been selected from the most recent Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books List. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be announced in late April, and the two winners will be announced at an event at the ALA 2015 Annual Conference on June 27 in San Francisco. The Andrew Carnegie Medals reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers....

Booklist, Feb. 9
Recorded Books

School cuts decimate Philadelphia school librarians

Spring Garden Public School sign

The children who attend Spring Garden Public School in Philadelphia often come home to no books, let alone e-readers or internet access. Some live in a nearby homeless shelter. So when Laureal Robinson became Spring Garden’s principal five years ago, she had a goal in mind: to reopen the school library with a certified librarian. For five years she planned, using community partnerships to bring in books. In September, she hired a three-day-a-week librarian. Robinson is bucking a trend. In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in city schools. Now there are 11 for 218 schools....

Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 2
YALSA Teen Tech Week

Selection is privilege

Cover of Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Amy Koester writes: “A conversation went on in the Storytime Underground Facebook Group recently. Some folks who added to the thread brought up the perennial gripe that not all the titles winning the Youth Media Awards seem to have much kid appeal; other voices jumped in to clarify that kid appeal is not part of the criteria for any of the major YMAs. Then something ugly and uncomfortable popped up. People started talking about certain books not appealing to kids or their entire communities for one reason: because these certain books have diverse protagonists.” Jessica Olin adds that diversity is just as important for children’s literature and popular reading collections in academic libraries.”...

The Show Me Librarian, Feb. 8; Letters to a Young Librarian, Feb. 10
ALA Annual Conference

How to upload ebooks and docs to your Kindle account

The easy way: Send2Kindle

Nate Hoffelder writes: “For over three years now, Amazon has offered Kindle users free cloud storage for their ebooks. This Kindle Cloud supports many of the same reading features that you get with ebooks bought from Amazon, including highlights, notes, bookmarks, dictionary lookup, and syncing your reading position across all of Amazon’s Kindle apps and e-readers. It’s pretty useful, and here’s how you can set it up. But first: Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?”...

Ink, Bits, & Pixels, Feb. 7
AL Live

10 books with invented English dialects

Cover of Sozaboy, by Ken Saro-Wiwa. Quote: And I was thinking how I was prouding before to go to soza and call myself Sozaboy. But now if anybody say anything about war or even fight, I will just run and run and run and run and run. Believe me yours sincerely.

Sandra Newman writes: “From Shakespeare to Martin Amis, writers have always been inventive with language. But some authors take it a step beyond and throw out the rules of English altogether, crafting a dialect that is only spoken by their characters. Underlying all this is a simple wish to devise one’s own patois, and this is always implicitly driven by aesthetic considerations. You’d think such books would be a specialized taste, but all of the books on this list were commercially successful. They’re described as cult novels not only for their strangeness, but for the cult-like adoration they inspire in many readers.”...

Huffington Post Books, Feb. 9

Creating color-blind–accessible presentations

Colored pencils, 2 views: full color spectrum + limited color spectrum simulating color-blind view

Natalie Houston writes: “There is tremendous variation in how individuals perceive and distinguish colors. These differences can be due to color vision deficiency or color blindness, as well as other medical conditions affecting the eyes or brain. Other factors such as device display settings, corrective lenses, and environmental lighting conditions can also affect the perception of color differences. Many of the default color schemes in Excel and other charting tools used in the social sciences and humanities produce charts that are difficult for those with vision problems to distinguish. Here are some suggestions for creating color-blind–accessible figures.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 9

Project ENABLE: Offering nondiscriminatory access

Project ENABLE logo

Diane Stirling writes: “Public and academic librarians across the US now have a comprehensive, easily accessible, hands-on informational resource to help them increase their competence and confidence to provide services to people with disabilities. Project ENABLE (Expanding Nondiscriminatory Access By Libraries Everywhere) recently launched a website that offers librarians a broad scope of information on many disabilities topics. The site helps librarians learn about assistive technologies, become aware of laws and policies governing disability services in schools and libraries, understand steps they can take to provide high-quality services to people with autism or ADHD, and assess their knowledge of those topics.”...

Syracuse University iSchool News, Feb. 10

15 online resources to upgrade your writing skills

EssayMama's Essay Writing Guide

Sharon Crosby writes: “Improving your writing involves several different skills to be addressed so you can achieve a cohesive structure, while still keeping the content engaging and interesting. Once you achieve good structure, you can focus on developing a comfortable writing style. The following online tools and resources provide handy tips to help you define the style and structure of your writing.”...

QwikLit, Feb. 9

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