American Library Association • February 20, 2015

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FOIA request reveals depth of graphic novel’s ban

Cover of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, Persepolis

Phil Morehart writes: “Documents released under a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shed new light on Chicago Public School’s (CPS) March 2013 decision to remove Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis from its classrooms. The decision to pull the book two years ago prompted criticism and complaints from the media, CPS parents, and the American Library Association, and sparked student protests at Chicago’s Lane Technical College Prep High School. The FOIA documents reveal that the decision came from the highest levels of CPS administration, with directives issued by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, despite statements to the contrary made by CPS at the time.”...

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 18

Discussing The DUFF

Movie poster for The Duff which premieres February 20

When Kody Keplinger’s first book, The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend, was published in 2010, the author was 18 years old. Since then, she has gone on to write three other young adult titles and a middle grade book, The Swift Boys and Me. On February 20, her first book will reach audiences around the country when it premieres as a major motion picture, The DUFF. An avid reader, Keplinger was born with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a disorder that causes legal blindness. Last fall, she wrote about the important role honors like the Schneider Family Book Awards play in ensuring people with disabilities see themselves in the stories they read. Keplinger shared her thoughts with American Libraries on the appeal of YA literature, encouragement for young writers, and her love for librarians....

American Libraries column, Online, Feb. 20

Film programming for public libraries

Cover of Film Programming for Public Libraries, by Kati Irons

Kati Irons writes: “Film programming is a natural fit for libraries. It’s another tool in our arsenal of storytimes, book groups, and lectures to create educational, emotional, and silly programs for every age and interest group. Film programming can seem more complicated than other kinds of programming. How do you choose films to show? What equipment should you use? How do you market your programs? Where do you begin? The most challenging part—but in many ways the most important—is to make sure you are in compliance with the law relating to public screenings of films. It’s vital for a successful film program at your library.”...

American Libraries feature
Recorded Books

ALA joins call for balanced deficit reduction

NDD United logo

Kevin Maher writes: “In 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act negotiated by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) provided partial, temporary relief from sequestration. With the return of full sequestration in 2016, the American Library Association (ALA) is collaborating with NDD United, an alliance of organizations working together to protect nondefense discretionary funding, to renew efforts to bring an end to sequestration. Today, ALA joined NDD United and more than 2,100 organizations from across all sectors of the economy and society to urge Congress and President Obama to work together to end sequestration. The letter (PDF) emphasizes (1) the importance of nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, (2) the harmful effects of budget cuts to date, and (3) the equal importance of both defense and nondefense programs in America’s security at home and abroad, and thus the need for equal sequestration relief.”...

District Dispatch, Feb. 19; NDD United, Feb. 18
YALSA Teen Tech Week

The internet of the things and the currency of privacy

The Internet of Things

Dave Jeffers writes: “If you're like most people, you share a lot of personal information with companies like Google and Facebook for the convenience their free services provide. In turn, these companies sell your tastes and preferences to marketers, probably for less than $2 a pop. You read that right. The Financial Times created an online calculator to estimate how much your data is worth down to the penny. Mine is worth $1.55. Face it: Privacy is a commodity; even a form of currency. And everybody’s info is worth a different dollar figure—to marketers, and to you. As the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates, providing us with more connected gadgets, marketers will get to know you even better. Consider what your watch, your light bulbs, and your refrigerator can add to the conversation.”...

PC World, Feb. 17
ALA Annual Conference

The healing power of libraries

A sign at the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, Missouri, in August 2014, when riots first broke out after the shooting death of Michael Brown. Image from fergusonlibrary via Instagram

Amy Stolls writes: “One of the most heartwarming stories I heard last year in my field involved a small, unobtrusive, understaffed library that emerged out of chaos to take care of its community, and the outpouring of love and support from writers and folks around the country who took the time to notice and help. When schools, shops, and many city services in Ferguson, Missouri, shut down amidst protests following a grand jury’s decision last November not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library stayed open. ‘Wifi, water, rest, knowledge. We are here for you,’ the library tweeted on Thanksgiving. ‘If neighbors have kids, let them know teachers are here today, too.’ And indeed, they came. ‘When the kids needed us, people came from all over, from all sides of the situation, from all races and economic strata,’ said Scott Bonner, the library’s director and its only full-time librarian. Among the library’s offerings were free ‘healing kits’ for kids with books about dealing with traumatic events.”...

The National Endowment for the Arts, Feb. 18

6 hidden features of Windows 10

Windows 10 logo

Tina Sieber writes: “Windows 10 comes with many new features. You already know about the major ones, like virtual desktopsCortana on the desktop, or the new Start Menu. Here are some less obvious ones that impact your Windows 10 experience, and how you can make use of them.” The features include personalizing the lock screen, bypassing the login screen, enabling battery saver, and disabling Bing powered web search....

Make Use Of, Feb. 19

A We Need Diverse Books wish list

Cover of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Kelly Dickinson writes: “As the number of film adaptations set to be released in 2015 illustrates, Hollywood seems firmly committed to turning to the world of young adult fiction for inspiration—and box office success. While this trend is exciting for YA fiction fans, the lack of the diversity present in the stories selected remains disheartening. While planning a recent movie night at my library, I was freshly reminded of this problem and as usual, I took to Twitter to share my frustration.The ensuing discussion was vibrant and, inspired, I polled friends and colleagues to develop a wish list of diverse young adult novels we’d like to see on the silver screen.”...

YALSA The Hub, Feb. 20

On the need to book purge

Some nights when the moon is full, they say you can hear her adding books to her TBR list, created by Mommadanni

Jeanette Solomon writes: “Last year, I made a new year’s resolution to get rid of a bag of stuff every week because my life is full enough without so much clutter around me. I thought it might make me just the tiniest bit happier if I cleared out some clothes I haven’t worn for years, high heels that hurt my feet too much to be worth it anymore, and notebooks upon notebooks full of lecture notes from undergraduate and beyond. It did. Once I tackled those obvious areas, though, I started looking for more things that needed to go. CDs and DVDs went into a yard sale bag. A box of full of congratulatory cards from my high school graduation: recycling. Graduation robes: Goodwill, likely to become future Harry Potter costumes. That left my books. Here’s the thing: my shelves are in my front hall. There are four of them, and all were full-to-overflowing until I decided to start purging and donating them.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 20

How leaders should react when someone disappoints

Businesswoman posing with angry mask

Peter Bregman writes: “‘Why?’ the CEO of the hedge fund yelled at one of his portfolio managers. ‘Why would you increase that investment? What were you thinking?’ The portfolio manager muttered a weak defense which the CEO promptly and easily tore to shreds. When the manager left his office, the CEO turned to me, exasperated. ‘How do you reverse a losing streak?’ he asked. ‘Not like that,’ I said. High performing leaders expect a lot of themselves and the people around them, as they should. But when people fall short of those expectations, the way leaders handle their disappointment can mean the difference between a return to high performance and a downward spiral of failure.”...

Harvard Business Review, Feb. 20

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