American Library Association • February 24, 2015

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Writing app reviews

Nicole Hennig

Nicole Hennig writes: “Often when you are deciding whether to purchase an app, you’ll see a number of reviews for it in the app store. Have you noticed how uninformed many of these reviews are? Anyone who has purchased an app can contribute reviews. I encourage librarians to review apps—both in the app stores and in your own sources of professional reading, such as journals and blogs. The quality of many existing reviews is low. Librarians with knowledge of the capabilities of mobile devices are in a good position to evaluate apps for their communities and write well-informed reviews.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Hwa-Wei Lee receives the Melvil Dewey Medal

Hwa-Wei Lee

Hwa-Wei Lee, former chief of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, has been awarded the 2015 Melvil Dewey Medal. This annual award, presented by ALA and sponsored by OCLC, recognizes “creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.” Lee was cited for playing a vital role in creating the Chinese American Librarians Association and helping to train a new generation of library leaders from Asia by establishing the exemplary International Librarians Internship and Visiting Scholars Program....

Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 20

A first look inside Boston’s renovated Copley Square library

Renovated children's room, Boston Public Library

Greg Cook writes: “The first thing you notice about the renovation of the second floor of the Johnson Building at the Boston Public Library’s central Copley Square facility—which officially opened with a ribbon-cutting starring Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on February 21—is the color. The renewed second floor—the first phase of an ongoing renovation—radiates warm reds, purples, greens. It arrives as a surprise and a wonder. The redesign by the Boston architectural firm William Rawn Associates offers a new children’s library, teen room, adult nonfiction shelves, and lots of cozy places to sit.”...

WBUR-FM: The ARTery, Feb. 21
Recorded Books

It’s Fair Use Week

Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845), creator of fair use

This week is Fair Use Week 2015—a community celebration of fair use coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries. It celebrates the important role fair use plays in achieving the constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The flexible nature of the fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes. Similarly, in Canada, “fair dealing” is a critical right of the user intended to facilitate balance in copyright law and accommodate freedom of expression....

Association of Research Libraries
YALSA Teen Tech Week

Poverty, libraries, and jobs

Rocky J. Adkins Public Library logo, Sandy Hook, Kentucky

Jason Griffey writes: “A bit earlier today I saw a handful of librarians on Twitter posting a link to a library director’s job with what appeared to be an appalling salary of $7.25 an hour. I clicked through when I saw the salary, curious what sort of place thought they could get someone for that price, and where you could possibly live on that salary. The answer? In Elliott County, Kentucky, just down the road from where I grew up. There is very little likelihood that anyone posting about this on Twitter has ever seen poverty of the sort that they have in Elliott County. It is the 49th poorest county by median household income in the entire United States of America. If there is anywhere in this country where kids need a library to help them dream, this is that place.”...

Pattern Recognition, Feb. 23
ALA Annual Conference

Digital natives prefer reading in print

Although American University student Cooper Nordquist, 21, uses his laptop most of the day, he still likes to read from the printed word for enjoyment. Despite the fact that most college students do a majority of their socializing and school work electronically, many still like to read from actual hard copy printed books. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

Michael S. Rosenwald writes: “Frank Schembari loves books—printed books. He loves how they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place. Schembari is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar irony of the Internet Age: Digital natives prefer reading in print. Textbook makers, bookstore owners, and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally.”...

Washington Post, Feb. 22

Delay in new Kindle-format ebooks

Kindle and books

Michael Kozlowski writes: “Libraries all over the US have expressed concern that the vast majority of new ebook titles from OverDrive are not available in the Kindle format. The few books that have been made available are from small presses and not major publishers. Is this something to be worried about? When libraries desire to make purchases for their branch, their first stop is the Overdrive Marketplace. Out of the hundreds of new titles that have come out in 2015, only 51 of them are in the Kindle format, and they are all from indie authors or small presses. It looks like this is a big delay with¬†everything else.”...

Good E-Reader, Feb. 23

Collecting DC Comics: The new 52

Cover of Secret Origins, volume 1

Kylie Peters writes: “DC comics are popular, but looking at library collections one might think otherwise. Many public libraries’ DC titles are old, obscure, or nonsequential, if they collect many of them at all. And since DC made up about a third of comic sales in 2014 by some industry statistics, this is a big problem. It means we aren’t offering our patrons materials they want. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the titles currently being released by DC Comics, with the goal of giving you the information you need to find the right comics for your community.”...

CCGC in Libraries, Feb. 20; Diamond Comic Distributors

8 canines in YA literature

Cover of Laika, by Nick Abadzis

Anna Dalin writes: “This month, I’d like to honor our canine friends who devote themselves to us so unconditionally. Here are several YA novels (and one adult novel well-suited to teens), some in print and some in graphic format, in which canines play a large part. They may be the main character’s best friend or archenemy, or even the story’s protagonist. I have taken the liberty of including a few books with wolves. I hope you will agree that the probable common ancestry of wolves and dogs—and also just the fact that these wolf novels are pretty great—justifies the inclusion of these works.”...

YALSA The Hub, Feb. 23

Cool stuff librarians do: War Ink

Veteran Heather Hayes on War Ink

Alison Peters writes: “So you’re a librarian. You went to school for it. It’s your Dream Job. Libraries serve the community. People in the community have needs. So what do you do? You give them War Ink. Chris Brown is senior community library manager at the Contra Costa (Calif.) Public Library. Debuting on Veteran’s Day 2014, War Ink is Brown’s love letter to the community, a virtual story, a picture book with grown-up themes. It’s an online art exhibit that tells the shared story of a specific part of the community, war veterans, through their tattoos. It is beautiful, and emotional, and a complete labor of love.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 24

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