American Library Association • January 6, 2015

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Not your garden-variety library

Community garden at the Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library's Fairfield Woods branch

Greg Landgraf writes: “Librarians recognize that the idea of libraries as a place for just books is ludicrous and has been for decades. ‘We go with the ‘great libraries build great communities’ mantra,’ says Nancy Coriaty, deputy town librarian for branch services at Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library. ‘If we see something we think will benefit the community, we go for it.’ It was with that thought in mind that the library created a seed library at its Fairfield Woods branch in 2011. The basic concept of a seed library is fairly simple.”...

American Libraries feature; Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library

Ohio libraries fear more state cuts

Happy Noon Year's Eve 2014 at the Mansfield-Richland County (Ohio) Public Library

Ohio’s libraries have become increasingly reliant on local property taxes, despite successfully preventing a 50% state funding cut six years ago. The Ohio Library Council reported that only 30% of Ohio’s libraries had local tax levies a decade ago, but now 70% have a levy. The increase in levies—at least 311 between 2008 and the November election—began when state funding decreased 18% in 2009. The hit in 2009 was a surprise for a system that had typically received an increase in state funding—or at least no change—for more than two decades, with the exception of 2002, when there was an 8% decrease....

Marion (Ohio) Star, Jan. 3
Recorded Books

Rapid growth in 3D printer use raises public policy issues

3D printer

To ensure people are able to use 3D printers responsibly and effectively, librarians must now work towards developing policies in copyright, trademark, privacy, and product liability. Established, reasonable practices for 3D printing will enable this technology to best serve our communities and inform the laws, regulations, and judicial decisions to come. In a new ALA report (PDF file), author Charlie Wapner encourages libraries, as leaders of the digital learning and 3D printing movement, to take a proactive role in developing institutional policies that address the social, technological, and political complexities that result from 3D printing....

ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 6

ALA Annual Conference registration opens January 12

ALA San Francisco I'm attending badge

Both registration and housing for the 2015 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition will open at noon Central time on Monday, January 12. The conference will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, June 25–30. Be one of the first to sign up to experience keynote speakers, Auditorium Speakers, awards presentations and celebrations, Book Buzz Theatre, the Networking Uncommons, Unconference, Library Camp, and more than 800 exhibiting organizations....

ALA Conference Services

Privacy for digital library patrons

Freedom from surveillance

Peter Brantley writes: “Patron privacy has long been a concern for libraries and library users in the digital age. Recently it has become a red-hot issue, and several articles and essays in the library press in recent weeks have pointed to the importance of safeguarding user privacy in the digital realm. But to cling to an ideal of the public library as an assured safe haven does a disservice both to our users and to our libraries. In today’s digital world, libraries cannot guarantee the absolute privacy of our users. But, more importantly, for our own purposes, we shouldn’t want to.”...

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 2

OverDrive’s 10 most frequently asked questions

Return Title button

Carrie Smith writes: “In 2015, more people will use your OverDrive-powered digital library than ever before. To help you stay on top of growing traffic, we’ve rounded up answers to 10 of our most frequently asked questions. For example, how to return digital titles. Our help article explains how the Return Title button works, how to return titles you’ve downloaded to a computer or device, and some exceptions to the rules.”...

OverDrive Blogs, Jan. 2

CES 2015 unveiled

Screenshot of Jason Griffey at CES 2015, from his video

Jason Griffey writes: “After a full day of travel, I attended the first press event for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, CES Unveiled, on January 4. This is the event where the eager press gets its first shot at video and interviews with the newest and shiniest tech of the year (and some of the silliest). The standout at this particular event seemed to be Belty (I assure you, I am not making this up), an automated smart belt. It was so popular that I couldn’t even get close. Other cool stuff is highlighted in this video (3:39).”...

Pattern Recognition, Jan. 5; CNET News, Jan. 4; YouTube, Jan. 4

Should you buy a 4K computer monitor?

An iMac with a 5K display sells for $2,499

Chris Hoffman writes: “4K computer monitors have been quickly dropping in price, and you can now buy them for less than $500. 4K TVs are getting cheaper, too—but 4K computer monitors have a stronger pitch to make than TVs do right now. As with TVs, a 4K computer monitor has a display resolution of 3840 x 2160. This is about four times as many pixels as a typical 1920 x 1080, or 1080p, display. Your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, or even Chrome OS) can output at higher resolutions than 1080p, with the right graphics card. You could grab a 4K monitor, plug it into your computer, and increase your display resolution to 3840 x 2160. But note that you can’t stream the handful of 4K videos on Netflix or Amazon to your computer—only to certain 4K TVs.”....

How-To Geek, Jan. 6
ALA Midwinter Meeting

10 new games that will be released in 2015

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt: For the first time in the series, players will have an open world to explore—2015’s theme, it appears

Matt Kamen writes: “2015 promises to be huge for games. The new generation consoles are settled in, PC gaming is growing exponentially, and more people than ever are playing. But what exactly will they be playing? One new game will be The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One, PC) scheduled for release May 19. The Witcher series stands distinct from its RPG brethren by virtue of its deliberately difficult combat, necessitating preparation before even basic encounters. Wild Hunt concludes the dark fantasy opus based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, with antihero Geralt of Rivia faced with an invading, spectral evil.”...

The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4

Smithsonian puts 40,000 artworks online for free

Thunder god, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849); Japan, Edo period, 1847; ink and color on paper

T. C. Sottek writes: “The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have an amazing gift for the world in 2015: a newly available collection of 40,000 digitized Asian and American artworks. The Smithsonian says its vast collection has mostly never been seen by the public, and the institution is making the collection available for free public use. The release is part of an extensive effort by the Smithsonian to make its resources available beyond its prominent physical presence on Washington’s National Mall.”...

The Verge, Jan. 3

Five public library marketing trends for 2015

2015 signpost

Tiffany McClary writes: “There is no shortage of predictions about what 2015 holds for marketers. Of course, many of these trends won’t have much of an immediate impact on public libraries (wearable technology, anyone?). But there are a few worth considering. The trend toward providing useful, relevant content that people want to consume will continue. Public library teams can take the information they share in the library—how to research a term paper, search for a job, find investors—and turn it into bite-sized tips for Twitter, blog posts, and ebooks.”...

New Jersey State Library blog, Dec. 19

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