American Library Association • January 9, 2015

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An interview with Outlander author Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon. Photo: Elenna Loughlin

Diana Gabaldon reads everything—and lots of it. When she started writing her first book, it didn’t even have a genre. More than 20 years and eight books later, the Outlander series is still a cataloging conundrum that fits on a variety of shelves, including sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, military fiction, and fantasy. Last summer, the story also became a hit TV show on Starz and was picked up for a second season. Gabaldon spoke with American Libraries about the importance of research to her writing, the impact of the internet, and the differences between Outlander and Game of Thrones....

American Libraries feature

Libraries and Charlie Hebdo

Crowds in Birmingham, UK, hold a vigil for the Charlie Hebdo victims outside the city's new library

R. David Lankes writes: “This morning in a Tweet I was asked ‘what should public libraries do’ about the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was frankly a humbling and scary question. After all, I am not in Paris, and I cannot claim to know everything that French libraries do now. However, it would be an obvious act of cowardice to simply respond with some high level non-answer like ‘help the communities have a conversation.’ So I ended up with: ‘All libraries should provide a safe place to recover and the tools to turn tragedy into action and understanding.’” ALA President Courtney Young released a statement about the attack and the Association’s professional values, and the French library groups have done the same....

R. David Lankes, Jan. 8; ALA Public Information Office, Jan. 7; Association des Bibliothécaires de France, Jan. 7
Recorded Books

Tucson schools, state, seek agreement on ethnic studies

Diane Douglas and H. T. Sanchez

Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) must change how some of its ethnic studies curriculum is being taught in order to comply with Arizona law, State Schools Superintendent Diane Douglas (left) said January 8. Douglas said she is giving the district until March to make adjustments and wants to correct the “misunderstanding that the Arizona Department of Education is opposed to ethnic studies.” TUSD Superintendent H. T. Sanchez (right) and Douglas met January 7 in Phoenix to discuss the future of the classes; Sanchez said Douglas told him she wants him to expand the program. In 2012, TUSD’s Governing Board voted to shut down the previous Mexican-American studies curriculum in fear of losing 10% of its funding....

Arizona Public Media, Jan. 8

Jason Segel confirmed as Midwinter speaker

Jason Segel

Well-known for his work in television and film, actor, comedian, and screenwriter Jason Segel will appear as Auditorium Speaker 10–11 a.m. on Saturday, January 31, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Segel made his debut as a children’s book author in 2014 with the first installment of his middle-grade trilogy Nightmares! (cowritten by Kirsten Miller), with the second in the series, Nightmares: The Sleepwalker Tonic, due for publication in September 2015. His appearance is sponsored by Random House Children’s Books....

ALA Conference Services, Jan. 6

CES 2015: 3D printers

Lulzbot Mini. Screenshot from video

Jason Griffey writes: “I spent the first day of the exhibit hall opening working to see all the 3D printers that I could, and that turned out to be basically an all-day affair. This year the Consumer Electronics Show isolated all of the 3D printers together at the Sands Convention Center, which turned out to be great. Check the video (4:03) for some visuals and commentary. My number one choice for libraries that are looking at buying a 3D printer is the Lulzbot Mini (above) from Aleph Objects.”...

Pattern Recognition, Jan. 9; YouTube, Jan. 8

Giant, wall-sized, family-friendly tablets

Fuhu Nabi Big Tab tablet

Fuhu has announced new Big Tab options at the Consumer Electronics Show, and they’re so huge, they dwarf the 24-inch model launched in 2014. These latest entries to the Big Tab lineup include 42-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch models, so they’re definitely not something you’d hold in your hand to watch Netflix or check your emails on. These are touchscreen displays with access to Google Play. The 55- and 65-inch ones even have full Ultra HD resolution, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and near field communication. More info here....

Engadget, Jan. 7; USA Today, Jan. 6

Orange County libraries turn to iBeacon

Orange County's iBeacon service

Satta Sarmah writes: “In November, the Orange County (Fla.) Library System implemented BluuBeam, an Orlando-based service that uses iBeacon technology to send location-triggered information to patrons. Visitors who download the app get an alert about library offers and events. So, for example, if you’re searching the third floor stacks for a Julia Child cookbook, you’ll receive a message about the library’s Cuisine Corner program that features cooking demos by local chefs. Assistant Director Debbie Moss said the library wanted an innovative way to inform patrons about services that matched their interests.”...

Fast Company, Jan. 7

21 books that will hit the big screen in 2015

In the Heart of the Sea, book and film

Arielle Calderon writes: “We are looking forward to another year of awesome movie adaptations. Here are 21, in order of release date. For example, In the Heart of the Sea, by Nathaniel Philbrick. What it’s about: This is the true story of the whaleship Essex that was attacked by a sperm whale and left several crew members at sea for more than 90 days, resulting in desperate measures for survival. This was also the story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. It’s a fascinating read and will no doubt be just as intriguing to see on screen. Release date is March 13. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Charlotte Riley.”...

BuzzFeed Books, Jan. 6
ALA Midwinter Meeting

A teenager’s view on social media

Yik Yak: A new contender?

Andrew Watts, 19-year-old student, writes: “I read technology articles quite often and see plenty of authors attempt to dissect or describe the teenage audience, especially with regard to social media. However, I have yet to see a teenager contribute to this discussion. This is where I would like to provide my own humble opinion. I think the best way to approach this is to break it down by social media network and the observations and viewpoints I’ve gathered over the years. To start, Facebook. In short, many have nailed this on the head. It’s dead to us.” Read the new Pew Research social media update 2014 as a comparison....

Backchannel, Jan. 2; Pew Research Internet Project, Jan. 9

45 quick changes that will get your résumé noticed

Résumé editing

There is certainly a time and a place for a résumé overhaul. Taking a couple hours to really clean up your résumé is worth doing before you start a job search, or even just once a year as a tune-up. But sometimes you just have a few minutes, and you want to spend them giving your résumé a quick polishing-up. Choose how much time you have, pick a (mini) project, and get ready for your résumé to be that much more eye-catching....

The Muse, Jan. 6

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