American Library Association • January 13, 2015

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Public libraries roll out high school diploma programs

Mario Rideaux, COHS student at Sacramento Public Library, and Volunteer Services Coordinator Cathy Crosthwaite discuss next steps

Kristen Lepore writes: “Angie Velasquez discovered on Facebook that Los Angeles Public Library was offering a new free service in 2014: an online accredited high school diploma. She was working full-time as a general manager at a bakery while taking classes toward her associate’s degree at Los Angeles Harbor College. Her schedule was hectic, but the idea of finally obtaining a high school diploma was enticing. Velasquez, now 27, is one of 48 Los Angeles residents to receive a scholarship to participate in LAPL’s Career Online High School. About six months in, she has completed 75% of the program.”...

American Libraries feature

Submit your project to the 2015 Library Design Showcase

Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons, Salem (Mass.) State University

American Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2015 Library Design Showcase, an annual feature celebrating new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. The showcase will appear in the September/October 2015 issue. We are looking for libraries that are shining examples of innovative architecture and that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. If your library is on the cutting edge, we want our readers to know about it. To be eligible, projects must have been completed between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015. The deadline for submissions (PDF file) is May 31, 2015....

American Libraries, Jan. 13
Recorded Books

MOOC: Library advocacy unshushed

Wendy Newman

ALA has announced a partnership with the Canadian Library Association and the University of Toronto iSchool in offering its popular MOOC (Massively Open Online Course), titled “Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, Evidence, Action” beginning February 1. Wendy Newman (right), senior fellow and lecturer at the Faculty of Information at the iSchool, will lead this six-week adaptation of a popular online elective class on advocacy, offering anyone an opportunity to learn more about advocacy for libraries and strengthening of the communities they serve. Register online....

ALA Office for Library Advocacy, Jan. 13

Meg Cabot added to Gala Author Tea lineup

Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries, right) will join Marisa de los Santos, Steve Berry, Elizabeth Berg, Thomas Perry, and Marja Mills for United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea, sponsored by ReferenceUSA, 2–4 p.m. Central time on February 2 at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. A light offering of tea, finger sandwiches, and a variety of sweet treats will be served. A book signing will follow. United for Libraries will recognize the winners of the 2014 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards during the program....

United for Libraries, Jan. 12

Authors Guild drops HathiTrust case

HathiTrust logo

After suffering two major defeats in its legal battle with the HathiTrust (a consortium of Google’s library scanning partners) the Authors Guild in early January finally did what many expected them to do long ago: They declared victory and ended the litigation. In a stipulation filed with the court January 7, the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust was officially dismissed, by agreement of the parties. In a concession, HathiTrust officials agreed that the organization would, for a five-year period, notify the Authors Guild if it decides to change its practices....

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 8; Authors Guild, Jan. 8
Second City contest

Meet the classroom of the future

A blended learning classroom at David Boody Jr. High School in New York City

William Huntsberry writes: “The classroom of the future probably won’t be led by a robot with arms and legs, but it may be guided by a digital brain. It may look like this: one room, about the size of a basketball court; more than 100 students, all plugged into laptops; and 15 teachers and teaching assistants. This isn’t just the future, it’s the 6th grade math class at David Boody Jr. High School in Brooklyn, near Coney Island. Beneath all the human buzz, something other than humans is running the show: algorithms.”...

National Public Radio: Ed, Jan. 12
E-Image Data

Afterschool Funding available through states

Children reading at the San Jose (Calif.) Public Library

In late December, Congress passed its massive $1.01 trillion CROmnibus bill providing FY2015 funding for much of the federal government. It is safe to say that the appropriations package presents no major new library or educational initiatives. One example of a library program receiving a slight increase is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which received an increase of $2.3 million (0.2% of its budget). As with many federal education programs, funding is awarded directly to state educational agencies that control how the grants are apportioned. Libraries have opportunities to apply for many of these grants....

District Dispatch, Jan. 12

BOOMbox, Skokie Public Library’s STEAM space

Experiential Learning Librarian Amy Holcomb leads a 2D Printing Boot Camp in the BOOMbox

Amy Koester writes: “In November, the newest learning space at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library opened: the BOOMbox. The BOOMbox is a new STEAM space based on the museum concept of rotating displays but, in this case, rotating interactive STEAM learning experiences. Day-to-day management and planning falls to Amy Holcomb (right), experiential learning librarian. She was kind enough to answer some questions about the BOOMbox, the philosophy for the space, and what’s taking place in the BOOMbox for library customers from 3d grade through adults.”...

The Show Me Librarian, Jan. 12
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Competencies for professionals in learning labs and makerspaces

STEM tower demo by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Kyungwon Koh and June Abbas write: “Learning labs and makerspaces in libraries and museums are transformative learning spaces that provide access to a range of media and technologies for community members who might not otherwise be able to afford these technologies or have access to expertise. We conducted a research project to identify the top 10 competencies and skills required for professionals to perform innovative services for learning labs and makerspaces in libraries or museums.”...

An analysis of Time’s 100 best books for young adults

Time’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time

Molly Wetta writes: “Most librarians love a booklist. But when major media outlets cover young adult fiction, the results are sometimes mixed. So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that many young adult librarians viewed Time magazine’s release of its list of 100 Best Young Adult Books. While the list does include many fantastic young adult novels, and many other books that are classics in their own right, it is not without its deficiencies. For your convenience, I’ve made a spreadsheet of all the titles and added the publication date and any ALA awards the title has won.”...

YALSA The Hub, Jan. 13; Time, Jan. 8

The dictionary in the digital age

Merriam-Webster citation files, 2003

Stefan Fatsis writes: “By the high-gloss, high-tech standards of 21st-century corporate life, the headquarters of America’s premier dictionary publisher is an unusual place. Merriam-Webster Inc. is housed in a two-story brick building in Springfield, Massachusetts, that, if not for the bas-relief dictionary and company name above the front door, could pass for an old elementary school. The second floor is home to about 40 definers, etymologists, pronouncers, daters, and typists, plus the most comprehensive extant repository of the history of American English: 16 million 3-by-5-inch slips of paper, known as citations, crammed into alphabetized drawers in rows of chest-high, metal filing cabinets.”....

Slate, Jan. 12

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