American Library Association • January 16, 2015

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President’s Message: Everyone’s work

ALA President Courtney Young

ALA President Courtney Young writes: “Diversity, one focus of my campaign for ALA president, is a programmatic priority of ALA. It includes not only fostering the diversity of the profession but also working to ensure that we are serving all segments of our populations. I believe diversity is an essential value for everyone working in a library or pursuing a degree in library and information science or a related field. Libraries that have the most significant impact on their communities understand and embrace the importance of diversity. They showcase their librarians, staff, and volunteers as members of a vibrant community and their library as a place where difference is welcome.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970–2014, 5th ed.

On Monday, January 19, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That day, our nation reflects on his life and legacy. Dr. King’s life and work will also be commemorated two weeks later during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, when we honor books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens during the Youth Media Awards ceremony on February 2. Sponsored by the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African-American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African-American culture and universal human values. Academic, activist, and author Cornel West will keynote the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on February 2....

I Love Libraries, Jan. 15

New E-rate implementation begins

Screenshot from OITP/PLA E-rate presentation

Marijke Visser writes: “I doubt the Federal Communications Commission timed its second E-rate Modernization Order to correspond with the holiday season, but the timing has provided a variety of opportunities for analogies for those of us writing about the program. So while we at the ALA Washington Office are transitioning from 2014 to 2015, we are getting to work on our E-rate resolution for 2015 and transitioning from pre-order advocacy to post-order implementation. Our first order of business is getting the word out to libraries about the changes and opportunities these changes provide libraries.”...

District Dispatch, Jan. 14

Montgomery County loans out Little Free Libraries

Melissa Baker, Marketing and Program Coordinator for the Montgomery County (Tex.) Memorial Library System, loads up the new Little Free Library at the Central Library in Conroe. Photo by Jerry Baker

The Montgomery County (Tex.) Library System soon will add a new offering to its usual items for check-out. Selected county residents will be able to take a “Little Free Library” out on loan and set it up in their neighborhoods or in front of a business.The final product resembles a large birdhouse with glass windows that allows a passerby to read the book titles. The Library Friends of Conroe sponsored the project and have agreed to help Library Marketing and Program Coordinator Melissa Baker (above) fill the mini-building with its first selection of titles....

Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, Jan. 13

10 portable keyboards

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

Nathan Eddy writes: “As mobile devices get slimmer and lighter, the makers of portable, Bluetooth-enabled keyboards have responded in kind, producing ultraslim, yet durable, devices that boast excellent battery life and feature smart on/off technology to help users keep recharging to a minimum. Whether you’re an Android tablet user or tied to your iPhone 6, most of these keyboards are compatible with a wide range of mobile devices, and some are even capable of switching between multiple operating systems with the flick of a dial. While some of the more sophisticated keyboards out there can put a decent dent in your tech budget, many perfectly acceptable models can be found for under $30.”...

eWeek, Jan. 14
Second City contest

OverDrive: Children’s ebook sales rose in 2014

Here Comes Destructosaurus! by Aaron Reynolds and Jeremy Tankard, was one of the top-selling narrated ebooks

Library spending on children’s, juvenile, and young adult ebooks in 2014 grew by 48% over 2013. Helping drive this dramatic growth was OverDrive’s 2014 launch of narrated ebooks and highly illustrated bestselling children’s titles using open industry standard EPUB3 and OverDrive Read. Narrated ebooks, with audio synced to text, include titles from such actors and authors as John Lithgow, Randy Travis, and Ray Charles. Several narrated titles incorporate a full soundtrack and sound effects....

OverDrive Blogs, Jan. 13
Recorded Books

10 must-read academic books of 2015

Cover of The Emotional Politics of Racism, by Paula Ioanide

Jonathon Sturgeon writes: “As readers, we too often take for granted that the best books of the year are released by the Big Five publishers. But the truth is that great works of academic writing many times outlast non-academic works when it comes to shaping a given conversation. With this in mind, here are 10 must-read academic books slated for 2015, on themes ranging from Islam and liberalism to veterans’ and migrants’ rights.”...

Flavorwire, Jan. 12

Orwellian America: DCPL holds events on privacy

The programming features a reading from George Orwell’s 1984

In late January, the District of Columbia Public Library will teach residents how to use the internet anonymization tool Tor as part of a 10-day series designed to shed light on government surveillance, transparency, and personal privacy. A series called “Orwellian America,” held by a publicly funded entity mere minutes from a Congress and administration that allowed the NSA’s surveillance programs to spin wildly out of control, certainly seems subversive. But the library says it wasn’t really intended that way....

Motherboard, Jan. 14; District of Columbia Public Library
ALA Midwinter Meeting

MOOCs for librarians

Companies sponsoring MOOCs

Bryan Brown writes: “If you are a current or recent graduate student or work in higher ed, you have heard of the disruptive tech du jour, Massive Open Online Courses. While MOOCs are in their infancy, they are being scrutinized pretty heavily because of their potential to drink academia’s milkshake. While the course structure of a MOOC and a university course are fairly similar (a domain expert organizes a field and puts together a linear curriculum of lectures, readings, and quizzes), the primary differences lie in the method of interaction and their perception of credibility (though certain platforms are experimenting with offering credentials, they don’t carry as much weight as a traditional university degree).”...

LITA Blog, Jan. 14

A day in the life of the British Library

Screenshot from British Library video

Living Knowledge is a project that sets out the British Library’s vision for its future development as it looks ahead to 2023, the year of its 50th anniversary as the national library of the United Kingdom. Enjoy its video (2:05) of a day in the life of the British Library. The soundtrack was created by DJ Yoda in a custom-made track sampling the library’s own vast sound collections, performed live from the British Library’s Entrance Hall on November 21, 2014, as part of the BBC 6 Music Celebrates Libraries season. Or watch 10 hypnotic minutes of book requests from the library’s book request system, showing the sheer range and diversity of content that is being used by readers every day....

British Library, Jan. 15; YouTube, Jan. 14, 16

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