American Library Association • January 27, 2015

For more ALA and library news on a daily basis, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Selecting the (mock) Newbery and Caldecott winners

Mock Newbery Award Book Club meeting, Derby Academy

Greg Landgraf writes: “‘Read a book, yo!’ That’s the unofficial motto of a group of students at Derby Academy in Hingham, Massachusetts. They took it from N. D. Wilson’s Boys of Blur, a book many of them were introduced to as part of their school library’s mock Newbery Medal election program this year. Like many others, Derby Librarian Barbara Zinkovich has found mock elections for the Newbery—or other Youth Media Awards (YMA)—to be a valuable tool for engaging both enthusiastic and reluctant readers.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 27

ALA seeks feedback on draft national policy agenda

A National Public Policy Agenda for Libraries

Libraries are in a revolution fueled by advances in technology, and thus the roles, capabilities, and expectations of libraries are changing rapidly. National public policy for libraries must reflect these changes. In January the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy released a discussion draft policy agenda (PDF file) that articulates three broad themes to organize the national public policy goals of the US library community: services, people, and institutional issues. Feedback should be sent by February 27....

Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 26

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books logo

Announcing a new online book club

Recorded Books is pleased to announce the launch of an online book club celebrating classic literature.

Free to both libraries and their patrons, the Literary Classics Online Book Club hosts online discussions of classic works via Facebook, Twitter, and the club’s blog. While books are selected from the Classics Collection on OneClickDigital (featuring free ebook and e-audio titles with unlimited simultaneous access), library patrons are also able to access the title in any format from any other source.

January’s discussions have already begun with the club’s first selection, Hamlet.

Two University of Oregon archivists suspended

William T. Harbaugh

University of Oregon officials warned a professor holding 22,000 pages of records that further disclosure of their contents would violate his responsibility as a faculty member. Late in 2014 Economics Professor William T. Harbaugh (right) requested and received the electronic documents, consisting of the digital records of four previous presidents, from the university’s library archives. The administration has placed two archivists—James Fox, director of special collections and university archives, and Kira Homo, electronic records archivist—on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The controversy pits privacy rights and the alleged confidentiality of records against academic freedom and the public’s right to know....

Portland Oregonian, Jan. 26; Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 27

IMLS 2012 Public Libraries Survey Report

Cover of Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2012

In 2012, Americans made 1.5 billion trips to public libraries in the United States—the equivalent of more than 4.1 million visits each day, according to new research by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The research indicates there is still a high demand for the resources and services of the nation’s approximately 9,000 public libraries. IMLS released the report, Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2012, an analysis of the most comprehensive annual data collection of US public library statistics, on January 26....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 26

Drinking coffee to support local libraries

Chris Arnone holds a bag of Library Lovers blend

Chris Arnone writes: “Coffee and books go together like peanut butter and jelly, but in Kansas City, drinking a great cup of joe can also help support local libraries. Head over to The Roasterie website, and you’ll find they sell two different Cause Blends to support two of the major libraries on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area: Library Lovers’ blend for the Mid-Continent Public Library and Library blend for Kansas City Public Library. Buying bags of these beneficent beans sends 10% of the proceeds to these amazing libraries.”...

Book Riot, Jan. 21

3D printing programs for kids

Krishna Grady and Amy Laughlin craft dinosaur necklaces from a 3D printer

Claire Moore writes: “Public libraries are in a unique position when it comes to educating kids and families and preparing them for technological changes. The ALA recently published a paper (PDF file) that tackles 3D printing technology, public policy, and the role of libraries in this conversation. When we received our 3D printer a little over a year ago, most of the children’s staff had no idea what to make of it. Then one brave children’s staffer took the lead and spent time tinkering with the printer and has been a real 3D guru to the rest of the department.”...

ALSC Blog, Jan. 26

10 things a children’s librarian needs to know

Kids reading

Gretchen Kaser writes: “Services to children and teens are the cornerstone of any modern public library. A strong youth services program can get new patrons in the door by promoting literacy education and providing children with a place to go after school. That said, there are many things a youth services librarian needs to know in order to be successful and provide the best possible service to young patrons.”...

Public Libraries Online, Jan. 26
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Library Simplified: Reaching the three-click goal

Library Simplified

Robert C. Maier writes: “What if our patrons could get to the ebooks of their choice in just three clicks? Click once to discover, click twice to download, and the third click to read. Does this sound like science fiction? Well, we may know soon. The New York Public Library is leading a project called Library Simplified to reach that three-click goal. NYPL and 10 partner libraries are hard at work to streamline the patron experience of getting to ebook content. At the top of the list of challenges our users face in accessing ebooks is the series of contortions they need to execute in order to set up their ereader devices for library borrowing.”...

AL: E-Content, Jan. 26

50 essential literary biographies

Cover of How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell

Jonathon Sturgeon writes: “Literary biography is a hugely significant, if often overlooked, enterprise. Today, much of what we know about the authors we admire is filtered through an ocean of online mini-biographies, nearly all of which are copies of copies. The original source of an enormous amount of this information is the literary biography, and in the case of most authors, there are precious few examples of such books. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 50 essential literary biographies. I tried to strike a balance between quality books and the biographies that are the most enjoyable to read.”...

Flavorwire, Jan. 23

Medieval speech bubbles

British Library, Stowe MS 49, fol. 122r (c. 1300)

Erik Kwakkel writes: “I often see parallels between medieval and modern technology and media. As odd as this may sound, as a medieval book historian I see such parallels with modern concepts all the time: All you need is a pair of eyes and a little imagination. A few days ago, however, I encountered a parallel I had never seen before: a drawing with the appearance of a page from a modern comic book. The drawing from circa 1300 shows a group of people walking, some of them with a walking stick in their hands. You can almost hear the sing-songs in the background. As it turns out, this merry scene bears more than one parallel to a modern comic book story.”...

medievalbooks, Jan. 23

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing