American Library Association • June 5, 2015

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Obama signs USA Freedom Act

President Obama signs the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015

On June 2, President Barack Obama signed into law the USA Freedom Act, legislation passed by Congress earlier in the day reforming a government surveillance program that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records. After the Senate voted 67–32 to give final congressional approval to the bill, Obama used his Twitter account, @POTUS, to say he was glad it had passed. “I’ll sign it as soon as I get it,” the tweet said....

Reuters, June 2

Making geeks: Teen conventions

Teens at ToshoCon

Nerdtastic conventions like Comic-Con are growing in size and scope around the country. But cost, transportation, and lodging to these giant conventions make it difficult for many potential attendees, particularly youth, to participate. Libraries are increasingly stepping up to host local comics and gaming events that teens can attend....

American Libraries feature

Boston Public Library's missing prints found

Missing prints found at Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library (BPL) announced June 4 that two missing pieces of artwork from the library’s 200,000-item Print Collection have been found. The missing Dürer and Rembrandt prints had been misfiled and were located by Conservation Officer Lauren Shott during an eight-week search of the BPL’s print stacks. “They were found safe and sound, simply misfiled,” Library President Amy E. Ryan said. “BPL is still committed to enhanced security and a full inventory.” Ryan announced her resignation on June 3 amid questions about the library’s security....

Boston Public Library, June 4; Boston Herald, June 3

A lot to feel proud about

Dale Heath (wearing a tie) at the reference desk before her transition

Dale Heath writes: “This Pride Month, I reflect back on my 20 years as a library professional. When I started my first position in 1995, the gender on my driver’s license read ‘male,’ and my appearance was definitely that of an average guy. I even appear on a version of a library card wearing a tie. In late 2006, after many stops and starts, I finally got up the nerve to change my gender to female and began living my life as a woman.”...

AL: On My Mind, June 3

Ben Bradlee archive donated to Harry Ransom Center

Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Howard Simons, and Ben Bradlee in Bradlee's office

The archive of Ben Bradlee (1921–2014), former editor of the Washington Post, has been donated to the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin. The archive contains Bradlee’s professional correspondence with journalists, elected officials, cultural figures, and corporate executives; internal memoranda documenting the workings of the Post; newsroom files and calendars; desk diaries and personal items....

UT News, June 3

Newsmaker: James Patterson

James Patterson

Megan Cottrell writes: “Author James Patterson is primarily known for his lengthy list of bestselling thrillers, but he has recently been making a name for himself as a philanthropist. In March, Patterson announced he would give $1.5 million to school libraries around the nation through small $1,000–$10,000 grants that can be used for any kind of repair or improvement. Patterson talked with American Libraries via phone about his passion for books and the role of school libraries in encouraging a love of reading.”...

American Libraries feature
ALA Annual Conference

Google's Project Tango VR technology

Project Tango

Max Eddy writes: “Google Cardboard may be Google’s official, and most visible, foray into virtual reality, but Project Tango goes even further, and aims to bring computer vision and location tracking to future phones and tablets. At Google I/O 2015, the Project Tango team showed off some of its successes. One alternate reality game had me walking around a room digging for dinosaur bones. Another demo featured Nerf guns with mounted Tango tablets.”...

PC Magazine, June 1, 3

The LC Twitter archive is closed

LC Twitter archive

Scott McLemee writes: “In 2010, this column looked into the scholarly potential of the Twitter archive the Library of Congress had recently acquired. That potential was by no means self-evident. A recent volume called Twitter and Society (Peter Lang, 2014) collects papers on how politics, journalism, the marketplace, and (of course) academe itself have absorbed the impact of this high-volume, low-word-count medium.”...

Inside Higher Ed, June 3; June 30, 2010

Denver Public Library's new onsite social worker

Elissa Hardy, Denver Public Library's community resource specialist

Elissa Hardy wasn’t used to being the only social worker in the room, let alone in a whole organization. But Hardy, the newly appointed community resource specialist at the Denver Public Library (DPL), is already making an impact in a way that’s helping many library patrons and her coworkers. She works in the DPL central branch, an ever-popular hangout spot for many of the city’s homeless people....

Denver Post, June 4

Keeneland Library prepares for the Belmont Stakes

Keeneland Library interior

June 6 marks the 147th Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, but the sport drives the staff year-round at Keeneland Library in Lexington, Kentucky. Director Becky Ryder says Keeneland celebrates the Belmont Stakes with a party open to the public. The library serves Manhattan clam chowder, Italian meatball sub sandwiches, New York cheesecakes, and the signature drink of the Belmont Stakes, the Belmont breeze....

AL: The Scoop, June 5

Political cartoons in the LC collection

Abraham Lincoln cartoon

Sara Duke and Martha Kennedy write: “The Library of Congress’ vast collection of cartoon art chronicles the nation’s political controversies from its founding to the present. Political cartoonists thrive in a climate that allows contention and freedom of expression. The compelling union of image and word that characterizes political cartoons sets them apart from other art forms, endowing them with the potential to inform, provoke, and entertain.”...

Library of Congress Blog, June 2

8 more great websites for kids

Honeybees from BugGuide

ALSC has added eight more sites to Great Websites for Kids, its online resource that features links to high-quality websites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger, organized into diverse subject headings such as animals, art, history, literature, and sciences. One new site is BugGuide, an online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing their observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures....

ALSC, June 4

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