American Library Association • June 12, 2015

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

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Wrapping up your first year as a school librarian

Cover of New on the Job: A School Librarian’s Guide to Success

Hilda K. Weisburg and Ruth Toor write: “With the school year drawing to a close, you are probably exhausted and exhilarated. If you had not known it before, being a school librarian is a demanding job. But before you begin assessing your first year, there are still hurdles to overcome. What you will face is more complex than the classroom routine of posting grades, collecting textbooks, and saying good-bye to classes. You must close the library while still meeting the needs of teachers and students.”...

American Libraries feature, June 12

The national digital platform for libraries and museums


Maura Marx and Trevor Owens write: “The national digital platform for libraries and museums has both a broad and a specific meaning. Broadly, it can be conceptualized as a way of thinking about all the digital tools, services, infrastructure, and human effort libraries use to meet the needs of their users across the US. More specifically, it is an area of priority for the Institute of Museum and Library Services grants programs to invest in expanding the digital capability and capacity of libraries across the country.”...

American Libraries feature, June 11

ALA critiques Copyright Office act

Copyright Office logo

In early June, Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) released a discussion draft of new legislation designed to modernize and improve the United States Copyright Office by making it an independent agency. The draft legislation, Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act or CODE Act, is an attempt to balance the concerns of the public, creators, and stakeholders in the copyright community. ALA President Courtney Young released a statement on June 12 critiquing the CODE Act for not addressing significant and longstanding problems....

Towanda (Pa.) Daily Review, June 6; Office for Information Technology Policy, June 12

Net neutrality rules go into effect

Net neutrality sign

A federal appeals court decided on June 11 not to block the government’s new net neutrality rules from going into effect, handing internet providers another defeat in an ongoing legal fight with the FCC. The decision clears the way for the FCC to enforce its ban on the slowing and blocking of web traffic. The rules take effect June 12. You can now file complaints against your internet service provider (or mobile data provider) on the FCC website. The form has been updated to include “Open Internet/Net Neutrality” issues....

Washington Post, June 11; Ars Technica, June 12

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington to retire

James H. Billington. Photo by Carol T. Powers

James H. Billington, a leading Russia scholar in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan nominated him to be the 13th librarian of Congress, announced June 10 that he will retire from the position effective January 1, 2016. The library released a timeline of milestones of Billington’s library career and related background. The move comes after Billington presided over a series of management and technology failures at the library that were documented in more than a dozen reports by government watchdog agencies....

Library of Congress, June 10; New York Times, June 10

White House directive mandates HTTPS encryption

HTTPS encryption

The White House has mandated all federal websites to adopt HTTPS encryption by the end of 2016. On June 8, the Office of Management and Budget issued an order (PDF file) that all publicly accessible federal websites and web services must be provided with encryption to increase the security of browsing and transactions. Also, the Wikimedia Foundation announced June 12 that it is now implementing HTTPS by default across all its sites in order to encrypt its traffic. The decision, it says, will make it harder for governments and other third parties to monitor users’ traffic, and will make it more difficult for ISPs to censor access to specific Wikipedia articles or other information hosted on its network of sites....

ZDNet, June 9; TechCrunch, June 12
ALA Annual Conference

The Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project

The April announcement of the Soon to Be Famous Author Project winner took place at the Illinois Library Association in Chicago. Front, from left: Denise Raleigh, Michael Alan Peck, and Cris Cigler. Back, from left: Donna Fletcher, Julie Stam, Lucy Tarabour, Nikki Zimmermann, and Jennifer Amling

Alison Marcotte writes: “At the ALA 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago, librarians packed into a room for NYU professor David Vinjamuri’s talk about the challenges libraries face during an era of ebooks and branding. What resulted was the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project, a statewide contest to find the best self-published adult novel by an Illinois author. The winner of the second annual contest, announced in April, is Michael Alan Peck for The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman, the first of his contemporary-fantasy trilogy.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 12

St. Helena library director fired; replacement faces jail

Jennifer Baker (left) and Rebekah Barr

St. Helena (Calif.) Library Director Jennifer Baker (left) was fired June 8, effective immediately, as the city considers deep budget cuts to balance its General Fund. City Manager Jennifer Phillips confirmed on June 9 that Rebekah Barr (right) was hired as the part-time manager to oversee the library. However, at roughly the same moment, Barr was in court in Napa, pleading no contest to a felony DUI charge. She faces up to one year in jail and three years of probation. Barr was quickly “released from employment” at St. Helena on June 11....

St. Helena (Calif.) Star, June 9–11

Introducing kids to medieval manuscripts

4-year-olds visit U Penn's manuscript department

Dot Porter writes: “In late May, we hosted a group of 4-year-olds from a local child care center in our Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. The visit went so well, we’ll be hosting another group in July.” Porter lent the teacher Marguerite Makes a Book, a children’s book about a girl who helps her father make an illuminated manuscript in medieval France, to read aloud before the visit. The children got to touch a piece of parchment and a quill....

University of Pennsylvania Manuscripts, June 9; The Thread, June 9

10 of the best podcasts for bibliophiles

Michael Silverblatt's Bookworm

Bryan Clark writes: “Finding a good podcast, no matter the subject, makes me happy. As a proud bibliophile myself, I am thrilled to get the chance to share some of my favorite podcasts about books and literature, as well as some crowdsourced suggestions I wish I had been listening to for years. There is some solid content here, so if you have the time to spare and are always on the lookout for great book recommendations, look no further.”...

MakeUseOf, June 11

World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees

2015 Hall of Fame inductees: Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft

The games in the inaugural class of The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame span multiple decades, countries of origin, and gaming platforms, but all have significantly affected the video game industry, popular culture, and society in general. Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft have been selected from a field of 15 finalists. The Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to recognize individual electronic games of all types that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period....

The Strong, June 4

Here’s what’s different about Windows 10

Windows 10 screen

Chris Hoffman writes: “Unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 actually feels designed for a PC with a keyboard and mouse. Windows 7 users will be much more at home with Windows 10, but there are still some big changes. If you’re a Windows 7 user, you might be surprised to see just how much has changed after you upgrade. Thankfully, there are no weird hot corners to learn.”...

How-To Geek, June 9

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