American Library Association • June 19, 2015

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Library community mourns loss of Cynthia Hurd

Cynthia Hurd

In the aftermath of the June 17 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, ALA is saddened to learn that public librarian Cynthia Hurd (right) was among the fatally injured. Hurd’s commitment to librarianship was apparent during her more than three decades with the Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library. ALA President Courtney Young said that ALA would like to express “its deepest condolences to Cynthia’s family, as well as the many families impacted by this very senseless and tragic act of violence.” Hurd’s younger brother, Malcolm Graham, a former North Carolina senator, said his sister was “a mother figure and a confidante.”...

ALA Media Relations, June 18; Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, June 18; Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, June 18

Empowering libraries to innovate

Columbia Missourian, part of the Journalism Digital News Archive project

Larra Clark writes: “In fall 2014, the Knight Foundation asked: ‘How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?’ With nearly $3 million available, the challenge ultimately funded 22 projects—several of which intersect with improving access to digital content and platforms,” including GITenberg and the Journalism Digital News Archive....

American Libraries feature, June 18

Forty years of interns at UNC–Chapel Hill

EPA librarians and interns. Front, from left: Jane Bethel, Jessica Dixon, Lisa Becksford, Anna Loewenthal, Ebony McDonald, library director Susan Forbes. Back, from left: Catherine Field, Aurora Cobb, Jessica Yankowski, Eric Brownell, and Anthony Holderied

Bailey Brewer writes: “Selden Lamoureux was eager to practice librarianship when she began as a master’s student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lucky for her, there was a library—the Environmental Protection Agency Research Triangle Park Library—that would offer Lamoureux an internship with that real-world experience she was craving.”...

American Libraries feature, June 19

ALA supports Digital Learning Equity Act

Sens. Angus King and Shelley Capito

Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.) took an important step toward closing the digital divide among our nation’s K–12 students. ALA President Courtney Young offered a statement in support of the “Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015,” introduced June 18, saying that “Libraries make strong partners and are committed to providing equitable access to digital opportunity.”...

Office for Information Technology Policy, June 18

ALA’s railway odyssey of 1891

Pennsylvania Limited train, circa 1891

Daniel Ransom writes: “In 1891, when San Francisco played host to ALA’s first-ever West Coast conference, the story of the members’ arrival was extraordinary. ALA commissioned a private steam train to transport over half of the conference attendees on a five-week, round-trip, transcontinental train ride. It was an amazing odyssey that would crescendo in a tumultuous scene on the return ride home: an impromptu but official conference session aboard the moving train, with ALA President Samuel Swett Green wielding a Native American warclub in lieu of a gavel.”....

The Pinakes, June 16

Hiring: The first Librarian of Congress for the Internet Age

Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Robinson Meyer writes: “In a month or six, the United States will get its first new Librarian of Congress in nearly three decades. This will be the first time a new Librarian has been appointed since the invention of the web. And the new Librarian could hold a potentially transformative role: This could be the first Librarian, many experts say, to truly embrace the internet as core to the Library’s mission.” Daniel Schuman agrees, saying that “the next librarian must be a capable manager with a vision for the library and a strong orientation towards using and adapting to new technologies.”...

The Atlantic, June 19; The Medium, June 17
Recorded Books

Toronto librarian: High ebook prices unsustainable

Vickery Bowles

Toronto Public Library is crying foul over “unreasonably high” ebook prices that it says limit its titles as demand soars for virtual reading. The organization’s top executive, Vickery Bowles (right), said publishers charge vastly different prices to libraries than average consumers, and the ebooks come with many usage restrictions. She called the prices and conditions “unsustainable,” saying some publishers charge libraries $85 for an ebook, while the average consumer gets the same title for only $15.99. Canadian library organizations have banded together to launch a website, Fair Ebook Prices, that brings public attention to the issue....

Toronto Star, June 18; AL: E-Content, June 18

Student and instructor perceptions of librarians, research

Statistics on library use

Jennifer Albers-Smith writes: “In spring 2015, Cengage Learning issued its Engagement Insights survey to some 3,000 students and 700 professors, gathering feedback on different topics, including how both audiences valued the library and how they often they took advantage of its resources. Overall, the survey revealed that students seem to value the library more than instructors. Statistics from the survey are included on this handy infographic.”...

The Gale Blog, June 16
ALA Annual Conference

Youth Matters: Audiobooks can help offset summer slide infographic on audiobooks and literacy

Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “The transformation of enthusiasm into expertise on the ways that audiobooks cultivate young people’s literacy skills is of keen interest to Sharon Grover. Grover, head of youth services at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin, says audiobooks can help children and teens build and sustain vocabulary. She notes that this is especially important during summer vacation.”...

American Libraries column, June

Let’s hear it for the dads in YA books

Cover of The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson

Sharon Rawlins writes: “I know it’s very common for parents, especially fathers, to be absent or portrayed negatively in YA books. Not every father is Atticus Finch, but there are more dads in teen books that are loving and supportive than you might think. Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I wanted to celebrate some admirable dads found in YA books. For example, Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last is the book I immediately think of when I think of fathers in YA books. It’s not just that it’s about a teen father, but it’s also because it’s written from the father’s point of view instead of the mother’s.”...

YALSA The Hub, June 19

The 10 best scanners of 2015

Kodak i3250 scanner

Tony Hoffman writes: “Finding the right scanner can be a challenge. Most can scan just about anything, but they come in a variety of types and sizes that are fine-tuned for different purposes. At the end of this article we will list some of our favorite scanners, which represent a wide range of scanner types as well as manufacturers. Before you get there, we’ll explore the different kinds of scanners and their features. Here are the key questions to ask to help make sure you pick the right scanner for your needs.”...

PC Magazine, June 16

Found: The greatest pie fight in film history

Screenshot from The Battle of the Century

Steve Zalusky writes: “Comedy and custard have been constant companions since the first pie was tossed in cinema’s toddler years. One of the greatest of these films boasted that it was The Battle of the Century. This 1927 comedy short produced by Hal Roach and starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy helped launch the team to national prominence. The film’s long-missing second reel was revealed at the ‘Mostly Lost’ preservation event, held June 11–13 at LC’s National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia.”...

I Love Libraries, June 18; YouTube, Oct. 7, 2010

Trending on Tumblr: I work at a public library

There's a goat trying to come into the library

Will Haskell writes: “The page I Work at a Public Library is drawing tons of Tumblr users to ogle the often hilarious anecdotes submitted by public librarians. Gina Sheridan created the site in 2008 after she began working as a public librarian in California. Her site was trending on Tumblr earlier in June even though it is seven years old. Take a look through the 54 curated pages of stories and you’ll find everything from photos of ripped library books to some pretty bizarre search requests.”...

Business Insider, June 17

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