American Library Association • June 26, 2015

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ALA applauds Supreme Court marriage equality ruling

Carlos McKnight holds up a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 26, 2015. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in support of marriage equality, a decision that will provide same-sex couples within the library community and throughout the country the legal right to marry without restrictions and with the same legal protections as heterosexual couples. Under the ruling, same-sex partners will have access to all family benefits. ALA President Courtney Young released a statement regarding the historic decision....

ALA Media Relations, June 26; New York Times, June 26

On My Mind: Serving everyone

Ann K. Symons and John “Mack” Freeman

Ann K. Symons and John “Mack” Freeman write: “In most American libraries, services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and questioning teens are woefully inadequate. While the LGBT community has made strides toward marriage equality, visibility, state and local protections, and other civil rights gains, our libraries have lagged behind in providing the services that LGBT people deserve.”...

American Libraries column, June

Nancy Pelosi, Tech Logic honor Enoch Pratt Library

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif., right) and Tech Logic Corporation President Gary Kirk are honoring the Pennsylvania Avenue branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore with Tech Logic’s inaugural People First Award. The award honors the library that put its patrons first during the April rioting in Baltimore. The presentation is taking place June 26 during the Opening General Session of the ALA 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco....

AL: The Scoop, June 26

Charleston renames library after Cynthia Hurd

Cynthia Hurd, one of the nine churchgoers killed last week in the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church, looks over a reproduction of the original of the Charleston Messenger found inside the John L. Dart Library in 2002

Renaming a library in Cynthia Hurd’s honor is a fitting tribute to the woman who loved books and serving her community, her husband said. Charleston County (S.C.) Council voted unanimously on June 25 to change the name of the St. Andrews Regional Library to the Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library. Cynthia Hurd managed the library, one of Charleston County’s busiest branches. She was killed June 17, along with eight others, in the Emanuel AME Church shooting. Charleston College also renamed its Colonial Scholarship as the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Scholarship....

Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, June 25; College of Charleston, June 24

Luis Herrera: Libraries are needed more than ever

Teen volunteers gaze on while Teresa Ono speaks at the opening of The Mix at the San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library Director Luis Herrera writes: “We live in a networked world where communication, technology, and information all are essential to live a productive life. San Francisco has emerged as the epicenter of this global revolution. But San Francisco is also a tale of two cities—one highly literate and educated, the other disconnected from the resources and benefits of technology. This critical divide between the haves and have-nots makes public library systems more relevant than ever.”...

San Francisco Chronicle, June 24

Teens create summer reading videos

A still from Unmask the Story Within You, by Luis Morales and Jamie Larson, winner of the 2015 CSLP Teen Video Challenge

Alison Marcotte writes: “When Arizona high school students Luis Morales and Jamie Larson heard out about the Collaborative Summer Library Program 2015 Teen Video Challenge, they began brainstorming ideas right away. CSLP is a collective effort to bring high-quality summer reading programs to libraries across the US. The Teen Video Challenge, in its fifth year, is a national competition where teens create videos that promote summer reading and public libraries. The theme for 2015 was ‘Unmask.’”...

AL: The Scoop, June 25
Recorded Books

Big-box store tax schemes are hurting libraries

Lowe's home improvement store

Olivia LaVecchia writes: “In February, the Peter White Public Library in Marquette, Michigan, announced that it was eliminating Sunday hours. It wasn’t that its programming was any less popular, or that it had gotten the short end of the stick in budget planning. Instead, thanks to a new ‘dark store’ method that big-box stores are using to game the tax system, Marquette Township owed a $755,828 tax refund to the home improvement chain Lowe’s. Library funding was on the hook to pay for it.”...

Institute for Local Self-Reliance, June 16

Yale’s Beinecke Library saves old Chipotle cups

Chipotle poetry

Yale’s Beinecke Library has acquired a complete set of the Chipotle “Cultivating Thought” series—the series of short, “two-minute” essays and stories printed on the side of the company’s disposable paper goods. George Saunders, Jeffrey Eugenides, Toni Morrison, and Amy Tan all contributed to the series; Jonathan Safran Foer came up with the idea in the first place. The rare book and manuscript library collects poetry printed on the side of pencils, postage stamps, bumper stickers, and commercial paint chips....

The Atlantic, June 23; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Apr. 5, 2014
ALA Annual Conference

The best media streamers and HDTVs of 2015

Roku Streaming Stick

Will Greenwald writes: “There are many ways to watch online content on your HDTV. Your television itself might have apps, or you might have a Blu-ray player or game system connected with built-in streaming services. If neither case applies, or if your HDTV, Blu-ray player, or game system doesn’t have the exact media features you want, you can get a dedicated media hub. Most media hubs allow you to set up your HDTV with any online or local media streaming services you need for well under $100.” If you want an HDTV, you have more options now than ever. These are the 10 best HDTVs PC Magazine tested....

PC Magazine, June 24

20 firsts in the history of photography

This photograph taken in 1847 via the Daguerreotype process is thought to be the first ever news photograph; it depicts a man being arrested in France

Michael Archambault writes: “Photography has been a medium of limitless possibilities since it was originally invented in the early 1800s. The use of cameras has allowed us to capture historical moments and reshape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. To celebrate the amazing history of photography and photographic science, we have assembled 20 photographic ‘firsts’ from over the past two centuries.”...

PetaPixel, May 23

The future of gaming: Minecraft on Hololens

Minecraft on Hololens demo

Keith Stuart writes: “There are robot insects bursting in through the walls. Everywhere I look, the plaster is cracking, then suddenly, out they spew, their metallic claws aimed at my jugular. It sounds like the sort of techno-hallucinogenic nightmare that filmmaker David Cronenberg may concoct in one of his woozy sci-fi horror flicks. But it isn’t. This is a demo for Microsoft’s Hololens, a forthcoming ‘mixed reality’ headset. The future is terrifying. But also sort of amazing.”...

The Guardian (UK), June 24

Reading about the Confederacy

Cover of Mary Chesnut's Diary

John Williams writes: “Faced with the horrific murders in South Carolina and the ensuing debate over the appropriateness of the Confederate flag, it’s even clearer than usual that history is not a dusty book on a shelf. There has been more written about the Civil War than you could read in a lifetime, or a hundred lifetimes. But for those interested in learning more about the Confederacy—its people, its soldiers, its descendants—these five books offer a start.”...

New York Times: ArtsBeat, June 24

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