American Library Association • March 17, 2015

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Meet the candidates

James LaRue, Joseph Janes, JP Porcaro, and Julie Todaro

Voting for the 2015 ALA Elections begins on March 24. Between March 24 and March 26, ALA will notify voters by email, providing them with their unique passcodes and information about how to vote online. Get to know the four candidates for the 2015–2016 ALA presidency as they introduce themselves and their campaign goals to voting ALA members: James LaRue, Joseph Janes, JP Porcaro, and Julie Todaro. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be ALA members in good standing as of January 31, 2015....

American Libraries feature, Mar. 17

Dispatches from the Field: Gamification as a tool

Bohyun Kim

Bohyun Kim (right) writes: “Game aesthetics represents the fun part of game play—the sensations of excitement and joy, the emotions of wonder and curiosity, generated by discovering a new world that the game unveils. It encompasses an immersive narrative, the challenge that tests our abilities and boosts our confidence, and the opportunity to release our stress and clear our minds. Gamification is a powerful tool because it captures people’s attention, engages them in a target activity, and influences their behavior. Gamification in libraries can play both an educational and a semi-business role.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

ALA needs tax forms volunteers

IRS tax form

In early March, the ALA Washington Office hosted a conference call with several Internal Revenue Service officials about issues surrounding the distribution of the 2014 fiscal year tax forms and instruction publications to libraries. Now ALA needs some volunteers to work with the IRS to make plans to get the Tax Forms Outlet Program and publication distribution for libraries to work better. If you’d like to become a library volunteer or provide feedback on the TFOP program, email Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office....

District Dispatch, Mar. 4, 13

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books Outlander series

Outlander returns to the small screen

Libraries can expect a boost in readership with the return of the TV series Outlander to Starz on April 4. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling book series, season one continues as Claire, now Mrs. Jamie Fraser, is captured by Black Jack Randall’s men.

Outlander won a 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci-fi/Fantasy TV Show, and the newest title in the book series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, received 2015 Audie Award nominations for both Fiction and Solo Narration (Female).

Vote for the Annual Conference talks you want to hear

San Francisco trolley car

Public voting is now open through March 31 to determine which 36 talks in two formats will be added to this year’s ALA Annual Conference program in San Francisco. A total of 127 submissions were received. Conversation Starter talks are fast-paced, 45-minute sessions intended to jumpstart conversations and highlight emerging topics and trends. Ignite Sessions give presenters exactly five minutes to share what they are most passionate about in the library world and inspire an audience to join them. Vote for the Conversation Starters and Ignite Sessions you want to hear. To vote, log in, then click on the thumb next to a presentation to vote for it....

Conference Services, Mar. 16
ALA Annual Conference

Gale shuttle buses celebrate 50th anniversary

Gale shuttle bus

Shannon Ostrowski writes: “In 1965, Gale, known back then as Gale Research Company, started sponsoring the shuttle buses at ALA conferences. Librarians flocked to Detroit for the ALA Annual Conference in the summer of 1965. It was a rainy few days in Detroit, so Mary Ruffner, wife of Gale founder Fred Ruffner, conceived the idea of setting up free and frequent bus transportation to carry members from hotels to the convention center and from one meeting place to another. The summer of 1965 started a tradition between ALA and Gale that has now been going 50 years strong. No matter the city, the weather, or the conference, Gale is happy to be your ride.”...

The Gale Blog, Mar. 11

Librarians, robots, and squirrels at South by Southwest

Maryann James-Daley and a squirrel take a break from South by Southwest

Maryann James-Daley is covering the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, for American Libraries. She writes: “If I were to sum up Sunday in three words, I would say: libraries, robots, and squirrels. There were two sessions on Sunday that highlighted the awesome events taking place at libraries across the country. But the day wasn’t just about libraries: There was a Robot Petting Zoo, and a startup called Squirl—which bills itself as a Foursquare for books—has had folks walking around in squirrel suits all weekend.” See her other posts here, here, and here....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 14–16

Louise Erdrich wins LC Prize for American Fiction

Louise Erdrich

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has announced that Louise Erdrich (right), author of Love Medicine, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, The Plague of Doves, and her most recent novel, The Round House, will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2015 National Book Festival, September 5. The annual prize honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination....

Library of Congress, Mar. 17

The Bodleian’s recent makeover

Oxford's New Bodleian, renamed the Weston Library, will open March 21

Jay Merrick writes: “The four-year makeover of Oxford’s New Bodleian Library, led by the architect Jim Eyre, is radical. He has removed most of the Edwardian guts from Gilbert Scott’s hulk and sewed in entirely new bibliophilic organs. These include state-of-the-art storage, new spaces for academic research and reading, a digital media center, an elevated space for visiting scholars, 2.5 kilometers of open-access bookshelves, new exhibition spaces, a shop, and a Benugo Café. It will reopen on March 21 as the Weston Library.”...

The Independent (UK), Mar. 15

E-reserve update

Georgia State University logo

No new trial. That’s the response from lawyers for Georgia State University, who have asked judge Orinda Evans not to reopen the factual record in a key copyright case over the legality of digital course readings known as “e-reserves.” The three publisher plaintiffs in the case had asked the court to use new evidence from the “most recent academic terms” to assess whether GSU’s e-reserve practices promote “continuous and ongoing” infringement.”...

Publishers Weekly, Mar. 6, 17; June 14, 2010

The public’s views on surveillance programs

Pew Research Center survey on government surveillance

The vast majority of Americans in this new Pew Research Center survey say they have heard about the surveillance programs to collect information about telephone calls, emails, and other online communications as part of the government’s efforts to monitor terrorist activity. Some 39% say they are at least “somewhat concerned” about government monitoring of their activity on search engines, and 38% say the same about email monitoring. When asked to elaborate on their concerns, many survey respondents were critical of the programs, frequently referring to privacy concerns and their personal rights....

Pew Research Center, Mar. 16

YA lit with an Irish connection

Cover of The New Policeman, by Kate Thompson

Geri Diorio writes: “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. For this celebratory day, why not consider some excellent Irish YA fiction? These books are set on the Emerald Isle and most are by Irish authors; try one or two to get a taste of great Irish literature. For example, The New Policeman by Kate Thompson, which is drenched in Irish culture and folklore. Pro tip: Listen to the audio book if you can. The chapters are interspersed with bits of music from Irish folk songs.”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 17

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