American Library Association • March 31, 2015

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Get cracking on code

Instructor Christina Koch from Software Carpentry, a volunteer organization that teaches software skills to researchers, assists a student during a coding exercise at Stanford University. Photo by Amy E. Hodge

Kate Silver writes: “The Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library is one of many across the country offering coding courses to community members. From the East Coast to the West, different programs have arisen, aimed at kids, graduate students, and the general public. The result: improving technological literacy while filling communities’ needs, and leading, even, to new careers.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

Highlights from ACRL 2015

Safiya Umoja Noble

The final morning of the ACRL 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon, March 28, was capped by a keynote speech by author and Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig. Lessig is a founding member of Creative Commons as well as Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. A highlight of the previous day was speaker Safiya Umoja Noble (right), assistant professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, who talked about how search-engine bias affects women and girls negatively in her presentation, “Searching for Girls: Identity for Sale in the Age of Google.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 28–29

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).

Apply by April 8 for the ALA Leadership Institute

Participants in the 2014 ALA Leadership Institute

Applications for the 2015 “Leading to the Future” ALA Leadership Institute (August 9–13, Eaglewood Resort, Itasca, Illinois) are being accepted through April 8. The institute helps future library leaders develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of the libraries they lead. The four-day immersive leadership development program for up to 40 mid-career librarians will again be led by ALA Past-President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss....

Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 30
Academy of American Poets

Palomar to stay in Rio Rancho High School library

Cover of Palomar

A concerned Albuquerque parent said that a book, Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, in the Rio Rancho High School library is pornographic and that it promotes prostitution and child abuse, but a school district committee has voted to retain it. Groups like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund had written a letter to Rio Rancho Public Schools to defend the highly-acclaimed novel, saying it’s an “exploration of culture, identity, sexuality, and memory.” Parent Catrenna Lopez said she would appeal the district’s decision....

KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, Mar. 29

Delaware IFC receives Gerald Hodges Award

Delaware Library Association logo

The Delaware Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee is the 2015 recipient of the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award. The award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco at the Intellectual Freedom Round Table Awards Reception on June 26. The committee was actively involved in school library challenges last year when interest groups challenged Brave New World and The Miseducation of Cameron Post....

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 30
ALA Annual Conference

Queens Library fills a sheet music void

Jane Montalto has managed the collection for more than two decades

The Queens (N.Y.) Library has built the city’s largest collection of musical scores available to check out—a compilation that’s gained importance since the Frank Music Company, on West 54th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, closed earlier in March. Aficionados coming to the library will find music for dozens of instruments, from piano and guitar to harp and ukulele....

DNAinfo New York, Mar. 30; Wall Street Journal, Mar. 2

Yale acquires large collection of Lincoln photos

Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln last visited New Haven, Connecticut, in March 1860, when, as a likely presidential candidate, he gave a speech on slavery. He is now set for a triumphal return. Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has purchased one of the largest private collections of 19th-century American photography, devoted primarily to Lincoln and the Civil War, from the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation, run by the family that has collected and preserved the material for five generations....

New York Times, Mar. 29

Contacting lawmakers about library issues

US Capitol building

Nicole Helregel writes: “I’m sure many of you saw the distressing news last week: The House budget resolution for 2016 proposes to eliminate federal funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. So I decided to contact the politicians in my state to express my opinions about the House budget resolution. Here are some tips that came out of that process.”....

Hack Library School, Mar. 31; ALA Office of Government Relations, Mar. 25

Startup wants to solve the library ebook problem

eBooksAreForever logo

Nate Hoffelder writes: “J. A. Konrath wants to help libraries. Around this time last year he and August Wainwright launched eBooksAreForever, a startup that offers a library-friendly ebook solution. Based on the idea that it’s more important to get ebooks into libraries than make a buck off of them, eBooksAreForever sells DRM-free ebooks under a ‘forever’ license.”...

Ink, Bits, & Pixels, Mar. 29

10 best Southern Gothic books

Cover of Yonder Stands Your Orphan, by Barry Hannah

Jamie Kornegay writes: “What is Southern Gothic? It’s not just Southern vampires and trailer park mayhem. These are sophisticated stories shrouded in darkness and mystery, set in an old mannered South that has soured. The mansions are gray, and there’s something not right about the residents. There may be magic and illusion. There is death, most certainly, and bad behavior committed by the righteous. There is God and the Devil, standing in the muddy, snake-swarmed baptismal river, holding hands. These 10 works of Southern Gothic stand out as useful examples of the dark, strange, contradictory nature of the South.”...

Publishers Weekly, Mar. 27

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