American Library Association • May 1, 2015

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Obama announces Open eBooks initiative and ConnectED Library Challenge

President Obama at the Anacostia Neighborhood branch of the District of Columbia Public Library

Linking reading to technology, the White House marshaled major book publishers to provide more than $250 million in free ebooks to low-income students and is seeking commitments from local governments and schools to ensure that every student has a library card. President Barack Obama announced the two initiatives April 30 at the Anacostia Neighborhood branch of the DC Public Library. ALA President Courtney Young released a statement regarding the ConnectED Library Challenge initiative to ensure that all school students receive public library cards through their schools....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Apr. 30; White House, Apr. 30; ALA Office of Government Relations, Apr. 30

Enoch Pratt stays open during unrest in Baltimore

Enoch Pratt Free Library CEO Carla Hayden (ALA President in 2003–2004) welcomes patrons on the morning of April 28 by placing a Come in! We’re open sign on the door of the Pennsylvania Avenue branch as a state of emergency continued following a day and night of turmoil in Baltimore

Eyes around the world have been focused on the city of Baltimore, where the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody sparked massive protests against police brutality, some turning violent. At the epicenter of the protests is the Pennsylvania Avenue branch of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, just across the street from the CVS drugstore that burned while being looted on April 27. Through it all, the library stayed open, a decision that has received much attention and praise. Pratt Library CEO and former ALA President (2003–2004) Carla Hayden (above) talked to American Libraries May 1....

AL: The Scoop, May 1

Choose Privacy Week: Who’s reading the reader?

Choose Privacy Week

Michael Robinson writes: “It feels like online privacy has taken a step closer to center stage in libraryland in 2015. For years, a number of librarians have been advocating that libraries and the ecology of vendors and publishers they do business with need to do a better job of protecting the online privacy of our patrons. We will hear again from some of them in this year’s fantastic series of blog posts for Choose Privacy Week.”....

OIF Blog, Apr. 30

Sponsored Content

Audies 2015

The Oscars of the Audiobook World

The Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), is the United States’ premier awards program recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment across a variety of categories. The 20th Annual Audie Award finalists, representing 30 categories, were announced on February 11. The 2015 winners will be recognized on May 28 in New York City at the Audie Awards Gala, hosted by award-winning author Jack Gantos. Nominations were bestowed on over 160 titles from 36 unique publishers. Browse a selection of nominated works.

ACRL releases Meaningful Metrics

Cover of Meaningful Metrics

ACRL has released Meaningful Metrics: A 21st Century Librarian’s Guide to Bibliometrics, Altmetrics, and Research Impact by Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt. This activity-filled book serves to introduce readers to the fast-paced world of research metrics from the perspective of academic librarians and LIS practitioners. It begins with the essential histories of bibliometrics and altmetrics, and continues with in-depth descriptions of the core tools and emerging issues at stake in the future of both fields....

ACRL Insider, Apr. 30

Chicago chosen for Obama Presidential Library

Obama Presidential Library sketch

President Obama is poised to announce that he has chosen to locate his future presidential library in the south side of Chicago, according to an individual briefed on the decision. The decision to accept the University of Chicago’s bid to host the library would end months of speculation over where Obama would seek to establish his post-presidential legacy. Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois at Chicago were other candidates....

Washington Post, May 1

NYPL enlists Judy Blume in call for library funding

Judy Blume

The New York Public Library has enlisted author Judy Blume (right) to encourage its patrons to push Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council to allocate more funding toward city libraries. On April 29, patrons received an email with the subject line “Are you there Mr. Mayor? It’s Me, Judy Blume.” Praising librarians as “heroes,” she writes that $65 million in annual operating funds for city libraries have been cut since 2008....

Capital New York, Apr. 29
ALA Annual Conference

Brunswick County keeps Absolutely True Diary

Cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Maren Williams writes: “Victory by default in Brunswick County, North Carolina. About a week after local resident Frankie Wood challenged Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian at the second school in as many years, the principal informed her that the challenge would not be considered due to a district policy limiting how often the same book can be targeted. Wood spent several months in 2014 fighting to have the book removed from the library and curriculum at Cedar Grove Middle School. Her appeal to the school board resulted in a decision to restrict access to the book in the library by requiring students to have parental permission to read it.”...

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Apr. 30; Sept. 12, 2014; Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News, Apr. 28

2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards

Cover of Tinseltown, by William J. Mann

Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of its 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2014. In the Best Novel category, the winner was Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Scribner). In True Crime, the winner was Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann (HarperCollins). The Best First Novel by an American Author was Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W. W. Norton)....

Mystery Writers of America, Apr. 29

May 2 is Free Comic Book Day

May 2 is Free Comic Book Day 2015

Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “May 2 is Free Comic Book Day. The annual celebration is designed to introduce potential new readers to the joy of comic books, while simultaneously enticing lapsed readers to come back to the fold. On Free Comic Book Day, comic shops distribute select books to anyone who walks through their doors—free of charge. But how do you find a local comic book store?”...

PC Magazine, May 1

Librarians create comic book about childhood obesity

Talicia Tarver, digital and information services librarian at LSU Health Shreveport, developed The Amazing Captain Fit through a grant

A new 66-page comic book imagined by two medical librarians at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport will help kindergarteners and first graders better understand obesity. Talicia Tarver’s The Amazing Captain Fit is a story about a boy who wants to be a superhero but lacks healthy eating habits. This was Tarver’s first effort in writing a comic book. She sketched out the characters with her colleague Deidra Woodson who also edited the book....

Red River Radio, Shreveport, La., Apr. 29

Tower Hamlets Teen Booklist for 2015

A portion of the Tower Hamlets Teen Booklist 2015

The Teen Booklist for 2015 has just been released by the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services. The list contains brief reviews of 40 multicultural and enticing titles that offer a spectrum of styles, substance, content, and characters. The Tower Hamlets Must Read Booklist, for tweens 9–11 years old, is also available....

Tower Hamlets Schools (London) Library Services, May 1

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