American Library Association • May 12, 2015

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Library advocates converge on Washington

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) meets with Iowa Library Association delegates

Jazzy Wright writes: “Hundreds of library supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., on May 4 and 5 to discuss library issues with members of Congress during the ALA’s 41st annual National Library Legislative Day. In a series of meetings, advocates urged their congressional representatives to fund the Library Services and Technology Act and to support programs that provide school libraries with needed funds for materials.”...

AL: The Scoop, May 11

Executive Director’s Message: The advocacy continuum

Keith Michael Fiels

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “Over the last year and a half, we have been talking a lot with ALA members about advocacy and the strategic direction of the Association for the coming years. In dozens of kitchen-table conversations, chapter forums, virtual town hall meetings; in conversations with divisions, round tables, committees, and affiliates; and in discussions with Council and the ALA-wide Planning and Budget Assembly, we have asked members to talk about their aspirations and vision for advocacy.”...

American Libraries column, May

Tween advisory boards

Richland Library’s TAG (tween advisory group) Team creates a collaborative art piece in honor of visiting author Grace Lin. Creativity and connecting with authors have been key interests for this group

Jennifer Goforth Gregory writes: “At a recent meeting of the Richland Library tween advisory board in Columbia, South Carolina, the children were asked to brainstorm about the new tween space being built. Even the impractical ideas, such as implementing a food court and a Ferris wheel, gave librarians insight into what the kids wanted from their space.”...

American Libraries feature

Obama chooses Chicago’s South Side for his library

Obama Presidential Library sketch

President Barack Obama has decided to build his presidential library on the South Side of Chicago, where his political career began. The Barack Obama Foundation announced in a May 12 news release that the library will be erected on park land that was proposed for the site by the University of Chicago. The site was selected over bids made by Columbia University in New York, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. One remaining question is how the foundation will select between two properties near campus, Washington Park or Jackson Park....

Associated Press, May 12; Barack Obama Foundation, May 12

2014 Bram Stoker Awards

Cover of Blood Kin, by Steve Rasnic Tem

The Horror Writers Association announced the winners of the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards in Atlanta on May 9. The winners included Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem (Solaris Books) for superior achievement in a novel, Phoenix Island by John Dixon (Simon & Schuster) for superior achievement in a YA novel, Bad Blood by Jonathan Maberry (Dark Horse Books) for superior achievement in a graphic novel; and Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide by Lucy A. Snyder (Post Mortem Press) for superior achievement in nonfiction....

Horror Writers Association, May 9

Diversity in crime fiction

Cover of Skies of Ash, by Rachel Howzell Hall

Rachel Howzell Hall writes: “If you’re a writer of color and you attend Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, or any of the writing conferences, you already know that there are more robots on Mars than there are colored folks in the banquet room. Weird because the mystery genre has always been a great equalizer: You can’t get more equal than dead. And mystery writers are the ones who call out social ills and inequities. But when it comes to diversity in the real-life room? Yeah, we have a problem.”....

The Life Sentence, May 11
ALA Annual Conference

Will traditional science journals disappear?

Schematic of solar and lunar eclipses in a 1665 paper by Hevelius in the Philosophical Transactions

Dorothy Bishop writes: “The Royal Society has been celebrating the 350th anniversary of its Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first scientific journal, by holding a series of meetings on the future of scholarly scientific publishing. The session got me thinking about what kind of future I would like to see. What I came up with was radically different from our current publishing model and involves a web-based platform run by scientists themselves.”...

The Guardian (UK), May 12; The Royal Society

Now lending at NCSU: The Apple Watch

NCSU student Rubia Arfeen checks out an Apple Watch from the library

Known for its role on North Carolina State’s campus as a technology incubator, the NCSU Libraries lent its first Apple Watch May 7 to Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences. When asked about the libraries’ interest in lending Apple Watches, Associate Head of User Experience David Woodbury simply explained that “the students asked us to, and it is our goal to respond, in student-time, to their interests and research needs.”...

North Carolina State University, May 8

New social network for Makers

MakerSpace DIY dog collar

Sarah Buhr writes: “There are Maker Media, MakerCon, MakerShed, Make: magazine, and 131 Maker Faire events that take place throughout the world. Now the founders of all these Makers want a way to connect what they refer to as the ‘maker movement’ online. So Maker Media created a Facebook-like social network called MakerSpace that connects the participants of Maker Faire in one online community.”...

TechCrunch, May 12

Are you doing enough to prevent link rot?

Link rot

Ernie Smith writes: “Are the owners of content doing enough to keep it in place? Nonprofit organizations, particularly those with interests in research and academic knowledge, should be mindful of the technical needs of their underlying content as well as the effects that a redesign can have on a URL structure. Content preservation requires resources, time commitment, and prioritization. But the sooner you create a structure for your information that is flexible and lasting, the easier these changes will be to make down the road.”...

Associations Now, May 12

The Comic Connector links educators and comics creators

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund just announced its new tool, the Comics Connector, a resource for educators and librarians to help them find comics professionals willing to speak with students and others. The service helps increase the access that librarians and educators have to people in the comics industry, and it may help to introduce comics to more people....

Comics Alliance, May 8; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

She Reads, He Reads: True crime

Cover of  Go Down Together, by Jeff Guinn

Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “Some might say that women aren’t as driven to violent crime as men. Then again, we just might be, well, better at getting away with it. Either way, here’s a review of a few of history’s most lethal ladies. How can you not start with Bonnie Parker?” David Wright writes: “If you’re ever in Paris, watch your wallet. The City of Light boasts no better exhibit of living history than pickpockets, and one can easily imagine these kids working alongside the artful dodger in Dickens’s London, or teaming up with George Appo in the bustling streets of Gilded Age New York.”...

Booklist Online, May 1

Study break books

Cover of Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan

Carly Pansulla writes: “What do you read when you don’t really have time to be reading at all, but you absolutely must get a little escape in, if you have any hope of staying motivated long enough to cover everything you’ve still got to do? Unless you are a reader with very good self-discipline, novels are probably out; page count matters when you’re on a deadline. Shortish graphic novels and short story collections are what we need when time is at a premium—short enough that we emerge from our work respite refreshed and ready to dive back into the task at hand. Here are some suggestions.”...

YALSA The Hub, May 12

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