American Library Association • May 15, 2015

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House votes to end NSA data collection

USA Freedom Act, thumbs up

The House of Representatives on May 13 approved legislation 338–88 to end the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records. Under the USA Freedom Act, the Patriot Act would be changed to prohibit collection by the National Security Agency of metadata from telephone calls made by Americans. However, while the House version of the bill would take the government out of the collection business, it would still have access to the information. The ALA Washington Office issued a statement supporting the USA Freedom Act and, as the bill shifts to the Senate for passage, called for voters to demand from their Senators that the act be passed without being weakened....

New York Times, May 13; Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 13; ALA Office of Government Relations, May 13; District Dispatch, May 14

Marketing in the real world

Cover of Start a Revolution, by Ben Bizzle with Maria Flora

Ben Bizzle and Maria Flora write: “Libraries are often willing to pay upwards of 95% of their annual budgets for staffing and materials, while allocating no funds for marketing. Some of that money should be shifted to help the community become more aware of the library’s value. Social media is a cost-effective marketing tool, but libraries should still market in traditional media. Social media is not intended to replace real-world marketing altogether.”...

American Libraries feature

Learning to code

Andromeda Yelton

Andromeda Yelton (right) writes: “For my Library Technology Report, I reached out to the LITA-L, Code4Lib, and LibTechWomen discussion lists, as well as my own network, to survey librarians on how they use code in their jobs. I looked for people who are not primarily developers and who could share examples of short scripts. I also asked for recommendations and resources on learning to code and found common themes. Here are their suggestions.”...

American Libraries column, May

Brewster Kahle to discuss digital preservation

Brewster Kahle

Internet Archive founder and digital librarian Brewster Kahle (right) will appear at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco and discuss the challenges of preserving modern materials for each media type. The interactive session, titled “Building Libraries Together,” will take place on June 27. Other issues-related sessions hosted by the ALA Washington office include online privacy, 3D printing, ebook lending, copyright trends, innovative veteran services, digital reading habits, and library hacker spaces....

ALA Washington Office, May 13–14
AL Live

An artist writing project from Grin City

Kenji Yoshino (left) and Molly Rideout from the Grin City Collective carefully apply letters to a window at the Coralville Public Library

Short poems, essays, and pieces of fiction are going on display at 13 libraries across Iowa. It’s a project designed to connect the public to literature from a collective of artists known as Grin City. Recently, the sound of squeegees pressing white vinyl block letters on a window interrupts the silence at the Coralville Public Library. Four members of Grin City have traveled from a 320-acre farm north of Grinnell to install an excerpt from an essay written by Kevin Hayworth....

Iowa Public Radio, May 13

A literary map of San Francisco

San Francisco interactive literary map

John McMurtrie writes: “This interactive literary map of San Francisco celebrates the region’s storied past and tracks its ever-evolving present with descriptions and locations of independent booksellers, a compilation of roughly 300 Bay Area authors, dozens of landmarks, and writers’ passages about places that fired their imagination.”...

San Francisco Chronicle
ALA Annual Conference

Two rare volumes returned to Farmington Library

Title page of volume 3 of The History of Ancient Greece, by John Gillies

The Farmington (Conn.) Library, founded in 1795, was in for an unexpected surprise when local historian Betty Coykendall delivered two long-missing volumes. The books, volumes 2 and 3 of John Gillies’s The History of Ancient Greece, were published in Dublin in 1786 and are part of the library’s original collection. The books will now be stored in locked cases inside the library’s Farmington Room. Librarians plan to look for volume 1 to complete the collection....

WVIT-TV, New Britain, Conn., May 13

SCASL: Good school libraries affect test scores

Karen Gavigan, reporting on the SCASL study

A study released May 12 by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians shows that the more emphasis is put on school libraries, the better scores students receive on standardized tests. According to University of South Carolina Professor Karen Gavigan (right), the five areas of importance are the presence of librarians and library support staff, instructional collaboration between librarians and teachers, traditional and digital collections, library expenditures, and access to computers....

WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C., May 12

Reincarnating the research article

William Caxton showing specimens of his printing to King Edward IV and his Queen

Daniel Shanahan writes: “The research article as we know it has been around, in one form or another, for over 300 years. It is time to move beyond the now-obsolete print model and truly embrace the freedom that online publication offers us, moving towards an evolving document. Online publication provides us with a freedom that was not seen in the print era, with the ability to update, amend, and extend the document, as well as link directly to other articles and data.”...

The Impact Blog, May 13

How to livestream video from your mobile device

Livestreaming video

Chris Stobing writes: “Though you might not know it yet, there’s a livestreaming revolution brewing just around the corner. As social media juggernauts like Twitter look past prerecorded video and into the world of ‘live as it happens’ streams, the apps that make it possible for users to instantly get moving images off their phones and into the ether are starting to flood in. Here’s our list of the best apps you can use to show the world your point of view in realtime.”...

How-To Geek, May 15

The best web hosting services for 2015

PC Magazine Editors' Choice, Arvixe

Fahmida Y. Rashid and Jeffrey L. Wilson write: “Every organization, even if it only has one employee, needs a website. The first step is to find a web hosting service, the company that will store your files on its servers. The tricky part? Web hosts are all different, offering varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage capacity, email, and payment plans. These services also offer shared hosting plans, virtual private server hosting plans, dedicated hosting plans, and managed WordPress hosting plans.”...

PC Magazine, May 12

Six tips for authors planning a library visit

Brad Parks

If an author wants to build a lasting readership—and the enduring career that comes with it—libraries are the keys to the kingdom. There’s no better way to begin a relationship with a library and its patrons than by making a personal appearance at one. How do you do it as a rookie author? Here are some tips from award-winning crime author Brad Parks (right)....

The Booklist Reader, May 12

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