American Library Association • May 29, 2015

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2015 Annual Conference preview

Golden Gate Bridge in fog

ALA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition makes its long-awaited return to San Francisco, June 25–30. In addition to coming back to the popular venue for the first time since 2001, the conference will offer librarians a host of professional development opportunities and new ideas to help shape the future of libraries....

American Libraries feature

Dining in the Golden City

A packed house chows down on a variety of gourmet tacos at Tacolicious

Jennifer Bush writes: “With more than 3,500 restaurants within its seven square miles, San Francisco has more dining establishments per capita than any other US city—and a heck of a lot of competition. I’ve included can’t-miss favorites from a range of cuisines, prices, and neighborhoods. Some are brand new but already earning coveted foodie awards; others have been around forever for a reason.”...

American Libraries feature

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 were 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.

New Digital Futures Digital Supplement

Cover of E-Content Digital Supplement, June 2015

“Moving ahead” is the overarching theme of the new digital supplement Digital Futures from American Libraries. This report features articles on how libraries are innovating and leading, as well as paths ahead for taking the initiative. Two articles focus on particularly innovative projects, while three others hone in on future directions for libraries and ebooks. Digital Futures is the fifth American Libraries magazine supplement on ebooks and digital content....

American Libraries, May 27–28; District Dispatch, May 27

Boston Public Library vows to increase security

Boston Public Library, Special Collections

Boston Public Library president Amy E. Ryan, in her first interview since two valuable pieces of art were reported missing from the main branch, described the potential theft as “a crime against Boston” and vowed May 27 to tighten security at the nation’s oldest public library. Ryan acknowledged security lapses in the special collections department and said the disappearance of the Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt prints was “horrible. It’s egregious.”....

Boston Globe, May 28
Amazon webinar

Texas library finds space for flood-soaked items

Screenshot from KVUE broadcast

The Wimberley (Tex.) Public Library has set aside a room for the sole purpose of drying out flood-soaked photos found by citizens in debris all over the area. Since May 25, citizens have brought in hundreds of photographs they found scattered by floodwates that pounded the area this weekend. The items will be kept at the Wimberley Library until their rightful owners come by to pick them up....

KVUE, Austin, Tex., May 27

Compliance stays on Toronto library shelves

Screenshot from Compliance

A 2012 movie thriller will remain on Toronto Public Library shelves despite a complaint that the film is “disturbing and implausible.” The film was one of five items that library patrons asked to be pulled in 2014. Compliance was inspired by the true story of a McDonald’s waitress who was stripped and abused as part of a prank. In February 2014, the complainant wrote to library staff that the film depicts men and women as unintelligent and willing to facilitate sexual abuse....

CTV News, Toronto, May 27; Oct. 6, 2007
ALA Annual Conference

The internet can’t replace libraries

Cover of BiblioTech, by John Palfrey

Amien Essif writes: “John Palfrey, in his new book BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, gives some truly bummer statistics on what’s happening to this beloved institution. While the nation’s public libraries served 298 million people in 2010 (that’s 96% of the US population), states have cut funding by 38% and the federal government by 19% between 2000 and 2010. ‘It seems extraordinary that a public service with such reach should be, in effect, punished despite its success,’ writes Palfrey.”...

Salon, May 28

We need a Digital Constitutional Convention

Digital Constitutional Convention

Alan S. Inouye writes: “Today we stand at the crossroads of establishing digital society for generations to come. By now, it is clear to everyone—not just network engineers and policy wonks—that the internet is at the same time a huge mechanism for opportunity and for control. Though the advent of the internet is propelling a true revolution in society, we’re not ready for it. Not even close. We need a Digital Constitutional Convention.”...

The Hill, May 28

Inclusive summer reading programs

Inclusive summer reading programs

Allison Renner writes: “Making your summer reading activities seem inviting to teens with disabilities is easy to do. With just a few tweaks to what you already have in place, your program can be inclusive. This way, it doesn’t matter if you know what disabilities you’re dealing with, or if you’re just taking a wild guess. Check out these tips.”...

YALSA blog, May 28

Google launches new photo app

Google Photos

Caitlin McGarry writes: “Available today for Android, iOS, and desktop users, Google Photos aims to be the home for all of your images. So Google is offering unlimited free storage and maintaining the original resolution for photos up to 16 megapixels and 1080p videos. Once Google Photos is your photo database across all devices, the app helps you comb through all your images. Machine-learning behind the scenes helps Google sort your photos by people, places, and things without any tagging on your part.”...

PC World, May 28

Cool non-math things you can do with Wolfram Alpha

How many dimes would it take to cover the surface of Mercury?

Evan Dashevsky writes: “Wolfram Alpha is not Google. Many of Wolfram’s functions deal withadvanced mathematical acrobatics that you probably don’t understand and will probably never need to use. While math may be Wolfram’s strong point, it isn’t all that Wolfram can do. It can use itssuper number crunching nerd powers for many non-number things. Here are 21 cool, weird, fun, and occasionally practical things you can do with Wolfram that have nothing to do with solving for X.”...

PC Magazine, May 27

16 crime writers to follow on Twitter

Kate White's Twitter page

Karen Kleckner Keefe writes: “Some of the mystery genre’s most prolific writers just can’t stop. In addition to writing deftly plotted crime novels, these authors keep their keyboards clicking with frequent updates and shout-outs to their social media fans. Can’t wait a year to reconnect with favorite characters? Catch up with 16 of their creators on Twitter.”...

The Booklist Reader, May 28

Vintage NYPL reference questions

Why do 18th century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how did they tame them so that they wouldn’t bite the painter? 10/76

Marianne Tatepo writes: “The New York Public Library has been publishing a cache of vintage reference question cards on its Instagram account and on Twitter via the hashtag #letmelibrarianthatforyou. Since we first reported on it back in January, the questions have kept on coming. Here are some of our favorites, revealing the many roles that the librarian has played in the public imagination.”...

The Guardian (UK), May 28

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