American Library Association • November 6, 2015

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AASL Conference opens with IdeaLab

IdeaLab presenters Julie Mangas and Christine Badenhop explain Early Literacy for Everyone the Super Seven Way

The 17th AASL National Conference and Exhibition opened on November 5 in Columbus, Ohio, with about 2,000 attendees eager to share professional development ideas and tips. Before the opening general session even began, hundreds of school librarians met at IdeaLab, a sort of digitally enhanced poster session, with tabletop video displays on topics from STEM and STEAM, national standards, Common Core, and more....

American Libraries feature, Nov 6

The new ALA strategic directions

Executive Director's Message

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “In June, the ALA Council adopted a new strategic plan for the American Library Association. Building on our long-standing commitment to our mission and core values, the new plan outlines three strategic directions—advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development—that will provide a sharper focus and increase our impact as an Association over the next three to five years.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Injunction keeps affordable internet access for 90 days

Mobile Citizen lawsuit notice

Tim Inklebarger writes: “A Massachusetts state court has granted a preliminary injunction to stop a planned shutdown of Sprint Corporation’s WiMax broadband network, giving providers of low-cost internet access to libraries and other organizations 90 days to migrate users to Sprint’s LTE network. Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon, which provide unlimited broadband access for $10 per month, requested the emergency relief order after negotiations stalled.”...

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 5

On My Mind: Winds of change

On My Mind: Christina Sibley, Mary M. Carr, and Julie Todaro

Christina Sibley, Mary M. Carr, and Julie Todaro write: “Community colleges are the backbone of US higher education, serving 42% of the nation’s undergraduates. Yet students are struggling to make it through the system. According to the Community College Research Center, some 60% of students entering community college require remedial courses to graduate, and fewer than 25% of them successfully earn a degree within eight years. Part of the problem is that tuition costs (even adjusting for inflation) have risen by 150% since 1985.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
ALA Editions

2016 edition of School Libraries Work!

Cover of 2016 School Libraries Work!

School Libraries Work! a research report providing evidence of the positive impact of school librarians and libraries on student learning, was released November 5 by Scholastic at the AASL National Conference and Exhibition in Columbus, Ohio. The findings from more than 30 separate research studies demonstrate the integral role school libraries play in supporting student learning, while confirming that when school librarian staffing is reduced, student achievement in English Language Arts suffers....

Scholastic, Nov. 5

Elsevier battle escalates

Elsevier logo

Scott Jaschik writes: “Elsevier is facing intense scrutiny over the resignation of all the editors and editorial board members of the journal Lingua, and on November 4 the company answered back with some specifics. But the answer has only intensified the criticism. While Elsevier has faced protest resignations in the past, this one has people in both the corporate and academic worlds talking. Fortune wrote of a ‘mutiny’ as evidence that ‘cracks are widening in the fortress of academic publishing.’”...

Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 2, 6; Elsevier, Nov. 4; Fortune, Nov. 2
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

A digital portrait of Colonial life

Billet de sortie, schooner Fortune, 1771Launched November 2, the website of Harvard University Library’s Colonial North American Project so far includes 150,000 images of diaries, journals, notebooks, and other documents from the 17th and 18th centuries. Part of Harvard’s endeavor to digitize all its collections and make them available, the project is unique because of its scale. According to a 2011 survey, the material is scattered through 12 repositories: from Houghton Library to the Harvard University Archives to Loeb Music Library....

Harvard Gazette, Nov. 4

Inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grants

We Need Diverse Books logo

We Need Diverse Books has selected the first five winners of its first-ever Walter Dean Myers Grant: Naadeyah Haseeb, Jami Nakamura Lin, Yamile Saied Méndez, Shveta Thakrar, and Angela Thomas. The winners will each receive a monetary award of $2,000 to support their writing or illustrating career goals. Walter Dean Myers was a lifelong advocate for diversity in youth literature, and a National Book Ambassador for Young People’s Literature....

We Need Diverse Books, Oct. 29

Apply for Big Read grants

The Big Read logo

If there’s one big idea promoted by The Big Read, it’s that books have the power to bring communities together and ignite conversations. The NEA initiative is now accepting applications for its 2016–2017 grant program, which will award 75 organizations grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Libraries are eligible to apply by January 27. The Big Read also encourages libraries to host creative events, such as art exhibits, theatrical readings, cook-offs, and festivals....

Programming Librarian, Nov. 6

Gendered expectations for library leaders

Glass ceiling

Jessica Olin and Michelle Millet write: “Despite significant gains in representation at the administration level, there is still a disparity between the percentage of women in our profession and women as library leaders. Even when women attain leadership roles, there are still hurdles in the shape of gendered expectations. This article examines the history of gender representation in the field and makes recommendations for how the profession could become more supportive of women in leadership roles.”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Nov. 4

The weird world of DRM

DRM: No one admitted

Kyle Wiens writes: “DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, though it’s more accurate to call it Digital Restrictions Management—because DRM restricts what people can do with their digital stuff. DRM makes it so you can only buy your apps from Apple. DRM is why you can’t fast forward past previews and warnings on your DVD. DRM is the reason why that ebook you bought on a Kindle won’t play on a different e-reader. And the list goes on. So why does DRM exist in the first place?”...

Harvard Business Review, Nov. 3; Electronic Frontier Foundation; Defective by Design; TechDirt, Aug. 21, 2012; eBook Architects

The end of overdue fines?

Bart vows to return his library books on time

Julia Pyatetsky writes: “The Vernon Area Public Library in the northwest suburbs of Chicago eliminated overdue fines this past August, and the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, Illinois, followed suit in September. They are modeling their policy on Algonquin (Ill.) Public Library and its decision to remove overdue fines in September 2014. Algonquin, nearing its one-year anniversary of instilling the policy, has had no adverse effects and has increased the goodwill of patrons towards the public library.”...

Public Libraries Online, Nov. 5

How public libraries can support broadband adoption

New York Public Library

Paul Konz writes: “Libraries are experimenting with innovative digital divide solutions that include increasing home broadband access. They are accomplishing this through partnerships with cities and local community-based organizations and developing engagement strategies that meet the unique needs of their residents. Trust is essential. As one of the most trusted institutions in every community, libraries play an important role in the solution.”...

CitiesSpeak, Nov. 3

Tech tools transform learning with dyslexia

Reading with dyslexia

Holly Korbey writes: “Fifth-grade teacher Kyle Redford said there is no doubt that technology has changed the lives of those with dyslexia, and that educators should embrace the changes. In articles for the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, she outlines in detail how to help struggling readers with classroom assignments—many with the aid of technology—and in one piece she even says good riddance to mandatory cursive. For dyslexics, a keyboard and spellcheck allow them to express their ideas without such monumental effort.”...

KQED News: Mind/Shift, Nov. 3; Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

Books are dangerous

Rebel reader, Andalucia, Spain, 1971. Photo by Guy Le Querrec/Magnum

Frank Furedi writes: “At universities around the world, students are claiming that reading books can unsettle them to the point of becoming depressed, traumatized, or suicidal. Some contend that Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925), in which a suicide has taken place, could trigger suicidal thoughts among those disposed to self-harm. Others insist that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), with its undercurrent of spousal violence, might trigger painful memories of domestic abuse.”...

Aeon, Nov. 5

Google Books is good for publishers

Google Books result

Joe Wikert writes: “When I meet with publishers, I always ask them about the biggest problems they face in today’s market. One of the most popular answers is ‘discoverability.’ That’s why I’m scratching my head about all the negative publisher and author reaction to the recent federal appeals court ruling on Google Books. Publishers, wake up and realize that the largest search engine on the planet offers a powerful way for your content to be discovered and purchased.”...

TeleRead, Nov. 5

The Librarians are doing it by the book

The job's not all about obscure knowledge, people

Elizabeth Willse writes: “I’m delighted to have The Librarians back on my TV screen, and Season 2 off to a promising start, with a double episode of ‘The Librarians and the Drowned Book,’ leading into ‘The Librarians and the Broken Staff.’ And I’m even more delighted to have the lively conversations going on in #TheLibrarians hashtag on Twitter. Here is a recap of the two-part episode, as well as some of my favorite social media reactions that took place on the hashtag. Fair warning: spoilers abound.”...

Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries, Nov. 6

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