American Library Association • November 24, 2015
Thinking Money

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Coloring book clubs cross the line into libraries

Many libraries purchase coloring books or print free pages online for their clubs. Other supplies, such as crayons, markers, and coloring pencils, are also provided

Alison Marcotte writes: “Woods Hole (Mass.) Public Library is one of many libraries taking part in the adult coloring book trend, welcoming the activity for its social, mental health, and creative benefits. The adult coloring books craze was aided by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford’s 2013 Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, an Amazon bestseller that has sold more than 6 million copies. Other US libraries are launching adult coloring book clubs.”...

American Libraries Trends, Nov./Dec.

Libraries create gender-neutral bathrooms

Portland (Oreg.) Community College includes single-stall gender-neutral restrooms in all of its libraries and new campus buildings

Megan Cottrell writes: “It’s the central principle of a public library: Everyone is welcome. Librarians everywhere work to make sure their collections and programs offer members of their community a safe space. And now some librarians are expanding their safe spaces to include bathrooms, specifically gender-neutral restrooms for patrons who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.”...

American Libraries Trends, Nov./Dec.

Join ALA for #GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday logo

The ALA Scholarship Program has again joined #GivingTuesday, an effort that harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses, and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. Taking place December 1, GivingTuesday provides a collective opportunity for people to give to the causes they believe in and support. To join, visit the ALA donor page....

ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Nov. 24
Libraries Transform

ALA to undertake IT external review

ALA ITTS external review

As part of its planning for the future, ALA will be undertaking an external review of its information technology. The review will be conducted by a team of external reviewers with broad technology and association perspectives, and is based on a model commonly used in higher education settings. The external reviewers will be Brian Schottlaender and Margo Pecoulas. The external review will begin in winter 2015, with a final report and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board by spring 2016....

ALA Information Technology and Telecommunication Services, Nov. 23

NYPL gets its ceiling back

What looks like wooden beams and sculptures of cherubs, gargoyles, and human type characters are an illusion—it's all plaster

In May 2014, the iconic Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s Fifth Avenue branch began to fall apart. One of the decorative rosettes on the iconic ceiling came crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. Thus began a $12.9 million restoration project to repair the ceiling. WNYC’s Richard Hake got an exclusive tour of the restoration project, climbing up several floors of scaffolding to examine the historic ceiling from just a few inches away....

WNYC, New York City, Nov. 24

Minnesota couple want book removed from school libraries

Cover of Just One DayA Rosemount, Minnesota, couple believes a book their 6th-grade daughter brought home from the Rosemount Middle School library is inappropriate because of its sexual content and is suggesting the district remove it from all Rosemount–Apple Valley–Eagan libraries. Ben and Kandi Lovin are challenging the book Just One Day by Gayle Forman, which centers on a teenager, Allyson, who spends one romantic day in Paris with a mysterious actor and later decides she must leave college and return to Europe to find him....

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Class Act, Nov. 20
ALA Editions

How Nebraska libraries transform

Libraries in Nebraska: The next chapter

Mike Tobias writes: “A handful of middle and high school students play computer games, do crafts, talk, and hang out in a basement room at the Chadron (Nebr.) Public Library. The teens from this city in the northwest corner of the state are here for an afternoon after-school program. The Chadron teens are just a few of the thousands of Nebraskans who will use a public library in many different ways this year.”...

NET News, Nov. 23

The cost of doing more with less

Robyn Belmont, 19, a freshman from Scranton, Pa., expresses her opinion in March about a proposed tuition increase

Barbara Fister writes: “Strange things can happen when you starve systems that were once considered worth funding because they benefit all. When public colleges and universities have to make up for the loss of public funding, they tax students directly by raising tuition. Winning big grants, winning over donors, and winning the admissions race require new resources, while the real work of the institution gets pinched and starved because it’s not directly generating income.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Nov. 23
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Digital sources in the classroom

1870 crew agreement from the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland, with text appearing through pop-up balloons

Valerie Burton and Robert C. H. Sweeny write: “Our hypothesis was simple enough: Undergraduates would better understand a historic document online if, instead of having a traditional textual intro, the same information appeared in bite-size balloons invoked by the users clicking on pins distributed throughout. Half the students had a pinned edition and half a more traditional one, while they all had several hours to explore the same eight-page document from the late 19th century. They then filled out quizzes, short-answer tests, and went through a debriefing. The results surprised us.”...

Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Oct. 1

The irony of writing online about digital preservation

Screenshot from Rollerball: We lost the 13th century

Meredith Broussard writes: “Recently, Adrienne LaFrance wrote in The Atlantic about the digital death and rebirth of a story that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2008. Because ‘The Crossing,’ a 34-part series originally published by the Denver Rocky Mountain News, was born digital, it was not as easily archived as print stories, and its journey from obscurity to resurrection was moving. Which led me to wonder: In 20 years, will anyone be able to read LaFrance’s story? There is no guarantee that we will be able to read today’s news on tomorrow’s computers.”...

The Atlantic, Nov. 20, Oct. 14

The library as research partner

Research data management

Yasmeen Shorish writes: “As we consider the role of the library in the scholarly life cycle, we should consider ways in which the library can partner with other stakeholders. With respect to research data management, what is the appropriate role for the library? In order to achieve effective research data management, planning for the life cycle of the data should occur before any data are actually collected.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, Nov. 23

An early look at the turkey

Conrad Gesner's 16th-century turkey, from Historiae Animalium

Michael J. North writes: “Turkeys were one of many animals and plants the Europeans encountered in the New World beginning in 1492. There were wild turkeys throughout much of North America, and Native peoples in what are now Mexico and the US Southwest had domesticated them: The Spanish found them in pens kept by the Aztecs in Mexico. In 1555. Conrad Gesner described the turkey in the third volume of his famous zoological work, Historiae Animalium, which came out in five volumes from 1551 to 1587.”...

Circulating Now, Nov. 23

Managing “zombie holds” in your digital collection

Zombie Penguins can lie dormant and then reanimate

Kristin Milks writes: “At Digipalooza in August, Holly Varley, the materials selection manager for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, talked about her library’s use of what she has dubbed ‘Zombie Penguins.’ Holly created a new way to order metered content efficiently so that instead of spending money repurchasing ebook titles that patrons are ignoring, they can spend it on new content. Even though the titles expired, they still show up on the patron site, so patrons are still able to place holds.”...

OverDrive Blogs, Nov. 24

Historical fiction that remembers the ladies

Cover of Lies We Tell Ourselves

Kelly Dickinson writes: “It was pretty much inevitable that I would become a Hamilton addict. I found Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant musical exploring the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the United States irresistible from the moment I first listened to the opening number. It also highlights perspectives often left out of the historical record, including the voices and experiences of women. Here is some other historical fiction that places women and their stories in the spotlight.”...

YALSA The Hub, Nov. 24

Bookish gifts for $20 or less

Bibliophilia: 100 literary postcards

Kelly Jensen writes: “In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d pull together a gift guide for bibliophiles of all shapes and sizes. This can be a starting place for you or useful if you’re trying to shop for the book lover in your life. And it’s actually inexpensive: This list has three price levels: $20 and under; $10 and under; and $5 and under. I’ve gone for both obviously bookish items, as well as some that are less bookish and more about being useful for bookworms.”...

Book Riot, Nov. 24

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