American Library Association • October 16, 2015
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Court rules Google Books project is fair use

Google Books judgment

A US appeals court ruled (PDF file) on October 16 that Google Books, a massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers, and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law. The authors sued Google in 2005....

Reuters, Oct. 16

Cyber bill could let feds spy on library users

Cybersecurity: We're watchingLibrarians are warning that a cybersecurity bill about to hit the Senate floor could help the government spy on people using library computers. ALA President Sari Feldman on October 14 urged senators to oppose the “privacy-hostile” bill known as the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. “When librarians oppose a bill with ‘information sharing’ in its name you can be sure that the bill is decidedly more than advertised,” Feldman said....

The Hill, Oct. 14; ALA Washington Office, Oct. 14
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

New research highlights libraries’ expanded roles

Library services and healthier communities

A majority of our nation’s nearly 17,000 public libraries provide programs to help identify health insurance resources and also training to increase familiarity with new technologies, according to a new study from ALA. This year’s Digital Inclusion Survey caps two decades of research on public libraries and the internet and the expanded roles libraries are playing in their communities. The Connecticut State Library, for one, expects health literacy needs to continue to grow....

ALA Washington Office, Oct. 14

Pura Belpré Award to celebrate 20th year

Pura Belpré

Alison Marcotte writes: “Born in Puerto Rico at the turn of the last century, Pura Belpré (right) moved to New York in 1920 and became the first Latina librarian in the New York Public Library system in 1921. She engaged patrons with reading clubs, puppet theater, and bilingual story hours at various branches, including the 135th and 115th Street branches, as well as through talks at churches, community centers, and schools.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 14

Cubs win! Cubs win!

Digital Services Assistant Srdjan Vasilic takes a photo of two patrons in front of the green screen in Niles Public Library's Creative Studio

Alison Marcotte writes: “Chicago Cubs fans can now add Niles (Ill.) Public Library to their list of places to celebrate. In honor of the team’s appearance in the Major League Baseball playoffs, the library is featuring Wrigley Field on its new green screen and letting community members show their Cubs pride. So far, the library has had more than 90 Cubs photos taken since it debuted on October 9, and the number is growing every day.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 16

Scholarships to attend 2016 IFLA congress in Columbus

IFLA 2016 World Library and Information Congress

ALA has been awarded a 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The $50,000 grant will be used to provide 50 $1,000 scholarships to help a diverse group of librarians, library staff, and library students in the US attend the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, August 13–19, 2016. Apply by December 31....

ALA International Relations Office, Oct. 13

Free access to Booklist’s first digital edition

Digital October 15 issue of Booklist

To celebrate the publication of its first digital edition, Booklist will offer open access to its October 15 issue, “Spotlight on First Novels,” for a limited time. Both subscribers and non-subscribers will have the opportunity to read the full text of hundreds of Booklist reviews and features for free. The digital edition format will offer readers a page-by-page reproduction of the print magazine with the added convenience of online access....

Booklist, Oct. 14

South Carolina storm soaked hundreds of kid’s books

Charleston County Library employees Kathleen Hale (front) and Connie Darling on October 15 clean and disinfect the bookshelves at the Edger Allan Poe branch library on Sullivan’s Island. The branch was flooded during the deluge that hit the Lowcountry in early October

The Edgar Allan Poe Library on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston Harbor has the feeling of a fortress with its two-foot-thick walls, but it was no match for the torrential rains of early October. The library, a branch of the Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library that is housed in a former Spanish-American gun battery, has been closed for two weeks of cleanup because the storm left six inches of water in the children’s reading room....

Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, Oct. 15

Tennessee State Librarian pushes for new facility

State Librarian and Archivist Charles Sherrill presents a piece of local history during a stop at the Johnson City Press

Tennessee State Librarian Charles Sherrill and his colleagues have been touring the state, trying to drum up support to have a new state library and archival building paid for and erected at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville. The project is expected to cost $90 million, only $20 million of which has been secured. Most pressing is the issue of available space, but they’re also dealing with a decreasing ability to help educate students and academics....

Johnson City (Tenn.) Press, Oct. 16

Quebec librarians leery of Islamic group’s books

Cover of Women’s Rights: A Historical Perspective

Several libraries in Quebec say they have received a package of books from an Islamic group in Saudi Arabia, including one that condemns the freedoms of Western women as the cause of infidelity and the neglect of children. The books came free from a group identified on the mailing label as the Muslim World League / World Wide Association for Introducing Islam, which is based in Mecca. Included were a copy of the Qur’an and a book titled Women’s Rights: A Historical Perspective by Abdallah H. Al-Kahtany....

Yahoo News Canada: Daily Brew, Oct. 15; Le Journal de Montréal, Oct. 15

Marlon James wins Man Booker Prize

Cover of A Brief History of Seven Killings

Jamaican novelist Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize on October 13 for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, a raw, violent epic that uses the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976 to explore Jamaican politics, gang wars, and drug trafficking. James is the first Jamaican-born author to win the prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. At a ceremony at London’s Guildhall, James said he was so certain that he would not win that he did not prepare an acceptance speech....

New York Times, Oct. 13

Salman Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech

Salman Rushdie speaks at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. Photo: Barcroft Media/Imago/EPD

Violence against writers and a misplaced sense of political correctness pose new dangers to freedom of speech in the West, author Salman Rushdie said at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 13. Rushdie, the subject of an Iranian death threat in 1989 for his book The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous by many Muslims, said he had not expected freedom of expression to come under attack again to this extent in the Western world....

Reuters, Oct. 14

New LC book reveals America in the 21st century

Cover of Facing Change

The Library of Congress, in association with the nonprofit photography group Facing Change: Documenting America, has produced a new national portrait of America. Published by Prestel, Facing Change: Documenting America by Leah Bendavid-Val features the work of 10 of the country’s most celebrated photojournalists. The collaborative project was inspired by work done in the 1930s and 1940s by photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration....

Library of Congress, Oct. 15

Lomax Family manuscripts now online

Clipping for series The Midnight Special at Town Hall; program for Josh White performance in series, Jan. 18, 1946(?)

The American Folklife Center on October 15 launched the online publication of the Lomax Family manuscripts, with access to 25,000 pages created primarily by folklorist Alan Lomax during the 1940s and 1950s. More than 350,000 pages from the 100 archival collections documenting the work of John A. Lomax Sr., Ruby Terrill Lomax, Alan Lomax, Bess Lomax Hawes, and John A. Lomax Jr. will become available to the public during the next year....

Library of Congress, Oct. 15

Seniors and the internet

Seniors and social media

Research has shown that seniors, especially those 80 and older, can benefit greatly by being connected to family and friends via the internet and making use of social media. But 27% are “virtual shut-ins” unable or not interested in using the web or social networking as a result of their inability to use the internet or the need for assistance, according to a “Rewiring Aging” survey sponsored by Brookdale Senior Living....

Telecompetitor, Oct. 14

Encryption is more important and easier than ever

Let’s Encrypt

Vindu Goel writes: “Twenty years after Netscape introduced encryption to web browsers to safeguard the private data of internet users, roughly two-thirds of web traffic still moves on unprotected channels, according to research by Sandvine. But now, the computer industry and the US government have embarked on a major, multifront campaign to have basic web encryption—known as HTTPS or TLS encryption—more widely adopted.”...

New York Times: Bits, Oct. 14

Princeton’s collection of death masks

Goethe’s death mask

Life and death masks of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), and almost 100 others just like them, make up the Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks. Stored deep inside Princeton University’s Firestone Library, it’s the largest known collection of life and death masks in the US, and one of the biggest in the world. It is also a testament to one man’s decades-long obsession with a practice that was once common but is now an eerie remnant of a bygone era....

Inside New Jersey, Oct. 14

How to get away with fantasy

Is this just fantasy?

Kelly Dickinson writes: “The word ‘fantasy’ is defined as the ability, activity, or product of imagining things, especially concepts that are impossible, improbable, or otherwise removed from our reality. When applied to fiction, the term usually references a genre of literature that takes place within alternative worlds or includes events and characters that operate outside of the rules governing our universe—usually through the existence of some kind of magic. Sometimes we need to escape our own reality—especially during our teenage years.”...

YALSA: The Hub, Oct. 16

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