American Library Association • October 23, 2015
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Take me out to the library

Hall of Fame Librarian Jim Gates gives VIP Experience guests a tour of the Museum’s Giamatti Research Center. Photo: Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame

Ron Chepesiuk writes: “When Helen Derringer came to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, in early 1998, she discovered that the institution also had a library containing many old books and voluminous records about ballplayers. She asked Library Director Jim Gates, who was filling in at the reference desk, if he could find some information about her father, Paul Derringer, who played in major-league baseball for several years. I told her, ‘We sure can, if your father played baseball,’ Gates recalled.”...

American Libraries feature, Oct. 23

Libraries celebrate Back to the Future Day

Salt Lake City Public Library System staffers pose as characters from the Back to the Future films. From left, teen services coordinator Christina Walsh as Doc Brown, children's services coordinator Liesl Johnson as Marty McFly, and adult services coordinator Tommy Hamby as Jennifer Parker

Alison Marcotte and Terra Dankowski write: “Many libraries celebrated Back to the Future Day—October 21, 2015—with screenings of the Back to the Future trilogy and programming related to the films. The date, which is featured prominently in Back to the Future Part II, has been incorrectly depicted in internet hoaxes and memes for years. The Salt Lake City Public Library hosted a showing of Part II, trivia, a costume contest, and a photo booth.” As a footnote, two wayward issues of RUSA’s journal RQ appeared twice in Back to the Future (1985), apparently placed there by set director Hal Gausman....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 21; Latest Library Links, Oct. 21

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options in Boston

American Chop Suey (vegan) Blue Plate Special from Veggie GalaxyCarli Spina writes: “Boston is a great city with a lot of great food options, but if you have special dietary requirements, it can still be difficult to find places to eat. That’s why YALSA has compiled information about restaurants that are great for vegetarians, vegans, and those who need to ensure that their food is gluten-free.”...

YALSA Blog, Oct. 20; YALSA 2016 Midwinter wiki
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Inaugural Newlen-Symons Award

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table logo

ALA is accepting nominations for the inaugural Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community. The award, to be given for the first time this year, will honor recent library initiatives that demonstrate excellence in library services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. The award consists of a citation and $1,000 in cash. Nominations are due by December 15....

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, Oct. 20

Petition in support of strong encryption

We the People site banner

A We the People petition to the White House in support of strong encryption policies needs some 11,900 more endorsements by October 30: “The government should not erode the security of our devices or applications, pressure companies to keep and allow government access to our data, mandate implementation of vulnerabilities or backdoors into products, or have disproportionate access to the keys to private data.”...

We the People, Sept. 29

Librarians upset by Airbnb ads in San Francisco

Dear Public Library System, We hope you use some of the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep the library open later. Love, Airbnb

“Dear Public Library System, Please use the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep the library open later.”—so read one of the headlines in Airbnb’s new poster campaign in San Francisco. The ad prompted a Facebook response from San Francisco State University Assistant Professor Martha Kenney. Airbnb is fighting to sway public opinion against a November 3 ballot measure to restrict short-term rentals in the city. Airbnb later said that it was removing the campaign as “the tone” wasn’t quite right....

Adland, Oct. 22; SF Weekly, Oct. 21; New York Times, Oct. 22

Recognizing the Friends of the Library

Deborah Westler, left, and Diane Freggiaro are the co-managers of the bookstore run by the Friends of Lodi (Calif.) Public Library

Anyone who’s stopped to buy one of the books for sale in the Lodi (Calif.) Public Library’s lobby has met a Friend—with a capital F. The Friends of Lodi Public Library run the bustling bookstore off the hallway leading to the community room as well. But these volunteers—more than 60 of them at the last count—do a lot more than just sell paperbacks and picture books. Library Friends groups are being appreciated October 18–24 during National Friends of Libraries Week, sponsored by United for Libraries....

Lodi (Calif.) News-Sentinel, Oct. 16; United for Libraries

Reinventing the library

The Oberlausitzische Library of Sciences in Gorlitz, Germany

Author Alberto Manguel writes: “Libraries are resilient. Intent on surviving in an age where the intellectual act has lost almost all prestige, libraries have become largely social centers. Most libraries today are used less to borrow books than to seek protection from harsh weather and to find jobs online, and it is admirable that librarians have lent themselves to these very necessary services that don’t traditionally belong to their job description.”...

New York Times, Oct. 23

Libraries take to the streets with mobile labs

The San Francisco Public Library’s Techmobile, with a computer lab, Wi-Fi, and instructors on board, travels to underserved neighborhoods to offer lessons in basic computing applications, block-based coding, Lego Robotics, and 3D printing

Chris Berdik writes: “A mix of Wi-Fi–enabled buses and mobile computer labs has hit America’s streets. Some of these vehicles act simply as roving internet hot spots. Others ferry educational software and coding and robotics workshops to city parks, churches, and youth groups serving communities in danger of being left behind. But the demand is huge, and technology on wheels isn’t cheap. How far can the movement go?”...

The Hechinger Report, Oct. 21

We don’t need to be superheroes

Knowledge is our super power

Madeline Walton-Hadlock writes: “When we work on the reference desk or the public service floor, we are there under the assumption that people will have problems for us to fix. But if we position ourselves as superheroes, doesn’t it follow that we assume library users are victims who need saving? Despite our best intentions, this deficits-based assumption can subtly suggest to families that we do not value their inherent worth and potential.”...

ALSC Blog, Oct. 20

New Edward Snowden button for librarians

Librarians are badass.—Edward Snowden

Christian Lauersen writes: “So Edward Snowden joined Twitter and recently did a tweet on how the Library Freedom Project stepped up against the Department of Homeland Security in its attempt to stop the Tor relay pilot at Kilton Library in New Hampshire. Snowden ended the tweet with the statement: ‘Librarians are badass.’ He is right, and when somebody is right, I call for a button. So we started the button maker at my library and ended up with this bad boy.”...

The Library Lab, Oct. 22

Research data management roles for libraries

Cover of Research Data Management: Roles for Libraries

Deanna Marcum writes: “Neil Rambo, director of the Health Sciences Library at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, graciously agreed to describe the development of data management services at his library for the Ithaka S+R issue brief series. Research Data Management: Roles for Libraries is his account of how NYU’s Health Sciences Library established this relatively new service and the challenges the library still faces.”...

Ithaka S+R Blog, Oct. 22

Facebook just made all public posts searchable

Facebook search

Caitlin McGarry writes: “It used to be so easy to fly under the radar on Facebook. You could prevent people from searching for you by name, then that went away. You could rely on old photos staying in the past, but then Facebook rolled out Memories so everyone can relive great (or awful) moments with you. You could count on years-old posts not being swept up in a search dragnet just because you used a certain keyword, but now that, too, is a lost hope. Facebook just made all two trillion public posts searchable.”...

PC World, Oct. 22; Facebook Newsroom, Oct. 22

The 10 best tablets of 2015

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

Wendy Sheehan Donnell and Sascha Segan write: “It’s been just over five short years since the original Apple iPad hit the scene, and the current tablet market was born. But which tablet is right for you? Whether you’re eyeing an iPad, one of the many Android tablets available, or a Windows tablet for productivity, here are the key factors you need to consider when shopping for a tablet, along with the 10 top-rated models we’ve tested.”...

PC Magazine, Oct. 21

Cal and the Maiden

Cal, and Death and the Maiden

Peter Hart writes: “At Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.) Regional High School, one parent started a petition against two works being used in the English curriculum: Ariel Dorfman’s play Death and the Maiden and Bernard MacLaverty’s novel Cal. But it didn’t stop there; the petition asked the board to remove ‘any other material that is not age appropriate.’ A student started a counter-petition opposing the censorship of books. The controversy came to a head at a crowded Board of Education meeting on October 13.”...

National Coalition Against Censorship, Oct. 22

Do you wanna go to Starbucks?

Screenshot from Do You Want to Go to Starbucks?

“Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” is a mini-musical parody (2:13) on Frozen’s song ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ (originally by Lopez and Lopez) by two students from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Music and acting by Jené Nicole Johnson, with camerawork by Olivia Mowry....

YouTube, May 3, 2014

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