American Library Association • October 30, 2015
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Seeing how Libraries Transform across D.C.

ALA President Sari Feldman (right) talks with fourth- and fifth-graders in the Thomson Elementary School library classroom. Photo by Macey Morales

Terra Dankowski writes: “Libraries are transformative and have a critical role to play in the digital age—that’s the idea behind Libraries Transform, an ALA national public awareness campaign that launched in Washington, D.C., on October 29. ALA President Sari Feldman, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and ALA representatives toured a collection of D.C. libraries to see firsthand the best practices of libraries and library professionals in the information age and how programs and services are contributing to community engagement and empowerment.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 30

American Libraries November/December issue

Cover of AL Nov./Dec. 2015 issue

In the November/December 2015 issue, American Libraries offers tips on how to capitalize on your trustees’ talents and recruit new members, explores health literacy and training programs for librarians, looks at death cafés being held in libraries, lists the must-dos at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Boston, and interviews musician and author Pharrell Williams. Read the full issue or select individual articles....

American Libraries, Oct. 30

Task forces on LIS accreditation announced

LIS accreditation

Laurie D. Borman writes: “ALA President Sari Feldman appointed two task forces on LIS accreditation. These were authorized by the ALA Executive Board in San Francisco in June and stemmed from a collaboration of the ALA Executive Board and ALISE leadership during 2014–2015. The two task forces are the Task Force on Accreditation Process and Communication and the Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 30

Phantoms among the folios

The haunted Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana

George M. Eberhart writes (with updates by Alison Marcotte): “In the fall, a journalist’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of ghosts. Newspapers and magazines that haughtily refrain from printing news of the paranormal for 11 months of the year eagerly jump on the Halloween coach in October to regale their audiences with dubious tales of the preternatural. American Libraries is no exception. However, unlike less reputable media, we go to original sources whenever possible to ascertain whether or not our library spooks are spurious.” But then ghosts seem to be just an asynchrony in somato-sensory motor integration in the frontoparietal cortex, according to a 2014 paper in the journal Current Biology by Olaf Blanke, et al....

American Libraries feature, Oct. 28; Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28; Current Biology 24 (Nov. 17, 2014): 2681–2686

On the road with Lafayette

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is everywhere these days. The journalist, humorist, social commentator, and New York Times bestselling author is a late-night talk show regular whose distinctive voice can be heard on NPR and in numerous TV and film projects. Vowell sat down with American Libraries in June to discuss her latest book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, a funny and perceptive account of the Marquis de Lafayette’s impact, teaching history, and the vital role that libraries played in her youth....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 29

Sherman Alexie added to PLA Conference lineup

Sherman AlexiePLA has added a Children’s Author Lunch with Sherman Alexie to the PLA 2016 Conference schedule in Denver on April 7. Alexie connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry, and think through his semi-autobiographical writings. Alexie joins a remarkable collection of authors scheduled for the PLA 2016 Author Lunch series, including e. E. Charlton-Trujillo, Lamar Giles, I. W. Gregorio, and Arianna Huffington....

PLA, Oct. 29
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Subscription scare fuels worries over access to texts

EEBO demo page

Ellen Wexler writes: “A Twitter-fueled furor erupted on October 29 after the Renaissance Society of America said that the database firm ProQuest had canceled the group’s subscription to Early English Books Online. The controversy didn’t last long—by that afternoon, ProQuest had apologized and said that the society’s access remained in place. But for many academics, the incident stoked familiar anxieties about the role of companies like ProQuest in the future of scholarly research and publishing.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 30

Russian police detain Ukrainian librarian in Moscow

A man enters the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow

Russian police have detained the director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow on suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred, in the latest twist of the ongoing standoff between the two nations. The Russian investigative committee said in an October 29 statement it had asked a court to arrest Natalya Sharina after the investigators found books in the library that allegedly disseminated “anti-Russian propaganda.” On October 30, employees accused the Russian investigators of planting banned extremist books on their shelves to create a pretext to raid the library and detain the director....

The Guardian (UK), Oct. 29; Wikipedia (Ukrainian);, Oct. 29; Reuters, Oct. 30

Indiana launches media preservation initiative

Examples of deteriorated media that could be restored by the IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative

Indiana University officially marked the establishment of an ambitious initiative aimed at preserving the university’s extensive collection of audio, video, and film holdings with an October 21 ceremony at the Indiana Memorial Union. The IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative will preserve IU’s rare or irreplaceable collections of 635,000 recordings, currently stored in 50 formats housed in 80 units across the Bloomington, Indianapolis, and regional campuses....

Indiana University, Oct. 29

Harvard Law Library’s scanning project

Harvard librarians are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest volumes of law books and feeding some 40 million pages through a high-speed scanner. Photo by Charlie Mahoney / New York Times

In a digital-age sacrifice intended to serve grand intentions, the librarians at the Harvard Law Library are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest of their volumes and feeding some 40 million pages through a high-speed scanner. They are taking this once unthinkable step to create a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for....

New York Times, Oct. 28; Harvard Law Library, Oct. 4

The Cook’s Oracle

Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

Bee Wilson writes: “For 25 years food historian Barbara Ketcham Wheaton (right), 84, worked as a curator of the culinary collection at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For the past half century, she has been quietly compiling a database called ‘The Cook’s Oracle,’ in which she intends to log every recipe, ingredient, and technique in the vast majority of all the cookbooks published in America and Europe.”...

New York Times Magazine, Oct. 29

Follett Challenge launches November 2

Follett Challenge logo

The $200,000 Follett Challenge returns for a fifth year and again will reward the most innovative K–12 programs that teach 21st-century skills to students. The 2016 contest launches on November 2. All K–12 schools, public and private, in the US and Canada are eligible to apply. Submissions are open to all K–12 educators and Parent Teacher Organizations. A librarian, Tasha Squires at the O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, Illinois, won the 2015 Follett Challenge. Entries must be submitted by January 29....

Follett, Oct. 29

Call for poster sessions at IFLA in Columbus

A portion of the “Documenting Ferguson” poster at the 2015 IFLA Congress, Cape Town

Are you involved in an interesting project or in an area of work that you would like to discuss with attendees at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, August 13–19, 2016? Why not present your work as a poster session? Your topic could be described on a printed poster or by photographs, graphics, and pieces of text that you attach to the presentation panel. The deadline to submit a proposal is February 1....

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015

The Skunk, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Every year since 1952, the New York Times Book Review has convened an independent panel of judges to select the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the year. Judged purely on artistic merit, it’s the only annual award of its kind. This year’s judges were Frank Viva, Monica Edinger, and Marjorie Ingall....

New York Times Book Review, Oct. 28

What would Hermione Granger read?

Cover of What the Spell, by Brittany Geragotelis

Kimberli Buckley writes: “One of my favorite characters is Hermione Granger. She has a brilliant mind, is very gifted at spells, and may have a photographic memory. She is a loyal friend with strong convictions and somewhat of a rule follower. So, what if Hermione walked into my library right now? Let’s say she was done with school and on a break and wanted some books to read for fun. What books would I recommend? Well, here goes.”...

YALSA The Hub, Oct. 28

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