American Library Association • September 1, 2015
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2015 Library Design Showcase

Renovated children's space, Central Library, Boston Public Library

Phil Morehart writes: “Welcome to the 2015 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. These are shining examples of innovative architecture that address user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. New construction dominated this year’s submissions, but renovated and repurposed spaces were a close second, showing how today’s libraries are both conserving existing resources and adapting to economic realities.” Read the entire September/October issue online....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Berkeley Public Library director resigns

Jeff Scott

Embattled Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library Director Jeff Scott (right) has resigned. Board of Library Trustees Chairwoman Abigail Franklin made the announcement in a news release August 31. The resignation comes on the heels of almost two months of rallies, speak outs, and letter writing in opposition to Scott’s policies—especially targeting his methods of weeding books and materials from the system’s collection—on the part of community members and library staff....

Inside Bay Area, Sept. 1
Libraries Transform

Wildfire burns down Alaskan library

Chiniak resident Maureen Butler took this photo of the burned library on Friday morning

Almost 60 firefighters, backed by a helicopter, focused on securing about 30 homes in Chiniak, Kodiak Island, Alaska, on August 30 as winds gusted around the areas scorched by the wildfire that burned down at least two homes and the Chiniak Public Library. It was uncertain how the fire began on the night of August 27. The Chiniak library was founded in 1985 by a group of local volunteers....

Alaska Public Media, Aug. 28

8-year-old apologizes to library for ripping a page

Branch Head Daniel Colangelo, Jackson Dowler, and Toronto City Librarian Vickery Bowles at a ceremony honoring Jackson

Rose Minutaglio writes: “A handwritten letter by an 8-year-old Canadian boy apologizing to the Toronto Public Library for accidentally ripping a page in an Asterix comic book has captured the hearts of thousands after the library posted it on social media. The note, which reads ‘I am sorry that a page ripped when it fell out of my bed when I fell asleep reading it. It won’t happen again. I’m sorry. From Jackson,’ was written by Jackson Dowler who insisted on apologizing because he ‘felt bad for other kids that might want to read the book.’”...

People, Aug. 31

A National Book Festival for the ages

National Book Festival, 2014

Nicole Dubowitz writes: “The National Book Festival is back in D.C. on September 5, with an especially big reason to celebrate: 200 years ago, after the British burned the Library of Congress to the ground in the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson donated 6,000 of his own books to rebuild it. The Festival’s theme this year is ‘I cannot live without books,’ a quote by T.J. himself. More than 175 acclaimed authors, illustrators, and poets will be in attendance. For a full list of authors and presentations, visit the Library of Congress website.”...

DCist, Aug. 31; Library of Congress

IMLS announces $14.2 million in library grants

IMLS logo

On August 31, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 276 grants to institutions totaling $14,165,292. The grants were awarded through six programs: National Leadership Grants for Libraries, Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries, Native American Library Services Basic, Native American Library Services Enhancement, Native Hawaiian Library Services, and Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program. IMLS has published the lists of Native American and Hawaiian awardees and its other awardees....

IMLS, Aug. 31

2015 “Autism Welcome Here” grant

Libraries and Autism logo

The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services, and More” grant, sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected, awards a total of $5,000 in one or more grants to initiate a new and creative program or service, bring an already-existing program or service to a library for the first time, or enhance a program or service a library already offers. All programs or services proposed must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly. Completed applications must be submitted by December 1. Barbara Klipper offers some background on this grant....

Libraries and Autism; Targeting Autism, May 4

Creating a romance collection in an academic library

Lady Be Good, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, was one of the many romance novels added to the university collection

Over the past few decades, there has been a growing critical mass of scholarly interest in the study of popular romance fiction as a literary form in its own right. While much of the scholarship is available in academic libraries, few of the actual romance novels are. In response to curricular and faculty demand, Sarah Sheehan and Jen Stevens decided to start a collection of popular romance novels at George Mason University library. This article discusses their rationale, methods, and process in creating the collection....

Journal of Popular Romance Studies, Aug. 29

Best gaming laptops of 2015

Alienware 15

Laarni Almendrala Ragaza writes: “When it comes to gaming, the platform of choice goes to the consoles, at least as far as the average consumer goes. But enthusiasts know that if you want to experience the true quality that a game has to offer, then PC gaming is the way to go. For those looking to take their game mobile without sacrificing too many frame rates, we give you some valuable pointers on choosing the best laptops for gaming and rounded up our top picks in the category.”...

PC Magazine, Aug. 27

Confusion about ed-tech buzzwords

Ed-tech buzzword definitions by a Professor

Jeffrey R. Young writes: “Professors, administrators, and ed-tech vendors don’t always speak the same language when it comes to talking about experimental approaches to teaching and research. Terms like ‘flipped classroom’ and ‘digital humanities’ get thrown around a lot these days, but different people often mean different things by them. And some people still don’t know what they mean, despite their buzzword status.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Aug. 28

Back to (magic) school

Cover of Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins

Molly Wetta writes: “It’s back to school season, which elicits excitement from some and groans from others. When I first went back to library school, as much as I enjoyed my classes, I sort of wished they were more from the Rupert Giles School of Library Science, with a syllabus that looks something like this. I sympathize with teens who are more excited to get lost in a fantasy world than dig into algebra homework. So for those study breaks when one just needs to escape, here are some fantasy and paranormal novels in school settings.”...

YALSA The Hub, Aug. 31; The Toast, Sept. 4, 2014

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