American Library Association • September 4, 2015
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2015 ALA award winners

ALA award winners, 2015

ALA recognizes the achievements of more than 200 individuals and institutions each year with a variety of awards. This year’s award winners, chosen by juries of their colleagues and peers, are distinguished for their leadership and vision, as well as their continued commitment to diversity, equality, and intellectual freedom. This selection represents only a portion of those honored in 2015; see more award winners online....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

President’s Message: Library card spokesdog

ALA President Sari Feldman and her dog, Grady

ALA President Sari Feldman writes: “Are libraries going to the dogs? We need to consistently demonstrate the ways in which libraries are essential, innovative, and—dare we say?—cool. So we were thrilled to welcome Snoopy, the absolute coolest customer, as the 2015 National Library Card Sign-Up Month spokesdog. Snoopy has inspired all of us at Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library to expand Library Card Sign-Up Month into a dogtastic extravaganza.”...

AL column, Sept./Oct.

Sponsored Content

Banned Books Week 2015

Banned Books Week celebrates YA books in 2015

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read and will be observed in libraries, schools, bookstores, and other community settings across the nation and around the world.

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading or listening to a banned book. See a list of some banned books available on audio from Recorded Books and check out these links on censorship.

Here are two additional resources:

Library groups keep up the fight for net neutrality

Internet open

Larra Clark and Kevin Maher write: “Library groups are again stepping to the front lines in the battle to preserve an open internet. ALA, ACRL, the Association for Research Libraries, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies have requested the right to file an amicus brief supporting the respondent in the case of United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America. The brief would be filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.”...

District Dispatch, Sept. 4; Associations Now, Sept. 2

ALA, FTRF join amicus brief on NSA surveillance

Definition of NSA's upstream data collection

The Freedom to Read Foundation and ALA on September 3 joined with booksellers and libraries to file an amicus brief defending their ability and the ability of similar organizations to challenge on behalf of their users government actions that burden readers’ First Amendment rights. The amicus brief was filed in support of the plaintiffs in Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency. The lawsuit challenges the National Security Agency’s “upstream” surveillance program....

OIF Blog, Sept. 4; ACLU, Aug. 10

Travel to the Havana Book Fair

Havana Book Fair

Vamos a Cuba! Join ALA on a tour of Cuba during the 25th International Havana Book Fair, February 16–23, 2016, The festival consists of book vendors, poetry readings, children’s activities, art exhibitions, and concerts in the evenings. Authentic Cuba Travel is able to offer US librarians this eight-day study tour to Cuba because of a rare political opening in US policy. To sign up, create an account at the reservation website. The registration deadline is September 15....

ALA International Relations Office

Copyright Office’s online registration is offline

US copyright registration

The US Copyright Office’s electronic registration system has been down since August 28, costing the office an estimated $650,000 in lost fees and causing headaches for approximately 12,000 customers. The outage is part of a bigger computer failure at the Library of Congress, where scheduled maintenance on the library’s James Madison Building resulted in buildingwide power outages. The library’s information technology office is trying to restore the systems, but officials can’t say when service will return....

Washington Post, Sept. 3

Dallas Public Library to sell part of its record collection

33 1/3 party at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library

Jeff Gage writes: “When Heather Lowe came to Dallas to work at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, she realized she was sitting on a gold mine. While the Dallas Public Library system had taken on a series of budget cuts over the years, one thing had remained intact: an enormous collection of vinyl records. The only problem? Few people know it exists. So Lowe decided to try and change that. On September 17, the library is throwing a combination party and record sale, dubbed the 33 1/3 party, to help spread the word about its unique record collection.”...

Dallas Observer, Sept. 4

2014 National Humanities Medals

Novelist Larry McMurtry was one of the National Humanities Medal winners

The White House on September 3 announced the distinguished recipients of the 2014 National Humanities Medal. The awardees include historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist, and an education course. President Barack Obama will confer the medal in a September 10 ceremony in the East Room. The medal honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources....

National Endowment for the Humanities, Sept. 3

Public libraries in a jobless society

Extinct telephone formerly used to find jobs

Barbara Alvarez writes: “Can you imagine a world without work? While economists have theorized about the end of work for decades, sociologists and researchers believe that we may be moving toward a society where 30%-50% of the workforce is no longer traditionally employed thanks to technology and automation. In the July 2015 issue of The Atlantic, Derek Thompson’s article, ‘A World Without Work,’ investigates what the future will be like without a traditional workforce. He brings up aspects that will have a profound impact on the future of public libraries.”...

Public Libraries Online, Sept. 1; The Atlantic, July/Aug.

Using Twitter in academic libraries

Example of Dayton's @roeschlibrary interacting with one of its Twitter followers

Katy Kelly and Hector Escobar write: “In this article we discuss how students communicate with the University of Dayton Libraries on Twitter, and how we used conversations to improve library spaces, technology, and services. We will explain the process of tracking and responding to student tweets, as well as the pros and cons of such an endeavor. Lastly, we will share our use of Application Programming Interface generators and provide examples from institutions using this technology to communicate with students.”...

College and Research Libraries News 76, no. 8 (Sept.): 433–436

Choosing the best smartphone plan

An abundance of confusing smartphone plans

Brian X. Chen writes: “When you shop for a wireless phone plan today, chances are that the carrier’s marketing contains the word ‘simple.’ But when you browse the numerous options and fees, you’ll find they are anything but. Instead, we may be hitting peak complexity with phone plans. So we worked to boil down which plans are worth paying attention to, especially as consumers may be shopping for new phones and carrier plans after Apple unveils new iPhones on September 9. The main takeaway: In terms of price and network quality, AT&T has the best deals right now for both individual subscribers and families.”...

New York Times, Sept. 2

Women in comics, back to school edition

Cover of The War at Ellsmere, by Faith Erin Hicks

Carli Spina writes: “Sad as it may be for some, summer has come to a close and the new school year is upon us. In honor of this time of the year, here is a list of great comics by women that focus on back to school, whether this means starting college, transitioning to middle school, or starting over at a new institution. The books range from realistic to fantastic, but they all capture the emotions of the start of a new school year.”...

YALSA The Hub, Sept. 4

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