American Library Association • September 15, 2015
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Pew Research: Libraries at the crossroads

Print book borrowing and use of librarians for reference help has dropped

John B. Horrigan writes: “Even as the public expresses interest in additional library services, there are signs that the share of Americans visiting libraries has edged downward over the past three years, although it is too soon to know whether or not this is a trend. A new survey (PDF file) from Pew Research Center brings this complex situation into stark relief. Compared with recent years, the current survey finds those 16 and older a bit less likely to say they have visited a library or bookmobile in person in the past 12 months, visited a library website, or used a library’s computers and internet access.” ALA President Sari Feldman released a statement September 15 regarding the survey’s findings....

Pew Research Center, Sept. 15; ALA Public Awareness Office, Sept. 15

Creating a security-aware staff

Library safety and security

Steve Albrecht writes: “Safety and security are everyone’s jobs. This includes the library director, every department head, every supervisor, all full- and part-time employees, library board members, Friends of the library members, elected officials, and even patrons—who can and should tell us about safety or security concerns when using our branches. It helps to have some absolutes when it comes to our methods and approaches to keeping staff members and patrons safe. I suggest these five.”...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Dispatches from the Field: Altmetrics, bibliometrics

Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt

Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt write: “In September 2010, Jason Priem, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, was interested in promoting the value of a set of metrics that could describe relationships between the social aspects of the web and the spread of scholarship online. He saw few terms available to describe this diverse group of analytics, so he coined the word ‘altmetrics.’”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Important win for fair use and dancing babies

Screenshot from the Dancing Baby video

Carrie Russell writes: “In Lenz v. Universal, an appeals court in San Francisco ruled September 14 that a rights holder must consider whether a use is fair before sending a takedown notice. The Dancing Baby Case, you may recall, is about a takedown notice a mother received after uploading a video to YouTube showing her baby dancing to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’ The court found that rights holders cannot send takedown notices without first considering whether the use of the copyrighted content is fair.”...

District Dispatch, Sept. 14; Mar. 17, 2014; YouTube, Feb. 7, 2007
Libraries Transform

Sari Feldman: Libraries in the digital age

ALA President Sari Feldman on SciTech Now

ALA President Sari Feldman (right) discusses the state of libraries in the digital age on this SciTech Now webcast (3:49), made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting....

SciTech Now, Sept. 9

Registration open for PLA Conference

PLA 2016 in Denver

Housing and registration for the Public Library Association’s 2016 Conference, April 5–9 in Denver, are now open. The PLA 2016 schedule is packed with extraordinary education, inspiration, and entertainment. Keynote speaker Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, will welcome attendees at the Opening Session, while comedian Tig Notaro will send them off from the Closing Session. Take advantage of the Early Bird rate by registering before January 22....

PLA, Sept. 15

Registration open for ALSC National Institute

2016 ALSC National Institute

Registration for the 2016 ALSC National Institute has opened. The conference, themed “Believe. Build. Become,” will be held September 15–17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prospective attendees will enjoy significant savings when they register before June 30, 2016. The National Institute is the premier event for programs and ideas related to children’s library services....

ALSC, Sept. 14

How Charlotte Mecklenburg brought back 13,000 users

Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library sign

Andrew Dunn writes: “The Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library is in the middle of a project to track cardholder behavior and use that information to place programs in the right locations, better advertise services, and give people gentle nudges to influence behavior. The end goal is to get more people either in the doors or using the library’s online services and more effectively tackle community issues like third-grade literacy and the digital divide.”...

Charlotte (N.C.) Agenda, Sept. 8

The hardest job in tech?

Bernard A. Barton Jr.

Claire Zillman writes: “Anyone working at the forefront of technology knows how difficult it is to keep up with the evolving digital world. Perhaps no one is better positioned to understand this than Bernard A. Barton Jr. (right), who was just hired as chief information officer for the Library of Congress. On September 8, Barton started his job as the person responsible for taking LC into the digital age. The details of how he will achieve this are still in the making.”...

Fortune, Sept. 14; Library of Congress, Sept. 8; Nextgov, Sept. 14

Breaking news: Water is wet

Print book and ebook

James LaRue writes: “In yet another shocking display of the obvious, Tim Worstall reports on the consequences of Big Five price negotiations with Amazon. Brave publishers stood up to the mega-retailer, by gum, and succeeded in raising the consumer price of ebooks. The result? Sales have fallen.”...

AL: E-Content, Sept. 14; The Register (UK), Sept. 9

RBML Mailbag on book plates

Screenshot from RBML Mailbag, episode 1

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has launched a video series called RBML Mailbag, in which the staff answers user-submitted questions about rare books. Directed by Anna Chen, UIUC curator of rare books and manuscripts, this first episode (2:39) explains book plates and how they are made....

IllinoisRBML YouTube channel, Sept. 4

YA titles celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Cover of Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Sharon Rawlins writes: “National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15) celebrates the heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans. September 15 is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries; three others also celebrate their independence days during this month. As a commemoration, I am highlighting some of the recent and forthcoming YA books either written by, or about, Hispanic and Latino fictional or real characters.”...

YALSA The Hub, Sept. 15

Recorded children’s music: A primer

The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

Katie Salo writes: “It took me a long time to enjoy and use children’s music. There are so many benefits to using music. Not until I started my Music and Movement program—Shake, Shimmy, and Dance—did I really start investigating recorded music. Raffi, Sharon Lois and Bram, Ella Jenkins, Hap Palmer, and Greg and Steve are great core artists to be familiar with as you start learning about children’s music. These are the 15 artists (in no particular order) that I absolutely adore.”...

ALSC Blog, Sept. 15; National Association for the Education of Young Children: Teaching Young Children 7, no. 5 (2015)

Australian librarians rhapsodize about library services

Screenshot from Librarian Rhapsody, showing some Nowra librarians

When the Shoalhaven City Council asked the staff of the Nowra Library in New South Wales to detail their achievements over the past 12 months, there was little chance that anyone was going to doze off during the presentation. “We knew it could be death by PowerPoint and we’re really partial to a bit of song and dance,” said Digital Resources Manager Robin Sharpe. The result: Librarian Rhapsody (5:01), a YouTube video that has nearly 100,000 views....

Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, N.S.W.), Sept. 11

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