Why ALSC is still going to Charlotte.

American Library Association • April 1, 2016

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A conversation with Elisabeth Doucett

Elisabeth Doucett

American Libraries followed up with librarian Elisabeth Doucett (right), whose recent book New Routes to Library Success: 100+ Ideas from Outside the Stacks (ALA Editions, 2015) was excerpted in our March/April 2016 issue. Doucett is director of Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, and responded via email to questions about her book, what she’s reading, and upcoming projects....

American Libraries feature, Mar. 30; Mar./Apr.

FCC Lifeline program to include broadband

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted March 31 to update its Lifeline program to include broadband. Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings. ALA has been a strong advocate for modernization of all Universal Service Fund programs to include affordable access to high-capacity broadband. The FCC also made several other important program improvements....

ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, Mar. 31; Public Knowledge, Mar. 31; Los Angeles Times, Mar. 31

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books, Outlander

Outlander returns to the small screen

Libraries can expect a boost in readership with the return of the Golden Globe–nominated Outlander TV series to Starz on April 9. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s internationally bestselling series, Season 2 finds Jamie and a pregnant Claire joining French aristocratic society amid political turmoil.

Outlander won the 2016 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show for the second year in a row, and Davina Porter won a 2015 Voice Arts Award for her audiobook narration of the series’ eighth book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

Why ALSC is still going to Charlotte

ALSC Institute in Charlotte, N.C.

ALSC President Andrew Medlar writes: “I am reaching out to share information regarding the 2016 ALSC National Institute, September 15–17, and last week’s passing of North Carolina’s HB2 legislation, with the objective of gathering more feedback. In addition to this law’s conflict with the division’s core values, ALSC leadership has heard from members who are personally affected by it in a very real way. Unfortunately, moving the event to another state is not a viable alternative.” Hundreds of anti-discrimination activists flooded the streets and stopped traffic in Chapel Hill March 29 in a planned protest against HB2, and many businesses and civil rights organizations are calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to seek a repeal....

ALSC Blog, Mar. 31; Common Dreams, Mar. 30; WRAL-TV, Raleigh, N.C., Mar. 31

ALSC, PLA: Early literacy survey results

Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd ed.

ALSC and PLA have announced preliminary findings from their three-year Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Project grant, “Bringing Home Early Literacy: Determining the Impact of Library Programming on Parent Behavior.” As part of the study, Susan B. Neuman and Donna C. Celano recently published two articles related to the research and its preliminary findings, which point to Every Child Ready to Read 2’s positive impact on the ongoing literacy behaviors of adults....

ALSC, Mar. 31
Libraries Transform

Adventures of a children’s librarian

Paula Langsam’s job as a D.C. children’s librarian entails much more than helping kids pick out books

Nevin Martell writes: “During the two years Paula Langsam (right) worked at the Benning Neighborhood Library in Northeast Washington, D.C., her desk was the first thing you saw when you entered the children’s section. Her official title is children’s librarian, but that barely describes the range of her duties. She sometimes steps away to help a homeless person find health care, hand out free lunches, serve as a teacher’s aide for a free science camp, or talk to teenage mothers about teaching their kids pre-literacy skills.”...

Washington Post, Mar. 31

San José’s problems with late fees

SJPL Library Director Jill Bourne

When Damaris Triana, then 8, lost several books that she had borrowed for her sister, the San José (Calif.) Public Library fined her $101—including $40 for processing—a bill that was eventually turned over to an agency to collect from her parents. The $101 is a small part of a whopping $6.8 million in unpaid fines, an amount that exceeds unpaid fees at some larger cities. The fines have become a deterrent to borrowing, especially for poor users. Library Director Jill Bourne (right) wants to do something about that....

New York Times, Mar. 30

Afghans seed a ravaged land with books

Matiullah Wesa (center), his brother Atta Muhammad, and their nieces in the library Wesa established three years ago in their family home in Spinbaldak, Afghanistan. Muhammad is the library’s caretaker. Wesa has established several other libraries across the country. Photo by Andrew Quilty for the New York Times

Mujib Mashal writes: “At first glance, it is not much of a library: two shelves of about 1,600 books and magazines in a basement room deep in a dusty alley in rural Panjwai District, in southern Afghanistan. But the register shows how parts of the community here, particularly younger residents, have come to value any chance to indulge their curiosity, in a place that was at the heart of the original Taliban uprising in the 1990s and that became a watchword for the tragedy and deprivation brought by war.”...

New York Times, Mar. 30
Latest Library Links

Canadian libraries call for fair ebook pricing

Differences in ebook prices for individuals and libraries

The group Canadian Public Libraries for Fair Ebook Pricing continues to advocate for more reasonable prices and terms for ebooks from multinational publishers with an open letter to Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. Current ebook pricing models lead to fewer titles and fewer copies for readers to discover, despite booming borrowing rates and high demand....

Canadian Public Libraries for Fair Ebook Pricing, Mar. 29

FOIA Mapper locates public documents

How FOIA Mapper works

Joseph Lichterman writes: “The process of filing a Freedom of Information Act request can be complicated. It can be difficult to know what information is available from which part of which agency—and what properly formed questions will turn up the right answers. That’s why independent data journalist Max Galka launched FOIA Mapper, a Knight Foundation–backed site that went live March 29. It aims to streamline the FOIA process by helping users figure out the best ways to request the documents they need.”...

Nieman Lab, Mar. 29

Penn launches Holy Land Collections

Traditional site of the tomb of David, King of Israel, on Mount Zion, Israel. Undated photo by Felix Bonfils

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries has launched an online home for its Holy Land Collections. The website features a wide range of items related to the Holy Land, including rare manuscripts, original archaeological artifacts, engraved maps, and many other primary and secondary source materials. Of major interest is the Lenkin Family Collection of Photography, purchased in 2009 with a donation from Edward J. Lenkin, that consists of over 5,000 photographs of the Holy Land dating from 1850 to 1937....

Penn Libraries News, Mar. 29

Spring travel guides, 2016

Cover of 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites across the U.S., by Brent D. Glass

Rebecca Vnuk writes: “It feels like I need to take a moment and thank my dear pal, El Niño, for making this winter a lot more bearable than the past few we’ve endured (at least, here in Chicago!). But that doesn’t mean people aren’t still dreaming up their spring and summer getaways, so, once again, we present our latest roundup of recommended titles that have appeared over the past six months.” For example, 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites across the U.S., by Brent D. Glass....

Booklist Online, Apr. 1

April Fools’ Day at the library

Cover of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, retold by Eric A. Kimmel

Jennifer Schultz writes: “Are you planning April Fools’ hijinks at your library? Even if you don’t plan to announce to your Facebook followers that books will now be shelved according to color, you can celebrate with reading or displaying books that involve trickery or unexpected endings. I’m leaving off several titles in the name of brevity, but I couldn’t forget Eric Kimmel’s retelling of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock.” And don't forget this roundup of April Foolery from 2015....

ALSC Blog, Mar. 31; AL: The Scoop, Apr. 3, 2015

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