In defense of LA school librarians.

American Library Association • August 5, 2016
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ALA, AASL presidents defend LA school librarians

Los Angeles Unified School District logo

ALA President Julie B. Todaro and AASL President Audrey Church write in a guest editorial: “In today’s complex information landscape, school librarians are needed more than ever. Under the guidance of school librarians, students learn to locate, evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources. Yet proposed cuts to Los Angeles Unified School District’s middle school librarians might reverse progress that has been made towards providing all LAUSD students with a certified librarian.”...

Los Angeles Daily News, Aug. 4; LA School Report, Aug. 4

Library of Congress tweet archive still in limbo

LC tweet archive

In 2010, the Library of Congress and Twitter announced they would archive and preserve every tweet ever posted. Six years later, LC still hasn’t launched the archive and doesn’t know when it will, although the unsorted tweets are being stored on a server. The library has been handed a Gordian knot, an engineering, cyber, and policy challenge that grows bigger and more complicated every day—about 500 million tweets a day more complicated....

The Atlantic, Aug. 4

NJ librarian amasses postcards showing local history

Cynthia Harris and some of the New Jersey Room’s postcards

For the past 27 years, Cynthia Harris (right) has collected nearly 1,500 Jersey City–themed postcards and another 800 depicting scenes around Hudson County for the Jersey City Free Library’s New Jersey Room. Organized by category inside colored binders, the postcards show scenes from schools and storefronts, and even various phases of Kennedy Boulevard’s development. She keeps a detailed Excel spreadsheet of every card in the collection. The oldest postcard dates back to 1903....

Jersey Journal, Aug. 4

Winnie-the-Pooh and pals return to NYPL

Winnie-the-Pooh and pals back on display at NYPL

Winnie-the-Pooh, one of kid lit’s most charming and reassuring characters, has returned to the New York Public Library—where he has resided with some of his famous pals since 1987—after a much-needed break for conservation. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, and Tigger went back on display in the library’s Children’s Room on August 3, following more than a year of refreshing repairs on the stuffed toys by a textile conservator. Pooh is no spring chicken: He’ll be 95 on August 21, so a touch-up was in order....

USA Today, Aug. 3
ALA news

Book cover sparks discussion on racial sensitivity

Judi Honoré, Shakespeare Books

A book cover at a locally owned bookstore in Ashland, Oregon, has sparked a conversation about racial sensitivity in society. As a result, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has asked its staff not to make work-related purchases at Shakespeare Books and Antiques. Both sides say it started when four actors saw Little Black Sambo in a store display on banned books and asked owner Judi Honoré (right) to change it. The festival has been spearheading a discussion on racism in the community....

KOBI-TV, Medford, Oreg., Aug. 4

We need more diverse books like The Snowy Day

Cover of The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Rumaan Alam writes: “When I look at the library we’ve built for our kids, I do wish for more books for children that followed Ezra Jack Keats’s lead: books that use children who look like mine to capture the magic in the mundane, as the best books for children do. Because what I’ve learned—and what I hear often from other parents of children of color—is that all too often the books that do contain kids who look like mine are, alas, not that fun to read.”...

Slate, Aug. 2
Libraries Transform

Make a Harry Potter board game

PottoPoly board game

Katlyn Roedel writes: “I love making customized board games, and I got the idea to turn one of the most strategic games into a Harry Potter–themed gaming experience. Why play the same old Monopoly with the same old chance and community chest cards when you can invent your own with some surprising twists and turns taken right from your favorite book and film franchise? Here is how you can make a PottoPoly board game.”...

Instructables, July

Library anxiety, and how librarians are fighting it

Butler Library circulation desk, Columbia University

Ella Morton writes: “Library anxiety is real. The phenomenon, which involves feeling intimidated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed by libraries and librarians, was first identified by Constance A. Mellon in 1986. Her paper, ‘Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development,’ reported that college students in particular are prone to library anxiety because they believe their research skills are inadequate, which makes them feel ashamed and unwilling to talk to the very librarians who might be able to ease their worries.”...

Atlas Obscura, Aug. 4; College & Research Libraries 47, no. 2 (Mar. 1986): 160–165
Latest Library Links

13 internet moments that changed the world

Katrina photo

Kim LaChance Shandrow writes: “It’s been said that ‘If television’s a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won’t shut up.’ It’s true, but what a prolific, change-making drunk librarian she is. It all started on August 6, 1991, a quarter of a century ago. That was the day the World Wide Web became publicly available. To celebrate the web’s big birthday, we’ve put together a list of its 13 greatest pivotal moments. Come along for a fun, nostalgic throwback romp.”...

Entrepreneur, Aug. 4; Cat and Girl, Aug. 6, 2005

Read books, live longer

Correlation between reading books and longevity

Reading books is tied to a longer life, according to a new study by the Yale University School of Public Health in Social Science and Medicine. Researchers divided a sample of 3,635 people over 50 years old into three groups: those who read no books, those who read books up to 3.5 hours a week, and those who read books more than 3.5 hours. The results: Book readers live an average of almost two years longer than those who do not read at all. There is a similar association among those who read newspapers and magazines, but it is weaker....

New York Times: Well, Aug. 3; Social Science and Medicine 164 (Sept.): 44–48

Working titles of 15 famous books

1984 had the working title of The Last Man in Europe

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice might be a staple of English literature courses, but not all bookworms know that the 19th-century novelist’s famous romance was originally called First Impressions. Jonkers Rare Books in the UK has collated the working titles of 15 classics, from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s childhood favorite The Secret Garden to George Orwell’s dystopian 1984, and compiled them into a handy infographic complete with the reasons behind the writer’s change of heart....

The Independent (UK), July 26

How USB charging works

USB port

Jamie Lendino writes: “Ten years ago, you always had to make sure you had the correct power supply for each of your gadgets. Usually, that power supply wasn’t even labeled. Today, you can charge your phone at your friend’s house, plug your ebook reader into any computer, and download photos from a digital camera directly to your TV, all thanks to the USB-C connector. But there’s a new problem: USB power. Not all USB chargers, connectors, and cables are born equal. Here’s how they work.”...

Extreme Tech, Aug. 3; Mar. 13, 2015

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