The IFLA conference in Columbus, Ohio.

American Library Association • August 16, 2016
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IFLA Opening Session highlights

Columbus Public School students passed out Life Savers, which were invented in Ohio in 1912

The opening session of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress celebrated its host state of Ohio on August 14 with appearances from Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Olivier Sedra and some animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. American Libraries Art Director Rebecca Lomax captured these and other highlights, including a tribute to the state’s history as “first in flight” with an aerialist tribute to the Wright Brothers and a video message from astronaut and former Senator John Glenn, in a photo gallery....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 15

IFLA and sustainable development

Keynote speaker Loida Garcia-Febo, a library consultant with international expertise and a member of the IFLA governing board, addressed how libraries are using their powers to do good around the world

The takeaway from the IFLA Asia and Oceania Section presentation on August 15 was how libraries in many countries—from highly industrialized economies to fragile island states, from the Middle East to French Polynesia—can help people find the information they need to create sustainable communities. Loida Garcia-Febo (right) noted some of the ways citizen access to information can be used as a tool for education, engagement, and empowerment. Another session focused on how national libraries are promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. IFLA has published a booklet of examples and recommendations for policymakers demonstrating the contribution that libraries make to the UN goals....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 15–16; IFLA, Aug. 14

OCLC: Purpose, place, and people

Skip Prichard, president and CEO of OCLC, addresses the crowd at the Industry Symposium during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, August 14

One of the major sponsors of the 82nd IFLA General Conference in Columbus, Ohio, August 13–19, was OCLC, the nonprofit library service and research organization. OCLC made use of the occasion to showcase its services at its “Industry Symposium” on August 14. President and CEO Skip Prichard (right) compared the work of OCLC with the Disneyland attraction It’s a Small World, saying that “Making the big world of information small enough to manage is what we do.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 15

2017 OCLC/IFLA Fellows

Patience Ngizi-Hara (Zambia), Eric Nelson Haumba (Uganda), Sharisse Rae Lim (Philippines), Jerry Mathema (Zimbabwe), and Nguyen Van Kep (Vietnam)

OCLC, along with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, has named five librarians to participate in the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program for 2017. The program supports library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies. The five fellows are Patience Ngizi-Hara (Zambia), Eric Nelson Haumba (Uganda), Sharisse Rae Lim (Philippines), Jerry Mathema (Zimbabwe), and Nguyen Van Kep (Vietnam)....

OCLC, Aug. 16
ALA news

IFLA statement on net neutrality and zero-rating

What is zero-rating?

The IFLA Statement on Net Neutrality and Zero-Rating was launched at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio. It defines network neutrality and zero-rating and identifies the issues for libraries and librarians. “Without net neutrality, the ability of libraries, as information providers, is compromised. The library website will not be able to compete with commercial information and content providers that have the ability to offer differential levels of service, at preferential prices or for free as a ‘zero-rated’ service.”...

IFLA, Aug. 13

Librarians continue to disappear from Chicago schools

School librarian Nora Wiltse testifies at the Chicago Board of Education in 2014

Librarians are disappearing from Chicago Public Schools. The school district released a $6.3 billion spending plan in early August that cut 1,200 staff positions. About 80 were librarians. “How does that make me feel? Like an endangered species,” said Nora Wiltse (right), a librarian at Coonley Elementary. She still has a job, and for the last few years she’s documented the rapid decline of school librarians in Chicago....

WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Aug. 9, 12; July 23, 2014
Libraries Transform

Library in Finland installs karaoke booth

Finnish music selections on Tikkurila Library’s karaoke player

A library in southern Finland wants people to sing their hearts out during their next visit—in a soundproofed karaoke booth. Officials in the city of Vantaa, near Helsinki, installed the karaoke zone at Tikkurila Library earlier in 2016 as part of a plan to provide new services at libraries. The idea is that people who don’t fancy performing to a packed bar after a tipple can instead enjoy a sing-along in relative privacy, regardless of their ability to hold a tune....

BBC News, Aug. 10

Library Olympics in Dayton

Best of all was the book cart racing event. Even walking with a book cart is difficult, so the organizers amped it up a bit by having the players run a course with multiple turns.

Katy Kelly writes: “On a rare sunny but cool June day in Dayton, Ohio, the University of Dayton Libraries staff competed (and excelled in) the inaugural Library Olympics. Developed by a team led by Erik Ziedses des Plantes, the day featured journal Jenga, journal toss, cart racing, book balancing, speed sorting, and a scavenger hunt that played out on Twitter. Originally, Library Olympics was created by Matt Shreffler, now at Wright State University Libraries, as a student employee event. Our professional development team built upon it to create a winning event for all.”...

Programming Librarian, Aug. 8
Latest Library Links

Teens can now vote for the Teens' Top Ten

Teens’ Top Ten logo

Teens (ages 12–18) from all around the world can cast their votes for their favorite titles for the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten now through October 15. The voting page, hosted by DOGObooks, showcases all 26 nominees with their respective book covers and summaries, and gives teens the opportunity to leave comments about their favorite titles. The top ten titles will be announced the week following Teen Read Week, which takes place October 9–15....

YALSA, Aug. 15

Technology is not the death of deep reading

Portion of a magazine ad for Friedman-Shelby shoes showing an American family watching TV (1954)

Emilie Hancock writes: “In 2015, the average American over 15 years old spent around three hours watching television every day. In contrast, only 15 minutes a day were spent reading. Perhaps the real reason we don’t read books is much less complex than not having enough time. What we require is not the impossible feat of adding hours to each day, but rather a realistic and achievable change in how we use the hours we already have. By embracing reading material that transcends books of traditional length and publication method, we can reestablish a reading culture in the digital age.”...

No Shelf Required, Aug. 16; US Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 24

Protection of Iraqi and Syrian antiquities

Iraqi and Syrian antiquities at risk of being trafficked

The Government Accountability Office released a report August 15 showcasing the efforts US agencies have made since 2011 to protect Iraqi and Syrian antiquities. The Department of Homeland Security reported coordinating with the FBI and other agencies to open 18 Iraqi and Syrian cultural property cases—such as those regarding smuggling by individuals and international criminal organizations—between 2011 and February 2016. The Smithsonian has trained Syrian antiquities professionals to use sandbags and other materials to protect ancient mosaics at a Syrian museum....

Government Accountability Office, Aug. 15

I can’t even with librarians who won’t read diversely


Molly Wetta writes: “Most librarians I know are book people. So when an author says librarians should read diversely and broadly and even goes so far as to suggest they read outside their own taste and interest, and some librarians are in fact not nodding their heads, and basically yelling ‘You can’t make me read,’ my first reaction is ‘What?’ Here are the very dubious arguments that people, even some librarians, made against the idea that librarians should actively seek out diverse voices, and my responses.”...

Book Riot, Aug. 12

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