ALA presidential candidates.

American Library Association • August 26, 2016
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Garcia-Febo, Grief seek 2018–2019 ALA presidency

Loida Garcia-Febo and Terri Grief

Loida Garcia-Febo (left), international library consultant and president of Information New Wave in Brooklyn, New York; and Terri Grief (right), school librarian at McCracken County High School in Paducah, Kentucky, are the candidates for the 2018–2019 ALA presidency. Garcia-Febo has served on the ALA Council from 2011 to the present and was elected to the ALA Executive Board for 2015–2018. Grief served as 2013–2014 AASL president and has been a member of ALA Council as the Kentucky chapter councilor, AASL division councilor, and councilor-at-large....

Office of ALA Governance, Aug. 25

Rebuilding Louisiana school and classroom libraries

Damaged books in Glen Oaks Park Elementary School library, Baton Rouge

Author Kate Messner writes: “If you’re like me, you’ve been watching the news out of Louisiana. When whole communities are flooded, families who have lost everything are uprooted, and that can be especially tough on kids. As a result of flood-damaged schools, many students have also been displaced from their classrooms for now, and teachers and librarians have lost books and supplies. Let’s make sure those kids have beautiful books in their school and classroom libraries when they return.” Trey Veazey, librarian at Glen Oaks Park Elementary School in Baton Rouge, wrote a heartfelt plea for help about the loss of his library....

Kate Messner, Aug. 21; Trey Veazey, Aug. 26

Buffalo’s Silverman Library powers up for digital

The Grand Reading Room in the newly renovated Silverman Library at University at Buffalo, which is opening after a $7 million overhaul

In the University at Buffalo’s newly renovated Silverman Library, a half-million books have been replaced with more than 1,000 power outlets, 100 computer stations, and soundproof studios where students can video presentations for classroom projects. The $7.2 million in renovations that took 18 months to complete are the latest nod to the digital age on the university’s North Campus in Amherst, New York. Students will get a look at the changes for the first time August 29, when classes begin....

Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Aug. 25; University at Buffalo, Aug. 24

Milwaukee Public Library and the disappearing archive

Milwaukee Sentinel indexes, Milwaukee Public Library

On August 16, when more than a century’s worth of historic online archives of the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel abruptly disappeared from the internet, it came without warning to City Librarian Paula Kiely. “I spent 60% of my day today working on this,” Kiely said. The library was originally a key player in the digitization of the newspaper archives. Now NewsBank wants to charge it $1.5 million for access to only half the archive....

Urban Milwaukee, Aug. 19, 23
ALA news

The great medieval British bake-off

Detail of a man with loaves in a basket and a baker putting loaves in an oven or taking loaves out of an oven, Royal MS 10 E IV, f. 145v

Becky Lawton writes: “The fascination with the baking process and an enjoyment of bread, cakes, and pies has long been an important part of British society. Baking is one of the world’s oldest professions, and baking guilds were among the earliest craft guilds established in medieval Europe. The high level of skill required in the baking craft was certainly recognized in medieval society. The realities of medieval baking are depicted in the beautiful illustrations of the Smithfield Decretals.”...

British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Aug. 24

Scientific papers on genetics may contain Excel errors

Excel errors in selected genetic journals

A high number of scientific papers in the field of genetics contain errors introduced by Microsoft Excel, according to an analysis published in the journal Genome Biology. A team of Australian researchers analyzed nearly 3,600 genetics papers published in scientific journals. The papers came with supplementary Excel files containing lists of genes used in the research. Roughly one in five of these papers included errors in their gene lists that were due to Excel automatically converting gene names to things like calendar dates or random numbers....

Washington Post, Aug. 26; Genome Biology 17 (2016): 177
Libraries Transform

How digitization changed historical research

Gorgeously laid out programs and flyers, Barnard College Archives

Michelle Moravec writes: “Digitized archival collections are going nowhere. The pressure for ‘more product less process’ and the backlogs in many repositories combined with the neoliberal economy of higher education in which access for consumers trumps all other concerns means that digitizing documents and putting them online will continue to be viewed as a good thing by many. However, I’ve realized a few distinctions that go beyond the focus on keyword searches that has characterized much debate over digitized archives.”...

Medium: On Archivy, Aug. 23

NCSU tries out lending virtual reality gear

HTC Vive painting demo

The North Carolina State University Libraries are offering a fun chance to try out the virtual reality gear that it now lends. “Virtual Friday” on August 26 is an opportunity to try out new virtual and augmented reality equipment. Students and faculty can navigate virtual environments with gear like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headsets (right) and the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality device. “It’s the next platform that we need to be offering to campus, and it’s getting cheaper to do so,” said Peter Schreiner, who is working on the Virtual Reality Support initiative....

North Carolina State University Libraries, Aug. 24
Latest Library Links

All the Google Now voice commands

OK, Google

Jason Cross writes: “You pick up your phone and say ‘OK Google,’ and then what? Your phone is listening. The microphone icon is pulsing. What do you say to your phone? Google Now’s voice function has become surprisingly robust over the years. Here’s a list of just about everything you can say to Google Now. Try experimenting with different phrasing; you’ll be surprised how much it understands. You can also correct it by saying ‘No, I said’ and trying the phrase again.”...

Green Bot, Aug. 25

12 sleuthy books for adult fans of Nancy Drew

Cover of Baltimore Blues, by Laura Lippman

Sarah Jane Abbott writes: “When I was young, there was nothing more thrilling than pulling a brand-new, yellow-spined Nancy Drew mystery off my shelf. What new adventures would the girl detective encounter with her blue roadster gassed up and her faithful friends Bess and George at her side? I couldn’t wait to dive into her world again. If as an adult you are awash with nostalgia for the Nancy Drew series, here are 12 grown-up female sleuths with continuing series to devour.”...

Off the Shelf, Aug. 25

Literary fiction helps us “read” others

Emotion recognition, from the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test

Tom Jacobs writes: “Reading Sense and Sensibility increases one’s sensitivity. That’s the implication of new research that suggests people who regularly enjoy literary fiction are better able to identify the emotional state of another when presented with a minimal visual cue. David Kidd and Emanuele Castano of the New School for Social Research found those who were familiar with literary writers were better able to identify the correct emotion than those who recognized only genre writers.”...

Pacific Standard, Aug. 23; Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Aug. 8

Synchronized shelving in New Zealand

Screenshot from Invercargill synchronized shelving video

A video shared on New Zealand’s Invercargill City Libraries and Archives’ Facebook page features some of its staff participating in “synchronized shelving.” After seeing the video (0:33), you’ll probably agree with its description, which says there should be a petition to get the sport added as an Olympic event. Watch as the athletes put the pizzazz into their shelving duties, performing a fabulous routine with coordinated arm movements and book tosses....

Huffington Post, Aug. 24

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