ALA member concerns Q&A.

American Library Association • December 6, 2016
McGraw Hill

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ALA president responds to member concerns

ALA President Julie B. Todaro

ALA President Julie B. Todaro writes: "I would like to thank all who have shared their perspectives, questions, and opinions. ALA has heard your concerns regarding how we should approach the incoming administration. To address these concerns, we have rescinded the ‘ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress’ press release posted to the ALA website on November 15. I, along with the ALA Executive Board, believe it is more important than ever that we stand up and speak out for equity, diversity, and inclusion within our nation, communities, and institutions. I am providing specific information in the form of a written Q&A, in an attempt to answer some of the questions that have been raised in the past weeks.”...

ALA Public Awareness Office, Dec. 6

2017 Morris Award finalists

Morris Award finalist seal

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2017 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The division will name the 2017 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 23 in Atlanta during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The Morris Award is named after William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults....

YALSA, Dec. 5

How employees shaped strategy at NYPL

New York Public Library

Bruce A. Strong and Mary Lee Kennedy write: “New York Public Library leaders knew that given the immense changes brought on by digital innovations, the library would need to evolve. How to transform such a huge, iconic institution, wrapped in history, into a nimble player? In the spring of 2014, we proposed a radical approach: offer anyone on staff—more than 2,500 individuals, many of them union members—the chance to shape the library through strategic conversations with senior leaders.”...

Harvard Business Review, Dec. 5

Making newspapers and libraries cool again

Dallas Public Library

Alex Macon writes: “Two Dallas institutions have joined forces to do the seemingly impossible: get teenagers involved in newspapers and libraries. The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Public Library are launching a program that will turn high school students into local journalists, trained in researching, reporting, and producing their own stories. ‘Storytellers Without Borders’ is funded by a $150,000 grant from the Knight Foundation through its News Challenge.”...

D Magazine, Dec. 2
ALA news

Patron privacy steps for libraries

Libraries and privacy protection

Genny Gebhart and Kerry Sheehan write: “Libraries and librarians have long been stalwart guardians of the rights of free expression. As part of their profession, librarians protect their users’ ability to access even the most controversial information and ideas free from government scrutiny. Many libraries are rightfully worried about a renewed threat to their users’ privacy. To that end, we recommend libraries ensure they are taking the following steps as soon as possible as protection measures.”...

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Dec. 5; The Nation, May 25, 2015; ALA Statement on Privacy

Librarians are the second most trusted profession

Professional trustworthiness, from the Maine State Library survey

A recent survey by the Maine State Library shows that librarians are the second most trusted professionals out of the 22 professions studied. The purpose of this research was to determine the perceived trustworthiness of librarians compared to other professions and to assess perceptions of librarians across demographic groups. When asked about their perceptions of trustworthiness, 78% of respondents rated librarians as “very high” or “high.” Only nurses rated higher....

Library Research Service, Dec. 1; Maine State Library, Aug.

Some children’s headphones carry a risk of hearing loss

The Wirecutter picked the Puro BT2200 headphones as safest for kids

Catherine Saint Louis writes: “These days even 3-year-olds wear headphones, and as the holidays approach, retailers are well-stocked with brands that claim to be ‘safe for young ears’ or to deliver ‘100% safe listening.’ The devices limit the volume at which sound can be played. But a new analysis by The Wirecutter has found that half of 30 sets of children’s headphones tested did not restrict volume to the promised limit. The worst headphones produced sound so loud that it could be hazardous to ears in minutes.”...

New York Times, Dec. 6; The Wirecutter, Dec, 6
ALA Midwinter meeting

Build your own festive balloon archway

Balloon archway

Larry Moss writes: “Depending on the project and the resources available, balloons are most often filled with air, helium, or nitrogen. Most Airigami projects use air. Everything from small hand pumps, similar to the pumps used to inflate bicycle tires, through large air compressors are used. Building anything large requires some basic understanding of how to make simple structures. The first of these is the basic balloon arch. The traditional balloon arch uses some non-balloon material as an inner framework.”...

Make:, Dec. 1

Reading literature won’t give you superpowers

Reading is your superpower

Joseph Frankel writes: “In 2013, a widely publicized study in the journal Science by David Kidd and Emmanuele Castano of the New School suggested that reading literary short stories immediately improved participants’ abilities to read the facial expressions, and thus the emotional states, of other people. Several media outlets ran with the idea, embellishing it with headlines like ‘For Better Social Skills, Scientists Recommend a Little Chekhov.’ A new study, coauthored by Thalia Goldstein of Pace University in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, calls those results into question.”...

The Atlantic, Dec. 2; Science, Oct. 18, 2013; New York Times, Oct. 3, 2013; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Sept. 19
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Metadata in electronic records management

Little Round Top after the Battle of Gettysburg. Left, from NARA. Right, similar image from Library of Congress

Beth Cron writes: “Metadata is important in electronic records management where there are no physical items to interact with or provide visual clues. It is easy to distinguish between a glass plate, 35mm slide, or an 8-by-10-inch print even if they carry the same image, but digital versions of each of these may appear identical to the naked eye when viewed on a computer monitor. At first glance, these two images appear to be simply versions of the same photograph. The metadata for each presents a much more interesting picture.”...

National Archives: Records Express, Nov. 21

Women in comics: Princesses with a twist

Spera by Josh Tierney; Part-Time Princesses by Monica Gallagher; and PrinceLess by Jeremy Whitley

Carli Spina writes: “Tales of princesses are timeless and, generally, adhere to a host of tropes and conventions. These representations exist in comics as well, but the comics in this post all combine some of these tropes with a twist that modernizes the storyline and makes it far more thought-provoking than more standard adaptations. Whether you are generally a fan of princess stories or not, the books here are sure to spark your interest and keep you reading.”...

YALSA: The Hub, Dec. 6

Bookish board games

Bring Your Own Book game

Claire Handscombe writes: “Buying gifts for avid readers can be difficult. I still love it when someone gets a book for me exactly right, as my flatmate did for my birthday. But I also love book-related gifts, and I’d be delighted to find one of these games in my stocking this year. Bring Your Own Book was the inspiration for this post. As the name indicates, everyone brings a book—a novel, a cookbook, a travel guide, anything. The game consists of completing prompts using phrases from the book you’ve brought.”...

Book Riot, Dec. 6

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