ALA opposes Nebraska’s attempt to rewrite library governance.

American Library Association • February 9, 2016
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ALA opposes Nebraska bill to rewrite library governance

Nebraska Library Association logo

ALA President Sari Feldman, working in conjunction with the Nebraska Library Association, has issued a letter opposing Legislative Bill 969, a bill that would compel cities and towns throughout Nebraska to change their library boards from independent governing bodies to advisory boards. ALA opposes the bill, as it would undermine the autonomy of libraries throughout the state, potentially affecting public library funding levels, equal access, leadership, and long-range planning....

Office for Library Advocacy, Feb. 8

Virginia bill allows parents to review school library books

Cover of Beloved

A northern Virginia mother’s fight over Toni Morrison’s Beloved has led to legislation that, if approved, would give parents more power over some materials their children see at school. Virginia HB 516 would force schools to notify parents if material used in class includes sexually explicit content and then allow them to review the materials. Delegate R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) said the bill came about due to efforts by Laura Murphy, who objected to her son having to read Beloved in a senior English class....

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Jan. 26

Libraries celebrate 20th anniversary of Telecom Act

Libraries are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act this week

Larra Clark writes: “When the 1996 Telecommunications Act was signed into law, only 28% of libraries provided public internet access. What a dizzying two decades we’ve experienced since then! It’s hard to imagine how #librariestransform without also considering the innovations enabled by the act and the E-rate program it created. In his 1997 State of the Union address, President Clinton called for all schools and libraries to be wired by 2000. We came close: 96% of libraries were connected (PDF file) by this time.”...

District Dispatch, Feb. 8; National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Nov. 7, 2000

Apply for a John Cotton Dana Award

John Cotton Dana Award

ALA is now accepting submissions for the John Cotton Dana Award. The award, managed by LLAMA, honors outstanding library public relations. Eight $10,000 awards will be granted by the H. W. Wilson Foundation in an annual awards ceremony sponsored by ALA and EBSCO Information Services. Entries for the 2016 JCD must be submitted electronically and received by February 29....

EBSCO Information Services
Introducing RDA, Feb. 11, on AL Live

Does this website smell funny to you?

Whaddya mean all my facts are wrong?

Amy Gillespie writes: “One of my favorite things to work on with students in this area is website evaluation. They all have a very strong belief that they know how and where to find any information they need online. Almost all of my students arrive at my school with one simple rule for choosing online sources: Don’t use Wikipedia. But beyond that, they tend to assume that if it’s online, it must be true. So in the middle school information skills class, we now teach the FART Test.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Feb. 9

Women’s History Month: Book and program pairings

Cover of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein

Rebecca Starr writes: “Book-based programs are a timeless way to rejuvenate collections and highlight points of view that are as diverse as your patrons. With Women’s History Month just around the corner, now is a good time to begin thinking about how to incorporate female voices into your programs. Here’s a starter list of sample books and complementary program ideas (comedy, science fiction, music, from the stacks) to get those creative juices flowing.”...

Programming Librarian, Feb. 8; National Women’s History Project
Latest Library Links

Twitter has altered the deal

Twitter is tempted by the Dark Side

John Overholt writes: “I’m a special collections librarian, and Twitter is a great medium for sharing cool things in my library’s collection and those around the world. Sometime soon, Twitter will implement an algorithm that displays tweets to me not simply in the order in which anyone I follow has tweeted them, but in an order which it will decide. I’m angry, but mostly I feel helpless. The best case scenario at this point is that Twitter will allow me to opt out of algorithmic timelines once and easily.” Premium advertising and doing away with the 140-character limit may also be part of Twitter’s new deal....

Medium, Feb. 8; Mashable, Feb. 9

A letter from Flint Public Library about the water crisis

Flint (Mich.) Public Library

Flint (Mich.) Public Library Director Kay Schwartz writes: “The Flint Public Library is getting many expressions of sympathy from libraries all over the country about the water crisis in Flint. Now that we are back on regular Lake Huron water, we still aren’t able to drink it until each and every home and building is tested to make sure that the service lines and the lines within the home are not leaching lead. I’m happy to say we’ve been providing clean drinking water here at the library since August 2014.”...

Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, Jan. 31; Washington Post, Feb. 7

Librarians and authors descend on UK Parliament

Writers and illustrators supporting libraries including John Dougherty, Philip Ardagh, Jake Arnott, and Sarah McIntyre. Photo by @jabberworks / Twitter

Librarians, authors, and supporters from across the UK descended on Parliament in London on February 9, urging MPs to focus on what they see as the root cause of the decline in libraries—laying the blame on “apathy and ignorance” in local and central government. Bestselling authors, including children’s authors Alan Gibbons, Cathy Cassidy, and Philip Ardagh, joined the Speak Up for Libraries campaign that has outlined a manifesto calling on MPs to give libraries a long-term future....

The Guardian (UK), Feb. 9; Speak Up for Libraries

Bed bug guide for public libraries

Cover of Bed Bug Guide for Public Libraries

The Bed Bug Guide for Public Libraries is a thorough look at managing what is becoming an increasingly common problem for public libraries. The book’s expert author, Sarah Kittrell, collection development division manager of the Wichita (Kans.) Public Library, has served as her library’s pest management coordinator since 2012 and has amassed a lot of experience in the arena. This digital download provides information that will help you understand bed bug treatment and mitigation options....

Public Libraries Online, Feb. 8

50 apps that are reinventing mobile gaming

The first-person shooter and the touchscreen are not natural bedfellows: Midnight Star has rethought the genre

Stuart Dredge writes: “It’s clear that there’s a lot of innovation going on in mobile games. When you gather some of the best examples together, you realize how many new ideas are out there. Some play with sound in new ways, others get you moving in the real world. Read on for a list of 50 games trying new things on your mobile devices, often below the limelight at the top of the app store charts. One important point: The games in this list are innovative, but they’re also great.”...

The Guardian (UK), Feb. 7

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