The Marrakesh Treaty now goes to the US Senate for ratification.

American Library Association • February 16, 2016
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Library boards need independence

W. Dale Clark Library, Omaha

United for Libraries President-Elect Steve Laird writes: “As a resident of Nebraska and a library advocate, I fear that Legislative Bill 969 would hinder the ability of public libraries in Nebraska to fulfill their role as community institutions. Under this proposal, local oversight of Omaha’s metropolitan-class public library would be passed on to the city council. In addition, smaller cities and towns would be required to change their library boards from independent governing bodies to those serving only at an advisory level. Given that our libraries have national recognition, it seems unnecessary and even detrimental to consider changing their governing structure.”...

Omaha (Nebr.) World-Herald, Feb. 14

Marrakesh Treaty up for US ratification

Singer Stevie Wonder at the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty in 2013

Carrie Russell writes: “On February 10, the Obama administration transmitted to the Senate the ratification package for the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. After extensive executive review, the Senate now has a chance to pass copyright legislation that will ratify the treaty, adopted in June 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization.” But it faces some hurdles. The treaty entry into force requires 20 ratifications; it now has only 14....

District Dispatch, Feb. 11, 2016; June 26, 2013; WIPO

Thomas Paine film screening special

Actor Ian Ruskin as Thomas Paine

With the help of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, actor and playwright Ian Ruskin is offering advance screenings of his new film to libraries. To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine captures a man and his vision of democracy during the birth of our nation. Libraries will have an opportunity to provide exclusive advance screenings of the film before it airs on public television....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, Feb. 16

Chicago Public Library’s fine amnesty videos

Screenshot from Chicago Public Library fine amnesty program video

The guardians of Chicago’s library stacks are going full-stop funny in a series of videos aimed at spreading the word about Chicago Public Library’s fine amnesty. On February 4, the library announced it would waive late fees on books, CDs, and DVDs handed over by February 18. The videos show CPL staffers making promises and threats, complaining about smells, and revealing the top five overdue books in Chicago’s history. One is in Spanish, another in Chinese....

DNAinfo Chicago, Feb. 4, 16; Chicago Public Library YouTube channel
Libraries Transform

Oak Park hires employee to work with at-risk users

Robert Simmons

A decade of serving Oak Park (Ill.) Township as its youth interventionist has given Robert Simmons (right) plenty of experience working with the community’s homeless and at-risk youth. It’s that valuable experience that led the Oak Park Library to name Simmons its new manager for community resources, a position he’ll start on March 7. Library Executive Director David Seleb said the move is to create a safe and welcoming environment for all library patrons....

Chicago Tribune, Feb. 15

More is more

Catalog entries for Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species

Karen Coyle writes: “These are two library catalog displays for Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. One shows a publication date of 2015, the other a date of 2003. Neither of them lets the catalog user know that these are editions of a book first published in 1859. Nor do they anywhere explain that this book can be considered the founding text for the science of evolutionary biology. Imagine a user coming to the catalog with no prior knowledge of Darwin.”...

Coyle’s InFormation, Feb. 16
Latest Library Links

Getting rejected in the library world

Rejection letter

Quetzalli Barrientos writes: “Rejection comes in many forms, but the rejection that I am talking about is the type you get in this profession. Rejection of a proposal, job position, book chapter, grant, or article. As a first-year academic librarian, the first year (so far) has been great, stressful, and eye-opening. I would not trade this for the world, but that also means accepting what comes with it. I submitted an article for an academic journal and in less than 24 hours, I got a rejection. Now what? What was next? I needed to move past this and continue with my professional life.”...

ACRLog, Feb. 15

Gaming consoles are a hassle now

Just some of the hardware you’ll need to play Wii U games

Chris Hoffman writes: “Back in the day, consoles were a nice respite from PC gaming. At the time, PC gaming meant using DOS and ensuring each game was set up with the correct SoundBlaster settings. But, as PC gaming has gotten easier, consoles have become increasingly complicated. I thought it might be nice to have a streamlined, simple experience again, but that’s not what modern consoles offer. Consoles may have merits, but this is no longer one of them.”...

How-To Geek, Feb. 16, 2016; May 11, 2014

NYPL wants users to make video games

Mansion Maniac

Zack Kotzer writes: “Mauricio Giraldo, a designer in the New York Public Library Labs, made a video game using some of the library’s own collections of public domain materials, and the library is hoping others will follow. In Giraldo’s game, Mansion Maniac, you control a Pac-Man-esque, pixelated character, guiding through real, early-20th-century floor plans of New York City homes and apartments. As you move from room to room, the game loads and attaches more of these historical layouts.”...

Motherboard, Feb. 14

How you should really be sitting at your desk

Ideal seated position

Shaunacy Ferro writes: “Standing desks are nice, but it’s very hard to stand all day. If you haven’t invested in a high-tech horizontal desk just yet, it’s important to minimize your slump in a normal office chair, lest you end up permanently hunched from debilitating back pain. Ideally, you should be able to sit with your feet straight on the floor and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. You shouldn’t have to bend your neck to see your computer monitor—it should be straight ahead.”...

Mental Floss, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, 2016; Oct. 28, Nov. 27, 2015; The Telegraph (UK), June 15, 2015

15 books with shocking plot twists

Cover of Lost Among the Living, by Simone St. James

E. Ce Miller writes: “Wasn’t it Shakespeare who taught us that there are only seven unique story plots in the world? So, when a book does surprise me with a totally shocking plot twist—I’m talking staying up all night to read even though I have to do things like go to work, run errands, and take my cat to the vet in the morning—I totally love it. If you’re a sucker for a good plot twist, this list is for you. Here are 15 books to read if you love a shocking plot twist.”...

Bustle, Feb. 15

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