Library groups endorse President Obama’s plan to nominate Carla Hayden as Librarian of Congress.

American Library Association • February 26, 2016
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Library groups endorse Hayden for Librarian of Congress

Librarian of Congress nominee Carla D. Hayden

Library groups on February 23 endorsed President Obama’s plans to nominate Carla D. Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and 2003–2004 ALA President, as the next Librarian of Congress, saying she would bring much-needed experience with library technology to the institution. “The president could not have made a better choice,” ALA President Sari Feldman said in a statement. Dan Cohen, founding executive director of the Digital Public Library of America, said that Hayden is an “advocate for using all means (including digital means) to provide democratic access to our shared culture.” The Black Caucus of the ALA and the Association of Research Libraries are also celebrating the announcement....

Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 25; White House, Feb. 24; ALA Washington Office, Feb. 24; Black Caucus of the ALA, Feb. 25; Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 25

ALA gears up for its 2016 election

Keep calm and vote

ALA is gearing up for its upcoming election. Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 15 for the Association’s annual election and will close on April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Central time. On April 29, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election. Election results will be released following that meeting. This year, members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect, treasurer, and 34 Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a three-year term (2016–2019)....

Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 25
AL Direct 10th anniversary

Open eBooks app launches for lower-income youth

First Lady Michelle Obama introduces the Open eBooks initiative

Open eBooks, a new e-reader app that will make thousands of age-appropriate ebooks available for free to lower-income youth aged 4–18, launched February 24. The initiative was developed in partnership with the Digital Public Library of America, the New York Public Library, FirstBook, and Baker & Taylor. The Open eBooks service will require the help of librarians and teachers who can register eligible children and young adults and provide them with an access code. First Lady Michelle Obama released a video (1:02) explaining the initiative....

District Dispatch, Feb. 24; White House YouTube channel, Feb. 25

Second Knight News Challenge on libraries

Knight News Challenge

The second Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now open for applications. Winning applicants will receive funding for a project that answers the question: How might libraries serve 21st-century information needs? The challenge hopes to uncover projects from librarians and their collaborators as they transform to meet the needs of their communities. Funded projects will receive $35,000–$500,000 for a period of six months to two years. Apply by March 24....

Knight Blog, Feb. 24
Libraries Transform

Montana library’s lecture on Islam draws complaints

Darby (Mont.) Community Public Library

The Darby (Mont.) Community Public Library board decided the March 9 presentation by Samir Bitar titled “Perspectives on Islam” in its Life-Long Learning Series should continue as scheduled after holding an emergency meeting February 25. Director Wendy Campbell called the meeting after receiving numerous complaints that were “a signal to me that they should not go unchecked.” Darby Mayor J. C. McDowell said adults have the right to decide whether to attend....

Ravalli (Mont.) Republic, Feb. 25

Virginia wants a trigger warning for Toni Morrison

Cover of Beloved, by Toni Morrison

Brandy Zadrozny writes: “A Virginia mother who failed to get Toni Morrison’s Beloved removed from her son’s classroom is taking her mission statewide, calling for teachers to provide what are in effect trigger warnings against ‘sexually explicit content’ in books, so that parents can opt out of assignments they deem inappropriate. House Bill 516—the first of its kind in the US—may not be outright book-banning, but it certainly comes close, and it’s sailing through the state legislature.”...

The Daily Beast, Feb. 25
Latest Library Links

Health advocates urge library to turn off Wi-Fi

Westhampton (N.Y.) Free Library

Wi-Fi health advocates Cecelia Doucet and Deborah Kopald are urging the Westhampton (N.Y.) Library to pull the plug on Wi-Fi, citing dangers to patrons, especially children. The newly expanded library board is resisting so far. Wired internet access is safer, faster, and more reliable than Wi-Fi, said Doucet in a February 24 email to the library board. Kopald claims the 7,500 Wi-Fi terminals planned for New York are illegal because they violate the rights of passersby to be free of such radiation....

O’Dwyer’s, Feb. 25

LC puts Rosa Parks Collection online

Rosa Parks viewing an exhibition of civil rights photographs at the Martin Luther King Center, Atlanta, ca. 1993

The Library of Congress has digitized and placed online its Rosa Parks Collection, which contains 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs related to the civil rights activist. Parks became an iconic figure in history on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The collection reveals many details of Parks’s life, from her experiences as a young girl in the segregated South to her difficulties in finding work after the Montgomery Bus Boycott....

Library of Congress, Feb. 25

The Apple-FBI fight is not about privacy vs. security

FBI and Apple logos

Brian Barrett writes: “Throughout the ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over custom access to an iPhone used by one of the two terrorists who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, the government has framed the argument as a simple trade-off: You must surrender a little privacy if you want more security. The scales don’t balance quite so neatly, though; there’s nothing secure about lettng the FBI have its way. The current Apple case does not involve a backdoor in the traditional sense.” ALA President Sari Feldman released a statement in response to a federal court order that requires Apple to develop a new tool to assist the FBI in decryption....

Wired, Feb. 24; ALA Public Awareness Office, Feb. 26

Obama administration to expand sharing of NSA data

President Obama meets February 25 with the National Security Council. Photo by Zach Gibson/The New York Times

The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations. The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information. Civil liberties advocates criticized the change, arguing that it will weaken privacy protections....

New York Times, Feb. 25

1,000 books about black girls

Marley Dias and her books

Meg Anderson writes: “Marley Dias (right) is like a lot of 11-year-olds: She loves getting lost in a book. But the books she was reading at school were starting to get on her nerves, because they were all about white boys and their dogs. Last fall, she decided to do something about it. She set a goal of collecting 1,000 books about black girls by the beginning of February, and #1000blackgirlbooks was born.”...

NPR: Morning Edition, Feb. 26

Store and display high-resolution images

IIIF logo

Lauren Magnuson writes: “By storing your images in a way that multiple applications can access them and render them, you enable users to discover your content through a variety of different portals. With the International Image Interoperability Framework, images can be stored in a way that facilitates API access to them. This enables a variety of applications to retrieve the data. IIIF systems are designed to work with two components: an image server and a front-end viewer.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, Feb. 25

Tips and myths about extending cellphone battery life

Preserving your battery life. Design by Minh Uong / New York Times

Brian X. Chen writes: “Despite the leaps forward in mobile phone technology with crisp, clear screens and faster chips, batteries have made only sluggish progress. That has propelled a desire for longer battery life to the top of the list of factors considered by consumers when they purchase smartphones, according to a 2014 survey. We teamed up with The Wirecutter, a product recommendation website, to run an array of tests to determine best and worst practices for preserving battery life on smartphones.”...

New York Times: Personal Tech, Feb. 24

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