Librarians around the country wrote to the Wall Street Journal to set the record straight.

American Library Association • January 19, 2016
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Librarians in the Digital Age

Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Steve Barker

In response to a controversial January 10 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by librarian Steve Barker, librarians around the country wrote to the paper to set the record straight about their real roles in the age of Google. ALA President Sari Feldman and President-Elect Julie Todaro also wrote in, though only a small portion of their letter appeared in the roundup of responses. (The Wall Street Journal has a paywall and requires a subscription for reading both links.) Here is the full text of Feldman and Todaro’s letter....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 19

Librarian-produced podcasts

Librarian podcasters Maurice Coleman of T Is for Training, Rita Meade of Dear Book Nerd, and Daniel Messer of Cyberpunk Librarian

Steve Thomas writes: “Maurice Coleman had one of his best professional development ideas in a hotel lobby. For Coleman, technical trainer at Harford County (Md.) Public Library, the great exchange of ideas that happened there led him to think of doing a podcast to re-create that conference feeling. He started T Is for Training in 2008 to facilitate conversations about training, leadership, and management topics, and it’s now the longest-running podcast in the library world.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books, Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street is a triple threat

Recorded Books is thrilled to be the audio publisher of this year’s Newbery Medal winner, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña. Marking the first time a true picture book has won the medal (yay), this vibrant tale of a boy and his grandmother also received a Caldecott Honor (double-yay) and a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustrator (triple-yay). Kudos also go to the audiobook’s narrator, kid favorite Lizan Mitchell. As AudioFile said in their review: “Audio is the ideal way for kids to experience this emotive gem.”

Registration opens January 19 for Annual Conference

ALA Annual Conference in Orlando

ALA promises the same outstanding content, professional development, and networking opportunities as always at the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, June 23–28. Early Bird registration and housing are open as of noon (Central time) on January 19. Since the ALA Annual Conference was last in Orlando in 2004, attendees will also find an updated, walkable conference campus, plentiful restaurants in the adjacent Pointe Orlando, and good taxi service. The best earlybird registration rates are available through March 16....

Conference Services, Jan. 19; YALSAblog, Jan. 19

White House event: A library card for every student

Interim Librarian of Congress David Mao and ALA President Sari Feldman at the White House event

Mayors, county executives, school superintendents, and library leaders from 50 cities and counties are meeting in Washington, D.C., January 19 as part of a national initiative to connect students to public library resources. These communities are among the 60 communities that have answered the call of President Obama’s ConnectED Library Challenge to put a library card in every student’s hand through partnership initiatives. The “ConnectED Library Challenge: Answering the Call” event (#librariesforall) is hosted by the White House with the support of IMLS....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 19
Libraries Transform

Scholastic pulls children’s book on Washington’s slaves

Cover of A Birthday Cake for George Washington

On January 17, Scholastic pulled from its inventory a controversial new picture book about George Washington and his slaves that it had just released on January 5. A Birthday Cake for George Washington, written by Ramin Ganeshram and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, has been strongly criticized for its upbeat images and story of Washington’s cook, the slave Hercules, and his daughter Delia. The publisher stated that without sufficient historical context, “the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves.”...

The Guardian (UK), Jan. 17

13 significant books on civil rights

Cover of Walking with the Wind, by John Lewis

Hilary Krutt writes: “Martin Luther King Jr. Day presents an important opportunity to reflect on the progress made since the Civil Rights Movement, as well as to meditate on how best to address inequalities that persist to this day. Here, in honor of Dr. King, we highlight writers who have made significant contributions to the discussion of race relations in this country.”...

Huffington Post: Books blog, Jan. 15

It’s LIS Mental Health Week

LIS Mental Health Week, January 18-23

Maura Smale writes: “This week is LIS Mental Health Week, organized by Cecily Walker and Kelly McElroy. The event involves a week-long series of posts, Twitter chats, podcasts, and resource sharing about mental health issues both for people who suffer and for their loved ones. Folks from all across library and information science work are sharing their thoughts on mental health—using the hashtag #LISMentalHealth—to help raise awareness and push back against stigma.”...

ACRLog, Jan. 18; Cecily Walker, Dec. 20; Information Wants to Be Free, Jan. 19

#1Lib1Ref: Contributing to Wikipedia

#1Lib1Ref Wikipedia editing

Eric Phetteplace, Margaret Heller, Yasmeen Shorish, and Bohyun Kim write: “A few of us at ACRL Tech Connect participated in the #1Lib1Ref campaign that’s running January 15–23. What’s #1Lib1Ref? It’s a campaign to encourage librarians to get involved with improving Wikipedia, specifically by citation chasing. Here we each describe our experiences editing Wikipedia.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, Jan. 15
AL Direct 10th anniversary, 2016

Reflections on Lever Press

Lever Press logo

Barbara Fister writes: “I was thrilled to see the announcement that Lever Press is a thing, now. A real, live publisher of open access books funded by a group of liberal arts college libraries. I would be thrilled even if I weren’t involved with the early work of this endeavor, because creating a sustainable means of sharing open access scholarship that fits disciplines that value books is long overdue. The vision shown by liberal arts college libraries that have agreed to fund this new venture is also cheering.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Jan. 8, 14

2016 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

Cover of Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed, by Leslea Newmann

Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates, author and illustrator of Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed; Aharon Appelfeld, Philippe Dumas, and Jeffrey M. Green, author, illustrator, and translator of Adam and Thomas; and Laura Amy Schlitz, author of The Hired Girl, are the 2016 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The awards honor new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience....

Association of Jewish Libraries, Jan. 14
Latest Library Links

Norwegian librarian helps National Library identify rare atlas

Cedid Atlas Tercümesi. The library’s copy is now believed to be one of only 15 left in the world. Photo: Nikolaj Blegvad/The National Library of Norway

One of the world’s rarest atlases had unknowingly been hidden away in the National Library of Norway for six decades before Reference Librarian Anders Kvernberg and his fellow map aficionados on Reddit uncovered the truth. The National Library of Norway holds one of only 50 copies ever printed of the Cedid Atlas Tercümesi, published in 1803 in Istanbul and believed to be the first atlas ever published in the Muslim world. What is remarkable is how it came to be discovered....

The Local (Norway), Jan. 18

The lost library of magician John Dee

Dee’s copy of Taisnier, Astrologiae iudiciariae ysagogica (1559)

Sophie Beckwith writes: “Tudor England’s renowned academic, bibliophile, and conjurer John Dee (1527–1608?) once held dear more than 3,000 books. He amassed titles on world history, astrology, alchemy, and love, and the Royal College of Physicians’ extensive range contains many that have been personally annotated by Dee. Culminating two years’ work by Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian Katie Birkwood, an exhibition of 47 of Dee’s books allows visitors to journey not only through Dee’s curious annotations and sketches, but also his mind.”...

Culture24 (UK), Jan. 18

JSTOR doubles its ebook sales

JSTOR logo

Carl Straumsheim writes: “The scholarly database JSTOR may soon have to add more letters to its acronym. If its expansion into books continues to grow, ‘journal storage’ may no longer be an appropriate name. In the past year alone, JSTOR has doubled its ebook sales and the number of participating libraries. After launching in 2013 with 20 publishers, 15,000 ebooks, and zero library customers, those numbers now stand at 100, 40,000 and 1,000, respectively. The database also offers access to more than 2,000 scholarly journals.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 18

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