In 2005, archivist Jason Scott attempted to collect every podcast in existence.

American Library Association • January 26, 2016
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Saving digital ephemera

Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine

Adam Doster writes: “In 2005, before the words ‘podcast’ and ‘boom’ ever appeared in the same sentence, an archivist named Jason Scott, proprietor of, attempted to collect every podcast in existence. Larger institutions also got involved in attempting to preserve digital ephemera. That includes the Library of Congress, which reached an agreement with Twitter in 2010 to build an onsite research archive. However, LC’s Twitter project eventually became unsustainable.”...

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

On My Mind: Searching for tech solutions

On My Mind, by Sarah Strahl

Sarah Strahl writes: “Technology is about people. It might seem like technology is about being on the cutting edge and making everything easy, but really, it is about human connection for our patrons—even when it seems like some of our patrons come in just to play solitaire for hours on end. This idea, that people are at the center of our operations, is what libraries have to remember when it comes to choosing how to best deploy technology and digital resources.”...

American Libraries column, 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.”

Youth Matters: Your story matters

Youth Matters, by Jennifer Burek Pierce

Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “‘NerdCon: Stories. It was a thing.’ This was the prompt conclusion of organizer Hank Green as he spoke before an enthusiastic crowd of teens and tweens at NerdCon: Stories—a conference embracing ‘the power and magic of storytelling,’ featuring podcasters, novelists, cartoonists, musicians, and poets—on October 9, the morning it opened. NerdCon’s fundamental assumption was that all stories matter and that there are many ways to tell them.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Scholastic responds to self-censorship claim

Cover of A Birthday Cake for George Washington

PEN and the National Coalition Against Censorship issued a statement on January 22, questioning Scholastic for withdrawing the book A Birthday Cake for George Washington and stating that the decision to cease its distribution in response to the controversy is “a shocking and unprecedented case of self-censorship.” Scholastic responded on January 25 that its decision was due to the book not meeting Scholastic’s standards for appropriate presentation of complex subject matter in a picture book directed to young children....

Scholastic, Jan. 25; National Coalition Against Censorship, Jan. 22
Libraries Transform

Dubuque library turns down $6 million offer for painting

Grant Wood’s Appraisal

The board of trustees for the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, Iowa, has been clear it has no intention of selling either of its Grant Wood paintings, but that hasn’t stopped the offers from rolling in. The board in November voted unanimously to reject a $6 million offer from the John Surovek Art Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida, on behalf of an anonymous client who wished to purchase the library-owned Appraisal by the famed Iowa artist....

Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph Herald, Jan. 24

Ontario libraries are key to immigrants’ success

Marsida Dine (left), Lena Tawana (center), and Lina Isho became friends and classmates in an English as a Second Language class at the Bradford Learning Centre. They say such programs and libraries are key to success for newcomers in Canada

Lena Tawana left a life of fear behind in Syria, where her neighbors’ homes were lit on fire and her church bombed. As war continues raging in Syria and refugees flee in a mass exodus to find new homes, Tawana said she is happy to be living in Bradford West Gwillimbury, Ontario. Bradford is one of five municipalities in Simcoe County chosen to be part of a provincially funded pilot project, Library Link, to make local libraries welcoming hubs for new immigrants....

Barrie (Ont.) Advance, Jan. 23

Ezra Jack Keats centennial celebration

Illustration from Louie’s Search, by Ezra Jack Keats

This year marks the 100th birthday of the late children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, whose 1962 classic, The Snowy Day, broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing and remains the standard for diversity in picture books. In honor of Keats’s centennial, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has planned a year-long birthday celebration, including special events, performances, and activities at schools, libraries, and cultural institutions around the country....

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Jan. 19

The story of #1Lib1Ref

#1Lib1Ref in progress at Lehigh University

Jake Orlowitz writes: “To celebrate Wikipedia’s 15th birthday, the Wikipedia Library imagined something new and different: ‘a world in which every librarian added a reference to Wikipedia.’ This is what happened. The idea started with a conversation between former Wikimedia Foundation Board Member and MIT Librarian Phoebe Ayers, and Wikipedia Library Project Manager Alex Stinson. With the help of Jessamyn West, we put together this central portal:”...

Storify: WikiLibrary, Jan. 25
AL Direct 10th anniversary, 2016

Beware of copyright creep

Like a spooky monster, copyright creep can slither its way into many aspects of life

Carrie Russell writes: “I’m not talking about a spooky looking monster, dead set on ending the world as we know it, or a sticky ooze that slowly trickles over the planet because we destroyed the rainforest. Copyright creep is an expression that refers to the expansion of copyright law and policy, inching and slinking its way into aspects of life that surely James Madison did not anticipate. Copyright extension, end user license agreements, automatic copyright, digital rights management—the list goes on.”...

District Dispatch, Jan. 22

Are paper books really disappearing?

Print books may live on as a purely aesthetic purchase

Rachel Nuwer writes: “That ebooks have surged in popularity in recent years is not news, but where they are headed—and what effect this will ultimately have on the printed word—is unknown. Are printed books destined to eventually join the ranks of clay tablets? And if all of this is so, should we be concerned? Answers to these questions do not come easily, thanks to the variability in both e-reading trends and in research findings on the effects that digital reading has on us.”...

BBC: Future, Jan. 25
Latest Library Links

New cancer statistics website

Estimated new cancer cases, 2016

The American Cancer Society has launched a new web tool to make it easier for reporters, the public, and those involved in the cancer fight to find and share cancer statistics. The Cancer Statistics Center uses data from the society’s annual Cancer Facts and Figures report, “Cancer Statistics” article (published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians), and much more data to create a comprehensive interactive resource to help the public learn about the cancer burden in the United States.”...

American Cancer Society, Jan. 14

What world are we building?

Big data. Photo CC BY-SA 2.0-licensed photo by Intel Free Press

danah boyd writes: “It’s easy to love or hate technology, to blame it for social ills or to imagine that it will fix what people cannot. But technology is made by people. In a society. And it has a tendency to mirror and magnify the issues that affect everyday life. The good, bad, and ugly. Data is power. Increasingly we’re seeing data being used to assert power over people. It doesn’t have to be this way.”...

Data and Society: Points, Jan. 25

What a million syllabi can teach us

Open Syllabus Explorer website

Joe Karaganis and David McClure write: “College course syllabi are curious documents. They represent the best efforts by faculty and instructors to distill human knowledge on a given subject into 14-week chunks. They structure the major activity of colleges and universities. And then, for the most part, they disappear. Until now. Over the past two years, the Open Syllabus Project (based at the American Assembly at Columbia University) has collected more than a million syllabi from university websites and made them searchable through Open Syllabus Explorer.”...

New York Times, Jan. 22

Dating violence and consent in YA fiction and nonfiction

Cover of Lily and Taylor, by Elise Moser

Molly Wetta writes: “February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, which is an opportunity for libraries to highlight resources that can help teens identify the warning signs of problematic relationships and to see what healthy relationships can look like. These fiction books can start conversations and perhaps even make a difference in the lives of teens.” Wetta also reviews nonfiction, memoirs, and professional resources on teen dating violence and assault....

YALSA The Hub, Jan. 25–26

How to answer the five dumbest interview questions

What is your greatest weakness? Coming up with a decent answer to the greatest weakness question

Liz Ryan writes: “Some people haven’t gotten the memo that traditional, power-inequality-driven interview questions are embarrassing throwbacks. They brand an employer as out of touch and behind the times. Still, many interviewers ask the same tired job-interview questions today that interviewers were asking when The Beverly Hillbillies were on the air. Here are three suggested answers for each of my five past-its-expiration-date interview questions.”...

Forbes, Jan. 24

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