BattleKasting for literacy.

American Library Association • June 3, 2016
Recorded Books

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How to get teens in the library this summer

BattleKasting for literacy

Bailey Brewer writes: “Teen patrons of the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library can step inside a popular book this summer when they participate in a technological scavenger hunt called BattleKasters. Using their smartphones, readers can virtually experience Alane Adams’ book The Red Sun by visiting ‘beacons’—or points on a scavenger hunt map—around the city of Lexington, gaining virtual cards that give game advantages until completing their journey at a final location.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

“Baseless hysteria”? ALA’s opposition to Section 215

Revelations from Edward Snowden in 2013 helped change the dynamics surrounding the Patriot Act

Wayne A. Wiegand writes: “National reactions to traumatic events often lead to government excesses. That’s what happened in the early 1950s, when many Americans perceived communist conspiracies everywhere in their culture, including books and magazines politicians wanted to censor. In reaction, ALA adopted the Freedom to Read Statement in 1953. That’s also what happened in the wake of the September 11 attacks, when the government passed the USA Patriot Act on October 26, 2001.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar. 15, May 31

ALA history by the numbers

Justin Winsor, first ALA president, 1876–1885

Stats about libraries, librarians, and the American Library Association. 103: Number of librarians who attended the “Convention of Librarians” during the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876—what is considered the birth of the ALA. Of these founders, 90 were men and 13 were women. 1982: Year that ALA Council endorsed the National Library Symbol. 982,292: Recorded, combined attendance from past ALA Annual Conferences dating back to the inaugural meeting in 1876. Be sure to check out our #ALA140 Facebook #tbt and Pinterest board....

American Libraries feature, June
NLA Digital

This One Summer returns to Henning

Cover of This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

The school board in Henning, Minnesota, debated on June 1 a staff decision to remove from the district’s one library the award-winning graphic novel This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. The board voted 4–2 to allow the book back in the library under the condition that it be housed in a separate section and be available only to 10th- to 12th-graders. They will need signed parental permission to check it out. The book was removed in May after a parent expressed concerns....

Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 2

Book challenge prompts review of Pasco school policy

Pasco County (Fla.) Schools logo

A Pasco County (Fla.) Middle School parent’s effort to remove the 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower has prompted school district officials to take a closer look at the policy governing book challenges. The rule, as it stands, isn’t clear that a school-level action on a title does not apply to all schools in the county. That will change, district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said. Administrators are considering the creation of a list of options that a school’s review committee can choose from....

Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, June 1

Heirloom seed library sprouts in Palestine

Teachers attend an Heirloom Seed Library workshop in the West Bank village of Battir

Dalia Hatuqa writes: “A search for rare seeds may seem like something out of a fairy tale, but for Vivien Sansour it is a quest to bring back what years of Israeli occupation and climate change have pushed to the brink of extinction. The agronomist from Beit Jala is collecting seed varieties handed down by Palestinian farmers for generations—an effort that will culminate in the Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library, which she hopes will sprout into others across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”...

Al Jazeera, June 2

Copyright Office’s proposed Notice and Staydown system

Internet Archive

Lila Bailey writes: “The Internet Archive was very concerned to hear that the Copyright Office is seriously considering recommending changing the DMCA to mandate a Notice and Staydown system. The idea is that once a platform gets a notice regarding a copyrighted work—a specific picture, song, book, or film—that platform is then responsible for ensuring that the work never appears on the platform ever again. This idea is dangerous in a number of ways.”...

Internet Archive Blogs, June 2
Libraries Transform

Computer vision syndrome affects millions

Computer vision syndrome

Jane E. Brody writes: “Computer vision syndrome can affect anyone who spends three or more hours a day in front of computer monitors, and the population at risk is potentially huge. Complaints include itching or burning eyes, blurred or double vision, chronic headaches, musculoskeletal problems like neck and back pain, and psychosocial stress. Unlike printed words that have sharply defined edges, electronic characters have blurred edges, making it more difficult for eyes to maintain focus.”...

New York Times: Well, May 30
Latest Library Links

Is it time to reassess the “beach read”?

Cover of Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub

Michelle Dean writes: “The ‘beach read’ has become such a ubiquitous concept in contemporary literature that we assume it has always been around. In fact, the term only emerged in the 1990s, usually in book trade publications such as Booklist and Publishers Weekly. Vacation reading is not a new concept, but now the term is so widespread that its definitions are a point of contention. Above all, readers shouldn’t feel they are doing intellectual work.”...

The Guardian (UK), June 2

History teaches critical thinking

The metal plaque on the front door of the Shrine at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

James Grossman writes: “Since 2007, the history major has lost significant market share in academia. But employers interested in recruiting future managers should understand (and many do) that historical thinking prepares one for leadership, because history is about change—envisioning it, planning for it, making it last. In an election season we are reminded regularly that success often goes to whoever can articulate the most compelling narrative. History majors learn to do that.”...

Los Angeles Times, May 30

Think with Google

Think with Google screen

Natt Garun writes: “Speed testing services seem to be the new thing tech companies are dabbing into. Just weeks after Netflix launched, Google has announced its own tool to help you measure your website’s speed and mobile-friendliness. The site takes your URL and measures on a scale of 1–100 your mobile design and loading speed. It looks at things like CSS, HTML, scripts, and images to see how long it takes for your website to load on both a desktop and mobile device.”...

The Next Web, May 18, June 2

Kindle killed the library book

Screenshot from Kindle Killed the Library Book video

David Rothman writes: “Even as a lover of ebooks, I laughed at this hilarious video, ‘Kindle Killed the Library Book’ (4:26), which pokes fun at the mean-spirited UK politicians shutting down hundreds of brick-and-mortar local libraries. Props to actor-comic Tracey Ullman and friends for mocking the misers. Even with library ebooks, we’ll still need librarians in brick-and-mortar libraries to encourage people to read them.”...

TeleRead, May 31; YouTube, Jan. 12; BBC News, Mar. 29

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