A step closer to history: Carla Hayden.

American Library Association • June 10, 2016

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Hayden nomination clears Senate Rules Committee

Screenshot from C-SPAN coverage of Carla Hayden’ Senate confirmation hearing

It’s history in the making: On June 9 the Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the full Senate approve the nomination of Carla D. Hayden (right) to serve as the nation’s 14th Librarian of Congress. If confirmed, Hayden would become the first female, first African American, and only second librarian to take on the role. As the vote was announced, ALA launched a large-scale grassroots and social media campaign (#Hayden4LOC) to encourage senators to support her confirmation....

AL: The Scoop, June 9; ALA Public Awareness Office, June 9

Recruiting and retaining volunteers

Kathy Clay, president of the Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library’s Friends of the Library, restocks children’s book for an upcoming book sale

Kaitlin Throgmorton writes: “When Keith Gorman and Kathelene Smith arrived on campus at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010, they had to build a volunteer roster from scratch. The Special Collections and University Archives at Jackson Library, where they worked, had no formal volunteer program. Along with Smith—a photographs, artifacts, and textiles archivist—Gorman worked for more than a year and a half to create a successful program at UNCG.”...

American Libraries feature, June

An aging population reshapes library services

Marie Corbitt, outreach program librarian at Westerville (Ohio) Public Library, leads a “Remember When” storytime at a nursing facility

Greg Landgraf writes: “Every day in the United States, 10,000 people are turning 65. That will continue happening for the next 15 years—producing a major demographic shift and a corresponding explosion in the need for library services to older adults. And while the first wave of the baby boom generation has now turned 65, providing services to older adults doesn’t mean simply focusing on people who have reached the traditional retirement age.”...

American Libraries Trend, June
NLA Digital

Youth Matters: Using design thinking

Youth Matters, by Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun writes: “Have you or others you know ever hosted a program for teens and tweens that centers on making duct-tape wallets? Typically these programs provide youth with a set of materials—duct tape in many colors, glitter, scissors, stickers, instructions on how to make a duct-tape wallet—and then a staff person running the program might say something to the group like, ‘go for it.’ But by running a program in that way you aren’t really supporting youth learning.”...

American Libraries column, June

Arkansas librarians not too hacked off about ISIS

Arkansas Library Association logo

The Arkansas Library Association website has been hacked, and information about the librarians has been posted on a pro-ISIS website. But the librarians don’t seem too hacked off. Necia T. Parker-Gibson, agriculture librarian at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, said it’s unsettling, but the only difference she has seen so far is more spam in her inbox. “I can’t for the life of me figure out why they want the names and addresses of a bunch of librarians,” she said. “We’re not particularly scary.”...

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), June 8

Committee rejects plea to let LC drop “illegal alien”

Rep. Joaquín Castro argues against the term "illegal alien"

On June 8, a Republican-led House committee rejected a plea from Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Tex., right) to amend a bill forcing the Library of Congress to continue using the terms “alien” and “illegal alien,” which LC had planned to drop. Castro criticized Republicans for blocking the library from dropping the term to refer to immigrants, saying the refusal demonstrates how the GOP has become the party of Donald Trump. The decision essentially prevented the amendment from getting a vote on the House floor....

NBC News, June 9

Texas school district cancels author visit

Cover of George, by Alex Gino

The Round Rock (Tex.) Independent School District has uninvited author Phil Bildner from all eight schools he was scheduled to visit this fall, apparently because in 2015 he recommended middle-grade novel George by Alex Gino, a book featuring a transgender protagonist. Bildner is well-known by teachers and librarians around the country for his dynamic school visits, and prior to this year, he had visited Round Rock for eight years in a row....

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, June 8; Intellectual Freedom Blog, June 7; England Elementary Library, Austin, Tex., Oct. 8, 2014
Libraries Transform

Should we censor what teens read?

Cover of The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

Peter Brown Hoffmeister writes: “I realized that the fight against book censorship is an important fight and that I have to stand up and challenge this insidious point of view. To fight any argument, we have to understand the positions our opponents hold. So, to summarize, would-be book censors believe the following: 1. We need to protect young people. 2. Teenagers can’t handle gritty material. 3. Teens won’t understand what’s going on if the material is too complex.”...

Huffington Post: Books, June 9
Latest Library Links

Depression in YA literature

Cover of Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman

Kimberli Buckley writes: “According to the US National Library of Medicine, recent surveys demonstrate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. At this rate, teen depression has become a critical issue that calls for immediate attention and action. Here is a list of realistic fiction that focuses on teens suffering from depression or mental illness and how this affects their lives and the lives of others.”...

YALSA The Hub, June 9

When is the library open?

Cover of The New Librarianship Field Guide, by R. David Lankes

Barbara Fister writes: “I saw the Inside Higher Ed story about David Lankes’ new book, a field guide to what he calls ‘new librarianship’ to accompany his atlas. It’s interesting how many books are published by librarians who urge us to decouple the image of books on shelves from the idea of the library. In contrast, a nonlibrarian, Mirela Roncevic, recently wrote an essay begging librarians to pay more attention to promoting books and reading rather than outreach and developing new programs.”...

Inside Higher Ed, June 8–9; No Shelf Required, June 7

Shelf-reading robot librarians of Singapore

AuRoSS robots performing shelf-reading in a Singapore library

At A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research in Singapore, researchers Renjun Li, Zhiyong Huang, Ernest Kurniawan, and Chin Keong Ho are designing robots that can relieve librarians of many menial tasks, while enhancing searching and sorting of books. Their latest project is an autonomous robotic shelf scanning (AuRoSS) platform that can self-navigate through libraries at night, scanning RFID tags to produce reports on missing and out-of-sequence books....

Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), June 6

Google is developing new laws of robotics

The Laws of Robotics are becoming pretty much a requirement at this point

Graham Templeton writes: “Google’s artificial intelligence researchers are beginning to code around their own code, writing patches that limit a robot’s abilities so that it continues to develop down the path desired by the researchers—not by the robot itself. It’s the beginning of a long-term trend in robotics and AI in general: Once we’ve put in all this work to increase the insight of an artificial intelligence, how can we make sure that insight will only be applied in the ways we will like?”...

ExtremeTech, June 10

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