Apple and the FBI face off in Congress on March 1.

American Library Association • March 1, 2016
ALA Editions

For daily ALA and library news, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

March/April issue of American Libraries now online

March/April issue, American Libraries

Front and center in the new issue of American Libraries is a cover package on Libraries Transform, the new ALA public awareness and advocacy initiative to highlight the value, impact, and services provided by libraries and library professionals. We also celebrate the 2016 class of ALA Emerging Leaders, the next generation of library stars who will influence the profession. Other highlights include creating programs for kids on the autism spectrum and a school library that is gamifying learning....

American Libraries, Mar./Apr.

The Libraries Transform campaign

ALA President Sari Feldman stopped by the photo booth in the ALA Lounge at the Midwinter Meeting to show her support of the Libraries Transform campaign

Hallie Rich and Nancy Dowd write: “The library story is one many Americans believe they can tell; but when their version sounds more like an old episode of Leave It to Beaver than the latest bingeworthy Netflix show, the library profession must reclaim its identity to better reflect the reality of today’s libraries. The notion of telling and retelling the library story is at the heart of Libraries Transform, ALA’s new public awareness campaign.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.
AL Direct 10th anniversary

COSWL celebrates National Women’s History Month

COSWL Facebook page

During March, ALA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship will recognize and celebrate women’s historic achievements with National Women’s History Month. Every Wednesday in March, the committee will be profiling women who are leaders in technology. Visit COSWL’s Facebook page or follow on Twitter at @ALA_COSWL. The observance also provides an opportunity to honor women within our families and communities....

Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Feb. 29

Apple–FBI fight heads to Congress

Unlocking Apple

Apple and the FBI face off on March 1 for the first time since the federal government went to court to try to force the tech giant to unlock a terrorist’s encrypted iPhone. FBI Director James Comey and Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell will testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy.” Apple warned that writing new code to unlock a phone will create a backdoor into the encrypted iPhones of millions of consumers. Christopher Soghoian explains the technology behind the FBI request....

USA Today, Mar. 1; Washington Post: The Switch, Feb. 29
Libraries Transform

Prognosticating about the new Librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun

Kevin Smith writes: “It is safe to say that the president’s nomination of Carla Hayden (right) to be the next Librarian of Congress drew rave reviews from the library community. All this begs the question of what the chances are that Hayden will be confirmed. She might encounter difficulties because of the general dysfunction in Congress or a desire to obstruct anything Obama thinks is a good idea. But let’s assume for a minute that the nomination does move through the process in Congress and consider the possibilities.”...

Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Feb. 25; White House, Feb. 24

Net neutrality fight enters new phase

Keep the internet free

David McCabe writes: “The fight over net neutrality is entering a new phase, one year after the FCC approved the landmark internet rules. Regulators are moving to develop new standards, even as critics push forward to have the courts or Congress curb or strike down the rules down entirely. February 26 marked the one-year anniversary of the FCC vote adopting the new rules, which have sparked court challenges, left lawmakers scrambling to respond, and given the FCC a complicated to-do list.”...

The Hill, Feb. 28

Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic library

Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic library

When Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) set off for Antarctica on his ship Endurance, he made sure he had plenty of reading material. But details of precisely what books he took have remained hidden in this photograph—until now. This image from the ill-fated South Pole expedition, taken in early March 1915 by Australian photographer Frank Hurley, has been digitized by the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the titles have been revealed....

BBC News Magazine, Feb. 24
Latest Library Links

Robot librarian to stalk Aberystwyth University library

Sachiti and Ladegaard holding Hugh, robot librarian

Hugh is a concept artificial librarian for Aberystwyth University library in Wales, the brainchild of robotics students Pasi Sachiti and Ariel Ladegaard (right). Designed to take verbal book requests, Hugh will be able to tell where a book is kept and show the student to the relevant bookshelf. Sachiti sees Hugh as being the first in a line of “narrowly artificially intelligent robots” who will be able to undertake specific tasks in environments such as hospitals, care homes, or supermarkets....

Electronic Weekly, Feb. 26

Five ways to use Google Cardboard in your library

Google Cardboard on the shelf

Leanne Mobley writes: “Google Cardboard is the next big thing for libraries. If you’re new to Cardboard, it’s essentially housing made of cardboard that turns your phone into a virtual reality (VR) viewer. The idea is simple, but the experience is nothing short of magical. I’ve been experimenting with my viewer for almost a year and the novelty still hasn’t worn off. A Cardboard viewer will run you about $10 or less. Here are five ways to start using Cardboard in your library.”...

LITA Blog, Feb. 25

Retellings in YA literature

Cover of The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd

Tegan Anclade writes: “The current lineup of new movies are either remakes and reboots of originals or books and comics turned into films. Retellings abound in YA literature as well, not only in rewriting classics, such as Marta Acosta’s retelling of Jane Eyre titled Dark Companion, but many retellings of fairy tales. What is it about retellings that catch our attention? Here are some books that all your friends may have been telling you about, books you haven’t heard of, and new books to keep an eye out for.”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 1

Top 10 women’s fiction titles for 2016

Cover of The Brontë Plot, by Katherine Reay

Rebecca Vnuk writes: “The top 10 women’s fiction from the last 12 months (reviewed in Booklist between March 1, 2015, and February 15, 2016) cover the spectrum, from romantic chick lit to more than one literary title. These novels deliver something for just about every women’s-fiction fan.” For example, The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay, in which rare book dealer Lucy teams up with her ex’s grandmother Helen on a book-buying expedition....

Booklist Online, Mar. 1

Children read to shelter dogs

Youngster reads to shelter dog

Stephen Messenger writes: “An innovative idea, called the Shelter Buddies Reading Program, is making a huge difference for animals at the Humane Society of Missouri. The idea is simple: Train kids to read to dogs as a way of readying them for forever homes, all while instilling a greater sense of empathy in the youngsters. Kids ages 6 to 15 can sign up for the program online, after which they are trained how to read a dog’s body language to tell if they are stressed out or anxious.” Watch the video (1:44)....

The Dodo, Feb. 24; YouTube, Dec. 23, 2015

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. Read the ALA privacy policy.


American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing