Virginia Senate passes bill encouraging censorship.

American Library Association • March 4, 2016
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Moving forward with Libraries Transform

Libraries Transform ribbons

In the current issue of American Libraries, Marci Merola writes: “Quite a buzz was generated at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting by Libraries Transform, ALA’s new multi-year public awareness and advocacy campaign. While bold banners and thought-provoking statements might be enough to capture the community’s attention, the question that library professionals have been asking is what it means to be a ‘Libraries Transform library.’ What does the campaign look like inside the library doors?” This issue also looks at Libraries Transform in community college and school library settings....

American Libraries features, Mar./Apr.

Advocacy in action: Every student succeeds

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “For anyone who may have been skeptical of the power of combined grassroots action, the library provisions contained in the newly passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) should make you a believer. Not only does the legislation that ALA members aggressively advocated for and that President Obama signed into law include language validating the importance of school libraries and school librarians, but it offers specific funding opportunities for school libraries that can now be pursued at state and local levels.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.; AL: The Scoop, Dec. 9, 2015
AL Direct 10th anniversary

ALA President's Message: How to create impact

ALA President Sari Feldman

ALA President Sari Feldman writes: “The ALA strategic plan places firm emphasis on three priorities: advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development. Although each priority has an individual implementation plan, it is at the intersection of our three strategic directions where we achieve the greatest impact. The National Library Card Sign-Up Month is one example of how the three priorities of the ALA strategic plan come together.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

How librarians and faculty use digital humanities

Librarian responses to the survey question: What does the best model look like for the digital humanities?

George M. Eberhart writes: “Before the internet, humanities scholars conducted research traditionally, by examining historical documents, original artworks, and first editions of literary texts in special collections reading rooms. But the sea change brought about by digital humanities resources is still rippling through academia. In 2015, American Libraries and Gale partnered in a survey of academic librarians and faculty to assess the current and future roles of libraries in supporting DH materials on campus.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar. 3
Libraries Transform

The importance of being information literate

Credo logo

Brandi Scardilli writes: “In today’s world of instant answers from Google, information literacy is a hot topic for libraries. Credo has been evolving to become a prominent source for guidance in teaching this important skill. Libraries that sign up with Credo have access to reference content that serves as a starting point for research, along with information literacy skills solutions that teach researchers how to interpret what they’ve found in their searches.”...

Information Today, Mar. 1

Naxos Music Library World launches

Naxos Music Library World logo

Music record label Naxos has launched Naxos Music Library World, a collection drawn from nearly 70 years of releases, from field recordings in Appalachia to intimate glimpses into Asian court music. The collection includes more than 1.75 million tracks, with music from more than 150 countries and 1,500 cultural groups. Naxos adds approximately 1,000 tracks a day. The service includes more than 5,000 albums from Smithsonian Folkways, ARC, Warner, Sony, Naxos World, and many independent labels....

Rock Paper Scissors, Feb. 3

Virginia Senate passes bill that encourages censorship

Cover of Beloved, by Toni Morrison

The Virginia Senate voted March 1 to give parents veto power over sexually explicit materials in school, following a charged debate that dipped into the Bible, mentioned transgender bathrooms, and got one senator called out by his colleagues for reading explicit passages. The bill eventually passed 22–17. A Northern Virginia parent brought the issue forward after one of her sons was told to read Beloved by Toni Morrison. House Bill 516 had had already cleared the House of Delegates unanimously....

Newport News (Va.) Daily Press, Mar. 1
Latest Library Links

Celebrating Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary

April 12 is the 100th birthday of beloved author (and former librarian) Beverly Cleary, and Natasha Forrester Campbell provides programming tips for libraries on the ALSC Blog. “Maybe a vehicle petting zoo in honor of Ralph S. Mouse? An animal adoption event with your local county animal services agency in honor of Ribsy and Socks? Perhaps making animals out of alphabet letters in honor of Ramona Quimby (age 8 eternally)?”...

ALSC Blog, Mar. 4

Harry Potter spurs trend to longer YA books

A young reader at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, 2005

Children’s novels have almost doubled in length over the last 40 years, according to research from US review journal Booklist, which attributes the growth to the popularity of the Harry Potter novels. Booklist’s Briana Shemroske looked at issues of Booklist from five decades: 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006, and 2016, focusing on the 111-year-old journal’s coverage of middle-grade fiction. In 2016, the average number of pages in middle-grade novels is 290, an increase of 173% over 40 years....

The Guardian (UK), Mar. 3

Snark, sarcasm, and your friendly neighborhood librarians

Snarky tweet from Lousy Librarian

Chris Burns writes: “Librarians are fond of pointing out that we are not our stereotypes. We’re far more snarky than most people realize. In order to work with many of our patrons, a sense of humor is a prerequisite. Like so many other service jobs, sometimes we need sarcasm to relieve tension and get through the day. I suspect we’ve always been this way. But while librarians in Alexandria were presumably just as snarky as we are, the modern world has given us a new place to express it: Twitter.”...

Public Libraries Online, Mar. 2

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