Explore Chicago Collections allows libraries to collaborate on digital materials.

American Library Association • March 18, 2016
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Libraries collaborate to create history

A Chicago restaurant photo from the 1930s and an undated map of pollution along the Chicago River, accessible via Explore Chicago Collections. Photos: University of Illinois at Chicago Library

Phil Morehart writes: “Explore Chicago Collections is a consortium of 21 institutions located throughout the Chicago area that have pooled resources to offer a richer perspective of the city’s history. Visitors can search and browse thousands of Chicago-specific materials from participating institutions (Chicago Public Library, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other academic, special, and museum libraries), including more than 100,000 digitized photos and documents, as well as film and audio clips.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

Tween read-alouds

Youth Matters, by Ernie Cox

Do tweens and parents need read-alouds? Don’t children outgrow storytime? In this issue’s Youth Matters column, teacher-librarian Ernie Cox argues the reasons we read aloud to kids remain compelling and meaningful as they age. Benefits of read-alouds with tweens include vocabulary building and providing a reading role model....

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

Report from SXSWi

The Handibot in action on the SX Create show floor

In his final report from the South by Southwest Interactive event, Jason Griffey hits the SX Create show floor to see the latest in makerspace tech. Highlights included 3D printers from LulzBot, SparkFun educational kits, Makey Makey’s musical plants, and the Handibot, a programmable material-carving machine. Read Griffey’s other SXSWi posts from Day One and Day Two....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 16–17

2016 Public Innovators Lab for Libraries

Participants at a previous Public Innovators Lab

ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation have announced their fourth annual training opportunity to help libraries strengthen their role as agents of positive change in their communities. The Public Innovators Lab for Libraries will be held October 19–21 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Librarians, community partners, and stakeholders in libraries of all types are encouraged to register. Participants must register online by October 14....

Public Programs Office, Mar. 17
Libraries Transform

Megan McDonald speaks for school libraries

Screenshot from Megan McDonald School Library Month PSA

A new PSA featuring Megan McDonald, author of the beloved Judy Moody and Stink books and spokesperson for AASL’s 2016 celebration of School Library Month, is now available. In the PSA, McDonald speaks to how school librarians transform learning by inspiring and feeding the curiosity of their students. AASL offers instructions on how to embed the video on school library websites....

Knowledge Quest blog, Mar. 17

Library access vs. library security

King Library, San Jose State University

Josh Logue writes: “On March 8 a woman was washing her hands in a restroom of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San José State University. Another woman, who was hiding in that bathroom, attempted to attack her. Both women were unaffiliated with SJSU. Episodes like this highlight an issue facing many public universities in large population centers: how to provide a safe environment for students while remaining open and accessible to the public at large.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 18

Judith’s Reading Room is still on mission

Cathy Leiber of Judith’s Reading Room says the program is backing away from library donations and creating the $10,000 Freedom Through Literacy award program

Dan Sheehan writes: “Judith’s Reading Room has always been more of a philosophy and a mission than a physical place, though it had a brick-and-mortar location on Third Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a few years. The reading room is named for Judith Krug, a librarian and First Amendment advocate who launched Banned Books Week and was the first director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I’m happy to report that the recent closing of the office is not a sign that Judith’s Reading Room is in distress.”...

Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Mar. 17
Latest Library Links

Three ways to share your screen and lend tech help

Screen Leap

Richard Byrne writes: “From time to time you may find yourself in need of a quick way to share your screen remotely. Sharing your screen with students can be a good way to walk them through an application or give them a virtual presentation. Likewise, screen sharing can be useful for professional development in which you’re introducing colleagues to the ins and outs of a program. Here are three free options for screen sharing.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Mar. 18

Tips on applying for the Knight News Challenge

Talking about the Knight News Challenge on Libraries at the Library Ideas Drop at SXSW in Austin, Texas

The Knight News Challenge on Libraries closes at 5 p.m. Eastern time on March 21. Winners will share in $3 million for the best projects that answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st-century information needs? With just a few days left, here are some tips for submitting the strongest application....

Knight Blog, Mar. 16

How libraries are becoming modern makerspaces

Tool wall at Fab Lab, Fayetteville Free Library

Deborah Fallows writes: “If you could ask Ben Franklin what public institution he would like to visit in America today, I bet he would say the public library. And if you asked him which part of the library, I bet he would say the makerspace. Perhaps taking a cue from Franklin, libraries across America are creating space for their patrons to experiment with all kinds of new technologies and tools to create and invent. The first modern library makerspace appeared about five years ago in the Fayetteville Free Library in upstate New York.”...

The Atlantic, Mar. 11

Blinded by science: YouTubers and podcasters to follow

Minute Physics, NASA, and Sick Science!

Danielle Jones writes: “It’s Science Week! Some feel science should just be left for homework, and for others it can totally be your jam, but science surrounds us, and it can be fascinating. Podcasts and videos can be a great way to explore your burning inquiries, whether you have just a few minutes or a whole hour to delve into a topic. YouTube has some entertaining and engrossing science channels that are worthy of note, and there are some science podcasts that have teen appeal.”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 17

The 25 hardest video games of all time

The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble (Coktel Vision)

Rich Stanton and Will Freeman write: “Games used to be harder. That’s the lament veteran players now mutter. As the industry has grown, the big titles have moved towards toning down the difficulty, in order to give a smooth experience to a wide range of players. But difficulty is at its best when it’s an intrinsic part of the design: Players have to think about the game in another way and earn their progress. That is certainly true for the 25 titles in this list.”...

The Guardian (UK), Mar. 18

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