Annual Conference must-dos.

American Library Association • May 3, 2016
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2016 ALA Annual Conference must-dos

ALA Annual Conference in Orlando

Interact with thousands of the most motivated, committed, and imaginative people in the field. Make great connections, choose among hundreds of learning opportunities, and get the latest on products, services, technologies, and new titles. It’s all awaiting you in Orlando. Use the Preliminary Program and the Annual Conference Scheduler to start planning how you’ll be “transforming our libraries, ourselves” at the 2016 ALA Conference and Exhibition....

American Libraries feature, May

Library Systems Report, 2016: Power plays

Library Systems Report, 2016

Marshall Breeding writes: “Libraries have much at stake in products that align well with their strategies, resonate with their patrons, and facilitate the work of their staff. Previously established products are evolving to gain long-overdue modernization. In an era of web-based and cloud computing, library technology has held fast to aspects of the previous age of client-server computing. Library systems continue to see uneven progress.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Champions of children’s privacy

Champions of children’s privacy

Megan Cottrell writes: “In an age where more of our lives take place in the digital world, we all have a lot to learn about privacy. But for children and teens still developing their identities and personalities, privacy is essential, says librarian Mike Robinson, chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee. As defenders of intellectual freedom, Robinson says librarians have an obvious role in both protecting the privacy of children and teaching them how to protect themselves.”...

American Libraries Trend, May; Intellectual Freedom Blog, May 2

Freedom to look for Alaska in Kentucky

Support for Looking for Alaska in Lebanon, Kentucky

Kristin Pekoll writes: “In Kentucky, readers rejoice. At the open reconsideration committee meeting on May 2, English teacher Emily Veatch of Marion County High School in Lebanon, Kentucky, defended the right for her students to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was supported by librarians all over the US. Educators attended the meeting with buttons, t-shirts, and signs opposing the censorship of this book in the entire high school. They succeeded. The book is back on the shelves and in the classroom.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, May 3; The Guardian (UK), Apr. 26
Libraries Transform

Blaze destroys New Delhi’s Museum of Natural History

Indian National Museum of Natural History fire

One day after a huge fire gutted India’s National Museum of Natural History in New Delhi on April 26, officials announced that the museum’s entire reference library was destroyed. Spread across the fifth floor, the library housed some 60,000 books, bound journals, and old editions of Indian and international wildlife magazines. It also owned handwritten notebooks by surveyors from the British era with rare info on flora and fauna in the 19th and 20th centuries....

India Today, Apr. 28

New Mexico students struggle with illiteracy

First-graders from Jemez Mountain School District participate in New Mexico's Battle of the Books

School libraries around the country have had their funding cut both for new library books and professional librarians. The cutbacks don’t bode well for a state with some of the lowest student reading scores in the nation on standardized tests and a high rate of illiteracy among adults. According to the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, at least 46% of New Mexicans over the age of 16 are functionally illiterate—which means they are able to tell time and locate an intersection on a map, but they read little else....

Santa Fe New Mexican, Apr. 30; New Mexico Coalition for Literacy

Aging out of Sensory Storytime

Members of the Scotch Plains (N.J.) Public Library Next Chapter Book Club meet weekly at a local coffee shop with library volunteers

Megan Cottrell writes: “In just three years, Cheryl Smith’s 18-year-old son Carson is headed ‘off the cliff.’ No, he’s not the thrill-seeking adventure type or a reckless extreme sports nut. He’s on the autism spectrum, and the cliff is state-provided services: school, therapy, and activities. More than a half a million young adults with autism will age out of guaranteed services in the next decade, according to Autism Speaks. It’s a transition that many parents of young adults on the spectrum fear and for good reason.”...

American Libraries feature, Apr. 29

Where and when was that photo taken?

EXIF data from dog photo

Phil Bradley writes: “There are times when it would be really helpful to know when and where a photograph was taken. It might be because you can’t remember where you were when you took the picture, or you might be trying to check its authority and validity. There are ways in which you can do this, especially if the photograph was taken using a mobile phone, which stores huge amounts of information in the EXIF data. First, go to to Jeffrey Friedl’s Image Metadata Viewer.”...

Phil Bradley’s Weblog, May 3
Latest Library Links

Game of Thrones stamps, doors, and manuscripts

Northern Ireland Game of Thrones stamp for Episode 1

To tie in with Season 6 of Game of Thrones, the Royal Mail is releasing some limited edition postage stamps that can be used in Northern Ireland (the place where much of the show is filmed). Stamps will be released every week to tie in with each new episode, and the stamp designs will be based on something from Thrones. Also, 10 intricately carved, Game of Thrones–inspired doors are being revealed by Tourism Ireland in partnership with HBO. And two manuscript curators from the Getty are recapping each episode with medieval manuscript images....

Mashable, May 3; Irish Independent (Dublin), May 3; The Getty Iris, Apr. 22

Meditations on our sense of smell

Cover of What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life, by Avery Gilbert

Margaret Siggillino writes: “How often do you think about smell and scents? I often do. Not just about perfume and room sprays. I notice smells and scents of all sorts everywhere, all the time: pleasant, putrid, or neutral. However, this doesn’t often come up in conversation. Trying to share smell events or smell memories is—more often than not—rewarded with quizzical looks and slightly awkward pauses. Start your own smell journey. Here are some books on smell and scent to keep you company.”...

New York Public Library Blogs, May 2

The year’s best crime novels, 2016

Cover of Forty Thieves, by Thomas Perry

Bill Ott writes: “Comic caper novels, psychological thrillers, and history-mystery blends dominate the best crime fiction reviewed in Booklist from May 1, 2015, through April 15, 2016. If you love that special brew of light and dark that characterizes the best caper novels, you have to be a little giddy after a year in which three writers of the caliber of Stephen Dobyns (Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?), Timothy Hallinan (King Maybe), and Thomas Perry (Forty Thieves) chose to leaven suspense with laughter.”...

The Booklist Reader, May 2

Sex, drugs, and tree kangaroos

Tweet by Mallory: @abauter a man offered to donate $ for us to build a model tree & tree kangaroo b/c he read about tree kangaroos and thought they were cool

Alison Bauter writes: “Academic, urban, suburban—every librarian who interacts with the public has had the occasional incident. They range from the absurd to the sweetly goofy. Interactions like these come part and parcel with the unique space librarians occupy. For better or for worse, they shape the conversation around the changing nature of public libraries’ missions and how the public perceives their purpose in 2016.”...

Boston Patch, May 1

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