The fascinations of fan fiction.

American Library Association • November 11, 2016

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

Connecting with teens through fan fiction

Fan fiction. Illustration by Tom Deja

Anne Ford writes: “Getting teens more comfortable engaging with the library and librarians, more enthusiastic about the power of words, and more confident in their own abilities—can fan fiction really do all this? Fan fiction is fiction based on an existing work, such as a novel, TV show, or movie. It may use the original work’s characters, setting, or both. It may create new relationships for characters, and it may change characters’ genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and physical or mental abilities.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

In Practice: Tell your story with infographics

Portion of an infographic created by Jessica Burkhardt from Trexler Library, DeSales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Meredith Farkas writes: “In an effort to make evidence-based decisions, librarians collect a lot of data, but data must be shared and used to be most effective. In our soundbite culture, finding ways to turn raw data into something concise and compelling is critical. An infographic, a graphical display of data, allows the creator to tell a story through visually engaging representations of information. Going beyond pie charts and bar graphs, infographics use familiar images and icons to make information easily digestible.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
2017 Midwinter Meeting

On My Mind: Harnessing data visualization

New York Public Library 2012 Annual Report with embedded statistics on the cover

Linda Hofschire writes: “We collect lots of data about our libraries. Visits, circulation, Wi-Fi usage, program attendance, user satisfaction—the list seems endless. And perhaps our initial inclination is to share all of this data with decision makers, because more information is better, right? That is, until our stakeholders miss our main points because they’re wading through so many statistics. There is a better way. It’s time to get visual.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Newsmaker: Marley Dias

Marley Dias

Marley Dias (right) is the 12-year-old creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. In an effort to provide more diversity in books for younger children, for almost a year Dias has been collecting books with black girls as the main character and donating them to school libraries. She recently spoke with American Libraries regarding her progress with the campaign and what she has planned next....

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.
ALA news

South Carolina to digitize Marine Corps films

Marine Corps footage of landing at Iwo Jima, 1945

For most of the 20th century, the US Marine Corps archived film footage of its recruit training in Parris Island, South Carolina, along with Marines fighting in wars, including World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and various public relations activities. On January 1, that film collection—10,000 Marine Corps films from 1918 to the 1970s—will be permanently transferred to the University of South Carolina, where it will be digitized, stored, and made available for public viewing....

The State (Columbia, S.C.), Nov. 10

Conserving ancient manuscripts

Annotation disappearing into the gutter before (left) and after (right) the removal of the over-casted sewing passages

Flavio Marzo writes: “Digitization processes can be quite repetitive. Here at the British Library’s Qatar Digital Library Project we try to achieve the best we can and this means a lot of quality checks to ensure high levels of efficiency through standardized processes. The prime concern when treating items is to find the right balance between the level of intervention necessary to make a book strong enough to be safely handled while still preserving the unique and invaluable physical features related to its history and use.”...

British Library: Collection Care blog, Oct. 4

Libraries can be a health lifeline

An ESL instructor from the Free Library of Philadelphia assists a library patron who recently arrived in the US as a refugee. The Free Library's Edible Alphabet Program offers English language, cooking, and life skills instruction for refugees

Public libraries can provide vital support for people at high risk for health problems such as new immigrants and people dealing with homelessness, mental illness, and substance use, say researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Their analysis of Philadelphia libraries and how communities use them concludes that libraries can offer specific programs that directly and indirectly improve health, such as classes to improve skills or literacy. Librarians can also act as support figures, connecting people with resources for basic needs like housing.”...

Reuters, Nov. 10; Penn Medicine, Nov. 9
Latest Library Links

Head to the library

Fort Worth (Tex.) Library computer lab

David Kipen writes: “In small towns and large, in red states and blue, libraries poll better across the political spectrum than any public trust this side of the fire department. In districts where millage increases don’t require a two-thirds vote (and frequently where they do, as in California) modest library bonds usually win. If Donald Trump is as smart as he insists he is, then he can prove it by strengthening our intellectual infrastructure. That means libraries—and he can start with one audacious symbolic act.”...

Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Nov. 10

What now for ebooks and libraries?

The future of ebooks and electronics

David Rothman writes: “Ebooks, pbooks, and libraries are hardly in the center of Donald Trump’s radar, but I can’t help but wonder what’s ahead. Among my first thoughts: The price of electronics could go up with higher tariffs. The targets could include ebook readers, cell phones, tablets, and other gadgets. Amazon customers could be among the ones most painfully feeling the effects. Being a writer could be riskier if Trump’s followers in state legislatures ‘loosen up’ libel laws and if Trump-appointed judges feel the same.”...

TeleRead, Nov. 9

Fingertip camera reads to the visually impaired

HandSight fingertip camera

Stephanie Mlot writes: “A group of scientists at the University of Maryland have come up with a novel solution to the problem of allowing the visually impaired to read. The team, led by assistant professor of computer science Jon Froehlich, developed a device that allows blind persons to read text without the aid of braille. Dubbed HandSight, the vision-augmented touch system features a tiny CMOS camera typically used for endoscopies and laparoscopic surgery.”...

PC Magazine, Nov. 10

Bible study for nonbelievers

Cover of Misquoting Jesus, by Bart D. Ehrman

James Wallace Harris writes: “This essay is not an attack on faith. Its goal is to persuade nonbelievers that the Bible is a worthy book for study. Understanding the Bible can provide useful knowledge of history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, literature, philosophy, language, memory, writing, textual analysis, and information theory. Studying ancient texts takes us back to the border of history and prehistory, when writing first recorded oral tales that might have been around for hundreds or thousands of years.”...

Book Riot, Nov. 9

Resources for fostering empathy and social change

Cover of Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine

Molly Wetta writes: “As librarians and library workers who work for and with teens, everyone at The Hub is committed to fostering an empathetic community where all are welcome. This is a roundup of posts from the past year that promote tolerance and respect and celebrate people from all backgrounds.” Also, here are 20 books to inspire your teens, your programming, or your book displays for social change....

YALSA The Hub, Nov. 9–10

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