Use Snapchat to reach millennials.

American Library Association • November 18, 2016
McGraw Hill

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Snapchat in the library

A snapchat from Leon Springs Elementary School in San Antonio

Paige Alfonzo writes: “Much has changed in the five years since Snapchat arrived on the social media scene. It’s no longer the fledgling ‘disappearing message app’ used solely by teens. Snapchat is now the poster child for message-focused social media apps that are growing in popularity among young users. It’s a platform that emphasizes interaction, capitalizing on the playful side of social media and providing a way for users to send multimedia messages (‘snaps’) back and forth between friends.”...

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Gwinnett County’s self-service experiment

The Open+ card reader allows secure access for registered patrons

Clifford Ibarrondo writes: “Earlier this year, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library was approached by international library technology company Bibliotheca (which has an office in nearby Norcross) to become the first library in North America to use Open+, a technology that grants customers self-service use of the library outside normal operating hours. This came at a great time for us, coinciding with a needed technology update to replace our existing self-checkout kiosks and security gates.”...

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

Improve your Analytics data

Dispatches, by Tabatha Farney

Tabatha Farney writes: “Google Analytics is a data-tracking service that can help you make important decisions about your website. Are you getting the best data from this tool? Most likely not, since Google Analytics does not automatically enable several essential features that enhance its data collection ability. You can remedy this issue by enabling three easy administrative features to reduce junk traffic, track user actions, and set goals to instantly improve your results.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

’Tis the season for holiday programming

Youth Matters, by Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson writes: “Winter is fast approaching, and it’s time to analyze how you handle holiday programming at your library. Do you put up a Christmas tree? If you offer religious programming, do you include all religions? Do you partner with organizations in your community to ensure that your offerings are wanted and culturally relevant? Have you ever considered what the ‘holiday season’ is like at your library and why? The first step is to stop and think objectively about what you are offering.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
ALA news

New ALA briefs on policy priorities

ALA policy brief on services to veterans

On November 17, ALA released three briefs highlighting how libraries can advance specific policy priorities of the incoming Trump administration in the areas of entrepreneurship, services to veterans, and broadband adoption and use. Each paper features numerous snapshots of programs around the country illustrating libraries’ contributions to vibrant communities, as well as takeaway points for decision-makers....

ALA Washington Office, Nov. 17

2016 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

Wendy Campbell

Darby Community (Mont.) Public Library Director Wendy Campbell will receive the 2016 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois iSchool. Libraries Unlimited will present the award and $1,000 to Campbell at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta on January 21. Campbell was chosen for her determination and tenacity in providing the cultural program, “Perspectives on Islam,” against community objections....

Ravalli (Mont.) Republic, Nov. 18; American Libraries feature, Apr. 15

2016 National Book Award winners

Cover of Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

On November 16, the 67th National Book Awards ceremony in New York brought together many of literature’s leading lights in celebration of just a few authors: Colson Whitehead, who won for The Underground Railroad in the fiction category; Ibram X. Kendi, for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, in nonfiction; Daniel Borzutzky, for The Performance of Becoming Human, in poetry; and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, for March: Book Three, in young people’s literature....

NPR: The Two-Way, Nov. 16
Latest Library Links

Auditor: California school libraries in woeful shape

California auditor’s report on school libraries

California’s public school libraries are overdue for improved oversight and staffing, according to a new report from state Auditor Elaine Howle. According to standards adopted six years ago by the State Board of Education, school districts should now be employing a total of about 7,900 teacher librarians to serve the 6.2 million students enrolled in schools statewide. How many are actually employed? 841. The report concludes that California has the poorest ratio of students to teacher librarians in the nation....

Central Valley Business Times, Nov. 17

Kentucky county looks into library board elections

Calloway County (Ky.) Public Library

The Calloway County (Ky.) Fiscal Court has hired an attorney to look into Kentucky’s laws regarding library boards. The move comes as judge-executive Larry Elkins refuses to appoint two new members to the Calloway County Public Library board of trustees. Elkins has called the board’s nomination process “incestuous” while voicing opposition to the board’s $6.4 million plan for expansion. Elkins has also expressed concern that the expansion will result in higher library taxes....

WKMS-FM, Oct. 11, Nov. 17

Leonard Cohen archives live on in Toronto

Fisher Rare Books librarian Jennifer Toews holds up some of the archived material in the Leonard Cohen collection

Leonard Cohen’s career took him from Montreal to Greece to Los Angeles, but he chose to leave much of his life’s work, including early poetry and novel manuscripts, in Toronto. The singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist, buried in Montreal following his death on November 7, for years donated thousands of relics collected throughout his career to the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. The collection contains countless handwritten notes, more than 100 self-portraits, fan mail, and early drafts of Cohen’s work....

Toronto Star, Nov. 16; University of Toronto News, Nov. 11

NYPL plans to redesign its Mid-Manhattan branch

An artist’s conception of the Mid-Manhattan Library’s renovation features work spaces, a light-filled atrium, and a Long Room of multiple floors of browsable stacks

In many ways, the New York Public Library’s renovation plan has been a step-by-step retreat from the ambitious and controversial $1 billion overhaul that once called for moving the circulating library at the Mid-Manhattan branch into the main Fifth Avenue flagship. On November 16, the library’s board approved an understated $200-million redesign of Mid-Manhattan by the lesser-known Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo that aims to improve the inhospitable interior and is unlikely to ruffle any feathers....

New York Times, Nov. 16; Feb. 15, 2012

Filter bubbles and democracy

The 2016 digital election, by the numbers

Mostafa M. El-Bermawy writes: “The global village that was once the internet has been replaced by digital islands of isolation that are drifting further apart each day. From your Facebook feed to your Google search, as your experience online grows increasingly personalized, the internet’s islands keep getting more segregated and soundproofed. The internet that helped elect Barack Obama in 2008 and was used during Arab Spring in 2011 is different from the internet that led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.” Here are some suggestions from Book Rioters for books to read when you need to remember that fighting the good fight is worth it....

Wired, Nov. 18; The Slatest, Nov. 17; Book Riot, Nov. 18

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