Diversity at New York Comic Con.

American Library Association • October 14, 2016

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New York Comic Con 2016

The crowds file into day three of New York Comic Con 2016. Photo by Ivy Noelle Weir

Ivy Noelle Weir writes: “To the uninitiated, New York Comic Con can be terrifying. The Javits Center in Manhattan, already a daunting behemoth of glass and steel, becomes a crowded, overstimulating, noisy throng of Batmen, Harley Quinns, and all members of any League, Team, and Force you can name. Panels are full to standing room, and loud dance music blares from booths advertising games, comics, and other swag. For fans, this can be a haven, a place to fully geek out for four days every October. For librarians trying to access a slice of the nerd culture zeitgeist to bring back to their branches, it can be a lot to take in.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 14

Layoffs proposed at the Library of Virginia

Library of Virginia

Benjamin Bromley writes: “This is a letter that I wrote to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and state Secretary of Education Dietra Trent about the proposed layoffs at the Library of Virginia. Twenty-six state employees have to be laid off statewide, and out of that number 15 are currently proposed to come from the Library of Virginia. It is unfair, inequitable, and devastating to an agency that has borne more than its share of layoffs going back to 2002.”...

Among Other Items, Oct. 13

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books, The Scottish Prisoner

Lord John Grey cast for Outlander

Australian actor David Berry has been cast to play Lord John Grey on the upcoming third season of STARZ’s Outlander. The Lord John Grey book series, written by Diana Gabaldon, is a spin-off of her bestselling Outlander series.

The breakout TV hit Outlander, from Sony Pictures Television, was recently renewed for two more seasons. Season 3, which premieres next year, will adapt Diana Gabaldon’s novel Voyager, while Season 4 will be based on Drums of Autumn. Recorded Books produced the audiobooks for both the Outlander and Lord John Grey series.

Jeopardy contestant’s music comment goes viral

Susan Cole on Jeopardy

Video footage of a Maryland librarian who was a Jeopardy contestant has gone viral after host Alex Trebek said her favorite type of music is for “losers.” Maryland Department of Legislative Services librarian Susan Cole (right) was featured on the October 12 episode of Jeopardy and revealed that one of her favorite genres was “Nerdcore hip-hop.” Trebek said he had never heard of it and commented that it sounds like it was for “losers, in other words.” The video has been watched widely online. Cole won the competition, racking up $20,600....

Baltimore Sun, Oct. 13; Inside Edition YouTube channel, Oct. 13

NYPL’s underground sorting system

NYPL’s head of facilities Gerry Oliva. Photo by Anne Quito

Anne Quito writes: “Twenty-seven feet below Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan are miles of bookshelves at the New York Public Library’s newly expanded Milstein Research Stacks. To maximize space, the NYPL is now storing its collection based on a book’s physical dimensions. ‘It’s all based on size,’ explained Gerry Oliva (right), NYPL head of facilities. Compared to the old system, where a small volume about geography might be shelved next to a large book of maps, the new system has increased the library’s storage capacity by 40%.”...

Quartz, Oct. 13
ALA news

When librarians are silenced

Video footage of Kansas City Public Library staff member Steve Woolfolk being arrested

Francine Prose writes: “Search the internet for news stories about public libraries in America and chances are that, sooner or later, the phrase ‘on the front lines’ will come up. The war that is being referred to, and that libraries have been quietly waging since the September 11 attacks, is in defense of free speech and privacy—two concepts so fundamental to our democracy, our society, and our Constitution that one can’t help noting how rarely their importance has been mentioned during the current election cycle. Recently, a librarian in Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested simply for standing up for a library patron’s free speech rights at a public event.”...

New York Review of Books, Oct. 14; The Pitch (Kansas City), Oct. 11

Join a nationwide reading of It Can’t Happen Here

It Can't Happen Here reading

During the week beginning October 24, theaters, universities, and libraries across the country will imagine the rise of fascism in America with staged readings of Sinclair Lewis’s semi-satirical It Can’t Happen Here. More than 20 sites have already signed on to participate. Join in and hold your own staged reading, royalty-free. Published in 1935, the novel tells how the fictional Senator Buzz Windrip, a charismatic and power-hungry politician, is elected president after promising to restore his country to greatness....

Programming Librarian, Oct. 4; Berkeley Rep

UK House of Lords attacks library closures

Loss of libraries “simply cannot be allowed to happen,” Gail Rebuck told the House of Lords. Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA

Social entrepreneur John Bird painted a grim picture of the UK with a reduced library service, warning the House of Lords on October 13 that cuts would result in “disorder, crime, problems for schools, and the fact that children will not be able to get a job because they will not have the skills and abilities.” Opening a debate on libraries and booksellers, Bird said that “we have lost more than 500 [libraries] since 2010,” and almost 9,000 librarians. He called on the government to “supply some emergency relief money to stop local authorities doing this dastardly deed.”...

The Guardian (UK), Oct. 14
Latest Library Links

LGBT book placement an issue in Oklahoma City

Artwork from Heather Has Two Mommies

For 10 years, the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City has placed a group of children’s books with sensitive subject matter into a smaller, elevated section. The section, known as “family talk,” includes books on drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, incarceration, mental illness, death, divorce, and LGBT issues. Freedom Oklahoma, an LGBT rights advocacy group, will ask the Metro Library Commission to revisit its policy and amend it to place LGBT books in general circulation....

The Oklahoman, Oct. 11; NewNowNext, Oct. 12

More medieval manuscripts to go online

Tuija Ainonen, project curator; Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library; Kristian Jensen, head of collections and curation of the British Library; Rachel Polonsky and Marc Polonsky of the Polonsky Foundation, viewing a manuscript of the Gospel of Mark

Tuija Ainonen writes: “The national libraries of Britain and France will work together to create two innovative websites that will make 800 manuscripts decorated before the year 1200 available freely. The Bibliothéque nationale de France will create a bilingual website that will allow side-by-side comparison of 400 manuscripts from each collection, selected for their beauty and interest. The British Library will create a website for a general audience that will feature highlights from the most important of these manuscripts. Both websites will be online by November 2018.”...

British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Oct. 12
2017 Midwinter Meeting

CLIR gets $2.7 million to preserve at-risk recordings

The Northeast Document Conservation Center's IRENE project turns photographic images of an audio carrier's grooves into sound

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources $2.7 million for a regranting program to digitize “at risk” audio and audiovisual materials of high scholarly value. The program will run four competitions between January 2017 and September 2018, awarding a total of $2.3 million. CLIR will issue a pilot call for proposals, in partnership with the Northeast Document Conservation Center, in January....

Council on Library and Information Resource, Oct. 13

Signage by design

Ineffective noise level signs that were prototyped and tested. The first sign, in particular, requires too much thinking and is unclear

Edward Luca and Bhuva Narayan write: “Signage can welcome, guide, instruct, and delight users, helping them navigate the complex information world of any library. In practice, however, signage can be problematic, contributing to visual noise through information overload; this often leads to signage blindness, library anxiety, and confusion. We found that a design-thinking approach using empathy, problem definition, solution ideation, prototyping, and testing, can help libraries make meaningful changes.”...

Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 1, no. 5 (2016)

Animated GIFs from the National Archives

Elvis meets Nixon

Andrea James writes: “From the sublime to the ridiculous, the US National Archives’ new curated page of GIFs on Giphy has an animated bit of US history for every occasion, like Woodsy Owl, an analog odometer from the Apollo 8 mission, Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, Bugs Bunny dancing, President John F. Kennedy, the Beatles, or Elvis meeting Richard Nixon.”...

BoingBoing, Oct. 13

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