Teens’ Top Ten: The 2016 list.

American Library Association • October 18, 2016

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Official 2016 Teens’ Top Ten titles

Screenshot from 2016 Teens' Top Ten video

YALSA has announced the official titles of the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten. Teens all over the world voted starting August 15 with voting lasting through Teen Read Week (October 9–15). The Teens’ Top Ten is a teen choice list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Altogether, more than 28,000 votes were cast for the 26 nominees. A video and list featuring the winning titles can be found on the Teens’ Top Ten page....

YALSA, Oct. 17

AASL standards and practices research

Part of an infographic showing the AASL survey results

AASL has released a summary report of the data collected as part of the evaluation and remodeling of its learning standards and program guidelines. The goal of the research was to assess attitudes and perceptions about the current products, including content and usability. The research also collected information on how AASL might improve its implementation assistance. Data was collected through an online survey and 20 focus groups. Four common threads appeared in the research data....

AASL, Oct. 17
2017 Midwinter Meeting

Falling short of their profession’s needs

Cover of Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, by Wayne A. Wiegand

Wayne A. Wiegand writes: “In Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, I trace the history of this ubiquitous institution to identify reasons why it has been loved for generations. As I analyzed the data, I was surprised at how quickly those reasons fell into three categories. People have loved their libraries for: (1) the useful information they made accessible, (2) the transformative potential of commonplace reading they circulated, and (3) the public spaces they provided. Examples abound. But until LIS educators teach library reading and library as place in their professional programs at the core level, they are addressing only a fraction of what libraries actually do for their patrons. And they are falling short of their profession’s needs.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 17

Library and librarian are powerful words

Why I still love the words library and librarian

Stephen Bero writes: “Middle school media specialist and teacher-librarian Diana Rendina posted on her blog, Renovated Learning, her wish to return to the term librarian as her title and the term library as the name of her institution. ‘I think that there is a great deal of power in the words library and librarian that we have started to neglect,’ wrote Rendina. Her endeavor to own the terms again and use them as advocacy tools for school librarians can speak to us as public librarians too.”...

Public Libraries Online, Oct. 10; Renovated Learning, Apr. 4
ALA news

Is Free Basics’ internet access worth it?

Free Basics by Facebook

Joyce Johnston writes: “Facebook’s newest US project, Free Basics, sounds like a dream offer for cash-strapped school districts, especially those in its target demographic of poorer rural areas. Internet access would be zero-rated (regulator-speak for “free”). Free Basics would provide access to ‘news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information.’ And therein lie key issues for educators. Free Basics is not even truly free.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Oct. 17; Facebook for Developers; Washington Post, Oct. 6

2017 ALA–Havana Book Fair Tour

Havana skyline

Vamos a Cuba! Join the ALA-sponsored tour of Cuba during the International Havana Book Fair, February 10–27, 2017. In addition to the Havana Book Fair and the unique sights and sounds of Cuba, this year’s tour will have a half-day professional program with Cuban colleagues and a volunteering opportunity to assist a library in need. The deadline is October 20, and the trip is limited to 30 people....

ALA International Relations Office

LGBT students are still not safe at school

Cover of From Teasing to Torment

Marissa Higgins writes: “According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s new report, From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, LGBT youth in middle and high school have lower grades, more attendance problems, and are less likely to complete high school than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Many experience long-term emotional effects from the bullying, harassment, and anti-LGBT bias they face as students. For LGBT youth in middle and high school, there is much room for improvement.”...

The Atlantic, Oct. 18
Latest Library Links

Maya Lin unveils redesign of Smith College library

Maya Lin’s plans for a renovation of Neilson Library at Smith College

Maya Lin, the artist known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, has unveiled her redesign for the Smith College library in Northampton, Massachusetts—a project that will reduce the building’s footprint and restore a portion of the campus’s green space. The renovation will retain the original building of the Neilson Library from 1909 while removing bulky additions from over the years that Lin said created a “telescoping” effect and bisected the campus’s lawns with what amounts to a wall....

New York Times, Oct. 16

Do you know where this book is?

Too many books

Paul Jackson writes: “With more than one million books now being published each year, will we ever be able to preserve and maintain even a hint of that number in the near future? Recent information from the book world tells us it is currently likely that only 250 copies of a given nonfiction title will ever be sold, and only a 1% chance it will show up at a bookstore. Yet if libraries are really in the business of preserving and giving access to what has been written, it seems strange there wouldn’t be more sales.”...

Public Libraries Online, Oct. 14; Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Sept. 26

25 Pokémon crafts for kids

Pokémon trainer belt

Pokémon has been loved for years, but with the release of Pokémon Go this year, the Pokémon excitement is now everywhere. If your kids are on the Pokémon train, they’ll love trying out some of these 25 fun craft ideas....

Make and Takes, Oct. 13

The best computers for the Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift equipment

Matthew Buzzi writes: “Virtual reality gaming is very demanding, so a powerful gaming desktop or laptop is required to run titles smoothly on Oculus Rift. Pushing detail-rich graphics to the two high-resolution displays placed inches from your eyes is strenuous, and the average computer won’t be able to keep up. This is one of the biggest barriers to mainstream success for the Rift, as it potentially adds the purchase of a pricey gaming PC to the already-expensive headset. Here are the recommended specs.”...

PC Magazine, Oct. 13–14

Creepy clown books

Cover of Bad Clowns, by Benjamin Radford

Erin Downey Howerton writes: “At the store, I overheard a mother and son arguing over a clown costume: She was anti, he was pro. So what’s with the clown hysteria lately? Rumors of clowns standing on street corners in the middle of the night, waving and smiling at those up late. Meanwhile, professional clowns report their own fears of loss of income and potential for violence. So what’s a reader to do? We suggest some research material, in the form of these creepy clown novels.”...

The Booklist Reader, Oct. 17; CNN, Oct. 5; Time, Oct. 4

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