Midwinter 2017 registration now open.

American Library Association • September 9, 2016

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Libraries and escape rooms

We Escaped sign from the Kitchener (Ont.) Public Library program

Katie O’Reilly writes: “With a dash of the board game Clue, an element of theater, and a guaranteed adrenaline rush, escape rooms have taken off in a big way. According to a July 21, 2015, MarketWatch article, at least 2,800 have sprung up across the globe since 2010. As a team-building exercise that encourages participants to flex their logic muscles, escape rooms are a hit with corporate organizers. It’s also why youth librarians are getting into the spirit of escapism.”...

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

A bike-lending library in Canton, Ohio

BikeSmart bikes at Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio

Megan Perrero writes: “At the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio, you can borrow books, DVDs, and now bikes. With help from kids in the community, SCDL started its BikeSmart program in June 2015. BikeSmart allows patrons to use their library cards to rent bicycles at one of six bike lending stations in Canton and Massillon. The program has returned for its second season, which will run until about November 15.”...

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 8

Knowledge for the win

Another Story: Joseph Janes

In his latest column, Joseph Janes argues for an expanded notion of “library advocacy” beyond the traditional one “to make the case (neither always easy nor obvious) for knowledge, for actually knowing things, in a complicated and often scary world. Otherwise, ignorance wins, which would be a future too awful to contemplate.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Registration and housing open for ALA Midwinter

2017 Midwinter Meeting

Registration and housing are now open for the 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, January 20–24, 2017. In addition to all the events and sessions you usually find at the Midwinter Meeting, full registration also includes the new Symposium on the Future of Libraries, sponsored by ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries. Early bird registration is open until November 9....

Conference Services, Sept. 7

Speaking out against Chicago school library cuts

ISLMA statement

The Illinois School Library Media Association sent a letter September 5 asking Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark to reverse recent budget cuts and return librarians to the city’s schools. Patti Fleser, ISLMA president and school librarian at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, Illinois, says the open letter addresses the “trend of school districts cutting their librarian positions.” The number of certified librarians at CPS has dropped from 454 in 2013 to 157 in the proposed 2017 budget....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 8

An unprecedented faculty lockout

Faculty lockout

Alana Semuels writes: “Locking out a university’s faculty right before the start of classes seems like a drastic step, but that is just what Long Island University did this weekend, when it barred all 400 members of its faculty union (including librarians) from its Brooklyn campus, cut off their email accounts and health insurance, and told them they would be replaced. The move came three days after the union’s contract expired. The faculty is planning rallies and pickets with support from the American Federation of Teachers. Labor historians say they can’t recall an example of a university using a lockout against faculty members.”...

The Atlantic, Sept. 7
ALA news

A high-level look at an ILS migration

Koha logo

Eric Phetteplace writes: “My library recently performed that most miraculous of feats—a full transition from one integrated library system to another, specifically Innovative’s Millennium to the open source Koha (supported by ByWater Solutions). We were prompted to migrate by Millennium’s approaching end-of-life and a desire to move to a more open system where we feel in greater control of our data. If you’re considering changing your ILS, this post could hold some value for you.”...

ACRL TechConnect, Sept. 7

Denver Public Library's Harry Potter maze

Gryffindor crest inside the Harry Potter cardboard maze at Denver Public Library

Amy Forrester, children’s librarian at Denver Public Library, provides detailed instructions for the Programming Librarian blog on how the library created its giant Harry Potter-themed cardboard maze. The maze was 75 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 6 feet tall, and was the centerpiece for a families-only after-hours party with games, wand-making, and snacks. Hidden inside the maze were each of the four Hogwarts House crests for players to find....

Programming Librarian, Sept. 9
2017 Midwinter Meeting

An exploration of hi/lo books

Liar, by Justine Larbalestier

Rebecca O’Neil writes: “Reluctant or struggling teen readers often feel keenly the gap between the books they are able to read, and the topics they want to read. Must they read from the children’s section with its juvenile topics? Not at all. This is a gap that hi/lo books aim to fill. The term hi/lo refers to books that have a high interest level and a low vocabulary or readability level. They are characterized by exciting (often edgy) topics, short or linear time frames, and action-driven plots.”...

YALSA The Hub, Sept. 7

The best keyboards of 2016

Corsair K95 RGB

Laarni Almendrala Ragaza and Brian Westover write: “Maybe your old keyboard has typed its last letter. Perhaps your gaming ambitions have left you dissatisfied with the mediocre model that came with your desktop PC. Or maybe the one you have still works fine for what it is, but isn’t as comfortable and sturdy as you’d prefer. Whatever the reason, anyone can benefit from a better keyboard. Here are a few specific features to look for.”...

PC Magazine, Sept. 7
Latest Library Links

Motorcycle-riding librarians of Australia

Alan Flores (right) and Biblio Turismo

A group of leather-clad motorcycling librarians are spinning through Sydney, Australia, to show that libraries can be cool. Biblio Turismo founder Alan Flores and 10 riders will zoom into the St. Clair and Penrith libraries on September 15 to spread the word about the benefits of public libraries. Flores, a former Penrith Library manager, said he started the group 11 years ago as a way to encourage others to take up the profession: “We come in and take over the library to give the workers a bit of a break and just have some fun with the people.”...

St. Marys-Mt. Druitt (N.S.W.) Star, Sept. 8

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