The Newberry Library's new postcard collection.

American Library Association • April 18, 2017
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Greetings from the Newberry Library

The mock-up for the ‘Greetings from Williams Field, Arizona’ postcard used source materials from photographs, including the man in the first ‘I’ and the planes that fly across the top. The text was hand-lettered. The final product was printed in 1943

Ronnie Wachter writes: “For the first five days of her first job out of college in 1982, as an intern for the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois, Katherine Hamilton-Smith oversaw the transfer and preservation of about 2.5 million postcards and related materials. Each item held a different degree of historical significance, none of them were cataloged, and all were lucky to not be buried in a landfill. Now the Curt Teich Postcard Archives has moved again, from Lake County to the Newberry Library in Chicago.”...

American Libraries feature, May

National Library Legislative Day events

National Library Legislative Day 2017

National Library Legislative Day will be held in Washington, D.C., on May 1–2 and the speaker lineup is the best yet. Hina Shamsi from the ACLU will be the keynote speaker. Panels will also be held on the following topics: politics, advocacy, coding, and the news media. Interested in taking part in National Library Legislative Day, but unable to come to D.C. yourself? Register to participate digitally and sign up for our Thunderclap....

District Dispatch, Mar. 14, Apr. 11
ALA News

ALA Library War Service publications

The A.L.A. in Siberia, 1919. Harry Clemons served for five months as a camp librarian in Siberia, and his letters or cablegrams sent to the Library War Service headquarters were collected and bound in this 47-page volume

Salvatore De Sando writes: “While the ALA War Service supplied great amounts of reading materials to World War I soldiers abroad, a great amount of administrative reading materials were produced as well. These can be found in Record Series 89/1/60, which contains promotional pamphlets and administrative reports. Here are some of the books, handbooks, and reports that the ALA War Service published in 1918–1920.”...

ALA Archives blog, Apr. 17

Hosting a coding challenge in the library

Digital badges at Innovate LA

Isis Leininger and Lauren Magnuson write: “In the fall of 2016, the city of Los Angeles held a two-week ‘Innovate LA’ event intended to celebrate innovation and creativity. Dozens of organizations held events to showcase resources for making, invention, and app development. As part of this event, the library at California State University, Northridge, hosted two weeks of coding challenges that introduced novice coders to basic development using tutorials. Coders were rewarded with digital badges distributed by the application Credly.”...

ACRL TechConnect, Apr. 17
Latest Library Links

Los Angeles, Dallas consider school librarian reductions

A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School library in Dallas will be losing its librarian

Five more Los Angeles Unified high schools may divert their funding for teacher librarians this fall as principals decide to spend their budgets on other pressing needs, meaning 15 of the 84 high school libraries would not be fully staffed. The state’s Local Control Funding Formula allows more autonomy for district schools, and library staffing is among the discretionary items. In Dallas, 11 schools will soon no longer have a librarian. Among them are four high schools and three middle schools. No librarians will be laid off; instead, they will be shuffled to fill vacant positions at other schools. A report published in the ILA Reporter, “Data Back Up the Headlines: Adding Weight to Advocacy” by Michelle Guittar and Kelly Grossmann, reviews why parents should be concerned if their students go to schools without a good library....

LA School Report, Apr. 16; Dallas News, Apr. 17; ILA Reporter, Apr.

Library investment and library use

Public library revenue and costs, 2002 to 2013

Robinson Meyer writes: “What do revenues have to do with declining library use? Possibly everything. In 2012, the IMLS yearly report examined whether more people use public libraries after they receive more public investment. In a word, yes. In other words, there is empirical evidence that usage tracks investment. And if governments invest less in its libraries (as they have since 2009), fewer people visit—though the drop in visits from disinvestment isn’t as strong as the rise from investment would be.”...

The Atlantic, Apr. 14; Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2011

Why libraries might need a national endowment

Library. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill

Patrick Reilly writes: “The Trump administration’s proposals to eliminate government funding for IMLS, NEH, and NEA could force many of these institutions to make hard choices in coming years. To solve this problem, David Rothman is asking the super-rich to create a national endowment for libraries. Rothman, cofounder of, and Corilee Christou, a library advocate and retired librarian, recently laid out their vision for an endowment funded by wealthy philanthropists.”...

Christian Science Monitor, Apr. 14; Washington Post, Apr. 10
ALA Annual Conference

A visit to the New York Times “morgue”

Jeff Roth. Photo by Claire O'Neill/NPR

Stephen Hiltner writes: “Jeff Roth (right) is the caretaker of the New York Times ‘morgue,’ a vast and eclectic archive that houses the paper’s historical news clippings and photographic prints, along with its large book and periodicals library, microfilm records, and other archival material—federal directories, magazine collections, and a variety of indexes. His job consists of a range of tasks: chasing down clippings and picture folders, keeping an eye out for archival material, and cataloging and organizing the collections.”...

New York Times, Apr. 14

The art of the Western paperback

Karen Spilman and the Artistry of the Western Paperback exhibit

On view through May 14, “The Artistry of the Western Paperback” showcases the covers of 50 paperbacks from the massive Glenn D. Shirley Western Americana Collection at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Karen Spilman (right), the museum’s librarian, curated the exhibit, which pays homage to the illustrators who crafted covers that could match florid titles like Skeleton Trail, Death Rides the Night, and Deadline at Durango....

The Oklahoman, Apr. 16

Toward accountability

Data discrimination

danah boyd writes: “It’s easy to assume that when we—data practitioners—commit to using data well, we are committing to using data for social good. But, if we want to do data responsibly, we need to challenge some basic assumptions and highlight how some values conflict. What if your project will increase inequality and hurt the people you’re trying to help? We cannot build a neutral platform or punt the political implications of data down the line. Every decision matters, including the decision to make data open and the decision to collect certain types of data and not others.”...

Data and Society: Points, Apr. 12
Fight for Libraries

Google Earth gets a makeover

The revamped Google Earth lets users get up close and personal with remote places worldwide

Sarah Perez writes: “Google has unveiled its new vision for Google Earth, the¬†software that combines satellite imagery, topographic maps and 3D cities, to help you better visualize the planet. The company is now rolling out an update for Google Earth for Chrome and Android (iOS and Firefox are in the works) that will introduce features like guided tours, Knowledge cards, as well as Google’s classic ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button for more spontaneous discoveries. Another new feature is a 3D button that lets you view a place from any angle to move around the Grand Canyon to see geological layers, or check out the 500-year-old Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley.”...

TechCrunch, Apr. 18; Google Earth blog, Apr. 18

100 must-read books about witches

Cover of Calligraphy of the Witch, by Alicia Gaspar de Alba

S. Zainab Williams writes: “In my insatiable search for books about witches, I’ve become fascinated by the many shapes the witch takes in fiction and the intersections of thought about what it means to be a witch. Because the witch is a powerful, complex, shifting, and familiar character, we will thankfully never run out of material for diverse stories about these bewitching characters. In no particular order, here are 100 of those stories.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 18

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