Net neutrality, E-rate.

American Library Association • August 1, 2017
APA Style Central

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Net neutrality, E-rate are hot topics again

Slow lane, fast lane

Kevin Maher writes: “Recently, both the House and Senate held committee hearings at which we anticipated ALA priority issues—most notably net neutrality and potential changes in the E-rate program—being prominently discussed, as they were. We worked with key members of Congress serving on these committees to submit questions and background material ahead of the hearings to be placed in their official records. Here is more information on these strategic committee meetings.”...

District Dispatch, Feb. 14, July 31

New Dewey Decibel podcast: Fighting fake news

Dewey Decibel fake news episode

In Episode 16 of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries looks at the “fake news” phenomenon—its history, how we become susceptible to it, and how we can fight it. AL Associate Editor Phil Morehart talks with Joanna Burkhardt, fake news expert, professor, and director of the University of Rhode Island branch libraries, about its pernicious presence in today’s media landscape. Also making an appearance is Marnie Shure, managing editor of The Onion, about the satirical newspaper’s very specific brand of fake news, the role of comedy in truth telling, and how current US politics affects its work....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 1

Rural library technology

Title page of Rural Libraries in the United States

Larra Clark writes: “A new report from the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy focuses attention on the capacity of rural public libraries to deploy computing technologies and other resources to meet the needs of their residents. Rural Libraries in the United States: Recent Strides, Future Possibilities, and Meeting Community Needs details the challenges rural libraries face in maximizing their impact and describes how collaborative efforts help rural libraries and their communities.”...

District Dispatch, July 31

Free lunch at the library

Screenshot from Libraries Transform video

Before opening their doors at noon, the librarians squeeze tables and chairs between the book stacks to prepare for the onslaught of hungry children. Usually, two or three dozen show up, but occasionally, up to 70 do. During the summer, they come to the tiny Elmwood Place branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for Captain Underpants, air conditioning, and, lately, a hot meal. In recent years, a growing number of libraries are putting food on the table. Watch the Libraries Transform video (1:19)....

New York Times, July 30; PLA YouTube channel, May 5, 2016
ALA news releases

The first Asian American Literature Festival

Asian American Literature Festival logo

Kyle Lucia Wu writes: “The Asian American Literature Festival in Washington, D.C., was the first of what will be a yearly event. It was put on July 27–29 by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in collaboration with a number of organizations, including Poetry magazine, Kundiman, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. The initial day was held at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the second day at the Phillips Collection, the last at the Library of Congress.”...

Literary Hub, July 31

2017 Arab American Book Awards

2017 Arab American Book Award winners

The winners of the 2017 Arab American Book Awards have been announced, with well-known authors Rabih Alameddine (fiction), Hayan Charara (poetry), and Steven Salaita (nonfiction) taking three of the top awards. The fourth award, for children’s and young adult literature, went to pediatric nurse and debut author Michelle Chalfoun for The Treasure of Maria Mamoun. The awards will be presented October 7 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan....

Arabic Literature (in English), July 31

Readers and non-readers

Hermann Hesse’s three types of readers

Hannah Byrd Little writes: “Over the past few years, I have been deeply concerned about declining reading scores. And despite my best efforts, there is an overall decrease in readers in my library. I try to provide support and materials for readers who might struggle with reading and who have learning disabilities. But this decline seems to have little to do with diagnosed disabilities and more to do with changing times. The decline in reading seems to fall into one of three categories: distraction, overwhelm, and overwork.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Aug. 1
Latest Library Links

No homework: Just read

Summer reading

Elementary school students in one Florida school district are going to find a welcome new but controversial policy when they return to school for the 2017–2018 school year: no traditional homework. They are being asked to do one thing to help them academically: Read for 20 minutes a night. Heidi Maier, the new superintendent of the Marion County public school district, said that she made the decision based on solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students....

Washington Post, July 17

PBS to celebrate the joy of reading

PBS logo

On July 30, at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS announced The Great American Read, a new eight-part TV series and nationwide campaign that will explore the joy of books and the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved books, chosen by the public. Designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us, the series will launch in spring 2018 with a multiplatform digital and social campaign....

PBS, July 30

Learning about library accessibility

Project Enable logo

Renee Grassi writes: “The term ‘accessibility’ encompasses a wide variety of topics concerning access for those with disabilities. When we consider accessibility in libraries, we think of library design, allocation of space, furniture, technology, programming, customer service, collections, websites, volunteer and employment opportunities, and policies and procedures. Basically, library accessibility is about equal service and access for everyone in all areas of the library experience. And there’s much to learn about it.”...

ALSC Blog, July 31

Toy libraries are rescuing toys from landfill

Toy library

In the US, there are approximately 400 toy libraries that are filled with both new and used toys for families to borrow and take home. The concept is similar to a traditional library, as it promotes learning, teaches responsibility, and encourages social interaction. Toy libraries can also be found in other countries. Some toy libraries are run by public libraries, others are located within social service centers or childhood development organizations, and a few are freestanding nonprofits like the National Lekotek Center in Chicago....

Waste 360, July 28

Sci-Hub could doom paywalled journals

Sci-Hub coverage for prominent scientific journals

Just how enormous is Sci-Hub’s repository? That is the question biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues recently set out to answer. Their findings, published in a preprint on the PeerJ journal site on July 20, indicate that Sci-Hub can instantly provide access to more than two-thirds of all scholarly articles. Himmelstein concludes that the results of his study could mark “the beginning of the end” for paywalled research....

Science, July 27; PeerJ Preprints, July 20

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