Gift ideas for your book-loving friends.

American Library Association • December 8, 2017
Midwinter Meeting

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2017 holiday gift guide for librarians

2017 holiday gift guide

Alison Marcotte writes: “If you’re a librarian or avid reader, you’re probably used to getting the same things every year during the holidays—new books, bookmarks, requests from relatives for help on research papers. But you can mix it up this year by adding these cool gifts to your list. They’re great for those hard-to-buy-for folks you shop for, too—creative types, cooks, techies, board game enthusiasts, kiddos, fashionistas, stressed-out parents, Game of Thrones fans, or hostesses with the mostesses.”...

American Libraries feature, Dec. 8

Tips for talking to your legislators

Idaho State Librarian Ann Joslin (left) first got to know Idaho State Representative Mike Moyle by sharing a children’s book with him in the rotunda of the state capitol building. Moyle is now the Idaho House Majority Leader.

Ann Joslin (left) writes: “Few legislators will go on record saying they don’t like libraries, so enlisting legislative support should be simple, right? But engaging with elected officials doesn’t always equate to consistent support for libraries and library issues. With members of Congress heading back to their districts soon for the holiday break, what are the most effective ways to talk with them about libraries? Through repetition and years of practice, I’ve learned some things that have increased my effectiveness.”...

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 7

Lawsuit: Too many children in California can’t read

La Salle Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles was one of the schools named in the lawsuit

Parents and educators at struggling schools in California say students there are not reading well, and lawyers sued the state on December 5, arguing that it had failed to provide the children with the resources they needed to learn. The lawsuit is the first in the US to seek recognition of the constitutional right to literacy. It alleges that the state failed to intervene when students achieved low proficiency rates in reading and fell behind at three schools, especially with students who are learning English, have disabilities, are economically disadvantaged, or are African American or Hispanic....

New York Times, Dec. 6; Morrison Foerster, Dec. 5
Dewey Decibel podcast

LC’s first official historian

John Y. Cole. Photo by Shealah Craighead

Wendi Maloney writes: “John Y. Cole (right) has enjoyed a remarkable 51-year career at the Library of Congress, culminating with his most recent appointment as the first official LC historian. Cole has worked to increase public understanding of the key role that LC has played in American history and now plays in American society. Cole has come full circle, first as a history major who found his love in libraries, now returning as full-time historian to the world’s greatest library. ‘Don’t let anybody tell you that a library degree won’t get you anywhere,’ Cole says.”...

Library of Congress Blog, Dec. 6

Getting personal with books

Books selected for a student’s personal reading

Elizabeth Pelayo writes: “How do we encourage teens to come back to reading for fun? For my high school library, getting personal with books has made all the difference. Part of the answer lies in knowing your specific patrons and collection, and matching students to books that might draw them in. Another part of the answer lies in choosing programs and promotions that might engage your teen readers. I accomplished this by launching a personal book shopping program at my high school.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Dec. 7
ALA news

Hoopla adds Marvel Comics

Marvel action heroes

The free library lending service Hoopla Digital has teamed up with Marvel Entertainment to add more than 250 Marvel comic books to its catalog. Patrons of public libraries that offer access to Hoopla can now download titles from series like Thor: God of Thunder, Black Panther, and Civil War: X-Men to their iPads, iPhones, or Android devices, or read them via Hoopla’s website. Hoopla has developed a feature called “action view,” which allows users to either read titles page-by-page or panel-by-panel....

Variety, Dec. 7

German universities about to lose Elsevier access

Elsevier logo

Around 200 German universities will lose their subscriptions to Elsevier journals within weeks because negotiations have failed to end a long-term contract dispute. The conflict between Elsevier and Germany’s university system has dragged on since 2015. Academics in the country lost access to Elsevier content briefly early in 2017, but it was later restored while contract talks resumed. Advocates of open access say that victory for the German universities would be a major blow to conventional models of scientific publishing based on subscription fees....

Nature, Feb. 14, Dec. 5

Case studies in persistent identifiers

Cover of Convenience and Compliance

A new report from OCLC Research, Convenience and Compliance, provides university and research library leaders with insights on emerging practices and infrastructures in European research information management (RIM), on the current and future role of persistent person and organization identifiers, and, more specifically, on incentives and barriers to adoption in three different national settings—Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands—in order to better understand decision-making dynamics....

OCLC Research, Dec. 7
Latest Library Links

The assault on science and academic freedom

Protest outside the White House at Lafayette Square on March 28, 2017

A new report, National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom, released by the American Association of University Professors, details troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences that have been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s hostility to science. International scientific exchange and climate science are two focuses of the report, which explores how the politicization of science is constraining the free pursuit of knowledge and scientific inquiry....

American Association of University Professors, Dec. 7

Antifragile library management

Cover of Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Mary Jo Finch and Autumn Solomon write: “The administrative team at the Westbank Community Library District in Austin, Texas, began pondering how a library could become more antifragile. How could we become the sort of library that could survive a tax cut, a public challenge, a local disaster, or some other unforeseen crisis? How could we become the sort of library that stays relevant to the ever-changing needs of the community? Many staff conversations later, we had the beginnings of a still-growing list of antifragile work culture elements.”...

Public Libraries Online, Dec. 6

Library etiquette during finals

Noisy eater in the library

Lucinda Manning writes: “The library really does bring out the worst in all of us. Never have so many raised eyebrows, rolled eyes, and flashed knowing looks of annoyance in one room without a full- fledged fight breaking out. December is when all of this comes to a head. For those of us who tend to avoid the library like the plague until we really can resist no longer, I have compiled a guide explaining every person that you will find in the library, and how to make sure that this person is not you.”...

Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia), Dec. 8

The 12 days of Invercargill

Screenshot from The 12 Days of Christmas by the librarians at Invercargill (N.Z.) City Libraries and Archives

The librarians of Invercargill, New Zealand, are known for their viral videos and Kardashian photoshoots. Here they remix The 12 Days of Christmas (3:26) for their literary fans. Enjoy some nondenominational holiday cheer from Invercargill City Libraries and Archives....

Shelf Life: People TV, Dec. 4

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