Libraries are still better than the internet. This is why.

American Library Association • December 19, 2017
2018 Midwinter Meeting

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10 reasons libraries are still better than the internet

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” —Neil Gaiman

Marcus Banks writes: “Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay ‘Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library’ (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here are 10 reasons why libraries are still better than the internet.”...

American Libraries feature, Dec. 19; Apr. 2001

Apply for Revisiting the Founding Era program grants

Revisiting the Founding Era

Public libraries are invited to apply for “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a nationwide project that will use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s enduring ideas and how they continue to influence our lives today. A project of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in collaboration with ALA and the National Constitution Center, “Revisiting the Founding Era” is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Apply online by January 31....

ALA Public Programs Office, Dec. 15

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The case against library fines

Your library is now fine free

NYPL President Anthony W. Marx writes: “Public libraries are on the front lines every day, ensuring that no one—regardless of beliefs or background—faces barriers to learning, growing, and strengthening our communities. It is because of this role, so crucial to our democracy of informed citizens, that I and many others at libraries across the country have been seriously evaluating the complex and long-standing issue of library fines—and whether to do away with them.”...

Quartz, Dec. 18

How the Boise library got its exclamation point

The iconic Boise Public Library sign

An avid user of the Boise (Idaho) Public Library named Howard Olivier, who at the time owned Flying Pie Pizzaria, walked into the library one day in 1994 and noticed that the new sign on the side of the building did not capture its essence. It said, simply, “Library.” He spoke to the library’s marketing director about adding an exclamation point, and she liked the idea. He said he would pay for the addition to the sign, if she got permission for the punctuation. It was installed in January 1995, with much fanfare....

Boise Idaho Statesman, Dec. 15
ALA news

One librarian’s tweet becomes a battle cry

I’m angered by people who use the phrase “I haven’t used a library since I was a kid” as selfish justification for their lack of support. Millions of people do! I haven’t used maternity services for 24 years, doesn’t mean I want them removed for others. #savelibraries

When UK librarian Dawn Finch tweeted in fury at people’s “self-justification for their lack of support” against government cuts to libraries, she probably didn’t imagine the reaction. But the tweet went viral, triggering feelings people didn’t know they had about their local library. A trustee of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Finch campaigns to save Britain’s libraries. Her December 15 tweet resonated with people who’d been making the same statements themselves....

The Canary (UK), Dec. 18; Dawn Finch Twitter feed, Dec. 15

How girls built a library in the Gaza Strip

Girls paint a mural in the new library at the Sokaina Girls School

Mohammed Abu Sulaiman writes: “The Gaza Strip can feel hopeless at times, but a group of schoolgirls has built something truly exciting. The girls of the Sokaina School in Deir al Balah City decided they wanted a library. Most schools in Gaza don’t have one. And those that do usually have a limited range of books. The students knew that it wouldn’t be easy—they would be challenging social attitudes about what girls can do, but they wanted to prove that they could create a beautiful library inside their school.”...

UNICEF, Dec. 18

St. Catherine’s Monastery library reopens

A view from inside Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt, where a reopening ceremony took place on December 16

On December 16, Egypt reopened an ancient library that holds thousands of centuries-old manuscripts at the famed St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in South Sinai. The inauguration ceremony, attended by Egyptian and western officials, came after three years of restoration work on the eastern side of the library that houses the world’s second largest collection of early codices, outnumbered only by the Vatican Library. The most valuable manuscript in the library is the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus....

Associated Press, Dec. 16
Latest Library Links

The future looks bright for librarianship

The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030

Noah Lenstra writes: “USA Today recently published an article titled ‘Careers: Eight Jobs That Won’t Exist in 2030.’ The first career listed was ‘librarian.’ Empirical data paint a far different future. According to a report on The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 by Pearson, ‘Librarians, curators, and archivists’ will be the ninth most in-demand occupation group in coming years. Librarians will be more in demand in 2030 than media and communication workers and construction trade workers.”...

Public Libraries Online, Dec. 15; USA Today, Nov. 1; Pearson, Dec.

Apply for a grant to partner with NASA

Students learn space

The NASA Office of Education invites proposals from libraries, museums, science centers, youth-serving organizations,and other eligible nonprofits via NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions. Proposals must be submitted electronically via the NASA proposal data system NSPIRES or The grant will allow libraries to participate in NASA-based activities and provide students with the opportunity to contribute to NASA’s mission. Proposals are due February 28....

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dec. 15

Watch vintage ads

Screenshot from ad, Hood Ice Cream: Pick up a different flavor today!

Thanks to the recent acquisition of a complete and well-documented archive, the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive is the new home for tens of thousands of television commercials competing for Clio Awards in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. To date, the university has digitized about 100 of the commercials and offers several dozen in a free streaming service through IU Libraries’ Media Collections Online, organized by category and year....

Indiana University, Dec. 12

How to get detailed information about your PC

Windows system summary

Walter Glenn writes: “Sometimes, you need to find information about your PC—things like what hardware you’re using, your BIOS or UEFI version, or even details about your software environment. Join us as we take a look at a few Windows tools that can provide varying levels of detail about your system information.”...

How-To Geek, Dec. 18
Dewey Decibel podcast

15 tech trends that need to die in 2018

Maybe with two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometric security such as fingerprint scanning, Windows Hello, and Face ID gaining popularity, 2018 will be the year passwords finally, mercifully, die

Rob Marvin writes: “In 2017, the tech industry was once again full of bizarre tech fads and frustratingly obtuse trends in need of a good culling in the new year. This year, the Internet of Things is still terribly insecure and full of useless ‘smart’ devices. Online harassment is worse than ever, with trolls gaining ground. Plenty of tech did actually die this year, and we expect more to follow suit in 2018. Here are 15 tech trends that need to go away this year.”...

PC Magazine, Dec. 15–16, 19

Maybe it’s books we need

Santa the DJ

OCLC’s Andrew K. Pace writes: “I figured this was a song in desperate need of some new lyrics. Sung to the tune of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’ You will want to grab a singing partner and use the instrumental track for this one.” The song, “Maybe It’s Books We Need,” is the ninth of Pace’s library-related Christmas song parodies. As we celebrate the sounds of the holiday season, how well do you know holiday music? Take this Chicago Public Library quiz and find out....

Hectic Pace, Dec. 19; Chicago Public Library Blog, Dec. 12

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