Libraries serving refugees.

American Library Association • February 14, 2017

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Resources for resettlement

Touger Vang (left), public services coordinator at Yolo County (Calif.) Public Library, speaks to attendees at the Project Welcome summit on February 6

Terra Dankowski writes: “Project Welcome: Libraries Serving Refugees and Asylum Seekers, a February 6 summit organized by the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in partnership with ALA, is part of a grant program that aims to answer how libraries and other organizations can provide services to refugees and asylum seekers. The center plans to issue a national report with recommendations and an action agenda.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 14

Passport seekers keep library branch hopping

Julianne Sterrett

Library staff at the Harford County (Md.) Public Library’s Bel Air branch were kept hopping February 11 as one group of people after another came in to get their paperwork processed for a US passport. While the majority were Americans seeking passports for travel, some applicants were not born in the US, but wanted to ensure that citizenship documents for themselves or their children are in order. Julianne Sterrett (right), library assistant and passport agent, said, “We got a lot of folks that were really scared.”...

Harford County (Md.) Aegis, Feb. 13

ALA, ACRL file amicus brief in fair use case

Fair use

On behalf of ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries, the Electronic Frontier Foundation on February 13 urged a federal appeals court for the second time to protect librarians’ and students’ rights to make fair use of excerpts from academic books and research. The brief relates to the 2008 suit brought by academic publishers against Georgia State University, insisting that GSU owed licensing fees for the use of excerpts of academic works in its electronic reserve system....

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Feb. 13

Why librarians are protesting Trump’s executive orders

Libraries are for everyone image by Rebecca McCorkindale

Elizabeth Flock writes: “‘Libraries Are for Everyone.’ That’s the message of a series of images created by Gretna (Neb.) Assistant Director Rebecca McCorkindale in the days after the temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries was announced. By the time she’d woken up the next day, she had received messages from librarians across the world wanting their languages represented. And libraries across the country had begun putting up the images as posters, along with displays about books on Islam, empathy, and being a good neighbor.”...

Art Beat: PBS NewsHour, Feb. 13
ALA news

Infrastructure reform should include rural broadband

Rural broadband

Blair Levin and Carol Mattey write: “Despite tens of billions of dollars of federal subsidies for rural communications networks, rural broadband connectivity remains a vexing problem. With the Trump administration dangling the prospect of a $1 trillion infrastructure program, now is the time to consider whether a new approach might more effectively address the rural broadband problem. It is hard to envision how any country can be truly great without great broadband to rural as well as urban communities.”...

Brookings Institution, Feb. 13

State lawmakers roll out school choice proposals

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

As the Trump administration appears poised to make school choice the centerpiece of its education agenda, Republican-led legislatures in Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, and elsewhere are rolling out charter school and voucher bills in what could be a more receptive environment. US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (right) takes the helm at a time when Republicans control the governor’s house or the state legislature in 44 states and have full control of the executive and legislative branches in 25 states....

Education Week, Feb. 13

How to get through to legislators

Cover of Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement

At a time when citizens are inundating their representatives with a massive level of organized communication—from angry town halls to phone call and email campaigns—it’s important to know how best to get a lawmaker to listen. A new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation offers some advice: Make a specific “ask” to which lawmakers can later be held accountable, build a relationship with local offices, and say thanks. Whether mass calling is a good idea is debatable....

Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 13
ALA Annual Conference

Advocate for teens with postcards, briefs, videos

YALSA teen advocacy postcard

Advocacy and activism is a goal in YALSA’s 2016–2018 Strategic Plan. Ongoing advocacy efforts can help ensure that all teens have access to great libraries. Help ensure that 100% of libraries have the staff, budget, and resources needed to serve the nation’s 42+ million teens. Mail a postcard to members of Congress, mail or email Issue Brief: Libraries Help Keep Teens Safe Online and Issue Brief: Teens Need Libraries, or share this video with school principals, elected officials, policymakers, and other local VIPs....


UC Berkeley coders preserve NASA earth science data

UC Berkeley data preservation effort

Megan Molteni writes: “On February 11, some 200 adults willingly sardined themselves into a fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library at the University of California, Berkeley, to rescue federal climate data. Like similar groups across the country—in more than 20 cities—they believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students are collecting it to save, outside the government servers.”...

Wired, Jan. 19, Feb. 13

Antiquarian book theft in London

Title page of 1566 edition of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium coelestium

A gang of thieves has stolen more than £2 million worth of antiquarian books from a London warehouse. The three tome-raiders evaded the security system by boring holes through reinforced glass skylights and abseiling 40 feet on ropes into the repository. The haul of more than 160 books included a 1566 copy of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium by Copernicus (right), as well as works by Galileo, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, and a 1569 edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy. But how will they fence them?...

The Guardian (UK), Feb. 12–13
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Dictionaries are hot again

The Bar of Discarded Books, by Ron Barrett

Katherine Rosman writes: “At a time when many are questioning the definition of common words they thought they understood, after years of the English language being degraded by text messages and hashtags, dictionaries have made a surprising comeback in the United States. On dictionary apps and websites, lookups (which, according to Merriam-Webster, is one word) of words or phrases related to news events have precipitously increased. Bibliophiles are becoming social media stars.”...

New York Times, Feb. 11

Beauty and the Beast and other classic retellings

Cover of As Old As Time, by Liz Braswell

Dawn Abron writes: “With the highly anticipated theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens comes a multitude of YA retelling book display ideas. Here you’ll find a list of YA books inspired by the classic fairy tale. If you’re looking to expand your display or reader’s advisory, I included retellings inspired by Peter Pan, Shakespeare, and Alice in Wonderland.”...

YALSA The Hub, Feb. 13

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