Women's History Month ideas.

American Library Association • February 21, 2017

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More Women’s History Month programming ideas

Covers of Who Was? books profiling Eleanor Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, and Amelia Earhart

Bailey Brewer writes: “In 2010, American Libraries highlighted nearly two dozen programming ideas for Women’s History Month. This all-new roundup of special events, activities, movie nights, and meetings offers at least 18 more ideas for honoring groundbreaking women and engaging your patrons.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 21; Feb. 10, 2010

Balance is everything

Fair Use Week logo

ALA President-Elect Jim Neal writes: “Ever photocopy an article for yourself, download a library ebook, or record digital programming of any kind? You were benefiting from fair use and other key parts of our nation’s copyright laws. These critical provisions balance copyright owners’ otherwise monopolistic rights to control almost every aspect of how their work is accessed, used, shared, and modified. This is Fair Use Week 2017, and there’s no better time to take time to look at where that balance came from.” The Library Copyright Alliance on February 17 submitted a second round of comments on the effectiveness of the DMCA notice and takedown provisions. This infographic, created for Fair Use Week, refutes 10 popular misperceptions about fair use....

The Hill, Feb. 21; Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week; District Dispatch, Feb. 21

Information access and the 800-pound gorilla

800-pound gorilla in the room

Bryn Geffert writes: “Good education happens and democracy works only when students and citizens enjoy unfettered access to good information and good scholarship. In practice this means that neither a homeschooled fifth-grader, nor my 15-year-old son, nor a high school student in rural Arkansas, nor a student at a state university, nor a scholar in Niger should be denied free and easy access to nearly all unclassified information from any major library. But standing in the way is an 800-pound gorilla: US copyright law.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 20

Court ruling sparks debate over digital access to laws

PACER: Public Access to Court Electronic Records

It seems like a given that the public should have easy access to any laws that govern it. But as digital technology has redefined what constitutes access and ease, the idea has become increasingly complicated. This debate was at the center of a recent District Court ruling that questioned whether technical standards created by private entities and incorporated into law can be copyrighted. The answer was indeed they can, and anyone who subsequently posts them online is committing a copyright violation....

Government Technology, Feb. 15
ALA news

Carla Hayden and the greatness of humility

Carla D. Hayden was sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in 2016 as the new Librarian of Congress

Sarah Larson writes: “The new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, is highly motivated to make this library, and all libraries, a favorite object of the people. The week after the presidential inauguration, hoping for some perspective on things, I visited the Library of Congress for the first time and met with Hayden in her expansive office in the Madison Building. In her office, Hayden picked up the Jefferson candy bowl and offered me some butterscotch. ‘This is my secret sauce,’ she said.”...

The New Yorker, Feb. 19

Gene Luen Yang is 2017 Teen Tech Week spokesperson

Gene Luen Yang

YALSA has announced award-winning young adult author Gene Luen Yang as its 2017 Teen Tech Week national spokesperson. Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has written and drawn many graphic novels, including American Born Chinese, which was a National Book Award finalist and the winner of YALSA’s 2007 Printz Award. Teen Tech Week 2017 will take place March 5–11 with the theme “Be the Source of Code” and will feature a “Twitter Takeover.”...

YALSA, Feb. 21

The space age: Library as location

The evolution of technology adoption and usage

Heather Terrell writes: “Over the course of the last decade, we’ve seen a steady rise in the use of portable personal computing devices. In its Evolution of Technology survey results, Pew Research Center reports that 51% of Americans own a tablet and 77% own smartphones. Library patrons seem to be doing less browsing and more computing, and user-supplied technology has become ubiquitous. Here are a few considerations that may support independent computers and e-commuters in library spaces.”...

LITA Blog, Feb. 17; Pew Research Center, Jan. 12
ALA Annual Conference

Twin Cities libraries hesitate to lend hotspots

Hotspot provider Mobile Beacon

Minneapolis so far appears slow to embrace a trend described as “huge” by the ALA. MobileBeacon, the firm recommended by ALA as a source of steeply discounted portable hotspots to libraries, reports that about 360 systems across the country have taken up its offer, but only one in Minnesota. And that one, the St. Paul Public Library, is warning it may have to withdraw its units unless it can find a sustainable funding source....

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb. 19

Köln library opens its doors to refugees

Köln Public Library's Sprachraum

Ross Davies writes: “While a flurry of snow threatens to fall outside, Sanaw, a 30-year-old Kurdish Christian from western Iran, is proudly describing his involvement in a nativity play over Christmas. Sanaw, a graphic designer, is one of the growing number of users of the Köln (Germany) Public Library’s Sprachraum (language space). The Sprachraum, a large ground-floor room that sits opposite the main library building, serves as both a meeting point and learning hub for the city’s migrant community.”...

The Guardian (UK), Feb. 21

Arts groups draft funding battle plans

The St. Louis Symphony drafted an email urging its board members to call their elected representatives

As the news spread that the White House budget office had included the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities on a list of programs it was considering trying to eliminate, arts leaders at large and small organizations reacted with alarm—and began making plans to fight for their survival. Even if the arts get only crumbs, they are crumbs worth fighting for: much-needed money that supports community projects, new works, and making the arts accessible....

New York Times, Feb. 17, 19
ALA Midwinter Meeting

The internet is not a failed state

Danger: internet

Jonathan Margolis writes: “Is the internet a failed state? The popularity of this metaphor is growing, along with the dark web, cybercrime, trolling, fake news, ransomware, sabotage, scamming, spamming, viruses, and spying. The web’s early promise of a noncommercial, virtual world where netizens could freely engage with one another across national boundaries now seems naive. But the same technology that powers this dystopian stew of horrors is a lifeline for many often marginalized groups of people. This is why.”...

Financial Times (UK), Feb. 21

Medieval shelfies

Detail of a miniature of Vincent of Beauvais sitting at a desk and writing his book, from Le miroir historial (a French translation of his Speculum historiale, translated by Jean de Vignay), Bruges, 1479–1480. British Library, Royal 14 E I volume 1, f.3r

Becky Lawton writes: “The appreciation of the aesthetic value of books and bookcases is not just a modern-day phenomenon. Medieval manuscripts contain many images that depict books stored in various styles of bookcases and shelves. Certain physical features of manuscripts themselves can also suggest how books were stored to be both visually attractive and accessible for the reader. Most depictions of bookcases in medieval manuscripts can be found in images of scribes writing in a scriptorium.”...

British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Feb. 21

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