Rollback of transgender protections.

American Library Association • February 24, 2017

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ALA protests rollback of transgender protections

Transgender bathroom sign

On February 24, ALA President Julie B. Todaro released a statement strongly protesting the rollback of protections for transgender students in our nation’s public schools. “The Trump administration’s decision to revoke important protections for transgender students couldn’t conflict more with the library community’s fundamental values and the principles upon which libraries are founded. Transgender students deserve the right to use restroom facilities that are aligned with their gender identity.” The ACLU has a FAQ on existing law regarding transgender persons....

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 24; New York Times, Feb. 22; American Civil Liberties Union

ALA and Cox partner to offer digital literacy training

Digital Learn logo

ALA and Cox Communications announced a new partnership on February 24 that will strengthen and expand their shared commitment to connecting low-income students and their families with technology. More low-income families will have access to digital literacy training and resources in their local libraries and online at Digital Learn. PLA President Felton Thomas Jr. joined Cox Communications President Pat Esser at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson to make the announcement....

ALA Washington Office, Feb. 24

ACRL statement on the dissemination of federal research

altEPA on Twitter

The ACRL board of directors approved a Statement on the Dissemination of Federal Research on February 23. It reads, in part: “It is critical to maintain open communication from the government to the public, especially to support efforts to enfranchise disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, who rely on access to publicly available resources to make economic and health decisions. If these restrictive acts go unchallenged, we potentially set in motion an era of complacency that could devolve into acceptance of suppression.”...

ACRL Insider, Feb. 23

Resources on responding to ICE actions

United We Dream deportation defense card

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has added materials to its Libraries Respond page for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The new links offer advice on responding to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions....

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Feb. 23
ALA news

Top five myths about National Library Legislative Day

Participate in National Library Legislative Day 2017

For the past 42 years, library supporters from all over the US have gathered in Washington, D.C., in May to advance libraries’ core values. This year, congressional action may well threaten principles and practices that librarians hold dear as never before. That makes it more important than ever that the 2017 event be the best attended ever. So let’s tackle a few of the common misconceptions about National Library Legislative Day that often deter people from coming to Washington to share their own stories....

District Dispatch, Feb. 23

Colorado library scrubs tweets after complaint

Two of the tweets deleted from the Jeffco Library Twitter account

The director of the Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library deleted a series of tweets in February from the library’s Twitter account after a county commissioner complained they were politically biased. That has people talking about the role of libraries as repositories of free expression and the unfettered exchange of ideas—and whether that mission could be jeopardized by the specter of online censorship. The offending tweets included books on “women’s health care reform” and novels on Muslim life....

Denver Post, Feb. 23

Buffalo librarians break the cycle of misinformation

University at Buffalo librarians Cynthia Tysick and Bryan Sajecki believe students should be able to distinguish real news stories from fake news stories

When Cynthia Tysick (left) sees a news story on social media, she diligently fact-checks it on Snopes and PolitiFact. “I’ve suddenly become the fact-checking guru on my Facebook feed,” Tysick, head of University at Buffalo Educational Services, said. “People are not happy with me, but it’s a service I bring.” Tysick and her colleagues in UB Libraries feel students should have the ability to filter out real news from fake news. Programming Librarian has compiled a roundup of resources to help library patrons gain information literacy skills....

The Spectrum (University at Buffalo), Feb. 22; Programming Librarian, Feb. 23
ALA Annual Conference

Police charged in librarian’s accidental shooting

Mary Knowlton

The police chief of Punta Gorda, Florida, and a police officer will face charges in the accidental shooting death of a librarian during a citizen’s police academy demonstration on August 9, 2016. Officer Lee Coel accidentally shot and killed Mary Knowlton, a 73-year-old retired librarian, during a police night hosted by the chamber of commerce. The weapon was supposed to be used for training. Punta Gorda City Council members approved a $2.06 million settlement with the Knowlton family in November....

Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 22; Aug. 10, Nov. 1, 2016

The monk who saves manuscripts from ISIS

Father Columba Stewart inspects an ancient manuscript as a Syriac monk looks on at St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem. Photo by Matilde Gattoni

Matteo Fagotto writes: “Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State.”...

The Atlantic, Feb. 23

New glasses help persons with impaired vision

eSight headset

Jeff Regan was born with underdeveloped optic nerves and had spent most of his life in a blur. Then four years ago, he donned an unwieldy headset made by a Toronto company called eSight. Suddenly, Regan could read a newspaper while eating breakfast and make out the faces of his coworkers from across the room. He’s been able to attend plays and watch what’s happening on stage without having to guess why people around him were laughing. But eSight still needs to clear a few minor hurdles....

Associated Press, Feb. 24
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Who has all the content?

Comprehensive fulltext services

Roger C. Schonfeld writes: “Our contemporary media landscape is characterized by fragmentation. Every publisher seemingly has its own platform, and users must learn to navigate the idiosyncrasies of each. Looking across the scholarly publishing sector, there are many delivery platforms, representing a diversity of models. In addition, there are a number of services that gather up all of the content from across publishers. I will label them ‘comprehensive fulltext’ services. Here is a basic overview.”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb. 23

12 easy Instagram library promotion ideas

Mustache shelfies

Gwyneth A. Jones writes: “All you really need is creativity and a few minutes a day to make meaningful, fun, and lasting Instagram connections with your community. Your graphics, caption copywriting, conversation, and photography skills should strive to be positive, professional, and on point. The idea is that you’re curating your feed to include online what you would do in person. Here are 12 promotion ideas.”...

YALSAblog, Feb. 23

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