Finding ways to work together.

American Library Association • February 28, 2017

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Finding common ground in New York

From left: Alan S. Inouye, director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy; ALA President Julie B. Todaro; Digital Content Working Group Cochair Erika Linke; Carrie Russell, director of OITP’s Program on Public Access to Information; Digital Content Working Group Cochair Carolyn Anthony; and ALA President-Elect Jim Neal

Alan S. Inouye writes: “On February 21, ALA President Julie B. Todaro led a delegation to meet with publishing and library organizations in New York City. Unlike similar previous trips, however, this year’s visit had a distinctly different tone, given the current political environment. As with previous visits, ALA pressed the case for more options on ebook licensing models, but a new idea that generated interest was the development of and consensus on common principles for the digital age. This principles project will be an initiative of ALA going forward.”...

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 28

Introducing the Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News

Helen Adams writes: “There are many resources about intellectual freedom to keep school librarians informed, but are you familiar with the Intellectual Freedom News? It’s a weekly electronic compilation of intellectual freedom news in a variety of areas produced by interns in the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. To learn more, I talked with April Dawkins and Kate Lectenberg, the OIF interns who are responsible for locating the news and assembling the weekly publication.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Feb. 27

A look at HBCUs

HBCU enrollment, 1980–2015

Monica Anderson writes: “Prior to the Civil War, higher education opportunities were nonexistent for nearly all black Americans. In the years following the war, more colleges sprang up to meet the educational needs of the newly freed black population. Congress defines a historically black college or university as a school ‘established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.’ One of these institutions—Howard University—will celebrate its 150th anniversary on March 2.”...

Pew Research Center: Fact Tank, Feb. 28; US Department of Education; Howard University

Concealed carry at libraries in Missouri

Columbia (Mo.) Public Library changed its sign banning guns on February 17 by adding “unless authorized by law”

The Outreach Team writes: “There is confusion about the library’s ability to ban firearms under current Missouri statutes. This topic began an extremely large discussion about guns in the library. The Missourian received many comments on social media in response to our coverage. We decided to ask the community about it and received more than 380 responses to an online survey. We specifically asked two questions: How does this make you feel about using the library, and will it prevent you from going to the library?”...

Columbia Missourian, Feb. 27
ALA news

South Carolina’s documents are at risk

South Carolina’s Constitution of 1861 underwent a lamination preservation process. Archivists no longer use the process after it was realized the laminate material degrades into an acid, doing more damage to the documents

Thousands of South Carolina’s historic documents, from presidential papers to personal slave journals, are facing an issue apart from age—a preservation method that has backfired. For 20 years, beginning in the 1950s, the state laminated documents to protect them from aging. But the process has caused discoloration. The natural acids from the paper mix with the degrading laminate to create a noxious vinegar. Each passing year will further degrade the document until it’s gone....

NPR: All Things Considered, Feb. 21

How hyperpartisan political news gets made

Liberal Society and Conservative 101, owned by the same Florida company

Craig Silverman writes: “Liberal Society and Conservative 101 are among the growing number of hyperpartisan websites that have sprung up recently. A previous BuzzFeed News analysis of content published by conservative and liberal hyperpartisan sites found they reap massive engagement on Facebook with aggressively partisan stories that demonize the other side’s point of view. But these two sites are in fact owned by the same Florida company. They publish stories that are almost exactly the same, save for a few notable word changes.”...

BuzzFeed News, Feb. 27; Oct. 20, 2016; New York Times Magazine, Aug. 24, 2016

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queen Story hour at the San Francisco Public Library

A new program wants to create a space where young people can “defy rigid gender restrictions,” according to the organizers behind Drag Queen Story Hour. The program, which was organized by nonprofit queer literary arts organization Radar Productions and city libraries and bookstores (including San Francisco Public Library and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library) hopes to capture “the imagination and play of the gender fluidity in childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”...

NBC News, Feb. 24
ALA Annual Conference

San Francisco’s fine amnesty program a success

Forty Minutes Late returned late

San Francisco Public Library recovered 699,563 overdue items during its fine amnesty program (1:37) from January 3 to February 14. During the six-week period, late fees were waived on all returned books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials, regardless of how long overdue. Included were 12,246 items that were more than 60 days past due. The value of those long overdue items was nearly $236,000. A collection of short stories titled Forty Minutes Late by F. Hopkinson Smith (right) was returned 100 years past due....

San Francisco Public Library; YouTube, Jan. 29

Teacher tricks that work in an elementary library

Magic wand

Kelly Hincks writes: “Learning practical teaching tips and tricks is one of my favorite forms of professional development. I love when others share simple things that can be applied quickly and easily to my teaching and improve learning for my students. Here are 12 tricks that work in my library. For example, this magic wand (right) is used to dismiss students from the rug to move to other activities. It prevents the mob mentality that happens when everyone goes at the same time.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Feb. 28

Library 2.017 Worldwide Virtual Conference

Library 2.017 virtual conference logo

The San José State University School of Information has announced the Library 2.017 Worldwide Virtual Conference, March 29. There will be three topic-specific conferences held throughout the year, with each three-hour event featuring an opening and closing session. The opening sessions will be followed by 10–15 crowdsourced 30-minute presentations. The call for proposals for these sessions will be open until March 15....

International Relations Round Table Blog, Feb. 24
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Correcting employees: The pitfalls

Like a boss

Jessica Olin writes: “One of the hardest things for a new boss to learn is how to give feedback to staff. If anyone tells you they had an easy time with it, either they are lying or they had a lot of coaching ahead of time. I didn’t have lots of coaching ahead of time, and I’m not going to lie to you. The truth is that I’ve had some missteps while talking to employees about their mistakes. And as I always try to do with my failures, I want to use it to help you avoid the same pitfalls.”...

Letters to a Young Librarian, Feb. 28

When Michael Crichton reigned over pop culture

Michael Crichton (left) on the set of The Great Train Robbery with Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery

Sam Kashner writes: “There has never been anyone quite like Michael Crichton in the history of the movies. In his lifetime Crichton wrote 18 major novels, most of them bestsellers, including The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, and Sphere. His books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, and 13 of his novels were made into major films. He also created video games and the long-running TV show ER. The late writer’s vast archive is housed in the home that Crichton owned in Santa Monica.”...

Vanity Fair, Feb. 13

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