ALA sets the vision and tone.

American Library Association • January 3, 2017

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Moving forward together

From the ALA President

ALA President Julie B. Todaro writes: “ALA represents not only thousands of professionals but also hundreds of thousands of constituents in more than 120,000 academic, public, school, and special libraries. Our professionals strive every day—in often challenging circumstances—to build community and help transform the lives of those in our community. Being all things to all people is impossible. This is why the Association steps in, to set the vision and tone for professionals to follow throughout their working days.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

ALA Midwinter Meeting preview

American Libraries, Jan./Feb. issue cover

ALA is gearing up for its 2017 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits (January 20–24) in Atlanta. Programs, speakers, research, and continuing education at Midwinter will focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy strategies, case studies, and calls to action. Sessions will also look to the uncertain and exciting future of librarianship, in tandem with this year’s Symposium on the Future of Libraries. Midwinter also showcases the Youth Media Awards and the RUSA Book and Media Awards. The January/February issue of American Libraries (with the Midwinter preview and many other features) is now fully online....

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

Fighting fake news

Fake news

Marcus Banks writes: “Librarians—whether public, school, academic, or special—all seek to ensure that patrons who ask for help get accurate information. Given the care that librarians bring to this task, the recent explosion in unverified, unsourced, and sometimes completely untrue news has been discouraging. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of US adults are getting their news in real time from their social media feeds. Completely fake news is at the extreme end of a continuum.”...

American Libraries feature, Dec. 27; Pew Research Center, May 26

UMass Boston freezes all print and digital purchases

Healey Library, UMass Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston has canceled 26 databases as part of its effort to cut expenses to offset a 20% loss in funding ($700,000) for Healey Library. The library is also freezing all purchases of print and electronic media until further notice. The university has reserved $4,000 to purchase a limited number of books requested by faculty for spring courses. The surprise cuts, announced December 14, have infuriated faculty and left them scrambling to change their lesson plans....

Boston Globe, Jan. 2
ALA news

Library creates fake patron to avoid collection purge

East Lake branch of the Lake County (Fla.) Library System

Chuck Finley appears to be a voracious reader, having checked out 2,361 books at the East Lake branch of the Lake County (Fla.) Library System in a nine-month period in 2016. But Finley is a fictional character concocted by two library employees, complete with a false address and driver”s license number. The goal was to ensure that certain books remained on the shelves, avoiding an automatic purge and a potential repurchase. The county has requested a systemwide audit of all its library branches....

Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, Dec. 30

KU Libraries offer gender buttons for staff, students

KU Libraries “You Belong Here” campaign

A number of University of Kansas Libraries employees now wear buttons showing their preferred gender pronouns. Extra buttons are offered for students who want one, too. The buttons are part of KU Libraries’ “You Belong Here” marketing campaign, targeted at attracting undergraduates and making sure they feel welcome, including those who are transgender. Library employees can choose whether they want to wear them, said Executive Director of Communications and Advancement Rebecca Smith. In related news, six months after administrators prohibited a transgender employee from wearing a button stating a preferred pronoun, Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library has reached a compromise....

Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, Dec. 27; Insider Louisville, Dec. 30

Librarians predict education trends for 2017

Students at I.S. 228 David A. Boody School in Brooklyn, New York, work together on a lesson

Brittany Sullivan writes: “Now that 2016 has come to a close, we chatted with eight librarians to get their takes on what trends will have a meaningful impact on the education field in the new year. From going paperless district-wide, trying silent conversations in the classroom, and implementing virtual reality, to learning programming languages and focusing on students’ social and emotional learning, one thing is for sure—it’s going to be an exciting year of creative learning.”...

Scholastic: On Our Minds, Dec. 29
ALA Midwinter meeting

Lawrence Public Library offers light therapy for SAD patrons

Light reading at Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library

The Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library is offering patrons a bit of sun—in the form of lamps designed to combat seasonal affective disorder—inside its doors this winter. The lights, which effectively replicate sunshine, are stationed in the library’s auditorium, along with comfy chairs and plenty of reading material. And so far the response has been positive, according to Readers’ Services Assistant Kate Gramlich....

Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, Dec. 25

Libraries were the last good place in 2016

Cedarbrae branch of the Toronto Public Library

Elizabeth Renzetti writes: “Like many people, I’ve spent the past few weeks staring at the kitty-litter box that is 2016, wondering where hope is to be found. Then, I read a remarkable story about a 5-year-old boy and his dad, who had visited all of Toronto’s 100 library branches in a six-month period, using public transit. They were inspired by Daniel Rotsztain’s book of drawings called All the Libraries Toronto. Challenged with the question of how they shape their future, libraries have made themselves indispensable in the present.”...

Toronto Globe and Mail, Dec. 23; TVOntario, Dec. 16

How to check if your library leaks info to Amazon

Embedded Amazon cookies

Eric Hellman writes: “Content embedded in library websites is a huge source of privacy leakage. Cover images can be particularly problematic. I’ve written before that, without meaning to, many libraries send data to Amazon about the books a user is searching for; cover images are almost always the culprit. Covers served by Amazon send a bonanza of actionable intelligence to Amazon. Here’s how to tell if your library is sending Amazon your library search data.”...

Go To Hellman, Dec. 22; June 4, 2015
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Why your collections should include graphic novels

Cover of The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan, by Maxwell Eaton III

Jenna Grodzicki writes: “When I look at the circulation statistics in my K–5 library, graphic novels are some of the most checked out titles. El Deafo, Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Smile, and The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan are just a few that fly off the shelves on a regular basis. Roller Girl, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, is another one. Based on this information, one would think that educators and parents would be wholly supportive of students reading these books. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Jan. 3

100 must-read books about monsters

Cover of My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix

Katie McLain writes: “We never outgrew the monsters of our childhood. They just moved from the closet to our reading materials. So I’ve put together a list of 100 monster stories, organized by type (or breed, if you will) for your reading pleasure. I tried to stick as close to horror and dark fantasy as I could, and I chose not to include a lot of well-known titles and authors because we all know Dracula and Frankenstein and Cujo. Hopefully you’ll find something new here.”...

Book Riot, Dec. 29

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