Assistive technology programs.

American Library Association • January 20, 2017

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Bringing assistive technology to patrons

Ken Redd uses a screen magnification program on an adaptive computer workstation at the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled

Alison Marcotte writes: “Bruce Groendyke, a severely nearsighted Army vet from Hightstown, New Jersey, says he’s a ‘technical dinosaur.’ But as one of many veterans who attended a recent class held by New Jersey State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Center, he learned how to use the assistive technology features on an iPad. NJSL and other libraries nationwide have been joining forces with state agencies to improve their patrons’ access to assistive technology.”...

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Librarian’s Library: Developing new skills

Librarian’s Library, by Karen Muller

Karen Muller writes: “Each year, the ALA library gets this question from a library science student: ‘I have an assignment to research an association. What does ALA do?’ After explaining our structure, we detail how Association members assist one another by developing best practices. This column will round up some new books published by ALA Editions, ALA Neal-Schuman, or an ALA division that can help you, the practitioner, do your job better.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Newsmaker: Daliyah Marie Arana

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Librarian for the Day Daliyah Maria Arana

Four-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana has been reading on her own since age 2. She has now read more than 1,000 books, some even at college level. So when Daliyah asked her local librarian at one of the Hall County (Ga.) library branches if she could be a librarian for a day, her mother Haleema Arana wanted to help her meet her goal. Haleema wrote to the Library of Congress, which invited Daliyah to be its first Librarian for the Day. American Libraries spoke to both Daliyah and Haleema to hear more about the experience, Daliyah’s favorite books, and her dreams for the future....

American Libraries feature, Jan. 17

Transformative conversations continue at Midwinter

2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Paul Signorelli writes: “‘The conversation starts here’ is a long-standing tagline for ALA conferences such as the one beginning this week here in Atlanta. But I would suggest the reality is much deeper: The conversations continue playfully, creatively, thoughtfully, and productively from conference to conference and are valuable as much for their inspiration as for the positive transformations they produce. My 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting onsite conversations began less than an hour after I reached Atlanta.”...

Building Creative Bridges, Jan. 19
ALA news

Librarians: Report censorship

Report censorship

Kristin Pekoll writes: “The Office for Intellectual Freedom is processing reports to finalize our number of challenges in 2016 and our annual list of frequently challenged books. We collect information for our challenge database from both the media and individuals. While we know that many challenges are never reported, we strive to be as comprehensive as possible. Send us any information on challenges in your state or region that you are aware of from 2016. The final deadline for reporting 2016 challenges to OIF is February 17.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Jan. 19

St. Louis Public Library computers hacked

St. Louis Public Library computers

Patrons were shut out of 700 public computers January 19 after hackers blocked the St. Louis Public Library’s server. Books and other materials could not be checked out. In a “ransomware attack,” hackers demanded a large amount in bitcoin to reopen the library’s server, said Jen Hatton, spokeswoman for the library system. The library does not want to release the amount of the ransom because of an FBI investigation, and it stores no personal or financial information on its server....

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 19

Alabama libraries must allow guns

No Guns sign at Huntsville Public Library. Screenshot from video

The battle lines are being drawn in front of the Huntsville Madison County (Ala.) Public Library. The issue is whether you should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm while visiting the library. The sign beside the library’s front door is hard to miss: No guns permitted in this facility per state law. And that’s the problem. The state says that is not the law, and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has put the city on notice. It has 60 days to remove the signs or face legal action from the state....

WHNT-TV, Huntsville, Ala., Jan. 19
ALA Midwinter meeting

March: Book Three wins Walter Dean Myers Award

Cover of March: Book Three

We Need Diverse Books has announced the winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature–Young Adult category: March: Book Three, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. The committee also recognized three honorees: Watched by Marina Budhos, If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, and The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. The award’s mission is to honor Myers’s memory and his literary heritage, as well as celebrate diversity in teen literature....

The Booklist Reader, Jan. 19; We Need Diverse Books, Jan. 18

Apply for a Jan Stauber–Sherlock Holmes Grant

The Beacon Society logo

US and Canadian librarians and teachers are eligible to apply for a Jan Stauber Grant that will provide up to $500 to fund the development of a project to introduce young people to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about his famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Grants are awarded by the Beacon Society, a not-for-profit affiliate of the Baker Street Irregulars, the New York City group of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934. Apply by May 1....

The Beacon Society

Google introduces new coding curriculum

CS First

Google education experts will provide a hands-on coding session to introduce Google’s recently released coding curriculum, CS First, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Atlanta. “The View from Google: What’s Happening in Coding and Computational Thinking?” is a workshop that is part of ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code (3:33) partnership with Google and is being held twice on January 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Room A304....

ALA Washington Office, Jan. 17; YouTube, Dec. 14, 2016
ALA Midwinter Meeting

No more Beall’s List

Beall’s List

An academic librarian’s lists of “predatory” journals and publishers vanished from the internet without explanation on January 15. His business partners now say he was forced to shut down the website. Jeffrey Beall, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver, created the lists in 2008. They grew to include thousands of journals and publishers that Beall alleged exploited open-access publishing for their own profit. But it looks like Cabell International, a publishing services company, may soon start providing a black list of predatory journals in the spring....

Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 18; Science Chronicle, Jan. 18

Scientists race to preserve science data

Climate data rescue. Photo by Naomi Waltham-Smith

On January 14, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, some 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians were hunched over laptops, drawing flow charts on whiteboards and shouting opinions on computer scripts across the room. They had hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day—all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the Trump administration.”...

Wired, Jan. 19

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