ESSA workshops and advocacy.

American Library Association • July 7, 2017
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The advocacy impact of ESSA workshops

Segment of Emerging Leaders ESSA infographic

The 2017 ALA Emerging Leaders team sponsored by AASL was charged with evaluating the effectiveness of the division’s ESSA state workshops. In March, the team conducted a national survey of state affiliates. An executive summary report and infographic outlines their findings. School librarians felt more comfortable advocating for their programs after attending the workshop. Many felt the workshops were beneficial. Suggestions were provided to AASL to continue the support of school librarians and ESSA....

ESSA and School Libraries

NMRT News Notes and Footnotes, 1966–2015

The first issue of Footnotes, 1971

Salvatore De Sando writes: “Since 1971—or 1966 if you include the predecessor publication News Notes (1966–1971)—the ALA New Members Round Table has published Footnotes as an information resource for new professionals. During the last 50 years, many ALA members have contributed great amounts of energy to support new Association members. Most editors served for two volumes, resulting in a rich tradition of continuous but ever-changing layout and content for all readers to enjoy.”...

ALA Archives blog, July 3
University of Nebraska at Omaha

TSA ends test of separate scanning for books

TSA agent scanning books

The Transportation Security Administration has ended tests of a new requirement for passengers to remove books and other paper items from their carry-on luggage during security screening. An agency spokeswoman left room for the new rules to return at a later date, however. The TSA said that the pilot test simply ran its course, but the announcement came shortly after alarm bells were raised by intellectual freedom and privacy advocates....

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, June 26, July 3; Los Angeles Times, July 1

What to do with the tributes after the shooting stops

Tributes to the Dallas police officers who were killed in an ambush on July 7, 2016. Photo: Cooper Neill for the New York Times

Alan Blinder writes: “Deep in Dallas’s Central Library, archivists have spent months sorting more than 10,000 tributes that flowed in after five law enforcement officers were killed in an ambush on July 7, 2016. The collection is a staggering chronicle of public grief and support that followed the attack. In recent years, archivists, historians, and librarians have been asked to curate the aftermath of such catastrophes. The ease and speed with which the sprawling memorials appear belie the years of work that almost always follow.”...

New York Times, July 7; July 8, 2016
ALA news releases

The queering of the public library

Free Library of Pride flag

Robert Fernandez writes: “Recently in The American Conservative, long-time conservative writer and pundit Rod Dreher wrote about ‘Queering the Public Library.’ Dreher, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, complained about the materials and programming offered by the Free Library of Philadelphia. At issue were those books and programs related to the library’s Pride Month Celebration. Dreher wrote: ‘What on earth is a public library doing staging a drag show, including one for teenagers?’”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, July 5; The American Conservative, June 26; Free Library of Philadelphia blog, May 30

Anchorage library adopts new public internet policy

Z. J. Loussac Public Library, Anchorage, Alaska

The Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library has formally banned the viewing of sexually graphic content on public computers as part of a rewrite of its internet use policies. Now, if there’s a complaint, library staff can point to the policy to halt the person viewing pornography. Staff were previously more likely to try to relocate either the offender or the offended party. The new policy capped a debate among library officials around intellectual freedom and the library’s reputation as a family-friendly place....

Anchorage Alaska Dispatch News, July 4

Pop-up librarians in Wichita

Sara Dixon and other librarians with the Wichita Public Library occasionally visit the Pop-Up Urban Park on East Douglas to give away books and talk about what the library offers

A couple of times each month in the summer, lunchtime crowds at the Pop-Up Urban Park in downtown Wichita, Kansas, can get their food-truck cuisine with a side of literature. The Wichita Public Library, as part of a new outreach effort, occasionally sends “Pop-Up Librarians” to the park to give away books and tell urban professionals about all the resources the library offers. A staff member from the Central branch packs a few dozen donated books into a vintage trunk and hauls them to the park as giveaways....

Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, July 5
Latest Library Links

Community college libraries and student success

Cover page of Community College Libraries and Librarians and Student Success

Keith Curry Lance writes: “The RSL Research Group has completed a three-year study of the contributions of community college libraries and librarians to student success in North Carolina. The project web page includes links to the full study report, a four-page infographic summarizing the study’s findings, and the PowerPoint presentation about the study used for the June 28 webinar coinciding with the study report’s public release.”...

Keith Curry Lance, July 6

OCLC at 50: A moonshot for the world’s libraries

50 years of OCLC

Skip Prichard writes: “As we’ve prepared for our 50th anniversary celebrations, I’ve been thinking about the time of our founding in the late 1960s and what it meant for our cultural ideals of technology and progress. OCLC was born in 1967, between the time of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 speech in which he set the goal of landing a man on the moon, and the fulfillment of that dream in 1969. OCLC was a similar dream. Fred Kilgour and his colleagues believed that libraries could be connected in new ways, using new technology.”...

OCLC Next, June 22

Help the Newberry Library transcribe these manuscripts

Portion of a page from the 17th-century Book of Magical Charms

Stephen Gossett writes: “Chicago’s Newberry Library is asking for the public’s help with what might be the coolest mass transcription project to ever hit our radar. The library has uploaded five manuscripts that date back at least to the 17th century—two of them about magic and witchcraft—that users can help transcribe, translate, and edit. One manuscript known as the Book of Magical Charms was written by two unknown authors in the 1600s in England. It contains everything from occult toothache remedies to prayers and litanies.”...

The Chicagoist, July 6

A peek into the future school library

This, or That, or somewhere in between: from Library to “Locke Jetspace” in Los Angeles

Hannah Byrd Little writes: “During the school year, I focus my time almost completely on curriculum, collaboration with faculty, and working directly with students. But during the summer I turn my focus on the immediate future of my library space and the library collection. I tend to be more of a big-picture person. Many librarians are detail-oriented, but details are not my strength. My big-picture side automatically thinks about library use and function over the next 10, 20, or even 30 years.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, July 6

The best tablets for kids

Amazon Fire HD8

Sascha Segan writes: “Kids want tablets. But tablets are fragile, expensive gadgets with potentially unlimited access to the internet. A good kid tablet is different from a good adult tablet: While you want a grown-up tablet to be slim, light, and fast, you want a tablet for kids to be cheap, rugged, and protected. Here are some of our favorite tablets for children, chosen for a balance of affordability, durability, and kid-friendly features. And whatever tablet you get, buy a case. With kids, it’ll pay for itself.”...

PC Magazine, July 5

Making sense of a new America: A reading list

Cover of The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America, by Rick Wartzman

Annie Bostrom and Donna Seaman write: “Books help us decipher our accelerated, ever-changing world, in which many aspects of American life are in flux. All of the nonfiction and fiction titles in this list, whether they offer clarifying facts or imaginative interpretations, are sure to spark avid discussions.” For example, in The End of Loyalty, Rick Wartzman “explores what could be the defining questions about jobs and the nature of corporate America in the 21st century in this well-researched, even-handed chronicle long on significance and short on partisanship.”...

ALA Book Club Central, June 23

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before

Student in academic library stacks

Barbara Fister writes: “Another day, another article with the man-bites-dog lede ‘libraries, threatened with irrelevance, now care about students instead of dusty old books.’ I won’t bother linking; they are legion. Libraries aren’t threatened with irrelevance and we don’t face a Sophie’s choice between books and students. In the 40-plus years I’ve been working in academic libraries, there was never a point where books lost out and services for students won.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, July 6

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