What do you want to do to renew?

American Library Association • June 13, 2017

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Setting goals to renew your career

Cover of Renew Yourself, by Catherine Hakala-Ausperk

Catherine Hakala-Ausperk writes: “If you’re not thrilled with your current job, the answer isn’t necessarily to look for a new job. It might be to find another way to share your values—and find your meaning. A big-picture look at what you really hope to do with your life can help create a future that will matter both at work and at home. Start by thinking about who you really are and how you want to matter through your most significant values. That’s your strategic plan.” The author discusses her recent book, Renew Yourself, with American Libraries....

American Libraries feature, June

Resources on guns and libraries

No guns allowed symbol

Karen Muller writes: “When you come to Chicago this summer for the ALA Annual Conference, you may notice small decals on the doors of certain public places, notably bus and train stations—and the public library. While Illinois’s concealed carry law allows licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns, there are some public places where guns are not allowed. Libraries are one of them. According to Illinois Library Association Executive Director Robert P. Doyle, Illinois is the only state to make libraries ‘gun-free’ zones.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 12

If these books could talk

A “book” who identifies as Palestinian converses with two “readers” at a Human Library event hosted by Williams College Libraries in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Liz Granger writes: “Christine Ménard, head of research services and library outreach at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, first read about Human Libraries in a French newspaper about seven years ago. At a Human Library event, patrons check out people—not books—to ‘read’ through conversation. Someone might ‘read’ an alcoholic, an immigrant, or an obese person by asking them direct questions in an intimate setting. The goal is to confront prejudice and stereotypes.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

Dispatches: A quantitative approach to collection evaluation

Dispatches, by Melissa Goertzen

Melissa Goertzen writes: “In the current digital landscape, library users require access to electronic content for learning, teaching, and research. Information needs often surpass available resources, and librarians must provide evidence to justify purchases or requests for budget increases. By using quantitative methods like cost analysis to document collection use and impact, managers can demonstrate how collection development initiatives align with patron needs and the goals of the library.”...

American Libraries column, June

On My Mind: Audiobooks and engagement

On My Mind, by Francisca Goldsmith

Francisca Goldsmith writes: “Audiobook sales have skyrocketed over the past two decades, and access grows increasingly simple for connected listeners. Have a smartphone, tablet, or broadband-connected computer? Many options are available, via two or three clicks, for audiobooks that engage, educate, and expand our awareness of voices beyond our own. As technology advances our access points to—and interest in—information and literature, the world of social and political possibilities blossoms.”...

American Libraries column, June
ALA news releases

Free online training for creating makerspaces

Cover of Making + Learning in Museums and Libraries

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is making available its “Making + Learning in Museums and Libraries: A Practitioner’s Guide and Framework,” one of several new resources for museum and library professionals to create the conditions to support learning with maker programs. The downloadable publication was developed as part of the Making + Learning project, a collaboration between the museum and the Institute of Museum and Library Services....

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, June 12

Reimagining the digital monograph

Screenshot from JSTOR Labs video

Alex Humphreys writes: “In December, when JSTOR Labs first announced its Reimagining the Monograph project, one of the outputs of that project was a white paper. We released that paper as a draft for comment in the hopes that the community’s feedback would help to strengthen it. Insightful and generous comments came in. We’ve incorporated that feedback into a final version of the white paper. The updated version is now available for download on the Reimagining the Monograph site. Watch the video (3:44).”...

JSTOR Labs, June 12; JSTOR YouTube channel, Dec. 12, 2016
ALA Annual Conference

Mosul’s university library without books

Books burned by retreating ISIS troops lie in the ruins of the library at the University of Mosul. Photo by Ahmed Jagallah / Reuters

Robin Wright writes: “The library at the University of Mosul, among the finest in the Middle East, once had a million books, historic maps, and old manuscripts. Some dated back centuries, even a millennium, Mohammed Jasim, the library’s director, told me. During the 32 months that the Islamic State ruled the city, the university campus was gradually closed down and then torched. Quite intentionally, the library was hardest hit. ISIS sought to kill the ideas within its walls—or at least the access to them.”...

The New Yorker, June 12

The power of the Russian state vs. a librarian

Her lawyer Ivan Pavlov (right) said Natalya Sharina’s case was “steeped in politics.”

Serge Schmemann writes: “There is something particularly Orwellian about accusing a librarian of hate crimes because books under her care don’t jibe with government propaganda. That, in essence, is what a Russian court did in giving to Natalya Sharina (right) a four-year suspended sentence because the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature, which she formerly headed, purportedly carried literature that didn’t match Russia’s official version of what’s happening in Ukraine.”...

New York Times, June 5, 10

An 18th-century coloring book at Missouri Botanical Garden

A drawing of cyclamen in The Florist, ca. 1760. Photo by Laurie Skrivan

Perhaps the owner had no gall-stone brown or French berry yellow. Or kept the book only for pressing plants. Whatever the reason, light use may have helped preserve a rare, early coloring book found in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s library. Noticed just last month, the book predates by 100 years what has been cited as the first coloring book. Printed around 1760 in London by Robert Sayer, The Florist includes 60 images of flowers with instructions for “drawing and painting according to nature.”...

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 12
Latest Library Links

Should school librarians teach a class?

Sara Stevenson’s Spring 2017 Writers Workshop

Sara Stevenson writes: “Often we librarians, being teachers first, are called upon to teach a class in addition to our library work. For me, the opportunity has actually enhanced my library program. I teach an informal Writers Workshop Enrichment program that meets twice a week for eight weeks. On the other hand, agreeing to teach a class can be a slippery slope that can erode our mission as school librarians. I did a voluntary Google poll with librarians in my district, and most responded with severe wariness.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, June 12

Learning to read produces brain changes, even in adults

Interconnected brain regions switch on when a person learns to read

Gary Stix writes: “The brain did not evolve to read. It uses the neural muscle of pre-existing visual and language processing areas to enable us to take in works by Tolstoy and Tom Clancy. Reading, of course, begins in the first years of schooling, a time when these brain regions are still in development. What happens, though, when an adult starts learning after the age of 30? A study published May 24 in Science Advances turned up a few unexpected findings.”...

Scientific American, May 24; Science Advances, May 24

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