A taste of wine libraries.

American Library Association • March 10, 2017
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Preserving the vintage

These wine labels are part of the Shields Library’s special collection at University of California, Davis. Some labels list the names of people who shared bottles with viticulture and enology professor Maynard Amerine

Marcus Banks writes: “To libraries, wine is much more than a bunch of grapes. It’s about preserving and presenting a record of winemaking traditions and personal histories, the ephemera of labels and bottles, research that helps enologists understand wine on a molecular level, and manuscripts from viticulture experts who could easily detect the fluctuating terroir in each glass. Academic and public libraries are growing their collections of wine materials in wine libraries and in food and beverage archives.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

In Practice: Access and resistance

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “Just before I began attending library school, I took a job as a library assistant in circulation at a public library in a small but affluent city. I loved the work, but my tenure did not last as long as I would have liked because of my opposition to a new technology policy. When I started working at the library, we handed out time-limited computer access passes to anyone who wanted them. Six months into my job, my supervisor told me that we would now provide free computer access only to cardholders.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

On My Mind: Diversify everything

On My Mind, by Sarah Park Dahlen

Sarah Park Dahlen writes: “On November 9, like millions of other Americans, I woke up to news of our election results and was stunned, devastated, and afraid. In my own Minneapolis suburb, high school students found hateful messages graffitied across a bathroom door—‘whites only’ and ‘go back to Africa.’ This is the climate in which my husband and I are raising our 3-year-old daughter, a Korean American, in a city that is 83% white and 8% Asian. Across the country, librarianship is 88% white.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

The Texas transgender bathroom bill

Inclusive restroom signage

ALA and NAACP are among several groups threatening to yank their conventions from San Antonio if Texas lawmakers pass Senate Bill 6, the so-called transgender bathroom bill introduced in February—costing local hotels, restaurants, and attractions millions of dollars. “Because this bill contradicts our fundamental values, and it is in distinct opposition to the principles upon which libraries are founded, ALA would have no choice but to move” its 2022 Midwinter Meeting from San Antonio to another state, ALA President Julie Todaro said in a February 16 letter to Visit San Antonio....

San Antonio (Tex.) News-Express, Mar. 8; CNN, Mar. 8
ALA news

Arkansas bill would censor Zinn’s People’s History

High school students in Batesville, Arkansas, wrote to their state senator and tweeted their public protest

Cathy Collins writes: “Legislation just proposed in Arkansas would ban books by or about Howard Zinn from all public schools in the state. Zinn is best known for his 1980 book, A People’s History of the United States, which reinterpreted American history by shedding light on those who faced class struggle and exploitation. In response, the Zinn Education Project is offering to send a book by Howard Zinn and A People’s History for the Classroom to any Arkansas teacher who requests them.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Mar. 9; Zinn Education Project, Mar. 5

Google: Helping libraries get youth excited about computing

Libraries Ready to Code

Hai Hong writes: “Google is partnering with ALA on Libraries Ready to Code, a new project to help librarians across the US inspire youth to explore computer science (CS). This work builds on previous Google support for library programs, including Wi-Fi hotspot lending. Increasingly, libraries are recognizing the importance of exposing youth to CS and computational thinking (CT) skills—arguably, the ‘new literacy’ of the 21st century.”...

Google: The Keyword, Mar. 7; Aug. 3, 2016; New York City, Dec. 2, 2014; District Dispatch, Dec. 5, 2016

The Congressional App Challenge

Congressional App Challenge

Rhianon Anderson writes: “Many libraries have already implemented programs to teach coding skills to the community. The US House of Representatives has also launched an effort to address the shortage of technical literacy: the Congressional App Challenge. Established in 2015, the challenge is a national effort to encourage students to learn how to code. This year, from July 26 to November 1, eligible students will be invited to code and submit their own original apps.”...

District Dispatch, Mar. 9
ALA Annual Conference

Mosul museum and university library destroyed by ISIS

Reuters photo of what's left of Mosul University Library

The antiquities museum in the Iraqi city of Mosul has been left in ruins by retreating Islamic State (ISIS) forces. Piles of rubble fill exhibition halls and a massive fire in the building’s basement has reduced hundreds of rare books and manuscripts to ankle-deep drifts of ash. Associated Press reporters were granted rare access to the museum on March 8 after Iraqi forces retook it from the Islamic State the day before. The Mosul University Library was also destroyed on January 30 in the battle to regain control of the city....

CBS News, Mar. 8; Reuters, Jan. 31

Open Access ebooks on JSTOR

Cover of Why Icebergs Float: Exploring Science in Everyday Life, by Andrew Morris

JSTOR offers a growing list of Open Access ebooks from respected presses, such as University of California Press, University of Michigan Press, and Australian National University Press. More than 500 titles are now available at no cost to libraries or users. Each ebook carries one of six Creative Commons licenses determined by the publisher. The titles are easy to use, with no DRM restrictions and no limits on chapter PDF downloads or printing. Users will not need to register or log in to JSTOR....


Playing board games could help avoid dementia

Chess master

Playing games in your twilight years can have a positive effect on your mental health and help to fend off conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a study has suggested. The study by US researchers at the Mayo Clinic was published in JAMA Neurology and examined the potential link between “mentally stimulating activities” and the “outcome of incident Mild Cognitive Impairment.” The study found that those who played games at least once a week were 22% less likely to suffer from MCI....

Tabletop Gaming: Board Games news, Feb. 6; JAMA Neurology, Jan. 30
ALA Midwinter Meeting

How to protect your devices from hacking

CIA and WikiLeaks

Brian X. Chen writes: “WikiLeaks this week published a trove of documents that appears to detail how the Central Intelligence Agency successfully hacked a wide variety of tech products, including iPhones, Android devices, Wi-Fi routers, and Samsung televisions. So what does that mean for you if you own one or several of these gadgets? Even if you aren’t worried about what WikiLeaks revealed about the CIA right now, here are some tips for protecting your cellphones, TVs, and routers.”...

New York Times, Mar. 7–8

365 books by women to read all year long

365 books by women for International Women's Day

Gwen Glazer writes: “For over a century, International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8—and this year, we’ve compiled 365 books by women authors from across the globe to keep the celebration going all year long. This list includes a vast range of women authors, and we hope you find some old favorites and some new discoveries. And we hope that readers can draw strength and inspiration from these 365 books—and the women who wrote them—in the year ahead.”...

New York Public Library blogs, Mar. 8

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