Library love connections.

American Library Association • March 14, 2017
ALA TechSource

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Dewey Decibel podcast: Love connections

Elizabeth Westenburg and Evan Williamson; Amy Call and Ellen MacInnis; and Dan and Annie Bostrom

In the 11th episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries goes looking for love and finds it in the most unexpected places. Dewey Decibel senior love correspondent Terra Dankowski talks to three librarian couples—Elizabeth Westenburg and Evan Williamson; Amy Call and Ellen MacInnis; and Annie and Dan Bostrom—who found each other thanks to ALA. Host Phil Morehart also looks at ALA’s I Love My Librarian Award....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 10

Diverse and accessible podcasts

Dispatches, by Nicole Hennig

Nicole Hennig writes: “In the early days of podcasting (around 2004), most podcasts were created by white men on topics related to technology. Now podcasts exist for all kinds of audiences: young and old, various races and ethnicities, LGBTQ audiences, and people with disabilities. Because podcasts aren’t restricted by traditional broadcast regulations, a huge variety of programming for diverse audiences is available, both by established media outlets and by individuals and organizations of all types.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

Library waggin’ train

A Bedford, Indiana, student reads on pajama day at school to Bridget, a therapy dog owned by Mary Hall of Bedford Public Library

Megan Cottrell writes: “Mary Hall was walking through the library recently when she saw a familiar sight: a toddler having a meltdown while waiting in the checkout line. Thankfully, Hall, assistant director of the Bedford (Ind.) Public Library, had an ally she knew could come to the rescue: Bridget, a beautiful Golden Retriever therapy dog. Since she loves children, Bridget is a regular library visitor and helps out at library programs, including a weekly trip to 3rd grade classrooms, where kids can read stories to her.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

The path to Mars

Humans on Mars

Maryann James-Daley writes: “This year’s Interactive and Convergence tracks at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, highlighted how technology, government, science, style, and storytelling can inspire and enrich. At the ‘Humans, Robots, and Microbes: The Challenge of Mars’ panel on March 10, NASA scientists Monsi Roman, Robert Ambrose, and Kimberly Hambuchen and National Geographic Mars miniseries producer Jonathan Silberberg discussed the challenges and opportunities that lie among microbes, humans, and robots in getting to Mars.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 14
ALA news

Countdown to Día 2017

Together with Día

Have you already started planning for this year’s Día celebrations? El Día de los Niños / El Día de los Libros is a celebration of children and reading across all language and cultures. While it is intended to be celebrated all year long, April 30 marks a special day of nationwide events. ALSC has a number of online resources ready to support your events....

ALSC Blog, Mar. 13

Library named for Cynthia Hurd targeted

Tribute to Cynthia Hurd

Police in Charleston, South Carolina, are looking for whoever is responsible for racist and antigay graffiti at three buildings, including the Hurd branch of the Charleston County Public Library, named for one of the victims of the 2015 Charleston church shootings. Workers found the graffiti when they arrived March 13. The remarks were sprayed at three buildings, including the building named for Cynthia Hurd, one of nine people shot to death at Emanuel AME Church. Hurd had been manager of that branch when she was killed....

Associated Press, Mar. 14

Pair suspected in Quran damage at Santa Fe PL

Southside branch sign, Santa Fe Public Library

Santa Fe (N.Mex.) Public Library workers told police a man and woman who had been causing trouble at the Southside branch may have urinated on three copies of the Quran and damaged former President Bill Clinton’s 2004 autobiography, My Life. Library workers also suspect the couple may have taken books by conservative commentator Ann Coulter and copies of the Bible and “laid [them] around the library,” according to a police report. The couple are said to have caused trouble when they first starting visiting March 2....

Santa Fe New Mexican, Mar. 13
ALA Annual Conference

Colleges report drop in international students

International college students

Nearly 40% of US colleges are seeing declines in applications from international students, and international student recruitment professionals report “a great deal of concern” from students and their families about visas and perceptions of a less welcoming climate in the US, according to a survey conducted in February by six higher education groups. The highest reported declines involved applications from the Middle East, while many universities also reported drops in applications from China and India....

Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 13; AACRAO Eye on Research, Feb. 28

The distracted classroom

Cover of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen

James M. Lang writes: “Like every teacher these days, I am in a constant battle with cellphones and laptops for the attention of my students in the classroom. The answer is not banning all devices from the classroom. But a new book on the nature of distraction and attention has helped me see some pathways forward. The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT, 2016) represents a collaboration between neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and psychologist Larry D. Rosen.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 13

This article won’t change your mind

Cover of When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World, by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter (1956)

Julie Beck writes: “The theory of cognitive dissonance—the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict—was developed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s. This doubling down in the face of conflicting evidence is a way of reducing the discomfort of dissonance, and is part of a set of behaviors known in the psychology literature as ‘motivated reasoning.’ Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves or remain convinced of what they want to believe.”...

The Atlantic, Mar. 13
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Three myths about reading levels

Reading level chart

Paula J. Schwanenflugel and Nancy Flanagan Knapp write: “However measured, reading levels can be a generally useful guide to whether a particular text is going to be far too difficult for a particular reader. Unfortunately, though, the ubiquity and precision with which these reading levels are now being tested and reported has led to their increasingly inappropriate use, especially in schools. Such misguided policies and practices are based on three prevalent myths about reading levels.”...

Psychology Today, Feb. 28

Librarians’ attitude toward print-on-demand

Print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine

Rory Litwin writes: “Print-on-demand, or POD, is a technology that allows publishers and individuals to have books printed one-at-a-time. I designed a survey to find out what librarians think about POD, how knowledge that a book is POD would affect their treatment of books that are printed this way, and how they believe they can tell if a book is POD when they encounter it. I ran the informal survey and have some results that I will share here. I will say a bit about my methods and share some numbers.”...

Library Juice, Mar. 11

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