ALA responds to proposed IMLS cuts.

American Library Association • March 17, 2017
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ALA president responds to proposed federal budget

IMLS logo

In response to President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in his just-released FY2018 budget—and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds—ALA President Julie B. Todaro on March 16 issued a statement: “This proposal is counterproductive and short-sighted. The ALA will mobilize its members, congressional library champions, and the millions of people the Association serves in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a reality.” IMLS released its own statement about the proposed budget, and Todaro posted several actions librarians can take now at District Dispatch....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 16; IMLS, Mar. 16; District Dispatch, Mar. 16

Saving at-risk audiovisual materials

Mary Miller assists with the rehousing of the Orange County (Fla.) Regional History Center media collection during the inaugural Preservation in Action service project at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference.

Jeanne Drewes writes: “Libraries have been collecting audio and video for many years, and audiovisual librarians well know the value of voices and moving images. Many audiovisual collections are considered at risk. Years of data could be lost through deterioration of the original media unless it can be transferred to more durable digital formats. Libraries and other cultural institutions are rediscovering the value of these collections and are taking steps to preserve the sounds and images they contain.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

SXSW: Closing tech's diversity gap

South by Southwest Interactive panelists Kathryn Finney (left), founder of DigitalUndivided, and Kimberly Bryant, founder and executive director of Black Girls Code

Maryann James-Daley writes: “The diversity gap is an emerging theme in technology. As corporations, nonprofits, and individuals have embarked on their own solutions, libraries have risen as partners in bridging that gap, from coding classes for kids to the creation of makerspaces that foster access for all. But how are we doing? Two panels at South by Southwest Interactive on March 11 in Austin, Texas, tackled some of these questions.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 15

FTRF scholarships to advance intellectual freedom

FTRF scholarships

Applications are now open for the 2017 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation, and four half scholarships for students to attend “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship,” a two-credit graduate course offered through the University of Illinois iSchool, sponsored by the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund. The Conable scholarship provides funding for an LIS student or recent graduate to attend the ALA Annual Conference. Apply by April 21....

Freedom to Read Foundation, Mar. 15
ALA news

Bill would allow weapons ban in Nevada libraries

Nevada State Legislature

Nevada Democrats are moving forward a proposal to give library managers clear authority to enforce weapons bans at their facilities. State senators on a judicial panel voted 4–3 along party lines March 16 to advance Senate Bill 115. The proposal would prohibit firearms, explosive devices, knives, clubs, and paint guns from public libraries unless the governing board gives someone written permission to carry one of those weapons. Gun advocates call the measure a vindictive move....

Associated Press, Mar. 16

Russia is shuttering the Ukrainian Literature Library

A still image taken from video footage shows empty shelves and cardboard boxes with books at the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2017. Video footage by Nikolai Isayev for Reuters

First, armed police seized some of its books. Next, its director was put on trial accused of stirring up ethnic hatred. And now, quietly, its shelves have been emptied and its volumes packed up, ready to be merged into another library’s collection. A year and a half after Moscow’s Library of Ukrainian Literature was dragged into a political dispute between the two countries, Reuters has learned that authorities are transferring its 52,000 volumes to a new cultural center elsewhere in Moscow....

Reuters, Mar. 15

Study casts doubt on effectiveness of internet filters

Frustrated filterer

Internet filters are widely used in homes, schools, and libraries throughout the US and UK to protect young people from unpleasant online experiences. However, a new study by the University of Oxford casts doubt on whether such technologies work after finding no link between homes with internet filters and the likelihood of the teenagers in those households being better protected. The research paper, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, suggests that resources would be better spent trying to develop the resilience of teenagers to such experiences....

Science Daily, Mar. 14
ALA Annual Conference

Pic of the week: Saint Patrick's Day

Puck magazine cover marking Saint Patrick’s Day in 1911

Wendi Maloney writes: “What do parades, shamrocks, and green beer bring to mind? Saint Patrick’s Day, of course. The first Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US took place in the 18th century in Boston and New York, and festivities expanded in the 19th century as more Irish immigrated into the country. Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is observed nationwide by people of all backgrounds. But early on, Irish immigrants saw it partly as a way to express their civic pride against anti-immigrant detractors.”...

Library of Congress Blog, Mar. 17

11-year-old starts Books N Bros club

Books N Bros logo

Taryn Finley writes: “An 11-year-old from St. Louis wants to celebrate black books and improve the literacy rate among other boys at the same time. Sidney Keys III started his own reading club for boys called Books N Bros to show his peers that reading can be fun. Keys said that ‘every time I go to the library at my school, there aren’t many African American literature books there.’ After a visit to a bookstore that promotes African American children’s literature, he yearned to see more of himself reflected in books.”...

The Huffington Post, Mar. 14

This one weird trick will increase library program attendance

Baby yoga

Brian Herzog writes: “One of the things I truly hate is clickbait. I find myself specifically not clicking on things that sound clickbaity, just because I feel insulted by something thinking I can be manipulated. But if it is truly effective, maybe libraries ought to pay attention. So, just as a ‘funny thing to think about but I would never do for real’ project, here are a few of our library programs retitled as clickbait. First, ‘If your baby isn’t doing this, it may never learn to walk!’”...

Swiss Army Librarian, Mar. 17
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Dallas bookstore gets people to read by using clickbait

Clickbait for Gulliver's Travels

A bookstore in Dallas has found an excusable use for clickbait. As Adweek reports, Wild Detectives is posting headlines to its Facebook page that spin classic works of literature as trashy viral content. When followers click the links, they’re led to full texts of public domain pieces posted on Medium. Dubbed Litbaits, the campaign uses the questionable strategy for a worthwhile purpose. This illustration leads to Gulliver’s Travels....

Mental Floss, Mar. 17; Adweek, Mar. 15

An A-1 mystery at the Avon Lake Public Library

A mystery in the stacks at the Avon Lake (Ohio) Public Library where staffers have found 28 clean and empty A.1. steak sauce bottles with the labels removed. Jill Ralston of the library marketing department shows off the bottles. Photo by Bruce Bishop

Someone has been hiding empty A.1. steak sauce bottles throughout the Avon Lake (Ohio) Public Library and no one knows why. Dan Cotton, the library’s page supervisor, said 28 of the 10-ounce bottles have turned up since he found the first one hidden among the library’s newspapers on January 11. No one has been spotted hiding the bottles, but it’s become almost a game among library staff to locate the bottles, which are typically left lying on their sides behind books on the shelf....

Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram, Mar. 10

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