Librarian contestants on Jeopardy!

American Library Association • November 3, 2017
APA Style Central

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The badass librarians of Jeopardy!

Clockwise from top: Ben Almoite, Jennifer Hills, Gretchen Neidhardt, Margaret Miles, Ken Hirsh, and Sarah Trowbridge with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek

Anne Ford writes: “The category: Beloved TV Programs. The answer: Roughly 150 librarians have competed on this game show since 2005. And the correct question: What is Jeopardy!? Here, 11 librarians who have appeared on Jeopardy! share their stories of applying for and competing in one of the nation’s most popular game shows, which first aired in its current form in 1984. ‘Trust me, we’ve seen some librarians—they’re a lot of fun,’ said longtime Jeopardy! staffer Maggie Speak.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

50 years of intellectual freedom

Banned books and the freedom to read flame

Eleanor Diaz and James LaRue write: “When you need the Office for Intellectual Freedom, you need it now. Many mornings in the office at ALA headquarters in Chicago begin with a panicked call or email: A school principal yanks a book from the shelf. People are protesting outside the library against a speaker. A board member objects to a display. A national coalition targets a database. This December, OIF is celebrating 50 years of fighting for intellectual freedom. It’s an evolving role to be cherished and safeguarded.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Collection damage by Hurricane Harvey at Port Arthur (Tex.) Public Library

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm near Rockport the night of August 25. On September 8, Congress passed a measure for a total of $15.3 billion in relief aid, taking quick action to help victims of the devastating floods. Depending on their location, some libraries sustained significant damage from the ensuing flood waters, while others escaped with only a little cleanup required. The flood also affected many librarians and other library workers due to the damage to their homes....

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

A disaster relief strategy

From the President, by Jim Neal

ALA President Jim Neal writes: “What do you think about this idea? The recent natural disasters in Mexico, the southern US, and the Caribbean demonstrate the catastrophic consequences, damage, loss of life, and economic devastation that can result. One way we could help would be to consider establishing an ALA Library Disaster Relief Foundation, a collaborative initiative among the Association, the book publishing community, and vendors serving libraries. Your input is invited.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
ALA Midwinter

Open government data legislation advances

The OPEN Government Data Act passed the Senate September 18

In recent years, there has been a significant movement to improve public access to government data. Republicans and Democrats alike increasingly recognize that unlocking data can unleash innovation, with major economic and social benefits for businesses, researchers, and the general public. Legislation in support of those goals has been passed in the Senate and is now on a fast track for a floor vote in the House. The Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act would make more government data freely available online....

District Dispatch, Nov. 3

Tell ED to make libraries grant-eligible

Government grants

The US Department of Education has asked for public comment on its recently released “Proposed Supplemental Priorities of Discretionary Grant Programs.” Each time the ED revisits its priorities is an opportunity for libraries to demonstrate the many ways we provide high-quality education for students of all ages. By using our voices to help the ED set priorities, we can increase the chances libraries are eligible for federal funding. The ED is asking for public comment by November 13....

District Dispatch, Nov. 2; Federal Register, Oct. 12; Home Room, Oct. 11
Latest Library Links

Submit your mock YMA election results

Youth Media Awards logo

Mary Voors writes: “Every year, libraries and schools in North America offer Mock Election programs—Mock Coretta Scott King, Mock Newbery, Mock Caldecott, Mock Geisel, Mock Sibert, Mock Pura Belpré Award—in preparation for the annual Youth Media Awards. These discussions are a great opportunity for all of us who love children’s literature to gather and discuss the topic and to learn more about some of the outstanding books published for youth in the past year. Add your results to the ALSC Mock Elections page.”...

ALSC Blog, Nov. 3

Fire destroys a part of Hewlett-Packard archives

Fire at Keysight Technologies in Santa Rosa, California

California’s deadly wildfires destroyed much of an archive from tech pioneers William Hewlett and David Packard, such as a decades-old memo in which Hewlett proposes designing a calculator that can fit in his pocket. The more than 100 boxes of letters and other materials from the early days of Hewlett-Packard were stored in two modular buildings at the Santa Rosa offices of Keysight Technologies, an electronics measurement company that acquired the historical trove through a series of spinoffs....

San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 30; IEEE Spectrum, Oct. 30

Alert Salt Lake librarian spotted murder suspect

Interior of the Salt Lake City Main Library

As Austin Jeffrey Boutain stepped out of an elevator at Salt Lake City Main Library on October 31, an unnamed alert librarian recognized him as the man officers had sought in a massive overnight hunt after the fatal shooting of a University of Utah student. The librarian greeted Boutain—as he does everyone who visits the third floor—then waited until Boutain was out of earshot and called security, according to City Library Communications Director Andrew Shaw....

Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 31
Dewey Decibel podcast

Student sent heartfelt letter protesting Mockingbird ban

Emily Matteson, 17, working in Lauren Malanka’s AP English class at Tenafly (N.J.) High School

When the Biloxi, Mississippi, school district announced it was pulling To Kill a Mockingbird from its junior high reading list, prompting a nationwide protest in October, Emily Matteson of Tenafly (N.J.) High School sprang into action. The 11th-grader penned a passionate letter to the Biloxi superintendent and school board, urging them to continue teaching the novel by Harper Le. The Biloxi district subsequently relented, although school officials couldn’t be reached to confirm that her plea had swayed them....

North Jersey Media Group, Oct. 30; Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Oct. 12, 25

The Cooper Hewitt digital collection of designs

Sideboard, the Kem Weber Group, 1928–1929

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum has provided a valuable gift to the design world: a digitized catalog of more than 220,000 objects in its collection. Some 90% of the museum’s items are all viewable online. The collection can be explored through different categories, ranging from country of origin, period, and publications to highlights, conservation, and colors....

ArchDaily, Oct. 28

The top 10 first novels of 2017

Cover of American War, by Omar El Akkad

Donna Seaman writes: “The finest first novels reviewed in Booklist over the last 12 months take readers into a climatically and socially dire future and a traumatic past as well as the churning minds of an autistic girl, a reluctant mother, a concerned daughter, an intrepid college freshman, and an undocumented Mexican immigrant. For example, American War by Omar El Akkad, in which the American South has once again attempted to secede from the Union amid the ravages of global warming.”...

Booklist Online, Nov. 1

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