The Congressional App Challenge.

American Library Association • October 17, 2017

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Libraries fill the app gap

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) watches a demonstration of the SaveBB app from developers (from left) Kayla Leung, Rachel Lau, and Samantha Lau at the 2016 #HouseOfCode event cosponsored by ALA’s Washington Office

Rachel Décoste writes: “Fewer than half of US schools offer computer programming classes, and libraries are filling a critical gap, as K–12 classrooms gradually adapt their curricula to include computer science. Libraries can help encourage computer science education by promoting the Congressional App Challenge, an annual app competition hosted by members of Congress for their districts. The first two years of the program yielded 239 competitions across 33 states. Nearly 4,000 students created more than 1,150 apps. This year’s app challenge has increased by 30% and continues to grow as the November 1 deadline approaches.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 17; Computer Science Education Week

LC’s Librarians-in-Residence Pilot Program

Librarians-in-Residence Pilot Program

The Library of Congress is launching a Librarians-in-Residence Pilot Program to offer early career librarians the opportunity to develop their expertise and contribute to building, stewarding, and sharing the institution’s vast collections. LC will select up to four applicants for a six-month residency beginning in June 2018. The program is open to students who have earned an MLIS degree between December 2016 and June 2018. The application period is November 1–30....

Library of Congress, Oct. 16

The enduring legacy of banning To Kill a Mockingbird

Cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Avi Selk writes: “The public school district in Biloxi, Mississippi, did not specify which words, exactly, in To Kill a Mockingbird are so objectionable that the book was yanked from an 8th-grade reading list last week. ‘There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable,’ school board vice president Kenny Holloway vaguely said. That is: the n-word, which the Washington Post also censors, and which Harper Lee pointedly did not when she wrote her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about racism in the US.” There is some doubt that the Biloxi School District followed its own policy on reconsidering books for its curriculum....

Washington Post, Oct. 15; Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Oct. 12, 16

Anythink Libraries embrace cannabis education

The Anythink marijuana collection has over 100 printed books to browse. Photo by Thomas Mitchell

Zach Harris writes: “In Denver, cannabis legalization has normalized marijuana so much that even the area’s local public libraries are doing their part to mainstream the once forbidden crop. In addition to stocking shelves with relevant books and movies, Anythink Libraries have hosted such events as a Careers in Cannabis speaking panel, and librarian education nights, where librarians Jennifer Hendzlik and Aaron Bock will team with other PLA chapters to open a dialogue about marijuana and literature.”...

Merry Jane, Oct. 15; Westword (Denver), Sept. 29, Oct. 13
ALA Midwinter

Eudora Welty Library reopens

Eudora Welty Library, Jackson, Mississippi

On October 16, the main Jackson, Mississippi, library reopened after the building was closed 10 days earlier over safety and fire violations. On October 13, State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney reinspected the Eudora Welty Library and found the violations were corrected. Chaney initially ordered that it could reopen with firefighters posted in the building, but library officials found the cost would run about $55,000 a year. Jackson Hinds Library System Executive Director Patty Furr said the State Fire Marshal is working with them to stay open while keeping the patrons and workers safe....

Mississippi News Now, Oct. 16

Martin Luther inscription found at Emory University

Martin Luther’s handwritten inscription on the title page of a 1520 pamphlet was discovered by German scholar Ulrich Bubenheimer

Emory University’s Pitts Theology Library holds the largest collection of works by German theologian Martin Luther in all of North America. The collection includes one known example of Luther’s handwriting, a manuscript note from late in his life. Now a second documented example of Luther’s handwriting has been spotted by Ulrich Bubenheimer, a retired professor visiting from Göttingen, Germany. The three-line inscription appears on the title page of a 1520 pamphlet....

Emory News Center, Oct. 16

Virtual museum honors Tuskegee Airmen

Certificate of valor for Captain Milton R. Brooks, who served with the 302nd Fighter Squadron

The Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron, a tribute project in Red Wing, Minnesota, to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, announced the launch October 16 of a Virtual Museum. The online collection of artifacts, memorials, and personal mementos aims to explore the humanity of the experiences of the African-American pilots who fought in World War II, so people of all ages can gain a deeper understanding of the positive impact of their service to our county....

CAF Redtail Squadron, Oct. 16
Latest Library Links

Resources to help children build empathy

Help children help each other

Maureen Schlosser writes: “This hurricane season has been devastating. Many children are without power and water, and others are recovering from severe flooding. This is worrisome not only for the families living through this trauma but also for the children who are watching news feeds. How can we help children work through their feelings? Exploring resources that show children what it means to be empathetic will generate important discussions about helping each other work through tough times.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Oct. 17

Reminding your audience about upcoming events

Don’t forget to promote future programs at your events; people sitting in that room have a high likelihood of coming back

John Jackson writes: “When I’m in the midst of hosting a library event, I often forget to think about what’s coming next. It’s often difficult for me to remember that each person sitting in the room at that moment has a greater potential for being a future audience member than someone who has never attended a library event. So this year I’m developing ways to work subtle nudges into already existing program planning workflows to remind audience members about upcoming events happening in the library.”...

Programming Librarian, Oct. 3
Dewey Decibel podcast

How Big Data went bust

Big Data key

Will Oremus writes: “In February 2012, an article in the New York Times Sunday Review heralded the arrival of a new epoch in human affairs: ‘The Age of Big Data.’ Academia, nonprofits, governments, and companies raced to figure out just what big data was and how they could capitalize on it. Five years later, data plays a vastly expanded role in our lives, yet the term has gone out of fashion—and acquired something of an unsavory reputation. Here is what happened and where data is headed now.”...

Slate, Oct. 16; New York Times, Feb. 11, 2012

How to scan a document using your phone or tablet

Scanning with a phone

Craig Lloyd writes: “Scanning documents and photos with your phone is a mixed bag. Thankfully, there are very easy ways to scan items and get reliably good results. Sure, a dedicated scanner is still great to have if you frequently need to scan a large handful of documents, but using your phone also works great if you only have a couple documents to scan every now and then. Here’s what we recommend for Android and iOS.”...

How-To Geek, Oct. 15; May 13, 2016

New Zealand librarians’ Kardashian post goes viral

The parody Keep Up with the Librarians and the original Keeping Up with the Kardashians

A Facebook post by the Invercargill (N.Z.) City Libraries and Archives has gone viral and it has nothing to do with books. To mark the 10th anniversary of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and proving that librarians can enjoy a bit of reality TV as well, the library’s social media team decided to have an impromptu Kardashian-inspired photoshoot. The post received more than 4,000 likes in less than a day and has now been shared more than 4,300 times. This is not the first time that the team has scored a win....

New Zealand Herald (Auckland), Oct. 15

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