Avon Lake: What’s at steak.

American Library Association • October 27, 2017

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Dewey Decibel: The A1 mystery of Avon Lake

Solving Avon Lake’s A1 steak sauce mystery

Who’s behind the 55 cleaned, emptied, and delabeled A1 Sauce bottles that mysteriously appeared at Avon Lake (Ohio) Public Library between January and August? Could Dewey Decibel podcast’s investigation turn up any new leads? In Episode 19—our special Halloween episode—Dewey goes on the road to bring you a story from Avon Lake, a town nestled along Lake Erie with a population of about 23,000. Lurking below the idyllic setting is a condiment caper that’s been baffling the community for months....

American Libraries, Oct. 25

ALA awards $500K in Libraries Ready to Code grants

Kids and computers

ALA has awarded more than $500,000 in grants for 28 libraries in 21 states plus the District of Columbia to design and implement coding programs for young people. The grants are part of ALA’s ongoing Libraries Ready to Code initiative sponsored by Google to promote computer science (CS) and computational thinking among youth. It is the first time ALA has dedicated funding for CS programs in libraries. The grantees will develop programs that will instill coding skills through innovative projects....

ALA Washington Office, Oct. 26

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RUSQ seeks an editor

Fall 2017 issue of RUSQ

RUSA seeks applicants for the position of editor or coeditors of its Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ). The term is for three years, with the possibility of renewal for a second term. Anyone interested should submit an application by November 15 to Barry Trott, chair of the RUSQ Editor Selection Committee. The successful candidate will become editor-designate on February 1, 2018, and will assume the position of editor on July 1. This is an unpaid volunteer position....

RUSA, Oct. 25

One librarian’s Hurricane Maria survival story

The library at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao. Photo by Evelyn M. Rodríguez

Evelyn Milagros Rodríguez writes: “I am a special collections librarian at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao. Today I have the duty to describe, firsthand, what it is like to live through the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the worst storm of this brutal hurricane season. Since the storm I haven’t been able to go to work at the library on the Humacao campus. At 88,000 square feet and three stories, the library is the biggest building on campus, and it’s among the worst damaged. It’s mold-infested and the roof is leaking.”...

The Conversation, Oct. 26
University of Nebraska

Biloxi brings back To Kill a Mockingbird

Cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

The Biloxi (Miss.) School District has sent a letter home to students. It plans to restore To Kill A Mockingbird to the 8th-grade classroom and begin teaching it again in class, starting October 30. Students do, however, have to ask to participate, by returning a permission slip signed by a parent to their school and their English Language Arts teacher by October 27. Students who don’t want to read the book will be given another assignment that keeps them on track for class and state assessments....

Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, Oct. 12, 25

NARA releases some JFK assassination records

JFK assassination document

The National Archives released 2,891 records on October 26 related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are subject to the JFK Act of 1992. These records are available for downloading online. President Trump has allowed the temporary withholding of certain information that would harm national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs. The president also ordered agencies to re-review their proposed redactions so that NARA can release as much information as possible by the end of the temporary certification period on April 26, 2018....

AOTUS Blog, Oct. 27

Don’t mess with an angry librarian

Alex Halpern

When New York Observer columnist Andrew Walker suggested closing all public libraries, the self-proclaimed “angriest librarian,” Alex Halpern, library student and research director of Trilogy Integrated Resources in Portland, Oregon, took issue with the suggestion with a glorious pro-library rant. Walker, based in London, soon backed down, admitting he was wrong after 110,000 people responded....

Twitter Moments, Oct. 24; Washington Post, Oct. 26; Belfast (UK) Telegraph, Oct. 25
Latest Library Links

Keeping up with higher education

Campus Technology News Update is a recommended resource for higher education

Steven J. Bell writes: “When it comes to keeping up with higher education, most academic librarians will start and stop their routine with two publications, Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Those are two must-read publications. But there’s more beyond that. Here are additional resources that academic librarians can add to their keeping-up regimen for higher education. All the newsletters described are delivered electronically to the inbox and are offered as free subscriptions.”...

ACRL Keeping Up With..., Oct.

Classroom exercises to combat stress

Bilateral scribbles: Have students hold a different color marker in each hand and draw or scribble to the beat of some music for 30 seconds

Lori Desautels writes: “Adversity and trauma reside in our biology, not our psychology and cognition, so we educators need to prime students’ brains for learning. This calls for a deeper understanding of how our brains develop and how they respond to adversity and trauma. I’d like to describe some practices that not only address the stress response in the limbic brain areas, but also attend to sensory and motor systems in the brain stem area: brain breaks and focused-attention practices.”...

Edutopia, Oct. 23
Dewey Decibel podcast

Pop culture podcasts for teens

Pop culture podcasts for teens

Danielle Jones writes: “Teens are often their own guides into how they consume pop culture and news media, and like their adult counterparts, they love the discussion of the art as much as enjoying the art itself. Podcasts are an accessible form that can be enlightening for teens as they dig deeper into elements of culture,  enhancing their own narrative skills and giving them language to better discuss and understand issues. Here some pop culture podcasts that will appeal to teens.”...

YALSA The Hub, Oct. 25

Finding my technology tribe

ISTE Librarians Network logo

Elissa Malespina writes: “When people think of the International Society of Technology Educators, they immediately think it is only for technology educators, but that is not true. ISTE has professional learning networks for many different groups, including a very big network of librarians. The ISTE Librarians Network is a place where librarians can connect with other librarians and learn about new ways to use technology. The network believes in empowering librarians with the skills needed to move their libraries into the future.”...

Knowledge Quest Blog, Oct. 26

Five tech myths people still believe

Tech Specs

Alan Henry writes: “Most of us just want our technology to work when we need it, and when we have problems with it, we don’t dive into the details of how it runs—we just want it fixed. So it’s natural that we fall for the most convenient suggestions for resolving issues or getting the most life out of our gear. Unfortunately, some of those premises are false, and they can do more harm than good. Here are five tech misconceptions to watch out for.”...

New York Times, Oct. 25

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