Candidates for ALA president.

American Library Association • September 12, 2017
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Brown, Hepburn seek 2019–2020 ALA presidency

Wanda Brown and Peter Hepburn

Wanda Brown (left), director of library services at the C. G. O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University, and Peter Hepburn (right), head librarian at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, are the candidates for the ALA 2019–2020 presidency. Brown has been an ALA member for 30 years and is an active member of ACRL, ALCTS, and LLAMA. An ALA member for 17 years, Hepburn just completed a term on the ALA Executive Board (2014–2017) and has served on the ALA Council from 2010 to the present....

Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 8

Leadership in librarianship

Youth Matters, by Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson writes: “What is your library doing to foster leadership within the organization? If your current department heads left, would staff members be ready to step into management roles? What are you doing to develop your own leadership skills? These questions have been on my mind since I attended Power Up: A Conference in Leadership for Youth Services Managers and Staff at the Information School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison in March.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Dewey Decibel podcast

Newsmaker: Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle, Young People’s Poet Laureate

The Poetry Foundation has named poet, novelist, and journalist Margarita Engle (right) as the new Young People’s Poet Laureate, a title given biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in poetry for children. A Cuban-American, Engle is the first person of Latino descent to receive the honor. She was also the first Latina to be awarded a Newbery Honor in 2009 for The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. Here she talks about her influences and her plans....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Making virtual reality a reality

NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library’s VR Studio

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality.” But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English....

American Libraries trend, Sept./Oct.
2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Time for the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament

Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament

To coincide with this year’s ALA Banned Books Week theme, “Words Have Power,” the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is harnessing the power of social media to ignite conversations about the freedom to read. During September 24–30, readers are encouraged to complete banned book–themed tasks on Twitter for a chance to win literary prizes in the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament. One winner will be randomly selected every day of Banned Books Week and announced on OIF’s Twitter feed....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 11

KCPL librarian cleared of all criminal charges

Kansas City Public Library Executive Director R. Crosby Kemper (left) and Director of Programming and Marketing Steven Woolfolk. Screenshot from Kansas City Star interview

A municipal court judge has cleared a Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library official arrested last year in a case drawing national attention because of its free speech implications. Steven Woolfolk (right), KCPL director of programming and marketing, was found not guilty September 8 on all three charges stemming from an incident at the library in May 2016. He had attempted to intervene in an incident in which a patron—a local activist—was confronted by outside security personnel during a question-and-answer session. ALA awarded KCPL and Woolfolk two awards this year for their defense of free speech....

Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, Sept. 8; AL: The Scoop, Oct. 3, 2016; Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Apr. 21, Sept. 8

English language learners and graphic novels

Two graphic novels for English language learners

Sara Stevenson writes: “English language learners are an integral part of our library program. Their ELL teacher sends them to the library frequently, and they are avid readers of graphic novels. Graphic novels are perfect for English language learners because they are high interest, and the images can fill in, giving clues when they don’t know a word. Rather than stopping to look up the meanings of every few words, they can intuit meaning.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Sept. 12
Latest Library Links

Choosing the right games for your library

Chronology: A card game for all time

James Baker writes: “So your library has decided to acquire some games for patrons to use. That’s great, right up until you find yourself in your local games store, completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of games on offer. Sure you’ve grabbed a copy of Settlers of Catan because you’ve heard that ‘everyone should have a copy,’ Carcassonne because ‘it’s just not a collection unless you have it too,’ and Ticket to Ride because trains. But how do you keep selecting games that are right for your library?”...

Games in Libraries, Sept. 5

How people approach facts and information

The search for information

A new Pew Research Center survey explores five broad dimensions of people’s engagement with information and finds that a couple of elements particularly stand out when it comes to their enthusiasm: their level of trust in information sources and their interest in learning, particularly about digital skills. It turns out there are times when these factors align and they are eager to learn, or when they distrust sources and have less interest in learning. At other times these factors push in opposite directions....

Pew Research Center, Sept. 11
ALA news releases

Why libraries change

An illustration of a bookwheel from 1588

Camilla Nelson writes: “There is a chapter towards the end of Stuart Kells’s The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders, in which the author envisions the library of the future as one in which ‘dreary hordes of students’ stare mindlessly at ‘computers and reading machines,’ ignorant of the more refined pleasures of paper and ink, vellum and leather. But the history of writing parallels and is a part of the history of other technological forms. The history of the library is replete with mechanical marvels.”...

The Conversation, Sept. 7

The looming Chrome 62 insecurity

HTTP search Not Secure

Eric Hellman writes: “Sometime in October, probably the week of October 17, version 62 of Google’s Chrome web browser will be declared stable. When that happens, users of Chrome will get their software updated to version 62 when they restart. One of the small but important changes that will occur is that many websites that have not implemented HTTPS will be marked in a subtle way as ‘Not Secure.’ Unfortunately, many libraries, and the vendors and publishers that serve them, have not yet implemented HTTPS.”...

Go To Hellman, Sept. 11; Jan. 13, 2016; Chromium Blog, Apr. 27

The Voynich manuscript: A solution?

Transcription of one passage in the Voynich manuscript

Nicholas Gibbs writes: “For medievalists, the most unusual element of the Voynich manuscript—Beinecke Ms. 408, known to many as ‘the most mysterious manuscript in the world’—is its handwritten text. Although several of its symbols (especially the ligatures) are recognizable, the words formed by its neatly grouped characters do not appear to correspond to any known language. However, it is now clear that each character in the Voynich manuscript represents an abbreviated word and not a letter.” However, this explanation isn't sitting well with people who read medieval Latin....

The Times Literary Supplement (UK), Sept. 5; Smithsonian, Sept. 12; Ars Technica, Sept. 10

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