2018 library funding approved by House.

American Library Association • September 15, 2017

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House approves full library funding for FY 2018

IMLS logo

On September 14, the full House of Representatives voted as part of a large spending package (H.R. 3354) not to make any cuts in federal funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, including all funding for its programs under the Library Services and Technology Act, and for the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. Notably, the package also increased funding for the National Library of Medicine by $6 million....

District Dispatch, Sept. 14

Tactical urbanism

Cover of Tactical Urbanism for Librarians, by Karen Munro

Karen Munro writes: “Steps taken to improve the urban environment—otherwise known as tactical urbanism—have been around for a while. The phrase loosely describes any action designed to improve a city or neighborhood with minimal oversight, budget, and delay. It’s local, hands-on, and immediate, and it can usually be accomplished without much training or resources. Cities and libraries have much in common, and librarians can learn from tactical urbanist projects of all different types and scales.” Read a conversation with the author...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

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Library-led sightseeing tours

Dark La Crosse Trolley Tour

“We surprise people right off the bat, standing in front of this wonderful, family-friendly ice cream shop and saying that it used to be a brothel,” says Scott Brouwer, archivist at La Crosse (Wis.) Public Library. The reveal is part of the Dark La Crosse Trolley Tour, done in a partnership between LCPL and the La Crosse County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It began as a walking tour and now takes area residents and tourists on rides through the city’s seedier past....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Escondido library outsourcing could wind up in court

Escondido (Calif.) Public Library

Should the city council go through with its plans to outsource the Escondido (Calif.) Public Library to Maryland-based Library Systems and Services, the matter could end up before a judge. At issue will be a provision of the state’s Municipal Libraries Act that requires the public library to be managed by a library board of trustees. Retired Escondido attorney Roy Garrett maintains that only the board can make a decision on outsourcing. The city thinks otherwise....

San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Sept. 13; HuffPost, Sept. 14
ALA news releases

$55 million and a new name for Mid-Manhattan Library

The renovated Mid-Manhattan branch will include a light-filled atrium with five floors of browsable book stacks

In 2016, the New York Public Library released plans for a total renovation of its Mid-Manhattan branch. The work began this summer, and now NYPL has secured the final $55 million in private money needed to pay for that makeover, which will also come with a new name. The donation is from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and is the second largest single gift in its history. The new branch at 40th Street will reopen in early 2020 as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library....

New York Times, Sept. 13

Election complaint dismissed

Roseburg branch of the Douglas County (Oreg.) Library

The state elections division has found no evidence that former Douglas County (Oreg.) Library reference librarian Jeannine Cook violated elections law last year. Cook had been named, along with former Douglas County Library Director Harold Hayes, in a complaint filed by Umpqua resident Gerald Gindlesperger. The dispute revolved around information favoring formation of a library district that was posted on the library’s website and Facebook page prior to the November 2016 election....

Roseburg (Oreg.) News-Review, Sept. 14

Groups offer hurricane relief for libraries

Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey

Alongside efforts by the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund, library distributor Follett has launched a separate fund to help rebuild Texas K–12 libraries damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Donations to Follett’s fund made through October 2 can be used by schools to purchase new materials from Follett, which will also match the fund by an additional 10% of the amount donated. The money will be used to help libraries identified by TxLA’s Library Recovery Connection, a database of libraries affected by the storm. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Library Association and the State Library of Florida have set up a Florida Libraries Disaster Relief Fund. The Society of Southwest Archivists and the Society of American Archivists manage the SSA-SAA Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Fund, which offers grants to archives and special collections needing assistance....

Publishers Weekly, Sept. 14; Florida Library Association; Society of American Archivists
Latest Library Links

Why Beall’s List died and what it left unresolved

Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver

Paul Basken writes: “Nine months after a dogged academic librarian quietly deleted his carefully tended list shaming more than a thousand scientific journals as unscrupulous, the Beall’s List Murder Mystery remains unsolved. Why, after toiling so hard for five years—and creating a resource cherished by scientists wary of exploitative publishers—did the University of Colorado at Denver’s Jeffrey Beall (right) abruptly give it all up? Who, or what, forced his hand? There are several prime suspects.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 12; Scholarly Open Access

IMLS report on public libraries for FY 2014

Cover of FY 2014 Public Library Survey report

The Institute of Museum and Library Services on September 14 released two key information products: FY 2015 data from its annual Public Libraries Survey and the full survey report from FY 2014. The Public Libraries Survey examines key indicators of library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. In FY 2014, public libraries offered 4.5 million programs, a one-year increase of 5% and a 10-year increase of 68%....

Institute of Library and Museum Services, Sept. 14

The color fetish

Cover of Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Toni Morrison writes: “Of constant fascination for me are the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative—especially if the fictional main character is white. Whether it is the horror of one drop of the mystical ‘black’ blood, or signs of innate white superiority, or of deranged and excessive sexual power, the framing and the meaning of color are often the deciding factors. For the horror that the one-drop rule excites, there is no better guide than William Faulkner.”...

The New Yorker, Sept. 14
Dewey Decibel podcast

Zero symbol is centuries older than previously thought

In this close-up image, you can see the use of a dot as a placeholder in the bottom line. This dot evolved into the use of zero as a number in its own right

An updated analysis of an ancient Indian manuscript is shedding new light on the origin of the number zero, showing that its representation emerged between 224 and 383 CE, at least 500 years earlier than previously thought. The Bakhshali manuscript, discovered in 1881 near the village of Bakhshali in what is now Pakistan, has numerous examples of a zero symbol, shown as a solid black dot. The manuscript was sent to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in 1902, and it’s been there ever since....

Gizmodo, Sept. 14

Technologies librarians need to know

Academic library

Kim Dority writes: “Trying to get a handle on what library technologies LIS professionals need to know can be a challenge, as both the tasks and the tools that librarians are taking on seem to be changing daily. Nevertheless, it’s especially important for job hunters to be aware of technology skills and knowledge that are in demand, because increasingly these tools will be central to successful career performance. When understanding what technologies may be relevant, consider two variables.”...

LibGig, June 20

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