ALA’s annual report on library trends.

American Library Association • April 10, 2018
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The State of America’s Libraries 2018

Cover of The State of America’s Libraries 2018

On April 9, ALA released The State of America’s Libraries report for 2018, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 8–14, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries. The report found that libraries continue to face challenges that carry with them the potential for censorship to a variety of books, programs, and materials. Overall in 2017, 416 books were targeted. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has produced a list of “Top Ten Most Challenged Books” in 2017....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 9

National Library Workers Day, April 10

Left to right: Academic librarian Rita Johnson, public librarian Ady Huerta, and special librarian Megan McNichol

Alison Marcotte writes: “Every year since 2004, ALA has celebrated librarians, support staff, and others for their valuable contributions on National Library Workers Day, which this year falls on April 10. The ALA–Allied Professional Association asked patrons throughout the US to nominate stellar library workers for their hard work, dedication, and expertise. Here are some of the many nominations honoring library workers in the Galaxy of Stars on ALA’s NLWD website.”...

American Libraries feature, Apr. 10

Dewey Decibel podcast: Money talk

Dewey Decibel podcast on Money Talk

Tax season is here, and money, investing, and financial matters are on everyone’s mind. For some, making sense of it all can be intimidating and scary. Episode 24 of Dewey Decibel features interviews with two librarians who developed successful financial literacy programs to help their communities overcome money fears: Lori Burgess, director of operations at Fond du Lac (Wis.) Public Library, and Heather McCue, children’s librarian at Richland Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 9

UT Austin won’t move its Fine Arts Library

Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas, Austin

The University of Texas at Austin will not move tens of thousands more items out of its Fine Arts Library to repurpose the 5th-floor stack space, it announced April 9. Doug Dempster, dean of fine arts, proposed the relocation of the library’s remaining books, music, and other items last semester, saying that circulation was down and the space might be put to better use. But many faculty members opposed the idea, saying that it was unconscionable to further dismantle a regionally noted collection....

Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 28, Apr. 9; University of Texas Libraries, Apr. 6
Dewey Decibel podcast

Bots in the twittersphere

The most-active Twitter bots produce a large share of the links to popular news and current events websites. Graph by Pew Research Center

The role of so-called social media bots—automated accounts capable of posting content or interacting with other users with no direct human involvement—has been the subject of much scrutiny and attention in recent years. Pew Research Center set out to better understand how many of the links shared on Twitter are being promoted by bots rather than humans. A key finding: Of all tweeted links to popular websites, 66% are shared by accounts with characteristics common to automated bots, rather than human users....

Pew Research Center, Apr. 9

Facebook rolls out Cambridge Analytics info

Facebook will show you one of two messages: If your data was included in the leak, you will see the longer message on the right; if not, you’ll see the one on the left.

Are you one of the 87 million people affected by the Cambridge Analytica data leak? Starting April 9, Facebook is adding a note at the top of news feeds that will let you know if your information was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook will show you one of two messages: If your data was included in the leak, you will see the message on the right; if not, you’ll see the one on the left. (Some users may have to visit the Help Center page to find out.)...

PC Magazine, Mar. 21, Apr. 4, 9

The scientific paper is obsolete

Scientific papers

James Somers writes: “The more sophisticated science becomes, the harder it is to communicate results. Scientific papers are longer than ever and full of jargon and symbols. Scientific results today are as often as not found with the help of computers. That’s because the ideas are complex, dynamic, hard to grab ahold of in your mind’s eye. And yet by far the most popular tool we have for communicating these results is the PDF—literally a simulation of a piece of paper. Maybe we can do better.”...

The Atlantic, Apr. 5
ALA news

AUP on censorship of the scholarly record

Association of University Presses logo

The Association of University Presses on April 10 issued a statement of guiding principles addressing attempted censorship in a global network of scholarly communications. The board of directors approved the statement to affirm “the fundamental importance of the integrity of the scholarship entrusted to us and the essential role of university presses in supporting the values which safeguard that integrity.” It added, “All attempts to censor the scholarly record must be met with the deepest concern.”...

Association of University Presses, Apr. 10

NEH awards $18.6 million for 199 humanities projects

Hundreds of playbills mostly from 19th-century New York theater performances will be restored and digitized, thanks to an NEH grant to the Museum of the City of New York

The National Endowment for the Humanities on April 9 announced $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects across the US. These grants will provide digital access to the personal papers of Helen Keller and enable the creation of a new permanent exhibition at the Delta Blues Museum on the history and influence of this quintessential American musical genre. Other grants will support the digitization of artifacts excavated at Plimoth Plantation and making the Thomas Edison phonograph recordings available online through LC’s National Jukebox archive....

National Endowment for the Humanities, Apr. 9
Latest Library Links

Free online palaeography resources

For six Minst Pyes of an Indifferent biggnesse (UK National Archives, SP 14/189, folio 7)

Brodie Waddell writes: “Palaeography—the art of reading old handwriting—is a specialized skill that will not be any use to 99.9% of the population. However, if you want to explore original sources produced before 1750 for a dissertation, genealogy, or local history, it could be essential. The problem is that the script shown here was a perfectly normal way to write in the 17th century. A huge number of helpful resources are available, many of them free and online. Here are some of the best.”...

The Many-Headed Monster, Mar. 1

LC launches Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration

Young People’s Concerts publicity photo, 1964

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, the Library of Congress has made available online—for the first time—musical manuscripts and scrapbooks from the legendary composer’s personal and professional archives housed in the nation’s library. These digital offerings and others nearly tripled the existing content. The public can now access for free more than 3,700 items, including photos, writings, correspondence, scripts, musical sketches, scrapbooks, and audio recordings....

Library of Congress, Apr. 10

Children’s musician celebrates National Library Week

Screenshot from Rockin’ the Library video

Kansas City–area children’s musician Jim Cosgrove (author of Everybody Gets Stinky Feet) has produced a YouTube video (2:37) called “Rockin’ the Library” in honor of National Library Week. The video was done in cooperation with the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri, and directed and edited by Eric Smith at Majestic Rhinos LLC. Cosgrove urges librarians to use it however they see fit to promote reading and summer reading programs....

mrstinkyfeet YouTube channel, Apr. 8

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