ALA objects to Census citizenship question.

American Library Association • August 10, 2018
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ALA urges rejection of Census citizenship question

2020 Census (Image: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

Gavin Baker and Larra Clark write: “The American Library Association has joined 144 groups in opposing the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census form. ALA is a signee of a letter submitted August 1 by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to the Department of Commerce, which oversees the US Census Bureau. The comments submitted by the coalition elaborate on the harm that would result from adding such a question to the 2020 Census, including diminished data accuracy, an increased burden of information collection, and an added cost to taxpayers.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 9

A patron wants to print a gun: Now what?

blue and white 3D-printed gun on a table

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “A recent request from a patron of Millburn (N.J.) Free Public Library was a first for the library—and it left the reference librarian unnerved. The patron wanted to use the facility’s 3D printer to create a part for an AR-15 rifle, according to Susan Jaffe Pober, the library’s head of information services. The incident and the recent efforts by the Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed to publish blueprints for manufacturing 3D-printed guns has libraries across the country working to establish policies to block individuals from printing the weapons.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 9

How to make a library introduction video

Screenshot from University of Minnesota, Morris's "Welcome to Briggs Library," featuring the school's cougar mascot, Pounce.

Each fall several hundred first-year students arrive on the small undergraduate campus at the University of Minnesota, Morris, many of whom are unaware of how Rodney A. Briggs Library can support their academic life. While orientation activities and information literacy instruction cover some of the necessary introductions, UMM’s librarians found that there was still a need for an informal, visually engaging, and entertaining overview of the library. The clear answer was an introductory video. There was only one problem: The librarians had never created a library video before....

American Libraries feature, Aug. 10
Latest Library Links

Last library in Georgia county to close

Washington Memorial Library, Macon, Georgia

The last open library in a Georgia county will close unless officials approve a new property tax rate. The Middle Georgia Regional Library system said in a Facebook post August 8 that Washington Memorial Library in Macon will close August 16 because of a lack of funding. News outlets report the library has been the only one open in Bibb County since three others closed last month. On August 7, several proposed tax raises didn’t get the votes needed to pass, including a 4.3-millage rate increase....

Miami Herald, Aug. 9

Boston Public Library investigation continues

Boston Public Library

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh says his administration is taking seriously the investigation into three Boston Public Library administrators. The Boston Herald reported last week that BPL placed three facilities managers on unpaid leave as the institution investigated their actions. Police said they were also investigating after BPL brought a personnel issue to their attention. City and library officials have not commented on the investigation, or given out the names or titles of the people on leave or what they’re suspected of doing....

Boston Herald, Aug. 7

Snakes in a library

Eastern garter snake coiled on leaves and rocks (Photo:  Wilson44691 [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

Marissa J. Lang writes: “The Georgetown branch of D.C. Public Library was closed for more than two days after staff noticed an odd gathering near one of the building’s basement meeting rooms: snakes. Several of them. The first sign that something was amiss came Saturday, when a staff member found a live snake in the library, captured it, and released it outside. Hours later, a different library employee spotted two new snakes in the downstairs area of the building.”...

Washington Post, Aug. 7

How to switch to a new password manager


Neil J. Rubenking writes: “We constantly review the latest password managers as they grow and evolve. Some update frequently, adding features like password inheritance and automated password change. Others can go years without an update. If your password manager is mired in the past, you don't have to be a stick-in-the-mud. Changing to a new password manager isn’t a walk in the park, but neither is it impossible. Here are two ways to make the switch from your old, tired password manager to a slick, powerful new one.”...

PC Magazine, Aug. 7, July 12
ALA news

Back-to-school library fine challenge

Detail of Back-to-School Challenge graphic, created by Jennifer LaGarde

Jennifer LaGarde writes: “Of all the things I post in this space and on social media, the topic I receive the most pushback on is library fines. Whether it’s accusing me of being out of touch or snarkily suggesting that ‘it must be nice to only work in schools/districts with unlimited budgets for library materials,’ I’m always surprised by how defensive, and downright nasty, some of the comments can be when I suggest that maybe, just maybe, withholding books from children contradicts our core mission as librarians. That said, as much of the world gets ready to head back to school, and even for those who are in the midst of an epic school year, I’d like to challenge you to do the following.”...

Adventures of Library Girl, Aug. 8; American Libraries feature, June

UNC Libraries receive $1.75 million grant

Erica Titkemeyer, AV conservator in the Southern Folklife Collection, examines archival film.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $1.75 million to the University of North Carolina Libraries that will allow its Southern Folklife Collection to preserve, digitize, and share unique audio and film recordings online. The collection includes speeches that Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy delivered at the UNC Chapel Hill, recordings of Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, performances by North Carolina icons Andy Griffith and Doc Watson, and street scenes filmed across North Carolina in the 1930s....

UNC Libraries, Aug. 8
Dewey Decibel podcast

How fan fiction went mainstream

Cover of the 1967 Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia

Mikaella Clements writes: “Devotees of fan fiction will sometimes tell you that it’s one of the oldest writing forms in the world. Seen with this generous eye, the art of writing stories using other people’s creations hails from long before our awareness of Twilight-fanfic-turned-BDSM-romance Fifty Shades of Grey: perhaps Virgil, when he picked up where Homer left off with the story of Aeneas, or Shakespeare’s retelling of Arthur Brookes’s 1562 The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. What most of us would recognize as fan fiction began in the 1960s, when Star Trek fans started creating zines about Spock and Captain Kirk’s adventures.”...

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 8; American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec. 2016

Love letter to a library

EXPLORE sculpture outside Forest Park (Ill.) Public Library (Photo: FPPL Facebook page)

Ashley Holstrom writes: “Dear Forest Park (Ill.) Public Library, I know it’s silly to write a love letter to my library, but you know how it goes. Love makes one do silly things. You are a building of shelves filled with these stories. You were my first library of choice. As in, I chose the town I lived in and I chose which library within walking distance to make my own. You are just so charming.”...

Book Riot, Aug. 7

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