Find out where candidates stand on library issues.

American Library Association • August 21, 2018
Syracuse SIS

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Advocating before the election

Advocacy before the election

David Shumaker writes: “When it comes to advocacy for libraries, we often focus on communicating with officials who have already been elected. We may go to Capitol Hill in May for National Library Legislative Day or to our state legislatures during budget appropriation season. But what would it look like to reach out to the would-be political decision makers before the election? I tried an experiment to find out.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 20

11 questions with Anita Mechler

Anita Mechler

On August 13, Anita Mechler (right) became executive director of YALSA. Mechler previously served as project manager and archivist at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium at the University of Chicago Library. In that role, she designed, developed, managed, measured, and evaluated BMRC grant-funded programs and carried out its strategic plans and policies. Mechler answered our “11 Questions” to introduce herself to ALA members....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 20

A thoughtful approach to Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2018

Justin Azevedo writes: “Banned Books Week is scheduled this year for September 23–29. The event can sometimes pose unexpected challenges and even create confusion in the name of encouraging reading. Unsuspecting and well-meaning library patrons can miss the subtle distinctions within the process of a book challenge and misunderstand what is being celebrated. Your library will benefit from an approach to Banned Books Week that goes just a step or two beyond the marketing materials.”...

ALSC Blog, Aug. 18
Latest Library Links

Librarians as college essay coaches

School librarian advising a student

Karin Greenberg writes: “Students often approach their English teachers for help with college essays. But with the responsibilities of grading papers, making daily lesson plans, communicating with parents, and many other tasks, their time is limited. That’s where we come in. Since students are not programmed to think of their high school librarian as someone to approach for college essay help, they need to be invited. Last fall, I advertised my services. I had over a dozen students who took me up on my offer.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Aug. 20

Report: US teens spend less time reading books

Cover of Psychology of Popular Media Culture

A news item published August 20 by the American Psychological Association has a bald statement available for those ready to face the challenge of teens and reading: “Time on digital media has displaced time once spent enjoying a book or watching TV.” Jean M. Twenge is lead author of a newly released study, “Trends in US Adolescents’ Media Use, 1976–2016,” published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture. Twenge says that she was surprised to see how dramatic a decline in reading the study revealed....

Publishing Perspectives, Aug. 21; American Psychological Association, Aug. 20; Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Aug. 16

Schools should not avoid the news media

School principal interviewed

Peter DeWitt writes: “Many school officials avoid the news media until they are on the receiving end of an investigative reporter with a camera and microphone demanding more information. This is flawed thinking. Schools should be highlighted in the media, but we should also be talking about the tough issues, not avoiding them. Many districts have rules about talking to the media, and that should be clearly articulated to principals. However, if there is a gag order, the district should rethink that. Why?”...

Education Week, Aug. 17
ALA news

2018 Hugo Award winners

Cover of The Stone Sky, by N. K. Jemisin

The 2018 Hugo Award ceremony was held August 19 at the World Science Fiction Convention in San José, California. Like the previous couple of years, women almost completely swept the awards. N. K. Jemisin took home the top honor for The Stone Sky, the third installment of her Broken Earth trilogy. Other winners include Martha Wells for her first Murderbot novella All Systems Red, Suzanne Palmer for her novelette “The Secret Life of Bots,” and Rebecca Roanhorse for her short story “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™.”...

The Verge, Aug. 20; Aug. 11, 2017

History is more than just the facts

Cover of Why Learn History, by Sam Wineburg

Elizabeth Elliott writes: “Many people equate ‘historical knowledge’ with nothing more than facts, names, and dates. So if a five-inch handheld device can tell you faster than you can recall when Jamestown was founded or what the Code of Hammurabi is, what’s the point of studying history at all? This question frames Stanford educator Sam Wineburg’s forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone).”...

Perspectives on History, Aug. 20
Dewey Decibel podcast

Browser extension alerts you to known fake images

Fake photo of Michael Bennett burning the US flag

Ash Bhat and his business partner Rohan Phadte have come up with a tool that proactively tells people when their media diet has become infected with misinformation, at the very moment they’re seeing it. Called SurfSafe, the plug-in, which launched August 20, allows people to hover over any image that appears in their browser, whether on Facebook or a website. SurfSafe instantly checks that photo against more than 100 trusted news sites and fact-checking sites like Snopes to see whether it’s appeared there before....

Wired, Aug. 20

What to do when your classroom technology fails

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Richard Byrne writes: “In my previous post I highlighted five things that you can do to make sure that your classroom technology is ready for the new school year. But even if you do all of those things, there will still be times when things don’t go as expected. Here are a few things that you can do when classroom technology isn’t working as expected.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Aug. 20

How to delete books from your Kindle

Selecting books for Kindle deletion

Anthony Karcz writes: “Is your Kindle like mine? So full of samples and read books and new downloads that you have no idea what’s new, what’s old, what’s TBR, and what’s in your virtual Stack of Shame? Deleting titles doesn’t mean going scorched earth and getting rid of those books forever; it just means they don’t show up on your Kindle anymore. Unfortunately, deleting books on an e-reader isn’t nearly as intuitive as it should be. After several starts and stops, though, I’ve got a foolproof pattern down.”...

Book Riot, Aug. 21

Seven signs you have malware

7 signs of malware

Neil J. Rubenking writes: “When your PC slows down or acts weird, you don’t always know the cause. Most often, it’s probably just a glitch. But it could be an outward and visible sign of an inward and terrible malware infestation. Review the seven warning signs below. If any of them match your experience, malware may well have compromised your system’s security. The fact that you’ve got malware protection installed doesn’t mean you can ignore these warning signs.”...

PC Magazine, Aug. 17, 20

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