What to watch for as the 115th Congress winds down.

American Library Association • December 7, 2018
ALA Midwinter Meeting

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Lame-duck library advocacy

US Capitol

Kathi Kromer writes: “On December 4, the Senate passed the Museum and Library Services Act (S. 3530). ALA members have sought congressional support for the legislation since it was introduced September 28. Now the bill moves to the House, where it has only one week to make it to the floor for a vote. ALA is also working hard to ward off serious threats to the US Copyright Office. Some copyright holders have renewed their efforts to make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment. ALA’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy invites you to join its December 11 webinar, focusing on upcoming campaigns.”...

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 1, Dec. 6

The rural broadband divide is worse than the FCC says

Many parts of rural America lack access to broadband internet speeds. Photo by Shara Tibken / CNET

Jon Fingas writes: “Politicians and regulators like to say they are increasing access to broadband in rural areas, but the reality might be far less rosy. Microsoft has conducted a study showing that far fewer Americans have broadband access than FCC data suggests. While the FCC is currently focused on availability and notes that 24.7 million people can’t get fast internet service, Microsoft determined that 162.8 million people don’t use broadband service, 19 million of them in rural areas. The gaps are sometimes glaring.”...

Engadget, Jan. 9, 16, Dec. 5; New York Times, Dec. 4

IFLA’s copyright work continues at WIPO

What they said about libraries at SCCR 37

In late November, IFLA attended the 37th meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). This is the primary international forum for governments to discuss copyright, and in particular limitations and exceptions to copyright for libraries. IFLA insists on the need of an international instrument that harmonizes and updates legislation on copyright for libraries around the world. At the meeting, many representatives of United Nations Member States took the floor to underline the public interest role that libraries play. Read what they said about libraries....

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Dec. 5
ALA news

Iowa book-burner charged with criminal mischief

Paul Dorr, a northwest Iowa religious activist, released a Facebook Live video in which he burns four LGBTQ-themed books from the Orange City Public Library

Northwest Iowa Christian activist Paul Dorr has been charged with fifth-degree criminal mischief in connection with publicly burning four LGBTQ-themed books he checked out from the Orange City Public Library. Dorr drew national attention for a half-hour long Facebook Live video on October 19 that showed him tossing the books into a burning barrel. Dorr, director of a group called Rescue the Perishing, said he was protesting an LGBTQ celebration in Orange City and the introduction of sex education into the public schools....

Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, Dec. 6

Duke gets $10 million for Lilly Library expansion

The renovations will enhance the Thomas Reading Room, a popular student place to study on East Campus

Duke University Libraries has received $10 million in support of the planned renovation and expansion of Lilly Library, President Vincent E. Price announced December 6. The donation is made up of three gifts: a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment, $2.5 million from Irene and William McCutchen and the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, and $2.5 million from Virginia and Peter Nicholas. The planned renovation and expansion will update facility needs to meet standards of safety, accessibility, usability, and service....

Duke Today, Dec. 5

Kristen Arnett explains how people can support libraries

Kristen Arnett on PBS News Hour

On PBS News Radio, librarian Kristen Arnett (right) explained: “Everyone says they want to support their local library, like they support using reusable water bottles, no cell phones at the dinner table, and the quiet car on trains. But do they really? Folks tend to think of libraries in the abstract. It’s less a physical space and more of a concept, a powerful good in the universe that everyone believes in unconditionally, like Santa Claus or Beyoncé. So how do you support your library? Come out to the library and attend events. Argue with the librarian over which is the best episode of The Office.” Isn’t the library the place you come when you need help with anything and everything?...

PBS News Hour, Dec. 4; Literary Hub, Dec. 5

Seattle: The most Instagrammable library?

Interior of the Seattle Public Library on November 30. Photo by Dorothy Edwards / Crosscut

Brangien Davis writes: “When legendary architect Rem Koolhaas put the finishing touch on his diamond-encrusted Seattle Public Library, did he wipe his brow with a sleeve and think, ‘I hope this does well on social media’? Probably not. But according to a recent press release, SPL’s Central branch is now the ‘most Instagrammed library’ in the world. The news comes from Wordery, a UK-based online bookseller. The not entirely rigorous methodology involved compiling a list of 40 libraries previously proclaimed most beautiful by a variety of publications.”...

Crosscut, Dec. 3
Latest Library Links

How 8,000 Irish books found a home in Arizona

The Irish Cultural Center campus contains three buildings (the Great Hall, the Cottage, and the McClelland Library)

For the Irish diaspora, or for anyone seeking to connect with Ireland, an unlikely opportunity exists in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Irish Cultural Center and  McClelland Library, a bold expression of Irishness in the heart of a desert city. The three-story McClelland Library is the largest of its kind in the Southwest, housing 8,000 books from Irish authors, poets, and genealogical sources, as well as a permanent exhibit on The Book of Kells. Established in 2012, it was designed by architect Paul Ahern after a 12th-century Norman castle....

Irish Times, Oct. 1

New privacy resources available online

Six of the NYC Digital Safety privacy modules

Davis Erin Anderson writes: “Many New York City residents use digital technology nearly every waking hour of the day. This information can be utilized to influence our behavior and can be used against us in the event of a successful phishing attempt or a data breach. NYC Digital Safety is a partnership between the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public libraries, the mayor’s office, and METRO Library Council. The project achieved a milestone in November with the launch of nycdigitalsafety.org, the online home for seven online modules and training materials.”...

Choose Privacy Every Day, Dec. 5
Dewey Decibel podcast

The tech that died in 2018

Google+ was a 2018 tech casualty

Chloe Albanesius writes: “Not every idea is a winner. And not every winning idea will last forever. For every Silicon Valley darling currently basking in the glory of a Job Well Done, another is winding down, shutting off the lights, and penning a sad Medium post about their company’s demise. Do not weep for them; they will surely return with another big idea. But for now, let us reflect on the 45 tech items we lost in 2018.”...

PC Magazine, Dec. 6

2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor

Cover of Priestdaddy

Patrica Lockwood’s Priestdaddy was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor on December 5. Lockwood’s memoir of her move back, with husband in tow, to her childhood home in the rectory of her father-turned-priest is filled with humorous memories, embarrassing encounters, and candid self-reflection. Runners up included Jenny Allen’s Would Everybody Please Stop? Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas and John Hodgman’s Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches....

The Booklist Reader, Dec. 6

The biggest nonfiction bestsellers of the last 100 years

Cover of Kids Say the Darndest Things!, by Art Linkletter

Emily Temple writes: “Last week, we published a list of the biggest fiction bestsellers of the past 100 years—and gently compared them to the books we still read and talk about from those very same years. A few of our own, present-day readers wrote in to request that we give nonfiction books the same treatment, and since Publishers Weekly also kept lists of the bestselling nonfiction of the past 100 years, those readers are in luck. The data below comes almost entirely from those lists, which count sales of nonfiction books in the US.”...

Literary Hub, Nov. 27, Dec. 5

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