Federal funding for libraries passes.

American Library Association • December 21, 2018
Thinking Money for Kids

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Museum and Library Services Act passes

C-SPAN screen shot of vote tally in House on S. 3530, Museum and Library Services Act, December 19

Kathi Kromer writes: “On December 19, during the last full week the 115th Congress was in session and after an 11th-hour threat to stall the bill, the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA), S. 3530—legislation to reauthorize the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services—passed 331–28 in the House. The Senate had passed the bill on December 4. Thanks to the persistence of ALA members and bipartisan support of congressional leaders who introduced the legislation, Congress is currently on record as saying that America’s libraries are a national priority.”...

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 6, 14, 20

Dewey Decibel podcast: Writers on writing

Dewey Decibel: Writers on writing

As 2018 wraps, Dewey Decibel revisits a few favorite interviews conducted at ALA conferences in the past year. In Episode 33, American Libraries’ editors speak with an array of authors about the inspirations behind their new books and the importance of libraries in their lives. Interviews include actor Sally Field, Bill Nye the Science Guy, poet and novelist Elizabeth Acevedo, journalists Jonathan Eig and Robert W. Fieseler, and activists Marley Dias and Patrisse Cullors....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 21

50 public libraries selected for “American Creed” grants

American Creed logo

ALA, in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, has selected 50 US public libraries to take part in “American Creed: Community Conversations,” a grant program that will invite audiences to consider what America’s ideals and identity ought to be through screenings of, and conversations about, the PBS documentary American Creed, an omnibus of stories about activists who bring communities together to confront deepening divides. Selected libraries will host community screenings of the film, complemented by additional programming....

Public Programs Office, Dec. 20
ALA news

Library advocates put copyright lobbyists on the defensive

US Copyright Office logo

Alan S. Inouye writes: “In the last three weeks, ALA members have a record number of emails to their senators in opposition to the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (S. 1010). The bill, which ALA opposes, has been set for committee votes that have been postponed or canceled multiple times. Backers of the bill are on the defensive. Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid is accusing ALA of running a ‘disinformation campaign.’ In a December 17 blog post, he feigns dismay that ALA does not support a bill that (he claims) ‘would help modernize the US Copyright Office.’”...

ReCreate blog, Dec. 20; Copyright Alliance blog, Dec. 17

Thousands of new works enter the public domain

‘Yes! We Have No Bananas’ sheet music

Glenn Fleishman writes: “At midnight on December 31, all works first published in the US in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright. The deluge of works includes Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,’ which appeared first in the New Republic in 1923, as well as thousands of books, musical compositions, paintings, poems, photographs, and films. After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas,’ any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations.”...

Smithsonian magazine, Jan.

How to delete Facebook

Deleting Facebook and Instagram. Illustration by Minh Uong / The New York Times

Brian X. Chen writes: “In the wake of the news that Facebook gave other technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it had previously disclosed, as well as a bug that exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos to third-party app developers, you may have decided enough is enough: It’s time to delete Facebook. I have some firsthand experience with all of this. After the disclosure of Facebook’s breach, I felt my trust in the social network was broken. So I pulled out my data from Facebook and purged the account. What I found out about the process: The more you have integrated Facebook into your life, the more time-consuming it will be to delete it. To make account deletion as painless as possible, here is a step-by-step guide.”...

New York Times, Dec. 18–19; PC Magazine, Dec. 17

What to expect from fact-checking in 2018

Hidden truth

Daniel Funke and Alexios Mantzarlis write: “For the past few years, fact-checkers have been thrust to the center of the war for the future of the internet by the explosion of online misinformation and subsequent decisions by platforms and policy-makers. In 2019, we predict that fact-checkers will have to contend with the rise of government actions against misinformation around the world. They’ll see even more attempts to undermine their debunking efforts—particularly when it comes to videos. Technology companies will be coaxed into implementing more projects addressing the spread of misinformation on their platforms.”...

Poynter, June 6, Oct. 31, Dec. 17–18
Latest Library Links

Tumblr: A digital-age book burning

Tumblr login graphic

Melaine Huyck-Aufdermaur writes: “On December 3, tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio announced that the platform will ‘no longer [allow] adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).’ Tumblr is defining adult content as ‘photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.” The policy took effect on December 17, and the website will remove existing adult content from circulation as well. The plan to ban explicit content from tumblr has been in the works for six months.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Dec. 19; Tumblr Staff, Dec. 3; Support on Tumblr, Dec. 3; Vox, Dec. 4

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in public libraries

A student at Baltimore County Public Library reacts to his first virtual reality experience with the program MageWorks

Libraries have long been at the forefront of providing community access to new technologies. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) are now finding a place in library programming and services, engaging with communities in truly innovative ways. Two Maryland libraries are building their programming with straightforward approaches to community discovery and local partnerships. In this January 23 webinar, “The Future Is Now,” presenters Jen Bishop and Liz Sundermann-Zinger offer creative ideas and practical tips on how to get started....

Dewey Decibel podcast

Use a parachute for storytime

Katie Salo has fun with all the kids under the parachute in storytime

Katie Salo writes: “Today’s installment of storytime props is the parachute in storytime. (Previous posts are Scarves in Storytime and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) I have three different parachutes at the library. Two fit in our smaller programming room; this works for classes of 20 kids or smaller. Our large parachute fits our large programming room; I’ve used this parachute in classes with 70 kids before. The parachute is a great opportunity to practice opposites: fast/slow, high/low, up/down. One of my favorite things to do is teamwork activities, like pretending the parachute is the wheel of the school bus and turning it as we walk around together.”...

ALSC Blog, Aug. 12, Oct. 14, Dec. 18

2018 was a fantastic year for poetry

Cover of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes

Meghan O’Rourke writes: “American poetry is having a renaissance—or something like it: Whatever you call the moment we’re in, poetry feels newly invigorated by a potent diversity of voices, rendered with extreme stylistic range on the page. The following are nine books I was thankful to have as company—some of the books I needed to read—in 2018. Each invites us to slow down, to linger on thoughts that unfurl against an expressive white space, and each is a quiet protest against easy truths and alternative facts.”...

Vulture, Dec. 20

The best laptops for 2019

Dell XPS 13 laptop

Tom Brant writes: “The laptop market has undergone major changes in the past few years, and there’s likely to be more confusion in the notebook aisle now than at any other time. Today’s models encompass everything from featherweight ultraportables that barely tip the scales at less than two pounds to lap-crushing gaming behemoths of 10 pounds. There is simply too much variety in the laptop space for one size or style. That’s where this buying guide for 2019 comes in.”...

PC Magazine, Dec. 20

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