Garcia-Febo joins Puerto Rico library aid effort.

American Library Association • February 2, 2018
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Rebuilding Puerto Rican libraries

Reforma President Tess Tobin (left) and ALA President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo visit a hurricane-damaged library at the University of Puerto Rico

ALA President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo (right) writes: “I grew up in Puerto Rico, and my mother was my school’s librarian, which helped foster my own love of libraries. While reading about the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on these libraries, all I wanted to do was visit my colleagues to show my support and explore ways to help them. As soon as I heard that some libraries were opening, I told my colleagues at ALA that I needed to visit the island. Immediately, Reforma President Tess Tobin (left) said she would go as well.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 1

Multicultural awards to be added to YMAs

Youth Media Awards logo

ALA and its professional affiliates will highlight the best of the best in multicultural literature for youth by adding additional announcements to its 2019 ALA Youth Media Awards. In an effort to bring awareness about books that depict diverse cultures, or by authors of color, ALA will highlight titles selected by the American Indian Library Association, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, and the Association of Jewish Libraries during the YMAs at the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle....

ALA Public Awareness Office, Jan. 30

Sponsored Content

James Baldwin: “I told him I was from Harlem and that answer didn’t satisfy him and I didn’t understand”

Black activists were targeted by the FBI

The FBI kept robust records on civil rights activists, from Black labor leaders to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Panthers, to name a few. African-American writers were also aggressively targeted. Author and social critic James Baldwin’s FBI file contained 1,884 pages—an unprecedented number of documents compiled on any writer.

Watch the video of James Baldwin on civil rights, download an essay about the Black Panther Party, and request a demo on diverse content to deepen Black studies.

Residents speak out against library’s LBGT displays

Jill Robbins of Concerned Christian Citizens addresses the crowd January 30 at a Temple (Tex.) Public Library board meeting

The debate over the Temple (Tex.) Public Library’s LGBT-themed displays from last summer culminated January 30 during a more than two-hour meeting of the library board. It started after the library posted two displays last June as part of ALA’s GLBT Book Month. The displays contained LGBT-themed books and informational sheets. More than 40 residents shared their opinions at a board meeting attended by more than 100 people. The board did not take any action on the matter....

Temple (Tex.) Daily Telegram, Jan. 30; KCEN-TV, Temple, Tex., Jan. 30

Town supervisor donates salary to keep library open

Seymour Town Supervisor Jerry Underwood presents his salary check to Seymour Library Director Carl Gouveia and Library Board President Taysie Pennington

The Seymour Central Library in Brockport, New York, has been struggling financially. The library is staying afloat with deficit spending, pulling from endowments. But with capital improvements needed and operating costs, “we’ve dipped in heavily,” Library Director Carl Gouveia (center) said. When Clarkson Town Supervisor Jerry Underwood (left) was running for office, he promised to do something about it: He pledged to donate his 2018 salary. In mid-January he wrote a check that came to about $18,000....

Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, Feb. 1

Burton Barr Library flooding investigation completed

Part of the stacks on the fifth floor, soon after fire sprinklers caused flooding on June 15

The city of Phoenix has disciplined five people after concluding an investigation of the fire department related to flooding that occurred at Burton Barr Central Library on July 15, 2017. High winds set off a fire sprinkler system, which was built into the library’s roof, and all five floors of the building flooded. These disciplinary actions mark the close of an investigation into who was responsible for the flooding, and they bring the tally of people reprimanded to a total of 11. The flooding was deemed preventable....

Phoenix New Times, Jan. 30

Spartanburg library hit by ransomware attack

Spartanburg County (S.C.) Librarian Todd Stephens

Users of Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Libraries were unable to check out or return books for a second day on January 30 after a ransomware attack sent out by cybercriminals shut down the library system’s computer network and website. County Librarian Todd Stephens said technicians were working on the problem and had no idea when services and access to the online catalog will be restored, although the main library and all 10 branches remain open. Circulation workers began checking out books to patrons manually on January 31....

Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal, Jan. 30–31

BreakoutEDU at the University at Albany

Students work together to attempt a solution for a lock

Susan Detwiler, Trudi Jacobson, and Kelsey O’Brien write: “If you’d walked by Susan Detwiler’s Writing and Critical Inquiry classrooms at the University at Albany on September 7, you would have seen something rather unusual: two teams of students huddled around tables, preoccupied with locked boxes and an assortment of other materials. The students were working with BreakoutEDU, an immersive games platform that builds on the growing popularity of escape rooms.”...

College and Research Libraries News 79, no. 2 (Feb.): 62–66
Latest Library Links

Missouri school pulls The Hate U Give

Cover of The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

A middle school in Springfield, Missouri, yanked a book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement after a mother complained about its profanity and sexually suggestive content. Jennifer Wilken also questioned why 8th-graders at Springfield’s Reed Academy were assigned the book before permission slips were sent home. The 2017 book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas follows a 16-year-old black high school student who witnesses a white police officer shoot her unarmed best friend....

Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Jan. 31

Visual merchandising

Book display at the King Road branch, Toledo Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library

Allison Marie Fiscus writes: “What if I told you that the more intricate and thought out a book display, the less likely it is that a customer will actually touch a book on it, let alone check one out? What if I said that at best an overly constructed book display discourages circulation and at worst contributes to its decline? Counterintuitive though it may be, it’s the truth. Bookstores figured this out long ago. Why? The answer is visual merchandising.”...

Public Libraries Online, Jan. 23

School and state education websites lack privacy

The Tennessee Department of Education website deploys a large number of ad trackers

According to a new study by EdTech Strategies, state and local education agency websites lack important security and privacy protections for students, families, and educators. Based on reviews conducted since October 2017 of every state department of education website and a nationwide sample of 159 school district websites, the study found that the majority do not support secure browsing and that most partner with online advertising companies to deploy sophisticated user tracking and surveillance....

EdTech Strategies, Jan. 30
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Blockchain in the library?

Blockchain diagram

Jessica Leigh Brown writes: “Blockchain is a hot topic—the buzzword of the year. The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain promises a new, decentralized way of recording and storing data. Experts are speculating about its potential uses in business, law, and education, and San José State University’s School of Information has received a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to find out whether blockchain could be useful for libraries.”...

EdSurge News, Feb. 1; Dec. 21, 2017; The Guardian (UK), Jan. 30; San José State University School of Information

Everything you need to know about 5G

What a 5G network might look like

Sascha Segan writes: “At the end of 2017, the wireless industry came up with the first official 5G standard. AT&T plans to launch mobile 5G in the US this year, Verizon says it will launch 5G for homes, and T-Mobile is working on a network to launch next year. But a standard doesn’t mean that all 5G will work the same—or that we even know what applications 5G will enable. There will be slow but responsive 5G, and fast 5G with limited coverage. Let us give you a picture of what the upcoming 5G world will be like.”...

PC Magazine, Jan. 4, Feb. 1; Nov. 30, 2017

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