Follow all of our ALA Midwinter Meeting coverage.

American Library Association • February 9, 2018
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Top 10 Midwinter tweets: Thursday

Make sure you play the classic game of “Librarian or local?”

Thursday was a day of traveling and settling into Denver for the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Here are the top tweets from Day 0. Follow all of our #alamw18 coverage on Twitter, Facebook, and on The Scoop....

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 9

ALA president welcomes 2018 budget agreement

Fund libraries

On February 9, Congress passed and the president signed an FY2018 budget deal that will likely include at least level funding for federal library programs at the FY2017 levels. ALA President Jim Neal issued a statement on the agreement: “We are pleased that Congress has passed an FY2018 spending agreement that includes an increase in federal funding for domestic priorities, which, we hope, will include library funding. Most of all, we are pleased that Congress rejected the president’s call to eliminate many important programs for libraries.”...

District Dispatch, Feb. 9; May 24, 2017; NPR, Feb. 9

Duluth schools remove Mockingbird, Huck Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

The novels To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will no longer be required reading in the Duluth, Minnesota, school district due to the books’ use of a racial slur, a curriculum change supported by the local NAACP chapter. The two books will continue to be available in school libraries and can be optional reading, but beginning next school year, they will be replaced by other books that address the same topics. The district’s intent is to be considerate of all of its students....

Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, Feb. 6

Book challenges and authors accused of misconduct

Cover of Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken

Rebecca Slocum writes: “In 2016, following the 2015 charges against Bill Cosby for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, Cosby’s Little Bill series became the first title to join the Top Ten Challenged Books based solely on the author’s actions rather than the content of the book. How do we as librarians prepare to handle these potential challenges based on an author’s behavior? The same way we would handle a potential challenge based on the book’s content.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Feb. 8; April 11, 2017; ABC News, Dec. 30, 2015

100-year-old suffrage posters on display in Cambridge

Poster shows forced feeding of a women’s suffrage supporter on a prison hunger strike

Rediscovered 100-year-old posters showing the struggle for votes for women are going on show for the first time at Cambridge University. They pull no punches in their depiction of the strength of feeling among the women who fought for equal rights. Addressed simply to “the Librarian,” a bundle wrapped in plain brown paper was delivered to Cambridge University Library sometime around 1910, and it took over 100 years for the contents of the parcel to be rediscovered, in 2016, preserved in their original wrapping....

BBC News, Feb. 2

Academic libraries and shelf space

Freshman Dierra Rowland of Philadelphia, studies at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania library in Indiana, Pa.

Michael Rubinkam writes: “Though weeding has always taken place in academic libraries, experts say the pace is picking up. Finances are one factor. Between staffing, utility costs, and other expenses, it costs an estimated $4 to keep a book on the shelf for a year, according to one 2009 study. Space is another; libraries are simply running out of room. It’s a radical shift. Until recently, a library’s value was measured by the size and scope of its holdings. Some academics still see it that way.”...

Associated Press, Feb. 7
ALA news

Circulating tech kits to teachers

Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Set

Lisa Nowlain writes: “The California State Library has a grant opportunity called Pitch-an-Idea. We were lucky enough to get one of their grants and create a Technology Lending Library for teachers and after-school providers. All teachers need is a library card to check these kits out for a month, and nonprofits sign an agreement for their employees. What makes this unique is that the kits are not for individual checkouts—they’re made to be used in school or after-school environments.”...

ALSC Blog, Feb. 7

35 literary bars and cafés around the world

Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires, where Jorge Luis Borges hung out

Emily Temple writes: “In our habitual fantasies, writers do nothing but sit at small café tables, sometimes meeting with their friends, other times gazing wistfully into a pint or swirling an espresso before they scribble down their latest brilliant thought. So let’s indulge our daydreams and salivate over 35 bars and cafés that famous writers frequented in days of yore. In the interest of avoiding the New York/Paris/Dublin trap, I’ve limited the choices to one per city.”...

Literary Hub, Feb. 9
Latest Library Links

The anatomy of the Urban Dictionary

Definition of “inkremlinate” from the Urban Dictionary

The Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced website that records new words and their meanings. It began life in 1999 as a parody of but has since become an important online resource. Dong Nguyen at the Alan Turing Institute in London and a few colleagues have compared the Urban Dictionary and its content with Wiktionary, another crowdsourced dictionary. Nguyen began by analyzing its content in the broadest terms....

MIT Technology Review, Jan. 3; arXiv, Dec. 22, 2017

The damaging myth of teen behavior

Stereotypical teen behavior

Anthony Bernier writes: “There is no such thing as ‘teen behavior.’ Using that term is peddling a library-specific version of ‘fake news.’ When examined rationally, such epithets look nothing so much as the profession’s incessant punching-down on youth instead of defending or advocating for them. Moreover, libraries are supposed to be the advocates. Why do we never refer to positive behavior?”...

VOYA: YA Strike Zone, Feb.

DC Comics will launch two new imprints

DC Zoom and DC Ink logos

DC Entertainment will launch two new graphic novel publishing imprints in the fall—DC Ink focused on young adult readers, and DC Zoom focused on middle grade readers. Both will feature a lineup of established authors who will bring their storytelling expertise to a DC Universe filled with iconic characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman....

DC Comics, Feb. 5

In praise of the small-town library

Renovo Area (Pa.) Public Library

Steven Kurutz writes: “The Renovo Area (Pa.) Public Library isn’t a handsome wood or brick building on the town square. It certainly isn’t anything like the New York Public Library’s main branch, with its marble lion guards outside and palatial rooms. Instead, it’s a small, squat former auto garage built with concrete blocks painted white. The building was remodeled and opened in 1968, in a campaign led by a group of schoolteachers and residents to obtain, for our remote end of the county, a branch library.”...

Literary Hub, Feb. 6
Dewey Decibel podcast

Common Craft explains blockchain

Blockchain diagram

Richard Byrne writes: “Bitcoin is in the news because of its wild fluctuations in value over the last year. Blockchain is what makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin possible. If that seems clear as mud, you should watch Common Craft’s new video titled Blockchain Explained by Common Craft. The video does a great job of using a concept that we’re all familiar with, ownership of physical property, to explain the Blockchain concept.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 8; Common Craft YouTube channel, Jan. 29

23 weird, gimmicky, or silly cryptocurrencies

Weird cryptocurrencies

Rob Marvin writes: “Thanks to the volatile price of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are enjoying a frenzied moment in the sun as the market swings wildly on a daily basis. The coins with the highest market cap (Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple) get the most attention, but there are blockchain-based digital tokens for just about everything. In this story we salute the dregs: the weirdest, wackiest, and most ridiculous coins that have popped up over the past several years.”...

PC Magazine, Feb. 6; Dec. 21, 2017

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