Storytime and yoga.

American Library Association • January 16, 2018
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Creating playful storytimes with yoga and movement

Yoga storytime at the Pleasant Hill branch of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library

Katie Scherrer writes: “Yoga provides children an opportunity to experience and practice many movements that can help them develop balance, body and spatial awareness, strength and stamina, flexibility, coordination, and control. It provides them the opportunity to move in many ways, including cross-laterally, as they use their bodies to act out stories, express emotions, and move creatively. By including yoga in storytime programs, we can help children learn how to move in a variety of ways without having to think about it.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

Self-directed programming

Youth Matters, by Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson writes: “Youth programming at public libraries incurs more costs than just the monetary expenses of hiring a performer or purchasing supplies. We must manage the expense of staff time and take into account the commitment required to plan and run a high-quality program. We must also consider the resource of physical space and decide how to accommodate growing crowds when our meeting rooms and buildings are not expanding.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

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Five librarians selected as IFLA / OCLC Fellows

Irina Livia Nitu and Chantelle Richardson

OCLC, along with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, has named five librarians selected to participate in the Jay Jordan IFLA / OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program for 2018. The program supports LIS professionals from countries with developing economies. The five are: Alehegn Adane Kinde (Ethiopia), Arnold Mwanzu (Kenya), Irina Livia Nitu (Romania), Chantelle Richardson (Jamaica), and Chandra Pratama Setiawan (Indonesia)....

OCLC, Jan. 15

Censorship in a Utah elementary school

Cover of The Art Box

Allyson Lower writes: “Jeni Buist, principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum, Utah, shredded several postcard reproductions of artwork from the library’s copy of The Art Box, a collection published by Phaidon. The principal did so at the request of Cache County School District, according to the report. Parents and students had complained about nudity contained in the art reproductions after the school’s art teacher, Mateo Rueda, had assigned students to use The Art Box to locate notable paintings.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Jan. 14; Logan (Utah) Herald Journal, Dec. 28
ALA news

The Golden Age of free speech

The Golden Age of Free Speech, February 2018 cover of Wired

Zeynep Tufekci writes: “The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech itself. As a result, they don’t look much like the old forms of censorship at all. They look like viral or coordinated harassment campaigns. These tactics usually don’t break any laws or set off any First Amendment alarm bells. But they all serve the same purpose that the old forms of censorship did: They are the best available tools to stop ideas from spreading and gaining purchase.”...

Wired, Jan. 16

Inside the world of prison libraries

Inmates with books

Jake Rossen writes: “For the two years that Andrew Hart spent working as a prison librarian in Ohio, the sometimes odd interactions were a small price to pay for helping to facilitate a sense of normalcy in an otherwise isolating and restrictive environment. With their carpeted floors, windows, and computers, prison libraries are one of the few sanctuaries available to inmates—a place that looks and feels like part of the outside world. ‘I think it reminds them of a school library,’ Hart says.”...

Mental Floss, Jan. 11

How is policing depicted in children’s books?

A police officer encounters a lost child in the 2004 book A Day at the Police Station, by Richard Scarry

Stephen Sawchuk writes: “A group of librarians has created an online toolkit aimed at helping other educators scrutinize children’s books that depict the police—and think about where they may be coming up short. Amy Martin, children’s collection management librarian for the Oakland (Calif.) Public Library, started working on the toolkit in 2016 after the killing of Philando Castile by a police officer in Minnesota. The toolkit poses a series of questions to help identify whether children’s books are inclusive or contain bias.”...

Education Week: Curriculum Matters, Jan. 12
Latest Library Links

Game of Thrones stamps issued in the UK

Cersei Lannister Game of Thrones stamp, UK

Fantasy drama Game of Thrones is being celebrated in a new set of Royal Mail stamps that have been designed by studio GBH. The set of 15 first-class stamps is one of the biggest ever commissioned by the Royal Mail and comprises 10 main stamps and a mini-sheet of five. Key characters from all seven seasons are captured in the stamps—each as part of an image that depicts their story arc from the show....

Design Week (UK), Jan. 3

AI beats humans in reading comprehension

Stanford Question Answering Dataset

Artificial Intelligence created by Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Microsoft tied for first place on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset in January, beating the human score for Exact Match (providing exact answers to questions). SQuAD is a machine-reading comprehension dataset consisting of questions pertaining to a set of Wikipedia articles. Alibaba’s and Microsoft’s scores were 82.44 and 82.65 respectively, which put both at first place. The scores were higher than a human’s, which was 82.304....

CNET, Jan. 16; Alizila, Jan. 15; Microsoft AI Blog, Jan. 15
Dewey Decibel podcast

Voice Dictation: Type with your voice

Voice Dictation webpage

Amit Agarwal writes: “Introducing the all-new Voice Dictation v2.0, a speech recognition app that lets you type with your voice. There’s no software to install, there’s no training required, and all you need is Google Chrome on your Windows PC, Mac OS, or Linux. Dictation can recognize spoken words in English, Hindi, Español, Italiano, Deutsch, Français, and all the other popular languages. Another unique feature of Dictation is support for voice commands that let you do more with your voice.”...

Digital Inspiration, Jan. 11

Vocational awe and librarianship

Vocational awe

Fobazi Ettarh writes: “‘Vocational awe’ refers to the set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in beliefs that libraries as institutions are inherently good and sacred, and therefore beyond critique. I would like to dismantle the idea that librarianship is a sacred calling; thus requiring absolute obedience to a prescribed set of rules and behaviors, regardless of any negative effect on librarians’ own lives. Here are some of the ways vocational awe manifests.”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Jan. 10

Some day I’ll be a librarian

Cover of Some Day I'll Be a Librarian

Some Day I’ll Be a Librarian by Sarah Splaver (1967) is still on the shelf at a university with a library school. The writing is good overall, but it was the text on page 16 that is a howler: The kids at the library each happen to come across a wonderful book that just happens to be written by Sarah Splaver. What a coincidence! Tech services librarians apparently have personalities that are “quite different” from the public service staff, which conjures up surly catalogers and scowling acquisitions staff hiding out in the back offices....

Awful Library Books, Jan. 15

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