State park hiking backpacks for patrons.

American Library Association • January 19, 2018
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Out of the branches, into the woods

At Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Virginia, Mitchell Scheid uses supplies from his library backpack to examine local insect life. Photo: Lisa Scheid

At public library branches in seven states, staffers are sending patrons to the trails instead of the stacks. Libraries from the East Coast to Hawaii are buying hiking backpacks, stuffing them with field guides and park passes, and making them available for checkout. The intent, officials in several libraries agree, is to give families a new reason to get off the couch and into the world....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

College librarians contemplate meditation rooms

Librarians Megan Donald (left) and Emily Tichenor of Tulsa (Okla.) Community College sit in the meditation room at the West Campus Library. Photo: Tulsa (Okla.) Community College

Maybe the greatest thing about Humboldt State University’s new, meant-to-be-shared meditation room is that everyone who uses it seems to be getting along. HSU is one of an increasing number of academic libraries that provide what are variously called “reflection rooms” or “meditation rooms.” Around the US, students are using these spaces for prayer, yoga, scripture study, or simply for an escape between tough classes....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.
Geico discount

Stories and practical advice for leaders

Librarian’s Library, by Karen Muller

Karen Muller writes: “In his inaugural column, ALA President Jim Neal wrote, ‘Transformation for me means rethinking what we are, what we are doing, and how we do it. I will focus on the leader in the library, the influence, innovation, and solutions we provide. Libraries make leaders, both those who work in our libraries and those who depend on our libraries.’ How we lead affects how our libraries transform. Here are some stories, case studies, and practical advice on leadership for librarians.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

The Bookend: Tribal heritage

Tawa Ducheneaux

Checking books out over the phone. Driving up to 40,000 miles a year. It’s all part of the job for staff members of the Woksape Tipi Library and Archives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota. The library oversees 13 branches scattrered over nearly 3,500 square miles. “We’re all about local access,” said archivist Tawa Ducheneaux (right), one of six library employees....

AL: The Bookend, Jan./Feb.

The climate of data protection in Europe

EU General Data Protection Regulation

Jessica Garner writes: “In May, the European Union will begin enforcing rules governing personal data security and ownership on the internet. The General Data Protection Regulation has been a mainstream news item because it includes the ‘right to be forgotten’ provision, an aspect of the new law many media outlets latched onto following a legal battle between the Spanish government and Google. The larger context of the law ‘will bring major changes in data protection introducing enhanced rights for individuals or data subjects.’”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Jan. 18; Modern Diplomacy, Dec. 30

Follett Challenge video voting begins January 22

Follett Challenge logo

The public voting will begin January 22 for the seventh annual Follett Challenge’s “People’s Choice” awards as the 133 schools and districts entered in this year’s competition vie for prizes worth $8,000 each in products and services from Follett. The 10 prizes will be awarded to those schools or districts that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their three- to five-minute videos that were submitted as part of the application process. Voters are eligible to cast one vote per day....

Follett, Jan. 17
ALA news

College librarian publishes New York Times crossword

Laura Braunstein

Dartmouth College Digital Humanities Librarian Laura Braunstein (right) published her first crossword puzzle for the New York Times in December. To construct the puzzle, Braunstein worked with Erik Agard, another crossword constructor and former teenage crossword-solving prodigy. The pair sent their finished puzzle to the newspaper in July 2017, and it was published on December 10. The puzzle’s theme was “Full-Body Cast” (analysis and answers here) and it focused on body parts that are hidden in the names of movie stars (see it rated)....

The Dartmouth, Jan. 19; New York Times, Dec. 9; XWord, Dec. 10; Diary of a Crossword Fiend, Dec. 10

1942 African American business directory now online

Cover of the Official California Negro Directory and Classified Buyers Guide

A rare artifact of African American history on the West Coast that belonged to the descendant of a former slave has been digitized and is now online in searchable form for browsing or downloading on the Internet Archive. The Official California Negro Directory and Classified Buyers Guide, a 1942–1943 publication by New Age Publishing, contains residential and business listings for California, Oregon, and Washington. The 1942 directory includes ads for both black-owned businesses and white-owned businesses that accepted black trade....

Walnut Creek (Calif.) East Bay Times, Jan. 7

Keeping up with design thinking

The design thinking process

Ryne Leuzinger, Gina Kessler Lee, and Irene Korber write: “Design thinking is a method of creative problem solving that has historically been used in management and design fields, and has become increasingly popular among educational institutions. Design thinking is described as a process composed of a cycle of ‘inspiration, ideation, and iteration,’ and is generally considered to have a series of five design phases: understanding, observation, visualization, evaluation, and implementation.”...

ACRL Keeping Up With..., Jan.
Latest Library Links

Applying Beall’s criteria to all LIS journals

Individual criteria in order of percentage of agreement

Joseph D. Olivarez, Stephen Bales, Laura Sare, and Wyoma vanDuinkerken write: “Jeffrey Beall’s Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers are often looked at as a tool to help researchers avoid publishing in predatory journals. This study demonstrates the subjective nature of Beall’s criteria by applying them to both OA and non-OA LIS journals, many considered as top-tier, to demonstrate that traditional peer-reviewed journals could be considered predatory.”...

College and Research Libraries 79, no. 1 (Jan.): 52–67

Never trust a librarian carrying a dog book

Cover of The True Story of Jim the Wonder Dog, by Marty Rhodes Figley

Dan Coleman writes: “Sounder, Old Yeller, Old Dan, and Little Ann: Children’s literature is littered with corpses of dogs who died too young and made us cry harder than we wanted to. Many literary dogs earn themselves a statue in such libraries as Idaho Falls Public Library or Mason (Tex.) Public Library. In fact, libraries have such a bad reputation when it comes to children’s books about dogs, I’ve heard of parents who warn their children to walk the other way if they ever see a children’s librarian approaching with a book about a dog.”...

Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, Jan. 18

The best podcast apps for your smartphone

Pocket Casts app

Jennifer Allen writes: “If you’re not enjoying the wealth of podcasts out there, you’re really missing out. Many people get hung up on how to even get started. Fortunately, a good podcast app makes it easy to not only find new content but collect your favorite content and listen to it efficiently. Apple’s Podcasts does a decent job for iPhone owners, and Google Play Music the same for Android users. Here’s a look at some of our favorite apps to supercharge your podcast experience.”...

Review Geek, Jan. 18
Dewey Decibel podcast

Pairing picture books and primary sources

Charles Greenwood’s drawing for his 1877 patent for ear mufflers

Tom Bober writes: “The blast of cold weather reminded me of Meghan McCarthy’s Earmuffs for Everyone. Reading the book led me on a hunt for primary sources in the form of patents, something new for me and my students. The picture book gives an account of Chester Greenwood, who is credited with inventing earmuffs. It also looks at solutions others came up with to keep ears warm. With patents being such a strong underpinning, it seemed like a natural fit to use the actual patents as primary sources.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Jan. 19

A fragrance-coated card catalog, 1974

A young patron gets a whiff of garlic on a cookbook catalog card at the Upper Arlington (Ohio) Public Library, Vernon (Ohio) Daily Record, February 9, 1975

In 1974, the Upper Arlington (Ohio) Public Library added scratch-and-sniff scents to its card catalog. They called it the “Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalogue” program. The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in all, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, roses, root beer, leather, pizza, orange, strawberry, candles, pine, cheddar cheese, clover, and smoke....

Weird Universe, Jan. 16

The year in library memes

One does not simply walk into Saskatchewan and close libraries

Samantha Mairson writes: “Looking back, 2017 was a turbulent year in Libraryland. Let’s take a peek at the library memes that emerged. The term ‘meme’ rose to prominence in the 1990s, accompanying the rise of the internet and personal computer. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘meme’ is a noun that means an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”...

InfoSpace, Jan. 17

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