Library Bill of Rights meeting-room amendment.

American Library Association • July 13, 2018
Syracuse SIS

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OIF responds to meeting-room amendment

Library Bill of Rights

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom amended the meeting room interpretations in the Library Bill of Rights, ALA’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials, during the ALA Council III meeting on June 26 in New Orleans. On July 10, OIF Director James LaRue released a statement about the amendments, saying in part, “ALA does not endorse hate groups and does not seek to normalize hate speech. The interpretation reflects the current legal climate libraries face when providing the public with space for events, meetings, and/or sessions.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 26, July 10; Intellectual Freedom Blog, July 10

House committee approves level funding for libraries

Fund libraries

Kevin Maher writes: “Federal funding for library priorities in FY2019 took another step in the right direction with the House Appropriations Committee approval on July 11 of level funding for critical library programs Library Services and Technology Act and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy. Under the bill, which originated from the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, LSTA would receive $186.3 million for FY2019 while IAL would receive $27 million.”...

District Dispatch, July 12

Freeport trustees vote against “In God We Trust” sign

Front entrance, Freeport (Ill.) Public Library

“In God We Trust” signage will not be placed on the Freeport (Ill.) Public Library building. After listening to public comments for more than an hour, the library board voted 5–4 against placing the motto on the building. During the public comments section, 21 people spoke against placing the sign on the building and 6 spoke in favor of the motto. “We wouldn’t let the Pepsi Cola company come and put a Pepsi sign out there, so don’t put anything out there,” said meeting attendee Jennifer Kanosky....

Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, July 11

UK airline provides flybraries for kids

An easyJet flybrary

The words “budget airline” and “flying with kids” are phrases that strike fear into the heart of most parents. But if they are traveling on one of the UK’s easyJet airplanes this summer, children will be invited to borrow a book from its flybrary, an initiative with the National Literacy Trust to promote reading. The airline’s fleet of around 300 planes will be stocked with 17,500 copies of children’s books in seven different languages, among them The Secret Garden, The Jungle Book, and Kid Normal....

Books With Baby, July 11; easyJet, July 18, 2017

LC’s baseball exhibit builds bridges

African American baseball team. Danbury, Connecticut, ca. 1880

Christopher Lancette writes: “I had mixed emotions as I attended the official press event for the opening of the new ‘Baseball Americana’ exhibit at the Library of Congress in June. My brain, though, kept replaying some of Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden’s words. She said that one of her hopes for the exhibit was that it would make the library more open and accessible to a new audience—one that she hoped would go on to become active users. She spoke of the exhibit’s potential for building bridges.”...

Fine Books and Collections, July 12
Dewey Decibel podcast

The squirrel-photo librarian at UM

Squirrel in the Hardy Mums. Photo by Corey Seeman

Around the University of Michigan campus, Director of Kresge Library Services Corey Seeman is known as “that guy who takes the squirrel pictures.” The Saline resident says he has taken more than 46,000 of them at UM alone. Also, he says, “I am a huge proponent of what I call Squirrel Tourism,” taking photos wherever he travels. One of his favorite photos, “Squirrel in the Hardy Mums,” is one of this week’s finalists in the Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest under the woods and wildlife theme....

Detroit News, July 10

How Minecraft helps kids fall in love with books

Litcraft’s Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1881 classic Treasure Island tells of Jim Hawkins’s adventures on board the Hispaniola, as he and his crew—along with double-crossing pirate Long John Silver—set out to find Captain Flint’s missing treasure on Skeleton Island. Now, more than a century later, children can try and find it themselves, with the bays and mountains of Stevenson’s fictional island given a blocky remodeling in Minecraft, as part of Litcraft, a new project aimed at bringing reluctant readers to literary classics....

The Guardian (UK), July 11
ALA news

The best password managers

Dashlane password manager opening screen

Neil J. Rubenking writes: “Passwords are the bane of online existence. It seems like everywhere you go, every site you visit, you need a password. But if you use the same password on many sites, even a strong one, a security breach on one site exposes all your logins. Start using a password manager right away. We’ve evaluated dozens of password managers so you can compare features and choose the one that’s best for you. We’ve also rounded up free password managers in a separate article.”...

PC Magazine, Jan. 19, July 12

Oldest known fragment of The Odyssey unearthed

An undated handout picture released by the Greek Culture Ministry shows a clay plaque discovered in Olympia with an engraved inscription depicting 13 verses from the Odyssey

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered what they believe to be the oldest known extract of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. A team of Greek and German researchers found it on an engraved clay plaque in ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games in the Peloponnese peninsula, the Greek culture ministry said July 10. It holds 13 verses from the Odyssey’s 14th book. Preliminary estimates date the finding to the Roman era, probably before the 3rd century CE....

Reuters, July 10
Latest Library Links

What is a Southern writer, anyway?

Cover of The Lost Country, by William Gay

Margaret Renkl writes: “From time to time, a debate resurfaces in Southern literary circles about whether there can still be a recognizable literature of the South in an age of mass media and Walmart. Far more urban, far more ethnically and culturally and politically diverse, the South is no longer a place defined by sweet tea and slamming screen doors, and its literature is changing too. What if being a Southern writer is foremost a matter of growing up in a deeply troubled place and yet finding it somehow impossible to leave?”...

New York Times, July 9

Barack Obama’s African reading list

Cover of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Former President Barack Obama writes: “This week, I’m traveling to Africa for the first time since I left office—a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories. I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers—each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.”...

Barack Obama, Facebook page, July 13

20 very funny novels by women

Cover of After Claude, by Iris Owens

Emily Temple writes: “If you look at lists of canonically funny books on the internet, you will notice that, invariably, almost all the books listed are by men. And when books by women are included, they tend to be nonfiction: memoirs or essays. So, in a gesture towards amelioration, I have collected 20 of them here. Most of them are dark in addition to being funny; few are the literary equivalent of romcoms. And many of them are told from the perspective of a rude, not-nice, or otherwise subversive woman.”...

Literary Hub, July 12

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