Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) pledges net neutrality support.

American Library Association • July 17, 2018
Syracuse SIS

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New bill aims to legislate net neutrality

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)

Congress may soon vote on a new bill that would set net neutrality down as a matter of law rather than a set of rules to be changed every few years by the FCC. The 21st Century Internet Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo., right), would ban blocking, throttling, and paid preferential treatment, codifying the 2015 net neutrality rules as law and setting the FCC as the official watchdog. The bill, announced July 17, would modify the Communications Act of 1934 and add a new Title VIII full of stipulations specific to internet providers. Coffman had earlier signaled his intention to sign on to a request for House leadership to hold a vote on the Congressional Review Act to restore the net neutrality rules. The initiative currently has 177 out of 218 needed supporters....

TechCrunch, July 17; District Dispatch, July 17

Justice Kennedy’s retirement and library issues

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Anne Ford writes: “After 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy (right) announced his intention to retire at the end of July. What does his decision—and his potential replacement by Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh—mean for libraries and other advocates of intellectual freedom? American Libraries asked Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and an attorney by training, to reflect on Kennedy’s rulings and impact.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 16

Resources for ALA’s international members

International Relations Office logo

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo has unveiled a variety of programs and tools to engage, retain, and expand ALA’s international members. From free webinars to opportunities for engagement with librarians from various countries, Garcia-Febo, in conjunction with her International Relations Advisory Committee, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and the ALA International Relations Office, will work to increase awareness regarding international topics affecting the profession....

International Relations Office, July 16

Only 1% of UK children’s books have minority protagonists

Cover of Reflecting Realities, a new UK study into ethnic representation in children’s literature

Only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black, Asian, or minority ethnic, according to a 2018 study by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. Of the 9,115 children’s books published in 2017, researchers found that only 391 (4%) featured POC characters. Only 1% had a main character from an ethnic minority, and a quarter of the books submitted featured diversity only in their background characters....

The Guardian (UK), July 16

The Library of Alexandria: Long gone yet all around us

An ancient library of scrolls

Allison McNearney writes: “The Library of Alexandria is so embedded in our cultural canon that it remains a broadly known and admired institution. Its shadow lingers over the world of scholarship, despite the fact that the library was completely destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago leaving no physical trace behind, including, scholars believe, not a single scroll. It all started in the 4th century BCE when Alexander the Great was plowing his way through what we now know as the Middle East.”...

The Daily Beast, July 14
Dewey Decibel podcast

Watch out for record errors in genealogy research

Immigrants awaiting examination, Ellis Island, New York

Schelly Talalay Dardashti writes: “Every genealogist knows that family trees may include errors. Sometimes they are due to simple human mistakes: recording data heard orally, transcription errors from other records, tragic events that might skew relatives’ memories, or bad handwriting. Sometimes they result from information provided by relatives who did not know the truth or who realized that the correction would be too expensive (gravestone errors).┬áHere are some tips to avoid repeating and compounding errors in your research.”...

MyHeritage Blog, July 11

Libraries and fitness classes

Jessica Humphrey demonstrates some chair yoga moves during a beginner’s yoga class at Mentor (Ohio) Library

Leslie Nemo writes: “When Jessica Yates became the new adult programming librarian at the Taylor County (Ky.) Public Library, she was surprised by the popularity of its chair yoga class, but she was even more surprised to see older patrons regain their ability to tie their shoes after regular sessions. More libraries are offering fitness classes as they pivot toward the free services today’s patrons want. While national programs haven’t been officially tallied, the research that exists shows library fitness is no small quirk.”...

The Outline, July 16; Library Quarterly 88 (2018): 142–159
ALA news

2017 Shirley Jackson Award winners

Cover of The Hole, by Hye-young Pyun

The winners of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards, given in recognition of “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic” during the previous year, were announced July 15 at Readercon in Quincy, Massachusetts. The award for best novel went to The Hole by Hye-young Pyun, in translation by Sora Kim-Russell. The award for best novella ended in a tie between Samantha Schweblin’s Fever Dream, in translation by Megan McDowell, and Lindsey Drager’s The Lost Daughter Collective....

Book Riot, July 16; File 770, July 15

Picture books and primary sources: Mailing May

Cover of Mailing May, by Michael O. Tunnell

Tom Bober writes: “Daily visits from our mail carrier reminded me of the book Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell. Based on a true story that took place in 1914, May wants to visit her grandmother. Train tickets being expensive, the parents entrust May to her mail carrier uncle, as they mail May to her grandmother. The practice of mailing children wasn’t entirely uncommon in the 1910s. Introducing students to primary sources along with the picture book can give them an idea of why the mail service was used in this way.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, July 17
Latest Library Links

Tweaking the teen summer volunteer program

Flyer for volunteers, Mesa County (Colo.) Libraries

Sam Stavole-Carter writes: “This year I have begun to notice a marked decline in overall availability of our teen summer volunteers at Mesa County (Colo.) Libraries. What did we do wrong? We expected too much, and we didn’t anticipate attrition. Fortunately, we are still receiving plenty of volunteer applications, so finding new volunteers isn’t an issue. However, I believe tweaking the structure of the volunteer program to make it more agile could naturally preclude such issues. Here’s what we will be doing next year.”...

YALSA Blog, July 16

The donut hole of medical library access

The Donut Hole, La Puente, California

Michelle Kraft writes: “We have heard of the donut hole for Medicare prescription drug coverage, where people experience a gap in their prescription drug eligibility. I think there is also a donut hole for medical information. There are doctors, nurses, and researchers who are affiliated with an institution (but not officially part of the institution), or those in private practice who have privileges but are not employed by a hospital. These people often fall in the donut hole. As hospital libraries disappear and budgets shrink, the hole will get bigger.”...

The Krafty Librarian, July 16

Explore more with virtual reality

Google Explorations, VR trip to Mount Everest

Sam Northern writes: “Virtual reality lets you travel to destinations all over the world and beyond without ever boarding an airplane. Most teachers cannot take their students on an African safari, but VR can. VR enables experiential learning by simulating real-world environments.┬áVR provides countless opportunities for students to develop transversal competencies that address 21st-century challenges, Here are four reasons why VR deserves a permanent place in today’s classrooms.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, July 16

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