Libraries as cornerstones of democracy.

American Library Association • July 20, 2018

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Libraries = Strong Communities

From the President, by Loida Garcia-Febo

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo writes: “I truly believe that, together, we can make a difference within the profession, the communities we serve, and the American Library Association. Change is continuous. We cannot foster change once and think it is done. We must continue to take action to bring the change we constantly need to make our communities stronger. Hence my presidential initiative, Libraries = Strong Communities.”...

American Libraries feature, July/Aug.; ALA YouTube channel, June 27

Newsmaker: Viola Davis

Viola Davis at the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 26

Viola Davis (right) has accrued some serious hardware for her roles in film, television, and theater: an Emmy, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and two Tonys. Now the actor is taking on children’s literature. American Libraries caught up with Davis to talk about libraries, storytelling, and her forthcoming book, Corduroy Takes a Bow (Viking Books for Young Readers, September), before her Closing Session appearance at the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 26....

American Libraries Trends, July/Aug.

New video PSAs starring Constance Wu

Constance Wu poster and PSA

Constance Wu, star of the soon-to-be released film Crazy Rich Asians, is featured in three new video Public Service Announcements promoting the transformative resources available at libraries. In the PSAs, Wu shares her love of libraries and explains how they advance inclusion and education for people of all backgrounds. The PSAs are free and are available for download. Wu also makes her debut in a new Celebrity READ poster, which is available for purchase at the ALA Store....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, July 19

Tor delay on library ebooks hurts readers

Selected Tor titles

At the beginning of July, Tor, a division of Macmillan and one of the largest SF publishers, announced without warning that it was immediately beginning to embargo ebook sales of new titles to libraries for four months. On July 19, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo issued a statement, which reads in part: “I am dismayed now to see Tor bring forward a tired and unproven claim of library lending adversely affecting sales. This move undermines our shared commitment to readers and writers—particularly with no advance notice or discussion with libraries.”...

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, July 19; Tor statement, reprinted by Upper Arlington (Ohio) Public Library, July 17

Writing cursive at the library

Cursive writing creates activity in different parts of the brain, making it a beneficial skill for children to learn

Jenn Carson writes: “Something we notice a lot here at the L. P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, is that when many of our young patrons get their first library card they have a difficult time signing the back. And we’re not just talking preschoolers who are still learning to form letters—we’re talking preteens and teenagers. Sometimes even adults. In an effort to stave off this cursive illiteracy, we began offering cursive writing workshops at the library in 2018 for anyone ages 5 and up.”...

Programming Librarian, July 19
Dewey Decibel podcast

School librarians as co-teachers of literacy

School Library Research logo

A new article in School Library Research examines school librarians’ knowledge of literacy instruction in light of new teacher collaboration opportunities created by the Every Student Succeeds Act. In “School Librarians as Co-Teachers of Literacy: Librarian Perceptions and Knowledge in the Context of the Literacy Instruction Role,” researchers Karen Nourse Reed and Eric L. Oslund explore whether structured professional development on reading comprehension instructional strategies has a positive effect on school librarians’ knowledge....

School Library Research, vol. 21 (2018)

Portal to a long-lost Chicago

Girls at tulip beds, Washington Park Conservatory, Chicago, between 1900 and 1905. Michaelis Collection

Jen Wolfe and Matthew Clarke write: “A routine professional consultation held recently between Newberry Library archivists and their counterparts at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library ended with a surprising offer: a collection of images taken by amateur photographer Rudolph Michaelis during the early 1900s and held at Berkeley included an out-of-scope subset depicting Chicago and Midwest locations. Would the Newberry be interested in a transfer?” Presenting the Michaelis Collection, now browsable on the Internet Archive....

Newberry Library blog, July 18
ALA news

The evolving role of the law librarian

Law Library of Congress

David Lat writes: “I just returned from Baltimore, where I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 annual meeting and conference of the American Association of Law Libraries. On Sunday night, I interviewed Dean Sonderegger, vice president and general manager at Wolters Kluwer, about the changing role of the law librarian in megafirms—and what librarians can do to evolve along with their duties. He outlined several ways that librarians can add value to their organizations during a period of flux for the legal industry.”...

Above the Law, July 17

Solving the mystery of a miscataloged medieval text

Rowan W. Dorin, assistant professor of history, with the miscataloged parchments whose mystery he is working to solve. Photo by L. A. Cicero

Alex Shashkevich writes: “When historian Rowan W. Dorin (right) first stepped onto the Stanford campus in early 2017, he made it a habit to visit Green Library every week to dig through its collection of medieval documents and objects. After a few months, Dorin, an assistant professor of history specializing in medieval Europe, discovered something out of the ordinary. Three leaves of ancient parchment were labeled as a Hebrew translation of text about grammar, but its margins had Latin words like fish, capers, and dill.”..., July 20
Latest Library Links

When someone claims something is healthy, be skeptical

“50 Foods That Are Super Healthy,” from Healthline

Jamie Katuna writes: “Healthy. What a word. A trillion different opinions, guidelines, historical changes, and bits of data crammed into seven letters. A word we toss around like a hot potato, assigning to it whichever meaning is most convenient or profitable. A word that has become, essentially, meaningless. Need convincing? This headline (right) was published in Healthline. How are they categorizing ‘super healthy?’ Doesn’t matter, just know that these 50 foods are. What can we do? Perk up with skepticism when someone claims something to be healthy.”..., July 20

How to tell if you are talking to a bot

Twitterbot in lineup

Will Knight writes: “Twitter recently took drastic action as part of an effort to slow the spread of misinformation through its platform, shutting down more than 2 million automated accounts, or bots. But Twitter shuttered only the most egregious offenders. It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them. Here are five indicators of a Twitterbot.”...

MIT Technology Review, July 9, 18; Bot or Not

Russian library shoots action video on book returns

“Book returned” screenshot from Russian library video

A short action video, featuring street fights, parkour, and chases, has been released by the Library of Chelyabinsk, Russia, to encourage its patrons to return books on time. This clip (2:52) titled “On Time” shows a young reader who is striving to return a book by poet Alexander Pushkin to the library on time. After much adversity, he returns the book to the waiting librarian (warning: stereotype)....

RT, July 17; Chelyabinsk Library YouTube channel, July 16

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