Two takes on the library-fine debate.

American Library Association • June 15, 2018
Adam Mathew

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An overdue discussion

No library fines

Phil Morehart writes: “Whether to charge fines for overdue materials is a hot-button topic. The issues are many: Some libraries have halted the practice, citing concerns that fines keep patrons away, while other libraries have kept them in place as vital revenue streams. Fines are also used by some libraries as a method to teach personal responsibility, while other libraries consider that lesson outside the realm of librarianship. We spoke with a librarian on each side of the debate: Jenny Paxson and Sarah Houghton.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Best data security practices to minimize risk

Dispatches, by Nicole Hennig

Nicole Hennig writes: “One of the most important things you can do to protect your data is to safely back it up on a regular basis. If you’re like many people, you either don’t have backups at all, don’t have recent backups, or don’t have all of your devices and data backed up. Having both local backups and cloud backups will protect against data loss. Some examples of cloud backup services are Backblaze, iDrive, Carbonite, and SpiderOak One. They are designed to routinely back up all your computer files to an encrypted remote location.”...

American Libraries column, June

When ransomware attacks

Your files have been encrypted

Greg Landgraf writes: “On the morning of January 29, a library technician at Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Library encountered a notice on the library website announcing that its computers had been encrypted with ransomware. The library immediately shut down all computer-related services to quarantine the malware. Ransomware, a form of computer malware that encrypts a victim’s data to extort payment, is one of the fastest-growing computer security threats. And while libraries haven’t been singled out as targets, libraries like SCPL can attest to the logistical headaches that can follow.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

Determining what sources to trust

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “While social media and search companies are changing their policies and algorithms, fake news continues to proliferate on the web. Librarians who work with students know that the inability to identify fake news speaks to a larger problem: the inability to evaluate sources of any kind to determine what information to trust. The solution is not just helping people develop simple, common-sense web evaluation habits. It’s also helping them determine what they are going to trust.”...

American Libraries column, June

American Libraries Survey

American Libraries covers

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Dewey Decibel podcast

Things to do in New Orleans

Postcard featuring Commander’s Palace, circa 1930–1945. Tichnor Brothers Collection, Boston Public Library

Lauren DeVoe writes: “I was lucky enough to live in New Orleans for seven years and work for the amazing Tulane Libraries. When I moved away just over a year and a half ago, I knew it had forever changed me. When you come for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, embrace the magic of what you find. As someone who loves the city, I offer my recommendations for food and things to do while visiting.” Also check out the New Orleans ArtsGuide, created by the ACRL Arts Section for information about art, museums, music, theater, film, dance, performing arts, architecture, and libraries....

ALCTS News, June 14; ACRL Insider, June 14

RDA Toolkit beta site is here

RDA Toolkit beta site welcome

James Hennelly writes: “The RDA Toolkit beta site marks an important milestone in the progress of the 3R Project. The beta site is available to everyone with a subscription to RDA Toolkit. If you do not have a subscription, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial that includes access. For full description of what you will and will not find on the beta site, see What to Expect from the RDA Toolkit Beta Site and the report from the chair of RDA Steering Committee, Outcomes of the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project.”...

RDA Toolkit, June 6, 13

Librarian speaks out about Transylvania University theft

BJ Gooch

On December 17, 2004, Betty Jean “BJ” Gooch, special collections librarian at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, was tased and tied up as two former students stole rare books from the library. She found herself unable to talk about it for many years, and has never before spoken to the media. The trauma came not just from being tied up and threatened, but the added violations of two sacred things: the workplace she regarded as a home and the special relationship she had teaching students about so many of the library’s treasures. One of the convicted thieves, Chas Allen, has written a book on the theft....

Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, June 14; Rare Book Monthly, June; WLEX-TV, Lexington, June 13
ALA news

Locals flock to Evanston library to see new falcons

Audience members admire and photograph Tango, one of the three male eyasses at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library. Photo by Colin Boyle

Aviary admirers flocked to the third floor of Evanston (Ill.) Public Library on June 12 to see the naming and banding of the offspring of local peregrine falcons. After an unsuccessful nesting season in 2017, Squawker and Fay returned this season to hatch and raise four eyasses. Residents were encouraged earlier this spring to submit potential names for the library’s newest falcons. The only female peregrine was named Karen, after current Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons. The remaining three eyasses were named Tango, Lightning Bolt, and Ford Falcon....

The Daily Northwestern, May 16, June 12

What do LIS courses teach about public programming?

Library student studying programming

The ALA Public Programs Office writes: “Planning public programs is a skill that’s important to library work, and we wanted to know: Is that reflected in the curriculum? As part of our comprehensive review of the library programming landscape, we explored requirements in library degree programs across the US. In 2017, we looked at all of the publicly available material on the websites of 58 English-language ALA-accredited library degree programs. That information includes overviews, course listings and descriptions, specializations and concentrations, and highlighted competencies. Here’s what we found.”...

NILPPA, June 11
Latest Library Links

The importance of keeping kudos

A collection of kudos

Sara Stevenson writes: “Kudos—those little notes you get from students over the years, the thank-you notes from parents, administrators, teachers; the illustration of you as a librarian with a superhero cape. I save these over the years and put them in a back drawer of my desk at work. It’s like making a deposit in a savings account. On my worst days, when I’ve made a mistake through poor judgment or omission, when I’m crying from a misunderstanding or a misinterpreted email, I remember that drawer. Just knowing they’re in there seems to help.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, June 13

A library’s tale of curbing summer hunger

The Bristol (Conn.) Public Library is a proud participant of Healthier Generation’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative

Valerie Toner writes: “Our story began in April 2015, when I attended a Bristol School Readiness meeting to share with the community good things happening for children. The guest speaker from End Hunger Connecticut! was in search of locations to host free summer lunches. The Bristol Public Library, located in a neighborhood where 42% of children live below the poverty line, immediately came to mind. A free summer lunch program would work perfectly with our robust summer reading program: storytimes, reading clubs, special programs all day, and free lunches, too.”...

Medium, June 7

Exploring the digital ruins of Second Life

Second Life’s Flotsam Beach

Joe Veix writes: “I logged into Second Life in the year 2018 A.D. It still exists, sort of. Residents and businesses began fleeing for more popular social networks long ago. Vast acres of land are abandoned or sparsely populated by the few remaining diehard users. Its developer’s VR follow-up, Sansar, is currently in beta. Property values are dropping. It’s becoming a digital ghost town. Which is why I was visiting—disaster tourism of dying software. I first warped to a boardwalk at Flotsam Beach, an idealized digital facsimile of Atlantic City. It was deserted, but remains in pristine condition.”...

Digg, June 5; Engadget, July 31, 2017; Second Life Community, Mar. 14, 2017

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