Sally Yates and other PLA Conference events.

American Library Association • March 23, 2018
ALA Annual Conference

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Big federal funding increases for libraries

Fund libraries

Congress has passed, and President Trump has signed, an FY2018 omnibus spending bill on March 23 that includes significant federal funding increases for our nation’s libraries. One year ago, the White House proposed eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services and slashed millions of dollars in federal funding for libraries. Twelve months and tireless advocacy efforts later, ALA advocates have helped libraries: win $9 million more for IMLS than it had in FY 2017, including $5.7 million for the Library Services and Technology Act; restore $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program; and provide $350 million for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Congress has also appropriated an unexpected $700 million for Title IV education programs, which opens doors to new funding for school libraries. And Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports will now be published online by the Library of Congress, ensuring for the first time permanent public access to valuable government information....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 23; Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 23

Sally Yates: Objective truth will save democracy

Opening Session speaker Sally Yates addresses attendees at the PLA Conference in Philadelphia on March 21

Terra Dankowski writes: “Sally Yates (right), former deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice under the Obama administration and former acting attorney general, is perhaps best known for refusing to defend President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries and her testimony about Russian interference in the 2016 US election. When keynoting the PLA Conference’s Opening Session on March 21, she didn’t shy away from discussing the country’s current political climate and librarians’ roles at this ‘inflection point.’” See more PLA Conference coverage on the American Libraries website....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 22

PLA brings Short Story Dispensers to public libraries

Short Edition’s Short Story Dispenser

At the 2018 PLA Conference in Philadelphia, the division announced a new partnership with community publisher Short Edition to promote reading through public libraries in four US communities using Short Story Dispensers. The joint project will also encourage diverse writers to share their work through Short Edition’s digital content platform while promoting library programs and services for readers and writers of all ages. Libraries in Akron, Philadelphia, Columbia (S.C.), and Wichita (Kans.) are participating in the initiative....

Public Awareness Office, Mar. 22; WHYY-FM, Philadelphia, Mar. 22

From Awareness to Funding, 2018

Cover of From Awareness to Funding 2018

PLA and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, in partnership with OCLC, have released a report, From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018. The research updates OCLC’s seminal 2008 study that explored voter perceptions, use, and attitudes toward public libraries, librarians, and library funding. The study shows that a majority of US voters believe public libraries are essential to communities and a source of civic pride....

Public Awareness Office, Mar. 21
University of Nebraska

Revised standards for libraries in higher education

ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education

The ACRL board of directors has approved a revision of the division’s Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. SLHE, adopted in 2004 and previously revised in 2011, is designed to guide academic libraries in advancing and sustaining their role as partners in educating students, achieving their institutions’ missions, and positioning libraries as leaders in assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses....

ACRL Insider, Mar. 22

The phasing out of books in academic libraries

Posters outside the Doty Fine Arts Building at the University of Texas at Austin. Photo by Abigail Sharp

Sarah E. Bond writes: “Libraries are no longer solely filled with books. Many are shifting to become multi-use, digitally driven spaces. Yet as libraries create access to a digital future, books that have traditionally inhabited them are being displaced at an alarming rate. This leaves many asking: Does acceptance of digital resources mean that the books must go? And what is at stake when artists, art historians, students, and the public can no longer engage in the act of browsing the stacks as part of the process of creating and researching art?”...

HyperAllergic, Mar. 20

Jose Antonio Vargas to speak at ALA Annual Conference

Jose Antonio Vargas

Journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas (right) will discuss his forthcoming book, a provocative memoir titled Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, on June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Vargas was born in the Philippines and brought to the United States illegally as a 12-year-old. He has advocated for the human rights of immigrants and migrants during the largest global movement of people in modern history....

ALA Conference Services, Mar. 21

The librarian credentials debate

Coffee cup with “Please do not confuse your Google search with my library degree”

Mica Johnson writes: “There are definitely two camps: those who believe you aren’t a librarian without a specific degree and those who feel job experience in a library can legitimize a claim to the librarian title. On the surface, this seems to be an issue only for public librarians, but it is relevant to school librarians as well. Despite research consistently showing the benefits of having certified school librarians in schools, a belief persists that almost anyone with some training can serve as a librarian. The ‘certified’ part of the equation is usually overlooked.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Mar. 21; INALJ, July 11, 2017; Petoskey (Mich.) News-Review, Feb. 7; AASL, 2013
ALA news

Nast sketches of Lincoln found at Brown University

Librarian Edward Widmer discovered Nast’s pencil sketches while conducting research at the Hay Library for his upcoming book on Lincoln. Photo by Tiffany Ding

Renowned cartoonist Thomas Nast’s first rough sketches of Abraham Lincoln were recently discovered at the John Hay Library by Edward Widmer, historian and former director of the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island. The sketches were made by Nast in New York City in early 1861. Widmer explained that the sketches were done during a dangerous time in Lincoln’s life, as he was traveling in full view of the public amid several rumors regarding assassination attempts....

Brown Daily Herald, Mar. 23

The librarian at the nexus of the Harlem Renaissance

Regina Anderson

Cara Giaimo writes: “You might not know about Regina Anderson (right), but you’ve probably heard of many of her friends. On a typical day in 1923 or 1924, Anderson might leave her desk at the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library and drop a letter to W. E. B. Du Bois in the mailbox. She may go home to her apartment on St. Nicholas Avenue to check up on her couchsurfer, Zora Neale Hurston. Or she might hit the town with Countee Cullen, and then finish out the night cooking bacon and eggs for Langston Hughes.”...

Atlas Obscura, Mar. 21
Latest Library Links

Angie Thomas wins Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

Angie Thomas (center) with other Waterstones winners, Jessica Townsend and Joe Todd-Stanton

Angie Thomas has won the 2018 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her debut YA novel, The Hate U Give. Thomas was given the £5,000 (US$7,075) prize after winning the award for older fiction earlier on March 22. Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children’s buyer, said The Hate U Give was an “outstanding piece of writing.” The winner of the younger fiction category was Nevermoor by Australian author Jessica Townsend, and the winner of the illustrated books prize was Joe Todd-Stanton for the picture book The Secret of Black Rock....

The Bookseller (UK), Mar. 22

Preserving the manuscripts of Mali

The Imam of Sankore at the Al Aquib Library, Timbuktu

Jody Butterworth writes: “Certain important private family libraries in Timbuktu declined taking part in a rescue mission to relocate manuscripts to Bamako during the occupation of northern Mali by Al Qaida–linked extremists in 2012. Instead, they chose to hide their manuscripts in secret desert caches in and around Timbuktu. The British Library, through the Endangered Archives Programme and in partnership with the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota, is now undertaking the digitization of these libraries in Timbuktu.”...

British Library: Endangered Archives Blog, Mar. 16

How not to spread fake news

Fake news tweet about Haiti

Michael J. Socolow writes: “We have a serious problem, and it goes far beyond fake news. Too many Americans have no idea how to properly read a social media feed. As we’re coming to learn more and more, such ignorance seems to be plaguing almost everybody—regardless of educational attainment, economic class, age, race, political affiliation, or gender. Some very smart people are helping to spread some very dumb ideas. But there are three easy steps that each of us can take to address this issue.”...

New York Times, Mar. 22

Computer programming in four steps

Computer programming in four steps

Jorge Valenzuela writes: “No matter the discipline, creating computational artifacts is one of the core computer science (CS) practices students should consistently experience to become better problem solvers. Computational artifacts can include images, videos, presentations, audio files, and computer programs. Precise and consistent practice in computer programming (CP) will help students construct cross-curricular knowledge in tandem with both academic and CS practices. How can we successfully engage students in CP? Here’s how to do so in four major steps.”...

International Society for Technology in Education, Mar. 20

10 things I didn’t learn in archives school

Paper cuts hurt so bad because paper does more microscopic damage to the skin, and there often isn't blood to protect nerves afterwards

Sara Allain writes about what she didn’t learn in archives school: “1. Papercuts are a job hazard. And they really, really hurt. And at least once I got blood on the archival material. 2. It can be lonely. Archival work can be solitary. I don’t mean the kind of loneliness that comes from hanging out in a basement vault all day, though that’s part of it. Perhaps more difficult was feeling like I was the only one who cared. Developing a supportive network of archivist pals (on Twitter, for example) really helped.”...

Letters to a Young Librarian, Mar. 22

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