When libraries teach basic life skills.

American Library Association • May 11, 2018
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Adulting 101

A flier for North Bend (Oreg.) Public Library’s Adulting 101 program

When Teresa Lucas decided to teach basic life skills to young adults via an “Adulting 101” library program series last year, she was not expecting a media onslaught. But that’s what she got. “We had tens of thousands of Facebook hits, of calls, of emails. It was crazy,” said Lucas, assistant director of library services at North Bend (Oreg.) Public Library. North Bend is just one of many libraries that have launched classes for young adults on how to balance a checkbook, cook a meal, sew on a button, or shop for auto insurance....

American Libraries Trend, May

The benefits of a Wikipedia–library relationship

Cover of Leveraging Wikipedia

Alex Stinson and Jason Evans write: “Wikipedia might seem like a librarian’s nemesis, but the online encyclopedia, its community, and libraries are increasingly working together to provide free and open information to all. A difference between the two communities is their degree of formal responsibility. Librarians are trained professionals working in institutions with public charges to create information access, while Wikipedians are (for the most part) volunteers whose interests align with their hobbies and values.” Read an interview with Merrilee Proffitt, editor of Leveraging Wikipedia (ALA Editions)....

American Libraries features, May; May 10

Sponsored Content

Shared print acceleration

The remarkable acceleration of shared print

On the Next blog, Rick Lugg, OCLC’s executive director, sustainable collection services, takes us through the brief yet active history of shared print initiatives. In less than 10 years, new collaborative retention programs have grown to encompass 40 million long-term monograph retention commitments. Rick talks about both the challenges for the future of shared print, and opportunities for network-level analysis of monographs. As he says, “the cooperative benefit to all libraries—and our users—as we work together to preserve and share the scholarly and cultural record will be incalculable.”

Sally Field to speak at Annual Conference

Sally Field

Academy Award–winning actor Sally Field (right) will be an Auditorium Speaker on June 23 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Her new literary memoir, In Pieces, will be published in the fall by Hachette Book Group. Her numerous film credits include Places in the Heart, Steel Magnolias, and Forrest Gump. Field was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012, and in 2015 she was honored by President Obama with the National Medal of Arts. Musician and author Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews will perform at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans when the Opening General Session begins on June 22....

ALA Conference Services, May 9, 10

National Library Legislative Day: A recap

From left: Skip Dye, Corporate Committee on Library Investment and vice president of library marketing and digital sales, Penguin Random House; and the Iowa library delegation: Alison Ames Galstad, director, Coralville Public Library; State Librarian Michael Scott; Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa); Nancy Medema, library program director, State Library of Iowa; Michael Wright, director, Dubuque County Library District; Annah Hackett, campus engagement and instruction librarian, Grand View University; and Rebecca Funke, director of library resources, Des Moines Area Community College

Library advocates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia converged on Capitol Hill for more than 325 congressional visits in support of America’s libraries during ALA’s 44th annual National Library Legislative Day, May 7–8. Participants asked members of Congress to fully fund federal library programs, reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act, and visit a library to see broadband access in action. Listen to District of Columbia Public Library’s Full Service Radio interview with ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas....

AL: The Scoop, May 11; DCPL Radio, May 8

Libraries partner with ConnectHomeUSA


Libraries in communities around the country often are unable to cater to all the patrons who live in the area. In order to solve this problem, ALA and ConnectHomeUSA, launched in 2014, have cooperated to provide community residents with devices and literacy training in order to be more technologically independent. Through the collaboration, ALA member libraries work with their local HUD-assisted communities in order to foster digital inclusion....

District Dispatch, May 10

Futureproofing your library

Dispatches, by David Lee King

David Lee King writes: “Most likely your library still has traditional customers who ask questions at the reference desk and check out physical books. You also have a new breed of library customer who brings in any number of electronic devices and expects those devices to work with your library’s technology. Libraries need to figure out how to serve this new subset of their customer base. If we aren’t successful in making this technology transition, patrons who have transitioned already will simply bypass the library.”...

American Libraries column, May

Lincoln Presidential Library might need to sell artifacts

Abraham Lincoln’s bloodstained gloves worn on the night of his death and his iconic stovepipe hat are among the Taper collection, acquired by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Photo by Seth Perlman / Associated Press

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois, said May 10 it may have to sell artifacts in its possession if it cannot pay off a loan it obtained to purchase a vast collection of Lincoln artifacts in 2007. The organization issued a statement that it has met with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office but did not get any financial commitment. Among the items is a stovepipe hat purported to have been worn by Lincoln, bloodstained gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, and an 1824 book containing the first known example of Lincoln’s handwriting....

Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, May 10; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, May 10
ALA news

Oregon battles with George

Cover of George, by Alex Gino

The book George, a novel for young readers, has set off a storm within a popular student reading competition in Oregon. Written by Alex Gino, the book is the story of George, a 10-year-old transgender girl struggling for acceptance among her friends and family. After George became one of 16 books selected for the 2018–2019 Oregon Battle of the Books in the 3rd- to 5th-grade division, two school districts in the state withdrew their elementary students from the competition for the next academic year....

New York Times, May 8

Glen Burnie librarian revives man from overdose

Brian Oberle

Brian Oberle (right) has worked for the Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library system for 24 years. At the Glen Burnie Regional Library, he helps connect people with information, whether it’s how to use a new online resource or how to find a job. On May 2, he and his fellow librarians helped connect a man with something else—a dose of Narcan, a name brand of naloxone nasal spray, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses and prevent death. Oberle said he and six others from the branch received Narcan training last August....

Annapolis (Md.) Capital Gazette, May 7
Latest Library Links

Helping students become internet-research savvy

Web researcher

Angie Miller writes: “No matter how much we emphasize the importance of books and databases, the reality is our students are using the internet for research and will continue to do so. Teaching them how to navigate the intricate web of invisible wires cannot be ignored. Searching requires a certain savviness in language, and students who lack high-level vocabulary struggle the most. But even those with limited vocabularies can be successful in research if we give them the right tools.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, May 10

Searching for jobs can be terrible

Wits End Drive, dead end

Melissa DeWitt writes: “I started writing a post about my interview experience because I recently landed a librarian position. Once I began writing about interviewing, I started reflecting on my experiences looking for a job. I’ve been talking to others about their job searches because many of my friends, colleagues, and classmates are still searching. Some are having success, but many are struggling to find a position in libraries. The entire process is exhausting, and it should be better.” The ALA JobLIST Placement and Career Development Center will offer complimentary career counseling sessions June 23–24 during the ALA 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Advanced registration is encouraged....

Hack Library School, May 10; ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 10

The oldest cookbooks in libraries around the world

The Küch- und Keller-Dictionarium has been in Oslo’s library since it opened in 1785

Anne Ewbank writes: “For as long as libraries have been repositories of wisdom and knowledge, there has been a place on the shelf for cookbooks. In fact, many early cookbooks were more than just recipe collections—instructions for concocting medicine often jostled with dinner ideas for page space. Whether sauce-stained or Gothic-lettered, cookbooks offer glimpses of humanity’s food history. Here is a collection of some of the oldest cookbooks from libraries around the world.”...

Atlas Obscura, May 10

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