Why school librarians matter.

American Library Association • May 22, 2018
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School librarians in decline

Brookfield (Wis.) Christian School library

Debra E. Kachel and Keith Curry Lance write: “Recently released data show a loss of almost 9,200 FTE school librarians (15%) nationwide from 2009–2010 to 2015–2016, with more than 10,000 total losses since 2000. Although the losses somewhat abated between 2012 and 2015, losses have now returned to earlier levels. These stark long-term losses should be a wake-up call for the profession.” Data from more than 34 statewide studies suggest that students tend to earn better standardized test scores in schools that have strong library programs....

Teacher Librarian, Apr.; School Library Journal, Mar. 16; Phi Delta Kappan 99, no. 7 (Apr.): 15–20

Ode to librarians

Peg Johnson

Valerie Nye writes: “Peg Johnson (right) is retiring from librarianship. She is a writer and has composed this tribute to our profession, our passion, our privilege.” The opening of her Ode to Librarians: “‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ / Be honest, / Have you ever heard a kindergartener, / Arms waving wildly, / Shout to the teacher, / A librarian, I want to be a librarian? / Nah, me neither.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, May 21

What is GDPR and how will it affect you?

Facebook’s Lulea data center in Sweden

Alex Hern writes: “You could be forgiven for thinking that Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation is a law created to fill your inbox with warnings from every company you have ever interacted with online that the ‘privacy policy has changed’ and to ‘click here so we can stay in touch.’ But GDPR is far more than just an inbox clogger. The regulation, seven years in the making, finally comes into effect on May 25 and is set to force sweeping changes in everything from technology to advertising and medicine to banking.”...

The Guardian (UK), May 21

Are database subscriptions overutilized?

Library databases

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe writes: “We don’t have to look too hard to find someone arguing that a particular subscription database is a good value because it has a lower-than-average cost per use. However, is it always the case that low cost per use is an indicator of good value? If the true value of a subscription is being obscured by overutilization, should libraries seek to dampen such excess in order to have more appropriate measures of the real value? By doing so, could a library then negotiate for better prices on some resources?”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, May 22
ALA news

A guide to world anti-misinformation actions

Legislation against fake news. Graphic by Isaac Avila Rodriguez

David Funke writes: “In mid-March, a European Commission group published its final report on misinformation, drawing upon the input of experts from around the world who gathered to help the EU figure out what to do about fake news. The report, while imperfect, explicitly recommends not regulating against misinformation—but the EU is only one of many governing bodies that have sought to stem the flow of online misinformation. Here is a guide to existing attempts worldwide to legislate against what can broadly be referred to as online misinformation.”...

Poynter, May 22; Digital Single Market (European Commission), Mar. 12

2018 Nebula Award winners

Cover of The Stone Sky

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America on May 19 announced the 2018 winners of its Nebula Awards. N. K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky won the award for best novel. It’s the final installment of her Broken Earth trilogy, about a far-future Earth that experiences periodic, devastating apocalyptic events. Sam J. Miller’s The Art of Starving earned the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, and The Last Unicorn author Peter S. Beagle won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award....

The Verge, May 20

Finding forthcoming diverse books

LibraryReads logo

Kelly Jensen writes: “Librarians, let’s talk. If your job is to serve your community, then you need to be reading diversely. One extremely simple way to do this is to read diverse books with an eye toward elevating them to a LibraryReads nomination. The LibraryReads lists are then distributed to librarians throughout the US, helping them to better select great books for their patrons. Here’s how to find diverse books before they’re published so you can read and nominate them in plenty of time.”...

Book Riot, May 21
Dewey Decibel podcast

Talking with young children about race

Cover of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Meredith Steiner writes: “As youth-serving librarians, we have a unique opportunity to speak with young children about race, to speak with caregivers about how to talk about race, and to model talking about race with children for their caregivers. Why talk with young children about race? There are many answers to this question; I’m going to focus on two that are highly relevant to youth-serving librarians: accuracy and values.”...

ALSC Blog, May 22

How to find official Windows drivers for any device

Computer hardware

Chris Hoffman writes: “All your computer hardware, from the motherboard to the webcam, needs drivers to function properly. Here’s how to download the official device drivers for your hardware, whether you’re using Windows 10 or 7. When you install Windows on a computer or connect a peripheral to your PC, Windows automatically downloads and installs the appropriate drivers. However, to manually download a driver for a piece of hardware, you’ll need to know the manufacturer of the hardware, as well as its model number.”...

How-To Geek, May 22
Latest Library Links

German genealogy research online

Genealogy.net wiki logo

Linda Stufflebean writes: “With the exception of a few Ancestry records and those found in FamilySearch, there haven’t been many online resources for those researching family in Germany. There are two up-and-coming, growing websites of which you should be aware if you have German ancestors. The first is Genealogynet wiki, which describes itself as the German genealogy internet portal, and you can read it in either English or German. The second website is Archion, a subscription site based in Germany.”...

Empty Branches on the Family Tree, May 17

Climate change and special collections

A deteriorated binder from an archival collection at the Library of Congress

Sophie Yeo writes: “Centuries of written history are at risk of being damaged by climate change. Yet archivists, the stewards of this history, have sometimes been slow to wake up to the danger. This history is kept in expensive, well-ventilated university collections; it is tucked in crumpling cardboard boxes under the desks of local librarians; it sits crammed into the storage cupboards of city governments. Some documents attract scholars from around the world, while others hold scant interest beyond hobbyist historians. Many are irreplaceable.”...

Pacific Standard, May 11

Everyone loves a royal wedding

Detail of a miniature of Richard II, king of England, receiving his bride, the Princess Isabel, from her father, Charles VI, king of France, in Jean Froissart, Chroniques, Bruges, c. 1480–1494: Royal MS 14 D VI, f. 268v

Chantry Westwell writes: “The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, included centuries-old royal traditions and ceremonial. To celebrate this happy occasion, we are displaying two medieval manuscripts with stunning images of royal weddings in our Treasures Gallery at the British Library. Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between weddings then and now.”...

British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, May 19

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