How academic libraries respond to shrinking offerings.

American Library Association • November 13, 2018
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When universities cut, libraries bleed

University program cuts affect libraries

When a university cuts majors, programs, or even an entire school, what happens to its library? The obvious answer: Nothing good. As universities across the country trim offerings in hopes of addressing budget deficits, academic libraries must attempt to maintain services, even as it becomes more and more difficult to fulfill their missions. The University of Wisconsin–Superior, which has a reported budget deficit of $2.5 million, has suspended 40 programs, including the library science minor, since 2014. The library budget has seen large cuts as well....

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Library values in collision

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “A core value of librarianship is open and equal access to the library for all members of our communities. User experience research has taught us that access means more than just letting anyone into our spaces; it requires creating spaces that make people feel like they belong. Another core value is intellectual freedom, and we have a long and proud history of supporting it in the face of censorship. But what if a perspective repudiates the dignity and worth of a group of our patrons? What if a hate group discusses that perspective in your library’s meeting room?”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Getting LIS career advice

On My Mind, by Zoë McLaughlin

Zoë McLaughlin writes: “During my search for an academic library position, I relied heavily on others for support. Navigating internships, phone interviews, and job talks can be tricky, but having a variety of sources that I could turn to for advice greatly helped. Here are some people and resources to consider when building connections for your job search.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Isha Sesay to speak at Midwinter Closing Session

Isha Sesay

Journalist and author Isha Sesay (right) will be the Closing Session speaker at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 28. Sesay was born in England and at age 7 moved with her family to her parents’ homeland of Sierra Leone. In 2005, she joined CNN International as an anchor and correspondent covering major breaking news stories and global events. In August 2018, Sesay left CNN to pursue other projects, including her book Beneath the Tamarind Tree, available in July 2019. The book is the first definitive account of Boko Haram’s abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls....

ALA Conference Services, Nov. 9

In the shadow of Pittsburgh

In the Shadow of Pittsburgh: Intellectual freedom to defend the Jewish people

Emily Schneider writes: “Like many Americans, but especially Jewish Americans, I am still in a state of shock following the slaughter of 11 people, with six more injured, while worshiping in a Pittsburgh synagogue. When I logged on to my computer and turned on cable news, I saw thorough and even passionate coverage of this latest atrocity, and witnessed the sincere and heartfelt empathy of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, people of color, neighbors of the victims, or simply fellow citizens. Yet the response of the community in which I am active, advocates and professionals in children’s literature, has been relatively silent.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Nov. 12

School libraries at the heart of transformation

Screenshot from the School Libraries at the Heart of Transformation video

This AASL YouTube video (1:07) showcases the many ways that school libraries and school librarians stand at the heart of transformation as learners become thinkers, explorers, collaborators, and inventors preparing for college, career, and life....

AASL YouTube channel, Nov. 9
ALA news

How podcasts became a seductive mode of storytelling

The Serial podcast being played through an iPhone

Rebecca Mead writes: “In the first years of podcasts, a decade or so ago, technological limitations militated against their widespread adoption: They had to be laboriously transferred from a computer to an MP3 player or an iPod. Podcasts were made by geeks, for geeks. That changed in 2014, when Apple added a Podcast app to the iPhone, making subscribing almost effortless. Even better, it was usually free. Still, the real explosion was creative rather than technological: The release, in 2014, of Serial, an investigation into the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, became the first podcast that listeners dissected with avidity.”...

The New Yorker, Nov. 19

Be decisive rather than nice

Parker Posey as a decisive library assistant in Party Girl

Jane Holt writes: “‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,’ was the advice given to me by my mother and repeated by other well-meaning women throughout my life. And yet being nice and speaking nicely robbed me of the ability to be self-piloting and strong in the face of challenges, specifically when confronted by unwanted sexual advances. I have come to recognize that niceness can not only be crippling to the person being nice, but it also leads to inauthentic interactions.”...

Public Libraries Online, Nov. 9
Latest Library Links

The Florence Flood and library conservation

“Palissades naturelles de l’Hudson,” from Jean B.G. Roux de Rochelle, Etats-Unis d’Amérique (Paris: Firmin Didot Freres, [1837]). Before (left) and after treatment

Katarzyna Bator writes: “Modern library conservation was born in the aftermath of a catastrophic flood in Florence, Italy, on November 4, 1966. Water from the Arno River devastated the collections of the National Central Library of Florence. An international team of bookbinders and restorers was assembled to save what they could; however, in many cases the damage was irreversible. New protocols were established to prevent such disastrous loss from occurring again. Most importantly, the bringing together of professionals in their fields to deal with the results of the flood propelled the field of library conservation forward.”...

New-York Historical Society: From the Stacks, Nov. 7

Learning lessons from DPLA

DPLA Ebooks initiative

Roger C. Schonfeld writes: “The Digital Public Library of America last week laid off six members of its small staff. Over the weekend, DPLA Executive Director John Bracken, in a talk at the LITA Forum, provided an overview of DPLA’s vision, which appears to include a change in strategic direction. The organization now appears to be pivoting more towards ebook distribution systems. It is also clearly facing some difficulties right now. As is often the case with an organization in the process of a substantial redirection, there is too little information for outsiders to offer a conclusive interpretation of events.”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, Nov. 13
Dewey Decibel podcast

Time to boost your cybersecurity

Your files have been encrypted

Karen Pundsack writes: “It is not a matter of if, but when, your computers or library will see a cyberattack. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all the files on a server or computer. It can spread through a network in a very short time once executed. The encrypted files are then unable to be opened without the encryption key. The attacker demands payment to unlock the files. Ransomware can find its way into a network through email or website access. Email phishing is a common way for it to spread. This attack method is on the rise. Impersonation attacks are also on the increase.”...

Public Libraries Online, Nov. 9; American Libraries Trend, June

Creating presentations with Beautiful.AI

A slide created using a basic template and stock photos available in Beautiful.AI

Jeanette Sewell writes: “Beautiful.AI is a new website that enables users to create dynamic presentations easily with ‘smart templates’ and other design-optimized features. So far the service is free with a paid pro tier coming soon. I first heard about Beautiful.AI in an advertisement on NPR and was immediately intrigued. I set out to put Beautiful.AI to the test by creating a short ‘prepare and share’ presentation about my first experience at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference. Beautiful.AI is fully customizable so you can play around with all of of the features and options as you explore, or you can click on ‘create new presentation’ to start from scratch.”...

ACRL TechConnect, Nov. 12

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