Paradise, other communities cope with disaster.

American Library Association • November 20, 2018
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California libraries in the wildfires’ wake

Paradise branch of the Butte County (Calif.) Library

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “Public institutions across the country are rallying in support of displaced library employees and libraries devastated by wildfires in California that have claimed more than 60 lives and resulted in the evacuation of tens of thousands people. ‘Miraculously, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library system is still standing,’ says Butte County Library Director Melanie Lightbody, noting that it’s one of the only remaining structures in the town. Five of the library’s 26 staff members have lost their homes to the fire. The remaining five branches are still operational and have become information centers.”...

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 16

Free Library of Philadelphia to hire new staff

Free Library of Philadelphia

City officials say the Free Library of Philadelphia received a green light to hire dozens of new employees by year’s end and extend service hours at a dozen branches, but advocates maintain that the system needs a more dedicated and robust funding stream to help it grow and thrive. The library system will fill 62 vacant positions, enabling it to open 35 of the 54 neighborhood branches six days a week. The library will fill vacant budgeted positions with six new librarians, 13 full-time assistants, 24 seasonal assistants, seven new municipal guards, and 12 facility guards....

Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 20

Native American artifacts removed from library sale

Medford (Mass.) Public Library

Following concerns raised about a December 1 auction of Native American artifacts at the Medford (Mass.) Public Library, Mayor Stephanie M. Burke has withdrawn the items from the sale, intended to raise funds for a new building. Native American organizations questioned the legality and morality of the proposed auction, which included such artifacts as two shaman’s masks and bird rattles, a spirit figure, and a totem pole from the Pacific Northwest. James G. Swan, a Medford-born pioneer, donated the items to the library in 1880....

Medford (Mass.) Transcript, Nov. 19; Boston Herald, Nov. 17

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The dual librarian

Teen game night

Desiree Alexander writes: “One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was becoming a librarian ... twice. Once as a school librarian and again as a public library consultant. As an English teacher, I loved sharing great short stories and books with my students. So when I heard about an alternative certification program to become a school librarian, I jumped at that chance. While I was earning my MLS, my journey began. I had no clue I would one day become The Dual Librarian!”...

YALSA Blog, Nov. 20

The good, the bad, and the delicious

A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly’s New Orleans, by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles (2015)

Emily Temple writes: “It’s the week of Thanksgiving, which means that many cooks in America are gearing up for a few solid days of cooking. Because many of those avid cookers are also avid consumers of literature, I thought I’d find out how many literary cookbooks were out there in the world. There are many. For your holiday planning, or just your holiday amusement, I present an incomplete collection of 20 unexpected literary cookbooks that you can buy and hold and spill hot cheese on.”...

Literary Hub, Nov. 19

Children’s books on synagogues, rabbis, and Jewish rituals

Cover of All Three Stooges, by Erica S. Perl

Heidi writes: “In response to the tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries offers the Love Your Neighbor series of book lists for young readers. This is the second in a series of book lists intended to provide children and their families with a greater understanding of the Jewish religion and its people. This list features books for children and teens that take place in synagogues, that feature rabbis and other clergy, and that demonstrate a variety of Jewish rituals.”...

People of the Books Blog, Nov. 19
ALA news

The best Arabic novels

Cover of Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih

Banipal editor and novelist Samuel Shimon writes: “We asked 100 Arab authors, critics, academics, and a few translators for nominations to find the 100 best Arabic novels of all time. The top vote-getter—with 61 nominations—was Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North. The next was Cairo Trilogy, with 41, while Children of the Alley received 34. The first post-2001 title to appear is Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad, at 15, translated by Jonathan Wright. The first book not available in English translation is Munif’s East of the Mediterranean.”...

ArabLit, Nov. 19

Programming reimagined

Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, by Dorothy Stoltz

Karen Muller writes: “Bestselling author Jenn McKinlay often sets stories in her Library Lover’s Mysteries series during ‘crafternoons,’ weekly library potluck luncheons that combine crafting and book discussion. It sounds like a wonderful programming idea, and McKinlay’s concept reveals much about the perception of the library as a community center. Here are several titles to help expand or reimagine programming, mostly in public libraries.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Latest Library Links

The coming wave of affordable textbooks

“I look forward to buying college textbooks every semester,” said no one ever

Joseph Esposito writes: “Big changes in textbooks are coming, and libraries will be at the center of them. Textbooks, whether print or digital, fall into three categories: Traditional textbooks are the books we are all familiar with, open educational resources that are free to the end user and enable configuration by the instructor, and inclusive access programs are traditional textbooks put into all-digital programs so that librarians or other university representatives can negotiate with publishers for lower prices.”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, Nov. 19

LC writing contest for young readers

Letter to author Rick Riordan, 2017–2018 contest

Letters About Literature, the Library of Congress’ reading-and-writing contest now in its 26th year, is accepting applications for the 2018–2019 cycle. For the first time, letters will be submitted electronically. Information about the contest, including instructions for entering and deadlines for each state, is on the website. The contest asks students in grades 4–12 to read a book, poem, speech, or essay by an author, living or dead, to think about how that work affected them, and to write to the author on the work’s impact....

Library of Congress, Nov. 16
Dewey Decibel podcast

Digital audio production tools for your library

Maschine is a music controller that can be used to record and modify samples and mix and edit songs

A growing number of libraries are offering audio production tools, either in studio spaces or on loan. By making these tools available to patrons, libraries can draw local artists and hobbyists and become part of the local music scene. The software and instrument options are numerous, but digital production platforms provide a solid introduction for newcomers as well as a unique resource for more experienced musicians. For example: Maschine, a music controller and sequencing software package; and Pocket Operators, handheld synthesizers about the size of a calculator....

American Libraries Solutions, Nov./Dec.

Data streams and downloads are getting bigger

Xfinity (Comcast) truck

Chris Hoffman writes: “From video games to 4K streaming video, everything online keeps getting bigger. But Comcast’s 1 TB data cap isn’t changing, and some smaller internet service providers are even worse. Modern games are nearing 100 GB in download size. With a 1 TB bandwidth cap, that’s roughly 10 big video games a month, assuming you purchase and download them digitally—and assuming you do nothing else with your connection. Netflix says its 4K streaming uses about 7 GB per hour, per device. Standard high-quality 1080p streaming is up to 3 GB per hour.”...

How-To Geek, Jan. 15, Nov. 20; Dec. 11, 2016; Netflix Help Center

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