Anti-tax fervor closed these Oregon libraries.

American Library Association • October 19, 2018
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The ups and downs of Douglas County libraries

Lindy Brandt spent 18 years as a librarian in Douglas County, Oregon, until voters turned down a tax increase that would have kept the library system open. Now she volunteers at a library in Glendale, Oregon. Photo by Amanda Lucier for The New York Times

All the libraries in Douglas County, Oregon, closed in 2016 when a tax measure failed to keep them going. But a few tried. The library branch in Drain scheduled a grand reopening party this fall, but the library had no books. Reedsport’s librarians couldn’t get access to the old list of library card holders, so may have to build a new system from scratch. And in Roseburg, a new library is preparing to open with no plans to share materials with other libraries in the county, breaking a tradition that goes back generations....

New York Times, Oct. 17

Monterey County’s first librarian

Anne Hadden

Stuart Thornton writes: “Monterey County, California, was a vast region with many remote, inhospitable areas when Anne Hadden (right) became the first librarian for Monterey County Free Libraries in 1913. During her 16 years on the job, Hadden established 126 branches—including collections of books in schools, homes, businesses, and restaurants—and doing so required rugged travel. Hadden’s first-hand accounts of her adventures are collected in a 2012 title, Books for All: Monterey County’s First Librarian.”...

Monterey County (Calif.) Now, Oct. 18

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Public libraries create LGBTQ-affirming spaces

Lindsay Amer reads during a live performance of Queer Kid Stuff at the Brooklyn Public Library

Kevin Truong writes: “For Lindsay Amer, bringing a live performance of their popular children’s web series to the Brooklyn Public Library made perfect sense. Amer is the creator and host of Queer Kid Stuff—a web series on YouTube dedicated to educating children about LGBTQ topics through vlog-style conversations and original songs. The collaboration was one of the latest examples of a public library partnering up with members of the LGBTQ community to create more welcoming spaces.”...

NBC News, Oct. 16

OCLC, Ithaka S+R issue report on academic libraries

Cover of University Futures, Library Futures

OCLC and Ithaka S+R have published a new report, University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning Library Strategies with Institutional Directions, which establishes a new framework for understanding the fit between emerging library service paradigms and university types. The report examines the impact of increased institutional differentiation in universities on the organization of academic libraries and the services they provide....

OCLC, Oct. 18; Ithaka S+R, Oct. 18; Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog, Oct. 18
University of Nebraska

Cambridge school librarian wins Milken Educator Award

Benjamin Banneker Charter school librarian Jennifer Gordon, winner of $25,000 Milken Educator Award, with some of her students. Photo by Nancy Lane

Thunderous applause echoed across Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School’s gymnasium as one of their own was surprised with a $25,000 national award October 16 for her efforts in engaging students and boosting literacy skills. Jennifer Gordon (right), a librarian at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school, was named as a recipient of the Milken Educator Award. No one at the school knew who had won the award until the envelope with Gordon’s name was opened. Officials with the Milken Family Foundation said Gordon’s influence in her students’ and colleagues’ lives is what made her stand out....

Boston Herald, Oct. 17

Non-library experience and library job applications

Elements of work experience

Vincent J. Garin writes: “Job searching is nerve-wracking, and one of the most daunting parts is putting together a résumé or CV. It’s easy to get stuck on the treadmill of questions like ‘do I have experiences relevant to this job description?’ or ‘does this experience have anything to do with this job description?’ Questions like these can be a huge hang-up, and one that I’ve been dealing with lately. Today, I wanted to share some of the advice that career advisers and librarians who survived the job hunt shared with me.”...

Hack Library School, Oct. 16
ALA news

LC to launch new crowdsourcing project

Crowdsourcing sign greets visitors at the 2018 National Book Festival

Meghan Ferriter writes: “Big news! We’ll launch a crowdsourcing program at the Library of Congress on October 24. We’re asking everyone to join us as we improve discovery and access across our collections through transcription and tagging. The program is grounded in what we’ve learned through our previous experiences with participatory projects, including image description in Flickr and our newspaper captioning pilot Beyond Words. The venture connects with the FY 2019–2023 Strategic Plan and accompanying Digital Strategy.”...

Library of Congress: The Signal, Oct. 17; Sept. 28, 2017; Picture This

We teach people the things they don’t already know

You’re one of today’s lucky 10,000

Alex Harrington writes: “As a reference librarian, I get a lot of the same questions day in and day out. How do I find a book on my topic? How does the printing system work? Where is the bathroom? I used to get frustrated or annoyed answering the same questions 20 times a day, but then I remembered this XKCD comic, and it reminded me of a few things. One: We are here to teach people the things they don’t already know. Two: Everyone has to learn a thing before they know it.”...

ACRLog, Oct. 18; XKCD, May 9, 2012
Dewey Decibel podcast

Appeasement doesn’t work

Pharaoh Moans reads to children and parents at the Millennium Library in Winnipeg, May 20, 2017. Photo by John Woods

James LaRue writes: “One library decided to give drag queen story time a try. They announced the program through all the usual channels. One of those channels was Facebook. Then, in a matter of days, a group of mothers in the area declared themselves outraged. They made 11 phone calls to the director, who had only been on the job and in the community for a few months. In all of the calls, the moms expressed their strong disapproval of the program, which they viewed as the promotion of sexual deviance. What should the director have done?”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Oct. 17

Maryse Condé wins New Academy Prize in Literature

Maryse Condé's Segu (Viking, 1987) is set in the 19th-century Bambara Empire of Mali

Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé has been awarded the 2018 New Academy Prize in Literature. She was named the winner at a ceremony held October 12 at the Stockholm Public Library main branch in recognition of the role played by Swedish librarians in nominating authors for the award. Condé receives the 1 million Swedish kronor award for an authorship that “describes the ravages of colonialism and the postcolonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming.”...

Book Riot, Oct. 12
Latest Library Links

Scary books for the middle school library

Horror booklist, including the scary scale ranking system

Mica Johnson writes: “Growing a middle-school horror collection has been popular with students, but we’ve had to work on defining the parameters of the collection and get to know some of our readers. To help with this aspect we created a Scary Scale ranging from 1 skull being least scary to 5 skulls being the most scary. We’ve also created several sub-genre booklists like sci-fi horror, zombie horror, and historical horror to help students find the right types of scary books within their scary-level comfort zones.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Oct. 18

A brief history of gothic horror

Cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson (1962)

Amanda Pagan writes: “Gothic fiction as a genre was first established with the publication of Horace Walpole’s dark, foreboding The Castle of Otranto in 1764. In the centuries since, gothic fiction has not only flourished, but also branched off into many popular sub-genres. The battle between humanity and unnatural forces of evil (sometimes man-made, sometimes supernatural) within an oppressive, inescapable, and bleak landscape is considered to be the true trademark of a gothic horror novel.”...

New York Public Library blogs, Oct. 18

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