Melinda Gates and Emilio Estevez advocate for libraries.

American Library Association • April 5, 2019
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Celebrate National Library Week


Next week is National Library Week, April 7–13, an opportunity to champion libraries and library workers on a national stage. This year’s theme is “Libraries = Strong Communities,” and the honorary chair is philanthropist and author Melinda Gates. Actor and director Emilio Estevez shares his passion for libraries in new PSAs that encourage the public to visit, volunteer, advocate, and make some noise for libraries. And #MyLibraryMyStory is ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo’s initiative asking libraries, library supporters, and advocates to post photos, videos, and text on social media highlighting what they love about their library....

National Library Week

2019 ALA/AIA Building Awards

South Central Regional branch, Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library

The American Institute of Architects and ALA will award six libraries with the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards for excellence in architectural design. The winning libraries are the Albion branch of the Toronto Public Library in Etobicoke, Ontario; Barnard College’s Milstein Center in New York City; the new Calgary (Alberta) Central Library; Colorado College’s Tutt Library in Colorado Springs; Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library’s South Central Regional branch; and Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Library....

Building Design + Construction, Apr. 4

Sponsored Content

STEM and humanities

The value of humanities education in STEM

Despite the growing demand for workers with humanities backgrounds, challenges remain in convincing those who doubt the value of studies in literature, history, and social sciences. See why primary sources are critical for learning and research across the curriculum. Download the article for three perspectives, view the recorded webinar, and read the blog post.

PLA debuts African Leadership Academy

The first African Leadership Academy graduating class, from left: Bakary Sanyang, director of bibliographic services, The Gambia National Library Service Authority; Beatrice Ampadu, senior librarian, Ghana Library Authority, Lartebiokorshie branch; Guy Ebenezer Amarteifio, regional librarian, Greater Accra, Ghana Library Authority; Victoria Isaacks, librarian, Namibia Library and Archives Service; Miriam Wangari Mureithi, principal librarian, Kenya National Library Services, Thika; Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa, former director, National Library of Uganda; Nkem Osuigwe, human capacity development and training director, AfLIA; Barbra Apolot, librarian, National Library of Uganda; Jacinta Were, former deputy director, University of Nairobi Library, Kenya; Katrina Ndeshipanda Shikuni, senior librarian, Outapi Community Library, Namibia; Pranisha Parag, principal librarian, Msunduzi Municipal Library, South Africa; Adonia Katungisa, director, National Library of Uganda

Twelve African librarians joined 28 of their US counterparts as part of the Spring 2019 PLA Leadership Academy. The event, held March 25–29 in Chicago, served as both the capstone of the African librarians’ training and the debut of the African Leadership Academy. The African librarians spent the first day of their week exploring the new PLA leadership model and hearing illustrative stories from the field. The remainder of their visit consisted of field trips to Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown branch, Columbus (Wis.) Public Library, and Skokie (Ill.) Public Library....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 3; PLA, Jan. 8

April Foolswatch 2019

Circulating dragons at McDaniel College

Greg Landgraf writes: “There was no shortage of libraries participating in April Fools’ Day this year, with everything from puppies and dragons to owls and trees getting in on the fun. Here are some of our favorite library pranks of 2019. Patrons looking for a more active companion can check out a robot assistant from McCracken County (Ky.) Public Library. Users attempting to conquer Westeros can check out a dragon from Hoover Library at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. But even more frightening than dragons are the descendants of dragons: Bentonville (Ark.) Public Library has converted the library’s former café space into a checkout center for live chickens.”...

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 4; McCracken County (Ky.) Public Library, Apr. 1; Hoover Library at McDaniel College Facebook page, Apr. 1; Bentonville (Ark.) Library Friends and Foundation Facebook page, Apr. 1
ALA news

When a laundromat becomes a library

Laundromat literacy

The first five years of a child’s life are a critical time for exposing children to language, words, and reading. But studies have shown children in lower-income families often don’t get the same rich literary environment that higher-income children do. Now some groups are trying to help close that gap in unusual places, including an effort in New York City at the laundromat. The ultimate goal is to jump-start the reading and language skills of children in this neighborhood, where a third of families with young children live in poverty. NYU early literacy expert Susan Neuman asks, why not try to reach them here, where families congregate?...

PBS News Hour, Apr. 2

Emilio Estevez takes us to the library for a civics lesson

Michael K. Williams (left) and Emilio Estevez in The Public

Ben Kenigsberg writes: “Apart from Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, few movies have celebrated book-lending institutions as havens of fair-mindedness and pluralism, so it’s tempting to give a pass to The Public as a rousing, lovingly made civics lesson. Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, and served as a producer on the film; he is also its star. At what other physical institution can you learn about virtually any topic? Where else are the homeless welcomed as equals, at least until they are not? And if libraries are microcosms of democracy, what does it mean that they are sometimes closed?”...

New York Times, Apr. 4; Sept. 12, 2017; TIFF Trailers, July 24, 2018

Airline returns lost library book to middle school student

Lost book returned by airline, with letter and student

A flight attendant came to the rescue after discovering a lost book from the Springton Lake Middle School Library in Media, Pennsylvania. The school shared the reunion on Twitter. The post said Jamie Patzer, a flight attendant at Spirit Airlines, recently found Fast Break by Mike Lupica and mailed it back to the school. In a letter, Patzer said the book traveled thousands of miles across the country before it was found, and she hoped the student wouldn’t be charged a fine....

WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, Apr. 5
Latest Library Links

Elsevier’s presence on campus spans more than journals

Mendeley and Elsevier logos

Lindsay Ellis writes: “On a recent panel on challenges to the future of teaching and research, Colleen Lyon outlined what was, to her, a ‘dangerous’ dynamic in the world of academic publishing. Lyon, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Texas at Austin, listed scholarly-publishing tools that had been acquired by the journal publishing giant Elsevier. In 2013, the company bought Mendeley, a free reference manager. It acquired the Social Science Research Network, an e-library with more than 850,000 papers, in 2016. And it acquired the online tools Pure and Bepress—which visualize research—in 2012 and 2017, respectively.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 3; Elsevier, Aug. 15, 2012; Apr. 9, 2013; May 17, 2016; Aug. 2, 2017

James Patterson gives $1.25 million for classroom libraries

James Patterson classroom library giveaway

Author James Patterson’s latest gift for literacy is a $1.25 million pledge to classroom libraries. On April 2, he announced the fifth installment for his Patterson Partnership, formed in coordination with Scholastic Book Club. Patterson is giving $250 each to 4,000 teachers around the country to help purchase books. He is also distributing $500 each to 500 teachers with three years or less experience. Scholastic will match Patterson with gifts of 250 and 500 bonus points for its book club. Teachers can apply for grants online by July 31....

Associated Press, Apr. 2; Scholastic Book Clubs

The million word gap

Kids getting read to. Photo: Flickr / Neeta Lind

Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found. This “million word gap” could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at the Ohio State University. Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver....

Ohio State University, Apr. 4
Dewey Decibel podcast

How an aging population will reshape the internet

The challenges of the internet for an aging population

Craig Silverman writes: “Although many older Americans have embraced the tools and playthings of the technology industry, a growing body of research shows they have disproportionately fallen prey to the dangers of internet misinformation and risk being further polarized by their online habits. That is a massive challenge for society, given the outsize role older generations play in civic life, and demographic changes that are increasing their power and influence. People 65 and older will soon make up the largest single age group in the United States, and will remain that way for decades to come.”...

BuzzFeed News, Apr. 3; HuffPost, Mar. 11

Screen time has little effect on teen health

Screen time in bed

Data from more than 17,000 teenagers shows little evidence of a relationship between screen time and well-being in adolescents. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming, or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people’s mental health. The research found that the use of digital screens two hours, one hour, or 30 minutes before bedtime did not have clear associations with decreases in adolescent well-being....

ScienceDaily, Apr. 5

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