Libraries can close the privacy inequity gap.

American Library Association • April 19, 2019
Tolkien screening

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Choose Privacy Week, May 1–7

Inclusive Privacy: Closing the Gap

This year’s theme for Choose Privacy Week (May 1–7), “Inclusive Privacy: Closing the Gap,” draws attention to the privacy inequities imposed on vulnerable and historically underrepresented populations and highlights how libraries can close the privacy gap for those who need it most. During Choose Privacy Week, library workers, trustees, and library users are all invited to join a week-long online conversation featuring commentaries by librarians, educators, and privacy experts addressing these issues. Web and social media graphics and programming resources for libraries are available through the Choose Privacy Week website....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, Apr. 18

Good times in Athens

IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, August 24–30, 2019

This year’s IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece, August 24–30, will take you on another brilliant adventure. Exciting sessions, workshops, library visits, endless networking opportunities, and on top of that a cultural evening set in one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. This not-to-be-missed event will take place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center located in the Kallithea neighborhood. The WLIC early registration deadline is May 15; ALA members can register at the IFLA member rate through ALA’s member code US-0002....

IFLA WLIC Newsletter, Apr.

LGBTQ community tells library: Programs can save lives

At the Edgewater branch, people speak at an Anne Arundel County (Md.) Library board meeting regarding the topic of the LGBTQ programs at county libraries. Photo by Joshua McKerrow

The LGBTQ community wants to be normal, not controversial. That’s what community members and library staff told Anne Arundel County (Md.) Library trustees at an April 17 meeting. Although this year’s 16 mainly LGBTQ-centered programs are already being planned, the board heard a second round of public comment. The programs were deemed “possibly controversial” by libraries CEO Skip Auld, in accordance with library policy. But there’s still confusion over whether the board should be required to vote on programming....

Annapolis (Md.) Capital-Gazette, Apr. 18

Spokane to eliminate school librarians

Stephanie Oakes, the librarian at the Libby Center, received a layoff notice from Spokane Public Schools on April 11. Photo by Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane, Washington, school district is eliminating school librarian positions. On April 11, every librarian in Spokane Public Schools received notice that their jobs will be gone next year. Those with less experience will probably be laid off this summer, as the district copes with a projected $31 million deficit. Superintendent Shelley Redinger said the district would “change the library model district wide.” Elementary school teachers will bring their students into the libraries for designated periods. “What that means for librarians is that they will be moving back into the classroom,” district spokesman Brian Coddington said....

Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review, Apr. 12–13
ALA news

Notre-Dame fire a warning to protect our heritage

A firefighter battles the flames at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15. Photo by Pierre Suu / Getty Images

David S. Ferriero, Carla D. Hayden, and David J. Skorton write: “The flames that engulfed the 856-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral are a shocking reminder that the world’s most enduring cultural and religious monuments are fragile despite their bedrock appearance. This tragedy has devastated those of us who preserve architecture, history, and cultural and religious heritage. We must rigorously assess our ability to secure our national collections, identify challenges, and prevent such tragedies, despite our need to manage modern expectations in the digital age. To serve the public most effectively, we must think beyond the next fiscal year to the decades ahead.”...

USA Today, Apr. 17; Smithsonian: Smart News, Apr. 15

The power of public spaces

Cover of Common Goals, Different Approaches

As American communities face increasing levels of social and economic division, a new report showcases how five US cities are reimagining public spaces—parks, trails, plazas, libraries—to bring residents together and revive neglected neighborhoods. The report, Common Goals, Different Approaches, commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, traces projects in Akron, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia to revitalize and connect civic assets as a means to influence positive social and economic outcomes. The efforts are part of the “Reimagining the Civic Commons” initiative....

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Apr. 18

Alaska library lends out taxidermy specimens

Alaska Resources Library and Information Services provides the public with an extensive selection of birds as part of its collection of items that are available for circulation

Jennifer Nalewicki writes: “Inside Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, a library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, are shelves upon shelves of archival boxes, each carefully labeled with its specific contents—a perfectly preserved carcass of a ring-necked pheasant nestled in one, a mounted black rockfish in another. The collection has grown to include hundreds of specimens, making ARLIS the only known library in the US to hold such a taxidermic trove. It is not only open to the public, but its items can be checked out just like one would a library book—the only thing you need is an Anchorage public library card.”...

Smithsonian, Apr. 18

2019 Chicago Public Library literary awards

George R. R. Martin and Eve Ewing

George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series that inspired HBO’s Game of Thrones, will be honored this fall by the Chicago Public Library with its 2019 Carl Sandburg Literary Award. Sociologist and writer Eve Ewing, author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side, has been named winner of the library’s 21st Century Award. Both authors will receive their awards October 10 at a fundraiser dinner....

Chicago Tribune, Apr. 17
Latest Library Links

Lost manuscript by Ferdinand Columbus identified

The Libro de los Epitomes manuscript, which contains more than 2,000 pages of book summaries, is a catalog of the library of Ferdinand Columbus

In 2013, University of Windsor Professor Guy Lazure discovered a lost link to the 16th century’s largest book collection—one assembled by Ferdinand Columbus, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus. The 2,000-page book, marked as AM 377 fol. in the Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, is actually a lost copy of Ferdinand’s Libro de los Epítomes, an annotated index to his and his father’s massive collection of more than 15,000 books. Ferdinand was a visionary who wanted to collect every book printed at the time and, in a precursor to modern libraries, established a system to catalog his collection....

Windsor (Ont.) Star, Apr. 12

Reconstructing Mark Twain’s library

Cover of volume 1 of Mark Twain’s Literary Resources

Terena Bell writes: “What if you could make a list of everything Mark Twain ever read and of every book he ever owned? Alan Gribben, cofounder of the Mark Twain Circle of America, has spent the last 45 years doing just that. In Mark Twain’s Literary Resources, a three-volume work of literary criticism to be published in May, Gribben outlines the reading that influenced Twain, from Shakespeare to Poe. It’s a labor of love, with Gribben describing how he uncovered Twain’s tomes in basement boxes and other odd places. He also had to navigate fakes, books with counterfeit autographs, and annotations made by the notorious forger and murderer Mark Hofmann.”...

The Guardian (UK), Apr. 1
Dewey Decibel podcast

The six oldest libraries in New England

The Sturgis Library in Barnstable, Massachusetts, is the oldest building in the US to house a public library

Many New England towns claim to have the oldest libraries in their state. In New Hampshire, for example, the Portsmouth Athenaeum was founded as a private library in 1817, 16 years before the Peterborough Town Library. Peterborough, funded by taxpayers from the start, claims to be the oldest tax-supported library. But this list is limited to the oldest libraries that lend books. So Peterborough in, Portsmouth out. Here are six of the oldest libraries in New England, one in each state....

New England Historical Society

How to clean a computer keyboard

A keyboard blowout

Gabe Carey writes: “Whether you’re a gamer, a hard-working professional, or both, you’re bound to get your hands on something gunky prior to clicking and clacking away at your keyboard. When all that sludge and silt becomes too much, you’ll have to undertake that most thankless of PC tasks: cleaning your keyboard. Here are five handy ways you can clean your keyboard without spending much, before you replace it or ditch it. From a simple chassis shakedown to removing all the keycaps and the outer shell and giving certain bits a bath, these tips range from beginner to intermediate-enthusiast level.”...

PC Magazine, Apr. 12

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