School librarian shortage in Michigan.

American Library Association • August 13, 2019
Dewey Decibel CSK episode

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Michigan faces literacy crisis as school librarians disappear

The renovated library at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Detroit (still from WDIV-TV Help Me Hank Facebook video)

Koby Levin writes: “When the basketball star and a local news crew showed up at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Detroit, the room the kids called the ‘library’ was a glorified storage closet, complete with peeling paint, jumbled bookshelves, and unopened cardboard boxes. By the end of the home makeover segment, the library looked the part. Students lounged on new bean bag chairs, listening to a story read by Reggie Jackson, a player for the Detroit Pistons who helped pay for the renovation. But the story was missing a crucial piece: A librarian.”...

Chalkbeat, Aug. 8; Help Me Hank Facebook video, May 6, 2017

Deep fakes and their impact on information

Screenshot of Nancy Pelosi from May 23 video

Rebecca Hill writes: “On May 23, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) was shown in a video slurring and stumbling over her words. Donald Trump retweeted it that evening, then Rudy Giuliani retweeted it too, saying, ‘What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi?’ Fox Business News also picked it up and shared it in one of their short news segments. The speed with which it coursed through the Internet was incredible. According to USA Today, the video was retweeted, uploaded on Facebook, and by May 24 had 2.4 million views and had been shared more than 47,000 times. YouTube removed the video. Facebook did not. The footage, experts pointed out, was manipulated, and the words deep fakes began to once again circulate among the news networks.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Aug. 12; USA Today, May 23

Turkish government destroys more than 300,000 books

Turkish Minister of Education Ziya Selçuk

More than 300,000 books have been removed from Turkish schools and libraries and destroyed since the attempted coup of 2016, according to Turkey’s education minister, Ziya Selçuk (right). The books were destroyed as part of the government crackdown on anything linked to Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Muslim cleric who is accused by Turkey of instigating 2016’s failed military coup. Free speech organizations said they were alarmed. “In just three years, the publishing landscape in Turkey has been all but decimated, with 29 publishing houses shut down by emergency decree for ‘spreading terrorist propaganda,’” said PEN International and English PEN in a joint statement....

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 6
ALA news

Performance evaluations: What not to do

Employee review (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Gretchen Kaser writes: “Performance evaluations can be stressful not just for the employee on the receiving end, but for managers as well. As is the case with many managerial topics, elements of a successful review are typically not included in library school curricula. This means many new managers enter the process with little to no idea of what is expected of them or helpful for their employees. While it can be tempting to just skip reviews entirely in this scenario, that is not helpful to staff either. Instead, it pays to learn about what goes into a proper evaluation.”...

Public Libraries Online, Aug. 13

Nearly 25% of parents buying tablets for preschoolers

Detail from PC Magazine's survey of 1,000 parents

PC Magazine (via Google Surveys) polled 1,000 parents with children ranging from preschool to college age on what tech they're planning to buy for their kids for this school year. Almost half of parents said they intend to buy tablets for their preschool (24%) and elementary school (25%) children. Though they can be expensive, tablets are large and give kids a tactile experience that's harder to find on smaller devices. Colors pop, games are plentiful, and parents can limit screen time....

PC Magazine, Aug. 12, June 27

Salinger titles to become ebooks at last

J. D. Salinger

Alexandra Alter writes: “In the five decades since J. D. Salinger published his final short story, ‘Hapworth 16, 1924,’ his small, revered body of work has stayed static, practically suspended in amber. Even as publishers and consumers adopted ebooks and digital audio, Salinger’s books remained defiantly offline, a consequence of the writer’s distaste for computers and technology. That is partly because of his son, Matt Salinger, who helps run the J. D. Salinger Literary Trust and is a vigilant guardian of his father’s legacy and privacy. But now, in an effort to keep his father’s books in front of a new generation of readers, the younger Mr. Salinger is beginning to ease up.”...

New York Times, Aug. 11
Latest Library Links

Bookstagrammers are changing how we read

July 24 post from Bookstagrammer Spines and Vines

Angela Haupt writes: “To put a literary spin on an adage: If you read a book but don’t post about it on social media, did you really read it? On Bookstagram, a niche corner of Instagram, readers share dazzling photos of single books, stacks of books, coffee and books, nature and books. Books that never looked so good. And on YouTube’s BookTube, bibliophiles upload vlogs, or video logs, anywhere from a couple minutes to more than an hour long. Some BookTubers specialize in spirited reviews; there’s an account that posts live-action illustrations of C. S. Lewis essays, and another that analyzes the classics in gangster-speak.”...

Washington Post, Aug. 6

Reviewing every public library in Massachusetts

Adam Zand (left) and Greg Peverill-Conti take a break in the Map Room Tea Lounge at Boston Public Library in Copley Square (Photo: Library Land Project Instagram)

Jessica Hill writes: “Some people review restaurants, some review movies. Two men have taken it upon themselves to review every library in Massachusetts. Prompted in part by their own needs as remote workers, Adam Zand (left) and Greg Peverill-Conti created the Library Land Project and have traveled to more than 200 libraries to rate them and bring awareness to the important role libraries play in communities. Their goal is to visit every one of the 450–480 public libraries in Massachusetts. The Library Land Project ranks libraries based on 11 criteria, including parking, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms and restrooms, upkeep, friendliness, noise and comfort levels, and whether it’s a good place to work.”...

Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, Aug. 11
Dewey Decibel podcast

Teen-friendly horror movies

Lights Out

Brooke Windsor writes: “Teens and horror movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. It is one of the biggest reasons why the majority of horror films strive to get a PG-13 rating to secure their primary demographic. Despite this link, many parents hate how dark/sexual/illicit-substance-using these movies tend to be. I have some good picks for horror movies that teen patrons will love and that won’t have parents coming in the next day to file a complaint.”...

YALSA: The Hub, Aug. 12

NYPL lions to get $250k restoration

NYPL lion

Lisa L. Colangelo writes: “It takes a lot of Patience and Fortitude to sit on 5th Avenue for more than 100 years, battling smog, tree sap, and the occasional adventurous visitor who wants to climb on your back. The majestic marble lions that flank the 42nd Street entrance to the New York Public Library’s Schwartzman Building have more than earned their monikers and are ready for a much-needed cleaning and restoration. The $250,000 project is set to start the week of Sept. 2 and will last about nine weeks, according to library officials.”...

AM New York, Aug. 12

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