Hooked on school librarian podcasts.

American Library Association • August 16, 2019

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Two podcasts by and for school librarians

Amy Hermon recording an episode of School Librarians United

Margaret Sullivan writes: “If you had asked me about podcasts a year ago, I would have told you that I had tried listening to a few, but had never gotten hooked on one. I simply preferred listening to audiobooks and music. However, that changed in early 2019, when, thanks to my personal learning network, I stumbled across two podcasts created by and for school librarians: School Librarians United with Amy Hermon, and Checked In, a Missouri Association of School Librarians podcast with Ethan Evans. I enjoy these podcasts so much that I think school librarians everywhere should know about them.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Aug. 16

Voting is now open for Teens’ Top Ten

Teens Top Ten logo

For the seventh year in a row, DOGObooks will host the voting page for YALSA’s 2019 Teens’ Top Ten list. Voting is open now through October 15. Teens ages 12–18 can vote for up to three titles from the 25 nominees. The voting page showcases all nominee book covers and summaries and gives teens the opportunity to leave comments about their favorite titles. A video (2:29) featuring the nominated books can be found on the Teens’ Top Ten site....

YALSA, Aug. 15; YALSA YouTube channel, Apr. 11

Cannabis taxes aid library budgets

Montecito branch of the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Library

Three branch libraries won’t have to cut hours or reduce programs after the Santa Barbara County (Calif.) board of supervisors agreed August 13 to make up deficits in their operating budgets totaling $68,447 by using cannabis tax revenues. By increasing the county’s contribution, the previously approved budget for providing library services will rise to a little less than $3.86 million. The Orcutt branch of Santa Maria Public Library will receive $12,261, the Vandenberg Village branch of Lompoc Public Library will see an additional $11,229, and the Montecito branch of the Santa Barbara Library will get an additional $44,956....

Santa Maria (Calif.) Times, June 11, 27, Aug. 13

Verizon demands $880 from small library for roaming data

Tully (N.Y.) Free Library

A small library that lends out mobile hotspots is facing a tough budget decision because one of its borrowers accidentally ran up $880 in roaming fees, and Verizon refuses to waive or reduce the charges. The library has an “unlimited” data plan for the hotspots, but Verizon says it has to pay to cover less than half a gigabyte of data usage that took place in Canada. Tully (N.Y.) Free Library lends out three hotspots to a rural population that has limited internet access. It started the lending program with a grant from the Central New York Library Resources Council, which paid the bill for two years. The original service plan with Verizon blocked international roaming....

Ars Technica, Aug. 9
ALA news

Carnegie Library staff members vote to unionize

Main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland

Librarians and other staff members across the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system voted August 14 to form a union for more than 300 full- and part-time workers. The vote, counted at the library’s main branch in Oakland, was approved 173–106. The vote means library staff will become part of the United Steelworkers and negotiate a contract with the library system. The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new effort includes all 321 remaining eligible staff....

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Aug. 14

Leander Public Library’s new, post–drag queen policies

Leander (Tex.) Public Library

Leander (Tex.) Public Library meeting rooms will be limited to programs and events sponsored by the library, city, or parks and recreation, and background checks will be required for library presenters involved with programming geared toward children 17 and younger. Leander City Council voted 5–2 on August 15 to change the library policies, after a more than two-month-long city review. The city began the review in May after finding a drag queen story hour event was scheduled to take place at the library on June 15. The city canceled the event, prompting Open Cathedral Church in Leander to rent a space at the library to host a similar gathering....

Community Impact Newspaper, Cedar Park / Leander, Tex., Aug. 16; KXAN-TV, Austin, Tex., Aug. 16; Cedar Park (Tex.) Hill Country News, May 24

Hundreds of books removed from Illinois prison library

The Education Justice Project offers University of Illinois classes to a select group of men at the Danville Correctional Center. Earlier this year, more than 200 books from the EJP library in the prison were removed

Lee V. Gaines writes: “Lance Pittman arrived at the Danville (Ill.) Correctional Center on January 10 with multiple boxes of books and bound printouts of articles and book chapters. Pittman coordinates a college-in-prison program called the Education Justice Project, which offers University of Illinois classes to a select group of men at the prison. Later that month, hundreds of books were removed from the program’s library inside the educational wing of the Danville prison. Documents obtained by Illinois Newsroom shine a light on why the books were removed and who was responsible for their removal.”...

WILL-TV, Urbana, Ill., Aug. 15; Illinois Newsroom, May 29

Irish stamps celebrate Andrew Carnegie libraries

Irish Carnegie library stamp set

A new stamp set from the Republic of Ireland celebrates the rich Irish dividend from the classic rags to riches story of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. An Post launched four stamps on August 14 to mark the centenary of the death of Andrew Carnegie. The four stamps, designed by Vermillion Design, feature line drawings of four Irish Carnegie Libraries by Irish artist Dorothy Smith and photographed by Gillian Buckley. The featured buildings include libraries in Kilkenny, Clondalkin, Enniskerry (all in County Wicklow), and Athea in County Limerick. The stamps are available online at irishstamps.ie....

Meath Chronicle, Aug. 15
Latest Library Links

Emily Dickinson’s herbarium

A page from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium

So many authors have written about gardens that it might be easier to make a list of those who didn’t. But even in this crowded company, Emily Dickinson stands out. She not only attended the fragile beauty of flowers with an artist’s eye—before she’d written any of her famous poems—but she did so with the keen eye of a botanist, a field of work then open to anyone with the leisure, curiosity, and creativity to undertake it. Her herbarium, a journal filled with pressed flowers and plants, has preserved their beauty and color for over 150 years. Housed at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Dickinson’s herbarium is viewable online....

Open Culture, Aug. 6

Originality checker added to Google Classroom

Google originality checker

Brian Hendricks writes: “Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced August 14. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work.”...

Google: The Keyword, Aug. 14
Dewey Decibel podcast

Devices and appliances you can tweet from, ranked

Tweet-capable devices

Shannon Palus and Heather Schwedel write: “If you no longer had your computer or phone, how far would you go to keep tweeting? We are underestimating the social networking potential of the other electronics in our lives. How many non-computer or -phone devices can, in a pinch, be used for tweeting? We’ve ranked the possibilities, from most chill to most horrible. (Sadly, we did it by typing on computers. But our refrigerators will totally tweet the link.)”...

Slate, Aug. 15

Five library books (and a postcard) that are way overdue

The Donegal County Library in Letterkenny, Ireland, said librarians were stunned when a copy of The White Owl, by Annie M.P. Smithson, was returned in May, 82 years after the listed due date

One of the most appealing aspects of using a public library is being able to borrow books for free—provided they are returned by the stipulated due date. Recently, five libraries detailed the cases of patrons who failed to meet the deadline and the books that were returned decades overdue. The Donegal County Library in Letterkenny, Ireland, said librarians were stunned when a copy of The White Owl, by Annie M. P. Smithson, was returned 82 years after the listed due date. And in Tucson, the Pima County Public Library had a postcard overdue notice returned to it that was first sent in 1973....

United Press International, Aug. 13; KOLD-TV, Tucson, Aug. 15

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