ALA honors 10 librarians for outstanding service.

American Library Association • December 10, 2019
Simmons University

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Meet the I Love My Librarian Award winners

I Love My Librarian Award winners

ALA announced the 10 winners of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award on December 10. Recipients were nominated by patrons nationwide for their profound impact on the lives of families, students, teachers, and information seekers in their communities. Winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a plaque, and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony during the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 25. The event will stream via Facebook Live.This year’s recipients include three academic, three public, and four school librarians....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 10

Lessons from the Kansas State University fire

On My Mind, by Lori A. Goetsch

Lori A. Goetsch writes: “On May 22, 2018, the fire alarm went off in Hale Library, the main library building on Kansas State University’s Manhattan campus. This wasn’t the first time we’d had fire alarms. However, this time was different—it was clear that we had a fire on the roof of the 1927 historic portion of our 550,000-square-foot building. What did we learn from this experience that is beneficial to other libraries, no matter the type or size? Most important: Have a disaster plan, keep it updated, and practice it regularly.”...

American Libraries column, Dec. 9

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What the Innovative acquisition means for library tech

Ex Libris and Innovative logos

Marshall Breeding writes: “In a move that further consolidates the library technology industry, Ex Libris announced on December 5 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces from its private equity investors. Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. The transaction is expected to close in early 2020. Until that time, the two companies will continue to operate independently. This acquisition strengthens Ex Libris’s position in the academic library sector, and it marks ProQuest’s first entry into the public library automation arena, though its content products are well represented.”...

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 9; Oct. 6, 2015; Ex Libris, Dec. 5
ALA news

Chinese library burns books diverging from ideology

Two library employees burn books in front of the public library in Zhenyuan, Gansu province

Staff at a public library in northwest China have set fire to “banned books” in front of the building, sparking anger online. According to a report on the government website of Zhenyuan County, Gansu province, the library did a ‘thorough clean-up’ of its donated books and destroyed all ‘illegal publications and religious publications, especially books, pictorial publications, and visual content that showed leanings.’ The report from October 22 was spotted by a Chinese social media user on the Library Society of China’s website and widely circulated online before it was deleted. The county government said there would be an in-depth investigation of the incident. It did not say what punishments the employees would face, or give details about the books destroyed....

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Dec. 9; Washington Post, Dec. 9; Reuters, Dec. 10

Seattle PL criticized as venue for Meghan Murphy event

“Fighting the New Misogyny” event scheduled for February 1 at the Seattle Public Library’s auditorium

Transgender locals and allies have inundated the Seattle Public Library with calls and emails, asking it to cancel a private February 1 event at the library’s Microsoft Auditorium featuring Meghan Murphy and hosted by the Women’s Liberation Front—a self-described “radical feminist organization” that espouses anti-trans views. The event puts the library in a quandary over how it can maintain its commitment to intellectual freedom, provide information access to the entire community, and be an inclusive, welcoming space. Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner said the event request was initially processed because it was labeled as a women’s-rights talk....

Seattle Times, Dec. 9; Seattle Public Library, Dec. 6

Library offers safe night for kids with sensory issues

Sensory Night activities focus on engaging children’s senses in ways that are not overwhelming

For children who have sensory issues, the world can seem like a minefield of unpleasant experiences with noisy school classrooms, the constant visual stimulus of moving lights from an unending flow of vehicles, or an unpleasant crawling feeling all along the skin from touching a strangely textured object. The Union County Library System in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, recognizes that there are many kids who desperately need an escape from these and other sensory disasters, and offers a free Sensory Night program on the fourth Thursday of every month for these children and their families to play safely...., Dec. 7
Latest Library Links

Stuffed animal sleepovers

Stuffed animals enjoy a 3D movie in the library theater during a sleepover

Katie Brege writes: “One of my favorite annual programs at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library is our Stuffed Animal Sleepover. This special event gives kids a chance to play the role of caregiver as they lead their stuffed animal friends through an evening storytime. Then they tuck their friends into bed and leave their stuffed animals to spend the night at the library. After the library closes, the real fun begins. The stuffed animals are photographed throughout the library having adventures. They have made s’mores on the library plaza, visited the juvenile storage books, checked out the teen department, and had their own LEGO club—just to name a few.”...

ALSC Blog, Dec. 10

Edwardsville Public Library supports homeless community

The first meeting of the community resource group at the Edwardsville (Ill.) Public Library

The Edwardsville (Ill.) Public Library is trying to address homelessness in its community and recently took a big first step. On December 3, the library hosted the first meeting of a community resource advisory group to help identify a network of assistance and support for library patrons whose needs are not being met. About 25 people attended, including representatives from libraries, government agencies, churches, and health services. The group is part of the library’s multipronged approach to the issue, which includes applying to serve as an internship site for a student from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Social Work....

Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer, Dec. 6
Dewey Decibel podcast

Data science, machine learning, and AI in libraries

Title page of Responsible Operations

OCLC Research has just released Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries by Thomas Padilla, OCLC practitioner researcher in residence and visiting digital research services librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This research agenda is intended to help chart library community engagement with data science, machine learning, and AI. It was developed in partnership with an advisory group and a landscape group comprised of more than 70 librarians and other professionals. Libraries can use the document to make a case for addressing challenges and launching discussions and action....

OCLC Research, Dec. 8

Are 350 books enough?

Big pile of books

Elin Johnson writes: “English professor Richard Burt is a big fan of books. So much so that he has checked out 728 books from the University of Florida library, doubling the faculty checkout limit of 350. Burt makes frequent trips to the campus library, where he knows every librarian by name. And this got Burt into a bit of trouble. First the library came collecting. Then he was made to sign a letter of reprimand for his interactions with the library staff. Patrick Reakes, senior associate dean of scholarly resources and services, said that the excessive amount of books that were checked out had led to hours of wasted staff time and confusion.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10

Philadelphia’s Free Library sells its Automobile Collection

1912 three-wheel “torpido” type car, France. Photo from the Automobile Reference Collection

Thanks to a valuable auto archive—officially the Automobile Reference Collection—from the Free Library of Philadelphia, car enthusiasts will soon have access to important material. The library announced December 9 that it is selling the collection to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in South Philadelphia and the Antique Automobile Club of America Library in Hershey. It will be known as the Thomas McKean Collection, named for the collector who amassed more than 100,000 items, including advertising literature, technical bulletins, photos, books, journals, and historic license plates....

Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 9

Women writers dominate Toronto’s 2019 popular books

Toronto Public Library's 10 most popular books of 2019

The Toronto Public Library says women were among the most popular check-outs from the library this year. Of the 10 most borrowed books in 2019, announced December 9, eight were written by women, with the top two written by black women. Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming came in first place at 5,860 borrows and holds combined, followed by Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black with 4,997 borrows and holds. Despite US politics capturing the attention of so many, it was a strong year for Canadian literature. Canadian authors on the list included Edugyan, Margaret Atwood, Louise Penny, and Miriam Toews....

Toronto Star, Dec. 9

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