One way to promote civic engagement.

American Library Association • January 11, 2019
Thinking Money for Kids

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Speed-repping connects patrons with lawmakers

Roberta McCulloch-Dews, director of administrative services in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, listens during a speed-repping event at Berkshire Athenaeum. Photo by Caroline Bonnivier Snyder / The Berkshire Eagle

Emily Udell writes: “Jamie Griffin, manager of the Whitehaven branch of Memphis (Tenn.) Public Libraries, was watching an episode of Sex and the City about speed dating when the idea for ‘speed-repping’ struck. The fast-paced matchmaking of speed dating allows singles to meet multiple prospective dates in short, face-to-face conversations. But could the format be used to promote civic engagement? Griffin adapted the format to allow residents one-on-one time with several local leaders at a single event. In March 2017, his branch hosted a two-hour session that drew more than 100 community members.”...

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Academic research sprints

Faculty and librarians work on a research sprint at the University of Kansas Libraries in 2017

The race is on at universities in Kansas and Minnesota, where a new method of highly intensive research is uniting librarians and faculty to accomplish big projects over short periods of time. The so-called research sprints are being pioneered at University of Kansas and University of Minnesota libraries, and their designers are spreading the word. Karna Younger, faculty engagement librarian at Kansas University, says the idea of research sprints—during which faculty and librarians work together for about a week on the same project and in the same space—is not new. But the approach is being formalized into a method that can be replicated....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Improving work through reflective practice

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “I’ve struggled to develop a regular practice of reflecting on my work, though I can now see why it’s so valuable. Reflective practice is the act of looking back on what you did so that you can learn from it and inform what you do in the future. Many of us do this informally in our day-to-day work. When we have a bad interaction at the reference desk, we think about how we can keep it from happening again. However, we are often so busy that unless we make reflection a formal part of our work, it’s easy to rush from one task to another without thinking about how we might change.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Career readiness for teens

Youth Matters, by Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun writes: “What does it take to prepare teens for career success after high school? Providence (R.I.) Public Library has an answer: ‘Our Teen Squad programs are driven by youth interests while focusing on work readiness and 21st-century skills development,’ says Kate Aubin, teen educator at PPL. ‘With our diverse community partners, we provide interactive and engaging competency-based programming that builds relationships and connects teens to workforce development opportunities.’”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
ALA news

Discovery services: Bundled or separate?

Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Marshall Breeding writes: “Throughout much of the history of library automation, online catalogs were the primary subject-based search tool for academic libraries. But because of their complex interfaces, many libraries moved away from catalogs when internet search engines—sporting simplified interfaces and sophisticated search-and-retrieval technologies—came on the scene. Libraries today have many different options to enable their users to discover and gain access to their collections of information resources.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Resources for those experiencing furloughs

Capitol building

A number of library workers are experiencing furloughs or tough times through the federal government shutdown. The ALA–Allied Professional Association has listed some resources for those experiencing difficulties....

ALA–APA Wellness, Jan. 8

Theoharis to keynote Martin Luther King Celebration

Jeanne Theoharis

Professor and author Jeanne Theoharis (right) will deliver the keynote address at the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The 2019 celebration will be held 6:30–7:30 a.m. on January 28 in the Sheraton Grand Seattle Metropolitan Ballroom. Theoharis’s biography The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks won a 2014 NAACP Image Award and the Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians....

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Jan. 8
Latest Library Links

National Library of Cuba collection in WorldCat

National Library of Cuba, Havana

The University of Florida is working with the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí, the National Library of Cuba, to register Cuban materials in WorldCat. Through a unique partnership between the BNCJM, the University of Florida, and OCLC, 133,000 Cuban titles have been registered in WorldCat. More than 97,000 of these are unique records and valuable additions to the worldwide library community. The collection appears in WorldCat as part of the University of Florida Libraries collection with the holding designation “University of Florida BNCJM.”...

OCLC, Jan. 10

Seniors shared the most fake news in 2016

Self-identified Republicans over 65 shared nearly seven times more fake articles than other users

Jennifer Ouellette writes: “If you’re convinced your grandparents or crazy old Uncle Larry share a lot more dubious posts on Facebook, your intuition is likely correct. It’s primarily people over 65, identifying as conservative or Republican, who shared the most fake news articles during the 2016 election, according to a new study published in Science Advances. But the overall number of people who shared fake news at all is actually very low: less than 9%. The age factor holds steady even after accounting for political ideology or party affiliation, which surprised Princeton political scientist Andrew Guess and his coauthors.”...

Ars Technica, Jan. 10; Science Advances, Jan. 9
Dewey Decibel podcast

Old proteins in rare books reveal the past

Sample of book dust being removed from 17th-century Bible. Photo by Folger Shakespeare Library

Proteomics research examines proteins found on or within archaeological sites, works of art, rare books, documents, and other historical objects. One study, known as Project Dustbunny, took place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, which teamed with NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute to see what could be learned from bibles and other items in the collection. The technique could also be used to examine dust on a property deed of Shakespeare’s. If the Bard had left proteins on the deed that is now held at the Folger, researchers would be able to identify them by getting a sample from a living member of the family....

Shakespeare and Beyond, Jan. 4; The New Yorker, Nov. 26, 2018

One librarian’s resolutions for the new year

The Arnett Special

Kristen Arnett writes: “Here I am, back at the circulation desk after two magical weeks off work, doing nothing but sleeping and reading and traveling and drinking beer and hanging out way too late at the 7-Eleven. There’s still time to think, hard, about why it is that we choose to do anything. So here are some resolutions I’m making about librarianship that I plan on dragging with me through this beautiful new Year of Our Lord 2019. Because although I don’t always savor the bad parts of librarianship, there is plenty of stuff I do love about it.”...

Literary Hub, Jan. 9

10 bookish Insta feeds

Alaska Digital Newspaper Project Instagram feed

Barbara Basbanes Richter writes: “Ah, January—the month touted as the time to refresh everything from one’s diet and wellness to home decor. Why not apply the same mentality to your daily Insta scroll with some new bibliocentric feeds? Special collections libraries, rare booksellers, and collectors have embraced Instagram as an ideal platform to virtually share their treasures with the world. Here are 10 noteworthy institutional Instagram accounts that excel at showcasing rare books, manuscripts, and other works on paper.”...

Fine Books Blog, Jan. 11

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