Help achieve a complete Census count in 2020.

American Library Association • January 15, 2019
University of Denver

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Census resources for libraries

US Census 2020 form

Gavin Baker and Larra Clark write: “The 2020 Census begins April 1, 2020, and libraries will play an essential role in helping their communities be counted. Now is a good time for libraries to begin thinking about what activities they might undertake to meet these special, once-a-decade demands, and how to access resources to fulfill those needs. Libraries can look for funding opportunities from government, philanthropy, and business partners. A good way to find out about opportunities is by participating in a Complete Count Committee.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 15; Sept. 11, 2018

The value of school librarians

Kerri Price, a Charleston County (S.C.) Teacher Librarian Cohort member in University of South Carolina’s Library Scholar program, works with students in her school library, alongside her therapy dog, Bailey

R. David Lankes and Mike Corbo write: “South Carolina requires every public school to have at least one school librarian with an MLIS degree. But with population booming in the region and many current school librarians nearing retirement age in the next five years, school districts are having trouble recruiting and retaining enough librarians. The state had 60 school librarian vacancies in 2018. In the year-old Library Scholar Program, cohorts of six to 15 members go through the University of South Carolina’s online MLIS program together, and members can continue their current jobs while working on their new degrees.”...

American Libraries Spotlight, Jan. 15

The show must go on

Emily Cabaniss, company librarian and music assistant for the Seattle Opera

Wrangling a chorus, attending performances, and fielding reference questions backstage are all part of the job for Emily Cabaniss (right), company librarian and music assistant for the Seattle Opera. Hired in 2014 as the company’s first information professional, Cabaniss makes sure the artistic, music, and production departments have the materials they need—commercial recordings, scores for instrumentation, a last-minute copy of La Dame aux Camélias (a play by Alexandre Dumas) from the Library of Congress’s digital holdings—to make a show come alive....

American Libraries Bookend, Jan./Feb.
ALA news

LAUSD teachers, librarians go on strike

United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl speaks during a press conference January 13. Photo by Nicholas Agro / Los Angeles Times

Only about a third of Los Angeles Unified students showed up to school January 14, the first day of a teachers' strike, with many staying away despite assurance from district officials that all campuses would be in full operation. Some 31,000 teachers, librarians, nurses, and counselors walked off the job January 14 in their first strike in 30 years, leaving half a million students and their families with difficult choices. Schools will be open, but it’s unknown how many students will head to classes in the nation’s second-largest school system. Some will be joining their teachers on the picket line. At 10 schools, nonteaching employees will take part in a sympathy strike. A strike became inevitable when negotiations broke off late January 11 between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles....

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 14; Spectrum News 1, Jan. 2

St. Paul social worker assists patrons

Ruby Rivera

Andy Steiner writes: “Even though she has more work than any one person can realistically handle, Ruby Rivera (right) would be the first to say that she loves her job. As the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library’s first social worker hired to assist families struggling with a range of concerns, Rivera gets to combine her passion for libraries with her desire to roll up her sleeves and help people navigate life’s toughest moments. Social concerns like poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness are on the rise, and they impact everyday life in the library.”...

MinnPost, Jan. 14

There’s no place like a library

Plans for a new downtown Boise library call for a south-facing wall of glass overlooking the Boise River

Mark Durcan writes: “The city of Boise is developing plans for a new main library campus in the heart of downtown. This landmark public space will house an extraordinary array of programs and services for everyone in our community, and become a point of pride for generations of Boiseans to come. This initiative is similar to others we have undertaken and supported. That is why it is so disheartening to see some trying to change the rules in order to derail the library initiative. If there’s a need to deliberate about how our government should work, it should not be done through the lens of any specific building or program.”...

Boise Idaho Statesman, Jan. 11

A new vision for Harvard’s Houghton Library

Plans for Houghton Library include a fully accessible entrance with ramped walkways and new trees and plantings

Kaitlin Buckley writes: “An upcoming renovation to Harvard’s Houghton Library will modernize its research and teaching facilities, expand its exhibition galleries, improve physical access to its spaces and holdings, and create a more welcoming, inviting, and accessible environment. The renovation represents a key component of a larger vision for the rare books library, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2018. The renovation will include redesigning the landscape outside the library entrance, creating more space for people to gather outside, and introducing natural light to the entrance lobby, which will feature a dynamic exhibition gallery.”...

The Harvard Gazette, Jan. 14
Latest Library Links

The National Library of Israel opens its digital doors

Begin and other Likud funnies from the collection of the National Library. Photo by National Library of Israel

A little green booklet showing former Prime Minister Menachem Begin is one of the millions of items held by the National Library of Israel. But until now, it was one of the many items the library did not earmark for digitization because it is an “orphan work” whose copyright holders cannot be located. Now, following an amendment to the Copyright Law passed in the Knesset on January 1, the library will have greater freedom to digitize its vast holdings without fear of lawsuits. Those who lobbied for the amendment—including the National Library—said the legislation brings Israel in line with the European Union, Canada, and other nations....

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15

The ongoing hunt for Nazi loot in libraries

The Nazis left the task of creating inventories for the millions of books they seized to a special task force, members of which are seen here in Estonia. Photo from Yad Vashem Photo Archives

Milton Esterow writes: “The hunt for the millions of books stolen by the Nazis during World War II has been pursued quietly and diligently for decades, but it has been largely ignored, even as the search for lost art drew headlines. The plundered volumes seldom carried the same glamour as the looted paintings, which were often masterpieces worth millions of dollars. But recently, with little fanfare, the search for the books has intensified, driven by researchers in America and Europe who have developed a road map of sorts to track the stolen books, many of which are still hiding in plain sight on library shelves throughout Europe.”...

New York Times, Jan. 14
Dewey Decibel podcast

25 cool library cards from around the world

Library card from Laurea Library, Vantaa, Finland

Liz Boccolini writes: “I’ve had the same library card since I was a little kid and I love it because it gives me access to my local library system, and by this point it has a lot of sentimental value. It isn’t very visually appealing. However, there are some incredible library card designs, so we’ve found 25 from around the world that you will have serious envy for.”...

The Nerd Daily, Jan. 13

The best gaming keyboards

Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Platinum keyboard

Hayden Dingman writes: “Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. To that point, there are a plethora of options, with a dizzying mix of features. One person could be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another might favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Others go for gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, or volume controls. To help you sort through the many options, we’ve rounded up a large number of planks, putting them through their paces, to come up with our top recommendations.”...

PC World, Jan. 15

The Weird Book Room

Cover of Catflexing: The Catlovers Guide to Weight Training, Aerobics, and Stretching, by Stephanie Jackson

For adventure and amusement, pay a visit to AbeBooks’ Weird Book Room, heralded by the New York Times and other media as the finest source of everything bizarre, odd, and downright weird in books. Author Neil Gaiman is even tweeting about it, posting a link and suggesting to his followers: “Go to this link and gaze on the titles and be made happy. Trust me. It’ll work.” As AbeBooks puts it, “With new titles added periodically, we have an excellent selection of crazy and strange titles for sale by our booksellers, about every oddball aspect of life you could possibly imagine. Some of the selections are serious, but out of context, the titles tickled our funny bones.”...

AbeBooks Weird Book Room

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