Federal librarians dip into savings, file for unemployment.

American Library Association • January 25, 2019
University of Denver

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Librarian shutdown stories

Partial government shutdown

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “The partial federal government shutdown has entered its second month, with no end in sight. Some librarians on furlough expect to be compensated for the paychecks that stopped arriving when the shutdown began on December 22, 2018. But others, working on contract, may never get paid for the lost hours. Virginia Sanchez, librarian at Yosemite National Park in California, has spent four years working to modernize the park’s research library. Now she’s applying for unemployment.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 23

Dav Pilkey is spokesperson for School Library Month

Dog Man and Dav Pilkey

Dav Pilkey (right), New York Times–bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series, will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2019 celebration of School Library Month. Observed in April and sponsored by AASL, School Library Month celebrates school libraries as open, equitable, and personalized learning environments necessary for every student’s well-rounded education....

AASL, Jan. 23
The Crowley Company

Native American Library Services Grants available

Native American library programming

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting applications for the Native American Library Services Basic Grants program through April 1. The one-year grants of $6,000–$10,000 can include $3,000 in eligible education and assessment activities or travel. They are available to federally recognized Native American tribes and Native Alaskan villages and are designed to support existing operations and maintain core services of tribal and Native village libraries. Application materials can be found on the grant program page....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 22

NEH and NEA to reopen January 28

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts will reopen January 28 after being shuttered since December 22 because of the partial government shutdown. The federal cultural agencies provide crucial support to museums, libraries, artists, and scholars across the country, and February is a critical time for their grant-making decisions. The independent offices, created in 1965, each had budgets of about $153 million last year. The agencies, which the Trump administration’s first two budgets tried to eliminate, will use remaining FY 2018 administrative funds to reopen for up to four weeks....

Washington Post, Jan. 24
ALA news

2019 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Cover of Thunderhead audiobook, written by Neal Shusterman and read by Greg Trembley

YALSA has announced its 2019 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list, consisting of 39 titles (36 fiction and 3 nonfiction audiobooks) selected from 62 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list is aimed towards young adults aged 12–18 and is drawn from the previous year of spoken-word releases. View the full list online. YALSA has also chosen items for its 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers lists....

YALSA, Jan. 22

AASL Standards are good for journalists

Inquire integrated framework

Marz Dzula writes: “I advise the journalism program at my school, which absolutely illuminates my work as a school librarian. Studying journalism promotes information literacy, digital citizenship, and collaborative learning. The more that I thought about it over the past few months (and the more I played with the app) the more I realized that the AASL Standards were a good fit for my program. They align with my pedagogical goals, especially for my learners/journalists. In my upcoming blog posts, I intend to walk through the AASL Standards, describe how they fit my program, and how the Learner framework is especially relevant.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Jan. 25

Choosing books that challenge

Cover of The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton

Karin Greenberg writes: “This past weekend I read an outstanding essay in The New York Times Book Review section by Brian Morton, the director of the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. In it, he describes an encounter with a college student who had been reading The House of Mirth. Upon seeing a description in which one of Edith Wharton’s characters describes another in an anti-Semitic way, the student threw the book in the garbage. The current psychological environment in our world is volatile, with people’s emotions often clouding their ability to think critically about important issues. One of the main benefits of reading is that it expands people’s views.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Jan. 23; New York Times, Jan. 8
Latest Library Links

Facebook to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger

Facebook messaging apps

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services—WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger—asserting his control over the company’s sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandals. While all three services will continue operating as stand-alone apps, their underlying messaging infrastructure will be unified. Zuckerberg has also ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption, a significant step that protects messages from being viewed by anyone except the participants in the conversation....

New York Times, Jan. 25

Musical instruments for storytime

Musical instruments in the Indian Prairie Public Library collection

Katie Salo writes: “Musical instruments are such a fun topic, with a huge array of different kinds; I could spend all day writing about them. But let’s start at the very beginning. At the Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien, Illinois, I have mostly percussion instruments: gathering drums, sound drums, rhythm sticks, bells, Boomwhackers, hand shakers (including egg shakers and maracas), and some miscellaneous (xylophone, two sets of finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, tambourines). Musical instruments in storytime are a great way to introduce the concept of tempo, or how fast the music goes.”...

ALSC Blog, Jan. 24
Dewey Decibel podcast

Social media and the threat to democracy

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Twitter page on January 18. Disinformation on social media played a role in Bolsonaro’s victory in 2018

Zack Beauchamp writes: “Many observers have noted that entrenched authoritarian states, like Russia and China, have gotten very good at manipulating social media platforms to marginalize domestic dissidents and destabilize democracies abroad. What’s gotten less attention is how authoritarian factions inside democratic states—far-right politicians and parties that are at best indifferent to democratic norms—benefit from the nature of these platforms. Social media can certainly help pro-democracy movements at times, but they overall give authoritarians an advantage. These platforms, once seen as democracy’s ally, have increasingly become its enemy.”...

Vox, Jan. 22; MIT Technology Review, Aug. 14, 2018

Recovering silent films at LC

Mostly Lost workshop participants gather outside the Packard Campus theater. Photo by Shawn Miller

Mark Hartsell writes: “At any other theater, they would be the world’s most annoying moviegoers—the last people with whom you’d want to spend a few hours in a confined space. They talk endlessly among themselves as the film plays. They shout to acquaintances across the theater. They talk back to the screen. They forever check their phones and furiously type away on laptops. This behavior, frowned upon anywhere else, is not only tolerated here at the Packard Campus theater but, for one week each June, is explicitly encouraged at the ‘Mostly Lost’ workshop.”...

Library of Congress Blog, Jan. 17

A library of starlight lets astronomers study galaxies

A Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of all stars currently in the MaNGA Stellar Library, showing temperature and brightness (luminosity) of stars, along with information on their chemical makeup

Alison Klesman writes: “Imagine going to a library where the books aren’t books at all, but detailed information on stars throughout our galaxy. Stars are the building blocks of clusters and galaxies; the information contained in their light provides details on temperature, composition, age, and motion. A unique database called the MaNGA Stellar Library (after the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory [MaNGA] project) provides the perfect starting point for astronomers to better understand complex galaxies by breaking them down into their simplest parts.”...

Discover magazine: D-brief, Jan. 24

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