ALA has concerns over publisher models for library ebooks.

American Library Association • July 9, 2019

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The future of ebook pricing

Big Five publishers

Alan S. Inouye writes: “After several years of relative stability, the library trade ebook market is again shifting in disconcerting directions. These shifts could indicate a convergence toward a common business model for library ebook lending, which might improve efficiency in a library’s administration of trade ebook titles. However, ALA has ongoing concerns over library prices for ebooks and audiobooks. Within the last few weeks, two of the largest trade publishers—Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster—made significant changes in their terms for libraries. Further changes are on the horizon.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 9; ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, June 17, July 2

2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

2019 ALA Annual Conference, Opening General Session

ALA hosted its 138th Annual Conference, June 20–25, in Washington, D.C. The conference was attended by more than 21,400 librarians, library workers, and library supporters (including more than 6,800 exhibitors) from around the world. ALA took advantage of the conference’s location to send #FundLibraries messages to the Senate. During the Opening General Session, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (right) asked audience members to pull out their cell phones and text the word “library” to a prearranged number. In less than five minutes, more than 4,000 messages were sent to senators—and the numbers climbed throughout conference. Read additional conference coverage on The Scoop....

ALA Conference Services, July 8; AL: The Scoop, June 21–25

Libraries celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary

Players unveil a clue at one of Lafourche Parish (La.) Public Library’s escape room events celebrating this year’s summer learning program, “A Universe of Stories.” Photo by Skylar Shira

Diana Panuncial writes: “What do the following have in common: space-themed escape rooms, coding sessions with robot caterpillars, rocket workshops, and a phone call from astronauts in space? They’re some of the activities that thousands of libraries across the US are putting together to celebrate space exploration in their summer reading programs, with ‘A Universe of Stories’ as the slogan. The umbrella initiative, Summer of Space, is a partnership among NASA, the Collaborative Summer Learning Program consortium, and the Space Science Institute, and was formed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20.”...

American Libraries feature, July 8

Man’s promise to dying librarian is basis for a new bill

Lori Bresnahan

In March 2013, Bill Cregg was driving home a way he never took before. To buy lottery tickets, instead of going in front of Great Northern Mall near Syracuse, New York, he went behind it. He passed where David Renz had just left, finding a girl who had been raped and a school librarian, Lori Bresnahan (right), a 1992 graduate of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, stabbed and dying. Cregg held Bresnahan as she died, promising her to protect the girl she was leaving behind and to make sure a similar crime never happened again. Cregg’s commitment is the inspiration for Bill’s Promise Act, which will be introduced by Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) this week in the House. It aims to improve pretrial release protections....

WSYR-TV, Syracuse, N.Y., July 8; Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, July 8; Mar. 15, 2013
ALA news

Librarians helping immigrants in Mississippi

Carson Culver and Marta Smally. Screenshot from newscast

“We’re good friends.” This friendship is one that started at the M. R. Dye Public Library in Horn Lake, Mississippi. Librarians Carson Culver (left) and Marta Smally have 141 free programs planned for the upcoming year ranging from career building and food giveaways to law enforcement training. At a time when immigrants are the center of controversy, Smally said their focus is to provide a safe space for them. Smally’s mother was an immigrant herself, so she can relate to the hardships. “It makes me very emotional just to know that what I do every day matters to somebody,” she said....

WREG-TV, Memphis, Tenn., July 4

Most 20th-century books not available online

Controlled digital lending

Brewster Kahle writes: “The books of the 20th century are largely not online. They are mostly not available from even the biggest booksellers. Also, libraries that have collected hard copies of these books have not been able to deliver them in a cost-efficient, simple, digital form to their patrons. The way libraries could fill that gap is to adopt and deliver a controlled digital lending service. The Internet Archive is trying to do its part but needs others to join in. It has worked with 500 libraries over the last 15 years to digitize 3.5 million books. But based on copyright concerns the selection has often been restricted to pre-1923 books.”...

Internet Archive Blogs, July 1

Is that news really fake, or just biased?

Daily Fake News reader

In an era of concern over “fake news,” a new study finds that people draw a distinction between information sources that are dishonest and those that are biased. Researchers found that a source seen as biased may lose credibility with people, even if they believe the source is scrupulously honest. “If you want to be seen as a credible source, you have to be objective, as well as honest and knowledgeable,” said Laura Wallace, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Ohio State University. The study was published online in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin....

Ohio State News, July 8; Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, July 8

Teens and teaching the First Amendment

A variation on the Four Corners activity: Students write a sample argumentative thesis statement. Then they work on changing that statement to represent four points-of-view on the chart

Jamie Gregory writes: “It’s a somewhat perfunctory drill led by a school librarian: Lecture students about giving credit to sources of information, not stealing someone else’s ideas, and being aware of copyright restrictions. However, teaching teens how to think about intellectual freedom is an essential component of any school librarian’s job that is much broader and with serious real-world implications. School librarians and teachers must ask themselves if they are truly giving their students authentic experiences to learn more about intellectual freedom and how it applies to their own lives.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, July 8
Latest Library Links

Mapping books as a student activity

Map made from StoryMapJS. Screenshot from video

Richard Byrne writes: “On July 5, I published a post about creating multimedia timelines as an alternative form of a book report. Later I walked past a bookstore and saw a copy of Louise Dickinson Rich’s book, We Took to the Woods, a classic in the catalog of Maine literature. That got me to thinking about how creating a multimedia map could be a good way for students to summarize books with a heavy emphasis on location. StoryMapJS is a free tool that students can use to create a multimedia map combined with a timeline. It can be used to explain the significance of locations and highlight the sequence of key events in the story.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, July 5–6

Cartography’s most persistent historical mistake

Detail of Americque Septentrionale by Nicolas Sanson (Utrecht, ca. 1682). Classic representation of California as an island, with some extra fantasy islands added to the narrows separating it from the mainland

Frank Jacobs writes: “In 1971, Glen McLaughlin came across a strange map in a London map shop. Americæ Nova Descriptio, produced by Anne Seile in 1663, showed California as a big, carrot-shaped island, floating off the coast of North America. McLaughlin, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, bought the map and hung it on a wall at home. It turned into a popular talking point with visitors, and California-as-an-island became McLaughlin’s decades-long obsession. Over the next 40 years, he collected more than 700 maps and charts on the topic, building up a visual library of what is one of history’s most persistent cartographic fallacies.”...

Big Think: Strange Maps, July 7
Dewey Decibel podcast

Why genealogists ought to love taxes

Powhatan County (Va.) personal property tax record for 1837

Sam Williams writes: “Genealogists aren’t always jumping up and down to dive into tax records. Taxes aren’t as glamorous as marriage records, not as revealing as death records, and not as exciting as wills or inventories. Census records are vital to creating a firm foundation for our family history research. The problem is that they only happen every 10 years. Personal property tax records can serve as a yearly census substitute. But they’re also filled with all sorts of clues that can lead us down the right path of revealing our ancestors’ mysterious forefathers.”...

Ancestral Anamnesis, July 6; May 17, 2018

26 Canadian books that won awards so far in 2019

Cover of 100 Days in Uranium City

Canadian writers have been busy collecting awards this year. Here’s a roundup of books that have won national and international awards in the first half of 2019. Linwood Barclay’s middle-grade novel Escape: Don’t Stop Running won the Arthur Ellis Award for best juvenile/young adult crime book. Nora Decter’s novel How Far We Go and How Fast won the $10,000 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for fiction. Ariane Dénommé’s comic book 100 Days in Uranium City won the Doug Wright Spotlight Award, which goes to a comic artist deserving of greater recognition....

CBC Books, May 14, 24, June 27, July 8

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