What it takes to create effective library programs.

American Library Association • July 12, 2019

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ALA releases findings on US library programming

Cover of National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment: Phase 1

ALA has released a report outlining the findings of an intensive research study that explored the characteristics, audiences, outcomes, and value of US library programming, as well as the competencies required to succeed in the field. The report, National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment: Phase 1: A White Paper on the Dimensions of Library Programs and the Skills and Training for Library Program Professionals, is the result of a two-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The researchers identified the skills required to create effective and excellent programs....

ALA Public Programs Office, July 11

The CASE Act is constitutionally suspect

Copyright alert

Joshua Lamel and Sasha Moss write: “If passed, the CASE Act will establish a judicial function within the legislative branch, the first of its kind and a bad precedent. The court of jurisdiction for the small claims procedure is the Copyright Office, an arm of the Library of Congress, which is under the jurisdiction of Congress. If this sounds strange—a legal proceeding executed within the legislative branch, not the judicial—you are correct. Aside from the constitutional concerns, this legislation provides for no judicial review.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation warns that the bill would supercharge a copyright troll industry dedicated to filing as many small claims on as many internet users as possible....

Medium: Re:Create Coalition, June 10, 26; Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 10

Pennsylvania public libraries rejoice over funding boost

Free Library of Philadelphia

Speaking to librarians during a Pennsylvania Library Association conference in Harrisburg in October, State Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) promised to do everything he could to restore public library funding to $75 million, where it stood prior to being slashed a decade ago. So when Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state’s new $34 billion budget on June 28, and it included an additional $5 million for the state’s public libraries, supporters rejoiced. Saylor had done it. It was the first time since around 2006 the state’s public libraries would see a significant boost in operational funding. Here is what the additional funding will mean for libraries....

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 28, July 11

University cuts could threaten Alaska’s unified catalog

The Sitka (Alaska) Public Library is among the more than 80 local systems that share collections statewide

Library workers across Alaska are concerned Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s cuts to the state university system will threaten a library service that allows patrons to request titles from libraries across the state. The governor’s line-item budget vetoes wouldn’t automatically doom the Alaska Library Catalog. (A veto override failed on July 10.) But Juneau Public Libraries Director Robert Barr—who pulls double-duty as president for the Alaska Library Association—said that because the statewide catalog is largely dependent on the University of Alaska system, its days could be numbered....

KTOO-FM, Juneau, Alaska, July 2, 9; New York Times, July 7; Inside Higher Ed, July 11
ALA news

Library changes bingo cards after a genre complaint

DeKalb County Public Library’s Books Bingo cards, before (left) and after the genre change

What was supposed to be a fun game to encourage adults to check out materials from DeKalb County (Ga.) Public Libraries more often has turned into a conversation about inclusion and diversity. Natalie Pereles visited the Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams branch and picked up a set of promotional “Books Bingo” cards. When she saw that one of the squares said “Read a Christian fiction book,” she went on Facebook to vent. Pereles, who is Jewish, took it as another example of people forgetting that many faiths are observed in America. The library soon replaced the cards with ones that show “Check out a cookbook” in its place....

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 11

Public libraries and bike-sharing programs

Lorain (Ohio) Public Library bike share program

Wilson Chapman writes: “Across the US, more than 20 public libraries have introduced special bike-share programs, in which members take out bicycles from the library for free before returning them at the end of the day. The initiatives are often done in partnership with city public health departments to help promote health and exercise among community members. In May, the public library system in Lorain, Ohio, became one of the latest to launch a bike-share program. Ohio has the most public libraries with bike-share programs in the US, with at least eight towns being served.”...

US News and World Report, July 9; Public Libraries Online, Mar. 10, 2018; Bicycling, July 3

Suffolk Public Library gets its community dancing

Suffolk (Va.) Public Library’s 2018 Summer Dance Soiree

People can stop by the Suffolk (Va.) Public Library July 12 to enjoy an evening of communal fun on the dance floor. The library is holding its Summer Dance Soirée at its North Suffolk branch, a follow-up to last year’s successful Hollywood-themed dance party that drew a sizable crowd of all ages. This year, the library is planning an “under the sea” theme. There will be different backdrops and props for the photo booth to go with the rest of the beach and sea-life decorations, according to Community Services Librarian Matthew Thompson, who added that the event is an opportunity for people to come together and build a sense of community in a fun way....

Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald, July 9

Instagram reboot for school libraries

Instagram highlights

Hannah Byrd Little writes: “In 2014 my students began abandoning Facebook because not only were mom and dad on Facebook, so was their grandma. Students first went to Instagram and then later to Snapchat, if their parents allowed it. To communicate and meet students where they are, we started an Instagram account for our library in 2015. You can do many things with Instagram stories, including tagging your location, mentioning another Instagram account like an author or bookstore, adding a hashtag, creating a poll, a question, a quiz, or a countdown. Also, many literary and library-related ‘stickers’ are available to add to your stories.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, July 11
Latest Library Links

Can media literacy combat truth decay?

Cover of Exploring Media Literacy

In a new report, the RAND Corporation surveyed the landscape of media literacy education. Through interviews with a dozen media literacy experts and a review of studies on educational interventions, researchers examined how media literacy is defined, what instructional resources are available, and how effective media literacy education is in guarding against the spread of misinformation. RAND found that though experts say media literacy is urgently important, there isn’t one universal skill set for the discipline—making it difficult to evaluate and compare educational programs....

Education Week Teacher, July 11

I found my American dream at the public library

Daniela Petrova

Daniela Petrova (right) writes: “In his op-ed for Forbes on July 21, 2018, Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor of economics at LIU Post in New York, suggested that Amazon stores should replace libraries to save taxpayers money. Following the backlash this preposterous suggestion created, Forbes took the article down. But the outpouring of love for libraries in response to the piece was priceless, reconfirming the intrinsic role of libraries in the fabric of American communities. When I go back to Bulgaria, everyone calls me ‘The American.’ But there is one place where I always feel at home—the library. Any library. Anywhere in the world.”...

Literary Hub, July 12; Mashable, July 22, 2018
Dewey Decibel podcast

26 of the best comic book covers of all time

Cover of Mockingbird, no. 8 (2016)

Eileen Gonzalez writes: “Book Riot has talked about the best comic book artists working today and what makes a great cover in general. Now, it’s time to present 26 of the absolute best comic book covers of all time. I’ve just put them in chronological order. I’ll start with a few age-old classics that have been referenced and parodied a thousand times, then move on to the modern masterpieces that deserve their own place in comics history. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some fantastic—and sometimes historic—comic book covers.”...

Book Riot, July 12; Aug. 9, 2018; Oct. 2, 2017

Workers might be listening in on Google Assistant

The Google Home Mini, the original Google Home, and the Google Home Max

On July 11, Google defended its practice of having workers listen to users’ Google Assistant queries, following the leak of 1,000 voice recordings to a media outlet. Google also said it will try to prevent future leaks. VRT NWS, a Flemish public radio broadcasting firm, said it “was able to listen to more than a thousand [Google Assistant] recordings” that it received from a Google subcontractor, some of which should never have been recorded. Google Assistant is used on Google Home smart speakers, Android devices, and Chromebooks. Amazon’s Alexa and Echo devices have also come under scrutiny for privacy lapses....

Ars Technica, July 11; Engadget: The Morning After, July 12; The Verge, July 3

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