ALA denounces new Macmillan ebook lending policy.

American Library Association • July 26, 2019

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Macmillan’s new library ebook lending model

Macmillan logo

On July 25, Macmillan Publishers announced a new library ebook lending model whereby a library may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in ebook format, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title sold to libraries. The same day, ALA released a statement denouncing the policy. “Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library ebook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all,” said ALA President Wanda Kay Brown. “Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependent on libraries.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 25; Publishers Weekly, July 25

August is for advocacy

US Capitol building

Emily Wagner writes: “Here’s the truth about the dog days of summer: August is prime time for advocacy. With members of Congress on recess, it is the perfect time to invite legislators to visit your library and let them see for themselves all the ways libraries bring value to their communities.The Trump administration appears to be moving forward with a budget deal, after weeks of negotiations between congressional leaders and White House officials. The agreement currently includes increased or level funding for most domestic and defense programs. In May, the House included significant increases in their funding, but work still needs to be done to secure passage of the final appropriations.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 24; New York Times, July 22; House Committee on Appropriations, May 8

Newsmakers: Mariana Atencio and Mo Rocca

Mariana Atencio (left) and Mo Rocca

Mariana Atencio (left)—Peabody Award winner, speaker, influencer, and author of Perfectly You:  Embracing the Power of Being Real—addressed a general session of the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. She spoke with American Libraries about her literary heroes, the power of social media, and the urgency of forging cross-cultural connections. Mo Rocca (right)—CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, and author of the forthcoming Mobituaries (November)—was the closing speaker at the conference, where AL caught up with him to discuss his love for tributes, his childhood library, and how he got his gig hosting the National Geographic Bee....

American Libraries Newsmakers, July 24, 26

LSU alumni launch GoFundMe campaign for new library

Repairs at LSU’s Middleton Library

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $20 million for a new library at Louisiana State University. The current structure—Middleton Library—was cited as an example of neglect and negative attention at the same time that LSU opened an expensive new athletic facility. Middleton has suffered from water leaks and other problems for years. The fundraising effort was started by Ginger Gibson Burk, a 2008 LSU graduate who lives in Arlington, Virginia, and works in Washington, D.C....

Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, July 25
ALA news

Underground library in Syria offers a refuge

Books are rescued from a bombed and abandoned building to be taken to a secret library in the town of Darayya, Syria. Photo by Darayya Council Media Term

Nisan Ahmado writes: “Amid the bombing campaign between the Syrian regime and rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Darayya, a small group of young students tried to bring normalcy to the chaos by creating a secret library deep underneath a bullet-ridden building. The library was built to create a safe shelter for residents to gather and read. For months, Mike Thomson, a British-based journalist, documented the students’ efforts in his book Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege. “They gathered these books under sniper fire and sometimes under shell fire,” Thomson said. “It was a dangerous exercise they often did during the night.”...

Voice of America News, July 23

Libraries collaborate to tackle food insecurity

Food insecurity

Noah Lenstra writes: “In April, the Collaborative Summer Library Program (a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer programming materials for public libraries) published a new toolkit to support the participation of public libraries in summer meal programs. The new toolkit encourages libraries to either become summer meal sites themselves, or partner with existing sites (such as park and recreation agencies) through one of the following mechanisms: add food sites to bookmobile stops, create pop-up libraries at food sites, provide book giveaways, offer passive programs, or publicize free summer meal programs.”...

Open Space, July 17; Collaborative Summer Library Program; Salisbury (N.C.) Post, June 21, 2018; Lunch at the Library; Wilkes (N.C.) Journal-Patriot, May 17; USDA Food and Nutrition Service YouTube channel, May 13, 2014

Flat Earth, bigotry, and bias: Should the library be neutral?

Flat Earth map drawn by Orlando Ferguson in 1893

Tor Haugan writes: “Does fake news have any place in the library? What about pseudoscience, like the sort that has animated a small but vocal throng of flat Earthers? What obligation does the library have to present opposing and polarizing views, even when some find them abhorrent? At the heart of these questions is the issue of neutrality. We asked a group of librarians, plus a couple of library users—a professor and a recent graduate—the same question: Should the library be neutral? The responses offer a glimpse into librarians’ important role as curators, collectors, and providers of knowledge.”...

UC Berkeley Library News, July 25

Colorado library wants to name the moon “Geoff”

Name the moon “Geoff”

Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library has created an online petition to give Earth’s moon a name, and it already has one in mind: Geoff. “Our first idea was Jeff with a ‘J’ because we are Jefferson County Public Library,” said Digital Marketing Specialist Rich Furlong. “And then it kind of evolved into Geoff because of a mnemonic device.” Geoff, pronounced Jeff, would mean “Earth’s Fickle Friend.” It’s explained in the online petition like this: Geo: Earth (because it’s our moon), F: Fickle (because it’s always changing), F: Friend (because it’s always there for us). Some people, however, claim that the moon already has a name: Luna....

KUSA-TV, Denver, July 25
Latest Library Links

Loco Librarians from Wyoming tackle pig wrestling

The Loco Librarians—Brianne Schaefer, Rosie Gillette, Kathy Andersen, and Maggie Sullivan—show off the damage of wrestling a pig in the women’s division. Photo by Mark Davis

What’s more fun than watching four librarians run after a greased pig on a nice July evening? When Maggie Sullivan, manager of the Powell branch of the Park County (Wyo.) Library System, posed the question to her coworkers, they couldn’t come up with excuses fast enough. But they were quickly roped into entering the 2019 Park County Fair pig wrestling competition. Sullivan targeted fellow librarians Brianne Schaefer, Rosie Gillette, and Kathy Andersen as teammates. First they decided on a team name: the Loco Librarians. Then they made some shirts and researched the prospects of making a single basket in a game of pig basketball in the middle of gallons of bentonite muck....

Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, July 25

10 dog training books for every personality

Cover of Dogs Can Sign, Too: A Breakthrough Method for Teaching Your Dog to Communicate, by Sean Senechal

Stacey Megally writes: “For many of us dog-loving bookworms, there’s nothing better than a stack of good dog training books to inspire us to spend even more quality time with our pups. And as happy as our dogs are to curl up at our feet while we read, they’ll be even more thrilled to interact in new and challenging ways, practicing what we read. Of course, every student learns in a different way, so we’ve gathered up a list of dog training books to suit every owner—and dog—personality.”...

Book Riot, July 26
Dewey Decibel podcast

Libraries in the ancient world

The library of Nysa on the Maeander, built in the 2nd century CE and considered to be Turkey’s second-best preserved ancient library structure after the Library of Celsus at Ephesus

Mark Cartwright writes: “Libraries in antiquity were not always designed for the public to freely consult texts or take them off-site as libraries function today, although some did offer this service. Many libraries in the Near East and Egypt were attached to sacred temple sites or were part of an administrative or royal archive, while in the Greek and Roman worlds, these types continued but private collections became much more common. Libraries began to offer more than just books in the Roman period, with lecturers providing speeches and intellectuals gathering to discuss matters with other visitors in the tranquility of the library audience hall or garden.”...

Ancient History Encyclopedia, July 23

Where do you keep the books I can’t find?

Anne of the Seven Gables

Roz Warren writes: “One of the joys of working at a library is that we never know what our patrons will ask us next. Here’s a brief sampling of unusual, quirky, or offbeat questions that people have recently asked librarians. The public library may not have the answers to all of these questions, but we’ll do our best to help you find what you need to know. Here are a few: Do you have the book Anne of the Seven Gables? Are your books in any particular order? Where do you keep the books I can’t find? What did the Bible say about holograms? Does the library subscribe to Orgasmic Gardening?”...

Medium: The Haven, July 19

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