Making scholarly communications open and equitable.

American Library Association • June 21, 2019

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ACRL’s new research agenda

Cover of Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications

What should the scholarly communications environment look like? Which strategic research questions should academic librarians pursue? How can the community eliminate barriers to services, spaces, and resources? These themes and others are addressed in the new ACRL scholarly communications research agenda, Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future, released in mid-June. The agenda was developed over the course of a year by ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee....

American Libraries feature, June 20

Joy Harjo appointed Poet Laureate

Joy Harjo

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on June 19 announced the appointment of Joy Harjo (right) as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019–2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the library’s annual literary season on September 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position—she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate....

Library of Congress, June 19

Reforma names Rep. Luján Legislator of the Year

Left to right: Chair of Reforma Legislative Committee Mario Ascencio; Congressman Ben Ray Luján; Reforma President Madeline Peña

On June 21, Reforma named Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.Mex., center) its Legislator of the Year for his ongoing commitment to improving library services at the national and local levels. Luján gained the attention of the Reforma Legislative Committee when he introduced US House Bill H.R. 3496 (Public Library Innovation Space Act) to promote the development of makerspaces in public libraries. Although the bill did not become law, Reforma acknowledges the work that Rep. Luján has done to improve library services for all, including the Latino and Spanish-Speaking communities in his area....

Reforma Blog, June 21

America has a digital skills gap: Libraries can fix it

Maurice Harley teaches digital skills at the Ensley branch of the Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library

The tools of the digital age—computers, the internet, online training programs—are sometimes branded as a threat to the public library’s relevance. But that argument ignores people who value their local branches precisely because of the access they provide to those tools and to educators who know how to use them. Talk to Marijke Visser, ALA associate director and senior policy advocate, and you’ll hear story after story of patrons accessing libraries in ways that could only happen in the 21st century: ranchers in rural Nebraska bidding virtually at bull auctions; farmers in Iowa using a 3D printer to create missing tractor pieces; veterans in Kentucky using teleconferencing to connect with their doctors....

The Atlantic: ReThink Original, June 19
Americans and the Holocaust

Abraham Lincoln bible rediscovered

The Bible will go on display for the first time at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln made a rare wartime trip out of Washington to visit a charity event in Philadelphia that was raising money to care for wounded soldiers. He donated 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation to be sold for fundraising. But it turns out he received a gift in return: a bible whose pages were edged with gilt and decorated with the words “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity.” Historians have rediscovered the bible, a unique artifact that they did not know existed. On June 20, it will go on display for the first time at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, a bequest from the family of the Rev. Noyes W. Miner....

New York Times, June 19

UCA removes Lady Gaga quote from library grounds

UCA library sign with Lady Gaga quote

Scott Jaschik writes: “The library at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway has a sign that it puts outside. Sometimes it shows routine information, such as hours. In June, as part of the Pride celebrations nationally, librarians placed on the sign a quote from Lady Gaga: ‘Being gay is like glitter. It never goes away.’ The library posted a photo of the sign to its Facebook page, with a link to its compilation of relevant resources on campus and in the area. The sign was up for one day before President Houston Davis ordered it removed, explaining that ‘it was not OK for the university sign to be used to make a personal statement or advocate for a personal viewpoint.’”...

Inside Higher Ed, June 20
ALA news

Schenectady bookmobile celebrates Juneteenth

Kristina Graves, a Schenectady (N.Y.) City School District librarian, places a book at the bookmobile table

The Schenectady (N.Y.) City School District’s summer bookmobile made its debut June 15 at the 19th annual Juneteenth festival in the city’s Central Park. Kristina Graves, a Schenectady school librarian and media specialist, said the selection of books offered by the bookmobile fits in perfectly with the Juneteenth theme of celebrating cultural diversity. Some of the titles on display at the bookmobile spoke to the themes of racial and religious oppression and equality. Kerri Messler, K–12 English language arts and library coordinator for the district, said it’s important for the district to curate its book collection with selections acknowledging diversity....

Schenectady (N.Y.) Daily Gazette, June 15

Finding flora and fauna

Martin R. Kalfatovic is holding the digitized version of Edward Donovan’s An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite, and Other Islands in the Indian, Southern, and Pacific Oceans (1805). Photo by Aaron Clamage

Scientists who study specific types of animals or plants can be challenged by the fact that species information is often limited to only one or two libraries in faraway places. The Biodiversity Heritage Library, headquartered in the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C., was formed in 2007 as a consortium of institutions dedicated to making taxonomic information openly available through its digital portal. Martin R. Kalfatovic, BHL’s program director, estimates that its 20 member libraries and 22 affiliates have scanned upwards of 147,000 titles, ranging from the 15th century to the present, with information on more than 180 million species....

American Libraries Bookend, June

The growth of nature-smart libraries

A child helps a plant get started in the garden

Noah Lenstra writes: “In the spring of 2006 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wayne County Public Library children’s librarian Shorlette Ammons approached the library’s director with an idea. Shorlette had a vision for a community garden planted in the green space owned by the library. Though the director initially had misgivings about a library’s need for a garden, Ammons persisted and the garden was ‘green-lit.’ Building the garden became a community endeavor with area residents pitching in. An agriculture class at Wayne Community College even took part, having students help prepare the garden.”...

Children and Nature Network, June 20
Latest Library Links

Major publishers are sabotaging the public library

Library computers

Michael Kozlowski writes: “Penguin Random House comprises the vast majority of ebooks published, and Macmillan and Hachette comprise nearly all the rest. These companies have recently revised their contracts with the public library. Libraries will now have to purchase ebooks that are only good for two-year contracts and then will have to devote the resources to see what books they want to buy again and which ones they do not. This is a far cry from the old policy which only had the library make a one-time purchase for every ebook they wanted. Publishers don’t want to devalue their front-list books and want people to buy them, instead of borrow them.”...

Good e-Reader, June 19
Dewey Decibel podcast

11 things I wish I had known before starting a book blog

Danika Ellis, book blogger

Danika Ellis writes: “I’ve been running The Lesbrary since 2010, and during that time, I’ve learned a lot about book blogging. I still feel like a beginner in many ways, and I’m always hoping to improve, but I have found a few tips and truths that have made book blogging better for me. Here are the top 11 things that I wish I had known in the beginning—it would have made the process a lot smoother! If you are an aspiring book blogger, or even someone who has been book blogging for a while, hopefully some of these will be useful for you.”...

Book Riot, June 20

Six ways to improve your dual monitor setup

Multiple monitors

Whitson Gordon writes: “Whether you’re working hard or playing hard, multiple monitors can give you a lot more space to get things done. You can write a document on one screen while referencing web pages on your other screen, or game on one while chatting in Discord on the other. But don’t just plug in a second display and call it a day—here are a few tips to making that multi-monitor setup work for you.”...

PC Magazine, June 20; Apr. 1, 2017

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