ALA #FundLibraries campaign kicks off for FY2020.

American Library Association • March 12, 2019

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White House budget would eliminate library funding (again)

Tell Congress to invest in libraries

On March 11 the White House released its FY2020 federal budget proposal, and for the third year in a row, the president has recommended eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In a statement, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “As discouraging as it is that the administration has again proposed eliminating IMLS, the bipartisan support in Congress over the past two years gives us reason to hope.” ALA is calling on library advocates in every congressional district to contact their representatives and ask them to support federal funding for libraries by cosigning “Dear Appropriator” letters....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 11

Meet the candidates for ALA president and treasurer

Vote button

Polls opened on March 11 for the ALA 2019 annual election and will close on April 3 at 11:59 p.m. ALA is notifying voters by email, providing them with information about how to vote online. Emails are being sent over a three-day period, March 11–13. The two candidates for 2020–2021 ALA President are Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Lance Werner. The two candidates for 2019–2020 ALA Treasurer are Maggie Farrell and Andrew K. Pace....

Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 26; American Libraries candidate statements, Mar./Apr.

ALA seeks candidates for two endowment trustees

Why are available endowment funds important?

Applications are now being accepted for two expiring terms on the ALA Endowment Trustees Committee. The ALA endowment trustees have the authority to hold, invest, and disburse endowment and other long-term investment funds as directed by the ALA Executive Board. Candidates must have a working knowledge of investment opportunities available to the endowment and other long-term investment funds, as well as benchmarks used to judge fund performance. The deadline to apply is June 1....

ALA Finance Department, Mar. 8
ALA news

NBC News Today co-anchor to speak at ALA Annual

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb (right), co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today, will be an Auditorium Speaker on June 22 at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. A bestselling author of six books—including Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee in 2010—and a cancer survivor, Kotb (pronounced KOT-bee) has reported on the aftermath and one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (a story personal to Kotb, who lived in New Orleans for six years), the war in Iraq, the conflict in the West Bank and Gaza, and the war in Afghanistan....

ALA Conference Services, Mar. 11

Information literacy combats fake news

News and media literacy

A new study by Ohio University professor M. Laeeq Khan published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology found that several factors can be used to predict someone’s ability to detect misinformation, otherwise known as “fake news,” on social media. Additionally, the study found that, by looking at certain factors, it is also possible to predict if someone is likely to share misinformation. There were 396 participants in the study, which found that age, social class, and gender did not play a huge part; rather media and information literacy was found to be the biggest factor in recognizing misinformation....

Science Daily, Mar. 11

Truth on the ballot

Cover of Truth on the Ballot

With fraudulent news and online disinformation distorting public discourse, eroding faith in journalism, and skewing voting decisions, PEN America’s Truth on the Ballot offers a warning about the normalization of fraudulent news and disinformation as campaign tactics. A follow-up to PEN America’s October 2017 report, Faking News: Fraudulent News and the Fight for Truth, this new report reviews some of the most significant examples of fraudulent news during the 2018 election cycle and discusses how such disinformation shapes public discourse....

PEN America, Mar. 12

Norwegian libraries will not renew Elsevier journals

Elsevier logo

The Norwegian government wants to make all publicly funded research articles openly available by 2024, moving from paying to read articles through subscriptions to publishing articles that are openly available. The Elsevier contract is not fulfilling Norway’s requirements for open access to research articles. There is also no provision for modifying the agreement from paying to read to open publishing. The contract with Elsevier will therefore not be renewed for 2019. Deans at the universities of Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and Trondheim all support this decision....

Unit, the Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research, Mar. 12
Latest Library Links

Why I am keeping Dr. Seuss books

Cover of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss

Carole Soden writes: “Lately we seem to be all for banned books, but then we actually practice selective banning by removing books that are not politically correct in today’s world, without any attempt to use them in a positive way. Some of the criticisms leveled at Dr. Seuss include the fact that 98% of his books were dominated by white males, or that many of his ‘foreign’ characters display typical stereotypes. This is absolutely true, but looking back in time when I first started teaching in 1967 this was true of most books. I think that students (even the very young) can have discussions regarding these problems in a historical context.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Mar. 11

Teen fiction and the perils of cancel culture

Cover of A Place for Wolves

Jennifer Senior writes: “Late in February, Kosoko Jackson became the second YA author in five weeks to pull a debut work just before it hit the shelves. His book, A Place for Wolves, ran afoul of the sensibilities of the Twitter gatekeeping class, which deemed it insensitive to Muslims and unduly focused on people of privilege. There was an obvious irony to his story, a karmic boomerang: Jackson, who is black and gay, often worked as a ‘sensitivity reader’ for major publishing houses, which meant his job was to flag just this sort of problem content. One of the captains of ‘cancel culture’ got canceled himself.”...

New York Times, Jan. 31, Feb. 28, Mar. 8; June 28, 2018

The web turns 30 on March 12

Google Doodle for the web’s 30th birthday

Aja Romano writes: “Is that a dial-up modem ringing in your ears, or are you just looking at today’s Google Doodle? It might be both, because March 12 marks a special moment in the history of the internet—the birthday of the World Wide Web. The series of tubes we know and love as the web is now a sprightly 30 years old. The www you see in your browser’s address bar when you access a URL is barely a millennial; indeed, the web is 18 years younger than email, and two years younger than the GIF. Wondering what the difference is between the world wide web and the internet? Strap in, because the answers are fun.”...

Vox, Mar. 12; Google Doodles, Mar. 12
Dewey Decibel podcast

Nerds in love: YA book recommendations

Cover of Don’t Cosplay with My Heart, by Cecil Castellucci

Krista Hutley writes: “Whether you prefer the term nerd, geek, fanboy/girl, or pop culture enthusiast, 2019 is an excellent time to proclaim your love for things once stigmatized as being not cool, from playing Dungeons and Dragons to cosplaying as your favorite anime character or writing fan fiction for your favorite TV shows. In the novels that follow, fellow nerds find friendship and even love in comic book shops, at conventions, and while playing MMORPGS (for the uninitiated, that’s massively multiplayer online role-playing games).”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 11

The best coding subscription boxes for kids

BitsBox coding subscription

Jennifer Allen writes: “Learning to code is a big deal for kids these days and for good reason. It’s a great way to teach problem-solving, logic, and help with brain development—even for kids not focused on a computer science-related career. Coding also teaches them how to create things for themselves, from programming routines for robots to simple apps and pieces of software. Unlike STEM-based boxes—like those found in our best science subscription boxes for kids list—there aren’t many coding options that offer a physical subscription, but the ones that do are pretty good. We’ve narrowed things down to a few specific categories.”...

Review Geek, Mar. 2, 11

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