Strategies to protect librarians from harassment.

American Library Association • March 19, 2019
ALA Graphics, National Library Week

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Defeating bullies and trolls

Nicole A. Cooke at “Defeating the Bullies and Trolls in the Library” event at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library. Photo by Max Herman

Nicole A. Cooke (right), associate professor at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, opened “Defeating Bullies and Trolls in the Library: Developing Strategies to Protect our Rights and Personhood,” a daylong conference held March 8 at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library by recounting her experiences being harassed and bullied by conservative groups because of her research project. Cooke said the harassment began before the results of her project, “Minority Student Experiences with Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library,” which received a 2017 Diversity Research Grant had even been made public....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 15

Older adults and virtual reality

Residents of The Highlands at the Moorings of Arlington Heights assisted-living facility in Illinois enjoy a virtual tour of Monticello. Photo by Arlington Heights Memorial Library

At first glance, the virtual-reality viewers at Arlington Heights Memorial Library look like old-school View-Masters, the kind that let kids in decades past insert a cardboard disk to stare at scenes of Scooby-Doo or The Beverly Hillbillies. But though the VR viewers operate on the same basic principle as a View-Master—hold to face, marvel at what you see—they provide much more than a few minutes of fun. They can open up the world...

American Libraries Spotlight, Mar./Apr.

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Copyright for creators

VCU’s Copyright for Creators program series

Carla-Mae Crookendale, Hillary Miller, and Sue Robinson write: “Richmond, Virginia, is home to a vibrant art scene fed by the high numbers of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts alumni who live and work in the city. Given the large concentration of artists, designers, and arts scholars in our region and their need for information on the legal landscape and fair use, VCU Libraries, working with VCU School of the Arts, created programs about copyright for this particular audience.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

Tips for becoming future ready

Cover of Transforming Libraries: A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers

Karen Muller writes: “When I started at ALA in 1987, I was given a copy of Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation (Free Press, 1985) to read because, well, change was happening. It was then, it is now, it will be tomorrow. New uses for technology drive change, as does the extent to which people of all ages, particularly younger digital natives, access information online. Transforming Libraries: A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers, by Ron Starker, begins with the premise that libraries are at a tipping point in the evolutionary process.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.
ALA news

IMLS statement on the 2020 proposed budget

IMLS logo

Kathryn K. Matthew writes: “President Trump has released details from his budget request to Congress for FY 2020 that proposes $23 million in funding for the orderly closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This is the first step for the FY 2020 federal budget, and we will provide information to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress throughout the process as requested. We are disappointed that for a third year, the President’s budget request did not provide funding for the continuation of IMLS activities for the next fiscal year. In the meantime, the agency will continue normal grant-making operations with allocated FY 2019 funds.”...

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 18

Public libraries are some of the best new buildings in DC

The new Francis A. Gregory and Bellevue branches of the D.C. Public Library

Dan Reed writes: “A slew of new libraries have cropped up in D.C. over the past decade as the city has undertaken a project to renovate or rebuild each of its 24 District of Columbia Public Library branches. The initiative has already paid off with a series of striking designs that add to the character of their neighborhoods. The Tenley-Friendship branch, with its distinctive rust-orange fins, offers a shot of color. The Francis A. Gregory and Bellevue branches have given local architecture a shot of star power, as they were designed by David Adjaye, who also oversaw the National Museum of African American History and Culture.”...

Washingtonian, Mar. 19

Florida Citizens Alliance works to get more books banned

A Clockwork Orange, The Bluest Eye, and The Awakening are three of several books conservative groups have tried to get removed from Florida public schools

Members of the conservative Florida Citizens Alliance are appalled with what they’ve seen in the books being handed to students in the public schools. The group wants to ban much of what it finds objectionable, eliminating titles like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, and Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes to textbooks, including Harcourt Publishing’s Modern World History 9th Grade and Pearson’s Essentials of Oceanography. With the ear of Gov. Ron DeSantis and several state lawmakers, it’s angling to get that wish codified into law....

Tampa (Fla.) Bay Times, Mar. 17
Latest Library Links

Trustees: Let librarians run the library

Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library: Educate, enrich, inspire

The Capital Gazette Editorial Board writes: “Boards of directors and trustees toil in obscurity, providing guidance to the professional staff that runs day-to-day operations of colleges, nonprofits, and libraries. And then, suddenly, they can find themselves outside of that anonymity by making a decision that goes beyond that role. So it is with the trustees of the Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library. The board voted in December to take approval power over controversial programs planned by the professional library staff under CEO Skip Auld. The trustees are in danger of exhibiting intellectual parochialism, stifling programs that examine LGBT issues.”...

Annapolis (Md.) Capital Gazette, Mar. 15, 18

Houston apologizes for allowing offender to perform

Albert Alfonso Garza

Houston Public Library has issued an apology after a registered sex offender entertained children during its drag queen storytime. The library announced March 15 that a review of its volunteers revealed Albert Alfonso Garza, performing under the name Tatiana Mala-Niña, never submitted a background check. Part of the issue was that Garza listed his name as Nicky Salazar when volunteering and did not provide a birth date or social security number. Garza was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2008. He will not be allowed to return. To reassure the public, the library also explained that drag queen storytime participants are not allowed to be alone with children. Additionally, HPL said it has never received a complaint about inappropriate behavior....

KTRK-TV, Houston, Mar. 15, 18; Houston Chronicle, Mar. 17

MSU Digital Scholarship Lab teaches new technologies

The 360-degree immersive visualization room at the Digital Scholarship Lab in MSU Main Library. Photo by CJ Weiss

The Digital Scholarship Lab offers technology-based workshops, teach-ins, and assistance to instructors, students, and the Michigan State University community at large—serving as a space on campus where anyone can come to explore technology. According to Digital Scholarship Technology Librarian Megan Kudzia, the reception to the lab, located in the Main Library, and the resources it provides has been positive since its opening last February. However, Kudzia said one of the biggest challenges has been making sure the community knows the lab is available to help.”...

The State News, Mar. 14; Sept. 26, 2017
Dewey Decibel podcast

STEAM on a shoestring: Technology

Hummingbird robotics kit

Kaitlin Frick writes: “My two previous STEAM on a Shoestring posts presented some useful science and engineering ideas. While previous posts have highlighted the work of numerous library professionals, this one will include many ideas from one librarian. Alessandra Affinito is a senior children’s librarian with New York Public Library, and when I think tech programming for kids, I think of her. I’m using Alessandra’s cost estimates to organize them, from free to less than $200.”...

ALSC Blog, Jan. 15, Mar. 17; Dec. 11, 2018

MySpace and the loss of memories

This is MySpace

E. J. Dickson writes: “On March 18, reports surfaced that MySpace had deleted much of the content uploaded to the platform between 2003 and 2015. Over the weekend, the social networking platform put up a banner announcing that ‘as a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace.’ When it comes to providing an explanation why, MySpace has been fairly tight-lipped, though some have hinted that the loss had less to do with a server migration glitch and more to do with MySpace’s new owner not wanting to pay to keep the files up.”...

Rolling Stone, Mar. 18

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