Libraries tap unused spectrum for rural broadband.

American Library Association • May 17, 2019

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Wi-Fi in the white space

Library Wi-Fi connecting to parks and other public spaces

Greg Landgraf writes: “In Huron, South Dakota, Karen immigrants—originally from Myanmar and Thailand—often use the community’s parks but are less likely to use other government services. ‘They don’t come into the library, per se, as we’d like them to,’ acknowledges Huron Public Library Director Shirley Apley. But the library is reaching them using an IMLS grant that provides broadband Wi-Fi service to Huron’s parks through unused parts of the television broadcast spectrum. Often called ‘white spaces,’ these parts of the spectrum were freed up when most broadcasters switched from analog to digital signals in the late 2000s.”...

American Libraries Trend, May

ALA adds sustainability as a core value

Sustainability in libraries

ALA is supporting the library community by showing its commitment to assisting in the development of sustainable libraries with the addition of sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, the ALA Council made a commitment to the “triple bottom line” framework for sustainability recommended by the ALA Special Task Force on Sustainability. This consists of practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. Council also responded to a 2018 membership survey indicating that two-thirds of ALA members felt the Association needs to provide leadership in the area of sustainability....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, May 14

Sponsored Content

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Meet the new director of ALA Governance

Sheryl Reyes

Sheryl Reyes (right) came to ALA on January 14 to run the Office of ALA Governance, and officially assumed her role with the May 3 retirement of JoAnne Kempf. As director, Reyes leads efforts to support the Executive Board and Council, annual elections, the president’s office and advisory team, the annual volunteer appointment process, and committees. She answered our “11 Questions” to introduce herself to ALA members....

AL: The Scoop, May 16

Nominating Commitee seeks candidates for 2020 election

Are you ready to lead?

The Nominating Committee is looking for ALA members to run on the 2020 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president-elect and councilor-at-large. The committee will select two candidates to run for president-elect and no fewer than 51 candidates for the 34 at-large Council seats to be filled in the 2020 spring election. Members who wish to make nominations should submit the following information: nominee name, present position, institution, address, telephone, and email address. Self-nominations are encouraged. All potential nominees must complete the Potential Candidate Biographical Form. The deadline is July 10....

Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 11
ALA news

Rural communities and connected learning

Youth Matters, by Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun writes: “Connected learning (CL) is not new, but many librarians struggle with embedding the concept into programming and services. What is connected learning, exactly? Cultural anthropologist Mizuko Ito and her colleagues who developed the CL framework define it as ‘when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success, or civic engagement.’”...

American Libraries column, May

Libraries’ guide to the 2020 Census

Cover of Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

The Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census is a new free, downloadable resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living in the United States. ALA teamed with the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality to develop the guide, which includes basic information about the census process, highlights of new components in the 2020 Census, and a timeline of key census dates. Public libraries are uniquely positioned to reach groups designated by the Census Bureau as “hard to count” because libraries serve everyone in their communities....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, May 15

Retired librarian leaves $1.4 million to KU Libraries

Martha Mueller

Martha “Matt” Mueller (right), a University of Kansas alumna and retired librarian, left an estate gift of more than $1.4 million to support the university’s libraries and to provide scholarships for students with financial need. She died in 2018 at 83. A self-described saver, Mueller lived frugally while being able to travel the world. Mueller retired in 1994 as a librarian at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, where she had worked for 25 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1955....

University of Kansas, May 14
Latest Library Links

Sacramento branch to rename teen space after Amber Clark

Amber Fawn Clark

City officials are dedicating and renaming a section of the North Natomas branch of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library in recognition of the librarian who was fatally shot in the library’s parking lot on December 11, 2018. City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby announced that the library’s teen space will be named in honor of Amber Fawn Wooton-Clark (right). The recognition was made official at the beginning of the May 14 city council meeting. Library Director Rivkah Sass also plans to set up a memorial fund in Clark’s name, intended to extend accessibility programming at the library, as well as commission an art piece in Clark’s honor....

Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, May 14; American Libraries column, Apr. 23

Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

Richard Ford

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced May 16 that Richard Ford (right), author of Independence Day—the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award—will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on August 31. Hayden selected Ford as this year’s winner based on nominations from more than 60 distinguished literary figures, including former winners of the prize, acclaimed authors, and literary critics from around the world....

Library of Congress, May 16

How do you stay organized in the library?

A box of hay abandoned in the school library

Mica Johnson writes: “My co-librarian and I are messy and disorganized. We love our work, we love our middle-schoolers, but we do not love cleaning. As we’re were doing our end-of-the-year chores, we realized we need to make some major changes and clean up our act. Our usual cleaning and organizing is tossing everything into a closet, the studio, or our backroom and turning off the lights. This is done when we’re having visitors, and we don’t want them to know how horribly messy we really are. Our admins are pretty accepting of our messiness, but there have been a few times when they have pointed it out.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, May 16
Dewey Decibel podcast

Misinformation jumps platforms, languages, countries found two other posts that included the bogus climate change meme it debunked this week: one on Twitter and another on Instagram. In a reverse image search, Poynter found the hoax 19 more times on hyperpartisan websites, in tweets and Facebook posts.

Daniel Funke writes: “Misinformation frequently jumps between platforms, languages, and countries. False claims know no borders. And tech companies are addressing that problem by leveraging the work of fact-checkers like Since 2016, Facebook has been partnering with fact-checking sites to find and limit the spread of false posts. In May, that project was expanded to Instagram in order to limit the reach of false posts in the Explore tab and on hashtag feeds. Facebook will now use signals from fact-checkers to limit the spread of duplicate hoaxes on both platforms.”...

Poynter, May 6, 15; Nov. 15, 2018

Peeps on parade in New Hampshire

Winners of the 2019 Peeps Diorama Contest

Quite a few residents recently proved to the Hampstead (N.H.) Public Library that Peeps can do more than just stick to the fake grass at the bottom of your Easter basket. With its first Peeps diorama contest, the library challenged community members of different age groups to make 18-by-18-inch displays featuring Peeps in fun scenarios. Librarian Janet Arden said there were 18 total submissions. Winners included Melany White for the “Great Peep Baking Show” and Gerry Irr for the “Sgt. Peeps Lonely Hearts Club Band.”...

North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, May 13

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