Libraries = Strong Communities tour visits L.A.

American Library Association • May 21, 2019

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Celebrating Los Angeles libraries

Los Angeles City Librarian John Szabo (front row, from left), Councilmember David Ryu, and ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo hold a giant check for nearly $4.8 million, symbolizing the efforts of the nearly 7,500 volunteers who contributed 164,000 hours of work in Los Angeles Public Library’s 73 locations in 2018. Photo by Los Angeles Public Library

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo’s “Libraries = Strong Communities” national library tour reached Los Angeles May 13–15. The visit celebrated the many ways Los Angeles Public Library strengthens its community with services that transform lives through education and lifelong learning. Flanked by Garcia-Febo and more than 40 LAPL volunteers, City Councilmember David Ryu offered a resolution declaring May 14 “Libraries = Strong Communities Day” and presented a volunteer appreciation resolution to the library. City Librarian John Szabo recognized the efforts of the nearly 7,500 volunteers who contributed 164,000 hours of work in the library’s 73 locations in 2018....

AL: The Scoop, May 21

Trends in accreditation

On My Mind, by Terry Weech

Terry Weech writes: “Librarianship is a distinct and autonomous profession. And it’s the central role of the ALA Committee on Accreditation to ensure that accredited programs are qualified to prepare individuals for careers as librarians. The accreditation process serves the profession and the public, including students and consumers of library services. Let’s look at two trends in detail: the iSchool movement (the expansion of library school curricula to encompass the growing information, technology, and knowledge sectors) and the expansion of the definition of information professionals.”...

American Libraries column, May 20
Dewey Decibel CSK panel

A nearby library makes a difference

Library sign

Daniel Cox and Ryan Streeter write: “As trust in both our institutions and one another has plummeted, local places such as libraries, markets, and coffee shops can help. A new study by the American Enterprise Institute shows that living near community-oriented public and commercial spaces brings a host of social benefits, such as increased trust, decreased loneliness, and a stronger sense of attachment to where we live. Americans living in amenity-rich communities are much less likely to feel isolated from others, regardless of whether they live in large cities, suburbs, or small towns.”...

The Atlantic, May 20; American Enterprise Institute, May 20

Germany to return Max Brod papers to Israel

Max Brod

On May 21, German police will hand over to Israel thousands of stolen papers and manuscripts belonging to Max Brod (right), the friend and literary executor of Czech writer Franz Kafka. Brod had fled from Nazi Germany to Tel Aviv in 1939, carrying Kafka’s estate in his suitcase, even though the writer of The Trial had insisted his works be destroyed after his death. The papers will be transferred in a ceremony in Berlin at the residence of Israeli Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff, ending the struggle to retrieve the missing papers which, according to Israel’s National Library, were stolen 10 years ago in Tel Aviv....

Agence France Presse, May 21
ALA news

Sarah Jessica Parker advocates for NYPL funding

Sarah Jessica Parker

Actor Sarah Jessica Parker (right) is asking fellow New Yorkers to battle looming budget cuts that could slash hours and programs at libraries in all five boroughs. In an email released on May 20, Parker urged people to post sticky notes about why they love their libraries on the website. It’s a clever nod to her Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw, whose boyfriend dumped her via Post-it Note. The email is the latest part of a campaign by New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, and Brooklyn Public Library, to fend off budget cuts and ask for a boost in funding....

AM New York, May 20

What was John Wick reading?

Keanu Reeves (right) as John Wick in the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History, and Genealogy reading room in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Rhonda Evans writes: “John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, is a world-class, multilingual assassin pulled out of retirement when a group of hoodlums murder his dog. In John Wick: Chapter 3, Parabellum, Wick visits the New York Public Library and asks for ‘Russian Folk Tale, Aleksandr Afanasyev, 1864.’ His interest in this book sparked the curiosity of many, so NYPL Curator for Slavic and East European Collections Bogdan Horbal did what librarians do best and did some research on this book. Here’s what he found.” The Los Angeles Times reveals how the fight scene in the library was staged....

New York Public Library Blogs, May 17; Los Angeles Times, May 18

See to Read

See to Read

Kate Carter writes: “Public librarians commonly think that helping children get ready for kindergarten is early literacy skills, learning numbers, being able to follow simple instructions, learning to be part of a group. Oregon libraries also help parents meet a kindergarten registration requirement—vision screening. See to Read, a partnership between the Oregon Library Association and the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at Oregon Health and Science University, is guided by the belief that no child should begin learning to read and write with an undetected vision problem.”...

ALSC Blog, May 20

Library Card Sign-Up Month

Library Card Sign-Up Month social media artwork

As honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-up Month, Toy Story 4 characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and friends are appearing in print and digital graphics to promote the value of a library card. The Toy Story 4 crew is also being featured in customizable library card artwork. All the free graphics and artwork can be downloaded through the Library Card Sign-up Month Toolkit (an account is required, but registration is free and anyone can join). Sample tools—including a proclamation, a template press release, radio PSA scripts, and social media posts—are also available for libraries to use....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, May 17
Latest Library Links

The best beach books of 2019

Cover of Red, White, and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

Susie Dumond writes: “Summer is near, which means people are headed to the nearest (or sometimes farthest) beach to catch some rest, relaxation, and vitamin D. And there’s nowhere better to catch up on your reading than a sunny beach with a piña colada in hand. But with so many great books out, where do you start? We’ve put our heads together to pick the best beach books of 2019, just in time for your vacation. Even if you’re not headed to a beach any time soon, these books are sure to put you in a beachy state of mind.”...

Book Riot, May 21

Crosswords, Sudoku linked to sharper brains in seniors

Crossword puzzle and Sudoku

The more regularly that adults aged 50 and over play puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the better their brain function, according to a study of more than 19,000 participants led by the University of Exeter and King’s College London. The findings emerge from two linked papers published May 16 in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The researchers calculate that people who engage in word puzzles have brain functions equivalent to 10 years younger than their age on tests assessing grammatical reasoning and eight years younger than their age on tests measuring short-term memory....

Science Daily, May 16; University of Exeter, May 15

Addressing the disinformation laboratory

Cover of Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, by Mike Caulfield

Barbara Fister writes: “We’re just wrapping up the semester for our new short course with a long title, ‘Clickbait, Bias, and Propaganda in Information Networks.’ It was inspired by a history professor who asked a couple of us librarians to talk to her first-term seminar about what we were innocently calling ‘fake news’ before that term was co-opted to mean the established press. She thought students needed more, so we designed a seven-week course to introduce Mike Caulfield’s ‘four moves’ heuristic and explore how the information networks we use daily circulate and shape the information we encounter.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, May 19
Dewey Decibel podcast

The best microphones for podcasters

Best microphones for podcasting

Michael Crider writes: “Aspiring podcasters need one essential piece of equipment to get started: a good microphone. While those who plan to do video as well should check out our webcam roundup, a really solid mic and the good audio quality that comes along with it are non-negotiable. The standard pick for years has been the Blue Yeti, and we’re sticking with it even after the company’s sale to Logitech. But if you can’t afford a Yeti, or you want something more more suited to music or a mobile setup, we’ve got you covered there, too. Lastly we have a few recommendations for ancillary equipment to really bring your audio quality up to its best possible level.”...

Review Geek, May 20; July 10, 2018

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