Speakers and sessions at the AASL National Conference.

American Library Association • November 19, 2019
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AASL speakers gain strength from personal struggles

Adolph Brown at the 2019 AASL National Conference

Phil Morehart writes: “‘Ladies and gentlemen, there are speakers, and there’s Adolph Brown.’ The introduction of the Friday speaker at the AASL National Conference in Louisville was an understatement. A psychology professor at Hampton (Va.) University, Brown (right) donned a sequined jacket and danced around the stage while music cues from James Brown’s 1970 single ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine’ pumped through speakers in the ballroom. Another individual wearing baggy pants, an oversized shirt, a large backpack, and spiked braids soon joined Brown onstage, taking the role of the traditional hip-hop hype man. But it was all a ruse.” The AASL Standards and how librarians are applying them were the focus of many concurrent sessions....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 19

Census results tied to federal library funding

Counting for Dollars 2020

A new analysis released November 18 reveals that more than $1 billion in federal funding for libraries will be allocated to states based on the 2020 Census. Published by Andrew Reamer of the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, the study pinpoints the financial impact the census will have on libraries. The population count in the decennial census determines the level of funding allotted to each state through LSTA, which provides federal funding to state library agencies to support libraries. The program is one of more than 300 federal programs that allocates funding to local communities based on data derived from the census....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Nov. 19; George Washington Institute of Public Policy, Nov. 18

Floods damage library of the Venice Conservatory

Damaged manuscripts in the Venice Conservatory

Tommaso Dorigo writes: “On November 12 the city of Venice, Italy, was flooded by the second-highest tide in recorded history. The sea level, pushed by 60 mph winds and intense rainfalls, surged to more than six feet above average, a mere three inches less than the disastrous event of November 4, 1966. I am especially sad for what happened to the library of the Venice Conservatory. The management of the conservatory decided to move to the ground floor the precious music manuscripts of its library. The result was irreparable damage and unique documents turned to goo, which students and volunteers are now trying to save.” Venice’s Libreria Acqua Alta bookstore, which tried to keep its wares waterproof, also has extensive damage....

Science 2.0, Nov. 15; The Local (Italy), Nov. 14

Library cancels storytime after threats of violence

People rally in support of the LGBTQ+ community outside the Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library on November 16, following the cancellation of a Drag Queen event. Photo by Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The drag queen storytime event that was scheduled for November 16 at the Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library was canceled after comments posted to Facebook made the presenters Paul Liller and Robin Hearts-Love feel that their safety and the safety of the event were threatened. One individual made multiple threatening comments and posts related to the event. Library Director Sarah Palfrey said Morgantown community members specifically requested a reading event involving drag queens after a similar event at Pride last spring “because it was so much fun.” Supporters rallied outside the library after the event was canceled....

Morgantown (W.Va.) Dominion Post, Nov. 17; WV Metro News, Nov. 16
ALA news

Coeur d’Alene library looks for space for Colbert book

Late Show host Stephen Colbert offers to send a giant copy of Whose Boat Is This Boat? to the Coeur d’Alene Public Library

As the story of a now-infamous library patron who hides Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) Public Library books continues to go viral, the library says donated books and cash have continued to pour in. Following write-ups in the New York Times and CNN, among others, the story has since found a national TV audience. On November 15, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featured the book-hider in one segment and pledged to donate to the library an oversized copy of one book. “Good luck hiding this one, sucker!” joked Colbert alongside a massive copy of Whose Boat Is This Boat?, a children’s book of Trump quotes compiled by Late Show staff....

KREM-TV, Spokane, Wash., Nov. 18; New York Times, Nov. 10; CNN, Nov. 11; The Late Show with Stephen Colbert YouTube channel, Nov. 16

The new PubMed has launched

New PubMed opening page

Marie Collins writes: “An updated version of PubMed is now available. The new PubMed will become the default in spring 2020 and will ultimately replace the legacy version. The new responsive layout offers better support for accessing PubMed content with small-screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets. You can find relevant articles more easily using the Best Match sort, now the default sort order in PubMed. The National Library of Medicine will continue adding features and improving the user experience, ensuring that PubMed remains a trusted and accessible source of biomedical literature.”...

NLM Technical Bulletin, Nov./Dec.

Five kinds of nonfiction

Five kinds of nonfiction

Tom Bober writes: “Whether we organize the nonfiction in our library by Dewey, ditching Dewey, or some other method, our libraries are often organized by topic. In her AASL National Conference presentation, Melissa Stewart gave conference attendees another way to think about nonfiction collections. While it may not change how you organize your nonfiction, it may change how you look at your current collection, continue to build that collection, and talk to your students about nonfiction. Stewart described her concept of the five types of nonfiction, four of which are expository.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 15
Latest Library Links

Storytimes on the fly

Storytime on the fly

Alexa Newman writes: “Picture this: You’re getting settled in for your morning, maybe getting a cup of coffee, checking emails, going through mail when the message comes in. Someone has called in and now you are going to have to fill in for storytime. With 15 minutes notice. And they haven’t gathered their materials together in one place. You’ll have to punt. How do you find a theme, pull books, flannels, music, all in a matter of minutes? Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years that can help you prepare a storytime on the fly.”...

ALSC Blog, Nov. 19

AI is here to stay

Artificial intelligence

Raymond Pun writes: “Go to any LIS-related conference today, and you’ll find one, two, or multiple sessions on artificial intelligence and its impact on services, resources, and the ecology of information. It is not surprising that while AI is present in the literature and in our learning spaces, many folks may still be left wondering how AI will impact the profession. Rather, the question should be, ‘How will AI be enhancing and evolving our current job roles?’ This inevitable reality requires us to recalibrate our own professional practices and tasks. How can we develop our work alongside AI as a partner?”...

Online Searcher, Nov./Dec.

Google goes open source with Cardboard

Google Cardboard viewer

Google said November 6 that it will open-source the software for Cardboard, the company’s low-cost phone-based VR experience. The move comes less than a month after Google said it would discontinue its Daydream VR program. The move will let developers continue to build virtual reality experiences and add Cardboard support for iOS and Android apps. The project’s tools provide APIs for head tracking, lens distortion rendering, and input handling, as well as an Android QR code library so developers aren’t dependent on the Cardboard app for viewer pairing....

CNET, Nov. 6; June 6, 2015
Dewey Decibel podcast

Add a library sticker to your laptop

Take me to your library sticker

Kelly Jensen writes: “In July, we all went wild for bookish stickers. Let’s go even deeper this time and get excited about library vinyl stickers and decals that are perfect for laptops, notebooks, and water bottles. Whether you’re a librarian, a future librarian, or just deeply appreciative of all things library, these library stickers are for you. For example, you can be ready when aliens come to Earth, because their first impulse would be to find the library (how else would they find out what Earth is all about?).”...

Book Riot, July 29, Nov. 18

Now you can bake like Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson’s recipe for coconut cake (left); on the back is her poem “The Things that never can come back”

Emily Temple writes: “It’s fairly common knowledge these days that everyone’s first favorite poet Emily Dickinson was also no slouch in the kitchen. Her creative and culinary works even seem to have influenced one another—or at least she worked on a number of poems in the kitchen, while she cooked. So it’s no surprise that the Dickinson family recipes—a few of which have survived—fascinate the faithful. So in case you’d like to impress everyone with a picnic basket full of Emily Dickinson-approved recipes, here are a few to choose from.”...

Literary Hub, Dec. 8, 2017

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