American Libraries talks to Debbie Harry about music, art, and libraries.

American Library Association • November 22, 2019
Webinar for small and rural libraries

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Blondie bandleader faces the music

Debbie Harry

Amy Carlton writes: “Debbie Harry (right)—actor, activist, and leader of punk stalwarts Blondie for more than 45 years—released Face It (Dey Street Books) in October. In it, she describes her life and career in matter-of-fact detail, from rising through New York’s art and alternative music scenes through global stardom, bankruptcy, addiction, personal tragedies, and the breakup and eventual reunion of her band. American Libraries spoke with her about music, art, libraries, and how climate activism is the new punk.”...

American Libraries Newsmaker, Nov. 21

Chanel Miller to be Midwinter closing speaker

Chanel Miller

Author and artist Chanel Miller (right) will be the closing speaker on January 27 at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Miller first came into prominence anonymously after she was sexually assaulted on the Stanford University campus in 2015. She wrote and read a 7,137-word victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing of her assailant in 2016, which went viral after it was published in Buzzfeed. In September 2019, Miller relinquished her anonymity and was interviewed on 60 Minutes. She has published a memoir titled Know My Name (Viking Press). Miller hopes the book will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault....

ALA Conference Services, Nov. 21

Webinar on the 2020 Census

Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

On December 16, ALA will hold a free webinar for library staff, “Library Programs and Partnerships in the 2020 Census.” Strategies for libraries to reach groups at risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census will be emphasized. Presenters will include representatives from libraries, community organizations, ALA, and the US Census Bureau. The webinar will be offered at no cost to attendees and is presented by the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Registration is required....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Nov. 22

Little Free Library at Smithsonian honors Native Americans

NMAI librarian Elayne Silversmith shares a book in the birchbark Little Free Library

The Smithsonian has installed a birchbark book-sharing box at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., donated by the Little Free Library nonprofit organization. The “take a book, share a book” library seeks to honor Native American culture and increase access to culturally relevant books. The miniature library was provided by LFL’s Native Library Initiative, which places them in tribal communities across the nation to meaningfully improve book access. To date, LFL has gifted more than 60 libraries to tribal communities. The NMAI box was created by Pat Kruse, an Ojibwe birchbark and quillwork artist....

Little Free Library, Nov. 22
ALA news

Citrus County votes down New York Times digital sub

US Air Force veteran Daniel Carmichael, of Inverness, Florida, shares his opinion before a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Citrus County on November 19. Photo by Douglas R. Clifford / Tampa Bay Times

The Citrus County, Florida, commissioners voted on November 19 to reject a digital subscription to the New York Times for 70,000 local library cardholders that would replace its print subscription for a savings of $200. A motion for the county to move forward with the $2,700 digital subscription, instead of its current print subscription, failed 3–2. So many people attended, officials opened up an overflow room. Three sheriff’s deputies stood by the door. Commissioner Scott Carnahan said he wouldn’t back down from his original opinion, adding that he doesn’t think public money should be used for any news subscriptions....

Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, Nov. 19

Three loaded guns found inside Phoenix library

Guns found in Phoenix library. Screenshot from KNXV-TV broadcast

A bag containing three loaded handguns was found inside a restroom at Phoenix’s Burton Barr Central Library on October 12. The discovery of the loaded firearms at the city’s busiest library continues to highlight safety and security issues that are not being adequately addressed, according to current and former employees. “They think the bag of guns was likely there for a gun sale,” a library source said. Phoenix police records show that a security guard discovered the bag in a second-floor men’s restroom around 4:30 p.m. Employees said drug deals and other illegal activity often occur in the library restrooms....

KNXV-TV, Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 4, 20

LSU Libraries launches Mobile Digitization Lab

LSU Mobile Digitization Lab team members examine rare materials with Jeanerette (La.) Museum staff

Louisiana State University Libraries has launched the Mobile Digitization Lab, an initiative that shares digitization equipment and expertise with small libraries, archives, and museums across Louisiana. For the pilot project, completed in November, LSU faculty and staff visited the Jeanerette Museum with scanners and cameras and spent one week digitizing the museum’s unique historical materials. Content created during this initiative will be added to the Louisiana Digital Library. Limited technology and staffing at many of the state’s cultural institutions is a barrier to participation in the LDL. The lab will help them in that effort....

LSU Libraries News and Notes, Nov. 21
Latest Library Links

LC preserves AIDS Memorial Quilt archive

One block of the AIDS Memorial Quilt

The National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco will become the new caretaker of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and NAMES Project programs. As part of the transition, care and stewardship of the Quilt’s archival collections will go to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. This historic decision will return the Quilt to the San Francisco Bay Area, where 32 years ago during the height of the AIDS epidemic, a group of strangers gathered at a storefront to remember the names and lives of their loved ones they feared history would forget. Since 1987, the NAMES Project Foundation has cared for the Quilt and its associated archives....

Library of Congress, Nov. 20

Get ready for the Christmas Bird Count

Cover of Bird Count, by Susan Edwards Richmond

Maureen Schlosser writes: “The first Audubon Christmas Bird Count took place 119 years ago. The purpose of the event was to save birds from a hunting tradition in which hunters gathered on Christmas Day to shoot as many birds as they could. Frank Chapman wanted to change this and, instead of counting dead birds, he asked people to tally the live birds they saw in nature. Today, thousands of people participate. Inspire your students to participate in the event next month, and encourage them to look in the sky and notice the birds. Read these books to learn how to join and participate in the bird count.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 21

Cooking up metadata consistency

Metadata requirements within three disciplines

Ixchel M. Faniel writes: “Curating data is expensive, so anything that can be done to better justify the expense is a good thing. In my mind, the ultimate justification is having the data reused and cited, which is why the data were deposited in the first place. But the first step is discovering that the data exist. In a recent article I coauthored with Jihyun Kim and Elizabeth Yakel for College and Research Libraries, we found that similar metadata terms across three different disciplines—archaeology, quantitative social science, and zoology—are not used as consistently as they might be. This has implications for discovery and reuse.”...

OCLC Next, Nov. 21; College and Research Libraries 80, no. 6 (Sept.): 843–875
Dewey Decibel podcast

Music could be a universal language

A 1965 album cover featuring anthropologist Frances Densmore and Mountain Chief (Ninastoko), chief of the Blackfoot people

Wherever you go around the globe, cultures have their own songs of love, lullaby, war, and dance. A new study has found it’s not just music itself that’s ubiquitous. The same patterns can be found repeated in the same types of music, worldwide. Using over a century’s worth of research in ethnomusicology from 315 cultures, scientists have performed a cross-cultural analysis of the similarities and differences in our music. Researchers found that the behavioral context of a song can be predicted just by its acoustic features. To reach this conclusion, they compiled a comprehensive database of songs, the Natural History of Song, to conduct their comparisons....

Science Alert, Nov. 22; Science, Nov. 22

Prison library tablet scams

Jpay is a company that charges for “digital postage stamps”

Cory Doctorow writes: “The past couple years has seen a rise in prison profiteers who strike deals with state corrections departments to provide ‘free’ tablets to prisoners (the cheapest, least reliable hardware imaginable), and then profit by charging exorbitant sums for prisoners to send emails (selling ‘digital postage stamps’ affixed to each ‘page’ of email), videoconference with family members, and provide media, charging prisoners for music that they lose every time a prison changes suppliers. At the same time, these companies lobby prisons to eliminate in-person visits, paper mail, and even libraries in the name of safety and cost savings.”...

Boing Boing, Feb. 19, Apr. 8, Nov. 20; July 29, Aug. 3, 2018

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