Library advocacy is for everyone.

American Library Association • November 26, 2019
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Dewey Decibel podcast: Library advocacy

Dewey Decibel podcast: Advocacy: Anyone can do it

Episode 44 of the Dewey Decibel podcast looks at the importance of library advocacy and offers tips on how to get involved. American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Denis Cotter, chair of Loudon County (Va.) Public Library Board of Trustees, about how the board successfully lobbied the county board of supervisors for the elimination of fines at the library. Next, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price talks to John Windmueller of Washington Improv Theater in Washington, D.C., about how learning improv comedy skills can help you become better at advocacy....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 22

New report on roles of school librarians

Cover of Roles of the School Librarian

New York State Library, the Northeast Comprehensive Center/RMC Research Corporation, and the New York State Education Department released Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success on November 12. The report is a compilation of research studies detailing how the school librarian’s contributions are consistently shown to be of positive value to students, teachers, and the wider school community. Its methodology explores the five roles of the school librarian recognized and defined by the American Association of School Libraries: teacher, leader, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator....

New York State Library, Nov. 12

Elsevier, Carnegie Mellon reach open access agreement

Elsevier logo

Lindsay Ellis writes: “The impact of the University of California system’s decision in February to walk away from negotiations with Elsevier over journal subscriptions has rippled out to Pittsburgh, where Carnegie Mellon University’s libraries have struck a deal with the company that marks a significant stride in open access publishing. Under the agreement, Carnegie Mellon researchers will be able to read all Elsevier academic journals and, next year, can publish their articles in front of a paywall without having to pay an extra fee. The company and the university on Thursday said it was the first contract of its kind between Elsevier and an American university.”...

Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 28, Nov. 22

Readers hustle for library ebooks

Cover of The Beautiful Ones by Prince and Dan Piepenbring

Heather Kelly writes: “While some people are scrambling to collect log-ins for Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu and, now, Disney Plus, Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is working on a different kind of hustle. She signs up for any public library that will have her to find and reserve available ebooks. Library ebook waits, now often longer than for hard copies, have prompted some to take their memberships to a new extreme, collecting library cards or card numbers to enable them to find the rarest or most popular books, with the shortest wait.”...

Washington Post, Nov. 26
ALA news

Lincoln Library director fired for loaning Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

A new report shows that the former director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, was removed in part because he violated the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s procedures by lending an “irreplaceable and priceless” handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address to a museum affiliated with conservative pundit Glenn Beck. The report, released November 22 from the state's Office of Executive Inspector General, recommended Alan Lowe's immediate termination on September 3 following a seven-month investigation; Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker fired Lowe September 20....

Chicago Tribune, Nov. 22

No white gloves in the library, please

No cotton gloves in the library

Alexandra K. Alvis writes: “There is a unique joy in watching a video or reading a news story with images of a librarian handling a rare book. Rare books, unlike many museum objects, are still used today in the same way that they would have been when they were new centuries ago—they’re held and opened, and their pages are turned. It would make sense that these historical objects should be handled with white gloves to keep them clean, right? Wrong! Well, mostly.”...

Smithsonian Libraries, Nov. 21

Machine learning reveals Shakespeare coauthor

Chart purporting to show which lines of Henry VIII were written by Shakespeare (in purple) and which were by Fletcher (in green)

Researcher Petr Plecháč at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague says he has used machine learning to identify which lines in Henry VIII were written by William Shakespeare and which were written after his death by playwright John Fletcher. Plecháč used each author's work to train an algorithm to recognize style and rhythmic patterns. His analysis concludes that Fletcher wrote lines and scenes amounting to nearly half the play....

MIT Technology Review, Nov. 22; Cornell University arXiv, Oct. 30
Latest Library Links

When a library program fails

empty program room

Kyra Nay writes: “Reflection is an important piece of programming. All programs, whether a massive hit or somewhat less so, can hold opportunities to learn. If any library worker tries to tell you that they’ve had a 100% success rate with their programs, they are either delusional or lying. No one pulls off perfect programs every time! Sometimes, programs don’t go as planned.”...

ALSC Blog, Nov. 23

Patron engagement ideas in Minnesota's rural libraries

Humans vs. Zombies event at Willmar (Minn.) Public Library

Rachel Hutton writes: “After the Willmar (Minn.) Public Library closed on a recent Friday evening, Syrena Maranell handed out Nerf blasters and safety glasses and then gamely offered to be the first zombie. Maranell, head of adult services, hoped the playful battle would offer people in her small city two hours west of the Twin Cities the chance to have some fun in an unexpected setting. Public libraries are shedding their stuffy, book-bound image as fast as Maranell chased her patrons through the dimly lit stacks, dodging a spray of foam pellets.”...

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 25

Russia's 2020 social media disinformation campaign

Twitter troll @PoliteMelanie, created by Russians

Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren write: “Internet trolls don’t troll. Not the professionals at least. Professional trolls don’t go on social media to antagonize liberals or belittle conservatives. They are not narrow minded, drunk, or angry. They don’t lack basic English language skills. They certainly aren’t “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds,” as the president once put it. Your stereotypical trolls do exist on social media, but the amateurs aren’t a threat to Western democracy. Professional trolls, on the other hand, are the tip of the spear in the new digital, ideological battleground. To combat the threat they pose, we must first understand them—and take them seriously.”...

Rolling Stone, Nov. 25; New York Times, Jan. 6, 2017
Dewey Decibel podcast

Best cheap tablets of 2019

Lenovo Tab 4 8

Sascha Segan and Steven Winkelman write: “Some tablets are pro-level laptop replacements, while others do humbler duty. Inexpensive tablets make great video players for kids, ebook readers, alarm clocks, and can even work as digital signage. You don’t need to spend $300 or more to get a simple slate that fulfills those functions. There are plenty of good options in the $100 range and some for even less.”...

PC Magazine, Nov. 14, 26

AV Club's 25 best comics of the 2010s

Cover of The Love Bunglers by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez

The AV Club is looking back at the best pop culture of the 2010s and has compiled a list of the top 25 comics of the decade. The list covers award winners like Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters and Rep. John Lewis’s March series, the latest installment of Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez’s sprawling Love and Rockets series (The Love Bunglers), sports manga, new takes on superheroes, coming-of-age tales, and web comics....

AV Club, Nov. 13; American Libraries Newsmaker, Nov./Dec. 2017; AL: The Scoop, June 30, 2013

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