After the Flood: Read the ebook.

American Library Association • October 8, 2019
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Libraries Transform book pick

After the Flood is the 2019 Libraries Transform Book Pick

Readers nationwide can now borrow and discuss the first ebook selection of the Libraries Transform Book Pick, a new digital reading program from ALA and Rakuten OverDrive. During the reading period October 7–21, book lovers across the US can borrow an ebook copy of the riveting saga After the Flood by Kassandra Montag at public libraries without any waitlists or holds. Readers will only need a library card and the Libby app to download and read the ebook, then discuss via social media. The Libraries Transform Book Pick is a collaboration between Booklist, Libraries Transform, and OverDrive....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Oct. 7

Nominations close October 21 for I Love My Librarian

Show your librarian some love

Library users have until October 21 to nominate superstar librarians for ALA’s prestigious I Love My Librarian Award. Members of the public can submit nominations online for library professionals who have transformed communities and improved lives. The award recognizes the outstanding public service contributions of librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries in the US. This year’s award winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a plaque, and a travel stipend to attend the award ceremony in Philadelphia on January 25 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Oct. 8

The CASE Act’s flaws threaten free speech

Copyright alert

Kate Ruane writes: “Congress is currently considering legislation that would allow copyright holders to bring smaller cases defending their works from copyright infringers without some of the prohibitive costs of going to federal court. It’s a smart idea that many in the creative community have made clear is long overdue. At the ACLU, we agree. However, the specific legislation Congress has drawn up to achieve this—the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act)—has significant design flaws that undermine free speech online and our due process rights. We’re urging lawmakers to make some changes.”...

The Hill, Oct. 7; ACLU, Sept. 10
ALA news

College students just want normal libraries

Academic library

Alia Wong writes: “Perhaps in the hopes of proving that they have more to offer than a simple internet connection, many college libraries are pouring resources into interior-design updates and building renovations or into such glitzy technology as 3D printers and green screens that is often housed in media centers or makerspaces. Yet survey data and experts suggest that students generally appreciate libraries most for their traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate, the ability to print research papers, and access to books. Many college libraries are reinventing themselves, but perhaps they’re trying to fix an institution that isn’t, in fact, broken.”...

The Atlantic, Oct. 4

The real c-word is community, not customer

The library community

Ned Potter writes: “There are more reasons not to call our users ‘customers’ than I can fit into 800 words, so let me start with what I think is the most important one. When we call people customers, they see themselves as customers—and if I’m your library’s customer I need your library to work for me specifically. I want you to meet all of my requirements, even if this creates inequalities with my peers because I, the customer, am right. This is instantly at odds with the ethos we foster in academic libraries, which is one of community. While a customer needs the library to work for them, an academic community of library users needs it to work for everyone.”...

Ned Potter blog, Oct. 5

NYPL to put on J. D. Salinger exhibit

J. D. Salinger and The Catcher in the Rye

An upcoming exhibit at the New York Public Library will offer a look into the very private life of author J. D. Salinger. From October 18 to January 20 the library will show materials ranging from family photographs to letters to the original typescript for his classic The Catcher in the Rye. This will be the first time these items—on loan from the J. D. Salinger Literary Trust—have ever been shared with the public. The exhibit is called “J. D. Salinger” and was organized by the library in partnership with the author’s widow, Colleen Salinger, and son, Matt Salinger. The exhibit will help mark the 100th anniversary of Salinger’s birth....

Associated Press, Oct. 7; New York Public Library, Oct. 7

A look into the world of rare book dealers

Biblo & Tannen, rare book dealers. Screenshot from The Booksellers

Joseph Pomp writes: “First editions, signed or inscribed copies, incunabula, manuscripts, and artists’ books...the list goes on. Bibliophiles of all stripes are aware of these terms and their monetary value, although they may not have a clue who has the privilege (or burden) of trafficking these objects day in and day out. The Booksellers, a documentary directed by D. W. Young and narrated by Parker Posey that had its world premiere on October 7 at the New York Film Festival, brings to light the fascinatingly eccentric community of rare book dealers.”...

Literary Hub, Oct. 4; Film at Lincoln Center YouTube channel, Sept. 5
Latest Library Links

Geographical board games of the past

Jeu géographique de la République Française: présenté à la Convention Nationale. Map by J.N. Mauborgne, 1795. LC Geography and Map Division

Julie Stoner writes: “One of the oldest board games known to exist, named Senet, appears in an Egyptian hieroglyph from about 5,000 years ago. Many of the first game publishers were also cartographers, leading to geographic board games becoming a popular pastime for which there are many interesting examples in the collections of the Library of Congress map division. One such game board, published by J. N. Mauborgne in Paris in 1795, features spaces on the board as the 83 departments set up by the revolutionary government in place of earlier historical provinces.”...

Library of Congress: Worlds Revealed blog, Oct. 3

The Giver of Stars features the pack horse librarians

Cover of The Giver of Stars

Karin Tanabe writes: “An impulsive British woman, her band of librarians on horseback, a punishing winter in Southern Appalachia, moonshiners with itchy trigger fingers, and the town’s coal tycoon just begging them to shoot: What could possibly go wrong? Thus the stage is set for The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Based on the true story of the Pack Horse Library initiative (a Works Progress Administration project that ran from 1935 to 1943 and turned women and their steeds into bookmobiles), Moyes’s characters travel into the remote Eastern Kentucky mountains to deliver learning to the most isolated residents.” The horseback librarians are also featured in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, published in May....

Washington Post, Oct. 3; Smithsonian, June 21, 2017; BuzzFeed News, Oct. 7

The blood is the life

Cover of first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)

Khristian Smith writes: “In Bram Stoker’s genre-defining novel Dracula, after a series of sleepwalking episodes leaves Lucy Westenra mysteriously exsanguinated, her friend and jilted suitor, John Sewell, consults his former medical teacher, Abraham Van Helsing, to find a cure for Lucy’s anemia. ‘She wants blood, and blood she must have or die’—these words, muttered by Van Helsing as he tries to save his dying patient, catapult readers out of gothic vampire fiction and into 19th-century medical reality. Today, we read Dracula and find the idea of transfusion probable, even banal. However, in 1897 transfusion was an experimental process rife with dangerous complications.”...

The Chapel Hill Rare Books Blog, Sept. 27
Dewey Decibel podcast

2019 American Historical Association prize winners

Cover of Empire of Guns

The American Historical Association has announced the winners of its 2019 prizes, to be awarded at the 134th annual meeting in New York City on January 3 at the Sheraton New York hotel. Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution (Penguin, 2018) by Priya Satia won the Jerry Bentley Prize in world history; Cigarettes, Inc.: An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism (University of Chicago, 2018) by Nan Enstad won the Albert J. Beveridge Award for North American history....

Perspectives on History, Oct. 7

Top 10 tools for earthquake preparedness

The 7-gallon Reliance Aqua-Tainer is the best overall choice for water container

Eve O’Neill writes: “Focusing on the looming risk of an earthquake may feel like piling one more anxiety on top of an already long list. But getting prepared doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Really. An easy first step is learning what to do when the ground starts shaking (generally, you should drop to the ground, cover your head, and hold on). Participate in safety drills on International ShakeOut Day, October 17. Next, you should gather some basic emergency supplies. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most essential items to have on hand if you live in a region that’s susceptible to serious shaking.”...

Wirecutter, Oct. 7; Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills; New Yorker, July 13, 2015

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