Library advocates to meet in D.C., May 4–5.

American Library Association • September 10, 2019
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National Library Legislative Day 2020

National Library Legislative Day 2020

The 45th annual National Library Legislative Day will be held May 4–5, 2020, at the Georgetown Conference Center in Washington, D.C. This two-day educational advocacy event is designed to gather hundreds of library workers, supporters, leaders, patrons, and community stakeholders to learn from policy experts and raise awareness among federal legislators about how and why libraries are vital to communities across America. The event begins on Monday with a full day of advocacy training, with the next day devoted to meetings with elected officials to discuss resources for libraries in their communities....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Sept. 9

Automatic for the people

Key with Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library logo

Claire Zulkey writes: “When Jacob Grussing, director of Scott County Library in Shakopee, Minnesota, spoke to the local paper about SCL’s investigation into self-serve library services, he wasn’t exactly prepared for the patron fallout. Comments poured in supporting SCL’s staffers after the resulting article ran online with the headline ‘Libraries without Librarians?’ But he says any move to automate would not be about cutting staff. Automated and self-service libraries—popular in Europe for years—are gaining a foothold in the US. Will these services eliminate librarian jobs, or are they a cost-effective way to stretch budgets and free staff for other work?”...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.; Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 1

Keeping history alive

On My Mind, by Lisa Rand

Lisa Rand writes: “My mother’s parents emigrated in 1949 from southwest Ireland to Boston, where I grew up seeing them every day. The first stories I ever heard were my grandfather’s retellings of Irish myths. As I grew older, he also taught me about the Troubles, the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. In order to get a fuller picture, I read whatever I could find in my public library. Eventually I turned to the Conflict Archive on the Internet┬ádatabase at Ulster University in Derry, which provides comprehensive resources on the history and politics of Northern Ireland.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Preservation as risk management

Dispatches, by Erin Baucom

Erin Baucom writes: “Digital preservation is the only way to maintain existing and future digital resources in which your organization has invested time, money, and personnel resources. Many cultural heritage materials will never exist as anything other than digital objects. Without a program to preserve them, these materials will be lost to time. The best type of program is an interlocking system of policies, workflows, technical solutions, and efforts meant to keep digital objects usable in the long term.┬áSome digital objects are born digital; others are digitized copies of physical materials.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
ALA news

Amazon charges $3,800 for overdue textbook rental

Cover of Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age, by Kenneth J. Guest

If you can’t afford to buy a textbook, or don’t want to because it’s only required for one semester, renting the book from Amazon is certainly tempting. However, not returning it on time can cost you thousands of dollars. The father of student Amelia SanFilippo was charged $3,800 on June 28 by Amazon when she failed to return a rented book at the end of her rental period. The book in question is titled Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age, and at the time she rented it the cost of purchasing the book outright was $150. After returning the book and a nine-hour phone call with customer service, Anthony SanFilippo finally got a refund five days later. When renting a book on Amazon the details of the costs are hidden behind a link next to the due date....

PC Magazine, Sept. 9; KYW-TV, Philadelphia, July 9

Update on ebook advocacy

Advocacy update

Alan S. Inouye writes: “On July 25, Macmillan Publishers radically changed its policy for library ebook lending. The most drastic component of this change is an embargo on new titles for eight weeks after the acquisition of a sole copy by a library system or consortium. ALA and other library advocates reacted quickly, and more advocacy efforts are in the works. Library professionals around the country are also speaking out to object to the Macmillan embargo. State library associations have issued formal statements to denounce the change. The outcry isn’t only from librarians.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 25, Sept. 9

Book clubs, the census, and the five E’s

Presenters Sarah Ostman (left) and Stephanie Saba, authors of Book Club Reboot: 71 Creative Twists (ALA Editions, 2019)

Jamie Santoro writes: “Library staffers and advocates from across the country discussed big ideas for libraries in small and rural communities at the 2019 Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference, held September 4–7 in Burlington, Vermont. Topics included librarians and the 2020 Census, the five E’s of Libraries (education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, and engagement), rebooting a book club, storytelling, and engaging millennial advocates.”...

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 1, Sept. 6, 10
Latest Library Links

The decline and evolution of the school librarian

School librarians

Hallie Golden writes: “In cities and districts across the country, school librarian positions are either being eliminated or changed in significant ways. Between 2009 and 2016, more than 9,000 full-time equivalent school library positions were eliminated in the US, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s about a 15% reduction in the country’s total number of school librarian positions. What’s at risk, advocates say, is not just children’s access to books, but also the development of their research skills, digital literacy, and critical thinking.”...

CityLab, Sept. 4

Podcast and video studio in the school library

A boy screams into a microphone. Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Hannah Byrd Little writes: “The class of 2019 at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, left a monetary gift to the library. We want to honor these students by using the money wisely, so we have decided to create a digital studio in the library. The hope is that this studio will be a resource for both students and faculty to showcase their work. Our school has a public performance curriculum titled Emerging Voices that includes orations somewhat based on the This I Believe program as well as a research symposium for seniors. It will be helpful to record the speeches as podcasts and the presentations as videos.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Sept. 9

Books about illness and the history of medicine

Cover of Pale Rider, by Laura Spinney

Kathleen Keenan writes: “I’ve always been fascinated by diseases and the history of medicine, maybe because I read a lot of classic children’s literature where characters were always catching scarlet fever (or worse). For whatever reason, this fascination has lasted well into adulthood. Any time a new cultural history of a particular disease comes out, or a book about pandemics, I am in. And there are tons of interesting nonfiction books about disease and being sick. Here are 20 to get you started learning more about the human body and the history of medicine.”...

Book Riot, Sept. 9
Dewey Decibel podcast

Mental health nonfiction picks for teens

Cover of the Teenager’s Guide to Life, the Universe, and Being Awesome, by Andy Cope

Brooke Windsor writes: “As mental health struggles get more time in the spotlight, mental health nonfiction books have been cropping up aimed a variety of demographics. In fact, many options are now available just for teens. This list looks at great resources for those who are struggling with mental health issues or want to help someone who is. While these selections mostly cater to teens, the high readability makes them good for anyone interested in improving mental health without being insanely bored.”...

YALSA The Hub, Sept. 9

How to take screenshots in Windows 10

Use Shift-Windows Key-S and Snip & Sketch

Michael Muchmore writes: “Almost every computer user occasionally needs to take a screenshot, if only to share what they’re seeing on the screen with a colleague. Taking a screenshot on the latest Windows 10 version is more flexible and powerful than ever. Here I’ll go through the several ways to capture the PC screen so that you can choose which works best for you. My primary method: Hit the Shift-Windows Key-S keyboard combo, and you have a choice of shooting the full screen, a rectangular selection, a freehand selection, or (new for version 1903) an individual program window.”...

PC Magazine, Sept. 9

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