Libraries contribute to face-shield production.

American Library Association • April 7, 2020

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Using 3D to make PPE

A visor for a face mask, 3D-printed by Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library

Cass Balzer writes: “Personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, including face shields, surgical masks, and N95 respirator masks, is in critically short supply. To mitigate the ongoing crisis, some libraries are using their 3D printers to create the PPE components needed on the front lines of the pandemic. Jillian Rutledge, public services manager at Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library, learned about a PPE production initiative through a local branch of the national community revitalization project Main Street America. When her library closed its doors to patrons March 17, she obtained instructions online for printing PPE and tried various iterations before finding one that worked well.”...

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 3

IMLS authorizes new grant flexibilities

IMLS logo

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the first of a number of critical measures to aid museums, libraries, and communities across the nation in response to COVID-19. The new guidelines outline how institutions with open IMLS grants may adapt their existing fund balances to address immediate needs and extend timelines for their work to accommodate the disruption caused by the pandemic. Examples include continuing to employ staff, modifying project activities to align with social distancing requirements, and covering basic costs necessary to resume work once the emergency has passed. For the complete guidelines, please visit the FAQ page....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Apr. 6

What a post-COVID world could bring for libraries

World COVID-19 cases and deaths, April 7

Around the world, library and information workers are doing their best, both personally and professionally, to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as some libraries are cautiously beginning to loosen restrictions, others are seeing them come into place. Naturally, the focus is on the short term; for many, it will seem difficult to think even beyond the coming days. At the same time, it is already clear that this is a historic moment, with unprecedented steps being taken by governments, businesses, and individuals. This blog aims to identify 10 developments we’re seeing today and explore what they mean in terms of trends shaping the future of libraries....

IFLA Library Policy and Advocacy Blog, Apr. 6

Arlington library publishes an art-filled Quaranzine

From 1st issue of Quaranzine: Alex Zealand, “Rats for Social Distancing” – Street diorama with rubber rats holding signs. Photographed in Old Town Alexandria

Liz Laribee, the programs and partnerships librarian at Arlington (Va.) Public Library, says she thinks in puns. So, when the word “quaranzine” popped into her head a little over a week ago, it gave her an idea. On April 3, the library published the first issue of Quaranzine, a weekly online collection of works by local artists responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Laribee, who is also a portrait artist, says the library’s first call for submissions received about 65 entries, far more than she was expecting. While each work must address the COVID-19 crisis in some way, the other criteria are fairly broad: The library welcomes paintings, photographs, poems, and even recipes, among other kinds of works....

WAMU-FM, Washington, D.C., Apr. 6; Quaranzine, Apr. 3

Toronto branches repurposed as food banks

Toronto Public Library sets up a branch as a food bank distribution center

Food banks across Toronto, Ontario, have seen a major increase in demand since the pandemic began and many have been forced to close, so the city is turning several Toronto Public Library branches into food bank distribution centers. Mayor John Tory made the announcement April 6, indicating that there will eventually be nine new food banks in branches across the city. City Librarian Vickery Bowles said, “Our library branches are community hubs, and our staff are dedicated public servants committed to supporting those communities, so redirecting library resources to help address this critical need makes so much sense.”...

blogTO, Apr. 6; Toronto Public Library, Apr. 6
ALA news

Documenting the pandemic

Gorizia, Italy, March 2020. Photo from British Journal of Photography

Oya Y. Rieger writes: “Archivists and others are asking how we can preserve the rich and diverse sources of information on coronavirus—not only for future generations but also for those who will be studying various scientific, sociological, political, and cultural aspects of the pandemic in the near future. Given the diverse, variable, and fluid nature of information, archival roles are distributed across both individual and institutional levels. Academic libraries are no longer perceived as the primary drivers and leaders in digital preservation even as archives operate under their mandates. Even a preliminary search on different social media outlets reveals several personal archiving efforts undertaken by scholars.”...

Ithaka S+R, Apr. 6

“Librarians don’t shush anymore,” and other untrue things

Cover of The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner

Jennifer LaGarde writes: “I was over the moon excited when Jeff Zentner announced that he was going to be reading his The Serpent King, in its entirety, on Instagram Live over the next several weeks. It was during one of those readings that Jeff came to a scene in which the three main characters are shushed by a librarian. Almost immediately, all the librarians listening lost their minds—filling the screen with comments declaring that ‘librarians don’t shush anymore!’ But even before their chorus of friendly outrage began, Jeff predicted the reaction, offering a caveat about how his understanding of librarianship has grown since the book was published.”...

The Adventures of Library Girl, Apr. 6; Jeff Zentner Instagram page

We didn’t learn about this in library school

Remote and online services for children webinar

Mahasin Abuwi Aleem writes: “‘What to do in a global pandemic was not taught in library school’ is a refrain that I’ve heard many times over the past few weeks. While we’re trying to figure out the best responses—how to continue to serve patrons, how to best sanitize materials—ALA has come up with a Pandemic Preparedness Resource for Librarians that addresses many relevant topics. Many of us now have the time to think about how we can provide new services and expand electronic services that we already provide. A few days into working from home, a colleague started a conversation over email asking children’s librarians what tasks and projects we are completing from home.”...

ALSC Blog, Apr. 6; AL: The Scoop, Mar. 27
Latest Library Links

Free online poetry resources for kids

Section of the April 2020 National Poetry Month poster

Sarah S. Davis writes: “National Poetry Month is the perfect time to start introducing poetry into children’s lives. Thanks to generous online resources, it’s never been easier to find free, quality educational lessons on poetry for kids. In this article, we’ll review six great resource hubs to find children’s poetry for free online. Whether you’re looking for free, printable short poems for kids, rhyming poems for kids, or funny children’s poems, these dynamite websites offer what you need.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 6

Soothing reads in every genre

Cover of A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

Laura Sackton writes: “I don’t know about you, but in the past three weeks, I’ve abandoned everything on my TBR in favor of my favorite comforting books. If you are not eagerly diving into that 800-page novel sitting on your bedside table, these comforting books are for you. These books have gotten me through personal crises before, and they’re getting me through this one. They are not completely without danger or death of any kind, but they make me laugh out loud, transport and distract me, and remind me that kindness, hope, and humor abound among humans. I’ve included books in most of the major genres, as well as audiobooks, comics, YA, middle grade, and children’s literature.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 7
Dewey Decibel podcast

Five search tools students often overlook

How to use Google's Dataset Search

Richard Byrne writes: “In our new remote teaching and learning environments students may find themselves having to look things up online more than ever before. Even if you’re hosting online class meetings in Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, there will still be many times when students need to do some research on their own. This is an opportunity to remind students about some basic search strategies like creating a search checklist and consulting vocabulary lists as part of the search process. Once they’ve done those basics it might be time for them to try some other search tools that often get overlooked.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 6; Feb. 1, Oct. 28, 2019

Security and privacy implications of Zoom

Boris Johnson cabinet meeting on Zoom

Bruce Schneier writes: “Over the past few weeks, Zoom’s use has exploded since it became the video conferencing platform of choice in today’s COVID-19 world. (My own university, Harvard, uses it for all of its classes.) Over that same period, the company has been exposed for having both lousy privacy and lousy security. My goal here is to summarize all of the problems and talk about solutions and workarounds. In general, Zoom’s problems fall into three broad buckets: (1) bad privacy practices, (2) bad security practices, and (3) bad user configurations.”...

Schneier on Security, Apr. 2; CNBC, Feb. 26

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