Funding cuts put pressure on Big Deal model.

American Library Association • February 18, 2020

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Open access journals get a boost from librarians

Some deals canceled with Elsevier. Image by Aaron Tay

Alex Barker and Patricia Nilsson write: “A quiet revolution is sweeping the $20 billion academic publishing market and its main operator Elsevier, partly driven by cash-strapped librarians. When Florida State University canceled its Big Deal contract for all Elsevier’s 2,500 journals in 2019 to save money, the publisher warned it would backfire and cost the library $1 million extra in pay-per-view fees. But even to the surprise of FSU Library Dean Gale Etschmaier the charges after eight months were actually less than $20,000. ‘Elsevier has not come back to us about the Big Deal,’ she said, noting it had made up a quarter of her content budget before the terms were changed.”...

Financial Times (UK), Feb. 11

Bring back equitable access for the digital age

Equitable access

Alan S. Inouye writes: “There is failure in digital markets for libraries, schools, universities, and other public-service organizations, and libraries are officially fed up with it. We’ve tolerated abusive pricing and restrictive licensing terms long enough. Access to digital works is almost exclusively determined by a contract among parties. Contracts by themselves are not the answer in the long run. No matter how accommodating today, they can be changed by whim tomorrow. Rights for public service organizations must be provided by law. It’s time for Congress to act.” The ALA Joint Working Group on eBooks and Digital Content in Libraries will address library concerns with publishers and content providers....

The Hill, Feb. 12; ASGCLA, Feb. 18

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Answers on book displays, videos, service animals

Letters of the Law column

This month in “Letters of the Law,” Mary Minow answers a reader question on displaying controversial books and then weighs in on patrons taking cell phone videos of library staff and the legal status of service animals. Her advice: “The library may ask a person with a disability to remove their service dog from the library if and only if the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if the dog is not housebroken.”...

American Libraries column, Feb. 18

ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen Davis to retire

Mary Ellen Davis

ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis (right) has announced her retirement, effective April 24. Davis has led ACRL since 2001, the longest-serving executive director in ACRL’s more than 75-year history. She first came to ALA in 1984 as assistant director for the NEH-funded “Let’s Talk About It” program, and from there held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in ACRL. She created a culture of trust and collaboration among ACRL members, donors, colleagues, and staff, instilling a laser-like focus on advancing ACRL’s strategic plans....

ACRL Insider, Feb. 18
Ingram Your Mission

Global soldiers fighting fake news

Joel D. Shoemaker

Joel D. Shoemaker (right), director of the Illinois Prairie District Public Library in Metamora, found out late in 2019 he was appointed to an international advisory board for NewsGuard Technologies. The two-year-old firm created NewsGuard, a browser extension that judges news sources’ trustworthiness. Shoemaker’s library uses NewsGuard on its computers. He is among eight library-affiliated people who are advising the NewsGuard News Literacy Program, which now features partnerships with about 700 public libraries in the US and elsewhere. “I think they wanted maybe a rural perspective on this new board,” Shoemaker said....

Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, Feb. 15

South Carolina high school library seeks donations

North Central High School, Kershaw, South Carolina. Drone photo by Jeff Cooper

The staff at North Central High School in Kershaw, South Carolina, is seeking assistance with the purchase of library books after a tornado devastated the school’s main campus on January 11. School district officials said the library was one of the hardest hit areas of the school. Now, they are asking for the public’s help to restore their collection. Follett, the school’s central library book vendor, has created a Titlewish online link where those interested in donating can help. The company will match 10% of the donations, and 100% of the funds will go directly to the school’s library account, allowing staff to select the books that best match their needs....

WLTX-TV, Columbia, South Carolina, Jan. 16, Feb. 16
Ingram Hall of Fame

Joint public library and Archives Canada facility

The design of the planned Ottawa Public Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility’s wavelike roof takes inspiration from the Ottawa River. Rendering by Diamond Schmitt

Librarian and Archivist of Canada Leslie Weir says that the new Ottawa Public Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility will offer inhabitants of the capital much more than just books and historical documents when it opens in 2024. The $192.9 million project is expected to become a central part of a broad redevelopment of the area. The 200,000-square-foot building, which breaks ground early in 2021, is an unprecedented collaboration between the City of Ottawa and Library and Archives Canada. Both organizations were considering constructing separate buildings, but in 2016 decided to combine them into a single megaproject....

Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 17

Some Maine libraries are still not automated

Card catalog drawer at Fort Kent (Maine) Public Library. Photo by Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly writes: “In the small, rural northern Maine town of Fort Kent, the card catalog is alive and well. The Fort Kent Public Library isn’t alone. Janet McKenney, data coordinator for the Maine State Library, estimates around 25 of Maine’s 265 public libraries have not automated their collections and still rely on card catalogs. But that number continues to shrink. It’s a slow-moving project to bring full automation to a small library. The staff of two at Fort Kent has spent the last two years entering each and every volume, video, and recording into what will be a computerized database. And they have been doing it one publication at a time, by hand.”...

Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Feb. 17
Ingram Schedule a Demo

Increase circulation with musical bookcases

Musical bookcases

Gwyneth Jones writes: “Here’s a fun, easy-to-set-up book selection activity that you can do at the drop of a beat. I am always looking for ways to beef up our circulation numbers by getting more books into the hands of kids. I wanted an activity I could run before the holidays that was fast and fun with very little preparation. For musical bookcases, you only need music, kids, and (optional) scratch-and-sniff bookmarks for prizes. It’s a great way for kids to get up and move into different areas of our library and get to know new titles and genres. Here is what it looked like in action (1:22).”...

The Daring Librarian, Feb. 15; Gwyneth Jones YouTube channel, Jan. 21

Elders of the Internet admit the importance of libraries

Screenshot of Nick Offerman in Elders of the Internet

Libraries are more important than ever in the age of the internet, where misinformation, pop-up ads, and distractions run rampant. Even as the Wizard of the World Wide Web tries to regain control of the world’s knowledge, libraries reign supreme with the personal help and resources they provide. Working with Imagination, a Chicago marketing firm, the Reaching Across Illinois Library System in Burr Ridge, Illinois, produced a short video (2:22) titled Elders of the Internet. The video, starring Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, Making It, Good Omens) demonstrates why libraries rule....

Reaching Across Illinois Library System, Feb. 13; RAILS YouTube channel, Feb. 14
Ingram Welcome

Nine books about Iran

Cover of Women without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran, by Shahrnush Parsipur

Katie Moench writes: “The relationship between Iran and the US has been playing out in front-page headlines for many years, but recent events have heightened tensions between the two countries and brought long-standing issues into focus. Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive history of Iran and the Persian Empire, a focused analysis of Iran and the US in the 20th century, or a piece of fiction that will give you insight into modern Iranian culture, try out these nine books about Iran to help answer your questions and deepen your understanding of what’s going on between the two nations.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 18

How to troubleshoot Bluetooth issues on Windows

Windows Bluetooth settings

Ben Stockton writes: “Bluetooth gives you the freedom to move without a tether, but it isn’t always the most reliable way to use wireless devices. If you’re having trouble with Bluetooth on your Windows machine, you can follow these steps to troubleshoot it. While many of these steps might seem obvious, they will fix many of the most common Bluetooth issues on Windows.”...

How-To Geek, Feb. 18

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