Going to the library is the most frequent cultural activity in the US.

American Library Association • January 24, 2020

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Library visits outpaced going to the movies in 2019

Libbrary reader

Visiting the library remains the most frequent cultural activity Americans engage in, by far. The average of 10.5 trips to the library that US adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities. Americans attend live music or theatrical events and visit national or historic parks roughly 4 times a year on average and visit museums and gambling casinos 2.5 times annually. Trips to amusement or theme parks (1.5) and zoos (0.9) are the least common activities on this list. Women report visiting the library nearly twice as frequently as men, and adults aged 18–29 visit the library much more than all older age groups....

Gallup, Jan. 24

Updated Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

Librarians’ Guide to the 2020 Census

ALA has issued an updated Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, the premier resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living in the United States. With support from ALA’s 2020 Census Library Outreach and Education Task Force, ALA teamed with the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality to develop the guide, which includes an expanded list of frequently asked questions and a timeline of key Census dates. To download other resources and subscribe to ALA’s 2020 Census newsletter, visit ALA’s 2020 Census web page....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Jan. 21

Sponsored Content

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2020 Academic / Research Librarian of the Year

John E. Ulmschneider

John E. Ulmschneider (right), dean of libraries and university librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, is the 2020 ACRL Academic / Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic or research librarianship and library development. Ulmschneider will receive a $5,000 award on June 27 during the ACRL President’s Program at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

ACRL Insider, Jan. 22

Cleveland Public Library and union workers reach a deal

Service Employees International Union District 1199

The Cleveland Public Library and the union representing library workers said January 23 they reached a tentative deal to resolve their simmering labor dispute, avoiding a potential strike that would have shut down some library branches and services. About 400 librarians, library assistants, clerks, maintenance workers, and custodians have been without a contract since December 2019. Contract talks between the library system and the union, the Service Employees International Union District 1199, have been ongoing since September, but broke down around the new year. Workers will vote on the contract on January 29....

Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer, Jan. 23

Cedar Rapids library patrons to get healthier

Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library. Screenshot from newscast

Patrons of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library will soon have access to tools and resources toward living a healthier lifestyle as part of a new pilot program. A $50,000 grant to the Iowa Department of Health from Telligen Community Initiative is funding a “Harnessing the Power of Iowa Libraries” program. Cedar Rapids is one of the first libraries where it will be tested. Library Director Dara Schmidt said they are looking at integrating a social or community health worker into library hours, offering cooking and nutrition classes, and lending wellness equipment....

KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jan. 22

Illinois proposal would let library districts tax cannabis

Daniel Didech

An Illinois bill would allow public libraries to get a cut of the taxes on recreational cannabis sales, but it would come at the expense of county-level taxes. House Bill 4135 would allow the state’s more than 600 public libraries to impose a 1% tax on recreational cannabis sales in their jurisdictions. State Rep. Dan Didech (D-Buffalo Grove, right) said the idea for his legislation came from a conversation with a local librarian. In exchange, the county the library is in would be limited to taxing cannabis sales in the library district at up to 2%. Under existing law, counties can tax local cannabis sales up to 3%. Didech’s bill would essentially redirect 1% of that to libraries....

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Jan. 22
ALA news

Alan Turing’s degree, medal, and memorabilia recovered

Alan Turing

British scientist Alan Turing’s Princeton doctoral degree, OBE medal, and other items of memorabilia have been recovered in Colorado, 35 years after they were taken from Sherborne School in the UK. On January 17, federal officials said they had recovered and were seeking the forfeiture of Turing’s items, reports, and letters from his time at boarding school. The items were stolen in 1984, the filing said, after a woman asked to see the Turing archive at Sherborne. In 2018 a woman named Julia Turing (originally Schwinghamer) offered the items on loan to the University of Colorado Boulder, after which federal officials searched a home and recovered the items....

The Guardian (UK), Jan. 21; Aug. 27, Oct. 23, 2017; Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Jan. 20; Planet Princeton, Jan. 20

Google ads and search results look nearly the same

New Google search results display makes it more difficult to distinguish ads from organic search results

Natasha Lomas writes: “Did you notice a recent change to how Google search results are displayed on the desktop? Last week, I thought there must be some kind of weird bug messing up the browser’s page rendering because suddenly everything looked similar: a homogenous sea of blue text links and favicons that, on such a large expanse of screen, come across as one block of background noise. I found myself clicking on an ad link rather than the organic search result I was looking for. This is Google’s latest dark pattern: The adtech giant has made organic results even more closely resemble the ads it serves against keyword searches.”...

TechCrunch, Jan. 23
Latest Library Links

Getting to the truth in a post-truth society

Cover of Post-Truth, by Lee McIntyre

Rebecca Hill writes: “Getting to the truth today takes more effort. Finding it with a barrage of information on social media and 24-hour news cycles is exhausting. According to Lee McIntyre, research fellow at Boston University Center for Philosophy and History, we are now living in a post-truth society. McIntyre believes that post-truth is an attempt to compel someone to believe in something, whether evidence exists for it or not. Recently, McIntyre published Post-Truth for MIT Press’s Essential Knowledge series. I talked to McIntyre, and here is what he shared.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Jan. 22

Contest or job?

Reese Witherspoon. Screenshot from librarian-in-residence announcement

Kelly Jensen writes: “It’s been making the rounds in every single library publication and social media outlet: Reese Witherspoon is looking for a librarian-in-residence and as long as you’ve worked in a library, that could be you. Sounds great, right? How fun to work with Reese and her team at Hello Sunshine to talk about and promote books and stories by and about women. You just need to submit a 90-second video. To say it’s surprising how quickly this story spread without any critical examination is an understatement.” Although many people assumed this was a contest on the part of Hello Sunshine, its website has since clarified: “This is a paid, part-time position with room to grow.”...

Book Riot, Jan. 23; Hello Sunshine
Dewey Decibel podcast

What to expect from smartphones in 2020

Many companies have folding concepts to show off, but only a few have committed to retail releases

Michael Crider writes: “There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re looking for something new in the world of smartphones. And if you happen to be in the market for a new phone this year, you’re probably wondering what’s on the horizon. Likely features include folding phones, sorta-folding phones, crazy camera arrays, high refresh rate displays, facial recognition, and 5G expansion.”...

Review Geek, Jan. 22

How to clean your laptop and phone

ColorCoral keyboard cleaning gel

Jessica Booth writes: “You’ve probably heard your electronic devices—especially your phone and laptop—are disgusting. Studies have found over 25,000 bacteria per square inch on the average cell phone, and your laptop is 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. It’s time to clean both thoroughly. Merely running a damp cloth over your phone and laptop isn’t going to cut it. Actually, that could damage the screen or other small parts. Here are some tips to keep all the dirt and grime away.”...

LifeSavvy, Jan. 23; StateFoodSafety, Sept. 29, 2014

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