Meet the candidates for ALA president.

American Library Association • March 10, 2020
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Patty Wong, Steven Yates: Candidates for ALA president

Patty Wong and Steven Yates

The polls for the 2020 ALA election opened on March 9. Over the three-day period of March 9–11, voters will be provided with a unique URL and information about how to vote. The two candidates for ALA president, Patty Wong and Steven Yates, summarized their experience, qualifications, and vision for the Association in statements provided to American Libraries....

Office of ALA Governance; American Libraries: From the Candidates, Mar./Apr.

Environmentally friendly children’s programming

Youth Matters, by Larissa Clotildes

Larissa Clotildes writes: “Crafts: the backbone of children’s events everywhere. There’s nothing quite like gluing pipe cleaners and pompoms, cutting paper and coloring, wrapping and taping, painstakingly creating . . . and then throwing these masterpieces in the trash. I am not denying the educational value of crafts. But I challenge myself to find activities that do not produce single-use waste without sacrificing everything that makes crafts so great. I use the five Rs as my baseline: Refuse, Reuse, Repurpose, Reduce, and Recycle.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

Ideas for enhancing your children’s programs

A boat, a fan, and a tub of water

Erin Hoag writes: “When it comes to designing and developing children’s programs to run in the library, we are always on the lookout for something different or new or a way to put a unique spin on something we’ve done in the past. We don’t like reusing old programs and often will try just about anything to avoid repetition. But I question whether this is a sustainable model, given that the number of programs offered in the past 5+ years has increased by over 17%. Maybe it’s time to reframe our thinking around programs.”...

ALSC Blog, Mar. 10; The State of America’s Libraries 2018, p. 18

Activate your robots

Fourth graders at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, battle their custom Sphero robots. Photo by Upper Arlington (Ohio) City Schools

Diana Panuncial writes: “All’s quiet on the gymnasium floor as students sit around a five-foot-long octagon made of PVC pipes. A robot, festooned with a bright pink balloon bearing a menacing monster face and the word ROAR, stands off against another balloon-bedecked robot across the battleground. With firm grips on iPad controllers, the students rev the robots toward each other until one balloon pops. Jill Merkle, library media specialist at Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and Kristen Pavlasek, who now teaches 3rd grade there, teamed up in 2018 to create a year-end battle bot competition for all 4th graders at the school.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

Can libraries help solve climate change?

The Phelps family

Sarah Ostman writes: “When Carol Phelps’s daughters were young, the public library was their favorite hangout, a place to talk books and play Dungeons & Dragons. Now that the kids are grown—and both on their way to becoming librarians themselves—the Phelps are helping libraries take on a more urgent role: educating Americans about climate change and encouraging them to take action. Carol, a retired teacher, and her husband Andy, a computer engineer, are the funders behind the new Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change initiative that will help libraries become hubs for action around the climate crisis.”...

I Love Libraries, Mar. 5
ALA news

Debunking fake COVID-19 facts

Global COVID-19 cases as of March 10

Malaka Gharib writes: “The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an ‘infodemic’—an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it is accurate. And some is downright untrue. The false statements range from a conspiracy theory that the virus is a man-made bioweapon to the claim that more than 100,000 have died (as of March 10, there are more than 4,000 reported fatalities worldwide). WHO is fighting back. In early January, it launched a pilot program to make sure the facts are available. The project is called EPI-WIN (WHO Information Network for Epidemics).”...

NPR: Goats and Soda, Feb. 21; Foreign Policy, Jan. 29; Hal Turner Radio Show, Jan. 23; Johns Hopkins University: Center for Systems Science and Engineering; World Health Organization

Macmillan mulls scrapping its library ebook embargo

Macmillan update

Michael Kozlowski writes: “Macmillan upset libraries in November 2019 when it announced an embargo on ebooks. Instead of giving libraries access to as many copies as they need, Macmillan decided to limit a single copy per title to each public library for the first two months after its release because it thinks libraries are cannibalizing digital sales. But it now looks like Macmillan might scrap this system altogether. The publisher is currently running trials under three new pricing models. In all three proposals, Macmillan’s eight-week embargo is abandoned. Gone too, however, is the single, half-price perpetual access copy.”...

Good e-Reader, Mar. 9; AL: The Scoop, Oct. 31, 2019; Publishers Weekly, Mar. 6

Noose found in Hillsdale library

Hillsdale (Mich.) Community Library

Staff at the Hillsdale (Mich.) Community Library were shocked on March 9 to find a noose hanging from a bookshelf in a corner of the library when it opened. Library Director Mary K. Hill said the incident was reported to police and is part of an ongoing broader issue the library has been dealing with. She believes the noose was hung March 7 before the library closed and said staff will review security camera footage to attempt to identify the person responsible. In recent months library staff have found drug paraphernalia, received verbal threats, discovered a man clogging toilets, and found a man setting paper towels on fire in the bathrooms....

Detroit Free Press, Mar. 9
Latest Library Links

Censoring Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s diary is displayed in 2016. Photo by Guillermo Legaria / AFP

Anne Frank’s diary was first published in 1947, two years after her death, and her words are now immortalized as a symbol of the victims of the Holocaust. But was it the story that Anne intended for us to read? Ahead of the 75th anniversary of Frank’s death, Erin Blakemore considers how her diary has been edited and appropriated through history—including by her own father—and how previously hidden pages lead us to a very different picture of the real teenage girl....

HistoryExtra, Mar. 9

Women’s history resources

Unfurling the women’s suffrage flag at the National Women’s Party headquarters in Washington, D.C. Alice Paul is on the balcony. From the Kendrick (Idaho) Gazette, October 29, 1920

Amber Paranick writes: “March 8 was International Women’s Day and today we return to our historical newspaper archives for stories featuring change-making women in newspapers searchable in Chronicling America. This database, sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, provides access to historic US newspapers published between 1789 and 1963. As LC’s digital collection grows to more than 16 million digitized pages, we are featuring 16 Chronicling America topics pages. Each page provides links to articles and includes significant dates and associated search terms.” A new IFLA study looks at how far world governments have sought to draw on libraries for information on gender equality....

Library of Congress: Headlines and Heroes, Mar. 9; International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Mar. 9
Dewey Decibel podcast

Oxford dictionaries: Cleaning up sexist language

Sexist usage example for “rabid” in Oxford Dictionary

Alison Flood writes: “After a huge project that involved picking over tens of thousands of example sentences, Oxford University Press has been quietly replacing hundreds of sentences that ‘unnecessarily perpetuate sexist stereotypes’ in Oxford Dictionaries, the dictionary source licensed by Apple and Google. The extensive research was prompted by a complaint four years ago from the Canadian anthropologist Michael Oman-Reagan, who had noticed that the word ‘rabid’ was illustrated with the example phrase ‘rabid feminist,’ that ‘shrill’ was defined as ‘the rising shrill of women’s voices,’ and the adjective ‘nagging’ used the example phrase ‘a nagging wife.’”...

The Guardian (UK), Mar. 6; Jan. 25, 2016

The best video conferencing software for 2020

Cisco Webex Meetings

Molly McLaughlin and Daniel Brame write: “Video conferencing is about to get a boost in popularity as a wave of growth is set to hit the telecommuting sector in 2020. One of the most effective ways of staying healthy in 2020 will be working from home, and one of the most effective tools for success in those situations is video conferencing. Our Editors’ Choice service for general video conferencing is Cisco WebEx Meetings, and our Editors’ Choice service for webinars and presentations is ClickMeeting—both robust products that make video meetings (almost) fun for your staff.”...

PC Magazine, Mar. 5

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