The 2017 Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant has been awarded to John Dewees, library associate at the Ohio State University Libraries in Columbus. The grant is provided annually by the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section to support travel by librarians and paraprofessionals new to the preservation field to the ALA Annual Conference.
ALCTS, Feb. 24
ALCTS has chosen the CRKN-Érudit Partnership as the recipient of its Outstanding Collaboration Citation for 2017. The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is a partnership of Canadian universities dedicated to expanding digital content for academic institutions in Canada. Érudit is the largest digital production and publication platform for Canadian francophone and bilingual scholarly journals in North America.
ALCTS, Feb. 24
On February 24, ALA and Cox Communications announced a new partnership that will strengthen and expand their shared commitment to connecting low-income students and their families with technology. More low-income families will have access to digital literacy training and resources in their local libraries and online at Digital Learn. PLA President Felton Thomas Jr. joined Cox Communications President Pat Esser at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson to make the announcement.
ALA Washington Office, Feb. 24
Jeff Regan was born with underdeveloped optic nerves and had spent most of his life in a blur. Then four years ago, he donned an unwieldy headset made by a Toronto company called eSight. Suddenly, Regan could read a newspaper while eating breakfast and make out the faces of his coworkers from across the room. He’s been able to attend plays and watch what’s happening on stage, without having to guess why people around him were laughing. But eSight still needs to clear a few minor hurdles.
Associated Press, Feb. 24
Every school in Nevada would be required to establish and maintain a library with a dedicated librarian under a proposal presented to Nevada’s Senate Education Committee. Sen. Becky Harris (R-Las Vegas) introduced Senate Bill 143 on February 23, which also mandates a librarian on staff because “a collection of books is not enough,” she said.
Las Vegas (Nev.) Review-Journal, Feb. 23
The police chief of Punta Gorda, Florida, and a police officer will face charges in the accidental shooting death of a librarian during a citizen’s police academy demonstration on August 9, 2016. Officer Lee Coel accidentally shot and killed Mary Knowlton, a 73-year-old retired librarian, during a police night hosted by the chamber of commerce. The weapon was supposed to be used for training. Punta Gorda City Council members approved a $2.06 million settlement with the Knowlton family in November.
Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Feb. 22
Laurie Frankel writes: “Most kids are not transgender, but most kids are gender nonconforming in some way. Transgender children are much more visible than they used to be. Let’s celebrate them. People who get loved and respected for being themselves, even when those selves are different or weird or not what we expect, are much more visible than they used to be as well. Let’s celebrate them too. A good place to start, as always, is with literature.”
Publishers Weekly, Jan. 6
For the past 42 years, library supporters from all over the US have gathered in Washington, D.C., in May to advance libraries’ core values. This year, congressional action may well threaten principles and practices that librarians hold dear as never before. That makes it more important than ever that the 2017 event be the best attended ever. So let’s tackle a few of the common misconceptions about National Library Legislative Day that often deter people from coming to D.C. to share their own stories.
District Dispatch, Feb. 23
Mateo Fagotto writes: “Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State.”
The Atlantic, Feb. 23
Of all the places associated with homelessness—park benches, skid rows, the undersides of freeways—libraries are likely low on the list. Yet the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch of the San Francisco Public Library, like others across California and elsewhere in the western US, is treated by many homeless people as a sanctuary from streets that can be cold, wet, and dangerous. Some residents, however, have urged making libraries or their environs less attractive to homeless visitors.
The Guardian (UK), Feb. 24
As librarians everywhere will attest, fake news is not new; fabricated stories have been presented as truth for centuries. But take a divided electorate and add a social media landscape where misinformation is shared with a click, and interest in the topic has soared. Libraries across the US are stepping up to help patrons gain the information literacy skills they need. Programming Librarian has compiled the following roundup of resources to help libraries deliver their best programming about fake news.
Programming Librarian, Feb. 23
On February 24, ALA President Julie B. Todaro released a statement strongly protesting the rollback of protections for transgender students in our nation’s public schools. “The Trump administration’s decision to revoke important protections for transgender students couldn’t conflict more with the library community’s fundamental values and the principles upon which libraries are founded. Transgender students deserve the right to use restroom facilities that are aligned with their gender identity.” The ACLU has a FAQ on existing law regarding transgender persons.
AL: The Scoop, Feb. 24