On September 19, the Library of Congress launched Labs, a new online space that will host a changing selection of experiments, projects, events, and resources designed to encourage creative use of the library’s digital collections. The new site will also feature a gallery of projects from data challenge winners and innovators-in-residence and video presentations from leaders in the field. Labs will enable users at every level of technical knowledge to engage with the LC’s vast resources.
Library of Congress, Sept. 19
About eight inches of water flowed into the children’s department at the Daytona Beach (Fla.) Regional branch of the Volusia County Public Library on September 11 when Hurricane Irma came through and destroyed $5,000 of the library’s holdings. The library is located on City Island in the Halifax River, which rose three feet due to the storm surge and flooded 80% of the building. The branch is closed until further notice.
Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, Sept. 18
The ancient library of Alexandria, Egypt, once held the largest collection of manuscripts in the world, though it burned down in the 3rd century. In October 2002, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) opened and has become a mecca for learning. While in Egypt on vacation this summer, ALA Librarian Rebecca Gerber visited the BA and the American University in Cairo libraries, with assistance from the ALA International Relations Office. American Libraries spoke with Gerber to hear more about her visits.
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 19
An Army veteran who fended off a mentally ill man who tried to attack a chess class the veteran was teaching at the Morton (Ill.) Public Library is one of 18 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism. James O. Vernon was in a library conference room with 17 children and four women when 19-year-old Dustin Brown burst in with two large knives on October 13, 2015. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the medal winners on September 19.
Associated Press, Sept. 19
Since ALA’s chapters in Texas and Florida are leading recovery efforts in their states, ALA is taking in tax-deductible donations through its Disaster Relief Fund to help the many libraries in the Caribbean that were destroyed and heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma. Libraries such as the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on St. Maarten has been damaged beyond repair and will need to be rebuilt. ALA is partnering with Florida International University Library and its Digital Library of the Caribbean staff in assisting these libraries.
Chapter Relations Office, Sept. 15
Jason Griffey writes: “At this point in its technological trajectory, 3D printing has reached what I would consider the zenith of its hype cycle. Average library users know about it and, while they might not have tried it, they are aware of the technology and have some idea of how it works. This doesn’t mean 3D printers are no longer cutting edge or that all libraries have them, but we’re clearly beginning to flatten out the demand curve.”
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
The Brookings Institution has released survey results showing that many college students lack understanding of or support for the legal principles of the First Amendment. Among the findings: Students are more likely (44%) to believe that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment than to believe it is protected. Students who identify as Democrats were more likely than those who identify as Republicans to take positions counter to First Amendment principles, but many Republicans also held such opinions.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 19