Beth Elderkin writes: “Whether the country is facing an unprecedented crisis, is desperate for better leadership, or simply needs to have a bit of fun, it helps to have our commanders in chief by our side. But when those actually in power royally suck, you can turn to science fiction to find something to believe in. We previously covered the worst presidents in sci-fi, including The Hunger Games’ President Snow (who for some reason is getting a prequel novel about his early years). For this Presidents’ Day, in an election year nonetheless, we thought we’d look at the fictional presidents and leaders who inspire hope and change.”
io9, Feb. 17
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
Joel Schwartzberg writes: “With so many ways to spin and distort information these days, a presentation needs to do more than simply share great ideas—it needs to support those ideas with credible data. No problem, you may say. A bar graph here, and a pie chart there, and you’re off to the races, right? Not so fast. Because while a good presentation includes data, data alone doesn’t guarantee a good presentation. How you present data can double—or decimate—its impact, so take note of these seven ways to ensure that your data is doing its job.”
Harvard Business Review, Feb. 11
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, Feb. 11
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 a 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 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
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, Feb. 16
The ALCTS Collection Management Section has awarded the 2020 ProQuest Award for Innovation to Alex Valencia, Lynn Whittenberger, and Meredith Wynn of North Carolina State University Libraries for their contributions in creating an innovative discovery solution for highly complex gaming resources. The award recognizes significant and innovated contributions to electronic collections management and development practice. Valencia, Whittenberger, and Wynn developed an innovative discovery solution for gaming collections including virtual reality.
ALCTS, Feb. 14