Jeffrey T. Davis writes: “The romantic appeal of library cards is hard to deny. A look at the hashtag #firstlibrarycard on social media will turn up stories, photos, and enthusiasm about the milestone of receiving one’s first card. Whether they’re used or not, library cards are tokens of belonging and potential. They come with privileges and responsibilities and a whole new relationship to the world. They’re a big deal.” The author discusses how libraries are using the library card to establish close community bonds.
American Libraries feature, July/Aug.
Valerie Nye writes: “Some of the most difficult challenges to library material that librarians have to deal with happen when one censorship issue snowballs and encourages multiple groups of people to challenge multiple books over several years. Jerilynn Williams is the library director of Montgomery County (Tex.) Memorial Library System. She encountered a series of challenges by groups opposed to material in the library, beginning in 2002. I asked Williams about her experiences and the lessons she learned.”
Intellectual Freedom Blog, July 24
Rebecca Renner writes: “I love old, dead white men. There. I said it. F. Scott Fitzgerald is my boy. Tolstoy, Dickens, Steinbeck, Orwell, and Nabokov—Give me all the books. I even have a Vonnegut quote tattooed on my wrist. But because of that love, for the longest time, I experienced a very narrow sliver of what literature has to offer. The worst thing about that was that I didn’t know it. One of the most important reasons why I now try to read diversely is because I believe in the power of story. Story is transformative.”
Book Riot, July 25
Staff time is a valuable resource, and automating certain tasks can allow staff members to focus on tasks that need a human touch. Automatic book sorting and self-checkout are not new ideas, but innovations in these areas continue, providing new ways for libraries to maximize their return on donated and discarded books, minimize the footprint of self-checkout, and maintain their collections—and save staff time.
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Each year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services recognizes outstanding libraries and museums that have made significant contributions to improve the well-being of their communities. The winning museums and libraries are presented with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. IMLS is now accepting nominations for the 2018 awards. Applicants must complete and return a nomination form by October 2.
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 24
Kelly Hiser writes: “Rabble is a startup based in Madison, Wisconsin, that builds online local music collections with public libraries. Our open-source platform, MUSICat, helps librarians connect with local musicians to collect, curate, license, and publish music. We work with an amazing group of library partners. Rabble will turn three this fall, and we’re pleased that we’re still around. I credit Rabble’s success largely to the care we bring to our work with librarians and musicians.”
The Library As Incubator Project, July 25
Brittany Levine Beckman writes: “Just as Snopes, one of the oldest fact-checking sites, seems to have hit its mainstream stride, it gets tangled in a dramatic legal mess, one that involves lots of finger-pointing, alleged backstabbing, and a contentious divorce. It’s the kind of backroom drama that tends to play out in secret until someone files a lawsuit. Now we have not one but two lawsuits, and on July 24 a cry for help. Snopes has become the go-to site for debunking internet hoaxes since its inception in 1995.”
Mashable, July 24