United for Libraries is accepting nominations for the ALA Trustee Citation through January 10, 2020. The citation, established in 1941 to recognize public library trustees for distinguished service to library development, honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. It will be presented during the Opening General Session of the ALA Annual Conference.
United for Libraries, Oct. 15
Each year Choice, a publishing unit of ACRL, announces the editors’ selections of the best academic nonfiction titles reviewed during the year just ended. Selection as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title is a recognition of the work’s excellence and scholarly significance by the academic library community’s oldest and most prestigious review publication. Choice editors will release the list December 1, one month earlier than previously, thereby aligning the award with other annual retrospective and “best-of” reading lists.
Choice, Oct. 15
One letter dropped from an Omaha company’s name wound up costing a Jeopardy! contestant last week. Jessica Garsed, medical librarian at Togus VA Medical Center in Chelsea, Maine, answered “What is Omaha Steak?” instead of “Omaha Steaks” in her fourth game. The question was in response to a reply from the category “Meat Industry Hall of Fame.” It said “Nebraska’s Alan Simon made his fortune with mailable beef from this company.” The flub cost Garsed $1,600. Omaha Steaks noticed and decided to donate the dollar amount of the mis-steak to the charity of Garsed’s choice. She selected the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, Maine.
Omaha World-Herald, Oct. 14
Ross Sempek writes: “I never thought that I would write about the erosion of privacy in libraries, but a recent piece published in American Libraries gave me pause. The article in the September/October issue on self-service or open libraries, ‘Automatic for the People,’ includes screenshots of security footage taken from an unstaffed library in Gwinnett County (Ga.). Now, I understand the rationale behind ensuring patrons’ safety, but I’m a bit vexed by the decision to visually associate libraries with surveillance. On one hand, I respect this unorthodox solution to break barriers to access. But on the other I feel that we must acknowledge the challenges that inevitably accompany novelty.”
Intellectual Freedom Blog, Oct. 15
Lynn Lobash writes: “Ever wondered if your favorite author has a TED Talk? In honor of the #TEDReads initiative and National Book Month, check out these 12 authors who have given TED Talks.” Included are authors Roxane Gay, Amy Tan, Tracy Chevalier, Pico Iyer, and Isabel Allende.
New York Public Library Blogs, Oct. 14
Growing up in Honolulu in the 1920s and 1930s, Fujio Matsuda was an avid reader. Despite his love for reading, Matsuda never visited Honolulu’s library during his childhood. “I had to go to school to learn English,” said Matsuda, who turns 95 years old this month. “Later on, when I was older, I went to the library, but I don’t recall any public libraries having publications in Japanese.” In the early 1900s, the library in Honolulu made no meaningful effort to stock its shelves with Japanese-language materials. The library excluded Japanese readers at a time when Japanese people in Hawaii exceeded 40% of the population.
Honolulu Civil Beat, Oct. 11
The Dorcas Library in Gouldsboro, Maine, has much to offer, from books to programming. Trouble is, because of insufficient funding it’s open only 24 hours a week. Library Director Faith Lane has an unusual plan to address this. She is planning to take an unpaid leave of absence from her job to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Lane, who will turn 60 next year, said she remembers hikers crossing Route 2 near where she lived as a girl in Franklin County, adding that the goal of the trip is to call national attention to the library and to help it reach an ambitious fundraising goal incrementally over a period of time. She is hoping to raise $1.25 million.
Ellsworth (Maine) American, Oct. 11
Emily Temple writes: “In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a look at the best and most important books of the past decade by means of a variety of lists. We have now reached the third list in our series: the 10 best poetry collections published in English between 2010 and 2019. The following books were chosen after much debate (and several rounds of voting) by the Literary Hub staff. Tears were spilled, feelings were hurt, books were re-read. And as you’ll shortly see, we had a hard time choosing just 10—so we’ve also included a list of dissenting opinions, and an even longer list of also-rans.”
Literary Hub, Oct. 15
Bitsy Griffin writes: “Want to create stations or centers in your school library but don’t know where to start or what to use? Stations provide hands-on learning for the students and allow them to work independently on activities they choose. They also free me up to do many more tasks while classes are in session and allow me to work with small groups of students on reader’s advisory, developing project plans and building those important relationships. The very first thing to do is inventory useful materials that you already have.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Oct. 15
During the past five decades, Temple Grandin’s visually indexed mind, a key feature of her autism, helped make her a leading animal researcher. Diagnosed with “brain damage” at the age of 2, Grandin, now 72, holds a PhD in animal science, teaches at Colorado State University, and has written over a dozen books. Despite competence in various fields, as many as 90% of adults with autism are left out of the workforce. A major obstacle is the demand for soft skills. Reuters spoke with Grandin about nurturing the strengths of those on the spectrum and the labor market’s need for different kinds of minds.
Reuters, Oct. 15
Thorin Klosowski writes: “After spending over 600 collective hours sitting in 10 office chairs and talking to four ergonomics experts, we think the Steelcase Gesture is the best chair for most people. It features all the adjustments you’d expect from a great office chair, like height, tilt, and seat depth, and it’s the only chair with ball-and-socket style armrests that are easy to adjust and make comfortable no matter what type of work you do. In fact, we found that the Steelcase Gesture is one of the most adjustable chairs available—no matter how you sit or what you do at your desk, you can make the Gesture fit you.”
Wirecutter, Oct. 9
Since 2012, University of Oxford officials have been trying to trace a rumor that the oldest Bible fragment ever discovered had been stolen and sold to American arts-and-crafts giant Hobby Lobby. The suspected thief at the center of the biblical controversy is Dirk Obbink, classics professor and Nebraska native who had long directed—and allegedly looted—Oxford’s Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, a collection of centuries-old literature recovered from an ancient Egyptian garbage dump in 1896. On October 14, officials accused Obbink of selling at least 11 ancient Bible fragments to the Green family, the Hobby Lobby owners who operate a Bible museum in Washington, D.C.
Washington Post, Oct. 15