At first sight, the Ocean Beach branch of the San Diego (Calif.) Public Library is much like any other: People browse the shelves, sit at tables reading newspapers, and use free computers. But perched on top of the reference desk are packets of seeds ready, just like books, to be checked out. Stored in a salvaged card catalog, dozens of seed varieties are alphabetically indexed according to their common name, along with details about their source. Since spring 2019, library visitors have been encouraged to take packets of seeds home with them to plant. The project is one of more than 500 seed libraries that have opened in the US, Europe, and elsewhere since 2011.
Deutsche Welle, Aug. 21
Colleen Gibson writes: “Patience and Fortitude, the world-renowned pair of marble lions that stand proudly in front of the New York Public Library’s 42nd Street location, have captured the imagination and affection of New Yorkers since 1911. But which lion do you identify more with: quiet and diligent Patience, or determined and courageous Fortitude? Take our quiz to find out, and make sure you visit the lions the next time you’re at the Library. Patience is on the side of the library closest to 40th Street, while Fortitude is the closest to 42nd Street.”
New York Public Library Blogs, Aug. 10
New York City’s Morgan Library and Museum has announced its first-ever culinary collaboration with chef and food advocate Tom Colicchio. Starting this fall, dining at the Morgan will feature new dishes and cocktails curated exclusively for its dining spaces, the Morgan Café and the Morgan Dining Room. Colicchio was brought on board by Restaurant Associates, the nation’s premier on-site dining management company, which has managed food and beverage operations at the Morgan for more than a decade. Colicchio’s cuisine will highlight modern American dishes, with menus updated seasonally to showcase fresh ingredients at their peak.
Morgan Library and Museum, Aug. 20
Four students were injured in a shooting at a block party August 20 outside the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. The female students, who police said range in age from 17 to 19, were taken to a hospital with graze wounds and gunshot wounds. They were hit when someone opened fire into a crowd of about 200 people. “Initial investigation seems to indicate an argument broke out between two parties prior to the shooting,” Atlanta Police Public Affairs Director Carlos Campos said. Two of the injured students are from Spelman College and two are from Clark Atlanta University.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Aug. 21
Counting every person once and only once and in the right place every 10 years is an enormous undertaking that has vast implications for political representation and more than $800 billion in federal funding for states and localities. Achieving this complete count in the 2020 Census will require hiring more than 500,000 temporary workers. Public libraries can play a central role in helping community members learn about and apply for these jobs, and a new tip sheet from the ALA can help. How Can My Library Increase Awareness of 2020 Census Hiring highlights key information for libraries about the US Census Bureau’s hiring effort.
Public Libraries Online, Aug. 20
United for Libraries is hosting a live webinar, “2020 Census: What Trustees, Friends and Foundations Need to Know,” on September 11. Assistant Director of Government Relations for the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office Gavin Baker will lead the webinar. The 2020 Census will begin in March, and the results will shape economic and political opportunity for the next decade. The live session and its recording are free for United for Libraries members. The webinar will launch the first of United for Libraries’ Monthly Member Forums on the second Wednesday of each month.
United for Libraries, Aug. 20
ACRL’s Choice magazine has published the fourth in a series of white papers designed to provide actionable intelligence around topics of importance to the academic library community. This second marketing-focused publication, Implementing Marketing Plans in the Academic Library: Rules, Roles, and Definition, offers a practical definition of library marketing and examines why it is integral to successful operations and strong fiscal support. Written by Emily L. Hauser, the paper describes specific, actionable steps different types of libraries can take to build effective, sustainable marketing programs.
Choice, Aug. 20
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, the Dewey Decibel podcast invited five past winners and honorees to discuss the award, its history, and importance at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Participants included authors Jason Reynolds (Ghost), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming); author and illustrator Christopher Myers (Firebird); and illustrator Ekua Holmes (The Stuff of Stars). American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart moderated. The talk can be heard in full on the July 2019 episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast.
American Libraries feature, Aug. 20
Ben Lauer writes: “Among the Folger’s smallest treasures are the wee books of the James L. Harner Collection of Miniature Books Pertaining to Shakespeare.The collection includes this miniature set of Shakespeare’s plays that belonged to country singer Johnny Cash. The set came to the Harner collection from Cash’s assistant Peggy Knight, who worked for the Cash family for 33 years. The miniature bookshelf seems to be a Regalia Especial cigar box adapted for Cash’s collection. The books themselves are from the Ellen Terry Shakespeare, a set of Shakespeare’s complete works published in 1904. Apparently, the Man in Black was quite the bibliophile.”
Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare and Beyond, Aug. 2
Barbara Fister writes: “Emphasizing correct citation in composition courses is not helping students learn why and how to use other people’s ideas effectively in writing. My primary beef with making formal citation practices a significant part of introducing new college students to academic argument is that it puts too much emphasis on covering your butt and being able to follow complex rules and too little on engaging with ideas, or engaging with the humans who share ideas as part of a collective effort to understand the world. As a librarian, here’s what I see are the problems new students have with the way we teach citations as part of academic argument.”
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 8
For the third summer in a row, Yale University Geographic Information Systems Librarian Miriam Olivares shared her expertise with the participants in New Haven’s annual DigiCamp—a free, three-day coding and computer technology camp for 8th–12th graders hosted every August by the City of New Haven, Connecticut. The workshop convened August 13–15 at city hall. This year’s theme was artificial intelligence with a focus on its use for apps developed with GIS. Olivares co-taught an introductory workshop on ArcGIS StoryMaps—an interactive mapmaking tool developed by Esri, an international GIS software manufacturer.
Yale News, Aug. 19
Josh Axelrod writes: “The air tingles with prose. Patrons perch atop bar stools, but they aren’t drinking. Individuals congregate together as a group, but they aren’t talking. A Silent Book Club is meeting. The concept is simple yet revolutionary: Members meet up at a bar, a library, a bookstore, or any venue that will host them. Once the bell rings, silent reading time commences. After an hour, the bell rings again. Other than that, there are no rules. Liberated from the orthodoxy of traditional book clubs, participants can bring whatever they’d like to read and chat about anything. The space is especially attractive to introverts.”
NPR, Aug. 12