ACRL invites proposal submissions for its 2019 conference to be held April 10–13, 2019, in Cleveland, Ohio. Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals are due May 4. Poster session, roundtable discussion, TechConnect and virtual conference webcast proposals are due October 12. Submit proposals via the online form available on the conference website.
ACRL, Nov. 9
DigitalLearn.org, the PLA website designed to help community members increase their digital literacy skills, has added two new beginner-level courses to its collection of tutorials. The modules are video-based with narration at a 4th-grade reading level. Each course takes 6–22 minutes to complete. One course was designed for first-time users of mobile devices running Android. The other, “Creating a Basic Budget with Microsoft Excel,” guides learners through core budgeting concepts.
PLA, Nov. 9
Helen Adams writes: “The IdeaLab held on November 9 was a true mall of ideas where AASL National Conference attendees shopped for innovative ideas and best practices. Beginning as the Exploratorium in 2005, the now aptly named IdeaLab evolved with each conference. This year’s version has 26 exhibits ranging from green screening to STEM library activities to makerspaces. As I walked around, I focused on two exhibits matching my personal interest in students’ intellectual freedom.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 9
Marcia Mardis writes: “What’s special about the National School Library Standards? Let’s start with the shiny new title, National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. When the AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board engaged groups from across the country, we heard remarkably consistent statements of value, tireless professional commitment, and vision. For this reason, it is time for us to call our professional compass National School Library Standards.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 9
Booklist and AASL have launched an initiative to provide book-and-media buying assistance to school librarians in need. With help from sponsor Scholastic, year-long subscriptions to Booklist, Book Links, and Booklist Online will be made available to selected schools across the US. Until February 23, AASL members are encouraged to submit short essays explaining the collection development constraints they face. From these submissions, 500 schools will be granted one free year of Booklist publications.
Booklist, Nov. 9
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled in favor of the American Chemical Society in its fight against the pirate research website Sci-Hub, kicking off a battle with internet companies over responsibility for copyright infringement. ACS went to court in June over Sci-Hub’s unlawful use of its articles. The court ruled on November 3 that Sci-Hub should pay $4.8 million in damages. The judge also said anyone “in active concert or participation” with Sci-Hub should “cease facilitating” access.
Science Business, Nov. 9
Veronica Arellano Douglas writes: “It’s most disturbing to me that academic librarians are not automatically seen as experts in our disciplines of information literacy and information organization. We are not necessarily seen as possessing valuable expertise until we prove ourselves worthy, which is virtually impossible to do if we aren’t invited into a class to teach. The automatic librarian response to faculty who desire us to prove our worth is to work hard to do so. But we never blame academia.”
ACRLog, Nov. 8
The vital role of libraries in society in the face of rapid technological development is the main topic in focus at this year’s ALA Library Conference held at the Sharjah International Book Fair in the United Arab Emirates. During the opening of the conference, November 7–9, Sharjah Book Authority chairman Ahmad Al Ameri said: “We have in Sharjah a strong belief in human-centered communication and believe in the pivotal role of libraries as bridges and as keys to open the vaults of knowledge.”
Gulf News (Dubai), Nov. 9
AASL President Steven Yates writes: “The latest data indicates that Arizona is only giving its public school students half a loaf—and one doesn’t have to stretch the imagination to tell who is getting served and who is going home hungry. The Learning Policy Institute reported that Arizona is above the national average with inexperienced and uncertified teachers in high-minority schools. It will take a strong financial commitment from elected officials to ensure that Arizona schools have fully stocked school libraries with school librarians.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 8
Meredith Farkas writes: “My first job as a librarian was at a small library where we were constantly working to find inventive no-cost solutions designed to resemble what big, well-resourced libraries were doing. Our being able to do more with less felt like a badge of honor. But that badge of honor also signals that you might keep getting less and doing more. Resilience promotes the idea that library staffers can overcome anything and that those who cannot are at fault for their situation.”
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
The Texas Library Association has announced that $102,600 from the organization’s Disaster Relief Fund will be awarded to 25 libraries impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Grants range from $2,500 to $15,000 and can be used for technology, facility repair, collections, furnishings, or other needs related to storm damage. Academic, public, school, and special libraries were eligible to receive assistance. TLA continues to accept donations that will be used to fund future grants.
Texas Library Association, Nov. 7
A panel at the February 11 ALA President’s Program at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver will discuss whether libraries have ever been content neutral. Moderated by ALA President Jim Neal, panelists Em Claire Knowles, James LaRue, Chris Bourg, and R. David Lankes will debate the issue, and commentary will be provided by Emily Drabinski, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Emily Knox, and Kelvin Watson.
Conference Services, Nov. 8