Lily Rothman writes: “In the July 16 season premiere, Game of Thrones continued its long streak of drawing on the real past to make Westeros come alive by using Samwell Tarly to make a point about real medieval libraries—sort of. As Sam gets to know the ropes of the Citadel, part of his thankless job is to work at the library. One of the details in that set is that the bookshelves, even outside of the restricted section, come with chains. That detail is one that medieval-history buffs will recognize as true.”
Time, July 17
The Denver Public Library wants people to show a little skin; specifically, whatever part of you is home to a tattoo. They’ll recommend a book they think will speak to you based on the art you choose to wear every day. On July 17, tattoo photos were posted on the library’s Facebook page. Librarians Hana Zittel and Tara Williamson read the back-stories left with each person’s tattoo picture, and then made personalized suggestions.
KUSA-TV, Denver, July 17
Ansley Stuart writes: “With the rise of the internet and electronic research resources, it is not uncommon for a librarian to hear that libraries are no longer necessary. What most people do not realize is how integrated librarians (and information scientists) are in organizing and providing information to the public. Many librarians realize that to help guide users to the best resources, they need to be proactive, not reactive, in their teaching of information literacy. This means being embedded in the subjects for which they are offering resources.”
OUPblog, July 18
Ernie Smith writes: “The CD-ROM was sold to the public and the world as a way to bring interactive multimedia experiences into our homes. But beyond that, it was a huge amount of storage for a price that was insane to consider at the time. And that meant that some of the earliest products produced for the CD-ROM format were reference works. We take Wikipedia for granted these days, but the encyclopedia on disc was a big deal—especially because it was both cheaper and smaller than the alternative.”
Tedium, July 13
Mark Lenker writes: “As a librarian, I worry about the ways that emotion, especially anger, influences our interactions with information. So much of our political discourse is intended to arouse indignation, and I’m concerned about indignation’s impact on one’s ability to learn. Higher education needs to become more intentional about preparing students for inflammatory discourse as a potential hazard in the information landscape.”
ACRLog, July 18
Mary Pennington writes: “In 1931, Congress authorized the Library of Congress to provide ‘books for the use of adult blind residents of the United States.’ This act was amended in 1934 to include sound recordings (talking books), and ultimately to include anyone with physical limitations that prevent reading regular print. The program is thriving and now sends out books to the vision impaired on flash drives. In the 1940s and 1950s, Bowen and Company produced the record players that were provided to clients of the Talking Book project.”
Lux Mentis Booksellers, July 18
Campaigns to manipulate public opinion through false or misleading social media postings have become standard political practice across much of the world, with information ministries, specialized military units, and political operatives shaping the flow of information in dozens of countries, a British research group reported July 17. These propaganda efforts exploit every social media platform and rely on human users and computerized bots that can dramatically amplify the power of disinformation campaigns.
Washington Post: The Switch, July 17
The Urban Libraries Council announced the recipients of the 2017 Joey Rodger Leadership and Urban Leader Awards at a special celebration during the 2017 Partners Conference in Philadelphia. Lance Werner, executive director of the Kent District Library in Michigan, received the Joey Rodger Leadership Award. Mayor Christopher B. Coleman of Saint Paul, Minnesota, received the Urban Leader Award, which recognizes an outstanding civic leader whose work elevates the essential role public libraries play.
Urban Libraries Council, July 17
ALA is always looking for ways to enhance its members’ experiences. ALA Connect is our online space where groups work together. Its platform is getting upgraded to a more flexible system that will be powered by Higher Logic. One new feature is that divisions and round tables will have their own branded space to communicate and collaborate. In order to maintain the integrity of information within our current system during the transfer, ALA will prevent new information input for a short period of time, August 10–31.
ITTS News, July 14
On July 17, in comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission, ALA questioned the need to review current net neutrality rules and urged regulators to maintain the strong, enforceable rules already in place. ALA President Jim Neal said, “The 2015 Open Internet Order is the right reading of the law, and we do not see any reason for the FCC to arbitrarily return to this issue now.” The ALA comments were filed with the American Association of Law Libraries and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.
Office for Information Technology Policy, July 17
Many librarians report feeling passionate about their chosen profession, but have you ever asked yourself exactly why? LLAMA will present “What Drives and Guides Us: The Importance of Developing a Personal Philosophy of Librarianship,” presented by Brandy R. Horne, on July 26. This webinar will discuss the importance of having a philosophy of librarianship, how our philosophies guide our work, and what resources can help librarians begin to articulate their own specific philosophies. Register online.
LLAMA, July 17
Frank S. Abderholden writes: “Walking into W. J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake Park, Illinois, following this week’s flooding, the first thing that comes to mind is either a bait shop or a bag of wet, dirty laundry. The school library was devastated by flooding July 12 after water knocked out a giant electrical box outside of the building and shut off power. Floodwater completely covered the bookshelves.” The school is asking for donations of clothing, books, and funding.
Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun, July 14