T. J. Lamanna writes: “Google announced that in July 2018 it will be flagging all non-HTTPS sites as insecure, which means your patrons are going to get a warning whenever they try to access your site. And for roughly 90% of public US libraries, this will be the case. According to my latest statistics only 1,620 out of 16,221 public libraries use HTTPS for websites (catalogs are a beast of a different color). US libraries are trailing tremendously on the national average.”
LITA Blog, Feb. 16
A popular young adult novel is now banned from Beaverton (Oreg.) School District middle schools and is only allowed in junior and senior high-school classrooms. Deputy Superintendent Steve Phillips made the decision at the end of a formal review process initiated by a parent and student with concerns about the book Stick by Andrew Smith. The district said it was due to vulgar language. The book is about two young teens who have been living in an abusive home.
KATU-TV, Portland, Oreg., Feb. 14
LIS Mental Health Week, February 19–23, aims to raise awareness of mental health among library and archives workers. there will be an LIS Twitter chat on February 22, #lismentalhealth. If you have any concerns about going public with your mental health status, use the anonymous relay. Libraries can provide training, facilitated discussions, or other opportunities for education, skill-sharing, reflection, and advocacy. Here are some ideas.
LIS Mental Health Week
Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in US elections: the post office. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to sway the US presidential campaign, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, Katie Harbath, told the National Association of Secretaries of State on February 17 that the company would send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the United States.
Associated Press, Feb. 18
Nate Hoffelder writes: “If you’ve ever found yourself tapping the steering wheel while watching the freeway turn into a parking lot, you may have pondered all the different ways you could be traveling to work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just click your fingers and change locations spontaneously? Well, if you live in Harry Potter’s world, and have the magical skills, there’s a whole bunch of ways to get from one place to the next.”
The Digital Reader, Feb. 12
Katherine McConachie writes: “Here at the MIT Media Lab, we are big fans of public libraries. Which is why we’ve recently announced the Public Library Innovation Exchange (PLIX). This project, run by the ML Learning Initiative and supported by the Knight Foundation, aims to foster a community of collaborative innovation—where librarians and Media Lab researchers work together to identify community challenges, dream up new ways to address them, and create easy-to-use programs for public libraries.”
MIT Media Lab, Feb. 16
After the 2007 shootings on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, students and staff at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, sent a more than 100-page handcrafted wooden book to the university that is now part of Tech’s April 16, 2007, condolence archives. Two then–Stoneman Douglas students collected letters and artwork from fellow students across Florida to fill the large wooden book that says “in memory of 32” on its front. It is the largest condolence book Tech received after the shooting.
Roanoke (Va.) Times, Feb. 16
Boise, Idaho, officials have hired a famed architect to design a new main library to replace the current library that is a retrofitted warehouse from the 1940s. The city council on February 13 approved a 12-week contract with Moshe Safdie, who designed Vancouver (B.C.) Library Square and Salt Lake City Public Library. Boise has been trying to replace the current library for nearly two decades and solicited proposals last year. Safdie’s team was one of seven that applied and ultimately got the job.
Associated Press, Feb. 17
The Walla Walla (Wash.) Public Library will soon be pedaling books. With a grant from the nonprofit Friends of the Library, in tandem with support from Allegro Cyclery, the library is taking its service to the streets on a new BikeMobile. The Blue Book Bike will carry discarded books for giveaways, promotional materials, and goodies such as pencils—all to promote literacy and the services of the library, said Jennifer Reading, public services librarian and avid cyclist.
Walla Walla (Wash.) Union-Bulletin, Feb. 18
As soon as she heard “Code Red Lockdown” on her radio in a Florida high school library, Diana Haneski remembered how a fellow librarian saved lives by locking 22 people in a supply closet during the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “She was there that day in Sandy Hook and because of her I knew what to do,” said Haneski, a library media specialist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Her longtime friend Yvonne Cech, was the librarian on duty at the Newtown, Connecticut, school in 2012.
Reuters, Feb. 16
Anne Ewbank writes: “Not many libraries have menu collections, but they are still a vital part of the historical record that reveals tastes, trends, and local environmental conditions. Menu collections are often passion projects. Perhaps the most famous examples are Frank M. Buttolph, who collected 25,000 menus that eventually ended up at the New York Public Library, or Louis Szathmary, a chef whose collection is split between two universities and ranges from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural ball to a space-age feast.”
Atlas Obscura, Feb. 16
In this special bonus episode, Dewey Decibel goes behind the scenes at the 2018 Youth Media Awards, held February 12 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart joins the award-selection committees as they make phone calls to the winners the morning before the award announcement event.
AL: The Scoop, Feb. 16