EBSCO has worked with its content partners to help expand access to resources during the length of this crisis and has opened up some of its own content during the pandemic as well. These resources are designed to help librarians and library staff support distance learning and remote work and manage stress; they include expanded access offers, open resources and a webinar series. Librarians can use the new EBSCO COVID-19 Resources site to view the offerings and sign up for webinars.
After conversations with ALA and other industry leaders, LinkedIn Learning—formerly Lynda.com, a platform used by libraries to provide online learning opportunities to library users—announced March 26 that it has made changes to its terms of service. Under LinkedIn Learning’s revised terms, a library cardholder will no longer need to create a LinkedIn profile in order to access LinkedIn Learning. Additionally, users will need no longer need to provide an email address to use the service; they will be able to sign on with a library card number and PIN. ALA has long affirmed that the protection of library users’ privacy rights are necessary for intellectual freedom and are fundamental to the ethical practice of librarianship.
Emily Temple writes: “I read This Side of Paradise for the first time this week, from self-isolation, in my apartment in New York City. It is the semi-autobiographical debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald; it was published 100 years ago today, when the author was only 23. I’ll say this: You can tell. To be perfectly honest, I had a hard time concentrating on reading this novel, though the fault isn’t entirely Fitzgerald’s. Every time I picked it up, I felt compelled to pause and scan the news instead; usually the pause would extend, and I’d look up to find 30 minutes lost. Yes, William Shakespeare may have written King Lear during a plague year, but I am not Shakespeare, and I’m finding it hard to sustain attention on much of anything these days.”
New York City’s SU-CASA is the largest publicly funded arts engagement program for older adults in the country. This City Council–funded program brings teaching artists to more than 200 senior centers across the city. The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, in partnership with Lifetime Arts and LiveOn New York, conducted an evaluation of the SU-CASA program and developed recommendations for how to make the program more effective. Brookdale has released a white paper reporting the findings of the evaluation and summarized ways to strengthen the city’s creative aging ecosystem.
Keith Fowlkes writes: “IT operations might be the farthest thing from your mind during the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s more important than ever to focus on equipment, systems, security, and IT support. This is not business as usual. The developing risks and challenges are plentiful during these unsettling times. In thinking about how a shift from an on-site to remote workforce is going to affect many of our institutions, I would like to offer my insights on some of the challenges you may be dealing with in your own operations. If you are not facing these issues today, I believe you will be facing them soon.”
Peter Armenti writes: “Although most Library of Congress reference librarians, including myself, are now teleworking in response to the coronavirus pandemic, our Ask a Librarian service remains open to anyone who has an information need. While our ability to completely answer some of your questions may sometimes be limited by our lack of access to the library’s physical collections, we are committed to answering your questions to the fullest extent possible. If we need to wait to consult the library’s physical resources before getting back to you with a response, we’ll definitely let you know.”
This public statement is meant to provide clarity for US colleges and universities about how copyright law applies to the many facets of remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We write this as copyright specialists at colleges, universities, and other organizations supporting higher education in the US and Canada who work every day with faculty, staff, and librarians to enable them to make ethical and legal choices about copyright issues in online teaching.
Colin Marshall writes: “The term philosophy, as every introductory course first explains, means the love of wisdom. And as the oldest intellectual discipline, philosophy has proven that the love of wisdom can withstand the worst that human history can throw at it. The current coronavirus pandemic, the most frightening global event most of us have seen in our lifetimes, doesn’t quite look like a civilization-ender, though it has forced many of us to change the way we live and learn. In short, we’re doing much more of it online, and a new collection of educational videos free online is keeping philosophy in the mix.”
Many people are finding Zoom to be an easy way to stay connected in this time of social distancing, school closures, and work-from-home routines. With all these virtual business meetings, happy hours, coffee breaks, and afternoon hangs happening in Zoom, here are some tips to ensure everyone joining an event does so with good intentions. The first rule of Zoom Club: Don’t give up control of your screen.
Keith Law writes: “Our current golden age of tabletop gaming has also led to a similar surge in mobile apps that adapt board games to tablets and phones, with new ones arriving almost every week and some games even premiering in digital form at the same time they show up on store shelves. I’ve tried more than 50 such apps, all of which are based on games you can actually buy in stores; these are 25 of the best. Unless otherwise noted, these are all available on iOS and Android, with some on Steam as well.”
Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “The British Library has unveiled its latest cutting-edge project: making the first batch of what ultimately will be 30 historical globes available for up-close interaction, including an augmented reality function. It is the result of two years’ collaboration between BL imaging specialists and the digitization company Cyreal, developing specialized equipment to photograph and digitize the globes from the library’s vast maps collection. Largely inaccessible due to their fragility, the BL’s historical globes date from around 1600 to 1950 and represent three centuries of Western cartography.”
The ALA Library Instruction Round Table will present its 2020 Innovation in Instruction Award to the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. The award recognizes a library that demonstrates innovation in support of information literacy and instruction. This year it recognizes The Teacher Lab, BPL’s effort to connect library resources with as many teachers as possible. Developed by Amy Mikel, BPL’s coordinator of school outreach, The Teacher Lab is a free, self-paced online course that introduces fundamental library, research, and information literacy skills to K–12 educators.