In June 2016, a Knight News Challenge award for innovation in the library sector went to OCLC to strengthen ties between Wikipedia and libraries. Now a year in, the “OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together” project has had a major impact on Wikipedia literacy among librarians in the US. Here’s more about this innovative approach to Wikipedia outreach and library work, and what you can learn from it for GLAM—galleries, libraries, archives, and museums—education projects in your own communities.
Wikimedia Blog, Dec. 13
Public libraries are invited to apply for “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a nationwide project that will use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s enduring ideas and how they continue to influence our lives today. A project of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in collaboration with ALA and the National Constitution Center, “Revisiting the Founding Era” is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Apply online by January 31.
Public Programs Office, Dec. 15
Angie Miller writes: “This is a busy time of year in schools—one that puts a great deal of pressure on our teachers. But let’s remember that as librarians our career is to serve others. We are the ultimate givers. And we can make this strained season in schools easier by offering up our services to the educators in our building. So how can you make the library a gift for our teachers? Here are 10 ideas.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Dec. 15
The Library Company of Philadelphia is creating a monthly forum of civil dialogue around civic and moral questions. It’s taking a page from Benjamin Franklin, who began a self-improvement club in 1727. Franklin organized 12 people to come together at a Philadelphia tavern to talk openly about topics in business, science, politics, and philosophy. Members of the club began pooling their money to buy books, which eventually became the Library Company. Using its resources, the library has started hosting a monthly Ben Franklin Circle to discuss his philosophy of life.
WHYY-TV, Philadelphia, Dec. 13
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has teamed up with the Digital Media Lab at UC San Diego’s Geisel Library to create what is believed to be the first 3D-printed brace for a sea turtle’s shell. The loggerhead sea turtle was rescued from a New Jersey power plant in 2013 with a large gap in the bottom right part of her shell. This gap, along with an abnormal curve of her spine and paralysis of her back flippers, is likely due to trauma experienced in the wild before she was rescued.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dec. 11
Andrew Krieghbaum writes: “Senate and House negotiators meeting this week to craft compromise tax-reform legislation plan to exclude from a final bill some controversial proposals affecting students and colleges. Lawmakers agreed to drop provisions that would treat graduate student tuition benefits as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate December 2.”
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 14
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions announced that the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2019 will take place in Athens, Greece. Following the opening of a new national library building, and its designation as 2018 World Book Capital, the city will in two years’ time play host to the biggest truly international gathering of the library field.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Dec. 14
Jennifer Senior writes: “I love the acknowledgments sections of books. I love what they say and what they do not say. I love what they accidentally say. I love the ways families are discussed, and how the truth about the wretchedness of book writing finally comes tumbling out, and the combination of neuroticism and relief, pride, and latent terror. It is not, however, fashionable to love acknowledgments, and for good reason: Most of them are numbingly predictable in their architecture, little Levittowns of gratitude.”
New York Times, Dec. 13
The FCC voted along party lines on December 14 to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape. The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, and hands them power over what content consumers can access. Consumer advocates and trade groups representing content providers have planned legal challenges aimed at preserving those rules.
Reuters, Dec. 14
Daniel Funke writes: “In 2017, fake news was everywhere. It’s a term that has been constantly redefined and repurposed. Beyond its definitional ambiguity, there’s the fact that fake news has been become a popular mechanism by which politicians discredit the media. Margaret Sullivan, a media columnist at the Washington Post, was among the first press critics to come out against the term, writing in a January column that the president repeatedly labeling media ‘fake news’ undermines its legitimacy. And it’s only gotten worse.”
Poynter, Dec. 14
Paul Darvasi writes: “On Thursday afternoons, in the heart of the Beacon Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library, you might find an animated group of youth on laptops designing parkour courses, rendering torch-lit dungeons, or co-constructing capture the flag arenas—all in Minecraft. To some, this scene might seem somewhat out of place in a library. Not according to Juan Rubio, SPL digital media and learning program manager.”
YALSA Blog, Dec. 14
There is no text about public librarianship more comprehensive than Introduction to Public Librarianship, published by ALA Neal-Schuman. For its new third edition, Reforma Lifetime Achievement Award–winning author Kathleen de la Peña McCook has teamed up with noted public library scholar and advocate Jenny S. Bossaller to update and expand her work to incorporate the field’s renewed emphasis on outcomes and transformation.
ALA Neal-Schuman, Dec. 14