ALA Connect, the online space where ALA groups collaborate, is being upgraded to a new and more flexible system that will be powered by Higher Logic. The launch is scheduled for August 31. As part of the upgrade, a gray-out period will take place, beginning August 10 and ending on August 31. During this time, users will not be able to make any edits or new posts to the system, although they will be able to view public content. Watch the video (2:58).
ALA Information Technology and Telecommunication Services, Aug. 2
Cultural collections and exhibitions are expanding to all corners of the world while, at the same time, lenders are becoming more risk-averse. Valuing Your Collection: A Practical Guide for Museums, Libraries and Archives, published by Facet Publishing and written by Freda Matassa, addresses the issues and offers some solutions, ranging from high-value to low or no-value collections and discussing a range of collections including fine art, archives, science, and photography.
ALA Neal-Schuman, Aug. 1
ALSC is now accepting online applications for the 2018 Penguin Random House Young Readers Group Award. This award, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group and Random House Children’s books, provides a $600 stipend for up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. The award also includes an invitation to the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet. Apply by October 1.
ALSC, Aug. 1
ALA, in collaboration with the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, invites public libraries to apply for “Media Literacy @ your library,” a pilot program that will train library workers to help their adult patrons become better news consumers. Teams from five public libraries will adapt existing media literacy training materials to serve the needs of public librarians and the communities they serve. Apply online by September 11.
Public Programs Office, Aug. 1
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Rethinking Library Programming: Transforming Your Approach” with Katie LaMantia and Emily Vinci, on September 28. LaMantia and Vinci will provide ideas and plans for nontraditional library programs and discuss how to combat the fear of getting out of library comfort zones. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, July 28
Barbara Fister writes: “According to a new study uploaded in preprint form to PeerJ and profiled in Science, subscription-based publishing is a doomed business. Scientists have flocked to Sci-Hub because it’s easy to use. But libraries have to subscribe to these journals in the first place for them to end up in Sci-Hub, which relies on borrowed (or phished) library login credentials. What Sci-Hub has demonstrated is that the limited access libraries have to offer is less efficient than what can happen in a less copyright-hobbled world.”
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 1
Larra Clark writes: “A new report from the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy focuses attention on the capacity of rural public libraries to deploy computing technologies and other resources to meet the needs of their residents. Rural Libraries in the United States: Recent Strides, Future Possibilities, and Meeting Community Needs details the challenges rural libraries face in maximizing their impact and describes how collaborative efforts help rural libraries and their communities.”
District Dispatch, July 31
The winners of the 2017 Arab American Book Awards have been announced, with well-known authors Rabih Alameddine (fiction), Hayan Charara (poetry), and Steven Salaita (nonfiction) taking three of the top awards. The fourth award, for children’s and young adult literature, went to pediatric nurse and debut author Michelle Chalfoun for The Treasure of Maria Mamoun. The awards will be presented October 7 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Arabic Literature (in English), July 31
Salvatore De Sando writes: “When researchers want to know about life at ALA headquarters, I recommend reading the Headquarters Staff Association Files (Record Series 2/4/80) and Headquarters Newsletters (Record Series 2/4/10). There is much creative expression and goodwill to be found in these documents. Since at least 1947, there have been multiple publications produced by ALA staff. From 1947 to 1948, headquarters staff read a two-sided, green bulletin titled In the Mill.”
ALA Archives Blog, Aug. 1
Hannah Byrd Little writes: “Over the past few years, I have been deeply concerned about declining reading scores. And despite my best efforts, there is an overall decrease in readers in my library. I try to provide support and materials for readers who might struggle with reading and who have learning disabilities. But this decline seems to have little to do with diagnosed disabilities and more to do with changing times. The decline in reading seems to fall into one of three categories: distraction, overwhelm, and overwork.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Aug. 1
Carli Spina writes: “Increasingly, authors are moving beyond merely adapting works into graphic novels and instead creating graphic novels that are entirely new stories in an existing universe. Whether they are building on universes created for TV shows or movies, these works do more than adapt existing stories. For fans of the original work, they can be exciting opportunities to spend more time in a world that they love and gain a new insight into their favorite characters.”
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 1
Kyle Lucia Wu writes: “The first-ever Asian American Literature Festival is the first of what will be a yearly event. It was put on July 27–29 by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in collaboration with a number of organizations, including Poetry magazine, Kundiman, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. The initial day was held at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the second day at the Phillips Collection, the last at the Library of Congress.”
Literary Hub, July 31