Five more Los Angeles Unified high schools may divert their funding for teacher librarians this fall as principals decide to spend their budgets on other pressing needs, meaning 15 of the 84 high school libraries would not be fully staffed. The state’s Local Control Funding Formula allows more autonomy for district schools, and library staffing is among the discretionary items. But at an April committee meeting, three school board members indicated they would like to see library positions required at schools.
LA School Report, Apr. 16
Eleven Dallas schools will soon no longer have a librarian. Among them are four high schools—Roosevelt, Lincoln, A. Maceo Smith New Tech, and Gilliam Collegiate Academy. So are three middle schools in the district’s ACE turnaround program: Edison, Rusk, and Zumwalt. School officials say it’s the result of drastic budget cuts; the changes will save $2 million. No librarians will be laid off. Instead, they will be shuffled to fill vacant positions at other schools.
Dallas News, Apr. 17
danah boyd writes: “It’s easy to assume that when we—data practitioners—commit to using data well, we are committing to using data for social good. But, if we want to do data responsibly, we need to challenge some basic assumptions and highlight how some values conflict. What if your project will increase inequality and hurt the people you’re trying to help? We cannot build a neutral platform or punt the political implications of data down the line. Every decision matters, including the decision to make data open and the decision to collect certain types of data and not others.”
Data & Society: Points, Apr. 12
As the father of five kids, Nevada State Sen. Mo Denis (D-Las Vegas) relied heavily on the Las Vegas–Clark County Library. Denis was among several lawmakers who joined with librarians from across the state for Nevada Library Legislative Day on April 12. Nearly 50 library representatives spent the day speaking with lawmakers about funding so that libraries can grow their collections and databases, and they asked legislators to create a contingency fund that would buffer libraries in case of federal cuts.
Carson City Nevada Appeal, Apr. 13
Porter Anderson writes: “Rachel Hildebrandt is a translator. She likes bridges. She’d like to bridge divides between translated literature and the wider readership in the English-language world. And she’s keenly aware that today’s political context may add some timely appeal to the multicultural diversity inherent in translated titles. She’s made the bridge—Global Literature in Libraries Initiative—and about a year into the project, she’s ready to find out who’d like to work with her on it.”
Publishing Perspectives, Mar. 1
Patrick Reilly writes: “The Trump administration’s proposals to eliminate government funding for IMLS, NEH, and NEA could force many of these institutions to make hard choices in coming years. To solve this problem, David Rothman is asking the super-rich to create a national endowment for libraries. Rothman, cofounder of LibraryEndowment.org, and Corilee Christou, a library advocate and retired librarian, recently laid out their vision for an endowment funded by wealthy philanthropists.”
Sarah Keating writes: “Once upon a time, a man wandered into a junk shop and found a dusty, battered book with a strange diamond pattern on the front. Inside, the pages were covered in letters from an alphabet he didn’t understand, but the ancient manuscript had cast a spell on him, so he bought it anyway. A little detective work revealed the stamp of Marsh’s Library in Dublin, Ireland, on the inside cover. He soon discovered that it was a book of enormous significance that had gone missing in unknown circumstances more than 100 years ago.”
Irish Times, Apr. 15
Elizabeth Flock writes: “We asked the New York Public Library—perhaps the most-visited library in the country, with among the highest circulations and largest collection of books—what we should be reading right now. Here are eight of the staff’s top picks, ‘the titles they’re passionate about—the ones they can’t stop talking about and can’t wait to share,’ Nora Lyons of NYPL wrote NewsHour in an email.”
PBS NewsHour, Apr. 15
Nancy Bailey writes: “A report published in the April ILA Reporter, “Data Back Up the Headlines: Adding Weight to Advocacy” by Michelle Guittar and Kelly Grossmann, reviewed the downward spiral of school libraries in Illinois and the Chicago Public School District. The authors examined the loss of libraries and librarians since 2010 in CPS alone. But this alarming trend can be seen throughout the state. They also tell why parents should be concerned if their students go to schools without a good school library.”
Nancy Bailey's Education Website, Apr. 8
Frederic Filloux writes: “A simple look at the components of an HTML page tells a lot about the reliability of its contents. Problem is, distribution platforms don’t bother looking at those signals. Journalism’s visual tradition dictates providing a minimum set of elements to let readers assess the origin of information. For instance, a story must display from where it is reported or written, and by whom. Let’s look at the components of a basic article on the web.”
Monday Note, Apr. 10
Rick Anderson writes: “Over the past year or so, it’s been very interesting to see the ways in which various sectors and individuals within the scholarly communication ecosystem have responded to the growing number of entities that operate in either the gray areas of copyright or in outright defiance of copyright law, most notably Sci-Hub. What I’ve found most interesting of all has been the reception that Sci-Hub has received among my fellow librarians and open access advocates.”
The Scholarly Kitchen, Apr. 12
When he was coming out in college, Martin Garnar found solace in his campus library, where he read affirming stories about and by LGBTQ people. “I knew I wasn’t alone,” he told the Huffington Post in an interview. “Everyone wants to see themselves reflected in their library, and the library should represent all members of its community.” Today, he looks back on his own positive experience with libraries as the dean of the library at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and as president of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Huffington Post, Apr. 14