Craig Lloyd writes: “Scanning documents and photos with your phone is a mixed bag. Thankfully, there are very easy ways to scan items and get reliably good results. Sure, a dedicated scanner is still great to have if you frequently need to scan a large handful of documents, but using your phone also works great if you only have a couple documents to scan every now and then. Here’s what we recommend for Android and iOS.”
On October 16, the main Jackson, Mississippi, library reopened after the building was closed 10 days earlier over safety and fire violations. On October 13, State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney reinspected the Eudora Welty Library and found the violations were corrected. Chaney initially ordered that it could reopen with firefighters posted in the building, but library officials found the cost would run about $55,000 a year. Jackson Hinds Library System Executive Director Patty Furr said the State Fire Marshal is working with them to stay open while keeping the patrons and workers safe.
Emory University’s Pitts Theology Library holds the largest collection of works by German theologian Martin Luther in all of North America. The collection includes one known example of Luther’s handwriting, a manuscript note from late in Luther’s life. Now a second documented example of Luther’s handwriting has been spotted by Ulrich Bubenheimer, a retired professor visiting from Göttingen, Germany. The three-line inscription appears on the title page of a 1520 pamphlet.
Maureen Schlosser writes: “This hurricane season has been devastating. Many children are without power and water, and others are recovering from severe flooding. This is worrisome not only for the families living through this trauma but also for the children who are watching news feeds. How can we help children work through their feelings? Exploring resources that show children what it means to be empathetic will generate important discussions about helping each other work through tough times.”
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “Budget desktop PCs used to have a bad reputation: You would have to resign yourself to buying a new one in a year or at most three. Thankfully, today’s inexpensive systems will last at least twice that if your needs are as modest as your bottom line. These eight PCs are certainly able to surf the web, stream videos to a TV, or work on Office documents and other everyday productivity tasks. Heck, you can even play games on some of them.”
The Congressional Committee on House Administration continues its look at Title 44 of the US Code with another hearing that took place on October 11. The discussion built on the committee’s previous hearings, which examined the Federal Depository Library Program and the Government Publishing Office. Among the witnesses was Robin Dale from IMLS, the primary source of federal funding for libraries. Dale’s testimony discussed the agency’s grant-making activities and processes.
Will Oremus writes: “In February 2012, an article in the New York Times’ Sunday Review heralded the arrival of a new epoch in human affairs: ‘The Age of Big Data.’ Academia, nonprofits, governments, and companies raced to figure out just what big data was and how they could capitalize on it. Five years later, data plays a vastly expanded role in our lives, yet the term has gone out of fashion—and acquired something of an unsavory reputation. Here is what happened and where data is headed now.”
Connie Williams writes: “Librarians have been thinking long and hard about how to help redefine the ‘Bird Reports.’ We help far too many students locate information on subjects the student neither cares about nor really has an understanding of the scope of the topic, much less the task. Allowing students to choose whatever excites them for a project is difficult to get a handle on. Passion Projects, while seemingly freeing and exciting to get to work on a topic of personal interest, can be far too overwhelming.”
Public library workers are invited to apply for a $500 stipend to attend “Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community,” a preconference workshop to be held March 20 before the 2018 PLA Conference in Philadelphia. The preconference will review core competencies of providing health and wellness services, and is is part of Promoting Healthy Communities, a new nationwide initiative from PLA and National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Apply online.
The Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron, a tribute project in Red Wing, Minnesota, to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, announced the launch October 16 of a Virtual Museum. The online collection of artifacts, memorials, and personal mementos aims to explore the humanity of the experiences of the African-American pilots who fought in World War II, so people of all ages can gain a deeper understanding of the positive impact of their service to our county.
Zach Harris writes: “In Denver, cannabis legalization has normalized marijuana so much that even the area’s local public libraries are doing their part to mainstream the once forbidden crop. In addition to stocking shelves with relevant books and movies, Anythink Libraries have hosted such events as a Careers in Cannabis speaking panel, and librarian education nights, where librarians Jennifer Hendzlik and Aaron Bock will team with other PLA chapters to open a dialogue about marijuana and literature.”
Avi Selk writes: “The public school district in Biloxi, Mississippi, did not specify which words, exactly, in To Kill a Mockingbird are so objectionable that the book was yanked from an 8th-grade reading list last week. ‘There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable,’ school board vice president Kenny Hollowayvaguely said. That is: the n-word, which this newspaper also censors, and which Harper Lee pointedly did not when she wrote her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about racism in the US.”