PLA invites public library workers to participate in a symposium focused on public health information, health information competencies, and trends in health disparities. The division will partner with the Medical Library Association and the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to present a Symposium on Health Information for Public Librarians, May 22–23, at the MLA Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
The American Indian Library Association has selected three titles to receive the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Award. The Best Picture Book is Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy, illustrated by Tlingit artist Michaela Goade and edited by five Tlingit speakers. The Best Middle School Book is Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers, Volume 1, edited by Arigon Starr (Kickapoo). The Best Young Adult Book is #Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy (Tsilhqot’in) and Mary Beth Leatherdale.
Phil Morehart writes: “Libraries play an integral role in welcoming refugees to their new communities. That was the crux of ‘Project Welcome: Refugee Resettlement Agencies and Libraries’ on February 10. ‘Libraries carve out a special place for refugees in our community,’ said Joseph Wismann-Horther, integration partnership supervisor for the Colorado Refugee Services Program. He said there has been a mischaracterization of refugees in the US in the media and by elected officials since the 2016 election.”
Miranda Doran-Myers writes: “What do you cook when you get together with friends and family? This question kicked off an appropriately themed lunchtime session of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries titled ‘Every Bite of Food We Eat’ on February 10. Liz Fitzgerald, the administrator of the Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literacy Center, expanded on the idea that culinary literacy has a broader impact than just learning about food.”
George M. Eberhart writes: “For many years, public libraries have partnered with StoryCorps, a nonprofit founded in 2003 by radio producer Dave Isay to record, preserve, and share the personal stories told by Americans from all backgrounds. Maura Johnson, a community training specialist for StoryCorps, gave an overview of the organization’s recent activities and initiatives as part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver on February 10.”
Amy Carlton writes: “On a ferry trip to Ellis Island and Liberty Island with his family on a freezing winter day, author and publisher Dave Eggers noticed something he’d never seen mentioned in all the lore about the nation’s most famous statue: She’s in motion, striding off the pedestal, he says, as if she is going to meet new immigrants in the sea. Inspired by this discovery, and disturbed by the anti-immigrant tone of the 2016 election, Eggers turned the idea into his latest children’s book, Her Right Foot.”
George M. Eberhart writes: “The ProQuest breakfast on Saturday morning featured the information-content company’s director of security and privacy information, Dan Ayala, who briefed attendees on two European Union privacy laws that will take effect on May 25: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive. Any American firm doing business in Europe will be affected by this legislation, Ayala said, and they are already ‘forcing US companies to look at data privacy in completely different ways.’”
George Eberhart writes: “ALA launched a Libraries Ready to Code initiative in January 2017, funded by Google, to train public and school librarians to design programs that encourage K–12 students to develop skills in computer science and computational thinking. A Friday afternoon workshop, sponsored by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), offered an update on the process and gave attendees a chance to exchange ideas and feedback on their own training efforts.”
Miranda Doran-Myers writes: “Libraries transform lives! This refrain was repeated throughout the Advocacy and Intellectual Freedom Bootcamp, which was held on Friday morning, as one of four messages that every library can use to create cohesive messaging. According to the research cited by the bootcamp’s leaders, humans need to hear something up to 10 times before the message really sinks in, so let’s see how many times I can pepper these messages into my post.”
On February 9, Congress passed and the president signed an FY2018 budget deal that will likely include at least level funding for federal library programs at the FY2017 levels. ALA President Jim Neal issued a statement on the agreement: “We are pleased that Congress has passed an FY2018 spending agreement that includes an increase in federal funding for domestic priorities, which, we hope, will include library funding. Most of all, we are pleased that Congress rejected the president’s call to eliminate many important programs for libraries.”
The Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced website that records new words and their meanings. It began life in 1999 as a parody of Dictionary.com but has since become an important online resource. Dong Nguyen at the Alan Turing Institute in London and a few colleagues have compared the Urban Dictionary and its content with Wiktionary, another crowdsourced dictionary. Nguyen began by analyzing its content in the broadest terms.
An American billionaire and confidant of President Donald Trump is making a major donation to Israel’s National Library. Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone, says the $10 million donation is his first in Israel. The donation will fund classrooms and education workshops that Schwarzman hopes will foster inclusiveness and “cross-cultural relationships” between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.