The Lawrence (Mass.) High School library lost half its space over the last two years, along with its certified librarian, a computer lab, most of its books, and all of its sunlight. Student access also has been reduced, and the space is now a “learning commons.” Half of the library’s 16,000 square feet were given over to the Abbott Lawrence Academy, which has a more challenging curriculum intended to help the high school stem the flow of students to private schools. Donna Maksian, the school’s certified librarian for 13 years, retired as the academy was moving in.
North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, May 7
Michael Muchmore writes: “Online backup services are one of the best ways to protect yourself against loss of precious computer data, whether it’s a result of a crashed hard drive or an unintentional deletion. Even if you’re among the very few of us who diligently perform backups at regular intervals, those calamities can still result in data loss if you didn’t store backups off-site. Online backup services are all subscription-based, and there are many ways the vendors slice and dice the fees to make them seem appealing.”
PC Magazine, May 5
Kids have been coming in droves to see a shiny red fire truck that was squeezed into a corner of the main floor of the Calgary (Alberta) Public Library in 2016 as part of an educational project. But with the strollers and children’s giggles has come a decrease in unsavory behavior—such as drug deals—that plagued the downtown building for years. “It was an unintended consequence,” said CPL CEO Bill Ptacek, who believes Calgary’s success with Engine 23 could be a model for urban libraries across the continent.
Calgary (Alberta) Herald, May 7
Go-go boys in gold lamé shirts, sequin-bedecked grandmothers, and the freshest-looking librarians you’ve ever met made up the unlikely crowd dancing into the night at the Library of Congress’s first after-hours party on May 6. Billed as a celebration of the history of dicso, “Bibliodiscotheque” featured a symposium hosted by singer Gloria Gaynor and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. The evening, which culminated in a performance by Gaynor, was a collaboration between LC and the cultural-media company Brightest Young Things.
Washington Post, May 7
Katie D. Bennett writes: “Essentials for war: supplies, soldiers, strategy, and libraries. For the US Army during both World War I and World War II, libraries were not only requested and appreciated by soldiers, but also established as a priority during times of war. In the midst of battle and bloodshed, libraries continued to serve American soldiers and citizens. During World War I, camp libraries popped up everywhere at military bases in the United States and all over Europe, stretching as far east as Siberia.”
OUPblog, May 8
The University of Reading has discovered two pages of one of the first books printed in England, dating from the 15th century. The pages of a medieval priest’s handbook, the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye, dating to between 1476 and 1477, were found in the university’s archives by Special Collections Librarian Erika Delbecque while she was cataloging thousands of items showing the history of print. They were produced by English printer William Caxton and are valued at around £100,000.
The Independent (UK), May 8
The net neutrality fight is back and, just as he did in 2014, comedian John Oliver has devoted a segment of his show Last Week Tonight to call out the importance of the open internet and encourage viewers to comment on the new proposed rules. If you’ve been out of the loop on the fight for net neutrality, Oliver’s clip is a good recap of where things stand today. The website to which Oliver pushes viewers seems to be giving the FCC some trouble as the comments form is not consistently loading.
The Verge, May 8
ALA will enlist the services of Isaacson, Miller to identify and select ALA’s new executive director. Current Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will retire on July 31. A search committee will work with Isaacson, Miller during the selection process. The search is scheduled to begin by the end of May, with final interviews scheduled for the end of October.
ALA Human Resources, May 5
ALCTS will kick off its ALA programming with a two-day virtual preconference, “Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Metadata,” on June 6–7. This virtual event will offer a platform for attendees to discover how metadata creators are developing methods to encourage the creation of metadata that represents diverse points of view. In addition, attendees will learn ways to increase cultural inclusiveness of their own metadata. To register, visit the ALCTS conference webpage.
ALCTS, May 5
Now is the time to reboot your social media streams, set your priorities, and establish goals, whether it’s driving more traffic to your website, generating buzz about the library and its programs, or increasing who is following and advocating for the library. If you are looking to build a social media presence that will expand your reach today and give you the flexibility to make adjustments in the future, join American Libraries Live for a free interactive discussion on May 19.
American Libraries, May 5
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Cyber Security and Privacy: Protecting Yourself and Your Users” with Nicole Hennig, on July 6. Hennig will contrast media hype with expert opinions to show you how prevalent certain security concerns are compared to the hype that surrounds them. Registration is through the ALA Store.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus begins its final performances this weekend, so this issue’s Bookend profiles Maureen Brunsdale, special collections and rare books librarian at Illinois State University’s Milner Library in Bloomington-Normal. She is in charge of the Circus and Allied Arts Collection, one of the nation’s top collections of circus-related books, photographs, posters, programs, correspondence, and other ephemera.
AL Bookend, May; Ringling Bros. Circus