ALA Editions will host a new iteration of its four-week facilitated eCourse, “Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future” with Mirela Roncevic as the instructor, starting on July 10. Roncevic will provide the foundation you need to make ebooks work for your library and your career. Registration is through the ALA Store.
ALA Editions, May 11
ALA Editions will host a new iteration of its six-week facilitated eCourse, “Being Indispensable: A School Librarian’s Guide to Proving Your Value and Keeping Your Job” with Hilda K. Weisburg as instructor, starting on July 10. Weisburg will give school librarians concrete strategies for demonstrating and proving their worth through clear, focused leadership. Registration is through the ALA Store.
ALA Editions, May 11
During a brief listening session of the New London–Spicer (Minn.) school board on May 8, two individuals read prepared statements citing their objections to Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and asked that it be removed from the students’ required reading list. Parent Jessica Conlin objected to its inclusion in the school curriculum because it contains “gratuitous and unnecessary” profanity and reference to sexual acts. The decision to review the book will be up to the district’s advisory committee.
Willmar (Minn.) West Central Tribune, May 10
Troy Lambert writes: “As funding challenges continue to threaten their survival, public libraries are teaming up with local public housing authorities to keep costs down and doors open. In these partnerships, the library provides its services to a traditionally underserved community while the housing authority shoulders the cost of building and maintaining a facility. Colocating libraries with housing developments, high schools, and other public institutions appears to be paying off.”
American Libraries Trend, May
Fiona McFarlane has won the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize for her “deliciously unsettling” short story collection, The High Places. Flitting across continents, eras, and genres, McFarlane’s 13 stories examine the spectrum of emotional life, with moments of uneasy anticipation, domestic contentment, and ominous desperation. The prize honors the best work of English-language literary fiction—poetry, drama or prose—by a writer of 39 or under.
The Guardian (UK), May 10
Beth Filar Williams and Bonnie Smith write: “‘Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all,’ environmentalist Paul Hawken wrote in his bestselling book Blessed Unrest. This consideration of the need and role of humanity in constructing a sustainable future for all—balancing environmental, economic, and social needs while protecting vulnerable populations—is a core and urgent concern of society, and consequently of libraries.”
Lisa Lindle writes: “On May 1–2, we welcomed more than 530 librarians to Washington, D.C., for National Library Legislative Day 2017. With representatives from every state, and over 1,000 additional library supporters who committed to join in the advocacy efforts from home, the energy this year was higher than ever. This year, advocacy training was provided by the team from the Campaign Workshop. The slides from the presentation are available here.”
District Dispatch, May 10
Numerous speakers told county commissioners May 2 they are still opposed to a sex education class being put on this month at the Lexington Park branch of the St. Mary’s County (Md.) Library. The commissioners have already said they have no legal authority over the library board of trustees, but some in the audience called for the job of the library system Director Michael Blackwell. Blackwell said in an interview May 3 that he’s sorry people are unhappy about the class, but he is not going to resign over it.
Lexington Park (Md.) Enterprise, May 5
Emily Bayci writes: “One of the best parts of being a children’s librarian is getting to dress up and look ridiculous all of the time. No questions asked. My favorite way to express this? Funky hats. It all started innocently enough. There were a few hats hanging around at my graduate school and I wore them while working at the help desk. People thought it was fun and when I found a cool hat at a store I would end up buying one.”
ALSC Blog, May 10
Julia Pyatetsky writes: “Reading out loud helps to increase literacy skills for struggling readers or children still learning to read. The Fort Dodge (Iowa) Middle School has taken this to the next level by creating a program where students struggling to read go to a local shelter and read to cats. What a ‘purrfect’ way to combine early literacy, community engagement, and community partnerships, as well as teaching kids to care about animals.”
Public Libraries Online, May 5
Michele Casto, Bobbie Dougherty, and Margaret Gilmore write: “The D.C. Punk Archive started as a collecting initiative to document the local punk scene of Washington, D.C. Through community engagement and programming, the archive project has expanded to pursue goals even broader than collection building, positioning the District of Columbia Public Library as a direct supporter of the current local music community.”
American Libraries Spotlight, May
Lance Ulanoff writes: “Ever since Minority Report hit theaters in 2002, we’ve dreamed of controlling interfaces with our hands just like Tom Cruise’s crime-fighting character did in Steven Spielberg’s film. Our reality, though, tends to be more disappointing. That’s going to soon change for Windows 10 PC users, though. On May 9, before Microsoft’s Build developers conference in Seattle, the company showed me how developers can enable gesture control for Windows with the addition of a plug-and-play Gesture API.”
Mashable, May 10