A total of 60 electronic libraries are to be established across Ghana as part of the country’s 60-year anniversary celebration. The establishment of the e-libraries will help deprived areas in the country to develop skills in computer education, as well as replace the old educational system with a contemporary one where computers are more practical. Each library will have five functional areas: an e-zone, a children’s corner, a librarian and an assistant, a traditional book library, and a mobile library.
Ghana Web, Mar. 13
James M. Lang writes: “Like every teacher these days, I am in a constant battle with cellphones and laptops for the attention of my students in the classroom. The answer is not banning all devices from the classroom. But a new book on the nature of distraction and attention has helped me see some pathways forward. The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT, 2016) represents a collaboration between neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and psychologist Larry D. Rosen.”
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 13
Julie Beck writes: “The theory of cognitive dissonance—the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict—was developed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s. This doubling down in the face of conflicting evidence is a way of reducing the discomfort of dissonance, and is part of a set of behaviors known in the psychology literature as ‘motivated reasoning.’ Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves or remain convinced of what they want to believe.”
The Atlantic, Mar. 13
Megan Cottrell writes: “Mary Hall was walking through the library recently when she saw a familiar sight: a toddler having a meltdown while waiting in the checkout line. Thankfully, Hall, assistant director of the Bedford (Ind.) Public Library, had an ally she knew could come to the rescue: Bridget, a beautiful Golden Retriever therapy dog. Since she loves children, Bridget is a regular library visitor and helps out at library programs, including a weekly trip to 3rd grade classrooms, where kids can read stories to her.”
American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.
As part of the recent consolidation of Bexley Seabury in Chicago, the seminary has donated the Bexley Hall rare book collection to the Newberry Library, where it will be complemented by existing materials on religion. Bexley Seabury, a federation of Bexley Hall and Seabury-Western Theological seminaries, is one of 10 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The collection consists of more than 325 titles and 120 bound volumes containing approximately 1,200 19th-century pamphlets.
Newberry Library, Mar.
The ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee has published a new white paper, Global Perspectives on Information Literacy: Fostering a Dialogue for International Understanding. The paper includes chapters written by information literacy experts from around the world, including Africa, Canada, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and seeks to share individual international perspectives that demonstrate how information literacy is viewed, taught, and conceptualized.
ACRL, Mar. 13
There’s a new effort to bridge what some call the “book gap” and it’s putting books in the hands of hundreds of children in Houston. On a recent morning, dozens of kids crammed inside their school library at Browning Elementary School. They were excited because they were getting their very own library to take home. It’s a pilot project, called My Home Library, from the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. To start, it distributed mini-libraries to more than 500 children.
Houston Public Media, Mar. 13
Paula J. Schwanenflugel and Nancy Flanagan Knapp write: “However measured, reading levels can be a generally useful guide to whether a particular text is going to be far too difficult for a particular reader. Unfortunately, though, the ubiquity and precision with which these reading levels are now being tested and reported has led to their increasingly inappropriate use, especially in schools. Such misguided policies and practices are based on three prevalent myths about reading levels.”
Psychology Today, Feb. 28
Sheila Garcia writes: “In 2014, following widely reported incidences of police brutality leading to the deaths of two African Americans, the Black Lives Matter movement dominated headlines as the grassroots initiative grew into a national network of activists. In response, a group of librarians created the #Libraries4BlackLives initiative, meant to provide libraries with resources to foster dialogue on racial equity. I had the chance to interview Jessica Bratt, one of its founders.”
Rory Litwin writes: “Print-on-demand, or POD, is a technology that allows publishers and individuals to have books printed one-at-a-time. I designed a survey to find out what librarians think about POD, how knowledge that a book is POD would affect their treatment of books that are printed this way, and how they believe they can tell if a book is POD when they encounter it. I ran the informal survey and have some results that I will share here. I will say a bit about my methods and share some numbers.”
Library Juice, Mar. 11
Nearly 40% of US colleges are seeing declines in applications from international students, and international student recruitment professionals report “a great deal of concern” from students and their families about visas and perceptions of a less welcoming climate in the US, according to a survey conducted in February by six higher education groups. The highest reported declines involved applications from the Middle East, while many universities also reported drops in applications from China and India.
Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 13
Troy Lambert writes: “History buffs get excited whenever an agency announces the digitization of a huge collection of newspapers, birth and death records, and other archives. Such was the buzz when the State Historical Society of Iowa announced it was partnering with a Cedar Rapids business, Advantage Companies, to digitize 12 million pages of Iowa newspaper history. However, the reality of creating a digital archive is much more complex, and making it available online is harder than you think.”
Public Libraries Online, Mar. 9