Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh honored Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden as Baltimore Woman of the Year at a Sister Circle reception to commemorate Women’s History Month on March 22. Hayden formerly headed the Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore. She is the first woman and first African-American to lead the national library since it was started in 1800.
WMAR-TV, Baltimore, Mar. 22
Matt Baume writes: “Traditionally, comic cons are expensive, multi-day affairs at big-city convention centers and airport hotels. But over the past few years, comics fans have begun forming small, low-pressure conventions in collaboration with local libraries. For their part, libraries have responded first with delight to discover entirely new ways to reach readers. Typical library comic cons boast many of the familiar trappings of traditional cons: book sales, artist alleys, costume contests, and author signings.”
Vice, Mar. 21
Barbara Orbach Natanson writes: “War is one of the newsworthy events that has spurred ambitious documentary enterprises. In early March 1855, photographer Roger Fenton went to the Crimean peninsula, where British, French, and Turkish forces were battling Russian troops. Fenton’s Crimean War photographs represent one of the earliest systematic attempts to document a war through the medium of photography. In less than four months he produced 360 photographs, of which the Library of Congress has 263 salted paper and albumen prints.”
Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos, Mar. 23
Andrea Vaughn Johnson writes: “Early one morning during ALA Annual 2015, some of the ALSC leadership were pondering the question of how they could grow membership. They wondered, ‘If we offered gift memberships to students, would there be significant interest? What are the motivations for new graduates to join their professional organization?’ Soon after, the ALSC Student Gift Membership Task Force was formed and began a year of work that ended with 100 new ALSC members, all students or recent graduates.”
ALSC Blog, Mar. 21
Su Epstein writes: “Losing the ability to understand and value scientific research can be a matter of life and death. Recently I’ve heard the words ‘data’ and ‘research’ batted around many situations. People with little understanding of the process and seemingly no knowledge of the reasons behind research methods toss around terms and numbers with great pretense. As librarians we are not only on the front line of information sharing, we are also its guardians. We need to start treating data with respect, or all information will soon become meaningless.”
Public Libraries Online, Mar. 21
Want to contribute to the work of international librarianship and grow your network of colleagues across the globe? Become the editor of International Leads, the International Relations Round Table’s quarterly newsletter. The IRRT Publications Committee is accepting applicants for the two-year term from July 2017 to June 2019. Key qualifications include experience in publishing or journalism. The application deadline is March 31.
International Relations Round Table Blog, Mar. 21
Library champions in the House have begun circulating what are called “Dear Appropriator” letters to their colleagues. Right now, there are two letters—one that asks appropriators to support Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and a second for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant funding. Please call your representatives and ask that they sign on to both letters. The House deadline is April 3. Use ALA’s Legislative Action Center to ask them to sign both letters.
District Dispatch, Mar. 22
Shawnda Hines writes: “The single most significant action you can take to save funding for libraries right now is to contact your member of Congress directly. Once you’ve done that, there is another action you can take to amplify your voice and urge public support for libraries: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If you’ve never done it before, don’t let the following myths get in the way of your advocacy.”
District Dispatch, Mar. 22
Dawn Abron writes: “In February, NASA scientists discovered seven earth-like planets out in space. Although these planets are 40 light years away, that doesn’t stop us from wondering if there’s other life out there. Luckily, there are authors who have wondered the same thing, and you can check out their space stories here.”
YALSA The Hub, Mar. 23
Alex Good writes: “Many believe we live in a post-literate age, one in which, writer Douglas Glover concludes, ‘books have become irrelevant.’ Others disagree, some vehemently. What I find of most concern and significance is the rise in aliteracy—the growth of a population that can read but simply doesn’t want to. It is this exercise of choice that makes our own time different from previous eras of mass illiteracy, when the vast majority of people couldn’t read.”
The Walrus, Mar. 16
Cathy King writes: “I’m passionate about web analytics. This passion ignited before I came to OCLC as I’ve spent most of my career working on eCommerce teams for brands like American Eagle Outfitters and DSW. eCommerce teams use web analytics to optimize experiences for shoppers to ensure that they can find what they are looking for and ultimately click that purchase button. I’ve found that a lot of what we do in eCommerce can be leveraged for improving library websites as well.”
OCLC Next, Mar. 22
Aarian Marshall writes: “On March 22, Google Maps rolled out real-time location sharing so that you can share your whereabouts with any of your contacts, for anywhere from 15 minutes to three whole days. It’s a convenient feature that not so coincidentally makes it way more likely you’ll spend a lot more time within Google’s map ecosystem. Other new Maps features let you see, in realtime, the most popular hours for local businesses, create itineraries for future trips, and inform you about parking spots or special, traffic-destroying events in the area.”
Wired, Mar. 22