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When Ransomware Attacks

June 1, 2018

County Librarian Todd Stephens says that he and his colleagues suspect the attack came through an infected email message opened by a staff member, though the exact mechanism is uncertain. The anonymous attacker demanded 3.6 to 3.8 bitcoins in payment—then valued at about $36,000. Ransomware, a form of computer malware that encrypts a victim’s data … Continue reading When Ransomware Attacks


Julie Jones

Institutional Neutrality Isn’t Reality

May 1, 2018

The rally was hosted by the UW College Republicans, who invited Patriot Prayer—a right-wing group based in the Pacific Northwest—as a way to exercise free speech rights. As many open-carry advocates, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis voiced their intentions to attend the rally, fears of maintaining campus safety increased. (Just last year, a protester was shot … Continue reading Institutional Neutrality Isn’t Reality


no guns allowed

ALA and AASL Release Joint Statement on Florida Senate Bill 7026

March 8, 2018

“ALA and AASL support the efforts of Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) and Florida Library Association to provide safe and accessible learning spaces for students and learners of all ages,” stated Neal and Yates. “School librarians work with classroom teachers to provide instruction integral to the curriculum and offer additional informal learning opportunities for students. School … Continue reading ALA and AASL Release Joint Statement on Florida Senate Bill 7026


Legal Issues

February 11, 2018

These were some of the questions addressed at the “Legal Issues in Public Libraries Forum” at the American Library Association’s 2018 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits on Sunday. The session, sponsored by the Public Library Association, brought together lawyers and librarians for a frank, casual conversation on some of the most contentious issues popping up at … Continue reading Legal Issues



opioid abuse

Saving Lives in the Stacks

June 21, 2017

“As this nation’s opioid crisis has exploded, the staff at the public library … have become first responders,” NPR’s Scott Simon told listeners. “And I gather the librarians there have been obliged to become involved in a way that—well, become involved in a way librarians aren’t usually asked to become involved.” What Simon didn’t say—but … Continue reading Saving Lives in the Stacks


Vaping

New Trends in Library Security

June 1, 2017

Library directors and staffers in all parts of the country and in all types of libraries continue to be concerned about challenging patrons who sometimes adversely affect library services, including people who are homeless, have a mental illness, or abuse substances. But what follows are real experiences seen firsthand or recounted by library employees—security concerns that … Continue reading New Trends in Library Security




Joseph Janes

Safe and Sound

March 1, 2016

I had the opportunity to indulge a while ago. My former doctoral student Elisabeth Jones invited me to come and be part of a session she was doing with her first-quarter graduate students on the future of libraries. They had done some initial readings, and naturally had their own ideas, many of which brought them … Continue reading Safe and Sound


A few of the 75 Civil War–era photographs that were taken from Bangor (Maine) Public Library and later recovered. These images, along with 50 original World War I– and World War II–era posters that were stolen, had an estimated value of $31,000. The image of the officer leaning over his chair helped identify the set as belonging to the library.

Thwarting Book Thieves

September 16, 2015

What Graves didn’t know was that by the time he brought them to the dealer, the owner had already seen the items at the library a few weeks earlier. “I had been talking about them to the owner while he was visiting our special collections area,” says special collections librarian Bill Cook of Bangor (Maine) … Continue reading Thwarting Book Thieves


Better Communication, Safer Facilities

Better Communication, Safer Facilities

September 14, 2015

Safety and security are everyone’s jobs. This includes the library director, every department head, every supervisor, all full- and part-time employees, library board members, Friends of the library members, elected officials, and even patrons—who can and should tell us about safety or security concerns when using our branches. Safety and security themes Facility safety and … Continue reading Better Communication, Safer Facilities