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Disaster Relief … with Books

July 16, 2013

The activists behind Libraries Without Borders (Bibliothèques Sans Frontières) understand that priority must be given to food, water, shelter, and medicine. They also recognize that little attention is paid to another basic human necessity: the knowledge resources needed to cope with catastrophe. Founded in Paris in 2007, Libraries Without Borders (LWB) provides targeted books and … Continue reading Disaster Relief … with Books


Back in Business in Boston

April 26, 2013

Nine days after the Boston Public Library found itself part of the crime scene as law enforcement investigated the Boston Marathon bombings, the landmark Central Library received its all-clear and reopened on April 24. Shortly afterward, BPL President Amy Ryan emailed the following thank-you note to library colleagues (care of ALA, the Association of Research … Continue reading Back in Business in Boston


International Libraries Confronted by Ebook Library Lending

April 4, 2013

ALA Immediate Past President Molly Raphael had the opportunity to visit China last fall to speak to the library community there about some of the struggles that many American libraries face as they try to provide ebooks and digital content to the public. Her speaking tour included stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Dongguan, … Continue reading International Libraries Confronted by Ebook Library Lending


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Filtering and the First Amendment

April 2, 2013

Recent court filings, news reports, and online posts, however, have begun to shine a spotlight on libraries’ filtering policies and practices. According to legal complaints, some libraries are denying users access to websites that discuss Wicca and Native American spirituality; blacklisting websites that affirm the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities while whitelisting sites … Continue reading Filtering and the First Amendment


Penguin Revisits Library Pilot Terms

March 27, 2013

Penguin Group USA revealed today that, as of April 2, it will remove the six-month embargo on ebook titles licensed to libraries and instead offer new titles immediately after they are released in the consumer market. Other pilot terms are expected to continue, including a one-year expiration date on ebooks licensed to libraries and library … Continue reading Penguin Revisits Library Pilot Terms


Librarians and Happenstance Voyagers, SXSW 2013, Day Four and Five Wrap-up

March 14, 2013

“Happiness is contagious.” This missive, which is one of the many kernels of wisdom I jotted down at SXSW, stands out as I pour through my notes and reflect on the powerful, transformative experience I just had in Austin. The quote was about workplace happiness, but I saw it play out all around me and … Continue reading Librarians and Happenstance Voyagers, SXSW 2013, Day Four and Five Wrap-up


Librarians and Happenstance Voyagers, SXSW 2013 – Day 2 and 3 Recap

March 11, 2013

Wowza! SXSW is dazzling. I got to see one my favorite authors, Douglas Rushkoff, on Saturday. Rushkoff’s advice is to treat interactions with devices and online life as periodic dips into a rushing stream, with no need to capture or cling to all that’s happening. That advice applies beautifully to South By Southwest. I’ve got … Continue reading Librarians and Happenstance Voyagers, SXSW 2013 – Day 2 and 3 Recap


The Story of Still Alice

January 27, 2013

Lisa Genova, neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice (2008), Left Neglected (2011), and Love Anthony (2012), presented the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on Saturday morning, January 27. Although her more recent novels focused on autism and hemispatial neglect, Genova chose to talk about her first book, which revolved around a 50-year-old woman, Alice Howland, … Continue reading The Story of Still Alice


Temple Grandin: The Varieties of Autistic Thought

January 27, 2013

For its 23rd customer appreciation breakfast on Sunday, Alexander Street Press invited as keynote speaker Temple Grandin, bestselling author, doctor of animal science, and autism activist. Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2 in 1949, advocates early behavioral or cognitive intervention to address this neural disorder in kids. She particularly worries about videogame … Continue reading Temple Grandin: The Varieties of Autistic Thought


Public Library Users Want Both Books and Technology

January 22, 2013

A new report by the Pew Research Center indicates that free access to technology in public libraries is as important to Americans ages 16 and older as printed books and reference services. “Library Services in the Digital Age” (PDF file), released January 22 by the center’s Pew Internet and American Life Project, showed that 80% … Continue reading Public Library Users Want Both Books and Technology


The Conversation Starts in Seattle

January 7, 2013

Our profession stands at a crossroads: How do libraries meld traditional roles and responsibilities with the changing expectations and needs of the communities they’re in? Joining the many different kinds of conversations at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 25–29, in Seattle, Washington, will help attendees address these and other urgent transformational issues facing libraries. ALA … Continue reading The Conversation Starts in Seattle


The Library as Lifeline: Getting Past Superstorm Sandy

December 28, 2012

Library workers know that public libraries provide essential services. We live it every day. Until Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on tens of thousands in New York and New Jersey in October 2012, we at Queens Library didn’t realize how pivotal our role is in our communities. As the extent of the damage became apparent, so … Continue reading The Library as Lifeline: Getting Past Superstorm Sandy