June 24, 2016

Celebration & Integration | Public Services

Syrian library patrons at Louisville Free PL’s 2016 Women of the World event. 
Photo courtesy of Louisville Free PL

Since before Ellis Island became the gateway to the United States for many, libraries have served immigrant communities with language classes and learning materials that can help ease the path toward employment and citizenship. Today, those services have expanded to include referrals to city and health-care services, cultural events honoring countries of origin, legal aid, small business and entrepreneurship assistance, and much more.

Please Rewind | Preservation

A SCREAM David Gary, Kaplanoff ­Librarian for American History at Yale University, New Haven, CT, has assembled a unique collection of low-budget horror movies. Yale’s VHS holdings also include thousands of 
irreplaceable interviews. And the 
format is becoming obsolete

Last month, Yale University hosted “Terror on Tape: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the History of Horror on Video.” Cheap slasher flicks from a bygone era may seem a bit lowbrow for the Ivy League, but David Gary, Yale’s Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, writing for the ­Atlantic last summer, made a compelling case for the university’s collection of 3,000 VHS horror movies from the 1970s and 1980s.

Keep Copyright at LC | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Copyright is the only right defined in the main text of the U.S. Constitution. It is specified in Article 1, Section 8, so it didn’t have to be added in the amendments known as the Bill of Rights, which tells us how important the concept of copyright was to the founders. They enumerated its dimensions in a sparse sentence: “To promote the Progress of science and useful Arts by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Building Excellence | Library by Design, Spring 2016

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This year, seven libraries received the prestigious 2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Award, which recognizes excellence in architectural library design. The award recipients, chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA), exemplify how the traditional role of libraries has evolved. The designs of these community spaces differ to reflect the needs of the surrounding residents, which vary according to neighborhood or campus.

The Case for Informed Browsing | Backtalk

Lynn Lobash

Netflix knows something that libraries haven’t figured out yet: how to create categories that help people browse online in an informed yet serendipitous way.

2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, KS, Leveraging Leadership

Photo by Alistair Tutton Photography

The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), KS, is engaged in every discussion in its community. In fact, it is usually leading them. The library is central to local deliberations and changes; creates leaders; and uplifts the community it serves. The way the library has become a major force for its constituents in the city of Topeka and throughout Shawnee County sets a bar for all libraries and has earned TSCPL the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year Award.

News Briefs for May 15, 2016

Harvard University Press to join Columbia Sales Consortium, IMLS awards ARL a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program grant, Library Technical Assistant certificate degree approved at Kaskaskia College, and more News in Brief from the May 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Library People News: Hires, Promotions, Retirements, and Obituaries

Tony Ageh joins New York Public Library as Chief Digital Officer; Simon J. Neame named Dean of Libraries, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Nicole Powell to join Every­Library; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the May 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Reality Check: Falling short in Orlando | Editorial

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This year, the American Library Association (ALA) has the opportunity to make its annual conference more meaningful than ever. While it will be held among the artifice of Orlando’s tourist draws, the meeting will be full of dialog about very real issues, driven by the cultural moment and determination to move the needle on what my colleague John N. Berry III would call the “accursed questions.” Those questions continue to press, and I am hopeful this ALA will live up to its promise to help the field effectively grapple with the challenges ahead.

Getting Real @ Annual | ALA 2016 Preview

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Kvetching about the location of the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference is practically a rite of passage. While the meeting has been held in many unquestionably great American cities, the association’s quest for affordable conference and hotel space in quantity tends to drive it to cold places in winter and hot in summer, and a certain amount of transit snafus and frayed tempers inevitably result. Objections to the location of this year’s ALA, running June 23–28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, however, are on a completely different level.