September 3, 2015

A Win for Sustainability: ALA’s resolution is an important start | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

The American Library Association (ALA) took a crucial step when it passed the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Now we as a profession face the complex work ahead to make the goals of the resolution real. We have this collective articulation to lean on to make it a priority in a holistic sense—across strategic planning, space design, community engagement, and educational outreach. It is critical that we redouble our efforts.

Letters to LJ, July 2015 Issue

Library invisibility, an author festival, and opposition to engagement, and more letters to the editor from the July 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Branching Out, July 2015

Perdue’s $798 million Active Learning Center, to consolidate six libraries, will open in 2017; Gwinnett County and the City of Lilburn, GA, broke ground on a combined Lilburn City Hall and branch library; and more Branching Out news about new construction and renovations from the July 2015 issue of Library Journal.

News: Hires, Promotions, Retirements, and Obituaries

Leslie Burger announced her retirement as Executive Director, Princeton Public Library; Farzaneh Razzaghi was named Dean of Library Services at Western Carolina University; John Faherty was named Executive Director, Mercantile Library, Cincinnati, and more new hire, promotion, retirement, and obituary People news from the July 2015 issue of Library Journal.

It Takes a City To Create a Novel | One Cool Thing

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In 2012, librarians at Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), KS, conceived of an ambitious program: to help their writing group create a novel and publish it. Serialized online between May and September of that year, Capital City Capers was, says public services librarian Lissa Staley, “a seat-of-the- pants project.” The Community Novel Project was such a success, Staley told LJ in a recent phone interview, we “immediately realized we wanted to do it again.” And they did—each year since, the library has produced at least one book, with the procedures becoming more streamlined even as the formats became more ambitious.

Wisdom of the Crowd | Digital Collections

IMAGINE THAT (Clockwise from l.): A historical menu from NYPL’s collections; an illustration of a sandgrouse from the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s Flickr stream; and a screen from Tiltfactor’s “Stupid Robot” tagging game

Even at large libraries that have staff dedicated to digitization projects, the additional effort needed to enable researchers to extract data from these collections—such as transcribing OCR-resistant text, or adding item-level tags to large collections of images—would be an untenable chore for a library to take on alone. So, in the past half decade, libraries have taken cues from long-running projects, using crowdsourcing as a way not only to outsource work that would be impossible for staff to attempt but also to engage volunteers.

Next Stop, Chicago | BookExpo America 2015

BOOK LOVERS ALL (top row, l.-r.) Action around the Javits Center; autograph sessions call for patience as well as enthusiasm; (bottom row, l.-r.) Harper Lee’s upcoming Watchman was promoted big-time; picture-book illustrator Shane Evans poses with fans; Ed Koren and Delia Ephron meet and greet. Photos by Kevin Henegan

This year’s BookExpo America (BEA) took place in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, May 27, through Friday, May 29, 2015. As usual, attendees enjoyed a feast of books and authors over the few days, this time with a little twist: the first day also featured LJ’s Day of Dialog (DoD), a sold-out event held off-site at which librarians were treated to author panels and town hall discussions and, best of all, the chance to catch up before the chaos began. Below find highlights from DoD and BEA, including the show’s consumer arm, BookCon.

Skyhorse, Salon Join Forces on “Hot Books” | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

When David Talbot, founder and former editor in chief of Salon, told a writer friend about an idea he had for investigative books on critical issues that would fill a gap left by the devastating cuts at newspapers and magazines, his friend introduced him to a like-minded publisher, Skyhorse founder Tony Lyons. The result: a new investigative book imprint, Hot Books, aimed at “ignit[ing] national debate.” Launched in late May by Skyhorse, the imprint will have a cobranded digital platform created with Salon.

Meet Your Maker | Maker Movement

Caption can go here saying somethign about Denver PL's ideaLAB. Top photo shows Nate Stone (l.) helping a teen in the audio lab, center shows teen activity, and the bottom photo is an adult session on learning to code. Photos by Christina Kiffney

On June 11, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in collaboration with the Congressional Maker Caucus, Maker Media, and Nation of Makers, hosted its first Capitol Hill Maker Faire, featuring a series of panel discussions and an expo open to the public, including members of Congress. Held in conjunction with this year’s National Maker Faire at the University of District of Columbia and the White House National Week of Making, June 12–18, these events indicate the growing interest in our nation’s capital in the Maker movement and its potential implications for education, workforce development, and community building.

Lending a Green Thumb | Maker Movement

GROWING ON US Arlington PL, VA (top), offers informative “Garden Talks”; St. Louis County Library (bottom) installed its first garden in 2013. Top photo courtesy of Arlington PL; bottom photo courtesy of St. Louis County Library

It wasn’t your average ribbon-cutting ceremony. In place of the traditional ribbon, a length of ivy. Instead of an oversized pair of golden scissors, pruning shears, hedge trimmers, and garden loppers. And on September 26, 2014 (Johnny Appleseed Day), with a quick snip of the shears, The Shed at Arlington Public Library’s (APL) Central Branch, VA, packed with tools for planting and digging, weeding and cutting, raking and watering, was open for business. The business of borrowing, that is.