February 11, 2016

BPL’s BKLYN Incubator Project to Fund Innovative Programming

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As part of its new BKLYN Incubator project, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is inviting librarians from across the system to come up with creative new programming at their branches. With the help of a $25,000 Sparks Ignition Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), BPL has set up a framework for branch librarians to develop and promote their own ideas for programs and services—from an ethnic music performance venue in Coney Island to ballroom dancing for older adults in Carroll Gardens to a Russian literature club in Sheepshead Bay—and for their communities to help vote on the ones they want to see implemented.

Flatiron Press Goes YA; “Reproductive Rights” Giveaway; a New Harry Potter Book | SLJTeen News

Macmillan debuts a new YA imprint. Win free copies of Reproductive Rights—a teen nonfiction title. Apply for Library of Congress literacy grants. An eighth Harry Potter book was just announced. These tidbits and more in SLJTeen’s news roundup.

A Win for All: With ESSA, Libraries Make Solid Gains | Editorial

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Librarians have MUCH to be proud of in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The long-awaited rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, most recently also known as No Child Left Behind) sailed though both the Senate and House to arrive in front of President Obama, making it one of the few signs of functional bipartisanship in a rough year for getting stuff done on the hill. As the president signed ESSA into law on December 10, he referred to its arrival as “a Christmas miracle.”

ESSA—and Federal Support of School Libraries—Passes Senate

In the new education bill, the definition of “specialized instructional support personnel” is updated to include “school librarians.” That language “lays the groundwork for new attitudes in state and district leadership” regarding school library services, says library advocate Dorcas Hand.

ESEA Rewrite Passes in House; Senate Vote Expected Monday

If signed into law, the new education bill would be the first piece of federal legislation in over 50 years to provide school libraries with a dedicated revenue stream to enhance school library services and resources.

South Carolina Libraries Respond to Flooding

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Over the weekend of October 3–4, Hurricane Joaquin brought record-setting rainfall and catastrophic flooding to the Southeast, leaving South Carolina in a state of disaster. In the central and eastern part of the state, rivers overran their banks, washing out roads, and bridges, breaching dams, and destroying property. To the south, high tides pushed water inland over sea walls. President Barack Obama declared the state a disaster zone, and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local efforts. The storm was what meteorologists call a “1,000-year rainfall event.” As of press time, the death toll for the state stood at 17, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said the cost of flooding could top $1 billion. Public libraries across the state began reopening Tuesday, and immediately began stepping in to help wherever possible—posting emergency information on their websites, helping people contact loved ones and insurance companies, distributing supplies, and serving as a place of shelter and connection.

“Libraries Are Essential to a City” | SLJ Talks to Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean

Karl Dean remembers his childhood public library as a place where “you could go to dream.” Recreating that experience resulted in Limitless Libraries, which brought public library resources into Nashville schools to enable every student to pursue their dreams.

San Diego Opens First Public Library Biotech Lab

Dr. Callen Hyland teaching a workshop at the Bio Lab
Photo credit: Pamela Stevens

The world’s first biotech lab in a public library celebrated its grand opening September 1 in the La Jolla-Riford Branch Library of the San Diego Public Library (SDPL). The Bio Lab is part of the library’s Life Science Collaboratory, which has hosted a variety of classes and talks from visiting scientists since it opened its doors in April. The Bio Lab, however, promises to take Collaboratory’s citizen science mission a step further.

First-Ever “Public Libraries & STEM” Event Forges New Alliances

Professionals from the library, education, and STEM fields gathered last week in Denver to participate in “Public Libraries & STEM,” the first conference of its kind to convene leaders from these arenas to examine current and future practices at the intersection of librarianship and science, technology, engineering, and math.

Ian Singer, VP and Group Publisher of SLJ, LJ, Horn Book Departs Media Source

Media Source, Inc., has announced that Ian Singer is leaving his position as Vice President & Group Publisher, Library Journals, LLC & The Horn Book, Inc., as of August 28.