February 14, 2016

U Conn Faculty, Administration Connect over Library Cuts

"Homer D Babbidge Library, University of Connecticut 
Photo credit: John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

As the University of Connecticut (UConn) library system braces for a $1.2 million budget cut in 2016, a reduction that will mean the loss of 7.5 FTEs among other disruptions in service, a group of concerned faculty members say they are heartened by the administration’s apparent openness toward exploring new ways of plugging a revenue gap that shows little sign of abating.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, February 1, 2016 Issue

Libraries as public information utilities, the value in large scale conferences, EASA doesn’t go far enough, and more letters to the February 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal

LYRASIS, DuraSpace Boards Approve Intent to Merge

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Following a months-long analysis by an exploratory committee, the boards of not-for-profit, open-source digitization and repository software and service providers LYRASIS and DuraSpace on January 27 unanimously approved an “Intent to Merge” agreement. The two organizations have begun seeking input from their respective members as well as the wider research, library, archives, and museum communities, as part of a due diligence process that will “determine the feasibility of a combined organization…. [and] include a deeper assessment of the individual organizations and how they might partner effectively.

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.

SafetyLit: A Free Database It Might Be Useful to Know About | Not Dead Yet­­

Cheryl-LaGuardia

Someone from the SafetyLit Foundation recently sent me information about the SafetyLit Database via LinkedIn. I hadn’t heard of this resource before, but I took a look (though not an exhaustive one) and saw some interesting material in it.

UK Government Receives Independent Advice on Open Access to Research Publications and Data in New Report

Open Access to Research Publications: Independent Advice was published today by the UK Government. The report was written by: Professor Adam Tickell Provost and Vice Principal, University of Birmingham Chair of the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group The research/report/advice was requested by the Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson in July 2015. The […]

University of Kansas Librarians Embedded in New Journalism Program

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The newest online Master’s degree program at the University of Kansas (KU) opened its doors under the auspices of the school’s Journalism department. But when it officially launches in June, 2016, the new program, which focuses on teaching veteran and aspiring journalists alike how best to present and share digital content, will also owe a lot to the school’s librarians. KU’s information specialists have helped to consult on the structure of the program and the content it will cover, and will be embedded in the program’s digital classrooms from day one.

Knight News Challenge Winners to Develop Open Data Training Program

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Anne Neville knows the value of open data. Neville, director of the California Research Bureau at the California State Library, has spent the last six years directing the State Broadband Initiative at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in Washington, DC. She’s passionate about digital equity, and supporting the critical work public libraries do to make information accessible to communities.

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.

Constant Campaign | Budgets & Funding

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In 2015, nearly 150 libraries in 24 states held referenda to renew or enact taxes for operations, staffing, or facilities. More than 1.1 million voters showed up at the polls in 2015 to decide on tax measures for their libraries. Just over 650,000 people voted yes and nearly 470,000 voted no. Of the 148 library ballot measures we have identified (through news reports, surveys, and direct involvement of EveryLibrary, the national library PAC the authors work for), 127 were won and 21 lost. One, while technically passing, actually rolled back the library’s funding, making it, in our opinion, a loss.

Gaining Ground Unevenly | Budgets & Funding

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LJ’s 2016 survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, reveals that while libraries continue to regain lost ground, recovery is gradually slowing—and not evenly distributed. Libraries reported moderate gains in overall budgets—an across-the-board increase of 3.2%, representing funding from all sources. Combined with a slight drop in inflation rates—.5% over the 12 months ending in November, compared to .8% for the preceding year—this is still smaller than last year’s overall uptick of 4.3% but welcome nonetheless.

Canadian Library Association Votes to Dissolve

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After months of discussion, voting among members, and the recommendations of its advisory council, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) voted to disband at a Special General Meeting held on January 27. The CLA—a nonprofit national association that has been the voice for Canada’s library community since its formation in 1946—will dissolve following its final annual conference in June 2016.

Murder Most Traditional | 2015 Agatha Christie Award Nominees

Agatha Christie was the queen of the traditional mystery, and every year Malice Domestic, a fan convention, honors those titles published in the previous calendar year that best typify the qualities of Dame Christie’s work (no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence, among other elements). The nominees for the 2015 Agatha Christie Awards reflect a wide range of authors, publishers, styles, and themes.

Five Institutional Strategies for Textbook Affordability | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Whether you’re just getting started or want to take your program to the next level, thinking strategically about campus adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) can make a difference.

The Gadfly Alerts: They warn us of corrupted information | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

The first time I encountered the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) was nearly 30 years ago. Almost miraculously, PLG has survived from just after the Reagan era through the Clinton and Bush years until Obama. It is still small but manages to publish Progressive Librarian (PL), a journal that combines rigorous scholarship with a strong ideological sentiment.