May 24, 2015

President Obama Announces New Library Initiatives

Obama and Osman Yaya (2)

At a visit to Washington, DC’s Anacostia Neighborhood Library April 30, President Barack Obama announced two new initiatives that promise to rally America’s libraries, publishers, and nonprofit organizations to strengthen learning opportunities for all children, particularly in low-income communities. The plan, dubbed the ConnectED Library Challenge, will engage civic leaders, libraries, and schools to work together to ensure that all school students receive public library cards. Commitments from 30 library systems are already in place.

Watch Live: President Obama to Make Announcement About New Partnership to Provide E-books to Low Income Kids

We will update this post with more info as it becomes available. From an Email by Roberto J. Rodríguez: Deputy Assistant to the President for Education (via DPLA): Through greater access to America’s libraries and information resources, you make a difference each day in the education and lifelong learning of youth and adults in your community. […]

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Rakuten logo

Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

Meet Amy Randazzo, Ferguson’s New Crowdfunded Librarian

Amy_Randazzo

What do you do with an unexpected $350,000? Scott Bonner, director of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library (FMPL), MO, had two items on his wish list: new carpeting and a children’s librarian. The carpeting is still forthcoming, but FMPL has just hired Amy Randazzo to serve as its long-awaited children’s services librarian starting March 9.

EasyBib Compares Two Years of Information Literacy Data

EasyBib_chart

Students’ confidence radically mismatches librarians’ assessment of their skills, two reports from EasyBib conclude, particularly in website evaluation, paraphrasing and direct quotation. Also, students are using the open web less often they were two years ago, and dramatically more librarians are stressing the role of faculty in promoting information literacy. The first report, Trends in Information Literacy: A Comparative View, was published in May 2014; the second, Perspectives on Student Research Skills in K-12 and Academic Communities, came out the following October; taken together, the two reveal some thought-provoking data on information literacy across the country.

Ferguson Library Provides Calm Refuge for a Torn Community

Stay_Strong_Ferguson

On November 24 a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, delivered its verdict on the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis County grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officer, Darren Wilson; the decision, which was announced just after 8 p.m. CST, set off a night of protests and civil unrest, the most violent including arson, shattered windows, injuries, and, as of press time, a possible murder.

A Surprise Fiction Win and a Dazzling Le Guin at the National Book Awards 2014

A Surprise Fiction Win and a Dazzling Le Guin at the National Book Awards 2014

On Wednesday, November 19, the National Book Foundation hosted the 2014 National Book Awards—the 65th annual awards—at the cavernous Cipriani’s Wall Street in lower Manhattan. The evening featured a surprise win in fiction for Phil Klay’s Redeployment (Penguin Pr.), a first book of stories by a former U.S. Marine who was stationed in Iraq for 13 months as a public affairs officer. Other fiction finalists looked as if they had an edge—for instance, Marilynne Robinson, up for Lila (Farrar), has been a fiction finalist twice and a nonfiction finalist once.

#timetoread for National Readathon Day

National_Readathon_Day_poster

Ask anyone who loves books about the most challenging aspect of being a reader, and the answer you’ll inevitably hear is: There’s never enough time to read. Fortunately for book enthusiasts everywhere, this January Penguin Random House will be teaming up with the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, and Mashable to encourage readers across the country to take four dedicated hours to read—for a good cause.

NY Times: FCC Chairman Expected to Propose 62% Increase in Funding Used to Wire Schools, Libraries with Broadband

UPDATE 4 New: Fact Sheet: FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Plan To Reboot The E-Rate Program To Meet The Needs Of 21st Century Digital Learning (5 page, PDF; via FCC.gov) UPDATE 3 ISTE Applauds FCC Chairman’s E-Rate Proposal UPDATE 2 Statement From FCC on Proposed Reboot Plan UPDATE ALA President Comments on the News From The NY […]

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia to Expand to Adults with IMLS Grant

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia

In a move that will help the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) expand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)-based Maker space programming to multi-generational audiences, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on October 23 awarded a $500,000 National Leadership Grant to FLP in support of the library’s Maker Jawn initiative.