July 28, 2015

OITP Hacks the Culture of Learning in the Library | ALA Annual 2015

Maker Space open house @ NYSCI
Photo by Nick Normal

While the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is largely concerned with policy on the legislative level, an OITP-sponsored program at ALA’s 2015 annual conference, Hacking the Culture of Learning in the Library, focused on what libraries themselves need to know to function as outside-the-school-walls learning zones. Moderator Christopher Harris, school library system director at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and ALA OITP Fellow for Program on Youth and Technology Policy, began the interactive session by noting that public, school, and academic libraries have a great opportunity to frame a common theme to work around—Libraries Are Education—and set about exploring some of the issues at stake.

Keep ’em Coming Back for S’mores | Programs That Pop

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Every teen librarian knows programs that offer snacks are usually a hit and can even entice teens reluctant to join in the fun. With that in mind, we offer many teen programs that include snacks, from Chocolate Fest to Pizza Gardening. When the Student Ambassadors proposed making a solar-powered s’mores oven for an Earth Day activity, we knew it would be a hit.

ALA Releases National Policy Agenda for Libraries

ALA’s Policy Agenda for Libraries was released today as the 2015 ALA Annual Conference gets underway in San Francisco. The full text document is available here. A four page executive summary is also available. A foreword to the agenda written by Deborah Jacobs from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was also published. Policy goals […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.