Articles

On March 11 the White House released its FY2020 federal budget proposal, and for the third year in a row, the president has recommended eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides the main source of federal support for US libraries and museums.In a statement issued shortly after the budget was released, American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “As discouraging as it is that the administration has again proposed eliminating IMLS, the bipartisan support in Congress over the past two years gives us reason to hope.”The president’s proposal slashes IMLS yet again despite his December signature on the bill that reauthorizes IMLS.ALA is calling on library advocates in every congressional district to contact their representative and ask them to support federal funding for libraries by cosigning “Dear Appropriator” letters to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The more signatures ALA gets on these letters, the more likely it is that funding for LSTA and IAL will be restored. The deadline for signatures is March 28. READ MORE
It’s the elephant in the room, and no one can ignore it.  Tusks in the air, a wooden pachyderm greets patrons near the main entrance of Akron-Summit County Public Library on South High Street in downtown Akron (OH).  The hand-carved elephant lumbered more than 8,500 miles before finding a refuge at the Main Library. This month marks the 40th anniversary of its public unveiling.According to Mary Plazo, manager of Special Collections at the library, the elephant was a 1979 gift from Louis and Mary Myers of Myers Industries in Akron. It was carved from a single piece of teakwood in Thailand and shipped to the United States.  “The figure is 40 inches long, 56 inches high and 20 inches wide,” Plazo noted. “It weighs over 500 pounds.”Trish Saylor, manager of the Children’s Library, said former librarian Ione Cowen once told her that the Myerses donated the elephant because “it was so heavy that it was making their foundation sink.”It took five men to roll the elephant into the library — perhaps the city’s first pachyderm parade since the days when circuses marched into the Akron Armory.  With its curved trunk, flared ears, pointed tusks, gaping mouth and raised front foot, the whimsical carving made a good first impression. READ MORE
The Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast in grainy black-and-white, was must-see TV for American families in the 1960s. Millions tuned in when Sullivan introduced U.S. audiences to the Beatles in February 1964.But it was the Rolling Stones’ appearance eight months later that put Sacramento (CA) in the national spotlight.  Mick Jagger, then 21 years old, and his bandmates rocked their new single, Time is On My Side, to a studio audience of screaming teenagers before the host came out to say goodbye.“I want to wish all of you fellows a big success tomorrow night in Sacramento, California,” Sullivan said.  Suddenly, Sacramento had cachet as a rock ‘n’ roll town, and the whole country knew it.The Stones flew cross-country to play Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, then the largest venue in town, on Monday, Oct. 26.  “There was a poster from the Stones’ show, and if I had a real one, it’d be worth $6,000 or $8,000,” says Dennis Newhall, the accidental curator and chronicler of Sacramento’s rock ‘n’ roll and rock music history. “I didn’t have one, so I had a friend find all the same fonts and photo, and rebuild it.” READ MORE
United for Libraries, in partnership with the Illinois State Library and Illinois Center for the Book, will designate Ray Bradbury Park a Literary Landmark on Saturday, March 16. The unveiling ceremony, set to begin at 4:51 p.m. in honor of Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), will take place in Waukegan, Ill.Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was born and raised in Waukegan before his family moved to Los Angeles in 1934. He was a prolific author best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also an outspoken library advocate. He is the recipient of several awards, including the National Medal of Arts (2004) and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (2007). Ray Bradbury Park, located in Bradbury’s “Green Town” neighborhood, played a major part of his childhood Waukegan upbringing and was referenced in his works "Dandelion Wine," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," and "Farewell Summer."Attendance will include featured speaker Dr. Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies in Indiana, among others. During the ceremony, Waukegan High School students will put on a special performance of Bradbury’s short play The Whole Town’s Sleeping, and a Literary Landmark plaque will be unveiled. The ceremony is set to follow the Illinois Reads Book Festival, which will honor Ray Bradbury with tributes throughout, including a Pop-up Museum. READ MORE
On February 1, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments about whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was arbitrary and capricious in reversing its 2015 order, which included rules against blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of internet access. In the case—Mozilla et al v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—consumer groups and some companies are trying to restore the net neutrality protections policy that is needed to keep the internet open to all users. How will the upcoming decision affect libraries?The American Library Association (ALA), which filed an amicus brief in 2018 with other groups seeking to defend net neutrality in Mozilla, asserts net neutrality is essential for a library to meet its public mission of increasing access to information. In 2015, the FCC adopted strong net neutrality policies to require all internet traffic to be treated equally. But the agency did an about-face and eliminated those policies in 2017.ALA has been on the front lines of the net neutrality battle with the FCC, Congress, and the federal courts for more than a decade, working in coalition with other library and higher education organizations as well as broader coalitions of net neutrality advocates. READ MORE
Redwood City’s (CA) downtown library is buzzing with activity.Its roof has been home to two honeybee hives since summer, and a hands-on educational display about bees in the children’s section will be unveiled at the “Bee Jubilee."   The event features bee-themed live music by local band “Corner Laughters” and honey-flavored snacks will be offered.The “Bee Wall Interpretive Center” will educate children about the various types of bees, their life cycles and how they collect pollen. The center also includes a cabinet full of books on bees, beekeeping tools, samples of dead bees and a screen will live stream footage from the inside of the rooftop hives.“Bees are important to our society because one of every three bites of food we eat is produced by honeybees,” said beekeeper Kendal Sager, who manages the library’s bee colonies. Humans also rely on honey and beeswax for various household products, including lotions, lip balm, soaps and furniture polish, Sager said.Bees typically don’t generate much honey within the first year, said beekeeper Kendal Sager, but she did manage to harvest a modest 40 pounds of honey in September — one hive can produce up to 150 pounds in an especially productive year, she said. The honey from the rooftop hives will be for sale starting Feb. 5 in the library’s store — 6 ounces are priced at $10. READ MORE
Penn's (PA) First Generation Low Income Textbook Library helps students save hundreds of dollars on textbooks and allows them to donate old books each semester. But a recent surge in demand has left students and faculty calling for more space and funding to sustain the library."It’s reached the point where in order for it to be sustainable and be a helpful program, it needs more staff, organization, and tools like a library catalogue,” Penn First Finance and Operations Chair and College junior Melissa Perez said.The FGLI library, formally created in 2017, lets students borrow more than 4,000 books free of cost and is housed on the third floor and attic space of the Greenfield Intercultural Center. Greenfield Intercultural Academic and Library Resource Coordinator Afuah Frimpong, who oversees the program, is the only official staff member of the library.During the FGLI library's first few months, it had about 250 students participate in the program. In fall 2018, the library received more than 600 requests. This spring semester alone, it received more than 760 textbook requests from nearly 700 students using the library's resources. READ MORE
Librarian and IB Extended Essay CoordinatorJoseph Meyerhoff Library, Baltimore City CollegeBaltimore, MarylandJennifer’s an unwavering belief in students gives them the confidence to achieveThe first I Love My Librarian Award recipient from Maryland, Jennifer plays an instrumental role in prepping students for the Extended Essay portion of the high school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma program, a rigorous process of research and writing.She inspires students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, to rise to the challenge. If students need extra help, she meets them at coffee shops in the evenings, on weekends and school breaks. She even provides rides for students who have transportation challenges getting to school. READ MORE
It’s hard to say where in the Dewey Decimal System the story of the Warren County Public Library’s (KY) recent history would fall.  Maybe the public finance section, where a narrative about how forming a local taxing district has allowed the library to improve its financial position.Or perhaps it belongs in the political science section alongside examples of how local governments respond to demands from constituents.No doubt, Lisa Rice would like to see it in the literature section as a feel-good story suitable for reading by the fireplace or viewing on the Hallmark Channel.“Becoming a taxing district made the line item on our budget secure,” said Rice, who became library director in 2008. “It has allowed us to expand and do some work on roofing and HVAC projects and also modernize our elevator.”Rice was the library’s assistant director when the taxing district was established in 2008 with a property tax rate of 4.3 cents per $100 of valuation.That action, which passed Warren County Fiscal Court by a 4-3 vote (with Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon casting the tie-breaking vote), meant the library would no longer operate as Bowling Green Public Library. READ MORE
The sesquicentennial of the driving of the Golden Spike is still more than four months out, but folks from the Utah State University library are getting a jumpstart on the momentous anniversary.Staffers from USU’s Merrill-Cazier Library and the Utah Division of State History will soon open a new transcontinental railroad exhibit on the fourth floor of the Utah State Capitol building in Salt lake City.Titled, “A World Transformed: The Transcontinental Railroad and Utah,” the exhibit opened this month and remain on display through June 2019.  The exhibit highlights the impact of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States, which was completed in Northern Utah on May 10, 1869.Built between 1863 and 1869, the line connected the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay with the existing Eastern U.S. railway. The railroad revolutionized the American West with a dependable transportation system that brought Western states economic prosperity through the relatively inexpensive and speedy movement of both goods and people. READ MORE

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