Articles

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress has served as a wake-up call to our nation about the pitfalls of “big data” and its impact on our privacy.It is also calling attention to the important role played by librarians in safeguarding our privacy, even in the face of attempts by data analytics companies offering themselves to libraries themselves. That role will be in the spotlight from May 1-8, when the American Library Association celebrates Choose Privacy Week. The theme for this year’s celebration – “Big Data is Watching You” - is eerily apropos.Choose Privacy Week promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians' unique role in protecting privacy, focuses on growing threat of "big data" analytics, especially in a time when technology, mobile computing, social media and the growing adoption of "big data" analytics pose new threats to everyone's right to privacy.  READ MORE
It is never too early to become financially literate. At every stage in life, we are faced with financial issues, whether it means spending our allowance wisely, obtaining loans for college, applying for a mortgage or saving for retirement. And our nation’s libraries are here to help, with a wealth of free resources and programs.From April 21-28, 2018, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such diverse financial issues as first-time home buying, obtaining renovation loans, preparing a personal spending plan, the property tax appeal process, evaluating financial aid packages, choosing the proper Medicare plan and the basics of wills and trusts. Libraries are also offering programs that week on options for tax-free savings and charitable tax strategies.Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. The American Library Association (ALA) is among several partnering organizations. READ MORE
There’s new proposed national legislation for library advocates to monitor and support. On March 15, 2018, the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. The proposed legislation will amend the U.S. Copyright Act 17, U.S.C. § 121, to be in compliance with the Marrakesh Treaty (Library Copyright Alliance).What Is the Marrakesh Treaty?The Marrakesh Treaty is a short title for the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” It is an international copyright treaty approved by member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in June 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco (WIPO Summary).The main goal of the Marrakesh Treaty is to increase availability of accessible formats of published materials, including books and magazines, to print disabled people across borders. According to the World Health Organization, in October 2017 it was estimated that 253 million people worldwide have a form of vision impairment including those who are blind (World Health Organization). READ MORE
As an academic librarian, Mary Jo Fayoyin, dean of library services at Savannah State University (GA), knows how important it is to listen to her students.  Her attention to their needs is why a current student and a former student nominated her for the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award.Nominator LaTasha Denard said she is a “student centered” leader who attends to their needs not only by deciding what services to provide, but also serving them on the most basic level, Denard said, “She is not above working the Circulation Desk, the Reference Desk or anywhere else she is needed.”The mission and vision of Savannah State University is focused on “engaged learning” and “personal growth.” It is a student-centered environment that aims at maximizing the student’s potential in a nurturing environment.  Fayoyin carries out that vision at the library, which has the slogan “Friendly, Focused, Fast.” READ MORE
Every day, libraries of all types prove that they are powerful agents of community change. No longer just places for books, libraries now offer a smorgasbord of free digitally-based programs and services, including 3-D printing, ebooks, digital recording studios and technology training.National Library Week will be observed April 8-14, 2018 with the theme, "Libraries Lead."First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.The National Library Week 2018 celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958. READ MORE
Over the past 200 years, Harvard Law School (MA) has built a collection of primary and secondary law unsurpassed by any other academic law library in the world. In 1868, the library, then on the first floor of Dane Hall, was managed by a single librarian and contained 15,000 volumes. Today, the library, a centerpiece of the law school campus, houses more than 2 million items.For much of its history, the library’s mission has included actively collecting, preserving and making freely available materials that are in danger of being lost to time or cultural conflict. The library has served as a repository for the papers, photographs and community ephemera that document the school’s history and traditions. READ MORE
On a cold, rainy day in May 1862, a young Union soldier, Henry Alexander Scandrett, would experience his first battle. Unfortunately it would be a losing battle. His regiment, the 70th New York, joined the attack on Confederate lines at Fort Magruder, an earthen redoubt two miles east of Williamsburg. The regiment saw heavy action; 350 men were killed or wounded. A small group of survivors, including Scandrett, were taken as prisoners of war and held at William & Mary (VA).Writing in his pocket diary, Scandrett’s first entry on May 5, 1862 begins with a significant announcement:"Was in my first battle today. About 1 Oclock P.M. our regiment was marched into the field about. We were thrown in advance and through some blunder was not reinforced. We have lost all our company officers and our field officers are all wounded. With fifteen others I was taken prisoner and am now in William & Mary college." READ MORE
Chicago, Ill.Dedicated: June 22, 1990Partners: The Friends of the Chicago Public LibraryThe Friends of the Chicago Public Library designated the Michigan Avenue Bridge a Literary Landmark on June 22nd, 1990. The bridge was designated a landmark in recognition of the use of bridges as a symbol by such authors as Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, and Upton Sinclair. The Michigan Avenue Bridge stands as a landmark for all Chicago bridges and honors the city’s rich literary heritage.Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, IL. Sandburg worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News where he covered mostly labor issues and later had his own feature. Sandburg was unknown until 1914 when he published his book Chicago Poems and later an analysis of the Chicago race riots. Theodore Dreiser also used Chicago and its bridge architecture as a symbol in his novel Sister Carrie. The protagonist, Sister Carrie, crossed and re-crossed the bridges looking for her place in Chicago. This was a popular theme for the bridges in literature at this time: crossing them marked a passage into the heart of the city. READ MORE
OLYMPIA - The Washington Library Association (WLA) is celebrating Governor Jay Inslee’s signing of SSB 6362 on March 21st, which added a line item to the bill allocating \$20 per student statewide specifically for library materials.  The line item is being heralded as an important addition to the McCleary school funding order that the Washington State Legislature passed this past January that allocated another $1.2 billion dollars for K-12 education.Washington Library Association 2018 Board President Craig Seasholes and Executive Director Kate Laughlin were on-hand for Governor Inslee’s signing ceremony, recognizing the effort and input that WLA put into getting this line item into the bill’s language, and were joined by educators and library advocates from across the state for the event.  READ MORE
Contemporary poetry drew Toby Altman and Izzy Casey from much larger cities — Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively — to the writing-rich environment of Iowa City last year.And now that love of poetry and appreciation of the poetry community here have led them to launch a unique local public service project.They call it the Iowa City Suitcase Library.  It will lend out volumes of contemporary poetry to anybody interested at no charge, just like a regular library — only working out of a suitcase instead of a building.“We brainstormed this idea after a poetry seminar by Professor Elizabeth Willis last semester,” says Altman.  “We think there is a need for better access to contemporary poetry in Iowa City.” READ MORE

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