The President’s preliminary budget, among other things, defunds and would close the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS), the federal agency charged with providing support to libraries.IMLS funds make experimental and innovative library services possible. It also provides essential support for small rural libraries as well as for every state library in the nation (which use federal funds for resources to which every library in the state typically has access). While IMLS’ work is often in the background, it is no less crucial for that.  Much of its work is carried out with funds through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).  Libraries also receive federal support for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program through the Department of Education.  Together, they provided more than $210 million to libraries in FY 2016 and the President’s budget would eliminate both. Loss of this money would have a staggering effect on communities throughout our country, as well as on the millions of individuals who use America’s libraries.Fortunately, the United States federal budget is a fantastically complex instrument. President Trump can strike whatever budget lines he wants, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so. The budget must still pass Congress and that is where we can be effective right now. America’s libraries need all library supporters to contact Congress now through ALA’s new Fight for Libraries! site to preserve this critical funding. READ MORE
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has caused an explosion in the number of everyday devices that are able to collect and transmit data. Librarians recognize the balancing act required to implement IoT technologies in accordance with core principles of librarianship. Where IoT can improve access to materials or services, or provide learning opportunities, without compromising patron privacy, libraries are joining hands with their communities and diving in. Librarians are also leading the way on educating patrons about what IoT entails—its inner workings, uses, limits, and implications for our communities and society. READ MORE
With critical federal funding for libraries in danger of disappearing in the President’s budget, now is the time for library supporters to contact their legislators in Washington.Hundreds of librarians will be doing just that by participating in National Library Legislative Day, a two-day advocacy event held May 1 and 2 that brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters, and patrons to Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress rally support for library issues and policies. Participants will receive advocacy tips and training, along with important issues briefings prior to their meetings. But even if you can’t make it out to Washington, you can still participate by taking part in Virtual Legislative Day by emailing, calling or Tweeting at your senators and representative from May 1-5.  Visit the site to receive action alerts. You will receive a link to the live webcast of the briefing, as well as talking points and other resources.Lisa Lindle, grassroots communications specialist in the office of government relations in the American Library Association’s Washington Office, which is coordinating the effort, said, “This year all of our priority asks are funding and appropriations related. We're asking to save IMLS. We’re asking senators to sign on to Dear Appropriator letters for LSTA (The Library Services and Technology Act) and IAL (Innovative Approaches to Literacy). And we’re asking both the House and Senate to re-authorize LSTA. All of those things play a big role in making sure that libraries get federal funding.” READ MORE
by Steve ZaluksyLibraries not only foster literacy. They also cultivate cross-cultural understanding.  This will be amply demonstrated on April 30, when hundreds of libraries across the country will celebrate Día, a national library program that promotes literacy for all children from all backgrounds. READ MORE
Novato Public Library, located in a small town in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, has become a meeting place for military veterans. That’s thanks to a four-year-old California public library program called Veterans Connect @ the Library, which helps put veterans in touch with benefits and services.At Novato, for example, one retired Air Force officer who volunteers at the library has become someone whom vets can not only get information from but can also communicate with, according to Kevin Graves, a Bay Area coordinator with the California Department of Veterans Affairs.“Vets come in every week just to speak to him, sometimes just to talk,” Graves says. “He gets something out of it, they get something out of it; it’s a win-win.”In some areas of the state, Veterans Connect is essential for former service members who do not have easy access to a veterans services office READ MORE
Now more than ever, knowing how to handle money is critical to our survival. Virtually from cradle to grave, we are faced with financial challenges, and how we face up to those challenges depends on how well we arm ourselves with reliable, accurate information.From April 22-29, 2017, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such issues as smart investing for college, a new car, a house or retirement, first-time homebuying, how to reduce property taxes, foreclosure prevention, getting out of debt and estate planning.Libraries of all types provide programming for all ages and all stages of life on topics such as: basic budgeting; managing student debt; retirement planning; home purchasing; saving money through couponing; and how to prevent identity theft. READ MORE
The growth of cities and resurgence of downtowns presents opportunities and challenges to libraries. While sticking to their core principles of equity and access, urban libraries embrace those opportunities, integrating facilities, programs and services into the pulse of city life, while working within constraints of budgets and space. Across the country, libraries in cities of all sizes serve the critical functions of urban living rooms and civic anchors. READ MORE
Each year, libraries move to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness during a weeklong celebration that instills public awareness of their critical importance to our society.  This year, awareness of the value of our nation’s libraries is especially critical, in the light of the looming threat of drastic cuts to federal funding for libraries.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. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special participate.This year, National Library Week will be held April 9-15. Events include the release of the American Library Association’s 2017 “State of America’s Libraries Report” on Monday, April 10; National Library Workers Day, April 11; and National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday, April 12.   In addition, April is School Library Month, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the ALA. READ MORE
When Cynthia Tysick sees a news story on social media, she diligently fact-checks it on Snopes and PolitiFact.  “I’ve suddenly become the fact-checking guru on my Facebook feed,” Tysick, head of UB (University of Buffalo, NY) Educational Services said. “People are not happy with me, but it’s a service I bring.”Tysick and her colleagues in UB Libraries feel students should have the ability to filter out real news from fake news. Fake news websites shell out dishonest and misleading information disguised as actual news, leaving many unable to tell the real from the fake. President Donald Trump has also blasted mainstream news organizations like CNN and The New York Times, calling them untrustworthy fake news organizations.Tysick and her colleagues prepared a guide with tips from real news sources like The Washington Post and PolitiFact on how to detect fake news. The guide defines fake news and discusses how yellow journalism was used as a sensationalist tactic in the late 1800s to get people to support the Spanish War. It also gives lesson plans for instructors to educate their students about fake news. READ MORE
If you’re seeking a preservation expert, look no further than your local library.Perhaps you have a question about taking proper care of your books, what to do about that long neglected photo album with pages that are now stuck together or even are wondering about how to address the spaghetti sauce on grandma’s favorite cookbook.  Librarians have the expertise to answer these questions, as well as offer valuable tips to help patrons preserve the precious treasures of their past.This year, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates Preservation Week®, April 23 – 29, 2017, a time when librarians and library workers share expertise on how to preserve family heirlooms and treasures. This year’s Preservation Week® theme is textile preservation, and participating libraries will celebrate by offering special programs and services to connect library users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation and strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public. Institutions around the world will be using the hashtag #preswk to talk about their preservation programs and services.   READ MORE