In my conversations with librarians around the country, the most urgent topic was the education of America’s youngest children. Patrick Losinski, the CEO of the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan library system, told me that when a 5-year-old walks into kindergarten, takes a book, and holds it upside down, “you know there is no reading readiness there.” I heard of many projects like Books for Babies, which is run by Friends of the Library in tiny Winters, California: Volunteers scour birth announcements and go stroller-spotting, offering each new baby a box with a T-shirt, a cap, two books, and an application to join the library.In Charleston, West Virginia, despite recent funding losses that severely cut library staff, librarians still provide materials to teachers all across the 900-square-mile county. In Columbus, Mississippi, the library gives high-school students access to Civil War–era archives—slave sale records, court cases, and secrets of the community—making real the racial history of their state. In Redlands, California, the program attracting the most volunteers is one-on-one literacy tutorials for adults. And many adults use public libraries as their access point to postsecondary online courses.
Source: Deb Fallows on The Local Library – The Atlantic
Good story on the work being done across the United States by libraries.
I’m working my way through the May 2016 issue of American Libraries. I just ran across a letter from Kacy Helwick (p. 8) of New Orleans that sounded intriguing and possibly win-win for libraries and publishers.
Kacy’s idea is that where publishers impose ebook circulation limits, that e-book ought to have simultaneous usage. That is, more than one patron up to the number specified in the circulation limit ought to be able to use the eb00k at the same time. The benefit to patrons is immediate access for more people. The library’s benefit is knowing they are buying titles that will be used. The publisher’s benefit is that the library will probably buy more copies more quickly, increasing their sales.
While this model does NOT provide for preservation, it does seem like a better way to handle publisher imposed circulation limits than the current model of treating it just like a print book with a 24 circulation destruct timer.
The courts have consistently held that for the freedom of the press and speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to be fully meaningful, people must also have the right to receive information: that is, to read, view, hear or access what they choose, without any limitations imposed by the government. In addition, the First Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to believe and practice their religion or practice no religion at all (the “free exercise” clause) and prohibits government from establishing or endorsing a religion or religions (the “establishment” clause). Thus the freedom of, for and from religion, are similarly guaranteed by the Constitution.
Source: Religion in American Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights | ALA Connect
This document from the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the American Library Association will be up from ALA Council discussion at the Annual Conference in Orlando in June. I think they struck a good balance.
I welcome comments from ALA members in general and from any members of the Alaska Library Association in particular.
Putting all silliness aside, the real reason for this post is a reminder that copyright exists “to advance the progress of science and useful arts.” The Framers believed that by giving creators monopoly rights, they would more likely make their creative works and inventions available to the public thereby benefiting society as a whole. Therefore, exclusive rights should only be as broad as they need be to incentivize creation. It is as simple as that. During this multi-year copyright review, might the House Judiciary subcommittee consider tailoring back copyright for the greater good or will they abandon the public interest and leave it in the front yard?
Source: Copyright Abandonment – District Dispatch
Good words from Carrie Russell of the American Library Association Washington Office.
While there is a role for some kind of copyright monopoly, we all lose from the current term of Life plus 70 years. So much of our common culture is unmixable. Why do you think so many Hollywood movies are reboots of intellectual property they already own? There’s a reason for that.
How states performed on library measures in 2015
By Kathy Rosa | January 4, 2016
During the 2015 election year, the ALA Office for Research and Statistics tracked 88 library referenda across 21 states. More than three-quarters of the measures passed, with 69 wins and only 18 losses (an additional one was advisory). Ohio and New York showed their strong support of libraries by passing 20 and 23 referenda respectively.
Source: Referenda Roundup | American Libraries Magazine
Some welcome news for libraries. 78% of library referenda PASSED last year. It’s great to see communities supporting their libraries with dollars in addition to the frequent kind words that they receive.
I’m also grateful to the Office for Research and Statistics for the American Library Association (ALA). Their research is one of many benefits from the dues of its members.
ALA’s offices and divisions sponsor a variety of library promotions throughout the year that libraries of all types all across the country can get involved with to promote libraries and create awareness of library issues. Check out the links below to see how you can bring these promotions to your library. The oldest of these events is National Library Week.
This page is compiled by the ALA Library. Please send any needed corrections to the ALA Library.
Source: Celebration Weeks & Promotional Events 2016-2017 | Conferences & Events
If your library wants to highlight national library themed observances, check out this calendar!