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Who Will Be Appointed as Next Librarian of Congress?

The President, in this case, Barack Obama, appoints the Librarian of Congress. Here’s the statute about that particular appointment.

Should it be a presidential appointment? Should the next office holder have a degree in Library Science (Mr. Billington did not).

Infodocket has more information on the period of transition, including this:

LC tells us that while no timeline is in place at the moment, President Obama has “roughly” six months to consider nominees for the vacancy. If a new Librarian of Congress is not confirmed by the time of Dr. Billington’s retirement, David Mao, Deputy Librarian, would serve as Acting Librarian of Congress until the time a new leader is confirmed by the Senate. Mao holds both legal and library degrees.

via Who Will Be Appointed as Next Librarian of Congress | LISNews:.

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User Experience (UX) Twitter Chat Series

I am reading a lot about user experience principles being put in place in libraries as I prepare for a workshop on Customer Service in Public Libraries. This chat from the Library and Information Technology Association branch of ALA looks interesting!

Friday, May 15th, 2-3 p.m. with moderators Amanda (@godaisies) and Haley (@hayleym1218)
Friday, May 29th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Bohyun (@bohyunkim)
Friday, June 12th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Whitni (@_whitni)
Friday, June 19th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Michael (@schoeyfield)

via Chat: UX Twitter Chat | LITA Blog.

Use #litaux to follow along! They are also partnering with the new open-access, peer-reviewed journal Weave, the Journal of Library User Experience.

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Next time someone tells you we no longer need libraries, show them this map.

Unite for Literacy is a for-profit organization out of Colorado that provides a platform to make digital picture books available for free online to battle book scarcity.

Four of these children are happily on their way to becoming life-long readers. The other six face formidable odds, simply because something is missing from their homes; BOOKS!

They have created an interactive map showing the estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books around the country.

Unite for Literacy has created the Book Desert Map to make the problem of book scarcity visible. Their purpose was to initiate conversation across the public, private and civic sectors about the geography of books and reading. Unite for Literacy looked at the number of books in 4th graders’ homes, community income, ethnicity, geography, and home language data from the NAEP and the American Community Survey. They performed a statistical analysis of that data and produced this map showing the estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books at the state, county and census tract levels.

LEGEND: Estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books.

via Public Libraries – Book Deserts to Book Abundance.

I zoomed in to take a look at Austin. It was no surprise to me that Interstate 35 was a huge dividing line. While Austin can definitely boast to be the most liberal city in a very conservative state, it very unfortunately has also been said to be one of the most segregated. I-35 goes right up the middle of the city. I think you will be able to see where the poorer population lives by taking a look at this map.

Unite for Literacy Austin TX Book Scarcity

Find your city and take a screen shot. Next time someone tells you we don’t need libraries, show them this.

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Upcoming ILS webcast from American Libraries

My goodness, I am such a nerd. Past midnight last night I was up late reading about Z39.50 and Dublin Core for the Public Library User Experience MOOC I am participating in. This morning I am up early reading articles about UX. And today is my birthday.

Never having worked with the technical aspects of ILS systems I have found this week’s module on library technology very interesting. It is extremely basic, but that works for me. Then I found this upcoming free webcast from American Libraries about Integrated Library Systems by automation expert Marshall Breeding. I have been exploring his website a lot lately looking at ILS system usage by library for the MOOC. I have been reading his site’s RSS for quite some time but now perhaps it will be more meaningful for me.

Are you the person tasked with planning for, upgrading, or monitoring performance for your library’s integrated library systems?  Mark your calendar to check out an upcoming American Libraries Live webcast,  “Integrated Library Systems”, May 14 at 1:00pm Central time.

Long-time library automation expert Marshall Breeding will lead a panel discussing what’s new and hot in the library automation industry.  Breeding is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides on librarytechnology.org, authored the annual system reports for Library Journal for many years, and is a regular contributor on technology topics for American Libraries magazine.

This latest installment of American Libraries Live webcasts is free, and you can pre-register here to get an email reminder, or just go to http://www.americanlibrarieslive.org at the time of the live webcast to view the event.

via Integrated Library Systems Are Topic of Next American Libraries Live Webcast | Library Developments.

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How can public libraries collaborate more with school libraries?

April, in addition to being National Poetry Month, is School Library Month. And 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of School Library Month. Julianne Moore is this year’s spokesperson.

The American Associaion of SChool Libraries has lots of free resources like posters, web graphics, and weekly webinars that can be accessed here.

YALSAblog put together some ways that public librarians can help support school libraries and media centers.

Get in touch with your local school librarians! Sometimes, this can be the most difficult aspect of cross-agency collaboration. I’ve noticed that, especially with regard to youth services librarians in larger, more bureaucratic public library systems, outreach specialists may try to follow a chain of command, asking for the building principal or even the superintendent for access to the school librarians. In many cases, those administrators may either not realize that the public library wants to help, rather than place demands, on school staff, and they often have a lot on their plate anyway. Reaching out to school librarians directly can be more effective, or better yet, ask a school librarian you have worked with in the past to connect you.

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Give local school librarians and teachers some extra privileges. One easy way to support the educators in your community: create a special patron class in your automation system, with an increased checkout limit. Nashville Public Libraries are on the cutting edge of this, with their Limitless Libraries program. They even have the high school and middle school libraries as routing stops! If your library doesn’t allow holds against on-shelf materials, you might consider a different policy for teachers. No teacher or school librarian wants to swing by the public library at the end of the day to find the audio version of Fahrenheit 451 has been nabbed since they looked it up in the OPAC that morning.

Extend checkouts or waive fines for teachers or librarians who checkout materials for others. It can be difficult for school librarians to get materials they checked out back from others, especially when they are being used instructionally. When I go to the public library to fulfill a teacher or student’s request, and then get tagged with punitive fines, it can be quite discouraging. Once, I paid enough overdue fines (out of my own pocket) on a VHS copy of the Audie Murphy’s World War II biopic To Hell and Back to buy multiples for my own collection.

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Create a school librarian and teacher-focused version of your newsletter, paying special attention to highlight the events and additions to your collections with instructional application.

Involve school librarians in your applications for grant projects. This will strengthen your case for funding, and give the school librarians some ownership in what is going on in your building, too.

Acknowledge school librarian realities. Get school librarians in the field to come to your in-services or staff days to share their concerns. It might be supporting common core, it might be teaching social studies and science concepts left out of the standardized-testing intensive curriculum, it might be in-depth reference support and ILL for projects like National History Day or senior capstone projects. Lead times in schools are often more abbreviated than in public library settings, and there can be a domino effect when a teacher springs a last-minute project tying in to holidays or events. When a teacher comes in looking for The Lorax the day before Earth Day, don’t laugh — have some other suggestions, both print and digital, handy.

via Ways Public Librarians Can Support Media Specialists to Celebrate National School Library Month | YALSAblog.

It seems to me that when public and school libraries work together to create a unified message for their communities, they could be unstoppable. The problem is that everyone has their own tasks to accomplish, goals and objectives to meet, and dwindling budgets and resources and time. I wish there could be a local school liaison in every public library to handle this kind of work.

Do you have a particularly great partnership between school and public library? I would love to hear about it!

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The Political Librarian, a new open access journal from EveryLibrary

EveryLibrary has announced a new journal called The Political Librarian that will be all about local funding and political issues for libraries. This differs from other disucssions because it is focused on what they call the “hyper-local” level dealing with city tax codes, library boards, and voters instead of federal and national level. The journal will be open access and under non-commercial Creative Commons.

They are currently seeking submissions in three categories:

  • Polemics – Editorial in nature; the first draft of an idea or argument
  •      White Papers – Longer form discussions that may include research
  •      Peer Reviewed – Long form articles that include original research and arguments, and are submitted for review by our Editorial Board

We seek contributions that:

  • Further a discussion of tax policy and public policy at the local level
  • Explore and review ordinances, regulations and legislation, or propose new model language that actuate policy or revenue at a local level
  • Specifically engage disparities in community outcomes based on current funding and authority models for libraries
  • Provide and encourage experiential input about the way that current policy models impact library service delivery and community outcomes
  • Provide and encourage explorations of new, underutilized, or experimental models to address local library funding or authority
  • Provide resources and tactics that libraries can use to educate stakeholders on the essential role of libraries and librarians in their local community.

via Announcing “The Political Librarian”, a New Journal from EveryLibrary | EveryLibrary.

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Free Coding for Kids Webinar from the Texas State Library

Coding programming for kids is going to be/is already the next big thing! Catch this free webinar to learn more on implementing it in your library!

Cracking the Code – Coding in the Library

Wed, May 19, 2015,  2:00–3:00 PM CST

Join us for a webinar to look at FREE resources for teaching K-12 computer programming via your library. The best part? You need zero coding experience to participate! All you need is a willingness to have fun, let your patrons be the experts, and to provide time for kids to get excited about designing their own programs. Perhaps you have heard about Hour of Code? Well the hour for coding in your library is now! Don’t miss out!

The webinar will be presented by Leah Mann, Library Media Specialist at Killian Middle School in Lewisville ISD. Lea has fourteen years experience as an educator, including eight as a school librarian. She has a passion for providing opportunities for students to explore in a variety of ways and is excited to be a part this dynamic season for libraries. Leah  has presented on a variety of topics at TLA, TCEA, SXSWedu, and ESC Region XI and is excited to have recently added coding to the mix, and to present her first webinar.

Click to register for Cracking the Code – Coding in the Library

via Cracking the Code: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission Will Host a Webinar on Coding for Kids | Library Developments.