Blogs

Creating Networking Bridges

In May, ALA’s Office for Diversity and Spectrum Scholarship Program partnered with libraries and graduate schools of library and information science in five cities—Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York—to present essential information workshops for people interested in graduate education and careers in library and information science as part of the Knowledge Alliance project.

Smashwords and OverDrive

Librarians need to take sharp notice of the sudden and disruptive trebling of intellectual content: mainstream (which we’ve always focused on), small and independent publishing (which has ramped up its annual title count by four or five times over as many years), and self-published (now more new annual titles than the other two combined).

Three ways have emerged for libraries to sample this content and present it to the public:

Taylor Swift is New Face of READing

Seven-time Grammy winner and Billboard Artist of the Year Taylor Swift can now add ALA Celebrity READ Poster to her list of accomplishments. An avid reader and strong supporter of literacy and libraries, the 24-year-old partnered with Scholastic Books to make book donations to libraries in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania, and Nashville, Tennessee, where she currently lives.  

A Day in the Life of NYC’s Branches

Filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks produced a short film that looks at how library branches in New York City have evolved into community centers that offer an array of services and programs despite budget cuts. The film has gone viral, and it was even screened at a June 3 New York City Council meeting on the library budget in an attempt to sway the council to approve additional library funding.

Connecticut to Build a Statewide Ebook Delivery Platform

Back in January of this year, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection published a report about how the state’s public libraries could gain fairer access to ebooks.

Long Live the Maker Lab

Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) Maker Lab, a program that provides access to MakerBot 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters, and other 21st-century technologies, has attracted the support of a corporate sponsor that will extend its life. A $150,000 grant from the Motorola Mobility Foundation, the Chicago-based communications company’s philanthropic arm, will allow the lab to operate into 2015.

Amazon versus Hachette: No Good Guys in This Fight

Lately, there has been a lot of press about the conflict between Amazon and Hachette.

Let’s examine the facts.

DCL Ebook Report for June 2014

Read the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report as a PDF file.

After the death of Maya Angelou, the demand for her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has risen. The ebook is available from 3M for $20.97. Regular people (i.e., consumers) can buy it from Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $4.01.

Libraries are caged birds, indeed.

Academic Price Hikes: Predatory or Parasitical?

In the animal world, there are many ways two species can interact. They may compete. They may partner. They may form symbiotic relationships. Or one may prey on the other. 

That leads me to the topic of academic ebook price hikes, as discussed May 27 in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Letters column. 

IFLA/OCLC Fellows Visit ALA

Five librarians from developing countries visited ALA headquarters on May 30 as part of the annual Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship program, and spoke with American Libraries about their experiences.

Up to five individuals are selected to participate in the intensive four-week program to help provide early career development and continuing education for library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies. The 2014 class of fellows are:

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