Do School Children Really Need Librarians?

Yes and no, according to your perspective.

City Limits, a NYC blog reports that earlier this summer, the Department of Education requested a variance from the state, asking official permission to offer fewer librarians in schools. While the DOE says it recognizes librarians' value, in the face of fiscal challenges and technological changes the department is looking for alternative ways to provide students with library services. In place of hiring certified librarians, schools could train teachers to offer the same services, bring in parent volunteers or have librarians circulate between schools.

Meanwhile, elementary schools are exempt from the regulation altogether. Some elementary school libraries are staffed by teachers or librarians without certification. Some even go without.

And from the librarians' POV: "The idea that a shelf full of a books somehow replaces a librarian is wrong," says Christian Zabriskie, Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a professional group that supports librarianship in urban settings. "If I'm exploring things about, say, my sexuality, drug issues, health issues, I can't grab those books in front of my peers," he adds. Zabriskie's own middle school librarian had a significant impact on his life by supporting him when he was being bullied and teaching him how to stand up for others.

Obselidia

Wikipedia entry: Obselidia

You can watch on Amazon for $2.99 See: Obselidia

Car crash of an article

Want to see journalistic incompetence in action? Check out this article: Half of library’s books unused in last year

Google unveils major upgrade to search algorithm

Google has unveiled an upgrade to the way it interprets users' search requests.
The new algorithm, codenamed Hummingbird, is the first major upgrade for three years.
It has already been in use for about a month, and affects about 90% of Google searches.

At a presentation on Thursday, the search giant was short on specifics but said Hummingbird is especially useful for longer and more complex queries.

Google stressed that a new algorithm is important as users expect more natural and conversational interactions with a search engine - for example, using their voice to speak requests into mobile phones, smart watches and other wearable technology.

Full article here.

Reference Question - President doing research for child in school

Trying to verify a story.

Synopsis: President of United States with school age child is asked for help doing school report on a country. President calls Secretary of State (maybe another position but think it was SOS) and says "I need to know about country X." Secretary of State does not know why question is being asked. Secretary gathers staff and they work all night compiling detailed dossier on the country.

In the morning the Secretary of State has the thick detailed report on the President's desk. The president realizes that he should have clarified what the assignment was about and explains research was for school report for his child.

Questions:

1) Did this happen?
2) If so, what President?
3) What country was being researched?
4) Citation to verifiable source?

The Hulk draws a crowd at Northlake Library

One doesn't usually see library related stories at Comic Book Resources, but here you go:
The Northlake Public Library in suburban Chicago unveiled its Hulk statue earlier this month to a crowd of more than 300. Trustee Tom Mukite, who joined the board specifically to spearhead the statue campaign, called the event the “largest turnout at the library ever.”

The Franklin Park Herald-Journal also covered the story,
"The lobby filled with local residents such as Amanda Efta, who carried her nephew Aiden Kolanizios. A library trustee offered green cupcakes to visitors.
“This is the biggest crowd the library’s seen in a while,” Northlake Mayor Jeff Sherwin said.
As the sheet was removed from the statue, people applauded, cameras clicked and little kids gazed up or rubbed the big toe — about the size of a grapefruit."

JSTOR Introduces Individual Subscriptions

JSTOR recently launched a direct subscription service called JPASS. Researchers wanting more content than their library provides can pay for access. Is this the future of aggregator publishing?

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #253

This week: THE BRAZIL INCIDENT

Yes, the repercussions from the NSA spying revelations continue. Now we are seeing looming growth in the fracturing of the Internet with the imposition of national boundaries. Even OCLC may be impacted by this. We take a few minutes to discuss the situation and its implications.

A brief news miscellany is also presented.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Throw a paperback at us via this Amazon picklist.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

10:29 minutes (9.63 MB)
mp3

THE LTG SUMMIT: What is the library community doing right? Where can we improve?

http://www.ltgsummit.org/

As libraries grow increasingly digital and technically complex, how will the gender inequities that are also prevalent in the information technology field impact librarianship? The field of librarianship is largely made up of women, and yet women are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions.

This summit will convene a group of dynamic, invested, and creative people from varied backgrounds and types of libraries to discuss these issues and examine how we might build a future for libraries and librarianship free from gender bias. We hope to inspire practical, actionable approaches for a brighter future. What is the library community doing right? Where can we improve?

The LTG summit will provide the opportunity for focused attention on a big challenge for our profession. It is the organizers’ intent to include thoughtful library professionals at all levels of the field and regardless of gender who wish to participate in a dynamic set of conversations about leadership, technology and gender in libraries and related fields.

Mark your calendars for March 19-21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. This event will immediately follow the Electronic Resources & Libraries conference with overlapping workshops focused on coding and project management skills.

I Don't Know

Piece on NPR about the book: I don't know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't)

Excerpt from NPR piece:
This year's graduating high school class will be the first generation to have grown up entirely under the No Child Left Behind Act, so this is an entire generation of kids that's been raised in an educational environment where there's a premium on knowing the right answer, being able to fill in the correct oval on a test. I worry that we may not be teaching enough the value of experimentation and failure and risk-taking and the process of inquiry.

Book: I don't know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't)

Not a Horse of a Different Color but...A Librarian of a Different Species

From Rocket News a report of a furry assistant librarian manning (or should we say...catting?) the circ desk in Novorossiysk Russia.

Kuzya showed up at the library’s door one day and impressed staff with his uncanny ability to look cute and fluffy. After arching his back and running his face along people’s legs he was able to procure food and (secretly) a warm place to spend cold winter days.

Unfortunately, Kuzya lacked the proper documents to be kept in a public space such as a library, so the staff, seeing the cat’s potential, worked to acquire it. Kuzya would need a cat passport, which apparently does exist. To get it he had an ID chip embedded along with a rabies vaccination.

With the paperwork in order, Kuzya could now openly roam the aisles of the library. Under his new title of “pet” he worked hard licking himself, looking cute, and taking naps so much that the library saw a significant increase in patronage. It turned out that people would come for the cat but stay for the book lending service.

Due to his success, the library promoted Kuzya from “pet” to “assistant librarian”.

WI Board calls for closing library

Yet another library closes! The La Crosse Library Board has recommended the South Community Library be closed as a cost-cutting move, the city’s mayor said Thursday.

The board voted Thursday to propose shutting down the branch library, open since 1922 and at its 1307 S. 16th St. site for more than 60 years, when the city’s Board of Estimates begins meeting Monday on the 2014 budget.

[I'm kidding about the "yet another", I know the research has been done :-)]

Out of Print

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #252

It is a weird, slow news week when the folks at the USDA radio unit are doing reviews of Sharknado that are being released to radio stations across the country. We talk about the news we found and let you hear that wonderful taxpayer-paid movie review in this week's episode.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (E-mail attachment friendly: Speex format) (High Fidelity: Free Lossless Audio Codec), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. You can always throw at paperback novel or two at Stephen via Amazon.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

8:02 minutes (11.08 MB)
mp3

Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas

These library has been discussed before on LISNEWS. NPR is now reporting the library is open.

Mentor Public Library Adds Streaming Media Opportunity For Patrons

Mentor Public Library in Ohio has contracted with Hoopla to provide streaming rich media to patrons in addition to other electronic content on offer from Zinio, Overdrive, and other vendors.

Visiting Libraries and Other Smart Things Bedbugs Do

Small blurb at Wired.com about bedbugs and libraries.

Visiting Libraries and Other Smart Things Bedbugs Do
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/09/qq_bedbugs/

Book Country

Book Country is a website from Penguin Random House that enables thousands of amateur writers to exchange manuscripts and notes. Some even go on to get their work published. It's like an online MFA program from the comfort of your laptop. Bob speaks to Molly Barton the Global Digital Director for Penguin at Penguin Random House, and Carl E. Reed, an active Book Country user, about the site.

 

On the Media:  http://www.onthemedia.org/2013/sep/06/book-country/

Wealthy Virginia Suburbs Poised to Cut Library Services

From the Falls Church, VA News Press: Mark September 11, 2013 on your calendars. That is the date the Fairfax County Public Libraries (FCPL) Board of Trustees will meet and vote on the FCPL Administration’s “BETA Project” to “streamline” services at all county libraries. If approved the “BETA Project” is scheduled to go into effect initially at Reston Regional Library, the system’s largest, and Burke Centre Community Library. The changes include, but are not limited to:

• Drastically reducing the number of staff available to serve library patrons

• Eliminating the requirement for ANY staff member to have a Masters of Library Science (MLS) Degree

• Eliminating children/youth services librarians

Reduction in Staff– At Reston, the model for regional libraries like Tysons-Pimmit, the staff will be reduced from 20.5 to 13.5 positions and at Burke Centre, the model for community libraries like Thomas Jefferson, it will be reduced from 9.5 to 7 positions.

Elimination of MLS– Not only will the staff be reduced, but so will their pay grades and salaries. FCPL will be the only library system in the regional consortium of libraries not requiring any staff member to have an MLS. Librarian positions will no longer exist, because under Virginia law, librarians must have an MLS/advanced certification for any political subdivision with a population of at least 15,000.

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