Amid Controversy, Scholastic Pulls Picture Book About Washington's Slave

After a torrent of criticism, Scholastic has decided to stop distributing A Birthday Cake for George Washington, a picture book about one of George Washington's slaves.

The historical book tells the story of Hercules, a slave used by the president as his chef. It shows Hercules and his daughter Delia happy and taking pride in making Washington a birthday cake.

Almost as soon as the book was released, it received withering criticism for whitewashing the history of slavery.

The review in Kirkus noted that the book contained images of smiling slaves in almost every page. But it cautioned that this was not the same kind of story that had played out just months before when A Fine Dessert, another story about happy slaves making sweet treats, was eviscerated by critics.

Will BookBots be the revolution libraries are looking for?

Lucia is overseeing the creation of what he hopes will be the library of the future. The building, budgeted for $170 million, is now little more than a hole in the ground across the street, but by 2017, the new library will hold the same number of books in roughly the same square footage, but do it completely differently. 

From Will BookBots be the revolution libraries are looking for? — NewsWorks

14 million fewer books available in libraries than when David Cameron took office

Fourteen million fewer books are available in British public libraries today than when David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010, official statistics have revealed.
Funding cuts and library closures mean that around one in every seven books available on library shelves six years ago have now gone.
Campaigners said Tory ministers had taken an “abysmal and appalling” approach to Britain’s libraries and demanded they act to stop councils closing any more.
The statistics from Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) reveal the depth of library cuts implemented since the Tories entered office.

From 14 million fewer books available in libraries than when David Cameron took office - Telegraph

Killing Dewy and adopt Common Sense Categories

However – and this is a huge “however” for Bertino – they can only read if they can find the books they need and want.

And that’s why Bertino “killed Dewey.”

Troy, Bertino said, is one of the first school districts in Illinois to classify books based on Common Sense Categories rather than on the “antiquated” Dewey Decimal System, which is how libraries have classified books for more than a century.

Bertino feels Dewey is impractical for 21st century kids accustomed to searching online by keywords. The beauty of Common Sense Categories is that students easily transition to traditional libraries when they enter high school, Bertino said, even without ever formally learning Dewey.

From Libraries at Troy School District 30-C adopt Common Sense Categories | The Herald-News

Tiny Mobile Libraries Revitalize a Corner of Seoul

There are few things that make you slow down better than a good book. Perhaps that’s why the Seoul Innovation Park and the City of Seoul chose them as one key part of an initiative to revitalize an unloved site previously occupied by the ministry of food and drug safety. The Mobile Library project sees four miniature library pop-ups designed by Korean studio Spacetong(Archworkshop) with collaboration from designers Jae-Choul Choi, John (Pyung Ki) Kim, and Woo-Yeol Lee.

The four small spaces are called ‘Mirage’, ‘Block’, ‘Pipe’ and ‘Membrane’. It’s not hard to guess which is which, with each structure embodying its defining feature. Each lends a much needed touch of culture to a rather dull corner of the city, transforming it into a space you’d now consider for a relaxing break. Lovely.

From Tiny Mobile Libraries Revitalize a Corner of Seoul


MI Libraries gagged by new election law ask for relief

The provision in question is Item 3, Section 57, which states: “A public body, or a person acting for a public body, shall not, during the period 60 days before an election in which a local ballot question appears on a ballot, use public funds or resources for a communication by means of radio, television, mass mailing, or prerecorded telephone message if that communication references a local ballot question and is targeted to the relevant electorate where the local ballot question appears on the ballot.” In addition, public employees violating this ruling could be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 and could be imprisoned.

From Libraries gagged by new election law ask for relief


The Most Edited Wikipedia Articles From Every Year Of Its Existence

So, out of Wikipedia's 5,053,647 articles (with 808,187,367 total edits), what was the most-edited the most each year? And what are the most edited articles ever? 

From The Most Edited Wikipedia Articles From Every Year Of Its Existence - Digg


It’s Wikipedia’s 15th birthday!

It’s Wikipedia’s 15th birthday

This year we’re celebrating 15 years of free and open knowledge—learning, discovery, and joy for people on every continent ⟩

To ensure future support for this vision, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Wikimedia Endowment ⟩

From Wikipedia 15


NYPL Public Domain Release 2016 - Visualization

On January 6th, 2016, The New York Public Library made over 187K digital items in the public domain available for high resolution download. This is one of many experiments by the NYPL Labs to help patrons understand and explore what was contained in that release.

From NYPL Public Domain Release 2016 - Visualization


zine-o-philia: call for submissions for a first-gen librarian zine

If this sounds like you and you want to submit, HIGH FIVE! This is what I’m looking for:

Content regarding being a first-generation library professional. This can be on any facet of it in any format you desire – essays, prose, artwork (keep in mind this will be in black and white, though). Don’t worry about sounding “professional” or “academic” – this isn’t either. This is about your voice.
The pages will be a half-sheet, so 8.5″x6.5″ – keep this in mind when you’re creating (nothing too long or big)
Please keep your submissions free of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, etc etc etc. I don’t think this’ll be a problem (I HOPE) but I figured I’d better put it out there just in case.
Please indicate in your submission how you’d like to be identified in your submission – full name, first name, pseudonym, anonymously, whatever.
If you’d like to submit or just have questions, email me at kelly.kietur[at]gmail dot com. If you’d like to submit something via snail mail, email me and I’ll give you an address to mail your stuff to.

From zine-o-philia: call for submissions for a first-gen librarian zine – she blinded me with library science

Take a Scavenger Hunt Through Toronto’s 100 Libraries

Visiting each of the Toronto Public Library System’s 100 branches sounds like a daunting task, and this literary scavenger hunt aims to navigate you through each one.

Toronto-based graphic designer and web developer Noah Ortmann created the Toronto Library Passport as a way of encouraging local readers to explore each outpost in the city and utilize their free resources. One challenge urges readers to find a book about Roman architecture, while another instructs you to read a mystery novel in the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection—a room in the Toronto Reference Library modeled after Sherlock Holmes’s study. The 36-page booklet also includes branch hours, information about fines, and spaces to jot down your impressions of each location.

From Take a Scavenger Hunt Through Toronto’s 100 Libraries | Mental Floss

How young librarians are figuring out the field's future

Several years ago, Forbes Magazine listed the advanced degrees with the worst job prospects—and a master's in library sciences was No. 1 on the list. Despite that gloomy prediction and some staid image problems, young librarians say their work is relevant in the 21st Century and is as needed now as it has ever been.

"You say, I'm going to library school, and everybody is like, 'Well, aren't libraries kind of over? What are you going to be doing?'" said 34-year-old Jay Granger, a management and library and information sciences student in the online program at the University of Southern California.

From How young librarians are figuring out the field's future — NewsWorks


At ALA’s Midwinter Meeting: BiblioBoard Pivots As 'Libraries Transform'

What Davis is describing is one of the most energizing concepts in library evolution today, dovetailing with the messages of the Libraries Transform campaign. The BiblioBoard team envisions the library not simply as a place to go for information retrieval, but also as an enabling hub, an engine of its users’ own creativity—supporting, leveraging, even producing, promoting and distributing library patrons’ own ideas and capacities.

This is The Library as a driver-into-reality of makers’ dreams.

From At ALA’s Midwinter Meeting: BiblioBoard Pivots As ‘Libraries Transform’ | Thought Catalog


You are not what you read: librarians purge user data to protect privacy

Interlibrary loans, said Alison Macrina, founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, form an ad-hoc record of departures from regular patterns of lending – the kind of thing that often interests intelligence and law enforcement analysts.

“It seems like it’s a more interesting data trail,” said Macrina. “It’s a book you wanted so bad that you went to special lengths to get it, and we know how intelligence agencies pay attention to breaks in patterns.” Macrina hadn’t heard about the CUNY Graduate Center initiative, but said it was a relief to her. “It’s taken a little too long but I’m really glad to see it’s happening somewhere.”

From You are not what you read: librarians purge user data to protect privacy | US news | The Guardian


Your goal today is to add one reference to Wikipedia!

How to Participate: Five Basic Steps
Find an article that needs a citation. There are many ways to do this. Here are some strategies.
Filling a "Citation Needed"
Finding an article with sourcing problems
Select an article while browsing
Cite a source from your collection or research
Find a reliable source that can support that article
Add a citation using Wikipedia Style. Click here to learn about adding citations and editing Wikipedia
Add the project hashtag #1Lib1Ref to the Edit Summary
Share your edit on social media and learn more about libraries and Wikipedia

From The Wikipedia Library/1Lib1Ref - Meta


Do You Read Differently Online and in Print?

Comprehension matters, but so does pleasure. In Proust and the Squid, Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, observes that the brain’s limbic system, the seat of our emotions, comes into play as we learn to read fluently; our feelings of pleasure, disgust, horror and excitement guide our attention to the stories we can’t put down. Novelists have known this for a long time, and digital writers know it, too. It’s no coincidence that many of the best early digital narratives took the form of games, in which the reader traverses an imaginary world while solving puzzles, sometimes fiendishly difficult ones. Considered in terms of cognitive load, these texts are head-bangingly difficult; considered in terms of pleasure, they’re hard to beat.

From Do You Read Differently Online and in Print?


Omaha Public Library Foundation gets its biggest gift ever – $1 million

The Omaha Public Library started 2016 with a nice surprise: a check for $1 million.
The estate of the late Virginia C. Schmid gave the donation to the Omaha Public Library Foundation last week.

It’s the biggest gift ever received by the foundation, which was established in 1985.

Full article:


Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic

"For years, Mr. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who now focuses on the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had been scribbling notes in the margins of books he was reading and then emailing recommendations to friends and colleagues. Then he began to post these recommendations and critiques on the blog. “A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to share some of these notes with the public...” Mr.

Is History Written About Men, by Men?

"In recent years, as academic history has taken a turn toward the cultural and social, producing more and more works about women, minorities, and everyday life, the kinds of history books you see on the New Releases table at a Barnes & Noble have begun to feel like throwbacks."

Pedalling books, Toronto friends share their love of reading with a mobile library

In the summer, they cycle the streets of Toronto with 18 kilograms of books in tow. The titles find their way from their bike to the hands of readers in city parks. In the winter, the volumes live in the cosy confines of a neighbourhood bar, where the pair leaves a small library and hosts a monthly reading series.

From Pedalling books, Toronto friends share their love of reading with a mobile library | Toronto Star



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