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News & Opinion

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The Importance of Understanding and Evaluating Research

As librarians we are not only on the front line of information sharing, we are also its guardians. I believe we need to hold creators accountable. If you don’t know or understand research methods – learn them! If a source or organization will not provide or support the process, don’t support it. We need to start treating data with respect or all information will soon become meaningless.

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This Library Isn’t Just For Congress Anymore

The beautiful Thomas Jefferson Building that I remember from my youth now houses The Young Readers Center. Opened in October 2009, the center offers books and programming for children and teens. It’s opening marked the first time the library had extended its services specifically to young people.

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Library Ethics and Social Media

The Jefferson County Public Library (CO) recently came under fire for allegedly posting politically sensitive tweets on the library’s Twitter account.

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Kansas City Public Library Offers Citizenship Classes

While countless public libraries have a webpage listing local and national naturalization resources, the Kansas City (MO) Public Library (KCPL) is one of the only public libraries to form a program and team specifically designed to help immigrants become citizens. KCPL created the Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment (RISE) program to help connect local immigrants with quality services and resources through outreach, education, and advocacy.

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Public Libraries as Instruments for Social and Political Activism

Diedre Conkling, one of the subjects in the article, is a librarian in Oregon who has spent most of her career working to encourage public libraries to embrace progressive social change, environmental issues, and politics and spurred them to be part of the movements that make those changes possible. She very graciously took the time to answer a few of my questions about the role public libraries should take in this time of great social and political upheaval.

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Library Partnerships Bring People Together

Thanks to the clear divisions in our country, there has recently been a lot of talk about bringing people together. In the spirit of that call for camaraderie, I’ve been reflecting on the opportunities the library has to partner with others on programs and efforts.

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FYI Podcast 18 — Project Outcome

PLA’s Project Outcome (PO) is a free online toolkit consisting of surveys, a survey portal, and an interactive data dashboard that helps librarians measure the outcomes of their programs and services. Join us as we discuss this project with Emily Plagman, PO’s Project Manager and Samantha Lopez, Project Coordinator.

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Creating a Digital Archive: It’s Harder Than You Think

History buffs get excited whenever a state or local agency announces the digitization of a huge collection of newspapers, birth and death records, and other archives. We all want the Holy Grail: convenient online access from home that lets us drill down and find information from genealogy records to crime reports.

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Dial-A-Story Offers Storytime Experience at Home

Some libraries have adopted an alternative to face-to-face storytimes: Dial-A-Story, a free program that allows patrons to dial their local library to listen to taped stories. Many libraries record their own staff reading stories, but not all have the extra time. Dial-A-Story offers a starter program with fifty-two taped stories but has more than seventy-five additional titles libraries can choose from.

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Library of Congress Digitizes Freud Collection

Library of Congress has recently digitized the Sigmund Freud Collection thanks to a generous donation by the Polonsky Foundation.

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ALA Office Seeks Research Grant Proposals

The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services seeks proposals for the Diversity Research Grant program. Applications may address any diversity-related topic which addresses critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity, equity, and outreach issues within library and information science. The application deadline has been extended to midnight central time on April 15, 2017.

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Protecting Your Library from Ransomware

Just last month, seventeen libraries in the St. Louis area were victims of a ransomware attack. The cyberattack disabled the library computer system, and the attackers demanded a ransom to bring them back online. What can you do to protect yourself? There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect your library.

The #LibrariesResist Movement

The #LibrariesResist movement allows you to be involved in activism in the way that best suits you.

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FYI Podcast 17 – Libraries Ready to Code

Larra Clark Deputy Director for the Public Library Association and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), talks with Marijke Visser, Associate Director at OITP, about ‘Ready to Code” a new ALA initiative in partnership with Google, that aims to investigate the current nature of coding activities in public and school libraries for youth and broaden the reach and scope of this work.

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Amazon Books – Another Turn in the Spiral?

If you have not heard, book-selling giant Amazon currently has book*stores* in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland with plans for more stores near Chicago and Boston. With Amazon also initiating a cashier-free grocery store, many have been speculating both why and what next.