Library group denounces book destruction at Occupy Wall Street

The American Library Association has denounced the destruction of books at a library set up by Occupy Wall Street when New York police raided a park where protesters were staying earlier this month, the Washington Post reports. The ALA, the oldest and largest library association in the world, issued a release that said some of its members who had visited the site before the Nov. 15 raid in Zuccotti Park had praised the People’s Library for having a balanced, catalogued collection of materials that included works of different views. The library maintained at the park had held more than 5,000 items and provided free access to books, magazines, newspapers and other materials. A reference service, often staffed by professional librarians, was offered…

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School libraries pummeled as budget crisis worsens

librarians say few people understand how involved they are in classroom learning and school technology.
librarians say few people understand how involved they are in classroom learning and school technology.

School librarians fear another round of budget cuts in districts across the nation could severely impair students’ development of information literacy and other key 21st-century skills.

As the school budget crisis deepens, administrators have started to view school libraries as luxuries that can be axed, rather than places where kids learn to love reading and do research.

No one will know exactly how many jobs are lost until fall, but the American Association of School Administrators projects 19 percent of the nation’s school districts will have fewer librarians next year, based on a survey this spring. Ten percent said they cut library staff for the 2009-10 school year.…Read More

Librarians weigh in on national ed-tech plan

ALA also observed that many libraries work together to support learning beyond the school walls.
Many school and public libraries work together to support learning beyond the school walls, ALA said.

School libraries are an important resource that should be leveraged as state and local leaders implement the recommendations in the National Education Technology Plan, the American Library Association (ALA) says.

In comments filed with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 17, ALA said it applauds many of the plan’s recommendations. The organization also stated its case for why school librarians should play a key role in state and local discussions on school technology use.

“The school librarian, as an expert in new and emerging information and communication tools, intellectual property issues, … new interpretations of fair use and use of Creative Commons licensing, … and information literacies—now often referred to as “transliteracies”—is a critical team member,” ALA said.…Read More

Librarians to colleges: Keep on streaming videos for courses

The Library Copyright Alliance has published a legal analysis of the use of streaming video in higher education, NewTeeVee reports, and the bottom line could be good news for colleges: Instructors are allowed to use streaming videos as part of their courses without obtaining special licenses to do so. The alliance, which counts the American Library Association and the Association of College & Research Libraries as its members, implores educators to “know and exercise their rights” to online video use. This position likely won’t go over well with publishers of educational videos, which have been stepping up their efforts to get universities to obtain special streaming licenses if they want to include videos on course web sites. The Association for Information and Media Equipment (AIME) threatened UCLA with a copyright lawsuit over its video streaming late last year, and the school responded by shutting down its online video platform. AIME has been arguing that displaying a movie on a web site isn’t the same thing as showing it in a classroom, even if there are access controls for the online video in place. But the Library Copyright Alliance believes there is no need to pay for these licenses in many occasions, as amendments to copyright law that include distance education also cover the display of films through class web sites…

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The American Library Association’s great sites

The full title for this site is “700+ Great Sites: Amazing, Spectacular, Mysterious, Colorful Websites for Kids and the Adults Who Care About Them.” The list is compiled by the Children and Technology Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association.

Sites for children are organized by category: Arts and Entertainment, Literature and Language, People Past and Present, Planet Earth and Beyond, and Science and Technology.

Sample sites include Marsalis on music (https://www.wnet.org/), where children can learn about jazz and rhythm as they listen to snippets of Winton Marsalis’s music, and Science is Fun (http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/), a source for home experiments like bending water using static electricity.…Read More