Weekly Round-Up

Editor’s Note: Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Enjoy!

Zack

I’ve been really excited about a method of note taking I discovered. Think Clearly is the website of Mathias Jakobsen, an entrepreneur, designer, and Dane. His note taking method is a lot like sketch notes, but incorporates locational and temporal data, into the framework of the notes.This makes a lot of sense from the personal information management perspective. I thought Jakobsen’s ideas are very valuable. If nothing else, his videos will provide a new framework for thinking about how to document your learning.

Ryan

Although Banned Books Week doesn’t happen until the last week of September, the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom recently revealed this year’s poster. Quite a few librarians, library students, and interested patrons quickly expressed concerns about this design, reading it as evoking traditional Muslim garments and therefore reinforcing anti-Muslim sentiments. This concern took the form of posts on social media, directly contacting the Office of Intellectual Freedom, and a petition on Change.org. The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom soon posted a statement that they were aware of the controversy, an explanation of their design process, and a description of the actions they would take in response.

It might be that attending the 2015 Symposium on LIS Education has primed me to reflect on what we do and don’t cover in library school courses, but this seems like an example of why we would all benefit from coursework that helps us grapple with questions of semiotics, representation, and identity. To my eyes, it’s worth considering not only our intended impact (of promotional materials, programming, etc.), but also how our patrons might interpret what we do according to their own needs and lived experiences.

Brenna

It’s National Library Week! ALA posted some fun facts and figures about libraries. Did you know that:

  • 366,642 people in the United States are employed in libraries?
  • The Library of Congress is the largest library in the U.S. (by volumes in collection), followed by the Boston Public Library and the Harvard University Library?

My library is celebrating National Library Week with a “Blind Date with a Book” display. How is your library celebrating?

Julia

I spent last weekend as a part of the NASA Space Apps challenge, where our team won and is advancing to the global challenge (yay!) I wanted to put our project description here, because we are thinking explicitly about how to use the idea of gamification to bring our game into schools and libraries. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback, and I’m excited to keep learning about a new area of our field! It also makes me think about all the exciting research going on about different literacies (for example, one of my friends is researching literacies in YA dystopian fiction, as well as digital literacies in online gaming).

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