Penn Libraries received a grant to preserve Muslim manuscripts and make them more accessible to the students, scholars, and the public.  Penn will collaborate with Columbia University and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation in the next three years to digitize Arabic, Persian, and Turkish texts through a full-time cataloger.“This is basically a project to digitize all of the early manuscripts relating to the Muslim world held in Philadelphia as well as those at Columbia University in New York,” said Mitch Fraas, curator of the Special Collections and Kislak Center for Special Collections and Rare Books and Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. This project is part of the innovative program Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives, which includes two other grants dedicated to preserving records. READ MORE
Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), held March 1–4 in Seattle, expanded its programming this year to include a full day of professional development for librarians and educators, cosponsored by the American Library Association and several publishers at Seattle Public Library’s (SPL) Central Library.Creating a community of practice for librarians and educators around comics collection, education, and advocacy was a major theme of the program, which included sessions such as “Censored: The Comics They Don’t Want You to Read (and How to Keep ’Em Circulating),” “The Representation Bookshelf,” and “What Do I Say When?: Tough Questions about Comics and How to Turn It Around.”Taylor Eastman, ReedPOP content and talent coordinator for ECCC, said, “On top of being fans themselves, educators and librarians are teaching our next generation of fans. We feel lucky to not only offer this content to our professional badge holders but also help connect these educators and librarians in a place where they can learn and share ideas.” READ MORE
For many of Sacramento’s (CA) homeless men and women, the public library is a haven from harsh weather, a primary source for bathroom facilities, a place to rest from the stress of the streets.Sacramento library director Rivkah Sass welcomes them all, she said, as long as their behavior is not disruptive to staff members and other patrons.But as the homeless crisis deepens in the capital city and around the country, libraries increasingly are seeing people with untreated mental illnesses that cause them to act oddly, or put themselves or others in danger.“Clearly, there just are not enough services for people who need to address their mental issues, and they end up with us because we are the last free, public open space available to them,” Sass said.Now, for the first time, employees of Sacramento’s library system are taking training to help them respond to customers who appear to be suffering from mental problems. READ MORE
KATIE SCHERRER is a former children’s librarian who consults and trains libraries and educational organizations to improve services to Latino immigrant communities through outreach and bilingual programming. She is also a registered yoga teacher. She is the coauthor of Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish (ALA Editions, 2016). READ MORE
The NAU Institute for Human Development (AZ) is home to two separate libraries that lend out all sorts of gadgets, toys, devices and even computer programs that allow students, teachers and families with disabilities the opportunity to try before they buy technology that may make their lives easier.“We offer seven core services,” said Jill Pleasant, the program director at the Arizona Technology Access Program. Those services include two libraries that lend out tools, toys and gadgets to the public and educators for a short time, a loan program to help people with disabilities purchase items that may make life easier, a product demo program, a training program to use various devices, a device reuse program and a consultation program that can help people decide which device works best for them.“It’s a great program and offers a lot of benefits to people that they might not be aware of,” Pleasant said. “We can’t buy something directly for someone, but we can educate them on what’s out there. And there’s no sales pitch, so there’s no pressure to buy anything. “We want people to make a good decision.” READ MORE
If you want to find out what’s happening in Warwick, New York, visit the Albert Wisner Public Library.That wasn’t always the case. Cooper, one of the winners of the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award, transformed this small-town library that was underfunded and inadequate into a vibrant 21st-Century community center, said her nominator, Susan Supak.The library’s value to the community was thrown into vivid relief during Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane rolled through the Warwick area, resulting in downed trees, power outages and flooded roads. In fact, for some, the power outages lasted for as long as 10 days, a hardship made especially difficult by a shortage of gasoline for cars and generators.The library became a refuge to residents seeking heat, electricity and computers to reach out to loved ones.  Cooper responded to the challenge, extending regular operating hours to meet the demand.Her engagement with the community has not been limited to extraordinary events or natural disasters. READ MORE
The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards—at its Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado.A list of all the 2018 award winners follows:John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: READ MORE
The American Library Association (ALA) selects “Manhattan Beach,” by Jennifer Egan, published by Scribner, as the winner of the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.  The selection was announced this evening at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) sponsored by NoveList, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.The awards, established in 2012, serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the American Library Association and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals and booksellers who work closely with adult readers. READ MORE
Spherical robots that careen around a room, controlled by a child's finger on an iPad — we've arrived at the future. And, it's very fun.The controlled chaos of the RoboKids event put on monthly by the Children's Department at the Loveland Public Library provides kids ages 4 and up with an opportunity to learn from and play with small robotic toys. While it's fun for kids to crash the rolling 'bots into walls or draw loopy roads with markers for a small reading robot to follow across the table, the children are also learning the basics of toys that can later be used for programming practice, said facilitator of the event Cindi Pfeiffer.Pfeiffer said the library has put on the event for about three years, during which their robot collection has grown to more than 10 robots. The library first started their robot collection four years ago after working with Loveland High Robotics Club to build a Lego Mindstorm EV3, a programmable motorized robot built with Lego bricks.Pfeiffer said the library is money-conscious when it buys robots, and tries to buy when they are on sale. READ MORE
Although the antiquated tradition of people sending locks of hair to their loved ones died out in the 20th century, the Lilly Library (IN) has acquired notable locks of hair since the library's establishment in 1960. Among the books and rare manuscripts in the Lilly Library are collections from authors Edgar Allen Poe and Sylvia Plath. These collections also include locks of their hair. Reference associate Sarah Mitchell said J.K. Lilly Jr., the library’s namesake, collected the Poe hair. The Poe collection was acquired in 1956 before the library was even built. “It’s really interesting,” she said. “I mean, it’s something that either really grosses people out or really fascinates them.”  READ MORE