News in Brief



With the NASA Selfies app, you can share selfies in front of gorgeous cosmic landscapes, like Messier 78, imaged by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Each image contains information about the object shown.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

‘NASA Selfies’ and TRAPPIST-1 VR Apps Now Available
The universe is at your fingertips with two new digital products from NASA. The NASA Selfies app and NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app were created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The new NASA Selfies app lets you generate snapshots of yourself in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app, VR users are taken on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

Digital Learning Day 2019 is February 28
Each year, states, districts, schools, and classrooms across the United States and around the world hold thousands of events to celebrate Digital Learning Day. If you’re planning to participate in Digital Learning Day 2019, you can add your event to the map and access promotional graphics.

Open Education Week is March 4-8
Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Consortium, the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase the impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Week has become one of the foremost global events recognizing high achievement and excellence in open education.

ALA Launches New Advocacy Resources
Library advocates have new tools to make their case for support, thanks to the American Library Association. ALA launched a new and growing set of advocacy tools at ala.org/advocacy in January as part of the campaign “Libraries = Strong Communities” by ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. American Libraries notes that “The concrete examples of storytelling, relationship building, and year-round advocacy are designed to encourage ALA members and library advocates to positively impact how community influencers and decision makers at all levels engage with libraries.”

Melinda Gates to Serve as 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be honorary chair of National Library Week, April 7 – 13, 2019. Over the last 20 years, Gates has invested more than $1 billion through her foundation’s Global Libraries initiative to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. “Libraries = Strong Communities” is the theme for this year’s celebration of National Library Week, reminding the public that libraries of all types serve as change agents that strengthen communities by supporting community engagement and providing services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.

AASL Celebrates 2019 School Library Month with Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey, New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series, will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2019 celebration of School Library Month (SLM). Observed in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month celebrates school libraries as open, equitable, and personalized learning environments necessary for every student’s well-rounded education.

American Library Association Announces 2019 Youth Media Award Winners
The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in January in Seattle, Washington. The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall. See the rest.

Find Free Resources from the STAR Library Network 
Explore fantastic ways to bring science, technology, and fun into your programs and services. STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals facilitate STEM learning for their patrons by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. Be sure to check out the Summer of Space resources that align with this year’s summer reading theme.

Policy Brief: Public Libraries Engage Families in STEM
Although emerging research points to the strong influence of families on children’s growth and development, a focus on joint parent and child STEM learning is still nascent. This new policy brief from the Global Family Research Project examines how public libraries, with federal and state support, are creating STEM learning that brings together children and families across the K–12 years.

Take the Teaching with the Library of Congress Podcast Survey
School librarians — do you enjoy podcasts? Do you ever share ideas inspired by podcasts, or use tips you learn from podcasts, with students or colleagues? The Library of Congress’s Learning and Innovation Office is interested in learning from educators who work with learners of all ages (children and adults), in both formal and informal learning environments. Your input and perspectives will help shape content that is engaging, informative, thought-provoking, and useful, whether by podcast or other media.

Booklist Announces July 2019 as Graphic Novels in Libraries Month
July 2019 will be Booklist’s Graphic Novels in Libraries Month, an innovative, first-of-its-kind program through which the American Library Association’s review journal for public libraries will forge key partnerships between libraries and publishers while providing librarians with the tools they need to select, curate, and promote graphic titles for patrons of all ages. The program kicks off at the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. (June 20–25).

The Magic of Finding New Donors
What’s the best way to find new donors and grow your library fundraising? According to CauseVox, “Community-driven fundraising leverages your current supporters’ social networks and connections for your organization. It transforms community members into supporters and supporters into advocates for your cause. It’s based on relationships instead of transactions.” Read the full article to learn how.

Registration Opens for AASL National Conference
Registration is now open for the 2019 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. The conference, taking place Nov. 14-16, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky, will bring together school librarians, administrators, authors, and exhibitors for in-depth learning and networking. AASL is also accepting proposals for the best practice showcase to be held on the Saturday of the conference.

Jump Start Kindergarten Resources from the ICFL
Sharing early literacy practices, such as Every Child Ready to Read’s five early literacy practices (“Sing, Talk, Read, Write, Play”), the Jump Start Kindergarten program from the Idaho Commission for Libraries is an outreach activity that connects library staff with parents/caregivers of young children and emphasizes daily activities that will help children learn to read. While the program itself is specific to Idaho, they’ve compiled many resources to support early literacy and learning and give kids a ‘Jump Start.’

Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons
From the ALA OIF: According to the American Library Association, “hate speech stops being just speech and becomes conduct when it targets a particular individual and includes behavior that interferes with a patron’s ability to use the library.” Recently the ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and the Office of Intellectual Freedom collaborated on the development of a resource for library workers who have experienced hateful conduct and speech in their workspaces. Applicable for all library types, their guide can be used to help initiate conversations among staff and within local communities.

New Tutorial Webcasts in FDLP Academy
Six new govinfo webcasts are now available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Academy. These webcasts are part of a new series of tutorials that offer users introductory guidance in navigating GPO’s govinfo, performing various types of searches, narrowing search results, browsing, and using Help features. Recordings are brief—from two to seven minutes in length. No prerequisite knowledge is required, and more webcasts will be posted and announced throughout 2019.

U.S. Ratifies the Marrakesh Treaty
President Donald J. Trump signed the documents for the U.S. to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled on January 28, 2019. The treaty allows limited copyright exceptions for the reproduction of published works in formats accessible to the blind and visually impaired. It is intended to reduce the global shortage of print materials in accessible formats for the many millions of persons who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities

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