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Nearly 100 percent of libraries offer tech training and STEM programs, study finds

“According to a new study from the American Library Association ALA, nearly 100 percent of America’s public libraries offer workforce development training programs, online job resources, and technology skills training. Combined with maker spaces, coding classes, and programs dedicated to entrepreneurship and small business development, libraries are equipping U.S. communities with the resources and skills needed to succeed in today’s – and tomorrow’s – global marketplace.” (via ALA Dispatch)

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St. Louis library opens recording studio

“When Charles Thomas tells his friends he’s in the studio working on his latest release, they don’t expect to hear its being recorded at the library. ‘I tell them, ‘You want to come down you just got to bring your library card,’ says Charles Thomas.

Since January he’s put in 20 two hour sessions in the new creative experience lab. ‘So in Creative Experience we have Mac computers and they’re all set up in collaborative work areas we call them pods,’ says Andrea Johnson, the Creative Experience Specialist.  ‘They have the iLife suite on them which is Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto and we also have Adobe Creative Suite Six which includes Photoshop and Dreamweaver.’ (via FOX2now.com)

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Library launches alternate reality game ahead of Comic-Con

“The Downtown Central Library is getting gamers geared up for Comic-Con in a unique way.  The public library has launched an alternate reality game that participants say is the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming four-day expo. “An alternate reality game is an interactive story that takes place in real time, in a real world setting such as here in Central Library, which involves players solving puzzles and perfuming activities,” said Erwin Magbanua, Special Events Librarian. Magbanua said the Central Library is one of just a handful of libraries across the country that has ever tried something like this.  The clues appear in email form and online as well as in the library.” (via KSWB)

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ALA applauds presidential signing of the workforce bill

“Today, President Barack Obama will sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a bill that will open access to federal funding support to public libraries for effective job training and job search programs. President Obama will sign the bill into law from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET in the White House Oval Office in Washington, D.C. (view live event). American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young applauded the presidential signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (via ALA applauds presidential signing of the workforce bill)

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Billy Joel to Receive Gerswhin Prize

“Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced that Billy Joel is the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. His piano-fueled narratives take listeners into the relatable and deeply personal moments of life, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that “meant something during the time in which I lived … and transcended that time.” “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” “The Entertainer,” “Piano Man,” “Big Shot,” “New York State of Mind,” “You May Be Right,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Allentown,” “Uptown Girl” and “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” are among many other classics in a rich and deep catalog of songs that have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people.” (via Library of Congress)

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Librarians Lack LeBron’s Pull as Miami Arena Deal Precedes Cuts

“Last month, Miami politicians approved a $19 million subsidy for the professional basketball arena. Six weeks later, they turned to a grimmer task: deciding how many police and librarians to fire.To plug a $64 million budget hole, Florida’s Miami-Dade County Commission this week began considering a plan to cut as many as 700 positions, including a fifth of the library staff and more than 300 police. Mayor Carlos Gimenez released the plan about a month after stadium deals with the Miami Dolphins football team and the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat, which lost star LeBron James to Cleveland last week.“It’s just a horrendous misallocation of resources,” said Xavier Suarez, a county commissioner who voted against the measures. “Instead of focusing the attention on the library, we’ve focused on getting money for sports franchises.” (via Bloomberg)

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U.S. libraries become front line in fight against homelessness

“George Brown, a homeless man in Washington, has a simple answer when asked how often he uses a public library. “Always. I have nowhere else to go,” Brown, 65, said outside the U.S. capital’s modernist central library after a morning reading sociology books. “When it’s hot, you come here to stay out of the heat. When it’s cold, you come here to stay out of the cold.” Brown is among the hundreds of thousands of homeless people who have put the almost 9,000 U.S. public libraries, the most of any country in the world, in the forefront of the battle against homelessness.” (via Reuters)

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Libraries battle bed bugs in books

“The vampire in the teen romance your daughter checked out from the library is fictional — but there could be a bloodsucker lurking in the book’s binding that isn’t make believe. A bed bug was spotted in a Las Vegas-Clark County Library District bin two weeks ago in the service center where 18,000 library items are sorted daily, said Karen Bramwell-Thomas, the district’s public relations manager. The stowaway was captured with tape, but some UNLV students think there might be a way to kill the creatures before they get past the book drop. UNLV undergraduate engineering students Jack Cheney, Nicole Ramos and Vachara Maneeraj created a solar-powered book drop that roasts bed bugs to death. The project was part of UNLV’s engineering senior design competition in May. All engineering students must collaborate for a year to produce a product using their engineering skills.” (via Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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Librarian transforms school bus to deliver books to kids in need

“She’s a school librarian turned bus driver. Jenny Granger is delivering books to kids around Snohomish to beat the “summer slide.” Between tests in June and September, there’s a general drop in students’ scores. Granger says a big factor is the fact kids don’t read as much during the summer. “We can complain about it or we can do something about it,” said Granger, a teacher and librarian at Snohomish’s Emerson Elementary.” (via HeraldNet.com)

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Multnomah County Library turns to ‘collaborative learning’ to lure teens in, keep them engaged

“Even in Multnomah County, where residents are known as some of the nation’s most enthusiastic library users, getting teens into the library can be a challenge. But a new effort to grasp teens’ attention – and hold it for more than a couple of hours – is showing promise. Coi Vu and her team at the library are hoping that a new focus on mentor-based programs that immerse teens in specific topics will keep them coming back for more. “We wanted to establish trust, and offer more programs that are interesting to them and get them working together,” said Vu, a youth and family programming coordinator for the library system.” (via Oregonian)

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