JFK 100 Centennial Celebration

May. 23rd, 2017 02:23 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by davidferriero

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy. In commemoration of this centennial, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will be hosting a series of events and activities throughout the year.

JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos is the newest exhibition at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, opening on Friday, May 26 at 11:00 am. This exhibition chronicles historic milestones in the President’s career and administration, as well as the events of his personal and family life. Discover all of the JFK100 events and activities during the centennial celebration: learn more about the legacy of JFK, explore and contribute to the “Where in the World is JFK?” interactive map, find an event near you, and see how the National Archives is celebrating throughout the year.

Join us today for #JFK100 Social Media Day! Throughout the day, the National Archives will join other archives, museums, and cultural organizations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth.

Learn about the life, Presidency, and legacy of JFK through social media activities hosted by the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) community. Experts will be on hand to talk about the impact of President Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the Kennedy White House. Whether your interests are in science and innovation, arts and culture, public service, civil rights, or peace and diplomacy, there will be so much for you to explore!

Explore the full schedule of events and activities.

Four New Sporty Middle Grade Novels

May. 22nd, 2017 04:38 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
While I’m not particularly up on real-life sports, well, EVER—I vaguely track various seasons by what uniforms my younger patrons are wearing, and that’s about it—reading fiction that’s centered around sports is a whole different ballgame.

Sarah Prager

May. 22nd, 2017 06:58 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Oh, how I wish an anthology of LGBTQ heroes existed in the 1990s! Back then there were so few queer role models, I was convinced I couldn’t be a lesbian because I didn’t have short hair.

Books to Fall For

May. 19th, 2017 05:18 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I know we haven’t seen Summer picture book releases yet, so forgive me, but I’m looking at my stack of Fall picture book F&Gs and wanting to write a sneak-peek about some books I’m excited to see. F&Gs, for those who may think I’m suddenly and inexplicably cursing (“F&Gs” has always sounded like that to me), are early, pre-bound versions of picture books. Think of them as picture book galleys. (And because they are not bound, if you drop one, you will likely lose the story thread altogether, since dropping one means about ten or so very wide pages slide across the floor, gleefully giving you the middle finger and laughing at your attempts to put them back in order. I suggest investing in rubber bands if F&Gs are a part of your life.)

Join us for #JFK100 Social Media Day

May. 18th, 2017 09:01 pm
[syndicated profile] nara_feed

Posted by usnationalarchives

JFK-100-Social-Media-Day-Graphic

Join us for #JFK100 Social Media Day on Tuesday, May 23!

Archives, museums, and cultural organizations will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth. Learn about the life, Presidency, and legacy of JFK through social media activities hosted by the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) community.

Experts will be on hand to talk about the impact of President Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the Kennedy White House. Whether your interests are in science and innovation, arts and culture, public service, civil rights, or peace and diplomacy, there will be so much for you to explore!

When: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Time: All Day

Where: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube and more

How it works: Follow the hashtag #JFK100 to join in the conversations or use the hashtag to share photos, history, memories about JFK!

The full schedule of events can be found on archives.gov. We hope you can join us!

She's Out

May. 18th, 2017 12:59 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed

Tomorrow is a highway broad and fair,
And we are the many who'll travel there.
Tomorrow is a highway broad and fair,
And we are the workers who'll build it there;
And we will build it there.

Come, let us build a way for all mankind,
A way to leave this evil year behind,
To travel onward to a better year
Where love is, and there will be no fear,
Where love is and no fear.

Now is the shadowed year when evil men,
When men of evil thunder war again.
Shall tyrants once again be free to tread,
Above our most brave and honored dead?
Our brave and honored dead.

O, comrades, come and travel on with me,
We'll go to our new year of liberty.
Come, walk upright, along the people's way,
From darkness, unto the people's day.
From dark, to sunlit day.

Tomorrow is a highway broad and fair
And hate and greed shall never travel there
But only they who've learned the peaceful way
Of brotherhood, to greet the coming day.
We hail the coming day.

("Tomorrow Is A Highway" -- words by Lee Hays, music by Pete Seeger)






















We didn't know how it was going to turn out. We thought she'd be in prison for decades more. And then, even after President Obama commuted her sentence, I remained privately worried that something would happen, some snag or tragedy. Yesterday she got to have a hot slice of pizza -- so a few people gathered at my apartment and shared pizza and toasted her release. It was so good to have something to celebrate with friends.

I've been listening over and over to "Tomorrow Is A Highway". It's got some lovely stark lines, like "leave this evil year behind." Time and space have unified ; it doesn't say that we'll walk into the future, but rather, that the future is this journey, and there are only two time durations in this song, days and years -- tomorrow is a highway upon which we'll travel to a better year. And it's sort of a mix of prescriptive and descriptive, prophetically defining us as the people who are making this tomorrow. This song does not explicitly say "this might happen" or "we should hope for this to happen"; instead it combines "this will happen" and "let's make it happen". It's less a song of hope, and more a song of faith and promise and invitation.

It can be hard to let go of hope, and it can be hard to let go of dread. I can stop holding my breath now. She's out. We've moved from promise to fact.

I can't seem to find my copy of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed at the moment -- did I lend it to you? In it, Shevek thinks a few times about how our conception of time and promises and intentions work together -- a coherent future doesn't just happen, it's intentional human actions that make a "road" and breaking promises denies and breaks that "road" connecting past, present, and future.

I have been feeling as though nothing is solid under my feet. And part of that is that I couldn't trust that she'd really get to be free. But now she is. And for the sake of my own forward motion I shall work as though the next stretch of the road exists too -- perhaps every step is in some measure a leap of faith.

Backlist Faves

May. 18th, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before, I love exploring backlists. Right now, for example, I’ve been working my way through all of Betty Ren Wright’s books—everyone knows The Dollhouse Murders, but she wrote DOZENS of other chapter books—and after reading Sue Macy’s Motor Girls for the Amelia Bloomer Project, I’ve been working my way through her older books as well.

Cary Fagan

May. 17th, 2017 06:05 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
For Canadian author Cary Fagan, there’s no format as freeing as a picture book.

PyCon & WisCon

May. 16th, 2017 09:56 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
I just updated my "Talks" page -- I'll be at PyCon May 19-25, to represent Zulip at a booth and then to help run the Zulip development sprint. I will likely also have a new zine to share!

And then I'll fly straight from there to Madison for WisCon. I am not on any panels at WisCon this year but I'm the auctioneer for the auction benefiting the Tiptree Award. This year's auction includes a signed first edition hardcover of Octavia Butler's novel Wild Seed, an "Elect Alison Hendrix" pin from Orphan Black, an art print of "Aswang, at Night" by M Sereno, and a bunch more.

(As much as I love Open Source Bridge, I won't be there this year, and I won't be at Worldcon 75 (Helsinki) either, in case you're wondering.)

Fashioning a Friendship

May. 15th, 2017 05:49 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
This year, the focus of the annual scholarship contest to Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design is on fashion. Applicants who are accepted into the contest will take part in a one-day intensive workshop at Green Pastures, and then will have two months to put together—on paper and then in fabric—a design for their chosen model. The winner receives a one-year scholarship to the Green Pastures Fashion Program.

Getting Down to Earth

May. 12th, 2017 06:40 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Earth Day 2017 may have passed, but I’m a firm believer in the notion that, as many bumper stickers like to so succinctly put it, Earth Day is every day. I’ve been keeping my eye out for picture books—the fictional, story-time types, that is—that get children thinking about this planet we live on and how to best take care of it. It’s tough: no one wants to read a book wagging its finger in your face, so some picture books handle this better than others. Let’s look at three of them today.
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by davidferriero

Today we celebrated Public Service Recognition Week with our annual 2017 Archivist’s Achievement Awards Program. Since 1985, the first week of May has been set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as Federal, state, county, and local government employees. The Archivist’s Awards Ceremony provides the opportunity to thank all staff for their passion and dedication to serving the mission of the National Archives and the American people.

Because the good work of this agency takes place in all our facilities across the nation, we sent NARA executives to Valmeyer, Lee’s Summit, Denver, San Francisco, Fort Worth, Seattle, as well as the Carter and Nixon Presidential Libraries and the Ford Presidential Museum so they could congratulate Archivist’s Award winners in person.

Just about every day I receive comments praising the work of NARA staff, so this year we gave our customers a chance to directly sing their praises. Throughout the ceremony, we featured videos of researchers and customers thanking our staff and sharing how they benefit from the work that we do.

The Archivist’s Awards Ceremony is important to me. This event honors the remarkable work that happens at this agency every single day. And it gives me the opportunity to highlight some of our staff’s amazing accomplishments.

NARA staff disposed of a LOT of temporary records; expedited requests for World War II military service verifications; declassified and released 113,000 pages of withheld records; transferred the electronic Presidential records of the Obama administration; planned and executed the Obama Presidential Library temporary site; cut the aging rate of records at Archives II by 45 percent; ensured the protection and repair of records after a fire incident; and closed the 10 oldest FOIA requests. And these are just a few examples!

This year, we had 66 nominations for awards. Today, we recognized our colleagues who gave their time and talents to make the National Archives a great place to work. We recognized colleagues who went above and beyond expectations and succeeded in ways not intended. View all of the award winners in the 2017 Archivist’s Achievement Awards Program.

I also took a moment to remember our six colleagues who passed away this past year: Kahlil Chism, Terryll Lumpkin, Joseph Doucette, Jerry H. Griffith, Marilyn Redman, and Cathryn Westfeldt. We acknowledge their lasting contributions to the work of the National Archives.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients. And I thank you each of you who protect, release, move, store, process, dispose, transfer, declassify, exhibit, digitize, and promote our records and support our staff in all that they do.

It takes every one of us working together as a team in pursuit of NARA’s mission to successfully provide access to Federal records. Especially in times of budgetary uncertainty, it is important to remind ourselves of the importance of our mission. Democracy depends upon the work that we do.

Thank you for your service.

Summer Reading with Kwame Alexander

May. 11th, 2017 05:56 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
It doesn’t take much to get award-winning, bestselling poet and author Kwame Alexander excited, especially if you’re talking about books and children and teens. If you’ve ever seen him speak, you know this Newbery winner is high-energy and has great passion for his work.

Summer Reading with Kwame Alexander

May. 11th, 2017 06:50 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
It doesn’t take much to get award-winning, bestselling poet and author Kwame Alexander excited, especially if you’re talking about books and children and teens. If you’ve ever seen him speak, you know this Newbery winner is high-energy and has great passion for his work.

An Update on FOIA Improvement

May. 10th, 2017 07:20 pm
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Posted by davidferriero

The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in the National Archives drives improvements to the federal government’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process by serving as a neutral party to help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and agencies, and also by reviewing and identifying strategies to improve agency FOIA compliance. By carrying out these dual missions, OGIS is uniquely situated to understand FOIA issues from the perspective of agencies and requesters and make recommendations to improve the FOIA process for all of the stakeholders  As I blogged about last summer, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 further strengthened and solidified the office’s role as the FOIA Ombudsman.

Since October 1, 2016, OGIS has been contacted by customers for assistance with FOIA requests more than 2,500 times.  These requests for assistance range from simple questions about how the FOIA process works to complex matters involving information that an agency is withholding. Over the same time period, OGIS has also issued targeted recommendations to strengthen the FOIA programs at the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Privacy Office, which has Department-wide responsibility for setting FOIA policy.

Office of Government Information Services Sunshine Week Program. David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States (right), and Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, answer questions at a dialogue about access to the nation’s treasures at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., on 3/13/17. NARA photo by Jess Deibert.

OGIS’s dispute resolution and compliance programs are supported and influenced by robust outreach efforts that ensure the office is constantly learning more about our customer’s views and issues with the FOIA process. I recently had the pleasure of helping to kick off a series of OGIS events in the William G. McGowan Theater that reflect the office’s engagement of the community and special role in the FOIA process.

The morning of April 20, 2017, I gave opening remarks at OGIS’s first annual Open Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to comment on the office’s reviews and reports. After an informational presentation on OGIS’s recent work given by the office’s Director, Alina M. Semo, several members of the public made comments on the office’s work. The comments made during the session covered diverse topics such as the link between the National Archives’ ongoing work to improve agencies’ management of electronic records—especially email—to a good FOIA process, and the increase in demand for OGIS’s dispute resolution services. In addition to posting video of the event and a transcript, OGIS is also posting the written comments they receive. If you have any feedback for the office, please direct your comments to ogis@nara.gov.

After the public comment period for the Open Meeting ended and a short break, we reconvened so that I could greet the audience for the quarterly meeting of the FOIA Advisory Committee.  I authorized the creation of the FOIA Advisory Committee by signing its initial two-year Charter on May 20, 2014, and renewed the Committee for an additional two-year term on July 21, 2016. The Committee brings together an equal mix of FOIA expertise from inside and outside of government to address FOIA’s greatest challenges. OGIS’s Director, Alina M. Semo, serves as the Committee’s Chair and OGIS staff provides the Committee with administrative support.

During its current term, the FOIA Advisory Committee has chosen to focus on three issues that reflect how technology has changed significantly the way government operates and the public’s expectations for access. Confronting these issues and developing consensus solutions is critical for the long-term health of the government’s FOIA process. The three issues are:

  • Search – In order to release records that are responsive to a FOIA request, agencies must first be able to find them; this task is complicated by the growth in the number of electronic records agencies produce each year. The Search Subcommittee is evaluating how agencies search for records, and what practices are the most effective.
  • Proactive Disclosure and Accessibility – The Proactive Disclosures and Accessibility Subcommittee is investigating strategies for reducing pressure on the FOIA system by releasing agency records in advance of a request. This Subcommittee is also looking at steps FOIA programs need to take to ensure records are accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Efficiencies and Resources – The Efficiencies and Resources Subcommittee is researching strategies agencies can use to make the best use of their FOIA program’s resources.

The subcommittees provide updates and discuss their work at the quarterly meetings. These meetings have also proven to be great opportunities to hear from guest speakers about particular areas of interest; during the April 20th meeting, a guest speaker from the Department of Justice spoke about the use of high-powered e-discovery tools in the FOIA process. The speaker, Doug Hibbard, shared some great insights into how these tools can improve the efficiency and efficacy of an agency’s search for responsive records. These presentations help inform the Committee’s understanding of the issues. As the current term of the FOIA Advisory Committee approaches the one-year mark, I am looking forward to hearing more about their findings, and reviewing their recommendations.

If you are interested in learning more about OGIS’s role in improving the FOIA process, I encourage you to check their regularly-updated blog, The FOIA Ombudsman. You can also keep up with their work and the latest news from the FOIA Advisory Committee by following @FOIA_Ombuds on Twitter.

OSCON, For a Single Day

May. 10th, 2017 01:59 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
I'm going to be at OSCON in Austin, Texas to represent Zulip in the Open Source Alley tomorrow (Thursday) 10am-4:30pm. Please consider coming by and getting a demo, or just talking with us about Python 3, mypy, and how we help new contributors (especially those who have a hard time setting up development environments on their own machines).
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