Happy American Archives Month

Oct. 20th, 2014 05:36 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

Beverly (MA) High School is a happening place!  Last week BHS graduate Angie Miller, an American Idol finalist visited.  And the day after, AOTUS spent the day—the first time since June of 1963!

As I said many times during the day, it was not the same Beverly High School that I left.  I was tremendously impressed with the seamless integration of technology throughout, the active participation of the students in the learning experience, and the excitement of the students hosting a visitor from Washington.

AOTUS at classroom at Beverly High School
David Ferriero visits student classrooms at Beverly High School. Photo by The Salem News

I got to visit classrooms, chop onions and garlic in a culinary arts class, and speak to hundreds of students in an afternoon assembly.  I wanted to make my time with them as meaningful as possible so suggested that we do some crowdsourcing of questions in advance.  Lots of great questions arrived which sorted neatly into four categories:  the records, the job, the institution, and personal questions.

What type of documents do you archive?  Do you read all of them? What happens if you touch an historical document?  What is your role in government?  What are your daily duties?  What is your salary?  How do you keep it all organized?  Is there very tight security in the archives?  What do you wear to work?  Have you ever … [ Read all ]

Learning to Break the Rules

Oct. 20th, 2014 04:38 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
...I get straight As, always dress properly, never break curfew, and am so unfailingly obedient that my best friend, Shoshana, likes to joke that I should change my initials from DFB—Devorah Frayda Blum—to FFB, short for “frum from birth,” which is basically the Yiddish equivalent of “hopeless goody two-shoes.” My parents, of course, are thrilled with the virtuous daughter they’ve raised, but as their expectations rise, mine lower. Because the life of a good girl, of a doting wife and mother, is a cloudless blue sky stretching across a flat horizon. And as it rages outside I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be in the eye of the storm.
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I knew I’d like to write about some good, new Halloween-inspired children’s books this month, and it just occurred to me that this week would be a good one to do that. Halloween is in two weeks, but you gotta have enough time to look for them on library or bookstore shelves, yes? So, let’s get right to it. I’ve seen a handful of these seasonal books, but here are some of my favorites from 2014.
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

You might have heard that a Vatican Synod on the Family document that originally referred to “welcoming homosexual persons” was re-translated as “providing for homosexual persons”, along with other changes that downplayed the welcoming attitude of the first document. This is a link to the original Italian. If you’re like me, a non-Italian speaker, I encourage you to find an Italian dictionary like the one available to Alaskans through Oxford Premium Reference. This can help you make up your own mind about whether this document was translated well the second time.

I doubt it, just from looking at the header “Accogliere le persone omosessuali” in the Italian. The original translation rendered this as “Welcoming homosexual persons.” The re-translation rendered it as “Providing for homosexual persons.” I checked two Italian dictionaries plus Google Translate. All provided “Welcome(ing) as a preferred translation of Accogliere. One could get to “Providing for” by using the FIFTH option for Accogliere from italian.about.com which is “Accommodate” and then say “Accommodate” is like “Providing for” but that feels like a tortured translation to me.

I also looked at the Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary: Italian-English (4 ed.) and it offered receive; (con piacere) welcome; (contenere) hold, none of which seem amenable to being changed to “Providing for”

If someone wants to cite a more authoritative dictionary, I’m willing to listen. Until then I feel like the re-translation is an effort by conservative English speaking bishops to blunt the language of Rome.

Filed under: christianity, current events Tagged: catholic church, homosexuals

A Book Fair You Should Know About

Oct. 16th, 2014 06:46 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
On a beautiful Saturday in late August, I headed to the Nashville Public Library with my young daughters to attend an event called the Coretta Scott King Awards Book Fair. At this event, children and teens engaged in writing and art workshops, presented by award-winning authors and illustrators. I’d never heard of it before and quickly learned that neither had many parents I know, not to mention even library and teacher colleagues of mine.

Eugene Yelchin

Oct. 16th, 2014 06:03 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
 Whether author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin is creating a piece of art or a story, he must “feel the material,” he says. “It has to really move me emotionally.” In the case of Arcady’s Goal, a story about two survivors of Stalinist oppression who learn to become a family, Yelchin was moved by a photograph of his father, Arcady, pictured in 1945 with team members on the Red Army Soccer Club. Yelchin’s character Arcady, a courageous 12-year-old soccer talent, lives in a starkly brutal orphanage (his parents, deemed enemies of the people, are dead), and much of the story is about Arcady learning to trust Ivan, the kind and decent man who adopts him. In turn, Ivan (who’s had his own devastating loss) learns to open his heart again as well.
[syndicated profile] webaim_feed

Posted by Jared Smith

Happy Birthday WebAIM!

This month WebAIM celebrates its 15th birthday. WebAIM began in October 1999 as a small, grant-funded project with a mission to increase awareness of web accessibility. Nobody at the time envisioned what it would evolve into. We’ve been involved in many different grant and research projects over the years, and have slowly transitioned to focus more on providing consultation services and training.

Our staff has grown, changed, and evolved – and we’ve had dozens of student workers come through WebAIM’s doors and then leave with a better understanding of web accessibility. In the coming months we’ll be highlighting several current and former WebAIM staff.

15 years after beginning, WebAIM’s primary mission is still to increase awareness of web accessibility. We look forward to another 15 years of serving the community with free information, resources, and tools, and by providing value to clients through web accessibility expertise and services. In addition to the exciting announcements below, WebAIM will be providing many other new and exciting updates as we commemorate our 15th birthday.

WAVE Chrome Extension

To celebrate our birthday, we’re happy to announce the beta release of the WAVE Chrome Extension. You can install the free Chrome Extension at the Chrome Web Store.

We remind you that this is a beta release. We know there are some bugs and we will work to resolve them in the coming weeks. Please let us know if you find bugs or have recommendations.

In the near future we will be updating the Firefox extension to include the new WAVE functionality present in the Chrome extension and online at http://wave.webaim.org/.

Free WAVE API Subscriptions

As another gift to the community, WebAIM is providing free access to the WAVE online API service until the end of 2014. Simply register for an account and you’ll be given 2500 free credits – a $75 value. The free credits expire on January 1.

A new feature of the WAVE API is that the page is evaluated after JavaScript and CSS have been applied to the page. This allows a much more accurate representation of end user accessibility.

Oliver Jeffers

Oct. 15th, 2014 06:12 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Unbridled creativity in publishing is nothing but an optimistic notion. Darling characters, plots and illustrated spreads are not only reigned in, they’re killed, shredded, pummeled, resuscitated and reshaped for publication. Keen eyes, ears and a preternatural sense of audience constantly create and answer bookshelf trends. No more vampires! Nix the collage books! Bring me a cross-cultural supernatural romance set in Civil War–era Georgia!
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
What do you get when you put three ferociously smart, opinionated people together to talk about books? You get hours (and I do mean hours, spread over three days) of grueling, stimulating book discussion, lots of disagreement—and one incredible shortlist, the details of which you can read about here.

Cornelia Funke

Oct. 14th, 2014 06:19 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
New York Times best-selling author Cornelia Funke (perhaps best known for her Inkheart trilogy) says Emma and the Blue Genie came to life through the granting of wishes. Funke had been working with the German illustrator Kerstin Meyer on her book Princess Pigsty and says she “loved that pig so much, that it became my favorite book for the younger ones. So I said to her, ‘We have to do another one!’ I wrote The Pirate Pig, and again the illustrations were just brilliant. And that’s when I said to Kerstin, ‘Thank you very much, now you get to have a wish!’ ”

Our National History and You

Oct. 13th, 2014 01:00 pm
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Posted by Social Media

Today’s post comes from Markus Most, Director of the Digitization Division at the National Archives.

Here at the National Archives, we’re working on a new, cross-office project to make accessible audiovisual records of World War I and World War II. We are digitizing public domain films and photographs so that they will be available for everyone to use, from teachers and local community groups to designers and filmmakers.

From the homefront to the front lines, these films and photographs tell stories from many different sides of the American experience. We want to enable communities to use them to tell their own stories at the local level. Our Motion Picture Preservation Lab is hard at work digitizing films from both global conflicts. We’ve made 25 films available and will make over 50 more films available this year. Additionally, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Motion Picture Preservation Lab undertook a full digital restoration of The True GloryYou can view a selection of films on NARA’s Youtube Channel and try your hand at transcribing and translating them on our Amara page.

A War Department film made during WWII detailing the importance of film for training, morale, and entertainment purposes.

To connect this important historical material with the widest possible audience, we’re partnering with Historypin. Historypin is a non-profit public history project that works around the globe to engage communities around local history content. Specifically for this project, Historypin is surveying customers, developing customer summaries, and helping us reach out to new digital content users. We have already worked with Historypin on many exciting projects over the last few years, including the creation of several collections and virtual tours using our holdings, such as Women’s History collections, the March on Washington tour, the 1968 Democratic National Convention tour, and an indoor view of the White House Renovation under President Truman. We have also contributed to several collaborative projects such as the Hurricane Sandy remembrance project and the Abolitionist Map of America interactive map.

We are currently in the first phase of this project. We have reached out to audiences that have already used similar records from the National Archives, as well as those with plans to run commemoration events around upcoming WWI and WWII anniversaries. This is just the first step in providing better access to these materials, and informing how we curate unique experiences around the footage.  We are looking forward to seeing how this project helps more people engage with our holdings in new and unique ways!

What audiences do you think we should engage with using our new digitized content?

[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I have had an F&G (an early, unbound copy) of Mac Barnett’s Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by Jon Klassen, since summer of this year, I believe. Since then, I’ve read it at many story times* and watched slow smiles form on the faces of children as they begin to realize they’re hearing a wicked funny book. (Also, I saw lots of jaws drop.)
[syndicated profile] nara_feed

Posted by Social Media

Today’s post comes from Markus Most, Director of the Digitization Division at the National Archives.

Based on your input, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has revised its digitization strategy, and we are once again asking for your feedback!

The National Archives 2014-2018 Strategic Plan puts forth a bold vision for NARA in providing unprecedented access to our records and promoting public participation to accomplish our goals. NARA’s digitization strategy must also present a clear path forward in meeting our goal of public access to NARA records in digital form.

We have reflected on areas in which NARA has succeeded in meeting its digitization challenges, as well as examined those areas in which we have opportunities for considerable growth.

The Past is Behind Us, The Future is Ahead. National Archives Identifier 541774


Our revised strategy outlines some key approaches to digitization at NARA:

  • Cultivating partnerships with institutions and organizations from a variety of fields and business models to continue and expand on the success of our current digitization partnerships.
  • Encouraging public engagement in the digitization of our records by establishing a Contributor status for donated images and actively working with researchers to gather digital images of NARA holdings.
  • Creating a “culture of digitization” within NARA by incorporating a focus on online access into our work processes.

So tell us, what are your thoughts? The revised strategy is available here: http://www.archives.gov/digitization/strategy.html

Post your comments on this blog post, or email digitization@nara.gov. Please send us your comments by November 14, 2014.


[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

The National Archives’ Strategic Plan includes a simple, but audacious initiative: to digitize our analog records and make them available for online public access. We have over 12 billion pages of records, so yes, this is our moon shot.

To achieve this goal, we know we need to think in radically new ways about our processes, and we have started by creating a new digitization strategy.  From the time we published our 2008 digitization strategy through today, we have scanned over 230 million objects.  This is a huge number, but we have a long road ahead.  Our new strategy pushes us further.

Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford
Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford, Powell Group film scanner, taken April 1961. National Archives Identifier 7665735.

We know we cannot do all of this by ourselves. We will continue to collaborate and build on efforts with private and public organizations to digitize records, as well as branch out to citizen archivists, other federal agencies and institutions worldwide. We will develop clear processes and technologies to support a workflow from staff digitization efforts, as well as ensure that records arriving at NARA are accompanied by standardized metadata, and make them available online in a shorter period of time.

We will set measures and track progress for each of these approaches, because we believe we can make digital access happen and we … [ Read all ]

The 2014 Cybils Awards

Oct. 9th, 2014 01:51 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
It’s early October, which means that nominations for the 2014 Cybils are in full swing! Founded in 2006, the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards aim to celebrate books that have literary merit AS WELL AS kid appeal. During the open nominations period, anyone (excepting authors, publishers, and publicists—their turn comes later) can nominate an eligible title:
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