Digital Library Digest: April 25, 2013

By Vicky Zeamer, April 25, 2013.
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New U.S. National Archives  website, “The Digital Vaults,” promotes kids use of primary sources

“The U.S. National Archives Experience Digital Vaults offers students a good introduction to discovering and working with primary source materials. Rather than turning kids loose on millions of records in the National Archives, Digital Vaults focuses on a curated collection of 1,200 items. Within the site, there are activities designed to help students discover important connections between primary sources. One section, Pathways Challenges, provides quizzes that ask kids to analyze a specific resource and then find the related document within the collection. Teachers and students can create their own quizzes or take advantage of the premade challenges. Students who create free Digital Vaults accounts can collect primary source documents and images and use them to create digital posters and videos within the available templates.”

From Richard Byrne’s article for The Digital Shift, Getting Kids Engaged with Primary Sources | Cool Tools

Announcement from House Judiciary Committee signaling the start of a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law 

“Technology continues to rapidly advance. Contrast how American citizens kept up with the latest news in Boston last week to when Paul Revere rode nearby to warn the local communities of the British advance in 1775. Our Founding Fathers could never have imagined a day in which citizens would be able to immediately access the knowledge and news of the world on their smartphones as they walk down the street.”

From a press release from the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Goodlatte Announces Comprehensive Review of Copyright Law

Simon & Schuster Launches Library Ebook Pilot

“The last holdout from the major trade publishers, Simon & Schuster, this morning announced the start of an ebook pilot (PDF file) with New York City public libraries. The program, which launches April 30, will make all “frontlist and backlist titles that are available as ebooks” available to libraries “simultaneous with their publication.””

From Christopher Harris’s article for American Libraries Magazine, Simon & Schuster Launches Library Ebook Pilot

Library of Congress wins special Grammy Award for work to preserve historic audio recordings

““It raises the profile of great American recordings from all genres, even spoken word, great speeches, great music,” he said. “It just brings attention to this incredible wealth of riches we have in our American culture.””

“The Grammy Foundation pushed for legislation in Congress more than 10 years ago to create the preservation program at the library. So far, 375 audio recordings have been preserved through the program for their historic, artistic or cultural significance. This year’s inductees include Simon and Garfunkel’s album “Sounds of Silence” and Chubby Checker’s dance hit “The Twist.””

From an Associated Press article printed in The Washington Post, Library of Congress wins special Grammy Award for work to preserve historic audio recordings

City Hall Protestors Rally Against Sale of Libraries

““Our city libraries are civic treasures, and they should be treated as such,” Mr. Liu said in a statement released after his appearance at a rally on the steps of City Hall. ”Selling our libraries to private corporations trades a small, short-term gain for a big, permanent loss.””

“Some critics have raised concerns about the proposed sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library, saying it resembles the closing of the Donnell Library in 2008. Others are upset about a $300 million plan by the New York Public Library to sell off the Mid-Manhattan branch as well as the Science, Industry and Business Library as part of an effort to finance the renovation and reconfiguration of the library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue.”

From Robin Pogrebin’s article for The New York Times, City Hall Protestors Rally Against Sale of Libraries