Take virtual tours of Boston-area cultural institutions from home

Residents of the Boston area are spending a lot more time at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic that has led to not only limits on how many people can gather at one time and where but to the closure of myriad cultural institutions

But many of these same institutions—museums, parks, performing arts centers, libraries, and more—offer virtual peeks into their exhibits, collections, and other offerings. Some even have snazzy videos that really take your inside. And all of this from the (relative) comfort of your own home.

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Kid Lit Authors Step Up To Help Educators, Students, and Parents

As educators, parents, and students enter this unknown territory of school closures and remote learning, kid lit authors and illustrators have been stepping up to help. Many are parents themselves and juggling the same school/work balance amid the stress and uncertainty.

“Gina and I are transitioning to homeschooling,” tweeted Jarrett J. Krosoczka, creator of the graphic novel Hey Kiddo among other titles. “We need to keep the kids on a schedule, and we are imagining we are far from alone. We want to help. Every weekday at 2pm ET for at least the next few weeks, I’ll host free webcasts for you and your kiddos. http://youtube.com/studiojjk

Read More from the School Library Journal

Self-quarantined and looking for something to do? Take the census, state says

Hundreds are self-quarantining in Massachusetts. Colleges are sending students home. Social interaction is edging toward taboo.

That’s not the ideal environment to conduct a nationwide head count. So with the launch of the 2020 Census on Thursday, Secretary of State William F. Galvin made a plea to Massachusetts’s estimated 6.9 million residents to not only ensure they’re counted, but to do it online.

“I now see this is as a lifeline, as it were, given the circumstances we’re now under,” Galvin said Thursday of the option to respond to the 2020 Census electronically, though the old-fashioned avenues — by phone, by mail, or to a census taker face-to-face — all remain.

Read More from the Boston Globe

Local libraries embrace technology

The first public library opened in Boston between 1711 and 1725. Since then, to say the least, things have changed. Entering the technological age, libraries have had to make great leaps to ensure they keep up with the profusion of new forms of knowledge. While some may still view libraries as places to search through stacks of books – which, of course, they are – they have also become havens of futuristic learning and living.

Hometown Weekly’s communities provide perfect examples of just such technologically-enhanced libraries.

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Question 1 passes: Greenfield to get new library

The city will get a new library now that the ballot question passed. The $19.5 million library was approved by a vote of 3,294 to 2,108 Tuesday. Ed Berlin stood reading the tickets taped to the wall across from the Greenfield High School gym. Berlin saw that he won by precinct in the seven of the eight available, and turned to his fellow library supporters to say, calmly and quietly, “We did it, we did it, we did it.”

Read More at the Greenfield Recorder

Medford celebrates end of Medford Public Library building

The old Medford Public Library building will be coming down this fall, and Medford residents, city officials and library employees were able to celebrate and reflect on the building this past weekend.

On Saturday, the city held a party at the old library building at 111 High St. in Medford from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for kids and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for adults, and everyone was welcome to attend.

Read more on Wicked Local Medford

Orange libraries to showcase community bookmarks next month

Pick up a bookmark at one of Orange’s libraries next month, and they might have some familiar faces on them.

Local firemen, dance students, a coach and library fans are just a few of the people pictured on a series of bookmarks the Orange public libraries have been creating this year.

In a project funded by the Friends of the Orange Libraries, library staff have been hosting photo shoots of different members of the community, printing their images on bookmarks, and will be giving the bookmarks out for free at both libraries — Moore-Leland Library on Athol Road in North Orange, and Wheeler Memorial Library on East Main Street — in September.

Read more on the Greenfield Recorder

ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom: Lynda’s Privacy Problem

The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom Blog highlights Lynda’s relationship with LinkedIn and problems that may cause for libraries:

In 2015, Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn, the professional networking site used by job-seekers and employers, and has since been rebranded as LinkedIn Learning. Recently, an email from a local librarian to the Connecticut library listserv alerted the community to a problematic platform update to LyndaLibrary/LinkedIn Learning. Library users would be required to create a LinkedIn account to use the LyndaLibrary technology learning resources. That librarian expressed concerns about patron privacy on LinkedIn. Other librarians consulted their account representatives and when pushed on the patron privacy concerns, they failed to adequately address the privacy concerns. As a result, a few libraries have reported that they would not be renewing their contracts with LyndaLibrary/LinkedIn Learning.

Read more on the Intellectual Freedom Blog