American Library Association • March 20, 2015

For more ALA and library news on a daily basis, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Youth Matters: Diversity on my mind

Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson (right) writes: “Is diversity on your mind? It needs to be. In our increasingly global society, it’s important that children are exposed to ways of life outside their own and that they see themselves reflected in the literature they access. Children’s librarians have an important role to play here. It’s not enough to follow the conversation on diversity. We need to consciously think about how we’re including diverse literature in programs, book lists, readers’ advisory, presentations, and displays until it becomes second nature.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

No closures: Kentucky libraries get favorable tax ruling

Kenton County Public Library, Covington, Kentucky

Libraries in Kentucky might not have to close after all. The Kentucky Court of Appeals in a 3–0 decision March 20 reversed two circuit court decisions in Kenton and Campbell counties that declared that libraries in those counties had improperly raised taxes for decades, according to a statement from the Kenton County Public Library (right). The lawsuits, filed by Tea Party activists, challenged the authority of library boards to raise property taxes without submitting a petition and putting it on the ballot. The appeals court found the libraries can raise their taxes without having to gather a petition. ALA and PLA issued a joint statement that congratulated the Kentucky Library Association on its efforts to win the appeal....

Cincinnati Enquirer, Mar 20; ALA Public Information Office, Mar. 20

Cuts to Vermont Department of Libraries

Vermont State Library

Vermont’s FY 2016 budget (proposed by Gov. Peter Shumlin and now under consideration in the legislature) contains a significant cut to the Vermont Department of Libraries. This means nearly 20% of its budget, or more than $400,000. A full picture of the cuts is still emerging, but the Vermont State Law Library has been slated for elimination. The Vermont Library Association issued a press release (PDF file) that expresses its concerns and itemizes many of the services that it provides in collaboration with libraries around the state....

Vermont Library Association, Mar. 20

Sponsored Content

Recorded Books Outlander series

Outlander returns to the small screen

Libraries can expect a boost in readership with the return of the TV series Outlander to Starz on April 4. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling book series, season one continues as Claire, now Mrs. Jamie Fraser, is captured by Black Jack Randall’s men.

Outlander won a 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci-fi/Fantasy TV Show, and the newest title in the book series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, received 2015 Audie Award nominations for both Fiction and Solo Narration (Female).

Advocates, teens protest Missouri library cuts

Save Missouri Libraries campaign protest at the State Capitol in Jefferson City

Supporters of the “Save Missouri Libraries” campaign held a rally at the State Capitol in Jefferson City on March 18, accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of trying to defund Missouri libraries by $6 million per year. The organization claims summer reading programs, internet access, and federal funds and grants could be at risk. It also claims library locations may have to restrict hours or close entirely without state funding. Some 100 teens advocating to save the libraries were ejected from the governor’s office by security after the governor’s press secretary said he was unaware that the group had an appointment and claimed the group was talking too loudly....

KOMU-TV, Columbia, Mo., Mar. 18; WDAF-TV, Kansas City, Mo., Mar. 19
ALA Annual Conference

Time is running out for LSTA and IAL

Time is running out

In order to save library funding from the chopping block—particularly the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs—library supporters need to contact offices of their representatives and senators and ask them to show support for continued library funding. Advocates can ask their lawmakers to sign “Dear Appropriator” letters about LSTA and IAL that three Members of Congress who are huge library champions have drafted to the appropriations committees in the House and Senate. Members of Congress need to hear from as many voters as possible....

District Dispatch, Mar. 20
AL Live

Orland Park settles lawsuits related to transparency

Orland Park (Ill.) Public Library

Orland Park (Ill.) Public Library officials have approved a $55,000 settlement with two individuals who sued the library over alleged transparency law violations in an ongoing dispute over the policy of giving adults unfiltered access to the internet. In 2014, Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan filed two lawsuits against the library, alleging several violations of the Illinois freedom of information law. The two have been outspoken critics of the library since October 2013, when they claimed they saw men viewing pornography on library computers, which is permitted under library policies. The pair filed dozens of FOI requests, seeking records on library policies and personnel....

Chicago Tribune, Mar. 20

March Medals Madness

March Medals Madness

On April 6 the shortlist for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced. Think you can predict the six titles and two winners the selection committee will choose from the longlist of 43 titles? Enter ALA’s March Medals Madness drawing for the chance to test your expertise. In Round One, readers can vote until noon on April 5 for six titles from the longlist (three fiction, three nonfiction) that they think will be selected for the 2015 shortlist. Round Two will begin in May and continue until the announcement of the medal winners on June 27 at ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco....

Andrew Carnegie Medals, Mar. 18

History comes alive in graphic novels

The Great American Dust Bowl, by Don Brown

Colleen Seisser writes: “Many graphic novels focus on moments in history. They are not just doing textbook coverage of historical events, but they are personalizing the events and making them more real to readers. Events seem more real when they are represented both by text and by art. Check out some of these graphic novels that will take you on a trip back in time. For example, The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown; Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi; and The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis.”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 20

Japanese retailer purchases OverDrive

Rakuten logo

Japanese online retailer Rakuten is buying US ebook company OverDrive for about $410 million, deepening its push into the US market. The Japanese e-commerce giant got into the e-reader game when it picked up hardware maker Kobo for $315 million in 2011. The acquisition of OverDrive, which currently offers ebook rental services to libraries and schools, is expected to be completed in April....

TechCrunch, Mar. 19; OverDrive, Mar. 19; Reuters, Mar. 19

Be a Citizen Ambassador to Vietnam and Cambodia

Vietnam photos

People to People Citizen Ambassador Delegations, in collaboration with ALA, is offering a custom-designed library and information services delegation to Vietnam and Cambodia led by ALA Past President Barbara J. Ford on October 5–15. Experience Southeast Asia firsthand with your peers through vibrant professional exchanges, valuable networking, and meaningful discussions tailored to your focus and interests. Find out more here....

ALA International Relations Office, Mar. 18

April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness

Ashley Waring writes: “April is Autism Awareness Month. Why not make this April an opportunity to reach out to the families in your community who are affected by autism? Anything you do can make a positive impact: from offering a program like Sensory Storytime to something more passive like creating a display, booklist, or web post.”...

ALSC Blog, Mar. 20

Selma-to-Montgomery March mural unveiled

March mural outside the Rufus A. Lewis branch library in Montgomery, Alabama

A six-panel mural depicting the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965 (right) was unveiled March 18 outside the Rufus A. Lewis branch of the Montgomery City-County (Ala.) Public Library. The mural was completed by students at George Washington Carver High School in the mid 1990s and sat in the branch’s meeting room for many years....

Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Mar. 19

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing