The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu.

American Library Association • March 25, 2016
ALA Editions

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

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Newsmaker: Joshua Hammer

Joshua Hammer

Renée Olson writes: “As fighters from the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group bore down on Timbuktu, Mali, in 2012, archivist Abdel Kader Haidara knew that the militants would readily destroy the priceless written records he had devoted himself to preserving. In The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (Simon & Schuster, April 2016), author Joshua Hammer (right) captures the lengths to which people will go when their culture is at stake.”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

Carla Hayden: One of Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders

Carla Hayden at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun

Carla Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library director and President Obama’s choice for Librarian of Congress, is chosen by Fortune magazine as one of this year’s 50 greatest leaders: “In business, government, philanthropy, and the arts, and all over the globe, these men and women are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same. Hayden knows plenty about sustaining a library as a relevant and inclusive institution. When violence erupted near one branch last April, Hayden kept it open—a safe, trusted space for community members.”...

Fortune, Mar. 24
AL Direct 10th anniversary

LC removes “Illegal aliens” as a subject heading

2011 print version of Library of Congress Subject Headings

The Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, which maintains the LC Subject Headings, has cancelled “Illegal aliens” as a subject heading because the phrase has become pejorative. The heading will be replaced by two headings, “Noncitizens” and “Unauthorized immigration,” which may be assigned together to describe resources about people who illegally reside in a country. ALA Council had passed a resolution at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting that called for retiring the heading....

Library of Congress, Mar. 22; AL: The Scoop, Jan. 12

National Recording Registry adds 25 more recordings

Mack the Knife single by Bobby Darin

Two versions of Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife”—by Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin—will join Billy Joel’s single “Piano Man,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” a recording of the fourth quarter of Wilt Chamberlain’s historic 100-point game, and a poignant capture of Mahler’s ninth symphony among the recordings recently selected for induction into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao on March 23 named 25 new sound recordings to the registry....

Library of Congress, Mar. 23
Libraries Transform

DCPL security guard removed for harassing woman

Watha T. Daniel branch, DCPL

On March 23, a security guard at the Watha T. Daniel branch of the District of Columbia Public Library asked a woman to remove her hijab and then threatened her with arrest when she refused, according to eyewitnesses. DCPL spokesman George Williams said that the library quickly identified the security officer involved and removed him from the branch. “We would love to talk with her to apologize and ensure her that the library is committed to diversity and equality,” said DCPL Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan....

DCist, Mar. 23; WTTG-TV, Washington, D.C., Mar. 23

Google fined €100,000 by French regulatory agency

CNiL logo

Google has been fined €100,000 ($111,660 US) by France’s privacy agency over allegations that it has not properly applied Europe’s “right to be forgotten” across the world, despite recent concessions made by the internet company. On March 24, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés said that Google’s solution did not go far enough and that links must be fully removed from all versions of its search engine and for all users....

Financial Times, Mar. 24; Intellectual Freedom Blog, Mar. 18

Pew Research report: Lifelong learning and technology

Personal learning activities of US adults

John B. Horrigan writes: “Most Americans feel they are lifelong learners, whether that means gathering knowledge for do-it-yourself projects, reading up on a personal interest, or improving job skills. For the most part, these learning activities occur in traditional places—at home, work, conferences, or libraries. The internet is also an important tool for many adults in the process of lifelong learning. A new Pew Research Center survey shows the extent to which America is a nation of ongoing learners.”...

Pew Research Center, Mar. 22
Latest Library Links

Cornell to process Afrika Bambaataa archive

Afrika Bambaataa in the Kroch Library hip-hop archive

The Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection will catalog the archive of Afrika Bambaataa, the groundbreaking musician, DJ, and community leader known as “the godfather of hip-hop,” thanks to a $260,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. One of 248 grants for humanities projects that NEH announced on March 23, the funding will help the library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections make these materials widely accessible to researchers, students, and the public....

Cornell Chronicle, Mar. 25; National Endowment for the Humanities, Mar. 23

Saving historic radio broadcasts before it’s too late

On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a Philadelphia Warriors victory over the New York Knicks. No NBA player had ever achieved the feat, and none has repeated it since. The only recording we have is 36 seconds of a radio broadcast that includes the moment Chamberlain made it official

Adrienne LaFrance writes: “Serious discussion of how to preserve early audio collections, and what to preserve, didn’t really begin until the 1960s, by which point decades of historic audio had been lost, destroyed, or never recorded in the first place. And format changes over the years have forced preservationists to start anew every few decades. In February, the Library of Congress hosted scholars from more than 100 museums, radio archives, and universities for a symposium on preserving the nation’s radio heritage.”...

The Atlantic, Mar. 23; LC Radio Preservation Task Force

A day in the life of an LIS student

Emily Bufford

Emily Bufford writes: “Talking about time management is helpful. Tips and encouragement (as found here previously on HLS) are great ways to offer help about the time we have and how to best use it. I want to show you what my day as an LIS student really looks like as Rose did here. The schedule here will give you a peep inside my time management skills and emotional journey on a typical Monday.”...

Hack Library School, Mar. 23; Jan. 29, 2015; Feb. 16, 2011

The best virtual reality headsets

HTC Vive Pre

Will Greenwald writes: “The idea of strapping a display to your face might still seem like a dream of the past to most people, but over the course of this year we’re going to see many reasonable, retail-ready ways to do just that. Virtual reality has made a surprising comeback, thanks to projects like Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift, and it looks to be more than just a trend. With that in mind, we’ve gathered the best headsets we’ve seen so far.”...

PC Magazine, Mar. 23

Shakespeare-inspired YA fiction

Cover of The Fool’s Girl, by Celia Rees

Tegan Anclade writes: “If you haven’t already heard, 2016 is a big year for Shakespeare. His First Folio will be going on a tour across all 50 states for the rest of the year. There is more than one way to love reading Shakespeare. These authors have retold some of Shakespeare’s biggest stories, and some have set him center stage in the tale they have to tell. These YA books are great for the most well-versed Shakespeare fans, as well as those that are new to the Bard.”...

YALSA The Hub, Mar. 25; AL: The Scoop, Feb. 3

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.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. Read the ALA privacy policy.

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

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing