How to ease weeding woes.

American Library Association • May 10, 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

Weeding without worry

Weeding tips

Rebecca Vnuk writes: “Library weeding gets a bad reputation, thanks in part to weeding horror stories. What usually happens is that a disgruntled (sometimes justifiably so) staff member sets off the alarm to the public about what’s happening behind closed stacks. Or worse, a patron spies a dumpster full of discarded material and immediately jumps to the conclusion that the library is enacting a modern-day book burning. It pains me to read about these situations, because I’ve been there—on the dark side.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Bringing local history to life online

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “Libraries have always played a role in preserving local history, but that job has become more complex as the formats in which materials may be available continue to multiply. On the other hand, the technologies to digitize and post local history resources online have become cheaper and more readily available, even to small libraries. Some libraries are making it easier for patrons to preserve their own local history and to contribute it to the library’s collection.”...

American Libraries column, May

Preserving materials at the ALA Archives

Document bound with metal pins

Madison Well writes: “Here at the ALA Archives, we receive collections with materials that range from oversized posters, 100-year-old documents, and pictures. It is our job to keep these historic materials in the best shape as possible. While reprocessing a collection that included Executive Board minutes from ALA meetings, I ran into an interesting situation. The documents were bound together by different materials, some screwed together with metal, some with plastic; it was my job to get the potential paper damager out.”...

ALA Archives blog, May 10
Libraries Transform

The legal fight over North Carolina’s bathroom law

North Carolina protestors

From the moment North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed that controversial bathroom bill into law, he pretty much guaranteed its content would end up in court. North Carolina became the first (and so far only) state to restrict where transgender people can use public bathrooms and locker rooms, and gay rights advocates almost immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the law's legality. Now the state is suing the government, and the government is suing the state. Basically, lawsuits all around....

Washington Post, Mar. 29, May 9

The Cursed Child conundrum

Cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla writes: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a life-changing read and a children’s book. Harry and his friends are mere 11-year-olds at the start of their first school year. Though their adventures and world get older, darker, and infinitely more complex, the series is still entirely at home in a children’s library. This year, for the first time since the blockbuster release of the seventh book in the series, librarians will be faced with two J. K. Rowling–sized collection issues.”...

ALSC Blog, May 10

Teens can benefit from reading about scientists

Marie Curie

Deborah Farmer Kris writes: “For high school students, learning more about some of the personal and intellectual struggles of scientists can help them feel more motivated to learn science. Researchers at Teachers College, Columbia University, and the University of Washington designed an intervention to confront students’ beliefs that scientific achievement reflects ability rather than effort by exposing students to stories of how accomplished scientists overcame challenges in their scientific endeavors.”...

KQED News: Mind/Shift, May 10; Teachers College, Columbia University, Feb. 12

2016 Children’s Choice Book Awards

Cover of Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, by Judd Winick, the 5th-6th grade book of the year

The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader on May 6 announced the winners of the ninth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards. The announcement is an annual highlight of Children’s Book Week (May 2–8, 2016), with the winning titles selected by kids and teens. Readers across the country voted on a diverse selection of titles that ranged from a picture book about a shark that’s afraid of the dark to issue-driven stories including a novel about a young transgender girl....

Children’s Book Council, May 6

Former librarian wins British Book Industry Award

Cover of The Loney

The debut novel from former librarian Andrew Michael Hurley has won the top prize at the British Book Industry Awards. Hurley’s The Loney triumphed over competition from such literary heavyweights as Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins to be crowned Book of the Year. The Gothic horror tale has already won the Costa First Novel Award. Hurley gave up his job at Kirkham Library in Lancashire to become a writer....

BT news, May 10
Latest Library Links

Yale Law School Library video wins AALL prize

Screenshot from Yale Law School Library video

Putting Together a Book Exhibit,” a video teaser (1:19) for the Yale Law School Library’s 2017 exhibition in New York City, has won the Best Video prize in the American Association of Law Libraries “Day in the Life” contest. The annual competition recognizes photos and videos that capture the spirit of law librarianship. The video was produced by exhibition co-curator Mark Weiner. “Law’s Picture Books: The Yale Law Library Collection” will run September 17–November 18, 2017, at the Grolier Club in New York City....

Lillian Goldman Law Library, May 10

Digital book clubs and OverDrive

Create a digital book club

Mirela Roncevic writes: “OverDrive has just announced its plans to support public libraries in their efforts to cultivate more reading (and take advantage of the flexibility of the digital format) through digital book clubs. Participating institutions include public libraries in New York and London, among other cities. According to recent numbers (from BookBrowse), 22% of readers belong to at least one digital book club with friends and family.”...

No Shelf Required, May 10; OverDrive, May 9; BookBrowse

Cybersecurity, usability, and privacy

Cybersecurity and usability

Bohyun Kim writes: “What would users do if their organization required them to reset passwords on a weekly basis for their work computers? While this may strengthen the security of those systems, it’s easy to see that it will be a nightmare having to reset all those passwords every week and keeping track of them not to forget or mix them up. Security is important, but users also want to be able to do their job without being bogged down by unwieldy cybersecurity measures.”...

ACRL TechConnect Blog, May 10

The theory behind my librarianship

Cover of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in an Information Age, by Virginia Eubanks

Hailley Fargo writes: “The work I did in graduate school and the work I will continue to do as a librarian are grounded in a unique theoretical foundation. While there are some disagreements in Libraryland about how much of LIS schooling should be theoretical and how much should be practical, I firmly believe that the theory I use to ground my ideas of librarianship influences my experience and the way I move about in my jobs. With this in mind, I thought I would share some of my foundational readings.”...

Hack Library School, May 10

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