The state of America's libraries.

American Library Association • April 11, 2017
Choice Media Channel

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

The State of America’s Libraries, 2017

The State of America's Libraries 2017

On April 10, ALA released The State of America’s Libraries 2017, an annual report released during National Library Week, April 9–15, that captures usage trends within all types of libraries. The report finds that library workers’ expertise continues to play a key role in the transformation of communities through access to services that empower users to navigate our ever-changing digital, social, economic, and political society. The Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 are also identified, as well as a list of resources for spotting fake news....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 10

Get inspired for National Library Week with these stories

Breakthrough stories for National Library Week

April 9–15 is National Library Week in the United States, an annual observance that has been sponsored by ALA since 1958. OCLC could have written volumes about the great work being done by libraries around the globe. It has highlighted a few breakthroughs OCLC members have shared. ALA and OCLC encourage you to join your colleagues around the world to share your library breakthrough with the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek....

OCLC Next, Apr. 10

Sponsored Content

A flexible future collection

You can’t predict the future. But together we can prepare for it

What attribute of your library is most valuable to your community? For a long time, the answer to that question might have been “our collection.”

For generations, libraries have spent much of their budgets on acquiring and managing local materials, but that is shifting. These days, what the library owns isn’t as important as how it supports its users and community. Access to materials must keep up with needs that are changing faster than any institution can manage.

National Library Workers Day, April 11

Message from Julie Todaro on National Library Workers Day

With more than 4.1 million in-person visits made to libraries every day, library workers play an integral role in connecting library users with information, technology, and opportunities to help improve the quality of their lives. April 11 is National Library Workers Day, a time to recognize library staff members for their public service contributions in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. Watch this NLWD message (3:23) from ALA President Julie B. Todaro....

Public Awareness Office, Mar. 21; ALA YouTube channel, Apr. 11

Congress is in recess: Make it count

2017 Congressional calendar, April-May

National Library Week is the perfect time to make sure that your congressional representative in the House and both US senators know you want them to fight for full federal library funding for fiscal year 2018. They are now home for two full weeks for their spring recess, so you have ample opportunity to make that point loudly, clearly, and in as a many places as you can. Right now is prime time to Fight for Libraries! and against efforts to slash virtually all federal library funding....

District Dispatch, Apr. 10
APA journals

Libraries in the #HouseofCode

A student at the Libraries Ready to Code event in Washington, D.C., on April 4, with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) speaking in the background

Shawnda Hines writes: “On April 4, Capitol Hill was flooded with teenagers sporting black and white T-shirts bearing the capitol-domed logo of the Congressional App Challenge. Roughly 100 high school students from around the country came to Washington, D.C., to celebrate winning their congressional district’s competition for best original app and meet their representatives. The foyer of Rayburn House Office Building was transformed into the #HouseofCode with teams of bright and ambitious young people demonstrating their winning apps.”...

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 11

Oregon prisons ban book by two Eugene attorneys

Cover of Finishing Machine

Oregon Department of Corrections officials have banned from state prisons a book written by two Eugene attorneys about one of their clients—a former Marine sniper and professional fighter who is serving time for fatally shooting an unarmed man in Springfield in 2014. A spokeswoman says that Mike Arnold and Emilia Gardner’s Finishing Machine, which documents Gerald Strebendt’s case, is prohibited because it falls into the true crime genre that is not allowed in Oregon prisons....

Eugene (Oreg.) Register-Guard, Apr. 8

Ithaka S+R and OCLC launch academic libraries study

Georgia Tech’s library

Carl Straumsheim writes: “How do you measure the impact of a library when the number of books is no longer its defining characteristic? The research arms of Ithaka S+R and OCLC have launched a joint project to find out. Over the next 14 months, researchers plan to survey the higher education landscape to identify how colleges and universities are differentiating themselves, explore the different types of services libraries are investing in, and help librarians articulate the new ways in which they are creating value.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 11; Ithaka S+R Blog, Apr. 10
ALA Midwinter meeting

Reading Without Walls challenge

Carla Hayden and Gene Luen Yang. Screenshot from program

This online program (1:07:34) on April 10 brought together National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang (right) and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (left) in an informal conversation about their own personal histories as readers and the role reading can play in breaking down barriers. Discussion features Yang’s Reading Without Walls challenge, which encourages students to read books that they wouldn’t normally choose on their own....

Library of Congress YouTube channel, Apr. 10

2017 Pulitzer Prizes

The prize for General Nonfiction went to Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

For a centenarian, the Pulitzer Prize appears to be as spry as ever. Now in its 101st year, the prestigious prize recognized writers, artists, and musicians of nearly every bent—from breaking news and cartooning, to fiction and drama. At a New York City ceremony on April 10, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride announced the 21 winners of the 2017 awards. Here is the list of this year’s winners and finalists. The prize for General Nonfiction went to Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond.”...

NPR: The Two-Way, Apr. 10

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam

The Smarty Ring was a smart ring concept that was little more than a series of renders for a ring that would alert you to new emails and other phone notifications. After two separate Indiegogo campaigns, two years, and nearly half a million in raised revenue, the anonymous organizers disappeared

Michael Crider writes: “Projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowdfunding platforms are mostly on the up-and-up, but there are some just trying to make a quick buck. Here’s how you can spot them. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This especially applies to online crowdfunding. If a new gadget seems like it probably can’t be achieved with current technology, then it probably can’t. This is especially true for the kind of independent teams that seem to flock to Kickstarter for funding.”...

How-To Geek, Apr. 11
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Romances in Libraryland

Cover of Adrian’s Librarian, by Hollis Shiloh

Jessica Pryde writes: “It’s National Library Week, and what better way to show our love for librarians than to enjoy books about librarians in love. Some work in public libraries, some in academic. One is a personal librarian for a wealthy young gentleman. Beyond, there are library assistants and bookmobile drivers, all working their way through life in hopes of giving the world a little more information. There’s one thing they have in common, though: They love their work. Here are a few recent favorites.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 11

A library wedding, in detail

Card catalog that held the guests’ table cards

Jen Sherman writes: “My first post for Book Riot was about getting married in a library, and in honor of National Library Week I want to revisit that day and share more details about our bookish wedding. Because you see, it wasn’t just that we got married in a library—the entire wedding was library-themed. The book arch was already featured in the original post, but there were a few other details that I didn’t write about earlier.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 11; May 4, 2016

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