US librarians in post-WWI France.

American Library Association • February 17, 2017

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Remembering US librarians in post–World War I France

Children read in the post-war Soissons Library, France

Marcelline Dormont writes: “After World War I ended in November 1918, many American women librarians volunteered to organize library services in the war-devastated regions of northern France. Their work has had a lasting impact on the public library system in France. Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. She brought in Jessie Carson, a children’s librarian from New York Public Library, to organize library services.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 16

Amanda S. Rudd, 1923–2017

Amanda S. Rudd, 1923–2017

Amanda S. Rudd (right), the first woman and the only African American to hold the position of commissioner of the Chicago Public Library, died in Atlanta February 11 at the age of 93. Before retiring as commissioner in 1984, Rudd worked as an educational consultant with World Book Encyclopedia in Chicago and as assistant director of school libraries with the Cleveland (Ohio) Public Schools. She is the mother of ACRL’s 2017 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, Loretta Parham....

Chicago Tribune, Feb. 16

ALA launches Book Club Central with Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo by Jem Mitchell

ALA is creating Book Club Central, a new online platform of reading resources, including recommendations, book lists, and other content for book clubs. Award-winning actor, producer, and designer Sarah Jessica Parker (right) is partnering with ALA to serve as the honorary chair. She will provide a selection of titles for Book Club Central throughout the year and will unveil her inaugural pick at its official launch at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24....

ALA Public Awareness Office, Feb. 15

COA announces accreditation decisions

University College London logo

The ALA Committee on Accreditation announced its actions on LIS programs taken at the 2016 Fall Meeting and the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Precandidacy status was granted to the University College London. Continued Accreditation status was granted to McGill University, North Carolina Central University, Wayne State University, University of British Columbia, and Pratt Institute. Initial Accreditation status was granted to University of Southern California....

Office for Accreditation, Feb. 17
ALA news

What’s wrong with presidential libraries?

Cover of The Last Campaign

Deanna Isaacs writes: “In spring 2003, Anthony Clark wrote a graduate-school term paper on presidential libraries that his professor said ought to be a book. Twelve years later, he published The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity, and Enshrine their Legacies. It’s the surprising story of the disparity between what presidential libraries are supposed to be and the spin factories and event venues they’ve become. Clark spoke with me last week about the history of these institutions.”...

Chicago Reader, Feb. 15

KCPL helps immigrants become citizens

Cuban immigrant Barbara Martinez at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library

The Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library has a timely approach to helping those who are new to the city. Its Refugee and Immigrant Services and Empowerment program is one of the few library teams in the country solely focused on the goal of connecting immigrants to resources, like prepping for the citizenship test. Taking the oath to become a US citizen is the final step in a long, often exhaustive journey. It can take longer than a decade and cost thousands of dollars....

KSHB-TV, Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 16

Gutless reading ban during school’s Literacy Week

Cover of Gutless, by Carl Deuker

During its “Celebrate Literacy Week” January 23–27, a Florida high school ended up canceling the reading of a book after parents complained about its content. Jay (Fla.) High School had planned to host a school-wide reading of Gutless, a novel by Carl Deuker about a high school quarterback that explores themes of bullying, friendship, and young adulthood. But the book also features three pages of content that some parents claimed were inappropriate, so officials canceled the reading....

Heat Street, Feb. 15
ALA Annual Conference

Columbia library must admit guns

Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, Missouri

The board of trustees of the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Missouri, said February 16 it would amend existing signs outside the library, which ban patrons from bringing firearms inside. Earlier in the day, an attorney representing state Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville), notified the library in a letter that she would sue if it did not change the signs to acknowledge Missouri’s new concealed carry laws....

Columbia Missourian, Feb. 16

Remember “library hand”?

A handwriting sample for library school students, from the 1901 book A Library Primer, by John Cotton Dana

Ella Morton writes: “In September 1885, a bunch of librarians spent four days at scenic Lake George, New York. In the presence of such luminaries as Melvil Dewey, they turned their attention to the crucial issue of handwriting. Dewey set out a catalog-minded mission for the group: ‘We ought to find out what is the most legible handwriting.’ This was the beginning of ‘library hand,’ a penmanship style developed over the ensuing year or so for the purpose of keeping catalogs standardized and legible.”...

Atlas Obscura, Feb. 16

Little Free Library design competition

4th Street Farms Little Free Library, Columbus, Ohio, was the Stewards’ Choice Runner-up

Last October, in partnership with Little Free Library and American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, Chronicle Books launched a challenge that asked architects to design a small library that would be weather-proof, fit at least 25 books, and delight neighbors. They received 300 designs from 40 countries. Some were freestanding structures that you could practically live in, others were designs that affixed to existing infrastructure like parking signs and light poles. Here are the winners....

Medium, Feb. 9; Oct. 5, 2016
ALA Midwinter Meeting

Create bingo boards in Google Sheets

Bingo board made from Flippity

Richard Byrne writes: “Flippity provides teachers with easy-to-use Google Sheets templates. A bingo board generator is the latest template added to Flippity’s catalog of offerings. The bingo board generator lets you quickly create sets of unique bingo boards that you can print or have your students use online during a game of bingo in your library. You can access Flippity’s bingo template from the Flippity homepage or you can access it from within Flippity’s Google Sheets add-on.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 16

10 graphic novels written by activists

Cover of Love Is Love, by various authors and illustrators

Charlotte Ahlin writes: “Activism through comics is nothing new. Superman was a Jewish immigrant and Captain America once socked Hitler in the mouth. As long as sequential art has existed, it’s been used to fight against the forces of hate and prejudice. But, as the US continues to devolve into a Hunger Games–style nightmare, it might be time to revisit some of the most poignant activist comics out there. Here are 10 graphic novels and memoirs with clear activist messages.”...

Bustle, Feb. 15; The Daily Beast, Aug. 16, 2014; Comic Book Resources, Oct. 8, 2016

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