ALA Council petition candidates.

American Library Association • January 10, 2017

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Petition candidates for ALA Council


Fourteen individuals have filed petitions for positions on the ALA Council for the 2017 ALA election. The period for filing petitions ran from October 5 to December 7, 2016. A complete list of candidates for ALA Council can be found online. Ballot mailing for the 2017 ALA election will begin on March 13 and will run through April 5....

Office of ALA Governance, Jan. 9

In Practice: Never neutral

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “I have watched the growth of critical librarianship into a mainstream movement with excitement. Critical librarianship supports the belief that, in our work as librarians, we should examine and fight attempts at social oppression. Many librarians are thinking about how they can fight for social justice in their work, which raises the question of whether that work reflects the neutrality that has long been a value in our profession. We are not being neutral when we advocate for our patrons, but we are being good librarians.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Youth Matters: Partnerships beyond four walls

Youth Matters, by Ashley J. Cooksey

Ashley J. Cooksey writes: “When school librarians hear the word ‘collaboration,’ their minds may immediately drift to a meeting room with a small group of educators, calendars in hand, planning a multifaceted research project complete with product examples, presentation dates, and ideas for a new Pinterest board. But collaboration doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes collaboration is accidental.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Newsmaker: Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris

Tony Award–winning actor Neil Patrick Harris made his writing debut three years ago with the publication of his memoir, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. Now the energetic Harris is trying his hand at fiction with a new middle-grade series, The Magic Misfits; the first book in the series comes out in September. Harris spoke with American Libraries about his new work, how his literary and magical tastes overlap, and what his children think when he plays a villain....

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.
ALA news

ALA calls for fast passage of Email Privacy Act

Email Privacy Act

ALA President Julie B. Todaro issued a statement upon the reintroduction of the Email Privacy Act on January 9 in the US House of Representatives. The House had voted 419–0 to pass the legislation on April 27, but the measure stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee after an amendment was offered that privacy advocates said would give the FBI excessive surveillance power. Todaro called on “both chambers of Congress to immediately enact” this “bipartisan and long-overdue update” to privacy law....

ALA Washington Office, Jan. 9; Morning Consult, Jan. 9; District Dispatch, Jan. 10

Net neutrality in the crosshairs

Internet open

Larra Clark, Krista Cox, and Kara Malenfant write: “It is widely reported that network neutrality is one of the most endangered telecommunications policy gains of the past two years. ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and ACRL—with Educause and other library and higher education allies—have been on the front lines of this battle with the FCC, Congress, and the courts for more than a decade. Here’s an update on where we stand, what might come next, and what the library community may do to mobilize.”...

District Dispatch, Jan. 9

Who is really placing limits on free speech?

Bascom Hall, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Donald P. Moynihan writes: “At least three times in the past six months, state legislators have threatened to cut the budget of the University of Wisconsin–Madison for teaching about homosexuality, gender, and race. I hear a great deal about the dangers of political correctness in higher education. Several of Wisconsin’s elected officials have joined the growing chorus of demands for better protections for free speech on campus, even as they fail to recognize how their own politicized approach to managing campuses poses a much more fundamental risk.”...

New York Times, Jan. 9; Madison Wisconsin State Journal, July 7, 2016; Madison Capital Times, Jan. 4; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 21, 2016
ALA Midwinter meeting

School librarian helps students understand the Holocaust

Holocaust survivor Severin Fayerman shows his Auschwitz tattoo to students at Southern Middle School in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

The heroine of Roald Dahl’s Matilda had a lot of help from her teacher, Miss Honey—an educator devoted to social justice. AASL honors Miss Honey’s example with the Roald Dahl Miss Honey Social Justice Award, which recognizes collaboration between school librarians and teachers. The 2016 award went to Ann Yawornitsky, Jennifer Sarnes, and Melissa Zawaski of Southern Middle School in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. Here is the story of how they teamed up to help 6th-graders understand the lessons of the Holocaust....

American Libraries Spotlight, Jan./Feb.

Social media content ideas for librarians

Edward Topsell’s History of Four Footed Beasts and Serpents (1658) on display at the 2015 Othmer Library open house. An iPad next to the book displays a GIF made from one of the book’s illustrations

Victoria Orzechowski writes: “Thoughtful, consistent, and varied content is one of the keys to cultivating a meaningful social media presence for a library. But where do you look for social media content ideas? Keeping in mind that the intricacies of each platform necessitate different presentations in content, here are three suggestions on where those in charge of a library’s social media can find some inspiration.”...

LITA Blog, Jan. 10

Gallup: Americans still read books

Americans and book reading, 1980–2016

Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002—before smartphones, Facebook, or Twitter became ubiquitous. More than one in three (35%) appear to be heavy readers, reading 11 or more books in the past year, while close to half (48%) read between one and 10, and just 16% read none....

Gallup, Jan. 6
ALA Midwinter Meeting

YA books with bakers, chefs, and foodies

Cover of The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler

Emma Carbone writes: “Everyone has to do it eventually, but surprisingly few YA fiction books have any reference to it. I’m talking about cooking and baking, of course. When I started thinking about readalikes for Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I knew I wanted to feature some books with bakers like Lara Jean. These wound up being harder to find than I expected, which also made me think that others might be interested in a more exhaustive list of books for teens with bakers, chefs, and foodies.”...

YALSA The Hub, Jan. 9; Nov. 21, 2016

How to control which websites can use Flash

Flash add-on in Firefox

Chris Hoffman writes: “Making Flash click-to-play is definitely a good idea, but browsers are going further. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge will all soon disable Flash by default, allowing you to enable it only on websites that need it. Each browser offers a way to control the list of websites that have been given permission to run Flash, if you change your mind later—or just want to trim the list.”...

How-To Geek, Jan. 10; July 11, 2015

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