Library sit-ins in the 1960s.

American Library Association • June 6, 2017

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Desegregating libraries in the American South

Clippings from The Greenville News and The Piedmont, courtesy of the Greenville (S.C.) County Library System

Wayne A. Wiegand writes: “Over the past six decades, the media, local and state governments, associations, and civic organizations of all kinds have apologized for doing little or nothing while black people were beaten, jailed, and sometimes killed for standing up for their civil rights. The numerous confrontations over integrating public libraries in the South, however, have largely gone unrecognized. It’s long past time that library organizations and individual libraries do something to recognize the black kids who risked their lives at this critical time. Here are some of their stories.”...

American Libraries feature, June

The Greenville Eight, and others

Joan Mattison Daniel

On the afternoon of July 16, 1960, eight African-American students bravely filed into the whites-only Greenville County (S.C.) Public Library and sat down in the reading room to look at newspapers and books. One of those students was a young Jesse Jackson—later to become famous as a civil rights activist and minister—who was home in Greenville on summer break from the University of Illinois. Another of the students was Joan Mattison Daniel (right), a then-18-year-old freshman at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, who recently told American Libraries about the experience. Here are several other library demonstrations....

American Libraries feature, June

Sponsored Content

Scanners and Suspense

Author Abby Geni pairs with The Crowley Company in Booth 2438

Abby Geni, 2016 Barnes and Noble Fiction Discover Award winner, will give away signed copies of her novel, The Lightkeepers, on both Saturday and Sunday of the ALA Annual Conference. Balancing nature—ecological and human—at best and worst, Geni is a Chicago native who weaves an engrossing tale of murder and suspense. Less mysterious but equally intriguing, The Crowley Company has a wide selection of new and popular patron and preservation scanners to demonstrate for both walk-up and special collection solutions. Stop by, say hi, grab a book, and try a scanner!

New trends in library security

Vaping library patron

Steve Albrecht writes: “First, the good news: Many libraries are flourishing, with new programs, new facilities, and new patrons coming in the doors. The bad news: With these positive changes, new security problems are emerging. Regardless of the situation, one thing is clear: How library staffers respond to these new and ongoing security issues will require courage.”...

American Libraries feature, June

The Washington Office at Annual: Direct from the Swamp

Direct from the Swamp

Alan Inouye writes: “‘We live in interesting times’ has never been truer in the realm of national policy and libraries. There are a lot of headlines in the news, but what’s going on specifically with respect to library interests? How can we separate the wheat from the policy chaff? And what’s happening—or likely to happen—in the swamp that’s not widely reported? Come to ‘Report from the Swamp’ in Chicago on June 25 to learn about what’s happening in Washington and what you and ALA can do about it.”...

District Dispatch, June 5
ALA news releases

Newsmaker: Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

As Sex and the City’s style queen Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker (right) inspired a million fashionistas. Now, as the founder of the SJP for Hogarth book imprint—and the honorary chair of ALA’s Book Club Central—the busy actor hopes to inspire others to share her love of reading as well. Parker will recommend titles for Book Club Central over the coming months; she plans to reveal the first during the June 24 President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. She recently spoke with American Libraries about being a lifelong bookworm....

American Libraries Trend, June

Offbeat Chicago

Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven

Willis Tower, Navy Pier, the Art Institute—they’re all well worth a visit, but surely you don’t need us to direct you there. Instead, the American Libraries staff offers a bevy of off-the-beaten-path ideas for enjoying your time in the Windy City. Each lies within a reasonable public transit or taxi/ridesharing trip from McCormick Place....

American Libraries feature, June

Nominate someone for the I Love My Librarian Award

2017 I Love My Librarian Award

ALA is now accepting nominations for the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award, which recognizes the public service contributions that librarians make in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. The national award invites the public to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries. Nominations can be made now through September 18....

Public Awareness Office, June 5
ALA Annual Conference

Editorial: Give Philly libraries the resources they deserve

Prefilled syringe containing two doses of Narcan

One of the more viral stories in the last few months has been a Philadelphia Inquirer story by Mike Newall about librarians who have been trained to administer life-saving drugs (right) to overdosing addicts. Narcan-toting librarians saving lives is clearly a tale that illustrates our horrifying opioid epidemic. Libraries have stepped forward to help reweave the social safety net, providing many of the services that people need. So when are we going to return the favor and start administering life-saving money to the library system?...

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 1, 6

Ukrainian library director gets suspended sentence

Natalya Sharina

A Russian court has convicted Natalya Sharina (right), the former director of Moscow’s Ukrainian Literature Library, of inciting hatred. In a June 5 verdict, the Meshchansky District Court found Sharina guilty of breaking the law on extremism because her library stocked books by nationalist activist Dmytro Korchynsky, which are banned in Russia. Sharina said the books had been planted. She was also found guilty of embezzlement and handed a four-year suspended sentence. The closely watched case has been steeped in the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine....

ABC News, June 5; Radio Free Europe, June 5; Amnesty International, June 5

Colombian garbage man builds library from discarded books

José Alberto Gutierrez checks books stacked in his library on the first floor of his house in Bogotá

Emptying the garbage bins of Colombia’s capital, José Alberto Gutierrez (right) one day found a copy of the classic novel Anna Karenina and kept it. That was 20 years ago—and Gutierrez continued to collect Bogotá’s discarded books, amassing 25,000 in a free library, swelled by donations. He never got past primary school as a student, but is now dubbed “The Lord of the Books” and is in demand from schools across the country. Gutierrez has been invited to international book fairs in Chile and Mexico, as well as Colombia....

Agence France-Presse, June 6
Latest Library Links

Videotapes are becoming unwatchable

XFR Collective member Carmel Curtis works on a VHS cartridge during an event at the Baltimore Museum of Art in March

Scott Greenstone writes: “A group of archivists, librarians, and preservationists called XFR Collective (Transfer Collective) meet in a Tribeca loft in New York City every Monday to digitize degrading VHS videotapes. Research suggests that tapes like this will not live beyond 15–20 years. Some call this the magnetic media crisis, and the XFR Collective is trying to reverse it. Even the best-kept tapes will eventually be unwatchable.”...

NPR: All Things Considered, June 3; Council on Library and Information Resources; Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound

Books to read if you like Wonder Woman

Cover of The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen, by Hope Nicholson

Margaret Kingsbury writes: “My introduction to Wonder Woman was the animated Justice League TV series. She was my hero. I mean, she’s such a badass in that show, constantly swooping in and flying a grumpy Batman around. If you’re wanting more badass women like Wonder Woman in your reading life (and why wouldn’t you?), here are 15 books featuring Amazonian warriors, gunslingers, and feminist fighters of many stripes, and in many genres.”...

Book Riot, June 5

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