Hillary Clinton at Annual Conference.

American Library Association • June 30, 2017

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Hillary Clinton delivers powerful talk

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Closing General Session

Before former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (right) even took the stage on Tuesday at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, there was celebration. Several hundred librarians stood and began clapping and dancing to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge as music streamed through speakers inside McCormick Place. When Clinton stepped out to a standing ovation, she said that she told ALA President Julie B. Todaro backstage that the term “madame president is still one of my favorites.” Watch the full talk (26:57) on CNN....

AL: The Scoop, June 27; CNN YouTube channel, June 27

Podcasting about your library

Dewey Decibel podcast on library podcasts

In a new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries shares tips and tricks for starting a library podcast. American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart talks with Steve Thomas, manager of the Buford–Sugar Hill branch of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library, and Frank Collerius, manager of the New York Public Library’s Jefferson Market branch, about their library podcasts....

AL: The Scoop, June 29
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Librarians go to juvie

Retired medical librarian Marge Kars

In Monday’s Annual Conference session “Librarians Go to Juvie,” Susan Warner, head of youth services at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library, explained that 85% of juveniles involved with the court system are functionally low-literate, and involvement with the court system dramatically increases the high school dropout rate. A member of the Kalamazoo Lawyers Auxiliary came up with an idea for bedtime reading for juvenile offenders in 1993, and KPL took over the program, now called The Late Show, a few years later. The program is directed by Marge Kars (right), a retired medical librarian....

AL: The Scoop, June 27

ALA Council decisions

ALA Executive Board members read a tribute to retiring Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels (seated)

At Council III on Tuesday, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels reported on the final registration totals for the Annual Conference in Chicago: 16,192 attendees and 6,510 exhibitors, for a total of 22,172 registrants. This compares with 16,395 registrants in Orlando in 2016 and 22,136 registrants for San Francisco in 2015. Council II on Monday paid a tribute to Fiels, who is retiring in July after 15 years as executive director. Council I on Sunday passed a statement on global climate change....

AL: The Scoop, June 25–27; September 20, 2016
ALA news releases

Philatelic relics

APRL Librarian Tara Murray

The American Philatelic Research Library is a postage-lover’s treasure. Located in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the library serves the needs of members of the American Philatelic Society, the largest association of stamp collectors in the world. Overseeing the 85,000-volume facility since 2010, APRL Librarian Tara Murray (right) says “the most frequently consulted book is probably the Scott Catalogue, a six-volume set listing the postage stamps of the world.”...

American Libraries Bookend, June

Vote for your favorite Because statement

Just Because. Libraries Transform

In the May edition of the Libraries Transform Newsletter, we asked libraries to send us their Because statements. Vote for your favorites. A maximum of three can be selected. The winner will receive a $50 gift card for the ALA Store....

Libraries Transform

Evanston librarian resigns amid controversy

Lesley Williams. Photo by Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press

Embattled librarian Lesley Williams (right) announced June 29 that she had resigned from her position as head of adult services at the Evanston (Ill.) Public Library. The announcement follows controversy over her 15-day suspension and a termination hearing earlier in June after the 20-plus-year veteran librarian wrote a public Facebook post criticizing the library’s diversity. Williams said she and the library “came to a mutual agreement on what was best for everyone.”...

Evanston (Ill.) Review, June 29

Denver Public Library enhances its security

Denver City Librarian Michelle Jeske

Denver’s main public library is increasing security and considering plans to remodel in an effort to clear out drug use after a KUSA-TV investigation revealed a drastic increase in overdoses, assaults, and complaints in and outside the library. Officers have made at least 19 arrests since the first news report on May 16, most of which were related to drug use or trespassing. The library is hiring four more security guards and two more peer navigators whose jobs will be to help connect those who have an addiction or need assistance with housing....

KUSA-TV, Denver, June 29

Kokomo library will be first to display Banksy artwork

Haight Street Rat. Photo by Scott Strazzante, San Francisco Chronicle

The Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library will become what is thought to be the first library in the world to host a piece of art by the street artist Banksy. The well-known, stealthy Banksy has created coveted political and social commentary street art around the world. KHCPL will display a piece Banksy created in San Francisco on the side of a bed and breakfast, titled “Haight Street Rat,” beginning August 4. The piece features a rat sporting a cap reminiscent of Che Guevara....

Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune, June 21

Cookbook clubs popular at Alaskan libraries

Fairbanks Cookbook Book Club

Libraries in Alaska are hosting new foodcentric book clubs. Sherry Vogel, Fairbanks North Star Borough adult services librarian, started cookbook clubs at the Noel Wien and North Pole libraries in February. She’d been thinking about the concept and researching it for more than a year. Participants choose a cookbook that fits the theme, select a recipe, and prepare the dish to share at meetings. Themes have included cozy comfort food, Mexican, soups and salads, Mediterranean, and regional Americana....

Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner, June 28
Latest Library Links

A 400-year-old Jewish library in Amsterdam

Staff preparing the Ets Haim Jewish library in Amsterdam for a tour, May 17, 2017. Photo by Cnaan Liphshiz

Livraria Ets Haim is the world’s oldest functioning Jewish library. As such, it is no stranger to the prospect of imminent destruction. Founded in 1616 by Jews who fled Catholic persecution in Spain and Portugal, the three-room library is adjacent to Amsterdam’s majestic Portuguese Synagogue in the Dutch capital’s center. The 30,000-volume collection mostly contains manuscripts written by people who fled the Inquisition on the Iberian Peninsula or their descendants....

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 27

Charlotte Serber, the Manhattan Project’s librarian

Charlotte Serber, Los Alamos librarian

Michael Waters writes: “One of the most significant features of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico was its scientific library, a hidden space that, during the 1940s, housed the secrets of the nuclear bomb. The library had two sections: the main area and the document room—a locked vault containing reports and designs from all the Manhattan Project sites. In 1942, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer selected statistician Charlotte Serber (right) to operate the library in part because of her lack of librarian experience. He wanted someone who would be willing to bend the rules of cataloging.”...

Atlas Obscura, June 23

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