Comics, creators, and fans.

American Library Association • September 26, 2017
ALA Graphics

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

Small Press Expo: Indie comics for all

Three of the winners of the 2017 Ignatz Award

Amie Wright writes: “For 23 years Small Press Expo has been a forum for independent, international, and self-published comics creators. This year’s expo, held September 16–17 in Bethesda, Maryland, provided opportunities for collection development and advocacy work in libraries, including the annual Ignatz Awards, partnerships with the Library of Congress and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and its purposefully intimate setting in which creators and fans could converse.”...

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 22

Why do comics get challenged?

Infographic by Tim Leong on the reasons comics are banned

Maren Williams writes: “Every year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom receives reports of book challenges from around the country—that is, a request from an individual or group for a book to be restricted or removed from a library or classroom. Over the years OIF has tracked the reasons cited for these challenges, and designer Tim Leong distilled the data regarding comics and graphic novels into this infographic. Read on for more information on each of the categories and challenged books.”...

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Sept. 26

Sponsored Content

Digital Promise Research Map

Connect the library community with research on learning

As leading hubs of 21st century learning, libraries should be more invested in the science of learning than ever before.

When designing library programs, you need the best knowledge available on how people learn. The Digital Promise Research Map meets this need by connecting you with key findings on education and learning. Through two interactive data visualizations, explore thousands of articles from over 180 academic journals. The map helps you view, search, and sort research articles and discover new topics of interest.

Start exploring the Research Map today.

By the numbers: Banned Books Week

Number of banned books, 1982–2015: 11,300

Here are some statistics to help you celebrate the most frequently challenged and banned books. 11,300 is the number of books that have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association. The Banned Books Week campaign launched the same year, in response to the surge in challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries across the country....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 1, 2015

Books behind bars

Robert P. Doyle

Since 1982, Robert P. Doyle (right) has edited ALA’s Banned Books, a collection of thousands of titles that have been subject to censorship challenges. American Experience spoke to him about censorship, intellectual freedom, and the books that test us. Doyle said: “Censorship is nothing new; it has always been with us. The urge to censor is primordial. The instinct isn’t limited just to those in positions of power who are driven to control access to information. Censorship happens today and it happens everywhere. It isn’t restricted by geography or ideology.”...

PBS: American Experience, Sept. 25
ALA news releases

Censorship exhibit partially restored

Two of the posters on press freedom that were removed from the Boyden Public Library. Photo by Mark Stockwell, Sun Chronicle

A display of posters commemorating freedom of the press and protesting intimidation against news gatherers was partially restored days after it was removed from the Boyden Library in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The display, containing more than 20 posters, was taken down September 19 following a vote by the library board of trustees because of what some referred to as “graphic” and “inappropriate” content. What remains unexplained, however, was exactly why the posters were considered inappropriate....

Attleboro (Mass.) Sun Chronicle, Sept. 21, 24

Free expression controversy in Cincinnati

Charles Campbell at the press conference. Screenshot from cellphone video

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials offered a formal apology at a September 25 press conference to former employee Charles Campbell (in the foreground), who was cited with criminal trespassing the previous Friday while carrying a sign protesting the potential sale of the library’s north building. Executive Director Kim Fender rescinded Campbell’s suspension from entering the library and asked that any charges be dropped. Two other men showed up at the event to oppose the sale and encourage transparency....

Cincinnati Enquirer, Sept. 25

PLA collaborates on leadership training in Africa

African librarians at a leadership training event in Mahé, Seychelles. Photo: Darren Hoerner

Mary Hirsh writes: “PLA builds leaders through training and professional development opportunities. All leadership activities are based on a leadership model that emphasizes the library’s role in addressing community issues and goals. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PLA is working with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions to build public library leaders in Africa.”...

American Libraries International Supplement, Sept.
Latest Library Links

Knight Foundation launches new journalism initiative

NYPL President Tony Marx

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on September 25 announced a major initiative to support the role of strong, trusted journalism as essential to a healthy democracy. The initiative is anchored by the Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy, a nonpartisan panel committed to creating more informed communities. The commission is chaired by Jamie Woodson, CEO of Tennessee’s State Collaborative on Reforming Education, and Tony Marx (right), president of the New York Public Library....

Knight Foundation, Sept. 25

How Puerto Ricans are coping

People congregate at a Wi-Fi hotspot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 24

Vann R. Newkirk II writes: “Perhaps the grimmest aspect of the ongoing emergency in Puerto Rico is that the knowledge of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria—including 10 deaths, the devastation of entire swathes of the island, and dire shortages of food, water, and fuel—come from the teaspoonfuls of information that have dribbled out of the island. Most places don’t have power, and won’t for weeks, if not months. The lack of information is one of the most disruptive parts of the disaster.”...

The Atlantic, Sept. 26; CNN, Sept. 24

Is climate-themed fiction all too real?

Cover of The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Livia Albeck-Ripka writes: “When extraordinary hurricanes and floods battered parts of the US and Caribbean in September, Paolo Bacigalupi’s readers started sending him news clips. In Ship Breaker, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 2010, Bacigalupi, a science fiction writer, had invented a monster ‘Category 6’ hurricane. Now, his readers were asking: Is this what you were talking about? We chose seven climate-themed stories and asked the experts: How likely are they to come true?”...

New York Times, Aug. 29, Sept. 26
Dewey Decibel podcast

Hacking parenthood in library school

Pregnant woman in library

Megan Keane writes: “I’m taking a brief hiatus from library school for fall semester as the new mama of a baby boy. One month into the job, and I can definitely say parenting is the most demanding ‘course’ so far, but also one that has already given me tremendous joy. If you are a library student new to parenthood or considering becoming a parent, it is worth exploring what kinds of family-friendly considerations your program offers.”...

Hack Library School, Sept. 26

Free web app for hate crime victims display

CuroLegal has launched a free web app that helps victims and witnesses of hate crimes find help. was built in collaboration with Cisco Systems and the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation. Someone who believes they are the victim of a hate crime answers several questions, including the type of incident experienced and the location, even if it happens online. Based on the answers, the app generates information on how to contact local law enforcement and other resources....

ABA Journal, Sept. 22; CuroLegal, Sept. 21

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