Puerto Rico in crisis.

American Library Association • September 29, 2017

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

Rebuilding communities after disasters

Hundreds of people line up to buy an ice pack at Los Paraos Liquor Store in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Photo by Ramón Tonito Zayas / El Nuevo Día

Libraries in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere are still reeling from devastating hurricanes that have blasted the region over the last month. Now librarians around the country are working to assist in recovery efforts and connect patrons—particularly those of Hispanic and Latin heritage—with support groups, aid organizations, and other resources. ALA President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo said the disaster in Puerto Rico is personal: Her family is still on the island and dealing with the lack of power, water, services, and internet access....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 29

Burlington transforms its community

A scrimmage day featuring the Special Olympics Burlington team—and open to people of all abilities—was held in May. Photo: Special Olympics Burlington

Amanda Wilk writes: “Burlington (Ont.) Public Library is using engagement tools from the ALA Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative to engage youth. The initiative has allowed BPL to take a lead role in increasing acceptance and inclusion. After the 2016 US presidential election, BPL heard from teens who were frightened, shaken, and without the agency to act. Despite feeling powerless, the teens wanted to respond in a manner that would create positive change.”...

American Libraries International Supplement, Sept.

Sponsored Content

71% of researchers use video

Video inspires greater engagement in learning

While traditional peer-reviewed journal content remains a staple resource for researchers, a recent ProQuest survey indicates that research and teaching is informed by a diverse mix of content types.

In the years between ProQuest's surveys, videos have made a dramatic climb in popularity. In 2014, only 39% of respondents were using video for educational purposes. In 2017, among the 410 surveyed, usage of video had almost doubled to 71%. What is the value of using video for research and learning?

Longlist for 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals

2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal longlist

Forty-six books—25 fiction, 21 nonfiction—have been selected for the longlist for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on October 25. The two medal winners will be announced by 2018 selection committee chair Victoria Caplinger at the RUSA Book and Media Awards at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver on February 11....

RUSA, Sept. 28

The ALA Washington Office special collections

Association for Library Trustees and Advocates President Dorothy McAllister, US President Richard M. Nixon, and ALA Washington Office Director Germaine Krettek in October 1969

Andrew Staton writes: “My first projects as an intern in the ALA Washington Office have focused on three archival collections: two that contain mostly bound materials, and one photographic collection depicting events from the office’s nearly 75-year history. The photos visually place the Washington Office at the forefront of library advocacy throughout its history, particularly through former directors Julia Bennett, Germaine Krettek (far right), and Eileen Cooke, whose combined tenure spans over 40 years.”...

District Dispatch, Sept. 28
ALA news releases

Librarian rejects Melania Trump’s gift of Dr. Seuss books

Melania Trump’s tweet on National Read a Book Day

One of Melania Trump’s favorite books is Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, which she read with her son, Barron, “over and over” when he was younger. The first lady chose the classic children’s book and nine other Dr. Seuss titles to send to Cambridgeport Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in celebration of National Read a Book Day, September 6. But librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro refused to accept the gift, criticizing Trump administration education policies and images in the books. Some users on Twitter were quick to condemn Soeiro’s action....

Washington Post, Sept. 28; The Horn Book, Sept. 26; CBS News, Sept. 29

George author to donate books to Wichita schools

Cover of George, by Alex Gino

Gail Becker, supervisor of library media for the Wichita (Kans.) school district, said George, a novel about a transgender youngster by Alex Gino, contains language inappropriate for young children. She decided earlier this year that the book would not be included in a set of William Allen White Award–nominated books supplied to Wichita elementary schools. Individual libraries can purchase the book, however. Gino plans to donate a copy of George to each elementary and K–8 school library in Wichita....

Wichita (Kans.) Eagle, Sept. 27–28

Arlington Heights event canceled after threats

Banner for Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library’s Know Your Rights workshop

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library canceled a September 25 immigrant-rights workshop out of “concerns for safety” after the library’s voice mail and board president Deb Smart’s home phone were flooded with calls from people objecting to the meeting. “It was an unsettling process,” Smart said. “People called the switchboard, saying they’d call [federal immigration officials] and have a raid done.” Smart said she was called names and threatened, and ultimately contacted local police....

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Sept. 28
Latest Library Links

American flag controversy in Illinois high school

A display at Elmhurst’s York High School, which featured a US flag on the library floor, sparked outrage on social media

The re-creation of a controversial flag display sparked a firestorm of its own when images of a flag spread on the floor of the York High School library in Elmhurst, Illinois, began circulating on social media. At a September 26 forum, sophomores were studying First Amendment rights cases, including artist Dread Scott’s 1989 exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago that invited people to walk on an American flag. The re-creation in the library featured a barrier, but after a photo was posted on Facebook, reaction was swift....

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Sept. 28

They were banned, too

Article from ALA Bulletin, March 1940

Book challenges are a timely issue, but not a new one. This ALA Bulletin article from 1940 reminds us that books have always been banned: “Homer’s Odyssey was once banned in Rome, because ‘it expressed Greek ideals of freedom dangerous to autocratic Rome.’” Other notable books that have been banned throughout history include Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (“for its satire”), and the Bible’s Book of Ruth....

JSTOR Daily, Sept. 25; ALA Bulletin 34 (Mar. 1940): 181
Dewey Decibel podcast

As Google fights fake news, some voices raise alarms

David North

When David North (right), the editorial chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, noticed a drop in the site’s traffic in April, he chalked it up to news fatigue. Now he thinks that Google has deliberately stopped redirecting search queries to the site. In April, Google announced Project Owl, intended to eradicate fake news stories from its search results. To some, that is an uncomfortable step toward Google becoming an arbiter of trustworthiness. North posted an open letter to Google and launched an online petition. Other sites, like AlterNet and Consortiumnews, may also be affected....

New York Times, Sept. 26; World Socialist Web Site, Aug. 25; AlterNet, Sept. 28

What skills will be needed in 2030?

The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030

A new report by British innovation foundation Nesta and the Oxford Martin School tries to establish how technological changes will affect skill requirements by 2030. The research team identified occupations that will be automated away (drivers and administrators) and those that are likely to grow in the face of technology’s encroachment (teachers and nurses). The report suggests that creativity, adaptability, and judgment will be more important than subject-specific knowledge or the ability to use a nail gun....

MIT Technology Review: The Download, Sept. 28

How to recover a deleted file

Delete key

Chris Hoffman writes: “It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file, and then realize you need it back. This guide explains when you can get that file back and how to go about it. We’ve covered a variety of tools for recovering deleted files in the past, but this guide goes more in-depth. We’ll cover everything you need to know if you want to successfully recover deleted files. First, if you’re not sure whether you permanently deleted a file, be sure to look around for it.”...

How-To Geek, Sept. 28; July 9, 2009

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback: aldirect@ala.org

Direct ad inquiries to: mstack@ala.org

AL Direct FAQ: americanlibrariesmagazine.org/al-direct

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