IMLS, LSTA, and IAL funding approved by Senate.

American Library Association • August 24, 2018
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Senate approves federal funds for libraries

Fund libraries: Tell Congress to invest in libraries

Late on August 23, the full Senate approved a “minibus” package of two appropriations bills for the 2019 fiscal year, Defense and Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education (Labor–HHS). The bills include a $2 million funding increase for the Institute of Museum and Library Services with level funding for the Library Services and Technology Act and level funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. The Senate voted overwhelmingly 85–7 for passage....

District Dispatch, Aug. 24; The Hill, Aug. 23

Dear banned author...

Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week, September 23–29, readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints....

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

The Alexandria Library sit-in was the first in the US

An officer escorts five men from the Alexandria (Va.) Library in August 1939. They were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct

One of America’s first sit-ins took place at Alexandria (Va.) Library on August 21, 1939. African American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker (1913–1990) prepared a select group of young men for a deliberate act of civil disobedience at the then whites-only library. On that day, library staff and patrons watched as a young African American entered and asked to register for a library card. When he was refused, he picked up a book, silently took a seat, and began to read. Soon four others entered, occupying five tables....

Alexandria (Va.) Library; American Libraries feature, June 2017
Latest Library Links

UC librarians fight for respect

Librarian members of UC-AFT

University of California librarian members of the University Council–AFT union continue to fight for much needed academic reforms to their contract, which will expire on September 30. UC-AFT Librarians are calling for a contract that honors their rights to academic freedom, improved conditions for temporary workers, and competitive salaries. UC negotiators rejected a union proposal at a July 26 bargaining meeting, stating that “academic freedom is not a good fit for your unit.” The union is bringing a new salary proposal to the bargaining table on August 28. The librarians also created a petition to support their demand that academic freedom be explicitly recognized in their contract....

University Council–American Federation of Teachers, Aug. 22

Most speakers support Lafayette drag queen storytime

Lafayette City-Parish (La.) council meeting

A host of residents urged the Lafayette (La.) Public Library August 21 to move forward with a planned drag queen storytime on October 6. All but one of the 20-plus citizens who spoke at the City-Parish Council meeting said they support the storytime, where men from the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity will read to children. Since the event was announced, it has drawn praise and criticism online. Supporters have said it represents inclusion and openness. Opponents have said it is inappropriate for young children or a public venue. The National Coalition Against Censorship said it supports the planned storytime and opposes any effort by government officials to stop the program....

Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser, Aug. 20, 22

Last Katrina-damaged library branch reopens

The new Nora Navra Library is open to the public after Hurricane Katrina damaged the library, causing it to close for more than a decade. Photo by John Sharpe of New Orleans Public Library

The last storm-damaged public library branch in New Orleans has finally reopened, more than a decade after it was flooded and shuttered. The New Orleans Public Library’s Nora Navra branch was severely damaged during Katrina in 2005 and closed. In 2017, as part of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s renovations to public city assets, the vandalized library was demolished and replaced with a brand new, $3.7 million building. Nora Navra is having its grand reopening celebration August 24–25....

Mid-City Messenger, New Orleans, Aug. 21; Mar. 8, 2017
ALA news

Time names Austin library one of world’s greatest places

Cover of the September 3/10 issue of Time, featuring the 100 World’s Greatest Places

What has six floors, a rooftop garden, a lot of books, and was named one of Time magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places”? It is the Austin (Tex.) Central Library. The library, which opened in October 2017, was the result of more than four years of construction and is stocked with nearly 400,000 books. The full list of 100 greatest places included two other libraries as well: Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, and Al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco....

Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, Aug. 23; Oct. 27, 2017; Time, Sept. 3/10

A deadly secret in the Cullman Library

Gwénaëlle Kavich uses a spectrometer to analyze Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De animalibus insectis (1602)

Alexandra K. Newman writes: “The Cullman Library in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History holds the first European work dedicated solely to the natural history of insects, a 1602 edition of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De animalibus insectis. But its binding is just as dangerous as it is lovely: The green paint adorning the vellum of the front and back boards is laced with arsenic. Conservator Gwénaëlle Kavich used X-ray fluorescence analysis to show that the binding indeed contained a high arsenic content.”...

Smithsonian Libraries: Unbound, Aug. 20
Dewey Decibel podcast

Bringing classic literature to Instagram Stories

The first three of NYPL’s Insta Novels

The New York Public Library has introduced Insta Novels, a reimagining of Instagram Stories to provide a new platform for iconic stories. Insta Novels launched August 22 on NYPL’s Instagram account (@nypl) with the first part of a newly digitized version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The novel is illustrated by well-known designer Magoz (@magoz). In the coming months, two other literary works will be released: “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Metamorphosis, a novella by Franz Kafka....

New York Public Library blogs, Aug. 22; Gizmodo, Aug. 22

Fitting fitness into library programming

Let’s Move in Libraries

Alison McCarty writes: “Libraries around the country have incorporated fitness into their programming offerings, and these programs are often met with enthusiasm from patrons. However, it’s not always easy to get a fitness program off the ground. One hurdle is liability. What happens if a program participant or user who checks out a fitness item gets injured? Related, insurance can be another hurdle. If bringing fitness to your library is a priority for you, there are many ways to work it into your programming.”...

Public Libraries Online, Aug. 21

A library rock-hunting game in the UK

Northern Lights, James and the Giant Peach, and the 13-Storey Treehouse painted on rocks by Ella Dickson

M. Lynx Qualey writes: “A math teacher in St. Albans, England, recently painted miniature versions of well-known children’s book covers onto stones. Then she hid a few near her local library to ‘encourage a few visits.’ The stone paintings Ella Dickson posted to her Twitter feed were all popular books for young readers. She then hid them at Marshalswick Library. She is apparently a member of St. Albans Rocks UK, a group that paints rocks and hides them around the city.”...

Book Riot, Aug. 24

How to pair Bluetooth headphones

Wireless headphones

Tim Gideon writes: “If you haven’t yet joined the wireless headphone/earphone revolution, perhaps you’re starting to feel as if the tech world is forcing you to, with so many new phones shipping without 3.5mm headphone jacks. But is wireless audio only suited for tech-savvy people, or can anyone pick up a pair of Bluetooth headphones and start enjoying some tunes? The good news is, if you can use a cell phone, you can connect a pair of wireless headphones. We’re here to help.”...

PC Magazine, May 30, Aug. 16, 22

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