ALA mobilizes advocates to fight for Museum and Library Services Act.

American Library Association • December 14, 2018
ALA eLearning

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

Museum and Library Services Act stalls in House

Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan

After weeks of negotiations in Congress and with key library advocates across the country, the Museum and Library Services Act has stalled in the offices of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis., right) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The Senate passed the bill on December 4 by unanimous consent. Now, in the final hours of the 115th Congress, Ryan and McCarthy are denying their commitment to bring the bill to the House floor. ALA advocates have generated more than 1,200 tweets and 2,100 emails to their representatives, alerting them to this delay and urging Ryan and McCarthy to keep their promise....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 14

ALA meets with publishers in New York City

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo and Past-President Sari Feldman at the Hachette Book Group office

Alan S. Inouye writes: “The library e-content outlook for 2019 is mixed with significant challenges and opportunities, according to ALA leaders and key publishing industry stakeholders, who held a series of meetings in New York City December 3–5 on e-content and ebooks policy. ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (left) and Sari Feldman, past president of ALA, met with Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the Book Industry Study Group, and the Authors Guild.”...

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 14

Disturbance may have led to branch manager’s murder

Amber Fawn Clark

A disturbance at the North Natomas branch of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library two months earlier may have led to the December 11 shooting death of Library Manager Amber Fawn Clark (right) as she sat in her car outside the building, police say. Clark was shot several times in the face and head with a handgun. Police suspect Ronald Seay, 56, who was arrested on suspicion of felony homicide December 12 after a slow-speed car chase. Seay had been issued a no-trespass order for the library property after causing a disturbance there on October 13....

Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Dec. 12–13

Miami library worker shot while sitting in his car

Jaime Humet

Police are on the hunt for a gunman who fatally shot a library worker who had stopped at an ATM in Miami Gardens, Florida, on December 11 and county officials are now offering a $13,000 reward for information. Officers discovered 47-year-old Jaime Humet (right) behind the wheel of his car suffering from a gunshot wound after an apparent robbery attempt. Humet had worked for the Miami-Dade Public Library System for 20 years, most recently with the Miami Lakes branch. Humet is described as a loving, law-abiding family man who lived with his mother and dogs....

WSVN-TV, Miami, Dec. 11; WPLG-TV, Miami, Dec. 13
ALA news

Circulation is strong after San Diego eliminates library fines

San Diego (Calif.) Public Library

Circulation at the San Diego (Calif.) Public Library is up 24% since city officials eliminated overdue fines on July 1, but the data is skewed by an automatic renewal policy implemented in January. Library Director Misty Jones said it’s too soon to declare success. Also, more than 90% of customers are now using self-checkout kiosks, a sharp increase attributed to those who had avoided interacting with a staff member because they owed a fine. With no fines, there is essentially no need to send out bills, collect money, and keep hundreds of thousands of records, Jones added....

San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Dec. 13

Queens branch cancels photo exhibit over privacy concern

Faces of the 7 Train exhibition announcement

Faces of The 7 Train,” a street photography exhibit, has been canceled by the Queens (N.Y.) Public Library, citing privacy concerns. On December 7, one week before the exhibit was to open and three weeks after the exhibit was approved, Queens Public Library Deputy General Counsel Sara Hausner-Levine sent an email to Flushing Branch Manager Yang Zeng, according to media artist Drew Reid Kerr, who created the exhibit. Kerr used his iPhone to shoot 32 photos of subway riders on the 7 train over the past six years. All of the photos were shot “in secret” to create natural and unposed portraiture....

Queens (N.Y.) TimesLedger, Dec. 13; QNS, Dec. 5; Queens Chronicle, Dec. 13

Illinois high school library’s micropantry offers food

Bremen High School students, from left, Amner Diaz and Alyssa Ceballos stand with Jeff Eberhard and teacher Sarah Bogard at the school’s new micropantry, which Eberhard donated in December. Photo by Jamie Bonnema

Tucked behind rows of books at Bremen High School library in Midlothian, Illinois, are some shelves stocked with food and toiletries. Called a micropantry, the unit was unveiled in early December in a sheltered corner of the library, where it offers a measure of privacy for students who need the food or other items. Besides offering a measure of help for those who need it, the micropantry also offers another chance to help struggling families and the community in general. The school’s National Honors Society students oversee the pantry’s supplies....

Chicago Daily Southtown, Dec. 13
Latest Library Links

Library instruction at WSU increases student success

Erica England, first-year experience librarian, teaches library instruction to English 101 students. Photo by Nella Letizia

Clif Stratton knows the difference library instruction makes for his students. For more than five years, he has brought students in his “Roots of Contemporary Issues” class to Terrell Library to meet with Corey Johnson, Washington State University’s instruction and assessment librarian. Johnson teaches the history students how to find suitable primary and secondary sources for their research assignments, a skill the students will need for the remainder of their academic careers. Stratton and Johnson allow for work time in the library, where students can apply their new skills to specific research topics....

WSU Insider, Dec. 13

One book’s 8-year journey into the biodiversity library

Title page: Adrian Vroeg, Beredeneerde catalogus van eene, by uitstek fraaye en weergaalooze verzameling, zoo van inlandsche als uitheemsche vogelen, viervoetige en gekorvene dieren, 1764. Contributed in BHL from Smithsonian Libraries

Grace Costantino writes: “As an early work in the history of Linnaean taxonomy, Adrian Vroeg’s Catalogue (1764) is the source for dozens of new species of birds. Published just six years after the 10th edition of Linnaeus’s Systema Naturae, the work is extremely rare, with only a handful of copies known to exist worldwide. Finally in 2018—after conservation treatment and eight years after the initial request—Vroeg’s Catalogue was digitized by the Smithsonian Libraries’ digitization team and made freely available online through the digital Biodiversity Heritage Library.”...

Biodiversity Heritage Library Blog, Dec. 13
Dewey Decibel podcast

Book gift ideas for tweens

Suggested book gifts for tweens

Pamela Groseclose writes: “Librarians are free agents whose only interest is helping to connect readers to the right book. They can help the most reluctant reader become passionate about books and can even help the most challenging group of readers—tweens. As the year comes to a close, it is a great time to take a look back at some of the best books of the year. These would make excellent gifts for a tween or educator in your life.”...

ALSC Blog, Dec. 12

10 food science books to change the way you eat

Cover of Salt Sugar Fat, by Michael Moss

Dana Staves writes: “Food science is fun to witness. It’s exciting to master. And when you begin to understand the mechanics—the chemistry—of what’s happening in your kitchen, it changes your relationship to the food you’re making. Whether you are an avid cook, a science enthusiast, or just someone who likes to eat, reading about food science can be fascinating and illuminating. Here’s a list of 10 food science books that will enhance your relationship with your food.”...

Book Riot, Dec. 14

Geo tools connect students with the world

Google Earth view of Buckingham Palace

Sam Northern writes: “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? A trip to the pristine beaches of Hawaii sounds nice. The view of Machu Picchu from the top of Huayna Picchu mountain is breathtaking. You may think these places are unrealistic destinations for you and your students. Think again. With online geography (geo) tools, students can explore the most extreme points of Earth and everything in between, including Santa’s workshop. Luckily, there are open-sourced programs for enhancing geography education.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Dec. 12

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

Editor, AL Direct: George M. Eberhart,

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to: Michael Stack,

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 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the ALA privacy policy.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

ALA Publishing