An empathy-driven approach to homeless patrons.

American Library Association • June 12, 2018
Emporia State SLIM

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The librarian’s guide to homelessness

Dallas Public Library Youth Services Administrator Melissa Dease assists a homeless patron during the annual Winter Backpack Challenge, part of the library’s Homeless Engagement and Leadership program

Ryan J. Dowd writes: “It was 3 a.m. A woman struggling to carry her three children—a newborn and twin toddlers in car seats—shuffled along an urban bicycle trail during the first thunderstorm of the season. Her days-old C-section incision was infected. Every flash of lightning must have thrown ghastly shadows. Every thunderclap and gust of wind probably made her feel like even the elements were conspiring against her. Somehow, the police found her and her children and drove them to Hesed House in Aurora, Illinois.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Restricting books behind bars

Packages of donated books from the NYC Books Through Bars collective are ready to be mailed to prisons

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “Backlash was swift when it was publicized in January that the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision had begun requiring that packages to prisoners come from a handful of state-approved vendors only. While the package contents were not limited to books, the proposed change hampered books-to-prisoners organizations in their mission to provide reading material to the incarcerated.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

Maryland lifts limits on prisoner access to books

Stephen T. Moyer

Maryland prison officials have reversed a statewide policy that limited access to books for thousands of inmates as part of an effort to reduce drug smuggling. Prisoners can immediately begin receiving book shipments directly from relatives and online retailers, according to Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stephen T. Moyer (right). The corrections department on June 11 also lifted its constraints on how often inmates can order through prison-approved vendors. The ACLU had characterized the earlier restrictions as unconstitutional....

Washington Post, June 11

Libraries Ready to Code Collection beta release

Young patrons at Santa Ana (Calif.) Public Library participate in a computational thinking activity at the library’s Coding Playground event in April 2018

Marijke Visser and Nicky Rigg write: “The ALA Libraries Ready to Code initiative, sponsored by Google, is releasing the beta version of the Ready to Code Collection at the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The release party will be held June 22 at the Morial Convention Center in the exhibit hall at Google booth #4029. The Libraries Ready to Code Collection is a cache of resources developed, tested, and curated by libraries, for libraries to create, implement, and enhance their computer science programming for youth.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 12

Ajit Pai responds to net neutrality critics

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at Fox Studios on November 10, 2017

The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules took effect June 11. But as net neutrality supporters try to get the rules back in place, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (right) is trying to convince internet users that they’re going to love the newly deregulated broadband industry. Pai claimed in a CNET op-ed that the repeal preserves the internet as “an open platform where you are free to go where you want” and that it “will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access and more competition.” However, if internet service providers are allowed to control or manipulate the content of internet communications, then the work of libraries becomes that much harder....

Ars Technica, June 11; District Dispatch, June 11; CNET, June 10
Dewey Decibel podcast

Showing up for LGBTQ+ readers at the library

LGBTQ in Scrabble letters

Tirzah Price writes: “In a small rural library, no one is ever hired into just one role, and I was expected to cover everything from acquisitions to cataloging, circulation, and teen programming. I had a semi-secret agenda to diversify our collection, but in those first weeks I was still getting a feel for the job, the patron community, and my fellow staff members. As June approached, it occurred to me that it would be cool to create a Pride display for GLBT Book Month in the teen section, but I worried how it would be received.” Here are some other ideas and resources for June LGBTQ+ programs....

Book Riot, June 11; Intellectual Freedom Blog, June 10

Black newspaper archive is going digital

Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago, chats with Congressional candidate Charles Hayes. The woman on Washington’s right, who was cropped out of the photo, is Carol Moseley Braun; she would go on to become the first African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate. Photo by The Obsidian Collection

Brigit Katz writes: “Within a decade of the Chicago Defender’s founding in 1905, Robert Sengstacke Abbott’s weekly had become the most influential black newspaper in the US. It helped fuel the Great Migration, campaigned for anti-lynching legislation, and offered vital coverage of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot. Now digital archivists for the black legacy press are teaming up with Google Arts and Culture to ensure that the Defender’s journalism is preserved for many years to come in the Obsidian Collection.”...

Smithsonian, June 11; Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Feb. 10; Chicago magazine: Politics and City Life, June 4
ALA news

The prime real estate of an academic library

Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning logo

Joshua Kim writes: “Higher education offices are just another form of real estate, and the most valuable real estate on campus is in the library. For the last few years, I’ve had the extraordinarily good fortune of having my office in the library. Our center for teaching and learning, which at my institution is called the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, is located in the main library. The reality is that there is only so much space in the library. I’m wondering how academic librarians feel about the newcomers to their buildings?”...

Inside Higher Ed: Technology and Learning, June 11

Multilingual glossary for library users

One section of the Multilingual Glossary

Understanding library jargon can be difficult for anyone who is not a regular user of the library. The difficulty of understanding library terms is compounded for English as a second language speakers who must process these specialized terms in a language that is not their native one. This Multilingual Glossary is designed to assist ESL speakers and the librarians who work with them. It consists of commonly used terms in academic libraries. The glossary is divided into a Language Table and Definitions....

ACRL Instruction Section
Latest Library Links

Eight recent rare book finds in the wild

Detective Comics #29, July 1939

Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “You’re pawing through a stack of old books at an estate sale and suddenly you spot a first edition of The Great Gatsby in its coveted dust jacket (worth upwards of $100,000) or a vintage Batman comic book (worth ten times the Gatsby). Think it couldn’t happen? It happens often enough to disprove the notion that all the great discoveries have been made. These eight vintage volumes have turned up recently, sending a shiver up the spines of all optimistic bibliophiles.”...

Literary Hub, June 11

The turduckens of the rare book world

Manuscript scraps cover this canon law book from the papacy of Innocent IV, printed in 1485. Photo: Newberry Library

Jessica Leigh Hester writes: “Megan Heffernan, an English professor at DePaul University, was at the Folger Shakespeare Library studying a folio of John Donne’s sermons printed in 1640. When she opened it up, she found that the inside of the front and back covers were plastered with sheets taken from a book of English psalms. Suzanne Karr Schmidt, curator of rare books and manuscripts at the Newberry Library in Chicago, jokingly describes these as ‘turducken books’—books (or manuscripts) within a book within a book.”...

Atlas Obscura, June 11

YA books set in Chicago

Cover of A Few Red Drops, by Claire Hartfield

Kelly Jensen writes: “What better way to honor the Windy City than a roundup of great YA books set in Chicago? For readers who haven’t yet had the pleasure, Chicago is a city with history. From the World’s Fair, to the 77 distinct neighborhoods, to the Cubs White Sox, it’s easy to see why people love this city. These books include both fiction and nonfiction. Nearly all are set within the city itself, though I’ve allowed a couple of titles set in the suburbs to trickle in. That’s what we do here in the Midwest: We make exceptions when it feels right to.”...

Book Riot, June 11

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