Librarians’ and publishers’ statements on refugees.

American Library Association • June 22, 2018
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ALA statement on refugee family separation policy

Refugee child

ALA President Jim Neal released a statement June 19 regarding the devastating act of separating refugee children from their parents and caregivers seeking asylum along the southwest border of the US. “The nation’s library community is appalled that innocent children would face such emotional trauma and would be locked in mass facilities and separated from their families,” Neal said. He asked “ALA members, library supporters, and educators” to call their legislators and demand the “halt of this cruel practice.” A core group of 20 children’s authors, including Melissa de la Cruz, Jenny Han, and Rainbow Rowell, released a Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages statement on June 18, also condemning the actions....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, June 19; Publishers Weekly, June 18

Librarians celebrate graphic novels in New Orleans

Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage

Torsten Adair writes: “Once again, librarians of all sorts are converging on New Orleans for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference. ALA was one of the first organizations to book a convention in the city as it was recovering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for its 2006 Annual Conference. They returned in 2011 to a city still rebuilding. It was this conference that tested the concept of an Artist Alley, where comics artists could exhibit and sell merchandise directly to librarians, who have long known that comics are a gateway drug to literacy.”...

The Beat, June 21; June 25, 2011; Toon into Reading

Drag queen party brings waves of support

Flo Leeta, a Buffalo-based drag queen, at the Olean (N.Y.) Public Library on June 20

Flo Leeta (right), covered in a sparkling white jumpsuit and a pastel wig swirled into a prominent unicorn horn, looked up from the book she had been reading, Jacob’s New Dress. She had just gotten to the part where Jacob was being told by his classmates that boys can’t wear dresses. The Buffalo-based drag queen peered at the more than 70 children in front of her at the Olean (N.Y.) Public Library with a thoughtful expression under her hot pink eyeshadow. “There are all sorts of ways to be a boy,” she said. “Right?”...

Olean (N.Y.) Times-Herald, June 21

Hong Kong agency questions removal of LGBTQ books

Children’s section of the Tiu Keng Leng Public Library in Hong Kong

The Equal Opportunities Commission has questioned the Hong Kong Public Libraries’ decision to move children’s books with LGBTQ themes to closed stacks, calling it an unnecessary move that may place “new limits on children’s access to books.” The EOC said that the removal of the books may be unnecessary, given that seven of the titles concerned were considered “neutral in nature” by the public libraries themselves. The EOC said that policy should be based on “sound reasons and solid evidence.”...

Hong Kong Free Press, June 20–21

New EU copyright law could block some legal content

European Parliament in session

Klint Finley writes: “Even as companies raced to comply with sweeping privacy rules that took effect in the European Union in May, EU lawmakers were working on another set of changes that could have a global impact on the internet. On June 20, a committee in the EU’s legislative branch approved a proposed model copyright law that would likely lead many apps and websites to screen uploaded content using automated filters to detect copyrighted material. The proposal will now move to a vote by the full European Parliament.”...

Wired, May 24, June 20; Reuters, June 20
Dewey Decibel podcast

Internet for the people

Mauricio Macri at the official launch of the Argentine G20

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has added its name to a letter addressed to Mauricio Macri, president of Argentina and host of the G20, a gathering of the governments of the world’s biggest economies. The letter sets out a number of areas suggesting where policymakers should act to ensure that the internet works, first and foremost, for its users. This year’s G20, November 30–December 1 in Buenos Aires, is looking at digital and internet policy issues....

IFLA, June 17

A values proposition

ALA Core Values of Librarianship

Barbara Fister writes: “In the next few weeks I’d like to take a look at the core values codified by ALA and speculate about how they could be applied to our wider information landscape. While libraries don’t always live up to their values, their many decades of at least trying to do so might provide some insight into what we could do to fix some of our information technology problems that seem so vexing. Though the core values are expressed in terms of things librarians should do, the technologies that increasingly influence our lives could use them for good.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, June 21
ALA news

Nominations invited for Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

Robert B. Downs

The iSchool at Illinois seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The annual award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the iSchool’s faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs (right), a champion of intellectual freedom. The deadline for nominations is October 5....

iSchool at Illinois, June 19

The problem with diversity, inclusion, and equity

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion armbands

Geraldine Cochran writes: “Diversity, inclusion, and equity make for an awful acronym: DIE. These three words are strung together so often that some think that they are synonyms and use them interchangeably. I particularly like Dafina-Lazarus Stewart’s ‘Language of Appeasement’ in Inside Higher Ed. If we are not attentive to the differences between these words as ideas, approaches, or initiatives, we are in danger of placing emphasis on the wrong efforts and suffering the consequences.”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, June 22; Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 30, 2017
Latest Library Links

Queer world rulers on coins

Queen Cristina of Sweden, 1626–1689

Kelsey Wiggins writes: “Throughout history, there are many examples of world leaders who for their gender expressions and sexual orientations would today be seen as members of the LGBTQ community. In some regions or eras, a range of expressions of gender and sexuality were accepted and even encouraged. These historic LGBTQ rulers have been immortalized through coins from their eras. The National Numismatic Collection has several examples of such coins.”...

O Say Can You See?, June 20

What is an illuminated manuscript?

Il Bestiario di Peterborough (ca. 1300) Bestiarium aus Peterborough. Facsimile

An illuminated manuscript is a handwritten book in which the text is decorated in gold or silver and the pages are filled with illustrations and decorative motifs. Due to the amount of work involved in creating them, illuminated manuscripts have been regarded throughout history as valuable religious relics. Contemporary historians see them as dazzling works of art, while collectors often seek out individual leaves for decorative purposes as they are among the most affordable artifacts from the pre-Renaissance period....

In Good Taste, June 18

World Cup reading

Soccer reference books

Keir Graff writes: “The group-stage games are coming fast and furious at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and like most sports fans, you’re thinking only one thing: Yes, but what should I read? Fear not, for I have selected 32 titles, one for each team in the finals—and all but one published since the last World Cup concluded in Brazil—that will tell you more about the beautiful game than you could ever learn by, you know, just watching it.”...

The Booklist Reader, June 21

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