Wilder Award is now Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

American Library Association • June 26, 2018
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ALSC changes name of Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award medal

The ALSC board voted 12–0 to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award on June 23 during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. In a joint statement released by ALA and ALSC  on June 25, Wilder’s works are acknowledged to “reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 25

Michelle Obama draws thousands

Former First Lady Michelle Obama answers a question during a conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden at the Opening General Session

Former First Lady Michelle Obama told thousands of librarians on June 22 that she wants to start “a conversation about voice” and the stories each of us has to share. Obama spoke to an estimated crowd of 8,000 people who attended the opening session of the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. “I know that there are so many people in this country, in this world, who feel like they don’t exist because their stories aren’t told or they think their stories aren’t worthy of being told,” she said. For additional Annual Conference coverage, see the American Libraries website....

AL: The Scoop, June 23

Putting the pieces together

Two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winning actor Sally Field discusses her literary memoir In Pieces

Sally Field (right) has lived most of her life on screen. From her teenage years on television in the 1960s in Gidget and The Flying Nun through career-defining film roles in Sybil, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, Smokey and the Bandit, Forrest Gump, and Lincoln, among many others, Field has created a career and an oeuvre that has made her identifiable to her fans and the public. She joined Booklist Adult Books Editor Donna Seaman for a conversation on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....

AL: The Scoop, June 24

Jonathan Eig pulls no punches

Jonathan Eig, journalist and biographer of Muhammad Ali, speaks at the ALA 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 24

As journalist and biographer Jonathan Eig (right) tells it, comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory had some cautionary advice for him: “White boy, if you think you’re going to write a book about Muhammad Ali, you’ve got to do something really important. You’ve got to explain what made a black boy growing up in the Jim Crow South think he could be special.” Eig was up for the task. What culminated was Ali: A Life—a 640-page, multiple-award-winning exploration cobbled from more than 600 interviews with 200 sources....

AL: The Scoop, June 24

The consequences of the closet

Tinderbox author Robert W. Fieseler at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans

Forty-five years ago last weekend, the deadliest mass murder of gay people prior to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando took place in an out-of-the-way, dingy corner of the French Quarter in New Orleans. The arson fire that torched the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar on the second story of the building at the corner of Iberville and Chartres streets, on June 24, 1973, became a turning point in LGBTQ history—if only in retrospect, after years of neglect. Even now, few people are aware of this tragic event in which 32 people were incinerated in less than 20 minutes. Author Robert W. Fieseler (right) hopes to correct this with his narrative history, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation (W. W. Norton, 2018)....

AL: The Scoop, June 23

Bullying, trolling, and doxxing, oh my!

From left: Nicole Cooke, associate professor and MS/LIS program director at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences; Stacy Collins, research and instruction librarian at Simmons College in Boston; and Miriam Sweeney, assistant professor at University of Alabama, School of Library and Information Studies

Librarians pursuing academic research on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues who have been harassed by conservative groups came together on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. In the program “Bullying, Trolling, and Doxxing, Oh My! Protecting our Advocacy and Public Discourse around Diversity and Social Justice,” five librarians told their stories and how they navigated the backlash. All had their contact information exposed by a right-wing organization that opposed their work, leading to harassing calls and messages....

AL: The Scoop, June 25
Dewey Decibel podcast

Desegregating public libraries in the South

Left to right: Teri Moncure Mojgani, Joan Mattison Daniel, Ethel Adolphe, Shirley Wiegand, Ibrahim Mumin, and Wayne Wiegand at the panel discussion on “Hidden Figures in American Library History: The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South,” New Orleans Public Library, June 24

On June 24, ALA Council passed a historic resolution that “apologizes to African Americans for wrongs committed against them in segregated public libraries” and commends those “who risked their lives to integrate public libraries for their bravery and courage in challenging segregation in public libraries and in forcing public libraries to live up to the rhetoric of their ideals.” ALA President Jim Neal read the resolution later the same day to an audience gathered at the main New Orleans Public Library to hear about this neglected chapter in library history from four individuals who participated in sit-ins and protests at libraries in the South during the 1960s....

AL: The Scoop, June 25

Battling racism below the surface

April Hathcock, scholarly communication librarian at New York University Libraries

“You can’t talk about issues of race and racism without talking about whiteness and implicit bias,” said April Hathcock (right), scholarly communication librarian at New York University Libraries, at the opening of “Breaking Below the Surface of Racism, Whiteness, and Implicit Bias,” on June 24. After discussing definitions of whiteness and implicit bias, Hathcock broke the near-capacity crowd into small groups to discuss an example of implicit bias and whiteness in the workplace before sharing their thoughts with everyone....

AL: The Scoop, June 25
ALA news

The librarian and the archivist

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero in conversation

At a special Sunday morning session of the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero sat down for a conversation about the similarities and differences between their institutions. The two immediately began playing a friendly game of one-upmanship. Hayden kidded Ferriero about the Library of Congress being older (1800) than the National Archives (1934). Then Ferriero mock-complained that in 1935, then–Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam refused to relinquish LC’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the Archives....

AL: The Scoop, June 25

How to start a podcast

From left: Maurice Coleman, Angela Ocana, Sara Benson, and Steve Thomas

Where do you get ideas for a library-themed podcast? What equipment is needed? How do you get administrative buy-in? And how do you get someone to listen? These were some of the questions asked of panelists at “So You Want to Podcast…,” a session sponsored by American Libraries and the Dewey Decibel podcast at the ALA Annual Conference on June 24. Panel moderator Phil Morehart picked the brains of prolific Libraryland podcasters from widely different professional backgrounds to help attendees understand what kind of content, show formats, gear, marketing, branding, and partnerships have made their shows successful—and how they got started....

AL: The Scoop, June 26
Latest Library Links

STEM for babies

Jessica Ralli, coordinator of early literacy programs at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library

It’s not goggles and lab coats and test tubes. It’s not books like Chris Ferrie’s Quantum Physics for Babies and ABCs of Mathematics, much as parents might love them. And it’s not limited to digital technology. So what does science, technology, engineering, and math education for our youngest learners look like? Librarians and early literacy experts explored that question at “STEM for Babies and Toddlers,” an ALSC–sponsored program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 23....

AL: The Scoop, June 24

Using library science to map the child separation crisis

Torn Apart tries to map the carceral landscape for immigrants detained for being undocumented. Orange dots indicate all ICE facilities; blue dots are private juvenile detention centers

Emily Dreyfuss writes: “On Father’s Day, Alex Gil was IMing with his colleague Manan Ahmed when they decided they had to do something about children being separated from their parents at the US–Mexico border. Gil, a father of two, knew they could be useful. As the digital scholarship librarian at Columbia University, Gil’s job is to use technology to help people find information—skills he had put to use in times of crisis before. Gil and Ahmed, a historian at Columbia, assembled a team of what Gil calls ‘digital ninjas’ for a ‘crisis researchathon.’”...

Wired, June 25

Librarians will guard your privacy with their lives

Box cover of Dunston Checks In

Kristen Arnett writes: “I delight in telling weird stories about what’s happening in the library. I make jokes about silly things the patrons do (aggravating, frustrating, truly bonkers annoying things), but I would rather cut off my own arm than reveal anyone’s personal information. No one will know you took that pizza into the bathroom, I promise. I swear on a stack of boxed wine that I will never, ever reveal who peed on that chair at the public computers. No one will know you ran over that copy of Dunston Checks In with your Subaru. It’s private.”...

Literary Hub, June 20

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