Must-do events at Annual Conference.

American Library Association • May 4, 2018
ALA Annual Conference

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Join the conversation in New Orleans

2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans

Libraries are committed to information, interaction, and innovation—and so is ALA. The 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans (June 21–26) promises professional development, products and services, networking, and new titles and technologies to inspire your work. Hear from hundreds of bestselling authors and compelling speakers, explore exhibits, celebrate award winners, and take ideas back to your communities. Use the Annual Conference Scheduler to start planning....

American Libraries feature, May

The wide world of e-sports

Students play videogames during the grand opening of the Nest, the e-sports facility at University of North Texas in Denton

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “Online videogames and libraries might not seem like an obvious match. But public and university libraries are attracting a new generation of users by getting into the e-sports game. Universities across the country have established e-sports teams, and some of the top programs have partnered with libraries to create spaces for gamers. Librarians say the gaming events are exposing new patrons to the library at the local level and getting university students out of dorm rooms and socializing.”...

American Libraries Trend, May

Meet the 2018 Class of Emerging Leaders

2018 Class of Emerging Leaders

They’re the new faces greeting patrons and students at the reference desk, recommending books in the stacks, and experimenting with fresh ideas behind the scenes. These are the library world’s rising stars, the generation that will move, shape, and influence the present and future of the Association and the library profession. These are the ALA 2018 Class of Emerging Leaders. We joined them in Denver and asked them what the future holds for the library profession....

American Libraries feature, May

Library advocacy challenges remain

From the President, by Jim Neal

ALA President Jim Neal writes: “ALA has always viewed advocating for libraries—both in the national legislative and legal arenas—as fundamental to our ability to serve our communities and to extend equity of access to information. We are now facing political challenges on numerous fronts: to the core policy and funding priorities that define our work and in areas such as research and education funding, social justice, and civil rights. What are our responsibilities as individual library workers and library supporters?”...

American Libraries column, May
Dewey Decibel podcast

Virginia library associations team up for advocacy

Virginia General Assembly, Richmond

Kelly Miller and Lisa R. Varga write: “Sometimes the hardest part of coalition building is knowing who to reach out to. Getting to know your library allies before a crisis—and understanding how to advocate effectively together—can increase your odds for success, especially in a legislative situation where time is not on your side. In 2015, in the face of a state challenge to intellectual freedom, an advocacy partnership between the Virginia Association of School Librarians and the Virginia Library Association was born.”...

American Libraries feature, May 4

Your library association is watching you

SSL Labs security test for website

Eric Hellman and T. J. Lamanna write: “There are many organizations that wittingly or unwittingly funnel data, including personal identifiable information, to massive databases. Unfortunately, libraries (and related organizations) are a part of this surveillance environment. In this post, we’ll break down two sample library organization websites. We’ll focus on two ALA websites: ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Choose Privacy Week website and ALA’s umbrella site.”...

Choose Privacy Week, May 4

US prison officials rescind book-restriction policy

Hazelton Federal Correctional Institution, West Virginia

US prison officials have rescinded a controversial new policy that would have made it harder for federal inmates to receive books by banning direct delivery from publishers, book clubs, and bookstores. The Federal Bureau of Prisons policy would have imposed a seven-step process with a 30% price markup and would have allowed purchases only through a private vendor, according to a copy of a memo by a Florida prison warden. The decision followed a grilling by lawmakers of the bureau’s director, Mark Inch....

Reuters, May 4
ALA news

NYPL opens up new branch in The Tombs

A mural at the New York Public Library’s new branch at the Manhattan Detention Complex was designed and painted by detainees. Photo by Jeff Bachner

The New York Public Library and the New York City Department of Correction celebrated the grand opening of a new branch library at the Manhattan Detention Complex (informally known as The Tombs) on May 2. The 654-square-foot space is the second dedicated library to be installed in one of New York City’s correctional facilities, following the opening of a library at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island in 2016. It features a library-inspired mural designed by people held at MDC and some 1,400 books and magazines....

New York Public Library, May 2

Newberry adds images from Ayer and Graff collections

“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West: America’s National Entertainment,” 1884

The Newberry Library in Chicago has added more than 200,000 high-resolution images from a range of primary sources—maps, manuscripts, books, pamphlets, photographs, and artwork—documenting Europeans’ evolving conception of the Americas, early contact between colonial forces and Indigenous peoples, and expanding American boundaries. These images come from the Edward E. Ayer Collection of American Indian history and culture, and the Everett D. Graff Collection of Western Americana....

Newberry Library, May 1
Latest Library Links

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly one in six American adults lives with a mental illness. Libraries in every part of the country provide valuable resources and access to crucial mental health information. In recognition of Mental Health Month (May), ASCLA encourages you to check out its updated free toolkit designed to help you create a more welcoming and accessible library environment for users who experience mental illness....

ASCLA Direct, May 2

Spring clearing

Cover of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, by Margareta Magnusson

Reagan Kapasi writes: “Did you know that the warmer weather and spring flowers have a subliminal message: It’s time for a spring clearing purge! In addition to the amazing tips for spring cleaning found here, I want to talk today about the stuff that fills our closets, the stuff that we have a hard time letting go of, the stuff that you just don’t need or use anymore. Don’t just take my word for it: Check out these five books that will have you decluttering in no time.”...

Toronto Public Library: Health and Wellness Blog, May 2; HuffPost, Apr. 16, 2017; North York Central Library Blog, May 13, 2016

The year’s best crime novels

Cover of The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware

Bill Ott writes: “If you’re looking for trends in today’s crime fiction, look no further than one word: stand-alone. Was it Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train that prompted the explosion of stand-alone thrillers, and especially those utilizing unreliable narrators and emphasizing psychological suspense? Time will tell, of course, but for the moment there’s no doubt that stand-alones of every kind are swamping the playing field. These 20 books were reviewed in Booklist between May 1, 2017, and April 15, 2018.”...

The Booklist Reader, May 3

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