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American Library Association • November 27, 2018
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ALA Giving Tuesday matching grants

Support libraries on Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, the annual 24-hour giving-palooza. ALA is hoping to meet a $50,000 Giving Tuesday goal, and thanks to generous donors, gifts could be matched. Matching funds expire at midnight on Tuesday. Gifts help ALA provide information access to everyone, make sure our libraries are safe spaces for communities, and tell the world about the amazing impact of libraries....

ALA Development Office

Dewey Decibel podcast: Get a job

Dewey Decibel Episode 32, Get a Job

Looking for a job can be arduous and anxiety-inducing. It’s not surprising: The end results can be life changing. And organizations looking to hire new employees face challenges, as finding the right candidate for a job can be difficult if the search isn’t conducted correctly. What can job seekers and employers do to improve the process to everyone’s benefit? In Episode 32 of our podcast, we find out....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 27

Heartland is new Book Club Central pick

Cover of Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh

Honorary Book Club Central Chair Sarah Jessica Parker has selected Sarah Smarsh’s Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (Scribner) as her latest pick for ALA’s Book Club Central. Smarsh, a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side, has written a memoir that combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary. A finalist for the National Book Award, Heartland examines the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Nov. 27

Where have Iowa's teacher-librarians gone?

The number of Iowa teacher-librarians has declined by about 42 percent in the past 20 years — from 703 in 1997 to 406 in 2016. (Source: Iowa Department of Education/USA Today)

Mackenzie Ryan writes: “For every five school librarians working in Iowa 10 years ago, only four positions remain, a decline of nearly 20%, the Des Moines Register found. Comparatively, the number of teachers has grown 8% in that time. In the last two decades, the decrease is even sharper. The number of Iowa school librarians dropped 40%, from about 700 to roughly 400 positions, in that time, according to the Iowa Department of Education.”...

Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Nov. 26

James H. Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress, dies at 89

James H. Billington

James H. Billington, who led the Library of Congress for 28 years until his retirement in 2015, has passed away at age 89. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan, Billington doubled the size of LC’s traditional analog collections during his tenure, from 85.5 million items in 1987 to more than 160 million items. He also pioneered a range of no-fee electronic services and established many programs at the Library of Congress, including the National Book Festival (with former First Lady Laura Bush), National Film Preservation Board, Veterans History Project, and Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. “Dr. Billington has left an indelible legacy on the institution he led passionately for 28 years,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a Nov. 21 statement. “With his vigor for philanthropy and tireless efforts to expand the reach and impact of the Library, he achieved so much to advance the Library of Congress as an enduring place for scholars and learners.”...

Library of Congress, Sept. 25, 2015; Nov. 21

Speed dating with nonfiction books

Cover of I Was Told to Come Alone, by Souad Mekhennet

Karin Greenberg writes: “It’s a never-ending dilemma: how to get overworked high school students to read for pleasure. Too often, teens associate reading with mandatory curriculum books. When the 11th-grade English teachers approached me last September about collaborating on a nonfiction independent reading project, I jumped at the opportunity. I saw this as the perfect way to introduce students to the wide range of reading material available to them. I immediately thought of speed dating with books.”...

AASL Knowledge Quest, Nov. 27
ALA news

Facebook Live on reporting censorship with OIF

Report Censorship, Wednesday 12/12 at 12 p.m. Central

Join ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom at a Facebook Live event Wednesday, December 12, at 12 p.m. Central to highlight the importance of reporting censorship. During the event, OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will discuss the variety of ways to report, the information OIF is looking for, anonymous and confidential options, and our professional responsibility to challenge censorship as stated in Article III of the Library Bill of Rights....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 26
Latest Library Links

Best online backup services to keep data safe

Screenshot from Acronis True Image demo video

Dan Price writes: “Everyone should make backups of their data. Disaster will inevitably strike at some point. And when it does, you don’t want to lose your photos, videos, music, and important documents. Because of the offsite nature of online backups, we recommend that you should use them for one of your backup copies. On the downside, you won’t be able to create or restore backups if you don’t have an active internet connection. So, which online services should you use? Here are our top seven picks.”...

Make Use Of, Nov. 23

Brooklyn library earns literary landmark status

Brooklyn Public Library staffers, elected officials, and members of Betty Smith's family unveil a plaque marking the literary landmark status of BPL's Leonard branch.

The Leonard branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library has been designated a literary landmark by United for Libraries for the central role it plays in Betty Smith's classic novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The library held an unveiling ceremony for the commemorative landmark plaque on November 14, attended by members of Smith’s family, Brooklyn Public Library staffers, elected officials, and Amy Lyons, the cover illustrator of the 75th anniversary edition of the book....

Greenpoint (N.Y.) Post, Nov. 20
Dewey Decibel podcast

35 books librarians have recently loved

Covers of Doing Harm, by Maya Dusenbery; Algorithms of Oppression, by Safiya Umoja Noble; and The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang

Arianna Rebolini writes: “Back in September, BuzzFeed Books sent out an unscientific survey to librarians, asking them about their jobs, projects, pet peeves—and recent books they’ve loved. About 1,400 librarians responded, mostly in the US. Here’s what they had to say.”...

BuzzFeed News, Sept. 21; Nov. 21

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