Storytelling as a fundraising tool.

American Library Association • October 23, 2018
ALA Editions Library Futures

For daily ALA and library news, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Advocacy and the power of narrative

Advocacy Bootcamp session held October 18 at Western Wyoming Community College and hosted by the Wyoming Library Association

James LaRue writes: “How should libraries advocate for support? Storytelling is just one strategy in a larger context of advocacy. ALA’s Advocacy Bootcamp includes much more information on effective advocacy efforts and methods. It presents a model of storytelling, based on the lessons of neuroscience, that is very teachable. A relevant and effective library story can be told in half a minute. The best library stories have six structural elements.”...

American Libraries feature, Oct. 23

A call to access

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (third from left) with librarians from Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge and Latin School

For the second stop of her Libraries = Strong Communities tour, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to tour academic, school, and public libraries. Her visit to Cambridge came on the heels of her October 10 speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, where she talked about her tour and explained how she intends to promote Libraries = Strong Communities as a global initiative....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 23

Sponsored Content

Three Proud People mural (a reproduction of a photo taken at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics) in Newtown, New South Wales, Australia

A pivotal moment in Black history continues to inspire

One of the most iconic moments in civil rights history is from the 1968 Olympics when two athletes raised their gloved fists in support of Black freedom during the US national anthem. 50 years later, their protest still echoes in the actions of students around the world who are taking a stand against social injustice.

Read a blog post about recent student protests around the world and request free trials to see how related primary source materials can lend deeper insights into on-going movements for social change.

By the numbers: Open Access Week

Open Access Week 2018

In celebration of Open Access Week, October 22–28, here are some statistics on the movement for free access to scholarly materials. It was 11 years ago that International Open Access Week was first observed. In 2007, a coalition of US college students, researchers, and librarians celebrated Open Access Day, which was extended to Open Access Week the following year and has evolved into a global effort involving 72 countries. Average expenditures for serial resources increased 521% for research libraries from 1986 to 2015....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Iowa religious activist burns LGBTQ library books

Paul Dorr, a northwest Iowa religious activist, released a Facebook Live video October 19 in which he burns four LGBTQ-themed books from the Orange City Public Library. A still from the video is shown, in which he throws Suzanne and Max Lang’s Families, Families, Families! into a burning barrel

The Orange City (Iowa) Public Library is considering its next steps after a religious activist publicly burned several of its books, including Two Boys Kissing; Families, Families, Families; This Day in June; and Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress. Paul Dorr of the religious group Rescue the Perishing on October 19 recorded a Facebook Live video outside the library prior to an event where drag queens would read to children as part of the city’s Pride Festival. The library isn’t commenting on the video, but the ACLU of Iowa calls Dorr’s actions “disturbing.”...

Iowa Public Radio, Oct. 22; Rescue the Perishing Facebook page, Oct. 19; Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, Oct. 21

Houston library sued over drag queen storytime

Tatiana Mala-Niña has been reading at the Drag Queen Storytime event at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood branch

Anti-gay protesters rallied outside the federal courthouse October 19, announcing they have sued the Houston (Tex.) Public Library over a city-sponsored Drag Queen Storytime, which they claim violates their freedom of religion. Opponents of the storytime have also turned out to protest the library events, which began last summer at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood branch in Montrose, the city’s historic gay enclave. The group has asked a federal judge to halt the reading event, claiming they are inappropriate for all patrons....

Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, Sept. 24, Oct. 21; Instinct, Oct. 21

State senator pressured Kentucky libraries

Kentucky State Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville)

Kentucky State Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville, right) protested the use of public library meeting rooms for “Teacher Talks” forums held by his Democratic challenger and tried to pressure the libraries’ directors into canceling the events. Buford confirmed calling the libraries, saying he believes it’s wrong for political events to be held in public buildings. Carolyn Dupont, the Democratic nominee in Senate District 22, has booked meeting rooms at five different libraries over the last two weeks for forums on education-related issues....

Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Oct. 19
ALA news

Younger Americans are better at telling fact from opinion

Younger Americans are better able to distinguish factual from opinion news statements

Jeffrey Gottfried and Elizabeth Grieco write: “While some say wisdom comes with age, younger Americans are better than their elders at separating factual from opinion statements in the news, according to a new analysis from Pew Research Center. In a survey conducted February 22–March 4, the Center asked US adults to categorize five factual statements and five opinion statements. Younger adults ages 18–49 were more likely than older Americans to correctly categorize all five of the factual statements, and also more likely to do so for the five opinion statements.”...

Pew Research Center: Fact Tank, Oct. 23

Newark’s historical shopping bag collection

A bag from Bamberger’s department store, mid 20th century. Photo by Erica Yoon

Courtney Lichterman writes: “The Newark (N.J.) Public Library has an unusual collection that can’t be found in its stacks. Stored in the library’s Special Collections department in one filing cabinet and 61 archival Solander boxes—some of which are so full their latches barely close—are over 2,000 shopping bags. Meticulously cataloged by geographic location, size, and theme, the collection records the history of graphics, culture, and everyday life from the mid-20th century to the current day.”...

Atlas Obscura, Sept. 25
Dewey Decibel podcast

Opening the drawers of the Harvard Theatre Collection

Ballet des Baillifs de Groenland et Frisland, Daniel Rabel ballet drawing, 1626

Betts Coup writes: “When processing a collection, the ultimate goal is to make the materials discoverable by researchers and easily accessible by library staff. When I started working at Harvard’s Houghton Library in February, I began a project to improve accessibility to materials in the Harvard Theatre Collection’s flat file cabinets. While these materials are often oversized and unwieldy, they are also special. For example, a group of 17th-century works I processed called the Daniel Rabel ballet drawings are some of the oldest in the collection.”...

Houghton Library Blog, Oct. 23

How to edit PDF files in Microsoft Word 2016

Graphic options available with Word 2016 PDF Reflow

J. D. Sartain writes: “Working with PDFs has become as common as working with Word docs, but to get full editing capabilities in Adobe Acrobat you must shell out $449 for the desktop Pro 2017 version, or almost $180 per year for a Pro DC subscription. While there are plenty of alternative PDF editors, the simplest solution might be Word 2016. While previous versions let you save a document as a PDF, Word 2016 allows you to open an Adobe formatted file, modify it, and then resave it back to the PDF format without using Acrobat.”...

PC World, Aug. 28, Oct. 22
Latest Library Links

Six things to do with your data before you die

BlueButton Connector logo

Simson Garfinkel writes: “What would happen to your digital estate if you died, suddenly, before finishing this paragraph? Would your survivors be able to find what you left behind? There is nothing hypothetical about this for many people: The problem emerges, wholly formed, when tragedy strikes. Most survivors lack a road map to the deceased’s assets (physical and digital) or even, in some cases, the legal authority to proceed. Fortunately, there are many things you can do now, without a lawyer, to make things easier for your survivors.”...

MIT Technology Review, Oct. 23

Ghost stories persist in American literature

Cover of Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado

Parul Sehgal writes: “Literature—the top-shelf, award-winning stuff—is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings and wraiths of every stripe and disposition. These ghosts can be nosy and lubricious, as in George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo; confused by their fates, as in Martin Riker’s new novel, Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return; or terrifying, instructive, and enchanting all in the same book, as in Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties....

New York Times, Oct. 22

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Editor, AL Direct: George M. Eberhart,

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to: Michael Stack,

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the ALA privacy policy.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

ALA Publishing