New report affirms Libraries = Strong Communities.

American Library Association • April 9, 2019
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The State of America’s Libraries 2019

State of America’s Libraries 2019 report

On April 8, ALA released The State of America’s Libraries 2019, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 7–13, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries. The report finds that library workers are on the front lines addressing community challenges, often in roles outside of traditional library service—as first responders, career counselors, social workers, teachers, and technology instructors. The report reaffirms that Libraries = Strong Communities. National Library Week this year prompted much press coverage, including a love letter to libraries from a Maine patron. The Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 347 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2018. Overall, 483 books were challenged in 2018. OIF selected the Top 11 Most Frequently Challenged items....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 7; American Libraries digital supplement; ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Apr. 7; Aiken (S.C.) Standard, Apr. 7; Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Apr. 6

Celebrating National Library Week with Star Wars

Yoda READ tee-shirt from Out of Print

Apparel and accessories company Out of Print is collaborating with ALA for a National Library Week fundraiser and officially debuting its new Star Wars READ collection. Through April 14, Out of Print will donate 10% of all merchandise sales to ALA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The donations will support libraries in Puerto Rico as they rebuild following devastation from Hurricane Maria. Out of Print is also launching the Star Wars READ collection, featuring Yoda and Darth Vader tees with vintage ALA READ poster designs from the 1980s and 1990s—as well as a brand-new Princess Leia. They are all available at Out of Print....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Apr. 8

National Library Workers Day 2019

Top row: Nancy Adam-Turner, Rachelle Brandel, Kathy Dugan, Ben Iglar-Mobley. Bottom row: Tanika Johnson, Sarah Jones, Jennisen Lucas, Jodi Ohlson

The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries = Strong Communities,” and it’s fitting; The State of America’s Libraries 2019 shows how libraries and library workers are addressing community challenges. April 9 is National Library Workers Day, a day to recognize the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians. To celebrate library workers, the ALA–Allied Professional Association asked patrons to nominate stellar library workers from their libraries. Here are some of the nominations included in the Galaxy of Stars on ALA–APA’s National Library Workers Day website....

American Libraries feature, Apr. 9

Colson Whitehead to keynote Freedom to Read celebration

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead (right), the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Underground Railroad, will be the keynote speaker for the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., on June 22. Tickets for this commemorative celebration are now available. The celebration will take place during the ALA Annual Conference in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. FTRF was founded in 1969 to promote and protect the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the public’s right of access to information and materials stored in the nation’s libraries....

Freedom to Read Foundation, Apr. 4
ALA news

Obama’s presidential library is already digital

Barack Obama using a computer

Dan Cohen writes: “As the highly anticipated Obama presidential library in Chicago morphed into the Obama Presidential Center (without a place to hold the records of his administration), reactions ranged from slight confusion to rote dismissiveness. ‘The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t’ led the coverage in the New York Times. Philip Terzian complained in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner that what was proposed was ‘not, in fact, a library at all.’ Instead of the physical research library that 13 previous presidents had established as the centerpiece of their buildings, there would be a digital library, providing online access to Barack Obama’s years in office.”...

The Atlantic, Apr. 9; New York Times, Feb. 20; Washington Examiner, Mar. 22

House to vote on net neutrality bill today

Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the FCC in December 2017. Photo by Yuri Gripas / Reuters

The House of Representatives is set to vote April 9 on a bill to reinstate net neutrality rules repealed by the FCC under President Donald Trump. The bill would repeal the order introduced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, bar the FCC from reinstating it or a substantially similar order, and reinstate the 2015 Obama-era rules barring providers from blocking or slowing internet content or offering paid “fast lanes.” On April 8, the White House told Congress that if the bill were approved Trump’s advisers would recommend he veto it....

Reuters, Apr. 8; Battle for the Net

When a real lion lived at Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee Public Museum Director Samuel Barrett and Sim the lion cub

On April 13, 1929, Simba, an African lion cub, arrived in Milwaukee with public museum director Samuel Barrett (right) and a team from the museum. The cub, whose name means lion in Swahili, was found burned and hungry following a wildfire in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and sold for the equivalent of around $7 in today’s dollars. The cub, nicknamed Sim, warmed to the humans and became a companion as the Milwaukee Public Museum team traveled through East Africa. When the team returned home, Sim lived in the building now housing the Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library. (Until the early 1960s, the museum was in the same location.) A lion house was built for Sim on the building’s roof....

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Apr. 8

Atlanta mayor invites drag queen to read at City Hall

Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker reads

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has invited a drag queen to hold a children’s storytime at City Hall after the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System pulled its support for the event to be held at its Alpharetta branch. Bottoms made the invitation April 5 over Twitter to Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker (right), the drag persona of 40-year-old Buford native Steven Igarashi-Ball. The tweet included a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s story about Igarashi-Ball being snubbed, which came after Atlanta LGBTQ magazine Project Q first reported about the situation....

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Apr. 1, 5; Associated Press, Apr. 7; Project Q Atlanta, Mar. 27
Latest Library Links

Sexual harassment in libraries, post-#MeToo

Sexual harassment in libraries, post-#MeToo

Kelly Jensen writes: “On January 17, a survey was distributed via social media to ascertain where and how libraries have implemented changes relating to sexual harassment and their employees. Any library employee—self-defined—was welcome to respond to the series of questions, answering as many or as few as felt appropriate. The responses to this survey reflected a wide range of voices, institutions, and experiences. The survey shows that more change is vital to protect librarians from sexual harassment. Here are some ways to further the discourse and provide the tools necessary to help librarians do their job to provide information to their patrons while also staying safe.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 8

Library services and patron privacy

The FBI Has Not Been Here sign

Laura Hautala writes: “The new technology environment is at odds with traditional role libraries have played as champions of privacy. Librarians stood up to the US government over requirements in the 2001 USA Patriot Act to share records with law enforcement. They designed policies that require that records of the books you’ve checked out are deleted as soon as you return them. And they’ve pushed every state to adopt protections for patron records. Ebooks and audiobooks make protecting privacy harder. And today’s software can create more comprehensive records about you than a simple list of the books you checked out.”...

CNET, Apr. 8; May 9, 2005
Dewey Decibel podcast

When the Web loses its memory

Internet Archive recovers half a million lost MySpace songs

Elena Cresci writes: “What do we lose when huge parts of what used to be central to our online experience are wiped out? Embarrassing Myspace photos aside, we lose crucial historical context to how we lived our lives online—which is why a number of institutions and groups have arisen to try to archive the web. Some are professionals; others are volunteers. But what they all have in common is a concern for the historical gaps these shuttered sites leave behind. The world’s most comprehensive effort is the Wayback Machine, run by the Internet Archive, a not-for-profit in San Francisco. There’s also the volunteer-run Archive Team.”...

Medium: OneZero, Apr. 3

What happened to Shakespeare’s library?

Cover of Shakespeare’s Library, by Stuart Kells

Stuart Kells writes: “An author of Shakespeare’s exemplary stature and accomplishment must have had an important personal library, rich with source books and letters and manuscripts, and perhaps even diaries and unpublished works. Late in the 18th century, the first searchers set out to find that library. Samuel Ireland was one of them. In the summer of 1793, he went to Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Most people hadn’t seen anything, but one rumor sounded promising. Apparently a quantity of manuscripts had been moved, at the time of the Stratford fire of 1742, from New Place, Shakespeare’s former home, to Clopton House.”...

The Daily Beast, Apr. 5

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