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American Library Association • April 16, 2019
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ACRL’s 2019 Conference rocks Cleveland

Award-winning graphic novelist Alison Bechdel closes out the 2019 ACRL Conference in Cleveland on April 13. Photo by Laurie DeWitt / Pure Light Images

ACRL held its 2019 Conference in Cleveland on April 10–13. The event drew more than 3,000 paid attendees from all 50 states and 22 foreign countries and featured a rocking reception at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night. Internationally renowned cartoonist Alison Bechdel (right) was the closing keynote speaker. She illustrated her talk throughout with panels from her graphic novels, including Fun Home. Fobazi M. Ettarh, undergraduate success librarian at Rutgers University–Newark, described her take on vocational awe and being a “bad” librarian at an April 13 session. For more coverage of the 2019 ACRL Conference, including sessions on job dissatisfaction and the impostor phenomenon, visit the American Libraries website....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 11–13

Newsmaker: Dav Pilkey

Dav Pilkey (center) with his Dog Man and Captain Underpants characters

Dav Pilkey, bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series, is the 2019 spokesperson for School Library Month. Observed in April and sponsored by AASL, School Library Month celebrates school libraries as open, equitable, and personalized learning environments necessary for every student’s well-rounded education. Pilkey spoke with American Libraries about the importance of reading without judgment, humor in books, and his advice for aspiring writers and artists....

American Libraries Trend, Apr. 16

Sponsored Content

STEM primary sources

Primary sources bridge studies across the curriculum

Climate change. Public health. Genetic modification. Advancements in robotics and automation... These are just some of the issues in STEM fields that overlap with the humanities and social sciences. See why primary sources are critical for learning and research across the curriculum. Download the article on the importance of cross-disciplinary education, view the recorded webinar and read the blog post.

Celebrate 2019 Library Card Sign-Up Month

Toy Story 4 ALA poster

In September, Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and friends are joining ALA on an adventure to promote the value of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month honorary chairs. In their new role, they will remind the public that signing up for a library card opens a world of infinite possibilities. A variety of Toy Story 4 posters, stickers, and bookmarks are available now for purchase through the ALA Store. In May, free library card artwork as well as other print and digital graphics featuring the characters will be available for libraries to use....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Apr. 15

Notre-Dame’s artworks will go to the Louvre

Some of the many treasures that have been saved from the Notre Dame and that are being kept at city hall and will be transferred to the Louvre

The artworks evacuated from Notre-Dame Cathedral during the devastating fire on April 15 will be transferred to the Louvre Museum, French Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters. Staff from the Paris fire department, culture ministry, and city hall rushed to the cathedral when the fire started to protect the main artworks that were inside. The artworks, which include relics such as Christ’s crown of thorns and King Louis IX’s 13th-century tunic, were first moved to the city hall and will now be transferred to the nearby Louvre Museum. Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said there was no obvious indication the fire was arson. Laser scans of Notre-Dame taken by architectural historian Andrew Tallon in 2010 could be essential for the cathedral’s reconstruction....

Reuters, Apr. 16; Metro News, Apr. 16; New York Times, Apr. 15; Slate, Apr. 15; The Atlantic, Apr. 16
National Poetry Month

Barcelona School removes 200 children’s books as “toxic”

Books removed from the Taber school, Barcelona

A school in Catalonia, Spain, has withdrawn from its library 200 classic children’s books such as Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood because of their depiction of sexist stereotypes. After analyzing the contents of its library for children up to the age of 6, the management of Taber School in Barcelona found that around a third of its stories were “toxic,” and that only one-tenth of the books were written from a gender perspective. Anna Tutzó, who was on the commission that looked at the books, said gender bias also pervaded fairy tales, and that the change of gender roles in society “is not being reflected in stories.”...

Newsweek, Apr. 11; El País (Barcelona), Apr. 11

Entering a campus building while black

Incident at Barnard College library

Scott Jaschik writes: “Barnard College in New York City has placed on leave campus public safety officers who physically stopped a black student from entering the library building the night of April 11. The incident, videotaped and shared by Barnard students on social media, has led to protests and a quickly organized campus meeting, and to a promise by the college to fully investigate what it is calling an ‘unfortunate incident.’ The student is enrolled at Columbia University. Video shows him objecting to being asked for his identification and also for being restrained by officers. After he gave the police officers his ID, they said they needed to check his status and asked him to leave the building.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 15
ALA news

Free Library of Philadelphia criticized on diversity

Councilwoman Cindy Bass (right) questions Free Library president Siobhan Reardon during budget hearing testimony. Photo by TyLisa C. Johnson

Officials of the Free Library of Philadelphia faced harsh questioning from city council April 15 in the wake of controversies about racial and religious diversity in the system. “You need to do more, you need to do better, or we need to get someone who is going to do more and do better,” Councilwoman Cindy Bass said at a hearing on the system’s budget for next year. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown questioned Library Director Siobhan Reardon about a diversity and inclusion committee that the Free Library’s board authorized in 2017. It still has no members and has never met....

Philadelphia Tribune, Apr. 16; Philadelphia Daily News, Apr. 15

Get a handle on the new RDA Toolkit

RDA Toolkit Beta site

On April 30, there will be a major update to the RDA Toolkit beta site that will include a stabilized version of the English text as well as added and improved functionality to the site. Join ALA on May 10 for a free 90-minute webinar that will review the impact of the update. You’ll learn about the new entities and concepts that have emerged from the IFLA Library Reference Model and the restructuring of the RDA standard. You’ll also be provided with a demo of the new beta site’s functionality and features. Presenters will include Kathy Glennan and James Hennelly....

ALA Publishing, Apr. 15
Latest Library Links

Doctors and librarians partner in literacy

Reach Out and Read

Sari Feldman writes: “This year marks the 30th anniversary of Reach Out and Read, an organization that helps transform doctors and health care professionals into partners in literacy. Since its launch at Boston Medical Center in 1989, under the leadership of Robert Needlman and Barry Zucker, Reach Out and Read has been giving young children a foundation for success by donating books to pediatric care providers, reading aloud to kids in waiting rooms, and teaching families about the benefits of reading together at home.”...

Publishers Weekly, Apr. 12

2019 Pulitzer Prizes

Cover of The Overstory

The Overstory by Richard Powers, a sprawling epic about the wonderful life and alarming death of trees, has won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The award marks a new high point in the growing prominence of environmental fiction. The point of The Overstory is that we all owe our lives to trees, these massive air purifiers and soil conditioners that have made human civilization possible. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight won the Pulitzer for history; Be With by Forrest Gander won for poetry; and Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold won for general nonfiction....

Washington Post, Apr. 15
Dewey Decibel podcast

How libraries help authors boost book sales

New York Public Library

Rachel Kramer Bussel writes: “Libraries help authors increase book sales by stocking a wide range of titles, partnering with local bookstores for sales when hosting author events, running book-related podcasts, and more. New York Public Library’s Andrew Medlar said that NYPL added more than 476,000 print books, 75,000 ebooks, and 18,000 audiobooks to its circulating collection. Sarah McGowan, public services librarian at Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library, said that the library hosts one main event speaker per year, which they’ve been doing since 2014.”...

Forbes, Apr. 12

A drone’s-eye tour of Piqua Public Library

Screenshot from Piqua (Ohio) Public Library drone tour

From Above Aerial, an aerial photography service located in Sidney, Ohio, has captured the essence of the Piqua (Ohio) Public Library in its very first indoor drone video (2:56)....

From Above Aerial, Facebook video, Apr. 14

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