Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning.

American Library Association • April 26, 2019
Tolkien screening

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Downloads for Día

Together with Día web badge

Need ideas for your Día program on April 30? Download some free booklists, planning tools, activity sheets, and web badges. Also, a Día press kit is available to help you share your Día celebration with your community and local media outlets. El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds....


Newsmaker: Kenyatta D. Berry

Kenyatta D. Berry

Kenyatta D. Berry (right), attorney, author of The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy, and host of the PBS show, Genealogy Roadshow, works to bridge the gap between genealogists and historians as she helps people uncover their lost or forgotten family histories. Berry serves as honorary chair of Preservation Week, held April 21–27, which focuses this year on preserving family histories. American Libraries spoke with her about the importance of genealogy and about her work with Preservation Week....

American Libraries Trend, Apr. 26
National Poetry Month

On My Mind: Keep library workers safe

On My Mind, by Kelly Clark

Kelly Clark writes: “On the evening of December 11, 2018, my wife, Amber Fawn Clark, supervisor of the North Natomas branch of Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library (SPL), was fatally shot multiple times in the head while sitting in her car getting ready to drive home. Her alleged killer: a man she had banned from the library two months earlier for behaving aggressively toward staff and customers. In the wake of Amber’s murder, I have come to seriously reassess my own role as a public library employee.”...

American Libraries column, Apr. 23; KOVR-TV, Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 14, 2018

Man threatens to shoot people over a library fine

Greensburg Hempfield (Pa.) Area Library

Police investigators say Boyd N. Klingensmith was denied computer access at the Greensburg Hempfield (Pa.) Area Library on April 18 because of an outstanding library fine at the affiliated Penn Area Library in Harrison City. This didn’t sit well with Klingensmith, who, according to court records, said, “I hate Penn Library. I’ll have to shoot them. If I go and shoot them, will that take care of the fine?” Library staff let him use a computer, but police later showed up. Klingensmith said he had been joking, but police found an unregistered pistol in his car. Klingensmith is being held on a $10,000 bond, charged with terroristic threats and weapons counts....

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Apr. 25; KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, Apr. 25
ALA news

400-year-old Bible returned to Pittsburgh

A stolen Geneva Bible, dating to 1615, was recovered in the Netherlands and returned to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library

A Geneva Bible, one of 321 rare items stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, has been recovered in the Netherlands. The Bible was among the rare books, maps, plate books, and atlases that were discovered missing from the library’s Oliver Room. The room has been closed since April 3, 2017, because it is a crime scene. A former archivist at the library and a rare book dealer are accused of stealing more than $8 million worth of those books. Investigators believe the scheme dates back to the 1990s. The Bible, published in 1615, was traced to the American Pilgrim Museum in Leiden. The FBI returned it to the Carnegie Library on April 25....

ABC News, Apr. 26; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 25, 2018; KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, July 20, 2018

North Dakota will get a Theodore Roosevelt library

Rep. Bob Martinson (R-Bismarck) urges House members to vote on the Theodore Roosevelt presidential library. Photo by Tom Stromme

North Dakota House members have greenlit the plan for a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library, clearing the way for Gov. Doug Burgum’s biggest push this legislative session. The House voted 70–22 on April 24 to authorize a $35 million loan to help pay for operation and maintenance of the library. That money is only available after $100 million is raised in cash or pledged donations. Proponents spoke about the potential tourism impact and Roosevelt’s legacy when he came to ranch near Medora to recover from his mother’s and wife’s deaths in 1884....

Bismarck (N.Dak.) Tribune, Apr. 24

Archivists race to digitize slavery records

Katrina Keefer of Trent University looks through a book in the Sierra Leone Public Archive, Freetown, Sierra Leone, February 2019. Photo by Kartikay Chadha / Visual Analytics Laboratory, OCAD University

“Inevitably, if you’re descended from one of the 10.7 million people who survived the Middle Passage, there’s going to be a point where there is no more data,” said Katrina Keefer, adjunct professor of history and cultural studies at Canada’s Trent University. That’s what academics want to know next: If researchers can discover where enslaved Africans came from, their descendants wouldn’t have to have a family history that began with slavery. Data on the slave trade will soon feed into a new information hub funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Michigan State University. The project, named Enslaved, will gather research about historic slavery in one place. Expected to launch online in 2020, Enslaved’s primary focus is people—individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in slave trading....

Public Radio International, Apr. 4; MSU Today, Jan. 9, 2018

Boston branch offers workshops for future DJs

Floor Lords Crew dancer Alex Diaz shows students a few moves during “The Breaks” at Grove Hall Library. Photo by Jesse Costa / WBUR

On the second floor of the Grove Hall branch of Boston Public Library in Dorchester, kids stand in line, eager for a chance to try their hand at a turntable. DJ Armando the Truth watches, guiding them as they learn how to scratch and blend records together. This lesson on DJing is a part of a pilot program called “The Breaks,” which teaches young people of color about the history of hip-hop and how it has influenced culture. Every day during spring break, kids were trying out DJing and breakdancing while learning about hip-hop culture in workshops led by local DJs and the Floor Lords Crew, the oldest breakdancing group in Boston....

Dorchester (Mass.) Reporter, Apr. 25
Latest Library Links

A Clockwork sequel discovered in Burgess’s papers

Manuscript of The Clockwork Condition, by Anthony Burgess

A lost “sequel” to Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, in which the author explores the moral panic that followed the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film adaptation of his novel, has been found among papers he abandoned in his home in Bracciano, Italy, in the 1970s. The unfinished manuscript of The Clockwork Condition was written by Burgess in 1972 and 1973, after the film was accused of inspiring copycat crimes, prompting the director to withdraw it from circulation. Burgess had described the manuscript as a “major philosophical statement on the contemporary human condition.”...

The Guardian (UK), Apr. 25; BBC News, Apr. 25

Sizing up Twitter users

Tweeters in a group

Stefan Wojcik and Adam Hughes write: “Pew Research Center conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,791 US adult Twitter users who were willing to share their Twitter handles. The survey provides an opportunity to measure the characteristics and attitudes of Twitter users and link those observations to actual behaviors, such as how often users tweet or how many accounts they follow. Twitter users are younger, more likely to identify as Democrats, more highly educated, and have higher incomes than US adults overall. The median user tweets just twice each month, but a small cohort of extremely active users posts with much greater regularity.”...

Pew Research Center, Apr. 24
Dewey Decibel podcast

How to make your next library project beautiful

Some ways to make your library project beautiful

Sally Pewhairangi writes: “When did you last describe your current project as ‘beautiful’? We know beauty when we see it, right? So why not have beautiful library projects? Wouldn’t you love to think back on a beautiful library project that you worked on 2, 5, or 25 years ago? I think it’s less about what projects you do, and more about how you do them—the work itself. So if you want to make your next project one that you will recall fondly in years to come, here are seven ways to do that.” Here are six places where you can look for program inspiration....

The Library Boss, Apr. 23; Programming Librarian, Apr. 18

The British Library’s exhibition on written language

In the Shang Dynasty, questions to deities were carved into bones as part of divination. Photo by British Library Board

Cameron Laux writes: “The latest exhibition at the British Library is formidably ambitious. ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ charts the development and variety of the human scribble across the globe over a 5,000-year span and through more than 40 systems, represented in around 100 objects. The exhibition takes us from Mesopotamian clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform from around 3000 BCE to digital communication of the present. To mount the show, the British Library has drawn on its own vast collection, which reaches all the way back to Chinese oracle bones engraved with early Chinese characters in the late Shang Dynasty.”...

BBC Culture, Apr. 26

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