ALA President celebrates North Miami.

American Library Association • February 12, 2019
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Libraries = Strong Communities tour heads to Florida

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo holds a proclamation from the city of North Miami, Florida, during a Libraries = Strong Communities rally at North Miami Public Library February 9

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo’s Libraries = Strong Communities tour came to North Miami (Fla.) Public Library on February 9 for a rally that helped kick off the library’s Black History Month Community Celebration. NMPL has experienced a dramatic transformation, recently finishing a renovation that included the addition of new public computers, interactive learning devices, and a multipurpose area for classes and workshops. Members of the North Miami City Council presented a proclamation issued by Mayor Smith Joseph declaring the day “Libraries = Strong Communities and Loida Garcia-Febo Day.”...

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 12

ALA launches EDI Speakers Bureau

EDI Speakers Bureau

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has launched the EDI Speakers Bureau, an online resource that highlights experts from the library profession who are available to speak on topics around equity, diversity, and inclusion. The 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders was tasked with establishing this database of individuals who can who can speak on these topics. While the database is managed by ODLOS, these speakers are not vetted by ALA, nor do they speak on behalf of the Association. The effort is one of several EDI resources planned by ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion principles within the profession....

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Feb. 8; ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Feb. 8
The Crowley Company

US officially ratifies Marrakesh Treaty

“Millions of people in the world who are blind or visually impaired will be able to read books in accessible formats.” Stevie Wonder

The United States has joined the Marrakesh Treaty as its 50th member, partnering with 78 countries, including the 28-member European Union, to increase the worldwide availability of books and other reading materials in accessible formats. On February 8, the US officially deposited its instrument of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The treaty facilitates the production and cross-border exchange of books in accessible formats for people who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Feb. 8

New Brunswick school board removes book with “scalping”

Cover of Bouh les Amoureux!

Emma Ward-Levi just wanted a book to read. The 10-year old Mi’kmaw girl was not expecting to find in the Rexton (N.B.) Elementary School a book with the line, “I am an Indian and I will scalp you.” Her mother contacted the school and soon people reached out from the Anglophone North School District, the New Brunswick Department of Education, and the Minister of Education. Minister of Education Dominique Cardy said in a statement that the district is removing all copies of Bouh les Amoureux! by Geneviève Noël and Catherine Proteaux and checking for any other books for inappropriate content....

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Feb. 11
ALA news

“Un-American” books in American classrooms

Cover of Mexican WhiteBoy, by Matt de la Peña

Jamie M. Gregory writes: “Should students learn about minorities suppressed by the government throughout American history? Would that knowledge then encourage students to overthrow the government? It is dangerous indeed to suggest that learning about historical suppression and injustice in a safe academic environment incites anti-American sentiments. It is equally dangerous to limit a school’s curriculum, and therefore the learning opportunities of thousands of students, because of a misguided sense of patriotism. In doing so, we imply to students that their schools are not places for academic exploration and open-mindedness.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Feb. 11

Libraries as city data-keepers

Librarian Josh Soule at the New York Public Library prepares to teach senior citizens how to use Facebook. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Linda Poon writes: “In recent years, dozens of US cities have released pools of public data. It’s an effort to improve transparency and drive innovation, and done well, it can succeed at both. But what often gets lost in the conversation is the idea of how public data should be collected, managed, and disseminated so that it serves everyone—rather than just a few residents—and so that people’s privacy and data rights are protected. That’s where librarians come in.”...

CityLab, Feb. 11; Forbes, June 30, 2017

Howard University librarian details history of racist symbols

Lopez Matthews Jr.

Lopez Matthews Jr. (right), history specialist and digital production librarian at Howard University in Washington, D.C., gets to experience African American history each day as he digitizes historic records. Some difficult memories came to light on February 1, when a photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page showed two people in racist costumes. One person wore a Ku Klux Klan outfit while the other wore blackface. “I think they are both equally offensive because one is an example of the history of mocking and belittling people of color and the other is a symbol of terror. Because that’s what it is. The KKK hood is a symbol of terror,” said Matthews....

WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C,. Feb. 11
Latest Library Links

How to use LC’s Sanborn maps for genealogy

Key to Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, New York, 1911

Diane Haddad writes: “Nearly 25,000 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are now available on the Library of Congress website, with more to be added over the next three years for a total of 500,000. The maps were published for insurance companies to assess a structure’s risk of catching fire. They show subdivision names, streets, buildings, and building details such as address, purpose, composition, windows and doors. You can get a good look at your ancestor’s neighborhood at the time. Here’s an example of how I used the collection to see where my ancestors lived.”...

Family Tree, Feb. 4

Dayton’s Virgin Mary collection

Sarah Cahalan

The University of Dayton’s Marian Library is home to one of the world’s largest Virgin Mary collection, containing 100,000+ books dating back to the 1400s and some 3,600 nativity sets. Over the last 20 years, the 169-year-old Catholic university has acquired thousands of artifacts through gifts and donations from various individuals and organizations. The nativity scenes come from all over the world and depict different lifestyles and cultures. Marian Library Director Sarah Cahalan (right) says, “We have it all in one place so that can be very useful for researchers who visit from around the world.”...

Spectrum News 1, Dayton, Ohio, Feb. 11
Dewey Decibel podcast

100 iconic love stories from around the world

Section of map with European books on love

Kimberly Mays writes: “As Valentine’s Day is approaching, we decided to create an epic literary map of the best books about love set in 100 countries around the world. What better way to celebrate love than to highlight some of its great stories? The list is full of books as varied as the love they describe: poetry, prose, and memoir. You will recognize many of the authors, but some will be new discoveries for even the most avid reader. Whether you are celebrating love this February or nursing a broken heart, there is a book on this list for you.”...

Global English Editing, Feb. 7

Gmail’s new right-click menu

Revised Gmail right-click menu

Angela Moscaritolo writes: “Heads up, Gmail users: Google is rolling out some handy new right-click context menu options, which can help you do more from your inbox. With these new options, you can reply to or forward an email from the main page, search for emails by sender or subject, open multiple emails in multiple new windows at the same time, and quickly add a label or move an email. To access the menu, simply right-click a message in your inbox. You can also access it by pressing Ctrl+click on Mac keyboards or the menu key on Windows keyboards.”...

PC Magazine, Feb. 12; G Suite Updates Blog, Feb. 11

Cliché reviews for when you didn’t read the book

That is massively poignant

Susie Dumond writes: “Look, we’ve all done it. Maybe you were new to Goodreads and trying to beef up your number of book reviews. Or maybe you read the book and really enjoyed it, but you were out of interesting things to say. That’s why we’re here with your fail-proof guide to fake book reviews to make you look like the bougie intellectual you truly aren’t. Choose from the list below of clichéd, overused descriptions of books and fill in the blanks to make it extra convincing. No one will ever know that you didn’t actually read it.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 12

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