Librarians prepare for the 2020 Census kickoff.

American Library Association • June 7, 2019
University of Alabama

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Making the 2020 Census count

Cover of Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census kicks off next April. As always, some census takers will be out knocking on doors. But for the first time, people will also be able to complete the questionnaires online. Librarians can help provide space, equipment, and information to guide patrons through the process. Conducting a fair and accurate count isn’t as easy as it may seem. Many areas of the country have populations that are difficult to count. And a controversial new citizenship question proposed by the Trump administration could suppress the response rate....

American Libraries feature, June

50 years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Coretta Scott King speaking at the CSK Book Awards Breakfast at the 1993 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich. This is just the smallest smattering of titles that have won Coretta Scott King Book Awards in the last 50 years. Founded in 1969, the awards have become the mark of excellence for books that are authored or illustrated by African Americans and that demonstrate an appreciation of African-American culture. American Libraries celebrates this amazing half-century of excellence by sharing stories and thoughts from nine of the awards’ winners and committee members....

American Libraries feature, June

Notable LIS dissertations 2019

LIS dissertations 2019

Kathy Rosa writes: “Within the research projects of doctoral students in library and information science lie ways to mitigate the challenges of an inequitable world. Too often, these valuable findings go underused. This year’s crop includes research on the power of reading, librarian–teacher collaborations, and school librarians as academic leaders. These nine dissertations selected from digital archives and online databases have practical implications for school, public, academic, and special libraries; feature quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies; and include measurable recommendations for change.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Evaluating job candidates for “fit” can stifle diversity

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “Cultural fit is often difficult to describe but refers to how well an employee matches the environment and values of their organization. Despite its ineffability, fit can play a significant role in hiring decisions. A survey of academic librarians found that cultural fit was valued more highly in hiring than previous experience, job performance, skills, and knowledge of professional trends. I once worked at an institution where I was a poor fit for the culture and can attest to how demoralizing that situation can be. I’ve also served on hiring committees where it was clear that our conceptions of cultural fit held nearly as much weight as the stated qualifications.”...

American Libraries column, June; Technical Services Quarterly 27 (2010): 66–86
ALA news

Texas librarians help Capitol Hill slide into learning

From left: Moderator Liana Heitin Loewus; Elizabeth Rush, library specialist at Northside Independent School District in Leon Valley, Texas; Nawaid Ladak, legislative assistant to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.); and Dallas Director of Libraries Jo Giudice

Megan Ortegon writes: “On June 4, the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office hosted a forum on Capitol Hill called ‘Slide into Learning: Libraries Advance Literacy and Prevent the Summer Slide’ with support from Texas librarians and Reps. Will Hurd (D-Tex.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.). PPA organized the discussion to educate congressional staff about libraries’ role in developing literacy, especially during the summer months, and to encourage legislators to look to libraries as leading partners in education. PPA staff worked with AASL and the Texas Library Association to identify librarians in the two districts to participate in the event.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 7

Newsmaker: Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi’s debut YA novel Children of Blood and Bone (Henry Holt, 2018) follows Zélie, who fights to bring magic back to her people in Orïsha (named for Orisha, the Yoruba deities) under their ruthless monarchy. A film version is in development; the second book, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is due in December. Adeyemi will be an Auditorium Speaker at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 24. American Libraries spoke with her about writing, her inspirations, and the importance of representation in media....

American Libraries Trend, June
Dewey Decibel CSK panel

Still popular: Drag queen storytime at libraries

Vanessa Carr, right, and Blazen Haven sang “The Hokey Pokey” during Drag Queen Story Time at the Alvar Library in New Orleans in August. Photo by Scott Threlkeld / The Advocate

Liam Stack writes: “Once upon a time, at a public library in San Francisco, a drag queen arrived at storytime and read to the children she met there. The children—no strangers to playing make believe—had fun, and soon the idea of drag queens hosting storytime spread to New York. Today, four years after that first event, drag performers regularly entertain children at libraries and community centers in progressive enclaves like New York and Los Angeles as well as red-state towns like Juneau, Alaska, and Lincoln, Nebraska.” Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library’s Gerritsen Beach branch had both supporters and protesters at its story hour on June 6....

New York Times, June 6; Brooklyn (N.Y.) Daily Eagle, June 6

A DACA librarian is not a threat to America

Armando Peniche Rosales

Armando Peniche Rosales writes: “I’ve always loved libraries. When my parents first brought me to Denver from southern Mexico when I was nine years old, the city’s libraries were welcoming places where I felt like I belonged. Today, I’m a library program associate at the Valdez-Perry branch of the Denver Public Library where I organize science and art programs for kids who come to take refuge in the library just like I did. But today I live in constant uncertainty, because in September 2017, President Trump ordered the end of the DACA program, which gives immigrants like me who arrived here as children the right to work and live without fear of deportation.”...

Colorado Independent, May 31
Latest Library Links

What Game of Thrones teaches us about fake news

Brienne of Tarth

Kate Lechtenberg writes: “With the final season of Game of Thrones concluded, I’ve spent more hours than I’d like to admit immersed in the land of Westeros and the lives of all my favorite characters. But it hasn’t been entirely wasted: While I’ve been watching, I’ve been thinking a lot about fake news, and I’ve realized that watching the Starks, Lannisters, and all their allies and enemies scheme, maneuver, and strategize has helped me understand how and why people make decisions about which people and information to believe and which to reject.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, May 29

NASA is looking for librarian peer reviewers

NASA logo

NASA STEM Engagement is actively recruiting qualified peer reviewers who will volunteer to externally review informal STEM education proposals during fall 2019 for its Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II). NASA is seeking a diverse reviewer pool that includes librarians and educators with experience or knowledge of activities described in this announcement. Volunteer at this website....

NASA, May 2

Now you can tell Alexa to delete recent commands

Alexa voice commands

Nat Levy writes: “Amazon is stepping up its privacy options for its voice assistant and digital brain Alexa, as tech giants look to give users more control over data to assuage widespread privacy concerns. The company on May 29 announced new ways for Alexa users to delete recordings of voice commands they’ve made on Echo speakers and other devices that use the digital assistant. Amazon says new commands like ‘Alexa, delete everything I said today’ and future options like ‘Alexa, delete what I just said,’ will allow users to erase records of recent interactions with the voice assistant.”...

GeekWire, May 29; Amazon, Inc., May 29
Dewey Decibel podcast

Google Maps to show hurricane forecasts, earthquakes

Google Maps info on hurricanes, earthquakes, floods

Angela Moscaritolo writes: “Just in time for hurricane season, Google is rolling out new Maps features to help you stay informed about natural disasters. ‘In the days leading up to a hurricane, you’ll see a crisis notification card on Google Maps that automatically appears if you’re near the impacted area,’ Google Maps Product Manager Hannah Stulberg wrote in a blog post. ‘This card will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone, which shows the prediction of the storm’s trajectory along with information about what time it’s likely to hit certain areas, so you can use this information to plan how to react.’ Maps will also show earthquake information and flood forecasts.”...

PC Magazine, June 6; Google: The Keyword, June 6

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