Statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

American Library Association • June 18, 2019
University of Alabama

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ALA and other groups affirm commitment to EDI

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion armbands

ALA and several other library associations in the US have pledged their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In addition to ALA, the American Association of Law Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, Association for Library and Information Science Education, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Special Libraries Association, Medical Library Association, and Society of American Archivists released a joint statement promising to uphold the standards of EDI. ALA is encouraging other associations to sign the statement. Contact Raymond Garcia at to receive a form to sign and return....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, June 17

Hachette changes its ebook lending model

Hachette Book Group logo

ALA expressed concern about changes announced June 17 by Hachette Book Group to its ebook and digital audio book lending model for libraries. Effective July 1, the publisher will replace its perpetual ownership model for libraries with two-year access for ebooks and digital audio books, becoming the third of the “Big Five” publishers to change its licensing terms for libraries in the past year. Hachette also announced that it will decrease prices for libraries for ebooks and digital audio books by as much as 25%; however, the initial discount will be eliminated if the library renews its access to those titles....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, June 17; Publishers Weekly, June 17

Strengthening the ALA Endowment

From the Trustees, by Rod Hersberger

Rod Hersberger writes: “I’ve been a senior trustee of the ALA Endowment Fund for the past six years. As my term comes to an end following the 2019 Annual Conference, I want to share four important achievements of the ALA Endowment over the past several years. The first is the endowment’s investment in private equity. While it is illiquid, private equity generally outperforms most other investment categories. We did not venture into this area lightly. The trustees conducted an extraordinary level of discussion, review, and due diligence before we made our first investment.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 18

Gun lock giveaways hope to curb suicides, accidents

Stephanie Jewett, manager at Salt Lake County Library’s Columbus branch, displays a gun lock available at the library. Photo by Qiling Wang / Deseret News

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “After a string of teen suicides hit Salt Lake County, Utah, in 2017 and 2018, Leslie Schow, manager of Salt Lake County Library’s Herriman branch, decided to act. Working with Healthy Herriman, a community organization connected with the city of Herriman and the Salt Lake County Health Department, SLCL started hosting classes on the QPR (question, persuade, refer) method of identifying and preventing suicidal ideation. As part of the class, SLCL made gun locks available to community members. Such partnerships to make gun locks available have been popping up across the country.”...

American Libraries Trend, June
Americans and the Holocaust

Nominations open for I Love My Librarian Award

I Love My Librarian Award

ALA invites all library users to nominate their favorite librarians for the prestigious I Love My Librarian Award. The national award recognizes the outstanding public service contributions of librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries who transform communities and improve lives. Nominations are being accepted online now through October 21. Ten librarians will each receive $5,000, a plaque, and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony on January 25, 2020, which will take place during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, June 17

A programming space for the special needs community

A Louisville (Ohio) Public Library patron uses an LED softie, a large beanbag cushion with an integrated light source and fiber optics, that produces a calming effect. Photo by Michael Damron

Michael Damron writes: “Louisville (Ohio) Public Library opened an innovative Sensory Space in August 2018 with the help of a $50,000 LSTA grant. It offers teen sensory relaxation sessions, adult sensory exploration, sensory storytimes, and other activities for patrons on the autism spectrum. Louisville is one of the first public libraries to offer a free multisensory environment, which is housed in the library’s Discovery Center. The space is divided into two sections to help tailor the experience to specific needs. One section is filled with tactile objects providing physical interaction; the other is a relaxation area.”...

American Libraries Spotlight, June
Dewey Decibel CSK panel

JFK Library releases AR moon landing app

JFK Library moonshot AR app

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library has released an augmented reality app to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the role President Kennedy played in getting the US to the moon. The app, which is available for free for iPhones and Android, lets users relive the mission in their living rooms, and visit a life-sized model of the Saturn V rocket on the library grounds in Boston. The app was created by digital marketing agency Digitas, which began working on the project together with the JFK Library around a year ago....

Variety, June 17

Mobile technology and home broadband, 2019

Smartphone use

Monica Anderson writes: “As the share of Americans who say they own a smartphone has increased dramatically over the past decade—from 35% in 2011 to 81% in 2019—a new Pew Research Center survey finds that the way many people choose to go online is markedly different than in previous years. Today, 37% of US adults say they mostly use a smartphone when accessing the internet. This share has nearly doubled since 2013, when the center last asked this question. This trend is part of a broader shift toward mobile technology that has changed the way people do everything from getting news to applying for jobs.”...

Pew Research Center, June 12–13; Nov. 19, 2015; Fact Tank, July 17, 2018
Latest Library Links

Digitized library records track Australian readers’ tastes

A Welsh Witch (1902), by Welsh female author Allen Raine, was one of the top five books borrowed by women from Australian libraries

There was an age when men happily read romances in droves and women took political thrillers home with them after regular visits to the library, with Australian writers positioned alongside their British counterparts. It’s one of the surprising findings from the Australian Common Reader project, which has made old library records accessible in a revamped database. The project, which has been relaunched by the Australian National University, is the largest database of library loan records in the world, revealing the reading habits of members from six libraries between 1861 and 1928....

Canberra (A.C.T.) Times, June 18

Morris and Acevedo win 2019 CILIP Carnegie Awards

Jackie Morris and Elizabeth Acevedo

The winners of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people, were revealed June 18 at a ceremony at the British Library hosted by broadcaster and writer Konnie Huq. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey) won the Carnegie Medal for writing, while The Lost Words, illustrated by Jackie Morris and written by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton), took the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. They were chosen by 14 volunteer youth librarians from more than 254 nominations this year as the very best in children’s writing and illustration published in the UK....

CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards, June 18; AL: The Scoop, Feb. 18, 2018

20 horror books by authors of color

Cover of The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo

Jessica Avery writes: “When I jumped into horror a few months ago and started compiling a list of titles, I tried to be sure that my list included as many female authors, LGBTQ+ authors, and authors of color as possible. On the off chance that some of you are either longtime horror fans looking to diversify your reading, or new horror readers who want to get your horror reading off on the right foot, I decided to pull together some of the titles by authors of color. These are books I haven’t had the chance to read yet, so I’ll give you a few sentences about the book itself as well as a bit about why I’m interested.”...

Book Riot, June 18
Dewey Decibel podcast

How to make your podcast sound better

Recording with a Blue Snowball iCE microphone

Tim Gideon writes: “Improving the quality of your podcast vocals isn’t rocket science, but it does require paying attention to some aspects of the recording process that you might be ignoring. After all, sound engineers and producers spend years honing their craft, and voice-over artists and radio personalities need to develop at least a modicum of mic technique. Understanding the basics of a microphone’s characteristics, be it a USB mic or an XLR mic, will help you approach your recordings with more confidence.”...

PC Magazine, Apr. 11, June 13

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