ALA urges net neutrality supporters to contact Congress.

American Library Association • March 8, 2019

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Save the Internet bill introduced

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) looking on, speaks at a press conference at the Capitol Building on May 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mark Wilson

On March 6, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Save the Internet Act of 2019 to restore net neutrality. Advocates in favor of net neutrality, including ALA, are coordinating a digital push beginning March 11 in support of the bill. The Save the Internet Act reverses the FCC’s 2017 ruling and reinstates essential protections from 2015. ALA has been on the front lines of the net neutrality battle with the FCC, Congress, and the federal courts for more than a decade, working in coalition with other library and higher education organizations as well as broader coalitions of net neutrality advocates....

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 8; Dec. 15, 2017; Ars Technica, Mar. 6; District Dispatch, Mar. 7, 2017

Gender is vanishing on library card applications

Ferguson Library card and application form

What do we use “gender” for? When Erin Shea, supervisor of Ferguson Library’s Harry Bennett and Weed Memorial and Hollander branches in Stamford, Connecticut, wondered that aloud at a staff meeting in October 2018, she was waxing practical, not theoretical. Specifically, she was questioning a common procedure followed by her library and many others: requiring patrons to specify their gender on library card applications. Ever since, applying for a library card at Ferguson has meant submitting one’s name, birth date, address, phone number, and email address—and nothing else....

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.; Stamford (Conn.) Advocate, Oct. 23, 2018

Spreading bookjoy

Youth Matters, by Maricela Leon-Barrera

Maricela Leon-Barrera writes: “San Francisco might not be known for bright skies, but there is a special day in late April when the fog breaks and the sun seems to shine: Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros, or Día. This year will mark 20 years that San Francisco Public Library has been proudly supporting Día in our community, with the goal of connecting kids to ‘bookjoy’—the pleasure of reading. This year Día will be observed April 30, and we are already far into planning our event. If your library is looking to host or expand a Día celebration of its own, here are some considerations.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.
ALA news

Libations in the library

An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation. Photo by Steve Hostetler

Sipping in the stacks. Boozing amid the books. Whatever you call it, libraries and Friends groups are doing it: serving alcohol after hours, usually as part of a fundraiser, and usually with great success. The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. Last fall, the Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation hosted a six-week program titled “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

What’s in a building name?

Columns Society members at University of Mississippi tell visitors about the Committee on History and Context plaque placed at Barnard Observatory

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “What should be done about university buildings named after controversial historical figures? With the goal of reconciliation and justice, institutions across the US are increasingly reviewing who they’ve memorialized: evaluating names of buildings and monuments to determine connections to white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, librarians and archivists are finding a role in these discussions, providing historical materials and in many cases taking their involvement a step further by creating LibGuides, supporting community forums, and helping develop evaluation criteria.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

Transform the high school library

On My Mind, by Chiquita Toure

Chiquita Toure writes: “When I took the role of head librarian at a public high school five years ago, I was excited about the possibilities. I was pumped to introduce great reads and instill in students a love of research. But I soon found that students did not check out very many books. During my first nine weeks, only 81 books were circulated at a school with a population of more than 800 students. Now I had a dilemma: Do I take on the task of promoting titles within the school library, or do I conduct a needs assessment to determine how best to use the space for the entire school community?”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

March 8 is International Women’s Day

Illustrations for #HerNaturalHistory in this graphic are by female scientific illustrators. Left to right: Maud Horman Fisher (Aid to the Identification of Insects, v. 2, 1882-90); Louise-Cécile Descamps-Sabouret (Revue Horticole, 1899); Emma Kissling (Poissons provenant des campagnes du yacht Princesse-Alice, 1911); Frances Reed (Illustrations of British mycology, ser. 1, 1847)

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8. The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911. The day is not country-, group-, or organization-specific, and it belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Many libraries are participating in some way, as well as celebrating National Women’s History Month, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the British Library, the University of Toronto Libraries, and the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship. Knowledge Quest suggests a few HERStory resources....

International Women’s Day; Biodiversity Heritage Library Blog, Mar. 8; British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Mar. 8; University of Toronto News, Mar. 6; ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Mar. 5; Knowledge Quest blog, Mar. 7
Latest Library Links

Girl Scouts help revive Puerto Rico school library

Grace Regan, 14, and Tove Christensen, 14, sort books at Centro San Francisco, a K–12 school in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The girls, both Cadettes in Girl Scout Troop 1557, raised funds to restock the library’s waterlogged shelves, and then traveled to the island

Four Girl Scouts in Jackson, Wyoming, wanted to tackle a big project, something that would send them abroad and get their hands dirty. They kicked around the idea of visiting Africa, but then Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017 and their sights shifted. Their research started with Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), who pointed them to Reforma, an association that promotes literacy in Spanish-speaking and Latino populations. Reforma connected them to Centro San Francisco, a K–12 school in Ponce that needed help rebuilding its waterlogged library....

Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News and Guide, Mar. 6; American Libraries feature, Jan. 2, 2018

San Diego County branches will offer prom gowns

Prom gown giveaway in San Diego County

For many teenage girls, the prom, the quinceañera, the big night out—it’s all about the dress. But special occasion dresses are pricey. All 33 San Diego County (Calif.) Library branches are collecting gently used gowns now through April 15. The library works with the nonprofit organization The Princess Project to collect the gowns. Teens can sign up to attend the giveaway events by visiting the Princess Project website. Teens will be able to pick and choose from racks of gowns, try them on, and twirl in front of full-length mirrors. Library staff members have seen it again and again in the seven years since the giveaways began....

KFMB-TV, San Diego, Calif., Mar. 7
Dewey Decibel podcast

The most influential banned book in the UK

First edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (John Murray, 1859)

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) has been named the most influential banned book in the UK following a public vote during Academic Book Week (March 4–9). Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) were declared runners-up. On the Origin of Species introduced the idea of “natural selection” and speciation and was first banned in 1859 by Trinity College Library, Cambridge, where Darwin had been a student. In 1925, Tennessee banned the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools; the law remained in force until 1967. The book was also banned in Yugoslavia in 1935 and in Greece in 1937....

The Bookseller (UK), Mar. 1, 8

Miniature books on display at the Grolier Club

Miniature double book with Triple Dos-à-Dos Binding: Étrennes Patriotiques and Almanac pour l’Année 1785

Patricia J. Pistner has become one of the country’s foremost collectors of miniature books. About 950 books from her collection are currently on display at the Grolier Club, the nation’s oldest society of bibliophiles, in Manhattan. Curated by Pistner and Jan Storm van Leeuwen, the exhibition closes on May 19. Pistner sees her tiny books not just as intricately designed, differently scaled versions of things she loves already, but also as important artifacts in the development of books through history, reflecting “the finest examples of various binding styles,” she said....

New York Times, Mar. 7

Librarians and money

Librarian salaries

Kristen Arnett writes: “Like many other important professions in the learning field (hello, teachers!) librarians are paid very little while they are expected to do a gargantuan amount of work. Many of us are not only doing our own jobs, we’re doing several at once. We have to know how to perform circulation tasks, reference duties, run a storytime program, clean up a massive spill, and even understand some technical service components. It becomes nearly impossible to maintain an acceptable standard of living when you’re forced to do a tremendous amount of work for nearly no compensation.”...

Literary Hub, Mar. 6

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