Jason Reynolds to be ALA opening session speaker.

American Library Association • May 24, 2019

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Jason Reynolds to speak at ALA Annual Conference

Jason Reynolds

Bestselling author Jason Reynolds (right) will be the opening speaker on June 21 at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Reynolds won the Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe Award for New Talent for When I Was the Greatest, and seven more novels followed in the next four years, including his New York Times bestselling Track series, Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu. His 2016 novel As Brave As You won the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature and the Schneider Family Book Award. The session is sponsored by Simon & Schuster....

ALA Conference Services, May 21; American Libraries Newsmaker, Apr. 12, 2018

ALA president discusses sustainable development at UN

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (center) with other speakers at the “Sustainable Development Goals in Libraries Today” event May 23 at the UN Library

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo joined international library leaders for a knowledge-sharing event on May 23 titled “Sustainable Development Goals in Libraries Today: The Role of Libraries in Strengthening our Communities.” Hosted by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York City, the event highlighted how libraries can help their communities learn, understand, and support sustainable professional development. Access to information is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 (“Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”). Other speakers included Thanos Giannakopoulos, UN Library; Robin Kear, University of Pittsburgh; Gerald Richard Beasley, Cornell University; Nick Buron, Queens (N.Y.) Public Library; and Lauren Reinhalter, Council on Foreign Relations....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, May 23

Encouraging a reading culture in Africa

African Union Commission Director of Strategic Policy, Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Resource Mobilization Mesfin Tessema (left) with AfLIA President John Tsebe at the MOU signing

The African Union Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 20 with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions to foster closer collaboration between the two institutions in a strategic move to drive sustainable development of the continent, through education and skills. The collaboration seeks to encourage a reading culture in Africa and enhance human intellectual capital by offering relevant resources. AfLIA President John Tsebe affirmed the association’s eagerness to support AU in realizing its Agenda 2063 goals, by having libraries participate in the process....

African Union, May 20

Integrating Wikidata at the Library of Congress

An example of id.loc.gov links for Virginia Woolf

Matt Miller writes: “Very similar to Wikipedia, Wikidata is a collaborative, community-driven project. While users of Wikipedia create and edit encyclopedia articles, when you contribute to Wikidata you create structured data. Of the many potential uses for Wikidata, one focus is using Wikidata as a hub for institutional identifiers. Many organizations maintain unique identifiers for people, subjects, and works. If these IDs are all added to Wikidata, then you can seamlessly access data from dozens of sources if you know the Wikidata ID. The Library of Congress is looking into including links in its authority record out to Wikidata.”...

Library of Congress: The Signal, May 22
ALA news

Narragansett library cuts draw protests

Narragansett library supporters outside the May 20 town council meeting. Photo by Kris Craig / Providence Journal

After a rally of about 120 people outside town hall in Narragansett, Rhode Island, on May 20 protesting the town council’s proposed budget that cuts the library allocation in half, the three-member council majority defied the boos against them and the cheers for two council members fighting the cuts. Councilman Richard Lema repeated that the town could not level-fund the library at $841,000 when the library has a fund balance of about $686,000, which the majority wants the library to spend on operations and repairs. Councilman Jesse Pugh said the majority plan is extortion and in defiance of a bipartisan statement by Democratic and Republican Town Committees....

Providence (R.I.) Journal, May 20

Ohio State acquires Ollie Harrington cartoon archive

“Welcome to the Great Watergate Swamp,” original published art by Ollie Harrington, May 2, 1973

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at Ohio State University has acquired a rare collection of materials by Oliver “Ollie” Harrington (1912–1995). Arriving from Germany, Harrington’s collection includes original published cartoons, along with roughs, sketchbooks, and other archival materials. Inspired by and later involved with the Harlem Renaissance, Harrington published cartoons in a number of Black and leftist newspapers, including the Amsterdam News and the Chicago Defender. Best known for his series Bootsie, Harrington continued with his work after leaving the US due to the scrutiny he was under by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the early 1950s....

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum Blog, May 23

How to extrovert (when you have to)

Pro tip: If you have a hard time interacting as yourself, get dressed up as someone else. Photo by Brendan Helmuth

Jenn Carson writes: “I am one of those people often approached to deliver webinars and conference talks and write books about my ‘endless ideas and enthusiasm.’ Am I lying and faking it? Lying, no. Forcing myself to be uncomfortable, definitely. I have found ways to work around, or more accurately work with, my insecurity, complacency, and aversion to public speaking (or public anything). And I hate to sound like my mother, but it’s actually been good for me to get out of my comfort zone. I’m going to share what’s worked for me, in the hopes it will help you too.”...

Programming Librarian, May 22

What student employees have taught me

Student workers, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Library

Melissa DeWitt writes: “As a new librarian, and as someone who is new to working at a university, there’s a lot to learn. I’ve found that it’s the students, especially student employees in the library, that provide the most holistic view of campus life and culture. In addition to myths and campus lore, students have very strong opinions about their classes, professors, and perceptions of leadership. I’ve learned about what classes were difficult and why in different departments. Basically, if I want to know how students feel about new construction plans, the history of a particular spot on campus, or the perception of an assignment, I just have to ask.”...

ACRLog, May 24
Latest Library Links

The comeback of the century

Cover of Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Timothy Egan writes: “True, nearly one in four adults in this country have not read a book in the last year. But the book is back. Defying all death notices, sales of printed books continue to rise to new highs, as do the number of independent stores stocked with these voices between covers, even as sales of electronic versions are declining. Nearly three times as many Americans read a book of history in 2017 as watched the first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. You can make a case that we owe a big part of the renaissance of the written word in recent months to Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. This is old-fashioned storytelling, and storytelling will never die.”...

New York Times, May 24; Pew Research Center: Fact Tank, Mar. 23, 2018; National Endowment for the Arts, Sept. 2018

Your library’s first chess tournament

Chess tournament at Columbus (Ga.) Public Library

John Jackson writes: “Chess is one of the quintessential activities that transcends age, culture, class, and even language. Once you open your doors to chess players, you may be surprised at how many diverse people will arrive eager to play. It’s an excellent fit for a library hoping to establish itself as a place open to everyone. At Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus, Georgia, we began an adult chess program in 2017. The response from our community was extraordinary. All sorts of new patrons appeared, asking ‘Is this where chess is?’ One of the frequent requests we received was to host a tournament. Here is what I learned.”...

Programming Librarian, May 22
Dewey Decibel podcast

10 of the best poems about the mind

John Keats, looking thoughtful

Oliver Tearle writes: “Poets are often introspective people. ‘Look in thy heart, and write,’ Sir Philip Sidney’s muse commanded him, chiding him for a ‘fool’ for not thinking of doing this in the first place—and ‘heart’ in Sidney’s time was pretty much synonymous with ‘mind’ in this sense. Here are 10 of the greatest poems written about the mind and mental conflict, introspection, meditation, and other brainy matters. We haven’t included any Wordsworth, but if you want an Easter egg by way of suggestions, we’d recommend Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey,’ which is not so much about the mind’ as a fine example of meditation and personal recollection.”...

Interesting Literature, May 22; Nov. 5, 2018

Scents and sensibility

Cover of The Book of Lost Fragrances, by M. J. Rose

Erica Bauermeister writes: “Scents are the stealth weapons in the arsenal of the senses. They head directly to the emotional parts of the brain, bypassing rationality. The memories they evoke are rich, immersive things, three-dimensional, and intimate. Novels about scents tend to affect us in a similar way. We read their sentences and dive into a sense we rarely pay attention to in our normal lives. Perfumers divide fragrances into families, much as we categorize books by genres. For these five evocative books, perfume categories seem a perfect way to characterize them.”...

Literary Hub, May 24

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