States can adopt their own net neutrality rules.

American Library Association • October 1, 2019
ALA Graphics posters

For daily ALA and library news, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Appeals court upholds net neutrality repeal

Sammi LeMaster helps to dismantle a large alarm clock display that reads “Net Neutrality Wake Up Call” from the stage after a protest at the FCC in Washington, December 14, 2017. Photo by Carolyn Kaster, AP

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on September 30 affirmed the Trump administration acted lawfully when it scrapped the US government’s net neutrality rules in 2017, dealing a blow to consumer advocates who argued that the repeal would create a stratified internet of fast and slow lanes. The court largely sided with the FCC and its Republican chairman, Ajit Pai. While the agency must return to the drawing board on some elements of its repeal, the court upheld the breadth of the action. However, it overruled an effort by the FCC to block states from adopting open-internet protections of their own, a move that could spur states such as California to act....

Washington Post, Oct. 1

Chicago Public Library goes fine-free

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (behind podium) announces the elimination of late fees throughout the Chicago Public Library (CPL) system on September 30 at Woodson Regional Library with CPL Commission Andrea Telli (center, holding paper) and ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas (right). Photo by Stephanie Hlywak / ALA

At a September 30 press conference at Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Andrea Telli, and CPL board members announced the elimination of late fees as a way to increase access to libraries citywide. With the announcement, Chicago becomes the largest city, and the largest public library system in the US, to eliminate overdue fines. Starting October 1, CPL will eliminate overdue fines on all items currently in circulation, which it said will remove barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income patrons. One in five suspended library cards citywide belong to children under age 14....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 30

Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s legacy

Andrew Carnegie, 1913

Vartan Gregorian writes: “The rise and resilience of our nation’s libraries is a unique phenomenon. Today, we so often take for granted the existence of free public libraries that their extraordinary history and significance is almost lost to us. Yet libraries, as we understand them, would not exist without Andrew Carnegie, the ‘Patron Saint of Libraries.’ As this year marks the centennial of Carnegie’s death, I would like to reflect on the significance of his role in the development of the American public library system.”...

American Libraries feature, Sept. 30
ALA news

Libraries of all shapes and sizes

Dewey Decibel: Libraries of All Shapes and Sizes

In Episode 42, the Dewey Decibel podcast looks at new and renovated libraries featured in American Libraries’ library design and architecture issue. First host Phil Morehart speaks with Gretchen Caserotti, director of Meridian (Idaho) Library District, about its 320-square-foot Tiny Library. Next, Terra Dankowski discusses the construction of Austin (Tex.) Public Library’s $125 million Central Library with project manager Cynthia Jordan. Finally, Morehart speaks with Rachel Schipper, director of the Gioconda and Joseph King Library at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida, about the artistic renovations on its exterior murals....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 30; American Libraries features, Sept./Oct.

Westlake Porter Public Library’s health fair

Glen Meridores staffed the Fresh Thyme Market table at Westlake (Ohio) Library’s second annual health fair

Residents strolled through the Westlake (Ohio) Porter Public Library on September 28 to take in its second annual health fair. The parking lot was full. Evelyn Finley, a retired teacher who works at the library, presided over the check-in table. She said the visitors were happy to take advantage of free screenings for vision, hearing, and blood pressure. There was also a presentation, “Eating for the Mind and Body” by dietician Nicole Gould, that attracted a full classroom of 60 people. Thirteen vendors of health information and healthy foods were on hand, including Glen Meridores, the smiling representative for the Fresh Thyme Market....

Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sept. 30

Libraries as student success hubs

Northern Virginia Community College library

Madeline St. Amour writes: “A report, Student Needs Are Academic Needs, released September 30 by Ithaka S+R, found that students see libraries as a valuable space for services, including nonacademic services. Through an initiative called the Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success project, researchers first interviewed 37 students from seven community colleges about their largest needs and difficulties in college. They then created several ‘service concepts’ based on the needs expressed by those students. More than 10,000 students at those seven community colleges were surveyed about which of those concepts would be most valuable to them.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 30; Ithaka S+R, Sept. 30

Setting up a teen summer intern program

Teens at the Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library made slime with the help of staff, a teen intern, and volunteer

Nicole Tudor writes: “Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library chose three teen interns to work for us this summer (two of which were paid from the YALSA Dollar General grant, the other was paid with money from fundraising). These young adults were chosen after filling out an application and being interviewed. The process allowed us to choose teens who would gain the most experience from working at the library, but also mesh well with the YA department. There were around 15 applicants, and the ones we chose were the ones who interviewed the best. Here are some things we learned in the selection, training, and managing process.”...

YALSA Blog, Oct. 1
Latest Library Links

Longlist for 2020 Carnegie Medals

2020 Carnegie Medal longlist

The longlist for the ninth annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction has been announced. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be announced on November 4. The two medal winners will be announced by 2020 selection committee chair Donna Seaman at the RUSA Book and Media Awards event at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 26....

The Booklist Reader, Oct. 1

25 children’s books about health and safety

Cover of Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together, by Heather Wish Staller

Nicole Young writes: “Let’s be honest: As important as healthy eating and hygiene are, sometimes it’s hard to get excited about them. Moreover, we adults often struggle with the right ways to convey the importance of things like safety and health to children without scaring the living daylights out of them. So we’ve got a list of the 25 best children’s books about health and safety to help you and your tiny ones get excited about these topics.”...

Book Riot, Sept. 30

This is your brain on reading


Language involves many different regions of the brain. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Donders Institute at Radboud University have discovered previously hidden connections between brain layers during reading, in a neuroimaging study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team compared the brain activation for readable items (words and pseudowords) and unreadable items (false font) to isolate the “reading area” of the brain. They found stronger activation for words than pseudowords in the deep layers of the “visual word form area.”...

Medical Xpress, Oct. 1; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept. 30
Dewey Decibel podcast

The 10 best debut novels of the 2010s

Cover of Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney

Emily Temple writes: “Friends, it’s true: The end of the decade approaches. It’s been a difficult, anxiety-provoking, morally compromised decade, but at least it’s been populated by some fine literature. We’ll take our silver linings where we can. The following best books of the 2010s were chosen after much debate (and several rounds of voting) by the Literary Hub staff. Tears were spilled, feelings were hurt, books were re-read. And as you’ll shortly see, we had a hard time choosing just 10—so we’ve also included a list of dissenting opinions, and an even longer list of also-rans.”...

Literary Hub, Oct. 1

The myth of the golden age of reading

A Young Girl Reading, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, ca. 1776

Sameer Rahim writes: “Attention spans are getting shorter. We no longer have the patience to read properly. The printed codex is a dead technology and the future is browsing ebooks and hyperlinked webpages. Listening to an audiobook isn’t as good as reading a proper book. These are some common arguments you hear. But are they right? Leah Price, an English scholar at Harvard and author of What We Talk about When We Talk about Books, says we’re too quick to assume that there was a golden age of reading from which we have declined.”...

Prospect (UK), Sept. 27

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Editor, AL Direct: George M. Eberhart,

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to: Michael Stack,

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the ALA privacy policy.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

ALA Publishing