Ebook readers make a statement on the Macmillan embargo.

American Library Association • October 15, 2019
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More than 100,000 sign #eBooksForAll petition

eBooksForAll petition

In just one month, the ALA #eBooksForAll campaign has gathered more than 100,000 signatures from readers, authors, library staff, and patrons from all 50 states to condemn Macmillan Publishers’ plan to restrict library access to ebooks. Beginning November 1, Macmillan will limit libraries to purchasing only one copy of each new ebook title for the first eight weeks after its release. Additional copies will then be available for two years of access at four times the consumer price. An average of 3,000 people each day are signing the online petition, which urges Macmillan CEO John Sargent to reverse the planned embargo on ebooks sold to libraries....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Oct. 14

Two winners of the 2019 Booker Prize

2019 Booker Prize winners

The judges for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction on October 14 awarded the prize to Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and British author Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other. The Booker Prize has been jointly awarded twice before, to Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton in 1974, and to Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth in 1992. In 1993, the rules were changed so that only one author could win the prize. This is the first time since then that two authors have won, and it was because the judges were deadlocked. Atwood won the prize once before, in 2000 with The Blind Assassin. Evaristo is the first black woman to be awarded the Booker Prize....

The Booker Prizes, Oct. 14; New York Times, Oct. 14

Oxford professor accused of selling ancient Bible fragments

Dirk Obbink

Since 2012, University of Oxford officials have been trying to trace a rumor that the oldest Bible fragment ever discovered had been stolen and sold to American arts-and-crafts giant Hobby Lobby. The suspected thief at the center of the biblical controversy is Dirk Obbink (right), classics professor and Nebraska native who had long directed—and allegedly looted—Oxford’s Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, a collection of centuries-old literature recovered from an ancient Egyptian garbage dump in 1896. On October 14, officials accused Obbink of selling at least 11 ancient Bible fragments to the Green family, the Hobby Lobby owners who operate a Bible museum in Washington, D.C....

Washington Post, Oct. 15; The Daily Beast, June 25; May 25, 2018
ALA news

Plans move ahead for UIUC Main Library renovation

This photo from the University of Illinois Library’s website about upcoming renovations shows the area that is slated to be demolished and replaced with a new interdisciplinary liberal arts center

A multimillion-dollar overhaul of the Main Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is moving ahead even as professors and students continue to raise concerns about space and access to its priceless collection. Provost Andreas Cangellaris expressed full support October 10 for the project, first made public in 2018. Cangellaris has appointed a working group with faculty members who are collaborating with consultants in drawing up conceptual plans for the $54 million project, and University Librarian John Wilkin also pledged to appoint a faculty advisory board to shape the collection and help with decisions about where materials will go....

Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) News-Gazette, Oct. 12

Temple Grandin on neurodiversity

Temple Grandin

During the past five decades, Temple Grandin’s visually indexed mind, a key feature of her autism, helped make her a leading animal researcher. Diagnosed with “brain damage” at the age of 2, Grandin (right), now 72, holds a PhD in animal science, teaches at Colorado State University, and has written over a dozen books. Despite competence in various fields, as many as 90% of adults with autism are left out of the workforce. A major obstacle is the demand for soft skills. Reuters spoke with Grandin about nurturing the strengths of those on the spectrum and the labor market’s need for different kinds of minds....

Reuters, Oct. 15

Honolulu library spurned Japanese residents at first

Fujio “Fudge” Matsuda, the first Japanese-American president of the University of Hawaii, said he didn’t visit the library in the 1920s because they didn’t have any Japanese books

Growing up in Honolulu in the 1920s and 1930s, Fujio Matsuda (right) was an avid reader. Despite his love for reading, Matsuda never visited Honolulu’s library during his childhood. “I had to go to school to learn English,” said Matsuda, who turns 95 years old this month. “Later on, when I was older, I went to the library, but I don’t recall any public libraries having publications in Japanese.” In the early 1900s, the library in Honolulu made no meaningful effort to stock its shelves with Japanese-language materials. The library excluded Japanese readers at a time when Japanese people in Hawaii exceeded 40% of the population....

Honolulu Civil Beat, Oct. 11

Howard County library helps veterans tell their stories

Veteran Writing Project table at the 2017 Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference

Writing about their experiences in the military can mean confronting and conquering the past for veterans. Some participants in the Veterans Writing Project workshop wrapping up October 15 at the Miller branch of the Howard County (Md.) Library System in Ellicott City have powerful stories about their time in the armed forces; some simply want to get their experiences down on paper before memories fade; others are hoping to write novels or children’s books that have nothing to do with the military. The free, eight-week series was offered by the Silver Spring–based nonprofit composed of veterans who share their expertise as writers....

Baltimore Sun, Oct. 14
Latest Library Links

Maine librarian misses Jeopardy! question by one letter

Jessica Garsed, of Augusta, Maine, with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek

One letter dropped from an Omaha company’s name wound up costing a Jeopardy! contestant last week. Jessica Garsed (right), medical librarian at Togus VA Medical Center in Chelsea, Maine, answered “What is Omaha Steak?” instead of “Omaha Steaks” in her fourth game. The question was in response to a reply from the category “Meat Industry Hall of Fame.” It said “Nebraska’s Alan Simon made his fortune with mailable beef from this company.” The flub cost Garsed $1,600. Omaha Steaks noticed and decided to donate the dollar amount of the mis-steak to the charity of Garsed’s choice. She selected the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, Maine....

Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, Oct. 14

Maine library director to hike Appalachian Trail for funds

Dorcas Library Director Faith Lane

The Dorcas Library in Gouldsboro, Maine, has much to offer, from books to programming. Trouble is, because of insufficient funding it’s open only 24 hours a week. Library Director Faith Lane (right) has an unusual plan to address this. She is planning to take an unpaid leave of absence from her job to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Lane, who will turn 60 next year, said she remembers hikers crossing Route 2 near where she lived as a girl in Franklin County, adding that the goal of the trip is to call national attention to the library and to help it reach an ambitious fundraising goal incrementally over a period of time. She is hoping to raise $1.25 million....

Ellsworth (Maine) American, Oct. 11

Authors on TED Talks

Books by TED Talks authors Amy Tan, Roxane Gay, and Tracy Chevalier

Lynn Lobash writes: “Ever wondered if your favorite author has a TED Talk? In honor of the #TEDReads initiative and National Book Month, check out these 12 authors who have given TED Talks.” Included are authors Roxane Gay, Amy Tan, Tracy Chevalier, Pico Iyer, Karen Thompson Walker, and Isabel Allende....

New York Public Library Blogs, Oct. 14; Ideas.TED.com, Oct. 14
Dewey Decibel podcast

The 10 best poetry collections of the decade

Cover of When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012), by Natalie Diaz

Emily Temple writes: “In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a look at the best and most important books of the past decade by means of a variety of lists. We have now reached the third list in our series: the 10 best poetry collections published in English between 2010 and 2019. The following books were chosen after much debate (and several rounds of voting) by the Literary Hub staff. Tears were spilled, feelings were hurt, books were reread. 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. 15

14 scary space horror books

Cover of This Splintered Silence, by Kayla Olson

Jessica Avery writes: “Space horror books are a little subset of sci-fi horror, but whereas sci-fi horror can take place here on Mother Earth, space horror takes place out there, beyond the ordinary. If you want to get really picky, you could claim that space horror books only count if they take place in the vacuum of space. But one of the best parts of space exploration is the possibility of strange new planets and unknown life forms; so a few of these books do take place on solid ground. Here are 14 books that will take you to some of the darkest corners of the universe.”...

Book Riot, Oct. 11

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