What it takes to complete a new construction project.

American Library Association • September 6, 2019

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

How to build a library

K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

Terra Dankowski writes: “In its first nine months, Austin (Tex.) Public Library’s new Central Library saw 1 million patrons come through its doors. Since cutting its ribbon in 2017, K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library (right) has seen gains in cardholders, program attendance, meeting-room use, and computer use. And after opening to the public, Renton Highlands Library, a branch of the King County (Wash.) Library System, saw circulation increase by 18%. We asked three administrators—who have had disparate experiences with costs, construction timelines, funding sources, and community priorities—for some nuts-and-bolts insights on how a new library gets made.”...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Using hip-hop lyrics in library lessons

Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Joquetta Johnson writes: “Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is grounded in one or more elements of hip-hop culture and uses a variety of library resources. Hip-hop song lyrics are literature—an invitation for learners to explore perspectives, culturally momentous events, and the underlying message of our shared humanity.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

2019 ALA award winners

Some 2019 ALA award winners

Each year, ALA recognizes the achievements of more than 200 individuals and institutions with an array of awards. This year’s winners, chosen by juries of their colleagues and peers, typify the best of the profession’s leadership, vision, and service as well as a continued commitment to diversity, equality, education, and outreach. This selection represents only some of those honored in 2019; see the complete list....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

2019 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

Tutt Library, Colorado College, Colorado Springs

These libraries are the winners of the 2019 Library Building Awards, sponsored by the ALA Library Leadership and Management Association and the American Institute of Architects. The awards recognize the best in library architecture and design and are open to any architect licensed in the United States. Projects may be located anywhere in the world....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.
ALA news

Keep the Light On during Banned Books Week

Censorship leaves us in the dark; keep the light on

Don’t be left in the dark this Banned Books Week (September 22–28). The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom offers several resources and activities for libraries and readers that highlight the Banned Books Week 2019 theme “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On.” OIF staff will explore censorship themes with two free webinars designed for libraries and schools to stream as programs during Banned Books Week celebrations. Digital posters, glow-in-the-dark buttons, bookmarks, and stickers are available at the ALA Store. OIF’s free downloads webpage offers social media shareables, coloring sheets, and videos....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 5

Future destinations

From the Executive Director, by Mary Ghikas

ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas writes: “The ALA fiscal year begins every September 1, overlapping several other ‘new years’: the governance year, which begins at the conclusion of Annual Conference; the calendar year; and, of course, your personal membership year. So why is a new fiscal year so significant? We look at how we performed inside the Association—and, even more importantly, at our impact on libraries, on the people who make both the Association and libraries work, and on all the communities served by libraries.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

IMLS to fund $1.9 million in STEM projects

Using 3D design software and the laser cutter, students in NYSCI’s MakerSpace were able to design and build a scale replica of the Empire State Building

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced $1.9 million in new funding from the Department of Education, expanding an initiative that introduces underserved youth to STEM and maker-based activities. New York Hall of Science will continue to lead this project through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. Originally initiated as a pilot in 2017, the project provides elementary and middle school students with engaging activities to inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with the aim of improving retention in STEM disciplines....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 5; June 28, 2017
Latest Library Links

John Margolies’s photographs of roadside America

The Donut Hole, angle view, Amar Road, La Puente, California

Architectural critic and photographer John Margolies (1940–2016) saw there could be home-made beauty in the buildings and signs locals built on the American roadside. For almost 40 years, he documented the most remarkable examples he found, publishing some of his discoveries in books and consigning the rest to an archive, obtained in 2017 by the Library of Congress, which has lifted all copyright restrictions on the photographs (though artworks shown in some photographs may still be under copyright). This collection of photographs offers an invaluable tour of the diverse vernacular architecture and signage of North America....

The Public Domain Review, Aug. 29; Library of Congress Blog, July 6, 2017

Newberry Library to receive Eastland disaster collection

View of SS Eastland from fire tug, July 24, 1915

The Eastland Disaster Historical Society, now in its 21st year of honoring those affected by Chicago’s deadliest disaster, has announced it will transition from a family-run, not-for-profit organization to a key asset within several iconic institutions in the Chicago area. An agreement with the Newberry Library will bring much of EDHS’s comprehensive collection of photographs, family records, and historical documents to the independent research library. Together, these materials tell a vivid story about the Eastland disaster of 1915, the 844 people who tragically died in the event, and the impact it had on their families and the city of Chicago at large....

Newberry Library, Aug. 14

Objective criteria for choosing bookmobile stops

Arapahoe (Colo.) Libraries’ new bookmobile

Cynthia Kiyotake and Richard Lyda write: “In March 2010, Arapahoe (Colo.) Libraries acquired a 34-foot, full-service bookmobile. With the addition of the bookmobile and an existing outreach van, the library was now able to put into place a two-vehicle service model to extend our outreach into the county. The aim was to increase access to staff, collections, programs, and technology for patrons of all ages who did not have easy access to brick-and-mortar facilities. But how do you determine where it goes? Using a matrix for developing bookmobile stops based on hard data as evidence of need could add credibility to this service concept.”...

Intersections, July 5
Dewey Decibel podcast

Why are books that shape?


Danika Ellis writes: “Despite some variance, almost all books have a certain proportion. From books that could hang off your keychain to dictionaries you can hardly lift, they are almost always rectangles taller than they are wide, at around the same proportions (width:height of about 5:8). And this isn’t a new invention of mass printing. According to The Book by Keith Houston, the oldest books in the world have about the same proportions, though they were often slightly taller than our books now. Why is that? Let’s look from three angles: the anatomy of a reader, the history of publishing, and the magic numbers behind printing.”...

Book Riot, Sept. 6

Old technology: How to label a book

Label cutter

Betty Lupinacci writes: “We found this object in the deep recesses of a supply cabinet at the Law Library of Congress. Unfortunately, as is often the case, I am the last remaining staffer to have seen or used this item. It harks from the dark days before we had automated label printers for adding call numbers to books. We used to type individual labels onto either pre-cut sheets or continuous label stock. The latter came in narrow rolls of thermal material with a thick backing. After typing the label, you fed the roll into this cutter, pressed the handles together, and voila! The label was ready and you peeled off the backing and attached it to the volume.”...

In Custodia Legis, Sept. 6

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, geberhart@ala.org

Send news and feedback: aldirect@ala.org

Direct ad inquiries to: Michael Stack, mstack@ala.org

AL Direct FAQ: americanlibrariesmagazine.org/al-direct

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