ALA’s #eBooksForAll campaign.

American Library Association • September 13, 2019
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Library leaders rally opposition to ebook embargo

From left: Patrick Losinski, CEO, Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library; ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas; Ramiro S. Salazar, San Antonio Public Library director and president of the Public Library Association; and Kent Oliver, director of Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library. Photo by Emily Wagner

ALA rallied library advocates at a September 11 press conference at Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library during the Digital Book World conference, calling attention to Macmillan Publishers’ new library ebook lending model and urging library supporters to sign a petition opposing it. Starting November 1, Macmillan will limit libraries to purchasing one copy of each new ebook and impose an eight-week embargo on buying additional copies. ALA has developed a campaign to involve patrons in the fight for ebook access. The new initiative, #eBooksForAll, was introduced by PLA President Ramiro S. Salazar. He urged attendees to sign the petition at or text EBOOKS to 40649....

AL: The Scoop, July 25, Sept. 12–13

New: Libraries Transform Book Pick

Cover of After the Flood, by Kassandra Montag

ALA and Rakuten OverDrive have collaborated on a digital reading program—a national “digital book club”—which connects readers nationwide with simultaneous access to the same ebook through their public libraries. This program, called the Libraries Transform Book Pick, offers the new riveting post-apocalyptic novel After the Flood by Kassandra Montag (William Morrow). After the Flood will be available as an ebook with no waitlists or holds October 7–21 at public libraries through OverDrive. Public libraries in the US already partnering with OverDrive can lend ebook copies of After the Flood at no cost during the two-week program....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Sept. 11

Preparing for school library book challenges

Cover of Collection Development for School Librarians

Mona Kerby writes: “When I worked as a school librarian at Little Elementary in Arlington, Texas, I was terrified of having a book challenged. Sometimes I would wake up at night worrying. I was afraid a parent would be angry with me, and my principal would think I was a bad librarian. If you ever find yourself wide awake and troubled about possible challenges: Get out of bed, drink some water, and remember that you have nothing to fear—if you’re prepared before a complaint occurs.”...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Process matters in design

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Meredith Farkas writes: “When I look at the gorgeous libraries in the annual Library Design Showcase, I always wonder what happened behind the scenes that led to a particular design. I’m especially curious how designers incorporate stakeholder feedback. Many design methods value the voices of diverse populations and bring them into the process. Too often, though, stakeholders are only cursorily involved, leading to reliance on generalizations and assumptions about how people use libraries. Participatory design is more than a needs assessment, a focus group, or even an ethnographic study.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.; American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.; UX Magazine, Dec. 14, 2017
ALA news

Libraries open up to beekeeping

The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library

Rachel Chance writes: “‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have beehives on the roof of a library?’ When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library, ran with it. Libraries across the country are discovering the benefits of beekeeping. Lane and the BeeChicas work together to provide programming around the library’s edible learning garden and beehives, and the extra honey is used in the library’s café.”...

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier’s YA graphic memoirs—Smile, Sisters, and her latest, Guts (Scholastic, September)—are so relatable, hilarious, and comforting that you may want to cancel your plans for the day and read them in one sitting. Through expressive illustrations and funny, honest dialogue and narration, she captures how it feels to be a preteen or teen. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists....

American Libraries Newsmaker, Sept./Oct.

Reminder: ALA volunteer form closes September 30

We’re searching for volunteers

ALA members are reminded that they must submit a form by September 30 if they would like to volunteer to serve on ALA, Council, or joint committees for the 2020–2022 term (beginning July 1, 2020). ALA President-Elect Julius C. Jefferson Jr. encourages members to volunteer to serve on a committee, because it provides leadership training, networking opportunities, and experience in working on specific Association topics. To volunteer, complete and submit the online committee volunteer form electronically....

Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 6
Latest Library Links

Enoch Pratt Free Library renovation complete

Interior of the renovated Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore. Screenshot from video

A resplendent Central Enoch Pratt Free Library has emerged on Cathedral Street in downtown Baltimore. After more than three years of a basement-to-attic renovation, the 1933 main library building is a proud palace of public learning. Patrons who used the Pratt for its books or attended a lecture here will recognize what is one of Baltimore’s most revered interiors. But look again. Paint restorers, plaster artisans, lighting experts, and historians have worked all sorts of magic. There’s also a reliable heating and air conditioning system. The majestic main hall has been scoured and shined, and the place somehow seems larger than it ever was....

Baltimore Sun, Sept. 13

Wondering who did that painting?

Jelena Cohen using the Magnus app on her iPhone to scan paintings at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, N.Y. Photo by Vincent Tullo / The New York Times

Sophie Haigney writes: “At the Betty Cuningham Gallery on the Lower East Side recently, I noticed an arresting painting: It showed a nude woman curled against a window, asleep, with the old New Yorker Hotel and Empire State Building in view and a fish above her, hanging or floating. I opened a smartphone app called Magnus, snapped a quick picture, and clicked ‘Use.’ Seconds later, I got that addictive, satisfying click. The app had found a match. The painting was by Philip Pearlstein, according to the app, known for reinvigorating the tradition of realist figure painting. It was titled Model With Empire State Building and dated 1992.”...

New York Times, Sept. 11

Hip-hop hero sculptures come to Queens Public Library

Queens Public Library is getting three sculptures representing two rappers and a DJ who made a major impact on the hip-hop scene called ”A Cypher in Queens.“ Photo by Socrates Sculpture Park

Three departed masters of hip-hop will live on at the Queens (N.Y.) Public Library. Starting September 19, artist Sherwin Banfield’s trio of sculptures titled “A Cypher in Queens” will take up residence at the Central Library in Jamaica. The nine-foot-tall sculptures offer markers for the Queens community to recognize, honor, and celebrate three late examples of the borough’s talent. DJ Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. was killed in 2002, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Call Quest died in 2016 of complications from diabetes, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep died after battling sickle cell anemia in 2017. Banfield said he created them out of a need to see the artists represented in cultural institutions....

AM New York, Sept. 12
Dewey Decibel podcast

Windows, not walls

Cover of The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

Vicky Ludas Orlofsky writes: “Erin Boyington has worked for Colorado’s state prisons since getting her MLIS from the University of Washington in 2013. She now serves as part of a team of four who work with more than 40 institutions statewide. While prison librarianship was not part of her original plan, the opportunity of a job in the field when she needed one proved fortuitous. Her work on a committee responsible for interpreting the allowable materials policy led her to realize the importance of librarianship’s defense of intellectual freedom.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Sept. 11

Vancouver offers one-day “canine library”

Pig, a six-year-old border collie cross, is one of the therapy dogs that will be available Saturday at the canine library. Photo by Roshini Nair / CBC

For one afternoon on September 14, patrons of the Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library can borrow a very different kind of library material—a dog. Patrons can take out one of eight dogs at the “canine library” for a 15-minute session at Emery Barnes Park downtown. The dogs are specially trained therapy dogs that regularly participate in a children’s reading program. Candie Tanaka, VPL programming and event coordinator, says the impetus behind the event is to give people who may not get a chance to interact with dogs a safe opportunity to do so....

CBC News, Sept. 12

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