ALA presidential candidates, 2021–2022.

American Library Association • September 27, 2019
The Secret World of Arrietty

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Wong, Yates seek 2021–2022 ALA presidency

Patricia Wong and Steven Yates

Patricia “Patty” M. Wong, city librarian at Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library, and Steven Yates, assistant director of the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, are the candidates for the 2021–2022 ALA presidency. An active ALA member for 35 years, Wong has served several terms as at-large councilor and as California Chapter councilor; she is currently in her second term on the ALA Executive Board. Yates currently serves as a member of the second Policy Corps cohort, the ALA Executive Director Search Committee, and the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness; he served as AASL president in 2017–2018. Here are the candidates who are running for ALA councilor-at-large....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Sept. 27

How to handle challenges

Report censorship

Betsy Gomez writes: “Unfortunately, some community members might object to certain books being available. It is important to manage those objections with professionalism, respect, and dedication to the mission of serving your community. Here are some useful tips. Having a policy is just the first step: Be sure to train all current and new staff in your policies and procedures and have periodic refresher sessions to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page.”...

Banned Books Week, Sept. 25

A hateful conspiracy book just got harder to buy

A Banned Books Week display at the Guantánamo, Cuba, public library

Ron Charles writes: “I banned a book. Or at least I helped get it banned, which makes Banned Books Week a little awkward for me this year. Like celebrating Arbor Day by cutting down a tree. Two weeks ago, a reader sent in a photo he took in a Barnes & Noble store in Arlington, Virginia. It showed a promotion table for new releases in paperback and there, among other books, was David Icke’s The Trigger, 900 pages of harebrained word-vomit. I sent a note to B&N’s corporate office asking about it, and they decided to remove the book from all their stores. But the more I think about it, the more I find my First Amendment absolutism chasing its tail.”...

Washington Post, Sept. 24

Librarian Jean Polly inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

Jean Armour Polly

Every two years, the Internet Society’s Internet Hall of Fame honors the people behind the effort to expand the internet’s reach. The honor shines a rare spotlight on the people who made the internet what it is today. On September 27, librarian Jean Armour Polly (right) will be inducted. When Polly suggested that the tiny Liverpool (N.Y.) Public Library offer free internet to the public in 1991, the idea was unheard of. Polly worked with NYSERNet (New York State Education and Research Network) to get a dialup internet account for the library, and then she traveled the US promoting the idea of online access in libraries. Other libraries were slow to follow....

Wired, Sept. 27; Internet Hall of Fame, Sept. 27; Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, Sept. 27
ALA news

Graphic novels return to the New York Times bestseller list

Ms. Marvel

The New York Times announced on September 26 that it will resume publishing a Graphic Books bestseller list for the first time in over two years, restoring a key point of prestige for the oft-undervalued medium of comics. The Times unceremoniously dropped its graphic novel and manga lists from the paper’s book review section in January 2017, after eight years of consistent publication. Starting October 2 (online) and October 20 (in the print insert) the Times Book Review will run a new Graphic Books list, which will follow sales figures in fiction and nonfiction, children’s and adults’ books, and manga....

Polygon, Sept. 26; Jan. 26, 2017; New York Times, Sept. 26

Crowdsourcing Victorian Era industrial accidents

Child laborer in UK factory

Mia Ridge, British Library digital curator for Western Heritage Collections, writes: “How did technology change the lives of ordinary people during the Industrial Revolution in Britain? Living with Machines is a research project by the British Library, Alan Turing Institute, and academic partners that applies data science methods to ask historical questions and find new insights in digitized documents. With your help, we can find newspaper articles about Victorian industrial accidents and start to understand how these accidents affected workers, their families, and communities.”...

Living with Machines

Free speech controversies on campus

University of Minnesota Psychology sophomore Melody Colón speaks during a protest on the Washington Avenue Bridge on September 30, 2016. Photo by Chelsea Gortmaker / Minnesota Daily

Corinne Segal writes: “PEN America has released a Campus Free Speech Guide aimed at helping students and educators navigate free speech-related conflicts and controversies on campus. The guide was in part a response to requests from educators who were eager for clear guidance, PEN America president Suzanne Nossel said. The website includes advice for students facing hate speech, campus protests, and harassment, including, ‘If someone wants to protest an event that you organized,’ ‘If you are being threatened or punished for your role in a campus protest,’ and ‘If you find hateful messages on campus.’”...

Literary Hub, Sept. 26; PEN America
Latest Library Links

America is becoming more diverse

US map showing high representation of population diversity by county

Keir Clarke writes: “The Brookings Institution has used recently released US Census Bureau estimates for 2018 to map out where America is becoming more diverse. ‘Six Maps that Reveal America’s Expanding Racial Diversity’ looks particularly at the metro areas where the white, black, Hispanic, and Asian populations have shown marked growth. The article starts with an interactive map which shows where minority groups are highly represented by county. If you hover over a county on the map, you can view the percentage of the total population made up by each racial group.”...

Maps Mania, Sept. 26; Brookings Institution, Sept. 5

Host a battle of the books competition

Battle of the Books, Live Oak Middle School, Livingston, Louisiana

Amanda Jones writes: “If you are looking for a way to get your students pumped about reading, why not try a battle of the books competition? I pondered how I could cultivate enthusiasm for reading at my school when I happened across a post by Tiffany Whitehead, describing her school’s battle of the books competition. Her excitement got me brainstorming on how I could implement a battle at my own school. I thought about what type of books we would use before putting a specific plan in place. After much contemplation, I decided to use our state’s award nominees, the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice list, for the battle.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Sept. 27; Mighty Little Librarian, Jan. 31

20% of Americans listen to audiobooks

Ebook and audiobook reading rates

Americans are spreading their book consumption across several formats, and the use of audiobooks is on the rise. 72% of US adults say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted January 8–February 7. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 65% of adults saying they had read a print book in the year before the survey. And since 2016, there has been an uptick in the share of Americans who report listening to audiobooks, from 14% to 20%....

Pew Research Center: Fact Tank, Sept. 25
Dewey Decibel podcast

18 new books to watch for in October

October books to watch out for

Joumana Khatib writes: “It’s another big month for books. Journalist Ronan Farrow’s new book exposes systems of power that enable predators. Other titles speak to our disjointed times: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow investigates the corrosive effects of the gas and oil industry; cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams offers an insightful new consideration of race in America; Jeanette Winterson explores Brexit and virtual reality in her contemporary riff on Frankenstein; Elizabeth Strout brings back her beloved character Olive Kitteridge; and Zadie Smith releases her debut collection of short stories. Here’s a look at the titles we’re watching for most closely.”...

New York Times, Sept. 26

Bookish Halloween décor

Witches Brew faux spell book

Elizabeth Allen writes: “I may be fully sweating through my chunky cardigans and booties, but we’re past Labor Day and…it’s autumn. And I’m ready to talk about Halloween! As a born and bred New Englander, give me your chilly evening of October 31st, leaves crunching under my feet as I beg neighbors whose names I couldn’t tell you for candy. So now is the time to take down your seashells and beach prints, and let’s Halloween-up our houses right with some bookish décor.”..

Book Riot, Sept. 27

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