PLA survey shows that libraries continue to expand access.

American Library Association • April 10, 2020

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How public libraries are responding to the pandemic

Public libraries respond to COVID-19

On April 9, PLA announced the release of its broadest survey to date—with 2,545 unique responses nationwide, representing 28% of all US public libraries—on how public libraries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that as public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways. For instance, most respondents (98%) reported their buildings were closed to the public but, in many cases, staff continued to expand access to digital resources, launch virtual programs, and coordinate services with local government agencies. 70% of respondents noted that library policy allows staff to work remotely....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 9

Wong wins 2021–2022 ALA presidency

Patty Wong

Patricia “Patty” M. Wong, city librarian at Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library, has been elected 2021–2022 president-elect of the American Library Association. Wong received 6,718 votes, while her opponent, Steven Yates, assistant director of University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, received 2,448 votes. As ALA president, Wong will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library association in the world. She will serve as president-elect for one year before stepping into her role as president at the close of the 2021 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 8

ALA’s new Core division

Core logo

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), all divisions of ALA, announced on April 8 that division members have voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed bylaws of a new ALA division—Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures. Pending final approval by the ALA Committee on Organization and the ALA Council, ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA will officially sunset August 31, and their members will be united in Core, the new division launching September 1....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 8

How to avoid misinformation about COVID-19

COVID-19 misinformation

Lila Thulin writes: “As COVID-19 cases have surged across the globe, so has misinformation. According to research by the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Italy, every day in March 2020 an average of 46,000 new posts on Twitter linked to inaccurate or misleading information about the crisis. The rapidly changing situation means that people are naturally grasping for information about the pandemic. So what’s the best way to separate the trustworthy from the fake? Smithsonian asked experts who study science communication and misinformation what readers should keep in mind while watching the news, reading an article, or scanning Facebook.”...

Smithsonian magazine, Apr. 9; Tortoise media, Mar. 23; New York Times, Mar. 30

Wonder Woman, chair of Library Card Sign-Up Month

Lasso a library card with Wonder Woman

This September, DC’s Wonder Woman will embark on a new mission with ALA and libraries nationwide to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month honorary chair. A founding member of the Justice League, Wonder Woman is known for strength, compassion, and truth. Armed with the Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman makes a perfect ambassador to support the value of learning and the role libraries play in transforming lives and strengthening communities through education. In the coming months, Wonder Woman will appear in free Library Card Sign-up Month graphics, including print and digital PSAs and library card artwork. Find Wonder Woman posters, bookmarks, and stickers in the Summer ALA Graphics catalog....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Apr. 9; ALA Graphics, Apr. 9
ALA news

Free ebook on disaster planning, response, recovery

Cover of Library As Safe Haven

ALA Neal-Schuman is offering a free PDF ebook of Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery. Published in cooperation with the Medical Library Association, this nuts-and-bolts manual by Deborah Halsted, Shari Clifton, and Daniel Wilson covers such topics as an eight-step approach to developing a risk assessment plan, information on how to use mobile devices and social media effectively in times of disaster, sample disaster plans, model exercises, manuals, and customizable communications....

ALA Neal-Schuman, Apr. 9

Jason Reynolds connects with young people

On April 14, Jason Reynolds will debut his new biweekly video series “Write. Right. Rite.” and a monthly newsletter for parents and educators

In his new role as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jason Reynolds will connect directly with young people online during the coronavirus pandemic, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader. On April 14, Reynolds will debut his first initiative in support of his platform “Grab the Mic: Tell Your Story”—including a monthly newsletter for parents and educators focused on relevant topics of the day and a biweekly video series intended to inspire creativity in young people, titled “Write. Right. Rite.” Both will be hosted on Reynolds’ Grab the Mic Resource Guide....

Library of Congress, Apr. 9

10 tips for when the library is closed

Try a Lego challenge

Leah Hoenig writes: “The situation is changing moment to moment and decisions are constantly being reevaluated. The safety of our public is our top priority, as much as we believe in the necessity of our school library’s services. We are caught in a difficult place, and the need to slow the spread is winning out: More and more libraries are finding themselves being closed to the public or shut down entirely. Here are a few ideas for virtual programs you can keep conducting even while the doors are shuttered, and things to do when it gets too quiet.”...

ALSC Blog, Apr. 8
Latest Library Links

Library offers stay-at-home YA book bingo

Stay-at-home YA Book Bingo card

The Alpena County (Mich.) Library is introducing Stay-At-Home YA Book Bingo, a virtual reading challenge for teens running now through May 31. This book bingo challenge, open to readers ages 12–18, encourages teens to keep reading and stay connected during the current stay at home order. Teens can choose a book that corresponds to an open bingo square. Then, after reading it, they cross off the square, keeping a note of the date, book title, author, and number of pages. If they cross off five squares in a row (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally), they become eligible for a prize, which could be a $50 Visa gift card....

Alpena (Mich.) News, Apr. 9

Engaging with patrons on social media

Skokie (Ill.) Public Library Instagram profile

Tiffany Breyne writes: “Nearly three weeks ago, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, where I work as the communications coordinator, closed to the public. As things were changing at a rapid pace, we did not have any time to map out how to take our in-person services online, so we’ve been learning as we go, as many libraries have. I’m inspired by the creativity and work many libraries have shown as we all embrace this new digital landscape. Here are a few ways my library is keeping in touch with patrons, broken up into two categories: Keep Them Informed and Keep Them Entertained.”...

Public Libraries Online, Apr. 7
Dewey Decibel podcast

Taking care of ourselves in the New Normal

Weights and running shoes

Jennifer Sturge writes: “As we embark on School Library Month 2020, many of us are experiencing a new normal. We are working from home, spending a whole lot of time in Zoom meetings, and wondering when the grocery store might have toilet paper back in stock. We are settling into working from home with mixed emotions. Just as ensuring that our students have all they need, we need to make sure that we, as human beings, have what we need as well. I’ve seen many curated lists of great learning resources. Let’s curate some lists of things we can do to ensure that we stay well and remain well, both mentally and physically.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Apr. 10

Emergency remote teaching vs. online learning

Differences between emergency teaching and online learning

Well-planned online learning experiences are meaningfully different from courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster. Colleges and universities working to maintain instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic should understand those differences when evaluating this emergency remote teaching. Moving instruction online can enable the flexibility of teaching and learning anywhere, anytime, but the speed with which this move to online instruction is expected to happen is unprecedented and staggering. The temptation to compare online learning to face-to-face instruction in these circumstances will be great....

Educause, Mar. 27

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