Read dispatches from the Holding Space virtual tour

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A customer picks up her reserves at the drive-through window at Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library’s New Albany branch.

From quickly setting up curbside service to figuring out virtual programming, libraries around the country have had to scramble to react to the ever-changing realities of the coronavirus pandemic, all while trying to keep staffers and patrons safe. Some libraries that have reopened after closing in the early stages of the global crisis have been forced to close again—temporarily or for a longer term—for reasons ranging from staff members testing positive to patrons flouting safety measures....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 4

Letters of the Law with Mary Minow

In the latest edition of our Letters of the Law legal issues column, lawyer-librarian Mary Minow addresses topics that have arisen around the COVID-19 pandemic, including exceptions to face-mask requirements, force majeure clauses in contracts, and the legality of taking time off to vote....

American Libraries column, August 5

Staffers at Pioneer Library System in Norman, Oklahoma, at work in the community

ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. writes: “Hello from Norman, Oklahoma! At today’s town hall event, ‘Partnering to Advance Career and Workforce Development,’ our panelists discussed how the Pioneer Library System leverages a variety of resources to prepare Oklahomans for success in an ever-changing and challenging career environment. We were especially honored to be joined by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). He said that just as libraries in Oklahoma have become disaster centers when tornadoes hit, libraries are playing a similar role in the COVID-19 crisis.” Read all of Jefferson's posts so far from his ....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Aug. 3

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IMLS logo

The Institute of Museum and Library Services released the latest data from its 2018 Public Libraries Survey on July 31. The Public Libraries Survey collects information on key indicators of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. Explore the  or query the . Each year since 1988, the survey has provided a national census of America’s public libraries. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public library systems composed of more than 17,000 individual main libraries, branches, and bookmobiles in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 31

Canadian Urban Institute logo

Kerry Gold writes: “Public library buildings are safe shelters and economic drivers that quietly operate within every community. They live in the bricks-and-mortar space as well as the virtual, assisting patrons with such life basics as finding employment, starting their own businesses and teaching their kids to read. During the pandemic, libraries had to close their buildings to the general book-reading public, but facilities were used in different ways, for example, as food bank distribution centers and emergency computer labs for low-income groups. In recent weeks, they have slowly started to reopen, with a renewed understanding of the unique and essential role libraries play within the physical community.”...

Toronto Globe and Mail, July 28

Response rates to 2020 Census (The Daily Yonder)

The US Census Bureau that it will be ending all counting efforts for the 2020 Census on September 30, one month earlier than previously announced. Rural areas are less likely to be counted. Of the nation's 1,971 non-metropolitan counties, 38% have a response rate under 50%, as of July 29....

The Rural Blog, Aug. 4; US Census Bureau, Aug. 3

Latest Library Links

Open access text graphic

David Crotty writes: “The value of open science (increased transparency, open data, open access to research results) has become increasingly obvious during the current global health crisis. Both the positives (rapid reporting and sharing of information) and the negatives (the glut of bad science being issued as preprints and promoted via mainstream media without proper curation) are now evident, with the good generally outweighing the bad. Despite the daily evidence of the importance of shifting to an open science environment for research, the economic fallout from the pandemic is going to make necessary progress difficult and slow.”...

Scholarly Kitchen, Aug. 4

Much has been happening behind the scenes to prepare for Core’s upcoming launch on September 1, and the Core Transition Committee has provided an update. Core staff members have been working with ALA staff to build new systems and structures so that the new division can start the day on September 1 as a (relatively!) organized Core community. So far work has been done on changes in the member database, budget lines, new sections, and membership dues. During August, staff members will be working on the new website, Connect site, committee rosters, online learning setup, new communication channels, and other infrastructure pieces....

ALCTS, Aug. 3

National Voter Registration Day logo

Kate McNair writes: “Started in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is celebrated every third Tuesday of September as an effort to spread awareness about voter registration opportunities and reach voters who might not otherwise register. This year, your library can amplify and join in the efforts to help teens register to vote in upcoming elections. Here are four ways you can join in.”...

YALSA Blog, July 30

ALA news and press releases

ALSC #looktolibraries graphic

This spring, as many families sheltered in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digital media for information, education, and entertainment skyrocketed. Now more than ever, the work of children’s librarians, serving as media mentors, is essential. In response to this need, the Association for Library Service to Children is offering free access to media mentoring tools and resources to support library professionals in all types of libraries. Resources include a variety of booklists with selections meant to assist children with understanding and healing from challenging situations like catastrophic illness, unexpected moves, and the loss of a loved one....

ALSC, Aug. 3

Audiobook (photo by Flickr user jeff_golden)

Alex Preston writes: “Audiobooks have been riding a wave of popularity in the past three years, and it appears that lockdown only intensified our engagement with the spoken word. put some numbers on the phenomenal rise. Global sales have been growing at 25–30% per annum for the past three years and will hit $3.5 billion in 2020, driven by the US and China, which each make up around a third of the market....

The Guardian (UK), Aug. 2; Deloitte Insights, Dec. 9, 2019

Postres’ churros recipe comes from an unpublished 1928 manuscript. (Photo: Nico Kaiser)

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries has been digitizing the . The pandemic has brought that project to a halt, but the library is now releasing recipes from the collection in free ebooks. , or Desserts: Saving the Best for First, brings recipes in English and Spanish from generations of Mexican cooks to foodies at home looking to whip up some historic sweets....

Gastro Obscura, Feb. 10, July 29; UTSA Libraries

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