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2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Gift-giving in 2020 should be all about whimsy, relaxation, and most important—comfort. And while your favorite librarians and book lovers probably don’t need more reading material, you can indulge them with thoughtful presents that help them enjoy the books they have. On our list, everything is priced under $50, from cozy clothes and decadent treats to design-forward décor and offbeat surprises. You could also consider getting a little something for yourself. After this year, we’ve all earned it....

American Libraries feature, Dec. 1

Letters of the Law by Tomas A. Lipinski

In our latest Letters of the Law column, lawyer-librarian Tomas A. Lipinski explores copyright for remote learning, exemptions to protected media for education, and exculpatory agreements—which were in the news during election season, when participants at certain rallies waived their right to hold the host liable for any harm or illness contracted....

American Libraries column, Dec. 2

BookExpo logo

The annual publishing convention and trade show known as BookExpo, a decades-old tradition where guest speakers have ranged from Bill Clinton to Margaret Atwood, may be coming to an end. ReedPop, which has managed BookExpo for a quarter century, announced December 1 that effectively immediately it was “retiring” the event, along with the fan-based BookCon and merchandise-based UnBound....

AP News, Dec. 1



Capira Curbside

It’s been a challenging year. And you’ve done a remarkable job pivoting services to meet expectations. To lighten the load now and into the future, consider CapiraCurbside, a simple curbside pickup solution that integrates with your ILS to efficiently provide a contactless experience. It gives library customers choice about how they’d prefer to interact and helps staff manage requests and pickup times easily, without adding more work. Learn more and watch a demo at .


Call Number ad

Cover of Public Libraries in the United States (IMLS 2020)

Volume II of the , released November 30 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provides trend analysis of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. Together, and II document the varied ways in which trends in libraries are similar and different across states, location types, and the size of the populations they serve. For more information about the Public Libraries Survey, including a snapshot of rural libraries and state detail tables, ....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 30

Amazon logo

Amazon’s refusal to sell ebooks published in-house to libraries is sparking backlash as demand for digital content spikes during the coronavirus pandemic. Librarians and advocacy groups, including ALA, are pushing for the tech giant to license its published ebooks to libraries for distribution, arguing the company’s self-imposed ban significantly decreases public access to information....

The Hill, Dec. 2

Wall of monitors with eye (Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet writes: “Empowering algorithms to make potentially life-changing decisions about citizens still comes with significant risk of unfair discrimination, according to published by the UK’s Center for Data Ethics and Innovation. In some sectors, the need to provide adequate resources to make sure that AI systems are unbiased is becoming particularly pressing—namely, the public sector, and specifically, policing.”...

ZD Net, Nov. 27

Latest Library Links

Fake news on laptop screen (Image: memyselfaneye/Pixabay)

Sarah Schwartz writes: “As students search for news online, it's increasingly likely that they'll come across the steady stream of disinformation on the web: conspiracy theories like QAnon, manipulated images and videos, false claims that the coronavirus is a hoax. Online spread of disinformation and rumor like this has posed new challenges for civics teachers. Confronting it requires a different kind of news literacy education in the social studies classroom, experts say—one that goes beyond the common practices of encouraging students to see both sides of an issue and provide evidence to back up their claims.”...

EdWeek Teacher, Nov. 25

Card catalog (Photo: DreamQuest/Pixabay)

Tor Haugan writes: “Subject headings usually exist outside of the realm of dinner-table banter, often confined to discussions among library folk. But in recent years, the heading ‘Illegal aliens’ and its ilk shot to national attention. After a hard-fought (and ultimately unsuccessful) war of the words , which would have changed subject headings used by libraries across the country, UC Berkeley Library saw an opportunity to act. Along with other institutions nationwide, the library has adopted alternatives to the controversial heading—a step toward greater inclusion.”...

Berkeley Library News, Nov. 17; Dartmouth News, April 22, 2019

Screenshot of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Photographs Finding Aid

The National Archives launched a new web-based finding aid featuring digitized historical photographs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs records in Record Group 75. For the first time, you can explore digital copies of over 18,000 photographs through an engaging and easy-to-use interactive experience: the ....

National Archives AOTUS blog, Nov. 25

ALA news and press releases

The Library That Dolly Built (text on lavender background with illustrated books and red pickup truck)

After having its theatrical release delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Library That Dolly Built will now become available as a worldwide streaming event. The documentary about Imagination Library, which has gifted more than 135 million books to children, will stream for free Wednesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. ET. The screening will be followed by a performance and conversation featuring Parton....

Rolling Stone, Nov. 23; American Libraries Newsmaker, Jan./Feb. 2018

Screenshot of City Walk in Shibuya, Tokyo

Richard Byrne writes: “ is a neat website that I recently learned about. On City Walks you can go for a virtual walk in more than a dozen cities around the world. You can experience the cities with or without sound, in the daytime or at night. At the start of each walk you'll see some quick facts about the city that might help you understand a little more about what you're seeing during the walk.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Nov. 30

Covers of My First Kwanzaa and Kwanzaa: The Story of Our Holidays

Troy Belle, JBH Research and Reference Division at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, writes: “Kwanzaa is one of my favorite times of the year and has been a part of my family celebrations for nearly 20 years. Books have always been incorporated into our Kwanzaa celebrations as a way to reintroduce the principles. I hope you enjoy this collection of books about Kwanzaa, which includes a couple of our family favorites and options for all ages.”...

NYPL Blogs, Nov. 23

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