Celebrate National Library Week 2021 with Natalie Portman

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National Library Week with Honorary Chair Natalie Portman, April 4-10, 2021

Natalie Portman will serve as honorary chair of National Library Week, April 4–10, 2021. In her role, she will help highlight the essential role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in serving their communities, especially during challenging times. Portman is an Academy Award–winning actor, director, producer, and activist whose film credits include Black Swan, Jackie, and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. A lifelong fan of books, she shares on  titles that she’s reading—as part of Natalie Portman’s Book Club—using the hashtag Natalie Portman’s Fables (Feiwel and Friends, 2020) is her debut picture book....

AL: The Scoop, Dec. 7

ALA is urging library advocates to provide funding for libraries in a COVID-19 relief package as House and Senate members work to pass an emergency assistance plan before adjourning for the year. Congress is using the bipartisan as a starting point for their negotiations. Introduced on December 1, the framework includes funding for expanding overall broadband access and education but provides nothing directly for America’s libraries....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Dec. 8

The old way of calculating Journal Impact Factor (Illustration: University of Denver Libguides)

Phil Davis writes: “Earlier this fall, that it was moving toward a future that calculated the Journal Impact Factor based on the date of electronic publication and not the date of print publication. If your first reaction was ‘What took you so long!’ you are not alone. Online publication dates back to the mid 1990s, with several forward-looking journals hosting some or all of their content on this futuristic thingy known as the World Wide Web.”...

Scholarly Kitchen, Dec. 7; Clarivate Analytics, Oct. 26

Call Number ad

Cover of George

Kelly Jensen writes: “Despite its collection development policy clearly stating that the library does not serve the role as parents, a number of parental complaints to the Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston, Louisiana, has led to LGBTQ+ books being pulled from the children’s section of the library. The books are now only available via parental request.”...

Book Riot, Dec. 7

Food pantry outside Cobb County Public Library Stratton branch

Hundreds of families received food packages after Cobb County, Georgia, residents donated produce and shelf-stable food items to help those in need. The items were distributed to 370 families with a drive-through pantry at the Stratton branch of Cobb County Public Library System. Agencies including Atlanta Community Food Bank and colleagues from Cobb Parks, Cobb Water, Cobb State Court, and Cobb County Sheriff’s Office assisted with organizing the donations....

WGCL-TV Atlanta, Dec. 2

Allegheny County Jail

Jodi DiPerna writes: “Despite the recent reversal on permitting books from approved sellers, there is a long and storied history behind the availability of books within the Allegheny County (Pa.) Jail, including claims made by officials that ‘leisure libraries’ exist inside the walls, though their use of the term is vague. The Pittsburgh Current has spoken to a multitude of people to try to understand how many books are inside the jail, how accessible they are to inmates, and whether official descriptions of a leisure library on every pod are accurate.”...

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Current, Dec. 3

Latest Library Links

GitHub octocat logo

A year after launching an initiative to preserve open source software for future generations, GitHub is now sharing these collections with major libraries around the world. GitHub is donating a collection of 17,000 ‘greatest hits’ repositories to Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England, Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, Stanford Libraries in California, and its own San Francisco headquarters....

BizEdge, Nov. 26

Roald Dahl (Photo: Carl Van Vechten)

Halle Kiefer writes: “This fall marks 30 years since the death of children’s author Roald Dahl, writer of beloved books like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matila, The Witches, and The BFG. In a statement posted to the official Roald Dahl website, the author’s family  for the anti-Semitic beliefs he expressed during his lifetime.”...

Vulture, Dec. 6

Cover of The Debt to Pleasure

Ben Dolnick writes: “Library-induced realism is a great thing, one that can do much to increase your happiness. Because the world in which you are perpetually under the impression that the next book purchase, the next apartment, the next significant other will be the one that finally delivers the goods is not a life of happiness. It is a life of perpetual dissatisfaction, a life of thin and sugary highs followed by long and unenlightening lows. The library is, with its careworn and temporary offerings, as lovely and as poignant a reminder of our actual human condition as the tides or a forest in fall.”...

New York Times, Dec. 8

ALA news and press releases

Screenshot from Bill Gates's Holiday Books 2020 video

Carla Sinclair writes: “Bill Gates has been sharing his favorite books with a summer list and a winter list for the last eight years. are five ‘good’ books—inspiring, uplifting, happy endings—‘for a lousy year.’”...

Boing Boing, Dec. 8; GatesNotes, Dec. 8

Screenshot showing how to make a GIF from a YouTube video

Doug Aamoth writes: “While many people never do more than open up a video, watch it, and then move on, YouTube has a surprisingly rich set of features. Here are some cool tricks you can use to make your viewing experience more engaging, efficient, and fun.”...

Fast Company, Dec. 8

Covers of Wrapped up in You and Miracles and Menorahs

The Infinite Limits of Love has complied 25 diverse, holiday-themed romances to bring cheer to the season, including international novels, anthologies, royal tales, and modern takes on classic tales like Beauty and the Beast....

The Infinite Limits of Love, Dec. 1

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