TV pioneer Fred Rogers and his legacy.

American Library Association • February 7, 2020
Fathom Events

For daily ALA and library news, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

Mr. Rogers’s archivist

Emily Uhrin is archivist at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College in the late television host’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Sallyann Price writes: “As a student at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Emily Uhrin (right) didn’t know much about Fred Rogers beyond her childhood memories of the television host and his long-running program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, except that he was a Latrobe native. His death in 2003 led to the establishment of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at the college, where Uhrin now manages the Fred Rogers Archive and assists researchers drawing from his work. Uhrin spoke with American Libraries about Rogers’s legacy and coming to know him through his work.”...

American Libraries Newsmaker, Feb. 7

2020 Midwinter wrap-up

Author and social entrepreneur Wes Moore at the Opening Session of ALA’s 2020 Midwinter Meeting

The atmosphere of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held this year in Philadelphia January 24–28, was thick with big ideas and big names. More than 8,000 attendees came to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to be inspired, challenged, enlightened, and connected in session after session, many of which focused on themes of privacy, technology, services for young people, and social justice....

American Libraries feature, Feb. 6

Booker, Neal, and Rivera to serve on ALA Executive Board

Left to right: Latrice Booker, Larry Neal, and Alexandra Rivera

ALA Council has elected Latrice Booker (left), Larry Neal, and Alexandra Rivera (right) to serve on the ALA Executive Board. The election took place during the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting held January 24–28, in Philadelphia. Elected board members will begin a three-year term beginning in July 2020 and concluding in June 2023. Booker is the dean of library services at Indiana University Northwest, Neal is the director of the Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library, and Rivera is the student success and community engagement librarian at the University of Michigan Library....

Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 7

ACRL endorses protocols for Native American archives

Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

ACRL, at the request of its Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, has endorsed the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. In April 2006, a group of 19 Native American and non–Native American archivists, librarians, museum curators, historians, and anthropologists gathered at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library in Flagstaff, Arizona, to identify best professional practices for culturally responsive care and use of American Indian archival material held by non-tribal organizations. The resulting protocols build upon professional ethical codes, international declarations, and the groundbreaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives, and Information Services....

ACRL Insider, Feb. 5

Emergency homeless shelter in Dallas Public Library

Winford Cross, homeless services supervisor for the City of Dallas, counts cots at the Dallas Public Library on February 4. Photo by Tommy Noel

In the basement of the downtown Dallas Public Library, deep sleepers who averted the cold winds outside snored. Bare feet poked out of gray blankets on cots provided by the city. It was the seventh time that Dallas has provided emergency shelter to the homeless on a sub-freezing night—and it was to continue through the morning of February 6. But it’s the first time that refuge has been in the basement of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library on Young Street. The library is a temporary solution for the rest of the winter and spring, said Jo Giudice, director of the Dallas Public Library....

Dallas Morning News, Feb. 5
ALA news

Vivian G. Harsh, Chicago’s first black librarian

Vivian G. Harsh

You won’t find a book by Vivian G. Harsh (right) on a library shelf. Not even in the special collection that bears her name in the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library on Chicago’s far south side. When she died in 1960, the Chicago Defender’s obituary was headlined: “Historian Who Never Wrote.” Yet Harsh, Chicago’s first black librarian, was fiercely committed to history. The collection Harsh started in the 1930s is now the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature and is located at the Woodson Regional Library....

Chicago Tribune, Jan. 31

Accommodating more diverse suburbs

Tracie D. Hall

Suburban libraries must diversify their resources, programming, and staffing to better serve growing populations of blacks, Latinos, and immigrants, says Tracie D. Hall (right), the first black woman to lead ALA as executive director. Hall, whose appointment takes effect February 24, notes that libraries have to adapt to changes reflected in the “suburbanization of people of color.” Historically, she notes, large cities contained higher concentrations of communities of color and were the main points of entry for new immigrants and residents. That changed by 2012 with a significant out-migration of ethnic populations from Chicago to the suburbs....

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Feb. 5; AL: The Scoop, Jan. 15

Ohio State keeps multitudes of manga

Mary P. Key Resident Librarian Kay Clopton looks over an unsorted part of the manga collection donated in 2019. Photo by Aaron Lien / Lantern

Ohio State University has the largest collection of manga outside of Japan and the third-largest collection of Japanese-language materials in the Midwest. Maureen Donovan, former Japanese studies librarian at Ohio State, started the manga collection in the mid-1980s. Since then, the collection has accumulated more than 23,000 works of Japanese manga serials, volumes, original artwork, and animation cels—transparent sheets on which traditional animation frames are drawn. The collection is largely housed in one of three special collections archives in OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum....

Ohio State University Lantern, Feb. 6
Latest Library Links

The decline and fall of the card catalog

Card catalog drawer

Stephen J. Greenberg writes: “The retrospective conversion of most card catalogs to electronic formats, and the overall passage of time, have made it increasingly necessary to describe to younger visitors what a card catalog is (or rather, was). There are, however, some of us still in the profession who remember cards, if not always fondly. You needed specialized training to type cards. It was an art in itself, and it has become a lost one. Specific uses of standard punctuation marks, initials, and seemingly bizarre spacing rules were all part of the catalogers’ codebook.”...

Circulating Now, Feb. 6

A global map of internet censorship

Countries with the worst online censorship, 2020

Paul Bischoff writes: “Almost 54% of the world’s population (4.1 billion people) uses the internet. It’s our source of instant information, entertainment, news, and social interactions. But where in the world can citizens enjoy equal and open internet access? In this exploratory study, our researchers have conducted a country-by-country comparison to see which impose the harshest restrictions and where citizens can enjoy the most online freedom. This includes restrictions or bans for torrenting, pornography, social media, and VPNs, and restrictions or heavy censorship of political media. We scored each country on those five criteria, each worth two points.”...

Comparitech, Jan. 15; International Telecommunications Union, Dec. 20, 2019
Dewey Decibel podcast

23 retellings of classic stories

23 retellings of classic stories

Christina Orlando and Leah Schnelbach write: “We love a good retelling—whether it’s a favorite fairy tale, ancient myth, or epic tale, it’s always great to see old things made new. Part of the reason we love these stories is because they’re so malleable; with themes that span the breadth of the human experience, tales of love, revenge, and adventure can find a home in any place and time, with characters that feel both familiar and fresh at the same time. Here are 23 of our favorites.”..., Feb. 5

Free coloring books from libraries and museums

Cat from Edward Topsell’s Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607)

Since 2016, the annual #ColorOurCollections campaign, led by the New York Academy of Medicine, has made available free adult coloring books for downloading. The range of images offers something for everyone, from early modern illustrations like the cat (right) from Edward Topsell’s Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607), courtesy of Trinity Hall Cambridge; to the poignant cover of The Suffragist from July 1919, a month after US women won the right to the vote (from the Huntington Library). There are also copious illustrations of medical procedures and anatomy, vintage advertisements, and war posters....

Open Culture, Feb. 6

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Editor, AL Direct: George M. Eberhart,

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to: Michael Stack,

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the ALA privacy policy.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

ALA Publishing