Executive Board issues statement on ALA’s finances.

American Library Association • February 14, 2020
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ALA responds to financial shortfall

ALA logo

On February 14, ALA President Wanda Kay Brown and the Association’s 13-member Executive Board released a statement in response to financial shortfalls in the operating budget for the current fiscal year that were first brought to light at the 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. It reads, in part: “FY2016–FY2019 had unplanned deficits in addition to the strategic investment areas. The unplanned deficits fall primarily into two categories: underperformance by ALA’s three primary revenue streams and overspending in several areas, with the greatest [overspend] in IT. The result is a financial situation that is impacting all areas of ALA.”...

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 14; ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Feb. 14

Doubling down on strategic library advocacy

Incoming ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall addresses attendees at the second annual library advocacy fly-in in Washington, D.C., February 10

Emily Wagner writes: “ALA invited more than 70 librarians and library supporters from key congressional districts to Washington, D.C., for its annual congressional fly-in—a two-day event focused on training and strategic meetings with members of Congress, held February 10–11. This year, the fly-in aligned with the release of the White House budget proposal for FY2021, which—for a fourth consecutive year—lays out the closure of IMLS. ALA’s incoming Executive Director Tracie D. Hall (right) opened the day by discussing library advocacy and ALA’s unique position in the nation’s capital.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 15, Feb. 13; ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Feb. 10

BiblioCommons acquired

BiblioCommons logo

Marshall Breeding writes: “BiblioCommons, a Toronto-based company providing a suite of applications and interfaces for public libraries, has been acquired by Volaris Group, one of six operating companies of Constellation Software Inc. BiblioCommons has become established as a major force in the public library sector, and its products have been implemented by an impressive list of libraries and consortia in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The long-term commitment implied in Constellation’s acquisition strategy can be taken as a positive indicator of BiblioCommons’ current position in the industry and its potential for growth.”...

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 14

Presidential libraries, then and now

Dewey Decibel: Presidential libraries

Presidential libraries have changed significantly since Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived the system as a means to preserve evidence of the presidency for future generations to study and appreciate. In Episode 47, Dewey Decibel celebrates Presidents’ Day through conversations with directors of two presidential libraries about those changes and more. Guests are Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and Brooke Clement, deputy director of the Barack Obama Presidential Library....

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 14

Setting the record straight: Panics and pandemics

Books about viruses

Briana Shemroske writes: “First reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, the respiratory illness prompted by coronavirus (dubbed COVID-19) has since spread to 28 countries worldwide, infecting more than 60,000 individuals. Unfortunately, as cases across the globe increase, so too does the dangerous misinformation surrounding them. These titles, about outbreaks, viruses, and vaccines, attempt to set the record straight.” Useful COVID-19 information can be found on the CDC, WHO, MedlinePlus, and NYU Health Sciences Library websites....

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 14
ALA news

NYPL celebrates 125th birthday with books

Four of New York Public Library’s favorite books

The New York Public Library is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 125 of its most beloved books, a tribute to the institution’s 125th anniversary. As part of the program, the library will host author talks at local branches and a book club podcast. Beginning February 14 the NYPL’s two iconic lions, Patience and Fortitude, will display copies of Beloved by Toni Morrison and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as they guard the main branch in Manhattan. The team of librarians tasked with building the lengthy list pulled from an extensive catalog of fiction and nonfiction pieces published after May 23, 1895, the day the library was incorporated....

New York Daily News, Feb. 14

Valentines for library lovers

You’re at the top of my holds list

Valentine’s Day is here—and what better way to celebrate than by spreading your love of libraries? Whether your feelings are romantic or platonic, surprise the bibliophile or librarian in your life with one of these library-themed valentines. Feel free to share on social media or print them out to share with your loved ones in person. The Newberry Library in Chicago has an interesting collection of 325 valentines assembled by Andrew McNally III, the great-grandson of map magnate Rand McNally. The most distinctive valentines in the McNally collection are interactive, three-dimensional cards....

I Love Libraries, Feb. 11; Newberry Library, Feb. 10

LC gets $10 million to upgrade its Jefferson Building

A rendering of the Library of Congress’s ongoing renovation, which it says will let visitors better appreciate Thomas Jefferson’s library books

The Library of Congress will receive a $10 million donation from local philanthropist David Rubenstein to help fund a five-year renovation project to better engage visitors to its flagship Jefferson Building, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said February 12. The project, which will cost $60 million overall, got underway in September and envisions a modern orientation center where visitors will be able to see, among other things, Thomas Jefferson’s famous library books in a new setting. Designers also plan to cut a hole in the ground floor ceiling and install a 25-foot-wide glass oculus through which visitors can see the building’s ornate dome....

Washington Post, Feb. 12
Latest Library Links

School and library destroyed on Alaska’s North Slope

Smoke billows from Kaktovik’s Harold Kaveolook School on February 7. Photo by Amanda Kaleak

A fire destroyed the 50-year-old Harold Kaveolook School in Kaktovik on the North Slope of Alaska early on February 7. The school’s library also served the community as a branch of the Tuzzy Consortium Library in Barrow. The fire was first reported around 3 a.m., but rescue efforts were hampered by extreme temperatures of about –40° F. Firefighting equipment initially froze and had to be thawed throughout the morning as crews tried to extinguish the blaze. No one was injured. Kaktovik, with a population of about 250, sits on Barter Island in the Beaufort Sea, inside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The nearest school is more than 150 miles away....

Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Feb. 10

Lakewood dedicates school library to late librarian

Sara Trahey

The library at Ella G. Clarke Elementary School in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, will be dedicated to its librarian Sara Trahey (right), who died in a fire at her home February 7. Trahey, 33, was a librarian and media specialist at the school. She is being remembered as a devoted mother who cared deeply about her students. The decision to name the library after her was announced February 12 by Lakewood school board attorney Michael Inzelbuch, who also announced that he and his family are dedicating an annual $1,000 scholarship that will be granted to a graduating Lakewood senior who plans on pursuing a degree in library science....

Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Feb. 10–12
Dewey Decibel podcast

Apply for a 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant

An Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant made it possible for 7th and 8th graders from Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, to paint key images from their favorite book onto 24-by-24-inch tiles

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, dedicated to supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries across the country, is encouraging qualifying educators to apply for an Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant. The deadline for submissions is March 31. Approximately 70 grants, up to $500 each, will be awarded to teachers and librarians in public schools and libraries whose proposals reflect an imaginative approach to experiential learning. The Foundation welcomes mini-grant proposals focusing on any subject....

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Feb. 11

Why Jason Reynolds writes for young readers

Jason Reynolds

As a major figure in the literary world, Jason Reynolds—who is currently working on his 14th book—unapologetically creates for young black readers. From a teen reeling after witnessing his brother’s murder to two citified brothers spending a summer with their blind grandfather in Virginia, Reynolds’s characters speak directly to the community. He’s even added a Marvel comic novel to his canon with Miles Morales: Spider-Man. “Who else is there to write for, as far as I’m concerned,” he says of his commitment to telling stories of black youth....

Essence, Feb. 12; American Libraries Newsmaker, Apr. 12, 2018

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