Libraries as zine festival partners.

American Library Association • January 14, 2020
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Zine festivals in libraries

San Antonio Public Library hosted the third annual San Anto Zine Fest in October. In 2018, the fest welcomed more than 1,000 attendees. Photo by Mari Hernandez

Diana Panuncial writes: “Though usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, zines pack a punch as an empowering form of personal and community expression. Small and self-published, zines are handmade publications filled with original or repurposed content and photocopied for easy, fast distribution. Libraries, which have collected zines for years, are starting to do more. They are now partnering with local organizations to throw zine festivals. Hosting the San Anto Zine Fest, which welcomed more than 1,000 attendees in 2018, helps the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library highlight the diversity of its Latinx community.”...

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Making room for inclusion

Youth Matters, by Tricia Bohanon

Tricia Bohanon writes: “For a decade, I have led sensory storytime programs at libraries in North Carolina and Ohio and trained many staffers across the country in this specialized service. But one theme recurs: Attendance at these programs is hit or miss. When sensory programming may not be feasible—whether because of low attendance, inadequate staffing, or lack of administrative support—we may take steps in all programming to create a welcoming environment for those with different abilities. In doing so, we are practicing inclusion despite an absence of dedicated programs for these families.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Digital strategies for librarians

Librarian’s Library, by Anna Gooding-Call

Anna Gooding-Call writes: “A librarian’s library should evolve along with the tools of our trade. The following guides for managing patrons’ evolving technology needs will help you stay current on digital trends that affect all aspects of the profession.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

LC names Jason Reynolds as new National Ambassador

Jason Reynolds

The Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader on January 13 announced the appointment of Jason Reynolds (right) as the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2020–2021. The Newbery Honor recipient succeeds Jacqueline Woodson, who served as National Ambassador in 2018–2019. Reynolds is the author of 13 books for young people including his most recent, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, a National Book Award finalist. During his two-year term, Reynolds will visit small towns across America to have meaningful discussions with young people....

Library of Congress, Jan. 13; American Libraries Newsmaker, Apr. 12, 2018

Missouri bill penalizes libraries for inappropriate materials

Carrie Cline, Director of the Neosho Newton County (Mo.) Library

Missouri State Representative Ben Baker (R-Neosho) on January 8 sponsored a bill, the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act (HB 2044), preventing state aid to libraries that allow minors access to “age-inappropriate sexual material.” The bill also allows for the establishment of a five-person parental library review board in each library district that will decide what material is considered inappropriate for minors. Libraries must then place selected materials in restricted access areas. Library staff refusing to comply would be guilty of a misdemeanor. Many people are pushing back against the legislation as a form of censorship....

KOAM-TV, Pittsburg, Kans., Jan. 13
ALA news

Florida group wants 44 books out of school libraries

Cover of Mommy, Mama, and Me, by Lesléa Newman

The group Florida Citizens Alliance is asking Florida’s attorney general to enforce anti-pornography statutes to get a list of 44 books it says are objectionable out of school libraries. They’re calling the list “Porn in Florida Public Schools” and claim the books violate Christian values. While some books on the list like 50 Shades of Grey are geared toward a mature audience, there are others like Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman that help children understand LGTBQ families. Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office says it had not yet received any letter from Florida Citizens Alliance.....

WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, Fla., Jan. 10

Santa Monica’s homeless find help at The Write Place

Marc Morgenstern

Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library officials say as long as library patrons adhere to the code of conduct, everyone is welcome to find a place in the city’s branches. But residents who identify as homeless often need more, according to Marc Morgenstern (right), former chair of the library board. They are now getting that at The Write Place, a writing workshop held for people experiencing homelessness. “Creative writing can help homeless individuals find their voice and articulate their feelings in a therapeutic way,” Morgenstern said. The workshop has been so successful that the library will hold a public reading allowing participants to share their Write Place work with the world....

Santa Monica (Calif.) Daily Press, Jan. 11

Two men plead guilty in Carnegie Library book theft

Greg Priore (left) and John Schulman

Two men accused of cannibalizing or taking more than $8 million worth of rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and then selling them to collectors pleaded guilty January 13 to theft. Greg Priore (left), formerly the archivist of the library’s rare book room, and John Schulman, who owns Caliban Book Shop, will be sentenced in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court on April 17. Priore pleaded guilty to theft and receiving stolen property. Priore admitted taking items from the Oliver Room by carrying individual plates and maps out in manila folders. Sometimes he would take books or other larger items. The thefts were discovered in 2017...

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Jan. 13; Mar. 19, 2018
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Anne Carroll Moore, Goodnight Moon gatekeeper

Anne Carroll Moore

Meagan Flynn writes: “The New York Public Library’s list of its 10 most-checked-out books of all time, revealed January 13 for its 125th anniversary, largely consists of children’s books. But there is also one very famous children’s book conspicuously missing from the list: Goodnight Moon (1947), written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. So conspicuous was its absence from the most-read list that the library felt a need to explain why: Anne Carroll Moore (right), the librarian who developed and ran the New York Public Library’s children’s section for 35 years, hated it.”...

Washington Post, Jan. 14; New York Public Library, Jan. 14; Slate, Jan. 13

Dancing in the stacks

Pam Tanowitz’s Library Dance. Photo by Julie Lemberger / NYPL

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts celebrated its 75th anniversary December 4, as dance world luminaries and patrons alike gathered to watch performances in unexpected corners of its home on the Lincoln Center campus. Eight site-specific performances were concocted for the occasion, turning the library into a house of dance for the day. The breadth of genres reflected the omnivorous attitude the collection’s curators have towards preserving dance of any and all kinds....

Dance Magazine, Dec. 9
Dewey Decibel podcast

Graves lost and found

The Mason Family Cemetery at Gunston Hall in Lorton, Virginia. Along with members of the Mason family, the site includes dozens of graves of unidentified individuals, located using remote sensing technology and marked as part of an Eagle Scout project, according to a docent tour, December 28, 2019. Photo by Suzanne LaPierre

Suzanne LaPierre writes: “The young woman calling from California sounded anxious to staff who answered the phone at the Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library. Her grandmother had recently passed away, and the family wanted to bury grandma next to grandpa. The problem: Grandpa had passed decades earlier and the family wasn’t sure where he was buried, but thought he was in Fairfax County. Reference librarian Chris Barbuschak eventually found grandpa’s local resting place using Find A Grave, after detecting an error in the birth date. Thanks to new technology, including crowdsourcing via apps and websites, libraries are in a better position to help.”...

Public Libraries Online, Jan. 13

An 18th-century book-themed privy

18th-century book privy in the Hofkamer, Antwerp, Belgium

Jessica Leigh Hester writes: “Reading material and toilets have a special relationship. Stacks of magazines are as common a fixture of many washrooms as toilet paper, toothpaste, or towels. Books had a place in some 18th-century bathrooms, too. The library-themed lavatory inside the Hofkamer, a structure within the Den Wolsack complex in Antwerp, Belgium, offers the illusion of actually going to the bathroom on a pile of books. The building’s owner, Adrien van den Bogaert, designed a washroom lined with faux ‘bookshelves’ fashioned from leather and wood, all the way down to a handsome stack of ‘books’ on the floor, with a hole cut in the top.”...

Atlas Obscura, Jan. 9; Flanders Today, Sept. 7, 2017

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