Top children’s and YA books, videos, and audiobooks revealed.

American Library Association • January 31, 2020

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2020 Youth Media Award winners

Caldecott Medal, The Undefeated

ALA on January 27 announced the top books, videos, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards—at its 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Writer and illustrator Jerry Craft won this year’s John Newbery Medal for New Kid, the first graphic novel to receive the prize. The Undefeated (Versify), written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, not only won the Andrew Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King (illustrator) Award but was named a Newbery Honor Book. For complete coverage of speakers, events, and top 10 tweets at the Midwinter Meeting, check out the American Libraries Scoop blog....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 24–28

Burrowed in books

From left: Punxsutawney Phil, 134 years old and living at the Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library since the 1970s, inside his burrow; at the front of the library, visitors can see Phil’s Burrow through the viewing window. Photos by Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library

Terra Dankowski writes: “Punxsutawney Phil: Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet Extraordinaire, and … perhaps the World’s Most Famous Library Resident? When Phil isn’t swarmed by media and visitors clamoring for his shadow-dependent spring predictions on Groundhog Day every February 2—last year 25,000 people gathered before the stump at Gobbler’s Knob—the well-known woodchuck lives in a burrow at the front of Punxsutawney (Pa.) Memorial Library. American Libraries talked to Library Director Jessica Church about Phil’s free time, his renown, and the mainstay marmot questions the library gets asked.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan. 31

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Celebrate Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week

Free webinar, February 25, Understanding Fair Use Through Case Law

Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week is coming up February 24–28. Commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries, the week is “is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.” ACRL has a number of resources, publications, and events to help you prepare for and participate in Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week....

ACRL Insider, Jan. 29

Three states sue US Archivist to add ERA to Constitution

ERA rally, Virginia

The attorneys general for the last three states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment filed a lawsuit in federal court on January 30 arguing that the amendment must be added to the US Constitution. The lawsuit by Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford challenges a Justice Department memo earlier this month that said the US Archivist, who certifies the ratification of amendments, should not do so because the congressional deadline for ratification expired in 1982. Several bills are also pending in Congress to address the earlier deadlines....

Washington Post, Jan. 8, 30

Eau Claire offers free winter gear rental

Snowshoes for rent

As part of the Wintermission Eau Claire community campaign to encourage residents to stay active during winter months, the L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is offering rentals of free equipment for winter sports and activities. Some will soon be available at Altoona (Wis.) Public Library. The libraries will each have several sets of snowshoes with poles, one kit of ice-fishing equipment, and a set for the lawn game kubb. To check out the equipment, people can use their library cards; those without one can provide staff with an address....

Eau Claire (Wis.) Leader-Telegram, Jan. 30

Where to shelve biblical dinosaurs

Cover of Dinosaurs for Kids, by Ken Ham

Jacqui Higgins-Dailey writes: “There was a request for reconsideration waiting for me to research on my first day of work in the collection development department of the Phoenix Public Library. The title was Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham. The request came from a parent concerned about being misled by the book’s title. The book was shelved in 567.9 (dinosaurs) but the book was a biblical interpretation of the timeline of when dinosaurs walked the earth. The parent was concerned that it was shelved with the other books about dinosaurs from a scientific perspective and requested that the library remove the book or shelve it in a religious section.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Jan. 28

Publisher cancels American Dirt book tour

Jeanine Cummins and the cover of American Dirt

When she set out to write American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins wanted to start a conversation about migrants at the border. Instead, the writer’s fourth book sparked a very different debate—on equally fraught questions of identity, authorship, and cultural appropriation—as an ever-growing chorus of critics condemned the novel for its portrayal of migrants fleeing gang violence. Some of the backlash got so heated, the book’s publisher Flatiron Books said January 30, that it has canceled the 13 events left on Cummins’s national book tour. Citing concerns about safety, Flatiron President Bob Miller said in a statement that town hall-style discussions between the author and her critics are planned....

Washington Post, Jan. 30; Flatiron Books, Jan. 30

Rise: A Feminist Book Project

We Set the Dark on Fire, by Tehlor Kay Mejia, was one of the top 10 feminist books for young readers

Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0–18 Committee (formerly known as the Amelia Bloomer Project), a subgroup of the Feminist Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table, has selected its top 10 books for 2020. Each year, the committee creates an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers through age 18, to be used by interested librarians, teachers, parents, and others who work with youth. The complete list is available online....

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Jan. 28

2020 Notable Videos for Adults

One of the selected films is Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019, dir. Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman) 95 minutes. Greenwich Entertainment

The ALA Film and Media Round Table’s Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its annual list of 15 outstanding films released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults. Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video. The committee selected 15 outstanding titles from among 45 nominees for this year’s list....

Film and Media Round Table, Jan. 26

2020 Over the Rainbow Book List

Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement, by David K. Johnson, was one of the Top 10 choices

The Over the Rainbow Book List Committee of the ALA Rainbow Round Table gave careful consideration to 324 books this year—152 fiction and 172 nonfiction. Choosing 32 fiction titles and 38 nonfiction titles to make up the complete 2020 Over the Rainbow Book List, the committee was thrilled by the continued expansion of queer publishing, the depth of substantial topics covered, and the number of quality books from all over the genre spectrum. No longer is the focus solely upon stories of tragedy, but rather about lives filled with joy. The complete 2019 bibliography is online. The Rainbow Round Table announced its two 2020 Stonewall Book Awards for adult readers on January 26 at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Jan. 28

The 10 best US cities for book lovers

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, ranked number 5 in the best cities for book lovers list

Michael Hochman writes: “There are more than 35,000 booksellers and libraries across America, so we crunched the numbers and calculated the top 10 best cities in the nation for bookworms. We eliminated any city with a population less than 50,000, leaving us with the 764 largest American cities with at least one book-related establishment. We then calculated the ratio of book-related establishments per 100,000 residents in each to determine the cities deemed the top 10 best cities for book lovers in the nation. The top cities are a mix of population centers, college towns, hub suburbs, and a few surprises.”...

Apartment Guide, Jan. 24

Measure things with your phone

Ruler app

David Nield writes: “Your phone can do it all. It’s a portable music player, diary, digital camera, communication device, calculator, and just about everything else. But you might not have considered that it can also replace your measuring tape. With the right sensors on board and the right apps installed, you can measure more data with your phone than you might think.”...

Gizmodo, Jan. 31

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