ALA leaders reflect on racism.

American Library Association • June 5, 2020
Dewey Decibel

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ALA leaders reflect on race and racism

Reflections on Race and Racism from ALA staff and member leaders

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall writes: “After an earth-shifting week that has brought into stark relief the experiences of racism and racial violence that many of us and our communities navigate every day as people of color, it is even more clear that the work of dismantling racism is overdue. It is overdue in our society, in library and information services, and at ALA, which exists to ensure that libraries, learning, and information access are available to all. To that end, I invited several ALA staffers and member leaders to reflect on this moment.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 5

Booklist-recommended antiracism titles for all ages

Covers of antiracist books for adults and children

The staff at Booklist have compiled a list of antiracist books and other resources for librarians and readers of all ages, noting, “We cannot rely on the books to do the work for us, but in the hopes they might serve as catalysts for the self-reflection and group discussion that often preface effective antiracist action, we have developed a list of our own. For those committed to this journey—the reading and the subsequent action—the list below is a start.”...

Booklist Reader, June 5

What's lost in a furlough

Furloughed workers need jobs

Cass Balzer writes: “As the US unemployment rate spikes to historic highs, many librarians and other library workers are being furloughed from their positions and navigating the personal and professional challenges that result. One of the biggest challenges—the effect on morale—is heightened when furloughs arrive with little warning, little support, or both.”...

AL: The Scoop, June 5

By the numbers: Pride Month

Cruise: The Guide to Gay Entertainment in the Southeast. Photo by Queer Music Heritage

Alison Marcotte writes: “Here are some statistics celebrating the LGBTQ experience in literature, collections, and American culture. In 1970, the ALA Rainbow Round Table—the nation’s first LGBT professional organization—was founded as the Task Force on Gay Liberation. ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards have been recognizing literature related to the LGBT experience for the past 49 years. The first book honored in 1971 was Patience and Sarah (originally published under the name A Place for Us) by Alma Routsong (under the pen name Isabel Miller).”...

American Libraries feature, June

Tech trends of the future

Libby the Librarian greets students at University of Pretoria Libraries in South Africa. Photo by Mariki Uitenweerde / University of Pretoria

Carrie Smith writes: “Even while the ‘tech backlash’ phenomenon is making headlines, libraries must still anticipate and adapt to digital advances and larger societal developments. How will these technological choices align with and advance libraries’ core values, such as access, privacy, and intellectual freedom? Here we offer insights and predictions from five library thinkers who shared their perspectives at the Symposium on the Future of Libraries during the ALA 2020 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits. From core values such as privacy and sustainability to more novel innovations such as the use of robots, we explore what the future might hold.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Survey shows effects of pandemic on library services

Respondents, response rate, geography

A new ALA survey of US libraries, “Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey,” documents a shift in library services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. While virtually all libraries (99%) report limited access to the physical building, survey respondents shared leaps in the use of digital content, online learning, and virtual programs. Survey responses show that libraries are involved in community crisis response, cautiously planning for reopening facilities, working to meet the educational needs of students and researchers, reporting increased use of digital services, and anticipating future demands....

AL: The Scoop, June 3
ALA news

Project Outcome for Academic Libraries

Report on Project Outcome for Academic Libraries

ACRL has published a report on the development of Project Outcome for Academic Libraries and its first year of use in the field. A free online toolkit designed to help academic libraries assess and communicate the impact of essential library programs and services, Project Outcome for Academic Libraries is based on the model developed by PLA and provides simple surveys and tools to measure and analyze outcomes, including interactive data dashboards. The report outlines the work of ACRL and its members to develop and promote the toolkit....

ACRL, June 3

School libraries and antiracism

Cover of What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People, by Verna A. Myers

Jennifer Sturge writes: “As school librarians, we need to come together and ensure that our libraries are places where antiracism prevails. I’ve written (along with Marianne Fitzgerald, Donna Mignardi, and Sandy Walker) about utilizing the social justice standards from Teaching Tolerance in school libraries, and I’m going to write about it again here—because we can and we must do better for the young generation who is watching this violence against people of color unfold around them on social media and in the news. I want to share a list of antiracism books that I have read as part of my work with school libraries and as part of our district equity team.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, June 3; Teaching Tolerance
Latest Library Links

45 upcoming books by black authors

Cover of Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson

Laura Sackton writes: “I’ve put together a list of 45 upcoming books by black authors that you can preorder right now. Buying books by black authors is one tangible way to listen to, celebrate, and uplift black voices. I included books from as many genres as possible on this list. But these books are only a drop in the bucket; there are many more upcoming books by black authors than I could possibly fit in. Preorder these books if you can. Shout about them on social media. Black writers today are creating so much beautiful work that deserves celebration and recognition from every single one of us.”​...

Book Riot, June 4

Video explains antiquarian book terms

Two booksellers discuss the term "dandy roll" in a screenshot from D. W. Young's short film "A Body of Language."

Dandy roll, dentelles, thumb-soiled. What do these words mean? In a short film called “A Body of Language” posted at The New Yorker, D. W. Young interviews two dozen or so rare book dealers about the “obscure and fanciful language of the book world—particularly the bodily lingo.”...

The New Yorker, May 21
Dewey Decibel podcast

A camel library serves students in Ethiopia

Save the Children's traveling camel library in Ethiopia

A camel library is giving children out of school in some of Ethiopia’s remote villages a unique opportunity to continue reading and learning, despite COVID-19 school closures. Save the Children first began the camel library in 2010. The service includes 21 camels, which are traditionally used by communities in the Somali region of Ethiopia to transport goods across the hot lowland areas. Camels can carry up to 200 storybooks at a time in wooden boxes strapped to their backs. The project currently reaches more than 22,000 children in 33 villages. Across Ethiopia, some 26 million children are out of school due to COVID-19 lockdowns....

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: ReliefWeb, June 5

Eberhart retires as American Libraries senior editor

George Eberhart

American Libraries Senior Editor George Eberhart is retiring from ALA on June 8 after more than 23 years with the magazine and another 10 years (1980–1990) with ACRL. His accomplishments include creating, curating, and editing the AL Direct e-newsletter since January 2006 and the Latest Library Links website feature since 2015. Eberhart wrote and edited The Librarian’ s Book of Lists (2010) and five editions of The Whole Library Handbook (1991–2013) for ALA Editions, in addition to designing and producing all the volumes in the Whole Library Handbook series. Senior Editor Amy Carlton will take over both Latest Library Links and AL Direct starting June 5....

American Libraries, June 4

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