ALA statements against institutional racism.

American Library Association • June 30, 2020
Booklist Virtual Carnegie Awards

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ALA Virtual Event and Book Award Celebration

ALA Virtual Event

ALA Virtual, the Association's first-ever online-only member event, occurred June 24–26. Featured speakers included dancer and author Misty Copeland, Emmy-winning writer and performer Sonia Manzano, political leader Stacey Abrams, and actor Natalie Portman, as well as dozens of educational sessions for library professionals. In addition, the ALA Book Award Celebration on June 28, a new all-day virtual event, celebrated the winners of several of its major book awards. Watch the videos for each award....

AL: The Scoop, June 24–29; ALA, June 28

ALA Council actions at Virtual meetings

ALA Logo

The American Library Association held its first-ever online governance meetings on June 23 and June 27 as part of ALA Virtual. Highlights included a budget update from ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell and a farewell to Mary W. Ghikas, retiring after nearly three decades at ALA. Resolutions on protecting privacy and safety in coronavirus-related library policy, developing library security policies in keeping with ALA policy, and Forward Together: the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness all passed. Council voted to dissolve the divisions ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA (to be merged into Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, effective September 1) and ASGCLA....

AL: The Scoop, June 23, 29

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ALA, ED statements on institutional racism

Tracie D. Hall

On June 26 during ALA Virtual, ALA issued a statement on racism and discrimination within the Association and the library profession. During the inaugural ALA Virtual Event on June 24, ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall (right) issued a strong challenge for our nation’s librarians, library professionals, and library supporters. Hall outlined a three-pronged platform of priorities for library advocates, including universal broadband, rapid diversification of the library and information services field, and a commitment from local and federal governments and public and private funders to broaden the philanthropic infrastructure of libraries. Underlying these three priorities, she said, is the guiding principle of justice. A complete video of Hall’s remarks is available at

AL: The Scoop, June 26; ALA News, June 26

Libraries Transform Book Pick returns Sept. 14–28

Libraries Transform Book Pick Returns This Fall

The Libraries Transform Book Pick will return September 14–28 with its second ebook selection: Lauren Francis-Sharma’s Book of the Little Axe. During the lending period, ebook copies will be available without waitlists or holds through US public libraries using OverDrive. Readers will only need a library card and the Libby app to borrow and read the ebook....

ALA Communications and Marketing, June 24

LGBTQIA+ titles for adults, teens, and children

Covers of Pet, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, and How We Fight for Our Lives

Booklist Reader is celebrating Pride Month within the glow of the historic June 15 Supreme Court decision, which states that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does, indeed, protect gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The long, difficult, now stronger-than-ever fight for LGBTQIA+ rights has inspired and been inspired by books. Here is a list of recent outstanding titles for readers young and old—including nonfiction, poetry, and fiction—that spotlight often hidden histories and celebrate resplendent LGBTQIA+ voices everywhere....

Booklist Reader, June 24

How will we remember COVID-19?

Protective measures, H. F. Dollar and Up, 61-27 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, April 29, 2020. (Photo: Camilo Vergara/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Wendi Maloney writes: “People chatting in the sun beside a taco truck in Oakland, California. A woman peering warily over a surgical mask in a Newark, New Jersey, bus line. A sign reading ‘no gloves, no mask, no service’ taped on the entrance to a Royal Chicken and Biscuit restaurant in Newark. What do these images have in common? They’re all by Camilo José Vergara, noted for photographing urban communities where life is often hard. They are also among the very first items the library acquired documenting the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. And they will be far from the last: The library anticipates a collecting effort that exceeds its coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”...

Library of Congress Blog, June 24

The Blackivists on documenting movements

Image: Chicago Rally, date unknown. From the Chicago Urban League Photos collection, the University of Illinois at Chicago Special Collections and Archives.

Arionne Nettles writes: “When major movements rock the course of American history, Black voices and perspectives are often left out—out of textbooks, out of major museums, and out of public record. Enter the Blackivists. Started in 2018, this group of six Black archivists in Chicago works to train and consult with community groups on how to properly preserve archives, prioritizing projects that fill in the gaps in history.”...

Chicago Reader, June 16

Does federal broadband definition reflect real-world need?

Front doors of the FCC building

Jed Pressgrove writes: “COVID-19 made broadband access a necessity for many households and further underscored the depth of the digital divide. As the federal government continues programs to provide high-speed internet to citizens, a question lurks in the background: Does the federal definition of broadband reflect what Americans need today? The current definition, 25 Mbps download speed/3 Mbps upload speed, was set by the Federal Communications Commission, led by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in 2015. Five years after the 2015 revision, life as Americans know it has changed.”...

Government Technology, June 10, 24
ALA News Releases

Are libraries ready for new accessibility rules?

Ebook in use

Mirela Roncevic writes: “With the COVID-19 crisis forcing a rapid shift to remote and distance learning around the world, the issue of the accessibility of digital resources becomes even more prominent. This year, however, marks a turning point in what is required of universities and colleges across the US on the matter of accessibility. All institutions of learning that receive federal aid are now legally required to make their digital learning materials accessible to students, including those with disabilities.”...

No Shelf Required, June 24

AL Direct e-newsletter goes weekly starting July 8

AL Direct logo

Starting July 8, AL Direct, the e-newsletter of American Libraries magazine, will change to a weekly schedule and showcase an updated design. The newsletter, which is currently mailed on Tuesdays and Fridays, will mail every Wednesday. AL Direct, created in January 2006, is sent to personal members of the American Library Association. It provides summaries and links to news, announcements, and other information of interest to library and information science professionals. The newsletter is supplemented daily by other news on the American Libraries website widget, Latest Library Links, and the AL news blog, The Scoop....

American Libraries, June 30
Dewey Decibel podcast

7 new Google Meet features for teachers

Mockup of Google Meet Jamboard

Richard Byrne writes: “In a move that clearly is an attempt to match the functionality of Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Google has announced some new features that will soon be coming to Google Meet for G Suite for Education users. All of the new features that were announced address the many concerns about Google Meet that teachers have expressed in the last few months. Some of these features are available now and some will be coming over the next couple of months.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, June 26; Google Keyword blog, June 25

Face masks for Patience and Fortitude

The lions, who celebrated their 109th birthday in May, sit 90 feet apart, flanking the steps of the majestic Beaux-Arts library building at Manhattan’s Fifth Ave. and 42nd St. (Photo: Andrew Schwartz/New York Daily News)

Leonard Greene writes: “They’ve been socially distancing for decades, and now the iconic lions that guard the main branch of the New York Public Library are wearing masks, too. Workers outfitted the marble lions, named Patience and Fortitude, with Jurassic-sized masks to set an example and remind New Yorkers to stay safe and follow expert guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.”...

New York Daily News, June 29

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