ALA’s three-day virtual event, June 24–26.

American Library Association • May 12, 2020

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Registration now open for ALA Virtual

ALA Virtual, June 24–26

Registration is now open for ALA Virtual, “Community Through Connection,” June 24–26. The three-day online event will send a strong message that the library community can—and will—remain connected during this unprecedented time. ALA is lowering registration fees from $175 for ALA members to just $60. Library professionals who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are experiencing a reduction of paid work hours, are welcome to attend at no cost. Registration will close at noon Central time on June 17. Featured speakers include Misty Copeland (opening) and Natalie Portman (closing), as well as UK poet Sophia Thakur and authors Matthew Cordell and Sonia Manzano....

ALA Conference Services, May 11

ALA rallies support for COVID-19 relief

ALA COVID-19 update

On May 11, the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office delivered a letter to every member of Congress—signed by more than 30 business, government, labor, and education leaders—in support of $2 billion in emergency aid to libraries affected by COVID-19. Members of this coalition included organizations such as the National League of Cities, US Conference of Mayors, and American Federation of Teachers, as well as such businesses as Baker & Taylor and OverDrive. The coalition letter referred to a list of senators and representatives who, at the urging of constituents, signed and sent “Dear Colleague” letters to congressional leadership in support of additional library funding in the next relief package....

AL: The Scoop, May 12

New COVID-19 response survey open through May 18

PLA COVID-19 Libraries Respond survey

PLA is coordinating with several ALA units and other library organizations to survey the library community to understand the current impact the crisis is having on operations, programs, services, and finances. It seeks input from all types of libraries. The Libraries Respond survey can be taken online or in PDF format and will be available through May 18. Results and analysis will be used to advocate on behalf of libraries at the national level and will be shared widely with the library field and the media. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete, and all completed respondents will be automatically entered to win one of ten $30 gift certificates to the ALA Store....

PLA, May 12

CARES Act grants available


The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced two new funding opportunities for museums, libraries, federally recognized tribes, and organizations that primarily serve Native Hawaiians. The combined $15 million federal investment will provide direct support to these institutions, equipping them to respond to community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act allocated funding to IMLS for libraries to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services. The deadline for submitting applications is June 12....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 27, May 8

ALA seeks candidates for Endowment Fund trustees

ALA Endowment

ALA is now accepting applications for two expiring terms on the ALA Endowment Trustees Committee. The candidates will be selected by the ALA Executive Board at ALA Virtual, which will be held June 24–26. ALA Endowment trustees have the authority to hold, invest, and disburse endowment and other long-term investment funds as directed by the ALA Executive Board. Candidates must be or become members of the ALA. Any newly selected trustee will begin serving immediately upon notification of selection. The three-year term will expire at the conclusion of the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The deadline for submitting applications is June 15....

ALA Finance and Accounting Department, May 12

The post-pandemic future of libraries

A statue of Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson wears a mask outside the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Photo by Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Deborah Fallows writes: “Even before librarians closed their doors against the pandemic, they started moving fast to keep their work going. They began shifting regular programming online, distributing stockpiles of mobile technology to the digitally needy, strengthening partnerships with schools and food donation sites, activating their maker-technology to produce PPE, helping prepare the homeless population with alternatives for shelter, and more. I wrote about libraries’ novel response to the novel coronavirus here. The ideas keep coming. Librarians are also thinking about how they will serve their communities once they open their doors again. Here are some of the comments I’ve heard.”...

The Atlantic: Our Towns, Mar. 31, May 12
ALA news

Libraries will look different when they reopen

Crowded library

Stephan Barker writes: “It’s difficult to imagine all library services going digital. Public-access computers have become an integral part of library services; in most branches, however, the computers are only inches apart, making safe social distancing impossible. Libraries will have to reduce the number of computers or reduce space dedicated to books, magazines, and tables and chairs to spread out the computers. Storytimes and book discussion groups offer additional challenges. Activities that require closer social interaction—board games and homework help—would have to be curtailed. Smaller branches without a lot of space might have to cancel these activities or reconfigure their interiors.”...

Washington Post, May 8

Six ways colleges might look different in the fall

Keep calm and college is reopening

Elissa Nadworny writes: “What will happen on college campuses in the fall? It’s a big question for families, students, and the schools themselves. Much of what happens depends on factors outside the control of individual schools: Will there be more testing? Contact tracing? Enough physical space for distancing? Will the coronavirus have a second wave? Will any given state allow campuses to reopen? For all of these questions, it’s really too early to know the answers. In the midst of all this uncertainty, it’s worth looking at some of the ideas out there. With the help of Joshua Kim and Edward J. Maloney, here are some potential scenarios for reopening colleges and universities.”...

NPR: All Things Considered, May 5
Latest Library Links

Protecting privacy in a pandemic

Privacy town hall with Michelle Gibeault, Erin Berman, Bill Marden, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone

This resource guide supplements “Protecting Privacy During a Pandemic,” the YouTube recording of a town hall hosted by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee on May 8. Even during a public health emergency, libraries should continue to adhere to their mission and stand by the law and ethical standards that govern the provision of library services. This guide offers links to privacy resources on fair and equitable access, adopting new technologies, minors’ and students’ privacy, and civil liberties....

Choose Privacy Every Day, May 8; ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom YouTube channel, May 8

Is your online library for everyone?

Libraries are for everyone

Jessica Fredrickson writes: “This blog post explores six common web accessibility myths for online library services and programs. Stay tuned for even more information to help you serve diverse children in the forthcoming ALSC Virtual Storytime Services Guide. Myth #1: People with disabilities don’t use the internet or interact with my library online. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four US adults experiences disability, and about one in six children between 3 and 17 have one or more developmental disabilities. If individuals with disabilities aren’t interacting with us online, it’s not because they don’t want to—it’s because we’ve made our web content inaccessible.”...

ALSC Blog, May 11; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 9, 2019
Dewey Decibel podcast

15 science fiction podcasts you can listen to

Robot at the keyboard

Emily Martin writes: “Science fiction is a genre that encompasses many different themes and storylines. Unsurprisingly, each of the 15 podcasts on this list has a completely different angle on covering the genre. Maybe all of them will be great for you, or maybe just a few will become your new favorites. But either way, the best part is that there are many episodes available to listen to right now. I’ve divided this list into two categories. First, we have podcasts about science fiction. In the second half of this list, I share some of the best science fiction audio dramas.”...

Book Riot, May 11

So what ebooks do I buy?

Ebooks. Photo by Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson writes: “Are you new to purchasing ebooks? Or suddenly purchasing more digital material than ever before? You’re not alone! Purchasing ebooks can be tricky, so how do you figure out which ones to buy? I’m not going to recommend specific titles here, but here’s what I’ve learned about purchasing ebooks as a collection development librarian. Look at bestseller lists, look at your print circulation stats, and develop ways that patrons and staff can communicate with you to request titles. Once you start purchasing ebooks, pay attention to how they are circulating because ebook circulation is often different than print circulation.”...

ALSC Blog, May 12

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