Award-winning actor and author at ALA Virtual, June 26.

American Library Association • May 15, 2020
Library Systems Report

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Natalie Portman will be closing speaker at ALA Virtual

Natalie Portman

Academy Award–winning actor, director, producer, and activist Natalie Portman (right) will be the closing speaker at ALA Virtual on June 26. Her new book Natalie Portman’s Fables will be published in October by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and retells three classic fables, imbuing them with wit and wisdom. The messages at the heart of Natalie Portman’s Fables are modern takes on timeless life lessons. Registration is now open for ALA Virtual, June 24–26. ALA will lower 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....

ALA Conference Services, May 14

Nancy Pelosi unveils new plan for economic stimulus

Nancy Pelosi announces the HEROES Act

On May 12, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif., right) released the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief plan focused on emergency funding for states. The 1,800-page legislation is the latest proposal in Congress for what will eventually become the fifth economic stimulus bill. The HEROES Act includes funding provisions to support academic, public, and school libraries, including $915 billion for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to address budget shortfalls; and $100.15 billion for K–12 schools and institutions of higher education....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, May 14

A COVID-19 research project

Research synthesis to produce a toolkit for museums and libraries

OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle Memorial Institute are working to create and distribute science-based information and best practices designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to staff and visitors in museums, libraries, and archives. This collaboration will provide information on how long the virus survives on surfaces and how—or if—materials can be handled to mitigate exposure. The partnership is working on materials research, laboratory testing, and a toolkit that will support reopening and ongoing operations. Phase One (through August) will focus on high-priority materials and workflows....

WebJunction, May; OCLC, Apr. 22

Judged by the cover

On My Mind, by S. A. Cosby

Blacktop Wasteland author S. A. Cosby writes: “In mid-May, it came to the attention of the editors at Booklist that there were issues around the magazine’s May 1 cover. After discussing the matter internally and with me, they decided to change the cover and rerelease the issue. The initial cover, which is also the cover of my book, Blacktop Wasteland, shows a Black man in the reflection of the side mirror of a car. Some people felt that the image, paired with the title ‘Spotlight on Crime Fiction,’ reinforced negative stereotypes. This is an opportunity to have substantive conversations about our perceptions, as well as the changing face of the publishing world and the paucity of diverse crime writers.”...

American Libraries column, May 15; Booklist, May

Reexploring collection management

Librarian’s Library, by Allison Escoto

Allison Escoto writes: “Collection management is a strange thing: Most of us spend our careers doing the various tasks involved, but not a whole lot of time reading about it beyond library school. We are usually too busy implementing its various aspects to really step back and refresh our way of doing things. Luckily, there are many current (and timeless), informative, and well-researched guides to help any librarian, whether fresh out of library school looking for guidance or a veteran in need of a refresher.”...

American Libraries column, May

The move to teen-driven services

Youth Matters, by Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun writes: “Does your library offer teen-centered services or teen-driven services? And what is the difference between the two? Teen-driven services allow teens to develop the social and emotional competencies highlighted by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning: relationship skills, social awareness, self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision making. Luke Kirkland, teen department head at the Waltham (Mass.) Public Library, observes that youth-led services help teens grow into active adult community stakeholders. It’s not a small challenge to make this transition, but it’s invaluable to give teens a voice and ownership over services.”...

American Libraries column, May
ALA news

The Obamas team up for storytime in Chicago

The Obamas read The Word Collector. Screenshot from video

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama teamed up on May 14, as guests on one of Chicago Public Library’s “Live from the Library” Storytime sessions. The duo, who have been married 27 years, revealed that they are opening a new branch of the library because “public libraries are essential institutions,” according to the former president. The Obamas then began reading The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds. “We chose this book because it illustrates the transformative power of words. I love words,” he added, to which the former first lady replied, “Yeah, your favorite.” On May 18, Oprah Winfrey will read from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse....

Us Weekly, May 14; Obama Foundation YouTube channel, May 14

Photo gallery: 2020 best practices from world libraries

Salumu Leon Musuyu and Kelly Linda Iradukunda, two graduates from the Siganto Digital Learning Workshops, State Library of Queensland, Australia

This “Best Practices from World Libraries” photo gallery presents a selection of photographs from around the world that feature library projects and programs that best demonstrate this year’s ALA theme on the value of libraries in promoting social justice and inclusion. The collection was curated by the International Relations Round Table’s International Connections Committee. The project idea comes from the 2018 IRRT Emerging Leaders’ Project: Towards Increasing Engagement of International New Professional Leaders in ALA Activities, which identified “sharing innovative services and best practices” and “promoting the concept of a global community of libraries” as the highest priorities....

International Relations Round Table: International Connections Committee
Latest Library Links

Libraries over the airwaves

Ameet Doshi (right), director of innovation and program design and subject librarian at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and Law, and Charlie Bennett, public engagement librarian and subject librarian for GT’s School of Economics, in GT’s campus radio station. Photo by Allison Carter / Georgia Institute of Technology

Listeners of WREK-FM 91.1 radio station in Atlanta can hear a variety of styles: old-school punk rock, modern hip-hop, Afropop, and conversations about library programming. Yes: library programming. Lost in the Stacks: The Research Library Rock ’n Roll Radio Show, broadcast every Friday from Georgia Tech’s campus station, blends music with discussions of library topics. The brainchild of Charlie Bennett, public engagement librarian and subject librarian for GT’s School of Economics, and Ameet Doshi, director of innovation and program design and subject librarian at GT’s School of Public Policy and Law, the show began 10 years ago with a simple idea: to spread the word about happenings at GT Library....

American Libraries Bookend, May

Bringing students and habitats together

Sandy Avila, Megan Haught, and Christina Wray on Sustainability in Libraries

Sandra Avila, Christina C. Wray, and Megan Haught write: “In spring 2018, University of Central Florida Libraries staff members were exploring ways to expand programming beyond the classroom. Earth Day gave us the perfect opportunity to devise a program that promoted campus sustainability practices and expanded our network of partners. We decided to team up with UCF Arboretum staff to teach students more about the unique habitats all around them. Here at UCF, we are lucky to have more than 800 acres of preserved natural lands on campus. Yet students rarely have a chance to make personal connections with the university as a natural place.”...

AL: The Scoop, May 13
Dewey Decibel podcast

Five Russian books to help you survive quarantine

Onegin, by Elena Samokysh-Sudkovskaya, 1908

Russian authors knew about loneliness and boredom, whether in exile or singlehandedly standing up to the crowd. These five books will help you feel that you’re not alone. At the very least, they’re a good read. Here are five others that are a good read anytime....

Russia Beyond, Mar. 29, Apr. 6

Different book formats explained

Armed Forces editions

Nicole Hill writes: “How much do you know about books? Why are they shaped the way they are? Why are there so many different book formats? How can you fit all of these different sizes of books on your bookshelf? In March, Harlequin discreetly made some changes to its mass market paperbacks; it made them bigger, dubbing the new format ‘mass market paperback max.’ And in April, Kensington Publishing announced plans to switch its mass market to titles to the ‘mass max’ size in September. What does all this mean? What’s a mass market paperback, and how’s it different from any other paperback? Why are books different sizes anyway? Let’s revisit the different types of book formats and why each exists.”...

Book Riot, May 15; Sept. 6, 2019; Publishers Weekly, Apr. 23, May 1

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