ALA Executive Board supports APALA against racism.

American Library Association • May 29, 2020
Library Systems Report

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ALA stands with APALA in condemning xenophobia

APALA logo

In a statement issued May 26, the ALA Executive Board expressed its support for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s (APALA) March 13 statement against racism and xenophobia related to the COVID-19 outbreak and in response to a May 15 article in Against the Grain. The Executive Board invites ALA members, library community members, and library institutions to join them in signing APALA’s pledge, demonstrating a commitment to combating the rise of xenophobia and racism against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans....

AL: The Scoop, May 26; ALA Communications and Marketing Office, May 26; APALA, Mar. 13, May 15

Webinar: The library community moving forward

PLA COVID-19 Libraries Respond survey

Join a free webinar on June 4 to gain insight and engage with leaders from state, public, academic, and school libraries on the continued efforts and strategies to reopen library facilities across the country. In “The Library Community Moving Forward in the New Normal” you will hear the preliminary results from the recent national “Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey,” and have the opportunity to ask questions and compare and contrast planning and guidance across the range of library types to inform your own robust planning and services responses. ALA President-Elect Patty Wong will be the facilitator for panelists Ramiro Salazar, Jon Cawthorne, Mary Keeling, Jake Speer, and Lucinda Nord....

United for Libraries

Sponsored Content

Did you lose your health insurance? You have options

Health tools for library workers, patrons facing job loss

The Public Library Association recognizes health insurance and health literacy are priorities that allow individuals and families to navigate the broader health system to obtain needed care and avoid unexpected costs. As of May 14, an estimated 16.2 million workers have likely lost employer-provided health insurance since the crisis unfolded. Library workers and patrons who have experienced job loss can lean on special enrollment coverage options as part of the Affordable Care Act, check their eligibility for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and familiarize themselves with reliable health resources. Read more at

ALA and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission

Women’s Vote Centennial

ALA is partnering with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission to distribute 6,000 women’s suffrage youth book sets to libraries across the country. Public and school libraries can apply for the book sets by June 15. The donation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and highlights the importance of libraries as hubs of civic engagement. Each set consists of three books at different reading levels: Around America to Win the Vote by Mara Rockliff for elementary readers; The Woman’s Hour: Our Fight for the Right to Vote by Elaine Weiss for middle schoolers; and the National Park Service Women’s Suffrage Reader, an anthology of essays for high school readers....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, May 26

Endowment trustees update

ALA Endowment

Patricia A. Wand writes: “Through recent months of the volatile stock market and economic recession, the ALA Endowment has taken predictable dips, but overall is demonstrating that implementing a strategic investment plan pays off. Between December 31, 2019, and April 30, the equities market lost as much as 15%, while the market value of the ALA Endowment decreased by 7.3%. Since April 30, the loss slowly decreased until May 18 when the Endowment was 6.3% below where it was on December 31. What accounts for this encouraging situation when we might expect more dire losses? It’s the diverse portfolio that Endowment Trustees strategically maintain.”...

ALA Endowment Trustees, May 20

The Library of Congress Boccaccio Project

David Plylar

The limbo of this extended quarantine has forced artists, curators, and musicians into a state of increased resourcefulness. Take David Plylar (right), lead curator in the Music Division at the Library of Congress. In considering how he could continue the library’s mission to commission new music (about 600 pieces since 1925), Plylar reached for an idea he’s had on his bookshelf for 20 years. Working with other curators and specialists at the library over the past month, Plylar assembled 10 pairs of composers and performers to collaborate remotely on short solo compositions (between one and three minutes) that he’s calling the “The Boccaccio Project.” The pieces will be recorded and premiere on the LC website June 15–26....

Washington Post, May 29 (subscription required)
ALA news

LC’s 2020 National Book Festival

Joy Harjo

The 20th Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate “American Ingenuity” in 2020, featuring the creativity and inspiration of some of the nation’s most gifted authors in a reimagined virtual festival the weekend of September 25–27. The festival is part of the Library’s 220th anniversary year. The doorway to this year’s festival will be the National Book Festival website. Subscribe to the festival blog for updates on this year’s plans. The lineup for this year’s festival includes Madeleine Albright, Joy Harjo (right), Melinda Gates, John Grisham, Colson Whitehead, Jason Reynolds, Kate DiCamillo, Ann Druyan, Jared Diamond, and Gene Luen Yang....

Library of Congress, May 28

New StoryCorps Connect platform

StoryCorps Connect

AASL is partnering with StoryCorps to launch StoryCorps Connect. This new free platform allows Americans to conduct and record StoryCorps interviews remotely. AASL encourages school librarians to use the technology to support learners in connecting with others during the COVID-19 pandemic and, in the process, to contribute to the creation of a unique first-person historical record of this unprecedented crisis. The platform uses advanced online videoconferencing technology and wraparound instructional tools to give participants the opportunity to record StoryCorps conversations remotely....

AASL, May 28

Tips for recording digital book talks

Screenshot from The Bone Houses book talk

Karin Greenberg writes: “I know that most librarians have the skills to create successful video book talks, but I found it to be much more difficult than I expected. When I walk around my library delivering book talks I am at ease. Not so with the video version. I used Screencastify, a simple platform that took a short time to figure out. The problem, I found, was in the execution. After two days, and about 200 takes (no exaggeration), I had one brief book talk for The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. To save you from some of the stress I experienced, here are a few tips I learned while making my digital book talk.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, May 27
Latest Library Links

Women who did what they wanted

Cover of Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain

C. W. Gortner writes: “I’m addicted to women who break the rules. I’m not sure where this obsession started, though I tend to trace it to my childhood, when the BBC television series Elizabeth R was being aired. We all need inspiration in these trying times. The road to equality is rarely straightforward; breaking rules to get our point across has been a tried-and-true weapon in the arsenal since history began. So, let’s take a page from these inspiring historical women, who decided to do it their way.”...

Literary Hub, May 27

Nine books for people who miss libraries and bookstores

Cover of The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves

Katie Moench writes: “Like most people, I miss a lot of things right now. One of the things I miss the most is being casually able to swing by my local library branch or bookstore on the way home from work, stopping to pick up and put down books and chat about recommendations for new reads. While we’re waiting for things to return to some semblance of normal, diving into one of these nine books, all of which involve libraries or bookstores, can hopefully help you remember how much you love those places.”...

Book Riot, May 28
Dewey Decibel podcast

140 best podcasts to enrich your mind

The Last Archive podcast, with Jill Lepore

Podcasts are now unsurpassed in their ability to encourage thinking, compared to other internet media. Of course, much of the competition (listicles, cat videos, TikToks) may not seem especially strong, but podcasting’s combination of the oft-praised intimacy of radio and freedom from the temporal or demographic limitations of traditional broadcast media has proven unexpectedly potent. In fact, humanity’s craving for podcasts is such that, for more than a decade now, there have been too many to choose from. To help guide you through this embarrassment of audio riches, Open Culture has put together this list of the 140 best podcasts to enrich your mind....

Open Culture, May 25

What Hollywood gets wrong (and right) about librarians

Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Jennifer Snoek-Brown writes: “One of my favorite films growing up was the 1946 classic, It’s a Wonderful Life—but I would look at how (spoiler!) Donna Reed’s character, Mary, became a spinster librarian in that film, and then I would look at my school librarian mother and know that something didn’t add up. I knew that Hollywood was getting it wrong. But not everyone is so lucky to have a librarian role model that up close and personal in their lives. I also frequently rail and wail on my Reel Librarians blog about how often films and TV shows get library call numbers wrong. They mix up LC and DDC call numbers together and they include books without call number stickers in a library set—a major pet peeve!”...

I Love Libraries, May 26; Reel Librarians, Sept. 21, 2011; Nov. 28, 2018

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