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Illustration: Screenshot of gamers in costume playing Dungeons and Dragons (Illustration: Katie Wheeler)

When you seek the advice of a goblin priest in the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons, beware: Instead of helping you in your quest, he might try to feed you to a tentacled monster with a taste for adventurers. A crew of six explorers—library patrons playing as a gnome, two half-elves, two humans, and a wood elf—learned this lesson during their weekly online game, led by Greenfield (Mass.) Public Library Assistant Jeremiah Rood. Rood, who launched GPL’s program in June, joins a growing community of Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts who are connecting through virtual library programs. Rood began holding virtual games during the pandemic as an inexpensive way to bring people together....

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

Patrons at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, submitted photos that include images of daily jokes, Zoom meeting signs, protests, and jigsaw puzzles. (Photos: Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California)

The Palos Verdes Library District coronavirus archiving project started with a cat. Monique Sugimoto, archivist and local history librarian at Peninsula Center Library, a branch of PVLD in Rolling Hills Estates, California, was quarantined at home in March like the rest of her staff and patrons when she sent a photo of her feline home office companion to her team and asked them to share their own remote workspaces. The responses, which included an image of a colleague’s dog refusing to relinquish a work chair, made Sugimoto realize she could prompt the whole community to capture a snapshot of life in the time of coronavirus....

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

From the President by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. writes: “As a career federal employee, I took an oath of allegiance to the US Constitution, which begins with three words that are the bedrock upon which our country stands: We the People. To me, it means the government exists to serve all citizens of this experiment called the United States of America. And yet we know that when the Constitution was penned in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in effect after 1789, We the People did not include all the people. The primary focus of my ALA presidency is to serve the people—all people—with particular attention to those who were not included or who are underrepresented or forgotten.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.



ProQuest One Literature

To better understand the influence of the past on the present, literature students and researchers need access to variety of perspectives covering the span of time. This means libraries are depended upon to provide resources that represent diverse users and reflect a spectrum of voices. Featuring a comprehensive and inclusive collection of multi-format content, criticism, and primary texts from underrepresented authors, supports the latest trends in literary studies, in alignment with an evolving curriculum.


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From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall writes: “In , I called out equitable information access as a matter of social justice and questioned how ALA and its collective constituency might work even more intentionally to eradicate information poverty. I want to pick up this discussion. Let’s look at the pervasive and persistent inequities in information and digital access—and the degree to which they are profoundly raced and classed—as an instance of what I call information redlining.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.; Sept./Oct.

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, the Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) affirmed its support for ALA members, all library workers, and the broader library community in the face of the many challenges faced in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the divisive political environment, and shrinking resources. , the Executive Board issued a statement in response to the Trump administration’s recent Executive Order 13950....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 2, Oct. 29

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Youth Technology Librarian Holly Eberle writes: “There is a massive amount of news, all day, every day. You may have missed this, but I assure you it is important. In any other year, this would be the top news story for the day: The Justice Department brought an antitrust lawsuit against Google.”...

OIF Blog, Nov. 2

Latest Library Links

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The  will be held November 5 from 13:00–15:00 (Central European Time) at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, in The Hague, The Netherlands. In this extraordinary situation, IFLA has taken actions in order to help you to participate in the best way possible: The entire 2020 IFLA General Assembly will be ....

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Nov. 3

Keyboard with wheelchair, hearing and vision impairment keys

Freya Möbus writes: “As I was preparing for this new semester, I found myself copying and pasting the statement on inclusion and accessibility from my previous syllabi. I had spent some time on editing the course description, contemplating the desired learning outcomes, and comparing forms of assessment. But when it came to the statement on inclusion and accessibility, I hadn’t thought much about what I want to communicate to my students.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 30

Toni Morrison smiling against a blue background

Helen Holmes writes: “When the Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88 in 2019, she left behind an immeasurably valuable bibliography of novels, nonfiction essays, and articles that illuminated truths about the Black American experience for readers all over the world. Additionally, as one might expect, she left behind a formidable personal library in her Tribeca apartment, which is and listed at $4.75 million.”...

Observer, Nov. 3; Galerie Magazine, Oct. 30

ALA news and press releases

Stones balanced on a rocky beach

Tina Chan, reference services program manager and social sciences librarian at MIT Libraries, writes: “Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many people. Like many, I practice social distancing and wear a mask while outside, and I work from home since my library closed. I recognize I am privileged to work from home while others were laid off, furloughed, or had to work onsite. As unfortunate events (racial injustice, COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline, among others) impact us in different ways, the following are some self-care strategies for a healthy work–life balance.”...

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Intersections Blog, Oct. 30

Cover of The Flowing Bowl (1892)

Josh Jones writes: “So, um … you look like you could use a drink. How about a Stomach Julep (Julepum Stomachicum). It’s a ‘saffron syrup made with sherry, spirit rectified with mint, and a nonalcoholic mint distillate’ among other ‘fascinating ingredients.’ Yes, this is a recipe from a 1753 pharmacology textbook, but in 1753, one’s bartender might just as well also be the local alchemist, pharmacist, and captive audience.”...

Open Culture, Nov. 4

Covers of Let's Talk About Love and Fangirl

November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It’s , the annual event designed to help you go from dreaming about being an author to becoming an author. Before you begin, get inspired by these 33 books that can trace their roots back to NaNoWriMo projects. Not only did books including The Night Circus, With the Fire on High, and Trail of Lightning reach the finish line, they reached the pinnacle: publication....

Goodreads, Oct. 29

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