Voters support more than 90% of library referenda

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Hands and ballot box (Illustration: ©artflare/Adobe Stock)

In the 2020 election year, American Libraries and the Public Library Association tracked more than 100 library-related referenda across 27 states. Voters decided more than 90% of them in favor of the library. As usual, Ohio was a major front-runner, with 31 of 32 referenda voted in; Michigan came in second, with 18 of 20 approved. Included are preliminary results as of November 10. Some municipalities are awaiting provisional and mail-in vote tallies that may or may not change the results. A large selection of the referenda will appear in our January/February issue....

American Libraries feature, Nov. 11

YALSA 2020 Symposium logo

Kymberlee Powe writes: “At the 2020 Young Adult Services Symposium—hosted virtually November 6–8 by YALSA—the theme was ‘Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens.’ More than 560 people registered for the annual event, which offered more than 20 live sessions, networking opportunities, breakouts, and other activities. This year’s symposium focused on partnerships, empowerment, and using YA literature to promote equity.”...

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 11

This year isn’t the first time in recent history that teens have taken a visible role in public protests. Many of them marched in support of the DREAM Act and spoke out about immigration policy; advocated for gun control after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and followed environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s lead in organizing school strikes to bring attention to the climate crisis. Some librarians are using these galvanizing moments to engage teens around issues that matter to them. Also in our latest issue—....

American Libraries feature, Trend, Nov./Dec.

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50 years of BCALA

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. American Libraries spoke with 10 BCALA members—all leaders in the library field—about what the 50th anniversary means to them, their hopes for the future, and the role of libraries in combating systemic racism and discrimination and fighting for social justice. —associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and author of E. J. Josey: Transformational Leader of the Modern Library Profession—about his life, activism, and impact on the library world....

American Libraries features, Nov./Dec.

ALA Midwinter Virtual logo

Registration is open for , January 22–26. The event will include “New Urgencies for Change” sessions from the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, News You Can Use, special author events, a virtual Exhibit Hall, the Youth Media Awards, the I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony, live-chat presentations, and networking opportunities. Featured speakers include Opening Session speakers Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain; ALA President’s Program speaker Joy Harjo; actors Ethan Hawke and Cicely Tyson; musician Ziggy Marley; Ruby Bridges; Stan Sakai; Max Brooks; Mina Starsiak; Emmanuel Acho; Natalie Baszile; Matt de la Peña; and Christian Robinson, with more to be announced soon....

ALA Conference Services, Nov. 5

Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. (Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library)

Programming Librarian Kristina Gómez writes: “Milwaukee Public Library’s collaboration with the Deaf community began as part of an Our Town placemaking grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. One of our library’s goals as a grantee was to provide opportunities for cross-cultural connection among residents of the Historic Mitchell Street district, a predominately Latinx neighborhood on Milwaukee’s South Side. Mitchell Street is also home to the Greater Milwaukee Association of the Deaf, and it was in conversations with residents that we learned our Deaf community felt underserved by arts organizations—especially when it came to being recognized as creators. How could the library support Deaf individuals as artists while facilitating connections between neighbors?”...

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Latest Library Links

Logo with purple heart on aqua background, black text reading: ACA Open Enrollment is November 1 - December 15, 2020

The open enrollment period of the  runs November 1–December 15, during what may be the most challenging year in its 10-year history. Millions of Americans have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many without employer-sponsored health coverage. The PLA initiative  offers a suite of free tools and resources to help library practitioners assist patrons in enrolling in health insurance coverage....

Public Library Association, Nov. 10

James Beard Award–winning chef, restaurateur, author, and newly appointed Bon Appétit brand advisor Marcus Samuelsson has joined forces with James Beard Award–winning writer Osayi Endolyn to create The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious, October). The cookbook celebrates the richness and range of contemporary Black cooking with 150 recipes that roam from San Diego to Chicago, Martinique to Manhattan, and points in between. Samuelsson and Endolyn spoke with American Libraries about their work and the racial dynamics of the food publishing world, and ....

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Covers of Falling in Love with Hominids and This Book Is Anti-Racist

ALA and Humble Bundle are teaming up to offer library supporters and advocates an opportunity to fund ALA initiatives supporting social justice and intellectual freedom, including the Spectrum Scholarship program and the Freedom to Read Foundation. The contains nearly 50 diverse ebooks and audiobooks with a retail value of more than $800, featuring authors, creators, and characters of color, including The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America, by Tamara Winfrey Harris, Falling in Love With Hominids, by Nalo Hopkinson, and This Book Is Anti-Racist, by Tiffany Jewell and illustrated by Aurelia Durand. The pay-what-you-want collection is available November 10–February 8....

Freedom to Read Foundation, Nov. 10

ALA news and press releases

Vergilius Vaticanus, Creusa trying to detain Aeneas from battle, 4th Century (Copyright: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana)

Harriet Sherwood writes: “The , which holds 80,000 documents of immense importance and immeasurable value, including the oldest surviving copy of the Bible and drawings and writings from Michelangelo and Galileo, has partnered with a cyber-security firm to defend its ambitious digitization project against criminals. The library has faced an average of 100 threats a month since it started digitizing its collection of historical treasures in 2012, according to Manlio Miceli, its chief information officer.”...

The Guardian (UK), Nov. 8

Drawing room of Jane Austen's House

Pan 3Sixty has created a virtual tour of Jane Austen’s House, a cottage in the village of Chawton, Hampshire (UK), where she lived for the last eight years of her life (1809–1817). Here she revised, wrote, and had published all her major works: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The tour includes narration and 360-degree views of the rooms and grounds of the house plus information on household items, clothing, jewelry, and other personal objects....

Pan 3Sixty

World Reading Habits 2020 with shaded counties and percentages

Isabel Cabrera writes: “This has been a strange year… for obvious reasons. Most of us spent more time at home. For some, this meant  from the sofa, or taking the opportunity to learn new skills from online education platforms such as  or . However, for others this was an opportunity to dive into new books and read more. How did coronavirus change our reading habits? Which countries read the most this year? And what books were we reading?”...

Global English Editing, Feb. 28, Oct. 25, Nov. 6; BBC News, April 21

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