Planning post-election library advocacy

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Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction 2021 Shortlist

On November 17 ALA announced the six books shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The award recognizes the best books written for adult readers and published in the United States during the previous year. The two medal winners will be announced online on Thursday, February 4, at the  at 3 p.m. Central....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 17

Timeline of library advocacy dates after election

Kathi Kromer, associate executive director of ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, writes: “The November 3 elections will have an impact on public policy and advocacy for libraries at the federal, state, and local level. Based on campaign pledges, the Biden-Harris administration will be more favorable to education investment and the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. President-Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet selections will likely indicate a significant shift in policy around education, telecommunications, workforce issues, and many other areas. However, the change of leadership in the White House does not automatically translate into wins for libraries.”...

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 13

Watercolor image of a Black woman's face surrounded by swirls of color (Photo illustration: ©Victor Tongdee/Adobe Stock)

Librarian and professor Rebecca Tolley writes: “As librarians, we are affected by our work. We’re often directly exposed to traumatic events or feeling the indirect results of natural disasters, terrorist events, or rioting. We experience secondary exposure by hearing patrons speak out about their traumas and even by helping them find the resources they need to realign their lives. Although stereotypes about cold, harsh, robotic librarians persist, those of us who work with the public must display emotional intelligence for our patrons’ sakes—and our own.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

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Teens at San Francisco Public Library created Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a board game that explores inequity in their city. (Photo: Dorcas Wong/San Francisco Public Library)

In summer 2019, teens at San Francisco Public Library filed into a room and sat in chairs strategically marked with dots. Depending on the color of their dot, they were categorized into one of three social classes—lower, middle, or upper. In turn, each player’s social class determined their stakes in Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a Monopoly-esque game that simulates poverty and inequity in San Francisco, complete with properties and transit lines familiar to the group....

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Call Number: Let Them Lead: Teens Working for Change

This year has seen an increase in activism and community engagement from people across the country—especially teens. Whether working in-person or virtually because of the pandemic, today’s youth are energized to change the world. And librarians are helping. In Episode 56, our Call Number podcast looks at library efforts to support and engage teen activism....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 13

Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Librarian’s Library columnist Allison Escoto writes: “Recent years have seen a resurgence in widespread activism throughout the country. These titles are helpful resources for librarians seeking to understand—in both theory and practice—the role of libraries in a time of increased social activism.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Latest Library Links

Archived website of Cherokee Nation Judicial Branch (Supreme Court and District Court of the Cherokee Nation)

Jennifer Davis writes: “The Law Library collects and preserves legal materials for American law, foreign law, and sovereign Indigenous nations. Many governments, including Indigenous national, tribal, and community governments, are transitioning from print to solely digital formats for publishing their laws. To further these collection and preservation aims, the library has created the , a collection of constitutions, codes, executive orders, and court forms and information of sovereign Indigenous governments and courts of 578 federally recognized nations, communities, and tribes in the United States, as well as some Indigenous legal information from Canada.”...

In Custodia Legis, Nov. 18

Simon & Schuster logo

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is making a play for Simon & Schuster. The powerhouse publisher was  by its owner, ViacomCBS, in March, and the company has since fielded more than half a dozen inquiries, according to three people familiar with the process who declined to be named because the matter remains confidential. In addition to News Corp, which already owns HarperCollins, the other leading bidder is Penguin Random House, according to the sources. Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the United States, is owned by German media giant Bertelsmann....

New York Times, March 4, Nov. 17

Person reading textbook on tablet (Photo: RF._.studio/Pexels)

More than 2,500 UK university staff members have called for an investigation into the “scandal” of excessive pricing of academic ebooks. “Price rises are common, sudden, and appear arbitrary” with some digital books increasing by 200%, they say . Organizer Johanna Anderson said some e-texts can cost 10 times print copies, with taxpayers and students the losers. Publishers say the costs are due to the different formats and shared use....

BBC News, Nov. 14

ALA news and press releases

Mozilla unhappy face declares the Wickedbone Interactive Gaming Toy For Dogs "very creepy"

Devin Coldewey writes: “Buying someone a gadget is a time-honored tradition, but these days it can be particularly fraught, considering you may buy them a fitness tracker that , or a doorbell that . Mozilla has put together a .”...

Tech Crunch, Jan. 30, Aug. 27, Nov. 12

“A new Map of the whole World, by H. Moll. [In hemispheres, on the stereographic projection]” – British Library shelfmark: Maps K.Top.4.25.

The British Library is making available 40,000 maps dating 1500–1824, which will be freely available online for the first time. They are part of the Topographical Collection of King George III, and included maps, atlases, architectural drawings, cartoons, and watercolors. The first batch of 18,000 images are now available via the British Library’s ....

Medievalists.net, Nov. 3


The librarians of Morgantown (W. Va.) Public Library System teamed with Homeward Bound WV and the Marion County Humane Society to create the . Each month features a portrait of an MPLS librarian holding an adoptable cat, and proceeds from calendar sales benefit the library and the two no-kill shelters....

WV News, Oct. 30

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