Ballot drop box burned outside library

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ALA Editions Get Up to Speed on important trends in the field

Ballot drop box with out of order sign and caption reading "ballots burned" (Screenshot from KABC-TV)

Investigators are searching for the person who set a fire inside a in Baldwin Park, California, on purpose, potentially compromising dozens of votes. The incident happened around 8 p.m. October 18, in front of the city’s public library. Firefighters say someone purposely tossed burning newspaper into the official drop box. Mayor Manuel Lozano said he believes there were close to 100 ballots in the box at the time of the incident that were burnt or wet....

KABC-TV Los Angeles, Oct. 19; AL: The Scoop, Sept. 28

Archives of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks found safe haven at UC Merced

As curator of the archives of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Ward Eldredge deliberated what would need to be done if the nearby Castle Fire continued its approach toward the parks’ headquarters. The archives contain the 130-year history of Sequoia, the country’s second-oldest national park. All of it was at risk. As park rangers and other local residents evacuated their homes the afternoon of September 14, Eldredge called Emily Lin, the University of California Merced librarian whom he knew from work digitizing collections from the parks’ archives, and UC Merced staff soon set out on the 150-mile drive to the parks’ headquarters....

University of California Merced, Oct. 15

SouthPark Regional Library

The name of a white supremacist North Carolina governor will be removed from a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branch, library officials said this week. Morrison Regional Library will now be known as SouthPark Regional Library, the library board of trustees agreed. The library was originally named for Gov. Cameron A. Morrison, who helped lead the white supremacy campaign of 1898 that terrorized Black residents and led to policies of segregation....

Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Oct. 20




There is increasing awareness about how the voices, insights, and experiences of historically marginalized people have been overlooked in the common version, or the normative narrative, of U.S. history. How can we open our minds, and the minds of students, to more comprehensive understanding? our recent on this topic, featuring 7 strategies to confront hard history and disrupt the normative narrative from Prof. Hasan Kwame Jeffries of Ohio State University.


Dewey Decibel ad

Exterior of Iowa City Public Library

Iowa City Public Library is working toward committing 30% of library resources to BIPOC communities by FY 2022 and looking for alternatives to police intervention for library policy violations. ICPL released its strategic plan for 2021–2023 on September 23, which outlined these objectives. Director Elsworth Carman said the objective to commit a certain percentage of resources for and with BIPOC populations was a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and an acknowledgement that public libraries can do more to represent their communities....

Daily Iowan, Oct. 4

Hear Me Out logo

Free Library of Philadelphia is launching a statewide initiative, “Hear Me Out,” which will connect people from different backgrounds and walks of life to speak directly with one another via moderated online sessions. The project was initiated by FLP in collaboration with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and other library systems across the state....

WHYY-Philadelphia, Oct. 12

Book the Vote logo

Penguin Random House, , and  have launched , a nonpartisan initiative to protect free speech and ensure every voter’s right to participate in elections. Building on a successful program from the 2018 midterm elections, Book the Vote unites the organizations’ distinct initiatives under one centralized website. By creating and disseminating book and author content, voter registration information, and resources to increase understanding of civic topics, Book the Vote empowers people to participate in democracy and express their voices through voting....

Penguin Random House, Oct. 12

Latest Library Links

Valerie Deering, Marygrove Class of 1972, in empty stacks of Marygrove library

Caralee Adams writes: “When Marygrove College in Detroit decided to close its doors in 2019 due to financial pressures, the first question on the minds of many community members was: What about the library? On October 20, the entire Marygrove College community is celebrating the reopening of the Marygrove College Library in partnership with the Internet Archive.”...

Internet Archive Blog, Oct. 20

Creative Commons logo

Melody Herr writes: “I’m not going to enter the debate over open access and open culture; I will neither criticize nor advocate for CC licenses. Rather, I’m interested in how US federal courts evaluate infringement claims and determine statutory damages in cases related to works released under the licenses. , I examined about two dozen cases, with initial filing dates running from December 2014 through October 2018, retrieved from the database Westlaw. Here, I present a high-level overview of that study for anyone who engages with CC licenses: creators and users, publishing professionals and library professionals, advocates for and skeptics of open culture.”...

Scholarly Kitchen, Oct. 14; Journal of Academic Librarianship, Aug. 11

COVID-19 virus

Scientific American Associate Editor Tanya Lewis rounds up the most insidious false claims about the COVID-19 pandemic, why they’re false, and why people still believe them despite evidence to the contrary. Among the eight persistent myths are believing the virus was engineered in a lab as a bioweapon, believing that face masks aren’t effective, and believing that herd immunity will protect the population if we just let the virus spread....

Scientific American, Oct. 12

ALA news and press releases

REM READ poster puzzle

In 1990, R.E.M. posed for ALA’s READ campaign to promote the pleasure and importance of reading. This iconic image, taken more than 30 years ago, will now be available in puzzle form to R.E.M. fans and a new generation of readers. All R.E.M. proceeds from the sale of the puzzle will benefit the ALA and Books for Keeps, an Athens, Georgia-based grassroots effort to get books into the hands of children who might not otherwise have books at home. The puzzle retails for $30 and will be available exclusively in the band’s online store at ....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Oct. 9

Rack of old-timey library stamps (Photo: John Lindaman)

John Lindaman, manager of technical services at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas J. Watson Library, writes: “There’s a popular misconception that librarians as a profession are conservative. Not politically conservative, but literally conservative—wanting to keep old stuff. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth—we are often on the cutting edge of using new technologies, and always looking for the most efficient, up-to-date way to help our patrons. However, the dirty little secret is that sometimes the old stuff, while no longer useful, is actually cool.”...

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oct. 14

Covers of Spirit Hunters and The Jumbies

Children’s librarian Kaitlin Frick writes: “Pumpkins on stoops? Leaves littering the sidewalks? Candy and costumes sitting front-and-center in all your favorite shops? These signs can only add up to one thing: It’s October, the best month of the entire year in this humble librarian’s opinion! Scary books make the perfect accompaniment to this season, so I’ve asked some of my favorite librarians to share their October reading recommendations. From picture books to novels and even a bit of nonfiction, we’ve got you covered for spine-chilling titles to share with your patrons.”...

ALSC Blog, Oct. 14

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