How long does coronavirus last on library materials?

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ALA Graphics - Keep Calm and Read On with Library-Themed Face Masks

REALM project researchers (Photo courtesy of Battelle Memorial Institute)

The COVID-19 crisis has raised questions that library and museum workers have never had to ask themselves before: How long does a virus last on materials? How can we mitigate exposure to staff and visitors? Is it safe to reopen? The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project aims to make these questions easier to answer. In Test 4 results, announced September 3, scientists found that COVID-19 is still detectable after six days on four common library materials when they are stacked: the covers of hardcover books (buckram cloth), the covers of softback books, DVD cases (polypropylene), and Mylar protective book cover jackets....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 4

A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. (Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon)

Increasingly, cities across the US, along with a handful of public libraries, are writing and following their own climate action plans with objectives for reducing emissions and energy consumption, preparing for disasters, addressing residents’ climate concerns, meeting other sustainability goals, or all of the above. Given the lack of broad national climate legislation or initiatives, many cities see CAPs as a way to take matters into their own hands—and libraries are emerging as partners, innovators, and originators....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Digital catalog entry tagged "illegal aliens"

Six years ago, a group of Dartmouth College students petitioned the Library of Congress (LC) to change the catalog subject heading “illegal aliens” to “undocumented immigrants.” Four years ago,  urging LC to comply. LC agreed—before quickly backing down in the face of GOP opposition in Congress. That’s where things have stayed ever since. Tired of the delays, some librarians have taken matters into their own hands by making the change in their own catalogs, without waiting for LC to take the lead....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

San José State University Online Open House September 17

On My Mind, by Elizabeth M. Johns

University librarian Elizabeth M. Johns writes: “This fall semester will look and feel different for academic librarians on campuses across the country. Summertime conversations that used to focus on fall event planning or new interactive exhibits have been replaced with discussions of which chairs are moving to storage and whether we have enough plexiglass to protect the help desk. My information literacy classes, like so many others, have largely shifted to video chat platforms. It was a difficult, abrupt switch, even for those of us who have taught online for years.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Laurie Halse Anderson (Photo: Sonya Sones)

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson has entered the superhero universe. Known for her influential young adult titles (such as Speak, Catalyst, and Fever 1793), Anderson’s new graphic novel, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed (DC Comics, June), explores the superhero’s teen years and her quest for justice after becoming separated from her family and home on the fictional island nation of Themyscira. American Libraries spoke with Anderson about how the refugee crisis made her reimagine Wonder Woman’s origin story, what spurs her to fight censorship, and how the library has been her sanctuary....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

2020 ALA Award Winners

Each year, ALA recognizes the achievements of more than 200 individuals and institutions with an array of awards. This year’s winners, chosen by juries of their colleagues and peers, embody the best of the profession’s leadership, vision, and service as well as a continued commitment to diversity, equality, education, and outreach. This selection represents only some of those honored in 2020; see the complete list at ....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

OverDrive Back to School Sale

I Love My Librarian Award -- Nominate Your Librarian to Win $5,000

ALA is inviting all library users to nominate their favorite librarians for the prestigious . The national award recognizes the outstanding public service contributions of librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries. Nominations are accepted  now through November 9....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Sept. 8

US Census 2020

Two days after a federal judge ordered the US Census Bureau to stop winding down 2020 Census operations for the time being, the agency said September 8 in court papers that it’s refraining from laying off some census takers and it’s restoring some quality-control steps. The temporary restraining order issued September 5 by US District Judge Lucy Koh stops the Census Bureau from winding down operations until a court hearing for a preliminary injunction is held September 17....

AP News, Sept. 8

Security camera and US Flag (Photo: Francesco Ungaro/Pexels)

Jack Morse writes: “You want to go grocery shopping, but the location-tracking app you were forced to download will report your movements. And because you don't have permission to leave campus, you'll be automatically . You think about your part-time job, and wonder what data is being collected by the  installed to monitor social distancing on the warehouse floor. If you get too close to your coworker, the system will automatically flag you. Another flag, and . This is not some distant future. This is real life, today, in America. And, if we're not careful, it could get worse. Because despite what we all hope, the coronavirus is probably here to stay.”...

Mashable, Sept. 7; TechCrunch, Aug. 19; CNBC, Apr. 6, June 16

ALA news and press releases

Open access text graphic

The preservation of the scholarly record has been a point of concern since the beginning of knowledge production. With print publications, the responsibility rested primarily with librarians, but the shift towards digital publishing and the introduction of open access have caused ambiguity and complexity. Consequently, the long-term accessibility of journals is not always guaranteed, and they can even disappear from the web completely. A new study finds 176 OA journals that have vanished from the web between 2000–2019, spanning all major research disciplines and geographic regions....

arXiv.org, Sept. 3

Bar chart comparing average print, ebook, and e-audio prices

Public librarian Jennie Rothschild writes: “As we continue to stay home as much as possible, even the most die-hard ‘give me paper or give me death’ readers have been dipping their toes into the ebook waters. And they’re discovering what longtime users have known forever. Good news! You can get ebooks from your library! But (bad news) only if you’re willing to wait for-EVER for the most popular titles. Which leads to the following questions: 1. Why do you have to wait for an ebook at all?! 2. Why doesn’t my library just buy more copies?!”...

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Sept. 6

Covers of How We Live Now and Together, Apart

Ashley Holstrom writes: “As with any major worldwide event, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us loads of new literature on the topic. Earlier this year, The New York Times published . And every week since, we’ve seen an increase in new titles being announced. Here are just a few of the excellent books about COVID-19 to put on your radar.”...

Book Riot, Sept. 9; New York Times, May 18

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