Public and school librarians team up

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American Libraries' Dewey Decibel Podcast

Library resources for learning at home, from MacDonald Public Library in New Baltimore, Michigan

In an age of social distancing, public librarians, school librarians, and teachers are working together more closely than ever to help students and parents navigate a school year unlike any they’ve experienced. At Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, librarians administering the Brooklyn Connections program are not only faced with the challenge of reimagining their outreach to the 35 schools and thousands of 4th–12th graders they serve but are also grappling with students’ day-to-day struggles amid the pandemic....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 18

Illustration of person at desk in center with people at computers at desks or on the floor working remotely

When Boston College Libraries was forced to close its doors this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodrigo Castro, head librarian for access services, made a list. “I started identifying the tasks that individuals could do remotely versus tasks they could do onsite,” he says. “When you are in this situation, your workforce needs to become flexible.” Castro is one of many library leaders who found themselves managing their teams remotely because of the pandemic, developing new approaches to meet unprecedented challenges and continue providing vital services to the community....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Top: Puppeteer Morgan Matens (left) and Children's Librarian Greg Hall pose with puppets from Nashville Public Library's in-house troupe, Wishing Chair Productions. Below: Scenes from their viral Facebook video "Curbside Baby." Photo: Samantha Saldana/Nashville Public Library (Matens and Hall)

When Greg Hall and Morgan Matens met and fell in love as graduate students over a dozen years ago (he was studying library science; she was studying set design), they had no idea they’d wind up working together. Hall is now children’s librarian at Nashville Public Library (NPL), where Matens is a puppeteer with Wishing Chair Productions, NPL’s in-house puppetry troupe. Sheltering in place together, the couple has collaborated on  that bring NPL’s puppets to families across the country. The runaway hit so far is the music video  set to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” and featuring a DJ mouse who raps instructions for curbside library services....

American Libraries Bookend, Sept./Oct.; Nashville Public Library Facebook and YouTube channels

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On September 18, American Library Association (ALA) President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. called to order a special meeting of ALA Council, held outside of its regular meetings during ALA conferences. Jefferson acknowledged the unprecedented times for libraries and their effects on the Association’s finances and services. But he added that the conversations around ALA’s framework have been ongoing for several years to make the Association more modern....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 18

Youth Matters, by Linda W. Braun

Youth Matters columnist Linda W. Braun writes: “In May, when I learned about the strategic leadership frameworks VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) and VUCA Prime (vision, understanding, clarity, agility) that are often used in business, I began to better understand the ways in which library staffers responded to COVID-19 building closures. I noticed that youth library workers were, understandably, operating in reactive mode.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Staff (top) and patron views of Curbside Communicator.

As libraries reopen, finding ways to reduce face-to-face interaction will minimize the risk of spreading disease for both library workers and patrons. From managing curbside pickup to integrating printer payment systems that minimize cash transactions, these platforms and apps are helping libraries improve their services during the pandemic....

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Dewey Decibel podcast

$3000 grants for your library

Through , up to 650 US libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. The initiative is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. Library workers may from September 21 to December 2. Grants will be distributed over two funding rounds. ....

Programming Librarian, Sept. 21

Shira Perlmutter

On September 21, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden  her appointment of Shira Perlmutter as the next US Register of Copyrights. Perlmutter comes to the position with 12 years of service as chief policy officer and director for international affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Sept. 21; US Copyright Office, Sept. 21

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In a first for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the , previously scheduled for Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will be held online. Faced with continued uncertainty about the health, economic, and travel situation into 2021, it already seems clear that business-as-usual is not an option, the organization said in a September 22 statement....

IFLA, Sept. 22

ALA news and press releases

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council logo (Facebook)

Winston Szeto writes: “The Dewey Decimal Classification has long been the standard of organizing library collections around the world, but a First Nations tribal council in B.C.'s Central Interior says it will ditch the system because of its colonial legacy. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council is transitioning to the Brian Deer Classification System, which was developed by the late Kahnawake Mohawk librarian Alec Brian Deer in the 1970s. Its taxonomy is based on the geographical locations of Indigenous communities.”...

CBC News, Sept. 16

COVID-19: The First 100 Days of US News Coverage

A new report from Project Information Literacy examines US media coverage about COVID-19 and its visual representation across time and digital space during the early months of 2020. The report includes interactive data visualizations showing the results of a computational analysis of 125,696 articles from 66 news websites; a content analysis of 532 randomly selected news images from the top 12 outlets; and teaching and learning resources for librarians, educators, students, and journalists....

Project Information Literacy, Sept. 15

Cover of Good Morning Zoom

Librarian Kimberly Francisco writes: “When the COVID-19 crisis was in its infancy, publishers and individuals acted pretty quickly to put out ebooks about the virus or to help children understand and cope with the changes it brought to their lives. Now that it’s been over half a year that we’ve been living this way, though, physical books have started to make their way to the marketplace, including a handful of fiction.”...

Stacked, Sept. 23

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