Read the State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19

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On April 5, the American Library Association (ALA) released its  a snapshot of the library community’s resilience, determination, and innovation under unprecedented circumstances. The report, which comes out annually during  (April 4–10), focuses on the impact of the novel coronavirus on all types of libraries during the previous calendar year. The report also lists the ....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 5

Phil Morehart writes: “Natalie Portman is an Academy Award–winning actor, director, producer, author, and activist whose film credits include Black Swan, Jackie, and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. She’s also a lifelong lover of books, reading, and libraries. As honorary chair of National Library Week, April 4–10, Portman is highlighting the role that libraries, librarians, and library workers play in serving their communities, especially during challenging times. Portman spoke with American Libraries about her love of reading, her new picture book for kids, and what libraries mean to her and her family.”...

American Libraries Trend, Apr. 5

Bookmobile Coordinator Lesley Garrett writes: “During my time as an organizer apprentice with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, our chapter led a successful campaign in partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Kentucky Fairness and ACLU of Kentucky to pass a 2018 civil rights ordinance in the city of Paducah that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I’ve since found that applying principles of community organizing and social justice work to library outreach can make our services more inclusive and help us reach many more individuals.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

National Poetry Month ad

ALSC’s Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020–2021 calendar year to creating a that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations. Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families. This month’s focus is on ....

ALSC Blog, Apr. 3

Nathaniel Scharping writes: “Citizen Science Month, held every April, is a month-long celebration of citizen science hosted by  and Arizona State University, with support from the . Volunteers from all walks of life get involved in research by collecting data, analyzing results, and helping solve some of the biggest problems in science. Libraries are where many people get introduced to citizen science for the first time, and SciStarter partners with libraries and other organizations from around the world to  and introduce , filled with everything volunteers need to get started.”...

Public Libraries Online, March 31

Library Director Hannah Byrd Little writes: “Working at a school that has been around for 150 years means that this is not our first pandemic. Some of the same protocols that we are following this year for in-person learning were used in 1918. These precautions include wearing masks, temperature checks, and quarantines. As we reflect on what has worked well, we might ask, as all industries are asking, ‘What do we hope stays after the pandemic?’ Here is my list, or at least my top seven things that I hope stick around after things go back to ‘normal.’”...

Knowledge Quest, Apr. 5

Chicago Manual of Style Online ad

University of Wisconsin–Madison has disabled a feature on its digital proctoring software after receiving reports that the technology failed to recognize several students’ darker skin tones during online exams, university officials said. Critics of the technology have raised concerns about how it can discriminate against students of color and others whose appearance or behavior may be flagged by the software as abnormal, which then alerts an instructor to potential cheating....

Wisconsin State Journal, Apr. 5

Joe Fedewa writes: “The leaked online. That’s a large percentage of the world’s population, so you should check to see if your account or phone number was affected. The data includes pretty much anything available on your account. Full name, phone number, locations, birthday, email addresses, relationship status, you name it. Essentially, if you have a Facebook account, this is something to be concerned about.” In related news: ....

How-To Geek, Apr. 5; Review Geek, Apr. 5; PC World, Apr. 6

US Rep. John Joyce (R-Pa.) introduced a new initiative that he says would safeguard access to historical literature from “cancel culture.” The would “prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding bureaucrats’ attempts to censor children’s literature and determine what our kids are permitted to read,” Joyce said in a March 24 statement on his website....

WHTM-TV (Harrisburg, Pa.), March 24

ALA news and press releases

Library marketer Angela Hursh writes: “Teens have widely different tastes in just about everything—music, movies, clothes … the list goes on and on. That makes it hard for a library to market to them. But, if you can pinpoint exactly what kind of teen will be interested in the program or service you want to promote, you can do a better job of marketing.”...

Super Library Marketing, March 15

Eric Ravenscraft writes: “Of the many events we miss from the pre-pandemic days, board game nights might not get as much attention as visiting the bar or going to a movie theater. However, they are relatively easy to replicate online. You can include all your friends without breaking quarantine and still have (nearly) as much fun as you had before. Here’s how.” Wired also offers ....

Wired, March 17, March 31

Megan Mabee writes: “April 7 marks a special day for libraries as we join ALA in celebrating (formerly National Bookmobile Day). Library outreach holds the indispensable purpose of meeting patrons right where they are. Not everyone has the means, ability, or privilege to go to the library in person. Libraries help meet these needs by extending their services outside of the library walls. In honor of library bookmobiles, check out these books about mobile libraries.”...

Book Riot, March 29

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