Podcast: School librarians and the pandemic

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Sustainability in Libraries

In Call Number with American Libraries talks with school librarians about how they changed their work and services during the pandemic. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with three school library media specialists about how they bootstrapped a bookmobile to provide free titles to kids learning remotely. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart talks with Melissa Jacobs, director of New York City School Library System and the New York Department of Education’s Department of Library Services, about how librarians in the largest school district in the US operated during the pandemic....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 20

At the , invited attendees to think beyond the idea of openness to imagine the idea of welcome for both library users and library workers. , an online community for Black, Indigenous, and people of color in LIS, explored the ways in which academic libraries stifle their BIPOC workers through pay and opportunity gaps, enable toxic work environments, and prevent systemic change. And (left) explained how she uses complex and sometimes flawed information to visually express stories that focus on the humanity behind the numbers....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 15, 16, 19

Metadata librarian Monika Glowacka-Musial writes: “Since the 1990s, cultural heritage institutions have been investing in digital technologies to address growing public demand for permanent open access to information resources. Because of the pandemic, print collections have rapidly become more difficult to access, while research and learning activities have moved to an almost entirely virtual environment. Even the nature of digital content has shifted: Once it represented a preview of a physical collection; now it’s the primary access point.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.



The evolving global information society has created demand for well-educated, digitally skilled information professionals. It is important to set yourself apart. This summer, start positioning yourself for success in modern libraries by earning your bachelor’s degree in library science completely online from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). High employment placement rates, strong local and regional professional networks, real-world application utilizing field site experiences, and a program that meets eligibility requirements for students seeking to later pursue a graduate degree are a few reasons students choose this program.


University of Rhode Island

Librarian’s Library columnist Araceli Méndez Hintermeister writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways in which librarians do their jobs—from everyday tasks to community outreach and beyond. These books offer a variety of resources to help adjust to our new reality.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

Firefighters in Cape Town battled a wildfire on April 19 that had engulfed the slopes of the city’s famed Table Mountain and destroyed parts of the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library, a devastating blow to the world’s archives of Southern African history. is supporting the recovery and reestablishment of the library....

New York Times, Apr. 19

Librarian Tayla Cardillo writes: “Earlier this year in the Murray (Utah) School District, the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff was challenged after it was brought in by a 3rd-grade student for their teacher to share with the class. According to , after the book was read to the class some families reached out to the school district to complain, upset that this book was shared with their children without their permission. But the Murray School District’s response to these challenges did not stop there. The school district also chose to put its equity book bundle program on hold while they reviewed the titles included in this program.”...

OIF Blog, Apr. 19; Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 11

National Poetry Month

On April 2, news broke that RELX subsidiary LexisNexis signed a multimillion-dollar contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. , LexisNexis’ databases “offer an oceanic computerized view of a person’s existence” and will provide the agency with “the data it needs to locate people with little if any oversight.”...

SPARC, Apr. 9; The Intercept, Apr. 2

Annie Howard writes: “There are pitfalls in accepting the obvious legacies of AIDS activism at face value. Some elements of these histories threaten to crowd out all others. Without questioning who emerges (and who doesn’t) from the most-cited AIDS archives, the legacies of protest movements reflect only incomplete understandings of the AIDS crisis. Just as trans people, communities of color, and queer women faced unique conditions not always addressed when AIDS was first identified, a historic perspective that continues this forgetting also threatens to diminish the ongoing harms these groups face today.”...

Lapham's Quarterly, Apr. 19

Simon & Schuster has said it will not pull out of a seven-figure book deal with Mike Pence after some of its employees called for the contract to be scrapped, stating that “we come to work each day to publish, not cancel.” An at S&S said that the publisher had “chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Pence,” in a two-book deal struck earlier this month and reported to be worth $3–4 million....

The Guardian (UK), Apr. 21

Chicago Manual of Style Online

Julia Skinner writes: “In 1918, World War I was coming to a close, and widespread changes were afoot. It was in some ways a moment similar to today: rapid technological development brought sweeping changes to workplaces and homes. Fights for labor and voting rights were under way. Then, in the spring, a pandemic began to sweep the globe, killing millions. Libraries across the US helped people stay informed, entertained, and cared for as they disseminated information and resources, shifted their services, and reimagined how they brought collections to the communities they served.”...

JSTOR Daily, Apr. 14

Washington, D.C., is now offering free at-home COVID-19 tests at 16 libraries across the city, officials announced in a press conference April 19. The tests can be picked up Monday–Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and can be dropped off any day before 8 p.m....

Washingtonian, Apr. 19

Anne Holmes writes: “National Poetry Month is here (arguably the most wonderful time of the year, but we’re biased), and we’re excited to share what we have in store. The centerpiece of our annual April festivities is the release of 50 newly digitized recordings to the . Among this year’s additions are readings and conversations featuring consultants in poetry Robert Hayden, Anthony Hecht, and William Jay Smith. For the first time streaming from the archive, you can also listen to recordings from Carolyn Kizer, May Miller, Michael McClure, Shreela Ray, John Okai, Sapphire (left), Paul Theroux, Quincy Troupe, and dozens more.”...

Library of Congress: From the Catbird Seat, Apr. 15

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