ALA joins Communities for Immunity

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ALA is partnering with , a collaboration among libraries and museums to boost COVID-19 information and vaccine confidence in communities across the US. Communities for Immunity provides funding to libraries, museums, science centers, and other cultural institutions to enhance vaccine confidence where it matters most: at the local level. The partnership will activate libraries and museums to create and deliver evidence-driven materials and develop resources, programs, and approaches specifically designed to help these institutions engage diverse audiences in vaccine confidence....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Aug. 5

ALA will hold its inaugural Virtual Volunteer Fair September 14 from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Central. The fair will be an opportunity for ALA members to drop in and speak with committee members and staff liaisons from various ALA groups that offer volunteer opportunities, including Association committees, divisions, and round tables. , but attendance for the full two hours is not required....

ALA Governance Office, Aug. 9

A provision in the  would create the Affordable Connectivity Program, an extension of the temporary passed by Congress last December to provide discounted broadband service to eligible low-income households, including Pell Grant recipients. The new program retains the eligibility of Pell recipients for monthly $30 subsidies toward purchasing high-speed internet—down from $50 in the Emergency Broadband Benefit—and makes the program permanent. praising the passage of the infrastructure bill by the US Senate....

Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 10; AL: The Scoop, May 11; ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Aug. 10


J. Brian Charles writes: “One day in June, the employees of Enoch Pratt Free Library gathered online to learn something new: how to de-escalate conflict, mediate grief, and help people feel better about themselves. That session was part of an experimental effort by Baltimore leaders, who hope to enlist city agencies, starting with the library, to answer a big question: How does a city that has suffered trauma for decades, including over 190 homicides just this year, begin to heal?”...

The Trace, Aug. 6

Amid racism and discrimination concerns raised by some Black library workers and patrons, the Central Indiana Community Foundation announced August 9 it is withholding future funding to Indianapolis Public Library until the institution makes “significant, meaningful, and measurable change” toward a more equitable internal environment and until a  concludes....

Indianapolis Star, Aug. 10, July 27

Julia Davis writes: “We’ve all seen the statistics—library science is a field desperately lacking in diversity. As of 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that librarianship is 83.1% white and 83.2% female. While there are countless initiatives on a national and state level to help draw new, diverse professionals into the field, one of the best places to start is by examining your own hiring practices and how they may be contributing to this ongoing static. Not sure where to start? Here are three great ways to begin the journey.”...

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Intersections blog, Aug. 5

Latest Library Links

Mary Retta writes: “Last summer, a group of librarians from across the country started meeting regularly to discuss the need to make libraries a safe, accessible space for people to read and access all kinds of information. They eventually formed the  (AbLA), a group of library workers, students, and community members who aim to divest money from policing in libraries and redistribute resources to communities. Over the past year, the association has worked to remove police from libraries nationwide and allocate funds to community-led efforts.”...

Teen Vogue, Aug. 9

Jon Bentley writes: “The age of big data is now firmly upon us, and we therefore face collective societal challenges on how our data is handled and used to target and track us. Data ethics is an emergent theme and one that poses complex questions for those of us who work in the identity and knowledge sector.”...

NISO, August 2021

Megan McCluskey writes: “Since its launch in 2007, Goodreads has evolved into the world’s largest online book community. The social networking site now has millions of users who rate and review books, find recommendations for new ones and track their reading. But over time, Goodreads has also become a hunting ground for scammers and trolls looking to con smaller authors, take down books with spammed ratings, cyberstalk users, or worse.”...

Time, Aug. 9

ALA news and press releases

Facebook has blocked a team of New York University researchers studying political ads and COVID-19 misinformation from accessing its site, a move that critics say is meant to silence research that makes the company look bad. The researchers at the  launched a tool last year to collect data about the political ads people see on Facebook. Facebook said on August 3 that it had disabled the researchers’ personal accounts, pages, apps, and access to its platform....

NPR, Aug. 4

Molly Templeton writes: “Last year, I bought more books than I’ve bought for a long time. Getting mail was one of 2020’s greatest small joys—getting book mail, doubly so. For years, I’ve worked in jobs that kept me in a steady stream of free or cheap books: publishing, arts editor at an alt-weekly, bookseller. This rich access to books is something I try very hard not to take for granted. But sometimes I look at the TBR mountain and think, Do I want to climb you? Or was this a foolish dream in the first place?”...

Tor, Aug. 5

Tricia Crimmins writes: “Great literature is closer than you think, and you don’t even need to visit a bookstore or pick up your e-reader to find it. If you haven’t got time to sit down with a book—or if you just like being read to—check out one of these sites, which allow access to thousands of free audiobooks. There’s the perfect one for you in the mix.”...

Mashable, Aug. 10

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