ALA Midwinter Virtual starts Friday

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By The Numbers: Paper Midwinter program from 1915 and metal Midwinter button from 2001

How many times has ALA held Midwinter Meetings? What year was the ALA Code of Ethics adopted? When are this year’s Youth Media Awards? We’ve got the stats on the history and happenings of ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in By the Numbers....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Ziggy Marley

When eight-time Grammy Award–winning reggae artist and philanthropist Ziggy Marley released Family Time, a well-received children’s album, in 2009, he didn’t plan to do more projects geared toward youth. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, he found himself at home full-time with his own kids and a new puppy. Marley spoke to American Libraries ahead of  about his creative process during a lockdown, oral traditions, and voting for the first time....

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Emmanuel Acho. Photo: Ali Rasoul

After the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020, Fox Sports analyst and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho felt compelled to do something. By June, Acho decided to channel this discourse into a YouTube series called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. American Libraries caught up with Acho ahead of to discuss his series and book, as well as equity in professional sports and the power of libraries....

American Libraries Trend, Jan. 20

SJSU Visit our Virtual Booth at ALA Midwinter

Call Number Episode 58: COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

In Call Number with American Libraries looks at library efforts to prevent COVID-19 contamination with OCLC’s Sharon Streams, director of the REALM project, which is how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on common library materials, and Stephen Territo, head of library operations at Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois, about how the library installed UV lights and enhanced HVAC filtration solutions in its air handling units to kill airborne pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 19; American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

ALA Business Advisory Group with headshots of members in a grid

On January 15, ALA announced that Executive Director Tracie D. Hall has appointed 13 members to the newly revived ALA Business Advisory Group. Well recognized for their individual achievements, this group of advisors comes from libraries, civic life, technology, and academia and brings the power of its collective expertise to supporting ALA’s business development....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 15

Illustration: Figure shines light into the larger head of another figure (Illustration: ©Feodora/Adobe Stock)

Molly Higgins and Rachel Keiko Stark write: “Without understanding how bias operates in the systems in which we work, our individual efforts can be overtaken by how bias acts on librarians and library patrons. For example, the Dewey Decimal Classification has been criticized for reinforcing bias through its structure, its treatment of queer subjects, and its treatment of race. Like other knowledge-organization systems, the Dewey Decimal Classification reflects the biases of the people who created it.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

SJSA Information Is Everything

From the Treasurer by Maggie Farrell

ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell writes: “Last year started off as a productive but worrisome one for ALA finances, as evidenced by critical conversations held at the 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Since then, additional circumstances—including the pandemic—have aggravated ALA finances as libraries struggle with their own budget declines. Despite everything, member leaders remain committed to addressing ALA’s ongoing budget concerns and to creating a path toward a healthy financial future.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Amazon logo

Andrew Albanese writes: “The law firm that successfully sued Apple and five major publishers for colluding to fix ebook prices in 2011 has now filed a class action suit against Amazon, accusing the company of colluding with the Big Five publishers to restrain price competition in the ebook market. The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York on January 14 by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, comes a day after a Wall Street Journal article disclosed that Amazon was under investigation in Connecticut for potentially anticompetitive behavior in the ebook market.”...

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 14

Chart: About half of Americans get news on social media at least sometimes (Pew Research)

According to the latest data from , which incorporates responses from more than 9,200 Americans, around 71% of people now get at least some of their news input from social media platforms. That’s up from 68% in 2018—though Pew does note that  do make direct comparison between the 2018 and 2020 numbers difficult....

Social Media Today, Jan. 12; Pew Research Center, Jan. 12

ALA news and press releases

Wikipedia logo on black

Tom Roston writes: “It’s hard to imagine the internet without Wikipedia. Just like the air we breathe, the definitive digital encyclopedia is the default resource for everything and everyone—from Google’s search bar to undergrad students embarking on research papers. It has more than 6 million entries in English, it is visited hundreds of millions of times per day, and it reflects whatever the world has on its mind. It was also never meant to exist—at least, not like this.”...

OneZero, Jan. 14

Library of Food Timeline librarian Lynne Olver

The is an obsessively catalogued, exhaustively comprehensive resource on the history of what humans have been eating from from 17,000 B.C. onward. The site was the life’s work of reference librarian Lynne Olver, and it languished after her death in 2015. A last summer revived interest in the site from archivists, and now Virginia Tech’s Special Collections and University Archives have acquired Olver’s 2,300 books (left) and management of the site....

Eater, Jan. 12; July 8, 2020

Cover of Champ and Major: First Dogs

Sarah Mangiola writes: “On January 20, Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, of the United States. It’s a historic moment for the country, as Kamala Harris will be the first female, first Black, and first Indian American vice president. The kids in your life can join in the celebrations with these stories, including books written by Kamala Harris, a new picture book about White House dogs Champ and Major, and more.”...

Brightly, Jan. 16

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