Recapping ALA Midwinter Virtual

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Jill Biden with inset photo of Amanda Gorman

ALA’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual came to an end on January 25 with Closing Session Speaker and First Lady of the United States expressing her love for learning and libraries: “My message to you is to never forget what you’re doing matters.” ALA Council took several actions during its three Midwinter sessions, including passing resolutions , , and supporting COVID-19 vaccines for library workers. ...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22–26

Covers of When You Trap a Tiger and We Are Water Protectors

On January 25, ALA announced the top books, digital media, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards—at its Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits taking place virtually from Chicago. ...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 25

Lori Nyce, librarian at the National Toy Train Library in Ronks, Pennsylvania, stands behind display of photos and posters that are part of the library's collection

In the farming community of Ronks, Pennsylvania, sits an immense collection on a miniature topic: toy trains. Roughly 500,000 materials spanning the 1800s to the present—books, periodicals, trade catalogs and price lists, instruction sheets and wiring diagrams, advertisements and fliers, photographs, files on American and world manufacturers and retailers, and convention souvenirs—make up the National Toy Train Library, the noncirculating research library of the Train Collectors Association and its National Toy Train Museum....

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

Percussion Play

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has been appointed as the honorary chair of Preservation Week 2021, celebrated April 25–May 1. As the creator of the landmark , Hannah-Jones examines slavery’s modern legacy, reframing the way we understand the history of slavery and the contributions made by Black Americans to this nation. The 2021 theme for  is “Preserving Community Archives.”...

Core, Jan. 22

COVID dashboard

A new online dashboard, created by NYU Professor Alexej Jerschow, brings together COVID-19 data from US states and countries around the world to compare cases, deaths, vaccines, and testing in a visual, user-friendly format. The tool also integrates a range of policies governments have implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19—including school closings, stay-at-home orders, and mask mandates—in an effort to compare policy responses with COVID-19 outcomes....

NYU, Jan. 26

SHLB 2021 Policy Roadmap

The  (of which ALA is a member) has issued a for 2021, laying out its mission of supplying internet access to an estimated 42 million unconnected people in the US. At the heart of the solution is reliance on “community anchor institutions” such as K–12 districts, colleges and universities, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, public housing communities, and houses of worship....

Campus Technology, Jan. 26

San Jose State University: Information is Everything

Screenshot from NARA Trump Library page

Anthony Clark writes: “For months, as the end of Donald Trump’s term approached, historians and journalists have been playing a speculation game: What will be like? ‘A  to his ego,’ predicted a historian in the Washington Post. Others imagine a , or a  exercise in rebranding his presidency. One report said he’s trying to raise  to build it. Here’s another, more likely possibility: There won’t be one.”...

Politico, Jan. 22; Washington Post, Jan. 16, Nov. 18, 2020; The Guardian (UK), Dec. 6, 2020; Business Insider, Jan. 21

Library of Congress Jefferson Building

The Library of Congress is starting an initiative to expand its collection, encourage diversity among future librarians and archivists and make it easier for members of minority groups to explore the library’s digital archives. The program will be instituted over the next four years and is funded with a $15 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation....

New York Times, Jan. 27

Core Excellence in Children's and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists logo

The Core Committee Recognizing Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction announced its 2021 Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists on January 25. The lists are composed of notable children’s and young adult science fiction published between November 2019 and October 2020 and organized into three age-appropriate categories: the Golden Duck Notable Picture Books (preschool and early readers), Eleanor Cameron Notable Middle Grade Books, and Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books. ...

Core, Jan. 25

ALA news and press releases

Probably not an archive (Pexels)

B. M. Watson writes: “Various disciplinary ‘archival turns’ over the course of the past few decades have resulted in a tendency towards the over-casual use of the word archive as a shorthand to refer to, well, just about anything. While historians are not the most egregious of offenders, this exasperating tendency has led to an increasing sense of frustration and alienation on the part of librarians, archivists, curators, and other cultural heritage workers, who are loath to see their professional terminology co-opted in imprecise ways.”...

Perspectives on History, Jan. 22

Reiss Hall, Dartmouth College

Joshua Kim, director of online programs and strategy at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, writes: “What do you miss most about going to campus every day? What are you looking forward to most when everyone is vaccinated and campus operations shift to the new post-pandemic normal? Me? I’m looking forward to hanging out once again at the library.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 26

Elizabeth Acevedo

Abigail Clarkin writes: “When inaugural poet Amanda Gorman strode up to the mic on January 20 for President Biden’s inauguration, she set the stage on fire with her words (and her vibrant yellow coat). Immediately following, my Twitter and Instagram timelines were suddenly flooded with posts about Gorman’s poem, ‘The Hill We Climb,’ and her overall presence. Here are seven other spoken-word poets like Amanda Gorman who speak of hope, pain, and politics.”...

Book Riot, Jan. 26

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