Chronicling the Black experience

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Mark Lawton writes: “In September 2018, Rodney E. Freeman Jr. was at home lying on his couch when he heard about Botham Jean. Jean, a 26-year-old Black accountant in Dallas, had been shot and killed by his neighbor, a white Dallas police officer, when she entered his apartment thinking it was her own. The incident compelled Freeman to consider how Black men are perceived in the US. Freeman is one of a number of archivists who have chosen to create their own archives around the Black experience in America rather than participate in an institutional archive, such as those maintained by universities or other large library systems.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Legal issues arise in libraries. Which is why, over the past year and a half, our  column at has explored a wide range of legal topics, led by two authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. We’ve assembled some of their most topical entries, touching on copyright issues for remote learning, face-mask exceptions, and liability waivers, among other things....

American Libraries feature, June

June 19 is the date when Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US, is observed each year. The holiday is also sometimes called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. In our June issue’s By the Numbers feature, we have stats celebrating Juneteenth and the Black authors who uphold the tradition....

American Libraries Trend, June

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Meredith Farkas writes: “When I started writing for American Libraries in 2007, my column was part of a newly redesigned magazine that had a goal of increasing its technology coverage. I worked in a small rural library in Vermont at the time, and my Tech­nology in Practice column would focus on sharing simple, low-cost technology success stories that most libraries could replicate. I wrote a lot about using social media in libraries when these platforms were in their infancies, long before they became tools of polarization and disinformation. So much has changed since then.”...

American Libraries column, June

Carrie Smith writes: “Gardening has become more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, with seed companies seeing unprecedented demand and some popular seed varieties selling out. Seed libraries have been popping up across the US since the early 2000s, and one Girl Scout, Alicia Serratos, has helped start more than 100 such libraries in the past year. Serratos, 14, is an environmental activist and founder of Three Sisters Seed Box, a program that mails free seed library starter kits with instructions, organic vegetable seed packets, label sticks, and envelopes to return new seeds at the end of the season. American Libraries talked with Serratos about her activism, environmental stewardship, and why libraries are a great place to share seeds.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

The Library of Congress has acquired audio diaries featuring more than 200 frontline health care workers in the fight against COVID-19, a collection that provides firsthand testimonies from hospitals and communities across the country as the public health crisis unfolded. The audio library was donated by The Nocturnists, a San Francisco-based independent medical storytelling community and podcast. The majority of the recordings were originally collected for the  series in the spring of 2020, of which only a small fraction was published on the podcast and accompanying online ....

Library of Congress blog, June 8

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On June 1, the winners of the 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced in a virtual ceremony. These winners were selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals from more than 1,000 book submissions from over 300 publishers. In addition, four special honors were awarded: Ana-Maurine Lara received the Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction, the Jim Duggins PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize went to Sarah Gerard and Brontez Purnell, Nancy Agabian received the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, and the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers was awarded to Taylor Johnson and T Kira Madden....

Lambda Literary, June 1

On June 2, a group of DC Public Schools librarians gathered outside the John A. Wilson building, where Mayor Muriel Bowser has an office, for a protest. At the “read in,” each librarian grabbed a book and read in silence. The protest had two main goals: to appeal to the DC Council to help improve the literacy rates of students by reducing class sizes and using collaborative teaching models, and to make sure every DCPS school has a full-time librarian....

Washingtonian, June 3

Pia Ceres writes: “While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, it has never been considered the American norm. In 2019, homeschooled students represented just 3.2% of US students in grades K–12, or around 1.7 million students. By comparison, 90% of US students attend public school. But a March 2021 report from the US Census Bureau in homeschooling during the pandemic: In spring 2020, 5.4% of surveyed households reported homeschooling their children (homeschooling being distinct from remote learning at home through a public or private school). By fall 2020, the figure had doubled to 11.1%. The pandemic may also have given rise to a more diverse group of homeschoolers.”...

Wired, June 3; US Census Bureau, March 22

ALA news and press releases

Over the course of six months, planted thousands of false credentials onto websites and forums popular for dumping stolen usernames and passwords. Researchers found about half of of the accounts were accessed within 12 hours, 40% were accessed within six hours, and 20% were accessed within an hour....

ZDNet, June 8

In a June 6 statement, We Need Diverse Books announced it would no longer be using the term #OwnVoices to refer to children’s literature or its authors. WNDB will use specific descriptions that authors use for themselves and their characters whenever possible, such as “Korean American author” or “autistic protagonist.” #OwnVoices was created as a hashtag by author Corinne Duyvis in September 2015 as a shorthand book recommendation tool in a Twitter thread and was never intended to be used broadly, the statement said....

We Need Diverse Books, June 6

Jessica Hilbun Schwartz writes: “The approach of Father’s Day has got me thinking about dads in literature. You’ve got your classics like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, and Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. But what about dads in contemporary YA? Here’s a short list of some of my favorite fathers in teen literature.”...

Teen Services Underground, June 3

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