Highlights from Barack Obama at Annual

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Because of the July 4 holiday, the next issue of AL Direct will be Friday, July 9.

Sallyann Price writes: “Barack Obama addressed the closing session of ALA’s 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual June 29. The talk marked a return to Annual for the former president, who was the conference’s opening speaker . Interviewed by Lonnie Bunch III, the first African American secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and introduced by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr., Obama talked about A Promised Land (Crown, November 2020)—the first of two memoirs spanning his paradigm-breaking presidency—and the role of libraries in shaping the story of American democracy.” Read all of American Libraries’ ....

AL: The Scoop, June 29; American Libraries, Aug. 2005

Over three meetings held during Annual June 28–29, ALA Council passed two resolutions to begin work on the Forward Together organizational restructuring process—, and . Resolutions to add a ninth principle to the ALA Code of Ethics and to achieve carbon neutrality for ALA conferences also passed, but a motion regarding an immediate change to the Library of Congress subject heading “illegal aliens” ....

AL: The Scoop, June 28–29

On June 25 ALA announced the distribution of $1.25 million in emergency grants to 34 libraries through the . Grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries will receive grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to support library services and operations. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant nonfederal grant opportunity for libraries. A complete list of grant recipients and project proposals are available at ALA’s ....

AL: The Scoop, June 25

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Terra Dankowski writes: “Nearly 150 years after it leveled 18,000 buildings and killed 300 people, the Great Chicago Fire (October 8–10, 1871) lives on—in the city’s tourist attractions, sports team names, and soon in a Chicago History Museum exhibit commemorating its anniversary this fall. ‘It’s just amazing how much the aftermath was documented,’ says Ellen Keith, director of the museum library. The library’s holdings include period maps and stereographs (an early form of three-dimensional photographs popular in the 19th century) depicting the burned areas of the city, transcripts of the 1871 fire department hearings, a 1997 mayoral resolution exonerating Mrs. O’Leary and her cow of blame for setting the blaze, and even sheet music for songs about the fire.”...

American Libraries Bookend, June

Associate Professor and Digital Archivist Erin Baucom writes: “Digital preservation is a relatively young field. And as a result, it lacks established pathways and processes. What’s more, guidance for practitioners has been purposefully written from a high-level perspective to allow for flexibility by different types and sizes of institutions. But to translate lofty digital preservation theory into on-the-ground practice, we need workflow documents to break down the necessary steps required to complete a task.”...

American Libraries column, June

Linda W. Braun writes: “The pandemic has only reinforced questions youth services staffers have asked themselves before: What skills, knowledge, and mindsets are needed to serve young people and their caregivers in the modern age? And in particular, what does it take to reach nondominant youth and families? (That is, those who belong to historically marginalized groups and may have diminished social or political power.) Two recent projects are working to address these questions.”...

American Libraries column, June

Latest Library Links

On June 25 Google announced about the reliability of search results when they look up breaking news or other “rapidly evolving” topics, as the tech giant combats criticism for its role in spreading misinformation. The notices will tell users when there may not be enough authoritative information online yet about a developing issue. “It looks like these results are changing quickly,” says the prompt, which is displayed above search results. “If the topic is new, it can sometimes take time for results to be added by reliable sources.”...

CNet, June 25; Google Blog, June 25

Shoshana Wodinsky writes: “After  and a 30-hour debating session on the House floor, the US House Judiciary Committee  to pass a sweeping six-bill package collectively meant to reign in Big Tech’s massive market power. Here’s what you need to know about each of the bills, so you can follow along.”...

Gizmodo, June 25; Government Technology, June 21; Washington Post, June 24

Anoka County (Minn.) is being accused of censorship after a memo to library staff prohibited public messaging around Pride or Black Lives Matter in June. Anoka County Library communications manager Erin Straszewski sent the memo to employees May 26 regarding public messaging options and displays. “County guidance is that we will not have public messaging around Pride and Black Lives Matter month,” Straszewski’s memo said. “If you would like to do a display celebrating diversity in our community in honor of one or both of these themes, you may do so through a lens celebrating diversity on a broader spectrum.” The library ....

ABC Newspapers (Coon Rapids, Minn.), June 18; KARE-TV (Minneapolis/St. Paul), June 28

ALA news and press releases

Emma Banks writes: “On a spring evening in 2019, Robin Will arrived at the Q Center, an LGBTQ+ community space in north Portland, with two heaping armfuls of scrapbooks from Jerry Weller, the late activist who helped spearhead the 1970s movement for gay liberation in the Pacific Northwest. Will was meeting up with four other community elders, all of whom witnessed the movement firsthand and many of whom appear in the photos tucked into the books as friends or co-conspirators of Weller. Slowly, the group began to chip away at a monumental task: identifying everyone pictured in the pages, preserving their legacy for generations to come.”...

Atlas Obscura, June 9

David Kidd writes: “It’s moving day at America’s first Carnegie library, perched on the side of a hill in Braddock, Pennsylvania. A team of young librarians shuttles in and out with arms full, filling the back of a pickup truck parked just outside. Inside, the bookshelves are bare, with cardboard boxes stacked everywhere. Once the old library has been cleared of its contents, work can begin on a $15 million comprehensive restoration and modernization, scheduled to begin this summer.”...

Governing, June 9

Brenda Peynado writes: “I remember my local library as a sea of books—borderless, a drowning by story that I entered into every Saturday and emerged afterwards from its delicious depths having been visited equally by mermaids, heroes, childhoods, and histories. My favorite short story collections are as multi-genred and vast as the library of my youth. They’re wild rides through time and space.”...

The Millions, June 16

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