Supporting seniors during the pandemic

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With libraries closed or operating at reduced hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach is essential to let the community know that the library is still there for them and providing essential services. That outreach is particularly important for older adults, many of whom rely on the library not just for materials but often as a lifeline. On Episode 60, Call Number with American Libraries looks at library outreach to seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. And in a Call Number speaks with US Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) about his support for libraries and work on library legislation, including the ....

AL: The Scoop, March 23, March 12

Leonard Kniffel, former editor and publisher of American Libraries, died March 19 of pancreatic cancer. Kniffel was a librarian, journalist, and author. Before joining the staff of ALA in 1988, he worked at Detroit Public Library for 18 years, during which time he earned his master’s degrees in English and library science at Wayne State University. He wrote for the magazine on issues ranging from censorship to public service. In 2014, he became executive director of the Polish American Librarians Association and a board member of the Polish Museum of America. Many of his former colleagues at ALA, where he worked until 2012, shared their memories of him....

AL: The Scoop, March 24

In 2006, the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf announced National Deaf History Month would be observed March 13–April 15. In the March/April issue of American Libraries, we look at the intersection of Deaf history and libraries by the numbers....

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

San Jose State University

When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading throughout the US in early 2020, Jessica Daly, consumer health librarian at hospital network Orlando (Fla.) Health, knew it was time for her—and other information specialists in the medical field—to step up. “As medical professionals and librarians, we tell people what to do, but we don’t often explain why,” she says. “A lot of times people are like, ‘I don’t want people telling me what to do.’ But if they understand the science behind it, I think it really helps.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

On March 11, the American Library Association Executive Board issued a statement in support of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s  condemning anti-Asian violence. ...

AL: The Scoop, March 11

David Rand and Gordon Pennycook write: “ finds that most people do not wish to share inaccurate information (in fact, over 80% of respondents felt that it’s very important to only share accurate content online) and that, in many cases, people are fairly good (overall) at distinguishing legitimate news from false and misleading (hyperpartisan) news. Research we’ve conducted consistently shows that it’s not partisan motivations that lead people to fail to distinguish between true and false news content, but rather simple old lazy thinking.”...

Scientific American, March 17; Nature, March 17

Crowley ad

Kathi Kromer writes: “When President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11, the Institute of Museum and Library Services received $200 million, the largest single increase in the agency’s 25-year history.  for academic, public, and school library-eligible programs, including the Emergency Education Connectivity Fund through the federal E-Rate program.”...

AL: The Scoop, March 12

The American Booksellers Association released a white paper on March 17 detailing the scale and scope of Amazon’s anticompetitive behavior: The white paper was sent to the attorneys general in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as the National Association of Attorneys General. ABA makes the case for investigating Amazon for antitrust violations, concluding that it is best for the country’s economy and its consumers that Amazon be broken up into at least four autonomous companies: retail, e-commerce marketplace platform, web services, and logistics....

ABA BookWeb, March 17

Jeffrey Brainard writes: “Two years after a high-profile falling out, the University of California system and the academic publishing giant Elsevier have patched up differences and agreed on what will be the largest deal for open access publishing in scholarly journals in North America. The deal is also the world’s first such contract that includes Elsevier’s highly selective flagship journals Cell and The Lancet. The deal meets demands made by UC when it suspended negotiations with Elsevier in 2019.”...

Science, March 16

ALA news and press releases

Kirsten Errick writes: “Online exam proctoring companies like ProctorU have seen a significant uptick in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused institutions to move exams online. This has led to significant privacy implications for students; specifically, on March 12 in the Central District of Illinois against ProctorU for alleged biometric violations, particularly after a data breach.”...

Law Street, March 15

Janet Jackson’s 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814 leads the 2020 class of the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. Other highlights among the inductees include Nas’s Illmatic, Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints Go Marching In,” Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Flaco Jiménez’s “Partners,” Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 Christmas Eve radio address with Winston Churchill, Leontyne Price’s Aida, Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection,” and the first podcast to be included, a 2008 episode from This American Life about the mortgage crisis then sweeping the country....

Library of Congress blog, March 24

Intisar Khanani writes: “As an inveterate reader, I more or less grew up in my local libraries—as many of you may have as well. There is something magical about libraries, as repositories of knowledge and story and hope. There’s even something magical about librarians, be they guardians or keepers or the ultimate hosts inviting you into a safe haven lined with stories that hum with life. It’s only fitting that libraries and their makers should show up in stories as well. Whenever I come across such a book, I sink into it with a certain measure of delight—even when those libraries are more sinister than not.”...

Tor.com, March 23

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