Take Action for Libraries Day with Dan Rather, April 8

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Emily Udell writes: “When members of the Howard County (Ind.) Master Gardener Association became enchanted by the idea of creating a local butterfly habitat, their first stop was Kokomo–Howard County Public Library. Not for books and information but to get the project off—and into—the ground. Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

As part of National Library Week, ALA, in partnership with United for Libraries and Booklist, will present on Thursday, April 8, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Central. Rather and Booklist editor Donna Seaman will discuss his book . The free event is open to the public, and libraries are encouraged to promote it among their communities. as space is limited....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, March 29

Callan Bignoli and Lauren Stara write: “Realistically, most people who walk into your building aren’t familiar with your procedures and policies, your cataloging and classification systems, the building layout, or the incredible range of services you offer. How can your physical space be changed, even slightly, to help them understand the library?”...

American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.

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Amy Carlton writes: “What’s an eight-letter word for “information about information”? Metadata, and it’s one of the library-themed answers Laura Braunstein has occasionally worked into a crossword puzzle since publishing her first in 2017. Braunstein, digital humanities librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and co-lead of Digital by Dartmouth Library, wants to help both crossword puzzles and libraries shed their reputations for stuffy elitism and exclusion.”...

American Libraries Bookend, Mar./Apr.

In Practice columnist Meredith Farkas writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been traumatic for many library workers, especially those expected to continue coming to work as cases have risen in their communities. Even for those with the privilege of working from home, the experience has been stressful. I’ve heard countless stories of library workers who have gone above and beyond to support their communities during this time. But I’ve also wondered how many libraries surpassed expectations to meet their staffers’ needs. I spoke with several librarians about what they’ve done to support their workers as whole people.”...

American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions announced March 26 that its World Library and Information Congress will be virtual for the first time, August 17–19. IFLA says the event will be its most open and accessible across continents, time zones, and information sectors. Registration opens in May....

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, March 26

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Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey has apologized for “harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery” in one of his graphic novels for children, which has been withdrawn by his publisher amid a surge in anti-Asian violence in the US. The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, first published in 2010, follows two cavemen who travel to the year 2222 and meet Master Wong, a martial arts instructor. On March 22,  and remove all mention of it from its website, saying it had “the full support” of Pilkey....

The Guardian (UK), March 29; Scholastic, March 22

Retail booksellers filed a class-action lawsuit March 25 against Amazon and the Big Five US publishing companies, alleging a price-fixing scheme to intentionally constrain the bookselling market and inflate the wholesale price of print books. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and states that Amazon colluded with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster to restrain competition in the sale of print trade books. In other industry news, HarperCollins has made a deal to , the trade publishing division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for $349 million....

Hagens Berman, March 25; New York Times, March 29

A New Jersey State Library program called Fresh Start provides help to the formerly incarcerated, everything from training in how to make a FaceTime call to compiling resources for job fairs and food banks. COVID-19 is causing prisons to send people home early. Last year, between March and just a few months later, more than 100,000 people returned home from prison. That’s 3 1/2 times more than the year before. At the same time, many libraries have had to sharply limit and close their physical locations. And that means those who help with prison reentry are having to get creative....

NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, March 28

ALA news and press releases

Academic librarians, like so many others in the higher education and library sectors, have discussed equity, diversity, and inclusion for many years. A number of prominent initiatives have worked to address these issues across the profession and within individual institutions. Yet libraries have struggled to make progress on these stated values, especially in meeting their goals of employee diversification. To better understand the impact of these national events and long-standing challenges on academic libraries, in fall 2020 to examine how perspectives and strategies relevant to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism evolved over the last year....

Ithaka S+R, March 17

Rhea Kelly writes: “While student data has long been mined to support retention efforts and institutional decision-making, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new and sometimes troubling uses for data in higher education. For example, campuses might track students’ location and social media data to monitor social distancing compliance and help prevent virus outbreaks, according to . The report offered 11 recommendations for institutions to be more mindful of student privacy when using data, both during and after the pandemic.”...

Campus Technology, March 24

The Musée du Louvre, the world’s most-visited museum, is now allowing the public to browse its 480,000-piece collection from the comfort of their homes. The French museum has created an  featuring all of the museum’s artworks, the Louvre announced on March 26. Works are presented in the collections database regardless of whether they are on display in the Musée du Louvre or Musée Delacroix, visible in the gardens, on long-term loan in France or abroad, or in storage. Information about their location is included in each entry....

Musée du Louvre, March 26

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