2021 Library Systems Report

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Marshall Breeding writes: “In a year complicated by a global pandemic, the community of vendors providing technologies to libraries made important strides to meet pressing needs and make ongoing progress in their longer-term initiatives. Though the pandemic disrupted library services—as well as funding—in 2020, concerted efforts were made to fulfill the demands of users to the extent possible. Almost all vendors made sharp turns to expand access to digital collections and services in order to compensate for diminished access to physical materials.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Anne Ford writes: “Even before COVID-19 struck early last year, the LIS job market was a competitive one. Now, with the pandemic’s one-year anniversary behind us, the employment landscape for librarians has become even rockier and more unstable for entry-level candidates.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Claire Zulkey writes: “Gloria Vela, fresh from receiving her MLIS and earning her Texas school librarian certification, did all the right things when she applied for school librarian jobs. She set up a tidy workspace well-lit for Zoom interviews. She applied makeup, styled her hair, and made sure her 6-month-old miniature Australian shepherd, Olive, was out of audio range. She rehearsed and smiled and made eye contact and sent thank-you notes. But after 34 job applications, six interviews, some close calls but no bites—plus ‘some good cries’—Vela was burned out.”...

American Libraries feature, May

University of Rhode Island MLIS

ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. writes: “Are library professionals making our communities stronger? Are we addressing inequities, disparities, and racism? Are we making a difference? These are questions I ask myself every day as your president amid a deadly crisis and heightened racial violence. I am beginning to see the light at the end of a dark COVID-19 tunnel.”...

American Libraries column, May

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall writes: “Of the 90,400 public K–12 schools in the United States, . That’s despite the dozens of studies that show students in schools with well-equipped libraries and certified school librarians demonstrate stronger academic performance and school persistence. By contrast, ”...

American Libraries column, May; National Center for Education Statistics, 2016, 2018

The 2021 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual is now open. Among the live and on-demand educational sessions, attendees will have access to , , authors, and more than 200 educational sessions. The series, interactive , and are also available. The ALA Annual Conference Virtual takes place June 23–29. is now open....

ALA Conference Services, Apr. 29


Shoshana Wodinsky writes: “A  published May 4 by the tech-focused nonprofit Me2B Alliance found the majority of school utility apps were sharing some amount of student data with third-party marketing companies. The Me2B team surveyed a few dozen so-called utility apps for school districts—the kind that students and parents download to, say, review their school’s calendar or busing schedules—and found roughly 60% of them sharing everything from a student’s location to their entire contact list, to their phone’s mobile ad identifiers, all with companies these students and their parents likely never heard of.”...

Gizmodo, May 4; Me2B Alliance, May 4

Kimberly Knight and Melanie Lyttle write: “Many states have enacted mask mandates at some point during the pandemic. However, some never enacted a mandate and at the writing of this piece, more states are dropping or relaxing their requirements every day. While it would be tough to list those here, . Some library systems in states without mandates have been able to rely on city, county, or local mandates. Still others may not have any consistent support or guidance.”...

Public Libraries Online, Apr. 30; AARP, May 4

According to data from , ebook sales still trail print books by a wide margin across the globe. In the US, 23% of the population are estimated to have purchased an ebook last year, compared to 45% who bought a print book. These findings suggest that ebooks will not be the final nail in the coffin of print books but rather a complementary product that should benefit the publishing industry....

Statista, Apr. 23

Chicago Manual of Style Online

Tom Brant writes: “Gone are the days when a decent laptop would cost you north of $1,000. It's now possible to pick up a full-size or ultraportable Windows 10 notebook with a processor powerful enough for use at home, school, or work for around $400–$700. It’s also easy to find full-featured Chromebooks and hybrid systems that give you both laptop and tablet functionality in one device for as little as $300. Here’s help.”...

PC Mag, May 3

Zeahaa Rehman writes: “Like every other romance subgenre, historical romance has traditionally consisted of a white man and a white woman falling in love and overcoming obstacles to form a relationship and live happily ever after (or, in the case of most contemporary novels, happy for now). Though a historical romance can be set in any period prior to 1950, the most popular time by far is Regency England: the era covering 1811 to 1820 and immortalized by Jane Austen. The version of Regency England that viewers are accustomed to, both onscreen and in books, is one that excludes BIPOC and queer characters.”...

The Walrus, Apr. 28

Alexia MacClain writes: “Do you remember the excitement of filling out your first library borrower’s card? Or the ‘ca-chunk’ of the date stamp when you checked out a book? What products come to mind when you think of your early library experiences? Classified Illustrated Catalog of the Library Department of Library Bureau, a trade catalog in the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives collections, provides a glimpse of the supplies and equipment that library staff might have used to complete their everyday tasks in 1899.”...

Smithsonian Magazine, Apr. 22

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