Referenda Roundup 2021: Final Report

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Oxford University Press

As in past years, American Libraries and PLA have again partnered to track library ballot measures and council actions across the country. In 2021, we followed 78 referenda items; results were positive for libraries in nearly 90% of cases. ....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 17

In summer 2020, during the national outcry that followed the murder of George Floyd, the concept of antiracism gained traction in critical conversations about library work. Earlier this year RUSA explored this theme in the webinar “Decolonizing the Catalog: Antiracist Description Practices from Authority Records to Discovery Layers.” The panel brought together academic librarians who have worked to promote inclusive language in cataloging, taking advantage of opportunities to improve the Library of Congress classification system and within their own institutions, with a particular focus on issues related to African-American materials and anti-Black racism. And , ALA praised news that the Library of Congress agreed to change two of its controversial subject headings....

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.; AL: The Scoop, Nov. 12

Emily Udell writes: “After the last of a revolving door of businesses left the existing café space in the Central Library of Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library, staffers considered how the retail space could be used to serve the community more than just coffee. RPL collaborated with Foodlink, a local nonprofit food bank that addresses community hunger and provides training and experience in the culinary arts for people who have faced barriers to employment, including those with histories of substance abuse, formerly incarcerated individuals, and immigrants and refugees.”...

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants for Libraries

On November 12, ALA launched , a new centralized web portal that brings together the most comprehensive digital collection of professional development for library and information professionals anywhere. The fully accessible, mobile-friendly site includes a robust search capability and dynamic product listings. Learners can expect to find custom content developed by ALA’s field-leading authors and instructors, highly engaging courses, and a mix of free and paid webinars, on-demand events, and asynchronous eCourses....

ALA Publishing and Media, Nov. 12

Health Sciences Librarian Naomi Bishop writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life for all of us, but infection and death rates among racial and ethnic minorities in the US are much higher than national rates. Sadly, this outcome fits a pattern: From higher infant mortality rates to the increased risk of being killed by law enforcement, communities of color are disproportionately affected by health care inequities. Learning about racism in medicine and understanding our own privileges and biases are initial steps we can take as we advocate for change.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Carolyn Schubert writes: “The pandemic era has been a time of immense transition by nearly any metric. It has created opportunities for new and improved ways of working and led employees to fundamentally reevaluate their relationships with their jobs. It also has highlighted existing problems in the workplace, such as low morale, burnout, and overwork. How can library organizations weather these immediate waves of transition and build strong teams for the future?”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Chicago Manual of Style Online

Bill Furbee writes: “Several librarians across the country are using their research and tech skills to create podcasts that capture community histories—especially those perspectives that are often forgotten or marginalized. Many in the profession find that podcasting is easy to learn, and that audio brings a vibrance and immediacy that often can’t be replicated with the written word. Another reason for this medium’s popularity is the low barrier to entry, as library staffers are privy to the many free tools that are now available for recording, editing, and hosting podcasts.”...

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Olivia B. Waxman writes: “On November 8, two members of a Virginia school board . Only a few months into the school year, librarians say efforts to ban books are on the rise and mark a new chapter in the history of attempts to censor books. Since September, school libraries in at least seven states have removed books challenged by community members. Among the books most frequently targeted are Toni Morrison’s , George M. Johnson’s Maia Kobabe’s , Jonathan Evison’s , and Alison Bechdel’s . Most of the challenged books so far, across fiction and nonfiction, are about .”...

Time, Nov. 15; Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star, Nov. 9; The Daily Beast, Oct. 8; Palm Coast (Fla.) Observer, Nov. 11; WBTV-TV (Charleston, S.C.), Nov. 10; Washington Blade, Oct. 8; WDAF-TV (Kansas City, Mo.), Nov. 9; Book Riot, Nov. 5

The shares of American 9- and 13-year-olds who say they read for fun on an almost daily basis have dropped from nearly a decade ago and are at the lowest levels since at least the mid-1980s, according to a survey conducted in late 2019 and early 2020 by the . Among 9-year-old students, 42% said in 2020 that they read for fun almost every day, down from 53% in both 2012 and 1984. Among 13-year-olds, 17% said they read for fun almost every day, a smaller percentage than the 27% who said this in 2012 and roughly half the share (35%) who said this in 1984. It is unclear whether the pandemic may have changed these patterns....

Pew Research Center, Nov. 12

Crowley ad

Richard Byrne writes: “ is an interactive storymap that I’ve shared in the past and still find to be a neat resource. The map displays where eight popular Thanksgiving foods are grown and harvested in the US. The storymap includes a map for each ingredient. Each map shows the locations of commercial producers. Fun facts are included in the storymap, too. For example, did you know that Illinois has at least twice as many acres of pumpkins as any state?”...

Free Technology for Teachers, Nov. 16

Syed Hammad Mahmood writes: “Whether you’re a science buff or you’re just looking to learn, the internet makes it easy for you to keep up to date with the latest science news. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 science websites you can use to get your daily science dose. Some of these are intended for science students and teachers, while the other focus on simplifying complex topics for laypeople.”...

Make Use Of, Nov. 9

To (book)mark National Family Literacy Month, Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Best Cities for Book Lovers. The site compared the 200 biggest US cities based on access to public libraries, bookstores, Little Free Libraries, book clubs, and events. It also looked for cities with the most books “in the wild,” random reads picked up by random bookworms who can track the books’ journey and engage with other bibliophiles on BookCrossing. Pasadena, California, topped the overall list, while New York City had the most public libraries and the most book clubs....

LawnLove, Nov. 5

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