Apply for Communities for Immunity funding

American Libraries logo
Scripps National Spelling Bee

Communities for Immunity is seeking proposals that address COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake, with an aim to reach vaccine-hesitant populations. Funding awards ranging from $1,500–$100,000 will be provided to museums and libraries to leverage their deep relationships with local communities to improve vaccine confidence. The application window is October 12–29, and projects must be completed by March 31, 2022. or for more information....

Communities for Immunity

Jerry Craft (left), a New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Award–winning author and illustrator, was invited to do a virtual visit by the Katy (Texas) Independent School District, a suburb 30 miles west of Houston, on October 4. When a parent started a petition claiming that Craft’s books promote critical race theory, the school district removed the books from its schools’ library shelves, and the event was postponed. Approximately 5,000 students had been invited to participate. Calls to ban books by Black authors ....

CNN, Oct. 7; OIF Blog, Oct. 6; EdWeek, Sept. 30

Adrian Horton writes: “When Reginald Dwayne Betts (left) fell in love with poetry as a young man, his reading options were limited. Convicted at 16, in 1997, of carjacking with a pistol in Virginia, Betts was serving eight years in prison when an unknown person slipped a copy of Dudley Randall’s The Black Poets under his cell door. Betts, now 40, a Yale-trained lawyer and a recipient last month of the prestigious  now endeavors to offer incarcerated people a similar experience with 1,000 microlibraries in prisons across the country through his nonprofit, .”...

The Guardian (UK), Oct. 8; MacArthur Foundation, Sept. 28



Luxer One has introduced an innovative solution to the struggling public library communities affected by COVID-19 with their Smart Lockers. Smart Lockers offer a safe, contactless self-service pickup and return process for staff and patrons. Luxer One’s integrated technology can even be synced with leading integrated library service platforms to provide in-depth tracking on every item that is exchanged via Smart Locker. These durable lockers provide an intuitive user experience with 24-hour access for busy families in need of materials. For more information on Smart Lockers, visit: .


American Rescue Plan humanities grants for libraries

Alyssa Shotwell writes: “When in the summer of 2019, the endeavor started as an in-person and online way to reach others by reading books by people of color, with a focus on liberation. Twelve national chapters and a wave of support later, the book club has physical headquarters.”...

The Mary Sue, Oct. 4

Academic librarian Emily Hampton Haynes writes: “Morale on our campus feels low. As my coworker remarked to me this weekend, ‘Everyone was having a hard time quietly at home, and now that we’re all back on campus, it’s pretty noticeable.’ No matter our roles on campus, we’ve experienced almost two years of slow-burn crisis. What do we do when we can tell a colleague is struggling?”...

ACRLog, Oct. 7

Jessa Crispin writes: “According to , ‘86% of teachers reported that, during the pandemic, schools provided tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks to students at twice the rate (43%) prior to the pandemic, an illustration of schools’ attempts to close disparities in digital access.’ The problem is, a lot of those electronics were being used to monitor students, even combing through private chats, emails, and documents, all in the name of protecting them.”...

The Guardian (UK), Oct. 11

Call Number podcast

Linda Kinstler writes: “Recently, the Boston Globe approved a petition from a man who was alleged to have kicked the door of an ATM when he was young, about 10 years ago. The charges against him were dropped, but the Globe had published his name as part of a police brief. The man was now an advocate for the local Latinx community and wanted the article removed from his search results. ‘It’s a perfect example of such a minor incident,’ Jason Tuohey, managing editor for digital, told me. ‘Why would a newspaper even cover it, looking back?’”...

Columbia Journalism Review, Oct. 5

More than 400 LGBTQ students and allies from more than 30 Fairfax County (Va.) public high schools sent a letter on Thursday to the county school board and the school system’s superintendent urging them to reject requests that two LGBTQ-themed books be removed from the school libraries. The two books—Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe—each contain descriptions of sexual acts, including sexual acts between consenting juveniles....

Washington Blade, Oct. 8

It was mid-day on August 13 when 23-year-old health worker Homeira Nawrozi (left), who owned a library for women in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, heard the news of Taliban entering the city. She quickly closed her library. But when she returned with her brother the next day to take the books home, she found that all the windows had been shattered and some books were damaged. “Right now, the women need us to give them a book to read at a time when the doors of schools are closed for them,” she says....

France 24, Oct. 12

ALA news and press releases

Scott Gilbertson writes: “Whether you are sick of social media, want to get away from endless notifications, or just want to read all your news all in one spot, an RSS reader can help. I’ve been using RSS for over a decade, and recently spent a few months trying out almost a dozen different RSS reader services. These picks are the best RSS readers available right now.”...

Wired, Oct. 10

Children’s librarian Chelsey Roos writes: “When I was a kid, way back in the late 1900s, I loved horror as a genre. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was my jam (I loved the pictures. Today they are nightmare fuel). Kids have always loved scary stories, but in recent years, middle-grade horror has really taken off as a genre. Why does this genre appeal to kids, and what are some ways for the library to support young scare-lovers?”...

ALSC Blog, Oct. 8

McKayla Coyle writes: “Remember last year, when everyone suddenly got really into baking sourdough bread and sewing their own clothes and making so much jam that there was a national jar shortage? Those were the days of , a romantic aesthetic that valued pastorals and strawberries and wicker picnic basics. Goblincore is like cottagecore’s grimy, grungy little sibling who won’t stop flipping over rocks in the backyard to find cool bugs.”...

Electric Lit, Oct. 6; Sept. 11, 2020

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the .


Editor, AL Direct:

Direct ad inquiries to:

Send news and feedback:


All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site. .


American Libraries will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the .


To manage your American Libraries email preferences, please click .

To unsubscribe from all American Library Association communications, click .


American Library Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Higher Logic