Jackson water crisis, library signage, Hugo Awards

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Two Army National Guard people load water bottles into a car in Jackson, Mississippi

Bill Furbee writes: “Jackson, Mississippi, has faced more than its fair share of water crises. In late August, heavy rain caused the Pearl River, which runs through the city, to flood. Water from its largest water treatment plant, already running on backup pumps before this flood, couldn’t keep up. Many of Jackson’s libraries, businesses, and homes were left without sufficient water pressure to operate toilets or showers. Even before the flood happened, an unrelated water boil advisory was in place, enacted in late July. ‘It’s tiring to still not have some normalcy,’ says Stephen Parks, state librarian for the State Law Library of Mississippi—and he speaks for many others.”...

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 13

As any library staffer who has gone through a building renovation knows, significant behind-the-scenes work goes into updating or overhauling a facility. From working with architects to communicating with committees to soliciting community feedback, rethinking a library doesn’t happen overnight. the podcast team focuses on library design and architecture. Guests include Michael Haddock of Kansas State University Libraries speaking about rebuilding K-State’s fire-damaged Hale Library and Amelia Anderson of Old Dominion University and Abigail Phillips of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee discussing creating accessible public library makerspaces....

AL: The Scoop, Sept. 12

Signage in a library with a graphic element

Mark Aaron Polger writes: “Libraries are complicated. They have a maze of departments, a specific method for retrieving books, and many rooms with different purposes: public and staff areas, service desks, and storage areas for materials, with varying access policies. Library signs can help guide users through this unfamiliar maze, allowing them to find what they came for with minimal anxiety. At its most basic, a library signage system should have a directory at a building’s entrance to give users an overview of the layout. Directional signage along high-use channels also aids wayfinding.”...

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

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Three people holding up library cards

Cass Balzer writes: “Photo identification is an essential part of American life. But for large swaths of the populace, photo IDs can be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. The nonprofit Texas Organizing Project has been advocating for enhanced library cards in the state. These cards are designed to address the need for photo IDs, often displaying the holder’s photo, name, date of birth, address, and gender. And many public libraries in Texas are leading the way on getting these cards into people’s hands.”...

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Headshot of On My Mind author Angelo Moreno

Angelo Moreno writes: “Libraries are great places to work, generally speaking, especially for book lovers. On top of the satisfaction I derive from engaging with patrons, I’m grateful my library offers tangible employment benefits like fair compensation with guaranteed yearly wage increases and paid time off. It also confers a measure of dignity and respect and a voice in decision-making processes. This has not always been the case for us. We, the library’s workers, created the conditions that made this possible when we formed our first union and negotiated our first contract in 2020.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Headshot of dispatches author Yvonne Mery

Yvonne Mery writes: “When I taught undergraduate education courses, I had to design lesson plans to engage students at all levels with different learning styles. But the concept of learning styles, like visual and kinetic—along with ideas like left-versus-right-brain dominance and that we use only 10% of our brains—is a neuromyth. Research shows that makes no impact, but it’s still true that every learner is different. Here are strategies for meeting students where they are.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct. issue; Theory and Research in Education, Oct. 6, 2015

Latest Library Links

Logo for ALA Scholarship program

ALA has opened applications for more than $300,000 in scholarships available to students who are studying in library science or school library media programs at the master’s degree level. Scholarships range from $2,500 to $8,000 per student per year, and include general scholarships, scholarships by practice area, scholarships for library support staff, and scholarships for people from underrepresented groups. Applicants must attend a master’s level program in library and information science that has been accredited by ALA. . The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023....

ALA’s Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Sept. 6

Screenshot of a news broadcast about Boundary County  Library

Nick Watt writes: “A couple of dozen men, women, and children are silently reading books in the shade of apple trees one sunny morning [outside Boundary County Library] in beautiful little Bonners Ferry, Idaho. But this is a protest. ‘We’re having a read-in in support of the library,’ explains Billie Jo Klaniecki.” Library trustees are facing a recall, and the director has resigned, after armed activists attended board meetings demanding the removal of 400 supposedly pornographic books, none of which the library owns....

CNN, Sept. 5

Three computer monitors with a high-tech city scene behind them

Sarah Leonard writes: “Twenty-three years ago, computer programmer and writer Ellen Ullman noticed a change in the internet. In a lecture at University of Vermont in 1999, she that between 1995 and 1998, it went from being a ‘private dream,’ which one might experience in moments away from ‘real life,’ to a site of extreme individualism, in which companies attempted ‘to isolate the individual within a sea of economic activity.’ Ben Tarnoff’s new book, Internet for the People, makes a striking intervention. ‘The internet,’ he proposes, ‘is broken because the internet is a business.’ What if it weren’t?”...

New Republic, Sept. 8; Harper’s Magazine, May 2000

Latest Library Links


Caitlin Dewey writes: “Librarians and their legislative allies are pushing publishers of electronic books to lower their prices and relax licensing terms, an effort that could make it easier for millions of library users to borrow the increasingly popular digital versions of books. Supporters say the ebook lending legislation in several states would allow libraries to offer more digital material and shorten waitlists for popular titles. Over the long term, the measures might shore up libraries’ core mission in an increasingly digital environment.”...

Pew Stateline, Sept. 6

Shiny silver key

Bonnielin Swenor and JR Rizzo write: “In a long-overdue move, the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy on making federally supported research and publications available to all without delay or embargo. This remarkable announcement about open access has the potential to remove information barriers that have long held back social and scientific progress. Even with immediate open access to research results, however, people with disabilities face unique barriers to information access. These issues must be considered as this policy takes shape. We propose three key ways to do this.”...

Stat, Sept. 6; The White House Briefing Room, Aug. 25

Hugo Award logo

Winners of the 2022 Hugo Awards, Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and Astounding Award for Best New Writer were announced September 4 during a formal ceremony at Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention. A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine won the award for best novel, while Far Sector, written by N. K. Jemsin with art by Jamal Campbell, was named best graphic story or comic....

The Hugo Awards, Sept. 5

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