Record number of book challenges

American Libraries logo

George M. Johnson

Phil Morehart writes: “In their bestselling young adult memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2020), author and activist George M. Johnson tells the story of their life growing up Black and queer in the United States, while also addressing topics like racism, gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, and sexual abuse. Johnson is serving as honorary chair of this year’s Banned Books Week, and they spoke with American Libraries about their book, why it’s being challenged, and how it can serve as a call to action.”...

AL Online, Sept. 21

Banned Books Week logo

ALA has documented 681 attempts to ban or restrict library resources between January 1 and August 31 of this year. These challenges targeted 1,651 unique titles and are on pace to exceed 2021’s record of 729 challenges targeting 1,597 books. Schools, bookstores, and libraries throughout the country will be sponsoring during the 40th , taking place September 18–24. ALA is also hosting a series of webinars and the ....

ALA, Sept. 15–16

George Saunders

Terra Dankowski writes: “George Saunders is best known for his dystopic short stories that satirize—and humanize—the absurdities of our shared reality. His forthcoming collection Liberation Day (Random House, October) is no exception, exploring themes of power, ethics, and justice amid backdrops of a hailstorm, a tyrannical government, and an underground theme park. American Libraries spoke with the Man Booker Prize winner (for Lincoln in the Bardo) and National Book Award finalist (for Tenth of December) about today’s partisanship, his love of teaching, and his connection to libraries.”...

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Call Number ad

A workstation with a baby in an attached play area

Patty Conway writes: “In January, images of some unusual new workstations at Fairfield Area Library—part of Henrico County (Va.) Public Library—went viral. What caught people’s attention: the way the desks with attached play areas for babies and small children allowed adults to work comfortably at computers while keeping their young ones safe, nearby, and in view. These work-and-play stations are a novel solution to a problem that caregivers often face in the library—using public computers while accompanied by a small child.”...

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

Sensory floor

Carrie Smith writes: “Libraries are making room for sensory spaces, which give library users with autism, sensory processing disorders, and other disabilities a place to experience the library more comfortably. Finding the right items for a space that encourages both quiet meditation and sensory exploration can be difficult. Here, we talk with workers from three libraries about products they offer in their sensory spaces.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Librarian's Library Araceli Méndez Hintermeister

Araceli Méndez Hintermeister writes: “There isn’t a profession out there that doesn’t intersect with project management in some way, and libraries bring their own set of distinct challenges and opportunities. These books will help library managers evaluate past and current library projects and offer strategies to inform future plans.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Latest Library Links

Equitable sustainability library guide, funded by Carnegie-Whitney grant

ALA’s Publishing Committee is seeking applications for the Carnegie-Whitney Grant, which provides up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library. Funded projects have ranged from “A Resource Guide about Disabilities, Disability Theory, and Assistive Technologies” to “A Bibliography for Queer Teens” to “Graphic Novels and the Humanity of Mental Illness.” Applications must be received by November 4. Visit the for more information....

ALA, Sept. 12

Black and white photo of protest

Mandy Mastrovita writes: “A premier online compilation of digital civil rights content is relaunching with a new look and thousands of additional pieces of history. The milestone marks a new era for the . This project brings together more than 200 libraries, archives, and museums to provide free online access to historical materials documenting the civil rights movement in the United States. These collaborative partnerships are the bedrock of this national project.”...

The DLG B, Sept. 8

US Dollar bills arranged in a spiral

Kathy Johnson Bowles writes: “So many times, I’ve heard the lament from colleagues, ‘I don’t know how you do it. I could never ask anyone for money.’ After every similar expression of exasperated longing (with a thinly veiled piteous sniff for the Oliver-esque position of a development executive), I return with, ‘I don’t ask for money; I ask people to share our vision and make an investment.’ Through the guidance of mentors, working with successful fundraisers, and securing numerous gifts, I’ve developed a philosophy that anchors the process of asking for money. Here are a few concepts I’ve found helpful.”...

Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 13

ALA news and press releases

National Emergency Library logo

Nitish Pahwa and Emma Wallenbrock write: “In March 2020, as bookstores and libraries joined other businesses in closing their doors, the Internet Archive tried a virtual solution. It had long offered an Open Library, which contains scanned books that can be checked out online by users one at a time. In response to the pandemic, it temporarily lifted limits on the number of scanned copies available for checkout.” The National Emergency Library ended in under three months, but a lawsuit alleging “willful mass copyright infringement” is ongoing and recently escalated....

Slate, Sept. 12

Chronicling America logo

, the searchable online database of historic American newspapers, will soon include digitized newspapers from all 50 US states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds Chronicling America, its first grant award to a National Digital Newspaper Program partner for the state of New Hampshire, its final state, ensuring access to significant newspapers from the entire country. Established in 2005 and maintained online at the Library of Congress, Chronicling America offers free online access to 19.9 million pages of newspapers.”...

Library of Congress, Sept. 13; National Endowment for the Humanities, Aug. 16

Library photographed from outside with light illuminating the stacks

Joanna Margaret writes: “Over the past few years, the aesthetic known as Dark Academia, often associated with the book The Secret History, has become one of the hottest and most pervasive trends on social media, a veritable subculture featuring storied institutions of higher learning, autumn leaves, Gothic architecture, dark décor, and tweed jackets. If you, too, are interested in learning more about this fascinating trend, here are six novels that capture the essence of the genre....

CrimeReads, September 15

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