Halloween statistics

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Poster of witches

It’s October, and American Libraries has you covered on spooky statistics for Halloween, including: the number of live “ghostcams” (6) at Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, which some claim is haunted by the Grey Lady; the number of books sold worldwide by Goosebumps and Fear Street author R. L. Stine (400 million); and the number of items in the Witchcraft Collection at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (3,000)....

American Libraries Trend, Sept./Oct.

LibLearnX logo

ALA President Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada has announced a new travel grant for underemployed library workers to attend LibLearnX, to be held January 27–30, 2023, in New Orleans. The grant will include registration and $2,500 to cover the expenses of two underemployed library workers from underrepresented groups whose employment status has changed to part-time or less since January 2021. One award will go to a library worker with an MLS and the other will go to a library worker without an MLS. ALA membership is required to be eligible for this grant. Applications are due by November 4....

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Sept. 30

ALA logo

ALA members may run for the positions of ALA President-Elect or ALA Councilor at Large by completing an . Petition candidates for President-Elect need the signatures of 200 current ALA personal members, while Councilor at Large candidates need 25 signatures. Petition candidates must also complete the . The petition period ends December 31....

ALA Governance, Sept. 30

Call Number ad

Lizzo playing a crystal flute

April Slayton writes: “Last Friday, Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden saw that the one and only Lizzo was coming to Washington, D.C., for a concert. The pop megastar is a classically trained flutist. LC has the world’s largest flute collection.” Hayden invited Lizzo to visit the library, where she played James Madison’s crystal flute and several other instruments in the Great Hall. Under careful LC security, she also briefly played the crystal flute for fans at her concert. “Before Lizzo arrived, curators in the Music Division made sure that it could be played safely and without damage,” Slayton writes....

Library of Congress Blog, Sept. 28

National Book Awards logo

Twenty-five finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature were by The New York Times and the National Book Foundation. Among the nominees are writers and translators who have been previously honored as National Book Award finalists and winners, including Gayl Jones, Margaret Mitsutani, Scholastique Mukasonga, Sharon Olds, David Quammen, and Yoko Tawada. Publishers submitted a total of 1,772 books for this year’s awards. Winners will be announced at the 73rd National Book Awards Ceremony on November 16 in New York City....

National Book Foundation, Oct. 4; The New York Times, Oct. 4

Computers in a school library

Nathalie Baptiste writes: “At a July school board meeting in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, middle school librarian Amanda Jones spoke out against book censorship. By the next day, conservatives had decided that her quest to keep books with LGBTQ themes in the library meant that she was trying to provide sexually explicit materials to children.” In August, Jones against two men using Facebook pages to accuse her of advocating for libraries to contain pornography. “Judge Erika Sledge , saying that Jones was a limited public figure and that the bar to meet the definition of defamation was higher.”...

HuffPost, Oct. 1; The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), Sept. 21

Latest Library Links

Fight for the Future logo

More than 300 authors—including Hanif Abdurraqib, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Alok Vaid-Menon, Naomi Klein, Lawrence Lessig, Chuck Wendig, and Saul Williams—have released an in the digital age. The letter demands publishers, distributors, and trade associations enshrine the right of libraries to own and loan books on reasonable terms; end lawsuits aimed to intimidate libraries; and halt industry-led smear campaigns against librarians. ...

Fight for the Future, Sept. 29

Black and white photo of Salman Rushdie

Michael Blackwell writes: “The sickening and tragic violence being perpetrated by the Iranian government on its citizens reminds me of an oversight on the part of the ALA. The same government whose leader issued the fatwa against Mr. Rushdie continues its oppression, but now women are courageously fighting back for their personal freedom. I speak for many when saying it is long past time for librarians and library associations to show our support for Mr. Rushdie.”...

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Sept. 29

A group of green plastic pawn figures facing a solitary green plastic pawn figure

Jennifer Kim and Alyson Meister write: “Microaggressions—those brief, commonplace behaviors or comments that often unintentionally exclude or demean the target—have become a frequently discussed topic in management scholarship and practice. But they still remain a common experience for employees from nonmajority groups and can be an invisible barrier holding back many DEI efforts. In our , we explored the experience of microaggressions for women leaders in STEM. In doing so, we uncovered some fascinating findings about the important role allies can play in any organization or field.”...

Harvard Business Review, Sept. 30

ALA news and press releases

Book covers

Josh Jones writes: “We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children’s literature. And we can do so most thoroughly by surveying the thousands of mid- to late-19th century titles at . Occupying a space somewhere between the purely didactic and the nonsensical, most children’s books published in the past few hundred years have attempted to find a line between the two poles, seeking a balance between entertainment and instruction.”...

Open Culture, Sept. 27

Two wall-mounted security cameras

Khizer Kaleem writes: “We live in an era where data is pretty easy to access remotely. Software developers, internet service providers, and even a random colleague might have the potential to invade and disrespect your privacy. Privacy laws established by people and governments encourage everyone to create personal space for themselves. Over time, people have become vigilant about their privacy rights. This created the movement that labels privacy as a fundamental human right. But how? Why exactly should privacy be considered a human right?”...

MakeUseOf, Sept. 30

Book covers

Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “In our current issue, the Editor’s Shelf features ‘Five Picks for Autumnal Reading.’ All fall under the category of books about books: four nonfiction and one novel this time around.” Recommended titles include the story of an uninhabited Caribbean island that several authors have claimed a royal stake in, a depiction of a quest to find books that describe the afterlife, and a novel set in World War I that examines the prohibition of so-called “anti-American” books....

Fine Books & Collections, Sept.

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