Preliminary referenda roundup

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Referenda Roundup

Bill Furbee writes: “Every year, voters from small towns and big cities alike decide on ballot measures that affect libraries. This year is no different—and as in past years, American Libraries and the Public Library Association have partnered to look at some of the wins and losses across the country. Libraries notched many victories in 2022, but some failed measures reflect broader cultural and economic shifts—and were slated to reappear on ballots November 8.” This is the first installment of 2022 referenda results; check back online later this month and in our January/February 2023 issue for Election Day results, once they have been officially tabulated....

AL Online, Nov. 9

A man holding a Ukrainian rooster vase

Diana Panuncial and Sanhita SinhaRoy write: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dominated headlines since February, and the conflict has affected people globally—including American librarians. While it’s easy to feel helpless when war breaks out in another country, some in our profession have found ways to offer meaningful assistance. American Libraries spoke with three members of the library community who have rallied in support of Ukraine through efforts to preserve cultural information, raise funds for its libraries and affected population, and help its refugees settle in new places.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

Collage of young adults

Jimmeka Anderson writes: “Language in the media—whether through visuals, audio, or traditional text—has the power to influence our beliefs about people, groups, and even how we see ourselves. When it comes to media, white men have historically and predominantly been the creators of the language that we have consumed for many years. This has created a large gap between those who create and those who are visually represented in mass media. As a result, media representations have contributed to negative biases about certain cultural groups and have reinforced harmful stereotypes of marginalized populations that limit opportunities.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.



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Academic Insights, Kawanna Bright

Kawanna Bright writes: “Academic libraries have long understood the importance of assessing their work. For example, they can look at the impact of their information literacy programs on student success or determine whether their textbook lending program is cost-effective for the library and for students. Traditional library assessment practices often exclude DEI elements, or many academic libraries may be unsure about DEI assessments. Yet it’s crucial to consider: If institutions are already engaging in DEI work, what is the extent of the engagement? Where might they be missing the mark? What should their next steps be?”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

On My Mind: Zmau and Talbott

Ashley Zmau and Holly Talbott write: “Electronic resources are a cornerstone of modern library collections. With many libraries offering a robust selection of e-resources, users have come to expect near-instantaneous access to diverse, high-quality content. However, the systems that support the discovery and delivery of e-resources to patrons are complex. A user may pass through as many as five distinct technology components to retrieve the full text of a single journal article. Since those components depend on the accurate and timely transfer of data among libraries, publishers, subscription agents, and discovery vendors, it’s unsurprising there are disruptions in e-resource access.”...

American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Libraries Transforming Communities logo

ALA invites applications from small and rural libraries for the Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant. Up to 300 selected libraries will receive $10,000 or $20,000 to support costs related to a community engagement project; virtual training to assist project directors in developing their community engagement, facilitation, and disability service skills; a suite of online resources developed to support local programs; and technical and project support from ALA’s Public Programs Office. . A second round of applications will open in fall 2023....

ALA’s Public Programs Office, Nov. 1

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Core’s Leadership Development and Mentoring Committee is recruiting both mentors and mentees for its 2023 cohort. The pairs Core members who are currently in leadership positions with Core members who are interested in becoming leaders. Participants must be ALA members and members of Core at the start of the program and must attend the mentor-mentee virtual orientation. Apply to be a or by November 18....

Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, Nov. 1

Greenville main library

Lyn Riddle writes: “For now, the books stay. Greenville [S.C.] County Council, in a procedural vote, declined to tell the Greenville County Library System to remove books dealing with LGBTQ topics from the children’s sections of its 12 locations. The council voted 9–3 against suspending the rules to consider a resolution by Councilor Joe Dill that would have directed the library system to do so. The council chambers were full; the comments from the public fierce, both for and against Dill’s resolution.”...

The State (Columbia, S.C.), Nov. 2

Revolting Librarians book cover

Suzanne LaPierre writes: “Fifty years ago, a group of self-described radical librarians published a manifesto: . Edited by Celeste West, Elizabeth Katz, and Anne Osborn, it’s described by the popular readers’ website Goodreads as ‘one of the lasting monuments of the library underground.’ The book includes freewheeling essays by library staff from around the United States and Canada on progressive topics ranging from outreach to migrant worker communities to combating pay inequity. It’s fascinating to read in 2022 what radical librarianship looked like in 1972. A lot has changed, but even more has stayed the same.”...

Public Libraries Online, Nov. 2

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Sheep in front of a blackboard that reads "2+2=5"

Geoffrey Baym writes: “In place of the morning paper and the nightly news, the information environment has expanded to infinite size. Twenty-four-hour cable channels repackage information into partisan spectacle, while limitless websites mimic the form of news, providing representations of reality in service not of an informed citizenry, but of masked political and economic agendas. All of this, in turn, circulates endlessly via social media, where it intermixes with boundless truth claims whose origins and intentions are difficult and sometimes impossible to determine. The result is an often-impenetrable fog of fact, fiction, and fantasy.”...

JSTOR Daily, Nov. 3

Thanksgiving book covers

Abby Johnson writes: “Thanksgiving books are probably the most sought-after holiday books in my library. As a white librarian who strives to do less harm, Thanksgiving books give me pause. Children are still being taught the , while some people consider Thanksgiving a day of mourning.” She offers suggestions of books about family and friend gatherings, books about gratitude, Thanksgiving books that do not mention the myth, and Thanksgiving books from an Indigenous perspective. Also see Book Riot’s list of ....

ALSC Blog, Nov. 2; Smithsonian Magazine, Nov. 26, 2019; Book Riot, Nov. 2

Woman in a forest

Manoush Zomorodi writes: “Artist Katie Paterson is captivated by what humanity is leaving for future generations. So she created the , a collection of unread literature to be published a century from now.” Paterson says: “Basically I’m growing a forest. In a hundred years the trees are going to be cut down and pulped and made into paper. A book is going to be made from this forest that nobody can read until the century has passed.” One author will be invited to write a piece for the Future Library every year....

NPR: TED Radio Hour, Nov. 4

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