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 was 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. One alarming trend: Organized groups of politically driven voters who oppose libraries carrying materials written by, about, and for LBGTQ people are banding together to reject levies that fund libraries—and fighting to get referenda on the ballot that defunds libraries altogether.”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb. 2023

Football players in green lined up with a librarian

Diana Panuncial writes: “When Jessica Fitzpatrick, librarian at Mayde Creek High School in Houston, first walked onto the school’s football field, she could sense the student-athletes’ confusion. ‘They were very hesitant,’ she recalls. ‘The librarian doesn’t come to football practice.’ Fitzpatrick had noticed that one student group seldom visited the library: athletes. She reached out to football coach J. Jensen and collaborated with him to create a book study program for his players, designed to help boost literacy, ignite a love of reading, and provide a space to decompress.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec.

ALA Emerging Leaders logo

ALA has selected . The Emerging Leaders program is designed to enable library staffers and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Emerging Leaders will participate in a daylong virtual session during LibLearnX, six months of online learning and networking, and a poster session highlighting the results of their project planning work during ALA’s 2023 Annual Conference in Chicago....

ALA’s Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Nov. 18

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Will Eisner graphic novel grants for libraries logo

ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are accepting applications for the . Two $3,000 grants will be awarded to libraries to expand their graphic novel collection, services, and programs; a third grant will support the creation of a new graphic novel service or program. Grants will also include a $1,000 travel stipend for a library representative to attend the ALA’s 2023 Annual Conference in Chicago. are due February 12, 2023....

ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, Nov. 18

Melissa book cover

Rachel Mipro writes: “The [St. Marys, Kansas,] city council is debating whether to renew [Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library’s] lease with the city following the library’s refusal to accept a lease clause asking it to remove all material that could be viewed as socially, racially, or sexually divisive, including all LGBTQ content. Discussion of the library removal started this summer after a local parent was upset by the contents of Melissa, a book about a transgender child written by Alex Gino.” After an outcry of public support for the library, the city commission on lease renewal until December 6....

Kansas Reflector, Nov. 14, Nov. 16

Fiberoptic cables

Russell Brandom writes: “The state of US broadband is bad. We already know —but even where they are, those connections are often bogged down by limited options, predatory billing practices, and a general lack of choice. In partnership with Consumer Reports, we asked readers to share their internet bills with us, and more than 22,000 of you did. We’ve assembled a kind of snapshot of how much people are paying for internet access in the US....

The Verge, Nov. 17; May 10, 2021

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National Book Awards logo

Vox staff write: “Every year, the National Book Foundation nominates 25 books to be eligible to win a National Book Award. The nominations highlight fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young adult books. For the past nine years, the Vox staff has read them all, and we’ve shared our thoughts on what’s worthy. This year’s winners were announced on November 16. Our musings on the 2022 nominees and winners are below.”...

Vox, Nov. 17

Best Grad Schools US News & world Report

Morgan Adle writes: “US News & World Report publishes rankings of graduate schools and programs, including the . Graduate programs often highlight their ranking on their websites or in their promotional materials, and prospective students frequently rely on them when choosing programs to apply to. But what do the rankings really mean and how are they calculated?” While six graduate degree programs, including business and medicine, are ranked using “statistical data and expert assessment data,” other programs, including library and information science, are ranked using only peer assessment....

Hack Library School, Nov. 16

A book laying on its side

Brewster Kahle writes: “Ever try to read a physical book passed down in your family from 100 years ago? Probably worked well. Ever try reading an ebook you paid for 10 years ago? Probably a different experience. From the leasing business model of mega publishers to physical device evolution to format obsolescence, digital books are fragile and threatened. For those of us tending libraries of digitized and born-digital books, we know that they need constant maintenance—reprocessing, reformatting, reinvigorating—or they will not be readable or read.”...

Internet Archive Blogs, Nov. 15

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Canva screenshot

Khamosh Pathak writes: “Canva started out as a humble, online-accessible graphics tool. But slowly, it has morphed into so much more. It’s closer now to a digital publishing suite, constantly evolving based on the needs of its users. Every couple of weeks, there are both new features and new use cases added. You can even use Canva to create websites for free. Canva is filled with many small, interesting features that all have a huge impact on usability but aren’t found in the most obvious of places. Here are eight such hidden features you need to know about.”...

Lifehacker, Nov. 15

Twitter logo

Chris Stokel-Walker writes: “Almost from the time the first tweet was posted in 2006, Twitter has played an important role in world events. The platform has been used to record everything from the Arab Spring to the ongoing war in Ukraine. It’s also captured our public conversations for years. But experts are worried that if Elon Musk tanks the company, these rich seams of media and conversation could be lost forever. Given his admission to employees in a November 10 call that Twitter could face bankruptcy, it’s a real and present risk.”...

MIT Technology Review, Nov. 11

A person working at a pottery wheel

Tracy Shapley Towley writes: “I spent the first 40 years of my life as a wannabe crafter. Crafting looked cool, craft books looked cool, but for some reason I did not think it was for me. Then I turned 40 and this switch magically flipped in my brain. It started with lots of in-person classes. And then the pandemic hit. In-person classes were canceled right when I had an enormity of time on my hands. And that’s when I discovered the joy of craft books.”...

Book Riot, Nov. 25

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