American Libraries’ 2022 holiday gift guide is here!

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Holiday gift guide examples

Lara Ewen writes: “After a year of unprecedented challenges and impressive successes, it’s time to celebrate the resilience of librarians. This holiday season, focus on gifts that highlight goodwill, inclusivity, and the joy of books. We’ve rounded up a list of presents that are fun, thoughtful, and affordable—most items are less than $40. And while you’re shopping, don’t forget to treat yourself, because everyone deserves a little extra kindness these days.”...

AL Online, Dec. 7

Call Number podcast logo

The work of medical librarians is essential and varied. They provide information and resources that can improve patient care, promote public health, and support medical education and research. And their responsibilities are constantly evolving with technology and the implementation of new programming. In of Call Number, we highlight two initiatives presented at the 2022 Medical Library Association Annual Conference: virtual reality programs that teach health science concepts in a new and engaging way at Augusta University in Georgia and a specialized book club for pediatric hospital staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 30

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Join ALA President Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada at 1 p.m. Central on December 15 for “Our Brave Communities: Facing Censorship Head-On with ALA,” a conversation on censorship issues in libraries, related legislation, and how the Association is fighting book banning efforts. Panelists will include Martha Hickson (school librarian at North Hunterdon–Voorhees Regional High School District in Annandale, New Jersey), Brian Raitz (director of Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library in West Virginia), and Lisa Varga (executive director of the Virginia Library Association). ....

ALA Connect Live Series

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Libraries Transform Communities engagement grant logo

ALA invites library workers to apply for the , an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. Two libraries will receive $2,000 each for projects that focus on connection and reconnection within their communities. Applications are open to school, public, academic, tribal, and special libraries. through February 1, 2023....

ALA Public Programs Office, Dec. 1

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Ashley White writes: “Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has created an online tip line to report books found in libraries that residents think are inappropriate to stop the ‘taxpayer-subsided sexualization of children.’ Landry, who is running for governor in 2023, with few details. In the post, he said he met with residents in Slidell who ‘want to protect the children’ in St. Tammany Parish.”...

The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.), Dec. 1; Office of the Louisiana Attorney General Facebook page, Nov. 29

Chelsea Banning book cover

Juliana Kim writes: “When her author event at Pretty Good Books in Ashtabula, Ohio, had low turnout, Chelsea Banning was at her breaking point. ‘I was discouraged and bummed and I felt bad that the bookstore owner opened his store for me,’ she said. Banning tweeted about what happened with the intention of possibly deleting the tweet in a few hours. But that night, instead of taking down what she wrote, she stared at her tweet in shock as a mass of authors, including some of the most renowned novelists in the world, replied with their own experiences of low turnout.”...

NPR, Dec. 6

Latest Library Links

A bookstore table

Leanne Ellis writes: “I still recall with a shudder the second school library I worked at in New York City: a small, cramped space that needed to be weeded, and worst of all, a collection organized by category like a bookstore. The problem wasn’t the intention of my predecessor; she arranged the books according to a system that made sense to her. But the result was the problem because it made sense only to her. And therein is the fault with genrifying our libraries on the shelves; a title one person might classify as a mystery might be considered romance to another.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Nov. 29

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Lila Bailey writes: “The Internet Archive is excited to announce the release of our report, and the culmination of a months-long process consulting with leading experts from libraries, civil society, and academia regarding libraries’ role in shaping the next iteration of the internet. The Internet Archive did this work in collaboration with the . The key takeaway from this consultation is simple: The rights that libraries have always enjoyed offline must also be protected online.”...

Internet Archive Blogs, Dec. 1

Children using a computer

Richard Byrne writes: “This week is . I’ve long thought that every student should have some experience with computer science. I was introduced to some computer science concepts when I was in elementary school in the 1980s through the use of Logo, and that experience is still beneficial to me today. If you would like to have your students get a little computer science experience this week, here are some good resources.” Tools include MIT App Inventor, Blackbird, and Scratch....

Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 7

ALA news and press releases

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Ewa Wojciechowska writes: “For those looking to program with purpose, the entire process begins and ends with your community. Similarly to how we perform on our collections, it’s important to also take a critical eye to the programs and services we offer. As professionals we understand that every community is different and has different needs, and that our offerings ought to be tailored to those needs. It can be easy to go on auto-pilot when it comes to programming, but we should remember to look at all programs from time to time to evaluate their effectiveness.”...

ALSC Blog, Dec. 3; Dec. 4, 2021

People in rows of seats in a theater-like room

Lisa Kanarek writes: “‘I’ve lost my social skills!’ I texted to a friend while en route to my first in-person conference in four years. I had learned to appreciate the convenience of online learning: no flights, no dress code, no interacting with others. Virtual conferences aren’t going away—not everyone is comfortable traveling and spending time in meeting rooms surrounded by strangers. But in-person events are back, and when you’re ready to mingle with those who share a common interest, these tips can help you make the most of the experience.”...

Wired, Nov. 30

A Black man in a cozy sweater reading outdoors

Susie Mesure writes: “There is something about churning through books that induces envy and even admiration, never more than at this time of year when piles of finished tomes are splashed across social media. Bragging rights seem to go to those who have read lots of books and read them quickly—how many times have you seen someone boast about finishing 10 books in a year? What about five? But there is power in reading slowly.”...

The Guardian, Dec. 2

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