LibLearnX wrap-up

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LibLearnX logo with headshots

Alison Marcotte writes: “More than 2,100 people attended the American Library Association’s (ALA) inaugural LibLearnX virtual conference January 21–24. The format of LibLearnX is designed to motivate, inspire, and enable discussions that shape the future of libraries and communities, emphasizing active and applied learning in a variety of formats. The lineup also included familiar ALA conference components: high-profile speakers, networking opportunities, and celebrations of libraries, books, and authors.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 1

Rhone Talsma

Steve Zalusky writes: “On January 26, Talsma earned a spot in Jeopardy! history when he unseated fellow contestant Amy Schneider, who had racked up a 40-game winning streak, the second highest on the iconic game show. Talsma, multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, was the most recent in an impressive line of that includes former University of Chicago librarian (who beat 32-game winner James Holzhauer in 2019). Talsma talked with American Libraries about the show, the part libraries have played in his recent success, and how Jeopardy! has affected his life and career.”...

American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec. 2017, June 11, 2019, Feb. 1

Anna Gooding-Call

Cultivating positive mental health, self-care, and mindfulness in our libraries can be a challenge. Librarian’s Library columnist Anna Gooding-Call recommends six titles—ranging from books on worker engagement to student wellness to civility—that can provide support for patrons and staff in this critical area....

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

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The FCC unanimously voted on January 27 to update the definition of “library” to clarify that tribal libraries are fully eligible for the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries. Better known as E-Rate, the federal program provides eligible libraries and schools with up to a 90% discount on their telecommunication and internet access costs. According to the FCC, only 15% of tribal libraries currently participate in the E-Rate program. ALA and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums hailed the decision in a statement....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Jan. 27

ALA logo

On January 23, the Reforma National Membership virtual meeting was infiltrated by a group of people shouting racial slurs and hate speech seeking to create trauma for participants. The ALA Executive Board stands with Reforma in strongly condemning the attack. “We will not allow these attacks to intimidate us and we will continue our longstanding practice of providing a platform for our members to connect and engage with each other,” the board said in a January 26 statement. ....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Jan. 26

Libraries Build Business logo

ALA’s new aims to support libraries in starting or growing small business and entrepreneurship programs, especially focusing on those in underserved communities. The playbook is the culmination of ALA’s Libraries Build Business initiative, which began in 2020. With support from Google.org, in 2020 to receive grants to start or grow small business programming. The playbook documents those programs and covers promising practices and ideas to help other libraries develop their own programming....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Feb. 1

Latest Library Links

Maus panels

Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter write: “Parents, activists, school board officials, and lawmakers around the country are challenging books at a pace not seen in decades…. It isn’t just their frequency that has changed, it is also the tactics behind them and the venues where they play out.” Of particular recent note are of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novel Maus from the curriculum in McMinn County (Tenn.) Schools—though a professor has created a on the book for McMinn County students in response—and the removal of LGBTQ+ books in libraries in and ....

The New York Times, Jan. 30; NPR, Jan. 27; BoingBoing, Jan. 28; Mississippi Free Press, Jan. 25; Book Riot, Jan. 27

Book collection

Julia Reda of the Society for Civil Rights has long been concerned with copyright, data tracking, and data protection. In an interview originally conducted by ZBW Mediatalk and translated from German, she discusses the dangers of publishing houses tracking scientists’ search habits to individual researchers and to the practice of science, how libraries can and should join the campaign for data protection, and potential pitfalls that can blunt the benefits of open access publishing....

The Wire Science, Jan. 22

Dalmeet Singh Chawla writes: “An ambitious free index of more than 200 million scientific documents that catalogs publication sources, author information and research topics, has been launched. The index, called OpenAlex after the ancient Library of Alexandria in Egypt, also aims to chart connections between these data points to create a comprehensive, interlinked database of the global research system, say its founders. The database, which launched January 3, is a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG), a free alternative to subscription-based platforms such as Scopus, Dimensions, and Web of Science that was discontinued at the end of 2021.”...

Nature, Jan. 24

ALA news and press releases

Duchamp's LHOOQ

While perhaps most famous for placing a urinal in an art gallery, Marcel Duchamp was one of the most influential artists of the modern era. Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Association Marcel Duchamp, and the Centre Pompidou have launched the Duchamp Research Portal, an archive of more than 18,000 documents and 50,000 images dedicated to the artist. : “The most interesting items are often the most intimate and involve other major players in the evolution of 20th-century art: A 1950 letter—with enigmatic marginalia—from Breton. A 1933 postcard to Constantin Brancusi. Many candid photographs by Duchamp’s friend and fellow giant of the era, Man Ray.”...

Open Culture, Jan. 28; The Art Newspaper, Jan. 26

Open book

John Hubbard writes: “When I say ‘all-in’ with controlled digital lending (CDL), I’m referring to libraries being fully committed in supporting the widely endorsed practice of extending their existing lending policies for the physical realm into digital formats…. I think the CDL issue is one where, independent of whatever man-made laws can be found on the books, we have to ask ourselves, does it adhere to the purpose of why libraries, in this culture and in this society, have the rationale to exist?”...

Medium, Jan. 25

Book cover images

Amanda Prahl writes: “February is the month of amour, so why not fall in love with a brand-new book (or three)? There’s more than just romance on the new-release table, though. Sure, there are some heartwarming love stories coming out, but you’ll also find suspenseful thrillers, intriguing tales that make you think, and some nonfiction that attempts to answer some big questions. Here are some new releases to sink into while you enjoy those Valentine’s Day bonbons.”...

LifeSavvy, Jan. 26

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