ALA, ACRL statement of support for HBCUs

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In the wake of recent bomb threats made against several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), ALA and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have issued a joint statement in solidarity with HBCU faculty, students, and staff. The statement reads, in part: “In particular we voice our support for those whose campuses have recently received bomb threats. We especially wish to reach out to our library colleagues whose libraries anchor these important institutions. We lament that racism and the threat of violence continue to plague our colleagues in higher education.” ALA and ACRL also support the ....

ALA Communications and Marketing Office, Feb. 9; Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 3

Federal Student Aid logo

The US Department of Education has revamped its Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which can offer forgiveness for federal student loans to borrowers employed by government agencies or nonprofit organizations after 10 years of qualifying payments. Changes expand eligibility and the payments that qualify, and under a limited waiver, these changes apply retroactively and library workers who have applied and been turned down for loan forgiveness in the past may qualify. In a series of , student loan experts will explain the program and its new opportunities....

Library Worklife, Feb.; PSLF Coalition

Colorful beads

Liza Purdy writes: “Our library’s programming geared toward early learners is robust, but we tend to start losing kids around 5th and 6th grades. Once the library is off a kid’s radar, it is difficult to get back on. Tween programming is key to keeping them engaged.” Old Town Newhall Library in Santa Clarita, California, developed programming targeted to tweens, including a technology series and a flexible craft-and-movie program that gives attendees options and ownership....

ALSC Blog, Feb. 15

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Books shelved spine-in

Ashley Hawkins writes: “When we study to be school librarians, we learn the importance of accessibility. I, like the majority of you, took courses on serving students with disabilities. But there’s an assumption that goes into the course design that made every one of the classes that I took on the topic frustrating. The assumption is that the disabled individual will always be the patron or student. That isn’t the reality I live, nor is it a reality many librarians live. I’ve been disabled from the moment I entered the world, autistic and epileptic.”...

Knowledge Quest, Feb. 9


Chris Freeland writes: “In response [to school boards and lawmakers banning books], Jason Perlow last week for what he calls a Freedom Archive, a digital repository of banned books. Such an archive is the right antidote to book banning because, he contended, ‘You can’t burn a digital book.’ The trouble is, you can. A few days ago, Penguin Random House, the publisher of Maus, Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, demanded that the Internet Archive remove the book from our lending library.”...

ZDNet, Feb 3; Feb. 10

Black Elevation Map

Keir Clarke writes: “The [by ] is a comprehensive guide to the Black cultural sites, Black historical landmarks, and Black-owned businesses which can be found in America’s towns and cities. This new interactive map uses data from a number of sources to show the concentration and locations of Black-owned businesses and Black historical markers across the country.” The map’s Tour the Culture feature provides information about notable cultural sites, including restaurants significant to the civil rights movement, buildings by Black architects, and Black-owned wineries and tech companies....

Maps Mania, Feb. 12; Black & Abroad, Feb. 1

Latest Library Links

Aisle of books

Becky Spratford writes: “Our job is to promote the books patrons would not find on their own. That’s Readers’ Advisory 101. We do not need to add blockbuster books to our displays and lists. They do not need your help. And even more so, you are not helping your patrons find a book by putting, for example, Stephen King on a horror list. Your best displays and promotions are those that feature books that make the average library patron think, ‘Huh, I didn’t know about any of these. Yay, library, for pointing me to books that are new to me!’”...

RA for All, Feb. 10

Headshots of audiobook performers

Book Riot writes: “Often, when we think about audiobooks, we think about the author of the book itself. But who are some of the performers behind those books, if the author isn’t doing the performance? Let’s take a look today at six of today’s biggest and most interesting YA audiobook performers, with a little about who they are, as well as a look at a handful of the YA audiobooks they’ve performed.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 12

Screenshot of video overlaid on Google Docs

Richard Byrne writes: “As Google Docs has improved and added more features over the years, some of those features get forgotten or just plain overlooked. Just because those features don’t jump out doesn’t mean they’re not helpful to students and teachers. In , I highlight 10 of my favorite overlooked Google Docs features for students and teachers.” Features include task lists, checklists, watermarks, and a built-in camera option....

Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 10

ALA news and press releases

Unboxing Queer History logo

Jake Wittich writes: “When Jen Dentel started volunteering for the LGBTQ-focused Gerber/Hart Library and Archives in 2014, one of her first tasks was to unbox and preserve hundreds of photos of Chicago drag queen Miss Tillie spanning from the 1940s through the 1990s. The story of Miss Tillie is the subject of the of , a new podcast by Gerber/Hart that offers deep dives into collections from its archives to tell the stories of queer people throughout Chicago history.” The eight-episode series is funded by a grant from Reaching Across Illinois Library System....

Block Club Chicago, Feb. 14

Laptop with a scenic image

Tim Brookes writes: “Laptops get moved around a lot, which means they’re often smudged from opening and closing the lid. If you don’t take care when cleaning the screen, you could scratch it or damage the protective coatings. For stubborn dust and fingerprints, microfiber cloths are best. Make sure it’s clean, and ideally pick a cloth with deep grooves so that the dust is caught in the cloth rather than being dragged across the display.”...

How-To Geek, Feb. 13

Black memoir book covers

Edith Campbell writes: “Recent political agendas are working to remove books by and about Black Americans from school and public libraries. Too many librarians are at a loss as to what to do. Convince your local libraries to keep these, and other books by Black authors, by checking them out, requesting them for purchase, and reading them. Be sure copies are available for young people in your classroom, library, and home!” Campbell’s list highlights 15 memoirs and autobiographies for children and young adults....

Cotton Quilts, Feb. 12

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