Pride Month, data breaches, and the benefits of going fine-free

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Employees running for the exit after quitting

Lara Ewen writes: “The Great Resignation, a term coined by organizational psychologist and management professor Anthony Klotz in a , describes the millions of people in the US who have quit their jobs at near-record levels since the start of the pandemic. It’s a phenomenon that has hit the library community hard, and COVID-19 is only part of the equation. Common reasons for resignations include burnout, frustration, low pay, and low morale.”...

American Libraries feature, June

Library jobs on the rise

Terra Dankowski writes: “Last year, career prospects for library workers weren’t looking so rosy. The pandemic had thrust many industries into uncertainty, and library schools, job boards, and recruiters reported . Luckily for job seekers, that trend seems to have receded. CNBC reported in late March that there were a record 5 million more job openings than available workers. That tendency bears out across the library industry. American Libraries takes a closer look at five positions popping up in greater frequency.”...

American Libraries feature, June

A woman cutting a weight hanging of a graduation cap

Bill Furbee writes: “Many things stick with you long after you graduate from college—the education you received, the friends you made, and, too often, the expenses incurred. For thousands of Americans saddled with debilitating college debt, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, has helped cut down on those repayment bills. Red tape and bureaucratic headaches were soon reported, however. To date, significantly more people have been turned down than accepted into the program. For perspective, we spoke with several librarians about their paths toward acceptance.”...

American Libraries feature, June

University of Nebraska ad

Nancy Jo Lambert

Nancy Jo Lambert writes: “School librarians across the country are waiting anxiously to find out when their school or school system will get hit with the culture war’s latest favorite weapon: the book ban. Since late 2021, prominent book challenges have appeared in Florida, Missouri, Virginia, Washington, and my home state of Texas, among others—and each week seems to bring more. The reconsiderations themselves don’t bother me as much as the precedent: We’re normalizing the use of school libraries as a battleground in political conflicts that have no place in the classroom.”...

American Libraries column, June

Book covers of Gender Queer and a Court of Mist and Fury

ALA joined with Virginia librarians, booksellers, publishers, and civil liberties organizations to issue a statement on June 1 condemning a political candidate’s legal action that seeks to halt distribution of two books (Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas) in Virginia. “Initiated under an obscure state law that allows any Virginia citizen to file a complaint against any book sold in the state, the order obtained by the Virginia delegate asks the authors and publishers of the books to present evidence that the books are not obscene so that the judge can make a final decision regarding whether the books may be legally sold in Virginia,” the statement explains. “No book has been banned for obscenity in the United States in more than 50 years.”...

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, June 1

Bombed building in Ukraine

More than 100 donors have raised $7,500 in the month of May for ALA’s Ukraine Library Relief Fund. The funds will be sent to the Ukraine Library Association (ULA) to purchase computers and software that will help displaced people; to repair the dozens of damaged and destroyed library buildings and keep them open; and to assist library workers who are in harm’s way or need financial support. ULA President Oksana Brui thanked donors for their support, but ALA notes more help is needed. For more information or to donate, visit the ....

ALA, June

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Pride books

Emily Pullen writes: “We are fortunate to be living in a golden age for LGBTQ literature, where any list you make is bound to have incredible queer voices. So being able to make a list made up entirely of those voices is such a treat —and miraculously, there were too many to include in just one list!” Pullen offers lists of recent favorite and ....

NYPL Blog, June 1

People seated for an interview

Kelly Hincks writes: “If you are like me, you have interviewed for your fair share of teaching positions or professional programs. If you are also like me, you may have never been on the other side of things where you are the interviewer. This past school year I had the opportunity to serve on two different interview committees. I had never done this before, so this was a great learning experience for me. Here are five things I have learned from serving on an interview committee.”..

Knowledge Quest blog, June 2

Librarian holding a bunch of books in the stacks

Rachel Hutton writes: “Before going fine-free, about 42,000 St. Paul cardholders had their borrowing privileges blocked due to racking up fines of $10 or more. Though fine revenue represented a tiny fraction of the library’s budget, for some patrons, paying fines meant skimping on groceries. After zeroing card balances and reinstating borrowing privileges in 2019, that group checked out some 85,000 items. Now only 1% of cards are blocked, due to a patron not returning or paying the replacement cost of an item by 41 days after its due date.”...

Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 27

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Futuristic globe

Shannon Flynn writes: “As schools have embraced new technologies, security and privacy have become bigger concerns. Schools now store and share many types of student data on digital platforms, and student data privacy laws have yet to adapt to these new environments. Teachers and other education professionals should go beyond these regulations to keep student data safe. Teachers can do a lot to protect student data sets. Professional development is critical in making opportunities from challenges, and cybersecurity is no different.”...

MakeUseOf, June 4

Screenshot from typelit.io

Richard Byrne writes: “There is no shortage of typing games available on the web. Most of those games are based on rote practice and patterns. On you can develop your typing skills while reading classic literature. The way it works is that you pick a classic work in TypeLit’s library and then start typing the text that you see on the screen. TypeLit provides you with feedback about the accuracy and speed of your typing.”...

Free Technology for Teachers, May 30

Polar bear on iceburg

Angely Mercado writes: “Banned and heavily challenged books are all the rage these days. Oftentimes a book is ‘banned’ by being removed from a school’s library or the school’s reading list. Elected officials, parents, or teachers often cite that the contents of the book are inappropriate for the students. The tomes on this list pissed off multiple schools. These characters and plots show how various societal issues, including racism and poverty, intersect with climate change and environmental destruction. Here are some banned books to add to your reading list, if you care about intersectionality and gross chunky rivers.”...

Gizmodo, May 30

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