Art Spiegelman, weeding, and why we forget what we read

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Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novel Maus details the experiences of Spiegelman’s father during the Holocaust, with Jewish characters depicted as mice and Nazis as cats. It has been the subject of multiple book challenges and bans since its publication in 1991—most recently in January when the board of McMinn County (Tenn.) School District removed the title from its 8th-grade curriculum for depictions of nudity and adult language. Spiegelman spoke with American Libraries about book banning, how comic books are used as teaching tools, and the importance of libraries in his life....

American Libraries Trend, June

Latia Ward

Latia Ward writes: “Imagine this scenario: A patron shows a reference librarian a letter from an attorney representing the county and asks, ‘What law authorizes the county to take a person’s land?’ This scenario is an example of both a reference transaction and an access-to-justice issue. Many people do not have easy access to an attorney and will come to the library seeking legal information. Librarians are not authorized to give legal advice, but they can direct patrons to useful organizations and resources.”...

American Libraries column, June

Derek Meader

Terra Dankowski writes: “If you find yourself in Portland, Maine, between May and October, Derek Meader will drive you around. In 2018, he started The Real Portland Tour, a sightseeing experience as authentic as they come. ‘You’re gonna get on a tour with a real local, born and raised,’ says Meader, who is also reference librarian at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. ‘The route literally goes by where I work [and] my high school.’”...

American Libraries feature, June

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Andy Gooding-Call

With book challenges on the rise across the country, Librarian’s Library columnist Andy Gooding-Call recommends six titles for libraries experiencing all types of challenges....

American Libraries column, June

Weeding gloves on a wood deck

Emily Hampton Haynes writes: “This is my first summer keeping up with a whole yard’s worth of weeding. I get the appeal of weeding—it’s oddly satisfying, similar to peeling sunburn or plucking a stray hair. Weeding in an academic library is satisfying in its own way. It’s also an essential summer project for us; our library is only two stories, with the majority of the circulating collection on the lower level. After two summers postponing weeding due to the pandemic, the collection is bursting at the seams.”...

ACRLog, June 16

San Lorenzo Library

Amanda Bartlett writes: “Police are investigating an incident that occurred during a Drag Queen Story Hour at the San Lorenzo Library on Saturday afternoon after Panda Dulce, the San Francisco drag performer hosting the reading, said they were targeted by ‘a group of 8–10 Proud Boys’ who stormed the room and shouted homophobic and transphobic threats at them, forcing them to leave the event with a security guard and hide in a back office.” The members but filed no charges....

SFGate, June 12; KGO-TV, June 16

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Peter M. Routhier writes: “ is the 1998 law that established the notice-and-takedown system that protects online platforms of all kinds—including libraries, archives, and other nonprofits—from liability for the copyright infringement of others. Unfortunately, Section 512 has been under attack for some time. In addition to various , the United States Copyright Office has repeatedly been asked to conduct work on Section 512 that could threaten the safe harbor status of libraries and nonprofits and the communities of their patrons and users.”...

Internet Archive Blogs, June 13, Mar. 29

Tree on a cliff

Danielle D. King and Megan R. McSpedon write: “Resilience, or the continued pursuit of goals despite adversity, is an important issue for organizations, because adversity is inevitable in people’s lives and careers. In the face of challenges, resilience is essential. At the same time, current organizational attempts to improve employee resilience are largely ineffective. Organizational resilience efforts should not associate resilience with the absence of negative emotions during hard times. In fact, that association may be unrealistic and maladaptive.”...

Harvard Business Review, June 17

Screenshot that says "Fighting Disinformation"

On June 16, 34 signatories, including Adobe, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, joined a revised . First published in 2018, the code represents an agreement among online platforms, the advertising industry, fact-checkers, researchers, and civil society organizations on self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. The revised code includes 128 measures on demonetizing purveyors of disinformation, transparency of political advertising, consistent fact-checking, and other factors. Signatories will have six months from June 16, the date of the signing, to implement agreed-upon measures....

European Commission, June 16

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Illustration of a brain

Coco Khan writes: “Ever thought about a book you’ve read and had no recollection of the plot? Or followed a recommendation to watch a TV show only to find you’ve already seen it? We live in an age of mass content, with TV, books, and films consumed at some of the highest levels in recent years. Could this be wreaking havoc with our ability to remember them? I asked Sean Kang, a cognitive psychologist who specializes in memory: Why do I keep forgetting the books I’ve read?”...

The Guardian (UK), June 10

Firefox logo

Alaina Yee writes: “Chrome may be the most-used browser, but it isn’t necessarily the best one out there. Alternatives exist that could better meet your needs. One such option is Firefox. It’s a rare browser not based on Chromium. It’s also backed by a team with a long, storied history in browser development and a deep interest in online privacy.” PC World also has reasons for switching to and ....

PC World, June 15

Book covers

Melissa Baron writes: “This list is dedicated to you, who opted out of answering the call of the chosen one. To all of the prophesied and fated who took one look at their future responsibilities and took a hard pass. Not every anti-chosen one on this list was able to fully turn away; after all, some reasons to answer the call are too compelling to ignore—the death and destruction of everything you love is a difficult one to shrug off—but it took a lot of convincing to get you to agree.”...

Book Riot, June 17

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