Apply for the Jaffarian, Game On!, and PR Xchange awards

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In June 2022, ALA Council voted in favor of rescinding the ALA Constitution and tasking the ALA Constitution and Bylaws Committee with the creation of a revised set of ALA Bylaws that integrates content from the constitution into a single document. ALA Council held a required second vote to rescind the constitution in August 2022, again voting in favor. In a special session at LibLearnX on January 27, 98% of ALA Council voted in favor of adopting the general revision of the bylaws as amended, for submission to ALA membership. In the spring 2023 election (March 13–April 5), members will have an opportunity to vote to ratify the actions of Council that rescinds the ALA Constitution and adopts the general revision of the ALA Bylaws. ....

ALA Governance

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ALA’s Public Programs Office has announced that nominations for the 2023 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award will be accepted until May 5. This $5,000 award recognizes outstanding humanities programming in grades K–8 that broadens students’ perspectives and helps them understand the wider world and their place in it. Programs can be focused on subject areas such as social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language, and culture. Any US public or private school library that serves any combination of grades K–8 is eligible to apply, provided the library is staffed by a state-certified librarian. ....

ALA Public Programs Office, Feb. 1

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Core invites applications for its 2023 PR Xchange Awards, recognizing the best public relations materials produced by libraries in the past year. Awards categories include external communications; advocacy, fundraising, annual reports, and strategic plans; special events and exhibits; reading programs; and materials promoting collections, services, and resources. Entries will be evaluated on content, originality, and design by an expert panel, and prizes will be given across five operating budget ranges. ....

Core, Jan. 31

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Games and Gaming RT lgoo

ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table is accepting applications for its annual Game On! grant program. A grant of $500 (or two grants of $250) will enable a library or libraries to develop gaming programs or collections for their communities. “We love to see innovative concepts that support diverse communities and bring people into the library,” says GameRT President Rebecca Strang. “Use your application to tell us a story about how your proposed program or collection will accomplish that.” ALA members at public, school, academic, and special libraries in the US and Canada are invited to . Libraries must show a plan for a sustainable gaming program, financial need, and institutional support....

ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table, Feb. 3

Vermont State University

Jeralyn Darling writes: “Vermont State University plans to repurpose libraries on its five campuses and move to an all-digital academic library system when it launches as a unified institution in July. The changes come as the Vermont State Colleges System seeks to consolidate its sprawling network of campuses. Books, collections, and other materials are set to be redistributed, according to an . The announcement drew swift rebukes from some students. Alexia Murray, a freshman biology major on the Johnson campus, said she was weighing whether to stay enrolled in a school without a physical library and said she was worried for the school’s future.”...

VTDigger, Feb. 8; Vermont State Colleges System

Florida capitol building

Charles Bethea writes: “, enacted last July, mandates that books in Florida’s public schools be free of pornography and suited to ‘student needs,’ as determined by a librarian or school media specialist. Those specialists had been waiting for retraining guidelines, which only became available in January, according to Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association. Spar estimated that public school teachers in a third of the state’s counties have been instructed to box or cover up books until they’ve been reviewed for compliance with the new law. In Palm Beach County, last spring in anticipation of the law, and Brevard County’s classroom libraries were by the summer.”...

The New Yorker, Feb. 7; Florida Today, July 14, 2022; South Florida Sun Sentinel, Apr. 6, 2022

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Alison Doherty writes: “Unit sales of romance novels grew 41% in 2021, and July 2022 marked the high point of romance novel sales. Most reporting on romance novels’ popularity highlight two big causes of this trend: the pandemic and BookTok.” Doherty looks at some of the current trends in romance, including romcoms, traumatic storylines, LGBTQ romance, and stories with diverse historical characters....

Book Riot, Feb. 6

Two people looking at bookshelves

Daniel Liou and Kelly Deits Cutler write: “Books written by and about women and people of color are disproportionately targeted for complaints and removal. Due to mounting political pressures, harassment, and even death threats, some teachers and administrators have had to recalibrate their curriculum plans and determine if such texts will be viewed as unpatriotic, anti-police, pornographic, or anti-white. Through our research, we developed a critical inclusivity framework with five concurrent leadership practices to reclaim contested curriculum materials. This framework aims to prepare education leaders to handle ongoing book challenges and navigate the constant political pressures forcing schools to put curriculum about diversity, equity, inclusivity, and social justice on the back burner.”...

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Feb. 1

Book covers collage

Jennifer Maritza McCauley writes: “I’m the daughter of a Black American father and Puerto Rican mother, and I wondered if there were any writers out there like me, who were both Black and Latina. After finding Mayra Santos-Febres on a bookshelf in San Juan and researching more about Afro-Latine literature, I felt like I had found a literary home. Our voices should be heard, and Afro-Latinas deserve a spot in the literary canon. The following list includes amazing Afro-Latina writers whose work has given me strength, validity, and power. These women are truth-tellers, they say the unsayable, they capture what it’s like to inhabit multiple identities.”...

Electric Lit, Feb. 6

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