Our 2023 LibLearnX Wrap-Up

American Libraries logo
Digipalooza 2023 ad

Author signing in LibLearnX Marketplace

Alison Marcotte writes: “At ALA’s second-annual LibLearnX (January 27–30), presenters shared different approaches and a refreshed outlook for dealing with the swell of book bans and censorship attempts happening across the country. Authors and illustrators took to the stage to offer stories of hope and struggle and showed the power of centering narratives from those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. And with the return of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, futurists and information professionals showcased how libraries are looking ahead to anticipate their patrons’ needs and prepare for their own sustainability.”...

AL Online: Feb. 15

Call Number podcast logo

Episode 80 of Call Number with American Libraries celebrates romance. First, the podcast team interviews Jill Maneikis, deputy director of special events at Boston Public Library, about the library’s foray into one-hour weddings. Next, they speak with authors Robin Bradford and Jessica Pryde about representation in romance books and how libraries can make their collections more inclusive. Finally, LibLearnX attendees talk about their favorite literary couples....

AL: The Scoop, Feb. 13

Stephanie Chase, Sophia Sotilleo, and Steven Yates

ALA Council elected three new Executive Board members at LibLearnX in January. Stephanie Chase, Sophia Sotilleo, and Steven Yates will serve three-year terms starting June 2023. Chase is executive director of Libraries of Eastern Oregon and founding principal of the Constructive Disruption consultancy; Sotilleo is dean of Thurgood Marshall Library at Bowie (Md.) State University; and Yates is associate professor and assistant director of University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies in Tuscaloosa. The three will join ALA’s executive officers and five other board members in managing the affairs of the Association....

ALA Governance, Feb. 9

Call Number ad

Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable logo

On February 9, ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table released its 2022 Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List. The list includes more than 50 fiction and nonfiction titles, including Days of Sand, Down to the Bone: A Leukemia Story, and The Many Deaths of Laila Starr. “The common thread is how well these titles all demonstrate the distinct power of comics as a storytelling medium,” said Edward Whatley, chair of the 2022 Best Graphic Novels for Adults Selection Committee....

ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, Feb. 9

Rainbow sign reading Aqui todos son bienvenidos

Elizabeth Hernandez writes: “An investigation by the Colorado Civil Rights Division concluded that a Weld County library district violated state anti-discrimination laws when it fired a librarian in 2021 after she objected to the cancelation of programs she had planned for youth of color and LGBTQ teens. The division issued determination letters Wednesday to the High Plains Library District, finding it violated state prohibitions on discriminatory firing and retaliation, as well as to three employees. Iris Halpern, the attorney representing fired librarian Brooky Parks, said that the finding is significant, as it’s among the first in the country by a state government that concluded censorship targeted at LGBTQ youth or youth of color is a violation of anti-discrimination laws.”...

The Denver Post, Feb. 8

Utah State Capitol

Palak Jayswal writes: “A bill that would require public library employees across Utah to get criminal background checks, or their libraries could lose state funding, has passed its first legislative hurdle. The bill goes next to the full House for consideration. If both chambers approve the bill and it’s signed by Gov. Spencer Cox, the background check rule would go into effect on July 1, 2024. The bill specifies that Utah’s smallest counties, designated fifth- and sixth-class by population, be given the financial assistance for paying for background checks.”...

The Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 9

Latest Library Links

Copyright Law

Claire Woodcock writes: “Up to 75% of books published before 1964 may now be in the public domain, according to researchers at New York Public Library (NYPL). The books in question were published between 1923 and 1964, before changes to US copyright law removed the requirement for rights holders to renew their copyrights. NYPL has been reviewing the US Copyright Office’s official registration and renewals records for creative works whose copyrights haven’t been renewed and have thus been overlooked as part of the public domain. These early findings could help lawmakers craft copyright policies from an evidence-based standpoint that wasn’t easily accessible in the past.”...

Vice, Feb. 9

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood writes: “It’s shunning time in Madison County, Virginia, where the school board recently banished my novel The Handmaid’s Tale from the shelves of the high school library. I have been rendered ‘unacceptable.’ To those who seek to stop young people from reading The Handmaid’s Tale: Good luck with that. It’ll only make them want to read it more.” ...

The Atlantic, Feb. 12

Logos for Poll Everywhere, Yo Teach!, and Ziplet

Richard Byrne writes: “Chat tools and polling services provide good ways to hear from all of the students in a classroom. These kinds of tools, often referred to as backchannel tools, allow shy students to ask questions and share comments. For your more outspoken students who want to comment on everything, a feedback mechanism provides a good outlet for them too.” Byrne recommends 10 backchannel and informal assessment tools, including Poll Everywhere, Yo Teach!, and Ziplet....

Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 4

ALA news and press releases

Rendering of Europa Clipper orbiting Venus

Dan Sheehan writes: “You can keep your presidential inaugurations and your state funerals, here’s the commission every self-respecting poet really dreams of. NASA has asked US Poet Laureate Ada Limón to craft an original poem that will go on the spacecraft Europa Clipper on its voyage to Jupiter’s second moon, Europa. The poem will be engraved on the spacecraft, where it will travel 1.8 billion miles on its path to the Jupiter system.” The is scheduled for October 2024....

Literary Hub, Jan. 31; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory


WSB-TV staffers write: “A metro Atlanta college library is a lot quieter than usual because of an owl that has set up camp in its rafters. Students have not been allowed inside Agnes Scott College’s library for nearly a week. The school shut the main floor of the library to protect both the owl and students. They’ve since hired a professional falconer who left a door open and then tried to shoo the owl away with a really long stick. ‘This is our fourth bird,’ said Library Director Elizabeth Bagley. ‘It’s been fun in some ways, but we’d like our library and study space back at some point.’”...

WSB-TV (Atlanta), Feb. 9

Books with shamrocks

Farrah Penn writes: “Don’t limit your Irish literature to St. Patrick’s Day. These books by Irish authors are worth reading all year long.” Penn’s wide-ranging list includes classics from Oscar Wilde and James Joyce as well as titles from contemporary writers Naoise Dolan, Sally Rooney, and Donal Ryan....

Reader’s Digest, Updated: Feb. 10

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the .


Direct ad inquiries to:

Send news and feedback:


All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site. .


American Libraries will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. Read the .


To manage your American Libraries email preferences, please click .

To unsubscribe from all American Library Association communications, click .


American Library Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Higher Logic