2023 Annual Conference registration has opened

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ALA Annual Conference 2023 logo

On February 15, ALA announced that registration for its , to be held June 22–27 in Chicago, had opened. The conference will include more than 160 educational programs and 500 exhibitors, a variety of professional development opportunities, and a slate of thought leaders and celebrities who will speak on the main stage. ....

ALA Conference Services, Feb. 15

SustainRT Wellness Citation

ALA’s Sustainability Round Table is seeking nominations for its Citation for Wellness in the Workplace. The award recognizes libraries that have made efforts to meet the needs of their staffers in the areas of continuing education, creating a positive work environment, advancing sustainability, and encouraging wellness. This may include initiatives that support unions, gender equity, pay equity, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of library professionals. ....

ALA’s Sustainability Round Table

RRT Over the Rainbow logo

The Rainbow Round Table has released both its and annotated , a collection of the best LGBTQIA+ literature for adult readers from the previous year. In making these lists, the round table’s Over the Rainbow committee considered 298 fiction, nonfiction, and poetry titles. With the recent challenges in this country to make queer literature less accessible, the committee has voted to release the that were considered as a means to increase visibility and knowledge of LGBTQIA+ titles, authors, and publishers....

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, Feb. 13

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The American Association of School Librarians announced on February 14 that it will offer $48,000 through its STEM Inspire Special Event Grants program. These grants will provide direct assistance funding to middle and high school libraries for short-term projects or events that promote STEM education and student interest in STEM careers. Direct assistance is capped at $3,000 per grant. Applications are due by noon on April 11....

American Association of School Librarians, Feb. 14

Jar reading "Fund" with a red cancel circle on it

Kurt Erickson writes: “A controversial change to how public libraries operate in Missouri may go into effect without any public hearings, despite generating a record-setting amount of public comments. Missouri Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield) said Tuesday he hasn’t made a decision on whether to schedule a hearing where people can further weigh in on Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s proposal to block public funding for libraries if they offer books that are pornographic for minors or labeled as obscene under state statutes. Riley’s decision is key to whether a 10-member panel of members of the House and Senate take testimony on an issue that drew an estimated 20,000 comments in support and in opposition to the rule. Missouri Sen. Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence) urged Riley to schedule a hearing.”...

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 15

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Maria Curi writes: “President Joe Biden’s embattled nominee for the Federal Communications Commission is defending her work to serve marginalized communities in the face of outside groups’ concerns about delays. The agency in charge of regulating the country’s communications systems is operating without a Democratic majority since Biden took office, risking stalling the party’s priorities. The FCC has until November to come up with rules that would benefit communities of color—something groups say is impossible without a Democratic majority, which requires confirmation of Gigi Sohn. ‘The commission is hamstrung and it absolutely compromises the FCC’s ability to do anything on the issues we care about,’ said Lisa Navarrete, communications director at UnidosUS, a Hispanic civil rights group.”...

Bloomberg Law, Feb. 15

Latest Library Links

Envelope with  heart on seal

Elisabeth Egan and Erica Ackerberg write: “It’s easy to romanticize libraries. But, the fact is, they’re not ‘just’ about the written word. Were they ever? As local safety nets shriveled, the library roof magically expanded from umbrella to tarp to circus tent to airplane hangar. The modern library keeps its citizens warm, safe, healthy, entertained, educated, hydrated, and, above all, connected.” The New York Times sent photographers to seven states—including Colorado, Florida, and Minnesota—to document the “thrum and buzz” of libraries....

The New York Times, Feb. 14

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Laura Sackton writes: “Queer history is an essential part of Black history, and Black history is an essential part of queer history, so I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than by diving into some queer Black history. These eight books are a blend of biographies, academic and general histories, and oral history anthologies. Most of them focus on the second half of the 20th century, though a few dip into earlier history. I hope that these books act as doorways into a yearlong project of reading and exploring Black queer history.”...

Book Riot, Feb. 14

Vermont State University logo

Susan D’Agostino writes: “Last week, Vermont State University announced plans for an ‘all-digital’ academic library when the new institution, formed from the consolidation of three colleges, officially launches on July 1. In planning for the new library, the financially challenged institution seeks to forge a path that balances cost with quality, while also reaching a wider swath of the state’s rural residents. But its botched announcement, in which all-digital is a misnomer, failed to recognize students’ and professors’ emotional attachment to print books. Since the announcement, the union faculty and staff voted no confidence in the state college chancellor, Parwinder Grewal, and others in leadership earlier this week, according to .”...

Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16; WCAX-TV (Burlington, Vt.), Feb. 14

ALA news and press releases

List of omissions and additions, related to weight, gender, race, and more...

Mithil Aggarwal writes: “A half-century after being published, several children’s books by world-famous British author Roald Dahl are being revised to change language that may be offensive to some, sparking accusations of censorship. Some words related to weight, gender, and race were omitted or replaced. Britain’s Telegraph newspaper first reported the changes Friday, laying out the hundreds of changes Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Random House, and the Roald Dahl Story Company made to the books since 2020, even adding paragraphs never written by the late Dahl.”...

NBC News, Feb. 20

Joy Harjo speaking into a microphone

Michael Morand writes: “Joy Harjo has been named the winner of Yale University’s 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. The prize, established by Paul Mellon in 1949, is awarded biennially through Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to an American poet for the best book published during the previous two years or for lifetime achievement in poetry. Author of more than 10 books of poetry, as well as plays, children’s books, and memoirs, Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She served three terms as the 23rd poet laureate of the United States from 2019 to 2022. The judges noted: ‘For Harjo, poetry is witness and song; it is kin to incantation, speaking to the past and the present at once, finding a language that vibrates with possibility of crossing the threshold of time.’”...

Yale Library, Feb. 14

Map with Russia highlighted in green

Ekaterina Suvorova writes: “Every time I asked my mother why we left, she would close up. I was a freshman in high school when a kid in my English class asked me if Russia was ‘really that bad,’ after our unit on George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I didn’t know, so I started reading. I learned about the scarcity everyone living under the Soviet Union seemingly experienced. The paranoia. The isolation. The unknown. On February 24, 2022, as headlines of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shocked the world—I recognized, without a doubt, my mother made the right choice for us. From the revolution in 1917 to 2022, this reading list contains stories of the decision and journey to leave Russia and the sacrifices that were made along the way.”...

Electric Lit, Feb. 17

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