Kelly Yang named honorary chair of National Library Week

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Kelly Yang headshot

On March 30, ALA announced that bestselling author Kelly Yang will serve as honorary chair of National Library Week (NLW) 2023, to be held April 23–29. Yang, who has written many books for young readers (including the Front Desk series and Top Story, out in September), will be promoting this year’s NLW theme: “There’s More to the Story.” The theme shines a light on the programs, services, and infrastructure that libraries provide to their communities in addition to books, ebooks, and audiobooks. For more information on celebrations taking place during NLW and the April 24 release of ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report, ....

ALA, Mar. 30

Sharkey-Issaquena County damage

The provides funds to libraries in the US and around the world that have been damaged or destroyed because of natural or man-made disasters. The on March 24 severely damaged the Sharkey–Issaquena County (Miss.) Library and tore off part of the roof of Amory (Miss.) Municipal Library. ALA is collecting donations as both libraries work to reestablish themselves to serve their communities....

ALA Disaster Relief Fund; NPR, Mar. 26

Preservation Week logo and Mona Hanna-Attisha headshot

Core has announced that activist, author, and public health expert Mona Hanna-Attisha will be this year’s honorary chair of Preservation Week, to be held April 30–May 6. The theme is “Building Resilient Communities.” As a leader who serves the people of Flint, Michigan, Hanna-Attisha has first-hand experience creating services and securing resources to foster a more resilient community. Visit the for free webinars and programming ideas....

Core, Mar. 30

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Missouri House seal

Claire Woodcock writes: “The Missouri House of Representatives voted for a state operating budget with a $0 line for public libraries. While the budget still needs to work its way through the Senate and the governor’s office, state funding for public libraries is very much on the chopping block in Missouri. This comes after Republican House Budget Chairman Cody Smith proposed a $4.5 million cut to public libraries’ state aid, citing a lawsuit filed against Missouri by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri as the reason for the cut.”...

Vice, Mar. 30

IMLS medal

On March 28, the Institute of Museum and Library Services named the 30 finalists for the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The medal is given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in serving their communities. Since 1996, the award has honored 182 institutions that have demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Visit the for the complete list of finalists and information on how to get involved with the #ShareYourStory social media campaign....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 28

Texas silhouette and book covers

Deborah Caldwell-Stone writes: “Great news from Texas: The federal district court in Austin has issued a preliminary injunction ordering the Llano County, Texas, government and library board to return the books that were removed from the collection of the Llano County Public Library because certain library users, county residents, and county officials complained that the books’ contents were objectionable. Noting that many of the banned books were well-regarded, prize-winning books, the court also ordered the defendants to list the books as available for checkout in the library’s catalog and to refrain from removing any books from the library for the pendency of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit.” For more context on the case, see American Libraries’ ....

Intellectual Freedom Blog, Mar. 30; American Libraries, Nov./Dec. 2022

Latest Library Links

Collage of Spanish-language book covers

Ed Nawotka writes: “With more than 40 million Spanish-speaking readers and language learners, according to the Census Bureau, the US has the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. It therefore comes as no surprise that the US market for Spanish-language books is growing. The US market for Spanish-language titles is largely being driven by bilingual families, schools that offer dual-language classes, and libraries that service communities with large numbers of Spanish speakers. In 2022, two new services, Enlingos and Curio, began offering subscription boxes for bilingual and Spanish-language children’s books.”...

Publishers Weekly, Mar. 31

Libby logo

Umar Shakir writes: “Starting on May 1, OverDrive app users will need to upgrade to Libby, a newer app from the same company that also lets you rent library ebooks for free. OverDrive’s digital platform started in 2002 and continued to operate separately even after Libby launched in 2017. The idea behind ceasing development and shutting down OverDrive is to shift the focus of the company’s development teams to just Libby. There was an inherent redundancy in running two apps. Libby and OverDrive do have some differences, though, and some features, like OverDrive’s Recommend to Library feature, will be gone.” Read for more on this change....

The Verge, Mar. 30

Spray bottle and plant to invoke spring cleaning

Elizabeth Libberton writes: “The season for spring cleaning is upon us. Our school library collections are no exception. We need to clear out and clean up each year to make way for the new. Below are five weeding and collection cleaning tips that will help you purge this spring season.” Libberton offers advice on patron mindset, running reports, and repairs....

Knowledge Quest blog, Apr. 3

ALA news and press releases

Othello in cursive font

David Barnett writes: “In December 1692, the actor William Mountfort stumbled across two young men trying to abduct a famous stage actress. The young thespian gallantly attempted to intervene but was brutally run through with a sword and died. The killing led to a trial that proved a sensation with the public, not least because it entwined the fates of a troupe of actors who were performing William Shakespeare’s Othello, but also because the real-life drama had eerie echoes of the play. Now a version of Othello from 1655 has come to light and includes the list of the ill-starred cast among its pages.”...

The Guardian, Mar. 26

Person typing on laptop

Edward J. Maloney writes: “There is no shortage of opinions on artificial intelligence. Ever since ChatGPT 3.5 was released in December 2022, there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of articles on the impact artificial reality will have on jobs, society, and education. Writers across media have explored every possible outcome, from to This is especially true in higher education, where AI, even at this early stage, has the ability to upend many of the ways we teach, research, and learn. Our students are using ChatGPT to draft, brainstorm, and find answers to questions. If ChatGPT can produce well-written answers to college-level exams, what’s to prevent students from using it to cheat?”...

Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 3; The New York Times, Mar. 8; The Atlantic, Mar. 26

Person in suit with one hand raised

Melissa Baron writes: “There is a common misconception about what kind of book American politicians must be sworn in on when they take their oath of office. The widely held assumption is that the book has to be the Christian Bible. This is not correct. There is no constitutional decree for any federal official to swear their oath of office on any one specific text.” Baron notes that US politicians have been sworn in on The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Oh, the Places You’ll Go!; and nothing at all....

Book Riot, Mar. 30

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