New Policy Corps initiative to combat book bans

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Headshot of Cindy Hohl

On April 12, ALA announced that Cindy Hohl, director of policy analysis and operational support at Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, has been elected 2023–2024 president-elect of the American Library Association. Hohl received 4,965 votes, while her opponent, Eric D. Suess, director of Marshall Public Library in Pocatello, Idaho, received 2,409 votes. Upon learning the outcome of the election, Hohl stated: “We have a lot of good work ahead of us in libraries and I look forward to listening to feedback, hearing your ideas, and moving forward with that inspiration to uphold the professional ethics of our trusted profession as we highlight the high value of libraries.”...

ALA, Apr. 12

Headshot of Bill Ott

Former Booklist Editor and Publisher Bill Ott died April 8 after a brief illness, according to an April 11 release from ALA. Ott was with Booklist for 39 years, 30 of which were at the helm. Following his retirement in 2019, Ott continued contributing to the magazine, editing and writing mystery and crime fiction reviews. At the time of his death, he had completed his final Spotlight on Mysteries and Thrillers feature, which will appear in the May 1 issue of Booklist....

ALA, Apr. 11

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On April 7, ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, in partnership with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, announced a new advocacy initiative to combat book banning and censorship in libraries. A cadre of ALA Policy Corps members—who advocate for national public policy on behalf of the library community—will aim to increase awareness about the importance of intellectual freedom and showcase the work of libraries and library workers. Policy Corps activities for this pilot effort will include meeting with government officials, conducting interviews with the media, publishing op-eds and letters to the editor, and recruiting new advocates....

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, Apr. 7

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On April 10, ALA announced that it is seeking applicants for one Endowment Fund trustee who will serve a three-year term ending in 2026. Endowment trustees have the authority to hold, invest, and disburse endowment and other long-term investment funds as directed by the ALA Executive Board. Candidates must possess investment and analytical skills, be involved with the Association, and that includes a full CV along with three letters of reference. The deadline to apply is May 8....

ALA Finance, Apr. 10

Great Stories Club

ALA invites libraries of all types to apply for “Imagining Tomorrow: Building Inclusive Futures,” a new installment in the Great Stories Club that highlights science fiction books that explore questions of equity, identity, and alternate futures. Participating libraries must work in partnership with, or be located within, an organization that reaches underserved teens. ALA’s Public Programs Office will select 35 libraries to receive 11 paperback copies of theme-related books to use in reading and discussion groups, a $500 programming stipend, online training, and program resources and support. ...

ALA Public Programs Office, Apr. 5

Illustration of two kids reading books

Amanda Alexander writes: “There’s no denying that educators and families alike have a long list of commitments and priorities—so how do we keep summer reading at the top of that priority list? When we are talking about literacy, we want to make supporting kids accessible, not additional. Literacy skills are paramount for kids to grow both academically and emotionally, and the research has shown that reading over the summer helps students in the following school year. The 8th edition of the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report—the latest of the national survey that began in 2006—helps make the connections needed between schools and families to support summer reading success for more kids.”...

District Administration, Apr. 5

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Birdseye view of a meeting

Alyson Krueger writes: “Steven G. Rogelberg, a professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of The Surprising Science of Meetings, has thought a lot about meetings, good and bad. ‘I think for the longest time organizations just believed bad meetings were the cost of doing business and, therefore, there was no appetite to think about trying to solve it,’ he said. ‘Leaders have finally started to say that we have to have a way to do this better.’ Here are his top tips on how to meet better—or not at all.” ...

The New York Times, Apr. 7

Library of Congress reading room

Jessica Ruf writes: “For years, if you wanted to access the Library of Congress’s ornate Main Reading Room, you first needed to flash a photo ID library card. But starting on April 11 through September, the library will be piloting an exception to that rule. For a few hours each day, visitors who previously could only view the room at an angle through a plexiglass window on the floor above will be able to experience it for themselves. The library is also changing its rules to allow nonflash photography of the room. ‘At the end of the day,’ said Leah Knobel, a public affairs specialist for the library, ‘the goal of the Library of Congress is to expand access to this space.’”...

Washingtonian, Apr. 6

Cyberpunk image

Chris M. Arnone writes: “What is cyberpunk? There are a lot of definitions, but the core one is a narrative focused on high technology and low life. What does that mean? The tech is bleeding-edge, often post-humanist in its incorporation with humanity. Low life? That’s the criminal underbelly. Often in the best cyberpunk novels, the world is ruled by massive corporations, leaving the regular people to fight over the scraps. How did I pick the 22 best cyberpunk novels of all time? For the classics, I looked to those that defined the genre and influenced later writers. For modern titles, I looked to those that embodied the genre most or reinvented it.”...

Book Riot, Apr. 6

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