Hall: Censorship attempts are a test of our democracy

American Libraries logo
Ad: Oxford University Press

Various illustrated icons representing library technology

Marshall Breeding writes: “In recent years, business acquisitions have brought high-stakes changes to the library technology industry, creating seismic shifts in the balance of power. But other events in 2022—primarily advances in open source software—have even bigger implications for the market. Although proprietary products continue to dominate, open source alternatives are becoming increasingly competitive. Interest in open systems has been growing within the library world for at least 15 years, and recent procurements reflect important breakthroughs.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Tracie D. Hall

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall writes: “In mid-March, I spoke on a panel at the South by Southwest EDU conference in Texas to discuss the alarming and increasingly weaponized attempts to ban and remove books from public and school libraries. Understanding both the weight of the moment and where the conversation was taking place, I commented on the connection between attempted book banning today and the McCarthy-era attempts at cultural disenfranchisement. I said to the audience, ‘Those of you who would have imagined yourself being on the right side of history 70 or 80 years ago, now is your time. If we are silent and lose the right to read freely, it will be our own fault.’”...

American Libraries column, May

Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada

ALA President Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada writes: “When other library workers and I attended the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress in Dublin last July, we heard from Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland who now works as a climate activist. Setting the stage for a global conference within the context of climate injustice and its realities emphasized not only the moral imperative we have in tackling climate change but also a practical one. If we don’t change our course and engage in collective action, we will not have a world in which to live freely. It would be a world devoid of libraries and library workers.”...

American Libraries column, May

Ad: Great Stories Club

Kelly Yang with green plants in the background

ALA and its supporters observed National Library Week (NLW) April 23–29. To close out celebrations, American Libraries Associate Editor Megan Bennett spoke with award-winning middle-grade and YA author Kelly Yang, this year’s honorary chair, about promoting the NLW theme “There’s More to the Story” amid a record number of book challenges. Yang, whose books have been the subject of censorship attempts, discussed the importance of feeling represented in literature and the role libraries have played in her life....

AL Online, Apr. 28

Amanda Gorman and Christian Robinson

On April 27, ALA announced that presidential inaugural poet and bestselling author Amanda Gorman and award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson will be the closing speakers at ALA’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago (June 22–27). The two will discuss their forthcoming children’s picture book, Something, Someday. , and advance rates are available through June 16....

ALA Conference Services, Apr. 27

ALA logo

On April 25, ALA released an announcement praising the Prison Libraries Act, introduced by US Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), along with US Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) and 25 cosponsors. The bill would establish a grant program within the Department of Justice to provide library services to incarcerated individuals to advance reintegration efforts, reduce recidivism, and increase educational opportunities. Grants would allow prisons to update materials, hire qualified librarians, and support digital literacy and career readiness training....

ALA, Apr. 25

Ad: Chicago Manual of Style

"2023 ALSC Summer Reading Lists" on a blue background with a yellow circle

Laura Schulte-Cooper writes: “The 2023 ALSC Summer Reading Lists are here! Compiled by the Association for Library Service to Children’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, these lists are full of engaging and award-winning book titles to keep children reading throughout the summer. For young digital media fans, the committee also recommends a range of apps, podcasts, and websites to help kids discover and develop their interests.” Four lists (birth to pre-K, grades K–2 grades, 3–5, and grades 6–8) are ....

ALSC Blog, Apr. 26

A human head outline with electronics inside glowing blue

Gil Press writes: “By the end of the film Desk Set (1957), the head librarian (Katharine Hepburn) proves her point by winning not only the engineer’s (Spencer Tracy) heart but also a contest with the ominous-looking EMERAC, a room-size ‘electronic brain.’ A few years before the first electronic brains started automating work, Wesleyan University librarian Fremont Rider estimated that American university libraries were doubling in size every 16 years. Given this growth rate, Rider speculated that the Yale Library in 2040 will have ‘approximately 200,000,000 volumes, [requiring] a cataloging staff of over 6,000 persons.’ Will electronic brains help librarians or serve to replace them?”...

Forbes, Apr. 30

A person holding some floating shapes that say "social media"

Emily Vogels and Risa Gelles-Watnick write: “Today’s teens are navigating a digital landscape unlike the one experienced by their predecessors, particularly when it comes to the pervasive presence of social media. In 2022, Pew Research Center fielded an in-depth survey asking American teens—and their parents—about . Here are key findings from the survey.” Takeaways cover TikTok usage, posting habits, and privacy....

Pew Research Center, Apr. 24; Aug. 10, 2022

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