Highlights from the US Book Show

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Sally Stieglitz writes: “The 2023 US Book Show kicked off May 22 with a slate of livestreamed programs addressing the surge of book bans across the US and emerging trends in digital media collections. The four-day hybrid conference, now in its third year, is designed by and for authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians. The first day of programming addressed several common themes, including how librarians are experiencing burnout as a result of censorship attempts and the COVID-19 pandemic.”...

AL: The Scoop, May 30

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Ken Bigger writes: “The rise in social media and the 24-hour news cycle has made our ability to distribute information or messages—including false or misleading ones—grow faster than we can manage socially or politically. My hope for our current era is that we quickly come up with ways to avoid negative or violent consequences of this explosion of communication and develop some checks that depolarize our political landscape. The following books seek to do that, exploring paths to common ground in a post-truth society. Directly or indirectly, these titles describe the civic space that literacy and, by extension, libraries, can hold open for us.”...

AL: The Scoop, May 31

Librarian Jenny Robb at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University

Megan Bennett writes: “Jenny Robb says we are living in the golden age of cartoons and comics. ‘When I was growing up, we didn’t have graphic novels for a children’s audience,’ says Robb, head curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) at Ohio State University in Columbus. BICLM, named after an early 20th-century Columbus Dispatch cartoonist, opened in 1977 and now hosts the world’s largest collection of print cartoon art. Its millions of comic strips, books, and archives of cartoonists’ original art and papers are a treasure trove for serious scholars and fans.”...

American Libraries feature, May



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Linda W. Braun writes: “Designing and implementing library services requires constant community engagement. Can youth services staffers who don’t have core relationship-building skills successfully work with their communities? If we are trying to serve traditionally marginalized users who are historically more difficult to reach, will staffers’ social anxiety be a barrier to success? And when library workers self-identify as introverted or shy, do some of them simply mean they lack skills to build relationships?”...

American Libraries column, May

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Allison Escoto writes: “While many of us take the time and effort to prepare for our career while in library school and on the job, the prospect of developing leadership skills can be daunting. These informative, practical reads can help library workers at all levels, whether you’re new to charting a course toward leadership or a seasoned library administrator in need of a fresh outlook.”...

American Libraries column, May

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Tess Vrbin writes: “Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and 16 other plaintiffs plan to sue the state of Arkansas over two sections of a new law that changes how libraries handle material that some consider ‘obscene.’ The CALS board of directors voted Thursday to file a federal lawsuit challenging the portions of that alter libraries’ material reconsideration processes and create criminal liability for librarians. The law, which goes into effect August 1, states that anyone will be allowed to ‘challenge the appropriateness’ of public libraries’ offerings, but it does not define ‘appropriateness,’ said John Adams, an attorney with the Fuqua Campbell firm in Little Rock representing CALS.”...

Arkansas Advocate, May 25; Arkansas State Legislature

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Mia Sato writes: “Twitter is expanding its crowdsourced fact-checking program to include images, shortly after a fake image went viral claiming to show an ‘explosion’ near the Pentagon. Community Notes, which are user-generated and appear below tweets, on Twitter. Now contributors will be able to add information specifically related to an image, and that context will populate below recent and future matching images, according to the company.”...

The Verge, May 30; Oct. 6, 2022

Todd A. Carpenter writes: “[The] culture wars are heating back up, and it is well past time that the publishing community begin to engage in the battles. Last week, in a , a brave band of authors, parents, PEN America, and a single publisher, Penguin Random House, have entered the fray. Many others in the publishing community should stand up behind them. [Book bans] pose a specific threat to the business of content providers. Here are just a few high-level reasons why more publishers should care.”...

Scholarly Kitchen, May 25

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Lisa Zhuang writes: “Hawaii has served as a backdrop to many a romance, comedy, and even a few thrillers, but most of these stories depict Hawaii as a brief pit stop. It’s harder to find the local voices of Hawaii—authors who have lived on the islands for some time and know both the stunning and harsher faces of their home. The following are novels, short stories, and poetry collections set in Hawaii and written by local authors.”...

Electric Lit, May 25

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