ALA Presidential Citations recognize global library projects

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Photos of National Central Library's Open Lab Multimedia Center

Megan Bennett writes: “Two libraries earned this year’s ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. The winning entries are the National Central Library (NCL) in Taipei City, Taiwan, and Seoul National University Library (SNUL) in South Korea.” The projects recognized were NCL’s Open Lab Multimedia Center, which transformed an old office into a makerspace to facilitate creative pursuits, and SNUL’s LikeSNU data analysis effort, which uses university data to optimize learning and research opportunities for library users....

American Libraries, July/August

Idina Menzel (left) and Cara Mentzel

Megan Bennett writes: “When Idina Menzel was contemplating writing a children’s book, her first thought was to join forces with her younger sister, Cara Mentzel. The duo debuted with the book Loud Mouse, and its sequel, Proud Mouse, comes out this September. Both follow a pair of mouse sisters, Dee and Cara Lee, who support each other in their journeys of being their most authentic selves. The sisters spoke with American Libraries about their series, what they hope young readers take away from it, and their own memories of libraries....

American Libraries, July/August

From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Tracie D. Hall writes: “I recently attended an Institute of Museum and Library Services convening focused on the role of libraries in expanding information literacy. At a break, one participant and I agreed that a key factor in libraries becoming an equalizing force in information literacy is serious and intentional workforce planning. If we want those working in libraries to join and lead discussions about equity, diversity, and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and digital inclusion; then we must create more visible pathways to librarianship as a career.”...

American Libraries, July/August

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Snapshots from ALA's 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Megan Bennett writes: “The atmosphere was charged at ALA’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. At the center of it all, as usual, was its popular Library Marketplace. Thousands of attendees marveled at the rows of vendor booths that hosted signings and mascot meet-and-greets, promoted new book releases, and demonstrated innovative library products. At the specialty stages, library workers gathered for author and illustrator talks, presentations, and enlightening panel discussions. Here are some high-voltage moments from the exhibition floor.”...

American Libraries, July/August

Houston Independent School District logo

Rosie Nguyen writes: "Students at dozens of Houston Independent School District (HISD) schools will return in a few weeks without librarians and to former libraries that have been converted into disciplinary spaces. New Superintendent Mike Miles announced earlier this summer that librarian and media specialist positions would be eliminated at the 28 original schools being overhauled under his reform program.” The plan has been criticized by , and ALA and the American Association of School Librarians sent July 31 to Miles and the HISD school board expressing their opposition....

KTRK-TV (Houston), July 26; KHOU-TV (Houston), July 26; ALA, August 1

John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where District Judge Timothy Brooks issued his injunction. Creative Commons photo by Brandonrush

Associated Press writes: “Arkansas is temporarily blocked from enforcing a law that would have allowed criminal charges against librarians and booksellers for providing ‘harmful’ materials to minors, a federal judge ruled Saturday. US District Judge Timothy L. Brooks issued a against the law, which also would have created a new process to challenge library materials and request that they be relocated to areas not accessible by kids. The measure was set to take effect August 1.” State Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro), one of the law’s cosponsors, said the decision to the circuit court....

Associated Press, July 29; American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, July 29; KAIT-TV (Jonesboro, Ark.), July 29

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Chalkboard with Back to School written on it.

Sherry V. Neal writes: “As a school librarian member of the Association for Library Service to Children, I have a programming hiatus thanks to our summer break. I enjoy the break and time off to refresh and renew. As the new school year approaches, though, I am beginning to look ahead to programming for this year. I know that thinking about a year of programming can be daunting. So, for this blog, I thought I’d offer a few tips for my fellow librarians who are similarly in the planning stages for a year of programming.”...

ALSC Blog, July 26

A young man studying at a laptop computer

Jessica Fitzpatrick writes: “As a high school librarian, one of my primary goals is to help learners develop effective study habits. By providing tips on time management, note-taking, and test preparation, we can empower learners to excel academically. Educating our learners about various strategies for different learning styles and resources available in the library is vital to supporting their learning journey. I also strive to create a school library environment conducive to learning, so learners can study and focus without distractions.”...

Knowledge Quest, July 28

Covers of Mayor Pete, You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!, and The Handmaid's Tale, which are on the list of books for potential restriction by Urbandale Community School District

Chris Higgins writes: “The Des Moines (Iowa) Register obtained a list of 374 books that the Urbandale Community School District believes could violate Senate File 496, which, among other changes, requires teachers and administrators to review their libraries and classrooms for books that depict sex acts and prohibits them from buying them in the first place. The law also prohibits schools from providing instruction about gender identity or sexual orientation before seventh grade, which Urbandale officials believe includes books, according to instructions provided on the list.”...

Des Moines (Iowa) Register, July 31

ALA news and press releases

Woebot, an AI-powered digital life coaching app

Jake Peterson writes: “Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are the talk of the tech town right now, and there are a ton of apps hitting mobile stores either designed entirely around AI, or at least implementing the new tech in a major way. Unsurprisingly, considering the noise around this emerging tech, many of these apps are garbage, designed at best to take your money, or, at worst, to install malware on your device. But at least some of these new apps use AI in ways that are actually useful.”...

Lifehacker, July 31

Live Music Archive logo

Caralee Adams writes: “For fans wanting to relive an epic concert or discover upcoming bands, there are now more than 250,000 recordings in the Live Music Archive to enjoy. The collection has steadily grown over the past 20 years as a collaborative effort between Internet Archive staff and dedicated, music-loving volunteers. The Live Music Archive reached the one-quarter million recording mark in June, and now takes up more than 250 terabytes of data on Internet Archive servers. More than 8,000 artists have given permission to have recordings of their shows archived.”...

Internet Archive Blog, July 31

The thirteen books on the Booker Prize longlist

Ella Creamer writes: “A longlist of 13 ‘original and thrilling’ books offering ‘startling portraits of the current’ are in contention for the 2023 Booker Prize, the UK’s most prestigious literary award. The longlist features four debut novelists and six others who have been longlisted for the first time. The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 21, and the winner will be revealed on November 26.” See the full list and on the Booker Prize website....

The Guardian, August 1; Booker Prize

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