ALA announces steps to support LGBTQIA+ library workers

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The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board issued a in support of LGBTQIA+ library workers August 8. The statement announced a task force that will develop a strategy for addressing retaliatory employment cases against LGBTQIA+ librarians and library staff. The task force will also formulate a communications plan to highlight related resources and support available from ALA....

AL: The Scoop, Aug. 9

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ALA is still accepting applications for the 2024 class of , ALA’s leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country and Canada to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Approximately 70% of selected participants will be sponsored by an ALA division, round table, affiliate, state chapter, or school library media association affiliate to help defray conference attendance expenses. The deadline is Friday, September 8....

ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Aug. 4

Tracie D. Hall

Forbes named ALA Executive Director to its third annual 50 over 50 list, which honors women entrepreneurs, investors, inventors, artists, and other leaders over the age of 50. Hall was recognized for "bolstering the ALA's in-house legal defense fund" to respond to increased book-banning efforts and for launching the initiative. The list also includes author Judy Blume, poet Joy Harjo, actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Viola Davis, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, and astronaut Peggy Whitson....

Forbes, Aug. 1

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Chicago Today hosts Matt Rodrigues and Cortney Hall speaking at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference

NBC Chicago’s Banned Books Club, which was launched in partnership with , is expanding to Boston and Los Angeles. Chicago Today hosts Matt Rodrigues and Cortney Hall, who spoke about the Banned Books Club at the opening session of ALA’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition, announced the expansion August 3. Local lifestyle programs The Hub Today in Boston and California Live in Los Angeles will join Chicago Today in hosting social media-based book discussions and monthly broadcasts about the selected titles....

WMAQ-TV (Chicago), Aug. 3

Simon & Schuster logo

Jim Milliot and Andrew Albanese write: “In a move that some in the industry will welcome as putting at least a temporary stop to industry consolidation, the private investment firm KKR [which OverDrive in 2020] has reached an agreement with Paramount Global to acquire Simon & Schuster for $1.62 billion in an all cash transaction. A private equity firm's acquisition will be viewed negatively by many who will be concerned that KKR will put profits over literature. Others, however, will see the KKR deal as better than Simon & Schuster being bought by one of its competitors.”...

Publishers Weekly, Aug. 7; AL: The Scoop, Dec. 31, 2019

Emily Drabinski

Tyler Kingkade writes: “Emily Drabinski took over as president of ALA in July with plans to tackle the pressing issues facing her profession, such as shoring up funding and fighting a record number of book ban attempts nationwide. She said she wants to make sure that the LBGTQ community and Black people see themselves reflected in the books on their library shelves. But some Republicans have focused on a single tweet Drabinski sent over a year ago to incite an effort to defund and abandon ALA, the oldest and largest nonprofit trade organization for libraries.”...

NBC News, Aug. 7

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Booklash: Literary Freedom, Online Outrage, and the Language of Harm on a background of emojis used to express online disapproval

Ayad Akhtar writes: “In the past few years, the literary community has seen waves of activism that have galvanized much-needed and overdue change in the industry. National movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo have pushed publishers to recommit to accountability, representation, and social justice more broadly. Yet amid these necessary shifts, some readers, writers, and critics are pushing to draw new lines around what types of books, tropes, and narrative conventions should be seen as permissible. PEN America hopes this report will shed light on these debates, offer guidance, and argue for a firm defense of literary freedom.”...

PEN America, Aug. 7

Rainbow light streaming through a computer monitor

Meredith Farkas writes: “I began my journey in the profession in the aughts, a time that was chock-full of rhetoric about innovation and the fear of libraries’ growing irrelevance. Rather than basing their services on the unique needs of their communities, so many libraries were just copying whatever the cool, innovative, and well-resourced libraries highlighted in articles and conference talks were doing. I believe that chasing innovation is toxic and keeps us from really getting to know our patrons and meeting their most pressing needs. Slow librarianship can provide a route toward more meaningful and impactful technology work in libraries.”...

Choice LibTech Insights, Aug. 7

Banned Book Vending Machine created by Shelley Searle and Chelsea Major

Emily White writes: “Some people protest with signs. Two Meridian women are making their voices heard through a book-stocked vending machine. After the Concerned Citizens of Meridian gave the Meridian Library District a list of over 50 books it wanted to restrict access to last year, Shelley Searle, who runs two vending machines in the Treasure Valley, and Chelsea Major, who started a banned book club in 2022, decided to team up to create a banned book vending machine.” The machine opened at Loose Screw Beer Co. in Meridian July 26....

Idaho Press, July 31

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Full bookshelves with several books displayed with their front covers facing out.

Karin Greenberg writes: “Last June I genrefied the fiction books in my school library. While I noticed a positive increase in how many students browsed the shelves, I still wasn’t satisfied with our circulation numbers. This past June, with the help of my new assistant, I took my shelf organization a step further to include the more current nonfiction titles. My goal was to increase the visibility of the most compelling books, with the hope that more students would be motivated to read.”...

Knowledge Quest, Aug. 3

Listening station at the Vinyl Revival Listening Room at Minneapolis Central Library

Natalia Toledo writes: “There’s an impressively extensive vinyl record collection located in downtown Minneapolis that not many know about. Available by reservation, the is a free listening space open to the public located on the third floor of [Hennepin County Library's] Minneapolis Central Library. The collection contains more than 15,000 albums. Each month, local musicians, DJs, and library staff pick a selection of albums to feature in the listening room.”...

Minnesota Public Radio, Aug. 3

Royal Mail stamp featuring The Librarian from the Discworld series

“Royal Mail has today revealed it is issuing to celebrate Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, making the 40th anniversary of The Colour of Magic, his first book in the series. The stamps will be available for general purchase as of August 10. Fans can get their hands on stamps featuring Rincewind, the Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A’Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig, all of which are by Terry’s illustrator of choice for the Discworld series, Paul Kidby.”...

Terrypratchett.com, Aug. 3

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