Banned Books Week 2023

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Banned Books Week 2023: Let Freedom Read featuring LeVar Burton

Banned Books Week continues through October 7. Read a host of articles on the American Libraries website, including interviews with and ; a special feature packed with statistics related to book banning; an overview of the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s (OIF) ; and a review of . OIF is hosting a series of , including an inspiring conversation between Burton and Daniels tonight, October 4, on Instagram Live....

American Libraries features, Oct. 1–3; Intellectual Freedom Blog, Sept. 27

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ALA members may run for the positions of 2024–2025 ALA president-elect or ALA councilor-at-large by petition in the 2024 ALA election in March. Members who are interested in running by petition may do so by completing an e-petition form with signatures from no fewer than 200 (president-elect candidates) or 25 (councilor-at-large candidates) current ALA personal members. Candidates must also complete a Candidate Biographical Information Form. Once the petition process is completed, petition candidates and nominated candidates will be treated identically. The petition period closes December 31, 2023. The president-elect will serve as 2025–2026 ALA president, while councilors-at-large elected in the spring election will serve from 2024–2027....

ALA Governance Office, Oct. 3

Cover of Chester Nez's memoir Code Talker

Indigenous People’s Day is October 9. In the September/October issue's By the Numbers, learn statistics related to the observance such as the number of tribes represented in the National Indian Law Library’s collection; the number of oral history interviews available digitally in the Hula Preservation Society Archive; and the publication year for the only memoir written by one of the Navajo Code Talkers who transmitted coded messages for the United States during World War II....

American Libraries trend, Sept./Oct.

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Rockwell Falls Public Library logo

Briana Supardi writes: “[Rockwell Falls Public Library in Lake Luzerne, New York] has been forced to shut its doors temporarily after all but one of its workers abruptly resigned, including the library director. The resignation of the now-former Library Director Courtney Keir comes after a summer of controversy, not only stemming from a drag story hour [], but also [claims of harassment of library staff]. During a July 18th board meeting, Keir expressed how she and her staff have been feeling unsafe.”...

WRGB-TV (Albany, N.Y.), Sept. 27; WTEN-TV (Albany, N.Y.), Sept. 28

Humanoid robot on a bench reading a book

Steven Bell writes: “A doctoral student told me they do all their research with the ChatGPT Scholar-AI plugin, for which they gladly pay a monthly premium. From this student’s perspective it’s easier to just ask the plug-in to find research via a topic prompt than it is to figure out which library database to use. To answer the ‘why’ question, academic librarians must acquire and master these new AI tools, and then determine how we can integrate our resources with the AI user’s research workflow.”...

Against the Grain, Sept. 28

Woman sitting at a table working at a computer

Elizabeth Mills writes: “Have you ever thought about applying for a grant to support your school library? It can be a great way to expand your programs, strengthen your resources, and even build new relationships and partnerships. Check out these approachable resources and strategies that can simplify this process and help you to feel supported and confident in your efforts. And remember: Fellow school librarians, teachers, and administrators can be invaluable in helping you in this process.”...

OCLC WebJunction, Sept. 26

Latest Library Links

Illustration of a young woman working at her computer with her face in her hands

Liz Chenevey writes: “As academic library workers, we are often acutely aware of the stress our students are under. We have students frantically contact us in hopes of finding those last few sources to meet an assignment requirement. Our buildings teem with tension during busy times of the semester. Students sleep in our spaces to get a break. I have slowly integrated what I call pedagogies of care into my teaching as a way to be more cognizant and supportive to mental health needs in the classroom.”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Sept. 27

John McCain

Jeremy Diamond and Shania Shelton write: “President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the construction of an Arizona library in honor of his longtime friend, the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The McCain Library will boast ‘a new multi-purpose facility to provide education, work, and health monitoring programs to underserved communities in the state,’ a White House official said, with funding from the American Rescue Plan in partnership with the McCain Institute and Arizona State University (ASU) [in Tempe].” The library will be constructed at ASU, and McCain’s widow Cindy McCain said she hopes it “.”...

CNN, Sept. 28; Arizona Republic, Sept. 30

Man with a red X over his lips and Don't Lie written on his cheeks

John Timmer writes: “The world has been flooded with misinformation. Even if you spend 24 hours a day pushing back against the wrongness on the Internet, it seems impossible to make a dent in it. I've decided that we need a way to target the worst sources of misinformation—a way to identify the people who are both the most wrong and the most dangerous. So, as a bit of a thought experiment, I started playing with a simplified scoring system for misinformation merchants.”...

Ars Technica, Sept. 28

ALA news and press releases

Cover page to New English Canaan

Colleen Connolly writes: “Just seven years after the Puritans’ arrival [in the Americas], an Anglican lawyer named Thomas Morton published a book that threatened the young colony and its residents’ covenant with God. New English Canaan, a three-part text published in Amsterdam in 1637, includes a brief section at the end that offers a withering critique of the Puritans and the society they were building, including their treatment of Native Americans. Puritans outlawed the text in their colonies, but the book has cropped up continuously over the last four centuries.”...

Smithsonian Magazine, Oct. 2

Shylock After the Trial, an illustration of The Merchant of Venice by painter John Gilbert

Sarah Bernstein writes: “In the popular imagination, the grudge holder is a comical figure, absurd if not maligned, eventually relegated to the periphery of society because of their unwillingness to forgive and forget. But as I started to think about the grudge holders in these books, it became clear that these characters are serious and, accordingly, their grudges ought to be treated seriously. Because what is a grudge but a refusal to go along with social niceties for the comfort of others, to maintain the peace of the status quo? The grudge has a politics of its own.”...

The Guardian, Sept. 27

Full bookshelves

Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes: “People give a better first impression on Zoom calls if they have books or plants behind them, rather than a living room or a novelty background – such as a walrus in front of an iceberg. [Researchers from Durham University in the United Kingdom] superimposed faces onto six different backgrounds and asked 167 people to rank how trustworthy and competent they thought the people in the images were. The most favorable first impressions were given to the people in front of the bookcase or plants....

New Scientist, Sept. 27

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