Care and consideration: Steps to improve library staff wellness

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Bobbi L. Newman writes: “What can a library do to facilitate optimum health and wellness for its staff? Resilience narratives often place the responsibility on employees to recover from poor working conditions through their individual efforts on their personal time, but this fails to address the larger institutional and societal factors that contribute to an unhealthy work environment. A few recommendations can help you address the problem at its source.”...

American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

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Jean Hodges joined ALA October 2 as director of the Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office. She comes from Gannett, a media company that owns USA Today and hundreds of news publications and digital sites throughout the country. At Gannett, she led digital transformation, newsroom retention, and internal communications for the news division. She answered our 11 Questions to introduce herself to ALA members....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 10

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Jennifer Bidwell and Brinna Pam Anan write: “In 2019, a psychology professor and two faculty librarians at Cal Poly Pomona collaborated on an open pedagogical project to provide a hands-on experience for undergraduates taking a psychology course. The Program Evaluation course was designed not only to teach students about research designs, methods, analysis, assessment, and communication strategies to improve social and organizational issues, but also to help build the students’ résumés with real-life experiences of collaborating with professionals across campus to improve current programs.”...

College & Research Libraries News, Vol. 84, No. 9 (Oct.)



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Get in early on the sale of the season! Follett has more than 500 of the hottest Pre-K through grade 12 books in paperback and hardcover on sale at up to 60% off. Stock up on fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, sets and series, classics, and more!


Teaching with Primary Sources: Programming with Library of Congress Digital Collections. A new LibGuide designed to help libraries explore the thousands of primary sources available from the Library of Congress online collection. Ad from ALA's Public Programs Office

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Jessica Fitzpatrick writes: “Passive programming is a secret weapon for promoting literacy among our learners. When we curate enticing book displays featuring the latest young adult bestsellers or thought-provoking classics, we’re subtly encouraging learners to explore new worlds and discover the joy of reading. But passive programming isn’t just about books; it’s also a tool for fostering social interaction. The library is more than just a place to read quietly; it’s a space for learners to connect with one another.”...

Knowledge Quest, Oct. 4

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Laura Ruby writes: “After months of public debate and weeks of private meetings over banning books at Samuels Public Library [in Front Royal, Virginia], the Warren County Board of Supervisors approved a library funding agreement October 3. The supervisors had withheld 75% of the library’s allocated budget in June after the library’s collection policy came under fire by a conservative group that objected to about 140 titles with LGBTQ content.” The library was because of lack of funds, although a extended that deadline by three months....

Northern Virginia Daily (Strasburg, Va.), Oct. 4; The Guardian, Sept. 2; The Washington Post, Sept. 20

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Meredith Farkas writes: “I think I’ve always been so focused on serving online students because I know what it’s like to be an online student distant from one’s campus. I remember how crappy and isolating the experience was in my [online] program and how little support and community actually existed for online students versus those on-campus. My dream was to become a distance learning librarian because I wanted to right those wrongs and to treat the students as just as important as the ones I could see in front of me.”...

Information Wants to Be Free, Oct. 5

Latest Library Links

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Dave Lee writes: “A man was murdered in my neighborhood on Monday. A video of the attack, obtained initially by the New York Post, was soon seized upon by one of X’s [formerly Twitter’s] newest ‘stars.’ I don’t follow this account, but X’s algorithm makes absolutely sure that I see what it has to say. I will have to continue to follow X, of course, because it’s part of my job. But it’s time to step back as an engaged user. My eyeballs are no longer for sale to [Elon] Musk and whatever grotesque content he wants to serve up in front of them.”...

Bloomberg, Oct. 5

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Phill Jones writes: “Excitement about large language models was widespread in the first half of 2023. But an inevitable course of events soon started to unfold… Faster than you can say , a calling for a six-month pause on AI research, coauthored by Elon Musk and seemingly designed to stoke techno-panic, was signed by nearly 30,000 people by mid-May. When a new technology is created, there is significant hype associated with overblown expectations, followed by a lull or even crash in expectations before the true value of the technology emerges later.”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct. 4; Future of Life Institute, Mar. 22

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Brian Lyman writes: “Books, even bad ones, let you live another life for a few hundred pages. They let you walk in the souls of people you may never meet and connect you in ways you might not expect. And that frightens a lot of people. I’m not certain that terror of understanding is what’s actually fueling the wave of attacks on libraries in Alabama and around the nation. This ‘outrage’ has a got-it-at-warehouse-club feel, even in a state where made-up problems spark more outrage than life-threatening crises....

Alabama Reflector, Sept. 25

ALA news and press releases

Photo of a library with text that reads 2023 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

The following libraries are winners of the 2023 Library Building Awards, sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (a division of ALA) and the American Institute of Architects. The awards, recognizing the best in library architecture and design, are open to any architect licensed in the US. Projects may be located anywhere in the world....

American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.

Public library building draped with US flags

Brewster Kahle writes: “The US library system, once the model for the world, is under assault from , , and . Book bans are at record levels, and libraries across the country are facing catastrophic budget cuts. In a separate line of attack, library collections are being squeezed by , and even . This war on libraries directly contravenes the will of the majority in the United States. The profession of librarianship has become a hazardous one, because of the actions of a hostile minority. It’s time to reverse course.”...

The Guardian, Oct. 9; The Washington Post, Sept. 15; Fast Company, Apr. 14; The Nation, Apr. 20, July 18, 2022; New Republic, Dec. 22, 2020

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Cristina writes: “Just in time for spooky season, let’s celebrate R. L. Stine’s 80th birthday and all things scary! Who doesn’t recall diving into the creepy world of Goosebumps in middle school? Stine’s masterful way of having the right amount of scare mixed with humor has made this series a hit for over 30 years. It’s no surprise that his books have inspired TV shows and movie spinoffs over the years, including the newest Goosebumps series remake. In celebration of all the shivers he’s given us over the years, here are some Stine-tingling reads for children of all ages.”...

Chicago Public Library, Oct. 1

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