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Duffie Dixon writes: “Formerly incarcerated individuals are an overlooked population of aspiring entrepreneurs, often lacking the means, access, and support to launch a small business successfully. Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library created the New Start Entrepreneurship Incubator in 2021 as a free program to provide the fundamentals of business education for formerly incarcerated individuals through in-person classes, online coursework, and a network of mentors and community partners. Businesses started by program graduates include a catering service, a hair and beauty boutique, and a facility providing assisted living for veterans and other individuals transitioning from homelessness.”...

American Libraries Trend, Nov./Dec.

Julie Reese

Julie Reese was promoted to executive director of ALA’s Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures division in May. Reese is a familiar face at ALA; she joined the staff 22 years ago, producing continuing education programs for the Library Leadership and Management Association and Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. In 2020, those divisions merged into what is now known as Core. Reese served as Core’s interim executive director from September 2022 until her promotion. She answered our 11 Questions to introduce herself to ALA members....

AL: The Scoop, Nov. 20

Marble lion in front of New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Deanna Garcia and Louis Finley write: “Cuts to the [New York City] budget mean public libraries will no longer be open seven days a week, officials said. The last day of Sunday service for New York Public Library and Queens Public Library will be November 26. For Brooklyn Public Library, the last open Sunday will be December 17. City Hall blamed , which will impact virtually every city agency, on costs to house and feed asylum seekers.” A from the library systems warned that spending would be reduced on library materials, programming, and building maintenance and repair....

Spectrum News NY1, Nov. 16, 17; Invest in Libraries, Nov. 16

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Alexander Willis writes: “In a lengthy meeting November 16, the Alabama Public Library Service Board voted unanimously to delay a vote to disassociate from the ALA, a matter that has drawn controversy in recent months. Some critics of the ALA, including Gov. Kay Ivey and several Republican lawmakers, have gone as far as to suggest that public libraries if the issue of controversial books is not sorted out. At Thursday’s meeting, some board members pushed back on those threats of funding cuts, as well as damage they say the dispute has caused.”...

Alabama Daily News, Nov. 17, Nov. 3

Patty Hector

Debra Hale-Shelton writes: “Fired librarian Patty Hector is making a comeback—as a Democratic candidate on the solidly Republican Saline County (Ark.) Quorum Court. That’s the group of justices of the peace who made it possible for the county judge to fire Hector because she didn’t follow their recommendations on what books should be in the library children’s section. County Judge on October 9 from her position as director of the Saline County Library System after months of controversy over censorship of children’s books, primarily ones with LGBTQ+ topics.”...

Arkansas Times, Nov. 14, Oct. 9

Directional signage at Carmichael Library

Amanda Melcher writes: “Wayfinding is a fundamental aspect of effectively using a multi-function space. Libraries, with their complicated classification systems, multiple service points, and varying number of distinct collections housed in different areas/floors, exemplify the complex job that signage must accomplish. The University of Montevallo (Ala.) Carmichael Library’s partnership with a graphic design class to modernize library wayfinding was a win-win: it provided a user-centered design for the library and a real-world graphic design job for the students.”...

The Journal of Creative Library Practice, Nov. 20

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Becky Spratford writes: “In terms of usefulness for you, the public library worker, the very best ‘best’ lists are the ones that think about the average reader and identify titles that are well constructed, engaging, and accessible. They have literary merit, yes, but are not obtuse. They provide new information on a topic or a different perspective, but they are also extremely readable. And they have a wide view of what makes something ‘best.’” With that in mind, she reviews “Best Books of 2023” lists from numerous sources: , , , , , , , and ....

RA for All, Oct.–Nov.

Two friends enjoying coffee

Megan Jackson writes: “When I started my first full-time youth services position back in the beginning of 2019, a word came up in those first conversations with my new coworkers that completely terrified me: networking. I wasn’t even quite sure how the process worked. My mind could only conjure up images of a fancy cocktail party where everyone tried to get the ear of the ‘big guy’ (whoever that was). But today I think of networking as a way to generate resources for myself—and it is much easier than I previously thought....

ALSC Blog, Nov. 21

Screencap of a video of a soccer celebration in Algeria that is falsely used as war footage

Sam Wineburg and Michael Caulfield write: “Recent headlines warn of sophisticated, AI-driven deepfakes. But low-tech, cheap fakes are the Swiss army knife in the propagandist’s tool belt. Changing a date, altering a location or even repurposing a clip from a video game and passing it off as battlefield combat require little know-how yet effectively sow confusion. The good news is that you can avoid being taken in by these ruses—not by examining the evidence closely, which is liable to mislead you, but by waiting until trusted sources verify what you’re looking at. This is often hard to do, however.”...

The Conversation, Nov. 16

ALA news and press releases

Mexica merchants acquiring quetzal feathers

Maya Pontone writes: “A rare manuscript featuring 2,500 pages of detailed illustrations and text documenting the history and culture of 16th-century Mexico is now available online. The , a seven-year project by Los Angeles’s Getty Research Institute, features new transcriptions and translations, updated summaries, searchable texts and images, and more. Although Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún is frequently credited as the primary author, the manuscript was created with the help of numerous elders, grammarians, artists, and scribes from the Nahua community. As a result, the codex maintains an important Indigenous perspective.”...

Hyperallergic, Nov. 9

Cover of Keepunumuk

Ashlie Swicker writes: “I don’t know of a lower elementary social studies curriculum that provides a clear explanation of the historical facts around the feast where Europeans and Wampanoag people ate together. I do know, however, that publishing has taken strides to center Native voices and improve historical accuracy. Below, I’ve gathered a few books that add important context to the Thanksgiving story most children are taught and educate readers about specific tribes and traditions.”...

Book Riot, Nov. 17

Part of the cover of Finnegans Wake

Lois Beckett writes: “For a quarter century, Gerry Fialka, an experimental filmmaker from Venice, California, has hosted a book club devoted to a single text: James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, one of the most famously difficult texts in literary history. Starting in 1995, between 10 and 30 people would show up to monthly meetings at a local library. At first, they read two pages a month, eventually slowing to just one page per discussion. At that pace, the group—which now meets on Zoom—reached the final page in October.” Keeping with the book’s cyclical nature, the group continued reading from page three in November....

The Guardian, Nov. 12

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