Bite into Baltimore: A LibLearnX dining guide

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Watch for American Libraries’ Daily Scoop e-newsletters January 20–22, featuring coverage of the LibLearnX conference. AL Direct’s January 24 issue will recap the event.

Cast iron bowl of mussels with sliced bread on top

Meredith Pratt writes: “Hi, hon! Welcome to Bawlmer. Established as a port and shipbuilding town in 1729, Charm City has long been home to a diverse bunch of hardworking residents. Maybe that’s why we have more than 200 distinct neighborhoods here, each with its own personality and flair. For visitors to our town, this means an authentic, eclectic, and delightful experience no matter where they choose to dine. Yes, crab is still king, but there’s so much more—Haitian, Cuban, Italian, Japanese, and plenty of good old Southern comfort (we’re south of the Mason–Dixon line, after all).”...

American Libraries feature, Jan./Feb.

Call Number with American Libraries Episode 91: Good Morning, Baltimore!

Call Number explores Baltimore in its newest episode. American Libraries Associate Editor and Call Number host Diana Panuncial speaks with David and Tonya Thomas, the husband-and-wife duo of chefs and food historians behind Baltimore’s H3irloom Food Group, a culinary organization with a mission of uplifting the Black food narrative; and Eden Etzel and Aditya Desai, literature experts from education nonprofit Maryland Humanities, who explore local literary history and the landmarks that may interest librarians. Also, Maryland school librarians share their favorite aspects of Baltimore culture and history....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 16

Anna Kresmer, holding a title from the B&O Railroad Museum research library, poses in front of a 19th century locomotive.

Megan Bennett writes: “In 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad became the first common carrier railway in the US, revolutionizing commercial travel. Its creation cemented Baltimore as the ‘birthplace of American railroading,’ says Anna Kresmer, archivist at the B&O Railroad Museum (BORM), located in the city’s historic Mount Clare Station and Roundhouse building. Kresmer analyzes and catalogs materials, supports exhibit development, and oversees BORM’s research library, home to more than 5,000 titles. Locomotives aside, BORM’s collection—including its archives, library, and small objects—measures approximately 7,200 linear feet. Most items are from the 1820s to early 1970s.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

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Dispatches by Cathryn M. Copper

Cathryn M. Copper writes: “In many libraries and organizations, it is leadership that shapes employees’ expectations and their growth opportunities. As a new year begins, let’s evaluate how those who manage teams can foster a better workplace by providing ways for workers to reskill, or develop new skills outside their current expertise. To reskill, it is necessary to create opportunities where people can practice skills or learn new ones. Consider organizing training with your team. This is a chance to engage in new processes, methodologies, and technologies that are essential to experimentation.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Catan board game

Thomas Vose writes: “The Games and Gaming Round Table is very proud to announce our inaugural cohort of classic games that we recognize as Platinum Plays—evergreen titles well-suited to library programs and collections. These classic games, chosen for their antiquity, versatility and timeless nature, represent the first of a new awards category highlighting the best of gaming in library spaces. Platy recipients should be considered standouts for library collections or programming ideas across a wide swath of library types.” This year’s cohort includes Catan, Minecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, and chess....

ALA Games and Gaming Round Table, Jan. 16

QR Code

Kelly Safin and Elizabeth Sterner write: “QR codes can be a contactless, fast, cost-effective resource, with options for customization and metrics. Because of increased usage during the height of the pandemic, there are more generator and reader offerings to choose from. Many of these options are free, or built into a platform or technology already being used. QR codes are one way to connect patrons to more information, but because they require specific technology to access, they should not be the only option given.”...

Association for College and Research Libraries Instruction Section, Jan. 9

Latest Library Links

Part of the cover of the American Heritage Children's Dictionary

Judd Legum writes: “The Escambia County (Fla.) School District has removed several dictionaries from its library shelves over concerns that making the dictionaries available to students would violate House Bill 1069, the 2023 Florida law that gives residents the right to demand the removal of any library book that ‘depicts or describes sexual conduct.’ The American Heritage Children’s Dictionary, Webster’s Dictionary for Students, and Merriam-Webster’s Elementary Dictionary are among more than 2800 books () that have been pulled from school libraries and placed into storage, pending review.” Conservative pundit and was outraged to find two of his books on the list of those pulled....

Popular Information, Jan. 10; PEN America, Jan. 9; Business Insider, Jan. 13

Outline of North Carolina filled with technology logo

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction recently released a (AI) in public schools. The state guidebook says that AI literacy should be infused into all grade levels and curriculum areas. It stresses the importance of incorporating AI into the classroom responsibly, using it as a tool to aid in learning. The guidebook also discusses some common concerns surrounding AI, such as cheating and the protection of student data....

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Jan. 16

Open hands

Nikki Andersen writes: “I am a librarian with a degenerative connective tissue condition called Stickler Syndrome. It is one part of my identity but also responsible for everything I am. Most of the current literature on disability in librarianship focuses on serving patrons with disabilities. The experiences of being a disabled library worker are less explored. To address this gap, I am using autoethnography, a form of academic storytelling that draws on and analyses my own lived experience in relation to my LIS work and the LIS profession more broadly.”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Jan. 10

ALA news and press releases

Public Domain logo

John Mark Ockerbloom writes: “Many of us are celebrating a new public domain day. And we’re not just celebrating famous characters like Mickey Mouse, but all kinds of cultural works and information resources. A lot of later works are (not so obviously) in the public domain. At the Libraries at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, we started what we call the . We wrote some code to identify serials we held that might be in the public domain. For many serials, copyrights were rarely renewed in their early days, so a number of issues from the 1960s can freely go online....

Everybody’s Libraries, Jan. 16

Cover of Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

“Long considered a taboo topic, mental health has become a major topic of conversation in our day and age. We are finally coming to understand that social, emotional, and psychological well-being are as important as physical well-being. This list of mental health books includes the books I’ve seen most often recommended. And being a book person, I couldn’t resist adding some fiction books about mental health to the list. Reading novels is a great way to build empathy and awareness on a variety of issues, including mental health.”...

Booklist Queen, Jan. 16

RuPaul and the RuPaul's Drag Race team accepting the Emmy for Best Reality Competition Program at the 75th Annual Emmy Awards

Shannon Connellan writes: “RuPaul’s Drag Race took home Best Reality Competition Program at this year's Emmys. Accepting the award on behalf of the Drag Race team, RuPaul took a moment to champion children's library events like Drag Story Hour that encourage diversity, creativity, and education, and which have been ludicrously and harmfully targeted by the far-right and conspiracy theorists. ‘If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her because knowledge is power and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you,’ RuPaul said.”...

Mashable, Jan. 16

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