LibLearnX 2024 Review

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Covers of Big and The Eyes and the Impossible

On January 22, ALA announced the top books, digital media, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards—at the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore. The Eyes and the Impossible, written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris, won the Newbery Medal, and Big, illustrated and written by Vashti Harrison, received the Caldecott Medal. . Also at LibLearnX, the Reference and User Association announced winners of the . Amanda Peters’ The Berry Pickers won the fiction medal, while Roxanna Asgarian won the nonfiction medal for We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 20; Jan. 22

George M. Johnson

ALA conferences regularly feature a lineup of notable speakers, and LibLearnX was no exception. Author spoke about resisting censorship and supporting queer youth, while journalist discussed a project that has collected more than half a million six-word narratives about race. Comedian and author shared how his family permeates his books; journalist connected a segregated hospital’s history to modern-day mental health challenges; and actor and author spoke on the importance of inclusion and belonging. Two-time Newbery Medal winner demonstrated that every story is, in fact, a love story....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 20–21

From left, Sherry Scheline, Eboni M. Henry, Emily Drabinski, and Nicole T. Bryan

In an era where librarians are facing major political and personal challenges, it’s valuable to celebrate the work that libraries and librarians do. ALA President Emily Drabinski organized a Main Stage Panel focusing on the good that libraries do, stating “I really want to have an opportunity to celebrate the things that are important to us, rather than the things that seem to matter to some other people.” At the on January 21, keynote speaker David Delmar Sentíes celebrated the doers: “The restless, the relentlessly optimistic, who still believe in an America in which we all belong, and who will not let it be taken from them.”...

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 21

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Panelist Juan Rubio speaks at "AI and Libraries: A Discussion on the Future," a January 21 session at the American Library Association’s 2024 LibLearnX Conference in Baltimore

Considering how artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded in the past year, it’s no surprise that many sessions investigated its potential and potential pitfalls for libraries. A panel of librarians and AI experts gave advice for understanding and harnessing the technology in “,” while “” shared results of a survey of library professionals. Other technologies were also on display, such as to attract users by turning the library’s windows into an interactive aquarium, or the use of at Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 20–22

(From left) Cindy Hohl, Tamika Barnes, and Sonia Alcántara-Antoine speak with ALA Interim Executive Director during the closing session of the LibLearnX Conference January 22 in Baltimore.

The LibLearnX closing session featured a sharing their own leadership journeys. Accidental leadership, on the other hand, was the subject of “” Other sessions addressed the value of mentorship, even when ; how ; and strategies for ....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 20–22

ALA logo

At its second LibLearnX meeting, ALA Council overwhelmingly passed a , but rejected a as outside of ALA’s scope. In its meetings, Council also that includes four types of personal members, starting in fiscal year 2025; approved a motion to ; and approved a . Read recaps of the and meetings....

AL: The Scoop, Jan. 20–21

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Latest Library Links

Texas flag

Andrew Albanese writes: “In a major victory for freedom to read advocates, the Fifth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals on January 17 upheld a lower court decision to block key provisions of House Bill 900, Texas’s controversial book rating law, finding that the law likely violated First Amendment protections against compelled speech. The court remanded the case to the district court but affirmed Judge Alan D. Albright’s to block Texas Education Agency commissioner Mike Morath from enforcing the book rating provision of the law. Texas Rep. Jared Patterson (R-106), the author of the law, urged the state to continue its appeal.”...

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 18

Lisa Manganello teaching classes at South Brunswick High School in a CNN screencap

Alisha Ebrahimji writes: “Along with the smell of old books and the shelves of trendy novels at the South Brunswick High School library [in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey] are guides for accurately deciphering the digital world. Poster after poster with ‘Smart Social Networking’ tips and what ‘Good Digital Citizenship’ looks like hang at this New Jersey campus, where school librarian Lisa Manganello has made it her mission to teach teenagers to navigate the vast—often deliberately confusing—landscape of online information.”...

CNN, Jan. 22

Envelope of the letter sent by January 6 insurrectionists to Folger Shakespeare Library

Meena Venkataramanan writes: “While insurrectionists were plotting to storm the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, they took time to write and send a letter to an institution two blocks from their target: the Folger Shakespeare Library, the world’s largest collection of material related to the English playwright. The letter explained that the insurrectionists would create a 2.4-mile blockade ‘surrounding all buildings to which the US Capitol has underground tunnels to’—including the John Adams Building of the Library of Congress, with which the Folger shares a block—presumably to prevent those inside the Capitol from escaping through the buildings.”...

Washington Post, Jan. 22

ALA news and press releases

Covers of Nimona and American Prometheus

“The complete list of the 2024 Academy Award nominees has been announced, and many of them are based on books. If you want to familiarize yourself with the source material, here are all the book adaptations that were nominated this year, along with the categories they were nominated in.”...

Book Riot, Jan. 23

Screencap of DALL-E integrated in ChatGPT

Dreamchild Obari writes: “You no longer have to leave ChatGPT to generate AI images. OpenAI has integrated its flagship AI image generation tool, DALL-E, into ChatGPT’s chats. Thanks to this, you only have to prompt ChatGPT to generate an image, similar to how you would prompt it to generate text. While prompting may be easy enough, we’ll show you how to know what GPTs in ChatGPT support DALL-E’s image generation. We’ll also tell you how to prompt ChatGPT to generate images when and how you want.”...

MakeUseOf, Jan. 23

Bookbinding materials

David Crotty writes: “If you’re an avid reader, you know the sadness that comes when a beloved book falls apart. But if you’ve spent much time in libraries, you are likely familiar with the heavier ‘library binding’ style of book meant to last hundreds of years. Did you know there’s a National Information Standards Organization (NISO) standard for library book binding ()? It’s some 39 pages long, so you may not want to read through the entire standard, but you may enjoy this video that takes a fun look at just what it takes for a book to be ‘library worthy.’”...

The Scholarly Kitchen, Jan. 19

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