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New YALSA Webinar: Tackling Sex Ed & Menstrual Literacy in Public Libraries with Rakisha Kearns-White. February 28, 2:30-4:00 p.m. Eastern. Register today!

Aydin Kwan, adult services librarian at Sunnyvale Public Library uses an induction cooktop available for loan.

Bill Furbee writes: “When the existing gas range in his home began to malfunction, Brian Bunk considered replacing it with an induction stove. That decision, he says, was due in part to concerns about indoor air quality and a desire to switch to a more environmentally friendly appliance. Bunk was able to test this technology through a new program at Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts. In February 2023, the library began lending induction cooktops for cardholders to try at home.”...

American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.

Emily Drabinski and Michele Norris

Alison Marcotte writes: “Freezing temperatures in Baltimore could not stop librarians from exchanging hot ideas at ALA’s second in-person LibLearnX conference. Held January 19–22, the four-day hybrid event drew 2,006 attendees (including 391 exhibitors and 107 in the Digital Experience). Authors told inspiring stories and emphasized the importance of having open conversations. Presenters addressed the emergence of artificial intelligence, covering different ways librarians have started using the technology, as well as measuring its impact. Speakers tackled critical topics in the profession, including intellectual freedom, community engagement, and leadership and management.”...

American Libraries feature, Feb. 5

Academic Insights by Nimisha Bhat and Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros

Nimisha Bhat and Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros write: “Many libraries struggle to become inclusive and representative organizations, despite good intentions. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices can take on a performative role, with checklist approaches that do not necessarily address gaps or lead to meaningful change. There is also a lack of clarity around designing effective DEI practices. So what can we do? First, take inventory of your organization’s DEI interventions. This can include antibias training sessions, antiracism book clubs, climate surveys, land acknowledgements, diversity residency cohorts, and revised collection policies.”...

American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.



The University of Alabama Online: Get Started

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Nick Buron, Peter Coyl, and Corinthia Price

ALA Council has elected Nick Buron, Peter Coyl, and Corinthia Price to serve on the ALA Executive Board. Each will serve a three-year term from July 2024 to June 2027. Buron is chief librarian at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library in New York; Coyl is library director and CEO of Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library; and Price is the librarian at Green Vale School in Old Brookville, New York. The ALA Executive Board manages the affairs of the Association and comprises the president, president-elect, immediate past president, treasurer, executive director, and 10 members elected by Council from the members of that body....

ALA Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office, Feb. 7

Black-and-white image of a library

Sam Sachs writes: “A group of 22 Georgia state senators that would prevent any Georgia tax dollars from being used for the purchase or funding of materials, services or operations offered by the American Library Association or its [27] affiliates.” ALA’s to the bill states that “Contrary to the claims made by proponents of this legislation, ALA does not promote any ‘ideology’” and “the beliefs of any one member of the Association do not define the Association.”...

WSB-TV (Atlanta), Jan. 31; ALA Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office, Feb. 5

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ALA Council approved five new Core Values—access, equity, intellectual freedom and privacy, the public good, and sustainability—at its January 21 meeting held during the LibLearnX Conference in Baltimore. The Core Values articulate the profession’s principles and highest aspirations, and guide and unite library workers who contribute their talents, expertise, and dedication to furthering the mission of the library. Council also voted to create working groups for each Core Value to further expand on each description. ALA members who are interested in working on these interpretations should complete by February 29. ALA’s Executive Board will appoint members to these working groups....

ALA Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office, Feb. 5

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Isaacson, Miller logo

ALA announced it has opened its search for an executive director in partnership with corporate executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, which leads nearly 300 searches each year, many for not-for-profit organizations in need of candidates who meet demands of both mission and market. The search will be led by a steering committee comprising ALA member leaders and association staff. The selected candidate will succeed Interim Executive Director Leslie Burger, who was appointed in November 2023....

ALA Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office, Jan. 31

Stack of often-banned books

Elizabeth Williamson writes: “As America’s libraries have become noisy and sometimes dangerous new battlegrounds in the nation’s culture wars, librarians and their allies have moved from the stacks to the front lines. People who normally preside over hushed sanctuaries are now battling groups that demand the mass removal of books and seek to control library governance. Last year, more than 150 bills in 35 states aimed to restrict access to library materials, and to punish library workers who do not comply.”...

New York Times, Feb. 3

Stack of banknotes

Katie Kuipers writes: “Academic libraries have a new battle on the horizon: ‘inclusive access’ and ‘equitable access.’ These two models are the newest ventures of bookstore vendors to get students to purchase costly textbooks and other course materials. Stealing library jargon to disguise the truth, bookstore vendors are advertising inclusive access and equitable access as being a positive move for universities. These models, however, are far from it. In addition to the effect inclusive and equitable access models have on students, the contracts to implement them can severely impact and even eliminate libraries’ efforts in providing course reserves and other textbook support to students.”...

ACRLog, Feb. 2

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Anne Arundel County Public Library staff with drag performer Balena Canto

Catherine Hollerbach writes: After Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library announced a Drag Queen Storytime program, “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that all hell broke loose. We immediately started getting calls, messages, and emails from elected officials and customers demanding that we cancel the program. While we knew there would potentially be some pushback, we did not expect what happened next. The next few months were a blur of difficult conversations, navigating conflict and controversy, and determining and articulating our values.”...

Public Libraries Online, Feb. 5

Part of the cover of A Library by Nikki Giovanni

Jaclyn Diaz, Aubri Juhasz, and Desiree Mathurin write: “If you're struggling with the best way to educate children about Black history, this month or year-round, experts often suggest turning to literature to assist. Here are six picks for Black History Month reading, recommended by authors, librarians [including Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden] and book shop employees, appropriate for a range of ages from toddlers to teens.”...

NPR, Feb. 1

Phone inside a hollowed-out book

Molly Farrar writes: “In 2020, Molly Riportella started —an organization to get burner phones and other resources to people struggling to get out of violent relationships. Riportella’s ‘Book-it 2 Freedom Kits’ are hollowed-out, discarded library books, filled with prepaid burner phones with support resources. She hopes that volunteer librarians can take up her cause across the country, she said, and distribute ‘Book-it 2 Freedom Kits’ to support and advocacy groups; health and human service departments; OBGYNs and medical facilities; and police departments.”...

Boston.com, Feb. 1

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