Talking Points

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Photo of two people demonstrating sword fighting

Rosie Newmark writes: “When Courtney Waters saw young patrons taking an interest in fantasy and medieval history, she decided to introduce sword fighting at her library. ‘I’m always looking to do programs that are a little bit off the beaten path,’ says Waters, youth services manager at Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. Enter centuries-old combat and training techniques, which have seen a boom in recent years, thanks in part to the emergence of historical European martial arts communities, mainly in the US, Australia, and Europe.”...

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

A photo of Meridian (Idaho) Library District's Tiny Library.

American Libraries offers some surprising and inspiring statistics about how libraries are encouraging creative reuse. Learn the number of volunteers that make the used book sale hosted by Friends of the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City—one of the largest library book sales in the country—possible, the size of the shipping container that Meridian (Idaho) Library District adapted into its Tiny Library, and the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library anniversary commemorated by a massive sculpture made of recycled denim and electronics....

American Libraries Trend, Mar./Apr.

2025-2026 ALA Presidential Candidates Sam Helmick and Raymond Pun

The deadline to vote in ALA’s annual election is April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.  ALA members are voting for 2025–26 president and 12 councilors-at-large who will serve from 2024–27. Read the candidate statements for presidential candidates , community and access services coordinator at Iowa City Public Library, and , academic and research librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education in Redwood City, California. Both candidates also participated in the . for the presidential and councilor-at-large candidates is available on the ALA election website....

ALA Governance Office, Mar. 12; American Libraries, Mar./Apr.



Two people using a computer-based class to develop skills.

For individuals who want to learn new tech skills, sharpen existing ones, or find a new job, Verizon offers Skill Forward, a 100% free online education program for the general public. Skill Forward provides access to more than 250 expert-led online courses including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills. It supports individuals from all backgrounds in learning the skills needed to find positions with in-demand organizations—no prior experience or college degree required! By enabling access to quality training, Skill Forward is helping people be better prepared for the fast-growing digital workforce.


Boost Students' Success. The Wall Street Journal High School Program. Contact Us Now.

Free People Read Freely logo.

Phil Morehart writes: “We’re gearing up for a very exciting National Library Week, April 7–13. On April 8, also known as Right to Read Day, The New Republic is presenting a discussion on banned and challenged books with authors Lauren Groff, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ellen Hopkins, George M. Johnson, David Levithan, Ashley Hope Pérez, Jodi Picoult, and Jacqueline Woodson, hosted by MSNBC's Katie Phang.” to attend the event in Pinecrest, Florida, or stream online. ALA also offers posters, proclamations, graphics, and to use in planning their own National Library Week celebrations....

I Love Libraries, Mar. 20

Part of a survey form from Project Outcome

, a free collection of resources designed to help libraries understand and share the impact of essential library programs and services, has released the new toolkit. Gena Parsons-Diamond writes: “Ensuring accessibility in library assessment is crucial to promoting inclusivity, allowing individuals with diverse abilities to fully engage with and benefit from library services and programs. Prioritizing accessibility enables libraries to gather more accurate and representative data, which facilitates informed decision making to better serve the entire community.”...

ACRL Insider, Mar. 20

Cyndee Landrum

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) appointed Cyndee Landrum as acting director effective March 21. Landrum, who has served as deputy director of library services since 2019, assumed the acting director role following the end of Director Crosby Kemper’s four-year term. She will lead the agency until President Biden nominates, and the US Senate confirms, a new director. The IMLS directorship alternates between individuals selected from the museum and library fields; Landrum was previously CEO of Evansville (Ind.) Vanderburgh Public Library and held leadership roles in libraries across the country....

IMLS, Mar. 21

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Part of the cover of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Nathalie op de Beeck writes: “Floyd County (Va.) Public Schools have a One Division, One Book community reading of Katherine Applegate’s Wishtree following complaints that the middle-grade novel depicts a monoecious red oak, a tree with reproductive parts that can pollinate and flower simultaneously. In the book, originally published in 2017, the tree claims an identity that is ‘both’ female and male.” The program was suspended after a Facebook post by Jodi Farmer, “whose children attend a private Christian academy in neighboring Carroll County.”...

Publishers Weekly, Mar. 20; Roanoke Times, Mar. 13

Shelf of children's books

Tim Vandenack writes: “Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a measure into law March 18 that calls for removal of challenged books from all public school libraries across Utah if three school districts opt to pull them. , building on targeting books containing ‘sensitive’ passages, also contains a provision allowing school district administrators to pull books in certain circumstances without having to put them before a review committee. If three school districts, or two school districts plus five charter schools, remove a book, it is to be removed from all school districts statewide.”...

KSL-TV (Salt Lake City), Mar. 18

British Library

Simon Bowie writes: “The British Library in London’s computer systems were recently attacked by the notorious ransomware group Rhysida. Though the library is slowly recovering and has admirably published their cyber-incident review paper openly, the incident highlights failures of senior management and devaluing of library technical skills that are widely applicable to libraries across UK higher education. The highlights several issues that are all symptomatic of a more wide-ranging management issue that is hinted at throughout the paper: a lack of investment on in-house technical staff leading to a focus on outsourcing systems and infrastructure to third-party providers.”...

London School of Economics Impact Blog, Mar. 19

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Boy reading

Jason Keil writes: “Whether it is Oprah Winfrey’s, Resse Witherspoon’s, or Mindy Kaling’s book club doesn’t matter: The selections are always for adults. But maybe it’s the kids who would really benefit from a book club, both socially and academically—after all, according to the US Department of Education, . While you may not have the clout of Winfrey or the star power of Witherspoon, you can easily start a book club for kids to enhance their reading and social skills.”...

Lifehacker, Mar. 26

Coloring image from Médiathèques de Roannais Agglomération

The project, which was launched in 2016 by the New York Academy of Medicine Library, has released its 2024 collection of free coloring books featuring images from libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world. This year’s collection includes thousands of downloadable and printable images from 93 institutions, including Chicago’s ; in Bethesda, Maryland; , in Milwaukee, , and at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb....

Open Culture, Mar. 20

Part of a March Book Madness bracket

Karin Greenberg writes: “Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, Championship… every March, I hear these buzzwords in my library. The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament livens up the room. Teens huddle around smartphones watching the last minutes of nail-biters. Others share bracket predictions. I’m energized by it all. Several years ago I merged my love of this sporting event with my drive to get high schoolers reading, and this year we’re hosting our seventh annual March Book Madness in the library.”...

Knowledge Quest, Mar. 26

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