ALA releases State of America’s Libraries 2024 report

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The State of America's Libraries 2024

On April 8, ALA released of its highly anticipated list of the and the report. The report highlights the ways libraries and library workers have addressed community needs with innovative and critical services, as well as the challenges brought on by censorship attempts. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe was the most challenged book for the third consecutive year. The targeted for censorship surged 65% in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching the highest levels ever documented by ALA....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 8; ALA Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office, Apr. 8

Raymond Pun

Raymond Pun, academic and research librarian at Alder Graduate School of Education in Redwood City, California, has been elected 2025–2026 ALA president. His term will start this year as 2024–2025 president-elect. Pun received 5,611 votes, while his opponent Sam Helmick, community and access services coordinator at Iowa City Public Library, received 2,778 votes. ALA members also elected 12 councilors-at-large serving terms from 2024–2027, overwhelmingly passed two bylaw amendments, and selected leadership for ALA divisions, divisional sections, and round tables. Full results are available on the ....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 8; ALA Governance Office, Apr. 8

Field Guides by Nihar Malaviya

Nihar Malaviya writes: “Public and school libraries have long been great equalizers in our society. They provide access to books and information to everyone. Today’s book bans disproportionately affect young people in communities where families rely on their local library or public school to access books, and this is distressing and dangerous. Finding yourself represented in a book is critical. There is a long history of using the courts to protect authors and the right to read. Librarians are a crucial partner in this fight to protect free expression.”...

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 8

Celebrate #NationalPoetryMonth this April by visiting poets.org/npm. Ad for National Poetry Month

Shola Richards speaks at the opening session for the 2024 Public Library Association conference on April 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

American Libraries Associate Editor Megan Bennett reported from the 2024 Public Library Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio, April 3–5. includes reports on opening keynote speaker Shola Richards and sessions on service design and crisis communications. , Bennett shared insights from Big Ideas session speaker Bettina Love and programs on defending democracy and creating belonging. featured comedian Dulcé Sloan, and sessions on privacy and intellectual freedom....

AL: The Scoop, Apr. 4–5, 8

Illustration of a mother and child entering a library

ALA released , the second in a series of resources to help libraries apply for more than $1 billion in federal funding through the Digital Equity Act. The guide’s release coincides with the recent Notice of Funding Opportunity for the grants, though individual states will have different timelines, funding amounts, and application procedures. More information is available on , and in upcoming webinars on and ....

ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Office, Apr. 3

Tara Isabel Lago

New York Public Library’s (NYPL) Books for All campaign has announced winners of its National Teen Writing Contest, which asked participants across the country, “Why is the freedom to read important to you?” The grand prize-winning entry, “” by Tara Isabel Lago, was published by Teen Vogue April 8. All 21 winning entries, selected from nearly 500 submissions, will be published in a special edition of NYPL’s in June. ALA is a partner in the Books for All campaign, which aims to celebrate and protect the freedom to read....

New York Public Library, Apr. 8; Teen Vogue, Apr. 8

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Louisiana State Capitol

Kelly Jensen writes: “Despite the fact that , lawmakers across the country continue to infantilize and criminalize library workers. Louisiana continues these efforts in an ongoing move by politicians in the state to damage public libraries with . H.B. 777 was introduced March 25 by Louisiana Rep. Kellee Hennessy Dickerson (R-Denham Springs), who helped fund the Louisiana Freedom Caucus. The bill would criminalize library workers and libraries for [‘in any way expending public funds to or with’] the American Library Association.” The penalty is up to a $1,000 fine, up to two years’ imprisonment, or both....

Book Riot, Apr. 3

Stack of books

Emanuel Maiberg writes: “Google Books is indexing low quality, AI-generated books that will turn up in search results and could possibly impact Google Ngram viewer, an important tool used by researchers to track language use throughout history. Searching Google Books for the term ‘As of my last knowledge update,’ which is associated with ChatGPT-generated answers, returns dozens of books that include that phrase. Most of the books in the first eight pages of results turned up by the search appear to be AI-generated and are not about AI.”...

404 Media, Apr. 4

Two people holding mobile phones and tangle fidgets smile as they share a phone screen.

“In 2022, as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA launched a grant opportunity for hundreds of small and rural libraries looking to better serve the needs of patrons with disabilities. [Nonprofit research organization] Knology has been analyzing reports by LTC libraries to share what they are learning with the field. By hosting conversations with neurodivergent members of their communities, LTC libraries have been learning how to take into account their specific needs and priorities. Below, we draw on LTC libraries’ interim report data to present three priorities that neurodivergent patrons expressed wanting to see addressed at their library.”...

Programming Librarian, Apr. 5

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Ready Set Library! National Library Week 2024 logo

Becky Spratford writes: “[Yesterday was] National Library Workers Day, and I want to speak directly to all my readers here—almost all of whom are library workers themselves. You need to not only allow yourself to be celebrated, but also brag about yourself to the world. You can use the for National Library Week, or even better, those for . Remember, [our services] .”...

RA for All, Apr. 9

A person, maybe a librarian or instructor, standing in front of a board with a video game controller on it

Joy DuBose writes: “Many people remember playing the original Oregon Trail in school to learn about the historical Oregon Trail and the tribulations of those who traveled it. But, unless you are familiar with games or know what to look for, you may not know what is currently available or how games have changed. Many games were created with education in mind, and there are a great deal more entertainment games that can also be used for education.” Examples include Super Algebrawl, Turing Complete, Kerbal Space Program, and even Stardew Valley....

Choice 360 LibTech Insights, Apr. 8

Group of friends frolicking inside a giant pipe

Bobbi L. Newman writes: “Psychological safety, a term coined to describe an environment where individuals feel free to express their thoughts without fear of repercussion, is not just a nice-to-have; it’s essential for workplace wellbeing. It fosters innovation, encourages the sharing of ideas, and supports mental health. Librarians can struggle with psychological safety because we prefer the veneer of niceness over almost all else. We often conflate niceness with kindness. It is hard to have psychological safety when teammates are afraid to express thoughts and be their authentic selves because any type of nonconformity is perceived as not nice.”...

Librarian by Day, Apr. 5

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