2024 Library Systems Report

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Illustration of a woman "surfing" on a library card through different icons related to library systems including a book, a money sign, and an ebook

Marshall Breeding writes: “The library technology industry had a quiet year in 2023. But in the absence of major business moves and acquisitions, companies set their sights on executing strategies to strengthen their market position. Previous cycles of business consolidation have yielded a layered landscape with distinct levels of competition. Competition at each level remains vigorous. Libraries may have fewer product choices because of past acquisitions, but the options remaining are distinctive. Most libraries can choose between for-profit and nonprofit vendors, and between proprietary and open source products.”...

American Libraries feature, May

From the President by Emily Drabinski

Emily Drabinski writes: “When you’re president of the ALA, you get asked a lot of questions. But here’s one that’s hard to answer: ‘What’s your favorite library?’ When you’ve seen as many amazing libraries as I have, it’s impossible to choose, so my favorite library is always the most recent one I’ve visited. As much as individual libraries are distinct, they also have a lot in common. Librarians select, acquire, describe, organize, and provide access to information. These fundamentals might look different in time and place, but they remain the core of our profession.”...

American Libraries column, May

Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Allison Escoto writes: “There’s no doubt about it. Librarianship can be a demanding career path, and the quest to find just the right work-life balance while managing stress is perennial. This eclectic collection of books speak to that delicate balance by covering the importance of wellness, preventing burnout, practicing mindfulness, and essential self-care practices.”...

American Libraries column, May



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Screencap of ALA's website

ALA’s went live on April 30. Upgrades include simplified menus, smoother navigation, enhanced functionality, and fewer pages for a cleaner experience. The collects all events in one place with filters to search by topic, event type, location, audience, and more. A makes it easier to find and apply for funding opportunities. The new site is compliant with , and the Reference and User Services Association’s Accessibility Accessibility Assembly is ....

ALA, Apr. 30

FCC logo

Lauren Feiner writes: “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3–2 on April 25 to restore net neutrality rules, reversing a repeal ushered through during the Trump administration. Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should not be able to discriminate against different kinds of content by blocking or throttling connection speeds or offering paid prioritization for different internet traffic.” The new rules are similar to those originally adopted in 2015 and repealed in 2017, network slicing, in which internet service providers use 5G technology to create virtual subnetworks that prioritize certain subscribers who pay for a premium subscription....

The Verge, Apr. 25; Gizmodo, Apr. 25

Maulik Pancholy with copies of his book, Nikhil Out Loud

Orlando Mayorquín writes: “Less than two weeks after a Pennsylvania school board unanimously voted to cancel a gay author’s antibullying speech at a middle school, the board voted Wednesday night to reverse its decision and reinstate the event amid pressure from parents, students, and administrators. The 5-to-4 vote by the Cumberland Valley School District’s board came in front of scores of community members who packed a high school auditorium and, for several hours, chastised the board for having canceled the event featuring the actor and author Maulik Pancholy over what they said were homophobic concerns.”...

New York Times, Apr. 24

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Illustration depicting a futuristic city

Cynthia Hudson Vitale writes: “The Association of Research Libraries has issued (AI). AI technologies, and in particular, generative AI, have significant potential to improve access to information and advance openness in research outputs. AI also has the potential to disrupt information landscapes and the communities that research libraries support and serve. The increasing availability of AI models sparks many possibilities and raises several ethical, professional, and legal considerations. These principles will serve as a foundational framework for the ethical and transparent use of AI and reflect the values we hold in research libraries.”...

Association of Research Libraries, Apr. 25

Library shelf with children's books

Tania Otero Martinez writes: “Since a shocking plunge in math and reading scores on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, educators, administrators, and policymakers have grappled with how to address learning challenges following the pandemic. One factor that has largely escaped notice, however, is the role school libraries and librarians play in academic performance. School libraries are too often treated as a luxury rather than an essential part of the public education system with a proven impact on learning. It is time to turn around years of disinvestment in school libraries and librarians.”...

Center for American Progress, Apr. 18

Trans flag

Keahi Adolpho and Stephen G. Krueger write: “This comprehensive review illuminates the current state of scholarly literature on trans and gender diverse inclusion in libraries, with the intention to provide a foundation and identify gaps for further research. We found that, with the exception of works on archives and cataloging, little scholarly literature goes beyond introductory talking points on basic information about trans and gender diverse people. We conclude with a call for much more in-depth research on this essential topic.”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Apr. 24

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Caldecott medal seal

Cara S. Bertram writes: “As we look forward to book award ceremonies at the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego this summer, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the history of one of the most prestigious children’s book awards, the Caldecott Medal. The idea was first presented in 1935 in a letter by Frederic G. Melcher,” who had established the Newbery Medal in 1921. Melcher’s suggestion was prompted when Professor May Hill Arbuthnot of Western Reserve University in Cleveland communicated the concern that the Newbery was not recognizing literature for the youngest children....

American Library Association Archives, Apr. 29

Cover of Flotsam by David Wiesner

Rachée Fagg writes: “Reading, a gateway to knowledge and empowerment, serves as the cornerstone of education worldwide. However, for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, the journey of mastering this essential skill can present unique challenges. Traditional reading materials, laden with text, often intimidate and discourage ESL learners, hindering their progress. Wordless books, as the name suggests, eschew conventional text in favor of vivid illustrations that narrate compelling stories. By relying solely on visuals, these books transcend language barriers, inviting readers of all ability levels to embark on imaginative journeys.”...

ALSC Blog, Apr. 26

Librarian with a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

Wanda Sykes may have been the headline guest on the April 23 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, but the highlight of the show was a World Book Day segment about antilibrarian bills. Kimmel said “There are at least 100 bills in various red states, three of which have become law already, threatening librarians with prison for the crime of lending books.” He then turned the segment over to real-life librarians to clarify that they give out library cards and offer storytimes rather than “grooming” children or spreading Satanism and meth. One of the featured librarians concluded the segment by declaring “You can have To Kill a Mockingbird when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!”...

Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Apr. 23

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