Show Yourself

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Show Yourself

Susan D. Ballard and Sara Kelly Johns write: “As school librarians, we are always rethinking how to convey who we are and what we do. To compete and remain viable, we need to work on our brand identity. The feelings and impressions that members of our school community have when they think of our library, and their memories of interactions they’ve had with us—positive or negative—are our school library’s brand. The goal is not so much to transform the school library’s image as it is to build credibility through ongoing improvement and exemplary brand behavior.”...

American Libraries feature, May

Maia Kobabe and Sarah Peitzmeier

Sarah Hunter writes: “In early 2020, Maia Kobabe (e/em/eir) was wrapping up promotion for eir memoir Gender Queer when e received an email out of the blue from Sarah Peitzmeier, a social epidemiologist working in LGBTQ+ health at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Peitzmeier, a fan of Kobabe’s work, wanted to collaborate with em on an illustrated guide based on her research on current chest-binding practices. The resulting book became Breathe: Journeys to Healthy Binding. American Libraries spoke with Kobabe and Peitzmeier about their new title, their collaboration, and the importance of making evidence-based information about trans health care widely available.”...

American Libraries Trend, May

A piece of sheet music from University of Michigan's collection of Thomas Edison's sheet music.

May is National Inventors Month, so American Libraries’ By the Numbers column investigates some of the connections between libraries and notable inventors, including Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Madam C .J. Walker, and the Wright brothers. You’ll also learn details about inventors-in-residence programs, makerspaces, and a Smithsonian traveling exhibit....

American Libraries Trend, May



Women taking an online course

Discover new skills, enhance existing ones, or kickstart your career journey with a free online education program, Skill Forward, in partnership with Verizon and edX. Offering over 250 courses in areas like leadership, entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence, this initiative is open to all, regardless of background or education level. Skill Forward empowers individuals to thrive in today’s digital workforce by providing quality skill training along with support on preparing for high-demand positions. .


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Sara Goek writes: “The Association of College and Research Libraries joined ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries in a to the proposed elimination of the Academic Libraries component from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the interrelated surveys conducted each year by the National Center for Education Statistics. The associations strongly object to the elimination of academic library data from IPEDS, believing it is essential to understanding the value of libraries and their contributions to the mission of higher education.”...

ACRL Insider, May 3

2024 ALA Annual Conference logo

Margaret Bates writes: “Conference season is upon us with ALA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition taking place in San Diego from June 27–July 2. Conferences can be intimidating for first-time attendees, especially large conferences like ALA. Here are some dos and don’ts, and some tips, for first (or second!) time attendees.” Among her advice: Take advantage of conference orientations, network at meet and greets and mixers, and don’t overlook the importance of sleep (and comfortable shoes)....

NMRT Notes, May 6

Samira Ahmed with copies of her book Hollow Fires

Kiara Alfonseca writes: “Samira Ahmed, an author of young adult and middle-grade literature, never expected to hire security for events, travel under an alias, or face cancellations at schools and libraries. Ahmed told ABC News she faces threats and book bans over her novels—including Internment and Hollow Fires—which have caused a firestorm of criticism for tackling complex issues about race, oppression and politics. Titles highlighting Asian American cultures have been targets among the long and growing inventory of books singled out by critics, prompting concerns about representation in literature.”...

ABC News, May 2

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Louisiana state capitol

Sarah Ravits writes: “The Louisiana House of Representatives April 30 passed a bill loosening hiring requirements for library directors across the state, a move that could make it easier for conservative local officials to hire supporters of book banning. by Rep. Josh Carlson (R-Lafayette) removes a requirement that candidates for library director positions have master’s degrees in library sciences, which are accredited by the ALA. Librarians and anti-censorship advocacy groups, including the Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship, view this bill as an attack on librarians' credentials and an attempt to undermine ALA.”...

NOLA.com Gambit, Apr. 30

Texas flag

Frank Strong writes: “On May 5, many Texas school districts held elections for their boards of trustees. For months I’ve tracked contested races in 23 districts where there have been controversies about books, book bans, and censorship. The results were… great, overall!” Thirteen districts definitively rejected slates of candidates supported by Moms for Liberty, 1776 Project PAC, and other procensorship groups. Seven districts had mixed or neutral results, while candidates opposed to the freedom to read won in three. The results “don’t necessarily capture the balance of power in a given district,” but “these elections provide a strong foundation from which we can start restoring sanity to school boards next year.”...

Anger & Clarity, May 6

Rendering of the Mt. Vernon Library Commons

The US Department of Transportation announced May 1 that its (BAB) has approved its first (TOD) loan for $26.8 million for the . The project covers half of a city block in Mt. Vernon and includes a public library, community center, commercial kitchens, electric vehicle chargers, and other amenities, all within walking distance of a multimodal transportation center. TOD is a new category of project for BAB, which offers below-market rate financing on infrastructure projects....

US Department of Transportation, May 1

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Boy reading

Dan Kois writes: “Kids in 3rd and 4th grade are beginning to stop reading for fun. It’s called the ‘Decline by 9,’ and it’s reaching a crisis point for publishers and educators. What’s causing the Decline by 9? It might be screens, but it’s not only screens. Indeed, several people I spoke to mentioned that middle-graders’ lack of phones created a marketing problem in an era when no one at any publishing house has any idea how to make a book a bestseller other than to hope it blows up on TikTok.”...

Slate, May 5

Branford Price Millar Library showing paint on walls and aid stations set up by protestors

Jashayla Pettigrew writes: “Following a days-long occupation, Portland (Ore.) State University (PSU) library isn’t projected to re-open until later this fall. According to a letter sent to the campus community this afternoon, PSU President Ann Cudd toured Branford Price Millar Library on May 3 and realized it was ‘not suitable for occupation.’” Pro-Palestinian protestors for three days until they were removed by police May 2. Damage includes messages painted on the walls, furniture overturned or blocking entrances, broken glass, and missing fire extinguishers....

KOIN-TV (Portland, Oregon), May 4; The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 3

Larsen-Sant Public Library

Logan Finney writes: “Larsen-Sant Public Library in Preston, Idaho, will temporarily restrict public access to its building starting May 6 in response to a new state law that opens libraries to lawsuits if minors access inappropriate content on the shelves. ‘In order to comply with we are closing the library to the public.’ according to a .” The library will move young adult books with LGBTQ+ themes or characters to the adult section. Library staffers hope to reopen by June 3, and suggested patrons should direct questions or “” to Idaho Gov. Brad Little and local lawmakers....

Idaho Reports, May 3

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