Newsmaker: Dave Eggers

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ALA offices will be closed next Wednesday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth. AL Direct will be published next week on Thursday, June 20.

Dave Eggers

Donna Seaman writes: “Dave Eggers, a dynamic literary force, is also a passionate, innovative, and generous advocate. The cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers around the country, he also established nonprofit independent publishing company McSweeney’s. Eggers has received many prestigious awards, most recently the Newbery Medal for The Eyes and the Impossible (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2023). American Libraries caught up with him before his appearance at ALA’s 2024 Annual Conference in San Diego to discuss the award, the magic of art, the glory of nature, and defending the freedom to read.”...

American Libraries Trend, June

Photo of the bronze Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat statue outside Geisel Library, the main library of University of California San Diego

In preparation for ALA’s 2024 Annual Conference and Exhibition June 27–July 2 in San Diego, read up on some facts and figures about the libraries and literature of America’s Finest City. Learn where to spot chandeliers designed by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, the age of the country’s oldest continuously family-owned and -operated bookstore, the number of vampire-themed comic books in San Diego State University’s Comic Arts Collection, and where to find a bronze Cat in the Hat sculpture....

American Libraries Trend, June

Hanif Abdurraqib

ALA and Unite Against Book Bans will host the second annual June 28 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Part of ALA’s 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibition, the program will gather librarians and Unite Against Book Bans partners from across the US. Nationally renowned writer, cultural critic and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Hanif Abdurraqib will deliver the keynote address. The rally will highlight anticensorship efforts and celebrate the 2024 recipients of ALA’s signature intellectual freedom awards....

ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Office, May 31

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The Association of College and Research Libraries Research Planning and Review Committee writes: “This article explores the topics and issues that have been trending in academic libraries over the past two years. It draws on research and initiatives from librarians across the profession, highlighting the constant change libraries face.” Trends identified by the committee include artificial intelligence (AI) and AI literacy, open pedagogy and instructional design, disrupting and reconceiving collection practices, politicization of academic libraries, supporting post-pandemic student wellbeing, and more....

College & Research Libraries News, June

Edmond Public Schools logo

Nuria Martinez-Keel writes: “The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously agreed with Edmond Public Schools that the state Department of Education overstepped its bounds by attempting to force the district to remove two books from its library shelves [in a .] The Education Department demanded Jan. 19 the district remove The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls from high school libraries due to sexual content, and threatened to downgrade Edmond’s accreditation status if it didn’t comply. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters accused Edmond schools of choosing to ‘peddle porn’ by keeping the two books.”...

Oklahoma Voice, June 11


Elizabeth Blair writes: “‘Book ban’ is one of those headline-ready terms often used by the news media for stories about the surge in book challenges across the US. ALA launched its annual Banned Books Week in 1982. There are banned book clubs. States have introduced or passed laws that’ve been called bans on book bans. Meanwhile, many people fighting to get books removed from school libraries are not fans of the term book ban. What does it actually mean to ban a book today? The answer depends on who you ask. Here are a handful of definitions from people entrenched in the issue.”...

NPR, June 10

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Ximena Conde and Elizabeth Wellington write: “The four-person team behind the Free Library of Philadelphia’s heralded Author Events Program resigned their positions June 3, causing grave concern among library patrons about the future of the esteemed program. The former staffers said they offered their resignation due to what they described as a ‘heartbreaking’ work culture plagued by increasingly low morale over the past year, but they said their four-week notice was rejected and they were locked out of their emails by the afternoon.”...

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4

Abstract star illustration

Sarah Moukhliss and Trina McCowan write: “Library guides can help librarians provide information to their patrons regarding their library resources, services, and tools. Despite their perceived usefulness, there is little discussion in designing library guides pedagogically by following a set of assessment standards for a quality-checked review. Instructional designers regularly use vetted assessment standards and a peer review process for building high-quality courses, yet librarians typically do not when designing library guides. This article explores using a remixed from State University of New York’s Online Course Quality Review Rubric and a peer review process [for evaluating guides].”...

In the Library with the Lead Pipe, June 5

Silhouette of a boy in a library

Mitch Perry writes: “Three parents of children attending Florida public schools filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Florida Board of Education June 6, claiming that a 2023 education law discriminates against parents who oppose book bans and censorship. requires local school boards to adopt policies regarding objections by parents to the use of specific material, but these parents contend that the law ‘only provides a mechanism for a parent to object to the affirmative use of material; it does not provide a mechanism for a parent to object to the lack of use or discontinued use of material.’”...

Florida Phoenix, June 6

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Book on fire

Kelly Jensen writes: “[Far-right Christian publisher] Brave Books is once again encouraging followers to coordinate See You At The Library events [in which supporters hold programs at public libraries to ‘pray, sing, and read BRAVE Books and other books of virtue’] on Saturday, August 24. Libraries would be best served by seeing what their meeting room policies are right now. Meet with your legal representation on what requirements you can and cannot make of those requesting rooms, and ensure every staff member is aware of what’s happening.”...

Book Riot, June 10

Gmail home screen

Alaina Yee writes: “Online security used to be simple. All you needed was a good password, and in the early days, you didn’t need a ton of numbers, letters, and special characters to achieve that goal. But as hackers and criminals get more sophisticated, so have recommendations for best security practices. One such step is called masked email. It formalizes a long-available feature known as email aliases as a privacy and security measure. A randomized email address is created to hide (aka mask) your true email address for an online account.”...

PC World, June 11

Montage of books from the National Museum of African American History & Culture's Juneteenth reading list

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC, has curated a Juneteenth reading list. The list includes fiction and nonfiction for adults, children, and teens. Among the titles are books about Black history, such as A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross or On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed; books about African American cuisine such as The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin; and youth titles such as Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming....

National Museum of African American History & Culture

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