The ALA Public Programs Office has received a $512,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute and Museum and Library Services for a research project to understand and document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes, and value of US library public programming. The project, National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment: Phase I, will implement the first research recommendation that came out of an IMLS National Leadership planning grant in 2014.
ALA Public Programs Office, May 22
Kate Lechtenberg writes: “The Florida legislature has passed a bill that could have dramatic consequences for Florida students’ and teachers’ intellectual freedom, despite opposition from the Florida Library Association. Proponents of HB 989, which currently awaits the governor’s signature, claim that the bill improves transparency and gives parents a stronger voice in their children’s education. But we must ask questions about these claims. I found many reasons to question both the law itself and Florida politicians’ understanding of the issue.”
Intellectual Freedom Blog, May 22
A school in Orlando, Florida, is pursuing an unusual policy for students interested in reading the controversial book Thirteen Reasons Why. The district does not carry the book in its classrooms or libraries, and no parental complaints have been lodged against it. The elementary school, however, has banned students from bringing their own copies into school. Stone Lakes Elementary School Principal Bryan Dolfi said the book was banned for its “profanity, alcohol, and sexually explicit material.”
Natoinal Coalition Against Censorship, May 22
Amy Brunvand writes: “About a year ago I was talking to the chief sustainability officer at the University of Utah about my work as a librarian, and she made a surprising suggestion: ’Why don’t you come work with us for a while?’ Why not? I hadn’t previously thought of embedding myself in the Sustainability Office, but the idea seemed brilliant. One of the unique aspects of campus sustainability is the way it blurs the line between academic disciplines and real-life practice.”
AL: The Scoop, May 22
Salvatore De Sando writes: “Following World War Two, the US military had a great public education opportunity ahead: to support the reentry of service men and women into civilian employment. However, the services of armed services librarians did not end there. Today, armed services librarians continue to provide services in armed services libraries. If you cannot visit such a library near you (and even if you can), then come take a tour of some of the ALA Archives holdings where you can learn about the profession.”
ALA Archives blog, May 22
Maureen Brunsdale doesn’t fantasize about running off to join the circus. She doesn’t have to. As the special collections and rare books librarian at Illinois State University’s Milner Library in Bloomington-Normal, she’s in charge of the Circus and Allied Arts Collection—one of the nation’s top collections of circus-related books, photos, posters, programs, correspondence, and other ephemera.
American Libraries Bookend, May
Una LaMarche writes: “Story hour had never looked so colorful. She stood well over six feet tall, the reader at the Hudson Park branch of the New York Public Library in Greenwich Village, her height aided by six-inch heels on purple patent leather boots. Her outfit was an oxymoronic neon camouflage bodysuit and a purple tutu. ‘My name is Harmonica Sunbeam,’ the reader said, in a voice used to loud rooms. As a warm-up, she had the children sing ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and then march vigorously in place. ”
New York Times, May 19