Lisa Hoover writes: “This month, which happens to be the month of both the birth and death of Adolf Hitler, several news agencies are reporting that many Americans ‘don’t know basic facts about the Holocaust.’ Before this, I might have expected that Hitler and the Holocaust needed no introduction. Should we ban Mein Kampf? There is no doubt that it contains hateful language and concepts that could bring up painful memories or fears for many, especially in Germany. Therein lies the problem with book bans in general.”
Intellectual Freedom Blog, Apr. 24
Three ALA divisions—ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA—are currently discussing how they might work together to create a new division. They will hold online forums and offer numerous opportunities to participate across a variety of channels in the coming months, but first they are asking you to complete an online survey to tell them about your job, work environment, educational needs, and professional aspirations. They welcome input from nonmembers as well. The survey closes on May 20.
ALCTS News, Apr. 25
In many cities, it’s now possible to borrow art for free. All you need is a “art lending library.” Individuals can borrow an artwork, enjoy it in their own home, and return it by a due date with little to no fee. They have a decades-long history on university campuses, but they seem to be gaining popularity among museums, public libraries, and nonprofits. Despite differences in collection sizes and objectives, these institutions share certain goals, like reaching new audiences and creating new spaces for local creative discourse.
Hyperallergic, Apr. 19
Visual artist Nemo Miller has installed a “cry closet” in a library at the University of Utah, where she is a student. The piece is designed to allow students 10-minute secluded crying sessions—a must for anyone even remotely close to taking a final. The closet comes with rules. You must knock before entering, only one person allowed in the closet at a time, the lights must be turned off for the next person, and all social media posts about the closet must feature the hashtag #cryclosetuofu.
Mashable, Apr. 25
Jon Henley writes: “In a world where false and misleading information reaches billions instantly and online manipulation is becoming ever more sophisticated, governments are increasingly turning to legislation to combat fake news. But unlike hate speech, terrorism advocacy, or child pornography, fake news is a tricky area for the law: it has not, generally, been illegal—and in democracies, political speech is seen as deserving the strongest of free speech protections.”
The Guardian (UK), Apr. 24
Laurie Putnam writes: “Multiple studies by Pew Research as well as studies by the Maine State Library and CILIP confirm the trusted status of librarians. When it comes to sources the public looks to with confidence, we sit near the top of the list, shoulder to shoulder with health care providers. Relatively speaking, libraries and librarians are known as credible sources, relied on by those looking for information that will make a difference in their lives. Journalists are another story.”
Next Libraries, Apr. 24
David Murphy writes: “Google has been working on some updates for the web-based version of Gmail, and the company is officially moving from tease to truth with its early-morning announcement on April 25. Though the company’s blog post is themed around its G Suite version of Gmail, Google representatives have confirmed that regular Gmail users will receive the same updates. Here’s a quick look what you’ll be able to play with if you opt into the new version of Gmail.”
Lifehacker, Apr. 25