Two Houston schools extensively damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 are the recipients of catastrophic disaster relief grants offered as part of AASL’s Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund. Thompson Intermediate School and Moore Elementary School both suffered devastating losses to the school libraries in the hurricane and its aftermath. The grant program has provided relief to public school libraries nationwide that have suffered material losses because of a major disaster.
AASL, June 15
Ale Teller writes: “The Newberry Library’s collection of road maps and travel ephemera total 250,000 items, one of the largest troves of such material in the world. Over the past 30 years, Newberry map catalogers have individually cataloged 20,000 road maps and travel brochures. Since fall 2017, library staff are applying archival methods to an unprocessed swathe of the collection, grouping similar types of items into folders according to region, state, county, or place rather than giving each piece of ephemera its own catalog record.”
Newberry Library, June 6
In a small claims court ruling, Jessamyn West, librarian at the Randolph (Vt.) Technical Career Center, has won a $600 judgment against credit ratings agency Equifax. In September, West walked into the Orange County Courthouse in Chelsea, Vermont, and filed papers asking the judge to compel Equifax to pay her nearly $5,000 in connection with its massive 2017 data breach. Her mother had died that year and, as co-executor of the estate, West had run into various problems verifying her online identity during what already was a distressing experience.
Lebanon (N.H.) Valley News, June 13
Jami Treman writes: “As a first-year National Library Legislative Day coordinator for Minnesota, I was equally thrilled and anxious to lead our state’s delegation this year. After diligent, patient persistence, I was lucky enough to schedule time with all 10 of our congressional offices. One of our three asks at NLLD was to extend an invitation to our legislators to visit a local library when they’re back home in the district to witness firsthand the impact libraries have on communities, particularly to see broadband access in action.”
District Dispatch, June 15
Linda W. Braun writes: “‘You need to get out of the library to build relationships and find out what teen interests are.’ Workshop participants frequently hear me say that, and the response to my statement is almost always agreement. Yet I find, over and over, that public library staffers prioritize getting teens into the building over getting themselves out. At least in part, library staffers continue to stay inside because of systemic barriers. What are some of these barriers?”
American Libraries column, June
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new session of its 90-minute workshop, “How to Fix the 25 Most Common Library Website Problems” with Laura Solomon, on August 15. In this workshop, you’ll discover not only the inherent challenges your patrons may face with website issues, but you’ll also learn ways to fix them and even rate how hard those fixes are. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, June 15
On December 17, 2004, Betty Jean “BJ” Gooch, special collections librarian at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, was tased and tied up as two former students stole rare books from the library. She found herself unable to talk about it for many years, and has never before spoken to the media. The trauma came not just from being tied up and threatened, but the added violations of two sacred things: the workplace she regarded as a home and the special relationship she had teaching students about so many of the library’s treasures.
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, June 14