As of August 8, ALA has begun accepting education program proposals for its next Annual Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Chicago June 23–27, 2023. Proposals will be accepted through a single submission site for all ALA divisions, round tables, committees, and offices. The deadline to submit content is midnight Eastern on September 16. For more information, consult the FAQ at alaannual.org.
ALA Conference Services, Aug. 5
Roy Rivenburg writes: “More than half of America’s 9,000 public library districts now lend nontraditional objects, says Maria McCauley, president of the Public Library Association. Many have also revamped their event calendars to include such programs as punk rock aerobics, speed dating, cow milking demonstrations, and indoor miniature golf. The beyond-books trend began, depending on who is asked, either a decade ago in Sacramento, California, or in the 1800s, most notably in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb whose library featured a boxing ring, eight billiards tables, a swimming pool, a bowling alley, a game room, and a 964-seat music hall with cushioned opera chairs.”
The Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 3; American Libraries feature, June 2017
On August 9, the ALA Executive Board issued a statement in response to proposed state legislation that would censor library materials or put at risk the library workers who provide access to information, including information about reproductive health care. “ALA stands committed to the free, fair, and unrestricted exchange of ideas and the right of library patrons to seek information free from observation or unwanted surveillance by the government or other third parties, in accordance with the law and the US Constitution,” the statement reads. “The passage of [recent state legislation prohibiting abortion]—and proposals to adopt similar legislation in other states—has prompted concerns that provisions within those bills may be used to pursue criminal or civil charges against library workers.”
AL: The Scoop, Aug. 9; ALA, Aug. 9
ALA will hold its 2022 Virtual Volunteer Fair from 3–5 p.m. Central on September 14. The fair is an opportunity for ALA members to speak with committee members and staff liaisons in breakout rooms and learn about the ALA groups that are offering volunteer opportunities. ALA members can drop in and out of the event as needed, but registration is required. A schedule and list of breakout sessions will be sent to registered attendees prior to the event.
ALA Governance, Aug. 8
Nell Clark reports: “An ornate pencil drawing of a dragon; a floral postcard congratulating a 40th birthday, never mailed; a silver crochet hook. All of these items share a connection: They were left behind in books returned to the Oakland (Calif.) Public Library. Librarian Sharon McKellar collects the found artifacts and posts them in a collection titled Found in a Library Book. McKellar was fascinated by the things she’d find at the library and the anonymous glimpses into people’s lives they offered. She thought the public may be interested too, so nearly 10 years ago she began adding found items to the library’s website.”
NPR: Morning Edition, Aug. 2
Alec Schemmel writes: “A public library in Oregon plans to hold a donation kickoff Thursday to launch a local high school’s gender-affirming closet, which will offer clothes, makeup, and accessories to transgender students. Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City, Oregon, has set up a wishlist for those who can’t attend Thursday’s donation drive. Included on the wishlist were chest-binders and TransTape, fake eyelashes, makeup, underwear, and other clothing. ‘Many students that are transgender and/or nonbinary are not supported by their parents nor can showcase it with their daily clothing choices,’ reads the Driftwood Public Library’s website. ‘These students will be able to go into the closet and take anything that they may need to identify however they are comfortable within their clothing. It will also have makeup brochures and different resources that they can reach out to.’”
KOMO-TV (Seattle), Aug. 3
Ron French writes: “What started as a fight over an LGBTQ-themed graphic novel may end with the closure of a west Michigan public library. Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023—84% of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage. Without a millage, the library is likely to run out of money sometime late next year, said Larry Walton, library board president.”
Bridge Michigan, Aug. 3
Registration and housing are now open for Core Forum 2022, to be held October 13–15 in Salt Lake City. The conference will include keynote presentations, educational sessions, panels, exhibits, and poster sessions on topics such as access and equity, assessment, buildings and operations, leadership and management, metadata and collections, preservation, and technology. Personal members of Core and the Utah Library Association will receive a $150 early bird discount through September 6. Housing reservations must be made by September 11.
Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, Aug. 3
American Libraries’ online column Letters of the Law explores a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, with the help of a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow (a librarian who became a lawyer) and Tomas A. Lipinski (a lawyer who became a librarian). In his latest column, Lipinski addresses new regulations governing exemptions to copyright law, case law surrounding challenges to public library collections, and legal factors when considering controlled digital lending.
AL Online, Aug. 5
Cara Bertram writes: “Clara W. Hunt, chair of the Children’s Librarian Section [of ALA], had noted that the Newbery Medal provided children’s literature with “publicity of the best kind.” But ALA did not always rely on the Newbery’s popularity to capture the public’s attention. In 1949, Marguerite Henry received the Newbery for her book, King of the Wind: the Story of the Godolphin Arabian, but it was the subject of her Newbery runner-up book, Misty of Chincoteague, that ended up on display. Misty the Horse made a visit to the [Midwest Regional ALA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan’s] exhibit.
American Library Association Archives, July 29
Sharon on Goodreads writes: “Podcast junkies will know this already, but the audio format is a surprisingly great way to discover more about nearly any topic that catches your interest. There’s something about having a voice in your head—quite literally, if you use earbuds—that seems to facilitate the learning process. To that end, we’ve gathered together a collection of new and old nonfiction audiobooks in the realm of popular science writing. It’s good to have smart people whispering in your ear, as a general life strategy.”
Goodreads, July 25
In support of the “We Can Do This” COVID-19 public education campaign, the American Library Association will hold a pediatric vaccination clinic and media event in partnership with Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) and Dr. Cameron Webb, senior advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response. The event will take place at PGCMLS’s Hyattsville branch on August 4. The event will highlight public libraries’ roles in providing trusted information about COVID-19 vaccines to parents and families, particularly those with younger children—the age group with the lowest vaccination rates.
Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System, Aug. 1