Amy Carlton writes: “In the closing session of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2021 Virtual Conference on April 16, data journalist Mona Chalabi explained how she uses complex and sometimes flawed data—including the dry statistics buried in the appendix of a PDF or a government website—to visually express stories that focus on the humanity behind the numbers.”
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 19
Over the years, Roberta Saltzman accumulated 700 Jewish cookbooks, with a particular focus on community cookbooks from small-town America. Despite being chief assistant librarian at New York Public Library’s Dorot Jewish Division, Saltzman used her own money to build her collection, which she donated to her workplace before her death. Now, at more than 2,500 books, the collection is likely the largest in existence, drawing researchers from around the world.
Gastro Obscura, March 24
M. E. Hilliard writes: “Many a mystery novel featuring an amateur sleuth places a librarian in that role. With good reason—outside of law enforcement, no profession lends itself to the role of detective more readily. Librarianship requires a combination of temperament and education that produces a professional with a powerful curiosity and the skill set to satisfy it, no matter how obscure the fact we seek. Though often written off as unassuming, cardigan-wearing bookworms, our jobs require traits more often associated with our hard-boiled colleagues in the investigation business.”
Crime Reads, Apr. 15
Amy Carlton writes: “At the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2021 Virtual Conference on April 15, the creators of We Here, an online community for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in LIS professions and educational programs, explored the ways in which academic libraries stifle their BIPOC workers through pay and opportunity gaps, enable toxic work environments, and prevent systemic change.”
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 16
A protest of the East Bonner County (Idaho) Library District’s mask requirement remained unfruitful, as of the latest board meeting April 12. A few dozen protesters began gathering around 4 p.m. at the Sandpoint branch, including library board candidates Kathy Rose and Jalon Peters. Protesters had hoped that following a change.org petition that garnered 365 signatures over roughly five days, board trustees would rescind the library’s mask requirement.
Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, Apr. 13
Reuters will begin charging for access to its website as it tries to capture a slice of the digital subscription business. The company, one of the largest news organizations in the world, announced the new paywall on April 15, as well as a redesigned website aimed at a “professional” audience wanting business, financial, and general news. After registration and a free preview period, a subscription to Reuters.com will cost $34.99 a month, the same as Bloomberg’s digital subscription. The Wall Street Journal’s digital subscription costs $38.99 a month, while The New York Times costs $18.42 monthly.
New York Times, Apr. 15
Cape Town, South Africa, ordered precautionary evacuations of communities living along the edges of city landmark Table Mountain on April 19 as firefighters struggled to contain a fire that gutted historical landmarks, including the oldest working windmill in South Africa and a library housing African antiquities at the University of Cape Town. ALA’s Disaster Relief Fund is supporting the recovery and reestablishment of the library.
Washington Post, Apr. 19
Julia Skinner writes: “In 1918, World War I was coming to a close, and widespread changes were afoot. It was in some ways a moment similar to today: rapid technological development brought sweeping changes to workplaces and homes. Fights for labor and voting rights were under way. Then, in the spring, a pandemic began to sweep the globe, killing millions. Libraries across the US helped people stay informed, entertained, and cared for as they disseminated information and resources, shifted their services, and reimagined how they brought collections to the communities they served.”
JStor Daily, Apr. 14
Amy Carlton writes: “On April 14, the second day of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2021 Virtual Conference, Kaetrena Davis Kendrick invited attendees to think beyond the idea of openness in library and archival spaces—a concept that generally involves open access to resources—to imagine the idea of welcome for both library users and library workers. Kendrick, dean of the Ida Jane Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, said that her theory of welcome has been proven through her own experience and research, as well as through national and international perspectives on the practice.”
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 15
Simon & Schuster said April 15 that it had scrapped plans to distribute a book by one of the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor during the botched drug raid last year that resulted in her death. The book by the officer, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, is being published by Post Hill Press, a Tennessee-based house whose specialties include Christian and conservative political books.
New York Times, Apr. 15
Vartan Gregorian—historian and humanities scholar, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—died April 15 at 87. Gregorian served as president of Brown University (1989–1997) and is renowned for revitalizing New York Public Library during his tenure as president (1981–1989). Related: “Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy”
Carnegie Corp., Apr. 16
New York Times–bestselling author Jason Reynolds will serve as the inaugural Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week, September 26–October 2. Reynolds is a multiple National Book Award finalist and has received a Newberry Honor, several Coretta Scott King Awards, and an NAACP Image Award. He is currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress. Two of his works (Stamped, with Ibram X. Kendi, and All American Boys) are on ALA’s list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Book of 2020.
Entertainment Weekly, Apr. 13