Ashley White writes: “Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has created an online tip line to report books found in libraries that residents think are inappropriate to stop the “taxpayer-subsided sexualization of children.” Landry, who is running for governor in 2023, announced the tip line in a Facebook post on Wednesday with few details. In the post, he said he met with residents in Slidell who “want to protect the children” in St. Tammany Parish.”
Lafayette Daily Advertiser, December 1; Facebook, November 29
Leanne Ellis writes: “I still recall with a shudder the second school library I worked at in NYC: a small, cramped space that needed to be weeded, and worst of all, a collection organized by category like a bookstore. The problem wasn’t the intention of my predecessor; she arranged the books according to a system that made sense to her. But the result was the problem because it made sense only to her. And therein is the fault with genrifying our libraries on the shelves; a title one person might classify as a mystery might be considered romance to another.”
Knowledge Quest, November 29
Ewa Wojciechowska writes: “For those looking to program with purpose, the entire process begins and ends with your community. Similarly to how we perform diversity audits on our collections, it’s important to also take a critical eye to the programs and services we offer. As professionals we understand that every community is different and has different needs, and that our offerings ought to be tailored to those needs. It can be easy to go on “auto-pilot” when it comes to programming, but we should remember to look at all programs from time to time to evaluate their effectiveness.”
ALSC Blog, December 3
The American Library Association invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. Applications will be accepted between December 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG. The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. It will provide two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts.
ALA, December 1
The work of medical librarians is essential and varied. They provide information and resources that can improve patient care, promote public health, and support medical education and research. And their responsibilities are constantly evolving with technology and the implementation of new programming. In Episode 77 of Call Number, we highlight two initiatives presented at the 2022 Medical Library Association Annual Conference: Virtual reality programs that teach health science concepts in a new and engaging way at Augusta University in Georgia, and a specialized book club for pediatric hospital staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
AL: The Scoop, November 30
Khamosh Pathak writes: “Canva started out as a humble, online-accessible graphics tool. But slowly, it has morphed into so much more. It’s closer now to a digital publishing suite, constantly evolving based on the needs of its users. Every couple of weeks, there are both new features and new use cases added. You can even use Canva to create websites for free. Canva is filled with many small, interesting features that all have a huge impact on usability, but aren’t found in the most obvious of places. Here are eight such hidden features you need to know about.”
Lifehacker, November 15
Chris Stokel-Walker writes: “Almost from the time the first tweet was posted in 2006, Twitter has played an important role in world events. The platform has been used to record everything from the Arab Spring to the ongoing war in Ukraine. It’s also captured our public conversations for years. But experts are worried that if Elon Musk tanks the company, these rich seams of media and conversation could be lost forever. Given his admission to employees in a November 10 call that Twitter could face bankruptcy, it’s a real and present risk.”
MIT Technology Review, November 11
Bill Furbee writes: “Every year, voters from small towns and big cities alike decide on ballot measures that affect libraries. This year was no different—and as in past years, American Libraries and the Public Library Association have partnered to look at some of the wins and losses across the country. One alarming trend: Organized groups of politically driven voters who oppose libraries carrying materials written by, about, and for LBGTQ people are banding together to reject levies that fund libraries—and fighting to get referenda on the ballot that defunds libraries altogether.”
American Libraries feature, January/February 2023
Tracy Shapley Towley writes: “I spent the first 40 years of my life as a wannabe crafter. Crafting looked cool, craft books looked cool, but for some reason I did not think it was for me. Then I turned 40 and this switch magically flipped in my brain. It started with lots of in-person classes. And then the pandemic hit. In-person classes were canceled right when I had an enormity of time on my hands. And that’s when I discovered the joy of craft books.”
Book Riot, November 25
The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to accept applications for the 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. Two $3,000 grants will provide support to libraries to expand their graphic novel collection, services, and programs, and a third will support initiation of a new graphic novel service or program. Grants also include a $1,000 travel stipend for a library representative to attend the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
The American Library Association has selected 46 members of its 2023 class of Emerging Leaders. The Emerging Leaders program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Emerging Leaders will participate in a virtual daylong session during LibLearnX, six months of online learning and networking, and a poster session highlighting the results of their project planning work during the ALA 2023 Annual Conference in Chicago.
ALA, November 18
Diana Panuncial writes: “When Jessica Fitzpatrick, librarian at Mayde Creek High School in Houston, first walked onto the school’s football field, she could sense the student-athletes’ confusion. “They were very hesitant,” she recalls. “The librarian doesn’t come to football practice.” Fitzpatrick had noticed that one student group seldom visited the library: athletes. She reached out to football coach J. Jensen and collaborated with him to create a book study program for his players, designed to help boost literacy, ignite a love of reading, and provide a space to decompress.”
American Libraries column, November/December