Hundreds of people joined in with protest action at Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea libraries in the UK on December 15 and took out the maximum of 14 items allowed per patron. Their action came after Essex County Council announced it wanted to close the libraries unless volunteers are willing to run them. Rosalind Scott, one of the Wivenhoe protest organizers, said: “The book borrowing machines were not working and that meant there were long queues but it became like a big party and demonstrated we need our librarians.”
Colchester (UK) Daily Gazette, Dec. 18
Katherine Martinko writes: “Visiting libraries wherever you go is a wonderful way to get to know a city. But not all libraries are created equal. They can be big, small, public, private, academic, national, kid-oriented, quiet, or lively. So how does one go about finding the best libraries to visit that suit one’s interests and company? A new blog called Library Planet, launched at the beginning of December by two Danish library lovers, Christian Lauersen and Marie Engberg Eiriksson, allows travelers to share descriptions and photos of the libraries they visit all around the world.”
TreeHugger, Dec. 14
Bryan J. McCormick, director of Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wisconsin, writes in a letter to the editor: “Dear Speaker Paul Ryan, I am asking for you to please hear bill S3530 in the House, reauthorizing funding for the Museum and Library Services Act. In Wisconsin, funding has been used to set up our statewide delivery of library materials, strengthen our broadband networks, provide access to databases for research, and digitize historical documents, as well as many other worthwhile projects. I feel that the return on investment for this program is one of the highest that receives federal funding.”
Janesville (Wis.) Gazette, Dec. 17
A panel created by President Trump to help prevent future school shootings called December 18 for getting rid of Obama administration guidance aimed at making sure nonwhite students aren’t disciplined more harshly than their peers. In its report, the Federal Commission on School Safety also encouraged schools to “seriously consider” arming certain school staff members, in partnership with local law enforcement to ensure proper training. But it did not suggest arming school staff—a measure supported by Trump—become a federal mandate.
Education Week, Dec. 18
On the morning of September 2, the world woke to the news that Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro had caught fire, destroying one of Latin America’s oldest and most important scientific and cultural institutions. Princeton University’s newly established Brazil LAB (Luso-Afro-Brazilian studies), along with the Princeton University Library and Princeton University Press, is partnering with the Postgraduate Program in Social Anthropology based at the National Museum to replace damaged or lost books and materials in the Francisca Keller Library, the principal anthropology library in Brazil.
Princeton University, Dec. 17
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual Review Working Group, which reviewed all documents in preparation for the next edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, recommended consideration of updating the Library Bill of Rights in a narrow manner to add an Article VII focused on the concept of ensuring privacy and confidentiality for library users. The Intellectual Freedom Committee would appreciate feedback on this article draft by December 21. Comments can be posted on the Google Doc draft itself.
ACRL Insider, Dec. 14
Georgina Trebbe writes: “I recently became curious about how the word ‘literacy’ has been paired with other words to create terms all librarians use within their practice. Curiosity surfaced when I read the term ‘innovation literacy.’ Thinking I had hit upon a new concept, I was eager to share. I quickly added innovation literacy to my list of literacies offered within the courses I teach. But something gnawed at me. Did I really understand how the word literacy was consistently being used when defining a specific term? I needed to gain a better understanding of the word.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Dec. 18
US Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) made a special trip December 17 to donate books to the Bonne Terre (Mo.) Memorial Library. The books, which included children’s books, history books, fiction, and sports books, among others, were all obtained through the Library of Congress. Smith said he is passionate about small-town Missouri and believes that it’s important to have high-quality books available to the public. Smith then visited with the library staff, talking about the donated books.
Park Hills (Mo.) Daily Journal, Dec. 18
Katie Scherrer writes: “We all know the analogy: We’ve got to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others. But how often do we actually do that? ALSC members and others in our profession should not feel pressure to practice self-care in any one specific way, but to find realistic strategies to take good care. Let there be some space that you create in your life that’s for you, fully. Those voices telling you ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘this is selfish’ will be there for you to deal with calmly later—if you’ve put on your own oxygen mask first.”
ALSC Blog, Dec. 18
Genee Bright writes: “Most often used as a verb, the word ‘adulting’ is a colloquialism millennials use to describe behaviors that involve anything an adult or grown-up would do in everyday life. This can range from doing laundry to paying bills or cooking a meal. Adulting topics such as budgeting and investing are not taught with the same emphasis that math, reading, or writing skills are taught in schools. One way to further financial understanding and growth is to teach teens about money and the skills they will need as an adult.”
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Dec. 7
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new session of its workshop, “Serving Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” with Lesley Farmer, on February 13 and 20. In these two 90-minute sessions, Farmer will take you through the basics of autism, explaining the forms the condition can take and how children with this diagnosis tend to be unique. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, Dec. 17
Three illuminated Byzantine-era manuscripts are more than 1,000 years old and for decades have been part of a heralded collection at Princeton University. The college received the items as a gift in 1942 from a trustee and alumnus who had bought them from a German auction house nearly 20 years earlier. But in a lawsuit filed December 13, the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church said the manuscripts were stolen and demanded their return, asserting that they had been taken during World War I from a monastery in Kormista, a village in northeastern Greece.
New York Times, Dec. 14