Amie Wright writes: “For 23 years Small Press Expo has been a forum for independent, international, and self-published comics creators. This year’s expo, held September 16–17 in Bethesda, Maryland, provided opportunities for collection development and advocacy work in libraries, including the annual Ignatz Awards, partnerships with the Library of Congress and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and its purposefully intimate setting in which creators and fans could converse.”
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 22
Polling experts are raising concerns about a new survey that found nearly 20% of US college students believe it’s appropriate to use violence to silence offensive speech. The survey is “junk science” and “it should never have appeared in the press,” according to Cliff Zukin, a former president of the American Association of Public Opinion Polling. UCLA Professor John Villasenor defended his survey as an important window into what he had called a troubling atmosphere on American campuses.
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 22
Adam Eisgrau writes: “The Copyright Office has wrestled with difficult practical, legal, and political questions about how to modernize Section 108 of the Copyright Act (17 USC §108). That’s the provision that creates a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability under specific circumstances for libraries and archives. In a 70+ page Discussion Document released September 15, the Copyright Office makes detailed proposals for updating Section 108. These are the main points.”
District Dispatch, Sept. 19
Michael Dowling writes: “We are in the midst of the largest global migration since World War II. Sixty-five million people have been displaced worldwide. Images of refugees risking their lives to escape to Europe flash across TV and computer screens across the world. What has been less visible is the work that community anchors, individuals, and nonprofit organizations accomplish to assist new refugees and asylum seekers. Libraries worldwide play a significant role in welcoming and assisting these people.”
American Libraries feature, International Supplement, Sept. 2017
A library hailed as China’s most beautiful has been shut down by the authorities for providing pirated books and erotic content. Readers had complained online that the collection in Liyuan Bookhouse in suburban Beijing largely consisted of pirated books, which included printing errors, incomplete translations, forged publisher details, and “uncensored and elaborated erotic descriptions.” The National Office Against Pornography and Illegal Publications ordered the library to suspend business on September 19.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Sept. 20
The Downers Grove (Ill.) Village Council acted within its legal authority on September 5 when it removed a library trustee over remarks about homosexuality that he reportedly made at a public meeting, a DuPage County judge ruled September 21. Judge Paul Fullerton dismissed a motion filed by Arthur Jaros, who asked the court to stop the village from enforcing his removal. But Fullerton said that as a home-rule municipality, Downers Grove had the legal authority to remove Jaros.
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 21
Administrators in the Jefferson County (Idaho) School District are considering prohibiting a classic novel from being taught in two senior government classes after at least one parent voiced concerns over the book’s violent, sexually charged language. District Superintendent Lisa Sherick questioned whether a passage in George Orwell’s 1984 contradicts district policy requiring academics to align with the “basic ideals, goals, and institutions of the local community.”
Idaho Education News, Sept. 21
A publicly funded poster exhibit extolling press freedom has been removed from the Boyden Public Library in Foxborough, Massachusetts, following complaints over what some regarded as graphic and inappropriate content. Stephen Lewis, a collector and former union official, had produced the display, which consisted of more than 20 posters protesting threats to freedom or describing dangers faced by news-gatherers. Library trustees removed the posters on September 19.
Attleboro (Mass.) Sun Chronicle, Sept. 21
On August 21, during the World Library and Information Congress in Wrocław, Poland, IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner unveiled a global platform to tackle the challenges of the future. Six questions—each with 10 possible choices—will help create a worldwide library road map that will unite the library field and make it stronger in the face of ever-increasing globalization. Voting will remain open until September 30.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Jeffrey Gottfried and Cary Funk write: “As debates swirl around science-related issues ranging from climate change to the food we eat, an important question is where Americans go to stay informed about science topics, if anywhere. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in May and June finds that general news outlets—those that cover a variety of topics in a given day—play a large role in how Americans stay informed about science. Here are some key takeaways.”
Pew Research Center: Fact Tank, Sept. 21
Only three weeks remain to secure advance registration for the AASL National Conference and Exhibition. Attendees finalizing their registration prior to October 12 save $50 over late/on-site rates for the conference, which will take place November 9-11 in Phoenix. More information, including a Make Your Case to Attend infographic can be found on the AASL website.
AASL, Sept. 21
The Ottawa (Ont.) Public Library has changed its computer policy to prohibit users from looking at pornography and violent content, after a mother complained that her daughter saw porn on a patron’s computer at her local branch. The library had initially allowed access to such content, citing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ottawa Public Library CEO Danielle McDonald said users are no longer allowed to view “overly violent content, sexual, overt content.”
CTV News, Sept. 20