On September 18, American Library Association (ALA) President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. called to order a special meeting of ALA Council, held outside of its regular meetings during ALA conferences. Jefferson acknowledged the unprecedented times for libraries and their effects on the Association’s finances and services. But he added that the conversations around ALA’s framework have been ongoing for several years to make the Association more modern.
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 18
A three-year, $574,910 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will fund a Montana State University program known as Indigenous Perspectives in School Librarianship. As part of the grant, MSU’s library media certificate program curriculum will be redesigned to be culturally relevant and prioritize Indigenous perspectives in alignment with Montana’s Indian Education for All initiative as well as Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools.
Montana State University, Sept. 17
Jennifer Pearson, director of Marshall County Memorial Library in Lewisburg, Tennessee, and president of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, spoke to Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about the how her library has adapted its services to the pandemic-related needs of the community and how she is thinking about the library’s future.
Marketplace, Sept. 16
On September 1 Dictionary.com announced major updates to more than 15,000 of its definitions, from capitalizing Black to updating entries about sexual orientation to revising language around suicide and addiction, saying its aim was to foreground people over “clinical language.” The website has more than 70 million monthly users and describes itself as the world’s leading digital dictionary.
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 1
John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, will leave the publishing company and its parent, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, on January 1. Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan US Trade, will succeed Sargent as CEO of Macmillan Publishers, and Susan Winslow, general manager of Macmillan Learning, will head that division as president. In making the announcement on September 17, Holtzbrinck said Sargent’s departure is due to “disagreements regarding the direction of Macmillan.”
Publishers Weekly, Sept. 17
Sarah Mangiola writes: “Each year, we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month—also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month—between September 15 and October 15. These children’s and YA books written by Latinx authors provide the perfect way to mark the month. Featuring a wide variety of titles for kids of all ages, including picture books, middle grade & chapter books, and young adult reads, these stories recognize Latinx contributions to the world of children’s literature and are great for reading at any time of year. Share these books with little and big kids alike.”
Brightly, Sept. 15
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students at Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, got books from their school library shelves. Now they’re getting them from the sky. Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. As the pandemic continues to make indoor library visits difficult for many (and impossible for some), Passek is just one of many librarians across the country who have turned to the outdoors as a means of putting books in the hands of readers.
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 14
The chair of the Douglas County (Nev.) Commission wanted to cut funding for Douglas County Public Library in Minden after the director showed support for Black Lives Matter. Through a public records request, a local news channel uncovered emails between Douglas County Chair Barry Penzel (right) and Sheriff Dan Coverley suggesting the library’s budget should be cut. The library board voted earlier this month to spend $30,000 investigating Director Amy Dodson because of the controversy.
KRNV-DT Reno, Sept. 11
ALA Midwinter Virtual will be held January 22–26 and will include the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, News You Can Use series, notable featured speakers, special author events, a virtual Exhibit Hall, the Youth Media Awards, the I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony, live-chat presentations, and social networking opportunities. Confirmed featured speakers include Opening Session speakers Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America, and Keisha N. Blain, coauthor of Four Hundred Souls. The ALA President’s Program speaker will be author and US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Also featured will be former NFL player and author Emmanuel Acho.
ALA Conference Services, Sept. 15
Open access journals, such as New Theology Review and Open Journal of Hematology, made their research articles available for free online for years. With a quick click or a simple query, students anywhere in the world could access their articles, and diligent Wikipedia editors could verify facts against original articles on vitamin deficiency and blood donation. But some journals, such as these titles, are no longer available from the publisher’s websites, and are only available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Since 2017, the Internet Archive joined others in concentrating on archiving all scholarly literature and making it permanently accessible.
Internet Archive Blog, Sept. 15
Springer Nature is honoring the legacy of Cynthia Graham Hurd by sponsoring an annual scholarship for library employees to attend the Virtual Charleston Conference. Applications are due October 15. Hurd was a librarian for more than 31 years in Charleston, South Carolina, public and academic libraries. She was one of nine people killed by a gunman during bible study at Emanuel AME Church in 2015.
Against the Grain, Sept. 16
ALA President-Elect Patty Wong encourages members to volunteer to serve on ALA, Council, and Joint committees for the 2021–2023 term (beginning July 1, 2021). Serving on a committee provides members with leadership training, networking opportunities, and experience in working on specific association topics. Members can volunteer via online form by September 30.
ALA Governance Office, Sept. 15