Register to attend the Presidential Candidates Forum at ALA Midwinter Virtual on January 23 at 1 p.m. Central and engage in real time with ALA’s presidential candidates Stacey Aldrich, Ed Garcia, and Lessa Pelayo-Lozada. Renew your membership by January 31 to ensure that you receive a ballot for the election. The 2021 Virtual Membership Information Session takes place January 23 from 11–12:30 Central. Register to attend. Members are also invited to attend ALA Council sessions beginning January 24. These sessions offer a chance to learn more about the work of ALA’s governing body. For other Governance events, please check out the listings in the program scheduler. You do not need to register for the conference to attend these events.
ALA Governance Office
After the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020, Fox Sports analyst and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho felt compelled to do something. By June, Acho decided to channel this discourse into a YouTube series called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. American Libraries caught up with Acho ahead of his January 24 appearance at the ALA 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual to discuss his series and book, as well as equity in professional sports and the power of libraries.
American Libraries Trend, Jan. 20
ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell writes: “Last year started off as a productive but worrisome one for ALA finances, as evidenced by critical conversations held at the 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Since then, additional circumstances—including the pandemic—have aggravated ALA finances as libraries struggle with their own budget declines. Despite everything, member leaders remain committed to addressing ALA’s ongoing budget concerns and to creating a path toward a healthy financial future.”
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
How many times has ALA held Midwinter Meetings? What year was the ALA Code of Ethics adopted? When are this year’s Youth Media Awards? We’ve got the stats on the history and happenings of ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in By the Numbers.
American Libraries Trend, Jan./Feb.
Sarah Mangiola writes: “On January 20, 2021, Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, of the United States. It’s a historic moment for the country, as Kamala Harris will be the first female, first Black, and first Indian American vice president. The kids in your life can join in the celebrations with these stories, including books written by Kamala Harris, a new picture book about White House dogs Champ and Major, and more.”
Brightly, Jan. 16
As shared by the official Twitter account of Ursula K. Le Guin’s estate, the author is getting her own commemorative stamp from the United States Post Office. The stamp, the 33rd in USPS’s Literary Arts series, features a portrait of Le Guin in front of an illustration from a scene in The Left Hand of Darkness, her 1969 novel.
Gizmodo, Jan. 16
The Food Timeline is an obsessively catalogued, exhaustively comprehensive resource on the history of what humans have been eating from from 17,000 B.C. onward. The site was the life’s work of reference librarian Lynne Olver, and it languished after her death in 2015. A profile in Eater last summer revived interest in the site from archivists, and now the Special Collections and University Archives department at Virginia Tech University has acquired Olver’s 2,300 books (right) and management of the site.
Eater, Jan. 12
In Episode 58, Call Number with American Libraries looks at library efforts to prevent COVID-19 contamination with OCLC’s Sharon Streams, director of REALM project, which is studying how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on common library materials, and Stephen Territo, head of library operations at Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois, about how the library installed UV lights and enhanced HVAC filtration solutions in its air handling units to kill airborne pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2.
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 19
Someone is leaving baked potatoes on the lawn of the Wayland (Mass.) Free Public Library. And not just any potatoes: “Perfectly lovely baked russets,” according to the library’s Facebook page. A single potato appeared on the library’s lawn January 11. A second potato appeared January 13, and no one seems to know where they came from.
WBZ-TV Boston, Jan. 15
BuzzFeed contributor Margaret Kingsbury compiled 18 memoirs and essay collections that celebrate disabled bodies, combat ableism, call for disability justice, and describe the myriad ways disabled folk live in and contribute to this world.
BuzzFeed News, Jan. 14
Tom Roston writes: “It’s hard to imagine the internet without Wikipedia. Just like the air we breathe, the definitive digital encyclopedia is the default resource for everything and everyone—from Google’s search bar to undergrad students embarking on research papers. It has more than 6 million entries in English, it is visited hundreds of millions of times per day, and it reflects whatever the world has on its mind: Trending pages this week include Tanya Roberts (R.I.P.), the Netflix drama Bridgerton, and, oh yes, the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It was also never meant to exist—at least, not like this.”
OneZero, Jan. 14
Andrew Albanese writes: “The law firm that successfully sued Apple and five major publishers for colluding to fix ebook prices in 2011 has now filed a class action suit against Amazon, accusing the company of colluding with the Big Five publishers to restrain price competition in the ebook market. The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York on January 14 by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, comes a day after a Wall Street Journal article disclosed that Amazon was under investigation in Connecticut for potentially anti-competitive behavior in the ebook market.”
Publishers Weekly, Jan. 14