Booklist Reader—a publication that offers diverse readers’ advisory recommendations, author interviews, original features, and top 10 lists for library patrons of all ages—is celebrating its first anniversary by launching a new print option for subscribers. Starting January 2023, monthly print quantities of 50–5,000 copies will be available for US and Canadian Booklist subscribers for an additional fee. The digital addition of Booklist Reader is already included as a Booklist subscriber benefit. “We’re excited by the number of libraries sharing Booklist Reader via their websites, but Booklist understands that not all library patrons do or can interact with their library digitally,” says Booklist Publisher George Kendall.
ALA: Booklist Publications, Sept. 27
On September 27, the Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing concerns about threats directed at public and school libraries and library workers. The letter cites bombing or shooting threats in the past two weeks that have temporarily closed Hawaii State Public Library System, Salt Lake City Public Library, Denver Public Library, Fort Worth (Tex.) Public Library, and Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library. “Given the seriousness and proliferation of these threats of violence and other acts of intimidation increasingly taking place in America’s libraries, we are gravely concerned for the safety of library workers and the millions of Americans who visit libraries each day,” the letter states.
ALA, Sept. 27
Erin Hennessy writes: “As bills hostile to LGBTQ communities, people of color, and women continue to proliferate, associations will increasingly face challenges. The uptick in these discriminatory laws at the state level flies in the face of the values and missions of many higher education organizations. Deciding where to host an annual national conference—and if or when to relocate—has become a much weightier and costlier decision, and one that is going to continue to surface for associations. Adding to the difficulty is the timeline and its associated costs; these conferences and annual meetings are usually booked multiple years out. It is critical for associations to have site-selection policies in place.”
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 22
Nicholas Brown writes: “The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 67.3 million Americans speak a language other than English at home, a number that has more than doubled since 1990. That’s a huge number with powerful implications for social institutions, including libraries. For many of us, getting started serving those communities feels like an overwhelming task. I’m here to tell you—you can do it. Our library has made significant progress on expanding multilingual access, starting with hiring bilingual English/Spanish speakers for branches. There are a few lessons our library has learned along the way that can help your library advance this important work.”
WebJunction, Sept. 22
Vitaly Friedman writes: “Given just how complex the web has become, it’s easy to overlook some fine little details just before the big release. And sometimes it’s difficult to pick out just the right technique or strategy to address a particular problem. That’s where design checklists can help.” Friedman provides a variety of user experience (UX) checklists that cover best design practices, accessibility, tables, research methods, and more.
Smashing Magazine, Sept. 8
Alejandra Domenzain writes: “At a time when book bans are targeting marginalized voices, it’s more important than ever to ask: Why does access to these books matter? I want to argue that the stakes are high not just for expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in children’s books, but that we need to go further to demand social justice books in our schools and libraries. Social justice books ask questions that inevitably expose differences in power and privilege. They make the reader accountable: Is this fair? Should we do something to change it? Because these questions may be inconvenient or uncomfortable, many educators reserve social justice books for occasions such as Black History Month or Cesar Chavez Day, when they can be confined to a narrow scope, often historical, rather than challenging our current policies, systems, and institutions.”
Latinxs in Kit Lit newsletter, Sept.
Kathleen Hughes writes: “Job seekers with a criminal record face an enormous barrier to employment. While legal service providers can assist with the expungement process, they are predominantly located in urban centers, making access difficult for those in rural areas. In this episode of FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast, Adult Program Manager Elena Coelho and Assistant Branch Manager Marshall Shord, both from Worcester County (Md.) Library, share their experiences starting and running a bimonthly expungement clinic in an area with few pro bono legal resources.”
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 26
Erin Durkin, Anna Gronewold, and Julian Shen-Berro write: “New York libraries have waded into America’s culture wars by directly lending 25,000 books to nonresidents since spring, including thousands of students living under book bans. Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library has been particularly proactive with its Books Unbanned program, giving access to its ebooks collection to young people between 13 and 21 anywhere in the country. In Oklahoma, a QR code linking to the library site has become ‘a symbol of resistance’ against the state’s ban on materials in schools that might cause anyone to feel guilt or discomfort tied to their race or gender. Teachers and students are wearing shirts and making lawn signs promoting the program with the barcode.”
Politico: New York Playbook, Sept. 26; Politico, Sept. 24
Carrie Smith writes: “The gear library of the Radical Adventure Riders Atlanta chapter isn’t the first of its kind for cycling gear, but it is one of the most organized and accessible. In researching other groups that loan cycling gear, ‘we hadn’t come across a consistent model or a controlled vocabulary to replicate,’ says Sarah Cruz, one of its coleaders and an associate archivist for the Coca-Cola Archives. ‘You can’t just grab a record and pop it in your catalog.'”
American Libraries feature, Sept./Oct.
On September 21, during Banned Books Week, Chicago Public Library (CPL) announced itself a sanctuary for endangered stories, establishing Book Sanctuaries across 77 neighborhoods and 81 library branches. Book Sanctuaries are designed to expand local access to banned and challenged books, and CPL has a free downloadable toolkit for individuals and groups looking to establish their own sanctuaries, whether in physical or digital spaces. By creating a Book Sanctuary, people “are providing unwavering support and protection for the freedom to read,” according to a statement from CPL, and are committing to collecting and protecting endangered books; making endangered books broadly accessible; hosting book talks and events to generate conversation, including storytimes focused on diverse characters and stories; or educating others on the history of book banning and burning.
Chicago Public Library, September 21
Phil Morehart writes: “In their bestselling young adult memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2020), author and activist George M. Johnson tells the story of their life growing up Black and queer in the United States, while also addressing topics like racism, gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, and sexual abuse. Johnson is serving as honorary chair of this year’s Banned Books Week, and they spoke with American Libraries about their book, why it’s being challenged, and how it can serve as a call to action.”
AL Online, Sept. 21
Joanna Margaret writes: “ Over the past few years, the aesthetic known as Dark Academia, often associated with The Secret History, has become one of the hottest and most pervasive trends on social media, a veritable subculture featuring storied institutions of higher learning, autumn leaves, Gothic architecture, dark décor, and tweed jackets. If you, too, are interested in learning more about this fascinating trend, here are 6 novels that capture the essence of the genre.
CrimeReads, September 15