Latifah Muhammad writes: “LeVar Burton’s dream of hosting Jeopardy! has been a decade in the making, and it finally came true on July 26 with Burton kicking off his run as guest host of the long-running quiz show. Besides helping millions of kids fall in love with reading, Burton has written several books of his own, narrated books for other authors, hosted public book readings via the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, and recently launched a book club. Here is a roundup of some of the books that Burton has recommended.”
IndieWire, July 27
Looking for online newspapers and their archives? Ancestry’s Newspapers.com archive includes searchable articles from more than 21,000 newspapers dating back to the 1700s. A similar service exists in the UK at the British Newspaper Archive, which allows you to search archived British newspapers for free but only allows registered users to read digitized content. The NewspaperArchive provides a similar subscription service, allowing you to search newspapers from around the world. The Newspaper Map provides direct links to thousands of newspapers currently operating all around the world.
Google Maps Mania, July 27
Richard Byrne writes: “Creating multimedia projects like videos, podcasts, and audio slideshows is a great way for students to develop a variety of skills. Finding images that meet that criteria is easy. Finding audio that fits that criteria is a bit of a challenge for some. That’s why I’ve put together a new video that highlights my three go-to places to find free audio that students can use in their multimedia projects.”
Free Technology for Teachers, July 26
Christianna Silva writes: “I read a lot, and I love the low pressure engagement of a virtual book club. I was bad at attending book clubs in real life before the pandemic, because my book club friends and I all have very busy schedules, so finding a time for us all to meet up was difficult. Scheduling online hangouts is easier because you can do them from anywhere—at your family’s house, with your partner, or even from your own bed. But it’s not just the scheduling—there are four main reasons book clubs are ruined by an IRL meetup, and why I’ll be staying home.”
Mashable, July 23
Terra Dankowski writes: “As a woman who is mixed race, has experienced elite schools and generational poverty, and has been thin and fat at different times in her life, Savala Nolan has long felt that she occupies in-between spaces in society. The lawyer, speaker, and writer (whose work has appeared in Bust, Time, and Vogue) explores this liminal territory in her debut collection, Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body (Simon & Schuster, July), touching topics such as dating, motherhood, and police brutality. American Libraries spoke with Nolan, executive director of the Thelton E. Henderson School of Social Justice at Berkeley (Calif.) Law, about identity, representation, and how libraries can help each of us find our story.”
American Libraries Trend, Jul./Aug.
Terra Dankowski writes: “When Tenzin Kalsang, children’s librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library’s Williamsburg branch, started an online series of bilingual storytimes in April 2020, the native Tibetan speaker couldn’t have predicted she’d become an overnight sensation. After all, BPL wasn’t new to hosting programs in Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and other languages—nor was the system unfamiliar with virtual storytimes, which typically attract 100–300 people. But her program garnered tens of thousands of viewers, from patrons in her neighborhood to students attending a Tibetan school in Australia to monks living in Nepal.”
American Libraries feature, Jul.Aug.
A sign addressing systemic racism was recently removed from the Whitefish Bay (Wisc.) Public Library grounds following vocal criticism from some in the community—including former Milwaukee Bucks player Steve Novak. The sign, which was placed in a rock garden display outside the library by anti-bias organization Bay Bridge Wisconsin, read: “Whitefish Bay will be a welcoming community that recognizes systemic racism, and actively works to address and dismantle it. How will you be a bridge in helping to repair and build a more equitable community?”
Milwaukee (Wisc.) Journal-Sentinel, July 26
Google will now show its search engine users more information about why it found the results they are shown, the company said on July 22. It said people googling queries will now be able to click into details such as how their result matched certain search terms, in order to better decide if the information is relevant.
Reuters, July 22
Children’s librarian Chelsey Roos writes: “I found there was a real dearth in my library of middle-grade novels that include puberty stories. While we had plenty of nonfiction books that gave the facts in various levels of detail and chattiness, this wasn’t what my patron wanted. We had a lot of novels about the ‘developing romantic feelings for someone’ aspect of puberty, and several with off-handed mentions of a character who ‘really changed over the summer,’ but very few about how it actually feels to be going through the body changes. Since then, we’ve added a couple of great books, like Kim Harrington’s Revenge of the Red Club, and Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams’s graphic novel Go with the Flow, but the pickings are definitely slim.”
ALSC Blog, July 21
Goodreads has collected a catalog of books about books, published since January 2020, in a variety of genres—metafiction that features books within books, heartfelt nonfiction about the power of reading, historical novels about courageous librarians, romance writing about romance writers, and even the occasional mystery or horror plot that hinges on the genre savviness of bookish people.
Goodreads, July 21
Under its new Read in Color initiative, the Little Free Library is partnering with Brilliant Detroit—an organization which provides children educational programming and support in high-need Detroit neighborhoods—to bring thousands of diverse books to Detroit neighborhoods through Little Free Library boxes. Fourteen book-sharing boxes stocked with 2,500 books will be installed in high-impact areas.
LitHub, July 23
Miranda Bryant writes: “In the middle of Redbridge Central Library in London, among all the bookshelves and displays, is a phrase that may surprise some visitors: ‘The death-positive library.’ The sign sits above a collection curated to help people deal with death, dying and loss, including books by former England footballer Rio Ferdinand, the late novelist Toni Morrison, and anthropologist Sue Black. The initiative, intended to encourage people to talk more openly about death and dying, is not simply about book recommendations.”
The Guardian (UK), July 25