ALA invites all library users to nominate their favorite librarians for the I Love My Librarian Award. The national award recognizes librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries for their outstanding public service contributions. ALA member leaders will select 10 librarians from thousands of nominations, and each will receive $5,000 in recognition of their outstanding public service. The Association will honor award recipients at the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony on January 22, 2022 at LibLearnX in San Antonio, Texas. Winners also will receive complimentary LibLearnX registration as part of their award packages as well as a $750 travel stipend. Nominations are accepted online now through September 27.
ALA Communications and Marketing Office, June 23
Christine Frascarelli writes: “Our July 2021 Uncorked Reading Challenge theme is books set on an island. I couldn’t think of a more perfect summer prompt. Of course, you could travel via a good book to gorgeous islands like Hawaii and Santorini. In one of my new favorites, Ariadne, get tipsy with Dionysus on Naxos. Or pick up a book set on an imaginary island, books based loosely on real destinations, or books set on larger island countries like Indonesia or Japan. In the process, let Jamaica Kincaid school you on conscious tourism. So, what are some of the best books set on islands to take you there?”
The Uncorked Librarian, June 13
A pair of Christian parents in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, are suing the East Penn School District, claiming their children should be exempt from lessons concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. Macungie residents Maureen and Christopher Brophy say in their lawsuit that topics discussed in their children’s classrooms such as “systematic racism,” “white fragility,” “religion,” “white privilege,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “police brutality,” are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They claim those topics are anti-Christian and discriminate against their religion. The lawsuit was filed June 14 in federal court.
Pittsburgh (Penn.) Post-Gazette, June 16
AASL has released its annual list of Best Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning. The recognition honors electronic resources that provide enhanced learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their educator collaborators. These user-friendly tools are recognized for fostering the qualities of innovation/creativity, active participation, collaboration, exploration, and information/reference. The technology resources are also evaluated for their application of AASL’s “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.”
American Association of School Librarians, June 22
Betsy Ladyzhets writes: “In the spring of 2020, the first versions of COVID-19 exposure notification systems were released to the public. These systems promised to slow the disease’s spread by providing automated warnings to people who came into contact with the virus. Now, over a year later, residents in more than 50 countries—including half of US states—can opt into these systems. But the big question remains: how well did this technology work?”
MIT Technology Review, June 16
Zac Ginsburg writes: “Whether you’ll keep working from home or return to the office, the pandemic has shown us the importance of a safe, comfortable workspace. For many of us forced to do our jobs where we lived, that meant creating a makeshift station out of whatever space or supplies were available. After nine months of remote teaching, I had back and neck pain, chronic stomach aches, a high baseline of anxiety, and, worst of all, agony in my shoulder that woke me up at night.”
Wired, June 22
In Episode 63, Call Number with American Libraries looks at outdoor-related activities with conversations about bugs (most notably the Brood X cicadas) with Ohio County (W.Va.) Public Library, this summer’s best beach reads with Booklist’s Senior Editor of Collection Management and Library Outreach Susan Maguire, and Delmont (Pa.) Public Library’s new outdoor learning center.
AL: The Scoop, June 22
Linda W. Braun writes: “The pandemic has only reinforced questions youth services staffers have asked themselves before: What skills, knowledge, and mindsets are needed to serve young people and their caregivers in the modern age? And in particular, what does it take to reach nondominant youth and families? (That is, those who belong to historically marginalized groups and may have diminished social or political power.) Two recent projects are working to address these questions.”
American Libraries column, June
Desmond Hunnighen, library information assistant at New York Public Library’s Hamilton Grange Library, writes: “Happy Pride Month! Celebrate Pride with these short story collections that show some of the many dimensions of LGBTQ life. Join the Library in celebrating Pride Month throughout June with book recommendations, free online events, resources, and more.”
NYPL Blogs, June 17
Jordan Smith writes: “It has appeared on numerous ‘Best of’ lists, including The Guardian 100 Best Books of the 21st Century, it has won multiple awards and weathered numerous challenges. Despite all that, Persepolis is still causing controversy 20 years after its publication date. Long Island’s Commack High School removed Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (right) from its required reading list. Jordan Cox, the executive director of instructional services, declined to specify any reasons other than its ‘graphic nature’ in some parts. The decision was made months ago by a committee and announced at a community forum on June 8. Persepolis will still be available to read and for electives.”
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, June 21
Changes the Ohio Senate made to its version of the state’s next budget bill could set back the state’s work on broadband expansion and threaten existing municipal networks. The House version included $190 million in funding for a new broadband expansion grant program, established by House Bill 2 earlier this year. House Bill 2, which passed the Senate unanimously April 28, included an initial $20 million in funding for that program, with more expected to come from the budget. Then, the Senate unveiled its own version of the bill—one that completely cut broadband funding.
WKBN-TV (Youngstown, Ohio), June 22
More and more websites and web services have been launching a way for users to add and display their pronouns recently. The latest addition to the list is Zoom, which has just unveiled the “pronouns” feature for version 5.7 of the video conferencing platform. This new feature adds a dedicated text field on the profile page where users can type in their pronouns and a drop-down menu with sharing controls for the feature.
Engadget, June 22