Amy Bradley, school librarian at Risley Middle School in Brunswick, Georgia, is the 2017 recipient of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award. Established in 1982 and sponsored by ProQuest, the award is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and ALA. The recipient receives $2,000, and $1,000 is awarded to the school library program of the recipient’s choice. Bradley temporarily removed all the books from the school library to make a point about Banned Books Week.
AASL, Apr. 26
In the new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries looks into the future of libraries with guests Miguel Figueroa, Kimber Fender, and Ryan Gravel.
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 26
The House on April 26 passed a bipartisan bill, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, H.R. 1695, that would make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee with a term limited to 10 years. The bill passed by a large margin, 378–48, but must still pass the Senate. Currently the register is an appointment of and reports to the Librarian of Congress and has no term limit. ALA President-Elect James Neal issued a statement on April 26 urging the Senate to reject the bill.
Broadcasting & Cable, Apr. 26
The Fight for Libraries has moved to the US Senate. On April 26, two “Dear Appropriator” letters began circulating in the Senate, one seeking $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act and the other $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Libraries program for FY 2018. Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are again championing funds for LSTA, while Sens. Reed, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are leading the fight for IAL.
District Dispatch, Apr. 26
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on April 26 outlined a sweeping plan to loosen the government’s oversight of high-speed internet providers, a rebuke of a landmark policy approved in 2015 to ensure that all online content is treated the same by the companies that deliver broadband service to Americans. Pai said high-speed internet service should no longer be treated like a public utility with strict rules. The move would, in effect, largely leave the industry to police itself. The plan faces “a tsunami of resistance from a grassroots movement of Americans from every walk of life,” senators and activists warned. The FCC vote is scheduled for May 18. ALA President Julie B. Todaro issued a statement outlining the ALA and ACRL position.
New York Times, Apr. 26
Evanston (Ill.) Public Library trustees issued a statement of support April 24 for the system’s director, nearly a week after dozens of protesters turned out to rally against disciplinary actions Adult Services Librarian Lesley Williams is facing for reasons that have not been disclosed. The statement announced that EPL Director Karen Danczak-Lyons’s contract has been renewed, but also decried some social media comments related to what has been called a personnel matter. Williams has been placed on a 15-day suspension without pay.
Evanston (Ill.) Review, Apr. 25
How fitting that the man often credited with saying “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” most likely did not invent the phrase. Commonly attributed to Mark Twain, that quotation instead appears to be a descendant of a line published centuries ago by the satirist Jonathan Swift. Variants emerged and mutated over time until a modern version of the saying was popularized by a Victorian-era preacher, according to Garson O’Toole, founder of Quote Investigator.
New York Times, Apr. 26
April 23–29 is Preservation Week, and librarians and library workers are offering their expertise on how to preserve family heirlooms and collectibles. This year’s theme is textile preservation, and participating libraries will celebrate by offering special programs to connect library users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation, and strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the public. Preservation Week Honorary Chair is textile designer Franklin Habit.
Public Awareness Office, Apr. 25
ALA has awarded the 2017 Justin Winsor Prize to Alexander Ames for “The ‘Spirit of The Fatherland’: German-American Culture and Community in the Library and Archive of the German Society of Pennsylvania, 1817–2017.” The award is presented annually by the ALA Library History Round Table to recognize the best essay written in English on library history. The essay will be considered for publication in Information and Culture: A Journal of History.
Office of Research ane Evaluation, Apr. 25
ALA has awarded its 2017 Loleta D. Fyan Award to Broward County (Fla.) Library Foundation project “Project upLIFT: Libraries Inform Family Tolerance.” The program uses storytelling to increase tolerance and inclusion in its community toward LGBTQ persons as well as those vulnerable because of their race, physical appearance, or low self-esteem. The $5,000 grant supports a project that will develop and improve public library services.
Office of Research and Evaluation, Apr. 25
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Bikes in Libraries: A Practical Guide” with Mana Tominaga and Emily Weak on June 21. Tominaga and Weak, both avid cyclists, will show you how bikes can enhance your library’s participation in your community’s vision for health and sustainability and help forge strong local connections. Registration is through the ALA Store.
For National Library Legislative Day, May 1–2, hundreds of library supporters will convene in Washington, D.C., where they meet with their members of Congress to rally support for library issues and policies. If you can’t make it to D.C., you can still advocate for libraries by emailing, calling, or tweeting your representatives as part of Virtual Library Legislative Day during May 1–5. Register to receive an email on May 1 reminding you to take action.
United for Libraries, Apr. 25