Celestial Bodies, a family saga set against Oman’s transition from slave trading center to oil producer, on May 21 became the first novel originally written in Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize. The author, Jokha Alharthi of Oman, shares the award of £50,000 (about $63,000) with its translator, Marilyn Booth. The prize recognizes the best book translated into English and published in Britain and is widely seen as the world’s most significant award for translated fiction. The judging panel lauded the book’s “delicate artistry [that] draws us into a richly imagined community, opening out to tackle profound questions of time and mortality.”
New York Times, May 21
John Jackson writes: “Chess is one of the quintessential activities that transcends age, culture, class, and even language. Once you open your doors to chess players, you may be surprised at how many diverse people will arrive eager to play. It’s an excellent fit for a library hoping to establish itself as a place open to everyone. At Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus, Georgia, we began an adult chess program in 2017. The response from our community was extraordinary. All sorts of new patrons appeared, asking ‘is this where chess is?’ One of the frequent requests we received was to host a tournament. Here is what I learned.”
Programming Librarian, May 22
George Kendall will join Booklist on June 10 as its new editor and publisher. Kendall has more than 20 years’ experience with a variety of publishers, including an extensive background in content strategy, digital innovation, web development, and team leadership. He has most recently been director of publications and digital content with the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Kendall also brings licensing expertise—now a critical part of the Booklist revenue stream—from his role as licensing manager at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Booklist, May 22
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table has selected the Utah Library Association as the 2019 recipient of its Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award. ULA took the lead in creating a media campaign to reinstate access to EBSCO databases for more than 650,000 students after the Utah Education Network blocked access over complaints that the databases contained pornographic content. ULA’s rapid response resulted in the reinstatement of access to EBSCO databases. The award recognizes an organization for its support for intellectual freedom, patron confidentiality, and anti-censorship efforts.
Intellectual Freedom Round Table, May 22
Matt Miller writes: “Very similar to Wikipedia, Wikidata is a collaborative, community-driven project. While users of Wikipedia create and edit encyclopedia articles, when you contribute to Wikidata you create structured data. Of the many potential uses for Wikidata, one focus is using Wikidata as a hub for institutional identifiers. Many organizations maintain unique identifiers for people, subjects, and works. If these IDs are all added to Wikidata, then you can seamlessly access data from dozens of sources if you know the Wikidata ID. The Library of Congress is looking into including links in its authority record out to Wikidata.”
Library of Congress: The Signal, May 22
Learn how to incorporate assessment and analysis work into your library’s existing workflow with the guidance of Assessment Strategies in Technical Services, published by ALA Editions, a new collection of advice from ALCTS edited by Kimberley A. Edwards and Michelle Leonard. Contributors from several academic libraries draw from real-world practices to suggest new approaches for acquisition and collections, cataloging and metadata, digital preservation, and e-resources and serials. The book offers advice on assessing e-resource budgets, workflows, vendors, and collaborative initiatives.
ALA Editions, May 22
United for Libraries will present a free webinar, “Local, State, and National Library Advocacy: A Grasstop Approach,” on June 10. Featured speakers will be Julius C. Jefferson Jr., 2020–2021 ALA president; Kathi Kromer, associate executive director of the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office; and Skip Dye, 2018–2019 United for Libraries president and vice president of library marketing and digital sales at Penguin Random House. Register online.
United for Libraries, May 21
The ALA Chapter Relations Office and United for Libraries will present a Chapter Advocacy Exchange webinar on “Empowering Trustees and Friends to Advocate Alongside Librarians” on June 6. United for Libraries President Skip Dye will discuss the enhanced role of the Friends of Delaware Libraries. Pat Hofmann, president of Citizens for Maryland Libraries, and Joseph Thompson, president of Maryland Library Association, will discuss their partnership to advocate for the state’s libraries. Register online.
United for Libraries, May 21
The Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library has been named the 2019 winner of the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award for its program “Science on Tap.” The award, supported by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs. Held at a local brewery in the heart of Loudoun’s tech business corridor, the “Science on Tap” audience consists of science-and-tech-savvy adults, many of whom work at nearby tech companies.
Office of ALA Governance, May 21
Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Lorelle R. Swader are the 2019 recipients of the ALA Equality Award. They will both receive $1,000 and a framed citation of achievement donated by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. The award is given to an individual or group for outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession. Jefferson is section head of Research and Library Services in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, and Swader is associate executive director of ALA-APA and ALA Offices and Member Relations.
Office of ALA Governance, May 21
Bestselling author Jason Reynolds will be the opening speaker on June 21 at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Reynolds won the Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe Award for New Talent for When I Was the Greatest, and seven more novels followed in the next four years, including his New York Times bestselling Track series, Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu. His 2016 novel As Brave As You won the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature and the Schneider Family Book Award. The session is sponsored by Simon & Schuster.
Conference Services, May 21
Join other women and non-binary technology library workers on June 21 in a safe and welcoming space to explore common challenges faced, learn strategies for dealing with them, and discuss specific tools to build your confidence at AvramCamp, LITA’s AdaCamp-inspired event. The goal is to create a support network and increase participation from underrepresented groups in open technology and culture to further the library community’s goals of ensuring equitable access to information for everyone. Register online for the 2019 AvramCamp, a preconference to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
LITA, May 21