John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, will leave the publishing company and its parent, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, on January 1. Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan US Trade, will succeed Sargent as CEO of Macmillan Publishers, and Susan Winslow, general manager of Macmillan Learning, will head that division as president. In making the announcement on September 17, Holtzbrinck said Sargent’s departure is due to “disagreements regarding the direction of Macmillan.”
Publishers Weekly, Sept. 17
Sarah Mangiola writes: “Each year, we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month—also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month—between September 15 and October 15. These children’s and YA books written by Latinx authors provide the perfect way to mark the month. Featuring a wide variety of titles for kids of all ages, including picture books, middle grade & chapter books, and young adult reads, these stories recognize Latinx contributions to the world of children’s literature and are great for reading at any time of year. Share these books with little and big kids alike.”
Brightly, Sept. 15
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students at Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia, got books from their school library shelves. Now they’re getting them from the sky. Thanks to an idea from MCPS middle school librarian Kelly Passek and a partnership with Wing, the first commercial drone delivery service in the US, any student in the district who lives within Wing’s delivery zone can request a book through the school system’s library catalog. As the pandemic continues to make indoor library visits difficult for many (and impossible for some), Passek is just one of many librarians across the country who have turned to the outdoors as a means of putting books in the hands of readers.
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 14
The chair of the Douglas County (Nev.) Commission wanted to cut funding for Douglas County Public Library in Minden after the director showed support for Black Lives Matter. Through a public records request, a local news channel uncovered emails between Douglas County Chair Barry Penzel (right) and Sheriff Dan Coverley suggesting the library’s budget should be cut. The library board voted earlier this month to spend $30,000 investigating Director Amy Dodson because of the controversy.
KRNV-DT Reno, Sept. 11
ALA Midwinter Virtual will be held January 22–26 and will include the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, News You Can Use series, notable featured speakers, special author events, a virtual Exhibit Hall, the Youth Media Awards, the I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony, live-chat presentations, and social networking opportunities. Confirmed featured speakers include Opening Session speakers Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America, and Keisha N. Blain, coauthor of Four Hundred Souls. The ALA President’s Program speaker will be author and US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Also featured will be former NFL player and author Emmanuel Acho.
ALA Conference Services, Sept. 15
Open access journals, such as New Theology Review and Open Journal of Hematology, made their research articles available for free online for years. With a quick click or a simple query, students anywhere in the world could access their articles, and diligent Wikipedia editors could verify facts against original articles on vitamin deficiency and blood donation. But some journals, such as these titles, are no longer available from the publisher’s websites, and are only available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Since 2017, the Internet Archive joined others in concentrating on archiving all scholarly literature and making it permanently accessible.
Internet Archive Blog, Sept. 15
Springer Nature is honoring the legacy of Cynthia Graham Hurd by sponsoring an annual scholarship for library employees to attend the Virtual Charleston Conference. Applications are due October 15. Hurd was a librarian for more than 31 years in Charleston, South Carolina, public and academic libraries. She was one of nine people killed by a gunman during bible study at Emanuel AME Church in 2015.
Against the Grain, Sept. 16
ALA President-Elect Patty Wong encourages members to volunteer to serve on ALA, Council, and Joint committees for the 2021–2023 term (beginning July 1, 2021). Serving on a committee provides members with leadership training, networking opportunities, and experience in working on specific association topics. Members can volunteer via online form by September 30.
ALA Governance Office, Sept. 15
Lindsey Simon writes: “This September, we’re celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month, a yearly reminder of all the ways registering for a library card can change someone’s life for the better. We asked I Love Libraries readers and the American Library Association’s social media followers to share what they love most about having a library card. Here are a few of our favorite responses.”
I Love Libraries, Sept. 14
Library Director Gretchen Kaser Corsillo writes: “There’s a common refrain I’ve heard repeated by library workers over the last six months: They are exhausted. They are scared. They aren’t sure if they see themselves continuing down the path of librarianship. I’ve heard these concerns echoed by employees at all levels: librarians and paraprofessionals worried about their exposure levels at service desks to managers scrambling to write and rewrite safety policies for staff and patrons with little outside guidance. It may seem obvious, but it desperately needs to be acknowledged: Employee morale is at an all-time low in the world of COVID.”
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 14
Candace Levy writes: “In these days of home-based and virtual schooling and weekends staying at home, we rely more and more on the resources offered by our local libraries. Besides free access to audiobooks and ebooks, most libraries also provide language courses, movies, and even digital newspapers and magazines. Today’s recommended audiobooks celebrate public libraries through novels and true stories.”
AudioFile, Sept. 9
The Booker Prizes announced its 2020 shortlist for the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction. The list of six books, narrowed from 162 submissions, includes four debut authors and five authors with US ties. The 2020 shortlist is: Diane Cook (USA), The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications); Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber); Avni Doshi (USA), Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House); Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA), The Shadow King (Canongate Books); Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA), Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan); and Brandon Taylor (USA), Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing).
Booker Prizes, Sept. 14