Cass Balzer writes: “Amid mass protests of police violence against Black people, some libraries are revisiting the ways in which they’ve historically interacted with law enforcement—such as by hosting police-led community programming like Coffee with a Cop, hiring off-duty police as security officers, or calling 911 on disruptive patrons.”
ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services awarded 2020 Spectrum Scholarships to 61 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies. The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. Read the full list of 2020 Spectrum Scholars.
Sally Stieglitz writes: “The Association of Jewish Libraries Digital Conference (June 28–July 2) was held online for the first time this year. Over the five-day conference, which drew nearly 350 worldwide participants, a thread quickly emerged: the importance of diverse representation in collections, voices, and scholarship.”
Rutgers, Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown Universities on July 6 announced plans for a largely online fall, following a similar announcement on July 1 from University of Southern California. However, a decision from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement means students from other countries who are studying in the US will not be able take a fully online course load and remain in the country.
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals issued a July 7 statement in response to the call for libraries and information services to collect data as part of the government’s contact tracing initiative in England. CILIP advises that librarians and information professionals should not participate unless several criteria are met, including that there should be no deterrent to library use, no impact on marginalized or vulnerable groups, and no detriment to a user’s right to privacy.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting FY21 proposals for National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program (LB21). Applicants have through October 2, 2020, to submit their two-page preliminary proposals. National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that enhance the quality of library and archives services nationwide by advancing theory and practice. The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program invests in developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.
Julius C. Jefferson Jr. writes: “As I assume leadership of ALA, we are confronting an unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen since 1918; an economic collapse, including the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression; unjust police killings of unarmed Black people and domestic civil protest not seen since the Sixties; and, like 1968, another pivotal election year. Racial animus and a pandemic make a perfect storm for a revolution, and we are in uncharted territory.”
Agostino Ramelli, a 16th-century Italian military engineer, designed many Renaissance-era contraptions, including a geared wooden wheel with angled shelves, which allowed users to read several books at once. A group of undergraduate engineering students at Rochester Institute of Technology built two of them—one resides in the Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at RIT’s Wallace Library, and the other at University of Rochester’s Rossell Hope Robbins Library. Each weighs about 600 pounds and has room for eight books.
The Panorama Project, in collaboration with the Washington Post, has released a customized version of its Panorama Picks to spotlight a broader range of titles of interest to readers that are similar to the most frequently recommended titles on antiracist reading lists. The nine regional lists include a total of 42 unique titles published between 2003–2020, all related to civil rights, and race and ethnic relations—reflecting the diverse interests and perspectives of readers in each region.
Arizona State University Library’s first Indigenous land acknowledgement is a five-sentence statement about the place that the library and the university have inhabited in Tempe for more than a century. “The statement represents ASU Library’s intentions to begin a healing process,” said Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian for collections and strategy. “We need to acknowledge that ASU is an occupant on Indigenous lands and that we need to take active steps to forge relationships of reciprocity.”
Jan van der Made writes: “Books written by prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have disappeared from the shelves of the territory’s public libraries. The books are ‘under review’ in another sign that Beijing is stepping up censorship and curbing free expression in the city. The move comes just days after Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the territory.”