ALA Editions will host a new iteration of its six-week facilitated eCourse, “Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff” with Kathy MacMillan as instructor, starting on May 20. MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, Mar. 21
ALSC has awarded its 2019 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library in Clayton, North Carolina. The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member’s library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to hear from a nationally known author/illustrator. The library will host an author visit with children’s author Grace Lin in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of their town’s founding.
ALSC, Mar. 21
Two New Jersey state lawmakers are pushing for a change to school curricula in the state, specifically requesting that districts stop teaching Mark Twain’s classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Democratic state Assembly members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Jamel Holley have introduced a nonbinding resolution encouraging schools to remove the 1884 book from their teaching plans, citing the “racist” themes in the novel. Huckleberry Finn has long been controversial due to its frequent use of the N-word, which appears in the book over 200 times.
The Hill, Mar. 21
Boston residents can drink to the classics in Copley Square. The Boston Public Library’s Map Room Tea Lounge opened March 20, offering tartines, desserts, and literary-inspired drinks. Perhaps the most popular beverage was “Tequila Mockingbird,” a blood-orange cocktail inspired by the Harper Lee classic To Kill a Mockingbird. There’s also the “Dorian Gray,” “War and Peace,” and “Mad Hatter.” The cocktails are infused with flowery teas. The Catered Affair, which runs the library’s dining services, worked with Cambridge-based Mem Tea and Martignetti, a wine and spirits distributor in New England.
MassLive Media, Worcester, Mass., Mar. 21
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new four-week facilitated eCourse, “Rediscovering the Power of Audiobooks: Collection Development, Readers’ Advisory, Programming, and More” with Francisca Goldsmith as the instructor, starting on May 6. Goldsmith will help you gain familiarity with technical and functional terminology and format assets as well as gain awareness of various material and online delivery systems, their benefits, and challenges. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, Mar. 20
UC Berkeley physicist Robert Rohde writes: “This animated chart shows the growth of the world’s population over the last 12,000 years with respect to present-day national boundaries. Population estimates are from the History Database of the Global Environment, which was developed by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.”
Robert Rohde YouTube channel, Mar. 21
James Sherman writes: “As the Los Angeles Public Library celebrates Women’s History Month, it is remembering Tessa Kelso, sixth city librarian in 1889–1895. Kelso may not have been the first female city librarian—that was the iron-willed teenager Mary Foy—but she was certainly the one most openly concerned with equal rights for women and least concerned with conventional practice in either libraries or society. City Librarian Charles Lummis described Kelso as ‘a woman of extraordinary business ability, quenchless energy, and a great executive force—in touch with the young science of libraries, she gave the institution a character and impetus which brought it into national prominence.’”
LAPL Blog, Mar. 19
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy, is the winner of the 2019 J. M. Barrie Award, given annually in recognition of a lifetime achievement in delighting children. Vicky Ireland, chair of Action for Children’s Arts, which sponsors the award, said that Pullman is “a magical, magnificent spinner of yarns, who for many years has pulled his readers and audiences in by the power of his imagination to explore realms of wonder and adventure.” The award will be presented at a ceremony in central London in the autumn.
The Bookseller (UK), Mar. 20
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Professional Growth for Late-Career Librarians” with Caitlin Williams, on May 30. Williams will show you how to structure your late career, your transition to retirement, and a lifestyle that reflects your most valued interests, curiosities, ideas, and ideals. She has conducted career coaching for ALA attendees at its twice-yearly conferences since 2000. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, Mar. 20
In his 2008 speech on race, “A More Perfect Union,” then-candidate Barack Obama described a “racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.” He suggested that, if we don’t do something different, “nothing will change.” A decade later, we’re still stuck. Using an approach known as “racial healing,” facilitators at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference on June 21 will lead participants through a process that invites storytelling, vulnerability, and deep listening. The goal is to provide leaders with a tool currently used by hundreds of organizations to help uproot the flawed belief in a racial hierarchy. Two identical sessions of this ticketed event will be held.
ALA Public Programs Office, Mar. 20
In 1850, Harvard University Professor Louis Agassiz commissioned what are believed to be the earliest daguerreotypes of American slaves. The photos include those of an African man named Renty and his daughter Delia, who were enslaved on a plantation in Columbia, South Carolina. Tamara Lanier, the great-great-great granddaughter of Renty, is now suing Harvard over the photos, which are held by the university’s Peabody Museum. She is accusing Harvard of the wrongful seizure, possession, and monetization of the images and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, as well as return of the photos to her family.
USA Today, Mar. 20
The classic radio western Gunsmoke; Ritchie Valens’s groundbreaking 1958 sensation “La Bamba”; Sam & Dave’s 1967 hit single “Soul Man”; the revolutionary 1968 Broadway musical Hair; and Neil Diamond’s 1969 “Sweet Caroline,” which became a popular sports anthem, are the newest recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named these and 20 other recordings on March 20 as aural treasures worthy of preservation because of their cultural, historic, and aesthetic importance to the nation’s recorded sound heritage.
Library of Congress, Mar. 20