Join Banned Books Week and Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds (right) on August 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter. As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which takes place September 26–October 2 and has the theme “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”
Banned Books Week, July 26
At the Northampton (Pa.) Area School District Board of Education meeting July 19, the majority of the estimated 45 district residents in attendance expressed concern about the donation of books—including I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark and We Are Water Protectors—to the school district by The Conscious Kid nonprofit. After public comments that included calling the books “Marxist critical race theory,” the nine-member board agreed to table the donation.
Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Press, July 21
Danielle Cooper writes: “In order to more fully realize streaming media’s academic potential, it is essential for libraries to come together, assess the broader streaming landscape, and create new strategies for licensing and managing streaming use. This intervention will be most effective if libraries can connect on this issue across institutional silos. To this end, Ithaka S+R is launching a new project this fall in collaboration with a cohort of libraries to share evidence about and strategies around streaming media licensing terms.”
Ithaka S+R, July 20
Brewster Kahle (right) writes: “As a young man, I wanted to help make a new medium that would be a step forward from Gutenberg’s invention hundreds of years before. By building a Library of Everything in the digital age, I thought the opportunity was not just to make it available to everybody in the world, but to make it better—smarter than paper. By using computers, we could make the library not just searchable, but organizable; make it so that you could navigate your way through millions, and maybe eventually billions of web pages. The first step was to make computers that worked for large collections of rich media.”
Internet Archive blog, July 21
Edith Williams writes: “I admit to spending my summers reading through unread classics at a leisurely pace. But this summer, as someone who spends way too much time surfing the internet during the day for work and in the evening for research, I am going to give in to a good, summery book about surfing.”
Crazy Quilt Edi, July 20
ALA members can register for the IFLA Virtual World Library and Information Congress, August 17–19, at the IFLA Member Rate of 85 Euros ($120), which is half the nonmember rate. Register as a member of IFLA using the ALA IFLA member code US-0002.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Archivist Mary Kidd writes: “Earlier this year, I read an article titled ‘Hail the Maintainers.’ The authors, writing on the rise of Silicon Valley, argue that too much value is given to innovation, rather than the labor involved in maintaining the technologies resulting from it. I drew parallels between this sort of technological maintenance labor that the authors described and the day-to-day tasks performed by library and archives workers, especially within and in support of special or research collections. Coincidentally, I read this article while involved in two projects where I developed calculator tools that can measure the impact of a single acquisition in terms of staff capacity and associated supplies, transportation, and labor costs.”
Acid Free Magazine, Issue 13
Justin Hoenke writes: “One of the best decisions I have ever made in my career as a library leader/manager was to install people counters at the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, Pennsylvania, at the end of 2015. I paid around $300 for the counters, I installed them myself, and every day I came to the library I would check the number for the previous day, reset the counters, and record our daily tally in a spreadsheet. Over the years those numbers all came together and they told a story: The numbers that were previously reported were off by about 60,000 visits/year, and visits to the library during my time as executive director grew steadily over 4.5 years.”
Justin the Librarian, July 13
Tom Sens and Kyle Moll write: “When it comes to the use of academic libraries, it is imperative for stakeholders to understand how and why students use that space and what their expectations are. Ask Your Target Market, an independent online research firm, collected input from 500 students from across the country over a two-week period in October 2020. The top five areas where students spent their time in the library were: quiet study space (58.6%), computer lab (37.8%), reading room (35%), café (33.8%), and group study space (32.2%).”
University Business, July 15
A report published July 19 from School Librarian Investigation: Decline or Evolution?, a research project through Antioch University Seattle and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, highlights an ongoing decline in the number of districts nationwide with school librarians. According to the findings, there were about 20% fewer librarians during the 2018–2019 school year in the 13,000 districts examined than a decade prior. But the absence of these educators isn’t equally distributed: Smaller, rural districts, and those with higher proportions of English-language learners, Latinx students, and low-income students were more likely to lack a librarian.
EdSurge, July 19
Thorin Klosowski writes: “As products get more difficult to repair, a growing right-to-repair movement has been pushing for legislation that requires access to repair tools. On July 9, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that pushes the Federal Trade Commission to make third-party product repair easier, but that’s just part of the larger issue. Let’s take a look at how and why any of this matters.”
The Wirecutter, July 15