A man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a Boston Public Library employee the night of July 17, according to police. William Zaniboni is facing charges of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Officers were called to the Copley Square library at about 8:54 p.m. The victim told police that he had been working in the library’s computer section when Zaniboni suddenly became irate for no apparent reason and started yelling at him. A short time later, when the employee was leaving the library, Zaniboni allegedly approached him and punched him in the face. The employee tried to defend himself, but Zaniboni sprayed him with mace.
Boston Globe, July 18
Marshall Breeding writes: “The nation’s capital was a popular venue for the 2019 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition June 20–25, attracting more than 21,400 attendees and exhibitors. With more than 900 vendors represented, the exhibit hall was brimming with every imaginable product and service. The 6,827 registered exhibitors made up an impressive corps of knowledgeable representatives of diverse organizations that share a common interest in supporting libraries. Keeping up with even a fraction of the latest industry developments requires a substantial amount of time on the exhibit floor. Here are some of the products that caught my attention.”
American Libraries feature, July/Aug.
From authors to zines and everything in between, the exhibit hall is the pulse of any ALA conference. This year’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., was no exception, with attendees clamoring for autographs and advance reading copies, testing new products, and lining up for specialty stages. Here are some of our favorite photos.
American Libraries Bookend, July/Aug.
The movement towards eliminating library fines has found a place online at End Library Fines. Created by librarian Andy Woodworth, the website offers the latest research on ending library fines, current media articles about libraries eliminating their fines, and a constantly updated map showing which libraries around the world have eliminated all or most of their fines. As more and more libraries look to eliminate this barrier to access, the need for information on the topic grows for librarians, library supporters, and decision makers such as elected officials, deans and provosts, and the general public.
End Library Fines, July 18
The Seattle Times staff writes: “All this reporting and writing about the moon landing’s 50th anniversary got us in the mood to read and watch some science fiction. So here are our Seattle Times staffers’ picks for some of their favorite astronaut-themed science fiction and nonfiction books, movies, and TV shows. We narrowed it down to selections grounded in science and space travel. (Thus, the exclusion of Star Wars.) Here goes, sorted by media type in order of release year.” Book Riot has a few suggestions as well.
Seattle Times, July 11
At the heart of digital scholarship are universal questions, lessons, and principles relating both to the mission of higher education and the shared values that make an academic library culture. In The Culture of Digital Scholarship in Academic Libraries, published by ALA Editions, editors Robin Chin Roemer and Verletta Kern invite readers into their institutional workspace, the University of Washington, gathering voices from a range of positions that speak to the facets of digital scholarship. This mosaic of perspectives reveals the challenges, questions, and personalities that sit at the nexus of academic libraries and digital scholarship culture.
ALA Editions, July 18
Some libraries across the country are trying the approach used in Long Branch, New Jersey, to support librarians tasked with social work for which they weren’t formally trained: Bring in a social worker who was formally trained for situations such as these. The San Francisco Public Library is credited with being the first to do so, with Leah Esguerra hired in 2009. Esguerra has developed systems to connect patrons with mental health services, help them find jobs, get them legal support—and the library says she has helped find permanent housing for scores of people. About three dozen public libraries across the US have followed San Francisco’s lead since then.
NPR: All Things Considered, July 17
Margaret Sullivan writes: “Author visits are an effective way to get students excited about reading. When students have a chance to see an author in person, they are often able to make some sort of connection. The two groups of students who almost always identify with a visiting author are those who love to read and those who are aspiring writers. But other students make connections with visiting authors, too. For instance, students might discover the author shares their interest in martial arts or theater. I see it every time my school library hosts a visit. As soon as the author’s presentation is over, that writer’s books are in high demand.”
Knowledge Quest blog, July 17
There was no shortage of laughter or conviviality among the more than 21,400 library workers and exhibitors who gathered for the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition, held June 20–25 in Washington, D.C. But the subject matter commanded a sober tone, as speakers and panelists touched on some of the most complex and urgent issues facing the country in 2019. Award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds kicked off the conference with a stirring address, challenging librarians to facilitate understanding and empathy in their communities.
American Libraries feature, July/Aug.
ALA President Wanda Kay Brown writes: “Libraries are essential for the health of our democracy, our communities, and our future. But too often we hear from elected officials and regular citizens alike that libraries are relics that are no longer necessary in our modern culture. ALA’s strength in representing and advocating for librarians and library workers is likewise critical. However, the feedback we frequently receive is that getting involved in an association as complex as ours is daunting. Over the course of my presidential year, I will work to promote both the value of libraries and ALA, broadly speaking, through a lens of social justice and inclusion.”
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
ACRL has published 2018 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The one-volume title includes data from associate of arts colleges, baccalaureate, master’s colleges, and universities and research/doctoral-granting institutions. The 2018 survey data is also available through ACRL Metrics, an online subscription service that provides access to survey data from 1999 to 2018.
ACRL Insider, July 17
A set of notebooks dating from 1788 that record the first attempts at communication between British settlers and Indigenous Australians reveals language that is still in use in Sydney Aboriginal communities. The Dawes notebooks, named for First Fleet Officer William Dawes who recorded his discussions with Aboriginal people of La Perouse, are on international loan from the SOAS University of London to the State Library of New South Wales’s landmark exhibition, “Living Language: Country, Culture, Community,” which opened July 13. The notebooks are important because they retain the conversational context that is crucial for contemporary language revival work.
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, July 14