The University of Michigan is allegedly blocking access to the donated records of a controversial doctor seen by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the founder of the modern anti-immigrant movement. Immigration attorney Hassan Ahmad filed a lawsuit to obtain the archives, held by the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor, of John Tanton, who launched several groups that want to sharply decrease immigration to the US.
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 17
The Escondido (Calif.) Public Library will be run by a private company, and its 30 city employees will either be out of a job or will go to work for Maryland-based Library Systems and Services. The Escondido City Council voted 4–1 October 18 to enter into a 10-year-contract with the company, based on projections that the move will save the city at least $400,000 per year in operating costs and even more in pension liability savings. Several dozen members of the public spoke unanimously against the decision.
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Oct. 18
Benjamin Elgin and Vernon Silver write: “In the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign, voters in swing states including Nevada and North Carolina saw ads appear in their Facebook feeds and on Google websites touting a pair of controversial faux-tourism videos, showing France and Germany overrun by Sharia law. Unlike Russian efforts to secretly influence the 2016 election via social media, this American-led campaign was aided by direct collaboration with employees of Facebook and Google.”
Bloomberg Technology, Oct. 18
Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie write: “The 2016 Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the US presidential election highlighted how the digital age has affected news and cultural narratives. When BBC Future Now interviewed a panel of 50 experts in early 2017 about the ‘grand challenges we face in the 21st century,’ many named the breakdown of trusted information sources. What will happen to the online information environment in the coming decade? Pew Research Center conducted a survey on that question.”
Pew Research Center, Oct. 18
Marijke Visser writes: “At the end of September the FCC launched a Public Notice asking whether libraries are using Category 2 (C2) funding in their budgets and if it meets their needs. Since the FCC E-rate Modernization in 2014, library applicants have been doing their best to receive their share of the $3.9 billion available for libraries. The deadline to submit comments to the FCC is October 23, and we’re calling on you to tell the FCC that libraries need secure funding for E-rate.”
District Dispatch, Oct. 18
A New Zealand library has solved a long-standing mystery as to why books were going missing and reappearing in strange and hidden places. Auckland Central Libraries staff grew increasingly puzzled when books kept turning up in unusual places, hidden in hard-to-find spots around the library. It turns out that many homeless patrons, unable to get library cards because they didn’t have an address, were hiding their books so they could come back to them the next day and not risk losing their place.
The Guardian (UK), Oct. 17
A 60-year-old security guard was shot in the lower back while working at the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library on October 17. The guard, in critical condition, underwent surgery that night. A bullet hole was visible in the glass front door. The guard was outside the library when a man approached him and shot him more than once.
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Oct. 17
Michael Dowling writes: “The Trump administration’s move to withdraw the US from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is not only disheartening for the library community, it also places the profession in a time warp. The US has regrettably pulled out of the organization in the past, a move that took nearly two decades to correct. ALA is a current and long-standing participant in the US National Commission for UNESCO under the State Department.”
AL: The Scoop, Oct. 18
The ACRL board of directors commends ALA on its support of immigrants and social media by the organization’s signing of a statement issued by the NYU Brennan Center for Justice concerning the State Department’s proposed policies, published for comment in Public Notice 10065. ACRL strongly supports and endorses the argument against the State Department’s proposed changes to the current immigration application process documented in the NYU Brennan Center statement.
ACRL Insider, Oct. 18
ALA is accepting nominations for the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Author/Illustrator Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for award-winning children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The award honors an African American author or illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children or young adults who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. Nominations will be accepted through December 4.
Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, Oct. 18
Anne Ford writes: “As the librarian at Highland Junior High School in Mesa, Arizona, April Lesher is used to encountering students who don’t quite fit in. That’s why Lesher founded the Friendship Project, a multifaceted program designed to give students a safe, fun place to learn from and connect with one another. Recently awarded a $30,000 semifinalist prize in the 2017 Follett Challenge, the project has helped Highland students make friends, acquire new abilities, practice leadership skills, and feel more confident.”
American Libraries feature, Oct. 18
Covered books on display at the Lexington Park branch of the St. Mary’s County (Md.) Library have raised the concerns of some parents, who asked the county commissioners on October 17 to have some of them removed, while others defended the library’s freedom of speech. Several books were placed in brown lunch bags in the teen section and labeled “do not read this.” One book was The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality. One parent said the display “is malicious intent on the part of the library staff.”
Lexington Park (Md.) Enterprise, Oct. 18