A group of parents complained about Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in the Sauk Prairie (Wis.) High School’s 9th grade curriculum during the school board meeting on April 24. Parent Scott Enerson read a few of the quotes from the book, which talk about masturbation, naked women, the use of common profanity, and homosexual slurs among them. Superintendent Cliff Thompson said the book had already been approved 8–5 by a review committee earlier in the school year.
Sauk Prairie (Wis.) Eagle, Apr. 25
Chase County Elementary School in Strong City, Kansas, has won the Grand Prize in the sixth annual Follett Challenge for its program “Learning with Cattle.” Fifth-grade students learn valuable science, technology, engineering, and math lessons by purchasing, raising, and selling calves to earn a profit, all with the help of the community, the use of technology, and creative approaches to solving problems. The award earned them $60,000 in Follett products and services, plus a celebration at their school.
Follett Challenge, Apr. 26
Forty-two ALA chapters (state library associations) are partnering with ALA to offer students the opportunity to join both the chapter and ALA for the price of $38, now through August 31. The dues will increase by $2 after that date. New program partners in 2017 are Colorado Association of Libraries and the New Hampshire Library Association. To apply for joint student membership online, find your state association on the list and complete the online form through ALA’s secure database.
Chapter Relations Office
AASL has selected Baltimore County (Md.) Public Schools to receive the 2017 National School Library Program of the Year Award. Sponsored by Follett, the award annually recognizes a single school or district-wide school library program that meets the needs of the changing school and library environment and is fully integrated into the school curriculum. The recipient receives an obelisk—the symbol of school library excellence—and $10,000 toward its school library program.
AASL, Apr. 26
Libraries across Delaware are bracing to get hit with a double whammy of budget cuts on the state and federal levels. Dover Public Library Director Margie Cyr said it’s “utterly frightening” because state funding for her library covers 100% of all programs, plus “78% of the cost of all of the books that we buy.” Annie Norman, director of Delaware Division of Libraries, said the proposed budget cuts could affect staffing at some libraries. Division of Libraries federal dollars are used for statewide initiatives, such as programs like Inspiration Space, which helps job seekers. It also funds the Delaware Library Access Services.
Hockessin (Del.) Community News, Apr. 26
Anne Mlod, school librarian, and Cinda Gilmore, 4th-grade teacher, from Genesee Elementary School in Auburn, New York, are the recipients of the 2017 AASL Roald Dahl Miss Honey Social Justice Award. Sponsored by Penguin Random House, the award recognizes collaboration between school librarians and teachers in the instruction of social justice using school library resources. Mlod and Gilmore collaborated to create “Harriet Was Here: A Research and Song-Writing Project.”
AASL, Apr. 26
Amy Bradley, school librarian at Risley Middle School in Brunswick, Georgia, is the 2017 recipient of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award. Established in 1982 and sponsored by ProQuest, the award is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by AASL and ALA. The recipient receives $2,000, and $1,000 is awarded to the school library program of the recipient’s choice. Bradley temporarily removed all the books from the school library to make a point about Banned Books Week.
AASL, Apr. 26
In the new episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast, American Libraries looks into the future of libraries with guests Miguel Figueroa, Kimber Fender, and Ryan Gravel.
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 26
The House on April 26 passed a bipartisan bill, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, H.R. 1695, that would make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee with a term limited to 10 years. The bill passed by a large margin, 378–48, but must still pass the Senate. Currently the register is an appointment of and reports to the Librarian of Congress and has no term limit. ALA President-Elect James Neal issued a statement on April 26 urging the Senate to reject the bill.
Broadcasting & Cable, Apr. 26
The Fight for Libraries has moved to the US Senate. On April 26, two “Dear Appropriator” letters began circulating in the Senate, one seeking $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act and the other $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Libraries program for FY 2018. Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are again championing funds for LSTA, while Sens. Reed, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are leading the fight for IAL.
District Dispatch, Apr. 26
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on April 26 outlined a sweeping plan to loosen the government’s oversight of high-speed internet providers, a rebuke of a landmark policy approved in 2015 to ensure that all online content is treated the same by the companies that deliver broadband service to Americans. Pai said high-speed internet service should no longer be treated like a public utility with strict rules. The move would, in effect, largely leave the industry to police itself. The plan faces “a tsunami of resistance from a grassroots movement of Americans from every walk of life,” senators and activists warned. The FCC vote is scheduled for May 18. ALA President Julie B. Todaro issued a statement outlining the ALA and ACRL position.
New York Times, Apr. 26
Evanston (Ill.) Public Library trustees issued a statement of support April 24 for the system’s director, nearly a week after dozens of protesters turned out to rally against disciplinary actions Adult Services Librarian Lesley Williams is facing for reasons that have not been disclosed. The statement announced that EPL Director Karen Danczak-Lyons’s contract has been renewed, but also decried some social media comments related to what has been called a personnel matter. Williams has been placed on a 15-day suspension without pay.
Evanston (Ill.) Review, Apr. 25