Leah Johnson writes: “When I told the man at the bar that I write young adult novels—specifically young adult rom-coms—for a living, he asked if I ever planned to write a ‘real book.’ Then he smiled that smile men always smile when they think they’re being smart and clever and just this side of charming, and added, ‘My poetry chapbook was just selected for publication.’ To be a person who writes romance—specifically to be a woman or a femme who writes romance—is to know that there is a big percentage of the population who, despite the records you break and the number of copies you sell, will always dismiss your work as empty or corny or undeserving of the shelf space they take up.”
Cosmopolitan, Feb. 12
Max Macias writes: “It is with great excitement and honor that the Oregon Library Association’s Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Antiracism present the OLA EDI Antiracism Toolkit! You can download a copy at the Oregon Library Association Web Site, or the State Library of Oregon website. A paper copy of this toolkit will be distributed to every library in Oregon. They will also receive a digital copy to print and share with staff.”
Lowrider Librarian, Feb. 12
Academic library director Joe Hardenbrook writes: “I come from a working-class family. As I was approaching the end of my MLIS program and job hunting, I was perplexed by this all-day academic librarian interview thing. I kept thinking: It takes the library all day to figure out if they want to hire someone? Then it was explained to me: The all-day interview is really just a series of shorter interviews with different groups of people, who often ask you the same question.”
Mr. Library Dude, Feb. 12
In Episode 59, Call Number with American Libraries looks at efforts to move forward the conversations about race and racism in the United States. American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Emmanuel Acho, sports analyst for Fox News and former NFL linebacker (and recent Midwinter Virtual featured speaker), about his YouTube series and subsequent book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with Jessica Bratt, youth services manager at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library, about the Let’s Talk about Race toolkit she created for librarians.
AL: The Scoop, Feb. 16
While a number of extraordinary Black Americans have helped transform Silicon Valley into a global hub of high-tech industry and innovation, their lives, stories and accomplishments have been largely absent from public record. A new archive at Stanford Libraries hopes to change that. Set to launch later this year, the “Histories of African Americans in Silicon Valley” will ensure that the experiences of Black Americans who lived and worked in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay area are represented in the annals of history.
Stanford University News, Feb. 11
Suzanne LaPierre writes: “One of my colleagues used to say: ‘We get to work in the candy store.’ Indeed, many outside the profession may read the title of this article and joke: Health hazards of librarianship? Like what, paper cuts or falling off book ladders? However, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light, there are health risks entailed by all front-line workers, as well as some more specific to library employees. Professional ethics, as outlined by the American Library Association Code of Ethics, include a duty to ‘advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.’ The purpose of this article is to highlight some issues to be considered when it comes to that pledge.”
Public Libraries Online, Feb. 15
Matthew Gault writes: “Favicons are one of those things that basically every website uses but no one thinks about. When you’ve got 100 tabs open, the little icon at the start of every browser tab provides a logo for the window you’ve opened. According to a researcher, though, these icons can also be a security vulnerability that could let websites track your movement and bypass VPNs, incognito browsing status, and other traditional methods of cloaking your movement online.”
Vice Motherboard, Feb. 9
Adam Symson writes: “Where we are now is an increasingly digital world that makes it harder than ever to distinguish verified facts and objective journalism from opinion, propaganda, and even total fiction. Or, as recently termed by the Edelman Trust Barometer’s latest survey on public trust, we’re currently in an ‘environment of information bankruptcy.’ To understand how insidious a problem we face, we need to recognize the dilemma where social media throws gas on the burning fire that is disinformation.”
Fast Company, Feb. 10
The National Security Archive et. al. v. Donald J. Trump et. al. lawsuit, filed December 1, 2020, achieved a formal litigation hold on White House records that lasted all the way through the transition and Inauguration Day, the preservation of controversial WhatsApp messages, and a formal change in White House records policy.
National Security Archive, Feb. 11
For months, the NAACP has been asking Cabarrus County, North Carolina, to remove a mural displaying the Confederate flag, soldiers, and Native Americans in Cabarrus County Public Library’s Concord branch. The mural is located in the auditorium and has been covered by a screen since 2014.
WSOC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 9
A major effort is getting underway at several universities, tribal museums, and libraries around the US to digitize the oral histories of thousands of Native Americans that were collected a half century ago as part of a project initiated by the late philanthropist Doris Duke. The New York–based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced February 9 that it has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to help with the translation, transcription, and indexing of the recordings so they can be accessible to Native communities, students, and the wider public.
AP News, Feb. 9
Caroline Bologna writes: “It’s important for children to feel represented in the books they read. It’s also important for books to expose children to the beautiful diversity of our world. This includes the varying abilities and disabilities around the globe. To promote inclusivity and representation, we’ve rounded up 53 books featuring characters with disabilities.”
Huffington Post, Feb. 3