Jennifer Peltz writes: “The path that took school librarian Deven Black to his gritty death in a rundown homeless shelter was as baffling as it was tragic. This was a suburban dad, a nationally recognized school librarian. In just three years, he had become destitute. Doctors diagnosed depression, but a year after his death in January 2016, renowned brain experts have confirmed that more than depression was at work. They recently presented his case as a rare disorder, frontotemporal dementia.”
National Library Week is the perfect time to make sure that your congressional representative in the House and both US senators know you want them to fight for full federal library funding for fiscal year 2018. They are now home for two full weeks for their spring recess, so you have ample opportunity to make that point loudly, clearly, and in as a many places as you can. Right now is prime time to Fight for Libraries! and against efforts to slash virtually all federal library funding.
Oregon Department of Corrections officials have banned from state prisons a book written by two Eugene attorneys about one of their clients—a former Marine sniper and professional fighter who is serving time for fatally shooting an unarmed man in Springfield in 2014. A spokeswoman says that Mike Arnold and Emilia Gardner’s Finishing Machine,which documents Gerald Strebendt’s case, is prohibited because it falls into the true crime genre that is not allowed in Oregon prisons.
In 1971, Elling O. Eide was a promising young scholar of Chinese poetry, working on his PhD thesis and teaching at the University of Illinois. Then came a letter that set in motion the creation of either a wonder or a folly: a great library of Chinese literature housed in Sarasota, Florida. The Elling Eide Center library, which opened in October 2016, is a testament to one man’s vision of bringing a sliver of the academy to this quiet area of beaches, bars, and subdivisions.
Corilee Christou and David H. Rothman write: “With National Library Week underway, here’s a question to ponder: Could a privately funded national library endowment help rural areas and small towns in an era where the average 15-to-19-year-old devotes just eight minutes per day to recreational reading on weekends and holidays? A national endowment funded by philanthropic billionaires could not only help upgrade libraries, but also encourage Americans of all ages to make better and more frequent use of them.”
An anti-Semitic voice mail message was left for a librarian at Washington University in St. Louis. The two-minute message came after the librarian helped organize an exhibit on the Holocaust at a local museum. The Huffington Post first reported the incident on April 7, though it occurred on March 15. The librarian, who declined to be named, described the incident on the Documenting Hate project, a joint Huffington Post–ProPublica website.
Wendy Boswell writes: “You can find nearly anything on the web; however, obituaries, published daily in nearly every newspaper around the world, aren’t so easy to find online. In fact, since most newspapers do not publish digital archives of their papers online, finding obituaries usually ends up being an offline research task. In this how-to, I’m going to give you a few pointers you can use to start your obituary search on and off the web.”
On April 10, ALA released The State of America’s Libraries 2017, an annual report released during National Library Week, April 9–15, that captures usage trends within all types of libraries. The report finds that library workers’ expertise continues to play a key role in the transformation of communities through access to services that empower users to navigate our ever-changing digital, social, economic, and political society. The Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 are also identified.
ALCTS has awarded honors to four members in 2017: John K. Duke, Jeanne Harrell, Joyce McDonough, and Genevieve S. Owens. ALCTS honors are given for outstanding contributions at all levels within ALCTS, stellar dedication to service, uncompromising commitment to excellence, willingness to accept challenges, and a sustained and exemplary record of moving ALCTS forward.
The ALA Learning Round Table has awarded its 2017–2018 Pat Carterette Professional Development Grant to Lucretia Robertson, training and development manager at the Kitsap Regional Library in Washington. Robertson will use the grant to attend the Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2018. The $1,000 grant, established in memory of Learn RT Past President Pat Carterette, is designed to honor her passion for professional development in the field of library and information sciences.
By sharing the wealth of AASL membership with a colleague, Audrey Okemura has won a free year of AASL membership. Okemura’s name was drawn as a monthly winner of the AASL Share the Wealth Campaign. By referring Janice Lee, Okemura’s name has also been entered to win an AASL National Conference and Exhibition grand prize package, which includes registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations.
Larry Nix writes: “ALA’s Library War Service operated 41 camp libraries in the US during World War I. It produced postcards depicting most of the camp library buildings, and I have examples of almost all of those. I particularly seek out postcards with messages, and I’m always delighted when the message refers to the library depicted on the postcard. This postcard shows the library at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. It was written on November 10, 1918, but was postmarked on November 11, Armistice Day.”
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