In response to President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his just-released FY2018 budget—and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds—ALA President Julie Todaro on March 16 issued a statement: “This proposal is counterproductive and short-sighted. The ALA will mobilize its members, congressional library champions, and the millions of people the Association serves in every Zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a reality.”
ALA Washington Office, Mar. 16
Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski mystery series and Chicago resident, will be the featured speaker at the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction ceremony on June 24 at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Both 2017 Carnegie-winning authors, Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad (Doubleday), and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown), will be in attendance to accept their medals.
RUSA, Mar. 15
Michelle Kowalsky and John Woodruff write: “New library employees have much to learn. And when it comes to the topic of disabilities awareness, even a short conversation with a newly hired staffer can ensure that it is not lost in the training shuffle. Providing information regularly to employees will help create a responsive organizational culture and a reiterative process that helps veteran staffers onboard new staff members with accurate information.”
American Libraries feature, Mar./Apr.
President Trump’s budget blueprint proposes to counterbalance a $54 billion increase in defense spending with a slew of steep cuts to discretionary spending programs and the specific elimination of 46 federal agencies. Among those facing elimination is the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which provides grants and research funding for libraries and museums. Others named are the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Washington Post, March 16
Internet filters are widely used in homes, schools, and libraries throughout the US and UK to protect young people from unpleasant online experiences. However, a new study by the University of Oxford casts doubt on whether such technologies work after finding no link between homes with internet filters and the likelihood of the teenagers in those households being better protected. The research paper, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, suggests that resources would be better spent trying to develop the resilience of teenagers to such experiences.
Science Daily, Mar. 14
First, armed police seized some of its books. Next, its director was put on trial accused of stirring up ethnic hatred. And now, quietly, its shelves have been emptied and its volumes packed up, ready to be merged into another library’s collection. A year and a half after Moscow’s Library of Ukrainian Literature was dragged into a political dispute between the two countries, Reuters has learned that authorities are transferring its 52,000 volumes to a new cultural center elsewhere in Moscow.
Reuters, Mar. 15
Eugene Volokh writes: “Under New York Assembly Bill 5323 and Senate Bill 4561, newspapers, scholarly works, copies of books on Google Books and Amazon, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia and others)—all would have to be censored whenever a judge and jury found (or the author expected them to find) that the speech was ‘no longer material to current public debate or discourse.’ The bill contains no exception even for material of genuine historical interest. It is clearly unconstitutional under current First Amendment law.”
Washington Post: The Volokh Conspiracy, Mar. 15
At the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, the ALCTS board of directors endorsed the “Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians.” The document defines competencies in broad terms to acknowledge the wide variety of work performed by cataloging and metadata professionals in libraries of all types and sizes, regardless of developments in standards or technologies.
ALCTS, Mar. 15
Applications for the 2017 “Leading to the Future” ALA Leadership Institute, August 7–10, in St. Charles, Illinois, will be accepted through April 13. The institute is designed to help future library leaders develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of the libraries they lead. The four-day immersive leadership development program will be led again by ALA past-president Maureen Sullivan and library and leadership consultant Kathryn Deiss.
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 15
On June 23, at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the RUSA Emerging Technologies Section will host a preconference, “We Are All User Experience Librarians: Creating Change from the Trenches.” This half-day morning session will focus on user testing and experience using discussion, presentations, and interactive exercises. Registration costs can be found on the conference website.
RUSA, Mar. 15
Wayne A. Wiegand, author and F. William Summers Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University, was selected as the 2017 winner of the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award, administered by the RUSA History Section. Wiegand was selected for his proposal to fill a significant gap in the history of public school libraries. The award consists of $2,500 to assist with research expenses.
RUSA, Mar. 15
On June 23 at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, ALCTS will present “Cataloging and Metadata for the Web: Meeting the User Where They Are.” This all-day preconference will address the skills required to increase libraries’ presence on the open web. Register through the 2017 ALA Annual Conference website. A panel of librarians will share their first-hand experiences implementing the concepts discussed in the Library Technology Report, “Improving Web Visibility: Into the Hands of Readers.”
ALCTS, Mar. 14