ALA COVD-19 Update

ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism

May 26, 2020

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in condemning xenophobia and racism. The ALA Executive Board endorses APALA’s March 13 statement, in which it “unequivocally denounce[d] the rise in racism and xenophobia against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 … Continue reading ALA Executive Board Stands with APALA in Condemning Xenophobia, Racism


COVID-19 policy update

HEROES Act Stalls in Senate

May 22, 2020

Despite the 101 representatives who called for $2 billion in funding for libraries, a bipartisan letter signed by 46 senators calling for new library stabilization funding, and a coalition of 35 national organizations, the HEROES Act provided only $5 million for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The HEROES Act does aim to increase digital equity. The House bill provides $4 billion to expand high-speed internet access to those who cannot afford it, … Continue reading HEROES Act Stalls in Senate



From left: Beth Staley, Katy Ryan, and Gabriella Pishotti of the Appalachian Prison Book Project in Morgantown, West Virginia. Photo: Raymond Thompson

Prisoners Pay to Read

May 22, 2020

Of concern to Ryan and others was the fine print: Tablet users would be charged up to five cents per minute to access most of the tablet content. This included otherwise free public-domain materials, such as books from Project Gutenberg. APBP facilitates prison book clubs, provides tuition for college classes in prison, and sends free books … Continue reading Prisoners Pay to Read


Dewey Decibel: Privacy Concerns

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Privacy Concerns

May 15, 2020

First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Becky Yoose, a library data privacy consultant with LDH Consulting Services, about Zoombombing—what it is, who it targets, and how to stop it. Next, Morehart talks with Peter McCracken, electronic resources librarian at Cornell University, about a privacy-services program instituted by the … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Privacy Concerns


COVID-19 policy update

ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages

May 12, 2020

According to the letter, “COVID-19 has caused significant revenue losses for libraries, resulting in thousands of furloughs and layoffs to date. Fiscal stabilization is needed to preserve crucial library services for students, job seekers, and small businesses.” Citing significant support for libraries in Congress, the letter’s signatories wrote, “We join with more than 100 bipartisan … Continue reading ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages



Summer Reading Switcheroos

May 4, 2020

The answer for most: online programming, such as virtual storytimes, science experiments, and small-scale cooking demonstrations. “Our plan is to do a pretty strong and regular slate of virtual programming put out on Facebook,” says Luke Bentley, assistant director at Guernsey County (Ohio) Public Library (GCPL). While that will feel very different from last year’s … Continue reading Summer Reading Switcheroos


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Libraries Adapt amid Crisis

May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and the novel corona­virus have upended our way of life and altered the way we as library professionals do our work. Of course, it has also impacted the American Library Association in profound ways. In March, the Executive Board made two difficult decisions: First, to recommend the closing of all libraries to all patrons. … Continue reading Libraries Adapt amid Crisis


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Perfect Storm

May 1, 2020

And all this within the first 30 days of my taking the helm. On day 31, a member wrote to me acknowledging the unforeseen series of events that had played out, and confided, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you had buyer’s remorse.” I didn’t, and I don’t. Though I certainly would have wished for other … Continue reading Perfect Storm


Librarians from San Francisco Public Library working at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned

April 24, 2020

Of course, being asked to take on tasks that fall outside their traditional job description is nothing new for librarians. But the unprecedented, widespread closure of libraries has made conditions especially ripe for staff redeployment—particularly since many localities consider librarians “city workers.” “All city and county employees, per our contract, work as disaster service workers … Continue reading Other (Pandemic) Duties as Assigned