Letters of the Law is a new online column exploring a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, from a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including The … Continue reading Can My Library Ban Guns?
Although not all the suicides in Herriman were gun related, Schow notes, statistically the use of firearms is the most common method of suicide in the country. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 51% of suicides in 2017 were committed with guns. The goal in giving away gun locks is to prevent the impulsive … Continue reading Under Lock and Key for Safety’s Sake
In the wake of Amber’s murder, I have come to seriously reassess my own role as a public library employee. This month’s release of Emilio Estevez’s film The Public has led me to share my story—and Amber’s—with others in the profession. Amber was a fierce advocate for literacy and the underserved. Her entire professional life, … Continue reading Keep Library Workers Safe
Michelle Obama at Annual At the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden conversed before an overflow crowd of 8,000. Obama spoke about her family, her career, and writing her memoir—and about getting her first library card at age 4. … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review
As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned
The incident and the recent efforts by the Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed to publish blueprints for manufacturing 3D-printed guns has libraries across the country working to establish policies to block individuals from printing the weapons. On July 31, US District Court Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order to block Defense Distributed from publishing … Continue reading A Patron Wants to Print a Gun: Now What?
“ALA and AASL support the efforts of Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) and Florida Library Association to provide safe and accessible learning spaces for students and learners of all ages,” stated Neal and Yates. “School librarians work with classroom teachers to provide instruction integral to the curriculum and offer additional informal learning opportunities for students. School … Continue reading ALA and AASL Release Joint Statement on Florida Senate Bill 7026
Saving Federal Funding Thanks to extensive grassroots efforts by ALA members, in September the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an increase of $4 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, all of which would go to the formula-based Grants to States program. The bill also included increased funding in FY2018 for a … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review
Updated August 30, 7:17 a.m. The gunman entered the library at approximately 4 p.m. and began shooting. According to news reports, police arrived at the library only minutes later and took the suspect into custody without force. The names of the victims have not been released, but Eastern New Mexico News has identified the two killed as … Continue reading Gunman Opens Fire in New Mexico Library
Libraries are one of them. According to Robert P. Doyle, executive director of the Illinois Library Association, Illinois is the only state to make libraries “gun-free” zones. What does this mean for libraries elsewhere? What steps should we take to ensure libraries as a safe space? In January, at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, … Continue reading Guns and Libraries
Library directors and staffers in all parts of the country and in all types of libraries continue to be concerned about challenging patrons who sometimes adversely affect library services, including people who are homeless, have a mental illness, or abuse substances. But what follows are real experiences seen firsthand or recounted by library employees—security concerns that … Continue reading New Trends in Library Security
Librarian of Congress Moves On James H. Billington (left) retired as Librarian of Congress after 28 years. During his tenure, LC launched the National Digital Library and National Book Festival, among other accomplishments. Billington’s decision came after the Government Accountability Office issued a report identifying weaknesses in LC’s information technology planning. … Continue reading 2015: Year in Review