Nonprofit Quarterly: Libraries Face Reopening Dilemma as Pandemic Escalates. “Schools aren’t the only public institutions locked in debate over the need to reopen amid skyrocketing coronavirus infections nationwide. Libraries are facing the same dilemma. Library services are more critical than ever as COVID-19 continues affecting communities across the US. Yet as library systems eye reopening to the public, the surge of new coronavirus cases in most states could keep doors closed for months to come.”
School Library Journal: What Librarians Are Doing to Support Students and Teachers in the Shutdown | SLJ COVID-19 Survey. “School Library Journal’s School COVID-19 Response Survey queried K-12 librarians from April 2 to April 12 about their experience. More than 1,000 librarians responded, providing information about preparedness for remote learning; how librarians are supporting students and teachers, and more. Topics included services they have provided staff and students, school schedules and curriculum, plans for returned library books when schools reopen, and the pandemic’s possible impact on future purchasing.”
American Library Association: Public libraries launch, expand services during COVID-19 pandemic. “As public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways. Those are among the chief findings the Public Library Association (PLA) announced today in the broadest survey of public libraries’ response to the pandemic to date, with 2,545 unique responses nationwide. Most respondents (98%) reported their buildings were closed to the public but, in many cases, staff continued to expand access to digital resources, launch virtual programs and coordinate services with local government agencies.”
American Libraries: How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic. “On April 9, the Public Library Association (PLA) announced the release of the broadest survey to date—with 2,545 unique responses nationwide, representing 28% of all US public libraries—on how public libraries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that as public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways.”
NBC News: Library workers fight for safer working conditions amid coronavirus pandemic. “In Hennepin County, Minnesota, 220 library workers face a dilemma: take unpaid leave or get reassigned to work in hotels housing homeless people, including some with COVID-19 symptoms, with no extra pay. The offer came last week from county Administrator David Hough, who told staff that there wasn’t enough work for them to do from home while the libraries were closed. Workers who don’t want to move to the higher-risk jobs — of which there are only 50 positions — can use their remaining paid time off or eat into future paid leave allocations that they will owe the county.”
School Library Journal: School Librarians Can Help During Crisis, But Some Fear Being Shut Out. “April is School Library Month but instead of creating brilliant book displays and highlighting their contributions, school librarians across the country are struggling to find their place in remote learning forced by the coronavirus pandemic. This is a situation prime for their expertise, but many themselves frustrated and on the sidelines of administrative decisions and lesson planning.”
EdSurge: How Librarians Continue Their Work Digitally Even as Coronavirus Closes Libraries. “To get a sense of what the widespread closure of libraries could mean, and hear some creative ways libraries are reaching out digitally, we talked with Jessamyn West, an educational technologist who runs the librarian.net blog and is author of ‘Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide.'” A podcast with a lightly-edited transcript.
School Library Journal: School Library Journal Offers Free Full Access to Content, Digitized Magazines. “School Library Journal (SLJ) is offering temporary free access to digitized editions of SLJ, as well as all content on its website, SLJ.com. ‘We want to support you as you grapple with the challenge of advancing your work through the COVID-19 crisis,’ says Rebecca T. Miller, group publisher of Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book.”
Duke University Libraries Preservation Underground: Working From Home Options for Conservation Labs. “As the Covid-19 virus spreads, we have started planning for work that Conservation staff can do at home should we be told to stay off campus. As of this publication we have not been asked to stay home but preservation professionals prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This has been a thought provoking exercise and everyone has contributed to our brainstorming. We wanted to share what we have drafted to date in case any other labs are in a similar situation.”
Kansas State Library: Northwest Kansas Library System Newsletters, 1977-2017. “Recently, with the approval of NWKLS director, George Seamon Jr., the State Library of Kansas added its collection of Northwest Kansas Library System newsletters to our KGI Online Library collection. As stated in previous KGI Blog articles these regional library system newsletters are a treasure trove of historical information on the development and activities of library systems, libraries, library folks and library issues in Kansas. Our NWKLS newsletter collection spans about 40 years from 1977 to 2017.”
Ars Technica: Anatomy of a dumb spear-phish: Hitting librarians up for Zelle, CashApp cash. “Here’s a clue for would-be Internet financial scammers: do not target librarians. They will catch on fast, and you will have wasted your time. Yesterday, the outgoing chair of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Alex Awards Committee (and my wife) Paula Gallagher got a very odd email that purported to be from a colleague within her library system who is a member of YALSA’s board. The email asked, ‘Are you available to complete an assignment on behalf of the Board, And get reimbursed? Kindly advise.'”
Ars Technica: Open access journals get a boost from librarians—much to Elsevier’s dismay. “When Florida State University cancelled its ‘big deal’ contract for all Elsevier’s 2,500 journals last March to save money, the publisher warned it would backfire and cost the library $1 million extra in pay-per-view fees. But even to the surprise of Gale Etschmaier, dean of FSU’s library, the charges after eight months were actually less than $20,000.”
Creative Commons: Our Book, “Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians,” Is Now Available. “We’re happy to announce that our collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) to create the print companion to the CC Certificate has finally come to fruition! The book, Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians, is now published under CC BY and offers an additional way to access the openly licensed CC Certificate content. It’s available in print at the ALA store, or it can be downloaded from our website!”
Juneau Empire: Opinion: Gratitude for our libraries, museums and historians. “Thanksgiving has undergone several transitions — from its original expression of gratitude to over-commercialization to, more recently, its repudiation by those believing it represents an insensitive stereotype of Native Americans. Yet, nothing about human history is ever as simple as it appears. Recognition of what we did wrong, as well as what we did right, is part of understanding the nuance and complexity of history.” All you archivists, librarians, teachers, and other keepers of history, reach around and pat yourself on the back. You have a difficult and vital job.
Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Help Needed on List of Lists: An Index of Diversity Book Lists for Adults Project. “Rachel Ivy Clarke, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies and Sayward Schoonmaker, MLIS, Syracuse University are asking public libraries across the United States to contribute to their indexing project, List of Lists: An Index of Diversity Book Lists for Adults. You can contribute your library’s diversity books lists, LibGuides or similar resources publicly available online between 2016 and present using their Google form link. They would like responses by September 1, 2019.”