2019 American Libraries Magazine

 
 
2019 American Libraries Magazine
                                                          July/August 2019




THE MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION




                                                              NEWSMAKER
                                                     George Takei
                                                                       p. 10

                                                      International
                                                        Innovators
                                                                      p. 28
                                                        PLUS: Exhibit Hall
                                                   Highlights and Battling
                                                           Misinformation




                                                            2019
                                   Annual
                                     Conference
                                                   wrap-up           p. 12
2019 American Libraries Magazine
September is

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                                                      SHOP THE                            DOWNLOAD FREE
                                                      ALA STORE                           RESOURCES
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2019 American Libraries Magazine
July/August 2019

                                                                                       American Libraries           | Volume 50 #7/8 | ISSN 0002-9769




            COVER STORY

   12 2019 Annual
      Wrap-Up
            Library professionals
            explore tough topics and
            exciting opportunities
            BY   Greg Landgraf



                                                                                           UP FRONT                                  TRENDS
      FEATURES
                                                                                                                                     NEWSMAKER
22 On Display in the Exhibit Hall                                                      2 From the
                                                                                                                                10 George Takei
      A roundup of content, tech, and services                                           Editor                                      Actor and activist
                                                                                          D.C. Dispatches
      BY   Marshall Breeding                                                                                                         shares lessons from a
                                                                                          BY   Sanhita SinhaRoy
                                                                                                                                     childhood spent in WWII
                                 28 International                                      5 From Our Readers                            internment camps
                                                                                                                                     BY   Phil Morehart
                                    Innovators
                                                                                          ALA
                                      ALA Presidential Citations                                                                 11 Noted and Quoted
                                      honor forward-thinking                           3 From the President
                                      global libraries                                    Find Your Place                          PEOPLE
                                                                                          within ALA
                                                                                                                                36 Announcements
                                 32 Battling Information                                  BY   Wanda Kay Brown

                                    Illiteracy                                         4 From the Trustees
                                                                                                                                   THE BOOKEND
                                        How misinformation                                ALA Endowment Update                  38 Exhibiting Energy
                                          affects the future                              BY   Rod Hersberger
                                            of policy
                                                  BY Paul T. Jaeger and                6 Update
                                                    Natalie Greene Taylor
                                                                                          What’s happening at ALA




             28
                                                                                                                  ON THE COVER: George Takei. Photo by Cognotes




READsquared 35 | San José State University 9 | American Library Association Editions Cover 4 | Graphics Cover 2 | JobLIST 21 | Resource Description and Access Cover 3
2019 American Libraries Magazine
THE MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION




    D.C. Dispatches                                                                          Address:     50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795
                                                                                             Website:americanlibrariesmagazine.org
                                                                                             Email:                   americanlibraries@ala.org
                                                                                             Phone:                800-545-2433 plus extension




                         I
                                                                                             Career Ads:                          JobLIST.ala.org
                            f you weren’t one of the more than 21,400 attendees
                                                                                                            EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
                            who descended on Washington, D.C., for the American                                 Sanhita SinhaRoy             The Great
                                                                                         What’s            ssinharoy@ala.org | x4219         Successor
                            Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibi-       your summer
                            tion last month, don’t worry—we have you covered.            read?                MANAGING EDITOR
                                                                                                               Terra Dankowski               The Power
                         With the help of four member writers, our team pub-                              tdankowski@ala.org | x5282          Broker
                         lished more than 60 stories and posted a flurry of tweets                              SENIOR EDITORS
                                                                                                                   Amy Carlton
                         from conference. You can read all our coverage at bit.ly/        Revenge of        acarlton@ala.org | x5105         The Great
                                                                                        the She-Punks                                          Halifax
                         alaac19, or flip to page 12 for a recap.                                             George M. Eberhart
                                                                                                           geberhart@ala.org | x4212          Explosion
                             For exhibit hall highlights, check out library consul-
                                                                                                               Phil Morehart
                         tant Marshall Breeding’s annual feature on page 22. He             Heavy         pmorehart@ala.org | x4218
    Sanhita SinhaRoy
                         describes the floor as “brimming with every imaginable                                ASSOCIATE EDITOR
                                                                                                                  Sallyann Price            Evvie Drake
                         product and service of interest to librarians.”                                     sprice@ala.org | x4213         Starts Over
                             New this conference was our Daily Scoop e-newsletter,                             EDITOR-AT-LARGE
                         aimed at bringing speaker, program, and event report-                                     Anne Ford
                         ing directly to your inbox. We hope you enjoyed it and,       The Unstoppable           aford@ala.org
                                                                                        Wasp comics          EDITORIAL INTERN
                         as always, welcome your feedback.                                                     Diana Panuncial
                             Before his Auditorium Speaker Series talk, former                            dpanuncial@ala.org | x2157

                         Star Trek actor George Takei spoke with us about his                    EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING ASSISTANT
                                                                                                             Carrie Smith
                         childhood internment during World War II. As he says             Go   Ahead casmith@ala.org | x4216                  Fleishman
                         in his interview on page 10, the more he tried to learn         in the Rain             ART DIRECTOR               Is in Trouble
                                                                                                                 Rebecca Lomax
                         about his experience from history books, the more he                                rlomax@ala.org | x4217
                                                                                          The Code
                         realized these books “were silent.” As a result, he said,                             ADVERTISING
                         the goal of his new graphic memoir is to help make his-              Michael Stack mstack@ala.org | 847-367-7120
    Read our             tory accessible to a new generation of young people.
                                                                                         Acceptance of advertising does not constitute endorsement.
                                                                                                ALA reserves the right to refuse advertising.
    extensive                Four international libraries are being honored for         Gun Island      PUBLISHING DEPARTMENT
                         fostering positive change in the annual Presidential                    Mary Mackay, Associate Executive Director
    Annual               Citation for Innovative International Library Projects,
                                                                                            Mary Jo Bolduc, Rights, Permissions, Reprints | x5416

                                                                                         The Red                  MEMBERSHIP
    Conference           page 28. This year’s citations include initiatives that
                                                                                           Tent           Melissa Kay Walling, Director
                         promote sustainable thinking, digital privacy, patron                              ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    coverage—            engagement via gaming, and portable access to materi-            Susan H. Polos (Chair), Helen Ruth Adams, Salvador Avila,
                                                                                          Crystal Chen, Sonja Eyler, Janie L. Hermann, Jasmina Jusic,
    whether in           als and services. In the latter example, Libraries Without        Sigrid Kelsey. Committee associate: Rachel Beth Wykle
                         Borders is being recognized for Ideas Boxes—movable                   Editorial policy: ALA Policy Manual, section A.8.2
    this digital         libraries housed in metal containers, some of which can                                     INDEXED
                                                                                        Available full text from ProQuest, EBSCO Publishing, H. W. Wilson,
    issue, online,       be found in refugee camps.                                     LexisNexis, Information Access, ­JSTOR.
                             Last but certainly not least, American Libraries is                                      SUBSCRIBE
    on social            celebrating its own award recognition. Please join me          Libraries and other institutions: $74/year, 6 issues, US, Canada, and
                                                                                        Mexico; foreign: $84. Subscription price for individuals included in
                         in congratulating our art director, Becky Lomax, who
    media, or                                                                           ALA membership dues. 800-545-2433 x5108, email membership@
                                                                                        ala.org, or visit ala.org. Claim missing issues: ALA Member and
                         recently won an award for best design by a specialty/          ­Customer Service. Allow six weeks. Single issues $7.50, with 30%
    in the new           trade publication from the Chicago chapter of the Society       discount for five or more; contact Carrie Smith, 800-545-2433 x4216
                                                                                         or casmith@ala.org
                         of Professional Journalists. Becky’s outstanding design
    Daily Scoop                                                                                                    PUBLISHED
                         work consistently brings our content to life. Our team         American Libraries (ISSN 0002-9769) is published 6 times yearly
    e-newsletter.        couldn’t be more proud.                                        with occasional supplements by the American Library Association
                                                                                        (ALA). Printed in USA. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois,
                                                                                        and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Personal members:
                                                                                        Send address changes to American Libraries, c/o Membership
                                                                                        Records, ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795. ©2019
                                                                                        American Library Association. All rights reserved. No portion of
                                                                                        this magazine may be reproduced or republished without written
                                                                                        permission from the publisher.



2   July/August 2019 |   americanlibrariesmagazine.org
2019 American Libraries Magazine
from the
 PRESIDENT




Find Your Place within ALA
Together let’s promote the value of libraries and the Association


                  L
                            ibraries are essential for the health of         Second, I believe strongly in the opportuni-
                            our democracy, our communities, and          ties and obligations inherent in being a member
                            our future. But too often we hear from       of ALA. I would not be where I am today with-
                            elected officials and regular citizens       out the guidance and mentorship of the Black
                  alike that libraries are relics that are no longer     Caucus of the ALA, as well as countless others
                  necessary in our modern culture.                       who have taken time to encourage me along the
                      The American Library Association’s (ALA)           way. That isn’t everyone’s experience, though,
                  strength in representing and advocating for            and I recognize that an association like ours can
                  librarians and library workers is likewise critical.   be overwhelming to new members and intimi-
                  However, the feedback we frequently receive is         dating to others.
Wanda Kay Brown
                  that getting involved in an association as com-            That’s why I’ve launched Finding Your ALA.
                  plex as ours is daunting and that our Byzantine        This initiative is about including all voices at
                  structure often leads to exclusion and confusion.      the table—a role I take seriously as I stand on
                      Over the course of my presidential year, I will    the shoulders of previous ALA leaders, who,
                  work to promote both the value of libraries and        like me, have been people of color. My goal
                  ALA, broadly speaking, through a lens of social        is to connect students and new library staff
                  justice and inclusion.                                 with ALA and help them find a place within
                      First, I will embark on a project to under-        the Association that furthers their careers and
                  stand the library’s role in addressing social and      their ambitions.
                  economic inequity. This is of particular interest          In order to be represented, we must have
                  to me for two reasons. Forsyth County, North           a seat at the table. My hope is to create a
Over the          Carolina—where Winston-Salem State Univer-             welcoming association that grows with the
                  sity is located and where I serve as director of       strengths and interests of its members. At the
course of my      library services—is one of the least economi-          same time, the staffers who support the work
presidential      cally mobile communities in the country. If you        of member leaders like me are experiencing a
                  are born in poverty in Forsyth County, your            series of changes—including a new executive
year, I will      chances of climbing the ladder of prosperity are       director and the possibility of a move from ALA
work to           dismally low.                                          headquarters on Huron Street in Chicago. To
                      I also know that economic advancement is           ensure they feel prepared to meet the needs of
promote both      possible. I saw it in my own family. When I was        an evolving Association, I’m also using part of
the value of      a little girl, I was adopted by a man who could        my presidential program to establish adequate
                  neither read nor write. He worked hard to gain         change management training.
libraries and     those skills and better himself and his family’s           We have a busy year ahead and an ambitious
ALA, broadly      life. His efforts inspired me throughout my life,      agenda, but I am confident we can tackle big
                  including my career in librarianship.                  issues and effect real change. Thank you for
speaking,             I will convene selected ALA and external           trusting me to lead the Association during a
                  groups to discuss collaborative approaches and         challenging—and exciting—time for libraries,
through a
                  strategies to disrupt the school-to-prison pipe-       librarians, and library workers.
lens of social    line that disproportionately affects young men
                  of color. I will create tools for use by libraries
justice and                                                              WANDA KAY BROWN is director of library services
                  to help ensure that they serve as safe spaces for      at C. G. O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem (N.C.)
inclusion.        these vulnerable populations.                          State University.




                                                                     americanlibrariesmagazine.org    | July/August 2019     3
2019 American Libraries Magazine
from the
      TRUSTEES




    ALA Endowment Update
    Ensuring the Association’s financial outlook stays healthy for years to come


                         I
                            have been a senior trustee of the ALA Endow-        improve effectiveness. The trustees drafted a
                            ment Fund for the past six years. Although          new investment policy statement, which the ALA
                            my term came to an end following the 2019           Executive Board reviewed and accepted at the
                            Annual Conference, I want to share four             recent Annual Conference. As we wrap up this
                         important achievements of the endowment over           process, we will soon make available a new com-
                         these past several years.                              prehensive policy and procedure manual on the
                            The first is the endowment’s investment in          endowment’s webpage that will contain several
                         private equity. While it is illiquid, private equity   important documents on investments.
                         generally outperforms most other investment cat-          The final area worth highlighting is our
                         egories. We did not venture into this area lightly.    shift toward making all trustees’ activities and
    Rod Hersberger
                         The trustees conducted an extraordinary level          documents more transparent and available to
                         of discussion, review, and due diligence before        members on ALA’s website. The content includes
                         we made our first investment. In July 2015, we         agendas and minutes, as well as the forthcoming
                         invested $2 million in Blackstone Total Alternative    policy and procedure manual.
                         Solutions (BTAS). And in early 2016, we autho-            Over the past five years, the endowment
                         rized a $775,000 investment in Kohlberg Kravis         spending policy has allowed trustees to make
                         Roberts, another well-known private equity fund.       approximately $9.1 million available to ALA
                            As the BTAS investment has begun to deliver         units for scholarships, awards, and general
                         positive returns—10.7% to date—during this             operations—an average of $1.8 million per
                         bull market, adding money back into the endow-         year. In that time, the portfolio has grown from
                         ment, the seven trustees voted in September 2018       $38.7 million to $47.3 million, as of April. This
                         to reinvest an additional $2 million into BTAS,        is nearly all the result of market performance
                         largely with revenue generated from these returns.     related to asset allocation decisions with minimal
                            In February, the endowment trustees agreed          contributions. While the market has worked in
    Over the past        to make a $1 million investment in PG LIFE from        our favor these past few years, trustees recog-
                         Partners Group, a private markets investment           nize the need to help buffer the endowment
    five years, the      manager. PG LIFE focuses on environmental,             from potential volatility. As such, they will begin
    endowment            social, and governance (ESG) factors in its            working with the ALA Development Office to
                         portfolio, and this investment brings the endow-       discuss and review a more comprehensive and
    has made             ment’s total commitment to private equity to           diversified plan.
    roughly              $5.78 million.                                            I am proud of our achievements; they point to
                            The second major achievement is the endow-          an increasing maturity and investment sophisti-
    $9.1 million         ment trustees’ aggressive search for and invest-       cation of the endowment trustees as we carry out
    available to         ment in these ESG funds—formerly known                 our fiduciary responsibilities. As I close out my
                         as socially responsible investment funds. As a         role as the senior trustee, I would like to welcome
    ALA units for        result, 34.1% of the endowment portfolio has           Patricia Wand, an endowment trustee since
                         such socially minded investments compared with         July 2015, to the role of incoming senior trustee.
    scholarships,
                         1.3% just five years ago.                              Her term will run through June 2021.
    awards,                 The third accomplishment is our strategic
                         review process, which began last November,
    and general                                                                 ROD HERSBERGER was senior trustee of the ALA
                         to evaluate all our business, communication,           Endowment Fund. His term ended at the close of the
    operations.          training, education, and other practices to            2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.




4   July/August 2019 |   americanlibrariesmagazine.org
2019 American Libraries Magazine
from our
   READERS




                                                                                                                                      I’ve said it
Dual Roles, Double Duty
A feature on recent research
                                                                                                                                  before but I need
(“Notable Dissertations,” June,                                                                                                   to say it again: If
p. 54) led me to examine one                                                                                                      you ever have the
of the papers more closely: “A                                                                                                    chance to hear
Journey to Improve Collaboration
Efforts Between Stakeholders and                                                                                                  @JasonReynolds83
Teacher-Librarians,” by Jeanna                                                                                                    speak, drop
Wersebe at University of Cali-                                                                                                    EVERYTHING and
fornia, San Diego, which assigns
                                                                                                                                  go listen. He is a
responsibility for leadership and            by the user, but I don’t believe              internships, such as limiting them
collaboration to school librarians.          this is the case. In fact, by                 to well-funded libraries.              brilliant storyteller.
    It is asking too much of                 placing these devices in your                                        Chris Shaffer   Guaranteed
librarians to have them be                   library you are bound to create                                     San Francisco
                                                                                                                                  laughter, probable
teachers, too, beyond instruction            permanent records of your
on library resources. Librarians             library visitors, including what              Supporting Citizen                     tears, and your cup
are busy people, not super­                  they asked about.                             Science                                will be filled. What
heroes. With the additional duties               As the world has learned, this            Regarding your “Citizen Science”       a way to start
promoted in our profession and               data has many long-term impli-                dispatch from ALA’s Annual Con-
                                                                                                                                  #ALAAC19
the rise of the catch-all “media             cations that are hard to predict.             ference (The Scoop, June 24):
                                                                                                                                  @JENNIFERSHARPTN, in
specialist” title, librarians must           If recent history is any guide, this          Arizona State University (ASU)
                                                                                                                                  regard to Jason Reynolds,
be exhausted.                                data will be abused, stolen, and              and SciStarter deserve credit for
                                                                                                                                  opening speaker at the
    The role of the school librarian         stored by many parties. For us,               the heavy lifting when it comes
                                                                                                                                  American Library Asso-
is to select, catalog, and pre-              this means a very cautious and                to citizen science, especially with    ciation’s 2019 Annual
serve books and periodicals;                 limited exploration of these devic-           respect to libraries. I recommend      Conference, June 21
manage check-in and checkout;                es, including a decision never to             googling the ASU LibGuide on
and engage in professional                   place them in open public areas.              citizen science and the newly
development. Teachers and                                              M Ryan Hess         published Librarian’s Guide to
knowledgeable volunteers can                                    Palo Alto, California      Citizen Science.
help with certain tasks, as well.                                                                             George Strawley
    All of these people can work             Internal Inquiry                                                   Salt Lake City
as a team but have distinct                  In the library at the University
responsibilities.                            of California, San Francisco, we              Saluting Sotomayor
                       Mary Hollowell        have a policy that all internships            I was sure US Supreme Court
               Peachtree City, Georgia       are paid at least minimum wage,               Justice Sonia Sotomayor would
                                             unless otherwise prohibited by                be an inspirational speaker [at
Record Collection                            the intern’s sponsor organization.            Annual]. I was not expecting her
We are experimenting with                    We also try to adapt hours to the             to be so warm, open, and opti-
Amazon Echo Show but are run-                intern’s schedule. Before reading             mistic. Thank you, ALA, for invit-
ning into many privacy concerns.             Meredith Farkas’s column ​                    ing her and making it possible to
   “Your Library Needs to Speak              (“Barriers to Diversity,” May,                hear her speak!
to You” (June, p. 34) suggests               p. 48), I hadn’t considered the                                     Jenny Bloom
that user data can be removed                potential side effects of paid                     Bainbridge Island, Washington



WRITE US: The editors welcome comments about recent content, online stories,                FOLLOW US:
and matters of professional interest. Submissions should be limited to 300 words and          @amlibraries
are subject to editing for clarity, style, and length. Send to americanlibraries@ala.org
                                                                                              facebook.com/amlibraries
or American Libraries, From Our Readers, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795.


                                                                                               americanlibrariesmagazine.org      | July/August 2019      5
2019 American Libraries Magazine
ALA, US Library Associations
    Join in Statement on EDI
    T
          he American Library Association (ALA), along with           emphasizes the importance of collaboration among asso-
          seven other professional organizations, released a          ciations. “Regardless of the type of library, constituency, or
          joint statement on June 17 promising to uphold the          region, we stand together to support the efforts of libraries to
    standards of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The other    provide equitable access for all through inclusive collections,
    groups include the American Association of Law Libraries,         resources, services, and programs,” the statement concludes.
    Association for Library and Information Science Education,           Then–ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo said in a concur-
    Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Coalition for Net-      rent statement: “I am thrilled that US library associations
    worked Information, Medical Library Association, Society of       have answered my call to affirm our commitment to EDI. As a
    American Archivists, and Special Libraries Association.           profession, we have come a long way in creating opportunities
       The statement reads: “Equity, diversity, and inclusion         to share EDI best practices and resources, but we have a long
    are core values of our associations. We believe that as a         road ahead of us. This is a significant step in our quest to create
    profession we must continue to support efforts in building        the associations we want as part of the society we deserve.”
    a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.” It goes        ALA adopted EDI as its fourth strategic direction in 2017.
    on to highlight the efforts these organizations make to              ALA encourages other associations to sign the statement
    advance EDI through best practices, tools, and resources and      by contacting Raymond Garcia at rgarcia@ala.org.       •

AASL Offers Free District                      districts, or larger districts that will         the 2020 ALA Annual Conference and
Kits for Standards Training                    incorporate outlying solo librarians or          Exhibition in Chicago.
The American Association of School             smaller districts. Applicants must be               Nominations must be submit-
Librarians (AASL), with the support of         current, personal members of AASL.               ted by September 3. Additional
Bound to Stay Bound Books, is distrib-            For more information and to apply,            information about ALA honorary
uting 100 AASL District Kits for the           visit bit.ly/AASLStandardsKitRequest.            membership is available at bit.ly/
National School Library Standards to           Applications will be reviewed and kits           ALAHonoraryMembership.
support nationwide implementation of           distributed on a rolling basis.
the division’s National School Library                                                          Apply to Host Americans and
Standards for Learners, School Librarians,     Honorary Member                                  the Holocaust Traveling Exhibit
and School Libraries (ALA Editions,            Nominations Open                                 The United States Holocaust Memorial
2018). Fifty kits will be distributed in       Nominations are being accepted for ALA           Museum (USHMM) and the ALA Public
2019, and an additional 50 will be dis-        honorary membership, the Association’s           Programs Office invite libraries to apply
tributed in 2020.                              highest honor, which is bestowed on              to host Americans and the Holocaust, a
   Kits include materials to support the       living individuals whose contributions to        traveling exhibition that examines the
facilitation of seven hours of profes-         librarianship or a closely related field are     motives, pressures, and fears that shaped
sional development: a facilitator hand-        of significant and lasting importance to         Americans’ responses to Nazism, war,
book, all necessary handouts, a National       the field of library service.                    and genocide in Europe during the 1930s
School Library Standards card game,               Nominations will be reviewed during           and 1940s.
and a $50 grant for refreshments and           the ALA Executive Board’s fall meeting              The exhibition will travel to 50 US
supplemental materials.                        and presented to Council during the              public and academic libraries from 2020
   Priority will be given to districts that    2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits            through 2022.
provide professional development to a          in Philadelphia. Newly elected honorary             Selected libraries will be loaned the
group of solo school librarians, school        members will be formally recognized              1,100-square-foot exhibition for five
librarians from combined small school          at the Opening General Session during            to six weeks. They will also receive a

6   July/August 2019 |      americanlibrariesmagazine.org
2019 American Libraries Magazine
AUG. 24–30
                                                                                                         IFLA World Library and

   ALA Releases Libraries’                                                                               Information Congress
                                                                                                         Athens, Greece

   Guide to the 2020 Census                                                                              2019.ifla.org
                                                                                                         SEPT.




  O
          n May 15, ALA released Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, a new                              Library Card Sign-Up Month
          resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living                   ala.org/librarycardsignup
          in the United States.                                                                          SEPT. 22–28
      “Next year, when people begin to receive mail asking them to complete the                          Banned Books Week
   census, we know that many of them will have questions about it. ALA’s new guide                       ala.org/bbooks
   will make sure library workers have answers,” said then–ALA President Loida                           SEPT. 25
                       Garcia-Febo in a statement. “Working to ensure a fair, accu-                      Banned Websites
                       rate, and inclusive census aligns with our professional values                    Awareness Day
                       and the needs of the diverse communities we serve.”                               ala.org/aasl/advocacy/bwad
                          The US Census determines congressional representation;                         OCT. 20–26
                       district boundaries for federal, state, and local offices; and allo-              National Friends of
                       cation of more than $800 billion annually in federal funding to                   Libraries Week
                       states and localities, such as grants under the Library Services                  bit.ly/alafolweek
   and Technology Act. Libraries across the country provide access to US Census                          OCT. 21–27
   Bureau statistical data and help businesses, government agencies, community                           Open Access Week
   organizations, and researchers find and use that information.                                         openaccessweek.org
      On June 27, ALA issued a statement about the Supreme Court’s ruling
                                                                                                         NOV. 1–3
   on whether the 2020 Census could include a citizenship question (bit.ly/
                                                                                                         YALSA’s Young Adult Services
   ALASCOTUSCensus); ALA opposes the addition.
                                                                                                         Symposium | Memphis, Tennessee
      To download the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, visit ala.org/census,                         ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium
   where you will also find links to ALA policy statements about the census and
   primary data sources.   •                                                                             NOV. 3–9
                                                                                                         International Games Week
                                                                                                         games.ala.org
                                                                                                         NOV. 14–16

$2,000 allowance to support public               “turning outward,” or using the com-                    AASL National Conference and
programs, expenses for a library staff           munity as a reference point for library                 Exhibition | Louisville, Kentucky
                                                                                                         national.aasl.org
member to attend an orientation work-            choices and action. Librarians, com-
shop at USHMM in January in Wash-                munity partners, and stakeholders in                    JAN. 24–28

ington, D.C., publicity materials, and           libraries of all types can attend.                      ALA Midwinter Meeting &
programming support.                                Discussions, hands-on activities,                    Exhibits | Philadelphia
   Applications will be accepted online          and breakout groups will help libraries                 alamidwinter.org
through August 9. For project guidelines         convey their value as centers of commu-                 FEB. 25–29
and to apply, visit bit.ly/USHMMexhibit.         nity engagement and stewards of public                  Public Library Association
                                                 knowledge.                                              Conference | Nashville, Tennessee
Public Innovators                                   Register at bit.ly/ALA-PILfL by                      placonference.org
Lab for Libraries                                October 15. The cost of $995 per person                 APR.
ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public         includes a toolkit and other resources.                 School Library Month
Innovation will host the 2019 Public Inno-                                                               ala.org/aasl/slm
vators Lab for Libraries October 15–17           Call For 2020 Symposium on                              JUNE 25–30
at the Loudermilk Conference Center in           the Future of Libraries Proposals                       2020 ALA Annual Conference
Atlanta. The Public Innovators Lab is a          ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries                and Exhibition | Chicago
workshop that explores the practice of           is accepting session proposals for the                  bit.ly/ALAUpcomingConfs

                                                                                   americanlibrariesmagazine.org      | July/August 2019     7
2019 American Libraries Magazine
UPDATE


                                                                                           ProgrammingLibrarian.org. The Cultural
                                                                                           Communities Fund is administered by
    New ACRL Research Agenda                                                               the ALA Public Programs and Develop-
                                                                                           ment offices.



    T
           he Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a            To make a contribution to the Cultural
           new research agenda, “Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications:              Communities Fund, visit ala.org/CCF.
           Creating a More Inclusive Future.” The agenda was prepared by Nancy
    Maron and Rebecca Kennison with Paul Bracke, Nathan Hall, Isaac Gilman, Kara           North Carolina School Receives
    Malenfant, Charlotte Roh, and Yasmeen Shorish.                                         Disaster Recovery Grant
       It encourages the community to make the scholarly communications system             Jones County (N.C.) Schools have
    more open, inclusive, and equitable by outlining trends, encouraging practical         been awarded $7,060 as part of AASL’s
    actions, and identifying the most strategic research questions to pursue. The full     Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant pro-
    agenda is available for free online at bit.ly/ACRL2019ResearchAgenda and will be       gram. Sponsored by AASL member and
    available for purchase in print through the ALA Store (alastore.ala.org).              retired middle school librarian Marina
       The agenda focuses on three priority areas—people, content, and systems—            “Marney” Welmers, the grant program
    highlighting effective practices currently in use as well as research topics           supports public middle or high school
    that can help further work in the future. The agenda’s appendices include an           libraries that suffered damage or hard-
    essay on issues of social justice in scholarly                                         ship because of a natural disaster, fire,
    communications and an annotated list of                                                or terrorism.
    recommended readings.                                                                     In September 2018, floodwaters from
       ACRL is offering grants of up to                                                    Hurricane Florence destroyed one of
    $5,000 for research related to topics                                                  Jones County’s two elementary schools
    addressed in the new agenda. Propos-                                                   and its middle school. All 155 students
    als must be received by September 30.                                                  from the middle school were transferred
    More information is available at bit.ly/                                               to the high school.
    ACRLScholCommGrant.      •                                                                The grant will supplement the current
                                                                                           library collection to include a partial col-
                                                                                           lection of books suitable for the displaced
                                                                                           middle school population.
Symposium on the Future of Libraries           (PPAO) has eliminated the Office of
at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting &            Library Advocacy as a standalone unit       ALA Selects 2019 Google
Exhibits in Philadelphia.                      and shifted its responsibilities to PPAO.   Policy Fellow
   Over three days, the Symposium will            A manager of state advocacy position     Katelyn Ringrose will serve as ALA’s
explore the near-term trends inspiring         has been created to perform state and       2019 Google Policy Fellow, spending 10
innovation in academic, public, school,        local policy and advocacy activities and    weeks with PPAO in Washington, D.C., to
and special libraries as well as the long-     assist the Committee on Library Advo-       explore diverse areas of the information
term trends that will help libraries adapt     cacy with the support of PPAO.              policy field.
to the needs of their communities.                                                            Ringrose, a graduate of University
   The call for proposals at bit.ly/ALA-       Cultural Communities Fund                   of Notre Dame Law School, recently
SFL20 will close August 15. Proposals          Reaches Donor Milestone                     completed an externship at the Com-
are sought for information sessions,           The ALA Cultural Communities Fund           puter Crimes and Intellectual Property
workshops, and discussions. Submissions        received donations from 130 individuals     Division of the US Department of
should include a session title, format,        between 2016 and 2019, surpassing its       Justice, where she worked on issues
description, preferred session times, and      goal of $50,000 in individual donations.    related to cyberlaw. Previously, at the
participants’ contact information. Pro-           The Cultural Communities Fund            Washington State Attorney General’s
posals will be reviewed by the Center for      supports humanities, civic, and STEM        Office, she analyzed legal implications
the Future of Libraries Advisory Group.        programming in libraries of all types.      of the use of facial recognition technol-
                                               With help from individual and corpo-        ogies by law enforcement. In addition to
Public Policy and Advocacy                     rate donors, the fund has grown into        her legal career, Ringrose is founder of
Office Reorganizes                             an endowment of $1.9 million that           Impowerus, an online company con-
To provide more integrated services, the       supports professional development,          necting juvenile immigrants to pro bono
ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office          grants and awards, and the website          legal aid.

8   July/August 2019 |     americanlibrariesmagazine.org
UPDATE




ALA Concerned by Publishers’ Changes
to Digital Lending Policies

A
        LA expressed concern about changes announced on           cultural heritage,” said then–ALA President Loida Garcia-
        June 17 by Hachette Book Group (HBG) and on July 2        Febo in a June 17 statement.
        by Simon & Schuster (S&S) to their ebook and digital         “Libraries must have fair and equitable access to resources,
audiobook lending models for libraries.                           regardless of format, that is predictable and sustainable,” said
   Effective July 1, HBG has replaced its perpetual ownership     ALA President Wanda Kay Brown in a July 2 statement. “ALA
model for libraries with two-year access for ebooks and digital   will amplify its role in championing the valuable and essential
audiobooks. HBG also announced it will                            role of libraries in the publishing ecosystem.”
decrease ebook and digital audiobook                                 On June 25, at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibi-
prices for libraries by as much as 25%;                           tion in Washington, D.C., ALA Council approved a resolution
however, the discount does not apply if                           to form a working group to address library concerns with
the library renews its access to titles. S&S                      publishers and content providers including digital licensing
will replace its perpetual access models for ebook and digital    models, content embargoes, fair options for delivering digital
audiobook lending with two-year access effective August 1.        content in libraries, and advocacy for congressional action on
   “The elimination of perpetual ownership will reduce long-      digital content pricing. The resolution also directed ALA to
term access to ebooks and digital audiobooks and increase         develop an advocacy and public awareness campaign about
challenges to the long-term preservation of our nation’s          the value of library book purchases to publishers.  •




                                                                          americanlibrariesmagazine.org     | July/August 2019       9
TRENDS



George Takei                                                                                            when I was a teenager, so I became
                                                                                                        an omnivorous reader. I read all the
                                                                                                        history books I could get my hands
Actor and activist shares lessons from a                                                                on. The books were silent on Japa-
childhood spent in WWII internment camps                                                                nese internment. I read civics books
                                                                                                        hoping to find something there; I
                                                                                                        didn’t find anything. But I learned



  G
             eorge Takei is best known for his role as Sulu in the 1960s cult-classic TV show Star      about the noble ideas of our democ-
             Trek, but the actor has found even more fame later in life thanks to his prolific social   racy, and I was puzzled. So I had
             media presence and activist work. In his new graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy           long discussions with my father
     (Top Shelf Productions), Takei details his childhood years spent in internment camps for           after dinner, and I learned from
     Japanese Americans during World War II. Takei spoke with American Libraries at the                 him. Sometimes it got heated and I
     American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington,                said things that I regret to this day,
     D.C., about his book and the profound and lasting danger of not learning from history.             but I learned from my father who
                                                                                                        bore the burden, pain, and anguish
                                                                                                        of American democracy. Later on,
BY Phil               Why did you choose to tell your            seekers along the southern border      other books began to appear. The
Morehart              story as a graphic novel? It’s been        of the US. In the book, your father    book that was encyclopedic on the
                      my mission in life to tell the story       says that Americans don’t teach        internments was Years of Infamy:
                      of my childhood imprisonment and           the bad parts of their history, so     The Untold Story of America’s Con-
                      to raise awareness of that chapter         they’re forced to repeat them. Was     centration Camps (1976) by Michi
                      of American history. There’s a new         that another reason to write this      Weglyn. But when I needed books
                      generation of young people, and we         book—to point out parallels with       the most, they were silent.
                      want to target them in the best way.       the present? Indeed, it was. The
                          I thought that a graphic memoir        book comments on the humani-           In your book, you talk about Her-
                             would be an accessible way to       tarian crisis at the border but also   bert Nicholson, a missionary who
                              reach them, telling the story      on the first executive order that      would bring books to the camps.
                               from the eyes of 5-year-old       this president signed—the Muslim       Can you elaborate on his story?
                               me and exposing them to           travel ban. With one sweeping          Nicholson was a Quaker, and he
                               the larger reality that my        statement, he [implied that] all       strongly opposed the imprison-
                               parents were struggling           Muslims should be banned from          ment of innocent people on the
                               with [while interned].            entry in the US. That same mental-     basis of their ancestry. He was an
                                                                 ity branded Japanese Americans as      activist, and he brought books from
                             The release of They Called          potential spies, saboteurs, or fifth   Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena to
                            Us Enemy is timely, consid-          columnists. The resonance today        the Manzanar internment camp in
                                   ering the current             is profound and loud. We repeat        Owens Valley, California. It was a
                                        detainment of            this chapter of American history       long drive, about two-and-a-half to
                                           undocumented          over and over again. Today, when       three hours long. He did that every
                                            immigrants           I tell my contemporaries about my      month, regularly, and apparently
                                             and asylum          childhood imprisonment, to people      some people who opposed him
                                                                 I consider well-read, well-informed    learned about his trips and shot up
                                                                 people, they’re shocked. They’ve       his car. But he made it through and
                                                                 never heard of it.                     delivered the books. The people
                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries




                                                                                                        in Manzanar said, “Well that’s it.
                                                                 When you were a teenager and           He’s not going to deliver more
                                                                 later in college, you wanted to        books.” And yet, the next month,
                                                                 learn more about your experi-          on the appointed date, Nicholson
                                                                 ence, but few books and little         was there with a carload of books.
                                                                 scholarly research were available.     I learned that he did that with the
                                                                 Have things gotten better in that      Arizona camps too. That was his
                                                                 regard? I became very curious          resistance. He was an extraordi-
                                                                 about my childhood imprisonment        nary hero.

10     July/August 2019
TRENDS


                                                                                    FROM THE 2019 ALA ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION



                                                                                                                                        “Rappers were telling the
                                                                                                                                        stories when books didn’t.
                                                                                                                                        I didn’t read [Walter Dean
                                                                                                                                        Myers]’s books until I got
                                                                                                                                        to college. Gatekeepers,
                                                                                                                                        learn from the mistakes
                                                                                                                                        of my gatekeepers.”
                                                                                                                                        ANGIE THOMAS, author of The Hate U Give,
                                                                                                                                        during a live taping of the Dewey Decibel
                                                                                                                                        podcast celebrating 50 years of the Coretta
                                                                                                                                        Scott King Book Awards June 22.




                                          “The library is a place where                              “TO GET IT RIGHT, WE MUST
                                          immigrants can fill out paperwork,                         WRITE AND READ ALL OF
                                          job applications, résumés—believe                          OUR DIVERSE STORIES.”
                                                                                                     CLAIRE HARTFIELD, author of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago
                                          me, I know because I did it.”                              Race Riot of 1919, during her acceptance speech at the
                                          MARIANA ATENCIO, award-winning journalist and author,      Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast June 23.
                                          during her Auditorium Speaker Series session June 24.


                                                                                                     “Science fiction needs diversity
                                          “I love librarians because I am                            because it is a global think tank.
                                          living proof of how you can affect                         Technologies influenced by science
                                          people for the better.”                                    fiction will be limited without diversity.
                                          SONIA SOTOMAYOR, US Supreme Court justice and author,      If many different types of people aren’t
                                          during her Auditorium Speaker Series session June 22.
                                                                                                     participating in that think tank, we
                                                                                                     won’t have a diversity of technology.”
                                          “She chose library science, and I                          NNEDI OKORAFOR, author of Broken Places and Outer Spaces,
Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries




                                          understood why as we were kids growing                     during her Auditorium Speaker Series session June 23.

                                          up. We got the opportunity to see her
                                          in action—stacks of books, her hands                       “I FEEL LIKE I’M AT A
                                          on them. You couldn’t believe we
                                                                                                     STAR TREK CONVENTION.”
                                          were that close to all of that magic.”
                                                                                                     GEORGE TAKEI, actor, activist, and author, on the reception from
                                          HODA KOTB, journalist and cohost of NBC’s Today, on        the crowd at his Auditorium Speaker Series session June 24.
                                          her mother Sameha Kotb, who worked for 32 years at
                                          the Library of Congress.


                                                                                                                         americanlibrariesmagazine.org         | July/August 2019     11
2019


      Annual
      wrap-up |                                              Library professionals explore tough
                                                             topics and exciting opportunities
        BY Greg      Landgraf




      Libraries = Strong
      Communities rally in
      the exhibit hall



12   July/August 2019 |      americanlibrariesmagazine.org
T
                                                                                         here was no shortage of laughter or conviviality
                                                                                         among the more than 21,400 library workers and
                                                                                         exhibitors who gathered for the American Library
                                                                                         Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibi-
                                                                      tion, held June 20–25 in Washington, D.C. But the subject matter
                                                                    commanded a sober tone, as speakers and panelists touched on some
                                                                  of the most complex and urgent issues facing the country in 2019.
                                                                    One News You Can                                                  that you are reinforcing
                                                               Use session, “Con-                                                     systems of repression that
                                                        fronting White Nationalism                                                    only a small minority of your
                                                        in Libraries,” was inspired                                                   patrons might support.”
                                                        by a toolkit published by                                                        The “Food for Thought”
                                                        the Western States Center,                                                    session addressed the
                                                        an advocacy organization                                      Jarrett Dapier
                                                                                                                                      scourges of hunger and
                                                        focused on strengthening                                                      food insecurity, presenting
                                                        inclusive democracy, to help                                                  examples of libraries stepping
                                                        schools address the rise                                                      in to connect patrons to
                                                        in racist extremism. Panel                                                    food and resources. Amber
Photos: Cognotes and Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries




                                                        organizer Jarrett Dapier,                                                     Williams, managing librarian
                                                        young adult librarian at                                                      of strategic initiatives at
                                                        Skokie (Ill.) Public Library,                                                 Spokane County (Wash.)
                                                        applied its recommendations         Erica Freudenberger                       Library District, paraphrased
                                                        to libraries facing similar                                                   a preschool parent she’d met:
                                                        instances: anticipate potential forms of white            “My kid’s homework isn’t on my radar when I’m
                                                        nationalist activity, prepare for a proper legal          worried about having enough food for dinner.”
                                                        response, and represent diverse perspectives              This exchange inspired the library’s afternoon
                                                        across programs, collections, posters, and per-           snack program for kids, which staff have linked
                                                        sonnel in the library. Otherwise, he says, “On an         to an overall reduction in behavioral issues.
                                                        unconscious level, you are saying that whiteness             “Scarcity is a myth we need to vanquish,”
                                                        is all that matters, and it gives the impression          said Erica Freudenberger, outreach consultant




                                                                                                                         americanlibrariesmagazine.org    | July/August 2019   13
approaches by eight public libraries as she presented the
         Rally Caps                                                   findings of a study by OCLC, the Public Library Association,
                                                                      and the Institute of Museum and Library Services during a
         Advocacy Campaign                                            session. “Libraries are still overlooked when it comes to city-
                                                                      wide responses,” she said.



        T
                hen–ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo hosted                At Denver Public Library, for example, more than 500 com-
                a rally at The Park @ ALA, a new indoor green         munity members have volunteered to be trained to administer
                space in the exhibit hall, to mark the last mile of   the overdose-countering drug naloxone. “We know we’ve
         the Libraries = Strong Communities national advocacy         saved about 30 lives using naloxone over three years,” said
         effort (see photo, p. 12). Attendees wore blue T-shirts      City Librarian Michelle Jeske. Other libraries offer public
         emblazoned with the Libraries = Strong Communities           awareness campaigns and bystander training to help reduce
         slogan as Garcia-Febo described traveling more               the panic and stigma surrounding overdose events.
         than 200,000 miles to visit academic, public, and                Reed Strege, director of library services at the Braille
         school libraries in seven countries. “It has been a long     Institute of America, led “Best New Tech For Readers with
         journey, but a rewarding one that I believe will have a      Blindness, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities.”
         lasting impact on how libraries will connect with their      The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
         communities in the future,” she said.   •                    Handicapped, for example, is developing interactive displays
                                                                      that link to smartphones and computers and convert text to
                                                                      Braille. The technology, to be circulated within three to five
                                                                      years, counters some of the logistical challenges of producing
     at Southern Adirondack Library System in Saratoga Springs,       and maneuvering large Braille volumes. “This is a real poten-
     New York, which partners with the nonprofit Comfort Food         tial game-changer, because if a person learns to read Braille
     Community in Greenwich to offer weekly deliveries of fresh       and has some aptitude with these devices, what they’ll have
     produce at several of its libraries.                             access to will increase exponentially,” Strege said.
         Freudenberger also presented a session on the New               At a panel hosted by the Association for Library Service
     Americans Library Project, a yearlong exploration of library     to Children called “The Urgency of History,” Coretta Scott
     programs and services that support immigrant and refugee         King Honor Book author Varian Johnson described historical
     populations, driven by ALA’s Public Programs Office. These       events and the need for voices and stories from those who are
     programs often include English-language courses, financial       affected by them, particularly voices that have been margin-
     literacy workshops, and opportunities for social inclusion and   alized. “We are taught that Brown v. Board of Education was
     civic engagement—but a fraught political climate and dwin-       a great decision in the civil rights movement, and it was,” he
     dling resources pose significant challenges. “Moving forward     said. “But what happened to those kids who were moved to an
     we need to create services with, not                                                       integrated school?” He also dismissed
     for, new Americans, remembering                                                             misguided notions of “balance” as an
     that it’s a complex community with                                                          overrated ideal: “I’m not interested
     varying needs,” she said.                                                                   in telling a both-sides story about
         Several sessions addressed the                                                          slavery,” he said.
     plight of library patrons experiencing                                                         Where do music and literature
     homelessness. Jerome Thomas, peer                                                           overlap? Randallstown (Md.) High
     outreach specialist at D.C. Public                                                          School Librarian Joquetta Johnson
     Library, recommended the use of peer                                                        addressed this question as she pre-
     navigators to help these patrons meet                                                       sented her research project, “Lyrics as
                                                                                  Reed Strege
     life’s challenges and obtain impor­                                                         Literature: Using Hip-Hop to Amplify
     tant documents like birth certificates                                                      Student Voice and Social Justice.”
     and identification cards. “Customers                                                        She argued that lyrics, including
     want someone to listen and space for                                                        hip-hop and rap, should be viewed
     them to explain what they are going                                                         and taught as literature and windows
     through,” he said.                                                                          into history. She pointed to Kanye
         Libraries are also employing the                                                        West’s “Blood on the Leaves,” a song
     peer navigator approach to support                                                          inspired by Billie Holiday’s “Strange
     patrons affected by opioid addiction.                                                       Fruit,” which was drawn from a
     Sharon Streams, director of OCLC’s                                                          poem by Lewis Allan protesting the
                                               Joquetta Johnson
     WebJunction, touched on various                                                             lynching of African Americans. When




14   July/August 2019 |     americanlibrariesmagazine.org
Sukrit Goswami




Michelle Hamiel                                                                                                            Loriene Roy




she gave the audience a series of verses, most couldn’t identify   year drew national media attention, hundreds of complaints,
whether they were written by modern hip-hop artists or Wil-        and crowds of protesters and counterprotesters. Goswami
liam Shakespeare.                                                  spoke with OIF for advice, worked closely with police and fire
   Anthony Chow, associate professor at the University of          marshals to ensure safety, and treated everyone with equal
North Carolina at Greensboro’s LIS department, and former          respect and attention, making a point to provide water to
ALA President Loriene Roy (2007–2008), professor at the            protesters and counterprotesters alike.
University of Texas at Austin School of Information, pre-             “Everyone needs to be seen and represented in the library,
sented findings from their study of literacy on the Blackfeet      and we can’t let one group who disagrees with another
Reservation, home to members of the Blackfeet Nation in            group prevent you from performing your duties as librarians
northwest Montana. “The magic number for one’s home                in general,” said Peter Coyl, director of Montclair (N.J.)
library is 80 books or more,” Chow said, explaining that           Public Library and a member of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom
that’s the number at which literacy levels significantly           Committee.
improve. Approximately three in four surveyed Blackfeet               Reference and User Services Association President Ann
Nation members reported having fewer than 80 books in              Brown, instruction and outreach librarian at George Wash-
their home libraries.                                              ington University in Washington, D.C., hosted a discussion
   Banned Books Week has grown into one of ALA’s most              on how library service decisions affect marginalized com-
successful public-awareness campaigns, but the issue of            munities. Libraries uphold privilege by planning programs,
censorship in libraries encompasses more than just the books       services, and resources around assumptions about their users,
on their shelves. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)      said Nicole A. Cooke, program director for the University
Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll led a panel called “Censor-      of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MLIS program. Building
ship Beyond Books,” named for her new book on the subject,         relationships with community members can help break down
citing 531 instances of nonbook resources that came under          biases and lead to more inclusive services.
fire last year, from videogames to drag queen story hours and         It’s also important for library staff to reflect a community’s
Black Lives Matter displays.                                       diversity, or potential users may feel that the library isn’t their
   Another session focused specifically on considerations          space, said Michelle Hamiel, chief operating officer for public
surrounding controversial speakers. Sukrit Goswami, director       services at Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library.
of Haverford Township Free Library in Havertown, Pennsyl-          One often-overlooked element is how outreach to certain
vania, recounted his library’s experience hosting drag queen       groups is often left to minority staff members. “Emotional
storytime. After an uneventful run last summer, the event this     labor and fatigue come with being that person,” Cooke said.




                                                                              americanlibrariesmagazine.org       | July/August 2019     15
Sonia Sotomayor




      Jason Reynolds                                                                                                         Hoda Kotb




                                                                        my house,” she recalled. The books there also started her on
      Spotlight on speakers                                             the path toward studying law.
                                                                           Today Show cohost Hoda Kotb—daughter of a longtime
      Award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds kicked off the             Library of Congress staffer—showered librarians with praise:
      conference with a stirring address, challenging librarians to     “I can’t tell you how much you matter and how much you
      facilitate understanding and empathy in their communities.        mean to your communities, to your states, and to this coun-
      “Maybe what librarians really are is architects, and your         try.” She also shared how her 2-year-old daughter regularly
      libraries are warehouses where we build human libraries,” he      pleads with her to read a story “just one more time,” which
      said. “Imagine a generation of walking, talking libraries, with   taught her that kids crave books, even with nonstop access to
      reference desks here and here,” he added, gesturing to his        the internet and other media.
      head and heart.                                                      Artist Frank Miller and screenwriter Tom Wheeler pre-
         The Auditorium Speaker Series drew big names from the          viewed Cursed, a forthcoming YA graphic novel and Netflix
      worlds of literature, media, academia, and even the highest       series that retells the King Arthur myth with a young girl
      court in the land. US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Soto-           named Nimue at its center. Interviewed by Young Adult
      mayor spoke with her editor Jill Santopolo about how writ-        Library Services Association President-Elect Todd Krueger
      ing kept her grounded after her appointment to the Supreme        during an Auditorium Speaker Series talk, Miller shared that
      Court. Her autobiography My Beloved World was the result of       his favorite childhood stories were Superman and Disney’s
      thinking deeply about her life as she moved from a relatively     The Sword in the Stone. To help inspire and empower young
      anonymous job in New York to her highly visible role as an        girls the way King Arthur inspired them, the creators made a
      associate justice.                                                point to hire women as writers, directors, and designers on
         When she was a child, Sotomayor recalled, New York Public      the Netflix series.
      Library’s Parkchester branch was a refuge after her father’s         When she was young, science fiction author Nnedi
      death. “If I went to the library, I could escape the sadness in   Okorafor found inspiration in the natural world. “From as far




16   July/August 2019 |    americanlibrariesmagazine.org
back as I can remember, I’ve loved bugs,” she said in then–                                    the importance of representa-

                                                                  More
ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo’s President’s Program. “It                                     tion in art and literature. A huge
was something about how within a small patch of grass, there                                   influence on her novel Children of
was a whole world happening.” That love of bugs was part
of the inspiration for LaGuardia, her graphic novel about a
                                                                  Online                       Blood and Bone involved a work
                                                                                               of art she saw in Brazil depicting
Nigerian-American woman who goes through airport customs          Be sure to read              black gods and goddesses, show-
with a sentient alien plant.                                      our full conference          ing her she could be “the god of
   Okorafor, who is working on an adaptation of writer            coverage at The              her own universe.”
Octavia Butler’s The Wild Seed, addressed the need for diverse    Scoop blog and                  MSNBC reporter Mariana
voices in speculative fiction. “Science fiction needs diversity   check out videos of          Atencio danced into her presenta-
because it is a global think tank,” Okorafor said. “Technol-      conference speakers          tion to the beat of “America” from
ogies influenced by science fiction will be limited without       on YouTube.                  West Side Story. The song—
diversity.”                                                                                    performed in the musical by
   “I feel like I’m at a Star Trek convention,” joked actor and                                Puerto Rican characters debating
activist George Takei as he took the stage for his talk. His      the benefits and drawbacks of life away from home—set the
tone shifted as he spoke about the four years he spent in         tone for her talk, which echoed themes from her new book
internment camps for Japanese Americans as a child during         Perfectly You, a memoir focused on authenticity in the face of
World War II, which he details in his new YA graphic novel        adversity. “When you are a woman and an immigrant from a
They Called Us Enemy. Even though he and his family were US       minority community, you don’t feel like you have a glass ceil-
citizens, he recalled, “Suddenly we were the enemy, because       ing over you, you feel like an entire concrete building sits atop
we looked like people who bombed Pearl Harbor.”                   your head,” she said. “But sometimes, what you least expect
   Takei drew parallels between Japanese-American intern-         or desire is exactly what will prompt you to do something so
ment and the current conditions experienced by undocu-            much bigger than yourself.”
mented immigrants along the US border and Muslims facing             Journalist and entertainer Mo Rocca closed the conference
the Trump administration’s travel ban. “This is an American       by sharing his fascination with obituaries, which he explores
story,” he said. “Our past is filled with chapters like mine.     in his forthcoming book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Living
There’s a continuing cycle of injustice.”                         and podcast of the same name. “To see a life distilled like that,
   During her session, author Tomi Adeyemi spoke with Rose        you get the sweep and drama,” he remarked. Even the “for-
Brock, professor of children’s and young adult literature         gotten” presidents between Abraham Lincoln and Theodore
and library science at Sam Houston State University, about        Roosevelt have worthwhile stories, he said. Chester A. Arthur




Tomi Adeyemi




Nnedi Okorafor                                                                                           Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler




                                                                             americanlibrariesmagazine.org     | July/August 2019       17
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