May 20, 2017

Lisa Peet

About Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is Associate Editor, News for Library Journal.

New Bills Would Let President, not Librarian of Congress, Name Copyright Register

A bill empowering the president to appoint the next Register of Copyrights, which would effectively remove jurisdiction over the position from the Librarian of Congress, sailed through the House of Representatives 378–48 on April 26 and will now continue to the Senate. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, also known as HR 1695, was introduced on March 23, and would make the Register—who has traditionally been appointed by the Librarian of Congress—a presidential appointment, with the advice and consent of the senate.

Library of Congress Hosts Bibliodiscotheque

On May 6, the Library of Congress (LC) was transformed into a disco for one night. Librarians from the Washington, DC, area (as well as 23 other states, Australia, Mexico, and Switzerland) dressed up in their finest ’70s vintage duds and danced the night away under a mirror ball in the Great Hall of LC’s Thomas Jefferson Building. DJs spun tunes, disco diva Gloria Gaynor belted, and—to everyone’s delight—Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden donned a formidable afro wig and mirror ball earrings.

ALA President-Elect Loida García-Febo: Holding On To ALA’s Core Values

Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2018–19 presidential election closed on April 5, with Loida García-Febo winning the role of president-elect. A total of 9,123 ballots were cast among the candidates— García-Febo, Terri Grief, and Scott Walter—significantly down from last year’s 10,230.

Federal Budget Compromise Keeps—and Boosts—IMLS Funding

In a last-minute decision to avoid a government shutdown, Congress announced on May 1 a bipartisan compromise on president Donald Trump’s proposed budget that will not only save the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), but will add an additional $1 million to the agency’s funding—some 75 percent of which is slated specifically for libraries. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 would also increase the budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities by nearly $2 million, and preserve current funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Joy Doan and Ahmed Alwan: Examining Status Microaggressions and Academic Libraries

Ahmed Alwan and Joy Doan are research, instruction, and outreach librarians at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). A discussion of Jaena Alabi’s work on racial microaggressions in academic libraries led them to consider other intersectional microaggressive instances in that environment—in particular, status-based microaggressions experienced by academic librarians in their interactions with non-librarian teaching faculty. From that conversation, their Microaggressions & Academic Libraries project was born.

Listen Out Loud: Lou Reed Archive Comes Home to Lincoln Center

On March 2—which would have been Lou Reed’s 75th birthday—the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (NYPLPA) announced its acquisition of the late musician’s complete archives. The press conference, held at NYPLPA’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, in Lincoln Center, touched off a two-week celebration showcasing Reed’s work, including displays of selected items from the archives at NYPLPA and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, as well as several public programs.

Public Partners | Collaboration

While librarian-to-librarian collaborations between school and public libraries are nothing new, public libraries are now ramping up their efforts for deeper strategic engagement and collaboration at scale, embedding public library services within schools’ daily operations and combining catalogs and access services. Such deeper integration requires both sides to take into account a range of complex issues—commanding all-in support from library leadership and a strong working relationship with local educational administrators.

Urban Librarians Unite Conference Proposes Advocacy, Activism

The theme of the Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) 2017 Conference, held at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library on April 7, was Dangerous Librarianship—an appropriate designation for a librarians challenging the status quo. Some 186 librarians from the New York metro area and beyond—including attendees from Massachusetts, Arizona, and California—gathered to share and learn about advocacy, social justice, alternative service models, privacy, leadership, and more.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

Jamillah Gabriel, Thinking Outside (and Inside) the Box

When Jamillah Gabriel, African American studies information specialist and the manager of the Black Cultural Center Library at Purdue University, IN, realized that there weren’t many book box subscription services that focused on African American literature—and those that did were targeted to children and young adults—she decided to start her own. In summer 2016 Gabriel launched Call Number, a monthly literature subscription box for adults featuring works by non-bestselling black authors.