February 22, 2017

Lisa Peet

About Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is Associate Editor, News for Library Journal.

Douglas County Libraries Face Closure

Reedsport Library, Douglas County Library System

The 11-branch Douglas County Library System (DCLS), OR, is facing closure later this spring after a ballot measure to create an independent tax district was defeated in the November 2016 election. Money provided by the tax district would have generated about $4 million a year; enough to meet the library’s funding needs. Since its rejection, DCLS is actively searching for alternatives to closure.

Healthy Choices | ACRL Preview 2017

ljx170202webACRL2

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) convenes in Baltimore, March 22–25, 2017. This year’s ACRL conference highlights themes of leadership and change, but a closer look also shows a healthy—and hopeful—regard for the well-being of the academic library system from top to bottom.

Louisville Library Workers Champion Preferred Pronoun Badges

New Louisville Free Public Library staff pronoun badges 
Photo credit: Angela Berry

Six months after librarian Valerie Pfister was told by administrators at Louisville Free Public Library that wearing a preferred pronoun button was a dress code violation, the library has honored its promise to list preferred pronouns on the library-issued name badges of any employee who requests it. The library also agreed to update the city’s Transgender 101 training with Pfister’s help, and offer it to any library employee who wished to take it.

Academic Libraries Respond to Immigration Ban

Photo credit: Kristin "Shoe" Shoemaker via Flickr

On the afternoon of Friday, January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order placing a 90-day entry ban on immigrants and visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. Travelers, visa holders, and refugees from those Muslim-majority countries were stopped and detained at airports in the United States and abroad, and in a number of cases sent back overseas. The ban affects U.S. students and professors among others, stranding those traveling abroad. Academic organizations across the country have condemned the order and urged Trump to reverse it, joining the voices of citizen protesters nationwide.

Nicolle Davies: Stepping Into Progress in Charleston

NicolleDavies arapahoe library dist. 2013-77-2

Nicolle Davies has not been resting on her laurels since she was recognized as Library Journal’s 2016 Librarian of the Year. At the time of the award’s announcement, in January, Davies served as executive director of Arapahoe Library District (ALD), Centennial, CO, since 2012. In July 2016, Davies left ALD to become the executive director of Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), SC.

Keeping Up | Budgets & Funding

ljx170201webbudget22

The financial news for libraries in 2016 was for the most part positive—overall, budgets are up modestly—but many, still rebounding from the recession and working to keep pace with needed capital improvements and technology requirements, still feel that they’re just getting by. Libraries, particularly smaller systems, continue to meet the challenge of working with what funds are available. But unexpected or one-time expenses for a library of any size can still result in tightened purse strings. Also, the rising costs of benefits for employees, as well as the uncertainties of the health-care marketplace, are an increasingly common concern.

Navajo Nation Library To Digitize 1960s Oral History Archive

Sample tape from NLL oral history collection
Photo credit: Irving Nelson

The Navajo Nation Library (NNL) is working to secure the funding necessary to digitize and catalog thousands of hours of stories, songs, and oral histories of the Navajo people, originally recorded in the 1960s by the Navajo Culture Center of the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity (ONEO).

Lisa Lucas: The National Book Foundation and Libraries

Lisa Lucas
Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

In March, Lisa Lucas will complete her first year as executive director of the National Book Foundation (NBF). Lucas took the reins of the nonprofit, which oversees the 67-year-old National Book Awards (NBA), when Harold Augenbraum stepped down. She has her sights set on further enlarging NBF’s reach; LJ caught up with Lucas to find out more about what she has planned and how libraries fit into the NBF’s vision.

Saskatoon Library Launches Read for Reconciliation Space

Hide Cutting at opening of SPL's Reconciliation Reading Area (l-r):
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Executive Director Harry Lafond, Kelly Bitternose (survivor), Eugene Arcand, SPL Board Chair Candice Grant, Elder Walter Linklater, Elder Maria Linklater and Carol Cooley CEO and Director of Libraries for Saskatoon Public Library.
Photo credit: Eagle Feather News

Since the last of Canada’s Indian residential schools closed in 1996, the nation has been attempting to shape a response to the legacy of abuse that the residential school system—which removed native children from their homes and families—inflicted on its Indigenous Peoples. Saskatoon Public Library (SPL), Saskatchewan, has become the first public library to incorporate a space permanently dedicated to truth and reconciliation. On November 21 SPL’s Frances Morrison Central Library opened the Read for Reconciliation reading area, which includes a full set of the reports compiled by the TRC over five years, plus a variety of books about Canada’s history of residential schools, as well as an extensive reading list on the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada on its homepage.

Public Libraries Grapple with Hate Incidents

Evanston Public Library
By Amerique [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

From the run-up to the 2016 presidential election to its aftermath, incidents of hatred, anger, and intolerance have been on the rise across the country and beyond. Academic libraries have been the sites of several incidents, as have schools. Even public libraries, generally thought of as safe spaces for their communities, have not been immune.