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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin Young stepped into his role as director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in September 2016, succeeding former director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Young most recently served at Emory University, Atlanta, as curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and curator of literary collections at the Rose Library, at the same time holding the Charles Howard Candler Professorship of Creative Writing and English. If it were not enough that Young now helms Harlem’s Schomburg Center, on March 15 he was also appointed poetry editor of the New Yorker, to succeed Paul Muldoon.
President Donald Trump released his preliminary budget proposal for FY18 on March 16, revealing severe cuts across domestic government spending—which would include eliminating support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public television and radio, including PBS and NPR.
Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2018–19 presidential campaign opened March 13, and ALA members can cast their ballots through April 5. LJ has invited the candidates to weigh in on some key issues pertaining to ALA and librarianship; more information can be found on ALA’s Election Information page.
It may have been International Women’s Day, but on the evening of March 8 The Story Prize went to Rick Bass, the sole male author among the three finalists. Bass’s collection, For a Little While, took the $20,000 prize (and an engraved silver bowl), awarded to the outstanding short story collection of the year.
These are exciting times for Chicago Collections (CC), an online member consortium of libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage organizations in and around Chicago. CC named a new executive director, Jeanne Long, in February, and is gearing up to cohost the annual gathering of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in April.