January 22, 2018

National Library Partnership Tackles Health Literacy Gap

More than 90 million Americans have low health literacy, hindering their ability to take control of and address their own health needs, according to a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Public Library Association (PLA) and its parent organization the American Library Association (ALA), together with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), are working to expand the extent to which libraries—among the most trusted of community institutions—can address this issue.

NYPL Unveils Plans for Schwarzman Building

At a November 15 board of trustees meeting, New York Public Library (NYPL) administration unveiled the master plan for renovations to its main branch, the Steven A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. The work is part of NYPL’s Midtown Campus renovation, which includes the gut renovation of the Mid-Manhattan Library across Fifth Avenue, currently in progress.

Faculty and Archives Partner on MIT and Slavery Project

One of the newest courses on offer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is “MIT and Slavery,” collaboratively taught by Steven Craig Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, and Nora Murphy, archivist for reference, outreach, and instruction. The undergraduate class will focus on researching MIT’s historical ties to slavery and the slave trade, as well as the role the slave economy played in other American engineering and science institutions.

November 2017 Elections Bring Large and Small Wins for Libraries

As the preliminary results from the November 7 elections emerged, the news from library ballots across the country was overwhelmingly positive. Of 36 library measures tracked by LJ and EveryLibrary, a national nonprofit political action committee for libraries, 27 passed, three failed, and six were too early to call at press time.

Civic Engagement at LJ’s Directors’ Summit 2017

It may not always be sunny in Philadelphia, but Library Journal’s 2017 Directors’ Summit, held November 2–3 at the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), saw blue skies and warm days—all the better to tour FLP’s revamped spaces, network on the Parkway Central Library’s rooftop terrace, and learn from a dynamic collection of directors, librarians, and library partners who offered up their knowledge and experience.

Arizona State to Partner with Public Libraries on Citizen Science

Arizona State University is partnering with Phoenix-area libraries to develop field-tested, replicable, low-cost toolkits of citizen science resources for public libraries. Funded by a 2017 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, researchers from ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and librarians from ASU’s Hayden Library have joined forces with Arizona State Library, the citizen science hub SciStarter, and the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net).

Kansas City Public Library Raises Minimum Wage for Employees

As Missouri continues its two-year clash with its two largest cities over minimum wage regulations, Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) director R. Crosby Kemper III has taken matters into his own hands.

Mainland Libraries Aid Maria Victims with Money, Mapathons

Update: ALA president-elect Loida García-Febo told LJ that disaster relief organizations and library groups like REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) are still assessing the damage. ALA has established contact with the University of Puerto Rico Library and the Puerto Rican chapter of REFORMA—the organization’s largest—she reported, and is just beginning to gauge their needs.

Knight Foundation, Aspen Institute Launch Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced September 25 the launch of a major new program, the Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative (TMD), in partnership with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. The initiative will spend the next year working to explore the erosion of trust in democratic institutions—particularly the press—and examine solutions around rebuilding that relationship in order to support the role of “strong, trusted journalism as essential to a healthy democracy.” TMD will be run by the Aspen Institute, with $2 million in support from KF.

EveryLibrary Prepares To Build a National Base of Library Supporters

Marking its fifth anniversary on September 5, EveryLibrary, a nonprofit political action committee dedicated to building voter support for libraries, announced its One Million Americans For Libraries Campaign.