May 23, 2017

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.

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.

Leading a Difficult Conversation: There is Help | Leading from the Library

A tough skill for leaders to master is the art of the difficult conversation. Good leaders know how to manage the conversation to achieve a positive resolution. Here’s a new source of guidance for those who want to improve.

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.

Library Original (Q&A) | Library Systems Landscape 2017

Annette Harwood Murphy became a pioneer of library technology in 1975 as the cofounder of The Library Corporation (TLC). Murphy is currently president/CEO and chair of the board of TLC and CEO of Tech Logic, and her companies have continued to innovate.

Kevin Young: Director of NYPL’s Schomburg Center, New Yorker Poetry Editor

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.

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Here Be Dragons (and Giant Cyborg Spiders)

The modern fantasy genre includes both the sublime and the subversively ridiculous. Novelist Lloyd Alexander famously said, “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” Philosopher-writer Theodor Geisel also said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy [is] a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” In her upcoming fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Legacy, Alaska-raised author Deborah Wolf indulges in both.

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All Creatures Mythic and Scary

When asked about writing and the lament of “nothing new under the sun,” George Saunders once said, “You realize that there have always been, and will always be, young artistic people in the world who, being relatively new to the world, are freshly amazed by its beauty.” When so inclined, novelists and their readers can find something extraordinary in well-worn genres like dark fantasy or crime drama. When such genres are combined, however, the potential for such amazement is increased.

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An Archetypal Thriller

James Brogden’s dark fantasy Hekla’s Children offers a heroic, human response to evil and chaos. In his essay, “On Fairy-Stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien posits that a work of fantasy should allow a reader to experience a world that is credible, consistent, and rational—within the framework of its own rules.

Nicolle Davies: Stepping Into Progress in Charleston

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.