May 12, 2018

Aurora Public Library Removes Controversial Poem from Display

The Aurora Public Library (APL), IL, took down a controversial poem displayed at its Santori Public Library that appeared to express anti-Muslim sentiment and violence against Muslim women. The poem’s author, George Miller, professor and chair of the philosophy department at Lewis University, Romeoville, IL, stated that it was written as satire and not intended to be anti-Muslim.

City of Library Love: PLA 2018 in Philadelphia

For many attending the Public Library Association (PLA) 2018 conference in Philadelphia, the biggest challenge was simply getting there, thanks to an early spring Nor’easter that dumped snow from Washington, DC to New England on Wednesday, March 21. Just under 6,000 public library professionals and supporters registered to attend in person, with 1,821 exhibitors signed up as well.

Jennifer A. Ferretti | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Jennifer Ferretti has been a digital librarian for more than ten years at various institutions. A fine arts graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she returned to MICA in 2015 to lead digital initiatives. “I never wanted to be a librarian,” says Ferretti, because “I didn’t know what librarians did. I never had a librarian I connected to and never met a Latinx librarian.” A supportive internship supervisor at the Smithsonian (2007–08) and a strong community on “librarian Twitter” changed that.

Andrea Blackman | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

If those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, Andrea Blackman may have found one way to inspire learning. As division manager for the Nashville Public Library (NPL) Special Collections and director of the library’s Civil Rights Room—in charge of documenting the local history of the civil rights movement in one of its key cities—she has initiated an ambitious effort to meld the library’s unique holdings into a curriculum for change.

Robin Bradford | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Whether she is tweeting her latest collection find, speaking to the New York Times about diversity in romance, presenting at professional conferences, or pushing libraries to purchase self-published (indie) books, collection development librarian Robin Bradford constantly campaigns for readers’ needs.

April M. Hathcock | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

How did April Hathcock go from corporate litigator to librarian? “I was working away on multimillion-dollar suits every night when I noticed the law librarians, who left at a decent hour, did much of the same research I did,” she says. “I realized I could do…the information wrangling I loved without [working] myself to death.” Now, as scholarly communication librarian at New York University (NYU), Hathcock still does legal work, helping with copyright or intellectual property research, library contracts, or access and rights issues. “But it’s combined with the values of librarianship,” she says.

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.

Evanston Public Library’s Lesley Williams Resigns as Community Calls for Equity Audit

Update: According to a FOIA request submitted by the Chicago Tribune, EPL will pay Williams $110,000 as part of her severance. The agreement carries a stipulation that neither party will pursue legal action, but does not include a confidentiality clause.

Following two disciplinary hearings, a suspension, a FOIA request, and years of conflict with the library director and board, Lesley Williams, former head of adult services at Evanston Public Library (EPL), IL, announced her resignation on June 29.

Why Social Justice in the Library? | Outreach + Inreach

Libraries of all types are reevaluating the role they play in their community, questioning whether it is still good enough to provide equal access, or if it is time to pursue an active equitable access that focuses on empowering the less powerful and amplifying the voices of the unheard.