Monday, March 28, 2016

ALA Resolution Brings Results

In January, the ALA Council passed a resolution asking the Library of Congress to change some subject headings. Various libraries had already tried going through the appropriate steps and the request had been turned down. Now, the Library of Congress has announced that it is changing those subject headings as a response to constituent requests. The Policy and Standards Division (PSD) of the Library of Congress, the group that maintains the Library of Congress Subject Headings, now acknowledges that the term "Illegal Aliens" has become perjorative. The term will be cancelled and replaced by two new headings - "Nonciticzens" and "Unauthorized Immigration".  Other terms that use "illegal aliens" as part of a subject heading will also be revised. All revisions will appear on a Tentative List and will be approved no earlier than May 2016. Bibliographic records will be revised shortly after the change is accepted.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

LSTA and IAL may be on the cutting block again this year

The following is sent from Emily Sheketoff, ALA's Associate Executive Director in the Washington Office.

Help Our LSTA / IAL Library Champions Help Us Now!

It's that time of year again when Congressional cost-cutters sharpen their budget knives and go looking for under-supported federal programs to slash or discontinue. Last year, now Speaker of the House Paul Ryan proposed completely eliminating IMLS and with it over $200 million in funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Both of these programs are potentially on the chopping block this year and it's up to you to help save them.  

Library champions in Congress are now circulating "Dear Appropriator" letters to their colleagues urging members of the powerful Senate and House Appropriations Committees to fully fund LSTA and IAL (See the letters here). 

Please take just five minutes to contact your Representative in the House and both of your U.S. Senators and ask them to sign these letters (one each for LSTA and IAL in each chamber of Congress). Your help, and these funds, make a huge difference in what libraries and librarians can do for their patrons in every corner of the country.

These "Dear Appropriator" letters carry tremendous weight with the Appropriations Committee. The more Members of Congress who sign them, the more likely LSTA and IAL - and the millions of Americans they help every year - are to survive and thrive.

Time is short! Please, contact both your Senators and Representative now.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Harry Potter Alliance

While wandering around the exhibits at ALA in January, I came across a booth for a group called the Harry Potter Alliance. You may already know about them, especially if you are in public libraries, but I had not heard of them before. The HPA is a group that is working to make young people into activists. They take Harry Potter fans and get them working on issues such as equality, human rights, and literacy. They claim that their weapon is love - who can't support a group like that. So what has the group done? Here are a few of the accomplishments they list on their page:

  • Raising over $123,000 for Partners in Health and sending five cargo planes of life-saving supplies to Haiti.
  • Donations of over 250,000 books across the world through HPA's Accio Books campaign (love the campaign name!).
  • Partnership between Walk Free and over 400,000 HPA fans convinced Warner Brothers to change the sourcing of their Harry Potter chocolate line to be 100% UTZ or fair trade.
At ALA, the Harry Potter Alliance handed out pamphlets on getting youth organized to participate in National Library Legislative Day. Getting support for our libraries at the national level is important and who better to push our message home than our youth. Libraries Transform everyone but we have great power to transform young people. Let's help them tell their stories to our national leaders. They don't have to go to Washington to do so, there is a Virtual Library Legislative Day that they can participate in through their phones, e-mail, and Twitter.

Find out more about the Harry Potter Alliance at
Find out more about Virtual Library Legislative Day at

There is currently no HPA chapter in South Dakota - is it time we created one?