Monday Briefing - April 4, 2022

Trustee Workshop Follow-Up

Here are a few resources from the Policies & Risk Management Trustee Handbook Book Club session: The next Trustee Book Club will highlight Ethics & Conflicts of Interest on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 5:00 PM. Click here to register .

Nate Heyer Returns from Suzanne

This month, Nate Heyer returns with the last two workshops in his Adult Digital Literacy series:

Teaching Adults at a Distance: Virtual and Socially Distanced Digital Literacy Instruction Tuesday, April 12 @ 3pm

Engaging the Community in Digital Literacy Services Tuesday, May 3 @ 3pm

Both classes will be held via Zoom. Please click the links above for more information and to register.

State of Emergency Extended to April 15, 2022

Just a reminder that the New York State of Emergency was extended to April 15, 2022. The main impact this has is that Public Bodies continue to be allowed to meet online.

New York Budget

The budget was due April 1, but it's not too surprising that it hasn't been published yet. We're still anxiously awaiting the outcome. Even if the numbers fall between the two house budgets I'll be happy.

Banned Books Update from ALA

Library staff in every state faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.

"The 729 challenges tracked by ALA represent the highest number of attempted book bans since we began compiling these lists 20 years ago," said ALA President Patricia "Patty" Wong. "We support individual parents' choices concerning their child's reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others. Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives. So, despite this organized effort to ban books, libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read."

Below are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021:

  1. "Gender Queer," by Maia Kobabe. Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images.
  2. "Lawn Boy," by Jonathan Evison. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
  3. "All Boys Aren't Blue," by George M. Johnson. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
  4. "Out of Darkness," by Ashley Hope Perez. Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
  5. "The Hate U Give," by Angie Thomas. Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda.
  6. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term.
  7. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," by Jesse Andrews. Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.
  8. "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit.
  9. "This Book is Gay," by Juno Dawson. Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
  10. "Beyond Magenta," by Susan Kuklin. Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.

Recent polling shows that seven in 10 voters oppose efforts to remove books from public libraries, including majorities of voters across party lines. Three-quarters of parents of public-school children (74%) express a high degree of confidence in school librarians to make good decisions about which books to make available to children, and when asked about specific types of books that have been a focus of local debates, large majorities say for each that they should be available in school libraries on an age-appropriate basis.

The new poll is the first to approach the issue of book bans through the lenses of public and school libraries. It also found near-universal high regard for librarians and recognition of the critical role that public and school libraries play in their communities.

System Name Change Update

You may notice some new "" email addresses flying around the System as we move closer to our name change. These new email addresses are not widespread yet, we're just testing some functionality in Zimbra in preparation. Currently, the change from "Pioneer Library System" to "OWWL Library System" is being reviewed by the NYS Board of Regents. I'm hopeful that we'll have an update by the end of the month.

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