Resolution to honor Judith Krug

The following resolution will be introduced at the VLA annual meeting tomorrow at 4:45 in the ampitheatre at the Sheraton.

Resolution Honoring Judith F. Krug (1940-2009)

Whereas Judith F. Krug was the public face of our profession’s every effort to preserve, protect and defend the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and the corollary right to receive ideas, information and images so essential to the functioning of a free and democratic society throughout her long and distinguished tenure as director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association since 1967 and as director of the Freedom to Read Foundation since 1969; andRead More

Judith Krug – Librarian, Hero, Mentor, Friend

I’ve struggled for words to describe Judith Krug’s influence on my life since her death April 11, 2009. I dare not aspire to do her legacy justice when so many others have paid tribute so eloquently. See: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/rememberingjudith.cfm
I attended her service driven by a desperate need to be among those who recognized how extraordinary Judith was, and felt the magnitude of her loss, not only personally, but for the country and the world. The tightly woven fabric of her family and their generosity of sprit was awe inspiring. I am forever grateful that they shared so much of her with us.

I sat surrounded by my family, not by blood, but a bond of love, common purpose and respect that Judith knowingly propagated, then carefully cultivated and nurtured. Her boundless love and compassion will carry us through these rapids of sorrow and grief. We will carry on and carry the flame. Thank you dear Judith, my hero, my mentor, my friend and most cherished- my surrogate mom.

Gail Weymouth   Sherburne Memorial Library   Killington

VLA IFC /ALAIFC

“Tango” tops challenged books list for third consecutive year

The Office for Intellectual Freedom has released our list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2008. The list is available below and on the OIF website and you can find more information in the ALA press release about the 2008 list.

The children’s book, “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, remains at the top of the list for the third year in a row. “Tango” still faces frequent challenges for reasons that include religious viewpoint, homosexuality, and age appropriateness.

OIF received a total of 513 challenges in 2008, up from 420 total challenges in 2007. For every challenge reported to OIF, however, we estimate that there are 4 or 5 challenges that go unreported.

“Tango” tops challenged books list for third consecutive year

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ALA Releases Gaming Toolkit

From the Announcement – http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/march2009/olosgamingtoolkit.cfm

Libraries are changing and dynamic places, and no better evidence of that exists than the spread of gaming in the nation’s public, school and academic libraries.

In recognition of this trend and the increasing value of gaming to literacy improvement, the American Library Association, with assistance from a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation, has developed an online toolkit to aid librarians in serving this growing constituency.

The Librarian’s Guide to Gaming: An Online Toolkit for Building Gaming @ your library offers content contributed by expert gaming librarians across the country. The toolkit includes a wide range of resources to help librarians create, fund and evaluate gaming experiences in the library.

Toolkit – http://librarygamingtoolkit.org/

Source: American Library Association

Library Journal Index of Public Library Service

Congratulations to the five (!!) Vermont public libraries rated among the 256 best in the country in Library Journal’s new index of library service :

Stowe Free Library
Sherburne Memorial Library (Killington)
Fairfax Community Library
Craftsbury Public Library
The Lincoln Library

The “all star” ratings are based on per capita usage as reflected in circulation, visits, program attendance, and public internet usage, and are reported in peer groups based on operating budget. For the full article and to see how your library rated, see Library Journal, 2/15/09, pp. 26-33 and visit www.LibraryJournal.com/ljindex2009.

Y’all are an inspiration!

Amy C. Grasmick, Director
Kimball Public Library
Randolph, VT

Ten Libraries, Literacy and Gaming Grants Announced

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services is seeking applications from public, school and academic libraries interested in developing and implementing innovative literacy gaming services for youth ages 10-18.

This program is part of ALA’s Libraries, Literacy and Gaming initiative funded by Verizon.

Ten $5,000.00 grants will be awarded to libraries clearly demonstrating creativity, capacity, sustainability and a strong commitment to literacy-related gaming services. In addition, the winning libraries will receive ongoing support and technical assistance from a team of nationally recognized library gaming experts. Winners will be announced during National Library Week, April 12-18. The grant application is available online at http://librarygamingtoolkit.org/rfp. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Friday, March 20.

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House Passes American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Bill)

The House of Representatives today passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with a final vote of 246-183, with members voting largely along party lines. No Republicans voted for the legislation and seven Democrats opposed it. The Senate is currently debating the bill and is expected to vote tonight before adjourning for the President’s Day recess. President Obama is expected to sign the bill next week.

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Second Plea: call your congressmen

The next 36 to 48 hours is critical to get millions, maybe billions, of dollars for libraries in the stimulus package.  We need every single library supporter to start sending messages and calling congressional offices so that we can keep important library provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  As you all know, libraries are a key source of free Internet access to look for jobs and so much more.  Our libraries provide essential services that stimulate our local economies, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 20009 provides crucial funding for libraries to continue and build upon them.  This week, the Senate and House versions of the economic stimulus package will go to conference to reconcile these pieces of legislation, and your calls and e-mails will help protect this funding.  There are pros and cons of each version of the stimulus, and we need to protect the parts that benefit our communities.

 

Last week, Senate Amendment 501 could have stripped broadband funding from their version of the bill but your calls and e-mails to your elected officials defeated this amendment and successfully protected this funding.  Now, more than ever, your activism is needed.  Over 1,250 calls went to our elected officials, and now we need even more.

 

Please call your elected officials and tell them to communicate with the conferees in support of the following parts in both the House and the Senate versions:

 

  • Restore education construction funds eliminated from the Senate version of the ARRA. The House version of the ARRA would provide $14 billion for K-12 construction and $6 billion for higher education construction and specifically mention libraries as an allowable use of funds.  The K-12 construction funds would create 300,000 jobs.
  • Restore the money cut from the State Stabilization Fund in the Senate bill to $79 billion to and restore the Governors ability to use a portion of the funds at his or her discretion.
  • Maintain $8 billion for ‘Broadband Technology Opportunities Program’ for robust broadband to all of America including “fiber to the libraries for the 21st century.”
  • No less than $200 million that shall be available for competitive grants for expanding public computer center capacity, including community colleges and public libraries.
  • Open access of networks should be upheld and not include provisions allowing intrusive network management techniques. 

Again, the only way our grassroots effort will be successful is with your calls and e-mails.  Your efforts have resulted in a stay of implementation on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and a defeat of the amendment that would have cut broadband funding from the Senate version of the economic stimulus act.  This is our most important ask yet; without your calls, libraries will be left out of this legislation.