Category Archives: Articles and Information

COVID Virus Undetectable On Library Materials After Three Days

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services

In the first phase of a project to disseminate and develop science-based information about how materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors, scientists have found that the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is not detectable on five common library materials after three days.

The findings are part of the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project designed to generate scientific information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials as these institutions begin to resume operations and reopen to the public. The first phase of the research is focusing on commonly found and frequently handled materials, especially in U.S. public libraries.

Over the past few weeks, scientists at Battelle tested the virus on a variety of surfaces, in environments with standard temperature and relative humidity conditions typically found in air-conditioned office space. Materials tested in phase one included the cover of hardcover books (buckram cloth), the cover of softback books, plain paper pages inside a closed book, mylar protective book cover jackets, and plastic DVD cases. Battelle tests found the virus undetectable after one day on the covers of hardback and softback books as well as the DVD case. The virus was undetectable on the paper inside of a book and mylar book jackets after three days

“Any library worker would agree that people make good decisions when their decisions are based on facts and evidence,” said Nate Hill, Executive Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council and member of the REALM Project Steering Committee. “The output of the REALM Project, both the systematic literature review and the lab test results, give library workers the information they need to make practical, informed decisions as they reopen their spaces and resume their services.”

The REALM Project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries; and OCLC, a nonprofit library technology and research organization; in partnership with Battelle, a not-for-profit global scientific research and development organization.

Project updates are posted at as they become available. Those interested can also sign up through the project website to receive timely email updates when new information is released.

Host an Event for Indie Author Day

Each year on Indie Author Day, libraries and organizations across North America welcome local indie authors, writers, and their communities for a day of education, networking, mingling, writing, open mics, panels, and more. The 2020 event will be held on Saturday, November 7. Registration is free along with access to resources, sponsor workshop videos, promotional graphics, and support.

This year may look a bit different with in-person events being canceled left and right. Indie Author Day is set up to help support digital programming as well with an abundance of educational videos, workshops, and beyond. Your library can still be a part of this day even if it’s not in person.

Haven’t registered yet? There’s still plenty of time to host an event.

Health and Privacy Guidelines for Libraries

From the American Library Association

Responding to health and privacy concerns during the reopening of libraries and recent discussions of video surveillance and filming in libraries, the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) and its Privacy Subcommittee have approved guidelines to assist library workers: “Guidelines for Reopening Libraries During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Guidelines on Contact Tracing, Health Checks, and Library Users’ Privacy” and “Video Surveillance in the Library Guidelines.”

Guidelines for Reopening Libraries During the COVID-19 Pandemic” — authored by the Freedom to Read Foundation’s General Counsel Theresa Chmara and approved by the IFC — answers frequently asked questions about upholding safety while offering library services during an unprecedented time. The guidelines address protecting staff health and wellness, and legal aspects of health checks, masks, sign-in logs, and requests for users to leave libraries. The resource also offers next steps in reviewing policies.

The IFC Privacy Subcommittee created “Guidelines on Contact Tracing, Health Checks, and Library Users’ Privacy” to assist libraries in maintaining user privacy as they face new challenges in upholding library workers’ commitment to not monitor, track or profile an individual’s library use beyond libraries’ operational needs.

As ALA does not have specific guidelines, interpretations or policies addressing best practices in the use of video surveillance in libraries, IFC developed guidelines for reviewing policies addressing different forms of video surveillance. “Video Surveillance in the Library Guidelines” is divided into six sections: security cameras, public records, users filming in the library, users filming library workers, law enforcement and library worker training. While the guidelines focus on video surveillance, it also provides links to resources on protecting users’ privacy and defending against government and corporate surveillance.

News in Brief

ALA Partners with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission to Donate 6,000 Book Sets to Libraries
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to partner with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) to distribute 6,000 women’s suffrage youth book sets to libraries across the country. Public and school libraries are encouraged to apply for the book sets by June 15, 2020. This generous donation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment and highlights the importance of libraries as hubs of civic education and engagement.

Disaster Preparedness Resource from the American Red Cross
The Ready Rating programis a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations, and schools become better prepared for emergencies. It’s been recognized by preparedness experts as the much needed, easy to understand and non-intimidating solution for helping an organization take the steps to become prepared to respond to and successfully withstand a disaster and other emergencies. Members complete a ReadyGo or ReadyAdvance assessment and have access to tools, tips, and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness.

Survey: Libraries Examine Phased Re-openings, Prepare Summer Programs
A new American Library Association (ALA) survey of U.S. libraries documents a shift in services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. While virtually all libraries (99%) report limited access to the physical building, survey respondents shared leaps in the use of digital content, online learning, and virtual programs. More than 3,800 K-12 school, college and university, public and other libraries from all 50 states responded to the survey between May 12-18.

Introducing the Law Library of Congress Legal Research Institute
In celebration of the 220th birthday of the Library of Congress, the Law Library of Congress has announced a new offering on designed to more quickly and easily connect patrons to their educational presentations and resources — the Law Library of Congress Legal Research Institute. On the Legal Research Institute homepage, users will see resources divided into four options: U.S. Law Webinars; Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Webinars; Onsite Classes; and Online Resources.

KidLit TV Launches KidLit At Home
In response to widespread school and library closures, KidLit TV has announced KidLit At Home, a free online learning resource created to support parents and educators during a time of increased need for learning enrichment, entertainment, and comfort. Styled as a “Netflix for Kid Lit,” this new resource brings together the best video content from around the web created for kids by diverse children’s book authors and illustrators.

PLA and NNLM Partner on New Digital Literacy, Citizen Science Tools
The Public Library Association (PLA), National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) and the All of Us Research Program (All of Us) are working together to support health literacy by promoting the importance of digital literacy in health and wellness. Tools include a suite of digital health literacy resources for public libraries to help individuals strengthen their skills. In addition, NNLM has partnered with SciStarter to create an online course, “Introduction to Citizen Science,” for any member of the public who is interested in exploring their local community through citizen science.

Education Levels and Reading Habits

Reposted from Library Research Service

About 7 out of 10 US adults read a book last year, but among those without a high school degree it was 3 out of 10.

About seven out of ten adults (72%) in the U.S. report that they read a book in the last 12 months. This percentage has stayed about the same since the Pew Research Center started conducting studies of adult reading habits in 2011, but it does vary depending on income and education.

In the most recent survey in 2019, nine out of ten college graduates (90%) said they read a book in the past year while only about three out of ten (32%) adults without a high school degree did. Higher percentages of women, Whites, those earning more than $75,000, and people living in urban areas reported reading a book in the past year. Males, Hispanics, those earning less than $30,000, and people living in rural areas reported lower rates of reading. The overall percentage of men who read a book decreased from 73% in 2018 to 67% in 2019.

The portion of people reading audio books is on the rise, and increased from 14% in 2016 to 20% in 2019. This increase is particularly strong for college graduates and those who earn more than $75,000. Print books, however, are still the most popular way for people to read: 65% of the people who read a book in the last year read a print book. Another 25% of people reported reading an e-book in the past year. About 37% of adults read only print books.

The full report can be found here.

Note: This post is part of the series, “The LRS Number.” This series highlights statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.


June is Rainbow Book Month!

From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

It’s June, which means it’s also Pride Month, when we remember the 1969 Stonewall riots. In celebration of Pride Month, the American Library Association (ALA) designates June as Rainbow Book Month, previously GLBT Book Month. Rainbow Book month is a nationwide initiative designed to celebrates the literature that honors the lives and experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, and asexual community.

In honor of Rainbow Book Month, we have collected a few resources to help your libraries expand and create inclusive and welcoming programming and services. Intentionally prioritizing inclusivity can help us make a lasting change and develop lifelong lovers of our Texas libraries.

Book Lists


Recommended Websites

Archived Webinars

Tool Kits and Training Curriculum

Health Resources

Hotlines and Crisis Lines

Demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusivity and join hundreds of libraries across the nation in a national celebration of authors and books that reflect the LGBTQIA+ experience. For more information and resources, visit ALA’s Rainbow Book Month webpage.

Governor Proclaims Assistive Technology Awareness Day

Earlier this month, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon proclaimed Wyoming Assistive Technology Day, an event sponsored by the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities Assistive Technology Advisory Council.The proclamation was signed at 2:00 p.m. on May 11. Watch the recording above or on YouTube.

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. Assistive Technology Awareness Day brings attention to the importance of assistive technology and how residents can access services through Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources, the state’s AT Act Program.

The Wyoming State Library partners on AT projects intended to make library resources more available to those with disabilities. Learn more on the WSL website.

Business Resources for your Community

Small businesses across Wyoming have seen the effects — sometimes devastating — of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health response to it. Libraries stand ready to help with the economic recovery. We’ve put together this list of resources that you can share with your local business community.

  • The Business subject guide in has databases, Wyoming resources, and workplace skills development in one convenient location. Database access is free to all Wyoming residents — simply log in with your library card number and PIN.
  • Laramie County Library System has a list of business resources for the COVID-19 emergency on their L2B (Library to Business) page.
  • The Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) has upcoming and archived webinars on topics relevant to the current crisis to help your business owners steer through some of the challenges they now face.
  • Also from the Wyoming Women’s Business Center — this resource page that includes SBA loan assistance, workforce service and unemployment links, and funding opportunities. Watch this page for a new grant called “COVID19 Support” that the WWBC plans to roll out in the next few weeks.
  • The Wyoming Business Council recently hosted several Wyoming COVID-19 Transition Webinars. All sessions were recorded and are available at the link, along with FAQs from the sessions and the presentation slides.

Do you have a favorite business resource we didn’t include here? Please share in the comments!

Top Ten Banned Books of 2019

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Overall, 566 books were targeted. Here are the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2019,” along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. George, by Alex Gino
    Reasons: to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  4. Sex is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  5. Prince & Knight, by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
    Reasons: featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.
  6. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
    Reasons: profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  8. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
    NOTE: This one was the subject of a challenge in Wyoming.
  9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  10. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
    Reason: LGBTQIA+ content

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom has a video announcement and infographics regarding the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 on their Free Downloads page. They also have previous lists of Top 10 Most Challenged Books dating back to 2001.