News in Brief



ALA Seeks Applicants for National Policy Corps
The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the ALA Policy Corps before December 11. The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community, ALA and the Public Policy and Advocacy Office, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals, and positively impacting national public policy in areas key to ALA’s strategic goals. Deadline to apply is December 11.

AASL Publishes Open Educational Resources (OER) Toolkit
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released a new toolkit to help position school librarians in efforts to create and curate open educational resources (OER) that will extend their role as leaders within their schools. The OER Toolkit is freely available for download at www.ala.org/aasl/toolkits. The toolkit was developed to help school librarians who are grappling with how to translate the OER movement to K–12 educational settings.

Newly Digitized Veterans History Project Collection Showcasing Veteran Artists
Researchers, veterans and their families now have access to “Veterans and the Arts,” an online “Experiencing War” website feature highlighting the stories of veterans who pursued the arts during their post-military lives. This new feature includes nine digitized collections from the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) archive, each of which holds the first-person narrative of a veteran who used artistic endeavors — such as music, creative writing, sculpture, ceramic arts and even the culinary arts — to assist in the transition to civilian life after serving.

New Report: Public Libraries: A Community’s Connection for Career Services
Local public libraries serve an important role in the national workforce development system. Public libraries offer a range of career services, including résumé and cover letter support, job application assistance, interview preparation, training, and referrals to American Job Centers/other support services. A recent study from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development chronicles the extent to which public libraries across the United States are providing these career services.

Research Confirms Value of School Librarians
The New York State Library has released a new Informational Brief, Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success. This compilation of research studies shows that the school librarian’s contributions are consistently shown to be of positive value to students, teachers, and the wider school community.

Share Your Censorship Story with the Office for Intellectual Freedom
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) encourages library workers to report censorship incidents and challenges to library or school materials and services that occurred in 2019 using an online form by December 31, 2019. Every submitted report provides crucial information that helps the office raise awareness and respond to censorship threats by creating resources for libraries. OIF is seeking information on challenges and removals of books, online resources, displays and DVDs. It is also seeking information on canceled or challenged programs, and the vandalizing of library materials. All personal and institutional information submitted through the online form is kept confidential.

Love Letters for Computers
Love Letters for Computers is a free, 10-part YouTube series intended for primary school educators, covering the basics of computer science with accompanying classroom materials. The videos cover things like hardware, I/O systems, networks, machine learning, as well as diversity & equity. The website includes 28 classroom worksheets, a teacher journal with prompts to reflect upon learning, and other resources to support professional development.

Free Online Programs on the Presidency Begin January 16
The National Archives and Presidential Libraries, National Park Service, Internet2 community, and cultural and historic organizations nationwide are offering the annual Presidential Primary Sources Project, a series of free, standards-aligned, 45-minute interactive videoconferencing programs aimed at students in grades 4-12. The series will run from January through March 2020. In addition to the interactive video component, each program will also be live-streamed and recorded for on-demand viewing. Free registration is now open.

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