From the award-winning team behind You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas and You Are Never Alone comes a gentle and accessible look at how animals mourn. From elephants to whales and parrots to people, A Last Goodbye reveals how all creatures grieve loved ones and support each other during difficult times. Backed by scientific research and illustrated with stunning dioramas, this book reinforces our connections to nature and to each other. “Scientifically sound and philosophically profound.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where we’re going to start hearing a LOT about libraries reopening during the pandemic. I’ll make my position clear right now: libraries should not consider reopening in any form until it is safe for their staff to do so. What that looks like will vary from community to community, but I’m seeing a lot of discussion from libraries that plan to implement curbside services despite extended shelter-in-place orders, and despite COVID cases still being on the rise in their area. I hope these libraries have really good answers as to why they’re risking the safety of their staff like this, because I just can’t think of any.
And now, on with the newsletter.
Libraries & Librarians
- A federal appeals court declares that literacy is a constitutional right.
- ALA announces a virtual option for its canceled annual conference.
- IMLS announces a new research partnership to help support and inform libraries and museums as they consider safe re-opening practices.
- After releasing an initial report that categorized libraries as “low risk” areas of contagion, Forbes has amended their report after getting a LOT of pushback from librarians.
- Despite Texas’ reopening, the Austin Public Library will not open its locations until “it can do so in a manner that does not jeopardize the health and safety of its employees and the community it serves.”
- NYPL may quarantine its books between borrowers in order to make sure they’re not transmitting COVID-19.
- South Sioux City libraries suspend their curbside service because of a COVID spike in their community.
Cool Library Updates
- The Clinton Presidential Library has been turned into a makeshift food bank.
- Here’s a list of the online services and activities being offered by different public libraries in Maine.
- The NYPL challenges people to recreate their favorite book covers at home.
- This Alaska library partnered with a local radio station in order to offer storytime to kids.
- The Library of Congress announces a new app to let people everywhere experience its digital collections.
- Librarians under pandemic duress: layoffs, napkin masks, and fear of retaliation.
- An open letter to library directors: “I will not reopen the library until I can ensure the health and safety of our staff.”
- Why you shouldn’t be doing curbside service during COVID.
- The martyr complex of librarianship: “Libraries can’t fix everything, not even coronavirus, and I kinda wish we would stop trying.”
- Other (pandemic) duties as assigned.
- Wholehearted librarianship during the pandemic.
- Libraries are the last safe haven during the pandemic.
- Public libraries after the pandemic.
- Five unexpected benefits of eliminating library fines.
- Prepare yourselves…the person cleaning this library put the books back on the shelf in size order.
Book Adaptations in the News
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books are getting “absolutely faithful” TV adaptations.
- Michelle Obama’s Becoming is going to be adapted as a documentary!
- Patrick Ness is working on a Lord of the Flies adaptation.
- Goosebumps is getting another live-action TV series. (But will it live up to the 90’s nostalgia of the original series?!)
- HBO Max and Connie Britton have teamed up for a documentary based on Rebecca Traisters’s best-selling book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.
- The first Dork Diaries novel is being adapted as a podcast.
- A sequel to the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film is in the works.
- 39 book adaptations on Netflix.
Books & Authors in the News
- The Matanuska-Susitna School Board (AK) has removed five books from the elective high school curriculum, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Things They Carried.
Numbers & Trends
- Here’s a number we don’t want to increase: attempts to remove books from libraries last year rose by almost 20%.
- These are the most popular books people are reading during the pandemic, plus a look at how COVID is changing people’s book buying habits.
- Fanfiction is booming in quarantine.
- The Chicago Public Library reported a 51% increase in eBook downloads compared to the same time period in 2019.
- Male leads in fiction sell 10 million more books on average than female leads.
- 9 publishing trends to take note of.
- A new female-centric Star Wars series is in the works, written by one of the co-creators of Russian Doll.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
- A side-effect of the COVID pandemic? Reading got a lot harder.
On the Riot
- Ways to connect with your patrons during lockdown.
- How to repair a broken book.
- 13 literary adaptations you can stream for free.
- Airbnb’s bookish virtual experiences.
- Bookish TED talks for when you can’t read right now.
Keep on keeping on, everyone. I’ll see you all next week.