Whether we admit it or not, we're all a little dorky in our own ways. Perhaps you've spent countless hours reading the Harry Potter series. Maybe you can recite half of the lines from Jaws. It's possible you've gotten your buds together for a good ol' game of Dungeons & Dragons. Regardless of how your nerdiness reveals itself, there's a place for you at Coeur d'Con, Coeur d'Alene's home-grown comic convention.The event is a geek-tastic celebration of comics, movies, games, manga (Japanese comic art), books and more put on by the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. It features events that are associated with classic conventions, including lectures, contests and workshops.Instead of usual library-goers perusing books, the building will be filled with Coeur d'Con participants, many disguised as characters from their favorite movies or comics, immaculately dressed for the cosplay (costume play) contest. Special guests like Tom Cook, one of the animators behind He-Man and Scooby Doo, will be in attendance to give a talk on his life as a cartoonist. READ MORE
A five-person panel of Ohio community leaders explored employment issues August 9 during “Libraries Educate Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow’s Careers,” an event organized by four Ohio library partners and the American Library Association (ALA).The discussion—which focused on libraries as an essential component in creating, sustaining, and retaining a viable workforce—brought together leaders from all levels of government and community nonprofits.The program took place at Rakuten OverDrive headquarters in Cleveland and was cosponsored by Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio Library Council, and ALA. It is the first in an upcoming series of local events organized by ALA and hosted in collaboration with libraries and library businesses across the country. READ MORE
The American Library Association (ALA) is seeking nominations for the coveted 2018 I Love My Librarian Award, which recognizes librarians for transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. The national award invites library users to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college or university libraries. Nominations are being accepted now through Oct. 1, 2018 at  The ALA will select up to 10 award recipients. Each winner will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony and reception in New York City on Dec. 4 hosted by the award co-sponsor, the philanthropic foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York. READ MORE
Tiny, colorful toddlers’ shoes; a worn copy of Cuentos de Magon, a staple of Costa Rican literature; snapshots of a woman caught mid-embrace with her husband; and in the midst of it all, a tiny yellow and blue document—a passport. Together, the objects of both national and personal importance tell the story of Sonia Hernandez, the mother of Anthony Otey, a Ph.D. candidate in Romance languages and literatures. Hernandez—who died in 2017—immigrated to the United States in her late twenties from Costa Rica, but “the words in all caps on her green card: RESIDENT ALIEN, constantly reminded her that she was other and that she would always remain other,” Otey wrote to accompany some of his mother’s possessions that he loaned to “Passports: Lives in Transit,”an exhibition on view at Houghton Library that elucidates the stories in the thin pages of passport booklets.Those narratives reveal success and failure, migration and rejection, hope and frustration, and the fragility of a national identity. “She always reminded me of why she did not like being in the U.S,” Otey wrote. It was a sentiment exacerbated in recent years as anti-immigrant sentiments intensified and hate crimes jumped across the country. “The hateful rhetoric that emerged during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign made these feelings of otherness resurface. I reassured her that she was more than her legal documents that kept her in this country, and the medical papers that documented a body in decline.” READ MORE
August is not just for vacations and summer reading programs—it’s high season for library advocacy. US representatives are on recess and back home in their districts to reconnect with their constituents, so now through Labor Day is the perfect time for library advocates to share the many ways we are transforming our communities.Invite your representative to your library to see in person how your library is meeting the needs of your community. The value of your library’s services may be crystal clear to you and the families, students, researchers, and other patrons you serve, but your elected leaders may not understand the value of your services unless you show them. Here are a few tips from librarians across the country for arranging visits with members of Congress. READ MORE
Four libraries have been awarded the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Presented by the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), the awards recognize services and projects that draw attention to the potential for library services to create positive change, demonstrate sustainability, and provide a model for others. The winners are:Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, CanadaLa Biblioteca Móvil, GuatemalaSuzhou Library, ChinaInner Mongolia Library, ChinaThe recipients were selected by a team of IRRT members in consultation with then–ALA President Jim Neal, who recognized them at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans during the IRRT International Librarians Reception on June 25. READ MORE
New York, N.Y.Dedicated: July 6, 1996The Algonquin Hotel in New York City was designated a Literary Landmark on July 5th, 1996. The hotel was immortalized in print and film as the site of the Round Table that formed in its living room by Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, and Robert E. Sherwood. The authors would get together daily for lunch and exchange ideas.The hotel also provided a haven for such authors as Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner, James Thurber, Gertrude Stein, and many more. The hotel is still open for business and now has theme suites dedicated to some of the famous authors that frequented the hotel. READ MORE
An op-ed piece by economist Panos Mourdoukoutas on the Forbes magazine website Ignited a firestorm among library advocates, who eagerly offered overwhelming evidence countering his contention that, as the headline put it, “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money.”American Library Association President Loida Garcia-Febo vigorously denounced the Forbes piece, commenting that Mourdoukoutas could have benefited from the assistance of a librarian who might have pointed him to various economic impact studies demonstrating that our nation’s libraries are a sound investment.But Garcia-Febo, in an article in Publishers Weekly, elaborated on the economic benefit libraries provide taxpayers.  She wrote, “Dozens of economic impact studies from across the country show libraries are a viable asset for the communities they serve. Libraries fuel job creation, opportunities for business development and resources that empower users to seek and sustain employment. Taxpayers are investing in education and lifelong learning, and every dollar builds equity within their community and state and yields a tremendous return on Investment (ROI).” READ MORE
Bustling with people in “friends of the library” T-shirts holding cups of lemonade and conversing with politicians, it wasn’t a normal Saturday afternoon at the Greenfield Public Library.  It was a celebration of a $9.38 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that many see as the key to starting construction on a new library on Main Street.According to Doris Cowdrey, chairwoman of the library’s Board of Trustees, the original estimated cost for a new building was $20.5 million, and the grant — being that it nearly halves that cost — makes the project much more plausible.  “This is a great day, a great day to celebrate,” said state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru. “It’s a significant amount of money coming from the state. It’s a once-in-a-generation, if not once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity.” READ MORE
Ron Charles, reviewer and editor at The Washington Post’s “Book World,” is taking the art of book reviewing from the ivory tower to the viral contours of internet streaming. Earlier this year, Charles won the Louis Shores Award for excellence in reviewing from the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. He chatted with American Libraries about summer reading, feminist dystopias, and his run-ins with the Secret Service.What do you do to make literary criticism approachable?I try to pick books that I think people would enjoy reading, so that’s a start. I try to write about them with enthusiasm and clarity, and I do a few odd things to try and bring in people who are sick and tired of book reviews. For instance, I do a series of comic, satirical videos that make fun of book reviewing, the publishing industry, and sometimes even the authors. READ MORE