Category Archives: Advocacy

TSA Ends Test of Separate Scanning for Books

This is not directly about libraries, but as a profession we are always interested in preserving privacy and freedom to read; so this is good news for us!

(Article from, by By )

“The Transportation Security Administration has ended tests of a new requirement for passengers to remove books and other paper items from their carry-on luggage during security screening. An agency spokeswoman left room for the new rules to return at a later date however, saying that “at this time, [we] are no longer testing or instituting these procedures.”

The TSA says that the pilot test simply ran its course, but the announcement came shortly after alarm bells were raised by intellectual freedom and privacy advocates in the past week. The agency said that the test arose only from scanning machines’ limitations in discerning explosives from other contents of packed bags, but even prior to the new rules there were many documented cases of TSA employees giving increased scrutiny to passengers perceived to be carrying suspicious reading material. After a blog post by ACLU’s Jay Stanley publicized the test, representatives from the American Association of University Professors and the Modern Language Association also voiced their concern. Continue reading TSA Ends Test of Separate Scanning for Books

Barbershop Books for Boys!

Barbershop Books

As library people, we support literacy and reading programs no matter where they are found. Building good readers, and more opportunities for kids to read is great – and this program sounds both fun and so good for building literacy!

If you would like to get involved, and to help support a barbershop, or to suggest a location, check in here!

Barbershop Books is the debut program of Reading Holiday Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literacy organization in New York City. Developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books is a community-based program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops across America. We leverage the cultural significance of barbershops in black communities to increase boys’ access to culturally relevant, age appropriate, and gender responsive children’s books and to increase out-of-school time reading among young black boys.


Help black boys ages 4-8 to identify as readers by connecting books and reading to a male-centered space and by involving men in boys’ early reading experiences.


According to the United States Department of Education, more than 85% of America’s black male 4th grade students are not proficient in reading.

In an increasingly global and knowledge-based economy, poor reading skills among young black boys today will produce black men who are unprepared to compete in the workforce of tomorrow. Four key factors contribute to low reading proficiency among black boys: (1) limited access to engaging and age appropriate reading material; (2) lack of black men in black boys’ early reading experiences; (3) few culturally competent educators; and (4) schools that are unresponsive to black boys’ individual learning styles.

Day Thirty Nine of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Check it Out!

I love to see libraries making videos and doing cool, creative things! Do we need a CMLE video??? Maybe we could gather some talented people from around the system and get some ideas!


#CheckItOut – Taylor Swift Parody Video for National Library Week

Day Thirty Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

As a profession, we are always pushing back against censorship of books. This project, though not done by librarian, is a very interesting visual display of books that have been banned around the world!

“The Parthenon was built in Athens at the instigation of Pericles, under the supervision of the sculptor Phidias, between 447 and 38 BCE. The structure is ten meters high by seventy meters long and thirty meters wide. The temple was conceived to house a colossal gold statue of Athena, as well as the Delian League’s treasury and the city’s silver reserves—in the event of a Persian attack, these precious metals could be melted down and made into new coins to finance war. Transformed into a Christian church in the Middle Ages, then into a mosque during the Renaissance, the deconsecrated Parthenon of the modern period became a symbol of democracy and of Western cultural supremacy.
Marta Minujín, born in Buenos Aires in 1943, seized this aesthetic and political archetype of democracy for her own situation: corrupted by a “national Catholic” dictatorship that reigned in Argentina up until 1983, she put the democratic ideal back into circulation at the moment when the military junta fell. Her artistic project was part of her series “La caída de los mitos universals” or “The Fall of Universal Myths,” which appropriated monumental icons to replicate them, break them up into pieces, and redistribute them into the public realm. In a certain way, the artist gives back to these symbols—reified and confiscated by institutionalization or capitalization—their status as offerings. For El Partenón de libros (The Parthenon of Books, 1983), 25,000 books, taken from cellars where they had been locked up by the military, covered a scale replica of the Greek edifice; built out of metal tubes and elevated to one side, this Parthenon was placed in a public square in the southern part of Buenos Aires.
Minujín’s monuments to democracy and to education through art revive the ceremonies of archaic societies—contrary to the banning of books by the junta’s army and different from the privatization of public property that, through speculating on the debt of the state, encourages the suppression of public-sector services and creates social shortages. In her mass-participation projects, Minujín rediscovers the initial value of a collective treasure; she melts shared capital back down into cultural currency without remainder. She lays down the verticality of public edifices that embody confiscated cultural knowledge and a hidebound heritage. She dilapidates the fortune these myths represent. By literally tilting these symbols, Minujín not only gives new meaning to these monuments, she offers them a new sensuality.
—Pierre Bal-Blanc

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Library Advocacy Efforts Gain Steam

Advocacy Logo
At CMLE we are all about advocacy of all types for libraries!! Keep talking to people about the work you do, and the value you bring to your community! People will be pleased and impressed by it all. Check out our advocacy resources, and you can always check in with us to talk about advocacy ideas!

(From Publisher’s Weekly, by Shannon Maughan)

A look at some ongoing federal, state, and local campaigns

The past decade has seen a distinct expansion of library advocacy across the country, largely in response to budget cuts. As a result, librarians at all levels have been organizing and raising their voices to demonstrate the value of their positions and their libraries in the community. In light of continued tightening of funding, including steep cuts proposed by a new president, the battle cry of librarians has become even louder. We checked in on a few of the most recent efforts.

Appropriations Push

May was a particularly busy month on the library advocacy front. To kick things off, on May 1–2 a record number of librarians—more than 500—took part in the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day (and double that number participated online). During their time in D.C., librarians discussed issues and legislation affecting them with ALA’s Washington Office and met with representatives on Capitol Hill. Copyright, net neutrality, and privacy were among other topics on the table. An early bright spot of the event was the May 1 announcement of the federal budget for fiscal year 2017 (ending September 30), which increased federal library funding by $1 million.

But the bigger budget debate at the event was President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, announced March 16, in which he called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the grant-making agency that serves as the primary source for federal funding to libraries. Ahead of the 2018 budget, the ALA had already drafted its annual “Dear Appropriator” letters urging Congress for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $186.6 million and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) at $27 million. In light of the newly proposed threat to funding, advocacy efforts shifted into a higher gear. Continue reading Library Advocacy Efforts Gain Steam