News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- ALA Reports Strong Attendance at 2019 Annual Conference. The article also covers highlights and major issues from the conference. (Publishers Weekly)
- ALA Votes to Strip Melvil Dewey’s Name From Its Top Honor, citing the influential librarian’s history of sexual harrassment, racism, and anti-Semitism. Although Dewey championed the admission of women to graduate programs in librarianship, he also preyed on female students and librarians. More than a few women came forward with stories of harrassment in the early 20th century (at a time when speaking out meant risking one’s career and reputation); Dewey was even “kicked out of the profession’s most prestigious association” after an industry cruise. [source: Erin Blakemore, History.com] As to his views on race, the resort owned by Dewey and his wife refused entry to African Americans, Jews, and other minorities, even after he was censured by the NY State Board of Regents. (Publishers Weekly)
- Booksellers Challenge Leadership at ABA Children’s Institute Town Hall (Publishers Weekly)
Judith Krantz was a hugely successful, best-selling author of glitzy, “sex-and-shopping” novels set among the rich, though her heroines were often poor to begin with. (The “sex-and-shopping” descriptor comes from her 2001 memoir Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl.) Popular in the 1980s and ’90s, Krantz’s ten novels sold over 80 million copies and were published in over 50 languages.
Krantz worked for 30 years as a fashion editor and journalist—among other articles, she wrote “The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm” for Cosmopolitan magazine—before publishing her first novel, Scruples, in 1978. Princess Daisy came next, followed by a string of other bestsellers. Several also became television miniseries produced by her husband, Stephen Krantz.
Ms. Krantz died on Saturday, June 22, 2019, of natural causes. She was 91.
- How Underrepresentation Affects Racial Narratives and American Kids (Christine Ro, Book Riot) Well-written and well-thought-out examination of racism and unconscious bias in children’s media and in education, and the effects it has on kids.
- Torn apart: the vicious war over young adult books. (Leo Benedictus, The Guardian) Read the whole article, because there’s a lot of nuance to this story.
- Rinse, read, repeat. In Durham, laundromats are becoming libraries (The News & Observer) A brilliant idea, and one that is clearly working.
- Librarians Are Secretly The Funniest People Alive (ElectricLit) pulls together some of the best music videos by librarians, from “All About Them Books” to “Librarian Rhapsody.” Have fun!
- ‘Highly concerning’: picture books bias worsens as female [and minority] characters stay silent (The Guardian)
- ‘There’s no safety net’: the plight of the midlist author (Alison Flood, The Guardian)
- Over 40 and loving it: let’s celebrate fiction with positive older [female] characters (The Guardian) Amen to that.
Book & Movie Announcements
Are you excited for Erin Morgenstern’s new book, The Starless Sea? If it’s as good as The Night Circus (or even close), I can’t wait!
That’s it for this week!