News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Proposed Tennessee Bill Threatens Librarians with Fines or Jail Time (I Love Libraries)
- Overdrive drops automatic hold checkout, offers “hold redelivery” (Overdrive)
- The Coronavirus Continues to Disrupt the Book Business as international book fairs, regional and local book festivals, and conferences are cancelled. (Publishers Weekly)
- Virginia Festival of the Book canceled as COVID-19 concerns grow (Free Lance-Star/Fredericksburg.com)
- Romance for Literacy is a fundraising event for ProLiteracy. ProLiteracy’s goal is to empower women through literacy. The romance-community fundraiser is intended to replace the funds usually raised by RWA’s literacy event, which will not be held this year. The campaign is supported by some pretty well-known romance names (Sarah MacLean, Beverly Jenkins, and Tessa Dare, among others.)
- Here’s how long the coronavirus can live in the air and on packages (in case you’re ordering books or while you’re spending more time at home.) The article discusses results of an NIH study. (Technology Review)
- How To Support Your Local Bookstore in a Pandemic (by yours truly)
- This can be our finest hour — but we need all of you. (Gretchen Schmeltzer)
- Bag firm adds ‘unique’ appeal by stitching in historical figures’ letters, angering antiquarians. (The Guardian) Add my name to the outraged; this is a shameful, exploitive, and short-sighted use — or rather, destruction — of historical documents.
- Goodreads Doesn’t Think Audiobooks are Books (The Digital Reader) Or rather, at least one Goodreads librarian doesn’t thing Audible Originals are books, and is removing those listings. To be fair, Goodreads’ own guidelines do class most of them as books, so the headline is misreading. This is clearly a rogue individual, but the end result is the same. (Goodreads librarians are volunteers. Full disclosure: I am one. But I wouldn’t remove an Audible Original.)
Free Resources for Families
As school closures escalate due to coronavirus concerns, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids learning and constructively entertained during the hiatus. While some schools are providing online resources or packets of work, it may not be enough to keep students occupied and engaged. Of course, it’s a great time to encourage your kids to read, and an opportunity for a family read-aloud book (or several.) But here are some sites where you can find free online resources:
- Amazing Educational Resources has a spreadsheet with a huge number of links to free educational sites. It’s arranged alphabetically by site, so be prepared to read through a lot of site descriptions to find what you want or need.
- Khan Academy offers free lessons and courses in math, science, computing, history, and economics, many at the high school and AP level. Their math curriculum runs from K-12 and higher math.
- Ever Clever Mom has a “COVID-19 Camp” post that lists some online resources
- Manybooks.net and Project Gutenberg offer free public-domain ebooks you can download and read on a variety of devices and apps. The transcriptions aren’t always perfect (many were scanned and OCR’ed) but you can find classics like The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, Five Children and It, and many others. I find ManyBooks more user-friendly than Project Gutenberg.
- The Metropolitan Opera will be streaming one opera per day, beginning on Monday, March 16. (source: Broadway World)
- YouTube has craft tutorials, cooking videos, science videos, and more (parental supervision strongly encouraged). If you need supplies or tools, you may be able to order them online.
- 100 useful things you can do to kill boredom if you’re quarantined at home because of coronavirus (Vice) Sure, some of these won’t work for you. But there are some good ideas.
- Your coronavirus reading list: reader suggestions to bring joy in difficult times (The Guardian)
- Bookish Ways to Keep Busy During a Quarantine (Cassandra Neace, Book Riot)
- 20 Must-Read YA Fantasy Standalones (Hannah VanVels, Book Riot)