NEH Announces $32.8M in Humanities Grants, ALA Teams with Humble Bundle, Canadian Research Knowledge Network Announce a Consortium, and More News Briefs

The National Endowment for the Humanities teams up with the UK-based Arts and Humanities Research Council, ALA and Humble Bundle team up to offer library supporters and advocates an opportunity to fund ALA initiatives supporting social justice and intellectual freedom, The Canadian Research Knowledge Network and the National Information Standards Organization have announced a consortium agreement, and more news briefs.

Text: NEH and ARC supporting digital innovation, with map and antique book imagesThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced $32.8 million in grants to support 213 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This cycle also includes the first awards made under the NEH/Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions program, a joint initiative between NEH and the UK-based AHRC to advance digital scholarship at museums, libraries, and archives.

The American Library Association (ALA) and Humble Bundle are teaming up to offer library supporters and advocates an opportunity to fund ALA initiatives supporting social justice and intellectual freedom, including the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The campaign will also support the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Humble Bundle, in partnership with ALA, is offering a one-of-a-kind collection called “Be the Change” through February 8. With nearly 50 books with a retail value of more than $800, “Be the Change” spotlights diverse ebooks and audiobooks that feature authors, creators, and characters of color.

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have announced a consortium agreement to provide NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) membership to all CRKN institutional members, as well as associate members participating in CRKN’s content licensing program, beginning January 1, 2021. Library staff in 79 Canadian higher education and research institutions will be entitled to LSA membership benefits, including: free access to NISO’s educational webinar program; unlimited participation in NISO Working Groups/Standing Committees; and discounted registration for all non-webinar events, including the annual NISO Plus conference.

Georgia State University Library faculty Bryan Sinclair and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh have been awarded a $150,000 grant from the New America Public Interest Technology University Network to expand programs that promote “data literacy for the public good” and encourage a more diverse pipeline of students pursuing careers in data science. The Public Interest Data Literacy (PIDLit) initiative, led by the Georgia State Library with multiple campus partners, will expand programs promoting data literacy and career preparedness with a focus on reaching first-year students and underrepresented groups. The Library provides support and training on a host of data analysis tools and methods along with opportunities for students to network with the broader Atlanta community around practical applications of data science.

pencil and white charcoal sketch of suffragette dress surrounded by hats on tan paperHartford Public Library, CT, was awarded $20,000 by the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation through its “Creation of New Work” program to support the development of a sculpted piece by artist Marilyn Parkinson Thrall. When completed in late 2021, the sculpture will be on permanent display in the Library’s Hartford History Center.

Volume II of the Public Libraries Survey report, released November 30 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), provides trend analysis of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. The report focuses on two demographic characteristics for FY17: locale and population size served. Together, Volume I and II document the varied ways in which trends in libraries are similar and different across states, location types, and the size of the populations they serve.

The Library of Congress has announced the 2021 Librarians-in-Residence program to offer early career librarians the opportunity to develop their expertise and contribute to building, stewarding and sharing the institution’s vast collections. Applications for the program will be accepted through January 22, 2021. The Library will select up to seven applicants for a six-month residency to begin in June 2021. The program is open to students who will complete their master’s degrees in an American Library Association–accredited LIS program no later than June 2021 or who completed such a degree no earlier than December 2019.

As a result of the company’s acquisition of RBdigital earlier this year, OverDrive is now offering over 3,000 in-demand magazines supplied by ZINIO via the Libby app, available in unlimited simultaneous use for public, academic and corporate libraries. Titles in the new OverDrive Magazines package include National Geographic, the New Yorker, Good Housekeeping, and Us Weekly (title availability may vary by geographic region.)

OCLC’s WebJunction, in partnership with the  Washington State University Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, is creating a series of 10 free online courses for staff at tribal archives, libraries, museums, and small public libraries, on digital stewardship and community-centered curation of cultural collections. These on-demand courses, adapted from the successful Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort Program developed at Washington State University, are scheduled to launch in early 2022. OCLC and WSU are partnering on this project with support from an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant.

REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, has established the Familia Fund to help members who are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic continue their membership. It will cover membership renewals for active personal members who have been recently unemployed, furloughed, laid off, or are experiencing financial hardship during the 2020 calendar year. This application process will end on December 31, 2020; depending on the need and the funds available, this program may extend into 2021. Additionally, REFORMA will also be fundraising for the fund and encouraging members who would like to help provide support for those in need to contribute.

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, has received a donation of books and printing equipment from the estate of Stephen Saxe, a noted historian of typography and early printing technologies. Saxe was an expert on American type foundries from the 19th century and a founding member of the American Printing History Association.

Virginia Tech University Libraries, in collaboration with libraries at Indiana University and the University of Colorado Boulder, have been awarded a two-year, $378,046 IMLS grant under the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program. The project will engage with nine diverse interdisciplinary research groups through assessing their current data practices, producing data analysis and curation workflows, implementing these workflows, and engaging graduate students and professional experts to collaboratively evaluate the effectiveness of the project in assessing the best way to curate research data in interdisciplinary research projects.

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Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is Senior News Editor for Library Journal.

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