At the end of last month, I attended the Annuals ALA Conference in D.C.
While it was quite the time to be in our nation’s capital, I was excited to learn about what the annual Emerging Leaders groups were working on. One of the groups worked with United for Libraries, with the ultimate goal of providing information and resources that would support Library Directors, Boards, Foundations, and Friends Groups in achieving diversity and retention, while highlighting some common struggles and successes.


  • All of Us grants to support health programming : The Network of the National Library of Medicine’s All of Us Program Center Comunity Awards is offering up to five grants of up to $30,000 for library projects that further individuals’ and communities’ health and digital literacy, build and strengthen partnerships with communities that are underrepresented in biomedical research, raise awareness of the All of Us program, or increase awareness and use of trustworthy health information from All of Us or other sources. Projects may include programming, health fairs, loanable kits, technology acquisition and distribution, community science, and more. Applications are due August 26.

  • 10 books to introduce readers to disability literature : Here are a few books that will help you learn some key points about the disability community.

  • The new 988 mental health hotline is live. Here’s what to know : The national suicide prevention hotline has changed its current 10-digit number to the easier-to-remember 9-8-8. This number has been designated the new three-digit dialing code to route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This dialing code became available to everyone across the United States on July 16, 2022.

  • Metadata Best Practices for Trans and Gender Diverse Resources : This document is the result of a year of work and collaboration by the Trans Metadata Collective, a group of dozens of cataloguers, librarians, archivists, scholars, and information professionals. The Collective’s primary goal was to develop a set of best practices for the description, cataloging, and classification of information resources as well as the creation of metadata about trans and gender diverse people, including authors and other creators.

  • Can adjusting font styles really help us read faster? Bionic Reading has been getting a lot of buzz on social media lately and positive reviews from neurodivergent users. This app claims to improve how we parse information by bolding a few letters within a block of text. This typographic trick purportedly shortens the time needed for our brains to process data. For more information on the app itself check it out here.

Continuing Education:


Diverse Holidays in August:

August is International Peace Month and a time to reflect on the First World War. On August 16, 1926, TIME Magazine wrote: “At Rheims, martyred memorial city of World War destruction, 4,000 pacifists from 30 countries assembled last week for the Fifth International Democratic Peace Conference. Nine hundred of the delegates were young Germans, representing almost every German city. At the first session, the present month of August 1926, was proclaimed “international peace month,” the delegates voting to encamp in tents upon the onetime World War battlefields of France through Aug. 29, ‘in order to pursue an intensive study of international peace work.’”

August is also National Black Business Month, celebrating the Black-owned businesses across the country. Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amounts to approximately two million companies owned by African Americans.  Discover more on the Black Business Month website.

August 1 – Lughnasadh/Lammas: Pagan holiday and one of eight Wiccan sabbats; occurs halfway between the summer solstice (Litha) and the fall equinox (Mabon). This holiday celebrates the grain harvest.

August 3 – Esther Day: a day of love between family and friends in honor of Esther Earl, the teenager who inspired John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars

August 7 – Tisha B’Av: Day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen Jewish people, many occurring on the ninth of Av (fasting and work restrictions).

August 8 – Ashura:  For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala.

August 9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world. The date commemorates the first United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982.

August 11 – Raksha Bhandhana: A celebration of harmony. The tying of the rakhi (woven bracelet) signifies a special bond of unity and affection between two individuals including but not limited to brothers and sisters as well as security and police officers and their communities.

August 12 – Ghost Festival: A day when the living perform rituals to relieve the suffering of the ghosts of those who’ve died, as well as to honor parents and ancestors.

August 18 – Krishna Janmashtami: Birthday of Lord Krishna. An incarnation of the God Vishnu, Krishna represents love and bravery. Krishna reveals His true Self while counseling Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. He is often depicted as a handsome young man playing a flute.

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day: This day was designated in memory of the 19 August 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 people, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).

August 23 – Paryushana Parva: Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline.

August 23 – International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition: The night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in Santo Domingo (today the Dominican Republic) saw the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. It is against this background that the UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is commemorated on 23 August each year.

August 26 – Women’s Equality Day: which commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

August 30 – Ganesh Chaturthi: Birthday of Lord Ganesha, revered as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and the remover of obstacles.

August 31 – International Day for the People of African Descent: The International Day for People of African Descent was celebrated for the first time in 2021. Through this Observance, the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.

Sherry Machones
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Director – Northern Waters Library Service