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I am happy to present the first in a series of Digital Bytes about Inclusive Terminology. A big thank you to Laurie Ollhoff, a member of the IDEA Team for starting us out. Please check it out here, and then drop a line to Laurie! ~Sherry


  • The Office for Intellectual Freedom revealed the list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 in the State of America’s Libraries Report. The books on this year’s list address topics such as gender identity, racial injustice, and sexual violence.

  • Menominee Nation escape games with STEM focus and cultural connections The S. Verna Fowler Academic Library, Menominee Public Library, Keshena Primary School, and the Menominee Indian Middle School worked together to create a series of escape games for elementary and middle school age children using STEM skills with a cultural focus on maple sugar, sturgeon, and wild-rice. In escape games, teams use inquiry, problem-solving, and knowledge to solve puzzles with the purpose of answering an overarching quest in a set period of time. She hopes other educators, especially those in districts serving native students and families, will be able to use these resources. The games can be found on the BreakoutEDU website.

  • World’s Largest American Sign Language Database Makes ASL Even More Accessible : ASL-LEX 2.0—now the largest interactive ASL database in the world—makes learning about the fundamentals of ASL easier and more accessible.

  • Disrupting Whiteness in Libraries and Librarianship: A Reading List : This bibliography contains citations and links (when available) to resources focused on race, racism, and disrupting whiteness and white supremacy in libraries. Particular emphasis is placed on the field of library and information science and librarianship as a profession. The resources are organized by topic; non-LIS-specific resources can be found at the bottom of the list. Updates to the list will be highlighted at the top with the date.

  • How Can I Tell If This is a Harmful Representation of Disability? When evaluating titles to recommend about disability, here are some things you’ll want to consider.


Continuing Education:


  • Move, Play, Read! When the pandemic shut down many libraries in spring 2020, children’s librarians had to be creative to fill the void when most in-person programming stopped. In this collection of articles, librarians used everything from outside activities (like storywalks) to motion and movement programs to engage children. See how they helped students move, play, and read!

  • Jason Reynolds to serve as inaugural Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week: This year, Reynolds will preside over (and headline) the festivities, which will center around the theme “Books unite us, censorship divides us.”

  • Introducing, Allied! A podcast on all things accessibility: Learn from the top web and video accessibility experts and discover how a more accessible and inclusive world can positively impact any organization.

  • #1000BlackGirlBooks Founder Marley Dias to Support Library Card Sign-Up Month 2021 : Marley Dias, author, executive producer and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, is taking on a new role as honorary chair of Library Card Sign-Up Month. This September, Dias will join the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide in promoting the power of a library card.

  • The National Park Service worked on an update to their Official Park Map & Brochure which includes the 𝘖𝘫𝘪𝘣𝘸𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯 (Ojibwe language) names for all of 𝘞𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘻𝘩𝘰 𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘯 (Apostle Islands), the 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘬𝘪𝘪 𝘡𝘪𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘪 (Bad River) and 𝘎𝘢𝘢-𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘢𝘯𝘨 (Red Cliff) Bands, 𝘎𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘪 (Lake Superior), and 𝘡𝘢𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘬𝘰𝘯𝘨-𝘸𝘪𝘪𝘬𝘸𝘦𝘥 (Chequamegon Bay). 𝘖𝘫𝘪𝘣𝘸𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯 is traditionally an oral language, so it is important to not just see the words, but to hear them. Hearing and speaking these words helps preserve the culture of this special place. With that in mind, their website includes recorded audio of these place names and other words. These recordings can be found at go.nps.gov/OjibwePlaceNames.

  • Libraries play a vital role in expanding access to justice More library systems across the country are adapting their own “Lawyer in the Library” programs for virtual audiences.

Diverse Holidays in May:

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.

May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month), which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.

May 1: Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, signifying the beginning of summer.

May 2: Orthodox Easter (also called Pascha), a later Easter date than observed by many Western churches.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). This day celebrates Mexican culture and heritage, including parades and mariachi music performances.

May 6: National Day of Prayer, a day of observance in the United States when people are asked to “turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

May 9: Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of the year for Muslims, is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the Night of Power and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad.

May 12-13 (sundown to sundown): Eid al-Fitr, the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marking the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutuba (sermon), and give Zakat al-Fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr.

May 13: Ascension of Jesus or Ascension Day, is celebrated as the ascension of Christ from Earth in the presence of God within most of the Christian faith.

May 16-18 (sundown to sundown): Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that has double significance. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in Israel and commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai.

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a global celebration of sexual-orientation and gender diversities.

May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony.

May 23: Pentecost, the celebration of the giving of the Ten Commandments by God at Mount Sinai.

May 26: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and it is a gazetted holiday in India.

May 31: Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by American forces.

May 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, commemorates the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

May 30: Trinity Sunday, observed in the Western Christian faith as a feast in honor of the Holy Trinity.

May 30: All Saints’ Day, celebrated by many Eastern Christian churches on the first Sunday after Pentecost, in recognition of all known and unknown saints.

Sherry Machones
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Director – Northern Waters Library Service
Inclusive Services Consultant for NWLS and WVLS