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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 14, 2010

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American Libraries Online

The Faneuil branch is one of the Boston Public Library branches slated for closingBoston trustees approve closure of four branches
The Boston Public Library board of trustees unanimously approved a plan April 9 to close four branches and eliminate dozens of positions to address a $3.6-million budget shortfall for FY2011. The plan, proposed April 7 by BPL President Amy E. Ryan, calls for the closure of four branches—Faneuil, Lower Mills, Orient Heights, and Washington Village—and the elimination of up to 69 positions at the main library in Copley Square and in administrative offices....
American Libraries news, Apr. 9

AL Spring Digital Supplement: Buildings Get GreenerBuildings Get Greener: AL’s spring digital supplement
The American Libraries April issue has an online supplement that features an expanded digital showcase of library renovation and construction projects, along with articles on remodeling on a budget and renovating to cut expenses. You can read “Buildings Get Greener” in the page-turning Zmag web browser format, or download it as a PDF file....
American Libraries, Spring Digital Supplement

Maybe the play’s the thing
Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg writes: “In a particularly poignant National Library Week celebration, students at the Templeton Elementary School in Bloomington, Indiana, are debuting a student play April 15, entitled The Case of the Missing Librarian, a fairy tale mashup without much of a happy ending. The play was inspired by the news that Templeton’s real-life school librarian, Mrs. Hall, will be laid off at the end of this school year due to budget cuts. On stage, the kids lose their voices until they decide to march on Indianapolis to protest.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 14; Family Playwrights Blog, Apr. 7

A renovation project at Contra Costa County Library‘s Pittsburg branch included the removal of dry rot and mold, the replacement of the awning, and power-washingRemodeling on a budget
Paul Signorelli writes: “A review of recent plans and completed projects at a variety of California libraries instills a sense of excitement about the possibilities inherent in taking a low-cost approach to the remodeling of libraries. Interviews with sources involved with recent projects throughout the state reveal much of the thinking that has guided successful, fiscally frugal remodeling efforts.”...
American Libraries feature

Close-up view of custom designed self-checkout kiosk at the St. Joseph County (Ind.) PLA circulation renovation cuts expenses
Sally Anglemyer writes: “With public funding becoming less available throughout the country, libraries are looking for ways to trim their current and future budgets. One library is using popular new technology to reduce staff costs, one of the biggest items in any library’s budget: The St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana, recently renovated the circulation department at its Main Library to make many of the functions self-service.”...
American Libraries feature

The Lower Manhattan StoryBooth at Foley Square. Photo by Dalton RooneyEveryday existence
Dave Isay writes: “A confession: I am a library freak. I believe deeply in the importance of libraries and think of librarians as some of the most amazing, committed, brilliant, and radical professionals I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet and work with. I believe that the future of the organization I founded, StoryCorps, will be tightly entwined with libraries.” The deadline for the StoryCorps essay contest is April 15....
American Libraries feature

ALA News

State of America's Libraries logoThe State of America’s Libraries, 2010
ALA has released its 2010 State of America’s Libraries report, which shows that Americans have turned to their libraries in much larger numbers in recent years. This national survey indicates that some 219 million Americans feel the public library improves the quality of life in their communities. More than 223 million feel that because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. The full report can be viewed full-text or downloaded (PDF file)....
Public Information Office, Apr. 12

Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper made the top 10 challenged books list this yearTop 10 challenged books of 2009
Lauren Myracle’s best-selling young adult series written entirely in the style of instant messaging tops the ALA top 10 list of the most frequently challenged books of 2009. Two are new to the list: the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Both Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War return after being dropped from the list in 2008....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Apr. 14

Neil Gaiman for National Library WeekFans join Neil Gaiman online for National Library Week kickoff
Neil Gaiman kicked off National Library Week on April 12, as librarians, library lovers and fans from across the country and around the world joined the author for a live internet event. Coordinated by the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries and the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman” was streamed live by nearly 700 individuals and more than 120 libraries hosting National Library Week events....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Apr. 13

Why Neil Gaiman loves libraries
This is National Library Week, and one of the people out talking about the importance of libraries is Neil Gaiman. Gaiman, who lives just outside the Twin Cities metro, is serving as honorary chair for the event. He told Minnesota Public Radio’s Euan Kerr he knows through personal experience libraries are more vital now than ever....
Minnesota Public Radio, Apr. 12

House passes National Library Week resolution
On April 13, the House of Representatives passed H.Res.1222, a resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Library Week. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), the resolution outlines the many ways libraries of all kinds serve our country. Read the Congressional Record account of the proceedings (PDF file), including the full text of the resolution and floor speeches....
District Dispatch, Apr. 14

Gale's Newsweek ad, "Love thy library"Gale and Newsweek celebrate National Library Week
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is celebrating National Library Week with a full-page ad in Newsweek. On newsstands April 12, the ad recognizes the importance of libraries and invites readers to join the celebration by visiting their library and expressing appreciation for its services. Gale also announced a nonexclusive licensing agreement with Newsweek....
Gale Cengage Learning, Apr. 7, 13

Thank a library worker every day
Susan Kusel writes: “The best part of National Library Week is always National Library Workers Day. It was yesterday, April 13, but I celebrate it at my library, Arlington County (Va.) Central Library, every day. Let’s take a walk around the library and meet some of them. We’ve got to start with the custodians.”...
Booklights: PBS Parents, Apr. 13

San Francisco Public Library bookmobile logoSan Francisco Public Library celebrates bookmobiles
On April 14, San Francisco Public Library joined libraries across the country in marking the first-ever celebration of National Bookmobile Day. Sponsored by the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, National Bookmobile Day celebrates the role of bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Apr. 8

Book Automobiles, Library Equipment Studies: Number One (ALA, 1937). Large book automobile with outside shelving used by the Davidson County Library in Lexington, N.C.Bookmobiles in 1937
Larry Nix writes: “On April 14, libraries are celebrating National Bookmobile Day. I recently acquired the 1937 ALA publication Book Automobiles, Library Equipment Studies: Number One. It was prepared by the ALA County and Regional Libraries Section’s Book Automobile Committee and includes information and pictures of small book automobiles with outside shelving, large book automobiles with outside shelving, large book automobiles with inside and outside shelving, book trailers, simpler forms of service, and delivery trucks.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 13

El dia logoCelebrate El día
As the nation continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase multicultural programs and services during national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). This year marks the 14th anniversary of El día, a celebration of children, families,and reading that culminates every year on April 30. Libraries across the country will host celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy-driven events....
Public Information Office, Apr. 5

Screenshot from Merritt Educational Fund video showing Carol Brey-CasianoMerritt Humanitarian Fund 40th anniversary
Former ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano discusses (3:03) how the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund helped her fight unjust accusations in the wake of the September 11 attacks, as well as the Merritt Fund’s upcoming 40th anniversary celebration, to be held June 28 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C....
AL Focus, Apr. 7

Building coalitions is key to advocating broadband
Office for Information Technology Policy Analyst Marijke Visser writes: “Having spent two days in early April with members of the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition, I’ve taken a minute to reflect on the importance of building coalitions in raising the voice of libraries. ALA advocates for big broadband for libraries on its own, but being part of a coalition allows ALA to participate in another level of advocacy.”...
District Dispatch, Apr. 12

Research proposals due April 30
The Office for Research and Statistics invites manuscripts and book and article proposals for its peer-reviewed ALA Research Series. Topical areas of interest to the review panel include disaster recovery, assessing return on investment for technology applications, information literacy, new forms of engagement in learning/scholarship, and scholarly evaluation methods. All submissions must be received by April 30....
Office for Research and Statistics

Cover of Countdown to a New LibraryManaging a library building project
ALA Editions has released the second edition of Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project by Jeannette Woodward. This crash course in planning and building today’s libraries uses real-world examples and insider stories from librarians around the country to guide administrators and library staff through their own projects. Woodward walks readers through the entire process, from planning and construction to oversight and getting settled....
ALA Editions, Apr. 13

Management eCourseStaff training for any schedule
ALA Editions now offers ALA Editions eCourses, a variety of convenient options for enriching the professional development of library staff. Each course offers the perfect opportunity to train new employees or brush up on and update general office skills. eCourse subjects include management, personal development, computing, marketing and customer service, and digital licensing....
ALA Editions, Apr. 13

ALA accreditation or certification
COA Chair Vicki L. Gregory writes: “Accreditation and certification can easily be confused. Broadly defined, accreditation is for the program while certification is for the individual. When I was hiring librarians, I remember how an applicant’s work or research record might cause me to wonder what the LIS program from which they graduated had been doing or (mostly) not doing. Accreditation cannot ensure, nor is it intended to be a method of ensuring, that every student who graduates from an accredited program will be a great librarian or information professional.”...
Prism 18, no. 1 (Spring)

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Beautiful Maria of My SoulFeatured review: Historical fiction
Hijuelos, Oscar. Beautiful Maria of My Soul. June 2010. 352p. Hyperion, hardcover (978-1-4013-2334-9).
Hijuelos returns to his 1990 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, but this time he tells the story from the point of view of Maria, the young Cuban woman with whom Nestor Castillo fell in love and about whom he wrote the Mambo Kings hit bolero, “Beautiful Maria of My Soul.” Maria is mostly offstage in the first book, remaining in Cuba after the Castillo brothers immigrate to New York and find success as the Mambo Kings. Here we learn that while the stunningly beautiful Maria, a featured dancer in Havana’s pre-Castro nightclubs, did indeed dump Nestor, prompting his exit for New York, she, like him, spent the rest of her life remembering their time together. Yes, it is a story of grand passion found, lost, and mourned, but it is also the story of a young, illiterate girl escaping a life of rural poverty and making a career for herself in the city....

Top 10 historical fiction graphicTop 10 historical novels
Brad Hooper writes: “If public librarians have among their serious fiction lovers some readers who insist historical fiction is not for them, don’t slap those poor individuals upside the head, just hand them one of these historical novels, which were reviewed in Booklist over the past year, and attitudes are guaranteed to change.”...

A Novel Idea graphicA short story
Author and Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff writes: “A lot of historical fiction is about fiction itself. But, as this humorous short story shows, there’s a key moment in the history of fiction that’s often overlooked.
“John Mackay-Whyte, Esquire, and Gordon Gilbey Boodles, Esquire, climbed down from their hired hackney coach, paid the coachman, and, stepping backward, blundered into the stream of reeking sewage that meandered down the cobblestone street.”...
      Note: The gritty realism of this story requires the use of some mature language.

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

D.C. Update

FDR Memorial. Statue of Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his dog Fala100 free (and almost free) things to do in D.C.
If you are looking for activities to do before and after ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24–29, check out these fun, free, and almost-free experiences that await you—performances, family fun, history, parks, economical eats, African-American sites, arts and culture, and GLBT-friendly freebies....
Destination DC

Metro Takoma StationTips for getting around D.C.
Washington has a great public transportation system, especially the subway, so getting around from hotel to hotel for meetings and programs is relatively easy. Check out the webpage of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority ahead of time for fares, maps, and a list of stations to give you a head start. Here are some other tips, compiled by Andrea Cheney....
ALA 2010 Annual Conference wiki

Harpers Ferry historical marker. Photo by Jennifer HendersonJust a short drive away
If you’re planning an extended visit in the Washington area before or after Annual Conference, consider a day trip to one of the nearby cities accessible from D.C. by car or public transportation. During the week, commuter trains service Frederick, Maryland, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, as well as Fredericksburg, Virginia. By car, these are a short drive away when commuters aren’t on the road. These cities offer lots of charm, shopping, and tourist attractions....
ALSC Blog, Apr. 12

Division News

Google map by Shonda Brisco showing eliminated or reduced school librarian positions in the U.S.AASL survey on school library cuts
This spring, AASL conducted an informal survey of its state affiliates to gauge the scope of school librarian position eliminations and reductions nationwide. Nearly half of the states responded. The data shows that the ratio of full-time certified school librarians to students will continue to significantly decrease each year. Also, many districts nationwide have had to reduce multiple certified school librarian positions in response to substantial state budget deficits. The widespread reach of position cuts and reductions can be easily seen on a Google map....
AASL, Apr. 13

Register for 2010 ALSC National Institute
Registration is now open for the ALSC biennial National Institute, September 23–25, at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta. The institute is one of the only education and networking events devoted solely to children’s and youth library services, offering participants an intimate setting in which to participate in programming and brainstorm ideas. Information on registration and programs can be found on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Apr. 6

YA Literature Symposium bannerEarly bird registration for YA Literature Symposium
YALSA opened registration for its second Young Adult Literature Symposium, November 5–7, at the Albuquerque Marriott. Early bird pricing begins at $195 for YALSA members and is available until September 10, after advanced registration pricing will apply. Registration is available on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Apr. 13

ASCLA to give people what they want
A stellar lineup of resource-sharing experts will appear for the upcoming ASCLA full-day preconference “Giving People What They Want: Information Access in Libraries and Beyond” on June 25. The event will feature a thought-provoking examination of technology and how its pervasive development is challenging traditional approaches to resource-sharing and content access....
ASCLA, Apr. 13

Tour a prison library
ASCLA will offer a unique opportunity to gain insider access to a prison library thanks to its Library Services to Prisoners Forum. “Have You Ever Been to Prison? An Insider’s Look at a Prison Library” is an off-site professional development program that will be held June 28 in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. Participants will be transported from the Washington Convention Center to the Jessup (Md.) Correctional Institution Library....
ASCLA Blog, Apr. 8


Patricia Tarin2010 Equality Award
Patricia Tarin, training officer at the San Francisco Public Library, will receive ALA’s 2010 Equality Award. Donated by Scarecrow Press, the award is bestowed on an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution toward promoting equality in the library profession. The award jury noted Tarin’s outstanding and continuing efforts to provide venues where librarians from traditionally underrepresented groups can contribute to the profession....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 13

2010 Trustee Citation Award winners
ALTAFF has named Robert O. Bonam of the Rochester Hills (Mich.) Public Library and Margaret J. “Peggy” Danhof of the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, Illinois, as 2010 ALA Trustee Citation award winners. The citation recognizes public library trustees for distinguished service to library development....
ALTAFF, Apr. 6

We the People Bookshelf awards
The ALA Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities have selected 4,000 school and public libraries throughout the country to receive the seventh We the People Bookshelf. Libraries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories will receive the collection of 17 books for young readers on the theme “A More Perfect Union.”...
ALA Public Programs Office, Apr. 13

Prime Time Family Reading Time logoNew Prime Time Family Reading Time grants
Applications are currently available for Prime Time Family Reading Time, an award-winning reading, discussion, and storytelling series offered by Prime Time Family Reading, an affiliate of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The grants are designed to help low-income, low-literate families bond around the act of reading and talking about books. The deadline for applications is May 28....
Public Programs Office, Apr. 8

Irving NelsonNavajo librarian is 2010 Librarian of the Year
A Navajo Nation librarian was given top honors recently for his contributions to literacy on the 27,000-square-mile reservation near Window Rock, Arizona. Irving Nelson, who serves as program supervisor of the Navajo Nation Library, was selected from a pool of more than 500 librarians worldwide for the title of Librarian of the Year for 2010. Reader to Reader, a nonprofit organization in Amherst, Massachusetts, honored Nelson for his more than three decades of advocating for literacy on the reservation....
Farmington (N.Mex.) Daily Times, Apr. 8

Cover of The Dead Hand, by David E. Hoffman2010 Pulitzer winners
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper journalism, literature, and musical composition. This year’s award for fiction went to Paul Harding for Tinkers (Bellevue), for history to Liaquat Ahamed for Lords of Finance (Penguin), for poetry to Rae Armantrout for Versed (Wesleyan), and for nonfiction to David E. Hoffman for The Dead Hand (Doubleday)....
Associated Press, Apr. 12

Cover of Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese2010 Indies Choice Book Awards
The American Booksellers Association announced the winners of the 2010 Indies Choice Book Awards on April 8, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide. The Book of the Year winner for fiction was Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Knopf) and the winner for nonfiction was The Lost City of Z by David Grann (Doubleday). Kate DiCamillo was voted Most Engaging Author both for being an in-store star and for having a strong sense of the importance of indie booksellers to their local communities....
Bookselling This Week, Apr. 8

Eleanor Ross Taylor2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
Eleanor Ross Taylor has won the 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which is presented annually to a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. Established in 1986, the $100,000 prize is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. A portfolio of 10 of Taylor’s poems will be featured in the May issue of Poetry....
Poetry Foundation, Apr. 13

Cover of Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing2010 Orion Book Award
The winner of the 2010 Orion Book Award is Charles Bowden’s Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing: Living in the Future (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Bowden was awarded a $3,000 prize in New York City April 14 by Orion Magazine. The award celebrates books “that deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieve excellence in writing.”...
Orion Magazine, Apr. 2

Cover of Icons and Power2010 John Nicholas Brown Prize
The Medieval Academy of America awarded the 2010 John Nicholas Brown Prize to Bissera V. Pentcheva for Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium (Penn State, 2006) and to Jonathan Ray for The Sephardic Frontier: The “Reconquista” and the Jewish Community in Medieval Iberia (Cornell, 2006). The prize is awarded annually for a first book or monograph on a medieval subject judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality....
Medieval Academy of America, Apr. 8

Cover of Disseminal Chaucer2009 Warren-Brooks Award
Peter W. Travis, Henry Winkley Professor of Anglo-Saxon and English Language and Literature at Dartmouth, is the winner the 2009 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism, for his book Disseminal Chaucer: Rereading the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (University of Notre Dame, 2009). Given by the Robert Penn Warren Center at Western Kentucky University, the award will be presented April 16 during the annual Robert Penn Warren Symposium at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green....
Dartmouth News, Apr. 12

Cover of Aura, by Carlos Fuentes2010 Jefferson Muzzles
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded its 2010 Jefferson Muzzles award to 10 people and institutions that in the past year forgot or disregarded Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech “cannot be limited without being lost.” One awardee is the Puerto Rico Department of Education, which in September 2009 decided to ban five books from the public high school curriculum and school libraries because of allegedly coarse language. Among the banned books was Aura by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes....
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, Apr. 13

Seen Online

Ewa BakowskaAcademic librarian died in Polish plane crash (in Polish)
Ewa Bąkowska, director of scientific information at the Jagiellonian University Library in Kraków, Poland, was one of the passengers on the Polish Air Force airliner that crashed near Smolensk, Russia, April 10 with Polish President Lech Kaczyński aboard. She was the granddaughter of General Mieczysław Smorawiński, who was one of the 20,000 killed in the 1940 Katyn massacre that the president and other dignitaries were on their way to commemorate. Bąkowska had apparently intended to take an earlier flight and was not originally scheduled to be on this one. The university has set up an online book of condolences....
Gazeta Kraków, Apr. 12; Toronto Star, Apr. 10

The public library lifeline is fraying
Art Brodsky writes: “Libraries, once considered a necessity, are now seen as a luxury. They are low-hanging fruit for budget pluckers, particularly at the state and local levels of government. It’s been a slow death by attrition over the past couple of years. First, it was the budget for books and materials because, after all, books and materials aren’t people. Then came the hours of operation, then the staff, then the closure of branches. No two communities are approaching the situation identically.”...
Huffington Post, Apr. 11

The Boston Public Library needs private help
Sam Allis writes: “The four branches of the Boston Public Library slated for extinction can live. All of the 26 branches can remain as they are. The only question is where the $3.3 million needed to preserve everything will come from. Absent more city support, the private sector, that’s where. This kind of situation is why God invented the private sector.”...
Boston Globe, Apr. 12

Cover of One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother DiesFond du Lac board makes its Hideous decision
The Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Board of Education voted April 12 to uphold Superintendent Jim Sebert’s decision to keep the book, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, available to students in 6th through 8th grades. Parent Ann Wentworth, who had opposed the sexual content and age-appropriateness of the Sonja Sones book, said she was not surprised. She also plans to move two more books through the process: Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares and Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern....
Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter, Apr. 13

Oklahoma lawmakers seek to shut down school libraries
Lauren Barack writes: “Oklahoma is on track to permit its schools to fire librarians if the state legislature passes a bill in the next few weeks. Drafted by State Sen. Jim Halligan, Oklahoma House Bill 3029 allows school districts to effectively shutter all school libraries through the 2012 school year—an override of state standards meant to ease budget concerns across the state. Schools will not have to meet class size restrictions, purchase new textbooks, maintain a library budget, or employ a library media specialist.”...
School Library Journal: Talkback, Apr. 7; Oklahoma Library Association

Postcard showing the Perry Carnegie Library in 1910Library calls on Tom Sawyer for its centennial
Artist Jim Franklin hopes his sculpture for the Perry (Okla.) Carnegie Library will last longer than the centennial celebration it was designed to commemorate. The bronze statue features a life-sized girl reading Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Tom looks over her shoulder. Franklin said the story seemed appropriate for the occasion because of its enduring legacy. The sculpture was unveiled on the library’s south lawn April 14....
Oklahoma City Oklahoman, Apr. 11

 Ann Grealish-Rust, from local news coverageTiverton library loses 4,000 books to flooding
A week after its basement flooded during the historic rainfall of March 30, the Essex Public Library in Tiverton, Rhode Island, was still sorting through the damage. Director Ann Grealish-Rust (right) estimates that at least 4,000 of the library’s collection of children’s and young adult books were damaged by nearly a foot of water that had collected in the basement. The library reopened April 6, but its basement will be closed indefinitely. Watch the news video (2:36). Stonington (Conn.) Free Library, the Richard Memorial Library in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and the Boxford (Mass.) Town Library also sustained flood damage....
Tiverton (R.I.) Sakonnet Times, Apr. 7; WJAR-TV, Providence, Apr. 7; New London (Conn.) Day, Apr. 7; Attleboro (Mass.) Sun Chronicle, Apr. 11; Boxford (Mass.) Tri-Town Transcript, Apr. 7

Reading Is Fundamental imageFunding plan threatens Reading Is Fundamental
Under the federal budget submitted for the 2011 fiscal year, the Department of Education has proposed distributing to state and local governments the money it allocates to Reading Is Fundamental, a family nonprofit literacy organization that delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families who need them most. Under that plan, RIF and six other programs would have to compete state by state for federal funds. RIF has received an annual allocation from the Department of Education for the past 34 years....
New York Times, Apr. 8

Julia Ideson BuildingHouston: Bad news and good news
Hammered by $2.2 million in budget cuts, the Houston Public Library system is reducing its hours by 28%—closing most of its 42 branches on Saturdays and trimming expenditures. Cuts to the library’s $39.3-million budget came as the city faced a budget shortfall of $12–$20 million for the current fiscal year. But the good news: HPL’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center reopened to the public April 5 in the new wing of the Julia Ideson Building, with a new Texas Room that’s much bigger than the old one. The Julia Ideson Library Preservation Partners raised $30.1 million of the $32 million the project requires....
Houston Chronicle, Apr. 7, 9

Librarians from the Los Angeles Public Library protest outside the LADWP April 9. Photo supplied by Shannon Salmon of Save LA LibrariesLAPL cuts began April 11
Citing solutions to the city’s budget crisis, the Los Angeles Public Library formally announced new hours which began immediately. Citywide, all libraries are closed on Sundays. On April 9, a group of librarians protested outside a Department of Water and Power building to bring attention to the possibility of even more cuts, thanks to the utility’s decision to renege on a promised $73.5-million transfer to the city’s general budget, which pays for core services like police, streets, and libraries....
LAist, Apr. 9-10

Boulder Creek branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library System, one of the threatened branchesSanta Cruz branches at risk
The Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Library System faces a $500,000 shortfall next year that is expected to grow to $5 million by 2013. Library Director Teresa Landers presented her board with four alternative scenarios April 5: Two scenarios reduced hours, staff, and the materials budget to varying degrees; one alternative drastically reduced the materials budget; and another included restructuring the system, keeping four regional branches open and turning six neighborhood branches over to local communities as reading rooms or learning centers....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, Apr. 6, 8

Geocache game logoGeocaching in Toledo
Two treasure-hunting aficionados were the first to find Toledo–Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library pens April 10 using Global Positioning System coordinates posted on the internet, with hand-held GPS units, beating about 40 other buffs. The search capped an hour-long talk on the subject of the GPS-assisted worldwide game of treasure hunting, geocaching. Library workers cataloged hidden containers (geocaches) and then hid them throughout the county library system, bookshelves included, to usher in National Library Week....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, Apr. 11

San Jose’s Countdown to 100 Million contest
You know that thrill you get when your car’s odometer rolls over to a new big number? Well, the San Jose (Calif.) Public Library is getting set for a really big thrill. The large digital counter that tracks the number of books circulated at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. main library is getting close to 100 million. Patrons with a library card can go online to guess the date and time the milestone will be reached. You get one guess before the contest ends April 30....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Apr. 13

Audrey DaigneaultWith budget zeroed out, school librarian buys books
Audrey Daigneault, librarian at the West Side Middle School in Groton, Connecticut, has been buying books for the library all year, ever since the budget eliminated any money for new library books in any school. In 2009 alone, Daigneault spent $1,800 on books, a number she hadn’t tracked until she filled out her taxes for that year. She hasn’t started to count how much she has spent this year....
New London (Conn.) Day, Apr. 9

Jacqueline Kennedy tapes to be released
More than six hours of interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, recorded by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in early 1964 in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination, are to be made public for the first time in 2011 after her daughter Caroline Kennedy agreed to unseal the tapes and offer the transcripts for publication. The interviews, recorded on open-reel audiotape in seven separate sessions, have been closed to all listening under strict seal at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Hyperion plans to publish a book based on the tapes next year....
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 13; JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Apr. 13

Beth Mark, Messiah CollegeBarbara Fister, Gustavus Adolphus CollegeAcademic reference librarians: The student’s secret weapon
Jenna Johnson writes: “Ah, college research papers—it takes most students all four years to figure out how to complete them quickly and accurately. Your secret weapon? The college reference librarian (two examples on the right). No, seriously. And here are some reasons why: For one, they can help get you started, even if you don’t understand your topic.”...
Washington Post: Campus Overload, Apr. 9

Turmoil in La Marque, Texas
Kathy Nixie still is the librarian in La Marque. At least for now. Nixie supporters claim the four-year veteran head of the library was told by city administrators she had to resign April 7 or be fired, but was given no reason why she was being forced out. The turmoil came less than a month after Nixie reported to a city council member that Councilwoman Connie Trube had demanded records about an overdue book fine owed by Mayor Pro Tem Keith Bell’s wife....
Galveston County (Tex.) Daily News, Apr. 9

Former director loses appeal in pension loss
A Massachusetts Superior Court judge has rejected an appeal by former Beverly Public Library Director Thomas Scully over the loss of his $37,000-a-year pension. Judge Richard Welch III said in a ruling released in early April that a lower court was correct in concluding that Scully’s 2005 conviction on two child pornography charges could be linked to his job, triggering a state law that allows the forfeiture of pensions in such cases....
Salem (Mass.) News, Apr. 7

Littleton Judge James KimmelLittleton fires judge who issued warrant for overdue DVD
Municipal Judge James Kimmel (right) was fired by the Littleton, Colorado, city council April 6 after he issued an arrest warrant to a teen, Aaron Henson, for an overdue DVD from the city’s Bemis Public Library. Councilors cited the judge’s “lack of good judgment” in this case and others. Kimmel said he did not regret issuing the warrant because the city loses thousands of dollars a year in unreturned library materials. However, library records show Henson actually returned the DVD a week before the summons was delivered....
Denver Post, Apr. 7; KUSA-TV, Denver, Apr. 7

Multitasking librarian coaches four teams
Gina Harrington, director of library services at Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio, is as comfortable on the playing field as in the library stacks. She has been a coach every year since she started at CJHS in 2004. She is now the bowling team’s program coordinator, boys’ freshman soccer coach, assistant swim coach, and assistant coach for boys’ junior varsity tennis. Did we mention she is a mother of four and working on a second master’s degree?...
Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, Apr. 10

The new struggle: One school, one library, one librarian
Graeme Bloch and Njabulo S. Ndebele write: “Fewer than 7% of schools in South Africa have a functioning library. Perhaps 21% have some kind of structure called a reading room, but these are usually used for classrooms, are seldom stocked properly, and do not have a library professional in charge to ensure that the right books are there. The lack of libraries compounds many other problems that combine to make our reading outcomes, at all grade levels, among the worst in Africa.”...
Johannesburg (S. Africa) Sunday Times, Apr. 10

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2010 Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Plan to attend at least one of these informative programs, especially if you are a first-time attendee. These “Conference 101” programs provide a unique introduction to many of the ALA divisions, as well as an orientation to navigating the Annual Conference.

Cover of Developing an Outstanding Core Collection

In Developing an Outstanding Core Collection, newly updated for 2010, Carol Alabaster focuses on acquiring high-quality materials while saving time and money. Packed with selection resources and sample core lists in seven subject areas, this soup-to-nuts manual will be useful whether you are starting from scratch or revitalizing an existing collection. NEW! From ALA Editions.

New this week
in American Libraries

The Lower Manhattan StoryBooth at Foley Square. Photo by Dalton Rooney

Remodeling on a Budget

A Circulation Renovation

Everyday Existence

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Green Your Library

Ask the ALA Librarian

AL Focus

StoryCorps contest

The deadline for the StoryCorps essay contest is April 15.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Integrated Digital Services Librarian, Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore. Responsible for Langsdale’s integrated library system and related services. Serves as the library webmaster. Leads the collaborative design and development of the library’s web-based services and technology planning, including the implementation of the next-generation ILS (a University System of Maryland consortial system). Supports technology applications in all library departments, including interlibrary loan, course reserves, and digital collections. Maintains an in-depth understanding of technological trends and developments affecting academic libraries through a commitment to ongoing professional development. Works collaboratively and creatively with librarians from Langsdale and the UB Law Library, IT staff, and the university webmaster....

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Digital Library of the Week

Daguerreotype image of Thomas Hart Benton, Democratic Senator from Missouri, 1821-1851. DAG no. 228

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog now has a new look and exciting new features. A dynamic redesign offers clean and visually inviting pages, with easy-to-use features for searching, browsing, and sharing. The site offers access to 1.25 million digital images and more than 600,000 records describing the collections in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division. The new catalog brings the pictures to the forefront of the web pages. The original version, established in 1996, was more text-oriented and in need of an upgrade. The search option has been improved to be available on almost every page of the catalog, allowing for easy modification of searches—no need to click back to a search page to conduct a new search. The search engine is more robust, bringing up all applicable items. There are no limits to the amount of records that can be retrieved. Visitors can now browse by alphabetical lists of subjects, formats and creators across the entire catalog as well as for individual collections. Colorful banner images highlight the "learn more about it" essays for major collections, such as the popular Russian Empire photographs by Sergei M. Prokudin-Gorskii. The “view all” feature for major collections opens the door to interesting visual explorations. Viewing options, in general, are greatly expanded and now include gallery, grid, and slideshow features. The Works Progress Administration posters from the Great Depression are especially interesting in the slideshow format. Another new feature is the share/save tool. With stable and durable URLs, the searches and images can be shared quickly with one’s social network.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Cuts to libraries during a recession are like cuts to hospitals during a plague.”

—Eleanor Crumblehulme, technical services library assistant at the University of British Columbia Law Library, in a tweet made in response to Neil Gaiman’s posting an article on job searches in public libraries, Apr. 13.

“Why are we cutting libraries at precisely the time when libraries are most needed? And who’s using libraries? Parents with pre-school children; people searching for work and applying online; K–12 students; those who must file online for Social Security, veterans’ benefits or unemployment compensation; seniors with health concerns; parents in the ‘Sandwich Generation’ dealing with kids and aging parents; struggling families without an internet connection at home; and many, many more citizens who rely on high-quality, accessible library services across Pennsylvania.”

—School librarian Bonnie Hoover, in a letter to the editor of the York (Pa.) Daily Record, Apr. 7.

“Back in the day, there was such a thing as your ‘library voice,’ which was pitched above a whisper but well below normal conversation, the sort of sotto voce used to deliver shameful apologies. Not anymore. When fellow patrons walk through the doors and make a beeline for the DVD section, when they are clacking the discs’ plastic cases and lecturing on the savvy beauty of Mad Men or the intricate plotting of The Wire, I can hear their every word across the room.”

—Writer and web developer Sung J. Woo laments the lost silence of library reading rooms, “The Lost ‘Library Voice,’New York Times: City Room Blog, Apr. 9.

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National Library Week, Apr. 11–17, at:

National Library Workers’ Day, Apr. 13, at:

National Bookmobile Day, Apr. 14, at:

Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, San Antonio, Apr. 14–17, at:

American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:


Apr. 17, 4 p.m.:
Freeze-n-Read 4 Libraries,
an event initiated by the Gulf Middle School Media Center, Cape Coral, Florida.

Apr. 21–22:
ACRL/LLAMA Spring Virtual Institute,
interactive webcast. “Doing Well by Doing Good: Entrepreneurial Leadership for Librarians.”

May 1:
Heritage Preservation.

May 2–8:
Choose Privacy Week.

May 9–15:
ALA Preservation Week.

May 10:
Pass It On: Personal Archiving Day at the Library of Congress,
Mumford Room, 6th Floor, LC James Madison Building, Washington, D.C.

May 11–14:
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.

May 12–14:
Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hilton Garden Inn, St. George.

May 12–14:
Workshop for Instruction in Library Use,
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. “Design, Play, Learn.”

May 13–14:
New Hampshire Library Association,
Spring Conference, Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center.

May 14:
Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians,
Spring Meeting, Shisler Convention Center, Ohio State University, Wooster Campus. “Getting Ready for RDA: Preparing for the Transition.”

May 15:
BookCamp Toronto,
University of Toronto iSchool.

May 15:
Preservation Clinic for Books, Papers, and Photographs,
Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

May 16–19:
Care and Identification of Photographs workshop,
Iowa State University Library, Ames.

May 25:
Vermont Library Association,
Annual Conference, St. Michael’s College, Colchester.

May 25–26:
The Tectonics of Digital Curation: A Symposium on the Shifting Preservation and Access Landscape,
sponsored by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Ray and Maria Stata Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

May 25–27:
BookExpo America,
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City.

May 25–27:
conference on professional information resources, Prague, Czech Republic.

May 27–28:
Rhode Island Library Association,
Annual Conference, Bryant Center, Bryant University, Smithfield.

June 2–4:
Society for Scholarly Publishing,
Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco.

June 13–16:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

June 22–24:
CIP Symposium,
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. “Sustaining Culture in Copyright.”

July 25–27:
Ohio Library Support Staff Institute,
Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea.

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Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick,
Associate Editor:

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Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

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Leonard Kniffel,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

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Brian Searles,

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Katie Bane

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ISSN 1559-369X.

Tech Talk

iPad apps99 iPad apps reviewed
Mark Wilson writes: “We spent hundreds of dollars and countless man-hours reviewing the first batch of iPad apps just to save you the trouble. Here is our complete compendium of reviews, sorted by category, ranked by preference. In other words, follow each of these links for a simple list of applications broken down by iTunes umbrella topics. The applications reviewed near the top of each list are our favorites; the applications reviewed near the bottom of each list are often so horrid they aren’t worth mentioning, beyond saving you the trouble.”...
Gizmodo, Apr. 13

Mobile phone usersMobile-accessible library websites
Q. We’d like to make our website available to patrons who have smartphones. Do you have any resources to help us? A. Unlike your typical website, designed for a 14” or larger screen, sites viewed on mobile devices have much less viewing space available. We have gathered some resources to assist you in creating a site that will allow your smartphone-using patrons to access your library. Got a question? Ask the ALA Librarian....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Apr. 12

Ditch desktop apps for webapps
Whitson Gordon writes: “Desktop applications have their charm, but most of your information already lives on the web. Ditch those clunky desktop apps for webapps without losing their better features—like notifications, shortcuts, offline access—and free up precious system resources along the way. With operating systems like Chrome OS on the horizon, the world looks to be becoming more and more browser-based.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 14

Google Drawings screenMajor update for Google Docs
Google Docs has been constantly updated since 2006, but adding new features became increasingly difficult. Now that browsers are much better than they were four years ago and cutting-edge apps like Google Wave can run in a browser, new versions will be rolled out in the coming days. The document editor has real-time editing, sidebar chat, a new commenting system, better formatting, and an improved importing feature. There’s also an application for creating collaborative drawings: Google Drawings. Watch the video (1:48)....
Google Operating System, Apr. 12–13; YouTube, Apr. 9

Profile pictureFive tips for creating the perfect profile pic
Matt Silverman writes: “ It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the first thing we see when checking out a new Twitter follower, Facebook friend, or LinkedIn connection is a profile photo. And in a world of quick clicks and divergent attention, if the photo you present isn’t eye-catching or illustrative of your personal brand, you may miss your shot at making a positive first impression. We asked social design experts for their take on what makes for a killer profile pic.”...
Mashable, Apr. 13

Seven qualities of highly effective technology trainers
Doug Johnson writes: “I was tickled to read The 15 Essentials of Bad Professional Development in Technology by Jacob Gutnicki, mostly, I suppose, since it reminded me of how little things have changed in technology training over the past 15–20 years. This is a section from my book The Indispensable Teacher’s Guide to Computer Skills (1st edition) that came out in 1997.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Apr. 12; The Innovative Educator, Apr. 11

Bannersketch logoCreate online banner ads with Bannersketch
John McClain writes: “Looking to create your very own online banner ads? With the web, it doesn’t take much at all to have a banner ready to go in just minutes. You don’t have to buy any special software, and no design experience is necessary either with Bannersketch. The free tool allows you to quickly and easily create online banner ads for your product, service, or whatever you’d like to promote. Everything is highly customizable.”...
MakeUseOf, Apr. 11


The giants seize Freya. One of Arthur Rackham's illustrations from 1910 for Wagner's Das RheingoldRichard Wagner and the roots of superhero culture
David Ng writes: “To whom do we owe our super-saturated superhero culture? If you excavate superhero roots long enough, you will inevitably bump smack into Richard Wagner, the 19th-century composer whose four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung is regarded by many as an important genetic mother ship for today’s fleet of action heroes. In terms of its cast of characters alone, Wagner’s Ring tetralogy has fanboy potential written all over it.”...
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 11

Cover of The Well at the World's End, Vol. 1, by William Morris, originally published in 1896Top 10 underrated fantasy classics prior to 1937
Ophiucha writes: “J. R. R. Tolkien changed the face of the fantasy genre when he published The Hobbit in 1937 and subsequently his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. But with this defining moment in the genre, many of the great works that preceded Tolkien have been forgotten in time. This list gives you my top 10 underrated classics of fantasy prior to the publication of The Hobbit.”...
Listverse, Apr. 8

Mashpedia logoReal-time encyclopedia
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “In March, a new free discovery engine called Mashpedia was launched. Mashpedia provides real-time results for specific queries, aggregating content from multiple web feeds (Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter) to create article pages. Content is ranked with the most recent appearing first. Unlike traditional encyclopedias, Mashpedia operates without the benefit of an editorial hand.”...
Points of Reference, Apr. 12

National Non-Fiction Day logoNational Non-Fiction Day planned for November
An annual National Non-Fiction Day has been launched by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups in the U.K., in conjunction with Scholastic, with the inaugural day taking place on November 4. It will be dedicated to celebrating the best information and narrative nonfiction books for children. FCBG regional members will work with local schools, museums, and libraries to organize events....
The Bookseller, Apr. 13

Jessa Crispin on Chicago TonightBookslut on Chicago Tonight
What should you be reading this spring? Jessa Crispin, better known as Bookslut after the name of her popular website and blog, returns to Chicago from Berlin for a few days to recommend some titles and warn about ones you might want to avoid (7:29)....
Chicago Tonight, WTTW-TV, Chicago, Apr. 13

Cover of How Little Lori Visited Times Square, by Amos Vogel and illustrations by Maurice SendakGwyneth Paltrow’s recommended children’s books
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow writes: “Some of the best memories I have from childhood are of my mother lying in bed with me and reading me stories. We had a few greatest hits, Eloise and The Chronicles of Narnia being frontrunners. That time together was pretty indelible. I’m always looking for great books I may not know about to read to my kids. My friends [including NYPL Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Bird] have put together some recommendations that are worth checking out.”...
GOOP Newsletter, Apr.

News sites rethink anonymous comments
When news sites, after years of hanging back, embraced the idea of allowing readers to post comments, the near-universal assumption was that anyone could weigh in and remain anonymous. But now, that idea is under attack from several directions, and journalists, more than ever, are questioning whether anonymity should be a given on news sites....
New York Times, Apr. 11

Cover of Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, Dell Books edition, with map of where the action occursHard-boiled cartography
Frank Jacobs writes: “Dell Books published many genres, but they excelled in detective stories. They often featured maps on the back cover, setting the scene for the adventures and crimes within the covers. A grand total of 577 ‘Map Backs’ were published during the lifetime of the series, from 1943 to 1952. The subject of the maps reflected the setting of the murder mystery and could be anything from the diagram of a multistory building to the layout of a city or state.”...
Strange Maps, Apr. 11

What is a Gutenberg moment anyway?
Dennis Baron writes: “For months, commentators have been referring to the release of Apple’s iPad as a ‘Gutenberg moment,’ or insisting, if they don’t like the idea of the iPad, that it has no hope of being a Gutenberg moment. It’s fine to characterize a Gutenberg moment as a revolution in text delivery, but only if you acknowledge that it actually took not a moment, but several hundred years, for the real effects of printing to take hold.”...
The Web of Language, Apr. 6

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Actions & Answers

How Tweet it is: LC acquires entire Twitter archive
Matt Raymond writes: “Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a lot of tweets, by the way.” Twitter made its own announcement....
Library of Congress blog, Apr. 14; Twitter Blog, Apr. 14

Ithaka S+R logoNew Ithaka report: Academics and digital media
A new report released by the Ithaka group confirms what many librarians already know: Faculty members do not use the library as a gateway to information nearly as much as they used to. The report, “Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies,” focuses on how faculty members perceive their campus libraries; how they are handling the print-to-digital shift in scholarly work; and how much they have or have not changed their professional habits in an increasingly electronic environment....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 7

Jefferson's chart of average rainfall, temperature, and wind direction for Charlottesville, Virginia, from 1772 to 1777. Page 44 of Notes on the State of Virginia manuscriptMassachusetts posts Notes on the State of Virginia
The original manuscript of Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s only full-length book, is now available online, courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The site enables visitors to see and interact with passages that were previously hidden from view due to the methods Jefferson used to insert changes onto handwritten pages. Work on the website began several years ago when MHS made conservation work on the manuscript a priority....
Massachusetts Historical Society, Apr. 8

Section of AARP's Health Care GuideA quick guide to health care reform
As part of its efforts to help Americans understand the impact of the recently enacted health reform package, AARP has launched new online resources for people with questions about the new law. The AARP Bulletin Today’s “The New Health Care Law and You” provides practical answers to questions submitted by visitors. Each week, AARP is answering the top questions about the new health care reform law emailed by readers....
PLA Blog, Apr. 8; AARP Bulletin Today, Apr. 12

Books at home lead to education
Tom Jacobs writes: “After examining statistics from 27 nations, a group of American and Australian researchers found that the presence of book-lined shelves in the home—and the intellectual environment those volumes reflect—gives children an enormous advantage in school. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility published the results (in press): “Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books.”...
Miller-McCune Magazine, Apr. 8

Model of MLK sculpture on the Stone of Hope in the National MemorialMartin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is an initiative of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to erect a monument to the American civil rights leader. The monument will be located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Groundbreaking occurred in 2006, and the dedication is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2011. After many years of fundraising, the memorial is only $14 million away from its goal of $120 million. Take a virtual tour (3:26)....
National Memorial Project Foundation

Chicago Deskset fundraiserGetting good reads to incarcerated teens
Betsy Mikel writes: “Chicago Deskset is a new group of bibliophiles, librarians, archivists, information professionals, and friends of libraries who are putting their bookish heads together to find new ways to improve their communities. To kick off National Library Week, they organized a book drive at a local pub on April 10 for incarcerated teens.” Over 100 people attended the event and donated more than 350 books. Their next event is scheduled for May 23....
Chicagoist, Apr. 9; Chicago Deskset, Apr. 11

OCLC’s new record use policy
Karen Coyle writes: “OCLC has issued a new draft of its record use policy for member comment. As others have remarked, while better worded and seemingly less draconian than the previous policy (the one that was withdrawn), the substance has not changed one iota. The primary problem with it is not the text of the policy but the way that OCLC has chosen to define the problem it is trying to solve. Here are some of the issues I have with this approach.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Apr. 9

Count craters page from Be a Martian websiteCultivating citizen archivists
Archivist of the U.S. David S. Ferriero writes: “Recently, NASA launched an online project called ‘Be A Martian.’ At first glance, this website is a highly sophisticated public education tool that creates an online experience to connect the public with NASA’s mission. On closer inspection, this is also an important crowdsourcing project. The Martian Map room is an intriguing interface where the public is invited to actually add value to the vast amount of data from several Mars missions. Do you see where I’m going with this?”...
AOTUS: Collector in Chief, Apr. 12

Janet Swan Hill at the 2010 ALISE ConferenceCataloging rule changes of the past
Michael Gorman, Janet Swan Hill (right), and Arlene Taylor discuss what it was like to live through cataloging rule changes in the past in this program from the 2010 Association for Library and Information Science Education conference: “Technical Services: Past, Present, Future.” The audio discussion of how libraries transitioned from the ALA-LC cataloging rules to AACR and from AACR to AACR2 is worth listening to. The full transcript is also available....
ALISE Conference 2010, Jan. 15

Mathematics Awareness Month 2010 posterIt’s Mathematics Awareness Month
The 2010 theme for Mathematics Awareness Month is “Mathematics and Sports.” The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has gathered activity ideas for each grade level that can be used to celebrate the theme. Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematical developments and applications in a particular area....
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Tweeting 101: A Twitter cheat sheet
Aliza Sherman writes: “I put together this ‘Twitter Cheat Sheet’ for a client, and thought it might be also helpful for others who are still struggling with how to get started with Twitter. It provides some gentle guidelines that should help to keep emerging best practices in mind.” Meredith Farkas writes about coming to terms with Twitter....
WebWorkerDaily, Apr. 7; Information Wants to Be Free, Apr. 7

Why banning social media often backfires
Greg Ferenstein writes: “From the Great Firewall of China to the public schools of Britain, IT security experts are finding that restricting internet access can have the unintended consequences of civic backlash, poor worker productivity, and students unprepared for cyberthreats. Here are a few examples that illustrate the ban and backfire.”...
Mashable, Apr. 13

Haddon Twp. Branch Library Manager Nan Rosenthal (left) gets help March 29 from Christine Ruble, retail market manager of the Burlington region for TD Bank, using the Penny Arcade at the TD Bank Marlton store to count the money raised by the library toward the Pennies for Peace campaignCamden County donates Pennies for Peace
The Camden County (N.J.) Library System participated in the Pennies for Peace program in February and March, collecting 28,609 pennies from users and staff at its six branches to help build and supply schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. After collecting all the money raised by libraries across the state, the New Jersey State Library will forward it the Pennies for Peace campaign sponsored by the Central Asia Institute....
New at the Camden County Library, Apr. 8

Irish librarians explain the profession (MP3 file)
RTÉ radio host Ryan Tubridy of The Tubridy Show talks to Irish librarians Maria Donohue and Michael Molloy from Dublin and Máirín Ui Chonghaile from Inishmaan as they explore books, old stereotypes, and new library services in the 21st century....
The Tubridy Show, Apr. 8

Will Manley's Sex Survey questionnaire from the Wilson Library BulletinThe 1992 Librarians and Sex Survey results
Will Manley writes: “You asked for it; you got it! These are the results of the 1992 Librarians and Sex Survey that Wilson Library Bulletin refused to run. They did run the initial survey questionnaire (right) in the June 1992 issue in my ‘Facing the Public’ column and then fired me and destroyed the unsold copies of the magazine. Over 5,000 librarians sent in their questionnaires to me. Here are the results.”...
Will Unwound, Apr. 11

Parents Enraged graphic from Ars TechnicaRules for creating mainstream media gaming controversies
Ben Kuchera writes: “Several times a year, the media picks up on an event that portrays games as terrible, terrible things that will destroy the very souls of our nation’s children. But many times, these stories are manufactured to create controversy, not to educate viewers about the realities of gaming. Which is why we’ve decided to help. For people who don’t follow the gaming industry, we offer these rules for deciding if a gaming-related story is really worth the anger, outrage, or disbelief.”...
Ars Technica, Apr. 12

Pre-Book Fair installation setup of Library wallpaperPaper your walls with books
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “Cavern is a New York and Los Angeles–based boutique wallpaper-and-textiles design firm that invites us to reimagine our living environment. Its hand silk-screened, ecofriendly designer wallpaper draws inspiration from the natural world and urban landscape. One of Cavern’s Artist Editions that debuted at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair April 9–11 is Tom Slaughter’s wallpaper design, called Library.”...
Book Patrol, Apr. 13

Vote for your favorite amazing American library
It’s National Library Week and the Huffington Post is celebrating America’s most amazing libraries. They are still a haven for reading in this day of electronics and they are still lending free books. Vote for your favorite of eight in the slide show on their website....
Huffington Post, Apr. 12

St. Jerome in His Study, by CaravaggioOn bones and libraries
Colin Dickey writes: “Every librarian, every book collector, finds him or herself between two mythical places—the Perfect Library of God and the Infinite Library of Babel, the one transcribed by St. Jerome, the other by Jorge Luis Borges. But in some ways, they are closer to one another than they first appear. Borges’s description of the infinite library as a series of hexagonal cells that disappear into the distance, echoes the Roman catacombs that Jerome would visit while he was a young scholar, with bodies instead of books.”...
Cranioklepty, Apr. 6

Celebrate National Library Week with Freeze-n-Read
Kathy Adams, media specialist at Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, Florida, wants us all to help save libraries. On her project website, “Freeze-n-Read 4 Libraries, 4.17.10 @ 4pm everywhere,” she writes: “Libraries are cool! If you think so too, Freeze-n-Read on Saturday, April 17, at 4 p.m. Set your alarm now to freeze wherever you are and chill with a good book in support of libraries.”...
Moving at the Speed of Creativity, Apr. 11

Food Librarian Day 4 giveaway: A boatload of cupcake linersCelebrate National Library Week with food
Mary the Food Librarian, a Los Angeles–based blogger and baking aficionado, writes: “Bust out your library card and celebrate National Library Week with me. This is the second annual celebration on the Food Librarian blog. Sometimes, I just gotta put the Librarian in the Food Librarian! Of course, I start the week with a bundt and the Librarian Action Figure (modeled after real-life librarian and author Nancy Pearl). Don’t laugh. How many other occupations have their own action figure?” Take note: There are giveaways....
The Food Librarian, Apr. 12

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