American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 28, 2010

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American Libraries Online

In midnight deal, Florida legislature reprieves public library funding
Last-minute wrangling in the Florida legislature produced a deal to preserve state funding for libraries at the current-year level. At just before midnight on April 26, the House, which originally wanted to zero out all funding for the State Aid to Public Libraries program, accepted a Senate offer to restore it to the FY2009 appropriation of $21.2 million. The restored funding level makes the state eligible for $8.4 million in matching federal funds. The budget agreement was reached at the last possible minute....
American Libraries news, Apr. 28

Tim O'Reilly speaking at DrupalCon San Francisco, April 20, 2010Drupal: The change we need
Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “‘The change we need,’ according to Tim O’Reilly (right), keynote speaker on day two (April 20) of DrupalCon San Francisco, ‘is DIY on a civic scale.’ We’ve come to rely on what O’Reilly called ‘vending machine government,’ where we put tax dollars in and expect services out, but real progress in civic organizations during tough economic times will depend on grassroots efforts mimicking an agile, open-source approach—like, say, Drupal. Countless libraries all over the country are contributing to their communities and to the Drupal project by working on what O’Reilly called ‘stuff that matters.’”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 28

Khafre K. AbifLibrarian-turned-activist to bike the Underground Railroad
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Satia Orange, former director of the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, wrote April 27 to say that former librarian Khafre K. Abif is planning to Cycle for Freedom by taking a 2,028-mile bicycle trip from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, embarking June 27. Abif says his goal is ‘to raise awareness about the seriousness of HIV/AIDS in black communities in the U.S. by retracing the historic path of those who fled slavery and those that provided shelter’ on what became known as the Underground Railroad.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 27

Cover of the May American LibrariesNeil Gaiman on the May cover
The digital edition of the May 2010 American Libraries is now available online in the Zmags page-flip format. National Library Week Honorary Chair Neil Gaiman serves as cover guy. This month’s topics include features on readers theatre, troubled teens and YA fiction, fixing the federal depository library program, library volunteers, and the StoryCorps oral history project....
American Libraries, May

Patron at New Orleans Public LibraryResearch proves value of online access
Jill Nishi writes: “The economic downturn has led to unprecedented demand for free computer and internet access at public libraries across the nation, as proven by groundbreaking new research from the Gates Foundation and IMLS. ‘Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries’ reaffirms what many of us already thought to be true—that library technology services have created opportunity for millions of Americans.”...
American Libraries feature

Readers Theatre clip artFrom children’s literature to readers theatre
Elizabeth A. Poe writes: “Five 2nd-graders stand before a group of 20 preschool children sitting on the rug in the library’s story area. Each of them is holding a hardback copy of Eric Rohmann’s picture book A Kitten Tale (Knopf, 2008). After the name and author of the book have been announced, the children read their designated parts. When they finish, they bow and sit down on the rug. The preschoolers clap enthusiastically and rush to the older children, wanting to see the pictures in the books they hold.”...
American Libraries feature

Depository program logo with bandaidFixing the Federal Depository Library Program
Patrick Ragains writes: “In the wake of two crucial reports—Federal Depository Library Program Strategic Plan, 2009–2014 (PDF file) and Documents for a Digital Democracy—I will try to clarify the key issues related to the future of depository libraries and emphasize practical steps in a transition to new models for collections and public service. I hope this wider exposure will help elevate this discussion beyond depository librarians and the GPO to the level of the national library community.”...
American Libraries feature

Katherine PatersonNewsmaker: Katherine Paterson
Katherine Paterson, two-time winner of both the National Book Award (The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Master Puppeteer) and Newbery Medal (Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved), is the second person to be named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Paterson discussed her new role, the inspiration for her “Read for Your Life” theme, and the importance of public and school libraries....
American Libraries feature

On My Mind: Let’s review everything
Jeffrey Beall writes: “For many years, readers’ advisory has been a fundamental and valuable library service that has helped library patrons and others decide what books to borrow. It’s time to expand their coverage and include shorter publications, such as magazine and journal articles, essays, short stories, and even individual poems. Readers lack the time needed to scan through them all to determine which are worth investing time in reading.”...
American Libraries column, May

Welcome matPut out the welcome mat for green groups
Laura Bruzas writes: “By offering a place where grassroots groups can regularly gather, exchange ideas, and create programs to disseminate need-to-know information to the community, libraries can become partners in helping make the world a better, more just, and ecofriendly place. What partnerships have you created with grassroots groups to build momentum on important issues?”...
AL: Green Your Library, Apr. 22

ALA News

Library Advocacy Day bannerLibrary Advocacy Day video contest
ALA is holding a contest for the best Library Advocacy Day video. The first-place winner will receive $175 and the runner-up will receive $75. To enter, create a video, upload it to Vimeo, tag it “library advocacy day,” and send your full name, phone number, city, state, and the URL of your work to Jacob Roberts with the subject line “LAD video entry.” All submissions must be uploaded, tagged, and emailed by May 26....
District Dispatch, Apr. 22

Libraries urge users to choose privacy
In the past, privacy could be protected by closing a curtain, sealing a record, or simply choosing not to share information. But in today’s digital environment, more and more of our personal information exists online. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has established Choose Privacy Week, May 2–8, to help libraries work with their communities around these complicated but vital issues. Choose Privacy Week invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Apr. 27

Screen shot from Choose Privacy Week trailerChoose Privacy Week trailer
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has released a trailer (1:28) for its upcoming Choose Privacy Week video. Produced by filmmaker Laura Zinger, the full video will be available the week of April 26 for use during Choose Privacy Week (May 2–8). Libraries can share the video online and host events to discuss the issues it raises. In addition to “man on the street” interviews, the finished video will feature Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, and ALA President Camila Alire discussing privacy....
OIF Blog, Apr. 22

Alison Bechdel's Fun Home was challenged in Marshall, MissouriLibraries fight graphic novel challenges
Brigid Alverson writes: “At the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, a librarian from Jessamine County, Kentucky, spoke firsthand about dealing with calls for censorship in his library, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone from the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom discussed how to handle challenges to graphic novels at a panel titled ‘Burn It, Hide It, Misshelve It, Steal It, Ban It! Dealing with Graphic Novel Censorship in Your Library.’”...
Publishers Weekly, Apr. 26

Step up to the preservation plate
Step Up to the Plate during ALA Preservation Week, May 9–15, and celebrate baseball and libraries. Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, ALCTS is launching National Preservation Week, the first national campaign targeting preservation awareness for the general public. At the same time, the fifth season of the Step Up to the Plate initiative celebrates the Baseball Hall of Fame’s role as a collecting museum and library in the preservation of our national pastime....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Apr. 27

Advocating in a Tough Economy program
Reserve your spot for “Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop” June 25, during the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Advance registration is priced at $50 for the half-day program and will be available until May 14. Learn how to better advocate for your library throughout this recession and get the facts on frontline advocacy....
Office for Library Advocacy, Apr. 26

Happy birthday, ALA Connect
Jenny Levine writes: “This month marks the one-year anniversary when ALA Connect went live. Technically, that would have been on April 6, but we like to celebrate birthdays for an entire month. Overall, we’re very happy about how folks have embraced the service and how much it’s being used. We still have big plans for adding to the site, but this seems like a good moment to stop and reflect on where we’re at one year in. To start, here’s a list of what we’ve accomplished in the last 12 months.”...
ITTS News, Apr. 27

Chess Schmidt before the run10K Run/Walk for Haiti
The University of South Carolina Library and Information Science Student Association, an ALA student chapter, managed to raise $950 for the ALA Haiti Relief Fund during a 10k Run/Walk event held in Columbia March 20. LISSA President Chess Schmidt (right) promised to shave his legs, head, and beard if the students raised more than $750....

Librarians on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. The man in the foreground looking to the left is probably Melvil DeweyALA conference outings in the 19th century
Lauren Hewes writes: “The ongoing processing of the American Antiquarian Society’s Group Photograph collection has recently turned up a small cache of 19th-century photographs of librarians. When this cluster of eight photographs of ALA outings turned up during our survey, we were all intrigued. The photographs were taken at the time of the ALA’s annual conferences and range in date from 1887 to 1897. They show large groups of men and women gathered in a variety of locations, from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee (above) to Nova Scotia.”...
Past Is Present, Apr. 22

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Bullet PointFeatured review: Crime fiction
Abrahams, Peter. Bullet Point. May 2010. 304p. HarperTeen, Grades 9–12, hardcover (978-0-06-122769-1).
It’s common enough to call a book a page-turner, but here’s one that should’ve been printed on a scroll—those pesky page turns take far too much time. With an engulfing plot, multifaceted characters, and a plausibility rare to the genre, Abrahams’s latest beats you senseless and leaves you for dead. Great, huh? When a budget crunch squeezes out his school’s baseball program, 16-year-old Wyatt moves across the state to take advantage of another school’s team. It’s there that he meets Greer—a few years older, beautiful, and equipped with wildly fluctuating mood swings. The frequent arguments between the two are the book’s heart, skipping fluently and believably between impatience, attraction, desperation, and hope.

Graphic for Top 10 Crime Fiction for YouthTop 10 crime fiction for youth
Ian Chipman writes: “Whether your tastes run toward historical whodunits, high-stakes heists, or hard-boiled hawkshaws, outstanding examples of each can be found in the best crime fiction for youth reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months.” Eight-year-olds might like Lewis B. Montgomery’s The Case of the Stinky Socks, while teens will go for Anthony McGowan’s The Knife That Killed Me....

Crime fiction past and present
Need help tracking down crime fiction titles for collection development or readers’ advisory? Join Booklist the afternoon of May 6 for an informative hour-long webinar, moderated by Booklist Online Senior Editor Keir Graff, as David Wright of the Seattle Public Library, Edwin Buckhalter of Severn House Publishers, Talia Sherer of Macmillan Publishing, and Jessica Tribble of Poisoned Pen Press discuss all things mystery, from little-known gems of the genre to today’s newest trends and titles....

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

D.C. Update

Ask logoGetting around Washington by cell phone
Ask Mobile Search offers a stripped-down interface for cell phones that can access the web. The nice thing about this service is that you can put in two locations and get walking directions, instead of just driving directions. It also gives you an easy option to swap your start and end location so you can get back to where you were without having to retype the addresses. It works on regular computers, too, although the full-blown Ask Maps & Directions service offers the walking directions feature plus maps....
ALA 2010 Annual Conference wiki

A man gazes longingly at Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz movie at the National Museum of American HistoryMuseum tips from YALSA
Want to see Kermit the Frog, Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, the Star-Spangled Banner, or an inauguration gown worn by a First Lady? Drop by the National Museum of American History. This museum has undergone a big facelift, so even if you have been here before, it is worth seeing again. At the National Portrait Gallery you can see Elvis, our Presidents, and many other faces—famous and not....
YALSA Blog, Apr. 23

Division News

Paige JohnsonAdvanced registration open for AASL Fall Forum
Registration is now open for the AASL Fall Forum, “In Focus: The Essentials for 21st-Century Learning,” to be held November 5–6 in Portland, Oregon. The keynote speaker will be Paige Johnson (right), global manager of K–12 education for Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group and past chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. To register, visit the AASL website....
AASL, Apr. 27

Common Core grade-band standards
AASL has issued comments on the grade-level bands of the Common Core Standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. View the comments in full on AASL’s website....
AASL, Apr. 27

John PalfreyJohn Palfrey hosts ACRL’s free privacy webinar
Born Digital author John Palfrey will host a May 5 webinar on privacy issues for ACRL members that coincides with the inauguration of the May 2–8 Choose Privacy Week by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Although the live, interactive 2010 ACRL Springboard Event is free, registration is required by May 3....
ACRL, Apr. 27

Register for YALSA advocacy webinar
Cultivating relationships with notable community members—including government officials and school board members—to help your library meet its mission is critical in the current economic climate. YALSA’s May 20 webinar, “VIPs: Why You Need Them for Advocacy,” will teach how to garner support. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Apr. 27

Meet the YALSA literary award winners
YALSA will celebrate the winners of its literary awards and selected list honorees with special events and programs at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 25–29. Tickets are available for the YALSA Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon on June 26, the YA Authors Coffee Klatch on June 27, and the Michael L. Printz Award Program and Reception on June 28. Advanced registration ends May 14. Free Alex and Odyssey Award events are also scheduled....
YALSA, Apr. 27

Boost YA expertise with summer online courses
YALSA is offering two continuing-education opportunities July 12–August 9. “Power Up with Print” gives tips on boosting circulation through teen-centered programming, selecting and evaluating materials, and giving engaging booktalks. “Beyond Booklists” explores ways to design, implement, and evaluate more in-depth services and programs for diverse teen populations and address issues such as language barriers, cultural differences, and institutional support. Registration closes July 6....
YALSA, Apr. 27

Travel stipend for Library Advocacy Day
Thanks to the Friends of YALSA, funding has been provided for five YALSA members to receive up to $1,000 in travel stipends to attend National Library Advocacy Day, June 29, in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The deadline for applications is April 30, so fill out your application (PDF file) or (Word file) soon....
YALSA Blog, Apr. 23

Round Table News

Cover page of Occasional Paper no. 4, 1957 Crisis at Central HighGODORT occasional papers available
The Government Documents Round Table has published GODORT Occasional Papers 3 and 4. Occasional Paper #3, Librarian’s Guide on How to Use the American Community Survey Multiyear Estimates, explains how to get the most out of the American Community Survey data available on the Census Bureau website. Occasional Paper #4, 1957 Crisis at Central High: An Annotated Bibliography of Government Publications, provides sources for the Little Rock Central High School civil rights crisis of 1957....
ALA Connect GODORT group


The African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library. Architect: Smith & Company Architects. Photo: Aker/Zvonkovic PhotographyAward-winning Libraries
Q. Our library is beginning to think about a major addition. I recall that the ALA gives an award for library buildings. I’d like to plan a cross-country trip so that I could see some of these. How can I get a list of these libraries? A. LLAMA has collaborated with the American Institute of Architects in presenting the Library Building Awards since the early 1950s. These awards, intended to “encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries” are given biennially....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Apr. 28

Tao JinKevin HarwellBusiness-reference research grants bestowed
Kevin Harwell, associate librarian at Pennsylvania State University’s Schreyer Business Library, and Tao Jin, assistant professor at the Louisiana State University SLIS, are the 2010 recipients of the Emerald Research Grants administered by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section. Harwell will study the rate of burnout and level of job engagement among business reference professionals in academic and public libraries; Jin will uncover the information-seeking behaviors of microenterprise owners....
RUSA, Apr. 27

2010 Jesse Shera Awards
The Library Research Round Table has announced the winners of the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research and the Jesse H. Shera Award for the Support of Dissertation Research. Jane Greenberg won the former for her work entitled “Theoretical Considerations of  Lifecycle Modeling,” published in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, April 2009. Hea Lim Rhee won the latter for a University of Pittsburgh dissertation on archival appraisal practice....
Office for Research and Statistics, Apr. 26

SJSU ALA Student Chapter logoALA Student Chapter of the Year
The New Members Round Table and the ALA Membership Committee have chosen the student chapter at San Jose State University as the winner of the 2010 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award. This is the second year in a row San Jose has won this award. The winning student chapter receives a $1,000 travel grant to help with the cost of ALA conference attendance....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Apr. 27

Graph of Spectrum Presidential Initiative donationsACRL supports Spectrum
In a two-year commitment totaling $70,000, ACRL will sponsor two MLS students of color, one in 2010 and another in 2011, who express an interest in academic and research librarianship. The Spectrum Presidential Initiative is a special one-year campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program, which addresses underrepresentation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession....
Office for Diversity, Apr. 27

Literacy grants renewed for American Dream
In April, ALA awarded a second round of funding to five public libraries participating in the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s “American Dream Starts @ your library” to continue their programs for adult English-language learners. The recipients were chosen for their Phase 1 accomplishments and will expand their print and digital literacy collections, offering classes and conversation clubs, developing mobile tech labs, and reaching out to immigrant organizations. Another 70 public libraries in 21 states have also received American Dream grants....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Apr. 23

Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award
Nancy Origer Poole is the recipient of the 2010 Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section awards the grant to a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited master’s program who has demonstrated notable interest in a business reference librarianship career. Poole attends the University of North Carolina Department of Library and Information Studies in Greensboro....
RUSA, Apr. 27

Apply for Friends Baker & Taylor Awards
ALTAFF is accepting applications for the 2010 Baker & Taylor Awards, which recognize Friends groups for outstanding efforts in 2009 to support their library. Applications must be postmarked by May 3; see the entry form (PDF file) and release form (PDF file) for details....
ALTAFF, Apr. 27

Mike RidleyOutstanding Canadian Academic Librarian
University of Guelph, Ontario, Chief Librarian Mike Ridley has been named the 2010 Miles Blackwell Outstanding Academic Librarian by the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries. The award is presented to an individual who has made significant national or international contributions to academic librarianship and library development....
University of Guelph, Apr. 21

Four librarians win first-ever LIBER awards
Publisher Elsevier and the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) have announced that Ana van Meegen Silva, Imke Limpens, Graham Stone, and Jani Sassali are the winners of the first-ever LIBER Award for Library Innovation. The award honors the authors of three abstracts that best describe an achievement in the overall theme of the June 29–July 2 LIBER Annual Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, “Reinventing the Library: Challenges in the New Information Environment.”...
Elsevier, Apr. 28

Cover of Zeitoun, by David Eggers2010 L.A. Times Book Prizes
Author Dave Eggers was the surprise big winner April 23 at the Los Angeles Times Book Prize ceremony when he was awarded the Current Interest Prize for Zeitoun (McSweeney’s) before being presented with the inaugural Innovator’s Award. Rafael Yglesias was awarded the fiction prize for his novel A Happy Marriage (Scribner), and Philipp Meyer accepted the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction for his novel American Rust (Spiegel and Grau)....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Apr. 23

Cover of Small Beneath the Sky, by Lorna CrozierLorna Crozier wins B.C. prize for nonfiction
North Saanich poet Lorna Crozier won the British Columbia Book Prize’s nonfiction award April 24. She received the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize for Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir. The book is a frank telling of Crozier’s upbringing in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Toronto author Frieda Wishinsky won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize for the book Maggie Can’t Wait....
Victoria (B.C.) Times-Colonist, Apr. 25

Seen Online

Duke Nukem 3D was one of the games cited in the lower court decision as being excessively violentSupreme Court to hear California video game case
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed April 26 to decide whether California can ban the sale of violent video games to minors, a law that lower courts have declared an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. The high court will review a decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to throw out the ban on the grounds that government has no authority to restrict even the most violent games. The ban became law in October 2005 but has never been enforced. It would bar the sale of an interactive video game to anyone under 18 if the game was so violent it was “patently offensive.”...
San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 26

Cover of Bone: The DragonslayerBone not banned
A graphic novel series will remain in elementary libraries in a Minneapolis-area school district, a committee decided April 27 after debating whether its content is appropriate for students. The group of parents, teachers, and media specialists from the Rosemount–Apple Valley–Eagan school district agreed 10–1 that the Bone series by Jeff Smith should not be banned from 12 of the district’s 18 elementary schools. The question came after parent Ramona DeLay asked for its removal because the books include smoking, drinking, and gambling in their graphics and storylines....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Apr. 27

Graphic of Lost, the final seasonHulu to test subscriptions
Hulu, the popular online site for watching television shows, plans to begin testing a subscription service as soon as May 24. Under the proposal, Hulu will continue to provide for free the five most recent episodes of shows like Glee, Lost, or Saturday Night Live. But viewers who want to see additional episodes would pay $9.95 a month to access a more comprehensive selection called Hulu Plus....
Los Angeles Times: Company Town, Apr. 21

YouTube's rental of The CoveYouTube to expand video rentals
Google’s YouTube is expanding its low-key movie rental service. In addition to films from the Sundance Festival added in January, YouTube now offers selections from more than 500 other content partners. They’re not all obscure movies, either: A quick glance at the YouTube store shows a number of popular movies, such as Reservoir Dogs, Precious, Pi, and The Cove. The films range in both price and rental window. The most common rental window for movies is for 24 hours after you begin watching....
Ars Technica, Apr. 23

Poster for the 2008 movie The InformersBrevard County debates access to R-rated videos
Dot Uhl was so shocked at the language and nudity in The Informers, a DVD she checked out from the Melbourne Beach branch of the Brevard County (Fla.) Public Library, that she wrote a letter to Library Director Cathy Schweinsberg. Uhl’s letter triggered library debate in late April during public meetings in Viera, Titusville, and Melbourne Beach. Officials may add teeth to statements of parental/guardian responsibility for juvenile library cards....
Melbourne Florida Today, Apr. 23

Twiggs County library destroyed in fire
Thousands of books and historical documents were lost when the Twiggs County Public Library in Jeffersonville, Georgia, went up in flames April 25. Investigators from the state insurance commissioner’s office still are reviewing the case, but early signs are that lightning was a factor. More than 15,000 books were burned and the building was destroyed, said Thomas Jones, director of the Middle Georgia Regional Library System....
Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, Apr. 27

Jake BarickmanCollege libraries are humming in Vermont
Tim Johnson writes: “This being the season of term papers, you might suppose that college students simply are Googling away in the comfort of their dorm rooms, and that college librarians have it easy—like Maytag repairmen. You would be wrong. Librarians prefer another simile. They consider themselves to be more like tax accountants in April—much sought-after as deadlines loom. Jake Barickman (right), who was staffing the reference desk at the University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library, was fielding a query every six minutes or so.”...
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Apr. 19

Oxford University Fitfinder feedU.K. university students proclaim their library crushes
In late April, a new website was launched that should ensure students get even less work done than usual. Fitfinder—think Twitter meets a personal ads column—allows students to proclaim and potentially contact their library crushes. The concept is simple. If you “find a fitty” in the library you can anonymously post a short description of them on your university’s fitfinder. For example: “Male, brunette. Curly, waistcoat, bit of a Tory, he’s gawwwwgeous!”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 28

Artist's conception of the White Tank branch of the Maricopa County Library DistrictNew Maricopa County branch to have nature center
A new branch being built by White Tank Mountain Regional Park will be the first shared space between sister agencies Maricopa County (Ariz.) Library District and the county Parks and Recreation department. It’s also the first county library to have an Arizona nature center, a green feature that could draw people who don’t often visit a library. The White Tank branch, scheduled to open in September, has saved the agencies time and money, county officials say....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Apr. 23

Hearse brings first books to new Sevierville branch
Just as its first library received its first shipment of books 88 years ago, the Sevier County (Tenn.) Public Library System’s King Family branch received its first books with the arrival of a blue Cadillac hearse on April 20. Library founder Fred Rawlings was a local mortician who in 1922 drove to Knoxville to fill his hearse with books to stock the new library’s shelves. “We thought it would be really special to reenact the moving of the books again,” SCPLS Director K. C. Williams said....
Sevierville (Tenn.) Mountain Press, Apr. 22

The Mill Road branch is one that would be replaced by a larger facilityMilwaukee proposal calls for fewer but bigger libraries
More than half of Milwaukee Public Library’s city branches would be dramatically reshaped by a 10-year, $18.1-million plan to merge some neighborhood libraries into regional centers and move others into buildings shared with housing, stores, or hotels. Library officials are trying to avoid rising maintenance costs by replacing aging facilities with a new array of libraries more in tune with a digital world. But they will have to overcome skepticism from residents and some aldermen, who cherish the network of 13 libraries spaced no more than three miles apart....
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Apr. 25

St. Paul circ clerk charged with theft
A St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library circulation clerk has been charged with stealing more than 1,400 items, including DVDs and books, according to charges filed April 26 by the Ramsey County Attorney. Amanda Marie Cortright faces one count of felony theft by swindle for allegedly stealing the library materials and for stealing public funds by reversing fines and order-due charges. In December 2009, library staff became suspicious of Cortright and began checking their records....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Apr. 26

Sheriff warns of “library” collection calls
The Solano County, California, Sheriff’s Office is warning that people are being called and asked for credit card numbers to pay fines for overdue library books. Recently a woman received a call from a man who claimed he worked for a collection agency, who said she owed money to her local library and needed to pay by credit card over the phone. The woman became suspicious when the caller said it would be unnecessary to contact the library to verify the information....
Vallejo (Calif.) Times-Hearld, Apr. 24

Page from the O.K. Corral inquest notesO.K. Corral inquest notes rediscovered
The yellowed and taped original handwritten minutes of the 1881 inquest into the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral, in which Wyatt Earp and other lawmen took on four outlaws, made their way to the Arizona Department of Library and Archives for preservation April 21. Two clerks assigned to clean out a closet holding exhibits of Cochise County Superior Court in Bisbee stumbled across an old box in which they found a manila envelope containing official notes of the inquest, stored away and forgotten for 50 years....
Phoenix Arizona Daily Star, Apr. 22

Man arrested for sexual assaults at Downey Library
Police arrested Daniel Ignacio Gil, 28, April 20 after he allegedly sexually assaulted two young children at the Downey (Calif.) City Library. On April 12, Gil allegedly asked a 6-year-old girl for help in getting a book and assaulted her before fleeing. A 9-year-old girl was assaulted April 19 but a witness was able to get a partial license plate number as the attacker drove away....
Downey (Calif.) Patriot, Apr. 23

UCC library director fiddles around
Nine years ago, David Hutchison, director of the Umpqua Community College Library in Roseburg, Oregon, decided to pick up a fiddle to learn how to play Irish music. It took six months of lessons to learn the basics, but it was a book that taught him to play Irish tunes. Now Hutchison has a band, Irish Creme, which was formed in 2009, and he is the one who researches and finds most of the music they play....
Roseburg (Oreg.) News-Review, Apr. 26

Dogs encourage young readers in Winterville
The Reading Education Assistance Dogs program, launched about a decade ago in Utah, features therapy animals trained to act as companions to readers. Local READ teams visit the Winterville (N.C.) Library once a month to help teach children that not only dogs, but books, can be their best friends. READ volunteer Emily Blankenship said the idea of reading to a dog takes some of the pressure off children who may feel self-conscious about trying to pronounce new words....
Greenville (N.C.) Daily Reflector, Apr. 11

Go back to the Top

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ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. This year’s track programs include 12 exciting Grassroots Programs on a wide variety of topics and selected by a jury of practitioners chosen from past and present ALA Emerging Leaders. These Grassroots programs are an initiative to increase opportunities for members to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the Association.

Booklist Online 50% offer

Booklist Online single-password accounts are 50% off in April. You will get access to powerful workflow tools and 130,000 Booklist reviews and features, plus a free Booklist print magazine subscription (a $109.95 value) for a full year. This offer ends April 30. NEW! From Booklist.

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Reports Prove Value of Online Access

From Children’s Lit to Readers Theatre

Fixing FDLP


On My Mind

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Special Collections Librarian, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Develops and manages a cohesive collection of manuscripts, periodicals and newspapers, books, oral history recordings and transcripts, and photographs of the history of the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and of the university. Collaborates with colleagues in other units on digitization initiatives for unique local materials and to facilitate cataloging, preservation, information literacy, and reference assistance of appropriate materials....

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Digital Library of the Week

Cover of Environmental Variability and Climate Change, a 2001 report by PAGES (Past Global Changes)

The University of North Texas Digital Libraries has just released an Environmental Science Digital Collection with 285 documents focusing on environmental policy. It contains web publications from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan that cover climate change, emissions, land use, sustainable development, water issues, and biodiversity. Documents from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, NOAA, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the UN Environment Programme, and the World Meteorological Organization are included. The coordinator of the collection, Nathan Hall, is actively seeking content partners to contribute relevant materials.

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

You can’t just be a ‘book’ librarian anymore and be considered professionally competent, even if your area of interest and expertise is literature. If you work with books and kids, you can’t do your job without understanding how to use technology in your field. Tech’s no longer a ‘nice extra’—it’s a vital set of tools, skills, and undertandings you need to master if you want to provide the services kids deserve. I would categorize librarians who fail to recognize how technology can support what they do as unprofessional and incompetent as a doctor who can’t use a CAT scan or an accountant who can’t use a spreadsheet or an engineer who doesn’t use CAD/CAM. There you have it. There are no more ‘book only’ librarians.”

—Doug Johnson, director of media and technology for the Mankato (Minn.) Public Schools. in a blog post, “The Last of the Book Librarians,” Blue Skunk Blog, Apr. 25.

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New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Long Branch, Apr. 26–28, at:

World Wide Web 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina, Apr. 26–30, at:

Massachusetts Library Association, Annual Conference, Hyannis, Apr. 28–30, at:

Off-Campus Library Services Conference, Cleveland, Apr. 28–30, at:

Choose Privacy Week, May 2–8, at:

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


May 1:
Heritage Preservation.

May 2–8:
Choose Privacy Week.

May 9–15:
ALA Preservation Week.

May 21:
Library of Congress Geography and Maps Division,
conference on “Re-Examining the Portolan Chart: History, Navigation, and Science,” Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building.

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

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

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

June 7:
NJLA College and University Section / ACRL-NJ User Education Committee,
Summer Information Literacy Workshop, Bart Luedeke Center, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “Everything You Wanted to Know About Teaching Information Literacy
But Were Too Afraid to Ask.”

June 11–13:
Southern California Genealogical Society,
Jamboree 2010, Los Angeles Marriott Hotel, Burbank.

Nov. 13:
National Gaming Day
@ your library.

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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:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel
Leonard Kniffel,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Brian Searles
Brian Searles,

Katie Bane
Katie Bane

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.

Tech Talk

10 Emerging Technologies graphic10 emerging technologies in 2010
Each year, Technology Review selects what it believes are the 10 most important emerging technologies. The winners are chosen based on the editors’ coverage of key fields. The question they ask is simple: Is the technology likely to change the world? Some of these changes are on a global scale. Others will be more local and involve how we use technology. New ways to implant medical electronics and develop drugs for diseases will affect us on the most intimate level of all. The one that most affects libraries is real-time search....
Technology Review, May–June

Cover of 2010 Horizon Report, K-12Six technologies soon to affect education
Cloud computing and collaborative learning environments are set to take hold in K–12 schools in the very near future, with mobile devices, game-based learning, and other education technologies to follow suit in the next few years, according to the 2010 Horizon Report’s K–12 edition, released by the New Media Consortium. NMC researchers examined 100 different technologies and whittled them down to the six most prominent technologies that are on the verge of classroom adoption in the next five years....
eSchool News, Apr. 15; New Media Consortium

New York Public Library's new book sorter. From the NYPL videoNYPL’s mighty sorting machine
A gigantic new $2.3-million automated book sorter—believed to be the largest of its kind—housed in a renovated warehouse in Long Island City, Queens, has eliminated much of the book-sorting drudgery at the New York Public Library since it was turned on in February. Now, when a library visitor anywhere in the system requests a book located at another branch, the automated sorter does the work of routing it. Here’s how it works. Watch the video (2:10)....
New York Times, Apr. 21

Florence, Italy, in Google Earth viewGoogle Earth added to Google Maps
Google has started to combine its Earth and Maps products with its recent announcement that Earth view is available to all Google Maps users. To see 3D imagery in Google Maps, you’ll need the Google Earth plugin, which anyone can now use; it’s been available to developers since 2008. There’s also a new “Earth” tab on Google Maps, right next to the Satellite and Map tabs. Watch the how-to video (2:04)....
Search Engine Land, Apr. 26; Official Google Blog, Apr. 26; YouTube, Apr. 20

Data Liberation logoGetting your photos out of Flickr and Picasa
Jacqui Cheng writes: “For some internet users, Flickr and Picasa Web Albums are the place to store and organize photos. But what happens if you decide to just pick up and go to another service? Or you’ve experienced a catastrophic crash and lost locally stored copies of all your photos? Backup lecture aside, there are numerous reasons for pulling your photos down from the cloud. Here’s a brief how-to.”...
Ars Technica: Software, Apr. 23

iPad college-ban rumors erased
Rumors that Cornell, Princeton, and George Washington universities had banned the use of Apple’s iPad on their campuses ran rampant across the blogosphere in mid-April, leaving some to wonder whether the device had some type of hidden problem. Those rumors, it turns out, were false: All three institutions have categorically denied that they ever banned the iPad. However, iPad owners at all three universities have faced varying degrees of connectivity issues....
CNET News: Apple, Apr. 27; Wall Street Journal, Apr. 19

Keep your computers safe from malware
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “Think your computer is spyware free? That your magical Norton antivirus sheds unicorn tears and shoots out rainbows of safe goodness? Wrong! According to Symantec, only 51% of malware in 2009 was even detected, much less quarantined successfully or fixed. If you have a home computer, smart phone, or a Wi-Fi network, which you likely do, please follow this advice. It’s worth making yourself secure.”...
Librarian in Black, Apr. 23; CrunchGear, Apr. 20


Steve Jobs unveils the iPad, January 27Can the iPad topple the Kindle?
Ken Auletta writes: “On the morning of January 27—an aeon ago, in tech time—Steve Jobs was to appear at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in downtown San Francisco, to unveil Apple’s new device, the iPad. Although speculation about the device had been intense, few in the audience knew yet what it was called or exactly what it would do, and there was a feeling of expectation in the room worthy of the line outside the grotto at Lourdes. The industry’s great hope was that the iPad would bring electronic books to the masses—and help make them profitable.”...
New Yorker, Apr. 26

Virginia Campbell with her iPadiPad restores the written word to 99-year-old
Virginia Campbell is totally focused on her new toy: an iPad. After earning her B.A. in English literature in the 1930s, Campbell has always been an avid reader. But she suffers from glaucoma, making it difficult to read. Now Campbell (right) is reading books on the iPad and writing limericks on it as well. “It’s changed her life,” said Ginny Adelsheim, one of her daughters. It’s also made Campbell a YouTube sensation; a video (1:52) showing her using the iPad has gone viral....
Portland Oregonian, Apr. 21; YouTube, Apr. 7

The Brigadoon library
Tim Spalding writes: “TechCrunch just reported an interesting development with Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reader. If you’ve got a Nook and you’re in a physical Barnes and Noble store, you can read any e-book they carry. When you leave the store, the book goes away. What works for Barnes and Noble could also work for libraries.”...
Thingology, Apr. 23; TechCrunch, Apr. 23

iPhone audiobook of Catching Fire, by Suzanne CollinsOverDrive for the iPhone
OverDrive announced the availability of its free audiobook application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. With OverDrive Media Console for iPhone, users can now wirelessly download MP3 audiobooks from OverDrive-powered library and retail websites to their Apple devices. The free audiobook app can be accessed in iTunes and on the Apple App Store....
OverDrive, Apr. 21

Cover of Spies of WarsawRousing Reads: Alan Furst
Bill Ott writes: “‘On the tenth of March 1938, the night train from Budapest pulled into the Gare du Nord a little after four in the morning.’ To readers of historical espionage fiction, that sentence can only mean one thing: Alan Furst. Furst writes about the years from 1938 to 1941 as if they were recurring characters, and over the course of several books, he has laid claim to the period as his own.”...
American Libraries column, May

Cover of 1930 edition of The Secret of the Old ClockNancy Drew still draws readers after 80 years
If Nancy Drew—still an amateur detective after all these years—aged like the rest of us, she’d be 98. But Nancy remains a plucky teenager solving crimes in River Heights, USA, 80 years after the debut on April 28, 1930, of the first (right) of 371 books credited to Carolyn Keene, a pen name for scores of ghostwriters. The writing was formulaic, the plot twists implausible, but it’s Nancy Drew herself who continues to appeal to young readers....
USA Today, Apr. 26

Cover of Martians Go Home, by Frederic BrownThe best aliens in science fiction
The SF Signal asked its team of Mind Meld panelists what their favorite fictional aliens were and what made them superior to other, more humdrum extraterrestrials. Sarah A. Hoyt voted for the aliens in Frederic Brown’s Martians, Go Home because they are the “only aliens that do feel alien and inscrutable, even when they are speaking English and behaving like, well, little green men from Mars.”...
SF Signal, Mar. 31

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Actions & Answers

Jamie Greene with Sen. Jack ReedSenate HELP committee wants your feedback
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that Rhode Island school librarian Jamie Greene (right, with Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.) testified before on April 22 is seeking input from the educational community’s key stakeholders—librarians, parents, teachers, students, administrators—on necessary changes to the current ESEA law, feedback on the Obama Administration’s Blueprint for Reform, and any other ideas you may want to share. HELP is a bipartisan committee that has started the process of reauthorizing ESEA. Read this letter (PDF file) for instructions on submitting comments by May 7....
AASL Blog, Apr. 22

Federal Research Public Access Act
On April 15, the Federal Research Public Access Act (H.R. 5037) was introduced, a bill that would ensure free and timely online access to the published results of research funded by 11 federal agencies. This bipartisan House bill mirrors the Senate version (S. 1373) introduced in June 2009. Essentially, the bill would advance and expand the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy. Without passage of this bill, taxpayer-funded research will continue to be inaccessible (without a fee) to those already funding it—the public....
ACRL Insider, Apr. 23

Section of Pew Research Center chart showing racial groups and social media preferenceHow Americans interact with government online
As government agencies at all levels bring their services online, Americans are turning in large numbers to government websites to access information and services. Fully 82% of internet users (representing 61% of all American adults) looked for information or completed a transaction on a government website in the 12 months preceding this survey by the Pew Research Center. African Americans and Latinos are also much more likely than whites to say it is “very important” for government agencies to post information and alerts on such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter....
Pew Research Center, Apr. 27

ICMPA logoSocial media addiction
University of Maryland students who went 24 hours without TV, cell phones, MP3 players, and laptops during a recent International Center for Media and the Public Agenda study reported symptoms you might expect from someone struggling with substance abuse, including an “unbearable” need for electronic communication, persistent anxiety, and a frantic “craving for some technology.” The study also found that young people rely primarily on their Twitter streams, Facebook friends, and other instantaeous social-media feeds for news about current events....
eCampus News, Apr. 26; International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, Apr. 21

Graphic for Facebook's instant personalization featureOpt out of Facebook’s instant personalization
Riva Richmond writes: “In late April, Facebook introduced the ‘open graph,’ a giant expansion of the ‘social graph’ concept on which Facebook is built. In the open graph, Facebook sees us as connected not just to our friends on Facebook, but to myriad things all over the web. Now, if you click a Like button or make a comment, know that you are authorizing Facebook to publish it on your Facebook profile and in your friends’ news feeds. Here are the instructions on how to reverse this.” Jeremiah Owyang analyzes Facebook’s announcement and points out opportunities, threats, and what no one tells you; and Alex Iskold discusses the privacy implications for users and publishers....
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Apr. 25; Web Strategy, Apr. 21; ReadWriteWeb, Apr. 23

Schumer challenges Facebook on privacy
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has asked the FTC to design privacy rules for social networking sites, including clear guidelines on how information submitted to Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter is used and disseminated. The main feature Schumer wants to add is reverting the standard from opt-out to opt-in. This way, many social networkers who are unfamiliar with their privacy options aren’t forced to first discover the many ways their data is being mined and then shut them off....
PC World, Apr. 26; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Apr. 26

Four reasons why nonprofits should rethink Facebook
Heather Mansfield writes: “People love Facebook. The vast majority of nonprofits love Facebook too. Yet recently, I sense some frustration with Facebook from nonprofits. At a training last week with a lot of longtime Facebook admins in the room, I saw much head-nodding and eyes rolling. I think the time has come for nonprofits to examine their Facebook presence more deeply.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Apr. 24

The Danube Tower, ViennaThe inner workings of Wikipedia
Mathieu von Rohr writes: “Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia, is a massive project where human knowledge is collected and edited by ordinary users. But behind the scenes of the German-language version of this intellectual utopia is a group of small and dedicated volunteers. Their passion for truth at times leads to bitter disputes. When Wladyslaw Sojka changed one word in the description of Vienna’s Danube Tower (right), it resulted in pages and pages full of insults and corrections that ultimately reached a length of 600,000 characters.”...
Der Spiegel, Apr. 23

Postcard showing Harvard's Widener Library the year it opened, 1915Harvard’s libraries deal with change
Jonathan Shaw writes: “‘Throw it in the Charles River,’ one scientist recently suggested as a fitting end for the Widener Library’s collection at Harvard. The remark was outrageous—especially at an institution whose very name honors a gift of books—but it was pointed. Increasingly, in the scientific disciplines, information ranging from online journals to databases must be recent to be relevant, so Widener’s collection of books, its miles of stacks, can appear museum-like. Users are changing—but so, too, are libraries. The future is clearly digital.”...
Harvard Magazine, May–June

Renovated reading room at the Wisconsin State Historical Society, MadisonOne of the most beautiful reading rooms
Larry Nix writes: “Today I visited the newly renovated library reading room at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. After its renovation I believe that it is one of the five most beautiful reading rooms in America. When ALA met in Waukesha in 1901, conference attendees came to Madison to visit the newly completed building of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and ‘There was but one opinion of the entire party in regard to the beauty and arrangement of the building, and that was satisfactory to the highest degree.’”...
Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 23; Wisconsin Historical Society, Apr. 21

Student essay contest spotlights foreign libraries
Students from foreign countries travel each year to study at Penn State, and for the past six years the university libraries have given these students a chance to share their international library experiences. “Our goals for the contest were to gather information about how libraries and librarians around the world have influenced students’ academic lives and to expand the Penn State community’s understanding of our students’ experiences with international libraries,” said Reference Librarian Dawn Amsberry....
Penn State Daily Collegian, Apr. 28

Jack Benny, Jewish-American comedianMay is Jewish American Heritage Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture, and society. Visit LC’s Jewish veterans of World War II online exhibit....
Jewish American Heritage Month

GrantStation logoSpecial GrantStation membership discount
TechSoup and GrantStation are offering a discounted one-year membership to GrantStation, which offers nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies ways to identify potential funding sources for their programs. Visit the TechSoup website May 11–12 to request a membership at one-third the normal cost. This special offer is available to U.S. nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status....

FBI to accept FOIA requests online
People can now submit Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI electronically through a new eFOIA form (PDF file). The FBI said the new electronic form makes requesting information easier. The bureau said it revamped its records website to include a guide for research in FBI records, details on what happens after you make a request, and data on how to file an appeal with the Justice Department....
Federal Computer Week, Apr. 26

Cover (envelope) of letter from the Rice Institute to University of Michigan librarian Gilbert Harry Doane, 1923What you can learn from an envelope
Chuck Whiting writes: “I got this 1923 cover for The Thresher, the student newspaper at Rice Institute (now Rice University) in Houston, because of the local history, which I collect. Turns out, though, it has a pretty good bibliographic angle. Had it not been connected to Houston history, I would have overlooked the book connections and interesting history that I discovered by researching the addressee on the envelope—author and librarian Gilbert Harry Doane (1897–1980).”...
Bibliophemera, Apr. 26

George Burns and Gracie Allen, copresentersNine reflections on copresenting
Peter Bromberg writes: “For a number of reasons, copresenting can be very beneficial and raise the overall quality of your workshop and the experience of the participants. With two brains reviewing the content, errors are reduced and points are clarified. Likewise, the logical sequencing of the content will also be improved. Based on my very recent experience, here are nine reflections on copreparing and copresenting a full-day workshop.”...
ALA Learning, Apr. 27

Dangerous statements for librarians to make
Doug Johnson writes: “An online workshop I took April 19 made me think a little about how librarians can be their own worst enemies. I am not convinced that the profession as a whole is in a crisis, but I suspect a lot of librarians may be. I shudder when I hear certain phrases uttered. Here are 21 dangerous statements, off the top of my head.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Apr. 21

Oregon State University Library's mobile displayMobile-friendly library sites
Aaron Tay writes: “Everyone knows mobile is hot now, and many libraries are scrambling to add mobile-friendly pages. Currently the most complete listing of libraries with mobile sites can be found at the Library Success Wiki site, which lists more than 40. I thought it would be helpful to look at these 40+ sites to see what are the common services that are being offered to mobile users.”...
Musings About Librarianship, Apr. 24

Staff potlucks as a morale booster
Will Manley writes: “In the past few weeks I have received two different comments on this blog about the importance of using staff potlucks as a morale booster. I have just one question: Exactly whose morale are these potlucks supposed to raise? Certainly not mine! One of the reasons I took early retirement was to get away from staff potlucks forever. I am convinced that if potlucks are not an invention of librarians, at least librarians can take credit for having perfected them.”...
Will Unwound, Apr. 28

Spanish Castle Ballroom, 1960sSeattle reference questions showcased
The Seattle Public Library is running an irregular series of posts on its Shelf Talk blog that feature real reference questions and the answers that the reference librarians came up with. “They don’t know everything; instead they know where to find everything.” The April 23 post has them finding the death dates of two women who were killed by a speeding car in the mid-1960s near the Spanish Castle Ballroom (above) in King County, Washington....
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Shelf Talk, Apr. 23

Valerie Taylor, San Diego County Library bookmobile librarian and knight in shining HondaRescued by a librarian
YA author Kiersten White writes: “Many of you may know I have a literary thing for John Green. On April 23, he came to San Diego and I had to go, of course. It turns out San Diego is kind of big. So 20 minutes before the book signing started, I found myself sitting in the parking lot of a high school with no idea where I was or how to get to where I needed to be. Then I did what anyone would do: I called a librarian. Valerie Taylor (above), bookmobile librarian for the San Diego County Library, said: ‘It’s not too far out of my way. Meet me in the parking lot and I’ll escort you there.’”...
Kiersten Writes, Apr. 26

Dissected Maps ephemera from G. & C. Merriam archiveG. & C. Merriam archive dispersed
Stephen Ferguson writes: “About two years ago, 19th-century American book trade circulars, announcements, advertisements, and such like ephemera started appearing on the antiquarian market. They all had one thing in common—they were originally once part of the 19th-century business records and working papers of the successful American dictionary publisher G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. How and why did this happen?”...
Rare Book Collections @ Princeton, Apr. 20

Support Kentucky's Libraries license plateKentucky Library Association steps up to the plate
The Kentucky Library Association’s Library Awareness Committee has designed a license plate to promote the states libraries. The Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing requires 900 commitments in order to produce the plate; KLA currently has 890 names but is waiting until it has around 1,200 pledges to begin requesting applications and the $25 fee.... 
Kentucky Library Association

Screen shot from Bitter Melons video by John Marshall (1971)Free access to Ethnographic Video Online
Sue Polanka writes: “Alexander Street Press is offering free access to its Ethnographic Video Online collection through May 31. The collection contains more than 1,000 of the most frequently used films in anthropology courses, including classic works from the pioneers of ethnographic film, including Robert Flaherty, Timothy Asch, John Marshall, Robert Gardner, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and Jean Rouch. Register online for an immediate username/password.”...
No Shelf Required, Apr. 27

10 resources for teaching and learning economics
Richard Byrne writes: “I really enjoy teaching economics because talking about money generally gets my students excited (if not excited, at least very interested). Here are some of the resources I’ve either created or used to teach economics lessons over the last few years.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 25

Helsinki's Central Library 10 offers equipment for recording music and editing videosTwo Helsinki libraries
Aaron Schmidt writes: “I visited some great places as part of my participation in the Gates Foundation’s 2010 Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting. The libraries I saw have overcome their addiction to circulating content. Now they’re all about doing, making, publishing, working, and experiences revolving around content. People are still getting print books and CDs for the library, sure, but other stuff seems more important. Here’s a little report on the Helsinki 10 Library and Meetingpoint.”...
Walking Paper, Apr. 19

A page from The Passion of Saint Alexander, Pope and Martyr (Passio Sancti Alexandri martyris papae), circa 975-1075. Reused to strengthen the cover of Flos testamentorum, by Rolandinus, de Passageriis, published in Padua in 1482. Courtesy of the Lillian Goldman Law Library Rare Book Collection, Yale UniversityRecycling the law at Yale University
Nancy Mattoon writes: “The bindings of nearly 150 books in the rare book collection of Yale University’s Lilian Goldman Law Library show that recycling was second nature among European bookbinders as early as the 1300s. These medieval artisans reused the materials they had on hand: discarded manuscripts. The strong, flexible, and prohibitively pricey parchment of these documents proved the perfect product for binding new books. What are now considered priceless volumes, dating from as early as 975 AD, were to these craftsmen nothing more than a serviceable source of scraps.”...
Book Patrol, Apr. 26

Archive Series II circular bookshelfExercise your book collection
Ariel Schwartz writes: “Bookworms know that it isn’t easy to live a mobile life with a massive book collection. The David Garcia Studio in Copenhagen offers an innovative solution: Archive II, a circular bookshelf propelled by walking that is currently on exhibition at Denmark’s University of Roskilde Main Library.” The Archive Series is an investigation into space and books. Archive III is a censored book stand, in which the books close suddenly if anyone approaches the reading stand....
Inhabitat, Apr. 26; David Garcia Studio: Archive Series

"Wow, still warm to the touch"Doonesbury examines a document
Doonesbury’s Mark Slackmeyer has Library of Congress Archivist Violet McPhee on his radio show, where she shows off a valuable new acquisition: Newt Gingrich’s famous GOPAC memo....
Doonesbury, Apr. 25

Screen shot from Library of Congress theme song videoA theme song for the Library of Congress
Joyce Valenza writes: “My students and I created a theme song for the Library of Congress. I was working on an application for LC’s TPS Mentor program. The kids offered to help me with my required video. But after including some required elements, we couldn’t squeeze in the song we produced into the application video. So, it runs in the background. Then we decided to produce it much more elaborately as a stand-alone (2:13) and present it to LC as a gift.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Apr. 27

Screen shot of Thrall and Zorga and their librarianThrall and Zorga learn about jackalopes
Yavapai College Library in Prescott, Arizona, won a 2010 bronze Telly Award in the infomercial category for “Thrall and Zorga in...Let’s Ask a Librarian” (3:54). The video is an entertaining look at the library’s “Ask a Librarian” services that are so personalized and helpful that even a Cro-Magnon man can understand the answer. Special congratulations go to screenwriter/director James Rider; actors Mike Byrnes, student Bud Garso, and former library staffer (and co-screenwriter) Ustadza Ely; and narrator Tom Agostino....
YouTube, Apr. 9

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