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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 4, 2010

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American Libraries Online

SkyRiver logoSkyRiver files antitrust suit against OCLC
SkyRiver Technology Solutions and Innovative Interfaces Inc. have filed suit (PDF file) in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against OCLC, alleging that the “purported nonprofit with a membership of 72,000 libraries worldwide, is unlawfully monopolizing the markets for cataloging services, interlibrary lending, and bibliographic data, and attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems, by anticompetitive and exclusionary practices.” SkyRiver issued a news release (PDF file) July 29 announcing the suit. Marshall Breeding is maintaining a running list of resources on the case. Karen Coyle offers an excellent analysis of the known facts, and Karen Schneider says the lawsuit “makes for lip-smacking reading.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, July 30; Library Technology Guides; Coyle’s InFormation, July 30; Free Range Librarian, July 30

Facts, with a generous helping of heart
Beverly Goldberg writes: “Two different library stories in Texas crossed my desk in the past week that gave me pause. The first was the discouraging news from far southeast Jefferson County that county commissioners seeking to close a several-million-dollar deficit have zeroed out the budget for the 80-year-old county library. The second story is about Weatherford Public Library, which kept running in the throes of an oppressive heat wave and boil-water order and passed out bottled water to all.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 4

Marlo ThomasNewsmaker: Marlo Thomas
The author of five bestselling books, Marlo Thomas is most famous for her groundbreaking television comedy series That Girl and her equally pioneering recording for children Free to Be . . . You and Me. HarperCollins will publish her new book, Growing Up Laughing, a memoir about her life as the daughter of comedian Danny Thomas, in September. American Libraries caught up with Thomas before her June 27 program at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....
American Libraries column, Sept.

Defenders of the Russian parliament resist the 1991 coup d’état with barricades erected to prevent a military takeover of the building. The IFLA conference was taking place at the same time, just two blocks awayWere you in Moscow in 1991?
Leonard Kniffel writes: “For many years after the 1991 conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Moscow, longtime IFLA-goers who witnessed the coup d’état (right) that broke out there in the middle of the meeting would greet one another with memories of that historic event. While most conferences could not deliver anything as spectacular, there are other dramatic moments to remember—visits from royalty, political intrigue, and splendid cultural venues.”...
American Libraries feature

Loyola University Information CommonsLoyola’s Information Commons
Ted Strand writes: “Conventional wisdom would tell you that building an all-glass library on the shore of Chicago’s Lake Michigan is probably not a good idea if your plans call for a high-performance building that is supposed to reduce energy usage. But that is exactly what Loyola University Chicago did with its four-story Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons, an all-digital research library that now is attracting accolades for its energy-savings realization.”...
American Libraries feature

Logo for The UpshotInternet Librarian: Who’s in charge here?
Joseph Janes writes: “When Google began its news site in 2002, it got attention in part because it was entirely automatic. The front-page stories got there as a result of popularity, novelty, and linkages. What there wasn’t was editorial control. Now comes word that Yahoo has launched a new blog, called The Upshot, which uses search data to help drive its coverage. It’s easy to take potshots at this, but what else is new?”...
American Libraries column, Sept.

Stages of Change diagramChange doesn’t come easy
Laura Bruzas writes: “In the late 1970s, as I began embracing an ecofriendly, vegetarian diet, I was so naïve that I truly believed that if I just educated my friends and family members about animal cruelty and the toll a meat-based diet had on our environment, they, too, would stop eating meat. But it wasn’t to be. In fact, oftentimes, to my chagrin, the information that I shared had the opposite effect.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 30

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ALA News

Word of the week: Access
Corey Williams writes: “Much is happening on a number of fronts—from Congress to the U.S. Copyright Office to the FCC—with regard to access and accessibility. Advances in technology are spurring legislative and regulatory action to ensure that internet and telecommunications services are accessible to all Americans, whether it’s updating the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring public access to taxpayer-funded research, or protecting intellectual freedom by keeping an open, neutral internet. Here’s the roundup.”...
District Dispatch, July 28

Volunteer to serve on a committee
ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael is encouraging members to volunteer for ALA and Council committees during the 2011–2012 appointment process. She is chairing both the Committee on Appointments and Committee on Committees. To volunteer for a committee, complete the online committee volunteer form. The deadline is November 5....
Office of ALA Governance, Aug. 3

Still from "2010 Parade of Bookmobiles"All revved up about bookmobiles
“They’re mobile libraries. They’re rolling literacy. Get rid of that mystique that the bookmobile’s a dinosaur. It’s not,” declares Michael Swendrowski (right), president of Specialty Vehicle Services and chair of the OLOS Subcommittee on Bookmobiles, in a video (3:14) made during the June 27 Parade of Bookmobiles at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. He and Stephanie Seipp of Baltimore County Public Library attest to their importance....
OLOS Columns, Aug. 3

Proposed changes to e-rate application forms
On July 30, ALA filed comments (PDF file) with the Federal Communications Commission on its Public Notice on the proposed changes to e-rate application forms 470 and 471. While ALA supports the FCC’s efforts to streamline the application process, it believes changes should be postponed until after the commission issues its order setting new rules for the e-rate program to allow applicants time to become adequately trained with the revised process....
District Dispatch, Aug. 2

Author Jeff Yeager discusses his new book, The Cheapskate Next Door, June 5 at Newport News (Va.) Public Library System's Main Street branchAuthor events
Q. I’m an events coordinator for an independent book store. We try to do author events frequently, often in collaboration with our town’s library. The librarian suggested I look into the resources from ALA. What do you have? A. A great place to start is Programming Librarian. This blog is produced by our Public Programs Office, which promotes cultural programming as an essential part of library service. Also look at the ALSC tip sheet on events coordination....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Aug. 2

Nathan Fillion Celebrity READ posterREAD with Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion, star of the ABC series, Castle, joins the ALA Graphics READ Campaign. The Canadian-born actor secured a cult following for his work with Joss Whedon on the series Firefly, its film adaptation Serenity, and the internet sensation, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” Nathan founded, along with with friend and author PJ Haarsma, the nonprofit organization Kids Need to Read....
ALA Graphics, July 28

Booklist Online logo

Cover of A Congregation of JackalsFeatured review: Westerns
Zahler, S. Craig. A Congregation of Jackals. Sept. 2010. 304p. Leisure, paperback (978-0-8439-6415-8).
It’s true that many of the “new” westerns being published today are reissues of stories that originally appeared decades ago, but now and then a true original turns up that is wholly in the genre mainstream but that brings a thoroughly modern perspective to the familiar archetypal trappings. So it is with Zahler’s latest, which blends a little High Noon with a little Magnificent Seven but manages to turn our expectations on their heads by throwing both white and black hats into the Montana wind and turning them all to dusty gray. Oswell Danford and brother Godfrey, along with a crack shot called Dicky Serling and a 6'5" former boxer named James Lingham, put their outlaw ways behind them—by double-crossing a sociopath named Quinlan. Now Lingham is about to be married in Montana, but somehow Quinlan has tracked him down and vowed to extract revenge....

Graphic for Top 10 WesternsTop 10 Westerns
Bill Ott writes: “Typically, our top 10 lists cover one year, but in the case of westerns, the rules require some changing. Not only are there relatively few westerns published in any 12-month span, but many of those that do appear are reissues of stories published decades earlier. Thus, our scan of the best of the best, while emphasizing the last year, extends back to 2001, making this list a kind of best of the decade in a genre that remains much loved among its devotees.”...

Graphic for Core Collection: Cowboys in LoveCore Collection: Cowboys in Love
John Charles and Shelley Mosley write: “Six-shooters. Horses. Ranches. Cattle drives. Bad guys. Good guys. All are important ingredients not only in classic shoot-’em-up historical westerns but also in historical western romances, making the latter excellent what-do-I-read-next suggestions for readers who have stampeded through your library’s entire Louis L’Amour collection. Like traditional westerns, western romances evince a strong sense of place. Author Jill Marie Landis says, ‘The West lends itself to larger-than-life heroes and heroines who not only face nearly insurmountable personal odds to survive but also a brutally raw landscape.’”...

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

Division News

A crowd of 100 assembles to celebrate the unveiling of the Stanley Kunitz Literary Landmark plaqueStanley Kunitz home designated a Literary Landmark
The boyhood home of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and former United States Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz (1905–2006) at 4 Woodford Strett, Worcester, Massachusetts (right), has been designated a Literary Landmark by ALTAFF. Kunitz lived in the house from 1919 to 1925, when his widowed mother could no longer afford to pay the mortgage. The Literary Landmark dedication was held June 19....
ALTAFF, July 30

YALSA’s fall online courses
Find tools for improving services to teens in your community by enrolling in “Growing, Managing, and Defending the Young Adult Budget” and “Tapping Youth Participation to Strengthen Library Services,” online courses offered this fall by YALSA. Both courses run October 4 through November 1. Registration for both courses will close on September 27....
YALSA, July 29

PLA offers a robust line-up of fall courses
This fall, five PLA Public Library Management Courses will offer in-depth education and interactive opportunities to help library professionals succeed in dynamic and challenging environments. Throughout each workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn from library experts, engage in group exercises, and leave with practical skills for their libraries. See the full course descriptions....
PLA, Aug. 2

Screen shot of AASL video showing Lisa Perez introducing the new Planning GuideAASL video introduces new Planning Guide module
AASL has developed a video introduction (6:36) to its newest tool, “A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners.” Advance orders are now available for the tool, which is expected to launch in mid-August. The planning guide is a program evaluation, planning, implementation, and advocacy tool that will ensure school library program planners go beyond the basics to provide goals, priorities, criteria, and general principles for establishing effective library programs....
AASL, Aug. 3

ACRL Immersion Program logoReport from the ACRL Immersion Program
Meredith Farkas writes: “It was a time of intense reflection on where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing, where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there. It was about developing the persuasive skills to realize our goals. I recognized many missteps I’d made in the past and saw my future path so much more clearly at the end of Immersion that I now feel a renewed sense of purpose. It was like a vision quest minus the peyote.”...
Information Wants to Be Free, Aug. 3

Norma BlakeNorma Blake elected ASCLA president
Norma E. Blake has been elected to serve as ASCLA president. Blake has served New Jersey libraries for more than 30 years and has been the New Jersey State Librarian for the last nine years. She began her term at the conclusion of the ALA 2010 Annual Conference....
ASCLA, Aug. 3

ASCLA online professional development series
ASCLA seeks proposals for presentations during its 2011 Virtual Convergence, a series of professional development webinars that will be held in January immediately following the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting. The Virtual Convergence is an opportunity for librarians to kick off 2011 with an intensive professional development opportunity. Proposals may be submitted using the online submission form no later than September 1....
ASCLA, Aug. 3

Round Table News

Screen shot from Barbara Jones interviewIFRT monthly video series
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has begun a monthly video series to promote intellectual freedom among ALA members. IFRT Chair Loida Garcia-Febo, the creator of the series, writes: “Our first video (3:14) features Barbara Jones (right), director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, who will share news about issues dealt with by her office.”...
OIF Blog, July 28


I Love My Librarian Award 2010 logoTell patrons to participate in I Love My Librarian Award
Nominations are now open for the 2010 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college, and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations run through September 20 and are being accepted online. Up to 10 librarians will be selected, each of whom will receive a $5,000 cash award....
Public Information Office, Aug. 3

YALSA honors the Margaret A. Edwards Trust
YALSA has awarded its first Presidential Citation to the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, which supports literature initiatives aimed at encouraging young adults to read for fun. The trust, managed by Julian Lapides in Baltimore, was awarded the citation at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference for its outstanding contribution to YALSA and the profession of young adult librarianship....
YALSA, July 29

ALSC scholarship winners
ALSC has announced the 2010 recipients of the Frederic G. Melcher and Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually to students who plan to enter ALA-accredited programs, obtain a master’s degree in library science, and specialize in library service to children. There are four Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship winners and two Melcher Scholarship winners....
ALSC, Aug. 4

Apply now for ACRL conference scholarships
ACRL will offer 80 complimentary registrations and travel stipends worth more than $45,000 in five categories for the upcoming ACRL National Conference to be held March 30–April 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Applications in all categories are due November 9. Read the complete details on each category and application instructions....
ACRL, July 30

And we need a poetry award too
Betsy Bird writes: “No sooner has the discussion of what an ALA graphic novel award would entail than I launch into a new discussion. What better time then to talk about the fact that there isn’t an ALA award for children’s poetry? It doesn’t exist, you see. Yes, I was as shocked as you when I thought about it. Joyce Sidman fools us by having her illustrators win Caldecotts left and right, but that doesn’t mean that the poetry itself is winning. Pretty sneaky, Sids.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, July 30

Florida State Sen. J. D. Alexander (R-Lake Wales)FLA honors state legislators (PDF file)
The Florida Library Association has honored three state senators and one state representative for playing a critical role in ensuring state funding for public libraries for another year. Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Rich Glorioso stood up for libraries repeatedly. Sen. Jeff Atwater provided support throughout the session and Sen. J. D. Alexander (right) “intervened in the final budget meeting and proposed restoring library funding to the previous year level.” Other legislators were cited for their contributions....
Florida Library Association, July 22

Jim TchobanoffSLA 2010 John Cotton Dana Award
Jim Tchobanoff, a longtime leader and innovator in the information profession, is the 2010 recipient of the Special Libraries Association’s John Cotton Dana Award. The award cited Tchobanoff’s leadership in the profession and volunteer work at all levels of the association during more than 30 years of membership....
SLA Blog, Aug. 2

Two teens receive memorial scholarships
Eighteen-year-old Jane Wynne remembers Kathleen Krasniewicz for her creativity as a librarian, while 17-year-old Diana Pelliccia recalls her as a warm and helpful boss at the Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The two college-bound teenagers are the winners of the first memorial scholarships given in memory of Krasniewicz, one of two Old Greenwich librarians killed by a drunk driver in Denver after the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting....
Greenwich (Conn.) Time, July 29

Cover of Kiss of a Demon King2010 RITA and Golden Heart Awards
The Romance Writers of America named the winners of its RITA Awards for best published romance novels and novellas and its Golden Heart Awards for best manuscripts at the RWA conference in Orlando July 30. The RITA winner for Best Paranormal Romance was Kresley Cole’s Kiss of a Demon King (Simon & Schuster). Jennifer Lohmann of Durham County (N.C.) Library was named Romance Librarian of the Year for her support of the genre....
Romance Writers of America, July 30

Illustration by Sarah Carr of an espresso machine, in Victoria Moore's How to Drink2010 Victoria and Albert Illustration Awards
The Victoria and Albert Illustration Awards are held annually to highlight the best book and editorial illustration published in the U.K. in the previous year. The Overall Winner was Sarah Carr, whose innovative and complete use of letterpress printing to form the illustrations of How to Drink by Victoria Moore (right) immediately caught the judges’ attention....
Victoria and Albert Museum, June 21

Seen Online

Watch out for the Omega copyright windup
Librarians fear they are going to suffer collateral damage from a curious copyright case that has nothing to do with books. It’s Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Omega, S.A.—a battle over whether the storied Swiss watch brand can control where and at what price its chronometers are sold in the United States. Omega offers its goods to distributors in places such as Paraguay for less, which is where Costco bought some to import. Omega sued, an appeals court agreed, and now the “first sale doctrine” is at risk....
Wall Street Journal, July 30

Cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianMissouri school board to reconsider Alexie book
During the Stockton (Mo.) R-1 School Board meeting on July 21, members unanimously voted to reconsider its previous decision in April to remove Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from classrooms and the Stockton High School library. The original book review committee will be asked to meet again to discuss the suitability of the book and answer in writing five questions posed by the school board prior to a special meeting August 18....
Cedar County (Mo.) Republican, July 28

Cover of We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our LivesPaul Shaffer too racy for South Dakota?
A book by David Letterman’s sidekick, Paul Shaffer, caused a small dust-up at the Mitchell (S.Dak.) Public Library this summer. Mitchell resident Gladys Baldwin asked to have Shaffer’s 2009 book We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives removed from the library because it told some ribald stories about Shaffer’s days playing music in a topless club in Toronto. The board discussed the book but decided to keep it....
Mitchell (S.Dak.) Daily Republic, July 31

Poster for Out in the SilenceShowdown in Coudersport
After several hours of people pointing their fingers in her face and telling her she was going to hell, Coudersport (Pa.) Public Library Director Keturah Cappadonia cracked. In tears, she sent an email to Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, canceling the planned July 28 screening of their award-winning PBS documentary, Out in the Silence, about the challenges of being openly gay in rural Pennsylvania. But Board President Jane Metzger stood up to the threats and the screening went as planned, even prompting an apology from the local Tea Party president....
Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot News, July 31; Coudy News, July 28

Princeton Review rates best colleges for 2011
The Princeton Review test-prep company has released the 2011 edition of its annual guide to the 373 best colleges. It rates schools in a wide array of categories, with top performers and laggards in each one. In the best college library category (requires login), Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Colgate, and Cornell were rated the top five...., Aug. 2; Princeton Review

Bricks pave the way to save a Charlotte branch
A library task force has issued its challenge to residents of Davidson, North Carolina: Buy an engraved brick, and you can help “Pave the Way to Save the Library.” The task force announced July 22 it will sell the engraved bricks—and accept other cash donations—to help raise the $175,000 needed to keep the doors open at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Davidson branch over the next year...., July 22

New Jersey library’s endowment shrinking
Battered by stock market turbulence and declining municipal contributions, the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, a branch of the Somerset County Library System, is, for the first time, appealing for the public’s help. The appeal is needed because the library’s foundation, which opened the library in 1974 and operates the building, is afraid its endowment will sink to an unsupportably low level....
Trenton (N.J.) Times, Aug. 1

Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty reads with children at the opening of DCPL's Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library. Photo by DCPLDCPL opens fourth branch this year
Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (right), DCPL Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, and other officials joined residents August 2 for a ribbon-cutting of the new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library. “The District has worked hard over the past four years to improve public libraries and facilities,” said Mayor Fenty. The new building was realized after years of planning, contract negotiation, and construction, and is the fourth of six new and renovated libraries to open this year. ...
District of Columbia Public Library; Washington City Paper, July 22

Restored cupola at Georgetown branchGeorgetown cupola restored
The last week in July, HRGH Corporation finished and installed the historic cupola of the Georgetown branch of the District of Columbia Public Library. The original cupola had been destroyed in a 2007 fire. The branch is scheduled to reopen in September....
Georgetown Metropolitan, July 30

Seattle loves its public libraries
A survey of Seattle Public Library patrons has found that more than 60% of those polled use the library at least twice a month. The survey in May of 33,000 patrons—about 7% of all those who hold library cards—was part of the library’s effort to develop a plan to guide growth. The two most important services libraries offer are proving materials and providing access to technology....
Seattle Times, July 30; Seattle Public Library, July 30

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library logoKurt Vonnegut Memorial Library planned
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library has received a $50,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment, library founder Julia Whitehead announced in late July. The grant, along with donations that have been collected since 2008, will allow the library to open in November in Indianapolis as planned. The library will double as a museum, complete with artifacts and artwork dedicated to the late author, who was an Indiana native....
Indianapolis Star, July 31

Judge gives Shakespeare con man eight years
An unemployed “fantasist” with a taste for the high life was jailed for eight years August 2 after he was convicted of handling a stolen copy of a Shakespeare First Folio and trying to sell it to the Folger Library. Raymond Scott was also sentenced on the theft of two paintings worth around £1,000 ($1,590 U.S.) from a department store in Newcastle in October 2008, four months after his Shakespeare arrest. Judge Richard Lowden said the folio had been kept out of the public eye for many years and had been defaced to hide its true identity....
Newcastle (U.K.) Journal, Aug. 3

Library thieves go for the copper piping
The thieves had only one thing on their minds when they broke into the Lillian Marrero branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia early on July 26: They shut off the water and stripped the basement of its copper piping. Forty personal computers and other valuables were left untouched. The copper theft is the second at the Marrero branch in less than a month....
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30

East Hampton (N.Y.) LibraryNixing of library expansion dissed as anti-Latino
In a decision that the board of the East Hampton (N.Y.) Library (right) are ripping as elitist and exclusionary, the town’s zoning board has rejected a bid to expand the enclave’s tiny Main Street building by roughly 6,000 square feet for a children’s wing. Llibrary officials say the the project was rejected so Hispanic children from outside East Hampton village proper would not pour into an inviting new facility. An August 14 referendum on the issue could result in a lawsuit against the zoning board to reverse the decision....
New York Post, Aug. 1; East Hampton (N.Y.) Library

Book-drop kitten dies
Hemingway, the 6-week-old kitten found in a book drop at the La Mott branch of the Cheltenham Township (Pa.) Library System succumbed to its injuries late July 28 at the Montgomery County SPCA. The cat was suffering from dehydration, diarrhea, and a respiratory infection....
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30

Books await transport to the warehouse for storageSt. Louis gets set for massive makeover
Movers in charge of transporting the collection of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central branch are more than two weeks into the six-week process of clearing all the materials from the downtown library’s shelves. Central closed to the public June 14 for a two-year, $79-million makeover that will restore the 98-year-old building’s façade, some public spaces, and overhaul the electrical and heating systems. The books are being stored in a warehouse....
KWMU Radio, St. Louis, July 29

Vatican Librarian Msgr. Cesare PasiniVatican Library set to reopen in September
The Vatican Library will open its doors again on September 20 after three years of intense refurbishing. The main objective of the remodeling was to improve security in the library to prevent theft or loss. Books will be registered in an electronic system and will contain an RFID identification chip. According to Director Cesare Pasini (right), the security measures were not made because of thefts: The library only wants to better preserve its nearly 1.6 million volumes and 150,000 manuscripts. Watch the video (1:50)....
Rome Reports TV News Agency, July 24; YouTube, July 23

Plagiarism rules blur in the digital age
At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a website’s FAQ page about homelessness—and did not think he needed to credit a source because the page did not include author information. Cases like this suggest that many students simply do not grasp that using words they did not write is a serious misdeed. “Because you’re not walking into a library, you’re not physically holding the article, which takes you closer to ‘this doesn’t belong to me,’” said Sarah Brookover of Rutgers University Library....
New York Times, Aug. 1

Blagdon's new phone-booth library. Photo from Weston MercuryAnother library in a British phone booth
An iconic red phone booth, snapped up from British Telephone for just £1 ($1.59 U.S.), has been given a new lease on life as a library. The 1935-built phone booth in Blagdon, Somerset, has been reinvented as a vital village resource. It now boasts a new coat of paint, a number of well-stocked bookshelves, a host of loyal customers, and even its own volunteer librarian, Siobhan Watson....
Weston (U.K.) Mercury, July 29

A damaged microfilm at Dhaka University Central LibraryMaterials decaying in Dhaka
Due to lack of proper preservation, century-old manuscripts, rare books, newspapers, and periodicals have been decaying at the Dhaka University Central Library in Bangladesh. About 200 rare manuscripts and at least 500 microfilmed newspapers have already been damaged. The library has a collection of more than 30,000 such books and manuscripts written on palm and banana leaves, bark, stone slabs, and handmade papers in Sanskrit, Bangla, Arabic, Pali, Urdu, Persian, Maithili, Uriya, Hindi, and a few other dialects....
Dhaka (Bangledesh) Daily Star, June 18

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Tech Talk

Inching closer to the Semantic Web
Jim Giles writes: “The Semantic Web was proposed over a decade ago by Tim Berners-Lee, among others. Now a triumvirate of internet heavyweights—Google, Twitter, and Facebook—are making it real. Computers would handle information in ways we find more useful because they would process the concepts within documents, rather than the documents themselves. It is a wildly attractive idea, but there have been few practical examples. That’s about to change.”...
New Scientist, Aug. 2

mGSD logoFive best personal project management tools
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “It’s easy to find a project management tool for large groups, but finding one for personal use that doesn’t overwhelm you with group-focused features is a challenge. Here’s a look at five popular tools for personal project management.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 1

Graphic of Google multiple accounts. From Josh LowensohnGoogle rolls out multiaccount sign-in
Josh Lowensohn writes: “The shuffle of having to log off, then back onto your Google account to open up Google services from different accounts, but in the same browser instance, will soon be a thing of the past. As noticed by the Google Operating System blog, and later confirmed by a Google spokesperson, the company is rolling out a new feature that lets users cycle through up to three of their registered Google accounts without having to reidentify their credentials and switch from one to another with a simple dropdown menu.”...
CNET: Web Crawler, Aug. 3; Google Operating System blog, Aug. 3

Five things tech people should stop tweeting about
Alex Wilhelm writes: “Twitter was built, populated, and promoted by the tech community. That just makes it even more ironic that so many of us techies have terrible Twitter manners. We should know better. Twitter is a lovely thing, but when we tweet certain things we make our followers cringe and twitch towards the unfollow button. Do whatever you will, but after reading literally millions of tweets I think that if we cut out the following Tweets we would all be better off.”...
TNW Social Media, Aug. 2

Screen shot of Super Mario Brothers for the Super NintendoPreserving games: The legal, technical hitches
Andrew Webster writes: “When it comes to preservation, video games are problematic. Hardware becomes outdated and the media that houses game code becomes obsolete, not to mention the legal issues with emulation. A new paper from the International Journal of Digital Curation, ‘Keeping the Game Alive: Evaluating Strategies for the Preservation of Console Video Games’ (PDF file), suggests several ways this problem can be tackled, and the pros and cons of each.”...
Ars Technica: Opposable Thumbs, July 30

Maximize your laptop warranty
Shin-GO writes: “Since it recently happened to me, I thought I’d share how to get your laptop warranty to work for you in the event of misfortune. First, it’s important that you read the warranty. There’s no use trying to argue repair or replacement through warranty if you don’t know the terms. If your computer is acting funny, test it in a few ways to support your warranty claim. If hardware that is integral to the machine is on the fritz, it’s covered. Yes, even down to the Ethernet port and the battery.”...
Lifehacker, July 30

AT&T launches QR code scanning
Christina Warren writes: “QR codes are poised to take off in the mainstream and AT&T has jumped on the bandwagon. Code Scanner is a free app for BlackBerry and Android devices that scans both 2D (QR and datamatrix) and 1D (UPC and EAN) barcodes. You can get it from the BlackBerry App World, the Android Market, or through your mobile device. The menu options include a direct link to Create-a-Code (via desktop or mobile), where you can create a QR code for contacts or for a web page.”...
Mashable: Mobile, Aug. 2; AT&T, Aug. 2

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Executive Director, American Theological Library Association, Chicago. Ability to manage the complex operations of a membership organization that also produces a prestigious e-index and full-text database in religion and theology. Located in downtown Chicago, ATLA has a staff of 35–40 FTEs and a budget of over $5.5 million. Successful candidates will have a post-baccalaureate degree and a good, current working knowledge of academic libraries and publishing; solid business acumen; excellent communication and negotiation skills; the ability to develop effective strategies within a rapidly changing environment; and at least five years of senior management experience developing and managing people, plans, and budgets in a medium to large organization....

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Digital Library of the Week

On Sept. 1, 1939, Nazi Party Leader Albert Forster announces that the Free City of Danzig (Gdansk), Poland, is part of the Third Reich

The National Digital Library of Poland (CBN Polona) was created to enhance wide and easy access to the digital collections of the National Library in Warsaw, including the most important editions of literature and scientific materials, historical documents, journals, graphics, photography, scores, and maps. Its major aims are to present Polish cultural heritage and show the abundance of the library’s collections. The library uses dLibra Digital Library Framework software, elaborated and developed by the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center.

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

“The library may have to shift with the times, but we’ll never go away. We are still a needed part of any community.”

—Tempe (Ariz.) Public Library Adult Services Librarian Tracy Hokaj, quoted in “In a Slow Economy, More Readers Are Turning to Public Libraries,” Mesa (Ariz.) East Valley Tribune, Aug. 2.

“When I say ‘library,’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind, other than books? Is it an old librarian? Card catalogs? That dusty smell that comes off rows and rows of paperbacks, some of which haven’t been cracked opened in years? Well, the brand-new Watha T. Daniel / Shaw Neighborhood Library is a place that has the potential to erase all of those associations. . . . It’s an incredibly impressive building. The word ‘library’ doesn’t really do it justice.

—DCist blogger Aaron Morrissey, reviewing the long-sought new branch of the District of Columbia Public Library several days before its opening, July 28.

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Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks


Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Madison, Wisconsin, Aug. 4–6, at:

A Reference Renaissance, BCR and Lyrasis, Denver, Aug. 8–10, at:

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden, Aug. 10–15, at:

Society of American Archivists, Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., Aug. 10–15, at:
#saa10 and #dc2010

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


Sept. 9–11:
II Encuentro Latinoamericano de Bibliotecarios, Archivistas y Museólogos,
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru.

Sept. 22–25:
American Association for State and Local History, Annual Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “Winds of Opportunity.”

Oct. 1–3:
Association of Mental Health Librarians,
Annual Conference, Hotel Adagio, San Francisco. “Your Library: Still the Same, Completely Different.”

Oct. 6–8:
Minnesota Library Association,
Annual Conference, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester. “Serious Play.”

Oct. 6–8:
Missouri Library Association,
Annual Conference, Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake Ozark.

Oct. 6–9:
Idaho Library Association,
Annual Conference, Red Lion Templin’s, Post Falls. “Libraries: Bridging the Divide.”

Oct. 7–8:
Maine Library Association,
Annual Conference, Samoset Resort, Rockport. “Hard Times and Great Expectations.”

Oct. 7–9:
Colorado Association of Libraries,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites, Loveland. “Illumination and Transformation.”

Oct. 13–15:
West Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Stonewall Jackson Resort, Roanoke.

Oct. 13–15:
Iowa Library Association,
Annual Conference, Marriott Coralville Hotel and Conference Center, Coralville. “Hard Times, Hard Decisions.”

Oct. 13–15:
Georgia Council of Media Organizations,
GaCOMO XXII, Classic Center, Athens. “Celebrate with One Voice.”

Oct. 13–15:
Nebraska Library Association / Nebraska Educational Media Association,
Annual Conference, Grand Island.

Oct. 16–17:
West Virginia Book Festival,
Charleston Civic Center.

Nov. 3–6:
Charleston Conference,
Holiday Inn Charleston Historic District, Charleston, South Carolina.

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,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel
Leonard Kniffel,
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


Curriki logo$200 textbook vs. free: You do the math
Scott McNealy, the fiery cofounder and former chief executive of Sun Microsystems, shuns basic math textbooks as bloated monstrosities: Their price keeps rising while the core information inside of them stays the same. “Ten plus 10 has been 20 for a long time,” McNealy said. He has been aiming his energy and some money at Curriki, an online hub for free textbooks and other course material that he spearheaded six years ago....
New York Times, July 31

American Physical Society logoAmerican Physical Society offers journals for free
The American Physical Society has announced a new public access initiative that will give readers and researchers in public libraries in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide this access at no cost to participating public libraries, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding. Sign up here....
American Physical Society, July 28

Man says: "Just search the Web and get a library book. Why didn't they think of that before?" Illustration from COSLA reportWhy e-book economics don’t work in public libraries
Tim Spalding writes: “The public library conversation about e-books is heating up. Unfortunately, much of the conversation ignores a critical factor that makes e-book lending problematic: For libraries, e-book economics doesn’t make sense. What is the cost per circulated book for libraries? It’s near $0.50. Amazon has tried to get everyone to adopt a $9.99 price point for popular titles, so will e-book sellers accept the $0.50 deal? Of course not.” (Unless the government makes them.) But a recent report (PDF file) by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies is optimistic and well worth reading....
Thingology Blog, July 30; Wall Street Journal: Law Blog, Aug. 3; Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, July 23

E-books article drinking game
Stephanie Anderson writes: “With sincere apologies if this has been done before, but I think this is the only way I can read another one of these. Maybe I might be cranky today. ‘Will e-books wipe out / kill / decimate / pulverize / hulksmash / angry verb real books?’—one drink. Assertion that e-book prices are too high, and will lower soon—one drink.”...
Bookavore, July 28

Blurred Moby Dick covers on AmazonOn covers
James Bridle writes: “One of the many great debates around the ephemeralization of music has been the lamentation for the loss of cover art; now we are reaching the same point with books. It’s not just a physical transformation we’re going through, it’s a cognitive one. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ has never been more true. Most of us see covers now as blurred little icons; nothing like the designer or art director or marketing department envisaged, and no use for their intended purpose.”...
Tools of Change for Publishing, Aug. 2

Cover of Rendez-vous met de Dood (I the Jury) by Mickey SpillaneDutch detective covers
Will Schofield writes: “Last year I featured covers from the collections of brothers Uilke and Hillebrand in the post Dood in Ecstasy: Dutch Mystery Covers. Since then they’ve uploaded hundreds more, and I had a blast combing their collections again for this sequel. For example, Mickey Spillane’s Rendez-vous met de Dood (I The Jury) from 1952 (right).”...
A Journey Round My Skull, Aug. 2

Illustration from David Foster Wallace's "Consider the Lobster," Gourmet, Aug. 2004The best magazine articles ever
Kevin Kelly writes: “The following are suggestions for the best magazine articles (in English) ever. This is a work in progress. It is an ongoing list of suggestions collectively made by readers of this post. At this point the list has not been vetted or selected by me. In fact, other than the original five items I suggested, all of the articles mentioned here have been recommended by someone other than me.”...
Cool Tools

Cover of Burt Reynolds Hot Line: The Letters I Get…and Write! (1972)Nine of the worst library books
Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner write: “Every library has them: titles in the collection that we stumble upon and think, ‘What is this doing here?’ Librarians weed books that are outdated, irrelevant, or unintentionally funny. AwfulLibraryBooks is a collection of the worst of library holdings. The authors collect the discards of their colleagues around the world and post them (anonymously, of course). The point is to have fun, laugh, and celebrate the time and place when these old, obscure books were popular.”...
Huffington Post, Aug. 3

Cover of Bird, Kansas, by Tony ParkerBright books for hard times
Jessa Crispin writes: “It’s not just that the news is bleak, it’s the powerlessness that everyone feels. When it’s a torrent of oil spilling into our oceans, deep underground, it’s not the kind of thing you can roll up your sleeves and solve yourself. So here is a reading list about humor in dark times, the strength of community, and people who, no matter how far gone things seemed, shook off apathy and got to work at tipping the scales back to something resembling balance.”...
Need to Know on PBS: Voices, July 27

Students in Ayenyah, Ghana, brandish their KindlesE-readers come to rural Africa
Curt Hopkins writes: “ has just finished a proof of concept for e-reader use in the African country of Ghana. Verdict? Yes, it helps increase literacy. So they’re going to do a lot more of it. ‘Books to All’ is the motto of this nonprofit spearheaded by David Risher, who led Amazon’s product development for five years. In March, Worldreader finished its Phase 1 trial, using 20 Kindles in the village of Ayenyah.”...
ReadWriteWeb, July 27; GhanaWeb, Mar. 16

Cover of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon10 books that would make geektastic movies
Gabrielle Dunn writes: “One of the trends in Hollywood right now is to remake classic geeky films instead of tackling the plethora of books that are just ripe for adapting. What makes a book geeky doesn’t necessarily mean strictly science fiction; it’s a label that includes books whose characters and plot would appeal to those of the geek persuasion. We’ve picked 10 books that we think would make great films and create new legions of movie fans.”...
Inside Movies, July 30

Purchases from Book Depository, 8:45 a.m., Aug. 4What’s being bought where
Nora Rawlinson writes: “This is a little scary—the UK-based online bookstore,, features a live map of orders being placed on its site. It’s curiously fascinating; ooh, look, someone in Belgium bought The Librarian’s Book of Quotes, published by ALA. Are there interesting library applications, like ‘What’s Being Placed on Hold’ or ‘What’s Just Been Returned To Which Branch’?”...
Early Word: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, July 30

Cover of Biking to the Arctic Circle10 bizarre travel guides
Jamie Frater writes: “This list is taken from our forthcoming book The Ultimate Book of Bizarre Lists. Here we look at 10 of the strangest tourist guidebooks you can imagine. Next time you are stuck for a holiday idea, consider getting one of these for an experience you will never forget.” Like Biking to the Arctic Circle: Adventures with Grandchildren, by Allen L. Johnson (right, Creative Enterprises, 2000)....
Listverse, July 30

Actions & Answers

See Sally research: An environmental scan
Joyce Valenza writes: “Recently, Doug Johnson and I were asked to write a chapter on how student research has evolved for an upcoming book aimed at school administrators. I thought that some of you might find our draft helpful. Digital and ubiquitous sources of information, expanded definitions of literacy and audience, and greater emphasis on creative problem-solving have dramatically changed how students do research. The following scenarios scan the evolution of the information and communication landscapes.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Aug. 2

Cover of Dominican StudyStudies show summer reading keeps skills strong
University of Tennessee researchers Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen have completed a three-year study that shows a significantly higher level of reading achievement in students who had access to books for summer reading at home. A study (PDF file) by the Dominican University GSLIS also showed that students who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than students who did not participate....
Tennessee Today, July 21; Dominican University, June 22

Chicago to get $8.9 million for library computers
The federal National Telecommunications and Information Administration will provide Chicago with $8.9 million in stimulus funding to upgrade public computers in the city and provide training to residents. The funds will add or upgrade more than 3,300 computer workstations at over 150 locations, including city libraries, workforce centers, public housing sites, and all seven city colleges. As a result, the centers will be able to accommodate an estimated 200,000 additional weekly users and train up to 20,000 residents over the two-year life of the project....
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, July 30

The economic returns of public access policies
Delivering timely, open, online access to the results of federally funded research in the United States will significantly increase the return on the public’s investment in science, according to a new study by John Houghton at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University. “The Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs” was coauthored by Bruce Rasmussen and Peter Sheehan....
SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Aug. 4

The future of the academic library
Tracy Mitrano writes: “In the next few blogs I will highlight some moments from the Institute for Computer Policy and Law held July 20–22 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Five sessions were captured on video and archived. Seated as if by a pool, imaginary cocktail umbrellas in their imaginary cocktails, Susan Perry and Jay Schafer had a casual conversation about the topic that in all seriousness has been their life work. The conversation revolved around a list of ‘Ten Things to Keep in Mind’ that Susan uses.”...
Inside Higher Ed: BlogU, July 28

LC launches National Digital Stewardship Alliance
The Library of Congress announced August 3 the formation of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, a partnership of institutions and organizations dedicated to preserving and providing access to selected databases, web pages, video, audio, and other digital content with enduring value. The alliance is an outgrowth of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, which the library has administered since 2000....
Library of Congress, Aug. 3

ARL promotes large-scale digitization principles
The Association of Research Libraries Board of Directors unanimously voted on July 26 to endorse a set of nine principles (PDF file) to guide vendor/publisher relations in large-scale digitization projects of special collections materials. The board’s vote strongly encourages ARL member libraries to refrain from signing future agreements with publishers or vendors, either individually or through consortia, that do not adhere to the principles....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 4

Target Facebook Page with mad customersWhen like doesn’t mean like
Jenny Levine writes: “If you’re watching the Target Facebook Page right now, you’re seeing another social media disaster on a par with Nestle’s débâcle back in March. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion, but it’s another great case study for us about what not to do online. Hint: Don’t set your page to show only your posts first and then abandon it when controversy arises. If you’re not familiar with the current controversy, you can go here to read about Target’s donation to a homophobic gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Aug. 3; techguerilla talk, Mar. 22; Chicagoist, July 28

Logic-defying arguments
Barbara Fister writes: “In case you haven’t noticed, library budgets are being gobbled up by the ever-rising cost of subscriptions to journals and databases, most of it temporary electronic access to research that gets turned off like the lights if we can no longer scrape together the rent. This increased budgeting for databases and journals means we have less money to buy things we actually own. But don’t worry about it! According to Alan Adler of the Association of American Publishers, we have no problem (PDF file).”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 2

Millennials do care about Facebook privacy
Jacqui Cheng writes: “Student use of privacy controls has skyrocketed recently, according to two researchers. Eszter Hargittai, associate professor at Northwestern University, and Danah Boyd, research associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, published their findings in the online peer-reviewed journal First Monday, noting that young people are very engaged with the privacy settings on Facebook, contrary to the popular belief that their age group is reckless with public postings.”...
Ars Technica: Web, July 31; First Monday, Aug. 2

Label design for Twitter's Fledgling Wine. Sale proceeds will support literacy efforts by Room to ReadHarvesting the grapes of literacy
Adrianne Jeffries writes: “The sales of Twitter’s Fledgling wine, which is set to be bottled August 25, will benefit Room to Read, a San Francisco–based nonprofit that promotes literacy around the world. ‘The Fledgling Initiative embodies two things that are at the core of Twitter’s mission: providing access to information and highlighting the power of open communication to bring about positive change,’ Twitter cofounders Biz Stone and Evan Williams said.” Besides, they note, “if you can’t read you can’t Tweet!” Watch the video (1:50)....
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 2; YouTube, Oct. 13, 2009

Blended Librarian website logoA blended librarian talks info literacy
It’s no surprise that growng up in a computer age does not make you an automatically savvy consumer of electronic resources. Students “just tend to gravitate to what they’re comfortable with,” says Mark McBride, a blended librarian at Buffalo State College. With Emerging Technology Librarian Ken Fujiuchi, McBride teaches Library 300. Although it’s billed as an advanced course, it focuses on what are more and more recognized as the basics of 21st-century information literacy....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 2

The role of a social media librarian
Steven Bell writes: “Academic libraries are leveraging social networks to increase opportunities to connect with students and faculty. But just because you tweet all day and watch lots of YouTube videos doesn’t mean that you know how to turn social media into proactive tools for getting consumers excited about your organization and what it offers. Does librarianship need to provide more opportunities for LIS students to gain these skills?”...
ACRLog, Aug. 3

Sweet Search logoSeven search engines for students
Richard Byrne writes: “A major concern that teachers, parents, librarians, and school administrators have whenever their students search for information on the internet is having the students stumble across inappropriate materials. One way to alleviate that fear is to create your own search engine using Google Custom Search, but that could be time-consuming. Another option is to have students use search engines intended for academic and or child use. Here are seven search engines for students of all ages.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Aug. 2

Knit @ your library graphicGet crafty @ your library
Arts and crafts have always been staples of children’s activities at the library. Now, with the growing interest in do-it-yourself projects and crafting in popular culture, libraries are reaching out to crafty library users of all ages. Bennington (Nebr.) Public Library recently launched a new multigenerational crochet/knit @ your library program that is open to anyone interested in learning and sharing knitting and crocheting techniques....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, July 31

Portrait of Illinois Jacquet, New York City, ca. May 1947, by WIlliam P. GottliebLC puts jazz photos on Flickr
The Library of Congress has begun uploading to Flickr a historic collection of photographs of jazz artists of the 1930s and 1940s taken by William P. Gottlieb, a columnist for the Washington Post. The first 200 images show the photographs alongside Gottlieb’s personal recollections that were published in his book The Golden Age of Jazz. The photographs in LC’s Gottlieb Collection entered into the public domain in February, in accordance with Gottlieb’s wishes....
Library of Congress, July 30

Some thoughts on interlibrary loan data
Constance Malpas writes: “Over the past few years, OCLC Research has done quite a bit of analytic work based on supply-side data, much of it aggregated from WorldCat. More recently, we have begun to think about how we might make better use of the demand-side data that is generated by a variety of routine library operations, especially circulation and interlibrary loans. A considerable quantity of data is on hand as a byproduct of the millions of ILL requests handled each year by WorldCat Resource Sharing.”..., July 30

The Crisis of Democracy (New York University Press, 1975), binding by Richard Minsky, 1980, sheep, gold, barbed wireThe breathtaking book art of Richard Minsky
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “Yale University is now celebrating an astonishing career with a wondrous and extraordinary retrospective exhibition, ‘Material Meets Metaphor: A Half Century of Book Art by Richard Minsky,’ at its Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. The fact that Richard Minsky began his own letterpress printing business when he was 13 years old and has remained intensely focused on books and their creative possibilities as an object-medium for artistic expression may have had something to do with it. A half-century later, his influence has been incalculable.”...
BookTryst, Aug. 2

Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004), Juvisy, France. 1938. Gelatin silver print, printed 1947, 9 1/8 x 13 11/16, (23.3 x 34.8 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the photographer 2010 Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, ParisHenri-Cartier Bresson in Chicago
Mark R. Gould writes: “An exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s moving and poetic photographs can be enjoyed at the Art Institute of Chicago through October 3, then travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. ‘Henri Cartier-Bresson—the Modern Century’ is the first full retrospective of his work in three decades. The Art Institute’s David Travis offers his thoughts about his friend and colleague.”...
@ your library

This envelope above was mailed to LC's Division of Special Information from Ireland in June 1942 and includes censor marks from both Ireland (on the reverse) and the U.S.LC’s Division for Special Information
Larry Nix writes: “The Division for Special Information was established in the Library of Congress in the summer of 1941 for the purpose of analyzing information and data bearing on national security. This meant obtaining and analyzing documents and publications originating in hostile nations. Neutral nations such as Ireland assisted LC in obtaining some of these publications. In 1943 the unit moved from the Library of Congress to the Office of Strategic Services. Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish was an active player.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Aug. 3

Library of Congress digital photo, 2007Library of Congress analog (film) photo, 1905Library of Congress, 1905 and 2007
Compare and contrast the Library of Congress Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building in these two photos taken 102 years apart: The first made on analog black-and-white film by the Detroit Publishing Company, the second taken with a Phase One P45+ digital back by Carol Highsmith. View the original sizes for lush detail....
Shorpy, July 31

Grace Tully papers on display in the National ArchivesThe Grace Tully Collection of FDR papers
U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero writes: “After almost 30 years of effort, the National Archives and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library have obtained the papers that Grace Tully collected and maintained during her time as FDR’s primary secretary, 1941–1945. When the collection is open to scholars in a few months, it will provide a window into the inner workings of the Roosevelt White House.” The collection also includes a considerable amount of material from Tully’s predecessor, Missy LeHand. Watch the video (3:25)....
AOTUS: Collector in Chief, July 29; YouTube, July 27

J. G. Ballard. Photo by Fay GodwinBritish Library acquires J. G. Ballard papers
The archive of J. G. Ballard, one of the most visionary British writers of the 20th century, has been acquired by the British Library. Ballard’s fiction predicted the rise of terrorism against tourists, the alienation of a society obsessed by new technology, and ecological disasters such as the melting of the ice caps. His important and lasting literary legacy includes such iconic works as Empire of the Sun and Crash, both of which were turned into major films....
British Library, June 10

Screen shot from Digital Preservation videoWhy digital preservation is important for everyone
Our personal photos, papers, music, and videos are important to us. They record the details of our lives and help define us. But increasingly, our possessions and our communications are no longer material—they are digital and dependent on technology to make them accessible. This Library of Congress video (7:44) offers simple and practical strategies for personal digital preservation....
YouTube, July 27

John Ary and the Topeka library media dispenserJohn Ary loves the Topeka Library media dispenser
John Ary writes: “Why spend money at the Redbox when you can get new DVD releases, Blu-ray discs, and video games from the media dispenser at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library for free?” This is a homage (1:18) to the Libramation MediaBank media dispenser at TSCPL, which offers a selection of some 3,000 movies and video games in addition to their large regular collection....
YouTube, July 27

Student is tempted by research devilResearch devil vs. angel
The University of Alabama Libraries sponsored a video contest to promote library resources and services and encourage students to create collaborative teams from the student perspective. Nine teams entered and a panel of judges selected four videos as finalists. More than 1,800 votes later, this video (4:07) emerged the winner. Team members were Josh Sahib, Jana Motes, and Sydney Prather....
YouTube, Aug. 3

Screen shot from University of Bergen videoThe magic of a university library
The wonders of the University of Bergen Library in Norway are illustrated by Head of Acquisitions Ole Gunnar Evensen in this fun promotional video (3:25, in English). Bergen may not be the largest library in the world, Evensen says, but its selection is enormous: “If you pile all the books on top of each other, it would be just as high as Mount Everest.”...
YouTube, Dec. 17, 2009

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