|American Libraries Online
Camden libraries may be rescued by the county
Within four days of the Camden (N.J.) Free Public Library board voting August 5 to shutter the entire three-branch system and empty the facilities of their collections and equipment by the end of December, Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd announced that she is in talks with the county to have the city libraries absorbed into the county library system. “After learning that the library board’s only solution was to close our libraries, I knew I could not let that happen,” Mayor Redd said at an August 9 press conference....
American Libraries news, Aug. 9
Kathleen Imhoff files suit in Lexington
Kathleen Imhoff (right), who was fired by the board of the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library last July 15 after months of squabbling over the details of her expense accounts over the previous five years, notified American Libraries that she has filed suit after the board failed to settle her claims for pay and to apologize publicly. Imhoff said she is determined to clear her name, saying she was never found guilty of any misuse of library funds....
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 6
If you Google net neutrality, what do you get?
There’s been no dearth of opining in the past few days about the implications of Google and Verizon banding together to “find ways to protect the future openness of the internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband,” which is how a joint policy statement between the two firms is being framed by Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy and Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communications....
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 11
National Conference of African American Librarians
Black Caucus of the ALA President Jos Holman discusses the role of BCALA and ALA’s other ethnic caucuses, BCALA milestones, and the Spectrum Presidential Initiative at this interview (4:09) during the National Conference of African American Librarians in Birmingham, Alabama, August 4–8. In it, he reveals the site of the next BCALA National Conference in 2013....
AL Focus, Aug. 10
Wayans and Knotts
Kim Wayans (right) shared a bit of her life growing up in a family of comedians at the August 6 author luncheon during the National Conference of African American Librarians. She and her husband Kevin Knotts are authors of the Amy Hodgepodge series of books about the trials and tribulations of a multiracial 4th grader. Watch the interview video (3:21). The opening session speaker was Terrence Roberts, a member of the Little Rock Nine....
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 7; AL Focus, Aug. 10
IFLA in Gothenburg: The American agenda
For American delegates, the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions traditionally begins with a pep talk, officially known as “Caucus: U.S.A.” The August 10 meeting was an opportunity for old friends to reunite and for first-time delegates to get the lay of the land—in this case Gothenburg, Sweden—from seasoned IFLA-goers. The conference Opening Event featured Swedish diplomat Jan Eliasson and music of the pop group ABBA....
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 11
Reaching out to undergrads
Sara D. Smith writes: “As the library profession grays, many academic libraries anticipate staff shortages as older employees retire within the next 10 years. Brigham Young University discontinued its MLS program in 1993 and cannot directly recruit from its own students. But BYU is using its library internship program as one way to cultivate a future pool of qualified employees who are dedicated to the university. This program is a good model for other university libraries as they consider reaching out to and recruiting from their own undergraduates.”...
American Libraries feature
Youth Matters: It’s not monkey business
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “If by vocation or avocation you’ve come to cherish children’s literature, you’ve no doubt encountered some skepticism about this particular passion. But to represent the world for children involves skillful choices based on training, research, and lived experience. Entering the lists on the side of children’s literature as a reflection of larger cultural concerns is the Jewish Museum in New York City, with its summer exhibition, ‘Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey.’”...
American Libraries column, Sept.
On My Mind: A bookworm by any other name
Jason Smalley writes: “‘So what do you do for a living?’ she asked. I absolutely hate getting this question; I’m never sure how I want to answer it. Here’s the thing. I don’t work at a library. I work for a vendor that sells materials and services to school libraries across the country. In essence, I shop for books all day with other people’s money. Yeah, it’s a pretty sweet gig.”...
American Libraries column, Sept.
Google Search Stories contest
Jason Griffey writes: “The concept of Google Search Stories is that you can create your own story via search terms, in the manner of the Google Superbowl commercial. It’s an oddly compelling way to construct a narrative. So compelling, in fact, that I’m going to sponsor a contest using it. Use Search Stories to tell a story about libraries and post the video or a link to it here in the comments. The one chosen as the best will win a copy of my latest book. The deadline is September 30.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Aug. 9
Make your library newsletter greener
Laura Bruzas writes: “Done right, library newsletters can ignite a patron’s interest in your programs, educate patrons about the remarkable depth and breadth of resources that your library holds in store for them each and every day, and can even help to bring in needed funds and donations. Until the time when all newsletters are digital, I’ve gathered a few simple ways that libraries can make their paper issues greener.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Aug. 5
Librarian’s Library: The first First Library
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “The next time you find yourself in Canton, Ohio, make a stop at the National First Ladies’ Library, home of the Abigail Fillmore Library Room. This room replicates the first permanent White House library, established by Millard and Abigail Fillmore in 1850. In 2004, the National First Ladies’ Library began working with the Library of Congress and the Bibliographic Society of America to reconstruct the original Fillmore collection.”...
American Libraries column, Sept.
Are you hosting a Banned Book Week event?
Banned Books Week 2010 will be held September 25 through October 2. If you plan on hosting an event during this week, please consider promoting it on the website maintained by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. If you would like to enter your event for this site, please fill out this form....
OIF Blog, Aug. 11
LSSC accepts applications for course subsidies
The Library Support Staff Certification Program is accepting applications for 55 subsidies of $200 from LSSC candidates to enroll in and complete LSSC-approved courses. Candidates who receive a subsidy award will receive a $200 reimbursement after they pay for and complete an LSSC-approved course. Candidates must be accepted in the LSSC program by September 15, and recipients must successfully complete one of the approved courses by April 1, 2011....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Aug. 10
Guadalajara Book Fair free pass program
ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 23rd Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from November 27 to December 1. The deadline for applying for the ALA/FIL free pass program is August 16. The Fair is offering an additional $100 to the first 100 applicants who submit their airfare confirmation....
International Relations Office
Teaching information literacy to college students
ALA Editions has released
the second edition of Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-Based Exercises for College Students, by Joanna M. Burkhardt and Mary C. MacDonald with Andrée J. Rathemacher. Designed for use as either a full semester course or a single focused seminar or workshop, these 50 lessons show students how to engage with electronic and print information resources alike....
ALA Editions, Aug. 6
Celebrities continue the tradition of READ posters
Whitney Matheson writes: “Remember those READ posters your school library had in the 1980s and 1990s? I totally remember the one with David Bowie (right). Well, ALA has released a new series of READ images, and they feature several contemporary celebrities (sorry, Kirk Cameron). Here’s an interesting list of all the celebrities who have posed for READ posters over the years. And you can also make your own poster. Nice.”...
USA Today: Pop Candy, Aug. 4
Featured review: Graphic novels
Rucka, Greg. Batwoman: Elegy. Illustrated by J. H. Williams. July 2010. 192p. DC Comics, hardcover (978-1-4012-2692-3).
There are a number of reasons why this story arc, which appeared last year in Detective Comics following Batman’s (for now anyway) death, is a departure from more traditional caped-crusader fare. For starters, Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) is the most prominent gay character in DC’s universe, and she kicks ass with combat boots not stilettos (though her suit is still painted on). This volume deftly blends the story of her origin as a superhero with a dark thriller that pits her against Gotham’s newest resident crazy, the High Madame of the Religion of Crime....
Tough guys on horses
David Pitt writes: “Westerns may own only a tiny piece of today’s publishing landscape, but patron demand in libraries remains steady, both for reprints and for new books by authors who can write ’em just as good as the old hands. Leisure Books’ Classic Film Collection offers a fresh look at the books that inspired some of Hollywood’s most memorable westerns—and a chance to compare both versions. In some cases, the movies we remember were markedly different from their source material; in others, they are remarkably similar. These latest two releases illustrate both phenomena.”...
Reference on the web
Carolyn Fang writes: “Thanks in part to the recession, there has been a growing trend in small business start-ups. Drastic layoffs in major industries have led to a resurgence of individuals looking to start and build their own businesses, many for the first time. Included in this listing are some of the more popular free websites designed to help the novice entrepreneur navigate the world of self-employment—like Stopfakes.gov, part of a nationwide effort dedicated to protecting the intellectual property interests of small businesses from theft that can occur both at home and abroad.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
ALTAFF Friends groups survey
ALTAFF is conducting a survey for Friends groups through September 30. This survey will gather information about all types of Friends groups across the country. All groups who complete the survey will be entered in a drawing to win a free year as a Friends Group Affiliate with ALTAFF, as well as a copy of Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends....
ALTAFF, Aug. 5
ACRL Conference proposals
ACRL is now accepting Cyber Zed Shed presentation, Poster Session, Roundtable Discussion, and Virtual Conference Webcast proposal submissions for the ACRL 2011 National Conference to be held March 30–April 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Submit proposals via the online form by November 1....
ACRL, Aug. 4
Deadline nears for LITA National Forum
The early bird registration deadline is approaching for the 2010 LITA National Forum, “The Cloud and the Crowd,” to be held September 30–October 3 at the Hilton Downtown in Atlanta. Prior to August 15, the registration rates are $50 lower. Registration is limited to 500....
LITA, Aug. 9
Create your own story during National Library Week
Libraries seeking to share their stories and raise public awareness are encouraged to apply for the 2011 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The library that develops the best public awareness campaign using the National Library Week theme will be awarded $3,000 to promote its library and library services. All proposals must use the 2011 National Library Week theme, “Create your own story @ your library.” Applications are due by October 1....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Aug. 10
Nominations sought for RUSA awards
Nominations are now being accepted for the many achievement awards and conference travel grants offered by RUSA. The deadline for all nominations is December 15. Award criteria, nomination forms, and instructions for submissions are available at each of the award’s webpages....
RUSA, Aug. 10
2010 DEMCO BCALA Award for Excellence in Librarianship
Irene Owens (right), dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Science, has been awarded the 2010 DEMCO BCALA Award for Excellence in Librarianship. Owens was recognized for the significant impact she has had on the lives of many young professionals.The award was presented at the Black Caucus of the ALA’s 7th National Conference of African American Librarians, held August 4–8 in Birmingham, Alabama....
Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Aug. 10
ALSC funds 2010 Spectrum Scholar
ALSC is supporting Sylvia Franco (right) as its 2010–2011 Spectrum Scholar. Franco is attending the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. ALSC is sponsoring one Spectrum Scholar interested in library service to children each year through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment....
ALSC, Aug. 5
NYPL announces 2010 Library Lions
The New York Public Library’s 2010 Library Lions gala honors five remarkable individuals for their contributions to the world of ideas at a black-tie gala on November 1. This year, the library tips its hat to author Malcolm Gladwell; actor, screenwriter, and novelist Ethan Hawke; New York Public Library President Paul LeClerc; actor and writer Steve Martin; and novelist Zadie Smith....
New York Public Library, Aug. 4
ADEPT wins Dalarna Library competition
The Danish firm ADEPT Architects has been awarded first prize in the competition for the Dalarna Library in Sweden. The new library, placed centrally at the Dalarna university campus, is organized as a “spiral of knowledge.” The sloping terrain outside continues in a ramp through the interior to create a spiral-shaped space—the heart of the building for information seeking and an easy orientation....
ArchDaily, Aug. 10
Mind Book of the Year 2010
John O’Donoghue’s Sectioned: A Life Interrupted (John Murray) was announced as the 2010 Mind Book of the Year on July 8. The memoir is an account of the breakdowns that have punctuated his life since the age of 16. Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, and the annual Book of the Year Award aims to promote a better understanding of mental health issues among the general public ....
Mind, July 8
Teacher-aid package may save school librarian jobs
President Barack Obama signed a federal aid bill August 10 that will provide $16 billion for Medicaid and $10 billion in state aid to prevent the loss of an estimated 300,000 public sector jobs across the U.S.—including some 160,000 teachers. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1586 by a vote of 247–161. School librarians could benefit from this funding, according to the ALA Washington Office....
Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, Aug. 10; District Dispatch, Aug. 10
Legislation ensures accessible new technology
On August 5, the United States Senate passed the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (S. 3304), which updates U.S. communications laws to ensure new technologies are accessible to people with disabilities. Like H.R. 3101 that passed in the House of Representatives in July, it gives individuals with vision or hearing loss improved access to television programming, smartphones, the internet, and menus on DVD players and cable TV....
American Foundation for the Blind, Aug. 6
Librarian fired for not revealing weight
In the two years she worked for the Urbandale (Iowa) Public Library, Lisa Bonifas (right) got glowing reviews. But the city fired Bonifas July 26 for a reason that strains credulity: She refused to disclose her height and weight, required information for a new city ID card. Amazingly, it’s legal for an employer to demand such personal information, even when it has no relevance to a job. Iowa is a right-to-work state, so employers can fire for any reason as long as its not discriminatory....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, July 30
New Cedar Rapids library could be named for you—for $23 million
A donor will need to contribute at least 51% of the total project cost before the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library board will be able to consider naming the city’s new library for the donor under a new policy adopted by the board on August 5. That’s $23.2 million for a library expected to have a total cost of $45.5 million. The library is expected to be built by late 2012....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Aug. 6
Bed bug problem in New York branch contained
Jen Doll writes: “According to a WPIX-TV newscast, bed bugs have been found in the New York Public Library’s Mid-Manhattan branch. The story goes that a coworker was bitten by a bed bug in early July, and that other bugs have been spotted since then. WPIX now says the situation has been contained. We spoke with NYPL spokesperson Gayle Snible, who clarified a few things.”...
Village Voice: Runnin’ Scared, Aug. 5; WPIX-TV, New York City, Aug. 5
OCLC releases statement on SkyRiver lawsuit
OCLC Board of Trustees Chair Larry Alford and OCLC President Jay Jordan released a statement August 5 on the recent antitrust lawsuit filed against them by SkyRiver Technology Solutions and Innovative Interfaces Inc.: “We at OCLC believe the lawsuit is without merit, and we will vigorously defend the policies and practices of the cooperative.” OCLC lawyers “will respond to this regrettable action” and the “process will likely take months or even years, not days.”...
OCLC, Aug. 5
Evanston library board to take control of funding
Evanston (Ill.) Public Library board members would no longer look to city staff and aldermen for final authority on what funding library services should receive but would take over that responsibility under a dramatic decision made August 4. With some elected aldermen in attendance, members of the library board voted 6–2 to establish a a Public Library Fund—in effect, assuming responsibility from the city on final budget decisions on library services....
Evanston (Ill.) Review, Aug. 5
Books crash to floor at Indiana State University library
Except for some scratches, no one was seriously hurt August 4 when a few rows of bookshelves came tumbling down, domino-style, on the second floor of Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library in Terre Haute. But the library had to close for a day and a half, and 25,000 books had to be put back in order and reshelved....
Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star, Aug. 5; WTHI-TV, Terre Haute, Aug. 6
Library in disarray: Paintings by Wendy Heldmann
Michael Lieberman writes: “Wendy Heldmann lives and works in Los Angeles, a city where many exist in a constant state of earthquake awareness. She has created two striking series of works, of course and never and barricades + libraries, that take the orderly world of the library and turn it upside down. Heldmann’s post-disaster world is void of humanity. The books are rearranged naturally, landing and resting wherever the last tremor or collapse leave them.”...
Book Patrol, Aug. 6
Maintenance problems piling up in Fairbanks library
Plastic sheets cover bookcases in the Alaskana and adult fiction sections at the Noel Wien Public Library in Fairbanks, Alaska, because rainwater is leaking through clefts in the roof. The building’s pipes are corroding. The trees in the lobby are diseased. Electrical outlets in the facility are scarce. In all, the library needs about $17 million for maintenance plus a new multipurpose room and lobby. Library Director Greg Hill said state library construction grant money is by no means certain....
Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner, Aug. 9
Man charged with theft from Massachusetts library
Police in early August arrested a man who is accused of stealing two precious-metal items from the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, Massachusetts, and selling them at a scrapyard. Richard Provencher is accused of stealing a 19th-century decorative copper urn and large copper plaque from the library....
Boston Globe, Aug. 9
Muscovy duck adopts Wilmington library
A Muscovy duck nicknamed George stationed himself in front of the door at the Northeast Regional branch of the New Hanover County (N.C.) Public Library door this spring, looking like a grumpy bouncer with red-rimmed eyes. His presence disturbed and upset some people concerned about health hazards, but he delighted children who had never seen a bird like him before. Now he has his own Friends group and has taken up residence at the nearby pond....
Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News, Aug. 4
Vancouver boosts library cards by offering e-books
Nearly 60,000 new Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library cards were issued in 2008–2009, up from nearly 42,000 the previous year. Library spokeswoman Jean Kavanagh attributes the spike at least in part to the emerging popularity of e-books. The library’s website usage is also up 20% for 2010....
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, Aug. 9
Legos and libraries seem to be linked
The Grand Ballroom at Weber’s Inn was taken over by cars, houses, battleships, creatures, and robots as the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library hosted its fifth annual Lego Contest August 5. Five years ago, the library staff wanted to have an event that had something to do with Legos, and it has now become their most anticipated annual event. Open to the general public, this year the contest had 173 participants. Meanwhile, the Nacogdoches (Tex.) Public Library has a popular Lego Club....
Ann Arbor (Mich.) Journal, Aug. 9; KTRE-TV, Lufkin, Tex., Aug. 5
When H. L. Mencken stood up to the censors
Tufts University Journalism Professor Neil Miller’s new book Banned in Boston is a history of Boston’s New England Watch and Ward Society, which acted as a quasi-vigilante police force and literary censor for over 80 years. In this excerpt, American Mercury Editor H. L. Mencken faces off with the society’s Rev. J. Frank Chase, who had ordered the banning of the April 1926 issue because it contained a short story about prostitution and hypocrisy in a small Missouri town....
Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Aug. 8
Hull approves Philip Larkin statue
The city council of Hull, England, has approved a life-size bronze statue of poet Philip Larkin for the Paragon Interchange, a train and bus transport complex in the city center. Sculptor Martin Jennings has been chosen to produce the statue. Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years before his death in 1985, combined a celebrated writing career with his role as librarian at Hull University. The statue will be unveiled on December 2....
BBC News, Aug. 5
Building literacy around the world
Room to Read founder and Executive Chairman John Wood talks (4:51) with CNN Money about his organization, which has built more than 10,000 libraries around the world using big-business practices and social networking. “We opened our 10,000th library in Nepal a couple of months ago,” Wood said. “We were very psyched about that milestone and celebrated for about a nanosecond, then went right back to thinking about how we get to 20,000 libraries.”...
CNN Money, Aug. 6
Toronto to try out train-station library kiosk
The Toronto Public Library is studying the idea of installing an automated kiosk at Union Station, where patrons could borrow a book with a swipe of their library cards at any time of day. Similar kiosks are in use in Ottawa, Contra Costa County in California (right), and Europe. Library officials hope installing kiosks throughout the city will bring expanded services without the huge capital costs associated with building a branch....
Toronto Star, Aug. 9
Allen Lane’s Penguincubator, 1937
Chris Higgins writes: “Sir Allen Lane is the creator of Penguin Books, which is credited with popularizing high-quality mass-market paperbacks. But he didn’t stop there. He also invented the Penguincubator, a vending machine for his paperbacks, in 1937.” It was first installed at 66 Charing Cross Road in London, which “signaled his intention to take the book beyond the library and the traditional bookstore, into railway stations, chain stores, and onto the streets,” according to James Bridle. It is worth noting that this really annoyed booksellers....
Mental Floss, Aug. 9; Publishing Perspectives, Apr. 28
Pope Benedict wanted to be a librarian
Pope Benedict XVI wanted to become a librarian in 1997, but his request to quit a high office in the Vatican was rejected. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, declined Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s request to spend his last years as the archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and as librarian of the Vatican Library, according to the incumbent librarian and archivist Cardinal Raffaele Farina....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Aug. 5
Rare naval document given to National Library of Ireland
An extremely rare 17th-century shipping document signed by King James II and English diarist Samuel Pepys was presented to the National Library of Ireland on August 5 by the Dublin Port Company. The ship’s pass dating from 1687 is one of only four known examples of such 17th-century passes in the world. The vellum parchment was intended to provide safe passage for the merchant ship Mary of Cork, which was bound for the Canary Islands....
Irish Times, Aug. 6
U.S. judge orders Russian State Library to return religious books
A federal judge in Washington sided against Russia July 30 (PDF file) in a dispute over the return of thousands of religious books, manuscripts, and rabbinical teachings that are held by the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive. The Chabad-Lubavitch sect sued the Russian Federation to recover some 12,000 books and manuscripts seized during the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War, and 25,000 pages of handwritten teachings and writings of Chabad religious leaders that Nazi Germany seized during the 1939 invasion of Poland....
The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, Aug. 4
Go back to the Top
Google Wave is washed up
Google has announced it is ending development on Wave, the cross-platform communication tool it launched with much fanfare at its developer conference in May 2009. The company announced in an August 4 post that “Wave has not seen the adoption we would have liked.” Like most people, you’ve probably heard of it but not actually tried it, which sums up the problem. Clint Boulton offers 10 reasons why Google Wave failed....
The Guardian (U.K.), Aug. 5; Official Google Blog, Aug. 4; eWeek: Cloud Computing, Aug. 5
Google: Brace yourselves for the data explosion
Dan Tynan writes: “Google CEO Eric Schmidt had some scary things to say about privacy on August 5. In a nutshell, he said there is an almost incomprehensible amount of data out there about all of us—much of which we’ve generated ourselves via social networks, blogs, and so on—and we are totally unprepared to deal with the implications of that fact. The good side of all this data: instant information about virtually anything. The dark side? Vast potential for personal profiling by your employer, your insurer, and The Man.”...
PC World, Aug. 6
Is there a future for campus computer labs?
Michael David Leiboff writes: “Though centralized PC labs have been an important part of both campus space planning and IT infrastructure for the last two decades, this may be changing. With the advent of laptop computers, it is becoming increasingly common for students to own personal computers. While the days of computer labs may be numbered, other kinds of student-centered academic computing support will certainly be required.”...
Campus Technology, Aug. 4
Improve your Android phone’s battery life
Jamie Lendino writes: “Android-powered cell phones may be powerful devices, but devices like the Motorola Droid X and Samsung Vibrant don’t have endless battery life. In fact, many owners would be happy to make it through a single day, hoping that a nightly recharge is sufficient. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to stem the flow of juice from your Android device. Try these tips to extend your handset’s battery life.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 10
Make an outlet-mounted device-charging pocket
Sean Michael Ragan writes: “Most cell phones are provided with a very basic AC adapter, and you usually have to pay extra for a proper charging dock. The bundled charger is often unsightly in use, being just a transformer with a cord strung out to an end table or something where the cell phone rests. The nice thing about this DIY version is that it requires no tools to mount or demount, being suspended by the plug on the charger itself. Plus it costs all of nothing to build.”...
Make: Projects, July 3, 2009
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011.
Download Midwinter logos and buttons here.
Join ALA TechSource for a two-part online workshop—“Using Technology in Library Training” with Paul Signorelli. You’ll get hands-on, interactive instruction in using current web technology to enhance in-person training sessions or conduct remote training sessions. NEW! From ALA TechSource.
“Like” American Libraries on Facebook.
Research Informationist, Emory University Libraries, Atlanta. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library seeks a knowledgeable, motivated, and service-oriented Research Informationist to deliver innovative research and instructional services in the areas of life sciences, specifically in biology, cell biology, biochemistry, and human genetics. This position will be responsible for assessing the information processing needs of the life sciences research community at Emory, and developing and implementing a viable model to address these needs and increase the quality and breadth of research support for life sciences and informatics. The position will provide expertise in licensing, access to digital resources and tools, and overall information processing support including literature searching, synthesis, and analysis....
Digital Library of the Week
The World Digital Library makes available, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. Launched in 2009, its principal objectives are to promote international and intercultural understanding, and expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the internet. These cultural treasures include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. The library was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries, the support of UNESCO, and the financial support of a number of companies and private foundations. The collection is browsable by place, time, topic, type of item, and institution.
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.
“We could make such a beautiful library together.”
—One of “25 Pickup Lines to Use on a New Bookworm” suggested by Judy Berman in Flavorwire, Aug. 6.
“Accidentally spill coffee on Choice. Declare aloud that I am going to library hell. Speculate with colleagues whether there is a library hell, and if so, what it would be like. One librarian suggests that perhaps it is a place where the only question you hear all day long is, ‘Where’s the bathroom?’ Hilarity ensues.”
—Leigh Anne Vrabel, in “A Week in My Library Life: Day #5,” Library Alchemy blog, July 30.
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:
Library History Seminar XII, Pyle Center, Madison, Wisconsin. “Libraries in the History of Print Culture.”
Women Who Tech TeleSummit.
National Book Festival, National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Banned Books Week Read-out, Bughouse Square, Chicago.
Banned Books Week.
PodCamp Boston 5, Microsoft New England Research and Development Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
LITA National Forum, Hilton Downtown, Atlanta. “The Cloud and the Crowd.”
Xtreme Reference, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Kossiakoff Center, Laurel, Maryland. Sponsored by the SLA Maryland Chapter.
Internet Librarian 2010, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
Digital Library Federation, Fall Forum, Crowne Plaza Cabaña, Palo Alto, California.
YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium, Albuquerque Marriott, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Reimagining the Archive, James Bridges Theatre, School of Theater, Film & Television, University of California, Los Angeles. “Remapping and Remixing Traditional Models in the Digital Era.”
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The shock of exclusion
Barbara Fister writes: “Ever since I read an essay, “The Shock of Inclusion” by Clay Shirky in Edge, I’ve been pondering the implications of one of the stickiest concepts in the essay: He argues that publishing is the new literacy. He doesn’t mean that we need to add yet one more ‘literacy’ to the list of things we’re supposed to teach, but rather that the internet’s ability to lower the boundaries between the published and the unpublished, between the mediated and the impulsive, between the specialized and the everyday, has made publishing a very different cultural event.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 9
Dual-screen e-book reader: Kinda like a book
While the Kindle has largely failed with students as a replacement for printed textbooks, some colleges plan to test new e-reader devices whose promoters argue that two screens are better than one. One of the new e-readers is called Kno, which was announced in June and will be given to about 100 students at three colleges. The Kno sports two 14-inch screens, allowing users to read on one screen while writing notes on the other....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Aug. 9
Project Gutenberg titles available on OverDrive
On August 6, Boston Public Library became the first OverDrive library partner to add more than 15,000 public domain e-books from Project Gutenberg to its Virtual Branch website—at no cost to the library. This featured collection, currently in beta, enables users to discover and download thousands of DRM-free EPUB e-books without holds, waitlists, or authentication....
Digital Library Blog, Aug. 10
A smattering of frontispieces
L. D. Mitchell writes: “Folks who collect something other than hypermodern fiction frequently encounter the term ‘frontispiece’ in booksellers’ catalogs. Often abbreviated in catalogs as frontis, the frontispiece is infrequently encountered in modern books. This is unfortunate, since the frontispiece often is the one place in a book where a particular illustrative technique (mezzotint, wood engraving, chromolithography), can be seen to best effect.”...
The Private Library, Aug. 5
NPR’s top 100 killer thrillers
Joe Matazzoni writes: “The NPR audience nominated some 600 novels to our Killer Thrillers poll and cast more than 17,000 ballots. The final roster of winners is a diverse one to say the least, ranging in style and period from Dracula to The Da Vinci Code, and Presumed Innocent to Pet Sematary. What these top 100 titles share, however, is that all of them are fast-moving tales of suspense and adventure. And menace.”...
NPR, Aug. 4
Amish romances pick up the pace
It’s plain and simple: The Amish inspirational is one of the fastest-growing genres in romance publishing. In such popular series as Beverly Lewis’s Seasons of Grace, Wanda Brunstetter’s Indiana Cousins, and Cindy Woodsmall’s Sisters of the Quilt, the Amish fall in love while grappling with religious taboos and forbidden temptations. And it all happens in über-quaint settings brimming with hand-sewn quilts, horse-drawn buggies, and made-from-scratch Pennsylvania Dutch specialties such as shoofly pie....
USA Today, Aug. 9
The Slate editors write: “As part of an ongoing assault on leisure, many American universities assign summer reading to incoming freshmen who have yet to set foot in a college classroom. While we have no doubt that these are worthy picks, we thought we’d offer incoming freshmen an alternative list, one better suited to helping 18-year-olds navigate university life. Herewith, a bit of homework—but pleasurable homework, we promise—courtesy of Slate.”...
Slate, Aug. 2
Florida libraries: Return on investment
The State Library and Archives of Florida has published an updated research study assessing the worth of Florida’s public libraries to citizens. Some key findings in Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries: For every $3,491 spent on public libraries by the state, one job (not necessarily in a library) is created; and Florida’s libraries return $8.32 for every $1.00 invested....
State Library and Archives of Florida, Aug. 6
The mismeasurement of public libraries
Kent Anderson writes: “In March, OCLC released How Libraries Stack Up: 2010, an infographic montage that is intended to illustrate the economic, social, and cultural impact of libraries in the United States. It’s slick, nicely illustrated, and some of the comparisons are pleasantly surprising (public libraries distribute as many DVDs as Netflix). But does distributing a used DVD of Fight Club really contribute to the U.S. economy? In fact, should the premise be economic at all?”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Aug. 5
Advocacy group pushes for school librarians
Debra Lau Whelan writes: “There’s a new school library advocacy group in town—and it’s called Act4SL. Its aim? To convince legislators that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act should require a certified media specialist in every K–12 school. To get started, the group recently unveiled a foldable wallet-sized printable card called ‘Ready, Set, Contact,’ which offers a one-stop shop of important phone numbers and websites for any librarian who wants to advocate on behalf of the profession.”...
School Library Journal, Aug. 10
Plain-language facts on 21st-century skills
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has released a podcast (4:30) on 21st-century skills by IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel (right), who explains what 21st-century skills are, where the movement came from, and where libraries and museums fit in. She also describes Making the Learning Connection, a national campaign to better understand the opportunities, challenges, and key issues facing museums and libraries in their efforts to meet their communities’ 21st-century learning needs....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Aug. 11
21st-Century America Project
The cities, towns, and countryside of 21st-century America and the life of its people are being documented by distinguished photographer Carol M. Highsmith, who is donating her photographs copyright-free to the Library of Congress to ensure worldwide access and preservation. Highsmith will photograph the country, state by state, completing the project in approximately 16 years. Her first state, Alabama, was photographed earlier this year, and those photos can be viewed in the library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog....
Library of Congress, Aug. 11
Collecting American science
Steven Turner writes: “Since I work in the Smithsonian Physical Sciences collection, my job is to find objects that speak to America’s scientific heritage. Often this means collecting important scientific instruments—like the beautiful Vassar telescope now on display on the museum’s first floor. But we also try to collect things that tell us about how Americans have historically experienced and understood science—and these are often completely different kinds of objects.”...
O Say Can You See, Aug. 6
University library funding linked to more grant awards
Science publisher Elsevier
announced the results August 9 of an international study that correlates the value of the academic library to the amount of grant income. Of the eight institutions participating, six demonstrated a greater than one-to-one return in grant funding. Two showed a significant positive correlation between an increase in library investment over time and an increase in grant funding to the university. Carol Tenopir, director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee, led the team....
Elsevier, Aug. 9
Top 10 sites to debunk internet hoaxes
Tim Malone writes:
“When your patrons turn into Chicken Little over the latest hoax, scam, rumor, or urban legend, point them to the sites on this list to ease their minds. Actually, you really need only the top three sites on the list, but I’ve found the others to be useful on occasion. Sometimes these sites can be entertaining reading, but who has time for that?”...
TechRepublic, Aug. 6
Becoming more visible: A three-point plan
Erin writes: “Technical services librarians often end up sequestered in back rooms, removed from both library users and colleagues. When we do get face time with our front-line colleagues, the burden is on us to show them the impact of our work. It’s hard to do if, when we have the chance, we bore our colleagues to death with jargon. We need to take away the smoke and mirrors and show the substance of what we do in a way that anyone can understand. To that end, I offer you a three-point plan.”...
User-Centered Cataloger, Aug. 6
Million-dollar idea: The cardigan T-shirt
Travis Jonker writes: “Recently, as librarians are wont to do, I was engaged in an absorbing cardigan-sweater conversation with Julie Jurgens and Elizabeth Burns on Twitter. Suddenly, Julie came up with a genius idea. The cardigan T-shirt, inspired by the tuxedo shirt. There should be, nay, needs to be a T-shirt with a cardigan printed on it. Imagine the librarian humor possibilities.”...
100 Scope Notes, Aug. 5
You know you’re a 21st-century librarian when...
Doug Johnson writes: “You’ve probably seen some version of the popular list, ‘You know you’re living in 200x when: 1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave,’ and so on. So how do you know you’re a 21st-century librarian? When: 1. You have to remind kindergarteners to turn off their cell phones before the story starts.” And 19 more indicators....
The Blue Skunk Blog, Aug. 8
Library of Congress gets a mobile app
In late July, an application that gives mobile users access to the United States Library of Congress Experience went live in the iTunes App Store. The app is compatible with iOS 3.1 on up and will run on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Three LC staffers designed the app working part-time, said Matt Raymond, director of communications for the Library of Congress. When users download the free app, they can take a virtual tour of the library and its collections....
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 3
Listen to free music online with Grooveshark
Steven Campbell writes: “Could Grooveshark be the best service for streaming music? A lot of people have taken to online music. It’s a great way to listen to your favorite tunes on demand and save your playlists or stations. There are many services that allow you to stream music, including Pandora and Last.fm, but my personal favorite is Grooveshark.”...
MakeUseOf, Aug. 10
Google Street View in 20 German cities by end of 2010
After months of legal wrangling, Google expects to make its controversial Street View image captures available for Germany’s 20 largest cities by the end of the year. This will include Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Köln, and Bonn. Germany has been particularly critical of Google’s image capture program. The company now plans to let users block pictures of their property before the German site’s launch, but criticism remains. If you can’t wait until December, try out the German-language Sightwalk (above), which offers street views in seven cities....
Deutsche Welle, Aug. 10
University of Chicago microfilmed its catalog in 1969
Neil A. C. Radford writes: “The academic year 1968–69 was a turbulent one on many American university campuses. The University of Chicago Library administration decided that, with student protests already disrupting some university activities, security measures must be taken to safeguard the card catalog. In March 1969, a secret project began to microfilm the entire catalog late at night so that if any cards were lost, they could be replaced with relative ease.”...
The Core, Summer
Why the church library is still relevant
Luanne Radecki Blackburn writes: “While some pastors see libraries as old school, choosing to discontinue them or to replace them with bookstores, church libraries can still be vital and relevant ministries: Bible study materials, family-friendly movies, the latest and greatest Christian fiction, and VeggieTales for the kids, all free and available for checkout any time the building is open. In fact, the tough economic times of the past couple of years have made this more evident than ever.”...
Your Church, Aug. 9
Author urges British Education Secretary to save school libraries
Children’s author and campaigner Alan Gibbons is hoping to save school libraries amid fears that U.K. government spending cuts are leading to closures. In this message (2:31) to Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, Gibbons says that schools are laying off librarians and library assistants, downgrading book acquisitions, and moving libraries to smaller rooms that have less space and fewer resources, which in turn reduces their importance in many schools. “Just getting rid of the library is cryingly stupid.”...
Teachers.tv, Aug. 10
I Love My Library postcard swap
Swap-bot is an online site that organizes group swaps of letters, postcards, and mail art for its members. A staff member at the Aurora Memorial branch of the Portage County (Ohio) District Library is coordinating an I Love My Library swap where members send two postcards explaining why they love their library, one to a swap partner and the other to the Aurora library. The deadline to sign up is August 16....
Help your teens become stars with SchoolJam USA
Jennifer Paisley-Schuch writes: “Teen bands across the country are invited to step onto the stage to compete in SchoolJam USA. This national, one-of-a-kind, teen battle-of-the-bands competition is accepting applications from middle and high school students aiming to showcase their talent and bolster support for school music programs. Entries can be submitted online until October 15 at the SchoolJam USA website.”...
Programming Librarian, Aug. 5
A Peace Corps library volunteer in Ukraine
Laureen Maloney writes: “An American Peace Corps volunteer named Debbie Garofalo made contact with us on behalf of the director of the Kherson Regional Library for Children (right) in southern Ukraine. Ms. Bardashevskaya was interested in sharing information and ideas between her library and the Lackawanna County (Pa.) Children’s Library by establishing a Sister Library relationship. The communication with Debbie laid the groundwork for a face-to-face Skype conference.”...
PaLA Bulletin, May/June
Play Social Media Monopoly
Jennifer Van Grove writes: “Over the years, Monopoly has been reimagined in a plethora of different ways. Crystal Gibson just one-upped them all with her own ingenious version, the Social Media Monopoly board game. The game, which Gibson posted to Bite, is an elaborate version of Monopoly that includes direct and indirect references to our favorite and not-so-favorite social media entities. The game even comes with a complete set of Chance and Community Chest cards that play upon Technorati’s and Mashable’s themes.”...
Mashable, Aug. 9; Bite, July 28
Information-seeking behavior in The Big Lebowski
Karen L. Janke and Emily A. Dill write: “Any notion of information as intrinsically linked to reality is particularly interesting when applied to The Big Lebowski, a film that often requires the viewer to
watch several times before understanding the fantastically contrived plot, let alone before appreciating the central message of the film, if one actually exists. Despite this tenuous connection to reality, it is knowledge and facts that play a central role in the film: ‘Where’s the money, Lebowski?’ (Big Lebowski 3:57).”...
IUPUI Scholar Works, forthcoming article in Journal of Popular Culture
Librarians abandon DDC for Netflix categories (satire)
Citing shifts in student needs and ever-decreasing student satisfaction scores, librarians at the College of Eastern Nevada have elected to abandon the Dewey Decimal system for categorizing books. All books in the college’s library will now be categorized using familiar Netflix categories. Library Director Janet Poleman recounted a particularly heated debate about whether Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights belonged in the “Romantic Comedy” or “Cerebral Drama” section....
Cronk of Higher Education: CronkNews, Aug. 11
Michigan State’s special collections
Peter Berg and Randy Scott describe (4:47) for MSU Today the treasures of the Michigan State University Special Collections department, especially the world-class Comic Art Collection that holds more than 200,000 comic books, books of collected newspaper strips, and books and periodicals about comics....
YouTube, June 30, 2009
The Old Guys visit a library
The Old Guys is a BBC comedy television series revolving around two aging housemates, Tom Finnan (left, Roger Lloyd-Pack) and Roy Bowden (Clive Swift). In “The Quiz” episode, which aired July 9, Tom and Roy are determined to win a pub quiz to prove that their minds are still agile. They visit a library (2:40) where Tom tries to impress Barbara the librarian (Cherie Lunghi) with his knowledge of literature....
YouTube, July 9
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