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American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 25, 2010

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American Libraries Online

Rob Reiner with stars Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe on the set of Flipped. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. PicturesFilming Flipped: An interview with director Rob Reiner
The feature film Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, opens in six cities on August 27. Based on the 2001 YA novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, the film flips back and forth in showing the thoughts and feelings of two protagonists, 8th graders Bryce and Juli, as they develop crushes on each other, though not exactly at the same time. In this interview, Reiner shares his insights on books, writing film adaptations, and reading. American Libraries Senior Editor George Eberhart had an opportunity to view the film and talk to Reiner by phone August 23....
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 25

New library user in Mekele, Ethiopia. Photo by Leonard KniffelNew youth library in Ethiopia
Leonard Kniffel writes: “The need in Ethiopia is great but the vision and perseverence of Yohannes Gebregeorgis is greater, which helps explain why a new library worthy of any developed country opened August 20 in Mekele, the first of its kind in this small and grindingly poor city. The Segenat Children and Youth Library in the region of Tigray is located in a sturdy, free-standing building donated by the municipal authorities. It’s fully loaded with some 10,000 books and a computer room with 10 stations; two e-book readers and 8,000 more books are on the way. A companion donkeymobile regularly transports some 2,000 additional books to more distant parts of Tigray, powered by two beasts of burden named Sege and Nat.”...
American Libraries news, Aug. 24

Charles OgletreeNewsmaker: Charles Ogletree
Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree (right), founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, serves as one of several celebrity honorary cochairs of ALA’s Spectrum Presidential Initiative, an effort to raise $1 million in scholarships for minority students pursuing an MLS. Ogletree talked with Associate Editor Pamela A. Goodes on June 25, at the start of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Watch the full interview (9:03)....
American Libraries column, Sept.; AL Focus, July 22

Wolfwalk app, North Carolina State UniversityTechnology in Practice: Your reality, augmented
Meredith Farkas writes: “Last time, I discussed QR codes and how they can link you to content. But what if you didn’t have to put barcodes all over everything you wanted people to scan? What if all it took to get that content was to walk up to an item or location holding your phone? What if you could see additional data through your phone’s video camera about what you’re looking at in real life, or see your location on a map in relation to restaurants, buildings, or even a specific bookshelf? It sounds futuristic, but it’s actually something available right now to many smartphone users.”...
American Libraries column, Sept.

Project COUNTER logoDispatches from the Field: Measuring e-resource use
Rachel A. Flemming-May and Jill E. Grogg write: “In 2002, there arose an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating ‘consistent, credible, and comparable’ library usage data: Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources, or Project COUNTER, which focused on journals and databases and included definitions for such variables as full-text articles, turnaways, searches, and sessions. COUNTER is now involved in initiatives such as PIRUS2 (Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics), which facilitates the sharing and collection of usage statistics at a more granular level.”...
American Libraries column, Sept.

Longevity record?
Q. I was just reading Theodore Jones’s Carnegie Libraries Across America (Wiley, 1997) and saw a reference to Gladys Powers, who served as the librarian in the Shelbina (Mo.) Carnegie Public Library for 67 years (from 1921 to 1988). Is that a record? A. I don’t know, but it looks like it might be. Such records simply are not kept. Inez Ratekin Herrig served as librarian at the Lincoln County Libraries in Libby, Montana, for 62 years....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Aug. 24

Promotions take a toll on the environment
Laura Bruzas writes: “Many promotional items available today are downright bad for the environment. Consider the commonly purchased cotton T-shirts, visors, bags, and aprons. Despite cotton’s image as being a natural and pure fiber, conventional cotton farming takes an enormous toll on the air, water, soil, and people who live in cotton-growing areas. Think about how your patrons will feel about these items in 10 minutes, 10 days, and 10 months.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Aug. 18

Jesus Lau at the IFLA ConferenceThe value of international activity
At the 2010 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mexican Library Association President Jesus Lau (right) talked (2:50) about how his library has benefited from his international activities and how librarians can help international relations. He extended a special invitation to American librarians....
AL Focus, Aug. 24

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ALA News

Apply for Discovering Librarianship program
The Office for Diversity is offering an opportunity for early-career librarians to participate in a recruitment initiative focused on bringing ethnically diverse high school and college students to careers in libraries. “Discovering Librarianship: The Future is Overdue,” a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will support the training of 35 early-career librarians to serve as recruiters in national, regional, and local career recruitment events. Completed applications are due by October 1....
Office for Diversity, Aug. 19

This cool robot is available for FREE on the ALA Island for everyoneBanned Books Week Machinima Contest
Calling all filmmakers! As part of its celebration of Banned Books Week in Second Life, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is inviting everyone to take part in a Banned Books Week Machinima Contest. Machinima is filmmaking within a real-time, 3-D virtual environment like Second Life. The inspiration for your machinima entry should be “Think For Yourself and Let Others Do the Same,” this year’s BBW theme. Submissions will be accepted through September 25. Get a free robot (right) from the ALA Island Main Stage while you are there....
OIF Blog, Aug. 19

Legislator won't listenHow to get policymakers to listen
The ALA Washington Office reveals the secrets to getting policymakers at all levels—whether your local city councilperson, a state legislator, or a member of the U.S. Congress—to take libraries seriously. If you’re looking for more funding, a better policy environment, or just a little positive attention, this webinar (58:03) is for you. Featuring consultant Stephanie Vance....
District Dispatch, Aug. 24; Vimeo, Aug. 23

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside ShortyFeatured review: Youth graphic novel
Neri, G. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Illustrated by Randy DuBurke. Aug. 2010. 96p. Grades 8–12. Lee and Low, paperback (978-0-618-44033-7).
Robert Sandifer—called “Yummy” thanks to his sweet tooth—was born in 1984 on the South Side of Chicago. By age 11 he had become a hardened gangbanger, a killer, and, finally, a corpse. In 1994, he became a poster child for the hopeless existence of kids who grow up on urban streets, both victims and victimizers, shaped by the gang life that gives them a sense of power. Neri’s graphic-novel account, taken from several sources and embellished with the narration of a fictional classmate of Yummy’s, is a harrowing portrait that is no less effective given its tragic familiarity. The facts are laid out, the suppositions plausible, and Yummy will earn both the reader’s livid rage and deep sympathy....

Common Sense Media logoWeighing in: Three bombs, two lips, and a martini glass
Pat Scales writes: “If you had asked me a year ago what bombs, lips, and martini glasses have in common, I would have answered, ‘A fraternity party.’ Now I have a different answer. It’s called Common Sense Media. This not-for-profit web-based organization is in the business of using a ‘rating’ system to review all types of media that target children: bombs for violence, lips for sex, #! for language, $ for consumerism, and martini glasses for drinking, drugs, and smoking. The group claims it wants to keep parents informed and that it is about ‘media sanity, not censorship,’ but after a long meeting with their editor in chief, I remain puzzled.”...

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

Division News

Academic librarian lightning round
ACRL’s University Libraries and College Libraries sections are inviting proposals for a joint program at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The program will showcase new and innovative roles and responsibilities that academic librarians have taken on. The format will be Pecha Kucha (lightning round) presentations limited to five minutes and 20 slides at 15 seconds per slide. The deadline for proposals is September 15. For more information, contact Catherine Doyle....
ACRL University Libraries Section

Terry TruemanTerry Trueman Skype visit: Bid on it at Midwinter
YALSA is sponsoring a Not So Silent Auction on Friday night of the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7–11—that alone is a good reason to attend. The donations are coming in, and the list is already pretty amazing. And now this: Author Terry Trueman (right), who offers Skype visits to schools and libraries for a standard fee, is offering a Skype visit to YALSA as an auction prize. His visit will be on whatever topic and covering whatever areas the winning bidder desires....
YALSA Blog, Aug. 24

Voting is open for Teens’ Top Ten
YALSA invites all teens to get out the vote for the 2010 Teens’ Top Ten. Teens can vote for their favorite books from the last year in the annual poll. Voting is open now through September 17. The 26 nominees for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten are available online, along with a toolkit for librarians to promote the Teens’ Top Ten to the young adults visiting their libraries....
YALSA, Aug. 23

Round Table News

Put on your hard hats
Do you have an activity that works well for a customer service class? Have you created a humorous video that learners in your classes always enjoy? Maybe you’ve done a detailed study of webinar platforms and would like to share that information with others who could use it. With the Learning Round Table’s new ALA Learning Wiki, you now have a platform to share your knowledge....
ALA Learning, Aug. 24


Applications open for John Cotton Dana Award
LLAMA is accepting entries for the 64th John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award now through December 4. The John Cotton Dana Award honors outstanding library public relations programs that support a specific project, goal, or activity, or a sustained, ongoing program. For an entry form, checklist, guidelines, and tips, visit the H. W. Wilson website....
LLAMA, Aug. 24

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. 24

Banned Books Week grants
The first project of the Judith Krug Fund is to disburse two grants to organizations (one for $2,500, one for $1,000) to assist them in staging read-outs or other events during Banned Books Week. A Banned Books Week read-out is an event at which people gather to read from books that have been banned or challenged over the years, in order to celebrate the freedom to read. Banned Books Week 2010 will take place September 25–October 2. Applications must be received by August 27....
Freedom to Read Foundation

Great Stories CLUB logoA new Great Stories CLUB theme and titles
YALSA and the ALA Public Programs Office have announced the theme and book titles for the fourth round of Great Stories CLUB grants. Electronic applications for the reading and discussion series will be accepted from September 13 through November 19. YALSA selected “Second Chances” as the theme, along with the following titles: Hate List by Jennifer Brown (Little, Brown, 2009); Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, 2009); and The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees (Hyperion, 2009)....
Public Programs Office, Aug. 23

OHIONET supports Spectrum
OHIONET, on behalf of libraries in Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania, has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $1,500. A library cooperative organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, OHIONET’s contribution will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships and build the Spectrum Endowment....
Office for Diversity, Aug. 19

Black Caucus of the American Library Association President Jos N. Holman (back, far right) joins national conference award winners (front l-r): Karen Lemmons, Joyce Jelks, Cassandra Allen and Rose Timmons Dawson, and (back 1-r) Rudolph Clay, Kelvin Watson, Julius Jefferson Jr., and Award Committee Co-chair Richard BradberryBCALA presents five awards
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, an ALA affiliate, presented five awards during its 7th National Conference, held August 4–8 in Birmingham, Alabama. The BCALA Library Advocacy Award, recognizing dedicated commitment in support of library and information services to African American and other ethnic communities, was presented to Rudolph Clay, head of library outreach at Washington University....
Office for Diversity, Aug. 19

Cover of The Children's BookJames Tait Black Memorial Prizes
Novelist A. S. Byatt and literary critic John Carey are the winners of James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, Britain’s oldest literary awards. The prizes are for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous year and are the only major British book awards judged by scholars and students. Byatt won for The Children’s Book, and Carey won for William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Aug. 20

Seen Online

Ellen HopkinsHumble Teen Lit Fest cancelled over disinvitation fracas
The Humble (Tex.) Independent School District has called off its Teen Lit Fest, which was scheduled for January 2011, after four authors (Pete Hautman, Melissa de la Cruz, Tera Lynn Childs, and Matt de la Peña) withdrew their appearances. The cancellations came in response to the district’s decision to not welcome a teen author who had expected she would attend. Author Ellen Hopkins (right) said she was disinvited by Superintendent Guy Sconzo amid concerns about the content of some of her work, which includes the novels Crank and Glass. The letter stated that a middle school librarian had expressed concerns with some parents in the district....
Humble (Tex.) Observer, Aug. 24; Pete Hautman Says, Aug. 16; Melissa de la Cruz, Aug. 16; Tera Lynn Childs, Aug. 17; Ellen Hopkins, Aug. 10

Measuring libraries’ impact
Siobhan A. Reardon writes: “We all know that libraries are nice to have. But as it turns out, we need to have them. The Free Library of Philadelphia has partnered with economists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government to conduct an economic impact study, which we expect to complete this fall. As part of the study, we’re asking all Philadelphians to go to our website and fill out a brief survey on how and why they use the library and how it affects their lives.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 19

Public libraries: Enablers of dreams
Neal Peirce writes: “America’s public libraries, fast turning themselves into one-stop shops for digital job searches, appear to be staging one of their great historic transformations. Responding to a rush of recession-time visitors, 88% of our libraries now offer access to job databases. What’s amazing is that many libraries are able to maintain the bulk of their services and adapt to growing needs, even in the face of snowballing funding cuts by their local governments. But they’re not taking it quietly.”...
Seattle Times, Aug. 22

Public libraries: Victims of the recession
A majority of the country’s library systems are having to make cuts, according to the American Library Association, and many of those cutbacks are quite devastating, even if the headline numbers aren’t as large. As cities and counties deal with the slow recovery, the budgets—many of them adopted this summer for the 2011 fiscal year—have placed large chunks of library funding on the block. For desperate officials, it’s a soft target, but librarians warn that cutting hours and positions might actually slow down the pace of recovery....
Newsweek, Aug. 23

Gregory Taylor, from the KTVB-TV newscastNo new library books for Boise schools
When students in the Boise (Idaho) School District return to school next week there will be something missing: new books in the library. Because of unprecedented cuts in the state education budget, library funding was chopped. Hillside Junior High Librarian Gregory Taylor (above) and other school librarians are worried that students may be losing the fundamentals of reading....
KTVB-TV, Boise, Idaho, Aug. 18

Fullerton's Adopt a Book flyerNo new books for Fullerton Public Library
The Fullerton (Calif.) Public Library is asking patrons to buy it books for circulation this year in the face of a 98% cut to its materials budget. The city has set up a wish list on Amazon.com that anyone can search for hundreds of titles the library is requesting. The decision to reduce the acquisitions budget was made by the library in order to reach its goal of a 20% reduction overall....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Aug. 22

LA’s librarians demand noise
Jodi Lampert writes: “For something to reach out and grab me, it has to have the effect of Changing My Life, and right away. Just say: The Public Library is closing on Mondays. I went to the North Hollywood branch last Monday to pick something up I had reserved online with Los Angeles Public Library’s EZ LogIn and was very much looking forward to reading. CLOSED on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, the sign said.”...
Huffington Post, Aug. 24

CyberNavigator logoCyberNavigators help Chicago job seekers
The number of active Chicago Public Library card holders jumped 8% to 1.82 million as of December 2009. CPL Marketing Director Ruth Lednicer estimates that about 60% of internet use there is related to job hunting, and the library has a program to help. CyberNavigators was started in 2008 and provides part-time staffers to help job seekers apply for unemployment insurance, write résumés, or set up new email accounts....
Chicago Journal, Aug. 18

More than 300 apply for Tacoma library assistant position
Posted for only a week, an entry-level opening for a library assistant drew 309 job seekers to a crowded meeting hall August 23 in South Tacoma, Washington, to take a test for a coveted city job with benefits during a difficult economy. In their ranks was a laid-off Weyerhaeuser information technology professional, an out-of-work paralegal, and a struggling single mother of three in the midst of a career change....
Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune, Aug. 24

Houston’s book doctor
A goateed septuagenarian who resembles a slim Col. Sanders, Charlie Arbore is the Houston Metropolitan Research Center’s volunteer book doctor. He’s on duty six hours a day, five days a week—excepting the two summer months he tours Europe—mending broken pages and healing wounded bindings. For Arbore, a retired Shell Oil Company engineer, working with damaged old books is both an intellectual challenge and a labor of love. Even a routine repair job often sends him on a quest to learn more about the author, publisher, and printer....
Houston Chronicle, Aug. 24

Got Brick? T-shirt from Davidson Library Task ForceBricks for books
The Davidson branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library has hit the $60,000 mark in its fundraising effort to stay open for another year. The campaign is hoping to raise $175,000 to meet a pledge by town officials to contribute to the library budget, which took a drastic cut in county funding. The Library Task Force is selling engraved bricks that eventually will be installed in a renovated patio area in front of the library....
Davidson (N.C.) News, Aug. 24

Libraries struggle with bedbugs
This summer, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County encountered its first unwanted pest. And, they’re not alone. Libraries on both sides of the river are struggling with bedbugs. The Boone County (Ky.) Library brings in a bug-sniffing dog four times a year. The insects have cropped up in the Norwood branch, but the department hit hardest is Outreach Services, a program that distributes books to schools and senior citizens’ homes. Cincinnati is at the top of the list of U.S. cities infested with bedbugs....
Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug. 19; New York, Aug. 24

Fond du Lac school libraries to allow parental monitoring
Parents of students in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, schools will be notified during the first week of school that they can monitor what their children are reading. During a work session held August 9, the board of education got an overview of the new Alexandria library automation software. Blocks can be placed on authors, book titles, and subjects to a certain extent. Parental supervision came up as a discussion item earlier this year when parent Ann Wentworth wanted several books removed from the library at Theisen Middle School....
Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter, Aug. 11

Rubens MedinaLC will pay $250,000 to settle sexual harassment suit
The Library of Congress agreed to pay $250,000 August 19 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by an employee in August 2009 against its top law librarian. Theresa Papademetriou, a senior foreign law specialist in the Western Law Division, alleged that the now-retired chief of the Law Library of Congress, Rubens Medina (right), sexually harassed female employees for more than 20 years through inappropriate touching and sexual comments. The agreement says it is not an admission of guilt....
Washington Examiner, Aug. 19

Jenny (not her real name) quits her jobEven experts get fooled by web hoaxes
Sara Scribner has blogged about the importance of school librarians in the digital age, especially when it comes to training students about reliable and unreliable sources of information. So you’d think she wouldn’t have been thrown August 10 by Jenny the Dry-Erase Girl—a young woman who told the story about quitting her job as a broker’s assistant in a photo essay of messages written on a dry-erase board. “I’ve had training and have had many false facts and crazy hoaxes revealed to me, and yet I bought it. Ridiculous,” Scribner said....
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, Aug. 23; The Chive, Aug. 10

Three shelves of brains in glass jars make a dividing wall between the exhibit area and the seminar space in the Cushing Center. Photo by Terry DagradiThe brains at Yale’s medical library
Two floors below the main level of Yale’s Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library is a room full of brains. No, not the students. These brains, more than 500 of them, are in glass jars. They are part of an extraordinary collection that might never have come to light if not for a curious medical student and an encouraging and persistent doctor. The cancerous brains were collected by Dr. Harvey Cushing, who was one of America’s first neurosurgeons....
New York Times, Aug. 23

Public art to mark Salinas’s literary history
Salinas, California, residents may soon see large literature-inspired granite sculptures and historical markers placed throughout the city’s parks, libraries, and sidewalks. Officials are hopeful the project, in support of the “Salinas, City of Letters” campaign, continues to increase the city’s viability as a literary tourism destination. The project is spearheaded by the Salinas Public Library and the National Steinbeck Center. It is paid for by a two-year National Leadership Grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2008....
Salinas Californian, Aug. 23

Sheila Redcay pleads with Keith Richards to visit. "It's only a shot away" from Connecticut, where Richards livesPennsylvania librarian campaigns for Keith Richards visit
Library Director Sheila Redcay (right), and at least 621 others on Facebook, would like to have Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards visit the Matthews branch of the Lebanon County (Pa.) Library System in Fredericksburg. Redcay, a lifelong Rolling Stones fan, decided to invite Richards to her library after reading a preview of his autobiography, Life, coming out in October, in which he says he considered becoming a librarian. But Richards’s publicist has said he is adamant that he will do only one book signing, in New York City. Redcay created a video (4:36) to encourage people to join the Facebook group....
Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Aug. 20; YouTube, July 23

Hamilton Library grand opening open-house invitationUH-Manoa: Six years after the flood
The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hamilton Library was deluged in 2004, but six years of hard work made the ground floor ready for an open house August 22. During the evening of October 30, 2004, a torrential downpour caused Manoa Stream to jump its banks and a wall of water slammed into the library. Now the ground floor has reopened, with rebuilt Government Documents and Maps collections, a geographic information system (GIS) lab, and the Department of Information and Computer Science’s Library and Information Sciences areas....
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Aug. 22

The new book batterers
Jess Decourcy Hinds writes: “For me, a school librarian, back to school means only one thing: handing out 3,500 textbooks and begging students to treat them kindly. Since the recession, library use and book abuse have skyrocketed. I’ve found younger generations to be avid readers, but as products of the digital age, they don’t always respect the physicality of books. They dog-ear pages with the impulsiveness of clicking a mouse, not realizing that their actions have permanent consequences. Kindle-reading parents may have also forgotten the basics of book care.”...
New York Times: City Room Blog, Aug. 20

Scott King and graffiti art in the Gainsborough library parking lotSuffolk library teaches teens graffiti art
Youngsters in Suffolk, England, are being taught how to improve their graffiti skills by an established artist. The workshop takes place at Gainsborough Community Library in Ipswich and is organized by Club 4 Teenz, run by the youngsters who are designing and spraying boards in the parking lot. The project has been overseen by Ipswich graffiti artist Scott King (right)....
BBC News, Aug. 24

U.K. library visits decline
The proportion of adults visiting a public library has steadily decreased over the past few years, from 48.2% in 2005–2006 to 39.4% in 2009–2010, according to new government statistics. The decrease in library users has continued over the last year with a drop of 1.7%. The figures were published without fanfare by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in a report called Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure, and Sport....
The Bookseller, Aug. 20; Department for Culture, Media, and Sports, Aug. 19

The Hudswell pub library. Screen shot from BBC videoA British pub library
A pub in Hudswell, in the U.K.’s Yorkshire Dales, that doubles as a library may be a glimpse of the future for some communities. Villagers purchased a pub to save it from closing and set up a five-shelf library outlet inside, organized by a volunteer but kept supplied with books from the nearby Richmond library. Residents sign a register to check out a book....
BBC News, Aug. 23

Fiji mothers rally for library
Some women in the Fiji Islands got together recently to form a group to improve facilities at the Namuka District School on Vanua Levu. The Visoqo Women’s Club in Namuka acquired new books and two computers for the school library and painted it because it was “no longer attractive,” as they put it. The women have also arranged for some of their group to be trained on the computers....
Fiji Times, Aug. 17–18

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Tech Talk

Screen shot of Open Culture app for iPhone10 iPhone apps to get you back to school
Stephanie Marcus writes: “Even though a new notebook can go a long way in preparing you for the new year, the iPhone also has a ton of apps that will help to get you organized and in the right mind-space to focus and learn. From the college-bound to those who are still lucky enough to enjoy recess, here is a list of the best back-to-school apps.”...
Mashable: Mobile, Aug. 24

Three stages of library websites
Lorcan Dempsey writes: “While writing about subject pages and library websites the other day, it occurred to me that we might think of library websites in three stages that emerged successively and continue to exist together. Always mindful of the rule of three, we might clumsily call these stages: (1) fragmentary, (2) integrated supply, and (3) demand-influenced.”...
Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, Aug. 22

Strip out Farmville status updatesTop 10 Facebook fixes
Kevin Purdy writes: “Facebook may be the de facto social network of, frankly, almost everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to use Facebook exactly the way its creators, or your Farmville-addicted friends, want you to. Here are 10 tweaks to make Facebook better, including getting back the basic privacy you signed up for and stripping out annoying games and quizzes.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 21

Nine great uses for private web browsing
Adam Pash writes: “Many just consider private browsing to be a feature used for adult website viewing. But your private browsing feature is useful for a whole lot more: for example, logging into your stuff on others’ computers, testing and debugging websites, or managing multiple Google apps accounts.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 25

CloudMagic logoMake CloudMagic with your Gmail searches
Robin Wauters writes: “While Google is testing search results that update themselves as you type in the search box, startup CloudMagic is bringing that functionality to Gmail and Google Apps—and other cloud-based services in the near future—by means of Firefox and Chrome. Installing the extension results in an extra search box in your Gmail interface that allows you to rapidly search for anything in your inbox, with results updating as you type and the ability to preview messages from a thread in a tab or open entire conversations with a single click.” See the demonstration video (2:23) of the free plugin for Windows and Mac....
TechCrunch, Aug. 21, 23; YouTube, Aug. 18

Tracking cookie opt-out
Rory Litwin writes: “If you’re at all concerned about online privacy, you will want to know about the Network Advertising Initiative’s Behavioral Advertising Opt Out Tool. Go to it, and it will show you which advertising networks have installed tracking cookies on your computer. You can check the boxes and click through at the bottom to instruct all of those networks to opt you out of their spying, which they are legally obligated to do. This tool also lets you opt out of networks that have not found you yet.”...
Library Juice, Aug. 22

Online MP3 CutterChop up audio files with Online MP3 Cutter
Kevin Hodgson writes: “Let’s say you have an audio file but you only want a piece of it, not the whole thing. How do you extract just a few seconds of audio from a larger file? Online MP3 Cutter does exactly that, and does it well. The entire process takes about 10 seconds, and best of all, you don’t lose an iota of sound quality in the process.”...
Instructify, Aug. 24

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2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting logo, San Diego

ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Bundled registration opens September 1. Save up to 20% when you register for both the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference before September 30.

Banned Books Week 2010 poster

Celebrate your freedom to read September 25–October 2 with a Banned Books Week 2010 poster. Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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Library Director, Fort Dodge (Iowa) Public Library. The City of Fort Dodge is seeking an enthusiastic, creative, service-oriented library director with public library experience to build on our library’s past successes and lead it to new levels of excellence. The library director will be responsible for staff supervision, budget management, and the planning, direction, development, and evaluation of library policies, services, and procedures. The director will also represent the library through public contact, including regularly working at a public service desk....

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Digital Library of the Week

Three young women who were entertainers at Bloomingdale Township, Illinois's now-defunct Adventureland Amusement Park, demonstrate how much fun it is to ride the Whip. Photo taken between 1961 and 1977. OCLC no. 614114125

The Local History Collection at Bloomingdale (Ill.) Public Library ranges from images of the Midwest town’s former Adventureland Amusement Park, located in nearby Addison, which, according to library Director Timothy Jarzemsky, “really captures the mood of the American family during the booming growth of suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s” to photos and clippings that document highlights of the town’s 177-year history. Included is a 21st-century photo of the 1832 home of Bloomingdale founder George Washington Meacham; a 1900 photo of the Charles Hollenbach mansion, the stately summer home of the sausage maker from Chicago; and a 1933 barn-raising.

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

“I would rather give up my driver’s license than my library card.”

—Lauretta Day, 72, in a news story on the reopneing of the Arbutus branch of the Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library, Baltimore Sun, Aug. 24.

@ More quotes...

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks


Australian Library and Information Association, Annual Conference, Brisbane, Queensland, at:

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


Aug. 28:
International Read Comics in Public Day.
Download a library-related instructional poster.

Sept. 12:
Brooklyn Book Festival,
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Borough Hall.

Sept. 23–24:
Art Museum Libraries Symposium,
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

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. 8–9:
A is for Anansi: Literature for Children of African Descent,
New York University Kimmel Center, New York City.

Oct. 8–10:
Southern Festival of Books,
War Memorial Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee.

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.
“Nebraska Libraries: Celebrating the Past, Creating the Future.”

Oct. 14–16:
Association for Rural and Small Libraries / Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services,
Joint Conference, Crowne Plaza Denver–Airport. “Magic in the Mile-High City.

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.

@ More...

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ISSN 1559-369X


Scholars test web alternative to peer review
Some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience....
New York Times, Aug. 23

Cover of The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon, one of the panelists' picksScience fiction books that will stand the test of time
John DeNardo writes: “Did you ever read an old science fiction book that felt dated? Maybe the predictions were way off base, or maybe they were a reflection of the times in which they were written. Yet some are considered timeless classics, which makes one wonder which of today’s books will fall into that category. So we turned to this week’s panel of writers and readers and asked them which science fiction books first published in the last 10 years will be considered classics.” Another panel shared their thoughts on classic fantasy novels....
SF Signal: Mind Meld, Aug. 4, 18

Audiobooks as medicine?
Mary Burkey writes: “Scientific research on recovery after a stroke showed that audiobooks significantly improved sensory memory and resulted in higher cognitive function. The findings mirror much of the research done on the positive impact of audiobooks in literacy development of students. I’d also like to see more research on this concept of focused attention—how audiobooks train the reader to ‘stay in the now’—no skimming, speed reading, or flipping ahead.”...
Booklist: Audiobooker, Aug. 24; Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 22 (2010): 2716–27

Chart from Fast Facts survey: Library circulation in 10 years by type of materialsThe future of the book
Jamie Helgren writes: “Last winter, the Colorado Library Research Service posted a survey on the future of the book. More than 1,300 people responded, with nearly 950 leaving additional comments. With all that information, we were able to write two Fast Facts providing analysis of both the results and the comments. The first (PDF file) addresses cost and the technological advantages of paper versus electronic formats, while the second (PDF file) discusses the types of libraries in which respondents work and whether they owned an e-reader.”...
Library Research Service News, Aug. 18

The ABCs of e-reading
People who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book, preliminary research shows. A study of 1,200 e-reader owners by Marketing and Research Resources found that 40% said they now read more than they did with print books. 58% said they read about the same as before while 2% said they read less than before. And 55% of the respondents in the May study, paid for by e-reader maker Sony Corp., thought they’d use the device to read even more books in the future....
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 25

The environmental credentials of e-readers
Brian Palmer writes: “There will be no Sophie’s choice when it comes to e-books. As long as you consume a healthy number of titles, you read at a normal pace, and you don’t trade in your gadget every year, perusing electronically will lighten your environmental impact. Think of an e-reader as the cloth diaper of books. Sure, producing one Kindle is tougher on the environment than printing a single copy of Pride and Prejudice. But every time you download and read an electronic book, rather than another pile of paper, you’re paying back a little bit of the carbon dioxide and water deficit.”...
Slate: The Green Lantern, Aug. 24

Cover of A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle (1962)10 greatest works of Christian fiction
Christianity was the founding religion of both the Western and Eastern empires and, as is to be expected, enormous amounts of literature have been produced based on the tenets and ideals of Christianity. This list looks at 10 of the greatest masterpieces in writing that come from a Christian perspective, from Prudentius to Madeleine L’Engle....
Listverse, Aug. 21

Actions & Answers

Geek the Library campaign imagesGeek the Library campaign opens up to all libraries
Geek the Library, OCLC’s community-based public awareness campaign, is now available for adoption by any U.S. public library. The campaign is designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries in today’s challenging economic environment and to increase local library support. Geek the Library has proven ability to improve public perception about local library funding needs in test communities. Details about how libraries can use the campaign to increase local support are available online....
OCLC, Aug. 23

Solar panel on the roof of the Fayetteville (Ark.) Public LibraryFayetteville goes solar
On June 25, the Fayetteville (Ark.) Public Library became something more than a traditional library. As the solar panel array on its roof ramped up for the first time, the library became a test bed for new technology in an effort to support local economic development. After six months of providing solar power and collecting production data, the library will test a highly efficient, state-of-the-art silicon carbide inverter developed by Arkansas Power Electronics International....
International City/County Management Association, July 22

What’s the deal, JSTOR?
Meredith Farkas writes: “I’m sure anyone working in an academic library has already heard that the JSTOR interface was changing this summer. But the thing that’s a really big deal is that JSTOR is now going to display everything in its collection by default. That probably doesn’t matter to a large university that subscribes to every JSTOR collection known to man, but for libraries of small or medium size that subscribe to four or fewer collections, your students will suddenly be seeing a lot of results that they can’t access.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, Aug. 24

FamilySearch logo200 million more genealogical records go online
As the nation’s genealogical societies gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access, announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records representing 18 countries to its online database. The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia, and Mexico....
KCSG-TV, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 20

Train wreck at Waterloo, Indiana, March 21, 1917Find a disaster
GenDisasters is a genealogy website that compiles information on historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents in the United States and Canada. The site is browsable by type of disaster, state, and year; searches can be performed on surnames or other text strings. Genealogists wanting to add new information or post messages must register first (for free) and log in....

Print collections in math
Christina K. Pikas writes: “Specialized math librarians are a dying breed, as branch libraries close to save money and math collections migrate to general science libraries. In most research collections, there’s a huge push to go electronic only and move the print collections off site (or to weed them) to provide more space for group work and studying. So how do you balance the needs of math faculty and students with the push from administration?”...
Christina’s LIS Rant, Aug. 22

San Francisco State's Library Retrieval SystemSFSU library robots are operational
San Francisco State University’s J. Paul Leonard Library staff gave a preview of the computerized crane system that will retrieve books stored in the expanded and renovated library when it reopens in early 2012. The retrieval system consists of huge cranes that glide horizontally and vertically to access a vast system of storage bins. An online request for a book cues the crane to retrieve the bin holding it and delivers the bin to a crew of trained student assistants who put the book on the distribution desk—all within 5–10 minutes. Watch the video (1:16)....
San Francisco State University, Aug. 20

19 things teacher librarians should unlearn
Joyce Valenza writes: “Scott McLeod recently shared whatedsaid’s list of the 10 things he believed teachers should unlearn. Scott and whatedsaid got me thinking about what ideas or beliefs our own subset of educators might also want to lose. (I got carried away and I will probably continue to add to this list.) Here are 19 things I think teacher librarians should unlearn. Want to meme this one?”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Aug. 24

Does your library have a Rescue Plan?
Steven Bell writes: “Nearly everyone who has worked at a public service desk has experienced a difficult patron. I don’t think you’ll see the Rescue Plan mentioned much in the library literature. The goal of the Rescue Plan is to extricate yourself from a situation involving a difficult patron by prearranging a diversionary or escape tactic with your colleagues. What surprises me is how many librarians think this is a good practice for dealing with this situation.”...
ACRLog, Aug. 23

Cover of The Rhosneiger Romanticist, a biography of W. D. OwenA pirate queen sets sail to save a Welsh library
Nancy Mattoon writes: “The village of Rhosneigr on the Welsh island of Anglesey is hoping the legend of its pirate queen, Madam Wen, can somehow keep the town library from drowning in a sea of red ink. The romantic tale of a squire’s demure wife turned cutthroat corsair has been a part of Anglesey folklore for at least 300 years. Mandi Abrahams, a member of the Friends of the Rhosneigr Library, saw W. D. Owen’s book about Madam Wen as a golden opportunity to create a library exhibit highlighting a well-loved local author.”...
BookTryst, Aug. 20

Facebook Places privacy settings
Nick O’Neill writes: “When Facebook launched its Places product August 18, it also released a new set of privacy settings. One feature that has attracted a fair amount of buzz is the ability for your friends to tag you in different places. That means you may not actually be somewhere, yet your friends will tag you as a joke and now you’re showing up at a random strip club. Read on to learn how to configure your settings properly.” Michael Zimmer has a good overview of Places privacy problems....
All Facebook, Aug. 19; Michael Zimmer.org, Aug. 20

Teachbook logoFacebook throws a lawbook at Teachbook
David Kravets writes: “Facebook has sued a little-known website for educators called Teachbook, claiming the company literally owns the ‘book’ when it comes to naming social networking sites. Facebook filed the suit (PDF file) August 18 in federal district court in San Jose, California, in a bid to prevent others from capitalizing on its famous name or diluting its value. The filing seeks unspecified damages and demands a judge order Teachbook, of Northbrook, Illinois, to immediately cease using ‘book’ in its name.”...
Wired: Threat Level, Aug. 24

Jack Whinery, homesteader, with his wife and the youngest of his five children, Pie Town, New Mexico. Photo by Russell Lee, September 1940LC photos put a new face on the Great Depression
The Library of Congress recently released to Flickr Commons more than 1,600 color photos taken during the final years of the Great Depression. Funded by the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information, the pictures were taken by several famous photographers, including Jack Delano, Russell Lee, and Marjory Collins. With their unique, vibrant look at the past, they offer a fresh perspective on one of the darkest periods in American history....
Daily Finance, Aug. 21

1864 stock certificate for the Mercantile Library Company of PhiladelphiaLibrary scripophily
Larry Nix writes: “Before there were free public libraries, there were membership libraries that required the purchase of stock or payment of a subscription fee. Library stock certificates for these libraries are very collectible items. Collecting stock certificates is part of a hobby called scripophily. The Mercantile Library Company of Philadelphia started issuing stock in 1826. This stock certificate is dated May 21, 1864, and has a revenue stamp affixed.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Aug. 18

British Library to share MARC records
The British Library will make its extensive collections of bibliographic records available for free to researchers and other libraries. The new free service will operate in parallel to the British Library’s priced bulk MARC data supply activity, which is used extensively by large commercial customers. The U.K. national library has some 14 million catalog records comprising a wealth of bibliographic data going back centuries and relating to every conceivable subject area....
British Library, Aug. 23

What’s up with vacation-phobic employees?
Will Manley writes: “In my long career as an administrator, I noticed that we always had many workaholics throughout our library work force. I fear that this phenomenon is now increasing with the personnel reductions that are happening in libraries all over the country. It’s a little-known fact that organizations give vacation benefits for a selfish, ulterior motive. The deep, dark secret is that vacation time is good for productivity. I was always positive that when I took a vacation, the people around me at work were as happy about it as I was.”...
Will Unwound, Aug. 24

Teen with tote bagDIY library tote bag tutorial
Anna Graham writes: “Here’s a fun tote bag project. Of course, there are tons of ways to make a tote bag, but I thought this one was fun and gives you a lot of options. Take it to the library or to the park, it’s big enough for all the essentials.” And it might be a fun craft project for library-loving teens....
Noodlehead, Aug. 24

Jake spikes the punch for Genealogy NightGenealogy Night: The spiked punch caper
The Craighead County Jonesboro (Ark.) Public Library put together this video (5:15) advertising their July 15 Genealogy Night with a reenactment of what allegedly happened at the event the previous year. It stars Director Phyllis G. Burkett and other staffers. Someone else made a “remix” video (1:14) as a tribute....
YouTube, July 6, 18

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