|American Libraries Online
Chicago Public Library funding holds steady for 2011
Despite the rampant budget deficits facing municipal and state government all over Illinois, the Chicago Public Library has been allocated a 2011 budget that calls for no reductions. Ruth Lednicer, CPL director of marketing, contacted American Libraries November 29 “to let you know how happy we are to report that the Chicago city council’s 2011 budget leaves Chicago Public Library’s funding with no change from 2010.”...
American Libraries news, Nov. 30
Booking to the future
Jamie E. Helgren writes: “In response to a hot-button issue in the library profession nationwide, the Library Research Service, a unit of the Colorado State Library, conducted a survey to check current library professionals’ predictions for the future of the paper book. It’s probably no surprise that respondents thought the trend would be toward electronic formats. But for a variety of reasons, paper books refuse to die a quiet death. Overall, almost two out of three (63%) respondents claimed that paper books would never disappear.”...
American Libraries feature
Chicago vies with Hawaii for Obama presidential library
Competition appears to be growing between universities hoping to become the site of Barack Obama’s presidential library. A working group at the University of Hawaii’s main campus in Honolulu is considering whether or not the university should make a formal bid. Meanwhile, the University of Chicago, located in the city where the president’s political career began, showed signs of interest a year ago but is keeping a low profile....
American Libraries news, Nov. 30
Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin talks with librarians
Marcella Veneziale writes: “Before assuming his post as U.S. Poet Laureate on October 25, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner W. S. Merwin met with a select group of librarians at New York City’s Poets House for an afternoon of reading and conversation. A nonprofit organization, Poets House hosted the event as part of ‘One City, Many Poems,’ a discussion series—and offshoot of its library-oriented Poetry in the Branches program—that brings librarians and poets together for discussions on verse.”...
American Libraries feature
2011 Library Design Showcase: Call for submissions
American Libraries is now accepting submissions for its annual Library Design Showcase, which features new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. Like last year, the showcase will be primarily published online. To be eligible, projects must have been completed after October 1, 2009. The deadline is February 1....
AL: Inside Scoop, Nov. 29
A library branch in the Water Works
Laura Bruzas writes: “In Chicago’s busy Water Works Visitor Center, the Chicago Public Library in 2009 introduced a tiny outpost with reference books for visitors to read while in the building, a small collection for Chicago library card holders to check out, and a pick-up location for materials ordered online by card holders. ‘This has become a great resource for residents as well as visitors,’ said Dorothy Coyle, director of the Chicago Office of Tourism. The 245-square-foot library ‘out-circulates many branch’ libraries after one year of operations.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Nov. 24
ALA asks Congress to ensure broadband implementation
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is facing a critical funding shortfall that could jeopardize the ability of libraries to obtain high-capacity broadband through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. ALA sent letters November 30 to leaders in the House (PDF file) and Senate (PDF file), expressing how critical it is for NTIA to get the necessary appropriations....
District Dispatch, Nov. 30
@ your library rejoins Money Smart Week
The Federal Reserve System partnered with ALA in 2010 to launch Money Smart Week @ your library nationally, allowing libraries to participate in free classes and activities designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Even more libraries can join in next year’s Money Smart Week, April 2–9. Find out which states have participated in the activities, and check out the partner tools to get started planning....
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Online resources @ your library
Since the launch of the Campaign for America’s Libraries, libraries have used the @ your library brand to showcase the role they play in a digital age. With more of its resources available online, the Abilene (Tex.) Public Library decided that its outreach and promotional efforts needed to go digital as well. Recently, the library began hosting web tutorials about how to use new technologies, the most recent of these being “Mobile Apps @ the library” (above). This online video (7:52) features free library-specific applications for smartphone users....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Nov. 30; YouTube, Oct. 21
CPLA program celebrates graduates’ success
The Certified Public Library Administrator Program congratulates those who have completed the program. The success of the 36 librarians who have completed the required seven managerial courses lends credence to the competencies public library managers need to be effective. The courses, offered by PLA, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of North Texas LE@D Program, can also be taken by anyone, even non-CPLA candidates....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Nov. 29
COA accreditation action
At its Fall Meeting in Chicago, the Committee on Accreditation granted conditional accreditation status to the Master of Library and Information Science program offered by Valdosta (Ga.) State University. Conditional accreditation status indicates the need for significant and immediate improvement to maintain conformity with the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies....
Office for Accreditation, Nov. 29
Continuing Membership: Are you eligible?
John Chrastka writes: “The Membership Committee is reminding long-time members of an important policy that affects you personally: Eligibility for free Continuing Membership in ALA. If you have completed at least 25 years of uninterrupted membership in ALA and are retired from active library work, ALA will extend free ongoing basic membership to you for life as a Continuing Member. Visit the ALA website to review the requirements.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Nov. 30
A tutorial for marketing academic libraries
ALA Editions is is making available “Marketing Academic Libraries eCourse,” adapted from its bestselling book by Brian Mathews. This web-based, self-paced tutorial provides guidance on mastering social networking and other Web 2.0 technology to effectively market all aspects of the academic library’s appeal. Quizzes at the end of each lesson test each participant’s knowledge, while Further Reading suggestions point in the direction of additional information....
ALA Editions, Nov. 30
Featured review: Adult fiction
Boyle, T. C. When the Killing’s Done. 370p. Feb. 2011. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-02232-8).
Boyle’s great subject is humankind’s blundering relationship with the rest of the living world. In his 13th novel, he transports us to California’s Galapagos, the surprisingly wild Northern Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. There a stormy, cliff-hanging tale of foolhardy and treacherous journeys unfolds, anchored to the tough women in two indomitable matriarchal lines. Incisive and caustically witty, Boyle is fluent in evolutionary biology and island biogeography, cognizant of the shared emotions of all sentient beings, in awe over nature’s crushing power, and, by turns, bemused and appalled by human perversity....
He Reads: Brothers
David Wright writes: “My bus to work goes by the local VA hospital, and a lot of the guys who get on there are going to the library for the day, more or less like me. It’s impossible not to notice the steady camaraderie these vets have, sharing bonds forged in adversity that are so strong they are referred to in terms of brotherhood. The metaphor is apt, for beneath all the razzing and rivalry, the essence of brotherly love lies in those acts of sharing and sacrifice, as seen in the accounts that follow.”...
She Reads: Sisters
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “One of the closest relationships a woman will ever have is with her sister. Whether they loathe or love each other, there’s no breaking that bond of give and take, which is what makes tales of sororal thievery so shocking. A sister poaching a sister’s boyfriend, job, inheritance, shoes (!)—these are crimes that reach deep into the core of women. Yet it never comes as a surprise to women that a sister would sacrifice, without a thought, a hot date with a hotter guy, a pair of Zanotti stilettos, an entire bank account, or a kidney if asked.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse
This popular independent bookseller and gift shop in Seaport Village serves a selection of beverages and desserts. Located at 835C West Harbor Drive within walking distance of the Convention Center, the store is named after jealous English playwright Robert Greene’s slanderous nickname for his rival William Shakespeare. On Saturday nights, the store features music by local jazz and blues artists....
Upstart Crow Bookstore
U.S.S. Midway Museum
The U.S. aircraft carrier Midway opened to the public as a naval museum on San Diego’s Navy Pier in 2004. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour of more than 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft. Exhibits range from the crew’s sleeping quarters to a massive galley, engine room, the ship’s jail, post office, machine shops, and pilots’ ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high over the flight deck. It also has a library. The Midway was the first carrier commissioned after World War II and was active in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm....
U.S.S. Midway Museum
ALTAFF events at Midwinter
In addition to its popular Gala Author Tea (featuring Next Generation Nepal founder Conor Grennan, right), ALTAFF will host a Nuts & Bolts session for Friends and Foundations, as well as a Nuts & Bolts session for trustees, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Library Friends, trustees, volunteers, and staff are invited to share best practices and hear from experts on topics such as membership, board development, fundraising and strategic planning at these sessions....
ALTAFF, Nov. 30
AASL opens registration for its 2011 conference
Registration is now open for the AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition. Themed “Turning the Page,” it will be held October 27–30, 2011, in Minneapolis. Included in the scheduled programming and events is Nicholas Carr, controversial author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, and a symposium for educators of school library students. Advance registration offers early bird AASL members a $100 discount....
AASL, Nov. 30
Expanded PLA gift shop opens online
An assorted array of affordable new products and designs celebrating books and public libraries are now available in the updated online PLA Gift Shop. Choose from items such as apparel, tote bags, stationery, and iPhone and iPad cases. Designs include Smartest Card art as well as Public Libraries cover art, designed by artist Jim Lange. Orders typically ship within 24 hours and proceeds help support PLA and its efforts to sustain and strengthen public libraries....
PLA, Nov. 30
YALSA seeks member editor
YALSA is seeking a member editor for its open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic research journal, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. JRLYA publishes high-quality research on library services to young adults quarterly. The position would begin with the Spring 2011 issue. The deadline for applications is January 31....
YALSA, Nov. 30
Gear up for summer reading in December
Librarians looking for guidance as they begin their annual summer reading program planning process won’t want to miss YALSA’s December 16 webinar, “Gear Up for Summer Reading,” hosted by Shari Fesko, teen services librarian at the Southfield (Mich.) Public Library and VOYA programming columnist. The webinar will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Nov. 30
SPARC-ACRL Forum at Midwinter
At the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, SPARC and ACRL will cohost a timely panel discussion on “Marketplace: Open Access and the changing state of scholarly publishing.” The forum will be held January 8. It will paint a picture of the rapidly changing (and maturing) open-access publishing sphere and illustrate the growing range of options and approaches that are emerging....
ACRL Insider, Nov. 30
Connect with EMIERT at Midwinter
The Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table will be hosting a Membership Tea during the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The tea, held January 8, will provide an opportunity for Midwinter attendees to learn more about the work of this long-standing round table and its commitment to serving the profession as a source of information on ethnic collections, services, and programs. It is free and open to all Midwinter registrants....
EMIERT, Nov. 29
Applications due for Sara Jaffarian Award
Nominations for the 2011 Sara Jaffarian School Library Programming Award are due to the ALA Public Programs Office by December 15. School libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K–8 and conducted humanities programming during the 2009–2010 school year are eligible. Applications and award guidelines are available online....
Public Programs Office, Nov. 30
YALSA selects 2011 Best YA Nonfiction shortlist
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for its 2011 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults and published between November 1, 2009, and October 31, 2010. YALSA will announce the winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 10, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego....
YALSA, Dec. 1
Get ready for StoryTubes 2011
School and public libraries across the United States can help kids in grades K–12 prepare videos for the StoryTubes 2011 contest. The videos must be no more than two minutes long and promote a book or a book series featuring the same character. School libraries can secure parental permission, work with students to develop their booktalks, or provide technical expertise to tape and upload the entries. Public libraries can structure the contests, provide the staff time to review entries and manage the event, or secure prizes. Entries can be submitted between January 19 and February 28....
Apply for a Big Read grant
The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, is accepting applications from libraries for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to conduct month-long, community-wide reads between September 2011 and June 2012. The grants much be matched at least one-to-one with nonfederal funds. Approximately 75 organizations will be selected to participate. Applicants must choose from a list of 28 book titles or three poets as their reading choices. The deadline is February 1....
The Big Read
2010 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
Amy Sackville has won the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for her debut novel The Still Point (Portobello), part Arctic adventure and part harrowing love story. The £5,000 ($7,780 U.S.) prize, administered by Britain’s Booktrust, was established 68 years ago and named after a writer killed in action in World War II. It is open to British and Commonwealth writers, age 35 or younger, for fiction, nonfiction, or poetry....
Booktrust, Nov. 23
Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards
Emma Donoghue spoke of the importance of recognition by her homeland November 25 as she accepted the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards ceremony in Dublin for her dark tale Room (Little, Brown), inspired by the Josef Fritzl case involving incest and captivity in Austria. Other winners included novelist Maeve Binchy, who was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the guest of honor, Irish President Mary McAleese....
Irish Publishing News, Nov. 26
2010 Bad Sex in Fiction Award
Rowan Somerville won the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award, the U.K.’s “most dreaded literary prize,” for a scene in which a nipple is likened to the upturned “nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night.” The passage, from Somerville’s novel The Shape of Her, defeated steamy encounters in novels by Jonathan Franzen and Alastair Campbell. Film director Michael Winner presented the award to Somerville during a November 28 ceremony at the Naval and Military Club in London....
Bloomberg, Nov. 29
2010 Green Carnation Award
The first-ever Green Carnation Award for excellence in writing by a British gay man has been given to Christopher Fowler for his memoir-novel Paperboy. Awards Committee Chair Paul Magrs said of the book, “Paperboy is about the forming of a gay sensibility; but more than that, it’s about the growth of a reader and a wonderfully generous and inventive writer.” The Green Carnation was established to celebrate the British literary tradition of gay men’s fiction and memoirs....
The Bookseller, Dec. 1; GreenCarnationPrize blog, Dec. 1
2010 Sheffield Children’s Book Awards
The winners of the 2010 Sheffield Children’s Book Awards, the oldest regional children’s literature awards in the U.K., were announced November 23. The awards were given in three categories. Morris the Mankiest Monster (David Fickling, 2009) by Giles Andreae and Sarah McIntyre won both in the Picture Book category and as Overall Winner. Boom! (David Fickling, 2010) by Mark Haddon won in the Shorter Novel category, and Gone (Katherine Tegen Books, 2008) by Michael Grant was selected for best Longer Novel....
Sheffield (U.K.) City Council, Nov. 23
2010 Tower Hamlets Book Award
David Walliams’s The Boy in the Dress (Razorbill, 2009) has been chosen as the 4th annual Tower Hamlets Book Award, aimed at children aged 9–13. Twelve primary and secondary schools from London’s East End joined Schools Library Service staff and authors Pete Johnson and Sally Nicholls at the Idea Store Whitechapel November 26 for a series of presentations from the shortlist of six books....
Tower Hamlets (U.K.) Schools Library Service, Nov. 26
FCC prepares for net neutrality vote
The Federal Communications Commission is set to finally vote on rules that will keep the internet open, but the fight may continue as neither side in the net neutrality debate is expected to be completely satisfied with the outcome. The FCC staff circulated an agenda for the agency’s December 21 meeting, stating that it would be voting on an order that adopts “basic rules of the road to preserve the open internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression.” Chairman Julius Genachowski (right) gave a preview of the new rules during a press briefing (PDF file) December 1....
CNet News: Signal Strength, Dec. 1
Senate HELP Committee is on a roll
Jeff Kratz writes: “It may be a lame duck Congress, but there is news from the Senate for the library community today. The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee reported S.3984, the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010, from committee with unanimous consent on December 1. The bill includes the Library Services and Technology Act and reauthorizes the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Also, the nomination of Susan Hildreth as director of IMLS was favorably reported from committee.”...
District Dispatch, Dec. 1
Europe opens antitrust inquiry into Google
Europe opened a formal antitrust investigation November 30 into accusations that Google abused its dominance in online search, exposing the company’s zealously guarded technology to unwelcome scrutiny in Brussels, where other American companies have fought lengthy legal battles in the past. The investigation by the European Commission follows complaints from smaller web businesses, which claim that Google downgraded their sites in its search results in order to weaken potential competitors for advertising....
New York Times, Nov. 30
Illinois Library Systems finally gets state funding
A statewide service through which Illinois libraries share resources has received the remainder of the funding it was owed for the last fiscal year. The $3.4 million should allow the nine parts of the Illinois Library Systems to provide services through June 30, “which is very good news,” said Tom Sloan, executive director of the DuPage Library System in Geneva, Illinois. But the service has not received any payments for the current fiscal year, which began July 1 and amount to about $15 million....
Chicago Tribune, Nov. 25
Budget reprieve edges closer for Buffalo and Erie County Library
The Erie County Legislature restored $4 million to the Buffalo and Erie County (N.Y.) Public Library’s 2011 budget November 30 in a surprise move. The library allocation drew unanimous legislative support, with the six-member Republican bloc breaking from County Executive Chris Collins amid a public backlash over the proposed cuts. Collins had wanted to drop the county’s contribution to the libraries to $18 million, but vowed after the vote, “Whatever I do, I will look at cutting the funding for the libraries last.”...
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Dec. 1
Smart glass cuts energy costs at Century College
When librarians open the Century College Science Library (right) in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, in the morning, one of their first decisions is whether to hit an electrical switch. Not for the lights—for the windows. The library is partly sheathed in “smart glass,” manufactured by SAGE Electrochromics, with electronically controlled tinting to reduce harmful solar rays and cut energy use. “If it is a super-bright day, we dim them,” said librarian Jane Young. A few minutes after pressing a button, the windows change from clear to tinted blue....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nov. 28
Texas high school makes way for the future
Principal James McSwain of Lamar High School in Houston asked the school librarian to dump thousands of books to make more room for students to lounge on couches, sip coffee, and read e-books on laptops. About 11,900 books remain on the shelves after librarian Cathy Hurst (above) weeded 13,100 from the nonfiction collection this year. Hurst said she withdrew books that had not been checked out in more than a decade, those in poor condition, and those that were easily available electronically. To give students easier access to the e-books at school, McSwain bought about 120 laptops for the library. Watch the video (7:01)....
Houston Chronicle, Nov. 29; KRIV-TV, Houston, Nov. 29
Jackson, Michigan, school librarians are dwindling
Four school districts in Jackson County, Michigan, employ no professional librarians. Other districts that previously had multiple librarians now have one media specialist. Paraprofessionals and teachers without library certification, who sometimes have other duties, often fill in the gaps. Cate Robarts-Snyder, who is the one remaining librarian at Northwest Community Schools and is active in the county’s association for school librarians, is concerned about the schools that have no librarians....
Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot, Nov. 27
Students, volunteers take the place of library assistants in Oregon
This year, 4th- and 5th-grade students at Durham Elementary School will help fill a job that used to be done by a salaried employee of the Tigard–Tualatin (Oreg.) School District. They’ll come in before school or during recess to sharpen pencils, clean the library, organize materials—tasks the school’s library assistant, Rosemary Pasteris, used to perform. The district eliminated her position this year, along with nine other elementary media assistants. The move saved $420,000, but keeping the libraries functioning without assistants has been a challenge....
Portland Oregonian, Nov. 24
Law firm wins round one in fire-alarm lawsuit
The Parker McCay law firm in Marlton, New Jersey, continues to face a lawsuit by a former librarian discharged after being wrongly accused of pulling a fire alarm, but it will not be held liable to the local municipality that is a codefendant. Sheila Ciemniecki is suing the firm for defamation, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, and infliction of emotional distress, all stemming from her arrest on accusations that she activated a fire alarm on June 2, 2009....
Law.com, Nov. 24
Nonagenarian librarian has a car buff’s dream job
Herb Jorgensen, 91, loves the shiny, red 1931 Packard—a stereotypical gangster car built when he was 12 years old. Gazing across the car collection, the archivist for the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, knows he’s enjoying a car buff’s dream job. Now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum boasts 100,000 square feet of exhibition space that features a rotating display of nearly 100 automobiles. For the past 22 years, Jorgensen has overseen the museum’s modest-size research library, a collection that currently stands at approximately 100,000 publications....
Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, Nov. 28
Librarian’s photos of strippers on break raise privacy questions
A group of strippers at the Zanzibar Tavern in Toronto who took breaks on the rooftop found out that their hideaway wasn’t as private as they thought. In August and September, Brian Cameron, digital services librarian at Ryerson University Library, took some photos of the women from his office across the street. Their publication (and subsequent removal) on Flickr and in The Torontoist prompted some of the women, who try to keep their occupation under wraps, to say their privacy had been violated....
Canadian Press, Nov. 25; The Torontoist, Nov. 24; National Post, Nov. 25
University of Arizona books defaced with hate speech
Hate speech written in ink has damaged at least 53 library books at the University of Arizona Main Library in Tucson. The vandalism was reported to the police November 17 after library staffer Deborah Smith found the books while conducting a routine inventory. The writing makes offensive remarks toward religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender, according to Smith. Associate Dean of Libraries Robert Mitchell said it would cost between $3,000 and $8,000 to replace the books. Vandalism was also reported at Indiana University in Bloomington, where some Hebrew texts were found defaced in a restroom....
University of Arizona Daily Wildcat, Nov. 29; KMSB-TV, Tucson, Nov. 30; Indiana Daily Student, Dec. 1
Wilton library is location for state lottery ad shoot
One day in late November, the front lawn of the Wilton (N.H.) Public and Gregg Free Library was covered with people carrying signs, waving them around and yelling. They weren’t protesting anything, however, even though a big sign over the front door read “Americans for Fairness to Fruitcakes.” They were there filming a new promotion for the New Hampshire State Lottery, and it was a big production with lots of cameras, equipment, and officials. Actors Joseph Tudisco and Jack Luceno played a union boss and a union worker in the fruitcake business....
Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph, Nov. 28
Box City rises at Salt Lake City Public Library
A 99-block “box city” designed and built by 350 3rd–5th graders was unveiled November 29 inside the Salt Lake City (Utah) Main Library as part of the American Institute of Architects’ Educating Elementary Children Through Architecture program. The model city contains schools, houses, town halls, churches, and businesses constructed from such materials as cereal boxes, cardboard, tinfoil, and construction paper. Connecting their blocks with roads, trails, and train tracks, they built around streams, hills, trees, and an American Indian burial ground....
Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 29
Toronto Public Library rejects mayor’s austerity budget
The Toronto Public Library Board adopted a 2010 budget request November 22 that seeks a 3.3%, or $5.51-million, increase over last year—a far cry from the fiscal austerity that Mayor-elect Rob Ford promised during his election campaign. The alternative would be to buy fewer books, close some branches on Sundays, and impose shorter opening hours across the system. The library board is the first city agency to pass a budget request since Ford was elected mayor October 25....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Nov. 25
Massive cutbacks to library services in England
Librarians in the U.K. say they are “angry and depressed” at the wave of library cutbacks announced since a comprehensive government spending review in October, but feel powerless because they cannot speak openly about them. Miranda McKearney, director of the nonprofit Reading Agency, has called the scale of library job losses involved “scary.” At least 25 local authorities have announced new proposals for cost-cutting to their library services since the review, with fresh details emerging almost every day. The Observer estimates that nearly 250 libraries are earmarked for closure....
The Bookseller, Nov. 29; The Observer (U.K.), Nov. 28
Major antiquarian library may sell its collection
The upcoming sale of a medieval manuscript has raised speculation that a major special library will sell its collection in order to pay off its owner’s debts. The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam has closed to the public, and one of its major manuscripts, The Rochefoucauld Grail (right), is set to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s on December 7. The library was founded as a private library in 1984 by Joost Ritman and specializes in the Christian-Hermetic tradition, with works by Augustine, Lactantius, and other medieval and Renaissance writers. Watch an introductory video (6:25)....
Medievalists.net, Nov. 26; Het Parool (Amsterdam), Nov. 12; YouTube, Apr. 13, 2009
French National Library opens Bastille exhibit
Nancy Mattoon writes: “On November 9, the National Library of France opened a major new exhibit on the most notorious prison in Paris, the Bastille. A jail may not be the first subject that springs to mind as the basis for a national library exhibit, but if any slammer can be called ‘the writer’s prison,’ it is the Bastille. By chance and by design, the French kings who had the power to imprison anyone, for any reason—or for no reason at all—wound up jailing some of France’s most famous, and most infamous, 18th-century writers.”...
Booktryst, Nov. 29; National Library of France
Bodleian displays handwritten Frankenstein draft
The handwritten draft of the novel that launched a thousand horror films is going on display at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library beginning December 3 as part of a new exhibit about the life of its author, Mary Shelley (right), and her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Part of a collection bought for £3.9 million in 2004, the draft shows as many as 5,000 changes suggested in the margins by Percy Shelley; in 2008 the Bodleian published The Original Frankenstein, which omitted his edits....
Oxford (U.K.) Mail, Nov. 30; Bodleian Library, Oct. 3, 2008
The world-famous poet that Belfast forgot
No major events are being held in Belfast December 2 to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin—despite the fact that the poet wrote many of his most famous works while living in the city. One of the 20th century’s greatest poets, Larkin wrote most of his famous collection of poems, The Less Deceived, while working as a librarian at Queen’s University in Belfast. While the city of Hull is putting on a 25-week “Larkin25” festival that will culminate in the unveiling of a new bronze statue of the poet (right), the university’s McClay Library has only created a small exhibit to mark the anniversary....
Belfast (U.K.) Telegraph, Nov. 27; Larkin25
Buggy software bedevils Japanese library patrons
A computer system that Mitsubishi Electric Information Systems developed and sold to public libraries in Japan has caused serious problems, including the exposure of private data and even a mistaken arrest. In one case, personal information on more than 100 library users was released on the internet. In another, a fault in the system led to the arrest of a man for allegedly conducting a cyberattack on the system after he simply searched for books online....
Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), Nov. 30
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Crucial trends in 2011
Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “Early this morning, an e-newsletter from Trendwatching.com hit my inbox, touting the ‘11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011.’ These are clearly consumer trends, but as I scanned through them, I quickly realized that nearly every one is either a perfect fit for libraries or a great opportunity to pursue something new for 2011. I’m excerpting a handful of them with some thoughts on how libraries could get in on some of the action.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Dec. 1
Add your nonprofit to Jumo (and why you should)
Heather Mansfield writes: “Jumo, the new social network for causes and nonprofits created by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, went live November 30. It has launched with a small number of nonprofits, but you can easily add your organization in just a couple of clicks, if you are a 501(c)(3) as defined by the IRS. You might want to do it yourself before someone else does it for you, since anyone can add an organization to Jumo. That said, it’s too early to tell whether Jumo will take off and benefit nonprofits, but the chances look good.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Nov. 30
Hate PowerPoint? Here are 5 web-based alternatives
John Paul Titlow writes: “For years, Microsoft PowerPoint has been the standard bearer of slide presentation applications, but several web-based alternatives have emerged. For the most part, the alternatives offer similar functionality to PowerPoint, sometimes more, sometimes less. One obvious advantage to web-based presentations is that they’re stored in the cloud, eliminating the potential for nightmare scenarios involving lost or corrupted thumb drives.”...
ReadWriteBiz, Nov. 27
Making sense of many options
Marshall Breeding writes: “When it comes to creating a library automation infrastructure in 2010, there are many models in play. Should libraries continue to rely on integrated library systems installed locally in libraries or consortia? Will some shift to relying on a globally distributed infrastructure through OCLC’s Web-scale Management Services? Might some libraries rely on vendor-hosted arrangements through software-as-a-service? The same kinds of questions arise in the way that libraries deal with the bibliographic records that describe their collections.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Nov. 29
Windows 7 Explorer explained: Changing the layout
Rick Broida writes: “Windows Explorer is Microsoft’s built-in file and folder manager. It’s a useful tool, but confusing in places and not very intuitive for novice users. For example, if you’re a Windows 7 user, you may be wondering why Explorer lacks the pull-down menus (File, Edit, View, etc.) found in previous versions. Answer: Sometimes Microsoft makes changes merely for the sake of making changes. Let’s take a look at ways to change the layout of Windows Explorer—including restoring those pull-down menus.”...
PC World, Nov. 29
Holiday gift guide: Geeky books
Casey Fiesler writes: “When it comes to the holidays, books are my go-to gift. Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what someone’s tastes are, or what they’ve already read if they’re a serious bibliophile. But still, there are always the off-the-beaten-path choices for the geeky reader in your life, and here are a few suggestions.”...
Geeks Are Sexy, Nov. 28
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. The Conference Services website has airline reservation information, airport transportation information, and train and bus information.
Max Cryer’s Common Phrases: And the Amazing Stories behind Them is a great gift for the holidays. This clever reference book explains the origins of “credibility gap,” “my lips are sealed,” “the opera’s not over until the fat lady sings,” “supermarket,” “supermodel,” “there’s no accounting for taste,” “thick as thieves,” and hundreds more. NEW! From ALA Editions.
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Great Libraries of the World
Boston Athenæum, Massachusetts. Founded in 1807 as a membership library for a literary society, the athenæum opened the doors of its current building in 1849. Charles Ammi Cutter, librarian from 1868 to 1893, was the first to use loan cards placed in a pocket glued to the inside of the rear book cover, home deliveries to housebound patrons, and a system of Expansive Classification (now known as Cutter numbers) that he developed as part of an effort to restructure the library’s catalog. The library’s holdings are primarily on Boston and New England history, biography, British and American literature, and fine and decorative arts.
Boston Public Library, Massachusetts. The library was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States, the first large U.S. library open to the public, and the first public circulating library. It opened its doors in 1854, and in 1895 it moved to a structure built by architect Charles Follen McKim, who drew on the designs of the Bibliothèque Ste.-Geneviève in Paris for its Copley Square façade and the 16th-century Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome for the central open-air courtyard. Murals include recently restored paintings by John Singer Sargent on the theme of The Triumph of Religion. The library’s research collections include early editions of William Shakespeare, the George Ticknor collection of Spanish literature, records of colonial Boston, the 3,800-volume personal library of John Adams, the papers of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and materials on the 1920 Sacco and Vanzetti murder case.
Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Joost Ritman Library, Amsterdam, Netherlands. A private, independent library founded in 1984 by businessman and collector Joost Ritman, this collection brings together the earliest editions of esoteric works in the Christian-Hermetic tradition, which includes occult philosophy, theosophy, astrology, magic, alchemy, mysticism, and Rosicrucianism (video, 6:25). Unfortunately, it’s possible that the collection is in the process of being sold.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2011 by ALA Editions.
Librarian, American Film Institute Conservatory, Los Angeles. This position provides operational management of the library resources and personnel to support the AFI Conservatory— an accredited MFA degree-granting institution. This includes, but is not limited to, acquisition and processing of materials, providing access to books and other collection material; organizing and maintaining the Conservatory archives and library management standards to comply with all regulatory agencies; the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with faculty, staff, and Fellows with multiple priorities in a dynamic, diverse academic environment. Candidate must hold a Master’s degree in Library Science....
Digital Library of the Week
The Oregon State University Libraries’ Gerald W. Williams Collection, which was acquired in 2007, consists of the collected historic photographs, personal papers, and research library of Gerald “Jerry” Williams, former national historian for the U.S. Forest Service. Williams, a native Oregonian, spent much of his Forest Service career in the Pacific Northwest prior to being appointed national historian in 1998. Many outstanding historic photographs in the Williams Collection have been digitized, including photos of the WWI-era Spruce Production Division, logging photos of northwest Oregon taken by John Fletcher Ford, photos of Celilo Falls taken in 1956 by Jack Williams, and photos of Great Depression–era Civilian Conservation Corps camps and activities, and historic postcards arranged in several geographically based albums.
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.
“To me, nothing can be more important than giving children books. It’s better to be giving books to children than drug treatment to them when they’re 15 years old. Did it ever occur to anyone that if you put nice libraries in public schools you wouldn’t have to put them in prisons? If people don’t read, you have the kind of culture, and I use the word very loosely, that we have now. I think television turned out to be exactly as bad as the most irritating and pedantic intellectuals of the 50s said it was going to be.”
—Author Fran Lebowitz, interviewed by Bob Morris for his “At Lunch With” column, New York Times, Aug. 10, 1994.
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Centennial Conference, Dunedin, Nov. 28–Dec. 1, at:
Online Information 2010, London, U.K., Nov. 30–Dec. 2, at:
New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Fall Conference, Long Branch, Dec. 3–4, at:
6th International Digital Curation Conference, Chicago, Dec. 6–8, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
I Love My Librarian Awards ceremony, New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, 15th Floor,
New York City. RSVP required by December 3 to attend.
PLA webinar, “Nancy Pearl Presents: Books That Make Great Gifts.” Register by December 9.
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, Renaissance Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C. “Future Ready: Building Community.”
Atmospheric Science Librarians International, 14th Annual Conference, Washington Convention Center, Seattle. “Communicating Weather and Climate: Making the Most of the Information.”
Cairo International Book Fair, Cairo International Conference Centre, Nasr City, Egypt.
Bridging the Spectrum, Symposium, Great Room, Pryzbyla Student Center, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by CUA School of Library and Information Science.
Innovative Users Group Conference, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco.
Theatre Library Association Symposium III, Bruno Walter Auditorium, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, New York City. “Holding Up the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today.”
Next Library Un-Conference, Aarhus Public Library, Denmark.
Association of Jewish Libraries, Annual Convention, Marriott Montréal Château Champlain, Montréal, Québec.
LIBER 40th Annual Conference, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. “Getting Europe Ready for 2020: The Library’s Role in Research, Education, and Society.”
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Google set to launch e-book venture
Google is in the final stages of launching its long-awaited e-book retailing venture, Google Editions, a move that could shake up the way digital books are sold. The long-delayed venture—Google executives had said they hoped to launch this summer—recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company say. It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director. Watch the video (4:04)....
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1
The New York Times 100 notable books of 2010
The New York Times Book Review editors write: “On November 24, we published our 100 Notable Books of the Year online. The task of choosing them—or rather of excluding other superb books—grows harder each time. Consider it in terms of arithmetic: If we limited ourselves to a single work of fiction and nonfiction chosen from each of the issues published since December 6, 2009, when the previous Notables list appeared, we would exceed our self-imposed limit. Not that our decisions are determined arithmetically.”...
New York Times: Paper Cuts, Nov. 24
Authors pick best LGBT books of 2010
Stephen Bottum writes: “Unquestionably, it’s been a banner year for queer biography/memoir, with many novelists crossing over to nominate nonfiction. The mainstream media missed many, or even most, of these titles, so this list is your best chance to discover the year’s greatest LGBT writing. Readers might consider a parallel question about who decides what is literature. Here’s a thrilling start, from 80 writers I invited to participate.”...
Band of Thebes, Nov. 30
The Gale NewsVault
Sue Polanka writes: “Gale announced on December 1 the release of its Gale NewsVault, a specially designed online platform that enables cross-searching of Gale’s enormous range of historical newspaper and periodical collections from a single interface. Providing access to more than 2,000 titles and 10 million digitized pages, Gale NewsVault provides an exceptional window to the past for researchers and students. To request a trial, visit the Gale website.”...
Booklist Online: Points of Reference, Dec. 1
Paper wins over e-books for travel guides
Anick Jesdanun writes: “It sounded like a better, lighter way to pack for a trip to Germany: a Kindle with a Lonely Planet travel guide in lieu of an 844-page brick of a book. Yet to my surprise, the 10-day visit to Munich, Dresden, and Berlin turned into a lesson about the pitfalls of cramming an old medium—the book—into a new one—the electronic reading device. It’s a good thing that I had the foresight to bring a paper copy of Lonely Planet’s Germany, borrowed from the public library.”...
Associated Press: Tech Wire, Nov. 24
Better book titles
Dan Wilbur writes: “The Better Book Titles blog is for people who have trouble slogging through the information on book jackets or feel intimidated by the title and cover itself. How many times have you perused the cover of a novel only to rub your sore eyes and realize you’ve learned nothing from the book’s title? A new Better Book Title is posted every weekday, and every Friday a reader’s submission is posted.” It boasts a visual monthly archive....
Better Book Titles
The twisty history of Jewish kid lit
Devra Ferst writes: “Bullying, suicide, abuse. In recent years, Jewish teen literature has tackled subjects once considered so taboo not even the most progressive authors would touch them. These ‘problem novels,’ as they are called—exemplified recently by books like Gravity (Orca, 2008), by Leanne Lieberman, in which a teenage girl from an Orthodox family realizes she is a lesbian, and Hush (Walker, 2010), which, written under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil, takes on the problem of sexual abuse and suicide in a religious community—have been published since the early 1970s and have shattered the classic idea of Jewish children’s literature, which presented an idealized American Jewish family.”...
The Forward, Nov. 24
Marbled paper designs
Paul K. writes: “Marbled paper refers to a variety of decorative appearances that resemble the vein-like texture of marble. The technique of marbling entails floating colors on a liquid and mixing them by chemical and physical means to achieve a pattern. A sheet of paper is placed on the pattern and is then removed, essentially forming a monotype print. It’s a complex process involving delicate interactions and manipulations of buoyancy, surface tension, capillarity, and viscosity, with even the ambient temperature and humidity affecting the outcome.”...
BibliOdyssey, Nov. 26
Wee folk in books
Scott Laming writes: “Fairies, sprites, brownies, pixies, and other tiny mythical creatures have featured in the folklore of many nations over the years. Publishers, writers, anthologists, and illustrators have also embraced the tales of the wee people and have retold them again and again. A particularly famous collection from this intriguing genre was Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books series. They contained many of the classic fairy stories Lang grew up reading in the rural Scottish Borders. This genre is highly collectible, thanks to beautiful illustrations and memorable tales.”...
AbeBooks, Nov. 29
Crunch Time at Perry-Castañeda
In November, when University of Texas at Austin students are working on papers and studying for finals, the staff at the UT Perry-Castañeda Library are heavily promoting their personal reference assistance, subject librarian consultations, and the Ask a Librarian IM and email services. During Crunch Time, students are provided with Ask a Librarian contact cards attached to mini–Nestle Crunch bars and a series of time-saving handouts. Statistics indicate that students took advantage of the program and more of them were connected with the information (and the candy) they wanted....
Tex Libris, Nov. 23
Training? Now more than ever
Betha Gutsche writes: “As trainers, we don’t question the value of staff development, even—or especially—in tough times when the wolf is at the door (right). But our managers, directors, and funding agencies may not be quite so firmly in step with our thinking. In fact, as budgets get cut to the bone, the training department may look like a ‘nice to have’ that can be dispensed with until we return to a healthier economy. Here are two reasons why training is essential and three key efforts for moving it forward.”...
ALA Learning, Nov. 30
Welcoming the homeless into libraries
Kim Leeder writes: “Even in my university library we see individuals on a regular basis who appear to fit the homeless profile. Have I ever helped them, or has my library been doing anything to help? Not beyond the definitions of what we do for any other community user, and in fact perhaps less. I’d like to dedicate this blog post to some of the libraries that have met the call for help in their communities and share their stories from my research and reading on this topic. Perhaps these stories can remind us of our ability—and responsibility—to work with local organizations to create programs and services to assist the needy in our own towns and cities.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Dec. 1
Is she crazy to want to work in libraries?
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “Yesterday I received this email through my Facebook contact form. I thought I’d post a response publicly so others can see this advice to a potential librarian and to tap the wisdom of the web. What do you think: Is Crystal crazy to want to work in libraries?”...
Librarian by Day, Nov. 30
The academic librarian’s identity conflict
Stephen Bell writes: “Just exactly what role do we play in higher education? Where do we fit into the structure of colleges and universities? On a day-to-day basis I suspect that most of us don’t think about this question. We identify ourselves within the structure of our own academic library organizations: cataloger, reference librarian, bibliographer. Our identification may also be shaped institutionally: professional staff, administrator, faculty. But when we attempt to identify ourselves on the industry level, where we sit becomes less concrete.”...
ACRLog, Dec. 1
Cal State Los Angeles to archive Chicano history
An archival program to document and preserve the rich history of Chicanos has been started in the heart of where it all took place, East Los Angeles. The California State University, Los Angeles, Library has established an East Los Angeles Archive that will preserve documents and artifacts that show the social, political, and cultural history of the Chicano/Latino community in East L.A. and the United States. Long-time community activist Gloria Arellanes (on the right) made the first donation to the new archive and was recognized for her contribution during a November 18 reception....
EGP News, Nov. 25
Preserving the Maid of Cotton collection
Shana Oltmans writes: “During my internship with the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History, I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Maid of Cotton Collection. Running for more than 50 years (1939–1993), the Maid of Cotton program was a beauty contest sponsored by the National Cotton Council. It was created to promote the cotton-growing businesses in the Southern states. The Archives Center has the complete collection of records from the Maid of Cotton program, including administrative files, photographs, scrapbooks, and videotapes.”...
O Say Can You See?, Nov. 29
The American Library in Paris is 90
Larry Nix writes: “The American Library in Paris is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a special display featuring images, books, and archives from its long history. The display will run through January 30. This 1934 envelope (right) is one of two that I have that were mailed by the library, which is one of the legacies of the American Library Association’s Library War Service during World War I.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 1; American Library in Paris
Welcome to a sea of blawgs
Matt Braun writes: “Over the last five years, legal blogs (or ‘blawgs’ = law + blogs) have increasingly become vehicles for legal scholars, practitioners, and observers from across the globe to share information on developments in various areas of law. The Law Library of Congress has been working since 2007 to archive monthly entries for blawgs such as these, so that the legal events addressed in the blawgs of today may be studied many years from now. This collection is called the Legal Blawg Archive, which provides the actual captured images for 130 blawgs across 19 subjects.”...
In Custodia Legis, Nov. 24
Ofelia Zepeda to give Lawrence Clark Powell lecture
Ofelia Zepeda—poet, essayist, editor, and University of Arizona Regents professor of linguistics—will open a window on her distinctive desert world when she delivers the 10th annual Lawrence Clark Powell Memorial Lecture. The lecture will take place December 2 at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson. Each year, the lecture is presented by a notable author whose body of work reflects the values, landscape, history, and culture of the Southwest. It honors the late Lawrence Clark Powell, librarian, author, and long-time Tucsonan....
Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library, Nov. 29
Answering the “Libraries are Dead” critics
U.K. library student Ian Clark writes: “There was a lot of indignation thrown at Tony Horne (right), a radio broadcaster and writer for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, whose November 26 column provided very real proof of the danger inherent in not challenging out-of-date notions about the public library. Not only does he rely upon these notions as the basis for his argument, but he also exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of technology and how it is used. But what of this vision of the future? It is a rather weird and interesting statement on many levels.”...
Thoughts of a [wannabe] librarian, Nov. 27; Newcastle (U.K.) Evening Chronicle, Nov. 26
Lauren’s list of predictable anti-library comments
Lauren Smith writes: “One of the most important parts of library advocacy seems to be explaining to people where they’ve gotten the wrong impression of libraries (whether they’ve had a bad and unrepresentative experience or because they haven’t used a library in many years). It happens often in news articles discussing library cuts. You can guarantee that a number of naysayers will comment with something from the following List of Predictable Anti-Library Comments (catchy, I know).”...
Walk You Home, Nov. 29
What librarians make: A response to Marc Bernstein
Joyce Valenza writes: “In his November 24 Newsday article (available to subscribers only), Marc Bernstein, superintendent for the Valley Stream (N.Y.) Central High School District, suggests ‘eliminating the antiquated requirement that all high schools have at least one full-time librarian and a minimum number of books.’ This got me thinking about Taylor Mali’s poem, ‘What Teachers Make,’ his response to a dinner party question. Here then is ‘What Librarians Make.’” Watch the video (7:31)....
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Nov. 27; Newsday, Nov. 24
Library directors and the Stupidity Index
Will Manley writes: “In this blog over the past month we’ve talked about the Pain Index, with 1 being a pin prick on your pinkie and 10 being a nail hammered into your forehead. But how about the Stupidity Index? How does that work? How about 1, when you forget where you put your reading glasses when they’re propped up on the top of your head, and 10, locking the bookdrop in the middle of a snowstorm in Wisconsin? Okay, that puts me solidly in the very stupid category. The worst part of the Wisconsin winter was getting the books from the bookdrop.”...
Will Unwound, Nov. 30
10 things you won’t find on your LIS class syllabus
Andy Woodworth writes: “I generally try to avoid posts comprised of a list but every now and again I get inspiration to put one together. I give credit to Jill Hurst-Wahl for providing a catalyst with her blog post ‘What I want LIS students to know.’ In doing my own reflection of the last couple of years, I’d like to offer my own advice on this avenue. Number 1: Don’t buy into the ‘Old vs. New’ librarian generation meme.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Nov. 27; Digitization 101, Nov. 23
Confessions of a book fiend
Grant Snider, an artist from Kansas City, Missouri, and 2008 winner of the College Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz Award, created this short comic about the travails of a confirmed biblioholic. He has 11x17-inch posters of the full strip available for sale....
Incidental Comics, Sept. 19
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