|American Libraries Online
California: Standard-bearer for strong school libraries
It seems only fitting that a blueprint for putting strong school library programs back on the to-do lists of education leaders should emerge from California, which hasn’t significantly increased its fiscal support for school libraries in at least two decades. Approved in September by the state board of education thanks to the California School Library Association’s undaunted boosterism, California’s Model School Library Standards might prove to be a focal point around which beleaguered school librarians elsewhere can regroup....
American Libraries news, Dec. 7
When small is all
Jane Pearlmutter and Paul Nelson write: “The majority of public libraries (88%) are located in small cities and villages with a service population of less than 50,000, and more than half have a population service area of fewer than 10,000 people. These libraries’ directors wear many hats: liaison to the board of trustees, policy maker, staff supervisor, budget director, collection and program manager. When those hats sit smartly on the chosen head, library operations run more smoothly.”...
American Libraries feature
Ralph Nader: Become a “bookshaker”
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Consumer activist Ralph Nader (right) is a longtime library and literacy champion. I had a long telephone chat with Nader December 7 about his latest idea for getting Americans to read books. ‘Let’s call it Books by the Box,’ he said. Nader has purchased large numbers of remaindered books that are among his favorites. He’ll sell you 100 copies of any one of these books for $100—shipping included—so you can give them away to friends and strangers.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 8
Libraries are sustainability partners
Libraries are and will remain critical partners in ensuring sustainable local development, according to a research report released November 8 by the Urban Libraries Council. Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities (ZIP file) offers numerous examples of how public libraries are partnering with local governments to achieve the “triple bottom line” of sustainable development: economic vitality, environmental quality, and social equity....
American Libraries news, Dec. 7
Youth Matters: Screening your reads
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “YALSA sponsored a book-trailer contest for teens in 2010, embracing a concept that existed for almost a decade before gathering steam in recent years. A Wall Street Journal Speakeasy media blog entry (May 21, 2010) dates the term ‘book trailer’ to 2002. Elsewhere, publicity and marketing gurus have observed that book trailers became all but de rigueur around 2007. Their effects, however, are debated. Yet some book trailers are more popular (2:47) than others.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.; YouTube, Sept. 1
Senate passes MLSA Reauthorization
The U.S. Senate passed the Museum and Library Services Act Reauthorization (S. 3984) late December 7 under unanimous consent, bringing the bill one step closer to reauthorization before the end of the session. ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff said the passage of this bill is the result of strong Senate leadership and persistent lobbying and grassroots efforts by ALA, the library community, and the public they serve, adding, “we now call on the House to demonstrate that same commitment to our nation’s libraries and take up a vote on this bill before the end of the year.”...
District Dispatch, Dec. 8
Advocating in a Tough Economy workshop
Reserve a spot for “Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop” during the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The program will take place on January 7. Attendees will learn how to advocate through positioning or branding their libraries to meet the needs of patrons. Kerry Bierman, director of community relations and development for the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, will lead the workshop....
Office for Library Advocacy, Dec. 7
Win a DEMCO gaming gear shopping spree
If your library registered to participate in National Gaming Day 2010, you are still eligible to submit an entry to win DEMCO’s awesome Gamer Gear Shopping Spree. If you win, you will get $5,000 to spend with them to enhance your game programs. Find more information and the application on the DEMCO site. Entries are due by December 15....
National Gaming Day @ your library, Nov. 30
ALA Connect chats disabled
Jenny Levine writes: “The chat module is causing problems on the ALA Connect server again, to the point where it can crash the site. We have decided to disable the creation of new chat rooms in order to maintain the stability of Connect itself. As of December 7, groups can no longer create new chats, although all past chats and archives will remain available.”...
ALA Connect, Dec. 6
E-rate changes take effect January 3
The Sixth Report and Order (PDF file) on the e-rate program was published in the December 3 Federal Register. The publication of the order means that the changes to the e-rate program that were voted on by the FCC in September will be effective one month later, or January 3. ALA continues to work with the FCC to ensure that clear guidance be developed so that library applicants will clearly understand their options and obligations under the program....
District Dispatch, Dec. 3
Workshop on web analytics
ALA TechSource is offering the latest in its series of online workshops: “Library Analytics: Inspiring Positive Action through Web User Data,” hosted by Char Booth and Paul Signorelli. In two 90-minute sessions on January 20 and 27, Booth and Signorelli will help participants define, demystify, and explore web analytics in ways that lead to a stronger, more efficient, and more accountable web presence for libraries. Registration is at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 7
RDA print snapshot now available
ALA has released the full-text print version of RDA: Resource Description and Access. This snapshot serves as an offline access point to help solo and part-time catalogers evaluate RDA, as well as to support training and classroom use in any size institution. An index is included. The online RDA Toolkit includes PDFs, but purchasing the print version offers a convenient, time-saving option....
ALA Publishing, Dec. 3
Sink your fangs into paranormal lit
ALA Editions has released Fang-tastic Fiction: Twenty-First Century Paranormal Reads, by Patricia O’Brien Mathews. Designed to keep librarians and readers up-to-date with the hottest contemporary supernatural beings in adult literature, Mathews’s book helps answer frequently asked questions such as “What’s good besides Twilight?” Readers can search read-alike lists for series featuring their favorite creatures with chronological lists of series titles and summaries, including a multitude of adventures starring angst-ridden heartthrobs, superheroes, and champions....
ALA Editions, Dec. 6
Featured review: Media
LennoNYC. 115min. Nov. 2010. PBS, DVD (978-1-4229-9897-7).
The 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death has spawned a proliferation of tributes to the late Beatle, who was gunned down outside his Manhattan home on December 8, 1980. This fascinating documentary zeros in on Lennon’s post-Beatle years, concentrating on his life in New York City, where he and wife Yoko Ono were able to walk through Central Park, shop, and dine without being mobbed. Including rare home movies, studio and concert footage, this must-see glimpse into Lennon’s later years and the music that shaped his life (and ours too) is undeniably compelling....
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Greenberg, Keith Elliot. December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died. 256p. Nov. 2010. Backbeat, hardcover (978-0-87930-963-3).
Greenberg enfolds a wealth of fresh biographical facts and penetrating insights into this richly dimensional and riveting account of the death of John Lennon. This page-turner begins with the release of the album Double Fantasy, a ravishing collaboration between Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono—an achievement that ended a sweet period of seclusion with their then-5-year-old son, Sean. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Greenberg emphasizes Lennon’s happiness, noting, with no small irony, how safe he and Yoko felt in the Dakota, a fanciful old Manhattan apartment building, and how friendly Lennon was to the fans who gathered there, including his killer, Mark David Chapman. Greenberg circles deftly between Lennon’s past and his last months in 1980, and the chilling story of Chapman’s obsession with Lennon and history of concealing his mental illness, and how close he came to not pulling the trigger....
The books in Salinger’s vault
Bill Ott writes: “When J. D. Salinger died last January, he was arguably as famous for his reclusive lifestyle as he was for the book (Catcher in the Rye) that drove him into hiding, which makes the publication of Kenneth Slawenski’s Salinger: A Life a literary event of a magnitude that far outstrips any question of its merit or even its accuracy. So many of us are so hungry for knowledge of Salinger’s life that we’re eager to take whatever table scraps are on offer. What a delight it is, then, when Slawenski—creator of DeadCaulfields.com—lays a full meal before us, albeit a largely speculative one.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
A crayon heir’s cache
Lee Lawrence writes: “In designing the layout of a museum, curators sometimes must act like cartographers: They have to figure out which countries and cultures to place front and center and which to tuck into the corners. Their decisions hinge on what the museum owns—which, in the case of the San Diego Museum of Art, includes a walloping 1,453 folios sporting Indian paintings and calligraphy that Edwin Binney III (heir to the Crayola crayons fortune) bequeathed to the museum in 1986. The final stage of a two-year reconfiguration has rescued the Binney collection from an upstairs corner room to become the cornerstone of ‘Temple, Palace, Mosque,’ an installation that ingeniously groups works by architectural setting.”...
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 7
San Diego CityBeat’s Fine Dining Authority
The city’s progressive weekly newspaper offers these restaurant suggestions in the San Diego area: best teashop on a quaint urban street, best Greek and South American food, best new restaurant that’s not like another, best place to enjoy coffee and dessert while lounging comfortably, best old-school Italian joint, and so on. Some of these will not be particularly close to downtown....
San Diego CityBeat, Nov. 10
AASL launches video contest for students
AASL, in collaboration with SchoolTube and Cisco, is launching a Learning4Life in My School Library Student Video Contest. Beginning January 4, video submissions will be accepted that demonstrate how school libraries and the technology used within the school library program empower students to be Learners4Life. Submissions will be accepted until March 18, and winners will be announced April 1....
AASL, Dec. 7
Best practices for information literacy courses
ACRL has published Best Practices for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses, edited by Christopher Hollister. The work is a collection of previously unpublished papers in which contributing authors describe and recommend best practices for creating, developing, and teaching credit-bearing information literacy courses at the college and university level. Contributors discuss useful and effective methods for developing, teaching, assessing, and marketing courses....
ACRL, Dec. 2
Gala Author Tea is brewing
Enjoy tea, finger sandwiches, and a variety of sweet treats while listening to bestselling authors Elizabeth Adler, Conor Grennan, Paula McLain, Richard Louv, and Luanne Rice discuss their writing life and forthcoming books. The Tea will be hosted by Marilyn Johnson (right), author of This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. Tickets are available in advance or at the door....
Socialize with RUSA members in San Diego
Liven up your ALA Midwinter Meeting experience with the RUSA Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, and learn more about the division. The social, held January 8 at the Hilton Bayfront, is open to all current members, friends of RUSA, and those meeting attendees interested in learning more about the division and networking with peers....
RUSA, Dec. 7
Books for Teens: A Facebook Cause
YALSA has started a new fundraising initiative, powered by Facebook and its Causes application, called Books for Teens. Funds will be distributed to libraries in communities
with a high level of poverty, where teen services librarians will
purchase and distribute new books, encourage teens to get library cards, and provide teens with reading-focused events and activities....
YALSA, Dec. 6
Webinar on free tech tools for teens
You don’t need to be a tech guru with a huge budget to successfully incorporate technology into your library’s teen services. Learn how to easily use technology at almost no cost to enhance teen library services in YALSA’s webinar, “Tech4U: Technology Programs for Every User,” hosted by Megan Fink, middle school librarian and advisor at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Day School. The webinar will take place January 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Dec. 6
Ten I Love My Librarian Award winners announced
Ten librarians are being recognized for service to their communities, schools, and campuses as winners of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. More than 2,000 library users nationwide nominated a librarian. Each of the 10 award winners will receive a $5,000 cash award and be honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by the New York Times, on December 9....
Public Information Office, Dec. 7
Award-winning booklists for adults
Need a gift for a book lover? Check out the annual lists of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction, and Jewish literature compiled by the readers’ advisory experts from RUSA. Each year, committees from RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section prepare a Notable Books List, a Reading List, and an Outstanding Reference Sources list; they also choose winners of the Sophie Brody Award and the Dartmouth Medal.....
RUSA, Dec. 7
William C. Morris Award shortlist
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The division will name the award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 10, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego....
YALSA, Dec. 6
Five EBSCO scholarships for Midwinter travel
EBSCO, in cooperation with ALA, awarded five librarians $1,500 scholarships to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7–11. EBSCO asked applicants to write an essay on the topic “Thinking outside the box: Using technology to help in challenging times.” The winners are David A. Brackus, Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Cheryl Lee, Sara Pope, and Frances Veit....
Office of ALA Governance, Dec. 7
BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel grant
Applications for the 2011 BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel Award are being accepted until January 31. The award provides $1,000 for travel to and attendance at the ALA Annual Conference for a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited LIS program, as well as a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section of RUSA. Applicants should have demonstrated interest in a career as a business reference librarian....
RUSA Blog, Dec. 8
2010 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award
For their dedication to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been selected to receive the 2010 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, given by the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award will be presented January 8 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego....
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS, Nov. 30
2011 National Leadership Grant guidelines available
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting grant applications for the agency’s 2011 National Leadership Grant program. Applications, guidelines, and examples of successful proposals can be found on the agency’s website. The deadline for submitting applications is February 1....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 2
American poet wins Dylan Thomas Prize
U.S. poet Elyse Fenton has been awarded the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, set up to honor the Welsh poet and encourage young writers. Fenton’s collection Clamor is the first book of poetry to win the £30,000 ($47,139 U.S.) prize. Clamor was inspired by Fenton’s husband, a medic deployed to Iraq, and the fragments of IM conversations they shared over the internet. Stefan Mohamed won the debut £5,000 ($7,850 U.S.) Sony Reader Award for unpublished writers with his novel Bitter Sixteen....
BBC News, Dec. 1
2010 Guardian First Book Award
The 2010 Guardian First Book Award was presented December 1 to a cultural history arguing that modernism has just as much to do with English teashops and churchyards as exotic Europeanisms and abstractions. Alexandra Harris’s elegant reevaluation of the arts in Britain during the interwar period, Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper, was awarded the £10,000 ($15,718 U.S.) prize in a ceremony at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum....
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 1
William Hill Sports Books of the Year
Christy O’Connor’s The Club (Penguin Ireland), which details the triumphs and tragedies of a County Clare hurling club over the course of a year, was announced as the winner of the 2010 William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year in Dublin on December 2. This prize was established in 2006 by U.K. gambling company William Hill to celebrate the quality of Irish sports writing. Another prize, the 22-year-old William Hill Sports Book of the Year for sports writing in the U.K., went to Brian Moore’s Beware of the Dog: Rugby’s Hardman Reveals All (Simon & Schuster UK)....
William Hill, Dec. 3; The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 30
LC’s WikiLeaks block could harm CRS
Steven Aftergood writes: “The Library of Congress confirmed December 3 that it had blocked access from all LC computers to the WikiLeaks website in order to prevent unauthorized downloading of classified records. Since the Congressional Research Service is a component of the library, CRS researchers will be unable to access or cite the leaked materials in their research reports to Congress. Several CRS analysts expressed dismay about the move.” One CRS employee was fired by LC in 2009 for criticizing the Obama administration. Other agencies have similarly blocked access. The Progressive Librarians Guild issued a statement December 4 calling the action “an unacceptable acquiescence to the government’s abusive attempt to put the genie back in the bottle.”...
Secrecy News, Dec. 6; Library of Congress Blog, Dec. 3; Los Angeles Times, Dec. 6; New York Times, Dec. 5; Progressive Librarians Guild, Dec. 4
Top test scores from Shanghai stun educators
Students in Shanghai have surprised experts by outscoring their counterparts in dozens of other countries, in reading as well as in math and science, according to the results of an international standardized test, the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment. The results appeared to reflect the culture of education there, including greater emphasis on teacher training and more time spent on studying rather than extracurricular activities. The United States ranked 16th in reading, 22nd in science, and 31st in math. “We have just flatlined. We haven’t moved. Other countries have passed us by,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a December 7 interview on PBS NewsHour....
New York Times, Dec. 7; PBS NewsHour, Dec. 7
New rules could shape the internet’s future
Troy Wolverton writes: “The future of the internet—at least how it’s used and structured in the United States—could be determined by a small group of federal officials this month. That may sound overblown, but some consumer and industry groups insist the stakes are that high in a vote the Federal Communications Commission will take December 21 to decide what rules it should enact to govern openness on the internet and to ensure so-called net neutrality.”...
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Dec. 6
Cherokee Nation developing virtual library
The Cherokee Nation is in the beginning stages of developing a Virtual Library of Cherokee Knowledge, a web-based system designed to provide Cherokee citizens and the general public access to a comprehensive digital space filled with authentic Cherokee knowledge related to the tribe’s history, language, traditions, culture, and leaders. The Cherokee Nation Education Services group recently received an IMLS grant that will help fund the project....
Indian Country Today, Dec. 7
L.A. County library system in financial trouble
The Los Angeles County library system is in financial trouble and cannot sustain its level of services over the next decade, according to a report delivered November 30 to the board of supervisors. But the library commission’s chief recommendation—asking voters served by the county library system to increase an existing special tax—appeared to leave the supervisors unenthusiastic. Supervisors received the report (PDF file) but did not discuss the recommendation. Library officials have declined to be specific about what will be eliminated if a new tax isn’t passed....
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 1, 6
Da Vinci manuscript unearthed in French city library
A coded fragment of writing by Italian artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in the Nantes city library in western France among manuscripts donated in 1872 by collector Pierre-Antoine Labouchère. Experts have yet to decipher the few lines of text because it is written from right to left in Leonardo’s trademark mirror-writing style and the words are in arcane 15th-century Italian as well as other languages. Library Director Agnes Marceteau deferred to da Vinci scholars as to “whether this fragment is of interest.” French-speakers can watch the video (3:12)....
Daily Telegraph (U.K.), Dec. 6; Rennes Ouest-France, Dec. 6
Birds of America fetches record $11.5 million
A copy of John James Audubon’s early-19th-century double-elephant folio of Birds of America sold in London at a Sotheby’s auction December 7 for £7.3 million ($11.5 million U.S.), a record for any printed work. The work was bought by London-based art dealer Michael Tollemache, who said, “I think it’s priceless, don’t you?” The Arthurian Rochefoucauld Grail illuminated manuscript, on sale for Amsterdam’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, was bought for £2.4 million ($3.8 million U.S.) by the London-based dealer Sam Fogg....
Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Dec. 7
Digital image helped retrieve stolen artifact
A Native American artifact stolen in the 1990s by a disgraced Wisconsin Historical Society museum curator has wended its way back to the institution’s collection, thanks to a photo on the museum’s website. The Plains Indian knife sheath is the first to be returned of 116 items listed as still missing and stolen by David Wooley, a former curator who was convicted for theft in 2001. In January, an artifacts dealer in Montana called the museum to report he recognized the sheath “in a transaction that occurred several years ago in New Mexico.”...
Superior (Wis.) Telegram, Dec. 7
Police catch Anniston library thief
Police arrested a local woman December 1 on a felony theft charge of stealing books from the Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County, Alabama. Their investigation revealed that over the past couple of years, Regina Smith had stolen 222 books totaling $5,431. Acting Director Teresa Kiser said she and her staff knew many books had systematically gone missing. Police said Smith managed to steal so many books for so long because she wore an assortment of wigs and knew how to thwart the measures already in place that trigger the library security system....
Anniston (Ala.) Star, Dec. 2
Man murdered with crossbow in Toronto library
Toronto Public Library staff and some patrons spent the weekend in counseling after a man was killed by a crossbow right in front of them in the Main Street branch on the afternoon of December 2. According to police, Si Cheng, 52, was shot in the back by his son, 24-year-old Zhou Fang, who was charged with first-degree murder. Toronto libraries spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said that after the murder, staff guided patrons out of the library and then gathered in a nearby café. The branch reopened December 7 after it was cleaned up, with replacement computers and keyboards and the furniture in a different arrangement....
National Post, Dec. 3; CFTO-TV, Toronto, Dec. 4; Inside Toronto, Dec. 8
Two now held in Brookfield librarian’s murder
An Arlington Heights, Illinois, woman is being held without bond for her part in the June 14 murder of Marilyn Fay, who worked part-time at the Brookfield (Ill.) Public Library, and police say they have the murder weapons in their possession. Bonnie Shelesny and Steven Kellmann are both charged with first-degree murder....
Brookfield (Ill.) Suburban Life, Dec. 3
Mrs. Nevada International is school librarian
Kari Deike, Mrs. Nevada International for 2011, admits she has been a little shy about enjoying her reign, which began after she won the state pageant in July. Once in a while, a friend at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, where she works as the librarian, asks Deike to wave and she obliges. Starting on December 8, Deike is throwing the weight of her crown behind the American Cancer Society and its Relay for Life fundraiser....
Las Vegas (Nev.) Sun, Dec. 2
Your life in six little words
Define your life in six words. State University of New York at Canton students, faculty, and staff did just that during National Novel Writing Month in November at the prompting of a few librarians at the college. One of the mini-memoirs said, “The toilet content once was dinner.” Another read, “So busy. Hope I dream tonight.” Assistant Librarian Michelle L. Currier said, “It’s much less frightening than a 50,000-word novel; it is more challenging than it seems. I have not done one because it is intimidating.”...
Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times, Dec. 6
Delta College Library’s bookish Christmas tree
Jennean Kabat, reference librarian at Delta College in University Center, Michigan, spent six hours with a couple of coworkers carefully assembling a Christmas tree made out of books the day before Thanksgiving. The literary structure is buttressed from within by a wastebasket and made up of more than 100 books (many CQ Almanacs and Readers’ Guides). At the bottom, red books simulate a tree skirt. Green books fill out the body of the tree, while gold ones round out the top to mimic a star....
Bay City (Mich.) Times, Dec. 3
Go back to the Top
Five tools to maximize your Twitter lists usage
Sridhar Ramunajam writes: “Twitter lists are underestimated most of the time. The fact is, if used effectively they can prove very productive tools. Success with Twitter lists is all about how well you manage them. The following Twitter tools let you get the maximum benefits out of your lists and save you time as well.”...
Smedio, Dec. 3
Data tracking made easy
During the summer of 2010, Pikes Peak (Colo.) Library District looked at five different security vendors before choosing software from mk Sorting Systems. The library installed the Plexiglas Radio Frequency Identification security gates and mk GateTracker software in six of its 13 branches. According to Carolyn Coulter, information technology officer, the software provided data that could better determine staffing levels and best times to schedule programming....
AL: Solutions and Services, Dec. 7
App of the week: Momento
Linda Braun writes: “I’m not sure why it wasn’t until I read a review of Momento on TechCrunch that I hadn’t thought about diary apps before. But, I hadn’t. Now that I have it’s clear in my mind that for teens that use an iPhone (or iPad) and like to write, or are interested in writing, or have to write a journal for school that Momento is a useful tool. Some features of the app that make it worth paying attention to are: Momento makes it easy to keep the diary under lock and key; entries can be added or edited at any time; photos can be added to the entries; and information can be exported.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 1; TechCrunch, Nov. 28
How to make Ethernet cables
Samara Lynn and P. J. Jacobowitz write: “Need a 5-inch straight-through Ethernet cable? A 37-foot crossover cable? Tired of miles of extra cable coiled around your desk? Sure, you could probably buy custom cables online, but with a spool of Cat5 and a $10 crimper you can make your own, for less. Ethernet cables (also known as RJ-45, patch, and network cables) are easy to make with a little practice and the right tools.”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 30
Let YouTube Custom Player embed videos for you
Ryan Dube writes: “YouTube is an amazing resource, filled with content that covers just about any topic you could imagine. Wouldn’t it be nice to let your visitors watch that video content from the comfort of your website, without the need to visit YouTube? That’s where the YouTube Custom Player comes in. It helps you embed YouTube videos on your website or blog with very little effort and without the need to mess around with embed codes and correctly sizing the video.”...
MakeUseOf, Dec. 7
Feather: An HTML5-based photo editor
Jeffry Thurana writes: “I think many people would agree that one of the most controversial turning points in the tech world is Apple’s decision not to support Flash technology in its iDevices and go with HTML5 instead. However, a new online photo editor from Aviary called Feather shows us that we can definitely expect great things from HTML5. Feather is
the simplified version (with HTML5 twist) of Phoenix, Aviary’s Flash-based online photo editor. But being the simplified version doesn’t mean that Feather is less powerful.”...
MakeUseOf, Dec. 7
12 ways to create videos without software or camera
Richard Byrne writes: “It wasn’t that long ago that creating videos in your library meant that you had to have access to cameras and editing software. That is no longer the case. Now, with nothing more than a reliable internet connection, you and your students can create all kinds of documentary, entertainment, and how-to videos. For more information, see my Making videos on the web.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 7
How to speed up your Android device
Whitson Gordon writes: “Whether you’re resisting the temptation to upgrade to newer, faster hardware, or a year’s worth of use has made your Android phone feel slow and laggy, here are some ways to make your older phone run a bit smoother. Whether you’ve rooted your phone, overclocked, flashed a new ROM, or none of the above, you’ll be able to take advantage of a number of the tweaks here to get your phone from sluggish and glitchy to quick and smooth.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 8
50 years of running COBOL
Peggy A. Kidwell writes: “COBOL, a COmmon Business-Oriented Language, was proposed by a committee of programmers from business and government in 1959 and successfully demonstrated in 1960, 50 years ago. The National Museum of American History has just launched a website relating to the early days of COBOL, and a related exhibit case opens this spring. The reason for paying attention to COBOL is that it was one of the first computer programming languages to run on more than one brand of computer.”...
O Say Can You See?, Dec. 6
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011.
Rupert Grint, who stars as Ron Weasley in all the Harry Potter films, chose A Clockwork Orange as his book for this Celebrity READ poster. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
“Like” American Libraries on Facebook.
Great Libraries of the World
Provincetown Public Library, Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 2005, the town library moved into the former Heritage Museum building, bringing new life to the 1861 wooden structure. During Boston’s Old Home Week Celebration in August 1907, tea merchant and sporting enthusiast Thomas Lipton offered a cup for a fishermen’s race in Massachusetts Bay. The schooner Rose Dorothea swept to victory in the race and brought the Lipton Cup back to Provincetown with great fanfare. Not only does the library possess the original Lipton Cup, which was never again contested, it also boasts a half-scale (66.5 feet) model of the schooner built by Capt. Francis “Flyer” Santos in 1977–1988 that is ensconced in the second-floor children’s room.
Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy, Massachusetts. The town’s library was built in four stages: the original 1882 Romanesque building by architect Henry Hobson Richardson; additional stack space and stained glass in 1908 by William Martin Aiken; a major 1939 expansion by architects Paul A. and Carroll D. Coletti, with stone carvings by sculptor Joseph A. Coletti; and a 2001 addition by Boston architects Childs Bertman and Tseckares, which doubled its size. Richardson considered this library one of his most successful civic buildings, and Harper’s Weekly called it “the best village library in the United States.” It also features two stained glass windows by American artist John LaFarge, The Old Philosopher and Angel at the Tomb. The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
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.
Humanities Design Architect, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville. The Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library seeks a Humanities Design Architect who can create and guide exciting, professional user experiences, who possesses broad, synthetic knowledge of humanities and social science scholarship, who is passionate about the quality of his or her code and stylesheets, and who wants to be part of a team that does great work in the rapidly expanding digital humanities. You will be responsible for the design and implementation of effective and inspiring digital resources for teaching and scholarship. We are looking for someone who is highly technically skilled and a talented designer, and who has a deep background in humanities or social science scholarship. This position is for a true “hybrid” or “alternative academic”—someone who can communicate effectively with faculty and graduate students, and focus intently on the presentation and interaction layer for next-generation digital scholarship....
Digital Library of the Week
The New-York Historical Society Library holds among its many resources a substantial collection of manuscript materials documenting American slavery and the slave trade in the Atlantic world. The 14 collections on this website are among the most important of these manuscript collections. They consist of diaries, account books, letter books, ships’ logs, indentures, bills of sale, personal papers, and records of institutions. Some of the highlights include the records of the New York Manumission Society and the African Free School, the diaries and correspondence of English abolitionists Granville Sharp and John Clarkson, the papers of the Boston antislavery activist Lysander Spooner, the records of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, the draft of Charles Sumner’s famous 1855 speech The Anti-Slavery Enterprise, and an account book kept by the slave-trading firm Bolton, Dickens & Co.
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.
“Please, please get into the habit of visiting the library. I know lots of you have shelves heaving with books at home, but if you want to keep the library in the village, you need to support us.”
—Ros Fernley, librarian at the library in Wargrave, Berkshire, who is worried about U.K.-wide cutbacks in library funding, in the Henley Standard, Dec. 6.
“I guess I don’t quite understand why the public needs so many libraries. We have libraries in most public schools, colleges, and universities. . . . Most every American has a desktop or laptop computer that can access websites to find the information needed in today’s complex world. . . . I even know poor people who have computers. In this day and age, anyone who needs to use the library to access a computer is simply too cheap to buy their own.”
—Rob Daugherty, of Ollala, Washington, in a letter to the editor of the Port Orchard (Wash.) Independent, Dec. 2.
6th International Digital Curation Conference, Chicago, Dec. 6–8, at:
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 13–14, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
American Printing History Association, Annual Meeting, South Court Auditorium, New York Public Library.
iConference 2011, Renaissance Hotel, Seattle. Sponsored by the iSchools organization.
O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Centennial Hall, Juneau. “Information Illuminated.”
Educause West / Southwest Regional Conference, Austin, Texas. “Leading IT into the Future in Transformative Times.”
Library Technology Conference, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Embassy Suites and Convention Center, Murfreesboro. “Partnerships: It Takes Two to Tango.”
Association of College and Research Libraries, National Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
American Literature Association, 22nd Annual Conference, Westin Copley Place, Boston.
Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, 40th Annual Conference, Regina, Saskatchewan. “Learning under Living Skies.”
Crimea 2011, International Conference, Sudak, Ukraine. “Libraries and Information Resources in the Modern World of Science, Culture, Education, and Business.”
Sixth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of New Orleans.
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Test-driving Google eBooks
Linda Holmes writes: “Google launched its online bookstore, Google eBooks, on December 6—a long-awaited and much-discussed entrant into electronic bookselling. Google is advertising the store as compatible with computers, iPads and iPhones, Android devices, standalone e-readers including Sony and Nook devices, as well as others that run Adobe Digital Editions. (But not your Kindle, there, buddy.) We thought we’d give it a try by buying a recent book—David Sedaris’s Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, which cost us $9.99—and test-driving it on a few different devices.” Watch Google’s promotional video (2:13)....
NPR: Monkey See, Dec. 6
2010 Guide to E-book Privacy
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has updated its E-Book Buyer’s Guide to E-Book Privacy, which summarizes and comments on the privacy-related policies of several e-readers. For this edition, EFF has added in the iPad and also the software used by many libraries and devices for e-book access, called Adobe Content Server....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Dec. 6
The illusion of Google’s limitless library
Barbara Fister writes: “Google would like us to think that any book ever published that you may want to read can be plucked from the cloud and read anywhere. But books potentially under copyright that Google scanned in libraries are not part of the deal. Those books are still tied up in a lawsuit (PDF file) and the settlement is kind of complicated (PDF file) and likely to take years. And I hate to break it to you, but not every library involved in the project let Google scan in-copyright books, nor do academic libraries buy every book published every year.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Dec. 6
10 of the best free audiobooks
Angela Alcorn writes: “The internet is full of free audiobooks; all you need to do is find them. Thanks to public-domain archives like Project Gutenberg and LibriVox, there are plenty of great audiobooks available free to download. I’m personally a big fan of browsing for free audiobooks using Books Should Be Free because I like the interface, extra links, genre search, top 100 list, and related book suggestions. A quick look at the main page will show you all the obvious popular classics. Here’s a selection of not-so-obvious audiobooks that are widely regarded as great books and are available free via Books Should Be Free.”...
MakeUseOf, Dec. 7
Nobel Laureate extols political power of fiction
Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa delivered a resounding tribute December 7 to fiction’s power to inspire readers to greater ambition, dissent, and political action in his Nobel lecture, “In Praise of Reading and Fiction.” “We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist,” Mario Vargas Llosa said. “Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 8
The best and worst book trailers
The Huffington Post editors write: “Beyond the standard book trailers, we have seen some amazing video content about books this year. From Electric Literature’s one-sentence animations to Washington Post critic Ron Charles’s awesome video reviews, from Richard Hine’s crowdsourced video campaign
to a satirical animation with talking bears, 2010 had plenty of great video content about books.” Here are some more that readers recommended....
Huffington Post, Dec. 6
The number of children’s books published
Q. Can you tell me the number of children’s books that were published last year? A. There is an annual publication, the Library and Book Trade Almanac (formerly known as the Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac) put out by Information Today, which includes a report on book production. This year’s report is historic. For the first time, the numbers for the report from Baker & Taylor are based on the BISAC categories of the Book Industry Study Group, nearly doubling the number of categories of books....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Dec. 8
NYPL recommends 100 children’s books from 2010
Jeanne Lamb writes: “Librarians have been recommending books to children for well over 100 years, and children have been just as eager to pass on their favorites. The New York Public Library’s Children’s Books 2010 (PDF file) provides a snapshot of some of the outstanding books published this year. Over 20 librarians read several hundred books, often sharing advance copies with the children in their branch libraries. Their choices range from books to share with toddlers to books that will keep the most sophisticated readers on the edge of their seats.”...
New York Public Library Blog, Dec. 2
Remembering Celeste West
Ashley McAllister writes: “She Was A Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West (Library Juice Press) is a collection of essays, excerpts, and photos that attempt to capture the spirit of Celeste West, a woman whose influence on feminist librarianship, publishing, journalism, and activism was monumental. After West passed away in 2008, a few friends and admirers (Toni Samek, Moyra Lang, and K. R. Roberto) decided to embark on a project that would honor West’s work and life. This book, which acts as a comprehensive and compassionate obituary, was the result.”...
Bitch Magazine, Dec. 4
FTC report on online privacy
The Federal Trade Commission issued a preliminary staff report (PDF file) December 1 that proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services. The report also suggests implementing a “Do Not Track” mechanism—a persistent setting on browsers—so consumers can choose whether to allow the collection of data about their online searching and browsing activities. The FTC will probably need the help of Congress to enact some of its recommendations....
Federal Trade Commission, Dec. 1; New York Times, Dec. 1
No privacy here: Find out what George Washington read
The New York Society Library’s earliest surviving charging ledger, which records borrowing activity during the period from July 1789 to April 1792, is a window into the reading habits of more than 500 members of the Society Library, many of whom were prominent New Yorkers during the early years of our nation. During the time when the library shared a roof with the early government in Federal Hall, borrowing privileges were also extended to the President, Vice President, and Congress. For a brief time, their borrowing activity was also recorded in this volume, now viewable online. You can also find out who checked out each book....
New York Society Library
Maintain your privacy online
Cindi Trainor writes: “Facebook’s attitude toward privacy and the recent release of Firesheep have led me to take a serious look at the unencrypted traffic I send over the various networks I use, as well as the data that I put out there for public consumption. Here are some tools for you to do the same. They are not infallible; they are not security measures per se, like a firewall or virus scanner would be. What they do is provide you with the more private space that you might assume when sitting alone pouring your heart out to a friend.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Dec. 6
The Japanese view on privacy
Michael Hoffman writes: “Here’s a prediction: Two words that will be incomprehensible a generation from now are ‘secret’ and ‘private.’ They will no longer describe anything in our world. For better and/or worse, human beings are outgrowing their privacy and secrecy. There were no words in Japanese for ‘private’ and ‘privacy.’ Even today the English words fill the void. An Asahi Shimbun series called ‘Children Today’ shows how perfectly at ease 11- and 12-year-olds are online, where the whole world can see and hear them.”...
Japan Times, Dec. 5
The library: Three jeremiads
Robert Darnton writes: “When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending. I can even begin happily, at least in describing the state of the university library at Harvard.”...
New York Review of Books, Dec. 23
Renewing Harvard’s library system
Setting a fresh course for the future of the Harvard library system, university leaders have embraced a series of recommendations from the Library Implementation Work Group to establish a coordinated management structure and increasingly focus resources on the opportunities presented by new information technology. Provost Steven E. Hyman (left) and Philosophy Professor David Lamberth, who led the implementation group, discuss the 21st-century vision for the libraries....
Harvard Gazette, Dec. 6
The hipster librarian
Linda Ueki Absher (the Lipstick Librarian) writes: “It’s finally happened: everyone wants to be me. Well, they don’t want to be me, me. After all, who wants student loans, an undervalued house, and a sweater that looks like I’ve just mugged a red Heffalump? But everyone under 30 with skinny black jeans and artistic facial hair, or Bettie Page bangs and winsome skirts with felted bird appliqués (and some wearing all of the above) want to be what I am: a librarian. This is a surprise, to put it mildly.”...
CounterPunch, Dec. 7
How to fail in grant writing
Six biology professors provide a list of techniques to guarantee that your grant proposal will be rejected. They gathered them in the course of serving on grant panels or as program officers, and, in some cases, through firsthand experimentation. Although they are biologists, many of their suggestions will be useful to grant writers in all disciplines....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 5
Michigan to help renovate historic public library
Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm announced two grants totaling $342,000 that will be used to help restore Highland Park’s landmark McGregor Public Library (right). Designed and built in 1926, the McGregor Library was a centerpiece for the community until hard times in the auto industry resulted in Highland Park suffering job losses, depopulation, and reduced tax revenue. The library closed in 2002 but is currently undergoing a $9.3-million restoration....
Gov Monitor, Dec. 7
Study of New Jersey school libraries (Word file)
Today’s poor economic climate creates both challenges and opportunities for schools. The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries has published findings from Phase 1 of its study One Common Goal: Student Learning (PDF file), which shows that New Jersey school library programs staffed by certified school librarians are cost-effective in helping students achieve higher standards and critical for the intellectual, social, and cultural development of students....
New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Dec. 3
Join the Polish American Librarians Association
The newly formed Polish American Librarians Association is launching a membership recruitment campaign (PDF file) in support of its mission to have a positive impact on services provided to library patrons of Polish descent and individuals interested in Polish history and culture. PALA is planning its first annual meeting for February 20 at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. Proszę przystąpić!...
Polish American Librarians Association
Tweet the First Amendment on December 15
Rob Crotty writes: “It’s time the Bill of Rights got a hip new upgrade. Through December 15—the 219th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights—the National Archives would like you to condense each amendment into a bite-sized tweet. On the appropriate day, shorten the assigned amendment down to as few words (or letters) as possible while retaining the amendment’s meaning, then tweet your response using the hashtag #BillofRights. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero will pick a winner (see @archivesnews) the following day.” Amendment I will be December 15....
Prologue: Pieces of History, Dec. 3
Library contracts and journals 101
Beth Brown writes: “Libraries sign a lot of contracts to get access to content. The American Chemical Society recently sent out information on next year’s journal subsciption costs to libraries. In our case, the price increase was manageable (maybe 5%). I have seen so many confusing pricing deals from the ACS that after this renewal was settled I moved on. I didn’t realize until later that some libraries are seeing very large increases, 20% or more.” George Duimovich sees consolidated purchasing as a lost library opportunity....
Book of Trogool, Dec. 1, 3
On rants and RDA
Melissa Cookson writes: “RDA seems to be all anyone ever talks about in the cataloging world anymore. Many complaints about RDA are being voiced on the OCLC-CAT discussion list, of all places, where the uproar seems to be about the way RDA information is added to authority records. But one of the things that consistently frustrates me is that there seems to be an assumption on the part of those who are most in favor of RDA that most of our cataloging problems reside in our cataloging rules. I would argue that this is not the case.”...
Melissa in Stephenville, Dec. 6
What’s wrong with Facebook’s new profiles?
Aliza Sherman writes: “Facebook has released a new Facebook Profile. As usual, the changes seem pretty arbitrary, but Facebook appears to have moved in the direction of having a profile page that blends your professional life and your personal life, and I feel pretty strongly that this is a mistake. Many of us are struggling to find the right balance of personal and professional in our profiles. Here are some problems with the new Facebook Profile.”...
GigaOM, Dec. 7; Facebook, Dec. 5
Social media can help with long-distance job search
Dan Klamm writes: “If you’re a long-distance job seeker, you face several disadvantages. First, some companies anticipate that bringing you in for an interview will be a hassle and that you will expect them to pay for travel expenses. Second, they don’t know whether you’re serious about relocating to their city. Third, you’re an unknown entity. The good news is that social media can help, whether you’re looking for a job 300 or 3,000 miles from home.”...
Mashable: Business, Dec. 6
Create an effective job ad
It’s hiring time in academia. Job postings are going up, applications are going out, the waiting begins for everyone involved. The Chronicle’s ProfHacker team is starting up a series on good hiring and application practices. And writing an effective job ad is the first step in securing a good hire for all parties. Here are a few best practices....
Chronicle of Higher Education: ProfHacker, Dec. 3
How online news reading habits have changed
Richard MacManus writes: “One of the more subtle trends of 2010 has been the way that our reading habits have changed, due to a convergence of other web trends: mobile apps, real-time web (mostly Twitter), and social networking as a way to track news (mostly Facebook). In the previous era of the so-called Web 2.0, RSS readers and start pages were all the rage. Over 2010, though, more people used tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instapaper, Flipboard, LazyWeb, Feedly, and TweetDeck to track news.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 6
The man who put the hole in catalog cards
Larry Nix writes: “December 3 is the 175th anniversary of the birth of Otis Hall Robinson (right), who was library director at the University of Rochester from 1868 to 1889. He is noted more for his advocacy of library instruction than for his idea for dealing with the annoying tendency of library users to remove catalog cards and put them back in the wrong order (or to keep them for later reference). Robinson’s plan called for punching a hole in the lower-left corner of each catalog card and running a rod through all the holes.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 3
Turning the pages of Historia Animalium
The Communications Engineering Branch of the U.S. National Library of Medicine developed the original Turning the Pages Information System in 2001 and converted some of the library’s rare holdings into the format. It offers an online version using Macromedia Flash MX with turn-the-page versions of Conrad Gesner’s Historia Animalium, Ambroise Paré’s Oeuvres, and other books and manuscripts....
National Library of Medicine
Library lovers celebrate Jewish Library Snapshot Day
During Jewish Book Month in November, 30 Jewish libraries participated in Library Snapshot Day. The event, sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, was created to let all types of Judaic libraries record what happens in a day in the life of a library. Across North America, libraries in synagogues, day schools, community centers, and universities picked one day during the first two weeks of November to hold the event. Collectively, participating libraries served 3,548 patrons on Library Snapshot Day. View some of the snapshots here (2:38)....
Association of Jewish Libraries Blog, Nov. 30; YouTube, Nov. 30
Raging Grannies sell cookies for Seattle Public Library
A gaggle of Raging Grannies appeared in front of the Greenwood branch of the Seattle Public Library December 2, singing and dancing to show their support for world peace and keeping the library open. In less than two hours they sold nearly $80 worth of cookies and will donate the proceeds to the Friends of the Library. Yes, there is a video (1:08)....
Seattle Times, Dec. 2; Foxy Art Studio, Dec. 2
Toronto rap group immortalizes Robarts Library
Lia Granger writes: “It was only a matter of time before a trio of bored University of Toronto students put down their textbooks, ignored their midterms, sat down to write a hip-hop ode to UT’s Robarts Library, and posted a low-budget music video on YouTube. Well folks, that time is now, that trio is local rap group Geak, and that YouTube video is Robarts Mansion (4:11).”...
Toronto Life: The Hype, Dec. 7; YouTube, Nov. 3
The Undergraduate Library rap
This rap video (2:28) was developed to provide a quick orientation to the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library and the research process. It was the mastermind of UIUC Instruction Librarian Susan Avery for use in the library’s instruction classes. With music by MC Footnote....
YouTube, Dec. 1
Ranganathan and Dewey in holiday hip-hop
Baruch University Information Services Librarian Steven Francoeur utilized OfficeMax’s ElfYourself website (powered by JibJab) to create a short video (0:58) showing famed Indian librarian S. R. Ranganathan (who developed the Five Laws of Library Science in 1931) and pioneer library science educator Melvil Dewey as elves busting a move....
Beating the Bounds, Dec. 6
Sherilyn the Librarian
Sherilyn Fenn (right) played an enigmatic librarian, Maudette Hornsby (3:11), in the December 1 airing of “Dual Spires,” an episode of the fun-loving USA Network series Psych. The episode was a tribute to David Lynch’s classic 1990–1991 TV series Twin Peaks, in which Fenn starred as the cherry stem–twisting temptress Audrey Horne. A close look at the Dual Spires Public Library shelves reveals a mix of Dewey and LC class numbers as well as extremely poor volume arrangement....
TV Squad, Nov. 29; AOL Video, Dec. 1
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