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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 15, 2010

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San Diego Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
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AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

WikiLeaks logoFederal ban of WikiLeaks website embroils librarians
Reaction continues to pour in from all over the world since the Library of Congress confirmed December 3 that it was blocking access from all LC computers to the WikiLeaks website in order to prevent unauthorized downloading of classified records, as ordered by the Office of Management and Budget. LC’s action raised red flags in libraries all over the country as librarians struggled with the implications of the nation’s library barring staff and visitors’ access to the classified diplomatic cables WikiLeaks released in November. The topic has been added to the ALA Council’s Midwinter agenda. PC Magazine has a timeline of the WikiLeaks events, and columnist John C. Dvorak offers additional insight. If you haven’t been keeping up, Gawker offers this excellent field guide....
American Libraries news, Dec. 10; AL: Inside Scoop. Dec. 8; PC Magazine, Dec. 7, 10; Gawker, Dec. 14

School Library Exchange logoBipartisanship in the news
Beverly Goldberg writes: “There was a bit of a holiday-season miracle over the past week: the bipartisan passage of the Museum and Library Services Act in both the House and Senate. This demonstrates that the library is the one institution that exists to serve everyone. Simple as that. But keep your eyes open for savvy allies to join the fray as the importance of libraries becomes personal for them. For example, the November launch of the School Library Exchange, a free online clearinghouse where individuals can post their school libraries’ collection-development wish lists for potential donors to see—and act upon, hopefully.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 15; ALA Washington Office, Dec. 14

Bing search query Advanced Operators listInternet Librarian: Norelax, a search metaphor for modern life
Joseph Janes writes: “At the Internet Librarian conference, I was particularly attracted to an entire day of sessions on search. Several connoisseurs were on the menu, so with appropriate thanks to Chris Sherman, Mary Ellen Bates, and Gary Price, from whom I lifted these tidbits, I thought I’d share some of what I found most appealing and striking from the day. First of all, Bing. Not yet a verb, but an increasingly interesting and viable search tool.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Cover of Managing Your Library Construction ProjectBudgeting for a library building
Q. Our town’s library is bursting its seams, so we’re beginning the exploration for a new one. Is there any place we can look for the cost factors we need to consider? A. Basic information on planning library buildings may be found on the ALA Library Fact Sheet 11, Building Libraries and Library Additions: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. Of the books referenced on the fact sheet, the one closest to what you need is architect Richard C. McCarthy’s Managing Your Library Construction Project: A Step-by-Step Guide (ALA, 2007)....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Dec. 15

Cover of Voluntary Simplicity, by Duane ElginLa Grange offers green holiday season alternative
Laura Bruzas writes: “According to RecycleWorks, Americans produce 25% more garbage from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than at any other time of the year. Thankfully, the La Grange (Ill.) Public Library has offered ecoconscious patrons a healthier alternative in the form of a Voluntary Simplicity support group which has met throughout 2010 to share stories, suggestions, struggles, and goals for living a simpler, less wasteful, more ecofriendly life.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Dec. 10

ALA News

Locke J. MorriseyLocke Morrisey, 1957–2010
Locke J. Morrisey, head of collections, reference, and research at the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, died of cancer in December. He served on the ALA Council as ACRL representative from 2007 to 2010 and was active in the California chapter, California Academic and Research Libraries. Prior to coming to USF, he was engineering librarian at the University of California, Irvine, in 1990–1997....
ACRL Insider, Dec. 15; Gleeson Gleanings, Dec. 14

Vote graphicMake your mark on ALA
Polls open March 16 for the 2011 ALA election, in which members will choose their new president-elect, Council members, and divisional and round table officers. In order to be eligible to vote, you must have your membership dues paid by January 31. The election will be held exclusively online, except for members with disabilities or without internet access. Polls will close April 22....
Public Information Office, Dec. 14

Science fiction author Vernor VingeMidwinter Meeting preview
Business meetings, celebrity authors—including Ted Danson, Kathy Reichs, Andre Dubus III, Neil Gaiman, and Vernor Vinge (right)—visits with vendors, and an abundance of discussion opportunities will highlight the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7–11, at the San Diego Convention Center and area hotels. Here is a summary of all the major events, including the Youth Media Awards, hot topics, exhibit hall happenings, and career counseling....
American Libraries feature

Screen shot of Midwinter Meeting SchedulerMidwinter Meeting scheduler
ALA has integrated its Conference Scheduler (formerly known as the “Event Planner”) into ALA Connect so that it can match sessions against your ALA groups and profile interests to help you easily find the most relevant programs and meetings you should attend. A Quick Start Guide is available as well as an FAQ. New features include up-to-date, real-time data; recommendations for sessions of interest to you; and the ability to add multiple sessions in the same time slot and prioritize them....
ALA Connect, Dec. 14

Jenifer GradyA call to action at the Sunrise Celebration
Jenifer Grady (right), director of the ALA–Allied Professional Association, will be the call-to-action speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration held during the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The celebration will be held 6:30–7:30 a.m., January 10, in the San Diego Convention Center. Grady joins keynote speaker Michael K. Honey from the University of Washington....
Office for Literacy and Outreach, Dec. 13

Attend a DiversiTEA at Midwinter
The ALA Council Committee on Diversity, the Diversity Research Grants Advisory Committee, and the Office for Diversity will host a DiversiTEA on January 9 during the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The event launches the 2011 Diversity Research Grants call for applications and provides a forum for attendees to discuss current work in diversity research....
Office for Diversity, Dec. 14

ALA expresses net neutrality concerns to FCC
ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and Educause have sent a letter (PDF file) to the Federal Communications Commission stressing the importance of ensuring that the upcoming network neutrality order contains sufficient protections for library and higher education services. The groups ask the FCC to address specific concerns prior to the scheduled vote on the net neutrality order set for December 21....
District Dispatch, Dec. 14

Endangered Libraries T-shirt imageLibraries: An endangered species
What do the giant panda, the mountain gorilla, the black rhinoceros, and your library have in common? They all face extinction if their existence continues to be taken for granted. To raise awareness of this, ALA Graphics debuts the Endangered Libraries T-shirt, adapted from New Jersey librarian Andy Woodworth’s inspiring concept. (Along with the T-shirt, ALA Graphics has issued Love My Library Buttons). To try for a free T-shirt, enter Andy’s Giveaway Contest by December 20....
ALA Graphics, Dec. 10; Agnostic, Maybe, Nov. 30

TechSource workshops logoWorkshop on e-books and e-readers
ALA TechSource announces the latest in its series of Online Workshops: “Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library,” with Sue Polanka. In two 90-minute sessions on January 25 and February 1, Polanka will provide practical guidance on how to begin purchasing e-books for your library to lend electronically and how to purchase e-reader devices for patron use. Register at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 14

Panelists needed for program on second jobs
By choice or by necessity, some library staff members work additional jobs to supplement their incomes. The ALA–Allied Professional Association is proposing an Annual Conference program tentatively titled “The Side Gig: How to Supplement Your Income in Tough Economic Times.” Anyone with expertise who can appear as a panelist can contact Jenifer Grady....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Dec. 14

How much is enough?
Amy Fry writes: “I’ve been hearing more and more recently about people dropping out of service and professional development opportunities because they cannot secure funding from their institutions to attend. I find conferences energizing. At them I get great ideas, stay on top of what’s going on in the field, and always meet interesting people. I learn lots, sleep little, and talk talk talk. But what are our institutions’ obligations to pay for this kind of professional development? What’s the payoff to them when we attend?”...
ACRLog, Dec. 13

Free FTRF memberships to new LIS grads
The Freedom to Read Foundation is offering free one-year memberships to students graduating from ALA-accredited programs and from school library media programs recognized by the American Association of School Librarians. Students can, within three months of their graduation, download a membership form (PDF file) and mail, fax, or email it to the Freedom to Read Foundation....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Dec. 15

VCU's Health Information and Advocacy @ your library logoHealth information and advocacy @ your library
In response to the demand for accurate and reliable health information, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center created Health Information and Advocacy @ your library, using the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ brand. It is an information literacy program that encourages Virginians to use the resources at the library and trained librarians to help them access reliable health information....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Dec. 14

Call for an ALA representative to UNESCO
The ALA representative to the U.S. National Commission of UNESCO will serve a two-year term (eligible for one term reappointment). The service term will be from February 1, 2011 to January 30, 2013. The commission is a federal advisory committee to the Department of State that supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice on education, science, communications, and culture. Send a letter of interest and résumé to Michael Dowling by January 9....
International Relations Office, Dec. 15

Cover of Nov./Dec. Library Technology ReportsPrivacy and freedom of information
The latest issue of Library Technology Reports from ALA TechSource examines privacy and freedom of information in 21st-century libraries. This special issue was produced in collaboration with the Office for Intellectual Freedom and includes contributions from Jason Griffey, Sarah Houghton-Jan, and Eli Neiburger. Read the introduction by Angela Maycock for free here....
TechSource, Dec. 13

Cover of Winning Library GrantsA game plan for winning library grants
ALA Editions has published Winning Library Grants: A Game Plan by Herbert B. Landau. Tightening budgets and ever-shrinking sources for funding have made winning grants more important than ever before. For both newbies taking on the process for the first time and experienced administrators looking to shore up finances, this book will help readers find the dollars every library needs....
ALA Editions, Dec. 9

ALA Rules for Filing Catalog Cards, 1968ALA Editions on Google eBookstore
After several years of planning, Google has launched its eBookstore and hundreds of ALA Editions titles are now available, from recent bestsellers such as No Shelf Required: E-Books in Libraries to 1968’s ALA Rules for Filing Catalog Cards. Unlike many other e-book platforms, Google lets you use nearly any device you own to read any book, anywhere. You can read e-books purchased from Google on the web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and several supported e-readers....
ALA Editions, Dec. 14

Booklist Online logo

Cover of J. D. SalingerFeatured review: Literature
Slawenski, Kenneth. J. D. Salinger: A Life. 464p. Jan. 2011. Random, hardcover (978-1-4000-6951-4).
Slawenski, creator of, has been working on this biography of the famously reclusive J. D. Salinger for eight years. He is more fan than scholar, but his research is remarkable, given the paucity of material on the author available to the public. Still, Slawenski has read everything that can be read and has constructed a surprisingly coherent version of a life that is likely to remain clouded with uncertainty for decades to come. What emerges from Slawenski’s reading is two different lives divided by one cataclysmic event: World War II. Slawenski’s life of Salinger makes at least speculative sense of a seemingly unknowable story, one that has beguiled readers for more than 50 years....

Graphic for Carte BlancheEvolve or die
Michael Cart writes: “‘Evolve or die,’ declares cartoonist Eric Shanower of his recent decision to produce a digital version of Age of Bronze, his Eisner Award–winning retelling of the Trojan War. ‘I’ve had a digital version in mind for at least the last five years,’ he recently told me, ‘but I haven’t had time to produce it myself. Companies that present digital editions have approached me, but none has ever presented me with a proposal I thought was ideal.’ Until Throwaway Horse came a-knocking, that is.”...

Top of the List 2010 graphic2010 Top of the List selections
Booklist has announced its Top of the List winners for 2010. The eight winning titles were chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2010. The winners are: Adult Fiction, A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan (Knopf); Adult Nonfiction, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (Crown); Youth Fiction, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, by R. A. Spratt (Little, Brown); Youth Nonfiction, They Called Themselves the K.K.K: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Houghton); Youth Picture Book, Nini Lost and Found, by Anita Lobel (Knopf); Video, Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People (Agee); Audio, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson and read by Simon Vance (Books on Tape); and Reference Source, Oxford Dictionaries Online (Oxford). The Top of the List picks are featured in the special combined January 1 and 15 issue of Booklist....

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

San Diego Update

San Diego Convention Center, filmed "on the way to Taco Bell" in Demolition Man (1993)Movies filmed in San Diego
With year-round summers and an intoxicating ocean breeze, it’s no wonder a vast array of movies and TV shows have been and continue to be filmed in San Diego. From 1898 to now, hundreds of TV shows and movies have taken place in America’s Finest City (its official nickname). For action, drama, romance, and thrillers, San Diego is one hot movie set for the film industry....
San Diego Wiki

Cover of Rainbows End, by Vernor VingeSan Diego in 2025?
Vernor Vinge’s novel Rainbows End (Tor, 2006) is set in San Diego 15 years in the future. A recovering Alzheimer’s patient and Chinese-American poet, Robert Gu, is involved in a quixotic scheme by elderly former University of California–San Diego faculty members to protest the destruction of the university library, now rendered superfluous by ubiquitous online databases. But he gets caught in an evil plot for technological world domination....
Wikipedia; Booklist Online;

Division News

Preservation Week 2011 logoPreservation Week comes to Midwinter
Preservation Week, April 24–30, the national effort to increase public awareness about the importance of preserving our personal cultural heritage, brings two programs to the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego specifically for library staff. The programs include a panel led by Preservation Week Chair Jeanne Drewes and a discussion by Jackie Dooley of OCLC Research....
ALCTS, Dec. 13

ALCTS events at Midwinter
ALCTS will present a wealth of events on important topics at the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Topics include how to create a webinar, RDA, outsourcing technical services, collection development, and web technology....
ALCTS, Dec. 14

Screen shot from Xtranormal ACRL 2011 promo videoACRL 2011 video contest
ACRL is looking for videos about why people should come to ACRL 2011 in Philadelphia, March 30–April 2. After all, no one can convince people like their colleagues. It’s easy to enter; send us a video up to 3 minutes long using any format. We’re not looking for professional production, just you being clever and convincing. Be inspired by the Xtranormal ACRL 2011 promotional video (2:03). The deadline for submissions is January 21....
ACRL Insider, Dec. 14; YouTube, Dec. 14

Issue of RBML from 1990ACRL receives grant to digitize RBML
ACRL has received a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to provide digitized archives of Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship. The grant provides $3,000 in funding to assist in making volumes 1–12 of RBML, the predecessor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, discoverable and available online through the HighWire Press platform, completing the publication’s online archive....
ACRL, Dec. 14

PLA webinar on financial literacy
On January 19, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar titled “Right on the Money: Financial Literacy @ your library,” as part of the division’s “Public Libraries at Work” monthly webinar series. It will be led by Fernando Cordova, Holly Fulghum-Nutters, and Pat Jarvis. Register by January 17....
PLA, Dec. 14

AASL issues position statement on ESEA
AASL has issued a position statement on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The statement recommends that the ESEA reauthorization include school librarians in the four key education assurances....
AASL, Dec. 14

Sign up for genealogy workshop by December 29
Registration will close December 29 for “Genealogy Happens! At the Genealogy Reference Desk,” a 2011 Midwinter Institute offered by the RUSA History Section. The event will be held January 7 at the Valencia Park / Malcolm X Branch of the San Diego Library....
RUSA, Dec. 14

Price lowered for ASCLA consulting workshop
Prices have been significantly reduced for the upcoming Midwinter Institute “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant,” hosted by ASCLA in San Diego January 7. The lowered rates will be available until registration closes on December 29....
ASCLA, Dec. 14

Round Table News

Résumé reviewers and greeters needed
The New Members Round Table Résumé Review Service Committee is looking for volunteers to greet participants and review résumés at the Résumé Review Service Booth for the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. To volunteer, fill out the volunteer form....
NMRT Notes, Dec. 14


Nominations for 2011 Madison Awards
The ALA Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award celebrates an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level. The Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness. Submit nominations by January 26....
Office of Government Relations, Dec. 9

ALA President’s Award for Advocacy
Applications are due by March 15 for the ALA President’s Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF. The award honors statewide advocacy for libraries with a $1,000 grant for the development of a program or programs for Friends and trustees at the state library association conference....
ALTAFF, Dec. 14

Logo for Story Snoops, one of the added websitesNew websites for kids
ALSC has added 19 more recommended websites to Great Web Sites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to outstanding websites for children. Members of the ALSC Great Web Sites for Kids Committee review and evaluate potential sites for inclusion and vote on the sites to be included. The site features topical links to websites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger....
ALSC, Dec. 13

Steve FjeldstedBeyond the Call of Duty Award
South Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library Director Steve Fjeldsted has received a “Beyond the Call of Duty Award by Mayor Mike Ten for creating compelling programming at the library. The award was created this year as a special honor for Fjeldsted, who also gave credit to other staff and supporters. “Libraries can’t afford to wait for people to think of us. We need to do things to make ourselves prominent in people’s minds,” he said. Fjeldsted will receive the award at a Rose Parade float fundraiser December 29....
South Pasadena (Calif.) Patch, Dec. 10

Robert P. DoyleRobert Doyle, Illinois Library Luminary
Robert P. Doyle, executive director of the Illinois Library Association, has been named an Illinois Library Luminary. Luminaries are individuals who have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries. Doyle, the author of the ALA Banned Books Week Resource Guides, has been executive director of the Illinois Library Association since 1996 and formerly worked for the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. He joins six other ILA luminaries inducted in 2010....
Illinois Library Association, Dec. 14

Ian McEwan. Photo by Annalena McAfee2010 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award
English novelist Ian McEwan is the winner of the 2010 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, sponsored by the Tulsa (Okla.) Library Trust. McEwan has written numerous novels, including Amsterdam, Enduring Love, and Atonement. McEwan was presented with the award December 3 at a sold-out black-tie dinner at the library. The award consists of a $40,000 cash prize and an engraved crystal book....
Tulsa City-County (Okla.) Library

Cover of A Really Short History of Nearly Everything2010 Educational Writers’ Award
Bill Bryson has been awarded the 2010 Educational Writers’ Award for A Really Short History of Nearly Everything, abridged and edited by Felicia Law (Corgi Children’s Books, 2010). Sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the Society of Authors, this is the only U.K. award for educational nonfiction focusing on young adults. Bryson shared the £2,000 ($3,126 U.S.) award with Law, who worked with him to style his 2009 book for a younger audience....
Society of Authors, Dec. 7

Seen Online

MLSA ready for Obama’s signature
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Museum and Library Services Act by a voice vote December 14, clearing the last legislative hurdle in its reauthorization process. The bill will now be sent to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. The passage of MLSA ensures that the Institute of Museum and Library Services can continue its federal leadership role by administering the numerous programs in the Library Services and Technology Act portion....
District Dispatch, Dec. 14

Sign: Government censorship protecting you from realityAir Force blocks media sites to halt WikiLeaks info
The U.S. Air Force is blocking its personnel from using work computers to view the websites of the New York Times and other major publications that have posted classified diplomatic cables. Air Force personnel who try to view the websites of the New York Times, Britain’s Guardian, Spain’s El País, France’s Le Monde, or Germany’s Der Spiegel get a page that says, “Access Denied. Internet Usage Is Logged and Monitored.” The Air Force admits it has blocked more than 25 websites that posted the WikiLeaks cables....
New York Times, Dec. 14

Samson-Dimond branch of the Anchorage Public LibraryAnchorage closes its oldest branch library
The city’s oldest library branch closed its doors to the public December 11, the victim of a tight 2011 city operating budget. Thirty-three years and one day after the Samson-Dimond branch (right) opened in the Dimond Center mall, it now sits shuttered. Books, movies, and music will be moved to the Z. J. Loussac Library in the coming weeks. The library served 300–400 people a day, Branch Manager Elizabeth Haskett said. The library staff will transfer to another branch, but patrons say they’re not ready to see the branch go. Hear some of their comments on the KTUU-TV newscast (2:38)....
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Dec. 12; KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Dec. 11

Westchester cuts youth services
A handful of staff cuts at the headquarters of Westchester (N.Y.) Library System will shut down popular literacy programs for children and teens throughout the county’s 38 public libraries. On the block are the system-funded bookmobile, summer reading programs, and access to movies. The system announced in early December that four staffers were let go—a YA librarian, a youth services librarian, the director of the Office of Professional Development, and a bookmobile driver....
White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News, Dec. 13

Pittsburgh branches to remain open (PDF file)
At its December meeting, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s trustees voted unanimously to keep all library branches open, officially repealing the portion of a 2009 Action Plan that would have reduced the number of branches in the system by the end of 2010. The board also approved a $23.9-million operating budget for 2011, cautioning that next year is another critical funding year for the library. The library was able to balance its projected budget due to prudent spending and additional financial support from private donors and public funders....
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Dec. 13

Emily 180 graphic, Yuba County LibraryEmily Dickinson raises money for Yuba County Library
While Sacramento libraries take a modern approach to drawing new patrons—speed dating events, Black Ops video game tournaments, book groups held in bars—library buffs in Marysville, California, are headed in the opposite direction: to the 19th century. For the 180th anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s birthday December 10, volunteers read 180 of the poet’s almost 1,800 poems. The Friends of the Packard Library of Yuba County made about $1,000 from readings in a bar, a diner, a gas station, a hardware store, a shoe repair shop, a bank, a laundromat, and on a commuter bus carrying state workers to Sacramento....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Dec. 11; Marysville (Calif.) Appeal-Democrat, Dec. 11

Help Us Make $1 Million campaign logoSeattle reaches goal of matching $500,000 donation
When an anonymous donor pledged to give the Seattle Public Library Foundation $500,000 if the pledge could be matched, other donors gave, and then some. The foundation has raised more than $675,600 in its “Help Us Make $1 Million for the Library” campaign, according to foundation executive director Jonna Ward. The largest donation was $50,000 from a longtime library supporter....
Seattle Times, Dec. 9

How academic libraries ease stress of finals
College students still pull all-nighters and ingest prodigious amounts of caffeine during finals week, but at least two academic libraries in Ohio are there to help ease the pain: Oberlin College students are allowed to dance for five minutes in the campus library twice a night during finals. John Carroll University students sip hot chocolate and roast s’mores over a fire pit outside Grasselli Library the night before exams begin. Universities are always seeking new activities for finals week, officials said....
Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer, Dec. 8

The Story of Tabby Frisk and Fluffytail, a poem for children that appeared on page 2 of the April 15, 1910, issue of the Otsego County HeraldLibrary unveils 100 years of news archives
More than 100 years of Gaylord Herald Times archives and history became available online December 8, courtesy of the Otsego County (Mich.) Library and the local newspaper. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held during an open house at the library with staff from both the library and newspaper. In a unique collaboration between the library and the Herald Times, and with a $14,000 library grant, editions of the newspaper dating back to 1903 have now been digitized and are available online for free....
Gaylord (Mich.) Herald Times, Dec. 10

Recession gives New Jersey libraries a new mission
Residents used to walk into the Piscataway (N.J.) Public Library and ask Reference Librarian Kate Baker where they could find a particular book. Now, they are more likely to ask her how to format a résumé and fill out a job application. In early December, the New Jersey State Library launched a free job search program on computers at 450 public libraries across the state. The program, which the state purchased from LearningExpress, helps guide users in building résumés and cover letters around internet-searchable keywords....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Dec. 8

Casey Sundermann, Fir Grove Elementary School libraryFailing report for Oregon school libraries
A new study by the Oregon State Library shows that most school libraries in the state don’t make the grade. The 2010 QEM School Libraries Report (PDF file), released December 6, said only 10 school libraries in Oregon met state quality standards. The other 1,308 schools did not measure up. State Librarian Jim Scheppke said “this report is very disappointing, but not surprising.” Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton was one of the top-rated 10, and librarian Casey Sundermann (right) credits parent fundraising, school district support, and federal dollars....
KGW-TV, Portland, Oreg., Dec. 8

David King Baird, from WRTV newscastTownship gives library $200K in rainy-day funds
Members of the Wayne Township board on December 9 approved a plan by an outgoing trustee to give $200,000 to help restore longer hours at four branches of the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library. David King Baird (right), who has weeks left on the job, had proposed tapping into the township’s rainy-day fund to restore hours cut by city-county officials this fall to save money. He said the plan fits within its duty of poor relief because libraries on the west side provide computers and other resources for job seekers and safe places for children....
WRTV-TV, Indianapolis, Dec. 8–9

Former employee files lawsuit against Oklahoma City
A former associate librarian has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City. Joanie Porter, who worked primarily with children’s programming at the Ralph Ellison branch, says she was discriminated against and fired because of her race, gender, age, and a physical disability. Porter worked for the library system from June 2007 to March 2010. She contends that she was fired for requesting “reasonable” work accommodations for a permanent physical disability and for complaining about racial discrimination....
Oklahoma City Oklahoman, Dec. 10

Gay books damaged at Harvard library
Approximately 36 books dealing with LGBT issues were discovered apparently covered in urine in Harvard College’s Lamont undergraduate library on November 24, according to a report filed December 10 by the library security staff. The library initially responded to the incident as a health hazard and waited to assess the value of the books before reporting it. The university determined early on December 13 that the incident appeared to involve a library staffer who accidentally spilled a bottle, containing what seemed to be urine, that was found on the shelf. The LGBT community has expressed concern with the way the library handled the matter....
Harvard Crimson, Dec. 12–13, 15

Librarian closes chapter on a sad note
When Regina Sutton was unexpectedly appointed State Librarian of New South Wales, Australia, in 2006, eyebrows were raised. The petite, fashionable American had an impressive career record except for one glaring absence. She had never worked in a library. But a few months before her initial five-year contract expires, Sutton is returning to the United States to help her family cope with a personal tragedy....
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Dec. 14

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Tech Talk

Top apps graphicTop iPhone and iPad apps of the year
Jennifer Van Grove writes: “With more than 300,000 applications for iOS devices, Apple’s iTunes App Store is a marketplace of enormous proportion. Apple has released its annual iTunes Rewind feature and named its apps of the year, which makes this the perfect time to reflect on the apps that have managed to best the competition and rise to the top of the charts this year.”...
Mashable: Mobile, Dec. 10

Google Map Buddy generates high-resolution, full-size area mapsThe most popular free Windows downloads of 2010
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “We’ve featured quite a few Windows downloads throughout 2010. Here’s a look back at the most popular free applications to help you tweak, customize, and enhance your Windows experience. The following applications are selected by the amount of traffic each article gathered over the course of the year. Some of the applications are brand new, some are reincarnations of older tools, and some are updates and enhancements to existing applications.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 14

Filter your Google search by reading level
J. Nundu writes: “A new advanced search tool that Google has launched categorizes and filters results by the reading level complexity of the content. Try it out by going to advanced search and selecting an option from the ‘reading level’ dropdown. Selecting the ‘annotation’ option will annotate each result with what Google thinks the reading level is, and puts a distribution graph at the top of the results page that allows you to pivot between the levels.”...
Google Web Search, Dec. 9

Quick tips for speeding up Firefox
Rick Broida writes: “Work more efficiently in Firefox by clearing the downloads list, removing old Java Consoles, and switching to newly opened tabs. Downloads list: Recently I noticed that whenever I downloaded a file in Firefox, the program turned into molasses—especially just after the download finished. The browser would literally freeze up for seconds at a time for about a minute after. On a whim, I opened up the Downloads list (accessible by pressing Ctrl-J).”...
PC World, Dec. 14

Still from The Cat in the Hat e-book adapted as an app for AndroidDoes the Cat in the Hat like apps?
Jolie O’Dell writes: “Whether you have a little one to entertain or whether the little one within you is still going strong, you’ll be pleased to know that two Dr. Seuss apps for the Android (The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas) have arrived from Orchard House Media. If you choose to have the book read to you, the apps highlight individual words as a professional narrator reads the story. You can also choose to read the book yourself or auto-play. When you touch the image on your screen, the words zoom up.” Watch the demo video (1:06)....
Mashable: Mobile, Dec. 12; YouTube, Feb. 4

Chrome logoThe Achilles’ heel of Chrome OS beta
Galen Gruman writes: “Google announced Chrome OS in July 2009, formally introduced it 13 months ago, and then went silent. Last week, it reintroduced Chrome OS and this time gave an ETA for the real thing: mid-2011. It also distributed prototype Cr-48 laptops to people like me to test what Google CEO Eric Schmidt said would be an alternative to both Windows and Mac OS X. At this stage, the web apps available for browsers such as Chrome OS are rudimentary at best. And they don’t play well with each other.” Watch the video (3:40) of Technology Review IT Editor Erica Naone taking a test-drive....
InfoWorld, Dec. 7, 13; Technology Review, Dec. 9

How to buy a gaming PC
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “When many people think of gaming, they automatically think of gaming consoles. But for a truly connected and immersive gaming experience, desktop PCs reign supreme. The new 120Hz monitors have heralded a new chapter in 3D gaming, and you simply can’t get all the new gaming bells and whistles unless you have a high-powered gaming PC. That said, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive desktop to play the most popular games.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 9

Microsoft fixes dozens of vulnerabilities
Larry Seltzer writes: “On December 14, Microsoft released 17 updates that fix 40 separate vulnerabilities, several of which are being exploited in the wild. Only two of the updates fix vulnerabilities rated critical. The two critical updates include MS10-090, which fixes seven bugs in Internet Explorer. The second critical vulnerability is MS10-091, wihch includes three bugs in the OpenType font driver that could allow for remote code execution.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 14

MakeUseOf Answers logoThis month’s 10 toughest tech questions (so far)
Tina Sieber writes: “Since its launch in late January, MakeUseOf Answers has published over 2,000 questions. We would like to reach another milestone before the end of the year: publishing 10,000 answers from our readers. Every answer is an entry into our Best Answer of the Week contest. Among our toughest tech questions so far in December: How can I view PowerPoint presentations in Google Docs? and How do I decode hidden information in a .jpg file?”...
MakeUseOf, Dec. 14

Multimeter Kit from Maker Shed2010 electronics workbench gift guide
Matt Mets writes: “Whether total beginner or seasoned pro, there’s one thing that all electronics enthusiasts need to do their work—the right tools. Here are some of my favorites for the circuit tinkerers on your gift list, including Extech Instruments’ EX330 Mini Digital Multimeters Voltage Detector, Sparkfun’s Banana to IC Hook Cables, and Maker Shed’s Multimeter Kit.”...
Make: Technology on Your Time, Dec. 14

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Great Libraries of the World

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Widener Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The centerpiece of the largest university library system in the world, Widener commemorates Harry Elkins Widener, a 1907 Harvard graduate who was a book collector and victim of the Titanic disaster in 1912. The Beaux-Arts facility was designed by Horace Trumbauer and houses some 50 miles of bookshelves.

Woburn (Mass.) Public Library. Photo by Daderot

Woburn Public Library, Woburn, Massachusetts. The library was built in 1876–1879 following the death of Charles Bowers Winn, who bequeathed $140,000 to the town. The first of architect Henry Hobson Richardson’s series of library designs, the building’s front façade of rough-dressed stone conceals a long, single-story stack area with high, column-separated windows forming a strip below its peaked roof; a projecting, three-story set of reading rooms with entryway and Gothic Revival tower; and a picture gallery and octagonal museum.

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.

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Urban and Public Affairs Librarian, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Provides reference and information services for the university’s students and faculty as well as members of the general public, participates in a dynamic instructional program, consults and collaborates with scholars in specific academic units, including classroom and online instruction, and possibly for-credit courses, and selects information resources to support the instructional and research needs of a diverse institution....

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Digital Library of the Week

Commemoration photograph of three children and a woman laying wreaths on a mass grave in front of a crowd of people, Kicukiro, Kigali, Uganda. From the Kigali Genocide Memorial Ibuka Wooden Plaque Collection

The University of Texas Libraries established the Human Rights Documentation Initiative in 2008, thanks in large part to funding from the Bridgeway Foundation in Houston. Its initial charge was to digitally preserve the records of human rights abuses in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The project to collect, preserve, and make accessible the Rwandan records has continued with itinerant staff constantly moving between Austin and Kigali, the site of the Kigali Memorial Centre where the fragile and sometimes anachronistic materials were being held. On December 10, the project reached a milestone with the inauguration of the Genocide Archive Rwanda, a new and comprehensive repository for information related to the genocide. The physical archive housed on-site at the Kigali Genocide Memorial facility in Kigali will contain the original audiovisual, documentary, and photographic materials in a secure, controlled environment. The digital archive will eventually house copies of all audiovisual recordings, and scans of all known documents and photographs will be accessible to researchers through a cross-referenced system that allows keyword searches, first on-site and ultimately online. HRDI’s mission has also expanded in scope, establishing projects with the Free Burma Rangers and the Texas After Violence Project, and it is currently negotiating new plans in Latin America.

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.

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“The best thing about my library is the branch I have in my house. The library branch in my home is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the librarian never has to ask me to be quiet. It’s not just me that has one. The San Diego County Library opened a branch in every home with an internet connection when they went online back in 1997. Since then the library has provided a level of service that previously a librarian could only imagine.

—Tom Petersen, resident of Ramona, California, who won $100 from the Library Friends of San Diego County in an essay contest on the theme “The Best Thing About My Library Is...,” Ramona (Calif.) Sentinel, Dec. 10.

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Yakima. “Libraries Take Flight.”

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Naxos Tchaikovsky iBookTchaikovsky goes transmedia
Mary Burkey writes: “Here’s another example of sound integrated into electronic print: the Naxos iBook, Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music by Jeremy Siepmann. Musical biographies are an ideal genre for combining sound clips of compositions into the appropriate section of a book. Naxos also provides the music in Handel’s Messiah: Comfort for God’s People, currently available as a free download from Christian Audio through the month of December.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Dec. 10

Nook and Kindle in a boxing arenaKindle and Nook comparison
Blogger Switch11 writes: “I have the Kindle 3 and the Nook, with software upgrade 1.5, in front of me and it’s time for a Kindle/Nook comparison to wind up 2010. Keep in mind that Kindle 3 is a third-generation e-reader and Nook, even with its 1.5 upgrade, is second generation. While each has its strengths and weaknesses, the Kindle does have advantages that come with newer technology, more polished software, and better resale value. But if you prefer the Nook’s strengths and don’t mind reading on a LCD screen, it’s well worth taking a look at Nook Color.”...
Kindle Review, Dec. 11

Image for Wicked Lovely e-bookAmazon removes incest-related erotica titles
Chris Meadows writes: “A discussion thread on Amazon’s Kindle Community forum notes that Amazon has begun removing some previously published books or stories from its store, and from the Kindle archives. Readers who have previously downloaded them to their Kindles can keep them there, but cannot re-download them. The book whose removal sparked the discussion was an erotica title called Wicked Lovely by author Jess C. Scott.” Public outcry about the bookseller’s censorship continues on Twitter at #amazonfail and #amazoncensors....
TeleRead, Dec. 12

The OMB Appendix, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2011 is available as a Google e-bookGoogle, GPO strike an e-book deal
Looking for new titles to stock your mobile reading device? How about a copy of the 2011 federal budget? Or a history of the space race? Hundreds of federal publications are now available for download and purchase through the new Google eBookstore, the search engine giant and Government Printing Office announced December 14. Ultimately about 1,800 government publications will be available for download and purchase. Potential e-readers can purchase government titles online at prices lower than the print versions....
Washington Post: Federal Eye, Dec. 14

Screen shot from Tales2Go promotional videoFree Tales2Go for libraries
Mary Burkey writes: “Here’s a great holiday gift to cash-strapped schools and other educational programs from Tales2Go (2:55), a children’s audiobook and story service/app. Educators can sign up for a free Tales2Go account up until January 15. Each subscription will remain valid through June 30, and up to five Apple mobile devices can be used on each account.”...
Audiobooker, Dec. 13

The Origin of Species in the new BookReader formatNew Internet Archive BookReader
The Internet Archive has released a freshly revised version of its BookReader. Among other things, it has a redesigned user interface, a navigation bar, a Read Aloud feature, automatically generated tables of contents, improved full-text search, and sharing options. You can embed any of their publicly accessible books on your blog by getting the embed code from the Share dialogue....
Open Library Blog, Dec. 9

Cover of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer (ANCHR)Librarian’s book on California pioneer John Bidwell
The legend of pioneer and soldier John Bidwell (1819–1900) comes alive for schoolchildren in a new book by Orland (Calif.) Free Library Youth Librarian Nancy Leek. When she worked at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library, people came in asking for books on Bidwell for youngsters, but there was nothing on him there—except for a scholarly work or two. When she got laid off, she decided to write John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer....
Orland (Calif.) Press Register, Nov. 30

James Loeb100 years of the Loeb Classical Library
Linda Hedrick writes: “James Loeb (right) wanted to share his love of the classics by making the works of ancient authors available to anyone interested in them, regardless of whether or not they had knowledge of Greek or Latin. In 1911, he arranged to publish these great works in collaboration with some of the most outstanding classicists of the time. The books were published in Greek or Latin with the facing pages in English translations. They were small in size so that they could fit in a gentleman’s coat pocket.”...
Booktryst, Dec. 9

Cover of The Door (Farrar & Rinehart, 1930)Why do we think the butler did it?
Nate Pederson writes: “It’s the biggest cliché in mystery writing. But where did the cliché originate? Were any fictional butlers ever actually revealed as murderers? Judging from the phrase’s cultural resonance, you’d think the early mystery scene was seething with hatchet-wielding manservants. An investigation of the evidence, however, reveals another story entirely. The butler was framed. The concept is commonly attributed to Mary Roberts Rinehart’s The Door (1930).”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 9

Cover of Gadsby, by Ernest Vincent Wright (1939)10 works of literature that were really hard to write
Mark Juddery writes: “Instead of judging works of literature based on their artistic merit, we’ve decided to rank them by degree of difficulty. These 10 authors may not be Shakespeare, but they sure had vaulting ambitions.” For example, a 50,000-word novel without the letter “e,” a collection of tongue-twisting nursery rhymes, and a book of 843 poems written in 24 hours....
Mental Floss, Dec. 11

Actions & Answers

Harvard calls for a Digital Public Library of America
Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced December 13 that it will host a research and planning initiative for a Digital Public Library of America. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Berkman will convene a diverse group of stakeholders in a planning program to define the scope, architecture, costs, and administration for the proposed repository. Planning activities will be guided by a Steering Committee of library and foundation leaders, which includes Harvard’s Robert Darnton, Michigan’s Paul Courant, and the Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle....
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Dec. 13

Why cutting school librarians is a mistake
Carole Ashbridge writes: “Penny wise and pound foolish. That’s the best way to describe the recent move among schools to save money by cutting school librarians and/or reducing funding for school libraries. The actions of school boards and administrators across the country shortchange our students and our society as well. A school library in each and every school, staffed by a professional and certified librarian, is critical to the education of our students.” But that does not seem to be the philosophy in Minnesota, which has reduced the number of its school librarians by 25% in the past decade....
Scholastic: Practical Leadership, Dec. 13; Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Dec. 11

Trends in the PLDS 2010 Statistical Report
Virgil E. Varvel Jr. writes: “The annual Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report has been providing data to the library community since 1988. This article presents trends and insights across the data and across population groups. One highlight: Per $1,000 of expenditures, libraries tended to experience slightly greater output in all measures than last year, reversing last year’s trend.”...
Public Libraries 49, no. 6 (Nov./Dec.)

A thought experiment
Phil Bradley writes: “Let’s try a brief thought experiment. Imagine for a moment that every librarian was a member of the same professional body. What would that get us? In the first instance, that body would have a good income derived from membership fees. The organization could provide good recruitment facilities, it would be able to represent librarians in their organizations, it would be the voice that librarians scared for their jobs could hear speaking on their behalf. Now look at the other extreme. Imagine a situation where we don’t have a professional body at all. Zip, zilch, zero, gone.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Dec. 12

Cover of Spend ShiftDallas Central Library featured in Spend Shift
Miriam Rodriguez, multicultural services coordinator at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, is featured in a recent book by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live (Jossey-Bass). Rodriguez discusses the library’s busy Job Resources Center, which has seen a surge in visitors since the recession started....
PSFK, Dec. 13

Rethinking the library to improve information literacy
Andrew Marcinek writes: “In January 2007, I was hired by Springfield Township (Pa.) School District to teach English. One of the first pieces of advice I received was, ‘Seek out Joyce Valenza.’ I took this advice and sought out Joyce, the STSD librarian, immediately. She was ahead of the curve and understood the necessity of information literacy. As many schools acquire and integrate more technology, the case for integrating lessons in information literacy is becoming a necessary skill all students must learn and develop.”...
Edutopia, Dec. 8

Pyramid chart of patron levels of engagementLevels of patron engagement
Brian Mathews writes: “What I am really interested in is the evolution of patrons’ relationships to their libraries over the course of time. In theory, as they accumulate different blocks of experience using our services, their sophistication and commitment should increase. Perhaps during their first visit they use it as a study space, then the next time they use a computer, and then next they browse the popular fiction section. I put this concept into a pyramid to create a better visual.”...
The Ubiquitous Librarian, Dec. 6

What do students really need?
Meredith Farkas writes: “I’m not sure if I’ve become more cynical or just more observant, but lately I feel like I’ve been seeing things through new eyes. We make so many assumptions in this profession, often based on the idea that we know what students need and want. I have to wonder if moving to WorldCat Local will make it easier or more difficult for students to find what they’re looking for. Another thing I’m having a crisis of faith about is screencasting. And don’t get me started on e-books or patron-driven acquisitions!”...
Information Wants to Be Free, Dec. 13

OCLC motion to dismiss SkyRiver lawsuit
Karen Coyle writes: “OCLC has filed a motion to dismiss (PDF file) in the antitrust lawsuit brought by SkyRiver Technology Solutions. I will comment on some interesting text and subtext of the motion. Since this will get long, here is a quick summary: The motion states that SkyRiver has so far offered little proof of harm due to OCLC’s business practices. The motion may play on the court’s ignorance of the library world and of OCLC’s definitions. The motion undermines some previous OCLC claims as to the force of the Record Use policy.” Be sure to read Part 2....
Coyle’s InFormation, Dec. 14

Calvin Klein Jeans recently put up three billboards to promote the brand’s upcoming campaign: Not a racy montage of scantily clad models, but a bright red QR code that leads to an exclusive 40-second sexy commercialQR codes in the classroom and library
Gwyneth Jones writes: “QR codes are popping up everywhere: on the back of my Sephora catalog, the windows of shops, and in my library. They’re already big in Japan, and now in New York and Los Angeles. A Quick Response (QR) code is a two-dimensional or 2D barcode that can be interpreted by any mobile phone with camera capabilities. Unlike traditional barcodes, which feature a series of straight lines, QR codes are laid out in a matrix and can hold much more information.” Need a QR code video tutorial? Here is a good one (3:47) from Rocketboom....
The Daring Librarian, Dec. 11; YouTube, Dec. 9

The latest Facebook privacy violation
Bobbi Newman writes: “Last week Facebook started rolling out its latest and greatest profile update. Tonight I noticed something new: Instead of saying ‘Bobbi Newman wrote on John Doe’s wall,’ it actually tells you exactly what I wrote. Even if you are not friends with John Doe. Even if his account is set to private. Although this conversation may have taken place in a quasi-public sphere there is no indication that I wanted this conversation broadcast.”...
Librarian by Day, Dec. 13

Silver Spring Library sign, as proposed, in Arial typeFonts make a difference
Dan Reed writes: “Last week, we talked about the new design of the Silver Spring branch of the Montgomery County (Md.) Public Libraries, set to open in 2014. While I wrote about the proposed building’s aesthetics and changes to the layout, some of the commenters here took issue with the font of the sign at the corner, which spells out ‘Silver Spring Library’ vertically. For instance, sans serif fonts can make something appear fresh and modern, while serif fonts can create a historic or refined air.”...
Greater Greater Washington, Dec. 3, 10

Signs, making readable (satire)
The Polite Librarian writes: “When creating signs for patrons, librarians should be mindful to avoid library jargon. You can also make a more deliberate attempt to speak your patrons’ language by intentionally inserting grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and unnecessary punctuation on your BROKE printers or out-of-order ELEVATOR’S.”...
A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette, Dec. 10

TXGenWeb Project website headerSome favorite Texas genealogical resources
Greta Koehl writes: “Going through my extensive list of links for Texas genealogy in my efforts to add links to this blog was instructive. These links include websites that are about Texas research in general, and others that are specific to the main counties that I research: Dallas and the Four Corners area (Collin, Fannin, Grayson, and Hunt counties).”...
Greta’s Genealogy Bog, Dec. 5

Flood damage at Kingston Springs (Tenn.) Elementary. Screen shot from School Pride showDEMCO disaster relief featured on School Pride
Following a devastating summer flood that demolished Kingston Springs (Tenn.) Elementary School, the DEMCO Company provided services and solutions to replace what was lost as part of an overhaul orchestrated by NBC’s reality TV series School Pride. When flood waters receded, DEMCO worked with school staff to determine their needs, ultimately laying out a new library, and replacing furniture and many materials critical to lesson plans. The rebuilding of the school was featured on the October 29 episode....
DEMCO, Dec. 14; WSMV-TV, Nashville, June 8; School Pride, Oct. 29

Why I write
Andy Woodworth writes: “For me, writing reminds me of the bleeding techniques of early Western medicine; it was a school of thought regarding the draining of excessive humors from the body in order to reach a better state of health. In applying this principle to my blog, it is a matter of giving voice to ideas, thoughts, opinions, and commentary that would otherwise be rattling around my brain pan, demanding to be let out or returned for use by some other higher brain function. For me, writing is life. An expression of myself that is both pure and raw. It is myself on display for all who care to gaze.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Dec. 9

Seven things I learned about being a librarian in 2010
Justin Hoenke writes: “6. Embrace the icky stuff. That line was the first thing I wrote in my article ‘Have Degree, Will Travel’ for the October issue of Library Journal. I stand by it 100%. Get messy and do stuff that might make you feel weird. In the end, everything works out and you come out as a stronger person. The other good thing? When you try something new and unique, the people you’re doing this stuff for appreciate what you’re doing.”...
Justin the Librarian, Dec. 10; Library Journal, Oct. 15

Keith Richards's signature on the dead orchid's saucerKeith Richards killed my orchid
Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards can add one more item to his list of rock-star excesses: killing a library plant. A delicate Moon Orchid, Phalaenopsis amabilis, at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center died a few days after its October 29 encounter with Richards, who was waiting there before his talk. Apparently the plant could not handle his smoking, opening a window, and using its clay saucer as an ashtray (which he signed impulsively)....
New York Daily News, Dec. 9; NYPL Wire, Dec. 8

May 1951 issue of Astounding Science FictionA medical library in science fiction
Rachel Walden writes: “I’m reading Isaac Asimov’s Robot Dreams, and found this description of a medical library in the short story, ‘Hostess,’ first published in the May 1951 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. In the relevant excerpt below, our protagonist, Rose, is doing a bit of surreptitious research. Certain aspects will be familiar to librarians now. Our print volumes go back 35 years, but we’d never tell your creepy husband what you were looking up.”...
Women’s Health News, Dec. 11

Typescript of Eisenhower's farewell address from the Moos papersEisenhower’s Farewell Address: New documents
Recently discovered memos, letters, and drafts documenting the intellectual evolution and writing of the most famous farewell address in modern American history are now open to researchers at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas. The library received the material from Grant Moos, son of Malcolm Moos, a special assistant to Eisenhower and his chief speechwriter at the time of the January 17, 1961, speech. The addition of the Moos papers fills a gap in the records....
Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Dec. 10

President-Elect and Mrs. Kennedy leave their Georgetown home on Inauguration morning, January 20, 1961. Photograph by Jacques Lowe © Estate of Jacques LoweNew exhibit displays treasures from the JFK inauguration
On December 10, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston unveiled “Passing the Torch,” a new exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the swearing in of John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. Highlights of the exhibit are the reading copy of Kennedy’s January 9 farewell address to the state of Massachusetts, never-before-published photographs by American photographer Phil Stern showing spectators lining the inaugural parade route, and the top hat and brown suede gloves worn by Kennedy to his inauguration....
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Dec. 2

The sweetest words to a librarian’s ears
Nashville State Community College Dean of Learning Resources Margaret Faye Jones writes: “Today, one of our students said, ‘You know, I think you guys might be the most underused and underappreciated resource on this campus.’ I thanked him and asked him to spread the word about our services. It was a nice moment. But the truth is we enjoy doing this. More than once, I’ve said to myself I can’t believe that I’m paid to help students do research when I love to do research anyway.”...
JollyLibrarian, Dec. 10

A time to reflect
Stephanie Wilkes writes: “The holiday season has arrived and with that comes the end of 2010 and the dawn of a fresh start in 2011. For me, 2010 has been a year of some serious growth in the Young Adult Department of my library system and a year that has taught me so much about programming and what I should and shouldn’t do. So I’ve decided to pen a list of New Year’s Library Resolutions for 2011.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 14

S. R. RanganathanRevising Ranganathan
Joyce Valenza writes: “Well-respected Indian librarian S. R. Ranganathan (1892–1972, right) contributed his Five Laws of Library Science to our profession in 1931. Most of us learned about these as ideologies in library school and they live in the back of our minds. Lately, I’ve been wondering how and if Ranganathan’s laws apply to today’s school libraries. And public and academic libraries too. So I decided to try my own revision. I welcome your feedback and ideas.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 12

Censorship T-shirt from ZazzleLibrarian holiday gift guide
Brian Herzog writes: “Do you know what I enjoy more than telling people where the bathroom is? Shopping. In case anyone is pestering you for gift ideas, they could read How To Get Good Gifts for Librarians, or use the links here to find something for the librarian in their life—such as the Barbarian Librarian’s Booty Shop, with gifts for book people with attitude.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Dec. 9;

Screen shot from Little Rare Book RoomLittle Rare Book Room: Merry Cthulhu!
A Very Scary Solstice (and its CD and songbook sequels) merges the wonderful tradition of merry holiday caroling with the cosmic horror of the Cthulhu Mythos. The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society offers a tentacle-full of yuletide Yog-Sothothery for the season, including this tribute (3:16) to Miskatonic University’s Special Collections Department....
YouTube, Apr. 21

Screen shot from The Digital Story of the NativityThe digital story of the Nativity
How social media, the web, and mobile phones tell the story of the Nativity (2:58) through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, Gmail, Foursquare, and Amazon. From a digital media company in Lisbon, Portugal. Avoid Romans!...
YouTube, Dec. 13

Screen shot of the Kickass Librarian admonishing a patronKickass librarian
Using her mad librarian skills (and a Jedi mind trick), a kickass small-town librarian defends all that is just, well-organized, and true. This video (11:11) features The Escapists, a comedy troupe from Portland, Maine. Shot and edited by Robert Fiske, written by Jason Wilkins, directed by R. J. McComish, and starring Tara McDonough as the Kickass Librarian....
YouTube, Nov. 26

Screen shot of Reina Del Cid from Library Girl videoLibrary Girl: An original song
Singer/songwriter Reina Del Cid (right) sings about a bookish girl (3:48) who works as a library shelver at night and wonders about a guy she likes who is more into AC/DC than Puccini. See Reina’s YouTube channel for more of her compositions....
YouTube, July 10

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