American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 22, 2010

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ALA News
Booklist Online
San Diego Update
Division News
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Tech Talk
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American Libraries Online

12 ways libraries are good for the country
Leonard Kniffel writes: “American Libraries magazine offers this gift of 12 ideals toward which librarians strive as they provide comprehensive access to the record of human existence. This list was originally published as a cover story in American Libraries in December 1995 and has been adapted and updated.”...
American Libraries feature

A Hennepin County Library Outreach Services Bi-Folkal kit for older adultsWhen there is no frigate but a book
Sara Zettervall writes: “The ALA Code of Ethics specifies that libraries are responsible for delivering the highest level of service to all library users. In the spirit of that code, Outreach Services staff at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library eagerly deploy beyond its walls to meet the needs of customers who can’t make it to the library on their own. Outreach librarians find and serve a diverse clientele, from a young man awaiting trial at the Juvenile Detention Center to an elderly woman in assisted living.”...
American Libraries feature

Nancy Everhart on AASL Vision TourAASL road trip
AASL President Nancy Everhart (right) is a third of the way through her “Vision Tour” of outstanding school libraries throughout the United States. Everhart says the tour is garnering attention that has already produced major changes for the good. The Vision Tour is aligned with Learning4Life, an AASL initiative. At each Vision Tour stop, Everhart says, the school librarians plan some sort of event to celebrate their selection....
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 20

Highsmith logoDEMCO acquires Highsmith
DEMCO President Mark Grasee announced December 20 that his firm had acquired the assets of Highsmith from W. W. Grainger Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Highsmith will become a division of DEMCO, but Grasee told American Libraries that the two iconic library vendors would maintain their present toll-free phone numbers and websites. The businesses will operate from DEMCO’s headquarters in Madison and Deforest, Wisconsin; DEMCO will add up to 75 employees to its current workforce of 245, most of whom are now Highsmith staff members....
American Libraries news, Dec. 21

Next Steps: Forward, compared to what?
Brian Mathews writes: “As a forward-looking library faces the future, one of the most vital steps it can take is to determine where it stands right now. You might have a destination in mind, but without knowing your current location, the journey ahead will be difficult. Measuring patron perceptions is tricky, and no one tool will tell you everything that you need to know. An approach that I have found valuable is to attempt to decode the personality of the library.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Dispatches from the Field: Web-scale discovery
Jason Vaughan writes: “Connecting users with the information they seek is one of the central pillars of our profession. Web-scale discovery services for libraries are those services capable of searching quickly and seamlessly across a vast range of local and remote preharvested and indexed content, providing relevancy-ranked results in an intuitive interface expected by today’s information seekers.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Recommended websites for librarians
Q. I know that ALA has the Great Web Sites for Kids, but is there a list of websites that ALA points to for librarians to use? A. There is a section of the ALA Recommended Websites page by the ALA Library called For Librarians, Trustees, and Educators. Here are some other resources....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Dec. 22

TechSoup's By The Cup newsletter headerWhat’s your New Year’s resolution?
Laura Bruzas writes: “One of my professional resolutions for 2011 is to become more techno-savvy. Though I use technology every day, I often feel as if I’m falling behind. So many new things to discover, so little time. One of the best resources that I plan on tapping into more is TechSoup. Spend a little time checking out all they have to offer for free or at deep discounted prices, and sign up to receive their e-newsletter, By the Cup.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Dec. 17

No AL Direct next week
AL Direct is taking a week off for the holidays. Look for a new edition on Wednesday, January 5. Have a Happy New Year!

ALA News

The FCC net neutrality order
ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and Educause say the Federal Communications Commission’s passage of its net neutrality order by a 3–2 vote December 21 is a first step toward restoring an open internet, but does not go far enough to ensure that community anchor institutions’ content and services can be equally accessed by the public. While clarification of the word “consumer” guarantees the rule will apply to libraries, the groups say that additional provisions (PDF file) are needed to achieve true net neutrality. GigaOM offers a net neutrality timeline....
District Dispatch, Dec. 21; CNET News: Signal Strength, Dec. 21; GigaOM, Dec. 21

Caitlin WilliamsSeven steps to get your career moving
Join the ALA JobLIST Placement Center January 11, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Central time, for a free, idea-packed webinar that will clearly lay out the key strategies for choosing your next career move and the best ways for getting there. Caitlin Williams, a career development consultant and coach, will present the session. Register online. Williams will also provide free one-on-one career counseling sessions at the Midwinter Meeting....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Dec. 21

Council and Executive Board meetings at Midwinter
John Chrastka writes: “Here are brief agendas (tentative) for ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board at the Midwinter Meeting. The Council agenda will build during the course of the meeting as other groups bring forward reports and as resolutions are introduced by councilors.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Dec. 22

ALA chapters: FAQ
Each state library association is a chapter of ALA. Chapters are established by ALA’s governing body, the ALA Council. This FAQ explains how the ALA chapters partnership works and provides easy access to ALA resources for chapters. It also shows some ways you can get involved....
Chapter Relations Office

LSSC Program logoLSSC webinar
Wondering about the benefits and the requirements of the Library Support Staff Certification Program? On January 4 at 11 a.m. Central time, the ALA–Allied Professional Association is offering an hour-long webinar designed to give you an introduction to the LSSC Program and offer you an opportunity to ask questions. Register for the webinar online....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Dec. 21

ALA Editions eLearning logoNew eCourse on YA readers’ advisory
ALA Editions is offering a new facilitated eCourse on Young Adult Readers’ Advisory Services. Jessica Moyer, an experienced online instructor and a doctoral candidate researching teen reading habits, will serve as the instructor starting on January 17. Registration can be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Dec. 21

Booklist Online logo

Cover of American Eden: From Monticello to Central ParkFeatured review: Gardening
Graham, Wade. American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Are. 480p. Illustrated Apr. 2011. Harper, hardcover (978-0-06-158342-1).
Garden designer and historian Graham takes a panoramic perspective in his bold interpretation of the form, function, and meaning of American gardens. Thomas Jefferson is the first, and most complex, of the many pioneering gardeners Graham incisively profiles, and Graham’s frank dissection of the profound paradoxes implicit in Jefferson’s landscape vision for Monticello in a time of slavery and genocide against Native Americans sets the groundwork for his central insight, the fact that wilderness was a catalyst for the American imagination even as we rapidly destroyed it. Other intriguing garden designers include the 19th-century advocates for middle-class gardens as “emblems of virtue” A. J. Downing and Charles Platt, and their heir, the ever-ambitious Martha Stewart. As Graham unwinds the DNA of American garden design from grandiose to utilitarian, he matches garden aesthetics with the social mores of each era to surprising effect....

Graphic of Top 10 Crafts and GardeningTop 10 crafts and gardening books
Brad Hooper writes: “This year we bring the garden into the home and mix our recommendations for the best craft books of the past year (of those reviewed in Booklist) with recommendations for the best gardening books during the same 12-month period. After all, gardeners and crafters belong to similar species.”...

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

San Diego Update

Broken Yolk Cafe logoWhere to eat at Midwinter
Linda Salem writes: “Everyone needs to eat, and San Diego offers plenty of terrific options. Highlighted here are mostly restaurants in and near the Gaslamp Quarter, convenient to the San Diego Convention Center and most ALA hotels, with a few farther-flung possibilities. The Gaslamp Quarter is a major entertainment and dining district, with options ranging from good take-out food up through fancy restaurants. Some locations host live music. Reservations are always a good idea at Gaslamp restaurants.”...
American Libraries feature

The Full Bay TourTry a harbor cruise
San Diego Harbor Excursion offers super sightseeing on the San Diego Bay with one- and two-hour narrated cruises. Indoor and outdoor seating and snacks are available. The Full Bay deluxe tour covers Harbor and Shelter Islands, Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, North Island Naval Air Station, the Submarine Base, and the Coronado Bridge. Watch for those adorable harbor seals....
San Diego Harbor Excursion

Gateguru app iconAirport apps put you first in line
Airport travel doesn’t have to be totally miserable. While the usual groundwork—showing up early with boarding passes in hand and packing as lightly as possible—still applies, an array of travel applications for smartphones can help you tackle just about any problem that might arise at or on your way to the airport. So before you leave home, take a moment to download a few of these to help you navigate the terminal crush....
New York Times: Practical Traveler, Dec. 14

Division News

Edward SwansonEdward Swanson, 1941–2010
Edward Swanson, lifetime ALA member and cataloger at the Minnesota Historical Society for 31 years, died December 10 in St. Paul, Minnesota, after a brief illness. Swanson was book review editor of the ALCTS journal Library Resources and Technical Services from 2004, served on the ALCTS Board of Directors and several of its committees, and indexed LRTS for decades. He was also active in the Minnesota Library Association and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions....
ALCTS Newsletter Online, Dec.

Midwinter seminar on unexpected leadership
Midwinter Meeting attendees are invited to attend an exciting and inspiring professional development seminar. As part of its ongoing commitment to enriching its membership, LLAMA takes time during one of its key business meetings to present crucial and timely leadership development strategies. “Unexpected Leadership” will take place January 9, 1:30–3:30 p.m....
LLAMA, Dec. 21

ASCLA/COSLA reception at Midwinter
ASCLA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies invite all Midwinter Meeting attendees to enjoy dessert in the company of colleagues at their joint reception, January 9, 8–10 p.m., at the Manchester Grand Hyatt....
ASCLA, Dec. 21

Take an ALSC online course this winter
Bring something new to your library by taking an online course this winter from ALSC. Starting on February 7, ALSC is offering four timely courses on information literacy, the Newbery Medal, graphic novels, and youth programming. Registration information is available on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Dec. 21

Kosturski and Mair selected as Emerging Leaders
Catherine Kosturski, circulation and reference intern at the Middlesex (N.J.) Public Library, and Tiffany Mair, student assistant at the California State University Braille and Talking Book Library, have been selected as 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders. Kosturski was chosen by RUSA, and Mair is ASCLA’s pick....
RUSA, Dec. 21; ASCLA, Dec. 21

ASCLA seeks course and webinar developers
ASCLA is inviting interested instructors and presenters to submit proposals for online professional development courses and webinars. Courses are typically 4–6 weeks in length; webinars last 60–90 minutes and may be proposed as single offerings or a series of sessions. Proposals should be submitted by email as Word or PDF attachments....
ASCLA, Dec. 21


RUSA book and media awards at Midwinter
Midwinter Meeting attendees are invited to celebrate the winners of numerous awards and build their 2011 to-be-read lists at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception, January 9, 5–6:30 p.m., in the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. The literary winners announced at this event will shape the author lineup for the Literary Tastes Breakfast at the ALA 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans....
RUSA, Dec. 21

Trustee awards deadline extended
ALTAFF is accepting applications for the ALA Trustee Citation and the ALTAFF Gale Outstanding Trustee Grant. The deadline for applications for both awards has been extended to January 5. For more information, visit the ALTAFF website....
ALTAFF, Dec. 15

El día de los niños/El día de los libros minigrant winners
ALSC has announced 15 winners of the El día de los niños/El día de los libros minigrants. Eight libraries serving a population of 75,000 or less have won minigrants worth $4,000 each; and seven libraries serving a population of more than 75,000 have won minigrants worth $6,000 each. The grants are part of ALSC’s Everyone Reads @ your library grant, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation....
ALSC, Dec. 21

First Lady Michelle Obama with preschool literacy teacher Nancy McClellan (left) and Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely. Screen shot from December 17 IMLS award ceremonyMichelle Obama lauds IMLS medalists
First Lady Michelle Obama presented the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to a total of 10 library and museum honorees at a White House ceremony December 17. Among them were Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely (center) and Nashville-area preschool literacy teacher Nancy McClellan, who adapted her methods after learning NPL’s approach to reading readiness. Watch the video (16:44)....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 17; White House, Dec. 17

Memento Project logoLC’s Memento Project wins preservation award
The Memento Project, led by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Old Dominion University and funded by the Library of Congress, has won the Digital Preservation Award 2010 from the Institute for Conservation and the Digital Preservation Coalition. The award, which celebrates the highest standards worldwide in the field of digital preservation, honors the Memento Project for proposing a technical framework that enables web surfers to find content that is date-and-time specific through a “time-travel” mode....
Library of Congress, Dec. 16

2010 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections grants
The Council on Library and Information Resources announced December 21 the 17 recipients of its 2010 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grants. Created in 2008, the awards program supports the identification and cataloging of special collections and archives of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate. Grant recipients create web-accessible records according to standards that enable the federation of their local cataloging entries into larger groups of related records....
Council on Library and Information Resources, Dec. 21

Best Library Blog 2010 badgeBest library edublogs 2010
The winners of the 2010 Edublog Awards were announced December 16. Winners were chosen from educational blogs nominated by other bloggers in November and December. The website and blog of the Castilleja School Library in Palo Alto, California, was the winner in the Best Librarian or Library Blog category. Runners-up were Julie Greller’s A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet and Bright Ideas by the School Library Association of Victoria, Australia....
Edublog Awards, Dec. 16

Santa Barbara Friends President Michele Allyn (left) and Verizon Government & External Affairs Director Holly ColeSanta Barbara Friends group wins Verizon literacy grant
After more than 7,000 text-message votes for Verizon’s Vote for Literacy campaign were counted, the Friends of the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Public Library received enough text message votes to earn a $9,700 grant funded by Verizon customers through the company’s Check Into Literacy program. Four other literacy organizations also received grant funds. The Verizon Foundation presented the group with their check December 10....
Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent, Dec. 15

Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh. Photo by Herb Greene, 1966IMLS grant to UC-Santa Cruz makes this year’s “Wastebook”
In his annual “Wastebook” report (PDF file), released December 20, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) accused the government of wasting $11.5 billion in 2010. One of the projects he highlights is a $615,000 IMLS grant to the University of California at Santa Cruz to help its library digitize its archive of Grateful Dead materials....
The Hill, Dec. 20 seeks schools for professional development project
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced December 7 that it has awarded a $1.8-million grant to for the creation of a new professional development model that offers ongoing online and on-demand professional development opportunities. is looking for school districts that want to be considered as candidates for participation in the middle- and high school math-teacher program in the first quarter of 2011....
American Libraries news, Dec. 21

Jie LiBiomed librarian attends Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
As friends of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, Jie Li of the University of South Alabama Biomedical Library and her husband Cai Chu were invited by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on December 10. Liu is serving an 11-year sentence in China for “inciting subversion to state power.” Li and Chu started working with Liu in 2001 when they and a group of Chinese writers formed the Independent Chinese PEN Center, an affiliate of the International PEN....
Med School Watercooler, Dec. 17

Apply for Native American library services grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the 2011 Native American Library Services Basic Grant program. Federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations may apply for these grants in two categories. The deadline is March 1....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 17

Cover of Plain Paradise2010 INSPY winners
The INSPY Advisory Board has announced eight winners of the inaugural INSPY awards in selected categories. The INSPYs were created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. The winner in general fiction was Gina Holmes’s Crossing Oceans (Tyndale House) and in Amish fiction the winner was Beth Wiseman’s Plain Paradise (Thomas Nelson)....
INSPYs, Dec. 13

Baird Harper2010 Nelson Algren Short Story Awards
The Chicago Tribune announced Baird Harper (right) as the winner of its Nelson Algren Award December 17 for his short story, “My Thoughts While Cooling Down on the Veranda.” The award honors the best unpublished fiction under 10,000 words submitted to the editors. Harper and three finalists will be honored at the Printers Row Lit Fest, June 10–11, in Chicago....
Chicago Tribune, Dec. 17

Seen Online

Cover page of Department of Commerce reportCall for a Privacy Bill of Rights
The Obama administration on December 16 called for internet businesses to develop a set of practices to protect consumer data that would be akin to a Privacy Bill of Rights and for a Privacy Policy Office in the Commerce Department to oversee that effort. The recommendations come in a long-awaited report titled Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework (PDF file). The Commerce Department is seeking public comments through January 28. Some consumer groups have blasted the report for not calling for privacy legislation and being too friendly to industry....
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 16; Digital Destiny, Dec. 16

Pell grant funding in jeopardy
With the lame-duck Congress winding down and a $5.7-billion gap in financing looming for next year’s Pell grants—and a further $8-billion gap for the following year—there is growing uncertainty about the future of the grants, the nation’s most significant financial-aid program for college students. Stopgap measures to keep the government running will probably extend into mid-February, but will most likely continue the current budget without providing extra Pell money....
New York Times, Dec. 17

Best-selling author Mike Pannett joins the protest against the proposed closure of Easingwold Library in North YorkshireDay of protest planned in U.K. over library closures
Campaigners in England are proposing a coordinated day of protest in February over the mass library closures announced since the U.K. government’s comprehensive spending review. More than 360 libraries are currently threatened with closure, according to an online survey, with 26 mobile library services also slated for the axe. The number is rising weekly as more councils come forward with cost-cutting proposals, with estimates that 800–1,000 libraries will soon be at risk. Protesters will hold read-ins at selected branches in February....
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 21; Public Libraries News, Dec. 21; Alan Gibbons’ Blog, Dec. 21; Ryedale (U.K.) Gazette & Herald, Dec. 22

Brooklyn school librarians on borrowed time
Almost a third of secondary school students in New York City have no access to school libraries, even though a New York State regulation mandates they do. It’s a growing trend. Since a peak of 792 school librarians in 1998–1999, New York City schools have cut library staff by almost 40%, to 485. The decline of libraries in the city is much more drastic than in the rest of New York, where only 2% of high school and middle school students lack access to school libraries and librarians....
The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Ink, Dec. 15

Bellevue Avenue branch of Montclair (N.J.) Public LibraryMontclair residents strive to save Bellevue Avenue branch
A group of residents determined to keep the Bellevue Avenue branch of the Montclair (N.J.) Public Library open may have to raise nearly $50,000 (the branch’s FY2010 budget) by March to do so. A December 20 meeting of “Save Our Bellevue Avenue Branch” attracted former Montclair Mayor Bob Russo and library foundation director Liz Campbell, who offered encouragement. The group also discussed a task force report ordered by the board on what to do with the building if it closed. Budget cuts have reduced hours at the branch to one day a week...
Montclair (N.J.) Times, Dec. 20; Baristanet (Montclair), Dec. 20–21

Jay-Z autographs a copy of his book Decoded for a fan after an NYPL program the rapper headlinedStars rock NYPL programming
A lecture series at New York Public Library has become so popular that it often sells out in minutes. Reflecting the library’s new approach to draw in 20–40 year-olds, “Live from the New York Public Library” has featured appearances by music icons (Patti Smith, Keith Richards, and Jay-Z), Hollywood notables (John Waters), and celebrated authors (Toni Morrision, Cornel West). “Find out what the people are interested in and give them much more,” series programmer Paul Holdengräber advises...
Voice of America, Dec. 17

Judge throws out privacy suit in LSSI takeover
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on December 21 threw out a privacy-rights lawsuit brought against the city of Santa Clarita regarding its outsourcing of local libraries. Judge Barbara Scheper effectively squelched the lawsuit brought by the Save Our Libraries group, which argued that turning patron records over to a private company (LSSI) would violate state privacy laws. LSSI is scheduled to take over the management of Santa Clarita’s three libraries in July....
Santa Clarita Valley (Calif.) Signal, Dec. 21

Ann HammondLexington delighted with new library director
Four months after becoming executive director of the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library, Ann Hammond (right) believes she’s found the perfect job: running the public library in an educated city that loves to read. Library trustees are equally delighted: “Ann just had the perfect combination of personality and skills,” board Chair Buzz Carmichael remarked when her appointment was announced. However, the board is still fighting a lawsuit filed by former director Kathleen Imhoff, who is seeking the two years’ salary and benefits she lost when she was fired in 2009....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Aug. 13, Dec. 15; AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 6

Canadian trustees bare controversial sculpture
The Tillsonburg (Ontario) Public Library board voted unanimously December 14 to uncover a display of artist R. Bruce Flowers’s sculptures in the library foyer and keep them on exhibit until February 28 as originally planned. The art was shrouded after complaints that one of the sculptures showing one man hugging another from behind depicted homosexual activity. Board Chair Linda White wrote in a letter to the editor that challenged items are removed or covered until trustees can meet to discuss the situation....
Tillsonburg (Ont.) News, Dec. 17

Martin Luther King Jr. branch of the Tacoma (Wash.) Public LibraryTacoma to close two branches, cut hours
During an emotional but unanimous decision, the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library board voted December 16 to shutter two small branches and cut service hours from the city’s Main Library beginning in 2011. The trustees’ reluctant move—aimed at partially filling a nearly $1.9 million budget gap facing the cityís library system for the next two years—will close the Swan Creek and Martin Luther King Jr. (above) branches as of January 31....
Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune, Dec. 16

Author of pedophile book arrested in Colorado
Phillip Greaves was arrested in Pueblo, Colorado, on obscenity charges out of Florida after he sold and mailed his book The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover’s Code of Conduct to sheriff’s deputies in Polk County, Florida. He is being charged with distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors. The Polk County Sheriff is seeking extradition of Greaves to Florida. The book raised censorship issues in November when pulled it from its website....
KOAA-TV, Pueblo, Colo., Dec. 20

Gonzo247 fills in the outline of the Houston mural with red paint. From the Houston Chronicle videoGraffiti artists paint underground mural at Houston Public Library
Houston’s leading graffiti artists landed their first city-sponsored project this month—a 20,000-square-foot, $30,000 mural in the downtown Central Library parking garage. Spray masters Gonzo247 and MERGE360 are employing a palette of custom-designed paints to interpret the library’s theme, “Linking You to the World.” The painting will be completed in January. Watch the video (0:52)....
Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, Dec. 18

Rockingham (Vt.) Free Public Library as depicted on a Zazzle 2009 U.S. postage stamp commemorating the library's centennialSoaked historic books may save Carnegie library
The local history room at the Rockingham Free Public Library in Bellows Falls, Vermont, flooded the night of December 12. It appears as though a pipe directly overhead broke, leaving more than an inch of water by the time staff came in the next morning. “Unfortunately sometimes it takes something like this for the community to realize just how important this is to our local history and to the history of the library,” Public Services Librarian Wendy O’Connell said. After putting renovation to the 100-year-old Carnegie building off last year, trustees are now working with architects....
Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer, Dec. 16; Rockingham Free Public Library, Dec. 16

New LED lighting in Pasadena (Calif.) Central LibraryPasadena gets classy LED makeover
The Pasadena (Calif.) Central Library is a classic, with its expansive hall, wood-paneling, tall book cases, long desks, and beautiful old pendant lighting fixtures hanging high above. There was a problem with the lights in those fixtures, however. They were energy-inefficient, burning at an extraordinary 900 watts apiece. But manufacturer LEDtronics gave the library a lighting makeover with LED (light-emitting diode) lamps and trimmed the power use by 788 watts in weekly operations, saving thousands of dollars....
EarthTechling, Dec. 21; LEDtronics, Dec. 14

Oklahoma students engage in not-really-silent rave
Some 500 students gathered in the University of Oklahoma’s Bizzell Memorial Library in Norman December 15 to dance. Student Ben Birdwell began planning the silent rave (2:05) through a Facebook invite as a stress-relief event during finals week months prior. Students crowded on the first two floors at 10:30 p.m. with their music players, cell phones, and laptops synced to one playlist....
Norman (Okla.) Transcript, Dec. 17; YouTube, Dec. 16

Sketch of Walt Whitman in his notebook on p. 12, drawn by one of his drinking buddies at Pfaff’s, the famous beer cellar and bohemian haunt on Broadway, just above Bleecker Street in New York CityIn Walt Whitman’s pocket
Adam Goodheart writes: “The librarian wheels out the box on a little wooden trolley. Inside it is Walt Whitman’s notebook, dismembered with surgical care by a long-ago conservator. As I sit in the manuscript room at the Library of Congress, turning those pages, it soon becomes easy to imagine them traveling inside the poet’s coat pocket. In this little book, sometime during the late fall or winter of 1860–1861, the writer began an imaginary conversation that would continue for decades to come, inspiring several of the most famous poems in American literature.” View the interactive exhibit....
New York Times: Opinionator, Dec. 15

Explorer II (later Minerva) at anchor, Grytviken, South Georgia, October 2007. Photo by MarkabqLibrary a big perk on Swan Hellenic cruise ship
It’s not every day that a cruise line proudly claims that the most popular public room on its ship is the library. But when the library has been assembled over 50 years and helps its on-board explorers to discover everything they need to know about the places they are visiting, then you can see why Swan Hellenic does just that. Swan Hellenic’s only ship, the 12,500-ton expedition vessel Minerva (above), has one of the most comprehensive libraries afloat, with an extensive collection of nonfiction, fiction, and reference books....
Daily Mail (U.K.), Dec. 19

Air National Guard helps Guam school library
Machananao Elementary School’s library is growing, thanks to the resourcefulness of school librarian Yvonne Rado and a partnership with visiting Air Force squadrons. Men and women with the Iowa Air National Guard on Guam as part of the 506 Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron brought an area rug and some bean bag chairs to help make the library a little cozier. They also spent time reading with students....
Pacific Daily News (Guam), Dec. 16

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Tech Talk

Screen shot from the Google Cr-48 demo videoGoogle ChromeOS Notebook
Jason Griffey writes: “On December 7, Google held a press conference to talk about Chrome, both the browser and about the nascent operating system of the same name, ChromeOS. Google has given out the first hardware designed specifically to run ChromeOS, notebooks codenamed Cr-48 that can be thought of as a sort of reference platform for the new operating system. I currently have a Cr-48, and have been putting it through a variety of tests. Over the next few days I’ll be posting about my thoughts and a review of this new computing platform.” Here is the official overview (3:45). Check out parts two and three....
AL: Perpetual Beta, Dec. 20–22; YouTube, Dec. 6

My server got run over by a cloud app
OCLC’s Andrew Pace offers us some holiday cheer with his annual Christmas song parody. This one is to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”...
Hectic Pace, Dec. 22

Streaming suitcase image by Shannon MayHow to watch streaming video anywhere in the world
Bryan Gardiner writes: “So you’re jetting off to a tropical island in uncharted waters. But how are you supposed to enjoy paradise when copyright laws put the international hammer down on Netflix? Winter travelers, meet your new best friends: Proxy and VPN services. Both of these options reroute your computer’s network connection and change your IP address to make it look like it’s coming from somewhere else—like, say, the United States. They work in slightly different ways.”...
Gizmodo, Dec. 15

Encoding data on atomic nuclei
Scientists at the University of Utah have taken an important step toward the day when digital information can be stored in the spin of an atom’s nucleus, rather than as an electrical charge in a semiconductor. The setup requires powerful magnets and can only be operated at –454° Fahrenheit, so don’t expect to see spin memory on the shelf at a computer store anytime soon. Here’s how they did it....
NPR: Morning Edition, Dec. 17

How to back up your blog and why you should
Richard Byrne writes: “If we rely on a free web-based service, we should be aware of the possibility that it could shut down or move to a fee model at some point. To that end, we should be in the habit of periodically creating offline back-ups of our data. This is especially true if you’re using a hosted blog as an online portfolio of your writings or your students’ work. Here you will find directions for creating offline back-ups of Blogger blogs, Edublogs blogs, and WordPress blogs.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 19

Sample of how a trainer might use JingFavorite tool of 2010: Jing
Richard Mott writes: “The free screenshot application Jing does two things that are useful to a trainer. First, it takes pictures of your computer screen (or any portion of your screen), and lets you add the most basic of annotations (colored arrows, highlighting, boxes, words). Second, it records up to five minutes of the activity on a computer screen (or any part of the screen), with narration—every mouse movement, every button click, every text entry.”...
ALA Learning, Dec. 20

Boston Book Railway car, designed by Lamson Consolidated Store Service CompanyBook retrieval systems
Larry Nix writes: “When Boston Public Library’s magnificent central library building opened at its Copley Square location in 1895, it contained beautiful artwork and some unusual technological innovations. One was a book railway system (right) that allowed books to be transported mechanically from stack areas to the library’s Book Delivery Room where they could be picked up by those requesting them. It was adapted from a system used by retail department stores to transport cash from multiple sales points to a centralized cash receipt office.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 17

San Jose State University ad

2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting logo, San Diego

ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011.

Midwinter Cognotes preview issue

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E-books have been around for more than 10 years but are still a relatively new phenomenon to many librarians and publishers. With the introduction of e-book readers, the e-book has become mainstream, with recent triple-digit annual increases in sales. But what place do they have in the library? In No Shelf Required, Sue Polanka brings together a variety of professionals to share their expertise about e-books with librarians and publishers. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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Great Libraries of the World

University of Michigan Law School reading room in the Legal Research Building

Law Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Completed in 1931 and designed to seat just over 500 students, the library’s grandiose reading room in the Gothic Legal Research Building is graced with 50-foot vaulted cathedral ceilings, tracery stained glass windows, oak wainscoting, and cork floors for quiet passage. The 1981 Allan F. and Alene Smith Law Library Addition was built below ground to avoid clashing with the distinctive historic architecture of the Law Quadrangle. The Joseph and Edythe Jackier Rare Book Room, opened in 1996, is wrapped in custom makore woodwork trimmed with Honduran mahogany and bathed in specially designed incandescent ambient and task lighting.

Map of Malta, Gozo, and Comino. From Insulae Melitae descriptio ex commentariis rerum quotidianarum, by F. Ioannes Quintini Hedvi. Printed by Sebastian Gryphium, Lugduni, 1536. Housed in the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library

Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Founded in 1965, this Benedictine monastery library houses the world’s largest collection of digital and microfilm images of religious manuscripts from both the Western and Ethiopian Christian traditions. In 2003, it broadened its focus to include Armenian, Syriac, Christian Arabic, and Slavonic manuscripts. The library is also the home of the seven-volume Saint John’s Bible, one of the few handwritten and illuminated bibles produced since the invention of the printing press, commissioned in 1998 and scheduled for completion in 2011 by British calligrapher Donald Jackson.

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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Director of Library and Media Servcies, Arcadia, California. Plans, directs, manages, and oversees the activities and operations of the Library and the Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum. This position serves as secretary and staff advisor to the Library Board of Trustees, an administrative board, and the Historical Museum Commission, an advisory commission to the City Council; collaborates with library and museum volunteer support organizations; and coordinates assigned activities with other city departments and outside agencies....

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Digital Library of the Week

A medieval interpretation of the coronation of Alexander the Great in the lavishly illustrated  History of Alexander’s Battles, based on a 10th-century translation from Greek into Latin by Leo of Naples. This copy, the Peniarth MS 481D, was written in parchment in the 15th century and contains 26 miniatures in the Flemish style, several subdivided to give a total of 47 subjects.

The National Library of Wales Digital Mirror has added five medieval manuscripts to its online collection of rare materials in its holdings. Among its newest online treasures is the Latin text of Historia de preliis Alexandri Magni (The History of Alexander’s Battles), based on a 10th-century translation into Latin by Leo of Naples of a Greek text. The manuscript is one of the most elaborately decorated medieval manuscripts in the library. It is also one of only a few medieval manuscripts at the National Library of Wales to retain its original binding— wooden boards, covered with crimson velvet—and retains brass bosses, corner pieces and pins, and fastenings for thongs. It was probably bound in England in the late 15th century.

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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“With too much unmediated information to choose from, people select what they wish to believe. These days a wild rumor in an email from your distant cousin can trump the New York Times.

—Evan Thomas, editor-at-large of Newsweek, on the effects of runaway partisanship on political and cultural commentary, “Why It’s Time to Worry,” Newsweek, Dec. 4.

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ALA Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, California, Jan. 7–11, at:

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


Jan. 19–22:
Special Libraries Association,
Leadership Summit, Renaissance Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C. “Future Ready: Building Community.”

Feb. 2–5:
Ontario Library Association,
Super Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Feb. 9–12:
Music Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. “Born Digital: A New Frontier for Music Libraries.”

Feb. 11–13:
44th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair,
Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco. Features a special exhibit of rare musical books and manuscripts from the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library of the University of California at Berkeley.

Feb. 23–24:
Handheld Librarian Conference IV,

Mar. 10–11:
Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians,
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Mar. 24–28:
Visual Resources Association and the Art Libraries Society of North America,
Joint Conference, Hilton Minneapolis. “Collaboration: Building Bridges in the 21st Century.”

Mar. 30–
Apr. 2:

Association of College and Research Libraries,
National Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. “A Declaration of Interdependence.”

Apr. 7–11:
Association of Independent Information Professionals,
Annual Conference, Hilton Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington. “Go for the Green.”

Apr. 30:
El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day).
Sponsored by ALSC.

May 24–27:
3rd Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference,
Athens, Greece.

July 13:
LeakyCon LitDay,
Universal Orlando Resort, Florida.

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Heart The Girl with the Dragon TattooWhy we love bad writing
Laura Miller writes: “Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown novels are riddled with clichés, but for many readers, that’s a feature, not a bug. Certainly, these writers are far from the best their genres have to offer. Even the most vehement of genre champions will not argue that either man is a good, or even adequate, stylist. Rather, they are both, in many respects and apart from the whole genre question, fairly bad writers. So why do so many people devour their books?”...
Salon, Dec. 14

Cover of Empires of Food, by Evan D. G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas, one of the best foodie booksBest of 2010 Kirkus reviews
The Kirkus Reviews editors have culled through thousands of reviews from the past year to select those they consider outstanding. This year’s Best Books list coincides with many other improvements they are making to the new Kirkus, including its redesigned website, so all the coverage is now available for everyone online. The categories include best zombie and vampire books, pleasant surprises, and books for foodies....
Kirkus Reviews

Fake poster: Don't worry about the clicking on your ebook!Is your e-book spying on you?
Martin Kaste writes: “Most e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, have an antenna that lets users instantly download new books. But the technology also makes it possible for the device to transmit information back to the manufacturer. Cindy Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director, says that page-view tracking may seem innocuous, but if the company keeps the data long-term, the information could be subpoenaed to check someone’s alibi or as evidence in a lawsuit. And it’s not just what pages you read; it may also monitor where you read them.”...
NPR: All Things Considered, Dec. 15

NetGalley logoNetGalley: The web’s best-kept e-book secret
Michelle Boule writes: “NetGalley is a community where publishers can connect with reviewers, librarians, and the media and exchange eAdvanced Reader’s Copies. I like ARCs but I adore eARCs even more. NetGalley is not new, but it has gotten a lot of support from publishers, book reviewers, and librarians in the past year. While what they do is amazing enough, it is how they do it and the content that really makes NetGalley a wonderful resource for new books. With 32 genres to choose from and 66 publishers, there is literally something for everyone.”...
ALA TechSource, Dec. 16

NYPL Curator for Rare Books Michael Litman shows CBS News reporter Erin Moriarty a book published in 1459 with a utilitarian pigskin-over-wood cover. Screen shot from CBS News Sunday MorningJudging books by their covers
Sometimes book covers can be as memorable as the pages they protect. CBS Sunday Morning reporter Erin Moriarty reports on the design process in creating the art for literature’s most famous novels, what the digital age promises, and where it all originated. New York Public Library’s Curator for Rare Books Michael Inman shows Moriarty (right) a strictly utilitarian pigskin-over-wood antiquarian book cover that, he says, “is nearly bulletproof at this point.” Watch the video (7:54)....
CBS News, Dec. 19

Actions & Answers

10 ways social media will change in 2011
Ravit Lichtenberg writes: “For the past two years, I have been forecasting the evolution social media will undergo. 2011 will be marked by new developments that will shape the very fabric of our behavior, culture, and identity. They will challenge us to consider important questions about the future of our experience as connected people and consumers. Here are key trends to watch in the coming year.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 15

WikiLeaks logo7 lessons that WikiLeaks teaches us
Mitch Joel writes: “Too much has been written about WikiLeaks. Most of the debate is about the legalities and moralities of what WikiLeaks is (and what it means). If you take a step back, and look at it (without prejudice and without passing legal judgment), there are many lessons about how the new media acts and reacts that are excellent business lessons as well. Consider this a cautionary tale.”...
Six Pixels of Separation, Dec. 9

Wikiriver logoA one-stop shop for all WikiLeaks coverage
The WikiLeaks story has just begun, with just over 0.5% of all the diplomatic cables in the organization’s possession having been posted online. Where can we find the best coverage from the journalists that are focusing on summarizing all this information? In late December, blogging and syndication trailblazer Dave Winer launched Wikiriver, an RSS feed that centralizes all the coverage....
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 22

Cover of ARL Salary Survey 2009-2010ARL releases 2009–2010 salary data
The Association of Research Libraries has published its Annual Salary Survey 2009–2010, which analyzes salary data for all professional staff working in the 124 ARL member libraries during 2009–2010. The data show that ARL librarians’ salaries remained stable. The combined median professional salary in U.S. and Canadian ARL university libraries was $64,560—basically no increase from the previous year....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 17

Excellent prognosis for biomedical librarians
A study funded by the Special Libraries Association finds that librarians in the biomedical industry are becoming more involved in analyzing research and are also increasingly acting as authors and grant-writers. The findings are the result of interviews with 14 professionals working in nontraditional biomedical research jobs, and is available online (PDF file). The October/November Information Outlook offers a feature by researchers Betsy Rolland and Emily Glenn summarizing the results....
Special Libraries Association, Dec. 20

Sophie MaierAn Arabic literary salon in Louisville
M. Lynx Qualey writes: “Sophie Maier (right), immigrant services librarian at the Louisville (Ky.) Public Library’s Iroquois branch, recently emailed me about an Arabic literary salon being started up in her local library. Literary salons have a long history in the Arabic-speaking world and, needless to say, I was delighted and fascinated. I emailed Sophie a few questions, to which she graciously responded.” Maier told Qualey her motivation stemmed from realizing “there were few if any opportunities for a neutral, secular meeting place where Arabic speakers could join to discuss literature, the arts, and history.”...
Arabic Literature (in English), Dec. 1

Screen shot of Susan Grigsby talking about data-driven collaboration and recommending Readers Theater for Middle School Boys by Ann N. BlackLights! Camera! Data-driven collaboration!
Buffy Hamilton writes: “My colleague, friend, and fellow Georgia school librarian Susan Grigsby (right), of the Elkins Pointe Middle School in Roswell, graciously agreed to produce a short video clip (5:31) to share how she engages in data-driven collaboration and invites student participation for learning. The October issue of School Library Journal also features Susan’s efforts.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Dec. 16; YouTube, Dec. 16

Martha Smith at 102, inside the Coal Creek Library in Vinland, Kansas, which her ancestors founded in 1859Oldest library worker
Roger Owen Green writes: “In 2005, a KMBC-TV story aired about 99-year-old Martha Smith (right), who had been working at the Coal Creek Library in Vinland, Kansas, since 1926. In 2008, reporter James A. Fussell penned a follow-up article in the Kansas City (Mo.) Star about Smith, then 102 and still working at the library—which by then functioned more as a museum. Fussell recently told a librarian making inquiries, ‘Martha Smith is still alive at 105! From what I could glean she still goes to the library most days, although mostly just to sleep. She is still mobile, but has lost most of her hearing and her sight. Understandably communication is difficult.’” Watch the 2008 video (2:50) of Smith....
Friends of Albany (N.Y.) Public Library, Dec. 16; KMBC-TV, Kansas City, May 20, 2005; Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Aug. 30, 2008

Teens as library advocates
Mary Olive Thompson writes: “I have found that teens can be far more persuasive to library boards, administration, or community entities than any individual adult can. I have some personal theories regarding Teen Super-Human Powers of Persuasion. Our teens have a voice. It is part of our responsibility as young adult librarians to help them utilize their voice and change the world. With your encouragement and support they can start the change process.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 21

Fair use challenges in academic libraries
The Association of Research Libraries has released Fair Use Challenges in Academic and Research Libraries (PDF file), a report that summarizes research into the current application of fair use and other copyright exemptions to meet the missions of U.S. academic and research libraries. In dozens of interviews with veteran research and academic librarians, the researchers learned how copyright law comes into play as interviewees performed core library functions....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 20

No sex please, we're British graphicBritish government wants to block all porn
Phil Bradley writes: “Claire Perry, a British Conservative Party Member of Parliament, wants to block all U.K. access to pornography. She is reported to have said to the Sunday Times: ‘We are not coming at this from an anti-porn perspective. We just want to make sure our children aren’t stumbling across things we don’t want them to see.’ So once again, we’re back to the we-must-protect-children approach. She has also proposed that all ISPs should block porn universally—and adults should ask for blocks to be lifted if they want to look at it.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Dec. 20; Mashable, Dec. 19

Delicious logoDelicious to get shopped, not chopped
After a leaked screenshot revealed that Yahoo would be ‘sunsetting” popular bookmarking site Delicious, the struggling company is clarifying that decision. User feedback on Delicious’ fate specifically has not been kind to Yahoo, which recently laid off 600 employees. In a blog post, users are being reassured that the site is being shopped around and that no account information or data will be lost. But some are saying itís simply too late for Delicious, and that the fault is Yahoo’s....
Digital Trends, Dec. 14, 16, 20; Delicious Blog, Dec. 17

How to export bookmarks from DeliciousFor the Deliciously nervous
Richard Byrne writes: “Before looking at alternatives to Delicious, get your bookmarks out of Delicious (right) so that you can use them somewhere else. If your school is a Google Apps for Education school, the first alternative to Delicious that I would consider is Google Bookmarks.” Other options are Yawas, Diigo, and Memonic. Phil Bradley has more suggestions....
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 17; Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Dec. 17

One perspective on transliteracy
Meredith Farkas writes: “A colleague of mine and I have been talking about transliteracy for some time and came to very similar conclusions as David Rothman. I’ve been following the blog Libraries and Transliteracy since it started, but I still don’t feel like I have a handle on what transliteracy means. Lane Wilkinson describes it as recognizing both academic and popular research tools as all part of a big information ecosystem. The issue is, that’s how I and my colleagues have always seen information literacy.” Bobbi Newman responds....
Information Wants to Be Free, Dec. 21;, Dec. 19; Libraries and Transliteracy, Dec. 20, 22

Incorporating failure into library instruction
Steven Bell writes: “I’m hearing and reading more about the importance of allowing students to learn through authentic practice, what some call experiential learning, that puts them into situations where they can succeed or fail—and learn by doing so themselves or from the experiences of their fellow students. One good example that promotes the value of failure for learning is a TED Talk by Diana Laufenberg.”...
ACRLog, Dec. 22; TED, Dec.

The library space as learning space
Keith Webster writes: “In a recent University of Queensland study of library use, what was striking was the extent to which the library was a prominent feature in students’ lives: Almost 60% visit a library each day, with almost a quarter spending more than two hours in the library. The consistent message from space studies is that place is important. Students are heavy consumers of online information resources—electronic journals, databases, and e-books—but they value the library as a flexible space that meets their shifting needs during the semester cycle.”...
Educause Review 45, no. 6 (Nov./Dec.)

My guide to job hunting
Elizabeth L. writes: “Even before my five-month stint as an unemployed librarian, I was a serious job hunter. I started job hunting the September before I graduated library school. So I easily clocked in at eight months of serious job hunting before I lucked out with my current job in May. Somewhere along the line I developed a daily routine for job hunting. There are five parts in my process, and beginning today, I will share this guide with you.”...
The Adventures of a Newly Employed Librarian, Dec. 16

Thank you noteThank you notes: A job search essential
Amy Armstrong writes: “Writing thank you notes after a job interview can feel a lot like kissing your dentist’s feet after a root canal. For most of us, the interview is a necessary but uncomfortable experience that we want to just get over with and run screaming to the nearest pub to forget about. Still, skipping the thank you note could cost you! Read on for thank you note tips.”...
New York Public Library Blog, Dec. 21

How to organize a retreat
Seth Godin writes: “Retreats should be called advances, according to Alan Webber and William C. Taylor, because retreat is too negative. They are a tremendous opportunity for independent thinkers to come together to energize, inspire, and connect. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to turn these events into school-like conferences, not the emotional connections that are desired. I’ve been to a bunch and here’s what I’ve learned, in no particular order.”...
Seth’s Blog, Dec. 15

Aardvark logoTop 10 places to find better answers online (beyond Google)
Adam Dachis writes: “You can Google just about anything, but it’s not always your best resource for finding the exact answer to what you want. Here’s a look at our top 10 tools for finding better answers online.” The shortlist: Yahoo! Answers, Ask Reddit, Duck Duck Go, Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia, Blekko, Quora, Ask MetaFilter, Twitter, and Aardvark....
Lifehacker, Dec. 18

What if we threw a data curation party and nobody came?
Dorothea Salo writes: “Libraries and campus IT shops in the States are gearing up to deal with this whole National Science Foundation data-management plan. What if we build it and they don’t come? Have we thought about this possibility? We know pretty well from surveys and qualitative investigations that the average researcher hasn’t a clue that librarians can help her look after her research data.”...
The Book of Trogool, Dec. 21

Slow LorisWhat’s wrong with librarians?
Sarah Glassmeyer writes: “I am here to answer that question. As a librarian who spends a significant amount of time discussing legal information issues with non-librarians, I am often asked this. Many times with some colorful adjectives thrown in for good measure. Here’s the short answer: There’s nothing wrong with librarians, but that does not mean that libraries and librarians couldn’t do some things better. Librarians, like the prosimian Slow Loris (genus Nycticebus), are very risk-averse.”...
Vox PopuLII, Dec. 15

CollectionHQ logoA new way to manage collections
Nora Rawlinson writes: “Many librarians have spent hours gathering information from their ILS, but the work is labor-intensive. At the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, I learned about a collection development toolkit developed by a Scottish librarian and now used by 50% of public libraries in the U.K. CollectionHQ is now being introduced into the North American market. In a few minutes, it puts together information from a library’s ILS, showing what subject areas and genres are circulating well, which ones are dated, which ones are declining, and which books are likely to be worn out.”...
Early Word: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Dec. 21

Google Books Ngram for the phrase "little green man"Google Books tool tracks words over time
Google has made a mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2-million digitized books available for free downloads and online searches, opening new possibilities for research. It consists of the 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Russian. The Google Books Ngram Viewer lets you plug in a string of up to five words and see a graph that charts the phrase’s use over time. However, LIS student Natalie Binder has pointed out serious flaws in this method, including the quality of OCR scans, errors resulting from poor metadata, making assumptions about word frequency and culture, and multiple word meanings. In texts prior to 1820 there’s the use of the “long s,” which scans as an “f.” Which isn’t to say the Ngram might not be useful for some things....
New York Times, Dec. 16; The Binder Blog, Dec. 17–18, 21; Language Log, Dec. 17

Cover of Mr. TickleContribute your accent by reading Mr. Tickle
The British Library wants to map different words and accents and chart the changing pronunciation of the English language. As part of its Evolving English exhibit, the library is adding to its already sizable collection of 20th-century recordings of the English voice, and it’s asking any English speaker worldwide to record their voice reading Roger Hargreaves’s children’s book Mr. Tickle aloud. Map your voice on the British Library website by downloading the Audioboo app. Curator Jonnie Robinson explains why Mr. Tickle was chosen....
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 19; Evolving English Blog, Nov. 12

Map of the Northwest Quadrant of Europe in 1300Compare European maps for the past 2,000 years
Euratlas-Nüssli, a Swiss company specializing in historical digital cartography, is offering educators the online-only use of 21 low-resolution historical maps of Europe, each one depicting political boundaries at the end of each century from 1 A.D. to 2000. The maps also feature close-ups of each quadrant, as well as the ability to outline sovereign and dependent states and populations. Earlier maps of the Middle East from 3300–300 B.C. are also viewable, but the annotations are in German....

Frontispiece of the 1578 Booke of Christian Prayers showing Elizabeth IThe rare book that turned Elizabeth I into Queen of Heaven
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “In 1578 an astonishing book was published in England, astonishing particularly if you were a Catholic. The volume, A Booke of Christian Prayers by printer Richard Day, contained a frontispiece portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, Britain’s reigning monarch, as the new Queen of Heaven, knocking Mary off the throne. With its elaborate historiated borders, their anti-papist content, as well as the portrait of Elizabeth I at prayer, the 1578 book is a magnificent and dramatically iconoclastic volume.”...
Booktryst, Dec. 21

New incunabula resources
Jeremy Dibbell writes: “Some very useful new resources are now available from the Consortium of European Research Libraries: Paul Needham’s Index Possessorum Incunabulorum (containing ‘some 32,000 entries relating to the ownership of incunabula, including personal names, institutional names, monograms, and arms’) and Material Evidence in Incunabula (a new database specifically designed to record and search copy-specific provenance information of 15th-century printed books—ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, and prices).”...
PhiloBiblos, Dec. 19

This matchbox was created by German prisoner of war Otto Arndt as a gift to British airman Bernard Darley for his assistance in putting out a dangerous fire in St. Omer, FranceGreat War Archive rolled out
The German National Library, Oxford University, and Europeana have signed an agreement to digitize family papers and memorabilia from the First World War. The collaboration will bring German soldiers’ stories online alongside their British counterparts in a 1914–1918 archive. JISC planted the seed in 2008 when it funded the The Great War Archive, which is run by Oxford University Computing Services. The success of the idea has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, to contribute soldiers’ stories and artifacts from the German National Library....
JISC, Dec. 16

100 people I hate on Facebook (satire)
Dave Pell writes: “The friending, the liking, the status updating: Sooner or later we all grow to hate it, but we can’t stop. Facebook is made up of those dinner party guests who just won’t leave even though it’s late and everyone else left two hours ago. After a while, everything anyone does on Facebook becomes irritating. With that in mind, here are 100 people I hate on Facebook (edited down from my original list of 500 million).”...
NPR: All Tech Considered, Dec. 17

Screen shot from The Library trailerDetained in the library
Inspired by the 2004 Steven Spielberg film The Terminal, this trailer (3:07) for an imaginary film titled The Library depicts an unfortunate student who loses his ID card and is not permitted to leave an academic library. It was filmed at Monash University’s Caulfield Campus library near Melbourne, Australia. Apparently it is a student production, starring Ryan DeRemer....
Vimeo, Oct.

Screen shot from Like Father, Like SonLike father, like son
The Finnish Library Association celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010 and created this short video (0:30) for Finnish television. Produced with the help of a grant from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation in order to promote the importance of libraries in culture, the English-language version of the video can be downloaded for use on your own website....
Finnish Library Association, Sept. 27

Screen shot from Reading in the USA videoMusic video inspires students to read
Mike Moylan and Jim Pomis, teachers at North Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Illinois, rewrote the lyrics to the popular Miley Cyrus song “Party in the USA” for a semester-long, school-wide video project aimed at encouraging reading. About 700 students spent months rehearsing their video version, called “Reading in the USA” (5:17). It even includes some aerial footage. The school put together a documentary about their efforts (4:56), also now on YouTube....
WBBM-TV, Chicago, Dec. 20; YouTube, Nov. 22, Dec. 14

A screen shot of Puttin' on the WritsPuttin’ on the writs
This year’s Christmas party at the National Library of Australia featured a satirical top-hat-and-tails examination of copyright law titled “Puttin’ on the Writs” (3:04). The staff’s previous productions have included the Can-can’t dancers, a Thriller spoof, and Surfin’ NLA....
YouTube, Dec. 14

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