|American Libraries Online
Natomas closes all K–5 school libraries
All eight elementary-school libraries in the Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento, California, closed indefinitely May 26 to help plug the district’s $17.3-million budget gap. “These kinds of cuts are a last resort,” district spokesperson Heidi Van Zant said. “We used to have dance and art,” Bannon Creek Elementary School 4th-grader Ramneek Kaur said in the Sacramento Bee. “Now, no books.” Determined to document programs that remain healthy, two school librarians have launched the Google map “Standing Up for School Librarians.”...
American Libraries news, June 2
Youth Matters: My artful diversion
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “One rainy day in May, I gathered my umbrella and ventured into the Massachusetts countryside. My destination was not the charming farms nor the region’s myriad historic towns; instead, I went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which resides on quiet West Bay Road in Amherst. It is a large space, clearly designed to accommodate many young energetic children and their guardians. Librarians looking to engage younger readers might see ideas to borrow at this museum.”...
American Libraries column, June/July
Dispatches from the Field: Aggregating web resources
Michael Witt writes: “The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange specification defines a set of new standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources. This presents an exciting opportunity to revisit how digital libraries are provisioned. ORE and its concept of aggregation may present the next major disruptive technology for librarians who develop and manage collections of digital information.”...
American Libraries column, June/July
We’ve been asked to find out if it costs our library more or less than average to catalog a book. But what is the average cost? A. There are occasionally articles on evaluating one way to accomplish cataloging vs. another, and these can sometimes be used as a quick means to assess if your library is “in the ballpark.” However, what goes into the costs to be applied to the cataloging process varies from institution to institution depending on a wide range of variables, making the comparison of one set of figures with another difficult....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, June 1
Self-publish in the Apple iBookstore
Jason Griffey writes: “Apple has decided to allow individuals to publish their own works in the iBookstore via iTunes Connect—although it isn’t necessarily easy. You could already do this through a third party such as Lulu, and doing so might be easier, as they take care of getting your ISBN and such. But if you have a Great Work that needs to be read on the iPad, you too can have your work featured in the iBookstore.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, May 27
ALA to lead rally for libraries on Capitol Hill
More than 1,000 librarians from across the country will defy the stereotype of their “quiet profession” and stand up for the needs of the public during the ALA Library Advocacy Day featuring a rally at 11 a.m., June 29, on the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C. The rally is open to the public and will feature such speakers as young adult author Lauren Myracle, U.S. Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), and ALA President Camila Alire....
Washington Office, June 1
Why Annual Conference is going to be awesome
Teen Blogger writes: “My mother is a crazy, enthusiastic children’s librarian and I am her crazy, librarian-wannabe daughter, which means that ALA is like Disney World for the two of us. I’m lucky that she’s my mom because otherwise I might not even know what ALA stands for. Now we’re getting ready for our second trip to the ALA Annual Conference. As a teenager I’m not technically a librarian yet, though I’m such a librarian nerd that even sessions about RefWorks are pretty thrilling. But the true magic happens in the Exhibits Hall.”...
YALSA Blog, May 31
Who do I trust to protect my privacy?
Join an afternoon conversation (PDF file) on privacy June 24 at the ALA Washington Office. The conversation will be structured with an Issue Map. Following the dialogue, participants will learn how to convene and moderate a deliberative dialogue so they can host their own local forums that explore privacy values and concerns....
District Dispatch, May 28
Tech at Annual
A Networking Uncommons area will be set up at Annual Conference as it was at Midwinter. This is a location where groups can meet informally and have access to resources such as a projector, digital recorder, iPod with microphone, a webcam, and a flip cam. If any group wants to gather in the Uncommons and have any of these resources available to them at a specific time, it can go to the Networking Uncommons page on the ALA Annual Wiki and find a link to the schedule....
ITTS News, May 28
Step up to the plate with baseball programs
Start throwing some heat this July with programming ideas and promotions for Step Up to the Plate @ your library. July is a big month for baseball with the Home Run Derby (July 12), All-Star Game (July 13) and Hall of Fame Induction Day (July 25). Step Up to the Plate makes it easy for libraries to help plan around these events. Register for free tools to help promote the program locally on the program website....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, May 27
Guadalajara Book Fair free pass program
ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 23rd Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from November 27 to December 1. The region of Castilla y León will be the Guest of Honor at FIL 2010. The deadline for applying for the ALA/FIL free pass program is August 16....
International Relations Office
Featured review: Fantasy
Kay, Guy Gavriel. Under Heaven. May 2010. 512p. Roc, hardcover (978-0-451-46330-2).
In a prefatory note to his magnificent new history-based fantasy, inspired by Tang Dynasty China, Kay explains why he prefers to mix history and fantasy rather than write straight historical fiction: Should the justification bring him more readers, they and he will both profit. In the mountains of Kitai a young soldier, Shen Tai, has spent two years alone, burying the dead of both sides at a battle site to honor his late father, the commanding general in the last imperial war. One morning he is quite surprised to learn that the court of Kitai’s recent enemy has chosen to honor him with 250 coveted western horses. This is a gift fit for the emperor and can bring Tai great power—or get him killed in short order....
Top 10 SF/Fantasy: 2010
Ray Olson writes: “Satire and parody pervade Booklist’s 10 best adult SF and fantasy books reviewed since the 2009 Spotlight on SF/Fantasy, though by no means are they all necessarily laff riots.” Included are Tanya Huff’s The Enchantment Emporium and Andrew Fox’s The Good Humor Man; or, Calorie 3501....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Dining in the District
Tracy Sumler writes: “The last several years have seen a boom in Washington restaurants. D.C. is attracting both top talent and celebrity chefs. Couple that with some legendary institutions and you can get yourself some good eats. The area immediately surrounding the convention center offers some great lunch options, and just a few blocks south you’ll find Gallery Place and Chinatown. If you’re an oenophile in the mood to splurge, Proof (above) is a wine-centric restaurant featuring a $12 ‘Lunch Crush’ special in the bar area.”...
American Libraries feature
Reassessing Mies’s modernist D.C. library
Kennicott writes: “The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, the 1972 black box designed by the firm of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, has always been problematic, an austere and alien presence in a city temperamentally allergic to anything that isn’t classical, brick, or bland. But now, seen across an open construction site without the distraction of the church that used to sit next to it, the library looks shockingly good. Suddenly this glass-and-metal box feels new and powerful, as if all it needed was a little air, a little breathing room.”...
Washington Post, May 30
2010 PLDS report
The 2010 PLDS Statistical Report, an annual project of PLA, will be available in early July. The PLDS report is designed to meet the needs of public library administrators and others for timely and effective library-specific data that illuminates and supports a wide variety of management decisions. In addition to the library data, each year’s report contains a special survey—this year’s special survey focuses on children’s services....
PLA Blog, June 1
PLA to offer free consulting sessions at Annual
PLA will provide Annual Conference attendees a rare opportunity to meet one-on-one with a library consultant for free. On June 26 and June 28, more than 25 consultants will be available for half-hour sessions to talk through pressing concerns for library professionals today—from planning and managing a building to serving a diverse community. To schedule a free session, contact the consultant directly (PDF file) before June 15....
PLA, May 27
Discover 25 YA classics on June 17
Classics never go out of style—and that’s true for young adult literature. Librarians looking to delve into the gold standard of books for teens should join YALSA for “YA Classics,” an hour-long webinar hosted by YALSA Past President Sarah Debraski. The webinar will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern time, June 17. Registration is now open....
YALSA, May 25
LLAMA Swap and Shop materials needed
Does your library produce interesting, eye-catching, beautiful bookmarks, brochures, fliers, posters, magnets, and other materials to promote your library’s wonderful services and resources? Do you have extra inventory you can spare? If so, please contribute them to the Swap and Shop: PR X-Change at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. Materials must be received by June 16....
Leads from LLAMA, May 29
Got a Great Idea? Win $250 from YALSA
Through July 15, YALSA will accept Great Idea applications from members or official member groups that help the division meet its strategic goals. Winning ideas will help YALSA achieve the goals laid out in its most recent strategic plan (PDF file): advocacy, marketing, research, continuous learning, and member recruitment and engagement....
YALSA, May 28
ALTAFF designates Betsy-Tacy houses Literary Landmarks
The childhood homes of author Maud Hart Lovelace and her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney Kirch, in Mankato, Minnesota, were designated Literary Landmarks by ALTAFF. Lovelace was the author of the Betsy-Tacy book series, which was set at the turn of the 20th century in Mankato. The dedication was held May 20....
ALTAFF, May 28
AASL offers graduate credits for summer courses
AASL will offer graduate credits for its Summer 2010 e-Academy online courses. This opportunity is being offered in conjunction with the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development. Registration will be accepted by the university through July 19....
AASL, May 28
NMRT seeks résumé reviewers
Volunteer to be a reviewer for the New Members Round Table’s Résumé Review Service and make a difference in a librarian’s career. NMRT is seeking librarians with significant experience in human resources, the hiring process, or search committees to review résumés and cover letters at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 26 and 27. Contact Haiyun Cao and indicate your experience and availability....
New Members Round Table
GLBTRT’s new Over the Rainbow Committee
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table has established an Over the Rainbow Committee that will create an annual bibliography of titles of interest to adult readers that reflect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer experiences. The first ALA Over the Rainbow Books list will be announced in January 2011. The committee is currently seeking titles for the 2010 list....
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table, May 28
Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor award
Robert M. O’Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at the University of Virginia, has received the 2010 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award. The award, which recognizes and honors those individuals who have contributed substantially to FTRF, will be presented at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference during its Opening General Session....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, June 1
Library Advocacy Day video contest winners
The winners of the Library Advocacy Day video contest have been chosen. Joyce Valenza’s video (3:00) won the first prize of $175 and Julia E. Schult’s video (2:58) won the second prize of $75 for their theme celebrating the importance of libraries and Library Advocacy Day. The funds for this contest were provided by the Eileen D. Cooke memorial fund....
District Dispatch, June 1
Librarian to swim again for Spectrum
Miriam Tuliao, assistant director of central collection development collections strategy at the New York Public Library, will participate in the United States Masters Swimming Two-Mile Cable Open Water National Championship in support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative. The event will be held July 10 at Chris Greene Lake near Charlottesville, Virginia. Tuliao has participated in several long-distance open water events, including the Big Shoulders 5K Swim in Chicago in September 2007....
Office for Diversity, May 26
2010 Francis Joseph Campbell Award
Daniel W. Boyd, who from 1981 to 2008 served as the director of the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library, will receive the 2010 Francis Joseph Campbell Award. The award is administered by ASCLA’s Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities Forum. Winners are selected for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped....
ASCLA, June 1
LITA Ex Libris Student Writing Award winner
Andromeda Yelton, currently enrolled in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has been named the winner of the 2010 LITA Ex Libris Student Writing Award. Yelton’s paper, titled “Document Classification using Wikipedia,” describes the use of a script employing Wikipedia as context for analyzing the subjects of nonfiction works and will appear in a future issue of Information Technology and Libraries....
LITA, May 27
AASL Research Grants
Janice Newsum of Houston, Texas, and Anne Marie Perrault of Buffalo, New York, are the recipients of AASL Research Grants sponsored by Heinemann Raintree. Newsum is looking into whether school libraries are supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; and Perrault will focus on examining existing and emerging multimodal resources to foster learning and information literacy skills among K–12 students with disabilities....
AASL, May 28
Salem Press Library Blog Awards
Salem Press, publishers of Masterplots and Magill’s Choice reference sets, have picked the best library-related blogs in five topical categories (general, quirky, academic, public, and school). Those that won first place are Libraries and Transliteracy, Awful Library Books, No Shelf Required, Agnostic Maybe, and Bib 2.0. First prize in each category was awarded $500, second prize $250, and third $100.....
Salem Press, June 1
Jodi Awards nominations
The Jodi Awards are given to museums, galleries, libraries, archives, and heritage venues that use digital technology to widen access to information, collections, learning, and creativity for disabled persons. The awards will be given at a high-profile event in December in Edinburgh to coincide with a National Archives of Scotland seminar about the problems and possibilities of online historical research by disabled reseachers. The deadline for nominations outside the United Kingdom is August 9....
2010 Miriam Braverman Award winner
The Progressive Librarians Guild has awarded the 2010 Miriam Braverman Memorial prize to Kristen Hogan for her essay “‘Breaking Secrets’ in the Catalog: Proposing the Black Queer Studies Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.” Hogan is currently enrolled in the master’s program at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. The prize is awarded annually for the best essay written by an LIS student on an aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries, or librarianship....
Progressive Librarians Guild, May 30
Lambda Literary Award winners
The Lambda Literary Foundation announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards, honoring works that celebrate or explore LGBT themes, May 27 at an awards ceremony in New York City’s SVA Theater. Of the 113 finalists, 24 winners were announced (including 1 tie). Winners included Ariel Gore, editor of the anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City; Catherynne M. Valente, author of the fantasy novel Palimpsest; and Vestal McIntyre, author of Lake Overturn....
Lambda Literary, May 28
English programs at NYPL face cuts
The New York Public Library is one of many providers of free English-language classes in New York City. Typically, many more people show up than there are spots available, and hundreds have to be turned away. Now, with the library facing a possible $37-million budget cut, even fewer people may be able to take classes next year. If the cuts go through, the library says that it will have to cut the number of English-language classes it offers from 117 to 48. Libraries in Brooklyn and Queens are facing similar cutbacks. Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile released this “Faces of Library Cuts” video (3:13) to publicize the libraries’ plight....
New York Times, May 30; Vimeo, May 26
Recovery Act funds support rural libraries
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced 145 investments in 37 states, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that will create jobs and improve needed infrastructure in rural communities across the nation. Some 25 library projects are included, among them the Lewis County Public Library in Vanceburg, Kentucky, which will receive a $1.1-million loan and $200,000 grant to build a new, fully-accessible library building....
U.S. Department of Agriculture, May 27
Pittsburgh mayor questions Carnegie Library plan
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl plans to veto a measure giving the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh $640,000 because library officials have not assured him all branches will remain open. City council approved the money for the library May 26 with an 8–0 vote. Council President Darlene Harris, who had questions about the library’s finances, abstained. Council needs six votes to override the veto. Library Director Barbara Mistick characterized the funding as “short-term, stopgap dollars” that will keep the libraries open through January....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, May 27
Headmaster: Eliminating library books works just fine
The headmaster of a central Massachusetts school that eliminated most of the books in its library last year says the move has worked well and turned the library into a magnet for students and faculty. The Fisher-Watkins Library at the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham is now “the most-used space on campus, with collaborative learning areas equipped with smart boards, sections for quiet study, and screens for data feeds from research sites,” James Tracy said May 28 in a letter to the editor....
Boston Globe, May 28
Siskiyou County libraries face closure
The main library in Yreka, California, and its 10 small branches are threatened with closure as officials struggle to deal with a $3.7-million budget deficit in this rural county that borders Oregon. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on spending cuts June 15. Closing the libraries would save $716,000. If it approves the cuts, the libraries would close by the end of June....
Modesto (Calif.) Bee, June 2
Lemonade flap leaves bitter taste at Evanston library
The mystery of the library lemonade stand is growing more sour by the day for volunteers trying to raise money to keep the two branch libraries open in Evanston, Illinois. Someone who identified himself, or herself—the details are still fuzzy—as an off-duty city health inspector reportedly told the volunteer running a stand at the South branch of the Evanston Public Library May 29 that Evanston requires a permit for such operations....
Chicago Tribune, June 1
Northwestern student found dead in library bathroom
Brian Tsay, a 25-year-old student in the School of Continuing Studies, was found by a staffer in a Northwestern University Library bathroom on the Evanston, Illinois, campus May 30. An autopsy conducted May 31 by the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner’s office remained inconclusive, pending toxicology lab results. Tsay was found the mroning after Dillo Day, an all-day music festival sometimes associated with heavy student drinking....
Daily Northwestern, June 1
East Chicago director arrested in tussle with police
East Chicago (Ind.) Public Library Director Manuel Montalvo and his wife were arrested by Chicago transit police May 27 at the Millennium Park Metra Station. Police alleged the couple were heavily intoxicated, tried to board an empty South Shore train, and shoved and verbally abused officers who told them to leave the platform. Montalvo said he would dispute the charges of disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and battery of a police officer....
Chicago Sun-Times, May 30
Some are appalled at fingerprint book-checkout system
Students in Manchester, U.K., are having their thumbprints digitally transformed into electronic codes, which can then be recognized by a computer program. Pupils swipe a bar code inside the book they want to borrow, then press their thumb onto a scanner to authorize the loan as well as to return the book. Critics say they are appalled at the system, developed by Microsoft and being tested in other parts of the country....
The Telegraph (U.K.), May 28
Go back to the Top
How to buy a smartphone
Jamie Lendino writes: “Hold onto your hats, because the smartphone market is moving at a blinding pace. From the introduction to the HTC Incredible (right), EVO 4G, and Google Nexus One, to massive upgrades for perennial mainstays Apple and RIM, the landscape is changing tremendously this year. Anyone buying a smart device now needs to choose carefully, for fear of ending up with an obsolete device in just a few months. Here is a guide to all the latest and greatest smartphones.”...
PC Magazine, May 27
Is 2010 the year of mobile video chat?
Chris Cameron writes: “The fast-growing population of Android users will soon be able to chat face-to-face, thanks to a Skype mobile application that will hit the marketplace with video functionality later this year. Skype’s new iPhone app has added support for voice calling over AT&T’s 3G network. A new dawn of mobile video chatting seems to be upon us. The question is, however, will people actually take to this new form of communication?”...
ReadWriteWeb, May 28; Skatter Tech, May 30
Software to ease the pain of Windows 7 migration
The migraine-inducing process of migrating Windows from XP to 7 could get easier now that virtualization developer InstallFree has released InstallFree Bridge 2.0, a program that reportedly eliminates software compatibility issues. It does this by giving users the ability to run older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and other applications on Microsoft’s newest operating system—a process the company calls the “application repackaging business.”...
eSchool News, May 28
New GPS satellites will help apps locate you better
Chris Cameron writes: “Location-based applications are all the rage right now, but anyone who uses them knows that current GPS technology is only accurate to roughly 20 feet at best. This could shrink significantly with the recent launch of the first of several new GPS satellites. On May 27, the U.S. Air Force launched the GPS IIF SV-1 satellite from Cape Canaveral, the first in a series of new satellites designed to overhaul the existing network that has been providing GPS data for nearly two decades.”...
ReadWriteWeb, May 31
Eight gadgets for computer users with disabilities
Toby Shuster writes:
“Most of us take for granted the ability to surf the internet, email a friend, or pay a bill online. But many people have disabilities that inhibit them from using the computer. Fortunately, a slew of technologies both currently on the market and in development will make computing easier for these folks. Here is a quick rundown of a few.”...
TakePart, May 25
How to export Firefox bookmarks and reuse them
Richard Byrne writes: “At the end of every school year the teachers at my school have to turn in their laptops to be reimaged. Therefore, around this time each year I’m asked to help people back up their bookmarks. This tutorial walks viewers through the process of saving bookmarks for reuse on another computer. (If you are still bookmarking everything in Firefox, please consider using Delicious, Diigo, or another online bookmarking service.)”...
Free Technology for Teachers, May 30
I can haz Tweetz
Sony Computer Science Laboratories exhibited a lifelogging device for cats at Open House 2010 on May 28. The device, which was prototyped in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, is equipped with a camera, an acceleration sensor, and a GPS to record the activities of a cat (perhaps your library cat). Using the data collected by the acceleration sensor, the device deduces the activities of a cat such as walking, sleeping, and eating. For example, it is possible to automatically post a comment like “This tastes good” when a cat is eating something....
Tech-On, June 1
Retro/Old School computer commercials
Computer technology has certainly come a long way in only a few decades and though we may like to complain about failed OSes and hardware, looking back at some of these often hilarious computer commercials from the 1970s and 1980s really shows how far we’ve come. For example, the 55-pound IBM 5100 Portable Computer (right) introduced in 1975 had an astonishing 64K of memory and cost more than $9,000....
SherWeb, May 25
A BookExpo recap
Abby Johnson, children’s librarian at the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library, offers a series of recaps of her experiences at BookExpo America in New York, May 25–27. A sample: “It was about then that I realized that BEA was not going to be like the ALA Exhibits. It was a whole lot crazier than I expected. And on Wednesday it was pretty much crowded the entire day. The lines for autographs were insane.” Read parts two, three, and four....
Abby (the) Librarian, May 29–31, June 2
The end of an era in publishing
Garrison Keillor writes: “Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and if you want to write, you just write and publish yourself. But self-publishing will destroy the aura of martyrdom that writers have enjoyed for centuries—tortured geniuses, rejected by publishers, etc. If you publish yourself, this doesn’t work anymore, alas. It was beautiful, the Old Era. I’m sorry you missed it.”...
Tribune Media Services, May 26
Purdue professor embeds hyperlinks in printed books
People who prefer print books over e-books may still want extra digital material to go with them. That’s the idea behind Sorin Matei’s project, Ubimark, which embeds books with two-dimensional codes that work as hyperlinks when photographed. So far there’s just one book available in English, Around the World in 80 Days, with the bar-like codes. Watch the demo video (4:25)....
The Chronicle: Wired Campus, May 28
My favorite website: Overbooked
Neil Hollands writes: “This morning (casting about for a good topic for Book Group Buzz), I found myself back on one of my favorite websites, Overbooked. Every reader should know it. Overbooked is the bright idea and long-term effort of Ann Chambers Theis, a marvelous librarian at Chesterfield County (Va.) Public Library, who has been maintaining the site since 1994. The site won the Louis Shores–Greenwood Publishing Award in 2008 for excellence in book reviewing.”...
Booklist Online: Book Group Buzz, May 27
The best photobooks of the past 25 years
The British Journal of Photography recently asked a panel of experts to select their favorite photobooks of the past 25 years. Surpisingly, perhaps, Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, from 1986, came a close second to a much less well-known book, Masahisa Fukase’s Karasu (Ravens), which was published the same year. Fukase’s images are grainy, dark, and impressionistic....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 24
Ebrary’s new public library collection (PDF file)
Ebrary has announced a pilot program for its new public library collection. The collection contains 20,000 titles ranging from fiction to life skills and careers to arts and crafts. Simultaneous multiuser access is available for this collection in addition to ebrary’s DASH (Do-it-yourself publishing platform). Local public high schools get free access with the public library subscription....
Ebrary, May 24
The best scandalous chronical [sic] of its day
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “Sir Walter Scott thought the author ‘a prose Juvenal.’ The book went through at least 19 editions. It was a satiric roman á clef, its characters drawn from the contemporary social and political spheres. It is considered to be one of the most famous novels of the 18th century. Yet few are aware of it. The book is Chrysal: or The Adventures of a Guinea by Charles Johnstone, originally published in London in 1760 by T. Becket.” The novel follows a British gold coin through various owners in six different countries....
Booktryst, May 26
20 things you might not know about Shakespeare
Robert Gore-Langton writes: “We know the plays, but how much do we really know the man? Shakespeare was a professional writer and writers have love affairs, rivalries, cash crises, prejudices, off days, children, and mortgages. The assumption is that we know very little about this side of his life. But it’s amazing just how much is known and how fascinating it is. Jonathan Bate, Simon Callow, and other experts weigh in on 20 questions about Shakespeare you might have felt embarrassed to ask.”...
The Times (U.K.), May 31
Steven Lomazow writes: “It is remarkable that America’s first illustrated newspaper, the Illustrated California News, began in the brand-new state of California in 1850, spurred no doubt out of the boom of the gold rush. The first publication to use the term ‘illustrated news’ was the British London Illustrated News in 1842. The most commonly encountered are Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, but there are a few others, including German, specialty, Confederate, and local papers.”...
Magazine History, May 25
You won’t see these on an e-book
Richard Davies writes: “I enjoyed putting this list of 50 iconic book covers together. If you saw these particular editions in a bookshop window, then we believe you would stop and stare. Most have been around for some decades, some are very famous, some were famous, and a few have been forgotten. Every one is all worth a second look.”...
Abebooks, May 27
At the ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. The Event Planner is now open in both PDF and Excel formats. To log in, use the email address you provided when you registered and the generic password “ala.” You will be able to reset your password using the My Profile feature once you are logged in.
Be sure to visit the Live @ your library Reading Stage, located at the end of the 2600 aisle in the Annual Conference exhibits hall. Poets and authors from Roy Blount Jr. (above) and Marilyn Johnson to Adriana Trigiani and Vicki Myron will be on hand.
Featuring original art created for ALA Graphics by Jeff Smith, Smiley Bone conducts young readers’ eyes and ears to hear the music of reading in this READ poster. Bone, a graphic novel series by Jeff Smith, features the wild adventures of three cartoon cousins: Smiley Bone, Phoney Bone, and Fone Bone. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Archivist, The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan. As part of a major digitization initiative at the Henry Ford, the archivist will work on bringing legacy finding aids, inventories, and other archival descriptive tools up to current professional standards. This will include creating EAD compliant finding aids, MARC format catalog records, and the digitization and delivery of surrogates of materials. Duties will also include processing and reprocessing existing or new collections and record groups. In addition, the archivist will participate in designated reference shifts, guiding diverse researchers in utilizing primary and secondary sources....
Digital Library of the Week
The Connecticut State Library Digital Collections feature items from the Connecticut State Library, State Archives, and the Musuem of Connecticut History. These include modern and historical records from the three branches of state government documenting the evolution of state public policy and its implementation, the rights and claims of citizens, and the history of the state and its people. Other collections include aerial surveys of the state since 1934, and the Works Progress Administration Census of Old Buildings from the 1930s.
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.
“I’m glad to see that libraries still thrive. Story-time programs for those too young to read on their own are an important part of the process of keeping our society literate. Those programs tickle the imaginations of children, making them create images of their own to go with the words being read by adults. They also convince children that books hold a magic key to the tales of people, sometimes in such an environment as the one in which the child lives and other times in a setting that is completely foreign.”
—Florida Parishes Bureau Chief Bob Anderson, in his “Through a Glass Darkly” column, Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, May 27.
“This is a very big question: whether technology will outstrip the printed word. But with a gadget you are always dependent on a battery and on power of some sort. A book won’t fall apart; you can read it as easily on a mountaintop as in a bus queue. The printed word is irreplaceable, and much threatened.”
—South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, speaking at the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, Hay-on-Wye, Wales, The Guardian (U.K.), May 30.
—Former Chief Librarian Norman McLeod, urging the city of Guelph, Ontario, to Guelph (Ont.) Mercury, May 31.,
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, San Francisco, June 2–4, at:
Canadian Library Association, Annual Conference, Edmonton, June 2–5, at:
American Library Association, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
National Diversity in Libraries Conference, Princeton University, McDonnell Hall / Fine Hall / Lewis Library complex, Princeton, New Jersey. “From Groundwork to Action.”
2010 Lieberman Lecture, Book Club of California, San Francisco. “Betsy Davids: From Palm Leaf to Book: a South Asia Quest.” Sponsored by the American Printing History Association.
National Storytelling Conference, Warner Center Marriott, Los Angeles. “Many Stories: One World.” Sponsored by the National Storytelling Network.
2nd Annual Collaboration Unconference, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Library, Little Rock. Sponsored by the Arkansas Library Association’s Information Technology Roundtable.
National Conference of African American Librarians, Sheraton Conference Center, Birmingham, Alabama. “Culture Keepers VII: Bridging the Divide with Information Access, Activism, and Advocacy.” Sponsored by the Black Caucus of ALA.
Pacific Northwest/ Washington library associations, Joint Conference, Victoria (B.C.) Conference Center. “No Library Is an Island.”
Australian Library and Information Association, Annual Conference, Brisbane (Queensland) Convention and Exhibition Centre. “Access 2010.”
Kentucky Library Association / Kentucky School Media Association, Annual Conference, Galt House Hotel and Suites, Louisville. “In These Extraordinary Times—Libraries Now More than Ever.”
Arkansas/ Southeastern library associations, Joint Conference, Statehouse Convention Center, Little Rock. “Arkansas and SELA: Getting Back to Natural Things: Learning, Libraries, and Literacy.”
School Library Association of Queensland Biennial Conference / 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, Brisbane (Queensland) Convention and Exhibition Centre. “Diversity, Challenge, Resilience: School Libraries in Action.” Meeting incorporates the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship.
Ithaka, Annual Meeting 2010, Westin New York at Times Square, New York City.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Navy Pier, Chicago. “Libraries Out Loud.”
American Printing History Association, Annual Conference, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, D.C. “Learning to Print, Teaching to Print.”
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The Condition of Education 2010
The National Center for Education Statistics has released its annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education. The Condition of Education 2010 (PDF file) presents 49 indicators on the status and condition of education, in addition to a special section on high-poverty schools. The report projects that public school enrollment will rise from 49 million in 2008 to 52 million by 2019, with the largest increase expected in the South....
National Center for Education Statistics, May 27
New York librarians plan all-night protest reading
Brian Fairbanks writes: “The New York Public Library has confirmed that all three of its systems (Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn) are up against a 30% reduction in funds for the next fiscal year. A group of these brainy, library-science-degree-holding vixens and studs are throwing a 24-hour protest reading on the steps of Brooklyn’s Central Library June 12–13, to augment the on-the-ground work to get postcards and petitions signed and sent to the New York City Council. NYPL activists are also asking you to purchase one of these librarian-themed shirts. Don’t forget—ladies/men love men/ladies who read.”...
Asylum NYC, June 2
LC and Columbia to develop geospatial clearinghouse
The Library of Congress and Columbia University announced an agreement to create a web-based clearinghouse of information about best practices for preserving significant geospatial data. LC’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program will fund development of the clearinghouse at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia’s Earth Institute....
Library of Congress, May 28
Wikipedia’s FAQ for librarians
The Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the online resource Wikipedia, has added an FAQ for librarians that answers questions about accuracy, vandalism, objectionable material, and collaboration. It offers four ways in which librarians can help make Wikipedia better—not just by editing or adding material, but also using it to teach information literacy skills and reference sources. Lee and Sachi Lefever of Common Craft have also released an informational video (3:46) about Wikipedia....
Wikimedia Outreach Wiki, May 25; Common Craft, May 25
Facebook’s revised privacy settings
Nick O’Neill writes: “Facebook announced a new set of privacy settings May 26 that it hopes will be sufficient to make them essentially permanent, as Mark Zuckerberg described during his presentation. For many users, the new settings mean greater control over privacy. While there are always aspects of the privacy settings to criticize, we think this is a major step in the right direction. Here are 10 things you need to know about the new changes.”...
All Facebook, May 26
If you tweet it, they will come
m. k. Eagle writes: “Despite the prevailing wisdom that teens don’t tweet—a notion that gets thrown around here and there—I seem to have found that rare enclave of teens who do tweet. By my count, right now I have 18 followers who are also students at the high school where I work. My first reaction, of course, was sheer panic. And then they brought me cupcakes (above).”...
YALSA Blog, May 28
The Queen of Nice
Brigid Sweeney writes: “Amid furor over branch closures, the Boston Public Library’s president is imposing her vision for the future—and, just maybe, a new model for how to get things done in this town. Amy Ryan (right) is also really, really nice. Hers is more than a run-of-the-mill pleasantness, though. It’s a specific sort of affability known, at least where she comes from, as Minnesota Nice: courteous, mild-mannered, disinclined to confrontation. This spring, after less than 18 months on the job, Ryan found herself in the middle of a particularly not-nice budget battle.”...
Boston Magazine, June
EBSCO library budgeting trends survey
EBSCO conducted a survey in February to assess the impact of current economic conditions on libraries. Many respondents reported that their libraries have been impaired by budget pressures and that they continue to look for cost-saving strategies heading into 2010–2011. Eighty-three percent of librarians reported either budget cuts or no budget growth during the 2009–2010 year. ARL libraries were especially hard hit....
EBSCO, May 21
International Blue Shield’s Mission to Haiti report
The Blue Shield International sent two experts to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 11–16, to assess library, archives, and museum collections damaged in the recent earthquake. Danielle Mincio of IFLA and Christophe Jacobs of the International Council on Archives completed assessments of the National Library, the Library St. Louis de Gonzague, the national network of public libraries, the National Archives, and other institutions in this comprehensive report (PDF file)....
Blue Shield International, June 2
Another way to do a school library annual report
Buffy Hamilton writes: “In the spirit of my monthly reports, I give you the annual report of the Creekview High School Library, Canton, Georgia, in multimedia format. It includes an embedded copy of the text annual report, a video (7:18) of the year in review; links to each monthly report; and widgets and links to our social media streams.”...
The Unquiet Library, June 1; YouTube, May 31
Electronic serials: The fantasy pricing model
Hilary Davis writes: “When I asked Selden Lamoureux, electronic serials librarian at North Carolina State University, what the most challenging issues for electronic serials librarians were today, we launched into a fascinating conversation about a topic that hits at the core of what it means to work in library acquisitions. She explained fantasy pricing as the practice of establishing a journal’s subscription price that appears to be largely divorced from any real production and distribution costs.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, May 26
A job of biblical proportions
Liana Lupas calls herself “the only librarian in the world who takes care of one book.” Of course, that book is the Bible, and in two decades with the American Bible Society and the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City, Lupas has been responsible for a collection that includes more than 45,000 books of Scripture printed in more than 2,000 languages during six centuries. Lupas said that Bibles considered rare might include anything printed before 1700, the earliest translation in a language or geographic area, and Bibles belonging to historic figures....
Catholic News Service, May 26
Hosting a traveling exhibition: Tips and tricks
Betsy L. Blankenship writes: “My library had the privilege of hosting the ALA traveling exhibit ‘Listening to the Prairie: Farming in Nature’s Image’ in 2001. It was an extremely successful but challenging experience. My small library with two staff members and eight student assistants hosted the exhibit for six weeks and provided a host of complementary programs on campus and in the community. Here are some suggestions for hosting a successful exhibit.”...
10 resources for ESL and foreign-language students
Richard Byrne writes: “While writing about LangMedia yesterday I realized that I’ve reviewed many resources for foreign language and ESL/EFL students and teachers over the last couple of years. Here are 10 of the better free resources for foreign language and ESL/EFL students.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, May 26
RDA and AACR2 compared: examples
The Library of Congress has posted some examples in Word format that illustrate the differences between the AACR2 and RDA cataloging rules. Some examples have only a few fields; others are more complete. Some are made-up. Some examples reflect LC’s policy decision on choice of additional core elements for the RDA Test; these examples have the label “LC core elements only.” New examples will be added on an ongoing basis....
Library of Congress Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, May 24
FRBR and sharability
Karen Coyle writes: “One of the possible advantages to using FRBR as a bibliographic model is that it can provide us with sharable bits in the form of the defined entities. I’ve been working on creating a test set of records to illustrate some linked data concepts, and so I began thinking about how the data would break out into sharable units. It turns out to be . . . an interesting question.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, May 26
A step stool for bookworms
The Cramer company, makers of the Kik-Step stool used in many libraries, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a Library Edition of the Kik-Step that features quotes from such literary giants as Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain molded right into its nonskid tread....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, May 22
Penny prints from the Netherlands
Paul K. writes: “The fabulous Memory of the Netherlands site (part of the National Library of the Netherlands) has posted a new collection of more than 1,200 penny prints. These 19th-century woodblock prints come from a single donor collection and depict a wide range of cultural themes: humorous slapstick, nursery rhymes, religious devotionals, games, military battles, disasters, and contemporary events of significance. Most appear to be aimed at children.”...
BibliOdyssey, May 27
Europeana white papers
The first white paper posted at the Europeana digital library looks at the key role linked data will play in Europeana’s development and in helping Europe’s citizens make connections between existing bits of knowledge to achieve new cultural and scientific developments. Without linked data, Europeana could be seen as a simple collection of digital objects. With linked data, the potential is far greater, as the author of “Knowledge = Information in Context,” Stefan Gradmann, explains....
The 10 best video game consoles of all time
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “Video game consoles have come a long way in the three decades since they first appeared. They began as simple entertainment devices for über-nerd hobbyists—remember the Atari 2600? Since then, gaming has ballooned into a mainstream, multibillion dollar industry. I thought it would be worth taking a look back to rank the all-time greatest. Some selections are obvious, but I’ve considered not only consoles released stateside, but overseas as well.”...
PC Magazine, May 28
The Crabby Librarian
Melanie A. Lyttle writes: “The Crabby Librarian started out as a one-time character to promote the 2006 animal-themed summer reading program at the Madison (Ohio) Public Library. Now on the eve of her fifth year visiting the schools in her town, the Crabby Librarian has a fan page on Facebook and a YouTube video (9:25). There is just something magical about snarling at kids and telling them they don’t deserve summer reading prizes.”...
ALSC Blog, May 27
Gail Borden Public Library celebrates
To celebrate its winning a National Medal for Museum and Library Service in February, the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois, staged a public celebration the afternoon of May 15. The event included this surprise flash mob (3:29) that combined dancers from the Dixon Dance Academy and the library bookcart drill team. Cathy Dixon choregraphed the dance, John Fleener of Elgin Academy led the film crew, and he and his students did the editing....
YouTube, May 19
Librarians do GaGa
Sarah Wachter, a graduating student at the University of Washington’s iSchool, directed, wrote, edited, and produced this library-related video takeoff (4:23) of Lady GaGa’s 2008 hit “Poker Face” for a film festival at the school. She borrowed a camcorder from the school and “frantically recruited faculty and students to say a line on camera for me. I also did a lot of bumping into people in hallways and at their various places of work and asked them if they’d like to be in a music video.” Watch for the Nancy Pearl cameo. Lyrics are here....
YouTube, May 27; Athena’s Banquet, May 28, 30
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