|American Libraries Online
Ohioans approve 86% of library levies
Voters in Ohio turned out in overwhelming support of their public libraries at primary ballot boxes May 4. Out of a total of 29 public library levy issues (PDF file), 25 were approved—18 of which were first-time requests. The overall good news follows a hard-fought battle last summer to minimize the effects of the economic downturn on funding for library services....
American Libraries news, May 5; Ohio Library Council, May 5
Library flood damage in Tennessee
Larry Romans, ALA Executive Board member and head of government information and media services for Vanderbilt University Libraries in Nashville, posted a brief report on the ALA Council’s discussion list May 4 about the flood situation in middle Tennessee. All campus libraries are open after a roof leak briefly closed parts of the Central Library, but “parts of downtown are still underwater.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 4; VUCast, May 4
Rain barrels serve dual purpose
Laura Bruzas writes: “Who wouldn’t want a rain barrel? It serves as a backup source of water during times of drought, and has become an exercise in adding beauty to one’s landscape (such as Wetland Whimsey, right). Libraries nationwide are helping promote their use in creative ways.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Apr. 29
Scottsdale raises the bar for meeting-room use
Laura Bruzas writes: “Twelve people are gathering at their local library. Bottled water and Styrofoam cups are provided. Pizza is served on nonrecycled paper plates along with disposable napkins. The last person to leave forgets to turn the lights out. Sound familiar? Not if this meeting was being held at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library, which has instituted the Meet Green program.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Apr. 27
Photoessay: National Library Week
With Americans turning to libraries in record numbers for employment resources and technology support, the nation’s libraries marked National Library Week, April 11–17, with exhibits, programs such as Madison Heights (Mich.) Public Library’s reading with Detroit Tigers mascot Paw (right), and activities celebrating libraries and community cultural centers. Libraries nationwide contributed their photos to American Libraries....
American Libraries photoessay, Apr. 28
Coping with the economy
Leonard Kniffel writes: “American Libraries has run a number of articles on how to manage your way through the economic crisis that has now trickled down to libraries big-time. Some of our profession’s best managers and leaders have produced a number of significant articles that could help us all get through these tough times. They are all available free on this website.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 4
James Neal win ALA election
Molly Raphael (left), former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, has been elected president of ALA for the 2011–12 term. James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University in New York City, has been elected treasurer of ALA for a three-year term beginning at the end of the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in June....
Public Information Offcie, Apr. 30
Councilors; division and round table leaders
Thirty-three candidates have been elected to three-year terms on ALA’s governing Council. Their terms begin at the conclusion of the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Election results for the leadership of ALA’s 11 divisions and 17 round tables have been posted as a PDF file...
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 30
ALA treasurer sees challenges ahead
Rodney Hersberger writes: “This will be my last message as ALA treasurer, and I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about the current economic challenges facing libraries and the Association. The crisis that hit the economy in fall of 2008 appears to be easing slowly but unevenly. As libraries cut back, there will be less money for everything from conference travel to READ posters. This means that ALA, like libraries, will have to make further budget reductions and cuts over the next two years.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 3
The Spectrum Presidential Initiative’s Dinner for Spectrum Scholars program encourages ALA members to host dinners for their friends and colleagues to raise money for Spectrum Scholarships. In this video (5:12), ALA President Camila Alire (right) prepares a meal of fish tacos, black beans, and her special guacamole, while discussing Spectrum and how these fun gatherings will support the next generation of librarians....
AL Focus, May 3
Choose Privacy Week: The awesome video
Jonathan Kelley writes: “We are thrilled to unveil a short film (23:10) that introduces some of today’s most interesting and complex privacy issues. We hope libraries and others will share the video online and host events to discuss the issues it raises. In addition to man-on-the-street interviews, the film features individuals like Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow (above), University of Chicago Professor Geoffrey Stone, and ALA President Camila Alire discussing privacy.”...
OIF Blog, May 3; Vimeo, May 2
Barbara Jones on Choose Privacy Week
May 2–8 is Choose Privacy Week, a new ALA initiative from the Office for Intellectual Freedom that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. OIF Director Barbara Jones (right) discusses the campaign, its resources, and programming ideas on what privacy is and why the public should care about it....
Visibility @ your library, May 3
Madeline’s cause: Banned books
Jonathan Kelley writes: “In late April, the Office for Intellectual Freedom got a visit from 8-year-old Madeline Daniel (right), who came to make a donation—cash that she had raised from her lemonade sale. For 50 cents a cup, thirsty passersby helped raise money ‘to support the ALA’s fight against Banned Books.’ Madeline raised over $28 in all, which indeed will help us continue to work with librarians, parents, community members, and teachers to protect the right to read.” Watch the video (3:30) of Madeline’s visit....
OIF Blog, May 5
Many Voices, One Nation 2010
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (left) and R. Dwayne Betts will participate in the Many Voices, One Nation program during ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Sáenz is an artist, poet, novelist, and a writer of children’s books whose latest novel is Last Night I Sang to the Monster. Betts is a poet who has been published in many national literary journals and has taught poetry in Washington, D.C., metro area public schools. The program will take place the evening of June 25....
Office for Diversity, Apr. 29
Spectrum Professional Options Fair
OCLC’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives has signed on as a sponsor for the Professional Options Fair at the 2010 Spectrum Leadership Institute, June 23–25. The Professional Options Fair will offer Spectrum Scholars attending the Leadership Institute at ALA Annual Conference an opportunity to discuss careers in various areas of librarianship....
Office for Diversity, Apr. 29
Library Snapshot Days
Robyn Vittek writes: “ALA is promoting Library Snapshot Day, an initiative to let elected officials, the press, and even internet trolls know just how many people use your library. On one day, libraries across your state collect data and user comments and take pictures, then publish and disseminate all of that info in a user-friendly and easy-to-understand way. What I found most intriguing while looking at the different state websites and Flickr accounts were the photos. Everyone really does use the library.” Universities are participating too....
YALSA Blog, Apr. 27; Office for Library Advocacy; Western Illinois University, Apr. 30
Using the media for library advocacy
The media can be a powerful ally in promoting your library’s cause. In this webinar (58:46), consultant Stephanie Vance looks at options for finding media outlets, building relationships with reporters, identifying a hook for news stories, and becoming the “go to source” on library-related issues. Also included are appropriate practices for the different media venues, including print, TV, radio, and the internet....
District Dispatch, Apr. 27; Vimeo, Apr. 27
Stephen Abram to speak at PR Forum
During the ALA PR Forum in 2007, Stephen Abram asked if new media and Library 2.0 technologies were the “sizzle or the steak.” Three years later, Abram returns to the PR Forum to discuss where Library 2.0 will take public relations next. Abram is a leading library conference keynote speaker and vice president of strategic partnerships and markets for Gale Cengage. The PR Forum will take place the morning of June 27....
Public Information Office, May 4
Nominating Committee seeks ALA candidates
The ALA 2011 Nominating Committee is soliciting nominees to run on the 2011 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president and councilor-at-large. The committee will select two candidates to run for president and no fewer than 51 candidates for the 33 at-large council seats to be filled in the 2011 spring election. Nominations and forms must be received no later than August 13....
Office of ALA Governance, May 4
Annual Report highlights Rettig presidency
ALA President James Rettig focused his presidential activities around “Creating Connections” and addressed three critical issues: advocacy, diversity, and member participation. These initiatives and other highlights are featured in the just released ALA Annual Report that covers 2008–09. The fiscal year began with widespread media coverage of the increase in library usage during tough economic times....
Public Information Office, May 3
Friend Your Library poster, bookmark debut
Produced in collaboration with ALTAFF, the Friend Your Library poster and bookmark recognize the important role of Friends groups, reminding patrons of simple, yet effective ways in which they can support their local library, such as signing up for a library card, borrowing items, and volunteering....
ALA Graphics, Apr. 29
Big Ben Roethlisberger and ALA
Will Manley writes: “Big Ben Roethlisberger is a football celebrity who is featured on an ALA Celebrity READ poster (right). Here are Big Ben’s vital statistics: two Super Bowl rings and accusations from two different women for sexual assault. The last incident happened in March and involved a Georgia college student. Should an overwhelmingly female profession be promoting a man who is developing a reputation as a sexual predator against women?” Be sure to read the follow-up post with a response from ALA Director of Marketing and Sales Mary Mackay....
Will Unwound, Apr. 30, May 4
Featured review: Crime fiction
Ellory, R. J. The Anniversary Man. June 2010. 400p. Overlook, hardcover (978-1-59020-327-9).
This is one of those police-procedural gems that come along once in a blue moon. The book is entirely free of the tired formulas that drive way too many procedurals and that often seem more oriented toward securing movie rights than telling a story. And what a story this is! NYPD Detective Ray Irving—overworked, underpaid, and absolutely dedicated to his job—risks his code of ethics and, ultimately, his life to track down a serial killer who is imitating the crimes of some of the worst monsters our society has spawned....
Best crime novels of 2010
Bill Ott writes: “Picking the best crime novels of the year is fraught with its own special ambiguity. How do we factor in series books versus stand-alones? Cozies versus hard-boiled detective novels? And, if we’re extending the crime-fiction umbrella, as I believe it should be extended, to cover any work with a crime at its center—whether thriller, espionage, whodunit, historical, or genre-benders of every stripe—well, what is a simple mystery fan to do?”...
The case of the overlooked books
Keir Graff writes: “As we previously announced, May is Mystery Month at Booklist. As part of all this mayhem, we’ll be asking people who write crime fiction to give us their recommendations for books that deserved more attention than they received. Our first guest, John Green, isn’t generally thought of as a mystery writer, but he is a bona fide Edgar Award winner for his third book, Paper Towns. So, you might say, he has a clue about mysteries.”...
Likely Stories, May 3
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Cognotes: Preview issue
ALA Conference Services has released the preview issue of Cognotes, the information source for the ALA Annual Conference, in Nxtbook format. Mobile and accessible versions are also available. The issue contains information on speakers, exhibits, the Scholarship Bash, Advocacy Day, and other activities....
The National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum, at 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., opened in 1993 through a joint agreement between the United States Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution. The museum houses interactive displays about the history of the U.S. Postal Service, mail service around the world, and a vast collection of postage stamps. During ALA Annual Conference, the museum’s Victory Mail exhibit will showcase its collection of World War II V-Mail correspondence....
National Postal Museum
Discover the Civil War at the National Archives
“Discovering the Civil War,” an exhibit at the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives at 700 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., takes a fresh look at the conflict through letters, orders, maps, telegrams, broadsides, and photographs (such as this image of a U.S. Navy vessel, ca. 1864) that are preserved in the collection. Part One, “Beginnings,” runs through September....
National Archives and Records Administration
Figuring out D.C. streets
Washington was first laid out by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1791. When traveling around town, it will be hard to get lost if you keep these few things in mind: The lettered streets (A–W) run east/west (parallel to the Mall). The numbered streets run north/south (perpendicular to the Mall). Streets named for states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Connecticut) run diagonally through lettered and/or numbered streets....
ALSC Blog, May 3
Explore literary Washington
For the young at heart, track down criminals with K. C. and Marshall as they solve crimes at some of D.C.’s most famous landmarks, from the White House to the Washington Monument and the Treasury Building, in the Capital Mysteries series by Ron Roy. For adults, check out the Capital Crimes series by Margaret Truman, which features a wide range of Washington settings from the Smithsonian to Union Station to the Library of Congress....
@ ALA 2010 wiki
Is there a cure for jet lag?
Ransom Riggs writes: “It appears that there is no cure for jet lag, other than not traveling on jets. But there seem to be no end to the tips floating around on the net, like old wives’ tales, about how to ameliorate the symptoms. One of the weirdest remedies I found was Viagra. Also known as sildenafil citrate, studies have shown that it can speed recovery from jet lag by as much as 50% . . . in hamsters. Here are a few suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control.”...
Mental Floss Blog, Apr. 30
Sarah Flowers elected YALSA president
The 2011–12 president of YALSA is Sarah Flowers, a writer and editor in Morgan Hill, California, who is the retired deputy county librarian of Santa Clara County Library. Flowers is the author of the forthcoming ALA Editions title Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action. She has served on ALA Council, the YALSA board of directors, and the Michael L. Printz Award committee....
YALSA, Apr. 30
Joyce L. Ogburn elected ACRL president
Joyce L. Ogburn, university librarian and director of the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, has been elected president of ACRL. Her activities in ACRL include serving as the scholarly communications column editor for C&RL News, as a member of the Choice Editorial Board, and as editor of ANSS Currents....
ACRL Insider, May 3
Marcia Warner elected PLA president
Marcia Warner, director of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library, has been elected president of PLA. Warner has been a member of PLA for 25 years, serving on numerous PLA and ALA committees and the PLA Board of Directors. Her association efforts have benefited conference programming, publications, scholarship programs, and member networking....
PLA, May 4
Carl Harvey elected AASL president
Carl A. Harvey III, school librarian for North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana, has been elected president of AASL. Harvey is currently a member of AASL’s board of directors and serves as a board member for the Indiana Library Federation. He has authored three publications, including The 21st Century Elementary Library Media Program....
AASL, May 4
Mary Fellows elected ALSC president
Mary J. Fellows, manager of youth and family services at the Upper Hudson Library System in Albany, New York, has been elected president of ALSC. She currently serves on the ALSC board of directors and also has served on the Caldecott, Managing Children’s Services, and Notable Children’s Books Committees....
ALSC, Apr. 30
Zmuda to call school librarians to action
Allison Zmuda will be the keynote speaker at the AASL President’s Program at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 26. Her presentation, “Leading the Transformation of Education for the 21st Century,” is a call to action for school librarians to position themselves at the forefront of the push to transform American education for the 21st century....
AASL, May 4
Francine Berman at ALCTS President’s Program
ALCTS will present Francine Berman, vice president for research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as the featured speaker for its President’s Program at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 28. The title of her presentation is “Got Data? New Roles for Libraries in Shaping 21st Century Research.”...
ALCTS, May 4
AASL Fall Forum speakers
The AASL Fall Forum, November 5–6, in Portland, Oregon, will bring together some of the greatest minds in the library field to help school librarians understand how to guide 21st-century students toward meaningful learning. Gail Dickinson, Leslie Maniotes, and Ross Todd will lead attendees of “In Focus: The Essentials for 21st-Century Learning” to a better understanding of the essential role they play in a student’s learning process....
AASL, May 4
ACRL Immersion Program track applications due
Applications for the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program Assessment and Intentional Teacher Tracks are due May 7. Acceptance for both tracks is competitive to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation. The Intentional Teacher and Assessment Tracks will be offered simultaneously November 10–14 in Nashville....
ACRL Insider, May 4
Tom Peters to oversee LBPH standards revision
ASCLA has selected Tom Peters, the founder of TAP Information Services, as project director to oversee revision of the 2005 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This most recent revision will take into consideration a number of significant changes in the operation of network libraries and in the development and use of new technologies....
ASCLA, May 4
Looking for BIGWIG Showcase presenters
The 4th annual BIGWIG Showcase will be held June 28 at the ALA
Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. In the interests of staying as current and relevant as possible, the organizers would like you to propose topics for this year’s event. If you are interested in presenting on this topic, add your name and you will be contacted with details following the voting. The deadline for adding topics is May 14....
Your BIGWIG, May 3
Keep your cool with the kids this summer
Summer is nearly here, and with temperatures rising and kids out of school, what’s a busy librarian to do? Keep your cool with the Kids! @ your library tool kit, which has some great ideas to help you with your summer program plans. Here are 10 free ideas from our online tool kit to get your summer off to a great start....
ALSC Blog, May 3
AASL survey extended
The deadline for the AASL 2010 “School Libraries Count!” survey has been extended to May 14. The study gathers basic data about the status of school library programs across the country. AASL will use this information to develop advocacy tools to support school library programs at the local, state, and national levels....
AASL, May 4
What ails SRRT: A diagnosis
Rory Litwin writes: “The Social Responsibilities Round Table was the permanent structure formed out of progressive political organizing in ALA during the revolutionary time of the late 1960s. Since then it has served as the political conscience of the Association, taking a public stand on many issues not directly related to librarianship. SRRT is now in a period of protracted crisis based on a conflict between the activists at its core and the majority of its membership, who have grown less interested in seeing SRRT pursue activist goals.”...
Library Juice, May 1
Honorary ALA member nominations open
Nominations are being accepted for ALA honorary membership, the Association’s highest honor, which is bestowed on living citizens of any country whose contributions to librarianship or a closely related field are so outstanding that they are of significant and lasting importance to the whole field of library service. Members who wish to forward nominations must complete the online ALA Honorary member nomination form (Word file) by September 1....
Office of ALA Governance, May 4
AASL Intellectual Freedom Award
Karyn Storts-Brinks, school librarian for the Knox County (Tenn.) School District, is the 2010 recipient of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award. Nominated by the Tennessee Library Association, Storts-Brinks challenged the school district to insure that all students had access to education information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. In 2009, as an advisor for the school’s Gay Straight Alliance Club, Storts-Brinks noticed that certain websites were being blocked due to the school’s internet filtering software....
AASL, May 4
AASL Distinguished Service Award
Marcia Mardis, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Florida State University, is the recipient of the 2010 AASL Distinguished Service Award. Mardis has been the chair of the AASL Research and Statistics Committee since 2007 and was a key player in the creation of the division’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner....
AASL, May 4
AASL Distinguished Administrators Award
Vince Barnes, principal of North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana, is this year’s recipient of the AASL Distinguished Administrators Award. Barnes encourages collaboration between the school librarian and teachers and “creates opportunities for the school librarian to share ideas, activities, and resources that would help teachers in their instruction.”...
AASL, May 4
AASL National School Library Programs of the Year
Two schools have been given the title of 2010 School Library Program of the Year by AASL: New Canaan (Conn.) High School and Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis. The recipients were judged on their mission statement, how they implement AASL’s learning standards, and how well the library program is integrated into the curriculum of the school....
AASL, May 4
AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award
The project “Listen My Children and You Shall Hear: The 18th-Century Project: Inquiry, Collaboration, and a Social Studies Year,” the creation of school librarian Marilyn Rothberg and her teacher collaborator Barbara Masters, is the recipient of the AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award. The team is part of the staff at General Wayne Elementary in Malvern, Pennsylvania....
AASL, May 4
“Don’t Shelve the Questions” wins RUSA award
The article, “Don’t Shelve the Questions: Defining Good Customer Service for Shelvers” by Luke Vilelle, public services librarian at Hollins University, and Christopher C. Peters, stacks manager at the University Libraries of Virginia Tech, is the 2010 Reference Service Press Award winner. The award recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSA’s Reference and User Services Quarterly during the preceding two-volume year....
RUSA, May 4
AASL Innovative Reading Grant
Library Media Specialist Myra Oleynik is the recipient of the AASL Innovative Reading Grant. Oleynik and her colleagues Nancy Hobbs and Kristen Sacco created the program “Personalized Independent Enrichment: Making Reading Personal Again.” The teachers and school librarians are staff members at Bower Hill Elementary School in Venetia, Pennsylvania....
AASL, May 4
ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant
The recipient of the AASL ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, the Alabama Instructional Media Association, has new school librarians competing to win a spot on its committees. AIMA’s New Librarians Workshop gives 25 school librarians with three years or less of experience the chance to attend a free workshop designed especially for them. The grant of up to $1,750 is given to school library associations for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional, or local levels....
AASL, May 4
AASL Frances Henne Award
Melanie Gibson, school librarian at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas, is the recipient of AASL’s 2010 Frances Henne Award. The $1,250 grant, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers, and administrators. Gibson will use the funds to travel to the 2010 ALA Annual Conference....
AASL, May 4
Lee County Library wins S.C. state photo contest
For the third time in four years, the Lee County (S.C.) Public Library has won top honors in the State Library’s annual “Day in the Life of South Carolina Libraries” photo contest (PDF file). Librarian Elizabeth Snyder-Powell’s photo (right) of Head Librarian Dawn Ellen reading to 18-month-old T. J. Brown captured the award for the best overall photo. The library also won the Best Humorous Photo Award with Snyder-Powell’s photo of a youngster asleep in the library....
Item, Apr. 30; South Carolina State Library, Apr. 23
2010 Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature
Robot Zot, by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by David Shannon, has won the 2010 Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature. The award is presented by the Bank Street College of Education to an outstanding book for young children—a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole....
Early Word: The Publisher|Librarian Connection, May 3
2010 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards
The Jane Addams Peace Association announced the winners April 28 of the 2010 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards on topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan (Beach Lane Books), written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, is the winner in the Books for Younger Children category. Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary (Viking), by Elizabeth Partridge, is the winner in the Books for Older Children category....
Jane Addams Peace Association, Apr. 28
2010 Edgar Award winners
The Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of their prestigious Edgar Awards for the best crime and mystery writing at a banquet in New York City on April 29. Edgars went to John Hart for The Last Child and Stefanie Pintoff, whose In the Shadow of Gotham won best first novel by an American author. Dave Cullen took the prize for best fact crime for Columbine, his account of the 1999 shootings at that Colorado high school....
New York Times, May 2
2009 Agatha Award winners
The 2009 Agatha Awards were presented at the Malice Domestic conference in Arlington, Virginia, May 1. The award for best mystery novel went to A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny, best first mystery novel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, and best children’s or YA mystery to The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein. The awards honor traditional mysteries first published in the United States by a living author during the calendar year 2009....
IACP Cookbook Awards
The International Association of Culinary Professionals has named Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum its Cookbook of the Year 2010. Other winners include Jeri Quinzio’s Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making, and Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking....
International Association of Culinary Professionals
2010 James Beard Awards
At a May 2 ceremony, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its 2010 awards for books and media, the “Oscars of Food.” Among the highlights: Colman Andrews won the award for Cookbook of the Year for his Country Cooking of Ireland, and Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home won for general cooking. Serious Eats took home the award for top food blog, best newspaper food section went to the Washington Post, and CHOW won for best website....
James Beard Foundation, May 3
One Book, One Twitter winner
The One Book, One Twitter program kicks off May 5 with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods as the first summer read. Crowdsourcing author Jeff Howe started the project via his own Twitter feed, and wrote about it for Wired, where he is a contributing editor. Twitterers voted on the choices at #1b1t. Gaiman himself is conflicted on the choice, mainly because it “such a divisive sort of book.”...
GalleyCat, May 4; Wired: Epicenter, Mar. 24; The Guardian (U.K.), May 4
FCC weighs leaving broadband deregulated
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski (right) is expected to respond soon to an April 6 ruling in Comcast v. FCC (PDF file) invalidating sanctions the agency had imposed to protect net neutrality. Telecoms favor (PDF file) maintaining the status quo. Net-neutrality supporters want the FCC to reclassify broadband services so it can safeguard consumer access to web content. Genachowski is reportedly leaning toward a middle road....
Washington Post, May 3; Save the Internet, May 3
School board bans gay youth book
A Burlington County, New Jersey, school board voted May 4 to pull a book depicting teenage homosexuality from the Rancocas Valley Regional High School library in Mount Holly following protests from a local conservative group. The board was concerned that Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, edited by Amy Sonnie, was too graphic for children. The decision drew criticism from the majority of parents, students, and librarians assembled at the meeting....
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5
Fond du Lac again
A Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, school district committee has been called together to hear another citizen complaint involving a library book. The reconsideration committee will meet May 13 to consider parent Ann Wentworth’s request to remove the book Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares from the library at Theisen Middle School. Wentworth is objecting to several books she feels contain inappropriate content that are available to middle school students....
Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent, May 5
Public libraries seeking private funds
The El Paso (Tex.) Public Library has joined a growing number of publicly funded libraries across the country tapping into private sources of money. Library Director Carol Brey-Casiano helped launch the El Paso Public Library Foundation in recent months. The nonprofit group of El Pasoans is dedicated to helping the system raise money on a long-term basis. More and more urban libraries are relying on nonprofit fundraising groups and aggressively diversifying their once traditional sources of money....
El Paso (Tex.) Times, May 3
Two generations, one common mission
In March, word quickly spread that the Weed Memorial and Hollander branch of Stamford, Connecticut’s Ferguson Library was under threat of closure due to budget cuts. Two entirely separate campaigns were immediately launched to save it. Marilyn Trefry, the 72-year-old founder and president of the Springdale Neighborhood Association, drew up a petition. And 16-year-old Andrew Brezovsky, a student and part-time employee at the library, created a Facebook group called “Keep the Weed Memorial and Hollander Branch Open!”...
Stamford (Conn.) Advocate, Apr. 29
Morristown explosion damage worse than expected
The basement explosion that blew out doors and windows at the Morristown and Morris Township (N.J.) Library on May 3 was so severe that power company officials say they doubt that it was caused by faulty cables, adding that it was unlike anything they’ve seen. Someone might have been killed had library workers not evacuated the building shortly before the explosion after they saw smoke coming from manholes. Town officials toured the library May 4 and said the damage was more than they had expected. The library will be closed at least a month....
Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, May 3, 5; Morristown (N.J.) Green, May 4
Two arrested in Kalispell during film protest
Two members of a white separatist group were arrested during a protest over a pro-Nazi film shown at the Flathead County Library in Kalispell, Montana, April 29. An estimated 200 people had crowded around the library to protest the showing of Epic: The Story of the Waffen SS, which apparently takes an admiring view of the combat arm of the Nazis during World War II, when a scuffle broke out. Library Director Kim Crowley (above) said she had hoped the showing would bring together “diverse groups in the community hopefully to have dialogue.”...
Kalispell (Mont.) Daily Inter Lake, Apr. 30; KECI-TV, Missoula, Apr. 29
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29.
Register today for the Sixth Annual Book Cart Drill Team World Championships, Sunday, June 27, 4– 5:30 p.m. Win trophies, accolades, and the admiration of your peers. No experience necessary (but style and chutzpah help). The deadline to register (PDF file) is May 28. Watch a video of the 2009 contest. If you have questions, contact Alicia Babcock, (312) 280-3229.
In Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project, Jeannette Woodward walks you through the process of overseeing the planning and construction of a new library building. Packed with helpful checklists and worksheets, this revised edition includes updated references, standards, materials, and resources, as well as evolving rules for LEED certification. NEW! From ALA Editions.
There is still time to promote Woman’s Day magazine’s latest initiative, which asks readers to submit stories about the importance of the library in their community. Stories must be submitted by 12 noon Eastern Time on May 9.
Head Librarian / Media Specialist, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, Hot Springs. The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a residential high school for academically talented 11th- and 12th-grade students, is seeking a head librarian/media specialist for the 2010–2011 school year. This 10-month position is responsible for oversight of the school’s library, media resources, and electronic databases. Responsibilities also include research support for students, interlibrary loan, and an archive of student research. The ideal candidate should have an understanding of the Library of Congress system, a working knowledge of online research and Web 2.0 tools, and an enthusiasm for young adult literature....
ALA members can register for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 10–15, at a discounted member rate using the ALA IFLA member code of US-0002. The advanced registration deadline is May 7.
Digital Library of the Week
Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in MP3 (audiobook) format developed by the Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse. Students and teachers can download the files to an MP3 player and listen on the go, listen to the files on a computer, view the text on a webpage and read along as the file plays, or print out the stories and poems. Selections are browsable by author or title; and searchable by title, author, keywords, or reading level. An abstract, citation, playing time, and word count are given for each of the passages. Many of the selections also have a related reading strategy identified. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as supplemental reading material for the classroom. Many of the selections can also be downloaded directly into an iTunes library.
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’ve never read The Chocolate War, but complaining about nudity in a novel that contains no pictures is like complaining about there being too much sound in a sandwich.”
—Amelie Gillette, writing about ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books list, where The Chocolate War ranked 10th in 2009, “Parents Still Hate The Catcher in the Rye,” The Onion A.V. Club, Apr. 15.
Choose Privacy Week, May 2–8, at:
Oregon Virtual Reference Summit, Troutdale, May 7, at:
ALA Preservation Week, May 9–15, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco. “A Golden Opportunity: A Shared Vision for Publishers, Librarians, and Users.”
Canadian Association for Information Science, Annual Conference, Henry F. Hall Building, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec.
Canadian Library Association, 65th National Conference, Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta.
Learning College Summit, Arizona Biltmore Resort, Phoenix.
Canadian Health Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Four Points Sheraton, Kingston, Ontario. “Honouring Heritage / Inspiring Innovation.”
Association of Canadian Archivists, 35th Annual Conference, Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, Halifax. “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Next Generation of Canadian Archivists.”
Heartland School Library Conference, W. H. Thompson Alumni Center, University of Nebraska, Omaha.
Canadian Learning Commons Conference, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. “A Journey in Progress: Been There! Done That! What’s Next!”
International Association of Technological University Libraries, Annual Conference, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
7th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, University College London, U.K. “Integration in the Information Sciences: Unity in Diversity.”
American Library Association, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
8th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles.
Association of Jewish Libraries, Annual Convention, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle.
Sixth Islamic Manuscript Conference, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, U.K. “Central Asian Islamic Manuscripts and Manuscript Collections.”
CFP: 7th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects, Austrian National Library and the Vienna University of Technology.
eResearch Australasia, Royal Pines Resort, Queensland, Australia. “21st Century Research: Where Computing Meets Data.”
iPad’s accessibility features: White on black
Jason Griffey (right) writes: “I’m going to be doing a series of videos showing off different lesser-known features of the iPad that are important for libraries and librarians. Here’s the first (2:51), looking at a little-known accessibility feature called White on Black.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, May 3
How to upgrade your computer memory
Daniel S. Evans writes: “Nothing can frustrate a computer user more than a desktop PC that takes a really looooonnng time to finish a task. But that’s the reality when you’ve been using a system for a few years. In the interim, there have been new applications you’ve downloaded, maybe even a new operating system that you’ve installed. The most likely culprit for this loss of speed is the memory (or not enough of it). The good news is upgrading to more memory is a simple fix.” Watch the video (1:50)....
PC Magazine, Apr. 29
Google gives search results page a makeover
Tom Krazit writes: “Starting May 5, Google users will see something very different on search results pages as the world’s leading internet search company trots out one of its most significant redesigns in years. With the new look, Google is emphasizing the menu of search options that had previously been hidden on the left-side rail of the search results pages. Now they will be permanently affixed to the left rail, and Google will surface different search options based on whether they are relevant to the query.”...
CNET News: Relevant Results, May 5
Mashups and mobiles: Down Under edition
Michael Stephens writes: “Last fall I was lucky to spend a couple of days at the Queensland Public Library Association Conference. Hearing Paul Hagon from the National Library speak about combining Google maps with the library’s digital collections was amazing: The first time that the true power of sending a mashed-up collection outside library walls for people to access via mobile devices made total sense.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, May 4
Google to launch digital bookstore
Chris Palma, Google’s manager for strategic-partner development, announced May 4 that Google will begin selling digital books as early as late June or July as part of its new Google Editions service. The initiative, which will enable users to buy digital copies of books they discover through Google’s book-search service, is separate from the ongoing Google Books Settlement case, and may be boosted by its investment in mobile-payments startup Corduro....
Wall Street Journal, May 4; American Libraries news, Feb. 22; TechCrunch, May 3
Your next book should be an app
Cody Brown writes: “Why do we have books in the first place? The challenge for authors at this point is that the iPad enables so many different types of expression. Once you start thinking of your book as an app you run into all kinds of bizarre questions. Do I need to have all of my book accessible at any given time? Why not make it like a game so that in order to get to the next ‘chapter’ you need to pass a test? At 21, I can say with a lot of confidence that the ‘books’ that come to define my generation will be impossible to print.”...
TechCrunch, Apr. 11
Funding your library degree
Looking for an LIS scholarship or grant but can’t find the right one? The answer could lie in a new publication from Reference Service Press, How to Pay for Your Degree in Library and Information Studies, 2010–2012, by Gail Ann Schlachter and R. David Weber. This book offers a comprehensive summary of the 833 scholarships, fellowships, grants, loans, and awards available that support study, research, and conference attendance for LIS undergraduate and graduate students in the United States and Canada. Detailed eligibility requirements are provided for each entry....
Reference Service Press
Book people to follow on Twitter
On April 9, the Huffington Post published its list of the 50 best book people to follow on Twitter. Of course, readers had plenty of their own suggestions to add to the list—so many, in fact, that HuffPost decided to put together a second list of the bookish twitterers that its readers love to follow, from cyberpunk novelist William Gibson to young adult author Maureen Johnson (right)....
Huffington Post, Apr. 9, 29
Top 10 reasons why you should quit Facebook
Dan Yoder writes: “After some reflection, I’ve decided to delete my account on Facebook. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. This is part altruism and part selfish. The altruism part is that I think Facebook, as a company, is unethical. The selfish part is that I’d like my own social network to migrate away from Facebook so that I’m not missing anything. In any event, here are my top 10 reasons why you should join me and many others and delete your account.”...
rocket.ly, Apr. 26
And 10 reasons not to quit Facebook (yet)
David Lee King writes: “On May 3, I started seeing people I know tweeting the link to Dan Yoder’s article (above), and saying ‘I might delete my account too.’ But what about your organization’s Facebook Page? I’m not sure deleting your Profile or Page is the answer. To my tweet, ‘Come on people, why should you not quit Facebook?’ I got some excellent replies.”...
David Lee King, May 4
Sandra Hirsh named San José SLIS director
Sandra Hirsh, an experienced LIS scholar and leader, has been named the new director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University. Her experience includes assignments as a faculty member at several academic institutions, as a librarian in academic and special libraries, and more than a decade in leadership positions with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. She will replace outgoing director Ken Haycock in August....
San José State University SLIS, Apr. 28
New financial literacy center at NYPL
Financial Literacy Now—a joint effort of the New York Public Library, McGraw-Hill, and other partners—is opening a new center dedicated to financial literacy at NYPL’s Science, Industry, and Business Library. Financial Literacy Central will serve as a hub for free personal finance information and resources, including computer access to business and financial databases. The library also offers classes and public programs on personal finance....
McGraw-Hill, Apr. 21; New York Public Library
Information literacy: A neglected core competency
Sharon A. Weiner writes: “Researchers at the Information School at the University of Washington released an important and thought-provoking report in late 2009 on how college students seek information. The results of the study suggest that many college students view their educational experience as finding just enough information that is ‘good enough’ to complete course assignments. Information literacy is a national and global concern.”...
Educause Quarterly 33, no. 1
Wide variations in agency plans for open government
A ranking of U.S. agencies’ Open Government Plans compiled during an independent audit reveals the strongest and weakest agency plans, with NASA at the top of the list and the Department of Justice at the bottom. Strikingly, the audit also found that several agencies that are supposed to lead by example on the government openness front failed to do so in their Open Government Plans....
OMB Watch, May 3
Conferencing: CiL and Evergreen 2010
Kate Sheehan writes: “What makes for a good conference? It’s tempting to reduce it to a simple equation: C+P+L=E. Content plus people plus location equals experience. I’m just back from three consecutive conferences and in addition to my annual sense of wonder at the librarian obsession with conferencing, I’ve been mulling over conferences in general, and technology-oriented conferences in particular.”...
ALA TechSource blog, May 3; OpenTheGovernment.org
Anglo-Saxon manuscript collection digitized
One of the most important collections of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts—for centuries kept at the University of Cambridge’s Corpus Christi College—has been digitized and made available online. The Parker Library was entrusted to the college in 1574 by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury under Queen Elizabeth and one of the primary architects of the English Reformation. The library holds more than 550 manuscripts, including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the earliest history written in English, and the 6th-century St. Augustine Gospels, used at the enthronement of the Archbishops at Canterbury....
University of Cambridge, Apr. 28
Wolfram Tones: Experiment with sound
Richard Byrne writes: “From the same people that brought us the computational search engine Wolfram Alpha comes Wolfram Tones, which uses algorithms, music theory, and sound samples to generate new collections of sounds. Visitors can experiment with sounds and rhythms to make their own sounds. Once they select a genre, they can alter the rhythm, instrumentation, and pitch mapping. This might be a nice little resource for a music theory lesson.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, May 3
How our brains make memories
Neuroscientist Karim Nader (right) witnessed the atttack on the World Trade Center, but the inaccuracies of his subsequent recollections of the event led him to suspect that the very act of remembering can change our memories. Memories surrounding a major event like September 11 might be especially susceptible because we tend to replay them over and over in our minds and in conversation with others—with each repetition having the potential to alter them. Nader’s ideas are unconventional within neuroscience, and they have caused researchers to reconsider some of their most basic assumptions about how memory works....
Study: DCPL’s internet access gets the jobs won
Using a customized version of the “Opportunity for All” report issued in April, District of Columbia Public Library Director Ginnie Cooper told a Congressional budget committee May 3 that DCPL had enabled at least 20% of people seeking jobs using the library’s internet service to find employment, documenting an unprecedented demand....
District of Columbia Public Library, May 3
Libraries and enlightened views
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “I’ve been reading Gabriel Naudé’s Advice on Establishing a Library (1st ed., 1627). Naudé developed Cardinal Mazarin’s personal library, the Bibliothèque Mazarine, and requested it be open to the public, thus creating the first public library in France. What’s especially interesting, considering the time and place, is Naudé’s enlightened views on collecting books with new ideas, unusual books, and heretical works.”...
Academic Librarian, Apr. 29
10 reasons why “professional librarian” is an oxymoron
Ryan Deschamps, e-learning manager at the Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia, writes: “Before you comment, yes, this is an unbalanced look at professionalism. I am trolling a little bit—but with a heart that wants to lead discussion on the topic. I often see librarians and library school students that take professionalism as a given. This is unrealistic, especially in an era of rapid change. If librarians cannot personally address the following antiprofessional assumptions as individuals, they cannot call themselves professional.”...
The Other Librarian, Apr. 30
Library slow-dating at PostSecret
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project developed by Frank Warren where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. Each Sunday, the PostSecret blog puts up a sampling of the postcards it receives the week before. This card appeared the week of May 2: “I leave library book receipts in the books that I liked so that someone with the same interest has my name and can find me online and we can become good friends.”...
Cartographies of time
P. K. writes: “A couple of weeks ago at the release party at Cabinet Magazine for Dan Rosenberg and Tony Grafton’s Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline (Princeton Architectural Press), Grafton offered up his reasoning for why this unusual subject matter intrigued them both. After years of hard work, he and his coauthor came to regard timelines as endlessly weird and fascinating documents.” Here are some excellent examples....
BibliOdyssey, Apr. 30
The Index of Prohibited Books
L. D. Mitchell writes: “For a little over 400 years—from 1559 to 1966—the Roman Catholic Church proscribed what could and could not be read by the Catholic faithful in a series of lists of prohibited books, the infamous Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Ostensibly published to guide the faithful away from works of dubious moral value, as well as away from books containing theological errors, the index was never a single mammoth list, but rather a series of lists that were compiled under a variety of Popes and church councils.”...
The Private Library, Apr. 28
Missing Materials.org webinar on May 11
Together with the RLG Partnership, the ACRL/RBMS Security Committee, and the ABAA, OCLC Research has developed MissingMaterials.org, a free mechanism for sharing reliable information about missing rare books and other materials at the network level. In order for this solution to work, however, it is of vital importance that the special-collections community use it. Join this free demonstration webinar, held 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time on May 11, to discuss obstacles to transparency and propose solutions....
OCLC, Apr. 30
Are catalogs more than an inventory?
Laurel Tarulli writes: “Ivy of From the Catalogs of Babes posted a great piece called ‘All catalog queries are reference questions, but not all reference questions are catalog queries’ that goes to the heart of what I’ve been exploring for the past year. If we are willing to redefine and explore the potential of catalogs through new technologies, they can enhance core library services and create remote all-in-one branches that interact with reference staff and readers’ advisors.”...
The Cataloguing Librarian, Apr. 30
Bar codes in libraries
Q: Is there a standard library bar code identification system? A: The short answer is “no.” There are many bar code registries, including one called the “National Barcode Registry.” However, this registry only contains a fraction of all library bar codes in the United States and Canada....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, May 3
Six steps for handing negative feedback
Celestine Chua writes: “Have you ever received negative feedback? A friend or family member complaining about you, a boss or colleague critiquing your work, a partner or a spouse unhappy with something you did. The question isn’t how to avoid negative feedback, but to learn to roll and deal with it. Here are my personal six steps.”...
LifeOptimizer, Apr. 29
Dealing with difficult patrons
Brian Herzog summarizes a talk by consultant Warren Graham at the Massachusetts Library Association annual conference on the essential elements of library security. His tips on how to safely approach a stranger and get them to comply with policy are excellent....
Swiss Army Librarian, Apr. 28
Helping patrons research views you disagree with
Steven Francoeur writes: “There is an interesting exchange on the Library Praxis blog in response to a post by Maria Accardi about her experience assisting a student who wanted ‘to find scholarly articles about why it is a bad thing that homosexuality is portrayed positively in the media.’ Helping people research points of view or opinions that diverge widely from your own is indeed a dicey proposition. The ALA Code of Ethics touches here and there on the topic.”...
Digital Reference, Apr. 20; Library Praxis, Apr. 20
Delhi’s not-so-public libraries
Cordelia Jenkins writes: “I sauntered out of my apartment in Delhi a couple of Sundays ago in pursuit of a good book when two thoughts struck me: Surely there are libraries in Delhi, and how much nicer it would be to borrow a book than to buy one. A quick stop in an internet café confirmed my suspicions. There are indeed public libraries in Delhi.” But the user experience there is quite different than what we are used to here....
LiveLounge, May 4
Dr. Livingstone’s diary, I presume?
Jennifer Howard writes: “1871 was not an easy year for David Livingstone. Stuck in an eastern Congo village called Nyangwe, he ran out of the notebooks and ink with which he had been keeping a record of his travels. So he wrote on books and pages of old newspapers with the juice of a local berry. 140 years later, much of what Livingstone wrote in that diary is almost impossible to read. But Adrian S. Wisnicki, a Victorianist with a special interest in travel literature, has found a way to make the illegible legible again: spectral imaging.”...
Wired Campus, May 3
Catalog cards on the catwalk
Amber Gibbs, interlibrary loan librarian at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library, won top prize April 23 at the Runaway Runway recycled fashion show with a dress made entirely of cards from the library’s card catalog. The dress was modeled by Aime Dillard (right), ILL assistant and SLIS student. Watch the video (Amber and Aime are at 3:12). The show is sponsored by the Columbia Museum of Art. The USC libraries are saying goodbye to their card catalog with a yearlong series of events called “It’s All in the Cards.”...
University of South Carolina Libraries, May 3; Columbia The State, Apr. 24
Librarian, lawyer: What’s the difference?
The Merry Librarian writes: “Patrons can be a teensy bit demanding at times. They demand their fines be forgiven, they insist we deliver the goods, and they expect us to know everything. As it turns out, however, public and academic librarians just might have it easier than prison librarians when it comes to the demands of their patron populations.”...
The Merry Librarian, May 3
Why prison libraries matter
Diana Reese writes: “We rarely hear how prison library services impacted offenders after they leave prison. At a recent Earth Day Fair, Denver Public Library recorded videos of people sharing stories abolut why they love their libraries. One video (0:59) featured this ex-offender. This is one of the reasons I love my job. So here is a love story to all of you who work in libraries behind the walls.”...
ASCLA Blog, May 4; YouTube, Apr. 27
Please plant this book
Michael Lieberman writes: “It’s taken 42 years, but it looks like we have come full circle. In the spring of 1968 Richard Brautigan published Please Plant This Book, a collection of eight seed packets, each bearing an original poem. Now the folks at the Italian company Gartenkultur have come up with a line of books turned into pots.”...
Book Patrol, Apr. 29
Information can help you survive a zombie attack
To prepare students for an impending zombie apocalypse, the University of Florida Libraries held a “Feed Your Brains” workshop at the Marston Science Library on April 6 to supplement the campus “Zombie Attack Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise.” The point of the exercise was to emphasize the availability of library resources and course materials off-campus (if the university was closed because of zombie attack). The video (2:18) explains it, sort of....
YouTube, Apr. 16
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