|American Libraries Online
Ruling: Washington libraries can deny adults unfiltered internet
The Washington Supreme Court issued a 6–3 decision May 6 that affirmed a rural library system’s policy of refusing to temporarily disable an internet filter at an adult’s request. Filed with the U.S. District Court in Spokane in 2006, Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library had been remanded to the Washington Supreme Court to determine whether NCRL’s internet public use policy violated the state constitution....
American Libraries news, May 10
SirsiDynix streamlines customer service
SirsiDynix announced May 12 that the company is undertaking a massive overhaul that will include consolidating its customer support staff under one roof, launching a new website, unveiling a new brand, revamping its Customer Support Center, and expanding the firm’s team of library-relations managers around the world. “By bringing our staff closer together, we bring our customers closer to the teams who develop and support their products,” SirsiDynix CEO Gary Rautenstrauch explained....
American Libraries news, May 12; SirsiDynix, May 12
Build your own instructional literacy
Char Booth writes: “Now more than ever, librarianship has an instructional slant: From school library media specialists to academic librarians, we increasingly embed ourselves in curricula and classrooms, lead workshops and training, and create digital learning materials as a matter of course. How can librarians shoulder the growing teaching load we face and the range of skills and abilities it requires? The answer: by building our instructional literacy.”...
American Libraries feature
10 tips for tracking trends
Elisabeth Doucett writes: “As a public library director, I spend a great deal of time searching out ways to keep my library relevant in today’s fast-changing environment. I’ve found that one way to do this is to keep myself current about societal trends and to strategize regularly about how my library might ride the wave of those trends. It doesn’t take long, it is invariably interesting, and I’ve consistently found that it produces results.”...
American Libraries feature
Will’s World: Winning the budget wars
Will Manley writes: “Library publications and blogs are filled with two types of articles these days: horror stories and fantasies. First, the horror stories. These are the news reports of budget cuts, most of which are in fact quite horrible. Public Library Z is closing seven of its 10 branch libraries. There’s a budget war out there, and we’re not winning. That’s where the fantasies come in. Any number of experts indulge us in fairy tales about how we can start winning the budget wars. So, what can we do?”...
American Libraries column, June/July
Zero Waste: Teton County Library’s goal
Laura Bruzas writes: “Just a few days ago I wrote about Teton County (Wyo.) Library’s No Idling Campaign. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you more about what they’re doing on the green front, as it is pretty impressive. They are so serious about being green that they put together a Zero Waste guide (PDF file). The guide includes 12 helpful hints for planning an event; seven keys to setting up and managing an event; 13 waste-saving, energy-saving food ideas; and nine post-event recommendations. What I especially like about the guide is its use of gentle persuasion coupled with reality.”...
AL: Green Your Library, May 6
Boys and reading
The subject of boys and reading has been a major one in the last few years. Boys will read if the books are on subjects that interest them. “Why Aren’t Little Boys Reading?” in Library Administrator’s Digest (December 2006, p. 74) reports research at the Toledo–Lucas County Public Library and recommends ways to get boys into the library. The ALA Library has collected many resources for getting boys interested in reading, and YALSA offers two lists: Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and Great Graphic Novels for Teens....
Ask the ALA Librarian, May 12
$2-million shortfall forces more ALA staff reductions
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels announced May 11 in an all-staff memo that a projected $2-million budget shortfall has forced the Association to reduce staff by eight positions. The memo to staff: “Because of the decline in 2010 revenues, and the resultant lower 2011 revenue projections, we have no choice but to make further reductions in our general fund expenditures, including staffing. This means that we will need to eliminate or eliminate funding for an additional eight positions.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 11
ALA 2009 Legislative Scorecards
The Washington Office has compiled ALA’s 2009 Legislative Scorecards for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The scorecards outline votes and support of legislation that is important to and has an impact on the library community. ALA provides the scorecard as a tool for members to gauge their elected officials’ support of library-related legislation....
District Dispatch, May 11
Sacramento director to testify in House broadband hearing
Rivkah Sass (right), director of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library System, will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet at 10 a.m., May 13, in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is the fourth in a series addressing issues raised in the National Broadband Plan. If provided by the committee, a live webcast of the hearing will be available....
District Dispatch, May 12
CPLA program graduates six, adds five candidates
The Certified Public Library Administrator Program Certification Review Committee has granted certification to six new CPLA candidates and approved five new candidates in its spring review. CPLA now has 18 graduates and 132 candidates representing public libraries of all sizes across the nation. CPLA is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, May 11
Your history @ your library
This week marks the first annual Preservation Week @ your library, highlighting what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, ALCTS developed Preservation Week as the first national awareness campaign targeting collection preservation awareness for the general public. Here are a few stories of how libraries are working to preserve the local history and heritage of their communities....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, May 11
2010 Freedom to Read Foundation election
Five individuals were elected to two-year terms on the Freedom to Read Foundation board of trustees, beginning in June: Carol Brey-Casiano, Mary Minow, James G. Neal, Kent Oliver, and Judith Platt. Also joining the 2010–2011 board will be incoming ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael and incoming ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Julius Jefferson....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 11
Newbery and Caldecott award winners
ALA Editions has released The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2010 Edition. Published in association with ALSC, this latest edition covers awards for the most distinguished American children’s literature and illustration. Updated with the 2010 award winners, the book also includes a new preface from ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter; revised eligibility criteria; a new essay, “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” by former ALSC Executive Director Diane Foote; and updated bibliographic citations and index for the award winners....
ALA Editions, May 11
Save a spot for Bookmobile Sunday
Interested in learning about new trends, advocacy, and best practices for mobile delivery outreach? There’s still time to save your spot at the fifth annual Bookmobile Sunday, June 27, during the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The deadline to register online is May 14. The event features a keynote by W. Ralph Eubanks, director of publishing at the Library of Congress, and an author luncheon with Andrew Smith. Five of the leading bookmobile builders in the United States are sponsoring the event....
OLOS Columns, May 7
Hong Kong Book Fair free pass program for ALA members
The Hong Kong Book Fair offers a Free Pass Program for Librarians for its 21st Annual Fair, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, July 21–27. The fair will provide selected librarians from the U.S. and Canada who collect Chinese-language materials four nights of hotel accommodation and free book fair registration. Those eligible to participate in the program must be personal members of ALA who work in the area of Chinese-language acquisitions....
International Relations Office
Featured review: Youth fantasy
Riordan, Rick. The Red Pyramid. May 2010. 528p. Hyperion, hardcover (978-1-4231-1338-6).
The first volume in the Kane Chronicles, this fantasy adventure delivers what fans loved about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: young protagonists with previously unsuspected magical powers, a riveting story marked by headlong adventure, a complex background rooted in ancient mythology, and wry, witty 21st-century narration. In London on Christmas Eve for a rare evening together, 14-year-old Carter and his 12-year-old sister Sadie accompany their dad to the British Museum, where he blows up the Rosetta Stone in summoning an Egyptian god. Sadie and Carter escape. Initially determined to rescue their father, their mission expands....
Top youth titles for 2010: SF/fantasy
Ian Chipman writes: “Many of the titles found in this year’s crop of the best science fiction and fantasy books, all reviewed in Booklist in the past 12 months, return to familiar worlds, while a strong number of newcomers help prove that this always-popular set of genres remains one of the most vital in youth literature.”...
Book discussion questions: Characters
Neil Hollands writes: “This is part two in an ongoing series about discussion questions. In the first post, I staked out the position that book groups will often succeed best when they write discussion questions for themselves instead of trying to use questions written by others. But which questions, then, are the most likely to result in a lively meeting? Characters are always a good starting point.”...
Book Group Buzz, May 8
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Many restaurants in Washington are part of the online reservation service OpenTable. ALSC recommends making your reservations online ahead of time with your laptop or cell phone. The local arrangements folks list four restaurants with “known Obama sightings,” in case you are trying for a glimpse of the Prez or First Lady....
2010 Annual Conference wiki
One of Washington D.C.’s newest museums is the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., devoted to the history of news. The front of the building includes a stone wall engraved with the beginning section of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue, making it something every president will see on his or her Inauguration Day parade route. The lobby of the museum displays the daily front page of 80 newspapers from around the world....
YALSA Blog, May 7
Donna K. McDonald elected ALTAFF President
Donna K. McDonald, director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System in Dardanelle, Arkansas, has been elected president of ALTAFF. McDonald provides overall professional library management of a four-county, seven-library system. She has been a member of ALTAFF since 2007 and served as chair of the Publications Committee in 2008–2009....
ALTAFF, May 11
Paige Johnson to headline AASL Fall Forum
Paige Johnson, global manager of K–12 education for Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group, will give the keynote at the AASL Fall Forum, November 5–6, in Portland, Oregon. Johnson will discuss the challenge of 21st-century reform from the perspective of the workforce and students and help attendees understand why corporations are interested in 21st-century education....
AASL, May 10
AASL summer tour of online courses
School librarians are encouraged to sign up for the AASL 2010 summer online courses. Designed to isolate and strengthen problem areas, the four four-week courses will help develop the skills and techniques school librarians need to bring their programs into the 21st century. The courses are on read-alouds and collaboration....
AASL, May 10
Last chance for Geneology 101
May 12 is the registration deadline for the next offering of “Genealogy 101,” an online course designed to provide librarians and library staff with confidence and skill in assisting family history researchers. The course, May 17–June 18, sponsored by RUSA and taught by Jack Simpson, is a five-week online course aimed at librarians, students, and general reference desk staff with little or no experience in genealogy....
RUSA, May 11
2010 Literary Tastes Breakfast
Two outstanding authors have been added to the lineup at the 2010 Literary Tastes Breakfast: David Small, author of the graphic novel Stitches: A Memoir, and Melvin Konner, author of The Jewish Body. The Literary Tastes Breakfast is a conference tradition where attendees enjoy a breakfast while authors read from their works, ruminate on writing, and sign books. The breakfast will be held 8–10 a.m. on June 27 at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference....
RUSA, May 11
L4L webinars available in AASL archives
The 2010 Learning4Life webinars hosted by AASL are now available for purchase in archived format. The webinars are part of the L4L initiative to nationally implement Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs....
AASL, May 11
ALA awards, grants, and scholarships: All in one spot
The ALA Awards, Grants, and Scholarships resource is now available to the public for searching or browsing the many ways that ALA offers recognition. Included are all of the book awards, professional recognition awards, grants, scholarships, and “best of” lists that ALA and its divisions, offices, and round tables offer throughout the year....
ALA Library, May 11
PLA Leadership Fellows
PLA has awarded Leadership Fellows scholarships for programs at the Evans School of Public Affairs of the University of Washington and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Denise Lyons, a library development consultant with the South Carolina State Library, and Stephanie Chase, director of the Stowe (Vt.) Free Library, are the recipients. The scholarships offer public library managers a chance to attend executive leadership training at some of the best universities in the United States....
PLA, May 11
2010 White House Conference award
Greer Fry of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the winner of the 2010 White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce Award. The award, given to a nonlibrarian advocate participating in a federal library advocacy event for the first time, is a $300 stipend granted to a recipient toward the expense of attending Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., June 29....
District Dispatch, May 6
Innovations in Reading prize
Each year, the National Book Foundation awards a number of prizes of up to $2,500 each to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading. One of this year’s five winners is the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hopkins, South Carolina, which created its own children’s library in a rural area where the nearest public library branch was 10 miles away....
National Book Foundation, May 6
Randy Riley receives Filby Award
Library of Michigan Special Collections Manager Randy Riley was awarded the prestigious P. William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship for his contributions to the study of genealogy and local history April 30 at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City. The award carries a $1,000 prize from sponsor ProQuest....
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, May 11
2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards
The Children’s Book Council has announced the winners of its third annual Children’s Choice Book Awards at a gala in New York City May 11. Children across the country voted for their favorite books, authors, and illustrators at bookstores, school libraries, and online, casting more than 115,000 votes. James Patterson was selected Author of the Year for his book Max....
Children’s Book Council, May 12
Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of 2010
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College has released its annual list of the best books for children online for free for the first time. The committee reviews over 6,000 titles each year for accuracy and literary quality, considers their emotional impact on children, and chooses the best 600, both fiction and nonfiction. The list is grouped by age group and category....
Children’s Book Committee
2010 Society of Midland Authors Awards
The Society of Midland Authors has presented its awards for excellence to books published in 2009 by authors and poets who reside in, were born in, or have strong ties to the 12-state Midwestern Heartland. The winner in the Adult Fiction category is Kent Meyers for Twisted Tree (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and in the Adult Nonfiction category it’s James McManus for Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker (Farrar Straus Giroux)....
Society of Midland Authors
Department of Education offers planning grants
The U.S. Department of Education has $10 million for planning grants for the Promise Neighborhoods program as part of the Fund for the Improvement of Education. These grants for $400,000 to $500,000 each are for planning a program to significantly improve the education and development outcomes of children in distressed communities. This is definitely a partnering opportunity for libraries. The deadline to show intent to apply is May 21....
District Dispatch, May 11
NYPL faces harshest budget cut in history
New York Public Library President and CEO Paul LeClerc writes: “The free services offered by the New York Public Library in 90 libraries across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—including job search assistance—are needed now more than ever. Yet the proposed cut just announced by Mayor Bloomberg is the largest in the library’s history: a devastating $37 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Clearly, the economy is still recovering. And that’s exactly why the city must clearly restore funding to save libraries.”...
Huffington Post, May 6; New York Public Library
New Jersey librarians protest state budget cuts
Hundreds of librarians rallied against Gov. Chris Christie’s $10.4-million proposed budget cut at the Statehouse Annex in Trenton May 6, telling story after story about the value of book sharing. The state’s libraries would lose 74% of their funding with cuts from $14 million to $3.6 million. In addition, a bill in the state Assembly (A2555) would eliminate minimum funding requirements for local libraries and instead allow towns to decide how much money to give. Christie also unveiled a plan that would limit local tax hikes and raises for public employees to 2.5%; critics said the caps could diminish the high-quality education and services residents have come to expect....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, May 6; New Jersey Library Association; Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, May 11
Orange Public Library closes, director suspended
The Orange (N.J.) Public Library board has suspended Director Doris Walker and plans to fire her after the historic building was closed indefinitely due to hazardous lead paint and asbestos conditions. The library was shut down by the city health department April 30 after it failed to meet a deadline to remove the hazards. At a May 6 meeting, the board voted unanimously to suspend Walker with pay and to proceed with hearings for her termination. Mayor Eldridge Hawkins Jr. blamed Walker, saying she had known about the problems for years and failed to remediate them....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, May 9
Illinois funding delays hit North Suburban Library System
The North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, Illinois, will be forced to cut back its staff and services, effective May 30, because of continued delays in funding from the Illinois General Assembly. Executive Director Sarah Ann Long writes: “Cash flow is going to be a continuing and growing problem for NSLS, as well as many other state funded agencies and organizations. Many NSLS staffers will be laid off. I will be one of the people leaving. We are still working out the details but quick action is needed.”...
Thoughts from a Library Administrator, May 12
Pittsburgh limits library pledge
The city of Pittsburgh has no plans to give the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh more than $600,000 this year, and that news could blow a hole of around the same size in the system’s $24.2 million budget. Mayor Luke Ravenstah’s confirmation May 11 that the city plans to make one $600,000 grant—rather than two—to the library system does not, however, imminently threaten branches. A library spokeswoman said administrators still pledge to shelve, for this year, a plan to close four branches, merge two, and move another due to budget problems....
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 12
LAPL supporters protest during rush hour
About 50 librarians and book supporters from Save L.A. Libraries! gathered on all four corners of the intersection at Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood during rush hour May 7, earning honks in support of saving the threatened Los Angeles library system. This year, it faces heavy cuts from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s proposed budget, scheduled to take effect July 1, when libraries could go from six to five days of open doors. In an April 22 letter (PDF file) detailing how the proposed budget would affect the library, City Librarian Martín Gómez said the workforce would be reduced by 328 positions....
LAist, May 10
Fire devastates South Carolina academic library
A fire early in the morning of May 8 caused $1.5 million in damage to the G. Allen Fleece Library at Columbia International University in South Carolina. Investigators determined the blaze was cause by an electrical problem around a fluorescent light fixture in the 42-year-old building. The fire took place the week before finals. As many as 15,000 books, many of them scarce theological volumes, were affected by heat, smoke, or fire damage....
The State (Columbia, S.C.), May 9; WLTX-TV, Columbia, May 10
ACLU explores school’s ban of LGBT book
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sent an Open Public Records Act request May 7 to the Rancocas Valley School District for documents that will shed light on the district’s decision to remove the book Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology from the Rancocas Valley High School library in Mount Holly. The district made its decision following a campaign by the local chapter of radio host Glenn Beck’s conservative 9.12 project, which was planning a petition to remove the same book from the Lenape Regional High School District in Shamong....
ACLU of New Jersey, May 10; Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6
Nashua parent challenges ghost book
The parent of a student in Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, New Hampshire, is challenging whether Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn should be available to students in middle school libraries. The parent objects to the book’s themes of talking to the dead, spiritualism, and “the belief that a part of the body survives after death and that you can communicate with it,” according to the school district....
Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph, May 10
Florida mom finally returns Gossip, It Girl books
A Longwood, Florida, mother who refused to return four books in the Gossip Girl and It Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar because she objected to their content took them back to the Northwest branch of the Seminole County Public Library May 6. Tina Harden, who had withheld the books since the fall of 2008 to keep young readers from seeing them, said she returned them not because of criticism she received but because she had made people aware of the issue through the media. Harden owes $85 in fines but hasn’t paid them....
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, May 7
Children’s books stolen from Washington library
A steady stream of children’s picture books have disappeared from the Kitsap (Wash.) Regional Library’s Port Orchard branch in recent months, prompting an investigation by police. More than 1,300 children’s picture books are missing, apparently taken a few at a time. Library officials believe that whoever took the books was aware of which ones were the most valuable. A local Borders bookstore has teamed up with the library to help replace the books....
Kitsap (Wash.) Sun, May 4; Seattle Times, May 10
Ten maps that changed the world
From the Soviet “Be On Guard!” map of 1921 (right) to Google Earth, a new exhibition at the British Library charts the extraordinary documents that transformed the way we view the globe. British Library Head of Map Collections Peter Barber describes 10 that are on display at the “Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art” exhibition: “Using a map of European Russia and its neighbors, Dmitri Moor’s image of a heroic Bolshevik guard defeating the invading ‘Whites’ helped define the Soviet Union in the Russian popular imagination.” Watch a video (5:13) describing the Psalter world map....
The Daily Mail (U.K.), May 8; British Library
Milwaukee Public Library’s grass roots
The roof of Milwaukee’s Central Library sprang to life and went to work in the rain May 7. Thousands of sedum, a ground-covering plant, and clumps of chive and ornamental grasses—all perennials—were planted in a six-inch layer of small gravel and soil spread across 30,000 square feet to create a green roof atop the historic building. The living roof will collect and store thousands of gallons of rainwater during a downpour, rather than allowing the clean water to drain immediately to a street sewer. Watch the green roof webcam....
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 10
Library cat budget threatened
Maggie isn’t as famous as some other library cats and is drawing the ire of at least one Salem (Wis.) Community Library board member. She has called the library home for about 15 years, but Sharon Bower, a Twin Lakes trustee, is unhappy with the idea of a cat residing in the library and being cared for at public expense. “As a taxpayer,” Bower said, “I don’t want to pay for a cat.” The concensus of the board is to allow Maggie to live out her days....
Kenosha (Wis.) News, May 8
First URL debuts with no Latin characters
Arab nations are leading a historic charge to make the World Wide Web live up to its name: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to have so-called “country codes” written in Arabic script after internet regulator ICANN switched on a system that allows full web addresses with no Latin characters. One of the first URLs in Arabic script is the address for Egypt’s Ministry of Communications (above)....
BBC News, May 6; ICANN, May 5
Spain’s top librarian quits in protest
Spain’s National Library Director Milagros del Corral Beltrán has resigned after the government slashed her institution’s budget by nearly 15% and downgraded her role. The Socialist government, in the context of a new set of cost-cutting measures, cut 7.5-million euros ($9.5 million) from institution’s 52-million euro budget and demoted Corral from managing director to simple director. Disagreements with Culture Minister Angeles Gonzales-Sinde could also be at the root of Corral’s departure....
Agence France Presse, May 11
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29.
Natalie Merchant will share and discuss selections from her newly released Leave Your Sleep CD set at the Exhibits Closing Program, June 28.
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan is a renowned advocate, both at home and globally, for access to quality education for all children. With author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Tricia Tusa, she has penned a picture book, The Sandwich Swap, inspired by her own experience with cultural differences. In this Celebrity READ poster, she is holding Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
City Librarian, New Haven (Conn.) Free Public Library. Are you a visionary, dynamic, and inclusive team leader?
Can you enhance a successful tradition of high level service that is responsive to a vibrantly diverse community? Do you have the talent required to guide a system that celebrates traditional services and embraces emerging new technology? Do you have a demonstrated record of community engagement and creative fundraising?...
Digital Library of the Week
Remember Haiti is a selection of resources on the John Carter Brown Library website showcasing books at Brown University relating to Haiti. Created with the support of partners from around the world, the intent of this digital library is to provide access to the remarkable history of Haiti, a nation with an extraordinarily rich heritage, despite its well-known challenges. The project was made possible through the generosity of David Rumsey, a board member of the John Carter Brown Library. The recent earthquake of January 12, 2010, has only deepened the need to raise awareness of Haiti’s story, and to increase access to the rare books and maps that tell it. The books have been digitized through the Internet Archive and cover topics on race and slavery, revolution, government, economy, environment, culture, people, and places.
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.
“The public library has become a wonderful kind of authority and refuge, a filter through which the harsh realities of life are softened by explanation and help. And it has also become the public square, where people can gather, hear lectures, learn English, learn to read and talk about books. . . . Doctors pledge to care for the sick. Librarians’ work is to care for the mind, which means enlarging a person’s field of learning. These cuts would force libraries to drastically narrow that field and take away benefits for the common good.”
—Editorial on New Jersey Gov. Christie’s funding cuts, “Libraries Matter,” in Bergen (N.J.) Record, May 8.
ALA Preservation Week, May 9–15, at:
Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, May 12–14, at:
American Society for Indexing, Annual Conference, Minneapolis, May 13–15, at:
OpenSciNY, New York University, May 14, at:
Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, Austin, May 17–18, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Philadelphia Book and Ephemera Fair, Philadelphia Expo Center.
Seattle Book and Paper Show, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.
Book Blogger Con, New York City Seminar and Conference Center.
New England Antiquarian Book Fair, Everett Arena, Concord, New Hampshire.
Heartland School Library Conference, W. H. Thompson Alumni Center, University of Nebraska, Omaha.
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.”
CIP Symposium, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. “Hybrid ©: Sustaining Culture in Copyright.”
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.”
Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair, Monterey Station, Cowan.
Hong Kong Book Fair, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, China.
California Rare Book School, UCLA.
Georgia Antiquarian Book Fair, Decatur Conference Center, Decatur.
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.”
National Gaming Day @ your library.
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Finding the tech enthusiasts of tomorrow
Matthew Murray writes: “Two months ago,
I wrote a column musing about the current state of children and technology, and asking to what degree it was possible for kids today to get inside tech in the same way their parents did—back when they had to just in order to use it. I was surprised to find out how passionate many of you are about the subject, often in ways I never would have expected.”...
ExtremeTech, May 5
The best laser printers for offices
M. David Stone writes: “The day will no doubt come when monochrome lasers go the way of mono inkjets. But it hasn’t happened yet. Until it does, monochrome lasers will be the workhorse printers of choice for any office of any size that prints only letters and other black-and-white documents. And for now, there are plenty of printers to choose from. All of these printers are among the best monochrome lasers we’ve seen, and most are Editors’ Choices....”
PC Magazine, May 3
How to make free (or super-cheap) phone calls
Eric Griffith writes: “No one should be paying for long-distance calls anymore. There are a variety of ways to make and receive free, or at the very least, super-cheap calls—nationally and, in some cases, internationally. Here is a look at our favorite tools, new and old, to make the call without stressing the wallet. We’ve included everything from the popular Skype service to Google Voice and the Bing 411 directory assistance.”...
PC Magazine, May 6
How to best utilize your external hard drives
Matt Braga writes: “When it comes to storage, laptops have been second-rate citizens. Minuscule hard drives and slow transfer technology often plagued road warriors of old in comparison to their faster desktop counterparts. With the rise of desktop replacements, that’s begun to change, but many users are still left counting their gigabytes. The solution for many lies with the purchase of an external drive, or even a spacious flash stick; the question is, how do you use all that extra space effectively? Here are a few simple ways.”...
Tested, May 11
15 geek-inspired USB hard-drive modifications
The following 15 DIY USB hard drives should be at the top of every self-respecting geek’s to-do list. The French novel hard drive (right) is the most library-related. This modification was created by “taking the book Seven French Novels and cutting and gluing only the corners of the pages in order to create a snug little pocket for a hard drive to snuggle into while providing sufficient ventilation to ensure the drive doesn’t overheat, leaving the final story, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’ completely intact.”...
Blogbits: The Memorybits Blog, May 4
Oxford launches Oxford Bibliographies Online
Oxford University Press celebrated its recent launch of Oxford Bibliographies Online May 5 with a reception in New York City attended by academics, publishers, librarians, and other guests. This new resource, which officially went live April 19, is a series of reading lists in various disciplines designed to help busy researchers find reliable sources of information by directing them to exactly the right chapter, book, website, archive, or data set they need. More information is available on the About, For Librarians, and Sample Entry pages. Listen to a podcast interview by Sue Polanka with OUP’s Colleen Scollans about the service....
Oxford University Press; No Shelf Required, May 11
Bowker and Google collaborate on ISBNs
Bowker has reached an agreement with Google to provision and facilitate the assignment of ISBN numbers to Google Editions, Google’s digital book offering that will launch later in 2010. The agreement sets an important publishing industry precedent, helping to ensure a standards-driven framework for the identification of digital and print-on-demand book products made available and sold through Google Books. Bowker operates the U.S. ISBN Agency....
Bowker, May 10
Opposition to FRPAA: A closer look
Barbara Fister writes: “Some of the members of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers have sent a letter to Congress (PDF file) protesting the Federal Research Public Access Act and making the following claims: FRPAA will undermine copyright, harm peer review, burden government agencies, and wreak havoc. Does this group think anyone will fall for these scare tactics again?”...
Library Journal, May 6
Puffin author crowned Irish children’s laureate
Puffin author Siobhán Parkinson (right) has been announced as Ireland’s first laureate for children’s fiction. Irish president Mary McAleese announced Parkinson as Laureate na nÓg at a May 10 event at the Irish Arts Council in Dublin, where she was presented with the Laureate na nÓg medal. She will hold the title for two years. The position was established by the Arts Council “to engage young people with high-quality children’s literature.”...
The Bookseller, May 10
A soupçon of books
Linda Hedrick writes: “For sustenance to aid my reading, hot, tasty soups are a joy to make and an even bigger joy to consume. To combine both pleasures, I have been thinking of collecting books on soup. Cookbooks with soup recipes appeared in medieval England. The Forme of Cury was compiled by Richard II’s chefs some time in the late 14th century. In English, the most extensive collection of soups (and broths and potages) was published in 1660 in Robert May’s The Accomplisht Cook or, the Art and Mystery of Cookery, of which 20% of the recipes are for soups.”...
The Private Library, May 7
Micro-magazines and the future of media
Seth Godin writes: “Does anyone read Time or Newsweek any more? And when they disappear, who will really miss them? The problem is that they are both slow and general. The world, on the other hand, is fast and specific. Is there a business here? There’s room in the market for 100,000 profitable micro-magazines. Why not have one about Aruba, for example? Take a look at Clay and Ishita’s new magazine, Fear.less.”...
Seth Godin’s Blog, May 6
What college students who still read are reading (satire)
Based on data gathered in Facebook’s new privacy-free intellectual environment, CronkNews has identified the most popular tomes in college bookstores this week: The World Is Elliptical, by Thomas Friedman. Using an exercise machine as a brilliant and accessible metaphor for globalization, the famed columnist explains how the world is going to hell but why, just when you’re ready to soil yourself out of fear for civilization, our neoliberal good intentions will make it all work out OK in the end....
The Cronk of Higher Education, May 10
Why internet filters don’t work
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “A Washington State Supreme Court decided May 6 in a 6–3 decision that public library internet filtering is not censorship, because filtering is collection development. My reaction is simple, as someone who has fought, and won, an internet filtering challenge in my own library. Our communities’ intellectual freedom is at risk. Filters are not collection development, and filters don’t work.” Here are the facts....
Librarian in Black, May 7
Facebook’s gone rogue
Ryan Singel writes: “Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination. It’s time the rest of the web ecosystem recognizes this and works to replace it with something open and distributed. Facebook used to be a useful way to connect with your friends, long-lost friends, and family members. Soon everybody had a profile, and Facebook realized it owned the network.”...
Wired: Epicenter, May 7
Top 10 favorite privacy quotes
Bobbi Newman writes: “As part of National Privacy Week I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes about privacy. Hopefully they will get you thinking about privacy, if you weren’t before, and spark some conversation. #10: ‘Our work to improve privacy continues today.’—Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. I don’t think I really have to comment on this one; it’s just amusing.”...
Librarian by Day, May 4
Rules for rookies
Will Manley writes: “Thanks for the great job-hunting advice you gave yesterday to the three new MLS graduates who emailed me last week. Today the challenge is a tad different. Let’s assume your advice has paid dividends and these newbies have gotten their first library jobs. What advice would you now give them for how they should conduct themselves in their six-month probationary period? I’ll go first: Things to do and things not to do in your first job.”...
Will Unwound, May 12
Digital-rights restrictions on e-books vex users
As more and more e-reading devices flood the market, users are beginning to feel the restrictions imposed by copyright and digital rights management—restrictions that some fear could hold back the use of e-books in education. Researching exactly what you can and can’t do with certain devices can be daunting, but really the rules are simple: If you buy an e-reader other than Apple’s iPad, you’re locked in—at least for now....
eSchool News, May 11
Social network users post risky information
Fifty-two percent of adult users of social networks such as Facebook and MySpace have posted risky personal information online, according to the 2010 Consumer Reports State of the Net survey. And many haven’t used their service’s privacy controls to protect themselves. According to findings from the survey, 23% of Facebook users either didn’t know the site offered privacy controls or chose not to use them....
Consumer Reports: Electronics Blog, May 4
Digital information seeker behaviors
OCLC Research scientists, in partnership with JISC, have analyzed and synthesized 12 separate studies to make it easier for information professionals to better understand information-seeking behaviors of library users and to review the information services and systems that will best meet these users’ needs. The Digital Information Seeker: Report of Findings From Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects (PDF file) is an attempt to review major, funded studies that were published within the last five years....
OCLC, May 6
Traditional measures of quality
Kent Anderson writes: “A few weeks ago, the Columbia Journalism Review released a study comparing print magazine editing and online magazine editing, contrasting print and online copy editing, fact-checking, and error correction practices. The bottom-line finding? Online editors treasure speed and audience first and foremost. Ultimately, print and online seem to have different ways of measuring quality.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, May 5; Columbia Journalism Review, Mar. 1
Why people continue to work in libraries
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “A week ago, I did a poll on Twitter for library staff. I asked one simple question: ‘Why do you continue to work in libraries?’ Here are the results. We had 92 respondents as of May 10 and the poll is still open, so it may go up and the results may change. But here’s what it looks like today.”...
Librarian in Black, May 10
Seven genealogical lessons from Who Do You Think You Are?
Jeanie Croasmun writes: “Beyond just being entertaining, there were valuable family history lessons to be learned in the first season of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Here are seven of my favorites. Lesson #2: Look for hidden clues. It’s rare you’ll find mention of a slave ancestor in a census record prior to 1870—but you may find clues in that record that lead to answers. Such was the case for Emmitt Smith (above).”...
Ancestry.com Blog, May 4
Internet Archive books for the visually impaired
The Internet Archive launched a new Open Library service May 6 that brings free access to more than 1 million books to support those who are blind, dyslexic, or are otherwise visually impaired. United States residents with print disabilities must first register with the National Library Service for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. The books are digitized into DAISY, a specialized format used by blind or other persons with disabilities, for easy navigation. The files can be downloaded to devices that translate the text and read the books aloud for the user to enjoy. Watch a video (4:08) about DAISY....
Internet Archive, May 6; YouTube, May 6, 2008
15 firsts in video game history
Nathaaan90 writes: “Most people have only experienced fully functioning 3D games with decent graphics, but games had beginnings rooted in the very basics of electronics and computing. Here are 15 past advancements in video game technology that have made the industry what it is today: They gave birth to it, shaped it, and are steering it towards a future. In 1979, Microvision (right) was the first hand-held LCD-based game console commercially released.”...
Listverse, May 11
Why Neil Gaiman costs so much
Neil Gaiman writes: “About a month ago I was asked if I’d go and talk at Stillwater (Minn.) Library on a Sunday afternoon. The request came in from Greater Talent Agency, which books my speaking engagements. As anyone who reads this blog knows, if you want to hire me to come and talk somewhere, and people do, I’m expensive. Not Tony Blair high, or Sarah Palin high. But I’m at the top end of what it costs to bring an author who should be home writing.”...
Neil Gaiman’s Journal, May 11
Compare the oil spill size to your town
Richard Byrne writes: “I’ve just learned about a Google Earth–based resource that allows you to compare the current size of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill with the size of major cities or your hometown. The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Map was developed by Google engineer Paul Rademacher. It uses the Google Earth browser plugin to enable users to compare the size of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico with anywhere else.” Check out other oil-spill map mashups here....
Free Technology for Teachers, May 10; Google Maps Mania, May 11
Six websites for teaching and learning science
From robotics to space research, from physics to computer science, the internet is a vast trove of information. Resources such as Wikipedia (and its easy-on-younger-minds counterpart, Simple English Wikipedia) and online video make the process of learning about and teaching science subjects much easier than ever before. Next time you’re hard up for understanding or inspiration, check out one of these six websites that offer information on the sciences....
Mashable, May 11
David Rubenstein gives $5 million to Library of Congress
David M. Rubenstein, cofounder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, announced today his donation of $5 million ($1 million per year for the next five years) to support the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the theme “A Decade of Words and Wonder.” With assurance of longer-term funding, LC will now be able to expand the one-day festival into a fully integrated program that emphasizes books, reading, and the library as a place of discovery and learning....
Library of Congress, May 6
Chuck Whiting writes: “Is there such a thing as digital ephemera and is it viable as a collectible? Libraries around the world are creating digital archives of not only books, but historical documents and ephemera as well. As ephemera (that which is transitory and short-lived) has come to be synonymous with collectible paper, can a digital representation, a copy of the original, even be squeezed into the definition? Or will the definition expand enough with time to include digital copies?”...
Bibliophemera, May 5
Videomaking tips for libraries
John J. Roe writes: “‘Show, don’t tell’ is advice from which any writer can profit, and in the age of digital video and YouTube, that advice can be applied to showing off your library’s programs with ease. With the right software, you can add polish to your productions with minimal impact to your library’s budget. Here are the lessons we learned while making our first YouTube video (4:36), which featured the Montgomery County–Norristown (Pa.) Public Library children’s bookmobile program.”...
OLOS Columns, May 4; YouTube, Mar. 29
10 ways to promote your e-newsletters
Kathy Dempsey writes: “At the New Jersey Library Association annual conference, I had the pleasure of co-presenting a program about promoting electronic newsletters with NJLA President Susan Briant and outgoing Newsletter Editor Jane Crocker. I chimed in about ways to promote electronic newsletters, so I thought I’d share my list of 10 tips here.”...
The “M” Word: Marketing Libraries, May 5
Project Compass state library summits
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is funding a yearlong project to share strategies for helping unemployed patrons find work. Project Compass, launched by OCLC WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina, features four regional summits where state library officers discuss best practices on meeting community workforce needs. Project Compass staff will adapt the discussions from the in-person summits into live, online sessions and self-directed work that will be offered free in June....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, May 6
Hot Guys Reading Books blog
Web designer and former English major Alli Rense has launched a blog called Hot Guys Reading Books. As she explains it, “There are plenty of attractive men in the world, but unfortunately few of them who are avid readers. Welcome to Hot Guys Reading Books, the blog that scours the internet for examples of luscious literary men and gathers the evidence in one place.” Submissions are welcome....
Hot Guys Reading Books
Video dominos at Tea Tree Gully Library
To celebrate the demise of its video collection and the now unchallenged reign of the DVD, the staff of the City of Tea Tree Gully Library in South Australia felt that the remaining videos must go out with a bang. One weekend, staff came in on their own time to film the final stand of the video in a giant domino train throughout the library space as a fitting homage to their service. This video (4:17) was directed by Benjamin Wheal, Symon Williamson, and Carly Reimann....
YouTube, May 5
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