|American Libraries Online
Hood River is resurrected, Troy is deep-sixed
Libraries in many parts of the country were heartened November 2 to see voters approve their operating levies and capital bonds after several years of struggling to make ends meet and keep their doors open. In particular, a 52.8% yes vote for Hood River County (Oreg.) Library will enable it to reopen next year after lack of funds forced its closure July 1. However, in Troy, Michigan, the second library levy in less than a year was defeated by 689 votes, triggering preparations to shut down the entire system next summer....
American Libraries news, Nov. 10
Less ink, more words
American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel writes: “With the November/December issue (right), American Libraries print moves permanently to bimonthly publication. Monthly print as a viable delivery vehicle for news is clearly limited, and publishing to the web allows for faster and more flexible dissemination and is a general industry trend. The annual content delivered to readers through AL Direct is already greater than the annual print output. With few exceptions, AL content is currently being published to the web first and then selectively collected or revamped for print. I hope this Q&A answers any questions you have.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History library
Chicago’s Field Museum is one of the foremost museums of natural history in the world. AL Focus recently visited the Field Museum library to learn about its role in the museum’s research, exhibit development, and educational programs. Melissa Anderson and Diana Duncan offer a brief tour (2:28) of the facility....
AL Focus, Nov. 8
Starting a library
Karen Muller writes: “Recently, a reader of our I Love Libraries website sent over an inquiry about how to set up a library in her community. The ALA Library has developed a series of Fact Sheets to serve as initial guide to those seeking to establish a library. For a new public library, the place to start is with the library development department of the state library, as there may be a district library serving the area or plans already underway to enhance library service. The next steps, though, start being the same for any library.”...
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Nov. 9
Hawaii’s recycling efforts
Laura Bruzas writes: “As recycling becomes more and more prominent nationwide, Hawaii steps up to the plate with an interactive, educational display which garnered them an Ilima Award of Excellence. Developed by Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services, the display features Hawaii’s new curbside recycling carts and life-size representations of the cast of Opalavision, a series that presents entertaining and informative messages about recycling programs on Oahu.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Nov. 9
More than 1,800 libraries to celebrate National Gaming Day
Tens of thousands of people will be gaming together at their local libraries on November 13 to celebrate ALA’s third annual National Gaming Day @ your library. Organizers expect to easily break last year’s record of more than 31,000 people playing games on the same day. Libraries will offer board games, traditional games, and two national video game tournaments that will pit players at dozens of libraries against each other for bragging rights to the ultimate Rock Band and Super Smash Bros. Brawl crowns....
National Gaming Day, Nov. 9
Public library survey extended through November 14
Study managers have extended the participation deadline for the 2010–2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey to November 14. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, the survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information regarding computer and internet resources and infrastructure. Libraries are encouraged to log on now....
Office for Research and Statistics, Nov. 8
Not just your usual Midwinter networking
An abundance of scheduled discussion opportunities to pick from at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7–11, sets the stage for rich and productive outcomes—in addition to the informal networking that is always a highlight. Almost 200 discussion and interest groups and forums offer attendees the chance to share ideas and explore solutions with colleagues. A more complete list (PDF file) of scheduled discussion and interest groups and forums is on the ALA Midwinter Meeting wiki....
Conference Services, Nov. 9
Not halfway, but it could be a start
Steven Bell writes:
“Are you attending Midwinter? How about ACRL 2011 in Philadelphia? As I was making my Midwinter plans I came across John Berry’s ‘Half Way to ALA’ editorial in the October 1 Library Journal. Basically he is saying that administrators and senior librarians are much more likely to be subsidized for conference travel than their newer and possibly younger colleagues. I have a suggestion that might help. If enough of us senior folks helped out even to a small extent, it could provide subsidies to far more academic librarians to at least attend ACRL 2011.”...
ACRLog, Nov. 7; Library Journal, Oct. 1
ALA seeks clarification on e-rate changes
Since the FCC released the Sixth Report and Order on the e-rate program at the end of September, the library community has closely reviewed it to understand the specific changes made to the program, how they will be implemented, and their overall impact on applicants. ALA is seeking clarification on these items from the FCC to ensure that applicants are well equipped with correct information. One such issue is related to the Children’s Internet Protection Act....
District Dispatch, Nov. 8
ALA joins the Combined Federal Campaign
ALA has joined the Combined Federal Campaign as a member charity of the Independent Charities of America and Educate America! The Education, School Support and Scholarship Funds Coalition. All federal, military, and postal workers can now give directly from their paychecks to ALA through participation in the CFC....
Development Office, Nov. 9
Host a traveling exhibition on Jewish artists
The Public Programs Office has announced three new traveling exhibits focusing on Jewish artists who have contributed to the culture of America and the world through their lives and work. Public, academic, and special libraries—including museum libraries and Jewish community centers—are invited to apply by January 24. The exhibits were developed by Nextbook, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and PPO....
Public Programs Office, Nov. 9
Call for international paper sessions
The International Papers Committee invites proposals for presentations to be made at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers Session scheduled for Saturday, June 25. The program provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections, and projects throughout the world. The deadline for submitting proposals is December 27....
International Relations Office
A new guide to sociology and psychology
ALA Editions has published the ALA Guide to Sociology and Psychology Reference. Encompassing versions of traditional indexes, periodicals, scholarly journals, online statistical data sets, and websites maintained by a variety of institutions, this resource thoroughly covers reference works in the two disciplines. Under the direction of general editors Robert Kieft and Denise Bennett, many librarians have contributed their time and their knowledge of reference literature to this series....
ALA Editions, Nov. 8
Tutorial on supervising shelvers
ALA Editions is making available “Hiring and Supervising Library Shelvers eCourse,” adapted from Patricia Tunstall’s bestselling ALA Editions book. This web-based, self-paced tutorial quickly and easily familiarizes library managers with the ins and outs of working with library shelvers. The eCourse offers six lessons for an estimated three hours of instruction....
ALA Editions, Nov. 5
Featured review: Religion
Armstrong, Karen. Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. 248p. Jan. 2011. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-59559-1).
It takes courage for a religious historian and writer of Armstrong’s stature (winner of the prestigious TED Prize), to step out from behind the scrim of scholarship and analysis to offer guidelines for a spiritual practice designed to make humanity a kinder and saner species. A revered genius of elucidation and synthesis, she turns to neuroscience and tracks the evolution of our brains and our natural capacity for empathy, and performs her signature mode of beautifully clarifying interpretation in a mind-expanding discussion of the history of the Golden Rule (“Always treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself”), the essence of compassion and the kernel of every religious tradition....
Top 10 books in religion and spirituality
Ilene Cooper writes: “The subtitle of one of the titles on this year’s religion and spirituality top 10 captures the tone and theme of much of the list: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. It is a contentious era, especially in matters of the spirit, and these books, reviewed in Booklist from November 15, 2009, through November 1, 2010, attempt to make sense of that strife.”...
Top 10 inspirational fiction
Bill Ott writes: “Whether they feature contemporary amateur sleuths or late-19th-century servants, the inspirational titles listed below handle their religious themes with great skill while also offering engrossing plots. All have been reviewed in Booklist during the past year.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
San Diego information sources
The San Diego Public Library maintains a list of information sources about the city that includes the weather and environment, transportation, local services, history, business and government, education and health, and news and media....
San Diego Public Library
The library’s secret treasure
Those who stumble into the Wangenheim Room on the third floor of the San Diego Central Library are often momentarily dazed and then enchanted, feeling as though they have been transported back in time to a well-appointed private library from the 19th century. The Wangenheim Room contains a collection of rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts illustrating the development of books through the ages in all its aspects—paper making, book binding, book illustration, and the history of printing—that spans more than 4,000 years....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Dec. 21, 2009; San Diego Public Library
The Urban Trees Project
Since 2003, the Port of San Diego has invited artists to design and create stylistic tree-like sculptures to add color, form, and interest to the waterfront. The latest set of 30 Urban Trees were selected in May 2010 by the Port’s Public Art Committee and will be planted along the North Embarcadero in time for the Midwinter Meeting. The artist’s sculptures are mounted on steel poles in large concrete planters spaced 25 feet apart that serve as permanent bases for the changing installations....
Port of San Diego
What’s new in airport security?
Nicholas DeRenzo writes: “I consider myself an airport security line expert, yet I’m still often baffled by the near constant changes in TSA regulations. Let’s check in with the TSA and see what they have in store for us the next time we go through security: No need to remove iPads, netbooks, or a MacBook Air. Full-body pat-downs are a possibility if you refuse to go through a body scanner. The name on your ticket must exactly match the name on your passport or government-issued ID.” Here are some TSA tips on how to get through the line faster....
Newsweek: Budget Travel, Nov. 3; Transportation Security Administration
School Libraries Count! personalized reports
Personalized reports are now available for participants in the AASL School Libraries Count! longitudinal survey by visiting the survey website. These personalized reports are part of AASL’s suite of advocacy tools, including the latest tool for implementing the division’s learning standards and program guidelines, “A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners.”...
AASL, Nov. 9
NCATE school librarian standards updated
On October 24, the Specialty Areas Studies Board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education approved the 2010 ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Programs for School Librarian Preparation (PDF file). All programs submitting program reports in Fall 2012 will be required to use the updated standards. Programs submitting prior to Fall 2012 may use either the 2010 standards or the 2003 standards (PDF file)....
AASL, Nov. 9
Registration is open for Teen Tech Week
YALSA has launched its Teen Tech Week 2011 website, opening registration and offering tools for librarians to plan the annual celebration of technology for teens in the library. It will be celebrated March 6–12, with the theme of “Mix and Mash @ your library,” encouraging teens to take advantage of the many technologies available to them, free of charge, at their libraries....
YALSA, Nov. 8
YALSA Lit Symposium: Wow!
Karen Perry writes: “What an interesting group of presenters and authors. This symposium really brought the mind’s focus around to incorporating diversity in all aspects of your collection—print, nonprint, and web-based. I particularly liked the fact that some of the authors gave us lists of their favorite diverse books (like Cynthea Liu) and that booktalks were everywhere. I came home with lots of lists to use in buying and creating my own more diverse resource lists and in making displays.” See the YALSA Blog and Librarified for more feedback....
YALSA Blog, Nov. 9
Gear up for summer reading in December
Librarians looking for guidance as they begin their annual summer reading program planning process won’t want to miss YALSA’s December 16 webinar, Gear Up for Summer Reading, hosted by Shari Fesko, teen services librarian at the Southfield (Mich.) Public Library and VOYA programming columnist. The webinar will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Nov. 8
Susan Hildreth to lead panel at PLA Midwinter institute
Susan Hildreth, director of the Seattle Public Library and IMLS director nominee, will lead a panel of library administrators and consultants at “Public Libraries Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century,” a day-long institute January 7 sponsored by PLA prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Presenters will discuss how public libraries can navigate the current economic environment and will share best practices to help libraries survive now and grow into the future....
PLA, Nov. 9
Register for ALTAFF’s Trustee Academy
The ALTAFF Trustee Academy is a series of online courses to help trustees become exceptionally proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. Each course is a recorded webcast the trustee views on his or her computer any time of the day or night. All of the online courses are taught by a professional in the field and are priced both a la carte and as a full curriculum. Register on the ALTAFF website....
ALTAFF, Nov. 10
ALSC offers Everyone Reads minigrants
ALSC is accepting applications for minigrants intended to expand youth literacy programs by celebrating a variety of cultures in public libraries. They are part of ALSC’s Everyone Reads @ your library grant and will be awarded to libraries that demonstrate a need to better address the diverse backgrounds within their communities. Up to 15 minigrants of $4,000 or $6,000 will be awarded. The deadline for applications is November 29....
ALSC, Nov. 8
YALSA offers minigrants for Teen Tech Week
Through funding from the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, YALSA will award up to 10 Teen Tech Week minigrants, consisting of $450 in cash and $50 worth of Teen Tech Week products, to division members who create a reading program that incorporates technology. Teen Tech Week 2011 will be celebrated March 6–12, with the theme, “Mix and Mash @ your library.” Applications (Word file) are due by January 3....
YALSA, Nov. 8
NLM, MLA support Spectrum Scholars
The National Library of Medicine and the Medical Library Association are supporting the Spectrum Presidential Initiative and are committed to funding two Spectrum Scholars with an interest in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship annually for 10 years, 2011–2020. NLM/MLA’s support of the Spectrum Scholarship began in 2001, supporting a single student, and expanded in 2006 to support two students annually....
Spectrum Scholarship Program, Nov. 9
2010 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry
The Library of Congress will award the 2010 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry to Lucia Perillo for her book Inseminating the Elephant (Copper Canyon, 2009). Perillo will receive the award and read selections from her work at LC on December 13. The prize is awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry published in the preceding two years....
Library of Congress, Nov. 9
Johanna Skibsrud wins Scotiabank Giller Award
The author of The Sentimentalists became the youngest winner of the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize on November 9. Johanna Skibsrud, a Nova Scotia native who is currently a student at the University of Montreal (where she is working on a Ph.D. thesis about poet Wallace Stevens), based the debut novel on her late father’s experiences in the Vietnam War. The largest annual literary prize in Canada, the prize goes to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English....
Quill and Quire, Nov. 10
2010 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award
The Crime Writers’ Association announced the winner of the prestigious 2010 Ellis Peters Historical Award in London on November 4. The winner was Revenger by Rory Clements, a gripping story set in England in 1592, and published by John Murray. The award, which carries a prize of £3,000 ($4,843 U.S.), is presented annually for the best historical crime novel by an author of any nationality....
Crime Writers’ Association, Nov. 4
2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize
Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Pan Macmillan) is the winner of the second Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Skloot’s book tells the story of a poor Southern tobacco farmer whose cancer cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The £25,000 ($40,000 U.S.) prize is open to outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction on the theme of health and medicine....
Wellcome Trust Book Prize, Nov. 9
Houellebecq wins France’s top literary prize
French novelist Michel Houellebecq, who has sparked controversy for explicit depictions of sex in his work as well as disparaging comments on women and minorities, has won France’s most prestigious literary prize. The 2010 Prix Goncourt jury named Houellebecq its latest winner November 8 for his novel La Carte et Le Territoire (The Map and the Territory). The Paris-set story about a misanthropic artist who becomes a success also includes a reclusive, prickly writer character—named Michel Houellebecq—who becomes the victim of a grisly murder....
CBC News, Nov. 8
Indianapolis lays off 37 library workers
The Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library announced the layoffs of 37 positions November 4, but they were expected as part of efforts to close an anticipated $4-million budget shortfall next year. The library did not release a list of affected positions, but said in a news release that the cuts affected employees across the management, support, and public service staffs. It also has reorganized its management staff....
Indianapolis Star, Nov. 5
Delaware loses school librarians
This year, eight schools in Indian River School District in Selbyville, Delaware, replaced six full-time and two part-time librarians with teachers’ aides. Three of the four elementary schools in Seaford made the same move, as did two middle schools in the Cape Henlopen district. Marilyn Kulkarni, president of the Delaware School Library Media Association, said she has counted at least 20 librarian positions that have been cut recently....
New Castle (Del.) News Journal, Nov. 9
Economic shifts make libraries more valuable
ALA President Roberta Stevens writes: “Today’s challenging economy demands strategic investments. While the job market continues to recover, one of the best uses of public and private funds is to help ensure that people are digitally literate and are improving their employment skills. Increasingly, the local public library serves as the community technology hub for training, digital literacy and, yes, even books.”...
Washington Post: Commentary, Nov. 8
Net neutrality another election loser
Dan Gillmor writes: “There’s no way to sugar-coat this: Since November 2, network neutrality isn’t quite dead, but it may well be in a coma. That’s the only rational way to look at the results of the 2010 elections, which saw some of net neutrality’s major backers go down in defeat. Among the most damaging congressional losses will take place with the departure of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who lost his reelection bid. No one in that chamber has a better grasp of technology issues.”...
Salon, Nov. 4
Kannapolis library closes its history room
After 18 years, the Kannapolis branch of the Cabarrus County (N.C.) Public Library is closing the book on its history room. That decision comes after budget cuts and calls for more space for programs at the library, Director Dana Eure said. The Kannapolis History Associates, a local group dedicated to preserving the records of the former mill town, will receive those books and records that the county doesn’t decide to keep. The only problem is that they’ve got nowhere to put them....
Salisbury (N.C.) Post, Nov. 9
NLRB: Facebook posts are protected speech, mostly
In what labor officials and lawyers view as a ground-breaking case involving workers and social media, the National Labor Relations Board has accused a company of illegally firing an employee after she criticized her supervisor on her Facebook page. This is the first case in which the labor board has stepped in to argue that workers’ criticisms of their bosses or companies on a social networking site are generally a protected activity and that employers would be violating the law by punishing workers for such statements....
New York Times, Nov. 8
Most beautiful academic libraries
On those nights when you’re hunched over your books, over-tired, over-caffeinated, and counting down the hours until your work is done, take a break to look around—you might be in one of the most beautiful college libraries. Campus Grotto compiled a list of the ultimate breathtaking study spots in America. Click through to see if yours ranks in the top 10....
Huffington Post, Nov. 9
Librarian will camp out for diaper drive
Canton (Mich.) Public Library Director Eva Davis may get pretty cold November 17–18 when she camps out in the parking lot—but she expects the generosity of residents to warm her heart. It’s all for the Stuff the Truck Diaper Drive, an effort that collected more than 17,000 diapers last year for the Detroit Area Diaper Bank, which collects donated diapers and distributes them to families and people in crisis through other agencies in Southeast Michigan....
Canton (Mich.) Eagle, Nov. 5
Best spelling, best cheers
Air horns. Pompoms. Cowbells. Clappers. Whistles. Nann fans. These were the tools 20 Zion-Benton (Ill.) Public Library fans used to support the library’s spelling bee team. Not only did the library take first place November 4 in the fifth annual Corporate Community Spelling Bee, but the fan base also won best cheer section. Nann fans were the invention of library staffer Sara Torrez, who enlarged the face of Library Director Nann Blaine Hilyard and added it to fans for library supporters to wave....
Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun, Nov. 5
Secret room at former San Antonio Public Library uncovered
Construction workers retrofitting the former San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library and Hertzberg Circus Museum into the National Western Art Foundation’s Briscoe Western Art Museum were recently able to access an abandoned and forgotten room on the third floor. When they did, they uncovered a cache of previously unknown and uncataloged library items, including World War II posters, a King James Bible dated 1615, and a Civil War–era photo album. The library, which occupied the site from 1930 to 1968, still owns the building. Watch the video (1:21)....
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News: Downtown Blog, Nov. 5; KTHV-TV, Little Rock, Ark., Nov. 9
Vatican Library exhibits earliest gospel
For the first time in its history, tourists can stroll through the halls of the Vatican Apostolic Library in Rome and examine ancient manuscripts, thanks to a new exhibition. “Understanding the Vatican Library: A History Open to the Future” shows how the library works and tries to put an end to the notion of its mysteriousness and inaccessibility. On display is the Papyrus Bodmer XIV-XV (above), the earliest known gospel (Luke 3–18, 22–24; John 1–15) that dates from the late 2nd or early 3rd century. The Vatican is also holding a conference to publicize the library’s holdings and recent renovation....
Rome Reports, Nov. 10
British Library mulls videogame archiving
The British Library is looking to work more closely with the videogame industry to help preserve gaming’s 30-year history. Paul Wheatley, a specialist in digital preservation at the British Library, says it is keen to lend support, building on work already done by an initiative called the National Videogame Archive. He believes games and related documents from the 1970s through the 1990s are already being lost....
The Independent (U.K.), Nov. 4
Go back to the Top
The web is reborn
Bobbie Johnson writes: “The web has been showing its age. Superficially it appears healthy, but beneath the surface, the Web 2.0 era required a lot of tape and glue, because video and other multimedia elements often didn’t work smoothly on basic web pages. Fortunately, a handful of key people put aside the rivalries between them and led an insurrection in time to give the web another chance—HTML5.”...
Technology Review, Nov./Dec.
Delete all Facebook apps you are not using
Ben Popken writes: “Here is a fun project to protect your privacy. Go through Facebook and delete all the apps you’re no longer using. That way they’ll no longer have access to your data, so they can’t mine it or sell it. Here’s how you do it. Go directly to the app setting page and under ‘Applications you use’ hit ‘Remove unwanted or spammy applications.’”...
The Consumerist, Nov. 5
Maximize engagement with Facebook Likes and Shares
David A. Yovanno writes: “When it comes to Facebook, if you’re uncertain where and when to place a Like button on your site and when to use Share, you’re not alone. Social-sharing technologies have evolved significantly in the past several months, but it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Used in concert, Like and Share are some of the best tools for driving referral traffic from social networks, opening new communication channels with patrons, and building relationships with advocates. Here are three best practices for applying them together.”...
Mashable, Nov. 8
A Chromium-based browser for social web addicts
Jacqui Cheng writes: “The last thing the world needs is another spinoff browser with niche features, right? That’s exactly what I thought when I learned about RockMelt, which takes the average browsing experience and adds a number of social sharing layers so that you’re always connected—digitally and mentally—to your Facebook and Twitter buddies no matter what you’re doing on the web. That’s not a joke: They’re all right there in your right and left columns.” Watch the video (2:29) or sign up for the wait list using your Facebook ID....
Ars Technica: Web, Nov. 9; PC World, Nov. 9
Battle botnets before or after an infection?
Matthew Lasar writes: “Botnets have penetrated most Fortune 500 companies, and the United States leads the world in PCs infected with bots. And Mac users beware—a new Trojan variant attacks Mac OS systems via social networking sites. So how do we stop these nefarious campaigns? We had the chance to hear a set of security presentations on botnets. Fabian Rothschild and Peter Greko of the HackMiami nonprofit and Tom Murphy from the Bit9 security group laid out different strategies for fighting botnets—data obfuscation and white lists.”...
Ars Technica: Security, Nov. 8
YouTube to test “smart topics” on videos
Tom Krazit writes: “At some point on the evening of November 10, YouTube will turn on an experiment in its TestTube lab, in which users will be able to see what the company is calling ‘topics’ above videos they find through search results or that are shared among friends. These topics are sort of like tags, but are the product of sophisticated analysis of comments, viewing patterns, and other signals that will automatically appear above videos. It’s not clear when YouTube might be ready to bring this into wider distribution, but those interested in checking it out should be able to opt into the program.”...
CNET News: Relevant Results, Nov. 9
Extract embedded media from Office files
jont999 writes: “Need to get one or more images out of a Microsoft Word .doc or .docx file? You’ll need Word 2007 or later—or another .docx compatible program. If it’s a .doc file, open it in Word and save as a .docx file. Make a duplicate of the file and rename the extension from .docx to .zip. Open the zip archive and you should see several folders. You’re looking for the ‘media’ folder, which should be under the ‘word’ folder.”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 10
Tutor.com app will let students connect to a tutor
Tutor.com has launched a new mobile strategy with Tutor.com To Go. The first release, available in the Apple App Store, gives students mobile access to the company’s library of 9,000 online lessons, worksheets, videos, and test-prep resources. In early 2011, the app will allow students to connect to online tutors for a homework review session from their iPhones or iPod Touches....
Tutor.com, Nov. 10
Firefox add-on protects you on open networks
Jolie O’Dell writes: “If you’re concerned about using open Wi-Fi networks because of Firesheep, a bit of code that allows just about anyone to access your web accounts via session hijacking, you should check out BlackSheep, a Firefox add-on that makes surfing on open networks in cafés and airports safe once again. Cloud security firm Zscaler’s add-on can detect Firesheep activity and places a warning in your current browser tab.”...
Mashable, Nov. 8
And the most popular way to read an e-book is...
John C. Abell writes: “Quick: What’s the most popular e-book reader? You’re probably wrong. Amazon’s Kindle has become the breakthrough e-reader since it was introduced only three years ago, fueling a nearly $1-billion business that Forrester Research says will triple in the next five years. But it is edged out by the humble laptop as the e-reader of choice, according to a Forrester survey released November 8. Laptops only slightly trump the Kindle, 35% to 32%. Coming in third was the iPhone, with 15%. Yet 38% said they had checked a book out of a library.”...
Wired: Epicenter, Nov. 8
Sneak peek: OverDrive e-book app for the iPhone
In December, OverDrive customers will be able to enjoy e-books and audiobooks on the iPhone in a single app. The app will support OverDrive-supplied EPUB e-books on initial release and will continue to support OverDrive MP3 audiobooks like previous versions of the app for iPhone. Both iPad and Android apps are also coming soon. Watch the video (2:53)....
Digital Library Blog, Nov. 9
Are books smelly?
Stephen Abram writes: “I keep hearing people talking about how they love the feel and the smell of books and that sometimes this trumps the allure of e-books for them. Smell or scent is a powerful memory aid. When people are telling us they like the smell of books and libraries, are they actually recalling the sweet experiences of youth and visits to the library when life was fun and grand? Is this something we can tap? Here are the major components of the old-book smell.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Nov. 9
Must we have the digital vs. print battle?
Gabrielle E. Miller writes: “As executive director of Raising a Reader, people frequently ask me what I think about digital books for children. Somewhere in the question is the usual implication that one is good and the other is bad. Do we really have to go down this road? Is it really going to be digital versus print? We absolutely need both. You cannot put a Kindle in a bathtub with a young child, but you can use a vinyl book. You do not always have room for 15 children’s books on vacation, but you can take a Kindle.”...
Washington Post: The Answer Sheet, Nov. 6
Kindles arrive at the Unquiet Library
Buffy Hamilton writes: “Roxanne and I unboxed our five new Kindles on November 9 (more are coming) and began the process of setting them up for circulation at the Creekview High School Library in Canton, Georgia. We also took a couple of hours to finalize our thinking on the procedures and protocols for cataloging the Kindle readers as well as the Kindle e-books. I also have created a video update (2:10), and we’ll be posting more of these to chronicle our Kindle journey.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Nov. 9; YouTube, Nov. 9
The library-friendly seal of approval
Tim Spalding writes: “The idea arose from an email I wrote, which argued the rather dismal economics of e-books in libraries, and noted that if ‘advocacy’ was going to get anywhere, it had better happen soon. My one constructive suggestion was to start a public campaign to get publishers to commit to a slate of lending rights. Libraries (ALA?) should establish a ‘Good Housekeeping’–style sticker that authors and publishers can slap on their books and webpages.”...
Thingology, Nov. 7
Do students really prefer print to e-books?
Kent Anderson writes: “A recent survey from the National Association of College Stores is being cited in news reports, on Twitter, and in blogs as proof that students prefer print textbooks to e-book textbooks. But the survey is drawing the wrong conclusion by framing the question in terms of media choice. It’s not about print versus electronic. It’s about economics and selection.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Nov. 3
A new genre of books for children is trying to tweak narrative norms. While not exactly creating an original form of user-generated content like the Choose Your Own Adventure books, they are using the internet to expand beyond print. Of the three considered here, Spaceheadz, by Jon Scieszka with Francesco Sedita, uses the internet in the most straightforward—but also the most entertaining—way. Various websites are mentioned in its pages, and in a few instances these sites provide information that helps propel the plot....
New York Times, Nov. 5
Best illustrated children’s books of 2010
Annually since 1952, the Book Review has asked a panel of judges to select 10 winners from among the several thousand children’s books published during the year. The judges this time around were Elizabeth Bird of the New York Public Library, Robert Sabuda, and David Barringer....
New York Times Book Review, Nov. 7
Library Journal’s top 10 of 2010 list
For the first time, Library Journal has announced its top 10 best books list reflecting fiction and nonfiction titles that stood out as the very best in 2010. The list—compiled with the input of librarians and LJ’s stable of book reviewers—represents an assortment of books appropriate for a broad reading audience. Several of the book review editors chronicled their deliberations on Twitter under the hash tag #bestbooks10. Compare with Publishers Weekly’s choices....
Library Journal, Nov. 4; Publishers Weekly, Nov. 8
A primer on science fiction pulps
Jess Nevins writes: “The pulps are enjoying a resurgence. DC Comics recently brought back several pulp heroes, including Doc Savage and the Avenger, in their First Wave comics. Marvel Comics is publishing Incognito, Ed Brubaker’s pulp-inspired miniseries. But most people have never read many stories from the actual pulps (1900–1950) and only have a vague idea of what they actually were. The following is intended as a brief primer on the pulps and a guide to what they are and what they aren’t.”...
io9, Nov. 4
Activity books go highbrow at Princeton
Nancy Mattoon writes: “Children’s literature often doesn’t get much respect from academia and university libraries. But the true Rodney Dangerfield of kid-lit has to be the activity book. Coloring books, puzzle books, dot-to-dot books, and paper-doll books are basically paper-bound Highlights magazines, minus Goofus and Gallant. Meant to be written in, cut up, and thrown away, they are probably the most inherently disposable books ever printed. But even these pedestrian tomes can become high art in the right hands, and Princeton University’s Cotsen Children’s Library has created an online exhibition to prove it.”...
Booktryst, Nov. 8
50 books about books, 2009–2010
Rebecca Rego Barry and Jeremy Dibbell write: “We’re offering this list of 50 remarkable nonfiction books about books from the past year. Some titles you will remember having read about in Fine Books and Collections magazine or on the blog, while others may have slipped by unnoticed. It’s hard to keep up. So we’ve composed an extensive list of recently published books that will appeal to readers and collectors. As a bonus, we’ve added a list of the top 10 novels about books from the past year.”...
Fine Books and Collections, Nov.
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. View a partial list (PDF file) of discussion group and interest group meetings.
In What They Don’t Teach You in Library School, long-time library administrator Elisabeth Doucett gives new librarians a full dose of practical advice and wisdom that remains between the lines of most library curriculum, while also teaching seasoned professionals a thing or two. Gleaned from years of hard-fought experience. NEW! From ALA Editions.
“Like” American Libraries on Facebook.
Great Libraries of the World
Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington. One of the largest rare book and manuscript libraries in the United States, the Lilly was founded in 1960 with the donated collection of Josiah K. Lilly Jr., former president of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company. Its holdings are particularly strong in strong in British and American history and literature, medicine and science, food and drink, children’s literature, fine printing and binding, popular music, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and early printing. It also has special collections of comic books and graphic novels, books and periodicals on puzzles, documents of the French Revolution, chapbooks, and American sheet music.
Iowa State Law Library, Des Moines. Located in the Iowa State Capitol, the library provides lawmakers with a specialized collection of books. Ornate balconies and spiral staircases with wrought-iron railings lend it grandeur. The tile floor and stained glass ceiling date back to 1884.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2011 by ALA Editions.
Learning Commons Librarian/Coordinator for Instruction and Assessment, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York. Reporting to the director of libraries, this position will assume a leadership role in the improvement of student information management skills and the assessment of learning outcomes. This involves full participation in the library’s instruction program including the development of face-to-face, blended, and online instructional modalities, along with assessment tools and strategies. Establish collaborative working relationships with library and other academic faculty and departments across the college. This position will also provide reference services, including teaching and training (some nights and weekends may be required), and will serve as a liaison to one or more of the schools. While this position is primarily located at the Mercy College Dobbs Ferry Library Learning Commons, travel to other campuses is an expectation....
Digital Library of the Week
The Edward R. Murrow Collection, circa 1913–1985, housed at Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives, is the world’s largest collection of material about the internationally renowned journalist. The papers include correspondence, personal materials, work-related files, audiovisual materials, memorabilia, books, and tributes to Murrow. Digital objects from the Murrow papers include more than 320 photographs of Murrow, his family, and his associates, and include Murrow in action during World War II and the Korean War as well as images from his radio and television shows.
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.
“Hey, times are tough, especially when your mansion isn’t worth what it once was. But before fighting taxes became the only American principle that mattered, all kinds of people, wealthy and not, recognized the public library as one of the inspiring ideas that makes us American.”
—Columnist Laura Berman, “To Some, Bloomfield Hills Is a Cheap Rich Town,” Detroit News, Oct. 23.
Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Traverse City, Nov. 9–12, at:
Research Libraries UK Conference, Edinburgh, Nov. 10–12, at:
California Library Association / California School Library Association, Joint Annual Conference, Sacramento, Nov. 12–15, at:
National Gaming Day @ your library, Nov. 13, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Wisconsin Distinguished Lecture Series in Library and Information Science, Golda Meir Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Presentation by Birger Hjørland.
New Jersey Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair, Ramada Inn and Conference Center, East Hanover.
Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Los Angeles Convention Center.
Educause Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. “Setting a New Course for the Future.”
Australian Library and Information Association, Information Online Conference and Exhibition, Conference and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour, Sydney.
Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Loews Hotel, Philadelphia.
California International Antiquarian Book Fair, Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco.
Savannah Book Festival, Telfair Square, Savannah, Georgia.
Jerusalem International Book Fair, ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center.
Educause West / Southwest Regional Conference, Hilton Austin, Texas. “Leading IT into the Future in Transformative Times.”
National Science Teachers Association, National Conference, Moscone Center, San Francisco. “Celebrating the Joy of Science.”
National Council for History Education, National Conference, Charleston, South Carolina. “The Causes and Consequences of Civil Wars.”
New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York City.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Annual Meeting, Indianapolis. “Geometry: Constructing and Transforming Perspectives.”
Library Association of Ireland / CILIP Ireland Annual Joint Conference, Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, Dublin. “Smart Libraries.”
Catholic Library Association, Annual Convention, New Orleans. “Leadership, Direction, Service.”
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The sad state of New Jersey school libraries
April Bunn writes: “Is this some kind of nightmare? No, it’s really happening. New Jersey is broke and they’re coming down hard on everyone, especially education, to help make up much of the $2-billion deficit. Our relationship with the state government is so bad that even acting Commissioner of Education Rochelle Hendricks decided not to address teachers at last week’s New Jersey Education Association convention, a tradition for years. The budget cuts were beyond devastating, with hundreds of positions lost.”...
Library Garden, Nov. 7
We can’t afford not to create a National Digital Library System
David Rothman writes: “There is one thing I currently cannot do with my Kindle despite all the sizzle in the commercials—read public library books. Local libraries do not use the Kindle format for their electronic collections, relying instead on rival standards used by Sony Readers and certain other devices. Amazon undoubtedly would love to fix this under terms favorable to CEO Jeff Bezos and friends. But other issues will remain. Might the time have finally come for a well-stocked national digital library system for the United States, a cause I’ve publicly advocated since 1992?”...
The Atlantic, Nov. 5
Giving patrons a reason to come inside
Emily Lloyd writes: “At times, I’ve found it hard to imagine why people getting most of their books and services through the library’s digital branch would come into the library building unless they didn’t have their own computers or were coming for storytime. But what if there were neat, social, community-building opportunities for patrons to engage in whenever they happened to step foot in the library? That didn’t require planning on the library’s part? That helped people to learn and to better use our resources? Here’s what I’m thinking.”...
Shelf Check, Oct. 28
Study: College students lack basic research skills
Only 30% of 8,353 college students recently polled say they have asked a librarian for research help, according to the latest online Project Information Literacy Progress Report of 25 college campuses nationwide. The survey also revealed that the sources students cited most often were course readings, search engines like Google, and scholarly research databases. Alison J. Head, a co-principal project investigator, said the findings show that college students see research as a hunt for the right answer instead of an evaluation of different arguments to come up with their own interpretation....
Wired Campus, Nov. 9
Undisclosed discourse: Pros and cons
Emily Ford writes: “Hiding our identities allows us to break accepted social practice. There is nothing inherently unethical or wrong with creating a character in Second Life or engaging in gender swapping or other identity experiments online. However, the realm of library professional discourse is not where this kind of experimentation or use of nondisclosure should occur. Undisclosed publishing can be used to insult, act violently, and lash out in a way that defies our understanding of social contract and accepted norms of professional behavior. It can easily lead down the path of snarky and negative venting that is wholly unproductive.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Nov. 10
Survey on public library privatization
The Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library has launched a 60-second survey to get your opinions about privatization. Do you think privatization is a good option for libraries? How would it affect library collections, services, staff, and patrons? Take a moment to take the survey, voice your opinion, and pass it on to your colleagues....
Library Research Service News, Nov. 8
Finding graphic novels in an academic library
Karen Green writes: “Academic libraries are beginning to embrace graphic novels for their circulating collections as materials appropriate for teaching and research. Unfortunately, because of inconsistencies in the Library of Congress Classification model, locating graphic novels in an academic library collection can be challenging. And if you’re a creator who has self-published a book without an ISBN, then your book may never surface at a library. I keep a spreadsheet on my office computer in order to know what we have in our collection. My patrons are not so fortunate.”...
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 9
Rural library outreach is part of free-choice learning
Rural and small-town libraries are part of the forces being tapped to improve the science literacy of Americans through lifelong, “free-choice learning” opportunities in which people learn scientific, engineering, and technical information somewhere other than in school. A new initiative, supported by a $2.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation, will help rural librarians tap into scientific expertise in their local communities, organize local events, provide video and other supporting materials, and essentially create adult “science clubs” across the nation....
Science Blog, Nov. 9
The crisis in the humanities
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “It is sometimes distressing to hear about the crisis in the humanities, especially the heated rhetoric of late. The scenarios from ARL threw a few sops to the humanities, but the general assumption seemed to be they would disappear from research universities within 20 years. But search JSTOR for the phrase ‘crisis in the humanities.’ The phrase first appears in a JSTOR journal in 1922, and from 1940 on becomes a steady stream of complaints. There has been a sense of crisis in the humanities almost as long as there have been departments of humanities.”...
Academic Librarian, Nov. 5
The Merna mystery quilt
There is a mystery at the Brenizer Public Library in Merna, Nebraska. Not one between the covers of a book, but one that unfolds much like the plot of a mystery story. Director Vickie Burnett (right) got a call one day about an old quilt with a connection to Merna that had been purchased in Chicago. The caller donated the quilt, which turned out to consist of 46 blocks covered with 230 names of local people and businesses embroidered in bright red thread. A newspaper search revealed it was made in Merna in 1892. But how did it get to Chicago?...
The Fence Post: Plains Edition, Nov. 6
Taking care of your own archives
Catherine Shteynberg writes: “As a part of the October Archives Month celebrations, Smithsonian Institution Archives experts answered some questions about how to take care of personal archives. The Facebook Q&A session we held was a great success, and so we wanted to highlight some of the interesting questions that came out of that. A big thumbs up to our two SIA experts, Paper Conservator Nora Lockshin and Electronic Archivist Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig, for taking the time to answer these questions.”...
O Say Can You See?, Nov. 8
Remembering our veterans
Angela Hanshaw writes: “In honor of Veterans Day, I thought I’d highlight the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center. Created in 2000, the project ‘collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.’ How are libraries honoring Veterans Day? Many are closed for the day, but there are some with programs scheduled before or on the holiday.” Watch the Library of Congress video (1:01)....
Programming Librarian, Nov. 4; YouTube, Nov. 10
UConn library to loan bicycles
Getting around the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus will soon be a little easier. A bike-sharing pilot program is set to begin in the coming months. UConn students, faculty, or staff will be able to check out one of 20 bicycles from the Homer Babbidge Library and use it to get around campus for the day. The program will allow anyone with a current university ID to borrow a bike through the library’s iDesk, which will provide helmets and keys for the bike locks....
UConn News, Oct. 28
Top 10 library history websites
Larry Nix writes: “There are a number of top 10 library-related lists around. George Eberhart even has a book about them: The Librarian’s Book of Lists. I was pleased to be selected as one of the 10 Librarian Blogs to Read in 2010 by LISNews. So I thought I would do my bit to promote more good library history websites by identifying what I consider to be the top 10 library history websites. I would be happy to get your nominations for additional sites.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Nov. 5
Yale gets $10 million for new School of Management Library
Wilbur L. Ross, CEO and chairman of W. L. Ross & Co. LLC, has pledged $10 million to support the construction of the new Yale School of Management campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Ross’s gift, among the largest by an individual backing the new campus, is directed toward the library in the new building, which will be a state-of-the-art facility supporting teaching and research. The campus is expected to open in the fall of 2013....
Yale School of Management, Nov. 4
30 more bundts in 30 days
Mary the Food Librarian, a Los Angeles–based librarian and baking aficionado, has once again taken it upon herself to prepare 30 different bundt cakes leading up to National Bundt Day on November 15. The action started October 17, so there are only five bundts left. If you make a bundt for National Bundt Day, Mary will send you an I Like Big Bundts button. She says: “The bundt cake so rocks. I love cake. I hate frosting. The bundt is my friend. Bundt cakes can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”...
The Food Librarian, Nov. 10
Best library-related videos using Xtranormal
Aaron Tay writes: “Xtranormal has the tagline, ‘If you can type, you can make movies,’ and it’s really that simple. Select a background, select one or two characters, type in dialogue, select a couple of camera angles and special animations using point and click, and you get a cartoon-animated movie with no programming required. It’s mostly free and quite flexible. Here are some of the most entertaining library-related ones—though not all are complimentary.”...
Musings About Librarianship, Oct. 28
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