|American Libraries Online
Youth Matters: A feeling for books
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “What’s not to like about bibliotherapy? Bringing readers to books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that respond to personal problems and promote well-being seems like powerful testimony to the notion that reading changes lives. Bibliotherapy has been described as an extension of readers’ advisory, a specialized kind of information provision, or even a means of healing. Seldom is it fully acknowledged as the province of another profession, yet psychologists train to use and evaluate the merits of bibliotherapy.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Will’s World: My own private bookmobile
Will Manley writes: “My car, a Subaru Outback, doubles as a library. There are always a lot of books in there. I never go anywhere without a copy of the Bible, the Qur’an, Ulysses, Gravity’s Rainbow, assorted editions of Mother Goose, a complete collection of the Peter Rabbit series, and a vast and diverse array of brain-candy books. Why? Brain-candy books are perfect for red-light reading. You can open them up and peruse little random chunks of text without feeling as though you are wasting half of your life waiting for the traffic light to turn green.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Begin with the end in mind
Laura Bruzas writes: “Libraries are filled to the brim with digital technology including PCs, printers, copiers, and scanners. When they work, it’s great. But sooner or later, they all go south, and now e-waste is the fastest growing category of waste, according to the EPA. So what’s a library to do? I’ve compiled a few ideas for your consideration. I invite you to add any suggestions or ideas that you may have to the list.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Nov. 18
Why you should renew your ALA membership
Rory Litwin writes: “Yes, it is that time of year again. Soon, your ALA membership renewal form will be arriving in the mail. Receipt of this renewal notice prompts many ALA members to ask themselves, why should I keep up my membership? What do I get out of it? What I want to say about membership renewal has to do with the two alternate ways that ALA members view the association—as a real association constituted by its members, or within the framework of a business-to-customer relationship.”...
Library Juice, Nov. 20
Last week for advance registration for Midwinter
Advance registration for the ALA Midwinter Meeting ends November 29. In addition to the business meetings and opportunities for networking, the Midwinter Meeting, held in San Diego, California, January 7–11, offers high-profile speakers, thought-provoking open discussions, exhibits, awards, and excellent author-related events....
Conference Services, Nov. 23
TSA procedures and civil liberties
There has been much discussion among ALA members about the new enhanced pat-down procedures and full-body scans implemented by the TSA, and the possibility that these procedures violate individual civil liberties. ALA members who believe that their rights have been violated by a TSA screening or believe that their screening was in violation of agency rules should know that both the ACLU and the Electronic Privacy Information Center are collecting travelers’ stories. OIF and the Washington Office are also monitoring this issue....
District Dispatch, Nov. 22
Volunteers plan libraries, build communities
John Chrastka writes: “ALA is planning a 2011 Libraries Build Communities Day in New Orleans on June 24 during ALA Annual Conference. We hope you will help spread the word to potential volunteer-attendees to participate in this daylong service effort. The last time we were in New Orleans was the summer after Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of volunteers did direct service at public, academic, and school libraries, with Habitat, and several other community-based groups.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Nov. 17
Library education discussion group at Midwinter
The ALA Committee on Education and the Association for Library and Information Science Education are cosponsoring a Library Education Discussion Group titled “LIS Faculty and Practitioners Surviving and Thriving Together” to be held on January 7, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. LIS practitioners and educators are encouraged to join colleagues in discussing a variety of hot topics....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Nov. 23
Office for Diversity selects field recruiters
The Office for Diversity and Spectrum Scholarship Program have selected early-career librarians who will serve as field recruiters for the Discovering Librarianship project—an IMLS-funded recruitment initiative focused on introducing ethnically diverse high school and college students to careers in libraries. The project will support the training of 35 librarians to serve as recruiters in national, regional, and local career recruitment and education events....
Office for Diversity, Nov. 22
Social software and library marketing
Librarians and social software experts David Lee King and Robin Hastings will discuss best practices and share ideas for using social networking sites as an essential part of library outreach and patron services. Join them for a two-part interactive learning experience, “Using Social Software in Library Marketing: Facebook, Twitter, and More,” December 1 and 8. You can register for the event at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource Blog, Nov. 16
Idaho launches broadband effort
On November 1, the Idaho Commission for Libraries launched an online @ your library program, using the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand. The program’s goal is to provide free broadband access to internet-based resources in public libraries throughout Idaho. Online @ your library provides funding to at least 55 public libraries with broadband internet access, increased bandwidth, new public access computers, subscriptions to online resources, and training for library staff....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Nov. 23
Preparing a portfolio for the LSSC program
Many Library Support Staff Certification candidates plan to develop portfolios to meet certification requirements. Candidates and others interested can attend a one-hour webinar at 10 a.m. Central time on November 30. The presentation will discuss portfolio requirements and their evaluation, and show examples of successful submissions. Register here to attend....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Nov. 23
Final National Gaming Day numbers
Jenny Levine writes: “We’ve been hearing from a lot of libraries about how much fun patrons had at their National Gaming Day events, and now we have some numbers and anecdotes to help illustrate what happened. We’re still going through the 845 survey responses, but here’s what we’ve found so far: The total number of players for NGD activities was 26,504. As usual, though, the anecdotes submitted by librarians are what really tell the story—and success—of National Gaming Day.”...
National Gaming Day @ your library blog, Nov. 23
Google Policy Fellows wanted
The ALA Washington Office will once again participate in the Google Policy Fellowship program for the summer of 2011. Google Policy Fellows work in diverse areas of information policy that include broadband, net neutrality, free expression, open access to information, domestic and international copyright policy, online privacy, and open government. Students will spend 10 weeks this summer working at a diverse range of organizations. The deadline for applications is January 17....
District Dispatch, Nov. 23
ALA student chapter survey results
The 2010 ALA Student Chapters Survey was conducted over a three-month period, from July 28 through October 29. The results are in and have been posted at the Student Chapter Leadership group on ALA Connect. A tabulated summary of the responses (PDF file) is also available....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Nov. 21
Featured review: Science
Hohn, Donovan. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,000 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them. 402p. Mar. 2011. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-02219-9).
Like Bill Bryson on hard science, or John McPhee with attitude, journalist Hohn travels from beaches to factories to the northern seas in pursuit of a treasure that mystifies as much as it provokes. His quest is to determine what happened to a load of 28,800 Chinese manufactured plastic animals in a container that fell off a ship en route to Seattle in 1992. Hohn’s inquiry leads him to 10 Little Rubber Ducks (2005), children’s author Eric Carle’s idealized board-book version, and also to the plastic-strewn beaches of an Alaskan island, a Hong Kong toy fair, and the Sesame Street origins of the rubber duck’s popularity....
Archived review: Children’s fiction
Silvano, Wendi. Turkey Trouble. Illustrated by Lee Harper. 32p. Oct. 2009. K–Grade 1. Marshall Cavendish, hardcover (978-0-7614-5529-5).
Hold onto your drumsticks, Turkey is in trouble. It’s almost Thanksgiving and how can he avoid ending up on the dinner platter? He has an idea: He disguises himself as a horse, a cow, a pig, and a sheep, but none of them fool even the animals. Finally he tries being a rooster, but when Farmer Jake can’t find Turkey, his wife says they could always eat rooster. Yikes!...
Top 10 sci-tech books, 2010
Donna Seaman writes: “Physics is fun; snails have much to teach us; seemingly crazy ideas become our future; and scientists are not always who they seem to be, according to the entertaining and informative authors of this year’s best science and technology titles.” Included are books on quantum mechanics, mathematical deception, geoengineering, water, and snails....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Delight in San Diego’s documented history
The Research Library of the San Diego History Center preserves a rich collection about the city’s cultural life and day-to-day routines in its documents archive of books, public records, maps, scrapbooks, and unpublished manuscripts; its object collection of 15,000 items pertaining to costume and textiles, decorative arts, fine arts, and objects of daily life; and its photograph collection of 2.5 million images. Open Wednesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Casa de Balboa Building in Balboa Park, at 1649 El Prado, Suite 3....
San Diego History Center
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
Public transportation is an easy way to get around the city. The MTS administers several public transportation services, including the San Diego Trolley. Three trolley lines are designated by the colors Blue, Orange, and Green. There is an Orange line stop at the Convention center. The one-way fare is $2.50, which is good for travel for two hours from the time of purchase on any trolley; seniors, people with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders pay just $1.25 each. Trolley ticket vending machines are located at all trolley stations and dispense one-way tickets and Day Passes....
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
ACRL conference program now available
ACRL has announced the program for its 2011 National Conference, “A Declaration of Interdependence,” to be held March 30–April 2 in Philadelphia. The conference will feature more than 300 peer-reviewed presentations on topics such as assessment, cross-disciplinary partnerships, budgeting, fair use, and data curation. Additional conference highlights include innovative invited paper speakers Char Booth, Tara McPherson, and Carol Strohecker....
ACRL, Nov. 18
Nancy Pearl headlines PLA webinar
On December 13, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Nancy Pearl Presents: Books That Make Great Gifts.” Part of the monthly PLA Webinar Series “Public Libraries at Work,” this event marks Pearl’s first-ever webinar with PLA. Her book recommendations will benefit library staff specializing in readers’ advisory, as well as anyone hoping to find the perfect gifts for family and friends....
PLA, Nov. 23
New editor of Interface
Interface, ASCLA’s member e-newsletter, welcomes Anne Abate, owner of Library Discount Network and a longtime ASCLA member, to the helm as editor. Abate will manage submissions, editing, and online publication of the newsletter. Interface covers both association news and important developments in the fields of librarianship that ASCLA represents....
ASCLA, Nov. 23
Follow Youth Media Award results live
ALA will provide a free live webcast of its Youth Media Awards, a national announcement of the top books and media for children and young adults, at 7:45 a.m. Pacific time on January 10. The award announcements are made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The 2011 announcements will consist of 19 awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, John Newbery Medal, Michael L. Printz Award, Schneider Family Book Award, and the Randolph Caldecott Medal....
Public Information Office, Nov. 22
Art media in the Caldecott Medal books
Q. Using several sources, both print and online, I’ve tracked down the type of art media used in many of the Caldecott Medal-winning books, but I haven’t been able to find some of the older ones, so my list is not complete. Can ALA help with this? A. ALSC publishes a book every year that lists the winning titles, The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books. Starting with the 1991 edition, an article by Christine Behrmann offers art media information for each Caldecott title, both winners and honors....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Nov. 24
Nominations sought for Equality Award
ALA is seeking nominations for its 2011 Equality Award. This annual award, consisting of $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement, is given to an individual or group for an outstanding contribution toward promoting equality in the library profession. The contribution may be either a sustained one or a single outstanding accomplishment. The deadline for nominations is December 17....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 23
Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship
ALA is seeking nominations for the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. The award honors an individual for contributing significantly to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching, or writing. The deadline for nominations (text file) is December 17....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 23
Nominations sought for Sullivan Award
ALA is seeking nominations for the Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children. The award honors an individual who has shown exceptional understanding and support for library service to children while having general management, supervisory, or administrative responsibility that has included public library service to children in its scope. The deadline for nominations is December 17....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 23
RUSA grants and awards
The December 15 nomination deadline is quickly approaching for the 2011 achievement awards and conference travel grants offered by RUSA. Award criteria, nomination forms, and instructions for submissions are available at each of the award’s webpages....
RUSA, Nov. 23
Nominations for the 2011 awards offered by ASCLA are due by December 15. Those interested in submitting a nomination can download the appropriate award nomination form from the awards section of the ASCLA website or request the form from Liz Markel....
ASCLA, Nov. 23
ALTAFF is accepting applications for the ALA Trustee Citation and the ALTAFF Gale Outstanding Trustee Grant. Applications for both awards are due December 15. For more information about these awards, visit the ALTAFF website....
ALTAFF, Nov. 23
YALSA sponsors two Emerging Leaders
YALSA has chosen two of its members for the 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders program: Monique Delatte (left), acquisitions librarian at Fullerton College and adjunct librarian at Rio Hondo College library, both in California, and Samantha Marker (right), young adult librarian at Mount Laurel (N.J.) Library. Each will receive funding to attend the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference....
YALSA, Nov. 23
NMRT’s Emerging Leader
The New Members Round Table is sponsoring Megan Hodge (right) for ALA’s 2011 Emerging Leaders program. The sponsorship consists of $1,000 toward the costs of attending the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego and the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Hodge is currently the circulation supervisor for Randolph-Macon College....
NMRT, Nov. 23
3M NMRT Professional Development Grant
Members of ALA’s New Members Round Table can apply to receive a grant, sponsored by 3M Library Systems, that will cover expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference, June 23–28, 2011, in New Orleans. The deadline to apply is December 15. The application form and further information about the grant is available on the NMRT website....
New Members Round Table, Nov. 22
Circle of Learning Scholarships
Circle of Learning is a grant-funded program designed to recruit and support American Indians and Alaska Natives who are interested in earning an MLIS degree. The program is a partnership between the San Jose School of Library and Information Science and the American Indian Library Association. Current SLIS students and prospective students who plan to apply for the Fall 2011 semester can apply (PDF file) for a Circle of Learning Scholarship by March 25....
San Jose State University SLIS
Nominate your favorite Edublog
The 2010 Edublog Awards celebrate the achievements of edubloggers, twitterers, podcasters, video makers, online communities, wiki hosts, and other web-based users of educational technology. Best librarian / library blog is one favorite category. You must have your own blog to nominate someone else’s. The deadline for nominations is December 3, and voting ends December 14....
2010 Edublog Awards
Travel grant to 2011 SLA Annual Conference
The Division of Museums, Arts, and Humanities of the Special Libraries Association will reimburse travel and accommodation expenses up to $1,500 for a professional librarian from a developing country to attend the 2011 SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, June 12–15. The awardee will also receive free registration to the conference and to all MAHD ticketed events. Send an application to to Martha McPhail by December 31....
SLA Division of Museums, Arts, and Humanities
Civil Rights Digital Library wins prize
The Georgia Humanities Council and the Digital Library of Georgia won the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for their partnership on the Civil Rights Digital Library. The Federation of State Humanities Councils offers the prize to recognize outstanding work in the public humanities that is supported or conducted by state humanities councils. The digital library was selected for its unique contribution to the humanities and for its impact on the region and on the state of Georgia....
Georgia Humanities Council, Nov. 19
2010 National Book Awards
One of the biggest events on the literary calendar was held Wednesday night in New York City. It was there that the winners of the 2010 National Book Awards were announced. This year there were 1,115 total submissions for the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature. The winners included Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (fiction), Just Kids by Patti Smith (nonfiction), Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (youth), and Tom Wolfe (lifetime achievement). Watch the ceremony on Ustream. Ever wonder what it would be like to actually be at the awards? Betsy Bird will tell you....
Washington Post, Nov. 17; National Book Foundation; A Fuse #8 Production, Nov. 18
Growing up digital, wired for distraction
Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cell phones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning, according to this New York Times article. Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks—and less able to sustain attention. However, TechCrunch’s M. G. Siegler has a different take, and Don Tapscott in the Huffington Post says that the article is “so clichéd and one-sided that it’s more than misleading: It’s dangerous.” Watch the NYT video (7:45)....
New York Times, Nov. 20–21; TechCrunch, Nov. 21; Huffington Post, Nov. 23
College students are research challenged
According to How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age (PDF file), a new report released by Project Information Literacy, college students do not know how to research correctly. The study, which surveyed 8,353 students from 25 colleges, reports that 84% of respondents found “getting started” to be the hardest part of research projects. Additional problem areas include defining a topic, narrowing it, and sorting through results....
Huffington Post, Nov. 10
Sacramento in a firefight over Black Ops video game
Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library’s upcoming video game tournament, dubbed “Nerd Fest,” will feature a popular and controversial war game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and local peace activists are uneasy about it. The game features torture scenarios, gunfights, and even an assassination attempt on a young Fidel Castro. Library director Rivkah Sass said the December 11 tournament is part of a renewed effort at “making sure everyone in the community knows we have something for them.” The Sacramento chapter of Veterans for Peace is asking the library to cancel the program....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Nov. 20
Legislators split on how to help Buffalo libraries
Amid all the bickering and posturing, county lawmakers—Republicans and Democrats alike—agree on one thing: the need to restore money for the Buffalo and Erie County (N.Y.) Public Library. So why can’t they make it happen? The answer was evident November 23 as lawmakers unveiled three competing proposals, each one advocating a restoration of library aid, only to watch each one die because Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a compromise....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Nov. 24
New Mexico librarian monitors Mexico’s drug war
Sito Negron writes: “The drug war crisis in Mexico and the resulting violence in Juárez moves in and out of the headlines, so you have to make a commitment to follow. Or you can sign up for the Frontera List, managed by Molly Molloy of New Mexico State University Library in Las Cruces, who several times a day blasts emails containing news articles, links, and commentary, including an accurate death count of drug-war victims.” Molloy won NMSU’s 2009 Social Justice Award for her work in highlighting border issues....
El Paso (Tex.) Inc., Nov. 21
Greenwich honors late librarian through Storymobile
As dozens of children huddled together in a specially designed recreational vehicle called the Storymobile at the Perrot Memorial Library in Greenwich, Connecticut, on November 16, the memory of Kathy Krasniewicz, who was killed by a drunk driver following the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, could be felt living on through her life’s biggest passion—reading. Thanks to a donation made to the Greenwich Alliance for Education by one of Krasniewicz’s close friends, that memory will continue as the Storymobile moves from school to school helping children master early literacy skills....
Greenwich (Conn.) Time, Nov. 16
Community college librarian hangs up her skates
Judy Gloom, alter ego of Glendale (Calif.) Community College Reference Librarian Meghan Gaynor, retired November 13 after seven years with the L.A. Derby Dolls, to pursue sanity and preserve her mostly intact skeletal structure. Gaynor, 31, is proud that in those seven years, she has never had to have surgery and that she has lasted twice as long as most skaters. Since 2004, she has led the Flight Crew, one of five teams in the year-round league. “I’m kind of an aggressive librarian,” she says of her double life. “But as skaters go, I’m kind of shy.”...
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 17
Farmers Branch votes to privatize its library
After nearly four hours of often-heated public discussion, the city council of Farmers Branch, Texas, voted unanimously November 16 to outsource the city’s popular Manske Library. Outsourcing library operations to Library Systems and Services LLC would save the city $917,774 over the term of the three-year contract, according to a city comparison of proposals. Community members expressed anger, concern, and in some cases were brought to tears when speaking in support of keeping the library public....
Dallas News, Nov. 17
Judge denies privatization documents request
A Chatsworth (Calif.) Superior Court judge has denied a local resident’s request for Santa Clarita officials to release more documents about the city’s decision to take over the three local libraries from the Los Angeles County Library system. Judge Barbara Scheper ruled that there was no urgency to release the documents. Three lawsuits resulted from the city council’s decision in August to withdraw from the county system. Santa Clarita is in the process of creating a city-library system that will be operated by the library-management firm Library Systems and Services LLC....
Santa Clarity Valley (Calif.) Signal, Nov. 19
Philadelphia teachers’ union pushes for school libraries
Cheered on by librarians and library advocates, teachers’ union President Jerry Jordan (right) November 23 called on parents, public officials, education advocates, and especially the School District of Philadelphia to reverse the 20-year decline of school libraries. His request was clear: Make money for libraries and certified librarians a mandated part of school budgets instead of leaving the decision up to principals....
Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 24
Disney songwriter makes New York library his office
Glenn Slater gets his office space for a song. Rather than pay thousands a month in rent, the Broadway and Hollywood lyricist behind Disney’s new animated blockbuster Tangled writes his rhymes at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. From his regular spot at the end of a long library table, he writes the verses that will soon be on the tips of countless tongues. Slater rejected offers for private work spaces because he prefers to be surrounded by “the sense of life you only get in public.”...
New York Post, Nov. 22
Morgan Library and Museum in a new light
Lee Rosenbaum writes: “Almost three years after the Morgan Library’s fifth director, William Griswold, surveyed the expanded facility’s Gilded Age building and decreed, ‘Let there be light,’ there is indeed all manner of light—incandescent, fluorescent, LED, fiber-optic—designed by Richard Renfro, which breathes new life into the variegated marbles, vibrant ceiling paintings, and inlaid walnut bookcases that embellish the crusty financier’s beloved lair.”...
Wall Street Journal, Nov. 23
Mayor Daley gets a library
The last of the 58 new Chicago library branches to open on Richard M. Daley‘s watch will be named after the retiring mayor. The library board voted in late November to make the Richard M. Daley branch the only Chicago Public Library outlet named after a living person. The new building is under construction in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood and will open shortly before Daley’s final term ends in May. A branch on the south side is named after his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley....
Chicago News Cooperative, Nov. 24
Hartford’s treasure trove of public records
A wealth of interesting facts can be found in thousands of recently cataloged public documents chronicling life in the city of Hartford, Connecticut, back to 1639. For hundreds of years, the documents were stored in the nooks and crannies of a five-story vault in the city hall. Now historian Bill Faude has, for more than three years, organized nearly 900 boxes for the Hartford Public Library. On November 17, city officials handed over the rights to the documents to the library, which will make them available online and in-house....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Nov. 17
Using the New York Times to help teachers and students
Sharon Waskow, library media specialist at Scarsdale (N.Y.) Middle School, shares five ways that she uses the New York Times as an instruction aid: “By subscribing to the Lesson Plan component of the Learning Network blog, a fresh idea arrives in my email account daily. I forward the lesson along to teachers I think might find it useful.”...
New York Times: The Learning Network, Nov. 22
An adopted soldier visits home
Students at the Tremont Consolidated School in Bass Harbor, Maine, were delighted when a soldier they “adopted” made a surprise visit to the school during a Veterans’ Day program. Students in the 4th and 5th grades have been corresponding with Sgt. Dale Bergeron, a former Tremont student who is on a tour of duty with the U.S. Army National Guard in Afghanistan. Librarian Crystal Dow organized the November 10 program. She has spearheaded a number of veterans programs within the school, the highlight of which was the construction several years ago of a Veterans’ Monument at the school....
Ellsworth (Maine) American, Nov. 17
A McGill student rates the campus libraries
Iain Macdonald writes: “Everyone has a favorite study spot on the McGill University campus. However, most people have only been to three or four of the libraries on campus. I’m going to visit each library and study there for an hour or two. Then I will share my thoughts and feelings, and provide a review of each library that will rank it, on a scale of 1–5, in several categories, including noise level, accessibility, study setup, facilities, décor, and overall appeal.” This is the review of McLennan Library. Others to date include the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering (right), the Cybertheque, and the Redpath Library....
McGill Tribune, Nov. 12, 14, 20, 21
British authors condemn library cuts
Writers Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse, and Will Self are criticizing government cuts that could see up to a quarter of librarians in the U.K. lose their jobs over the next year. Widespread library closures are expected as councils cut their services and look to volunteers in an attempt to balance budgets hit by the coalition government’s spending review. Mosse said “frontline support for literacy” is being cut, while Pullman declared that the librarian “is not simply a checkout clerk,” and Self condemned the “crude calculus of cost-benefit analysis” involved....
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 22
Quiz: Libraries in literature
British libraries are facing widespread cuts and closures as councils try to save money following the government’s funding cuts. But not only are libraries a crucial part of the book world, they also play an integral role within literature. Test your knowledge with The Guardian’s quiz. For example: What is the meaning of the title of Alan Hollinghurst’s debut novel The Swimming Pool Library?...
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 23
Go back to the Top
Kinect for the holidays
Jason Griffey writes: “On the ALA TechSource blog, I posted about my gadget gift choices for the holiday season, and I realized after posting it that I forgot a huge one for this year. Instead of editing that post, I thought it would be useful to give the good readers of Perpetual Beta a bonus instead. My outside choice for ‘gadget of the year’ this holiday season is the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect system. This is a gaming peripheral/controller unlike any we’ve seen. Take a look at this video (3:40) to get an idea what I mean.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Nov. 22; ALA TechSource Blog, Nov. 19; YouTube, June 14
Google plugin fuses Microsoft Office with Docs
Jason Kincaid writes: “Google has launched a new plugin for Microsoft Office called Cloud Connect, which will tie Google Docs directly into Word or Excel, free of charge. Editing a document in Word? It will automatically sync to your Google Docs account each time you hit Save. Want to share a preview of your document without worrying about what file format your coworkers can open? Just send them a link to the Google Docs file. The plugin supports Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and it’s a big deal for Google’s strategy with Docs.”...
TechCrunch, Nov. 22
18 tasks you can crowdsource
Aliza Sherman writes: “A few weeks ago I wrote about what crowdsourcing is useful for, breaking it down into three main categories: work, input, and organizing. Crowdsourcing is a way of getting work done that can help you save time and money, and free you up to get to other work. Here are some ideas for technical and creative tasks that can be crowdsourced, and links to sites that can help you with those tasks.”...
GigaOM, Nov. 19
Best browser screenshot tip ever
Jason Griffey writes: “I’m not sure how I didn’t know this, but this is now officially my favorite ‘take a screenshot of my browser contents’ tip ever. The Aviary website is an online photo editor that, among a lot of other things, allows you to do basic photo editing online. They have this built-in shortcut: If you simply add “http://aviary.com/” to the beginning of the URL that you wish to capture, it grabs the site and auto-opens in the Aviary editor. I’m going to be abusing the hell out of this.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Nov. 24
25 years of Microsoft Windows
Preston Gralla writes: “Twenty-five years ago, on November 20, 1985, Microsoft introduced its first version of Windows to the world. Not many people outside the technical press or the tech industry took notice. Product launch events that cost hundreds of millions of dollars were still years away. In this image gallery, we take a look at the various faces of Windows over the past couple of decades and clue you in to what happened at every stage of the operating system’s development.”...
Computerworld, Nov. 19
YALSA app of the week: Marvel Comics
Wendy Stephens writes: “The Marvel Comics iPhone App transforms reading comics into a kinesthetic experience. Unlike some apps that move through comics in a slideshow manner, moving from panel to panel, Marvel integrates pans and zooms into its navigation. The sense of moving with the comic, even from speech bubble to speech bubble within a single frame, may be either exhilarating or frustrating to experienced comics readers. A double-tap allows you to exit the navigation to more closely investigate a single panel.”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 24
New version of BookMyne
SirsiDynix released its BookMyne 2.0 iPhone application November 18. A comprehensive search, discovery, and delivery app giving patrons direct access to their library collection on the iPhone, BookMyne features mobile access to in-demand library information, holdings, and services. Version 2.0 offers barcode scanning capability, a social recommendation engine, and New York Times bestseller cross-referencing....
AL: Solutions and Services, Nov. 19
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Advance registration ends November 29.
Brighten up a colleague’s holiday with a subscription to Booklist at half price. The lucky recipient will receive a full year of Booklist—in other words, nearly 8,000 reviews of books, media, and reference sources for adults and youth. Booklist’s recommended-only policy saves librarians time and money, helping them build and maintain their collections with efficiency, and providing unparalleled help to readers’ advisors. Give the gift of Booklist today at a most festive price. NEW! From Booklist.
“Like” American Libraries on Facebook.
Great Libraries of the World
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. The society operates an independent research library founded in 1812 that is devoted to American history from the colonial era to the end of Reconstruction in 1876. It is the third oldest historical society in the United States and the first to be national in scope. The library owns copies of two-thirds of all the books printed before 1820 in the United States, including the 1640 Bay Psalm Book.
Bapst Library, Boston College, Massachusetts. The library has been called the “finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America.” Designed by Charles Donagh Maginnis and completed in 1928, it was named after Johannes Bapst, the first president of the college, and served as the main library until 1984. An interior foyer features stained glass windows depicting Shakespearean themes and bas-reliefs of Jesus, Louis Pasteur, Nicolaus Copernicus, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Albertus Magnus, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Augustine of Hippo. The Kresge Reading Room has a richly decorated beamed ceiling supported by two rows of stone columns. Since 1993 it has served as the college art library.
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.
Deputy Director, San Diego (Calif.) Public Library. The deputy director is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the daily operation of a division of the San Diego Public Library System; assisting the library director in the administration of the Library Department; developing and justifying division budget; recommending program and policy changes; and recruiting and retaining high performing staff to advance the mission and goals of the organization.
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Vermont Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives makes unique digital collections available for researchers at UVM and beyond. The CDI seeks to cooperate with university, community, state, and other partners to produce cohesive digital collections that appeal to various user groups. These collections include documents, photographs, data, artifacts, and audiovisual materials. Some of the subjects currently available are the archives of the Proctor Maple Research Center, maple sugar and maple syrup recipe collections, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, 900 images of the oldest long-distance hiking trail (the Long Trail) in the United States, and photographic collections of Burlington (1920–1960) and Danville (1940s).
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.
“I live with the tensions between the world out there I want to see and even contemplate, and the inner world to which the book gives me access. It is the inner rewards of reading a book in a private and concentrated way that lead you into realms of your own imagination and thought that no other process offers. Something happens between the words and the brain that is unique to the moment and to your own sensibilities.
“It is why, at such moments, it is so awful to be interrupted—and why I am frequently late at meetings because I find it hard to tear myself away. Any society that doesn’t value the richness of this encounter with ideas and the imagination will impoverish its citizens.”
—Joan Bakewell asks “Does reading a book make us happier?” in her A Point of View column, BBC News Magazine, Nov. 19.
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Centennial Conference, Dunedin, Nov. 28–Dec. 1, at:
Online Information 2010, London, U.K., Nov. 30–Dec. 2, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
6th International Digital Curation Conference, Chicago Mart Plaza. “Participation and Practice: Growing the Curation Community through the Data Decade.” Cosponsors: Digital Curaton Centre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS.
Urban Libraries Council, webinar, “Libraries as Agents for Civic Engagement.”
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia.
American Library Association, Midwinter Meeting, San Diego (Calif.) Convention Center.
Educause, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland. “Setting a New Course for the Future.”
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, Renaissance Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C. “Future Ready: Building Community.”
Indianapolis Youth Literature Conference, Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library.
Ontario Library Association, Super Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. “Born Digital: A New Frontier for Music Libraries.”
Educause, West/Southwest Regional Conference, Hilton Austin, Texas. “Leading IT into the Future in Transformative Times.”
Handheld Librarian Conference IV, online.
Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Council on East Asian Libraries, Annual Meeting, Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu.
National Council on Public History, Annual Meeting, Historic Pensacola Village and Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel, Florida. “Crossing Borders / Building Communities: Real and Imagined.”
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, National Conference, Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk hotels, San Antonio, Texas. Deadline for paper proposals is December 15.
Catholic Library Association, Annual Convention, New Orleans. “Leadership, Direction, Service.”
American Association of Museums, Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo, Houston, Texas. “The Museum of Tomorrow.”
Summer Seminar in the History of the Book, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. “Encountering Revolution: Print Culture, Politics, and the British American Loyalists.”
Association of Jewish Librarians, Annual Convention, Marriott Montréal Château Champlain, Montréal, Québec.
Nye Memorial Children’s Literature Study Tour, a literary journey to meet authors, illustrators, and libraries in New Zealand and Samoa. Contact tour leader Susan H. Fox, (925) 462-2404, for details.
International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.
Education for All International Conference, University of Warsaw, Poland.
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New models for university presses
Scott Jaschik writes: “A special issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing released November 22 features a series of calls for change in the way university presses are run—suggesting that the current business model is collapsing. The essays argue that the strategy of bolstering the existing model of selling print versions of monographs is doomed to fail, even if many advocates for scholarly publishing have defended it amid the economic and technological changes of the last decade.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 22
A holiday gift guide to e-readers
Dianna Dilworth writes: “The holiday shopping season is here and e-readers and tablets are poised to be the hot items of the season. To help you navigate through all of the devices out there, we have compiled a holiday gift guide featuring the latest e-readers on the market. The list includes e-readers (and their prices) that have come out over the last year and will be hot this season.”...
eBookNewser, Nov. 16
Rousing Reads: I’ve got a horse right here
Bill Ott writes: “There are two kinds of horse-racing stories. The most common are the sentimental ones (think National Velvet) in which an underdog horse triumphs over seemingly insurmountable odds. Then there are the other kind of horse stories, those that play against sentimentality, using the unique atmosphere of the racetrack and the gambling world that supports it to explore the inevitability of loss. If you don’t know Willy Vlautin’s work, you might think his third novel, Lean on Pete, belonged in the sentimental camp.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
10 types of book reviews that make authors sad
Author Jaclyn Dolamore writes: “First, let me say that I love reviews in general. I like knowing that some people loved my book, I love seeing thoughtful reactions, and I like knowing what generally didn’t go over well. So this is not a criticism against reviewers. This is just a hopefully amusing list where all book examples are made up and resemblance to real books is purely coincidental.”...
Jaclyn Dolamore, Nov. 18
Law publishers’ librarian relations
Caren Biberman writes: “I heard some shocking news about the West Librarian Relations team. Mark Schwartz’s position as director of the team was eliminated. With Mark goes the heart and soul of West Librarian Relations. I am concerned about the fate of librarian relations at the big vendors. Last year, Thomson Reuters cut one third of its team; LexisNexis also made huge cuts. Believe me, it is the librarian relations team that makes me interested in and comfortable with a product.”...
Law Librarian Blog, Nov. 17
NPR’s best cookbooks of 2010
T. Susan Chang writes: “Put simply, 2010 was a monster year for cookbooks. What we have here is an overwhelming display of carefully crafted books produced after years of research, recipe testing, and tireless detective work. This year’s books are like a properly seasoned skillet—heavy-duty, battle-tested, and much to be prized. So give them a big hand, and then tie on your aprons. You’re going to need them.”...
National Public Radio: Weekend Edition, Nov. 21
A call for open standards and net neutrality
Tim Berners-Lee writes: “The world wide web went live, on my physical desktop in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1990. It consisted of one website and one browser, which happened to be on the same computer (right). Twenty years later, the web is a public resource on which you, your business, your community, and your government depend. The web is also vital to democracy—a communications channel that makes possible a continuous worldwide conversation. Several principles are key to assuring that the web becomes ever more valuable.”...
Scientific American, Nov. 22
The challenges of free speech
Chris Finan writes: “Why in the world would anyone defend a book like The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct? A number of people asked me this during the recent controversy over Amazon.com’s decision to sell the book. When I was quoted in an Associated Press story saying the book appeared to be neither obscene nor child pornography and was therefore protected by the First Amendment, several outraged people wrote to me and members of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression board to complain. How could we defend a book that hurts children?” Lori Reed offers a librarian’s perspective....
Bookselling This Week, Nov. 18; Lori Reed, Nov. 17
Who needs a law librarian anyway?
Mark Gediman writes: “In his recent post on the ABA Journal website, Patrick Lamb posits that only those law firms that need a resident expert for online research would need a librarian. In fact, Lamb doesn’t think a library is necessary. Needless to say, this post has created some waves in the law library community. In my mind, I agree with John DiGilio that this post is a consequence of the ‘they know what I do and where to find me if they need me’ mindset that we find all too often in law firm libraries.
How to change this dynamic?”...
3 Geeks and a Law Blog, Nov. 19; ABA Journal, Nov. 17; iBrary Guy, Nov. 18
Teaching a stand-alone information literacy class
Sara Kelley-Mudie writes: “When I first started as a school librarian I was, if not 100% opposed to the idea of doing a stand-alone information literacy class, at least 93% opposed. I believed that the only effective way to teach these skills was through collaboration with classroom teachers. But I’m no longer convinced it is the best way. Trying to collaborate with 40 different teachers in multiple subjects with various levels of expertise and interest is hard.”...
K-M the Librarian, Nov. 21
Top 10 must-have government apps
Jordan Harp writes: “Whether you are taking public transport to work, getting coffee in a local café, or shopping for groceries—there are dozens of apps for your mobile phone to help you stay connected to your government and get the latest information. From the EPA’s alternative fuel locator to live video streams from the White House, these apps are worth checking out. Here is our list of 10 must-have apps.”...
White House Blog, Nov. 19
iPod initiative at Kearns High School
Lauren Barack writes: “Thanks to their librarian, nearly 1,700 teens at Kearns High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, are getting an iPod Touch as part of a massive technology rollout that took almost a year of teacher training and infrastructure development. The $1.06-million initiative was launched with an Enhancing Education Through Technology grant, along with federal stimulus funds awarded to Kearns—one of three schools Utah singled out for the award, said Media Specialist Rachel Murphy, who first developed the program in 2009.”...
School Library Journal, Nov. 18
How to use social media to enhance your event
Meaghan Edelstein writes: “Using social media to enhance events might seem like a no-brainer, but many conferences—even social media ones—fail to take full advantage of the low-hanging fruit that social platforms offer, like ways for attendees to communicate with each other, broaden their participation, share information, and have fun. If you’re planning a conference, here are some ways to incorporate social networking into your big day.”...
Mashable: Social Media, Nov. 21
Old books yield 200 years of fish population data
By digging up and poring over old books and records of Mediterranean marine life, scientists have filled a 200-year gap in fish population data. The data, generated from naturalists’ accounts and fish-market records published between 1818 and 2000, shows the clear decline of fishes in the Adriatic Sea and provides a crucial baseline comparison for the ongoing collapse of today’s fisheries. To gather the information, an Italian team of ecologists and marine scientists scoured the libraries, museums, and archives of six European cities....
Wired Science, Nov. 19
RDA angst and the future of library metadata
Christine Schwartz writes: “I find myself reluctantly in the RDA fan club. There’s a lot of things I wish RDA was (or wasn’t) and if someone made me Cataloging Queen for a day, I’d definitely make some changes to RDA. It’d be a leaner, meaner, simpler cataloging code for one. But the unhappiness with RDA is bringing to light just the type of dysfunction found in traditional cataloging that we need to get away from: It’s rigid, inflexible, and overly complex.”...
Cataloging Futures, Nov. 23
NARA becomes newest member of ARL
At its Fall Meeting held October 13–14, the membership of the Association of Research Libraries voted to invite the National Archives and Records Administration to join as its 126th member. David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, accepted the invitation. The vote of membership followed a process that considered both qualitative and quantitative documentation and involved a site visit by members of the ARL Membership Committee....
Association of Research Libraries, Nov. 22
Follow Civil War news on the Disunion blog
Christopher Panna writes: “With 2011 April marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, expect media outlets to feature extra coverage of this trying time in United States history. The New York Times is leading the charge with a new blog called Disunion. It reports on the Civil War as if in real time, so the post for today would reflect the events of November 23, 1860. Use it to inspire your teaching or give it to your students as supplemental reading.”...
Instructify, Nov. 19
New futuristic library in the Netherlands
Concrete Architectural Associates and Meyer en van Schooten Architects have designed a new library in Almere, The Netherlands. Preferring to think of library patrons as customers rather than patrons, Librarian Marga Kleinenberg and her colleagues asked the designers to build in the appeal of a retail store. Books are arranged in themed zones rather than by call number and are displayed cover out, spine out, or in small piles. The meandering bookcases create an adventurous, textured environment....
Contemporist, Nov. 18
British survey: Books are key to libraries
Books remain the main reason why most people use libraries, according to a new research study (PDF file) published by the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council in the U.K. The study found that 66% of users go to libraries because of their love of reading. Meanwhile, 44% go for study, 17% to find local information, and 14% view the library as somewhere to take the children. The study also showed that book choice and staff expertise were highly valued by library users....
The Bookseller, Nov. 22
Circular library seat
British designer Thomas Mills has created a wheel-shaped combination bookcase and reading chair that is made entirely from hand-cut plywood and stands more than 8 feet tall. As you sit within the cradle, it rocks gently back and forth. Called the “Long Form Library,” the device can hold its own weight in books, and the cushioned seat is a nod to the futuristic furniture found in Stanley Kubrick films, especially 2001: A Space Odyssey. Reading lamps are placed strategically, while other lights around the circumference act as a clock, with timers adjusting the brightness depending on time of day....
Yanko Design, Nov. 18
Miniature books in the Smithsonian Institution
Diane Shaw writes: “The Smithsonian Institution Libraries has more than 50 miniature books scattered among its collections in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, the Smithsonian American Art and National Portrait Gallery Library, and the Bradley Room of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library. Measuring three inches or less, these unusual books are practical as well as whimsical.”...
Smithsonian Collections Blog, Nov. 12
A poem “For Librarians”
Hans Ostrom, poet and professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, posted this poetic video tribute (3:03) to libraries and librarians. The poem itself (full lyrics here) was featured on a BBC Four program in 2008. “Librarians know where wisdom’s stored. / They catalogue the countless forms / Of silence and tell people what they / Didn’t know they wanted to know.”...
YouTube, Nov. 16
Libraries just want to rock
Daniel Bonilla, a student at Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High School, wanted to point out how his school library rocks, so he created this video (1:24) for the school’s bulletin that comes out every Thursday. It features library staffers Connie Joyce and Dorothy Marcott, and English teacher Jenna Salcedo....
YouTube, Nov. 18
Further proof that libraries rock
The Greater Columbus (Ohio) Arts Council coordinated a massive, intergenerational flashmob event at the Columbus Metropolitan Library on November 6. The mob includes students from the council’s out-of-school-time program, Art in the House, partner program Transit Arts, adults, and seniors. Even the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks and the Ohio State University Hillel Folk Dancers got into the act. Sound Technician Nick Tepe plays the “Shushing Librarian.”...
YouTube, Nov. 19
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