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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 8, 2010

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Rev. Terry Jones, a screen shot from his homepage videoALA to protest Qur’an burning with 9/11 reading
Just as ALA is preparing to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, along comes one Rev. Terry Jones (right) of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. The good reverend’s idea of world outreach is to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 with a public burning of the Qur’an. Whether or not Jones proceeds with his plan, librarians and library advocates will assemble on the steps of the ALA headquarters building in Chicago September 11 for a public reading from the Qur’an to counteract the burning in Florida....
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 8

Art teacher Tehmina CheemaIslamic library exhibit outshines national rancor
The Midwest City (Okla.) Library and a Muslim pre-K–10 school in this Oklahoma City–area community have collaborated on an exhibit in the library’s lobby of student paintings that interpret the Islamic tradition of the 99 Muslim names of God. Debuting August 15, the exhibit created by the Muslim Mercy School is scheduled to run through September 12. Art teacher Tehmina Cheema, who created the school assignment that resulted in the display, said library patrons have expressed appreciation for the English-language explanations of the Arabic calligraphy and Islamic symbolism....
American Libraries news, Sept. 8

Green inspiration on a dime
Laura Bruzas writes: “Libraries looking to inspire and engage their patrons and staff on the environment might want to consider using the power and timeless wisdom of quotes. I’ve compiled a short list of eco-friendly ones that inspire me and remind me of the role that I play in the well-being of our planet. Some places to put them include free wall space, book marks, on bulletin boards, above your library’s copy machine, or over hand dryers in washrooms.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Sept. 7

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ALA News

ALA is not selling its trade shows to Reed
Despite articles in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal suggesting otherwise, ALA has no plans to sell its Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting trade shows to Reed Exhibitions and combine the Annual Conference with BookExpo America. Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said that he had received an inquiry from Jim Milliot at PW on September 3 saying that there were “many rumors” circulating about discussions, but “ALA is most definitely not selling its trade show to Reed.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 7; Publishers Weekly, Sept. 7; Library Journal, Sept. 7

A gaggle of ALA Connect enhancements
Jenny Levine writes: “In the fall we will be working on some major projects (file repositories, the conference scheduler), so we took some time in August to make some minor improvements across the site. You’ve been requesting some of these for several months, so we hope they enhance your Connect experience.”...
ALA Connect, Sept. 3

Oprah's Book Club logoNext free Oprah Book Club selection
Oprah’s next Book Club selection is tentatively scheduled for September 17. Depending on the size of the library, all organizational members of ALA—middle and high school, public, community college, and prison libraries—receive 2–10 copies each, compliments of the publisher. We will announce it here and give former or new members a chance to join or rejoin to take advantage of this great, free benefit....
ALA Membership Blog, Sept. 3

Presenting a poster session at ALA Annual Conference
David Kupas writes: “Poster sessions at ALA Annual Conference or a similar venue are a great opportunity for new librarians to gain presentation experience by presenting on a research topic or an innovative library program. Because poster sessions largely speak for themselves, they are less stressful than the more formal 45-minute solo presentations and panel sessions. Here are a few things to consider when you are preparing a poster session.”...
NMRT Footnotes, Aug.

August 2010 cover of American LibrariesALA political activities
Q. I am a high-school senior working on a school project in which we must write an extensive paper on a special interest group of our choice. I chose ALA. But I don't see any information on the ALA interaction (or impact) on recent congressional or presidential elections. A. Because of our 501(c)3 status as a not-for-profit educational organization, we are strictly prohibited from participating in partisan politics of any kind. That said, however, know that we do work to influence legislation at many levels of government, both directly and indirectly....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Sept. 7

Cover of Not Without My Daughter, by Betty Mahmoody, a harrowing but inspiring true story of an American woman who was kept virtual prisoner when her Iranian husband took her on holiday to visit his homeland. The tale of her escape in both print and film were subsequently banned by the Iranian governmentThe Banned Books U.K. Library Tour
London Libraries is sponsoring a promotional event on reading and censorship to take place September 25 in 28 library systems across the United Kingdom, including 16 in London. “Banned Books” will coincide with the ALA Banned Books Week campaign in the United States. Participating libraries will display sets of 50 books that have been banned or challenged in Britain or overseas, historically or currently. ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Barbara Jones offers a video greeting (2:01) to U.K. Banned Books Week supporters. Take the Banned Books quiz....
Information World Review, Sept. 3; YouTube, Aug. 24

Denise M. DavisDenise Davis to leave ALA for Sacramento
Denise M. Davis, the director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics since 2004, has announced her resignation, effective October 1. She has accepted a position as deputy director of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library. In her new position, Denise will be responsible for assisting in the development and management of strategic initiatives for the library, including long-range budget planning....
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 7

International Literacy Day is September 8
Created by UNESCO, International Literacy Day is a time to focus attention on worldwide literacy needs. Among libraries promoting International Literacy Day on September 8 are Berwyn (Ill.) Public Library, El Paso (Tex.) Public Library, and Kill Devil Hills (N.C.) Public Library. Each of the libraries are recipients of ALA and Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s American Dream Starts @ your library grants....
Public Information Office, Sept. 7

Print/e-book bundle of Hiring, Training, and Supervising Library Shelvers, by Patricia TunstallSpecial offer on print/e-book bundles
ALA Editions is offering print/e-book bundles of several of its popular titles. Each specially priced set includes a print copy of the book for desk reference along with the e-book version, representing a savings of up to 45% off the individual prices. All ALA e-books contain bookmarked tables of contents and indexes for easy navigation within the book and are readable using a variety of software and devices....
ALA Editions, Sept. 3

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Booklist Online logo

Box for The Baseball Codes audiobookFeatured review: Sports audiobooks
Turbow, Jason. The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls. Read by Michael Kramer. June 2010. 9hr. Blackstone, CD (978-1-4417-6300-6).
Kramer’s reading crackles with excitement as he projects a wry sense of humor when recounting the ongoing foibles of ballplayers, coaches, and umpires attempting to uphold a set of unwritten, occasionally conflicting rules of deportment that govern baseball and constitute the codes in the title of this entertaining book. That Kramer pronounces the participants’ names correctly—even such tough ones as Napoleon Lajoie—is a rare treat. The text references players from the late nineteenth century to the present, meaning Kramer is faced with a whole bunch of names. Prompting memories of baseball broadcaster Mel Allen’s voice at his best, Kramer describes priceless specifics of baseball history, including advice from former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver on when to cheat, tales of pitchers cultivating reputations as ruthless headhunters, and details on how the St. Louis Browns conspired to deny Ty Cobb the American League batting title on the last game of the 1910 season....

Listen-alike graphic for Major League audiobooksBaseball audiobooks
Mike Tribby writes: “Much like The Baseball Codes, in which Michael Kramer’s reading projects familiarity with the game and the players, these baseball titles feature readers whose performances enhance fans’ enjoyment. Whether recounting humorous anecdotes, on-the-field antics, or baseball history, the narrators are soundtracks to the game, both pastoral and fierce, bringing forth the emotions and motivations of the players and others through an array of vocal styles.”...

Booklist Online Video Review issueNew Booklist e-newsletter
The new bimonthly e-newsletter Booklist Online Video Review offers free and easy access to new reviews of videos for adults and youth, as well as special features including Top 10 lists and View-alikes. Booklist’s video coverage has been an essential resource for public and school library video buyers for years. Sue-Ellen Beauregard, media editor, looks forward to this new and expanded format for offering the concise, knowledgeable and informative evaluations that have long helped media librarians make informed buying decisions. Anyone can sign up for Video Review for free to get the recommendations they need right at their fingertips...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Division News

FLIP logoFLIP out over family reading
ALSC is offering its members the opportunity to apply for an all-expense-paid family literacy training workshop, funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded to the Children’s Museum of Houston. Members are encouraged to partner with their local children’s museum and apply as a team for the Family Literacy Involvement Program (FLIP) workshop to be held at at the CMH on May 18, 2011. The deadline is October 15....
ALSC, Sept. 7

YALSA chooses 2010–2012 Teens’ Top 10 book groups
YALSA has selected 16 public and school libraries from across the country to serve as official book groups for its Teens’ Top Ten. The 16 libraries will choose the nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten, in which teens nationwide voice their choice for their favorite books each year. This year’s vote is open now through September 17. The 2010–2012 official book groups begin their terms in November 2010....
YALSA, Sept. 1

Julie Walker elected P21 strategic council chair
On September 1, AASL Executive Director Julie Walker assumed the role of strategic council chair for the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills, a national organization that advocates for 21st-century readiness for every student. She will serve for the 2010–2011 academic year. Her main objectives are to lead the organization through a transition to the Council of Chief State School Officers and hire a new executive director for P21....
AASL, Sept. 3

Fall e-Learning from ACRL
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in the fall. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. Registration for all online seminars and webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner Program. Register for three ACRL e-Learning events and receive one free registration....
ACRL, Sept. 7

Keynote speaker Amy Bruckman will talk about "How Wikipedia Really Works" at the LITA ForumJoin the cloud and the crowd at the LITA Forum
Come to Atlanta, September 30–October 3, for the LITA National Forum, which will include preconferences, general sessions, and more than 30 concurrent sessions. Now in its 13th year, the forum is a highly regarded annual event for those involved in new and leading-edge technologies. Listen to keynote speaker Amy Bruckman (right) talk about “How Wikipedia Really Works.” And take advantage of the informal Friday reception and Saturday networking dinners to get to know leaders, speakers, and peers....

ASCLA online professional development proposals
The submission deadline has been extended to September 20 for proposals for the ASCLA 2011 Virtual Convergence—a series of professional development webinars that will be held January 18–21, immediately following the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting. Proposals must be submitted using the online submission form....
ASCLA, Sept. 7


Lois LowrySt. Louis County to host Arbuthnot Lecture
The St. Louis County Library has been chosen to host the 2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture, which will be delivered by Lois Lowry (right), two-time winner of the Newbery Medal. The lecture, administered by ALSC, will be held on April 15. The library plans to develop a series of programs celebrating Lowry’s books from January to April....
ALSC, Apr. 3

AASL Thinkfinity Zmuda Challenge winners
During the AASL President’s Program at the ALA 2010 Annual Conference, representatives from Verizon Foundation’s digital learning platform, Thinkfinity, set a spur-of-the-moment challenge to attendees. In response to program speaker Allison Zmuda’s call to action, Thinkfinity invited attendees to share their ideas on how school librarians can help students acquire 21st-century skills. Two winning ideas, submitted by Susan Ballard and Sophie Brookover, will each receive a $5,000 incentive from Verizon....
AASL, Sept. 3

Nominations for the Sara Jaffarian Award
The ALA Public Programs Office is accepting nominations for the 2011 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K–8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2009–2010 school year are eligible. Nominations must be received by December 15....
Public Programs Office, Sept. 7

ALCTS seeks awards nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 ALCTS awards for innovation and collaboration, lifetime achievement, continuing resources, oustanding publications, professional recognition, and preservation. The deadlines for applying for all of them are December 1. See the specific releases for details....
ALCTS, Sept. 3, 7

Books for Babies logoApply for Books for Babies grants
In partnership with Nordstrom, ALTAFF will award 20 grants for $500 each to match $1,075 raised by selected Friends of the Library groups, women’s groups, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations for purchasing Books for Babies kits from the division. Books for Babies is a national literacy program that acquaints parents of newborns with the important role they play in the development of their children. The deadline for applications is September 15....
ALTAFF, Sept. 2

AASL sponsors two Spectrum Scholars
AASL will sponsor the travel, lodging, and attendance of two Spectrum Scholars, Orisanmi Burton and Latanya Ingraham, at the AASL 2010 Fall Forum, November 5–6, in Portland, Oregon. While attending, Burton and Ingraham will be paired with a mentor from the AASL leadership team for the duration of the two-day institute....
AASL, Sept. 3

Phyllis JacobekIllinois librarian cited as champion of patrons with disabilities
Mokena (Ill.) Public Library Director Phyllis Jacobek (right) is the recipient of the Alexander Skrzypek Award from the Illinois Library Association for enhancing library services for people who are blind and physically disabled. Jacobek has created an assistive technology workstation believed to be the only one in a library in the county. It includes a scanner that recognizes and reads aloud all kinds of printed material, an enlarged keyboard and other print-magnification machines and software, and an electronically adjustable table and ergonomic chair to reduce fatigue and discomfort....
Chicago Southtown Star, Sept. 5

Carl VolkmannNew scholarship in honor of Lincoln Library director
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has created a scholarship in honor of Carl Volkmann (right), director of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, from 1981 to 1993. The Carl Volkmann Scholarship will be given to students pursuing careers in public libraries....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, Sept. 6

Scholastic's Read for the World Record Summer Challenge graphicScholastic’s world record challenge
A group of students at Freedom Elementary School in Keller, Texas, helped set a new world record recently. About 65 students participated in Scholastic’s Read for the World Record Summer Challenge, with the help of librarian Gaye Lynn Kuhn. Students around the world logged more than 52 million minutes of reading between May 1 and August 31. Freedom kids read more than 25,000 minutes. Kuhn decided to encourage her students to participate so they would be inspired to improve their reading skills....
Keller (Tex.) Citizen, Sept. 7

Bronx bookworm bags a big win
A Bronx teenager has been named New York’s bookworm of the year for plowing through a staggering 325 novels and comics in just three months. From June to August, 14-year-old Brittany Lopez spent most of her waking hours with her head in a book—and was proudly crowned the winner of the New York Public Library’s Summer Reading 2010 contest at Yankee Stadium on September 2. Brittany’s favorite book was Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses, but she also devoured the Harry Potter series and dozens of Japanese manga comics....
New York Daily News, Sept. 3

Cover of This Is Me, Jack Vance!2010 Hugo Awards
The 2010 Hugo Award Winners were presented September 5 at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia. Tied for Best Novel of the year were China Miéville’s The City & The City (Del Rey) and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (Night Shade). The award for Best Related Work went to Jack Vance’s This Is Me, Jack Vance! (Subterranean). The awards are given every year for excellence in the field of science fiction or fantasy....
io9, Sept. 5

Cover of PatchworkPenguin Prize for African Writing
Penguin Books South Africa has announced the nonfiction and fiction winners of its inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing. This award seeks to highlight the diverse writing talent on the African continent and make new African fiction and nonfiction available to a wider readership. Winner in the nonfiction category is Pius Adesanmi for You’re Not a Country, Africa!; in the fiction category the winner is Ellen Banda-Aaku for Patchwork....
Penguin Books SA, Sept. 6

Cover of Red Fever2010 Kelpies Prize
The 2010 Kelpies Prize was awarded to Aberdeenshire writer Caroline Clough for her novel Red Fever, due for release in October, an exciting post-apocalyptic adventure set on Scotland’s northeast coast in a world devastated by disease and overrun by wild dogs. The Kelpies Prize is awarded by Edinburgh-based publisher Floris Books, with support from the Scottish Arts Council, to encourage and reward Scottish writing for children....
Floris Books, Aug. 20

Seen Online

Knoxville resignation controversy
A Knox County (Tenn.) Public Library official who resigned August 27 and received a controversial severance package—only to have it revoked—said he was told that newly elected Mayor Tim Burchett was going to fire him. Former Senior Director of Library Services Larry Frank said that he wants to know what’s going on, and he questions whether his resignation is revoked. Shortly after he was sworn into office, Burchett put a stop payment on the severance package....
Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel, Sept. 5

Screen shot from newscast showing Newark read-in protestRead-in for Newark libraries
Youngsters in Newark, New Jersey, started school August 31 with a library system crippled by city budgets. This has the grownups really upset, so they staged a protest denouncing the cutbacks that have closed two library branches and reduced hours at all other facilities to three days a week. The grassroots effort to restore full service to the Newark Public Library hit the streets with a 24-hour reading vigil at city hall....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Sept. 2

Camden branch closes
The Fairview branch of the Camden (N.J.) Free Public Library shut its doors for good September 7, the victim of budget cuts brought on by a $28-million city budget deficit that could eventually shut down Camden’s library system altogether. Set in a former residence on Collings Avenue, the Fairview branch had been in operation since 1925, a cornerstone of the neighborhood that was built as a planned community for workers from the nearby shipyard after World War I. Today, Fairview is a predominantly low-income neighborhood....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 7

Farmers Branch Manske LibraryFarmers Branch eyes library outsourcing
City officials serving Farmers Branch, Texas, are asserting that talk of privatizing the Manske Library (right) is no more than a preliminary budget discussion at this stage. But book lovers are taking a different reading of financial priorities. “I’m very disappointed that they are even considering it. This is one of the facilities that gets the most usage,” said library trustee Bruce Crozier. “When you make this shift, when management moves to the private sector, there is concern about oversight to the community,” ALA Immediate Past President Camila Alire explained....
Dallas Morning News, Sept. 6

Queens Library lays off 40+ workers
More than 40 employees of the Queens (N.Y.) Library were laid off September 3 after last-ditch negotiations to save their jobs fell through. Library officials originally expected to slash about 400 positions because of a proposed cut in city funding. A large chunk of that was restored in the city budget, allowing it to rescind many of the pink slips handed out in June. But the library said it still had a $2.4-million deficit, and union officials rejected an offer to halt layoffs if employees would give up carryover vacation time....
New York Daily News, Sept. 3

Louisiana Voices logoLouisiana presses “pause” on creating audiobooks
One of the things to go at the State Library of Louisiana, at least for now, is the basement-level recording studio that benefits 7,000 blind patrons. Roughly a dozen regular volunteers used the studio to tape Louisiana books—everything from children’s stories to classic works. Deputy State Librarian Diane Brown said the state library has sustained a more than 25% budget cut in the last two years, and that the suspension of the eight-year-old “Louisiana Voices” program will save the library $48,000 a year....
Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Sept. 6

José AponteJosé Aponte is driven to do more
That guy thrumming a zydeco washboard in Rancho Santa Fe? Belting out a chain gang song in an Anaheim ballroom? Setting a wicked pace on Fiesta Island’s running path? That’s José Aponte, director of the San Diego County (Calif.) Library—and good luck slowing him down or shutting him up. The Aponte solution to declining tax dollars? Run harder, sing louder....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Sept. 4

Toddlers scramble for storytime tickets
Forget Broadway, the hardest ticket to score in town is for toddler storytime at the New York Public Library. The matinee storytime every Wednesday at the Webster branch is so popular that organizers had to switch to a color-coded ticket system because desperate moms had started counterfeiting the numbered tickets. To stop a possible stampede, library workers hand out tickets 30 minutes before the two show times. Each of the two sessions hosts a mere 20 toddlers, so there’s many a miserable mom who has to break the bad news....
New York Post, Sept. 7

Lawsuit claims library is a hostile place to work
A library employee claims in a federal lawsuit that the Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library’s Central facility is a sexually hostile place to work, with some patrons openly viewing pornography on computers, groping her, and performing lewd acts in front of staff or other patrons, including children. Library Assistant III Barbara Ann Wilson claims in the lawsuit filed September 2 against the BPL Foundation and the city that the library has not done enough to protect her from a hostile work environment....
Birmingham (Ala.) News, Sept. 2

Cathy MatyasFired Waterloo director wants old performance reviews
The saga over the controversial firing of Waterloo (Ontario) Public Library Director Cathy Matyas (right) continues. This time it is over copies of her job performance reviews, which Matyas said the library board refuses to give her. She is now attempting to get the documents through the Municipal Freedom of Information Act. Matyas was fired by the board in January without a reason being given....
Waterloo Region (Ont.)
Record, Sept. 4

Joe ChilluraFrom architect to Friends founder
More than 40 years ago, former county commissioner Joe Chillura (right), fresh out of college, was the architect who designed a red brick building that became the Charles J. Fendig branch of the Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Library. Chillura has come full circle from architect to founder of the Friends of the Charles J. Fendig Branch Library—a first for the facility, which in nearly five decades never has had a Friends group. The library originated in a storefront a block from its existing location....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Sept. 7

Suit seeks to block Alaska harmful-to-minors law
A coalition of Alaska booksellers and other organizations, including the Alaska Library Association, filed suit on August 31 to block a broad censorship law that bans constitutionally protected speech on the internet. The law, which went into effect on July 1, imposes severe restrictions on the distribution of constitutionally protected speech on topics such as contraception and pregnancy, sexual health, literature, and art on the internet and in book and video stores and libraries....
Bookselling This Week, Aug. 31

Alleged terrorist used Ottawa library computers
An alleged jihadi plot to bomb Ottawa, Ontario, was quietly orchestrated from within a tranquil suburban library in the Nepean neighborhood. One of three men charged in what the RCMP says was a “real and serious” terrorist threat to Ottawa and national security relied on public computers at the Centrepointe branch of the Ottawa Public Library to secretly communicate with the alleged cell in 2009–2010. Communications to and from the library computer triggered alarms at the Ottawa-based Communications Security Establishment....
Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, Sept. 4

Cover of When I Was a Boy in Belgium, by Robert Jonckheere, one of the rediscovered education books at ECSUHidden in plain sight
Reference Librarian Susan Geiger stands before a long, enclosed bookcase in the G. R. Little Library on the Elizabeth City (N.C.) State University campus, holding a copy of a children’s book dating back to 1944. It is part of a set of vintage children’s books from 1890 to the 1940s that were sitting in plain sight in the reference room, all of them used at one time by the school’s education majors. Geiger says when she discovered the books, she understood that they were special and should be separated for cataloging and conservation....
Elizabeth City (N.C.) Daily Advance, Sept. 2

Interior of the Entressen mall branch of the Espoo LibraryFinnish library sets aside Ramadan prayer space
A library in Espoo, Finland, has set up a provisional prayer space for Muslims during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. The idea for a prayer space for Muslims in the library branch (right) at the Entresse shopping mall came after reports that a gym operating in the same mall had banned prayers in its locker rooms. Regional Library Director Terhi Nikulainen said that more than half of the regular customers of the Entresse library are of Somali background....
Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki), Sept. 8

Royal Canadian Military Institute building, constructed in 1907. Photo by SimonPTime capsule contents a bust
History revealed itself at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto on September 1 as a century-old time capsule, found in the historic building’s cornerstone, was opened. The 1907 cornerstone was removed to make way for a a new condo development that will also house the RCMI offices, library, and museum. Unfortunately, the time capsule contained only a heavily oxidized and unidentifiable coin or token and a bunch of tightly wrapped brown paper on the verge of disintegrating....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Sept. 1

13th-century Korean metal typeWorld’s oldest movable type discovered?
A Korean academic said September 1 he has found the world’s oldest movable metal type, predating what is believed to be the world’s oldest book printed using movable type, a Korean Buddhist document titled Jikji typeset in 1377. The 12 characters, found in a private collection, are possibly 138 years older. Philology Professor Nam Kwon-heui of Kyungpook National University in Daegu said he confirmed the type dates from the 12th century....
Chosun Ilbo (Seoul), Sept. 2

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Tech Talk

Screen shot from the future of screens videoThe future of screens, 2014
Kyle VanHemert writes: “The ever-impressive Swedish interface gurus The Astonishing Tribe just posted a new video (2:18) envisioning what kinds of screens we’ll be using in the year 2014. They stretch fluidly and share seamlessly, and I want to use them right now. The group thinks we’re on the verge of a screen Renaissance. This video doesn’t show any interfaces or products that are actually slated to come to market; rather, it’s TAT’s vision of where the industry is heading.”...
Gizmodo, Sept. 1; YouTube, Sept. 1

Apple iTunes update iconThe web’s most annoying apps
Mark Sullivan writes: “They install icons, they get up in your face with trivial alerts, they demand that you update and then restart—three times a week. We’ve all experienced annoying apps. In fact, some of them come preinstalled on new PCs. I did some informal polling of PC users and came up with a list of the seven worst offenders, in no particular order.”...
PC World, Sept. 1

Toshiba Mini NB305-N410How to buy a netbook
Cisco Cheng writes: “As a category, netbooks are such a diverse group that it’s hard to come up with a single, all-encompassing definition. The best indicators that youre dealing with a netbook are a low price, light weight, and low-powered components. Likely the system will have a screen on the smaller side and a basic feature set. Still, netbooks vary in screen size, typing experience, and specialty features. This netbook buying guide will help you sort them out.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 2

Adding a WordPress plugin24 WordPress plugins to consider
Denise Wakeman writes: “What you get when you set up a WordPress blog can be pretty basic depending on the theme you choose. To make your new blog sing and work for you, it’s a good idea to install some key plugins. Popular plugins fall into a couple of categories: those that enhance your readers’ experience, and those behind the scenes that help you with blog management and optimization. Here are 24 you might consider.”...
Social Media Examiner, Sept. 1

Duckette, a prototype of a paper video game using reactive inks to make shapes appear and disappear dynamically on the paperA video game made of paper
As we continue to push forward into a digital world, the role of traditional forms of media are constantly changing. E-books are challenging the printed word, while board games are being reimagined on electronic platforms like the iPad. But few creators have taken as imaginative an approach to these ideas as Les éditions volumiques. The French publishing house has developed numerous interesting creations, ranging from a paper video game to a board game that uses your phone as the playing piece....
Ars Technica, Sept. 1


JSTOR logoJSTOR’s platform upgrade: An update
On August 21, JSTOR released a new interface. One feature, the ability for any user to submit a search against all JSTOR content, drew strong reactions from many in the library community. The key concern expressed was that JSTOR users with access to only a subset of JSTOR collections could get search results pointing to content they could not access. JSTOR released the new interface on September 2, but changed the default to search licensed content only, eliminating potential frustration....
JSTOR, Sept. 1

Barnes & Noble NookJustin rates the e-book readers
Justin Hoenke writes: “What it all really comes down to is personal preference. I could sit here all day and tell you about the ins and outs of each device, how DRM isn’t a great thing, and the little quirks that each offers and how they could be improved. But here’s the deal: Just try each one out for yourself, and over time you’ll find which one works best for you. Meanwhile, here is what I liked and didn’t like about the Sony Reader Touch, the Apple iPad, the Kindle, and the Nook.”...
Justin the Librarian, Aug. 31

ACLS survey on e-book readers
The American Council of Learned Societies wanted to know how users liked reading its books on their handheld devices. So it selected three of its titles and asked users what it was like to read them on a Kindle, a Sony Reader, or another e-reader. Of the 142 respondents (the majority of them librarians), 88% expressed overall satisfaction. However, half found the search function frustrating, and only a quarter “felt they would have an easy time citing and referencing these editions.”...
The Wired Campus, Sept. 7; American Council of Learned Societies, Aug. 18

Kindle 3 vs. iPad: The people speak. Screen shot from NYT videoAnother way to look at the iPad vs. Kindle debate
David Pogue writes: “Last week I reviewed Amazon’s Kindle 3. It’s head and shoulders the best e-book reader on the market—at least among the ones that use an E Ink screen. In comparing the Kindle with the Apple iPad, I noted that Amazon’s e-book catalog has 630,000 books available, compared with only 60,000 for Apple. However, because both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer excellent e-book reading apps for the iPad (for their own proprietary e-books), the size of Apple’s e-book library is essentially irrelevant.”....
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Aug. 30; Personal Tech, Aug. 25

Cover of The Watcher, by Charles Maclean, one of Higson's horror picksCharlie Higson’s top 10 horror books
English comedian and author Charlie Higson writes: “I’m not the world’s biggest fan of pure horror novels—ghosts and demons and man-eating slugs leave me slightly unmoved. With no belief in the supernatural, supernatural stories usually have little effect on me. Of the big horror names, only Stephen King, with his concentration on character, really works for me. I’ve enjoyed other horror writers but wouldn’t put them in any top 10 lists. H. P. Lovecraft, for instance, is fun but his books aren’t exactly scary.” Here Higson singles out 10 stories that live up to their genre and genuinely do give readers sleepless nights....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 8

Lorem Ipsum extractWhat in heck is Lorem Ipsum?
Lorem Ipsum is dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. It has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s when an unknown printer took a galley of Latin type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting. The text actually comes from a garbled version of sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of De finibus bonorum et malorum (On the Ends of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 B.C....
Lorem Ipsum Generator

Colored plate from Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1499)Hand-colored plates
L. D. Mitchell writes: “What many people do not realize is that most hand-colored plates were in fact not colored by the illustrators who drew or engraved the printed images, but rather were usually the work of an anonymous watercolorist who, more often than not, was a woman or child working in what was an early assembly-line process. Moreover, hand-colored plates did not cease to be produced just because processes arose that could mechanically add color to printed plates. Hand-colored plates appear in books as early as the 15th century.”...
The Private Library, Sept. 7

Dolly the SheepWho decided on medieval book sizes?
Carl S. Pyrdum III writes: “Medieval books were the size they were because medieval sheep were the size they were. Remember, paper wasn’t the original medium for page creation. Medieval books were constructed of parchment, which is a fancy word for sheep or goat skin (and primarily sheep skin, because there were a lot more of them around). So take your average sheep, skin her and trim off the curvy parts, and you get one gigantic sheet of parchment, way too big for most bookmaking purposes.”...
Got Medieval, Aug. 10

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ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Check out the Special Events.

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Providing tips, suggestions, and guidelines on critical issues, Designing Space for Children and Teens by Sandra Feinberg and James R. Keller will help you create a space that they will never want to leave. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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Great Libraries of the World

Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, California

Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, California. A nonprofit membership library, the athenaeum was founded in 1899 and is devoted exclusively to music and art. It has an extensive collection of artists’ books, art periodicals, popular sheet music, and music scores, and it holds frequent exhibitions and concerts.

Doe Memorial Library, North Reading Room. Wikimedia Commons photo by BrokenSphere

Doe Memorial Library, University of California, Berkeley. Named after its benefactor Charles Franklin Doe and completed in 1911 in Beaux-Arts neoclassical style by John Galen Howard, the Doe serves as the university’s reference, periodicals, and administrative center. The north façade includes a monumental Corinthian colonnade, while the east and west façades display giant Roman-arched windows. The great Main Reading Room, 210 feet long and 45 feet high, features a coffered, elliptical, barrel-vault ceiling.

This new AL Direct feature will showcase 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.

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Digital User Experience Librarian, Indiana University, Kokomo. Provide leadership for the acquisition, evaluation, management, and promotion of a wide range of continuing and electronic resources including databases, journals, and reference sources and the library’s web presence in order to provide support for the teaching, learning, and research needs of our users. The position also includes some reference desk work. The candidate will have an understanding of the digital library environment especially as it pertains to electronic resources, and of information literacy principles and reference services.....

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Digital Library of the Week

This obituary notice begins: FULL AND PARTICULAR / ACCOUNT / OF A / Female Miser! / Who died at Stirling on the 26th of May last, 1820 ; to which is added, an Account of the numerous curious Articles found in her House after her Death. L.C. 1268

The Word on the Street digital collection (subtitled “How Ordinary Scots in Bygone Days Found Out What Was Happening”) is the National Library of Scotland’s online archive of nearly 1,800 broadsides. It lets you see for yourself how people in Scotland read street literature to find out what was going on between 1650 and 1910. Broadsides were the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and alehouses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches, and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud. Each broadside comes with a detailed commentary and most also have a full transcription of the text, plus a downloadable PDF facsimile. You can search by keyword, browse by title, or browse by subject.

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.

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I’m starting to understand what my grandmother must feel when she heads to the library once a week to dutifully check the email account my uncle created for her. . . . I never thought my lack of interest in e-readers made me particularly unique—until recently, when Consumer Reports and national headlines started implying I was actually in a freakish minority. . . . Their bottom line was the same: Of course you need to buy an e-reader. What are you, a Mennonite?”

—Writer Emma Silvers on her preference for print books, “E-Reader Revolt: I’m Leaving Youth Culture Behind,”, Sept. 2.

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Louis Armstrong showed the world how to swing

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September is Library Card Sign-up Month

‘How the library helped me during tough economic times’

Meet Paul McIntosh, 2008 winner of the I Love My Librarian Award

A library for your health

Tips for the first-time home seller

Video interview with Greg Maguire, author of "Wicked"

Classic movie night: "The Treasure of Sierra Madre"

Donna Seaman interviews author Stuart Dybek

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Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Wyboston, United Kingdom, Sept. 8–10, at:

American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:


Sept. 19:
International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Some library ideas here.

Sept. 21–24:
World Standards Week,
American National Standards Institute, Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport, Arlington, Virginia.

Sept. 22–25:
American Association for State and Local History / Oklahoma Museums Association,
Annual Meeting, Oklahoma City. “Winds of Opportunity.”

Oct. 6–9:
Library Research Seminar V,
Marriott Inn and Conference Center, Hyattsville, Maryland. “Integrating Practice and Research.”

Oct. 13–14:
Association of Research Libraries,
Membership Meeting, Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Oct. 15–16:
American Printing History Association,
Conference, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. “Learning to Print, Teaching to Print.”

Oct. 15–17:
Picture Archive Council of America,
15th International Conference, New York Marriott Downtown, New York City. “Future Focus: Today’s Tools for Tomorrow’s Business.”

Oct. 18–24:
Open Access Week,
organized by SPARC.

Oct. 22–27:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Hilton. “Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem.”

Oct. 26–30:
Association for Educational Communications and Technology,
International Convention, Hyatt Regency Orange County, Anaheim, California. “Cyber Change: Learning in Our Connected World.”

Nov. 3:
Going Green @ your library 2,
online conference sponsored by Amigos Library Services.

Nov. 7–9:
Washington Institute,
American Association of Community Colleges, Washington Court Hotel, D.C.

Nov. 7–10:
ARMA International,
Annual Conference and Expo, Moscone Center West, San Francisco.

Nov. 12–14:
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair,
Hynes Convention Center.

Nov. 18–19:
Translating and the Computer Conference,
ASLIB: The Association for Information Management, De Vere West One, London, U.K.

Dec. 6–7:
12th International Conference on Grey Literature,
National Technical Library, Prague, Czech Republic.

Jan. 4–7:
Association for Library and Information Science Education,
Annual Conference, Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, California. “Competitiveness and Innovation.”

Jan. 7–11:
American Library Association,
Midwinter Meeting, San Diego Convention Center, California.

Jan. 26–29:
Association of American Colleges and Universities,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco. “Global Positioning.”

Feb. 11–13:
44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair,
Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco.

Mar. 5–8:
American Council on Education,
Annual Meeting, Washington Hilton Hotel, D.C. “Reaching Higher.”

Mar. 24–28:
Art Libraries Society of North America / Visual Resources Association,
Joint Conference, Hilton Minneapolis. “Collaboration: Building Bridges in the 21st Century.”

Mar. 31:
First International Scientific Conference on Bibliophilia and Private Collections,
Russian State Library, Moscow.

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Actions & Answers

Screen shot from Google Instant videoGoogle launches Google Instant search
Vlad Savov writes: “We’re reporting live from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where Google’s just taken the wraps off its latest software product, Google Instant search. Basically, the Goog no longer waits for you to hit enter while searching and starts updating its results page instantly as you type. Google describes it as a fundamental shift in seach and you can watch its warm and fuzzy video (1:41). Google Instant isn’t yet available for mobile, but the plan is to release it soon.” The desktop version is operational....
Engadget, Sept. 8; YouTube, Sept. 8

Cover of September issue of Public ManagementPublic libraries, daring to be different
Molly Donelan and Liz Miller write: “City and county budget discussions often label public library services as discretionary despite their benefits to quality of life, literacy, and access to technology. New research is finding that libraries are making significant contributions beyond their traditional roles. Here are the stories of nine jurisdictions that engaged their libraries in creative solutions to community challenges involving public safety, emergency management, the environment, economic development, early childhood literacy, teen services, and cultural engagement.”...
Public Management magazine 92, no. 8 (Sept.)

What every new media specialist needs to know
Donna Corbo and Candace Sample write: “It’s not easy being a media specialist, especially if you’re new to the profession or you’ve switched schools and you’re suddenly the new kid on the block. How can you become the dynamic leader you’re meant to be? And even more to the point, how can you survive your first year on the job? Take a deep breath, because relief is on the way. Here are 10 road-tested tips that will help you not only survive, but also thrive.”...
School Library Journal, Sept. 1

Preparing for library instruction
Sarah Faye Cohen writes: “There are many ways that each of us prepares to walk into the classroom: speaking with a professor about the students or about the assignment, making sure the technology in the room is working, making copies of handouts. But those are logistical considerations. Getting ready for instruction is not just about putting things together. It’s about putting yourself together to go out and introduce students to new ways of thinking and new tools. Here are some ways I prepare myself.”...
ACRLog, Sept. 8

Music: UR doin it wrongMusic in libraries: We’re doing it wrong
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “I worry about libraries and the future of music. Our users simply don’t use music in the formats or the ways that we provide it. We’re blind to what they want, then complain when they try to make what we do have fit their paradigm. You’ve seen people come in, grab a pile of CDs, burn them right there in the library sometimes, then return them and check out more. Libraries are a source of piracy for sure, but the way we provide music to our users in general has proven to be less than useful as the years go on.”...
Librarian in Black, Sept. 6

Get in the wagon
Peter Brantley writes: “The current leadership of many research libraries belongs to a cohort that has held senior management positions for several decades; they have exceeded, or are near, retirement age. It’s time for the youngest generation of librarians to gather among themselves to discuss change in libraries. This definitely needs to happen in real life, but it can also happen online. There should be no directors or associate directors present. This is not about them. It is about those who will truly redefine the future of libraries. There will be libraries in the future. And they will kick ass.”...
Shimenawa, Sept. 1

So you want to be a director?
Bill Manson writes: “I’m not sure that I can tell you how to be a good chief librarian. I could certainly tell you some things that you could do to ensure that you’re a bad one. But what I want to do is outline some skills and attitudes that you need to have to get the job in the first place. Going back to Philosophy 101, this is about the necessary conditions for getting the corner office. They’re probably not sufficient conditions. Requirement #1: An iron butt.”...
Will Unwound, Sept. 7

The myth of the librarian grays
Colleen Harris writes: “The economy is in the toilet. Any librarian looking for a job is up against hundreds of his or her peers. Those recently out of school are competing against folks with decades of experience under their belt and probably wider networks (though social media is closing this gap quickly). There is a serious abdication of personal responsibility when we blame the schools for continuing to graduate MLS folks, and I’m growing weary of hearing it. The profession may be graying, but gray doesn’t mean dead or retiring.”...
Guardienne of the Tomes, Sept. 3

Actress Maria Menounos reads Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra, to kids at LAPL's Robertson branchNestlé shares the joy of reading
Nestlé USA’s Confection and Snacks Division announced a new charitable initiative, “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program,” which will donate up to $250,000 to Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization. Actress, filmmaker, and Access Hollywood special correspondent Maria Menounos (right) read to children September 1 at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Robertson branch to kick off the program and celebrate September as National Literacy Month....
Nestlé USA, Sept. 1

September Project display at Merensky Library at the University of Pretoria in South AfricaThe September Project
Angela Hanshaw writes: “According to the September Project website, ‘Since 2004, libraries across the world have organized events about freedom and issues that matter to their communities during the month of September. This grassroots project favors free over fee, public over private, and voices over silence.’ The site is an excellent resource for programming ideas, with libraries of all types from around the world sharing their plans for September.”...
Programming Librarian, Sept. 7

Newspaper obituary from 1974The death of newspaper obituaries
Brian Herzog writes: “One function of public libraries is to be a repository for community history, and they have holdings of the local newspaper, which patrons can use to look up obituaries of local residents. But our local paper recently started charging families to list obituaries, instead of providing that service for free. So we began improving access to the obituaries we do have in our newspaper microfilm records, using an online index created with Yahoo Pipes.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Sept. 2, 7

Digital Literacy graphicGoogle’s Digital Literacy Tour
From Google for Educators: “At Google, we support the education of families on how to stay safe online. We’ve teamed up with online safety organization iKeepSafe to develop curriculum that educators can use in the classroom to teach what it means to be a responsible online citizen. It is designed to be interactive, discussion filled, and an opportunity for students to learn through hands-on and scenario activities. You’ll find a downloadable resource booklet for both educators and students, presentations to accompany the lesson, and animated videos to frame the conversation.”...
Google for Educators

Wikipedia for credit
Some professors believe Wikipedia has no place in the footnotes of a college paper. But could it have a place on the syllabus? The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that does fundraising and back-end support for the popular open source encyclopedia, says yes. So do the nine professors at prominent colleges who have agreed to make creating, augmenting, and editing Wikipedia entries part of their students’ coursework....
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 7

Library Research Seminar V deadline extended
Early bird registration for the University of Maryland iSchool’s Library Research Seminar V has been extended one week to September 13. The seminar, held October 6–9, will bring together a diverse community of scholars from academia and practitioners from libraries and archives who are interested in research that informs policy making, decision making, and best practices....
University of Maryland College of Information Sciences

A personal librarian for every Drexel freshman
Drexel University in Philadelphia is aiming to personalize the freshman experience by establishing a “Personal Librarian Program.” Through this program, each of the 2,750 entering freshmen is assigned to a librarian. Students can go to their personal librarian to learn about the information resources and people they need to succeed not just during their freshman year, but also throughout their college career at Drexel. More than 20 librarians are each responsible for looking out for a group of at least 100 students....
Drexel University, Sept. 3

Screen shot from video tour of National Library of IranA tour of the new National Library of Iran
The National Library of Iran opened its new facility in the northern suburbs of Tehran in March 2005. The six-story building has the capacity to hold 7 million volumes. In this news video (5:38) from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, an Iranian journalist goes with a friend to check out a book and view the library’s services. (American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel had been invited to attend the opening ceremony in 2005, but ran into some obstacles.)...
Press TV, June 6; American Libraries special report, Apr. 2005

Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari in 1001 Inventions1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets
Actor Ben Kingsley stars in a short feature film (13:31) about the scientific heritage of Muslim civilization. 1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets accompanied a global touring exhibition that completed its record-breaking run at London’s Science Museum on June 30, during which time it attracted 400,000 visitors. Kingsley plays the role of a mysterious and cantankerous librarian who takes a group of school children on an enlightening journey to meet pioneering scientists and engineers from the history of Muslim civilization. The librarian is then revealed to be 12th-century engineering genius Al-Jazari....
Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation, Sept. 8

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