American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 29, 2010

Contents
American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Division News
Awards
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Publishing
Actions & Answers
New This Week
Calendar

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Timeline from KXAN-TV newscastUT Austin shooting rampage ends tragically at the library
A man armed with an AK-47 rifle committed suicide on the sixth floor of the University of Texas at Austin’s Perry-Castañeda Library around 8:50 a.m. Central time September 28. No one else was reported hurt by gunfire; the library was shut down for the rest of the day and the sixth floor remains closed. Witnesses who were being sheltered in the library basement were moved to police headquarters for questioning. A mid-afternoon story by KXAN-TV in Austin identified the gunman as 19-year-old Colton Joshua Tooley, a UT sophomore majoring in math. The university used texting, Twitter, and loudspeakers to let its students, faculty, and staff know that a gunman was on campus and that they should stay indoors....
American Libraries news, Sept. 28; KXAN-TV, Austin, Sept. 28; Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 28–29

Adele EskinLibrarians laud National Book Festival
There were many librarians among the 150,000 people who gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the 10th Annual National Book Festival, September 25. Reporting for American Libraries, Rocco Staino of the New York Library Association talked with some of them about the festival in the Pavilion of the States. For Adele Eskin (right), middle school librarian at Mary Ellen Henderson School in Falls Church City, Virginia, it is her “favorite day of the year.”...
American Libraries news, Sept. 28

Advocacy gets a payday
Beverly Goldberg writes: “It’s always an occasion for celebration when a funding authority sees fit to provide additional support to libraries. These days, it’s also a rare occasion. That’s why it was particularly heartening to receive press releases announcing budget increases for the Calcasieu Parish Public Library in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, and to learn of more Recovery Act funding for libraries—this time through the Department of Agriculture.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 29

Cover of September issue of Wired: The Web Is DeadInternet Librarian: As the web fades away
Joe Janes writes: “Wired’s September cover story ‘The Web Is Dead,’ informs us that as of 2010 the web only constitutes 23% of U.S. internet traffic. Scary little sound bites notwithstanding, what this means is that people are voting with their thumbs. It follows that successful information services must be mobile-friendly or native, focused, fast, reliable, seamless, and easy.”...
American Libraries column, Oct.

Libraries of Stevens County logoNext Steps: Transforming a hodgepodge
Brian Mathews writes: “In Stevens County, Washington, public libraries are a fairly new concept. Residents voted to form a library district in 1996, transforming a hodgepodge of donation-based collections run by volunteers into a modern system. Over the past decade library staff have worked hard—not only at providing service but also on shaping perceptions of what exactly a library can be. Their message has a great distance to travel.”...
American Libraries column, Oct.

Calgary (Alberta) Public Library Eco-Action logoPlenty of green tracks for green trekkers
Laura Bruzas writes: “No matter where a library is on the green continuum, thankfully there are many valuable resources and connections already in play available for any library staff member interested in learning more about this important issue. Here is a list of some library websites and blogs that I unearthed recently that you may want to check out.”...
AL: Green Your Library blog, Sept. 24

A sampling of New York state library cardsWhy library cards?
We’re almost at the end of Library Card Sign-Up Month, so we thought we’d do a wrap up of some of the questions we hear about library cards. Why do we have them? Early on all libraries were noncirculating libraries, and cards identifying users were unnecessary. With the public library movement in the 19th century, though, it became necessary to register users who were permitted to borrow books. Initially, libraries used cumbersome ledger systems, with each page representing a borrower and the books borrowed (and returned) listed....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Sept. 28

Chadron (Nebr.) State CollegeBecoming information literate
Chadron (Nebr.) State College was looking to provide students with a search system that offers the convenience they are accustomed to while delivering the rich resources they need to complete their assignments. The college chose EBSCO Discovery Service from EBSCO Publishing as part of an overall information literacy campaign. EDS was selected to reduce the intimidation factor students have with OPACs....
AL: Solutions and Services, Sept. 23


OCLC WebJunction ad

ALA News

Maureen SullivanSusan StroyanStroyan, Sullivan seek 2012–2013 ALA presidency
Susan Stroyan and Maureen Sullivan are the candidates for the 2012–2013 presidency of ALA. Stroyan is the information services librarian at the Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, and Sullivan serves as a consultant to numerous libraries of all types as well as a professor of practice at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.....
Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 24

Screen shot of Chris Crutcher at the Banned Books Week Read-Out in Chicago, from the AL Focus videoBanned Books Week Read-Out in Chicago
ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the McCormick Foundation’s Civics Program, and the Newberry Library hosted a Read-Out September 25 in a park outside the Newberry Library to kick off Banned Books Week 2010 that drew some 150 people. Critically acclaimed and much-censored author Chris Crutcher (right) was the emcee. Guest authors read from the 10 most frequently challenged books of 2009 and from their own work. View photos of the event from American Libraries and OIF. AL Focus has videos of ALA President Roberta Stevens (2:16) and author Chris Crutcher (7:54), and the Public Information Office
has a video (8:28) of the City Lit Theater performance....
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 27; OIF; AL Focus, Sept. 26–27; YouTube, Sept. 27

Banned Books Week 2010 bookmarkBanned Books Week in full swing
Banned Books Week, September 25–October 2, is in full swing. I Love Libraries will have articles all week on Banned Books Week, opening with an article by Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Barbara Jones, “Banned Books Week: It’s Local, It’s Global!” The OIF Blog is featuring Banned Book exhibit pictures and other news, and OIF has released a video (3:47) showing the top 10 challenged books for 2009; librarian Andy Woodworth has produced a similar video (0:41) that’s a takeoff of an iPad ad. Booklist’s Book Group Buzz Blog has “If you ban it, they will read and talk about it.” Angela Maycock has a post on Programming Librarian. And don’t forget to tweet about it....
OIF Blog, Sept. 27; I Love Libraries; YouTube, Sept. 24; Book Group Buzz Blog, Sept. 27; Programming Librarian, Sept. 28; New York Times: Paper Cuts, Sept. 28

The Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Montana Library Association partnered with the ACLU of Montana to produce a Big Sky challenged book poster10 ways to celebrate Banned Books Week
Held annually during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of intellectual freedom and draws attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States, including books commonly taught in secondary schools. The Montana Library Association created its own poster (right). Here are some suggestions from the New York Times on how to participate....
New York Times: City Room, Sept. 23; MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, Apr. 16

Judy BlumeInterview with Judy Blume
StorySnoops, a blog and book-recommendation database for parents, interviewed author Judy Blume in honor of Banned Books Week: “Judy Blume (right) is one of the most frequently banned writers in America, having found herself in the middle of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980s. Since then she has championed intellectual freedom, working with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read.” Interviews with other literary figures, like book blogger Abby Johnson, are appearing throughout the week....
StorySnoops Blog, Sept. 26, 27

Screen shot from The Color Purple, a 1985 film based on Alice Walkker's 1982 novel, which was banned and challenged consistently since 1984 in schools and public libraries for being smut, too violent, and for its negative image of black men among many other reasons15 iconic movies based on banned books
Banned Books Week is a chance for all of us to celebrate our freedom to read and to bring attention to the harms of censorship. This past spring, the Huffington Post publishing a list of the “11 Most Surprising Banned Books.” Here’s another list: 15 of the most iconic, popular, and/or celebrated movies of all time—all of which are based on books that have been banned, formally challenged, or burned....
Huffington Post, Sept. 27

Cover of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade), 1884 editionMark Twain on how to sell a banned book
When Mark Twain heard that the Concord (Mass.) Public Library had banned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn just weeks after it was published, he shrewdly saw it as a great advertising opportunity. On March 18, 1885, the New York Herald reported, perhaps a bit cheekily, that the library committee offered reasons “weighty and to the point” for its decision. On April 4, the Hartford Courant published Twain’s reaction: “A committee of the public library of your town have condemned and excommunicated my last book and doubled its sale. This generous action of theirs must necessarily benefit me.” Banned Book Week continues the spirit of Twain’s response....
Library of America: Reader’s Almanac, Sept. 29

Take the Banned Book quiz
In honor of Banned Books Week, Mental Floss’s well-read research editor Sandy put together the following 12-question cultural-literacy test. The correct answers are after the questions: How book-challenged are you? 1. True or False: Two 1960s children’s books written by Dr. Seuss were later removed from print (and stricken from his bibliography) for questionable moral content....
Mental Floss, Sept. 25

Midwinter Meeting 2011 logoMidwinter Meeting advance registration opens October 1
Advance registration for the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting, to be held January 7–11 in San Diego, California, will open at 9 a.m. Central time, October 1. Participants can register online through the ALA website, by fax or by mail. Hotel reservations and registration for institutes and optional events can also be made at this time. Advance registration, available until November 29, 2010, will ensure the lowest rates....
Conference Services, Sept. 28

Washington Office receives IMLS grant
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded a $581,609 National Leadership Grant to ALA and the Center for Library and Information Innovation of the University of Maryland’s iSchool to develop a web resource to help libraries and governments better assist users with successfully engaging in e-government activities. Project partners also include the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Information Institute at Florida State University. The Office of Government Relations will work with CLII to develop the resource....
District Dispatch, Sept. 29

FCC plans to modernize E-rate program
An order passed by the Federal Communications Commission following public hearings on September 23 is a significant first step toward truly simplifying and streamlining the E-rate program, which is critical to libraries across the country. The reforms outlined by the FCC would adjust the annual funding cap to inflation, reinstate leased dark fiber as eligible for discounts, and simplify the application process—a reform ALA has long sought and believes will lead to more successful library applications....
District Dispatch, Sept. 23, 28

Carnegie public library birdhouseHouse a bird, fund Cultural Communities
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of a functional birdhouse modeled after a classic Carnegie public library in Osage, Iowa, will support the ALA Cultural Communities Fund. Priced at $150, the birdhouse is available to ALA members for a special price of $99. To obtain the ALA member discount, enter the discount code “PLB1” upon checkout. For more information or to purchase the birdhouse, visit the Home Bazaar website. The birdhouse is the brainchild of American library historian Wayne Wiegand....
Public Programs Office, Sept. 28

Screen shot from ALA's Jack Gilford PSAJack Gilford’s ALA reading promo
Sometime around 1962 or 1963, ALA and the National Book Committee commissioned a one-minute television PSA on the value of reading. It featured stage, TV, and screen actor (and Cracker Jack spokesperson) Jack Gilford (right), who holds a “rectangular whatchamacallit” called a book and does a rapid-fire, sometimes unintelligible yet enthusiastic monologue about the benefits of reading....
YouTube, Sept. 20, 2009

ALA members at a meetingALA membership holding strong at over 61,000
John Chrastka writes: “August is the close of our fiscal year, and we report our official membership numbers as of the 31st. We’ve just completed compiling our rosters and are proud to report that ALA membership stands at 61,198 members. This is inclusive of all personal, organizational, and corporate members and is only a 0.88% decrease since this time last year.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Sept. 22

ALA is not your mom
Abby Johnson writes: “Okay, I was pointed to this post, ‘Seven Things I Hate About Librarianship,’ written by an academic librarian. Maybe I’m just in a crotchety mood, but I felt the need to respond to #2: ‘The main professional organization, ALA. Then again, it is called American Library Association, which may make some wonder whose interests they are really watching. Name aside, it just seems more like an expensive subscription to some journals. At my level, I don’t think it does a whole lot.’ Now, I'm not here to get up on my soapbox and shout to the world that ALA rules, but ALA is what we make of it.”...
Abby the Librarian, Sept. 23; Dances with Books, Sept. 17

Connect chat upgraded
Jenny Levine writes: “We soft-launched the upgraded chat module in ALA Connect a few weeks ago and wanted to see how it did after testing proved it was more stable than previous updates. I’m happy to report, ‘so far, so good.’ So this is the official announcement that we think we’ve improved chat overall in Connect. Here are some reasons why.”...
ITTS News, Sept. 27

Volunteer for student chapter speaker pool
The Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee wants you to volunteer for its Student Chapter Speaker Pool, comprised of New Members Round Table members available to visit and speak to ALA student chapters. What’s required? You must be passionate about the value of NMRT for new librarians, eager to share your expertise in speaking engagements, and able to get to or live near a LIS degree-granting institution. If you are interested, contact SASCO Chair Heidi Steiner....
Student Membership Blog, Sept. 23

Cover of No Shelf RequiredFitting e-books into today’s library
ALA Editions has released No Shelf Required: E-Books in Libraries, edited by Sue Polanka. With the introduction of e-book readers, the e-book has become mainstream, with recent triple-digit annual increases in sales. But what place do they have in the library? In this volume, Polanka brings together a variety of professionals to share their e-book expertise and provide forward-thinking ideas while remaining grounded in practical information that can be implemented in all kinds of libraries....
ALA Editions, Sept. 24

Booklist Online logo

Cover of As Always, JuliaFeatured review: Cookery
Reardon, Joan, ed. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. Dec. 2010. 448p. Houghton, hardcover (978-0-547-41771-4).
Many Julia Child followers already know the story of her extensive letter writing to “pen pal” Avis DeVoto, which began when DeVoto replied to a fan letter Child had sent to her husband, Bernard. But this volume marks the first appearance of their complete correspondence. Painstakingly compiled by editor Reardon (thanks to new archival access), the letters tell the incredible story of the rocky development of Child’s chef d’oeuvre, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). Child and DeVoto’s relationship-on-paper began as a cooking one; living in Paris, Child enlisted DeVoto’s help in determining what ingredients were available to housewives in the States, her target audience. Their talk of solely “cookery-bookery,” cutely named by Child, quickly turned to friendly discussions of much more: family, social circles, and the politically taut McCarthy era....

He Reads graphicHe Reads: Grilling gods
David Wright writes: “I’m not going too far out on a limb here to say that guys love food. We love porn, too, so you wouldn’t think the concept of Food Porn would be a tough sell. Still, we’d much rather eat it than read about it. Cookbooks aimed at guys fall roughly into three camps. First are books about grilling. It may sound corny, but there is a kind of elemental joy in the juxtaposition of man, meat, and flame that must date back to Homo erectus. To master a grill, be it ever so humble, confers a little Promethean swagger, and guys who’d never open a cookbook will memorize a grilling guide. Next are recipes for bottom feeders, the sort of guides that explain how to safely make a grilled Monte Cristo sandwich with an iron or poach trout with Velveeta under the hood of a moving vehicle. Larousse Gastronomique meets 7-Eleven.”...

She Reads graphicShe Reads: Food
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “Women have mixed feelings about food. I don’t mean indifferent, as in ‘stay in or dine out, whatever.’ I mean mixed, as in a combination Cobb-Caesar-Waldorf salad of tossed emotions. We use food in so many ways to express ourselves, from a lavish Thanksgiving dinner served with love and pride to the opening of a Snickers bar with lust and revulsion. Guilt, seduction, and competition can all be summoned with the faintest of aromas and, like revenge, are sometimes best served cold. No one understands the power of food to manipulate emotions better than Tita in Like Water for Chocolate. Denied the chance to marry her love, Pedro, Tita watches him marry her older sister and must bake their wedding cake. Thereafter, everything that comes out of Tita’s kitchen is a recipe for disaster, desire, and anguish.”...

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


Division News

Books with Beat logoTeens turn to libraries for books with beat
As the popularity of young adult literature continues to soar and teen musical artists dominate the airwaves, thousands of teens will participate in Teen Read Week, October 17–23, celebrated this year with a theme of “Books with Beat @ your library.” Teen Read Week, sponsored by YALSA, is an annual literacy initiative celebrated in libraries and bookstores that provides parents, caregivers, and teens with resources to encourage recreational reading habits. Many online tools are available to help publicize Teen Read Week activities....
YALSA, Sept. 27

Lauren MyracleEllen HopkinsHopkins, Myracle to close YA Literature Symposium
Ellen Hopkins (left), the young adult author who recently became the target of censors in Texas, and Lauren Myracle, whose ttyl series was the most frequently challenged set of books in 2009, will be the keynote speakers for the general closing session of YALSA’s 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 7. Both Hopkins and Myracle are noted advocates for intellectual freedom whose books have appeared on YALSA’s selected booklists....
YALSA, Sept. 28

Teen librarian wins hotel discount at YA Lit Symposium
Pham Condello, teen services librarian at the Brick branch of the Ocean County (N.J.) Library, won half off her hotel room at the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium, sponsored by YALSA, in Albuquerque, November 5–7. The symposium’s theme is “Diversity, Literature, and Teens: Beyond Good Intentions.”...
YALSA, Sept. 23

PLA: Public libraries survive and thrive
Preceding the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, PLA will host a day-long institute, “Public Libraries Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century.” The institute, scheduled for January 7, offers attendees the opportunity to learn from experts and connect with public library professionals across the country. Registration for the PLA Institute and the ALA Midwinter Meeting opens on October 1....
PLA, Sept. 28

Friends of Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library board members display their National Friends of Libraries Week proclamation. From left: Pat Thomas, bookstore manager; Barbara Sirmans, treasurer; Dora Sims, president; Library Director Renee Blalock; Associate Director Pamela Lyons, and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, library board president. The group won a National Friends of Libraries Week Award in 2009National Friends of Libraries Week 2010
Friends of Libraries groups now have their very own national week of celebration. ALTAFF will coordinate the fifth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, October 17–23. The celebration offers a twofold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. This is also an excellent opportunity for your library and board of trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library....
ALTAFF

Trustee Academy logoRegister for ALTAFF’s Trustee Academy
On October 18, ALTAFF will launch its Trustee Academy, a series of online courses to help trustees become exceptionally proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. Taught by professionals in the field, the courses are available for individual registration or as a full curriculum with discounted pricing per course. In addition, a board of trustees can sign up for further discounts. Register on the ALTAFF website....
ALTAFF, Sept. 23

Call for YA research papers
YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is an online open-access, peer-reviewed journal that will launch in November. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services. Contact editor Jessica Moyer to discuss submissions or author guidelines. Manuscripts are currently being accepted for the Winter 2011 and Spring 2011 issues....
YALSA

Awards

John Cotton Dana Award logoApply for a John Cotton Dana award
You have done the creative work—the brainstorming, the text writing, the graphic design, the printing. The material you produced to promote that special library program, event, or series of events was successful, and your library was delighted with your work. You were recognized at a library board or commission meeting. Everybody loves you. But how much more would they love you if your campaign won the most prestigious award in the world of library public relations, as well as a check for $5,000? The deadline to apply for a John Cotton Dana award is December 4....
LLAMA, Sept. 22

NSLPY awardAASL opens 2011 NSLPY awards season
AASL is now accepting applications for its 2011 National School Library Program of the Year Award. The deadline for applications is January 3. The NSLPY award, established in 1963, recognizes school library programs that meet the needs of the changing school and library environment and ensure that the students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. New this year, applicants should use the online database to submit their application....
AASL, Sept. 27

LITA Library Hi Tech Award nominations
Nominations are being accepted for the 2011 LITA Library Hi Tech Award, given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in communication for continuing education in library and information technology. Sponsored by LITA and Library Hi Tech, the award includes a citation of merit and a $1,000 stipend provided by Emerald Press. The deadline for nominations is December 1....
LITA, Sept. 23

ASCLA accepting awards nominations
ASCLA is now accepting nominations for its 2011 service, leadership, and achievement awards, including the Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, the Exceptional Service Award, the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award, the ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award, and the Francis Joseph Campbell Medal. Nominations for all awards must be received by December 15....
ASCLA, Sept. 28

Deadline extended for National Library Week grant
Celebrate your library’s role in helping patrons begin the next chapter in their lives every day. By applying now for the 2011 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week grant, your library could win $3,000 to do just that. The deadline for 2011 grant has been extended to October 22. U.S. libraries of all types are invited to apply for a $3,000 grant that will be awarded to the best public awareness campaign that promotes the theme “Create your own story @ your library.”...
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 28

LITA scholarships
LITA is accepting applications for the following three scholarships: the Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship, the LSSI Minority Scholarship, and the OCLC Minority Scholarship. The scholarships are designed to encourage the entry of qualified persons into the library technology field. All applications, references, transcripts, and other documents must be postmarked no later than March 1....
LITA, Sept. 23

Win a trip to New Orleans, courtesy of YALSA
YALSA members who have never attended an ALA Annual Conference are invited to apply for YALSA’s Baker & Taylor Conference Grant. The two grants of $1,000 each are awarded to librarians who work directly with young adults in a school or public setting to enable them to attend the Annual Conference for the first time. Fill out the application (Word file) and email it to Nicole Gilbert by December 1....
YALSA, Sept. 23

PLA supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative
PLA has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity in the library profession through a gift of $4,000 to ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program. ALA President Roberta Stevens, Immediate Past President Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael, and ALA Past President Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, continue the Spectrum Presidential Initiative as a special campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program....
Office for Diversity, Sept. 28

IMLS awards 34 National Leadership Grants
On September 27, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced a new list of 34 institutions that are receiving National Leadership Grants totaling $17.3 million. The projects funded by these grants will have national impact and generate results that can be widely replicated, extending the benefit of this federal support. See the complete list of September recipients....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 27

Cover of A Terrible SplendorPEN American Center Literary Award winners
The PEN American Center, the East Coast branch of the renowned writer’s organization International PEN, announced the winners of the 2010 PEN Literary Awards on September 22. Each year, PEN confers more than $100,000 in awards to writers, editors, and translators. Don DeLillo was the winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. A new prize, the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, went to Marshall Jon Fisher for A Terrible Splendor: Three Extraordinary Men, a World Poised for War, and the Greatest Tennis Match Ever Played (Crown)....
PEN American Center, Sept. 22

Cover of Let the Great World SpinFirst annual Medici Book Club Prize
Colum McCann was awarded the first annual Medici Book Club Prize for his novel Let the Great World Spin for a “distinguished work of fiction that has inspired thoughtful conversation and contributed to a deeper understanding of the human experience.” The book is set in New York City on August 7, 1974—the day that French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walked on a wire stretched between the World Trade Center towers. McCann will receive $5,000 for the award, which is intended to “acknowledge the tremendous impact that book club selections have on readers.”...
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 23

Cover of 50th anniversary edition of Things Fall ApartNigerian novelist wins Gish Prize
The Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe has won the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which recognizes artists who have had an extraordinary impact in their field. The award, named after the silent film stars, will be delivered at a ceremony on October 27 in New York. Achebe’s books are among the most widely read in African literature. His 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart, has sold more than 10 million copies....
New York Times: Arts Beat, Sept. 24

Seen Online

U.S. wants internet wiretapping powers
Federal law enforcement and national security officials will seek sweeping new regulations for the internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone. The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers in 2011, would require all services that enable communications (including encrypted email transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking websites like Facebook, and software that allows direct peer-to-peer messaging like Skype) to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order....
New York Times, Sept. 27

Former CIA chief: U.S. should be able to shut down the internet
Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the internet in the event of an attack, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said at a cybersecurity meeting in San Antonio. For some facts (PDF file) about S. 3480, Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, see the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs website. The U.S. military has a new Cyber Command that is to begin operations on October 1. Security concerns have been raised by the Stuxnet worm, the first of a new breed of cyber-superweapon seemingly designed to destroy a specific target, which in this case could be an Iranian nuclear plant....
Reuters, Sept. 26; U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 21; Computerworld, Sept. 27

LSSI logoLSSI library takeover stirs up outsourcing outcry
A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system. Now Library Systems and Services Inc. has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, Santa Clarita, California, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy....
New York Times, Sept. 26

Police outside the Greater Olney branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Screen shot from newscastPhiladelphia police officer shoots suspect in Free Library branch
A man armed with a knife was shot and critically wounded by police during a confrontation September 27 inside the Greater Olney branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Mark Cottman, 31, was shot about 2:40 p.m. after he lunged at an officer with the knife inside the library. The violent encounter began a few minutes earlier with police responding to a robbery call at a nearby shoe store. Witnesses directed the officers to the library, where they found the suspect in the children’s section....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 28; WCAU-TV, Sept. 27

West Bergen branch, Jersey City Free LibraryJersey City to close three branches
The Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library is closing its three neighborhood libraries by the end of the year, beginning with the West Bergen branch on October 1. The library announced the closing on Twitter September 28, posted a link to its website, and later issued a press release saying layoffs are also pending. Residents are unhappy with the news, but Library Director Priscilla Gardner said she had no choice but to close the neighborhood libraries....
Jersey City Jersey Journal, Sept. 28

Libraries launch apps to sync with iPod generation
Jeannie Nuss writes: “Libraries are tweeting, texting, and launching smartphone apps as they try to keep up with the bibliotechs—a computer-savvy class of people—and they seem to be pulling it off. Since libraries started rebranding themselves for the iPod generation, thousands of music geeks have downloaded free songs from library websites. And with many more bookworms waiting months to check out wireless reading devices, libraries are shrugging off the notion that the internet shelved them alongside dusty books.”...
Associated Press, Sept. 29

FEMA supports Cedar Rapids library plans
A September 22 meeting of city, state, and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials ended with FEMA agreeing to support plans for building a new Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library on a new site. FEMA will provide the city with $19.5 million for the construction, an amount the city had expected when it picked the site in February. The agreement reverses FEMA’s initial recommendation that the city tear down the old library, damaged in the 2008 flood, and rebuild on higher ground on the same site....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Sept. 22

Miniature version of the P. T. Barnum statue unveiled outside the Bethel libraryBethel library celebrates P. T. Barnum
Bethel, Connecticut, residents marked the 200th birthday of the town’s most famous native son, unveiling a 6-foot, 3-inch bronze statue of legendary showman P. T. Barnum on September 26, then sending one of the most colorful processions anyone can remember parading past it. Close to 1,000 people attended the dedication of the sculpture, created by sculptor David Gesualdi, outside the Bethel Public Library....
Danbury (Conn.) News-Times, Sept. 26

Library director found guilty of battery
Cook County, Illinois, Judge David Skryd found both East Chicago (Ind.) Public Library Director Manuel Montalvo and his wife guilty of all charges they faced for a May 27 incident at Chicago’s Millennium Park commuter train station. Montalvo was charged with two counts of battery for his alleged chest bumps of two commuter train police officers, a disorderly conduct charge for his shouting and use of obscenity with police, and a criminal trespass to state property charge for refusing to leave the train platform. He was sentenced to one year of court supervision and 40 hours of community service...
Munster Times of Northwest Indiana, Sept. 23

Dems question Beaufort County meeting room policy
Democratic Party officials have questioned a decision to allow a local Tea Party group to hold an open meeting September 28 at the Hilton Head branch of the Beaufort County (S.C.) Library. David Rice, president of the Democratic Club South of the Broad, said the library denied his request last winter for “informational meetings.” Library Director Wlodek Zaryczny said he didn’t recall any requests from the Democratic Club, adding that according to library policy, political groups cannot present a candidate at the meeting, the event must be open to the public, and it has to be informational only....
Bluffton (S.C.) Beaufort Gazette, Sept. 24

Kent State University stacksHow Kent State is creating space for people
The average book in an academic research library is only checked out once every 50 years. That is why Kent State University Library Dean James Bracken is looking to reduce the library’s in-house collection by 50%. The university plans to reduce the 2.9-million-volume collection at a rate of 5% per year over the next decade, which gives students more study space on the upper floors. The books will be sent to OhioLINK, the state’s book consortium that shares 48 million books with 88 university and college libraries....
Kentwired.com, Sept. 22

Caroline Parr, from the WRC-TV newscastVirginia librarians create a YouTube hit
Youth Services Coordinator Caroline Parr (right) and dozens of her coworkers from all eight branches of the Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia, put together an over-the-top remake (4:44) of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” to make light of library budget cuts. Sean Bonney is the mastermind behind the video, shooting, writing, and editing the script for this librarian manifesto. He says it was intended to be a morale booster for an upcoming staff-training event. It was such a success he posted in on YouTube, and it has gotten 51,000 views since September 11....
WRC-TV, Washington, D.C., Sept. 22; YouTube, Sept. 11

Library love from the Chicago Tribune
Jen Weigel writes: “Have you been to the library lately? It’s more than just a place to grab a book—and these days, they’re more popular than ever. In this economy, more people are taking advantage of services to save money without compromising their lifestyle. Jason Kuhl, Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library’s operations director, says more libraries are offering Kindles for check-out that come preloaded with a selection of titles purchased by the library.”...
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 28

Chatham Community LibraryNew joint-use facility in central North Carolina
A crowd of more than 600 county residents and college officials gathered at the Central Carolina Community College’s Chatham County campus in Pittsboro September 20 for the ribbon cutting of the new joint county-college Chatham Community Library. The new Chatham Community Library, which cost $8 million to complete, is almost four times bigger than the old Pittsboro Memorial Library, which had been overcrowded for years....
Pittsboro (N.C.) Chatham Journal, Sept. 26

Cynthia Henry, social sciences librarian, ventures outside the library in an attempt to answer students’ questions. Photo by Paul HailesTexas Tech’s Roving Reference Cart
The Roving Reference Cart is a concept that three personal librarians, Cynthia Henry (right), Carrye Syma, and Kimberly Vardeman, are testing this year in order to assist students around the Texas Tech University campus. “We put our laptops on the cart and go around campus and answer any questions students may have,” Henry said. The cart proved to be vital during the first few weeks of classes. Though the cart is available to assist with directional information, its main purpose is to provide students with answers to research-related questions and promote the different services available at the library....
Texas Tech Daily Toreador, Sept. 27

Heathman Hotel's Mezzanine LibraryPortland’s hotel library is one of a kind
Guests who wander up to the mezzanine in the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, discover one of the most exclusive libraries in the country: 4,000 volumes, all signed by the author and most of them first editions. But there is only one way to get a book in the collection: The author must spend a night in the hotel—no exceptions. Enough authors stay at the Heathman that the collection includes some impressive signatures, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, John Updike, Stephen King, Art Spiegelman, Annie Dillard, James Patterson, and Ian Rankin....
Portland Oregonian, Sept. 21

Gran Trak 10, for Atari, circa 1974Pac-Man comes to Calgary
The University of Calgary is compiling a video-game collection that will encompass titles for consoles ranging from Atari to PCs and Wii. Librarian Jerremie Clyde predicts the collection will be invaluable to a wide range of disciplines, from history and procedural rhetoric to human-computer interaction and feminist studies. “Any time a medium comes to play a major role in entertainment and leisure, it teaches something about our culture,” said Calgary Communication and Culture professor Dawn Johnston. The collection is slated to open in March 2011 in the Taylor Family Digital Library....
Calgary (Alberta) Herald, Sept. 22; University of Calgary Gauntlet, Sept. 16

European Congress on digital libraries
Some 200 delegates from more than 27 countries taking part in a September 20–21 meeting in Brussels, Belgium, came to the conclusion that the role of the librarian in Europe will be as a guide to internet resources. The European Congress on E-Inclusion also suggested that public libraries communicate to the public more about the added value they can offer....
Euroalert.net, Sept. 23

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Firefox 4 graphicThe future of web surfing
Michael Muchmore writes: “With Microsoft’s unveiling in late September of Internet Explorer 9 beta and Mozilla coming out with several Firefox 4 betas over the past few weeks, we thought it was time to go through just what all this activity in browser betas means for internet users. What are the differences among all the new beta browsers from Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, and Opera, and should you run one? It’s a fun time to be testing web browsers, and I suggest you take a few out for a spin to see which fits your style best.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 23

Stop using Windows XP, please
Lance Ulanoff writes: “I have a confession to make: I’m writing this story on a Windows XP laptop. My company is still standardized on the near-decade-old operating system, and only recently has entertained the idea of buying new systems and not ghosting them back from Windows 7 to some version of Windows XP. I am always shocked at how many people are still running Windows XP (74% of businesses by one measure). But the recent release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 beta changes things. When it is released later this year, it will run on Windows 7 and Windows Vista, but not XP or previous operating systems.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 23

Milwaukee Public Library logoFive library sources for quick computer training
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “It’s hard to find good online technology tutorials, especially those for quick and basic computer skills. Harder still to find some that meet our high expectations as information professionals. So why not turn to the library world itself? Here is a collection of my top five favorite sites for these quick computer-training materials.”...
ALA Learning, Sept. 25

Take the tech out of technology
Michelle Boule writes: “Using technology does not always have to be about gadgets and tools. Sometimes the concept of a tool can be just as useful as the tool itself. Utilizing some common office supplies and some wall space in your staff or public area, your library can create some fun, participatory displays that will build community between your staff and with your users. Here are four ways to take the tech out of technology.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Sept. 28

Weatherbug screenThe best weather apps
John Herrman writes: “I don’t watch TV weather forecasts for the same reason that I don’t own a wristwatch: I have a smartphone, a tablet, and a computer. Here are the best apps for knowing what it’s like outside, without actually going outside. Weatherbug for iPhone is relatively clear of the bloat that characterized the company’s desktop software, and most importantly, focused on the stuff that we most want from our weather apps: forecasts, local maps, and local video.”...
Gizmodo, Sept. 29

The internet needs a Dewey Decimal system
Paul Shapiro writes: “Someone in Brazil right now wants to find all web videos teaching Inkscape in Portuguese. There is no Dewey Decimal code for that, but there ought to be. The more precisely we can describe things, the more precisely people will be able to find what they need. In commerce, in education, in healthcare, the possible benefits are enormous if we had some centralized system for assigning numerical values to products, concepts, ideas, and topics. Who is going to be the entity that creates such a centralized system?”...
PC World, Sept. 27

Hitachi KK 562A calculator, 1973A look at vintage technology
Kevin Hodgson writes: “Much of the technology that has become the center of how we communicate, game, and find information has developed over time, although it seems as if the advancements have accelerated in the field of technology. Vintage Technology is a site that seeks to showcase the evolution of devices in our lives through the archiving of old advertisements from the 1950s.”...
Instructify, Sept. 24

APA ad


Demco ad


2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting logo, San Diego

ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Advance registration opens October 1.


Intellectual Freedom Manual, 8th edition

Updated for the first time since 2005, the 8th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, edited by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, includes revised interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights along with key intellectual freedom guidelines and policies, including a new chapter, “Interactivity and the Internet,” and other fresh material on intellectual freedom and privacy in online social networks. NEW! From ALA Editions.

AL Facebook image

“Like” American Libraries on Facebook.

New this week
in American Libraries

Adele Eskin

Internet Librarian

Next Steps

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Green Your Library

Ask the ALA Librarian

Librarian’s Library

AL Focus


Great Libraries of the World

Anythink Brighton's solar panels

Anythink Brighton, Rangeview Library District, Brighton, Colorado. A new Brighton branch opened in September 2009 as part of the Brighton Cultural Center and took on the library system’s Anythink brand. In 2010, it became the first carbon-positive library in the U.S., due to a combination of its 108-kilowatt photovoltaic system, geothermal heating and cooling, sustainable building features, the purchase of carbon credits, and the collaborative spirit of the project.

Interior of the Beinecke, showing the central shelving area on the right

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. The library, designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1963, is the largest building in the world reserved exclusively for the preservation of rare books and manuscripts. Six stories of book stacks are surrounded by a windowless, rectangular building with walls made of a translucent Danby white marble, which provides protection from direct light. Three floors of stacks extend below ground level. Since its opening in 1963, the Beinecke has become a repository for books printed anywhere before 1601, books printed in Latin America before 1751, books printed in North America before 1821, newspapers and broadsides printed in the United States before 1851, European tracts and pamphlets printed before 1801, East European and Asian books through the 18th century, and many other special collections.

This new 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.


Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Instruction Program Coordinator, Sonoma State University Library, Rohnert Park, California. This professional will be integral in maintaining and forwarding the library’s mission of student retention, graduation, and life-long learning. The ideal candidate will relish the challenge of engaging first-year students while promoting new programs and experimenting with new pedagogical approaches. An individual with an entrepreneurial spirit who can thrive in an always “beta” world is highly desired. Likewise, supervisory skills, the ability to work in a shared decision-making environment, and a sense of humor and fun are key. As a faculty member, librarians are expected to take a leading role in campus activities and governance. Scholarship plus service to the campus and community are expected....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...


Digital Library of the Week

Combat fatigue irritability, US Navy training film, starring Gene Kelly, 1945. The case of a Navy seaman suffering from combat fatigue is presented in this film in story form. He is first shown at his duty station in the engine room of a ship, manipulating the valves of water pipes. The scene then shifts to a hospital ward. The sailor's ship has been torpedoed and sunk. The patient has not suffered any physical wounds, but he is jumpy, nervous, combative, and short-tempered. Catalog record: 9300763A

The National Library of Medicine Digital Collections complement the PubMed Central digital archive of electronic journal articles. The newly launched repository allows rich searching, browsing, and retrieval of monographs and films from NLM’s History of Medicine Division. Additional content and other format types will be added over time. Users can perform full-text and keyword searching within each collection or across the entire repository. This first release of Digital Collections includes a newly expanded set of Cholera Online monographs, a portion of which NLM first published online in PDF format in 2007. The version of Cholera Online now available via Digital Collections includes 518 books (dating from 1817 to 1900) about cholera pandemics of that period. More information about the selection of the books and the subject of cholera may be found on the original Cholera Online site. Each book was scanned into high-quality TIFF images, which underwent optical character recognition to generate corresponding text files. Finally, a JPEG2000 derivative was created for each page for presentation through the integrated book viewer, which includes a Flash-based zooming feature for resizing and rotating a page on demand.

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.


Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

My mother was a librarian (she’s now retired). And not just any librarian, my high school librarian (cue scary music). What cracks me up is that librarians in popular culture are stereotyped as grey-haired women with glasses on a chain who ‘shh!’ people. Now my mother did ‘shh!’ a lot (and even once almost kicked me out of the library for asking someone a question about a chapter we were supposed to read, which was so not fair), but she was not the shy, quiet librarian featured in most movies. Nope. She was overenthusiastic about books, especially banned books. Every year she’d do a display during Banned Books Week, and one year she even wore a Captain Underpants t-shirt I had given her.”

—Elizabeth Eulberg, “My Mother, the Banned-Book-Loving Librarian,” guest blogging in Eve’s Fan Garden, Sept. 22.

“I’ve learned that different [interview] questions work for different jobs. The manager of my picture-framing business, for example, hires people to do ‘pick-ups’—they retrieve finished framed pictures from a room full of racks for customers. She routinely asks interviewees if they have ever thought about becoming a librarian; those who say they have thought about it tend to do the job best and to stay around the longest.”

—Jay Goltz, “What’s Your Favorite Job Interview Question?” New York Times: You’re the Boss blog, Sept. 27.

@ More quotes...


At Your Library ad

Enjoy our latest content


Engaging Teens at Chicago Public Libraries

J. Howard Miller's We Can Do It! Poster

Shoddy Home Repairs

Celebrate the career of Fats Domino: If you found your thrill on blueberry hill...

Get Your Game Face On - At the Library!

Chris Crutcher at the Banned Books Read-Out (video)

Top ten far-fetched reasons to challenge a book (slideshow)

Donna Seaman interviews Ann Patchett

The Man Who Sold America

Filming Flipped: An interview with director Rob Reiner

at your library logo

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks
TweetWatch

Follow:

Banned Books Week, Sept. 25–Oct. 2, at:
#bannedbooksweek

Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Chicago, Sept. 28–30, at:
#ila10

eBooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point, online summit, Sept. 29, at:
#ebooksummit

Liber, International Book Fair, Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 29–Oct. 1, at:
#liber

LITA National Forum, Atlanta, Sept. 30–Oct. 3, at:
#litaforum

Open Video Conference, New York City, Oct. 1–2, at:
#ovc10

PodCamp Philly Unconference, Philadelphia, Oct. 2–3, at:
#pcphilly2010

Social Media Camp, Victoria, British Columbia, Oct. 3, at:
#smcv10

Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany, Oct. 6–10, at:
#fbf10

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


Calendar

Oct. 8–9:
A is for Anansi: Literature for Children of African Descent,
New York University Kimmel Center, New York City.

Oct. 17–19:
New England Library Association,
Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Boxborough, Massachusetts. “Outside the Box: Results, Support, Sustainability.”

Oct. 17–23:
National Friends of Libraries Week.

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

Oct. 20–22:
International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Oct. 22:
Fall Festival of Children’s Books,
Lecture Hall Oakland, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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

Oct. 25–27:
Internet Librarian Conference,
Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California. Sponsored by Information Today. “Insights, Imagination, and Info Pros: Adding Value.”

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

Oct. 27:
World Day for Audio Visual Heritage.

Nov. 1–3:
Digital Library Federation,
Fall Forum, Crowne Plaza Cabaña, Palo Alto, California.

Nov. 3–6:
New York Library Association,
Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, New York. “The Library: Your Story Starts Here.”

Nov. 5:
10th Annual Brick and Click Symposium,
Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. Sponsor: Owens Library, Northwest Missouri State University.

Nov. 6–8:
International Conference on the Book, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Nov. 8–9:
Fair Use and Balance in Copyright: The Best Practices Model,
online course. Sponsored by the University of Maryland University College’s Center for Intellectual Property.

@ More...


Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,
Editor:
geberhart@ala.org

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:
bgoldberg@ala.org

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:
glandgraf@ala.org

Leonard Kniffel
Leonard Kniffel,
Publisher,
American Libraries: lkniffel@ala.org

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Brian Searles
Brian Searles, bsearles@ala.org

Katie Bane
Katie Bane
kbane@ala.org

Send feedback: aldirect@ala.org

AL Direct FAQ:
www.ala.org/aldirect/

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Website
800-545-2433,
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Publishing

Kindle for the Web demoAmazon launches Kindle for the Web
Amazon.com introduced a beta version of its Kindle for the Web, which makes it easy for customers to discover new books and authors by sampling Kindle books directly through web browsers—no installation or downloading required. Amazon is also inviting bloggers and website owners who are participants in the Amazon Associates Program to be part of Kindle for the Web by embedding samples of Kindle books on their websites. These website owners will earn referral fees from Amazon when customers complete book purchases using the links on their websites....
Amazon.com, Sept. 28

Why there’s no Kindle freedom in libraries
Barbara Fister writes: “Joshua Kim reads so much he puts this librarian to shame, but I love the fact that he shares his enthusiasm for books and regularly asks what we’re reading—and my to-be-read list keeps growing as a result. But his recent blog post on the joys of reading Freedom on his Kindle prompts me to offer a counterpoint (and how perfect is that title for this purpose).”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Sept. 24; Inside Higher Ed: Learn, Sept. 22

How many books are there in your library?
Stephen Abram writes: “How many books are there in your library that are still in print—that is to say, that can still be ordered or acquired online through a bookstore? The Amazon Kindle store now has over 700,000 books. Barnes and Noble claims to have 1 million e-titles for purchase. Google Editions is rumored to be about to launch with more than either of these. If the price of e-books starts to go below the cost of gas, parking, or bus tickets to propel your vehicle to the library, what will most users choose?”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Sept. 28

How to raise boys who read
Thomas Spence writes: “Everyone agrees that if boys don’t read well, it’s because they don’t read enough. So why won’t boys read? The appearance of the boy-girl literacy gap happens to coincide with the proliferation of video games and other electronic forms of entertainment over the last decade or two. Boys spend far more time plugged in than girls do. Could the reading gap have more to do with competition for boys’ attention than with their supposed inability to focus on anything other than outhouse humor?”...
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 24

Cover of Taming a Sea-Horse by Robert B. ParkerHow to keep track of book series
Jason Boog writes: “The website FictFact has created an enormous database of serial fiction, keeping track of the order and release dates of your favorite series so you don’t have to. Readers often complain that the proper reading order is never marked on their favorite fantasy, detective, or romance series. Now FictFact will do all the work. For instance, if you wanted to read the entire 40-book Spenser private detective series by the late, great Robert B. Parker, you could follow this link to see the entire series laid out in order.”...
MediaBistro: GalleyCat, Sept. 28

Cover of the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), a classic tale sans parents or guardiansIn defense of dead or absent parents in children’s lit
Nathan Bransford writes: “There has been some discussion in the book world lately about the prevalence of absent and/or dead parents in children’s literature, and how that can sometimes be symptomatic of lazy writing. I’m not a psychologist, anthropologist, or cultural historian, but I am a former 12-year-old, and I can remember how thrilling it was to read books where the kids were off on their own, fighting and outsmarting adults, dealing with harsh landscapes, facing their deepest fears, making unforgettable friendships, and, while I didn’t know it at the time, learning how to be adults.”...
Huffington Post, Sept. 22; Publisher’s Weekly, Sept. 20

Actions & Answers

Heather Halpin Perez, archivist at the Atlantic City Free Public LibraryThe librarian behind Boardwalk Empire
Heather Halpin Perez (right), archivist for the Atlantic City (N.J.) Free Public Library since 2006, played an important role in gathering information on old-time Atlantic City for the producers of the current HBO series Boardwalk Empire, the story of the city’s bootleggers and gangsters in the early 1920s. She was interviewed both in an HBO promotional documentary (29:34) for which she provided many historical photos, as well as in a documentary (44:59) by the Press of Atlantic City on gangster Nucky Johnson (fictionalized in Boardwalk Empire as Nucky Thompson). Perez is also listed in the series credits as one of two historical consultants....
YouTube, Sept. 21; Press of Atlantic City: Boardwalk Empire Blog, Sept. 15

Harrisburg students: Social media blackout annoying, eye-opening
Students at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, where technology officials recently deprived students of social media access for one week, said the restriction was a minor inconvenience for many on campus, and showed some students just how tethered to popular social sites they had become. IT decision makers banned access to Facebook, Twitter, AOL Instant Messenger, and MySpace through the school’s network during the week of Sept. 13 as a way of showing students how ingrained the technology has become....
eCampus News, Sept. 23

Local library, meet the world wide interwebs
Emily Williams writes: “In the book world itís easy to get stuck in your own little corner talking about what digital is doing to—take your pick—readers, or authors, or publishers, or booksellers. Itís easy to see libraries as the odd man out, since theyíre not typically viewed as participating in the commercial value chain (even though their collective spending on books and journals tops $1 billion) and for now itís hard to see where they fit into the shiny new world of transmedia and enhanced content.”...
Digital Book World, Sept. 27

Google Reader trends boxHow to conquer your feed reader
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “I’ve heard many of my friends comment that they are overwhelmed by their Google Reader, so much so that not only are they regularly declaring Reader bankruptcy but that they are avoiding it altogether. My information professional friends, Google Reader is a tool, do not allow it to inspire fear and loathing, it’s there to meet your needs. Here are some suggestions for mastering it.”...
Librarian by Day, Sept. 28

Is blogging too normal now?
Stephen Abrams writes: “There have been a few comments lately about blogging being dead or maybe it’s been replaced with Facebook walls and Twitter. The so-called death of RSS or at least RSS readers is said to be affecting blogs too. I don’t think so. I do think that we are confronted with a plethora of ways to get our opinions out there and to share neat things. The real issue is to determine what mix of tools work for you personally and, horror of horrors, is there a different mix of tools for your work environment?”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Sept. 28

Networking made easy for introverts
Devora Zack writes: “In my experience, people who claim to hate networking also believe they are not good at it. The reverse is true. People who hate networking fail at traditional networking by following advice never intended for them in the first place. You have the raw materials to be a stellar networker, but you are just following the wrong rules. Standard networking advice fails you, so you assume you fail at networking. Plus you hate it. What is networking?”...
The Work Buzz, Aug. 30

Former Dover (Del.) Library Director Bob Wetherall, posing with Patty Cannon's skull in 1997, for Maryland author Hal Roth's book on the case, The Monster's Handsome Face, Patty Cannon in Fiction and Fact. Photo courtesy of Hal RothA killer exhibit from the National Library of Medicine
Nancy Mattoon writes: “The NLM’s remarkable online exhibit, Most Horrible And Shocking Murders: ‘True Crime’ Murder Pamphlets in the Collection of the National Library of Medicine, presents a selection of historical pamphlets that depict humans on their worst possible behavior. The toll and consequences of murder and savagery, and various other crimes, are gut-wrenchingly detailed in a chronological array of pamphlets, published from 1692 to 1881. The pamphlet covers are gorgeously reproduced, as well as selected pages of the actual text.”...
Booktryst, Sept. 24

Digital Book Report Video Contest
Recorded Books and three-time Teacher of the Year award–winner Alan Sitomer are challenging middle and high-school teachers to collaborate with students and create a book report using modern technology for a chance to win one of the two grand prizes: a 21st-century library worth $20,000. Entries for the first BookJam Digital Book Report Video Contest will be accepted through October 28....
Recorded Books, Aug. 31

Cleveland Public Library's Rice branchCleveland’s Rice branch earns silver LEED certification
After months of extensive review and a lengthy application process, Cleveland Public Library’s new Rice branch has achieved silver LEED certification, making it the first freestanding library in Ohio to earn the designation. A key sustainable attribute of the branch is its raised, modular floor, which sits 24 inches above another floor to allow for the installation of the air conditioning, heating, and electrical units....
Cleveland Public Library, Aug. 30; AL: Green Your Library, Sept. 29

Library labs turn to patrons for project ideas
Travis Kaya writes: “University librarians are turning to their patrons for ideas on how to improve library services. This fall, the new Harvard University Library Lab invited students and faculty and staff members to help enhance the facility’s offerings by proposing projects of their own. The lab will pool the proposals—submitted through an online portal—for review by a board of library officials. Once selections are made, the lab will develop the most promising projects with grant money from Arcadia, a London-based charitable fund.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Sept. 24

Unveiling the new Negro Leagues Baseball Stamps at the opening day of the “Pride and Passion” exhibit were former Negro League player Johnny Washington; Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson; and Vickie Henderson, the postmaster of Highland ParkPride and Passion at the Highland Park library
Beth Keller writes: “Highland Park (Ill.) Public Library recently unveiled ‘Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,’ an exhibit organized by ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to a standing-room-only crowd. It was opening day at the library, and crowds were waiting outside for the doors to open. Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, was the featured speaker, but the day’s lineup included much more.”...
Programming Librarian, Sept. 23

A cataloger’s perspective on coding
Kelley McGrath writes: “I sometimes feel myself a bit of an odd duck on the Code4Lib Journal editorial committee as I am not a coder. I am a cataloger. However, when I think about this a little more, it no longer seems so odd for a cataloger to be on the editorial committee. The future of library cataloging and metadata is inextricably bound up with technology. Although many predict doom and obsolescence for library metadata, I do believe that bibliographic data still has a role to play in the universe of information.”...
Code4Lib Journal,
no. 11 (Sept. 21)

World Day for AV Heritage logoWorld Day for Audiovisual Heritage
October 27 has been declared by UNESCO as the World Day for AV Heritage. The audiovisual heritage comprises all forms of moving images and recorded sounds, as well as associated information, documents, objects, artifacts and technology, and graphical material. In 2005, the UNESCO General Assembly established the World Day for AV Heritage to raise awareness of the importance of AV documents as an integral part of national identities and draw attention to the urgent need to protect them....
UNESCO

The Theodore Psalter, an illustrated manuscript of the Psalms printed in 1066 in Constantinople. From the videoBritish Library digitizes Greek manuscripts
The British Library has digitized over a quarter of its Greek manuscripts (284 volumes) for the first time and made them freely available online. The website provides researchers with access to high-quality digital images of a major part of its Greek manuscripts collection, supported by enhanced metadata that enables users to search using keywords. The Greek manuscripts contain unique and outstandingly rich information for researchers working on the literature, history, science, religion, philosophy, and art of the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Classical and Byzantine periods. Watch the video (2:52)....
British Library, Sept. 27

Screen shot from Candyman videoCandyman in the library
Kinkstress is studying in the library when she spots a sexy stud studying right across from her. She instantly becomes infatuated and tries to get his attention while the librarian gets livid. Join the ypdub crew in their second music video (3:14), this one to the tune of Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” (not Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” as the video proclaims) filled with laughs, surprises, and lots of sugar....
YouTube, May 29, 2009

Go back to the Top