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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 6, 2011

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New Orleans Update
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American Libraries Online

Library of Congress, exterior viewLC makes contingency plans for government shutdown
The unions representing Library of Congress workers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LC April 5 regarding employees’ furlough status in the event that a Continuing Resolution to prolong appropriating FY2011 funding for the federal government is not enacted by midnight, April 8. The LC Professional Guild told its members that employees will be notified via email if they are placed in a furlough status. George A. Williams, media relations manager for the District of Columbia Public Library, has informed American Libraries that a federal shutdown could close the 25-library system, as well as most other city services....
American Libraries news, Apr. 6

Kids joined the 1991 Rally for America's LibrariesLibrary advocacy: One message, one voice
Richard Dougherty writes: “We are all too familiar with stories about reductions in library hours, library closures, staff layoffs, canceled children’s programs, and reduced materials budgets. While many readers may not remember, similar stories appeared in the media throughout the 1990–1992 recession. One of ALA’s responses to the 1990s recession was to organize a ‘Rally for America’s Libraries/Caravan on Wheels’ that traveled from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., after the 1991 ALA Annual Conference. Designed to capture media attention, its objective was to encourage librarians to tell their stories to local news outlets.”...
American Libraries feature

Screen shot of library users from National Library Week 2011 videoNational Library Week 2011
What isn’t great about libraries? In this video (2:49), librarians talk about the value of libraries as community centers, places to develop skills and interests, and as tools for democracy and society. Featuring speakers Loriene Roy, Sara Kelly Johns, Loida Garcia-Febo, Andromeda Yelton, JP Porcaro, and others. Edited by Greg Landgraf, with music by DoKashiteru ....
AL Focus, Apr. 6

Screen shot from library quotes videoQuotes about libraries
From Cicero to Maya Angelou to Keith Richards, lots of people have had interesting and important things to say about libraries. This video (2:05), edited by Greg Landgraf for National Library Week 2011, collects a number of those quotes, such as “The America I love still exists at the front desk of public libraries” (Kurt Vonnegut, 2004)....
AL Focus, Apr. 6

Order begins to return to the Tōhoku University LibraryJapanese libraries assess damage
Some three weeks after the March 11 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that has taken the lives of tens of thousands and damaged or destroyed at least 125,000 buildings in the Tōhoku (northern) region of Honshu, Japan’s main island, the Japanese library and cultural-heritage communities are utilizing email and social media to alert each other, as well as foreign colleagues and friends elsewhere, of their status....
AL: Global Reach, Apr. 5

Schoharie (N.Y.) Free Association Library, established 1916 by members of the D.A.R. (and initially housed in the D.A.R. Hall); chartered as an association library in 1959; moved to former Miers House (pictured) in 1963Association libraries
Q. How many public association libraries are there in the United States? Why are they association and not municipal? A. Table 5 of the Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2008 (PDF file), published by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, indicates that 14.9% of the 9,221 public libraries reporting in 2008 were “Nonprofit association or agency libraries,” or about 1,375 libraries, nationwide. These are defined as public libraries that are privately controlled but meet the “statutory definition of a public library in a given state.”...
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Apr. 5

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ALA News

Author and privacy advocate Cory Doctorow talks privacy via Skype to questioner Jeffrey Nadel, president of the National Youth Rights Association. Photo by George EberhartOIF Conference on Privacy and Youth
The Office for Intellectual Freedom held a Conference on Privacy and Youth in Chicago March 24–25 that brought together some 50 librarians, privacy advocates, educators, authors, artists, and policy experts to discuss the work they are doing to engage and educate young people in privacy protection. Sponsored by the Open Society Institute, the conference aimed to expand the focus on Choose Privacy Week (May 1–7 this year) with programming specifically geared toward reaching youth. Megan Schliesman, librarian at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, provides a summary on the I Love Libraries website. OIF has produced a video (5:17) featuring Lava Row founder Nathan T. Wright, who was a speaker at the conference....
AL: Inside Scoop, Mar. 24–25; I Love Libraries, Mar. 31; YouTube, Mar. 30

Donate-a-Book Day logoFirst-ever National Donate A Book Day
In celebration of 85 years of sharing the joy of reading, Direct Brands’ Book-of-the-Month Club is announcing the first-ever Donate A Book Day, beginning on April 14 during National Library Week. This Day of Donation is facilitated by a partnership with ALTAFF. On April 14, readers across the country are encouraged to donate new or gently used books to their local libraries. Books not added to the library’s collection will be given to the Friends of the Library....
ALTAFF, Apr. 6

A new Guide for the Perplexed
The Library Copyright Alliance has released A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement (PDF file), an analysis of the latest decision in the Google Books Search case and its potential effect on libraries. The LCA is comprised of ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries. This guide is the latest in a series prepared by LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band to help inform the library community about this landmark legal dispute....
District Dispatch, Apr. 1

A Guide to Teaching Young Adults about Money, one of the books in the Junior Library of Money setMason Crest donates to Money Smart Week @ your library
Mason Crest Publishers will donate one of its new “Junior Library of Money” sets to a library participating in Money Smart Week @ your library. In addition, Mason Crest is offering a 25% discount to all ALA members who purchase the full set of books for the event, taking place April 2–9. The “Junior Library of Money” series teaches young adults about money skills. It contains 14 volumes and is targeted for kids 12 and older....
Chapter Relations Office, Mar. 31

1950s-era bookmobile from the Bookmobiles Rock slideshowNational Bookmobile Day: Bookmobiles Rock!
This slideshow, courtesy of Rose Huling, bookmobile coordinator with the Morse Institute Library in Natick, Massachusetts, and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, shows bookmobiles past and present, all in time for National Bookmobile Day, April 13. The event is an opportunity for bookmobile fans to make their support known—thanking bookmobile staff, writing a letter or email to their libraries, or voicing their support to community leaders. And check out more historical bookmobileana on Larry Nix’s blog....
OLOS Columns, Apr. 6; Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 6

ALA is us, and we’re looking younger
ALA is us: This was the overall message of Jim Rettig’s article, “Is the Association Ripe for Rebellion?” in American Libraries in January. If we don’t like it, he says, we should quit whining and do something about it. He’s absolutely right. Complaining accomplishes nothing. It’s easy to forget the experience of being a brand-new ALA member. Despite the challenges they face, many young members are actively working for change already....
ALA Membership Blog, Apr. 6

Participate in or help sponsor the 8th Annual Training Showcase
The training showcase is a poster-type session at the ALA Annual Conference that gives participants, exhibitors, and sponsors a chance to show best practices in library training, learning, and continuing education. It will be held the afternoon of Sunday, June 26. The planning committee is on the lookout for libraries, library organizations, presenters, speakers, and vendors to participate—anyone who has a great training or staff development program they’d like to share. Apply by April 30....
ALA Learning, Apr. 6

Cover of How to Get a Great JobHow-To Handbooks help patrons use library tools
Part of library advocacy is reminding people of the wide range of resources and support their local library offers to help them address important issues. The new series of Library How-To Handbooks from ALA Editions does just that, promoting the library as the best source of information on finding out how to pay for college or how to look for a job....
ALA Editions, Apr. 4

Cover of Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community through DíaThe best Día programming ideas
An annual celebration of children, families and reading since 1996, Children’s Day/Book Day, known as Día, emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Just in time for Día’s 15th anniversary, ALA Editions and ALSC present “El día de los niños/El día de los libros: Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community through Día,” by Jeanette Larson, which offers a wealth of ready-to-use programs, easily adaptable for a variety of cultures....
ALA Editions, Apr. 5

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Cover of Stephen KingFeatured review: Series nonfiction for youth
Stefoff, Rebecca. Stephen King. From the Today’s Writers and Their Works series. Grades 9–12. Sept. 2010. 184p. Marshall Cavendish, library edition (978-0-7614-4122-9).
It’s not just that Stephen King writes dark material—it’s that he writes so much of it. The formative years of this wildly prolific master of the macabre are shown as vital to his worldview: the discovered box of his dad’s H. P. Lovecraft books; Sputnik-era Cold War fears; the activism and drug experimentation of the ’60s; the famous first three pages of Carrie that his wife, Tabitha, rescued from a trash can in 1972. Stefoff then has the daunting job of synthesizing King’s gazillion books and movies without losing pace with his personal life and publishing experiments, a task she pulls off swimmingly....

Graphic for Top 10 Series NonfictionTop 10 series nonfiction: 2011
Daniel Kraus writes: “It was a stellar year for series aimed at older readers—8 of the top 10 new series launched in the past year are aimed at middle- and high-school readers. Not only that, but there is a notable dark streak: vampires, true crime, and the Holocaust. Not the lightest of fare but great reading regardless.”...

Free Booklist webinars in April
Booklist’s free webinar series is growing rapidly, attracting crowds of attendees. Booklist editors host leading practitioners, authors, and publishers’ representatives at least once a month on a variety of topics that offer immediate tips, tools, and resources. The webinars are recorded and archived on the Booklist Online webinars page. In April, webinars on tackling tough topics, graphic novels, multimedia, and high-demand mysteries will be offered....
Booklist Online Learning, Apr. 4

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

New Orleans Update

G.W. Fins seafood restaurant earned the 2009 Zagat Rating as Best Seafood Restaurant in New Orleans New Orleans restaurants
Dining is a passionate art form in New Orleans. The city’s restaurants and chefs are world-renowned and award-winning, and they will make your visit to New Orleans an unforgettable experience. makes it easier for you to make your dining reservations ahead of time. Click each restaurant listed here for further information and follow the links at top right for their menu, location, dress code, and hours of operation....

Conservatory of the Two Sisters, New Orleans Botanical Garden, at twilightNew Orleans Botanical Garden
The New Orleans Botanical Garden has its roots in the Great Depression as a project of the Works Progress Administration. Originally known as the City Park Rose Garden, the garden opened in 1936 as New Orleans’ first public classical garden. The garden’s collections contain over 2,000 varieties of plants from all over the world, set among the nation’s largest stand of mature live oaks. Its Thursdays at Twilight concert program offers visitors a chance to stroll through the gardens at dusk, then settle in with a mint julep and enjoy the finest jazz, classical, and Latin American musicians the city has to offer....
New Orleans Botanical Garden

Traveling with less luggage
Myscha Theriault writes: “Thanks to security hurdles and checked-baggage fees, limiting luggage has become less of an extreme travel choice and more of a survival strategy. After living for six months out of one small backpack, I learned a thing or two about traveling light. Here are my top tips for traveling with less luggage.”...
McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Mar. 28

What happens after you check your bag
Brett Snyder writes: “On March 30, I attended the official launch of a new inline baggage screening system in Delta’s Terminal 5 at LAX. After taking the tour, it dawned on me that a lot of people probably don’t know what happens to their bags after they kiss them goodbye. So, let’s talk about it. But first, let’s talk about what inline baggage screening is.”...
The Cranky Flier, Mar. 31

Division News

ACRL talks Google Books, ROI, digitizing
Jennifer Howard writes: “Like many other people, academic librarians are wondering what happens now that a federal judge has tossed out the proposed settlement in the lawsuit over Google’s book-scanning project. Some of them got together for an informal roundtable discussion of the ruling at the ACRL conference in Philadelphia. The discussion was led by Corey Williams, associate director of the ALA Office of Government Relations.” Presenters also took up the problem of how libraries can demonstrate their value to their institutions, and whether conventional attempts to measure return on investment are any use in that campaign. Digitizing campus newspapers was another topic....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 1; Wired Campus, Apr. 1

Ellen Filgo's poster session at ACRL2011. Photo by David SilverACRL conference Flickr photos
Check out these photos tagged with acrl2011 and relive ACRL’s 2011 Philadelphia Conference, March 30–April 2. Also, check out the Twitter feed #acrl2011 to see ongoing comments. On the right is Baylor University E-Learning Librarian Ellen Filgo and her poster session on “Hashtag Librarian: Embedded in a Class Via Twitter and Blogs.” And here is a listing of conference papers with links to their PDF files....

Clinton Kelly speaking on style and change at ACRL2011. Photo by Jenica Rogers-UrbanekR U a frump?
Will Manley writes: “It seems that all the twitterati and friend feeders have their shirts, pants, blouses, and dresses in a knot over a keynote address given at the recent ACRL conference in Philadelphia. The address was given by Clinton Kelly (right), a man I had never heard of because I choose not to waste time and money on television service. Clinton Kelly, according to his Wikipedia article, is a fashion expert who has a highly popular television show called What Not to Wear. What not to wear is always a sore subject with librarians.”...
Will Unwound, Apr. 4

PLA Virtual Spring SymposiumPLA’s Virtual Spring Symposium
On March 30, PLA offered more than 675 online attendees a full day of professional development during its first-ever Virtual Spring Symposium. Participants gathered in groups at their libraries or watched on their own throughout the United States and Canada, with one attendee logging on from the United Kingdom. PLA’s next virtual conference event will be in conjunction with the 2012 PLA Conference, March 13–17....
PLA, Apr. 5

AASL advocacy brochuresNew AASL advocacy brochures
AASL is offering a new advocacy tool to help school librarians generate and guide discussions with stakeholders about quality school library programs. School Library Programs Improve Student Learning is a series of brochures, each designed to speak to a specific stakeholder audience within the school library community, including administrators, policymakers, parents, and teachers. The series will be released successively throughout April and May. Brochures will be freely available for download and for purchase in packs of 25....
AASL, Apr. 4

Gayle FormanAASL and Teen writing contest
In honor of the 2011 School Library Month theme, “Create Your Own Story,” AASL and have collaborated to present a month-long story-writing festival for teens. Students age 13 and up are invited to participate in four story-writing contests to be judged by some of young adult literature’s most exciting authors: Gayle Forman (this week, right), Alyson Noel, Lauren Oliver, and Paolo Bacigalupi. A new contest in a different genre of creative fiction will be announced each week in April....
AASL, Apr. 5

Nicholas CarrNicholas Carr to join discussion at AASL National Conference
Best-selling author Nicholas Carr will be on hand to discuss “Is Google making us stupid?” during the AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis, October 27–30. Chosen as the conference-wide read for the One Book, One Conference discussion, Carr’s book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, asks the question, “As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?”...
AASL, Apr. 5

Teens choose “Geek Out @ your library”
Hundreds of teens voted for the 2012 Teen Tech Week theme, selecting Geek Out @ your library as their favorite, with 62% of the vote. Using the theme, librarians will be able to build programs and events that highlight the expansive technology offerings available to teens, for free, at public and school libraries during next year’s celebration, March 4–10. Teens who took the survey also answered questions about how they used technology both at home or in school and public libraries....
YALSA, Apr. 5

YALSA YA Forum in ALA Connect
Beginning this week, YALSA will host YA Forum, a monthly discussion just for division members. Each discussion will focus on a specific topic and will be moderated by an expert in the field. YA Forum is hosted in YALSA’s space in ALA Connect. The April edition of YA Forum focuses on self-censorship; Stephanie Reynolds, convenor of YALSA’s intellectual freedom interest group, is the moderator....
YALSA, Apr. 5

Screen shot from the winner in the high school category, Avon (Ind.) High School Learning4Life student video contest winners
AASL has announced announce the winners of its “Learning4Life in My School Library” student video contest. Launched in December, the contest solicited videos detailing how school libraries empower students to be lifelong learners. Sixty-three entries were received, and winners at the elementary, middle, and high school level were selected based on the SchoolTube user rating system and a panel of judges....
AASL, Apr. 4

PLA webinar QR code imageLearn how QR codes can benefit your library
On April 20, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Cracking QR Codes: What Are They and How Can They Help Your Library?” as part of its “Public Libraries at Work” monthly webinar series. Carson Block, IT director of the Poudre River (Colo.) Public Library District, will lead this webinar designed to provide an uncomplicated introduction to QR Codes. The deadline to register is April 18....
PLA, Apr. 5

ALTAFF Special Outreach Services Luncheon
Sign up for ALTAFF’s Specialized Outreach Services luncheon June 25 and find out firsthand how three diverse individuals in Louisiana faced change in their libraries and communities. Learn how they joined forces with staff, trustees, Friends, local politicians, and the community to make it all come together and create new beginnings for their libraries. Advance ticket purchase required....


Peter SuberPeter Suber wins L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award
Peter Suber has been named this year’s recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award, which is given by the Copyright Advisory Subcommittee of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy in recognition of the pursuit and support of the Constitutional purpose of the U.S. Copyright Law, fair use, and the public domain. Suber, a philosophy professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, is cited for his work in the open access movement in response to increasing costs of scholarly journals—an alternative venue for scientific publishing that would provide free, public access to scientific information for the public good....
District Dispatch, Apr. 6

Century Scholarship S.O.S.
The ASCLA Century Scholarship Committee finds itself without sufficient funds to award the typical scholarship of $2,500 for FY2011. The largest applicant pool in recent memory has applied for the scholarship, and the winner will use funds to help pay for accessibility tools not covered by standard financial aid. If you can contribute any amount, please do so at this time....
ASCLA Blog, Apr. 5

Cover of A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan2011 Tournament of Books
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan has won the 2011 Tournament of Books, an annual, irreverent literary contest structured like and coinciding with the NCAA basketball tournament, sponsored by The Morning News. A team of literary judges decided each round of the competition, and all the judges voted on the final two books: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Egan’s novel. Egan earned nine votes; Franzen earned eight....
GalleyCat, Apr. 4

Seen Online

Ruling spurs effort to form Digital Public Library
Now that a federal judge in New York has derailed Google’s bold plan to build the world’s largest digital library and bookstore, some scholars and librarians see an opportunity to bring new urgency to a project to create a universal public library—one that, they say, would be far superior to Google’s because it would not be commercial. The lofty effort, the Digital Public Library of America, counts a long list of heavyweights among its supporters, but the endeavor remains in its infancy....
New York Times, Apr. 4

Poster for Blood MoneyIn wake of lawsuit, Wisconsin library reschedules anti-abortion film
A Wausau, Wisconsin, anti-abortion group went forward with plans to show the anti-abortion documentary Blood Money April 3 in the downtown library after county officials determined there was not enough evidence that protests would lead to a civil disturbance—the reason given as to why they had offered to move the screening to a nonlibrary public meeting room. In response, Peter Breen, an attorney representing three Wausau members of the group 40 Days for Life, withdrew a request for a restraining order against library Director Ralph Illick and other county officials....
Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald, Apr. 1

Catherine Nathan, director of the First Regional Library. From the WREG-TV newscastPastor hacks library’s filter to view child porn
The case of a Hernando, Mississippi, minister busted for child porn on a public library computer has tongues wagging. Oak Grove Baptist Church Pastor Eddie Prince faces one count of possession of child pornography. His arrest has people wondering how he got caught doing such a private thing in the middle of the Hernando Public Library. But library staffers saw Prince in December and reported him to the manager, who called police. Patron Sharon Savittieri thinks the public library is one of the best places to use a computer to access the internet, because of its usually effective filters....
WREG-TV, Memphis, Tenn., Apr. 5

Houston libraries brace for cuts, layoffs
Already squeezed by curtailed hours and reduced staff, Houston Public Library officials pulled the budget belt a notch tighter April 1, telling the city how they plan to cope with an expected budget cut of almost $10 million for the fiscal year starting July 1. Library Director Rhea Lawson told employees that the budget reduction will mean reduced staffing and closure of some of the system’s 42 branches. Workers affected by the cuts will be informed by May 1....
Houston Chronicle, Apr. 1

Marshall Community Library Director Diana Skalitzky presented Rep. Keith Ripp with a banner signed by local library patronsWisconsin Library Legislative Day—finally
Despite having been rescheduled on a day of rainy, cold weather, nearly 200 individuals attended Library Legislative Day on March 22 in Madison. Marshall Community Library Director Diana Skalitzky attended the event to let Rep. Keith Ripp (right) and Sen. Mark Miller know how the local library serves the community and why the repeal of maintenance of effort could cause problems....
WLA Blog, Mar. 30; Waterloo and Marshall (Wis.) Courier, Mar. 30

Modified filtering bill gets Idaho lawmakers’ approval
Legislation to require library computers to use filtering software to block content deemed offensive to minors has cleared the Idaho legislature. The Idaho House voted 69–0 to approve the bill April 5, sending it to the governor’s desk. The measure now gives libraries more flexibility in blocking content and deciding when filters should be turned off, a compromise asked for by the Idaho Library Association....
Boise Idaho Statesman, Apr. 5

Newport Beach library story went a bit too far
Little did city officials in Newport Beach, California, know that the concept of doing away with books would spark the ire of librarians, book lovers, and library users around the world. Some even thought that the city was doing away with books at its libraries entirely, which was not the case. To be clear, Newport Beach Public Library Services Director Cynthia Cowell proposed shuttering the nearly 60-year-old Balboa branch (the city’s original library) and instead open an electronic branch at Marina Park when a planned community center is completed....
Newport Beach (Calif.) Daily Pilot, Apr. 4

University of Hawaii librarian wins bias case
Vickery Lebbin has been promoted from Librarian IV to Librarian V at Hamilton Library after the Hawaii Labor Relations Board ruled that she was denied a promotion because of negative letters in her personnel file criticizing her union activities. UH was also ordered to remove the negative comments from Lebbin’s file and to post online information about the case....
Pacific Business News, Apr. 1; University of Hawaii System

Cover of Great SoulIndian state bans book hinting Gandhi had gay lover
A state in western India banned Pulitzer-Prize winner Joseph Lelyveld’s new book about Mahatma Gandhi after reviews saying it hinted that the father of India’s independence had a homosexual relationship. The author says his work is being misinterpreted. Gujarat’s state assembly voted unanimously March 30 to immediately ban Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India. The book has not yet been released in India, so few there have actually read it....
Associated Press, Mar. 30

EFF backs California digital reading privacy bill
California Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has introduced the Reader Privacy Act of 2011 (SB 602) with backing from the California Affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The legislation would require the government and other third parties to get a warrant or court order to obtain access to sensitive reading records. The bill mirrors the privacy and free speech safeguards in the California constitution and other areas of California law....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mar. 30

Diana Inch. Screen shot from KGW-TV newscastSchool librarian correctly picks Final Four
Using a mix of favorite numbers, letters, and animals, a school librarian was the only person to correctly pick the Final Four teams in the NCAA basketball tournament out of 3 million submissions to a Yahoo contest. Diana Inch (right), a librarian at Jefferson (Oreg.) High School, correctly picked Butler, Kentucky, UConn, and VCU. She will win $5,000 in the Yahoo! Tourney Pic ’Em contest. In this exclusive interview with Roto Arcade, Inch reveals her unusual strategy....
KGW-TV, Portland, Oreg., Apr. 1; Yahoo! Sports: Roto Arcade, Mar. 31

Kate Mossman of Camaro HaremKate Mossman, roller derby demon
During the day, Everett (Wash.) Public Library Assistant Director Kate Mossman (right) is the consummate professional, all buttoned-up blouses and tailored slacks. But at night, out comes the black T-shirt and spandex shorts, the pads, the helmet, and the mouth guard. Mossman is a speed demon on eight wheels, the captain of a local roller derby team called the Camaro Harem, and her nickname is “Unshine.”...
Everett (Wash.) Herald, Apr. 4

Cover of The New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, by Crosby Gaige, in the Fales collectionNYU food library joins the big leagues
In February, New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections acquired 21,000 books about food and cooking that were donated by George and Jennifer Lang, the longtime owners of Café des Artistes on the Upper West Side. That made the Fales collection one of the largest culinary collections in the country. Fales Director Marvin J. Taylor said the collection focuses less on menus and more on cookbooks and food-related items like pamphlets....
New York Times: City Desk, Apr. 5

Johnson Bayou branch, Cameron, LouisianaJohnson Bayou branch opens, more than five years after Rita
The Johnson Bayou branch of the Cameron Parish (La.) Library has opened its doors for the first time since Hurricane Rita in September 2005. The community invited state and local officials to a March 31 ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the first reopening of a library in the parish since Rita destroyed four library branches. The building was built to resemble a lighthouse, serving as a beacon of knowledge and hope....
KPLC-TV, Lake Charles, La., Mar. 31

Main Library in Gary, IndianaMain library in Gary to close
Readers in Gary, Indiana, are losing their main library and one branch to cost-cutting. Library board members had the choice of maintaining the main library at a cost of $2 million each year to operate, or closing each of the five branches, which cost between $200,000 to $500,000. Board President Tony Walker said the March 28 decision was not popular, but there were no good options. A total of 30 library workers stand to lose their jobs....
WBBM-TV, Chicago, Mar. 30

Teen stabbed in Steamboat Springs library
A Steamboat Springs, Colorado, teenager was taken to the hospital with knife wounds to both hands after police said a man stabbed him April 4 during an altercation at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Police arrested Adam Huber, 40, and placed him in custody at Routt County Jail. Witnesses in the reading area said a group of three teenage boys grew increasingly rowdy on the balcony above the teen reading area before Huber grabbed one of the teens by the coat....
Steamboat (Colo.) Today, Apr. 4

Woman arrested after disturbance in college library
Police and a woman they arrested in the Los Medanos College library in Pittsburg, California, are providing differing accounts of what led to a March 28 struggle in which she struck her head. Police say Raychelle Williams ignored commands to leave the library after speaking on her cellphone Monday, but Williams and a witness disputed the accusations. An officer “grabbed my arm and he threw me into a bookshelf,” Williams said....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Mar. 30

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Tech Talk

Free software showcase graphicThe best free software of 2011
Eric Griffith writes: “Every year at this time, PCMag takes a look at what is worth installing on your PC—software that’s totally free that does the job as well as, if not better, than the big boys. That’s not to say programs from Microsoft, Adobe, and hundreds of other developers aren’t worthwhile, but you should always be aware of your options, especially when they’re free. With that in mind, we’re here again to gather the best of the freebies.” The software is grouped by category, from anti-malware to video....
PC Magazine, Apr. 4

Screen shot of YouTube Editor introductionGet the most from YouTube Editor
Amy-Mae Elliott writes: “YouTube’s online Editor launched in June 2010 as a very basic video editing suite. Now it has seven full-time developers working on it and new features are gradually being introduced. Mashable spoke to Tom Bridgwater, a YouTube software engineer, about how to get the most from the free video editing software. If you’d like to know how to trim your videos, improve the image quality, and add free music, then take a look through this gallery of short video demos.”...
Mashable, Apr. 3

A stellar group assembled for LJ's ILS Roundtable during ALA Midwinter. Top row (l.-r.): Brett Bonfield, Michael Winkler, John Yokley, Paul Cope, Annette Harwood Murphy, Neil Block, and Gary Rautenstrauch. Seated (l.-r.): Peter Murray, Andrew Pace, Vinod Chachra, Grace Dunbar, Carl Grant, and Bill SchicklingGender gaps in library tech
Michael Steeleworthy writes: “Like most professions, there are gender gaps in librarianship. Every day, I am surrounded by women. These women are top-rate librarians who are moving and shaking in their respective fields. So that’s why my stomach turned inside out when I read this Library Journal article on the future of the ILS. But when you’re reading it, take a close look at this photograph (above). This roundtable of 13 LIS experts has only two women in it.”...
The Zeds: Academic Librarianship, Apr. 2; Library Journal, Apr. 1

Options window on dBpoweramp CD ripperRip, store, and organize: The ultimate media guide
Robert Heron and Tim Ferrill write: “We will show you how to rip, convert, store, and stream all your media—while retaining the highest possible level of quality. The first step is to transform your collection of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs into files that can be played on the platform of your choice. Regardless of your storage method, you’ll initially want to spend some time making sure you have an optimized file hierarchy for your library.”...
Maximum PC, Apr. 4

All-in-one gadget, as imagined by Viktor KoenSpoiled by the all-in-one gadget
Sam Grobart writes: “AT&T’s March 20 announcement that it plans to acquire T-Mobile was quickly analyzed to be bad news for consumers. If the merger is approved, rates are likely to go up. But a rise in rates would bring the United States in line with many other countries. Consider what a smartphone can do, and the devices it replaces, and its value increases. A refurbished iPhone 3GS is currently on sale for $19. With the least-expensive data and voice plans and a two-year contract, a customer would pay around $1,800 over 24 months, including taxes and fees.”...
New York Times, Mar. 26

HootSuite logoFour useful Twitter automation tools
Kristi Hines writes: “While some automation tools do nothing but make your social media profile look like an announcement board, other tools can be used to sync right into your normal engagement to give it a helpful boost. Here are some Twitter automation tools, services, and tips, which when used the right way, can be a valuable addition to your social media strategy.”...
Social Media Examiner, Mar. 30

Twitter brings out advanced search, discovery algorithms
M. G. Siegler writes: “A couple weeks ago, we wished Twitter a happy 5th birthday, but also noted that there was still much work to be done. On April 4, Twitter has taken a few small steps to alleviate at least one of those issues. In a blog post, Twitter notes that an update to its search algorithms will now suggest key accounts to follow for any topic you search for. The other key change: Twitter has finally ported over Advanced Search from the Twitter Search standalone site.”...
TechCrunch, Apr. 4; Twitter Blog, Apr. 4

Check out Cuyahoga County Library’s checkout app
In anticipation of National Library Week, April 10–16, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library announced on its Facebook Wall that it will soon be launching CCPL Mobile, which will enable patrons to check out items sitting on library shelves with their smartphones. The app will be available to CCPL cardholders for free from the app stores of all smartphone and tablet platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, J2ME, Palm OS, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and iPad....
Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, Apr. 5

Part of a character map listInsert special characters in documents, email, and web pages
Rick Broida writes: “Earlier today I needed to use the word cliché in a blog post. (Well, two posts, if you count this one.) Just one problem: My keyboard doesn’t have an ‘accented-e’ key. Most word processors offer an ‘insert symbol’ feature, but if you’re working elsewhere—text editor, email client, web form—you probably won’t find such a tool. One option is to use the Character Map utility which is bundled into Windows. Here’s a more complete Character Map list of these Alt codes.”...
PC World, Apr. 5

Royal Quiet De Luxe Portable typewriter, 1941News from the typosphere
Manual typewriters aren’t going gently into the good night of the digital era. Old Underwoods, Smith Coronas, and Remingtons are attracting fresh converts who recognize them as well-designed, functional, and beautiful machines. At a series of events called “type-ins,” they’ve been gathering in bars and bookstores to flaunt a sort of post-digital style and gravitas, tapping out letters to send via snail mail and competing to see who can bang away the fastest. Check out Life magazine’s gallery of famous people and their typewriters and Ron “Typewriter” Mingo, the world’s fastest typist (2:54)....
New York Times, Mar. 30; Life, Apr. 1; YouTube, Mar. 27, 2009

Altoids tin as iPod caseFive ways to reuse an Altoids tin
Brett McKay writes: “#1. iPod case. Take an Altoids tin, add a little foam or other padding like felt, cut a hole in it, and voilà—you’ve got yourself a sturdy iPod Nano or Shuffle carrying case. The case will protect the iPod from scratches and other damage, deter would-be thieves, and keep your headphones and iPod together in one place. And you don’t even have to take your iPod out to listen to it; the headphones go through the hole. People will wonder if you’re listening to your mints.”...
Life Scoop, Apr. 4


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ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Help us create the Annual Conference T-shirt. Vote for the color shirt you like best. The color with the most votes wins! Don’t miss your chance to participate—this poll closes April 30.

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Pass on great preservation tips to your patrons with this poster that features easy-to-follow guidelines for protecting personal treasures, family heirlooms, collectibles, and more. Celebrate Preservation Week this April 24–30, or year-round. Developed with ALCTS. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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Great Libraries of the World

Library Company of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia. An independent research library specializing in American history and culture in the 17th–19th centuries that is open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses a noncirculating collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. It was founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a subscription library supported by its shareholders, as it is to this day.

Interior, Linderman Library

Linderman Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Designed by Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton and built by founder Asa Packer in 1878 as a memorial to his daughter, Lucy Packer Linderman, the Venetian Gothic library was made of iron and several varieties of stone, with white-tile walls that amplified the gas illumination and a central rotunda that featured a hand-painted stained glass window. Extensive renovations in 2007–2009 added new classrooms and seminar rooms, a humanities commons, new computer technology, climate controls, collaborative student spaces, and a glass wall between the 1878 library and its 1929 addition that allows people to see the old library as they walk in.

This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication later this year by ALA Editions.

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Digital Repository Manager, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Oversees the development of the Brown Digital Repository (BDR), a Fedora Commons–based initiative that is a locus for digital objects that support scholarly work at Brown. Supervises the Digital Repository Programmer and will manage and contribute to collaborative development efforts to deliver critical repository services for the university. Works with librarians in the Scholarly Resources group to establish data ingestion, curation, and publication practices in support of research across the disciplines, including new forms of user-controlled information management....

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Digital Library of the Week

Le Port au Prince dans l'Isle de St. Domingue. 1 map : col. ; 21.4 x 17 cm. on sheet 32.2 x 22.4 cm. Created by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, Paris, 1764. From: Le Petit Atlas Maritime Recueil De cartes Et Plans Des Quatre Parties Du Monde, Tome I, no. 52. University of Florida. UF00066653

The Digital Library of the Caribbean is a cooperative digital library of resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. The library provides access to digitized versions of cultural, historical, and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections. The amount of open access content it provides surpasses many commercial Caribbean collections. Some of its special features include the Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library, the Caribbean Map Collection, and Haiti: An Island Luminous. Administered by Florida International University in partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands and the University of Florida, the library’s technical infrastructure is provided by the University of Florida in association with the Florida Center for Library Automation.

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.

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

There something definitely different about playing the New York Public Library. There’s not many venues I play that have big stone lions outside, apart from my house, of course.”

—Musician Elvis Costello, who performed in November for a small audience at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Spinner, Mar. 31.

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Share Your Library Story in 17 Syllables and 140 Characters

Money Smart Week @ your library

John Garfield, Film Noir and the Hollywood Blacklist

Explore the Abraham Lincoln Collection

Library of Congress Selects 25 Films for Preservation

Great Songs and the Artists Who Created Them: Laura Nyro's And When I Die

Have You Filed Your 2010 Federal Individual Income Tax Return? by Carlon B. Walker

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Kansas Library Asssociation, Annual Conference, Topeka, Apr. 6–8, at:

Oregon Library Association, Annual Conference, Salem, Apr. 6–8, at:

American Association of Community Colleges, Annual Convention, New Orleans, Apr. 9–12, at:

National Library Week, Apr. 10–16, at:

Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, Austin, Apr. 12–15, at:

National Bookmobile Day, Apr. 13, at:

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


Apr. 19:
So, You Want to Get Out of Print: Strategies and Perspectives from Publishers and Librarians,
webinar, 1–2:30 p.m. Eastern time. Sponsored by the Society for Scholarly Publishing.

May 2–3:
Connecticut Library Association,
Annual Conference, Stamford Hilton, Stamford. “Come Together, Move Forward.”

May 2–4:
New Jersey Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ocean Place, Long Branch. “Equality, Liberty, Opportunity: Libraries Are Essential.”

May 4:
Day Against DRM.
An opportunity to unite a wide range of projects, public interest organizations, websites, and individuals in an effort to raise public awareness.

May 4–6:
Florida Library Association,
Annual Conference, Doubletree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando. “Open Libraries...Open Minds.”

May 4–6:
Maryland / Delaware Library Associations,
Joint Conference, Clarion Resort, Ocean City, Maryland. “Library Heaven 2011.”

May 11–13:
Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, Davis Conference Center, Layton. “Utah Libraries: At the Core of Our Communities.”

May 13:
LIBRIS 2011,
conference, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, South Carolina.

May 13–18:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Conference, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis. “Rethink.”

May 15–20:
IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Section,
Annual Conference, Queens Library, Jamaica, New York. “The Metropolitan Library: A Diverse Community.”

May 16–19:
Academic Library Development and Advancement Network,
Annual Conference, High Country Conference Center, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona. “Take a Road Trip through Academic Library Fundraising.”

May 20:
Mobile Technologies in Libraries Forum,
Chemical Heritage Foundation Conference Center, Philadelphia. Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization.

May 24:
Vermont Library Association,
Annual Conference, St. Michael’s College, Colchester. “Something to Offend Everyone.”

June 1–3:
Society for Scholarly Publishing,
Annual Meeting, Westin Copley Place, Boston. “It’s What Counts: How Data Transforms Our World.”

June 1–3:
40th Annual Workshop for Instruction in Library Use,
University of Regina, Saskatchewan. “Learning Under Living Skies.”

June 2–3:
Rhode Island Library Association,
Annual Conference, Bryant University, Smithfield.

June 2–5:
North American Serials Interest Group,
Conference, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, St. Louis, Missouri. “Gateway to Collaboration 2011.”

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A portion of the newly discovered Gone With the Wind typescriptGone with the Wind manuscript rediscovered
A page from American literary history, stored away at the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut, since the 1950s and rarely on public view, is back in the spotlight. The last four chapters of the final typescript of the novel Gone With the Wind—believed to have been burned by the husband of author Margaret Mitchell following her death in 1949—will be exhibited through May 7 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the book. The manuscript was donated to the library by George P. Brett Jr., head of Macmillan publishing and president of the library in 1953–1958. The only other remaining chapters of the typescript are chapters 43 and 44, held in a vault in Atlanta....
Bridgeport Connecticut Post, Mar. 30

U.S. Government Manual logoNew U.S. Government Manual now online
A new, web-based edition of the United States Government Manual, the official handbook of the federal government, is now online. The Office of the Federal Register developed the new edition with the Government Printing Office to provide more timely access to the organizations, programs, and leadership of the federal government. The new version will be continuously updated to reflect changes in government throughout the year—a marked improvement over the annual snapshot in the printed edition....
OFR Blog, Apr. 4

Academic Video Online imageAcademic Video Online Complete
Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press has announced plans to launch an integrated online repository of academic video titles. The new platform, Academic Video Online Complete, will also make it possible for subscribers to cross-search all of their Alexander Street videos from a single interface. New collections will include art and architecture, religion and philosophy, law and criminal justice, politics and current affairs, among others. The company also launched three new video collections: Filmakers Library Online, Education in Video, and Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume II. Take advantage of the Sneak Peek at the top of this newsletter....
Alexander Street Press, Apr. 5

The future of libraries in the e-book age
Lynn Neary writes: “A lot of attention has been focused on the way bookstores and publishing companies are managing the e-book revolution. The role of libraries has often been overlooked. But when HarperCollins Publishing Co. recently announced a new policy that would limit the number of times its e-books can be borrowed, it sparked a larger conversation about the future of libraries in the digital age.”...
NPR: All Things Considered, Apr. 4

National Poetry Month logoListen up! It’s National Poetry Month
Mary Burkey writes: “Audiobooks + poetry = perfect partners. There’s no better way to experience the literary form created for oral expression than through listening to a great recitation. Audiobooks are a fantastic way to carry a poem in your pocket on April 14 (National Poem in Your Pocket Day) or any day during National Poetry Month. Most major audiobook publishers have poetry in their catalogs, but a few companies have extensive, excellent collections.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Apr. 5

Cover of Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010)Top 10 books about teens behaving badly
YA author Cat Clarke writes: “There’s nothing I like better than settling down with a book about teenagers doing something they shouldn’t. No one wants to read about teenagers going to school, behaving impeccably in class, then going home and being polite to their parents: Repeat and yawn. I want to read about the bad kids, the misunderstood kids, the interesting kids. I defy anyone to yawn over any of these: my top 10 books with teens behaving badly.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 4

Cover of Double Fold, by Nicholson BakerDouble Fold, double jeopardy
Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “Ten years ago this month, the novelist and essayist Nicholson Baker published an oddball of a book: a nonfiction jeremiad about library policy in the United States called Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper. One wonders how Baker sold his publishers on a book about libraries, but he had written a few essays for the New Yorker and other magazines on topics like card catalogs and ‘books as furniture’ that no doubt found a following. Glancing over my copy of the book now, my spare marginalia belies the power this book has had on me.”...
The Millions, Apr. 4

Cover of 1962 Viking Press edition of Travels with CharleyA reality check for Steinbeck and Charley
In the fall of 1960 an ailing, out-of-sorts John Steinbeck, depleted as a novelist, decided that his problem was he had lost touch with America. He outfitted a pickup truck as a sort of land yacht and set off from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, with his French poodle, Charley, to drive across the country. The idea was that he would travel alone, stay at campgrounds, and reconnect himself with the country by talking to the locals he met along the way. But his 1962 account of the trip, Travels with Charley, apparently contains a large percentage of fiction....
New York Times, Apr. 3

Open Road e-book version of From Here to EternityAuthor’s heirs uncensor a classic war novel
When James Jones’s novel From Here to Eternity was published in 1951, a few things were gone that had been in the original manuscript: explicit mentions of gay sex and a number of four-letter words. Jones objected to the changes at the time, but eventually he gave in to his publisher, Scribner. Sixty years later, Jones’s estate has made a deal with e-book publisher Open Road to issue a digital version that restores those cuts....
New York Times, Apr. 4

The first 6 printings of Darwin's Origin of SpeciesWhy do people collect first editions?
Laura Massey writes: “The most important thing to keep in mind is that very few first editions are actually valuable. A book’s market price is dependent on many factors, including condition, scarcity, and demand. For instance, the Harry Potter novels are very popular, but so many first-edition copies were printed of the later books in the series that even fine copies are worth next to nothing. On the other hand, some books that are scarce on the market are of little monetary value simply because there is no demand for them.”...
The Cataloguer’s Desk, Mar. 28

Cover of The Airship Boys, or The Quest of the Aztec Treasure (1909)Where did steampunk come from?
Jess Nevins writes: “The task of defining steampunk has become surprisingly difficult. Wildly differing definitions are currently in use. But certain tropes appear in most definitions of steampunk. Steam power and dirigibles are so common in steampunk as to be stereotypical or even archetypal steampunk iconography. The following is a baker’s dozen of the more interesting uses of these steampunk tropes in fiction of the pulp years.”...
io9, Apr. 4

Actions & Answers

Screen shot from Find the Future ARG at NYPL trailerAn alternate reality game for New York Public Library
Jane McGonigal is known for her progressive thoughts on videogames and how they can change the world. One of the methods through which she expresses her views is the alternate reality game, a technique that combines the real world with concepts found in games like quests and rewards. On May 20, McGonigal will bring a new ARG to the New York Public Library to raise interest in its collections. McGonigal’s Find the Future: The Game gives players missions associated with 100 humanity-inspiring objects found in the library. Watch the video (1:42)....
The Escapist, Apr. 2; YouTube, Mar. 28

Al Green, Let's Stay Together25 new entries for the National Recording Registry
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, ensuring that these cultural, artistic, and historical recordings always will be available to the American public. The selections for the ninth annual registry bring the total number of recordings to 325 and include the first recorded sounds captured by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1853 or 1854, as well as Al Green’s 1971 album Let’s Stay Together....
Library of Congress, Apr. 6

EPA strategic library plan lagging
The American Association of Law Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association sent a letter (PDF file) April 4 to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, to urge her to hold additional oversight hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency library network. A troubling report (PDF file) released by the Government Accountability Office in November 2010 found that EPA has still not finished its strategic plan, despite spending more than three years on it....
AAAL Washington Blawg, Apr. 4

Ithaka S+R logoLibraries’ digital direction
Most college library directors would order print books removed from the library if there was a robust and trustworthy way to provide access to electronic versions, according to Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors (PDF file), a new report by Ithaka S+R that offers a strategic analysis on the state of the library. The study also reveals undercurrents of doubt from directors about how to proceed strategically as their institutions navigate from print to electronic collections. Most worry that they don’t know enough about the costs and benefits of the various models of e-book access...
Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 4; Ithaka S+R, Apr. 4

Taxonomy of Literacies chartA taxonomy of literacies
Lane Wilkinson writes: “We have digital literacy, visual literacy, transliteracy, critical literacy, information literacy, scientific literacy, health literacy, computer literacy, digital literacy, media literacy . . . the list goes on and on. Nobody colors within the lines, so there’s a lot of confusion out there. What do we do with all these literacies everybody is arguing about these days? After thinking it over for a few hours, here’s what I came up with. It’s actually easy to identify two separate ways of thinking about literacy: media-specific literacy and media-neutral literacy.”...
Sense and Reference, Mar. 30

Dedicated to standards (PDF file)
Andrew Pace writes: “I have no qualms about expressing my love-hate relationship with standards. For the decade that I have been involved with NISO, I have both articulated the collective sigh heard throughout the community whenever a standards initiative is announced and decried lack of adherence to the most basic of standards that make libraries more efficient and all of our jobs easier. But truth be told, my patience for standards nay-sayers is waning more quickly than it once did.”...
Information Standards Quarterly 23, no. 1 (Winter)

Teacher Zone logoSeven good sources for mathematics videos
Richard Byrne writes: “When I was a high school student, one of the most frustrating things about doing mathematics homework was getting home and not remembering one step that would make all of the difference between having the right or wrong answer. Today’s high school students don’t have that problem if they have internet access at home. A student today can jump on the web and find some tutorials to refresh his or her memory. Here are some good places to find math tutorial videos on the web.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 5

No one starts at your website
David Lee King writes: “Guess what? Your patrons aren’t starting their information searches at your library’s website. In fact, OCLC checked that out. In its Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community report, OCLC found that no one starts their info searches at a library website. Yep, a big, fat 0%. And you know what? That’s ok. Here are a couple of thoughts about that.”...
David Lee King, Mar. 31

Information will out
Kate Sheehan writes: “For quite some time, I was under the impression that ‘information wants to be free’ was a rallying cry for access and simplicity, not content you didn’t have to pay for. ‘Information will out’ was the underlying meaning I focused on. Free has long been the reason libraries are inconvenient. Many libraries have worked out ways to ease patron pain when it comes to our collections, but our hands are often tied when it comes to ease of use.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Apr. 5

Cover of 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, by Mark Kurlansky Birth year bash
Neil Hollands writes: “Here’s a fun theme for an upcoming book group meeting: Ask each reader in your group to select a book that represents the year of his or her birth. For added fun, bring food or drinks that were typical of the era, memorabilia, a copy of the bestseller list, or a list of events that occurred during the year (either literary happenings or important events in the news). If your group is game (and of a workable size), you might extend the birth year bash for an entire cycle.”...
Booklist Online: Book Group Buzz, Mar. 30

Working with administrators
Jennifer Larson and Linda Braun write: “This is a collaborative blog post written by a protégé and mentor in YALSA’s mentoring program. Jennifer is the protégé and Linda is the mentor. We’ve been talking about how to gain support for teen services and how to work with the library administration to let them know all about the great activities and work being done by teen librarians. As our conversations developed, we realized that what we were talking about made for a great series of blog posts. Our first is on how to gain support from administration for teen projects.”...
YALSA Blog, Apr. 4

Library Director Kelly Krieg-Sigman with Wisconsin Public Radio Southwest Manager John Gaddo in the La Crosse Public Library parking lotWisconsin catalogers make a new StoryCorps record
After the StoryCorps trailer set up in the La Crosse (Wis.) Public Library parking lot, archivist Anita Taylor Doering discovered that the library would receive recordings of the La Crosse interviews by responding to a survey. She committed the library to cataloging what grew into 116 interviews into the local catalog and WorldCat to make them more globally available. StoryCorps has been so impressed with the quality of the item-level record for each interview that it is considering using the cataloging as a template for bibliographic records of StoryCorps interviews nationally...
OCLC, Mar. 30

Gamify your library fines
Brian Herzog writes: “Sweden is turning driving the speed limit into a game, complete with cash rewards. Instead of just using traffic cameras to catch people speeding, they’re also using them to catch people obeying the speed limit. By following the law, those people earn a chance at winning a share of the revenue generated by speeding tickets. How awesome would it be to do this with library overdue fines?”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Mar. 31; NPR: Weekend Edition, Mar. 27

Envelope sent from Bilbao to Los Angeles Public Library in 1952Best library cover story ever
Larry Nix writes: “On May 8, 1952, two Spaniards from Bilbao, Spain, sent a letter to the Los Angeles Public Library in hopes of winning a bet. The bet was based on the envelope (right) in which the letter was enclosed. The envelope was addressed only with a drawing, and the bet was that this would be sufficient to get the envelope and enclosed letter delivered to the library. The letter (English on one side and Spanish on the other) requested that the director of the library respond if it arrived safely.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 4

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