American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 20, 2011

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

Alexander Street Press ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Troy (Mich.) Public Library's Technology CenterDon’t count out Troy library yet
In uncertain times, people take their victories where they find them, and the beleaguered boosters of the Troy (Mich.) Public Library are no exception. “While the library may close (or it may not), it will not be closing on May 1,” Director Cathleen Russ announced April 20. Elected leaders’ reconsideration of the library’s future came shortly after a poll revealed that 72% want public library services, with 32% declaring the library their top municipal priority....
American Libraries news, Apr. 20

On My Mind: Reviving the spirit of Andrew Carnegie
Mark Herring writes: “A folk singer of my youth, Joni Mitchell, once famously sang, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.’ Maybe libraries are démodé, obsolete, or soon will be. But if we can revive the spirit of Carnegie for one more generation, we may find that frequenting libraries is far better than attending the ‘University of Google’ exclusively.”...
American Libraries column, May-June

Mark Y. Herring's 2001 article in American LibrariesRevisiting “10 Reasons”
Greg Landgraf writes: “In 2001, American Libraries published Mark Herring’s ‘10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library.’ The article, a celebration of the importance of physical libraries in a digital age, was a hit. It hasn’t aged well. On April 14, BoingBoing published a photo of a poster made from that list, and the commentary is, well, not kind. And with a decade of perspective, much of the criticism is valid. Let’s turn it over to AL Direct readers: What are your most important ways that the library remains valuable today? Answer in the comment section.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 15

Norman, Oklahoma, Pioneer Library Systemís video demonstrating that printed books can withstand many more check-outs than a mere 26Internet Librarian: The life of an e-book
Joseph Janes writes: “Unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears, you know why the number 26 is of sudden concern to us. HarperCollins has announced it will magnanimously allow that many loans of its e-books before they go poof into the ether. The publisher must have calculated that that was the point at which its marginal profit per copy dropped beyond an acceptable limit, or was the rough equivalent of the number of loans a physical copy of a book could sustain. Or, HC made it up.”...
American Libraries column, May-June

Recommended Viewing: Movies and DVDs
Q. I know ALA has reading lists in different age groups. But what about lists for other materials? Does ALA make a list of recommended movies or DVDs? And are there lists for different age groups? A. Similar to the ALA Recommended Reading page, there is an ALA Recommended Viewing page, which links to the longtime Notable Children’s Videos list and the ALSC Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video, among others....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Apr. 20

Carrie CooperNew appointments
Carrie Cooper (right) has been appointed dean of university libraries at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, effective August 1. Tessa Michaelson Schmidt in January was appointed assistant director of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library of the Upper San Juan Library District in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Gale Etschmaier will become dean of library and information access at San Diego State University on June 30....
AL: Currents


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ALA News

ALA calls on Congress to restore support to libraries in FY2012
H.R. 1473, the budget bill that will fund the government through September 2011, includes across-the-board cuts that may deeply affect libraries of all kinds. The bill, which cleared Congress April 14, includes a $28-million cut to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, appropriating the agency at $237.8 million for FY2011. IMLS has 30 days to determine how it will administer these cuts....
District Dispatch, Apr. 15

Library of Congress hit hard in FY2011 spending agreement
The FY2011 spending agreement includes more than $103 million in cuts to Congress’ own budget, which may eventually necessitate some layoffs around Capitol Hill. The Library of Congress, which would be forced to absorb a $13.4-million cut from 2010 levels, would be hit the hardest and require a hiring freeze, with core services and products delayed as staff levels are reduced. The Washington Office has a summary of other library-related areas in the agreement....
Roll Call, Apr. 13; District Dispatch, Apr. 15

ALA supports broadband build-out to rural libraries
ALA submitted comments (PDF file) April 18 to the Federal Communications Commission in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding reform of the high-cost program within the Universal Service Fund and creation of the Connect America Fund. ALA urges that funding to serve rural areas, whether from the CAF or another funding mechanism, should carry with it the obligation to ensure that public libraries receive adequate broadband connectivity....
District Dispatch, Apr. 19

Sue Gardner. Photo by Lane HartwellWikimedia Foundation director to speak at ALA President’s Program
Sue Gardner will join ALA President Roberta Stevens at her President’s Program on June 26 to speak about one of the most popular internet sensations of the decade. The program, titled “Wikipedia: Past, Present, and Future,” will be held during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Gardner is executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit charitable organization that operates Wikipedia and nine other free-knowledge wikis....
Public Information Office, Apr. 19

Dan SavageDan Savage to keynote Opening General Session
Journalist Dan Savage, author of Savage Love and Skipping Towards Gomorrah, will be the speaker at the Opening General Session at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Savage and his partner Terry Miller will sign copies of their book It Gets Better at the conclusion of the session....
Public Information Office, Apr. 19

Molly ShannonMolly Shannon to keynote Closing General Session
Comedian and author Molly Shannon will be the speaker June 28 at the ALA Annual Conference Closing General Session in New Orleans. The Emmy-nominated actress is known for portraying exuberant characters and became famous for her roles on Saturday Night Live. Her debut children’s book Tilly the Trickster will be published in September....
Public Information Office, Apr. 19

Earth Day 2011 graphicCelebrate Earth Day @ your library
Earth Day is April 22, an opportune time to remind people in your community that libraries do their part when it comes to reducing, reusing, and recycling. Here are just a few things that libraries across the country are doing to promote the library as a key renewable resource. The East Hampton (N.Y.) Public Library is collaborating with East Hampton Public Works and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association to sell backyard compost bins and rain barrels to library users....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Apr. 19

Bill would let libraries help in workforce development
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) has introduced a bill to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to integrate public libraries into state and local workforce investment boards. The bill, the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act (H.R. 1616), would expand libraries’ opportunities to take leading roles in helping the public find employment in this weak economy....
District Dispatch, Apr. 19

Many Children, Many Books posterCelebrating 15 years of children, cultures, and books
“Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books”—the the new slogan celebrating the 15th anniversary of El día de los niños/El día de los libros—adorns a just-released ALA Graphics poster and bookmark. The Many Children, Many Books poster and bookmark, developed in partnership with Día sponsor ALSC, emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all backgrounds. Illustrating these powerful words is original art by children’s book illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez....
ALA Graphics, Apr. 18

Librarians and patrons "Shout" at the Reading (Mass.) Public LibraryLibrary Snapshot Day flash mob
April 13 was not a day to be quiet at the Reading (Mass.) Public Library—for a short time, anyway. For just over five minutes, librarians and patrons danced, clapped, and sang along to the song “Shout!” as the staff brought a little levity to Library Snapshot Day. Librarians asked patrons to fill out a form explaining why they came to the library, and Director Lorraine Barry said the staff wanted to give Reading residents a fun reason to visit as they filled out their surveys....
Reading (Mass.) Patch, Apr. 14

Behind the scenes with the Committee on Accreditation
Laura Dare writes: “The ALA Committee on Accreditation meets for two to two-and-a-half days each quarter. Accreditation decisions are usually made during the summer and winter meetings. Because of the confidential nature of accreditation (to ensure candid reporting), COA meetings are closed. So, what actually happens during a typical COA meeting?”...
Prism 19, no. 1 (Spring)

Drew Brees Celebrity READ posterDrew Brees joins the Celebrity READ campaign
Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, is the latest star to join the Celebrity READ Campaign. Developed in anticipation of the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in June, the poster is now available for purchase. A much-loved figure in the Crescent City and nationwide, Brees was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV, was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 2010, and has been selected for the Pro Bowl five times....
ALA Graphics, Apr. 18

RDA Toolkit enhancements
Starting this month, the Library of Congress Cataloger’s Desktop is not the only third-party product through which you can access RDA if you’re an RDA Toolkit subscriber; OCLC Connexion users who subscribe can now link from a displayed bibliographic or authority record to the RDA Toolkit. To help users keep up with RDA Toolkit enhancements, the RDA copublishers have launched a blog....
ALA Publishing, Apr. 19

ALA TechSource workshops graphicUse technology to be more efficient
ALA TechSource announces the latest in its series of Online Workshops, “Using Technology in Library Management: Skills for More Efficient Administration and Communication,” with library director and technology expert Kenley Neufeld. You will learn to implement new communication tools, use cloud-based tools such as Google Docs for document collaboration, and solve problems using social media. The workshop will be held June 2 and 9; registration may be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Apr. 19

Joanna Burkhardt e-courseTeach information literacy to college students
ALA Editions is offering a new facilitated e-course on Teaching Information Literacy to College Students. Joanna Burkhardt (right), head librarian at the University of Rhode Island branch libraries and coauthor of Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-Based Exercises for College Students, will serve as the instructor for this facilitated e-course, which starts on June 6....
ALA Editions, Apr. 19

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Remember Ben ClaytonFeatured review: Historical fiction
Harrigan, Stephen. Remember Ben Clayton. May 2011. 352p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-26581-4).
Like the statue at its center, Harrigan’s novel is a stunning work of art resting on a solid base of heartbreak. The action ranges from the Texas plains to the devastated northern French landscape, with the presence of the violent Wild West strongly lingering. Wealthy rancher Lamar Clayton had raised his son alone after his much younger wife’s death. Now Ben is dead, killed in WWI, and his taciturn father wants to memorialize him in bronze. “Gil” Gilheaney, a brilliant, ambitious sculptor, accepts the commission....

Top 10 Historical Fiction graphicTop 10 historical fiction, 2011
Brad Hooper writes: “Imagine the difficulty of selecting the 10 best historical novels over the past year at a time when the historical novel is both good and plentiful; imagine, too, the reading pleasure presented by the outstanding selection we came up with. The list includes José Saramago’s The Elephant’s Journey, set in 1551, when King João III of Portugal made a startling diplomatic move by giving Archduke Maximilian II of Austria the elephant housed on Portuguese royal grounds. The elephant’s trek across Europe to its new home is followed in this extremely amusing, historically resonant, fablelike, and technically challenging narrative.”...

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


New Orleans Update

Walking tour provided by Friends of the CabildoFrench Quarter walking tours
The Friends of the Cabildo French Quarter walking tours are conducted by city-licensed guides and emphasize the history, architecture, and folklore of New Orleans. Tour and store proceeds benefit Friends of the Cabildo, a nonprofit volunteer group organized in 1956 to provide support for the Louisiana State Museum. Tours are held Tuesday through Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and depart from the 1850 House Museum Store on Jackson Square....
Friends of the Cabildo

Lafayette Cemetery #1New Orleans cemetery tours
In New Orleans, even cemeteries are major tourist attractions. With a spooky history and ornate tombs that date back as far as the late 1700s, it’s no wonder that travelers are usually eager to explore these famous resting places. There are dozens of cemeteries throughout the city, but most organized tours will take you through St. Louis Cemetery #1, home to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s grave, and Lafayette Cemetery, a popular location for movies shot in New Orleans. Here is a list of area cemeteries, with photos....
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; New Orleans Cemeteries

Gogobot logoGogobot gets personal
Shivani Vora writes: “Gogobot, a new travel-planning site that debuted in November, offers personalized recommendations for its members based on suggestions from their friends. After signing up for a free account, members can link to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to find friends who are already part of Gogobot. Users can ask any travel-related question and the site posts it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter stream, and sends it to the Gogobot community. The answers come back as structured data in a list with an address, website, phone number, and reviews.”...
New York Times: In Transit, Apr. 15

Spots on a mattress are indicative of bedbugs. Photo by the University of Kentucky College of AgricultureFive myths about bedbugs and travel
Lisa Cheng writes: “The recent bedbug comeback has spurred a surge in industry research and consumer education. That said, bedbugs are still the subject of hyped-up paranoia and confounding myths. Experts from the National Pest Management Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the New York State Integrated Pest Management help to separate fact from fiction.” Check out the Bedbug Registry and learn how to inspect your hotel room for bedbugs....
Frommer’s, Apr. 15; Bug Girl’s Blog, Sept. 18, 2008; University of Kentucky Entomology

Feral chickens getting fed in the Lower 9th Ward. Screen shot from Times-Picayune videoWhat are those chickens doing here?
Since Hurricane Katrina, the 9th Ward has seen a new species of neighbor: clucking, crowing, prancing feral chickens that dart across streets and nest in the trees. “We don’t have stray dogs any more,” said resident Ruby Melton. “But everyone I talk to has stray chickens.” Most people figure that the wild birds descended from domestic fowl that escaped backyard coops after the storm....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Apr. 11

Division News

Preservation Week logoCelebrate Preservation Week, April 24–30
Preservation Week marks its second anniversary April 24–30. Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, ALCTS, in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is proud to bring Preservation Week to libraries across the country. This national awareness campaign was developed to promote the understanding and importance of care for personal and community cultural heritage collections....
ALCTS, Apr. 19

Five choices for ALSC spring online courses
ALSC has lined up five fantastic options for spring online learners. Spanning five to six weeks, these courses are designed for busy professionals or students who want passionate discussion guided by highly regarded instructors. Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Apr. 19

ACRL spring e-learning opportunities
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities this spring to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. Online seminars are asynchronous, multiweek courses delivered through Moodle. ACRL also offers a variety of timely live webcasts addressing hot topics in academic librarianship....
ACRL, Apr. 19

YALSA readies Teen Read Week 2011
YALSA launched its Teen Read Week 2011 website on April 14 (Support Teen Literature Day) in preparation for the event, which takes place October 16–22. In addition to free registration, visitors can find activity ideas relating to this year’s theme (“Picture It @ your library”), planning resources, publicity tools, and applications for Teen Read Week mini-grants. The first 300 registrants will receive a free copy of The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds, who created the artwork for this year’s theme....
YALSA, Apr. 15

Picture It image by Gareth HindsGareth Hinds helps teens “Picture It @ your library”
Promote YALSA’s Teen Read Week at your library with new products from ALA Graphics, including both print and digital items that feature the art of Gareth Hinds. This year’s Teen Read Week theme is “Picture It @ your library” and encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials. Hinds interpreted the theme with teens “picturing” and exploring their dreams at the library....
YALSA, Apr. 18

2011 Teens’ Top Ten nominees
YALSA has announced the nominations for this year’s Teen Top Ten vote. The Teens’ Top Ten is a teen choice list, in which teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. The division encourages teens to read the 25 nominees before the national Teens’ Top Ten vote, which will take place in August and September. The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 16–22....
YALSA, Apr. 15

Every Child Ready to Read 2d ed. logoGet a sneak peek of the new Every Child Ready to Read toolkit
On May 4, ALSC and PLA will host a free Sneak Peek Webinar for the eagerly anticipated second edition of the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library toolkit. Featuring Susan Neuman and Elaine Meyers, this hour-long webinar will provide a review of the early literacy research that led to the development of the toolkit. Registration is free....
PLA, Apr. 19

Andy Borowitz. Photo by Sigrid EstradaALTAFF’s “The Laugh’s on Us!”
ALTAFF will host “The Laugh’s On Us!” at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The event, to be held at the Hilton Riverfront June 26, will feature comedians and authors Paula Poundstone, Andy Borowitz (right), Jill Kargman, and Leila Sales. ALTAFF welcomes Playaway as the sponsor of “The Laugh’s On Us!” as well as a new Gold Corporate Friend....
ALTAFF, Apr. 19

Judith Shulevitz. Photo by Elena SeibertShulevitz to speak at Literary Tastes Breakfast
Judith Shulevitz, author of the 2011 Sophie Brody Medal–winning The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time, will speak at the 2011 Literary Tastes Breakfast at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, an author event hosted by RUSA and open to all book lovers. The event will be held June 26 and will feature authors from RUSA’s 2011 literary book award selections. This is a ticketed event....
RUSA, Apr. 19

Lesson Plan Database logoNew online standards tool
AASL has launched Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database, a public online database that provides school librarians with a fast and user-friendly way to create and share quality lesson plans with their peers. The database serves as a catalyst for collaboration, as school librarians and teachers work together to create projects that weave content and skills into engaging learning activities....
AASL, Apr. 19

New webinar added for Preservation Week
Registration is now open for a free webinar, “Protecting Future Access Now: Models for Preserving Digitized Books and Other Content at Cultural Heritage Organizations,” sponsored by Ithaka, for Preservation Week. The webinar will be held April 27 and will be presented by Amy Kirchhoff, archive product manager at Portico....
ALCTS, Apr. 18

Cover of Using Qualitative Methods in Action ResearchUsing qualitative methods in action research
ACRL has released Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data, edited by Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer. While quantitative research provides librarians with calculations and metrics of effectiveness, qualitative research, in its exploration of assumptions, value, and opinion, makes possible a deeper understanding of the subtleties of patron interaction with library services and collections....
ACRL, Apr. 19

Awards

Dee Venuto2011 AASL Intellectual Freedom Award
Dee Venuto (right), school librarian at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, New Jersey, is the 2011 recipient of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award. Venuto researched the motivations behind the challenges of three books on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues and upheld the principles of intellectual freedom in a presentation made before the district’s reconsideration committee. Venuto discovered the book challenge to be part of a well-organized strategy on the part of TV personality Glenn Beck....
AASL, Apr. 19

AASL Distinguished School Administrators Award
Donna Haye, district assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Atlantic City (N.J.) Board of Education, has received the 2011 AASL Distinguished School Administrators Award. Sponsored by ProQuest, the $2,000 award honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operation of an exemplary school library. Haye was cited for setting as a priority the hiring of a certified school librarian for every school....
AASL, Apr. 19

AASL Collaborative School Library Award
The “Medieval Narrative” project, planned and presented by the librarians and freshman/sophomore social studies team at Deerfield (Ill.) High School, has won the 2011 AASL Collaborative School Library Award. Sponsored by Highsmith, the $2,500 award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers. The project was cited for its usage of both print and nonprint resources and the correlations of activities with the “Empowering Learners” standards....
AASL, Apr. 19

Lou Malcomb2011 LexisNexis Documents to the People Award
Lou Malcomb, head of the government information department at the Herman B. Wells Library, Indiana University, has been awarded the 2011 Documents to the People Award, sponsored by LexisNexis and administered by the ALA Government Documents Round Table. Malcomb provided the impetus and leadership for a preservation and access project as chair of a working group for the Indiana Light Archive for Federal Documents....
Indiana University, Apr. 18

Robert F. AslesonRobert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant
Iris L. Hanney, president of Unlimited Priorities Corporation, has announced the formation of the Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant. The grant honors the memory of the late Robert Asleson (right), founder and president of the Redalen Group. EBSCO Publishing has provided a generous donation to support the grant. Candidates for an ALA-accredited MLS degree are eligible to apply for the grant, which will subsidize attendance at either the Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference. Each grant will be in the amount of $1,500....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 19

Carnegie-Whitney Grant winners
The Carnegie-Whitney Grant provides funding for the preparation, either in print or online, of popular or scholarly reading lists, webliographies, indexes, and other guides to library resources that will be useful to users of all types of libraries. Seven grants were awarded this year for projects that will promote reading or the use of library resources. Applications for the next cycle must be received by November 5....
ALA Publishing, Apr. 19

20 librarians receive Summer Reading grants
YALSA has announced the winners of its Summer Reading Program grants. The grants, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, give each winning library $1,000 to offer inventive summer reading programs....
YALSA, Apr. 15

Alberta library wins national technology award
The Red Deer (Alberta) Public Library has won a Canadian Library Association award for embracing new technology to reach and engage the public. This week library staff learned they were named the recipient of the 2011 Information Today Award for Innovative Technology. The library’s project, called “Engaging Community on the Web: Red Deer Public Libraries Election Forum,” earned the award....
Red Deer (Alberta) Advocate, Apr. 20

Cover of The Fiery Trial, by Eric FonerPulitzer Prize winners
Winners of the 2011 Pulitzer Prizes were announced April 18 at Columbia University. The winner in fiction was Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (Knopf); in history, Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (W. W. Norton); in biography, Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life (Penguin); and in general nonfiction, Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner)....
The Nation, Apr. 18

Cover of London Triptych2011 Authors’ Club Best First Novel
The Authors’ Club announced that Jonathan Kemp has won its Best First Novel Award of 2011 for London Triptych (Myriad, 2010). This ambitious debut skillfully interweaves the lives and loves of three gay men across a century in a dark, unsettling narrative of sex and exploitation in a London underworld of rent boys, aristocrats, artists, and felons. The £2,500 ($4,067 U.S.) prize was awarded April 13 at Waterstone’s flagship Piccadilly store in London....
Authors’ Club, Apr. 14

Seen Online

Pam Muñoz Ryan speaks out for libraries in an Our Authors, Our Advocates PSAImproving literacy through school libraries
Author Pam Muñoz Ryan (right) writes: “Over the years, I have been invited to speak in elementary and middle schools in all 50 states. I began to observe that the schools where the library was the hub of the school, and staffed by a professional librarian/media specialist, seemed to have the most accomplished and literate students. Today, I have discovered that based on more than 20 educational studies what I deduced was true: Children in a school with a strong media/library program scored higher on standardized tests.” Muñoz Ryan is one of several authors who have contributed their voices to a series of PSAs available to library advocates as part of ALA’s “Our Authors, Our Advocates” initiative....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Apr. 16

Is the dream of a universal library dead?
Peter Singer writes: “Scholars have long dreamed of a universal library containing everything that has ever been written. Then, in 2004, Google announced that it would begin digitally scanning all the books held by five major research libraries. Suddenly, the library of utopia seemed within reach. But most of the works held by those research libraries are still in copyright. The central issue is this: How can we make books and articles—not just snippets, but entire works—available to everyone, while preserving the rights of the works’ creators?”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 19

Facebook cashes in on user data
Jessica Guynn writes: “For years, Facebook put little effort into ad sales, focusing instead on making its service irresistible to users. Now the company is looking to cash in on this mother lode of personal information by helping advertisers pinpoint exactly whom they want to reach. It’s now tracking this activity, shooting online ads to users based on their demographics, interests, even what they say to friends on the site—sometimes within minutes of them typing a key word or phrase.”...
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 17

A foldout plate about horse bloodletting, from La Mareschal Expert by Nicolas Beaugrand (1632)Texas A&M gets rare veterinary books
The Texas A&M University Libraries has acquired a collection of 900 rare books about veterinary medicine from the 16th to the early 20th century, with a special emphasis on diseases of the horse. It’s a collection that every veterinary school in the world would envy, said Esther Carrigan, associate dean and director of the Medical Sciences Library. Of particular note is the first published book on veterinary medicine, Vegetii Renati Artis Veterinariae (1528). The collection was purchased for $640,000 from retired British veterinarian John G. P. Wood....
Texas A&M University, Apr. 4

Detroit could close most of its branches
The Detroit Public Library could close most of its neighborhood branches and lay off more than half of its workers because of an $11-million shortfall caused by plunging tax collections. One month after laying off 80 workers, library administrators said deeper cuts are needed and outlined three options, the most severe of which is to shut 18 of 23 branches and lay off 191 of the remaining 333 workers. Whatever course commissioners who oversee the system choose in May, residents in an economically challenged city with a functional illiteracy rate of 47% are likely to suffer....
Detroit News, Apr. 15

Texas librarians rally at the State CapitolTexas librarians protest $30 million in state cuts
Texas libraries face massive budget cuts from the state—up to $30 million in the House proposal. On April 13, thousands of librarians donned red T-shirts, took a break from the Texas Library Association annual conference, and gathered outside the State Capitol in Austin to protest. Their speeches, chanting, and drumming were efforts to make lawmakers hear how detrimental those cuts could be. One program on the chopping block is the Lone Star Libraries Grant, which delivers state aid to nearly all of the public libraries in Texas....
KXAN-TV, Austin, Tex., Apr. 13; YNN Austin, Apr. 13

Books burned in fundamentalist Mormon town
Piles of books—perhaps thousands—intended to be used for a new library were burned over the weekend in the polygamous community of Colorado City, Arizona. Isaac Wyler said he went to survey the damage April 18 and found warm ashes and book fragments. In 2008, ex-Fundamentalist LDS member Stefanie Colgrove began gathering books from book lovers who heard about her idea for a library in the FLDS communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, which hasn’t had a public library for years....
Salt Lake City Deseret News, Apr. 18

San Diego threatens cuts in branch hours
If the city budget cuts announced by Mayor Jerry Sanders on April 14 are approved, San Diego (Calif.) Public Library branches would be open just two days a week and alternate Saturdays and 77 positions would be eliminated. In a cruel streak of civic irony, the city is building a deluxe new central library downtown, but the libraries that serve as neighborhood centers are getting smaller. Even though hours were reduced during the last round of budget cutting, San Diegans used their libraries more often in 2010 than they did in 2009....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Apr. 14, 16

Nancy Everhart (left) and Jerrilyn BlackmanSpending cuts and school libraries
AASL President Nancy Everhart (left) is winding up her national Vision Tour to celebrate outstanding school libraries. She singled out Utterback Magnet Middle School in Tucson for its exemplary library in a ceremony on April 14. However, it was a bittersweet event for Jerrilyn Blackman (right), who has served as the school’s librarian for 11 years. She recently found out that her job will be eliminated next year. On an Arizona public broadcasting station, Everhart and Blackman discussed the impact of recent education spending cuts on school libraries across the state....
Arizona Public Media, Apr. 14; KMSB-TV, Tucson, Apr. 15

A scroll to the editor
Lynne Sundstrom writes: “We believe that picture books are essential to the development of lifelong readers and learners. In response to an October 7 article, ‘Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children,’ the library at Birch Lane Elementary School in Davis, California (enrollment 600), dedicated the entire month of February to the promotion of picture books for every person, every reader. During that month, Love a Picture Book Month, our students read 4,590 picture books.”...
New York Times: Letters, Apr. 13

Tomorrow’s librarians are all about tech
Sam Allis writes: “LIS students today face a two-year graduate school curriculum freighted with technology courses that didn’t exist 10 years ago. The emphasis on technology begins early at the Simmons College GSLIS. Every student must create a website and wiki page within the first six weeks. For her class, GSLIS Technology Manager Linnea Johnson requires a PC autopsy, in which groups of two or three students disassemble a computer, taking out everything from the hard drive to the memory card to the central processing unit.”...
Boston Globe, Apr. 16

Junior League builds library at Florida shelter
The Fort Walton Beach, Florida, shelter for homeless women and families can now add a library to its offerings. This year’s provisional class of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast recently collected about 10,000 books to complete the project. The 47 women in the provisional class collected books from coworkers, family, and friends for two weeks and spent two weekends clearing out a space and installing the library at the shelter....
Fort Walton Beach Northwest Florida Daily News, Apr. 17

Belleville changes policy to benefit homeless man
A man whose library card was revoked March 21 because he is homeless will be able to stay on the computers as long as anyone else at the library, the Belleville (Ill.) Public Library board of trustees decided April 14. The board changed its policy to add a half hour to the time that noncardholders can use a computer. That brings it to an hour, which is the same as the policy for cardholders. Library Director Harriett Zipfel plans to partner with social service agencies to try to connect them with users who need help....
Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat, Apr. 15

Thomas ZajacSalt Lake City Public Library bomber sentenced
A Downers Grove, Illinois, man who planted a pipe bomb in the Salt Lake City Public Library in September 2006 maintained his innocence as a federal judge ordered him to prison April 14. A jury convicted Thomas James Zajac (right) last fall of six charges related to the bombing, which damaged a third-floor window and forced 400 people to evacuate. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups sentenced Zajac to 35 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release....
Salt Lake City Deseret News, Apr. 14

Couple caught having sex at ImaginOn
Police say a 20-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were caught having sex April 12 in the teen lounge at ImaginOn, a combination library and children’s theater in Charlotte, North Carolina. The lounge is not walled off and there isn’t anything to keep kids from walking into the area. Fortunately, there were not any children in that area when the incident occurred. The two suspects were issued a citation and are now banned from all Mecklenburg County libraries....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Apr. 13

Lightning strike causes fire at Indiana library
Hancock County (Ind.) Public Library administrators were gathering to discuss an earthquake-preparedness plan April 19 at the Greenfield branch when a lightning bolt struck the roof and started a fire. Firefighters were called to the library around noon and removed part of the roof. Library Director Dianne Osborne said rare materials in the local history room were not damaged....
Indianapolis Star, Apr. 19

Deborah LazarWinnetka librarian helps rebuild Haitian libraries
Deborah Lazar is a librarian at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. She has been involved with New Trier’s Haiti Project, which has been supporting the St. Joseph School in Petit-Goâve, Haiti. The school was completely destroyed along with many other buildings during the earthquake that hit the country in January 2010. Lazar has started another project, Rebuilding Haiti, Rebuilding Dreams, to help reconstruct libraries that were damaged in the quake....
WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Apr. 14

Read-in over layoffs at Portsmouth Library
Protestors gathered outside Portsmouth Central Library in the United Kingdom to campaign against expected job losses and service reductions. Sixty members of the city’s library and museum staff, book groups, and concerned members of the public staged a read-in at the library entrance. They wanted to make the public aware that an expected 30 staff members are to be laid off on April 25....
Portsmouth (U.K.) News, Apr. 15

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Control + Alt + Delete pillows from Swiss MissHow Control + Alt + Delete was born
John Brownlee writes: “You probably never gave the actual provenance of Control + Alt + Delete much thought. Clearly, it’s a shortcut birthed by some coder in the early days of computer lore, but you probably assumed that the guy who actually invented it had his name forgotten by history because ultimately no one cared. You’d be wrong. His name is David Bradley, and he’s one of the inventors of the original IBM Personal Computer.” Watch the video (1:16)....
Geek.com, Apr. 16; YouTube, Mar. 30, 2006

Flipboard news screen showing user-created categoriesNews curation apps for the iPad
Phil Bradley writes: “Flipboard, Pulse, Zite, and Flud are all free apps that you can download onto your iPad to keep you up-to-date with your own news interests. They will generally get their data directly from your own resources—your Twitter or Facebook account—or they’ll provide you with the option of choosing subject areas and then you can indicate if you like a subject, which will then affect the information returned in the future. You’ll also find that rather than simply giving a list of URLs, the app will collect the original story for you and return it, so that it can simply be read on the screen.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Apr. 18

QR code corkHow to make your QR codes prettier
Hamilton Chan writes: “The QR code: A thing of beauty or an eyesore? The magical barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone to launch an offline-to-online experience are often criticized for their black-and-white checkerbox appearance. Those who doubt that QR codes will go mainstream are quick to point out that the look of QR codes will deter marketers and advertisers from using them. Fortunately, QR codes are malleable and can be redesigned in truly extraordinary ways, while still maintaining their scanability.”...
Mashable, Apr. 19

Video games make you eat more
A Canadian-led study provides a new clue to the obesity epidemic, suggesting that video-game use actually compels players to eat more—even when they are not hungry. The teenage subjects of the Canadian-Danish study—published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition—spent an hour simply sitting in a comfortable chair and, on another occasion, an hour playing a video game. After the gaming, they consumed an average of 80 calories more at a pasta lunch....
National Post (Canada), Apr. 19

Picture size and quality settingsFive tips for better smartphone photos
P. J. Jacobowitz writes: “The cameras in cellphones just keep getting better and better. Features like autofocus, flash, and high-resolution image sensors have made grainy, unfocused, washed-out cellphone shots largely a thing of the past. Still, they’re not up to par with dedicated digital cameras. But even if you have a crummy camera phone, following some of these guidelines will greatly improve your chances of snapping a decent photo.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 20

How to survive horrible cellphone reception
Whitson Gordon writes: “You probably use your cellphone as your primary phone line, and since it’s with you all the time, that’s extremely convenient. It turns into a problem, however, when you’re stuck with crappy reception. If you regularly deal with bad service—whether at home, at work, or anywhere else you frequent—here are a few of the best ways to deal with it (short of moving).”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 20

ALA HQ in Chicago added on Google Map MakerEdit and add to the U.S. map with Google Map Maker
Nearly three years after releasing Map Maker in other countries, Google is ready to let its users edit and add to the map of the United States. Google Map Maker is a parallel version of Google Maps that accepts user contributions and map edits. When approved by moderators, edits are published to Google Maps and pushed live to all users. On April 19, Map Maker will integrate with Street View so users can use imagery to help guide their edits. Using Map Maker, people have built out and edited the maps for 183 countries and regions around the world. Watch the video (0:53)....
Mashable, Apr. 19; Google LatLong, Apr. 19; YouTube, Apr. 14

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ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Provided by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, the Placement Center will be open Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m–5 p.m. There will be an orientation on Saturday, June 25, at 8:30 a.m. in the Placement Center.


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Academic libraries routinely struggle to afford access to expensive journals, and patrons may not be able to obtain every scholarly paper they need. Is Open Access the answer? In this ALA Editions Special Report, Crawford helps readers understand what Open Access is (and isn’t). NEW! From ALA Editions.


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Great Libraries of the World

John Carter Brown Library

John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island. An independently funded center for advanced research, the Brown Library possesses a premier collection of rare books and maps relating to the European discovery and settlement of the New World up to 1820. It began in 1846 as the private collection of bibliophile John Carter Brown and was kept in a special fireproof room in the Brown family house until 1901, when it was transferred to the Brown University campus.

Redwood Library and Athenaeum

Redwood Library and Athenæum, Newport, Rhode Island. The Redwood is the oldest membership lending library in America and the oldest library building in continuous use in the country. It was founded in 1747 by Abraham Redwood and 45 others based on the principle of “having nothing in view but the good of mankind.” Architect Peter Harrison used a Roman Doric temple with portico and wings as a model for this neoclassical building. Although more than half of its original volumes were lost in the British occupation during the American Revolution, the library now has replaced about 90% of the missing books.

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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Reference, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian for Special Collections, University of Chicago. As part of a Reader Services team of 5 full-time staff members, the Special Collections RIO Librarian contributes to an innovative and highly collaborative program supporting research and teaching in a newly renovated space. Responsible for reference assistance to Special Collections researchers at all levels, across the collections, including rare books, University archives, manuscripts, and the Chicago Jazz Archives; develops and provides online and in-person instruction for undergraduate and graduate classes; creates outreach programs, including orientations, tours, presentations, and events for University and other audiences....

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Digital Library of the Week

Railroad worker idled by strike, Salem, Oregon, May 24, 1946. Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

The Oregon Digital Library is a searchable portal for several digital collections created by institutions around the state. At present, the ODL gateway can access approximately 500,000 items from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, Southern Oregon University, Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Institute of Technology, and other digital collections throughout the state.

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

“Closing libraries— there is no other way to put this—is a symptom of societal decay. Libraries are a symbol of functional democracy and informed citizens— and, indeed, of an enlightened people. Many of our nation’s most celebrated figures, from Benjamin Banneker and Abigail Adams to Abraham Lincoln, Ray Bradbury, and Jack London, educated themselves in public libraries. These institutions represent our collective commitment to equal access to knowledge and information, regardless of status or income.”

—Matthew DiCarlo, “The High Cost of Closing Public Libraries,” Shanker Blog, Apr. 18.

“If I wanted to, the solution is to get up early and go to the library.”

—The late David Foster Wallace in a note he scribbled to himself, quoted in Lev Grossman’s “Unfinished Business: Resurrecting David Foster Wallace’s Last Novel,Time, Mar. 31.

“Enter a library, and we lose our hard surfaces and become porous, like paper waiting for ink. We breathe in the smell, that sweet intermingling of must and glue, and our troubles melt away. Our despair at the desk when the words wouldn’t come; our irritation at an imagined slight or a telephone that rang and rang; our sore back—all forgotten. Here, in the hush of the stacks, we can forget the day’s indignities; here, we can recover our curiosity and hope.”

—Susan Olding, “Library Haunting,Utne Reader, Mar.-Apr. 2011.

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Calendar

Apr. 27–30:
Evergreen International Conference,
Decatur Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Decatur, Georgia. “Growing Home.”

Apr. 29–
May 1:

Feria del Libro en Español de Los Ángeles,
Los Angeles Convention Center. A spinoff of the Guadalajara Book Fair.

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 3:
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts,
Newberry Library, Chicago. “Preparing for the Unexpected: Disaster Planning for Cultural Collections.”

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

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:
National Information Standards Organization,
Forum on Mobile Technologies in Libraries, Chemical Heritage Foundation Conference Center, Philadelphia.

May 21:
Philadelphia Vintage Book and Ephemera Fair,
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

May 22:
Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair,
University of Michigan Union.

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

May 31–
June 3:

American Institute for Conservation,
Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. “Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Ethical Principles and Critical Thinking in Conservation.”

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

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

June 8–11:
American Theological Library Association,
Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, Chicago. “Theological Block Party.”

July 23–26:
American Association of Law Libraries,
Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.

Aug. 25–28:
Baltimore Summer Antiques Show and Antiquarian Book Fair,
Baltimore Convention Center.

Sept. 15–18:
Reforma,
4th Annual Conference, Westin Tabor Center, Denver. “Elevating Latino Services to a Higher Level: Juntos in the Mile-High City.”

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

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Publishing

Kindle and library booksAmazon to launch library lending for Kindle books
Amazon announced April 20 that Kindle users will be able to borrow e-books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States beginning later this year. Kindle Library
Lending will enable users of Kindle e-readers and apps to check out books from local libraries. Amazon is working with OverDrive to “bring a seamless library borrowing experience to Kindle customers.” E-books now available on the OverDrive sites will be immediately integrated with the Kindle. An Amazon spokesperson said the lending time will vary by library, “generally 7–14 days.”...
Mashable, Apr. 20; Amazon, Apr. 20; Library Journal, Apr. 20; Ars Technica, Apr. 20

Neil GaimanGaiman fans, enter now
Win a part in American Gods and get coached by Neil Gaiman himself. Enter Harper Audio’s contest on Bookperk by recording an audio of the audition paragraph and let the public vote on it through May 2; then keep your fingers crossed. The winner will be flown to New York City where the 10th-anniversary audiobook recording of American Gods will take place. You’ll have a credited speaking role, plus audiobook narrator (and author) extraordinaire Neil Gaiman will personally coach your narration. First, ....
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Apr. 13

E-book growth in triple digits
Strong and continued growth of books on digital platforms—both e-books and downloaded audiobooks—are the highlights of the February 2011 sales report of the Association of American Publishers, released April 14. Once again e-books have enjoyed a triple-digit percentage growth, 202.3%, compared to February 2010. Downloaded audiobooks, which have also seen consistent monthly gains, increased 36.7% from last February....
Association of American Publishers, Apr. 14

10 ways digital books are changing our literary lives
Claire Martin writes: “The Hermitage Bookshop in Denver, decidedly old-school with its oak furniture and elaborate Persian rug, isn’t where you’d expect to find a fan of e-books, but listen to owner Bob Topp: ‘E-books have increased the purchase of print books,’ he says. Topp doesn’t use an e-reader, but his wife does. She praises its ability to store hundreds of novels in a slim, mobile device. Certainly, digital publishing is changing the way people consume books, how and where they acquire books, and how and where they read. Here are 10 examples, old school versus new.”...
Denver Post, Apr. 18

Librarian says: "If they don't know the answer, librarians know where to find it."I want to be a librarian! (updated)
Mary Kelly writes: “Waaaay back in the early days of Awful Library Books we shared some wonderful examples of old-timey librarian career books. Back in 1960, this version of I Want To Be a Librarian! was published. Thankfully, we have a newer edition from 2003 that includes the illustration on the right. Going over our old librarian-themed posts made me chuckle. Enjoy some of these older posts too,” and browse through all of them from National Library Week....
Awful Library Books, Apr. 15

Publishers, libraries, and the value chain
Joe Esposito writes: “Library bypass is a publishing strategy in which a publisher that has traditionally sold most or all of its products to libraries begins to find ways to sell things directly to individuals, some of whom may have been library patrons. Publishers developed this strategy because libraries were telling them that they were out of funds; they could not buy what the publishers wanted to sell. One document that was widely circulated from a library purchasing consortium advised publishers to lower their prices and not to introduce any new products.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Apr. 18

Ingram logoIngram and Recorded Books to work together
Ingram Content Group and Recorded Books announced a content distribution agreement April 18 that will create a comprehensive e-audio collection. Libraries will have access to a broader selection of titles through Recorded Books’ OneClickdigital platform. Ingram’s enhanced audio offering will combine the Recorded Books’ library of titles with tens of thousands of bestsellers, mysteries, histories, nonfiction, and children’s titles Ingram’s e-audio inventory....
Ingram Content Group, Apr. 18

Jozsef Tari examines his collectionWorld-class collection of miniature books
Jozsef Tari, a printer living in Pécs, Hungary, has been collecting miniature books since 1972 and now owns more than 4,500 literary works. Most of his books are Hungarian, but he also has books from Canada, Mexico, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and nearly all European countries. He also owns 15 miniature newspapers, including the smallest one in the world (19 x 26 mm). L. D. Bradley explains why Hungary became a preeminent publisher of miniature books in the late 20th century....
Minibooks of Jozsef Tari; iLovePécs, Mar. 31; The Private Library, Apr. 19

Actions & Answers

Banned Books graphicMost Americans opposed to banning books
A new Harris Poll shows that a majority of Americans think no books should be banned completely (56%) while fewer than one in five say there are books that should be banned (18%); a quarter are not at all sure (26%). The older and less educated people are, the more likely they are to say that there are some books that should be banned. Opinions on banning books are linked to political philosophy: Almost three-quarters of liberals (73%) say no books should be banned, compared to six in ten moderates (60%) but only two in five conservatives (41%) who say no books should be banned....
Harris Interactive, Apr. 12

Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and WritersScholars in the stacks
Richard Goodman writes: “Located on the second floor of the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue, behind heavy polished wood doors, is heaven for the 15 men and women chosen to spend the academic year at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Each fellow has his or her own comfortable office, with computer, access to the entire NYPL collection, unlimited help from its learned curators—and let’s not forget the $60,000 stipend. How are those fortunate few chosen?”...
Fine Books and Collections, Apr.

"Everyone Agrees" portion of NLW infographicMurder by the numbers
Andy Woodworth writes: “An infographic (a portion shown at right) was passed around the online library world during National Library Week. My reaction to it was a bit different than others; specifically, I was a bit perturbed. While it is pleasant to look at and certainly has good design, it’s the data represented that made me wonder why anyone would think that this was a ‘good’ library support graphic. I’ll explain it in sections.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Apr. 19

Do You Buzz logoEight new websites for your résumé
Heather Huhman writes: “Multiple experts predict the death of the résumé in favor of the online profile in the near future. But on the flip side, résumés will always be needed at some point during the hiring process for official company records. As a result, new websites are popping up to help you with both sides of the equation. Here are eight new sites to help you bring your résumé online.”...
U.S. News & World Report: Money, Apr. 15

Screen shot of myON reader serviceCapstone Digital debuts Netflix-like readers’ advisory
Capstone Digital has launched a new online service that aims to do for literacy what Netflix has done for consumer entertainment, with the hope that this approach might spark students’ interest in reading. The myON reader system is a personalized digital reading environment that functions like Netflix’s “Suggested For You.” After screening the abilities and interests of K–8 students, myON suggests titles based on the students’ Lexile levels and the topics that most appeal to them—and the process is further refined each time a student rates a text. Watch the video (2:40)....
eSchool News, Apr. 14; YouTube, Jan. 26

Five myths about the information age
Harvard University Library Director Robert Darnton writes: “Confusion about the nature of the so-called information age has led to a state of collective false consciousness. It’s no one’s fault but everyone’s problem, because in trying to get our bearings in cyberspace, we often get things wrong, and the misconceptions spread so rapidly that they go unchallenged. Taken together, they constitute a font of proverbial nonwisdom. Five stand out.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 17

The library of the future
Rita Meade writes: “Recently, I was asked to be a judge for a children’s essay contest sponsored by a Brooklyn councilman, who is a big champion of libraries. The topic of the essay contest was ‘The Library of the Future,’ and kids ranging from elementary school to high school were asked to describe how they envision libraries changing, evolving, and improving in the years to come. I wish I could share every essay I read, because they were all hilariously brilliant, but here are a few of the quotes I enjoyed.”...
Screwy Decimal, Apr. 15

Jon MichaudA tour of the New Yorker library
Maura Deedy writes: “On a drizzly Friday, a small group of curious librarians was treated to a tour of the New Yorker Offices and the Library. Jon Michaud (right), head librarian at the New Yorker, was our host. We were whisked up to the 20th floor where Jon met us. The office was a bit lean, as they had just closed a double issue the day before. We peeked into the fact-checking library, filled with reference titles. The web team was in a large open area, newyorker.com open on every screen. I kept hoping to see Malcolm Gladwell or David Remnick walk around the corner.”...
The Desk Set, Apr. 14

Berners-Lee: Web access is a human right
Two decades after creating the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee says humans have become so reliant on it that access to the web should now be considered a basic right. In a speech at an MIT symposium, Berners-Lee compared access to the web with access to water. While access to water is a more fundamental right, because people simply cannot survive without it, web access should also be seen as a right because anyone who lacks it will fall behind their more connected peers....
Network World, Apr. 12

Menu from the Claremont Hotel, 1900. Items with green checks have already been transcribedHelp NYPL transcribe its menu collection
With approximately 40,000 menus dating from the 1840s to the present, the New York Public Library’s restaurant menu collection is one of the largest in the world. Trouble is, the menus are very difficult to search for specific information about dishes, prices, and the organization of meals, so the curators are working to improve the collection by transcribing the menus, dish by dish. They built a simple tool that makes the transcribing pretty easy to do, but it’s a big job, so they need your help. Feeling hungry?...
NYPL What’s on the Menu?

Presentation by Karen Coombs on Netflix at My LibraryWorldCat Mashathon US wrap-up
The WorldCat Mashathon US, held April 7–8, represented a successful test of a new way of hosting Mashathons. Held simultaneously in multiple locations and connected via WebEx with webcams, Mashathon participants learned about OCLC Web Services and how to use them, and shared ideas on how to solve challenges in their respective institutions. Some of those ideas were: Netflix at My Library (right), Borrow Direct Made Better, and Call Number Browse....
OCLC Developer Network

Cards for Judah P. Benjamin and Samuel CurtisCivil War board game factors in politics
Rea Andrew Redd writes: “Lincoln's War is a card-driven game that reflects the fickle nature of politics and juggling resources during the American Civil War. The battlefield is an extension of the political arena. More than 125 historical movers and shakers support or oppose their presidents’ conduct of the war. Each card’s activation number can goose a general into action, or be banked as political currency, used to promote worthy commanders, purchase war material, force indecisive commanders into action, or be translated into direct support for commanders in the field.”...
Civil War Librarian, Apr. 14

Japanamerica, by Roland Kelts, is one of the 100 books being offered for donationRead Japan program
The Nippon Foundation’s Book Donation Project 2011, “100 Books for Understanding Contemporary Japan,” is calling for applications. University and public libraries around the world are invited to apply for a donation of up to 100 highly informative English-language books on contemporary Japan. Send application materials to the Nippon Foundation by September 16....
Nippon Foundation

Become Someone Else ad (Don Quixote)Become someone else
Alice Yoo writes: “Don't you just love it when an advertising agency executes an idea as well as this? Bookstore Mint Vinetu worked with Love Agency in Vilnius, Lithuania, to come up with this brilliant series. Sure it reminds us of the whole sleeveface idea, but with a catchy tagline, it just works. ‘Become someone else. Pick your hero at Mint Vinetu.’”...
My Modern Metropolis, Apr. 15

The BiebBus, innovative Dutch mobile libraryBiebBus, the expanding mobile library
The Zaan district outside Amsterdam in North Holland is so densely populated that a conventional bookmobile takes up too much parking space, so architect Jord den Hollander designed a smart solution. He converted a standard shipping container into a mobile library with an outer shell that slides upwards to form a reading room and play space with huge windows and a transparent floor. The BiebBus makes 20 day-long stops at primary schools throughout the district....
Domus, Apr. 11

Screen shot from Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Bogus Books"Supporting cast: Lady librarian
Carol writes: “Have you ever seen the old Perry Mason television series? One episode was ‘The Case of the Bogus Books’ from September 27, 1962. The plot centered around, of course, a murder. Who was murdered? A nefarious bookseller. Why nefarious? He had a successful venture stealing rare first editions from libraries and reselling them. Just listening and watching the ‘Lady Librarian’ (that was how actress Renee Godfrey was billed in the credits) and Raymond Greenleaf as the ‘Rare Book Curator’ was both illuminating and strangely familiar.”...
Metadata, Cataloging and Various Librarian-like Stuff, Apr. 19

American Dad use of a library cardA different kind of library snapshot
Brian Herzog writes: “So far, I’ve been pretty happy to see all the positive activities and promotion around National Library Week. On April 13, my library participated in National Library Snapshot Day, and our patrons at least tolerated us taking their pictures. But I wanted to look at snapshots of libraries that aren’t generated by the library world. I spotted the image at right—prominently and deliberately displaying a library card—in the April 3 episode of American Dad.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Apr. 14

Alice in Wonderland cupcakes, made by SliceofCakeBook-inspired cakes
Jen Yates writes: “Loyal librarian Saima has informed me that last week was National Library Week. When I was a kid, we made weekly visits to our local library and every week I came home with a teetering stack of books taller than I was, so libraries are near and dear to my heart. Today, I’m dedicating these delicious book-inspired sweets to Saima and all of her fellow librarians and library workers. Shush on, my friends.”...
Cake Wrecks, Apr. 17

Screen shot of Alexis Weimer from the videoA Seminole librarian in Florence
Former Florida State University LIS student Alexis Weimer (right) spent a year in Italy as the librarian supervisor intern at FSU’s Study Center in Florence. The facility serves as both a computer lab, 7,000-volume library, and study center for FSU students studying abroad. In this video (2:41), she describes what her duties and challenges were....
YouTube, Apr. 19

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