|American Libraries Online
A librarian’s primer on the debt-ceiling deal
Rich Stombres writes: “Now that the debate over raising the debt ceiling is over and the smoke is beginning to clear, the question remains: What does this really mean? And, more specifically, what does this mean for libraries? With little time to spare, Congress finally passed on August 2 the Budget Control Act of 2011, which allows the president to borrow more money to pay off our ever-increasing national debt. While there are no new taxes in this bill, there are plenty of spending cuts, but no specifics, and they are mostly well into the future. Here is an outline of the legislation.”...
American Libraries news, Aug. 10
Vonnegut Library offers banned book to Republic students
In response to a Missouri school board’s order to ban Slaughterhouse-Five from the Republic High School library and curriculum, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis is offering a free copy of the book to 150 of the school’s students. Julia Whitehead, executive director of the library, said the gift, funded by an anonymous donor, was part of an effort to raise public awareness of the school board’s decision to remove the antiwar novel, prompted by a complaint lodged by Missouri State University Associate Business Professor Wesley Scroggins....
AL: Censorship Watch, Aug. 9; Political Buzz Examiner, Aug. 7
Credit card hackers target library’s donation page
At the request of the FBI, Brighton (Mich.) District Library Director Nancy Johnson is spreading a cautionary word to library colleagues about a series of illegal attempts to hack credit card accounts by testing them on her library’s online-donation website. She explained to American Libraries that the offender tries to hack into individuals’ accounts by trying to make a small online donation to the library and masquerading as a person whose name the hacker has harvested elsewhere. In essence, he runs an algorithm that tests different credit card number combinations against the same name in hopes of hitting a valid account number....
American Libraries news, Aug. 10
First-class service for 1st graders
Becky Cothran-Nichols writes: “On eight school-day mornings every September, school buses pull into the Selma–Dallas County (Ala.) Public Library every hour starting at 9 a.m., unloading 40–50 bubbling 1st graders. They line up excitedly outside the door and then head in for one of the library’s best programs for kids. “Welcome to Your Library” has been welcoming 1st graders for eight years in an effort to bring reading into the homes of more than 700 boys and girls.”...
American Libraries feature
Step easily into the digital future
Kathy Anderson and Laurie Gemmill write: “Libraries know the future is digital, but how do we get there in these times of shrinking budgets and staffs? In a tough economy, a collaborative approach makes digitization possible for many libraries. The Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative (MDC) is an example of a sustainable model that does not rely exclusively on grants or one-time funding; the collaborative works for libraries and cultural heritage institutions of all types and sizes.”...
American Libraries feature
Go the f**k to spam
George Williams, media relations manager for the District of Columbia Public Library, shared the following anecdote with American Libraries: “The D.C. Public Library hit a snag when fulfilling hold requests for Adam Mansbach’s book, Go the F**k to Sleep. A city government email filter designed to prevent abusive language or profanity inadvertently blocked messages containing requests for Mansbach’s book.”...
AL: Censorship Watch, Aug. 9
Technology in Practice: Tutorials that matter
Meredith Farkas writes: “Over the past decade, a large number of academic libraries have created online learning objects for their patrons. Whether it was a basic guide on doing research or a suite of tutorials for every database and topic, there has been growing recognition that learning objects are an important way to instruct patrons at their point of need. Many of these learning objects sit on the library website, not in online classrooms, and, as a result, many who would benefit never find them.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Dispatches from the Field: Automation systems
Marshall Breeding and Andromeda Yelton write: “For the last four years, Marshall Breeding has conducted an online Perceptions Survey to measure the satisfaction rate with multiple aspects of the automation products used by libraries. The data provides considerable insight into the dynamics of the library automation industry. The May/June 2011 issue of Library Technology Reports takes a deeper look at the survey data, exploring the differences that arise in comparing public versus academic libraries or those with differing collection sizes.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
American Libraries IFLA international supplement
A special hard-copy version of the American Libraries International Supplement is being distributed to attendees of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 13–18. The full issue, along with IFLA conference coverage and additional material, will appear on the AL website in September....
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 4
New Google Apps workshop
ALA TechSource is offering a new workshop, “Using Google Apps for a More Efficient Library” with Suzann Holland, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, September 4 and 14. From calendars to communication, Google’s web-based tools are ideal for collaborating across different schedules and locations or accessing documents from multiple computers....
ALA TechSource, Aug. 9
District Days: The personal touch
Krista McKenzie writes: “District Days, August 8 to September 5, starts this week. The four weeks when legislators return to their home states are a great time to schedule a meeting with them to advocate for your library. Legislators really like to hear personal stories to go along with pleas for library support. So how do you get those personal stories? Here’s a few ideas I’ve had.” (Before you schedule your appointment, take a look at Capitol Hill Basics.)...
YALSA Blog, Aug. 5
Cathy Hakala-Ausperk tells you how to be a great boss
ALA Editions is offering a new 90-minute workshop, “Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success” with Cathy Hakala-Ausperk (right), at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on September 21. Moving into a library management position or improving your management skills can feel daunting. Take charge of your development with the help of Hakala-Ausperk’s clear, focused, and programmatic approach....
ALA Editions, Aug. 9
Barbados and Taiwan join the campaign
The Library Association of Barbados (login required) and the Library Association of the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently became the newest members of the Campaign for the World’s Libraries. These associations join nearly 40 others that have previously joined the campaign and had the @ your library logo translated into their country’s languages. The @ your library logo is currently available in 32 languages and in the colors of each partner countries’ flag colors....
Public Information Office, Aug. 9
Bring your subject guides into the 21st century
ALA TechSource is offering a new workshop, “Creating Subject Guides for 21st-Century Libraries” with Buffy Hamilton (right), at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on September 20. Hamilton will show you how to revitalize the subject guide as a dynamic, customizable, social resource by integrating it into the web. Registration is available on the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Aug. 9
ALA’s guide to medical and health sciences reference
Published by ALA Editions, the ALA Guide to Medical and Health Sciences Reference provides an annotated list of biomedical and health-related reference sources, including internet resources and digital image collections. Readers will find relevant research, clinical, and consumer health information resources. The emphasis is on resources within the United States, with a few representative examples from other countries....
ALA Editions, Aug. 9
Featured review: Horror fiction for youth
Yancey, Rick. The Isle of Blood. Sept. 2011. 560p. Grades 9–12. Simon & Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4169-8452-8).
After fighting off headless hordes in The Monstrumologist (2009) and a face-eating specter in Curse of the Wendigo (2010), Dr. Pellinore Warthrop and his trusty 13-year-old assistant, Will Henry, are enjoying a rare moment of tranquility when they receive a most horrific package: a nest woven from human body parts and dripping with pwdre ser—“the rot of stars.” It is the revolting work of the typhoeus magnificum, aka the Unseen One, aka the holy grail of monstrumology, a creature so ravenous it will eat itself. And it must be found!...
Top 10 horror fiction for youth
Gillian Engberg writes: “Where’s The Graveyard Book in our list of the top recent horror novels for youth? The answer raises the always-thorny question, What is horror? Though Neil Gaiman’s celebrated Newbery winner kicks off in an indubitably horrifying way, it is overall a warmhearted work buoyed by flights of fancy. Horror, served straight, requires a pervading sense of dread—something the books below have in spades. And shovels. And stakes.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
ACRL seeks standards training proposals
ACRL seeks proposals for the design, development, and delivery of a versatile and modular curriculum to support the use of the division’s forthcoming revised Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. The complete request for proposal, including details on deliverables and the application process, is available on the ACRL website (PDF file). The deadline for RFP submissions is September 26....
ACRL, Aug. 5
Banned Websites Awareness Day, September 28
In an extension of the observance of Banned Books Week, AASL will highlight censorship awareness by designating September 28 as Banned Websites Awareness Day. By doing so, AASL hopes to bring attention to the overly aggressive filtering of educational and social websites used by students and educators....
AASL, Aug. 9
AASL to screen Digital Media documentary
In conjunction with the appearance of closing general session speaker Mimi Ito (right), AASL will present two screenings of the documentary Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century at its national conference on October 27, as a complement to the conference Exploratorium. The documentary explores how mobile and digital tools are changing the ways young people learn and showcases ways digital media is being using in education....
AASL, Aug. 9
YALSA launches Teen Read Week photo contest
As part of Teen Read Week 2011, teens can enter a photo contest (judged by 2011 Teen Read Week Spokesperson Jay Asher) and win autographed books or an e-reader from Penguin Books for Young Readers. To enter, teens ages 13–18 must create a visual representation of their favorite book, upload the photo to Flickr, and tag it with “TRWcontest11.” The contest is open now through October 31. Entrants must also fill out an online entry form....
YALSA, Aug. 9
Help ALSC rename its newsletter
ALSC is looking for a new and unique name for the ALSConnect newsletter. Got any ideas? ALSC members are invited to send suggestions. Yours just might end up on the ballot for a member vote next spring. Send your suggestions to Laura Schulte-Cooper. The deadline for submissions is August 31....
ALSC Facebook Page, Aug. 9
ALSC fall online education schedule
ALSC has released its Fall 2011 online education course schedule of five courses, each of which begins September 26. Each of the courses addresses a different topic and includes ideas for librarians and children’s literature enthusiasts. The courses run four to six weeks long. ALSC is also offering two webinars in August....
ALSC, Aug. 9
YALS wins its fourth APEX Award
For the fourth year in a row, Communications Concepts awarded Young Adult Library Services (YALS), YALSA’s quarterly journal, an Award of Excellence, as part of the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. YALS was recognized in the category of Journals and Magazines over 32 pages. The journal won for issues from its ninth volume, edited by Sarah Flowers....
YALSA, Aug. 9
Newbery/Caldecott Award mock election programs
Newbery and Caldecott Award mock election programs are an ideal and fun way to encourage children to read; enhance listening, discussion, and communication skills; teach book examination skills; and foster appreciation of fine art and literature. Just in time for end-of-year election program planning, ALSC is offering a toolkit and a live webinar on August 24 and October 5....
ALSC, Aug. 9
ALSC names 2011–2012 Spectrum Scholar
ALSC has chosen high school biology teacher and part-time youth service librarian Robina Button (right) as its 2011–2012 Spectrum Scholar. In September, Button will begin her first semester at the University of Illinois-Champaign. ALSC sponsors one Spectrum Scholar each year through the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment....
Spectrum Initiative, Aug. 9
APALA, FTRF support Spectrum Initiative
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (right) has given $5,000 and the Freedom to Read Foundation has donated $1,000 in support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master’s-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program’s future, and developing special programs for recruitment and career development....
Spectrum Initiative, Aug. 9
University of Michigan hosts second Spectrum fundraiser
Librarians at the University of Michigan raised over $1,500 for Spectrum Scholarships at the 2nd Annual Ann Arbor Spectrum Presidential Initiative fundraiser. The July 13 event was organized and sponsored by Shevon Desai, Karen Downing, Helen Look, Martin Knott, Alexandra Rivera, and Sue Wortman, with venue space generously donated by librarian Ann Gladwin....
Spectrum Initiative, Aug. 9
IMLS awards grant to continue Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant to the ALA Office for Diversity for its project, “Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program: Building Change.” Under the renewed project, ALA will continue its efforts and recruit doctoral candidates from ethnically diverse backgrounds and work with over 20 participating academic programs to support Fellows’ education and the conferral of degrees....
Spectrum Initiative, July 21
Lynne McCay receives SLA Dana Award
Lynne McCay (right), an information professional who contributed tirelessly to both her workplace and her profession for several decades, was awarded the Special Libraries Association’s highest honor at its 2011 Annual Conference in Philadelphia on June 12. The John Cotton Dana Award is presented annually to an SLA member in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. McCay received the award in honor of her 40 years of exemplary work for the Congressional Research Service and her extensive record of leadership within SLA....
Special Libraries Association, Aug. 3
Anne Arundel County library wins international award
The International Association of Workforce Professionals has honored officials from the Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library system for its efforts to help job seekers in the area with an IAWP Group Citation Award. During a ceremony at the West County Area branch in Odenton on July 21, IAWP officials praised the library system for its role in creating a “Community Career Connections” program to supplement existing career centers in the county. Five branches are offering one-stop career centers developed with the help of the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation....
Odenton (Md.) Patch, July 22
Gwinnett County gets a load of Dummies
One copy of every Dummies book in print is a lot of books—over 1,800 as Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library recently found out. As the winners of Wiley’s For Dummies 2011 Library Contest, the library won the full set of the books by creating a Dummies Fan Page on Facebook and gathering the most “Likes” (5,002). GCPL mascot Dewey the Dinosaur was assisted in unloading the books by The Dummies Man (right)....
Early Word: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Aug. 9
2011 PEN Literary Awards
PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization, announced August 10 the winners and runners up of the 2011 PEN Awards, the most comprehensive literary awards program in the United States. This year, PEN will present 17 awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes, and will confer nearly $150,000 in 2011 to some of the most gifted writers, editors, and translators working today. See the full list here....
Daily PEN American, Aug. 10
Armed library guards uncommon in Arizona
The controversy over whether libraries need armed security guards began in July after the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Library District reinstated security guards at the Southeast Regional branch in Gilbert. The decision to arm the guards followed complaints by staffers who were confronting rising incidents of theft and increasingly hostile encounters with irate patrons over late fees and other issues. Three other Maricopa branches also employ armed guards, but they are uncommon in libraries outside the district....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Aug. 7
Homeless visitors prompt Bethlehem policy change
A significant influx of homeless persons who have been spending their days at the Bethlehem (Pa.) Area Public Library prompted Executive Director Janet Fricker to revise its acceptable patron-behavior policy. But some of the rules seem to target homeless patrons unfairly, according to William Kuntze, senior pastor at Bethlehem’s Christ Church United Church of Christ. Kuntze met with Fricker about his objections, who brought them up to the library board for discussion....
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times, Aug. 7
Prosser students to go without librarians
The Prosser (Wash.) School Board voted 3–2 on August 2 to reassign all of its librarians to classrooms to help plug the district’s $1.3-million shortfall. The librarians will fill teaching positions that were vacated by retirement, which will save the district $410,000. A public hearing before the vote drew a crowd of about 30 teachers, parents, and librarians. Rob Witcraft, the librarian at Prosser High who will now teach English, reminded the board that he also provided computer services and tech support for the entire high school in his now-former position. The teaching assistant who will replace him may not have those skills....
Kennewick (Wash.) Tri-City Herald, Aug. 3; KVEW-TV, Pasco, Wash., Aug. 3
Indiana University libraries lay off 10
Ten employees at Indiana University libraries have been laid off—the latest budgetary issue in a summer of pay raises, tuition increases, and financial cutbacks. Seven support staff and three professional staff were told August 2–3 their positions were being eliminated. The layoffs, which Dean of Libraries Brenda Johnson described as a difficult decision, are an attempt to reorganize the strengths of the libraries....
Indiana Daily Student, Aug. 3
Explore the earliest known map of medieval Britain
Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries have made public the results of a 15-month research project on the Gough Map, the earliest surviving geographically recognizable map of Great Britain. The Linguistic Geographies project has helped to explain how maps were produced in the Middle Ages. A newly launched website features a zoomable and pannable digital version of the map, which is fully searchable and browseable by place name (current and medieval) and geographical feature. Clicking on a chosen location yields information such as that location’s geographical appearance, etymology, and appearance on earlier maps....
Bodleian Libraries, Aug. 2
Speeches stolen from FDR Presidential Library
With a published presidential historian accused of theft in Maryland, federal officials are trying to determine how he allegedly stole hundreds of historic documents, including seven signed speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt taken from the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York. Barry Landau faces charges of conspiring to steal documents from archives in several states. The thefts in Hyde Park allegedly occurred December 2, and Landau sold four of the speeches December 20 to a private dealer for $35,000, according to a federal indictment....
Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, Aug. 3
Kansas librarian talks about sacks
Nancy Jo Leachman, information services librarian at Salina (Kans.) Public Library, has a talent for reading old flour sacks. Valuable American history lessons are stitched into the simple pieces of cloth used to hold flour from the late 1800s through the 1960s. She gives presentations centered on her own flour sack collection, interwoven with fascinating tidbits about the history of Kansas. Sheets and pillowcases, towels, toys, dresses, and underwear were commonly made with the sacks, which were manufactured by more than 40 different companies....
La Junta (Colo.) Ag Journal, Aug. 5
Europe backs web privacy fights
The 90 Spaniards who complained to the Data Protection Agency all wanted information deleted from the web. Among them was a victim of domestic violence who discovered that her address could easily be found through Google. Another, well into middle age now, thought it was unfair that a few computer key strokes could unearth an account of her arrest in her college days. They might not have received much of a hearing in the United States, but in Europe an idea has taken hold—individuals should have a “right to be forgotten” on the web....
New York Times, Aug. 9
Vogue’s entire run hits the digital runway
Curt Hopkins writes: “Rag trade blog Fashionista reports that Vogue’s stealth website, currently under development for a December launch, will feature a digital version of every single number published since Arthur Baldwin Turnure started the magazine in the late 19th century. Whether or not you’re a fan of fashion, this is huge news. Vogue is, for better or worse, a prominent lens onto a substantial segment of our cultural mores and it helps to bring history alive when you can picture the details. Now there will be an archive of the sartorial side of those details.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 3; Fashionista, July 25
Poems bound in human skin
At first glance, its just an old book of poems, bound in slightly grubby beige leather with gold lettering and gold-edged pages. But open it up and you might want to drop it and recoil when you read the inscription on the first page: “Bound in human skin.” The book, owned by the National Library of Australia in Canberra, is one of only two known examples in Australia of anthropodermic binding, a practice that is described in book collecting circles as not rare, but uncommon....
Canberra (Australia) Times, Aug. 8
Go back to the Top
Smartphones are replacing library cards...
Checking a book out on a smartphone rather than at a counter is becoming a more common occurrence at public libraries. For example, the Catawba County (N.C.) Library System recently began using an app, called LS2 Mobile, to give its registered patrons access to its catalog of available books and other media. The free app provides a searchable list of titles; users can also renew items, place items on hold, and check their account status. The Library Corporation developed the app....
Government Technology, Aug. 3
...but they store too much personal data
Mike Isaac writes: “An uncomfortably large percentage of mobile applications are storing sensitive user account information unencrypted on owners’ smartphones, according to a new survey of 100 consumer smartphone apps. Some 76% of the apps tested stored cleartext usernames on the devices, and 10% of the tested applications, including popular apps LinkedIn and Netflix, were found storing passwords on the phone in cleartext. The testing spanned multiple categories, ranging from social networking applications to mobile banking software.”...
Wired: Threat Level, Aug. 8; viaForensics, July
Make your computer launch everything you want
Adrian Covert writes: “So you’re tired of getting to work each day and having to launch all your apps and websites and arrange everything just so. What if your computer could do it automatically for you every time you start it? It can and here’s how.”...
Gizmodo, Aug. 2
Best free security and privacy utilities
Preston Gralla writes: “Want to ensure that your PC and all of your files and data stay safe, secure, and private—without breaking the bank? We’ve rounded up 11 free security and privacy utilities that shield you against malware, protect your data at Wi-Fi hotspots, encrypt your hard drive, and do everything in between.”...
PC World, Aug. 3
The best way to store stuff in the cloud
Brent Rose writes: “We tested 11 of the most popular cloud storage services out there, looked at their price per gigabyte, and considered their various features and functionality. Read on to meet our gladiators, and to see which was the one cloud to rule them all.”...
Gizmodo, Aug. 9
10 free Chrome apps to increase productivity
Zoe Fox writes: “Since Google launched its Chrome Web Store in December, extensions have sprung up to speed up and simplify the messy world of internet browsing. If you’re a member of the club that spends more time looking at screens than people, some simple browser add-ons can streamline many of your daily processes on the job. Here are 10 new apps that are sure to increase your web productivity.”...
Mashable, Aug. 8
A guide to Google+ privacy and information control
Melanie Pinola writes: “Google+ is the new social networking kid on the block, and one of the main reasons so many people are interested in the service over Facebook is Google+’s proclaimed focus on protecting users’ privacy. Here’s the lowdown on Google+’s privacy controls, including a few of the more buried settings you’ll want to know about.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 4
Kindle Cloud Reader app rebuffs Apple
On August 10, Amazon launched its Kindle Cloud Reader, a web-based app that allows you to read your Kindle e-books from Chrome or Safari on your PC or tablet, including the iPad. It also has a link to the Kindle Store, something that’s now missing from the Kindle apps for iPad and iPhone, after Apple enforced its new in-app subscription rules that require app developers to strip out any links to external mechanisms for purchasing digital books. The app will be available on additional web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and the BlackBerry PlayBook browser in the coming months....
CNET News: Digital Media, Aug. 10; TeleRead, Aug. 10
Hold off on that Kindle purchase
Matt Burns writes: “The Kindle is the hottest e-reader on the planet, but I wouldn’t buy one right now. The next-gen model is right around the corner. Amazon just slashed the prices of refurbished Kindles, and the last time the company did that, the Kindle 3 launched just a month later. New Kindle models always bring better e-ink screens, more memory, and cleaner styling. The fourth-gen Kindle line might even lose the physical keyboard.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 5
Amazon’s new(ish) Kindle social network
Tim Carmody writes: “Amazon’s Public Notes feature for Kindle has been available for months. So why did my following and follower counts rocket up overnight to five times what they had been? It’s simple. When it was introduced in February, you had to manually add users you wanted to follow. Now, if you’ve linked your Twitter or Facebook accounts to Public Notes, you automatically follow other connected users that you follow on those networks. The new way is a little bit creepy, particularly since there was no announcement that they were changing how links would be used.”...
Wired: Epicenter, Aug. 8; Kindle Daily Post, Feb. 7
E-textbooks: Four keys to going all-digital
John K. Waters writes: “When Daytona State College, a 53-year-old former community college in Florida, now a state college offering a four-year degree, set out to implement an all-electronic book program in 2009, its goal was to drive down the cost of textbooks by 80%. The school is well on its way to achieving that goal, and along the way it made some discoveries about what it takes to make a successful transition to e-texts.”...
Campus Technology, Aug. 3
When knowledge isn’t written, does it count?
“Making fun of Wikipedia is so 2007,” a French journalist said recently to Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Once routinely questioned about its reliability, the site is now used every month by upwards of 400 million people worldwide. But with influence and respect come responsibility, and lately Wikipedia has been criticized from without and within for reflecting a Western, male-dominated mindset similar to the perspective behind the encyclopedias it has replaced....
New York Times, Aug. 7
The serendipity of the unexpected
Sarah Werner writes: “My last post focused on my frustration with the assumption that digitization is primarily about access to text. In this post I want to offer some examples of why we might want to look at books rather than digital surrogates as a way of approaching the relationship between digital and physical from another angle. Why might we want to look at physical books rather than digital surrogates, other than a fetish of smell and a sense of the magical presence of the original? Here are a few examples that start to get at what physical books offer that digital surrogates miss.”...
Sarah Werner, July 24, Aug. 1
When data disappears
Kari Kraus writes: “If we’re going to save even a fraction of the trillions of bits of data churned out every year, we can’t think of digital preservation in the same way we do paper preservation. We have to stop thinking about how to save data only after it’s no longer needed, as when an author donates her papers to an archive. Instead, we must look for ways to continuously maintain and improve it. In other words, we must stop preserving digital material and start curating it.”...
New York Times, Aug. 6
Interview with Peter Hirtle
Debra Schiff writes: “Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing Peter Hirtle, senior policy advisor of Cornell University Library. Over the past few years, Peter has unwittingly become my copyright mentor, answering my emailed questions when I was an MLIS student at Rutgers and providing checklists to follow in Copyright and Cultural Institutions. I asked if he would be willing to be interviewed for this blog.” In this clip (3:14), he speaks about EAD (encoded archival description), the semantic web, and linked open data. Check the related YouTube features for other topics....
Here and There, Aug. 4; YouTube, July 31
Enhanced e-books and portal books
Sylvia Miller writes: “A new kind of publisher-library partnership could happen at the level of the individual book. I would like to see archiving, digitizing, and publishing happen in tandem. For example, when an author has conducted oral-history interviews and consulted archival documents for a book, the interviews can be put into an archive and made available digitally and the documents digitized at a library. The book would be edited and produced at the publishing house. Thus, you could publish the book as an enhanced e-book with archival material imbedded in it and outbound links to primary-source collections included as well.”...
Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement, Aug. 5
Adding descriptions to digital photos
Since digital photography is instantaneous, we take and collect an enormous amount of photos. But as our personal collections grow, it becomes more and more difficult to find specific photos. If your digital photos are difficult for you to manage, how will you be able to make sense of them in the future? This Library of Congress video (3:14) explains how you can add descriptions and tags to your digital photo files to make it easier to organize and search your collection. Gloria Gonzalez explains how the video was made....
Library of Congress: Digital Preservation, Aug.; The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 9
A Google Book deal in France
France has caused plenty of headaches for Google. Its politicians have denounced the U.S. internet giant as a cultural imperialist; its publishers have called it a copyright cheat. Yet France is suddenly the only country in the world in which Google has managed to achieve a longstanding business goal. In late July, Google finalized an agreement with the publisher Hachette Livre under which tens of thousands of French-language books will be digitized. A Google spokesperson said discussions are underway with other French publishers....
New York Times, Aug. 7; The Bookseller, Aug. 2
Make your own READ posters. The READ CD Box Set includes all the available art files from READ CD 1 and 2 along with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, giving you the tools you need to design your own award-winning READ posters and bookmarks. Adobe’s powerful yet easy-to-use editing software lets you instantly enhance your photos and combine them with pre-designed READ posters, bookmarks, backgrounds, and type treatments from the ever-popular READ CDs to create fabulous custom posters. Great for reading incentives, introducing new teachers, rewarding student readers, or promoting your library. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
Altenburg Abbey Library, Altenburg, Austria. The library in this 12th-century Benedictine abbey was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 1730s by architect Joseph Munggenast. A fresco by Paul Troger in the central dome depicts the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, while paintings in the other domes are by Johann Jakob Zeiller.
Franciscan Monastery Library, Schwaz, Austria. This early 16th-century monastery boasts a collection of 467 incunabula, as well as the collections of the Innsbrück monasteries that were abolished in 1785 by Emperor Joseph II.
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.
Neighborhood Libraries Assistant Director, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon. Works with supervisory and frontline staff to provide library services to the citizens of Multnomah County through the neighborhood branches. The Neighborhood Libraries Assistant Director directly supervises branch administrators in 12 branches and exercises indirect supervision over approximately 150 front-line staff in those branches. The person in this position oversees budget, personnel and quality management, as well as program operations. This individual is expected to be visible, accessible, and approachable to both patrons and staff and to work collaboratively with staff and stakeholders for optimal customer service, both internal and external....
Digital Library of the Week
The Jack Sheaffer Photograph Digital Collection, hosted by the University of Arizona Special Collections, contains over 10,000 images that document the photographic history of southern Arizona during a time of explosive growth in the area, from 1955 to 1975. Jack Sheaffer photographed both major and minor events that made up the history of southern Arizona during the last half of the 20th century. His subjects ran the gamut from politics and sports to annual civic events like the Tucson Rodeo, and from celebrity visits and tragic accidents to local beauty pageants.
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.
“The lens into the future is fogged by the miasma of nonsense about video gaming, twittering, the faux friendships of social networking, and the rest of the vain, and often ridiculous, attempts to clasp the shiny, evanescent culture of digital youth that are currently so popular among some librarians. However, through the murk I can see the librarians of the future continuing to be inspired by enduring spirit of service, devotion to literacy and learning, and commitment to education and democratic values that has sustained us for so long.”
—Former ALA President Michael Gorman, Broken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941–1978 (Chicago: ALA Editions, 2011), p. 207.
International Association of School Librarianship, Annual Conference, Kingston, Jamaica, Aug. 7–11, at:
IFLA World Library and Information Congress, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 13–18, at:
IFLA New Professionals SIG, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 15, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, International Conference, Heythrop Park Resort, Oxfordshire, U.K.
Reforma, National Conference IV, Denver. “Elevating Latino Services to a Higher Level: Juntos in the Mile High City!”
8th Annual Artelibro Art Book Festival, Bologna, Italy. “Archaeology / Archaeologies.”
Banned Books Week.
Banned Websites Awareness Day.
LITA National Forum, St. Louis. “Rivers of Data, Currents of Change.”
27th Florence International Antiques Fair, Florence, Italy.
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, New Orleans Marriott.
Second Virtual Summit on Ebooks, online conference presented by Library Journal and School Library Journal. “Ebooks: The New Normal.”
American Printing History Association, Annual Conference, University of California, San Diego. “Printing at the Edge.”
Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival, John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Salzburg Global Seminar, Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria. “Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture.”
Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Jacksonville, Florida. “Celebrate 3.0: Design.Learn. Community.”
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Library Association and subscribers.
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles: email@example.com
links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes
only. Questions about the content of any external site should be
addressed to the administrator of that site.
Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Publishing industry shows hints of revival
The publishing industry has expanded in the past three years as Americans increasingly turned to e-books and juvenile and adult fiction, according to a new BookStats survey that challenges other predictions of doom and gloom. The survey encompassed five major categories of books: trade, K–12 school, higher education, professional, and scholarly. Higher education was especially strong, with sales up 18.7% from 2008 to 2010. The survey does not include sales data from 2011, a year of substantial e-book growth....
New York Times, Aug. 9; Association of American Publishers, Aug. 9
Becky O’Neil writes: “As teachers and librarians across the country wrap up their Summer Reading programs, it’s impossible to ignore what lurks ahead. Older readers know very well that, in the fall, school becomes a universal backdrop—if not the main setting—of everyday teen life. School stories are great for fleshing out booktalks, which is what got me pondering subsets of the traditional school-story genre. Here’s what I have so far.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 9
10 alternative books you should have read in high school
Emily Temple writes: “This week, we came across this list of ‘books you really should have read in high school’ over at NBC’s Today Books. While their picks are definitely classics, most of which we did in fact have to read in high school, we think today’s youth (and any adults playing catch-up) would be better served by a few alternate choices. The classics are wonderful, but the canon should be fluid, allowing some experimental choices as well as the tried-and-true.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 7; Today, NBC, Aug. 1
The growth of U.S. newspapers, 1690–2011
With newspapers under stress from changing economics, technology, and consumer behavior, it’s easy to forget how ubiquitous and important they are in society. This visualization plots more than 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers....
Stanford University, Rural West Initiative, July 20
Read around the world with your ears
Mary Burkey writes: “Audiobooks provide an authentic cultural listening experience. You’ll find selected titles for both kids and teens in two full-color handout flyers perfect for libraries gearing up for the start of the school year. Part of the resources available on the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table website, the audiobook recommendations for kids (PDF file) and teens (PDF file) are ideal to have as flyers near the audiobook collection, as handouts for teachers, or as selection guides for building your personal or library collection.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Aug. 9; EMIERT
Elizabeth C. writes: “AbeBooks has enjoyed a long-running love affair with librarians. Immersed in books, dedicated to their preservation, organization, and accessibility—these champions of literacy are just our kind of people. This selection of librarian lit comes from a wide range of authors who all worked in libraries at one time or another. And most of these suggestions on this list came from librarians themselves.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, Aug. 5
Myths about fair use
Patricia Aufderheide writes: “Academics potentially enjoy some of the greatest benefits of U.S. copyright law’s doctrine of fair use—which lets them use copyrighted material without permission or payment, under some circumstances. Now if only they knew they did. In Peter Jaszi’s and my research for Reclaiming Fair Use, which charts the resurgence of fair use and explains how to use it, we came across as much mythology as knowledge among our colleagues. Here are some of the most common myths we’ve encountered.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 2
Librarians and Threshold Concepts
Brian Mathews writes: “The hottest thing to me right now is the idea of Threshold Concepts. When I found out that this was a code for ‘troublesome knowledge’ I was hooked. These are the big ideas in each discipline that people struggle with for a variety of reasons. There is an article in the current issue of portal titled “Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy,” which applies this framework to the library context. I am not interested in applying this to library instruction, but rather to the enterprise level of learning across campus.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Aug. 3; portal 11, no. 3 (July)
D.C. Public Library rips the runway
Imagine a season of Project Runway where the designers have never used a sewing machine, one of the models becomes a winning designer, and all the contestants are in their teens and nice to each other. That’s what happened at the “Rip This Runway” competition, where eight District of Columbia teens took a turn at designing and constructing original garments. The brainchild of DCPL’s Teens of Distinction Program Coordinator Rebecca Renard and professional designer (and former Project Runway contestant) Carmen Webber (above), the August 6 event brought together girls and boys ranging from 13 to 17 years of age....
DCist, Aug. 8
Reports of 25 national libraries
The Conference of Directors of National Libraries compiles reports from national libraries around the world for its meeting at IFLA. Here are direct links to the most recent reports from 25 national libraries and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec....
InfoDocket, Aug. 10
LC appoints Philip Levine Poet Laureate
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced August 10 the appointment of Philip Levine (right) as the Library’s 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2011–2012. Levine will take up his duties in the fall, opening the library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Monday, October 17. He succeeds W. S. Merwin in the post. Levine is the author of 20 collections of poems, including most recently News of the World (2009)....
Library of Congress, Aug. 10
Why you didn’t get an interview
Karen G. Schneider writes: “This is a bummer of a job market for librarians, and if you’re fresh out of library school you are probably crying in your beer, wondering why you didn’t get a degree in something practical and career-oriented, like medieval cookery. But a few months back a newish librarian asked me in frustration why she was having a hard time getting interviews—let alone job offers—and we chatted back and forth on Facebook. Let me attempt to sum up what I shared.”...
Free Range Librarian, Aug. 7
Promoting libraries with t-shirts
Kathy Dempsey writes: “It happened again the other day. I was in the grocery store, pushing my cart of food. As I was heading back a couple aisles to get that last item, a man in a crisp white shirt called out to me, ‘How do you vote for libraries?’ And so began a short, pleasant conversation with a total stranger. My bright t-shirt had started it all. This is something I do a lot—wear t-shirts everywhere and use them as conversation starters. It’s simple but effective, and I meet lots of people that way.”...
The ‘M’ Word: Marketing Libraries, Aug. 6
How will we save our profession?
Jennifer Laboon writes: “This is the question that I’ve been struggling with more than usual lately, as I plan for two days of professional development with the librarians in my district. It’s going to be harder than ever to be positive. The fact is, with no way to get a firm count, we’ve had many school librarian layoffs this past year. Many others had to reapply for a newly titled position with different duties. What can we use to shore up our defenses? Four things.”...
AASL Blog, Aug. 9
Swear like a librarian
Brian Herzog writes: “When not at work, some librarians I know have the filthiest mouths of anyone I’ve encountered. But at the desk they obviously can’t use bad words, so I got curious about the public-safe language librarians use to replace swear words. I asked around a bit and here’s a list of some choice ‘safe’ words library staff use.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Aug. 9
Tumblr is more than porn
Buffy Hamilton writes: “On August 3 at work I was attemping to add content to my Tumblr account when I discovered it had been blocked at the district level because it was found to be hosting pornography on one of its sites. Like many web-authoring sites and content-hosting spaces, Tumblr can be used in educational ways that I think outweigh the less than school-friendly applications. Consequently, I feel compelled to assemble a portfolio of educational uses of Tumblr as a tool for learning and digital composition.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Aug. 6
Facing the challenge of blocked websites
Richard Byrne writes: “I have the good fortune to work in a school that has a progressive policy toward internet filtering. In my school there is rarely a site that I want my students to use that is blocked. But it wasn’t always this way. A few years ago I returned to school after the summer break to find that all of the sites (VoiceThread, Wikispaces, Blogger, Animoto, and others) that I had planned to use were blocked by the new filter in place. Here are some useful tactics for getting access to the websites you want to use.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Aug. 4
450+ tweeting librarians
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “I have finally sorted through and organized all of my contacts on Twitter and like a good librarian I have categorized everyone using Twitter’s List feature. I have created a list of over 450 librarians who tweet which you can easily subscribe to by following the link. This will give you a curated list view of just tweets by librarians and library associations. If I have missed anyone, please leave your Twitter handle in the comments and I’ll be sure to add you.”...
iLibrarian, Aug. 9
370+ search engines to explore
Phil Bradley writes: “I have been updating my collections of search engines, adding in new ones that I’ve previously blogged about and removing ones that no longer exist. It’s of course not a complete listing, but the majority of them are ones that I think are worth looking at in different subject areas. There’s more to search than Google. You can access them all via my Which Search Engine When page and pull-down menus, but here’s an overview.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Aug. 5
New web-search formulas have huge implications
Dennis Pierce writes: “A quiet revolution has taken place in recent months, as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other internet gatekeepers have revised their search algorithms in an attempt to bring users more personalized information. This subtle shift has enormous implications for students, researchers, and society at large, experts say. All the major search engines have revamped their formulas to include social media data as key indicators of a website’s importance.”...
eSchool News, Aug. 10
We need a Euro-Google
Frank Schirrmacher writes: “The outsourcing of our knowledge into the web, in short, corresponds to outsourcing our memory to the web–precisely what the Google chiefs have always declared to be their true vision and their business model. Why should we be upset by this? Mankind has been outsourcing knowledge and memory forever. The externalization of knowledge takes place in every library. But this way of reading overlooks something important.”...
Frankfurter (Germany) Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 9
Article search and catalog search
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “While libraries typically spend more resources on catalog search, a significant portion of users in academic libraries probably spend more time looking for articles instead. So, many of us are trying to support article search in a way that is integrated into our web infrastructure. However, some interesting research from the University of Virginia suggests that users may not want actual merged search results and may indeed specifically prefer not to have it. This would actually open up our options some.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Aug. 8
Libraries can also help users disconnect
Jessie Mannisto writes: “In some circles, the suggestion that constant connection might be less than ideal gets you a scarlet ‘L’ pinned to your shirt, marking you as the Luddite you must be. But library users who come in seeking a quiet space to do research don’t want connected devices purged from the library; they just want a place to think without a constant stream of disruptions. Those of us who want to improve our focus don’t want to banish Facebook forever; we just need help taming our impulses to check it every six minutes.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 9
THOMAS gets a Twitter widget
Andrew Weber writes: “Today we launched another update to THOMAS: Our @THOMASdotgov Twitter feed is now dynamically updating on the homepage in the right column. It is just below the Weekly Top Five. If you hover over any item in the top five you can see the title. One of our goals with the Twitter account is to provide timely alerts about legislative developments and, with this change, now we can do that directly from the homepage.”...
In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress, Aug. 9
New United States Code website
There are multiple ways to view the United States Code online, including the Cornell Legal Information Institute, FDsys, and the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House. In fact, you can find a link in THOMAS to the Office of the Law Revision Counsel site for the U.S. Code (on the left-hand navigation bar) as well as the XML version of the text of legislation. Now there is about to be another option from the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, which is currently in beta testing. The office is seeking comments from the public on this new version....
In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress, Aug. 9
Abbreviated glossary of rare book terms
New to the rare book world and need to brush up on some important trade-related jargon? Check out the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America’s abbreviated Glossary of Rare Book Terms for those most commonly encountered....
Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
Beyond content and container
Andy Woodworth writes: “Julie Strange wrote a thought-provoking post titled ‘The Knowledge Moved.’ She writes that the media of information and literature (container) have changed and yet libraries in general have stuck with the standards (content). Content versus container represents a constantly shifting dynamic in which works are judged on the merits of each. It is a ‘chicken or the egg’ riddle for librarians going forward as the number of literacies and media continues to expand. Here is what I am proposing to add to this conversation.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Aug. 7; The Strange Librarian, Aug. 2
Leading with heart
Eric Frierson writes: “Mega-corporation IBM recently released a commercial (0:31) that featured ‘Buzzword Bingo,’ in which cynical employees in a meeting with the CEO of the company mark off squares on special bingo cards as he spits out buzzword after buzzword (Web 3-dot-0, out-of-the-box thinking, value-added). Perhaps you haven’t played Buzzword Bingo, but you’ve exchanged knowing glances with coworkers during planning meetings. Now more than ever, libraries are in search of authentic leaders who, by virtue of their transparency, self-discipline, and high ethical standards, enhance employees’ engagement with the organization and inspire behavior that goes beyond what is expected.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Aug. 10
Why archivists go to library school
Stephanie Bennett writes: “Archivists, in some ways, are fighting a battle even more uphill than librarians. We archivists appeal to a more niche population. I spend a lot of time trying to explain what archives are and, most importantly, what they can do for ‘normal people,’ because I don’t know how to duck those questions. As we learn to share the bounties and benefits of archives with a wider public, archives students benefit from working with our library and information colleagues in master’s programs.”...
Hack Library School, Aug. 9
Milwaukee Public Library retires its wheel (PDF file)
The Milwaukee Public Library’s rotary table, known to library staff as “the wheel” and used in the Ready Reference room, was retired on August 9 after more than 46 years of service. The automated device sat in the middle of the room with ready reference staff positioned around it. The wheel would then rotate to offer access to dozens of dictionaries, phone books, encyclopedias, manuals, handbooks, and pamphlets to help answer millions of customer questions. But the books have been replaced by the internet and online resources....
Milwaukee (Wis.) Public Library, Aug. 4
Fooducate: Eat a bit better is a new app that will help you eat healthier. After taking a picture of a bar code of a product, the app displays the food’s value for health, rated from A to D. It also analyzes the nutritional information and notes if there is excessive sugar, trans fats, preservatives, additives, or food coloring or if it has “confusing serving sizes.” There are now more than 200,000 products in the database and users are encouraged to take a picture of foods and bar codes not in the system and the site will try to add them....
Booklist Online: Points of Reference, Aug. 10
Is your YA librarian trying to be hip?
Will Manley writes: “It’s Friday Fun Day. Time to pick on someone. How about young adult librarians? What is the occupational hazard about being a YA librarian? Pretty simple. If children’s librarians have a tendency to revert to childhood, YA librarians often have a desire to be hip. Here are some signs that a YA librarian is trying to be hip. (By the way, I understand that the word hip is no longer hip.)”...
Will Unwound, Aug. 5
What people don’t get about working in a library
Derek Thompson writes: “We’re asking readers to tell us what the public doesn't understand or appreciate about their jobs.” Here are some responses from librarians. “We are not mere cart pushers, let me assure you. This job requires a master’s degree for a reason.”...
The Atlantic, Aug. 9
Go back to the Top