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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 24, 2011

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American Libraries Online

Cover of Slaughterhouse-FiveUnder fire, Republic board to rethink its book ban
The Missouri school board that banned Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer from the Republic High School library and curriculum says it will reconsider its decision in September. The announcement at an August 22 meeting of the Republic School District board came four days after the National Coalition Against Censorship wrote a letter expressing its dismay over the books’ removal....
AL: Censorship Watch, Aug. 24

Elaine Ng, CEO of the National Library Board of SingaporeIFLA selects Singapore for 2013 World Congress
It’s official! Singapore is scheduled to host the 2013 World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. IFLA President Ellen Tise made the eagerly awaited announcement at the closing session of IFLA’s 77th annual conference in Puerto Rico. National Library Board of Singapore CEO Elaine Ng (right) extended the invitation and expressed her gratitude to IFLA for selecting Singapore....
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 18

Trevor C. Clarke (left) and Winston Tabb at an IFLA session on copyrightBalancing copyright and library rights
Copyright was created to protect the rights of literary and creative artists, said Trevor C. Clarke (on left) of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Librarians have now challenged WIPO to protect libraries’ rights, he said, noting that WIPO has also moved to secure its own position in a rapidly changing information world. Speaking August 15 at the second plenary session of IFLA’s 77th World Library and Information Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Clarke spent a sizeable chunk of time talking about what librarians must do to secure their positions....
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 17

Screen shot from James Nguo interviewThe Arid Lands Information Network
The Arid Lands Information Network, which operates 12 Maarifa centers in remote areas of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, won the 2011 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award. In this video (2:44), ALIN Regional Director James Nguo addresses the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, and speaks to ALA’s Leonard Kniffel about the award and what it will mean for East Africa....
AL Focus, Aug. 24

Traditional Puerto Rican dancers perform during the IFLA Cultural EveningThe IFLA finale
Local organizers of the 77th World Library and Information Congress in Puerto Rico pulled out all the stops August 16 for a “Cultural Evening,” the high point in a conference peppered with local flavor. A section of the convention center was transformed into an enormous nightclub against a streetscape of old San Juan, where musicians and dancers entertained in traditional dress....
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 19

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ALA News

Cover of Trends in Academic Libraries, 1998 to 2008Study shows increased need for academic libraries
The need for libraries on college and university campuses has increased, according to a new study released by the Office for Research and Statistics. In Trends in Academic Libraries, 1998 to 2008 (PDF file), researcher Denise M. Davis analyzes data from the Academic Library Survey administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, identifying changes in the number of academic libraries, circulation and reserve collections, interlibrary loan transactions and documents received from commercial services, public service hours, volumes held and added, library staffing, library expenditures, electronic services, and information literacy activities....
Office for Research and Statistics, Aug. 23

Library civic engagement survey
The ALA Center for Civic Life is mapping civic engagement activities in libraries. If you haven’t already filled out the short civic engagement survey, it’s not too late to be counted and get onto ALA’s civic engagement map. Public, school, academic, government, state, and special libraries that are undertaking exciting programs to engage their communities in civic life have already responded. Return the completed survey to Nancy C. Kranich....
Center for Civic Life, Aug. 17

2011 Virtual Diversity and Outreach Fair
Held on June 25 at Annual Conference in New Orleans, this year’s Diversity and Outreach Fair highlighted innovative and successful library outreach initiatives and programs during a poster session open to all ALA attendees. The following “virtual” fair is meant to provide a glimpse of those presentations and includes links to resources provided by this year’s participants....
OLOS Columns, Aug. 17

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Cover of Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone ShoesFeatured review: Historical fiction
Kennedy, William. Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes. Oct. 2011. 326p. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-02297-7).
The Pulitzer Prize–winning bard of Albany, New York, is back with a jazzy, seductive, historically anchored novel of politics and romance, race and revolution. Young Daniel Quinn awakens one night in 1936 to watch his amiable father, George, preside over a jam session involving Jimmy, a prominent black club owner; Cody, an exceptional black piano player; the future mayor of Albany; and Bing Crosby. Turn the page, and it’s 1957. Quinn, now an impulsive and romantic newspaperman, is in Havana, drinking with Hemingway and falling hard for Renata, a rich and daring gunrunner of “hyperventilating beauty” and “perpetual intensity and mystical need.” The reporter and the femme-fatale revolutionary meet Castro and marry in a Santeria ceremony invoking Changó, the god of thunder. When next we see them, it’s 1968 and racial tension in profoundly corrupt Albany is on the boil. An incandescent and enrapturing tale of the heroic and bloody quest for justice and equality and the gamble of love....

Graphic for The Back PagePillar-to-post perfect
Bill Ott writes: “Golf etiquette requires that one acknowledge outstanding play by others in your group. ‘Great shot!’ usually does the job, or even just ‘Shot!’ suggesting that the little punched five-iron you just hit into the wind was the real deal. Of course, I wouldn’t know that from personal experience. Still, there are occasions when I do hit the ball cleanly and in the general direction of my target. It happened last summer, as a matter of fact, and my usual playing partner, Art Plotnik, responded with ‘Eldorado!’ I knew something was up. It turned out that Art was working away on a new book, Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives (he does have a way with titles), which is devoted to providing adjectival alternatives to the overworked great (and its equally taxed brethren, amazing and awesome).”...

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

Division News

Unlock the internet logo, designed by Kalan Lysenko, New Canaan High School, Class of 2013Banned Websites Awareness Day
Connie Coyle writes: “When someone in my professional network invited me to write a blog post for Banned Websites Awareness Day, September 28, I was fired up. The filters and website bans that are pushed in libraries oftentimes have consequences that may or may not be intentional. One of my mantras is: Educate, don’t regulate. Children are routinely denied access to timely and accurate information. Students who are issued school laptops are often denied access to information even after they have made a case for having access.”...
AASL Blog, Aug. 22

Network with AASL in Minneapolis
During its 15th National Conference and Exhibition, October 27–30 in Minneapolis, AASL will offer new and veteran attendees two special events focused on networking with their peers. On October 26, AASL will present Dinner with a Local Librarian, informal dinners at restaurants across the city. And on October 27, first-time attendees are invited to attend Celebrate Conference to help them get the most out of the conference....
AASL, Aug. 23

Picture It, Teen Read Week 2011 posterTeen Read Week publicity tools
With Teen Read Week just around the corner, ALA is offering online resources to help public and school libraries publicize their activities. YALSA and the Public Information Office coordinate publicity efforts for Teen Read Week 2011, October 16–22. Librarians can find a publicity toolkit featuring free tools that libraries can use to publicize Teen Read Week activities....
YALSA, Aug. 19

Gretchen KolderupGretchen Kolderup to lead The Hub
YALSA has named Gretchen Kolderup, teen services librarian at New Canaan (Conn.) Library, the member manager of The Hub, its young adult literature blog. Kolderup began her term as editor in August and will serve through July 2013. The mission of The Hub is to provide a one-stop shop for finding information about teen reads....
YALSA, Aug. 23

Webinar on e-reader loan programs
On September 21, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Check out E-Readers! Sacramento Public Library Did It and You Can Too!,” as part of the division’s monthly webinar series. Five panelists from SPL will share how they built the e-reader loan program from the ground up. The deadline to register is September 19....
PLA, Aug. 23

Apply for the ALSC Bill Morris Seminar
ALSC is seeking applications for its third biennial “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” to be held on January 20, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. This invitational seminar supports and honors William C. Morris’s dedication to connecting librarians and children with excellent children’s books. Applications must be received by September 16....
ALSC, Aug. 23

Awards & Grants

AL I Love My Librarian! Award digital supplementNominations open for 2011 I Love My Librarian! Award
Nominations are now open for the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian! Award. The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations are being accepted online through September 12....
Public Information Office, Aug. 17

Apply for the 2011 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award
The Public Programs Office is accepting nominations for the 2011 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that served children in any combination of grades K–8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2010–2011 school year are eligible. Nominations must be received by December 15....
Public Programs Office, Aug. 23

Children and Libraries wins APEX Award
The ALSC journal Children and Libraries has received a 2011 APEX Award for Publication Excellence. Three “Children and Technology” columns from the 2010 volume year won an Award of Excellence in the category of “Writing: Regular Departments and Columns.” The CAL columns were among 192 winners in the Writing category, which received 643 entries judged primarily on the basis of editorial quality....
ALSC, Aug. 17

Shahla ZarinejadConnecticut children’s librarian wins award
Shahla Zarinejad, children’s librarian at Rockville (Conn.) Public Library, has received a 2011 Faith Hektoen Award from the Connecticut Library Association. The annual Hektoen Awards recognize the often unsung efforts of children’s librarians throughout the state. Zarinejad received the award for more than 20 years of service to children’s library programming....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, June 6

Lynne Marie Thomas (left) and Tara O'Shea at the Hugo Awards ceremony, from Ustream (beginning at 2:28:20)Librarian wins 2011 Hugo Award
Of the many winners of the Hugo Awards for science fiction announced August 20 in Reno, Nevada, at the World Science Fiction Convention, one was Lynne Marie Thomas (on left), head of special collections at Northern Illinois University. Thomas and her coeditor Tara O’Shea won the award for Best Related Work, Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Mad Norwegian). The Hugo Award for Best Novel went to Connie Willis for her two-part Blackout and All Clear (Spectra)....
Hugo Awards, Aug. 20

2011 Kelpies Prize for Children’s Fiction
Edinburgh writer Alette J. Willis was announced as the winner of the 2011 Kelpies Prize for Children’s Fiction at an August 18 award ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival for her quirky novel featuring a mud-monster, How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People). The annual prize, worth £2,000 ($3,291 U.S.), is run by publishers Floris Books and supported by Creative Scotland. Floris Books will publish Willis’s winning story in November....
Books from Scotland, Aug. 19

Cover of Hamlet, by Nicki GreenbergChildren’s Book Council of Australia awards
The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the winners of its Book of the Year awards. The winner in the older readers category was Sonya Hartnett’s The Midnight Zoo (Viking), and in the younger readers category, it was Isobell Carmody’s The Red Wind (Viking). There were two winners for Picture Book of the Year: Jeannie Baker’s Mirror (Walker) and Nicki Greenberg’s Hamlet (Allen and Unwin). Greenberg said her award-winning book, which depicts sex and incest, is not for young children....

Children’s Book Council of Australia, Aug. 20; Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Aug. 20

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Seen Online

Screen shot from SEIU privatization beast videoAnti-privatization bill gains support
Dozens of California librarians went to Sacramento August 22 to support a bill that would make it more difficult for local governments to contract with private firms to run libraries. The noise they were making was in support of Assembly Bill 438 by Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), awaiting a vote in the Senate. The rally concluded with the reading of a homemade, hand-illustrated children’s storybook titled The Privatization Beast Comes to Our Town and the appearance of a person dressed in a bright yellow costume playing the role of the fictional beast....
Ventura County (Calif.) Star, Aug. 22; YouTube, Feb. 14

E-rate puts spotlight on internet safety
The Federal Communications Commission released an order (PDF file) August 11 that will require schools to educate students about internet safety in order to comply with the federal e-rate program, which provides funding for schools to achieve online connectivity. The measure will require schools to provide education around appropriate online behavior in chat rooms and on social-networking websites, as well as information about cyberbullying....
Education Week: Digital Education, Aug. 18

LC offers buyouts to staffers
The Library of Congress will lose nearly 10% of its workforce by November 3. In a sweeping cost-cutting move, LC will offer targeted buyouts to 349 employees through a voluntary early retirement program. The staff cuts come in response to the legislative branch budget passed by the House on July 22. The bill would slash $53 million from the library’s budget, bringing its total funding level to $575 million. It’s the largest single cut to any legislative branch agency....
Roll Call, Aug. 19

Librarian of Congress James BillingtonJames Billington on leading the nation’s library
James Hadley Billington has been the Librarian of Congress for nearly a quarter of a century and is the 13th person to hold the position. In this interview, he explains how to keep employees motivated, what the elements of success are for a federal leader, and the benefits of working with private-sector partners....
Washington Post: The Federal Coach, Aug. 18

Don’t kill America’s databook
Robert J. Samuelson writes: “If you want to know something about America, there are few better places to start than the Statistical Abstract of the United States. Published annually by the Census Bureau, the Stat Abstract assembles about 1,400 tables describing our national condition. With some interruptions, the government has published it since 1878. No more. The Stat Abstract is headed for the chopping block. The 2012 edition, scheduled for publication later this year, will be the last, unless someone saves it.”...
Washington Post, Aug. 21

Montieth branch of the Detroit Public LibraryDetroiters may lose six branches
Detroit Public Library officials again are considering branch closures, saying layoffs from March have stretched staffing too thin. Administrators on August 23 said the system needs to close six of 23 branches by October—an announcement that comes three months after officials abandoned massive branch closure plans. Officials are considering closing the Chase, Chandler Park, Lincoln, the Mark Twain Annex, Monteith (right), and Richard branches and replacing the children’s library at the Douglass branch with a technology center....
Detroit News, Aug. 24

May Street School students stand in line to get books from the bookmobile, the Worcester Public Library's mobile branch library, in this file photo from 1949. The bookmobile that year carried 1,500 titles and visited 21 places weeklyA Worcester bookmobile resurgence
For decades, big, boxy bookmobiles lumbered through neighborhoods across the nation, bringing a sampling of the printed word to people unable to make trips to downtown libraries. Now, bookmobiles in many places are going the way of the trucks once used to make daily milk deliveries. That might not be the case in Worcester, Massachusetts, however, where local book lovers and some city councilors are looking to buck the trend....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette, Aug. 22

Student mentoring with PLNs
Julia Albaugh’s high school in Van Meter, Iowa, didn’t have a course that would teach her about marketing and public relations, so a librarian at the school helped her expand her horizons—via Twitter. Under the librarian’s supervision, Albaugh connected with Liz H. Kelly, a Santa Monica, California, author and marketing consultant, who offered her career advice. This fall, thousands of students will develop Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) that use social networking to match experts with students....
USA Today, Aug. 15

Boston Public Library's Compass principlesMy favorite libraries
Meg Campbell writes: “On August 17, my colleague Thabiti Brown called me in California from the beautiful courtyard inside the Boston Public Library. Like me, Thabiti is happy to spend a precious summer vacation day at the library. The only public library to house a presidential library (John Adams’s library is on the top floor), the BPL under Director Amy Ryan has undertaken a comprehensive community process to solicit input on which principles should guide the library’s future. As a Compass Committee member, I am biased about the value of these guiding principles; but I think they would be useful guideposts for any library.”...
Huffington Post, Aug. 18

Librarian shuts down web page about the Met
The Metropolitan Opera, irked by a website’s regular disclosure of its programming, asked its operator to cease and desist. The site’s author—Bradley E. Wilber, head of reference at Houghton (N.Y.) College—graciously agreed to discontinue his Met Futures page on August 8, after 15 years. Wilber had managed to sketch out the operas being planned by the Met, their casts, and conductors often five or six years into the future, a subject of passionate interest to opera buffs. Wilber acknowledged that the request came as no surprise....
New York Times, Aug. 17

Arturo Toscanini conducts the NBC Symphony Orcherstra in Carnegie Hall, circa 1954. University at Buffalo Music Library. NBC photo 30187-35Historical harmony at the Buffalo Central Library
It was a good day for Buffalo, the day in 1958 when the library of the NBC Symphony Orchestra went on the auction block. The NBC Symphony, known for its mighty broadcasts, was the stuff of legend. The Buffalo and Erie County (N.Y.) Central Library stepped in—with cash—and nailed a good part of the collection. More than a half century later, the NBC Symphony trove anchors a music collection that Buffalo’s library can boast is one of the biggest in North America....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Aug. 20

Slave Lake (Alberta) Library destroyed by wildfireRebuilding Slave Lake, one book at a time
The town of Slave Lake, Alberta, was devastated by a wildfire that raced through the community on May 15. Linda Duplessis, director of Peace Library System, said the library, which was also destroyed, has been on the receiving end of hundreds of boxes of books as it slowly restores its collection. So far, the regional library system has received more than 33,000 books, DVDs, and CDs. The public can begin borrowing again when a temporary library opens up across the street from the original structure on October 1....
CTV Edmonton, Alberta, Aug. 21

Pop! The First Male Pregnancy spoof websiteCut-and-paste students learn to be wary of websites
Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, an independent Catholic girls’ school in North Sydney, is one of the frontrunners in Australia to alert its students to check the authenticity of websites. Teachers get the message across with a spoof website called Pop! The First Male Pregnancy, which features supposed scans of the fetus and links to what appears to be an interview with Oprah Winfrey. School Library Manager Stacey Taylor said there was still room for improvement, and failing to get the message across could leave some pupils in danger....
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Aug. 23

Taipei opens an airport branch
The Taipei Songshan Airport Intelligent Library, Taiwan’s first airport library, has drawn more than 20,000 readers since its opening this June as a branch of the Taipei Public Library. The unstaffed library is equipped with an automatic checkout system so that readers, mainly travelers, can serve themselves. Both locals and foreigners can borrow books using their EasyCards, the electronic card widely used in Taipei to pay for public transport or buy small-value goods....
Taipei Times, Aug. 21

Austrian librarian charged with “air rage” in Ireland
Three male passengers had to restrain a librarian during an air rage incident on board a transatlantic flight August 20. At Ennis District Court in Ireland the following day, police said that at one stage Harald Albrecht made a lunge for a female flight attendant. The Austrian Airlines flight en route from Washington to Vienna had to divert to Shannon Airport after the incident and Albrecht was forcibly removed. Albrecht, an assistant librarian at the Medical University of Vienna’s Library for the History of Medicine, had been in New York for a five-week internship on Holocaust studies. He was released after paying a €400 fine for the offense....
Irish Examiner (Cork), Aug. 23

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Tech Talk

Hewlett-Packard took its HP TouchPad off the market August 18As PCs wane, companies look to tablets
Computer makers are expected to ship only about 4% more PCs this year than last year. Tablets, in contrast, are flying off store shelves. Global sales are expected to more than double this year to 24.1 million. More than two-thirds of those tablets, however, are sold by Apple. Buyers see little need to buy any tablet other than the iPad, even if it is slightly more expensive than some of its rivals. “The performance still isn’t there for a lot of them,” said Richard Doherty, research director for the Envisioneering Group, a market research and consulting firm. “And it’s not just the product, it’s the ecosystem behind it.”...
New York Times, Aug. 19

A Dozuki user service guideiFixit brings user manuals into the tablet era
Christina Bonnington writes: “Your laptop keyboard isn’t working, and you want to try your hand at mending it yourself? Chances are you’ve turned to the online repair community iFixit for a detailed, step-by-step account of how best to do that. If not, you’ve probably seen one of their gorgeous teardowns that strip a gadget apart piece by piece to reveal what makes it tick. iFixit will soon be releasing its innovative manual-making software to the masses. It’s called Dozuki, and it features two products, Guidebook and Answers, that aim to provide service manuals that don’t suck.”...
Wired: Gadget Lab, Aug. 18

Recollection platform view of Fairfax County (Va.) postcard viewsLC releases Recollection software platform
Trevor Owens writes: “Recollection is a Library of Congress web application that enables librarians, archivists, curators, and historians to create dynamic interfaces to cultural heritage collections. If you are unfamiliar with the project, I blogged about how you can use the tool to explore cultural heritage collections in July. If you think Recollection might be useful to your organization, we encourage you to take a minute to request an account for the beta instance of the tool.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, July 5, Aug. 22

Future mobile phones could be powered by walking
John P. Mello Jr. writes: “Two researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison have discovered a novel way to generate enough energy from walking to keep small electronic devices powered. Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor use an energy-harvesting technology called ‘reverse electrowetting’ that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The harvester could be used to directly power such devices as smartphones, radios, laptops, GPS units, and flashlights, or it could be integrated into a Wi-Fi hotspot and serve as an intermediary between devices using the network and the network itself.”...
PC World, Aug. 24

MIT Comparative Media Studies courses17 web resources for improving your design skills
Mollie Vandor writes: “Long summer days and relatively relaxed offices might provide the perfect setting for web education. Just think, while other people are rounding out their summer tans, you could be ringing in autumn with a whole new skill set—in this case, web design expertise. Here’s a look at some of the best web resources for web design education, from Design 101 through continuing education.”...
Mashable, Aug. 19

Mobile-friendly library databases
Aaron Tay writes: “Library vendors are keeping pace with mobile-friendly databases, either as a native app or more commonly as a mobile web version. The question is: Do users actually want or desperately need the ability to search library databases on the go? The surveys done so far have been mixed.”...
Musings about Librarianship, Aug. 22

LS2 mobile app for AndroidTLC releases LS2 Mobile for Android
The Library Corporation has released a version of its LS2 Mobile app for Android smartphone users. Originally released in November 2010 for the Apple iOS, LS2 Mobile allows users to connect with their public or school libraries 24 hours a day from any place with mobile or Wi-Fi internet service. It can search a library catalog, place or cancel holds, and check account balances. LS2 Mobile is available as a free download to library users....
The Library Corporation, Aug. 17

A photo taken using high dynamic range, a new and controversial photography techniqueA technique for photos real and surreal
Roy Furchgott writes: “The eye can see a much wider range of light and dark than a camera. That’s why windows come out as blurry masses of white in your daytime indoor shots but it doesn’t look that way to the naked eye. But a controversial fix is becoming a popular technique to adjust images to look more like the way you perceive them. It is called high dynamic range photography. HDR uses software to mash together the best parts of several photos shot at different exposures so that over-lit and under-lit sections are eliminated.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Aug. 14

IBM 5150 PC from 1981Can you do real work with a 30-year-old PC?
Benj Edwards writes: “When IBM released its first personal computer, the 5150 in 1981, it was deliberately drab—black, gray, and low-key. That’s because IBM intended it to be a serious machine for people doing serious work. But can a PC that’s as old as I am manage to email, surf the web, produce documents, edit photos, or tweet? I sequestered myself for four days amid boxes of 5.25-inch floppy drives and serial cables to find out. The answer to my question turned out to be both yes and no—but more interesting was all the retro-computing magic I had to perform.”...
PC World, Aug. 11


Google Books settlement, 2008–2011
James Grimmelmann writes: “The Google Books settlement, a book collector whose audacious plan to remake copyright law was ultimately for naught, died August 17. It was caught in the blast from a recent court decision, and received fatal injuries. Ironically, the settlement, which had been seriously injured in the spring, had been rumored to be planning a comeback tour. In the end, however, doctors declared that its internal divisions were incurable.”...
The Laboratorium, Aug. 17

IFLA e-books discussion presses many biblio-buttons
Leonard Kniffel writes: “What was arguably the most provocative program of the entire IFLA World Library and Information Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was also the least formal and structured of the entire conference. ‘Can the New Book Economy Guarantee Freedom of Access to Information?’ was a freewheeling August 15 session, with Kenneth Crews of Columbia University’s Copyright Advisory Office moderating a panel of publishing experts who made some surprising predictions about the future of publishing and how libraries fit into the picture....
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 24

Calibre logoHow to convert PDFs to ePub or Kindle files
Jason Boog writes: “Many publishing professionals, writers, reviewers, and readers have a stack of PDFs that they wish they could read on a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo. However, the conversion process is a bit daunting and many converted files end up with unseemly page numbers or headers floating around the text. If you follow our step-by-step tutorial below, you can convert and clean up a PDF file relatively easily. Here are the steps.”...
eBookNewser, Aug. 23

Screen shot from Booktrack video showing audio controlsBells and whistles for a few e-books
In the film version of Pride and Prejudice the music jumps and swells at all the right moments, heightening the tension and romance of that classic Jane Austen novel. Will it do the same in the e-book edition? Booktrack, a startup in New York, is planning to release e-books with soundtracks that play throughout the books, an experimental technology that its founders hope will change the way many novels are read. Its first book featuring a soundtrack is The Power of Six, a YA novel published by HarperCollins. Watch the video (1:55)....
New York Times, Aug. 23; YouTube, Aug. 22

E-book spam: Seven steps to identification
Will DeLamater writes: “There was a news story this summer that has been a long time in the making: Spam hits the world of e-books. Anyone who has been following the Amazon Digital Text Platform since its beginnings has seen this coming a long way off. A search for a copy of Pride and Prejudice a few months ago brought up so many results that the average book buyer had no way of picking among them. So what can you do to avoid purchasing a spam book?”...
EduKindle, Aug. 22

September 24, 2001, cover of The New YorkerWhy print can exist in harmony with digital
Mike Tyson writes: “We’d like discuss a rarely raised argument for print, from a designer’s perspective. To begin, we think the winner for content delivery will always be digital. Print has too many restrictions to contend with the vastly more nimble digital method. However, consider the New Yorker cover from September 24, 2001 (right), the first issue released after the 9/11 attacks, designed by illustrator Art Spiegelman. The image is lost in digital reproduction and only reveals itself subtly as you handle the printed piece and adjust it around the light.”...
Unplggd, Aug. 12

E-book piracyBook piracy: A non-issue
Paul Carr writes: “Earlier today, I found myself looking back at the columns I wrote for The Guardian back in 2003. Inevitably, with industries as fast moving as media and technology, my 23-year-old self made a whole load of terrible predictions. One prediction I’m happy to stand by, though, is that the way to solve media piracy would not be through legislation but through making it easier and cheaper for customers to buy legitimate versions of movies, music, and books. The reason: Books have always been free to those who don’t want to pay for them.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 23; The Guardian (U.K.), July 21, 2003

U.K. libraries reject raw deal on e-journals
Major research libraries have told the two largest journal publishers that they will not renew their Big Deals with them if they do not make significant, real-terms price reductions. Research Libraries UK has told Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell that universities will not renew their current blanket orders when they expire at the end of this year unless concessions are made. Big Deals involve libraries paying a blanket fee for electronic access to a publisher’s entire journal catalog....
Times Higher Education (U.K.), Aug. 18

The changing nature of resource sharing for e-books (PDF file)
Michael Levine-Clark writes: “When we demand the ability to loan e-books to other libraries, we are confusing the means (ILL) with the end (getting a book to the user who needs it as quickly and cheaply as possible). Instead, we should be demanding that publishers make e-books available to vendors who can manage an easy short-term lease process that will be cheap enough to replace ILL. ILL is a relatively efficient system for sharing physical resources, but not the right system at all for delivering e-books.”...
Collaborative Librarianship 3, no. 2 (2011): 71–72

CourseSmart logoWho has the most e-textbooks?
Sarah Kessler writes: “Just about every electronic textbook company declares that it has the most books available for download. CourseSmart calls itself ‘the world’s largest digital course materials provider.’ Sellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon return absurdly high numbers for searches in their e-textbooks sections that include novels and other general books used in classes. boasts the ‘biggest selection of used and new college textbooks.’ Here is how seven e-textbook retailers fared with 1,000 of the most popular books.”...
Mashable, Aug. 18

Ebrary signs 12 more university press partners
(PFD file)
E-book publisher ebrary announced 12 new university presses have joined as publishing partners, bringing the total to 120. The publishers’ scholarly monographs and other materials will be available under a mix of models to address libraries’ evolving collection strategies and acquisition workflows....
Ebrary, Aug. 22

"Digital preservation buttons" by wlef70 on FlickrDigital preservation, curation, or stewardship? Define
Butch Lazorchak writes: “I admit it: I’ve been prone to using the terms ‘digital preservation,’ ‘digital curation,’ and ‘digital stewardship’ interchangeably without thinking too hard about their origins or subtle differences. Where do these different terms come from and what do they imply? Let’s briefly explore the slightly different (though often overlapping) approaches of preservationistas, curators, and stewards.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 23

Late Joseon period wedding anniversary album, Yohwa noin hoegeuncheop, held in the Yale Association of Japan Collection at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript LibraryYale partners with National Library of Korea
Yale University’s East Asia and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript libraries have undertaken a collaborative project with the National Library of Korea to digitize Yale’s holdings of rare Korean works, totaling 140 volumes. Korea will provide funds for the digitization and plans to include the bibliographic information and page images of the Yale works in the Korean Old and Rare Collection Information System (KORCIS), an online full-text repository for Korean rare books....
Yale University, Aug. 19

Doctor with iPadMedical libraries and information devices
Michelle Kraft writes: “Personal information devices allow doctors to access medical information on the go. They aren’t tied down to a computer or laptop. How does this relate to medical libraries? Once the decision is made, librarians can get on board by supporting the devices. That means helping with the selection of apps, looking at library and information apps, and helping doctors use the apps or the device itself. Even if your hospital has adopted a mobile technology policy, you will still get questions (especially on e-books, e-journals, and what databases have apps).”...
The Krafty Librarian, Aug. 17

Alice in Wonderland cover10 iPad apps based on classic children’s books
Dianna Dilworth writes: “Kids are growing up reading on iPads today. In hopes that they’ll still read classic books, we’ve made a list of 10 iPad book apps based on classic children’s books. All the apps are interactive. Alice in Wonderland lets readers use the app to make Alice shrink or grow, and others, like The Velveteen Rabbit, allow readers to record their own voices into the story.”...
eBookNewser, June 22

Leap Frog Leap Pad Explorer Learning TabletE-readers for kids
Tony Cole writes: “Happily there are quite a few good e-readers made for young children now, which have the qualities that they need: bright colors, easy navigation, a good supply of e-books specifically aimed at young children, reasonably tough, and generally fun to use. These are mostly aimed at the age group between 3 and 7. I will also suggest here a couple of e-readers that I think would work for younger readers from 8 to about 10.”...
eBookAnoid, Aug. 22

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There’s no shortage of library management books out there—but how many of them actually tackle the little details of day-to-day management, the hard-to-categorize things that slip through the cracks of a larger handbook? Library Management Tips that Work by Carol Smallwood does exactly that, addressing dozens of such issues facing library managers. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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Great Libraries of the World

Lambach Abbey Library

Lambach Abbey Library, Lambach, Austria. The library in this 11th-century Benedictine abbey was built around 1691. Its importance lies not only in the rich collection of monastic archives, but also in its 18th-century Viennese music scores, among them a symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Lambacher Symphony (K.45a), a gift by Mozart himself in January 1769.

Lilienfeld Abbey Library

Lilienfeld Abbey Library, Lilienfeld, Austria. Founded in 1202 by Leopold VI, duke of Austria, this Cistercian abbey library was refurbished in the early 17th century. Ceiling frescos by Johann Jakob Pianck were added later. Despite the loss of much of its collection in 1789, the library currently owns 40,000 items, among them a 14th-century biblical concordance by Ulrich von Lilienfeld.

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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Director of Discovery and Access, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. The Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) division is looking for a collaborative and service-oriented colleague to join us in providing forward-looking library services. The Discovery and Access (DnA) unit includes Access Services, Archives and Special Collections, and Library Technical Services and their experienced and committed employees who manage the circulation, acquisitions, cataloging and processing, archives and rare materials, e-resource access, library systems support, and resource-sharing functions. If you’re interested in working collaboratively within LITS, the MHC community, and with Five Colleges consortium colleagues, taking a leadership role to plan strategically, thoughtfully, and proactively; and work effectively with a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students, we hope you apply....

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Digital Library of the Week

Asa Griggs Candler, founder of the Coca-Cola Company, was also a banker and real estate developer and was noted for his philanthropy. His best-known philanthropy was in the form of a personal check for $1 million, donated to defray the costs of establishing Emory University in Atlanta as a Southern Methodist institution. New Encyclopedia of Georgia collection. Courtesy of Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

The Digital Library of Georgia connects users to a million digital objects in more than 200 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies. Though this represents only a fraction of Georgia’s cultural treasures, the DLG continues to grow through its partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, and allied organizations across the state. Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the DLG is an initiative of GALILEO, the state’s virtual library. The DLG also provides digital library, photographic, and micrographic services; and provides leadership for cooperative digital initiatives 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.

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I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country under regulations as would secure their safe return in due time.”

—Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Wyche, May 19, 1809.

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Upcoming ALA Conferences

2012 Midwinter Meeting, Dallas:
January 20–24, 2012

2012 Annual Conference, Anaheim, California:
June 21–26, 2012

2013 Midwinter Meeting, Seattle:
January 25–29, 2013

2013 Annual Conference, Chicago:
June 27–July 2, 2013

2014 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia:
January 24–28, 2014

2014 Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada:
June 26–July 1, 2014

2015 Midwinter Meeting, Chicago:
January 23–27, 2015

2015 Annual Conference, San Francisco:
June 25–30, 2015

2016 Midwinter Meeting, Boston:
January 22–26, 2016

2016 Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida:
June 23–28, 2016

2017 Midwinter Meeting, Atlanta:
January 20–24, 2017

2017 Annual Conference, Chicago:
June 22–27, 2017

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Society of American Archivists, Annual Meeting, Chicago, Aug. 22–27, at:

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


Sept. 20:
Enhanced eBooks and BookApps: The Promise and Perils,
sponsored by Science Online NYC, Rockefeller University, New York City.

Sept. 21–23:
International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications,
National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague.

Sept. 23:
SEFLIN Virtual Conference.
“Library Resource Sharing: Emerging Trends and Technologies.” Sponsored by the Southeast Florida Library and Information Network.

Sept. 23–24:
Research Symposium,
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. “The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Globalism and Lecture Culture in Nineteenth-Century America.”

Oct. 9–12:
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education,
Annual Conference and Expo, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Oct. 12–14:
Ohio Educational Library Media Association,
Annual Conference, Columbus Convention Center. “21st Century Learning @ your school library.”

Oct. 12–16:
Frankfurt Book Fair,
Messegelände, Frankfurt, Germany.

Oct. 24–25:
The E-Books Environment,
Tremont Plaza Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland. “The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books.” Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization.

Nov. 4:
Brick and Click,
Academic Library Symposium, J. W. Jones Student Union, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.

Nov. 17:
Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop,
Faith and Life Centre, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, Camrose. “Building the Information Literate University: From Concept to Strategic Change.”

Nov. 26–
Dec. 4:

Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL),
Guadalajara, Mexico.

Nov. 29–
Dec. 1:

Online Information Exhibition and Conference,
Olympia Conference Centre and National Hall, London. “Information and Collaboration: Meeting the Challenges of a Mobile Generation.”

Nov. 30:
Repositories in Science and Technology,
workshop sponsored by CENDI and NFAIS, Mumford Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

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Books and Reading

Cover of The Gentleman's Hour, by Don WinslowRousing Reads: Surf’s up
Bill Ott writes: “I’ve never been on a surfboard, never even seen one up close, but after finally getting around to reading Don Winslow, I’m starting to dream about being able to hang 10, if only I was 40 years younger. It isn’t that Winslow spends all that much time writing about actual surfing in The Gentlemen’s Hour, his new book, or in Dawn Patrol, its predecessor. Most of the action in these two dynamite crime novels takes place on shore, but it’s the portrait of surfer culture that’s so intoxicating.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

Kindle image for Thorn in My SideKarin Slaughter writes short story to benefit libraries
Karin Slaughter, best-selling author of Fallen, announced August 22 that her next project will be a digital original short story titled “Thorn in My Side” published by Amazon’s Thomas and Mercer imprint, available exclusively as a Kindle Single on August 25. Full proceeds from sales in the United States will benefit the DeKalb County (Ga.) Library System. Slaughter's organization Save the Libraries has raised over $50,000 for DeKalb. The Single will also be available on and 100% of proceeds there will benefit The Reading Agency in the United Kingdom...., Aug. 22

Back from the dead: The state of book reviewing
Jane Ciabattari writes: “Five years ago, when Twitter was just another startup and the iPad was a gleam in Steve Jobs’s eye, the state of print book reviews in this country was undergoing a spectacular and noisy collapse. Five years later, we remain a nation of passionate readers. No matter the form—digital, electronic, print, or spoken word—a majority of the nation’s readers recognize good writing and yearn for fresh voices from authors and critics. Here’s a snapshot of the state of book reviewing today.”...
Poets & Writers, Sept./Oct.

Cornell’s fake review detector
As online retailers increasingly depend on reviews as a sales tool, an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance. Determining the number of fake reviews on the web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell University researchers, who recently published a paper (PDF file) about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers. The team developed an algorithm to distinguish fake from real, which worked about 90% of the time....
New York Times, Aug. 19; Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Portland, Oregon, June 19–24, 2011, pp. 309–319

JManga logoJManga opens web portal to Japanese comics
In mid-August, the Digital Comics Association, a group of 39 Japanese manga publishers, launched the web manga portal with plans to make a catalog of 10,000 titles available by 2013. The site serves both as a promotional vehicle for publishers and a destination site for readers looking for manga they can read and buy online....
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 22

Survey: More U.K. children read websites than comics
Children in the United Kingdom are far more likely to read emails and websites than comics, according to a National Literacy Trust survey of more than 18,000 kids aged 8–17. The research also found that while one in 10 children claimed to have read 10 books in the last month, 13% had not read any at all. Boys were nearly twice as likely as girls to say they never read. Some 29% of all children read every day....
The Guardian (U.K.), Aug. 23; National Literacy Trust, Aug. 22

Cover of The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media10 masterpieces of graphic nonfiction
Kirstin Butler writes: “Who doesn’t love comic books? While infographics may be trendy today, there’s just something special about the work of the human hand. Good old-fashioned manual labor, literally, brings a unique richness to storytelling where words alone sometimes fall flat. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite graphic nonfiction. These hybrid works combine the best elements of art, journalism, and scholarship, and provide the perfect way to mix some visual magic into your reading list.”...
The Atlantic, Aug. 10

Cover of The New York Trilogy, by Paul Auster, a postmodern mystery novelEight memes of the postmodern mystery
Ted Gioia writes: “What do postmodern writers have against the mystery novel? For reasons that perhaps only a Lacan or Derrida could deconstruct, they have turned to it again and again, wreaking havoc with its rules and formulas, and transforming the conventional whodunit into a playground for the most experimental tendencies and avant-garde techniques. Here is a handy guide to the eight memes of the postmodern mystery.”...
Postmodern Mystery

Cover of The SaturdaysFairies, witches, and supply and demand
Motoko Rich writes: “These days, perhaps because I’m covering the national economy, I often stumble across passages in children’s books that inadvertently teach economic principles. Earlier this year, I picked up The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright, to read to my 7-year-old daughter. I was struck by the chapter where Rush, one of the children, stops to watch a large snowblower at work on a Manhattan street. A crowd gathers, and an old man grumbles that ‘hundreds of fellas’ used to shovel the snow. ‘Nowadays they do it all by machinery. Ain’t no work for nobody.’ Aha! Capital vs. labor.”...
New York Times, Aug. 20

Cover of Who's Your Daddy? edited by Rachel Epstein10 books every LGBT parent should read
Dana Rudolph writes: “Books about LGBT parenting are few and far between, but here are 10 that I recommend for all LGBT parents and prospective parents. I chose works that each showcase a variety of voices, rather than single-person memoirs, so each one would resonate as widely as possible. I also chose books that focus on the emotional side of parenting rather than medical and legal how-to works, since the latter tend to be specific to particular segments of the LGBT community.”...
Mombian, Aug. 22

Is print news easier to remember than online news?
Todd Wasserman writes: “A study (PDF file) by three doctoral candidates at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication found that print news readers remember ‘significantly more’ than those who read news stories online. Print readers also remember ‘significantly more’ topics than online readers, the report found. However, readers recalled headlines equally well no matter the medium.” Among the findings: “The knowledge that the information they can find online, even if it disappears, is immediately archived and thus imminently retrievable may make readers less apt to feel they need to store it in their memory.”...
Mashable, Aug. 22

Beware selling books bought overseas
Mike Masnick writes: “The United States has long had a first-sale doctrine when it comes to works covered by copyright. The basic idea is that if you buy a book, you can resell it. Now we have our first case testing that exact theory. An appeals court has ruled that selling a book made outside of the U.S. is copyright infringement and there is no first-sale defense. In this case, the bookseller was found guilty of willfull infringement, because he was selling textbooks legally bought in Asia in the U.S., and told to pay $75,000 per infringement.”...
TechDirt, Aug. 18; Copyright Litigation Blog, Aug. 17

Slaughterhouse-Five sneakersBook-related sneakers and iPhone cases
Here’s the idea: sneakers and iPhone cases that are inspired by some of the greatest literary works of all time. Each design pays tribute to one fantastic book, and shows off your love of classic fiction to the world. New designs are produced “as often as time and creative energy permit.” Included are deisgns for Catcher in the Rye, Animal Farm, Slaughterhouse-Five (right), and The Scarlet Letter....

Actions & Answers

The changing professional conversation
Meredith Farkas writes: “I have had some great discussions on Twitter. Professional discussions, discussions about parenting, conversations with friends. But if I try to recall those conversations, that great piece of advice, or that link to that article that someone posted to Twitter maybe a year ago, I usually find myself at a dead end. I know it’s futile to argue for a return to blogging as the primary means of professional conversation in social media. But I think it’s valuable to consider what we lose by replacing blogging with stream-based social media.”...
Information Wants to Be Free, Aug. 23

Cover of College Libraries and Student CultureWhat students don’t know
Steve Kolowich writes: “One sobering truth that librarians from a group of Illinois universities have learned over the course of a two-year, five-campus ethnographic study is this: Students rarely ask librarians for help, even when they need it. The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project enlisted two anthropologists to collect data using open-ended interviews and direct observation. One thing the librarians now know is that their students’ study habits are worse than they thought.” The ERIAL findings will be discussed in depth in an ALA Editions title to be published in September. Stephen Abram has some comments....
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 22; Stephen’s Lighthouse, Aug. 22

Facebook logoFacebook’s privacy, tagging makeover
Ben Parr writes: “Facebook is launching one of the largest privacy overhauls in its history, making it clearer with whom you’re sharing photos, status updates, and locations.” Facebook itself notes that “the main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos, and tags they affect.” Dan Rowlinski speculates that the rollout over the next few days is in response to “the threat posed by Google+ and its ‘circles’ feature.” Every single one of Facebook’s 750+ million users will go through a tutorial about the updated privacy settings....
Mashable, Aug. 23; Facebook blog, Aug. 23; ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 23

How to cross-post from Twitter to Facebook
Paul Boutin writes: “Do you find yourself posting the same thing to both Twitter and Facebook? There’s a simple way to automate that, without cross-posting every single update. Login to Facebook, and go to the app page for the third-party Selective Tweets app. By using this, any Twitter post to which you append the Twitter hashtag #fb at the very end will also appear on your Facebook profile page.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Aug. 23

How to create a Foursquare page for your library
Heather Mansfield writes: “Foursquare recently launched the ability for brands to create Pages on Foursquare. Until then, nonprofits were limited to simply claiming their nonprofit’s Venue Page, making it almost impossible to be proactive on Foursquare. However, in recent weeks the site has made a number of upgrades that have rendered the site and its tool set much more interesting and relevant to the nonprofit sector. Now, to get started with launching a new Foursquare Page.”...
NonProfit Tech 2.0, Aug. 22

Google Maps weather layerGoogle Maps gets weather
Jonah Jones writes: “Whether you’re organizing a trip overseas or a picnic at a local park, knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the planning process. We’ve added a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe, and will make travel and activity planning easier. To add the weather layer, hover over the widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps and select the weather layer from the list of options.” Watch the video (1:06)....
Lat Long Blog, Aug. 18

Library school starter kit: A class checklist
Heidi Kittleson writes: “You are probably stuck taking required (core) courses this term, and that’s good. So, while you’re taking those first required courses, you can peruse the course catalog. You may think you have just started classes, but before you know it, an adviser will be contacting you and announcing class registration dates and times and instructions. Be prepared. Here’s how.”...
Hack Library School, Aug. 17

Screen shot from YouTube Music relaunch videoYouTube relaunches Music Page
Brenna Ehrlich writes: “YouTube is aiming to make the musical experience easier for users on the hunt for new jams by relaunching its Music Page. YouTubers are now privy to a cadre of features, including recommended videos and artists based on your viewing history, local concert listings paired with artist vids, a new YouTube Top 100 chart, and, perhaps most intriguing, another level of curation in the form of tastemaker partnerships.” Watch the video (1:21)....
Mashable, Aug. 18; YouTube, Aug. 16

His Master's Voice, a painting by Francis Barraud (1856–1924) of his brother’s dog Nipper, was the iconic symbol of the Victor Talking Machine Company from 1900–1929, when Nipper “joined.” RCA, 1898.Will music lovers stream back to MySpace?
Former social networking heavyweight MySpace will aim to reclaim its one-time position as a preeminent hub for music when it relaunches later this year. Its renewed focus on music will put MySpace up against a growing array of hot new players in on-demand music service like Rdio and European firm Spotify, which has gained 1.4 million users since entering the U.S. market in July. Sarah Houghton-Jan, who is “plotting ways to bring one or more of these services into the library and has some ideas which may or may not be legal,” offers a Spotify vs. Rdio personal-listening-pleasure smackdown....
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 23; Wall Street Journal: AllThingsD, Aug. 8; New York Times, July 13; Librarian in Black, July 21

Booking entertainers for special event programming
Tami Finley writes: “Last summer I got a new perspective on the whole idea of hiring someone to come and entertain for payment when I took a program of my own on the road to 10 libraries. For those of you new to the concept of hiring performers or for anyone who needs some advice, I picked the brain of one of our local entertainers who does hundreds of shows. Here are 10 tips we came up with.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 21

Data timelineHow humanity created so much data and computable knowledge
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “Steven Wolfram and team have gathered together a big timeline of key events in the history of systematic data and computable knowledge. We are really at the dawn of a new age of data creation, so this timeline will likely look like prehistory relatively soon, but it’s fascinating and important nonetheless. In terms of sheer quantity, far more data will be made measurable in the next few years than has been instrumented by any of the other developments on Wolfram’s timeline. What will we do with all that data? That’s up to us.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 19

Pearson's Remembering September 11 materialsPearson helps students remember September 11
To help students understand the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath, learning company Pearson is offering teachers, librarians, students, and parents a free collection of online education lessons and activities, Remembering September 11, available at Pearson’s Online Learning Exchange. The downloadable materials include oral history interviews and a 16-page color booklet....
Pearson, Aug. 22

Five misused words and phrases in genealogy
Michael Hait writes: “Over the past quarter-century, the field of genealogy has developed its own vocabulary to describe its evolving standards. Unfortunately, some of these terms are used in other fields with slightly different meanings. Here, in no particular order, are the top five most misused words and phrases in modern genealogy.”...
Planting the Seeds, Aug. 19

When your school library budget is slashed
Julie Greller writes: “Every year, my budget gets cut a bit more than the last year. In New Jersey, our ‘beloved’ governor took millions away and the pain of cuts has continued into the 2011–2012 school year. I have around 70% less than last year, and now my game plan has changed. Are you in the same situation? I bet you are. I have decided to share with you some of the things I’m doing this year to provide free resources to replace those we lost.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet blog, Aug. 18

Use the front door
David Lee King writes: “If your library’s like mine, you have staff-only ways to access library stuff: things like employee parking, a staff-only entrance, a back-end way to access the library catalog. Whenever I put a book on hold, I get it delivered via interoffice mail. Try using your library like a patron. Is it easy or hard? Is there something that frustrates you about the whole process? It’s probably doing the same thing to your patrons.”...
David Lee King, Aug. 18

Elaine Engst with Ezra Cornell's safe. Photo by Debra SchiffA tour of Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collections
Debra Schiff writes: “Recently, I had the great pleasure of spending the day at Cornell University, where I took a tour of the Rare and Manuscript Collections. My host was Elaine Engst, whose title is director and university archivist at the Kroch Library Rare and Manuscript Collections. It was enormous fun seeing some of Cornell’s treasures. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and videos here, and be inspired to visit the collections yourself.”...
Here and There, Aug. 18

Jonathan MilderJonathan Milder, Food Network librarian
Before the Food Network, Jonathan Milder was living in Chicago working on a doctorate in performance studies. Then, “my mother sent me Anne Willan’s La Varenne Pratique, and there I was having friends over for quail, slaving over Tarte Tatin, spending entire weekends in total dereliction of my studies making veal stock. Grad school never had a chance.” Milder started at the Food Network in 2003 as a production assistant and then later moved into his current position that same year. Find out more in this interview....
I Love Libraries, Aug. 19

Yellow cupcakes with chocolate ganache, baked by The Food LibrarianThe Food Librarian interview
Mary Yogi, The Food Librarian blogger, is a native Southern Californian who has worked in public libraries since 2005. She started The Food Librarian in 2007 to learn to bake from scratch (“no more box mixes . . . not that there is anything wrong with them if you use them, but I wanted to pick up cookbooks and make all the deliciousness myself”) and to learn more web skills. In this interview, she reveals some information about her day job and how she combines her baking job and being a librarian....
I Love Libraries, Aug. 19

Screen shot from The Fastest Librarian in the WestThe Fastest Librarian in the West
The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center was the first runner-up in a video contest held by the National Library of Medicine in which the public was invited to create original short videos promoting awareness of NLM’s products and services. The video (0:59) was filmed on location in Peralta, New Mexico, and shows the value of the PubMed Mobile app. Watch the extended director’s cut (3:50) with credits and bloopers....
National Library of Medicine, May 11; YouTube, Mar. 22, 24

Screen shot from the Hobo LibrarianThe Secret Life of the Hobo Librarian
Richard Patient is the inexcusably excellent Hobo Librarian (with narration by Richard Copperwaite) in this Pythonesque “documentary” (4:03) from the dramatic production “The Highborn and the Hobo,” part of the University of Southampton’s Light Operatic Society’s 40th anniversary Summer Show. It was written by Harry Campbell and Phillip Moxley. “Though ostensibly omnivorous, the Hobo Librarian is surprisingly picky about its food.”...
YouTube, Aug. 12

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