American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 31, 2011

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Division News
Awards & Grants
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Books and Reading
Actions & Answers
New This Week

Drexel ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Caitlin McGurk of the Center for Cartoon Studies' Charles Schulz Library basks in the presence of materials rescued from IreneEast Coast libraries endure Hurricane Irene
The week of August 22 was anything but your typical end-of-summer week on the East Coast. First, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia on August 23 set a startling tone, shutting down numerous buildings, including libraries, all along the coast. Then, on August 26 Hurricane Irene came ashore in North Carolina and moved relentlessly northward through Vermont and into Quebec. As of August 31, it was responsible for 54 deaths and about $10.1 billion in damage. The old building housing the Center for Cartoon Studies’ Charles Schulz Library in White River Junction, Vermont, may have suffered irreparable damage from floodwaters, but the entire collection was saved by intrepid volunteers and staff (above) and moved to a secure location a few blocks away....
American Libraries news, Aug. 31; The Beat, Aug. 30

Children’s section at the new Poetry Foundation Library in ChicagoA library home for poetry
The new library of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago has a simple goal. “The mission of the library echoes that of the foundation: to place the best poetry in front of the most people,” explains Librarian Katherine Litwin. But poetry can have a reputation for inaccessibility. The Poetry Foundation Library was designed to make the collection enjoyable and accessible. The library is located off the main entrance of the foundation’s new headquarters, only three blocks from ALA headquarters....
American Libraries news, Aug. 31

“Which one of you guys wants to be a reference librarian?”Will’s World: Networking without pity
Will Manley writes: “I’m working on a new house project. It’s one of the most complicated projects that I’ve ever taken on. There are a million details from the size of the window jambs to the energy rating of the glass in the windows. For a novice like me, it’s all very confusing and requires a great deal of research. Never have I needed a library so much. But a library only gets you so far. There is a network out there, and if you connect into it, will make life a lot easier.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Citizens United logoOn My Mind: Librarians and the threat to free political speech
Jeffrey Beall writes: “As librarians, we support freedom of speech and freedom of access to information. In early 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that increased these freedoms. Known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the decision declared unconstitutional some statutory restrictions on political speech—restrictions that carried the threat of fine or imprisonment for merely engaging in political speech. Specifically, Citizens United overturned some limits on corporate political speech.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Cindy WoodruffCurrents
On August 22 Cindy Woodruff (right) became youth services librarian at Laurel (Del.) Public Library. In July, Richard Hume Werking retired from the Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he served for 20 years as library director and professor of history. Dorothy Boone Dismuke, 80, former reference librarian at the Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Public Library from 1967 to 1987, died August 11....
American Libraries column

Tech Logic ad

ALA News

John Chrastka. Photo by Jenny LevineALA bids farewell to John Chrastka
John Chrastka, ALA’s director of membership development, is leaving the Association effective August 31 to become a partner in a Chicago-based association consulting agency. His immediate supervisor, ALA Associate Executive Director for Communications Cathleen Bourdon, says of John: “He was the friendly face of ALA to thousands of ALA members and a true colleague to ALA staff.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 29

One of the four Knowledge is Power postersOctober is Information Literacy Awareness Month
Information Literacy Awareness Month is a great time to honor teachers, librarians, and other underrecognized shepherds who guide all ages through the abundant information available online and in print. By teaching the rewards of lifelong learning, you can help young readers become future advocates for libraries as essential civic centers for learning and community. The new Knowledge is Power poster set illustrates the enduring importance of education. The four posters are handsomely illustrated, and each bears a thought-provoking quotation....
ALA Graphics, Aug. 30

Benchmarks are a process
Larra Clark writes: “The ALA Office for Technology Information Policy is one of 13 organizations working to develop a beta set of national public access technology benchmarks for public libraries. Over the last decade, OITP has played a leadership role in advocating for policies supporting e-rate, high-speed broadband for libraries, and fair copyright policies through its Program on Networks and Program on Public Access to Information. More recently, the new Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century has recognized cutting-edge technology practices in all types of libraries.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 31

Library 2.011 worldwide virtual conferenceALA partners with Library 2.011 worldwide virtual conference
ALA is partnering with founding sponsor San Jose State University SLIS to present the Library 2.011 worldwide virtual conference, November 2–3, a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries. The conference will be held online, accommodating multiple time zones over the course of two days, and will be free to attend. The call for presentations is now open and submissions are due by September 15. To be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please join the Library 2.0 network....
Library 2.011 Conference

ALA seeks two endowment trustees (Word file)
Applications are now being accepted for two upcoming openings for endowment trustee to help manage the ALA Endowment Fund. One position is for the expiring term of Senior Trustee Dan Bradbury, and the other is for a newly added position that will expand the trustees from a committee of four to a committee of five. The deadline to apply (Word file) is November 15....
ALA Finance and Accounting, Aug. 30

Booklist Online logo

Cover of ReamdeFeatured review: Science fiction
Stephenson, Neal. Reamde. Oct. 2011. 1,056p. Morrow, hardcover (978-0-06-197796-1).
Not many writers can make a thousand-page book feel like it’s over before you know it, but Stephenson, author of Cryptonomicon (928 pages), Anathem (981), and the three-volume Baroque Cycle (about 900 each), is a master of character, story, and pacing. Here, an unknown miscreant has created a computer virus, Reamde—a possibly deliberate misspelling of “read me,” a common file name—and is using it to extort money from users of a multiplayer online game. Meanwhile, a plan to sell stolen credit-card numbers to a Russian mobster goes horribly awry, catapulting a hacker and her cohorts into a race for their lives. The book feels like a video game—characters bouncing from one action set piece to another; new villains introduced out of left field; a sprawling, compelling, completely seductive story that keeps the reader flipping pages at near light-speed....

At Leisure graphicThe lessons of weeding
Joyce Saricks writes: “A column on weeding: What a way to start a year! I’m a packrat at heart, and weeding has always been anathema to me. I’ve taken the precaution of emailing my longtime friend, librarian Merle Jacob, the queen of weeding, to warn her that I had finally come around to her point of view, lest she faint in shock at seeing this column. This change of heart has happened over the last few months. I volunteer at my local library, and in addition to shelving DVDs (and always finding several to take home), I’ve been assisting Sue O’Brien, my successor as department head, with a fiction weeding project. Once again we’re out of room, and the director refuses to build a wing just so we won’t have to weed the almost 50,000-volume fiction collection.”...

Corner Shelf bannerNew Corner Shelf e-newsletter with B&T
Booklist Online launched its new Corner Shelf e-newsletter August 30 in partnership with Baker & Taylor. Corner Shelf is a free, bimonthly publication that addresses trends, ideas, and issues in collection development and readers’ advisory. Sign up here....

Free Booklist webinars in September
Booklist editors host leading practitioners, authors, and publishers’ representatives at least once a month in webinars on a variety of topics offering immediate tips, tools, resources, and new ideas for collection development and readers-advisory work. The webinars are recorded and archived on the Booklist Online webinars page where there is also information about upcoming offerings. September’s webinars support librarians in enhancing their collections for fall and winter. All Booklist webinars are Tuesdays starting at 1 p.m. Central Time....

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

Division News

Take advantage of AASL11 pricing
The deadline for advanced registration pricing for “Turning the Page” ends September 29. To be held in Minneapolis October 27–30, the AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition is the premier biennial four-day event for school librarians, administrators of library services, educators of school library students, and school library supporters. Registration and program information can be found online....
AASL, Aug. 30

Teens' Top Ten logoTeens should vote now for the Teens’ Top Ten
YALSA invites all teens to get out the vote for the Teens’ Top Ten. Teens can vote for their favorite books from the last year in the annual poll. Voting is open through September 16. The 25 nominees for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten are available on the YALSA website, along with a toolkit for librarians to promote the list to the young adults visiting their libraries. The final 2011 Teens’ Top Ten list will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 16–22....
YALSA, Aug. 30

Picture It graphic for Teen Read Week 2011Registration for Teen Read Week ends September 16
Registration for Teen Read Week, YALSA’s annual literacy event, will close on September 16. Visitors to the Teen Read Week website will also find activity ideas relating to this year’s theme, planning resources and publicity tools, as well as details on the Teen Read Week Photo Contest, judged by TRW Spokesperson Jay Asher. Teen Read Week will be celebrated October 16–22, with a theme of “Picture It @ your library.“...
YALSA, Aug. 30

Strategize with social media @ your library
Social media is here to stay. Whether your library regularly communicates with teens through Facebook, Twitter, or a blog or if you are just establishing such a presence, a social media policy is a key to your success. To learn how a social media policy can help you reach teens and advocate for services in your library, join YALSA for its September 15 webinar presented by Linda Braun, “Tweet, Like, Link: Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Library.”...
YALSA, Aug. 30

Upcoming ACRL e-learning events
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in fall 2011 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. Registration for all online seminars and Webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner Program. Register for three ACRL e-Learning events and receive one free registration....
ACRL, Aug. 30

ALCTS continuing education events for fall
ALCTS offers a wide variety of online continuing education opportunities through webinars, web courses and e-forums. Here is a list of upcoming web courses and webinars for fall. Additional details and registration information are available online....
ALCTS, Aug. 30

Awards & Grants

IEEE Science Kits for Public Libraries grant (PDF file)
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Chicago Section has announced a Science Kits for Public Libraries grant. The grant will provide funding to up to 20 public libraries in the Midwest for the development of math and science collections for K–12 students through the creation of science kits—especially kits that provide prepared experiments for use by students and librarians. Applications will be accepted from October 1 until November 15....
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Chicago Section, Aug. 22

Cover of The Lotus EatersJames Tait Black Memorial Prizes
The winners of this year’s James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, given annually by the University of Edinburgh, were announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 19. The two £10,000 ($16,400 U.S.) prizes are given for the best work of fiction and for the best biography during the previous year. The Fiction Prize was awarded to debut American novelist Tatjani Soli for The Lotus Eaters, set in the last days of the Vietnam War. The Biography Prize was won by Hilary Spurling for Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China, a biography of Nobel Prize–winning author Pearl Buck....
BBC News Scotland, Aug. 19

Cover of Red Dust Road2011 Scottish Book of the Year
Scottish author Jackie Kay has won the 2011 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year for her autobiographical novel Red Dust Road. Kay received her £30,000 ($49,250 U.S.) prize at an August 26 ceremony during the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish nurse and a Nigerian student, Kay was adopted at birth by a white couple and brought up in Glasgow. Red Dust Road, published by Picador, is an autobiographical account of Kay’s search to find her birth parents....
Edinburgh Reporter, Aug. 26

Cover of Indelible Ink2011 Age Books of the Year
The winners of the 2011 Age Book of the Year awards were announced August 25 at the opening keynote address of the Melbourne Writers Festival. Fiona McGregor’s Indelible Ink (Scribe) won the Aus$10,000 overall prize, having also won the same amount for Fiction Book of the Year. Her third novel, Indelible Ink is an “utterly original, strangely charismatic” tale of society and a tattoo, set in the prosperous North Shore of Sydney....
The Age (Melbourne, Australia), Aug. 26

JobLIST Direct ad

Seen Online

Missouri judge blocks new social media law
A new law regulating how Missouri teachers communicate with their students on Facebook and other social media websites suffered a double-barreled setback August 26. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem awarded the Missouri State Teachers Association a preliminary injunction blocking the law (Missouri Senate Bill 54) from taking effect, saying it would have a “chilling effect” on free speech rights. And Gov. Jay Nixon said he will ask lawmakers during a special session in September to strip out the law’s most controversial provisions, including the one the judge ruled on....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Aug. 26

Plastic bag propoganda: Good for the environment?Santa Cruz school librarian challenges textbook changes
Furious about the chemical industry’s footprint in a state-sponsored environment curriculum, a librarian at Santa Cruz (Calif.) High School has started a petition to have the industry’s influence removed. As of August 30, Veronica Zaleha had garnered more than 25,000 signatures on the social networking platform She started the petition in response to a California Watch investigation that showed the American Chemistry Council had successfully inserted edits and additions about the benefits of plastic shopping bags into an 11th-grade environmental textbook....
California Watch, Aug. 19, 29

María Luisa ArroyoExpand branch hours to support literacy
María Luisa Arroyo (right) writes: “Why do branch libraries matter? Some may argue that branch libraries are losing their relevance. Besides, who uses the library anyway nowadays? It just has old books, right? Neither cell phones nor home computers, though, can teach young children how to hold a book upright, how to turn pages, nor choose for them age-appropriate books to read. Neither cell phones nor home computers can teach any child how to read aloud or check for understanding while reading. Isn’t it common sense to have the branch libraries in their neighborhoods open when they and their families need them?”...
La Prensa de Western Massachusetts, Aug. 29

Sugar Grove director was fired for defying authority
The Sugar Grove (Ill.) Public Library board majority fired longtime library director Beverly Holmes-Hughes in July because she defied their authority, according to a statement released August 25. According to the statement, the board majority found that Hughes would not do what was asked and that this created a tension among the four trustees, resulting in a deteriorated working relationship. Plans for a new library Friends group are on hold until the current group, which does not agree with the decision to fire Holmes-Hughes, dissolves at the end of its fiscal year in December....
Kane County (Ill.) Chronicle, Aug. 27

Illinois man charged with library book thefts
According to police, a Glen Ellyn, Illinois, man stole thousands of books, DVDs, and other items from Chicago-area libraries and then sold some of them on the internet. James F. Jackson was taken into custody August 26 and charged with three counts of felony theft. A search of Jackson’s apartment and vehicle turned up materials taken from libraries, including an unspecified number of items from the Lisle Public Library....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Aug. 29

Michigan library staffer killed by bear in Yellowstone
Wildlife agents were trying to capture a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park on August 29 after it killed a hiker. The body of John Wallace, 59, was discovered August 26 in a backcountry area known for its high population of bears. Wallace had worked for about 20 years at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, Michigan. Library Director Shawn Leche said Wallace was a quiet, easygoing man and a conscientious worker who loved books, opera, and the outdoors....
Associated Press, Aug. 29

Ruth QuinnMurder of Coronado librarian in 1975 still unsolved
A 74-year-old retired librarian and war widow, Ruth Quinn was found late on March 16, 1975, in her home on Pomona Avenue in Coronado, California, fully clothed, in bed, with gunshot wounds to her head and collarbone. The shots had been fired at close range. Police concluded Quinn’s death was a premeditated murder. She had worked as a librarian, first at the main library in San Diego and later at the Coronado Public Library. The library was the last place she was seen alive....
Coronado (Calif.) Patch, Aug. 29

Layoffs expected in Santa Cruz
A new service model that keeps all branches of the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Library open and increases their hours will require layoffs this fall that are expected to equal about 10% of the workforce. Director Teresa Landers has submitted a draft report to staff members and union leaders for input, and anticipates presenting it to the Library Joint Powers Authority board for a possible vote October 3....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury-News, Aug. 24

Home libraries spring up in El Paso colonias
All summer long, children of all ages streamed in and out of Maria Garcia’s home in the colonia of Agua Dulce, in far East El Paso, Texas. Spearheaded by Sister Frances Hicks of the School Sisters of St. Francis, Garcia and four other mothers in the colonias of Agua Dulce, Ascencion, Las Colonias, and Dairyland opened mini-libraries in their homes. Hicks, who teaches ESL in the colonias, said she was able to get a donation of 2,000 books from St. Patrick’s Catholic School in St. Charles, Illinois. Once the books were ready, she tried to get one house in each colonia to have a mini-library....
El Paso (Tex.) Times, Aug. 26

Chicago Public Library's Library Lounge graphicChicago organizes Library Lounge nights
With the launch of the monthly Library Lounge nights, part of Chicago Public Library’s recent “Not What You Think” campaign, the library wants to reintroduce the library to city residents—especially young, professional urbanites—in a place they likely already frequent: local bars. At each happy hour you can expect to learn about all the offerings at CPL, beyond just books, e-books, and audiobooks. You’ll also get yourself a library card on the spot, a library T-shirt, and a couple of drinks to sip....
Huffington Post, Aug. 24

San Jose’s old MLK library demolished
Scott Herhold writes: “On August 30, city officials began to demolish the old San Jose (Calif.) Public Library Martin Luther King building, replaced in 2003 by a gleaming new one, for a convention center expansion. City Librarian Jane Light led a last tour of the place a day earlier, billing it as the MLK ghost tour. The design on the outside smacked of Brutalism 101, and a moat around the building separated the library from the street, like a forbidding castle. For its time, the old MLK building was considered a Disneyland of a library. A postcard from the mid-1970s shows it lit up in a warmly translucent glow.”...
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News,
Aug. 29

You can get that at the library?
Gregory Karp writes: “Libraries have always been great money savers because of all the books and periodicals you can borrow and use for free. Offerings at libraries can vary widely, so the only way to know all that yours offers is to check out the website or visit in person. But here's a sampling of some unusual services you might find, with help from ALA President Molly Raphael.”...
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 26

Librarian strike looms at University of Western Ontario
David Rapp writes: “Unionized librarians and archivists at the University of Western Ontario in London have set a strike deadline for September 8, the first day of classes, as bargaining continues with university administration over staffing and compensation. Represented by the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association bargaining unit, UWO librarians have been without a contract since June 30.”...
Library Journal, Aug. 25

Want a library card? Have you had a sex change?
Local councils in the U.K. are asking residents who want to borrow books from public libraries whether they have AIDS or schizophrenia, or have had a sex change. The information is being gathered in an effort to comply with equal-opportunity rules. In Islington, people registering to borrow books are asked whether they have a “hidden impairment” such as cancer, HIV, or diabetes. Among the questions from Haringey council is this one: “Does your gender differ from your birth sex?”...
The Telegraph (U.K.), Aug. 27

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

BenQ Joybee GP1 palmtop projectorHow to buy a projector
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “Projectors have come a long way from the days when the most useful way to categorize them was by their weight class. Today there are any number of more meaningful kinds of categories, including intended use (business presentations, home theater, game playing), technology (LCD, DLP, LCOS), throw distance (how close the projector can be to the screen), and more. Here are some questions that will help you focus on the right category for your needs.” And here are PC Magazine’s top 10 picks....
PC Magazine, Aug. 25

X-Mini Capsule SpeakerSarah’s audio gadget showcase
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “I get asked a lot what technology I actually use, as opposed to all the cool stuff I show people or talk about. So I started looking around and thinking about it. What do I use? What do I have? Do I like it or love it? And I decided to start posting about it by gadget subject area. So we begin with audio.”...
Librarian in Black, Aug. 25

TinyURL generator add-on10 social networking add-ons for Firefox
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal writes: “Move over, RockMelt. You don’t need a dedicated social networking browser to stay überconnected. Here are 10 Firefox add-ons (all compatible with the latest version of Firefox) that will turn your browser into a social butterfly, including a Facebook toolbar, a Twitter search box, a HootBar, and a TinyURL generator (right).”...
PC World, Aug. 30

Repair a faulty Windows installation without reformatting
Alex Castle writes: “Nothing will put a crimp in your computing style quite like a Windows error. Although Microsoft’s OS has gotten exponentially more stable over the years, it’s still very possible for Windows system files to become corrupt, which can cause your system to slow down, freeze, or (in the worst case) refuse to load your operating system at all. When you encounter a Windows error, your first instinct may be to back up your data, grab the installation disk, and weep silently as you press the Reformat button. We’re here to tell you there’s another way.”...
Maximum PC, Aug. 31


Sony Reader Wi-FiSony announces 6-inch, library-ready e-reader
On August 31, Sony announced what it calls the lightest touch-screen, 6-inch e-reader ever, Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1), providing a natural and immersive reading experience. Reader Wi-Fi is smaller than an average paperback book, can easily fit into a bag or pocket, and is available in three color choices—black, red, or white. It is also the first e-reader to offer wireless connectivity to public libraries in the U.S. and Canada via a dedicated icon on the device to allow convenient borrowing of free e-books with a valid library card. And it comes with a Pottermore e-book giveaway....
Sony, Aug. 31

Apple iBooks readerSeven ways to use the iPad to help students excel
Jeffry Thurana writes: “We are approaching the era where students don’t have to carry stacks of thick heavy books to school anymore. Everything will be digitized and available at the tip of students’ fingers and many schools have already adopted the iPad as their learning tool, while students and educators are slowly figuring out the best way to utilize the iPad for education. From using the iPad as a reference tool to taking class notes, here are seven ways that the iPad will change the way your student learns.”...
MakeUseOf, Aug. 23

EPUB logoAmazon won’t be adopting EPUB
Nate Hoffelder writes: “Do you recall that rumor from three months back about Amazon switching to EPUB? Well, the new Kindle format called Print Replica discovered August 28 is a pretty good sign that EPUB just isn’t going to happen. Here’s the thing. Amazon didn’t adopt PDF. They could have used PDFs if they wanted to, but instead they went with their own proprietary format: something like PDF but completely controllable.”...
The Digital Reader, Aug. 28–29; TeleRead, Aug. 28

The emerging e-book app ecosystem
John Dupuis writes: “My intent with this post is to prod people to think of some of the hidden downsides of relying on the app model for distributing and monetizing e-books—in other words, the kinds of marketplaces we see emerging in the iTunes and Android app commercial developer ecosystem. If you want to read an e-book, you more or less have to buy it for your iPhone or iPad. You can’t download it illegally, you can’t borrow a copy from a friend or from the library unless your friend or library are also willing to lend you their device. So, what would I like to see in an e-book ecosystem?”...
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Aug. 29

Title page of The Kama Sutra, the most frequently downloaded title in Project GutenbergThe 25 most downloaded e-books on Project Gutenberg
Jason Sockel writes: “When Michael Hart endeavored to create Project Gutenberg 40 years ago, he probably did not envision the No. 1 downloaded title being the Kama Sutra, but a surprising search revealed just that. Project Gutenberg is an expansive set of free e-books, digitized and assembled by Hart (who, incidentally, is the inventor of the e-book) when he was a college student in Illinois. Since that time, his team has digitized more than 30,000 public-domain titles.”...
OverDrive Digital Library Blog, Aug. 29

Academic library user attitudes towards e-books
(PDF fle)
As academic libraries ramp up their investments in e-book collections and experiment with a growing range of purchasing models, they need to know more about how their users view e-books, and what expectations users bring to library collections. In 2007–2008, a research team conducted a study using Q-methodology to identify opinions about e-books among the population of library users at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio....
College and Research Libraries, preprint, July 2012

Ungluing e-books
Eric Hellman writes: “ will be the name of Gluejar’s ungluing e-books website. For readers new to this blog, ‘ungluing e-books’ is what I’m calling the process of raising money to make creative-commons licensed e-book editions of the books that you love, so that everyone, everywhere, can read them. We’re developing the website on the Amazon cloud. One of our big decisions has been to use an invitation-only rights holder strategy during the launch phase.”...
Go to Hellman, Aug. 30

Changing demographics of tablet and e-reader owners
In the United States as recently as last summer, tablet and e-reader owners tended to be male and on the younger side. But according to Nielsen’s latest quarterly survey of mobile-connected device owners, this is no longer the case. Only 46% of tablet owners are now under the age of 34 and the percentage of those over 55 has increased to 19%; and 61% of all e-reader owners are now female, compared to a mere 46% in the third quarter of 2010....
Nielsen Wire, Aug. 25

open access logoOpen access to research data is a lot tougher than you think
Kyle Niemeyer writes: “Most readers of this blog are familiar with the current effort to make research articles open access, but there is also a parallel effort to develop public archives for the research data behind them. We’ve addressed how funding questions make this a difficult issue, and the difficulty in preserving raw experimental material (also limited by money), but the primary obstacle to widespread adoption of existing public research data repositories appears to be simply time and effort.”...
Ars Technica: Nobel Intent, Aug. 26

Classical music conductorThe metadata of classical music
Steve Smith writes: “Finding classical music on Spotify is easy; finding a specific recording, on the other hand, can feel like anything but. As always seems to be the case, classical buffs have to work harder than pop-music fans to build and organize the virtual library of their dreams. The problem, as usual, comes down to metadata, the information that tells a computerized player what content the files on a compact disc contain and how to organize tracks you’ve downloaded from the internet. As yet, no standard for classical metadata exists.”...
New York Times, Aug. 25

Three graduate projects and a dissertation
Christopher Harris writes: “I am starting to think that it really isn’t totally our fault that we can’t figure out this whole e-book thing. There are two problems: what we don’t know, and what we think we know. For example, we think we know how many books to buy; public librarians look at the ratio of available copies to pending holds and then buy more copies if the ratio is off. Besides being totally reactive, I am not sure how effective that formula is. So I propose three graduate projects and one dissertation.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 29

University of North Texas ad

Geico ad

San Jose State ad

Banned Books Week 2011 poster

Celebrate Banned Books Week this year (September 24–October 1) by freeing your mind and reading from a banned book. The Banned Books Week robot is back again by popular demand. The ALA Store has Banned Books Week posters, bookmarks, buttons, T-shirts, and the 2011 list of banned books. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

New this week
in American Libraries

Children’s section at the new Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago

Will’s World

On My Mind

Censorship Watch


Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Ask the ALA Librarian

Solutions and Services

AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

Melk Abbey Library

Melk Abbey Library, Melk, Austria. The abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopold II, margrave of Austria, gave one of his castles to some Benedictine monks, and the library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. It is also well-known for its ceiling fresco, painted by Paul Troger in 1731–1732, which depicts an allegory of Faith surrounded by the four Cardinal Virtues. In his 1980 novel The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco named one of the protagonists “Adso von Melk” as a tribute.

Austrian National Library State Hall

National Library, Vienna, Austria. The library dates back to 1368 and the personal collection of Albert III, duke of Austria. The Baroque State Hall (Prunksaal) was built in 1723–1726 to house the Habsburg imperial court’s manuscripts, incunabula, books, maps, and globes until late in the 19th century. It is decorated with statues of Emperor Charles VI and other Habsburg monarchs by Peter and Paul Strudel and ceiling frescoes by Daniel Gran. The court library became the Austrian National Library when the republic was established in 1920. Its treasures include the largest Egyptian papyrus collection in Europe, a 6th-century Greek illuminated manuscript of De Materia Medica by Dioscorides, a museum of 380 globes and scientific instruments from before 1850, and a map collection that includes the 17th-century Atlas Blaeu–van der Hem, a 50-volume set of more than 2,400 maps, prints, and drawings.

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.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Chair of Cataloging and Metadata, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. The chair of cataloging and metadata reports to the library director. The cataloging department is comprised of two librarians, three staff members, and some student workers. Responsible for original, complex and copy cataloging of materials in all formats including electronic resources; reviews and implements new workflows as technologies change; provides departmental supervision and training to staff and student assistants in cataloging and support tasks; previews cataloging policies and procedures and implements improvements; plans and implements metadata schema and standards and develops work flow procedures for metadata projects; participates in reference rotations which entail some weekend and some night duty....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Pocket Almanac for 1847, bound in publisher's yellow printed wrappers, with hole at upper left through which a string is looped for suspension. The almanac contains information on eclipses, tides, phases of the moon, rising and setting of the moon/sun, historical facts, and quotations. Created by Thomas Spofford. ark:/67531/metadc739

The Miniature Book Collection in the University of North Texas Digital Library includes a selection of contemporary and historical miniature books selected from the larger collection in the UNT Libraries Rare Book Room. In some cases, only the covers have been digitized. The collection also contains issues of the Miniature Book News and the Miniature Book Society Newsletter. Miniature books are defined as those books under 4" (3" in some places) in height.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

I really love the book discussions we have in the prison library. You see, when we were on the street we have to show off that we were tough men. We don’t show our feelings. In here we read this book and find the character in the book has the sames issues we have. It takes a little while, but after a time the brothers in the book discussion group begin to open up. Nobody is judging you and we feel a little freer to explore our feelings since more or less we all share the same experience. It all happened in the library.”

—An inmate in a Maryland prison, quoted in Prison Librarian, Aug. 28.

“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

—Business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett’s librarian fantasy, “81 Reasons We Love Warren Buffett,” no. 48, The Motley Fool, Aug. 30.

@ More quotes...

Enjoy our latest content

Libraries Offer Free Entertainment for Life, According to CNN's Bob Greene

girl at library

Against All Odds: The Rescue of the Chilean Miners

Daniel Ellsberg: "The Library Was My Education" (video)

Connect with your kids: Read Comics Together

New Orleans Jazz National History Park Swings

Music to Her Ears: Julie Andrews

Join Us on Facebook Join Us on Facebook

Subscribe to our

at your library logo

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks


Science Online London, Sept. 2–3, at:

European Congress on E-Inclusion, Brussels, Sept. 6–7, at:

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


Sept. 8:
International Literacy Day.

Sept. 8–11:
Association for Rural and Small Libraries,
Annual Conference, Frisco, Texas.

Sept. 29–
Oct. 1:

Tennessee Association of School Librarians,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Murfreesboro.

Oct. 10–31:
K–12 Online Conference.
Free online conference. “Purposeful Play.”

Oct. 12–14:
Managing Copyright Risk and Policy,
Grand Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta.

Oct. 17–19:
Internet Librarian 2011,
Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

Oct. 20–23:
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,
Annual Conference, Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Wisconsin. “Transforming the Academy through the Theory and Practice of SOTL.”

Oct. 22:
Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture series,
inaugural lecture. Patricia Lee Gauch presents “The Picture Book as an Act of Mischief,” Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Oct. 26–28:
Internet Librarian International 2011,
Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, United Kingdom.

Nov. 2–3:
Library 2.011,
worldwide virtual conference.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

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

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Jennifer Henderson,
Contributing Researcher

Liz Humrickhouse
Student Intern

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Brian Searles
Brian Searles:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

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

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books and Reading

Thriller writers Andrew Grant and Brad Thor were the featured speakers at a pair of events sponsored by Lake Forest Book Store in partnership with area libraries15 reasons why bookstore/library partnerships are good
Naomi McEneely writes: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that libraries have readers, booksellers have books, and publishers have authors, and that each of the three is generally in need of the others. Lake Forest Book Store works with 15 of the 20 libraries in Lake County, Illinois, and has plans to partner with the remaining five by the end of 2011. The store brings in authors for library events, but only with the stipulation that it can sell the books. The partnership has been beneficial on every level.”...
Bookselling This Week, Aug. 24

How to host a video book club visit
Jason Boog writes: “Skype made book club headlines August 29 as author Meg Wolitzer used the video chat service to visit book clubs around the country. If you want to have an author speak to your book club through video chat, check out GalleyCat’s Authors Who Visit Book Clubs list to find nearly 1,000 writers. Explore the Video Chat category to find a video-friendly author in your favorite genre.”...
MediaBistro: GalleyCat, Aug. 29; Reuters, Aug. 29

Cover of Pete the Cat, by Eric Litwin, a crowd-pleaser for children with special needsSelecting books for special-needs storytimes
Renee Grassi writes: “Whether or not you have led a special-needs program before, the fact is that you may have already led one and not even known it. If your storytimes are drop-in and you don’t have information about a child’s special need ahead of time, selecting crowd-pleasing stories could be a challenge. So, in order to be prepared, plan ahead and ask yourself these questions.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 31

Middle East Diary 1917-1956, by Col. R. MeinertzhagenCollectible diaries from Che to Valentino
Elizabeth C. writes: “Reading someone’s personal diary is an invasion of privacy, and yet libraries are filled with diaries that have been published over the years. The day-to-day memories of people in the public eye or just ordinary folks in extraordinary circumstances make for fascinating collections. This selection of rare diaries contains many notable names, including adventurer Lawrence of Arabia, revolutionary Che Guevara, avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau, silent movie star Rudolph Valentino, and the green-fingered author who created Biggles.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, Aug. 29

Amazing Stories, Slaves of the Crystal Brain, cover by Arnold Kohn, 1950Astounding pulp cover artwork
Natalie Baaklini writes: “Here’s our look at the evolution of science-fiction magazine and paperback cover art from 1930 to 1955, as pulp styles exploded into awesomeness. Pulp art is characterized by tight compositions focused on one or two figures, with highly saturated colors and a contrasting background. Brush strokes were often visible because of the speed the artists worked at to make deadlines. This added to the illusion of motion in the figures. Violence and sexual overtones appeared on covers like never before, no longer merely suggesting adventure but beating you about the head with it.”...
io9, Aug. 26

Actions & Answers

Library staffer picks up books at the University of Maryland's McKeldin LibraryVirginia earthquake knocked down books in Maryland
Following the Virginia earthquake on August 23, more than 27,000 books fell off the shelves at the University of Maryland’s McKeldin Library in College Park. The library closed to the public following the tremors and reopened on August 26. Compact shelving on four floors was compromised; one unit tilted off its track. A free-standing bookshelf on the library’s fourth floor collapsed. Staffers have picked up all the books and loaded them onto book carts. Sorting and shelving is underway. Only about 700 items require preservation treatment....
University of Maryland, Aug. 29

Nothing right about this copyright ruling
Maura Smale writes: “The world of copyright litigation is getting downright surreal. Recently a court struck down an appeal of a New York case, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Supap Kirtsaeng, involving reselling books from overseas in the United States. Essentially, the court ruled that the first sale doctrine applies only to works manufactured in the U.S. The takeaway is that libraries may not be able to loan out books that were manufactured outside the United States, and students may not be able to buy or sell used textbooks.”...
ACRLog, Aug. 30; Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Aug. 24

Google +1 buttonGoogle’s +1 button could affect search results
Ryan Singel writes: “Google is making plans to turn its +1 button into a crowdsourcing tool that helps it reorder search results and fight web spam. Introduced in March, the +1 sharing button debuted with little incentive for web surfers to click on it. But in August, the button entered adolescence and can now be used to post stories to friends and followers on Google+ (and Google Maps), much as the Like button functions for Facebook. If Google’s search results become heavily dependent on social signals from Google+, then there’s going to be heavy pressure on the net’s websites to embed the Google+ button.”...
Wired: Epicenter, Aug. 29; Google Lat Long Blog, Aug. 29

Three hidden features in Google Advanced Search
Google is continually improving its search engine. Not only does it work meticulously on the search algorithm change, but also the graphical user interface and its features constantly receive upgrades. Many changes are subtle and thus easily missed. Likewise, many advanced features are well hidden. Google has recently updated its advanced search features, making it easier for users to more quickly narrow down search results. Here are three features you may not know about....
MakeUseOf, Aug. 23

Foursquare tipsFive things libraries can post on Foursquare Venue Pages
Heather Mansfield writes: “Here are five different types of tips that your nonprofit can post on Foursquare Venue Pages using your nonprofit’s Foursquare Page (not your personal Foursquare account) to both gain new followers and inspire the Foursquare community. The more tips you post, the more exposure your Foursquare Page will get.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog, Aug. 30

Medify logoMedify simplifies medical research
Sarah Kessler writes: “What you find when you search for health information online is not necessarily what you need if you’re managing a disease. Medify attempts to find a productive compromise between the extremes of online health information. It aggregates published research from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Medline, a database that contains more than 18 million references to journal articles going back to 1946. Then it scrapes data points like the number of patients studied, their treatments, symptoms, and side effects to generate insights about medical treatments and experts.”...
Mashable, Aug. 27

Availability display on calendar screen10 tips for respectful and effective shared calendaring
Terri Griffith writes: “Shared calendars push our boundaries in the workplace and let other people see and touch our time in ways that have limited equivalents. Having a staff member manage your calendar used to be a status signal and implied that your time was important. Instead, shared calendars open your time to the world—a huge benefit for our ever more collaborative work. Unless they are effectively managed, however, they can be a major drain on our time.”...
GigaOM, Aug. 22

The research paper controversy
Barbara Fister writes: “An issue currently highlighted in the New York Times Room for Debate feature is on whether research papers are a ‘waste of time’ and no longer ‘justifiable as a means of grading a college student’s performance.’ I also have never heard the argument made that ‘it is outdated because the internet has made sources so readily accessible’ or that it promotes ‘deference to conventional opinions.’ Let’s take a closer look at these claims.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 29; New York Times: Room for Debate, Aug. 28

WorldCat 40th birthdayWorldCat turns 40
August 26 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive database of resources held in libraries around the globe. On August 26, 1971, the OCLC Online Union Catalog and Shared Cataloging system (now known as WorldCat) began operation. That first day, from a single terminal, catalogers at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, cataloged 133 books online. Today, WorldCat comprises more than 240 million records representing more than 1.7 billion items in OCLC member libraries worldwide....
OCLC, Aug. 26

Three simple marketing rules for libraries
Ned Potter writes: “You don’t need to be a genius to do this stuff, or have huge marketing budgets, or even loads of time. It’s just a case of reconfiguring our existing efforts to acknowledge some simple rules. Number 2: No one cares about the how. Libraries are seemingly process focused, but the the rest of the world is focused on results. When marketing a service we should concentrate on what people aspire to, not the tools that will get them there.”...
thewikiman, Aug. 25

Depository library user survey report released
In its efforts to address the value of Federal Depository Library Program membership, the U.S. Government Printing Office developed a survey for depository library users. The survey ran from October 10, 2010, through March 4, 2011, and resulted in more than 3,300 responses from users of nearly 550 depository libraries. The final report, FDLP Users Speak (PDF file), presents the survey results....
FDLP Desktop, Aug. 24

Banned Book readerMy problem with Banned Books Week
Rory Litwin writes: “The Banned Books Week project, well-intended as it may be, fails to model good standards for democratic communication. Here is what I mean. Book banning, good people agree, should be fought against and is a source of inspiration to fight for what is right. Banned Books Week taps into people’s responses to these historical narratives and aims to prevent the suppression of ideas from recurring. But what counts as a ‘banned book’ is actually a ‘challenged book,’ and what counts as a challenged book is something quite different from an effort to prevent a book from being published, sold, or even made available in a library.”...
Library Juice, Aug. 28

Library teen centers: A report from the field
Steve Teeri writes: “My philosophy in running a teen center is ‘No matter what, this will be a safe and respectful place.’ Without those two things we cannot build anything else. This goes both for our teen customers and our library staff. We treat teens as adults, and let them know we expect them to behave as such. If a teen comes to us with an idea for a program or a concern we listen to them fully. The only time we bring our staff power to bear is when the fun gets a little too out of hand.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Aug. 26

Topeka's websiteTopeka doesn’t like social media
David Lee King writes: “Wouldn’t it be weird if Google, Kansas, blocked Google from its own computers? Unfortunately, that just happened. OK, it’s really Topeka, Kansas (Topeka renamed the city in March 2010 for that Google fiber-optics project). And they didn’t really block Google—they blocked YouTube (which Google owns). But still, there’s some irony there, is there not?”...
David Lee King, Aug. 30

A new model of storytelling
Laura Fleming writes: “As a school library media specialist, storytelling is at the core of what I do each and every day. I have seen many children who struggle with reading because of a lack of engagement with traditional books and stories. The new media that surrounds educators and learners forced me to rethink the concept of storytelling for our 21st-century learners. After some experimenting within my classes, I found a way to successfully engage and capture the attention of all of my students. As a result of this, a new model of storytelling emerged for me: Transmedia.”...
Edutopia, Aug. 26

Hispanic Heritage MonthHoliday resources from September to June
Julie Greller writes: “Here’s a list you won’t want to lose. Resources for all the holidays celebrated from September to June”: Hispanic Heritage Month, Columbus Day, Halloween, Ameican Indian Heritage Month, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and much more....
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Aug. 29

Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library's Traverwood branch14 marvelous modern libraries
The jaw-dropping intricacy of antique libraries, with their leaded glass windows and tiers of dark wood shelves, is being replaced in favor of clean lines, open spaces, and a focus on new technology in library architecture of the late 20th century and beyond. These 14 (see 15 more) modern libraries are just as beautiful, boasting dramatic shapes and volumes, high ceilings, transparent walls, and impressive stacks of books....
Web Urbanist, Aug. 22, 26; Dec. 10, 2008

Who cares about libraries? Canadians, apparently
John Geddes writes: “To hear the uproar in Toronto, an avid book borrower might be forgiven for imagining that Canadian libraries are coming under financial siege. The administration of the city’s right-leaning, populist mayor, Rob Ford, is taking a hard look at closing branches of the Toronto Public Library to cut costs. Yet top Canadian librarians do not see the Toronto scrap as a sign that the international malaise has arrived here. They point to upbeat developments in other Canadian cities.”...
Macleans, Aug. 29

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative
Karen Coyle writes: “While there is no question that MARC was originally developed by the Library of Congress and has been maintained by that body for over 40 years, it is surely time for that control to pass to a more representative body. LC recently announced the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative to ‘determine a transition path for the MARC21 exchange format.’ The next data carrier for libraries needs to be developed as a truly open effort.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Aug. 25

Transliteration tool for Oxyrhynchus PapyriPlay a game and help decode the Oxyrhynchus Papyri
Keith Veronese writes: “Want to help transcribe ancient Greek texts from the comfort of your couch? Have no understanding of the Greek language? No problem. With the Egypt Exploration Society and Oxford University’s Ancient Lives project, you can contribute to the work of researchers who are digitizing the vast holdings of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, a mysterious pile of Greek papers discovered in an ancient dump outside Egypt. And you can do it just by playing a puzzle game.”...
io9, Aug. 30

Library book boxLibrary book boxes
Larry Nix writes: “I try to say no when someone offers or lets me know about a large library artifact in order to keep my basement from becoming a library museum. A colleague caught me in a weak moment, however, when he alerted me to a wood library book box that was being offered on Craigslist. He even offered to pick up the book box, which was located in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. The large wooden box was probably used to transport one of Wisconsin’s many traveling libraries. Some other examoples are shown here.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Aug. 24

Phyllis Diller looks at her gag filePhyllis Diller’s gags on file at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History opened an exhibition in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery that features a “gag file” filled with over 50,000 jokes belonging to comedian Phyllis Diller. The joke cards are annotated, organized, and documented with a rigor that would please the most diligent of librarians. Each drawer is arranged alphabetically by subject. Many of the topics listed on the front of the drawers suit Diller’s self-deprecating persona of harried wife, mother, and homemaker. Watch the video (1:40)....
O Say Can You See?, Aug. 12; YouTube, Oct. 26, 2006

Screen shot from the Library of Congress film showing the Main Reading RoomLibrary of the Congress, the movie
Mike Ashenfelder writes: “The Library of Congress, a 20-minute motion picture from the 1940s, is blessed with a special mojo. It is not only a loving homage to the library, rich with Hollywood production values, but it is also associated with a few significant nodes in history: World War II, the creation of the library’s motion picture archives, and the population of cyberspace with cultural treasure. The motion picture is a pleasure to watch. It has great dignity and pride, and it attempts to convey the library’s significance, its roots in American history, and its reach into international collections.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 29

Late 19th-century libraryMindset list for new librarians and teachers
Doug Johnson writes: “I've enjoyed the Beloit Mindset list and use parts of it in presentations for years. Maybe it’s time to dust off my librarian and teacher mindset lists and spruce them up a little. Librarians entering the field today: Have never had to type a catalog card. Have never looked something up in the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. Have always maintained a Facebook fan page for their library.”...
The Blue Skunk Blog, Aug. 27

UK Hubbub photo booth crazinessKentucky welcomes students back with another Hubbub
The University of Kentucky Libraries celebrated freshman orientation week with its fifth annual Hubbub event, which featured prizes, a photo booth, video games, and a balloon artist. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research Stacey Greenwell said: “We kicked the video games up a notch with an Unreal Tournament from KY Trade in the lab and a full-size Galaga arcade game thanks to Louisville Arcade Expo, in addition to video games old (a Vectrex, seriously) and new.”...
The Uncommon Commons, Aug. 24

Jens Arneson as Rupert Van WitherbottomThe Librarian Sisterhood
Corpses are piling up at the Eastern Kentucky University Libraries as Documentarianationalist Rupert Van Witherbottom compiles evidence of a secret and sinister Librarian Sisterhood whose punishment of patron transgressions is a “macramé of the macabre.” This video exposé (15:24) will curdle your blood and “turn your kidneys inside out.” Conceived by Library Associate Richard Garland for the EKU Libraries Fall 2011 all-staff meeting, and starring Jens Arneson (above), Sarah Cooper, Clay Howard, and other EKU staffers....
YouTube, Aug. 19

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.
American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611