|American Libraries Online
OCLC launches new WorldShare platform
OCLC announced the release of a new platform December 5 that will let its member libraries create, configure, and share a growing number of new services and web-based library applications. The new OCLC WorldShare Platform, a shared technical infrastructure, will serve as the host for OCLC WorldShare Management Services, a significant expansion of the Dublin, Ohio–based nonprofit’s Webscale Management Services that launched July 1 after a year of testing by early adopters. OCLC’s Andrew Pace offers some insight into the new project....
American Libraries news, Dec. 5; Hectic Pace, Dec. 5
On My Mind: RDA, food for a cataloger’s soul
Gabi Kupitz writes: “Like many catalogers, I have been dragged to RDA. But the other day, I had an epiphany. My mind drew a connection between RDA—at least in the way I code the beast (|erda)—and goat cheese. Just bear with me while I explain. I first tasted goat cheese in the 1990s, while I was the guest of some fellow bibliophiles I met at a literary conference held on the campus of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
Internet Librarian: What’s in a name?
Joseph Janes writes: “If you haven’t googled the word ‘Santorum,’ now would be a good time—otherwise most of what follows won’t make a lot of sense. Fair warning: What you find won’t be pretty, but it will be instructive. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s examine this phenomenon. Our lesson today seems to be that you are who everybody thinks you are, or ought to be, which is great if that’s who you think you are too.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
ALA members get their FIL in Guadalajara
Michael Dowling writes: “More than 100 ALA members from such diverse institutions as Stanford University and the Passages Academy in New York City, which serves incarcerated youth, found new Spanish-language books and other resources for their collections at the 25th annual Guadalajara (Mexico) Book Fair, held November 24–December 3. The librarians participated thanks to the collaborative ALA-FIL Free Pass Program, now in its 15th year of providing a $100 stipend from ALA as well as free hotel nights through fair organizers.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 6
Baldwin to keynote MLK Sunrise Celebration
Lewis V. Baldwin (right), professor of religious studies at Vanderbilt University, will keynote the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The celebration will be held January 23. The theme will be “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Honoring a Legacy that Still Inspires” and will bring together leaders from the across the Association. Featured readings will include selections from the works of Dr. King....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Dec. 5
John Green to speak at Freedom to Read Foundation event
Bestselling author John Green (right) will be the featured speaker at the annual Freedom to Read Foundation fundraising event on January 22 at the Dallas Public Library. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and Green’s talk will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a book signing. Green’s books include Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Dec. 6
Midwinter Unconference and first-ever Midwinter Library Camp
Following successful “Unconferences” at past ALA events, another one will take place January 20 at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. During the Unconference, librarians share knowledge about the profession and take it back to the outside world. On January 23, there will be a first-ever ALA Midwinter Library Camp, which will allow attendees to join fellow conference-goers to discuss library or Midwinter Meeting–related topics....
ALA Conference Services, Dec. 6
Dine around Dallas
Dine Around Dallas is a group of local hot-spot restaurants that are currently holding reservations for ALA Midwinter attendees. Cost and cuisine varies, allowing for an experience that fits your needs. Sign up for dinner reservations for groups of eight, January 21–22. Participating restaurants include: The Common Table, Sambuca Uptown, Dallas Fish Market, Dallas Chop House, and Wild Salsa Restaurant....
ALA Conference Services, Dec. 7
Library Boing Boing is coming
Jenny Levine writes:
“I can no longer contain my happy mutant self—I can finally announce a new ALA member interest group called Library Boing Boing. On the one hand, Library Boing Boing is a collaboration between ALA and the fabulously amazing Boing Boing folks to highlight all of the new things libraries are doing. The most visible result will be regular posts on the Boing Boing website itself. On the other hand, Library Boing Boing: The Group intends to help happy mutants connect with librarians to do good, work together on our shared interests, and make the world better.”...
ALA Marginalia, Dec. 7
How to get that interview
Whether you’re in job-search mode, promotion mode, or opportunity-seeking mode, your goal is the same: Get that interview. Join the ALA JobLIST Placement Center for the third in a series of free online chats to learn what you need to do before the interview, materials you’ll want to take with you, and questions you should be prepared to answer—as well as ask. Facilitated by career coach Caitlin Williams, the December 15 chat is scheduled for 12 noon–1 p.m. Central time. Register here....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Dec. 6
ALA discussion on Federal Depository Library Program
ALA has created a community within ALA Connect so that ALA members from any interested unit or division can discuss the issues surrounding the Federal Depository Library Program. This is to aid the Association in reaching consensus on the future of the FDLP or, at the very least, having a better understanding of the various perspectives held by members. ALA has also created a webpage for news and information about the FDLP....
ACRL Insider, Dec. 7
Why you should join your state library association
There are many reasons to join your state library association, also known as an ALA Chapter. Besides receiving discounts for attending their annual conferences, your state library association provides networking, mentoring, and all kinds of other opportunities and services! Most importantly, you have the opportunity to contribute to your state association’s efforts to advocate for the library profession and your own state’s libraries....
ALA Membership Blog, Dec. 12
Each annual conference, ALA provides an opportunity for 40 students engaged in ALA Student Chapters to participate in the student-to-staff program. In exchange for working 16 hours for an ALA division or office during the conference, these students receive free registration, free housing, and a per diem for meals so they can attend meetings, programs, and events in their free time. Contact your ALA Student Chapter for its selection criteria....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Dec. 6
AILA selects its Emerging Leader
The American Indian Library Association has selected Shannon Rosenbaum (right), a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and a Circle of Learning MLIS candidate at San José State University, for the 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders program. In Spring 2011 Rosenbaum joined the Circle of Learning, an IMLS grant-funded program designed to recruit and support American Indians and Alaska Natives who are interested in earning an MLIS....
Office for Diversity, Dec. 6
Free webinar introduction to LSSC
LSSC will offer a free hourlong informational webinar December 13 at 2 p.m. Central time. The presentation will explain the value of this certification to library support staff, employers, and library users. Attendees will also have the opportunity to have their questions answered by program staff members....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Dec. 6
The ALA Library’s sun parlor in Koblenz
Larry Nix writes: “One of my library postcard collecting interests is postcards that ALA produced to promote its Library War Service during the First World War. I was pleased to add a postcard of ALA’s library in Koblenz, Germany (right), to my collection. One of the captions reads, ‘For men off duty, the sun parlor in the American Library at Coblenz furnishes a comfortable place to look over the newspapers from home.’”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 2
How audiobooks support literacy
In Listening to Learn: Audiobooks Supporting Literacy, published by ALA Editions, librarians Sharon Grover and Lizette D. Hannegan show how audiobooks present excellent opportunities to engage the attention of young people while also advancing literacy. Drawing on decades of experience and research, they connect audiobooks with K–12 curricula, demonstrating how the format can support national learning standards and literacy skills and how librarians can harness their library’s audiobook collection and practice effective collection development....
ALA Publishing, Dec. 6
Featured review: Health and medicine
Sweet, Victoria. God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. Apr. 2012. 384p. Riverhead (978-1-59448-843-6).
Medical doctor Sweet’s search for a position that would allow her to practice while earning a doctorate in the history of medicine brought her to Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the last almshouse for the poor and chronically disabled in America. “Old-fashioned and plain,” dilapidated and imperiled, its six spacious, many-windowed wings housing 1,178 patients were surrounded by 60 acres on a hilltop with an ocean view. Here Sweet came to profoundly appreciate and learn from resilient patients who survived poverty, addiction, abuse, and severe maladies. She also immersed herself in the writings of the brilliant 12th-century German mystic and medical practitioner Hildegard of Bingen, conducting extensive research in Europe, and making the famous medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela....
The Booklist interview
Donna Seaman writes: “Victoria Sweet is a physician and an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco who holds a Ph.D. in history and social medicine. She is also a writer of exceptional power, poised to enter the realm of Oliver Sacks and other compelling doctor-writers who have radically altered our perception of health, illness, and medicine. Sweet’s intensely affecting, enlightening first book, God’s Hotel, both recounts her adventurous quest for understanding the body and the life force, medicine and healing, and tells the resounding story of a unique community, the Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, where Sweet has worked for more than two decades.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Southfork Ranch
No visit to Dallas is complete without a tour of the legendary Southfork Ranch near Plano. For 13 years, television sets were tuned into 356 episodes of Dallas, one of the longest-running series in television history. Southfork continues to welcome visitors from around the world, who come to see where Dallas was filmed. Guided tours are available year-round. A new Dallas series is in production and will appear on the TNT network in the summer of 2012. This week, the “cheftestants” on the Bravo series Top Chef: Texas are cooking steaks in the kitchen at Southfork for attendees of the Cattle Baron’s Ball....
Southfork Ranch; YouTube, June 8, 2008; Ultimate Dallas; TNT, Dallas; Bravo, Top Chef: Texas
The Old Red Museum
The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture is located in the West End section of downtown Dallas in the beautifully restored Old Red Courthouse built in 1892. Dedicated to inspire and educate visitors about the rich and varied cultural, economic, political, and social history of the Dallas County area, the second floor of Old Red is filled with exhibits, 41 touch-screen computers, an educational learning center, and four mini theaters. The museum has on display handcuffs worn by Lee Harvey Oswald, J. R. Ewing’s famous Stetson hat, and Clyde Barrow’s gun....
Old Red Museum
Best food and drink in Dallas
The Dallas Observer compiles an annual list of the best places to eat and drink in town, including both editors’ and readers’ picks. The categories are quite specific and include best soda fountain (Spiral Diner), best sushi (Yutaka Sushi Bistro), best dish name that sounds like a WWE wrestler (The Hammertime at Anvil Pub), best late-night drunk food (Serious Pizza), best place to make a sausage joke (Lockhart Smokehouse)....
Dallas Observer: 2011 Best Of Awards
Room 77 searches for hotel rates
Danielle Belopotosky writes: “For travelers who hop around the web to compare hotel rates or find the best value, there’s a new online tool aiming to be a one-stop shop. In November, Room 77 introduced a new platform that aggregates hotel rates from a variety of online travel sites like Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, and Orbitz, and serves up search results in one place. Those results, displayed in list, grid, or map view, can be further filtered by user preference.”...
New York Times: In Transit, Nov. 10
2010 Academic Library Trends and Statistics
ACRL has published 2010 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The 2010 data show that the median unit cost of monographs (per volume) increased slightly over 2009 for all types of academic libraries, while salary and wages expenditures as a percentage of total library expenditures slightly decreased for doctoral institutions and increased almost 3% for associate degree-granting institutions....
ACRL, Dec. 5
PLA offers discount on training kits
PLA is offering discounts on four digital training kits until December 31. Each kit is 40% off (or 50% off when combined with an ALA member discount). PLA training kits, authored by Sandra Nelson, tackle topics such as stress management, time management (right), customer service, and library advocacy. Designed to guide a half-day to daylong staff training at the library, each kit includes: learning objectives, a detailed agenda, a PowerPoint and companion script, discussion guidelines, an implementation plan, participant handouts, and an evaluation form....
PLA, Dec. 6
AASL partners with STEM challenge
AASL is lending support to the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The challenge, now in its second year, aims to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games. The national challenge is now accepting submissions of original video game concepts and designs from students and educators in four categories. Entries will be accepted through March 12....
AASL, Dec. 6
AASL seeks Fall Forum hosts
AASL seeks statements from school districts, universities, education service centers, or others interested in hosting a satellite site of the AASL 2012 Fall Forum. If interested, parties should submit a one-page statement of interest by December 20 to Melissa Jacobsen. A satellite site would simultaneously host and facilitate the institute with the onsite institute. Sites will view a live broadcast of the AASL Fall Forum and communicate via chat with onsite attendees....
AASL, Dec. 6
Help YALSA give books to teens
Planning your end-of-year holiday giving? Consider a donation to YALSA’s Books for Teens program, which raises funds to provide teens in low-income communities access to high-quality, recently published, age-appropriate books. If YALSA can raise $500 during the month of December, a generous benefactor has agreed to donate an additional $500. Make a donation through the Books for Teens’ Causes page, Facebook, or the ALA fundraising page....
YALSA, Dec. 5
Discuss serving older teens
YALSA is focusing on serving older teens in its monthly YA Forum discussion, held for members this month at on its ALA Connect page. Throughout the week, YALSA members are encouraged to check into the forum and ask questions and contribute to the ongoing discussion. The forum will close at 3 p.m. Eastern time on December 9....
YALSA, Dec. 5
Webinar on screencasting tools
RUSA will host a 90-minute webinar December 16 titled “Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference.” The webinar will cover tools and best practices for creating online videos for training, instruction, or reference. Van Houlson, William Breitbach, and Maribeth Slebodnik will present during this session. The last day to register is December 14....
RUSA, Dec. 6
Thrift Books offers $100 coupon to ALTAFF members
ALTAFF announced that Thrift Books—an online seller of used books—has become one of its corporate sponsors and will offer ALTAFF members who use the service a $100 coupon to Thriftbooks.com. As part of the Thrift Books Library Program, groups receive 50% commissions on books, and no prescreening is required....
ALTAFF, Dec. 6
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Youth Media Awards webcast available for first 10,000 viewers
Approximately 10,000 viewers can join more than 1,300 onsite audience members January 23 at 7:45 a.m. Central time for the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards at Midwinter. The awards honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, as well as producers of children’s audio and video materials. The number of available connections to the webcast are on a first-come, first-served basis. Members also can view live updates via the ALA Youth Media Awards press kit....
ALA Public Information Office, Dec. 6
Library Interior Design Awards 2012
The Library Interior Design Awards is a biennial competition cosponsored by ALA and the International Interior Design Association. The competition honors the best in library interior design. Award winners demonstrate excellence in aesthetics, design, creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives. The competition is managed by LLAMA. The deadline for entries is March 30....
Chillicothe library wins Healthy Workplace Award
The Chillicothe and Ross County (Ohio) Public Library recently received the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award from the Ohio Psychological Association. Leslie Hartley (at center), adult services manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library. The award recognizes the library’s ongoing wellness initiative, which includes a demonstration garden, nutrition and exercise information, participation in charity events such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon, and several 5K runs....
Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, Nov. 30
Bulgarian librarians honor Gates Foundation
The Bulgarian Library and Information Association has presented its annual Support for Libraries Award to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative for its contribution to the development of public libraries in Bulgaria, in particular for initiating the Glob@l Libraries–Bulgaria program in response to the needs of citizens for equal access to information....
AL: Global Reach, Dec. 5
2011 Bad Sex in Literature Award
American author David Guterson on December 6 joined John Updike, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and other literary stars as the recipient of the dreaded Bad Sex in Fiction award. Guterson won the 2011 prize for sex scenes in his new novel Ed King, which offers a modern take on the Oedipus myth and sets it in the second half of the 20th century. The UK Literary Review has given out the award each year since 1993....
Associated Press, Dec. 6
Biography of cancer wins Guardian First Book award
An oncologist has won the Guardian First Book award for his “biography” of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, which traces the disease from the first recorded mastectomy in 500 BC to today’s cutting-edge research. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book is a mix of history, memoir, biography, science, and the personal stories of cancer patients. The only nonfiction title on the shortlist, it beat four novels to win the £10,000 ($15,600 US) award. The book also won the 2011 Pulitzer for general nonfiction....
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 1
Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize
Pop ups, pull outs, and other paper wizardry are used to explore the science of the Earth in How the World Works, the winner of the 2011 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, announced December 1. Author Christiane Dorion and illustrator Beverley Young were selected from a shortlist of six books and awarded £10,000 ($15,600 US). The judging panels were comprised of more than 1,000 young people from more than 100 schools and youth groups....
Royal Society, Dec. 1
2011 Ellis Peters award
On November 30, Andrew Martin was announced as the winner of the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Award for his book The Somme Stations, a tale of wartime intrigue. He was presented the award and £3,000 ($4,682 US) at a ceremony at the Athenaeum in London. The award is given to the best historical crime novel by an author of any nationality, and commemorates the life and work of Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) (1913–1995), the creator of the Brother Cadfael character in a series of historical murder mysteries....
Crime Writers’ Association, Nov. 30
The new Digital Divide
Susan P. Crawford writes: “Increasingly, we are a country in which only the urban and suburban well-off have truly high-speed internet access, while the rest—the poor and the working class—either cannot afford access or use restricted wireless access as their only connection to the internet. As our jobs, entertainment, politics, and even health care move online, millions are at risk of being left behind. While we still talk about ‘the’ internet, we increasingly have two separate access marketplaces: high-speed wired and second-class wireless.”...
New York Times: Sunday Review, Dec. 3
University of Alaska slows internet to curb illegal downloading
The groan is almost audible coming from dormitory rooms at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The university is intentionally slowing the speed of internet connections—from 10 megabits per second to 2 megabits—in all on-campus dorm rooms to prevent students from infringing on copyrights when downloading movies, music, and videos. But students are organizing on Facebook to fight the dreaded drag....
Associated Press, Dec. 2
Report calls for greater accessibility for visually impaired students
A US Department of Education report released December 6 updates Congress on the state of accessibility to learning materials for college students with visual impairments such as blindness, and it recommends ways to improve their learning conditions. The Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities published the report following a 14-month study on the issue. The commission found that many students’ needs are still not being met....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Dec. 6
Parent objects to Stuck in the Middle
A parent is objecting to language, drug, alcohol, and sex references in a book at the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School library in Maine. Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age, by Ariel Schrag, was published in 2007 and has been in the library for a couple of years, according to Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Tom Ward. A parent of a junior high school student challenged having the book in the library, he said, and will present their case to the school board in public session December 12. The board will decide whether to retain or remove the book at a January meeting....
Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal, Nov. 29
Many public-sector workers are retiring sooner
As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries, and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay. Increasingly, workers fear a permanent shift away from the traditional security of government jobs, and they are making plans to get out now, before salaries and retirement benefits retreat further....
New York Times, Dec. 5
UC–San Diego students reclaim closed library
Students forced open the doors of a shuttered University of California, San Diego library December 5 and rushed inside, vowing to stay around the clock until the end of final exams December 9. University police, who were on hand when students arrived at the library before 7 a.m., were pulled out of the area by administrators keen to avoid the kind of campus confrontations that have occurred recently. The Center for Library and Instructional Computing Services (above) was one of the UCSD libraries closed over the summer in response to steep cuts in state funding....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Dec. 5
Charleston library to restore rare nature titles
The Charleston (S.C.) Library Society announced on December 2 a new effort to catalog and restore nearly 18,000 rare books in its natural history collections. “These books have been in the library’s collection, some of them since the very beginning. The library was founded in 1748,” said Archivist and Librarian Trisha Kometer (right). The library is thought to have about 100,000 volumes, but most are recorded in an old card catalog that may or may not have accurate information. Now, grants and donations are enabling the library to hire archivists to go through its extensive collections in a $70,000 multiyear project....
Associated Press, Dec. 2; WCIV-TV, Charleston, S.C., Dec. 2
Everything must go—from closed law library
Scott D. Yost writes: “It’s not fair to say that area law schools, libraries, historical preservation societies, and other groups interested in North Carolina law and Guilford County history are circling like vultures around the remains of the law library at the Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro, which recently closed its doors due to funding cuts and other considerations. However, it is fair to say there’s a great deal of interest among those groups as to who ends up with the library’s contents.”...
Greensboro (N.C.) Rhinoceros Times, Dec. 1
Upheaval at New York Public Library
Scott Sherman writes: “Despite austerity measures at New York Public Library since 2008 (the workforce has been reduced by 27% and the acquisitions budget by 26%), NYPL executives are pushing ahead with a $250–$350 million renovation of the 42nd Street Library, the crown jewel of the system. The centerpiece of the Central Library Plan is the construction of a state-of-the-art computer-oriented library within a library. To make space, the seven levels of original stacks beneath the third-floor Rose Reading Room, which hold 3 million books and tens of thousands of adjustable and fixed shelves, will be demolished.”...
The Nation, Nov. 30
Should libraries be in the video business?
Allan Tong has a more particular reason than most for availing himself of DVDs distributed through the Toronto Public Library. The Toronto documentary filmmaker is leaving for Sierra Leone next week to make a film about amputee soccer players. As background, he recently borrowed a copy of Murderball, a 2005 documentary about wheelchair rugby. Vested interest aside, Tong is nonplussed by recent comments from Toronto budget chief Mike Del Grande that the public library system should not be in the business of duplicating services available at video stores....
Toronto Star, Dec. 4
Occupy Bangor moves from library grounds
Occupy Bangor agreed to pull up the stakes in front of Bangor (Maine) Public Library on December 5, as library trustees had requested in late November. Nine members of the group agreed that there was nothing to gain by defying the library’s request to move off its property because of insurance liability issues. Occupy member Lawrence Reichard said the library and Director Barbara McDade, whom he described as “an ardent supporter of the First Amendment,” had been wonderful during the encampment, which began October 27....
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Dec. 2, 4
Howard University faces lawsuit over library staffer
Five Howard University students filed suit in federal court November 28 alleging that school officials did not do enough to protect them from an employee later convicted of sexual harassment and assault. The students, all women, say that George Bright-Abu, their work-study supervisor at Founders Library, verbally and physically assaulted them from September 2010 to April 2011. The suit alleges that even though students complained about the conduct, nothing was done until D.C. police were notified....
Washington Post: TheRootDC, Dec. 2
Axe-wielding men rob small English library
Four men wearing ski masks and wielding wielding an axe and a crowbar raided a post office inside the Bar Hill Library near Cambridge, UK, on December 5, attacking a librarian and a postal worker. Subpostmaster Haresh Parek said the men came into the building, attacked the postal worker, and demanded cash. The men threatened the librarian and knocked her to the floor, then jumped over the counter and stole an unspecified amount of money before making their escape....
Cambridge (U.K.) News, Dec. 7
Burned high school library reopens after five years
San Lorenzo Valley High School in Felton, California, unveiled its new $7.3-million library December 5. The high school’s library was destroyed by an arson fire lit by students on September 16, 2006. The new library is inside a 13,500-square-foot building designed by Beverly Prior Architects of San Francisco. It’s equipped with 100 new computers and 23,000 books, and is a vast improvement from the old, cramped library....
KSBW-TV, Salinas, Calif., Dec. 5
Welsh library criticized for accepting Nazi collaborator’s money
The Welsh government is leading the attack on its national library for taking £300,000 ($468,673 US) along with papers and tapes left to it by Louis Feutren (right). Feutren was a member of the Breton movement Bezen Perrot, which worked with the Nazis during the occupation of France in World War II. After the war he fled and traveled through Wales before settling in Ireland. Feutren died in 2010 and left money and other material to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. After researching his activities, the library’s board decided to accept the bequest despite concerns about the benefactor’s past....
Guardian, Dec. 2
Library relocates Nazi archive to new premises
The Wiener Library, the world’s oldest Holocaust archive, recently moved into a new home in London’s Russell Square and reopened on December 1. As well as archiving documents from Jewish victims of repression, the museum holds examples of how the Nazis used board games and books (above) to indoctrinate Germany’s youth with anti-Semitic values....
BBC News, Nov. 30
Retired school librarian wins sports car
A retired librarian from Sparta Township, New Jersey, won a sleek black convertible sportscar, a 2011 Infiniti G37 with a list price of $53,900, through a raffle at St. Clare’s Health System. Ellen Mayne, who started out as a librarian at Harvard University’s Widener Library, then became a school librarian and ultimately retired from the Englewood (N.J.) Public School District....
Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, Dec. 5
Metairie branch to reopen
On December 27, the Lakeshore branch of the Jefferson Parish (La.) Library will have a new building in Metairie, reopening a branch that had been squeezed into a trailer since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But when patrons stop by, their experience will be a bit different. Drawing on the example of chain bookstores, the library will display its 28,000 books, digital video discs, and reference materials face-out to catch the eyes of readers, Library Director Lon Dickerson said. And books will be arranged in a system similar to the BISAC Subject Headings used by booksellers, using general categories such as travel or history....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dec. 4
British library group sticks with academic publishers
Research Libraries UK, a major British library group, announced December 1 that it has struck new deals with Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell, two of the largest publishers of academic journals. RLUK had threatened to discontinue so-called Big Deal subscription arrangements with the publishers because of what it called unsustainable price increases. US libraries have also been reexamining whether Big Deals are worth the cost. RLUK offered few details about the new deals but estimated they will save UK institutions more than £20 million ($31.2 million US)....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Dec. 1
Israeli National Library puts collection online
The National Library of Israel has launched a website offering public access to a huge collection of materials, including books, periodicals, maps, photos, and musical selections from the library collection. The website, which took two years to develop, is the most comprehensive content-based website in Israel. One section of the site provides access to the personal archives of former Israeli leaders as well as public figures such as the writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon and the philosopher Martin Buber....
Haaretz (Tel Aviv), Dec. 4
Japan returns ancient books to Korea
Some 1,200 books looted by Japan during the colonial era were returned to Korea on December 6. Korean Vice Foreign Minister Park Suk-hwan and the Japanese ambassador to Seoul, Masatoshi Muto, held a simple ceremony at the airport to mark the return of the books. The ancient books include Uigwe, or royal protocols of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897)....
Korea Herald (Seoul), Dec. 5
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The personal computer is dead
Jonathan Zittrain writes: “The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don’t merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we’re seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other—and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse. The transformation is one from product to service.”...
Technology Review, Nov. 30
Will Windows 8 be irrelevant to regular PC users?
Lance Whitney writes: “The next version of Windows will be Microsoft’s first attempt to offer the same operating system for both PCs and mobile devices. Research firm IDC expects Windows 8 products to hit the market by August 2012. But since the release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview in September, Microsoft has been battered by criticism from desktop users over the new Metro interface. In addition to those who just don’t like the new look and feel, many have complained that the touch-based UI simply doesn’t work well with a mouse and keyboard.”...
CNET News, Dec. 6
Algorithms as information gatekeepers
Mathew Ingram writes: “The promise of the internet age is one of unparalleled access to information of all kinds, but it has also seen the rise of some powerful gatekeepers that control our access to that information: gatekeepers like Google, Facebook, Apple, and even Twitter. These new information overlords have been in the news recently because of their perceived control over certain information, and the reaction from users has reinforced the tension between the freedom these companies provide and the hoops through which we have to go in order to achieve it.”...
GigaOM, Dec. 1
How to set up a Google+ Page
Jill Duffy writes: “Google+ Pages are not just for businesses, but all kinds of organizations and public figures, from community-focused groups and nonprofit institutions to politicians and candidates, celebrities, bloggers, sports teams, and social causes. Here’s everything you need to know, from how to create a Google+ Page, to an analysis of what makes Google+ different from other social networks, to tips to making a useful and eye-catching Google+ Page, and even a checklist of things you’ll need before you get started.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 7
10 new Google Analytics features
Rachael Gerson writes: “Over the past eight months, Google has steadily released one revolutionary new feature after another. On March 17, the company announced a new version of Google Analytics. Up until this point, users could decide whether they preferred to stick with the old interface or switch to the new one. But Google recently announced that the old version of GA will be turned off in January. Let’s review the top 10 features of the new Google Analytics.”...
Mashable, Nov. 30
Cloud computing traffic to soar
Cisco has issued its first Global Cloud Index, an estimate of global data center and cloud-based internet protocol traffic growth and trends. In 2010, cloud computing traffic totaled 130 exabytes, 11% of data center traffic, but Cisco estimated it will reach a total of 1.6 zettabytes, more than 33% of all data center traffic, by 2015. For perspective, 1.6 zettabytes is the equivalent of 1.6 trillion hours of online high-definition video streaming....
Campus Technology, Nov. 30
3G vs. Wi-Fi, and write access denied
Rick Broida writes: “In my travels I continue to encounter folks who don’t understand the basics of internet connectivity—namely, the differences between Wi-Fi and 3G. This can cause problems, especially for buyers of devices like the Kindle Fire and Nook Color, which rely heavily on internet access. I reckon no small number of these devices get returned because users think they’re broken—when what’s really happening is a lack of Wi-Fi. So let’s talk internet.”...
PC World, Dec. 6
Five alternatives to PayPal
Michael Harrison writes: “When you want to transfer money via the internet, there’s usually one name that comes to mind: PayPal. With its troubled past of seemingly unnecessary account freezes and cagey communication with its members, there are a lot of folks seeking an alternative way to send money. Read on for some great US-based PayPal alternatives.”...
Wired: GeekDad, Dec. 6
New app identifies Photoshopped images
Scientists at Dartmouth College have created a new software program that will automatically detect any image that has been modified in Photoshop. The software is now tuned to faces, but it will be able to flag any type of image. It uses eight statistical parameters to detect real changes on the model, not general modifications such as cropping or color adjustments. It can sniff geometric modifications like reshaped face features or body parts used to make models appear thinner. It will also detect texture changes, like smoothed skin....
Gizmodo, Nov. 29
Software that listens for lies
Julia Hirschberg, a professor of computer science at Columbia University, is teaching computers how to spot deception—cues involving loudness, changes in pitch, pauses between words, ums and ahs, nervous laughs, and dozens of other tiny signs that can suggest a lie. Algorithms developed by Hirschberg and colleagues have been able to spot a liar 70% of the time in test situations, while people confronted with the same evidence had only 57% accuracy....
New York Times, Dec. 3
Finding good apps for children with autism
Bradnya Joshi writes: “The Apple iPad has been hailed as a savior for assisting children with autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. It was portrayed as a minor miracle in a recent segment on 60 Minutes and has been found to help even the very young quickly learn. But as is the case with so many categories of apps, it’s daunting to know where to begin when sorting through the thousands of programs available. To that end, several good websites have been created to review special-needs apps.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Nov. 29; CBS, 60 Minutes, Oct. 23
Is email entering its twilight at 40?
Miguel Valdes Faura writes: “The rise of social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter have taken a lot of the conversations that once occurred on email to other channels. While email is still a central repository for tracking updates from various networking sites, it has become less useful for interacting with friends and colleagues on a daily basis compared with IM and streaming content feeds. Here are three other noteworthy technologies emerging in place of email.”...
GigaOM, Dec. 3
The 7 absolute worst tech gifts to give this holiday
Sam Biddle writes: “The Non-Denominational Secular Thing Buying Period is upon us! Now is the time to start thinking about which shiny, sorta-expensive gadget gift you’re going to bestow upon friends and lovers. Make sure you don’t pick these. They’re worse than coal.”...
Gizmodo, Dec. 6
European Commission investigates ebook pricing conspiracy
The European Commission announced December 6 that it has formally begun an investigation into claims that publishers colluded with Apple to keep ebook prices high, in violation of European Union anticompetition rules. The announcement comes after the EC raided European offices of five international publishers (Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, and Macmillan) in March in conjunction with the UK Office of Fair Trading. The opening of proceedings means that the commission will treat the case as a matter of priority....
Ars Technica, Dec. 6; European Commission, Dec. 6
HathiTrust defendants respond to lawsuit
The HathiTrust digital repository and the five universities sued by the Authors Guild and others over mass book digitization and alleged copyright infringement have filed a response to the lawsuit. In September the plaintiffs sued the trust and its home institution, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, as well as several other universities, in federal district court. At stake is the control of millions of digitized works held by the trust and the universities. In a December 2 filing, the defendants asked that the HathiTrust case be dismissed....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 14, Dec. 5
Kansas Virtual Library has left OverDrive
OverDrive announced December 6 that its contract with Kansas Digital Library Consortium had officially ended. In June the Kansas state librarian said Kansas had signed a deal with 3M and was planning to take its ebooks with them. OverDrive had increased its fees far more than the state was willing or able to pay. The total fees would have jumped by almost 700% by 2014....
The Digital Reader, Dec. 6; OverDrive Digital Library Blog, Dec. 6
Buying an e-reader: A checklist
Piotr Kowalczyk writes: “Are you interested in buying an e-reader? There is more to it than just comparing screen resolution or memory space. Ask yourself these questions and you’ll be better prepared to choose the right e-reading device.”...
TeleRead, Dec. 3
Finding the positive and saying thanks
Christopher Harris writes: “The past couple weeks have taken us on a wild ebook roller coaster ride. Penguin pulled Kindle access and then it was restored, but libraries still aren’t getting new Penguin titles for lending in a digital format. Despite the e-whiplash that seems to come from following the changes in ebook news, I am feeling very positive this week. Perhaps it is the general spirit of Thanksgiving that has been in the air, but from my perspective things aren’t as bad for libraries as it may seem if you only read the headlines.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 1
Portico to preserve Cambridge University Press ebooks
Cambridge University Press announced December 6 that it will preserve its Cambridge Books Online content using Portico’s ebook preservation service. As part of the agreement, Cambridge will make an annual contribution to Portico to support its preservation service....
No Shelf Required Blog, Dec. 6
New publisher embraces ebooks and authors, not DRM
Dylan Tweney writes: “Ebooks are increasingly popular, but they’re usually not produced until after the print edition is already complete. That makes about as much sense as posting Instagram photos of yesterday’s paper. A new company, Fair Trade Digital Exchange, aims to fix the problem by going straight to digital and publishing ebooks on technical topics. The company launched November 30 with four titles and will sell the ebooks for $10, splitting its revenues 50-50 with authors. The books will not include copy protection (digital rights management), so customers will be free to use the books on any of their devices without restriction.”...
VentureBeat, Nov. 30
Amazon will pay you $5 to not shop in stores
Nate Hoffelder writes: “Amazon will be running a little promotion on December 10. If you use its new price comparison app to check a price and then buy the item, Amazon will knock 5% (up to $5) off the price. The offer is only good December 10. Amazon’s price check app lets shoppers check a price by scanning a barcode, taking a picture of an item, or typing in a text search.”...
eBookNewser, Dec. 6
One-third of libraries are behind in providing ebooks (PDF file)
The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies recently surveyed their memberships to determine the
extent to which US public libraries are offering downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and videos for use on
portable devices like e-readers and smartphones. The results showed that 39% had not yet
begun to offer downloadable media service to their communities. The COSLA E-Book Task Force believes that most are small and rural public libraries with tight budgets....
Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Nov. 30
An ebook search engine
Richard Byrne writes: “The web is full of ebooks, but finding them isn't always easy. You can search by file type on Google or visit any number of document hosting services like Issuu, but even then you might be missing something good. Search EBooks is a service dedicated to helping you find free ebooks. When you find an ebook on Search EBooks you can view a preview of it, download, or grab an embed code without ever leaving the search results page.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 5
The elephantine Google Books settlement (PDF file)
James Grimmelman writes: “The genius—some would say the evil genius—of the proposed Google Books settlement was the way it fused legal categories. The settlement raised important class action, copyright, and antitrust issues, among others. But just as an elephant is not merely a trunk plus legs plus a tail, the settlement was more than the sum of the individual issues it raised. These issues were really just a new way to concentrate an intellectual property industry.”...
Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
Financial Times opts out of iTunes
Mercy Pilington writes: “In a daring step that takes a stab at some mainstays in the digital business, Financial Times pulled its app from iTunes in order to protest the 30% cut and retention of customers’ private information. Now, thanks to greater opportunities from the Android market and the development of its own iOS-compatible app that can be accessed through the devices’ web browsers, Financial Times is back as an app and is apparently sleeker than ever. One of the greatest features of the new app version is its offline capability.”...
Good E-Reader, Dec. 5
Pennsylvania now going after Amazon for sales tax
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced December 1 that it believes its current regulations require Amazon and other internet-based retailers to collect state sales tax in Pennsylvania. Because Amazon does business with an affiliate in Pennsylvania, the state expects Amazon to collect sales tax. In the past, Amazon has cut ties with partners whenever a similar tax law has been passed, but as of December 6, the company had not yet responded....
eBookNewser, Dec. 2
Ebooks face up to 25% tax in Europe
Across most of Europe, ebooks are taxed at full national value-added rates, which reach 25% in Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, and other countries. Printed books, benefiting from an industry lobby, are taxed at a fraction of the full rates—and not at all in Britain. The Federation of European Publishers, an industry group based in Brussels, estimated that ebook sales would rise 20% or more this year from an estimated €350 million ($462 million US) in 2010. Sales of printed books, which account for more than 98% of all book purchases, are stagnating....
New York Times, Dec. 1
The battle over Spain’s ebook buyers
Adam Critchley writes: “Spain’s ebook market got off to a slow start as consumers bemoaned the limited catalog available, the complexity of purchasing ebooks, and the higher tax levied on them than on print editions—18% compared with 4%. But the panorama has changed radically in a matter of weeks after a volley of e-reader launches. Amazon.es opened its Kindle bookstore December 1, with 22,000 Spanish-language titles, as well as books in Catalan, Galician, and Basque. The question remains whether Spanish ebook buyers will patronize the stores of overseas multinationals or gravitate toward indigenous offerings.”...
Publishing Perspectives, Dec. 5
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A new book on why libraries matter
Alan Bennett, Julian Barnes, and Stephen Fry are among the stellar contributors to The Library Book, to be published by Profile for National Libraries Day (the new UK celebration sponsored by CILIP) on February 4. The book is a compilation of famous writers’ thoughts on why libraries matter and is edited by Profile publicist Rebecca Gray. Tom Holland will write about libraries in the ancient world, Seth Godin describes what a library will look like in 2020, and Lionel Shriver explains why books are the best investment....
The Bookseller, Sept. 9, Dec. 6
Survey: Internet book sales rely on brick-and-mortar bookstores
Dennis Johnson writes: “The demise of Borders was treated as a trend story—that ebooks are cooler than print books and people were thus losing interest in print books—instead of as a business story, whereby Borders had simply been poorly managed and that giant corporations didn’t want to sell print books anymore. But in going for the sexy trend story (that is, Amazon is killing old-fashioned brick-and-mortar bookstores) every report missed something important: For 39% of Amazon’s users polled, a bookstore is still a crucial part of their book-buying experience.”...
MobyLives Blog, Dec. 6; New York Times Media Decoder Blog, Dec. 4
Picture book revenge
Lisa von Drasek writes: “In 2010, the New York Times infuriated many of us by claiming that parents were pushing their early elementary children into chapter books, causing new picture books to ‘languish on the shelves’ and publishers to release fewer titles. This year’s many exciting new picture books stand as proof that is not true. Here are my favorites, perfect for gift giving.”...
EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Oct. 12, Dec. 5
African Americans in graphic novels
Sharon Rawlins writes: “If I had a choice between reading a classic in text format versus a comics format, I’d choose the graphics format. That’s just what you can do right after Christmas when African-American Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 22 comes out, featuring some of America’s best works by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and others. And that made me curious about the representation of African Americans in comics.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 7
10 spectacular modern fabulists
Emily Temple writes: “There’s something about winter, and particularly the holidays, that makes us crave fables and fairy tales. Though it’s by no means a new trend, we feel that we’ve been seeing the advent of more and more fabulists following in the tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine—or maybe just writers who incorporate fables into their oeuvre. Indeed, December 6 marks the release of the first English translation of Gianni Rodari’s wonderful Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto (Melville House). Here is our list of 10 modern fabulists guaranteed to whisk you away.”...
Flavorwire, Dec. 6
Secrets from my shelves: Madonna’s Sex
Daniel Kraus writes: “Way over on my lowest, leftmost shelves (right next to the cookbooks, for some unsanitary reason), rests Sex, the coffee-table book (??) that pop singer Madonna released in 1992. Try though I might to hide it, it’s pretty unmissable: The thing is freaking huge, has metal covers, and is mercilessly bound in sharp spiral. This big hunk o’ junk was $49.95 when it came out, so it wasn’t exactly something a kid like me bought on a whim. So why do I have this thing? Was I an incurable Madonna fanatic in high school?”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, Dec. 2
Time for vintage book clocks this season
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “The good folks at Vintage Book Clocks have created a series of timepieces fashioned from old books, from pulp fiction to an exposé of the beauty industry and from there to, of all things, a history of the Jewish labor movement. If they want to get into conceptual art with a surreal, existential twist, the best title they could adapt into a clock would surely be Carson McCullers’s last novel, The Clock With No Hands (1961).”...
Booktryst, Dec. 2
Sarah J. Biggs writes: “In medieval England, illustrated copies of the Apocalypse (the book of Revelation) were among the most popular books. The manuscripts in question are richly illustrated, with the text supplying captions to the images. Most of the surviving copies are in French (the language of the English aristocracy of the time), which suggests that they were intended for a wider audience than if they had been written in Latin. Royal 15 D. ii (right) is one such illustrated Apocalypse, made in England during the 14th century.”...
British Library: Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog, Dec. 6
How to build a hidden-door bookshelf
Do you have a door to a storage area or a secret room? What better way to hide it than to build a bookshelf that not only holds your books and decorations, but also swings open to provide access to your little hideaway? It not only indulges your inner mystery-lover, but it also makes extra use of an otherwise unusable and perhaps not esthetically pleasing space. All you need is basic welding and carpentry skills....
The eyes of the publishing world will tune in at 7:45 a.m. Central Time on January 23 when ALA announces the winners of the Youth Media Awards as part of its Midwinter Meeting, January 20–24. ALA will host a live webcast from the Dallas Convention Center. Virtual seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Kindergarten Magic by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker is a time-saving program planner for librarians and classroom teachers alike includes everything you need to get started—reading lists, flannelboard patterns, poems, songs, easy crafts, even take-home activities to extend the learning process. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Göttingen State and University Library, Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734, the library was soon considered one of the country’s leading research libraries. Serving not only as the library of Göttingen University, this facility is also the central library for the German State of Lower Saxony and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. It also houses the Center for Retrospective Digitization and the GBV regional library consortium offices.
Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Founded in 1572 by Julius, duke of Brunswick-Lüneberg, the library was named for Duke Augustus the Younger who built up the original collection. It became a famous research library where scholars collaborated on various projects. Its librarians have included the philosophers Gottfried Leibniz and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The primary building in the complex of eight opened in 1887. Its holdings include many treasures, including the 12th-century Gospels of Henry the Lion, the 7th-century Codex Carolinus, and the 12th-century encyclopedia Liber Floridus.
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 in 2013 by ALA Editions.
Rare Books Cataloging Librarian. University of Southern California Libraries seeks an energetic, experienced librarian to oversee and participate in Special Collections’ rare books cataloging operations, including establishing and documenting practices, and managing metadata and cataloging workflows for rare books and other materials. The Rare Books Cataloging Librarian also assists with public services operations, including reference, instruction and outreach across the Libraries, and providing tours for donors and others....
Digital Library of the Week
The Korean War Propaganda Leaflet Collection preserved at the North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies provides a unique look into an aspect of the war often overlooked. Based upon what President Truman called “the campaign of truth” these leaflets became one of the primary means of winning the hearts and minds of enemy troops and Korean civilians. This collection of over 600 leaflets was amassed by NDSU alumnus Albert G. Brauer, who served in the Eighth US Army in Korea as chief of the Projects Branch, Psychological Warfare Division, G3 Section (February 1951 to January 1952). Under his direction he transformed a small nucleus of relatively untrained personnel into an integrated team of writers, artists, and Asian language specialists of professional caliber who produced hundreds of propaganda leaflets and voice messages for dissemination by aircraft, artillery, and by air and ground loudspeaker units.
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.
“You know how Occupy Chicago is talking about the 1% versus the 99%? Well, where the library is concerned, there’s only the 100%. Everyone is impacted.”
—Carolyn Alessio, mother of a 9-year-old Girl Scout who joined a November 9 protest by her Troop to oppose Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget cuts to the Chicago Public Library, “Girl Scouts Protest Library Cuts,” Gazette Chicago, Dec. 1.
Digital Preservation Management Workshop, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. “Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Problems.”
Jan. 17–20: Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Dallas. “Expanding Horizons, Creating Opportunity.”
Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Fairmont Dallas.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center. “Alaska’s Libraries: Heart of the Community.”
Public Library Association, Annual Conference, Philadelphia.
Mar. 21–23: Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Marriott Knoxville. “Libraries Transform.”
Catholic Library Association, Annual Convention, Boston. “Leadership, Direction, Service.”
Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, Houston. “Relevant, Responsive, Revolutionary, Right Now.”
Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Tulalip Resort Casino. “One Tribe: Bringing Washington’s Libraries Together.”
Florida Library Association, Annual Conference, Wyndham Orlando Resort. “Vibrant and Vital Florida Libraries.”
Alabama Library Association, Annual Convention, Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover.
Association of Research Libraries, Membership Meeting, Chicago. Open to ARL member representatives and invited guests only.
Medical Library Association, Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Seattle. “Growing Opportunities: Changing Our Game.”
Canadian Library Association, National Conference and Trade Show, Ottawa Convention Centre.
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Academic libraries on Facebook
Michalis Gerolimos examines users’ comments on the Facebook pages of 20 American academic libraries to determine the extent of user commenting and participation. The most significant findings are that approximately 91% of the posts do not include any comments, over 82% of user participation is expressed via the “Like” functionality and most comments on academic libraries’ Facebook pages are not uploaded by faculty and students but rather by library staff, employees affiliated with the same institution as the library, and alumni....
D-Lib Magazine 17, no. 11/12 (Nov./Dec.)
12 things you didn’t know Facebook could do
Facing constant threat from competitors, Facebook has been adding features to make it more useful and convenient. As the number of features grows, though, so does a corresponding problem: Most of Facebook’s 750 million users don’t know these features exist. A few minutes of exploration can uncover functions that make Facebook not just an addiction but a pleasure to use....
New York Times, Nov. 30
Karen Gisonny writes: “New York Public Library’s alternative press collection covers a broad range of content from the 20th century and comes in many formats, including chapbooks, underground newspapers, little magazines, political broadsides, newsletters, periodicals, and zines. This collecting tradition remains alive today; I recently made several field trips to Zuccotti Park to get copies of the recent flourish of publications generated by the Occupy Wall Street movement.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Dec. 6
How to make your scholarly resources more accessible to undergrads
Adriana Parker writes: “Research tells us that the open web is the go-to scholarly resource for undergraduates seeking information. Commercial search engines round off the list of online resources that undergraduates use when seeking information, whether it’s for course-related research or personal research. So, what does that mean for us—the librarians, publishers, and vendors—who are in the business of promoting scholarly resources? Here are some ideas that are worth considering.”...
Against the Grain 23, no. 5 (Nov.): 88–89
BiblioBouts: The information literacy game
Karen Markey, Christopher Leeder, and Amy R. Hofer write: “IMLS has enabled a University of Michigan research team to design, develop, deploy, and evaluate the BiblioBouts online social game. BiblioBouts is an online tournament made up of a series of bouts, each of which introduces students to a specific subset of information literacy skills within the overall research process. Instructors use the game’s setup interface to schedule the game’s starting and ending dates for its four bouts, set caps and quotas, and invite their students to the game.”...
College and Research Libraries News 72, no. 11 (Dec.): 632+
Library science ranks #4 in highest unemployment
According to a Wall Street Journal post, “Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data.” WSJ gleaned the study data from a report by Georgetown University called “What’s It Worth?” When you select the unemployment percentage category—from highest to lowest—the library science major ranks #4, at 15%....
21st Century Library Blog, Dec. 2; Wall Street Journal; Center on Education and the Workforce
Why SnapTags are replacing QR codes
Jeff Hayzlett writes: “Glamour magazine posted a SnapTag alongside a sequined Rihanna on its September cover. Users accessed the code either by scanning it with a proprietary SnapTag app, or by snapping a pic and sending it to the number printed in the image. The resulting response included more than 500,000 interactions. SnapTags are 2-D barcodes that include a brand’s logo (or a Facebook logo) in a notched circle design. Contrasted with the familiar QR code, the result seems minimalist and polished. But it’s not just a new design. The interactivity and analytics are updated, as well.”...
iMediaConnection, Nov. 28
Neutrality and research help
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “A blog post in Letters to a Young Librarian proposes ways to handle questions where students are ‘looking for sources to support a position for which there is a lack of academic support.’ It’s not necessarily what I would do myself, but reference is an art, not a science. However, a couple of statements in the post have been nagging at me since I first read them, possibly because, as happens often enough, they sound like solid librarian orthodoxy and I completely disagree with them. Let’s take them in turn.”...
Academic Librarian, Dec. 5; Letters to a Young Librarian, Nov. 28
Tips for using Glogster
Heather Moorefield-Lang and Deb Logan write: “Glogster is a great collaboration tool. For teacher librarians it allows us to further position ourselves as the tech leaders of not only our schools but also of our districts. The site is exciting and hip and the students love it. The best way to use Glogster is to start with good solid research techniques (as librarians always should), expand into the multimedia, and then focus on the intellectual property that will be used from other areas. Glogster allows students to work individually or in groups.”...
AASL Blog, Nov. 30
Single-purpose websites that do exactly what they say they do
Whitson Gordon writes: “Kids these days have the most convoluted website names. Facebook? Twitter? eBay? I’m sorry, but I like my coffee black and my websites self-explanatory. Here’s a handful of actually useful websites that do exactly what they sound like.”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 18
Kids climb their family trees @ the library
Joan Miller writes: “I had great fun this weekend coordinating a kids’ program for 8–10 year olds at the Calgary (Alberta) Public Library titled ‘Build a Family Tree Booklet.’ This program was run under the auspices of the Alberta Family Histories Society. The library provided the room at one of its branches and a selection of books appropriate to the age group and activity. It also handled advertising and took registrations.”...
Luxegen Genealogy and Family History, Nov. 28
Treating the Jefferson Bible
In a fifth blog post in a series about the Jefferson Bible conservation project, Laura Bedford and Emily Rainwater write: “After careful analysis, it was determined that the most significant damage to the Jefferson Bible was being caused by the original binding. Authorization was granted to temporarily separate the pages so they could be repaired and the binding modified. The book was disassembled into individual folios, and even though the folios were opened flat, the crease at the center remained hidden beneath long narrow paper stubs that the original bookbinder, Frederick Mayo, had glued to the inside of every page.”...
O Say Can You See?, Dec. 1
Work/life balance in library school
Laura Sanders writes: “I came to library school after several years in the work force, in a position that I adored but that also demanded my every waking moment. After three years of 70-hour workweeks and a personal life that was in complete limbo, I finally admitted that my lifestyle was not sustainable. When I started at library school in the fall, I wondered what changes I could make that would allow me to downshift. I still wanted to work hard, but I also wanted to enjoy my life. So I decided to be systematic about how I spent my time.”...
Hack Library School, Dec. 5
Courses I wish they had offered in library school
Andy Burkhardt writes: “I’ve been a librarian now for about three and a half years. I learned a lot while at SLIS at UW-Madison, and there were some awesome professors there. Looking back, I wish that there were a few more skills that I could have acquired in library school. If they had offered these courses, I definitely would have taken them and likely would have been even better prepared for a career in today’s libraries.”...
Information Tyrannosaur, Dec. 6
Baltimore school library project launches
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation on December 5 celebrated the launch of a multimillion-dollar, multiyear Baltimore elementary and middle school library project. The initiative, involving more than 15 community and government partners, will work with Baltimore City Public Schools to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated libraries in selected schools. Each library will feature (PDF file) new equipment, reading materials, and furniture including e-readers
(Nooks), a bank of computers, and a parenting corner....
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Dec. 5
Beall’s 2012 list of predatory, open-access publishers
Jeffrey Beall writes: “Predatory, open-access publishers are those who exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, they typically have a low article-acceptance threshold, with a false-front or nonexistent peer review process.”...
Metadata, Dec. 1
Wake Forest library turns old books into holiday decorations
Wake Forest University’s Professional Center Library decided to turn several old books they no longer needed into decorations for the holidays. The books were used to make a more than five-foot-tall Christmas tree as well as some furniture. The library staff hopes the displays will encourage students to think creatively about recycling. Watch the video (1:00)....
WGHP-TV, Winston-Salem, N.C., Dec. 1
Tasks for burned-out librarians
Will Manley writes: “There is a ton of stress in our libraries with all the budget cutting and understaffing going on. As much as our librarian survivors think they can hang on and do the work of three people, burnout is a reality. The smart director knows it’s important to pull burned-out librarians from their regular posts and give them different duties for a week or two just to mitigate the stress. Here are some suggestions.”...
Will Unwound, Dec. 2
Banned Books video calendar
The Entresse Library in Espoo, Finland, and FAIFE (IFLA’s Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression) have together created the world’s first Banned Books video calendar. Following the tradition of the Advent calendar, each day from December 1 to December 24 a new window will open and a new book will be presented on several sites throughout the world. The purpose of the project is to promote public debate. Viewers can have their say on whether the books were banned for a sensible reason....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Dec. 1
University library enlists collaborative cheerleaders (satire)
When Sam Spivender, CEO of Temporarium University Library, noticed that no students collaborated in the new $10 million Collaborative Learning Center, he did what any rational library CEO would do: He hired 20 collaborative cheerleaders, one for each collaborative pod, at a rate of $1,500 per cheerleader per day. On the first day of the initiative, the 20 cheerleaders began with a rousing: “Two-four-six-eight! Time to—collaborate!”...
The Cronk of Higher Education, Nov. 30
Library gang sign
Tiffany Whitehead (right) demonstrates how to signal your status within the Library Geek Tribe using gang signs. It began at the AASL National Conference in October. First, you need to wear a hoodie in your signature color, and sunglasses. Then comes your “serious face.” Watch this tutorial (2:51) for more details....
YouTube, Dec. 6
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