|American Libraries Online
Neal-Schuman to join ALA Publishing
ALA President Molly Raphael and Neal-Schuman President Patricia Glass Schuman announced December 20 that Neal-Schuman Publishers will sign an agreement on December 23 to become part of ALA Publishing. Neal-Schuman Publishers, founded by John Vincent Neal and Patricia Glass Schuman in 1976, will continue to offer print and electronic publications under its well-known imprint, but will join ALA Editions under the ALA Publishing umbrella....
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 20
Good news on the road to ESEA
Beverly Goldberg writes: “School librarians have regained a bit of ground at the federal level as the push continues to get school libraries restored to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, due for reauthorization. The foothold comes in the congressional appropriation of $28.6 million for literacy programs in the $916 billion budget for FY2012, and, reading between the lines, might be attributed to guilt: Lawmakers apparently realized that they had inadvertently zeroed out the primary source of federal support for school libraries in FY2011 by defunding the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Dec. 21; District Dispatch, Dec. 19
LSSI moves into Florida, eyes Simi Valley
Despite the opposition of library boosters in Osceola County, Florida, to the proposed outsourcing of county library operations there, the county commission has approved a five-year contract with Library Systems and Services, Inc. (LSSI) to run the library. The 3–2 vote came after reservations were reiterated at a December 12 commission meeting about the long-term impact on the quality of library service and the fate of library workers. Also, across the country, LSSI may have moved a step closer to adding the Simi Valley (Calif.) Library to its client list of outsourced libraries....
American Libraries news, Dec. 21
Outside/In: Add to your (library) cart
David Lee King and Michael Porter write: “Our first column begins with a look at calls to action—ways in which you can use your online presence to inspire people to engage with their library. Simply stated, a call to action is a way to ask people—directly or indirectly—to do something. Take Amazon’s ‘add to wish list’ and ‘add to cart’ buttons, for instance. Turns out libraries can do something similar.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
Internet Librarian: Readers are fundamental
Joseph Janes writes: “Innovations have come and gone, from the 2nd-century codex to medieval word separation and silent reading, right up to today, and reading follows quite naturally and seamlessly along. Only a generation ago, audiobooks weren’t always regarded as reading, per se, and even today, graphic novels raise a few eyebrows among those who don’t consider the format serious reading. The ways in which stories are displayed come and go; what matters is the story and the storytelling.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
It’s (kinda) Steve’s fault, actually
Christopher Harris writes: “There was a moment in ebook history when things could have gone either way. The Amazon Kindle was flying off the shelf, the Nook was just getting started, and everyone was pretty happy about $9.99 ebooks. And then Steve Jobs came along with iBookstore and the iPad. And really, all this mess that we are in now was kind of his fault.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 20
Stick with Stuck in the Middle
A committee assigned to review a graphic story collection about the travails of life in middle school recommended that the book stay on the shelves of Buckfield (Maine) Junior-Senior High School, but that parental permission be required for students to borrow it. Parent Becky Patterson called for Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age to be removed from the library because it contains references to sexuality and includes profanity....
AL: Censorship Watch, Dec. 19
Guadalajara’s IF buzz
Barbara Jones writes: “I was honored to be an invited speaker at the three-day library conference within a conference, ‘Information in the Building of Society and Citizenship,’ held November 28–30 during the 2011 Guadalajara Book Fair in Mexico. The atmosphere reminded me of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which is similar to TED events and SXSW in Austin, Texas. Librarians and libraries become part of the general cultural buzz around books and ideas—precisely where we need to be seen and heard.”...
AL: Global Reach, Dec. 20
China impressed with ALA conference model
Hwa Wei-Lee writes: “A delegation of 10 library leaders from China, including the directors of several provincial libraries, a library educator, and a university library director, traveled to the United States in the summer of 2011 to observe the operations of several library associations, including ALA, the Urban Libraries Council, and the Chinese American Librarians Association. The 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans turned out to be the highlight of their trip.”...
AL: Global Reach, Dec. 16
UNESCO Commission ponders Palestine
Barbara J. Ford writes: “On November 28, 85 members of the US National Commission for UNESCO met in Washington, D.C. There was lively discussion about a range of topics related to US funding for the organization. On October 31, the State of Palestine gained initial approval of its bid for full membership in UNESCO. This is a major concern, because full membership for Palestine would result in a legally mandated cutoff of all contributions, both dues and voluntary, from the United States.”...
AL: Global Reach, Dec. 16
Rita Hamilton (right) was named city librarian at Phoenix Public Library in November. Elizabeth Bird is now youth materials specialist and supervising librarian at New York Public Library. Taina Lagodzinski, production editor for Booklist, left ALA November 28. Brian Searles, manager of advertising sales for American Libraries, left ALA November 11....
American Libraries column
No AL Direct next week
AL Direct is taking a week off for the holidays. Look for a new edition on Thursday, January 5. Have a Happy New Year!
Dorothy Broderick, 1929–2011
“There’s something in my library to offend everyone.” So reads a favorite T-shirt of Dorothy Broderick, a legend in YA librarianship, a great defender of intellectual freedom, and an unforgettable personality. Dorothy died Saturday, December 17, at 8:45 p.m. Her work was recognized repeatedly in the library field, from the prestigious Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award in 1987 to the Grolier Award from ALA in 1991 and the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor Award in 1998. She was a cofounder of VOYA with Mary K. Chelton in 1978....
YALSA Blog, Dec. 19
ALA, ACRL comments on public access to research
Kara Malenfant writes: “On December 21, ALA and ACRL submitted comments (PDF file) in response to the request for information issued November 3 by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. We recommended approaches for ensuring long-term stewardship and broad public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications that result from federally funded scientific research. All responses are due to OSTP by January 2.”...
ACRL Insider, Dec. 21
30 public libraries to host Building Common Ground programs
The ALA Public Programs Office and the Fetzer Institute selected 30 public libraries to host a series of programs as part of the “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility, and Compassion” initiative. The selected libraries will host a series of four to eight events between February 1 and November 30 and will receive a $2,500 grant to support program-related expenses, access to program models, access to online resource sessions, and promotional materials....
Public Programs Office, Dec. 20
100 Days for Haiti
Since the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, ALA has been committed to helping rebuild libraries on the island. Deborah Lazar, librarian at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, has pledged to match any gift to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund (up to a maximum of $5,000) from now through January. You can make a qualifying donation on the ALA website now, or send your contribution to the ALA International Relations Office....
International Relations Office
Real-life strategies for library job hunting
Library job hunters face distinctive challenges in today’s market, calling for new approaches. These are addressed in a free January 4 webinar, “Real-Life Strategies for Successful Library Job Hunting: A Forum.” The webinar will be led by Andromeda Yelton and Tiffany Mair, 2010 library school graduates, who will use polling and questions to the audience to elicit common obstacles in library job hunting and ideas for overcoming them. Register online....
ALA Editions, Dec. 14
New webinar: Using the power of storytelling in management
Facts and figures may be the staples of organizational life, yet it is storytelling that reaches people’s hearts. ALA TechSource will cosponsor the January 10 webinar “Organizational Storytelling for Librarians: Using Stories for Leadership, Community, and Advocacy.” Participants will learn the concepts of organizational storytelling taking hold in business and other sectors. Presenters are Kate Marek, professor at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and author of Organizational Storytelling for Librarians (ALA, 2011); and Chris Rippel, head of continuing education, Central Kansas Library System....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 20
Featured review: Youth fiction
Danforth, Emily M. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Feb. 2012. 480p. Grades 9–12. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, hardcover (978-0-06-202056-7).
It begins with a preadolescent kiss between protagonist Cameron and her friend, Irene. The very next day Cameron’s parents die in an automobile accident, and the young girl is left riddled with guilt, feeling her forbidden kiss was somehow responsible for the accident. This is an old convention of GLBT literature, but freshly handled here and given sophisticated thematic weight. As Cameron grows into her teenage years, she recognizes that she is a lesbian. After several emotional misadventures, she meets and falls in love with the beautiful Coley, who appears to be bisexual. Both girls attend the same fundamentalist church, and when Cameron’s conservative Aunt Ruth discovers the affair, she remands Cameron to God’s Promise, a church camp that promises to “cure” young people of their homosexuality....
Archer, the book
Ian Chipman writes: “Some things just seem perfectly designed for you to love, like there was a high-level meeting in your brain where all the things that get you geeky were focus-grouped in elegant synchonicity to come up with your ideal product. The animated TV show Archer is just that product for me. It’s a perfect storm of cartoons, spies, scotch, mayhem, penthouses, casual violence, nostalgia for a vaguely 1960s/Cold War world I never experienced in the first place, a raunchy sensibility so lowbrow it’s sublime, and jokes delivered with such perfect timing you could set the atomic clock by them.”...
Likely Stories, Dec. 16
Top 10 crafts and gardening books, 2011
Brad Hooper writes: “What do we talk about when we talk about crafts and gardening? Fun, of course, and honing one’s skills in either the sewing room or the garden. Both fun and skills-sharpening are topics emphasized in these special books on calligraphy, sculpture, knitting, needlecraft, and vegetable gardens, all reviewed in Booklist over the past year....
Booklist announces prestigious 2011 Top of the List selections
Booklist magazine has announced its Top of the List winners for 2011. The eight winning titles were chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2011. The Top of the List picks are featured in the special combined January 1 and 15 issue of Booklist, which includes the complete annotated Editors’ Choice lists for adult books, adult books for young adults, books for youth, reference sources, and media. The winners are also announced on Booklist Online and in its free e-newsletter....
Publishing, Dec. 20
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The best of Dallas 2011
More “best of” picks from the Dallas Observer, the city’s free alternative newspaper. Divided into six categories, these editors’ picks offer suggestions on where to go, what to see, and what to buy in the Dallas–Fort Worth area: the best TV news show (Inside Texas Politics), the best honky tonk (Billy Bob’s Texas), best elotes cart (Fiesta Mart), the best cold, hard evidence that Jesus rode a dinosaur (Creation Evidence Museum), the best hotel art (Belmont Hotel), the best comic book store (Titan Comics), and the best gym (Life Time Fitness)....
Latino Cultural Center
The Latino Cultural Center at 2600 Live Oak Street was designed by world-renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta and opened in 2003. A multidisciplinary arts center that presents Latino artists in the visual and performing arts, film, and literature, the LCC also supports local artists by developing and celebrating Latino art and culture. Exhibitions rotate every few months, and the sculpture collection features works by artists Luis Jiménez and Jesús Moroles. Cine en el Centro is a film series program featuring the best in popular and avant garde Spanish-language film....
Latino Cultural Center
Nasher Sculpture Center
Located in downtown Dallas at the base of the city’s skyline, the Nasher Sculpture Center represents Raymond D. Nasher’s vision to create an outdoor roofless museum that serves as a peaceful retreat for reflection of art and nature and as a public home for his collection of 20th-century sculpture. The goal was to produce a structure of lasting significance that will sustain the legacy of the collection. The resulting design encompasses an indoor gallery and outdoor sculpture garden....
Nasher Sculpture Center
Learning to lighten your load
tops the list of biggest travel mistakes. The One Bag website offers exhaustive detail on the art and science of traveling light—going pretty much anywhere for business or leisure for an indefinite length of time, with no more than a single carry-on bag. The expert one-bag traveler will have mastered the three core elements of light travel: using a packing list, reducing weight, and optimizing your bag....
Author Steve Berry keynotes Preservation Week 2012 kickoff
New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry keynotes the kickoff for Preservation Week 2012 (April 22–28) at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Berry will speak at the ALCTS Forum, 10:30 a.m.–noon, January 23. Berry, author of The Jefferson Key, his most recent novel, and the forthcoming The Columbus Affair (Ballantine, May 2012), will talk about the importance of preserving our personal and community cultural heritage....
ALCTS, Dec. 20
YALSA advances to next phase of competition
YALSA has advanced to stage 2 of the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition. The competition is designed to encourage the creation of digital badges and badge systems that support, identify, recognize, measure, and account for new skills, competencies, knowledge, and achievements for 21st-century learners. Stage 2 seeks badge system design and tech proposals that respond to Stage 1 winning content or content from one of the competition’s official collaborators—including ALA....
YALSA, Dec. 20
Call for papers on 21st-century literacies
The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, a peer-reviewed, open-access quarterly research journal published by YALSA, seeks papers for its Spring 2012 issue on the theme of 21st-century literacies. Submissions are due to Editor Sandra Hughes-Hassell by February 13. Possible topics include information literacy, traditional literacy, multicultural literacy, transliteracy, visual literacy, media literacy, civic literacy, or economic literacy....
YALSA, Dec. 21
Get ready for summer reading with YALSA’s webinar
With three carefree months of no school, no homework, long days, and warm nights, summer is the perfect time to get teens reading. Jumpstart your summer reading program planning process with an hourlong webinar from YALSA January 19. Join Charli Osborne (right), head of teen services at the Oxford (Mich.) Public Library, for a discussion of books and programming ideas....
YALSA, Dec. 20
2012 ASCLA preconference workshops announced
Registration for ASCLA’s three half-day preconferences in Anaheim, California, covering mission-critical library topics—library services for the print-disabled, public library partnerships with correctional facilities, and successful library marketing and development strategies—will open January 3, along with the 2012 ALA Annual Conference registration. Conference registration is not required to attend these ASCLA preconference events....
ASCLA, Dec. 20
2012 ASCLA conference programs focus on future
ASCLA’s 2012 program topics highlight the expertise of ASCLA members while delivering relevant content to a wide variety of library types and librarian roles. Program participation is open to any registered Annual Conference attendee. Conference registration opens January 3. In addition to these programs, ASCLA will host a number of discussion groups, several cutting-edge preconferences, the ASCLA/COSLA dessert and awards reception, and association business meetings....
ASCLA, Dec. 20
LLAMA leadership development seminar will focus on new librarians
LLAMA will present a free panel discussion on “Recruitment, Retention, and Mentoring of New Librarians” January 22 at Midwinter. Panel members include Tina Oswald from Stephen F. Austin University; and Martha Rossi, library services and media specialist for Education Service Center 20 in San Antonio. They will offer their perspectives as graduates of the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute. Offering the perspective of the new librarian will be Ameet Doshi, user engagement and assessment coordinator, Georgia Institute of Technology....
LLAMA, Dec. 20
RUSA’s overview of Annual Conference programs
RUSA will host technology and future-focused programs at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, tackling topics such as mobile technology, ebooks, readers’ advisory in the digital age, international interlibrary loan, and financial literacy, among other topics. Conference registration opens January 3....
RUSA, Dec. 20
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I Love My Librarian Award videos
Interviews with each of the 10 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award winners are now posted on the At Your Library website. The entire December 8 award ceremony, complete with addresses by New York Times CEO Janet L. Robinson, Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian (above), and special guest Caroline Kennedy, is now posted on YouTube (1:11:38, but timestamps bookmark each segment)....
At Your Library; YouTube, Dec. 18
Travel grants to PLA conference
Gale Cengage is inviting librarians from small libraries to submit an application for two funding opportunities to attend the PLA National Conference in Philadelphia, March 13–17. Gale will be providing travel, lodging, registration, and all related expenses for library staff (who serve populations of 50,000 or less) to attend. Librarians can apply for the scholarship online by submitting a short essay answering one of two questions by January 18....
Gale Cengage, Dec. 21
Yale archivist wins theater librarian award
Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Mansucript Library Archivist Susan Brady won the Theatre Library Association’s highest honor, the 2011 Award for Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship. The award has been given since 1994 to a performing arts librarian, curator, archivist, or scholar who has made extraordinary contributions to the field. Brady serves as cochair of the American Theatre Archive Project’s steering committee, working to preserve records of North American theatre companies....
Yale Daily News: Cross Campus, Dec. 19
Ezra Jack Keats Awards move to Mississippi
The Ezra Jack Keats Awards have moved from the New York Public Library to the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries in Hattiesburg. The 2012 awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the university’s Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival on April 12. Since 1985, the awards have been given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children (age 9 and under) by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation....
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Dec. 14
2011 Edublog Award winners
The Edublog Awards honor the best in educational blogs, as voted by the readers. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Teacher Librarian Joyce Valenza for her School Library Journal–based blog NeverEndingSearch. The winner in the category of Best Librarian or Library Blog was Sarah Ducharme’s Try Curiosity! blog....
Edublog Awards; School Library Journal, Dec. 19
Apply for an Excellence in Summer Learning Award
The Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for K–12 students. The award is given annually by the National Summer Learning Association based on an application and interview process that elicits information on a program’s history, mission, and sustainability. Apply by February 10....
National Summer Learning Association, Dec. 15
Dominican University offers new LIS scholarship
Applications are open for the newly established Vera May Barnes Zubrzycki Scholarship at the Dominican University GSLIS in River Forest, Illinois. The scholarship (PDF file) is a collaborative project between GSLIS and the Polish American Librarians Association. One $2,300 scholarship will be awarded annually for the next three years to a library school student specializing in service to children, with an emphasis on incorporating the Polish-American experience into their practice of librarianship. The application deadline is January 4....
Polish American Librarians Association, Dec. 14
How much money do poets make?
Rachel Friedman writes: “Tomas Tranströmer had a good two weeks: On December 10, the 80-year-old Swedish poet was officially given the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, and on December 19, Farrar Straus and Giroux will publish a new edition of his verse. To get to this moment, he triumphed o’er what are perhaps the longest economic odds in the arts.” Or, as Huffington Post’s Madeleine Crum writes: “He did, however, have to wait until after his 80th birthday before he won.”...
New York Magazine, Dec. 11; Huffington Post, Dec. 13
2011 Irish Book of the Year
Solace, the debut novel by Belinda McKeon, has been voted the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year for 2011. It tells a contemporary story of a young man who is struggling to complete his Ph.D. in English at Trinity College but has to return home to his father’s small farm to help with the hay and the plowing. The public voted for Solace from the list of 10 category winners announced at the recent Irish Book Awards 2011....
Belfast (UK) Telegraph, Dec. 14
Historic Egyptian Institute library destroyed during protests
Volunteers, ranging from academic experts from the Egyptian National Library to appalled citizens, spent two days trying to salvage what’s left of some 192,000 rare books, journals, and manuscripts belonging to the Egyptian Scientific Institute, established in 1798 by Napoleon. A video (1:39) shows the volunteer salvage operation. The building caught fire early on December 17 during clashes in Cairo between Egyptian security forces and pro-democracy protesters. At least one man has been arrested for arson. Firefighters were late to the scene as the fire raged for more than 12 hours. A short video (0:43) shows the gutted interior. Fighting continued around the building as salvage efforts took place. Some 50,000 books and manuscripts have been recovered. National Library Director Zein Abdel-Hady is leading the effort to save what’s left of the damaged books and charred manuscripts. The French government and the Emirate of Sharjah have expressed their willingness to help rebuild the library....
Associated Press, Dec. 19; YouTube, Dec. 17, 18; Al-masry Al-youm (Cairo), Dec. 19–21; Science Insider, Dec. 19; Cybrarians, Dec. 17
How to protest library cuts
Christian Zabriskie writes: “Libraries in New York City have been getting hammered in the budget fight over the last couple of years. Urban Librarians Unite started as a way to get librarians from all three public library systems to exchange ideas and quickly spread to include academic librarians, corporate librarians, and library school students. The regular threat of budget cuts has galvanized the organization. Over time we’ve cultivated an effective mix of social media and old-fashioned advocacy.”...
The Huffington Post, Dec. 15
Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Public Library cuts
Jonathan Messinger writes:
“In November, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced hundreds of layoffs in the library system and the planned reduction of hours for dozens of local branches. How a mayor who has proclaimed improving the city’s education as a top priority could then undercut a public library system that is the largest repository of educational materials—for both kids and adults—makes little sense. He cut the second-biggest educational engine in the city and held on to the $500-million surplus sitting in the mayor’s discretionary fund.”...
Time Out Chicago: Books, Dec. 14
SOPA hearing delayed
Hearings in the US House of Representatives to finish markup on the Stop Online Piracy Act were slated to resume December 21, but things will remain at a standstill until next year. The holiday break has pushed the committee hearing back to a yet-to-be-rescheduled date, with nothing more specific than “early next year” being promised. A Whitehouse.gov petition asking President Obama to veto the bill and any future ones like it has far exceeded its goal of 25,000 signatures....
PC World, Dec. 20
UK library advocates lose a big legal battle
Advocates in the United Kingdom have failed in a legal bid to thwart the closure of several libraries in northwest London. Residents and celebrities wanted to prevent Brent Council shutting six libraries and hoped the Court of Appeal would overturn the decision of a High Court judge who found the plan lawful. But the justices sided with the council in the case....
BBC News, Dec. 19
Patron leaves Oshkosh library $1.1 million
Christmas came early at the Oshkosh (Wis.) Public Library after a donor provided an unexpected gift. The $1.1 million is one of the largest monetary contributions ever for the library, from a donor only a few people knew—Marjorie Drexler, who passed away in August 2010. The library originally found out about the donation last spring, but the exact dollar amount wasn’t disclosed at the time. Director Jeff Gilderson-Duwe (right) said the library has no specific plans yet on how the money will be used....
WBAY-TV, Green Bay, Wis., Dec. 17
Atlantic City library plans a resort museum
Visitors will be able to travel back to Atlantic City’s glory days and experience the sights and sounds of Club Harlem or witness a diving horse plunge into a pool of water if plans for a new museum in the city come to fruition. The public heard for the first time some of the ideas for a proposed Atlantic City Experience museum and research center during a public forum December 14 at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Free Public Library. The museum, a project spearheaded by library employees, would also include exhibits, an event space, a classroom, a research center, and a museum store....
The Press of Atlantic City, Dec. 14
Wisconsin library says no guns
Trustees of the Kilbourn Public Library in Wisconsin Dells voted December 8 to post signs prohibiting weapons in the library, although two members had objected to taking a vote. One of the board’s concerns was whether the library had to ensure that no one carried weapons into the library if it posted signs prohibiting them. The board voted 5–2 to post a sign banning weapons in the library and that the sign will have a disclaimer saying safety isn’t guaranteed....
Wisconsin Dells Events, Dec. 9
School librarians try to survive budget cuts
Certified librarians have become somewhat of a rarity in California schools. Three months into his position as the only librarian for schools in Carlsbad, California, Rod Carr has already had to go to bat for his job once. Carr stood before school board trustees in November, pleading to keep his post as the district librarian while the five-member board went down a list of budget cuts that would help fill what was then an $11 million hole in the district’s $82 million operating budget....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Dec. 19
What you can do to support school libraries in crisis
Carl Harvey II writes: “As leader of AASL and an educator, I am struck by the lack of support for school libraries from federal and local governments. There is a common misconception that technology replaces school libraries and school librarians. Rather, in reality, the explosion of technology and information access makes having full-time access to a state-certified school librarian and school library program even more critical for today’s learners.”...
Huffington Post, Dec. 8
Beaux Foy is North Carolina’s Smartest Card spokesmusician
Beaux Foy, lead singer of the band Airiel Down, is this year’s spokesman for the State Library of North Carolina’s Smartest Card campaign. He visited Central Cabarrus High School on December 16 to talk about the resources libraries offer and encourage students to get a library card or use theirs more often. Some students said they were shocked to see a musician speaking to them about libraries. Watch the state library’s Beaux Foy video (2:01)....
Concord (N.C.) Independent Tribune, Dec. 18; YouTube, Aug. 8
Rare paintings uncovered in Dunedin library
A collection of rare 19th-century paintings, inspired by the books of Charles Dickens, has been discovered in New Zealand. Nearly 60 watercolors by English artist Paul Braddon (the pseudonym of James Leslie Crees) were uncovered earlier this year in the Dunedin Public Library’s Reed Collection by rare books librarian Anthony Tedeschi. Hidden inside cardboard folders, the paintings had been donated in 1956 by author and publisher Alfred Reed....
Otago Daily Times (Dunedin), Dec. 19
New Romanian National Library opens
The new headquarters building of the National Library of Romania opened in Bucharest on December 15.
The old building had been neglected for years after the anticommunist revolution and much of it had deteriorated. The new library has 14 large reading rooms, six conference spaces, an auditorium seating 400, and ample space for exhibitions, bookstores, and cafés. Holdings will be gradually transferred to the new building throughout the year....
Business Review, Dec. 15; Nine O’Clock, Dec. 15; Romania Business Insider, Dec. 14
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Firefox 9: Faster on PCs
Seth Rosenblatt writes: “Mozilla is laying claim to big performance improvements for Firefox 9, while Firefox for Android goes in for a shave and a haircut as it gets an entirely different look. Both desktop and Android updates were released December 20. Firefox 9 continues the browser’s rapid-release development oscillation, where feature enhancements and performance improvements take the lead in alternating months.”...
CNET: Download Blog, Dec. 20
The 30 best iPad games
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “The iPad’s large, gorgeous display gives gamers an open, visual experience that isn’t confined to the DS/3DS/PSP’s relatively small displays. This makes it an excellent device for any number of game genres, but it especially benefits those with large footprints, such as Scrabble for iPad. There is one significant drawback, however: Unlike traditional video game portables, the iPad lacks physical controls.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 16
Libraries begin lending out Chromebooks
Google has been working with public libraries recently to circulate its Chromebook concept. At least three libraries have been working toward lending out Chromebooks to patrons. Most notably, branches of the Palo Alto (Calif.) City Library will begin making Chromebooks available for loan in January; patrons will be able to check out the Google devices for up to one week. The pilot project is a first of its kind, though the library had previously made Windows laptops as well as Chromebooks available to patrons at several of its libraries for two-hour checkouts for in-library use....
Digital Trends, Dec. 15
12 signs your tech leadership is obsolescent
Doug Johnson writes: “If a person became a technology director before about 1995, he or she probably came up through the teaching ranks. After about 1995, computers, applications, and networks became sufficiently complex that technology directors were hired from business or computer-science programs and had little or no experience as teachers. I sense another change is overdue in technology director hiring practices. Here are a few ways to know if your school’s technology leadership may be past its expiration date.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Dec. 19
Wearing your computer on your sleeve
Nick Bilton writes: “The invention of the smartphone has created a world where millions of people stroll through life constantly staring into a mobile device, like Narcissus at the edge of a pond. People are not going to put these devices down in the near future. Realistically, we will become only more absorbed by the Screen. Technology will have to solve this problem. It will do so by creating wearable computers.”...
New York Times: Bits, Dec. 18
Searching for apps is getting easier
Bob Tedeschi writes: “As consumers increasingly migrate to mobile apps and developers fight to have their apps discovered in the chaos of the marketplace, app-related search engines and stores have vastly improved their support for both constituencies. Apple users have seen some improvement, but Android is the much bigger story because of upgrades to the Android Market, the emergence of the Amazon Appstore for Android (which sells only Android apps), and upgrades to existing services like Appolicious and AppBrain.”...
New York Times, Dec. 14
The five best gaming desktops
Laarni Almendrala Ragaza writes: “Despite the proliferation of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming is still alive and kicking. Gaming enthusiasts know that nothing can beat the quality of gameplay that you would get with a gaming desktop. But which will kick your gaming to the next level? We give you the five best gaming desktops on the market today.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 14
100 hints and tips for every computer user
SaveDelete has put together a wide selection of bite-sized tips on using and optimizing Windows 7, Vista, XP, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Excel, email, and audio files. For example, to prevent display rotation: “In Windows 7, right-click the Desktop and choose Graphics Options then Graphics Properties. Deselect the ‘Enable rotation’ option in the Rotate tab.”...
SaveDelete, Dec. 16
Ebook prices spark debate between publishers, retailers
The issue of ebook prices has sparked a global controversy as publishers lock horns with book retailers over how much consumers should pay. Amazon has challenged some publishers on the question of the price of a book—the online giant would prefer to set a price point of $9.99. Some consumers, online retailers, and authors complain existing ebook prices are too high, compared to the cost of print books. Publishers argue they can’t lower the cost of digital books too much or they won’t survive....
CBC News, Dec. 16
11 places to find free ebooks
Richard Byrne writes: “The internet is full of ebooks. Much to the chagrin of textbook publishers, some teachers are now using ebooks instead of issuing textbooks to students. Others are building their own e-textbooks. If you would like to find some free ebooks that you and your students can use, take a look at the following resources.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 19
New Zealand expands its ebook offerings
Wheelers Books, a library and school book distributor based in Auckland, New Zealand, has recently expanded its ebook selection. In addition to ebooks from most major publishers, it now stocks 400 ebooks originally written and published in New Zealand. They were converted as part of Great New Zealand eBooks, an initiative sponsored by a Kiwi-based copyright group, Copyright Licensing. The ebooks are distributed in Australia through ALS Library Services in Edwardstown, South Australia....
eBookNewser, Dec. 14
The coming end of the DVD
Stephen Abram writes: “There’s a continuing pattern that gives us clues about the end of the DVD format. (Of course, there are still niche markets for vinyl and tape; they are very small markets.) Many public libraries have significant circulation in DVDs. Can they acquire the right to downloads and circulate hard-copy DVDs? Is there any scenario that offers a positioning for public libraries to thrive? Is there a metaphor here for ebooks with a slightly longer timeline? 2012 will be a tipping point for all e-content access.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Dec. 20
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Innovations in print publishing
William Skidelsky writes: “Far from killing off the book, the digital age is proving a boon to innovative publishers and authors, many of whom are using new technology to breathe life back into old ideas. Here, we survey four of the most interesting ventures: subscription publishing, hybrid books, TV series you can read, and Penguin Shorts.”...
The Observer (UK), Dec. 17
New KU science fiction magazine
James Gunn’s Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas in Lawrence has always been a locus of awesomeness in SF studies. Among other things, the center hosts the John W. Campbell Memorial Award every year, celebrating the best science-fiction novel of the year. Gunn and the center are starting a new online magazine, Ad Astra, which will add to our understanding of science fiction while also publishing some of it....
io9, Dec. 16
Guide to book collecting
AbeBooks has launched a Guide to Book Collecting, an educational section of its website dedicated to helping you understand the basic elements of book collecting and the terminology of booksellers. The guide includes what to collect, collection care, a glossary of book terms (with pictures), an explanation of book conditions, and a list of abbreviations. New videos and pages will be added on an ongoing basis....
Reading Copy Book Blog, Dec. 19
This image of a lion comes from the fabled manuscript, Liber Floridus (Book of Flowers), a medieval encyclopedia produced some 900 years ago by Lambert, the canon of St. Omer in the north of France. The manuscript is essentially a compilation of extracts from nearly 200 late classical and early medieval works by authors such as Isidore of Seville, Orosius, Julius Honorius, and Venerable Bede. The manuscript was completed in his own hand around 1120 and is regarded as the first encyclopedia of the High Middle Ages....
BibliOdyssey, Dec. 19
At “Reimagining the Public Library in a Post-Recession Economy,” Corinne Hill, interim director of libraries at Dallas Public Library, will discuss how DPL is rethinking its approach as it transitions out of the 2008 Great Recession. The Saturday afternoon, January 21, talk is part of the ALA Masters Series and will look at library services in a digital age.
Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Secondary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact by Judi Moreillon, available in January, is a companion volume to Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension, which covered lower grades, and completes the educational arc by focusing on adolescent readers in grades 6–12. Drawing on the most current standards from AASL as well as cutting-edge research, this straightforward book offers a comprehensive approach to increasing students’ reading comprehension, with chapters covering the complete range of skills. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Schussenried Abbey Library Hall, Bad Schussenried, Germany. The library hall in this 12th-century Premonstratensian monastery was built in 1748 and features two levels of locked bookcases and ample ambient light. The doors of the bookcases resemble the spines of books and contain hidden wooden reading stands and seats. The ceiling fresco completed by Franz Georg Hermann in 1757 depicts the work of divine wisdom in the apocalypse, the sciences, art, and technology. After secularization, the library books were removed in 1809 and the monastery served successively as a castle, a foundry, and a lunatic asylum. Since 1998 it has been used as an exhibit hall and event center.
Upper Lusatian Science Library, Görlitz, Germany. The library was created in 1951 by combining two collections, the Johann Gottlieb Milich City and High School Library founded in 1727, and the Upper Lusatian Scientific Society founded in 1779. Housed in a baroque building owned by the society since 1804, the library moved in 2010 to allow for a complete renovation of the facility, which will be used for the Saxon State Festival in 2011. Its volumes include the most extensive collection of works about the German mystic Jakob Böhme.
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.
Deputy State Librarian, State Library of Kansas. The State Library is currently seeking a motivated administrator who will function with a high level of autonomy to provide leadership and daily supervision of library staff and agency programs. This position directs internal operations for the State Library, represents the library at meetings, and also organizes special projects to achieve library goals and objectives. The Deputy State Librarian is responsible for the operation of the State Library in the absence of the State Librarian....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Iowa Libraries Szathmary Recipe Pamphlet Digital Collection includes more than 4,000 promotional recipe pamphlets, published mainly by food and appliance manufacturers and trade associations. Dating from the late 19th century to the present, this advertising ephemera reflects the evolution of the modern American diet. Of particular interest is the time period from 1880 to 1930, when industrialization gave rise to the modern food industry. The result was a dramatic change in diet, driven by an ever-expanding market of products. This digital collection contains a representative sampling of pamphlets from that era.
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.
“Fear of Apple is about losing control over the software on our computers. Fear of Google is about losing control over our privacy.”
—John Gruber, “There Is a Flip Side,” Daring Fireball, Dec. 19.
“An other chief Point of the Keeper’s Charge, is to range all his Books, as well of the bigger as lesser fold, according to their Faculties; to assign to every Faculty their Catalogues and Tables; and to dispose of every Table the Authors therein named, according to the Alphabet: Where besides the Author’s Name, and the Title of his Work, he must be mindful to express, in what kind of Volume the same was Printed, with a Note of the Place, and Year of that Edition. For it so fareth often with a Number of Students, that the Knowledge of some one of these petty Particulars, may turn them in their Studies to some singular Advantage.”
—Sir Thomas Bodley’s First Draught of the Statutes of the Public Library at Oxon (1609), reprinted in John Cotton Dana and Henry W. Kent, eds., Literature of Libraries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, vol. 3 (Chicago: McClurg, 1906), 73–74.
Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries, University of Bari.
Capricon 32, science fiction convention, Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling, Illinois. Special guest: Cory Doctorow.
Online Northwest, conference, Oregon State University, CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Corvallis.
Fifth International Workshop on Personal Information Management, Seattle.
Cloud/Gov, conference, Westin Washington, D.C. “Plan. Implement. Succeed.”
Personal Digital Archiving, conference, Internet Archive, San Francisco.
National Federation of Advanced Information Services, Annual Conference, Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia. “Born of Disruption: An Emerging New Normal for the Information Landscape.”
Apr. 11–14: Museums and the Web, conference, Sheraton Marina, San Diego.
Apr. 19–21: American Society for Indexing, Annual Conference, Bahia Resort, San Diego. “Index Appreciation Days: Oh, the Places You'll Go!”
May 3–6: Association of Independent Information Professionals, Annual Conference, Indianapolis. “Racing to Succeed.”
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Marriott Crystal Gateway, Arlington, Virginia. “Social, Mobile, Agile, Global: Are You Ready?”
North American Serials Interest Group, Annual Conference, Sheraton Music City, Nashville.
June 21–26: American Library Association, Annual Conference, Anaheim, California.
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Springfield, Illinois. “Lincoln Logs On: Tradition and Innovation in Library Ministry.”
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Rural libraries: The lifeblood of small towns
Phil Hardwick writes: “Recently I had the opportunity to visit eight libraries in rural towns in Mississippi during the course of one week. These libraries ranged from a two-room facility smaller than some master bedrooms to a full-service, modern library that offered a full range of activities for the community. Small-town libraries have become a provider of numerous services to their communities. Their future will be one of expanding those services even more. Here are 10 things that I learned about rural libraries during that week.”...
Mississippi Business Journal, Aug. 7
The pitfalls of political librarianship
Lane Wilkinson writes: “There is something to be said for approaching librarianship as a political activity. It’s compelling to think of libraries as change agents and of librarians as some sort of 21st-century salonnières fomenting revolution in the streets. An informed public is necessary in a flourishing, progressive republic and, as a nexus for information, libraries serve a vital political role. But, it’s one thing for libraries to serve a valuable sociopolitical function (which they certainly do), and quite another thing to treat librarianship as inherently political.”...
Sense and Reference, Dec. 20
ARL Annual Salary Survey published
The Association of Research Libraries has published its Annual Salary Survey 2010–2011, which analyzes salary data for all professional staff working in the 125 ARL member libraries. The median salary for ARL university libraries in the United States in 2010 was $65,000, an increase of 1.5% over the 2009–2010 median salary of $64,069. This modest salary increase compared favorably to the severe economic contraction of the same period....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 20
Forensic librarians at Carleton College
Danya Leebaw, Heather Tompkins, and Iris Jastram write: “‘Wait, this is information literacy?’ a rhetorician at our workshop exclaimed in excited surprise. ‘But this is so cool!’ We too had had very similar reactions to our own work with information literacy, and not that long ago. We too had realized that information literacy could be different than we had originally thought, more alive and integrated within the discourse of academic work, and more applicable across disciplines and genres and rhetorical goals.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Dec. 14
The 25 most beautiful college libraries in the world
Emily Temple writes: “The college library, whether ornate or modern, digital or dusty, is in many ways the epicenter of the college experience—at least for some students. Colleges and universities are understandably quite proud of their libraries, which often become the most well-designed and beautifully adorned buildings on campus. To that end, we’ve collected a few of the most beautiful college and university libraries in the world, from Portugal to France to Boston.”...
Flavorwire, Dec. 13
Why not a bachelor’s in library science?
Steve Matthews writes: “Why isn’t that a good idea? Seems as though it is a very good idea in some librarians’ minds—at least those in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Maine. All three of these states recognized a need within their states for a bachelor’s degree in library science programs. The program found a demand, which is always the first indicator of a need for more wide-scale change. Jodi Williams has run the bachelor of science in information and library science program at the University of Maine at Augusta since 2004. She said: ‘Our program found a niche.’”...
21st Century Library Blog, Dec. 19
A champion for school libraries
Verne Oliver has transformed dozens of libraries in underprivileged New York City schools. It’s a second career for the 89-year-old educator devoted to youth and literacy. Oliver rescues usable materials from libraries in schools about to be torn down, and talks to pupils about the basic concept of a lending library. She also builds new collections or rebuilds older ones. Since her 1987 retirement from teaching, Oliver has worked as associate director of the Gilder Foundation, a private New York philanthropy that funds libraries in local parochial schools....
AARP Bulletin, Nov. 29
The 2012 Project: A challenge to teens
Karen Jensen writes: “Every day, teen services librarians are making the difference in the lives of teens. So let’s show the world that libraries are still a vital part of teen lives. Your teens can help, too. Read on for what I am calling ‘The 2012 Project.’ Our goal is to get 2,012 pics of teens in the library or reading books during the year 2012. Here is how it works. You can take pictures or your teens can send them in on their own. Each month, I will take them all and put them in a visual blog post demonstrating the power of libraries in the lives of our youth.”...
Teen Librarian’s Toolbox, Dec. 15
Swedes end negotiations with OCLC
The National Library of Sweden has ended five years of negotiations with OCLC for participation in WorldCat, as the parties could not successfully come to terms on a contract. The negotiations primarily dealt with two issues: the conditions for uploading the Swedish union catalogue Libris database into WorldCat, and the question of license/ownership for copying bibliographic records from WorldCat for use in Libris. A major sticking point was that the library would not be able to deliver bibliographic data to Europeana and the European Library if it were to become part of WorldCat....
National Library of Sweden, Dec. 21
Present a paper at IFLA
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has issued calls for papers on a variety of topics for its World Library and Information Congress, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, August 11–17. The content of the IFLA program is organized by the different professional groups (sections, core programs, and special interest groups). Calls for papers are submitted through these groups. Papers should reflect the conference theme: “Libraries Now!—Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering.”...
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
The 10 key skills for the future of work
Jessica Stillman writes: “What are the jobs of the future? With technology and economic developments moving so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on today and more or less foresee what career paths will make you a winner in a decade or two. But the Institute for the Future believes it is still possible to say something useful about how to prepare yourself for the careers of tomorrow. Its Future Work Skills 2020 report identifies broad skills that will help workers adapt to the changing career landscape. What are they?”...
GigaOM, Dec. 16; Institute for the Future, Dec. 7
Interviewing for an academic library position
Jenica Rogers writes: “In this brief moment while I have no conflicts of interest, let me share my next bundle of thoughts on academic library job hunting. Brace yourself. Your mileage may vary, your experiences may differ, and there’s a lot to add to what I say here. Other people have also said smart things on the subject. There is no silver bullet. But some stuff works better than others.”...
Attempting Elegance, Dec. 12; Free Range Librarian, Dec. 20
Google News drops author search command
Google has dropped a feature on Google News that helped you locate articles by authors. The feature was the Author command and worked in the Google News search box when you typed [author:firstname lastname]. Now when you search using that command, nothing is returned, and it appears Google has disabled it on purpose....
Search Engine Roundtable, Dec. 19; Search Engine Land, Dec. 19
Wisconsin Civil War maps come online
The Wisconsin Historical Society’s online collection Wisconsin in the Civil War recently added more than 350 Civil War maps. They join 20,000 pages of letters, diaries, memoirs, and photographs already available. The maps have been digitized in a way that allows users to zoom in simply by clicking anywhere on the image. Most of the maps in the collection were produced after the war to illustrate specific battles. Users who are reading diaries or letters can use them to follow troop movements and locate opposing forces....
Wisconsin Historical Society, Dec. 9
Topeka’s paperweight collection
Heather Kearns writes: “For the final week of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Kansas Sesquicentennial video series, we thought we’d take a closer look (5:31) at our Antique and Contemporary Paperweight collection. There is something about luminous glass filled with intricate design that brings to mind holiday candy, icicles, and ornaments.” TSCPL has been collecting paperweights since the 1970s and now has a collection of about 500....
Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, Dec. 19
Mississippi State’s gingerbread house
A gingerbread replica of Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library represented a labor of love by two library staff members who delighted in the opportunity to think outside the bakery box. What Bobbie Huddleston and Faye Fulgham built was both impressive and just plain fun. Among the features were blue window panes made from melted Jolly Ranchers, Christmas carolers from upside-down ice cream cones, and a candy replica of Frances Coleman, MSU dean of libraries....
Mississippi Library Association, Dec. 20
14 eclectic, bookish gifts
Books are good, but book lovers cannot live on books alone. Here is Jacket Copy’s eclectic list of gifts that aren’t books but could please the bookish, including this frosted glass lamp (right) that’s both a bedside reading light and, when it’s time to close your eyes, a book rest that saves your place....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Dec. 15
A Christmas Salute
Jessica Pigza writes: “Perhaps it is not surprising, but lovers of printing have a long history of honoring the holidays in print. In December 1935, for example, rare book dealer Philip C. Duschnes published a limited edition of a small letterpress booklet called A Christmas Salute. This little printed keepsake incorporates glittery cardstock and bright red and green ink. The text itself, by American writer Christopher Morley, is a simple series of greetings to those who bring him and others joy—from librarians to greengrocers, from apple-growers to subway guards.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Dec. 19
The duties of a librarian—in the 17th and 18th centuries
Karen F. Pierce writes: “During my stint cataloging some of the rare books in the Cardiff University Special Collections and Archives, I cataloged a couple of books from the Literature of Libraries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries series, edited by John Cotton Dana and Henry W. Kent (Chicago: McClurg, 1906). Here are some of the pearls of wisdom and advice that shone out from these texts.”...
dark-side-of-the-catalogue, Dec. 19
Mysterious 16th-century sext discovered in copy of Chaucer
Florida State University Professor Elaine Treharne was giving a lecture at West Virginia University when she visited its rare book collection. She “happened to open a 1561 edition of works by Geoffrey Chaucer” and saw a “Latin poem pasted in the back of the book.” The erotic poem was written by Elizabeth Dacre, née Leybourne, a Catholic noblewoman, probably sometime after 1555....
Gawker, Dec. 14; WVU Today, Dec. 12
The story of the Fond du Lac circulation desk
It started in 2010 with an internet post making the rounds about a desk made of books at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. When plans for the Fond du Lac (Wis.) Public Library’s new branch—FDLPL Express—began to firm up, the idea of building a similar desk emerged. The library contacted local architect Tom Meiklejohn, who worked to design the framework of a working, functional circulation desk yet accommodate an exterior mosaic of books. But it took a great deal more effort before the desk was ready for the branch’s December 10 opening. Watch the video (4:29)....
Fond du Lac (Wis.) Public Library, Dec. 10; YouTube, Dec. 13
Rap version of The Elements of Style
Columbia University grad students Jake Heller (“Strunk”) and Ben Teitelbaum (“White”) pay homage (2:25) to William Strunk and E. B. White’s classic style manual. With music by Valentino and lyrics like: “Omit needless words. Good writing is concise.
/ When I was in your class, you repeated that thrice.”...
Vimeo, Dec. 9
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