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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 2, 2011

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Opponents and supporters join hands in protecting the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. Photo by the libraryThe web goes dark in Egypt for a week
The Egyptian government pulled the plug on the web in an apparent attempt to silence the demonstrations and protests that erupted across the country January 25. The Associated Press reported that at a half-hour past midnight on January 28, the internet went dead; authorities restored access on February 2. Bibliotheca Alexandrina Director Ismail Serageldin issued a statement January 30 that said the library will be closed to the public for several days until the curfew is lifted, adding that both opponents and supporters have joined the library staff in guarding the building (above) from potential vandals and looters. The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield warned of potential danger to Egyptian cultural heritage sites, but the vast majority of museums were secure as of February 1. Kate Phizackerley has set up a site-by-site Egyptological Looting Database....
AL: Global Reach, Jan. 28–31; Associated Press, Jan. 28; Washington Post, Feb. 2; Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Jan. 30, Feb. 1; NYRBlog, Feb. 1; U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, Jan. 30; New York Times, Feb. 1

Passports on a mapRunning a Passport Acceptance Facility
Robert J. Rua writes: “Expanded travel regulations have increased demand for United States passports. As of June 1, 2009, a valid passport is required for all foreign travel to and from Canada and Mexico. In this time of reduced funding, public libraries can capitalize on the increased demand while providing a valuable e-government service to their customers by becoming official Passport Acceptance Facilities for the U.S. Department of State. PAFs earn the standard execution fee of $25 per passport.”...
American Libraries feature

WikiLeaks logoOn My Mind: Midwinter’s WikiLeaks letdown
Al Kagan writes: “One of the key problems of our time is lack of government transparency, and therefore restricted public access to U.S. government information. The ongoing WikiLeaks disclosures highlight the need to protest these policies and get them changed. Several of the ALA’s core values are directly relevant to this discussion. With this in mind, ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table put forward two resolutions concerning WikiLeaks at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.”...
American Libraries column

Submit your National Library Week video footage
AL Focus is producing a series of videos to promote libraries for National Library Week 2011, and we are looking for footage from libraries around the country to help complete the project. The videos will combine images, words, and music to provide an uplifting view of libraries, the services they provide, and the differences they can make. Files up to 2 GB can be sent via YouSendIt. The deadline for submissions is February 28....
AL Focus, Jan. 28

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ALA News

Keith Michael FielsExecutive Director’s Message: Engaging members
Keith Michael Fiels writes: “ALA Executive Board meetings in San Diego focused on how to engage younger members, the ALA Membership Meeting, and the Midwinter Meeting itself. At the top of the list was a report (Word file) from the Young Professionals Task Force, chaired by Laurel Bliss. The task force has been reaching out to younger members and is working on a series of recommendations on how the Association can best engage young professionals.”...
American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011
With the pending sunset date of February 28 for Section 215 (the “library provision”) of the USA Patriot Act, the USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 (S. 193) is an important step toward improving the balance between the needs of law enforcement and the protection of our civil liberties. The ALA Washington Office urges all library supporters to ask members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass the measure....
District Dispatch, Feb. 2

LSSC Program offers half off registration fee
As part of a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Library Support Staff Certification Program is offering Registration Assistance Awards of $175 to library support staff, half of the fee to register to become a candidate for certification. The awards are being offered jointly by the LSSC Program, several state library agencies across the United States, and the ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round Table....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Jan. 31

40 students chosen for Student to Staff Program
Forty ALA Student Chapter members were nominated by their schools and have been accepted to assist ALA staff during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. In exchange for working four hours a day (or a total of 20 hours), these students participating in the ALA Student to Staff Program receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Feb. 2

Learn to make mobile services work for you
ALA TechSource announces a new workshop, “Making Mobile Services Work for Your Library” with Cody Hanson, who will provide a foundation for launching, maintaining, and expanding mobile services in your library. Registration is available on the ALA Store. The workshop will take place at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on March 9....
TechSource, Feb. 1

Cover of The Frugal LibrarianHow to be frugal
Fewer employees, shorter hours, diminished collection budgets, and reduced programs and services are all happening at a time of record library usage. In The Frugal Librarian: Thriving in Tough Economic Times published by ALA Editions, library expert Carol Smallwood demonstrates that despite the obvious downsides, the necessity of doing business differently can be positive, leading to partnering, sharing, and innovating. This book addresses universal concerns, presenting creative and resourceful solutions from dozens of librarians who represent a wide variety of institutions....
ALA Editions, Jan. 28

Cover of Web Scale Discovery ServicesWeb-scale discovery services
ALA TechSource has released the January issue of Library Technology Reports, written by Jason Vaughan. Web-scale discovery services are capable of searching quickly and seamlessly across a vast range of local and remote content and providing relevancy-ranked results in an intuitive interface. The report describes the content, interface, and functionality of services developed by OCLC, Serials Solutions, EBSCO, and Ex Libris....
ALA TechSource, Feb. 1

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Cover of A Nation's HopeFeatured review: Nonfiction for Youth
de la Peña, Matt. A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Grades 1–3. Jan. 2011. 40p. Dial, hardcover (978-0-8037-3167-7).
Sometimes a boxing match is just that, a sport played out on the fists and jaws of two determined contenders. But sometimes it is so much more, as in the 1938 bout between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. This spectacularly illustrated, smoothly cadenced picture book sets up the historic fight—“Son of a black sharecropper / against Hitler’s ‘master race’ / Black and white Americans / together against the rule of Nazi hate”—and then quickly traces Louis’s rise from a quiet boy in Jim Crow America to a magnificent fighter and national hero. Nelson, who’s incapable of even a mediocre painting, flexes his artistic muscle here....

Graphic for Top 10 Black History Books for YouthTop 10 black history books for youth
Daniel Kraus writes: “The subjects of these top black-history titles, all reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months, delve into some of the darkest chapters in U.S. history. Look closely, though, and you’ll find expressions of joy as well.” Included is Tonya Bolden’s Finding Family, a richly imagined novel set in 1905 West Virginia about a girl who goes on a quest to find the truth about her African American family....

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

Division News

Cover of Decision-Making in the Absence of CertaintyDecision-making in the absence of certainty
ACRL has released Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty: A Study in the Context of Technology and the Construction of the 21st Century Academic Library, by S. David Mash, as number 63 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship series. The book details the often surprising decision-making process at five American universities that built new libraries at the dawn of the 21st century....
ACRL, Jan. 31

Register for YALSA online tech course
Registration ends February 3 for “Connect, Create, Collaborate: Support Teen Needs with Technology,” a new online course offered by YALSA. The self-paced course takes place February 7–March 21 and will be taught by YALSA Past-President Linda Braun....
YALSA, Feb. 1

YALSA homework help webinar
From hungry dogs and alien abductions to corrupted flash drives, the list of excuses for missed homework assignments is never-ending. Help your teens get a head start on their homework by hosting a homework help program at your library. Join host Mari Hardacre for a webinar that discusses both in-person and online homework help programs. The webinar will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern time on February 17....
YALSA, Feb. 1

Teen Tech Week logo 2011Teen Tech Week publicity tools
School and public libraries can promote Teen Tech Week (March 6–12) with online resources offered by YALSA. A sample press release, tips for creating a press release, sample PSAs, sample letters to the editor, a sample proclamation, tips on using the TTW logo, and downloadable audio PSAs featuring Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) are all available on the Teen Tech Week website....
Public Information Office, Feb. 1

Reluctant Readers preconference
Reluctant YA readers are everywhere—except maybe in your library. Join YALSA on June 23 in New Orleans for “Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant Readers” and find out how to turn reluctant readers into active readers who know your library inside and out. YA authors Walter Dean Myers, Julie Halpern, and Chris Grabenstein will describe how their work speaks to today’s teens....
YALSA, Feb. 1

YALSA Webinars-on-Demand
Looking for guidance into the latest topics in teen services? Look no further than YALSA’s Webinars-on-Demand. Previously recorded webinars, led by content experts selected by YALSA, are available online for $19 each (select webinars available as a series of three for $49). Webinars-on-Demand are available for purchase two months after the webinar takes place. Once purchased, you can view the webinar immediately....
YALSA, Jan. 31

2011 Literary Tastes Breakfast
All book lovers and adult readers are invited to celebrate the best writing and most outstanding authors of 2011 at the Literary Tastes Breakfast, an ALA Annual Conference tradition hosted by RUSA. The June 26 breakfast features authors from RUSA’s literary book award selections. Registration is available at the Annual Conference website....
RUSA, Feb. 1

De Grummond Collection graphicVisit the de Grummond Collection at Annual Conference
If you plan on attending ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, take this opportunity to visit the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg on June 24. Organized by Ellen Ruffin and the ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee, the tour will provide a unique look into an astounding collection....
ALSC, Jan. 28

Round Table News

Name change for GLBTRT
The new name of a round table contains more than a minor grammatical change—it carries wide implications for GLBT communities. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table is now the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, to reflect the preferred terminology of the transgender community. The name change was approved during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego....
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, Feb. 1

IRRT supports Spectrum
The International Relations Round Table has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program through a gift to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative....
Spectrum Initiative, Jan. 31


Carol A. MandelMandel wins 2011 Hugh C. Atkinson Award
Carol A. Mandel (right), dean of the division of libraries at New York University, has been named the 2011 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. She will receive a cash award and citation June 26 at the ALCTS awards program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The citation calls her a “pioneer in developing user-centered service models for both the physical and the virtual library.”...
ALCTS, Feb. 1

Dudley CarlsonALSC Distinguished Service Award
Dudley Carlson (right) is the 2011 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award. The award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to the division. As a member, chair, and advisor to numerous book award and evaluation committees, Carlson has “provided guidance through reasoned thought and deep expertise.”...
ALSC, Jan. 31

Nominations sought for Patterson Copyright Award
The Office for Information Technology Policy is calling for nominations for the 2011 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. This annual award honors individuals or groups who embody the spirit of the U.S. copyright law as voiced by the framers of our Constitution: “to advance the knowledge of science and useful arts.” Send letters of nomination to Carrie Russell by March 15....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 31

2011 Loleta D. Fyan Grant winners
Mary Mann and Terry O’Connor, in partnership with the Lac du Flambeau (Wis.) Public Library, have been awarded the $5,000 Loleta D. Fyan Grant for a proposal entitled “Revitalizing Libraries in Indian Country: The Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Research Center.” The project team will create a research space in the library to provide extensive multimedia sources on local, regional, and national Native American culture....
Office for Research and Statistics, Jan. 31

Two receive YALSA Baker & Taylor Conference Grants
YALSA has awarded its 2011 Baker & Taylor Conference Grants to Yvonne Miller and Sarah Wethern. Each will receive up to $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28. Miller has been a teacher/librarian at Sagewood Middle School in Parker, Colorado, since 2004, and Wethern is teen services librarian for the Pueblo City-County (Colo.) Library District....
YALSA, Feb. 1

Apply for the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation is accepting applications for the 2011 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend ALA’s 2011 Annual Conference, held June 23–28 in New Orleans. The recipient is expected to attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs, consult with a mentor or board member, and present a report about the experience. The deadline to apply is April 8....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 31

Brewster Kahle receives Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award
Internet activist Brewster Kahle received the Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award December 17 for successfully challenging a National Security Letter issued by the FBI that demanded personal information about a user of the Internet Archive’s site. The award honors California librarian Zoia Horn, who in 1972 chose to serve time in jail rather than betray confidential information....
Internet Archive Blogs, Jan. 4

Cover of A Dark MatterFourth Annual Black Quill Awards
Dark Scribe Magazine has announced the winners of its 4th Annual Black Quill Awards to honor works of horror, suspense, and thrillers from both mainstream and small press publishers. The Dark Genre Novel of the Year went to Peter Straub for A Dark Matter (Doubleday). The Best Dark Genre Book of Nonfiction was Thomas Ligotti’s The Conspiracy against the Human Race (Hippocampus)....
Dark Scribe Magazine, Jan. 31

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Seen Online

#egypt Twitter feed, from BBC News reportBypassing Egypt’s media restrictions
Google, in response to the internet blockade in Egypt, created a way to post messages to microblogging service Twitter by leaving a message at any of three telephone numbers. Voicemail messages at those numbers are instantly converted into text messages, referred to as tweets, and posted at Twitter with an identifying hashtag of #egypt. Watch the BBC News report (1:50)....
Agence France-Presse, Feb. 1; BBC News, Feb. 1

Enfield embarrasses Connecticut
MariAn Gail Brown writes: “The town of Enfield, Connecticut, forced its public library to abandon a January screening of Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko. Mayor Scott Kaupin said the film was a ‘poor choice’ and that if the library didn’t reconsider, it would face ‘repercussions’ at budget time. If that doesn’t sound like a threat, a shot across the bow, and an assault on our freedom of speech, I don’t know what does.” ALA President Roberta Stevens commended town officials for reversing their action and allowing the library to “move forward with a program intended to generate thought and discussion.”...
Bridgeport Connecticut Post, Jan. 27; Public Information Office, Jan. 28

Ronald McNair Life History Center, Lake City, S.C. Still from WBTW-TV newscastChallenger astronaut’s legacy honored
In 1959, when Ronald McNair was just 9 years old, he made a scene at the Lake City (S.C.) Public Library. Residents watched as the African-American boy walked to the counter and attempted to check out books on advanced science and calculus. The librarian refused to release them and said, “We don’t circulate books to Negroes.” On January 29, the former library building was renamed the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Life History Center, a museum showcasing his life....
ABC News, Jan. 29; WBTW-TV, Pee Dee, S.C., Jan. 29

Reader privacy fight resumes in Congress
Just four weeks before controversial portions of the USA Patriot Act are set to expire on February 28, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) reintroduced a reauthorization bill that would restore protections for reader privacy that were eliminated by the Patriot Act in 2001. It provides important safeguards for library records, limiting FBI searches to the records of people who are “agents of a foreign power,” including suspected terrorists and people known to them. The Campaign for Reader Privacy supports S. 193, the USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011, as an important step forward....
Association of American Publishers, Jan. 31

The 1784 Abel Buell mapFirst U.S. map purchased for record price
The first map of the United States, created in 1784, has been purchased for the record price of $1.8 million by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is lending it to the Library of Congress. The Abel Buell map, named after the Connecticut cartographer who created it, has been a missing link in the library’s vast collection of maps. Rubenstein bought the map at an auction at Christie’s in December....
Washington Post, Jan. 30

Why librarians are essential
Sara Stevenson writes: “Though 74 librarians in Austin, Texas, were slated to lose their jobs, the superintendent and board agreed to spare 52 elementary school librarians on January 24. Librarians who serve middle and high school students were thrown under the bus. The Texas Association of School Boards recommends that librarians share schools. If one librarian divides time between three schools, students are deprived of a professional librarian’s services for two-thirds of the school year. When you cut librarians, you cut teachers. We are not support staff.”...
Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, Jan. 26

Elizabeth C. FranklinBetty Franklin: A retrospective
Larry Harnisch writes: “This is Elizabeth C. Franklin, or Miss Franklin to those of us who worked for her. It wasn’t until she loaned me her precious Film Index of 1941 with her name written inside that I learned she had once been Betty Franklin. A bit testy and difficult as a boss, but I got to know her after she retired and discovered that despite the gruff façade, she was really sweet.”...
Los Angeles Times: The Daily Mirror, Feb. 1

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and Kate PalladinoLibrarian on Jeopardy!
One month after appearing on the popular television game show Jeopardy!, Kate Palladino (right) was awaiting her $2,000 check for coming in second place. Palladino is librarian at the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary School in Spring House, Pennsylvania. She was the only contestant to get the Final Jeopardy question correct when the show aired December 8....
Chestnut Hill (Pa.) Local, Jan. 26

Steven Holl Architects plan for new Hunters Point community branch in QueensNew Queens branch to feature distinctive, free-form windows
When the Queens (N.Y.) Library trustees approved the design of the new Hunters Point community branch in January, it was a well-deserved and long overdue breakthrough for New York architect Steven Holl. Scheduled to begin construction early next year, the branch will have giant, free-form windows carved out of an 80-foot-tall rectangular façade of rough aluminum that will make it an instantly recognizable landmark....
New York Times, Jan. 30

Redding library dispute may go to court
Two groups are threatening to sue the city of Redding, California, if it goes ahead with a proposed policy that restricts speech outside the main public library. The North State Tea Party Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California have called the city’s effort to regulate leafleting, pamphleteering, and other literature distribution around the library entrance unconstitutional. The Shasta Public Libraries Citizens Advisory Committee is scheduled to consider the proposed pamphleteering policy on March 2....
Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, Jan. 28, Feb. 2

Jay DeVaughnFormer librarian who sent death threats sentenced
An Aurora, Colorado, man who pleaded guilty to sending threatening letters and bags of white powder to President Barack Obama and other politicians was sentenced to six years in federal prison January 28. Jay DeVaughn (right), former director of library services at the Community College of Aurora, has been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. He >will also undergo mental health treatment for the three years he will be under court supervision after he is released from prison....
Reuters, Jan. 28

No cell tower at Carol Stream library
A 90-foot cell phone tower won’t be going up on Carol Stream (Ill.) Public Library property due to residents’ concerns about health effects and aesthetics. The library’s board of trustees voted 4–0 January 26 to reject an offer from T-Mobile, which wanted to install a tower on property the library owns. The deal was initially considered because of an estimate that the library could bring in around $1,500 a month for leasing part of its property for the cell tower....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Jan. 26

Bookdrop condiment vandal sentenced
Joy L. Cassidy was sentenced January 28 to serve at least 27 days in jail after she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious injury to property. When she was arrested in June 2010 after dumping syrup, ketchup, and mayonnaise into the bookdrop at the Ada Community Library in Boise, Idaho, many wondered what her motive was. It came out in court that Cassidy, 75, was retaliating for being banned from the library in 2007 because of conflicts she’d had with the staff and other patrons....
Boise Idaho Statesman, Jan. 29

Cover of When Pride Still Mattered, a biography of Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, was one of the titles offered by the Brown County LibraryGreen Bay and Pittsburgh libraries wager books
The director of the Brown County (Wis.) Library is once again betting with her counterpart in connection with the Green Bay Packers, this time on the Super Bowl outcome on February 6. A friendly wager has been set up between Brown County Library Director Lynn Stainbrook and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Director Barbara Mistek. Stainbrook has offered the Carnegie library a collection of tongue-in-cheek books should the Pittsburgh Steelers win....
WFRV-TV, Green Bay, Wis., Feb. 2

Livres interdits at the Al Kitab bookstore in TunisTunisia ends era of censorship
The crowds outside the Al Kitab bookshop in Tunis are staring at a selection of newly arrived titles under the heading Livres interdits, a selection of books banned under the regime of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and now freely available for the first time. Al Kitab is still awaiting delivery of its first order of banned books from Europe. Under Ben Ali’s rule, booksellers required a visa from the interior ministry for every work they wanted to import, and the process could take several months....
Irish Times (Dublin), Jan. 27; A Tunisian Girl, Jan. 22

National Library of Sweden grapples with child pornography
Sweden’s National Library is seeking guidance from the government after determining that a portion of its magazine collection features child pornography. The library determined that it owned 21 illegal titles, after an investigation prompted by a 2008 complaint that it was in violation of laws prohibiting the possession and distribution of such materials. The library sent a memo to the Ministry of Education and Research over whether and how the titles should be managed....
The Local (Stockholm), Jan. 28

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Tech Talk

Mobile library sites on a zero budget
Tiffini Travis writes: “While I have a great academic technology department at my institution, they do not have the time or personnel to experiment with emerging technologies, especially if the need is not a priority of the organization. As a result, I often experiment with low-cost alternatives and propose more formal changes once I have evidence of success. This is how I began playing around with low-cost mobile site alternatives.”...
Tiffinianne’s Blog, Jan. 22

Screen shot from Verizon iPhone video7 things the Verizon iPhone doesn’t have
Jessica Dolcourt writes: “By now the Verizon iPhone is well-steeped in a potent mystique brewed of anticipation for an additional carrier on the one hand and a bitter distaste for AT&T’s coverage shortfalls on the other. On February 3, the Verizon-powered iPhone lands in the hands of existing Verizon subscribers and then will open up to new customers next week. But there is plenty that Verizon’s iPhone 4 lacks on its newfound carrier.” Watch the video (7:54)....
CNET Reviews, Feb. 2; PC Magazine, Feb. 2; YouTube, Jan. 31

Screen shot of the Android Honeycomb videoFirst impressions of the Android Honeycomb
Jason Kincaid writes: “Google held an event February 2 to showcase Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, the new version of its mobile OS that is focused on tablets. The team showed off some of Honeycomb’s slickest features, like widgets and an improved 3D rendering engine. Here are some of the features and apps that stood out—also be sure to check out the video (5:17) to see some of these in action.”...
TechCrunch, Feb. 2

Dropbox logoFor your files, lots of room in the cloud
John Biggs writes: “File-hosting services allow documents, images, and files to be stored on distant servers rather than on a PC. They are a great method for backing up important files off-site, and they allow regularly used files to be shared with coworkers. The services also let you share a public link to a document or folder with anyone. Here is a look at a few popular file-hosting services.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Jan. 26

10 Twitter features you might be missing
Aliza Sherman writes: “Twitter has become a useful communications tool for everything from breaking news to emergency dispatches to business conversations. Most of us tend to use only a few of the features Twitter offers. However, the Twitter website is rich with features that may not be easily accessible (or even available) via other tools. Here are a few features that you might be missing out on that can be found on the Twitter website.”...
GigaOm, Feb. 2

SpeechTrans appFacebook chat in nine different languages
A new mobile application called SpeechTrans will soon allow Facebook users to be able to chat with each other in up to nine different languages, with automatic translations. Available for the iPhone or the iPad, the application uses advanced multilingual speech and text recognition software. Users can either type or speak their words into their device, and SpeechTrans will automatically translate the phrase into the destination in both text and speech....
All Facebook, Jan. 31

Watch the iPhone scratch test, protected by a Zagg Invisible ShieldThe great screen protector debate
Virginia Heffernan writes: “You never know what will hit a nerve with technophiles. The screen protector—a filmy, staticky sheet that covers the screen of a tablet or smartphone—would seem to be a fairly noncontroversial accessory. But people who love their smartphones and tablets are divided over it. The screen protectors, manufactured by companies like Zagg and Splash, really bring out the emotions in gadget fans, especially those of ardent devotees of a certain hallowed tech company based in Cupertino, California.”...
New York Times Magazine, Jan. 28


Apps customize reading on the web
A handful of web services and applications are starting to make it easier for people to read web articles how, when, and where they want. Readability is one of many services experimenting with the future of reading. A wave of applications, including Pulse, Flipboard, and My Taptu, are responding to changes in how people prefer to read on the web, putting articles and blog posts into cleaner or more attractive visual displays....
New York Times, Jan. 31

Ingibjörg Steinunn Sverrisdóttir meets with Brewster KahleAll Icelandic literature to go online?
Brewster Kahle (right) writes: “Þorsteinn Hallgrímsson, formerly of the National Library of Iceland, had a big idea: Digitize all Icelandic literature up to the current day and make it available to everyone interested in reading it. The Internet Archive was eager to be a part of this bold vision. The total literature of Iceland is less than 50,000 books, which is easily scannable in two years. National Librarian Ingibjörg Steinunn Sverrisdóttir (left) has offered to administer the project.”...
Internet Archive Blogs, Jan. 29

Interior of the Library at Innerpeffray, ScotlandScotland’s first lending library publishes its first book
The Library of Innerpeffray is Scotland’s first free public lending library, founded by David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madertie, in 1680. Today, Innerpeffray is off the beaten track, but at the time it was very accessible, serving the farms and estates of Strathearn and Strathallan in central Scotland. In 2010, the library published The First Light, a story of the library’s development, set against the historical context of Scotland itself, from the 16th to the 21st centuries....
I Love Libraries

Book remade into a pinhole cameraRepurposed books: Pinhole cameras
Elizabeth C. writes: “Etsy seller Engrained, based in Seattle, has repurposed old hardcover books into real, working pinhole cameras. The books finished so far and currently for sale include The Man of the Forest by Zane Grey, Peveril of the Peak by Sir Walter Scott, Claudia: The Story of a Marriage by Rose Franken (above), Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, and a copy of the Harvard Classic Collection’s Marlowe/Shakespeare.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, Feb. 2

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ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011.

Mix & Mash Teen Tech Week 2011 poster

This Teen Tech Week (March 6–12), share the wealth of technology resources available at your library and educate teens how to be competent and ethical users of those resources, including DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames. “Mix & Mash,” this year’s theme, encourages creative expression by combining writing, storytelling, movies, and music. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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Grolier Club Library, New York

Grolier Club Library, New York City. The club, a society of bibliophiles established in 1884, maintains a research library specializing in book history, bibliography, and bibliophily; the history of printing, binding, and illustration; and booksellers’ catalogues. It has been housed in its current facility, designed by architect Bertram Goodhue, since 1917.

Malloch Rare Book Room, New York Academy of Medicine

Malloch Rare Book Room, New York Academy of Medicine, New York City. The library began with the donation of a set of Martyn Paine’s Commentaries during the second meeting of the academy, which was founded in 1847. Since that time, the collection acquired some 32,000 medical volumes of the 15th–18th centuries. The manuscript collection includes the Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Egyptian work on surgery written in 1700 B.C.; and the 1363 Chirurgia magna of Guy de Chauliac. The historical collections were established in 1928 with the purchase of the Edward Clark Streeter collection.

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 2011 by ALA Editions.

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Director, Office for Research and Statistics, American Library Association, Chicago. This position provides leadership and expert advice to ALA members and staff and the public on all matters related to research and statistics about libraries and librarians; represents the Association to federal and state agencies on these issues; and initiates projects needed to expand the knowledge base of the field through research and the collection of useful statistics. The Director applies for grant funded research initiatives and provides management of funded projects; provides liaison services with off-site researchers, committees and agencies that collect statistics (e.g., National Center for Education Statistics, Association of Research Libraries); and provides support to several membership units and committees....

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Digital Library of the Week

Map of Valencia. Regni Valentiae Typus [Material cartográfico] / [Gerardus Mercator]. [Amsterdam : s.n., entre 1607 y 1628]. BVDB20110002503

La Biblioteca Valenciana Digital contains such materials as incunabula, manuscripts, books of local customs and manners, Valencian literary classics, historical monographs, and regional law treatises. In order to provide a wide diffusion for the rich bibliographical heritage of Valencia, Spain, in 2002, the Generalitat of the Valencian Community, through the Valencian Library, began a digitization project. Since then, this project has embraced the most relevant and significant Valencian works, both literary and scientific, as well as works that have been considered of greater interest for scientific research development on the autonomous region’s bibliographical and cultural heritage.

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.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Market fundamentalism, this madness that’s infected the human race, is like a greedy ghost that haunts the boardrooms and council chambers and committee rooms from which the world is run these days. The greedy ghost understands profit all right. But that’s all. What he doesn’t understand are enterprises that don’t make a profit, because they’re set up to do something different. He doesn’t understand libraries at all, for instance. That branch—how much money did it make last year? Why aren’t you charging higher fines? Why don’t you charge for everything?”

—Author Philip Pullman, commenting on the threatened closure of hundreds of libraries in the United Kingdom, The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 28.

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Australian Library and Information Association, Information Online Conference, Sydney, Feb. 1–3, at:

Ontario Library Association, Super Conference, Toronto, Feb. 2–5, at:

Save Our Libraries Day, Feb. 5, at:

Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Feb. 9–12, at:

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


Feb. 5:
CILIP Save Our Libraries Day.
Tweet why you love libraries using #savelibraries.

Feb. 20:
Polish American Librarians Association,
Annual Meeting and Open House, Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

Feb. 22:
Go Green @ your Illinois library.
Webinar to help libraries develop and lead green community projects and measure their impact. Also open to libraries outside Illinois.

Mar. 3–5:
Society of Early Americanists,
7th Biennial Conference, Sheraton Society Hill Hotel, Philadelphia.

Mar. 16–17:
25th Annual National Archives Preservation Conference,
Marriott Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland.

Apr. 1–2:
New England Archivists,
Spring Meeting, Pembroke Center, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Apr. 2:
International Children’s Book Day.
This year the host country is Estonia.

Apr. 22:
Theatre Library Association Symposium III,
Bruno Walter Auditorium, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center. “Holding Up the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today.”

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Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

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

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Jennifer Henderson,
Contributing Researcher

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Brian Searles
Brian Searles:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

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

American Libraries
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Actions & Answers

Librarian superhero on a lunchboxGale’s Librarian Superhero contest
Are you or someone you know a librarian superhero? Gale wants to hear about it. Four librarians will be selected from your submissions and turned into cartoon superheros. Winners will be featured on a metal lunch box and unveiled at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28. The full contest rules are here. The deadline for submissions is February 28....
Gale: Are You a Librarian Superhero?

Retro poster: Save Our Library: I'll Fight to Save It, Will You?Save Libraries retro posters
Phil Bradley writes: “If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr you’ll have seen that I’ve been busy recently doing some work with posters for the #savelibraries campaign. I love looking through old posters, advertisements, and bill stickers, and I got to thinking, I wonder what the Save Libraries campaign would look like through the medium of some of those old posters?”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Jan. 30

Demand Media logoLibrarians, content farms, and search
Stephen Abram writes: “I’ve been on a tear lately on the topic of content farms. I meet too many information professionals, educators, and normal searchers who are unaware of this web content provider and its business model. It is not inherently evil, but all information professionals and librarians should be aware of the influential role content spam and sponsored content plays in consumer search. Of course, it plays almost no role in searching OPACs, repositories, or professional and licensed databases. Here are some links.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Jan. 29

One schema to rule them all
Dorothea Salo writes: “I wish folks would understand that there is no single metadata schema that works for every kind of data in every form in every situation. If you’re building a data repository, intending to store many kinds of data from many disciplines, it had better have a metadata model that accommodates many different vocabularies. Bill Hooker promptly stepped up to the plate with the following dictum.”...
Book of Trogool, Jan. 31

Jan Vermeer's "Young Woman with a Pearl Necklace," located in Berlin's GemäldegalerieExplore museums with Google Art Project
Amit Sood writes: “The new Google Art Project puts more than 1,000 works of art at your fingertips, in extraordinary detail. You’ll find a selection of super high-resolution images of famous works of art as well as more than a thousand other images by more than 400 artists—all in one place. And with Street View technology, you can take a virtual tour inside 17 of the world’s most acclaimed art museums. You can dive into brushstroke-level detail, explore inside the museums, and create your own collection.” Watch the video (1:00)....
The Official Google Blog, Feb. 1; YouTube, Jan. 28

New York Public Library façade restoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Photo by NYPLNYPL completes three-year restoration project
The New York Public Library has just completed a three-year, $50-million restoration and preservation of the landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street, which has stood as an impressive symbol of opportunity and access for the people of New York City and the world for a century. The unveiling of the newly restored façade represents the start of a year-long celebration in the building’s honor....
New York Public Library, Feb. 2

$2.68 is a bargain
Jamie LaRue writes: “Last year I gave a series of talks. They all started with questions. How many people had internet access at home? Nearly everyone did. Then I asked how much people spent per month, per household, for the service. The answers started at a low of $30 a month, up to about $80. Then I asked the kicker: So what do you think the average American household spends per month for public libraries? The answer, based on national data, is this: Households pay an average of $2.68 per month for their public libraries.”...
LaRue’s Views, Feb. 3

Zingo! by Think FunGaming for children with special needs
Allen McGinley writes: “What are you going to do in 2011 to enhance gaming services in your community? One suggestion is to expand your programs to a new audience, and there is none better than children with special needs. On the how and why of gaming for children with special needs, see ‘Rated E for Everyone.’ Then come back and check out this list of game recommendations by Peggy Wong and get a program started for this frequently underserved audience.”..., Jan. 24; School Library Journal, Dec. 1

Bookmobile emergency kitEmergency tips for bookmobile librarians
Pattie Johnson writes: “For bookmobile and outreach librarians, emergencies can be as varied as a sick child, flat tires, high winds, or icy roads. Having a plan for common situations, as well as those that are unexpected, can limit the uncertainty and chaos. The most important aspect of any emergency plan is a staff that is aware of the potential emergencies and trained in how to react, whether the situation is a natural emergency or an unexpected event.”...
OLOS Columns, Jan. 28

Postal card sent by the Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library was postmarked on March 21, 1921, and it notified Master James Fiske that a reserved book was being held for him until March 24. It sold at auction in 2010 for $95,000The world’s most valuable library postal card
Larry Nix writes: “During World War I the price of U.S. government–issued postal cards was increased from one cent to two cents to help fund the war. Cards issued for international use were already priced at two cents. After the war, domestic postal cards were overwritten to indicate the return to the lower rate. But the postmaster of Long Beach, California, inadvertently reduced the two-cent international cards to the one-cent rate. Two of the three extant cards are notices mailed from the Long Beach Public Library. One recently sold at auction for $95,000.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 31

Sayeed ChoudhuryChoudhury discusses new NSF data-sharing rules
Marc Parry writes: “On January 18, a significant change went into effect at the National Science Foundation: The agency will now require researchers to submit data-management plans with their grant proposals. Open government advocates have hailed the change. We sat down with Sayeed Choudhury, associate dean of university libraries at Johns Hopkins University, to get his take on what the move means for science.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Jan. 28

An explanation of the Costco v. Omega decision
The Library Copyright Alliance released on January 31 “The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries” (PDF file). Prepared by Jonathan Band, this concise, informative paper examines the much-discussed Costco v. Omega non-decision, which left in place a controversial 9th Circuit ruling that could have significant consequences for library lending practices....
Association of Research Libraries, Jan. 31

Code of best practice in fair use for poetry
The Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute has worked with American University’s Center for Social Media and its Washington College of Law to create a Code of Best Practice in Fair Use for Poetry (PDF file). Devised specifically by and for the poetry community, this best-practice code serves as a guide to reasonable and appropriate uses of copyrighted materials in new and old media....
Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, Jan. 28

Playing the "librarian" game with rubber stamps and envelopesLet’s play librarian
Kim Young writes: “Here is how you can play ‘librarian’ with young children. Just grab some books, double-sided tape, small envelopes, index cards, a notepad, pen, and rubber stamps. Put a piece of double-sided tape on the front of the envelope and stick it to the inside cover of a book. Place an index card in the envelope. Now that I have my kids all trained, please do not tell them that all of the books are really scanned and monitored by a computer system in the library. They have too much fun with this!”...
No Time for Flash Cards, Jan. 27

Family genealogical table (ca. 18th-19th century). This hand-colored, folding genealogical table is from "Prove di nobiltà generosa per la Croce di Malta per guidizia del Mse Francesco Maria Bourbon del Monte Santa Maria" [Process of nobility of Marchese Francesco Maria Bourbon del Monte Santa Maria], a collection of 18th- and 19th-century copies of documents dating to as early as the 9th century, including approximately 300 manuscript leaves and several hand-colored folding genealogical tablesUCLA acquires Bourbon family archive
The University of California, Los Angeles Library has acquired the Bourbon del Monte di San Faustino Family Archive, a comprehensive collection of documents created between the 14th and 19th centuries by, for, and about this prominent family, one of the earliest aristocratic families in Italy. Among the collection’s contents are civil and ecclesiastical contracts, documents from lawsuits and court cases, wills and post-mortem inventories, and genealogies....
University of California, Los Angeles, Feb. 2

In any galaxy, librarians are awesome
Actor and author Wil Wheaton writes: “I want to take a moment and say thank you to librarians, because it was a librarian who made me fall in love with reading. I was a nerdy, shy, awkward kid who was afraid the Cool Kids would tease me about reading, and I always felt lost in the stacks. This librarian, though, reached out to me. She asked me what sort of things I liked on TV and in the movies, and recommended a few different books based on my answers, including the first real SciFi book I can recall reading.” And so begins the voyage of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Wesley Crusher....
WWdn: In Exile, Jan. 28

British Library research: Perceptions of digital tools
As part of its ongoing discussion with users on how research is changing and their expectations of the future role of libraries, the British Library has released initial findings from the first interim report of its exhibition “Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research.” The findings show that visitors to the online exhibit are not only interested in the initiative but also impressed that the library is attempting to learn from and meet the needs of its researchers....
British Library, Feb. 2

The American Corner in Haiti is inaugurated in January 2011U.S. opens American Corner in Haiti
Nathalie Gardere writes: “Against all odds, we inaugurated our first American Corner in Haiti on January 20. We were planning to open it in January 2010, but here in Haiti, the unexpected has a habit of intruding and turning your world upside down. But just like many other organizations, the library world has stood as one with Haiti. Institutions such as ALA, the Smithsonian, and the Digital Library of the Caribbean have done much to help rebuild our libraries, and donations for Haiti’s libraries have started to come in.”...
DipNote, Jan. 26

Stockholm University's copy of Galileo's Sidereus NunciusStockholm University Library
A reporter takes you on a tour (in English, 4:58) of the hidden treasures and everyday services at Stockholm University Library in Sweden, interviewing both staff and students. In this segment, he is shown the library’s copy of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius (Venice, 1610) by Special Collections Librarian Clas-Ove Strandberg....
YouTube, Feb. 2

Screen shot from the Edmonton PL Shared Values videoMeet the Edmonton Public Library staff
This promotional video (2:14) was part of the Edmonton (Alberta) Public Library’s successful rebranding campaign, “Spread the Words,” which won one of the LLAMA John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards in 2011. Its success was built on a strong foundation of shared values, clear assessment, strategic marketing, and a committed and enthusiastic library staff....
YouTube, Apr. 23, 2010

Jake Sollins displays resources of the CCA New Materials Resource CenterThe CCA New Materials Resource Center
Jake Sollins, archivist of the New Materials Resource Center at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, offers a video tour (2:08) of the facility, which serves students in interdisciplinary arts programs....
YouTube, Jan. 25

Screen shot from Ninja Librarian videoHelp me, Ninja Librarian!
Ninja Librarian describes the resources available in the library of the Art Institute of Washington, in Arlington, Virginia. Written and directed by Miyo Davis, this promotional video (2:59) stars Chris Scott as the Student and Luis Gonzalez as the Ninja Librarian. “No ninjas were harmed in the making of this film.”...
YouTube, Jan. 10, 2008

Screen shot from I'm Reading a Book videoDon’t interrupt this guy
Freelance video creator Julian Smith directed and starred in this video (2:26) titled “I’m Reading a Book,” for which he also composed the music. The angry young reader appears in a library “where they call me a crook,” because “I never ever pay for my library books.”...
YouTube, Jan. 18

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