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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 9, 2011

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American Libraries Online

ACLU Patriot Act poster: "Keep Silent While We Rifle Through Your Personal Records"House casts shadow on sunsetting provisions of Patriot Act
By a vote of 277–148 on February 8, the House defeated reauthorization of the “library” provision (Section 215) of the USA Patriot Act, due to expire February 28, for the first time since its enactment 10 years ago. Backers of H.R. 514 had sought to win passage by seeking a two-thirds majority vote, but the measure lost as representatives broke party loyalties. The ALA Washington Office has gone on record opposing passage of H.R. 514, arguing that it would “make no improvements to protect our civil liberties, including the reader privacy rights.”...
American Libraries news, Feb. 9; District Dispatch, Feb. 8

Facebook heartbreakInternet Librarian: Lost and found
Joseph Janes writes: “At dinner the other night with friends, we learned that their eldest daughter, a college sophomore, had had her boyfriend visit for a few days over the holidays. The visit went fine, or so it seemed, and then the relationship ended, abruptly and unexpectedly. The punch line was how my friend found out this had happened: The boyfriend’s Facebook relationship status had been switched to ‘single.’ Today, it’s not only easier to get famous, it’s also harder not to be known.”...
American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

"Oh great! The computer's down . . . Now I'll have to help patrons!" Cartoon by Richard LeeWill’s World: Approachable you
Will Manley writes: “I am not a behavioral psychologist, but it seems to me the most basic element of establishing a connection with someone is making eye contact. Unfortunately in today’s world, even our most extroverted librarians are not making eye contact with the people in their libraries. Walk into any library at any time and you will see the same sorry syndrome. Librarians at public-service desks are not looking at the public, but at their computer screens. Nothing makes me angrier.”...
American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.

Cover of Straight from the Stacks, by Laura Townsend KaneBecoming a librarian
Q. One of our library assistants has decided he’d like to become a librarian. Where can I direct him for more information, particularly for a list of library schools? A. Information on becoming a librarian can be found starting at ALA Education and Careers, which leads to more in-depth information in the areas of scholarships, careers in librarianship in general, education, and employment resources. Also encourage you staff member to explore ALA’s and its information on the educational requirements of the various career paths....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Feb. 9

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ALA News

Screen shot from Charlotte Mecklenburg contest promotional video“Why I Need My Library” contest: The video
Some teen volunteers and interns at Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library put together this promotional video (1:06) for the “Why I Need My Library” contest announced at the Midwinter Meeting. The contest, which runs through April 18, encourages teens ages 13–18 to create original videos on why they think libraries are needed now more than ever....
YouTube, Jan. 26

OITP to develop digital literacy portfolio
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy is in the process of developing a digital literacy portfolio. During Midwinter, OITP staff began meeting with a range of ALA member groups to learn more about current efforts and to help inform its portfolio development. OITP also is in communication with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help collect library content for a proposed Digital Literacy Portal....
District Dispatch, Feb. 3

Title page of the 1611 King James BibleApply to host “Manifold Greatness”
The Public Programs Office, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities invite public, academic, and special libraries to apply to host “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,” a traveling exhibition. Three copies of the exhibit will travel to 40 libraries from fall of 2011 through winter of 2013. Libraries must register their institution at Online applications must be completed by April 5....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 8

ALA Connect timeline
Jenny Levine writes: “Now that phase one of the Conference Scheduler is done, we’ve taken a breath to evaluate where we’re at and how we’ll finish the 2011 fiscal year on August 31. We need to push back a few features to fiscal year 2012, due to unanticipated projects that have suddenly come up as part of the ALA website’s migration to a Drupal-based environment. Here is our seven-month roadmap to finish the year.”...
ALA Connect, Feb. 8

Super Science @ your library graphicSuper Science program at Pittsburgh
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh recently developed “Super Science @ your library” using the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand. Developed for K–5 students, the program reaches out to children through the library’s branches to expand on the science curricula taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. It features 12 topic areas, which have included topics like inventors, robots, recycling, and wetland habitats....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Feb. 8

ALA Editions workshop graphicLiven up storytimes with sign language
ALA Editions announces Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language with Kathy MacMillan, a new workshop that will take place on March 23. Using sign language during library storytimes is both a way to communicate with babies and toddlers and to broaden the appeal of storytimes by making them accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired children and parents. Registration for this workshop is available at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Feb. 8

Cover of Managing Library Volunteers, 2d ed.The art of managing library volunteers
Volunteers are essential to a successful library program—and at a time when deep budget cuts are the norm, there are many libraries that depend on their help. In the new second edition of Managing Library Volunteers, published by ALA Editions, authors Preston Driggers and Eileen Dumas completely overhaul their classic work, presenting a top-to-bottom toolkit for recruiting, interviewing, training, supervising, and evaluating volunteers....
ALA Editions, Feb. 4

Cover of How to Stay Afloat in the Academic Job PoolStaying afloat in the academic job pool
There has never been a more challenging time to find a position as an academic librarian, especially for those who have recently completed their library education. In How to Stay Afloat in the Academic Library Job Pool, published by ALA Editions, editor Teresa Y. Neely and a crack team of experts present the information needed for smooth sailing. Job hunters jumping into the job pool for the very first time, as well as those back in the water after a dry spell, will benefit from their collective wisdom....
ALA Editions, Feb. 8

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Cover of ArdencyFeatured review: African-American poetry
Young, Kevin. Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels. Feb. 2011. 256p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-26764-1).
Many elements converge in Young’s depthless and transporting poetic inquiry into the signal story of the Amistad rebels. Here is this much-celebrated poet’s passion for music, teasing wordplay, life-raft irony, and plunging insights into African-American resistance to tyranny and oppression. In this tour de force, the fruit of 20 years of research and creative effort, Young looks to two helmsmen, Joseph Cinqué, the leader of the slave-ship mutiny who tells his tale in a libretto titled “Witness”; and, in a ravishing cycle of extended sonnets, James Covey, a fellow North African who served as translator for the jailed rebels once abolitionists rallied to their cause. Young writes with electrifying insight and ringing concision....

Story behind the Story of Ardency graphicStory behind the story
Donna Seaman writes: “‘I am interested in a personal history,’ poet and scholar Kevin Young told Booklist, ‘but also in the ways that history is always personal.’ We caught up with Young, who had been traveling during winter break at Emory University in Atlanta, where he is the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. We were eager to speak with him about what is clearly a watershed book, Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1970, Young lived in Louisiana, went to high school in Kansas, attended Harvard University, held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, and received an MFA from Brown. His six previous collections, each strikingly imaginative and provocative, include Jelly Roll (2003), For the Confederate Dead (2007), and Dear Darkness (2008), works that have earned him fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. Young has been working on Ardency for 20 years.”...

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

Division News

ACRL 2011 Conference logoACRL 2011 Virtual Conference registration opens
Registration is now open for the ACRL Virtual Conference, which will be offered March 31–April 1 during the division’s 2011 conference in Philadelphia. It will provide academic and research librarians an affordable opportunity to participate in conference activities online. The online conference features 12 live webcasts and asynchronous activities. Registration materials are now available on the ACRL website....
ACRL, Feb. 8

Advocacy and the academic library
The ACRL Advocacy Committee is sponsoring a series of conversations titled “Advocacy and the Academic Library” this winter and spring. This free series features interactive, online talks with leading voices in advocating library value. All sessions will be held on the iLinc online meeting platform. Session access and an iLinc system check are available....
ACRL, Feb. 7

The back cover of the coupon booklets feature ALTAFF’s national spokesperson, comedian and author Paula PoundstoneALTAFF offers customizable coupon booklets
ALTAFF is partnering with Entertainment Publications to offer a coupon booklet fundraiser to library Friends groups who are group members of the division. Friends can raise funds with their own coupon booklet, customized with their library photo, logo, and name on the front cover. Booklets feature 40 coupons specifically selected for each local group. To get started creating a coupon booklet, complete the online form....
ALTAFF, Feb. 8

Día's logoDía’s new hashtag
Dan Rude writes: “Maybe you haven’t tweeted about El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Día), but when you do, we’re encouraging you to use our new official Día hashtag, #dia11alsc. ALSC also wants to remind you that Día is coming up. On April 30, Día turns 15 years old. Help us celebrate and remember to check out the Día page.”...
ALSC Blog, Feb. 8


Elizabeth RidlerRidler receives ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award
Elizabeth Ann Ridler, neighborhood library supervisor at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library and longtime member of ASCLA, is the 2011 recipient of the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award. The award is presented to an ASCLA personal member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division....
ASCLA, Feb. 8

Queens Library Mail-A-Book graphicQueens wins 2011 ASCLA / KLAS / NOD Award
ASCLA has selected the Queens Library Mail-A-Book program with interactive programming for the homebound as the winner of the 2011 ASCLA / KLAS / NOD award, sponsored by Keystone Systems. The award provides $1,000 to an innovative and well-organized project that successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities. The Queens Mail-A-Book program offers a wide range of interactive programming for the homebound....
ASCLA, Feb. 8

Hennepin County (Minn.) Library Outreach Services Bi-Folkal KitASCLA Exceptional Service Award
The Hennepin County (Minn.) Library Outreach Services is the 2011 winner of the ASCLA Exceptional Service Award. For 20 years, the agency has provided innovative and outstanding service to county residents who are unable to visit and use the library due to age, illness, disability, or incarceration. Its innovative programming promotes the county’s initiative on aging, as well as positive change in juvenile and adult offenders....
ASCLA, Feb. 8

Smart Investing @ your library logoSmart investing financial literacy grants
RUSA and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation have announced $1.4 million in grants to 20 recipients as a part of the Smart investing @ your library initiative. Now in its fourth year, the program has awarded a total of more than $4.6 million to public libraries to provide patrons with unbiased financial education resources. The new grantees will receive one to two years of funding, in addition to assistance with program marketing, outreach, and evaluation provided by ALA....
RUSA, Feb. 7

Circle of Learning scholarships
A Circle of Learning scholarship opportunity is available to American Indians and Alaska Natives who want to earn a fully online ALA-accredited MLIS degree. The program is offered through a partnership between the San Jose School of Library and Information Science and the American Indian Library Association. Applications are being accepted now through March 31 for Fall Semester classes....
San Jose State University SLIS

Aaron Sorkin (left) and Ben Mezrik (right) at the Scripter Award ceremony23rd USC Libraries Scripter Award
Author Ben Mezrich (right) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (left) were fêted with the 23rd annual University of Southern California Libraries Scripter Award for the film The Social Network and the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal on which it was based. Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin announced the winners at the black-tie banquet on February 4....
Scripter News, Feb. 4

Cover of Stein, Stoned2011 Lovey Awards
Keir Graff writes: “I’m not often in the room when awards are announced, but I was there this time. On February 5, at the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago, the winners of the Lovey Award received their very substantial (weapons-grade?) green marble columns.” The winner in the Best First Novel category was Hal Ackerman for Stein, Stoned (Tyrus Books), which has this blurb on the back cover: “This book does for the pot trade what Melville did for whaling.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, Feb. 7

Cover of Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade2010 PROSE Awards
The Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers has announced the winners of its awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence. More than 45 of the PROSE awards were presented February 3 at the division’s annual conference. The top prize, the R. R. Hawkins Award, went to Yale University Press for Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by David Eltis and David Richardson....
PROSE Awards, Feb. 3

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Seen Online

A protester takes part in a read-in at Leeds library on Save Our Libraries day. Photo by Sarah BradleyThousands turn out in U.K. for Save Our Libraries Day
Read-ins, storytelling events, and workshops were some of the many protests across the United Kingdom in a national day of action against library closures. More than 100 protests were staged February 5, Save Our Libraries Day, raising awareness about government cuts to the library service. At Leeds Central Library, demonstrators held a read-in protest (right), and protesters joined authors Julia Donaldson and Theresa Breslin in Edinburgh outside the Scottish Parliament (watch the video, 6:43). Other protests took place in towns as large as Birmingham and as small as Irchester. Comics artist Alan Moore made his own video statement (1:16)....
The Bookseller, Feb. 7; The Guardian, Feb. 5–6; YouTube, Feb. 5; The Independent, Feb. 6

An alternative view on WikiLeaks
Bill Sleeman writes: “Following the release of thousands of classified diplomatic documents, the library community has seemingly embraced WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange as one of our own. Although committed to open access for government information, I am hesitant to follow this trend. The WikiLeaks documents remain classified and are viewed by the federal government as stolen goods. For librarians to maintain otherwise is akin to suggesting that once a new car is stolen from an auto dealer’s lot it belongs to the thief because the prior property status of the car is irrelevant.”...
Center for Journalism Ethics, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Jan. 24

Amy Shackleford, of the Sustainable Library Citizens CoalitionIndianapolis citizens’ group keeps elected leaders informed
The limping Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library system’s prospects for regaining normal capacity appear fairly bright these days, and a grassroots effort by caring residents deserves a big slice of the credit. The Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition has flocked to meetings, kept information flowing, and cheered on library officials and elected leaders who seek ways to close the system’s budget gap. Watch the video (1:00)....
Indianapolis Star, Feb. 7; YouTube, Jan. 16

Stockton and San Joaquin County finalize partnership
San Joaquin County and Stockton agreed February 8 on a deal that will keep the city running the Stockton-San Joaquin County (Calif.) Public Library. Up to the end of negotiations, a sticking point had been how to report where county dollars were being spent in the jointly funded system. County officials had considered dropping Stockton and having the Maryland management firm LSSI operate libraries in unincorporated areas, but that was scrapped. One supervisor said negotiations with LSSI had prompted Stockton to be more forthcoming with the county....
Stockton (Calif.) Record, Feb. 9; Lodi News-Sentinel, Feb. 9

Measure L would aid Los Angeles library funding
A measure on the March ballot would allow Los Angeles libraries to restore services they have had to curtail. Measure L would gradually increase the percentage libraries receive from property tax revenues, allowing them to add hours, buy books, and maintain programs. No taxes would be increased; rather, the libraries will eventually receive .03% of the general fund, as opposed to the .0175% they receive now....
KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, Feb. 8

Costs are soaring for NARA digital library
The cost of building a digital system to gather, preserve, and give the public access to the records of the federal government has ballooned as high as $1.4 billion, and the project could go as much as 41% over budget, government auditors reported February 4. The Government Accountability Office blames the cost overruns and schedule delays on weak oversight and planning by the National Archives. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero disagreed with the cost estimate, saying the costs of management, planning, and research should not be included....
Washington Post, Feb. 6

Reagan's November 5, 1994,  letter announcing that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, on display at the Reagan Presidential LibraryRenovated Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation has orchestrated a $15-million renovation of the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, that was unveiled in a private ceremony February 6 as part of Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration. It opened to the public February 7. About half the artifacts now on display have never been seen by the public, including audio of Reagan reading his 1994 Alzheimer’s letter (above), and the blue pinstripe suit he wore during the 1981 assassination attempt. Watch Meet the Press for a tour (5:38) with former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan....
Washington Post, Feb. 4; Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4; Meet the Press, Feb. 6

The Dixon (Ill.) Public Library as Ronald Reagan knew it. From an old postcardRonald Reagan and the Dixon Public Library
Larry Nix writes: “Dixon, Illinois, was Ronald Reagan’s hometown from 1920 to 1933. I wanted to see if Reagan used the public library there, and I found the answer on the Dixon page of the Ronald Reagan Trail website. The Reagan family moved to town when Ronald was 9 years old and within three weeks he and his brother both had library cards at the Dixon Public Library. Ron’s library card number was 3695.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 6

Trove of books donated to McKinley Presidential Library
Ross McKinley, the great-great-nephew of President William McKinley, has donated 46 books to the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio. All or most of them are believed to have been part of McKinley’s library in the White House when he was president in 1897–1901. Included are a military encyclopedia, books on Cuba and the Philippines, and a volume inscribed in 1898 by the eldest grand-nephew of Revolutionary War General George Rogers Clark....
Canton (Ohio) Repository, Feb. 8

Poster for IraniumIranium finally shown in Ottawa
A controversial movie about Iran, canceled after concerns of violence and complaints from the Iranian embassy, finally screened February 6 in Ottawa before a sold-out audience at the Library and Archives Canada—one of its first showings in North America. There were no protesters. The earlier screening of the documentary Iranium had been booked for January 18, but was postponed after staff received a call from the embassy....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 7

Barbara Miksicek in the St. Louis Police LibrarySt. Louis has largest law-enforcement library in the nation
For the past 29 years, Barbara Miksicek has been the librarian at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, an agency that boasts the largest and oldest law enforcement library in the United States. The library, founded in 1947, sits on the second floor of the downtown St. Louis Police Academy and owns some 20,000 books, reams of historical records, and numerous artifacts. Miksicek has been visited by everyone from Japanese police to Scotland Yard inspectors. “They told me we have more on Scotland Yard’s history than they do,” Miksicek said....
Suburban Journals (St. Louis), Feb. 9

East Meadow PL Assistant Director Rocco A. Cassano explains how the thief was caughtEast Meadow librarians nab book crook
A book thief who had been stealing reference books using a fake ID card and selling them online was foiled by reference librarians at East Meadow (N.Y.) Public Library doing some clever detective work. Working with Nassau County police, the staff sleuths pieced together the identity of the thief. Watch the video (4:52)....
East Meadow (N.Y.) Patch, Feb. 3

Illustration in Uigwe, a book in the Oikyujanggak library, now in France, that dictates the protocols of ceremonies and rites of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)France to return royal library to South Korea
French officials agreed on February 7 to return some 297 rare manuscripts to South Korea that had been stolen in the 19th century. The documents were taken from the Joseon Dynasty’s royal library annex, known as Oikyujanggak, on Ganghwa Island during the French Navy’s 1866 campaign in retaliation for Korea’s alleged persecution of Catholics. The two countries agreed to a five-year lease agreement that could be renewed indefinitely....
Agence France Presse, Feb. 7; JoongAng Ilbo (Seoul), Feb. 7

S. R. Ranganathan can be seen just to the left of the first mobile library in South AsiaThe first bullock-mobile in South Asia
India’s first mobile library (right) was launched in 1931 by S. R. Ranganathan, founder of the Madras Library Association and author that same year of The Five Laws of Library Science. A government engineer, Kanakasabhai Pillai, improved on Ranganathan’s original design for a bookmobile drawn by two bullocks in return for its use in his home town....
The Hindu (Chennai), Feb. 6

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Tech Talk

Cover of the 2011 Horizon ReportSix top tech trends on the horizon
Ben Wieder writes: “For the third straight year, mobile devices are one year away from transforming education. The 2011 Horizon Report (PDF file), an annual look at technology trends affecting higher education, points to mobile devices as one of six technologies to watch. Of the other five trends, game-based learning and learning analytics—using data to track student progress—are new additions for 2011. The report, produced by the New Media Consortium and Educause, notes that mobile devices have been listed before, but resistance by many schools continues to slow their full integration into higher education.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Feb. 8

The PC of the future
James Mulroy writes: “What do you want the future PC to hold? Do you want it to be light and transportable, or with lots of screen space? After all of the great new gadgets and components seen at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, we can see that the PC of the future may take many forms. But take a moment to read what we think the next five years in computing will bring to your lap or desk.”...
PC World, Feb. 7

For color printing: Laser or inkjet?
Casey Johnston writes: “It’s true that the cost of color laser printers has come down significantly, particularly on the higher end. Most still don’t beat inkjet printers in terms of price, but some of their other advantages—speed and volume, namely—can make a high-end laser printer a good investment if you have the up-front money for it. The higher cost per page of a middling laser printer will quickly close the price gap over time between itself and a higher-end printer, so the only reason you’d go that route is if you need to start printing right away but only have a couple hundred dollars to spend up front.”...
Ars Technica, Feb. 8

Web email usage declines 59% among teens
In introducing his messaging platform last November, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said one of the primary motivations behind his Messages product strategy was that teenagers have given up on email: “High school kids don’t use email, they use SMS a lot. People want lighter-weight things like SMS and IM to message each other.” A ComScore report on 2010 digital trends reinforces at least part of Zuckerberg’s claim....
TechCrunch, Feb. 7

FaceCash scanner imaging a library card barcode on a smartphoneScanning library cards on smartphones
Brian Herzog writes: “Something I really like about smartphones are apps like CardStar and Key Ring—they let you input the numbers from all the club and rewards cards from your keychain and display the barcode on your phone. Patrons also use these apps for their library card numbers, but some libraries aren’t sure how to handle the library-card-on-smartphone situation. The scanners that can read barcodes on smartphones are called CCD scanners, so I started looking around at the different models and costs.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Feb. 8

Organize your files with DropItHow to organize an overflowing hard drive
David Murphy writes: “The only words more terrifying than Blue Screen of Death are ‘spring cleaning.’ Admit it: Sitting back and dumping file after file into your computer without bothering to organize everything is all too easy. And that makes it harder for you to get organized later on. You can use many different techniques to free your system from clutter. Some of your options are built into Windows itself (I’ll be using Windows 7 as the basis for these tips), but a few free apps can help out, too. Let’s get started on your path to PC freedom.”...
PC World, Feb. 7

Make “Next Bookmark” Toolbar ButtonsThree different ways to read Google Reader feeds
Angela Alcorn writes: “I bet you’ve got lots of feeds in Google Reader. Maybe you have so many feeds that you’ve turned off the unread count so it doesn’t drive you mad. The trick is to make it more tempting. There’s numerous ways to access your Google Reader feeds which make certain articles stand out from the crowd and more enticing. If you get into the habit of using some of these, you’ll find it’s no problem at all to stay in the loop with your favorite feeds.”...
MakeUseOf, Feb. 8

A primer for the solo digital librarian
Jane Monson writes: “Starting a digitization program can be a daunting prospect for any library. What if you are a lone wolf digital librarian—project manager, collection developer, metadata creator, and web designer, all rolled into one—with a limited budget? You may fear you are doomed to spend years of toil with little to show for yourself. However, with creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to reach out for help, you can be well on your way to launching your digital collections within a year—despite unforeseen roadblocks that you may encounter.”...
Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb.


The race between digital and print magazines
Nick Bilton writes: “This morning I decided to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. Then I drove 12 blocks and purchased the same issue in print. By the time I returned, the digital iPad version still hadn’t finished downloading. Anybody who reads Wired would call this an Epic Fail. Digital magazines are currently too big and almost defeat their promise of instant access to content and information.”...
New York Times: Bits, Feb. 4

Will reference books and journals survive? A debate
Kent Anderson writes: “Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media Partners and I debated Brian Crawford of the American Chemical Society and Michael Fisher of the Harvard University Press in front of a large crowd at the Professional Scholarly Publishing Conference in Washington, D.C., February 2. Before the debate, the audience was polled: 56% felt that reference books and journals would endure, 35% felt they would perish, and 9% were unsure.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb. 3

Kindle readers with paginated booksReal page numbers for e-books on Kindle
The Kindle editors write: “Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages. Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, we are adding real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store.” Perhaps this will start solving some citation problems with e-books....
Kindle Daily Post, Feb. 7; Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 6

Cover of Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader, edited by Mike AshleyIn which our author tips her cog-bedecked top hat to steampunk
Maria Kramer writes: “Lately steampunk YA fiction—and steampunk in general—have emerged boldly into the literary scene. I’ve even heard it called one of the top 10 trends in teen fiction. ‘But, wait,’ you say, ‘what is steampunk, anyway? And why should I care?’ Fear not! The Hub is here to guide you through the gear-and-sprocket-filled futuristic past.”...
The Hub, Feb. 7

Harper changes the audio equation
Rachel Deahl writes: “Of the 150 titles on HarperCollins’s spring audio list, only two are being published on CD; the rest are being released as digital downloads. Although CD sales have been declining in the audio market for several years, no major house has moved away this drastically from the format. So what does a largely download-only audio list from one of the big six publishers mean?”...
Publishers Weekly, Feb. 7

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

Cover of February 1 Booklist on Black History Month

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Great Libraries of the World

The Morgan Library east room, after restoration. Photo © Graham Haber

Morgan Library and Museum, New York City. Established to house the private library of financier J. P. Morgan in 1906, the library was designed by architect Charles Follen McKim, who took his inspiration from the Villa Giulia in Rome. Before it became a public institution in 1924, the library was the place where Morgan resolved the financial Panic of 1907 by locking his fellow bankers inside and refusing to let them leave until they agreed on a rescue plan. The library continues its collection focus on historical manuscripts, early printed books, Old Master drawings and prints, examples of ancient writing, important music manuscripts, and early children’s books. In 2010, the McKim building underwent an extensive restoration of its interior spaces, resulting in expanded exhibition space.

New York Public Library Schwarzman Building, with one of its lions

New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York City. One of four research libraries in the library system, the Main Branch at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street—with its two iconic stone lions sculpted by Edward Clark Potter and named Patience and Fortitude by Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia in the 1930s—was planned by its first director, John Shaw Billings, who wanted a huge reading room with seven floors of bookstacks and a fast system for getting books into the hands of readers. This new New York Public Library—primarily an amalgamation of the Astor and Lenox libraries—instantly became one of the nation’s largest libraries and a vital part of intellectual life of America. The library has many special collections, among them illuminated manuscripts, photographs and prints, the personal papers of many writers and statesmen, the Arents Tobacco Collection, the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, and the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.

This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication later this year by ALA Editions.

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Instructional Technology Librarian, Hampden-Sydney (Va.) College. The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to engage the faculty face-to-face as they mutually develop and design teaching resources using current and emerging technologies. The Instructional Technology Librarian will reach out to the campus community to provide a variety of formal and informal, individual and group-based interactive sessions for students and faculty....

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Digital Library of the Week

Color poster by the Wilkinsons (J. Walter Wilkinson, 1892-1988, and his son, Walter G. Wilkinson, 1917-1971) that shows a young man in a khaki uniform in the cockpit of a U.S. Army fighter plane giving the thumbs-up sign and saying "you buy 'em[, ] we'll fly 'em!" "The more bonds you buy - the more planes will fly" arranged in a semicircle around him. ca. 1942

The digital War Posters Collection of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore is a sampling of the more than 500 World War I and II posters housed at the library. War posters were more than slogans; they adopted the power of art and advertising to convey social, economic, and political ideas. The Office of War Information arranged for local defense councils to have volunteers distribute the free posters and display them in libraries, post offices, schools, and factories.

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

“Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still believe that the core of libraries will always be printed words rather than screens or keyboards. In any town or city, you can walk in and pick up the works of T. S. Eliot or Brett Easton Ellis, extremes of taste that you can dip into and thumb through without having anyone nudging you to make a purchase. There really aren’t many things in life that can enrich you for free yet ask for nothing in return.”

—Nicky Wire, musician with the Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers, on library closings in the U.K., “If You Tolerate This,The Guardian, Feb. 7.

“Why don’t you have a library card? It’s the most valuable thing in my wallet.”

—Chicago tattoo artist Eric Dean Spruth of Sacred Transformations, on “Transforming Tattoo Art” (at 5:21), Chicago Tonight, WTTW-TV, Chicago, Feb. 1.

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Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks


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

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


Feb. 15:
Early Books Lecture Series VIII,
University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections, Tucson. “The Thrice Great Hermes: The First English Translation of Writings Attributed to an Egyptian God (1657).”

Feb. 22:
Early Books Lecture Series VIII,
University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections, Tucson. “The Golf Book: Playing and Praying in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe.”

Mar. 4–5:
2011 Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival,
University of Redlands, California.

Apr. 2–9:
Money Smart Week @ your library.

Apr. 7–8:
Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth,
27th Annual Conference, Student Center, Kent State University, Ohio. “Voices, Visions, and Verse.”

Apr. 8–9:
23rd Annual Spotlight on Books,
Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge Resort, Cohasset, Minnesota. A conference focused on youth literature sponsored by Northern Lights Library Network.

Apr. 25–28:
XML Development: From Markup to Application,
workshop, Marvin Center, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.

Apr. 30:
El día de los niños / El día de los libros
(Children’s Day/Book Day).

May 1–7:
Choose Privacy Week.

May 5–7:
LOEX Annual Conference,
Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas. “Fiesta de Excelencia: Celebrating Excellence in Library Instruction.”

May 9–10:
National Library Legislative Day,
Liaison Hotel, Washington, D.C.

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Actions & Answers

Cover of Geek the Library report from OCLCGeek the Library got people’s attention
Geek the Library, a community-awareness campaign designed to highlight the value of public libraries and inform the public about critical library funding issues, has positively changed community perceptions about libraries, according to a new OCLC membership report. The report, Geek the Library: A Community Awareness Campaign, offers a comprehensive overview of the pilot campaign completed in 2010 as well as interesting insights based on the experiences of participating libraries....
OCLC, Feb. 3

SkyRiver replies to OCLC
Karen Coyle writes: “Following up on the the early stages of what will probably be an interminable legal case, SkyRiver Technology Solutions replied on February 4 to OCLC’s December 13 motion to dismiss SkyRiver’s antitrust lawsuit. This is the first document I have seen that to me clearly lays out SkyRiver’s basic contention, which is that WorldCat is the result of monopolistic practices. To allow for competition, WorldCat (bibliographic data and holdings) should be made available for a reasonable price to competing ILL providers.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Feb. 6

The HootSuite owl in New York City@nypl: A Twitter success story
The New York Public Library is the leading public library online on Twitter and uses a decentralized staffing model for coordinating social media efforts, according to brand-management service provider HootSuite. Not only did the library’s following grow from just under 7,000 to over 90,000 in 2010, the library also increased the number of visits to its website coming from Twitter by more than 350% over the previous year....
HootSuite Blog, Feb. 8

Screen shot from Social Media video demonstrating Paper.liEight ways to find great social media content
Michael Stelzner writes: “Do you want to know how to find the most valuable social media content? Be sure to watch this episode (10:53) of Social Media Examiner TV with our host Mari Smith. She introduces the concept of curating content and reviews eight content-curation tools to help you find relevant and interesting information, among them Google Alerts, Twitter lists,, and Alltop.”...
Social Media Examiner, Feb. 8

National Book Festival adds another day
The 11th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will become a two-day event this year. The festival will be held on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets on September 24–25. The event is free and open to the public....
Library of Congress, Feb. 7

For Dummies 20th anniversary contestLibrary contest For Dummies
The For Dummies Library Contest is an annual contest sponsored by Wiley Publishing that offers participating libraries an opportunity to win For Dummies books for the library’s collection. To enter this year’s 20th-anniversary contest (PDF file), libraries must build a Dummies Fan Page that is linked to the library’s Facebook profile. Libraries can encourage their patrons to become a fan of the page, and the library with the most Dummies fans by April 30 will win a copy of every For Dummies title in print—more than 1,600 titles....
Wiley Publishing

Why you should listen to librarians about copyright
Nancy Sims writes: “A librarian colleague recently sent out an announcement about the University of Minnesota Libraries’ copyright workshops to faculty members. One of them responded by suggesting that such opportunities would be more valuable if they were conducted by someone who ‘really knows about copyright, like an attorney.’ This makes me angry on behalf of all MLS-accredited librarians, many of whom are far more qualified to discuss copyright with faculty than many attorneys. Here are some reasons why.”...
Copyright Librarian, Jan. 28

Building a large-scale journal repository
Jennifer Howard writes: “Academic libraries in the western part of the United States are one step closer to having a large-scale regional trust for print-journal archives. The University of California libraries announced January 31 that it has received a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement plans for the Western Regional Storage Trust, or West. The grant is about $700,000, according to Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the university librarian at UC-San Diego and a key member of the planning team.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Feb. 8; UC Newsroom, Jan. 31

Zombies and risks to repositories (satire)
Tim Lepczyk writes: “As defenders of our collective cultural heritage, librarians have come up with disaster response plans for situations like floods and fires. Where we have failed is in our response to zombies. When confronted with a zombie outbreak, is your library prepared? While not yet approved by the Library of Congress, the following steps will help ensure a successful recovery when your library is faced with the unthinkable.”...
Digital Dunes, Jan. 25

Generations and gadgets
Seven percent of “younger boomers,” those now between the ages of 47 and 56, and 6% of those ages 66–74 own e-readers. The highest percentages among all age groups are for devices like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, according to a new report (PDF file), Generations and Their Gadgets, released February 3 by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. Another tidbit: Millennials are the only generation more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop....
Pew Research Center, Feb. 3

How to get a library job against all odds
Lisa Von Drasek writes: “A teacher completing her MLS recently wrote on LM_NET that she was worried about getting a job after graduation. Do I have any advice? You bet. Although this isn’t a comprehensive job-hunting guide, I’m here to offer some helpful strategies that will give you the best chance to land a position in an incredibly competitive field. Here are some common-sense tips to make your résumé and cover letter stand out in a crowd, present yourself in the best possible light, and ace the interview.”...
School Library Journal, Feb. 1

Woman juggling clocksPart-time, temporary work in libraries
Emily Ford writes: “Of the six jobs I’ve held over the past three and a half years since I’ve had my MLS, only one of my positions was permanent and only three have been full-time. Currently I’m working two part-time temporary jobs. I’d like to examine some of the issues facing many librarians today who are working not one, but maybe 2–4 part-time library jobs. Few recent articles in the professional literature address this situation.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Feb. 9

Librarian origin stories
Bruce Jensen is engaged in a large-scale study of the vocational backgrounds of librarians worldwide. In his “Librarian Origin Stories” survey, he wants to know what led you to choose a library career. If you have questions about the survey, send him an email....
Bruce Jensen

Screen capture from Mole Hunt training videoFinland uses games to aid digital projects
The National Library of Finland has launched a new public program to support the digitization efforts of its archives. The project, Digitalkoot (Digital Volunteers), blends microtasks, crowdsourcing, and video games to break up and distribute some of the dull repetitive work of verifying digitized records. In Mole Hunt (0:50, above), the player is shown two different words and must determine as quickly as possible whether they are the same. This uncovers misspelled words in scanned archival material. The National Library of Australia is also using crowdsourcing to correct scanned newspapers....
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 8; YouTube, Feb. 3; Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Feb. 7

A teen uses Skype at the Putiki communal space in Wanganui, New ZealandFree broadband in New Zealand libraries
The National Library of New Zealand’s effort to provide free internet to libraries across the country has found overwhelming support among users and staff. The Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoha provides free access to broadband internet services to more than 130 libraries and three Maori community meeting spaces. An independent study (PDF file) shows that the service enhances financial, employment, educational, and social opportunities for users....
National Library of New Zealand, Feb. 8

Screen capture from "What's in a Name" Civil War Reader's TheaterThe Civil War: A Reader’s Theater
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the William Rainey Harper College Library in Palatine, Illinois, sponsored a reader’s theater on February 8. Students read selections from letters, speeches, poetry, songs, and literature inspired by the conflict. One excerpt, “What’s in a Name?” (1:22), is available online. The library has also set up an online guide to Civil War research....
William Rainey Harper College, Feb. 7

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