|American Libraries Online
All IMLS, LSTA funding in jeopardy
A bill coming up for a vote this week in the House of Representatives calls for the elimination of all Institute of Museum and Library Services funding, including Library Services and Technology Act funding, for the remainder of FY2011. Reaction to the introduction of Amendment 35 to the Continuing Resolution was swift. The ALA Washington Office has posted a link to its Capwiz email interface to facilitate library advocates contacting their congressional representatives....
American Libraries news, Feb. 15
Egyptians find their power in access to information
Former Chief Librarian of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Sohair Wastawy writes: “Make no mistake: Access to information, in a country with limited resources, served as the first catalyst for the Egyptian revolution that began January 25 and resulted 18 days later in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak after almost 30 years in office. The internet, along with Facebook and Twitter, was the Open University that facilitated learning about democracy for Egypt’s young people.”...
American Libraries feature
E-learning: The product of a risk is a lesson
Paul Signorelli writes: “Library staff and users alike are showing a keen interest in e-learning. Fortunately, there is no shortage of books, peer-reviewed journal articles, online materials, and internet-based resources about best practices in e-learning. However, a review of these sources suggests that libraries are far behind other organizations in developing effective and comprehensive e-learning programs.”...
American Libraries feature
LSSI finds more resistance to its management bids
Gordon Flagg writes: “Officials approved an agreement February 8 to keep the city of Stockton, California, running the Stockton–San Joaquin Public Library, continuing a partnership that dates back to 1910. In voting to maintain the arrangement, the Stockton City Council and the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors rejected a bid by Library Systems and Services (LSSI) to operate the system. The decision is the latest in a series of RFP setbacks for the library management firm based in Germantown, Maryland.”...
American Libraries feature
Q. I’m finishing up my first year of library school and I’ve gotten interested in bibliotherapy. How can I learn more about this specialization? A. Bibliotherapy, as a concept and a practice, is nothing new. The term first appeared in an article in the Atlantic Monthly in 1916 by Samuel Crothers. Form and function of bibliotherapy came out of the work of Sadie Peterson Delaney (right), the chief librarian of the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama. See the page on Bibliotherapy on the ALA Library’s Professional Tips wiki....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Feb. 15
Cyclone and flooding hit Queensland libraries
A library in the historic North Queensland seaside town of Cardwell lost its roof February 3 after Cyclone Yasi made landfall as a Category 5 storm. Although the collection of the Cassowary Coast Libraries’ Cardwell branch was drenched and the front door blown off its hinges into the building, the structure may have fared better than much of the town....
AL: Global Reach, Feb. 16
ALA to House: Preserve net neutrality
ALA, along with the Association for Research Libraries and Educause, sent a letter (PDF file) on February 16 to the members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee expressing opposition to using the Congressional Review Act or any other legislation to overturn or undermine the recent “net neutrality” decision by the Federal Communications Commission. The letter was sent prior to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s hearing scheduled the same day....
District Dispatch, Feb. 16
Three new Executive Board members
Dora T. Ho, Sylvia K. Norton, and Michael Porter have been elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board. The new board members were elected by the ALA Council in a vote taken at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting held January 7–11 in San Diego. Ho, Norton, and Porter will each serve three-year terms beginning in July 2011 and concluding in June 2014....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 15
More libraries sign on for Money Smart Week
Additional libraries in Indiana, Maine, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Illinois have signed up for Money Smart Week @ your library, April 2–9. Join them and promote financial literacy in your community....
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
New ALA Editions workshop
ALA Editions has announced “Supporting Early Literacy through Language-Rich Library Environments” with Saroj Ghoting, a new workshop that will take place on April 21. In this interactive workshop, Ghoting will provide a wealth of ideas for creating a language-rich learning environment. Registration for this workshop is available on the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Feb. 11
Top 10 ALA Editions e-books
Rob Christopher writes: “ALA Editions now offers more than 300 titles in at least one e-book format, but can you guess our most popular titles? Here are our top 10 bestsellers, in alphabetical order.”...
ALA Editions blog, Feb. 11
Featured review: Nonfiction for youth
Bragg, Georgia. How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous. Illustrated by Kevin O’Malley. Mar. 2011. Grades 5–8. 144p. Walker, hardcover (978-0-8027-9817-6).
From George “Little Mouth of Horrors” Washington to Marie “You Glow, Girl” Curie, Bragg chronicles with ghoulish glee the chronic or fatal maladies that afflicted 19 historical figures. Nonsqueamish readers will be entranced by her riveting descriptions of King Tut’s mummification (and the brutal treatment that mummy has received in modern times); the thoroughly septic “doctoring” that hastened or at least contributed to the deaths of Mozart, Napoleon, James A. Garfield, and others; the literal dissolution of Henry VIII’s body (“While lying in state, it is believed that his toxic remains exploded, and some of his royal splendidness dripped out the sides of the coffin overnight”); and the outrageous fates of Einstein’s brain, Galileo’s fingers, and other coroners’ souvenirs....
Bookends: Come See the Earth Turn
Cindy Dobrez writes: “When I saw Come See the Earth Turn: The Story of Léon Foucault (Tricycle Press 2010) by Lori Mortensen, I knew I had to read it. My daughters both recently graduated from Grand Haven (Mich.) High School—a school that has a Foucault pendulum in its main entrance. I’ve often joked that it was installed there to remind the students each morning as they enter that the world does not revolve around them! Foucault was a 19th-century physicist who was the first to prove that the Earth spins on its axis. Mortensen paints a portrait of a child who did not excel at school but still was inquisitive and, through an accidental discovery during another experiment, got the idea for how to prove what others had failed to do. The science may need further explanation by an adult to the young audience for whom this book is intended, but it’s a fine introduction to a scientist we don’t hear much about and one who was not heralded during his own lifetime, despite the great achievement of his ‘beautiful experiment.’”...
Upcoming Booklist webinars
Booklist’s free webinar series is growing rapidly, attracting crowds of attendees. Booklist editors host leading practitioners, authors, and publishers’ representatives at least once a month on a variety of topics. On February 22, learn about new spring YA titles; and on March 1, hear World Book Editor-in Chief Paul Kobasa explain how World Book has progressed from an annual to a daily publishing cycle while maintaining exceptional editorial standards....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Registration now open for PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
PLA will host a Virtual Spring Symposium on March 30. This new online event will offer the premier professional education that PLA’s Spring Symposium is known for. Moderated by Meg (Canada) Knodl, the symposium will offer a total of eight education programs across four program tracks—Technology and Youth Services tracks will run in the morning, while Administration/Leadership and Adult Services tracks will run in the afternoon. The deadline to register is March 25....
PLA, Feb. 11
ACRL announces new Immersion Program faculty
ACRL has appointed four new faculty members to its Information Literacy Immersion Program: Char Booth, Wendy Holliday, Michelle Millet, and Karen Nicholson. Now in its 12th year, the Immersion Program brings together academic librarians for four to five days of intensive work in teaching and information literacy....
ACRL, Feb. 14
Proposals for ACRL professional development programs
ACRL invites proposal submissions for half- or full-day preconferences to be held prior to the 2012 ALA Annual Conference held June 22, 2012, in Anaheim, California. Submissions will be accepted online through April 8....
ACRL, Feb. 15
Beyond the cheesesteak: Dining in Philadelphia
Jessica Rossi writes: “The Convention Center in Philadelphia is all about location, location, location. Nestled in the center of the city, it is also in the middle of the most delicious 15 blocks of Philadelphia. Lucky attendees of ACRL 2011, March 30–April 2, will be in the perfect place to sample the variety of cuisine this city has to offer. Cheesesteaks are delicious, but they aren’t the only thing to eat in Philadelphia.”...
College and Research Libraries News 72, no. 2 (Feb.): 90–98
Teen Tech Week coming up
As teens access the internet through mobile phones, computers, laptops, and gaming devices, public and school libraries from coast to coast are hosting technological workshops and events to assist teens with becoming safe and ethical users of social networks and technology. The programs are part of YALSA’s national Teen Tech Week, March 6–12....
Public Information Office, Feb. 15
Nominate a title for YALSA’s Readers’ Choice
YALSA launched its newest booklist in February: Readers’ Choice. Anyone—librarians, educators, parents, teens, or teen lit fans—can nominate a title for this list in seven thematic categories through October 31. To be eligible for the 2011 list, titles must fit into one of the seven categories and must have been published between November 1, 2010, and October 31, 2011....
YALSA, Feb. 9
YALSA’s Best of the Best 2011
Young adult literature enthusiasts looking for the best teen books and media of 2011 can find them online at YALSA’s new Best of the Best website. In addition to lists of YALSA’s awards and top 10 lists, the Best of the Best homepage includes promotional tools featuring the award-winning 2011 books. Funding to produce the marketing materials for the Best of the Best comes from the Friends of YALSA....
YALSA, Feb. 9
New issue of YALSA research journal
The Winter 2011 issue of the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, guest edited by Marcia Mardis, is now online. Published quarterly in February, May, August, and November, the journal is dedicated to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services....
YALSA blog, Feb. 14
Submit proposals for the AASL Exploratorium
Attendees of the AASL National Conference, to be held October 27–30 in Minneapolis, will once again get a taste of current programs that are leading the way in school library program development during one of the conference’s most popular events, the Exploratorium. The Exploratorium features more than 50 small programs that will give attendees a taste of current research, projects, and best practices. To submit a proposal, visit the AASL website before March 31....
AASL, Feb. 15
ALCTS spring web courses
ALCTS has announced its spring and summer lineup of web courses. These popular courses fill up quickly, so early registration is a must. Taught by ALCTS content experts, these courses have garnered rave reviews by previous participants. Register online....
ALCTS, Feb. 14
ALCTS spring webinars
ALCTS is offering a dynamic set of webinars this spring covering institutional repositories, RDA, and other timely and important topics. Sign up now while space is still available....
ALCTS, Feb. 15
Three ASCLA preconferences
Upcoming preconferences hosted by ASCLA at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 24 will cover leadership skills, preservation planning for digital collections, and how to become a successful library consultant. Each session offers the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country engaged in similar professional challenges and successes....
ASCLA, Feb. 15
Four RUSA preconferences
Librarians and support staff from all types of libraries will find this year’s RUSA preconferences of interest in New Orleans on June 24. The topics covered will be library services to older adults, genealogy reference basics and local resources, effective collaboration strategies between librarians and their IT departments, and business reference basics....
RUSA, Feb. 15
Merrill-Oldham receives Ross Atkinson Award
Jan Merrill-Oldham, formerly the Malloy-Rabinowitz preservation librarian at Harvard University Library, is the recipient of the 2011 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, honors the recipient with $3,000. Merrill-Oldham has actively worked in the area of preservation since 1975, achieving a national and international reputation....
ALCTS, Feb. 14
Jason Price wins Coutts Innovation Award
The ALCTS Collection Management and Development Section has named Jason Price, acquisitions and collection services manager at the Claremont (Calif.) Colleges, winner of the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management. Price created an intricate tracking system for electronic resource purchase requests and presented it cogently to a large group of librarians....
ALCTS, Feb. 15
2011 LBI Cunha/Swartzburg Preservation Award
The California Preservation Program, in recognition of its outstanding efforts to educate, preserve, and protect California’s cultural institutions, has received the 2011 LBI George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award. The ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section will present the award on June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Sponsored by the Library Binding Institute, the award includes a $1,250 grant....
ALCTS, Feb. 14
2011 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens
Katie George is the winner of the 2011 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens. The MAE Award provides $500 to the recipient and $500 to the recipient’s library and is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. George won for implementing the Pass the Book program at the Howard County (Md.) Library. Launched during Teen Read Week, George and her colleagues released 600 copies of The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld to county teens....
YALSA, Feb. 9
2011 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award
ALSC has awarded the 2011 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the McArthur Public Library and Biddeford (Maine) Intermediate School Literacy Team. The award, sponsored by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, provides up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children. The library will partner with the school to offer a One Book, One School, One Library program....
ALSC, Feb. 14
Richmond Public Library wins Light the Way Grant
The Richmond (Calif.) Public Library has received the 2011 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant administered by ALSC. The library will receive $3,000 for its “Literacy Bags for Bilingual Families” project. The library plans to use the money to provide access to books where children have very limited access to them....
ALSC, Feb. 15
Teen Tech Week mini-grant winners
YALSA has announced the winners of its 10 Teen Tech Week mini-grants. The grants, funded by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, give each winning library $450 cash and $50 worth of official Teen Tech Week products to support a reading program that incorporates technology to celebrate Teen Tech Week, March 6–12....
YALSA, Feb. 15
Bogle-Pratt International Library Travel Fund winner
Madeline Mundt (right), a reference librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the 2011 recipient of the International Relations Committee’s Bogle-Pratt International Library Travel Fund. The Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science will provide a $1,000 cash award for Mundt to attend the International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain....
International Relations Office, Feb. 15
ACRL cosponsors 4th Annual Sparky Awards
ACRL is again cosponsoring the annual Sparky Awards student video contest, organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and invites academic librarians to promote the contest to students on their campuses. “Open Up!” is the fourth installment of the contest and calls on students to articulate their views on open access in a two-minute video. Entries must be in one of four categories—animation, speech, remix, and people’s choice—and must be received by May 27....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 15
The Printz Award winners under the microscope
A content analysis of the winners of the Michael L. Printz Award revealed six common content trends: journeys, teenage angst leading to self-actualization, family relationships, romantic relationships, controversial issues within the content, and diversity of story characters. The majority of these themes have been historically present in literature for young adults. However, the controversial subject matter and diversity of characters present in many winners are more recently developed trends in YA literature....
Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, Feb.
Call for WHCLIST Award nominations
The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the 2011 WHCLIST Award. Each year, the award is granted to a nonlibrarian participant in National Library Legislative Day. The winner receives a stipend of $300 and two free nights at the NLLD hotel. Application materials are due to Kristin Murphy by April 1....
District Dispatch, Feb. 14
LIRT sponsors a Spectrum Scholar
The Library Instruction Round Table has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program with a contribution to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative of $6,500. In recognition of this gift, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program will name one LIRT Spectrum Scholar in 2011....
Spectrum Initiative, Feb. 11
Black Caucus of ALA supports Spectrum
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program with a contribution to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative of $5,000....
Spectrum Initiative, Feb. 14
2011 Paul Evan Peters Award
Educause, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the Association of Research Libraries have named Christine L. Borgman, professor and presidential chair in information studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, the 2011 recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Award. The award, named for CNI’s founding director, recognizes notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity through communication networks....
Educause, Feb. 15
2010 Cybils Awards
The winners of the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards were announced February 14. The awards, chosen by a panel of book bloggers, honor the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and “kid appeal.” The winner in the YA fiction category was Split (Knopf) by Swati Avasthi; in the elementary grade nonfiction picture book category, the winner was Barbara Kerley’s The Extraordinary Life of Mark Twain (According to Susy) (Scholastic)....
Cybils, Feb. 14
2011 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize
A debut novel about a teenager coming to terms with life, death, and first love has won the 2011 Waterstone’s children’s book prize. Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari was announced the winner February 9 at Waterstone’s flagship Piccadily bookstore in London. The £5,000 ($8,027 U.S.) prize is one of the U.K.’s major children’s book awards, recognizing authors writing for 7–13-year-olds who have written two or fewer fiction titles....
The Guardian (U.K.), Feb. 10
Uglified Ducky wins 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award
Willy Claflin’s The Uglified Ducky: A Maynard Moose Tale has become the 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award winner. Established in 1979, the Texas Bluebonnet Award gives 3rd–6th graders the opportunity to vote for their favorite book from a list of 20 titles selected by the Texas Library Association’s Texas Bluebonnet Committee. This year The Uglified Ducky garnered 23% of the 187,848 votes cast....
Texas Library Association, Feb. 14
Hachette sweeps spoken-word Grammy winners
Mary Burkey writes: “Jon Stewart and Julie Andrews make an odd couple anywhere but in audiobooks. The two were honored February 13 with 2010 Grammy Awards for their spoken-word productions for Hachette Audio. The award for Best Spoken Word Album went to Jon Stewart for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook), and the award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children went to Julie Andrews Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies compiled and read by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Feb. 13
President’s 2012 budget proposal reduces IMLS funding
President Obama has requested $242.6 million in fiscal year 2012 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, or approximately $20 million below the funding level for 2011. Like last year, the president also chose to consolidate the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program with several other literacy programs. Of the $193.2 million requested for IMLS library programs, 84% ($161.3 million) is distributed to state library agencies. This is slightly over $11 million less than allocations for the current year. IMLS has prepared a table (PDF file) comparing the funding over time. ALA President Roberta Stevens issued a statement February 14 asking Congress to restore the previous levels....
District Dispatch, Feb. 14; Institute of Museum and Library Services, Feb. 14; ALA Washington Office, Feb. 14
Don’t cut humanities
Cornell University President David J. Skorton writes: “While we debate the Republican Study Committee proposal and others now on the table, let’s prevent a train wreck in the making: the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Whatever your priority for the future of our country, the elimination or further deterioration of the NEH will adversely impact those priorities. We cannot permit our federal investment in the humanities to disappear. It’s often forgotten, moreover, that the NEH is a research agency.”...
Washington Post, Jan. 10, Feb. 10
House temporarily extends Patriot Act provisions
Three controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act, including Section 215, the “library provision,” were scheduled to expire on February 28 unless Congress voted to extend or amend them. The looming deadline sparked several legislative initiatives, including one sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), S. 290 (PDF file), that would provide greater privacy protections for library and bookstore records. But other representatives sought to extend Section 215 and other Patriot Act provisions without any amendments to protect readers’ privacy. The House voted 254–176 on February 16, despite Democratic opposition, to extend the existing provisions for another three months to May 27 in concert with a similar Senate vote on February 15....
OIF Blog, Feb. 16; New York Times, Feb. 15; The Hill, Feb. 16; RTT News, Feb. 16
Let-them-eat-cake attitude threatens libraries
Authors Guild President Scott Turow writes: “While our economy seems to be slowly staggering back to its feet, state and municipal governments remain hard hit as the result of lost tax revenues, lost stimulus money, and pension-fund payments that have grown to monstrous size to make up for the market losses of 2007 and 2008. Those governments are cutting everywhere they can, and public libraries nationwide have been one of the biggest and least deserved losers in the process.”...
The Huffington Post, Feb. 15
Austin school district cuts assistants, not librarians
On January 24, the Austin, Texas, school board voted to cut 485 positions district-wide, including 22 secondary-school librarians. But on February 14, the board tentatively decided to reinstate those positions, and eliminate 34 library clerk positions instead as part of a new proposal. One board member said there were so many emails in support of librarians that they had to print them all out and put them in thick binders....
KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas, Feb. 14
“Do Not Track Me Online” privacy bill introduced
The first “do not track” legislation was introduced in Congress February 11, raising the possibility that web users will be able to prevent advertisers from recording their online behavior for marketing purposes, similar to the Do Not Call Registry created in 2003. The bill, called the Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, would give the Federal Trade Commission the right to create regulations that would force online marketers to respect the wishes of users who do not want to be tracked. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is the bill’s sponsor....
Los Angeles Times: Technology, Feb. 11
Santa Cruz trustees reject library-closure option
The board of the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Libraries, divided over how to handle a budget shortfall of $6 million within the next five years, has unanimously shunned four service models proposed for streamlining staff, materials costs, and other operating expenses (PDF file). The board pulled back February 14 after hearing numerous pleas from the community to preserve the small neighborhood branches....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, Feb. 16
Librarian witnesses an Egypt not seen in travel books
Michael Witt watched coverage of the ongoing conflict in Egypt from his office at Purdue University Libraries February 10 with more than a passing interest. The assistant professor of library science and his family recently returned to West Lafayette, Indiana, following a harrowing experience in Alexandria. Witt, a Fulbright scholar, arrived in Egypt January 3 with his wife and planned to stay for five months. But from the porch of their residence, they witnessed people beating others, looting, and setting buildings on fire....
Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier, Feb. 11
A salute to the great youth of Egypt
Librarian of Alexandria Ismail Serageldin writes: “To the great youth of Egypt, the leaders of the Egyptian revolution of January 25, 2011, I salute you. The secret of your success lies in the bedrock of your values, not just in the specific knowledge you have gained. You have learned to learn, but more importantly, you have grown to care. You have changed Egypt forever, and now we will follow your leadership and join with you in the task of creating the new Egypt.”...
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Feb. 12
Topeka library touts Kansas history
The 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood presented an opportunity to showcase history that the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library just couldn’t resist. So every week this year, the library is posting a video on its website featuring a piece of the history that resides in the books, documents, and art of the library’s Special Collections. The 52 videos are being produced by Heather Kearns, associate curator of the library’s Alice C. Sabatini Gallery. This video (5:40) features Susan Marchant, TSCPL’s special collections manager....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Feb. 13; Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library
Fort Lauderdale’s African-American Research Library
Black History Month is commemorated in communities nationwide every February, but for the staff of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the celebrations are merely a continuation of what they do year-round. Sitting in the heart of one of Broward County’s historically black communities, the 60,000-square-foot facility is a centerpiece of African, African-American, and Caribbean culture and history, with a little something for everyone....
Miami Herald, Feb. 10
CU-Boulder to shut down its math and physics library
The University of Colorado at Boulder will shut down its math and physics library this summer to renovate the space as the physics department deals with growing pains. The Oliver C. Lester Library—one of five branches—will be closed so that the 8,000 square feet in the Duane Physics building can be converted to extra classroom, office, and student study spaces. CU officials say the closure is not budget-driven, and there will be no layoffs as staff members will be redeployed in the library system....
Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Feb. 12
Gloom in the room during Newark library meeting
John Whitlow writes: “Mayor Cory Booker came, as promised, to the Newark (N.J.) Public Library board meeting February 9. The audience included some library employees, but was mostly community people who had come to protest a proposed $2.5-million library budget cut. The mayor delivered what sounded like good news: No new library cuts. Yet the response was somber, if not a little hostile. People demanded to ask questions. They had heard similar things last year. In the end, the library took a hit.”...
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Feb. 11
Book banners are finding power in numbers
Lewis Beale writes: “The website Parents Against Bad Books In Schools lists the books deemed ‘sensitive, inappropriate, and controversial’ for K–12 students, even those who are college-bound or in advanced placement classes. ‘Bad is not for us to determine,’ says the disclaimer on the site. ‘Bad is what you determine is bad.’ Of course, ‘bad’ is a relative term, but websites like pabbis.org and Safelibraries.org have become the vanguard for a recent increase in organized attempts to ban books from public libraries and school curricula.”...
Miller-McCune, Feb. 10
How the King’s Bible got to Queens University
You probably haven’t heard the story of how the Bible of King George VI (the subject of the recent film The King’s Speech) came to Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rena Harrell (right), who had directed the Queens University library since 1926, was a passionate Anglophile. In 1950, she had an idea: Why not try to get King George VI of England to donate a Bible that could be used in the pulpit of the new Belk Chapel? With a combination of prayers, doggedness, a letter-writing effort, and the wide support she had generated for her idea, Harrell managed to secure a Bible from the king....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Feb. 12
KU librarian helps preserve bumper stickers
A University of Kansas librarian has developed new methods of making sure bumper stickers stick around in the collections of libraries. After she noticed a patron viewing bumper stickers in the collection, Watson Library Conservator Whitney Baker realized she had never seen anything in the professional literature about their preservation. To develop preservation protocols, Baker took a sabbatical and conducted extensive research into bumper stickers, only to discover that they were invented in Kansas City, Kansas, in the late 1940s. Watch the video (3:49)....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Feb. 14; YouTube, Feb. 10
Libraries reveal ancestry of Tim McGraw
The February 11 episode of the NBC celebrity genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? brought country singer Tim McGraw to the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room of Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Virginia. Archives Librarian Rebecca Ebert gave McGraw access to two 18th-century documents that belonged to the Hite family, from whom he is descended paternally. The production company paid two-thirds of the $600 cost of unfolding and conserving the documents—“an unexpected bonus,” Ebert said. McGraw’s journey also took him to the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress. Watch the video (42:58)....
Winchester (Va.) Star, Feb. 10
Protests cause some councils to rethink library cuts
There are some signs that the huge public protests against proposed library closures in the United Kingdom are having an impact, with Northamptonshire county council withdrawing plans to close four of its libraries, and a number of other local authorities reconsidering their cuts. Surrey, Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire councils are reexamining library funding, and Goodmayes library in East London has also been saved by the protesters....
The Guardian (U.K.), Feb. 15
Why libraries in Edinburgh were too good to cut
Library Assistant Ali George writes: “In Edinburgh, Scotland, the U.K. #savelibraries campaign seems to be preaching to the converted. We are just about the only place in the country where not only do existing branches remain open, but another just launched. There are several reasons for this. Edinburgh City Libraries offer a vast array of services that are completely at odds with the public perception of what a library is.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Feb. 11
Go back to the Top
Drumming up more internet addresses
Laurie J. Flynn writes: “Who could have guessed that 4.3 billion internet connections wouldn’t be enough? Certainly not Vint Cerf (right). In 1976, Cerf and his colleagues in the R&D office of the Defense Department had to make a judgment call: How much network address space should they allocate to an experiment connecting computers in an advanced data network? ‘The problem was, the experiment never ended,’ said Cerf. Today, the internet that he helped create more than 30 years ago is about to max out.”...
New York Times, Feb. 14
Facebook launches Pages redesign
Ben Parr writes: “Facebook has begun rolling out a full redesign of Facebook Pages. The changes will make the Pages look and operate more like user profiles. The new Pages redesign was first seen in December, when Facebook accidentally launched it and quickly took it down. The update not only removed tabs, but it gave page admins the ability to post and comment on other Facebook Pages through a ‘Login as Page’ feature.”...
Mashable, Feb. 10
Eight tools for updating Facebook offsite
Brian Ward writes: “Applications for receiving Facebook updates and notifications without having to keep the site open in a browser keep coming out. Here are eight tools doing exactly that. The Facebook Desktop app gives you pop-up notifications on the bottom of your main computer screen and access at any time to your profile in a window.”...
All Facebook, Feb. 11
Block sites from search results in Chrome
Matt Cutts writes: “We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we’re exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, on February 14 we launched an experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.”...
Official Google Blog, Feb. 14
Google launches OnePass for publishers
Jason Griffey writes: “Google announced the launch February 16 of Google OnePass, a flexible payment subscription service aimed at publishers who want to have recurring payments for content. This seems to me a response to Apple’s recent announcement of its subscription service for the iPad, since OnePass allows for web-based subscriptions to mobile devices.” Watch the video (0:57)....
AL: Perpetual Beta, Feb. 16; Official Google Blog, Feb. 16; Engadget, Feb. 15; YouTube, Feb. 11
Secure your online life the easy way
Kevin Purdy writes: “There are add-ons, VPNs, and apps galore that offer a safer browsing experience—but the browser you use, and the sites you visit, offer strong but simple security tools, too. Here are the best of the no-hassle, no-install-required options that you should be using now. If you’re up for it, consider making LastPass your easy, any-browser, any-OS solution.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 15
Random acts of trendness
Karen Schneider writes: “I promised that post-ALA I’d sketch up some technology trends I have observed, to complement the trend-setting discussions held elsewhere, such as LITA’s Top Tech Trends.” Here are her observations on the “Big Shift,” Wi-Fi saturation, and providing ancillary support for mobile technology in libraries (rather than computers)....
Free Range Librarian, Feb. 12
Find your lost Android phone with Where’s My Droid
Dan Froelich writes: “When you misplace your handset, and you will, I have a great solution to ease your worries (unless you dropped your phone in the Atlantic Ocean). Where’s My Droid is a free application available through the Android Marketplace that helps you find find your lost phone. If you have a QR code reader, you can scan the code pictured here and get a head start.”...
Instructify, Feb. 10
Stanford research could eliminate phone dead zones
Technology developed by three graduate students in engineering at Stanford University could allow wireless systems, including telephone and Wi-Fi networks, to simultaneously send and receive information, doubling their speed and improving their performance—and keeping them from deafening themselves. As it is, a signal transmitted on a network is stronger at its point of origin than incoming signals are. In essence, each end of a network is talking so loudly it can’t hear what the other end is saying....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Feb. 15
Libraries use tech to streamline student searches, staff work
Dennis Carter writes: “A smart-phone application has ended the days of database searches at Boston College libraries, and staff members at Eastern Illinois University’s library can take inventory in two hours instead of two days, thanks to emerging technologies that are gaining traction as higher-education budgets are slashed.”...
eCampus News, Feb. 3
Don’t mind me, I’m just fabbing
Jason Griffey writes: “An exciting new development is the emergence of affordable 3D fabrication or printing technologies (or, my personal favorite nickname for the tech, fabbing). 3D printing is the use of a hardware device to go directly from a computer file to a three-dimensional object, skipping any molding, carving, modeling, or other manufacturing process. It’s been available for a number of years commercially and is used heavily by industry to prototype consumer devices. The cost has always been prohibitive for individuals, until now.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Feb. 14; The Economist, Feb. 10
ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011.
There’s never been a more challenging time to find a position as an academic librarian, especially for those who have recently completed their library education. But whether job-hunters are jumping into the job pool for the very first time, or back in the water after a dry spell, Teresa Y. Neely and her crack team of expert contributors to How to Stay Afloat in the Academic Library Job Pool have the information needed to stay afloat. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Othmer Library, Brooklyn Historical Society, New York City. Founded in 1863, the library has a premier collection of research materials on the history of Brooklyn, family histories and genealogies, rare books, journals, historic maps and atlases, the personal papers of abolitionist clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, institutional records, and oral histories that document the borough’s many different ethnic groups and neighborhoods. It was renamed after Donald and Mildred Othmer in 1992 for their funding of a major renovation.
Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, New York. This Greek Revival building dates from the university’s relocation to the River Campus in 1930. Named after Benjamin Rush Rhees, university president from 1900 to 1935, the original library contains the university’s historic rooms, as well as the old stacks and a 186-foot-high tower that houses the Hopeman Memorial Carillon. The library has a number of stone owls perched around the tower, in the cornice, and in other architectural details. In 1969, a substantial and more modern-styled addition was attached to the back and part of the sides of the original building.
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.
User Experience Director, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. The Sheridan Libraries seek a User Experience (UX) director to build and lead a User Experience Group that will be charged to develop an ongoing process for understanding the needs and requirements of the community, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the library’s content and services to create compelling, insight-driven user experiences. Reporting to the associate director for library services and collections, the UX director will participate on the division’s leadership team and work collaboratively within and beyond the UX Group to enrich the community’s library experience....
Digital Library of the Week
The Spanish Civil War digital collections at the University of California, San Diego, are part of the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection of the Mandeville Special Collections Library, the largest extant collection of materials on the war. The digital archive features postal and other stamps of the war, Communist ephemera from Madrid, postcards, drawings made by Spanish children, photojournalism, posters, and an audiovisual archive of testimonies of militants, witnesses, and victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist repression.
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.
“Show me a town that denies funding to a library, and I’ll show you a librarian who stays in the office. Show me a town that funds its library, and I’ll show you a librarian who takes donuts down to the police department, who goes down to the city hall and goes into offices asking if they need anything, who goes to community meetings to schmooze and shake hands. You have to be proactive. It might come as a shock to some of you, but a large part the success of that library is your personality and the way you treat people.”
—Simmons College GSLIS Professor Allen Smith in a comment made while teaching his LIS 407 Reference class.
TechSoup Global Contributors’ Summit, Microsoft Campus, Mountain View, California, Feb. 15–17, at:
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Juneau, Feb. 18–20, at:
Educause West / Southwest Regional Conference, Austin, Texas, Feb. 22–24, at:
Handheld Librarian IV, online conference, Feb. 23–24, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Digital Media and Learning Conference, Hilton Long Beach Conference and Meeting Center, Long Beach, California. “Designing Learning Futures.”
WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace.
Assessing Options for Large Collections, Library of Congress Preservation Symposium, Mumford Room, James Madison Memorial Building, Washington, D.C.
A. Dean Larsen Book Collecting Conference, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, online conference.
Disaster Information Outreach, a symposium for information professionals meeting disaster health information needs, National Library of Medicine, Lister Hill Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
Beyond Books: News, Literacy, and Democracy for America’s Libraries, MIT Center for Future Civic Media, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
National Library Unconference Day.
Thessaloniki Book Fair, Helexpo Exhibition Centre, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Book World Prague, Prague Exhibition Grounds, Prague, Czech Republic.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
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