American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 23, 2011

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American Libraries Online

Advocacy works: IMLS, LSTA funding saved
Because of an unprecedented grassroots efforts this week, Amendment 35 to H.R. 1 (the Continuing Resolution to the FY2011 budget) was defeated. This victory for libraries is in large part due to the strong grassroots efforts of librarians and library supporters across the country. U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) introduced an amendment February 14 that would eliminate all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, including funding for LSTA. On February 17, Garrett effectively shelved the proposal....
District Dispatch, Feb. 17

Protesters on the steps of the capitol building in Madison, February 19. Photo submitted to WISC-TVWisconsin protests delay Library Legislative Day
Well aware that timing is everything, the Wisconsin Library Association postponed its 2011 Library Legislative Day, which had been scheduled for February 22, less than 48 hours before it was to take place. Of course, it would have been difficult to stay focused on biennial budget issues while tens of thousands were converging on the Madison Capitol Building to defend collective bargaining rights for public-sector employees....
AL: Inside Scoop, Feb. 23; WLA Blog, Feb. 20

Damage at the Al-Bahr Al-Azam Library in GizaTwo Egyptian libraries damaged during protests
Heba Mohamed, libraries technical manager at the Integrated Care Society in Cairo, Egypt, informed American Libraries that two libraries suffered extensive damage during the street demonstrations in January. According to Mohamed, “Thieves stole books, computer equipment, and furniture from the Al-Bahr Al-Azam Library (right) in Giza [25 kilometers southwest of Cairo] and set fire to it on January 28. The library lost more than 19,000 volumes, a great loss.”...
AL: Global Reach, Feb. 19

Nature Explorium logoDiscovering the Nature Explorium
Tracy Delgado-LaStella and Sandra Feinberg write: “Libraries, which are always searching for new ways to connect with their communities, have offered reading gardens and outdoor storytelling to foster a connection with nature and the environment. Today, via a library’s outdoor learning space, librarians are participating in the growing movement to connect children with the environment. The Nature Explorium at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, New York, is just such a space....
American Libraries feature

Cover of the Winter 2011 AL Digital SupplementAmerican Libraries digital supplement
The Winter 2011 American Libraries Digital Supplement features a look at the latest in cutting-edge delivery of online education to the library profession, a host of continuing education opportunities available from ALA regardless of where you practice your profession, and candid reactions from e-students about their experiences. Also included is a feature on e-learning by Paul Signorelli and an editorial by ALA-APA Director Jenifer Grady....

American Libraries online, Feb. 22

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ALA News

Audrey NiffeneggerNiffenegger gets into gear for National Bookmobile Day
Audrey Niffenegger, library supporter and acclaimed author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry, and the illustrated novel The Night Bookmobile, will lend her voice in support of America’s bookmobiles as 2011 honorary chair of National Bookmobile Day, celebrated on April 13. National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for Americans to express their support for these important mobile institutions....
Office for Literacy and Outreach, Feb. 22

Award-winning poet Mark Doty encounters an elephant at the Audubon Zoo in New OrleansThe Language of Conservation: Poets, zoos, and libraries
The Public Programs Office is joining with Poets House, a national poetry library and literary center, to promote “The Language of Conservation,” a program designed to deepen awareness of the environment through poetry installations in zoos and corresponding programs in public libraries. The program features poetry installations in zoos, complemented by poetry, nature, and conservation resources and programs at public libraries. Two events will take place at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 22

New TechSource workshop on gadgets
ALA TechSource has a new workshop, “Gadgets in the Library: A Practical Guide to Personal Electronics for Librarians” with Jason Griffey. It will be held in two 90-minute sessions on April 13 and 20. Registration is available at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Feb. 22

Booklist Online logo

Cover of West of HereFeatured review: Historical fiction
Evison, Jonathan. West of Here. Feb. 2011. 496p. Algonquin, hardcover (978-1-56512-952-8).
Evison, author of this audacious historical novel, manages a near-impossible feat: First, he creates an almost absurdly complex narrative structure, bridging more than 100 years of life in Washington State and encompassing multiple points of view, and then he grounds the sublime architectonic whole in the vividly realized daily lives of characters who exist completely in their individual moments but whose actions reverberate back and forth across time. The action swirls around the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and jumps between the 1890s, when various explorers and entrepreneurs were attempting to “roll up their sleeves and put this place on the map,” and 2006, when the descendants of those rugged individualists are in the process of dismantling the dam that their ancestors built....

Graphic for Read-alikes: Writers' BeginningsWriters’ beginnings
Brad Hooper writes: “Although these memoirs of writers’ early lives are not, strictly speaking, how-to-write guides, they will inspire current and future writers because they address, directly or indirectly, the authors’ early inspirations for writing. In fact, Eudora Welty’s title One Writer’s Beginnings could be given as the general theme of all of the books.” Other authors included are Annie Proulx, William Trevor, Pat Conroy, and Tobias Wolff....

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

Division News

Soap donated to children by Clean the WorldACRL partners with Clean the World
During the ACRL conference in Philadelphia, March 30–April 2, the division has partnered with Clean the World and the Philadelphia Marriott in a social-responsibilities recycling program to aid the cholera outbreak in Haiti. In an effort to promote environmental awareness and sustainability, ACRL 2011 will work with Orlando-based nonprofit Clean the World and the Philadelphia Marriott to collect, recycle, and distribute hotel soaps and bottled amenities to those in need....
ACRL, Feb. 22

Jaron LanierRaj PatelTiffany ShlainShlain, Patel, Lanier to keynote ACRL 2011
Award-winning filmmaker, artist, internet pioneer, and activist Tiffany Shlain will kick off the ACRL 2011 conference as the opening keynote speaker March 30. Attendees will have a chance to view Shlain’s most recent film, Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death, and Technology. Economic activist Raj Patel will speak March 31 on growing global interdependence, its impact on the dissemination of information, and ways in which the library profession can support global equality and social justice. Computer scientist and artist Jaron Lanier will appear April 2 in a program titled “The Bipolar Library: How Humanizing and Digitizing Must Both Be Advanced.”...
ACRL, Feb. 22

Cover of Clinton Kelly's "Freakin' Fabulous"Clinton Kelly to close ACRL 2011
Renowned fashion expert and author Clinton Kelly will bring the ACRL conference to a close on April 2. Kelly is the cohost of The Learning Channel’s “What Not to Wear” and author of two books, Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else, and Oh No She Didn’t: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them. He will discuss why individuals are often averse to change and how to turn this fear into positive action....
ACRL, Feb. 22

JobLIST Placement Center at the ACRL Conference
The ALA JobLIST Placement Center will host an open house on April 1 in the Placement Center during the ACRL National Conference in Philadelphia. Representatives from various academic institutions will have an opportunity to showcase the quality of life at their institutions. Academic institutions interested in participating should contact Beatrice Calvin by March 18....
ACRL, Feb. 18

Preservation Week poster, 2011Celebrate Preservation Week, April 24–30
Preservation Week marks its second anniversary April 24–30. The event, sponsored by ALCTS, the Library of Congress, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, recognizes the critical role libraries play in preservation. This national awareness campaign was developed to promote the understanding and importance of care for personal and community cultural heritage collections, such as books, documents, photographs, textiles, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative arts....
ALCTS, Feb. 18

Pat MoraPat Mora to celebrate Día in Tucson
Award-winning children’s author Pat Mora (right) will join ALSC for the national 15th-anniversary celebration of El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) at the Valencia branch of the Pima County Library System in Tucson, Arizona, April 30. Mora is the founder of Día, the family literacy initiative now housed at ALSC....
ALSC, Feb. 22

ALCTS offers three preconferences
Join your colleagues at these valuable preconferences brought to you by ALCTS just before the ALA Annual Conference this summer in New Orleans. Topics include RDA 201, Patron-Driven Acquisitions, and LC Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials. Register through the ALA Annual Conference registration site....
ALCTS, Feb. 22

PLA to offer four preconferences
On June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, PLA will present four preconferences dedicated to public library professionals. The programs include: Turning the Page 2.0, Top 10 Benefits of Tough Times, Cirque de Peoples, and Interactive Spaces. Preconferences require a separate registration from Annual Conference....
PLA, Feb. 22

PLA Member Update webinar
On March 2, PLA will present a 45-minute free Member Update webinar to inform and encourage member engagement within the division and throughout the field of public libraries. Registration is free and is open to both members and nonmembers alike....
PLA, Feb. 22

WrestleMania Reading Challenge finalists
Twenty regional winners in Grades 5–12 from across the United States and Canada have won a chance to compete in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge World Finals in Atlanta on April 2. Finalists will compete in a trivia contest to win the title of World Champion for their age division and ringside tickets to WrestleMania XXVII on April 3 at the Georgia Dome....
YALSA, Feb. 22

Be a YALSA member editor
YALSA is seeking a member editor for its quarterly, open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic research journal, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. JRLYA publishes high-quality research on library services to young adults. The position term would begin with the Summer 2011 issue. The deadline for applications is March 1....
YALSA, Feb. 22

YA Librarian of Many Hats webinar
Find out how to balance the complex duties of a YA librarian in YALSA’s March 19 webinar, “The YA Librarian of Many Hats.” Moderator Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County (Md.) Public Library, has worked in many different library settings, moving from a large urban system to her current role directing a library with more than 11 branches in a suburban, rural setting. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Feb. 22

Summer Reading Grants from YALSA
Librarians seeking funding for summer reading programs aimed at teens can apply for one of 20 summer reading grants, each worth $1,000, distributed by YALSA and funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. YALSA encourages innovative proposals that are inclusive of underserved teen populations. Applications are due March 1....
YALSA, Feb. 22

ASCLA seeks online course proposals
ASCLA invites interested instructors and presenters to submit proposals for online professional development courses and webinars. A complete list of criteria is available in the Online Course section of the ASCLA website. Proposals should be submitted via email as Microsoft Word or PDF attachments....
ASCLA, Feb. 17


ALA awards trivia
What is the oldest award ALA gives? Who are all the recipients of the Margaret Mann Citation? When did publishers start sponsoring ALA awards? These and related questions routinely reach the ALA Library staff. With an understanding of the range of inquiries, the ALA Library staff, assisted by our colleagues who are liaisons to ALA’s award committees, have built the Awards, Grants, and Scholarships database....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Feb. 23

Edward SwansonSwanson selected for Mann Citation
ALCTS has selected the late Edward Swanson (right) to receive the 2011 Margaret Mann Citation presented by its Cataloging and Classification Section. The citation, recognizing outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification, includes a $2,000 scholarship donated in the recipient’s honor by OCLC to the library school of the winner’s choice. Swanson’s partner has chosen St. Catherine University’s MLIS program in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the recipient....
ALCTS, Feb. 22

Open Folklore logoOpen Folklore Project wins Outstanding Collaboration Award
ALCTS has awarded its 2010 Outstanding Collaboration Citation to the Open Folklore project. Open Folklore is a collaborative project developed by the American Folklore Society and the Indiana University–Bloomington Libraries. The project, which debuted in October 2010, established an online portal to provide open online access to many useful but difficult to access research materials in the field of folklore studies—including books, journals, gray literature, and websites....
ALCTS, Feb. 22

Marielle Veve2011 Esther J. Piercy Award
ALCTS has named Marielle Veve, cataloging and metadata librarian at the University of Tennessee, the winner of the 2011 Esther J. Piercy Award. Veve has demonstrated innovative thinking and leadership in her work in libraries, her contributions to library associations, and particularly her research and publications which include articles on metadata and FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data). Veve will receive a $1,500 grant donated by YPB....
ALCTS, Feb. 22

Peter McCracken2011 Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award
ALCTS has named Peter McCracken the 2011 recipient of the Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award. The award, which honors distinguished contributions to serials, consists of a citation and $1,500 donated by ProQuest through its Serials Solutions business unit. McCracken is currently the creator/publisher of and has made vast improvements in electronic serials content management....
ALCTS, Feb. 22

Douglas Cook2011 Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian
Douglas Cook, reference and instruction librarian at Shippensburg (Pa.) University Libraries, is the recipient of the 2011 ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award. Cook was cited for his depth of scholarly work in the areas of library instruction and research....
ACRL, Feb. 22

Mary Wilkins Jordan2011 Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant
Mary Wilkins Jordan, assistant professor at the Simmons College GSLIS, is the winner of the 2011 Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant for her project, “Public Library Stressors: Identification and Elimination.” The $3,000 grant supports innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services to any specific group of people. Jordan’s proposal focuses on the stresses librarians face every day and identifies effective tools and strategies to help them....
Office for Research and Statistics, Feb. 18

Roberta Stevens to present Madison Award
ALA President Roberta Stevens will present the Madison Award to honor this year’s recipient’s work to promote public access to government information and the public’s right to know during the Freedom of Information Day celebration at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on March 16. The full day of events includes panel discussions and presentations. If you want to attend the event, contact Ashlie Hampton....
District Dispatch, Feb. 22

Daniel J. Cohen2011 Frederick G. Kilgour Award
The winner of the 2011 Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology is Daniel J. Cohen, associate professor of history and art history at George Mason University and the director of the Center for History and New Media. Cohen was cited for his development of the free, open-source Zotero software for managing and sharing research sources. The award will be presented June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
LITA, Feb. 22

2011 Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Award
Cassandra Kvenild, reference and instruction librarian at the University of Wyoming Libraries in Laramie, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award. The award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education....
ACRL, Feb. 22

2011 Innovation in College Librarianship Award
Catherine Haras and Teresa Portilla Omidsalar, both of California State University at Los Angeles, have been named the 2011 recipients of the ACRL College Libraries Section ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award. The award honors an ALA member who has demonstrated a capacity for innovation in their work with undergraduates, instructors, or the library community....
ACRL, Feb. 22

2011 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants
The Pontiac (Mich.) Public Library, the Pontiac Children’s Service, and the Luke O’Toole Elementary School in Chicago are recipients of 2011 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants. The grant program provides books submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections. Each year, three organizations are selected. Eligible applicants include libraries, schools, social service agencies, prisons, religious organizations, and institutions of higher education....
Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, Feb. 17

Apply for ALTAFF’s Best Friends Awards
ALTAFF is accepting applications for its sixth annual Best Friends Awards. The awards recognize Friends groups around the country for print and electronic materials that promote themselves and their special programs and projects. Applications are due April 1....
ALTAFF, Feb. 17

Barbara KingsolverKingsolver wins Duke LEAF Award
Critically acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver is the 2011 recipient of the Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts. The award was established in 2009 to honor artists whose works have lifted the human spirit by conveying humanity’s connection to the Earth, thereby inspiring others to help forge a more sustainable life for all. Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment will present the award to Kingsolver April 9....
Duke University, Feb. 17

U.S. soldiers with the 509th Infantry Division and the 3rd Infantry's Combat Aviation Brigade launch a joint air assault, July 15, 2007. Copyright © Benjamin Lowy 2007Benjamin Lowy wins Duke documentary prize
Benjamin Lowy, a war and feature photographer, has won the fifth Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. Lowy will receive a grant of $3,000, publication of a book of photography, and inclusion in an online exhibition of prizewinners. Photographer William Eggleston will write an introduction for the book, Iraq / Perspectives, which will be published in the fall by Duke University Press....
Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Feb. 14

Cover of Mordecai: The Life and TimesForan wins Charles Taylor Prize
Author and journalist Charles Foran has won the 2011 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction for his biography of Canadian literary lion Mordecai Richler, Mordecai: The Life and Times (Knopf Canada). Foran was awarded the $25,000 prize at a luncheon in Toronto on February 14. First awarded in 2000, the annual prize goes to the author whose book “best demonstrates and combines an uncommon command of the English language, an elegance of style and a subtlety of thought and perception.”...
Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 14

JobLIST Direct ad

Seen Online

Christchurch library damaged in quake
British backpacker Christopher Ratcliffe, 27, was forced to shelter under a desk in the Central City Library in Christchurch, New Zealand, when the earthquake struck February 21. “The building started to shake, my computer screen started to flicker, and then the books started to fly off the shelves so I just dived under my desk,” he said. Dutch tourist Manouk de Vries, 19, was also in the library at the time: “The moment we got in, all the lights went off and the glass was falling and people were screaming and we didn’t know what to do.” Staff in the National Library, the Central City Library, the Law Library, and the University of Canterbury Library were evacuated safely. Those libraries are now closed. The library in the suburb of Fendalton also suffered some damage....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Feb. 22; Auckland New Zealand Herald, Feb. 22; Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Feb. 23; BBC News, Feb. 22

Reader privacy amendment fails in House
The House on February 18 defeated 232–196 the Conyers-Paul-Nadler-Jones Amendment that would have improved reader privacy protections in Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. This amendment could have returned the legal standard for law enforcement to obtain library and bookstore records to require a warrant or grand jury subpoena for the government to obtain reader records from libraries and bookstores....
District Dispatch, Feb. 18

Budget cuts take Michigan libraries back 50 years
The Michigan Library Association board of directors expressed concern February 22 with Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed FY2011–2012 budget announced last week. The budget proposes cutting 40% of state aid to libraries, meaning all libraries are in jeopardy of losing statewide library services. “Every source of funding available to libraries,” said MLA President Christine Berro, “is being chopped off at the knees.”...
Michigan Library Association, Feb. 22

City council ignores plight of Troy Public Library
Plans to keep the Troy (Mich.) Public Library open beyond April 30 never got to a discussion point at the city council meeting February 21. Mayor Louise Schilling and council members turned down discussing a resolution proposed by Councilman Martin Howrylak that cited $1.7 million in unused expenditures the city could use to operate the library. The council also ignored another option that would have raised a 1-mill tax solely to keep the library open....
Royal Oak (Mich.) Daily Tribune, Feb. 23

Writers' Voices version of Paul Monette's Borrowed Time. From the WSMV-TV newscastAIDS book pulled from school library after complaint
A parent’s complaint about an AIDS memoir in the library at Cheatham Middle School in Ashland City, Tennessee, led to the book being pulled from general circulation. Parent Misty Binkley filed the complaint when her daughter brought home an abridged version of Borrowed Time by author Paul Monette, which chronicles how he coped with a lover’s death from AIDS. The Cheatham County School Board voted February 14 to change its policy on library books to allow the director of schools to remove a book on an emergency basis after a complaint is received....
WSMV-TV, Nashville, Feb. 17

ACLU and Yale challenge LGBT website filtering in high schools
The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School’s LGBT Litigation Clinic are teaming up to confront the unconstitutional internet filtering at public high schools around the country. The groups have launched a campaign called “Don’t Filter Me” that asks high schools students to log on to certain websites with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender content to see if those sites are blocked by their schools. The ACLU is asking students to report any censorship of these sites....
National Law Journal, Feb. 16

Cover of Stolen Children, by Peg KehretCentral York keeps Stolen Children
The Central York (Pa.) School Board will not remove from an elementary school library a book that has been criticized for violent themes. Stolen Children by Peg Kehret centers on the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl and her 3-year-old babysitting charge.Board President Michael Wagner said February 14 that the board reviewed the book and decided not remove it. He said parent Megan Ketterman was notified of the decision in writing....
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Feb. 15

Reaction to “A Librarian Reacts to Wikileaks”
James Jacobs writes: “Thanks to Bill Sleeman for his January 24 article on WikiLeaks. His parsing is thought-provoking, but incomplete. I’d like to add some context to his op-ed. Sleeman repeatedly suggests that we have only one choice: Embrace WikiLeaks or reject it. This is a false choice and misdirection. In doing this, Sleeman has adopted the strategy being used by those who wish to suppress the information by distracting us from it and focusing instead on the messenger.”...
Free Government Information, Feb. 13; Center for Journalism Ethics, Feb. 18

Major merger of Illinois library systems planned
The executive director of the Lincoln Trail Libraries System in Champaign, Illinois, said February 16 that four library groups plan to merge on July 1, as delayed and diminishing funds from the state are putting stress on their budgets. Director Jan Ison said it is still unknown whether the Lincoln Trail office will close. But the groups hope they can save money by working more efficiently under the merged system. That could mean fewer jobs, too....
Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette, Feb. 17

Late tax payments cost library $50,000
It cost the Des Plaines (Ill.) Public Library almost $50,000 in legal fees, staff time, and other expenses to make major operational changes in 2010 because of late property-tax payments from Cook County. The amount was announced when the library answered a survey sent by Cook County Commissioner Dan Patlak, who is asking various taxing bodies how they are affected by delayed billing. Board members criticized Cook County for the late payments, saying every other county in Illinois sends the money on time....
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 21

Mark Twain marginalia on his copy of Plutarch's Lives. From the Mark Twain House and MuseumMarginalia musings
Like many readers, Mark Twain engaged in marginalia (right), writing comments alongside passages and sometimes giving an author a piece of his mind. It is a rich literary pastime, sometimes regarded as a tool of literary archaeology, but it has an uncertain fate in a digitized world. This is the sort of matter pondered by the Caxton Club, a literary group founded in 1895 by 15 Chicago bibliophiles. With the Newberry Library, it is sponsoring a March 19 symposium, “Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell.”...
New York Times, Feb. 20

The Rakow branch of the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Illinois, was designed to embody the BISAC system when it opened in 2009Chicago suburban libraries turn away from Dewey
A handful of pioneering libraries in the Chicago suburbs are transitioning from the Dewey Decimal Classification to the type of organization system used by booksellers. The new layout groups books by subject rather than number, uses signs to highlight popular categories, and displays books by their covers. A library in south suburban Frankfort is among a small number of libraries nationwide that have switched entirely to the new format, and libraries in Darien, Oak Park, and Westmont are using it for parts of their collections....
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 18

Township “requests” library turn over $542K surplus
It is not a demand, but a simple request—the Middletown Township (N.J.) Public Library should give the township at least $542,767. But should the board of trustees not agree to transfer the money out of $1.2 million in surplus funds to help balance the municipality’s 2011 budget, there could be consequences. Passions ran high during the February 16 trustee meeting. Board President Randall Gabrielan said a statement read by Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill was full of “lies, untruths, and distortions.”...
Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Feb. 16

Detroit library probes failed fund drive
The Detroit Public Library is investigating what happened to $200,000 it set aside two years ago to launch a $20-million fundraising campaign, after less than $100 was raised. The Detroit Public Library Commission hired attorneys to help recover anything left of the money it transferred to the Detroit Library Foundation. Word of the failed campaign comes as the library system moved in late February to begin layoffs of 83 staffers (nearly 20% of the staff) to deal with what Executive Director Jo Anne Mondowney has described as an unprecedented financial crisis....
Detroit News, Feb. 19

The President's Desk websiteJFK Library launches The President’s Desk
In celebration of Presidents’ Day, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum unveiled The President’s Desk, an interactive online module that allows website visitors to sit virtually at Kennedy’s Oval Office desk and explore several multimedia presentations of historic aspects of his life and administration. The original desk, made from the timbers of the British ship HMS Resolute and presented by Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1878, is still being used by President Obama....
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Feb. 21

Toronto staffers rally for Urban Affairs Library
At a rally today in front of Metro Hall in Toronto, Ontario, about 20 people—most of them connected with the Toronto Public Library workers’ union, CUPE Local 4948—spoke out against the branch’s possible closure. The branch could shutter if the library can’t come up with the money to keep it open subsequent to this year’s final budget deliberations at city hall, set to begin February 23. There were 111,625 visits to the Urban Affairs Library in 2010....
Torontoist, Feb. 22

Ocean Pines library mascot dies
Sophie, the diamondback terrapin turtle who was a mascot at the Ocean Pines branch of the Worcester County (Md.) Library for nine years—and, the staff joked, a full-timer who never talked back—died February 14. “It was a sad day,” branch manager Patti Hall told a handful of employees, Friends, and supporters who remembered Sophie lovingly. “She was a great mascot,” Hall said. “Tons of visitors are going to be saddened by this.”...
Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times, Feb. 18

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Tech Talk

Kno dual-screen tabletKno tablet looks to be dying
Jason Griffey writes: “Engadget is reporting that the Kno dual-screen tablet, which was being pushed as an answer for electronic textbook access, is in trouble as the company appears to be trying to sell off its hardware division. Kno has managed to ship only a few hundred of their tablets, and with this latest piece of news it seems that the hardware side of their business isn’t going to be the savior of the higher education e-book set.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Feb. 21; Engadget, Feb. 21

Motorola Xoom tabletMotorola Xoom tablet arrives
The Motorola Xoom tablet will hit Best Buy and Verizon shelves on February 24, selling for either $800 for the device free of contract, or for $600 with a two-year data plan. The Xoom, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, has been hyped by many as the first serious competitor to Apple’s iPad. But, on Day 1 and for at least a few weeks, the Xoom will be missing Flash and a few other key features that separate it from the iPad....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 22

I hate my iPad
John Swansburg writes: “I admit that I bought my iPad for the wrong reasons. I got one because it seemed like everyone I knew had gotten one for Christmas. I didn’t think about how it would fit in with the gadgets I already owned, and I didn’t borrow a friend’s and take it on a test drive. Now I just feel annoyed. Am I the kind of person who pays $600 to save the effort of detaching some USB cables from time to time? I don’t want to be that kind of person.”...
Slate, Feb. 18

HP Officejet 7500A Wide-Format e-All-in-OneThe 10 best wireless printers
Tony Hoffman writes: “One thing that’s held people back from buying Wi-Fi printers is the perception that they may take a hit in speed. That’s occasionally true—a lot depends on the specifics of your Wi-Fi—but any time lost in data transfer is usually minimal compared with the total print time, particularly if the printer is well positioned with respect to your router. If speed is a concern, pick a Wi-Fi printer that also comes with Ethernet, just in case. Here are the 10 best Wi-Fi-enabled printers we’ve seen so far.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 9

Firefox bookmarks drop-down listWhat’s wrong with browser bookmarks
Martin Matusiak writes: “The history of bookmarks is one of those tragic stories in technology. When bookmarks were first introduced by Mosaic, they were a huge step forward. A collection of bookmarks is all well and good, but it needs some kind of structure superimposed on it to remain effective.” Major bookmark problems include toolbar usability, importing and exporting, bookmark sync, bad page titles, bad metadata, and bookmark oblivion....
Numerodix blog, Feb. 15

Ultimate guide to the new Facebook Page design
Mario Zelaya writes: “Recently, Facebook rolled out a major overhaul of their Pages. We studied the new design extensively to see what was new and improved. In this guide, we will go through the Facebook Page changes and their impact, from a design, usability, and web development perspective.”...
Six Revisions, Feb. 18; Facebook, Feb. 10

Google and Yahoo iconsGoogle unveils Delicious bookmark importer
Jolie O’Dell writes: “Google has just rolled out a convenient new tool for importing your Delicious bookmarks to Google Bookmarks. The simple importer takes your Delicious login credentials (or lets you use a one-click OAuth button) and imports all your bookmarks, preserving labels or tags. Considering Google’s rather broad reach as a company, the importer is likely more than just a friendly bid for more Google Bookmarks users.”...
Mashable, Feb. 17

Emerald Group ad


E-readers: Step into your patrons’ shoes
Betha Gutsche writes: “My best preparation for helping others adapt to this new technology has been to own and operate my own e-reader. I definitely had a learning curve to climb. Here are some of the assumptions I bumped up against while getting acquainted with my e-reader. Your patrons may be coming to the library to be disabused of similar assumptions.”...
ALA Learning, Feb. 21

Graphic from BookLending.comThe rise of e-book lending
A few weeks after launching a Facebook page to see if there was any interest in sharing Kindle e-books, Catherine MacDonald was the harried proprietor of the online, which already has 12,000 registered users making as many as 600 swaps every day. What began as a simple desire to share titles with other Kindle users quickly became what she calls “a crowdsourced virtual library,” one that functions much like the real thing and is quickly being replicated by similar clubs and startups....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 18

Martin-Pierre d'Alvimare's score for 4 Favorite Airs Arranged for the Harp (n.d.)Free trove of music scores hits sensitive copyright note
The International Music Score Library Project was founded five years ago by conservatory student Edward W. Guo and has grown to be one of the largest sources of music scores anywhere. The site is an open source repository that uses the Wikipedia template and philosophy. Volunteers scan in scores or import them from other sources. Other users oversee copyright issues and perform maintenance. But now the site has caught the attention of music publishers who see it as threatening sales....
New York Times, Feb. 22

Cover of Please, Baby, Please, by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis LeeBooks make great baby shower gifts
Abby Johnson writes: “I don’t know about you, but it seems like my friends are exploding with babies this spring. Which means lots of baby showers and lots of baby gifts. Clothes and toys are all very good as gifts, but we readers know that books make excellent gifts, too, especially for babies and children. In fact, research tells us that access to books in the home is a critical factor in children’s literacy. So, start those babies off right by giving books as shower gifts.”...
Abby the Librarian, Feb. 22; Reading Is Fundamental

Google Books to digitize Czech collection
Google announced an agreement on February 22 with the Czech National Library to digitize up to 200,000 works published between the 16th and the 18th centuries. This includes works of the Czech reformer Jan Hus and theologians John Amos Comenius, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Martin Luther. The library is housed in the Clementinum, which served as a Jesuit college until 1773....
Inside Google Books, Feb. 22

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Innovative Interfaces ad

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New Orleans Annual Conference logo

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

National Library Week 2011 poster

This year, National Library Week celebrates the role our nation’s libraries— academic, public, school, and special—play in inspiring stories of all kinds. Through writers’ workshops, community reads, photography classes, scrapbooking, local history lectures, genealogy activities, career counseling, and small business resources, patrons can inspire, share, record, and create their own stories. Use this poster to announce your library’s activities and spread the word about this national celebration. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

New this week
in American Libraries

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Winter 2011 Digital Supplement

Nature Explorium

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

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AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College

Stephen B. Luce Library, State University of New York Maritime College, Bronx, New York. Named after the founder of the Naval War College, the library is housed in the north wing of historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula and has a special strength in marine engineering, naval architecture, marine transportation, nautical charts, oceanography, transportation economics and management, and meteorology.

The Andrew Dickson White Library in Cornell's Uris Library

Uris Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Cornell’s first architecture student, William Henry Miller, designed this building, which became the university’s first dedicated library in 1891. Built in a Richardsonian Romanesque style, its central feature is the large Dean Reading Room with natural lighting from 29 windows and 20 clerestory windows. Within Uris is the Andrew Dickson White Library (above), a study space that features three tiers of wrought-iron stacks created to house the extensive collection of Cornell’s first president. Adjacent to the library is the 173-foot McGraw Tower, built by Miller to house some of the stacks and the university chimes. Renamed in 1962 after alumnus and trustee Harold Uris, the library has since served as the university’s undergraduate library.

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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There is still time for your library to participate in Money Smart Week @ your library April 2–9. Learn how.

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Best-selling Author Scott Turow Writes About the Value of Libraries and the Threats They Face

Scott Turow

Exercise Your Options: Fitness and Fun Go Hand-in-Hand @ your library

Libraries Keep Legacy of Black Press Alive

Jack LaLanne and the Modern Fitness Movement

Anniversary Celebration Announced for National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Food Choices, Food Activism by Wanda Urbanska

Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist (Donna Seaman Interviews Nancy Goldstein)

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Academy Librarian, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. The Academy seeks a librarian whose vision and dynamic leadership will promote and enhance the library’s place at the center of the intellectual and cultural life of the school and whose knowledge and excitement for innovation will ensure the library’s prominence in advancing the educational mission of the school. At this time when many libraries are attempting to embrace the world of the printed book as well as the digital world, the Academy requires a librarian who can work with the school’s community to determine the correct balance and who can ensure that the school employs leading-edge thinking in technology....

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Digital Library of the Week

Informal portrait of five men sitting on a bench in front of a store during the 1904 Stockyards Strike. The stockyards were owned by the Union Stock Yard & Transit Company and were located in the New City community area of Chicago. DN-0000968

Photographs from the Chicago Daily News include more than 55,000 images of urban life captured on glass plate negatives between 1902 and 1933 by photographers employed by the Chicago Daily News, then one of Chicago’s leading newspapers. The photographs illustrate the enormous variety of topics and events covered in the newspaper, although only about 20% of the images in the collection were published in the newspaper. In addition to many Chicagoans, the images include politicians, actors, and other prominent people who stopped in Chicago during their travels and individual athletes and sports teams who came to Chicago. In April 1960, the newspaper owner, Field Enterprises, turned over approximately 83,000 glass negatives to the Chicago Historical Society (now known as the Chicago History Museum). The collection is displayed as part of the Library of Congress American Memory Project.

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


Shortly after Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) shelved (thanks to an unprecedented grassroots campaign by librarians) his budget amendment that would have eliminated all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog founder Sarah Wendell decided to send him a signal that information professionals in his state meant bidness. She created the Twitter hashtag #jerseylibrarians that quickly went viral, at least in library circles. Here are some of the best Jersey tweets from February 17–18.

“Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the library again. Ever.”

“In Sicily, librarians are more dangerous than shotguns.”

“It can be difficult to steal a book from the library with broken fingers, is all I’m sayin’.”

“I’ll tell you about my library. We are thick as thieves. You come after one branch, you come after me.”

“You’re cutting my budget? You’re cutting my budget?” *table flip*

“Leave the ILLs; take the cannoli.”

“You’re a good boy, Joey. A good kid. Which is why we’re gonna let you borrow Pat the Bunny. You take care of it,

“No horseplay in the Reference Department. One . . . Two . . . To the back of the head. You think about that.”

“My mother had a late fee once. ONCE.”

“Some of the kids from the neighborhood carried the librarians’ groceries all the way home. Ya know why? It was outta respect.”

@ More quotes...

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks


Educause West / Southwest Regional Conference, Austin Texas, Feb. 22–24, at:

Handheld Librarian IV, online conference, Feb. 23–24, at:

Southern California Linux Expo, Los Angeles, Feb. 25–27, at:

Electronic Resources and Libraries, Austin, Texas, Feb. 28–Mar. 2, at:

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


Mar. 16:
National Freedom of Information Day Conference,
Knight Conference Center at the Newseum, Washington, D.C.

Mar. 19:
2011 Caxton Club / Newberry Library Symposium on the Book,
Newberry Library, Chicago. “Other People’s Books: Collecting Association Copies.”

Mar. 23–25:
Tennessee Library Association,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites and Convention Center, Murfreesboro.

Mar. 30–
Apr. 1:

Oklahoma Library Association,
Annual Conference, Southern Hills Marriott, Tulsa.

Apr. 12:
National Drop Everything and Read Day.

Apr. 26–28:
Catholic Library Association,
Annual Convention, Ernest Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

May 17–19:
4th African Conference for Digital Scholarship and Curation,
CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. “Innovation and Collaboration in the Digital Research and Learning Environments.”

May 28–
June 1:

Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials,
Annual Conference, Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia. “Preserving Memory:
Documenting and Archiving Latin American Human Rights.”

June 26–29:
International Society for Technology in Education,
Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. “Unlocking Potential.”

@ More...

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Actions & Answers

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library at UC-San DiegoUC-San Diego to close as many as five libraries
The UCSD Library Committee has outlined a plan to close the Center for Library and Instructional Computing Services Library for the 2011–2012 academic year as part of a $3-million budget cut to the libraries. The move is part of UCSD’s budget cut of $60 million—based on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $500-million budget reduction to the UC system. Four other libraries could also be cut: the Medical Center, Science and Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (above), and International Relations/Pacific Studies libraries. Their collections would be merged with the main or other campus libraries....
The Guardian (UCSD), Feb. 17

How to speak up about libraries
Nancy Dowd writes: “Whenever libraries are under attack, there is always a huge cry for librarians to speak up. As a marketer, I want to concentrate on the ways to have our voices have the greatest impact for change. So I tend to look harder at the foundation we need to build, the messages we need to create, and the angels we need to get to sing for us. But these things need to be done before we are dangling from a rope with the last string ready to break.”...
The “M” Word: Marketing Libraries, Feb. 18

Adding a “T” in front of the “I” (for J in the Latin alphabet) in certain places in books was one way Thomas Jefferson marked his books, as shown in Opera omnia, Graece et Latine by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. This book, in Washington University’s rare books collection, has been confirmed by Monticello scholars as having belonged to JeffersonJefferson’s books identified at Washington University
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Washington University in St. Louis announced the discovery by Monticello scholars Ann Lucas Birle and Endrina Tay that 74 books, long held in the libraries at Washington University, originally were part of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. This makes Washington University the third-largest holder of Jefferson’s books, after the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia. After Jefferson sold his books to form the basis of a new Library of Congress in 1815, he started acquiring more to form his “retirement collection.” These 74 books were auctioned off in 1829 after his death to settle debts on his estate and were donated to the university in 1880 by the Coolidge family....
Washington University in St. Louis, Feb. 21; Monticello Blog, Feb. 21; New York Times, Feb. 21

Whither the research paper?
Maura Smale writes: “I teach a three-credit information literacy course at my college, and the research paper I assign is a large portion of students’ grade for the class. Some students have real trouble completing this assignment successfully. What about those students who don’t go on to graduate school? What does writing a research paper accomplish for them? Should all college students have the experience of writing a formal academic research paper? And, if so, why?”...
ACRLog, Feb. 18

Slideshare image from Making the Case for Facebook in EducationMaking the case for Facebook in education
Jennifer Hegna, director of information and learning technologies for Byron (Minn.) High School, writes: “Facebook is blocked for students and staff in my district. In my own personal use of the tool, I am now recognizing that work and personal information are blurring. I subscribe to many educational Fan Pages, Groups, and have had fantastic discussions with folks all over the world via Facebook. The following slideshare presentation has been shared with district leaders as well as our district technology committee.”...
Grin and Bear “I.T.,” Feb. 20

Young librarians in protest
Andy Woodworth writes: “So, there I was driving home from work on Saturday and thinking about what to write for this post when the question streaked across my mind: ‘If young librarians are in protest, what are our demands?’ Jobs? Better library education? Better leadership? ALA reformation? I’d like to get to the heart of the matter.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Feb. 19

An open letter to new librarians
Roy Tennant writes: “PC Sweeney, a self-described ‘newish’ librarian, wrote a blog post about some of his professional frustrations. This sparked a number of supportive comments from other newly-minted librarians. I can’t and won’t argue with much of this, as those frustrations are real. But having fought the good fight in my day and experiencing my own professional struggles that have not always (or even frequently) resulted in success, I have a few words of advice.” Tennant also has advice for long-time librarians....
Library Journal: Digital Libraries, Feb. 18, 22; PC Sweeney’s Blog, Feb. 17

Manifesto posted on treeThe Stealth Librarianship Manifesto debate
On February 10, Confessions of a Science Librarian blogger John Dupuis posted his Stealth Librarianship Manifesto. He writes: “To thrive and survive in a challenging environment, we must subtly and not-so-subtly insinuate ourselves into the lives of our patrons. We must concentrate on becoming part of their world, part of their landscape.” He ends by calling upon others to add their manifesto points. The writers at In the Library with the Lead Pipe saw this as an opportunity to respond to his list and create their own....
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Feb. 23; Confessions of a Science Librarian, Feb. 10

Encourage librarians to code
Bohyun Kim writes: “How fantastic would it be if every small library had an in-house developer. We will all be using open-source software with custom modules that would perfectly fit our vision and the needs of the communities we serve. So why aren’t there more librarians who code? The problem is that libraries do not proactively encourage nor strongly support their in-house library staff to become coders.”...
Library Hat, Feb. 21

Watson and Jeopardy host Alex TrebekI, reference robot
Andy Woodworth writes: “On February 14–16, a computer named Watson took on two of Jeopardy’s all-time champions, trouncing them both and not by small margins. I was rather surprised at the muted reaction of the librarian blogosphere. While Watson is probably not ready for prime time at the reference desk (due to how the program was deconstructing the clues), I could not help but marvel at the potential. I don’t see it as a replacement for any library staff, but I can see it freeing up staff so as they can be able to offer more programs and services.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Feb. 22

The real movers and shakers
Linda Absher writes: “I have a confession to make: I don’t read librarian blogs. A shocking revelation, I know, but there is a reason: They remind me of the stuff I should be doing. If I were graduating from a library program today, what would I want to hear? I’m going to tell you the truth, at least as I see it. So here goes: I want everyone graduating today to be the librarian stereotype. Seriously. It’s the bravest thing you can do as a librarian.”...
The Days and Nights of the Lipstick Librarian!, Feb. 18

Philatelic collections in libraries
Larry Nix writes: “Don Schilling did a recent post about the philatelic collections in the John Hay Library at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. His post was based on an article in the Falls River (Mass.) Herald News. That got me to thinking about other collections of philatelic objects other than books in libraries.”...
Philatelic Literature and Research, Feb. 21; Stamp Collecting Round-Up, Feb. 20; Falls River (Mass.) Herald News, Feb. 19

Humbert de Romans, Dominican scholar who promulgated the notion of arranging books by subject matter, ca. 1270From cave paintings to the internet
Rare book dealer Jeremy Norman’s website, From Cave Paintings to the Internet, is designed to help you follow the development of information and media, and attitudes about them, from the beginning of records to the present. The database allows you to approach the history of books, media, libraries, computing, and digital information in several ways—by era, by theme, as a timeline, or as a blog. The libraries timeline alone has more than 350 entries, from the earliest library catalogs to the Universal Music Group’s donation of recordings to the Library of Congress in January 2011....
From Cave Paintings to the Internet

A library patron walks up the creepy stairs in the Jefferson Market branchThe haunted NYPL branch
A library patron (played by Young Adult Librarian Marie C. Hansen) is returning her overdue items at the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library. She soon discovers the library to be inhabited by a strange and terrifying ghoul (played by Branch Manager Frank Collerius) who instructs her on the virtues of renewing books. The video (1:44) was created for the New York Public Library by Lehmann Films....
YouTube, Feb. 10

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