American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 5, 2011

American Libraries Online
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San Diego Update
Division News
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Seen Online
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American Libraries Online

Five years of AL Direct graphicFive years of e-publishing
American Libraries Direct is celebrating its fifth birthday with this issue. The e-newsletter was launched on January 11, 2006, just prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. It was a modest affair, but since then it has grown to become an essential news resource for ALA members and nonmembers alike. We are looking forward to the next five years!

Graphic of 2010 Year in ReviewThe Year in Review 2010
From ongoing economic strains to the advent of mobile library apps and Choose Privacy Week, here are the top 10 library news-story trends selected by the editors of American Libraries. First, supply and demand: Several Fox TV affiliates aired a segment June 28 titled: “Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?” The answer should have been apparent before the question was even asked: Gate counts and circulation documented that libraries were more in demand than ever, and patrons were not about to surrender their neighborhood research and recreation hubs to budget cuts....
American Libraries feature

Segment of a library ServiceScape modelInfo Pro: Adopting Tools from the World of Business Consulting
Sarah Anne Murphy writes: “As professionals serving increasingly business-savvy consumers, librarians must realize that we are, in fact, consultants. As such, we need to adopt some of the tools and thinking of business consultants to better communicate our value to library customers. We do that by creating what is called a ServiceScape environment, which is essential for building and maintaining a library’s brand identity.”...
American Libraries feature

ALA Connect logoIs ALA ripe for rebellion?
Jim Rettig writes: “During my 34 years as an ALA member I have heard others complain about the Association and its value. Complaints include: It doesn’t care about librarians, just about libraries; it’s a mouthpiece for left-wing radicals; it doesn’t do anything for me. In her September 23 Abby the Librarian blog post, ’ALA Is Not Your Mom,’ Abby Johnson wrote, ‘If you’re not getting what you want out of ALA, the only way to change that is to get involved.’ But in spring 2009, ALA gave its members a tool that can play a role in creating that environment: ALA Connect.”...
American Libraries feature

Leonard KniffelFrom the American Libraries editor: An exit interview
Leonard Kniffel writes: “What better way to make sure you’re asked the right questions in your exit interview than to conduct it yourself? So after 22 years on the American Libraries staff, 15 of them at the helm, here comes mine: Why are you leaving AL? I’m listening to a little voice inside that says it’s time to move on. And then what? Concentrate on public awareness and the website and forge alliances and partnerships with foundations and related organizations that will help ALA’s advocacy and outreach directly to the public.”...
American Libraries column, Dec. 30

Cover of A Book Sale How-To GuideSupport for our school
Q. I’m a part-time school librarian, in a rural area. The local PTO would like to help me gain more funding for our school library. Do you have any ideas or resources I can share with them? A. Real success in gaining more funding will require working on several fronts at once. First, engage in advocacy for the school library itself. Second, work with the parents so that they understand the library’s collection needs. Finally, engage in creative fundraising (right)....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Jan. 5

Green Your Library logoSigning off, for now
Laura Bruzas writes: “After 12 months of serving as the Green Your Library blogger, I am stepping aside to give other talented individuals the chance to share their green stories. If you’re a regular reader of this blog who enjoys writing and has something to contribute to Green Your Library so that we all can continue to learn and expand our green efforts, I hope that you will consider being a guest blogger in 2011.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Dec. 22

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ALA News

Keith Michael FielsA remarkable ending to a tough year
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “Given the tough economy and the fiscal crisis that has affected libraries of all types, it was no surprise that ALA found itself facing a $2-million revenue shortfall this past year—about 10%. Thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of members, management, and staff, we were able to reduce expenditures midyear and end the year on a positive financial note.”...
Executive Director’s Message, Dec. 28

What’s happening: A Midwinter Meeting update
(PDF file)

ALA Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas has prepared this guide to the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, complete with hot topics, networking opportunities, socials, forums, discussion groups, exhibit-floor events, Council schedules, divisional board meeting schedules, and basic conference information....
ALA Connect, Dec. 30

#alamw11 orientation
John Chrastka writes: “We are all looking forward to welcoming you to the 2011 Midwinter Meeting. The 10-day forecast for San Diego is sunny and in the low 60s, so bring a jacket as you network, learn, and connect with other attendees from around the library world and explore all that this wonderful meeting has to offer. This orientation covers topics like your badge, the convention center, and navigating the exhibits.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Dec. 29

Remix your library at the Unconference
Spend all day Friday, January 7, at the San Diego Convention Center “mashing up” libraries with new ideas: Hip-hop, Banksy, collection development, or anything. Stop by, hang out, and join the magic from 9 to 5 (with a lunch break). Note your attendence on the Facebook event page....
2011 ALA Midwinter wiki

Midwinter Advocacy Institute focuses on branding, Library Snapshot Day
Space is still available for the “Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop” during ALA’s 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The program will take place on January 7. Attendees will learn how to advocate by positioning their libraries to meet the needs of patrons, how to use snapshot day as an advocacy tool, and improve messaging to decision makers. Advance registration is $50; onsite will be $75....
Office for Library Advocacy, Dec. 28

ALA Emerging Issues
ALA Emerging Issues, a website jointly maintained by the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Washington Office, brings together information, news, and opinion about the issues raised by WikiLeaks’ disclosure of classified government documents and the government’s response to WikiLeaks’ activities. An essay by OIF Director Barbara Jones on WikiLeaks and ALA went up December 27. The site will continually add new information as it becomes available. Suggestions can be sent to Deborah Caldwell-Stone in OIF or Lynne Bradley in the Washington Office....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Dec. 27

New Orleans conference logoEarly bird registration open for 2011 Annual Conference
Registration and housing are now open for those planning to attend the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28. Bringing together more than 25,000 librarians, educators, authors, publishers, literacy experts, illustrators, and the leading suppliers to the market, the Annual Conference gives you a once-a-year opportunity to advance your career and improve your library. See who’s exhibiting and read all about the programs in the Early Bird brochure (PDF file)....
Conference Services, Jan. 3

Updated briefs on federal issues affecting libraries
In preparation for the 2011 Committee on Legislation retreat and Midwinter Conference, the ALA Office of Government Relations has released updated issue briefs on federal legislation and policies impacting libraries, including broadband, LSTA, and privacy. The issue briefs may be viewed here in PDF format....
District Dispatch, Jan. 4

Section of the 2010 Census interactive map widget indicating  a population increase of  10% in the state of CaliforniaInteractive widget for 2010 Census
ALA partnered with the 2010 Census in September 2009 to help promote the value of accurate and complete census data and to improve the questionnaire response rate. That partnership has come to a successful conclusion, and the results are in. To more easily share the data, the U.S. Census has released on online widget allowing visitors to quickly view the data on a state-by-state level. The interactive map is available on the websites of ALA and the U.S. Census....
Development Office, Dec. 28

“Our Authors, Our Advocates” PSAs to debut
ALA will unveil on January 7 audio and video public service announcements from such best-selling authors as Sharon Draper, Brad Meltzer, Sara Paretsky, and Scott Turow. The materials will be free and made available for download at the I Love Libraries website to ALA membership for use at the local level to assist with advocacy efforts....
Public Information Office, Dec. 29

ALA 2015 Strategic Plan released
The vision statement for the ALA 2015 Strategic Plan has been encapsulated as: “ALA builds a world where libraries, both physical and virtual, are central to lifelong discovery and learning and everyone is a library user.” Attendees of the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego can pick up a brochure that outlines the strategic plan at the ALA Press Office and the membership information kiosk at the ALA Store. The strategic plan is also available online (PDF file)....
Public Information Office, Dec. 29

Screen shot of Juliet Machie from the OLOS videoMaking the literacy connection
In this video (4:49), ALA Committee on Literacy Chair Juliet I. Machie (right), deputy director of the Detroit Public Library, discusses the vital role that librarians must play in combating illiteracy in their communities. “In my community,” she says, “47% of my adults are classified as functionally illiterate.” Machie calls on librarians to take action to address their communities’ literacy needs....
OLOS Columns, Jan. 4; YouTube, Dec. 28

Financial planning @ your library
According to a recent poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, saving money was the third most popular New Year’s resolution. Libraries are trying to make this goal easier to reach. With the assistance of grants, ALA and libraries across the country are helping library users pinch a few extra pennies this year....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Jan. 4

January 17 deadline for Google Policy Fellowship
The ALA Washington Office will once again participate in the Google Policy Fellowship program in the summer of 2011. Google Policy Fellows work in diverse areas of information policy that include broadband, net neutrality, and free expression. The deadline for applications is January 17....
District Dispatch, Jan. 3

Roberta Stevens, Erik Boekesteijn, and Bas Savenije on TWILRoberta Stevens in the Netherlands
ALA President Roberta Stevens was a keynote speaker at the Bibliotheek Tweedaagse conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands, December 9–10. She took time out to appear on Jaap van de Geer’s video series, This Week in Libraries (31:43), along with Bas Savenije, director general of the National Library of the Netherlands (right), and moderator Erik Boekesteijn....
This Week in Libraries, no. 28 (Dec. 11)

Reproduction of an invitation to the first ALA Conference in Philadelphia in 1876Celebrating library history in 2011
Larry Nix writes: “The year 1876 was probably the most significant year in American library history. This was the year that the American Library Association was founded. It was also the year in which Melvil Dewey first published his decimal system of book classification. The Library Journal, originally the American Library Journal, began publication in 1876. The landmark publication Public Libraries in the United States of America was also published by the Bureau of Education that year.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 1

Free webinar: Midwinter Tech Wrapup
The ALA Midwinter Meeting provides a fantastic opportunity to reflect on how technology is continuing to transform the library world. ALA TechSource is planning another free, conference-wrapping webinars with its Midwinter Tech Wrapup on January 19, 1:30–3 p.m. Ccentral time. Panelists include Jason Griffey, Kate Sheehan, Marshall Breeding, and Tom Peters. Register here....
ALA TechSource Blog, Jan. 3

The inaugural group of volunteers for Libraries Build Communities help spruce up a facility in  post-Katrina  New Orleans in 2006Emerging Leaders tackle Libraries Build Communities expansion
Don Wood writes: “One of the 2011 Emerging Leaders Projects, Project F, will identify steps to transform and extend ALA’s popular annual volunteer service day, Libraries Build Communities, into means to provide libraries with librarian-volunteers whenever and wherever needed. Project activities may include determining methods of providing specialized volunteer assistance to libraries or exploring partnerships to help support and manage library assistance efforts.”...
ALA Student Membership Blog, Jan. 4

Glee READ posterRing in the new year with a Glee READ poster
ALA’s newest celebrity READ poster stars five cast members from the hit TV show Glee. Posing on the show’s high-school library set with a selection of their favorite reads are Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), and Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer). ALA Graphics is hosting a Glee trivia contest through January 7, with a new question about the show posted every day; a random winner will be drawn from the correct responses every day and receive a Glee READ poster and a copy of the show’s latest tie-in novel Glee: Foreign Exchange. The poster and a bookmark pack are available at the ALA Store....
ALA Graphics, Dec. 28

Cover of In the Words of the Winners: Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2001-2010New stuff/cool stuff at the ALA Store
John Chrastka writes: “At the 2011 Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Store will be located on the Exhibit Floor at Booth 1940. Coordinating with the Youth Media Awards announcement on Monday, January 10, In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals, 2001–2010 will be in stock, showcasing an exclusive collection of acceptance speeches from winners of the most respected prizes in children’s literature. In addition, the critically acclaimed Glee cast has joined the Celebrity READ campaign, and several new titles from ALA Editions will be making their debuts.”...
ALA Membership Blog, Dec. 28

Cover of Reid's Read-Alouds 2: Modern-Day Classics from C. S. Lewis to Lemony SnicketRead more about Reid’s read-aloud classics
Children’s literature guru Rob Reid dips back into the classics with the publication of Reid’s Read-Alouds 2: Modern-Day Classics from C. S. Lewis to Lemony Snicket. A companion to the best-selling Reid’s Read-Alouds, this volume highlights outstanding titles published between 1950 and 1999 that continue to connect with kids and teens today. From humor and drama to science fiction and history, Reid offers unique 10-minute read-aloud suggestions drawn from 200 carefully selected titles along with brief plot summaries....
ALA Editions, Jan. 4

Booklist Online logo

Audio case for FreedomFeatured review: Audiobook
Franzen, Jonathan. Freedom. Read by David Ledoux. 25 hrs. Aug. 2010. AudioGO, CD (978-0-7927-7321-4).
Oprah’s book-club pick is a natural for audio. Narrator Ledoux does a terrific job making this massive novel accessible to listeners. The complex plot (with flashbacks, flash-forwards, and varying points of view) requires a strong reader who can keep the characters’ emotions and attitudes in place. Ledoux’s reading is pretty straightforward. He changes tones and inflections to convey protagonist Walter’s kindness and deep well of anger and his wife Patty’s frustrations and depression. Ledoux transforms their son Joey from a smart-aleck teenager and scheming college student to a scared 20-year-old entrepreneur whose connection with a corrupt venture in Iraq leads him back to his dad. Expect high demand....

Graphic for Voices in My HeadDigital synchronicity
Mary Burkey writes: “As the print publishing world deals with the shift to digital e-books, the audiobook community responds with ‘Been there, done that.’ Are you intrigued by the birth of download megamarketer Amazon’s Kindle, which excludes the library market with a laser-sharp focus on building a consumer base? Audible did that back in the 20th century, founding their online store in 1995, selling a newfangled media device, the MP3 player, which could play audiobook digital files in a copy-protected proprietary format. If you are interested in the history of e-book readers, travel back in time to 2000 and the launch of OverDrive Media and the birth of library-friendly audiobook downloads.”...

The Booklist hallway. Where are we?  Off writing our 2011 manifestosMy 2011 YA wishlist
Daniel Kraus writes: “It is entirely possible that we in the Booklist youth brigade read more YA books than anyone else in the freakin’ world. You can’t do this and not start to feel a pang of despair when you’ve seen the same plot device, character quirk, or theme for the tenth time in a single month. So here are seven things I’d like to see change or just plain go away in YA fiction in the coming year. Angry-letter writers, start cracking those knuckles.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, Jan. 3

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

San Diego Update

TSA travel tips
The Transportation Security Administration posted these travel tips for the holidays, but they also apply to Midwinter flights as well. In addition to advice on liquids and wait times, the post also contains some TSA humor. See the sections on Fruitcake and Christmas sweaters....
TSA Blog, Dec. 23

@DeltaAssist Twitter logoStranded at the airport? Tweet about it
Some travelers stranded by the great snowstorm of 2010 discovered a new lifeline for help. When all else fails, Twitter might be the best way to book a seat home. While the airlines’ reservation lines required hours of waiting, savvy travelers were able to book new reservations, get flight information, and track lost luggage. And they could complain, too....
New York Times, Dec. 29

Screen shot of the cupcake-mobile from newscast about Heavenly CupcakeHeavenly cupcakes
Located in the Gaslamp Quarter at 518 6th Avenue, Heavenly Cupcake opened in 2009 as the city’s first cupcake lounge (PDF file). Often staying open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, the lounge features Rose Mary Pereira’s freshly-baked creations. Her signature Orange Chip flavor features Madagascar vanilla cake infused with orange zest and chocolate chips and topped with the highest quality Felchlin Swiss chocolate. To promote their wares, they use a cupcake-mobile (above) that motors around the district. Watch the video (2:03)....
Heavenly Cupcake; Where San Diego, Spring 2009; YouTube, July 27, 2009

Pioneer Hook and Ladder fire truck in San Diego Firehouse MuseumSan Diego Firehouse Museum
Founded in 1962, the San Diego Firehouse Museum features a collection of antique fire equipment, trucks, gear, and other memorabilia dating back more than 100 years. Located at 1572 Columbia Street in the Little Italy area downtown, the museum is open Thursdays through Sunday—perfect for a post-Midwinter visit. It operated by volunteers who are retired members of the profession, many of them willing to share their own experiences and stories....
San Diego Firehouse Museum

Division News

Vernor VingeQuestions for Vernor Vinge?
Jason Griffey writes: “On January 8 in San Diego I have the opportunity to interview an incredible author and thinker. Vernor Vinge (right) is best known for being a multiple Hugo Award winning author, but he is also a professor and technologist, famous for being a proponent of the idea of The Singularity. I am taking questions both now and live during the interview. We will be streaming the interview on the LITA Blog and on the LITA UStream channel, and taking questions via Facebook and Twitter.”...
LITA Blog, Dec. 29

“Survive and Thrive” in San Diego with PLA institute
There’s still time to register onsite for PLA’s daylong January 7 institute “Public Libraries Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century” to be held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. IMLS Director Susan Hildreth joins a panel of experts to discuss topics such as: making tough budget decisions, communicating with staff and the public, fundraising, technology, facilities, staffing, community collaborations, and customer service....
PLA, Jan. 4

Cover of Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week: Tips and Resources for YALSAFind inspiration for Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week
Librarians planning celebrations for YALSA’s two annual literacy initiatives can now turn to a new, comprehensive resource: Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week: Tips and Resources for YALSA’s Initiatives, edited by Megan Fink. Released just in time to plan for the 2011 Teen Tech Week, March 6–12, the book includes more than 30 articles offering ideas on best practices, programming and collection development, and marketing and outreach for both events. Appendixes include publicity tools for promoting both weeks....
YALSA, Dec. 28

Tantalize teens with technology
Learn how to easily use technology at almost no cost to enhance teen library services at “Tech4U: Technology Programs for Every User.” The program will offer demonstrations of applications such as Animoto, VoiceThread, Comic Creator, Toondoo, and Storybird. Hosted by Megan Fink, middle school librarian and advisor at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Day School, registration is open for the webinar, which will be held January 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern time....
YALSA, Jan. 4

Young readers build book buzz
More than 70 young readers at the Montgomery County Public Library in Bethesda, Maryland, are a little-known sounding board for publishers of teen fiction, poring over advance copies of books and dutifully typing up their ratings and impressions. The group is one of 16 across the nation that belong to a galley-review program started by YALSA. The program, begun in 2007, is called Bethesda Teen Reads....
Washington Post, Dec. 27

Homework help webinar helps you help teens
Help your teens get a head start on their homework by hosting a homework help program at your library. Host Mari Hardacre discusses both in-person and online homework help programs, including fee-based and free services. Learn how to get teens involved in the program through outreach and partnerships, tips for marketing your program, and what role social media may come to play in homework help. Registration is open for the February 17 webinar, which begins at 2 p.m. Eastern time....
YALSA, Jan. 4

Scholarly Communication 101 on the road again
ACRL will be taking its free half-day workshop, “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics,” back on the road to five libraries across the country in 2011. Complete details about the workshop are posted online, and institutions may publicly express their intent to apply by posting a comment in ALA Connect to identify potential collaborators and submit an application jointly....
ACRL, Jan. 3

Cover of Collection Development in a Changing EnvironmentCollection Development in a Changing Environment
Authors Susanne K. Clement and Jennifer M. Foy highlight collection development and management policies for college and university libraries in the new ACRL publication Collection Development in a Changing Environment (CLIP Note #42). The first digital publication in the Clip Note series, the publication is in PDF e-book format, which allows for hyperlinked excerpts of policies from more than 60 libraries....
ACRL, Jan. 4

Round Table News

GLBTRT hosts Midwinter social
Join the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table in San Diego at the Rock Bottom Brewery, 401 G Street, 6–9 p.m. on January 8 to help continue a year-long celebration of the group’s 40th anniversary. Founded in 1970, GLBTRT will conclude the festivities that began at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., at the Book Award Gala to be held during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28....
Office for Diversity, Dec. 28


Stay tuned for 2011 John Cotton Dana Awards
A press conference announcing this year’s winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award will be held from 4–5 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, at the San Diego Convention Center during the ALA Midwinter Meeting....
LLAMA, Jan. 4

Poll promotes 2011 Youth Media Awards
Celebrate the upcoming Youth Media Awards with library lovers across the country by voting online for your favorite Newbery Medal–winning book. The poll is the newest feature on, ALA’s public awareness website whose articles librarians are encouraged to use and repurpose to highlight the richness of libraries’ resources. The articles are available under a Creative Commons license and should be credited to the website....
Public Information Office, Dec. 28

Digital Resource Commons logoOITP recognizes cutting-edge library technology programs
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has selected programs at Creekview High School (the Unquiet Library) in Canton, Georgia; Orange County Library System (Shake It! mobile app) in Orlando, Florida; North Carolina State University Libraries (web design) in Raleigh; and OhioLINK (Digital Resource Commons) in Columbus, Ohio, as the winners of its second contest to honor cutting-edge technologies in library services....
District Dispatch, Jan. 5

Submit your ALA Awards nominations
The deadline has been extended to February 1 for a number of ALA awards and grants, including the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award, the Beta Phi Mu Award, the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award, the Paul Howard Award for Courage, the Lippincott Award, and the Scholastic Library Publishing Award. General information about these and other ALA awards are available online....
Office of ALA Governance, Dec. 28

Louisa May Alcott30 libraries to receive Louisa May Alcott grants
ALA and the National Endowment for the Humanities have announced the 30 libraries that will receive $2,500 grants to support five reading, viewing, and discussion programs featuring the documentary Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women and the companion biography of the same name. The library outreach program is part of NEH’s We the People initiative, in collaboration with Nancy Porter and Harriet Reisen for Filmmakers Collaborative....
Public Programs Office, Jan. 4

Cover of One Crazy Summer2011 Scott O’Dell Award
The winner of the 2011 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction is One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, published by Amistad. Established in 1982 by the great historical fiction writer Scott O’Dell, the annual $5,000 award is given for a distinguished work of historical fiction for young people, published by a U.S. publisher. The setting must be South, Central, or North America, and the author must be a U.S. citizen....
Read Roger, Jan. 4

Cover of A Recipe for WaterQueen’s Gold Medal for Poetry
The national poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, has won one of Britain’s most prestigious awards, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in recognition of both her latest collection, A Recipe for Water, and for her entire body of work. Clarke declared herself “very chuffed” to receive an award given to such writers as W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Derek Walcott, U. A. Fanthorpe, and Les Murray, since its institution by King George V in 1933....
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 24

Cover of The Kneebone Boy, by Ellen PotterGolden Fuse Awards, 2010
Betsy Bird writes: “It’s that time of year again! Looking back, I see that I’ve consistently been doing Golden Fuse Awards for a good number of years now. Past selections appeared in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Now we turn to 2010, a strange little wildcard year. First, Best Cover of 2010 goes to The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter. It hints at all kinds of mysteries. The cat’s multiple toes. The person in the tree.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Jan. 1

Seen Online

Susan HildrethSenate confirms Hildreth as IMLS director
The U.S. Senate confirmed Susan Hildreth December 22 as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services by unanimous consent. She will serve a four-year term as IMLS director beginning January 24, succeeding Interim Director Marsha L. Semmel. Hildreth has been director of the Seattle Public Library since 2008; prior to that she served as California state librarian....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 23

Fire truck at Portsmouth (Va.) Main Library. Screen capture from WAVY-TV newscastArson fire closes Portsmouth library for three months
The Portsmouth (Va.) Main Library will remain closed until April 1 as workers clean thousands of books and reconstruct parts of the building destroyed by a Christmas Day fire. Investigators say the fire was deliberately set in the bookdrop at the rear of the building and spread down a hallway. Workers will need to thoroughly clean many of the library’s 150,000 volumes....
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Jan. 1; WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, Va., Dec. 30

Manuel Munoz of Sacramento Public Library stands in front of the materials drop built into the wall of the firebombed Arden-Dimick branch. Still from KXTV, SacramentoFirebomb closes Sacramento library branch
A Molotov cocktail–type device exploded at approximately 3:30 a.m. on January 3 inside the return box of Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library’s Arden-Dimick branch, damaging about 1,000 items in the return box, most of which were soaked by the fire sprinklers activated in the book-drop room. Because the water also damaged walls and ceiling tiles, as well as the carpet outside the room, the incident has forced the library’s closure until January 8. No one was injured and no arrests have been made, although officials plan to review outdoor surveillance video for clues. Watch the news video (0:58)....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Jan. 4; Sacramento Public Library; KXTV, Sacramento, Jan. 3

Morristown library reopens with a new director
The Morristown and Morris Township (N.J.) Library, closed since an underground gas explosion last May, will partially reopen on January 6. Town officials gave temporary approval to reopen the undamaged 2006 wing of the library. Maria Norton, who became interim director in the aftermath of the blast, has been promoted to director by trustees. Her first order of business will be shoehorning a full complement of library services into about one-third of the pre-explosion space....
Morristown (N.J.) Green, Jan. 4

Beth ElderSalt Lake City library managers reapply for their jobs
As part of a board-sanctioned management restructuring that goes into effect January 10 at the Salt Lake City Public Library, all 31 members of library management recently had to reapply for their positions. The result: Four veteran staffers retired and five were reassigned to “special assignments” outside management ranks. Director Beth Elder (right) emailed all staff that she looked forward to the “new opportunities and the new synergies that will be created as people join together in new groups, committees, and teams.” The reorganization follows the recommendations of a consultant, contracted by Elder and the board earlier this year, whose report outlined a need for change....
Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 30

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw branch of the DC Public LibraryDCPL branch included in Best Architecture of 2010
Julie V. Iovine writes: “In Washington, D.C., the beacon-bright Watha T. Daniel/Shaw branch of the District of Columbia Public Library designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas is shaped into a dynamically jutting prow that is a far cry from the inward-turned, windowless brick models of yesteryear. The architecture—utilitarian but inventive, and with a green roof and 20-foot-tall central space—says much about the priorities and the programs going on inside libraries.”...
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 24

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men (1976)LC picks 25 more films for the National Film Registry
Two quintessential Washington movies were selected for the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry on December 28. All the President’s Men and The Exorcist, along with 23 other feature films, documentaries, and shorts, have been deemed “works of enduring significance to American culture.” See the full 2010 list here. Librarian of Congress James Billington said LC hoped to make the Registry films available through Netflix and online streaming sites, including the library’s....
Washington Post, Dec. 28; Library of Congress, Dec. 28

Marin County Library builds database of death records
Since 1850, Marin County, California, coroners have documented thousands of death investigations—pistol shootings, drownings, railroad accidents, the occasional poisoning. Because of the merger of the coroner’s office with the sheriff’s office in January, the files on more than 89,000 coroners’ cases—many handwritten in ink on parchment—have been transferred to the Marin County Free Library’s Anne T. Kent California Room in San Rafael. Librarian Laurie Thompson is embarking on a project to create a searchable database of the archives, with help from Genealogical Society volunteers....
Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal, Jan. 1

Camden library staff to be laid off
All 20 staffers at the two remaining public library branches in Camden, New Jersey, will be laid off effective February 11, officials announced on December 29, although Camden County plans to take over one of the branches and allow employees to reapply for their jobs. The layoffs, prompted by budget cuts, mean that the main branch in downtown Camden will close and that the city will cease providing library services for the first time in 105 years....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 30

Exterior of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in PhiladelphiaStudy: Downsize Philadelphia Library for the Blind
After more than a century in Philadelphia, the nation’s oldest library for the blind is facing the potential loss of most of its materials and services to its Pittsburgh counterpart. A state-commissioned study has recommended that the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped be significantly downsized—at a savings of about $600,000 a year for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Although the principal heir would be the Carnegie Library for the Blind, the study also suggests moving Philadelphia’s Braille collection—one of the country’s largest—to Iowa....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 25

A copy of A Dog of Flanders returned to Mt. Clemens Public LibraryTwo overdue-book stories for the price of one
At the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, John J. Wolfe returned Sound and Symbol in Chinese, a book he checked out in 1946 before he was deployed to the Far East, making it 65 years overdue. But he was trumped by Mark McKee, who returned A Dog of Flanders by Marie Louise de la Ramée (Ouida), which he had checked out from the Mount Clemens (Mich.) Public Library in 1934, a distance of 76 years. This seems like a perfect time to recall Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Overdues.”...
Baltimore Sun: Read Street, Dec. 30; WJBK-TV, Detroit, Dec. 21; Gaal Yahas: LiveJournal

Erhard KonerdingWill this documents librarian become a Millionaire?
The world will find out whether Wesleyan University Documents Librarian Erhard Konerding wins $1 million on the ABC-TV series Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on April 14, the air date of the game-show episode that Konerding taped in November. A veteran of three other television game shows—Jeopardy (1994), Remember This (1996), and History IQ (2000), Konerding is contractually prohibited from telling how he fared until after the air date. Regardless, he has no immediate plans to quit his day job: “I’ll definitely stay at least until my 40th anniversary party [in 2012],” he said....
Wesleyan Connection, Dec. 16

NYPL preserves theater history
No one adapts more Broadway shows for the screen than the New York Public Library. The library films roughly 60 productions a year, and Patrick Hoffman, director of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, is charged with backing up Broadway. Under the strict contracts negotiated with the theatrical unions decades ago, none of the more than 6,000 videos can be removed from the Library for the Performing Arts—even Robert De Niro had to sit at one of the monitors in the screening room to watch the tapes....
New York Post, Dec. 27

The Denver Public Library Lego modelThe Denver Public Library in Lego bricks
Alan Prendergast writes: “Few projects are quite the labor of love involved in one 15-year-old Lego devotee’s astonishing replica of the Denver Public Library: 7,000 bricks, two solid weeks of full-time construction, and no glue, of course. The tribute by Imagine Rigney (that’s his real name) isn’t on public display at the moment, but staff at the central branch have been given a glimpse of it and have marveled at the attention to detail, right down to the sculptures outside and the different-colored bricks.”...
Denver Westword: Latest Word, Dec. 22

Old library furniture draws collector interest
When the now vacant library on Greene Street in Augusta, Georgia, opened in 1960, the array of tables, desks, and other furnishings were typical of the era—sleek, utilitarian, even industrial. In late January, everyone will have an opportunity to own a piece of Augusta’s past—but some of it might be a little pricey. Stackable chairs made by Eames, a tambour-front cabinet by Jens Risom, a Herman Miller walnut desk, and about two dozen other interesting items fall into a niche known as Mid-Century Modern....
Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle,
Jan. 2

Hill Reference Library to launch business incubator
The historic James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minnesota, announced that it plans to open an incubator to help entrepreneurs this summer. The library will turn 10,000 square feet of space into working areas for growth companies and service providers and will also offer training programs online. Tom Triplett, director of strategy development, said the library will allocate $2 million of its $14.5-million endowment to launch the project....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 22

Coded message found in an 1863 bottleCoded message discovered in Museum of the Confederacy
A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces in 1863. The bottle, less than 2 inches in length, had sat undisturbed at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, since 1896. It was a gift from Capt. William A. Smith of King George County, who served during the Vicksburg siege....
Associated Press, Dec. 26

Easton (Pa.) Area Public Library in the 1940sEaston library looks back on 200 years of service
The Easton (Pa.) Area Public Library is marking its 200th anniversary in 2011 as a focal point of the city and surrounding communities. Library Director Jennifer Stocker said the library will feature monthly events highlighting its history and promoting its resources in a yearlong celebration. Aside from the computers and visitors’ clothes, not much has changed since it was founded by the Easton Library Company in 1811....
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Dec. 25

Durham University's damaged First FolioRestoring the Durham First Folio
Durham University plans to exhibit its Shakespeare First Folio in its current brutalized state, revealing how much damage was done to the priceless volume after it was stolen from Palace Green Library in December 1998. However, after the exhibition ends in March, it will undergo crucial conservation work. New cords will be added to retain the book’s original smooth gilded edges, damaged pages will be repaired with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste, and new boards will be laced onto the cords before the folio is rebound in dark blue goatskin....
Darlington (U.K.) Northern Echo, Dec. 30

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Tech Talk

Quora logoSeven technologies that will rock 2011
Erick Schonfeld writes: “The technologies that are now available to us continue to engage (and enthrall) in fascinating ways. The rise and collision of several trends—social, mobile, touch computing, geo, cloud—keep spitting out new products and technologies that keep propelling us forward. Here I highlight seven technologies that are ready to tip into the mainstream in 2011.”...
TechCrunch, Jan. 2

Fastmac U-socket plugThe best tech ideas of 2010
David Pogue writes: “Welcome to the Sixth Annual Pogie Awards. It’s time once again to recognize the best tech ideas of the year. Not the best products—sometimes, a Pogie Award–winning feature crops up in a product that, over all, is a turkey. No, these awards go to the best ideas in products, clever twists that make life just a little bit better. Note: These aren’t real awards. It’s just me, quietly making notes all year long.”...
New York Times, Dec. 29

Drupal logoDrupal 7 released
The popular open source content management system Drupal released its latest version January 5. Drupal 7 has been 3 years in the making, with code from thousands of contributors from over 200 countries. Drupal 7 includes a number of improvements to both performance and usability. The enhancements to the UI mean easier administration, update management, accessibility, and content creation. There’s also a new image editor that allows users to resize and crop photos without having to leave the platform....
ReadWriteWeb, Jan. 5

10 ways to get the most out of technology
Sam Grobart writes: “Your gadgets and computers, your software and sites—they are not working as well as they should. You need to make some tweaks. But the tech industry has given you the impression that making adjustments is difficult and time-consuming. It is not. And so here are 10 things to do to improve your technological life. They are easy and (mostly) free.”...
New York Times, Dec. 29

Google ChromeOS Notebook, which eschews function keysGriffey grades the Google ChromeOS Notebook
Jason Griffey writes: “My final grade for Google’s first attempt at a ChromeOS machine is quite a mixed bag. I sat down with my new Cr-48 with one goal in mind: Use it until I couldn’t. That is, try to see how much of my normal computing life I could handle just in a browser. The answer, in the beginning, was just not that much. That was the fault of my own predispositions and expectations about computing; the metaphor of ‘just a browser’ really took me some time to wrap my head around. And overall, I was able to get quite a lot done. I’m definitely on the early-adopter side of moving to the cloud.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Dec. 23

Mophie Juice PackMophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 4
Mark Frauenfelder writes: “Now that I have a Mophie Juice Pack Plus—a $99 rechargeable external battery case for my iPhone4—I can stare at my phone the entire time I’m in public without having to worry that the battery will lose its charge before I get back to my hotel. The Mophie adds some bulk and weight to the phone, but not much. It’s got a power switch so that when the iPhone’s battery is starting to die I can switch over to the Mophie’s battery.”...
Boing Boing, Jan. 3

Modified National Library Symbol, reflecting Wi-Fi availabilityHow to stay safe at a public Wi-Fi hotspot
Glenn Fleishman writes: “You’re at risk whenever you use Wi-Fi on a public network, but thankfully it’s never been easier or cheaper to secure yourself thoroughly. You have a variety of strategies to choose from, some of which are free and some of which have a modest cost attached. None are terribly complicated, but just require a commitment on your part if you feel at risk. Which you should.” Fleischman also recommends precautionary steps for providers of public networks....
Ars Technica, Jan. 3–4

GoodReader iconApp of the week: GoodReader
Linda W. Braun writes: “Moving files from one device (or computer) to another can be a challenge. Even when working in the cloud, sometimes it’s not easy to get content from device to device. Good.iWare changes that with the GoodReader app, which provides a variety of ways for getting content to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch when it lives somewhere else. The Board documents for YALSA’s Midwinter meetings provide a perfect example of how the app works.”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 5

Reinstall Windows without losing your data
Lincoln Spector writes: “How did things get this messed up? Windows has slowed to a crawl. Programs won’t run. The free firewall you installed last year won’t update or uninstall itself. System Restore hasn’t helped; neither have your assorted cleanup and antimalware programs. Only one option remains: Reinstall Windows and start from scratch. I’m not going to lie to you—this is a scary and time-consuming job. But here’s how to make the process as safe and painless as possible.”...
PC World, Dec. 7

Graphic from HTML5 RocksLearn the basics about HTML5
Julio A. Rivera writes: “Recently, I’ve been getting into HTML5 a lot more. In this post, I offer nine websites to learn the basics. Web pages will now be more semantic with the use of structured specific tags. Now you can add rounded corners, drag and drop, and drop shadows. HTML5 is not fully supported in major browsers, but designers and developers will always push forward to break out of the standards.”...
UnderWorld Magazines, Jan. 4

Top 50 programming quotes of all time
Jun Auza writes: “I’ve decided to gather a good number of my all-time favorite programming-related quotes. Most of them were made by some of the famous names in the industry, while others came from not-so-famous people. Nevertheless, they are all witty so I hope you will find them fascinating and enlightening. For example, 8. ‘Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris.’ —Larry Wall.”...
TechSource, Dec. 10

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2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting logo, San Diego

ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Registered? Set up your conference schedule. Don’t forget the Midwinter wiki and be sure to check out the Midwinter mobile site, which is the ALA Midwinter Schedule sized perfectly for your mobile browser.

Cover of Fang-tastic Fiction

Answer frequently asked questions such as “What’s good besides Twilight?” with the help of Patricia O’Brien Mathews’s Fang-Tastic Fiction, an engaging tour through today’s spooky lit. This lively readers’ advisory will help you suggest a multitude of adventures starring angst-ridden heartthrobs, superheroes, and champions. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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Year in Review

Adopting Business Tools

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From the Editor

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

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Great Libraries of the World

Linda Hall Library reading room

Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, Missouri. The largest independently funded public library of science, engineering, and technology in North America, the library was established in 1946 through the philanthropy of Linda and Herbert Hall. It is located on a 14-acre arboretum on the site of the Halls’ former mansion. The collection began with the purchase of historical materials from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Massachusetts. Edward W. Tanner and Associates designed a new library building in 1956 with an interior featuring large windows and oak woodwork. In 1973, its rare book room doubled the space for its rare treasures, which include original editions by Isaac Newton, Johann Bayer, Galileo Galilei, and Robert Hooke. The Tazza, one of the largest pieces of malachite sculpture in North America, is the focal point in the main reading room.

St. Louis Public Library, Central Library

St. Louis Public Library, Central Library, St. Louis, Missouri. Funded by Andrew Carnegie and completed in 1912 by architect Cass Gilbert, the library features a Beaux-Arts neoclassical style with an oval central pavilion surrounded by four light courts. The Olive Street front resembles a colossal arcade with contrasting marble bas-relief panels. A projecting three-bay central block provides a monumental entrance similar to a triumphal arch. The ceiling of the periodicals room is based on Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence. The library began a restoration project in 2010 and will reopen in its centennial year of 2012.

This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2011 by ALA Editions.

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Be Heard in Congress: The Election May be Over, But You can Still Influence the Work of Congress

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Maximize Your Job Seeking Mojo: The Library Can Help You to Find Your Next Job

Vote for Your Favorite Newbery Medal Winner

Express Yourself: A National Competition Gives All Young Playwrights an Opportunity to be Heard

Andrea Cremer Shares Her Thoughts on Libraries (video)

Donna Seaman Interviews Author Miles Harvey

Time Covers Offer Rich History of the World; Featured in Online Exhibit

North Texas Libraries Promote Literacy

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Elementary Librarian/ Media Specialist, The Roeper School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Teaches basic library skills to students in grades pre-K through Grade 5 using a variety of age-appropriate software packages and supports the teaching of information literacy and research skills. Promotes a love of reading through a variety of book readings and conversations with students. Collaborates with classroom teachers to develop integrated lesson plans that include library and technology resources. Knowledge of library techniques, processes, and reference sources. Ability to plan and teach lessons on children’s literature, information resources, search techniques, and research methods, both general and in specific subject areas. Ability to work effectively with students, faculty members, and parents. Strong collaborative skills to plan and work with library staff, technology team, and administrators. Ability to work comfortably and effectively in a vibrant and hectic library space....

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Digital Library of the Week

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Man Fixing Computer, c. 1960, Unpublished concept for The Saturday Evening Post cover, oil and graphite on paperboard, Norman Rockwell Museum Collection, NRACT.1976.77

The New Norman Rockwell Digital Collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is offering online access beginning January 6. The collection contains more than 50,000 paintings, sketches, photographs, letters, objects, and ephemera related to the famous American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894–1978), many of which have never been publicly viewed before. ProjectNORMAN (New Online Rockwell Media Art and Archive Network) is preserving and making the Norman Rockwell Museum art and archival collections accessible to researchers, curators, students and the general public. The decade-long project, begun in 2003, is a 10-year, comprehensive online publishing project to preserve, catalog, computerize, and digitize the museum’s collection of original artworks and archival objects. In 2009, a grant was awarded from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund the purchase of software that converts the internal collections management system into a customized, searchable, online database.

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

“I think [patrons] use the library more as a Barnes & Noble or coffee shop now rather than the traditional idea of the library. They don’t come here to be quiet and to study. It’s almost more social to be in the library now. People just like to come here to hang out. I think [libraries are] a lot less intimidating than when I was younger. There was a time when I was afraid of libraries, and librarians for that matter.

—Chris Vinson, head of library systems at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, quoted in “Libraries Adjust to Life in the Digital World,Charleston (S.C.) City Paper, Oct. 13.

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Association for Library and Information Science Education Conference, San Diego, California, Jan. 4–6, at:

ALA Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, California, Jan. 7–11, at:

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


Jan. 7–11:
ALA Midwinter Meeting,
San Diego Convention Center.

Jan. 26–28:
Atmospheric Science Librarians International,
Conference, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. “Communicating Weather and Climate.”

Feb. 18–20:
Alaska Library Association,
Annual Conference, Centennial Hall, Juneau.

Feb. 28–
Mar. 1:

Museums Advocacy Day,
Washington, D.C.

Mar. 3–4:
University of Oklahoma Libraries,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites Hotel, Oklahoma City. “From Surviving to Thriving: Building Blocks of Success.”

Mar. 23–25:
Tennessee Library Association,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites and Convention Center, Murfreesboro. “Partnerships: It Takes Two to Tango.”

Mar. 30–
Apr. 3:

Information Architecture Summit, Colorado Convention Center, Denver.

Apr. 6–8:
Kansas Library Association,
Annual Conference, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka.

Apr. 6–8:
Oregon Library Association,
Annual Conference, Salem Conference Center, Salem.

Apr. 6–9:
Montana Library Association / Mountain Plains Library Association,
Joint Conference, Billings Hotel and Conference Center.

Apr. 9–12:
American Association of Community Colleges,
Annual Convention, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

Apr. 12–15:
Texas Library Association,
Annual Conference, Austin Convention Center. “Libraries Crossing Boundaries.”

Apr. 27–29:
New Mexico Library Association,
Annual Conference, Albuquerque Convention Center. “Colorful New Mexico, Colorful People, Colorful Libraries.”

Apr. 27–29:
Massachusetts Library Association,
Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza, Danvers.

Apr. 28–30:
American Society for Indexing,
Annual Conference, Hilton Providence Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island. “Providential Transformation.”

May 9–11:
National Library Legislative Day,
Liaison Hotel, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

June 19–22:
Association of Jewish Libraries,
Annual Convention, Marriott Montréal Château Champlain, Montréal, Québec.

June 23–28:
ALA Annual Conference,
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

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Beverly Goldberg
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Section of Overdrive cheat sheetLibrary-compatible e-book devices
Stephen Abram writes: “Overdrive has updated its eBook Devices Cheat Sheet (PDF file) for libraries by including some of the more popular new mobile apps for e-books on iPhone and Android. With patrons trying out their new e-reader, it’s important that library staff stay up-to-speed to advise users when they ask (and they do!). I encourage you to download the update. It is great that this sheet shows that the Kindle e-reader pretty well stands alone as looking anti-library.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Jan. 5

E-book locals and tourists
Kate Sheehan writes: “The smell of books can only mean one thing these days: e-books. E-books should be a natural place for libraries to take a leadership role. We’re torn about books as brand. E-books are the intersection of the thing we’re about (books) and the thing we want to be more about (technology), but we haven’t figured out how to step up and take some ownership of the topic.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Dec. 28

Cover of Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam, by Stephen W. Sears, number 7 on the listThe 12 best Civil War books ever written
Glenn W. LaFantasie writes: “If, like me, you received a necktie with reindeer on it from Santa instead of a good Civil War book under the Christmas tree, then you might try selecting one for yourself from my own list of the top 12 Civil War books, which I offer here in the spirit of the season and, even more appropriately, as the 150th anniversary of the war is about to begin. These happen to be extraordinary books, every one of which has been written by exceptionally gifted authors.”...
Salon, Dec. 26

Un Voyage au fond de la mer (Paris: L. Saussine, Editeur, 1890). Inspired by Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Cranks at left top and bottomFun with 19th-century cycloramas
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “In the second half of the 19th century, the development of photography and animated imagery stimulated the creativity of game and toy makers. Cyclorama boxes were among the most spectacular of these, featuring magnificent scenes on a single sheet of paper mounted on a spool with a mechanical crank that when manually turned unrolled the scenes, either vertically or horizontally, each appearing behind a static, chromolithographed proscenium which, in some examples, had fold-out wings that when opened up simulated a full, immersive theatrical view.”...
Booktryst, Jan. 4

Screen shot from book trailer, Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World), by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan SentatThe best videos of 2010
Betsy Bird writes: “Ah. We’ve had a good run in 2010, haven’t we? But now the time has come for me to sift through all the videos I posted on the blog in the previous year, to select those that I just thought were the best of the best. The cream of the crop. The jewels in the rough. The Hershey’s Kiss in the sea of tripe. Ew. First up, book trailers.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Jan. 2; YouTube, May 31

Actions & Answers

Jack Nicholson in The ShiningThe devil needs no advocate
Karen Schneider writes: “I’ve wanted to post for a while about what directors do for a living. My wall features my professional goals, blown up in type large enough to read from my desk, and they are all related to my ‘fundraiser/political role.’ Our biggest challenge in libraries right now is about how we position ourselves within the stakeholder-funding process, and much of that has to do with strategic communications. But none of this bothers the Annoyed Librarian, because she’s all about the turd in the punch bowl, the preemptive negativism.”...
Free Range Librarian, Dec. 29; Library Journal: Annoyed Librarian, Dec. 1

Lib-Value website logoAcademic Lib-Value website launches
The Association of Research Libraries has launched a website for “Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries (Lib-Value),” a three-year project funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The database currently contains more than 400 entries, including books, book chapters, journal articles, theses and dissertations, reports, presentations, and free websites, covering the expanding literature on library value and evaluation....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 21

Library Renewal graphicLibrary Renewal is needed
David Lee King writes: “Have you heard about Library Renewal? It’s a new nonprofit organization focused on making access to and distribution of electronic content much easier and accessible for libraries and library customers. I’m on the board of Library Renewal, and just posted my first blog post explaining why I’m a part of it. If you’re interested in Library Renewal, make sure to subscribe to the blog for updates, and join in the fledgling community on Facebook and Twitter.”...
David Lee King, Jan. 4; Library Renewal Blog, Jan. 3

A portion of the UK Library Closures mapMap of UK library closures
Kathy Dempsey writes: “For those who want to keep track of public library closures across the United Kingdom, here’s an interactive Google Map. I learned about this map from Voices for the Library, which has set up ‘a campaigning website to share positive stories from public libraries and librarians, provide factual information about library usage in the UK and draw together the fragmented responses to the many attacks on UK public library services.’”...
The “M” Word: Marketing Libraries, Jan. 4; Voices for the Library

Article from the Imperial (Calif.) Press and Farmer of Nov. 30, 1901, on the Colorado Desert irrigation projectFind online historical newspapers
Randy Seaver writes: “Miriam Robbins Midkiff has an Online Historical Newspapers Website in progress. Online newspapers are listed by country, then state, then county. Free and subscription websites are listed and linked to. Joe Beine’s Research Guides website has a page for U.S. Historical Newspapers and Indexes on the internet. The University of Pennsylvania Library website also has a listing of free online historical newspapers.”...
Genea-Musings, Jan. 4

LC adds new MARC vocabularies
David Bigwood writes: “The Library of Congress has made available new vocabularies from its Authorities and Vocabularies web service, which provides access to LC standards and vocabularies as Linked Data. The new additions include MARC code lists for countries, geographic areas, and languages.”...
Catalogablog, Jan. 4

Periodic Table of Comic Books logo11 science resources to try in 2011
Richard Byrne writes: “To help you start off the new year on the right foot, each day this week I’m featuring 11 good resources to try in different content areas. Today’s list is for science teachers, yesterday’s list was for mathematics teachers, and tomorrow’s list will feature resources for language arts teachers.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Jan. 3–5

Academic Library Autopsy Report, 2050 (satire)
Brian T. Sullivan writes: “The academic library has died. Despite early diagnosis, audacious denial in the face of its increasingly severe symptoms led to its deterioration and demise. The academic library died alone, largely neglected and forgotten by a world that once revered it as the heart of the university.” Recent LIS grad Andromeda Yelton ponders obsoleteness, and James Weinheimer says it is happening already....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 2; Andromeda Yelton, Jan. 4; First Thus, Jan. 4

Cover of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, published in 1954What might have entered the public domain on January 1?
Current U.S. law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. Prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28). Under those laws, works published in 1954 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2011. What might you be able to read or print online, quote as much as you want, or translate, republish, or make a play or a movie from?...
Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Jan. 1

A conservator ponders impermanence
Kevin Driedger writes: “I sometimes wonder what would happen if everyone responsible for the care and preservation of library collections were to begin their day reciting the declaration, ‘No thing is permanent.’ To acknowledge that all things, including the items I am skillfully and carefully working on, are impermanent is an act of humility on behalf of the conservator. It is to acknowledge limitations. What is the motivation behind the quest for permanence?”...
Preservation and Conservation Administration News, Jan. 3

New year’s reading resolutions
Neil Hollands writes: “As a new year approaches, I always like to take time to ponder my reading habits and make a few resolutions for the upcoming year. Here are my reading resolutions for 2011. First, make time to be captivated by books. I’m not as good as I once was at maintaining focus over long periods of time, and this affects the way I experience books. In 2011, I’m going to sneak five pages at a time less and find time to read for at least an hour more often.”...
Booklist Online: Book Group Buzz, Dec. 30

Kitten proofs her résuméKitten needs a job
The Save Ohio Libraries group released this video (1:58) on how libraries can help people (and kittens, apparently) choose a career, create a résumé, and prepare for job interviews. Created by Mandy Knapp (Worthington Public Library), Tamara Murray (Westerville Public Library), Megan Duffy-Johnson (Columbus Metropolitan Library), and Jane Drozd (Ohio State University Fine Arts Library), with the help of kittens borrowed from the Capital Area Humane Society....
YouTube, Oct. 15

Screen shot from 1964 special librarian videoThe special librarian, 1964
Get a rare glimpse into a day in the life of a corporate research librarian in 1964. Created for National Library Week by Grieg Aspnes, research librarian for Cargill in Minnetonka, Minneosta, the film (5:58) shows Aspnes going about his day as he visits other libraries throughout the Twin Cities, trying to answer a complex question for an internal customer. At the time, the film was used by several library schools and at professional events. As you watch, be sure to pay attention to the “little black bag.”...
Minnesota Chapter, Special Libraries Association, Dec. 21

Screen shot from Viva Roma No. V (to the tune of Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega)History for Music Lovers on YouTube
Joyce Valenza writes: “An article in the December 30 Washington Post turned me on to an amazing creative effort developed by a couple of teachers in Hawaii. History for Music Lovers on YouTube is song parody and remix at its most useful. The portal was launched by clever and talented Amy Burvall, of the Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, and Herb Mahelona, who used to work with her, at St. Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu. I can see using these as models for creative student research projects. The clever remixing here also seems a cool way of examining transformativeness (repurposing and adding value) as it relates to fair use.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 31; Washington Post, Dec. 30; History for Music Lovers

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