American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 19, 2011

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American Libraries Online

Don ChathamFrom the Publisher: American Libraries transition
ALA Associate Executive Director for Publishing Don Chatham (right) writes: “As Editor and Publisher Leonard Kniffel leaves the helm of American Libraries and takes on new responsibilities upon his return from a sabbatical, I would like to acknowledge his many contributions to the evolving character of our member magazine. For the time being, George Eberhart and Beverly Goldberg will share the role of acting editor-in-chief and work with me to implement the editorial plans that have been made for 2011.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Jan. 19

Map showing average distances of residences in Philadelphia from libraries, from the Fels Institute reportSpread the word: New evidence of libraries’ ROI
Beverly Goldberg writes: “The promise of a fresh start is part and parcel of the beginning of a new year, particularly when hardship has darkened your door in the year just past. Although no one in the library community realistically expected their institution’s fiscal standing to magically move from strapped to solvent, a new study (PDF file) conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government adds bottom-line evidence that the return on investment in library service more than justifies the costs.”...
American Libraries news, Jan. 19

Outsourcing graphicGet ahead of outsourcing
John Huber writes: “How will politicians and library leaders respond to the challenges of shrinking budgets, increased community expectations, and ever-aggressive competition? One approach is to replace current library management teams with private, profit-driven companies whose first strategy is to attack labor cost. My experience has taught me that libraries can achieve dramatic service and cost improvements by embracing lessons learned from for-profit manufacturing and distribution businesses, especially those in a battle to survive.”...
American Libraries feature

RSS feed iconsTechnology in Practice: Keeping up, 2.0 style
Meredith Farkas writes: “When I first received my library degree, I religiously kept up with blogs and journals in my areas of professional interest. I’d read blogs through an RSS reader—in my case, Google Reader—and I’d try to remember to read the journals I was most interested in when they came out. Now, as the mother of a toddler, I’m lucky if I can remember to put my socks on before leaving the house. Luckily, it’s become possible to subscribe to the vast majority of library and library-related journals through RSS readers as well.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

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ALA News

Maureen Sullivan at Presidential Candidates ForumSusan Stroyan at Presidential Candidates ForumPresidential Candidates Forum
2011 ALA Presidential Candidates Susan Stroyan (left) and Maureen Sullivan responded to member questions at the Presidential Candidates Forum (47:29), held January 8 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Questions included: How do we balance serving individual division members with maintaining overall ALA strengths? How will you represent all libraries, rather than one specific type?...
AL Focus, Jan. 13

Screen shot from AL Focus Midwinter video overviewMidwinter Meeting video overview
Watch an overview (3:44) of the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7–11. Coverage includes interviews with attendees, the UnConference, the Buy India a Library project, the John Cotton Dana awards, the Washington Office update, the Youth Media Awards, the exhibit hall, and the Wrap-up/Rev-up closing event....
AL Focus, Jan. 19

Midwinter Meeting wrap-up
John Chrastka writes: “If you haven’t checked it out yet, the January 12 Midwinter wrap-up issue of AL Direct is great. George Eberhart does an amazing job each week making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Even though I was in San Diego, I missed a lot. Watching him pull this coverage together from a sprawling meeting campus, capturing the stories and news we all want—well, he helps us be everywhere at once. Click through, see what you missed, and be proud of your ‘I was theres.’”...
ALA Membership Blog, Jan. 13

Armadillos on fire: ALA’s open meeting policy
Karen Schneider writes: “January 8 at the LITA board meeting, board member Jason Griffey set an armadillo on fire and let it loose in the room. I watched in amazement as board members (metaphorically) leapt on chairs and screamed. The armadillo was ALA’s open meeting policy, and the fire was Jason opening his MacBook and streaming the proceedings to the world at large. Within minutes the fire was put out, when board members voted to request that Jason kill the streaming. Jason complied.”...
Free Range Librarian, Jan. 14

People toasting ALA goodnessHere’s a toast to ALA
Will Manley writes: “ALA is the favorite punching bag of many bloggers, library commentators, and librarians, members and nonmembers alike. Why? If you can’t find something objectionable in an entity with more than 60,000 members, you aren’t looking. It never punches back, and it also never toots its own horn. So I’ll do some tooting. Here is why I like and respect ALA: First and foremost, the READ posters. Second, it is the profession’s national lobbyist and spokesperson. ALA keeps libraries on the national radar. Third, it is a great place for librarians to share ideas, issues, and best practices.”...
Will Unwound, Jan. 12

Accreditation actions
At the Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Committee on Accreditation granted initial accreditation status to the MLIS program at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It also granted continued accreditation status to programs at the University at Albany, SUNY; Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Drexel University; Simmons College; and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee....
Office for Accreditation, Jan. 14

In the Words of the Winners coverNewbery and Caldecott Award winners speak out
In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals, 2001–2010, published by ALA Editions, is an exclusive collection of acceptance speeches from the winners of the most respected prizes in children’s literature. Culled from the archives of ALSC and The Horn Book, this book features winning authors and illustrators from the past 10 years, including speeches by Jerry Pinkney, Neil Gaiman, David Wiesner, Kate DiCamillo, and Avi....
ALA Editions, Jan. 14

Cover of Coaching in the LibraryCoaching library staff for peak peformance
Experienced librarian and coach Ruth Metz outlines a focused and results-oriented plan for achieving the best results from staff members in Coaching in the Library: A Management Strategy for Achieving Excellence. Complete with new forms, reader-friendly tables, and annotated references, this new second edition of the popular ALA Editions book includes multiple real-world examples and coaching scenarios specific to library work....
ALA Editions, Jan. 18

ALA Editions Workshops graphicHow to balance your library’s reading budget
ALA Editions announces a new online workshop, “Readers’ Advisory: How to Balance Your Library’s Reading Budget,” with Neal Wyatt and Joyce Saricks. This workshop, to be held February 24, will offer practical tips to keep up with readers and your seemingly insurmountable to-be-read pile, saving time and money in the process....
ALA Editions, Jan. 18

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Cover of The Troubled ManFeatured review: Espionage
Mankell, Henning. The Troubled Man. 368p. Mar. 2011. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-59349-8).
Readers whose knowledge of Scandinavian crime fiction goes beyond Stieg Larsson know that it was Henning Mankell who jump-started what has developed into a 20-year golden age. Mankell’s latest novel, the final volume in his Kurt Wallander series, represents a landmark moment in the genre comparable to the swan songs of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus (Exit Music, 2008) and John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick (Cold in Hand, 2008). We pick up Wallander’s story with the aging inspector feeling his 60-plus years and suffering from memory problems that lead to his suspension from the Ystad police force. With time on his hands, Wallander throws himself into solving the disappearance of his daughter’s father-in-law, a former Swedish submarine commander obsessed with an incident from the 1980s involving the detection of Soviet submarines in Swedish waters....

The Back Page graphicPersonal reading
Bill Ott writes: “More and more Booklisters seem to be turning to audio for their off-the-clock literary sustenance. Yes, in the ‘personal reading’ format wars, print still rules the day, with 12 of the 17 staffers below opting to stick with paper, but audio came in a strong second, with 4 (23%). Bringing up the rear with 1 was email (yes, I know it’s weird, but Keir Graff actually read War and Peace in email installments). But whatever we read or listen to, in whatever format, you can’t keep us away from a good story.”...

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

Division News

Oakhurst Middle SchoolThree libraries win in YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway
YALSA named Oakhurst Middle School (right) in Clarksdale, Mississippi, as the winner of its 2011 Great Books Giveaway. The library will receive more than $20,000 in books and other materials donated to YALSA in 2010. Due to the volume of donations, YALSA was able to name two runners-up: Colleton County (S.C.) High School took second place, and Fletcher (Okla.) Public Schools took third place. The estimated value of the entire collection is more than $40,000....
YALSA, Jan. 18

Support teens with technology
Technology is part of the everyday life experience for most teens—and by integrating it with standard teen services, librarians can better serve and support teens’ learning needs. Find out how in “Connect, Create, Collaborate: Support Teen Needs with Technology,” a new online course offered in winter 2011 by YALSA. The self-paced course takes place from February 7 to March 21. Registration closes February 1....
YALSA, Jan. 18

ACRL e-learning logoWinter e-learning from ACRL
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in winter 2011 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. ACRL online seminars are asynchronous, multiweek courses delivered through Moodle. The division also offers a variety of timely live webcasts addressing hot topics in academic librarianship....
ACRL, Jan. 18

ALSC online courses
This winter, ALSC is offering four courses designed to expand, enliven, and excite your experience in library services. The topics are information literacy, the Newbery Medal, graphic novels for children, and youth programming. Courses begin February 7, and the final day for registration is January 31....
ALSC, Jan. 18

Round Table News

FAFLRT supports Spectrum
The Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program through a gift of $500 to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative. FAFLRT’s contributions will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships....
Spectrum Initiative, Jan. 18


Screen shot from James Kennedy's 90-second A Wrinkle in TimeThe 90-Second Newbery Film Festival: A preview
Betsy Bird writes: “On a day like any other, I received an email from YA author James Kennedy with a proposal: Why not have a contest where kids create videos of their favorite Newbery books. The catch? All the videos must be 90 seconds or less. Kennedy made a sample video of his own, a 90-second dramatization of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (above). This fall, the New York Public Library will showcase them in a 90-Second Newbery Film Festival.” The deadline for video submissions is September 15. The festival was conceived as a response to the Today show snub (see story below)....
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Jan. 13; Vimeo, Jan. 11

No Today show for Vanderpool or Stead
It’s been a tradition that, the day after the Youth Media Awards are announced at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, the Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners are interviewed live on the Today show, at the NBC Studios in New York City. But for the first time in 11 years, there was no special coverage featuring the Newbery and Caldecott medalists. An NBC spokesperson explained that “the show was booked the entire week.” Instead, Jersey Shore star Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki), who just came out with her book A Shore Thing, took their spot. Now there is a Facebook campaign to get Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead featured on the show....
Publishers Weekly, Jan. 13; San Francisco Chronicle: The Mommy Files, Jan. 14

Notable Children's Book sealBook awards seals
Q. I know there are seals libraries can buy for children’s books that win awards from ALA. Are there seals I can buy to put on the copies of those books that our library already owns that were named Notable Books for Children? A. Yes! Seals for most Youth Media Awards (including Caldecott and Newbery), Booklist Editors’ Choice, Notable Books, and the Stonewall Book Awards may be purchased in packages of 24 through the ALA Store....
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Cover of Bamboo People, by Mitali Perkins, one of the Best Fiction titles2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2011 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. This year’s list of 99 books was drawn from 191 official nominations. In 2010, YALSA restructured the charge for its Best Books for Young Adults committee and renamed it Best Fiction for Young Adults. The 2011 list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and novels in verse. The complete list can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 13

Cover of Zombie Haiku, by Ryan Mecum, one of this year's Popular Paperbacks2011 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2011 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. This year’s list of 99 titles was drawn from 192 official nominations. The books are arranged in four categories: thrillers and killers; what’s cooking; what if; and zombies, werewolves, and things with wings. The complete list can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 13

Cover of Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks, one of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA has announced its 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The list of 63 titles, drawn from 89 official nominations, was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for young adults of ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The complete list with annotations can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 14

Cover of Rules of Attraction: A Perfect Chemistry Novel, by Simone Elkeles, one of this year's Quick Picks2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
YALSA has announced its 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The annual list suggests books that teens ages 12–18 will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The complete list of 87 titles and annotations can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 13

The Princess Bride DVD case, one of this year's Fabulous Films2011 Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2011 Fabulous Films for Young Adults. The annual list identifies a body of films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults ages 12–18. The list of 40 titles based on the theme “Other Times/Other Places” includes films, both fiction and nonfiction, that showcase varying time periods and worlds both real and fantasy. The complete list with annotations can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 14

Audiobook box for The Rock and the River, by Kekla Magoon, read by Dion Graham, one of the 2011 Amazing Audiobooks2011 Amazing Audiobooks for YAs
YALSA has announced its 2011 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. The list for those ages 12–18 is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases. The 2011 list, composed of 31 fiction titles and one nonfiction title, features recordings covering a wide range of interests for young adults, from humor to historical fiction and romance to reality, along with a number of science fiction and fantasy offerings. The complete list can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Jan. 13

Cover of Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, by Marilyn Singer, and illustrated by Josée Masse, one of the 2011 Notable Children's Book2011 Notable Children’s Books
ALSC has selected its 2011 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity, and value to children 14 years of age and younger. Titles are grouped for younger readers, middle readers, older readers, and all ages. The complete list with annotations can be found on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Jan. 18

Case for May I Pet Your Dog? by Nutmeg Media, one of this year's Notable Children's Videos2011 Notable Children’s Videos
ALSC has selected its 2011 list of Notable Children’s Videos. The list includes videos for children 14 years of age and younger that exhibit especially commendable quality, show respect for children’s intelligence and imagination, and reflect and encourage the interests of children in exemplary ways. The complete list with annotations can be found on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Jan. 18

Box for What To Do About Alice?, one of the 2011 Notable Children's Recordings2011 Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC has selected its 2011 list of Notable Children’s Recordings. The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger that are of especially commendable quality; demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. The complete list with annotations can be found on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Jan. 18

Barniskis receives Frances Henne grant
YALSA has awarded the 2011 Frances Henne/VOYA Research Grant to Shannon Crawford Barniskis. This $1,000 grant will provide seed money for her research project, “Graffiti, Poetry, Dance: How Public Library Art Programs Affect Teens,” which will measure the degree to which arts programming in libraries affect teens’ levels of civic engagement....
YALSA, Jan. 14

Two win BWI Collection Development Grants
Melanie Feyerherm, teen librarian at the Baright Public Library in Ralston, Nebraska, and Keri Weston, director of the Carlisle (Iowa) Public Library, have won 2011 BWI Collection Development Grants, administered by YALSA. Each will receive a grant of $1,000, donated by BWI. Feyerherm will use the grant to build the teen classics and nonfiction collection, and Weston will create a welcoming environment for teens that includes space, programs, and materials....
YALSA, Jan. 14

2011–2012 Diversity Research Grant proposals
The ALA Office for Diversity is seeking proposals for its Diversity Research Grant program. Applications may address any diversity topic, including the recruitment and promotion of diverse individuals within the profession or the provision of library services to diverse populations. The grants consist of a one-time $2,000 award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference. The application deadline is April 30....
Office for Diversity, Jan. 14

Cover of When They Come for Us, We'll Be GoneNational Jewish Book Awards (PDF file)
The Jewish Book Council on January 11 announced the winners of the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards. Given annually since 1948, the awards are designed to recognize outstanding books on Jewish topics each year. Awards are given in 16 different categories, including debut fiction, scholarship, biography, and Holocaust. The Jewish Book of the Year award went to When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Gal Beckerman....
Jewish Book Council, Jan. 11

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Seen Online

Iranium documentary posterLibrary and Archives Canada cancels screening of Iranian film
After receiving threats and two suspicious letters January 18, Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa cancelled the screening of a controversial documentary that critiques Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a move that has organizers questioning the national library’s autonomy. The Free Thinking Film Society’s showing of Iranium prompted so many complaints—some of them from the Iranian Embassy—that staff thought it necessary to close the entire building. The letters were later cleared and considered “not suspicious at all.”...
National Post, Jan. 19; CBC News, Jan. 19

Community colleges seek ways to deal with troubled students
A student is showing clear signs of psychological distress, and the question for instructors and staff at Santa Monica College is how to approach him. Should they try to talk to him, refer him to counseling, or call campus police? This student exists only in the virtual world, part of an online training program that is helping educators reach out to troubled and possibly dangerous students. Librarians might want to sit in. In April, the director of the Pima (Ariz.) Community College Library summoned the police because the future Tucson shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was making loud noises while listening to music through his earphones....
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 16; New York Times, Jan. 15

Cover of Stolen ChildrenStolen Children questioned
Parent Megan Ketterman will soon know if her quest to remove a book from the Central York (Pa.) School District elementary school libraries will be successful. She told the school board January 17 that the book, Stolen Children by Peg Kehret, should be removed from the library because it contains scenes of “graphic violence” inappropriate for children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. But Kehret says her books have a recurring theme—that violence is never the answer....
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Jan. 15, 18

Librarian’s memory galvanizes ex-teachers
Ever since librarian Patti Cumming died in 2009, the library at John Tyler School in Stockton, California, has been closed to students because the school hasn’t been financially able to fill her position. But thanks to a group of retired teachers, the Patti Cumming Memorial Library, now filled with new books, reopened January 14....
Stockton (Calif.) Record, Jan. 15

The empty shelves of Stony Stratford LibraryCirculation as a form of protest
The library at Stony Stratford, on the outskirts of Milton Keynes in England, looks like the aftermath of a crime, its shell-shocked staff presiding over an expanse of emptied shelves (right). Only a few days ago they held 16,000 volumes. Now, after a campaign on Facebook, there are none. Every library user was urged to choose 15 books, check them out, and keep them for a week. The idea was to empty the shelves to represent the gaping void in their community. Around the U.K., 375 branch libraries and mobile services are threatened with closure, the result of local authority budget cuts to be introduced in April. Meanwhile, the #savelibraries Twitter hashtag has gone viral worldwide....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 14, 17; The Independent (U.K.), Jan. 16, 18

Mansal DentonVolunteer allegedly stole from San Antonio Holocaust Library
A volunteer at one of the world’s largest privately held Holocaust archives was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, January 12, accused of pilfering tens of thousands of priceless documents to sell online. Authorities said Mansal Denton (right) began volunteering at the Mazal Holocaust Library in June 2009, assigned to scan documents to put on the nonprofit’s website. Among the items believed to have been taken were a handwritten letter by Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, a diary kept by Himmler’s daughter, and documents related to the Nuremberg War Crimes trials....
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, Jan. 12

Crisis in Gary
Trustees chafed at Gary (Ind.) Public Library Director Sherri Ervin’s recommendation to close the Main Branch in the face of a funding crisis. The board has until March to decide which, if any, branches will be closed to slash its operating budget from more than $5 million to about $2.4 million annually due to property tax caps, low tax collection rates, and other factors. Ervin said closing the Main Branch will save about $2.7 million off the top....
Merrillville (Ind.) Post-Tribune, Jan. 19

Rancho Mirage Friends to surrender $2.2 million
The Friends of the Rancho Mirage (Calif.) Public Library will hand over almost all of its $2.2 million in assets to Rancho Mirage and dissolve itself, under the terms of a settlement that will end the city’s lawsuit against the organization. About $1.8 million will be transferred to the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation, which the city formed as a replacement fundraising arm when it filed suit in September. The legal fight has been costly for both sides....
Palm Springs (Calif.) Desert Sun, Jan. 17

Infrared thermometer in the home energy audit kitHome energy audit kit a hit
A home energy audit kit is becoming a big hit at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library. A backpack, put together by the local electric company and available for checkout at libraries, has all the tools a homeowner needs to conduct an audit to check for leaks and measure power usage. The kit includes an infrared thermometer that detects energy leaks around windows....
WJXX-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 13

Borders in decline
Maria Panaritis writes: “Battered by the radical shift of consumers to purchasing and reading digital books over the internet, the Michigan-based corporation that owns Borders bookstores says it has halted payments to some vendors while trying to renegotiate debt terms with lenders, all to avoid potentially running out of cash. All booksellers have been under the gun in this changing digital age, but industry observers say Borders has stumbled acutely while its main rival, Barnes and Noble, has better distanced itself from the precipice.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 9

Bernard Ratzer “Plan of the City of New York” map, 1770Cunning, care, and sheer luck save rare map
It was rolled up among other yellowed maps and prints that came off a delivery truck at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s office near the East River. Carolyn Hansen, the society’s map cataloger, began to gently unfurl the canvas. “We have a Ratzer map,” said James Rossman, chairman of the society, who happened to be in the building that day. That statement, despite the reverence in its delivery, meant little to the others in the room, but it would soon reverberate in cartography circles and among map scholars....
New York Times, Jan. 17

The lower floors of the Queensland State Library in Brisbane are threatened. Photo by Jono HaysomFlood disaster averted in Brisbane
Nate Cochrane writes: “When flood waters threatened to breach the banks of the Brisbane River in Australia on January 12, the State Library of Queensland looked to be one of its first casualties. Fortunately for the library, management had a well-developed disaster recovery plan that went beyond simple data backup and included all the minutiae of surviving a catastrophe so that librarians didn’t have to make it up as they went along.”...
iTnews, Jan. 18

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Tech Talk

A nearly deserted ALA IslandSecond Life: Worth a second look?
Julian Dibbell writes: “Second Life and the company behind it—San Francisco-based Linden Lab—haven’t come close to meeting the expectations produced by the buzz that reached its peak in 2007. By the end of 2008, the lavish virtual corporate storefronts were largely abandoned, and Second Life’s growth slowed. Seekers of the next big thing had moved on to the richer fields of Facebook and Twitter and Apple i-gadgets. But what if Second Life deserves a second look?”...
Technology Review, Jan./Feb.

Multi-touch collaboration wall used by CNNNext generation computing: Touch
Jamie Lendino writes: “The touch screen revolution is upon us. From the Apple iPad, to Android cell phones, to Microsoft’s brilliant Surface table, multi-touch interfaces have given us the power to control computers with simple hand gestures in ways that were mere science fiction just a few years ago. Capacitive screens allow for greater control, and some product vendors have added haptic feedback, which couples each touch with mild vibrations in order to give physical resistance to each key press.”...
PC Magazine, Jan. 18

RIM PlaybookTablet revolution reality check
Melissa J. Perenson writes: “We’ve seen a lot of tablets introduced recently, but let’s step back a moment and ponder what’s really happening as tablets move into the mainstream. With the occasional exception (the lightweight RIM PlayBook, for example, right), none of the recent tablets depart dramatically from what has been shown before. The difference is in the nomenclature.”...
PC World, Jan. 16

Broadcastr iconNew app gives voice to 9/11 oral histories
Brooklyn-based web startup Broadcastr is putting online the voices of witnesses and first responders recounting where they were and what they saw when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. When it opens to the public February 8, Broadcastr will have a repository of thousands of audio clips linked to specific geographical spots. About a week later, it will be packaged as a free app for the iPhone and Android....
Associated Press, Jan. 17

Formulists logoEasily sort your tweeps with Formulists
Steven Campbell writes: “Back when Twitter first introduced Lists as a feature, I thought it was a great idea. I started adding everybody I followed to a specific list, which made it easier to follow all their tweets in one of my Twitter clients. One thing I always wondered however, was how they could make this feature better. Then I stumbled upon Formulists, which helps you organize groups of people on Twitter into smart, auto-updating Twitter lists. Imagine creating great lists and not ever having to update them by hand.”...
MakeUseOf, Jan. 18

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ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Registration and housing are now open.

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There is only one week left to sign up for Sue Polanka’s two interactive sessions on “Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library,” a new ALA TechSource workshop. NEW! From ALA TechSource.

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Great Libraries of the World

Princeton's Firestone Library. Photo by Edita Aksamitiene

Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Named after tire magnate Harvey Samuel Firestone, the library opened in 1948 as the first large American university library constructed after World War II and one of the largest open-stack libraries anywhere. The library was designed to resemble a rambling country house with an array of reading rooms in which students could interact. The rare books department includes the privately owned Scheide Library, which holds significant collections of bibles in manuscript and print, medieval manuscripts and incunabula, a large collection of Old English homilies, printed books on travel and exploration, and music manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Reference Room, Butler Library

Butler Library, Columbia University, New York City. The university’s largest single library, the structure was completed in 1934 and renamed in 1946 for Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler. It is home to the university’s collections in the humanities, with particular strengths in history, government documents, social sciences, literature, philosophy, and religion.

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

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Director of Library Services, Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles, Oregon. Administers all aspects of library resources and services in support of the academic programs, faculty teaching, and student learning. Provides collaborative leadership with library staff, faculty, and other College administrators and staff. Reports to the chief academic officer and supervises library assistants, computer support technician, Work Study students, student workers, and volunteers....

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Digital Library of the Week

President John F. Kennedy sits at the helm of the United States Coast Guard yacht Manitou while sailing off the coast of Maine, Aug. 12, 1962. KN-C23216

The John F. Kennedy Digital Archives is a public-private partnership between the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston. Opened on January 13, shortly before the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inauguration, its objectives are to digitize, index, and retain permanently millions of presidential documents, photographs, and audiovisual recordings related to the Kennedy administration. Library staff have digitized a number of collections in their entirety: the President’s office files, the White House central chronological files, the John F. Kennedy personal papers, and the White House audio collection. It has also digitized portions of the White House central subject files, White House photographs, White House films, the CBS television network collection, films from United States government agencies, and gifts from heads of state, a collection of museum artifacts. As of January 2011, the Digital Archives contain over 200,000 pages of textual documents, 1,500 photographs, 1,240 audio files, 80 moving image files, and nearly 300 museum artifacts.

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 bummed out of school at 16 for many reasons and at 26 decided to return to education. I had an interview for an Access to Higher Education in IT course and was refused because I didn’t have any experience of computers. Undeterred, I went to my local public library, found a book on computer literacy and information technology, and used the single computer to teach myself how to do basic word processing, spreadsheets, and email. I took this back to college as evidence and gained a place in the course. It led to a degree in business information systems, and 10 years on, I’m head of business and information systems at Liverpool John Moores University.”

—Mandy Phillips, contributing to the U.K. Voices for the Library campaign, Sept. 6.

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Access to Knowledge Global Academy, Cape Town, Jan. 18–19, at:

American Booksellers Association, Winter Institute 6, Arlington, Virginia, Jan. 19–21, at:

Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, Washington, D.C., Jan. 19–22, at:

Digital Book World, Conference and Exposition, New York City, Jan. 24–26, at:

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


Jan. 24–30:
Library Day in the Life Project,
Round 6. Share your day or week on your blog, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, or the project wiki.

Feb. 4:
RDA @ your library,
online conference. Sponsored by Amigos.

Feb. 13–14:
The Digital Broadband Migration: The Dynamics of Disruption Innovation,
Annual Conference, Silicon Flatirons Center, University of Colorado, Boulder. Sponsored by University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatirons, a center for law, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Mar. 7–10:
DrupalCon Chicago,
Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chicago.

Apr. 14–16:
Innovative Users Group,
Conference, Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

Apr. 18–20:
Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference,
British Library and London School of Economics Library, United Kingdom.

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.”

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E-books and libraries: A stream of concerns
Meredith Farkas writes: “This post is basically a stream of consciousness outline of some of the concerns that have been swirling around in my head regarding e-books. I am far from an e-book expert. I’m just someone in charge of collection development for our largest school who realizes how little most librarians know about what we’re getting into with e-books and who is concerned about where things are going. For example, there are differences between e-books for individuals and e-books for libraries to lend.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, Jan. 18

A Kindle amid print books. Photo by goXunuReviews via FlickrE-books and their containers: A bestiary
Joseph Esposito writes: “Nowadays we like to think of books as something separate from their containers. It’s as though the text were pure spirit and the physical book its mortal coil; when we set the text free, it can determine its own shape and meaning. This is incorrect. The problem with getting books out of their containers is that books are their containers. This does not mean that you cannot pour Pride and Prejudice into a Kindle or iPad, but over time the properties of the containers will begin to influence the kinds of books that are created.”...
Scholarly Kitchen, Jan. 18

Injun Joe's two victims. Illustration by True E. Williams for The Adventures of Tom SawyerAn American Indian perspective on the NewSouth Tom Sawyer
Debbie Reese writes: “NewSouth Books is planning to release a version of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in which the editor, Alan Gribben, has not only replaced the n-word with ‘slave’ but also substituted ‘injun’ with ‘Indian.’ I've received several emails asking what I think of the change. But the bigger problem is an overall lack of critical engagement with the ways that American Indians are portrayed in books and movies and textbooks.” Librarians also weigh in on the controversy....
American Indians in Children’s Literature, Jan. 10; School Library Journal, Jan. 18

Cover of Running the BooksThe accidental prison librarian
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “Just a few years out of Harvard, Avi Steinberg left his job writing obituaries for the Boston Globe and applied for a position as a prison librarian, even though he was not a librarian and had never been inside a prison. As he tells it in Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, he quickly learned that the job involved more than providing inmates with reading material.”...
AL: Librarian’s Library, Jan. 17

Cover of The Mystery Book Consumer in the Digital AgeWhat makes mystery readers tick
Sisters in Crime has released a 47-page report (PDF file) that it commissioned on the book selection habits of the mystery book buyer. The study, titled The Mystery Book Consumer in the Digital Age, is the first to provide an overview of the mystery–crime fiction book-buying landscape, with information on who buys mystery books, where they buy them, what they buy, and why they make their mystery book purchases. The research is based on publishing industry data....
Sisters in Crime blog, Jan. 11

Dave Johnson demonstrated why he’s a perennial favorite with the covers for the six-issue “Bullseye” arc in Punisher MAX, which sported a unifying graphic element — the bullseye, naturally — that never felt repetitious. The cover for the first part of the storyline, which imaginatively positions a minuscule, and seemingly unsuspecting, Frank Castle between the target and Bullseye’s oversized blade, is easily my favoriteThe 50 best comic book covers of 2010
Kevin Melrose writes: “The third annual rundown of the best covers of the year features 50 images—oh, okay, 51—representing the work of some 46 different artists (plus inkers, colorists, and designers) from nine publishers. As in the past, I’ve tried to explain the appeal of each entry; some covers get just a sentence, while others receive entire paragraphs. That doesn’t reflect the quality of the image, but merely what I have to say about it.”...
Comic Book Resources: Robot 6, Jan. 7

Cover of The Hobbit10 SF books that got major rewrites
Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs write: “Like the old saying goes, a book is never completed, only abandoned. Some science fiction authors take this maxim to heart, rewriting their books even years after their first publication. Here are 10 perfectionist authors whose works were never done.” A classic example is J. R. R. Tolkein’s revision of The Hobbit after the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy....
io9, Jan. 14

Copies of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, ready to be given away to UCSB students and facultyHow we gave away 100 e-books
Brian Mathews writes: “Like many campuses, the University of California at Santa Barbara does a ‘one book’ program every year. This year, we gave away both print and digital copies of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. We kicked off our event by giving away 2,000+ print copies—1,700 books in less than 3 hours. This time around I wanted to try something different and so we offered 100 e-book editions. This was a good way to bring new attention to the program and move our library further into the realm of digital books.”...
Ubiquitous Librarian, Jan. 18

Actions &Answers

Facebook logoFacebook suspends phone and address sharing
On January 14, Facebook announced that it would allow third-party applications and websites to request that users share both their mobile phone number and address. Three days later, the company put the new feature on hold while it makes changes to make sure that Facebook users are aware of the potential for data sharing. A primary complaint of critics was that the permissions dialog design did little to convey to users that they were now sharing information that had previously been kept private....
ReadWriteWeb, Jan. 17; Facebook Developer Blog, Jan. 14, 17

Cover of Academically AdriftAcademically adrift
If the purpose of a college education is for students to learn, academe is failing, according to Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, a book released January 18 by the University of Chicago Press. The book cites data from student surveys and transcript analysis to show that many college students have minimal classwork expectations—and then it tracks the academic gains (or stagnation) of 2,300 students of traditional college age enrolled at a range of four-year colleges and universities. The results are not encouraging....
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 18

Survey: Net users more likely to be joiners
Contrasting with the stereotype of the lone computer geek, internet users are more likely to join groups in the real world and be active in them than those who don’t go online, according to a study released January 18 by the Pew Research Center. The “Social Side of the Internet” report found that 80% of internet users participate in voluntary organizations, compared with 56% of non-internet users....
CNET News: Digital Media, Jan. 19; Pew Internet, Jan. 18

College Options @ your library
Each January, the Onslow County (N.C.) Public Library invites college-bound students and their parents or guardians to learn about “College Options @ your library.” The library, in partnership with the College Foundation of North Carolina, hosts “College Options @ your library” workshops at the main library and two branch locations....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Jan. 18

To library, or not to library
David Moltz writes: “Community colleges are growing by leaps and bounds these days, and much of that growth has been in satellite campuses. This kind of expansion has created a vexing question: When is the right time to add a library? Accreditors require community colleges to provide library services to all of their students, no matter their location. There is some leeway as to whether a physical space is needed on all campuses, but some officials wonder when simply providing library services to branch campus students is insufficient and a physical library is necessary.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 13

NLS stacks with digital talking books, converted from audiotapesNLS celebrates 80 years
On March 3, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped—the Library of Congress’ talking-book and Braille program—will celebrate 80 years of helping visually impaired and physically handicapped individuals enjoy reading their favorite books and magazines. This free library program brings reading materials in digital audio and Braille formats straight to the homes of patrons, from preschoolers to centenarians....
Library of Congress, Jan. 12

They need us, they really need us
Maura Smale writes: “The productivity blog Lifehacker ran a survey in early January wherein readers were asked whether Google’s search results seemed increasingly full of spam and less useful. Nearly 34% of the 10,000 readers who replied chose: ‘Absolutely. The spammers have gained a significant foothold.’ If Google and other search engines are increasingly not cutting it for even basic, everyday searches, how can we expect students to come to college already fluent in finding quality research information on the internet?”...
ACRLog, Jan. 13; Lifehacker, Jan. 11

Wikipedia 10th birthday cake. From Care2Happy birthday, Wikipedia
Barbara Fister writes: “Wikipedia celebrated its 10th birthday on January 15. It’s one of those anniversaries, like the recent 20th anniversary of the internet, that makes you realize how ubiquitous a particular tool has become. It was only a few years ago that we had a lively faculty brown bag lunch discussion focused on ‘what the heck do we do about Wikipedia?’ Faculty were concerned that students were relying on an intrinsically unreliable source.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Jan. 11

Being articulate and finding context
Michelle Boule writes: “There are two main reasons that people have trouble understanding little kids: articulation and context. It occurred to me that librarians have the same problem as most 2-year-olds; we are talking and no one can understand what we are saying, regardless of the import of the message. We have an articulation issue. We sometimes use words that are complicated and make sense to only a few people. Some notable articulation examples include transliteracy, DRM, and net neutrality.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Jan. 13

Victim: Serendipity
Julie Strange writes: “I used to wander around the bookstore (sorry, library) and look for covers that called out at me. It was a calming thing for me to do and I did it often when I needed to clear my head (with the added bonus of being able to find a book on something interesting in the process). I can’t tell you the last time I did that. Neither Amazon nor my library’s catalog of books allows me to truly browse the way I used to. Serendipity is gone.”...
The Strange Librarian, Jan. 18

The Yonkers Public Library No Balloons sign. Photo by nycscoutNo balloons in the Yonkers Public Library
Scout writes: “Some libraries have No Smoking or No Cell Phone signs on the front door. At the Yonkers (N.Y.) Public Library, they have a No Balloons sign. I’m amazed that this is such a problem as to necessitate a laminated sign. I mean, I wasn’t planning on bringing any balloons inside. But it’s sort of a downer to know I couldn’t if I suddenly got the urge.” Read the comments....
Scouting New York, Jan. 17

App icon for ShelvediTunes shelving game
Scott Douglas writes: “Shelving books may not sound very sporty, but if you have ever wondered how fast you can shelve a cart of books, there’s now an app for that. Last October, my wife and I began working with a developer to create a game just for librarians. The game is called Shelved and it went live in early January. There are three different modes of play: LC, Dewey, and Alphabetical.” The game is iPod/iPhone/iPad compatible....
Speak Quietly, Jan. 11

Coonskin Library sign in Amesville, OhioOhio’s Coonskin Library
Larry Nix writes: “In 1803, the residents of the Town of Ames, Ohio, entrusted an accumulation of animal furs to Samuel Brown for the purpose of acquiring a collection of books for the town. Brown traveled to Boston where he sold the furs for $74 and was able to purchase 51 books. These books formed the nucleus of the Western Library Association subscription library, which was founded in 1804. What is now the Village of Amesville, Ohio, is quite proud of the fact it was home to the Coonskin Library.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 19

Lunch It Punch It logoLunch it, punch it
FM, Lin, and Andi are the northern Kentucky librarians who launched the Lunch It, Punch It website with the goal of packing 10 lunches before eating one lunch out. For accountability, they encourage you to recruit a friend or two, download and print the official Lunch It Punch It cards (PDF file), and track your progress at home (or in the office). They also discuss lunch-packing strategies....
Lunch It, Punch It

Screen shot from book-to-handbag videoHow to turn a book into a handbag
Jason Boog writes: “Last week, the L.A. Times spotted actress Natalie Portman carrying a purse that looked like Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Why let the movie stars have all the fun? Turn your favorite book into a handbag. Just follow the directions in this video (4:20) from the artsy-craftsy Curbly Video Podcast.”...
GalleyCat, Jan. 18; Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Jan. 17; YouTube, Apr. 9, 2008

Screen shot from So You Want to be an Academic Librarian?So you want to be an academic librarian?
This edgy Xtranormal video (4:11) by katharinell1984 examines the duties and day-to-day challenges of academic librarianship through an epic job interview with a candidate who does not want to work in a public library because she “hates children and poor people, is very sensitive to foul odors, and wants to wear argyle sweaters and loafers to work.”...
YouTube, Nov. 1

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