|American Libraries Online
Richland schools rescind Alexie ban
The board of the Richland (Wash.) School District reversed its ban on Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The 4–1 vote on July 11 to put the young adult novel about a Native American teen back onto the district’s reading lists rescinded a 3–2 decision June 14 to remove it. Two board members who had originally ruled against the book later said their votes had been a mistake and promised that in the future they will read every book they are to vote on....
AL: Censorship Watch, July 18
How one library digitized its community’s newspapers
Allison Quam writes: “The Winona Newspaper Project, an open, noncommercial digital archive, is providing access to a number of historic periodicals of Winona, Minnesota, a mid-sized city in the southeastern part of the state. The project is an indispensable resource for Winona State University’s Darrell W. Krueger Library and university faculty and students and is unique in that it has been financed exclusively through funds from the library’s acquisitions budget. The digital archive contains over 385,000 pages encompassing 116 years of reporting by four newspapers.”...
American Libraries feature
Libraries in the LEED
Jacquelyn Marie Erdman writes: “Green building has come into its own. On February 3, President Obama announced his Better Buildings Initiative, designed to reduce energy use among commercial buildings by 20%. Currently, all federal buildings newly built or renovated must achieve at least a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design) Silver rating. Working as knowledge exchange coordinator at the LEED Platinum-certified U.S. Green Building Council headquarters in Washington, D.C., I find I feel energized and motivated by the environment.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 19
A Bavarian librarian in California
Angela Güntner (right) writes: “After touring libraries throughout the German state of Bavaria as part of a library-visiting program dealing with information literacy training, I decided to extend that rewarding experience by taking part in the German–U.S. Librarian Exchange Opportunity cosponsored by ALA and Berufsverband Information Bibliothek. I chose the University of California at San Diego Libraries as my preferred destination for a visit of four weeks in April and May 2011.”...
AL: Global Reach, July 19
Librarian’s Library: Conquering the digital divide
Karen Muller writes: “‘The digital divide gets bridged in public libraries everywhere in America,’ said Mary Dempsey, Chicago Public Library commissioner, as she announced the expansion of a popular digital media center for youth in June. Recent books provide insights on how to bridge the divide, explain why we need to, and offer some research to help make decisions.”...
American Libraries column, July/August
Fire suppression system
In an effort to draw awareness to the importance of preservation, 3M celebrated National Preservation Month in May by recognizing efforts by the State Library of Pennsylvania (right) in Harrisburg and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library located in the Alamo in San Antonio. Both libraries use the Ansul Sapphire Fire Suppression System charged with 3M Novec 1230 fluid that will not harm rare materials in the event of a fire or accidental discharge....
AL: Solutions and Services, July 15
E-books, young professionals, and reinventing ALA
Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels writes: “ALA’s Executive Board and governing Council spent much of their time during Annual Conference in New Orleans discussing—and acting on—a series of recommendations from five special task forces charged with exploring important issues facing libraries and the Association. The Equitable Access to Digital Content Task Force has been studying the potential solutions in libraries for improved electronic content access, distribution, preservation, and infrastructure in an increasingly digital environment.”...
American Libraries column, July/August
Apply to become a 2012 Emerging Leader
Apply by August 1 to become one of 75 ALA 2012 Emerging Leaders. The program is designed to enable library workers to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. Participants are given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, network with peers, and gain an understanding of the ALA structure and wide range of activities....
ALA Student Membership Blog, July 19
Should you apply for Emerging Leaders?
Abby Johnson writes: “Are you thinking about applying for ALA’s Emerging Leaders program? The deadline is fast approaching (August 1), so I wanted to share my thoughts on the program. As you know, I was a member of the 2011 class of Emerging Leaders. I had fabulous mentors who were hands-off enough to let us take ownership of our project, but constantly available for questions and feedback. So here are a few of my thoughts.”...
Abby the Librarian, July 13
Free WebJunction webinar on IF and Web 2.0
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is collaborating with WebJunction and ALA TechSource on a free webinar, “Finding a Legal Comfort Zone on the Web,” which will be offered on July 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will focus on best practices for libraries to engage with the public online, take advantage of user-generated content, and protect intellectual freedom principles. Eli Neiburger and Barbara Jones will be the presenters....
OIF Blog, July 19
“Visions of the Universe” traveling exhibit extended
The ALA Public Programs Office announced that nine additional public libraries will host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to celebrate astronomy and its contributions to society and culture. The exhibit will travel to the nine additional selected libraries from September 2011 through June 2012....
Public Programs Office, July 19
Connect with your kids campaign materials
Connect with your kids @ your library, ALA’s new campaign that encourages parents to spend more quality time with their children at their library, is offering the popular family guides and bookmarks to libraries. There is a limited supply available. The concise, easy-to-read guide offers tips for parents and caregivers on spending quality time with their children and teens at their library. Librarians can receive 200 guides and bookmarks. To obtain the materials, send a $15 check to ALA/PIO to cover shipping and handling....
Public Information Office, July 19
Webinar on Library Support Staff Certification
The Library Support Staff Certification Program, a national certification program that allows library support staff to demonstrate their competencies and be certified by ALA, will offer a free, hour-long informational webinar on Tuesday, July 26....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, July 18
Featured review: Travel
Raban, Jonathan. Driving Home: An American Journey. Sept. 2011. 512p. Pantheon, hardcover (978-0-307-37991-7).
Literary success mandates collecting an author’s best. This volume picks from Raban’s past two decades of production. Born in Britain but living in Seattle since 1990, Raban writes in a variety of genres, all of which are represented here: introductions to sailing classics, travel reportage, literary criticism, the personal essay, and political commentary. Sampling some of everything, readers may gladly follow Raban for layers beneath the surfaces of his subjects, becoming immersed in such matters as the history of landscapes (especially those of Washington and Montana), the perils and pleasures of sailing, and assessments of authors. (Raban’s book reviews are outstanding exercises in the genre.)...
Around the world in 80 minutes: Part 1
Neil Hollands writes: “The staff book group here at Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library took on the theme of travel in a meeting today. One thing that I love about thematic discussions is that they allow consideration of books and ideas that wouldn’t work as single book discussion titles. It’s makes for a much more diverse meeting, as our travel discussion shows. Cheryl, an inveterate walker, brought two books: John Baxter’s memoir of giving walking tours in Paris, The Most Beautiful Walk in the World and Richard Jones’s Walking Haunted London.” Be sure to read Part 2....
Book Group Buzz, July 15, 19
Cindy Dobrez writes: “I am soothing my travel lust with literature, and To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story (Roaring Brook 2011) is just the ticket. I admire adventurous people and Casey Scieszka (daughter of Jon Scieszka) and Steven Weinberg (the artist who illustrates their journey) spin a good tale about their travels.” Lynn Rutan responds: “Clearly these two loved their travel experiences but just as clearly, we have a good sense of the reality of the places and a taste of daily life all laced with some great humor. I adored this book and the pages seemed to just fly by.”...
Bookends, July 18
Booklist’s free webinar series continues to attract crowds of attendees as editors host leading practitioners, authors and publishers’ representatives at least once a month on a variety of topics that offer immediate tips, tools, resources and new ideas for collection development and readers’-advisory work. The webinars are recorded and archived on the Booklist Online webinars page where you can also find information about upcoming offerings. Webinars in July and August will be on the topics of book groups, math and science, and top YA titles....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Preregister now for PLA 2012
PLA is now offering preregistration for its upcoming conference, PLA 2012, which will take place March 13–17, 2012, in Philadelphia. Preregistration is for general conference registration only. Registrants will be able to sign up for housing, preconferences, and meal events beginning September 7. Preregistration rates are the same as Early Bird rates for PLA and Pennsylvania Library Association members and Advance Registration rates for ALA members and nonmembers....
PLA, July 18
PLA Results Boot Camp in Nashville
PLA is offering a sixth Results Boot Camp at the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library October 18–22. “Results Are What Matters: Management Tools and Techniques to Improve Library Services and Programs” is a four-and-a-half-day intensive education program designed around PLA’s Results series, and is intended to offer public library management training not provided in library school. The deadline for applications is September 16....
PLA, July 14
ASCLA in Paris
Library fans, Francophiles, and travelers of all types are invited to ASCLA’s Trip to Paris, an exciting travel opportunity hosted by ASCLA President Norma Blake that includes a tour of the Bibliothèque Nationale, the American Library in Paris, and other attractions, April 29–May 6, 2012. The package includes six nights at the Westminster Hotel, breakfasts, dinners, and various tours. A portion of the trip’s proceeds benefit ASCLA. A deposit is due by August 1 to reserve a spot....
ASCLA Blog, July 20
Two new online RUSA opportunities in August
RUSA has two new online learning opportunities available in August that are open to all interested participants: an August 2 webinar on “Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference,” and an online “Beyond Compliance” course (August 1–26, with three scheduled meeting times) designed to address the virtual and media-related obstacles disabled patrons encounter while accessing library services....
RUSA Blog, July 20
Storytellers will spin tales at AASL conference
AASL has announced the lineup for its 5th Storytelling Festival, which will take place at its 15th National Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis this October. Master storytellers Jerry Blue (right), Dianne de las Casas, and Judi Moreillon will share their stories on the evening of October 27. “The Storytelling Festival gives attendees a chance to lose themselves into a world of make-believe, but also take away tips on how to present stories in a fun and engaging way,” said AASL President Carl Harvey....
AASL, July 19
Beauregard-Keyes House now a Literary Landmark
ALTAFF dedicated the Beauregard-Keyes House in New Orleans as a Literary Landmark in honor of Frances Parkinson Keyes, who made the house at 1113 Chartres Street her winter residence from 1945 until her death in 1970. The dedication took place on June 27 during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
ALTAFF, July 19
2011 RUSA STARS–Atlas Mentoring Award
Micquel Little (right), access services librarian at St. John Fisher College, is the 2011 recipient of the RUSA STARS–Atlas Mentoring Award, an ALA Annual Conference travel grant designated for those who are new to the field of interlibrary loan. The $1,000 grant is sponsored by Atlas Systems and the RUSA Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section. Little has been actively involved in her local resource-sharing community through the Information Delivery Services (IDS) Project....
RUSA, July 14
AASL awards season opens
AASL’s prestigious awards program will offer more than $50,000 in awards to division members in 2012. AASL’s 10 awards recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include research, collaboration, leadership, and innovation. AASL personal members are required to fill out applications using the online awards database....
AASL, July 19
Round tables support Spectrum Scholarship program
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the New Members Round Table have announced their support of the ALA Spectrum Scholarship program. IFRT donated $500 and NMRT has given $1,000. Established in 1997, the Spectrum Initiative is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort....
Spectrum Initiative, July 19
Worlds of Words grant applications
Worlds of Words has announced the availability of grants of $1,000 for literacy communities who want to explore the use of global literature to build international understanding. Twelve literacy communities will be funded from September 2011 to May 2012. These communities can be comprised of elementary educators or middle and/or high school educators. Proposals must be submitted by August 15....
ALA Connect, July 19
ABA Silver Gavel Awards
The American Bar Association presented the winners of its 54th Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts July 19 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The awards recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. The winner in the book category was Noah Feldman’s Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices (Twelve/Hachette, 2010)....
American Bar Association, May 18
Chin steps up pressure on Google Books deal
A Manhattan federal judge set a September 15 deadline for Google, authors, and publishers to come up with a legal plan to create the world’s largest digital library, expressing frustration that the six-year-old dispute has not been resolved. At a July 19 hearing, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said if the dispute is not “resolved or close to resolved in principle” by mid-September, he will set a “relatively tight schedule” for the parties to prepare for a possible trial....
Reuters, July 19
Academic libraries abandon Big Deal subscription packages
Jennifer Howard writes: “In late 2008, the University of Oregon library faced a financial double punch. The recession meant belt tightening across the university at a time when the rising cost of journal subscriptions had already put a strain on the library’s budget.
Something had to give. That something was Oregon’s so-called Big Deals with two heavyweight publishers, Elsevier and John Wiley and Sons. Big Deals provide large collections of journal articles but also lock institutions into multiyear subscriptions at rising prices that many libraries say they can no longer afford.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 17
Open-access advocate arrested for huge JSTOR download
A respected Harvard researcher and crusader for open access to scholarly data has been arrested in Boston on charges related to computer hacking.
A federal indictment unsealed in Boston July 19 charges that Aaron Swartz broke into the computer networks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to gain access to JSTOR, a service for distributing scholarly articles online, and downloaded 4.8 million articles and other documents (nearly the entire library) last fall and winter. He faces up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines for wire fraud, computer fraud, and unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer. Karen Coyle comments on the hazards of unequal access....
New York Times, July 19; JSTOR, July 19; Coyle’s InFormation, July 20
Monday hours restored at 73 L.A. branches
All 73 Los Angeles Public Library branches were open for business July 18, the first Monday they have been open in about a year, but the budget crunch that prompted the Library Department to scale back hours has not abated sufficiently to allow hiring back laid-off librarians.Since 2009, the department has lost nearly 300 librarians and other staff—about 27% of its employees—due to budget tightening and early retirement incentives. Measure L, passed in March, funneled about $13 million to the Library Department for the fiscal year that started July 1....
Los Angeles Daily News, July 18
Oakland Public Library escapes austerity cuts (PDF file)
With a huge sigh of relief, the Oakland (Calif.) Public Library learned that the city’s budget for the 2011–12 Fiscal Year will not affect the library’s budget significantly. As a result, it will not be forced to close any branches or reduce its hours of service. The library received strong community support as various budget options were discussed by city council in the weeks leading up to the June 30 budget deadline....
Oakland (Calif.) Public Library, July 15
Landau faces new scrutiny in documents theft
Barry H. Landau (left), author and well-known presidential memorabilia collector,
was arrested July 9 at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore and charged with stealing historical documents, including ones signed by Abraham Lincoln.
Lee Arnold, senior director of the library at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said that Landau had visited 17 times between December and May, along with Jason Savedoff, who is also in custody. Landau’s attorney, Steven D. Silverman, said his client had no idea what his associate (Savedoff) was doing....
New York Times, July 16; Associated Press, July 13
Providence Community Library supporters rally
Boosters and employees of Providence (R.I.) Community Library, which operates the city’s nine branch libraries, held a brief pep rally July 19 to repeat their demand that the city be given ownership of the branches.
The owner of seven of the buildings is the Providence Public Library, which continues to own and operate the central library downtown. The sticking point continues to be PPL’s insistence on compensation for the real estate before title is transferred to the city....
Providence (R.I.) Journal, July 20
Dedham Public Library helps out local school libraries
If students won’t come to the public library, the public library must go to the students. That was the sentiment behind the Dedham (Mass.) Public Library trustees’ decision July 11 to purchase 872 young adult books for the Dedham middle and high school libraries. The books will remain the property of the public library, but students will be able to access them without making a special trip. The books were chosen by school officials, and encompass a range of topics....
Dedham (Mass.) Transcript, July 12
Librarian to kids: Change the world with $5
At the end of the school year, students at Pleasant Lea Elementary School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, received $5 each with the instruction that they should try to change the world with it. The idea of going into the summer with five dollars and a mission to accomplish came from school librarian Beth Smith (right). She retired this year and wanted to leave the children with one final lesson. She raised $3,000 for the project and then distributed the money evenly to each student....
WDAF-TV, Kansas City, Mo., July 18
Cleveland Public Library offers free MP3 downloads
Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library took a giant step into the world of digital music this week, offering its cardholders legal, free music downloads. With the July 18 launch of CPL’s MyTunes (in partnership with Freegal Music Service), users can download up to three songs per week and 150 songs per year from Sony’s catalog of more than a million songs. The library is partnering with the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum to promote music and programs and give users a more interactive experience....
Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 18
Toronto residents oppose library closures
As debate about Toronto’s finances heats up, voters in the city have a clear message for city council when it comes to the Toronto Public Library: “Don’t close our libraries and don’t privatize them.” The message emerged from a Forum Research poll conducted July 4 that found that 74% of Toronto residents disagree with the idea of closing library branches as a way of solving the city’s deficit, and 54% disagree “strongly.” When it was their own local branch that was threatened, the proportion of those who “strongly disagree” increased to 64%....
Toronto (Ont.) Public Library Workers Union, July 13
Fight to save U.K. libraries goes to court
Library closures across the United Kingdom were challenged for the first time July 19 at the High Court of Justice in London. Campaigners are seeking a ruling that decisions to close six libraries in the London borough of Brent are legally flawed. The Brent case is expected to be followed by similar challenges to library cuts proposed by Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils, and on the Isle of Wight. Playwright Alan Bennett launched a scathing attack when he spoke at a fundraiser to save Kensal Rise library, one of the six under threat in Brent. He compared the loss to “child abuse.”...
The Independent (U.K.), July 19
Illiteracy thrives in England, while libraries languish
According to CILIP, the professional body of British librarians, one in six adults in the United Kingdom is functionally illiterate. This means they have literacy levels below that expected of the average 11-year-old. Good news, at the end of FY2011 the government awarded a grant of £110 million to be used to boost the attainment of the poorest children. At the same time, more than 10% of the country’s libraries are currently under threat, in addition to those that have already seen closure....
The Periscope Post, July 18
Scottish librarians produce literary map of Edinburgh
Most Scots know that Edinburgh is the city that connects Detective Inspector John Rebus (a character of author Ian Rankin) with Trainspotting’s Mark Renton (Irvine Welsh) and Maisie the Morningside Cat (Aileen Paterson). But many will not know that it also connects the choir girls in Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos with Emma and Dexter from David Nicholls’s One Day. City librarians have now produced an interactive literary map of the Scottish capital, detailing books that are either set in or inspired by Edinburgh....
The Scotsman (Edinburgh), July 14
Go back to the Top
How to charge your gadgets with renewable energy
Peter Rojas writes: “Yes, there are actually a handful of different options out there, most of which will not only let you tap into a renewable resource like wind or the sun to charge your gadgets, they will also help you keep topped up while on the go. Just keep in mind that it can take a long time to charge gadgets this way. Prices and portability vary, but here are a few of your choices.”...
Inhabitat, July 19
How to set up a file-syncing Dropbox clone you control
Melanie Pinola writes: “File syncing is a godsend when you work on multiple computers or devices and want to make sure you have the most up-to-date files wherever you log in. While online services like Dropbox may be the most convenient options, there are plenty of reasons you may want to ‘roll your own cloud’ and sync your files to your own web server or just on your local network. Here we’ll detail how to set up a Dropbox clone.”...
Lifehacker, July 7, 14
iPad app teaches open-mindedness
Adam Ostrow writes: “When artist Raghava KK had two children, he decided it was time for a new approach to storytelling. That approach manifests itself in Pop-It at Home, an iPad app that tries to teach open-mindedness to toddlers. The story, which is about things that little children do with their parents like take a bath, play, or change clothes, is notable for its use of a homosexual couple as parents. However, its message comes in that those characters can be changed to a lesbian couple or a heterosexual couple upon shaking the iPad.” Watch the video (1:06)....
Mashable, July 14; Vimeo, July 12
Zip2fix extracts files from damaged zip archives
Alan Henry writes: “Spending a half-hour slowly downloading a huge Zip archive only to discover it’s corrupt is a pain. Avoid it with Zip2Fix, a utlity that won’t fix corrupt archives, but will extract any and all undamaged files from it. Open the app and tell it which archive to run against, and the app will extract as much from it as possible while avoiding the corrupt data. The app is new, so keep in mind that your mileage may vary. Zip2Fix is Windows only, but it’s completely free.”...
Lifehacker, July 14
10 free online image-editing tools
Richard Byrne writes: “One of the challenges students face when creating multimedia projects for school assignments is finding images that are appropriate in both content and size for the project on which they are working. Here are 10 tools that students can use to alter images to fit with the goals of their multimedia projects. These tools range from simple resizing tools to an image-editing suite that is trying to challenge Photoshop.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, July 13
Still awesome after all these years: Eight excellent free downloads
Rick Broida writes: “There’s nothing glamorous about old software apps, which just get less and less useful the older they get—right? Not always. Some programs are like garden perennials, returning each year with fresh blooms and stronger stems. Let’s look at eight of these blossoming apps, all of which are more awesome than ever, and all of which are, amazingly, free.”...
PC World, July 13
Eight productivity-boosting gadgets for media junkies
Amber Singleton Riviere writes: “Some gadgets help us be more productive, some are just cool, and others are both. This list has media gadgets that can help you organize and streamline your work, while at the same time letting you have a little fun with technology. For the Mac user, the Magic Mouse (right) is a multitouch mouse that is itself a button that allows you to click anywhere on its surface to scroll, swipe, and click. Simply brush along the surface of the mouse to scroll, or use two fingers to swipe left and right and flip through pages or photos.”...
GigaOm, July 14
Smartphones could make keys obsolete
Front pockets and purses are slowly being emptied of one of civilization’s most basic and enduring tools: the key. It’s being swallowed by the cellphone. New technology lets smartphones unlock hotel, office, and house doors and open garages and even car doors. The phone simply sends a signal through the internet and a converter box to a deadbolt or door knob. Other systems use internal company networks, like General Motors’ OnStar system, to unlock car doors. But having a phone double for entry or ignition does not yet feel fail-safe....
New York Times, July 3
Top 10 ways to speed up your boot time
Whitson Gordon writes: “If there’s one thing everybody dreads, it’s rebooting their computer. It may only take a minute or two, but it can seem like forever. Here are our top 10 tweaks that’ll make your computer boot a little faster.”...
Gizmodo, July 18
Celebrate Latino Heritage Month, September 15–October 15, or year-round. This beautiful poster features art from My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez, illustrated by Raul Colón and written by Monica Brown. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
National Library of the Argentine Republic, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The library was established in 1810 as the city’s public library. In 1884, it redefined its mission and became the national depository library. It is currently housed in a T-shaped brutalist concrete structure designed in 1961 by architects Clorindo Testa, Francisco Bullrich, and Alicia Cazzaniga. Completed in 1992, it stands on the site of the Quinta Unzué palace, the residence of President Juan Perón and his wife Eva, and is surrounded by plazas and parks. The library features a large newspaper archive, photo library, map collection, and rare books that include a first edition of Don Quixote.
National Library of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The largest collection in Latin America with some 9 million items, the library was founded in 1810 after Napoleon’s invasion of Iberia when the Portuguese royal family transferred its court and 60,000 of its books to Brazil. Although King John VI took many of the holdings back to Portugal when he returned in 1821, the remaining books in the royal library were acquired by the newly independent state of Brazil in 1825. The current neoclassical building with its marble staircases and columns opened on the library’s 100th anniversary in 1910. In the lobby are two murals by American artist George Biddle and two bronze bas reliefs by his wife, sculptress Helena Sardeau Biddle, given to Brazil by the United States in 1942.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication later this year by ALA Editions.
Multidisciplinary Instruction Librarian, Bobst Library, New York University, New York City. The New York University Division of Libraries is seeking a librarian to address the growing demand for intermediate-level undergraduate research skills instruction. This new tenure-track position is a member of the Instructional and Undergraduate Services Department and works closely with subject librarians and the libraries-wide instruction team to develop a framework for transitioning upper-division undergraduates from basic research skills to discipline-specific library research methods. The role involves program and curriculum development, implementation and assessment; a significant teaching load; and outreach and promotion to faculty and students using multiple avenues of communication....
Digital Library of the Week
The International Jazz Collections is a notable group of digital libraries at the University of Idaho. The IJC features the papers, photographs, and videos of the legendary Lionel Hampton along with other jazz notables such as Leonard Feather, Lee Morse, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Conte Candoli, and Al Grey. The archives are browsable by keyword and organized into individual collections.
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.
“Closing libraries is the behaviour of a debased culture. Libraries are not just a source of books. Many of us feel that they symbolise something more, that Britain is a civilised place. And when part of our civilisation is being destroyed, we have to stand up against the barbarians.”
—His Dark Materials trilogy author Philip Pullman, commenting on efforts by local British councils to close their libraries, Daily Telegraph (U.K.), July 20.
“Today I was in the library with nothing to do. I thought I’d go and grab a Where’s Waldo? book and waste ten minutes. I couldn’t find it.”
—MyLifeIsAverage blog, #426361, Jan. 2010.
School Library Association of New Zealand, Annual Conference, Auckland, July 17–20, at:
San Diego Comic-Con, July 21–24, at:
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Conference, Philadelphia, July 23–26, at:
Central New York Library Resources Council, Unconference, Syracuse, July 25, at:
Library Day in the Life, July 25–31, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Association for Computing Machinery, Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Biomedicine, Hilton Suites Chicago– Magnificent Mile.
International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, Cape Town, South Africa.
Reforma, National Conference IV, Denver, Colorado. “Elevating Latino Services to a Higher Level: Juntos in the Mile High City.”
Society for Scholarly Publishing, IN Meeting, Hotel Palomar / Waterview Conference Center, Arlington, Virginia. “Globalization, Innovation, and Collaboration.”
Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, conference, Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu.
LITA National Forum, Hyatt Regency at The Arch, St. Louis. “Rivers of Data, Currents of Change.”
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, New Orleans Marriott. “Bridging the Gulf:
Communication and Information in Society, Technology, and Work.”
Charleston Conference, Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina.
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Hands-on with the iriver Story HD
Casey Johnston writes: “The iriver Story HD is getting billed as the first Google eBooks-oriented reader. The construction and interface is very similar to the latest Kindle, and it starts at the same price point of $140. But the Story HD has some features that let it stand apart from the Kindle in a favorable way. Witness the way scrolling wraps around when going through lists and the fantastic HD screen. However, some key features are missing, like the ability to search through books and options to change line spacing, fonts, and margins.”...
Ars Technica, July 15
Textbook rentals come to the Kindle
Audrey Watters writes: “Amazon unveiled a Kindle Textbook Rental, giving students the ability to rent, instead of buy, digital textbooks. Amazon says that ‘tens of thousands’ of titles from some of the major textbook publishers—including John Wiley and Sons, Elsevier, and Taylor and Francis—will be available for this school year. Renting textbooks has become a popular alternative to buying recently, with companies offering students the ability to rent books just for the duration of a semester. Amazon’s new program is similar, but with the added bonus of being digital rather than physical.”...
ReadWriteWeb, July 18
Five questions to ask when evaluating apps and e-books
Kiera Parrott writes: “When it comes to physical books and materials, librarians are confident reviewers and collectors. The good news is that many of the same critical skills used to evaluate physical media are transferable when evaluating digital media. E-books and apps, however, do present new challenges as well as new possibilities. It can be helpful to go in armed with a simple set of criteria for evaluation.”...
ALSC Blog, July 18
Scribd’s new Float reader app
Sarah Perez writes: “Document hosting and sharing site Scribd is venturing into the mobile space with a new iPhone reader app called Float. Scribd aggregates content from news sites, magazines, blogs, and Scribd.com as well as from your social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can also save items you find online to read later in Float, with the use of a specialized browser bookmarklet. But what’s best about this app is the way it reformats the text for the small screen. The ‘floating text’ reading experience, which gives the app its name, reflows text originally formatted for the web for better reading on mobile devices.”...
ReadWriteWeb, July 19; YouTube, July 18
Five winning summer sports books
Linda Holmes writes: “Those who prefer a box score and a beer in the bleachers might be happy to settle into the summer with a few good reads. A good sports book might drag you out onto the field or into the locker room; it might go spelunking into the brain of a master or visit the world of the fan. In these five offerings, baseball is a hero’s playground and a parent’s testing ground, basketball bumps up uncomfortably against heroin addiction, sports journalism undergoes one of its most important transitions, and the sports geek’s endless need to understand flowers in full.”...
National Public Radio, July 20
Graphic novels in education
Jesse Karp writes: “Having written Graphic Novels in Your School Library based on my work as a school librarian, I’ve been thinking about ways to apply the graphic novel format to the purposes of education. It is not much of a stretch to bring works like Shaun Tan’s The Arrival into the classroom or school media center to explore nuances of immigration, or Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese to brew a discussion about racism and diversity, or to use Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Civil War to ignite a complex debate about the heated topic of privacy vs. security with high school students.”...
ALA Editions Blog, July 18
25 book covers that look back
Emily Temple writes: “Half the fun of browsing is coming across books you’ve never heard of and picking them up, usually solely based on the covers, and for some reason we’ve noticed that we’ve been picking up a lot of big blue eyes recently. If eyes are the windows to the soul, does that mean we can see a book’s soul through them too? Or is that our own soul being reflected back to us? Maybe neither, but at the very least, we find book covers with eyes rather eye-catching, which is in many ways the goal of a well-designed jacket.”...
Flavorwire, July 17
Sarah Debraski writes: “The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, really is the conclusion of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Sure, people will still read the books, go to the theme park, and be checking out Pottermore, but this is definitely the end of the series. Love or hate Harry, there was simply no ignoring him. Today The Hub’s bloggers look back and share their reflections on Harry Potter and what he meant to them. Enjoy! And please feel free to share your own memories in the comments section.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 15
10 fantasy series that could replace Harry Potter at the movies
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “Fantasy books are full of long, immersive series—it’s one of the things fantasy does best. But where are the series that could occupy the Hollywood throne that King Harry just vacated? Here are 10 possibilities. We asked io9’s Facebook followers to suggest some fantasy book series that could live up to the awesome artistic and commercial success of the Potter films.”...
io9, July 19
New OCLC membership report: Seeking Synchronicity
A ground-breaking membership report from OCLC Research, in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, suggests that by transforming virtual reference (VR) service encounters into relationship-building opportunities, librarians can better make use of the positive feelings people have for libraries. Seeking Synchronicity (PDF file) distills more than five years of virtual reference research into a readable summary that features memorable quotes that vividly illustrate very specific and actionable suggestions....
OCLC, July 18
Cornell and Columbia universities share collections
A new borrowing program between Cornell University Library and Columbia University Libraries allows users at both schools to take out materials from both libraries. A Cornell student or faculty member spending time in New York City can register for a library card at Columbia and check out books, and vice versa for Columbia students and faculty spending time at Cornell’s Ithaca campus. The reciprocal arrangement is the first program of its kind between Ivy League institutions....
Cornell University, July 14
A future space for reference, inspired by Gale
Brian Mathews writes: “Gale might be in the reference resources business, but after seeing their booth at ALA I’m thinking they should try their hand at reference assistance delivery space. I found their booth very inspiring—and they might just have the key to unlocking the ‘future of the reference desk.’ While there is debate about the future of the reference desk, I think the bigger question is: What is the best environment to provide a personalized assistance experience?”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, July 11
Wikipedia rolling out article rating system
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “Love it or hate it, you can’t say Wikipedia is slow to innovate. The giant encyclopedia site announced July 15 that it will now roll out site-wide an article rating system that allows page visitors to rate an entry on a scale of 1 to 5 on trustworthiness, objectivity, completeness, and quality of writing. Article raters have the option of self-identifying as a subject matter expert for whatever article they rate.”...
ReadWriteWeb, July 18; Wikimedia Blog, July 15
Harry Potter @ your library
Movie posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 remind fans that “It all ends,” but a visit to the local library might yield some different thoughts. Libraries are keeping the Harry Potter tradition alive with a variety of programs for people of all ages in celebration of the movie’s release. Here are just a few examples of how libraries got involved in the celebration....
ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries, July 19
Library rock stars and superheroes
Tom Bruno writes: “‘I don’t need to be a library rock star—a library superhero will suffice.’ This was one of my status updates July 12 on Facebook and Twitter. I am firmly of the opinion that librarians need to bring all of the Awesome they possibly can at this critical juncture for our profession, and if that means turning librarians into the new celebrity chefs so be it—they can even be hipsters from Brooklyn, as 9 out of 10 Food Network stars inevitably are these days.”...
The Jersey Exile, July 13
Tips for being a great blogger
Meredith Farkas writes: “Let’s face it: I’m a blogger. I like the asynchronicity of it. I like not missing things. I like long-form writing. I like being able to really process my thoughts about something rather than blurting out my first impression. I hope blogging won’t go the way of MySpace, Google Wave, and so much other social media. To that end, I thought I’d encourage new bloggers by sharing some advice about what I constantly remind myself of when I write blog posts and what attracts me to blogs as well.”...
Information Wants to Be Free, July 19
How to evaluate a job candidate’s social media presence
Donna Feddern writes: “When we apply for jobs we turn in cover letters, résumés, applications, and lists of references. We also spend a lot of our free time trying to show everyone our ideas and interests by being active on social networking sites. With all the effort we’re putting in, it would be disappointing to find out that you’re not even reading, listening to, or watching what we’re putting out there for you to see. So here’s a hiring guide to the top social networking sites.”...
SEO for Libraries, July 14
A survey of used-book buyers
Book Sale Finder has released the results of its survey (PDF file) of people who attend charity used book sales (including library sales) in the United States and Canada but who are not book dealers. The survey was conducted in November 2010 and involved 981 respondents. It includes information on what types of books they buy, where they buy their books, what attracts them to charity book sales, and what formats and types of books they want to buy. A concurrent survey polled organizers of or volunteers who work at nonprofit used book sales (PDF file)....
Book Sale Finder, June
Plan for Reforma preconference events (PDF file)
Reforma invites library and information professionals, support staff, and students to participate in one of several low-cost preconference workshops. The 4th Reforma National Conference, “Elevating Services to Latinos: Juntos in the Mile High City,” is scheduled for September 15–18 at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Preconference workshops will be held on September 15. Reforma is commemorating its
milestone 40th anniversary with programs designed for budget-challenged
Reforma, July 9
New documentary on the Library of Congress
C-SPAN premiered a new 90-minute documentary July 18 on
the 211-year-old Library of Congress. The program looks behind the scenes at LC, allowing viewers to learn the history of the institution as they tour the library’s iconic Jefferson Building and see some of the treasures found in its collections of rare books, photos, and maps. It also features a look at some of the presidential papers housed there, ranging from George Washington through Calvin Coolidge. The C-SPAN site offers some previews of the film....
OCLC’s take on RDA
James Hennelly writes: “This week’s interview is with OCLC, the organization behind WorldCat, Connexion, and several other library-related products and services. The responses have been provided by Glenn Patton, director of the WorldCat Quality Management Division of OCLC.”...
RDA Toolkit blog, July 19
Historypin.com wants to be the world’s photo album
Kevin O’Neill writes: “What if there was a giant photo album with pictures of families from all over the world? That’s the goal of the folks at Historypin.com. The site, which has been in beta for a year, officially launched July 11. It allows registered users (registration is free) to post old or new photos where they can be combined with Google Maps and Street View. You can use the search tools to find pictures. Enter a location, and a subject if you like, in the search fields. Then use the sliders on the timeline to bracket a period in time. The timeline ranges from 1840, the time of the earliest photography, to the present.”...
Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune, July 16
Help prevent digital orphans
Kristin Snawder writes: “‘If it’s scanned, then it’s preserved, right? I mean, it’s in the computer now so that’s all I need to do!’ I’ve heard this response when I ask if something is digitally preserved and it raises concerns. Lumping scanning together with digital preservation causes confusion and I want to take this opportunity to shine a light on some of the differences between the two.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, July 15
Romania’s first green library
Ari Katz writes: “One of our IREX staff, training manager Camelia Crisan, is active in the corporate social responsibility community in Romania. At one event, she began talking with the head of Romania’s Green Building Council. From that discussion emerged the competition for Romania’s first green library, which was conducted in 2010. The council agreed to mobilize its members to donate the labor and supplies to renovate a library. Around 50 communities submitted applications to a contest which IREX facilitated, and the selection panel chose Cacica in Suceava county.”...
IREX Global Libraries, July 19
The Uni: A portable reading room for public spaces
Stephanie Rocio Miles writes: “Look at this great idea to help bring libraries to public spaces. The Uni is a light structure that can hold a small library collection and a number of benches for people to sit while reading. Each section of the structure is meant to be a small, curated collection on a particular subject.” A Uni NYC unit is under construction at MIT and will launch in New York this fall. Compare the non-portable but similar concept of the Garden Library in Tel Aviv’s Lewinsky Park....
Bilingual Librarian, July 18;
Kickstarter; Christian Science Monitor, July 14
Biblioburro debuts on PBS
Carlos Rendón Zipagauta’s 2008 documentary, Biblioburro: The Donkey Library, tells the story of 39-year-old Luis Soriano and his mobile library in rural Colombia from the point of view of the man himself and his two hardworking burros. The film made its broadcast debut on PBS stations July 19 on the POV series. The producers, POV Digital, have created a user-generated Google map where librarians can add their own mobile or alternative library programs, then share the feature on Facebook, Twitter, or other media outlets to get the word out about mobile libraries....
Cursive lingers on
Lauren Barack writes: “Should cursive still be taught in school? Apparently not, according to the Common Core Standards, which leaves handwriting behind as it embraces other requirements such as keyboarding. Yet teachers and librarians say that while not required, cursive still plays a role in a child’s education—although perhaps not as intensively as before.”...
School Library Journal, July 19
Banksy of the book-art world
Michael Lieberman writes: “Is there a Bansky-style book artist roaming the streets of Scotland? In June, the book art piece on the right was found at the National Library of Scotland. It was the fourth piece found since March in a book-friendly location in Scotland. All are reference books or are devised from the work of Scottish mystery writer Ian Rankin and include a note professing some book love. Earlier, it was the Scottish Poetry Library where a ‘poetree’ was discovered on a bookshelf.”...
Book Patrol, July 18
Susan Sarandon to play future librarian
The newly formed Park Pictures Features has begun filming a family comedy, Robot and Frank, this summer. Set in the future, Robot and Frank follows aging curmudgeon Frank (Frank Langella), a confused loner with a love for books. His one friend is the librarian Jennifer (Susan Sarandon) that he regularly visits. Other than his library outings and weekly visits from his son, Frank lives a quiet, lonely life, until his grown-up kids (James Marsden, Liv Tyler) install a caretaker robot (voiced by Liev Schreiber) to care for their dad, and an unlikely friendship begins....
Collider, July 12
Rex Libris on the way to the big screen?
Walden Media, a children’s film production and publishing company best known as the producers of The Chronicles of Narnia film series, has acquired the feature film rights to the humorous sci-fi graphic novel series Rex Libris, written by James Turner in 2005–2008. The series follows Rex Libris, head librarian at the Middleton Public Library, who is over 1,000 years old and was the librarian at the ancient Library of Alexandria....
Variety, July 19
FAQs about catalogers
Will Manley writes: “Frequently Asked Questions about catalogers. Q. How many catalogers does it take to screw in a light bulb? A. None, they screw in ILLUMINATION—SOURCES OF. Q. How can you tell when you’re in a cataloger’s cemetery? A. The tombstones are all arranged by Cutter number. Q. When can you tell a cataloger is underpaid? A. When he is standing on the freeway entrance with a sign that says ‘Will catalog for food.’”...
Will Unwound, July 15
25 easy rules of Comic-Con etiquette
Cyriaque Lamar writes: “Comic-Con may look like a four-day saloon brawl of geek culture, but know that there’s a well-defined code of conduct designed to make everyone’s experience optimally enjoyable. For all you San Diego pilgrims July 21–24, here be the rules.” Rule #23: “Absolutely nothing at Comic-Con is worth stampeding over.” And here is a traveler’s guide to the con....
io9, July 18; Kotaku, July 15
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