|American Libraries Online
Patriot Act reformers remain determined
President Barack Obama signed into law the evening of May 26 a four-year renewal of the Patriot Act that included none of the reader-privacy and Fourth Amendment protections sought by freedom-to-read groups. “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) stated on the Senate floor before the bill’s passage....
American Libraries news, May 31
Book buzz still packs librarians into BookExpo America
Rocco Staino writes: “Librarians were well represented at the 2011 BookExpo America in New York City, held May 24–26, in autographing lines, workshops, and publisher parties that lasted late into the evening. Although traditionally aimed at retail book buyers, BEA has been adding more and more programming for librarians each year. ‘Librarian’s Book Buzz,’ ‘Hot Graphic Novels for Libraries,’ and ‘Librarians Shout ’n Share’ were among the workshops tailored to the profession. Actor John Lithgow was a featured speaker at a Library Journal event.” Heather McCormack comments on BEA e-book activities, and Julie Bosman describes the BEA buzz....
American Libraries news, June 1; Library Journal, June 1; New York Times, May 25
Jane: Karen says “hi”
Liz Humrickhouse and Beverly Goldberg write: “Collegiality extends across time and borders, as ALA Library Director Karen Muller was recently reminded when she saw a colleague’s photo in the media. Muller recognized in an April 15 USA Today story her former mentor Jane Gillis (right), rare book cataloger at Yale University as well as the mother of Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelance journalist who was one of four that Libyan officials had just detained (and released six weeks later). The mentoring ended many years ago, but the sense of connection endures.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, June 1
Keeping our message simple
James LaRue writes: “It is time for the library profession to come to grips with some harsh realities: Usage, demographics, and performance have nothing to do with library support. So what does? There are three essential factors: 1) The frame. What most affects library funding today is the result of 50 long years of conservative framing. It can be summed up in two words: “tax burden.” 2) The story. Let’s just give a vivid script to passionate library supporters who already love to talk to their community, and whose communities are liable to listen....
American Libraries feature
Fanbase to the rescue: A Massachusetts tale
Eric T. Poulin writes: “It’s indisputable that Facebook can successfully promote advocacy on behalf of library-related issues. When a controversial impending merger of a half-dozen local library systems generated a great deal of anxiety for both librarians and patrons last year, the ‘We Love Western Mass Libraries’ Facebook page, launched by library patron, author, and homeschooling mother Liz Castro, united both groups to promote positive advocacy in response to the proposal.”...
American Libraries feature
Facebook for libraries
David Lee King writes: “Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put some finishing touches on plans for a conference taking place at the library. I did all this through Facebook. Here’s how to set up a Facebook account, and how to use it to connect with your community.”...
American Libraries feature
Refresh your view of e-rate
Marijke Visser writes: “Suffering from the after-school network grinding-to-a-halt syndrome? Have a flat or declining budget with little state or local political support? If you haven’t considered the e-rate program lately, now’s the time to take a fresh look at it: The program brings millions of dollars to public libraries each year—dollars that support telecommunications and information services critical to library service today.”...
American Libraries feature
Youth Matters: A facility forever young
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “What do young people want? When it comes to library space, they’re inclined to seek sophisticated yet comfortable areas. In a focus group that gave teens the opportunity to advise librarians and architects charged with designing the new Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library (right), their wishes were simple: Skip the clashes of color that might be considered cool or edgy; instead, they wanted a dynamic space that evokes the atmosphere of a coffee shop.”...
American Libraries column, May/June
ALA partners with NTIA
ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff writes: “ALA is pleased to collaborate with the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support DigitalLiteracy.gov. This new portal is an important first step in collecting and sharing class materials, research, and online learning tools. We look forward to greatly expanding the content available as librarians, educators, and other practitioners engage with the website.”...
Department of Commerce blog, May 31
Joe Murphy to speak at PR Forum
Joe Murphy (right), librarian at Yale University and mobile technology innovator, will discuss how mobile phones provide a unique opportunity for libraries to market themselves June 26 at the annual PR Forum at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Murphy has focused his professional work on technology trends and the evolving information landscape....
Public Information Office, May 31
Three more JobLIST Placement Center sessions
The ALA JobLIST Placement Center is sponsoring three additional job-search sessions during he ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans: “What Are Interviewers Really Looking For?”, “Improving Your Odds,” and “How to Be Successful When Searching for Academic Library Positions.”...
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 31
The Annual Conference planning process
Jenny Levine writes: “Conference planning is a BHD (Big Hairy Deal) at ALA, with an emphasis on Big. Every time I think I understand the full scope of it, I find another piece I didn’t know about or fully comprehend. And yet I’m still going to try to explain this behemoth. Right now it’s May 2011, and we’re about a month away from the 2011 Annual Conference. If you want to submit a program for Annual 2012, you may have already missed the deadline. Wait, what?”...
ALA Marginalia, May 25
An updated guide to the Newbery and Caldecott awards
Updated to include the 2011 award and honor books, the new edition of The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, published by ALA Editions in association with ALSC, gathers together the books deemed most distinguished in American children’s literature and illustration since the inception of these renowned prizes. Librarians and teachers rely on this guidebook for quick reference and collection development, as well as a resource for curriculum links and readers’ advisory....
ALA Editions, May 31
A complete handbook of interlibrary loan practices
Collections are increasingly shared among libraries, and the new third edition of the Interlibrary Loan Practices Handbook‚ published by ALA Editions, gives library staff the tools necessary for a smoothly functioning interlibrary loan system. Editors Cherié L. Weible and Karen L. Janke explain the complexities of getting materials from outside the library for patrons and present a complete view of the process....
ALA Editions, May 27
Featured review: Fantasy
Morgenstern, Erin. The Night Circus. Sept. 2011. 384p. Doubleday, hardcover (978-0-385-53463-5).
This big and—no, not bulky—compelling first novel ushers in a menacing tone with its first sentence: “The circus arrives without warning.” Why would a circus arrive so quietly in town, and why would anyone need warning about this particular one? The time span here is 30 years, from 1873 to 1903, and the settings range from America to Europe. To a famous magician is delivered a little girl who, as it turns out, is his child, and fortunately for his future, she is possessed of magical powers. As it also happens, this magician has an archrival, who, in the face of the first magician’s jackpot in the form of his little girl, seeks a young person for him to train to rival her....
Classic monster mash-ups
Christine Meloni writes: “At first, zombies and sea monsters invaded Regency England. Then, out of the shadows of the bookstores, vampires, werewolves, and even aliens began to stalk our beloved classic literary characters, and no one was safe from a monster mash-up, not Mr. Darcy, not Jane Eyre, not even Tom Sawyer. The recent literary phenomenon that combines, or mashes up, a classic work with elements of modern pop-culture genre fiction was one of last year’s biggest literary trends, and it is still showing signs of life with original stories about historical figures like Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln.
Because monster mash-ups succeed at turning canonized classics into light reading, they are introducing a new generation to classic literature, especially young male readers. Here are some of the best, and the list includes both adult and youth titles.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
This jazz venue at 916 N. Peters Street (underneath Galvez Restaurant) is run by the U.S. National Park Service and features exhibits, lectures run by park rangers, films, live concerts on Saturdays, and walking tours that change from season to season. A self-guided audio walking tour (PDF file) takes you from the Louis Armstrong statue and Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park to the Tango Belt and Preservation Hall....
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Jazz and heritage radio
WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans jazz and heritage station, a community radio station currently operating out of the French Market Corporation offices. It is a listener-supported, volunteer-programmed enterprise that promotes live events and plays jazz, blues, R&B, Cajun, zydeco, and other locally flavored music around the clock....
WWOZ-FM, New Orleans
A library of possibilities at Blue Cypress Books
Anna Shults writes: “Blue Cypress Books at 8126 Oak Street has the largest selection of second-hand children’s books in New Orleans, as well as an impressive New Orleans section. With an inventory reaching 11,000 books, I believe even the most reluctant readers can find something they want, especially with the help of store owner Elizabeth, whose knowledge of literature is both impressive and refreshing.”...
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 26
New Orleans children’s book authors
Ever wondered about The Beignet That Almost Got Away, Mama’s Bayou, or The Crawfish Family Band? Get the stories behind these Louisiana children’s tales with this guide to local children’s book authors. For example, when New Orleans native Cornell P. Landry isn’t writing children’s books, he is running the Kingfish Grille in old Gretna. He is the author of two local children’s books, Happy Jazz Fest and Goodnight NOLA....
Arts New Orleans
Louisiana Children’s Museum
This museum at 420 Julia Street offers many activities for a wide range of ages. Kids can play house or horse around in the New Orleans architecture section (right), watch a puppet show, get caught up in a giant bubble, play with legos or trains, cook in a pretend kitchen, ride a bike with Mr. Bones, or shop in a small Winn-Dixie grocery store....
Louisiana Children’s Museum
New Orleans voodooings
Louisiana Voodoo is a set of underground religious practices that originated with the traditions of slaves brought from West Africa. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum at 724 Dumaine Street, established in 1972, displays and explains the history of Voodoo as a spiritual practice, the superstitions of Hoodoo, folklore and facts about Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (right), and the fusion of Voodoo into music and jazz, Mardi Gras, movies, and literature. Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo at 739 Bourbon Street sells books, spells, charms, souvenirs, candles, and oils....
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum; Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo
Behind the scenes: Urban planning failures
World famous urban planner Andres Duany provides an amusingly acidic account of what he calls “silver bullets,” those catalytic architectural projects made to enhance New Orleans over the years, from the World Trade Center to downtown shopping malls to current plans to develop the Mississippi riverfront. Watch the video (5:25)....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 16
The elusive hunt for legroom
Brett Snyder writes: “If you’re tall and you travel, then finding airplane seats with the best legroom is an incredibly important exercise. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to do. It’s made far more difficult since legroom is measured using an awful proxy called seat pitch, the distance between one point on a seat and that same point on the seat behind (above). The airlines really don’t seem to care about pushing an accurate measurement of legroom into the public arena. So how can you know? Sadly, you really can’t without doing real research, so here are some tips.”...
CNN, May 23
Get street smart in June
Street lit’s appeal extends well beyond urban teens. Find out more about this increasingly popular genre of literature and how to incorporate it into your library at YALSA’s June 16 webinar, “Street Smart: Serving Teen Street Lit Readers,” hosted by Megan Honig. Participants will learn more about the genre and why it’s important to make space for it in their library collections. They will also receive a list of street lit resources....
YALSA, May 31
YA Forum discussion in ALA Connect
YALSA will host its monthly discussion forum, June 6–10, on outreach to LGBTQ teens. Throughout the week, YALSA members are encouraged to check in to the discussion forum and ask questions and contribute to the ongoing discussion. The forum is hosted in YALSA’s space in ALA Connect....
YALSA, May 31
ALTAFF celebrates Southern writers
ALTAFF will host “Celebrating Southern Writers” on June 25 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This panel will celebrate authors from the region. Featured authors include Tayari Jones (right), Jennifer Niven, Kevin Wilson, John Hart, Pat McEnulty, and Kathleen Kent. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Prepub Alert for Library Journal....
ALTAFF, May 31
Free consultation sessions in New Orleans
ASCLA and PLA are teaming up to offer “Consultants Give Back” at the ALA Annual Conference—an opportunity for libraries to receive free 30-minute consultation sessions from professional library consultants (PDF file). The event is in its second year and features consultants with expertise in a wide variety of topics, such as RFID, marketing and communications, executive searches, buildings and facilities, strategic planning, and library trend. Appointments will be available the afternoon of June 26 in the Magnolia room at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans....
ASCLA, PLA, May 31
Essays on embedded librarians
ACRL has published Embedded Librarians: Moving Beyond One-Shot Instruction, edited by Cassandra Kvenild and Kaijsa Calkins of the University of Wyoming. This collection of 16 insightful essays is the first book-length treatment of the growing embedded librarianship movement. By joining varied groups of patrons and assisting their research over the long haul, embedded librarians commit themselves to service in a very different way than they did in traditional one-shot bibliographic instruction....
ACRL, May 31
AASL National Conference Ning
Attendees at the AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition will have a chance to build community and network before touching down in Minneapolis this October 27–30, thanks to the AASL 2011 Conference Ning. “The AASL Ning is a virtual learning commons where everyone can participate in conversations for learning and contribute to the conference experience, whether you are attending in person or following the conference from afar,” said Buffy Hamilton, national conference social media chair....
AASL, May 31
AASL explores The Shallows
As part of the countdown to its 15th National Conference, AASL will host a 10-week discussion group on the One Book, One Conference book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Led by AASL President-Elect Carl Harvey, the discussion, which begins August 10, will cover one chapter each week and take place on the conference Ning. It will culminate in an opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts with Nicholas Carr as he joins the event onsite in Minneapolis on October 28....
AASL, May 31
New name for Map and Geography Round Table
This spring, members of the Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT) voted to change the group’s name to the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT). The board proposed this change to emphasize the increasing role of geospatial information in today’s libraries, while also reflecting the evolving focus of the round table. The name and acronym are also similar to the well-known form of the round table’s original name. The new name goes into effect after Annual Conference....
Map and Geography Round Table
The best in library branding
Judith Gibbons writes: “The John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award turned 65 years old this year and celebrated with the Midwinter announcement of the 2011 winners. Five vibrant libraries demonstrated innovative, outstanding marketing strategies in campaigns ending in 2010: Anythink Libraries of Adams County, Colorado; Edmonton (Alberta) Public Library; Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library; University of California/Santa Cruz Library; and Worthington (Ohio) Libraries. The winners will be honored at a reception at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28.”...
American Libraries feature
Pura Belpré Award celebrates its 15th anniversary
ALSC and Reforma will hold a gala of the Quinces for the Pura Belpré Award this year at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans to celebrate the award’s 15th anniversary. The event will take place on June 26, 1–4 p.m. All conference attendees are welcome to attend free of charge. The Quinceañera Celebración will feature the winning 2011 Belpré authors and illustrators, including Pam Muñoz Ryan, George Ancona, Margarita Engle, Eric Velasquez, and Duncan Tonatiuh....
ALSC, May 31
Christopher M. Finan awarded 2011 Freedom to Read award
Christopher M. Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, is the recipient of the 2011 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award. Finan has a distinguished career in both study and activism on behalf of the freedom to read. He has been particularly active in fighting state harmful-to-minors statutes and advocating the role of the bookseller as a partner with libraries, users, publishers, and all who produce, distribute, or use First-Amendment protected materials....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 25
Abigail McDermott receives Ex Libris Student Writing Award
Abigail McDermott, an LIS student at the University of Maryland, has been named the winner of the 2011 LITA Ex Libris Student Writing Award. McDermott’s paper, titled “Copyright: Regulation Out of Line with Our Digital Reality?” provides an overview of the current state of copyright law in the United States, focusing on the negative impacts of these policies on libraries and patrons, and will be published in Information Technology and Libraries. McDermott will receive $1,000 and a certificate....
LITA, May 27
2011 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes, published by Atlantic Monthly Press and El León Literary Arts, is the winner of the 2011 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for excellence in military fiction.
The award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award, donated by author W. Y. Boyd II, recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction....
Office of ALA Governance, May 31
Lambda Literary Award winners
The Lambda Literary Foundation has announced the winners of the 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards. More than 400 people attended the May 26 ceremony at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City. Among the winners were Eileen Myles’s Inferno (A Poet’s Novel), which to ok the top honor in Lesbian Fiction, and Adam Haslett’s Union Atlantic for Gay Fiction. Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally presented the Foundation’s Pioneer Award to Edward Albee....
Lambda Literary Foundation, May 27
Red April wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
Peruvian novelist Santiago Roncagliolo, who cites Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell as a major influence, has won the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his novel Red April. The story of a hapless prosecutor on the trail of a violent serial killer in the Peruvian town of Ayacucho, Red April takes place during Holy Week in 2000 in the aftermath of the Shining Path insurgency. The prize honors the best work of fiction by a living author that has been translated into English and published in the United Kingdom during 2010....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 27
Edmund de Waal wins 2011 Ondaatje Prize
British ceramic artist Edmund de Waal’s much-praised biography of his family’s history, The Hare with Amber Eyes, has been named winner of the 2011 Ondaatje Prize, a £10,000 ($16,448 U.S.) award given by the Royal Society of Literature for a work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that evokes the “spirit of a place.” De Waal’s book uses 264 delicate Japanese netsuke (small carvings) to tell the story of his family in the 20th century....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 24
2011 Franz Kafka Prize
Ireland’s leading novelist John Banville (right) has been awarded the Franz Kafka Prize for 2011, one of the most prestigious international literary awards. The annual Kafka Prize is awarded for “work of exceptional literary creation by a contemporary author.” The award ceremony will take place in Prague in October when Banville will be presented with a bronze statuette (a scaled-down model of the monument to Franz Kafka in Prague) and £10,000 ($16,448 U.S.)....
Irish Independent (Dublin), May 26
Librarian positions cut in schools across the U.S.
Joy Resmovits writes: “As school districts work to accommodate budget shortfalls, teachers aren’t the only education professionals to be let go or reshuffled. Librarians, said AASL President Nancy Everhart, along with arts teachers and music program directors, are more vulnerable. The vulnerability of librarians and other school support staff also comes as states pass laws revising the rules that govern the hiring and firing of education professionals. Everhart is worried about potential librarian layoffs in Arizona, Colorado, Philadelphia, and Oregon.”...
Huffington Post, May 31
Furlough days may save L.A. school librarian jobs
Los Angeles teachers and school librarians will take four unpaid days off next year to help offset the city schools’ estimated $408-million budget deficit, according to a tentative agreement reached May 27. The deal between the United Teachers Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District would save the district about $42 million if ratified. The school board could rescind about 3,400 of the layoff notices, which would include teachers, librarians, and nurses. About 2,000 employees’ jobs could still be at risk....
Los Angeles Times, May 28
The dilemma of orphan works
Marc Parry writes: “A common problem bedevils university digital collections. Wide online access is curtailed, in part because they contain ‘orphan works’ whose copyright owners can’t be found. And the institutions that hold the collections must deal with legal uncertainty in deciding how to share the works. A university that goes too far could end up facing a copyright-infringement lawsuit. That reluctance harms scholarship, because researchers end up not using valuable documents if they can’t afford to fly to a distant archive to see them.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 29
British Library creates a digital newspaper archive
Ed King, the charismatic head of the British Library’s newspaper collection, is overseeing the library’s ambitious attempt to make millions of pages of newsprint available online for the first time. The library is one year into its plan to digitize 40 million news pages from its vast collection, housed in Colindale, north London. This autumn, the library will reinvent its cavernous vaults as a website, where amateur genealogists and eager historians will be able to browse 19th-century newsprint from their home computers....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 30
Oakland mayor proposes shutting 14 of 18 city libraries
Oakland, California, Mayor Jean Quan has proposed cutting 14 of the city’s 18 library branches, including a venerated African-American museum and library, unless unions slash their pay or voters pass an $11.2-million parcel tax. Library supporters claim that Quan’s proposal is simply political theater and is disingenuous; but if it passes, the main library, one of four that will remain open, will operate with just 10% of its original staff, making the delivery of library services and programs nearly impossible....
San Francisco Chronicle, May 29
Donor pledge could keep Escondido branch open
A group of donors has offered $96,000 to help prevent the East Valley branch of the Escondido (Calif.) Public Library from closing in June, but the city council’s unwillingness to commit to keeping it open long-term could scuttle the proposal. The anonymous donors have demanded that the council keep the branch open in subsequent years in exchange for the donations, which would cover half of its $192,000 annual operating cost for one year....
Escondido (Calif.) North County Times, May 27
King County removes security cameras over privacy
The King County (Wash.) Library System is removing security cameras from its libraries, worried that supplying security video to law-enforcement agencies could compromise patron privacy. “We decided the cameras were not serving a purpose and were a point of contention with law enforcement,” said Director Bill Ptacek. The issue over police access to video from the cameras came up in March, when a 77-year-old man was assaulted in the Woodmont branch parking lot....
Seattle Times, May 24
Librarian’s electric car gives her a charge
School librarian Martha Wolf lives in northwest Bexar County, Texas, and drives to the San Antonio Independent School District. That means a significant commute to work each day—some 60 miles round trip. In May, Wolf became the owner of a 2011 Nissan Leaf, one of the first mass-developed electric cars to hit San Antonio streets. Now, for less than the cost of a week’s worth of gas, Wolf can easily drive an entire month on electricity. She also received a $7,500 federal tax credit for purchasing the car....
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, May 27
Millinocket trustees cry foul over position cut by town
The town council of Millinocket, Maine, has retained a children’s librarian position in its proposed 2011–2012 budget after the library board accused Town Manager Eugene Conlogue of violating codes by cutting the position without telling board members. They said the position, held by Marietta Cole, “is more important than ever” given looming school budget cuts that leave “struggling educators who are also trying to do more with less.”...
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, May 27
Descendants of 1911 New York archivist donate Dutch papers
On the centennial of the catastrophic 1911 New York State Capitol fire, descendants of A. J. F. van Laer (right), the fabled archivist who rushed into the burning building in Albany to save Colonial Dutch records he was translating, donated books and items from his estate on May 26. The March 29, 1911, fire destroyed nearly the entire collection of the New York State Library, considered one of the nation’s finest collections, including 500,000 books, 300,000 manuscripts, and much of van Laer’s life’s work. The descendants donated several boxes of Dutch books, photographs, scrapbooks, and other material kept at a family summer home....
Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, May 27
Prison library offers a place to escape
Some 1,700 residents of the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland make very good use of their library. Most inmates will never win early release, so the library becomes a place to improve reading skills, write a letter home, watch an instructional video on auto mechanics, or just escape, mentally. Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen visits the prison to talk with longtime prison librarian Glennor Shirley (above). Shirley runs the libraries for the entire Maryland prison system....
National Public Radio: Weekend Edition Sunday, May 29
End of era for bound law books? (PDF file)
In another bow to the digital age, those bulky law books containing officially reported Illinois court opinions will be going the way of 8-track tapes and boom boxes as of July 1. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride announced May 31 that “the official body of Illinois court opinions will now reside on the website of the Illinois Supreme Court, readily available to lawyers, judges, and law clerks for official citation and to any member of the public who wishes to read them.” Illinois joins about a dozen other states moving to digital case law....
Illinois Supreme Court, May 31
How reading can block your ability to hear
Becoming engrossed in a good book or a crossword really can block the ability to hear, a study has found. Scientists demonstrated that when people focus their full attention on something, they can become deaf to normally audible sounds. It happens because visual and hearing senses are trying to share limited brain capacity. Study leader Professor Nilli Lavie, from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, said: “Inattentional deafness is a common, everyday experience.”...
Daily Mail (U.K.), May 27
Egyptian National Library to document the revolution
An ambitious project sponsored by the Egyptian National Library and Archives is coordinating a large number of experts who have one aim: documenting the revolution that began on January 25. Khaled Fahmy, head of the history department at the American University in Cairo, said National Library Director Mohamed Saber Arab called him around February 20, soon after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and asked him to form committees to gather primary sources and oral testimony that documented the uprising....
Al-Ahram (Cairo), May 28
Books across the waters
The Antwerp Sunshine Library in Mattawan, Michigan, is taking literally its theme for summer reading, “One World, Many Stories.” The branch of the Van Buren District Library is a sister to libraries in Hagåtña, Guam, and Portstewart, Northern Ireland, where children will receive stories, photos, and gifts from summer readers in Mattawan. Branch Librarian Kay McAdam said, “Each child is invited to write a postcard that provides a glimpse into what life is like in southern Michigan.”...
Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette, May 23
British libraries migrate to pubs
Libraries axed under coalition spending cuts could be resurrected in pubs, shops, and doctors’ offices if radical proposals being studied by ministers are put into action. With local authorities ordered to save millions of pounds this year, libraries were quickly singled out for closure. A blueprint for the future is emerging that envisions sharing sites with the police, the National Health Service, and law offices, as well as lending books through pubs and generating funds by selling branded coffee....
The Independent (U.K.), May 29
U.K. takes hard line on legal aid for library lawsuits
British campaigners seeking legal aid to pursue judicial-review claims against public library closures are being asked by the Legal Services Commission for “community contributions” of more than 50% of costs. Lewisham resident James Holland said being told the community would have to come up with funds had stopped him from starting a claim over New Cross library, which closed May 27....
The Bookseller, May 27
£500,000 embezzled from National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh has admitted falling victim to a “sophisticated and complex” crime after one of its managers embezzled £500,000 ($822,500 U.S.). IT director David Dinham took the money between September 2006 and June 2009 when he had control over huge budgets at the historic institution. Dinham admitted the embezzlement at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in late May. Library staff had spotted financial irregularities and called in the police....
BBC News, May 31
Go back to the Top
Top 5 social media security threats
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are increasingly used by enterprises to engage with customers, build their brands, and communicate information to the rest of the world. But for organizations, there are real risks in using social media, ranging from damaging the brand to exposing proprietary information and inviting lawsuits. Here are five of the biggest social media security threats....
PC World, May 31
Facebook is working on better media sharing
Facebook is developing features that will make the sharing of users’ favorite music, television shows, and other media as much a part of its site as playing games or posting vacation photos. The company is in discussions with several online music services, including the European company Spotify, to develop a tab or widget that would display a user’s most-played songs and provide an easy way for friends to hear them. Facebook wants to do the same for other kinds of media, like video and news, said people involved in the discussion....
New York Times, May 27
The best laptops under $500
Natalie Shoemaker writes: “Laptops that cost less than $500 are few and far between, and trying to find a decent one can be a lofty task. In order to create a budget laptop, manufacturers often sacrifice performance, bog down its products with bloatware, or dumb down the design in order to keep costs low. But we believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice all these creature comforts for the sake of a good buy. That’s why we have rounded up some of the best $500 laptops that have come through our labs.”...
PC Magazine, May 26
Brian Heater writes: “The e-reader market just got a lot more crowded in late May with the launch of the touch-enabled Nook and Kobo eReader Touch Edition. Will either device be able to take down Amazon’s industry-defining Kindle? We’ve broken down the specs on the two new readers, the Kindle, and Sony’s comparable Reader Pocket Edition (PRS-350SC) to find out which device will come out on top.”...
Engadget, May 26
How to clean your keyboard without breaking anything
Yatri Trivedi writes: “Your keyboard is one of your most important peripherals, but it’s bound to get clogged with dirt and grime over time. Dust off, scrub down, and clean up your number-one input device safely with these tips. Some of these cleaning methods can theoretically do some damage to your keyboard if there’s power going to it, so make sure it is unplugged first and the batteries are taken out.”...
How-To Geek, May 31
How to prevent too-frequent software updates
Adam Dachis writes: “Many applications roll out new updates constantly. While many applications will just ask you if you want to be notified of new updates and then set the frequency of checking for updates to something as frequent as daily, you can often change this. Most apps have an Updates tab in their preferences or settings that allow you to specify the frequency of the update and allow you to check for updates manually at any point.”...
Lifehacker, May 31
ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Visit the LIVE @ your library Reading Stage to hear poets and authors. Consult the full schedule.
Using real-life examples of trainers who serve as leaders within libraries and their communities, Workplace Learning and Leadership by Lori Reed and Paul Signorelli sheds light on an underappreciated but important component of library operations. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Great Library, Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Ontario. The library houses the largest private legal collection in the country, primarily statutes and law reports from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other common law jurisdictions. It has a small rare book collection that includes pre-confederation statutes and early Upper Canada imprints.
Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The National Archives of Canada (founded in 1872) and the National Library of Canada (created in 1953) have occupied the same building on Wellington Street since 1967, but they were administered separately until 2004 when the government unified their collections, services, and personnel through the Library and Archives Canada Act. Its special collections include a portrait gallery of famous Canadians, more than 21.3 million photographic images, early Canadian maps and prints, resources created by or about Aboriginal peoples, Canadian sheet music and recordings, the archives of the Canadian concert pianist Glenn Gould, and national and provincial newspapers. LAC’s Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Québec, contains collection storage areas with optimum environmental conditions and laboratories for preservation activities.
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.
Art Public Services Librarian, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Interacts with faculty and students; provides reference and research consultation; manages the reading rooms; hires, trains, and supervises student assistants; develops instructional programs, materials, and outreach services; maintains Art Collection webpages; assists with decisions regarding the preservation and reformatting of art materials; interacts with other library departments and serves on library and university committees; and selects books, journals, and electronic resources in assigned collection areas....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Missouri Digital Library includes a collection of postcard images that show the development of Joplin, Missouri, from a scattering of rough mining camps through the mid-point of the 20th century. They provide an indelible image of a city that grew virtually overnight to become the world’s premier supplier of lead and zinc ore. Joplin also became a transportation hub and still retains the title of The Crossroads of America. In addition to pictures of mines and miners, there are images of Joplin’s extravagantly landscaped parks and public recreation areas as well as souvenir postcards of the motels and motor courts that sprang up along Route 66. Joplin’s place as the social mecca for the soldiers training at Camp Crowder during World War II is documented in postcards showing the USO club and other social and recreational venues. Joplin’s grandiose hotels, theaters, and apartment buildings are shown in their glory days. The postcards were selected primarily from the collections of the Joplin Public Library. The collection provides a close look at a city that has received much world attention since the disastrous tornado of May 22. The digital library also offers a booklet on the devastation wrought by the earlier Joplin tornado of May 5, 1971, and many other images and texts.
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.
“Yes, reading books is a slow, time-consuming, and often tedious process. In comparison, surfing the internet is a quick, distracting activity in which one searches for a specific subject, finds it, and then reads about it—often by skipping a great deal of material and absorbing only pertinent fragments. Books require patience, sustained attention to what is on the page, and frequent rest periods for reverie, so that the meaning of what we are reading settles in and makes its full impact.”
—Serbian-American poet Charles Simic, “A Country without Libraries,” New York Review of Books, May 18.
“Some questions remain unanswered. Every year you ask your tax accountant if you can deduct library fines on your return. ‘No,’ she says, unamused. You pay the fines without complaint though, because there is nothing more awesome in society than a library. You are almost loathe to write about it for fear that the secret will get out. Where else can you order DVDs, CDs, and books online and have them delivered to your branch for free?”
—Artist and musician Marcellus Hall, “From the Desk and Drawing Table of Marcellus Hall,” Magnet, May 29.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Boston, June 1–3, at:
Rhode Island Library Association, Annual Meeting, Bryant University, Smithfield, June 2–3, at:
6th Annual Conference on Open Repositories, Austin, Texas, June 6–11, at:
Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management, Albuquerque, June 7–11, at:
American Library Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23–28, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Digital Preservation Management Workshop, University at Albany–SUNY, New York.
6th Annual Conference on Open Repositories, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Austin, Texas.
Art Libraries Society of North America / Visual Resources Association Foundation, Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 50th Anniversary Program, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators / Council of State Archivists, Joint Annual Meeting, Sheraton-Nashville Downtown, Nashville, Tennessee.
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Little America Hotel and Resort, Cheyenne.
Missouri Library Association, Annual Conference, KCI Expo Center, Kansas City. “Missouri Libraries: Envisioning Tomorrow.”
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The 10 hottest prospects from BookExpo America
Boris Kachka writes: “Just as Rapturists are feeling a bit more optimistic about the end of planet Earth, so too are publishers about the end of their world, judging by the talk at the just-wrapped BookExpo America. Printed books continued to decline, but the exploding e-book market filled the gap. And fiction is now the major growth market. Charlie Winton, head of the indie-publishing conglomerate Publishers Group West, called it ‘karmic payback.’ In honor of the phoenixlike reemergence of fiction, here are the hottest fiction galleys from BEA.”...
New York: Vulture, May 27
E-readers and the future of reading
In early May, ALA Literacy Officer Dale Lipschultz led a discussion on e-readers and adult literacy at the Florida Literacy Coalition’s 2011 Annual Conference in Orlando. The session, attended by a wide range of stakeholders including librarians, adult literacy teachers, tutors, literacy program administrators, and nonprofit professionals, examined the use of e-readers as a teaching and learning tool in adult literacy programs and sought attendees’ input and participation in the shaping of this emerging technology. These are her notes from the program....
OLOS Columns, May 27
Not just black and white
Max Winter writes: “The graphic novel is much more than a slightly longer comic book, or even the comic’s smarter cousin. It’s a vehicle for artists of different stripes, with or without excessive drafting ability, to reveal something of their imaginations and their visions of the world with untold levels of quirkiness and, at times, poetic immediacy. The doubleness of the best graphic novels is on triumphant display in five recently published works.”...
Boston Globe, May 29
SPARC launches open-access journal resource
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition released a free online Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index May 26 with information and documents to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal. Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work of their researchers more widely available....
SPARC, May 26
Black’s Law Dictionary: The making of an American standard (PDF file)
Sarah Yates examines the history of Black’s Law Dictionary, the methods used in its creation, and its evolution. She then compares it to its competitors and identifies the factors that have led it to become the predominant American law dictionary. It was not the first English law dictionary, or even the first American law dictionary. Yet now Black’s is well-known enough that it is recognizable simply by the name of its long-deceased creator....
Law Library Journal 103, no. 2 (Spring): 175–198
A literary tour of the most-well-read cities in America
Kathleen Massara writes: “Amazon released a list of the most well-read cities in the United States based on media sales so far this year; you may find the results surprising (we know we did). We’ve taken the top 10 cities and created a list of books that are based in each to create a virtual literary tour for your reading pleasure. Number 9 was Seattle, and we ultimately had to choose Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins.”...
Flavorwire, May 27; Amazon.com, May 26
Joplin relief efforts
The Joplin Public Library has established a relief fund to assist its 10 employees who lost their homes and were injured during the May 22 tornado. The Missouri Southern State University Foundation has also established a fund to assist affected faculty, staff, and students. Joplin Public Schools were hard hit by the tornado. Seven students and one staff member were killed, and many have lost their homes and were injured. The Missouri Association of School Librarians has set up a Help Joplin webpage to coordinate relief efforts. Mackin Educational Resources has set up a fundraising site for Joplin librarians. 100% of funds raised will be given to librarians who lost their libraries. A special May 26 edition of the Missouri State Library Show Me Express newsletter (PDF file) contains information about the Joplin libraries.
School librarians and digital content
School librarians have been identified as the “go-to” people for digital content in a May report by the national education nonprofit group Project Tomorrow. The report, The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, and Empowered (PDF file), shares the findings on teachers, librarians, and administrators from the group’s Speak Up 2010 survey. The survey found that in many schools, the school librarian has the responsibility for identifying, evaluating, and recommending digital resources to teachers....
AASL, May 31
Prisoners have it better than students
A school superintendent in Michigan has written a public letter to the editor asking Gov. Rick Snyder if his school can become a prison instead. Superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools Nathan Bootz writes: “Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we do not provide to our school children. This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison.”...
Gratiot County (Mich.) Herald, May 12
Tangoing with library vendors
Brett Bonfield writes: “Especially lately, it seems as if there have been many issues related to libraries and vendors that have been both emotional and divisive. For me, over the past few months, in public interactions with vendors, I feel as though I have been one of the many librarians on the receiving end of accusations, misrepresented facts, and dissembling. And I worry that I have contributed to our vendors feeling the same way. My public tangoing with vendors has centered around two topics: the future of ILS systems and limits on e-book circulation.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, June 1
Cultivating digital lives
Ernie Cox writes: “Looking for new ways to engage and recruit tween patrons? Would you like to integrate more digital technology into the programming plans of the library? Maybe finding a new method for middle graders to record summer reading is on your to-do list. A simple solution to these questions and more is Kidblog, a basic version of the WordPress blogging platform intended for use with youth in schools and educational settings.”...
ALSC Blog, May 26
What do teens know about digital preservation?
Butch Lazorchak writes: “It’s many adults’ worst nightmare: How to entertain and (try to) educate thirty 8th graders for an hour? Especially when the subject matter is as potentially complex as how to preserve digital information. The first thing to do is to think like the teenagers who visited the Library of Congress on May 13 from the Imagine Schools South Lake Middle School in Clermont, Florida, as part of a class trip to Washington, D.C. Lucky for us, this wasn’t the first time we’ve engaged with students on the subject of digital culture.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, June 1
Summer Reading school visits: Some tips
Kristen Bodine writes: “In my district, school visits are usually an all-day event, and for the teen summer reading program we normally only visit middle schools. We set up in the school media center and classes come in and visit us throughout the day. It’s a very fun, but very long, day. I have some really great colleagues and I’ve learned a ton while doing school visits this year, so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to help other new librarians.”...
YALSA Blog, May 27
LC announces authors for 2011 Book Festival
David McCullough, Russell Banks, Dave Eggers, Terry McMillan, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Jennifer Egan, Garrison Keillor, Amy Chua, and Toni Morrison will be among more than 80 writers speaking at the 11th National Book Festival organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress September 24–25 on the National Mall. The festival theme is “Celebrating the Joys of Reading Aloud.” This year, the event has expanded to two days....
Library of Congress, May 24
Chronicling America has a new look
Gary D. Price writes: “A busy week for the Chronicling America team at the Library of Congress. It is now home to 3.7 million digitized and indexed newspaper pages. It also has a new user interface and a ‘100 Years Ago Today’ gallery, which provides front-page views to century-old newspapers. The site now enables users to see the search tool at the top of every page, navigate within search results, limit searching to only front pages, and view any newspaper in full-page mode without any extra information around the page.”...
InfoDocket, May 29
LC to begin transitioning away from MARC
Michael Kelley writes: “The Library of Congress has announced that it is going to undertake a major reevaluation of bibliographic control in a move that could lead to a gradual transition away from the 40-year-old MARC 21 standard in which billions of metadata records are presently encoded. ‘It’s a 10,’ said Sally McCallum without hesitation when asked to rank the project’s scope and importance on a scale of 1–10. McCallum is chief of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at LC.”...
Library Journal, May 26; Library of Congress, May 13
Six tools to simplify cataloging
Joyce Valenza writes: “Over the past year, I’ve discovered a number of handy, free tools for cataloging those materials we receive that do not come precataloged. Here are a handful of tools that could save you lots of time. The first is Classify, which offers automated advice for assigning classification numbers and subject headings. Searchable by standard numbers, author, title, and subject heading, the database covers books, magazines, journals, and music and video recordings.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, May 31
What you don’t know about copyright but should
Jennifer Howard writes: “If Nancy Sims had to pick one word to describe how researchers, students, and librarians feel about copyright, it would probably be ‘confused.’ A lawyer and a librarian, Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She’s there to help people on campus and beyond, both users and owners of protected material, understand their rights. For the multitudes out there who are copyright-confused, here are some pointers she shared.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 29
Academics begin to work with Wikipedia
Josh Fischman writes: “The call to action was all over the Association for Psychological Science’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., May 26–29. Promotional ads in the conference programs urged the society’s 25,000 members to join the APS Wikipedia Initiative and ‘make sure Wikipedia—the world’s No. 1 online encyclopedia—represents psychology fully and accurately.’ Academics have held the online, user-written reference work in some disdain, said Mahzarin R. Banaji, a psychology professor at Harvard University, ‘but now I’m hearing nothing but enthusiasm, and I really think this is going to work.’”...
Chronical of Higher Education: Wired Campus, May 28
Pew study: The tweeps are on the rise
A Twitter 2011 study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that 13% of online adults tweet, a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device. African Americans and Hispanics are a statistically significant percentage of Twitter users (25% and 19% respectively), with 18–29 year-olds of all ethnicities coming in third (18%)....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, June 1
Twitter and Gmail add social features
Did you ever wonder what your colleagues’ Twitter timeline looks like? Well, if you have, you can now peek in on someone else’s timeline. For example, check out what the American Libraries timeline looks like by going here. Twitter has added the ability to see what the 539 people on Twitter that AL follows are tweeting right now. Meanwhile, Google announced a people widget for Gmail that allows you to learn more about the people you are about to send off an email to....
Search Engine Land, May 27; TechCrunch, May 26; Official Gmail Blog, May 26
Twitter follow button simplified
GalleyCat, May 31
10 keys to career success
Ken Haycock writes: “Following my convocation address to the 700+ MLIS graduates at San José, I was asked to make my talk available. This is a condensation, organized according to 10 elements for a productive career, without the jokes and sidebars, based on my own 40 years of good times. It may be less appropriate to offer an inspiring message concerning our particular profession and its prospects in a tight economy, but we also sometimes forget that this too shall pass. So here are my pieces of advice.”...
Library Leadership, May 30
What libraries need to do to create mashable data
Curtin University of Technology LIS Lecturer Kathryn Greenhill (right) talks with Queensland University of Technology LIS Associate Lecturer Kate Davis on why open, mashable data is important for libraries. Watch the video (12:02) to learn more about the types of data that Greenhill believes libraries should be making open and the applications for using mashable data....
Librarians Matter, May 26; YouTube, May 25
Choose and approach a corporate partner for your nonprofit
Laura Kimball writes: “Corporations are looking for ways to bring giving into their business because it works. A 2008 Cone Corporate Citizenship study claimed 85% of Americans had a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about. An effective partnership is critical in building momentum for funding and brand awareness, for both the nonprofit and the corporation. But you need to find a corporate partner that is the perfect match for your organization. We’re talking ‘the one’ you want to spend the rest of your fundraising life with.”...
Mashable, May 27
What is a library?
Architect Philip O’Brien writes: “I think we can all agree on what a library was, and we may even be able to agree on what a library is. I think the trickier question is: What is a library going to be in the future? This question goes beyond the bricks-and-mortar buildings that have traditionally housed what we consider to be the modern library to include other questions. We need to make our libraries as we want them, because no one will do it for us.”...
Incunabular Illumination, May 19
All the ___ in the world
Karen Coyle writes: “There’s something compelling about the idea that you could gather all of something into a single system or database or even, as in the ancient library of Alexandria, physical space. Setting your goal to gather all of something means you don’t have to make awkward choices about what to gather and what to discard. There are some down sides to this everything approach, not surprisingly.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, May 31
Serbians use digital archive to prosecute war criminals
Mayur Patel writes: “Prosecutors from The Hague, Netherlands, frequently visit a new digital archive in Serbia that is unlocking some of the country’s long-guarded secrets. Records from the Serbia Military History Archive already have helped indict 14 paramilitary members charged in the deaths of 70 unarmed civilians during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic, a new report has found.” Building on a $50,000 seed grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2006, the nonprofit Jefferson Institute designed a system to convert the military’s 40-million paper documents into searchable, digital format....
KnightBlog, May 26
This I know
Will Manley writes: “If the American Library Association ceased to exist, many library bloggers would be in a panic about what to blog about.” “Cataloging used to be the foundation of the library profession. IT is the new foundation of the library profession.” “The best library science book ever written is The Joy of Cataloging by Sandy Berman.” Read more of Manley’s random insights and reflections on the library world in this blog post....
Will Unwound, May 26
Char’s unofficial 2011 BookExpo America awards
Char Gwizdala, senior librarian at Queens (N.Y.) Library, offers her take on the most award-worthy people, exhibits, and swag at the 2011 BookExpo America in New York City. Find out who won the “Here, Smell This” Award, the Publisher with the Mostest Award, the Most Retro Swag Award (right), and the Best Tote and Swag awards....
Char, May 27
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