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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | June 15, 2011

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Sign seen in the French Quarter during the 2006 ALA Annual Conference: "Welcome ALA. Thanks for coming to New Orleans." Photo by Jennifer HendersonKudos from the Crescent City
As ALA staff members pack for Annual Conference in New Orleans, the second since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast six years ago, what should arrive but an email thank-you note from a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, librarian regarding ALA’s 2006 Annual Conference there. Marylyn Haddican writes: “On behalf of the residents of the New Orleans Metropolitan area, I want to thank you again for coming to New Orleans for the conference in 2006.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, June 14

Do Charlotte’s reprieves herald more good news?
Officials in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools and the Mecklenburg County Commission have loosened their purse strings just enough to enable school libraries to remain staffed for the next academic year and the long-embattled Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to expand service hours at its six regional libraries from 37 to 54 per week. The day after Mecklenburg County commissioners added $26 million to the school district’s FY2011–2012 budget, the school board rescinded 570 of the 739 layoff notices sent out last month, including notices to several dozen media specialists....
American Libraries news, June 15

Internet Librarian: As they like it
Joseph Janes writes: “One of the best parts of my job, especially this time of year, is marveling at great achievements; how splendid it was to witness an old friend and erstwhile student, Eric Meyers, defend his dissertation last month. Eric found that while middle-school students liked working in groups, it often impeded rather than enhanced their performance on information problem-solving tasks. A minor note in his work caught my eye. In many cases, it seemed students were relying on the search results page, rather than clicking through to a website to find answers or information.”...
American Libraries column, May/June

WordPress CMSDispatches from the Field: WordPress as a library CMS
Kyle M. L. Jones and Polly-Alida Farrington write: “Engaging with library users on the web is no longer restricted to simply putting a static HTML file on a server and calling it a successful website. Yet without technical assistance and forethought, content management can be an actively complex and frustrating process. A content management system like WordPress lets you manage your website more efficiently by separating the tasks of design and maintenance from the job of adding content.”...
American Libraries column, May/June

Censorship Watch blog graphicWhat do most Americans have in common with ALA?
ALA has long been at the forefront of efforts to defend the freedom to read and to resist censorship attempts. Results of a March Harris poll indicate that most Americans share those sentiments. A majority (56%) of 2,379 adult respondents surveyed think no books should be banned completely, while just 18% say there are books that should be; 26% are not sure. The older and less-educated people are, the more likely they were to say that there are some books that should be banned completely....
: Censorship Watch, June 13

Brookwood High School Graduate Nowmee Shehab. Screen shot from WSB-TV newscastACLU warns Gwinnett County schools
The Gwinnett County (Ga.) Schools have been blocking students’ access to websites supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, and the American Civil Liberties Union (unsurprisingly) wants them to stop. Graduating senior Nowmee Shehab (right), who headed the Gay-Straight Alliance at Brookwood High School, discovered the filtering when she was unable to access the group’s own website. Shehab said it was crucial for students to be able to reach the sites at school....
AL: Censorship Watch, June 15; WSB-TV, Atlanta, June 6

Patrons pick up their CSA shares at the Fairfield Woods branch of Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library June 6Fresh veggies @ your library
Greg Landgraf writes: “The Fairfield Woods branch of the Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library hosted a community-supported agriculture (CSA) pickup June 6, the first in a weekly series at the library. In a CSA, members buy shares of a farmer’s produce and receive weekly shipments of whatever was harvested that week, rather than purchasing specific quantities and types of food. In many CSAs, customers must pick up their shares at the farm. The library laid the groundwork to become a pickup site last fall, beginning with an email blast to its mailing list to gauge interest.”...
AL: Green Your Library, June 9

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ALA News

House, Senate get letters of support for library programs
As the Senate and House Appropriations Committees work on the FY 2012 budget, a few letters have been sent to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees. Two letters were sent to Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in the House. One letter (PDF file) asked for increased support in funding for the Library Services and Technology Act, and the other letter (PDF file) asked for increased support in funding for Improving Literacy Through School Libraries....
District Dispatch, June 14

Daniel EllsbergWar, secrecy, and info mesh at Daniel Ellsberg events
Two programs at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans highlight an important moment in U.S. history, the 1971 leaking of the secret Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg (right). A screening of The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers will take place June 25, followed by a discussion of the film with Ellsberg. On June 26 as part of the Auditorium Speaker series, Ellsberg will talk about his experiences, his thoughts on secrecy and government information, and his current efforts....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, June 14

Cover of Frontline Fundraising ToolkitFrontline Fundraising Town hall program
Learn to raise private funds using the power of the internet and build lasting relationships with donors at the Frontline Fundraising Town Hall program on Monday, June 27, in the River Room at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans. Using ALA President Roberta Stevens’s Frontline Fundraising Toolkit (right), the program will walk attendees through the stages of donor relationships....
ALA Development Office, June 14

Advocacy programs at Annual
As you plan your schedule for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, be aware of these important advocacy programs. Space is still available for the June 24 Advocacy Institute workshop, “Boomers, Staff, and Students: Engaging the Many Voices of Advocacy,” cosponsored by the Louisiana Library Association and the Mississippi Library Association....
Office for Library Advocacy

The Exhibit Hall at a previous ALA Annual ConferenceIn the exhibits at #ala11
With more than 1,500 booths featuring products and services, exhibitors are eager to discuss how they can help you make your library even better. From virtual libraries to mobile book-stacking systems to premium-quality library furniture, the ALA Exhibit Hall offers one-stop shopping for all of your library’s needs. Join us to explore the latest innovations available to your library....
ALA Membership Blog, June 10

Booth furniture to be given to New Orleans college library
Information-services provider Unlimited Priorities Corporation has announced that it will donate the furniture from its exhibit booth at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference to the Library Resource Center of Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. The furnishings were purchased locally at Furniture Mart and include a black pleather sofa, two black pleather armchairs, a coffee table, and two end tables....
Unlimited Priorities Corporation, June 13

The impact of e-books on library services
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy will present a program addressing the increasing significance of e-books and their impact on libraries during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Titled “The Future is Now! E-books and Their Increasing Impact on Library Services,” the program will be held on June 25. Speakers will address the current e-book landscape, e-book devices, technical support, and the relationships between publishers and libraries....
Office for Information Technology Policy, June 10

Washington Office / NTIA roundtable on digital literacy
The ALA Washington Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will hold a roundtable discussion about on June 25 during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. is a new online portal that brings together online learning tools, curriculum, and job skills training. The discussion will focus on how libraries can use and add content to the portal....
Washington Office, June 9

The milestones of literacy
The ALA Committee on Literacy will host a panel of experts from across the Association to discuss the integral role of libraries in lifelong literacy development at “A Lifetime of Literacy in Libraries: Marking the Milestones from Infancy to Maturity,” June 27, at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Presentations will showcase local projects and offer suggestions for implementation....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, June 10

JobLIST Placement Center logoWorkshops and seminars at the JobLIST Placement Center
The JobLIST Placement Center will be located in Hall J of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at ALA Annual Conference. All services and sessions are free. Registration for workshops held in the Placement Center is not required. Visit the JobLIST website to share your résumé with recruiters....
ALA Membership Blog, June 14

Survival tips for #ala11
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “I’ve made some updates to the conference tips I shared last year before ALA Annual Conference. Hopefully, there is a little something here for everyone. I’ve added a short packing list of things I can’t live without and a reading list with suggestions on networking and tips for introverts.”...
Librarian by Day, June 10

ALA Annual Virtual Conference 2011
Take a look at the ALA Annual Virtual Conference schedule for July 13–14—two full days of interactive online professional development and presentations that are perfect for those who can’t make it to Annual Conference as well as those who are ready for more. Highlights include daily keynote speakers (danah boyd and David Lankes), one-hour interactive sessions, and Author Talks moderated by Booklist editors. To register, sign into the Annual Conference registration site and choose one of the last two options for virtual conference....
ALA Conference Services

Damage from the April 27 storm in Concord, Alabama. Photo by FEMAHelping Alabama
In the aftermath of the historic storms of April 27, the Alabama Library Association has established a special account to serve as a collection point for those wanting to help the numerous libraries and communities affected by the storms. These funds will be distributed by the chapter’s Executive Council with input from the Alabama Public Library Service, Alabama School Library Association, and the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries. To send assistance, contact Dena Luce, association administrator....
Chapter Relations Office

Roberta Stevens at UNC Greensboro
On May 6, ALA President Roberta Stevens delivered the commencement address at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Graduate School of Education. She offered the graduates some “fundamental concepts that I wish I had known from the start of my career.” You can find a transcript of her remarks on the UNC website....
ALA Student Membership Blog, June 10; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, May 9

Screen shot from Groton (Conn.) Public Library's "@ your library" program on Summer Reading, June 14, hosted by Barbara Clark-GreeneGroton livestreams @ your library
A monthly library talk show born out of the Campaign for America’s Libraries in 2002 has graduated from a local access cable channel to Livestream. Airing more than 100 episodes, the @ your library show hosted by Barbara Clark-Greene (right) has gone from receiving less than 1,000 viewers in April to more than 5,000 from across the country after the move to Livestream in May....
Public Information Office, June 14

65 libraries awarded Civil War program grants
The ALA Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities have announced that 65 public, academic, and community college libraries will receive “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War” reading and discussion program grants. The program follows the popular “Let’s Talk About It” model, which engages participants in discussion of a set of common texts selected by a nationally known scholar for their relevance to a larger, overarching theme. As part of the grant, the libraries will receive $3,000 to support program-related expenses....
Public Programs Office, June 14

Discover Earth through a new traveling exhibit
A new traveling exhibition, “Discover Earth: A Century of Change,” will tour from January 2012 to December 2013 hosted by 10 public libraries for eight weeks apiece. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the interactive exhibit focuses on local earth science topics such as weather, water cycle, and ecosystem changes. Host libraries will receive a $1,000 grant for related programming. Apply by September 2....
Public Programs Office, June 14

Portion of Guadalajara Book Fair poster featuring GermanyGuadalajara Book Fair free pass
ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 24th book fair from November 26 to December 4. Free passes will be awarded to 150 librarians who work in the area of Spanish-language acquisitions. The deadline for applications is August 15. The Guadalajara Book Fair is offering an additional $100 to the first 100 applicants who submit their airfare confirmation. This year’s invited country is Germany....
International Relations Office

Liber 2011 logoSpanish International Book Fair Free Passport
ALA, America Reads Spanish, and the Feria Internacional del Libro are partnering this year to provide support for American librarians to attend the 29th Spanish International Book Fair (Liber) in Madrid, October 5–7. The deadline for applications for a Free Passport is June 30. Passports will be awarded to up to 60 American librarians (members of ALA or one of ALA’s affiliates) who work in the area of Spanish-language acquisitions....
International Relations Office, June 14

Hong Kong Book Fair logoHong Kong Book Fair free pass
The Hong Kong Book Fair is again offering a Free Pass Program for Librarians for its 22nd Annual Fair, which will be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, July 20–26. The Fair will provide ALA members from the United States and Canada who collect Chinese-language materials four nights of hotel accommodation and free book fair registration. The application deadline (PDF file) is June 17....
International Relations Office

Workshop on innovative mobile services
In a new, two-session ALA TechSource Workshop, library technology expert and innovator Meredith Farkas will teach you about exciting trends in mobile technologies that can allow libraries to market and highlight their collections, provide reference assistance and instruction and simply make their collections and services more accessible to patrons wherever they are. Registration for this ALA TechSource Workshop is available at the ALA Store. The sessions will be held July 21 and 28....
ALA TechSource, June 14

New session of YA Readers’ Advisory eCourse
By popular demand, ALA Editions is offering a new session of its facilitated eCourse on Young Adult Readers’ Advisory Services. Jessica Moyer, an experienced online instructor and a doctoral candidate researching teen reading habits, will serve as the instructor for a facilitated eCourse starting on July 5. Registration can be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, June 14

Cover of Outstanding Books for the College BoundOustanding books for the college bound
Connecting teens to books they’ll truly enjoy is the aim of every young adult librarian, and the completely revamped guide Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation, published by ALA Editions, will give teen services staff members the leg up they need to make it happen. Edited by Angela Carstensen, it lists nearly 200 books deemed outstanding for the college bound by YALSA. This book can help librarians assist young adults grow into the kind of independent readers and thinkers who will flourish at college....
ALA Editions, June 13

Cover of A Year of Programs for Teens 2A whole new year’s worth of teen programming
In A Year of Programs for Teens 2, published by ALA Editions, YA experts Amy J. Alessio and Kimberly A. Patton build on the successful formula they established in 2006. The 2011 sequel offers several new themed book lists and read-alikes as well as appendices with reproducible handouts for the various programs. The book contains more than 30 programs organized around a calendar year, including several focusing on technology, and many other ideas that can be adapted year-round....
ALA Editions, June 14

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Cover of All InFeatured review: Sports and recreation
Yang, Jerry, and Mark Tabb. All In. July 2011. 238p. Medallion, hardcover (978-1-6054-2188-9).
Sure, there are plenty of up-by-my-own-bootstraps, poker-playing autobiographies out there, but few possess the kind of personal drama this one does. Yang was a Laotian immigrant with a wife and six children struggling to get by in their modest Southern California home when, one 2005 evening, in atypical fashion, he and his wife plopped on the couch, remote in hand. While flipping around to find something for “mommy” to watch, Yang happened upon the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and was hooked. Having never played a hand of cards in his life—not Solitaire or even Go Fish—Yang found something transfixing about Texas Hold ’Em: namely, the particular attitude needed to be successful regardless of the cards dealt. With a $25 buy-in, Yang participated in the 2007 WSOP and, against all odds, won $8.2 million....

Top 10 biographies for adultsFeatured review: Top 10 biographies
Brad Hooper writes: “Since our previous Spotlight on Biography, the past 12 months have shown us that to ever think that the art of biography is slipping or sliding, even temporarily, is ridiculous. Read the following examples of the best of the past year, and see what we mean.”…

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

New Orleans Update

Screen shot from Always for Pleasure trailerNew Orleans: Always for Pleasure
This trailer (2:39) for Les Blank’s 1978 documentary about New Orleans, Always for Pleasure, will get you in the mood for a trip to the Crescent City, with its river traffic, street dancing, distinctive architecture, and regional food. “New Orleans has a gut-level mythic quality, a resonance unique among American cities. Always For Pleasure amplifies that resonance.”—David Armstrong, Berkeley Barb....
YouTube, Mar. 17, 2007

Screen shot from New Orleans dialect videoA glossary of Yatspeak
“Where yat?” The people of New Orleans have their own language. Its tone, lilt, and slang are indigenous to this city and reflect its ethnic history and tradition. New Orleans is part of the Deep South, but you won’t find much of a stereotypical southern drawl; in fact, there are several distinctive dialects. One of the most surprising is a Brooklynese style heard in the 9th Ward, Irish Channel, and Chalmette. This list has some common expressions and another offers some culinary terms. Watch the video (2:24) for more vernacular....
Experience New Orleans;; YouTube, Feb. 22, 2008

Times-Picayune Readers' Choice supplement2011 Times-Picayune readers’ choice guide
Just in time for Annual Conference, readers of the New Orleans Times-Picayune have weighed in on what their favorite local things are in 101 categories. Yes, it’s an advertising supplement and its 23 pages are in page-turner format—but where else will you find that the best place to exercise is in Audubon Park, or that Amanda Shaw is the favorite Cajun/Zydeco artist, or that the best happy hour is at the 12 Bar on Fulton Street?...
New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 3

Crescent City Farmers Market logoCrescent City Farmers Market
The city’s farmers markets (other than the French Market) are held in different neighborhoods on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The location closest to the convention center is held Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon, in the Warehouse District at 700 Magazine Street. It offers locally grown produce, fresh fruit, seafood, baked goods, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment....
Crescent City Farmers Market

Poppy TookerPoppy Tooker’s “Louisiana Eats!”
Louisiana Eats!” is a weekly program about food on WWNO 89.9 FM, hosted by New Orleans food activist Poppy Tooker. It’s a radio show for people who cook and people who love to eat well—all with a Louisiana point of view and Tooker’s distinctive Louisiana voice. Catch up on previous broadcasts online, or listen to the show live on Wednesday at 6:30–7 p.m. (repeated Saturday, 12–12:30 p.m.)....
WWNO-FM, New Orleans

Coat of Arms of the Province of Louisiana, 1786, from The Threads of Memory exhibitionThe Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street is a museum and research center dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. During Annual Conference, the museum will have an exhibit on “The Threads of Memory: Spain and the United States.” Use the free HNOC iPhone/iPad app to find more than 350 historic photos based on your location, view each photo’s record in the HNOC online catalog, and use the augmented reality Guide Me! function to find the site of each photo....
Historic New Orleans Collection

Katrina Pin, 1994 (designer unknown). A gentleman whose mother died as a result of Hurricane Katrina gave Albright a flower pin composed of amethysts and diamondsJewelry as a diplomatic tool
A traveling exhibition of pins from the personal collection of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is on exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection” features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message during her diplomatic tenure. The exhibition examines the collection for its historic significance as well as the expressive power of jewelry....
New Orleans Museum of Art

Stuffing the binBin space and airline boarding
Brett Snyder writes: “For those in coach, there’s really only one reason to get on board quickly. It’s all about bin space. Even though many airlines have installed larger overhead bins that can accommodate a standard roller bag straight-in, it’s still not enough room. The sooner you get on board, the better chance you have of finding bin space near your seat. Checked bag fees have exacerbated the situation. Much of the discussion lately around boarding has been about the much-loved preboarding process.”...
CNN, June 6

Balanzza luggage scaleLast-minute travel gadgets
The Daily Grommet offers some suggestions for travel items that you might not think of when you are planning a trip. Some of this gear could come in handy for any summer trip: feather-weight carry-on luggage, an in-flight organizer, a self-inflating wine hug, interchangeable jewelry kits, squeezable travel tubes, and a Balanzza luggage scale (above) that lets you easily check the weight of your bags so you can avoid the “special handling charges” for oversized items....
Daily Grommet

Don’t leave town without internet security
Terry Gardner writes: “Today I’m going to save you both time and money by telling you what happens when your Facebook and Gmail accounts get hacked and how to avoid that fate, which is especially important for travelers. Until this happened to me, I thought strong passwords were for other people. Now a hacker knows where I went to school, where I bank, and the names of my cats. Using free Wi-Fi hotspots while traveling and having weak passwords may have made me more vulnerable.”...
Los Angeles Times, June 5

Division News

Screen shot of Jason Griffey talking about 3D printingLITA and Top Tech Trends on YouTube
LITA is piloting a new YouTube presence. Its Top Technology Trends Committee is working on a pilot project to share short, informal videos from past and present Top Technology Trends panelists. These videos will serve as current sound bytes on trends of interest to the library community. Jason Griffey has produced the first video (5:10), available on LITA LibraryInfoTech’s Channel, on 3-D printing....
LITA Blog, June 10

S. J. WatsonMystery and horror @ your library
ALTAFF will host “Mystery and Horror @ your library” on June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, with mystery and horror writers discussing their books and writing life. Featured authors include S. J. Watson (right), Cammie McGovern, Erica Spindler, Bill Loehfelm, and C. S. Harris. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Prepub Alert for Library Journal. An author book signing will follow....
ALTAFF, June 14

Andy BorowitzLaugh along with ALTAFF
ALTAFF will host “The Laugh’s On Us!” featuring comedian, writer, and its divisional national spokesperson Paula Poundstone on June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. In addition to Poundstone, the event will feature Andy Borowitz (right) as well as authors Jill Kargman and Leila Sales. Borowitz is a writer and a comedian whose work appears in the New Yorker and at his satirical website, ALTAFFwelcomes Playaway as the sponsor of the event....
ALTAFF, June 14

Beauregard-Keyes HouseFrances Parkinson Keyes Literary Landmark
ALTAFF and the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library will dedicate the Beauregard-Keyes House, 111 Chartres St., New Orleans, as a Literary Landmark in honor of Frances Parkinson Keyes at 9 a.m. Central time on June 27. Author Frances Parkinson Keyes made the house at 1113 Chartres St. her winter residence from 1945 until her death in 1970 at the age of 85....
ALTAFF, June 14

Tim DugganLLAMA President’s Program
Tim Duggan, a landscape architect currently developing the Sustainable Landscapes program for the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans, will present “Community Beyond Housing” at the 2011 LLAMA President’s Program during ALA Annual Conference. The program will be held the morning of June 25. For the last three years, Duggan has designed affordable landscapes for LEED Platinum-certified homes....
LLAMA, June 13

Strategic PR partnerships
Three experts will share their views for effective partnerships between libraries and journalists that create opportunities for local news and civic engagement. LLAMA’s “Competing in the Information Marketplace II: Strategic PR partnerships—Journalists and Libraries,” featuring journalists Bill Densmore and Mike Fancher and former ALA President Nancy Kranich, will be held June 25 at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
LLAMA, June 10

Registration still open for PLA preconferences
On Friday, June 24, at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, PLA will present three unique preconferences dedicated to public library professionals. Registration is available in advance or onsite....
PLA, June 14

Join the mega-discussion and enter a contest
Participants in a dynamic Mega Issue Discussion on PLA membership engagement and leadership on June 25 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans will be entered into an onsite drawing to win a free registration for the 2012 PLA Conference, to be held March 13–17 in Philadelphia....
PLA, June 14

Joy KirchnerJoy Kirchner named ACRL visiting program officer
To support its scholarly communications initiatives, ACRL has appointed Joy Kirchner, scholarly communications coordinator at University of British Columbia, as visiting program officer for 12 months. Kirchner will play an integral role in supporting one of ACRL's new strategic goals that will help librarians accelerate the transition to a more open system of scholarship. She will work with members and staff to develop a sustainable model for the Scholarly Communications 101 workshop and support the work of the Scholarly Communications Committee....
ACRL, June 13

Jeanne DrewesAlice PlattALCTS appoints two editors
The ALCTS board has approved the appointment of two new publication editors. Alice Platt, digital initiatives librarian at Southern New Hampshire University, will be the new editor of the ALCTS Newsletter Online. Jeanne Drewes, chief of binding and collections care department at the Library of Congress, will be the new ALCTS paper series editor. Both appointments begin July 1 and will run for three years....
ALCTS, June 10

Round Table News

Obligation to Endure showcases librarian heroes
A 2010 documentary short about the unlikely heroes who fought to preserve the Environmental Protection Agency library system will be screened on June 26 during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Directed by Julie Fergus, Obligation to Endure recounts the attempted shutdown of the world’s foremost source of environmental information in an age of climate change, natural disasters, and terrorism....
Social Responsibilities Round Table, June 14


Three Friends groups win ALTAFF Baker & Taylor awards
Three Friends of the Library groups will be recognized with Baker & Taylor Awards from ALTAFF during the division’s Gala Author Tea on June 27 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The winners are the Friends of the Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library, the Friends of the Carpinteria (Calif.) Library, and the Friends of the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library. Each group will receive a $1,000 check and a plaque to honor their achievements....
ALTAFF, June 14

AASL to showcase tech-friendly libraries
AASL will present three of the nation’s leading school library programs with the 2011 National School Library Program of the Year Award at ALA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 27. Seeking to shed outdated stereotypes as shushers, shelvers, and book checkers, AASL is recognizing school librarians who are moving online and going high-tech to prepare students for college and career....
AASL, June 14

Innovative International Library Project Awards
The International Relations Round Table has awarded 2011 ALA Presidential Citations for Innovative International Library Projects to four initiatives. The awards recognize the RISE Videoconferencing Network in southern Alberta, the National Library Board of Singapore for its “Quest” Library Reading Program, the E-Publication System Platform Project at the National Central Library in Taiwan, and the Expanding Information Access for Visually Impaired People project in Vietnam....
International Relations Office, June 14

Diane KreshArlington Public Library wins local government award
Arlington (Va.) Public Library Director Diane Kresh (right) was recognized June 8 with a 2011 Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation Award from the Alliance for Innovation for the library’s “Arlington Reads 2010” program. The library was chosen from more than 40 applications received from across the United States and Canada. The program featured local authors and farmers, examined the issues of food and sustainability, and inspired the Central Library’s community vegetable garden....
Arlington (Va.) Public Library

2011 Salem Library Blog Award graphic2011 Library Blog Awards
Salem Press once again surveyed the library blog landscape in search of exceptional thinking, writing, and information. The annual Library Blog Awards celebrate and reward the blogging achievements of library professionals across the spectrum. Hundreds of blog nominations poured in and thousands of votes were cast. Eight winners were selected: Librarian in Black, Swiss Army Librarian, The Unquiet Librarian, Information Tyrannosaur, Cecil County Public Library, A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette, Hack Library School, and NeverEndingSearch....
Salem Press, June 15

Edith Pearlman2011 PEN/Malamud Award
Edith Pearlman (right) has been selected to receive the 24th annual PEN/Malamud Award. Given annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, this award recognizes a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction. Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and nonfiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and online publications. The award will be presented December 2 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and includes a prize of $5,000....
PEN/Faulkner Foundation, June 9

Cover of The Watchers, by Shane Harris2011 Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism
Shane Harris, author of The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State, was awarded the 2011 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism at an award ceremony at the New York Public Library June 7. Harris draws on his access to key government insiders to chronicle the ascent of the Surveillance State over the past 25 years, tracing its origins to Admiral John Poindexter, who in 1983 dreamed of a “system that would sift reams of data for signs of terrorist activity.” The award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, was established in 1987 in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein Fealy....
International Business Times, June 9; New York Public Library, June 8

Cover of The Tiger's Wife2011 Orange Prize for Fiction
Serbian-American author Téa Obreht has won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Tiger’s Wife (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, the prize celebrates excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. Obreht was presented with £30,000 ($49,260 U.S.) and the “Bessie,” a limited-edition bronze figurine, at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London....
Orange Prize, June 8

Cover of Shadow, by Michael Morpurgo2011 Red House Children’s Book Awards
The winners of the 2011 Red House Children’s Book Awards were announced at a special ceremony held at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, England, on June 11. The overall winner, and winner in the Younger Readers category, was Shadow by Michael Morpurgo, a story about a friendship forged between a boy and an Army bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan. With this success, Morpurgo has become the first three-time winner of the award in its 31-year history. The award is the only national U.K. children’s book award voted for entirely by children themselves....
BBC News, June 11

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Seen Online

Daniel Ellsberg in 1971Pentagon Papers released in full
On June 13, the National Archives released all 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers, the explosive documents that detailed four administrations’ worth of deception on Vietnam. Some of the content has been public since 1971, and the release is not likely to reveal many new secrets. But this is the first time that Americans can read the papers in full without a security clearance. Officially known as the “Report of the OSD Vietnam Task Force,” the papers were a secret analysis of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg (above), the task force participant who leaked the documents, believes they still have something to teach. Here is how NARA managed the release....
Washington Post, June 13; Associated Press, June 12; Washington Post: Federal Eye, June 13

WiscNet logoWisconsin lawmakers spare WiscNet
A controversial plan to cut $37 million in federal grant money from the University of Wisconsin system has been axed from the 2011–2013 budget, according to a legislator involved with the process. In a letter to a constituent, released to the Wisconsin State Journal June 14, state Rep. Erik Severson (R-Star Prairie) said the program known as WiscNet will continue unaltered for the next two years while a study is conducted to evaluate it. WiscNet is a cooperative that brings high-speed internet to most schools and libraries across the state. Rep. Ron Kind (D-LaCrosse) asked the Joint Finance Committee June 15 to continue broadband expansion to rural and underserved areas, rather than return millions in federal grants for that purpose....
eSchool News, June 15; Madison Wisconsin State Journal, June 15; Retiring Guy’s Digest, June 15

Communities stand behind libraries facing layoffs
As reports of librarian layoffs continue to surface, librarians have put away their inside voices to fight—with support from unions, parents, and students—to prove their jobs are essential for student success. Unfortunately, the work they do is largely behind the scenes, and parents, education officials, and the public are often unaware of the impact they have on student success. And experts believe increases in budget issues may force administrators to continue to consider library programs for the chopping block in the coming years....
Huffington Post, June 13

Kids on laptopEducation groups applaud ATTAIN Act
Educational technology stakeholders are applauding the U.S. Senate’s introduction of the Achievement Through Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) Act, S. 1178 (PDF file), which, if passed, would replace the technology portion of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. “This legislation mirrors principles and recommendations from P21 which demonstrate how fusing the 4Cs and core subjects makes learning more rigorous, relevant, and engaging as is necessary for college, work, and life success,” said AASL President Julie Walker, who is chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills....
eSchool News, June 14

Ted KoppelTed Koppel to donate collection to Syracuse University
Ted Koppel (right), a Syracuse (N.Y.) University alumnus and the original anchor of ABC’s Nightline, will donate a collection of personal materials to SU’s E. S. Bird Library. The Koppel Collection will be housed in the library’s Special Collection Research Center, and consists of videotapes, correspondence, cartoons, awards, photographs, and notebooks from Koppel’s career as a journalist. Pamela McLaughlin, library director of communication and external relations, said the collection would be received sometime during the summer....
Syracuse University Daily Orange, June 10

Notes on a speech by Robert Mondavi at the Wine Institute Winter Meeting December 1, 1981Mondavi papers to UC-Davis
The family of the late Robert Mondavi—the winemaker who helped turn California into one of the world’s premier wine regions—has donated his professional acnd personal papers to the University of California, Davis. The papers include Mondavi’s photographs, writings and speeches, correspondence with industry colleagues, international travel files, and historical records of the Robert Mondavi Winery. The collection will serve as a research asset for scholars and provide insight into Mondavi’s work and life as a winemaker, business leader, and philanthropist....
Davis (Calif.) Enterprise, June 14

Reading Tree book binBlue bins for books worry library advocates
A big, blue “Books for Charity” bin in the corner of a Safeway parking lot in Menlo Park, California, overflowed with donations June 13, prompting people to leave books in boxes on the pavement around it.The bins have become favorite destinations of book donors since they were first brought in a couple of months ago. But some local library advocates wonder whether books tossed into the bins would otherwise have gone to local libraries and question how many of the books really do go to charity....
Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News, June 14

Books on the Plaza mural. Photo by Duluth Public LibraryA bookish mural for Duluth
A new pop of literary color has come to the library plaza in downtown Duluth, Minnesota, in the form of a giant bookshelf. Artist Scott Murphy’s 23.5-foot tall “Books on the Plaza” mural was dedicated June 10 by Duluth Mayor Don Ness. The pillar outside the Duluth Public Library is now adorned with the spines of 18 books, ranging from Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to an organic gardening book by local author Ellen Sandbeck called Eat More Dirt....
Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, June 11

The case of the careless extortionist
The moral of this story is: Don’t print out a bomb threat at the Los Gatos (Calif.) Public Library and leave a copy in the printer tray. That’s what a would-be extortionist allegedly did on June 3, and the copy led police right to him. Police arrested 28-year-old Vadim Liotveyzen on June 6 after determining that he was allegedly responsible for writing the bomb threat. A library employee had found a note in a printer tray that talked about a bomb and extortion attempt at an undisclosed location....
Oakland (Calif.) Tribune, June 13

Charges dropped against Calgary school librarian
Charges have been dropped against a former junior high school librarian with the Calgary, Alberta, Board of Education for allegedly having a sexual affair with a 15-year-old boy in 2010. Agnes Gina Kooy, 48, had been scheduled to face a one-day preliminary hearing on June 7, but the charges were stayed in a letter by Crown Prosecutor Sarah Bhola. No reason was given for staying the charges, but the usual practice of the Crown’s office is that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction....
Calgary (Alberta) Herald, June 8

A traditional ceremony honoring the return of some 300 volumes of Uigwe books, Korea’s ancient royal documents looted by French troops 145 years ago, takes place at Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul. Photo by Yonhap NewsBooks looted in 1866 return to South Korea
South Korea greeted the return on June 11 of nearly 300 royal documents looted by French soldiers during a punitive expedition to Ganghwa Island in 1866. Ceremonies celebrating the event were held on Ganghwa Island and in Seoul, where some of the books were carried through the street in a traditional Korean palanquin (right). Former culture minister of France Jack Lang and Park Byeong-sen, who discovered the royal texts at the National Library of France in 1975, flew to Seoul from Paris to attend the official celebration....
Korea Herald, June 12

Graphic representing Iceland's 2011 Constitutional CouncilMob rule: Iceland crowdsources its new constitution
It is not the way the scribes of yore would have done it, but Iceland is tearing up the rulebook by crowdsourcing its new constitution. As the country recovers from its financial crisis, Iceland is using social media to get its citizens to share their ideas as to what the new document should contain. “I believe this is the first time a constitution is being drafted basically on the internet,” said Thorvaldur Gylfason, member of Iceland’s constitutional council, which began posting draft clauses on Facebook in April for discussion by Iceland’s citizens....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 9; All Facebook, June 13

Tajik officials ordered to read more books
Officials in southern Tajikistan have been ordered to enroll at local libraries and read more books. Khatlon Province Deputy Governor for Ideology Sitora Sherova said at a June book exhibition in Qurghonteppa that most visitors to libraries are schoolchildren and students. Librarian Rohatoy Yusufova said that Sherova ordered librarians to sign up all local officials, including the regional governor, at the library, recommend what they should read, and take books to their offices....
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, June 10

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Tech Talk

Students using free technologyFree online tech resources grouped by subject and device
A new website called K–12 Tech Tools features more than 1,000 free online technology tools. The tools are categorized by subject, grade level, and standards. Teachers can share their own tech tools and success stories, as well as learn from one another. Subject areas include art, English, language arts, health, math, music, science, and social studies....
eSchool News, June 15

Antec Notebook Cooler To Go10 clever laptop cooling solutions
Amy-Mae Elliott writes: “As the weather heats up for summer, we’ve taken a look at some laptop cooling solutions to help keep your portable PC nice and chilled. Whether it’s a full-on fan stand or simply a pad to prevent your thighs from getting too toasty, there’s something for everyone. And with prices starting under $10, there are options for every budget as well.”...
Mashable, June 13

Guard that password
Randall Stross writes: “For a pretty strong password, think 10. If your password contains 10 characters, you should be able to sleep well at night—perhaps for 19.24 years. That’s how long it would take hackers to try every combination of 10 characters, assuming that the password is encrypted and that the hackers have enough computing power to mount a 100-billion-guesses-a-second effort to break the encryption. But if your user names and passwords are sitting unencrypted on a server, you may not be able to sleep at all if you start contemplating the potential havoc ahead.”...
New York Times, June 11

Online Stopwatch19 apps to boost concentration
Amber Singleton Riviere writes: “Being able to work online has its benefits, such as having the flexibility to work nontraditional hours with people around the world, but it’s also easy to get distracted. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help improve concentration and productivity. Sometimes, all we need is a little added motivation, like an egg timer or alarm, to challenge us to remain focused and get to the finish line. If that’s the case for you, then this list of apps might just come in handy.”...
GigaOM, June 9

ThreatFire graphicThree free real-time malware protection and removal tools
Tina Sieber writes: “A digital infection with viruses, trojans, spyware, or other malware can put your data integrity and your system stability at risk and has the potential to cause further damage, including data and identity theft. An antivirus tool is essential for PC security, but it is not sufficient. Experts recommend a layered protection by using multiple tools and real-time malware scanners are one important layer you shouldn’t miss. You can pick from one of these three free malware removal programs.”...
MakeUseOf, June 8

Hashable displayBusiness cards go paperless, almost
Austin Considine writes: “Since the advent of the digital address book, the pitfalls of the traditional business card have cluttered the path from handshake to hard drive. Several websites and smartphone applications try to solve that problem by replacing the card; in some circles, it is already becoming a relic. New sites like (right),, and allow users to create and share virtual business cards. The Hashable site may prove the closest thing to a business-card killer yet.”...
New York Times, June 10

Chris Messina#Hashtags: A history
Ashley Parker writes: “By now, hashtags already have transcended the 140-characters-or-less microblogging platform to become a new cultural shorthand, finding their way into chat windows, email, and face-to-face conversations. When Chris Messina (right), a developer advocate at Google, wanted to introduce two friends over email, he wrote #Introduction in the subject line. But Messina is no ordinary Twitter user: He officially invented the hashtag in August 2007, when he sent out a Twitter message suggesting that the pound symbol be used for organizing groups on Twitter.”...
New York Times, June 10

Collage made in Windows Live WriterCreate photo collages the easy way
Jessica Cam Wong writes: “Creating collages can be a bit time-consuming if you do it yourself in MS Paint or Photoshop. If you don’t feel exactly creative, your work may not bring you the results you want. There are many solutions that will save you the headache, and will instead produce aesthetically pleasing results with just a few clicks. Read on to see more about these very-easy-to-use tools.”...
MakeUseOf, June 13

Link Check Report from Check This LinkSix Chrome link checkers
Saikat Basu writes: “URLs make the web go around. But more often than not, you cannot see beyond them. Links could be broken; links could point to the wrong page; even worse, links could be an open door to phishing scams or malware downloads. That’s why it helps to keep at least one link checker in your browser. Link checkers also are great assistants when it comes to checking a bunch of download links from file-sharing websites like Rapidshare. Just so you know, the Chrome Web Store has these link checkers to help you out.”...
MakeUseOf, June 10

Facebook facial recognition featureFacebook unveils facial recognition
In July 2010, Facebook quietly unveiled its new photo-tagging facial recognition program in North America. As of June 7, the new program has been rolled out to the social media conglomerate’s international users. The facial recognition system prompts users to tag friends that the program recognizes and as usual the service is an opt-out feature in Facebook’s security settings rather than opt-in. The privacy and security concerns over the program, as well as its opt-out feature, have many Facebook users concerned....
ReadWriteWeb, June 7

Commodore 6410 classic computers you had as a youth
Chris Higgins writes: “First up, the Commodore 64 (right). It came out in 1982, priced at just $595 in the United States (the price later dropped to $200). It was the successor to the VIC-20 and was tremendously popular, selling tens of millions of units—partly because it was sold in retail stores and toy stores instead of computer stores and also because it carried a low price tag. It had 64K of RAM and a 1 MHz processor. The C64 was discontinued in 1994, but you can get a C64 Direct-to-TV device today that includes various built-in games.”...
Mental Floss, June 14

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ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Follow all things Annual Conference on the American Libraries #ala11 web page.

Cover of Booklist June 1/15 issue

Stop by ALA Annual booth #1334 and you could win a year-long Booklist Online subscription! Get a tour of many new free Booklist resources, including blogs and e-newsletters. And don’t forget to pick up your free print copies of the current issues of Booklist and Book Links. NEW! From Booklist.

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Sign seen in the French Quarter during the 2006 ALA Annual Conference: "Welcome ALA. Thanks for coming to New Orleans." Photo by Jennifer Henderson

Internet Librarian

Dispatches from the Field

NEW! Censorship Watch


Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Ask the ALA Librarian

Green Your Library

Librarian’s Library

Solutions and Services

AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

Literary and Historical Society of Quebec Library

Literary and Historical Society of Quebec Library, Quebec City, Canada. Canada’s oldest historical society was founded in 1824 with the objective of preserving the colony’s historical records. It has been in its present location since 1868. In the 20th century, the society evolved into a private community library. In 2000, it established the Morrin Centre, dedicated to preserving the English-language heritage of the city.

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. One of the most important scholarly resources on the history of medicine in North America, the Osler opened in 1929 to house the collection of rare medical books donated by physician and McGill graduate William Osler. The library also has a large number of incunabula, an outstanding collection of editions of the works of the 17th-century British medical scholar Thomas Browne, and a collection of 19th-century French medical theses.

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

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Associate Director for System-wide Services, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kansas. This position will manage and develop the vision for library services to early literacy, incarcerated, Latino, and senior populations. Incumbent is responsible for the day-to-day operations of six branch libraries including personnel decisions, staff evaluation, responding to patrons’ inquiries, development and implementation of plans for effective and efficient public services. This position assists with library planning, manages external relationships specific to underserved populations, and represents the library in the community....

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Digital Library of the Week

After the Holidays: Cooling Off, from the Antikamnia Calendars, January-February-March, 1901, created by Louis Crusius, M.D. Engraving from the collection of Medical Caricatures, 1736-1901

The Lowcountry Digital Library digitizes and makes accessible unique resources pertaining to the South Carolina coastal region. Contributing partners include the College of Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina, the Citadel, and the Charleston County Public Library. Part of the South Carolina Digital Library, the LDL incorporates collections of photographs, postcards, artwork, manuscripts, railroad records, artifacts, scrapbooks, slave passes, family histories, and oral histories.

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.

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Today was a very sad day at Brennan Catholic High School [in Windsor, Ontario.] . . . As I walked down the hallway at lunch I noticed something new, something very disappointing. The school board had closed our library. They didn’t even have the courtesy to wait until the end of the school year. As I stood there watching our librarian cry while embracing her students and colleagues who were also in tears, I began to ponder a few things. Where will I do my research now? . . . Now I hear all this talk about making the libraries into Wi-Fi computer hubs and I wonder if they ever stopped to take students like me into consideration. You see, when I suffered cardiac arrest, the doctors put a defibrillator / pacemaker in my chest to keep me alive and I am not allowed to be in areas with high levels of Wi-Fi. So I wonder, what will I do now?

—Brennan Catholic High School student Brandon Koskitalo, in a letter to the editor, “Wondering What To Do with No Library,Windsor (Ont.) Star, June 8.

“Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

—Science-fiction author Isaac Asimov, in a March 16, 1971, letter to the Troy (Mich.) Public Library congratulating the children of Troy on their newly opened facility.

“And it is a well known fact that books devour space. You can’t reverse this law. However much space you give them, it’s never enough. First they occupy the walls. They continue to spread wherever they can gain a foothold. Only ceilings are spared the invasion. New books keep arriving, and you can’t bear to get rid of a single one. And so, slowly and imperceptibly, the volumes crowd out everything before them. Like glaciers.

—Serbian writer Zoran Živković, from the story “Home Library,” in his mosaic novel The Library (Biblioteka), 2002.

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Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Philadelphia, June 12–15, at:

ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Ottawa, Ontario, June 13–17, at:

American Library Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23–28, at:

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


June 23–28:
American Library Association,
Annual Conference, New Orleans.

July 25:
Central New York Library Resources Council,
Best Western at Carrier Circle, Syracuse. “2011 Unconference: The Library as Space and Place.”

Sept. 8–11:
Association for Rural and Small Libraries,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel, Texas.

Oct. 13–15:
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services,
Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency at the Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio. “Reach out, Reach up.”

Oct. 24:
Connecticut Educators Computer Association / Connecticut Association of School Librarians,
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. “eNGAGE! Teaching and Learning in a Digital World.”

Oct. 27–30:
American Association of School Librarians,
15th National Conference and Exhibition, Minneapolis Convention Center. “Turning the Page.”

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Cover of Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street, by Ed BrubakerDC Comics reboots itself
Maria Kramer writes: “Big news, comic book fans! DC—the comic book line that brought us Batman and Superman—is rebooting! This September, they will start 52 iconic and not-so-iconic titles over at number one and create a brand-spanking-new continuity to draw in younger, hipper audiences. For those of you who have never really been into comics, now is a great time to start, since the confusing, decades-long, often contradictory storylines that can overwhelm the beginner will no longer be an issue. Here are some titles that will make you excited about DC Comics and the reboot, even if you are not a super-fan.”...
YALSA The Hub, June 14; USA Today, May 31

“Saved by the Bell Jar”
On Twitter recently, WWNortan started a hashtag (#sitcomnovels) combining novels and TV shows. It soon began trending. The Huffington Post rounded up some of the best from the weekend for your reading pleasure, like “The Pale King of the Hill,” “Malcolm in the Middlemarch,” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Ed.”...
The Huffington Post, June 7

iBirdPro HD is a digital version of the traditional field guide to birds10 digital books you should know about
Peter Meyers writes: “A year ago I was knee-deep in iPad apps, sifting for gold among sludge as I combed for Best iPad Apps-worthy entries. My next book has me back in waders, this time looking for innovative, user-friendly digital books. Seems like a shame to wait for the pub date to share my findings. What follows, then, is an early snapshot of some of the best of what I’ve seen. You’ll no doubt notice a heavy bias towards iPad apps.”...
O’Reilly Radar, June 3

Browser found hiding inside the Simple Touch Nook
With the release of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Touch in May, many were left wondering why the hardware didn’t include a built–in web browser. The Nook is an Android device, so theoretically a browser is possible; in fact it does have one. The Simple Touch Reader, as the Nook has recently been dubbed, allows users to type a URL into a search box, but the results are mixed....
CNET News: Crave, June 8

Cover of The Ancient Guide to Modern LifeRousing Reads: The ancient world
Bill Ott writes: “Every year, in late March and early April, I’m consumed with putting together Booklist’s annual Mystery Showcase issue. But when that issue finally sleeps its Big Sleep, I run as far as I can from all things mystery, at least for a while. Take this year. Had I not been in my run-away-from-mystery frame of mind, I’m sure I would never had picked up Natalie Haynes’s The Ancient Guide to Modern Life.”...
American Libraries column, May/June

Actions & Answers

RDA adopted by Library of Congress (conditionally)
The Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library announced June 13 their conditional adoption of RDA following a test period. The three libraries released a June 13 statement (PDF file): “The most challenging task was to turn the test data into a single recommendation for the three national libraries. There was no clear, easy answer. RDA presents complicated issues for all libraries. In the final analysis, the RDA Test Coordinating Committee recommended that the national libraries adopt RDA with certain conditions and that implementation will not occur before January 1, 2013.”...
Library of Congress Bibliographic Working Group, June 13

National Science Digital Library on death row
The National Science Digital Library had ambitious goals when it started in 2000: Create a massive open repository of STEM learning materials culled from projects funded by its benefactor, the National Science Foundation; then organize these materials so that they could be used by science and math teachers. The NSF poured well over $100 million into the project. Just over a decade later, the digital library is set to be stripped of all funds in 2012, in part based on “the challenges of sustaining such a program in the face of changing technology and the ways educators now find and use classroom materials.”...
Inside Higher Ed, June 14

Clippings from the 1971 Audubon theftUnraveling a 40-year-old Audubon theft (PDF file)
Phillip J. Wajda writes: “The Union College campus in Schenectady, New York, is nearly empty. As night falls on this pleasant Sunday, June 13, 1971, two men sneak over to a rear window on the ground floor of the Schaffer Library’s east side. Breaking the window, the men climb into the main reading room and scramble to an oversized locked display case. The thieves, professionals who had plotted their visit for months, eye their target: a leather-bound volume containing 100 of the 435 rare prints from John James Audubon’s Birds of America.”...
Union College 105, no. 4 (Summer 2011): 4–13

This is our future if publishers prevail
Barbara Fister writes: “You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a route that passes through the middle ground between light and shadow. Your next stop—the copyright Twilight Zone. This is what Kevin Smith has called a nightmare scenario, one that doubles down with new guidelines for interlibrary loan (which in his terms are opening ‘a second front’ of attack on education). Get ready for a future that will not be a hospitable place for that old-fashioned pursuit, the advancement of knowledge.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, June 13; Scholarly Communications @ Duke, May 13, June 9; International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers

Chart showing responses to "My MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it?"The value of an MLIS
Over the last two weeks of May, librarians, library staff, and library school students weighed in on the Colorado Library Research Service’s 60-second survey, “The Value of an MLIS Degree to You.” Almost 2,500 people from every state and 15 countries, representing all library types, responded. Around 1,300 respondents left comments, sharing additional thoughts on the value of the MLIS degree today. Just over three-fourths of respondents (76%) agreed or strongly agreed that their degree was worth the investment....
Library Research Service News, June 14

Understanding library impacts on student learning
Derek Rodriguez writes: “Demonstrating connections between library use and undergraduate student achievement has proven a difficult task through the years. Several authors have suggested outcomes to which academic libraries contribute, such as retention, grade point average, and information literacy outcomes. I review a few of these efforts here.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, June 15

Confessions of an imperfect digital archivist
Bill LeFurgy writes: “I keep lots of digital photographs. Hundreds of family members and colleagues reside in my collection and are, as Susan Sontag said, ‘illuminated by a flash, fixed forever.’ As forever as I can manage, that is. Digital photos are disturbingly prone to corruption and loss. I worry about things like bit rot, failed hard drives, obsolete media, and other technological risks. Sobering threats all, but they aren’t the biggest problem facing my personal digital files. Frankly, I am the major issue.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, June 13

Yawn How to create presentations that don’t suck
Melanie Pinola writes: “Bad presentations are painful—for both the presenter dying a slow death in front of a crowd and the bored audience members who have to sit through it. If your task is to create presentations that don’t suck, here are five common presentation pitfalls to avoid and tips on making presentations that can instead inspire and inform.”...
Lifehacker, June 9

17 tips for shortening tweets
Tracy Gold writes: “If you’ve ever been frustrated by trying to cut those last few characters out of a tweet so you can send away, this post is for you. It’s hard enough to cut tweets to the general 140-character limit, much less the recommended 120 characters or less needed to leave room for others to retweet you, so I created this guide to help. But be careful not to abbreviate your tweets to the point that their meaning is warped, or totally lost. It doesn’t matter how easy to retweet you are if no one understands what you’re trying to say.”...
Social Media Today, June 7

Page corner bookmarksCraft project: Page corner bookmarks
Tally Heilke writes: “Page corner bookmarks are cute, practical, and deeply underrepresented in the world. They are easy to make and customize, and they will set you apart from all those same-same, flat, rectangular bookmarks. Corner bookmarks are where it’s at. Here I’ll teach you how to make two similar-but-different types of corner bookmarks. The first is a square overlapped by a triangle, the second is a triangle overlapped by a smaller triangle.”...
I Could Make That, Feb. 26

The problem with either/or
Linda W. Braun writes: “I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways in which people—librarians and others—seem to think in terms of either/or. For example: We ask if teens like to read or not. We ask if teens like digital books or physical books. We ask if teens use Twitter or not. But I think that deep down we all know that these aren’t either/or questions. Thinking in an either/or way actually makes it easy to stick with the status quo, but it’s not the status quo that we should stick with in library services for teens.”...
YALSA Blog, June 10

Katie, in Science in the Summer gearSummer reading and summer science
Deborah Lee Rose writes: “This summer, 152 public libraries in North Carolina and Pennsylvania will host free, hands-on science explorations for kids sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline’s ‘Science in the Summer’ program. Carol McKnight, children’s librarian at the Bustleton branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, encourages participants to check out science-themed books, some of which the program contributes to the permanent library collection. McKnight definitely sees kids spending more time looking at nonfiction books and researching science online after they attend hands-on science sessions.”...
Smile Blog, June 8

On résumés and cover letters
Andromeda Yelton writes: “On her Attempting Elegance blog, Jenica Rogers wrote some advice on cover letters that’s been getting a lot of attention. You should go read her advice first, because it’s good advice, and because, unlike me, she or someone like her may someday soon be in a position to hire you. But here are my opinions on résumés and cover letters. I found that using these strategies pretty reliably got me at least a phone interview.”...
Across Divided Networks, June 14; Attempting Elegance, June 10

Work only your “good hours”
Melanie Pinola writes: “There are peak times when each of us is more productive than other times, more creative and focused. Working on major projects outside of those peak times can be a waste of time. Even if you have a set number of hours you have to put in at work, shifting more menial or boring tasks to your less productive hours can help you accomplish more overall.”...
Lifehacker, June 9

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