|American Libraries Online
New report: Technology demands are up, budgets are down
A pervasive “new normal” of increased demand for library technology resources, paired with decreased funding at state and local levels, is affecting service to millions of Americans, according to a report released June 21 by the Office for Research and Statistics. The 2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study reports that more than 87% of U.S. libraries provide technology training for patrons, but 55% of urban libraries are reporting operating budget decreases during the current fiscal year, followed by suburban (36%) and rural (26%) libraries. The report appears as American Libraries’ Summer 2011 Digital Supplement....
Office for Research and Statistics, June 21
ICANN approves custom Top Level Domains
Jason Griffey writes: “ICANN, the international organization responsible for coordinating the domain structure of the internet, voted (right) in Singapore June 20 to allow generic Top Level Domains (PDF file). This means that instead of being stuck with .com, .net, .org, and so on, organizations can request and be granted the ability to oversee their own TLD. It will cost $185,000 to apply for a new gTLD, but even with that, I think that serious thought should be given by ALA and IFLA to a joint application for a top level domain of .lib or .library.” However, having a special top-level domain isn’t likely to boost search rankings, according to Search Engine Land....
AL: Perpetual Beta, June 20; ICANN, June 20; Search Engine Land, June 20
Filtering companies respond to ACLU campaign
Web-filtering software companies have responded swiftly to the American Civil Liberties Union’s “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which calls on schools to stop blocking students’ access to websites supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. The ACLU identified six leading filtering companies: Lightspeed Systems, Blue Coat Systems, M86 Solutions, Fortiguard, URL Blacklist, and Websense. In response, Lightspeed removed its “education.lifestyles” filter, which blocked access to educational LGBT-related information....
AL: Censorship Watch, June 21; ACLU, Feb. 15; eSchool News, June 16
Will’s World: Dead trees we have known
Will Manley writes: “One of my biggest mistakes as a library administrator was getting rid of the card catalog. No, I’m not talking about replacing it with a digital version. Everyone did that back in the ’80s. What I mean is that after we installed the OPAC, I sent the physical card catalog into the oblivion of Waste Management instead of sending representative parts of it to the local history museum. What landfill it resides in now only future archeologists will know. It strikes me that for a whole generation of digital natives, the term ‘card catalog’ is as obscure as the term ‘8-track tape.’”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
On June 1 Lace Keaton (right) became director of the Newton County (Ga.) Public Library System. Effective July 1, Anne Liebst will become director of technical services and technology at the Ottenheimer Library of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Anna Gold will become university librarian at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo July 15. On July 31 Brad Eden will become director of library services and professor of library science at Valparaiso (Ind.) University....
American Libraries column, June
A few free copies of Reading with the Stars
American Libraries is giving away free copies of Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries, a new book published by Skyhorse Publishing and ALA Editions. To get your copy, be one of the first 20 ALA Annual Conference attendees to stop by the American Libraries booth from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, June 27, to meet the book’s editor, former American Libraries editor Leonard Kniffel....
No AL Direct next week
The next one will be the Post-Conference Wrap-up issue that will be emailed on July 6. Regular news reporting will resume with the July 13 AL Direct.
What’s happening at Annual Conference
ALA Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas has compiled a handy, informal guide to the most important tips, facts, events, and activities at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
ALA Connect, June 20
Annual Conference Photo Scavenger Hunt
Jenny Levine writes: “Have you always wondered how ALA Annual Conference could be even more fun? Hold on to your hat, because we’ve found the answer. Throughout the conference (June 23–28) you can score points by snapping a photo of all the fun people, places, and things going on around you. Programs, New Orleans, authors, artists, and even fellow ALA-ers are on our tailor-made daily photo lists. Score the most points and you can win Amazon gift certificates. Here’s how to play.”...
ALA Connect, June 20
Many Voices, One Nation features Flaherty, Morales, Soetoro-Ng
Jordan Flaherty, Yuyi Morales, Maya Soetoro-Ng (right), and members of the New Orleans Neighborhood Story Project will participate in Many Voices, One Nation: New Orleans, during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference on June 25. The program, an evening of literature and performance, brings together writers and artists from different perspectives....
Office for Diversity, June 21
Visit the ALA Store
Find the ALA Conference Store at Booth #2531 on the main aisle near the center of the exhibition hall, across from the Membership Pavilion—an ideal location for easy access and convenient browsing. Stop by and pick up this year’s conference t-shirt and magnet, as well as gifts for friends, colleagues, and family....
ALA Publishing, June 20
Sneak preview of Not in Our Town
The one-hour PBS documentary special Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness profiles a town standing together to take action after anti-immigrant violence devastates their community and thrusts them into the international media spotlight. In conjunction with the September 21 broadcast of the film, all libraries are invited to use the film and accompanying resources for free public programs events in September and beyond. ALA Annual Conference attendees can enjoy a sneak preview. Stop by Auditorium C on Monday, June 27, at 9 a.m. to catch this new film....
Programming Librarian, June 21
New “Our Authors, Our Advocates” PSAs
Three new author public service announcements will be available to library advocates on June 24, through the “Our Authors, Our Advocates” initiative. The new PSAs by Judy Blume, David Baldacci, and Mo Willems will focus on the value of public and school libraries. Video PSAs from Jerry Pinkney also will be available at a later date. All will be available for viewing and downloading online....
Public Information Office, June 21
Annual Conference tech wrap-up
ALA TechSource will be wrapping up the Annual Conference with a free tech webinar. A panel of experts will discuss what they learned and what stood out. From e-books to tablets to RFID and library systems, you will get insightful perspective on the technology buzz in New Orleans. Register for the webinar, which will take place July 8 at 2 p.m. Central time....
ALA TechSource Blog, June 21
Section 108 spinner 2.0
Do you or your staff ever have trouble determining when Section 108 (copying a copyrighted work without express permission) applies? Would you like a more programmatic and organized way of documenting when your library does make copies under Section 108? If so, help has arrived. First made available under a Creative Commons license by Michael Brewer and the Office for Information Technology Policy in 2007, the online Section 108 Spinner has been completely reprogrammed in 2011 with significantly more interactive functionality....
District Dispatch, June 22
A checklist for libraries considering privatization
ALA has created a new publication addressing the privatization issue. Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Libraries Considering Privatization of Public Libraries (PDF file) was created in response to the increasing number of libraries faced with the threat of privatization in their communities. The checklist contains key messages and talking points, checklists for community leaders to consider, and checklists to ensure that contract provisions are being met....
Office for Library Advocacy, June 21
ALA comments on Workforce Investment Act
ALA submitted comments (PDF file) to the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee June 17, urging it to consider library priorities for the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act. The comments outline seven priorities for reauthorization. Foremost, the ALA asks the committee to ensure the bill makes public libraries eligible for funds for employment and training activities....
Office of Government Relations, June 20
ALA files comments on service to native nations
ALA submitted a filing (PDF file) to the Federal Communications Commission June 20 in response to its call for comments (PDF file) regarding improving communications services for native nations. The filing was submitted in consultation with the American Indian Library Association. ALA stressed that in the case of broadband and native nations, it is vitally important to aggressively address the vast digital divide that exists between native nations and the rest of the country....
Office for Information Technology Policy, June 21
A strategic vision for 21st-century libraries
The Office for Information Technology Policy’s latest policy brief breaks down the formidable challenges in store for libraries during the next few decades. The brief, Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library (PDF file) explores how emerging technologies combined with challenges, such as financial constraints, require libraries to evolve rapidly and make strategic decisions today that will influence their future for decades to come....
Office for Information Technology Policy, June 20
Program grants will support civic engagement
The ALA Public Programs Office and the Fetzer Institute have announced their collaboration on “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion,” a multiformat discussion program for public audiences. By bringing adults together in the library for programs and events that include reading, viewing, reflection, discussion, and civic engagement, this initiative will support libraries as they strive to enhance the quality of life and learning in their communities. Applications will be available in late August....
Public Programs Office, June 21
The ALA Handbook of Organization, 1894
Larry Nix writes: “Starting in 2009 the ALA Handbook of Organization has only been available online. The information it contains tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the organizational structure of one of the world’s most complex library organizations. A far cry from today’s electronic version is my copy of the 1894 edition of the handbook shown on the right. It is a handy 3-by-5-inch pocket-size publication consisting of 62 pages. Thirty of those pages list the entire membership of ALA at that time.”...
Library History Buff Blog, June 21
Michael Gorman recounts his library life
From his earliest reading memories in wartime Britain through five decades of librarianship, eminent librarian and former ALA President Michael Gorman offers insights from his extraordinary career in Broken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941–1978, published by ALA Editions. Gorman relates his journey in prose that is by turns charming, opinioned, and revealing. He made perhaps his most significant contribution to librarianship as editor of the 1978 Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules....
ALA Editions, June 17
Featured review: Social sciences
Mezrick, Ben. Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story behind the Most Audacious Heist in History. July 2011. 420p. Doubleday, hardcover (978-0-385-53392-8).
Here’s more narrative nonfiction by the author of Bringing Down the House (2002) and The Accidental Billionaires (2009), which were turned into the successful movies 21 and The Social Network, respectively. This opus is pretty much guaranteed to get the same treatment, for it’s a fascinating story. Thad Roberts emerges from a sheltered life (his parents, strict Mormons, disowned him when he was barely 21 years old), gets accepted by a prestigious NASA astronaut program, falls in love with a girl, and decides a cool way to express his feelings would be to steal some actual moon rocks—thus giving her, literally, a piece of the moon....
New Booklist e-newsletter: Corner Shelf
Booklist Online and Baker & Taylor are teaming up this month to launch the newest Booklist Online e-newsletter, Corner Shelf. With the tagline, “Where readers’ advisory meets collection development,” the free bimonthly periodical will address trends, ideas, and issues in the two areas, helping librarians find the common ground between them. Sign up for free and look forward to your six issues in the coming year....
Booklist battle of the 20th-century novelists
Ilene Cooper writes: “A sextet of Booklist editors retired to a local eatery to try out the book-themed card game, Notable Novelists of the 20th Century. It was a handsome deck indeed, the pièce de résistance, the jaunty author cards, each with a caricature of a dead writer. Before playing, Dan Kraus explained the rules of the game, and it was here that hearts sank and smiles turned upside down: It seemed NA20 was simply a highbrow version of Go Fish. The object of the game, to collect the highest number of literary sets (18 sets in a deck, each set comprised of three cards) was accomplished by asking one of the other players if they had either an author card (said caricature), a bio card (offering some information about the person) or a library card (listing three of his/her titles). ‘For instance, you might say, “Sara, do you have a Virginia Woolf Library Card?”’ explained the directions helpfully. This was clearly for the age range of 12 and up. What to do? In short order, it was decided that we would devise a more difficult game using our prepackaged cards.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, June 21
Poor little rich boy
Will Manley writes: “The thing about most rich people is that they generally subscribe to the theory (or mythology) that anyone in this country can become rich. All it takes is hard work, the willingness to take risks, patience, perseverance, and the ability to overcome the wide variety of potholes and bumps that litter the road to riches. If you follow that formula and don’t become rich, well, it’s your fault, not the fault of our capitalistic system. In my working days as a reference librarian (the 1970s), I noticed that a good number of people whom an economist might call poor or lower middle class also subscribed to the ‘in America, everyone can become rich’ theory. These were the guys who slept God knows where and were lined up at the door of the library like flies on a screen door. When the door opened, they rushed in and fought for the Wall Street Journal.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
New Orleans music
The Crescent City is best known as the birthplace of traditional jazz, but it is also known for its brass marching bands, distinctive rhythm and blues, funk, bounce, hip hop, and sludge metal music. You can see who or what is playing at any venue in town by consulting WWOZ-FM’s list of music venues. Jazz buffs will want to visit Preservation Hall at 726 St. Peters Street, while fans of the HBO Treme series might want to stop in at the Spotted Cat Music Club at 623 Frenchmen Street or the Blue Nile (above) at 532 Frenchmen. The Rebirth Brass Band is scheduled to play at the Maple Leaf Bar at 8316 Oak Street on June 28. On Thursdays, One Eyed Jacks at 615 Toulouse offers the “hottest 80s dance night in New Orleans.” The Famous Door at 339 Bourbon Street is the strip’s oldest live music club still in business. It’s a bit distant, but Rock ‘N’ Bowl at 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue offers Zydeco-Cajun dance lessons on Tuesdays....
NewOrleansOnline; WWOZ-FM; Gambit, June 7
Eating around New Orleans
“Food Show” radio host Tom Fitzmorris has published The New Orleans Menu since 1977, first as a print newsletter and now as a web-based daily newsletter with new reviews, recipes, and other articles every weekday. It is the best source for New Orleans dining, cooking, and drinking, and covers all of the 1,205 restaurants open around the city. It features restaurant lists, recipe lists, and write-ups that are both entertaining and informative....
The New Orleans Menu
I can’t believe it’s praline bacon
The thing to love about Elizabeth’s Restaurant at 601 Gallier Street in the Bywater district is that somebody there in 1998 tried to make bacon better. The result was praline bacon—a combination of pecan candy and salty pork. Cochon Butcher at 930 Tchoupitoulas (part of Cochon Restuarant) sells Bacon Praline, but it’s not like Elizabeth’s—it’s an “actual praline with chunks of the house-made Kurobuta bacon inside of it in place of the traditional pecans.” Here is a recipe in case you want to try to make the real thing yourself, but if you’d rather watch Alton Brown do it, here’s the video (2:40)....
New York Times, Dec. 16, 2007; Nola Cuisine, Mar. 13, 2009, July 20, 2010; Good Eats, Mar. 8, 2010
A five-course culinary bike tour
Tour the city and taste all it has to offer on a bike tour of New Orleans: Think of it as a progressive dinner on wheels. The route and menu follow the season’s best foods, but expect a sampling of NOLA classics (gumbo, po’boys, jambalaya) as well as a few ethnic surprises. This culinary tour through Confederacy of Cruisers includes bike, helmet (optional), and all food and tips (except your guide’s). Or, tour the city on your own and rent a bike for the day through Joy Ride Bike Rentals. Watch a video (4:01)....
Southern Living, May; YouTube, Apr. 21, 2010
Faubourg Marigny Art and Books
This well-stocked gay and lesbian bookstore (right) at 600 Frenchmen Street also carries some local titles. It has a used section, CDs, posters, cards, and gifts (all with a more or less gay or lesbian slant) and holds regular readings and signings. The staff makes this a fine resource center—you can call them for local gay and lesbian info. They also have a selection of gay- and lesbian-themed figurative art on display and available for sale. Other unique bookshops are the Iron Rail Collective, Kitchen Witch Cookbooks, and Beth’s Books (as seen on Treme)....
New York Times
A reading list for New Orleans
Karen Rose Cedar writes: “To prepare for the conference, I am reading books and articles with New Orleans as a theme. I will just be a tourist (a terrible thing for most New Yorkers) in New Orleans, but at least I will be a well-read tourist. As for the list here, I have included things that I have already read or seen, along with things that I am currently reading (and will be reading when I get back).”...
New York Public Library Blogs, June 17
Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
It’s in an urban oasis that New Orleanians have known about and enjoyed for well over a century and a half. City Park is one of the coolest urban parks in both the aesthetic sense and the literal sense. Shaded by centuries-old live oak trees and palms, it is a great place to cool off during the hot summer days New Orleans is noted for. Next to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public and home to more than 60 sculptures by artists from all over the world....
New Orleans Museum of Art; NewOrleansOnline
TSA travel checklist
Every summer travel season the U.S. Transportation Security Administration prepares its workforce of 50,000 Transportation Security Officers to ensure a smooth experience for travelers. TSA wants to remind passengers of the security procedures in place and help travelers be prepared for security before they leave home....
U.S. Transportation Security Administration
ALTAFF’s “Isn’t It Romantic?” event
ALTAFF will host “Isn’t it Romantic?” on June 27 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Featured memoirists include Stephanie Laurens (right), Robyn Carr, Julie James, Brenda Jackson, and Adrienne McDonnell. The event will be moderated by Prepub Alert Editor Barbara Hoffert and is free for conference attendees....
ALTAFF, June 17
ASCLA in Paris
Join ASCLA President Norma Blake for a tour of the Bibliothèque Nationale, the American Library in Paris, and other attractions, April 29–May 6, 2012. This trip package is an excellent opportunity to see the City of Lights in springtime, and support ASCLA. The package includes six nights at the Westminster Hotel, breakfasts, dinners, and various tours. A deposit is due by August 1 to reserve a spot....
ASCLA Blog, June 13
Excellence in university press books
The 21st edition of University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries is now available online. This university press bibliography is the product of a longstanding and successful collaboration between the Association of American University Presses, AASL, and PLA. School and public librarians have selected, reviewed, and rated more than 350 books published by members of the AAUP, providing librarians with valuable scholarship to match any interest....
AASL, June 21
Network for Research on Libraries and Teens
YALSA has launched an online Network for Research on Libraries and Teens. The resource is freely accessible to any interested individuals or organizations. The network is meant to be an online gathering space for anyone interested in research related to libraries and teens. Individuals can log on to find fellow researchers, get news from the field or share information....
YALSA, June 17
Add some harmony to your fundraising melody
This year, LLAMA’s Fund Fare on June 27 is all about about “Making Beautiful Music Together: 360 Degree Fundraising.” This Fundraising 101 session provides practical fundraising and fund-development information for development professionals at all levels as well as lay library supporters such as Friends’ members, foundation staff, and donors and library staff....
LLAMA, June 21
PR Xchange offers public relations ideas
Formerly known as Swap’n’Shop, the PR Xchange is your chance to collect samples of promotional materials, to network with others, and to get inspired about promoting your library services. You’ll get to view some innovative YouTube videos and other web-based promotions, followed by the Best of Show awards ceremony, June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....
LLAMA, June 20
Zotero for librarians
ACRL has published Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators, written by Jason Puckett of Georgia State University, the first book-length treatment of this powerful research tool developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. The guidebook introduces Zotero and presents it in the context of bibliography managers and open source software, providing detailed instructions on using the software in research and writing....
ACRL, June 21
ACRL summer e-learning
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities this summer. Online seminars scheduled are on instructional design and winning library grants. Complete details and registration information for all summer 2011 e-Learning opportunities are available online....
ACRL, June 20
AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award
School librarians Glovis South and Stephanie Rosalia are the recipients of the 2011 AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award. Sponsored by Follett Software Company, the $1,500 award recognizes two school librarians, one elementary and one secondary, who have demonstrated vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners....
AASL, June 21
2011 Spectrum Scholarships announced
The Office for Diversity has announced a new round of 55 Spectrum Scholarships. The program’s mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 730 Spectrum Scholarships....
Office for Diversity, June 17
ALA scholarship recipients
The ALA Scholarship Program has announced scholarship recipients for 2011–2012. Recipients were selected in the following categories: general; support staff; and specialty or practice area (children’s services, new media, and federal librarianship)....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, June 21
More great websites for kids
ALSC has added 16 more recommended websites to Great Web Sites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children. The site features links to websites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger, organized into diverse subject headings....
ALSC, June 20
Descriptions of cutting-edge services
The Office for Information Technology Policy and its Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee have released detailed descriptions of this year’s “Cutting-edge Services” winners (PDF file). “The Future of Libraries: Cutting-edge Services” will be held June 25 and will feature presentations from the four libraries selected from those nominated....
Office for Information Technology Policy, June 17
Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 24 awards totaling $11.2 million, matched with $25.4 million in nonfederal funds, for Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian Program Grants. IMLS received 119 applications. View the full list of funded projects here....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 21
Carlo D’Este wins Pritzker Military Library Literature Award
World War II historian Carlo D’Este has won the 2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. At the library’s Liberty Gala on October 22, the historian will receive a $100,000 honorarium, citation, and medallion. The annual prize celebrates “a body of work that has profoundly enriched the public understanding of American military history.” His most recent book is Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874–1945 (2008)....
Mediabistro: GalleyCat, June 21
2010 Bram Stoker Awards
The winners of the Horror Writers Association’s 2010 Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror writing were announced June 19 at the Long Island Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Uniondale, New York. A Dark Matter by Peter Straub was named the best novel in 2010, Invisible Fences by Norman Prentiss won for long fiction, and Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King was given the award for best collection....
Nick Kaufman, June 19
Colum McCann wins IMPAC Award
Irish author Colum McCann won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest prize for a single work of fiction published in English, on June 15. McCann, who lives in New York, won the €100,000 ($143,045 U.S.) prize for his sixth novel, Let the Great World Spin. Set in Manhattan in 1974 as Philippe Petit tightrope walks between the newly built Twin Towers, it tells of interlocking lives in the world below, from a radical Irish monk in the Bronx to an Upper East Side housewife....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 16
2011 Cookbook of the Year
The International Association of Culinary Professionals named Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) the Cookbook of the Year at its annual conference June 1–4. Other books were chosen as winners by independent panels of food and beverage experts in 17 specific cuisine categories....
International Association of Culinary Professionals
Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
The second Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been won by Andrea Levy for her novel about the end of slavery, The Long Song. At £25,000 ($40,555 U.S.), the prize is one of the U.K.’s richest literary awards. The announcement was made June 18 at the four-day Borders Book Festival in Melrose, one of Scotland’s top literary events. The prize honors historical novels first published in the U.K. or Ireland....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 20
Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
Margaret Jull Costa was announced June 8 as the winner of this year’s Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her translation of The Elephant’s Journey by José Saramago into English from the Portuguese. The £2,000 ($3,240 U.S.) award has been given since 1999 for an outstanding book-length literary translation into English from any European language. The story, set in the 16th century, relates the journey of an Indian elephant from Lisbon to Vienna to be given as a wedding present for an emperor....
St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford
Deadline looms for New York library funding
Queens residents of all ages and many ethnicities gathered at the Jackson Heights branch June 9 to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts to New York City’s libraries. The Queens Library alone is preparing for a funding reduction of $25 million. If the Bloomberg administration and the city council fail to restore most of the money during budget negotiations, 471 staff will be laid off, 14 branches will be closed, 17 branches will be open only three days a week, and another 17 will be open two days a week. A new budget for fiscal year 2012 is due by the end of June....
YourNabe.com, June 16; New York Daily News, June 16
What big media can learn from NYPL
Alexis Madrigal writes: “This library isn’t floundering. Rather, it’s flourishing, putting out some of the most innovative online projects in the country. On the stuff you can measure—library visitors, website visitors, digital gallery images viewed—the numbers are up across the board compared with five years ago. On the stuff you can’t, like conceptual leadership, the New York Public Library is killing it. The library clearly has reevaluated its role within the internet information ecosystem and found a set of new identities.”...
The Atlantic, June 20
Oakland library supporters stage read-in
Oakland (Calif.) Public Library lovers braved the sun and heat in an uninterrupted 14-hour read-in on City Hall’s front steps June 20. It was the latest tactic library advocates are using to protest the potential closure of 14 of the city’s 18 libraries. On June 21, the Oakland City Council was considering a plan that could help close the city’s $56-million budget deficit. If an “all-cuts” budget plan is recommended, then the library budget would be slashed by 85%....
Oakland (Calif.) North, June 21
Cutting library funding has consequences
Debra Kachel writes: “Let me use a metaphor that should resonate in a state where agriculture and agribusiness is a leading economic driver: By cutting funds for school libraries, Pennsylvania is eating its seed corn. It is a mistaken article of faith among many critics of public schools that there is no correlation between spending and learning outcomes. When resources and support for school libraries increase, reading scores go up and learning by other measures improves. Short-sighted cuts to school library funds and positions will harm Pennsylvania students who will not test as well or learn as much.”...
Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, June 17
Enlightening lives in Detroit, one book stop at a time
The Detroit Public Library has operated a bookmobile since 1940. The program, based at the Douglass Branch for Specialized Services, operates two vehicles, one full of children’s material that makes stops at public schools where the libraries have been closed or aren’t staffed by a librarian anymore, another that visits far-flung homes, densely packed senior apartment complexes, and riverfront retirement communities. Despite the library’s budget woes, Coordinator of Specialized Services Carolyn McCormick says the program is safe....
Detroit MetroTimes, June 15
Bangor gets its war posters digitized
The Bangor (Maine) Public Library owns some 800 World War I and II posters. The collection was compiled by L. Felix Ranlett, a WWI veteran and military history buff who was the librarian during WWI, said Special Collections Librarian Bill Cook. The collection is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the country. Since this winter, local photographer James Daigle has been collaborating with the University of Maine’s Fogler Library to digitize most of them. The library plans to unveil his collection of digital images of these posters on Veterans Day, November 11....
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, June 21
Wheaton mayor to replace two library trustees
Two Wheaton (Ill.) Public Library board members who battled it out with city officials last summer over a decision to close the library on Fridays will likely be replaced at the June 27 city council meeting. Mayor Michael Gresk said the seats of Library Board President Colleen McLaughlin and Trustee Carol Honeywell will be filled by two local residents. He also said McLaughlin will not be reappointed because of the unacceptable and confrontational manner in which she handled herself during meetings with the city....
Wheaton (Ill.) TribLocal, June 20
Jail repurposed as county library
While strains of “Jailhouse Rock” played on a boom box outside, the Morgan County Library in Madison, Georgia, threw open the doors of the old county detention center June 12 in an effort to nab new patrons. Library workers and a host of volunteers were on guard in the afternoon during an open house of the library’s new temporary home. The children’s section is organized where the trustees’ cell once stood, and one side of the reference room is flanked by a bank of phones and thick glass where inmates securely talked to visitors....
Morgan County (Ga.) Citizen, June 17
Reference librarian helps WWII vet return home
A Westlake (Ohio) Porter Public Library reference librarian’s interest in solving puzzles led to a Cleveland World War II soldier getting a full military funeral in a national cemetery more than 65 years after he died in a tank battle in France. Sue Bennis (right) was able to locate the nearest relative of 19-year-old Donald D. Owens, whose dog tags turned up in a forest near Luneville, France, in 2003. Bennis and Rhodes High School Librarian Myra Stone began a lengthy search through a maze of school and city records, marriage certificates, newspaper articles, and other documents....
Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer, June 18
Library director makes citrus documentary
Jeff Thompson, director of Merritt Island branch of the Brevard County (Fla.) Libraries and an amateur filmmaker, wanted to record for posterity the magnificent organic orange grove in Scottsmoor established by his father, Andrew Graham. After more than two years of planning, Thompson began filming in January and recently wrapped up the last shot of The Florida Suite. He hopes to enter the documentary, which is set to the music of Frederick Delius’s largely forgotten Florida Suite, at the Florida Film Festival....
Melbourne Florida Today, June 13
College student uncovers Lincoln documents
Abe Lincoln made a couple of lists back in 1844. David Spriegel found them in May. Spriegel, a history major at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, was in the second week of a summer internship in the Manuscripts Department of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. He was sorting a stack of old papers when he noticed a tiny notation that read: “The above memorandum is in the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln.” Experts determined they were lists made by Lincoln in March 1844 as he prepared a petition for an upcoming legal case....
Winona (Minn.) Daily News, June 18
Scrap dealers offer to help replace stolen library sculpture
A beloved statue that was stolen from in front of the Revere (Mass.) Public Library and destroyed may be replaced in part thanks to money donated by scrap-metal buyers. City Librarian Mark Ferrante said some businessmen who run metal yards contacted him after learning of the statue’s fate. The 3-foot-long, 60-pound bronze figure of a small girl reading a book was stolen the weekend of April 22–25 from its marble pedestal in front of the library steps. A 46-year-old man has been charged with the theft and vandalism....
Lynn (Mass.) Daily Item, June 15
LC gets rare flat-earth map
The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has 5 million maps in its collections, but not the one belonging to Don Homuth, a former North Dakota state senator. Printed in 1893, the “Map of the Square and Stationary Earth” was created by Orlando Ferguson of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Robert Morris, senior technical information specialist in LC’s Geography and Map Division, said they searched through nearly 100 similar maps before confirming they didn’t have a match. Homuth is donating his copy to the library in late June....
Fargo (N.Dak.) Forum, June 18; Strange Maps, Jan. 16, 2010
The sailing librarian
Carol Stitson, children’s librarian for Oxfordshire County Council, won the Vice-Commodore’s Cup sailing a laser-class dinghy at the June 5 Henley Sailing Cup open meeting at Henley-on-Thames in the United Kingdom. Veteran sailor Stitson set her own record of seven cups for the club in 2008 and was named most successful club member that year....
Henley (U.K.) Standard, Feb. 16, 2009; June 15
Oxfam: Volunteers no substitute for librarians
Firing staff in public libraries and replacing them with volunteers is not the right approach to government cuts, according to Oxfam Trading Director David McCullough. He said the charity had been asked to consult on staffing libraries with volunteers, but he said that local councils needed to invest in infrastructure with skilled workers. Oxfordshire County Council announced its plans to close 20 libraries in November unless volunteers stepped forward to run them. “That’s a really bad plan,” McCullough said....
BBC News, June 19
Malta to have a national librarian
Malta will soon have a national librarian who will ensure that books, documents, and manuscripts are collected and preserved for posterity. Education Minister Dolores Cristina said June 14 that a call for applications would soon be issued for the position now that the new Malta Libraries Act was published in May. The law sets up Malta Libraries as a legal entity that can enter into contracts, acquire books, and manage resources. Though most of the National Library of Malta’s 750,000 books are in good shape, there are hundreds of others from the 16th to 18th centuries that are literally turning into dust....
Times of Malta, June 15
Go back to the Top
Eight tech trends for school librarians
Dave Saltman writes: “Today, a major mission of the librarian or media specialist is to teach students digital literacy by showing them how to use the internet to efficiently find, organize, and share information with peers. Here are some of the tools librarians are using to make their jobs easier and more relevant to students as they address this expansion of their role.”...
Harvard Education Letter 27, no. 3 (May/June)
How to use histograms to improve your photos
Eric Z. Goodnight writes: “What’s with that weird graph with all the peaks and valleys? You’ve seen it when you open Photoshop or go to edit a camera raw file. But what is a histogram, and what does it mean? The histogram is one of the most important and powerful tools for the digital imagemaker. And with a few moments reading, you’ll understand a few simple rules that can make you a much more powerful image editor and help you shoot better photographs. So what are you waiting for? Read on.”...
How-To Geek, June 22
Eight simple ways to share data online
David Strom writes: “If you have to jointly author a spreadsheet with a colleague, what is the first thing that you do? Email it back and forth. This can be painful, particularly as you try to keep track of your partner’s changes and hope the emails transit back and forth across the internet. Add a third or fourth person, and things get worse. Luckily, there are a number of web-based service providers that have stepped up with tools to make spreadsheet sharing a lot easier than sending attachments.”...
ReadWriteWeb, June 17
Me on the Web monitors your online reputation
Keir Thomas writes: “If you have ever Googled yourself, you know that the search results can be surprising. Google’s latest tool, Me on the Web, lets users set up alerts based on their name, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information in order to help monitor what others post about them online. The new tool is identical to Google Alerts, but this one is embedded in the Google dashboard, making it easer to access and remove personal information from the search engine.”...
PC World, June 16; Google Public Policy Blog, June 15
The best notebooks of the year so far
Typically these ‘best of’ lists come with a caveat. Something like ‘Best notebooks under $500,’ or ‘Best notebooks for gaming,’ but this is just an all-around best-of list, courtesy of Mark Spoonauer, editor-in-chief of Laptop Magazine, where he oversees more than 140 netbook and notebook reviews every year....
Gizmodo, June 17
15 sexy printers
David Carnoy writes: “Most people have figured out that like the shaving industry, the money is in razor blades (ink), not the razor (printer), so manufacturers tend to make their printers as cost effectively as possible because they have to sell them relatively inexpensively. Gradually, however, that is changing, and companies are giving more thought to the design of their printers as they also add new features, including built-in LCD displays and web connectivity. With that in mind, here’s a look at 15 models that are design standouts.”...
CNET News: Crave, June 22
Three social publishing apps that empower humans
Steve Rosenbaum writes: “The mantra of a lot of web software is: Use technology to take the human agents out of the equation. Along the way, the web aggregated everything: airfares, hotel rooms, auctions, stock market data, weather information—you name it. But the software that made everything comparable has also made things increasingly unfindable. This is why the new software frontier isn’t about removing humans, but empowering them. Here are three examples of software products built for humans, rather than as a means to replace them.”...
Mashable, June 16
ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Follow all things Annual Conference on the American Libraries #ala11 web page.
Former American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel offers a compelling collection of interviews with prominent figures in Reading with the Stars—all of whom have special connections to libraries. From President Barack Obama to actress Julie Andrews, from basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to former First Lady and librarian Laura Bush and many others, stars of literature, politics, entertainment, and the public arena speak about the ways libraries have been critical in their lives. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Biblioteca Francisco de Burgoa, Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca, Mexico. Named after 17th-century Dominican historian Francisco de Burgoa and now a part of the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, this library collection includes some 23,000 books (including 11 incunabula and early Mexican printed works) originally held by monasteries in Oaxaca state.
Biblioteca Palafoxiana, Puebla, Mexico. The library was established in 1646 by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza for the Puebla seminary, making it the first library in New Spain. He donated his own collection of books as the library’s starter collection. The main reading room was constructed in 1773 by Bishop Francisco Fabian y Fuero, who named the institution after Palafox.
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.
Associate Editor, American Libraries, American Library Association, Chicago. Reporting to the Editor and Publisher, the Associate Editor will be responsible for editing and packaging feature articles, reporting and writing news and event coverage for print and online publication, supporting weekly publication of the AL Direct e-newsletter, meeting daily deadlines, contributing to the magazine’s social media presence, and working with freelance writers, photographers, and illustrators....
Digital Library of the Week
Waging Peace: Darfuri Children’s Drawings are now available digitally through the University of South Florida’s Special Collections Coral System. In 2007, Waging Peace travelled to the refugee camps of eastern Chad to interview displaced Chadian and Darfuri refugees who had escaped the war in Sudan’s Darfur region. While there, the Waging Peace representatives gave paper, crayons, and pens to the children in the camps aged 6 to 18 years old. The children were then asked to draw their hopes for the future and their memories of the war. This collection includes 500 drawings, most of which depict what the children saw when their villages and home were attacked and destroyed by militia groups. In November 2007, the drawings were taken to the International Criminal Court in the Hague and were accepted by the court as contextual evidence of the crimes committed in Darfur by the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed militia group.
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.
“Libraries were, by design, intended to be funded by public taxation. They are not free but rather a collective public investment in organized accessible knowledge—no matter the format. So, yes, the ‘free’ library model as it exists can and should survive. There is plenty of taxpayer money for core services, including libraries, if elected officials and bureaucrats stop confusing voters by shuffling their money around and diverting it to pet projects. . . . If every tax dollar I generate were spent on funding public libraries, I would be the happiest taxpayer in the United States.”
—Escondido (Calif.) City Councilwoman Olga Diaz, who opposed closing the East Valley branch, a move that left the city with only one library, in “A Core Service Taxpayers Demand,” San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, June 19.
Association of Jewish Libraries, Annual Convention, Montreal, June 19–22, at:
Information: Interactions and Impact, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, U.K., June 20–23, at:
ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Preconference, Baton Rouge, June 21–24, at:
American Library Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23–28, at:
International Society for Technology in Education, 2011 Conference, Philadelphia, June 26–29, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators / Council of State Archivists, Joint Annual Meeting, Sheraton-Nashville Downtown, Nashville, Tennessee.
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Embassy Row Hotel, Washington, D.C. “Library Resources . . . A Capital Idea!”
23rd Annual Scientific and Statistical Database Management Conference, University Place Hotel and Conference Center, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, Ohio University, Athens.
California Rare Book School, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.
MidSouth eResource Symposium, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University.
Emerging Technologies Summit, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University.
Society of American Archivists, Hyatt Regency, Chicago. “Archives 360°.”
Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Fall Meeting, Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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