|American Libraries Online
Tornados rip apart several libraries in the South
Library officials in the southern United States are assessing the extent of damage caused by a violent tornado outbreak April 25–28 that killed at least 339 people and left billions of dollars in property damage. The Pratt City branch of Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library was severely damaged and lost its roof, although its book collection and the Pratt City Historical Archives housed there somehow stayed dry. A host of volunteers that included Alabama State Librarian Rebecca Mitchell helped salvage undamaged equipment, shelving, and materials, Melinda Shelton of BPL told American Libraries....
American Libraries news, May 4
Keeping library digitization legal
Bobby Glushko writes: “The ability to digitize hard copies, the proliferation of born-digital content, and increased access to online distribution hold the promise of improved access to library materials. Despite these advances, the legal issues surrounding collections increasingly hinder libraries and archives in providing this access. This hurdle can be overcome by a mixture of good policy, careful action, a reliance on the protections afforded to libraries and archives by the law, and a healthy attitude toward working with lawyers.”...
American Libraries feature
10 ways libraries matter in a digital age
Greg Landgraf writes: “After ‘10 Reasons Why the Internet is No Substitute for a Library,’ a 2001 article in American Libraries, received some unwelcome attention two weeks ago, we sought your feedback to help create an updated version. Based on reader comments and staff discussions, we’ve drafted this list of reasons why libraries matter in a digital age. We welcome your additions to this list.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 4
Q. We’re reviewing our policies on overdue fines and are looking for resources to guide our investigations. What’s out there? A. Ideally, of course, everyone borrowing a book from a library would return it on time, or even a little early, so other library users would be able to use the book. The reality is different, so libraries developed the economic incentive of the overdue fine. We don’t know how much libraries, as a whole, collect in fines, as both major statistical reports roll the amount collected as fines in with other sources of revenue....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, May 4
Last chance to take the American Libraries survey
American Libraries seeks your input and opinions in order to be sure that we offer the most useful content and information in the most accessible formats. We’re asking for less than 10 minutes of your time to take an online survey about your use of the AL suite of products. If you provide your email address, we’ll enter you for a chance to win $500 worth of books from Random House. May 15 is the deadline....
Ursula Meyer (right), 83, director of library services in the Stockton–San Joaquin County (Calif.) Library System from 1974 until her retirement in 1994, died April 15. Meyer served as president of the California Library Association in 1978 and on ALA Council from 1974 to 1979. Marguerite Carden, 83, former assistant director of Miami-Dade Public Library System, died on March 30....
Maureen Sullivan elected ALA president
Maureen Sullivan (right), an organization development consultant, has been elected 2012–2013 ALA president. She defeated Susan Stroyan, information services librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, in the spring election. Sullivan received 5,259 votes, and Stroyan received 3,642 votes. Sullivan will become president in June 2012, following the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Thirty-four members were also elected to three-year terms on the ALA Council....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 29
Welcome to Choose Privacy Week
OIF Director Barbara Jones writes: “Librarians firmly hold to the principle that freedom to read is not possible if the government is looking over your shoulder. We thank the Open Society Institute for its confidence that libraries are the perfect places to teach and practice privacy. Because of OSI’s support, we are able to celebrate Choose Privacy Week May 1–7 to create public awareness and programming on privacy and libraries.”...
Privacy and Youth, May 2
Cory Doctorow’s radical proposition for libraries
Speaking to ALA’s Privacy and Youth Conference from London via Skype on March 25, author and privacy advocate Cory Doctorow (right) offered attendees a thought-provoking assessment of the privacy landscape for young people today. His “radical proposition” that libraries become islands of networked privacy best practices—places where young people are educated and empowered to take charge of their digital lives—provided provocative fodder for conference participants’ discussions. Watch the entire session here (51:09)....
Privacy and Youth, May 3; Vimeo, May 2
ALA Virtual Library Legislative Day
ALTAFF’s Virtual Library Legislative Day is part of the ALA National Library Legislative Day on May 9–10, when hundreds of library advocates will descend on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill for the event can still be a part of the effort by calling and emailing their elected officials on May 10, or any time during the week of May 9–13. Talking points for Virtual Library Legislative Day can be found in the briefing materials....
ALTAFF, May 3
Tweet your Senator to support teen services
May 9–10 is National Library Legislative Day and it only takes a minute of your time to make a difference. All you need is internet access and a Twitter account. Visit YALSA’s Google map of U.S. Senators to locate your legislator and click on the “Tweet me” link. To learn more about other ways can advocate for library services to teens specifically, visit the YALSA wiki....
YALSA Blog, May 3
Get your 2010 legislative scorecards
The ALA Washington Office has released 2010 Legislative Scorecards for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each scorecard outlines votes and support of legislation that is important to and has an impact on the library community. The Washington Office encourages library advocates to use this scorecard as a tool to gauge their elected officials’ support of library-related legislation....
District Dispatch, May 3
ALA, ARL support funding the U.S. Statistical Abstract
Now that Congress has completed the FY2011 budget and returned from a two-week recess, it will turn its attention to the FY2012 budget process. In light of this, ALA and the Association of Research Libraries sent a joint letter to the Appropriations committees of the House (PDF file) and Senate (PDF file) urging them to support funding for the Statistical Compendia Branch....
District Dispatch, May 3
ALA Virtual Town Hall meeting, June 1
There are some seats still
available for ALA’s first Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, June 1, 3–4:30 p.m. Central Time, online. Participants will discuss reports on e-books and the Association’s response to this emerging issue, along with progress on ALA’s 2015 Strategic Plan and a report on advocacy initiatives during Roberta Stevens’s presidential year. Registration closes on May 31....
ALA Membership Blog, Apr. 28
OITP Digital Literacy Task Force
The Office for Information Technology Policy advisory committee authorized a Digital Literacy Task Force at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting. Staff have now completed a roster (PDF file) of members who will look across all types of library settings to identify common concerns and develop a shared vision for improving services and positioning libraries in this evolving role. The Task Force will begin its work with an environmental scan....
District Dispatch, May 4
National Library Week, 2011
National Library Week 2011 was observed April 10–16 with the theme, “Create your own story @ your library.” During the week, libraries nationwide hosted programs on bookmobiles, youth, a wise use of money, reading, library workers, and preservation. Check out this photo essay that showcases some of the highlights....
AL Focus, May 2
Get ready for Bookmobile Sunday
Mobile delivery services are evolving to meet the needs of 21st-century patrons. June 26 is Bookmobile Sunday at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference provides attendees with opportunities to learn about bookmobile issues, attend an author lunch with Margriet Ruurs, and climb aboard one of the newest vehicles during the Annual Parade of Bookmobiles....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 3
10 reasons to join your school’s student ALA chapter
Alyssa Diekman writes: “One of the best things a prospective MLIS student can do when preparing for a future in librarianship is to take advantage of all of the opportunities offered through professional organizations. The Student Chapters of ALA offered at library schools are a fantastic way for students to jumpstart their careers while building new relationships and getting hands-on experience. Chapter membership offers a wide range of possibilities for students looking to strengthen their LIS skills.”...
ALA Student Membership Blog, May 3
Did you know ALA has a motto?
Jenny Levine writes: “I didn’t know ALA had a motto until I started doing some research for ALA Civics Class, so I tried to ‘stump the Keith’ to see if our Executive Director knew it. Watch the video (1:08) to see how he did.”...
ALA Marginalia, May 4; AL Focus, May 3
Economics and business reference
Published by ALA Editions, the ALA Guide to Economics and Business Reference focuses on key print and electronic sources. Readers will find information on business law, electronic commerce, international business, information management systems, and market research. As the publisher of the essential Guide to Reference Books first printed more than a century ago, ALA has long been a source for authoritative bibliographies....
ALA Editions, May 3
May is Mystery Month
Every year, the jewel in Booklist Mystery Month’s crown is the Mystery Showcase issue—an annual highlight for Booklist readers since 1997. But there is now an additional array of related content accessible in a variety of formats to sign up and look out for. The month launched with the webinar “Beyond Bestsellers: High Demand Mysteries in Libraries,” for which you can access a free archived version. On May 12, more than 100 free mystery reviews will be featured in Booklist Online Exclusives, and on May 15 a Bookmakers e-newsletter features Minotaur Books....
Featured review: Mystery
Littlefield, Sophie. A Bad Day for Scandal. June 2011. 320p. Minotaur/Thomas Dunne, hardcover (978-0-312-64837-4).
With things heating up between self-styled vigilante Stella Hardesty and sexy sheriff Goat Jones, Stella finds both her relationship and her livelihood at risk by the possibility of blackmail. Priss Porter, generally disliked for turning her back on Prosper, Missouri, returns to the small town and demands Stella’s help in disposing of a body. If Stella refuses, Priss threatens to tell all how Stella’s “covert benevolent aid society” for abused women actually operates. When Priss and her brother disappear, Stella becomes a person of interest, forcing her to do her own sleuthing, all the while worrying about how her spirit-of-the-law tactics conflict with letter-of-the-law Goat....
A writer who can make tax code thrilling
Keir Graff writes: “It’s Day Three of Booklist’s Mystery Month and the raves just keep on coming. Today we hear from Sophie Littlefield, whose ass-whuppin, fiftyish Stella Hardesty is ‘a force to be reckoned with,’ according to our reviewer. The forthcoming installment in the series that began with A Bad Day for Sorry is next month’s A Bad Day for Scandal, reviewed above. Read on as Littlefield raves about Steve Ulfelder’s Purgatory Chasm, in which she had absolutely no interest . . . until she started reading.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, May 3
Desperately seeking DeSario: A real-life literary mystery
Daniel Kraus writes: “In 1990, I read a novel called Sanctuary, by Joseph P. DeSario (Doubleday, 1989). Don’t bother looking it up—you won’t find anything. I plucked it from a paperback rack in Iowa so that I’d have something to read while our family made its annual five-hour haul to Grandpa’s farm. As a young Stephen King fan, I thought the machete on the cover had just enough blood on it, and that Chicago Tribune blurb didn’t hurt, either: ‘Violent, exciting, and quite satisfying!’ The delirious plotline ends up involving a mutilated corpse strapped to a metal cot in the middle of the desert, an alcoholic baseball scout, fanatical Christians, brutal torturers, and Mayan prophesies. DeSario also wrote Limbo (1987) and Crusade: Undercover against the Mafia and KGB (1993), but he had clearly stopped putting out books since then; the world, if it ever cared, stopped caring. Then recently I found myself at the Seven Brothers Restaurant and Pancake House in Morton Grove, Illinois, shaking hands with the Joseph P. DeSario. My first impression was that he sure came off like a thriller writer: dark-haired, goateed, black-jacketed, and possessed of several attributes befitting an undercover cop.” Watch the Booklist interview (2:23) with DeSario....
Booklist feature, May 1
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Louisiana State Museum
New Orleans’s most prominent heritage attraction is the Louisiana State Museum, a complex of national landmarks housing thousands of artifacts and works of art reflecting Louisiana’s legacy of historic events and cultural diversity. The museum operates five properties in the French Quarter: the Cabildo, Presbytere, 1850 House, Old U.S. Mint, and Madame John’s Legacy. An exhibit on “Living with Hurricanes” enables visitors to understand Hurricane Katrina’s impact on Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and the nation....
Louisiana State Museum
New Orleans streetcars
Getting around New Orleans by streetcar is a great way to see the city. There are three different lines: St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront, each of which originates downtown but takes you to different parts of the city. One-way fares are $1.25 and can be paid with exact change when you board. One, 3-, and 5-day unlimited ride passes are also available. Watch the streetcar video (1:04)....
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
The Mississippi River
Every visitor to the city ought to take at least a short stroll on the Mississippi River levee, for without it there would be no New Orleans. The river has shaped the geography of a huge part of the U.S., and it has factored in much of the country’s history as well. The levee is good for a stretch of the legs. You can also get out on the water by hopping aboard the Canal Street Ferry or a steamboat river cruise. New Orleans Public Library has an online exhibition about the river, and About.com has some suggestions for a walking tour....
Lonely Planet; New Orleans Public Library; About.com
Snowballs in the summer
Kathy Price-Robinson writes: “I’m on a quest to find the best snowball in a city filled with stands. Don’t mistake a snowball for a snow cone. The former is soft like powder snow, the latter crunchy like hard pack. Fluffy snowballs are served with a straw and a spoon and brim with vividly flavored syrups with names such as wedding cake, hurricane, and nectar.” Two of the most popular stands are Hansen’s Sno-Bliz (4801 Tchoupitoulas) and Beaucoup Juice (4719 Freret). “In New Orleans, you can get killed if you call it a snow cone,” said Dylan Williams of Beaucoup Juice. Here’s how it all started (3:49)....
Los Angeles Times, July 30, 2009; New York Times, June 15, 2010; Louisiana Farm Bureau, May 22, 2009
Susan Ballard elected AASL president
Susan D. Ballard (right), director of library media and technology for the Londonderry (N.H.) School District, has been elected AASL president for 2012-2013. She has served as the chair of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force since its inception in 2008, and was recently appointed to the editorial board for AASL’s professional journal, Knowledge Quest....
AASL, Apr. 29
Carolyn S. Brodie elected ALSC president
Carolyn S. Brodie (right), professor at the Kent (Ohio) State University School of Library and Information Science, has been elected ALSC president for 2012–2013. She is currently serving a second term on the ALSC Board of Directors and has been a member of several ALSC committees, including the Newbery (2000 chair) and Caldecott, among others....
ALSC, May 2
Jack Martin elected YALSA president
YALSA members selected Jack Martin (right) as their division president for 2012–2013. Martin, assistant director for public programs and lifelong learning for children, teens, and families at the New York Public Library, defeated Mary Hastler, YALSA’s current fiscal officer and director of the Harford County (Md.) Public Library. Full results for the YALSA election can be found on its website....
YALSA, Apr. 29
Steven Bell elected ACRL president
Steven J. Bell (right), associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University, has been elected ACRL president for 2012–2013. Bell has served as cochair of the 2011 ACRL President’s Program Planning Committee, cochair of the ACRL 2011 Conference Keynote Speaker Committee, and chair of the ACRL Appointments Committee....
ACRL, May 3
Eva Poole elected PLA president
Eva Poole (right), director of libraries for the Denton (Tex.) Public Library, has been elected PLA president for 2012–2013. Poole has held leadership positions in public and community college library settings over the past 30 years. She has been a member of PLA and ALA since 1991, serving on numerous PLA, LLAMA, and ALA committees....
PLA, May 3
Pat Hawthorne elected LLAMA president
Pat Hawthorne (right), director of research and learning services for the Albert B. Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos, has been elected LLAMA president for 2012–2013. She served as chair of the LLAMA Human Resources Section in 2006–2007. Hawthorne previously served as Director of Library Human Resources for the UCLA Library from 2002 to 2010....
LLAMA, May 3
Stacey Aldrich elected ASCLA president
Stacey A. Aldrich (right), state librarian of California, has been elected ASCLA president for 2012–2013. A longtime member of ASCLA, she has been an active member of the Maryland and California library associations, serving on committees with both. In 1995, she received special recognition from the Maryland Library Association for her work on the SAILOR project, a statewide network....
ASCLA, May 3
Zoe Stewart-Marshall elected LITA president
Zoe Stewart-Marshall (right), assistant director for user services development at OhioLINK, has been elected LITA president for 2012–2013. She has served as chair of the 2009 LITA National Forum Planning Committee, the LITA Electronic Resources Management Interest Group, and the LITA Web Policy Taskforce....
LITA Blog, Apr. 29
Gale Guidry Griffin elected ALTAFF president
Gail Guidry Griffin (right), trustee at Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been elected ALTAFF president for 2012–2013. Griffin chaired ALTAFF’s Public Library Association Conference Committee and is serving as cochair of the division’s Legislation, Advocacy, and Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Awards Committee....
ALTAFF, May 3
31 days of Teens’ Top Ten
Sarah Debraski writes: “Welcome to 31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten, a teen choice list where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Each day during the month of May, The Hub will feature a post about the books on the list. Be sure to check in daily as we visit past winners and current nominees.” On May 2, Ted Anderson compared the TTT with the earlier Best Books for Young Adults list....
The Hub, May 1, 2
Every Child Ready to Read toolkit
ALSC and PLA have announced the opening of advance sales for Every Child Ready to Read @ your library, 2nd ed., at the ALA Store. The product is scheduled to be available in June. The ECRR program provides public libraries and other early literacy centers with tools to help prepare parents and caregivers for their critical roles as their child’s first teacher. The toolkit includes a series of customizable workshops....
ALSC, May 3
YALSA’s May YA Forum in ALA Connect
YALSA is hosting its monthly YA Forum discussion this week on “Defending and Stretching Your Budget” in its space in ALA Connect. Throughout the week, YALSA members are encouraged to check in to the discussion forum and ask questions and contribute to the ongoing discussion. The forum will close at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on May 6. You must be a YALSA member to participate....
YALSA, May 3
RUSA teaches spatial literacy and online mapping
“Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping,” a new online course offered by RUSA, is now open for registration and will be offered May 16–June 3. Participants will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and discover its social uses beyond simple cartography. Online registration is available through May 12, with significant cost savings for RUSA members....
RUSA, May 3
ACRL adopts new Plan for Excellence
The ACRL board of directors has adopted a new Plan for Excellence (PDF file) for the division. Developed over the course of the past year with continuous input from the ACRL membership, the Plan for Excellence takes the place of ACRL’s current strategic plan, “Charting Our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020.” The Plan for Excellence will become effective July 1....
ACRL, May 3
RBML online archives now available
Complete backfiles of Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship, the predecessor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, are now available online. ACRL received a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to assist in making volumes 1–12 (1986–1997) available through the HighWire Press platform, completing the publication’s online archive....
ACRL Insider, Apr. 27
ALTAFF Gala Author Tea
ALTAFF will host its Gala Author Tea on June 27 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The event will feature Eleanor Brown, Nevada Barr, Dorothea Benton Frank, Amanda Kyle Williams, Susan Wiggs, and Elizabeth Wiggs Maas, as well as special guest Karin Slaughter. It is sponsored by ReferenceUSA, which will provide all attendees with a free tote bag....
ALTAFF, May 3
ALCTS preconferences in New Orleans
ALCTS is offering three exciting and informative preconferences June 24 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans: on LC genre and form terms, patron-driven acquisitions, and the RDA Toolkit. You can register by going to the ALA Annual Conference website....
ALCTS, May 3
OCLC and Learning Round Table to offer online conference
WebJunction, OCLC’s online learning community for library staff, and the ALA Learning Round Table, which promotes quality continuing education for all library personnel, will team up to offer a free, online learning and training conference August 10–11. The conference will be hosted using WebEx, which will provide attendees with easy online access to all live sessions and the ability to interact. Registration will open by June 1. Jay Turner (above), a leader in developing creative e-learning solutions for libraries, will serve as keynote speaker....
OCLC, May 3; ALA Learning, May 4
Yohannes Gebregeorgis named ALA Honorary Member
Yohannes Gebregeorgis was elected to honorary ALA membership by the ALA Council at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Gebregeorgis was nominated in recognition of his founding Ethiopia Reads, a nonprofit organization that is establishing children’s libraries in Ethiopia. Honorary Membership, ALA’s highest honor, is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship....
Office of ALA Governance, May 3
ALTAFF 2011 Public Service Award
ALTAFF will award its 2011 Public Service Award to Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., on May 9. In 2009, Congressman Grijalva introduced the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, better known as the SKILLs Act, which would establish a goal of having not less than one highly qualified school library media specialist in each public school....
ALTAFF, May 3
Three schools win National School Library Program of the Year
AASL has named three winners of the 2011 National School Library Program of the Year Award: the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas; Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse, New York; and Henrico County (Va.) Public Schools. Sponsored by Follett Library Resources, the NSLPY recognizes school library programs that meet the needs of the changing school and library environment and are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum. Each recipient is recognized with a crystal obelisk (above) and $10,000 for their school library program....
AASL, Apr. 29, May 2
Picturing America travel stipends
The National Endowment for the Humanities and the ALA Public Programs Office announced that five public libraries will receive travel stipends to present exceptional public program models at the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Representatives from all five libraries will present their ideas at a program titled “NEH’s Picturing America: Model Programs for Public Libraries,” to be held June 26....
Public Programs Office, May 3
Watch the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture online
The 2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring author Lois Lowry is now available online on HEC-TV (1:31:37). The St. Louis Higher Education Channel provided the live coverage and the headquarters branch of the St. Louis County Library hosted the April 15 event....
HEC-TV, Apr. 15
Nominate your favorite library blog
Carolyn Foote writes: “Do you have some go-to library blogs? The Salem Press Blog Awards, started last year, gives you an opportunity to credit the bloggers you rely upon and value. Nominations can be submitted until May 13 by emailing Salem Press with the link of the blog and a brief summary. Once the judging is completed and finalists are selected (the judges are all librarians), the list of blogs will be open for voting.”...
Not So Distant Future, May 1
Louise Penny wins fourth Agatha Award
The Agatha Awards, given to books that best exemplify the Agatha Christie tradition (no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence) were announced April 30. Canadian author Louise Penny picked up her fourth for Bury Your Dead, giving her Armand Gamache the most Agathas ever for books in a single series. Sarah Smith’s The Other Side of Dark won in the Best Children’s or Young Adult category....
Early Word: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, May 2
Hamilton wins another Edgar Award
Michigan author Steve Hamilton won his second Edgar Award on April 28 for The Lock Artist (Minotaur/Thomas Dunne). It features an unreliable narrator—an 18-year-old boy rendered mute by a childhood trauma with a natural ability to crack safes. Dori Hillestad Butler won in the Best Juvenile category for The Buddy Files: The Case for the Lost Boy (Albert Whitman), and Charlie Price won the Best YA Novel award for The Interrogation of Gabriel James (Farrar Straus Giroux)....
Early Word: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Apr. 29
2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards
The Children’s Book Council announced the winners of its fourth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards at a May 2 gala in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week, May 2–8. Rick Riordan was chosen Author of the Year for The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1), and David Wiesner was selected Illustrator of the Year for Art and Max. The awards program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them....
Children’s Book Council, May 2
California Young Reader Medals
The California Young Reader Medal program has announced the winners of its 2010–2011 awards. Sponsored by the California Library Association, the California School Library Association, and two other groups, the medals encourage recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of the state. The winners include Carmen Agra Deedy’s Martina the Beautiful Cockroach (in the Primary category) and Robert Paul Weston’s Zorgamazoo (in the Intermediate category)....
California Young Reader Medal, May 1
Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2010
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were awarded April 29 in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building. Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer-winning novel A Visit From the Goon Squad; Michael Lewis’s The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, which tells the story of savvy investors who foresaw the financial meltdown and cashed in on it; and Thomas Powers’s The Killing of Crazy Horse, about the (accidental?) murder of the Lakota leader in 1877, were among the winners....
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
2011 Best Translated Book Awards
The winning titles and translators for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards were announced April 29 at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. In poetry, Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry, took the top honor. In fiction, the award went to Thomas Teal’s translation from the Swedish of Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver....
Publishing Perspectives, Apr. 29
Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature
Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott has won the first OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for his 14th book of poetry, White Egrets. The award was announced April 30 in Port of Spain as the highlight of the inaugural Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago. This new $10,000 award is the first major Caribbean prize recognizing outstanding Caribbean writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction....
Trinidad Express, Apr. 30
Google, Apple face lawsuits over smartphone location tracking
Google and Apple have both been in the news lately over details of how both companies’ mobile operating systems store and transmit geolocation data. Following a class-action suit brought by two Tampa men targeting Apple over alleged user tracking, Google is facing a similar class-action lawsuit filed in Detroit April 27. In late April it was revealed that iOS devices cache a large amount of location data in a file that is backed up to users’ computers. The file is hidden from normal access on iPhones and iPads, but is unencrypted....
Wired: Epicenter, May 1; Ars Technica, Apr. 20, 25
Smartphone spying reality check
Ian Paul and Brent Rose write: “If you own a smartphone and download popular apps, the odds are good that your smartphone knows more about your day-to-day travels than your spouse does. With so much alleged spying going on, it’s hard to focus on the most important question: Should you care? Here’s a breakdown of what smartphone manufacturers, Microsoft, and some app developers are doing with your phone’s location data.”...
PC World, May 3
Moves to end (and save) an important library service
Librarians in the Garden State are up in arms about the sunsetting of the 24/7 virtual reference service QandANJ.org. Julie Strange writes: “You only have to look at librarian and customer comments to see the immense value this service has,” and refers readers to Peter Bromberg, who has begun a Save QandANJ.org page. Questioning a fact sheet from the New Jersey State Library stating that the decision was based on the documented priorities of New Jersey librarians, New Jersey Library Association is calling for NJSL “to hold an open meeting . . . to discuss the allocation of all state and federal funding.”...
Strange Librarian, Apr. 28; New Jersey State Library, Apr. 28; New Jersey Library Association, Apr. 30;
Library leaflet lawsuits filed
The North State Tea Party Alliance and the ACLU of Northern California filed separate lawsuits April 29 against the city of Redding, California, and the city council, each claiming the Municipal Library’s new leafleting policy is unconstitutional and should be overturned. The lawsuits came after the city council, acting as the Redding Municipal Library Board of Trustees, voted 4–1 April 18 to allow leafleting at the main library entrance with some restrictions, one of which is prohibiting pamphleteers from harassing people entering or leaving the library....
Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, Apr. 29
Elgin trustee banned from another library
A Gail Borden Public Library trustee has been banned from Elgin (Ill.) Community College, the third Elgin institution to oust him in recent months, including the library he serves. Randy Hopp (right) is also facing unrelated misdemeanor domestic-battery charges, but thus far has not heeded calls for his resignation. The trustee’s ejection from Elgin Community College in April stemmed from a series of run-ins with campus police dating to February 2010....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 29
Concealed weapons bill prompts library gun ban
In response to a bill making its way through the state legislature that would allow Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons, the Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library has banned firearms from the library’s premises. Although House Bill 148, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), prohibits guns in schools and libraries, it also allows libraries to pass rules that specifically override that ban. This gave library officials pause, Library Director Christopher Bowen said....
Downers Grove (Ill.) TribLocal, May 2
Ohioans approve 95% of library levies
Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved public library issues on the May 3 primary election ballot: Sixteen of the 17 library issues were successful. Overall, six of the seven new library levies passed, as well as one additional levy, five renewal levies, three replacement levies, and one replacement/additional levy. Public library officials in Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson had explained to constituents that the levies would restore hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in state aid since 2007, with another 5% cut possible this year....
Ohio Library Council, May 4; Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, May 4
Oregon State Librarian protests school library cuts
Librarians and library supporters, including Oregon State Librarian Jim Scheppke (right), turned out in force May 3 to testify at a Salem-Keizer School District Budget Committee hearing where officials were weighing whether to eliminate the entire school librarian staff. Scheppke pointed to a grim statistic: Only one in three Oregon 10th-graders reads at grade level. “You will make the problem much worse if you eliminate librarians from our elementary and middle schools,” he said....
Salem (Oreg.) Statesman-Journal, May 4
Detroit library may close fewer branches
The Detroit Public Library may close only 10 neighborhood branches this summer, instead of as many as 18 originally proposed. On April 28, commissioners said they’d rather spend more of the system’s $16-million rainy-day fund than take the drastic step of closing most of the library’s 23 neighborhood branches. Library administrators, however, recommended 15 closures, saying it was necessary to correct the system’s financial problems....
Detroit News, Apr. 29
102-year-old honored for library service
For more than 40 years and 10,000 hours, Harold Weary has been a Mount Prospect (Ill.) Public Library volunteer, assisting both the board and staff. Recently, the 102-year-old Mount Prospect resident was nominated for the library’s Founder’s Award. Weary began as a volunteer financial advisor for the board in 1968, helping with the annual levy, audit preparation, and monthly financial reports. Only a few years ago did he decrease his assistance with library financials....
Mount Prospect (Ill.) Journal and Topics, Apr. 30
A tasty, green fundraising idea
A green kitchen, a do-it-yourself cottage-style kitchen with a contemporary feel, and the family-style kitchen of a nationally-syndicated Jewish food columnist and cookbook author were among the nine renovated kitchens featured in “Recipe for Renovation,” the Ardmore (Pa.) Free Library’s 6th Annual Kitchen Tour held May 1. The tour, which offered tastings in some of the homes, is a fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting library operations....
Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood (Pa.) Patch, May 2
A lifetime of automobilia finds a new home
Mark Patrick has his hands full. As the librarian and archivist at the Collier Collection in Naples, Florida, he and his small staff face the daunting task of sorting through the 7,000 automotive books and 300,000 photographs and files that the Collier bought from prolific author, journalist, and former auto executive Karl Ludvigsen. The trove arrived in March from Ludvigsen’s home in Hawkedon, Suffolk, England. The Collier, a private research library and tightly curated collection of about 100 automobiles, is operated by the Revs Institute for Automotive Research....
New York Times: Wheels, Apr. 28
Don’t close the book on libraries
Author and History channel host Brad Meltzer writes: “In my Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, my life was changed. Enlarged. Yes, I can now say it helped me become an author. But what was far more important was that it helped expand the way I viewed the world. There were suddenly places to go, adventures to be had. And that’s why I worry that the more than 68% of our population who hold library cards may lose their opportunity to take advantage of free library resources.”...
Miami Herald, May 1
The secret life of libraries
Bella Bathurst writes: “There are 4,500 public libraries in Britain, as well as almost 1,000 national and academic libraries. As local authority budgets are reduced by the government’s cuts, up to 500 libraries around the country will have to close. Librarians are up in arms. But the cuts also underscore a deeper confusion about what libraries are: what they do, whom they serve, and—in an age where the notion of books itself seems mortally flawed—why we still need them.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), May 1
Go back to the Top
Google Docs app for Android
Jason Griffey writes: “The newly released Google Docs app for Android smartphones and tablets has more than just editing and viewing documents up its sleeve. It also allows you to snap a picture of a page of text with the camera on your device, and it will OCR and convert it to an editable document. This takes us one step closer to being able to do interlibrary loan from a cellphone.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Apr. 27
Delicious has a new home
Brian Herzog writes: “Big news: Delicious has been sold, and the new owners sound great. This announcement came April 27 (along with an email to every Delicious user), but it hasn’t made much of a splash. The new owner, AVOS (the guys who founded YouTube), is apparently hiring staff, plans to work with the Delicious community, and intends to develop new features. Delicious users have until July 2011 to opt-in to transitioning to the new platform.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, May 3; Washington Post: Faster Forward, Apr. 27
13 Windows key tricks
Michael Muchmore writes: “For most people, the Windows key (the one with the flag on it) just sits neglected on the keyboard. Using the Windows key in Vista while successively pressing the Tab key displays the Aero Flip 3-D view of your windows flying by in mid-screen (right). But the Windows key does a lot more than this fancy scrolling. Windows 7 added a new way to hide all windows at once to reveal the desktop that involves moving the mouse pointer all the way down to the lower-right-hand corner of your screen. According to Windows Help, there are a whopping 30 uses for this key.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 27
Feedly corrals your RSS and Twitter feeds
Want to follow too much news and get too much information, but have too little time? Then you want the free Firefox add-in Feedly, which lets you assemble your own personalized online newspaper from countless information sources across the web. To get the latest info, just head to your personal Feedly page, and it’s all there, waiting for you, gathered via RSS and Twitter feeds. There is also a Feedly Mobile 2.0 app....
PC World, May 4; GigaOm, May 3
Recover lost, damaged, or deleted files with Rucuva
Rick Broida writes: “If you’ve ever lost personal data—photos, documents, or whatever—you know how devastating this can be. Local data-recovery services often start at around $200. Piriform’s free Recuva utility for Windows was created expressly to ‘recuva’ (get it?) lost, deleted, or damaged files. Interestingly, the program tagged roughly half the discovered files as unrecoverable—but then somehow recovered them anyway.”...
CNET News: The Cheapskate, May 4; BNET, May 3
ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Early Bird rates end May 4. Advance registration rates are in effect through May 13.
AL Direct readers: For a limited time get 50% off a new subscription to Booklist Online. Just fill out the subscription form and enter “ALDirect” in the Promotion Code by May 31. Click here to start. NEW! From Booklist.
Great Libraries of the World
Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin. Founded in 1957 as a humanities research center by University Vice President Harry Huntt Ransom, the library’s major emphasis is the study of the literature and culture of the United States, Great Britain, and France. The center offers scholars the opportunity to examine such rare items as 13th-century Italian verse, early map renderings of the moon, European broadsides, 17th-century English dramatic poetry, early examples of microphotography, avant-garde theater design, modern French musical composition, literary portraiture, the art of caricature, censorship in Hollywood, and the work of contemporary African novelists.
Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist church members with their family history research, this facility is the largest public genealogical library in the world. The current building opened in 1985. Staff and volunteers assist patrons with family history work, including reading and translating genealogically relevant documents in 30 languages. The library is in the process of digitizing and indexing its entire collection of 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records.
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.
Head, Mansfield Library, University of Montana College of Technology, Missoula. Provide operational leadership of the library; manage collections; ensure effectiveness in use of space, furnishings, and equipment; supervise staff; provide instruction on effective use of the UM Library collections, services, and methodology; serve as a member as appropriate of COT curriculum and planning committees; and provide liaison responsibility to Mansfield Library at the University of Montana-Missoula....
Digital Library of the Week
The Westchester County (N.Y.) Archives Digital Collections were launched in April 2011 to provide widespread digital access to the unique public records stored in its archival vaults. More than 9,000 historical photographs and maps from the county’s extensive archives are now accessible, thanks to a New York State Archives’ Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant and several years’ worth of work by staff, project archivists, volunteers, and IT personnel. The collections include County Clerk maps, Park Commission photographs, Parks Department lantern slides, and 1927–1941 photos of the Playland Amusement Park in Rye.
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.
“What a school thinks about a library is a measure of what it thinks about education. The school which sees education as something which it does to students will have a small, well-patrolled, attractive, and unused library. But the school which thinks of education as something which it helps students to do for themselves will have a large, actively used library in which the kids are moving about, learning from books and from each other, and creating an atmosphere of people in pursuit of something.”
—U.S. Commissioner of Education Harold Howe II, in an interview, “On Libraries and Learning,” School Library Journal, Feb. 1967, pp. 27–30.
“Marylebone has particular cause to be vigilant; it has the unusual distinction of being one of the few libraries in Britain where someone has actually died. Edgar Lustgarten was well-known as a TV personality during the 50s and 60s. He presented an early version of Crimewatch, talking the viewers through the topical murder- mysteries of the day. On 15 December 1978, he went to the library as usual and was found some time later, dead at his desk. What had he been doing? ‘Reading the Spectator.’”
—Bella Bathurst, “The Secret Life of Libraries,” The Guardian (U.K.), May 1.
Choose Privacy Week, May 1–7, at:
New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Long Branch, May 2–4, at:
Florida Library Association, Annual Conference, Orlando, May 4–6, at:
LOEX Annual Conference, Fort Worth, May 5–7, at:
American Library Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23–28, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Society for Imaging Science and Technology, Archiving Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nebraska Book Festival, Nebraska History Museum, Lincoln. “Cultivating Creativity.”
Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives, Annual Conference, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec. “Map Libraries and Archives: The Future Is Now!”
Northeast Florida Library Information Network, Technology Conference, Embassy Suites Hotel, Jacksonville.
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Embassy Row Hotel, Washington, D.C. “Library Resources . . . A Capital Idea!”
Transborder Library Forum / Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin. “Rethinking Library and Information Issues in Hard Times.”
International Association of School Librarianship, Annual Conference, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. “School Libraries: Empowering the 21st Century Learner.”
Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Annual Conference, Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel, Frisco, Texas.
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