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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | May 11, 2011

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Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva encourages library advocates before they meet with congressional lawmakers. Photo by Lauren Ann DoniaLibrarians head for the Hill
Federal budget threats targeted at library programs did not deter the 361 National Library Legislative Day participants who came to Washington, D.C., May 9–10 to tell their library stories to their congressional delegations at the Capitol. “This is the time for LSTA to be robustly funded,” asserted Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz., right) in a briefing session during which he accepted ALTAFF’s 2011 Public Service Award. Read the briefing materials from ALA’s Office of Government Relations at the NLLD website and view the Flickr stream of this year’s activities....
American Libraries news, May 11

Virginia MathewsVirginia Mathews, children’s services champion
“As ambassador of library youth services to the world, Virginia Mathews continues to inspire new generations,” Carole Fiore said of Virginia Mathews (right) in 1995 on the occasion of her receiving ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award. Mathews, 86, who died May 7, navigated a decades-long career that bridged the worlds of publishing and library advocacy....
American Libraries news, May 11

Cover of Creating Policies for Results, by Sandra Nelson and June Garcia (ALA, 2003)Sample policies
Q. Can you direct me to one or two sites with sample library policies? I’ve just taken over our small public library and have convinced trustees we need to have policies newer than 25 years old. A. You should probably start with contacting the library development office of your state library. The staff in that office will help you with policies that build on the laws in your state. Next, review the Positions and Public Policy Statements approved by ALA Council. Finally, we’ve collected some links to online sources for library policies....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, May 11

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ALA News

A snapshot of Annual Conference
Jenny Levine writes: “Having just launched the second iteration of the Conference Scheduler in ALA Connect for the New Orleans conference, I can tell you that we’re down to just over 1,600 sessions. Some of the decrease comes from committees holding virtual meetings outside of conference, and some is from sections and round tables holding ‘all committee’ meetings where several groups meet in a big room at once. Having manhandled every one of those session records, I can definitively say that there is something for everyone at Annual.”...
ALA Marginalia, May 11

Nominating Commitee seeks candidates
The ALA 2012 Nominating Committee is soliciting nominees to run on the 2012 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president-elect and councilor-at-large. The committee will select two candidates to run for president-elect and no fewer than 50 candidates for the 33 at-large Council seats to be filled in the 2012 spring election. All potential nominees must complete the Potential Candidate Biographical Form and send their nominations no later than August 12 to any member of the 2012 committee....
Office of ALA Governance, May 9

Poster for The First GraderALA to promote The First Grader
ALA is partnering with National Geographic Entertainment to promote a new narrative feature film, The First Grader. The film will be highlighted through ALA’s advocacy website for the public,, where you can download a personizable poster to promote the film locally. It will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on May 13. ALA and National Geographic also encourage libraries to share their stories on the film’s Facebook page....
ALA Development Office, May 10

2011 Diversity and Outreach Fair
The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services has selected presentations for the 2011 Diversity and Outreach Fair, to be held June 25 in the Special Events Area in Hall J at the New Orleans Convention Center. The chosen presentations will highlight innovative and successful library outreach initiatives and programs during a poster session open to all ALA attendees at Annual Conference....
OLOS, May 9

Next steps for libraries and youth privacy
Frances Jacobson Harris writes: “At the close of the ALA Privacy and Youth conference held in March, participants were asked to gather in small groups to address next steps. We had spent time explicating the issues and airing our concerns. Now was the time to recommend action. Here are some of the themes that emerged from our discussions.”...
Privacy and Youth, May 6

Four in five librarians do not rock the vote
Andy Woodworth writes: “One in five. That’s how many ALA members voted in this year’s annual elections for positions ranging from President to Council. One in five is also the ratio of voters to nonvoters for the previous year’s election. To get some insight into this phenomena, Oleg Kagan has created a ALA Non-Voter’s Survey for the four in five members to fill out.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, May 8

Certification for three library assistant training programs
The ALA–Allied Professional Association has completed agreements with three Library Assistant Training programs that will allow their graduates to receive Library Support Staff Certification without having to further demonstrate their skills and knowledge. These programs are at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis; and Palomar College in San Marcos, California....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, May 10

Take the RDA Toolkit for a free spin
Informed decisions are typically better decisions. To insure that you are fully aware of all the features and benefits of RDA Toolkit and prepared to make the best possible decision for your institution, we are happy to offer the RDA Toolkit Free Trial. This offer includes one-time, 30-day access to RDA Toolkit and is available to everyone....
RDA Toolkit

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Cover of Death at the Chateau BremontFeatured review: Mystery
Longworth, M. L. Death at the Chateau Bremont. July 2011. 320p. Penguin, paperback (978-0-14-311952-4)
This first novel in a projected series has charm, wit, and Aix-en-Provence all going for it. Longworth’s voice is like a rich concoction of sparkling Dorothy Sayers and grounded Donna Leon. Its blending of aristocratic mystery and guide to Provençal wines, foods, habits, and Aix itself is delightful, and the old-fashioned plotline, with enticing clues nicely planted for the reader, returns refreshingly to the values of the genre’s golden age. A nobleman with a house in Aix and a crumbling chateau just outside the city falls to his death from a window. Enter the duo of Antoine Verlaque, the sexy chief magistrate of Aix, who, according to French law, must respond to and advise police on all suspicious deaths, and his ex-lover, law professor Marine Bonnet....

Graphic for Year's Best Crime NovelsThe year’s best crime novels
Bill Ott writes: “So what kind of a year has it been in crime fiction? There has been lots of genre bending, that’s for sure, with the distinctions between crime, horror, and urban fantasy becoming more and more fluid as the vampires, zombies, and shape-shifters jump from genre to genre like the former headmasters of Hogwarts strolling between paintings. Beyond that, though, mainstream crime writers have done what they always do: turn out superior work in a multitude of styles and degrees of light and dark.”...

Graphic for A Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to World War IIA hard-boiled gazetteer to World War II
Bill Ott writes: “In the last 10 to 15 years, we have seen a remarkable resurgence in mystery and espionage fiction set prior to and during WWII. Not that there haven’t been novels and mainstream movies about the war from 1945 onward, but there is something different about this latest flowering. These heroes are not noble idealists. What such writers as Alan Furst have done is to water down their heroes’ DNA with healthy doses of cynicism and ambiguity. We see heroes whose commitment is to individual rather than national values, even to hedonism rather than patriotism, yet who are pulled into the conflict anyway.”...

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

New Orleans Update

Shelves of pharmaceuticals in the New Orleans Pharmacy MuseumNew Orleans Pharmacy Museum
In the early 1800s, Louis Joseph Dufilho Jr. of New Orleans became America’s first licensed pharmacist. Today, Dufilho’s 1823 apothecary shop at 514 Chartres Street in the French Quarter houses the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. It is widely believed to be the largest and most diverse pharmaceutical collection in a single location in the United States, containing old patent medicines, books, and pharmaceutical equipment dating back as far as the early 1800s....
New Orleans Museums; Pharmacy Museum

Tremé VillaNew Orleans African American Museum
The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture, and History seeks to educate, preserve, interpret, and promote the contributions that people of African descent have made to the development of New Orleans and Louisiana culture. It is located at 1418 Governor Nicholls Street in the historic Tremé neighborhood, the oldest surviving black community in the United States, and housed in the Tremé Villa (right), built in 1828–1829. The museum offers tours of the district that include Congo Square, the Candle Light Lounge, and Tuba Fats Square....
New Orleans African American Museum

Poster for Ancestors of Congo Square exhibitionAncestors of Congo Square
The New Orleans Museum of Art is offering an exhibition of African art through July 17, “Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art.” The title is a nod to the historic Congo Square adjacent to the French Quarter in New Orleans, where African-American slaves would gather to socialize, make music, and dance in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dan Kershaw of the Metropolitan Museum of Art designed and installed the show, which will feature 100 of the most important of NOMA’s permanent collection of African artworks....
New Orleans Museum of Art

Screen shot from "ReShaping New Orleans"Reshaping New Orleans
Although it does not mention anything about the city’s libraries, this 30-minute news documentary produced by public television station WYES and broadcast shortly after the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, is an excellent summary of how New Orleans has emerged from the catastrophe. It covers the restructuring of the levee system, restoration of the coast, and the return of businesses to the city and surrounding parishes....
WYES-TV, New Orleans, Sept. 22, 2010

Bird Island in Audubon ParkAudubon Park
Site improvements made for the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884 (Louisiana’s first world’s fair) laid the foundation for this urban park. Bird Island sits in the center of Audubon Park Lagoon and houses one of the most prominent rookeries in the region. Hundreds of birds nest here every year—egrets, herons, cormorants, and anhingas. The rest of the park is an urban oasis offering vistas of ancient live oaks, a tranquil 1.8-mile jogging path, picnic shelters, playgrounds, tennis courts, and soccer fields....
Audubon Park

ECOSOL PowerStick USB portable chargerGadgets to ease the pains of travel
Travel technology has actually gotten better. As with most things electronic, products and services have gotten more powerful, smaller, and less expensive with the passage of time. Today’s travelers can carry far less than they used to even just a few years ago, thanks to combinations and innovations. Here are a few gadgets that can add a great deal to your travel experience while still keeping your baggage within carry-on restrictions....
New York Times, May 4

Division News

Paul CourantALCTS President’s Program features Paul Courant
Paul Courant (right), university librarian at the University of Michigan, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 ALCTS President’s Program June 27 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The economics of libraries will be the subject of his presentation, “Economic Reflections on Libraries.”...
ALCTS, May 9

Cover of Scholarly Practices, Participatory Design, and the eXtensible CatalogScholarly resources usage study
ACRL has published Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design, and the eXtensible Catalog, edited by Nancy Fried Foster, Katie Clark, Kornelia Tancheva, and Rebekah Kilzer. This new book examines the application of forward-thinking, collaborative, research and design principles to the software development process. Research findings informed the design and development of the eXtensible Catalog, a set of open-source applications that provides access to resources across a range of databases, metadata schemas, and standards....
ACRL, May 10

Sandra Hughes-HassellHughes-Hassell appointed JRLYA editor
YALSA has named Sandra Hughes-Hassell (right), professor and coordinator of the school library media program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as the editor of the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. She chairs the journal’s advisory board and will begin a three-year term on YALSA’s Board of Directors in June. JRLYA is an online, peer-reviewed, open access research journal that focuses on library service to young adults....
YALSA, May 10

Register for 2011 LITA National Forum
Registration is now open for the 2011 LITA National Forum, “Rivers of Data, Currents of Change,” to be held September 29–October 2 at the Hyatt Regency at The Arch in downtown St. Louis. Keynote sessions anchor the event and include speakers John Blyberg, Karen Coyle, and Barbara McGlamery. Registration is limited to 500 in order to preserve the advantages of a small conference....
LITA, May 10

PLA 2012 Conference graphicConverStations proposals for the 2012 PLA Conference
PLA is accepting ConverStations proposals for its 2012 Conference, to be held March 13–17, 2012, in Philadelphia. Applications may be submitted by an online form through July 15. ConverStations provide conference attendees with forums for discussion on timely, relevant topics for public library professionals. Facilitators are expected to briefly showcase model programs or innovative techniques, or report on projects or studies and stimulate discussion....
PLA, May 10

PLA Accidental Technology Trainer course
PLA is now accepting registrations for a second session of its popular “Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer” course. This four-week blended learning course begins August 1 and is designed for library professionals who have unexpectedly found themselves responsible for technology training at their library. Register by July 27....
PLA, May 10

ALTAFF cosponsors BookExpo America panel
ALTAFF and Algonquin Books will sponsor “From Writer to Reader,” a panel featuring author Naomi Benaron and her editor Kathy Pories, on May 26 at BookExpo America in New York. The panel will discuss the process of writing, editing, and publishing a prize-winning novel....
ALTAFF, May 10

ALTAFF advocacy programs at Annual Conference
will sponsor several programs focused on advocacy at the ALA Annual Conference on June 24–25, including “Nuts and Bolts for Trustees, Friends, and Foundations,” the Advocacy Institute Workshop “Boomers, Staff, and Students: Engaging the Many Voices of Advocacy,” and “How Louisiana Libraries Created New Beginnings.”...
ALTAFF, May 10

Día 101 webinar available from ALSC
ALSC’s archived webinar, “Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” is now available for purchase. Presented live on April 1, the webinar was taught by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, children’s librarian at the Seattle Public Library, and is now archived on the ALSC website....
ALSC, May 10

ALSC webinar on family programming
ALSC will host a May 13 webinar on “Family Programs on a Shoestring @ your library.” Taught by Angela Young, youth services librarian at the Lorain (Ohio) Public Library, the hour-long webinar helps librarians explore new ways to save money and still offer super library programs for the whole family....
ALSC, May 10

Round Table News

T-shirt quilt, 58.5” x 89”, coordinated by Jill Patterson, Orange County Library, California; quilted by Kelly Sattler, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MichiganBiblioquilts a highlight at ERT Silent Auction (PDF file)
The ALA Biblioquilters have contributed four quilts to this year’s Annual Conference Silent Auction, sponsored by the Exhibits Round Table, that benefits the Christopher J. Hoy Scholarship Fund. The ALA Biblioquilters began in 1998 at the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., when Connie Jo Ozinga and Nann Blaine Hilyard met by chance outside the convention center. The 14 quilts they have contributed to silent auctions from 2000 to 2010 have raised more than $3,500 for the Scholarship Fund....
Cognotes, Conference Preview issue, May, pp. 13, 19

Enter the NMRT video contest
Create and submit a short 1–3 minute video for new librarians who cannot attend the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, June 23–28, in New Orleans. Watch and vote for your fellow New Members Round Table members’ videos, and spread the word to all librarians you know. The entry deadline is May 30. Voting will take place June 7–15, and the winner will be announced June 25 online as well as in person at the NMRT reception....
NMRT, May 2


Alison Kenney2011 White House Conference Award
Alison Kenney (right), a business owner from Marblehead, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2011 White House Conference on Library and Information Services Award. The award, which is given to a nonlibrarian participating in National Library Legislative Day for the first time, covers hotel stay in addition to a $300 stipend to reduce the cost of attending the event. Kenney said her love of books, book club discussions, and the important place libraries have in the community has inspired her to be involved with local libraries....
ALA Office of Government Relations, May 5

Rose MosleyDave HargettHargett and Mosley win Trustee Citation awards
ALTAFF has named Dave Hargett (posthumously) and Rose Mosley the winners of the 2011 ALA Trustee Citation award. The citation honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. Hargett was a trustee for three years at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and Mosley is serving her fifth six-year term as trustee at the Maywood (Ill.) Public Library....
ALTAFF, May 10

Honorary membership nominations open
Nominations are being accepted for ALA honorary membership, the Association’s highest honor, which is bestowed on living citizens of any country whose contributions to librarianship or a closely related field are so outstanding that they are of significant and lasting importance to the whole field of library service. Members who wish to forward nominations must complete the online ALA honorary member nomination form and submit it by September 1....
Office of ALA Governance, May 10

Mara Degnan RojeskiMara Rojeski wins Nijhoff international study grant
Mara Degnan Rojeski (right), social sciences liaison librarian at Dickinson College, has been selected to receive the 2011 ACRL Western European Studies Section Coutts Nijhoff International West European Specialist Study Grant. The grant provides $3,000 to support a trip to Europe. Rojeski is working on a bibliography of the pamphlets of the Deutscher Fichte-Bund, a propaganda organization active in Hamburg, Germany from 1914–1941....
ACRL, May 9

Kent OliverKent Oliver honored with Liberty Bell Award
Kent Oliver (right), executive director of the Stark County (Ohio) District Library, was named the Stark County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award winner for 2011. The award, presented as part of the bar association’s Law Day celebration, is given to people who are not lawyers yet work to defend the Bill of Rights. Oliver has chaired the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and currently serves as president of the board of the Freedom to Read Foundation....
Massillon (Ohio) Independent, May 6

Laura Bush at Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School. Photo by the Dallas Independent School DistrictLaura Bush announces school library grants
Former First Lady Laura Bush announced May 5 that her foundation, which has provided more than $14 million in grants intended to fill school libraries with more and better books, is dispersing $1.1 million to 241 schools this year (PDF file). Bush made the announcement at Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School in Dallas in front of 30 schoolchildren and educators. The schools receiving the grants will get as much as $5,000 for their collections....
Dallas Observer: Unfair Park, May 6; Laura Bush Foundation

One cover of The InstructionsNYPL Young Lions Fiction Award
On May 9, author Adam Levin was named the winner of the New York Public Library’s 2011 Young Lions Fiction Award for The Instructions. The award, given each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories, includes a $10,000 prize. Levin’s 1,000-page title was released in November 2010 with three different covers. It tells the story of Gurion Maccabee, age 10: a lover, a fighter, a scholar, and a truly spectacular talker who was ejected from three Jewish day schools for acts of violence and messianic tendencies....
GalleyCat, May 10

Cover of The Wilding, by Benjamin PercySociety of Midland Authors Awards
The Society of Midland Authors presented its 2011 awards May 10 in Chicago, honoring its choices for the best books by Midwest authors in 2010. The winner in adult fiction was Benjamin Percy, The Wilding (Graywolf), although Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff was a runner-up with his The Price of Liberty (Severn House). The winner in adult nonfiction was Deborah Blum, The Poisoner’s Handbook (Penguin)....
Society of Midland Authors, May 4

Cover of Oaxaca al GustoJames Beard cookbook awards
Diana Kennedy’s Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy (University of Texas) was the best cookbook of 2010 according to the James Beard Foundation, which announced its awards May 6 at Espace in New York. Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking (1984) was placed in the Cookbook Hall of Fame. Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes (Ten Speed) by Mark Bitterman won in the Reference and Scholarship category....
Los Angeles Times: Daily Dish, May 6

Cover of Selling Hope2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards
The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize great books from the 70 SCBWI regions around the world. Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers. Selling Hope, by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, won in the Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri region....
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, May 3

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Seen Online

Libraries spared in Florida budget
For a second consecutive year, Florida legislators saved public libraries from the guillotine in the final round of budget debates. The Florida Senate’s original working budget contained no funding for the public library, while the House version provided for $17.7 million, a $3.5-million reduction from last budget year. In the final round of budget negotiations, lawmakers agreed to continue last year’s funding of $21.2 million, with an added $100,000. That funding level makes the state eligible for federal matching funds....
Panama City (Fla.) News Herald, May 5; Florida Library Association

Rockefeller introduces “do not track” bill
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on May 9 introduced an online “do not track” privacy bill that would allow consumers to block internet companies from following their activity on the web. The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 (PDF file) comes amid increased attention by lawmakers on creating privacy rules for the internet. The White House has called for such rules but has not supported a specific mandate that would block companies from tracking users. Privacy groups seem impressed with the bill, pointing out that the FTC has a good deal of flexibility in tailoring a persistent opt-out mechanism. The House had introduced a comparable draft bill (PDF file) May 6....
Washington Post: Post Tech, May 9; Ars Technica, May 10; Jurist: Paper Chase, May 8

Cover of The Perks of Being a WallflowerClarkstown keeps its Perks
The Clarkstown (N.Y.) Board of Education unanimously voted to keep The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky in the high school English curriculum, ending weeks of furious debate among community members. The controversy erupted in early February, when Aldo and Patricia DeVivo, parents of a Clarkstown High School North junior, contacted the district, saying they objected to their daughter being taught the book in class. They said they found the book morally and religiously reprehensible, and asked that it be removed from the curriculum and the libraries....
White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News,
May 5

Magnatune graphicAnn Arbor library signs digital music deal
Cory Doctorow writes: “The Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library has bought a bulk license to the Magnatune catalog of Creative Commons licensed music. The annual license fee of $10,000 goes to Magnatune and the musicians, and gives the library’s patrons the right to listen, download, and copy the music. Libraries are one of the last havens for DRM-crippled music, but Magnatune presents an alternative to the take-it-or-leave-it DRM deal the big labels demand.”...
Boing Boing, May 9

Minnesota Republican attacks Neil Gaiman’s fee
Author Neil Gaiman got caught in the midst of a legislative feud in early May when House Majority Leader Matt Dean singled out the $45,000 tax-funded payment Gaiman received as a speaking fee at Stillwater Junior High in April 2010 for a Twin Cities library Club Book event. Dean called him a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.” Dean sort of apologized after Gaiman took offense. Minnesota State House Republican committee chairman Dean Urdahl pushed to trim the same amount from the library system’s budget....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, May 7; Citypages: The Blotter, May 5

Washington State Law LibraryWashington State Law Library threatened
The 158-year-old Washington State Law Library in Olympia will close its doors if the state Senate budget for 2011–2013 becomes law. This should concern citizens because the law library is used by many people who are not lawyers but need to research legal issues affecting their lives. The Legislature reduced the library’s 2009–2011 budget consistent with the need for belt-tightening, but the Senate now proposes a level of funding that will not permit the library to retain even one librarian....
Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune, May 5

Pasadena libraries on shaky footings
None of the 10 library branches in Pasadena, California, meet the most current earthquake codes and the cost of upgrading the system would exceed the $59-million price tag to fix its fire stations, according to a city official. Pasadena Public Library Director Jan Sanders said that the newest branch was constructed more than 50 years ago, although they have undergone some cosmetic upgrades since the Northridge Earthquake in 1994....
Pasadena (Calif.) Star-News, May 9

Cover of the April 2007 issue of American Libraries, featuring Mary Dempsey and Mayor Richard M. DaleyMayor Daley’s lasting legacy
James Warren writes: “As the media marks the ‘lasts’ of Richard M. Daley’s dwindling mayoralty, it’s missed one that might best reflect a lasting legacy. On May 6, in the presence of a diverse and working-class crowd of 150 onlookers on the far northwest side of Chicago, the mayor opened the 57th and final branch library of his 22-year tenure. ‘No other mayor in the world has made this commitment to libraries,’ said Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey.”...
Chicago News Cooperative, May 10

ALA's The American Dream Starts @ your Library initiative is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and aids libraries helping immigrant populationsLibraries aid immigrants seeking citizenship
In libraries across Colorado, immigrants from dozens of countries, with the aid of a large contingent of volunteers, learn to read, write, and speak English and to navigate the byzantine regulations of the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Thousands, including Somalian refugees, Mexican farmworkers, and Serbian students, also gather in libraries each week to learn the more mundane tasks of being in a new country—sorting out bus schedules, applying for jobs, and filling out school forms....
Denver Post, May 10

Across the Midwest, shutting the local library
Niala Boodhoo reports: “What happens when your local library shuts its doors? That’s a question Midwestern towns from Evanston, Illinois, to Troy, Michigan, are asking as local libraries are targeted in budget cuts. I went to Northwest Indiana, where the Gary Library Board has just decided to close its main branch, to find out the impact on a local community.”...
Changing Gears, May 10

Josh HanagarneSalt Lake librarian winning his battle over Tourette’s
Josh Hanagarne (right) stalks into the back room of the buzzing Salt Lake Main Library on a gray, wet Tuesday afternoon. Hanagarne is massive; he stands 6-foot-8 and makes for the most unlikely of librarians. What may be the easiest to overlook is perhaps Hanagarne’s most important feature. He battles with Tourette’s Syndrome, a complicated disorder that starts within the inner workings of the brain, ending with a visible outward reaction, or tic. And he is now trying to share it with the estimated 100,000 people in America who suffer from this much-misunderstood disease....
Salt Lake City Deseret News, May 8

George Washington's 1757 small beer recipeGeorge Washington drank here
Even George Washington needed to take the edge off sometimes. The first president was a man of the people when it came to his drink of preference. His Notebook as a Virginia Colonel, dating from 1757, includes a handwritten recipe for “small beer.” That notebook, along with many of Washington’s other papers, is part of the New York Public Library’s collection. NYPL is joining with Shmaltz Brewing Co. to recreate a modern version of the porter to celebrate the Stephen A. Schwarzman building’s centennial....
Wall Street Journal, May 5

Books returned to Camden library after two centuries1790 book returned to Maine library
Heather Bilodeau, director of the Walsh History Center at the Camden (Maine) Public Library, recently received a package containing three well-used books two centuries old with an incredible story. They were found by Chuck Regan in Thousand Oaks, California, who retraced their journey from the “Cambden” library to a decaying flour barrel in a garage in Portland to his bookshelf in California, and hand-delivered them back to Maine. One of the books is Oliver Goldsmith’s History of England, from the Earliest Times to the Death of George II, vol. 1 (1790)....
Camden (Maine) Herald Gazette, May 10

South Carolina jail bans everything except bibles
Prisoners at the Berkeley County Detention Center in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, are being denied any reading material other than the Bible, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the policy on behalf of the monthly Prison Legal News last autumn. Last week a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to stand alongside Prison Legal News as a plaintiff in the lawsuit was granted by a federal judge, and the ACLU has now asked a federal judge to block enforcement of the policy....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 10

BART's Free2 Read & Ride stationBook lending station opens on BART
Bay Area Rapid Transit customers are now able to borrow a book on their way to their train at Millbrae Station, handed to them by the robotic arm of a new book-lending machine. BART and the Peninsula Library System of San Mateo County, California, unveiled a “Free2 Read and Ride” vending machine on the concourse level of the station during a ceremony on May 5. The device holds more than 300 books, mostly popular fiction and biographies, chosen by Peninsula librarians....
BART news, May 5; KQED-TV: News Fix, May 7

Mary Schellhammer, librarian at the destroyed Alberta Elementary School. Screen shot from WKRG-TV newscastTuscaloosa elementary school and library demolished
Classes had been cancelled at Alberta Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in preparation for the storm, so luckily no one was inside when the tornado hit the school the evening of April 27, completely destroying it. Librarian Mary Schellhammer (right) points to an empty space where her office, the storytime area, and the nonfiction books were located....
WKRG-TV, Mobile, Ala., May 4

This 1946 linocut print by Elizabeth Catlett titled "I have special reservations…," part of the Permanent Art Collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, comes from the artist's series The Negro WomanMiami-Dade Library’s unique art collection
In 1963, long before there was a thriving international art scene in South Florida, Margarita Cano—an exiled librarian and museum guide from Havana whose résumé included cataloging items at the island’s eclectic Napoleonic Museum—found work at the old Miami library in Bayfront Park. She began to tap players in South Florida’s fledgling art world with an enthusiastic pitch about libraries being perfect places to showcase art. Some 40 years later, the Miami-Dade Public Library System houses a distinguished Permanent Art Collection that tells the story of the region’s art history....
Miami Herald, May 7

Flash mob gets rowdy in Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island campus police escorted about 400 rowdy students from the crowded second floor of the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons on May 8 at about 10:30 p.m. Police said they believe the gathering, which began building an hour or so earlier, was organized through social media technology. URI officials decided to close the library for safety reasons at 11 p.m., affecting students who were there to study for final exams. The group’s creator, dubbed Laidback Luke, reportedly drew his inspiration from other college parties during finals week. The inevitable videos (12:37) have surfaced....
University of Rhode Island, May 9; YouTube, May 8; Narragansett (R.I.) Patch, May 9

Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library in Quezon City. Photo by Philippine StarChildren’s library opens in Manila
A nonprofit organization has opened a small library in Quezon City, Philippines, that aims to give poor kids in Metro Manila free use of books and research materials. A-Book-Saya Group founder Armand Nocum said he converted the large garage in his house into a Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (right) where thousands of children’s books and other textbooks are freely available. Two computers for internet use are also in the library....
Philippine Star (Manila), May 8

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Sort by subject in Google Images
Donald Tanguay writes: “Sorting by subject will be rolling out globally to nearly every domain and language over the next week. When you search for [London], by default you’ll see image results ranked by relevance. Click on ‘Sort by subject’ in the left-hand panel and you’ll see images organized into categories that will narrow down your search and help you find the exact image of London that you want.” Gary Price summarizes other Google and YouTube rollouts, including Google Music, news snippets, and Google Docs....
Official Google Blog, May 9; InfoDocket, May 10

Google's Project Tungsten demo at Google I/OGoogle wants Android to be the device hub
Google announced a collection of efforts to put its Android devices at the center of a host of electronically connected devices—everything from home lighting and irrigation systems to game controllers and keyboards. At the Google I/O show in San Francisco, it also revealed a small Android device called Project Tungsten that can connect to speakers and home stereo systems to stream music from Google’s new cloud-based music system. Touching a CD to a Tungsten device activates the music on a user’s cloud-based music library in about a second, and touching it again starts playing the music....
CNET News: Deep Tech, May 10

CSS Regions design example showing text wrapAdobe issues CSS web publishing prototype
Hoping to bring magazine-style layout tools to web publishing, Adobe Systems on May 9 released a prototype browser specifically designed to let web developers test the company’s proposed formatting technology. The technology, called CSS Regions, lets programmers easily create multicolumn layouts, place text in various polygonal shapes, and flow around objects in the middle of text. That technology has existed for years in print publishing, but it’s generally missing from the web, and its absence grows ever more conspicuous as magazines and newspapers move to digital publishing....
CNET News: Deep Tech, May 9

Mozilla P2PU School of Webcraft4 free ways to learn code online
Jolie O’Dell writes: “Learning to code is something every tech-minded person should try at least once—and the wealth of online courses, many of which are free or surprisingly inexpensive, make learning about programming easier than ever. If you’re thinking of picking up C++, Ruby on Rails, Python, or Java, these online options might be a good way to test the waters of programming before you fully invest your time and money in formal training.”...
Mashable, May 7

BuddyPress in higher education
Kyle Jones writes: “To support the online learning environment, higher-education institutions have typically chosen to implement one or two learning management systems on campus. Both Michael Stephens (Dominican University) and Kenley Neufeld (Santa Barbara City College) have been experimenting with alternative tools. In this discussion we explore how these two professors have implemented a WordPress/BuddyPress learning system for their students.”...
ALA TechSource blog, May 9

Wikitude's 3D browser view for the LG Optimus 3D smartphoneLG introduces 3D Augmented Reality
LG has announced the world’s first 3D Augmented Reality browser, but it will only be available on the LG Optimus 3D smartphone to begin with. It will probably roll out onto other 3D handsets later, once LG gets some models off the production lines. The Wikitude 3D browser shows places, landmarks, and objects in 3D, linking them to Wikipedia articles and Twitter information. Available mid-June from LG’s app store, the app will provide details on over 100 million locations....
Gizmodo, May 10

Top 10 fixes for the web’s most annoying problems
Adam Dachis writes: “The internet is wonderful, but it’s also a landfill for many annoying things. Here are our top 10 online annoyances and how you can fix them for a better browsing experience.” Included are fake online reviews, unhelpful search results, tedious forms and logins, and too many ads....
Lifehacker, May 7

Vudu displayA complete guide to all TV and movie downloading services
Michael Brown writes: “In this first installment of a three-part series, we’ll show you how new technology and video-on-demand services are transforming the idiot box into an internet appliance that enables us to watch TV whenever and wherever it’s convenient. Many new TVs are capable of tapping online VOD directly, but you don’t need a brand-new model to take advantage of these services. You can use any computer or buy an inexpensive networked media player that plugs into the TV you already own. You must have broadband internet access, though, and the faster the better.”...
Maximum Tech, May 9

Onavo data compression savingsiPhone compression app lets you get more for your data plan
Onavo, an iPhone and iPad application, can effectively double or even triple your data plan by compressing much of the data you use while surfing the web or using apps. The company says it can compress emails as much as 80–90%. The app also currently smushes web pages, app data, and Google maps—but not video—by downloading to your device through its cloud-based servers....
Wired: Epicenter, May 9

Twitter RSS feeds are still available
Gary Price writes: “It’s likely that you might have read that Twitter is no longer supporting RSS. That piece of info is inaccurate. Although direct links on a Twitter timeline page and autodetection are no longer available, it is still 100% possible (and easy) to access Twitter content in your RSS aggregator or wherever or however you access RSS. So, services like Twitterfeed and are also available as a way to distribute the material.”...
InfoDocket, May 9

Technology in 203625 ways IT will morph in the next 25 years
Carolyn Duffy Marsan writes: “Imagine a world where the computers, networks, and storage systems are all tens of thousands of times faster than they are today—and then think about the sci-fi type of applications that will be possible. That’s what you can expect to see in 2036. Experts say the overall pace of innovation in the IT industry will speed up, resulting in a mind-boggling array of developments in such areas as talking machines, 3D telepresence, and real-world robotics.”...
Network World, May 9

University of North Texas ad

Geico ad

San Jose State ad

New Orleans Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011. Peruse the Cognotes preview issue (PDF file), then go to the new Annual Conference Scheduler to plan your activities. Anyone can see the sessions, but only users with ALA Connect accounts (both members and nonmembers) can create schedules.

Cover of The Librarian As Information Consultant

Sarah Anne Murphy innovatively rethinks the philosophy behind current library reference services in The Librarian As Information Consultant, which rebrands reference librarianship on the model of a consulting business. NEW! From ALA Editions.

New this week
in American Libraries

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva encourages library advocates before they meet with congressional lawmakers. Photo by Lauren Ann Donia

National Library Legislative Day


Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Ask the ALA Librarian

Green Your Library

Librarian’s Library

Solutions and Services

AL Focus

National Library Legislative Day button

Email your elected officials about library issues through May 13.

Great Libraries of the World

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Presented as a gift to the town in 1871 by banker and industrialist Horace Fairbanks, the athenaeum is built in Second Empire style with a mansard roof, tall windows, and elaborate woodwork. The original library collection consisted of 9,000 finely bound books selected by noted bibliographer William Frederick Poole. In 1873, Fairbanks added an art gallery, now the oldest gallery still in its original form in the United States, the design of which was determined by the placement of an enormous 10 by 15–foot painting by Albert Bierstadt, The Domes of the Yosemite.

Seattle Public Library, Central Library. Photo by Jennifer Henderson

Seattle Central Library, Seattle, Washington. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Seattle architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, the new library opened its doors in 2004. The 11-floor facility has an unorthodox shape that consists of several discrete floating platforms seemingly wrapped in a large steel net around a glass skin. Its innovative features include a “books spiral” that displays the entire nonfiction collection in a continuous run through four stories, a towering “living room” for readers with a sloping glass wall that stretches 50 feet high, phosphorescent yellow escalators, first lines from books in many languages embedded in the floor at the front desk, and markers in the floor that indicate the call numbers.

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

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Catalog Librarian (Asian Languages), Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio. Performs original and copy cataloging in a variety of languages and formats using OCLC Connexion and Sirsi WorkFlows. Assigns LC and local classification. Requires fluency in at least one Asian language, preferably Chinese, and demonstrated skill in using the pinyin romanization system. ALA-accredited master’s degree required. Starting salary: $50,998.74....

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Digital Library of the Week

Sacajawea's Papoose Waltz, composed by Carrie McKee, 1902. Respectfully dedicated to the President of the Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair (1905). SCA OrColl 786.4 M194s

The University of Oregon Historic Sheet Music website provides a selection of more than 1,000 digital images from its collections of printed sheet music held by the Music Services Department and in the Oregon Collection of Special Collections and University Archives. Items currently available are the Oregon Music Collection, focusing on music by Oregonians or about Oregon events and places, and the Women Composers Collection, showing the strength of the collection in music by women composers.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Money quote of the day came from one of the attendees as we were talking about HarperCollins’ efforts to limit e-book checkouts: ‘Asking for more money from libraries right now is like kicking homeless people.’”

—Heard from an attendee at the Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference, May 2–3, as reported by Sarah Wendell in “I Learned a Lot from Librarians,” Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, May 5.

Seriously. Because you know who has too much money? Libraries! And because if the library closed, clearly these porn-watching people would go outside and do something wholesome. Doy. If only there weren’t libraries, our children would never, ever see a naked person until their wedding night.”

—Audrey Ference, commenting ironically in “Kids and Porn: Let’s Leave the Library out of This, OK?The L Magazine: The Measure, May 9.

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Mikey from the Life cereal commercials

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Summer Reading for Teens

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National Library Legislative Day, Washington, D.C., May 9–10, at:

African Library Summit 2011, Muldersdrift, South Africa, May 11–13, at:

Medical Library Association, Annual Conference, Minneapolis, May 13–18, at:

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

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


June 1–3:
Society for Scholarly Publishing,
Annual Meeting, Westin Copley Place, Boston. “It’s What Counts: How Data Transforms Our World.”

June 8–11:
American Theological Library Association, Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, Chicago. “Theological Block Party.”

June 9–10:
Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space in the Connected World,
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

June 13–16:
Association of Christian Librarians,
Conference, Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio. “Inspiring Greatness: The Library in the Academy.”

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

June 30–
July 1:

Fifth Bloomsbury Conference on E-publishing and E-publications, Department of Information Studies, University College London, London, United Kingdom. “Social Media and the Academy: Enhancing and Enabling Scholarly Communication.”

July 5–8:
European Association for Health Information and Libraries,
Workshop, Suna Kiraç Library, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. “Active Learning and Research Partners in Health.”

July 13:
Center for Research Libraries,
webinar on News Preservation and Access, 1–2 p.m. Central Time.

July 31–
Aug. 2
Ohio Library Support Staff Institute,
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

Sept. 15–18:
National Conference IV, Westin Denver Downtown, Denver, Colorado. “Elevating Latino Services to a Higher Level: Juntos in the Mile-High City.”

Sept. 22–24:
Seventh European Information Architecture Summit,
Prague Marriott Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic. Sponsored by American Society for Information Science and Technology’s European Chapter.

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Bookish logoA Bookish debut
Publishers have spent a lot of time and money building their own company websites with fresh information on their books and authors. The trouble is, very few book buyers visit them. Simon and Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette announced May 6 that they would create a new venture, called, which is expected to make its debut late this summer. The site intends to provide information for all things literary: suggestions on what books to buy, reviews of books, excerpts from books, and news about authors....
New York Times, May 6

Three more French publishers sue Google over scans
French publishers Albin Michel, Flammarion, and Gallimard are suing Google for having scanned 9,797 books without prior permission for its Google Book Search program. Lawyers for the three filed suit on May 6, and are demanding €1,000 per title in damages, bringing the total to nearly €9.8 million ($13.6 million U.S.). The per-title amount mirrors the December 2009 court award to the La Martinière group, which sued Google for the same reason....
The Bookseller, May 11

An e-book subscription model will emerge
Mike Shatzkin writes: “In the past week, Publishing Perspectives offered up a thoughtful piece by Javier Celaya speculating on a free subscription, ad-supported model for e-books like Spotify is for the music business. PP’s editor, Ed Nawotka, extended the speculation to a model of piecework sales—buying a book in chunks or chapters. Neither of those is what I have in mind. This article by John Konczal, building on what’s being done in the textbook business, comes closer.” Eric Hellman examines some other business models for open access e-books on his blog....
The Shatzkin Files, May 6; Publishing Perspectives, Apr. 5, May 3–4; Go to Hellman, May 8

Cover of Nobel Genes, by Rune Michaels, which is recommended reading for YAs coping with manic depression/bipolar disorder Promote positive mental health with ReachOut Reads
The Inspire USA Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind the youth mental-health site, has released ReachOut Reads, a list of recommended YA fiction titles dealing with a range of issues like depression and eating disorders. The goal of this campaign is to promote positive mental health in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month....
YALSA Blog, May 4

Cover of Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter OfficeCataloger pens his first post-apocalyptic novel
Nathan Poell, technical services librarian at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, has been cataloging books for Collins Library for nearly five years, and in April he had the opportunity to do the original cataloging on his first novel. Poell began writing Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office in November 2008 (as part of National Novel Writing Month), and was finally able to hold the finished publication April 4. After many rejection letters, he got a bite from Oscura Press in December 2009....
The Baker Orange, May 5

Cover of The Color of Love, by Kiyo Ueda, was one of the yaoi titles removed from the Kindle storeAmazon pulls yaoi from Kindle store
Yaoi manga is a niche genre, but it has a devoted following. Yaoi readers gobble up the books like romance fans read Harlequin novels, which is not surprising as they are basically the same thing, except that yaoi 1) is manga, 2) is a love story between two men, and 3) often includes lots of sex. Amazon has instructed at least one publisher to remove its yaoi books from the Kindle store, while allowing considerably more explicit male-female titles to remain....
Robot6, May 4

A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, bound by the Chelsea Bindery in LondonBound to be beautiful
Beth Carswell writes: “Bookbinding developed as an art and a craft to be respected and perfected. Master bookbinders closely guarded techniques and materials, and prided themselves on the beauty, durability, and uniqueness of their finished products. Binders had signature methods and experimented with materials such as gems and jewels, various metals, and different animal leathers. That pride and craftsmanship in bookbinding has survived into modern times. Here are just a few of the greats.”...
AbeBooks, May 10

Actions & Answers

Government surveillance skyrocketed in 2010
The Department of Justice has just released its annual report on its surveillance activities for 2010 (PDF file), including its use of secret court orders, National Security Letters (NSLs), and electronic and physical surveillance—and boy were they busy. The report disclosed a dramatic increase in surveillance of Americans between 2009 and 2010, and these statistics don’t even include surveillance conducted under the new FISA Amendments Act. The government more than quadrupled its use of secret court subpoenas....
ACLU Blog of Rights, May 9

The Smiler Rag, Victor Record, 1910, Walter B. Rogers and the Victor OrchestraLC launches National Jukebox
The Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment unveiled May 10 a new website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public for the first time digitally. The site is called the National Jukebox, and it offers free online access to a vast selection of music and spoken-word recordings produced in the U.S. between the years 1901 and 1925. The agreement grants LC usage rights to Sony Music’s entire pre-1925 catalog—including thousands of recordings produced by Columbia Records, OKeh, and Victor Talking Machine Company. The Los Angeles Times has an excellent backstory on how all this came about....
Library of Congress, May 10; Los Angeles Times, May 8

Ask Arne Duncan to support school libraries
Eve Gaus writes: “Take five minutes today to contact U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and encourage him to continue the $19.1-million funding for Improving Literacy through School Libraries. This program is critical in helping school librarians have access to books and technological resources, and is not currently funded in the FY11 budget. It is up to the Department of Education to decide whether to allocate the funding. The deadline for this budget is May 15.”...
YALSA Blog, May 9

Building a better branch manager
Ken Haycock writes: “How do you determine what makes a great branch manager? In 2009, Google set out to analyze performance reviews, feedback surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise, and complaints, and developed Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers. It would be interesting to undertake a systematic study of an urban library to see if their results would be any different from Google. Here is the list of eight good behaviors (rank ordered) as well as three common pitfalls of managers.”...
Library Leadership, May 10; New York Times, Mar. 12

23 studies find link between library spending and student learning
Debra E. Kachel, a professor in the School Library and Information Technologies Department at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and her graduate students examined school library impact studies, most done in the last decade, by 22 states and one Canadian province (Ontario). All found positive links between library support and learning. Their paper, “School Library Research Summarized,” was completed this spring for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association....
Newswise, May 2; Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Letter from Theodore Geisel to the children of Troy, Michigan, 1971Letters to Troy
Early in 1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart, children’s librarian at the newly opened Troy (Mich.) Public Library, wrote to a number of notable people requesting them to reply with a letter, addressed to the children of Troy, explaining the benefits of visiting the library. 97 of them did exactly that, including authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Theodore Geisel, and E. B. White. The letters have been posted on the library’s website....
Letters of Note, May 6

Author John Dos Passos requested Thomas Cheetham's The Life of Thomas Paine on March 4, 1939NYPL history as seen through famous users
Thomas G. Lannon writes: “The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts Stephen A. Schwarzman Building celebrates its 100th anniversary on May 23. One unique way to trace the history of the library is through call slips. In order to use books in the research collection, patrons request specific titles by filling out a call slip, which includes the following information: author, title, and call number. Not all call slips have been saved over the years, but some have been preserved for posterity. Here are their stories.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, May 2

Senate Appropriations Committee recordsLong-lost Senate records discovered by rare book dealer
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “If you have been wondering how the government was spending our money during the years 1879–1909 but have thus far been stymied in your efforts to get to the bottom of things, wonder no more. The handwritten ledgers of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee covering those years, bound into five volumes and AWOL for who knows how long, have been found by a Northern California rare book dealer. The ledgers are written almost exclusively in pen, with both black and red ink.”...
Booktryst, May 9

Older adults and readers’ advisory
Alicia Ahlvers writes: “Working with older adults can be one of the most rewarding customer interactions in the library. Apart from the preschool crowd, no other group is as openly appreciative when they receive the help they need. Many are living in a world designed for young people, and they also are often cut off from their support systems. The three distinct categories used to refer to older adults include the G.I. Generation, the Silent Generation, and the Baby Boomers, who are now retiring.”...
Reference and User Services Quarterly 45, no. 4 (Summer 2006): 305–12

After the retirement of the space shuttle, thousands of shuttle thermal protection system tiles will be available to eligible educational institutions. Credit: NASAGrab a piece of NASA history
Richard Byrne writes: “After more than 30 years, NASA is retiring the Space Shuttle program later this year. However, parts of the program can continue on in your library, school, or museum because NASA is distributing parts of shuttles and other space equipment to qualifying educational organizations. Included in the list of parts is more than 7,000 tiles from shuttle heat shields. Find out how to apply here.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, May 9; NASA

Best-selling author Elizabeth Berg reduced her fee for sticky toffee pudding and other delicaciesProgramming on a long, colorful shoestring
Colleen Leddy writes: “Planning interesting innovative programs on a limited budget is a daunting task, but with a dose of enthusiasm and a dab of ingenuity, it’s easier than you’d think. This story about how our tiny Stair Public Library in Morenci, Michigan, was able to host New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Berg (above) illustrates some of the major elements to keep in mind when planning programming on a shoestring budget. One little no-cost email resulted in one of our lowest-cost, but most satisfying and well-attended, programs.”...
Programming Librarian

How teens understand privacy
Danah Boyd writes: “In the fall, Alice Marwick and I went into the field to understand teens’ privacy attitudes and practices. We’ve blogged some of our thinking since then but we’re currently working on turning our thinking into a full-length article. We are lucky enough to be able to workshop our ideas at an upcoming scholarly meeting, but we also wanted to share our work-in-progress with the public. Visit Social Privacy in Networked Publics: Teens’ Attitudes, Practices, Strategies (PDF file)....
Apophenia, May 9

Blogs are not dead yet
Christina Pikas writes: “Various pundits have been heralding the death of the blog as a science communication medium for at least five years, probably longer. Blogs aren’t dead,and as far as I can tell, they are now in a revival period in which their true utility and value is becoming more obvious. This post was prompted by a post on Scholarly Kitchen in which the blogging scientist (or science-trained publisher) blogs about how scientists don’t blog (again).”...
Christina’s LIS Rant, May 7; Scholarly Kitchen, Apr. 27

My experiments with ads
David Lee King writes: “Why am I using ads on my blog? I started using ads as more of an experiment than anything—it was a part of the whole web thing that I wasn’t very familiar with. I held off for a long time, because I thought that putting ads on my blog would somehow water it down, or somehow feel like selling out, or some other nefarious deviant-like behavior. Then I realized I was being silly, and curiosity just got the best of me. So I jumped in.”...
David Lee King, May 5

Big Red Bikes at sunsetBike sharing comes to the academic library
Phil Davis writes: “At Cornell University, a new student-run bike-sharing program has arrived just in time for spring. Called Big Red Bikes, students can check out a bicycle and helmet at one of the library’s circulation desks. Like overdue books, those who don’t return their bikes are subject to hefty fines. Don’t get me wrong, I love biking, but library bike rentals just don’t evoke scholarship to me. Is it time to start peddling a different brand?”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, May 9

News content lifecycle, website formatPreserving news in the digital environment
Devising effective strategies for preserving news in the electronic environment requires an understanding of the lifecycle of news content. A new Center for Research Libraries report, Preserving News in the Digital Environment: Mapping the Newspaper Industry in Transition (PDF file), supported by the Library of Congress Office of Strategic Initiatives, outlines this lifecycle. This analysis offers the basis for a rational and effective strategy for libraries to preserve news in electronic formats....
Center for Research Libraries, May 6

Archiving the web for scholars
Steve Kolowich writes: “While archiving newspapers—flat, homogeneous, serialized—is relatively straightforward, websites present a more slippery challenge. They evolve more fluidly: New content is added, and other content disappears without a trace. But copying and archiving functioning replicas of every website that might have scholarly value is too great a task for any one university—least of all a handful of Columbia University library staffers working on a $716,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Columbia has bitten off a piece small enough to chew: 491 websites dedicated to the documentation of human rights efforts abroad.”...
Inside Higher Ed, May 6

What did the internet cost?
Elizabeth, an LIS student at the University of Iowa, writes: “Our beloved sadist, er, professor has asked us as a class to figure out how much the internet costs. All of it, globally, from the very beginning. The electricity it takes to run every server, every laptop. The salaries. The grants. The cost of every bit of fiber optic cable in the ground around the world.” So she asked Boing Boing readers to help with the answer, and now there are more than 220 comments....
Boing Boing, May 6

Typographic ChecklistA typographic checklist
Ilene Strizver writes: “In today’s digital world, most graphic designers find themselves doing their own typesetting. I always recommend that designers and students make a typographic checklist to help avoid committing type crimes, as well as to aid in finessing their typography. I’ve decided to create a checklist (PDF file) that covers issues I’m most frequently asked about in my workshops. You may find it useful to customize your own checklist from these topics.”...

Library at Hua Hin Train Station, Thailand. Photo by Richard BarrowThai train library
Richard Barrow writes: “If you ever find yourself waiting for a train at the station in Hua Hin, Thailand, then you might like to know that two train carriages in front of that station have been converted into a library. Hua Hin is already one of the most beautiful train stations in Thailand and this innovative use of old train carriages is really a great idea. The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”...
Thai Photo Blogs, May 9

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