|American Libraries Online
Joplin Public Library is safe amid post-tornado chaos
In the wake of the devastating May 22 tornado that destroyed as much as one-third of Joplin, Missouri, killed at least 123 people, and injured many more, Joplin Public Library Director Jacque Fish Gage reports that “the library received no damage. We are enough north of the storm area that our building is fine. Of our staff, eight completely lost homes. Two others sustained significant damage. Two employees sustained minor injuries—one girl a broken arm—one guy with thousands of abrasions on his back sustained when the place in which he took shelter collapsed.” The library opened with limited staff on May 23 to make its computer lab available for internet communications. Here are some ways to help the Joplin library staff and other tornado victims....
AL: Inside Scoop, May 23; Joplin (Mo.) Public Library Facebook page; Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library
ALA and library relief funds
As people continue to mourn the deaths of more than 500 people from this spring’s horrific tornados and assess the untold property damage in the South and Midwest, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels emailed ALA’s governing Council May 25 regarding the Association’s disaster-response plans at home. Meanwhile, the International Relations Office has set up web pages for donations to libraries in Japan, Haiti, and Chile that were affected by disasters....
AL: Inside Scoop, May 25
Google ends newspaper digitization project
Google emailed its newspaper partners May 19 to inform them that it would be discontinuing its effort to digitize the world’s newspaper archives and make them available online, according to the Search Engine Land blog. The project, which was started in 2008, has digitized material from about 2,000 newspapers. Existing content, about 60 million pages worth, will remain online and searchable, but Google will not scan any new submissions. Newspapers can extend content with their own digitization efforts, if they choose. Bob Huggins, former CEO and cofounder of PaperOfRecord.com, which Google bought in 2008, called Google’s decision to abandon the initiative “astonishing.”...
American Libraries news, May 24; Search Engine Land, May 20; Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, May 25
Reading for life: Oprah Winfrey
Leonard Kniffel writes: “‘I don’t believe in failure,’ Oprah Winfrey has said, and when you talk about celebrities who influence reading, who among them has had more of an impact on American reading habits than this extraordinary television talk-show host? The ways Oprah Winfrey has supported the programs, the mission, and the success of libraries in the United States are legion. Librarians have been connected to Oprah’s Book Club since its inception in 1996.”...
American Libraries feature
Next Steps: We never close
Brian Mathews writes: “Imagine that your library building is open 24/7 with no overnight staff or security gates. What if trusting patrons to abide by the honor system actually worked? That’s the reality at Marlboro (Vt.) College’s Rice-Aron Library, where an open-door policy has been in effect for decades. Another innovation is the library’s Research Bar (right), a former circulation desk converted into a critical interaction spot where faculty members teach classes and work with students on their assignments.”...
American Libraries column, May/June
American Libraries May/June issue
The American Libraries May/June issue is now in the mail, with features on not-to-miss events at the ALA Annual Conference, Oprah Winfrey’s lifelong love of books and libraries, lessons in library advocacy from the 1991 Rally for America’s Libraries, using Facebook to connect with your library’s community, successful learning communities for library staff, the 2011 John Cotton Dana Award winners, a New Orleans dining guide, and much more. Read the issue online now....
Q. Are there stand-alone libraries serving children (other than those in schools, that is)? A. We know of eight administered by public libraries, one at an academic institution, and one at a university medical center. The oldest is the Children’s Library in Palo Alto, California, established more than 70 years ago. Another is the Noyes Library for Young Children (above) in Kensington, Maryland, administered by the Montgomery County Libraries....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, May 25
Becky Jacobson wins AL survey prize
The recent American Libraries Readership Survey results are in and a winner has been chosen. Becky Jacobson (right), public relations liaison at the Antioch (Ill.) Public Library District, was randomly chosen by American Libraries’ editors to receive $500 worth of Random House books. The survey was conducted over a one-month period from April 18–May 15....
AL: Inside Scoop, May 19
In May, Wayne Wiegand, Florida State University F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus, was one of 25 to receive a New York Public Library Short Term Fellowship for 2011–2012. He will use it for three weeks this fall to mine the culturally rich and ethnically diverse stories about patron use buried in the archives of the NYPL branch library system for his forthcoming book, This Hallowed Place: A People’s History of the American Public Library....
Unveiling the 2015 ALA Strategic Plan
An open letter from ALA President Roberta Stevens and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels: “Here is ALA’s new 2015 Strategic Plan (PDF file). The plan outlines the vision and goals that will guide us through what promises to be a period of unprecedented challenges and opportunities for libraries. Like all good plans, it builds upon the strengths of the Association, while at the same time looking toward the future.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, May 25
The Digital Revolution and the transformation of libraries
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels (right) writes: “Two major topics dominated discussions during the ALA Executive Board Spring Meeting April 22–24 at the Association’s Chicago headquarters. ALA’s new 2015 Strategic Plan (PDF file) now includes a Transforming Libraries goal that calls for the Association to ‘provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital library environment.’ The goal outlines four objectives.”...
AL: Executive Director’s Message, May 25
ALA, ARL endorse Paul amendment to Patriot Sunsets Extension Act
ALA and the Association of Research Libraries on May 23 endorsed Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) amendment to S.1038, the Patriot Sunsets Extension Act of 2011. On May 20, the associations called on the Senate to amend S. 1038 to establish 2013, rather than 2015, as the next sunset year for three expiring sections of the Patriot Act. ALA and ARL released a joint statement of support for the Paul amendment. ALA urges advocates to contact their senators and ask them to oppose S.1038, if unamended....
District Dispatch, May 23–24
Two music videos win Why I Need My Library contest
Of the 157 videos entered into the Why I Need My Library teen video contest, two original music videos rose to the top, netting prize money from ALA for their creators’ libraries. Danielle Driggers’ video, with original lyrics about the importance of libraries in her life, won the grand prize in the category for 13–15-year-olds and $3,000 for the Timber Creek Elementary School in Flower Mound, Texas. A team of southern Connecticut teens took the grand prize in the 16–18 age group for their video (above) showing teens “chillin’ in the high school library.” New Canaan (Conn.) High School received the $3,000 prize money....
Public Information Office, May 25
Robert Wedgeworth to present 2011 Coleman Lecture
Robert Wedgeworth, a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, former executive director of ALA, and president of ProLiteracy Worldwide, will present his vision of library literacy services in the 21st century at the 2011 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture. He will discuss making literacy programs more accountable in order to influence stakeholders and decision makers. The lecture will be held June 27 in room 346/7 of the Morial New Orleans Convention Center during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 23
Honoring the Trickster tradition
Artist and writer Matt Dembicki and two of his collaborators—Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle and Michael Thompson, English teacher and member of the Muskogee Tribe—will join the ALA Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds for their program, “Trickster: Engaging Readers, Honoring Traditions” on June 26 at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. They will discuss the collaborative process for Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection (Fulcrum, 2010), including working with Native American storytellers....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 23
Input needed: Online learning and intellectual freedom
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is developing online learning opportunities on a wide range of issues. It would appreciate your input on how to best meet the library community’s need for educational offerings on intellectual freedom topics. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey, which will close June 7....
OIF Blog, May 23
JobLIST Placement Center sessions
The ALA JobLIST Placement Center is sponsoring the following job-search sessions during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans: “Working for the Federal Government,” “Understanding What Hiring Committees Want,” “Interview Dance Steps: Making the Right Moves to Land the Right Job,” “Experience-Based Interviewing,” and “Networking in a Tough Economy.”...
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 18, 24
New Jersey state initiative for job seekers
Posters, bookmarks, and other free downloadable promotional tools from the New Jersey State Library’s “NJ works @ your library” initiative are now available for free download. With a federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grant, the library developed the program to remind New Jersey job seekers that the public library is the place for the unemployed and underemployed to find the resources needed for landing a new job. The initiative’s slogan, “It’s time . . . to land that job,” was intended to set a positive tone.” Materials have been rebranded with the logo “USA works @ your library.”...
Campaign for America’s Libraries, May 25
FTRF announces 2011 election winners
Six trustees have been elected to two-year terms on the Freedom to Read Foundation board of trustees, beginning at the conclusion of the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans: Helen Adams, Jonathan Bloom, Chris Finan, Christine Jenkins, Herbert Krug, and Candace Morgan....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 24
Hong Kong Book Fair free pass
The Hong Kong Book Fair is again offering a Free Pass Program for Librarians for its 22nd Annual Fair, which will be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, July 20–26. The Fair will provide ALA members from the United States and Canada who collect Chinese-language materials four nights of hotel accommodation and free book fair registration. The application deadline is June 17....
International Relations Office
Library salary database open to ALA organizational members
ALA organizational and corporate members now have instant access to the Library Salary Database, which features salary information from the most recently published ALA-APA Library Salary Surveys of more than 65 librarian and non-MLS positions in academic and public libraries. Salary information dating back to 2006 is accessible to subscribers (PDF file) by position, library type, state, and region....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, May 24
Guide to an uncertain job market
Many seasoned librarians are losing their jobs and many recent LIS graduates are having a tough time finding one. Being unemployed is potentially devastating. In A Librarian’s Guide to an Uncertain Job Market, an ALA Editions Special Report, librarian Jeannette Woodward shows at-risk librarians how to develop versatile skills and plan ahead for potential changes in employment....
ALA Editions, May 18
Featured review: Youth fantasy
Okorafor, Nnedi. Akata Witch. Apr. 2011. 352p. Grades 6–9. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-01196-4).
Flame has always been soothing to 12-year-old Sunny until she sees a vision of the end of the world in candlelight: “Raging fires, boiling oceans [and] ruptured land, dead and dying people. It was horrible. And it was coming.” Born in the U.S. to Nigerian parents, Sunny and her family have returned to Nigeria, where she is taunted for being both foreign-born and albino. Then Sunny learns that her classmates’ jeers that she is “half-ghost, half-human” hold truth: she is a Free Agent, descended from both Leopard People, who have magical abilities, and Lambs, who are equivalent to J. K. Rowling’s dull Muggles. Along with three other Leopard kids, Sunny has been chosen to help stop a serial killer whose dark juju depends on sacrificing children and links to her apocalyptic vision....
Story behind the story: Nnedi Okorafar’s Akata Witch
Gillian Engberg writes: “Speculative fiction allows for infinitely diverse world building, but there is often a puzzling sameness about its human characters, an overwhelmingly Caucasian bunch. Nnedi Okorafor’s award-winning youth novels offer a refreshing contrast: wildly imagined adventures rooted deeply in Africa and parallel worlds. Among the fantastical story elements drawn from real life are Masquerades, ceremonies that call forth spirits and make up some of Akata Witch’s most terrifying scenes. How does Okorafor answer adults who worry about children’s reactions to troubling material? ‘The way frightening things are presented is more important than what is being portrayed. I don’t think children need to be bombarded with frightening images, but for some children, those images are in their everyday world, and books can provide ways to process them.’”...
Two free Booklist webinars in June
“Fresh Voices for Teen Readers” on June 7 is ideal for anyone serving teen readers. Young adult literature continues to be one of the most exciting and diverse fields in the publishing world, and attendees will hear directly from up-and-coming and established authors writing for teens. “What’s New in Audiobooks” on June 14 will feature an enlightening discussion of audiobook trends and titles. Both start at 1 p.m. Central time....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Downloadable neighborhood guides
Stay Local! is a city-wide initiative of the Urban Conservancy to create strong economies based on locally owned and operated businesses. It provides free, downloadable maps in PDF format of several New Orleans neighborhoods (including the French Quarter, Tremé, Mid-City, Old Algiers, and Gentilly) that highlight transportation routes, local businesses, and points of interest....
Stay Local! New Orleans
Mardi Gras World
Few cities can boast a thriving float-making industry. New Orleans can, and no float maker thrives more than Blaine Kern, whose Mardi Gras World makes more than three-quarters of the floats used by the various krewes every Carnival season. Mardi Gras World offers tours of its collection of float sculptures and its studios, where you can see floats being made year-round. It is located on the East Bank at the end of Convention Center Boulevard. Tours are offered every 30 minutes, with the last tour starting at 4:30 p.m....
Mardi Gras World; Frommer’s
Backstreet Cultural Museum
The Backstreet Cultural Museum at 1116 St. Claude Avenue in Tremé is home to collections of costumes, artifacts, memorabilia, photos, films, and other materials important to New Orleans’ African American culture. Its permanent exhibits include displays on Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs, and jazz funerals. Part private obsession, part cultural jewel, this small facility is off the beaten path but a must-stop for anyone interested in the true history and culture of New Orleans....
Backstreet Cultural Museum; Frommer’s
The Museum of the American Cocktail
The Museum of the American Cocktail is located in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at the Riverwalk Marketplace,
1 Poydras Street. Founded by Dale DeGroff and several other cocktail authorities and historians, the museum houses a superb collection of rare spirits, books, Prohibition-era literature and music, vintage cocktail shakers, glassware, tools, gadgets, cocktail memorabilia, and photographs. Cocktail fans may also want to tour Celebration Distillation, the oldest continuously operating rum distillery in the United States, at 2815 Frenchmen Street....
Museum of the American Cocktail; Celebration Distillation
New Orleans ArtWorks
Housed in a restored historic 19th-century brick building at 727 Magazine Street, the New Orleans School of GlassWorks and Printmaking Studio has been a nonprofit studio and gallery since 1990. The studio offers free daily glass-blowing demonstrations by local master craftsmen, who often collaborate with international artisans in the traditional European style....
New Orleans ArtWorks
Air travel: What if you lose your ID?
Catharine Hamm writes: “Question: A friend and I were discussing what would happen if our wallets or purses were lost or stolen while we were on vacation. If we were overseas, we would go to a U.S. embassy for a passport. But because you need ID to get through security to get on the plane in the U.S., what could you do if this happened here? Answer: You’d take a deep breath and plead your case to the Transportation Security Administration.”...
Los Angeles Times, May 15
LITA program to explore broadband issues
The LITA President’s Program, titled “Building the Future: Addressing Library Broadband Connectivity Issues in the 21st Century,” will take place on June 26, in New Orleans at the Morial Convention Center Auditorium A. Wisconsin State Library Technology Consultant Robert Bocher (right) will address broadband issues, the federal e–rate program, and net neutrality....
LITA, May 18
ALTAFF’s “First Author, First Book” event
ALTAFF will host “First Author, First Book” on June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Featured authors include former senator Bob Graham (right), Rebecca Makkai, Eleanor Henderson, Jon Michaud, Ellen Bryson, and Neil Abramson. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Prepub Alert for Library Journal. An author book signing will follow. The event is free for conference attendees....
ALTAFF, May 24
Every Child Ready to Read launches new website
In anticipation of the release of the second edition of the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library Toolkit, ALSC and PLA have launched an updated and redesigned Every Child Ready to Read website. The new site includes the research and rationale that led to the development of the second edition, product details, and sales information. Preorders for the toolkit are being accepted at the ALA Store, and shipping is expected to begin in late June....
ALSC, PLA, May 24
Megan Honig named YALS editor
YALSA named Megan Honig (right) as the member editor of Young Adult Library Services (YALS). Honig replaces Sarah Flowers, who is stepping down from the editor position just prior to taking the helm as YALSA President for 2011–2012. Honig has recently served on YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee and is the author of Urban Grit: A Guide to Street Lit (Libraries Unlimited, 2010)....
YALSA, May 23
Free webinar teaches “New Lessons in Library Leadership”
A free one-hour webinar, “New Lessons in Library Leadership,” will take place June 8, 1–2 p.m. Central time. Moderated by San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera, the webinar will feature a panel of PLA Leadership Fellow Scholarship winners who attended executive leadership training programs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Participants will learn how to bring outside leadership ideas into their libraries. Registration is open to members and nonmembers....
PLA, May 24
Make boomers, staff, and students your advocates
Registration is still open for the “Boomers, Staff & Students—Engaging the Many Voices of Advocacy” institute on June 24 during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The program is cosponsored by the Mississippi Library Association and ALTAFF....
ALTAFF, May 24
Immroth Memorial Award to Smithsonian protesters
Mike Blasenstein (left) and Mike Iacovone have been named recipients of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, which honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship. The men were cited for reintroducing (via an iPad strung around Blasenstein’s neck) David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly film to the “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., in a December 4 protest after the Smithsonian had ordered its removal....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, May 24
Tahlequah Public Library becomes Literary Landmark
Tahlequah (Okla.) Public Library was designated a Literary Landmark on April 30 in honor of Wilson Rawls (1913–1984), author of two iconic children’s books: Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. Rawls, whose early childhood was spent on his mother’s Cherokee allotment 13 miles northeast of Tahlequah, was a frequent user of the library. “The day I discovered libraries was one of the biggest days of my life,” he wrote....
ALTAFF, May 24
New Jersey State Library wins ALA President’s award
The New Jersey State Library has won the 2011 ALA President’s Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF. The goal of the library’s Snapshot Day campaign was to find a way to show New Jersey lawmakers the value of library services to their constituents. New Jersey residents were the focus of the campaign in pictures, videos, and comments they made about the importance of libraries to their lives. The library’s idea for a snapshot day in 2009 was adopted by ALA as an initiative....
ALTAFF, May 24
ALTAFF’s Best Friends Awards
ALTAFF has recognized eight Friends groups with Best Friends Awards. The awards are given to groups for outstanding publicity and marketing materials that promote the group and its programs and projects. Winning groups receive a certificate and are recognized in ALTAFF’s newsletter, The Voice, and winning materials are posted on the division’s website....
ALTAFF, May 24
Stonewall book awards mark 40th anniversary
The Stonewall Book Awards are the first and most enduring award for GLBT books. After Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, more than 200 titles have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender experience. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the awards at an awards brunch on June 27. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet authors during a book signing. This is a ticketed Annual Conference event....
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, May 23
Robert F. Asleson Memorial Conference Grant
The board of directors of the Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant has selected Catherine Larson, a GSLIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to receive a $1,500 grant to help defray the cost of attending ALA’s 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans in June. Larson’s winning essay will be posted on the grant’s website....
Office of ALA Governance, May 24
University of Kansas receives H. W. Wilson grant
The University of Kansas Libraries in Lawrence is the 2011 recipient of The H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant. Their successful proposal, “Enhancing Service and Engagement through Understanding Staff Strengths: Individuals, Teams, and the Organization,” was chosen from several applicants. The grant is awarded to a library organization for a program to further its staff development goals and objectives. The award includes $3,500 donated by the H. W. Wilson Company....
Office of ALA Governance, May 18
Sign up for the 2011 Gale TEAMS Award
Gale and Library Media Connection magazine are calling all media specialists and educators at K–12 public and private schools in the United States and Canada to share their collaboration success stories and apply for the 2011 TEAMS Award—Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement. The TEAMS Award recognizes teams in elementary, middle, and high school settings for their critical collaboration to promote learning and achievement. The submission deadline is June 30....
Gale Cengage Learning, May 19
Keith Richards’s Life wins top Audie Award
The Audio Publishers Association held its 16th annual Audies Gala in New York City on May 24. The Audiobook of the Year award went to one of the year’s highest-profile audiobooks: Life, the best-selling autobiography of Keith Richards, narrated by Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley with Keith Richards (Hachette Audio). The Audies jury selected the book in part because it introduced new audiences to the audiobook format. See all the winners and finalists here....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, May 25
2011 Nebula Awards
Connie Willis’s two-volume story of time-travelling historians trapped in London during the Blitz has won the much-garlanded American author her seventh Nebula award. Willis took the Nebula Best Novel prize May 21 in Washington, D.C., for her titles All Clear and Blackout. Rachel Swirsky won the Best Novella prize for The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window and Eric James Stone won the Best Novelette award for That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 21
Gary Shteyngart wins Wodehouse Prize
Gary Shteyngart has become the first American to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, presented for a book that “has captured the comic spirit of P. G. Wodehouse.” The author’s winning novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is set in a dystopian, near-future America, where the 39-year-old Russian-American Lenny Abramov is attempting to persuade the 24-year-old Korean-American Eunice Park to fall in love with him. Shteyngart won a jeroboam of champagne and a set of Wodehouse books and will also be presented with a pig named after his novel....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 24
Memory of Love wins Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
Aminatta Forna’s Memory of Love, a powerful portrayal of human resistance in war-torn Sierra Leone, has won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. The winners were announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on May 21. Forna, who lives in London, grew up in Sierra Leone in West Africa and has been involved in development projects there. The prize for Best First Book went to New Zealander Craig Cliff for A Man Melting....
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, May 21
2011 Theatre Book Prize
The Reluctant Escapologist, Mike Bradwell’s unofficial history of the rise and fall of London fringe theatre, has won the 2011 Theatre Book Prize, which was presented in a ceremony at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London May 18. The book is Bradwell’s account of his travels through 1960s and 1970s London fringe theatre, which he describes as a “subculture peopled by lunatics, hippies, and the perennially unemployed.”...
WhatsOnStage.com, May 18
What the internet knows about you
Eli Pariser (right), former executive director of MoveOn.org, writes: “The new generation of internet filters looks at the things you seem to like and tries to extrapolate. These engines create a unique universe of information for each of us, what I’ve come to call a filter bubble, that fundamentally alters the way we encounter ideas and information. The consequences of living in a bubble are becoming clear. Personalization filters serve up a kind of invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas, amplifying our desire for things that are familiar, and leaving us oblivious to the dangers lurking in the dark territory of the unknown.” Watch his TED Talk (9:00) here....
CNN, May 22
Our data, ourselves
Leon Neyfakh writes: “A small group of thinkers is suggesting an entirely new way of understanding our relationship with the data we generate. Instead of arguing about ownership and the right to privacy, they say, we should be imagining data as a public resource: a bountiful trove of information about our society which, if properly managed and cared for, can help us set better policy, more effectively run our institutions, promote public health, and generally give us a more accurate understanding of who we are.”...
Boston Globe, May 20
62 Queens branches halt book purchases
For the first time, the 62 branches of the Queens (N.Y.) Library have stopped buying new books in order to save costs. “This is by far the worst we’ve ever seen it,” said Chief Executive Officer Thomas Galante. Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, slammed Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts, saying, “Why on earth would anyone even contemplate, let alone propose doing this?” Dozens of protestors gathered outside the Peninsula branch on May 21 and at the Flushing branch on May 18, calling for continued funding of Queens libraries....
New York Daily News, May 24; WCBS-AM, May 21; Queens (N.Y.) Courier, May 24
Zombies lurch for Oakland libraries
Oakland (Calif.) Public Library supporters crawled down Telegraph Avenue May 21 in their zombie finest to protest the potential closure of 14 of the city’s 18 branches. The living dead, organized by the group Save Oakland Public Libraries, groaned “Zombies need brains, keep libraries open!” to passersby in cars, restaurants, and galleries, urging them to “keep Oakland brains the tastiest in California.”...
Oakland (Calif.) North, May 23
Miscalculation caused Detroit library to consider closings
At a May 20 committee meeting of the Detroit Library Commission, administrators withdrew a recommendation to close as many as 10 of 23 library branches and lay off dozens of staffers. Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cromer, who does the library’s budget projections, acknowledged he forgot to factor in savings from the loss of 70 staffers to layoffs and retirements. In April, officials thought the budget was so bleak that as many as 18 branches would close....
Detroit News, May 20
Gaming all night in the library
Susan E. McGregor writes: “The main branch of the New York Public Library had been closed for nearly two hours the night of May 20 when some 500 people streamed past its iconic lion statues to fill the marble lobby. It was going to be an all-nighter unlike anything the library had ever seen. We came armed with smartphones and laptops, eager to participate in “Find the Future: Write All Night,” an experimental game created by game designer Jane McGonigal for the library’s centennial celebration.”...
Wall Street Journal: Metropolis, May 23
Librarians let go at 20 Charlotte–Mecklenburg schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools sent pink slips to 739 teachers, counselors, and media specialists in late May, leaving at least 20 schools with no trained staff to tend the libraries or teach students how to navigate the waves of information coming at them. Some 80 of the 164 eliminated positions were librarians. The layoffs came after principals were asked to choose between cutting media specialists, guidance counselors, or academic or literacy facilitators....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, May 18
Stolen Red Sox photo returns to Boston Public Library
One of a handful of known pictures from the first-ever 1901 Red Sox spring training surfaced on eBay recently and is on its way back to the Boston Public Library as part of a sweeping effort to recover rare, turn-of-the-century baseball photos stolen decades ago. A collector, David Maus of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, noticed BPL markings on the photo and suspected it was one of more than 60 items from the Michael “Nuf Ced” McGreevy collection pilfered from the library in the 1970s....
Boston Herald, May 23
Ex-warden: Bible-only jail policy too strict
A Bible-only policy for inmates at the jail in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is stricter than policies governing reading materials allowed some of the country’s most dangerous inmates, a former warden who ran the tough federal penitentiary that replaced Alcatraz said in papers filed in federal court May 23. John L. Clark, who served for years as warden of the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, filed an affidavit that states that letting prisoners read various materials kept even that Supermax prison safe....
Associated Press, May 24
Activist sues Indian Trails Public Library for advocacy
A lawsuit filed May 18 seeks to overturn the results of a referendum on the grounds that library officials illegally advocated for its approval. Social-issues activist Rob Sherman is among five people who sued Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling, Illinois, saying the library improperly spent thousands of dollars to promote the referendum’s passage by distributing campaign literature that touted “Grow your library, not your tax bill,” and hiring a consulting firm....
Chicago Tribune, May 18
Publishers as partners in literacy
David Bornstein writes: “This week, I reported on the First Book Marketplace, which sells new books at steep discounts to schools and reading programs serving low-income children. It’s hard to find fault with a social-purpose business that makes quality books more affordable for underprivileged children. Surprisingly, many readers responded to the idea by suggesting that the problem of book access can be adequately addressed through rummage sales, thrift shops, used book outlets, and libraries. I’d like to clarify this.”...
New York Times, May 16, 19
Utah state parks team up with libraries
Utah state parks are partnering with Utah public libraries to offer their patrons an opportunity to visit one of the 43 parks. Eighty-four libraries statewide have joined the state parks program, Check It Out, allowing card holders the option to check out a day pass. The program is now in its third year. Check It Out has proven beneficial to families and groups because it allows the driver and up to seven passengers to enter parks for free....
Brigham Young University Universe, May 22
Daguerreotype brings 1848 Cincinnati to life
Katrina Marshall, digital services team leader of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, was awestruck by the sight of a pair of 163-year-old bloomers on a balcony clothesline, a detail in the library’s newly conserved panoramic series of daguerreotypes showing two miles of Cincinnati riverfront. The cityscape was photographed by Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter in September 1848. At a May 21 ceremony, the library returned its jewel to public view, where it will be permanently displayed alongside touch-screen computers that can zoom in on its details. Wired provides some details of the conservation process....
New York Times, May 21; Wired, July 9, 2010
West Virginia’s regional law libraries to close
Because of a lack of use, West Virginia’s regional law libraries are being closed, including a facility in Ohio County. Steven Canterbury, administrative director for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, said work already is under way to close the law library at the City-County Building in Wheeling. Canterbury said it took the court three to four years to make the decision. He said library use is minimal because most law casebooks can be accessed via the internet....
Wheeling (W.Va.) News-Register, May 20
Calgary acquires rare military collection
A collection ranging from a Czarist-era Russian field marching manual to a printed tribute to the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte will turn the University of Calgary Military Museums Library and Archives into one of the premiere research institutions in North America. The museum’s staff is still unpacking 50,000 documents and artifacts in the Chicksands Collection, assembled by military attachés assigned to British high commissions and consulates, primarily during the 1920s and 1930s. This remarkable donation involved more than four years of negotiations with the British Ministry of Defence, which decided to relinquish the collection....
Calgary (Alberta) Herald, May 19; University of Calgary, May 19; Chicksands Military Collection blog, May 19
Go back to the Top
The ins and outs of gadgetry
David Pogue writes: “Every time a reader asks me a basic question, struggles with a computer, or lets a cellphone keep ringing at a performance, I have the same thought: There ought to be a license to use technology. It’s time to publish the first installment of what should be the Big Book of Basic Technology Knowledge—the prerequisite for using phones, cameras, and computers in today’s society. Some of these tips may seem basic, but you’ll probably find at least a couple of ‘I didn’t know thats!’ among them. 25 more tech tips can be found here.”...
New York Times, May 18–19
Simple tips to reduce disk usage in Windows 7
Zainul Franciscus writes: “If you’re wondering what’s been taking up space on your hard disk, then you have come to the right place. In today’s article, we’ll show you how to get rid of unneeded files from your computer. First of all, let’s find out what’s hogging your hard disk. We recommend that you download SpaceSniffer. Once you start it up, it will map your hard drive and show big files and folders in your system.”...
How-To Geek, May 23
39 Google apps that matter
Robert Strohmeyer writes: “If it’s true that Google is set to take over the world, we should probably all get to know our online overlord a little better. After all, the Mountain View giant moves more than 65% of the world’s search traffic, and dominates the rest of the web with a broad swath of free services. Since it’s almost impossible to get through a day on the internet without crossing Google’s path, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to all things G.”...
Maximum PC, Apr. 25
New Google Calendar Labs features
Matthew Rogers writes: “We have already highlighted plenty of Labs features for Gmail, but Calendar has some pretty great Labs offerings, too. Since it’s been nearly two years since Labs were added to Calendar, we thought it was about time they got a bit more attention. Here are eight of the most useful experimental features available for Google Calendar that you can start using right now.”...
Lifehacker, May 25
The best tech for a disaster
Hilary Scott writes: “During the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and the flooding and tornadoes in the Southern United States, tech and web services have proven invaluable. They have helped people make contact with loved ones affected by the disasters, spread up-to-date news, organize relief efforts, locate victims, and provide all sorts of other assistance. Check out the slideshow for the best tech products and services you’ll want to have handy.”...
PC Magazine, May 21
27 steps to complete email mastery
Gordon Goble and Seamus Bellamy write: “They say that the kids don’t use email that much these days. We adults, unfortunately, have no such luxury. For better or for worse, email is a major part of our personal and work lives. We took a good, long look at the center of our communications universe with an eye toward improving, upgrading, and dominating it. The fruits of our labor are in the following pages. Enjoy! (Or maybe we should say, suffer less?)”...
Maximum PC, May 23
Words in email subject lines that trigger spam filters
Douglas Karr writes: “The easiest way to get your emails a direct route to the spam folder are the words used in your subject line. SpamAssassin is an open-source spam blocking application that publishes its rules for identifying SPAM on its Wiki. Here are the rules SpamAssassin utilizes with words in the subject line.”...
Marketing Technology Blog, May 19
How spam works, from end to end
Cory Doctorow writes: “Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain (PDF file) is a scholarly research paper that reports on a well-designed study of the way that spam works, from fast-flux DNS and bulletproof hosting to payment processing and order fulfillment. The researchers scraped mountains of spam websites, ordered their pills and fake software, and subjected it all to rigorous comparison and analysis. They were looking for spam ecosystem bottlenecks, places where interdicting one or two companies could have a major impact on spam.”...
Boing Boing, May 21; K. Levchenko, et al., IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2011, Oakland, Calif.
ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011.
Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? (HarperCollins, 2009), will be the Auditorium Speaker on Monday, June 27, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
June is National Audiobook Month. Attend a lively and informative hour of audiobook talk with Booklist editor Sue-Ellen Beauregard and representatives from top audiobook publishers. Learn about the latest audios and where audios are heading in the future. Register today for this free webinar! NEW! From Booklist.
Great Libraries of the World
Vancouver Public Library, British Columbia, Canada. The central library is one part of the block-long Library Square, built in 1993–1995 by architects Moshe Safdie, Richard B. Archambault, and Barry Downs. The structure is a nine-story rectangle containing book stacks and services within a free-standing colonnaded ellipse resembling the ruins of the Colosseum in Rome. Reading and study areas are accessed by bridges spanning skylit lightwells. Its rooftop garden (not open to the public) was designed by landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander and is planted with ornamental grasses and kinnikinnick in a pattern that replicates the flow of the Fraser River.
Doris Lewis Rare Book Room, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1976 and named in honor of the university’s first chief librarian, this special collections library houses some 60,000 books. Nationally known for its holdings on the history of Canadian women, dance, and ballet, the department also owns significant treatises in architecture, fine printing, urban planning, and the German and Mennonite heritage of the Waterloo area.
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.
Librarian I, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont. Carry out professional responsibilities in the Samuel Read Hall Library at Lyndon State College, including maintaining the library website, overseeing the reference desk, teaching information literacy, liaison and collection development for several academic departments, and backup for interlibrary loan and circulation. Master’s degree in library science from an ALA-accredited program and knowledge and skills related to current college library technologies required. Starting salary $28,500–$32,000, depending upon qualifications and experience....
Digital Library of the Week
Medicine in the Americas is a digital resource of the National Library of Medicine that encompasses more than 300 early printed books from the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. The first round of digitized books, released May 23, includes monographs dating from 1610 to 1865. Additional titles, dating up to 1920 and drawing further upon NLM’s comprehensive collection of early American printed books, will be added on an ongoing basis. Medicine in the Americas will be of interest to scholars, educators, writers, students and others who wish to use primary historical materials to help expand knowledge of medical and public health history for the advancement of scholarship across the disciplines and for the education of the general public. Digital files created for Medicine in the Americas reside in NLM’s Digital Collections, a repository for access to and preservation of digitized biomedical resources. Digital Collections allows rich searching, browsing, and retrieval of monographs and films from NLM’s History of Medicine Division.
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.
“Librarians know what’s available in a field, where to find it, whether to use it. You, on the other hand, have to write a paper about the self in Hamlet. Try Googling that without the help of a professional librarian: 12.3 million results.”
—Ian Brown, “Don’t Discard the Librarians,” Toronto Globe and Mail, May 21.
BookExpo America, American Booksellers Association Annual Meeting, New York, May 23–26, at:
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Boston, June 1–3, at:
American Library Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23–28, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Second Biennial Kathleen A. Zar Symposium, John Crerar Library, University of Chicago. “We’re Teaching, But How Do We Know If They’re Learning?: Assessment of Library Instruction Activities.”
Hug the Library, Save NYC Libraries and Urban Librarians Unite, Schwarzman Building, New York Public Library.
We Will Not Be Shushed, Save NYC Libraries, 24-hour read-in, Brooklyn Public Library, 1 Grand Army Plaza, New York City.
Reforma, 4th National Conference, Denver, Colorado.
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Minot.
Arkansas Library Association, Centennial Year Conference, Little Rock.
Berlin School of Library and Information Science, International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, Berlin, Germany.
Kentucky Library Association / Kentucky School Media Association, Annual Conference, Louisville.
Library and Information Technology Association, National Forum 2011, St. Louis.
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, State College.
North Carolina Library Association, Biennial Conference, Hickory.
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