|American Libraries Online
Libraries tap into crowd power
It seemed only natural when one of the most-consulted websites in the world recently posted a ubiquitous banner stating WIKIPEDIA LOVES LIBRARIES. What has resulted is a nationwide “editathon”—editing marathons organized by active Wikipedia users to expand and add depth to the website’s content on a wide range of cultural and historical topics. Dozens of them are taking place in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Boulder, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C....
American Libraries news, Nov. 1
School filters reach into students’ homes
Gordon Flagg writes: “The installation of filtering software on computers continues to create problems for students doing assignments using computers on their school campuses—and even beyond. A survey conducted by the Dartmouth (Mass.) High School’s student newspaper, The Spectrum, has found that, since the school district installed Fortiguard Web Filtering in January, 89% of students have had difficulty researching school-related topics on campus. It also reported that students and teachers have been banned from all streaming media.”...
AL: Censorship Watch, Nov. 2
Next Steps: Building a competitive advantage
Brian Mathews writes: “When Susan Nutter (right) took over the leadership role at North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, it wasn’t a very inspiring organization. A study found it to be the academic library least able to meet its mission in the state; as a result, faculty were upset, and then they did something about it. In 1996 the faculty senate voted unanimously to use a portion of tuition increases to improve the libraries rather than to raise their own salaries. This was the spark that Nutter needed.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Technology in Practice: Information literacy 2.0
Meredith Farkas writes: “Critical-inquiry skills are among the most important in a world in which the half-life of information is rapidly shrinking. These days, what you know is almost less important than what you can find out. And finding out today requires a set of skills that are very different from what most libraries focus on. In addition to academic sources, a huge wealth of content is being produced by people every day in knowledgebases like Wikipedia, review sites like Trip Advisor, and in blogs. Some of this content is legitimate and valuable—but some of it isn’t.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Schulman, Jordan, Loeb scheduled for Midwinter
Acclaimed authors Helen Schulman (left) and Hillary Jordan (right) are scheduled to kick off the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 20, and Grammy-nominated Lisa Loeb will close out the festivities on January 23. The authors will sign copies of their latest works at their publishers’ booths during the Opening Exhibits Reception....
Conference Services, Nov. 1
FCC announces Connect America Fund
The Federal Communications Commission announced the creation of the Connect America Fund on October 27 as part of its reform and modernization of the Universal Service Fund. It outlined five goals for this reform, including ensuring universal availability of modern networks capable of providing voice and broadband service to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions. ALA had filed comments (PDF file) in April in support of creating the CAF....
District Dispatch, Oct. 31
First set of ALA web pages are live in Drupal
Louise Gruenberg writes: “On October 19, we reached two truly significant milestones in the ALA migration to Drupal project. We soft-launched the first phase of single-sign-on powered by Shibboleth and the PLA website in Drupal. Although the process hasn’t been without a few bumps, on October 27 we launched ALSC, ALSConnect, LLAMA, and I Love Libraries. Here is what we learned during these test migrations.”...
ITTS News, Oct. 28
National Novel Writing Month
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is kicking off monthlong activities for National Novel Writing Month. During November, librarians across the country and around the world will be reminding would-be writers of all the great resources they have to offer when it comes to writing their masterpiece. A Library Outreach Guide can be found here. GalleyCat is offering one piece of NaNoWriMo advice every day for the rest of the month....
ALA Public Information Office, Nov. 1; GalleyCat, Nov. 1
ALA student chapters survey results
Don Wood writes: “The 2011 ALA Student Chapters Survey was conducted over a three-month period from July to October 2011. The results are in and can be found posted (PDF file) at the Student Chapter Leadership group on ALA Connect. One interesting finding is that only just over 51% of the students answering the survey belong to their state library association.”...
AL: Student Membership Blog, Nov. 1
Money Smart Week @ your library, 2012
Interested in helping your community become “money smart,” but missed out on the recent webinar? It is now archived and available for viewing at your convenience. Next April 21–28, you and your library can participate with hundreds of other libraries across the country. Money Smart Week’s mission is to promote personal financial literacy....
Chapter Relations Office
Webinar on comics/manga censorship
Access to comic books, graphic novels, and manga is an increasingly hot topic in the library, creative, and free speech communities. To kick off our “Intellectual Freedom across the Globe” webinar series, OIF and the IFLA Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression will present a “Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga, and Libraries” webinar on November 9, a one-hour look at how censorship affects comics around the world. Register online....
OIF Blog, Oct. 31
New series of diversity webinars
Office for Diversity is introducing the first three installments of its Diversity Leadership Online series, beginning December 1. This ongoing webinar series provides the foundation for a culture of responsible diversity leadership within the profession. To register and learn more about upcoming sessions, visit the ALA Online Learning website....
Office for Diversity, Oct. 31
Tips for building support for rural libraries
Start building support for your rural library by attending the “Small but Powerful Webinar for Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library.” This free hourlong webinar will take place at 1 p.m. Central time on December 14 and will present tips and strategies from the toolkit, share the experiences of a rural librarian who has successfully built support, and highlight additional advocacy tools and resources available from ALA. Registration is required....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Nov. 1
LSSC will partner with other programs
The ALA–Allied Professional Association announced November 1 that the Library Support Staff Certification program will partner with 11 Library Assistant Training programs in a project that will allow their graduates to receive the LSSC without having to further demonstrate their skills and knowledge....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Nov. 1
An introduction to LSSC
LSSC will offer an hourlong informational webinar at 2 p.m. Central time on November 15. The presentation will explain the value of this certification to library support staff, employers, and library users. Attendees will also have the opportunity to have their questions answered by program staff members....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Nov. 1
Cutting-edge technology nominations extended
The Office for Information Technology Policy and LITA are extending the deadline for submitting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology to November 8. Members from the OITP Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and LITA will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Oct. 31
Featured review: Adult biography
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. Oct. 2011. 630p. Simon and Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4516-4853-9).
Now we all know how the story ends. But that only adds a certain frisson to this biography of the man who was determined to “make a dent in reality.” Shaping reality was what Jobs was about, not only in his extraordinary vision of how personal computers could remake the world but also in his personal life, where early forays into Eastern mysticism led to belief in what Star Trek called a “reality distortion field”—Jobs believed reality was malleable and made others believe it, too. The book is filled with examples of projects that seemed impossible to complete but were completed and goals that appeared unachievable but were achieved—all because Jobs insisted it could be done. Yet Jobs was no saint. Juxatposed against Jobs’ story are contrasting profiles of Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, the actual engineer, who would benignly have given away the specs for designing personal computers (he did give low-level associates some of his Apple shares before it it went public), and Bill Gates, at different times Jobs’ partner and rival....
Point, push, print, and publish
Will Manley writes: “Fifty years ago, Warhol saw that America’s strongest cultural forces, celebrity and democracy, would fuse together. He rightly understood that we would become a country that would guarantee not just life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but also fame. For every Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, we now have a Kate and Jon Gosselin. We have gone from daguerreotype to Flickr in 150 years. Just as anyone can be a writer, anyone can now be an artist. It’s as easy as point, push, print, and publish.”...
31 horror films in 31 days: The terrifying conclusion
Daniel Kraus writes: “There’s a famous line from John Carpenter’s They Live: ‘I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.’ That’s exactly what I did to the third annual 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge. Previous Octobers, I suffered the tortures of the damned, with the final days spent drooling in front of the TV as indescribable horror after indescribable horror flashed before my bloodshot eyes, so determined was I to meet my queasy quota. But not this year. Now excuse me while I spend the next month watching Golden Girls reruns to detox.”...
Likely Stories, Nov. 1
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Dallas Arts District
The cornerstone and catalyst for creative vitality in the region, the Arts District is home to the city’s leading visual and performing arts institutions. In 1978, Boston consultants Carr-Lynch recommended that Dallas relocate its major arts institutions from different parts of the city to the northeast corner of downtown. The District includes the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Opera, and other venues. During the Midwinter Meeting, the Crow Collection of Asian Art will feature an exhibition of work by emerging Shanghai-based artist Qui Anxiong....
Dallas Arts District
Airline boarding times
Airlines have been boarding passengers since the first commercial flight, but as they have added new classes of seating to their cabins and new fees for priority boarding—all in the name of more revenue—they have slowed down the whole process. Checked-baggage fees have only added to the problem, and planes are now fuller. That is why some airlines have gone back to the drawing board to rein in a lengthening process....
New York Times, Oct. 31
AASL conference comes to a close
International mobile technology expert Mimi Ito (right) brought the AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis to an end October 30. More than 3,000 school librarians, educators, exhibitors, and guests discussed key issues that impact our nation’s school libraries. The conference featured preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 top-quality continuing education programs, thought provoking opening and closing general sessions, author events and more than 200 exhibiting companies....
AASL, Oct. 31
Nicholas Carr on Stone Age thinking
Author Nicholas G. Carr, the speaker at the AASL National Conference’s Opening General Session on October 28, contends that technology could be moving us away from innovation and progress, and closer to the Stone Age in terms of how we process information—a scary thought, considering the country’s desperate call for 21st-century thinking. Our brains are changing as we use new technologies, and Carr argued that although we acquire skills, such as increased visual-spatial intelligence (being aware of many moving parts at once), we also weaken our “mindful knowledge acquisition,” inductive analysis, critical thinking, imagination, and reflection....
eSchool News, Nov. 1
Streaming and teaming for strong school libraries
Dorcas Hand writes: “The trouble with agreeing to blog the AASL conference is that the days are so chock full of great sessions and good friends that I can’t sit still to write. Saturday morning, I attended Buffy Hamilton’s (right) streamed session on transliteracy. I look forward to a second viewing when the stream is archived because it was so meaty I will need a second listen to absorb all her insights. The Learning Commons session with Judi Repman of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro was also an interesting experience.” Read her previous post on e-ink and collection development....
AL: Inside Scoop, Oct. 27, 31
AASL from the floor
Christopher Harris writes: “I found a couple of fun e-content tidbits on the exhibit hall floor of the AASL National Conference in Minneapolis. First up is ThingLink, a site that provides image enhancements through tag links. Think old school image maps, but taken to an entirely new level. In the Gale booth, I saw the new design for the Gale Virtual Reference Library interface. For the last few years, GVRL has been more of an ebook database than a book reading platform.”...
AL: E-Content, Nov. 2
Closing AASL celebration at Nicollet Island Pavilion
Wendy Stephens writes: “On October 29, many school librarians were already on their ways back east into the early October snow, but the climate, bolstered with auxiliary heat lamps, was more hospitable at the Nicollet Island Pavillion where AASL held its Annual Conference Closing Celebration. Just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, conference-goers were treated to pan-seared walleye and wild rice, both Minnesota delicacies, and had the opportunity to make s’mores over fire pits (above).”...
AASL Blog, Oct. 30
ACRL releases revised Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
The ACRL Board of Directors has approved a comprehensive revision of the association’s “Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.” The newly revised version of SLHE provides a guide to libraries in advancing and sustaining their role as partners in educating students, achieving their institutions’ missions, and positioning libraries as leaders in assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. ACRL is offering a free introductory webcast on the standards at 1 p.m. Central time on November 9. RSVP here....
ACRL, Nov. 1
ALSC prepares for Día 2012
ALSC will celebrate the 16th anniversary of El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day), also known as Día, on April 30, 2012. On November 14, ALSC will roll out the new Día website, which will include a free downloadable resource guide containing programming, outreach, book lists, and activity sheets. Librarians can also register their event on the Día website. Registration opens on November 14. ALSC is also offering three new Día-related webinars....
ALSC, Oct. 31
Literary Landmark status given to Hackley Public Library
ALTAFF has named the 121-year-old Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Michigan, a Literary Landmark as a result of its connection to Caldecott Medal winner Verna Aardema Vugteveen. Vugteveen, who wrote under the pen name Verna Aardema, died in 2000. In 1976, she won the Caldecott for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears....
Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, Oct. 31
LLAMA webinar keeps your library secure
Just when everything in your library is running smoothly, along comes an unruly patron who seems strangely threatening. LLAMA will present “A Person of Interest: Safety and Security in the Library” on November 16. The webinar will demonstrate effective ways to deal with patrons in the library who are breaking library policy, displaying behavioral problems, or breaking the law. Register online....
LLAMA, Oct. 31
Web course on mashups and APIs
LITA’s five-day web course, “Creating Library Web Services: Mashups and APIs,” will be offered November 14–18 to help participants learn how to bring pieces of the web together with library data. Live synchronous lectures will take place each day 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Central time. This course has sold out in the past; register here....
LITA, Nov. 1
Genealogy reference institute at Midwinter
Early-bird registration for RUSA’s “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Genealogy Is Bigger in Texas” (event code RUS1) ends December 2. The full-day Midwinter event will take place January 20 and will feature expert speakers on local and specialized resources. Librarians interested in learning how to use genealogy-related resources more effectively are invited to attend....
RUSA, Nov. 1
Registration begins for Teen Tech Week 2012
Registration has opened for YALSA’s Teen Tech Week, which will be held March 4–10, 2012. The theme is “Geek Out @ your library.” Teen Tech Week is an annual celebration of technology and digital literacy, and encourages teens to take advantage of the many technologies available to them, free of charge, at their libraries....
YALSA, Nov. 1
Teen Read Week 2011
Thousands of school and public libraries throughout the country joined YALSA to celebrate Teen Read Week 2011, October 16–22. More than 5,000 libraries embraced this year’s theme, Picture It @ your library, by hosting an array of events and programs that encouraged teens to read for fun and become regular library users....
YALSA, Nov. 1
PLA Boot Camp recap
Kathleen Hughes writes: “The 2011 PLA ‘Results’ Boot Camp took place October 18–21, in Nashville. Designed to help attendees get their libraries in strategic shape and prepared to meet any challenges, the PLA Boot Camp program is led by Sandra Nelson and June Garcia.
We asked Boot Camp attendees to tell us about the experience. Here are some of their observations.”...
PLA Blog, Oct. 25
National Library of Medicine honors winners of software development challenge
Five software applications are the winners of the National Library of Medicine’s first software development challenge.
The winning apps can help people learn about anatomy, help researchers find gene information in research literature, and help people sift through large amounts of scientific and medical information....
National Institutes of Health News, Oct. 27
2011 Dundee International Book Prize
The 2011 Dundee Literary Festival in Scotland announced October 27 that Irish writer Simon Ashe-Browne, 26, is winner of this year’s Dundee International Book Prize. The first-time author was awarded more than $16,000 for his psychological thriller Sympathy for the Doc, which will be published by Glasgow-based Cargo Publishing under the new title Nothing Human Left. The annual literary award offers one of the UK’s largest prizes for unpublished authors....
Deadline News, Oct. 27
World Fantasy Awards
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “The verdict is in, and we watched it happen. The World Fantasy Awards at the October 30 World Fantasy Convention in San Diego, California, were a star-studded celebration of fantasy writers, publishers, and readers. The award for best novel went to Nnedi Okorafor for Who Fears Death (DAW), and the award for best story went to Joyce Carol Oates for ‘Fossil-Figures.’”...
io9, Oct. 31
Bard Fiction Prize 2012
Author Benjamin Hale has been selected to receive the Bard Fiction Prize for 2012. The prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at the college for one semester. Hale is receiving the prize for his debut novel, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Twelve, 2011)....
Bard College, Nov. 1
Salt Lake library director resigns amid controversy
After more than three years of running Salt Lake City’s libraries, director Beth Elder (right) has stepped down. The Salt Lake City Library board of directors on October 28 unanimously accepted Elder’s resignation after receiving multiple complaints about her management style and policy changes. She said stepping aside would help the library move forward. Elder restructured library management and staffing roles, saying she had to make tough but much-needed changes over the years. Debbie Ehrman, a longtime library employee, will act as interim director....
Salt Lake City Deseret News, Oct. 28
Librarians protest Chicago mayor’s proposed cuts
During an October 31 Chicago City Council hearing on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed budget, librarians staged a storytime read-in in front of the mayor’s office to voice opposition to his plan to cut library hours and staff. Children sat on the floor in their Halloween costumes as librarians held an interactive storytime reading books such as Go Away Big Green Monster and Bark, George. Aldermen showed up to the City Hall storytime to support librarians, and several said they could not vote for Emanuel’s budget if the library cuts remain. Librarians presented a petition with 4,000 signatures to rescind the cuts. Watch the newscast (1:10)....
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 31; Chicago Sun-Times, Oct, 31; WMAQ-TV, Chicago, Oct. 31
Libraries become outlet for powerless residents
From the moment West Caldwell (N.J.) Library Manager Karen Kelly arrived at work October 31, “the phones were ringing off the hook,” she said. After patrons realized the library was open, the next question they had was whether the library had Wi-Fi. “We are serving a dual purpose by providing warmth and knowledge,” said WCPL Director April Judge....
Caldwells (N.J.) Patch, Nov. 1
Libraries as a core service
Dave Peters writes: “How crucial are libraries to a community? Beloved by many, they nonetheless are among the first places residents turn when faced with a desire to save money. We’ve been exploring this question as part of our ‘Forced to Choose’ project. We also asked people in our Public Insight Network to give us their thoughts. We have a lot of librarians in the network, so we heard a lot of reasons to consider libraries core services at the heart of what a community is. But we heard from others as well.”...
Minnesota Public Radio, Nov. 1
Library will not ban Occupy Bangor protesters
The Bangor (Maine) Public Library will not adopt a policy to ban the Occupy Bangor protesters from camping out on library grounds. The demonstration started on October 29. Protesters are required to leave the nearby Pierce Park when it closes at 10 p.m. From there, they must move over to the library grounds. As it stands, anyone is allowed on library property and can access its Wi-Fi internet, even when it is closed....
WABI-TV, Bangor, Maine, Nov. 1
California must value its librarians
Regina Powers writes: “California paid for my master’s degree in library and information science. While I am grateful to have had the grant and the opportunity to go back to school, I wish now that I had instead trained to be an electrician, a plumber, or an auto mechanic. California does not value librarians. Other states employ an average of one public librarian to 6,250 patrons. As of last year, California librarians were each expected to serve 10,854 patrons.”...
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 26
Should DCPL stay in the Martin Luther King library?
Jonathan O’Connell writes: “The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is a historic landmark that, with its location in downtown Washington, D.C., is able to serve residents from around the city and provide support to the District of Columbia Public Library system’s 24 other branches. But the building, completed in 1972, is also expensive to maintain. For instance: Because a specific, hard-to-find window is needed to replace any that break in the building, fixing a broken window costs $16,000.”...
Washington Post: Capital Business, Oct. 27
Planned cuts at Philadelphia Library for the Blind
Officials at the Free Library of Philadelphia and others are fighting against state plans for cutting services at Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and shifting much of its work to its smaller counterpart in Pittsburgh. The Philadelphia library, the nation’s oldest library for the blind, provides services to the blind, physically handicapped, and hearing impaired in the eastern half of the state, while the smaller Pittsburgh library serves the western half....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 27
Accomplice pleads guilty in document thefts
A presidential historian’s assistant pleaded guilty October 27 to conspiring to steal valuable documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, and other historic figures from both sides of the Atlantic. Jason Savedoff, 24, admits he worked with historian Barry Landau since late last year to steal cultural heritage items from museums throughout the Northeast, including historical societies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut....
Associated Press, Oct. 27
Library janitor pleads guilty to theft of books, DVDs
A former library janitor who stole—and then sold—books and DVDs from the Lisle (Ill.) Library, where he worked, has been placed on two years’ probation and ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution after pleading guilty to felony theft. James F. Jackson, 43, was arrested August 27. Police say Jackson stole perhaps thousands of items and then sold them on the internet....
Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 27
Report: Multnomah County should privatize its libraries
An October report, Checking Out the Options (PDF file), by the pro-corporate and libertarian Cascade Policy Institute, comes as Multnomah (Oreg.) County commissioners are thinking of placing a library district authorization measure on the May 2012 primary ballot. If approved by voters, the district would provide permanent tax-raising authority for the library system. However, the report suggests that the county instead put library operations up for a private bid and charge annual user fees, arguing, “There is no inherent reason why library workers need to be unionized public employees.”...
Portland (Oreg.) Tribune, Oct. 25
LC closes its darkroom
From the end of the Great Depression until 2011, anyone could order a silver gelatin reproduction, printed from negatives, of any image in the Library of Congress collection, most recently for about $100 a print. Not any more. As a cost-cutting measure, the library’s duplication services no longer include darkroom-made prints. You can still order a digitally printed duplication. Or if you want Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” (right) as wallpaper for your desktop, you can download it for free....
Washington City Paper: Arts Desk, Oct. 26
Library hosts Boardwalk Empire historians
On October 29, the Atlantic City (N.J.) Free Public Library hosted a panel of three Atlantic City historians—Ralph E. Hunter Sr., Allen Pergament, and Boardwalk Empire author Nelson Johnson—to discuss Prohibition in the city, the vital role of the city’s black population, and the differences between fact and the events as portrayed in the award-winning HBO series Boardwalk Empire. “People think [the show] is all stuff that happened in Atlantic City, but didn’t really happen,” Hunter said. “I know it, Nelson knows it, and the whole world would know if they read his book.”...
Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), Oct. 29
Some nonprofits could lose tax-exempt status
Fruitland (Idaho) Community Library depends on cash donations to pay its rent and expenses like internet service for 10 public-access computers. Since the library opened in 2000, its use has mushroomed. But it surprised volunteer librarian Ginger Strawn to hear that her library is one of the nonprofits that the Internal Revenue Service says have lost their tax-exempt status because they haven’t filed financial-disclosure forms for at least three years. The IRS website on October 28 listed more than 386,000 nonprofits nationwide that have had their nonprofit status revoked....
Boise Idaho Statesman, Oct. 29
Library receives Mary Todd Lincoln’s commitment documents
Public officials have transferred Mary Todd Lincoln’s insanity hearing record from Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court vaults to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. There are 16 court pleadings and 39 expense vouchers, including a petition by Mary’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, asking to have his mother declared insane. Next will come a public reexamination of her hearing to see if she should have been committed to a psychiatric hospital in 1875....
WBBM-TV, Chicago, Oct. 31
Library zombies come to Sarnia
Who knew zombies have rules? At least the ones walking through downtown Sarnia, Ontario, on October 29 did during the third annual Zombiefest put on by the Sarnia branch of the Lambton County (Ont.) Library. Jeff Beeler, reference librarian and head zombie wrangler, reminded about 40 costumed participants in a quick orientation and safety session before the walk began. The library has been showing horror films for a half dozen years prior to Halloween and, in recent years, turned the event into Zombiefest....
Sarnia (Ont.) Observer, Oct. 30
Children’s library to open next to Japanese “cedar of hope”
A private library will open in November near the giant Japanese cedar in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, Japan, that was dubbed “the cedar of hope” after it survived the devastating March 11 tsunami. The wooden library has been constructed within the grounds of Imaizumi Tenmangu shrine, which was itself rebuilt. Rikuzentakata was chosen as the location for the project, as the city’s only library had been destroyed, and seven library staffers were tsunami victims....
Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Oct. 29
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The Great Firewall of America
Mathew Ingram writes: “Many internet users in the United States have watched with horror as countries like France and Britain have proposed or instituted so-called ‘three strikes’ laws, which cut off internet access to those accused of repeated acts of copyright infringement. Now the United States has its own version of this kind of law, and it is potentially much worse: The Stop Online Piracy Act (PDF file), introduced in the House October 26, would give governments and private corporations unprecedented powers to remove websites from the internet on the flimsiest of grounds, and would force internet service providers to play the role of copyright police.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more details....
GigaOM, Oct. 27; Ars Technica, June; Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 28
Exploiting the fun factor
Stephen Cass writes: “Games, game design, and our instinct to play them are forces now driving the technologies at the center of today’s always-on, always-connected businesses. Mobile devices and social networks have become as much platforms for playing games as anything else. Companies that ignore games face the same fate as those that ignored the rise of the internet in the 1990s. At best, they will be forced to play an expensive game of catch-up; at worst, they will fall irretrievably behind their competitors.”...
Technology Review, Nov. 1
Internet Explorer drops below 50% of web usage
Peter Bright writes: “A couple of interesting things happened in the world of web browser usage during October. The more significant one is that Internet Explorer’s share of global browser usage dropped below 50% for the first time in more than a decade. Less significant, but also notable, is that Chrome for the first time overtook Firefox here at Ars, making it the technologist’s browser of choice.”...
Ars Technica, Nov. 2
The best antivirus tools for 2012
Neil J. Rubenking writes: “New model-year security products used to come out in the fall, like new model-year cars. This year the first 2012 antivirus (G Data AntiVirus 2012) turned up way back in May. So far PCMag has reviewed nine antivirus tools explicitly identified as 2012 models, along with several others released during the same period. Which of these recent releases is the best?”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 5
The best podcast manager for iPhone
Adam Dachis writes: “There aren’t many podcast managers, or ‘podcatchers,’ for iOS, but perhaps that’s because there’s one that’s already next to perfect. Downcast handles practically every podcast need you’ve got, offering easy updating, streaming, and multitouch gestures. Every one of Downcast’s features was designed to make getting and listening to your podcasts easy.”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 2
The best Android phone
Brian Lam writes: “First, a caveat: I still think the iPhone is the best phone because of how polished it is and because it has a large number of quality apps. But Android phones are powerful, look better every day, and are unparalleled in their connection to the cloud. So I won’t keep nagging you about the iPhone—I’ll just tell you which Android phone I’d get if someone put a gun to my head. An especially important handset is coming out shortly: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (right).”...
The Wirecutter, Oct. 27
Android orphans: A sad history of support
Michael DeGusta writes: “The announcement that Nexus One users won’t be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google’s support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I’ve been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones, and Nexus One users have fared much, much better than most Android buyers. The picture isn’t pretty for most Android users.”...
The Understatement, Oct. 26; TechCrunch, Oct. 26; Marco.org, Oct. 26
An Android app’s answer to Siri
David Pogue writes: “I spent much of my recent iPhone 4S review talking about Siri, the incredibly useful speech-controlled virtual assistant that’s the best new feature on the phone. I find myself using it constantly—to send text messages, set or cancel alarms, create appointments, and create reminders. Android phones have always let you speak to type. But they’ve never had anything like Siri—or so I thought. Then I got this note about Speaktoit in my inbox from a PR guy.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Oct. 12, 27
Do you want a smart book?
Atria is publishing its first book to be equipped with a smart chip, the publisher announced October 28. Tapping the RFID-enabled sticker with a near field communication–enabled smartphone will bring up a website with additional materials for the book. The debut smart book is The Impulse Economy: Understanding Mobile Shoppers and What Makes Them Buy by Gary Schwartz. The smart book allows the physical book to become interactive for both the book buyer and the book browser....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Oct. 28
Ebrary ebook downloads
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Ebrary now allows users to download ebooks (PDF file) to devices. Ebrary users can download up to 60 pages of a book into a permanent PDF file or an entire ebook using Adobe Digital Editions, which seems to load onto every ebook reader except the one I own (the Kindle). Ebrary has always had an ebook model similar to the e-journal model we’re all familiar with, where multiple users can access the same item just as they can with journal articles.”...
Academic Librarian, Oct. 30; Ebrary, Oct. 27
Extend the due date on your Kindle ebook from the library
Bobbi Newman writes: “Just a friendly tip from your friendly online librarian. It is pretty easy to ‘extend’ the due date of the library ebook you check out to your Kindle, just turn your wireless connection off until you’re done with it. This will allow you to keep reading the book until you’re done. The title won’t expire until you reactivate your wireless connection.”...
Librarian by Day, Oct. 26
Paying for first
Seth Godin writes: “Here’s a bit of speculation: Soon, there will be three kinds of books on the Kindle. $1.99 ebooks: This is the clearing price for virtually all ebooks going forward. $5 ebooks: This is the price for bestsellers, hot titles, and books you have no choice but to buy because they were assigned in school. $10 ebooks: This is the price you will pay to get the book first, to get it fast, to get it before everyone else. There might even be a subset of books for $20 in this category.”...
The Domino Project, Oct. 22
The 10 most amazing databases in the world
Rena Marie Pacella writes: “The 10 most amazing databases in the world do more than store knowledge. They provide researchers with new ways to solve long-cold crimes, predict economic recessions, measure your love life, map the universe, and save lives.”...
Popular Science, Oct. 31
PDA in the library
Steve Kolowich writes: “Patron-Driven Acquisition is a model of ebook licensing that aims to relieve library purchasing agents from spending thousands on books no one will end up reading. A new report on the future of academic libraries identifies such demand-based services as an inevitable trend for libraries under pressure to prove that their expenditures are in line with their value. And one university says its own experimentation has produced damning data exposing the inefficiency of traditional collection-building compared to new methods that could prevail in the digital era.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 28
Las Vegas schools have high hopes for iPad program
Paper textbooks might soon go the way of the slide rule and the typewriter as the Clark County, Nevada, school district launches a $790,050 iPad program, one of the largest of its kind in the United States. Instead of getting hefty books, about 1,150 Las Vegas middle- and high-school students were given thin iPad 2 tablets, each loaded with an interactive-textbook app, developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for their Algebra 1 classes. The app is more than just a digital textbook....
Education Week, Oct. 18
Twitterology: A new science?
Ben Zimmer writes: “Twitter is many things to many people, but lately it has been a gold mine for scholars in fields like linguistics, sociology, and psychology who are looking for real-time language data to analyze. Twitter’s appeal to researchers is its immediacy and its immensity. Instead of relying on questionnaires and other laborious, time-consuming methods of data collection, social scientists can simply take advantage of Twitter’s stream to eavesdrop on a virtually limitless array of language in action.”...
New York Times Sunday Review, Oct. 29
Top 10 great satirists
LordZB writes: “Satire is the form of humor that holds people, or society in general, up for examination, and ridicules the follies revealed. Good satire should offer improving examples or at least make us consider choices we often take for granted. In this sense, satire is of huge value to society. While satire can be cruel to the victims it mocks, it should always be funny. These 10 individuals are the best satirists that have ever lived.”...
Listverse, Oct. 31
Six famous novels written in less than a month
Jill Harness writes: “It’s National Novel Writing Month! Some people criticize the concept, claiming that novels written in under a month aren’t going to be worth the paper they’re printed on. But there are plenty of examples to prove the naysayers wrong. In fact, many classic, bestselling novels were penned within this time frame. While these authors completed these fine pieces of literature without the motivation of National Novel Writing Month, they still serve as an excellent example.”...
Mental Floss, Nov. 1
New librarian completely unaware that books exist (satire)
Information Processor and Facilitator Kathleen Olivo, 22, was floored to discover that the Excelsior Library, where she started work today, is in fact full of books. “I couldn’t believe that so much information is organized this way,” Olivo said, pulling a hardcover copy of Johnny Tremaine down from the shelves and swiping a hesitant finger along a page. “Have you seen these things? They’re so bulky!” She held the book up to her face and sniffed. “Gross.”...
Insert Eyeroll, Oct. 31
A mysterious binding
Helena E. Wright writes: “One of the treasures held by the Division of Culture and the Arts at the National Museum of American History is a beautiful book in a splendid binding. We know a good deal about the book, its history, and its importance, but some questions remain, particularly about its binding. It’s an intriguing mystery. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer was published by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press in England in 1896. The volume was part of the collection of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who sold it at auction in 1938.”...
O Say Can You See?, Nov. 2
Written in prison
L. D. Mitchell writes: “Here’s an interesting idea for a private library: Collect nothing but titles that have been penned by prisoners. Some of the world’s greatest, as well as some of the most influential, literature ever written was penned by prisoners. Among such titles are Cervantes’s Don Quixote (begun while the author was locked up in debtor’s prison); Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos (written while the author was imprisoned by Italian partisans during World War II); and Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy (written while the author was under arrest on false charges of treason).”...
The Private Library, Oct. 28
Pop star Lisa Loeb will bring her wit, wacky humor, and sparkling creativity to the Wrap Up Rev Up Celebration during the Midwinter Exhibits Closing on January 23.
Hugo, based on author-illustrator Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is in theaters nationwide beginning November 23. Use this poster and bookmark in celebration of this Caldecott Medal-winning book and soon-to-be movie classic. Hugo from ©2011 Paramount Pictures Corporation and GK Films. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
Bibliothèque Ste.-Geneviève, Paris. Completed in 1851 by architect Henri Labrouste, this library inherited the collections of the Benedictine Abbey of Ste.-Geneviève, said to have been founded in 502 by the Frankish King Clovis I. The iron structure of its reading room has been praised by Modernist architects for its introduction of advanced technology in a monumental building. It is now part of the University of Paris 1.
Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne, Universities of Paris. Built as the library of the University of Paris in 1770 after the university acquired the college of the Jesuits, who were expelled from France in 1763, the library closed in 1793 during the French Revolution and its books and holdings were transferred elsewhere. The current building by architect Henri-Paul Nénot was completed in 1897, three more stories were added in 1932, and a basement level was put in place in the 1970s. The Collections Patrimoniales contain the university archives up to the Revolution, historical manuscripts, the papers of philosopher Victor Cousin, the papers of the dukes of Richelieu, and some 100,000 pre-1801 imprints. The library now serves five of the universities of Paris.
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 in 2013 by ALA Editions.
Product Manager, WorldCat Quality, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio. Tens of thousands of libraries around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, and preserve library materials. The Product Manager is responsible for all aspects of product planning and development. This role also provides critical input to the product marketing team in product release and promotional efforts....
Digital Library of the Week
Maps of Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic Region, drawn from the Historic Map Collection in the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library, includes several hundred sheet maps representing Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.; and four atlases of the state of Delaware. The digitized maps are from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and include transportation, regional, municipal, manuscript, and historical maps; and nautical charts of Delaware Bay.
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.
“There is no frigate like a book, and no harbor like a library, where those who love books but can’t afford their own complete collections, or those who need a computer, or kids who need a safe place to read after school, or moms with toddlers who want their babies to learn to read, can all come together and share in a great community resource.”
—Detective fiction author Sara Paretsky, urging residents of Chicago, and anywhere else library hours and staff are threatened, to advocate for their public libraries, Sara Paretsky’s blog, Oct. 30.
StoryWorld 2011 Conference, San Francisco, Oct. 31–Nov. 2, at:
Digital Library Federation, Fall Forum, Baltimore, Oct. 31–Nov. 2, at:
New York Library Association, Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, Nov. 2–5, at:
31st Charleston Conference, Charleston, S.C., Nov. 2–5, at:
RFID in Libraries Conference, London, U.K., Nov. 8, at:
Streaming Media West, Los Angeles, Nov. 8–9, at:
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Jan. 20–24, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
LYRASIS Annual Member Meeting, Online or at a number of community sites. “Content, Access, and the Role of Libraries in a Connected World.”
Access Services Conference, Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta. “Unlocking the 21st Century Library!”
Life and Literature, Conference on biodiversity literature digitization, Field Museum, Chicago.
2011 Global Education Conference, online conference.
The RDA Vocabularies: Implementation, Extension, and Mapping, webinar. Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.
International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems, Westin San Francisco Market Street.
Semantic Web in Libraries Conference, Hamburg, Germany. “Scholarly Communication in the Web of Data.”
Australasian Conference on Information Systems, University of Sydney, Australia. “Identifying the Information Systems Discipline.”
Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, International Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
International Conference on Grey Literature, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. “The Grey Circuit: From Social Networking to Wealth Creation.”
O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, New York Marriott Marquis.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center. “Alaska’s Libraries: Heart of the Community.”
Public Library Association, National Conference, Philadelphia.
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Marriott Knoxville. “Libraries Transform.”
The role of guerrilla librarianship
Mandy Henk writes: “Guerrilla librarianship involves building and maintaining libraries directly where people and the need for information intersect. It can mean building them on a beach, in a bar, or at an occupation. Guerrilla libraries exist for many reasons, and they are well-grounded in Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science. Most of all, guerrilla librarianship is an act of resistance.”...
Occupy Wall Street Library blog, Oct. 28
The career road of Occupy Wall Street
Damian Ghigliotty writes: “Mandy Henk, circulation, reserves, and interlibrary loan librarian at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, joined the Occupy movement in late September and rediscovered the role she cares most about—connecting people with information. Since then, she has commuted back and forth between Greencastle and Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan with a focus on developing new models for libraries at a time when many are facing budget shortfalls.”...
FINS, Oct. 31
12 ways to save your library
Jennifer Derrick writes: “I’ve always been a huge supporter of our library, giving money, time, and materials (they’re even in my will), but it’s not enough when just a few people are giving. When the community got together to fight the closure, I learned a few additional ways to help fight cutbacks and closures, as well as ensure the subject never comes up in the first place. Here are some ideas. Note that the more of these you can do simultaneously, the better your chances of keeping your library alive and thriving.”...
Saving Advice, Nov. 1
These library projects got funded: Why not yours?
PC Sweeney writes: “Every once in a while I peruse the amazing projects that are happening on Kickstarter. I am especially interested in projects with a library or librarian theme to them. I have been reading about some amazing projects done by librarians around the world, and at the same time I have heard other librarians lamenting the lack of funding for awesome projects of their own. It seems this would be a great way to raise money for your library pet project. Each of these projects have funding goals of less than $10,000 and most are for less than $5,000.”...
PC Sweeney’s Blog, Oct. 27
Bake a bundt along with the Food Librarian
Bake a bundt for National Bundt Day on November 15. Then submit a photo or blog post by November 24 to Mary Yogi, the Food Librarian, and she will send you a 1.25-inch button (right) for baking along with her. She has also baked a bundt a day since October 17 in her “I Like Big Bundts 3” challenge, in which she will make a total of 30 cakes. (The Doll Bundt Cake was extraordinary!) See the interview with the Food Librarian at I Love Libraries....
The Food Librarian; I Love Libraries
17 Twitter marketing tips
Cindy King writes: “Are you looking for fresh ideas to improve your Twitter marketing? We sought out hot Twitter tips from the pros. Twitter has already grown more in the last nine months than in the last five years and this trend is expected to continue. How does Twitter fit into your social media marketing? Here are 17 Twitter marketing tips shared by Social Media Examiner’s writers.”...
Social Media Examiner, Oct. 26
Book inscription tells a tale of censorship
Brian Herzog writes: “I work in the library in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, which is next door to the city of Lowell, the birthplace of Jack Kerouac. As a result, we try to maintain a good Jack Kerouac collection, but one specific book in our collection is particularly special. The book is The Portable Jack Kerouac, donated to the library in 1995 by the grandson of long-time Chelmsford Librarian Edith Pickles (right). Just this week a coworker showed me this book—the story Edith’s grandson recounts in the inscription is just stunning.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Oct. 27
What Wikipedia deletes, and why
For the past year, a University of Pennsylvania research team has been mining Wikipedia content to learn what the online encyclopedia’s administrators have been considering too “dangerous” to leave online. In 2010, redactions accounted for more than 56,000 of the 47.1 million revisions, according to the research team. In May 2010, Wikipedia’s leaders gave approximately 40 people the ability to permanently delete text, including entries in the history pages; now more than 1,800 people have that ability....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Oct. 26
Census of federal libraries
Profiles of U.S. federal libraries from around the world are now available online. Presented dynamically with an interactive mapping tool (only viewable on Firefox), the Federal Library Directory displays geographic and collections data from more than 1,000 libraries. This publicly available dataset, sponsored by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee, identifies members of the federal library and information center community and offers current information on their locations, collections, services, and specialties....
Library of Congress, Oct. 28
Postal history at the Post Office
David Straight writes: “The United States Postal Service provides a wealth of resources, reaching back to its roots in colonial America, for those interested in its history. Last summer the Historian’s Office redesigned its postal history website. The photo gallery displays a small fraction of the pictures held in the Post Office collection, and postmaster finder is one of the most valuable resources.”...
Philatelic Literature and Research, Oct. 30
Future format: Goals and measures
Karen Coyle writes: “The LC report on the future bibliographic format (aka replacement for MARC) (PDF file) is out. It is short and has few specifics, other than the selection of RDA as the underlying data format. A significant part of the report lists requirements; these, too, are general in nature and may not be comprehensive. What needs to be done before we go much further is to begin to state our specific goals and the criteria we will use to determine if we have met those goals.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Nov. 1; Library of Congress, Oct. 31
Describing and measuring the value of public libraries
Paul T. Jaeger, et al., write: “Public libraries find themselves in the position of defending and justifying their funding and continued existence to their stakeholders. Many of these public libraries seek to prove their worth to their community through the use of different measurements and metrics to demonstrate quantifiable contributions and different understandings of the concept of value as part of showing a contribution. This paper discusses the implications of value demonstration approaches for libraries in social and policy contexts.”...
First Monday 16, no. 11 (Nov. 7)
How to tell if they really love your library
Steven Bell writes: “This is a profession that promotes the idea of loving a library. If you need some evidence, just visit ILoveLibraries.org. But what does it really mean to love a library or any other inanimate object? There is a study that attempts to answer this question. It’s a report titled ‘Shoes, Cars and Other Love Stories’ and it’s actually a dissertation in the field of industrial design by Beatriz Russo.”...
Designing Better Libraries, Oct. 30
12 ways to create quizzes and tests for free
Julie Greller writes: “With budgets being cut left and right, teachers are trying to find ways to administer quizzes and tests without exceeding their copy limit at school. (A ream of paper for the entire year?) I’ll admit that it’s hard to find a lot of truly free programs online that offer grading and statistics. My list also includes a survey app which can also be used for small quizzes.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Oct. 28
Best state genealogy websites, 2011
Rick Crume writes: “Some of the most useful records for genealogists are kept at the state level. In selecting this year’s best state websites for genealogy, we were on the lookout for databases where you can look for a relative’s name. Many of the 75 sites (at least one per state) have indexes, and in many cases, you can even view images of original records. We salute the efforts of these state archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies—and even a few ambitious individuals—for making genealogical and historical information available online.”...
Family Tree Magazine, Oct. 19
Public libraries and Baby Boomers
Suzanne Flint writes: “Recognizing that many current adult and senior library services do not reflect the character or interests of today’s Boomer generation, the ‘IMLS Western Regional Fellowship: Transforming Life After 50’ helped to effectively position public libraries as a resource that can help adults (ages 50+) remain vital and contributing members of their communities. The Fellowship has concluded and the entire curriculum—including two webinars, podcasts of the major speakers, and materials from six online courses—is archived and available free to anyone on the TLA50 website.”...
UpNext: The IMLS Blog, Oct. 28
U.S. Copyright Office outlines its priorities
Andrew Albanese writes: “Orphan works, preservation for libraries, mass digitization, and fighting digital piracy are among the priorities set by the Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante in an October 25 paper (PDF file) outlining the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘priorities and special projects’ for the next two years. In all, the paper articulates 17 priorities in the areas of copyright policy and administrative practice, and 10 ‘new projects’ designed to ‘improve the quality and efficiency’ of the U.S. Copyright Office’s services in the 21st century.”...
Publishers Weekly, Oct. 26
Writing in the library
Amanda Ellington writes: “The practice of writing involves the recognition of shapes and letters as well as small motor coordination and then the combination of the two. When trying to incorporate writing in your children’s
space, think of activities that will develop small motor coordination and shape and letter recognition. I am listing a few that I have included in the children’s room at the Lexington Park (Md.) Library, where I work, as well as some I have seen in other spaces.”...
ALSC Blog, Oct. 28
Google Street View goes indoors and to the park
Google is taking its Street View mapping service indoors. In May, Google announced plans for 360-degree Business Photos, a program that would send Google photographers to various businesses to snap professional photos for their Places Page. Atlantic Wire pointed to a comic book store (above) in Tustin, California, that has interior Street View activated. And on October 31, Google began enhancing Street View with images of parks from 22 different countries....
PC Magazine, Oct. 28; Atlantic Wire, Oct. 26; Google Lat Long Blog, Oct. 31
The creepy librarian stalker hypothesis
Sarah Houghton writes: “There is a bit of a pestilence on female public figures, including those of us in the library world. Certain men, and on occasion women, behave rather inappropriately toward us. For years I thought it was something that only I was experiencing. Then I started talking with my female colleagues—others who speak, write, or are otherwise in the bibliosphere’s public eye. I have been surprised to learn how many women experience this inappropriate craziness from fellow librarians.”...
Librarian in Black, Oct. 31
National Library of Uzbekistan
Robert Newlen writes: “The Uzbekistan government has recently invested significant resources in improving library services, which includes the construction of a new National Library of Uzbekistan. On a recent business trip to Tashkent (the capital), I had the opportunity to visit the construction site of the new library where I took this picture. The official opening is scheduled for November.”...
In Custodia Legis, Oct. 28
Some YouTube Insights
David Lee King writes: “I was poking around in my library’s YouTube account—generally tidying up the place and adding some info to video descriptions. While doing that, I started looking at our YouTube Insights (that’s what YouTube calls statistics or analytics), and discovered some neat stuff. And I thought I’d share.”...
David Lee King, Oct. 27
Top 5 Google Plus annoyances
Ed Swiderski writes: “After using Google Plus for a couple of months, I’m actually a big fan. But I have mixed feelings about it. I’m a huge fan of the innate viral capabilities, however, there are still some things that need to be ironed out.”...
ChicagoNow: Ed or Alive, Oct. 19
The freshman research paper
Meredith Farkas writes: “I understand perfectly that faculty want their first-year students to find quality resources and they want their students to have an understanding of scholarly communication. But is the best way to do that forcing them to find scholarly articles for a research paper? That requires so many different skills that many of these students don’t have yet. Research is painful. Scholarly articles are impossible to read. The first year should be about getting students excited about participating in research and contributing to the scholarly conversation.”...
Information Wants to Be Free, Oct. 27
Online Royal Society journal archive now free
The Royal Society has announced that its world-famous historical journal archive—which includes the first-ever peer-reviewed scientific journal—has been made permanently free to access online. Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available. The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific publisher, with the first edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society appearing in 1665....
Royal Society, Oct. 26
Livingstone’s diary digitized and made legible
In Africa in 1871, explorer David Livingstone met New York Herald reporter Henry M. Stanley and gave him a harrowing account of a massacre he witnessed, in which slave traders slaughtered 400 innocent people. Stanley’s press reports prompted the British government to close the East African slave trade. An international team of scholars and scientists led an 18-month project to recover Livingstone’s original account of the massacre. The story, found in a diary that was illegible until it was restored with advanced digital imaging, offers a unique insight into his mind. The diary is now online through the UCLA Digital Library Program....
UCLA Newsroom, Nov. 1
Shakespeare, Bacon, and modern cryptography
Laura Massey writes: “Currently reigniting the Shakespeare authorship controversy is Roland Emmerich’s new movie Anonymous, which posits that the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays. With academics and bibliophiles of all types understandably up-in-arms in response, this 150-year-old battle seems a no-win situation. But there is a silver lining. In a fascinating and little-known byway of history, the authorship controversy led directly to some of the most important 20th-century advances in a seemingly unrelated field: cryptography.”...
The Cataloguer’s Desk, Oct. 24
Study on game transfer phenomena
Over the course of many years, a debate has raged on as to what direct effects video games have on those who play them. According to a study published in the third issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology, and Learning, gamers can experience an integration of video-game elements into their everyday lives, whether through intentional or automatic response, thanks to an analysis of behavior called game transfer phenomena (GTP). The findings also demonstrated how video games sometimes trigger intrusive thoughts, sensations, impulses, reflexes, optical illusions, and dissociations....
IGI Global Blog, Oct. 31
Anchorage Public Library video
The staff of the Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library put together this excellent promotional video (3:30) that showcases their facility, collections, and services to a diverse population. They had the help of Ice Cap Productions and Sugarsled Creative, as well as local residents and a library architect....
YouTube, Oct. 21
Haunted library screamfest
The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Special Collections Library at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, put on a Haunted Library Screamfest “eeeks”-ibit and open house October 31. The event was free to both the living and the dead, and featured 13 items from the collection, including letters to Duke University’s Parapsychology Laboratory, Halloween postcards, Bela Lugosi’s signature, and a box of 49 glass eyeballs (right)....
The Devil’s Tale, Oct. 25
The continuing mystery of the Scottish book sculptures
The mysterious book sculptures that started turning up at libraries and other cultural venues in Edinburgh, Scotland, last spring are still making an appearance. Now Garry Gale, director of the city’s Music Library, said when he saw the sculptures he realized they looked exactly like a paper sculpture he had bought a year or so earlier from a certain artist that he didn’t name, but the styles were so unerringly similar it had to be the same artist. But apparently most people would prefer to keep the mystery going....
National Public Radio: Krulwich Wonders, Oct. 31
The Two Ronnies debate book classification
Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett debate the merits of having books shelf-arranged by color in this sketch (3:28), “The Confusing Library,” from Season 10 (1983–1984) of The Two Ronnies, a popular British show from BBC1. “You don’t classify books by the color?” “Oh yes, it’s the architect’s idea; he said it looked neater.”...
YouTube, July 31
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