|American Libraries Online
Amazon’s library model: Can we learn from it?
Christopher Harris writes: “A lot of library and ebook pundits (all five of us?) have been talking about it, but Amazon finally launched its Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. Amazon has been working to find more ways to add value to its Prime program, such as the inclusion of streaming movies and TV shows. The Kindle Fire page spends much more time talking about the streaming media from Prime than it does the books. While this is interesting to look at, the real question, of course, is what impact will this have on our libraries?”...
AL: E-Content, Nov. 4
Placing adult literacy front and center
Dale Lipschultz and Miguel Figueroa write: “The groundbreaking first U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy was held November 2–5 in Houston, Texas. Sponsored by ProLiteracy, the conference brought together adult learners, literacy providers, educators, and librarians to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the adult literacy field in the 21st century. The opening general session introduced the new ‘Stand for Literacy’ campaign, an opportunity for adult learners and librarians to share their personal literacy stories.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Nov. 9
Egypt’s cultural center seeks its path amid turmoil
The January 2011 uprising that led to the ousting of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may be over, but the Bibliotheca Alexandrina—Egypt’s nearly 10-year-old center for culture and scholarship (above)—has seen some recent upheaval. The library’s director, Ismail Serageldin, has come under attack, and many members of his staff and others are demanding his resignation. Sohair Wastawy, former director of the BA, says the accusations are unjustified. Wastawy spoke with American Libraries Associate Editor Sanhita SinhaRoy on November 3....
AL: Global Reach, Nov. 9
Serving players through selection
Erik Bobilin and Nicole Pagowsky write: “While libraries are learning the value of gaming, there is not currently a great deal of information available discussing standards for video game collection development, and few libraries with game collections have published their policies. To help out, Team G (above) of the 2011 class of ALA Emerging Leaders worked to study and establish best practices for video game collection development in libraries.”...
American Libraries feature
Summer reading levels up
Greg Landgraf writes: “Like many libraries, Canton (Mich.) Public Library has traditionally operated a summer reading program to encourage children to keep reading through the summer months when they aren’t facing regular class assignments. But the library had two significant issues with the program. One was budgetary. The second issue was effectiveness. The library was concerned that simply offering a reward for kids to read does not help them develop into lifelong readers.” Ann Arbor District Library also created a summer game, shown in this video (2:28)....
American Libraries feature; YouTube, Nov. 3
Greg Landgraf writes: “As video games gain influence in our culture, the need to preserve them for future study gains importance as well. Richard Pugh of the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, is working to build a video game archive. The project, currently dubbed the Video Game Collection, acquires every game that comes to LC through copyright registration, which Pugh estimates at about 10% of the games published each year.”...
American Libraries feature
Helping warriors unleash the power of the pen
Amy Hartman and Holly Baumgartner write: “The best pleasures in life are often unexpected, and we have been lucky enough to be ambushed by a program that has become one of the most extraordinarily rewarding experiences of our careers. The Sylvania branch of the Toledo–Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library and Lourdes College of Sylvania cosponsored the Veterans’ Writing Workshop in 2010. We crafted a variety of thought-provoking writing and reading exercises intended to encourage all veterans to write about their experiences for their own benefit or to share them with friends and family.”...
American Libraries feature
2012 Library Design Showcase: Call for submissions
American Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Library Design Showcase, our annual feature celebrating the best new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. Like last year, the showcase will be primarily published online, with excerpts published in the March/April 2012 issue and in American Libraries’ Spring Digital Supplement. Submit photos and a form (PDF file) to the AL office by January 13....
AL: Inside Scoop, Nov. 8
Carla M. Connolly (right), 59, a librarian at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois, for 22 years, passed away November 6; her nephew, David M. Connolly, is a longtime staff member of ALA and ACRL. Daniel Jones will retire January 6 as director of Northrup Library at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. On October 17, Richard Reyes-Gavilan was named director and chief librarian of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library....
American Libraries column
Rich Harwood at the ALA President’s Program
Rich Harwood (right), described as “one of the great thinkers in American public life,” is the featured speaker in ALA President Molly Raphael’s President’s Program at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 22. Over the past 20 years, Harwood has become a leading national authority on improving America’s communities, raising standards of political conduct and re-engaging citizens on today’s most complex and controversial public issues....
ALA Conference Services, Nov. 8
Occupy Wall Street librarians to speak at Midwinter
The new ALA Masters Series kicks off at ALA Midwinter with an exciting special session led by three of the People’s Library builders. “A Library Occupies Occupy Wall Street” is a Special Masters session on January 21, where attendees will learn firsthand from the librarians on the front lines of Occupy Wall Street. Betsy Fagin and Mandy Henk (above) and Zachary Loeb will share their experiences in building the People’s Library and being part of the Occupy Wall Street movement....
ALA Conference Services, Nov. 8
2012 Emerging Leader participants announced
The participants for the 2012 class of ALA Emerging Leaders have been selected. Seventy-seven individuals (PDF file) were chosen to participate in this year’s program. The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project-planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Nov. 7
Have fun on National Gaming Day, November 12
Got the urge to yell out “Uno!” or showcase your Nintendo Wii prowess? Head to your local library. On November 12, more than 20,000 people are expected to come together for the ALA’s Fourth Annual National Gaming Day. Libraries will take part in the event by hosting get-togethers for kids and families to meet and play classic board games such as Connect Four and Scrabble or dabble in an international Super Smash Bros. Brawl video game tournament. Watch the Palatine (Ill.) Public Library NGD video (1:06)....
Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), Nov. 4; Campaign for America’s Libraries, Nov. 4; YouTube, Nov. 3
Forum on rural library advocacy
Join rural library leaders in a conversation about advocacy, leadership, and the newly revised Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library, at a special forum during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 22. Sponsored by three ALA committees and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the session will employ the World Café method of hosting large-group dialogue....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Nov. 8
Public library survey extended to November 18
Study managers have extended the participation deadline for the 2011–2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey to November 18. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, the survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information regarding computer and internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training, and other uses of public libraries, such as providing public access technology centers in their communities....
Office for Research and Statistics, Nov. 7
OITP appoints its first research associate
Alan Inouye writes: “In 2007, the Office for Information Technology Policy established the OITP Fellows program, where distinguished scholars and practitioners can work on varied aspects of the OITP portfolio. Now we are establishing the OITP Research Associates program in the same spirit but for early career professionals with a serious interest in national public policy. Jessie Mannisto (right) will serve as the first OITP Research Associate with a term extending through August 2012.”...
District Dispatch, Nov. 8
100 Days for Haiti
Since the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, ALA has been committed to helping rebuild libraries on the island. Deborah Lazar, librarian at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, has pledged to match any gift to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund (up to a maximum of $5,000) from now through January 2012. You can make a qualifying donation on the ALA website now, or send your contribution to the ALA International Relations Office....
International Relations Office
Be a great boss
ALA Editions has launched a new workshop, “Be a Great Boss: The Kickoff to Your Year of Learning” with Cathy Hakala-Ausperk. This four-part workshop (January 5–March 22) complements Hakala-Ausperk’s book Be a Great Boss. Your purchase includes the ebook, featuring the complete text of the print edition in PDF format. Following the month-by-month organization of the book, the workshop will show you how to cultivate an attitude that instills confidence and develop a staff you can depend on....
ALA Editions, Nov. 9
How to build library websites using WordPress
A six-week facilitated eCourse called “Using WordPress to Build Library Websites” begins January 16. The course will teach the nuts and bolts of building a library website that is both user friendly and easy to maintain. Amanda Goodman and Polly-Alida Farrington will serve as instructors. Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio, and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files....
ALA Editions, Nov. 9
Featured review: Adult crime fiction
Connelly, Michael. The Drop. Nov. 2011. 416p. Little, Brown, hardcover (978-0-316-06941-0).
Harry Bosch, who’s been given three years until he must retire, is yet again deep in “high jingo,” the LAPD’s special version of power politics, in which a combination of cover-up, corruption, and “the good of the department” gets in the way of justice. This time, the jingo is tied to the apparent suicide of George Irving, son of Bosch’s longtime nemesis, former cop Irvin Irving, now a city councilman. Why does Irving handpick his enemy, Bosch, to take the case? The ploys and counterploys run deep....
Joyce Saricks writes: “I’ve always advocated cataloging paperbacks and adding them to the collection, shelving them right alongside the hardcovers. Paperbacks have a long history of being undervalued. Perhaps their reputation goes back to the whole idea of pulp fiction—low-quality paper and binding for low-quality prose. Popular, perhaps, but not good enough to appear in hardcover.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Culture, class, and a new kind of cowboy
Arts, architecture, and a bit of French flair put a cultural spin on this iconic Texas city, as this video (3:16) by TravelTex points out. On the right is the Pioneer Plaza cattle drive sculpture commemorating the 19th-century longhorn cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. The 70 bronze steers and three trail riders were created by artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas. Each steer is larger than life at six feet high, and the sculpture is said to be the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world....
TravelTex, July 14, 2010; Wikipedia
All about DART
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) gets you around Dallas and 12 surrounding cities with modern public transit services. The DART Red and Blue Lines stop at ground level at the Convention Center Station under Exhibit Halls E and F. Trains run every 5 minutes during peak (rush) hours and every 10 minutes during off-peak hours. The cost is $1.75 one way or $4 for a day pass....
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
A boarding pass on your screen
Susan Stellin writes: “With a growing number of travelers carrying smartphones, the era of paperless boarding may have finally arrived. I recently tried a mobile boarding pass for the first time on a Delta flight out of LaGuardia Airport and had no problems checking in or getting through security and onto the plane. But it’s not yet a foolproof way to travel, so here are some things I learned from my test drive, as well as feedback from fliers who have used e-boarding passes many times.”...
New York Times, Nov. 2
Airline Wi-Fi check
Brett Snyder writes: “It took ages, but United has finally made a decision on putting Wi-Fi on its fleet. Instead of just doing the domestic fleet, it’s going global. Now, almost every U.S. airline has plans for Wi-Fi with at least one of the various providers out there. Here’s a look at how they stack up.”...
Condé Nast Traveler: Daily Traveler, Nov. 7
Submit proposals for ACRL 2013
ACRL invites proposal submissions for the ACRL 2013 Conference to be held April 10–13, 2013, in Indianapolis. Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals are due May 11, 2012. Cyber Zed Shed presentation, poster session, roundtable discussion, and Virtual Conference Webcast proposals are due November 9, 2012. Submit proposals via the online form....
ACRL Insider, Nov. 8
Become a LLAMA mentor or mentee
The LLAMA Mentoring Committee has begun recruiting mentors and mentees for the July 2012–June 2013 year. The mentoring program pairs librarians who are currently in leadership positions with librarians who are interested in becoming leaders. The deadline to apply for mentors and mentees is December 16....
LLAMA, Nov. 8
Refresh your customer service skills
On November 30, PLA will host a live, hourlong webinar, “Fully Engaged Customer Service at Your Library,” as part of its “Public Libraries at Work” monthly webinar series. Participants will learn a fresh approach to customer service and discover ways to reduce work stress by enacting techniques to connect with patrons and respond to their needs in an efficient and positive manner. The registration deadline is November 28....
PLA, Nov. 8
AASL Pre-Midwinter Institute
AASL encourages school librarians to attend the AASL Pre-Midwinter Institute, “Tools for Transforming Your School Library Program,” taking place January 20 prior to the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Attendees will learn how to collect and use data to drive their program’s improvement. To register, visit the AASL website....
AASL, Nov. 8
New ASCLA Youth Services Consultants interest group
The Youth Services Consultants Interest Group, a new group hosted by ASCLA, is now online and accepting new members. Youth services consultants and any state library staff member who works with youth services on a statewide level are encouraged to join this member-driven group. To join, log in to ALA Connect, access the group’s ALA Connect page, then click “Join.”...
ASCLA, Nov. 8
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RUSA achievement awards and travel grants
There’s a little more than a month left to nominate yourself or someone else for one of the many achievement awards and conference travel grants offered by RUSA. The deadline for all nominations is December 15, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31....
RUSA, Nov. 8
STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring travel grant
The STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring travel grant is now offered in the amount of $1,250, thanks to an increase in funding from award sponsor Atlas Systems. The grant is presented annually to a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan, document delivery, or electronic reserves and provides support for travel expenses associated with attending the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations (PDF file) is December 15....
RUSA, Nov. 7
2012 ASCLA awards
The 2012 awards offered by ASCLA are an excellent chance to recognize colleagues, institutions, or particular programs for their contributions to the division and the areas of librarianship in which they serve. The nomination deadline is December 15. Download the appropriate award nomination form from the awards section of the ASCLA website....
ASCLA, Nov. 8
Need funding for Annual Conference 2012?
Take advantage of two grants made available through the New Members Round Table: the 3M NMRT Professional Development Grant, and the Shirley Olofson Memorial Award. Applications for these two grants are due December 16 and December 12, respectively. Applicants must be members of NMRT....
NMRT Notes, Nov. 1
EBSCO offers travel grants to ALA Annual Conference
ALA and EBSCO are partnering to offer seven scholarships for librarians to attend the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 21–26. Each EBSCO scholarship will be in the amount of $1,000 for conference registration, travel and expenses. The deadline to apply is December 1....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 3
Science Kits for Public Libraries grants
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Chicago Section is accepting applications for the IEEE Science Kits for Public Libraries Grant. The grant will provide funding to more than 20 public libraries in the Midwest for the development of math and science collections for K–12 students through the creation of science kits—especially kits that provide prepared experiments for use by students, educators, and librarians. The application deadline is December 15. Watch the Mount Prospect (Ill.) Public Library video (4:24) to see the kits in action....
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Chicago Section, Nov. 4; YouTube, Nov. 1, 2010
OCLC recognized for workplace practices
OCLC has been honored with the 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for its use of flexibility as an effective workplace strategy to increase business and employee success. The award, part of the national When Work Works project, recognizes employers of all sizes and types across the United States. When Work Works is a national project to educate the business community on the value of workplace flexibility, such as flextime....
OCLC, Nov. 4
The 90-second Newbery Film Festival: New York
Betsy Bird writes: “Kids from around the world (yes, world) filmed 90-second or so versions of various Newbery Award and Honor books. They sent these videos to YA author James Kennedy (of The Order of Odd-Fish) and he collected, curated, organized, tightened, and generally got them into working order. Kennedy received more than 100 entries, so those were culled down to a select few that he is showing in three theatrical showings. Here in New York, our film festival on November 5 was the first and played in the main branch of the library system.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Nov. 7; YouTube, Oct. 13
Business Book of the Year 2011
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty (PublicAffairs) is the 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Abhijit Banerjee received the £30,000 ($48,290 U.S.) award on behalf of his coauthor Esther Duflo at a dinner in London on November 3. The authors use randomized control trials of the type used to assess new drugs to study the behavior of poor people and the best ways to alleviate poverty....
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 4
2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prizes
The Roald Dahl Funny Prize celebrates the best in funny literature for children in memory of one of the most inventive and humorous children’s authors. This year the two winners who had the judges clutching their sides were Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently in the 6 years and under category, and The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon in the 7–14 age group. The winner in each category wins £2,500 ($4,025 U.S.). For the first time this year, more than 400 school pupils took part in the voting process....
Yahoo! Lifestyle UK, Nov. 8
2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Esi Edugyan was named the 2011 winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize on November 8 for her novel Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen), about jazz musicians in World War II Paris. The largest annual literary award in Canada, the prize awards $50,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. The shortlist was chosen from an unprecedented 143 books submitted for consideration by 55 publishing houses....
Scotiabook Giller Prize, Nov. 8
2011 Galaxy National Book Awards
Jackie Collins picked up the outstanding achievement prize at the 2011 Galaxy National Book Awards, announced in London November 4. Collins’s 28 novels have never been out of print and are all international bestsellers. Her most recent novel, Goddess of Vengeance, debuted at the top of the UK Sunday Times bestseller list in April. Dawn French won the award for fiction for A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin), while Caitlin Moran won the nonfiction prize for How to Be a Woman (Ebury)....
BBC News, Nov. 4
UK Information Book Awards 2011
The winners of the first UK School Library Association Information Book Awards were announced in London on November 2. The awards celebrate information books, the importance of nonfiction materials for children and young adults, and the high standard of resources available. The overall winners were Adrian Dingle’s How to Make a Universe with 92 Ingredients (Scholastic) and Kristen McDermott and Ari Berk’s The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (Templar)....
School Library Association Blog, Nov. 2
Prix Goncourt goes to high school teacher
France’s highest literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, was awarded November 3 to Alexis Jenni for his novel L’Art Français de la Guerre (The French Art of War). Jenni is a first-time novelist who teaches high school biology. Despite its prestige, the Prix Goncourt comes with just a token financial reward—about $13. Yet the attention it brings often means a significant increase in book sales for the winner. Jenni’s 600-page novel is a journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria, and at home....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Nov. 3
Occupy D.C.’s “People’s Library”
The Occupy D.C. library has become a hub of information—and novels—for Washington protesters. The library recently expanded to a larger tent to accommodate a continuing influx of donations, which includes an edition of French Women Don’t Get Fat and one man’s donated comic book collection. Volunteers now estimate the collection holds more than 1,000 volumes. Known as the “People’s Library,” it has no library cards, closing time, late fees, or even a requirement to return the books. Similar libraries have sprung up at other Occupy protests, including New York and London....
Wall Street Journal, Nov. 4
Special tax for Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library passes
By a margin of more than two to one, Pittsburgh voters November 8 approved a binding referendum to add 0.25 mills to the tax on all real estate in the city, and steer the proceeds to the fiscally challenged Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The new revenue, as much as $3 million annually, will play a large part (PDF file) in allowing the library to continue providing neighborhood-based services to city residents, including early learning programs for children and families, job search assistance, and computer and internet access....
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 8; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Nov. 8
Chicago mayor’s library cuts face city council vote November 16
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $6.3-billion budget cleared its first legislative hurdle November 7 when the Chicago city council’s budget committee approved the spending plan hours after the finance committee advanced the revenue package. That sets the stage for a full council vote on November 16. Although Emanuel restored $3.3 million from the initial $8.6 million in proposed cuts, the measure would still eliminate almost 20% of Chicago Public Library staff, restrict hours of operation, and cut several areas of programming, including those geared toward children and computer literacy....
Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 7
Chicago’s library of the future
Jaywon Choe writes: “The University of Chicago’s new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library is a futuristic bubble of a building with nary a stack in site. Many of its nearly one million items—special collections, journals, dissertations, documents—can be accessed online. While many academic libraries are digitizing and moving holdings off site, Manseuto is the largest and latest to add automated storage and retrieval systems.” The Museum of Science and Industry’s Kevin Byrne got a behind-the-scenes look at the Mansueto recently. Watch the video (2:38)....
New York Times, Nov. 4; Month at the Museum 2, Nov. 3; YouTube, Nov. 3
Book challenge at Blue Springs
Parents of a child in the Blue Springs (Mo.) School District have objected to a book they say is riddled with obscenities. Hold Still by Nina LaCour was pulled in October from a school library as the district reconsiders whether it is appropriate for student reading. Now the ACLU is threatening to get involved if the school district caves in to pressure. Parent Christina Brown said the book is “extremely inappropriate” for public school because it describes explicit sexual relationships....
KCTV, Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 8
Indiana libraries closing doors, cutting hours
Libraries in Indiana are delaying repairs, limiting purchases of new material, and closing their doors as they bow under the weight of statewide property tax caps and declining revenue. The Johnson County and Greenwood library systems will face shortfalls of about 10% next year. Edinburgh (right) plans to spend 5% less next year. And two branches of the Hammond Public Library system have closed while facing a $1.2-million shortfall....
Associated Press, Nov. 5
NYPL president arrested for DWI
The new president and CEO of the New York Public Library, Anthony Marx, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated November 6 after he sideswiped a parked vehicle with his library-owned Audi, law-enforcement officials said. The library released a statement from Marx that said, “My focus now is on moving forward and assuring that this incident does not detract from the important work and goals shared by all my colleagues.” Marx succeeded former NYPL President Paul LeClerc in July....
Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8
Alec Baldwin Foundation donates $250,000 to East Hampton Library
On November 1, the East Hampton (N.Y.) Library announced a donation of $250,000 from the Alec Baldwin Foundation to assist in the construction of the library’s expanded children’s wing, which is expected to break ground in the spring. The donations are part of the actor’s promise to donate the proceeds of his commercials for Capital One Bank’s Venture Rewards card to arts and cultural organizations....
East Hampton (N.Y.) Star, Nov. 3
West Hollywood’s StandUp Librarian isn’t laughing
Meredith Myers, librarian and professional comedian, was fired from a West Hollywood library job that she loved. Myers has an MLS, but library jobs are scarce these days. So earlier this year she devoted much of her volunteer time to fundraising for the West Hollywood branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library and soon took a job as a library page, developing her comedy routine at the same time. But shortly after the Los Angeles Times interviewed her about her work, the library let her go without explanation. Myers comments, “What I hope all of you learn from my story is that when bad stuff happens, it is not the end of the performance.”...
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 2; StandUp Librarian blog, Nov. 6
Librarian’s words are binding
Steve Lopez writes: “Several years ago a young man who was majoring in philosophy and French got a part-time job in his university library to help pay his bills. Over time, it occurred to him that he loved that hallowed sanctuary, surrounded each day by bound volumes of ideas and by records of our history. He knew then what he wanted to do with his life and went on to graduate school to study library science. Today, he’s a librarian at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, helping rebuild a collection wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. His name is Andrew, by the way, and he’s my son.”...
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 9
Iraqis want U.S. to return stolen Saddam archives
Salah Nasrawi writes: “Detailed records of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s private deliberations with his inner circle released by the Pentagon are raising serious questions about the right of the United States to seize Iraqi state documents and keep them under its control even after ending its eight years of occupation. For Iraqis, the documents and transcripts—which were part of a massive state archive that American forces captured after they invaded Iraq in 2003—are considered a treasure and part of Iraq’s national heritage and should be returned to Iraq.”...
Al-Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Nov. 3–9
D.C. gets $6-million settlement in three-alarm fire case
Washington, D.C., will receive $6 million in a settlement of its case against the general contractor that headed the renovation of the Georgetown branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, severely damaged in 2007 by a three-alarm blaze that investigators found was caused by a construction worker using a heat gun. The city will receive the settlement from the insurance carriers for Dynamic Corp. and subcontractor Two Brothers Contracting. It had initially sued Dynamic for $13 million in damages to the 76-year-old building. The library reopened in 2010 after a $23-million restoration....
Washington Post, Nov. 4; Legal Times: BLT, Nov. 4
Joplin library lost some 1,200 books in tornado
Even though the Joplin (Mo.) Public Library building wasn’t struck by the May 22 tornado, its collection took a big hit, said Library Director Jacque Gage. Between 1,200 and 1,500 library items that had been checked out are gone with the wind. Every section of the library lost something, and the biggest losses were to children’s books, DVDs, and adult fiction....
Joplin (Mo.) Globe, Nov. 2
Wikipedia gains more academic credibility
It was about six years ago that University of British Columbia Professor Jon Beasley-Murray first noticed his students citing Wikipedia in their essays. If they were going to use Wikipedia for his class on Latin American literature, he thought, they might as well improve some of the shoddy articles. So for the past five years, students in his class have edited or contributed articles to Wikipedia as part of a class assignment. By the end of 2011, Wikipedia hopes to have convinced enough professors worldwide that approximately 10,000 students will be contributing to the site....
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, Nov. 5
Room to Read changes lives
Nicholas D. Kristof writes: “I came here to Vietnam on October 28 to see John Wood (right) hand out his 10 millionth book at a library that his team founded in Cai Lei in the Mekong Delta—as hundreds of local children cheered and embraced the books he brought as if they were the rarest of treasures. Wood’s charity, Room to Read, has opened 12,000 of these libraries around the world, along with 1,500 schools. He has opened nearly five times as many libraries as Carnegie, even if his are mostly single-room affairs, at the astonishing rate of six per day.”...
New York Times Sunday Review, Nov. 5
Professors decry cuts to Library and Archives Canada
Canada is losing out on priceless historial records because of funding cuts and poor management at its Library and Archives, a national university teachers group said November 2. The Canadian Association of University Teachers launched its “Save Library and Archives Canada” campaign at a Parliament Hill press conference, lashing out at what it says is LAC’s lack of interest in buying rare books and artifacts....
Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, Nov. 3
The Return of Mein Kampf
Sarah Wildman writes: “Distributing and displaying Nazi paraphernalia is forbidden in Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, and Lithuania. And for nearly 70 years, the German state of Bavaria, which holds the copyright for Hitler’s Mein Kampf, has fought against the book’s publication. While these restrictions may have helped limit its widespread distribution in Europe, the book is widely available, in its entirety, across the web. As Europe faces the end of the copyright on one of the most painful texts of the 20th century, some people now believe the best course of action is not to extend the ban but to publish Mein Kampf with extensive annotations that explain how the book was used and what it wrought.”...
New York Times: Latitude, Nov. 4
School librarian arrested for sexual misconduct
County sheriffs arrested John David Sullivan of Estill Springs, Tennessee, November 8 in connection with multiple charges of sexual misconduct. Sullivan was working as the librarian at Moore County High School in Lynchburg but resigned at the onset of an intense, three-week investigation. He is being held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Circuit Court on November 18....
WAFF-TV, Huntsville, Ala., Nov. 8
Suspect in library stabbing appears in court
Samuel Ampong made a brief court appearance November 5 in connection with the stabbing of another man in the Toronto Public Library branch at City Hall. Ampong was arrested November 4 after a man was stabbed inside the branch in an apparent argument over the use of a computer terminal....
CBC News, Nov. 5
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Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet
Barnes & Noble announced its new $249 Nook Tablet on November 7 and the combination of hardware and software enhancements will instantly make it one of the most impressive Android tablets on the market when it begins shipping November 18. Amazon’s $199 color touch-screen tablet, the Kindle Fire, is currently on preorder and ships by November 15. Until the PCMag Lab acquires both tablets for testing, here is how the hardware specs stack up. Dan Costa spent enough time with the new Nook Tablet to form some impressions. Mary Burkey notes that the tablet features a “Read and Record” ability, which allows you to record ebook text for later playback—a do-it-yourself audiobook + narration....
PC Magazine, Nov. 7; Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Nov. 7
How to take better pictures on your iPhone
Jason Boog writes: “With the 99-cent Big Lens app on your iPhone or iPad 2, you can create more artful photos. The app includes a customizable soft-focus feature, color filters, lenses, and other features that enable you to create some professional-looking work.” HelpMyBrand blogger Tom Martin says: “I have to say it’s just perfect for food bloggers, tourism bloggers, restaurant blogs, and home decor or real estate blogs.”...
GalleyCat, Nov. 7
How to choose an online backup service
Michael Muchmore writes: “The need for online backup services such as Carbonite, Mozy, and SOS Online Backup couldn’t be clearer. A recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research and Carbonite showed that even though ‘51% of Americans have experienced a computer crash where they lost all of their digital files, more than one third (39%) admit they have never backed up their computers or haven’t done so in more than a year.’ What’s more, ‘40% of Americans feel they would never be able to recover, recreate, or repurchase all of their documents and files if their personal computer crashed.’”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 2
Those reCAPTCHA words
Patrick Manning writes: “Con enthsba! Look familiar? Those confusing semi-words you retype to buy Rolling Stones tickets on Ticketmaster or sell an antique lamp on Craigslist might not read as real words, but they are. They’re actually images from the pages of books, and thanks to reCAPTCHA technology, they are a key reason Google has digitized more than 15 million books since 2004.”...
Fox News, Nov. 6
Everything you always wanted to know about web tracking
Dan Tynan writes: “Think web trackers aren’t following you? Think again. Just by visiting the IT World website, roughly half a dozen ad networks and web analytics companies have deposited tracking cookies on your machine. Don’t freak out, it’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, there’s an awful lot of hype, fear, and misinformation surrounding web tracking—and both sides are guilty of overstating the dangers of tracking, as well as the benefits. How much do you know about web tracking? Take the following true-false quiz to find out.”...
IT World, Nov. 3
16 creative ways to make your Facebook Timeline photo
Tim Ware writes: “For those with a creative bent, probably the most exciting change is the Timeline cover photo, an 851-by-315-pixel canvas that you can fill with the image of your choice. Inserted into the lower left of the Timeline cover is your profile photo. The fun is coming up with interesting and clever ways to have your cover photo and your profile photo interact. The following examples should help spark your imagination and give you some ideas of the possibilities.”...
Social Media Examiner, Nov. 1
Virtual job interview
Kelly Yang writes: “It used to be that if you were obnoxious, you’d have a hard time getting through a job interview. Now, things have changed. Skype, with its 170 million monthly active users, is changing the face of recruiting, and not always in a good way. Last year, I sat through 78 Skype interviews in order to successfully place seven employees. Often I have mere minutes to decide. How do you make these tough calls when the connection is unstable, the audio delayed, and looking someone in the eye is impossible?”...
New York Times, Nov. 3
The Amazon Lending Library is not the apocalypse
Andy Woodworth writes: “At first glance, it seems like a pretty mind-blowing announcement. But when you read between the lines, it doesn’t look quite so epic. The part that really cracks me up is the phrase, “You can borrow a new book as frequently as once a month,” in the help section. Since the only other number possible is zero times a month, I guess they have to try to sell what they have as best as they can.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Nov. 4
Could Amazon’s Lending Library end up in court?
Rachel Deahl writes: “As more information has come to light about the Amazon Lending Library, the tenor in the publishing industry has shifted from puzzlement to anger. Although Amazon initially said it reached a variety of terms with publishers to include their titles, PW has learned that the overwhelming majority of titles were taken without publishers’ knowledge or consent. Some publishers are consulting their contracts and their lawyers to see what, if any, legal action can be taken.”...
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 9
Amazon’s Prime Lending Library list viewable online
Amazon is tempting Kindle owners to sign up for its Prime service with free ebooks. If you are wondering if there are any good ones to read, you can now peruse a list right from your PC. The internet retailer’s complete collection of Prime Lending Library books for Kindle devices is online and accessible from any web browser. Amazon’s library collection includes more than 5,300 Kindle editions that Prime members can download and read for free. (Some users report they are getting cut off after around 1,000 books.)...
PC World, Nov. 6
A Kindle disconnect?
Jenna Wortham writes: “I just finished reading The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides’s latest novel. And you know what? I didn’t love it. I was surprised, because his previous works, Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides, are among my favorites. But the main difference between my experience reading those books and this one is that I read The Marriage Plot on my Kindle. Does consuming books on an e-reader shape the way our brains absorb and process what we’ve read?”...
New York Times: Digital Diary, Nov. 2
State librarians ally with Internet Archive’s Open Library
Michael Kelley writes: “All 50 state librarians have decided to throw their weight behind the Internet Archive’s Open Library lending program. The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies voted unanimously during a meeting held October 24–26 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Internet Archive that will essentially make the state librarian in each state a point person for the lending program.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Nov. 4
We don’t read that way
Maura Smale writes: “I was chatting recently with a professor in my liaison department who was beginning research for a new book. Did she have everything she needed? Was there anything I should look into ordering? Yes, she said, the library was pretty well stocked with books and journals for the topic. However, many of the books she needed we only had as ebooks—for those, she would order print copies through interlibrary loan.”...
ACRLog, Nov. 8
Five huge, free ebook collections
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Now that we have so many devices that enable us to read ebooks with ease, even those who were initially skeptical have now jumped on the ebook bandwagon. Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, or smartphone, you will find free ebooks that are compatible with your device on these websites. Here are five ebook collections that contain more than 100,000 free ebooks.”...
iLibrarian, Nov. 4
Readmill networks lonely bookworms
Traditionally, reading has been a solitary activity. But two Berlin-based Swedes, David Kjelkerud and Henrik Berggren, hope to change this. They are close to launching new social software called Readmill, an intelligent bookmark for ebooks, which promises to create a social network for bookworms to share their reading habits, margin notes, and recommendations. Readmill members can create a semi-public reference list for their books, giving them the possibility of alerting friends to interesting passages for discussion....
Der Spiegel, Nov. 4
BISG report on ebook reading trends
Ebook sales can be expected to continue growing as readers show increased loyalty to and satisfaction with the digital format, according to the latest Book Industry Study Group’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey. Results show that nearly 50% of print book consumers who have also acquired an ebook in the past 18 months would wait up to three months for the e-version of a book from a favorite author, rather than immediately read it in print....
Book Industry Study Group, Nov. 8
The average lifespan of a web page
Mike Ashenfelder writes: “What is the average lifespan of a web page? Predictably, estimates vary and vary over time. A 1997 special report in Scientific American claimed 44 days. A subsequent 2001 academic study (PDF file) in IEEE Computer suggested 75 days. More recently, in 2003, a Washington Post article indicated that the number was 100 days. Determining the average lifespan of a web page is complicated not just by the infrastructure required to analyze a representative sample of links across the web but also because we take for granted that we know what it means that a web page has died.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Nov. 8
Yale Law School Library leads in open access
An online access project has given Yale Law School faculty broader readership than ever before. The library added roughly 3,000 faculty-published scholarly articles, from legal journals to an open-access database, on its website over the past year—giving it the largest online repository of its kind. The effort has made Yale a leader among institutions seeking to increase the amount of academic content that is freely available to the public....
Yale Daily News, Nov. 2
Sharing cultural interfaces
LC’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program has launched Viewshare.org, a platform for empowering curators, archivists, and librarians to provide access to the digital cultural-heritage objects they are preserving. Supporting multiple metadata upload options and featuring such data augmentation tools as geocoding and ISO 8601 date conversion, Viewshare offers a free, intuitive tool for building and sharing customized, interactive views of cultural-heritage digital collections....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Oct. 31
Building the perfect data repository
Cameron Neylon writes: “There has been a lot of talk about data repositories and data publication, but there is still a lack of tools that are both truly attractive to research scientists and provide a route to more general and effective data sharing. The research repository of choice remains a haphazard file store and the data-sharing mechanism of choice remains email. How do we bridge this gap?”...
Science in the Open, Oct. 27
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The future of reading
Katherine Schulten and Shannon Doyne write: “How is the definition of ‘reading’ changing? What is the future of the book industry? What does all this mean for schools, students, and literacy rates? In 2008, the New York Times published a series called ‘The Future of Reading’ in which some of these questions were raised. Three years later, that future is evolving at such a rapid rate that stories on the topic crop up regularly in every section of the paper. In this post, we’ve collected and categorized many of those articles, and suggested ideas for classroom inquiry.” Watch the video (4:01)....
New York Times: The Learning Network, Nov. 3; July 27, 2008
Are cookbooks obsolete?
Julia Moskin writes: “With the boom in tablet technology, recipes have begun to travel with their users from home to the office to the market and into the kitchen. With features like embedded links, built-in timers, infographics, and voice prompts, the richness of some new apps—like Baking With Dorie, from the baking expert Dorie Greenspan; Jamie Oliver’s 20-Minute Meals; and Professional Chef, the vast app released last month by the Culinary Institute of America—hint that books as kitchen tools are on the way out.”...
New York Times, Nov. 8
IFLA picture book survey
Take a few minutes to list the top five children’s picture book titles that you enjoy sharing with children and that represent books created and published in the United States. After the survey closes, the nominations with be ranked and submitted as the United States Top 10 list to the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The aim of the survey is to create a list of picture books from around the world that have been selected and recommended by librarians....
IFLA Libraries for Children and Young Adults Committee
Best illustrated children’s books
The New York Times Book Review has announced its list of the 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2011. Artwork from this year’s winners will appear in the special Children’s Book section of the Book Review’s November 13 issue. The judges (one of whom was Jeanne Lamb, coordinator of youth collections at the New York Public Library) chose from among hundreds of children’s picture books published in 2011....
New York Times: ArtsBeat, Nov. 3
Altruism in YA literature
Sharon Rawlins writes: “The tradition of everyone sharing something they are grateful for on Thanksgiving made me think of some quirky YA books that have featured altruistic characters who engage in random acts of kindness or those with great feel-good endings—the kind of story where everyone pulls together at the end. Several of my favorite YA books like this came out last year, and two in particular were on the 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.”...
YALSA The Hub, Nov. 9
Best books on politics and campaigns
In honor of the upcoming election year, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library have hunted down what they consider to be a satisfying reading list containing some compelling fiction and nonfiction titles about politics, politicians, and the political process. The list of 10 books offers a wide variety of perspectives and topics (because in San Francisco just about anything can be political)....
The Readers Review, Nov. 1
The art of the novel
Geoff Dyer writes: “In London recently there was an exhibition of paintings by Atkinson Grimshaw. The name might not ring a bell, but his paintings will be familiar to you from the covers of Penguin English Library and Penguin Modern Classics editions from the 1970s. For me, the identification of these novels with the paintings is absolute. To reread any of them with different cover art is inconceivable. I know the paintings well enough to have absorbed the contents of the books visually, by near-synesthesia. And the title in sharply discreet Helvetica was the pristine look of modernity—sometimes modernism—itself.”...
New York Times Sunday Book Review, Nov. 3
Lush illustrations from the 1949 Alice in Wonderland
Maria Popova writes: “Here’s a beautiful 1949 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard—only the second version of the Lewis Carroll classic, and the first with color illustrations. The vibrant, textured artwork exudes a certain mid-century boldness that makes it as much a timeless celebration of the beloved children’s book as it is a time capsule of bygone aesthetic from the golden age of illustration and graphic design.”...
Brain Pickings, Nov. 7
A brief history of time-travel literature
Emily Temple writes: “On November 8, Stephen King’s newest work, 11/22/63, a novel about a man who travels back in time via a storeroom to stop the JFK assassination, hit shelves. Inspired by this newest addition to the time-travel literature genre, we got to thinking about a few of our favorite time-travel stories, and particularly about all of the different ways those fictional mortals manage to thrust themselves back and forth in space-time. These are a few of our favorites.”...
Flavorwire, Nov. 9
Help choose the color of the ALA Midwinter Meeting t-shirt. More than 100 people voted to select the color of ALA’s Annual 2011 Conference t-shirt, and it sold out quickly.
Check back on November 15 to see the winning color and remember to come early to claim yours at the ALA Store.
Check out these mini-video demos that show you how the revamped Booklist Online makes collection development and readers’ advisory a little less work and a lot more fun. NEW! From Booklist.
Great Libraries of the World
National Assembly Library, Palais Bourbon, Paris, France. Established in 1796 in a hall of the National Assembly and remodeled by Jules de Joly in 1826, the library can be seen by prior appointment even when the Assembly is sitting. Its 22 ceiling paintings depicting the history of civilization were the work of artist Eugène Delacroix in 1838–1845. The library contains more than 350,000 volumes, as well as the original records of the trial of Joan of Arc and the Aztec Codex Borbonicus. In 2009, it signed a partnership agreement with the Bibliothèque nationale de France to digitize some of its rare manuscripts, including a copy of Le Roman de la Rose and an autograph copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie, or the New Heloise.
Salle de La Chapelle, Municipal Library, Alençon, France. Housed in a former 17th-century Jesuit church, the city’s rare-books collection consists of 723 manuscripts, at least 125 of them from the Middle Ages, and 57,000 rare books dealing with the history and culture of Normandy.
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.
Director of Library Services, The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. The Director of Library Services is the chief academic and administrative officer of the Daniel Library, including the Citadel Archives and Museum, and the Friends of the Daniel Library organization. Holding faculty rank and reporting to the provost, the director participates in college governance as a member of the Deans’ Council, Academic Board, and Graduate Council....
Digital Library of the Week
The Nantucket (Mass.) Historical Association Research Library’s Historic Photograph Collections are the most complete visual record of the history of Nantucket Island in existence and consist of more than 50,000 images. Several thousand have now been scanned and individually cataloged into a database that is searchable online.
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.
“When that old robber baron Andrew Carnegie decided to plow his ill-gotten gains into building this library system ‘for the people,’ he had to have believed we would realize its value and support it in the years to come....
“Stately old buildings are expensive to heat, cool, modernize, and maintain. The information age has necessitated more and more computers, e-readers, and other technology, all of it essential for people who don’t have it at home, especially children whose future depends on multi-platform literacy.
“The library leadership has done a fine job of raising capital funds and using them to their best advantage. The result is a growing list of library redesigns, each one a jewel of form and function....
“Rejecting this small levy because it should have been more widespread would be like rejecting a diphtheria vaccination because it doesn’t cover measles. The money won’t do everything, but it will do something, and that something is well worth doing.”
—Staff writer Sally Kalson, in an editorial favoring a tax levy for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, “Small Library Tax, Big Returns,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 6.
Streaming Media West, Los Angeles, Nov. 8–9, at:
Association for Educational Communications and Technology, International Convention, Jacksonville, Florida, Nov. 8–12, at:
Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 9–10, at:
Life and Literature Conference, Chicago, Nov. 14–15, at:
2011 Global Education Conference, online, Nov. 14–18, at:
California Library Association / California School Library Association, Annual Conference and Exposition, Pasadena, Nov. 11–13, at:
Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Fort Wayne, Nov. 14–16, at:
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Annual Meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 13–16, at:
All About Mobile Conference, San Francisco, Nov. 15, at:
Museum Computer Network, Annual Conference, Atlanta, Nov. 16–19, at:
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Jan. 20–24, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
National Gaming Day @ your library.
Online Information, Conference, National Hall, Olympia, London.
Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “Digital Scholarly Communication.”
7th International Digital Curation Conference, Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol, U.K. “Public? Private? Personal? Navigating the Open Data Landscape.”
27th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa, Orlando, Florida.
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Grand Wailea, Maui.
CreateGear: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Jan. 16–18: International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society, University of California, Los Angeles.
Jan. 20–24: American Library Association, Midwinter Meeting, Dallas.
Digital Strategy, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Seminar, London.
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Information Architecture Summit, New Orleans.
American Chemical Society, National Meeting and Exposition, San Diego. “Chemistry of Life.”
Future Perfect, Conference, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. “Digital Preservation by Design.”
Museums and the Web, Conference, Sheraton Marina, San Diego.
Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Tulalip Resort Casino. “One Tribe: Bringing Washington’s Libraries Together.”
Florida Library Association, Annual Conference, Wyndham Orlando Resort. “Vibrant and Vital Florida Libraries.”
Overdue notice: Defend our libraries
Antonino D’Ambrosio writes: “Local governments across the United States—from New York City to Detroit, and from Denver to Seattle—are slashing library budgets and closing libraries. This threatens to wall off knowledge, restrict access to the internet, and shutter a valuable communal meeting place. This year, 19 states are cutting some funding for public libraries, many by more than 10%. These cuts will disproportionately punish poor and working class people.”...
The Progressive, Nov.
Calculating the value of a community library’s use
Brian Herzog writes: “This year while we were compiling all of my library’s FY11 statistics to report to the state, it occurred to me to try something new with them. Since everything we tally up for the state report is how much each library service gets used, I thought I’d put all those totals into the Library Use Value Calculator—this then, in theory, will show how much value the entire community gets from using the library. Here’s how things broke down.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Nov. 8
New e-rate rules in effect
Laura Devaney writes: “As schools get ready to apply for federal e-rate discounts for the 2012 funding year, applicants and service providers will notice some new changes to the nearly $2.3-billion annual program that helps schools and libraries acquire telecommunications services and internet infrastructure. The two biggest changes to the program are new gift enforcement rules and updates to the Children’s Internet Protection Act.”...
eSchool News, Nov. 3
Five tips for e-rate success
Cara Erenben writes: “With a new e-rate application season about to dawn for schools and libraries, here are five tips that can help ensure success in getting your fair share of nearly $2.3 billion in telecommunications discounts.”...
eSchool News, Nov. 3
Teens, kindness, and cruelty on social network sites
Fully 95% of all teens ages 12–17 are now online, and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. A new study finds that 69% of teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Nov. 9
Google News to link to journalists’ Google+ profiles
In summer 2010, Google began an experiment with journalists and authors by placing author photos and links to their Google+ profiles next to search results. On November 2, it extended the effort, announcing it will officially roll out the producer-and-product connection to its news platform. “When reporters link their Google profile with their articles,” Google’s Eric Weigle wrote in a blog post, “Google News now shows the writer’s name and how many Google+ users have that person in their circles.”...
Nieman Journalism Lab, Nov. 3; Google News Blog, Nov. 2
But Google+ seems to be dead
Farhad Manjoo writes: “The real test of Google’s social network is what people do after they join. As far as anyone can tell, they aren’t doing a whole lot. I’ve been surprised by just how dreary the site has become. Although Google seems determined to keep adding new features, I suspect there’s little it can do to prevent Google+ from becoming a ghost town. Google might not know it yet, but from the outside, it’s clear that G+ has started to die—it will hang on for a year, maybe two, but at some point Google will have to put it out of its misery.”...
Slate, Nov. 8
Director of Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina under fire
Ismail Serageldin (right), director of the legendary Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Cairo, Egypt, has come under attack from the majority of his library staff and others who demand his departure over questions of unprofessional employee practices, alleged retaliation against workers for speaking freely, and for his affiliation with the outcast Mubarak regime. According to internet and Facebook reports and videos, peaceful protests and sit-ins demanding that Serageldin leave immediately have been taking place in Alexandria since late October....
Intellectual Property Watch, Nov. 6
Why kids can’t search
Clive Thompson writes: “We’re often told that young people tend to be the most tech-savvy among us. But just how savvy are they? A group of researchers led by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan tried to find out. Specifically, Pan wanted to know how skillful young folks are at online search. Perhaps not surprisingly, the students generally relied on the web pages at the top of Google’s results list. But Pan pulled a trick: He changed the order of the results for some students.”...
Wired, Nov. 1
The myth of the tech-savvy student
Ron Tanner writes: “When I began teaching a course called ‘Writing for the Web’ three years ago, I pictured myself scrambling to keep up with my plugged-in, tech-savvy students. I was sure I was in over my head. So I was stunned to discover that most of the 20-year-olds I meet know very little about the internet and even less about how to communicate effectively online. It seems clear that our increasingly technological world demands technologically adept citizens. Why wouldn’t we educate students in sophisticated uses of the internet?”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Online Learning, Nov. 6
Life after Google
Lane A. Wilkinson writes: “Remember when Google was just a search engine? Yeah, me neither. Given how weird Google has been lately, I’ve decided to embark upon an experimental journey. can we really live without Google? I don’t know, but I’m going to try. Over the next few months I’m going to intentionally divest myself from as many Google products and services as possible. Here’s the plan.”...
Sense and Reference, Nov. 4
Wisconsin student project unites artists and libraries
Merging organizational savvy and community outreach, three students in the University of Wisconsin–Madison SLIS (Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore, and Christina Endres) have created a resource to connect artists, libraries, and the people who love them. The “Library as Incubator Project” is a clearinghouse for ideas: Artists can submit descriptions of their art, teachers can find ideas about integrating art into their lessons, and libraries can learn how to broaden services....
University of Wisconsin–Madison, Nov. 3
Johns Hopkins medical library to be online-only
The William H. Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore will close its doors to patrons on January 1. But the library as an information resource is not closing; it is just moving completely online. The transition, 10 years in the making, is an inevitable acknowledgment of the dwindling use of the 81-year-old library’s 45,000-square-foot building and its 400,000 physical volumes, according to Library Director Nancy K. Roderer (above)....
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Oct. 27
The great obituary hunt
Carmen Nigro writes: “One of many tools in the researcher’s toolbox is the obituary. They can be very useful to those who are researching genealogy, adding details that would otherwise be unknown. The names of relatives, location of birth, final resting place, occupation, religious affiliation, volunteer work, and other details of how someone spent their life are but a few examples of the wealth of information that can help a researcher or genealogy hobbyist flesh out the details of the life of someone from the past.”...
New York Public Library blogs, Nov. 9
Wikipedia tops list of plagiarized sources
David Nagel writes: “Where are students finding the materials they plagiarize in their papers? According to a new study, Wikipedia tops the list for both secondary and college students. But as a category, encyclopedia sites are among the least popular sources, coming in behind four other types of information outlets, including both academic sites and paper mills. The study, Plagiarism and the Web: A Comparison of Internet Sources for Secondary and Higher Education Students (PDF file), analyzed more than 33.5 million papers submitted to the Turnitin service.”...
Campus Technology, Nov. 3
Copyright Office reports on legal issues of digitization
The ongoing dispute between Google and copyright holders regarding mass digitization of books shows that the time is right for policymakers to take up some crucial questions, according to an October 31 report by the Copyright Office. The hefty document, Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document (PDF file), provides an analysis of several issues, including the rights of libraries and archives, fair use rights, use of orphaned works, and licensing....
BNA Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law Daily, Nov. 2
Two new library podcasts you should listen to
Bobbi Newman writes: “There are two new podcasts in libraryland you should be listening to. I know both of these hosts personally and I can’t recommend their work enough, so check them out. Circulating Ideas is a librarian interview podcast hosted by Steve Thomas. And Whatever Mathers features creative conversations with fabulous host Amy Mather and a revolving cast of surprise guests from all walks of the creative landscape.”...
Librarian by Day, Nov. 8
Academic library publishing services on the rise
Publishing services provided by libraries are expanding and professionalizing, according to a new report by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition on behalf of a team of researchers from the libraries of Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah. Approximately half (55%) of all respondents to a survey of deans and directors at 223 institutions indicated having or developing library publishing services....
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Nov. 1
What the dead once ate
Jeff Weinstein writes: “Some time ago, when I was restaurant critic for the Village Voice, I was given a tour of the New York Public Library’s menu collection by its librarian, the late dancer and author Reynaldo Alejandro. He led me into a dark room and began to take down a few of the stacks’ 400 boxes, arranged chronologically. Most of the elaborately printed menus he opened were made for political banquets or top-hat special events, frilly objets d’art often saved as keepsakes. They left me cold. Where were the mimeographed throwaways from the diners, coffee shops, and automats?”...
Obit, Nov. 7
The very model of a modern-day librarian
Amanda Hill writes: “At the musical evening held October 15 as part of the Deseronto (Ont.) Public Library’s 125th anniversary celebrations, John Hall, the organist and director of music at Christ Church, sang this song (based on Gilbert and Sullivan) as a tribute to the work of Frances Smith, Deseronto’s current librarian, and her team. We’re hoping to get a video made of a repeat performance to share, but in the meantime, here are the words to give a taste of the event.”...
Deseronto Archives, Nov. 2
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