American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | November 16, 2011

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Dallas Update
Division News
Awards & Grants
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Books & Reading
Actions & Answers
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AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

What remains of the Occupy Wall Street Library, as of the morning of November 16. Photo courtesy of the People’s Library blogThe Occupy Wall Street Library regrows in Manhattan
Christian Zabriskie writes: “The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street was destroyed in the early morning hours of November 15. The library was torn down and its books, laptops, archives, and support materials were thrown into dumpsters by armed police and city sanitation workers. Numerous library staff were arrested and, in one case, a librarian strapped the notebooks of original poetry from the library’s poetry readings to her body before lending aid to comrades who had been pepper-sprayed. Staff were assured that they would be able to recover their materials from a city sanitation depot, but on November 16 they found the laptops smashed, much of the collection missing, and many of the books that were recovered damaged beyond recovery (above).” In response, writers have launched, an online library for occupiers....
American Libraries news, Nov. 16; Occupy Wall Street Library blog, Nov. 15–16

The brass ring of sustainability
Beverly Goldberg writes: “Last week’s Election Day brought some remarkably good news for many public libraries across the country that sought operating millages and capital bonds for improvements. Seasoned advocates are well aware, however, that those victories were no reason for library boosters to rest on their laurels or stop reaching for the elusive brass ring of fiscal sustainability.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Nov. 16

Philip Levine. Photo by Frances LevineNewsmaker: Poet Laureate Philip Levine
At age 83, Philip Levine (right) has been appointed the 2011–2012 poet laureate consultant in poetry by Librarian of Congress James Billington. He took up his duties October 17, opening the library’s annual literary season with a reading from his work. In this interview, the street-smart poet has a few choice words to say about a lifetime of experience with good librarians—and some bad ones....
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Thoreau’s cabin from an early edition of WaldenOn My Mind: An unplugged space
Amanda Wakaruk and Marc Truitt write: “The physical library was once a place of refuge, an escape from distraction. But today, the constant need to connect and communicate has largely rendered this role obsolete. A library without internet and Wi-Fi access is, thankfully, an anomaly. In addition to being regarded as technology hubs for the public, should libraries reclaim their reputation for solitude by offering communication-free ‘Walden zones’ where people can easily engage in private, focused reading and reflection?”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Tape playerRecommended listening and audiobooks
Q. I got to explain to an older patron today that audiobooks can be downloaded. Now that she knows, she would love to give her 13-year-old granddaughter something else to listen to. Does ALA have any lists of audiobooks for children? A. The annual Notable Children’s Recordings list that comes out of ALSC has always been a mix of children’s music and story titles, with the format evolving from lists of cassettes to CDs to downloadable files....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Nov. 16

ALA News

Website Blocked message on American Censorship Day websiteSo-called antipiracy copyright legislation
Corey Williams writes: “The latest round of legislation thinly cloaked under a veil of copyright was supposedly crafted to squelch online piracy. Here’s what we have: The Protect IP Act (PIPA) bill (S. 968) in the U.S. Senate and the recently introduced companion SOPA or E-Parasite bill (H.R. 3261) in the U.S. House of Representatives. So you ask, what do these bills actually mean?” The Electronic Frontier Foundation and other opponents of the SOPA bill are participating in American Censorship Day, an internet-wide day of protest, on November 16. EFF claims there has been an explosion of opposition to the legislation. Read the op-ed by Rebecca MacKinnon....
District Dispatch, Nov. 15; Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 15; New York Times, Nov. 15

David LankesConversations on transforming libraries
ALA President Molly Raphael will host two afternoons of conversation about the evolving needs of our communities and how we can transform libraries and librarianship to meet their challenges January 21–22 at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting. One is “Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities,” which features renowned Syracuse iSchool professor David Lankes (right) leading small groups to address questions about transforming our communities and the profession. Sessions are open to all Midwinter attendees....
Conference Services, Nov. 15

Champion Connections seeks applicants
ALA will host a special event at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting called “Champion Connections.” As part of ALA President Molly Raphael’s diversity leadership initiative, “Empowering Diverse Voices,” the event, scheduled for January 21, will provide new and emerging leaders with an opportunity to meet established leaders within ALA, its divisions, round tables, and affiliates. ALA is accepting applications through December 1 from those interested in participating. Individuals who are selected will be notified by December 16....
Office for Diversity, Nov. 15

Erica FindleyALCTS selects its Emerging Leader
Erica Findley (right), digital resources/metadata librarian at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, has been selected as the ALCTS-sponsored Emerging Leader for 2012. ALCTS sponsors one Emerging Leader who has chosen collections and technical services as a career and is a member of ALCTS. After her year in the Emerging Leader program, Erica will serve a one-year term as intern to the ALCTS board of directors....
ALCTS, Nov. 15

LITA’s Emerging Leaders
Jodie Gambill and Tasha Keagan are the LITA-sponsored participants in the ALA 2012 Emerging Leaders Program. LITA sponsorship includes a $1,000 stipend to help offset the costs of attending the 2012 Midwinter Meeting and the 2012 Annual Conference. Gambill and Keagan will each work on LITA projects and be mentored by the LITA leadership....
LITA, Nov. 9

PLA’s Emerging Leader
PLA announces Heather Beverley, children’s librarian and technology/young adult consultant at Cook Memorial Public Library District in Illinois, as its representative for the 2012 Emerging Leaders program. The leadership development initiative enables newer library workers to participate in work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Beverley will receive $1,000 to attend the 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas and the 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....
PLA, Nov. 15

AASL’s Emerging Leaders
AASL is sponsoring Krystel Gutierrez and Jennifer “Charlie” Kelly as its 2012 Emerging Leader. AASL will defray the cost of attending the 2012 Midwinter Meeting and the 2012 Annual Conference for Gutierrez, an elementary librarian at Smithville (Tex.) Elementary School, and Kelly, who worked most recently as a contract library media specialist substitute for Roberto Clemente School #8 in the Rochester (N.Y.) City School District....
AASL, Nov. 15

Chris KyaukYuan LiCALA’s Emerging Leaders
The Chinese American Librarians Association has selected Yuan Li, scholarly communications librarian at Syracuse (N.Y.) University Library, and Chris Kyauk, intern at the Ethnic Studies Library at the University of California, Berkeley, for the 2012 Emerging Leaders program. As sponsor, CALA provides a stipend of $1,000 to support their attendance and participation in the Emerging Leaders program at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference....
Office for Diversity , Nov. 15

Tina Chan, reference and instruction librarian at the State University of New York, Oswego, Penfield LibraryAPALA’s Emerging Leader
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s Scholarships and Awards Committee has selected Tina Chan (right), reference and instruction librarian at the State University of New York, Oswego, as its 2012 Emerging Leader. APALA will provide funding to support her attendance and participation in the Emerging Leaders program at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference....
Office for Diversity, Nov. 15

Cover of Small Public Library ManagementThe fundamentals of small public library management
Anyone at the helm of a small public library knows that every little detail counts. But juggling the responsibilities that are part and parcel of the job is far from easy. Small Public Library Management is a comprehensive handbook that includes everything administrators need to keep a handle on library operations, freeing them up to streamline and improve how the organization functions. Small public library veterans Jane Pearlmutter and Paul Nelson address such issues as finance and HR to collection development and policy and programming. The book is packed with practical advice....
ALA Editions, Nov. 15

Teaching Information Literacy to College Students eCourseTeaching information literacy to college students
Joanna Burkhardt will facilitate an eCourse on Teaching Information Literacy to College Students. Burkhardt, head librarian at the University of Rhode Island branch libraries and coauthor of Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-Based Exercises for College Students, will serve as instructor for this three-week eCourse, which starts January 9....
ALA Editions, Nov. 15

ALA Editions workshop graphicHow to improve your library instruction
Information literacy expert Sarah Steiner will teach a 90-minute workshop called “How to Improve Your Library Instruction: Assessment in Five Minutes” on January 11 at 12:30 p.m. Central time. Drawing from real-life examples, Steiner will discuss how to write the best assessment questions and use inexpensive survey tools to gauge learning while you interact with students....
ALA Editions, Nov. 15

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Cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin FeverFeatured review: Fiction for youth
Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever. Nov. 2011. 224p. Grades 5–8. Abrams/Amulet (978-1-419-70223-5).
Adults just don’t make any sense. They say kids should get more exercise, and then they take away all the playground equipment because they’re afraid of getting sued. They allege that they’re in charge, yet they have to ask middle-schoolers how to work the microwave. They proclaim kids should read more and then publish books like this! Wait. Well, they definitely got that last one right, as everything in this sixth entry will appeal to the very readers who have made this the tween series of the decade. This time around, Greg Heffley’s can-you-even-believe-it diary entries and comical line art capture a nightmarish month between Thanksgiving and Christmas....

Daniel KrausTalking with Daniel Kraus
Mary Burkey writes: “I spoke briefly with Booklist’s Daniel Kraus about the audio recording of his novel Rotters—an experience that was so surreal that he just ‘dipped in here and there to hear samples. But I’d be open to listening to the whole thing one day if time allowed.’ One aspect of the recording that especially pleased Kraus? ‘The music at the end of the audiobook was from the band Vorvolakas, a fictional band in the book that became a real band to create an entire song.’”...

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

Dallas Update

Shark at the Dallas World AquariumDallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium, at 1801 N. Griffin Street (about a 16-minute walk from the Convention Center), is both an aquarium and a zoo that features flora and fauna from five continents, 14 countries, three oceans, and numerous seas and rivers. Exhibits include a 200-foot Wilds of Borneo entrance ramp, an “Orinoco: Secrets of the River” rainforest exhibit, an outdoor South Africa display, and Mundo Maya, an eight-story immersion exhibit that is modeled after the ancient Mayan civilization....
Dallas World Aquarium

Alternative Dallas guide and map, showing the City TavernAn alternative guide to Dallas
This guide was created by Nicole Pagowsky and the North Texas Radical Reference Collective to help those looking for alternative options in Dallas (lifestyle, diet, interests) that might not be included in mainstream city guides. The guide and map is not fully comprehensive, but they did their best to give you options as close to the Convention Center and downtown as possible, and with a few outliers....
Radical Reference

A rubric for breakout sessions
Doug Johnson writes: “One of the activities that is a part of my workshop on designing authentic assessment tools involves creating a rubric to assess the quality of a conference breakout session. Since all participants have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of attending this kind of performance, such a tool is fairly fast and easy to build—and fun to discuss. For 10 minutes of work in a room full of strangers, a list like this is usually not too bad.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Nov. 13

Division News

Día Resource GuideALSC launches new Día website
To better serve the growing population of libraries offering events for El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on April 30, ALSC has launched a completely redesigned website. The new site offers a Día resource guide (PDF file) designed for public and school librarians that gives them everything they need to produce a Día event. Registration is now open for Día events around the country....
ALSC, Nov. 14

Author Jeanette WintersonSpotlight on adult literature at Midwinter Meeting
ALTAFF, along with ALA Conference Services, will sponsor a Spotlight on Adult Literature on January 21 at the Exhibit Hall during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Participating publishers will host book and galley giveaways, author signings, and more.
Jeanette Winterson (right) will sign galleys of her memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, and Val McDermid will sign copies of her new book The Retribution....
ALTAFF, Nov. 15

Leadership for today’s libraries
ALCTS will present a virtual Midwinter symposium called “Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries,” beginning January 9 at 1 p.m. Central time. Adam Goodman, from the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University, will deliver the keynote address, and James Hilton, vice president and chief information officer at the University of Virginia, will close out the symposium on January 13. These content leaders will focus on important aspects of leadership in an ever-changing environment....
ALCTS, Nov. 15

RUSA spatial literacy course
The next offering of RUSA’s online course, “Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping,” will be November 28–December 18. Through podcasts and hands-on assignments, participants will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and also its social uses beyond simple cartography. The deadline for registration is November 23....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 16

New AASL video podcast series
AASL presents 30 Second Thought Leadership: Insights from Leaders in the School Library Community, a new video podcast series delivering brief and practical advice from respected school library leaders on important questions about school libraries today and in the future. Questions are based on the themes of Knowledge Quest issues....
AASL, Nov. 15

Boost your library’s teen services with YALSA’s pre-Midwinter workshop
Find out how you can give your library’s standard teen services an easy-to-implement boost at YALSA’s half-day workshop, “Innovations in Essential Teen Services,” on January 20
. Join YALSA for easy updates on providing readers’ advisory, homework help, teen space design, promoting and developing literacy skills, and more. If you plan to attend Midwinter, you can add the institute to your registration....
YALSA, Nov. 15

YALSA national research agendaNew issue of Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults
The Fall 2011 issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is now available. This special issue focuses on the new national research agenda from YALSA, with contributions from YALSA’s research committee chair and members of the JRLYA Editorial Advisory Board. The journal is published four times a year, in November, February, May, and August. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services....
YALSA, Nov. 15

Cover of International Students and Academic LibrariesInternational students and academic libraries
ACRL has released International Students and Academic Libraries: Initiatives for Success, edited by Pamela Jackson and Patrick Sullivan, which presents insightful case studies that describe over a dozen exciting library projects supporting the success of international students studying at academic institutions. The work provides numerous examples of new and innovative strategies for librarians to encourage library use among international students and increase international student success....
ACRL Insider, Nov. 15

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Awards & Grants

Eight John Cotton Dana AwardsJohn Cotton Dana Award expands to eight
Libraries using innovative ways to conduct public relations efforts have more opportunities to benefit. The John Cotton Dana Award is being expanded to include eight $10,000 grants. The award is provided in conjunction with the H. W. Wilson Foundation, ALA, and EBSCO Publishing. The award, which is managed by LLAMA, honors outstanding library public relations projects. The next deadline to apply for the awards is March 15....
H. W. Wilson Foundation, Nov. 15

YALSA award and grant applications due December 1
Each year YALSA offers more than $90,000 in grants and awards to its members to travel to ALA conferences, to support collection development, to honor outstanding contributions to young adult librarianship, to conduct research, and more. YALSA members may apply for various awards and grants by December 1....
YALSA, Nov. 15

Apply for a 2012 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant
The deadline to apply for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant has been extended to January 31. Awarded by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, the grant provides books submitted for consideration for the awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections. Each year, three organizations are selected that demonstrate need and potential benefit from receiving the collection....
Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, Nov. 14

Patricia Ann PolanskyHawaiian librarian awarded Medal of Pushkin
Patricia Ann Polansky (right), Russian bibliographer for the Northeast Asia Collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 1970, was presented November 11 with the Medal of Pushkin from the government of Russia, a rare honor for an American. The medal recognizes great contributions to the study and preservation of Russian cultural heritage or the promotion of cultural exchange. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov presented the medal to Polansky....
University of Hawaii News, Nov. 14

Cover of Turn of Mind2011 Wellcome Trust Book Prize
The third Wellcome Trust Book Prize was awarded to Alice LaPlante November 9 for her debut novel Turn of Mind (Random House), a tale of a family’s secrets exposed by murder and a brilliant mind in terminal decline from Alzheimer’s. As the novel progresses, the narrator’s mind collapses as she enters the last stages of dementia. It is the first novel to win the £25,000 ($39,750 U.S.) Wellcome Trust Book Prize, which is open to outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction on the theme of health and medicine....
Wellcome Trust, Nov. 10

Cover of Return to Ribblestrop2011 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Andy Mulligan’s Return to Ribblestrop, about a school filled with pupils including Colombian gangster’s son Sanchez, self-harming Miles, wild Millie, and a motley crew of orphans, is the winner of the 2011 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Established in 1967, the £1,500 ($2,383 U.S.) award celebrates works of children’s literature by British or Commonwealth authors. The prize is awarded by a panel of authors and the review editor for The Guardian’s children’s books section....
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 10

Seen Online

Chicago budget passes, libraries affected
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget passed the Chicago City Council unanimously November 16. The 50–0 vote sets the city down a path next year of belt-tightening measures, among them the reduction of Chicago Public Library hours and layoffs of library staff. In recent weeks, the mayor compromised with aldermen to soften the blow of library cuts....
Chicago Tribune, Nov. 16

Is lying on the internet illegal?
Eyder Peralta writes: “On November 15, a subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary heard some fascinating testimony about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The hearing, titled “Cyber Security: Protecting America's New Frontier,” focused on big cyber threats to the country’s infrastructure, but there was another juicier question that came out of the hearing: The way the Justice Department wants to interpret a current law, lying on the internet would amount to a crime.”...
NPR: The Two-Way, Nov. 15

Anti–net neutrality bill defeated in U.S. Senate
An effort on Capitol Hill to overturn the federal government’s net neutrality regulations failed today. By a 46–52 vote, the U.S. Senate rejected a Republican-backed proposal that would have lifted the regulations before they take effect on November 20. The defeat of the bill sends a clear message that libraries and the public they serve not only care strongly about this issue but also depend on a free and open internet to provide unfettered access to all types of information....
CNET News, Nov. 10; District Dispatch, Nov. 10

The Occupy Toronto Library yurt. Photo by Metrix XOccupy Toronto Library: The best?
Toronto author Peter Unwin writes: “On November 12, I visited the yurt that houses the Occupy Toronto Library where I was donating a copy of my last book, Hard Surface: In Search of the Canadian Road. I mention this because the Occupy Toronto library is now widely viewed as the finest library in the entire Occupy system. I find myself wondering how it is that the entire City of Toronto cannot maintain a public library that serves the local community, but that somehow a few kids in tents can do exactly that.”...
Toronto Globe and Mail: In Other Words, Nov. 14

Brooklyn branch showcases emerging artists
Librarian Boris Loselev is on a mission to give his neighborhood a culture shock. For the past 10 years, Loselev has quietly turned the auditorium of the Gravesend branch of the Brooklyn Public Library into a high-class gallery exhibiting emerging artists’ works. He said Gravesend is in desperate need of a culture shock so he works overtime on his own dime to pull off the monthly art exhibits....
New York Daily News, Nov. 14

California school librarians under pressure
Since the onset of the recession, the mantra among school leaders in California has been to keep cuts away from the classroom when possible. But that hasn’t been true for what some educators consider the largest classroom on campus—the school library—even though demand has never been greater for guidance on how to safely and effectively navigate today’s overwhelming array of research options. Once a national model, California’s school library program has languished in recent years....
Capitol Weekly, Nov. 14

An assortment of zines. Photo from Papercut Zine Library websiteBoston’s new zine lending library opens
Julia Dawidowicz writes: “Imagine a friendly space in which you are given the resources to express your own unique voice, knowing that it will be heard. Nestled in the back of Lorem Ipsum, the beloved indie bookstore situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Inman Square, such a place exists: the Papercut Zine Library. Soon after moving to this new location, Papercut already has a fully functioning zine lending library. With unique artwork, 15,000 independently produced zines, and a zine-making station stocked with everything from a vintage typewriter to art supplies and endless collaging materials, the space oozes with originality and creative energy.”...
Boston Globe: The Next Great Generation, Nov. 12

Chicago's Read/Write Library finds a new home. Photo from Read/Write Library's websiteAn unusual library finds a new home
In Chicago’s Humboldt Park, a small band of volunteers scrambled to put the finishing touches on their library’s new home—the sixth in as many years for the Read/Write Library, the city’s largest depository of grassroots printed materials. Formerly known as the Chicago Underground Library, Read/Write rejects the selectivity of traditional libraries and collects “anything from university press to handmade artists’ books to zines made by 13-year-olds,” said Nell Taylor, the founder and executive director of the all-volunteer, donation-financed library, which officially reopened on November 11. She said Read/Write is the nation’s only grassroots-oriented library to house printed works from an entire city....
New York Times, Nov. 12

Library’s denial of Nativity scene sparks controversy
Plans to include a live nativity scene in outdoor courtyard at the Springhill branch of the Webster Parish (La.) Library created some controversy in this community after library officials reportedly said no to anything with “religious tones,” according to event planner Letha Dew. Library System Director Beverly Hammett said November 15 that she would release a statement on the library’s position but was awaiting advice of legal counsel....
Shreveport (La.) Times, Nov. 16

Private equity firm acquires LJ, SLJ
RLJ Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm whose chairman is the founder of Black Entertainment Television, announced November 9 it has acquired Media Source, Inc. (MSI), the parent company of Library Journal, School Library Journal, Junior Library Guild, and The Horn Book. Details of the transaction were not made available. In March 2010, MSI bought LJ and SLJ from Reed Business Information....
Library Journal, Nov. 9

Garcon at the Colisseum in Rome. Photo by Marie LukeLibrary mascot is a globetrotter
One of the most well-traveled people in the Houma-Thibodaux area of southeast Louisiana may not be a person at all—it might just be Garcon, a stuffed alligator and the mascot of the South Lafourche branch of the Lafourche Parish Public Library. Garcon spends most of his days hanging out on the library’s reference desk. But the alligator’s favorite hobby is traveling, so he often hitches rides with library patrons to places like the White House, the Colosseum in Rome, and Cozumel....
Thibodaux (La.) Daily Comet, Nov. 14

Col. Sanders's food autobiography. Photo by KFCColonel Sanders book discovered in KFC storage
Longtime Yum Brands employee Amy Sherwood was poking around the archives at KFC’s storage facility in Louisville, Kentucky, when she came across a typed manuscript (right), unseen for some 40 years. She quickly realized what it was and who wrote it—Colonel Harland Sanders himself. According to KFC, the “food autobiography” was written in 1965 or 1966 and provides a rare look into the life of the world’s legendary entrepreneur and shares his personal collection of favorite recipes that he gathered and perfected over his lifetime. The company plans to publish it online sometime in 2012....
Toronto Star, Nov. 11; KFC, Nov. 10

Scooter Hayes performing. Screen shot from documentaryScooter Hayes, the hip-hop librarian
Scooter Hayes, better known as Melvil Dewey the international library hip-hop superstar, makes use of his own creative spirit and love for libraries to educate youth on the permanent value of libraries. He started story rapping for kids at the New Hanover County Library in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2009, and for a library school course he created a YouTube video called the Dewey Decimal Rap (4:15) that has gotten nearly 600,000 views. Since then, Hayes has released a CD of library hip-hop songs and is in negotiations to turn his act into a picture book. Watch his story in this documentary (6:54) directed by Stacey Jewell....
Camp Le Jeune (N.C.) Globe, Nov. 10; YouTube, Mar. 10, 2009; Vimeo, Sept.

Novelist Ann PatchettNovelist fights the tide by opening a bookstore
A collective panic set in among Nashville, Tennessee’s reading faithful after a beloved local bookstore closed here last December and another store was lost to the Borders bankruptcy. But residents have found a savior in Ann Patchett, the bestselling novelist who grew up in the city. On November 16, Patchett, the acclaimed author of Bel Canto and Truth and Beauty, opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore that is the product of six months of breakneck planning and a healthy infusion of cash from its owner....
New York Times, Nov. 15

Manuscripts decaying in Patna library
More than 5,000 rare manuscripts are decaying in Patna University’s Central Library in the Indian state of Bihar for lack of proper upkeep and preservation. The manuscript section of the library, once considered to be a repository of rich cultural heritage, was locked after the three employees looking after it retired several years ago. The air conditioning has not been working for the last 25 years. The manuscripts are written in Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sanskrit, Maithili, and Hindi, and date back as far as the 13th century....
The Times of India (New Delhi), Nov. 11

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Tech Talk

Amazon Kindle FireAmazon Kindle Fire review
Sascha Segan writes: “The Amazon Kindle Fire puts the Apple iPad on notice. The Fire is the first small tablet that average users can pick up and immediately use, with a simple, clear interface. Then there’s the price: Android along with amazing specs for just $199. It’s open enough to attract geeks, too. While the user interface occasionally gets sluggish, we’re willing to have a bit of patience to get a first-rate tablet for half of what most competitors charge; thus the Kindle Fire is our first Editors’ Choice for small tablets.” The Fire can also run almost any Android app. Here’s how....
PC Magazine, Nov. 14–15

The original Kindle now costs only $79Fire aside, other Kindles also shine
David Pogue writes: “If you think that the pace of technological progress is already too fast, you’d better not look at ebook readers. You’ll get whiplash. All of a sudden, ebook companies are flooding the market with new models simultaneously. You’d think some major gift-buying season was about to begin. In all, Amazon has three new Kindle models. The two cheaper ones will surely get lost in the smoke from the Fire, but that’s a pity; they’re rather spectacular.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Nov. 13

Perceptions 2011: A survey of library automation
Marshall Breeding writes: “For the last three years I have conducted a survey and written a report on the perceptions that libraries form of the quality of the core automation products they use and their satisfaction with the service they receive. It’s time to collect data for the 2011 edition of the survey. This is an opportunity for libraries to register their perceptions of the ILS product they use, its vendor, and the quality of support delivered. Here is how you can participate.”...
Library Technology Guides, Nov. 14

Google webfonts siteGoogle’s webfont library
Sarah Gooding writes: “Did you know that Google has a directory of nearly 300 webfonts available for use on your website? One advantage of using Google’s fonts is that they load quickly because they are reliably hosted on Google’s servers. Plus, all of the Google webfonts are released under open source licenses, which means that you can freely use them on any noncommercial or commercial project. Supreme Google Webfonts is a plugin that makes it easy to add Google webfonts to your WordPress site.”..., Nov. 15

Dyson Air MultiplierSarah’s Gadget Showcase, part 4
Sarah Houghton writes: “This installment of the Gadget Showcase is a collection of random miscellaneous things I use . . . stuff that works well for me. This is truly a list of ‘a few of my favorite things.’ Enjoy, and tell me what your favorite things are too in the comments section.” On the right, a Dyson air multiplier....
Librarian in Black, Nov. 12

Throttling and web-surfing speeds
Kevin J. O’Brien writes: “Web surfing can be baffling. A favorite page gets hung up. A data-intensive application, like playing a video or downloading large files, stutters or stops. Is it the telecommunications operator? Is it the website? Is it the smartphone or the computer? Or just a sign of internet thrombosis? Often, the blame lies with the telecom operator, which is selectively slowing broadband speeds to keep traffic flowing on its network, using a sorting technique called throttling.”...
New York Times, Nov. 13

The risks of ultrafast networks
The promise of having access to mammoth amounts of data instantly, anywhere, is matched by the threat of catastrophe. People are creating more data and moving it ever faster on computer networks. The fast networks allow people to pour much more of civilization online. But statistics dictate that the vastly greater number of transactions among computers in a world 100 times faster than today will lead to a greater number of unpredictable accidents, with less time in between them....
New York Times, Nov. 13

The first XboxThe making of the Xbox: A video game revolution
Dean Takahashi writes: “Microsoft launched its Xbox video game console one decade ago. Nobody expected it to succeed. The skeptics were out in force when the giant-size console launched on November 15, 2001. It turned out to be successful beyond Microsoft’s wildest expectations. Microsoft lost (or, more politely, invested) more than $4 billion in the first console. But it has created an entertainment business that is now much more valuable than that.”...
Games Beat, Nov. 14

Crashplan logoThe best online backup service
Brian Lam writes: “The most foolproof way to back up a computer in case of emergency isn’t a hard drive anymore. It’s an online backup service that sends your precious data to the internet where fire, flood, thievery, and hard drive failure can’t touch it, in real time, as long as you’ve got a net connection. Believe it or not, these services cost only about as much as the cost of a few cups of coffee a month. There are two popular choices: Backblaze and Crashplan. Crashplan wins, according to my own research and testing.”...
The Wirecutter, Nov. 13


iTunes MatchWhat’s next? Book Match?
Christopher Harris writes: “If I can rip my CD to an MP3, why can’t I scan my book to an EPUB? That is the question running through my mind as I ponder the new iTunes Match service from Apple. For $24.99 a year, the service scans the music on your hard drive and then matches it with songs available through iTunes to provide online access to your music. Presumably, the music you are matching has been ripped from your CDs; iTunes offers to automatically rip, or extract and convert, CDs you play to have them stored as digital files on your computer. In reality, Apple’s service does not check for the origin of the file.”...
AL: E-Content, Nov. 16

Dispatches from the Field: A guide to ebook purchasing
Sue Polanka writes: “For those libraries looking to purchase ebooks, you are not alone. According to the Library Journal 2011 survey of ebook penetration and use in libraries, 95% of academic, 82% of public, and 44% of school libraries are already offering ebooks, and many more are considering it. For anyone contemplating purchasing ebooks, asking why is the most important question. Whatever the reason, it is imperative to keep one’s goals in mind throughout the process. Buying ebooks is a complicated process; to do it effectively is an even greater challenge.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Public libraries see a surge in digital lendingLibraries ramp up ebook lending
After a tentative foray into digital lending on PCs and e-readers several years ago, public libraries are opening the next chapter for smartphones and tablet computers. The movement kicked into high gear in September when Amazon finally turned on its Kindle for 11,000 local libraries, triggering a flood of new users. App developers are also working with libraries to enable book lovers to borrow on their smartphones. The evolution is playing out amid some challenges, including an ongoing squabble between eager-to-grow libraries and publishers that fear copyright infringement and losing money on digital distribution....
USA Today, Nov. 14

Authors Guild logoAuthors Guild urges caution with Amazon ebooks
Amazon recently started offering free ebooks to its Prime members, and it looks as if the fight is just beginning. On November 14 the Authors Guild posted a warning against the Prime ebooks. It raised a number of valid issues about how Amazon doesn’t actually have the rights to lend most of these ebooks....
The Digital Reader, Nov. 15; Authors Guild, Nov. 14

Accessibility issues in ebooks and e-readers
Ken Petri writes: “This page supplements material from a chapter on the accessibility of ebooks in No Shelf Required 2: Use and Management of Electronic Books (ALA Editions). It covers two topics that had to be truncated in the chapter due to concerns about length and currency of information: Functional criteria for ebook accessibility, and An overview of common ebook accessibility.”...
Ohio State University Web Accessibility Center

Open Library logoOpen Library: A national interlibrary ebook loan
Dan Weissmann and Ashley Gross write: “With digital books exploding in popularity, some major publishers are making it more difficult for libraries to get ebooks on their virtual shelves and keep them there. But there is a plan to help libraries create something like a national online interlibrary loan system for digitized books. The Open Library project, part of a massive online library called the Internet Archive, wants to help libraries team up to get digital mileage out of their existing paper books.”...
Venture, WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Nov. 13

Academic libraries and ebooks
Peter Brantley writes: “One of the most confusing impacts of the surge in access to ebooks is whether academic library interests should be more or less bound together with public libraries. The issue has a wide range of ramifications, from acquisitions to collections and to responses to the shifting commercial marketplace. What would be intriguing is if one market could serve the other.”...
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Nov. 10

Wake Forest collaborates on textbook alternative
Wake Forest University and Odigia have partnered to create BioBook, a digital alternative to college-level biology textbooks. Funded by a $249,000 grant from the Next Generation Learning Challenge, BioBook has nodes that contain all the baseline information a textbook would include, plus additional materials such as multimedia, quizzes, and the ability to ask peers and teachers questions. Teachers can track student progress and interaction with the material and give feedback or suggest help. Students and teachers can also write new nodes....
Campus Technology, Nov. 9

Cover of A Nightmare Made RealL.A. Times publishes 99-cent ebook
Erin L. Cox writes: “On November 14, the Los Angeles Times released its first ebook, A Nightmare Made Real, based on a series of articles by staff writer Christopher Goffard. The ebook is an expanded version of Goffard’s two-part series on a Las Vegas banker accused of kidnapping, torture, and sexual assault. Available on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks for 99 cents, A Nightmare Made Real is said to be the first in a series of 8–10 ebooks that the daily intends to publish. It’s the latest in a trend that is seeing newspapers publishing ebooks.”

Publishing Perspectives, Nov. 14

Comics by comiXology logoComic books lead top-grossing iPad book apps list
Comic book apps continue to lead the top-grossing iPad apps in the books genre. According to research from AppData, Inside Network’s data service that tracks app and developer leaderboards, Comics is the number one top-grossing iPad book app, followed by DC Comics at number two and Marvel Comics at number three....
eBookNewser, Nov. 15

Hashing out digital trust
Kate Zwaard writes: “I like to describe content authentication programs as consisting of two parts: 1) tools and evidence we provide to users so they can assure themselves that they’re looking at the real thing; and 2) tools the stewards of the information use to reduce the risk of content being altered. A cornerstone of both are the methods we use to determine fixity, that is, that a file has not been accidentally or purposefully changed.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Nov. 15

Old schoolDigital preservation
Do you still have those large 5.25-inch floppy discs at home? Or computer files created with an old program that doesn’t exist anymore? Then you are familiar with today’s problem: Your current computer cannot cope with these old data carriers or software anymore. Large cultural heritage institutions are facing a similar problem. But there is a solution: emulating old computer systems using modern computers. Europe’s KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable) project, which began in 2009, has been doing research and development into technical and legal possibilities and challenges to give long-term access to digital information using emulation....
Koninklijke Bibliotheek,
Nov. 3

ProQuest logoProQuest reorganizes
ProQuest on November 9 announced that it has reorganized into six business units and named a new executive team. Past ALTAFF President Rod Gauvin will head ProQuest Information Solutions with responsibility for all library markets. In addition, 40 jobs have been eliminated across the company, which employs some 1,800 people. In a statement, ProQuest officials said the moves would make the organization “flatter and more agile” and more responsive to customer needs. Among the changes, ProQuest has moved Bowker under the direction of Michael Gersch, senior vice president and general manager of Serials Solutions....
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 10

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Books & Reading

World Book Night 2012 logoWorld Book Night U.S.
World Book Night U.S has launched an official website for the April 23 celebration that aims to spread a love of reading and books through book giveaways across the country on one night. WBN also launched on Twitter and Facebook. On April 23, 50,000 book givers will hand out 20 copies of one of the 25 World Book Night picks in communities across the United States. One million paperbacks will be given away. Bookstores and libraries are encouraged to put up displays of the books in their regular editions....
Bookselling This Week, Nov. 14

Reach Out and Read logo10 charities that promote literacy
Dianna Dilworth writes: “The holidays are just around the corner and many people are looking for ways to give to others. If you want to encourage future readers, we have put together a list of 10 charities that promote literacy. For your exploration, we’ve listed the name of the charity, its mission statement, and its website.”...
GalleyCat, Nov. 15

The subconscious bookshelf
Leah Price writes: “Because books can be owned without being read and read without being owned, bookshelves reveal at once our most private selves and our most public personas. They can serve as a utilitarian tool or a theatrical prop. For a coffee-table book of my own, I recently toured several writers’ book collections. Gazing at the shelves of a novelist whose writings lie dog-eared on my own bookcase, I felt as lucky as a restaurant-goer granted a peek at the chef’s refrigerator.”...
New York Times Sunday Book Review, Nov. 10; Financial Times, Nov. 12

Call Me Ishmael T-shirt100 best first lines from novels
The editors of American Book Review selected what they consider the most memorable first lines of novels. The titles on the list span centuries and genres and include classics (Moby-Dick, 1984) and contemporary novels that are certain to become classics (Neuromancer, Middlesex). Use this list to test your literary knowledge....
Information Please

Cover of Typographical Ornaments, by Philipp Luidl and Helmut HuberThe art of fleurons
L. D. Mitchell writes: “Book designers looking to spruce up an otherwise dreary page often turn for help to a group of typographic glyphs known broadly as ornaments. Among the most common glyphs in this group are borders, cartouches, rules, tail-pieces, and, the subject of today’s post, fleurons (aka printers’ flowers). Fleuron refers specifically to stylized forms of flowers or leaves (what Robert Bringhurst called horticultural dingbats).”...
The Private Library, Nov. 4

2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas

Carl Lennertz

At the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 22, Carl Lennertz will describe World Book Night, a giveaway of one million free books to underserved readers across America on April 23, 2012.

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Cover of Going Mobile

Going Mobile provides practical guidance in how librarians can put the library in the palms of their patrons’ hands. Using the HTML skills that many librarians already have along with flexible development tools, technology expert Scott La Counte shows how creating a customized mobile app doesn’t need to be expensive or require deep expertise. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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in American Libraries

The Occupy Wall Street Library in the NY Sanitation Dept. garage


On My Mind


Censorship Watch


Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Ask the ALA Librarian

Solutions and Services

AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

Abbey of St. Peter im Schwarzwald, Germany

Abbey of St. Peter im Schwarzwald, Sankt-Peter, Germany. Built by Austrian architect Peter Thumb in 1737–1739, this Rococo library is decorated with paintings above the bookshelves that illustrate the major areas of knowledge. Much of the collection was lost in 1806 with the coming of secularization, but it has retained volumes on geography, astronomy, and literature of the Enlightenment.

Carmelite Monastery Library, Germany

Carmelite Monastery Library, Straubing, Germany. The library was founded in 1368 and completely restored in 2008. The main hall is famous for its dazzling frescoes of scholarly Carmelites painted in 1715 by an unknown artist.

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.

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Assistant Librarian/ Coordinator of Testing Services, Central Wyoming College,
Riverton. Responsible for providing professional librarian assistance, overseeing the Testing Center, and supervising the college’s open computer lab. Successful candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in library science or related field and three years of related experience. Application review to begin November 30....

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Digital Library of the Week

Heldentot (Hero's death). This small pencil sketch on a field postcard was sent by Hans Gaigl, a soldier with the Bayrischen Landwehr Fußartillerie Batallion Nr. 2, 6. Batterie, to his wife Marie in Munich in November 1917. It is just one of a number of such cards contributed to the online collection by Günter Gaigl

Europeana Collections 1914–1918: Remembering the First World War will encompass by 2014 (the centennial of the war’s outbreak) a substantial digital collection of material from national library collections of 10 libraries and other partners in eight countries that found themselves on different sides of the historic conflict. It is cofunded in the framework of the European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The three-year project will make more than 400,000 WWI sources publicly and freely available online for the first time—content that is often rare and highly fragile because of the deteriorating quality of the paper it was produced on and generally only accessible in reading rooms. The digital library officially started in May 2011 and will continue to add items through April 2014.

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

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“As Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street continue their battle for the soul of American society into the winter and then an election year, the flood of knowledge represented by the OWS People’s Library is one of the best weapons protesters have to hold their ground against their much better financed, and armed, adversaries.”

—UC-Irvine History Professor Mark LeVine, in “The People’s Library and the Future of OWS,Al Jazeera, Nov. 16.

@ More quotes...

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Fracking: Energy Bonanza or Environmental Debacle? by Wanda Urbanska

Illustration of Hydrofracking process

Connect with your kids: Art Parent @ your library

History of the Youth Media Awards

How to Find a Great Job: Entry-Level Workers and Career-Changers

Conversations with the Earth: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change

Jonathan Stroud: 'Right from the beginning, libraries were there for me' (video)

The Headline Works of Andy Warhol at the National Gallery

Libraries Open Their Doors to Gamers on National Gaming Day @ your library

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Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Fort Wayne, Nov. 14–16, at:

2011 Global Education Conference, online, Nov. 14–18, at:

National Digital Public Library Conference, Los Angeles Public Library, Nov. 15–17, 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:


Nov. 29–
Dec. 1:

Gilbane Conference, Westin Boston Waterfront.

Nov. 29–
Dec. 2:

International Conference on Education, Informatics, and Cybernetics, Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, Florida.

Dec. 6–9:
Digital Strategies for Heritage, Conference, World Trade Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Dec. 9:
Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians, Fall Meeting, Kent State University, Ohio.

Dec. 12–14:
International Conference on Social Computing and its Applications, Aerial UTS Function Centre, Sydney, Australia.

Dec. 13–15:
International Conference on Innovative Computing Technology, University of Tehran, Iran.

Jan. 6:
CurateGear: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections, Symposium, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jan. 23–25:
Digital Book World, Conference and Expo, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, New York City.

Feb. 2–4:
RootsTech: Family History and Technology Conference, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City.

Feb. 7–10:
iConference 2012, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.
“Culture, Design, Society.”

Feb. 23–26:
Vilnius Book Fair/ Baltic Book Fair, Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre, Vilnius. “Open the World!”

Feb. 25–
Mar. 4:

New Delhi World Book Fair, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.

Mar. 1–2:
Edge2012, Conference, Macdonald Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland. “Pushing the Boundaries of Public Service Delivery.”

Apr. 11–14:
Museums and the Web, Sheraton Marina, San Diego, California.

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Actions & Answers

USA-SOS Scavenger Hunt game10 ways schools are teaching internet safety
Meris Stansbury writes: “Teaching students about internet safety has been important for as long as the internet has existed, but it’s in the spotlight this year in particular as schools get ready to apply for 2012 e-rate discounts on their telecommunications services and internet access. To get an idea how educators are approaching this issue, we recently asked readers: ‘Do you teach internet safety at your school or district? If so, how?’ Here are 10 of the most innovative and detail-rich answers.”...
eSchool News, Nov. 11

A note identifies the drawer Leonardo DiCaprio was to open during a scene shot in the Library’s Main Reading Room. Photo by Maureen Cohen HarringtonJ. Edgar at the Library of Congress
Mark Hartsell writes: “Director Clint Eastwood and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Watts came to the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building on March 27 to shoot scenes for a film about the life of J. Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI and—for nearly five years—an LC employee. Hoover got his start in government in 1913 at the Library of Congress, first as messenger, then as clerk and cataloger. Kenneth D. Ackerman, author of the book that inspired the film, believed the library’s cataloging system inspired him to create a system at the FBI to track information about individuals, groups, and movements.” Eastwood’s J. Edgar opened in theaters November 11....
Library of Congress Information Bulletin 70, no. 5 (May 2011)

Memorial to British librarians who died in WWIBritish librarians and the First World War
Lynn Young writes: “In 1923, the Library Association commissioned the calligraphers Edward Johnston and H. Lawrence Christie to design a roll of honor commemorating the British librarians who fell in the Great War. The association contacted libraries across the United Kingdom asking for information about staff members killed. It was decided that the entire memorial (above) would be made of a series of wood panels incised in gilt. The memorial remained at the British Museum until 1998 when it was moved to its current site in the British Library.”...
British Library: Untold Lives, Nov. 13

Prove your relevance through qualitative data
Steve Matthews writes: “There are few things more important in the librarian profession today than proving to the funders that the library is relevant and valuable to the community. You can better prove that by using more than count numbers—circulation count, door count, program count—and make use of qualitative data for your measurements of success. Of course, qualitative data is much harder to collect than quantitative.”...
21st Century Library Blog, Nov. 16

Millersville University's temporary facility at Gerhart HallRenovation as a catalyst for change
Erin Dorney and Eric Frierson write: “This post is about two libraries attempting to reinvent services, collections, and spaces as the walls of their buildings come crashing down. Rather than embarking on phased construction projects, the library buildings at both St. Edward’s University and Millersville University (above) will be completely shut down for a period of one and two years, respectively. Renovations can be catalysts for change, experimentation and flexibility, and distributed/embedded librarianship.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Nov. 9

Google has everything (but the library has more)
Lane Wilkinson writes: “So how do we counter the popular belief that everything is in Google? You know what sticks? Numbers. If you really want to drive the point home that Google is only a moderately helpful research tool, why not quickly show your students that, far from being ‘everything,’ a Google search returns fewer articles than a fairly standard library database. It goes like this.”...
Sense and Reference, Nov. 10

Lauren Smedley, assembling the MakerBotFayetteville Free Library’s Fab Lab
Audrey Watters writes: “Earlier this year, MAKE Magazine’s Phillip Torrone wrote a provocative article asking, ‘Is it time to rebuild and retool libraries and make techshops?’ In other words, should libraries join some of the other new community centers that are being created and become hackerspaces or makerspaces? The Fayetteville (N.Y.) Free Library’s Lauren Smedley (right) is building a Fab Lab—short for fabrication laboratory—that will provide free public access to machines and software for manufacturing and making things.”...
MindShift, KQED-FM, San Francisco, Nov. 9

The Bobst Library treasure hunt
Adam L. Penenberg writes: “I am doing research for a book on ways that game mechanics are expressed in everyday life, and I wondered if gamification could be a good way to expose my journalism students to research beyond the web. This led me to team up with Alexa Pearce, a research librarian at New York University’s Bobst Library, to create a mobile, interactive treasure hunt. The test was composed of nine questions, each worth 1,000 points, and if a student requested help or a hint it would cost 250 points. They had three hours to complete it.”...
Fast Company, Nov. 14

U.S. Air Force social media crisis decision treeShould you respond to comments on your social media sites?
Kathy Dempsey writes: “Ever wonder whether you should respond to a user comment on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or blog? When is it appropriate to say something, and how should you say it? Every organization with social sites has wondered about this. When librarians talk about social media, especially Facebook, the problem of how to interact with fans always comes up. There’s a wide range of challenges. Here are five common ones, from the most restrictive to the least.”...
The ‘M’ Word–Marketing Libraries, Nov. 9

Trove search on Annette KellermanMuseum collection meets library catalog in Trove
Seb Chan writes: “The National Library of Australia’s Trove is one of those projects that you come to understand just how important it is only after it is built and live in the world. At its most basic, Trove provides a metasearch of disparate library collections across Australia, as well as the cultural collections of the National Library itself. Being an aggregator, it brings together a number of different National Library products that used to exist independently, such as the very popular Picture Australia.”...
Fresh + New(er), Nov. 8

Book of Hours, in Latin and French. Northern France (perhaps Rouen), late 15th or 16th century. The figures in this image are the Virgin Mary and Archangel Gabriel. Mary, clad in her blue mantle, a symbol of heavenly love, is told by the Archangel that she is to bear the son of God. The fact that Gabriel is kneeling represents the deference paid to the mother of Christ. A dove, the sign of the Holy Spirit, is visible descending towards Mary from just above the windowsDecoding medieval and renaissance iconography
This online exhibition at the Reed Gallery of the Dunedin Public Libraries in New Zealand sheds some light on the meaning of signs and symbols in medieval artwork and illustration. Iconography was adopted by early printers who incorporated symbolic meaning into their devices. One of the most famous was the festina lente (“make haste slowly”) dolphin and anchor of the Aldine Press in Venice. The images and symbols displayed in this “Signs and Symbols” exhibition are becoming less and less recognizable outside academic circles....
Dunedin (N.Z.) Public Libraries

Google Search, Verbatim toolSearch using your terms, verbatim
Corin Anderson writes: “Behind the simplicity of Google search is a complex set of algorithms that expands and improves the query you’ve typed to find the best results. Automatic spelling correction ([vynal] to ‘vinyl’) and substituting synonyms (matching [pictures] to ‘photos’) are just two examples of the improvements we make. But in some rare cases, we don’t find what you were looking for. So starting November 15, with the Verbatim tool on, we’ll use the exact words you entered without making normal improvements.”...
Google Inside Search, Nov. 15

Search Google Books by ISSN
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “Turns out Google Books does support searching by ISSN, using ordinary fielded search syntax, although I don’t believe it’s documented anywhere. Mostly what you’ll find is digitized bound journals from libraries (that is, digitization of some volumes of the journal, probably not all of them, which may or may not have full-text access). Sometimes things that physically look like monographs but are published serially also get ISSNs. Google Books also has to have ISSN metadata for the record.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Nov. 15

Art librarianship
Annie Pho writes: “Many of us start out library school with a particular area of focus in mind. Mine was art libraries, and while I have explored other areas of librarianship, this one is still of interest to me. There are many ways to be an art librarian. Think about all the ways our society learns about art and imagine a librarian there to help with the process. Here are a few good resources for students who are interested in art librarianship.”...
Hack Library School, Nov. 14

Law firms and librarians: They need each other
Chuck Lowry writes: “Vendors have an almost unique perspective on law firm librarians. We are sometimes partners, sometimes adversaries; sometimes you use us and sometimes we use you; we are often friends; it is undeniably true that we cannot live without you, nor you without us. If I were to have a group of law firm administrators in front of me, with members chosen from job titles such as CFO, COO, CIO, or CEO, here is what I would tell them about the role their librarians play with information vendors and their products and practices.”...
On Firmer Ground, Nov. 10

Exterior of Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart. Photo by Kraufmann/HörnerStuttgart’s new Rubik’s cube library
Helen Morgan writes: “Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart is definitely not your run-of-the-mill German city library. This modern architectural masterpiece designed by Eun Young Yi is a colossal new building that opened to the public in October. Taking on the form of a giant, two-toned Rubik’s cube, the glowing design is a beacon for architecture and book lovers alike. The structure’s façade looks like a formation of colorful glowing cubes, while inside the space contrasts with a simple and minimalist style.”...
Inhabitat, Nov. 14

JournalTOCs logoWhere to find new research papers
Roddy MacLeod writes: “Here I’ve listed 30 freely available websites and services that help anyone find details of new scholarly research. These are services that link directly to research papers, reports, conference papers, preprints, or theses that have appeared in journals, institutional repositories, or elsewhere—and especially services that produce RSS feeds, because RSS can be an excellent facility for keeping up-to-date.”...
Roddy MacLeod’s Blog, Nov. 10

APPitic logoAPPitic: A learning app directory
Joyce Valenza writes: “I just discovered APPitic, a supercool directory of more than 1,300 apps for education, selected by a team of four Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) who tested the apps with a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies, and classroom settings. Browse for relevant learning apps using pull-down menus under the broad categories of Preschool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, and Bloom’s Taxonomy.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Nov. 13

Licorize logoThree useful bookmarking sites
Corina Mackay writes: “Bookmarking is a great way to save things for later follow-up or to revisit on a regular basis. While your browser’s built-in bookmarks make for a quick and easy visit to your favorite sites, external bookmarking sites can extend to images, quotes, and articles. If you use bookmarks often, you may need a better way to organize them and incorporate them effectively into your workday. Here are three helpful tools.”...
Social Media Examiner, Nov. 10

How to keep patrons away from you
Will Manley writes: “In my working days I noticed that the most stressful places to work in the library were children’s, circulation, and reference. The common thread here is patrons. Aren’t they a pain? Think how much more fun it would be if we just kept the patrons out of the building. You can only have one staff development day a year, so how do you keep patrons away from your desk when they are allowed to enter the building? Here are some suggestions.”...
Will Unwound, Nov. 11

Screen shot from McCracken County's RedMan videoRedMan at the McCracken County library
This library promotional video (0:31) exhorts patrons to “get well-read” at the McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky. However, one wonders if it will also encourage people to dress up in weird costumes and throw books around....
YouTube, Nov. 11

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