|American Libraries Online
American Libraries launches E-Content blog
Keeping up with the many varieties of digital content—and how libraries can offer them to their patrons—just got easier. American Libraries has launched an “E-Content” blog that provides information on ebooks, e-readers, e-journals, databases, digital libraries, digital repositories, and other e-content issues. E-Content is administered by Christopher Harris (above), director of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in New York State. The blog complements the new section on E-Content that appears in the weekly e-newsletter American Libraries Direct and focuses on similar issues....
American Libraries, Oct. 3
National Book Festival stacks up as record-breaker
Mark Hartsell writes: “Like a good book, the 11th annual National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., September 24–25, took readers to places they had never been before. The new expanded two-day schedule of events, record roster of writers, and new pavilions reflected recent literary trends. With the theme ‘Celebrate the Joys of Reading Aloud,’ the festival drew a record 200,000 fans to the National Mall for a weekend of discussion, music, laughter, humidity, and talks by 112 authors—also a record.”...
American Libraries feature
Dispatches from the Field: Using web analytics well
Kate Marek writes: “Are your website visitors doing what you expect them to do or what you want them to do? Are they following the path you thought they would follow when you designed your menu system? Are visitors to your digital-library page finding the link to historical photos of your city or the university’s archival images? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer by using a web analytics program.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Happy 135th, ALA!
Q. What were the forces behind the founding conference of the American Library Association? A. Then, as now, the impetus to get together was to improve library services, or to use the language of the time, to promote “efficiency and economy in library work.” After much correspondence (and telegrams) a printed call was sent to about 1,000 libraries and librarians. Meeting in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 made sense, and a “Convention of Librarians” was held October 4–6 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Oct. 5
Bulgarian librarians grapple with modernization
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Some 80 librarians from every region of Bulgaria gathered September 29–30 in the city of Shumen to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Stoyan Chilingirov, a prominent Bulgarian author of books about history, ethnography, and folklore and an early library advocate. Sponsored by the Shumen Regional Library, Shumen University, and the municipality itself, the conference also highlighted the latest efforts of Bulgarian librarians to modernize library service.”...
AL: Global Reach, Oct. 3
In September, Elsworth Rockefeller (right) was named adult and teen services manager at Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library. Margaret Jane Bruff Lord, 92, a teacher and librarian for 35 years in Washington state schools, died July 18. In October, Stephen Day is retiring as director of the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library....
Midwinter housing and registration now open
Registration and housing for the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held January 20–24, 2012, in Dallas, Texas, opened October 3. The 2012 Midwinter Meeting promises key conversations about the transformation and future of libraries, as well as events, exhibits, and sessions offering immediately applicable information that will benefit attendees’ careers and libraries....
Conference Services, Oct. 4
Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Contest
ALA, through a new relationship with Sterling Epicure, publishers of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, is supporting the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Contest held in honor of the book’s release. The contest will offer library patrons a chance to to win an all-expense-paid trip to meet the book’s authors, Planet Green reality-TV stars Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge. All entries (PDF file) must be received by November 1....
Public Information Office, Oct. 4
Win a gaming gear package from DEMCO
DEMCO is again giving away a gaming gear package to one lucky library that participates in National Gaming Day 2011. To qualify, register for National Gaming Day, download the contest entry form (PDF file), participate in gaming events on November 12, and send in the form by December 14. The gaming gear package is worth more than $3,000, and includes a DEMCO Triple Play Kiosk, a 42-inch LCD TV, and an Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle....
National Gaming Day @ your library, Oct. 5
Wisconsin teen wins Step Up to the Plate grand prize
Twelve-year-old Kelsey Willems will soon be on her way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, thanks to the resources at her school library and some quality family time with her father. In the grand prize drawing for the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, Baseball Hall of Fame Library Director Jim Gates pulled Willems’s entry from the 1,000 eligible entries that baseball fans nationwide sent in over the spring and summer....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Oct. 4
Some final thoughts on Banned Books Week
Will Manley writes: “Banned Books Week ended October 1. I will miss it. Over the years, it has become an effective catalyst for creating a conversation about precisely why libraries are important. What Banned Books Week teaches us is that libraries are important because books are important. Books contain ideas, and ideas can be very powerful. That is why some people want certain books banned.”...
Will Unwound, Oct. 1
Call for proposals for the ALA Research Series
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics invites book proposals for the peer-reviewed ALA Research Series. The series expands the knowledge base of library research by publishing accessible and practical analysis that addresses topics of importance to libraries, librarians, and professional educators. Proposals for complete monographs and articles toward an edited volume are both welcome. All submissions must be received electronically by November 28....
Office for Research and Statistics, Oct. 4
Free webinar on library job hunting tactics
Hone your job-hunting skills in a free interactive webinar with Jeannette Woodward, author of A Librarian’s Guide to an Uncertain Job Market (ALA Editions, 2011). As a seasoned administrator with experience in both academic and public libraries, Woodward will focus on the application package, the interviewing process and the distinguishing features of how libraries recruit. The webinar will take place October 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Register here....
ALA Editions, Oct. 3
RDA Toolkit virtual events
ALA Publishing’s Digital Reference is introducing two new ways to learn about the RDA Toolkit and prepare for implementation of RDA: Resource Description and Access. These free and open virtual events are designed to help introduce users to the RDA Toolkit, keep up-to-date with changes and enhancements, and share ideas and best practices as they get up and running....
ALA Publishing, Oct. 4
Featured review: Adult fiction
DeLillo, Don. The Angel Esmerelda: Nine Stories. Nov. 2011. 224p. Scribner, hardcover (978-1-4516-5584-1).
After 15 reverberating novels, DeLillo, winner of the National Book Award and the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize, to name but two of his honors, assembles his first short story collection. In tales dating from 1979 to 2011, DeLillo is prescient and timeless, commanding and sensitive. A recurring motif involves individuals ensnared in mysterious dialectics. In each trenchant tale, DeLillo shows us that we are made of stories and that our quest for anchorage in safe harbors is a grand illusion. This towering collection builds in the mind like a mighty cumulonimbus lit by lightning flashes and scored with thunder....
Following series fiction
Joyce Saricks writes: “No one knows more about series than readers’-advisory librarians who work with adult fiction readers. Only literary fiction authors seem to shun series. But name a genre, and you can almost guarantee readers that there will be a wealth of series for fans to enjoy. While I’m certain this is really a publishing stratagem to create an audience for each year’s new title, I know as a reader that it works. Far too well—it’s almost impossible to stop reading a series, because we want to know what happens to the characters. Some of us have been known to rail against authors who kill off characters we love or, even worse, end the series. Only the death of the author is an adequate excuse to stop. Almost no series continued by another author really works, not even among authors who write from the grave.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
AASL to present briefing on SKILLs Act
On October 17, representatives of AASL will present a congressional briefing to advocate for the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization hearings. Presented in conjunction with Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), the briefing’s presenters include Carl Harvey, Donna L. Haye, William A. Mayer, Kathy Mortimer, and Connie Williams. School librarians and school library stakeholders are encouraged to support the work of the congressional briefing by contacting their members of Congress and urging them to attend....
AASL, Oct. 4
Banned Websites Awareness Day activities
Students at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colorado, held a “graffiti debate” on censorship September 28: Should schools block websites? On sheets of white butcher paper hanging in the library, they wrote lists of the pros and cons of online access. New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinios, surveyed students about blocked websites after loosening its own internet filters this year. These and other efforts marked AASL’s first Banned Websites Awareness Day....
New York Times, Sept. 28
ACRL e-Learning call for proposals
ACRL is now accepting proposal submissions for the ACRL e-Learning program. Submissions are being accepted for live webcasts and asynchronous online courses. Proposals must be submitted via the online submission form by November 1. The full call for proposals, including a link to the submission form, is online....
ACRL, Oct. 4
Get the scoop on STEM this week
YALSA is featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in its monthly YA Forum discussion, held for members this month in ALA Connect. Through October 7, YALSA members are encouraged to check in to the discussion forum and ask questions and contribute to the ongoing discussion....
YALSA, Oct. 3
Make QR Codes work at your library
To learn how you can effectively use QR Codes at your library, join YALSA for its October 20 webinar, “What Is That Thing? Making QR Codes Work at Your Library.” Jennifer Velasquez, teen services librarian at the San Antonio Public Library, will lead the discussion. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Oct. 4
Free ALCTS webinars for LIS students and faculty
ALCTS has announced that LIS students who are student members of ALA may again register this year for any ALCTS webinar free of charge. Students who wish to take advantage of this offer need to be current student members of ALA and register in advance for the webinars in which they are interested. Faculty must contact the ALCTS office in advance to make arrangements....
ALCTS, Oct. 4
Complimentary Knowledge Quest webinar
To mark the launch of the expanded Knowledge Quest website, AASL will present the first of its Knowledge Quest webinar series complimentary to all attendees on October 11. This new series of webinars will explore topics related to the editorial theme of the most recent Knowledge Quest and be presented by the authors featured in the issue....
AASL, Oct. 4
PLDS switches to PLAmetrics
The online Public Library Data Service provider has changed. The PLDS database is now hosted at PLAmetrics. Current subscribers to the online database will receive an email containing new information about access to PLAmetrics. Contact PLA at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5752, if you have questions regarding access to PLAmetrics....
PLA Blog, Oct. 3
2012 ALA scholarship application now online
ALA has more than $300,000 for students who are studying library science or school library media at the master’s degree level. Scholarships typically range from $1,500 to $7,000 per student per year. The application and instructions are available online. The application deadline is March 1, 2012....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Oct. 4
Applications are being accepted for three LITA scholarships: Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship, LSSI Minority Scholarship, and OCLC Minority Scholarship. The scholarships are designed to encourage the entry of qualified persons into the library technology field. The deadline is March 1, 2012. Application forms and instructions are available online....
LITA, Oct. 5
Recognize donors with a Major Benefactor Citation
To recognize individuals, families, or corporations that have made major gifts to libraries, ALTAFF awards the Major Benefactor Citation. The Major Benefactor Citation comes with a plaque for the library and a plaque for the donor. Libraries may apply for the citation at any time....
ALTAFF, Oct. 4
Deadline extended for National Library Week grant
This National Library Week, celebrate the ways your library provides a place where everyone belongs. U.S. libraries of all types are encouraged to apply for $3,000 to support their National Library Week activities. The deadline for the 2012 grant has been extended to October 28....
Public Information Office, Oct. 4
Chicago’s YOUmedia program: A Boeing Game Changer
Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey (right) accepted the 2011 Boeing Game Changer Award September 28 for the library’s YOUmedia program in a brief ceremony at the Harold Washington Library Center. Established by Boeing in 2007, the award recognizes innovative leaders and community programs that are making a significant impact on Chicago’s diverse communities. The YOUmedia program is a unique learning space for high school students that connects young adults, books, media, adult mentors, and institutions throughout Chicago....
Chicago Public Library, Sept. 28
Kalamazoo wins state history award
Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library has won a State History Award in the Communications: Newsletters and Websites category for the All About Kalamazoo History section of its Local History website. The section features nearly 600 interconnected web pages and covers more than 20 categories. The Historical Society of Michigan presented its 2011 State History Awards at its conference, September 23–25, in Traverse City....
Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library, Oct. 5
Library helper named San Diego’s Outstanding Youth Volunteer
Armando Herrera (right), 15, a dedicated volunteer and youth leader at the Logan Heights branch of the San Diego (Calif.) Public Library, has been named the city’s 2011 Outstanding Youth Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Herrera will be honored for his broad community impact at a special awards ceremony on November 1 for National Philanthropy Day....
San Diego Public Library Foundation, Aug. 16
Young Quills Awards for Historical Fiction
The UK Historical Association announced the 2011 winners of its Young Quills Awards for Historical Fiction on September 28:
The Sacred Scarab by Gill Harvey (Bloomsbury), a novel set in ancient Egypt; and Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin (Doubleday), set in 15th-century Spain. The awards were introduced two years ago in recognition of the important role that fiction can play in introducing children and young people to history....
Historical Association, Sept. 28
Fugitive writer wins Basque literary award
Joseba Sarrionandia, a convicted member of the armed Basque separatists group ETA who has been on the run since 1985, was awarded the Euskadi Literatura 2011 Award for his book of essays in the Basque language, Moroak gara behelaino artean?, on October 3. The Basque regional government is withholding his €18,000 ($23,900 U.S.) prize until he turns himself in....
Euskal Irrati Telebista, Oct. 3; CBC News, Oct. 4
2011 Ig Nobel Prize in Literature
The annual Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes were announced September 29 and are intended to celebrate the unusual and honor the imaginative. The winner in the Literature category was Professor of Philosophy John Perry of Stanford University for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which says: “To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that’s even more important.” It was first published in “How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done” in the Chronicle of Higher Education, February 23, 1996....
Improbable Research, Sept. 29
The Occupy Wall Street Library
Alexia Nader writes: “On the morning of Day 12 of the Occupy Wall Street protest, a few people are waving signs and shouting slogans. Mostly, though, everyone is just hanging out. They take naps, play board games, and pick up books from the haphazardly organized library that occupies a bench on the side of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. The library was organized by poet and LIS graduate Betsy Fagin, a Brooklyn resident who felt the ongoing protest needed a proper library. Protesters, bystanders, and even Wall Streeters have been stopping by the park with stacks of books to donate.” The library, open around the clock, now has a blog and is accepting book donations....
New Yorker: The Book Bench, Sept. 29; Book Patrol, Sept. 28, 30; Occupy Wall Street Library; GalleyCat, Oct. 4
Former Archives employee admits stealing recordings
A former long-time National Archives employee admitted in federal court October 4 that he stole nearly 1,000 audio recordings that he stashed at his Rockville, Maryland, home, selling some of them on eBay under the user name “hi-fi_gal.” Leslie C. Waffen, 66, who was chief of the Archives’ audiovisual holdings, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to embezzlement of government property. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero issued a statement on the case....
Washington Post, Oct. 4; National Archives, Oct. 4
Major copyright case against UCLA dismissed
Michael Kelley writes: “A federal judge in Los Angeles on October 1 dismissed a closely watched copyright case against the University of California, Los Angeles, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and that sovereign immunity and the university’s explicit licensing agreement afforded the defendants protection from charges. The ruling in AIME v. Regents of UCLA (PDF file), while clearly a win for the University of California and university officials (including Sharon Farb, UCLA’s associate university librarian for collection management and scholarly communication), was seen as less than a robust victory for fair use.”...
Library Journal, Oct. 4
New West Hollywood branch gets high marks
Critics are calling the new West Hollywood branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library one of the most impressive works of public architecture in the region in the past decade. The 32,000-square foot branch, six times larger than the old one, opened October 2, the result of a partnership between the county system that operates it and the city, which paid for its construction. It includes long expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass, bands of marble, rooftop tennis courts, a bookstore, murals by street artists, and the WeHo city council chambers....
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 28, Oct. 1; LA Observed, Oct. 3
San Francisco libraries are thriving
Book lovers say it’s nothing to keep quiet about: San Francisco’s libraries are thriving. In the past six years, nearly two dozen new and renovated branch libraries throughout the city have opened their doors. With three more to go, the largest capital improvement project in the library’s history is coming to an end. And a happy ending seems assured: Checked-out materials and visits, already in the millions, are on the rise....
San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 3
The case of the disappearing documents
Ellen Gamerman writes: “At age 10, Barry Landau wrote a letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, admiring his ‘very beautiful’ wife and offering his assessment of where the general stood in the country’s pantheon of great leaders. The boy got a card back from the White House, triggering a lifelong love of historical documents and a passion for accumulating them. He has since built what his lawyer calls the world’s largest private collection of American presidential memorabilia. Now he’s under house arrest, and items from his prized collection have been seized by federal agents in a case that has rocked the tight-knit world of historical-document collectors.”...
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 30
Probe finds documents missing from University of Vermont
Several dozen historical documents, including papers signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and other presidents, went missing from the University of Vermont library in Burlington. Their disappearance came to light during an investigation of a rash of manuscript thefts along the East Coast. Jeffrey Marshall (above), head of special collections, said librarians received a call August 19 from an investigator for the National Archives asking them to examine several collections for items believed to have been targeted for theft. 67 documents were identified after investigators recovered hundreds of items from accused thief Barry Landau (see story above). Watch the newscast (2:10)....
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Oct. 4; WPTZ-TV, Plattsburgh, N.Y., Oct. 4
Yale University Library restructures staff
Library staff knew Yale would bring a new university librarian to campus this academic year, but some were surprised to find their own roles in the library changed. For the first time in over 10 years, the library is undergoing a major reorganization of personnel in an effort to centralize library services. Since August, the responsibilities of about a dozen librarians have increased, while another dozen now report to different managers, University Librarian Susan Gibbons said....
Yale Daily News, Sept. 30
Longmont library wants funds for anti-bedbug furniture
The Longmont (Colo.) Public Library is asking the city council for special funds to replace upholstered chairs with wooden seating, so it can steer clear of the bedbugs that hid out there in the summer. Replacing all the upholstered furniture would run about $53,000, so Library Director Judith Anderson is only asking for $5,174 for 12 wooden benches; the rest can be spread out over a three-year period....
Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Oct. 3
Queens librarian sets the fashion in New York City
From hip sneakers to designer dresses, four New Yorkers share their personal style mantras. One is Loida Garcia-Febo, coordinator of the New Americans program at Queens Library, who needs to maintain a professional appearance at work. She opts for comfortable dresses from big-name designers like Donna Karan and affordable retailers like Ann Taylor....
New York Daily News, Sept. 29
Books for Kids library established in Phoenix
What once was a cramped, dilapidated house will serve as a lending library for nearly 200 low-income children in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix was chosen in May as the newest site for a library created and furnished by the Books for Kids Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that promotes literacy among low-income and at-risk preschool-age children by establishing libraries and donating books. The library opened at the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center on September 20. Other Books for Kids Foundation libraries opened in Wilmington, Delaware, and San Francisco in September....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Sept. 28; Books for Kids, Sept. 12
New York bookstore owner busts library thief
A serial thief who repeatedly stole books from the New York Public Library and sold them to unwitting downtown stores was apprehended September 26 after a furious bookseller laid a trap for him. Donald Davis (right), owner of East Village Books at 99 St. Marks Place, said he had been fooled by Andrew Hansen, 27, before and was prepared this time around. Davis used some wrestling moves to prevent Hansen from leaving after he attempted to unoad some stolen property....
New York Post, Sept. 30; WCBS-TV, New York, Sept. 30
Court reinstates pension of convicted library official
A Beverly (Mass.) Public Library employee who pled guilty to child pornography possession in 2009 is entitled to have his retirement allowance reinstated, a three-judge Appeals Court panel ruled September 30, overturning the judgment of lower courts on the grounds that his crimes were not directly related to his job. The ruling reinstates the pension of Thomas Scully, the library’s former director of community service, who resigned in 2005 after police raided his home and discovered seven images of child pornography on his computer....
Boston Herald, Sept. 30
Rhode Island library refuses to go quietly
In a losing battle to avoid bankruptcy this year, parts of the square-mile city of Central Falls, Rhode Island, became expendable, including the Adams Memorial Library. But some residents refused to give it up. On August 1, the library reopened with limited hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and its reference and checkout desks were staffed by a rotating band of volunteers....
New York Times, Sept. 30
“This is not volunteering, it is blackmail”
Surrey County Council in the UK announced September 27 that it would keep all of its 52 libraries open, but that 10 would be run by volunteers as community enterprises. The Surrey Libraries Action Movement, an umbrella organization for 10 of the Surrey library Friends groups, called the decision coercive. SLAM Press Officer Lee Godfrey charged, “This is not volunteering, it is blackmail: taking advantage of people’s desire to nurture and protect their local community.”...
i-volunteer, Sept. 28–29
Go back to the Top
A new iPhone, with a personal assistant
For its next act, Apple is turning the iPhone into a personal assistant. On October 4, the company unveiled a new version of the device, the iPhone 4S, which comes with a “virtual assistant,” Siri, that recognizes voice commands by users to schedule appointments, dictate text messages, and conduct web searches. Although the new phone is virtually indistinguishable on the outside from its predecessor, the iPhone 4, the company says it is packed with better technical innards, including a more advanced camera....
New York Times, Oct. 4
How to buy the best tablet
Wendy Sheehan Donnell writes: “It’s difficult to remember a time before tablets, but it’s been a mere 18 months since the first Apple iPad was released, and the current tablet market was born. Since then, we’ve seen scores of manufacturers trying to snag a slice of the tablet pie, which so far, has been dominated by Apple, which is now on its second iPad iteration. So which of the plethora of deceivingly similar-looking tablets is worth your money? Let’s look at the key factors you need to consider when shopping for a tablet.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 28
Introducing Amazon Silk
On September 28 in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire. Amazon sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers. Instead of a device-siloed software application, Amazon Silk deploys a split architecture. All of the browser subsystems are present on your Kindle Fire as well as on the AWS cloud computing platform. Watch the video (5:45)....
Amazon Silk blog, Sept. 28; YouTube, Sept. 28
Best iPad music apps
The iPad’s large display and responsive swipe technology have made it very popular with musicians. The most recent Gorillaz album was recorded entirely on the iPad, proving that professional musicians can get in on the act, too. Here is a summary of the best musicians’ tools on the iPad. Be sure to check out part 2....
iPad-site.net, Oct. 2–3
Inbook charging stations
Caroline Stanley writes: “One of the main reasons that we’ve yet to make the big switch over to an iPad or Kindle yet is that we happen to adore the way books look sitting on our shelves after we’re done reading them. The inbook charging station offers an interesting answer to our design crisis; the docking stations, which are compatible with iPods and iPhones, are made using one-of-a-kind vintage books. Click through to take a look at just a few of the options.”...
Flavorwire, Oct. 3
This is the Wi-Fi router you want
Brian X. Chen writes: “Computer maker Asus has engineered a gem of a Wi-Fi router that outshines wireless king Cisco. Asus’s RT-N56U router has won the heart of every technology reviewer who’s touched it. It sports a peculiar but intriguing ‘diamond black’ aesthetic in a very slim body, and benchmark tests show that this box turns in impressive speeds. Add to that an easy installation process and two USB ports for connecting accessories such as hard drives, and you have a resounding winner.”...
The Wirecutter, Sept. 26
Seven good screen-capture tools for teachers
Richard Byrne writes: “Introducing new technology tools to your students or to your colleagues can become a frustrating exercise if you end up repeating the same step-by-step directions over and over again. You can avoid that by creating annotated screen captures of the tools you are introducing or screencast videos in which you explain each step of the process. Here are seven tools that will help.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Sept. 28
Kate Sheehan writes: “I’ve got robots on the brain lately. Slate ran an interesting series about robots replacing even highly educated knowledge workers. No sooner did I finish the last piece (about robots replacing scientists) than I picked up the September 15 issue of Library Journal, featuring a library robot on the cover. Clearly, the robots are coming. Lest you think I’ve been overtaken by robot paranoia, let me tell you about another thing I did this week.”...
ALA Tech Source Blog, Oct. 4; Slate, Sept. 26; Library Journal, Sept. 15
Pick a Kindle, any Kindle
Michael DeGusta writes: “Four years ago Amazon introduced the original Kindle. Two years ago, there were just two models: the Kindle 2 and the large screen Kindle DX. After last week’s announcements, Amazon is now selling 14 different models under the Kindle brand. The current Kindle lineup varies on no fewer than 11 different features by my count, with 2 to 5 possible variants for each of the 11 features. Here is the Kindle product tree, rendered as concisely as humanly possible, and another one for iPads.”...
theunderstatement, Sept. 29
Lightning-fast ILL with e-readers
Joyce Neujahr writes: “Traditionally, interlibrary loan requests can be filled in only two of the following three ways—fast, cheap, or easy. It could be fast and cheap, but not easy; could be fast and easy, but not cheap; could be cheap and easy, but not fast. With the arrival of e-readers and ebooks, it is possible to have it all—fast, cheap, and easy. In December 2007, University of Nebraska–Omaha Dean of Libraries Stephen Shorb purchased three Kindles to experiment how, or if, they might be used in the library. Shorb suggested ILL as an ideal place to explore.”...
College & Research Libraries News 72, no. 9 (Oct.): 531–33, 541
A note on OverDrive privacy
Ebook provider OverDrive posted a note October 4 on library patron privacy for those who visit or interact with the hosted websites of its library and school partners. However, Gary Price writes: “While it’s good to see OverDrive reaffirming its commitment to privacy, the new OD post makes no mention about what happens when a user clicks to Amazon.com to initiate a download of a book(s) to a Kindle device.” He asks seven questions that remain unanswered in the OverDrive blog post....
INFOdocket, Oct. 4; OverDrive Digital Library Blog, Oct. 4
Adapting Julia Child for e-readers
Clumsily splattering a cookbook with bacon grease is one thing. Doing it to an iPad is quite another. That may explain why cookbooks have been late bloomers in the ebook revolution, lagging behind other categories, like fiction, that have been widely embraced in digital form. Yet cookbooks have recently begun to show signs of strength. On October 5, Alfred A. Knopf released the ebook edition of one of the most famous, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child....
New York Times, Oct. 4
Texas mom finds erotica in Nook freebies
An Allen, Texas, woman says she wants a major book retailer to remove adult selections from its free ebooks section. Carole Hayes said she noticed this summer that the Free Nook Books section on Barnes & Noble’s website includes an erotic title, The Princess and the Penis. Hayes, the mother of three children, said she was going to let her children download free books for themselves until she saw the titles included when she clicked “see all.” That ebook since has been taken down from the the website....
KXAS-TV, Dallas–Fort Worth, Oct. 4
Bill Davison is new SirsiDynix CEO (PDF file)
Library technology provider SirsiDynix announced that its chief operating officer, Bill Davison (right), has been appointed chief executive officer, effective October 3. Davison told American Libraries that he hopes to expand the company’s e-library resources, “making the use of e-books seamless for both students and patrons.” He also expects that customer services will continue to improve with the recent centralization of its Customer Support Center....
SirsiDynix, Oct. 3
Peter Brantley writes: “In Library Journal, I read an excellent series of interviews with publishing executives about their perspectives on library-publisher relations, but I was concerned with how frequently the publishers associated the public library with the physical, printed book. Random House’s Madeline McIntosh made the association explicit: ‘What makes a library important is defined by physical books, in a physical space.’ Frankly, I find that perspective offensive.”...
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Oct. 4; Library Journal, Oct. 1
Take a web archiving survey
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance Content Working Group at the Library of Congress is sponsoring a survey of organizations in the United States that are actively involved in or planning to archive content from the web. Goals of the survey include gaining a better understanding of what types of web content are being preserved, the tools and services being used, and what type of access is being provided for researchers. The survey will close October 31....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Oct. 4
Typos and worse: When ebooks need correcting
Carol Saller writes: “What happens when a typo occurs in a book that is published digitally? If the digital version is prepared from the printed version, the impression line is typically the same in both, changing accordingly with new print runs, although Russell David Harper, who worked on the electronic version of The Chicago Manual of Style, points out that the conversion process can introduce a host of errors. Thus, the odds are high that a digital book prepared from the printed book’s electronic files will not match exactly—especially for Kindle and other formats with reflowable text.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Lingua Franca, Sept. 29
New service for ebook authors
The Perseus Books Group has created a distribution and marketing service that will allow authors to self-publish their own ebooks, the company said on October 2. The new service will give authors an alternative to other self-publishing services and a favorable revenue split that is unusual in the industry: 70% to the author and 30% to the distributor. The new Perseus unit, called Argo Navis Author Services, will be available only to authors who are represented by an agency that has signed an agreement with Perseus....
New York Times, Oct. 2
Gale launches Librareo for LIS students
Reference publisher Gale on October 3 launched Librareo, a web-based community that supports the future of librarianship by providing LIS students with free access to the professional resources they will use after graduation. LIS students in the United States and Canada who sign up for Librareo will get free, unlimited access to such online Gale resources as Academic OneFile and Gale Virtual Reference Library, as well as access to 115 ebooks commonly used in libraries today....
Cengage Learning, Oct. 3
Kindergarten Magic: Theme-Based Lessons for Building Literacy and Library Skills, by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker, is a time-saving program planner for librarians and classroom teachers alike that includes everything you need to get started—reading lists, flannelboard patterns, poems, songs, easy crafts, even take-home activities to extend the learning process. Both veterans and novices will find plenty to help make kindergarten days richer, more rewarding, and more fun. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic. This library dates back to the establishment of the Premonstratensian abbey in 1143, although most of its collections were plundered by the Swedish army in 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. After the Peace of Westphalia, the monastery’s books were housed in the Theological Hall built in 1671–1679, a splendid Baroque room with a beautifully ornate ceiling painted by Siard Nosecký; the room is now lined with astronomical globes and displays a facsimile of the 9th-century Strahov New Testament with its bejeweled 17th-century binding. The expanding collections required the construction of additional space, completed in 1783–1797 and known as the Philosophical Hall, where Franz Anton Maulbertsch painted a ceiling fresco in six months in 1794 with the help of just one assistant. The richly gilded and carved walnut bookcases are the work of carpenter Jan Lahofer. The highest rows of books are only accessible from a gallery; hidden spiral staircases, masked with false book spines, lead up to the corners of the gallery. An adjacent Cabinet of Curiosities features the preserved remains of an extinct dodo bird, sea fauna, insects, minerals, handcuffs, and Hussite peasant weapons. In 1953, the library was nationalized as a Museum of National Literature, and the monastic archives, music collection, picture gallery, and exhibits were dispersed to other state institutions. Soon after 1989, following the collapse of state communism, the library was returned to the monks.
Vyšší Brod Monastery Library, Vyšší Brod, Czech Republic. Established in 1750, the collection in this Rococo Cistercian library contains parchment manuscripts going back to the 8th century. The reading room is decorated with frescos and topped with a ceiling adorned with gold leaf.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication later this year by ALA Editions.
Head of Acquisitions, Sims Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. The head of acquisitions is responsible for planning and administration of monograph acquisitions; supervises and participates in pre-order verification, ordering, claiming, receiving, and paying of invoices; oversees approval plans; develops business relationships with vendors and publishers; monitors and evaluates vendor performance; manages gifts and donations; works closely with library administration in monitoring the library’s budget, and formulates acquisitions policies and procedures. Supervises the work of two library specialists and student workers in the acquisitions area and promotes staff development....
Digital Library of the Week
The Pasadena Digital History Collaboration is a consortium of cultural institutions in Pasadena, California. Its unites efforts to bring Pasadena history to life by preserving, documenting, and providing access to digitized historical materials through a single, open-access point for the public. The Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena City College, and Huntington Library so far have placed more than 4,000 photographs and documents in the collection. n addition to a searchable database, the site features special collections on topics such as the Tournament of Roses and Busch Gardens, the sprawling former winter estate of brewing magnate Adolphus Busch. The group also uses Flickr to maintain a gallery of mystery photos, inviting the public to help date and identify them.
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.
“The librarians [at Southwest Harbor (Maine) Public Library] knew who he was. As I would learn, over the year that he was missing, they were his watchers. They helped him pay bills; they talked and joked with him; they gave him a home away from home. When he went missing, they sounded the alarm, put up flyers, and placed a candle in his reading nook.”
—Blogger Cherie, in a tribute to Pete Peterson, a 61-year-old man with developmental disabilities in Southwest Harbor, Maine, who went missing for a year and whose remains were discovered in late September, Beyond the Dooryard, Sept. 29.
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, State College, Oct. 2–5, at:
Australian School Library Association, National Conference, Sydney, Oct. 2–5, at:
North Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Hickory, Oct. 4–7, at:
Georgia Conference of Media Organizations, Annual Conference, Athens, Oct. 5–7, at:
Idaho Library Association, Annual Conference, Boise, Oct. 5–7, at:
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Conference, New Orleans, Oct. 9–12, at:
Great Lakes E-Summit, Dayton, Ohio, Oct. 10–11, at:
Minnesota Library Association, Annual Conference, Duluth, Oct. 12–14, at:
Association of Internet Researchers, Annual Conference, Seattle, Oct. 10–13, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Oct. 17–18: Internet @ Schools West, Monterey (Calif.) Conference Center.
XIII All-Russian Scientific Conference, Voronezh. “Digital Libraries: Advanced Methods and Technologies, Digital Collections.”
Academy of American Poets, Poets Forum, New York City. Discussions, readings, lectures, and literary walking tours of Manhattan. Ticket information for the various events is available on the website.
American Medical Informatics Association, Annual Symposium, Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C. “Improving Health: Informatics and IT Changing the World.”
5th Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Recommender Systems, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago.
Open Access Africa 2011, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Dominican University McKusker Lecture, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, River Forest, Illinois, featuring Clifford Lynch, “Names and Lives in the Cultural Record.”
American Association of School Librarians, National Conference, Minneapolis Convention Center. “Turning the Page.”
Oct. 31–Nov. 2:
StoryWorld 2011 Conference and Expo, Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, Union Square, San Francisco.
DataContent 2011, Loews Philadelphia. “Cloud, Crowd, and Curation.”
RFID in Libraries Conference, Bloomsbury Hotel, London, U.K.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Fall Seminar Series, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C. “Content and Apps for Mobile Devices: Engaging Users in the Mobile Experience” and “Moving to the Online-Only Journal: Breaking Free of Print Constraints.”
California Library Association / California School Library Association, Annual Conference and Exposition, Pasadena Convention Center.
Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Grand Wayne Convention Center, Fort Wayne. “2011: A Library Odyssey: Journey to the Future.”
Semantic Web in Libraries Conference, Hamburg, Germany. “Scholarly Communication in the Web of Data.”
Jan. 4–7, 2012:
Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences, Grand Wailea, Maui.
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