|American Libraries Online
A library occupies the heart of the Occupy movement
Christian Zabriskie writes: “The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street in New York City started spontaneously shortly after the protest began on September 17, when a pile of books was left in a cardboard box at Zuccotti Park on Wall Street. The books were passed around and organized, and more were soon added. Several weeks later, Betsy Fagin brought the idea of a people’s library before the General Assembly of the occupation and was appointed librarian of Occupy Wall Street. Since then the library has been growing and expanding exponentially.”...
American Libraries news, Oct. 18; Occupy Wall Street Library
Library outreach specialists reach out and up in Cleveland
John Amundsen writes: “Satia Orange (on the left, with novelist Audrey Niffenegger), retired director of ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services and opening keynote speaker at the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services 2011 Annual Conference, October 13–15, in Cleveland, Ohio, said: ‘I want you to live your best life so you can affect the lives of the people you work with and for.’ Orange set the tone for the conference, which, for many attendees, is an opportunity to meet, reflect, and exchange ideas with a focus on empowering professionals to better serve their communities.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Oct. 18
Jan Merrill-Oldham (right), 64, Malloy-Rabinowitz preservation librarian at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1995 to 2010, died October 5. On October 1, Ann Okerson was appointed senior advisor on electronic strategies at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. On September 30, Glennor Shirley retired as head librarian of 17 state prison libraries in Maryland....
Congressional briefing supports the SKILLS Act
On October 17, representatives of AASL presented 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. The briefing, “Education Reform and the SKILLs Act: An Analysis of 21st-Century School Libraries and Their Impact on Career and College Preparedness,” covered how the SKILLs Act supports and sustains 21st-century school libraries. Carl Harvey (above) offers some insider perspective, and the ALA Washington Office has a video wrap-up (8:21). The AASL website has all the videos and background materials....
AASL, Oct. 19; AASL Blog, Oct. 19; Vimeo, Oct. 18
Volunteer to serve on a committee
ALA President-Elect Maureen Sullivan is encouraging members to volunteer for ALA and Council committees during the 2012–2013 appointment process. Sullivan is chairing both the Committee on Appointments and Committee on Committees. Serving on a committee provides members with leadership training, networking opportunities, and experience in working on specific Association topics. The deadline for completing the ALA committee volunteer form is November 4....
Office of ALA Governance, Oct. 17
The ALA Fun Run is back
Following an eight-year hiatus, health-conscious members have encouraged ALA to reinstate the Fun Run. Open to all Midwinter Meeting attendees, the Fun Run 5K and Walk will take place at 7 a.m. Central Time on Saturday, January 21, in Dallas, where it debuted in 1984. The event introduces a “Think Fit @ ALA” focus, which encourages both personal and environmental health. The cost is $25 before January 17 and $30 per person after....
Conference Services, Oct. 17
750 videos posted for Banned Books Read-Out
More than 750 people read from their favorite banned books during the virtual read-out that took place on YouTube as part of the recently concluded Banned Books Week. People of all ages were filmed in bookstores, libraries, and their own homes throughout the United States. They were joined by Whoopi Goldberg and many authors whose books have been challenged, including Judy Blume, Lauren Myracle, Jay Asher, and Chris Crutcher. The virtual read-out was the centerpiece of an expanded Banned Books Week. American Libraries has posted a photo essay on Banned Book activities in libraries....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Oct. 13; American Libraries, Oct. 12
Accreditation statuses explained
Laura Dare writes: “Many of the inquiries we receive in the Office for Accreditation have to do with the accreditation status of an MLIS program. There are currently 63 ALA-accredited programs, of which 59 have continued accreditation, one has initial accreditation, and three have conditional accreditation status. There are three programs on the path toward initial accreditation: one program with candidacy status, and two programs with precandidacy status. Each status has reporting and review requirements.”...
Prism 19, no. 2 (Fall)
100 Days for Haiti
Since the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, ALA has been committed to helping rebuild libraries on the island. Now, with the generous support of one of its members, ALA is doubling down with this effort—in the form of a matching gift challenge, “100 Days for Haiti.” Deborah Lazar, librarian at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, has pledged to match any gift to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund (for a maximum of $5,000) from now through January 2012. You can make a qualifying donation on the ALA website now, or send your contribution to the ALA International Relations Office....
International Relations Office, Oct. 17
FTRF announces nominating committee for 2012 election
The Freedom to Read Foundation has announced the nominating committee for its April 2012 election. Committee members are: James G. Neal, New York (chair); Chris Finan, New York; and Judy Platt, Washington, D.C. Five positions on the FTRF board of trustees will be filled in the election to be held April 1–May 1....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Oct. 18
Many ways to access ALA Editions ebooks
ALA Editions offers dozens of recent and popular titles in ebook formats through multiple vendors and content providers. ALA Editions eEditions contain the complete text of the print edition and are available in several different file types readable using a variety of software and devices. Libraries that already have a relationship with ebrary, OverDrive, or one of the other vendors can seamlessly integrate ALA Editions ebooks into their circulating catalogs, and should ask their vendor representatives for more information about specific titles....
ALA Editions, Oct. 13
Featured review: Fiction for youth
Carle, Eric. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. Illustrated by Eric Carle. Oct. 2011. PreSchool–Grade 2. 32p. Philomel, hardcover (978-0-399-25713-1).
Brushing broad strokes onto a canvas, a mop-top boy proclaims, “I am an artist / and I paint. . . .” Paint he does, larger-than-life animals that run, crawl, and hop across clean, two-page spreads. But his subjects are quite subjective as well: a galloping horse is blue; an alligator, teeth bared, is crimson; and a hopping rabbit is pink. The text is almost nonexistent. Each spread simply labels the animal (“a green lion”) while the word “and . . . ” moves the reader to the next page. The artwork alone is invigorating, but this book is also an homage to the Expressionist artist Franz Marc, who died as a soldier during World War I....
Top 10 first novels for youth
Ilene Cooper writes: “First novels tend to be hard-hitting, and there’s no exception here. Relocation camps, rape, gender issues, and illegal immigration are just some of the issues these first novels take on. The titles were chosen from books that were reviewed in Booklist over the last 12 months.”...
Books by Booklist authors
Ilene Cooper writes: “Suspected terrorists, recovering meth addicts, bumbling psychos—Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff has written about them all in his four adult crime novels. So what’s next? A delightful children’s book, of course. The Other Felix, which is published by Roaring Brook this month, may seem to be far afield for Graff, but the inspiration for the story was pretty close to home. As he recalls, ‘My son Felix was having nightmares about monsters until one night he dreamed about a boy who looked just like him, had the same name, and knew how to fight the monsters.’ That sparked the idea for a book, but what made Graff think that he could write for children after all the blood and gore he’d been dispensing in his adult books? Well, at first he didn’t.”...
Free Booklist webinars
Booklist editors host leading practitioners, authors and publishers’ representatives at least once a month in webinars on a variety of topics offering immediate tips, tools, resources and new ideas for collection development and readers’ advisory work. Upcoming webinars support collection development, specifically in audiobooks and series nonfiction, and in choosing titles to engage reluctant readers. All Booklist webinars are on Tuesdays starting at 1 p.m. Central Time. Visit the Booklist Online webinars page to register for upcoming events and to access the full archive of past webinars....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Sixth Floor Museum
Only a short walk away from the Convention Center, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is located on the sixth and seveth floors of the Dallas County Administration Building (formerly the Texas School Book Depository) at 411 Elm Street. The museum examines the life, times, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. It is located at the very spot from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot and killed Kennedy. In addition to permanent and temporary exhibits, the museum has a Reading Room (above) with more than 4,000 books, magazines, newspapers, and videos on JFK, the assassination, and 1960s pop culture....
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
A good new site for calculating bag fees
Brett Snyder writes: “One of the big complaints people have about airline fees is the inability to figure out exactly what’s being charged. Most of the sites that try to aggregate fees seem to only give you long lists that don’t really help that much. There is a new website, iflybags.com, that takes the next step toward calculating fees for you. It’s better than most of what’s out there today, but it still has a way to go before it’s truly a great option. The site lets you enter your flight information and it spits out what bag fees will be.”...
The Cranky Flier, Oct. 18
Fine-tuning your flight search
In September, Google introduced the first version of its new flight search feature and the response has mostly focused on what it does not offer. Though Google’s debut may have been premature, it has shaken up the competitive landscape, which is good news for travelers. One notable change is that travel search engines are finally moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach to booking a flight, and are building tools that answer specific questions about different types of trips. Here are some of the most pertinent queries that search engines are currently taking on....
New York Times, Oct. 12
Picture It @ your library
Nearly 5,000 libraries are celebrating Teen Read Week October 16–22 with special events and activities encouraging teens to read for the fun of it. The 2011 Teen Read Week theme is Picture It @ your library, which encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books, or imagine the world through literature. Teens can vote for next year’s Teen Read Week theme and read the winners of this year’s Teens’ Top Ten....
YALSA, Oct. 17
Teens choose Teens’ Top Ten
Teen readers across the country chose Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by YALSA. Teens cast nearly 10,000 votes online between August 15 and September 15, with the official list announced during Teen Read Week, October 16–22. Simmons College graduate students Amy Fiske, Mairead Duffy, and Emily Meyer created a video announcement (1:44) of the list and Clare put together an acceptance video (1:02)....
YALSA, Oct. 17; Animoto, Oct. 12; YouTube, Oct. 17
Wrestlemania puts a headlock on teen reading
A diabolical plot is unfolding at the Cockeysville branch of the Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library, and it’s all because YALSA has declared October 16–22 to be Teen Read Week. The library’s plot is called the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge, and it’s designed to get teens and tweens to flex their mind muscles. The program was created to lure young people—including those who might normally seldom crack a book open outside school—into reading....
Baltimore Sun, Oct. 17
AASL 2011 Learning Commons
Buffy Hamilton writes: “The AASL Learning Commons 2011 in Minneapolis (formerly the Bloggers’ Café in Charlotte 2009) will be a space for starting, continuing, and sharing conversations for learning. Whether you are attending the October 27–30 national conference in person or participating from afar, everyone is invited to connect and contribute to these conversations for learning about a diverse range of topics and issues in librarianship. The Learning Commons is a physical and virtual space not only to share and celebrate your passions but also for discovering new ones.”...
AASL Blog, Oct. 18; AASL Learning Commons wiki
Webinar: Online tools for Spanish speakers
Registration closes October 24 for the hour-long webinar, “Building Community: Online Tools for Spanish Speakers.” Hosted by PLA, the live webinar will be presented at 1 p.m. Central Time on October 26. Participants will learn how to create a library community that welcomes and assists Spanish speakers by blending emerging technologies and social media with in-person services such as programming and reference....
PLA, Oct. 18
ASCLA issues RFP for online education consultant
ASCLA seeks a consultant for a soup-to-nuts development and launch of a comprehensive package of online learning opportunities. The desired outcome of the project is to develop the framework (including policies, procedures, and templates) to support a long-term online continuing education program for ASCLA. Applicants may submit their proposal in one of two ways by October 31....
ASCLA, Oct. 18
ACRL seeks proposals for its Spring Virtual Institute
ACRL is accepting proposals for the division’s 2012 Spring Virtual Institute, “Extending Reach, Proving Value: Collaborations Strengthen Communities.” Submissions will be accepted through December 15. On April 18–19, the institute will explore how libraries are capitalizing on community collaborations in order to facilitate connectedness and demonstrate value. The institute will offer both synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which will be archived after the institute for viewing on-demand....
ACRL, Oct. 17
ACRL plans two national summits
ACRL is partnering with the Association for Institutional Research, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Council of Independent Colleges to convene two national summits. In the first, a wide range of participants from the higher education sector will discuss the data campus administrators would like libraries to provide and what collaborative assistance is available through institutional research offices. In the second, librarian participants will address strategies to prepare the library community to document and communicate the library’s value in advancing the missions and goals of their colleges and universities....
ACRL Insider, Oct. 18
The ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee
Betsy Bird writes: “We’re all friends here, right? I can confess things to you, yes? Okay. Here goes. <deep breath> I’ve been a children’s librarian for going on seven years here and I had no idea that there was an ALSC committee out there charged with the single, solitary duty of making lists. I endeavor to explain.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Oct. 18
Deadline for Carnegie-Whitney grants
The ALA Publishing Committee is offering a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library. Applications for Carnegie-Whitney grants must be received by November 4. Recipients will be notified by the end of February....
ALA Publishing, Oct. 18
Norman Horrocks–Scarecrow Press Annual Conference grant
Applications are being accepted for the new Norman Horrocks-Scarecrow Press Annual Conference grant, administered by the Retired Members Round Table with funds provided by Scarecrow Press. The $1,000 grant supports attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and is named in honor of the late ALA Honorary Member Norman Horrocks. The deadline for applications is December 1. Eligible candidates must be a RMRT member and retired from full-time paid employment. Submit applications to Danielle M. Alderson....
Retired Members Round Table, Oct. 17
Mortenson Center wins humanitarian award
The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library was selected to receive a 2011 Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Award for its efforts to facilitate international cooperation through research and education. The center works to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians worldwide for the promotion of international education, understanding, and peace. It was nominated for the award by the Champaign (Ill.) Public Library....
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Library, Oct. 13
Librarian a 2011 Rising Star Award winner
Jessica Nadine Hernández, librarian at the Food and Drug Administration’s Biosciences Library, was the only librarian among 25 winners of the 2011 Rising Star in Government Information Technology awards given by Federal Computer Week. Hernández was nominated for recruiting a team of creative and energetic federal employees (“NewFeds”) who are interested in modernizing federal libraries....
Federal Computer Week, Oct. 10
Lauren Myracle withdraws from National Book Award
A month before the winners are to be announced, this year’s National Book Awards have become a story of embarrassment. Within just a few days, children’s author Lauren Myracle has been a nominee, a non-nominee, a nominee again, and finally a non-nominee, asked to withdraw over mistakes not her own. Myracle’s Shine was on the original list of five finalists in YA literature announced October 12. But the National Book Foundation cited a “miscommunication” with the judges and quickly said that her book had been confused with Franny Billingsley’s Chime. Emily Calkins has more on the subject, and Vanity Fair interviews Myracle about what happened....
Associated Press, Oct. 17; YALSA The Hub, Oct. 18; Vanity Fair, Oct. 18
2011 Man Booker Prize
English writer Julian Barnes has been awarded the 2011 Man Booker Prize for his 150-page novel The Sense of an Ending. The chair of this year’s judging panel, former MI5 Director General Stella Rimington, said it had “the markings of a classic of English literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading.” The £50,000 ($78,540 U.S.) prize is awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 18
2011 Planeta Prize
Spanish writer Javier Moro (right) has won Spain’s Planeta Prize for his novel El imperio eres tú, written under the pseudonym of Agustín San José and based on the life of Brazilian Emperor Pedro I, who ruled in the first half of the 19th century. The Madrid native’s work was selected from the 484 novels competing for the prestigious prize, which carries a cash award of €601,000 ($833,887 U.S.). Moro was honored at an October 15 awards ceremony in Barcelona, home of publishing giant Grupo Planeta....
Latin American Herald Tribune, Oct. 17; ABC (Madrid), Oct. 17
Clampdown on free speech at Salt Lake City library?
Salt Lake City Public Library employees say the latest chapter on staff turmoil is rich with irony: a clampdown on free speech inside the very institution that celebrates the principle. A just-launched crackdown on opinionated all-staff emails and on criticism of management expressed via social media has some veteran librarians fearing for their jobs and others crying censorship. Now, for the first time since controversy enveloped Director Beth Elder in 2010, the Friends of the Library is openly questioning the library’s direction and its “chronic problems.”...
Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 18
Brooklyn Public Library looks for ways to sell property
Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, is looking for a way to cash in on the library’s crumbling real estate. She is pushing for a deal that would let library reap proceeds from selling property or development rights and use the money to make much-needed repairs. The main obstacle is that the city owns the branch buildings—and under current rules, any money gained from selling them would go to the city’s general fund, and the library wouldn’t see a dime....
New York Daily News, Oct. 16
Chavez Library expansion marks turnaround for Salinas
Six years ago, the city of Salinas, California, faced closing its three libraries because of money shortages—a potentially huge civic embarrassment for the home of acclaimed author John Steinbeck. Now Salinas is embarking on a $2.9-million construction project, partially paid for by sales taxes approved by city voters in November 2005 to save libraries and other public services, to greatly expand Cesar Chavez Library, the city’s most heavily used branch. The groundbreaking ceremony was October 19....
Monterey County (Calif.) Herald, Oct. 14; YouTube, Oct. 5
Shannon O’Neill writes: “One of my duties as an archivist at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Free Public Library is to document history. Given this, I cannot help but preserve the library artifacts that I find. On this page are images of a few items that I have pulled from the trash cans of various libraries. I have chosen these items not only because I am already a little nostalgic for them, but also because I know that their passing marks an important shift in the role and functions of the library. Who knows? One day, the shiny new scanner that sits on my desk may join their ranks.”...
New York Times, Oct. 15
Pediatricians: No TV for children under 2
Parents of infants and toddlers should limit the time their children spend in front of televisions, computers, self-described educational games, and even grown-up shows playing in the background, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned October 18. Video screen time provides no educational benefits for children under age 2 and leaves less room for activities that do, like interacting with other people and playing, the group said....
New York Times, Oct. 18
Stanford researcher finds many leaky websites
Somini Sengupta writes:
“The web is porous. Remarkable information trickles in from everywhere. It also sometimes spills out without its users knowing exactly where or how. Take these findings, released October 11 by Jonathan Mayer at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. If you type a wrong password into the website of the Wall Street Journal, it turns out that your email address quietly slips out to seven unrelated websites. Sign on to NBC and, likewise, seven other companies can capture your email address. Click on an ad on HomeDepot.com and your first name and user ID are instantly revealed to 13 other companies.”...
New York Times: Bits, Oct. 11; Center for Internet and Society, Oct. 11
Library seeks photos from 1937 flood
To commemorate next year’s 75th anniversary of the worst flood in Cincinnati’s history, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is asking people to lend the library their photographs, letters, and diaries pertaining to the 1937 Ohio River flood so that the best ones can be preserved in digital form and shared on its website. This digital exhibit will augment the library’s display of its own 1937 flood memorabilia that will be unveiled at the main branch in January....
Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 16
Racetrack library holds 117 years of the Daily Racing Form
Many horse racing fans swear by—and sometimes possibly at—the Daily Racing Form. It’s the newspaper of the thoroughbred industry. The Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, holds a vast collection in its library (nearly every issue since 1894), and efforts are underway to preserve each issue and establish a comprehensive digital archive. In April 2000, Daily Racing Form contributed its entire archival collection to the Keeneland Library, which was established in 1939....
National Public Radio: Weekend Edition, Oct. 15
University of Missouri still clearing fire damage
A popular Halloween event has been canceled this year because of damage from fires intentionally set in September at Ellis Library on the University of Missouri campus. The State Historical Society of Missouri, located within Ellis, had to forgo its popular “Trick or Treat through Missouri History.” The smoke and water damage left behind from the September 10 fire are still causing headaches for library and historical society workers. Damage has been estimated between $600,000 and $1 million, most of which will be covered by insurance....
Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, Oct. 12
Taylor Swift donates 6,000 books to Reading library
Country musician Taylor Swift donated 6,000 books to her hometown library, the Reading (Pa.) Public Library, which has divided them equally among its main, northeast, northwest, and southeast branches. Reading was one of three struggling libraries that Swift decided to help. Library officials learned of the donation in March during a call from Scholastic Books. They picked the books they wanted from the publisher: five copies each of 500 titles, including fiction and nonfiction for children and teens and picture books for younger patrons. Watch the video (0:48)....
Reading (Pa.) Eagle, Oct. 14
Judge fast-tracks appeal of test case on UK library closures
Lawyers acting for library advocates were granted an injunction October 19 to prevent further dismantling of six libraries in the London Borough of Brent that were slated for closure, and a court of appeals will review the case in November. Residents, backed by some of Britain’s biggest authors, sought a judicial review after Brent Council announced plans to shut half of the borough’s libraries in April. In what was viewed as a test case for closures across the UK, High Court Justice Ouseley ruled October 13 that the Council’s decision was lawful. Council members padlocked the doors of the Kensal Rise Library, an institution dedicated by American writer Mark Twain in 1900, a few hours after the decision. Parents and children have been maintaining a vigil outside the historic library....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 19; The Telegraph (U.K.), Oct. 13; BBC News, Oct. 16; Save Kensal Rise Library!
Finding the Archimedes Palimpsest
An exhibition at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is featuring the Archimedes Palimpsest, a reused copy of an unknown work by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes. At the exhibition’s start, you come face to face with two leaves from the Palimpsest; all you see is a fragment of a ruined manuscript, charred, stained, and inscribed with prayers. But lines of reddish text, scarcely visible, run perpendicular to those prayers. The juxtaposition neatly demonstrates the challenge posed by the Palimpsest and the technology used to explore it....
New York Times, Oct. 16
British Library reinstates Amazon link
The British Library is reinstating its link to Amazon on online catalog records, after briefly removing the feature last week in response to criticism from leading booksellers. The link takes readers of the library’s catalog records directly to the sales page for each title on the Amazon.co.uk website. Waterstone’s James Daunt heavily criticized the link on October 14. In a statement issued October 18, the library said the link was being restored “because of its usefulness for library users seeking further information about collection items.”...
The Bookseller, Oct. 14, 18
Go back to the Top
Battle of the smartphone operating systems
Jeffrey L. Wilson and William Fenton write: “Apple iOS 5 is here. Cupertino’s mobile operating system brings advanced, centralized notifications, cable-free setup, wireless iTunes syncing, and other enticing features to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s certainly attractive software, but it isn’t the only new smartphone OS packing a wealth of goodies: Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and BlackBerry 7 OS are also very competent competitors. Here we’ve highlighted several of the iOS 5’s most exciting features and compared them to its rivals.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 19
First look at Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich
Whitson Gordon writes: “Google just unveiled its new Galaxy Nexus phone, along with a preview of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, coming to phones next year. Here’s a look at the creamy new update to the Android operating system. Most of what’s gone into Ice Cream Sandwich is polish, making Android slicker, easier to use, and (finally) more consistent across the board. This isn’t a comprehensive list; this is just what Google demoed at the October 18 event—so there’s probably even more to come.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 18; Gizmodo, Oct. 18
Google releases updated Translate app
Google has just released a new version of its Google Translate application for Android. In January, Google launched Conversation Mode in the app, which allowed speech-to-speech, direct translations, and supported English and Spanish. Today, Google is chipping away at the language barrier further by expanding that feature to cover 14 languages. Google also allows you to correct your speech before translating it in the event that the app mishears you, and to add unrecognized or custom words to a personal dictionary. Watch the video (1:13)....
This Is My Next..., Oct. 13; YouTube, Oct. 13
The best damn point-and-shoot, period
Kyle VanHemert writes: “Though many point-and-shoot cameras are the province of the girl-who-obsessively-documented-every-party-in-college demographic, every so often there’s one that makes self-styled serious photographers stop and say ‘whoa.’ The Canon S90 was one of them, and its successor, the S95, is even better. It’s slim enough to actually fit in your pants pocket, but its bigger-than-usual image sensor makes for beautiful snapshots, even in low light.”...
The Wirecutter, Sept. 26
Number of Facebook friends linked to brain growth
Scientists funded by the Wellcome Trust have found a direct link between the number of Facebook friends a person has and the size of particular brain regions. In a study published October 18, researchers at University College London also showed that the more Facebook friends a person has, the more real-world friends they are likely to have. However, the researchers stress that they have found a correlation and not a cause; it is not possible to say whether having more Facebook friends makes the regions of the brain larger or whether some people are hard-wired to have more friends....
Wellcome Trust, Oct. 18
Toggl helps you discover where your time goes
Justin Pot writes: “If you’re like most people, your job requires that you focus on more than one task every day. It’s easy, under such circumstances, to have no idea which tasks are taking up most of your time—or, for that matter, which tasks are wasting your time. With a full-featured web client plus apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, Toggl can help you track your time anywhere you might be.”...
Mashable, Oct. 19
Bogus battery upgrade warnings on Android devices
Tom Spring writes: “Scareware has gone mobile: Users of Android devices are starting to see sleazy ads warning that they need to upgrade their device’s battery. The supposed battery-saver apps that those ads prod you to download, however, could endanger your privacy or siphon money from your wallet—and generally they’ll do nothing to improve your gadget’s battery life, security experts say.”...
PC World, June 5, Oct. 16
Librarians weigh Kindle ebook lending against reader privacy
Beverly Goldberg writes: “The library world was thrilled at the September 21 announcement that library vendor OverDrive had enabled its library customers to loan the ebooks they’d licensed from OverDrive to patrons with Kindle e-readers—provided that the ebooks were in Kindle-maker Amazon’s sales inventory. Since then, examination of the fine print between OverDrive and Amazon has caused ethical concerns to be raised in several arenas, including a YouTube video (9:50) by Librarian in Black blogger Sarah Houghton (above). Among those concerns is a perceived incursion on patron confidentiality because Kindle ebook borrowers must sync their e-readers to their Amazon accounts in order to receive the borrowed item.”...
AL: E-Content, Oct. 19; YouTube, Oct. 18
Warner sets restrictions on DVD sales to libraries
Brian Herzog writes: “The cataloger at my library found out last week that Warner Home Video has initiated a new policy that puts a serious crimp in the way libraries can buy DVDs—and I’m surprised it hasn’t met the same uproar as the HarperCollins ebook policy. Warner is forcing DVD distributors to place a 28-day embargo on sales of Warner feature titles to libraries and discontinue providing libraries with DVDs that contain all the bonus features. I see this policy as horribly misguided.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Oct. 18
Paged Media brings book smarts to the web
Scott Gilbertson writes: “Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software’s CTO and creator of cascading stylesheets, has proposed a new set of CSS tools that transform longer web pages into a more book-like experience, where the reader flips from page to page instead of scrolling down one long screen. What if you could flip through a regular news website like a magazine? Lie’s proposal, the Generated Content for Paged Media standard, is a mouthful. But behind the awkward name lies an intriguing idea.”...
Wired: Webmonkey, Oct. 14
How to digitize a book
Carl Fleischhauer writes: “How do you reproduce a book in digital form? This may seem like a simple question until you pick up a book and page through it. You may be struck by ‘how’ in the methodological sense, knowing you need to scan the, say, 200 pages and, often, not wishing to cut the book into pieces to do so. This has led to the development of a number of marvelous mechanical devices including the book scanner known as SCRIBE from the Internet Archive, and a scanner that turns the pages as it makes the pictures.” Be sure to read Part 2....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Oct. 17–18
Digital humanities project wins IMLS grant
TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS), a digital humanities collaboration between the libraries of Brown University and Wheaton College, has been awarded a $250,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to begin on December 1 and run for three years. The goal of TAPAS is to create a shared repository and a suite of publishing and preservation services for humanities scholars who are creating digital research materials using the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines....
Brown University Library News, Oct. 12
The revolution will not be subscription-based
Barbara Fister writes: “Another fascinating report (PDF file) has just come out from Project Information Literacy. This one focuses on how students use technology during the busiest time of the semester. Take ebooks. Librarians currently seem to think we should be investing in massive numbers of ebooks, and the rationale often given is ‘students live on the internet.’ But if you point out that the students you talk to don’t like to read anything on the screen, you’ll probably hear, ‘We just need a better marketing campaign.’”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Oct. 13
Kansas leads the fight for fair ebook access in libraries
Nancy K. Herther writes: “The Kansas State Library negotiated its first ebook statewide contract 6 years ago and it became a popular service. That original contract—which included the provision of audiobooks—was signed with OverDrive in December 2005. What happened next is the stuff of heroes and legends—what some reporters have called ‘unprecedented,’ and whose efforts are intended to wrest the budding ebook investment from the grip of today’s arcane (or even repressive) publisher-defined structure. And it happened in Kansas, with the starring role played by State Librarian Jo Budler (right).”...
Information Today NewsBreaks, Oct. 17
Four librarians, four e-readers, one month
Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Jane Nichols, Uta Hussong-Christian, and Laurie Bridges write: “Is it enough to borrow an e-reader? Or should librarians own an e-reader to truly understand its place in the library, its functionality, and its future? To explore this question, we designed a year-long longitudinal study, now underway, on the innovation adoption process as it relates to e-readers and our colleagues. Part of the research process has been immersing ourselves, as the principal investigators, in the e-reader experience. Here is a brief rundown of our first-month experiences using our e-readers: the Kobo, the Nook, the Kindle, and the Sony Reader.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Oct. 11
How Amazon makes money from the Kindle
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes: “Amazon’s Kindle is no longer just a product: It’s a whole ecosystem. Specifically, it’s not just an ebook reader but a tablet, a media store, a platform for digital media sales, and even a publishing imprint. The Kindle ecosystem is also Amazon’s fastest-growing product and could account for more than 10% of the company’s revenue next year. So Amazon observers are understandably curious: How does Amazon generate revenue from the Kindle ecosystem?”...
Business Insider, Oct. 18
Curious contents of the digital library
Perhaps you haven’t read Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth’s Uncanny Tales or C. Schweigger’s Clinical Investigations on Squint. Perhaps you missed Edward John Hardy’s How to Be Happy Though Married or the October 1917 Farmers’ Bulletin devoted to “House Rats and Mice.” No worries. They are available in 24 digital formats, including versions to suit just about any ebook reader you own. These titles, and millions more, are all out of copyright and part of the accelerating effort to digitize the public domain contents of the world’s libraries....
New York Times, Oct. 12
If you are attending, exhibiting at, promoting, speaking, sponsoring, or tweeting the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, download an Electronic Button for your website.
The new ALA Editions Fall Catalog hit library in-boxes a few weeks ago. If you didnít receive it, you can browse here or download the PDF. Save 10% (or 20% for ALA members) on orders of $100 or more. Use coupon code: 39105. Offer expires October 31.
Great Libraries of the World
Bibliothèque Condé, Château de Chantilly, France. The library was built in 1876–1877 by Honoré Daumet, the architect for the rebuilding of the entire castle, to house the rare collection of bibliophile Henri d’Orléans, duc d’Aumale. Maps, folded down in front of the shelves, were used as blinds to protect the books from light. The library contains more than 12,500 printed volumes and some 200 medieval manuscripts, with a collection of the letters of Pope Gregory from 983; the famous Les Très Riches Heures of Jean, duc de Berry, from 1410; and 40 miniatures from Jean Fouquet’s 1461 Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier taking pride of place. Daumet built a second library in 1880 in the former castle theater to house the duke’s working collection of recent books.
Bibliothèque Humaniste, Sélestat, France. The library consists of two collections that were acquired by the city in 1547: the humanist Latin School Library founded in Sélestat in 1452, and the collection of the 16th-century Alsatian scholar, Beatus Rhenanus, the only Renaissance humanist library remaining virtually intact. In 1888, the two libraries moved into a former corn exchange building along with the municipal archives. Its treasures include a 7th-century Merovingian reader, a 12th-century prayer book in Carolingian miniscule, and a manuscript copy of Otto of Passau’s The 24 Elders from 1430.
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.
Digital Initiatives Librarian. Montana State University, Bozeman, seeks a digital initiatives librarian to explore, test, implement, build, and support our library’s digital and mobile software applications. We are looking for a promising professional who seeks an environment that complements her/his career goals and interests. Technical responsibilities include significant web programming and database work. Design and accessibility responsibilities include: web application design, troubleshooting, and maintenance as well as ongoing application development and evaluation. The position also has a variety of project management responsibilities including coordinating and facilitating communication between library teams and university departments, developing project specifications and documentation, and conducting project evaluations....
Digital Library of the Week
Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts is the University of Pennsylvania’s collection of more than 1,400 online facsimiles of rare manuscripts from the 9th to the 19th century held in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. A two-year grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities has allowed Penn to finish digitizing manuscripts produced prior to 1601; a second grant was secured in March to digitize manuscripts from 1601 to 1800. The collection also includes more than 100 facsimiles of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, a collection of late medieval and early modern manuscripts donated in April by 1953 College graduate and Wharton MBA recipient Lawrence Schoenberg.
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.
“I formally declare this reading-room open, and I think that the legislature should not compel a community to provide itself with intelligent food, but give it the privilege of providing it if the community so desires.”
—Author Mark Twain, at the dedication of the Kensal Rise Library in Brent, London, Oct. 13, 1900; the library was shuttered by Brent Council exactly 111 years later.
“We have the internet. We don’t need a library at all.”
—Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher, on his Real Time with Bill Maher show, HBO, Oct. 14.
“I love libraries. I spent a lot of time in the Greenfield [Mass.] Public Library when I was a child. I would give money to build a library, but if for some reason you were crazy enough to think you had a better idea for your money than building my library, I wouldn’t pull a gun on you. I wouldn’t use a gun to build an art museum, to look at the wonders of the universe through a big telescope, or even to find a cure for cancer.”
—Magician, comedian, and libertarian Penn Jillette, God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 150.
Teen Read Week, Oct. 16–22, at:
Internet Librarian 2011, Monterey, California, Oct. 17–19, at:
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Rosemont, Oct. 18–20, at:
Educause, Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Oct. 18–21, at:
South Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Charleston, Oct. 19–21, at:
Access 2011, Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 19–22, at:
American Medical Informatics Association, Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C., Oct. 22–26, at:
Internet Librarian International 2011, London, Oct. 26–28, at:
AASL National Conference, Minneapolis, Oct. 27–30, at:
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Jan. 20–24, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Developing a Sound eBook Strategy, webinar hosted by Swets, 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
Long Island Library Resources Council, Annual Conference on Libraries and the Future, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York. “Extinction is Not an Option: Ensuring Our Future.”
American Association of School Librarians, National Conference, Minneapolis Convention Center. “Turning the Page.”
Exploring Maps: History, Fabrication, and Preservation, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Workshop sponsored by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. Register by October 21.
The Eroding of the Subscription Model and Emerging Alternatives, The Hub Cira Centre, Philadelphia. Workshop sponsored by the National Federation of Advanced Information Services.
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Annual Meeting, Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina. “Transformation: A Thorough or Dramatic Change.”
All About Mobile, Conference, Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco. “Cloud on the Go.” Sponsored by the Software and Information Industry Association.
Guadalajara International Book Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Military Libraries Workshop, Marriott Waterside, Norfolk, Virginia. “Riding the Information Wave.” Sponsored by the Special Libraries Association Military Libraries Division.
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, Virginia.
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, Atlanta. “Future Now: Operation Agility.”
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center. “Alaska’s Libraries: Heart of the Community.”
Mar. 21–23: Computers in Libraries, Conference, Hilton Washington D.C. “Creating Innovative Libraries.”
Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Ontario. “Colouring Outside the Lines.”
International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Librarianship, Absolute Hotel, Limerick, Ireland.
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Amazon signs up authors directly
Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers. Amazon will publish 122 books this fall in an array of genres, in both physical and ebook form. It is a striking acceleration of the retailer’s fledging publishing program that will place Amazon squarely in competition with the New York houses that are also its most prominent suppliers. Publishers say Amazon is aggressively wooing some of their top authors....
New York Times, Oct. 16
The economics of open access
T. Scott Plutchak writes: “Librarians have supported the open access movement for a variety of reasons, some of them more rational than others. The emotional motivators come from the frustration of feeling economically powerless in the face of ever-escalating subscription and licensing prices. But as David Crotty reports in The Scholarly Kitchen, PLoS achieved a 20% margin in 2010, and if the trends continue, could conceiveably surpass Elsevier’s margin for 2011. Springer claims double-digit profits from BioMed Central.”...
T. Scott, Oct. 14; The Scholarly Kitchen, Sept. 28
The shrinking orphan works problem
Joseph Esposito writes: “There are thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of orphan works; no one really knows the number. But it’s getting smaller all the time. The number of orphan works is shrinking because books that could have been orphans are being researched and their copyright owners identified—or they are being found to be in the public domain. And the number of new books being sent to the orphanage is not growing and won’t grow, despite the fact that more books are being published than ever.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct. 18
Two authors, double the fun
Donna Seaman writes: “Step one, read Saul Bellow’s lengthy masterpiece, The Adventures of Augie March. That is this fall’s selection for One Book, One Chicago, the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Public Library program. The library invited two powerhouse YA writers, John Green and Benjamin Alire Sáenz, to talk with me about Augie March and their young adult characters and the entire endeavor of becoming who we are. I can’t rave enough about Ben Sáenz and John Green and their work. Invite them to your library. Recommend their books.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, Oct. 18
The author school visit
YA author Jay Asher writes: “There was one aspect of being a YA author I was most nervous about: The School Visits. A lot of people think that in order to write a book like Thirteen Reasons Why, I must’ve had a horrible high school experience. While I was glad to leave my years of public education behind, I got through relatively unscarred. But, like many people, I was terrified of public speaking. Knowing about my fear, and of the importance in spreading the word about my debut novel, my agent arranged for me to speak at a school near where she worked.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 17
33 scary stories you can read right now
Matthew Jackson writes: “A horror short story is a tight bullet of creepiness you can read in half an hour and then stay up all night thinking about. So it’s no coincidence that many of the greatest horror writers of all time are as famous for their short fiction as for their longer work. Few genres are better suited to the structure and pace of the short story than horror. Here are 33 stories from classic horror writers.”...
Blastr, Oct. 8
Bram Stoker’s notebook discovered
The private notebook of Bram Stoker (right) has been discovered in an attic on the Isle of Wight in the UK, offering cryptic clues into the origins of the author’s most famous work, Dracula. Providing a snapshot of Dublin between 1871 and 1881, as well as a window on the life of the very private Stoker, the notebook was found by the author’s great-grandson, Noel Dobbs. The Lost Journals of Bram Stoker, complete with annotations, is now lined up for publication by Robson Press next year, marking the centenary of Bram Stoker’s death in 1912....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 18
Epic fantasy turns to gritty realism
Kelly Faircloth writes: “With the runaway success of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, even epic fantasy has toned down the sword-and-sorcery, and ramped up the gritty realism. At New York Comic Con’s ‘Winter is Here’ panel, Brandan Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, and other authors offered their theories.”...
io9, Oct. 18
Richard Davies writes: “Our latest feature is Bohemian books. We have selected books that reflect the Bohemian lifestyle that still resonates with creative types today. There is Bohemian-themed fiction, books written by über-Bohemians like Henry Miller and Robert Service, and nonfiction about Bohemianism itself. Many of our choices are vintage editions and we have not strayed into the Beat Generation or the Counterculture writing of the 1960s, even though both of these subgenres are linked to Bohemianism.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, Oct. 17
Collecting celebrity yearbooks
Steven J. Gertz writes: “The celebrity school yearbook has always had a place in the rare book world. Whether acquiring volumes to complete collections of particular literary, Hollywood, sports, political, or other cultural icons, or collecting them as a genre, it’s a fascinating pastime for the fan and guilty pleasure for the jaded. I love going through celebrity high school and college yearbooks. They bring back such golden memories. Marilyn Monroe (above) and I went to the same high school in Los Angeles.”...
Booktryst, Oct. 17
The blank history of the blank book
Chela Metzger writes: “Blank books, or bound record-keeping structures, have always had separate traditions within the bookbinding craft. These traditions are not always well documented in histories of the book or in manuals of bookbinding. Examining the material culture of blank book bindings can reveal how manuscript traditions carried on far beyond the advent of print. Scholars have begun to look at how record-keeping traditions helped shape ways of thinking.” This video presentation (14:59) introduces the bibliography of the blank book and describes the sorts of questions blank books can answer....
YouTube, Oct. 14
In the metro Atlanta area, a group of activists have symbolically occupied Woodruff Park in the very heart of the city, at Five Points. Christine Fraser, a librarian and writer, gives her perspective on the Occupy Atlanta demonstrations in this video (3:11). She is an underemployed part-time library worker and she is “terrified” of her student loan payments, which will begin soon and require her to pay $600–$700 a month, and she wants politicians to care about people like her. Occupy Worcester’s Elizabeth Westie said she lost her full-time job as a middle school librarian four or five years ago. Westie is also worried that the next generation is saddled with school debt, can’t find high-paying jobs, and will never kick off that debt saddle....
YouTube, Oct. 16; Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette, Oct. 17
Libraries and open government
In recent years, government has increasingly embraced the proactive disclosure of information and created online tools to increase transparency. But how do Americans discover that information? Who helps them learn how to use complex government databases and tools? The answer may be a surprisingly familiar one: libraries....
OMB Watch, Oct. 12
Shutting down open resources
Libby A. Nelson writes: “It’s been less than a month since the U.S. Labor Department announced $500 million in grants for community colleges to develop job-training programs and make them free for other institutions to use, but the program is already facing a threat to its existence. A provision in the proposed House budget for fiscal year 2012 would stop the federal government from using grant programs to develop new courses, learning materials, or related projects unless the labor secretary verifies that similar programs are not already available for purchase or ‘under development.’ The move is a boon to publishers.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 27, 30, Oct. 18
New monthly newsletter for federal librarians
In August, the U.S. Government Printing Office published the first issue of a new newsletter, FDLP Connection, which highlights the goals, achievements, activities, and stories from throughout the Federal Depository Library Program. Help make FDLP Connection a success by contributing content and submitting suggestions on how to improve the service through askGPO. Back issues are viewable on the FDLP Desktop....
FDLP Desktop, Aug. 1
The power of blogs
John Dupuis writes: “I’ve long been a believer in the power of blogs to drive and aggregate conversations at every level. Frivolous, for sure. But also serious and scholarly. In librarianship, blogs are a powerful source of comment, theory, and practical advice. I’ve always thought that the practical side of the library world was ripe to be the first field to truly leave journals behind and embrace blogging as a kind of replacement. The kinds of discussions we see in the best of the library blogosphere are as good as anything we see in the formal literature.”...
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Oct. 19
How to fill in your Facebook Timeline
Amy-Mae Elliott writes: “After about one-third of Mashable readers expressed an interest in filling in at least a portion of their Facebook Timelines, we thought we’d demonstrate how to populate your Facebook history with content. Facebook has made adding events to your new Timeline quite easy, but there are a few different methods, and a few privacy-related points to note.”...
Mashable, Oct. 11
Is Google+ dying?
Chad Vander Veen writes: “Initially launched as invite-only, Google+ saw a meteoric rise in traffic, claiming nearly 120 million unique visitors. But since the invite-only period closed, traffic has plunged 60%, according to numbers released by data analytics firm Chitika. Chitika cites two reasons for Google+’s sudden descent. First, ‘the supply of users for social media sites is limited. To survive you must stand out and provide a service that others do not.’ Second, ‘features unique to your site must be just that—unique and difficult to duplicate—if they are not, the competitive advantage quickly disappears.’”...
Government Technology, Oct. 18; Chitika Insights, Oct. 7
Making search more secure
Evelyn Kao writes: “As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users. Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to https://www.google.com (note the extra ‘s’) when you’re signed in to your Google Account. This change encrypts your search queries and Google’s results page.”...
Official Google Blog, Oct. 18
How libraries are doing more with less
Cat Johnson writes: “Do more with less. It’s a popular refrain these days, and one that libraries are all too familiar with. Retooling the ways that they share information and resources while simultaneously juggling financial issues, the challenges before libraries are significant. But with the support of their communities, libraries are moving into the future.”...
Shareable: Cities, Oct. 17
Are we in the DIY era?
Brian Mathews writes: “A core theme I see in LibQUAL+ data is that most libraries do pretty well in the service dimension, but when it comes to enabling users to help themselves, their perceptions are typically much lower. But is this changing? Over the past several months (years?) a common theme seems to popping up everywhere: self-service. Our challenge, as a profession, is going to be allowing ourselves to let users have more control over their library experiences.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Oct. 13
Appalachian Prison Book Project seeks donations
The Appalachian Prison Book Project, a program that aims to rehabilitate inmates by giving them free books to read, has lost their funding and is looking for book donations. The most sought-after books from the program are dictionaries, auto repair manuals, psychology textbooks, and fiction. And for security purposes, all donations must be paperback. You can donate online....
GalleyCat, Oct. 18
A library is not . . .
Phil Bradley writes: “A library is not a building. Nor is it a collection of books or resources. Problems arise when the library and librarians are not seen as part of the backbone of a community. Once this happens, it becomes logical to think of cutting it. The decisions of councils and mayors with little brain are a total puzzlement, when viewed in the light of how we see libraries. They see them as a resource that isn’t part of a community. We have an insane situation where a community is apparently forced to choose between having a library and caring for its elderly and deprived.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Oct. 13; The Guardian: Patrick Butler’s Cuts Blog, Oct. 5
Seven more strategies for library job seekers
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “In September I wrote a post about ‘13 Resources and Tips for Library Job Seekers’ that was very popular with iLibrarian readers, so as a follow-up I thought I’d post some more tips and strategies that I’ve found helpful in the past. If you’re looking to land a library job in today’s competitive market, here are some recommendations to get you started.”...
iLibrarian, Sept. 30, Oct. 17
Five things you might not know about being a branch manager
An anonymous public librarian writes: “Three weeks ago I started a new job as a Librarian II at a branch of a big city library system in Texas. Since my branch’s manager position is currently vacant, I quickly found out that I’m in charge when our interim manager from another branch isn’t around, which is pretty much all the time. These are some things I have learned about managing in that time.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Oct. 14
Charles Bukowski on censorship
In 1985, following a complaint from a local reader, staff at the Public Library in Nijmegen, Netherlands, decided to remove Charles Bukowski’s book Tales of Ordinary Madness from the shelves while declaring it “very sadistic, occasionally fascist, and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals).” In the following weeks, a local journalist by the name of Hans van den Broek wrote to Bukowski and asked for his opinion. His brilliant response can be read here....
Letters of Note, Oct. 18
Coworking at the public library
Phil Shapiro writes: “Coworking is a modern work innovation where people in various creative professions share a common work space, synergizing their talents and making best use of fixed-cost resources. Here is a portrait of how coworking might develop in public library spaces. Do you work as a computer programmer, writer, editor, animator, or graphic designer? Would you like a free desk to do work at your public library? What’s the catch? The catch is that you need to contribute 10% or 20% of your time to serving the public in some way.”...
PC World, Oct. 13
Invisible goalposts, support, and having a plan
Meredith Farkas writes: “Over the past five years or so, the requirements for librarians to get tenure at my institution have increased. One colleague told me that back in the day, if you got one peer-reviewed article published, you’d be fine. That is far from the reality now. We’ve been having conversations at the library about how to support people on the tenure track, because right now, the only benefit in terms of time that we have are five research days per year. Not exactly enough for the kind of scholarly productivity we’re expected to have.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, Oct. 17
The risks and rewards of collaboration
Jennifer Howard writes: “Big-scale collaborations and digital-era collection strategies took center stage at the Association of Research Libraries’ membership meeting, held in Washington, D.C., October 11–13. Those who attended heard from librarians about how they operate in a hybrid research environment that’s partly but not entirely digital. The meeting was followed by a forum—organized by ARL and the Coalition for Networked Information—that took up the theme of ‘21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action.’ Think big but don’t overextend yourselves, and work together whenever you can: Those were the takeaways.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Oct. 16
How librarians networked in the 1600s
Intense intellectual exchanges and joint work on projects over large distances happened as early as Habsburg times. The manuscripts of Court Librarian Peter Lambeck (1628–1680, right), head of Vienna’s Hofbibliothek (Imperial Library), show he was an expert in content management and social networking. Lambeck is considered one of the most significant, ambitious, and best-connected players in Austrian library history because he was a passionate correspondent and made use of his connections to Europe’s scientific network....
Science 2.0, Oct. 17
Bring Your Own Device: An ethical dilemma
Doug Johnson writes: “Long before the term BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) became popular, our school district permitted personally owned student devices on our wireless networks to give students internet access. We’ve never had a district-level policy banning phones, laptops, or other student technologies. And while our buildings and individual teachers certainly have rules guiding their use, students can use their own equipment on all our campuses. So an interesting thing happened on Tuesday that was at least partially enabled by this open-access policy.”...
The Blue Skunk Blog, Oct. 14
A closer look at subject access
Karen Coyle writes: “What I find odd today in libraries (mainly public libraries) is that we do not have an entry vocabulary for the Dewey classification. Libraries in the U.S. use the Library of Congress Subject Headings even when their classification scheme is Dewey. While LC subject headings will lead you to a catalog entry that has a classification number, they aren’t an index to that classification scheme. Another oddity is that we never explain these classification numbers to the users. It seems truly odd that we order the books on the shelf but do not tell users what the order means.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Oct. 17
Bad boss behaviors
Will Manley writes: “While many aspiring supervisors learn their supervisory behaviors from bad bosses, a few insightful staffers watch the bad boss and learn the don’ts. Here is where, with your help, this blog can be a great resource for the library profession. Off the top of my head I am going to list some of the bad boss behaviors I witnessed in my working days. Hopefully this list will make the rounds and maybe we can change some bad behaviors. Although, I have to ironically admit that one of the defining characteristics of a bad boss is an unwillingness to admit faults. Oh well, let’s try it anyway.”...
Will Unwound, Oct. 18
Five challenges every librarian must face
Steve Matthews writes: “Nowhere is change more evident than in the library profession. We are seeing commercial competition for information access and delivery services arise routinely, making ineffective our attempts to serve young library customers whose needs we don’t understand. There are at least five major challenges that every librarian will face. Whether you overcome these challenges will determine whether you become a 21st-century librarian, and ultimately whether you, your library, and your profession survive.”...
21st Century Library Blog, Oct. 12
Monmouth University gets Bruce Springsteen
Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, will be the new home for the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, formerly housed at the Asbury Park Public Library, effective November 1. The collection, the most extensive of its kind, is comprised of books, concert programs, magazine and newspaper articles, and other printed ephemera dedicated to the careers of Jersey Shore rock legend Bruce Springsteen and members of his bands....
Monmouth University, Oct. 17
Stay healthy @ your library
Now is the time—with the onset of cold and flu season, as well as the commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October—to remind your library users of all the healthy-living resources available at your library this fall, winter, and throughout their lives. Here are just a few examples of what libraries are doing to keep users healthy....
ALA Public Information Office, Oct. 18
Talk to your teens
Linda W. Braun writes: “One of the assignments I include in a library school class I teach is called Talk To Teens. Students can only complete (and succeed in) the assignment if they talk with teens about books, technology, libraries, and more. Sometimes students talk with teens face-to-face. Sometimes students talk using technology. And sometimes it’s a mixture of methods in which the conversations take place. Promoting technology in libraries doesn’t negate the power and necessity of talking with teens on a regular basis.”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 15
Take time for teens
RoseMary Honnold writes: “Teens can be a bit leery of adults, sporting a well-earned paranoia that the adults are suspicious and watching them for misdeeds. So, finding ways that make it easy and comfortable for teens to talk with you is a big step to building relationships with them and making the library a more welcoming place. At the Coshocton (Ohio) Public Library, I posted a sign in the YA room that said, ‘Take Time to Talk to Your Librarian: This is no trick, you are in for a treat if you go say hello to RoseMary this week!’”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 17
Build your own paper bookmobile
Illustrator Bob Staake created this print-and-cut-out paper bookmobile for schools, librarians, kids, adults, and bibliophiles—“because you can’t make this on an iPad or a Kindle.” He bills it as a relic of a bygone era, when “books were made of paper and libraries came with wheels.”...
Bob Staake, Oct. 18
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