American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 26, 2011

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Dallas Update
Division News
Awards & Grants
Seen Online
Tech Talk
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American Libraries Online

Osceola Library SystemPrivatization showdown moves to Osceola County
After several months of rumors about the future of the Osceola Library System that serves Kissimmee, Florida, a series of public hearings that began October 25 are seeking to explain why county officials are considering the outsourcing of library services to Germantown, Maryland–based privatization firm Library Systems and Services, Inc., and how LSSI plans to deliver the services sought. Officials seem to have an uphill battle on their hands to sway their constituents, however: The prospect of privatization has already pitted library supporters and the Florida Library Association against the county commission....
American Libraries news, Oct. 26

Sanhita SinhaRoySanhita SinhaRoy appointed associate editor
Sanhita SinhaRoy joined the ALA staff October 24 as associate editor of American Libraries magazine. She will be responsible for writing news stories and blog posts, copyediting and fact-checking feature articles and columns, and assisting with the preparation and production of the weekly e-newsletter American Libraries Direct. SinhaRoy will also work directly with selected authors and columnists in preparing content for the magazine and the American Libraries website....
AL: Inside Scoop, Oct. 24

NYPL supporters give the main library a protective hug June 4 at the height of a budget battle with the city. Photo by Walter ChangGrassroots advocacy: Putting yourself out there
Lauren Comito, Aliqae Geraci, and Christian Zabriskie write: “Librarians shouting about funding is fast becoming old news. We need to find new ways to take a stand against library budget cuts. A grassroots push is a terrific advertising tool, and it can be really fun to pull off. It’s a wonderful motivator to get people out and keep them coming back to do more. An event can score press coverage, and it will allow you to frame the debate the way you want it to be seen.”...
American Libraries feature

“You can come out from under there now, Senator. The children’s librarian is gone.”Will’s World: No more kidding around
Will Manley writes: “How often have you heard people complain in the last few months that our elected leaders are behaving like little children—pointing fingers, making funny faces at the camera, and attacking each other petulantly? This is precisely why I believe that children’s librarians are our profession’s best hope for strong leaders. By understanding how to handle children, they are gaining an understanding of how to handle politicians.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

Screen shot of Hermina Anghelescu, from the AL Focus videoTraining and development of Romanian librarians
Hermina Anghelescu, associate professor of library and information science at Wayne State University in Detroit, explains her ongoing involvement with the education and training of librarians in Romania in an interview with ALA’s Leonard Kniffel in Brasov. Anghelescu organized the U.S. contingent at the international “The Book. Romania. Europe” symposium in Sinaia, Romania, September 20–23....
AL Focus, Oct. 20

Robert Hulshof-SchmidtCurrents
Effective January 1, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt (right) will become Oregon State Librarian. Richard Landon, 68, who held numerous positions at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, died October 5; during his career, he was the director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book library, professor in the Graduate Department of English, and adjunct professor of the Faculty of Information. Effective in December, Ken Frazier will retire as director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System....
American Libraries column

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ALA News

Budget message from the Executive Director
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels shared the following message on October 24 with members and the Association’s governing Council: “I am pleased to report that ALA ended the 2011 fiscal year with a small net operating loss of about $250,000 on an overall budget of $46 million. This total ALA budget includes the general fund units, divisions, round tables, grants, and endowment earnings. This $250,000 is actually more than $1 million better than planned, as 2011 was a ‘spend down’ year for AASL and PLA in anticipation of their conferences in 2012.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Oct. 24

John GreenSusan CainSusan Cain and John Green to speak at Midwinter
Susan Cain and John Green, authors and speakers with huge followings, join the roster of memorable ALA Midwinter Meeting Auditorium Speakers. They are scheduled to appear at the Dallas meeting January 21 and 22, respectively. Cain, author of the forthcoming Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking will talk about how dramatically our culture misunderstands and undervalues introverts. Green will address how social networking relates to literature and how librarians can reach patrons through fun and inventive social networking....
Conference Services, Oct. 26

National Gaming Day poster 2011The largest family game day in history: November 12
On November 12, more than 20,000 people in communities across the United States will come together in the spirit of play for ALA’s fourth annual National Gaming Day @ your library. Sponsored by Family and Party Games, the event aims to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. For more information about National Gaming Day @ your library, visit the National Gaming Day website....
ALA Public Information Office, Oct. 24

Go4Life DVDALA joins national Go4Life campaign
ALA has joined the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in Go4Life, a new national exercise and physical activity campaign for people aged 50+. The goal of Go4Life is to provide resources to older adults that they can use to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives. This federal campaign is based on research showing that exercise can help people stay healthy and independent and prevent some of the chronic conditions associated with aging. ALA will offer Go4Life resources, such as free guides and DVDs, to attendees at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas and the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....
ALA Development Office, Oct. 19

“Intellectual Freedom across the Globe” webinar series
Registration is now open for “Intellectual Freedom across the Globe,” a series of three webinars on international issues related to free speech, censorship, and access to information in libraries and beyond. The webinars will be held November 9, 15, and 22, and will feature speakers from several countries. Attendees can register for individual webinars or, for a discounted rate, the entire series....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Oct. 21

Hugo READ posterFind the key to adventure with Hugo
This fall, ALA Graphics celebrates the magical world of Hugo Cabret. Discover the key to adventure with the new poster and bookmark inspired by the upcoming film Hugo, presented by Paramount Pictures and GK Films, in theaters November 23. Legendary storyteller Martin Scorsese invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3-D film, from a screenplay by John Logan, based on Brian Selznick’s award-winning, imaginative New York Times bestseller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret....
ALA Graphics, Oct. 24

New Oprah Celebrity READ posterA star-studded new graphics catalog
The bright stars of movies and television join the Celebrity READ® campaign, and imaginative stories from a variety of genres take shape in new products that inspire reading, all featured in the new ALA Graphics winter catalog (PDF file). Oprah Winfrey rejoins Celebrity READ for a record third poster, and actor Jackson Rathbone makes his READ debut as he continues his role as Jasper Hale in November’s hotly anticipated Twilight Saga conclusion, Breaking Dawn—Part 1....
ALA Graphics, Oct. 24

Ten libraries to host “Discover Earth” exhibition
The ALA Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning at Space Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the National Girls Collaborative Project, announced that 10 public libraries will host an interactive traveling exhibition called “Discover Earth: A Century of Change” from January 2012 to December 2013. The exhibition and its educational support materials are part of the STAR Library Education Network, a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities....
Public Programs Office, Oct. 21

Take the surveyYour help needed in public library internet use study
The November 11 deadline is quickly approaching for public libraries to participate in the 2011–2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information on computer and internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training, and other uses of public libraries....
Office for Research and Statistics, Oct. 25

Preconference: Community building through civic dialogue
The Public Programs Office and the Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee will present a day-and-a-half-long preconference March 13–14 during the PLA 2012 National Conference in Philadelphia. The preconference, titled “Make Your Library a Community Leader: Community Building through Civic Dialogue,” will train participants in dialogue facilitation skills. For more information, visit the PLA conference website....
Public Programs Office, Oct. 21

Call for international papers and projects
ALA’s International Papers Committee invites proposals for presentations to be made at the next ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers Session scheduled for June 23, 2012. The International Papers Program theme is “Expecting the Unexpected: Libraries Respond to Profound Change.” The deadline for submitting proposals is December 23....
International Relations Office, Oct. 25

Financial assistance for support staff certification
The Library Support Staff Interests Round Table is is offering another opportunity for financial assistance to library support staff applying for certification in the ALA-APA Library Support Staff Certification program. The program offers library support staff the opportunity to achieve recognition for their existing skills and knowledge, and to gain new skills. Seven states are also participating. Applications will be accepted through November 15 at both the national and state levels....
Library Support Staff Interests Round Table, Oct. 21

ALA TechSource Workshop logoSarah Houghton workshop on ebooks
ALA TechSource will host a workshop on “Ebooks and Access: Upholding Library Values” with Sarah Houghton, December 7 and 14. In this two-part workshop, Houghton will help you navigate through ebook acquisition and collection development with library values as your compass. Registration is available at the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Oct. 24

ALA Editions WorkshopOpen your library to independent workers
ALA Editions is offering an exciting new workshop, “Making Space for Entrepreneurs and Independent Workers,” on December 1. Public librarian Meg Gerritsen Knodl, who moonlights as a coworking center librarian, will share her firsthand insights on how to adapt the concepts of the coworking movement for your library. Four pillars of coworking—community, collaboration, openness, and sustainability—are all ingredients that libraries can offer. Registration is available at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Oct. 24

Cover of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Street LiteratureA readers’ advisory guide to street literature
Street lit, also known as urban fiction, addresses with unflinching grit the concerns and problems of city living. Controversial in some quarters, it is also wildly popular. The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Street Literature, written by Vanessa Irvin Morris and published by ALA Editions, emphasizes an appreciation for street lit as a way to promote reading and library use....
ALA Editions, Oct. 25

Booklist Online banner

Booklist Online logo

Cover of River of SmokeFeatured review: Historical fiction
Ghosh, Amitav. River of Smoke. Oct. 2011. 528p. Farrar (978-0-374-17423-1).
Spellbinding and astute, Ghosh continues the nineteenth-century historical saga about the opium trade that he launched with Sea of Poppies (2008). This is an even more fluid and pleasurable tale, however dire its conflicts, and stands firmly on its own, though readers shouldn’t miss the first installment. After escaping misery and danger in India, Ghosh’s seductive, motley crew of struggling characters has found some semblance of sanctuary in China. Paulette is discovered living in the ruins of a botanical garden by the famous plant-hunter, Fitcher Penrose. They join forces to search for a rare camellia with help from Robin, who finally finds happiness as a gay man in Canton’s industrious art world....

Bill Ott's The Back PageUlysses and rubber gloves
Bill Ott writes: “I don’t get a lot of mail about the Back Page, aside from the occasional kind word or criticism, but last May I received a most unusual letter. It was in response to a column I’d written about my inability to finish reading Joyce’s Ulysses and my ongoing project to listen to the novel on audio. I filed the letter away, thinking I would refer to it in a follow-up column to be written when I finished listening to the audio. Well, that was four months ago, and I still haven’t finished the book (six CDs to go). Sadly, I fell into my usual trap, seduced away from serious literature by all variety of popular fare—including about five Laurie R. King novels read by the incomparable Jenny Sterlin. But this column isn’t about my further adventures in listening to audiobooks. Rather, it’s about that unusual letter, which resurfaced the other day.”...

Cover of Reimagining EqualitySerenity is the best revenge
Vanessa Bush writes: “It’s been 20 years since Anita Hill had the temerity to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. It took a lot of nerve for her to come forth with allegations of sexual harassment against a man who was lined up to be the second African-American male to serve on the Supreme Court. She certainly knew that her every word and motion, her career and life would be severely scrutinized. But she did it anyway, with incredible grace and dignity. And in the 20 years since the spectacle of white men on the Senate Judiciary Committee grilling her, she has gained stature for bringing attention to the everyday kind of sexual harassment that many women experienced on their jobs.”...
Likely Stories, Oct. 24

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

Dallas Update

The Flying Reader store at DFW Airport. Screen shot from videoThe Dallas–Fort Worth Airport
The world’s fourth busiest airport in terms of aircraft movements, Dallas–Fort Worth is a tourist destination in itself, with its mall-like restaurants and concessions, its multimillion-dollar Public Art Program, and Founders’ Plaza, an observation park that offers a panoramic view of the south end of the airport, a granite monument and sculpture, post-mounted binoculars, and piped-in voices of air traffic controllers. This video (5:10) gives an overview of the airport facilities and history....
Wikipedia; DFW Airport

Hipmunk Android flight searchSee how agonizing your flight could be with Hipmunk
This app is similar to other popular travel booking sites out there, in that it certainly makes scheduling flights quick and easy. But Hipmunk Flight Search is a special service all its own—it’s set up to find flights that will be the most comfortable for you. After you've entered your flight information, the results are sorted by “agony.” This means that the app takes into account how long you’ll be traveling and how many stops you’ll make, and then uses special algorithms to locate flights that will be most enjoyable....
Appolicious Android Apps, Oct. 20

Staying productive in the air
Kevin Purdy writes: “Your time in the air can be really productive. The lack of (most) electronic distractions, combined with being surrounded by strangers, can bring out the best focus in travelers. But only if you plan ahead. Bring a good laptop, and make sure it has the files you need. And give yourself the space you need to do anything other than be miserable. Here’s how to get those things in order before you’re hundreds of miles from the office.”...
Fast Company, Oct. 16

Fashion exhibition by Jean Paul GaultierDallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is a major art museum located in the downtown Arts District. Established in 1903, the museum features an outstanding collection of more than 24,000 works of art from around the world, from ancient to modern times. During the Midwinter Meeting, it is holding an exhibition on fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, whose work in the 1970s earned him the nickname “enfant terrible” of the fashion world....
Dallas Museum of Art

iPads change economics and speed of hotel Wi-Fi
Joe Sharkey writes: “If, like me, you have been complaining about unusually poor internet service in hotel rooms lately, the hotels have a good explanation. Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, which are heavy users of video streaming, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands. According to iBAHN, iPads consume four times more Wi-Fi data per month than the average smartphone.”...
New York Times, Oct. 24

Division News

Two divisions receive $200,000 Dollar General grant
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to YALSA and ALSC. The two divisions will share the funding to support a variety of youth literacy programs through Everyone Reads @ your library. This is the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s second grant to ALA in support of this initiative. YALSA will use the funds to provide grants for teen reading programs, and ALSC will use the grant money to promote Día and multicultural family literacy....
YALSA, ALSC, Oct. 25

Cover of YALSA research agendaYALSA has a new national research agenda
YALSA has published a new national research agenda on libraries and teens, updating the last one from 1994. The new publication is available online. The YALSA Research Agenda was developed by members of YALSA’s 2010 and 2011 Research Committees, who surveyed the field to determine gaps in research and determine the questions that needed to be answered in order to fill those gaps. It also updates the agenda to reflect the many changes that have happened in teen services and libraries in the 17 years since the last update....
YALSA, Oct. 25

Screen shot of Bob Wise announcing Digital Learning DayYALSA to partner in new Digital Learning Day
February 1 will be the first-ever national Digital Learning Day, which YALSA is supporting in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education. Digital Learning Day will celebrate innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging in schools and public libraries. Register to receive customized toolkits, resources, and invitations to run-up events and activities. Watch the video (3:42) of former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise (above) announcing the initiative....
YALSA, Oct. 25

Lori EasterwoodYALSA sponsors Lori Easterwood as 2012 Emerging Leader
YALSA has chosen Lori Easterwood (right), programming supervisor at the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library, as its representative for the 2012 ALA Emerging Leaders program. She will receive funding from YALSA to attend the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Emerging Leaders receive up to $1,000 each to participate....
YALSA, Oct. 25

Power up your teen programs
Learn new ways to bring more teens into the school and public library in Power Programming, YALSA’s popular online course, which offers up-to-date ideas for programming, from simple, self-running contests to reading celebrations and more. The self-paced course is taught by Amy Alessio and takes place February 5 to March 6. To register, visit the YALSA website....
YALSA, Oct. 25

Teen programs for any budget
From smaller, community room–based programs to city-wide initiatives, find out how you can launch innovative programming tailored to fit your audience and budget in the November 17 YALSA webinar, “Innovative Teen Programming from $10 to $10,000.” Jack Martin and Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library programming gurus, will lead a workshop on how to initiate cool, low-cost pilot projects or scale up smaller programs into big events that support your teens’ interests and needs. Registration is now open....
YALSA, Oct. 25

Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s DaughterALTAFF’s Gala Author Tea at Midwinter
ALTAFF will host its Gala Author Tea on January 23 at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The event will feature authors Kim Edwards (right), Erin Duffy, Pam Houston, Taylor Stevens, and Leonard Kniffel. Some books will be given away, while others will be available for purchase at a generous discount. This event is sponsored by ReferenceUSA....
ALTAFF, Oct. 25

“Reference Interview” online course
Registration closes October 26 for the next offering of “The Reference Interview,” an asynchronous online course offered by RUSA. This popular course runs October 31 through December 9 and is perfect for public librarians, academic librarians, and library support staff interested in learning reference basics or getting a refresher in reference interview skills....
RUSA Blog, Oct. 26

New PLA statistics portal
PLA is offering a new 24x7 portal to the Public Library Data Service Statistical Report, PLAmetrics. With PLAmetrics, subscribers can access PLDS data collected annually (2006–2011) from public libraries across the United States and Canada and then take advantage of a powerful reporting functionality that enables the production and sharing of multiple-format data reports for internal management, stakeholder relations, and advocacy purposes. PLAmetrics is managed by Counting Opinions....
PLA, Oct. 25

Awards & Grants

ALA offers recognition grants and awards
Nominate yourself, colleagues, or your library for the 2012 ALA recognition awards and grants. Unless otherwise noted, the deadline for awards is December 1. For general information about these and other ALA awards, visit the Awards and Grants section of the ALA website....
Office of ALA Governance, Oct. 25

Citation for Innovative International Library Projects
Nominations are being sought for the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Citations are awarded each year by the ALA President at the International Relations Round Table’s International Librarians Reception during the ALA Annual Conference to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. Nominations must be postmarked or emailed by December 1....
International Relations Office, Oct. 25

2012 John Ames Humphry Award
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2012 John Ames Humphry / OCLC / Forest Press Award for International Librarianship. The award is given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. It consists of a prize of $1,000 and a certificate presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations is January 1....
International Relations Office, Oct. 24

Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2012 Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, sponsored by the Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. An award of $1,000 is given to an ALA member to attend his or her first international conference. The nominee must have been an ALA member for one full year. The deadline for applications is January 1....
International Relations Office, Oct. 21

Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship
ALA and the Library Copyright Alliance have established the $1,000 Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship to support research and advanced study for librarians in their early-to-mid-careers who are interested and/or active in intellectual property, public policy, and copyright. Applications should provide a statement of intent for use of the scholarship funds and must be submitted to Carrie Russell by March 1....
District Dispatch, Oct. 24

Flyers for Dia at Santa Ana (Calif.) Public Library2011 Estela and Raúl Mora Award
Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, has selected two library systems as recipients of its 2011 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for exemplary efforts in promoting El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The winning libraries are the Santa Ana (Calif.) Public Library and the Springfield (Oreg.) Public Library. This brings the total number of Mora Award winners to 17, as Día celebrates its 15th anniversary this year....
Reforma, Oct. 17

Hill Museum and Manuscript Library Executive Director Fr. Columba Stewart (right) with partners in Kerala, India, where HMML has partnered with local experts to preserve the heritage of the ancient Syriac Christian communities in that region2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has selected five libraries and five museums to receive the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The libraries are the Alachua County (Fla.) Library District; Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library; the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (right) in Collegeville, Minnesota; San Jose (Calif.) Public Library; and Weippe (Idaho) Public Library and Discovery Center....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oct. 25

Interior of the award-winning Nesconset branchLong Island firm wins sustainable design award for library
Patchogue, New York–based BBS Architects and Engineers took home the 2011 Sustainable Design Award from the Long Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects annual Archi awards on October 20. The award was given to BBS in recognition of its “outstanding use of sustainable design practices” for the company’s work on the expansion of the Nesconset branch of the Smithtown (N.Y.) Special Library District....
Long Island Business News, Oct. 24

Delaware’s revamped librarian scholarship program
Stressing the need to attract and retain Delawareans to serve as librarians, Gov. Jack Markell and legislative leaders created the Ada Leigh Soles Memorial Professional Librarian and Archivist Incentive Program, named after the late Newark legislator and champion for Delaware public libraries. Markell signed House Bill 153, which revises an existing scholarship program for master’s candidates to also allow scholarships for library and archives staff seeking a bachelor’s degree or a doctoral degree....
State of Delaware News, Oct. 18

What makes a book great?
Laura Miller writes: “What is the purpose of literary prizes and how do we determine the excellence of a book? Those two questions have been cropping up a lot lately, from discussion of the National Book Award in the United States to the unfolding kerfuffle over the Booker Prize in the United Kingdom. Booksellers often say that the Booker has more credibility with American readers than the NBA. Chosen by a panel with varied backgrounds, the Booker shortlist tends to be a blend of acclaimed and relatively undiscovered works that many Britons (and quite a few Americans) make a habit of reading in its entirety.”...
Salon, Oct. 18

Carlo D'Este2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award
The $100,000 2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, sponsored by the Tawani Foundation, was presented October 22 during the library’s annual Liberty Gala at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. This year’s winner was Carlo D’Este (right), who established himself as an authoritative voice in the field of World War II scholarship with biographies of Patton, Eisenhower, and Churchill. The library’s $500 Colby Award was presented to Karl Marlantes for his novel Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War....
Armchair General, Oct. 25; Pritzker Military Library, Oct. 21

Recorded Books ad

Seen Online

School library amendment withdrawn from ESEA
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) with a 15–7 vote on October 20. Joining all Democrats in voting in favor of the legislation were three Republicans. Unfortunately, an amendment sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would support school libraries was withdrawn by Senator Whitehouse because of lack of support on the amendment....
District Dispatch, Oct. 21

Chicago Public Library Job Searchers logoAldermen rip Chicago mayor’s proposed library cuts
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to reduce Chicago Public Library hours and impose “draconian” job cuts that would impact library services at all hours is in danger of being shelved. Aldermen from across the city made that clear during city council budget hearings October 21 to the applause of library employees, some 284 of whom stand to lose their jobs (about one-third of the CPL staff). They decried the mayor’s decision to reduce support for libraries by $6.6 million (though few had suggestions on how to fill the city’s budget gap), even as the city continues to build new libraries on top of the 59 constructed under former Mayor Richard M. Daley, cardholders are up, and libraries have become a beacon for job-seekers (above). ....
Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 22; Chicago Tribune, Oct. 21, 25

Philip PullmanBritish writer declares war on stupid library closures
Philip Pullman (right), author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, has lambasted Brent council in the UK for its comment that closing half of its libraries would help it fulfill “exciting plans to improve libraries,” describing the statement as a masterpiece that “ought to be quoted in every anthology of political bullshit from here to eternity.” Citing campaigns to save libraries in Oxfordshire as well as in Brent, Pullman said “the war we’re fighting is not against this party or that one, this flag or another flag, our parents or our MP or anyone else in particular: It’s against stupidity. And stupidity is not to be underestimated.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 24

Salt Lake City library could lose its Friends
Chaotic conditions and cratering morale at the Salt Lake City Library may next take their toll on patron services and public programs. The influential Friends of the Library is threatening to pull its funding over continuing library controversies. The Friends’ announcement came at the end of a contentious October 20 board meeting, which also saw some residents vent, one calling for embattled Library Director Beth Elder’s ouster and another blasting the board....
Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 20

Library board deadlock leaves Detroit branches open
Detroit Public Library officials once again have backed away from plans to close neighborhood branches. Following a trend that has developed since administrators proposed closures in April, commissioners rejected a proposal October 18 to close four of 23 branches. The 3–3 deadlock meant no action, bringing cheers to a crowd of some 70 users at a meeting at the Main branch....
Detroit News, Oct. 19

Sign at Occupy Boston libraryOccupy libraries
Boston has a new and somewhat grittier reading nook. Housed in a green military tent, the Occupy Boston library in Dewey Square is overflowing with scholarly tomes that have no due dates or late fees. The growing collection includes more than 500 books, overseen by a bookstore owner and a number of librarians supporting the movement, including some from the Boston Radical Reference Collective. Jessamyn West interviewed occupying archivist Kristin Parker about the library, which officially opened October 16. Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street Library has some 2,000 books, all organized by subject; and a library has sprung up at the Occupy London protest called Star Books....
New York Times, Oct. 21;, Oct. 25; Occupy Boston, Oct. 16; Occupy Wall Street Library, Oct. 22; Time NewsFeed, Oct. 25; Publishing Perspectives, Oct. 25

Occupy Wall Street Library rubber stampsOccupy librarianship: Five variations on a theme
Kim Leeder writes: “Several of us at Lead Pipe have been watching the Occupy Wall Street movement with interest. How does one protest something that seems to be part of the foundation of a culture? And when a foundational institution benefits only a small subset of its members, how does one not protest? None of us here have ever seen, in the course of our lifetimes, such an amorphous yet focused, long-term, geographically distributed picket line in our own country. It is an inspiration to all those who feel that ‘business as usual’ isn’t working for them.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Oct. 26

Jim GatesThe National Baseball Hall of Fame library
Baseball is still taken very seriously by the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which opened in 1939. Since then, the facility has developed into a full service research library, with more than 3 million documents, newspaper clippings, and an individual file on each of the 17,000-plus men who have played one Major League Baseball game. “If it’s anything to do with baseball we're interested,” Head Librarian Jim Gates (above) said....
Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, Oct. 24

Fortinet screenInternet filtering at Dartmouth High School
Heather Gagne and James Rider write: “In January, the Dartmouth (Mass.) School District installed Fortiguard Web Filtering to regulate school internet use. This year, complaints have arisen among students and teachers alike who are unable to reach websites containing ‘banned words’ or streaming media that can be used to improve the educational experience. Student opinion about Fortiguard varies in magnitude, but there is a general consensus that it goes too far. Some of the strangest words students said were blocked included ‘banana,’ ‘owl,’ and ‘tattoos.’”...
The Spectrum (Dartmouth High School), Oct. 25

UC librarians approve contract
More than 350 librarians at the University of California have ratified a new contract with merit increases, UC officials announced October 10. The agreement between the American Federation of Teachers and the university runs through September 30, 2012. The agreement includes participation in the annual academic merit program for 2011–2012 like all non-student academic employees, with increases retroactive to July 1....
Sacramento Business Journal, Oct. 11

Missouri repeals Facebook law
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation October 21 repealing a contentious law that had limited online chats between teachers and students and caused a judge to warn that it infringed on free-speech rights. Nixon’s action eliminates a law enacted earlier in 2011 that barred teachers from using websites that allow “exclusive access” with students or former pupils age 18 or younger. The law generated an unexpected backlash, with teachers raising concerns they would be barred from using Facebook and Twitter....
eSchool News,
Oct. 24

Armenian Library and Museum of AmericaLibrary at center of Kevorkian painting dispute
The Armenian Library and Museum of America (right) in Watertown, Massachusetts, is refusing to surrender 17 paintings and other artwork by assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, saying he had donated them and his estate has no claim on them nearly 12 years after it put them on display. The paintings, including one Kevorkian did with a pint of his own blood, were among 140 of his personal effects set for auction by his estate in New York City in late October....
Associated Press, Oct. 19

The tale of the Analy High School library bookshelves
The steel bookshelves that were in the library at Sebastopol, California’s Analy High School since the beginning of time were funky and ugly, painted a shade of green that might have been rejected at state prisons or hospitals. But today the library boasts handsome, gently used oak bookcases because librarian Rosalie Abbott sensed a rare opportunity and asked the Analy community to seize it. It did....
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, Oct. 20

Norman CorwinThousand Oaks library houses archives of radio legend
Near the checkout counter at the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks, California, is a small display featuring works by radio giant Norman Corwin (right), who died October 18 of natural causes at age 101. The “poet laureate of radio” left behind a treasure trove—scripts, correspondence, production notes, research material, photos, and sound recordings—that is in the library’s climate-controlled storage room. His collection is a key component of the library’s American Radio Archives....
Ventura County (Calif.) Star, Oct. 20

Brighton District Library summer gardenBrighton District Library becomes a Certified Wildlife Habitat
The National Wildlife Federation has recognized the Brighton (Mich.) District Library’s property as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat site. The property is more than 10 acres and includes the adjacent Parker Preserve. It attracts a wide variety of birds, butterflies, insects, and other animals by providing a wildlife-friendly landscape. To achieve that, the library had to provide suitable food, water, cover, and places to raise young animals, as well as employ sustainable gardening practices....
Brighton (Mich.) Patch, Oct. 24

Book of court records returned to Virginia by Jersey City Free Public LibraryJersey City library returns book stolen during Civil War
Nearly 150 years after a Union Army captain pilfered a book of court records from a county courthouse in Virginia during the Civil War, the Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library has returned the 220-year-old spoil of war to its rightful home. The leather-bound book has a broken binder and the pages are yellowed, but it exhibits the flawless penmanship of John Fox, a Stafford County deputy court clerk who in 1791 was given the task of transcribing summarized court records covering 1749 to 1755....
Jersey City Jersey Journal, Oct. 20

Screen shot from London Free Press newscast showing an original plate pasted into the Wallis bookRare book solves an Australian mystery
Auctioneer Grant Gardner was rummaging through a middle-class home in London, Ontario, in May when he stumbled upon a copy of An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales by Captain James Wallis, published in 1821. A closer look revealed 10 original oil paintings pasted on the back pages and several oil illustrations on the front pages. For decades, scholars have debated whether Wallis had done all the artwork. The book Gardner found contained not only the engravings Wallis said were his, but 10 original oil paintings used for the engravings. Five have the words “Drawn by a Convict” written on them. The New South Wales State Library has purchased the book at auction....
London (Ont.) Free Press, Oct. 18

Portion of the Copiale CipherHow revolutionary tools cracked an 18th-century code
It has been more than six decades since Warren Weaver, a pioneer in automated language translation, suggested applying code-breaking techniques to the challenge of interpreting a foreign language. That insight led to a generation of statistics-based language programs like Google Translate as well as new tools for breaking codes. Now a team of linguists has applied statistics-based translation techniques (PDF file) to crack one of the most stubborn of codes: the Copiale Cipher, a hand-lettered 105-page manuscript that appears to date from the late 18th century....
New York Times, Oct. 24; USC Information Sciences Institute

Billionaire brings reading to Cambodia
Of the 60 countries in which billionaire Jim Thompson’s Crown Group does business, he chooses Cambodia for his acts of philanthropy—this time, the opening of a library in remote Pursat province on October 22. About 3,000 people, mostly students from the adjacent Leach High School, came to the province’s Phnom Kravanh district to honor the results of Thompson’s $57,000 donation. Named the Hazel Joyce Library, after Thompson’s older sister, it fits in with his notion that education is the primary requirement for Cambodia....
Phnom Penh Post, Oct. 24

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

The original iPod, with mechanical scroll wheel10 years of the iPod: A design retrospective
Jacqui Cheng writes: “When the original iPod first came out on October 23, 2001, the concept didn’t seem novel to those who had already hopped on the MP3 player bandwagon. What was new—aside from its deep integration with Apple’s music store—was the physical design. The minimalist layout, the screen with playlists, the easy-access buttons, the scroll wheel—these were all elements that made up a signature Apple design.”...
Ars Technica, Oct. 23

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 is one of PC Magazine's Top 10 desktop systemsHow to buy a desktop PC
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “Does your desktop PC take so long to start up you have time to go get a cup of coffee—and drink it? Tried installing the latest game only to find out your graphics card is six generations too old to play it? Or maybe you just want to take advantage of the speed and reliability of operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7 and Mac OS Lion. If any of these are true, then it is time for you to buy a new desktop PC. And we can help you do it.” Here are PC Magazine’s recommended Top 10 desktop systems....
PC Magazine, Oct. 19–20

New user interface10 coolest Android Ice Cream Sandwich features
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “The latest Google Android mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, was announced October 19 and contains many new features. We’ve highlighted 10 of the tastiest, ranging from wireless sharing to new widget management. Check out the features and images for a rundown on this new operating system.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 21

Danish study: No cellphone-cancer link
A major study of nearly 360,000 cellphone users in Denmark found no increased risk of brain tumors with long-term use. Although the results are reassuring, the investigators noted that the design of the study focused on cellphone subscriptions rather than actual use, so it is unlikely to settle the debate about cellphone safety. The findings, published in the British medical journal BMJ as an update of a 2007 report, come nearly five months after a World Health Organization panel concluded that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic.”...
New York Times: Well, May 31, Oct. 20; BMJ 343 (2011): d6387

Five ways to fix a slow PC
Paul Boutin writes: “It seems to happen to most Windows users: You buy a new desktop or laptop PC. It runs fast. But a few months later, you’re sure it’s slower than it used to be. After suffering with a slower-than-it-used-to-be PC myself, I appealed to Microsoft for help on how to solve the problem. The company came back with five suggestions for getting a Windows machine back to speed.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Oct. 24

Four easy tips for preserving digital photographs
Butch Lazorchak writes: “Like many of you, I’ve got hundreds (thousands?) of photos. The valuable cultural heritage material we’re interested in often starts off as a lone artifact in someone’s personal collection. That’s why we’ve been offering guidance on how you can preserve your own personal digital information. We’ve come up with four simple steps to start you on the digital preservation path: identify, decide, organize, and make copies.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Oct. 24; Library of Congress Digital Preservation

Dropbox logoDropbox can simplify your life
David Pogue writes: “Every time I’m tempted to write about some tech product that’s been around awhile, I’m torn. On one hand, I’ll be blasted by the technogeeks for being late to the party. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem right to keep something great hidden under a barrel from the rest of the world. So here goes: I love Dropbox. It’s a free service that puts a magic folder on your computer desktop. Anything you put into it magically appears in an identical folder on all your other computers.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Oct. 20

21 useful cloud computing resources
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Cloud applications, platforms, and services are being embraced by libraries and librarians around the world. If you’re just getting started or want to learn more about this increasingly popular trend in computing, here is a collection of 21 articles, blog posts, and conference presentations to get you started.”...
iLibrarian, Oct. 25


I want it all, but learn that I can’t have it all
Christopher Harris writes: “Working in the K–12 library world, one of my concerns with the plethora of e-content options available today is the risk of platform fatigue. With each publisher and distributor offering a distinct site design (sometimes quite a few different site designs!) with different search interfaces, navigation buttons, and content interactions, I worry that students will have to spend too much time relearning the interfaces to effectively use the content.”...
AL: E-Content, Oct. 24

Kobo Vox e-readerKobo launches Kobo Vox e-reader
Kobo has announced a new e-reader it calls “the first social e-reader.” The new device, Kobo Vox, will include social features that will integrate mainly with Facebook, but also with Twitter and email. Vox will run Android 2.3 on a 7-inch color touch screen, which is meant to enhance not only your reading experience, but also the social part of it. The new Vox is actually a tablet, akin to the Kindle Fire, and can be used also for surfing, for checking emails, and for downloading apps. And it retails for $200....
MakeUseOf, Oct. 24

Kindle Format 8 displayKindle Format 8 is on the way
Jason Griffey writes: “With the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn’t just launching another new LCD-based tablet into the marketplace. It’s also giving us yet another ebook filetype, Kindle Format 8. This is the first departure from the longstanding Mobi filetype that Amazon has been using for its Kindle books thus far, and it looks like KF8 is being designed and implemented specifically to compete with the functionality found in the EPUB format.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Oct. 25

The Digital Public Library of America: First things first
Dan Cohen writes: “I’m at the Digital Public Library of America meeting in Washington, D.C. I’m a convener of the ‘Audience and Participation Workstream’ that is trying to assess who will use the DPLA and why. Today, I started a list of elements that could help draw an audience to the DPLA in the same way that public libraries continue to attract huge numbers of patrons.” The DPLA received a $5-million boost on October 21 in the form of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Arcadia Fund....
Dan Cohen, Oct. 20; National Law Journal, Oct. 25

DPLA and Europeana to collaborate
Two major digital library networks have agreeed to collaborate in ways that will make a large part of the world’s cultural heritage available. The Digital Public Library of America, which will provide access to digital collections from libraries, museums, and archives in the United States, announced October 21 that it will design its technical structure in a way that promotes interoperability with Europeana, which has developed a similar system to link the major libraries, museums, and archives of Europe....
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Oct. 21

The e-reader reference interview
Matt Weaver writes: “If you have walked patrons through the requisite processes to use library ebooks, you likely dread it: the e-reader reference interview. Every type of reference interview presents specific challenges: Those related to the e-reader reference interview indicate both growing pains as we adapt to a new book format that rapidly has become mainstream, and the problematic nature of libraries’ relationships with ebook providers.”...
Library Renewal Blog, Oct. 22

The electronic reading experience
Researchers at the Media Convergence Research Unit of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany published a report October 20 that compared the efficiency of individuals when reading e-ink readers, tablet PCs, and good old, regular books, with some interesting results. Thirty readers were monitored on a neurological level by an EEG while reading. The study noted an increase in ease of comprehension in readers when a tablet PC was used versus an e-ink reader or a book....
io9, Oct. 24; Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Oct. 20

How people use tablets
Eighteen months after the introduction of the iPad, 11% of U.S. adults now own a tablet computer of some kind. The vast majority of tablet owners (77%) use their tablets every day and spend an average of 90 minutes on them. About half (53%) get news on their tablet every day and they read long articles as well as get headlines. But a majority says they would not be willing to pay for news content on these devices, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism....
Project for Excellence in Journalism, Oct. 25

NARA Github logoNational Archives digitization tools
As part of its open government initiatives, the National Archives has begun to share applications developed in-house on GitHub, a social coding platform. GitHub is a service used by software developers to share and collaborate on software development projects and many open source development projects. Over the last year and a half, the Digitization Services Branch has developed a number of software applications to facilitate digitization workflows....
NARAtions, Oct. 18

Screen shot from TACC video on digitizing archaeological dataDigitizing the past
Documentation has always been important to archaeology, but over the course of the 20th century, it became more important to preserve the contextual associations among objects and layers of history. Working with experts and resources at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), one of the leading academic computing centers in the nation, archaeologist Adam Rabinowitz is harnessing the richness of digital data to develop a greater understanding of the past. But the evolution of a digital archeological practice did not occur overnight. Watch the video (6:37)....
University of Texas at Austin; YouTube, Sept. 12

Internet Librarian 2011: Considering the possibilities
Cindy Shamel writes: “The advent of ebooks was a major topic for participants at Internet Librarian 2011, held October 17–19 in Monterey, California. A total of 27 speakers in eight full hours of session-time dedicated themselves to the issues surrounding ebook licensing, portability, ownership, and privacy. Opening speakers Bobbi Newman, learning consultant, and Sara Houghton, assistant director at San Rafael (Calif.) Public Library, agreed that licensing demands from distributors and content providers such as Overdrive and Amazon conflict with traditional library values....
Information Today: NewsBreaks, Oct. 24

2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas

American Libraries’ new Midwinter page aggregates all of the Midwinter-related stories on the AL site and displays tweets tagged with the official Midwinter hashtag, #alamw12.

Jamal Joseph

Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention (2012) will give the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture, Saturday, January 21, 4–5 p.m.

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Cover of Cost Control for Nonprofits in Crisis

Libraries, like many other cultural institutions such as museums, art councils, and theater groups, are looking for answers to the pressing problem of financial stability, and ultimately survival. Cost Control for Nonprofits in Crisis, by G. Stevenson Smith, helps managers and directors tackle the harsh realities before them. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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NYPL supporters give the main library a protective hug June 4 at the height of a budget battle with the city. Photo by Walter Chang

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AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

Bibliothèque Mazarin. Photo by Remi Mathis and Marie-Lan Nguyen

Bibliothèque Mazarin, Paris, France. Initially the personal collection of Cardinal Mazarin, the library has been open to scholars since 1643. Upon his death, Mazarin bequeathed the collection to the Collège des Quatre-Nations, which became the Institut de France in 1805. Among its collections is a copy of the Gutenberg Bible known as the Bible Mazarine. The ornate reading room, with its bust of Mazarin by Louis Lerambert, was restored in 1968–1974.

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Site François-Mitterrand

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. The library has its origins in the royal library of King Charles V, founded at the Louvre palace in 1368. It opened its doors to scholars in 1692. After the government seized the private collections of aristocrats during the French Revolution, the library became known as the Bibliothèque nationale in 1792. It is currently housed in two building complexes—one on the Rue de Richelieu with an elaborate oval reading room constructed in the 1860s by architect Henri Labrouste, and the other on the east side of the city that opened in 1995 as the Site François-Mitterrand. Another unique collection, the Library of the Arsenal, was the private collection of the 18th-century master of artillery, Antoine-René de Voyer, marquis de Paulmy puis d’Argenson; it was acquired by the national library in 1932 and is housed on the Rue Sully. The BnF was also the first major library to provide full-text online access to some of its materials through a digital library, Gallica, in 1997.

This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2013 by ALA Editions.

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Children’s Librarian, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library, West Carrollton branch. Seeking a dedicated, patron-focused children’s librarian for the West Carrollton branch library. This busy branch serves a suburban community that strongly supports library services. Under the direction of the branch manager, provides reference assistance to children through print and electronic resources; provide readers advisory for children, parents, and teachers; develop and coordinate children’s activities; present programs and create displays to promote library use; evaluate and select materials; and perform circulation responsibilities....

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Digital Library of the Week

Atlantic City Boss Nucky Johnson, 1920s

The Atlantic City Experience encompasses the best historical and cultural resources of Atlantic City, New Jersey. From diving horses to dancing girls, from the Boardwalk to the Northside, from casinos to churches, from Prohibition to the present, Atlantic City, New Jersey, is a unique American city with a rich history. The Atlantic City Experience begins with the extensive resources contained in the Alfred M. Heston Collection of the Atlantic City Free Public Library, which contains books, photographs, postcards, audio, video, digital files, and memorabilia pertaining to the history of the city. Two focuses of the Experience are on the Prohibition years and aviatrix Ida Mae Hampton.

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

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

What an opportunity presents itself for some millionaire citizen to come forward with one of his useless, embarrassing, and retarding millions and link his name forever with this great community.”

—Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie on investing $5.2 million into the New York Public Library system, New York Times, March 17, 1901.

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Getting an Education: Playwright David Mamet's Alma Mater is the Chicago Public Library

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How to Get a Great Job: Researching the Job Market

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The World Champion Legacy of Satchel Paige

Library Serving Youth with Technology

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Read-alikes: Zombie Time

Sports and American Art From Benjamin West to Andy Warhol

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Internet Librarian International 2011, London, Oct. 26–28, at:

Ohio Library Council, Convention, Toledo, Oct. 26–28, at:

Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Kalamazoo, Oct. 26–28, at:

International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering, and Knowledge Management, Paris, Oct. 26–29, at:

Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, Portsmouth, Oct. 27–28, at:

AASL National Conference, Minneapolis, Oct. 27–30, at:

StoryWorld 2011 Conference, San Francisco, Oct. 31–Nov. 2, at:

Digital Library Federation, Fall Forum, Baltimore, Oct. 31–Nov. 2, at:

New York Library Association, Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, Nov. 2–5, at:

31st Charleston Conference, Charleston, S.C., Nov. 2–5, at:

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Jan. 20–24, at:

American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:


Oct. 27:
Books in Browsers: Ignite,
Internet Archive, San Francisco. The event will be streamed live.

Nov. 1–4:
Wisconsin Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Milwaukee City Center and Frontier Airlines Center. “Libraries: A Renewable Resource.”

Nov. 2–5:
New York Library Association, Annual Conference, Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs. “New York Libraries Rock!”

Nov. 3–4:
North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board, Electronic Records Conference, McKimmon Center, Raleigh. “From Theory to Practice: Accessing and Preserving Electronic Records and Digital Materials.”

Nov. 11–13:
California Library Association / California School Library Association, Annual Conference and Exposition, Pasadena Convention Center.

Nov. 12:
National Gaming Day @ your library.

Nov. 14–16:
Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Grand Wayne Convention Center, Fort Wayne. “2011: A Library Odyssey: Journey to the Future.”

Nov. 30:
Repositories in Science and Technology: Preserving Access to the Record of Science, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Workshop cosponsored by CENDI and the National Federation of Advanced Information Services.

Dec. 5:
Hawaii Library Association,
Annual Conference, Moana Surfrider, Oahu. “The Future of Reading.”

Dec. 5–6:
SMX Social Media Marketing, Conference, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dec. 11–14:
IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dec. 11–14:
World Congress on Information and Communication Technologies, University of Mumbai, India. “Leading the World: Innovating ICT for Social Revolutions.”

Mar. 11–13:
International Association for Development of the Information Society, International Conference, Berlin. “Mobile Learning 2012.” Colocated events cover Information Systems and E-society.

Mar. 21–25:
IA Summit, New Orleans Hyatt Regency.

Mar. 22–24:
Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book, Conference, St. Anne’s College, Oxford, U.K. “How the secularization of religious houses transformed the libraries of Europe, 16th–19th centuries.”

Mar. 26–28:
UK Serials Group, Annual Conference, Glasgow.

May 3–5:
40th Annual LOEX Conference,
Renaissance Hotel, Columbus, Ohio.

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Books and Reading

Top portion of the Picture Book ProclamationPicture book proclamation
Travis Jonker writes: “What with all the ‘picture book is doomed’ talk you hear around the water-cooler these days (Note to self: Stop pretending the internet is full of cool, drinkable water), I highly approve of the following manifesto from a crew of excellent authors and illustrators. It will run in the just-released Horn Book Magazine (and online). Words to share.”...
100 Scope Notes, Oct. 22; The Picture Book Proclamation

Cover of A Monster Calls, a dystopian novel by Patrick NessWhy does dystopia appeal to young adults?
Moira Young writes: “Vampires, fallen angels, and their brooding kin are having to make room for a new wave of dystopian YA fiction, kicked off by the jaw-dropping success of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy, set in a post-apocalyptic North American totalitarian state. What is it that attracts teenage readers to dystopian fiction? The main drift seems to be that books set in either chaotic or strictly controlled societies mirror a teenager’s life at school, at home, with peers, and in the wider world.”...
The Observer (U.K.), Oct. 22

Lindzine, no. 1, a zine devoted to actress and singer Lindsay LohanThe resurgence of zines
Jenna Wortham writes: “The zine is enjoying something of a comeback among the web-savvy, partly in reaction to the ubiquity of the internet. Their creators say zines offer a respite from the endless onslaught of tweets, blog posts, IMs, email, and other products of digital media. It’s hard to track exactly how many zines are in circulation at any time. But Karen Gisonny, a librarian at the New York Public Library who has specialized in collecting and cataloging periodicals for the last 25 years, said she has seen a resurgence of interest in zines and other DIY publications.”...
New York Times, Oct. 22

Google book alerts
Xinxing Gu writes: “If you’re an avid reader like me, you probably are always eagerly awaiting the next book by your favorite author or new books on the topic you’re interested in. However, you might not always find out about those new books when they come out. Now you can set up a Google Alert for books and receive email notices when new books that match your interests become available. Go to Google Alerts, type in the keywords you are interested in, and choose Books from the Type drop-down button.”...
Inside Google Books, Oct. 20

Microserfs (1995), by Douglas Coupland, is a diary written on a laptop set in the technology boom of the mid-1990sEpistolary fiction
Richard Davies writes: “You are reading epistolary fiction when the narrative is told via a series of documents. Bridget Jones had her famous diary, 84 Charing Cross Road used letters, and World War Z used interviews with survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Stories told through journals, newspaper clippings, diaries, and other documents can be some of the best stories ever told. Learn more.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, Oct. 19

Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, a great one-sit readTop 10 one-sit reads
LordZB writes: “Callimachus, scholar of Alexandria, once said, ‘A big book is a big evil.’ Today most publishers will not look at a book anything less than novel-sized from an unknown author. The thinking seems to be that a slim book must be slight in every way. Here are 10 of the best books that are what my teacher used to call ‘one-sit reads.’ Disclaimer: Length of time you are willing to sit may vary depending on patience and comfort of seat.”...
Listverse, Oct. 19

Actions & Answers

Why Chomsky is wrong about Twitter
Nathan Jurgenson writes: “Noam Chomsky has been one of the most important critics of the way big media crowd out everyday voices in order to control knowledge and ‘manufacture consent.’ So it is surprising that the MIT linguist dismisses much of our new digital communications produced from the bottom up as ‘superficial, shallow, evanescent.’ Among other things, Chomsky and others are making assertions that one way of communicating, thinking, and knowing is better than another. But is Chomsky himself crowding out social media?”...
Salon, Oct. 23

Screen shot of Brewster Kahle videoOpen Access Week 2011
Open Access Week, the annual event celebrating the global movement towards Open Access to research and scholarship, kicked off for the fifth time on October 24. Coordinated by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and organized by more than 2,000 advocates in countries around the world, the event provides an opportunity to learn about the benefits of Open Access, share new ideas and strategies, and inspire wider participation in establishing Open Access as the norm in scholarly communication. Watch Brewster Kahle (3:04, above), founder of the Internet Archive, on the importance of Open Access....
SPARC, Oct. 20

Occupy Knowledge: It’s ours, after all
Barbara Fister writes: “Among the recurring images from Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are the signs held by young people tallying their college debt. They’ve been jeered at for wanting their loans forgiven, but deep in debt and without a job is a terrible way to start your adult life. What is it we are getting in exchange for all that accumulated student debt? Well, we have more knowledge than ever, but that’s a chimera, too. At my library, we’ve been seeing big price increases in two big journal packages that we really need. Again. Here’s my version of an Occupy Wall Street cardboard sign.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Oct. 20

New Facebook privacy settingTime again to review your Facebook privacy settings
Jackie Cohen writes: “The number of places where you can get tagged on Facebook continues to grow, but you can give yourself the right to approve all tags before they can appear on the site—and the ability to do this has gotten more refined than ever. There are actually five different options you can enable that together limit whether anyone’s effort to tag you can go live on the site.”...
All Facebook blog, Oct.

Getting the most out of academic libraries and librarians
Carol Saller writes: “Chatting with a group of college and university librarians recently, I was struck by both their enthusiasm and their frustration: enthusiasm over the increasing power of technology to aid in scholarly research, and frustration that educating students and teachers is proving to be such a challenge. Students are routinely flummoxed as to how to search for or evaluate the sources they need in their work. But getting student time and attention depends on faculty support—and that is not always easy to find.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Lingua Franca, Oct. 18

Overdue notice from Harvard College Library on an 1884 postal cardOverdue notices on postal cards
Larry Nix writes: “The United States Post Office Department introduced postal cards with preprinted postage in the United States in 1873. Libraries were quick to take advantage of postal cards and used them for a multitude of purposes. In my efforts to collect postal librariana, I have managed to accumulate a collection of over 100 postal cards that have been used as overdue notices. It may well be the largest collection of overdue notices in the world.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Oct. 21

Eugene O'NeillYale acquires “lost” Eugene O’Neill play
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University has acquired Eugene O’Neill’s “lost” one-act play, Exorcism (1919). The play, along with a facsimile of the typescript, will be published in a cloth edition by Yale University Press in February 2012, and will feature an introduction by American playwright Edward Albee. Following a few performances of the play in 1920, O’Neill (right) abruptly chose to cancel the production and to retract and destroy all known copies of the script, but one was retained in writer Philip Yordan’s papers....
Yale News, Oct. 18

Liyuan LibraryChina’s Liyuan Library
Architect Li Xiaodong has completed a library in China that’s covered in firewood. Located on the outskirts of Beijing, the single-story Liyuan Library houses its collection of books within a chunky timber frame. Stepped platforms integrate low-level shelves and provide seating areas for readers. The sticks cover a glazed shell that encases the library. Li writes: “We wanted to use architecture to enhance the appreciation of the natural landscaping qualities.”...
Dezeen, Oct. 24

Karen's Whimsy logoFree-to-use graphics
Phil Bradley writes: “There are a number of websites that you can visit for public domain, free-to-use images. The people at Pandia Search Engine News wrote a very useful page listing some of them. I’ve re-listed them here with my own comments, mainly as an aid for me.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Oct. 21

Pumpkin icons from Three Styles8 spooky sets of Halloween icons for your blog or website
Amy-Mae Elliott writes: “If you decorate your house for Halloween, why not do the same for your blog? We’ve found eight great collections of social media icons that will add some spook to your site. From pumpkins to cauldrons, from bats to black cats, these graphic ghouls will transform your site into a veritable Halloween grotto of gruesome.”...
Mashable, Oct. 25

Cover of Lighting A Lamp: A Diwali Story by Jonny ZuckerCelebrate Diwali: The Festival of Lights
Susan Baier writes: “Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, began October 26. We started the celebration a little early at our library during our Family Storytime the previous weekend. Santa Clara, California, is home to a sizeable Indian population, so Diwali decorations were easily obtained at a local Indian grocer. Candles and light play an important role in Diwali. Our featured stories were Lighting A Lamp: a Diwali Story by Jonny Zucker, and My Daddy Is a Giant by Carl Novac.”...
ALSC Blog, Oct. 26

Tips from my genealogy pals
Kim von Aspern-Parker writes: “I thought it might be fun to have my genealogy pals share their favorite tips or hints with you. So take notes; some of these are things I wish I had known when I was just starting out and some of them are tips that I am going to start using today. In other words: I learned something from asking my friends for tips, and that is my tip.”...
Le Maison Duchamp, Oct. 19

Separating the pages of Jefferson's bibleUnbinding the Jefferson bible
Janice Stagnitto Ellis writes: “It is difficult to describe how one faces the prospect of taking apart a national treasure like Thomas Jefferson’s bible. Of course, in order to reach the level of craftsmanship required, there are years of education and practice required, but that doesn’t begin to fully describe it. There are equal parts calm and anxiety, bravery and faith. To this conservator, it felt like a lunar landing, of sorts: after countless hours of preparation, one small step made with one sharp knife.”...
O Say Can You See?, Oct. 20

Screen shot of Matthew Battles from his videoLibraries, the Occupy movement, and Chartism
Editor and journalist Matthew Battles, author of Library: An Unquiet History (W. W. Norton, 2004), compares the libraries of today’s Occupy movements in Wall Street and elsewhere to the reading rooms of the Chartist movement of 1840s and 1850s Britain in this video (6:34). Battles argues that the public library movement sprang up in response to the Chartists’ argument that people need to have access to books and information. Duke Law Professor Jed Purdy offers some similar observations, beginning with: “As an approach to library science, anarchism is at its strongest and its weakest.”...
Vimeo, Oct. 22; The Daily Beast: The Dish, Oct. 25; Fieldwork, Oct. 23

Rare map of the Aztec city of TenochtitlanThe story of Chicago’s Newberry Library
Take a tour of the Newberry Library—its activities, staff, collections, community—with this documentary by Kartemquin Films. The video (10:10) takes a look at the famous book sale, genealogy resources, rare books and maps, teacher instruction programs, and conservation facilities....
YouTube, Oct. 24

Chopping tomatos with yout WIU Library IDWestern Illinois University’s Library ID
The Western Illinois University Libraries Instruction Team (Sean Cordes, Justin Georges, and Anthony Young) put together this innovative instructional video (2:16) on how students can use their WIU Library ID card to access library resources, get out of jail, fix time machines, chop tomatos, and remove unsightly facial hair. The intent is to engage students and lead them to the library’s more detailed online guides....
YouTube, Aug. 31

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