|American Libraries Online
Post-Irene, West Hartford library lovers pitch in
Jen Vaughn writes: “The town of West Hartford, Vermont, was hit hard on August 28 when Hurricane Irene caused the White River to jump the riverbanks it calls home. Come the morning light, the library staff and volunteers found the basement filled with water, which had devastated the entire children’s book section. The library Friends plan to post to their Facebook page updates on the flood as well as the cleanup efforts of many volunteers, whose top priorities a week afterwards were replacing wet insulation on the top floor behind the baseboards and bleaching the basement.”...
American Libraries news, Sept. 6
Unavoidable disasters and unfathomable disconnects
Beverly Goldberg writes: “The only recourse after disaster strikes is to recover and learn from it. The library community is well aware of the horror visited upon the Eastern seaboard by Hurricane Irene, and, hearteningly, how communities are strategizing about how they’ll restore library services even as they struggle to repair and rebuild other essential town infrastructure. The libraries still standing after Irene proudly withstood a different kind of flood: the influx of people who flocked there to recharge their electronic devices and their souls, as evidenced by the survey results posted by New Jersey State Library.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 7
Blockbuster’s failure yields survival tips for libraries
Steven Smith and Carmelita Pickett write: “Blockbuster, the former stock market darling that once prospered through aggressive marketing, savvy exploitation of technology, and keen insights into customer preferences, filed for bankruptcy in September 2010. Though some analysts thought the filing could give the franchise time to reinvent itself, others predicted that the onetime video-rental colossus is steps from the graveyard of retail obsolescence. There is a lesson or two for libraries in this riches-to-rags story.”...
American Libraries feature
Internet Librarian: What’s gone is gone
Joseph Janes writes: “I wasn’t intending to write a 9/11 column. The 10th-anniversary rumblings have already begun as I write this, and I’ve started to ponder what I’ll do on the actual day. Then I read an Associated Press story about records and documents that were lost that day. The article didn’t come as a complete surprise until I got to the sentence that starts ‘Twenty-one libraries were destroyed.’ Really? I never knew that.” Read American Libraries’ 9/11 coverage in the November 2001 issue. The Loss and Recovery DVD, with interviews of librarians who were witnesses to the attacks, was sponsored by American Libraries and is still available from LVN....
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.; Associated Press, July 30; American Libraries feature, Nov. 2001
England’s libraries and the funding crisis
Phil Bradley writes: “Like many other countries, the United Kingdom has experienced a series of financial shocks, including a severe banking crisis. As part of its program to reduce the deficit, the government has called for a 26% real-terms reduction in funding to local authorities. A key target for many (although not all) local councils is the public library service. CILIP estimates that more than 600 libraries in England could close. Many local communities, authors, librarians, and Friends groups have begun campaigning in support of their libraries.”...
American Libraries feature
Millsap, Stripling seek 2013–2014 presidency
Gina J. Millsap and Barbara K. Stripling are the candidates for ALA president in 2013–2014. Millsap is the chief executive officer of the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kan.) Public Library. She served as the 2009–2010 president of LLAMA. Stripling currently serves as the director of school library services for the New York City Department of Education; in January she will move to Syracuse University in New York as assistant professor of practice. She served as a member-at-large on ALA Council from 1992 to 1996 and from 1998 to the present....
Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 2
Midwinter/Annual registration bundle now open
Registration is now open for the most cost-effective way to attend both Midwinter Meeting (January 20–24 in Dallas) and Annual Conference (June 21–26, Anaheim, California) in 2012. Register before September 30 to save on both and find travel, housing options, and schedule-at-a-glance information online. Registration is also open for pre-Midwinter institutes and special events hosted by divisions and offices....
Conference Services, Sept. 2
Battle Front: The Federal Depository Library Program
Serious budget battles are before us as library supporters. Key federal library programs including those within the Government Printing Office, the Federal Depository Library Program, and the Federal Digital System are gravely threatened as Congress and the White House slash appropriations on all kinds of federal programs. It may be unfortunate to use the war theme, but if our advocacy strategies are not focused and successful, the American public stands to lose important library and information services....
District Dispatch, Aug. 31, Sept. 1
Banned Books Week coming to a library near you
Thousands will speak out against and learn about censorship as the nation celebrates the freedom to read in libraries and bookstores during Banned Books Week, September 24–October 1. During Banned Books Week, best-selling authors will participate in a virtual Read Out on YouTube via a dedicated channel. Also, many bookstores and libraries will showcase selections from the ALA OIF’s “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010.”...
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 6
Disaster relief for U.S. libraries
Libraries in several states are in need of assistance to help them rebuild their facilities and collections after damages inflicted by Hurricane Irene, the Joplin tornado, and the April tornado outbreak in the South. The Chapter Relations Office maintains a web page that identifies where the help is needed....
Chapter Relations Office
Webinar on humanities programming for schools
Ronda Hassig, school librarian at Harmony Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, and winner of the 2011 Sara Jaffarian Award, will present her winning model for humanities programming in the school library, “Harmony with Voice,” in a webinar on September 13, at 4 p.m. Central Time. Registration is required....
Public Programs Office
Win big support for your rural library
A newly updated version of the popular Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library is now available as a free print or digital edition. This new revision features strategies for advocating for and promoting library services to rural communities, tips for utilizing technology in advocacy efforts, and examples of essential marketing and promotion tools....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Sept. 6
New access options from ALA TechSource
ALA TechSource is offering new pricing and access options for Library Technology Reports and the Smart Libraries Newsletter, along with a discount offer for online-only access. Library Technology Reports, published eight times a year and written by leading practitioners, provides specific coverage of products and issues. Smart Libraries Newsletter, published monthly, offers library technology product news with expert analysis from Marshall Breeding....
ALA TechSource, Sept. 6
Celebrate Olympian Week in October
As the inescapable popularity of Rick Riordan’s young adult fiction has shown, mythology can animate imaginations of every age. Celebrate Olympian Week, October 4–10, with Lost Hero products from ALA Graphics and join the excitement surrounding the publication of Riordan’s next book in The Heroes of Olympus trilogy. Find the courageous characters from The Lost Hero on posters and bookmarks that encourage readers to “Get Lost in a Book!”...
ALA Graphics, Sept. 6
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Didion, Joan. Blue Nights. Nov. 2011. 208p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-26767-2).
Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), her chronicle of grief following the abrupt death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, left untold the story of the life and death of Dunne and Didion’s daughter, Quintana Roo, the subject of this scalpel-sharp memoir of motherhood and loss. Didion looks to blue nights—summer evenings when “the twilights turn long and blue” only to herald “the dying of the brightness”—to define the dark limbo she’s endured since August 2005, when Quintana Roo, 39, died after nearly two years of harrowing medical crises and complications. Now coping with not only grief and regret but also illness and age, Didion is courageous in both her candor and artistry....
Top 10 sports books
Bill Ott writes: “Several firsts in this year’s sports top 10: the first graphic novel to make the list, the first poker book by a Laotian immigrant, the first memoir by a female river guide. It’s not just baseball biographies any longer, though we have those, too.”...
Changes to Booklist’s reference reviews
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “Starting with the September 1 issue, there is a big change in the way Booklist covers reference materials. Booklist has introduced a new approach to reference reviewing. The new Adult Reference section follows the Adult Books section, and youth reference is covered in the Youth Nonfiction section. In the new Electronic Reference section, digital reference sources will be covered in greater depth. A big change for Booklist, but what will not change is the quality of the reference reviews.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
AASL Conference attendees can dine with authors
AASL invites attendees of its 15th National Conference and Exhibition to dine with award-winning authors. As part of the “Turning the Page” programming, AASL will host an Author Banquet on October 28 featuring Andrea Davis Pinkney (right), Pat Mora, and Joan Bauer, as well as two author brunches, one with Gennifer Choldenko and the second with Maggie Stiefvater. More information on attending these events can be found online....
AASL, Sept. 6
Transform your school library program
AASL encourages its members to add the Pre-Midwinter Institute, “Tools for Transforming Your School Library Program,” to their schedule while taking advantage of the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting and ALA 2012 Annual Conference bundled registration rate. AASL’s full-day institute will be held January 19 in Dallas....
AASL, Sept. 6
ROI principles and academic libraries
In today’s assessment-oriented culture, return on investment (ROI) has been used in many disciplines, including libraries, to demonstrate outcomes. LLAMA will present “Return on Investment in a Tough Economy: Defining the Value of the Academic Library” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Central Time on September 14. This webinar will highlight how academic libraries apply ROI principles to demonstrate their impact on users and justify the expense. Register here....
LLAMA, Sept. 6
Talk Banned Books Week in YALSA’s September forum
YALSA is hosting its monthly discussion forum this week on Banned Books Week. YALSA members are encouraged to check into the discussion forum and ask questions and contribute to the ongoing discussion. The forum opened on September 6 and will close September 9 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. YA Forum is a monthly discussion just for YALSA members in ALA Connect....
YALSA, Sept. 6
Teen Read Week: Reading for the fun of it
Teen Read Week, an annual literacy initiative from the Young Adult Library Association, reminds teens that reading is fun, free, and can be done any place, anytime, anywhere. This October 16–22, libraries and teens across the country will “read for the fun of it” during YALSA’s Teen Read Week. The 2011 subtheme 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....
YALSA, Sept. 6
YALSA seeks proposals for its next symposium
YALSA is seeking program proposals and paper presentations for its 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium, “The Future of Young Adult Literature: Hit Me with the Next Big Thing,” to be held November 2–4, 2012, in St. Louis. Interested parties may propose 90-minute programs centering on the Next Big Thing, as well as paper presentations offering new, unpublished research relating to the theme. Proposals must be completed online by November 15....
YALSA, Sept. 6
Utah now offers a Trustee Academy
ALTAFF has made special pricing for its Trustee Academy available to state library agencies. Utah recently joined Nebraska and Kansas in making the Trustee Academy available for its libraries through a multiple-use purchase. The prices for state or region-wide purchase are as low as $59 per library for the full board of trustees and the library director to complete all five Trustee Academy courses....
ALTAFF, Sept. 6
I Love My Librarian award deadline September 12
Library users have until September 12 to nominate a librarian for the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. Ten librarians will win $5,000 and receive national recognition. Librarians can download tools to promote the award locally on the award website....
Public Information Office, Sept. 6
Apply for the Scholastic National Library Week Grant
Libraries across the United States are invited to apply for the $3,000 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant, which will be awarded to a single library for the best public awareness campaign incorporating the 2012 National Library Week theme, “You belong @ your library.” This year’s application deadline is October 7. A grant application form and guidelines are available on the grant website. National Library Week is April 8–14, 2012....
Public Information Office, Sept. 6
2011 Ned Kelly Awards
The 16th annual Ned Kelly Awards for Australian Crime Writing were presented by the Crime Writers Association of Australia at an awards ceremony held August 31 as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. The Diggers Rest Hotel by Geoffrey McGeachin (Viking) won in the best fiction category, while Prime Cut by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press) was awarded the best first fiction prize....
Mystery Fanfare, Sept. 6
2011 Wheatley Medal winners
The Society of Indexers has awarded the 2011 Wheatley Medal
to a team of indexers from the Netherlands—Caroline Diepeveen, Pierke Bosschieter, and Jacqueline Pitchford-Belder—for their work on the index to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, edited by Norman A. Stillman and published by Brill in 2010. All three are founding members of the Netherlands Indexing Network. The Wheatley Medal recognizes and encourages excellence in indexing....
Society of Indexers, Sept. 5
More on the California anti-privatization bill
Lori Rivas writes: “Santa Clarita has the dubious distinction of inspiring California bill AB 438. Sponsored by Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), this bill aims to protect other communities from the library travesty that occurred here in Santa Clarita. While not eliminating city governments’ ability to contract library services with a private company, the bill would require that certain common-sense practical measures be in place before outsourcing library services.”...
Santa Clarita Valley (Calif.) Signal, Sept. 4
UH Manoa library converts to clean energy
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other officials symbolically flipped on the power switch of a new photovoltaic power system that will provide clean energy power to the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Gregg M. Sinclair Library. The new PV panel array is expected to save the university approximately $500,000 over the 25-year life of the system. The project is an early step in the university’s long-term goal to deploy renewable energy....
University of Hawaii System, Sept. 1
Phone booth library opens in Dutchess County
A refurbished 1960s English telephone booth has been recycled, converted, and restored and is now home to the newest branch of the Clinton Community Library in Clinton Corners, New York. The Book Booth is a community exchange facilitated by the library. It opened in early September with 150 books and a solar panel installed on the roof that keeps a light on long enough for your to replace an old book with a new one. This may be the first phone-booth library in the United States, although the United Kingdom may have as many as 21....
YNN Hudson Valley, Sept. 3; The Book Booth Facebook Page; Google Maps UK
Delta College Library book survives Joplin tornado
A nonfiction collection of stories titled Our Yesterdays by Mrs. Elon (Gretchen) Sumerix recently returned to Delta College library in Michigan from a six-month interlibrary loan far more battered than when it left. Postmarked Sarcoxie, Missouri, the book came back with a stained cover and a note—“Sorry we are so late returning this book. We are also sorry for the water damage (or whatever) to this book. It was found in the rubble left from the EF5 tornado that hit the Joplin, Missouri, area on May 22.”...
Bay City (Mich.) Times, Sept. 4
School libraries are hurting in California
California school libraries are feeling the pinch of a poor economy as librarians are being put back in the classroom across much of the state. It ranks 50th in state funding for school libraries and 50th in the ratio of students to school librarians—about 6,000 to 1 compared to a national average of about 600 to 1. Membership in the California School Library Association has dropped 22.6% in the past two years. And cuts to city and county libraries mean a double hit to lifelong learning and the future economy....
Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, Sept. 2
Mansfield ponders one librarian for five libraries
With Mansfield (Conn.) Public Library Director Louise Bailey retiring in September, the town is looking to the possibility of shared services amongst the library and the town’s four school libraries. The concept was introduced to the Town Council at a meeting on July 25 and further discussed on August 10. Town Manager Matthew Hart pointed out that the town had a long history of shared services in other departments, but many on the library board thought that sharing a director would dilute, rather than enhance, both programs....
Mansfield-Storrs (Conn.) Patch, Aug. 12
Tough times for Massachusetts public libraries
Packed with job seekers who rely on free internet access and families seeking cheap entertainment, Bay State public libraries are straining under years of budget cuts. Massachusetts libraries issued 500,000 new cards to patrons last year alone as demand soared for everything from books and movies to children’s programs, according to the state Board of Library Commissioners. The recession may have helped drive that surge of interest, but it also brought budget pressures, forcing towns and cities to cut a combined 43,000 library hours statewide in the last two fiscal years....
Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, Sept. 3
Teen learns to drive by going to all 32 library branches
Kari Haynes just earned her driver’s license, and credits her passion for libraries for her success. Haynes, 16, practiced her driving by going to all 32 Great River Regional Library locations in central Minnesota. The Albany Senior High School junior and her mother drove 942 miles throughout the summer. Haynes, who loves to read, took part in the library’s summer teen program, which suggested people visit the library’s different branches. Each branch stamped a library passport....
St. Cloud (Minn.) Times, Sept. 4
LSSI builds a library empire
Cash-strapped cities and local governments are increasingly eyeing another service as a prime candidate for outsourcing: the neighborhood library. To save money, counties and cities in California, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas have outsourced much of their operations to Library Systems and Services LLC. The Germantown, Maryland–based company over the past several years has quietly built up what amounts to the nation’s fifth largest library branch network, trailing only the systems run by major cities such as New York and Chicago....
Washington Times, Sept. 5
Redding school librarian pleads no contest to theft
A Redding (Calif.) School District librarian accused of embezzling and stealing from a school parent club pleaded no contest August 31 in Shasta County Superior Court to misdemeanor grand theft and was placed on informal probation for three years and ordered to perform 30 days of community service. Wanell Stolz, who also saw a felony count of embezzlement dismissed as part of the plea bargain, has made restitution to her victims....
Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, Aug. 31
King’s Lynn honors its historic Carnegie library
On May 18, 1905, some 4,000 people in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom, watched as steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, dressed in a tightly-buttoned frock coat, hurried up the steps to the door of the new library building. Holding aloft a key, he declared: “There are few doors which a golden key will not unlock!” Then he opened the door and stamped the first book. The library’s opening collection, provided by Lord Stanley (of Stanley Cup fame), will be open to view on Heritage Open Day on September 11....
Lynn (U.K.) News, Sept. 1
Sinkhole steals Australian library’s Book Week story
Mount Gambier Library in South Australia was planning on getting the front page of the newspaper with its Book Week activities, capped by an appearance by actor and children’s book author Andrew Daddo (right) on August 29. Instead, two young men with a bunch of beer got themselves stuck in a deep sinkhole near the library, and that event snagged the front pages. “We were beyond gutted,” said disappointed Library Manager Cathryn Harris....
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Sept. 4; ABC News, Aug. 31
Go back to the Top
What IT professionals can learn from librarians
Ann All writes: “I never would have considered IT professionals and librarians kindred spirits if I hadn’t interviewed Steven Zink, then vice president of information technology and dean of university libraries at the University of Nevada, Reno. Zink told me the university’s IT help desk is combined with the reference desk in the main university library so librarians and IT staffers work side by side. Still, I couldn’t see how the roles complemented each other. I assumed the shared quarters were due to space or budget limitations. But that wasn’t it at all.”...
ITBusinessEdge, Jan. 11, Sept. 1
Integrating IT security in your library
Blake Carver writes: “This is part six in my multi-part series on IT Security in Libraries. Today’s post is long on theory. I’ll argue that most any library can be a target and present some ideas on how to make things more secure. Chances are your library is now, or will be at some point, a target. Don’t think you are safe just because you’re just a small library, because when it comes to getting hacked, size doesn’t matter. The average web-based application (small or large) is hit by some type of attack once every two minutes.”...
LIS News, Aug. 30
Library Media Box and other vending machines
Brian Herzog writes: “The Strongsville branch of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library has installed a vending machine that vends the library’s DVDs. Some libraries do have a Redbox, but that approach never sat well with me—it seemed like an uncomfortable competitive fit. But an easy-access vending machine that distributes library materials? Great. I contacted CCPL for more information, and here’s what I learned.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Sept. 1; WEWS-TV, Cleveland, Aug. 30; Las Vegas (Nev.) Sun, Jan. 27, 2010
Steven Leckart writes: “Although image-recognition software is still in its infancy, a number of mobile apps are already translating signs, naming landmarks, and providing a running commentary on your world. Google Goggles, which appeared on Android phones in late 2009 and on the iPhone in 2010, is best at deciphering landmarks, text, book and DVD covers, artwork, logos, bar codes, and wine labels. You start the app—it’s part of Google’s search app for the iPhone—and peer at the object through the camera lens. It takes a stab at identifying it.”...
New York Times, Aug. 31
Skype now works with any home phone
Eric Mack writes: “Skype just got so easy your great-grandmother could use it without having to know anything about a sound card or any other input/output doohickeys. Actually, there is one doohickey, but once it’s all hooked up it looks an awful lot like a regular old cordless phone—with VoIP hidden inside. It’s the Freetalk Connect•Me home phone adapter for Skype, which connects to any regular home phone. You will need to connect your PC to set things up the first time, but after that, you’ll just need to make sure your broadband connection and phone are hooked into the adapter.”...
CNET News: Crave, Aug. 31; The Big Blog, Aug. 30
Tumblr vs. WordPress: An appraisal
Gregory C. writes: “Blogs are an important part of content marketing both for folks interested in the business end of blogging and for people looking to run a personal blog about their life. Recently, two platforms have emerged as the most dominant on the scene: WordPress, a longstanding CMS platform; and Tumblr, a strictly self-hosted blog platform that mixes in social networking aspects and focuses on shorter posts (tumblog). Each platform offers distinct advantages, but there are certain aspects where one platform is going to be better than the other.”...
I Love Tumblr, Sept. 7
10 internet technologies for educators: 2011 update
Kelly Walsh writes: “The start of the new school year is the perfect time to refresh the earlier ‘10 Internet Technologies That Educators Should be Informed About’ article from April 2009, given the fast-paced evolution of technology. Here’s an update on five technologies from the original posting, as well as five new technologies that have earned their rightful place in the list (displacing five others that, while still worthy, are not quite as relevant today).”...
EmergingEdTech, Sept. 4
JSTOR offers free access to early journal content
JSTOR, an online system for archiving academic journals, has announced it is making journal content published prior to 1923 in the United States, and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR. Making this content freely available is a first step in a larger effort to provide more access options to independent scholars and others without access to an institutional subscription....
JSTOR, Sept. 6
Amazon’s rumored Kindle tablet is real
M. G. Siegler writes: “It’s called simply the Amazon Kindle. But it’s not like any Kindle you’ve seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. It runs Android. And yes, it is back-lit. There is no e-ink to be found anywhere on this device. How do I know all of this? Well, not only have I heard about the device, I’ve seen it and used it. And I’m happy to report that it’s going to be a huge deal. It’s targeted for release at the end of November at a cost of $250.”...
TechCrunch, Sept. 2
Sarah’s gadget showcase: E-readers
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “For all of the years that I’ve been talking about digital libraries, using technology to improve yourself and your community, and even about e-books specifically, I privately hated e-books. And then the technology got better and I had to eat my own words. Don’t get me started on DRM or we’ll be here all day and you’ll leave with bleeding ears. But there are some things that work just fine, at least for me. To me, the Kindle is like a seductive box of dark chocolates: a tasty, wonderful, yet guilty pleasure that I know I shouldn’t indulge in but want so badly.”...
Librarian in Black, Sept. 6
E-book popularity is rewriting the sales story
E-books, once considered the new kids in town, are shaking up the world of publishing with surging sales. Random House says more than 20% of its U.S. revenue in the first half of this year was from digital sales. Eight of the top 20 titles on USA Today’s Bestselling Books list this week are e-books. Scholastic, whose e-book sales for its YA titles account for about 10% of book sales, will unveil an e-reading app for kids this fall....
USA Today, Sept. 6
E-textbook readers compared
Michael Calore writes: “We all thought standalone e-readers were going to get wiped out by the iPad, but they’re still here—and there are still a slew of reasons to recommend them. If you’re a student, they make a vital addition to your campus survival kit. They can be pricey, and they won’t eliminate your need for a laptop, but the initial cost leads to long-term advantages. Here, we run through the most popular options, including a few non-e-ink options at the end.”...
Wired, Aug. 26
More college students are buying e-textbooks
Campus bookstores have increased the number of digital textbooks this school year, as students weaned on Facebook and iPads seek virtual alternatives to heavy tomes. Digital textbooks are projected to account for 10–15% of course materials sold by the fall of 2012, compared with just 3% of the $5.85 billion sold last year, according to the National Association of College Stores. Publishers are hoping digital discounts, in some cases up to 60% less than traditional texts, will make students converts....
Boston Globe, Sept. 1
Paperback editions endangered by e-books
Julie Bosman writes: “These are dark and stormy times for the mass-market paperback. Recession-minded readers who might have picked up a quick novel in the supermarket or drugstore are lately resisting the impulse purchase. And while mass-market paperbacks have always been prized for their cheapness and disposability, something even more convenient has come along: the e-book.”...
New York Times, Sept. 2
InstEbooks makes publishing almost too easy
In answer to complaints that there is very little self-monitoring among e-book distribution platforms, more and more sites are doing their utmost to ensure the integrity of the indie publishing process itself. Now, some of that integrity may come under fire: Digital publishing start-up InstEbooks boasts that e-books can be both written and uploaded in a matter of mere minutes with your mobile phone. Click on an image in InstEbooks’ apps gallery, then simply speak your story. It is automatically converted to a text file and uploaded....
Good E-Reader Blog, Sept. 4
A roundup of reference apps
Bob Tedeschi writes: “Why would anyone need an app when nearly every bit of reference material is already available from a mobile browser? Two reasons: Money and beauty. If you tend to rely heavily on reference materials for work or school, and you frequently drift outside of free Wi-Fi zones, you can consume a fair amount of data with your browser. With unlimited data plans quickly disappearing, mobile data charges can be costly. Meanwhile, few mobile websites are as user friendly as an app, even when they’re from the same publisher.”...
New York Times, Aug. 31
Best PDF reader apps for Android
Nathan Groezingerk writes: “It turns out finding a good Android PDF reader is harder than it sounds. Running a search for ‘PDF Reader’ or ‘PDF Viewer’ in the Android Market turns up hundreds of results, and finding one that has all the features you’re looking for can take a lot of time and research. This list isn’t by any means all the PDF Reader apps for Android, just the best ones I’ve tried over the past year.”...
The eBook Reader Blog, Sept. 5
Kindle Print Replica comes to your PC and Mac
Amazon has updated its computer platform for Kindle Books by issuing support for Kindle Print Replica content for the reading applications Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac. The platforms display words and images in the same positions as the corresponding print edition, while adding Kindle features such as annotations, highlights, and the ability to sync your last page read across multiple Kindle applications....
Good E-Reader Blog, Sept. 6
B is for bit preservation
Martha Anderson writes: “Bits are the basic unit of digital information. Most organizations preparing for the long-term care of digital content distinguish a basic level of methods and services known as bit preservation from a more complex set of services that support display, context, and interpretation of the digital object, sometimes called functional preservation. For example, bit preservation of a collection of digital photographs addresses secure and well-managed storage of the digital files and includes monitoring for changes over time.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Sept. 7
Get TechSource Online for only $99 and save 60% on a full year’s access. This offer is good through the end of September. NEW! From ALA Publishing.
Great Libraries of the World
St. Florian’s Priory Library, Sankt Florian, Austria. Construction of the library wing of this 9th-century Augustinian monastery was begun in 1744 by Johann Gotthard Hayberger. The library owns 952 incunabula and 800 medieval manuscripts. The ceiling fresco by Bartolomeo Altomonte and Antonio Tassi shows the marriage of virtue with knowledge.
Vorau Abbey Library, Vorau, Austria. Founded in 1163 by Ottokar III, margrave of Styria, this richly ornamented Augustinian library has an impressive collection of manuscripts from the 11th–18th century, including the 12th-century Kaiserchronik, a poetic history of the Roman and German emperors from Julius Caesar to Conrad III. Next to the entrance stand two statues symbolizing wisdom and knowledge, and the ceiling is adorned with three frescos that represent philosophy, theology, and jurisprudence.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication later this year by ALA Editions.
Director of Perkins Library, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska. Doane College is seeking a dynamic and innovative individual for director of Perkins Library, one who is committed to the role of the library as a partner in the teaching, learning, and research activities of a small liberal arts college. The director will report to the vice president for academic affairs and be responsible for the leadership, management, and evaluation of library services. The library, through education for information literacy and support for student and faculty research, plays a key role in preparing students for a life of intellectual inquiry and a commitment to engage as responsible citizens. The successful candidate will have a clear vision for the future development of teaching libraries, be skilled at collaborative planning and communication with the college community, and bring experience in developing staff members to enhance information services....
Digital Library of the Week
The Centennial of the Overseas Railway, an extension of the Florida East Coast Railway that ran to Key West, is celebrated in this Flickr digital collection posted by the Monroe County (Fla.) Public Library. The railroad opened January 22, 1912, and operated until the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Built by oil and railroad magnate Henry Flagler, the railway cost more than $50 million and required many engineering innovations and vast amounts of labor. In 1912, a proud Flagler rode the first train into Key West aboard his private railcar, marking the completion of the railroad’s overseas connection to Key West and the linkage by railway of the entire east coast of Florida. It was widely known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
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 often wonder why all librarians, regardless of their sex, appear so grim? Wouldn’t you think that beneficiaries of possibly the best job in the world, who have access to a wealth of knowledge, should have amiable countenances? But that’s not the case. To cast someone as Charon—the ferryman who carries the souls of the dead to the other world—a casting director only has to find a librarian.”
—Chennai (India) freelance writer and artist Merlin Flower, “Ever Met the Stern Librarian?” The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan), Sept. 2. Possibly written as satire.
Library Card Sign-Up Month, Sept., at:
European Congress on E-Inclusion, Brussels, Sept. 6–7, at:
International Literacy Day, Sept. 8, at:
Australian Library and Information Association, Library and Information Technicians Conference, Perth, Sept. 12–16, at:
American Libraries news stories, blog posts, tweets, and videos, at:
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Little America Hotel and Resort, Cheyenne.
LITA, National Forum, Hyatt Regency at the Arch, St. Louis, Missouri. “Rivers of Data, Currents of Change.”
Web Scale Information Discovery: The Opportunity, the Reality, the Future, workshop, the Hub Cira Centre, Philadelphia. Sponsor: National Federation of Advanced Information Services.
New England Library Association, Annual Conference, Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, Burlington, Vermont.
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College. “Touchdown! Winning Strategies for Libraries.”
North Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory. “Libraries: The Next Generation.”
West Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, Marriott Charleston Town Center. “Interprofessional Development.”
Association of Library Communications and Outreach Professionals, Inaugural Conference, Castle Conference Center, Arcadia University, Philadelphia.
Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Medical Library Association, Annual Meeting, Omni Hotel, Richmond, Virginia. “Capitalize on Our Strengths.”
A Digital Public Library of America 2011, International Conference, School of International and Public Affairs, Kellogg Center, Columbia University, New York City. Cosponsors: International Library Information and Analytical Center, Harriman Institute, Columbia University Libraries, and The Unabashed Librarian.
Association of Research Libraries / Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Forum, Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C. “21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action.”
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Reading Rockets: Launching young readers
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. The project is an educational initiative of WETA, the Washington, D.C., public television and radio station, and its resources include PBS programs, online services, and professional development opportunities. Here are its top 12 resources for librarians. Watch the video (2:38)....
New York City spots for book lovers
Christopher Reynolds writes: “These are dire days for old-fashioned books. The 48 bookshops that once lined Manhattan’s Book Row on 4th Avenue are gone or relocated. So, old-fashioned book people, hit literary Manhattan soon and hard. Even if you have only three days, as I did earlier this year, you can squeeze in an eight-stop tour, complete with thinking, drinking, Bibles, tote bags, and a certain pair of municipal mascots. Here’s how my circuit went.” Watch the video (1:55)....
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 4
The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door exhibition
In the early 1920s, noteworthy visitors to Frank Shay’s bookshop at 4 Christopher Street in New York City began autographing the narrow door that opened onto the shop’s office. Signed by 242 artists, writers, publishers, and other notable habitués of Greenwich Village, this unusual artifact is now housed at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A literal portal to the past, the door reveals the rich mix of innovators—from anarchist poets to major commercial publishers—that defined this slice of Bohemia from 1920 to 1925. This virtual exhibition reconstructs the bookshop and its community. Three librarians’ signatures are on the door, including Edmund Lester Pearson’s....
Harry Ransom Center; New York Times, Sept. 4
Getting ready for Hispanic Heritage Month
Jessica Pryde writes: “National Hispanic Heritage Month is coming up (September 15–October 15). What are you doing to get ready for it? About a third of my student patron base is Latino/a, and I want them to be reading this month (well, every month). Here are a few things that are going to be on my ‘Featured’ shelf starting September 15 (and some of them will double nicely as Banned Books Week features as well).”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 6
From scroll to screen
Lev Grossman writes: “Something very important and very weird is happening to the book right now: It’s shedding its papery corpus and transmigrating into a bodiless digital form, right before our eyes. We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture. If anything, we may be lowballing the weirdness of it all. The last time a change of this magnitude occurred was circa 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type. But if you go back further, there’s a more helpful precedent for what’s going on.”...
New York Times: The Mechanic Muse, Sept. 2
The five worst workers in literature
Gabe Habash writes: “Labor Day—the unofficial end of summer—has passed. Which means it’s time to get back to work. To celebrate the return of 9-to-5, we’ve picked out five bad workers we love from literature. And really, we all secretly wish we could be a little bit more like them.” Bad Worker no. 1 is Ignatius J. Reilly (right) from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole...
PWxyz, Sept. 6
11 classics of Existentialism
Kathleen Massara writes: “Alexander Maksik’s new novel, You Deserve Nothing, is set in Paris and involves a dashing, charismatic teacher of romantic and existentialist authors who ends up starting a forbidden affair with one of his students. We thought he would be the perfect candidate to curate a list of 10 existential novels and one easily guessable play. He considers the biblical Book of Job to be the first great work of Existentialist fiction.”...
Flavorwire, Sept. 6
15 novels set in real-life colleges
Emily Temple writes: “College is an inspirational time, particularly for novelists. There is an entire genre based on the campus novel, which includes books about professors, students, and anyone else who spends a serious amount of time on the hallowed university grounds. In honor of the new school year, we’ve put together a list of great novels set at real-life colleges, whether explicitly stated or thinly veiled in their fictional forms.”...
Flavorwire, Sept. 4
Cartoonists turned picture book authors
Betsy Bird writes: “Used to be that a kid who ‘didn’t like to read’ could be found perusing the newspaper every Sunday for the colored comic pages come rain or shine. Now thanks to a host of different factors, the comics page is no longer the go-to place for kids to get their comic fixes. That honor now belongs to the world of webcomics. Out of curiosity, I thought I might round up a few cartoonists who have made bold stabs at also conquering the world of small-fry book publishing to (as you shall see) varying degrees of success.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Sept. 2
The AbeBooks Weird Book Room
Welcome to AbeBooks’ Weird Book Room, heralded as the finest source of everything that’s bizarre, odd, and downright weird in books. They now have an excellent selection of crazy and strange titles listed for sale by their booksellers about every oddball aspect of life you could possibly imagine (and a few things you couldn’t possibly imagine). They invite you to revel in their collection of literary oddities and send them your suggestions....
New Jersey libraries respond to Hurricane Irene
Gary Cooper writes: “When disaster strikes, where do you go? In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene many New Jersey residents went to their local library, because, as one Princetonian put it: ‘I just knew they’d be open.’ Unless under water or without power, New Jersey libraries (like the Monmouth County Library shown at right) were open and were the place residents flocked to the morning after Irene passed.” Princeton Public Library hosted Plug In and Power Up Day, providing a place where residents could charge devices and get online. Watch the video (3:17)....
New Jersey State Library, Sept. 2
Caitlin McGurk, cartoon librarian
Caitlin McGurk is the librarian at the Schulz Library serving the Center for Cartoon Studies and the surrounding community of White River Junction, Vermont. In late August, the Schulz Library faced a potential collection-destroying crisis due to flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. Although all the books were saved, McGurk and her staff must now set up a working library and eventually move the collection to a permanent location. Tom Spurgeon interviewed her for The Comics Reporter....
The Comics Reporter, Sept. 4
Piers Cawley’s library-closing protest song
U.K. programmer and singer Piers Cawley found out in February that his boyhood library was one of 14 in his borough that was threatened with closure. In July, he told attendees at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon: “So I did what any privileged, white, middle-class male is going to do. I wrote a protest song” (5:54). He urges people to share “Child of the Library” as far and as wide as you can. The lyrics and an explanation of what some of the references mean are found on his blog....
YouTube, Aug. 30; Just a Summary, Feb. 8, Sept. 1
9/11, ten years later
As part of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) has been publishing blog posts on how the American experience has changed significantly or been affected by the events. The HSDL is the nation’s premier research collection for open-source resources related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management....
Homeland Security Digital Library
Cincinnati birth and death records now online
The City of Cincinnati Birth and Death Records from 1865 to 1912 are now fully online and available for research and study. The 524,360 records, part of the Local Government Records Collection of the University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books Library, are of great historical and genealogical importance. The birth and death records also hold significant research value to historians, sociologists, epidemiologists, public health researchers, and other researchers worldwide....
University of Cincinnati, Aug. 31
Louisiana State University SLIS remains open
Dean Beth Paskoff writes: “We appreciate the hundreds of letters of support we received from our alumni and friends during the past year. You did a wonderful job of demonstrating how important it is to continue the MLIS program at Louisiana State University. The good news is that the proposal to close SLIS was never sent to the Board of Supervisors,” and in August Chancellor Mike Martin announced that the school would remain open. Enrollment in the fall semester, despite the threat of closure, was only 18% lower than normal....
Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science
How I learned to stop worrying and love library school
Alyssa Vincent writes: “So, you’ve subscribed to your library blogs, bought your textbooks, stocked up on highlighters, and are ready for your new life as a library school student/future superstar librarian. Every child will love reading because of you! Students will have unprecedented information literacy skills thanks to your trailblazing instruction. Yes, but first you have to get over all of this self-doubting, second-guessing, and generalized loathing of library school and librarianship.”...
Hack Library School, Sept. 6
Wikipedia is not wicked
Gwyneth Anne Jones writes: “My name is Gwyneth and I use Wikipedia every day. There, I said it. Somehow that’s pretty freeing! Wikipedia is not a dirty word. We’re doing a disservice by not teaching our kids how to use it and how to cite it selectively and with forethought. Much like the internet in general, many educators look upon Wikipedia with suspicion, sometimes derision, and occasionally with fear. But who are we kidding? It isn’t going away, folks!”...
Washington Post: The Answer Sheet, Sept. 7
Larry Nix writes: “On occasion my interest in library history and my wife’s interest in lighthouse history overlap. This is the case with the traveling libraries of the United States Light House Establishment, a predecessor to the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. I first became aware of these libraries while visiting the Raspberry Island Lighthouse in Wisconsin’s beautiful Apostle Islands. That lighthouse has one of the original traveling library bookcases (right).”...
Library History Buff Blog, Sept. 4
Some Shakespeare research tips from the Folger
Jim Kuhn writes: “This is the first in a series of tooltips about accessing and utilizing online resources for research at (or away from) the Folger Shakespeare Library. New bibliographic records, finding aids, and new tools for researchers are continually in the works. Some of our collection descriptions and digital toolsets are created in-house, such as the bibliographic records describing 82 First Folios (and fragments). Others draw on descriptive records or software platforms developed elsewhere, such as our Digital Image Collection.”...
The Collation, Sept. 1
What is Automatic Entity Recognition?
Jeffrey Beall writes: “I am trying to understand Automatic Entity Recognition and its connections to libraries and to metadata. The basic concept is simple, I think: A computer processes documents or text and recognizes all the entities that are mentioned in it and marks them up semantically. Entities are anything that can be named as a noun: mayonnaise, radio antennas, Kentucky, the Super Bowl, epistemology, etc. I see two problems—or perhaps hurdles—to this approach.”...
Metadata, Sept. 4
Google Book Search, LCCN, and OCLC number
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “Google Book Search officially supports search by ISBN using a field search, either in the HTML interface, or the API. But you sometimes have a book you’re interested in that does not have an ISBN, because it’s old or you just don’t know it. It would be useful to search on LCCN or OCLC number. At first this would appear impossible, but in fact although undocumented, Google often does know these numbers for certain items and does index them.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Aug. 30
Tips on searching scientific literature
Rachel Borchardt writes: “Looking for some ways to find reliable scientific information, but not sure where to start? I decided to share a few tips for using American University’s scientific databases, in the hope that will help School of Communications students interested in science research to find and access good articles this semester. Here is my list of five useful scientific databases (available at many university libraries), with tips and a few images included.”...
Communication Librarian, Sept. 2
Tutor.com launches service for math teachers
Online tutoring service Tutor.com has launched MyLivePD, a professional development model for math teachers that provides on-demand access to live coaches online. Funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this pilot program will be used by more than 200 middle and high school algebra teachers in seven school districts across the United States. Watch the video (4:09)....
Tutor.com, Sept. 7; YouTube, Aug. 15
Hill Museum and Manuscript Library receives $3-million digitization grant
A $3-million grant from the Arcadia Fund of London has been awarded to the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. According to the Rev. Columba Stewart, executive director of HMML, the award will support the library’s digitization, archiving, and cataloging of newly identified endangered manuscript collections for a period of five years. Photographic manuscript preservation is the library’s core mission....
Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Sept. 7
Take a survey on public library digitization projects
Public library directors are encouraged to participate in an online survey about their accomplishments and future needs in the area of digitization. A limited number of survey respondents will be invited to participate (with travel expenses paid) in the conference, “Creating a Blueprint for a National Digital Library,” to be held at Los Angeles Public Library, November 15–17. The survey closes September 9....
Los Angeles Public Library, Aug. 31
15 tips to get the most out of Google Docs
Paul Sawers writes: “Google Docs was released to Google Apps users in February 2007, presentations were added into the mix in September that year, and then Google Docs, alongside other Google Apps, left beta mode in July 2009. That should at least jog your memory as to the path Google Docs has taken to where it is today. We’ve dug around, pooled our knowledge, and compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Google Docs. Some of these you may know already, others maybe not.”...
TNW Google, Sept. 2
Playing chess at the library
Mary Voors writes: “For over 15 years, the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library has hosted a children’s Chess Tournament at the end of the summer. Supported by research that shows a correlation between chess and enhanced concentration and reading skills, and financially supported by our Friends group, this just-for-fun, all-day activity gives kids the opportunity to play chess in a tournament structure. The day starts with a players’ meeting at which everyone is told the basic rules of the day.”...
ALSC Blog, Sept. 3
Teaching Facebook at the library
Jackie Cohen writes: “Classes on how to use Facebook are very popular among senior citizens in the United States, who say that social networking reduces depression and fights memory loss. Senior centers, assisted-living facilities, and retirement homes across the country are offering a wide range of computer classes, but ones focusing on social networking are gaining in popularity, according to a recent article in The Atlantic.”...
All Facebook Blog, Apr. 14, Sept. 2; The Atlantic, Aug. 31
How to know what you don’t know
Linda Braun writes: “Whenever I read an article about a topic that I’m not very well-versed in I ask myself: How do I know, since I’m not knowledgeable about this topic, that what I’m reading is actually accurate or even of value? As librarians working with teens, we are always helping young adults figure out how to evaluate information that they access. I think there’s another component of this (for both teens and librarians) that goes beyond knowing whether or not something is accurate. That’s knowing how to find out about whether or not something is worth learning about.”...
YALSA Blog, Sept. 5
Rethinking the “never unsubscribe” spam rule
David Pogue writes: “When it comes to junk mail, the rule, for 15 years, has been: Never respond. Don’t even try to unsubscribe, even if they give you instructions for doing so. Well, I think it’s time to revisit that advice. A couple of months ago, I decided to try an experiment: I’d violate the old rule. I’d deliberately try to unsubscribe from every spam list. And I’d report on my findings. First, the good news: It worked.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Sept. 1
Watch free documentaries
Richard Byrne writes: “Documentary Heaven is a free site that has organized more than 1,600 documentary films found across the internet. You can find documentaries covering all kinds of topics in science, history, politics, business, and many more categories. The videos are sourced from a variety of services including, but not limited to, YouTube. It does have some videos in the lifestyle category that might not be appropriate for K–12.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Sept. 6
Ugly casino carpets encourage gambling
David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Library, writes: “Casino carpet is known as an exercise in deliberate bad taste that somehow encourages people to gamble. In a strange way, though, it’s a sublime work of art, rivaling any expressionist canvas of the past century. Note the regal tones of Caesars Palace or the bountiful bouquet of Mandalay Place, all whispering, ‘gamble, gamble’ just out of the range of consciousness as people walk to the nearest slot machine.” Schwartz has created a gallery of bad casino carpets to prove his point....
David G. Schwartz: The Die Is Cast
Anchorage flash mob goes Bollywood
A flash mob descended on a reception for an art exhibit opening at the Z. J. Loussac Library in Anchorage, Alaska, September 1. It was all part of the events to mark the 25th anniversary of the library. The dance (4:17), choreographed by Leslie Kimiko Ward, was inspired by Indian Bollywood movies and aimed to bring the unexpected to the event....
KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 1
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