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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 28, 2011

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Antioch College’s Olive Kettering Library as it looked in 2009. Photo by JZ152 under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 licenseLibrary stands ready as Antioch College reopens
Antioch College is on the verge of reopening, and the Olive Kettering Library (right) on the Yellow Springs, Ohio, campus stands to play an integral role in the school’s recovery. The primary goal is to reconfigure the interior space to reflect the library’s expanded role as the center of student life. Interim Director Ritch Kerns said the revamped library “will create more common areas for students with laptops,” including coffee bars. That points to another pressing need: to upgrade the library’s technological capabilities to accommodate incoming students armed with computers, iPads, and Kindles....
American Libraries news, Sept. 27

Main Street Public LibraryMain Street Public Library
Wayne Wiegand writes: “One day in the mid-1990s, Doug Zweizig and I were having lunch on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, where we both taught. I was contemplating a history of the small-town American public library, I told him, but wanted a fresh perspective. 80% of public library systems existed in towns of fewer than 25,000. With few exceptions, however, we still knew little about the historical roles these ubiquitous civic institutions played in their host communities.”...
American Libraries feature

Open Office logoTechnology in Practice: Open source, open mind
Meredith Farkas writes: “I’ve been a big advocate of open source software since I learned about the model of software licensing and development 10 years ago. I am a big believer that many minds produce great things, so the idea that a community of users would develop and improve software to the benefit of the community really appealed to me. Open source is often a great solution for cash-strapped libraries that can adopt tools like Open Office for free instead of paying for Microsoft Office licenses on all of their computers.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Cover of Practical Strategies for Cataloging Departments, by Rebecca L. LubasLibrarian’s Library: Manage best with best practices
Karen Muller writes: “This month we’re examining the library literature for tips on how to manage our libraries better. Improvements may come from analyzing each step of a task and its impact on the bottom line, or from incorporating new standards and practices consistent with the diversity of materials now part of our collections.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Hermina Anghelescu in front of the National Library of Romania, where she once workedLibrarians help Romanian colleagues gauge needs
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Some 200 library professionals gathered in Sinaia, Romania, September 20–23 for the fourth international symposium, ‘The Book. Romania. Europe.’ Library professionals representing 31 nations—largely Francophone countries—delivered some 60 papers examining the state and future of librarianship in the French-speaking world, Romanian being a Romance language and French the lingua franca of the four-day gathering. Hermina Anghelescu (above), associate professor of library and information science at Wayne State University in Detroit, organized the U.S. contingent.”...
AL: Global Reach, Sept. 26

Cover of September/October American LibrariesSeptember/October issue
The September/October issue of American Libraries is now out, both in print and online (in ZMags format). Check out special features on the Carnegie Corporation of New York, ALA’s Emerging Leaders, avoiding the path to obsolescence, ALA award winners of 2011, as well as our news stories, opinion pieces, and regular columns....
American Libraries, Sept./Oct.

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ALA News

ALA meets with AAP on e-books
ALA President Molly Raphael, Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Director Alan Inouye met September 15 with Tom Allen and Tina Jordan, president and vice president of the Association of American Publishers, at their New York office. The meeting was held to articulate some of the major issues of the library community regarding e-books and to establish an ongoing relationship with AAP to address these issues....
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 26

One of the school libraries in Louisiana restored post-Katrina by the Laura Bush Foundation Gulf Coast School Library Recovery InitiativePresident’s Message: The Big Easy revisited
ALA President Molly Raphael writes: “Returning to New Orleans for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference this year was both rewarding and emotional for many of us. Five years earlier, we traveled to Louisiana less than a year after the devastating hurricanes and massive flooding from failure of the levies. At that time, we were welcomed with much more than southern hospitality. We were treated like VIPs.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Banned Books Week 2011 posterBanned Books Week: Censorship is alive and well
ALA President Molly Raphael writes: “The week of September 24–October 1 is Banned Books Week, a time when libraries, schools, and bookstores celebrate our First Amendment freedom to read while drawing attention to the harms that censorship does to our society and our individual freedoms. Far more often than many realize, individuals and groups have sought to restrict access to library books they believed were objectionable on religious, moral, or political grounds, thereby restricting the rights of every reader in their community.”...
Huffington Post, Sept. 22

Whoopi Goldberg reads Shel SilversteinWhoopi, penguins join Banned Books Read-Out
Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg and the authors of the most challenged book in the United States—the story of male penguins raising a baby penguin—have joined the celebrity virtual read-out of banned and challenged books that is taking place on YouTube as part of the 30th annual Banned Books Week. Goldberg reads a poem from the Shel Silverstein collection “A Light in the Attic” (0:51) and authors Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell read from their book And Tango Makes Three (2:16)....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 26

George Eberhart reads an excerpt from Rossell Hope Robbins's Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and DemonologyBanned Books Week Read-Out (ALA staff version)
The Office for Intellectual Freedom filmed some ALA staffers who volunteered to read challenged books for this year’s Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out and posted them on the OIFTube channel. AL Direct Editor George Eberhart (3:50, right) and Associate Editor Greg Landgraf (1:44) participated by reading from their favorite controversial books. Many librarians, authors, and challenged-book lovers across the country also uploaded video readings to the BannedBooksWeek channel....
Office for Intellectual Freedom

Banned Book Display at Arlington (Va.) Public Library12 Banned Books Week classroom activities
Annie Condron writes: “Banned Books Week presents us with a teachable moment to encourage reading and open minds in our students. What better way to make reading cool than to make it an act of rebellion, right? Here are 12 creative ways you and your class can use Banned Book Week as a learning opportunity.”...
TeachHUB, Sept. 26

Masthead of Publick OccurrencesBanned in Boston
L. D. Mitchell writes: “Judith Krug founded Banned Books Week in 1982 to honor and promote Americans’ right to read whatever we choose, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But why set aside the last week of September for this purpose? Was it to honor the Bill of Rights, proposed on September 25, 1789? Krug was a very smart woman. While I can offer no proof, I like to think she might also have had something else in mind—for the last week of September is also the week that America’s very first multipage newspaper was published . . . and banned.”...
Fine Books Blog, Sept. 25

Games and Gaming Member Interest Group logoHow the Games and Gaming Round Table was born
Jenny Levine writes: “I got a first-hand glance at some of the inner workings of ALA policy and procedure during the past six months as I helped shepherd GameRT to round table-hood, so I thought I’d share that experience here to help illustrate one way in which groups form within the Association. Back in 2007, ALA member Scott Nicholson formed the original ALA Games and Gaming Member Interest Group, a community that crossed all types of libraries and all types of games (logo shown on right).”...
ALA Marginalia, Sept. 28

Money Smart Week 2012 graphicMoney Smart Week webinar
ALA and the Federal Reserve of Chicago will host a Money Smart Week “how to” webinar on October 26 at 2 p.m. Central Time. The webinar will provide ideas and suggestions from librarians who have already created successful programming for Money Smart Week @ your library. Money Smart Week, which will be held April 21–28, is a national ALA initiative to provide programming in the critical area of financial literacy. All types of libraries can participate....
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Building Common Ground graphicNew “Building Common Ground” initiative
The Public Programs Office is accepting applications for “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility, and Compassion,” a multiformat discussion program for public audiences to spark action, engagement, and reflection within the community. This library programming initiative is supported by the Fetzer Institute. More information, including programming resources and the online application, is available on the ALA website. Applications are due November 18....
Public Programs Office, Sept. 27

Em Claire Knowles (right), retired ALA Executive Board Member, attended the Haiti Check Presentation at the Rowley Public Library on September 7 and received the check from Director Nancy JudgeHaiti relief fund
Thanks to the recent donations from individuals and groups, such as the Friends of the Rowley (Mass.) Public Library with their $600 donation (right) and the Friends of the Cabell County (W.Va.) Public Library with their $1,500 donation, libraries damaged in the 2010 Haiti Earthquake are a step closer to getting rebuilt and restocked. Donations are still needed for ALA’s Haiti Library Relief fund....
International Relations Office

1901 ALA conference attendees in front of State Historical Society, Madison, WisconsinALA’s 25th anniversary, 1901
Larry Nix writes: “This October will mark the 135th anniversary of the founding of ALA in Philadelphia in 1876. I thought I would take a look back at some of ALA’s previous significant anniversaries in a lead-up to that important milestone. ALA was 25 years old when it met at the Fountain Spring House (see postcard on right) in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 1901. President James Carr reported that there were now 1,000 members of the Association.” ALA celebrated its 50th-anniversary conference in Atlantic City in 1926. (Did librarians hob-nob with Nucky Johnson?)...
Library History Buff Blog, Sept. 24, 26

Cover of College Libraries and Student CultureEye-opening insights into college libraries and student culture
How do college students really conduct research for classroom assignments? In 2008, five large Illinois universities were awarded a Library Services and Technology Act grant to try to answer that question. The resulting ongoing study, which has garnered national attention, has already yielded some bracing results. College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know, newly published by ALA Editions, details the findings....
ALA Editions, Sept. 26

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Cover of Food Cultures of the World EncyclopediaFeatured review: Adult reference
Albala, Ken, ed. Food Cultures of World Encyclopedia. May 2011. 4 vols. 1,400p. illus. Greenwood, hardcover (978-0-313-37626-9).
The encyclopedia’s volumes are divided by regions—Africa and the Middle East, The Americas, Asia and Oceania, and Europe. Each volume contains the same preface and list of contributors and the index for the set. There are index headings for country, region, or culture as well as for individual recipes (e.g., stuffed camel for 100 people—“Skin and clean the camel”; sautéed reindeer; and harsha, or “quick semolina bread for Ramadan”), which are also grouped together under Recipes. The majority of entries are for what publicity materials describe as the world’s “nation-states” (more than 125). In addition to the country entries, regions within countries or other specific cultures are included and coverage of the U.S. is divided into six regions. Each entry is from 5–15 pages long and usually accompanied by two or three black-and-white photographs. Entries consist of an overview, a “Food Culture Snapshot” (a story relating a typical couple’s or family’s daily life of working, shopping, cooking, and eating, plus the food for each meal) “Major Foodstuffs,” “Cooking,” “Typical Meals,” “Eating Out,” “Special Occasions,” “Diet and Health,” and a bibliography that includes websites....

Graphic for The Manley ArtsLet them eat doughnuts
Will Manley writes: “The best library supervisor I ever worked with, a guy named Tom, always brought doughnuts to the staff lounge every Friday morning. He did this without fail. When he was on vacation, he would arrange to have the doughnuts delivered. One day I sat down with Tom to talk about why he was such a successful supervisor. His employees loved him, were loyal to him to the day he died, and performed marvelously for him. What was the secret to his success, I wanted to know. ‘I have one rule and one rule only,’ Tom said. ‘Figure out what employees really want and give it to them.’”...

Rebecca VnukRebecca Vnuk joins Booklist
Readers-advisory expert Rebecca Vnuk joins Booklist Publications in October as editor for reference and collection management. Vnuk will have responsibility for all print and electronic reference reviews in Booklist, as well as developing feature articles on readers’ advisory and collection development. She will also assume editorship of the newly launched collection development and readers’ advisory newsletter, Corner Shelf, sponsored by Baker & Taylor....

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

Division News

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.PLA conference offers exciting speakers
The Public Library Association is counting down to its biennial conference, PLA 2012, March 13–17, in Philadelphia. The conference will get off to an inspiring start as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (right) takes the stage at the Opening General Session. Following several packed days of education and networking, conference attendees will be ready to relax and have a laugh with actor Betty White at the PLA 2012 Closing General Session....
PLA, Sept. 27

Position statement on labeling books with reading levels
In response to pressures to label and arrange library collections according to reading levels, AASL has released a position statement on how this labeling can restrict student access to materials. The statement reflects AASL’s belief that viewpoint-neutral directional labeling increases students’ access to information and supports their First Amendment right to read....
AASL, Sept. 27

Position statement on diversity in the organization
AASL has released a position statement on diversity in the organization. In the statement, AASL recognizes that diversity is an integral face of the American landscape and permeates all professions—including school librarianship. A Leadership Development Task Force led by Past President Ann M. Martin is charged with developing specific strategies that will incorporate a diversity goal into an overall leadership development plan....
AASL, Sept. 27

New web course on collection assessment
Beginning October 31, ALCTS will debut a new “Fundamentals” web course. “Fundamentals of Collection Assessment” is a six-week online course that introduces the fundamental aspects of collection assessment in libraries. The course is designed for those who are responsible for or interested in collection assessment in all types and sizes of libraries. Registration is open, but this first offering will be limited to 15 attendees....
ALCTS, Sept. 27

Two ALTAFF books on sale to members
ALTAFF is making two publications, The Complete Library Trustee Handbook and Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends, available to its members at special prices. Quantities of both titles are limited....
ALTAFF, Sept. 27

Design your library’s e-book program
PLA has introduced “Public Librarian’s Guide to E-Books,” a webinar series that begins October 25. This special series features four weekly webinars designed to provide public librarians with practical information and actionable steps to integrate e-books, e-readers, and related e-materials into a public library collection. Each webinar will be moderated by consultant Carson Block....
PLA, Sept. 27

Enhance your services for Spanish speakers
On October 26, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Building Community: Online Tools for Spanish Speakers,” as part of its “Public Libraries at Work” monthly webinar series. Participants will learn how to create a library community that welcomes and assists Spanish speakers by blending emerging technologies and social media with in-person services. The instructor will be Loida Garcia-Febo. The deadline to sign up is October 24....
PLA, Sept. 27

Online course on service to patrons with disabilities
Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” is a new online course offered October 17–November 11 by ASCLA. Participants will identify the resources and technologies available to assist differently-abled patrons at their library; examine changes in attitudes, laws, and technologies that have impacted people with disabilities; and will be able to recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services for people with disabilities at their library. Registration is now open....
ASCLA, Sept. 27

New ASCLA interest groups welcome your interest
ASCLA has formed 10 new interest groups that all ALA members can join. Areas of focus include collaborative digitization, universal access, service to inmates, and independent librarianship. To join, click on the name of your preferred interest group. ASCLA also invites petition signatures to form two new groups: Bridging Deaf Cultures @ your library and Youth Services Consultants....
ASCLA, Sept. 27

Awards & Grants

YALSA wins BoardSource Innovation Prize
YALSA won the Innovation Prize at the 2011 BoardSource Leadership Forum in Atlanta on September 23, which is funded through support from Prudential and the Prudential Foundation. The division was one of 40 organizations that competed for the prize, an onsite competition designed to inspire and support innovative approaches to strengthening and building organizational impact through effective board leadership....
YALSA, Sept. 27

ACRL awarded an IMLS grant
ACRL has been awarded a National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grant Level II by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the project “Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries.” The grant funding of $99,985 will support ACRL, in partnership with three other organizations, in convening two national summits that will address the library profession’s need to develop the skills to document and communicate library value in alignment with the missions and goals of their colleges and universities....
ACRL, Sept. 27

Library Hi Tech Award nominations sought
Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 LITA Library Hi Tech Award, which is given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in educating the profession about cutting-edge technology through communication in continuing education within the field of library and information technology. The award includes a citation of merit and a $1,000 stipend provided by Emerald Group Publishing Limited, publishers of Library Hi Tech. The deadline for nominations is December 1....
LITA, Sept. 23

Asleson grant increases funding
The Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant has received a number of donations from individuals currently active in the information community. These donors all were influenced at some point in their careers through interaction with Bob Asleson, late founder and president of the Redalen Group. LIS students can apply for this $1,500 grant, which subsidizes attendance at ALA conferences. Applications for attendance at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting are due by October 15....
Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 21

EBSCO offers five Midwinter grants
ALA and EBSCO are partnering to offer five scholarships for librarians to attend the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The meeting takes place January 20–24, 2012, and offers an opportunity for continuing education, meetings, and interaction with colleagues. Each grant will be in the amount of $1,500, and one of the five will be awarded to a first-time conference attendee....
Office of ALA Governance, Sept. 27

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants through December 15. IMLS is hosting two pre-application web conferences October 14 and 25 to explain the program and provide feedback. The grants support projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders; to conduct research on the library profession; and to support early career research....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 23

Jeanne SteigEric Carle Museum honors authors and illustrators
Children’s book enthusiasts and contributors gathered September 22 at Guasavino’s in New York City to celebrate the 2011 Carle Honors, hosted by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. This year’s honorees included author and illustrator Lois Ehlert, multimedia artist and donor Jeanne Steig (right), editor and art director Michael di Capua, and curator Karen Nelson Hoyle....
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Sept. 23; GalleyCat, Aug. 19

Julianne BuchsbaumKansas librarian wins national poetry competition
Julianne Buchsbaum (right), humanities librarian at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, has been selected as one of five winners in the National Poetry Series 2011 Open Competition. Buchsbaum’s third book of poetry, With Venom and Wonder, was selected by poet Lucie Brock-Broido and will be published by Penguin Books in the summer of 2012. The National Poetry Series is a literary awards program that sponsors the publication of five books of poetry each year. The manuscripts, solicited through an annual Open Competition, are selected by poets of national stature....
University of Kansas, Sept. 28

And Hell Followed with It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado, by Bonar Menninger, was a Kansas Notable Book for 2011Kansas books honored at festival
More than 30 authors participated September 24 in the 2011 Kansas Book Festival at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka. Attendees could meet with authors, participate in panel discussions, go to book signings, and participate in projects for children. State Librarian Joanne Budler and Kansas Center for the Book Dirctor Roy Bird honored 15 fiction, nonfiction, and children’s book authors with a medal for their literary contributions. The Kansas Notable Book Award is the only award for books either written by Kansans or that have a Kansas connection....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Sept. 24

Burt Bacharach (left) and Hal David at the 1997 Grammys. Photo courtesy of Hal DavidGershwin Prize for Popular Song to Bacharach, David
Burt Bacharach (on left) and Hal David have been named the recipients of the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. They will each receive the Gershwin Medal next spring at an all-star tribute in Washington, D.C. This will be the fourth time the honor has been awarded and the first time to a songwriting team....
Library of Congress, Sept. 28

ABC-CLIO's American History database was one of the winners in the High School category16th Annual Education Software Review Awards
The ComputED Gazette has announced the winners of its 16th Annual Education Software Review Awards. The awards target innovative and content-rich programs and websites that augment the classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity. Selection criteria include academic content, potential for broad classroom use, technical merit, and subject approach. Categories are: early learning, lower and upper elementary, middle school, high school, post-secondary, multilevel, and teacher tools....
ComputED Gazette, Summer issue

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Seen Online

Sheriff's deputies "arrest" Amanda Jackson for Banned Books Week. Photo by Carol Roark YorkGadsden library director “arrested” for reading banned books
Amanda Jackson, director of the Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library, was arrested September 23 by three uniformed officers of the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department. The crime? Reading banned books. “To help our community understand the dangers of censorship, I’m getting arrested,” Jackson said. On September 27, library teens made protest signs urging the community to “Free the Book and Free Amanda,” and they served as Jackson’s defense counsel in a mock trail the following day....
Gadsden (Ala.) Times, Sept. 23

Eve's Diary illustration that got the book banned in 1906 from Charlton Public LibraryCharlton library lifts 1906 ban on Mark Twain book
It took only 105 years, but Eve’s Diary is back on the shelf at the Charlton (Mass.) Public Library. Richard Whitehead was researching his new role as a library trustee when he stumbled on a long-forgotten controversy about the book, Mark Twain’s sly interpretation of the Adam and Eve story. In 1906, he learned, the library’s trustees voted to ban Eve’s Diary because the illustrations by Lester Ralph showed a naked (though not graphically so) Eve exploring the wonders of Eden (above). Watch the video (1:56)....
New York Times, Sept. 21; New England Cable News, Sept. 23

Cover of Nobody Does It BetterGossip Girl title pulled from Picayune school library shelf
A book containing offensive language and sexually explicit material has been pulled from the library shelves at Picayune (Miss.) Junior High School. Parent Tony Smith said it was the cover of Cecily von Ziegesar’s Nobody Does It Better, a title in the popular Gossip Girl series, that got his wife Angie’s attention, but the words on the pages shocked her. After hearing Mrs. Smith’s complaint, the school board and administration decided to remove the Gossip Girl books from the all the libraries in the district. Tony Smith, a state senator-elect, plans to draft legislation that would give school librarians more power in book selection....
WLOX-TV, Biloxi, Miss., Sept. 20; Picayune (Miss.) Item, Sept. 21

Cover of What My Mother Doesn't KnowBanned in Bakersfield
Sonya Sones writes: “In 2001, I wrote a novel in verse called What My Mother Doesn’t Know. It received a number of accolades, including being chosen a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. But the acclaim wasn’t universal, as my mail made painfully clear. Most of my critics cited one poem, in which an adolescent girl contemplates her changing body. It’s called ‘Ice Capades,’ and it goes like this.”...
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 27

School boys read approved books at at Gulf International School in KuwaitDefending literature takes its toll on librarian in Kuwait
Elizabeth Warkentin writes: “Banned Books Week always reminds me of my trials and tribulations with censorship in Kuwait, a country where even Charlotte’s Web and Winnie the Pooh can inflame. The reason: Both stories include characters who are pigs. In 2008, I sat with the woman from the Ministry of Information in the library of a new, and now defunct, Canadian elementary school in Kuwait, where I worked as a librarian. One of my tasks as reluctant head of the so-called Censorship Committee was to read and put aside books I thought might be axed.”...
Toronto Star, Sept. 26

Cover of Slavery by Another NameAlabama inmate sues to read Southern history book
On September 23, Mark Melvin, who is serving a life sentence at the Kilby Correctional Facility outside of Montgomery, Alabama, filed suit in federal court against prison officials and the state commissioner of corrections, claiming they have unjustly kept a book out of his hands. The book, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigation of the heinous treatment of black prisoners. Melvin, a worker in the prison law library, claims officials deemed it “a security threat.”...
New York Times, Sept. 26

School library funding moves ahead
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill September 21 with at least $15 million designated for school libraries. The bill also level-funds the Library Services and Technology Act at $189 million, and it sets aside $30 million for national nonprofit organizations and school libraries in high-need areas and directs that at least 50% of this funding be used for school libraries....
ALA Office of Government Relations, Sept. 22

FCC opens access to social media for e-rate users
Nora Carr writes: “Now that even the staid Federal Communications Commission has loosened its tight rein on social media networks, it’s time for more educators to use these tools to improve classroom instruction and home-school communications. By clarifying that schools can allow access to social media websites without violating the Children’s Internet Protection Act and risk losing coveted e-rate dollars for telecommunications, the FCC opened access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other top social media sites for instructional use.”...
eSchool News, Sept. 26

Hammond branches to close November 1
In what board members and patrons called “a heartbreaking decision,” the Hammond (Ind.) Public Library trustees voted unanimously September 27 to close the city’s two remaining library branches on November 1. Property tax caps, a frozen tax levy, and incomplete tax collection sealed the fate of the E. B. Hayward and Howard branches. More than 70 people packed the community room at the main library to plead with the board to keep the neighborhood branches open for children and adults who use the computers, books, and programs....
Times of Northwest Indiana, Sept. 2

Troy rejects library budget
City voters rejected the Troy (N.Y.) Public Library 2012 budget that carried a 15% tax increase September 27 by only 20 votes, 321–301. The $1.11-million budget would have increased property taxes by $8 for a home valued at $100,000. The library board will meet in the near future to determine what action to take as they review the split in the tally. Asked if the branches would have to be closed again, Library Director Paul Hicok said, “I’m not sure we’re there yet.”...
Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, Sept. 27

Historian in theft plot seeks to sell off assets
A presidential historian charged with conspiring to steal documents from archives throughout the Northeast is asking for court permission to sell artwork and other valuables to cover his living expenses, according to a motion filed September 23 in U.S. District Court. Barry Landau, 63, needs cash to pay expenses such as the $2,700 rent on his midtown Manhattan apartment, health insurance, and food, according to the filing....
Associated Press, Sept. 26

Jim Stuart of Olathe (left) and Gary Forister of the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild, build 24 portable “libraries” for Joplin at their Kansas City shop. Photo by Jill Toyoshiba, Kansas City StarBookshelves on wheels for Joplin students
After the 2011 Joplin tornado, April Roy, like many other people in Kansas City, felt the urge to do something. Roy, youth services manager at the Country Club Plaza branch of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, and Pete Cowdin, co-owner of Reading Reptile in Brookside, hit upon a clever way to bring new books to young readers in Joplin—individual mobile bookshelves for a number of needy classrooms. The project took shape—for each classroom, a bookcase on wheels that opened like a book, three shelves on each side, stocked with 50 new books....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Sept. 21

Missing moon rock found in Little Rock library
An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton’s papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago. “It’s sort of a mystery solved,” said Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock. Roberts said the small rock, along with a plaque and a small Arkansas flag, were found in one of about 2,000 boxes containing the former governor’s papers and memorabilia at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies....
Arkansas News, Sept. 21

Screen shot showing Camille Valentino Steinfeld from NY1 newscastCliffside Park library reopens
The Cliffside Park (N.J.) Free Public Library reopened September 25, almost two years after a fire ripped through the building and destroyed a large part of its collection. A November 30, 2009, fire damaged several rooms, floors, computers and thousands of books. The 1965 building was gutted and an addition was constructed that will be the adult reading area. “It looks nothing like it did before,” said Library Director Camille Valentino Steinfeld (right), adding that the $1-million project was funded through insurance money....
Bergen County (N.J.) Record, Sept. 25; Nov. 30, 2009; NY1, Sept. 25

UK councils are neglecting the vulnerable
Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils failed to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable in society when they announced plans to withdraw funding from local libraries, an English court has heard. On the first day of a judicial review, both councils were accused by library advocates of neglecting their responsibilities to elderly, poor, and disabled residents in their rush to make budget savings. The case is being watched closely, as it could be the first time in the United Kingdom that a judgment will be handed down in a legal challenge to library closures....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 27

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Tech Talk

Amazon's new Kindle Fire tabletAmazon unveils Kindle Fire tablet
Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire on September 28, an Android-powered tablet that acts more like a color e-reader on steroids and will retail for $199. The Kindle Fire will be available on November 15, and Amazon is now offering preorders. With its low price—most tablets retail for around $500—and the established Kindle brand, analysts believe Amazon’s product could represent the first legitimate iPad competitor. Crave has the basic specs. Gizmodo has a chart showing how the Kindle Fire compares to other tablets. David McGee identifies 10 things you need to know about it....
CNET News: Wireless, Sept. 28; CNET News: Crave, Sept. 28; Gizmodo, Sept. 28; International Business Times, Sept. 28

U.S. law blocks Netflix, Facebook integration
Facebook announced a slew of updates September 22, making it easier for millions of U.S. customers to effortlessly share their lives via a new timeline, except for details of the movies they’re renting. For instance, Spotify customers may now consent to the automatic publication on Facebook of the songs they’re listening to. Netflix customers can do the same with the movies they watch—as long as they are in Canada or Latin America. The Video Privacy Protection Act bars Netflix from offering the same type of effortless sharing in the United States....
Wired: Threat Level, Sept. 23

Privacy advocates oppose Facebook changes
Users and privacy advocates have reservations about Facebook’s planned redesign, the way the change will affect third-party apps, and the network’s general approach to privacy. Third-party apps will be fully integrated into a user’s profile page, with updates about activity on each app. That means that the apps will add information to a user’s page automatically. With this change, users will have to think more carefully about what apps they use, since their private media consumption, exercise routines, and other habits could be automatically published on their profiles....
Washington Post: Post Tech, Sept. 26; Faster Forward, Sept. 22

Disconnect plug-in for Chrome and FirefoxHow to stop Facebook from tracking your every move
Alan Henry writes: “Dave Winer wrote an article at Scripting News that explains how Facebook keeps track of where you are on the web without your consent after you log in. Nik Cubrilovic dug a little deeper, and discovered that Facebook can still track where you are, even if you log out. Facebook, for its part, has denied the claims. Now Cubrilovic says Facebook has made changes to the logout process, and detailed what each cookie is responsible for. Regardless of who you believe, here’s how to protect yourself and keep your browsing history to yourself.”...
Lifehacker, Sept. 26; Scripting News, Sept. 24; Nik Cubrilovic Blog, Sept. 25, 27; ZDNet: Friending Facebook, Sept. 25, 27

Libraries: Be careful what you “Like”
John Mark Ockerbloom writes: “These days, many libraries use third-party services to construct their web pages. For instance, some library sites use Google services to analyze site usage trends or to display book covers. Those third-party services often know what web page has been visited when they’re invoked, either through an identifier in the HTML or Javascript code, or simply through the referrer information passed from the user’s browser. Patron privacy is at risk when the third party also knows the identity of users visiting sensitive pages (like pages disclosing books they’re interested in).”...
Everybody’s Libraries, Sept. 27

Do Not Track Plus appAs Like buttons spread, so do Facebook’s tentacles
Riva Richmond writes: “The Like and Recommend buttons Facebook provides to other websites send information about your visit back to Facebook, even if you don’t click on them. Since these buttons are now all over the web—about 905,000 sites use them—Facebook can find out an awful lot about what you do online even when you’re not on Facebook. Abine recently began offering a button-blocking feature for Firefox that it says stops data transfers to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.”...
New York Times: Bits, Sept. 27; Abine, Sept. 27

Facebook's new two-column TimelineNo, you are not going to quit Facebook
Christina Warren writes: “Dear Facebook Users: With all of the new changes to Facebook, especially the new Facebook Timeline, some of you have indicated that you’ve had enough and are planning to quit the service and delete your accounts. We hear you. The new Timeline is beautiful for sure, but it’s also kind of creepy. Quitting Facebook in 2011 is like quitting MySpace in 2008. It’s the cool thing to do. The difference, however, is that you aren’t going to quit Facebook.”...
Mashable, Sept. 21–22, 27

Don't Spy on Me graphic from the ACLUWhich telecom stores your data the longest?
The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to a newly released Justice Department internal memo (PDF file) that for the first time reveals the data-retention policies of America’s largest telecoms. The ACLU of North Carolina received the document via a Freedom of Information Act request regarding local law enforcement’s use of cellphone location information. “People who are upset that Facebook is storing all their information should be really concerned that their cell phone is tracking them everywhere they’ve been,” said ACLU staff attorney Catherine Crump....
Wired: Threat Level, Sept. 28; Blog of Rights, Sept. 28

Today’s eye-tracking technology from companies like Tobii is used heavily in usability researchEight technologies that will shape our future
Rick Chin writes: “In 20 years, our technology will reach a level of personalization that will enhance every moment of our lives. We’ll be more physically comfortable with the furniture we sit on and the products we hold; only the most relevant and personalized information from friends and family will reach us; and our movement in the digital world will be near telepathic. I foresee several of today’s technologies as relevant to this particular vision of the future.”...
Mashable, Sept. 18

Portion of a Dr. Who infographic created by visual.lyCreate your own infographics
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Infographics and data visualizations have become incredibly popular ways to impart information while keeping your audience engaged. As a result, a slew of user-friendly, free, online applications have been created which enable users to create their own information graphics. Here are five such tools that I think are particularly valuable.”...
iLibrarian, Sept. 26

Time to kiss the CD goodbye
Matt Peckham writes: “The compact disc’s days as a viable medium for music are nearly over. Oh, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. You use iTunes, or something like it. You’ve probably purchased music online and know, for better or worse, what music-related torrent files are. But you haven’t heard it all. For instance, this editorial in the October 2011 issue of Sound on Sound suggests that the CD’s demise has everything to do with...Netflix?”...
Time: Techland, Sept. 26; Sound on Sound, Oct.

ifttt logo7 ways to automate your life with ifttt
Jenna Wortham writes: “Ever wish you could get a text message every time someone tagged you in a Facebook photo? Or that you could record notes to yourself that are transcribed and sent to your email account? A nifty new web service called ifttt offers a way to automate tasks involving a bevy of services like Instagram, Craigslist, Dropbox, and Instapaper. Simply connect two services together to respond to triggers. Here are seven ‘recipes’ that are particularly helpful.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Sept. 23

How rapidly expanding storage spurs innovation
Lee Hutchinson writes: “Modern hard drives are precisely manufactured miracles, squeezing ludicrously large amounts of data into ludicrously tiny spaces. On one hand, the massive increase in storage density encourages data creation. On the other hand, the asymmetrical nature of most broadband solutions available to consumers and a stagnation in their speed encourages only consumption at the lower levels of that stack.”...
Ars Technica, Sept. 27


Amazon unveils trio of new Kindle e-ink readers
In addition to its new Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon also unveiled on September 28 three new versions of its e-ink digital book reader Kindle. The company unveiled the Kindle Touch for $99. It also showed off a 3G version, which will sell for $149. A cheaper and smaller non-touch control Kindle will sell for $79. The lower price points represent an aggressive push by Amazon to further its lead in the e-reader market....
CNET News: Wireless, Sept. 28

Kindle library e-books and the law of unintended consequences
Nate Hoffelder writes: “OverDrive’s partner libraries are now offering Kindle support but they didn’t have to buy any new e-books. Instead, they are able to lend titles that they had already purchased as EPUB and PDF. If a library buys a title and if Amazon has that title in its store, then the library’s patrons can check out the e-book and read it on a Kindle. Did you catch that second condition? A library can only lend a Kindle e-book if Amazon already sells it.”...
The Digital Reader, Sept. 27

L. E. Phillips Memorial Library now offers  iPads for check-outEau Claire library begins lending iPads
The L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has added iPads to its circulation services. This week, 32 first-generation Apple tablets, each loaded with 1,000 e-book titles, 10 audiobooks, and various free apps, became available for patrons to check out, with six others for use in the library, and another six devoted to Home Delivery Program patrons. The Presto Foundation helped fund the purchase of the iPads with a $50,000 grant....
L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library; WEAU-TV, Eau Claire, Wis., Sept. 21

eBook Search app logoFind free e-books with eBook Search
Rob LeFebvre writes: “Back in July, e-book apps Kindle, Kobo, and Nook all removed their bookstore buttons due to Apple’s new policies around in-app purchases. Now, Inkstone Software has brought eBook Search to the App Store, allowing users to download a book to their choice of e-reader at the touch of a button. What’s exciting about this, besides the multi-app availability, are the books themselves. Users can find both classic works of literature and new stuff from authors like Cory Doctorow.”...
148Apps, Sept. 22

Orphan works project undaunted by lawsuit
The University of Michigan Library continues to operate its orphan works project “because we remain as certain as ever that our proposed uses of orphan works are lawful and important to the future of scholarship and the libraries that support it.” That’s the position of University Librarian Paul Courant, who also says that, contrary to some erroneous reports, the library is continuing its digitization efforts along with improving the orphan works identification process. “We have not changed our plans or activities in any way as a result of the Authors Guild lawsuit,” says Courant....
University of Michigan Record Update, Sept. 26

Can JSTOR solve the course-assigned e-book problem?
Eric Hellman writes: “A few universities have started to reexamine the role of academic libraries in the digital provision of course-assigned textbooks. JSTOR’s Bruce Heterick has announced that Books at JSTOR, to be launched in 3rd quarter of 2012, will include a pilot program to make over 15,000 coursebooks available on multiple platforms and devices. The icing on the cake is that they will be integrated with JSTOR’s discovery and crosslinking platform.”....
Go to Hellman, Sept. 21

E-books, privacy, and the library
Gary D. Price writes: “If there is one thing all libraries and librarians are proud of—and with very good reason—it’s a strong commitment to user privacy. Users appreciate this. Once a user takes advantage of the new Kindle/OverDrive service, his or her library card number and e-book checkout history (if they’re using a Kindle) becomes part of Amazon’s database. My main concern here is that we need to make all of this clear to our users. We’ve all seen what happens when a privacy issue suddenly comes to light, generating all manner of negative publicity.”...
InfoDocket, Sept. 27

If it’s E, it leads
Barbara Fister writes: “My father wrote the book on news editing—literally. News Editing, a textbook he wrote that helped feed and clothe his five kids, was born the year before I was and went through two more editions. Maybe that’s why I find myself tempted to put on a green eyeshade and take a red pencil to news stories about e-books. Take, for example, this breathless lede in The Bookseller, September 21: ‘The number of Americans using an e-book reader has almost doubled during the last 12 months, according to a new survey.’ But hang on a minute while I look at the actual figures.”...
Library Journal, Sept. 22; The Bookseller, Sept. 21

This book scanner at Yale University Libraries allows the operator to decide whether to turn pages by hand or to utilize a large metal arm to leaf through the book. Photo by Zoe GormanUp close: The making of a digital library
Zoe Gorman writes: “Earlier this month, library digitization assistant Kelly Perry placed an 1845 German medical history book on a machine three times her size. It takes her between 30 minutes and an hour to digitize a 250-page book. Factoring in time for processing and uploading the book to the library’s website, it would take about a month for the digital volume to reach users at a total cost of about $150. Multiply that by 12.5 million volumes. Though Yale library administrators and staff interviewed said preserving and expanding access to Yale’s holdings is a fundamental goal, the university has no plan on how to tackle that gargantuan task.”...
Yale Daily News, Sept. 27

Europe’s national librarians support Open Data licensing
Meeting at the Royal Library of Denmark, the Conference of European National Librarians has voted overwhelmingly to support the open licensing of their data. This means that the metadata describing the millions of books published in Europe will become increasingly accessible for anybody to re-use: Wikipedia can use it to link to articles and apps developers can embed it in new mobile educational tools....
Europeana, Sept. 28

The future of books: A dystopian timeline
John Biggs writes: “With the launch of the Kindle Fire, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next 10 years or so. I’m a strong proponent of the e-book and, as I’ve said again and again, I love books, but they’re not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world.”...
TechCrunch, Sept. 27

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Great Libraries of the World

National and University Library in Zagreb

National and University Library, Zagreb, Croatia. The library began as a Jesuit collection established in 1611. It was attached to the Zagreb Academy chartered by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I in 1669 that was the predecessor of the modern University of Zagreb. It became a depository library in 1837. Its most notable location was on Marko Marulić Square from 1913 to 1995 in a Viennese Secession–style building that now houses the Croatian State Archives. The current building, with six upper floors providing a panoramic view of the city, was designed by Croatian architects Velimir Neidhardt, Davor Mance, Zvonimir Krznarić, and Marijan Hržić to accommodate its 2.5 million volumes.

Baroque Hall, Klementinum Library

Klementinum Library, Prague, Czech Republic. The Klementinum is a historic group of buildings that originated in an 11th-century chapel dedicated to St. Clement. A Jesuit college stood here from 1556 until 1773, when Empress Maria Theresa confiscated the property and established the collection as the Imperial-Royal Public and University Library. This sumptuous Baroque library was probably completed in 1727 by Czech architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. Its collections include significant materials on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Tycho Brahe, and John Amos Comenius, as well as historic examples of Czech literature. In 1990 it became the National Library of the Czech Republic.

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.

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Director, Auglaize County Public Library District, Wapakoneta, Ohio. As Director you will be expected to be a leader in the library as well as in the community. You will be charged with creating an inspiring vision and a strategic plan, using a team approach that will excite and engage this thriving, idyllic rural county. Your resources will include a dedicated and stable staff of 24, six community libraries, and a budget of $1 million. It is assumed you will guide the board and administrative team in developing additional resources through active involvement in the individual communities and by collaborating and developing partnerships with other entities. Enthusiasm for empowering staff a must....

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Digital Library of the Week

Theodore Roosevelt sits posed for a portrait wearing a fringed buckskin outfit and holding a rifle. A large knife is visible in his gun belt. North Dakota, 1880s

The State Historical Society of North Dakota, as part of the Digital Horizons consortium, has included items from its photograph, film, publications, and map collections that document the history of both the state of North Dakota and the Northern Great Plains region.

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.

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Public Perception
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Sees Us

“And here is where I most respect the high office of the librarian. Above the restrictions of budgets and the frustrations of hierarchal administrations, the librarian has the possibility of changing lives. Like great teachers, great librarians meet needful individuals at the precious moment of choice. The right book at the right time is often a nexus to individual destiny. The great librarian listens, senses the need, and has the reading experience to recommend what is crucially appropriate to that reader. Great librarians provide a better service to their clients than many psychoanalysts who ought to be reading more meaningful novels and fewer academic case studies.

—Author Monty Joynes, “In Praise of Librarians,” Writing As a Profession blog, Sept. 1.

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Library Card Sign-Up Month, Sept., at:

Banned Books Week, Sept. 24–Oct. 1, at:

International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, Berlin, Germany, Sept. 25–29, at:

Kentucky Library Association, Annual Conference, Louisville, Sept. 28–Oct.1, at:

LITA National Forum, St. Louis, Sept. 29–Oct. 2, at:

Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, State College, Oct. 2–5, at:

Australian School Library Association, National Conference, Sydney, Oct. 2–5, at:

North Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Hickory, Oct. 4–7, at:

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


Oct. 1:
Austin Teen Book Festival,
Palmer Events Center, Austin, Texas.

Oct. 1–2:
Filipino American International Book Festival,
Fulton Street, Civic Center, San Francisco.

Oct. 10–11:
Great Lakes E-Summit,
Wright State University Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio. Register by September 30.

Oct. 12:
Work Like a Patron Day.

Oct. 14:
Smithsonian Archives Fair,
S. Dillon Ripley Center, National Mall, Washington, D.C.

Oct. 24:
Connecticut Association of School Librarians / Connecticut Educators Computer Association,
Joint Conference, Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. “eNGAGE! Teaching and Learning in a Digital World.”

Oct. 26–28:
Ohio Library Council,
Convention and Expo, SeaGate Convention Centre and Park Inn Hotel Toledo.

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

Oct. 27–28:
Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel. “Nature is a Language, Can You Read? Literacy and Sustainability in Virginia’s Libraries.”

Oct. 27–30:
American Association of School Librarians,
National Conference, Minneapolis. “Turning the Page.”

Oct. 31–
Nov. 1:

Taxonomy Boot Camp,
Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C. “Making Information Work.”

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. 8–9:
Streaming Media West,
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles. “The Business and Technology of Online Video.”

Nov. 9–11:
Access Services Conference,
Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta. “Unlocking the 21st Century Library!”

Nov. 20:
Jewish Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference,
Temple Emanu-El, New York City.

Dec. 5–7:
International Digital Curation Conference,
Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol, U.K. “Public? Private? Personal? Navigating the Open Data Landscape.”

Apr. 28–29, 2012:
USA Science and Engineering Festival,
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

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Books and Reading

Cover of Webster's Third New International DictionaryWhen a dictionary could outrage
An editorial that appeared in the New York Times on October 12, 1961, excoriated the recently published Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. At 2,700 pages and almost 14 pounds, Webster’s Third was a literally weighty work, the product of over 700 editor-years of effort. But it was widely denounced for what critics viewed as a lax admissions policy: It opened its columns to parvenus like “litterbug” and “wise up,” declined to condemn “ain’t,” and illustrated its definitions with quotations from down-market sources like Ethel Merman and Betty Grable....

New York Times Sunday Book Review, Sept. 23

Lisa Simpson with J. K. RowlingLisa Simpson’s literary references
Jared Keller writes: “The focal point of cultural awareness on The Simpsons is Lisa, precocious bookworm and perennial conscience of the family, who laments that she’s destined for a life without friends or, even worse, a life confined to ‘grown-up nerds like Gore Vidal, and even he’s kissed more boys than I have.’ My appreciation for Lisa’s bookishness led me and Michelle Legro of Lapham's Quarterly to create the Lisa Simpson Book Club, a single-serving Tumblr devoted to Lisa’s ever-expanding catalogue and the best literary references in the show’s history. Here is a selection of some of the best shoutouts to the world of literature.”...
The Atlantic, Sept. 24; The Lisa Simpson Book Club

Cover of The Goats, by Brock Cole10 fantastic banned books that talk about sex
Kathleen Massara writes: “Upwards of 11,000 books have been challenged in American libraries and schools since Banned Books Week was born in September 1982. We wanted to draw some attention to books that have been censored over the years, so we got in touch with Sarah Murphy, a school librarian and cofounder (with Maria Falgoust) of The Desk Set, a ‘social and philanthropic group for librarians and bibliophiles.’” These are her picks....
Flavorwire, Sept. 26

Cover of Ten Miles Past Normal, by Frances O’Roark Dowell, which features a school libraryLibraries in teen books
Sharon Rawlins writes: “With the focus this month on trying to get new library customers and issuing as many new cards as possible, I thought I’d try to come up with some YA books that have libraries as a part of the plot. Surprisingly, for a place where so many of us spend so much time and where many authors say they go for inspiration and research, the library itself is not featured a lot in YA books—unlike books for younger readers or adults. Or, if it is, it’s not portrayed as the place teens want to spend any time in unless they have to.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 26

William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1870, article on Margites, v. 2, page 949The top 10 books lost to time
Megan Gambino writes: “Here are 10 great written works from authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen that you’ll never have a chance to read. First up, Homer’s Margites. Before the Iliad and the Odyssey, there was the Margites. Little is known about the plot of the comedic epic poem—Homer’s first work—written around 700 B.C. But a few surviving lines, woven into other works, describe the poem’s foolish hero, Margites. It is unfortunate that no copy of Margites exists because Aristotle held it in high acclaim.”...
Smithsonian, Sept. 20

Actions & Answers

Badge for National Information Literacy Awareness MonthOctober is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
In today’s digital world, people who are information literate know how to find, access, and critically evaluate information to improve their health, their environment, their education, and their workplace performance. Having that skill set empowers them to interpret and make informed decisions about their lives, in essence, taking more responsibility for their own individual welfare and that of the nation. Help spread the word....
National Forum on Information Literacy

What does curation mean, anyway?
Elizabeth Brown writes: “I’ve been reading a lot of email and blog posts lately on curation. So what does it mean? Does everyone involved in curation projects and discussions agree on what it is? Not necessarily, I’m finding out. I recently joined the ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group discussion list, and this topic is one of the current discussions. Just like everyone suddenly seems interested in preservation right now, lots of people are thinking about curation and what it means.”...
Social Disruption, Sept. 23

Screen shot from Dead Sea Scrolls videoThe Dead Sea Scrolls online
The Dead Sea Scrolls entered the digital age in late September with the launch of an online project that allows users to search through and read high-resolution versions of the 2,000-year-old texts. The online launch features five of the 950 manuscripts believed to have been written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 68, including the Great Isaiah Scroll, which was discovered in 1947. The online project represents a partnership between Google and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which has presented the scrolls for public viewing since 1965. Watch the video (2:10)....
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 27; YouTube, Sept. 23

One of St. Johnsbury Athenaeum's art treasures, Albert Bierstadt's Domes of the YosemiteSt. Johnsbury Athenaeum gets new skylights
For almost 140 years, the original metal and glass Victorian-style skylights above the art gallery at St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Athenaeum protected one of the most prized art collections in the country from the unpredictable weather of northern New England. But an analysis of the condition of the skylights revealed that they were severely deteriorated to a point requiring wholesale replacement. For the past three years, the athenaeum has been working to recreate new frameworks that are carefully designed to replicate the dimensions and look of the original while accommodating the weight of a new glazing system....
ArtFixDaily, Sept. 16

University of San Diego criticized over library layoffs
The layoffs of eight library staff members—some with decades of experience and only a couple of years away from retirement—have faculty members at the University of San Diego up in arms. Critics call the administration’s actions an affront to the Roman Catholic teachings of the university. Administrators said a reorganization of Copley Library was necessary in an increasingly technological world, and eliminating some positions made way for the creation of new positions that ensure the library will stay on top of digital trends....
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 27

How rural students perceive their libraries
More than 60 studies have shown the connection between school libraries and improved student achievement, but almost none of the research on how students use school libraries has included predominately Hispanic schools in high-poverty communities. Shirley Bleidt, a professor at Texas A&M University–Kingsville, focused on those students for her research. The results, “How Students Utilize and Perceive Their School Library,” were published in the summer issue of American Secondary Education....
Education Week, Sept. 21

Screen shot from Handling Harvard's Special Collections videoHandle with care
Harvard’s Houghton Library has a new video tutorial, “Handling Harvard’s Special Collections” (4:28), which demonstrates basic handling procedures for bound, unbound, and oversized collection materials. The video is a collaboration between Houghton Library, the Weissman Preservation Center, and HCL Communications. It is intended for wide use and is a wonderful resource for students, faculty, and patrons planning visits to special collections repositories....
Houghton Library Blog, Sept. 19; YouTube, Sep. 12

Archival collections assessment
A new report by OCLC Research, written by Martha O’Hara Conway and Merrilee Proffitt, identifies projects and methodologies that can be used as-is or serve as models for librarians and archivists who are considering collections assessment to meet one or several institutional needs. The goal of Taking Stock and Making Hay: Archival Collections Assessment (PDF file) is to encourage a community of practice and to make it easier for institutions of all types to undertake collections assessment....
OCLC, Sept. 26

The Topeka & Shawnee County (Kan.) Public Library on June 2 hosted a virtual tour of Southern Germany titled Take a tour of Germany @ your libraryExplore the world @ your library
Libraries allow users to experience new cultures and explore distant countries every day. Whether it is through a book on the art of China or learning to sing a song in French during a multicultural sing-a-long, libraries really bring their users the world. Here are just a few examples of how libraries are getting involved and helping their users explore the world around them....
ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 27

Resources for the green librarian
Beth Filar Williams writes: “Check out this great resource guide by Laura L. Barnes of the Prairie Research Institute at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. I love the guide’s opening introduction box that contains handouts from green library workshops with slides and resources. It also includes RSS feeds from the Environmental News Bits Libraries category and a list of new green library resources that you can subscribe to.”...
Going Green @ your library, Sept. 22

Reevaluating the role of the research librarian
Rya Ben-Shir and Alexander Feng write: “Many biotech corporations, such as Pfizer and Genentech, have cut back or eliminated their library research staffs, believing the myth that everything is free on the internet. Many more are experimenting with outsourcing research librarian services to India or China—producing unsatisfactory and low-quality work. Organizations that make these misguided ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ decisions are failing to recognize the vital contributions that these important, skillful team members make in researching business intelligence, patent landscapes, safety signals, tracking competitors, and much more.”...
Bio-IT World, Sept. 27

Librarianship: A low-stress job?
Jennifer Eustis writes: “Would you agree with a post from Jennifer Hill at the Stress Relief Handbook blog that librarians work in the second least-stressful job in the workplace? From what I can tell, Jennifer isn’t a librarian or employed by one. She has, however, described her joy at visiting libraries while growing up. Being a librarian in an academic library, I couldn’t resist responding to this blog. As one colleague put it, Jennifer is mistaking Disneyland for Harvard. Let’s take a look at Jennifer’s points.”...
Celeripedian, Sept. 21; The Stress Relief Handbook, Jan. 11, 2010

A student at Simmons GSLISIs the U.S. training too many librarians or too few? (Part one)
Brett Bonfield writes: “For new library school graduates, or for more seasoned librarians ready for a change, entering the job market can be an intimidating, frustrating experience. We hear that there are no jobs available, and that the few libraries that do advertise new openings are inundated with applications. By looking at the past and the near future, we can begin to think about strategies for ensuring that we are taking an efficient approach to matching libraries’ needs with the supply of library workers.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Sept. 21

Résumé format: PDF or .doc?
Kate D’Amico writes: “As if creating your résumé wasn’t complicated enough, given the thousands of tips floating around, you still need to make sure you save your resume in the right file format (for help on creating your résumé content, see here, here, and here). Your best choices are PDF or .doc: Each has advantages and disadvantages, but which one should you choose?”...
Come Recommended, Sept. 27

Your résumé reality check
Will Manley writes: “I do have a thing about résumés. The fact is that the words punishment and résumé are for me synonymous. Those terrorists in Gitmo? I say forget waterboarding. Make them read librarian résumés as the preferred form of enhanced interrogation. I don’t think I ever really saw a résumé I liked. Every résumé I ever read had at least one flaw. Most had many flaws. Here is the list.”...
Will Unwound, Sept. 28

Can library instruction learn from Facebook?
Lane Wilkinson writes: “I think we can learn a lot about library instruction by reflecting on what happens when an important service like Facebook changes in drastic ways. Specifically, we can learn from the fact that, except for a vocal minority, most users quickly adapt to the changes and carry on with their lives. So, let’s ask ourselves, ‘How much of our library instruction will survive similar drastic changes to academic databases?’”...
Sense and Reference, Sept. 23

Years to build up Delicious: One day to wreck it
Phil Bradley writes: “Delicious has managed to destroy itself in a single day. That’s impressive by any standards, but I really think that they’ve done it. Users are complaining that they can’t log in, and then when they do they’re finding missing tags, no RSS feeds, the search function has been wrecked, tag bundles have disappeared, and that’s just for starters. What do we get in return? Something called ‘stacks’ which are not interesting, novel, or indeed new.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Sept. 28

Monster Mash graphic for HalloweenHow to jazz up your publicity
Heather Botelho writes: “If you’re like us at my library, you’re fairly limited in the software you’re allowed to use (ahem, Microsoft Office Suite), and your in-house publicity is made with Publisher. If you’re in the habit of making signs or flyers for your programs, check to see if you’ve gotten into the clip-art-gradient background-text rut. If this isn’t you, please please please help your fellow librarian who fits this description. If you’re thinking, ‘But what’s wrong with my clipart?,’ I beg of you, please keep reading.”...
YALSA Blog, Sept. 25

A Library Card: What better way to prove you are human during a Zombie Apocalypse?Alternate slogans for Library Card Sign-Up Month
Andy Woodworth writes: “ After viewing an advertisement for National Library Card Sign-up Month, I was struck by the sedate blurb about what the library can do for you. I guess with politicians hunting for additional spending cuts to make you really don’t want to emphasize reading for pleasure or storytimes or other things that apparently don’t generate revenue or move our economy, but come on! This has the inspiring delivery of a pull-string Al Gore doll. I began to wonder if there was a way to spice up this campaign.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Sept. 24

Zack, January2012 Men of the Stacks calendar
Nancy Dowd writes: “This year Becky Jones, Sarah Kahn, Sarah Daigle Scott, Trevor Dawes, Megan Perez, and some incredible men have given us a calendar that is sure to go down in library history. My favorite is Mr. August—Trevor, I didn’t know you were such a cooking enthusiast.” The Men of the Stacks calendar project is a group of 12 librarians in various stages of (un)dress. Orders are being taken for the 2012 calendar....
The ‘M’ Word: Marketing Libraries, Sept. 28; Men of the Stacks

Screen shot from Library: The MovieSims Memorial Library: The movie
Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library has put the finishing touches on an etiquette video titled Library: The Movie. Since its initial release in the 2010 spring semester, this short film (5:19), conceived and brought to life by Sims faculty and staff, has served to teach students proper behavior when using the library’s many resources. “During the spring of 2009, library staff had to contend with some very noisy, rowdy student behavior, both inside and outside of the library building,” said Reference/Instruction Librarian Penny Hecker....
SLU The Lion’s Roar, Sept. 21

Screen shot from A Banned Books Week poemA Banned Books Week poem
The Girls in the Stacks, the four smart and classy ladies who have an obsession with books and reading and who brought you last year’s video on “Banned Books Week: Don’t Let This Happen to You” (2:48), again celebrate BBW with a poem (2:28), written by Nancy T. and dramatized by Miss Annika (right), that shows what will happen when all books are banned....
YouTube, Sept. 25; Sept. 28, 2010

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