AL Direct masthead

American Libraries Online | ALA News | Booklist Online
Anaheim Update | Division News | Awards & Grants | Libraries in the News
Issues | Tech Talk | E-Content | Books & Reading | Tips & Ideas
Great Libraries of the World | Digital Library of the Week | Calendar

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 4, 2012

Solutions and Services column

Simmons GSLIS ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Logo used by Fake Elsevier Twitter protesterAn academic spring?
Barbara Fister writes: “On January 21, distinguished British mathematician Timothy Gowers posted to his blog his rationale for no longer submitting manuscripts, reviewing articles, or doing editorial work for journals published by Elsevier. Gowers faulted the a corporation for high prices, bundling subscriptions in ways that made selection prohibitively expensive for libraries, and for supporting the Research Works Act.”...
American Libraries feature; Gowers’s Weblog, Jan. 21

Grilled unicorn, anyone?April Fools! The year’s best library pranks
Greg Landgraf writes: “April Fools’ pranks and librarians have a strong tradition. Here are some of our favorite hoaxes from the LIS world this year. Grilled Unicorn: Professor Brian Trump of the British Library’s British Medieval Cookbook Project reported a near-miraculous find of a long-lost 14th-century cookbook with recipes for hedgehog, blackbird, and unicorn. (If you’ve got a hungry family full of picky eaters, the book suggests marinating unicorn in cloves and garlic before roasting. Absolutely delicious.)”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 4; Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog, Apr. 1

American flag. Photo by Tvabutzku1234 under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 licenseOn My Mind: Put an end to socialized intellectual property (satire)
Donald A. Barclay writes: “My good friends from Restore Intellectual Property Protection for Economic Recovery (RIPPER) are gearing up to launch an informational campaign that will set our mistaken average American citizen straight about the true facts of the so-called public domain. Millions of our cultural treasures, among them the greatest, most inspiring works of human genius and ingenuity ever created, sit moldering in the public domain void, as ownerless and economically unproductive as the fallow collective farms cooked up by Josef Stalin.”...
American Libraries column, Apr. 1

Libraries Work Because We DoNominate a Library Star on April 10
Pamela Goodes writes: “National Library Workers Day is right around the corner, on April 10. And in honor of all the unheralded library employees across the country, the ALA–Allied Professional Association is asking those in the profession to nominate “star” library employees for public recognition. ‘Once a year we take time to recognize the hard work of so many who are the very backbone of library service that help these organizations succeed,’ said ALA-APA Director Lorelle Swader.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 4

A sunset from the Rooftop Lounge at the La Casa Del Camino Hotel in Laguna Beach. Courtesy of Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention BureauTime to dine in Anaheim
Laura Daily writes: “Even a decade ago, the area immediately surrounding the Anaheim Convention Center was more culinary wasteland than Shangri-La. How times have changed. These days your greatest quandary may be choosing where to dine, so bountiful are the options. ‘A number of celebrated chefs and restaurateurs are paying attention to Orange County,’ said local food blogger Marian Bacol-Uba of ‘And it hasn’t yet peaked.’”...
American Libraries feature

Catalogers, take this LC survey
Technical services librarians are invited to participate in a survey that examines the value and use of the Library of Congress’s bibliographic data and cataloging products. The library will use the results to guide its strategic responses to this constantly changing bibliographic environment, and help it to effectively define its future role, adopt a sustainable financial model, and better serve its mission in the years ahead. User: catalog. Password: survey....
AL: Inside Scoop, Mar. 28

Go back to the Top

ALA News

ALA voter turnout up from last year
As of March 29, 10.23% of eligible members have voted in the ALA elections compared to 8.62% at the same time in 2011. Voting opened on March 19, and the polls will close at 11:59 p.m. Central time on April 27....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 30

Committee on Accreditation resignations
ALA President Molly Raphael informed the ALA governing Council March 28 of the resignation of Committee on Accreditation Chair Ken Haycock and the appointment of Brian L. Andrew to serve the remainder of his term. Haycock had accepted a new position at the University of Southern California that, he said, might be perceived as unduly influencing his role as COA chair. Meanwhile, COA member Dan O’Connor submitted his resignation April 2, charging that ALA leadership was unable to provide for a transparent and coherent set of ethical policy guidelines to address potential conflicts of interest....
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 3

Kathy RosaNew Office for Research and Statistics director
Kathy Rosa (right) will become the new director of the Office for Research and Statistics, effective May 21. Rosa currently serves as an assistant professor of library, information, and media studies in the College of Education at Chicago State University. Prior to her teaching position, Rosa held positions in public, academic, school, and special libraries....
Office for Research and Statistics, Apr. 2

You Belong @ your library logo, NLW 2012National Library Week, April 8–14
Communities across the US will celebrate the valuable contributions of our nation’s libraries during National Library Week, April 8–14. This year’s theme is “You Belong @ your library,” and libraries will offer programs and services that showcase technology and educational resources. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week events include the release of the State of America’s Libraries Report on April 9, one of the most comprehensive reports on library trends....
Public Information Office, Apr. 4

Brad Meltzer's Decoded DVD, Season 1Why patrons belong @ your library
Invite your library users to share their stories on why they belong at your library during National Library Week with’s six-word story contest. Through April 11, library users can submit their stories through Twitter using the #nlw6words tag. Stories will be complied and available for judging through Six-word stories should reflect the 2012 National Library Week theme, “You belong @ your library.” Winners will receive Season 1 of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on DVD. Meltzer is NLW Honorary Chair....
Public Information Office, Apr. 4

Millikin University Librarian Karin Borei gives Peeps a stern lecture on inappropriate library behaviorPeeps take part in National Library Week
With National Library Week close on the heels of Easter, many libraries are linking the two efforts in marshmallow Peeps programming. The Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton, Ohio, is having a Peeps Diorama contest. The Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington is sponsoring a Peepshow Contest. To get in the mood, reread Millikin University Library’s famous 2003 paper on “small fluffy creatures and library research.”...
Ida Rupp Public Library; Gallagher Law Library; Susan Avery and Jennifer Masciadrelli, “Peep Research,” Millikin University, Apr. 25, 2003

The Bookmobile Stops Here clingCelebrate bookmobiles April 11
As many Americans continue to pinch pennies during this difficult economic time, bookmobile use has become more popular than ever. Bookmobiles bring a wealth of resources to users wherever they are, and on April 11 communities across America will celebrate our nation’s bookmobiles and the vital services they provide during National Bookmobile Day @ your library....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Mar. 29

2011 legislative scorecards2011 legislative scorecards available
National Library Legislative Day is April 23–24, and to help prepare for your advocacy efforts, the ALA Washington Office has created 2011 ALA scorecards. Did your representative support school libraries in the Senate or the House? Did your senator cosponsor a bill that would help school libraries? Did your representative sign onto a key letter requesting support for school libraries? Our scorecards for the Senate (PDF file) and House (PDF file) are the definitive way to answer these and other questions....
District Dispatch, Mar. 28

Preservation Week: Pass It OnCelebrate Preservation Week @ your library
On April 22–28, libraries across America will celebrate Preservation Week @ your library with the theme, “Pass It On.” Libraries will help connect their users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation, and enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public. During the week, libraries will focus on these preservation themes: vinyl records, quilts, comic books, slides, digital photos, and family letters. Check out the press kit....
ALCTS, Apr. 3

Día book list brochureCelebrate Día, April 30
On April 30, libraries will celebrate and explore our nation’s rich tapestry of cultures during national El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day / Book Day). Libraries will offer family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy-driven events. Día supports an ongoing commitment for libraries to mirror the needs of the communities that they serve by providing resources in multiple languages....
ALSC, Apr. 3

Carol Brey-CasianoBrey-Casiano to deliver 2012 Coleman Lecture
Carol Brey-Casiano (right), information resource officer for the US Department of State and 2004–2005 ALA president, will deliver the 2012 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture on June 25 during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Her lecture, “Diversity on the World Stage,” will draw from her experiences as a leader in US libraries and in Colombia, Brazil, and Paraguay....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Apr. 2

Richard HoldenLibrary job trends
Join your colleagues the morning of June 24 in the ALA JobLIST Placement Center in Anaheim, just before its Open House, for a lively discussion on employment trends. Regional Commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics Richard J. Holden (right) will provide observations and analysis on future job trends in our society with a special emphasis on the library and information profession....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment Office, Apr. 3

Ideas wanted for the Diversity and Outreach Fair
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services invites proposals for the 2012 Diversity and Outreach Fair, held June 23 during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Building Community Connections,” the fair will feature examples of the many ways libraries forge relationships with other organizations to deliver vital services to their communities. Proposals will be accepted through May 4....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Mar. 29

Yoga Stone logoJoin Think Fit Yoga program at Annual Conference
So much thought-provoking professional development, so many stimulating events, so much good networking—it’s sometimes hard to remember to breathe at ALA Annual Conference. Attendees can fix that at this year’s conference by joining in ALA’s Think Fit Yoga program before the morning’s meetings and conference rush at 7 a.m. on June 24....
Conference Services, Apr. 3

Membership on IFLA section committees
The International Relations Committee is accepting nominations to section standing committees of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions for the 2013–2017 term. Forward nominations to Delin Guerra at the International Relations Office before November 13....
International Relations Office

Signorelli eCourse on social mediaUse social media as a library tool
ALA Editions is hosting a new facilitated eCourse, “Social Media Basics: Engaging Your Library Users.” Paul Signorelli, former director of staff training and volunteer services for the San Francisco Public Library system, will lead this four-week course, which begins on May 21. Signorelli will show you how you can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to connect with a library audience for reference, library instruction, outreach, and marketing....
ALA Editions, Apr. 3

Library security workshop
ALA Editions is hosting a new 90-minute workshop on June 6, “12 Essentials for a Safe and Secure Library” with Warren Graham. Graham, a library security manager with decades of experience, will guide you through a set of proven procedures to prepare you to handle a variety of scenarios, ranging from the common to the unexpected....
ALA Editions, Apr. 3

Serving the blind and physically impaired
ALA Editions is hosting a workshop on June 13, “Serving Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons at the Library” with Yolyndra Green. The workshop covers the challenges faced by this population in using libraries and will also provide an overview of the resources available to librarians to assist them, including many that are free....
ALA Editions, Apr. 3

Cover of Picture Books for ChildrenThe best picture books for children
Published by ALA Editions, Picture Books for Children: Fiction, Folktales, and Poetry by Mary Northrup is a comprehensive overview perfect for librarians, teachers, parents, daycare providers, and anyone who works with young children. Providing descriptive annotations of the best children’s picture book titles published in the last decade, it is both an excellent tool for collection development and an abundant resource for planning storytimes and other children’s programming....
ALA Editions, Apr. 2

Go back to the Top

Booklist Online banner

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Secret of the Manhattan ProjectFeatured review: History for youth
Gonzales, Doreen. The Secret of the Manhattan Project. Feb. 2012. 128p. illus. Enslow, library edition (978-0-766-03954-4).
The scene is neatly set with the first, short chapter, “Mission: Possible.” It asks readers to imagine keeping a secret among 100,000 people, hiding three entire cities from prying eyes, and putting the most famous scientists in the world in one place that few know about. These were just a few of the elements that went into the development of the atomic bomb. Part of the Stories in American History series, this book does a fine job of explaining the Manhattan Project to middle-graders by firmly placing the project in the context of history....

Top 10 Series Nonfiction 2012Top 10 nonfiction books for youth
Daniel Kraus writes: “Middle-grade series dominate this list of the top 10 series launched in the past year. (Perhaps it’s no surprise that two series are called Growing Up?) That doesn’t mean there’s not diversity: murderous women, famous authors, and larvae all have a place at this table.”...

Free Booklist webinars in April
Booklist webinars scheduled in April include sessions on graphic novels, children’s reference, and mysteries. All the webinars start at 1 p.m. Central time on Tuesdays. Visit the Booklist Online webinars page to register for upcoming events and to access the full archive of past webinars....

How do I get my book reviewed in Booklist?
If you wish to submit materials for review consideration in Booklist or Booklist Online, specific guidelines for various formats and types of materials are provided here. Any publisher of a book reviewed in Booklist will receive a tearsheet of the review. Due to the volume of submissions (more than 60,000 per year), we are unable to notify publishers whose books have not been selected for review. Send materials to Booklist, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611....

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

Go back to the Top

ALA Annual Conference banner

Anaheim Update

Outside the Anaheim Convention CenterAnaheim Convention Center
Much of the Anaheim Convention Center, the venue for the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, has been renovated in recent years with state-of-the-art facilities. The basketball arena fronting Katella Avenue opened in July 1967, while the convention hall behind it opened to business shortly afterward. Since then, the center has undergone three major expansions, and currently encloses 815,000 square feet of exhibit space and 130,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space. Visit the ACC website for still photos and panoramic views of its features....
Wikipedia; Anaheim Convention Center

Screenshot from Pirates of the Caribbean promotional videoPirates of the Caribbean ride is 45 years old
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland turned 45 years old on March 18. The ride was the last one at Disneyland that Walt Disney helped create. Sadly, he died just before it opened. The ride, which continues to be one of the most popular in the park, was initially intended to be a walk-through museum, but as Walt and his team continued to develop the attraction, they decided a boat ride would be far more fun. Check out D23 for a look back at opening day and an image from an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV show....
Palm Springs (Calif.) Desert Sun, Mar. 18; D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Mar. 19

Cover of Airline Quality Rating 2012Airline quality soars to 22-year high
When it comes to on-time performance, baggage handling, customer complaints, and overbooked flights, US airlines are performing at their highest level in at least 22 years, according to a study released April 2. Discount carriers, such as AirTran, Hawaiian, and JetBlue led the industry on those basic measures. The 2012 Airline Quality Rating (PDF file), a joint project of researchers at Purdue and Wichita State University, shows the 15 largest airlines on average improved in 2011 in all four categories....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 2

Victims of tighter tipping
Tipping for hotel concierges, bellhops, and housekeepers moves up and down with the economy, but lately it has also been affected by changes in corporate, airline, and hotel policies. Since luggage got wheels, more travelers have been eschewing porters and taking their own bags up to their hotel rooms. Airline baggage fees have made things worse, with travelers packing lighter, and thus not needing the services of a skycap or bellman as often....
New York Times, Mar. 26

Go back to the Top

2012 ALA Election

Division News

Screenshot from STARS video showing Micquel Little, access services librarian, St. John Fisher CollegeRUSA videos showcase interlibrary loan librarians
New videos posted by the RUSA Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section provide insight into the role of interlibrary loan librarians and can help LIS students better understand this important area of librarianship. These two-minute videos feature Micquel Little (right), Collette Mak, and Heather Weltin, ILL librarians who serve in a variety of roles discussing their responsibilities and experiences....
RUSA, Apr. 3

RUSA spring online courses
This spring, RUSA offers a variety of basic reference and user services courses on such topics as readers’ advisory, reference, and genealogy, as well as a pair of courses covering basic and intermediate GIS and spatial information skills that can be applied at your library. Here is an overview of what the division is offering in the next few months....
RUSA Blog, Apr. 4

School library survey data now available
Researchers can now request access to data from the AASL School Libraries Count! longitudinal survey. The yearly survey gathers data on school library programs to track the state of programs nationally. Researchers can submit requests to license the data for noncommercial uses by completing a form....
AASL, Apr. 3

The School Library Month story
Lucille Thomas, chair of the first School Library Month committee, shares the planning and presentation of the first month dedicated to celebrating the school library profession in 1985 in a new audio podcast presented by AASL. Interviewed by Susan Hess, Thomas speaks about developing a national celebration for AASL....
AASL, Apr. 3

Support Teen Literature Day, April 12
On April 12, librarians across the county are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Sponsored by YALSA, the event showcases award-winning YA authors and books and highlights librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials....
YALSA, Mar. 29

Maria Kalman and Daniel HandlerYA authors at the Printz program and reception
Annual Conference attendees won’t want to miss the 2012 Michael L. Printz Program and Reception, held by YALSA on June 25 in Anaheim, California. The Printz Award, announced in January at the Youth Media Awards, honors the best book written for teens each year. Author John Corey Whaley, whose book Where Things Come Back won this year’s award, will speak, as will honor book author Daniel Handler and illustrator Maira Kalman (above), and authors Christine Hinwood, Craig Silvey, and Maggie Stiefvater....
YALSA, Apr. 2

Susan Cooper at the 2011 National Book Festival. Photo by Gail PetriSusan Cooper to speak at Margaret Edwards luncheon
Join YALSA in honoring Susan Cooper (right), winner of the 2012 Margaret A. Edwards Award for the five books of The Dark Is Rising series, at the Margaret A. Edwards Luncheon on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Cooper will speak about her books and writing for children and teens after a sit-down luncheon. Tickets must be purchased in advance....
YALSA, Apr. 2

Meet authors at the YA Authors Coffee Klatch
Meet your favorite young adult authors over coffee at YALSA’s annual YA Authors Coffee Klatch on June 24 in Anaheim, California, as part of the ALA Annual Conference. This year’s klatch will feature more than 35 authors whose books have won YALSA’s six awards or appeared on its seven booklists. This event sells out most years, with only limited tickets at the door....
YALSA, Apr. 2

Tessa Dare. Photo by Raphael MaglonzoALTAFF: Isn’t It Romantic?
ALTAFF will host “Isn’t it Romantic?” on June 23 at the 2012 ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim. This popular program features bestselling romance writers, including Deborah Coonts, Tessa Dare (right), Jillian Hunter, Susan Mallery, and Jill Shalvis. It will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal’s Prepub Alert....
ALTAFF, Apr. 3

Libraries Leading the Race: Theme for the 2012 ALSC InstituteEarly bird registration for ALSC National Institute
ALSC invites members to take advantage of early bird registration for the 2012 ALSC National Institute before it ends June 30. The institute will take place September 20–22 in Indianapolis and is devoted solely to children’s and youth library services. The event will serve as the kick-off to the Caldecott Award’s 75th anniversary celebration....
ALSC, Apr. 2

Manage teen behavior
By popular demand, YALSA has added a second presentation of its “Managing the Swarm: Teen Behavior in the Library and Strategies for Success” webinar to take place April 24. By setting the right tone with regulars, establishing appropriate boundaries, and equitably addressing problem behaviors, you can create a teen space that is consistently welcoming, using strategies from Managing the Swarm, led by Erin Downey Howerton....
YALSA, Apr. 2

Proposals for AASL Annual Conference programs
AASL invites proposals for 90-minute concurrent sessions and half- or full-day preconference workshops to be presented during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The submission deadline is June 1....
AASL, Apr. 3

Missouri to offer ALTAFF Trustee Academy
ALTAFF has made special pricing for its Trustee Academy available to state library agencies. Missouri recently joined Nebraska, Kansas, and Utah in making the Trustee Academy available for its libraries through a multiple-use purchase....
ALTAFF, Apr. 3

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

Rep. Rush Holt2012 ALTAFF Public Service Award
ALTAFF will present its 2012 Public Service Award to Congressman Rush Holt (D-N.J., right) during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., on April 23–24. In Congress, Rep. Holt introduced the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries (WILL) Act to integrate libraries into job training efforts and the SKILLS Act, which would establish a goal of having not less than one highly qualified school librarian in each public school....
ALTAFF, Apr. 3

Michael MorpurgoHost the 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture
ALSC and the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Committee are calling for applications to host the 2013 event, which will feature well-known children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo (right). The lecture traditionally is held in April or early May. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a children’s library system may be considered for the venue. Host site application forms are due May 11....
ALSC, Mar. 29

2012 ASCLA Exceptional Service Award
ASCLA will posthumously honor Kathleen Hegarty with its 2012 Exceptional Service Award. Making creative use of federal LSCA funds, she forged numerous cutting-edge services for special populations during her tenure at Boston Public Library, including the “Homesmobile” library services to nursing homes and the homebound. Hegarty was notified of winning the award prior to her death on January 28....
ASCLA, Mar. 29

2012 ASCLA Leadership Award
Laura Sherbo, branch library services program manager at the Washington State Library, is the 2012 recipient of the ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. The award recognizes leadership and achievement in consulting, library cooperation, networking, statewide service, programs, and state library development....
ASCLA, Apr. 3

"This is what a librarian looks like" posterSacramento Public Library unveils award-winning campaign
Residents of Sacramento, California, have been seeing a number of new public transit signs, window clings, and posters—all reminding them that the Sacramento Public Library is a place where everyone belongs. As the winner of the 2012 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week grant, the library received $3,000 to develop its public awareness campaign using the National Library Week theme, “You belong @ your library.” The campaign’s target audience is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community....
Public Information Office, Apr. 3

Two I Love My Librarian winners also Movers and Shakers
Two recent winners of the Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award, for which library users nominate their librarians, have recently received national recognition by their peers. Paul Clark (2010 I Love My Librarian winner) and Jennifer LaGarde (2011 I Love My Librarian winner) joined the ranks of the more than 550 librarians that have been named Movers and Shakers by Library Journal since 2002....
Public Information Office, Apr. 3

Anne Macdonald2012 Morningstar Public Librarian Support grant
Anne Macdonald (right), business librarian at the Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins, Colorado, is the 2012 recipient of the RUSA BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award—an Annual Conference travel grant. The award is presented to a librarian with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career as a business reference librarian and the potential to be a leader in the profession....
RUSA, Apr. 3

Financial assistance for the LSSC Program
The Library Support Staff Interests Round Table, as well as 10 state library agencies, will be offering another round of financial assistance to library support staff applying for certification in the Library Support Staff Certification Program. The program offers library support staff the opportunity to achieve recognition for their existing skills and knowledge. Apply for a Registration Assistance Award online by May 15....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Apr. 2

Cover of The Pirates Next Door2012 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize
The winners of the 2012 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize were announced at an awards ceremony at Waterstones flagship store in London on March 28. The overall winner, and the winner in the picture book category, was The Pirates Next Door (Templar Publishing) by Jonny Duddle, an amusing story about a pirate family. The fiction for ages 5–12 winner was Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Scholastic), while You Against Me by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books) was the teen books winner....
The Independent (UK), Mar. 29

Cover of Gangsta Granny2012 Northern Ireland Book Award
The winner of the 2012 Northern Ireland Book Award was announced on March 28 as Gangsta Granny by well-known UK comedian and writer David Walliams. Little does young Ben suspect that his gangsta granny is planning her greatest jewel heist ever: stealing the crown jewels from the Tower of London. Booksellers and all Grade 8–9 schoolchildren in Northern Ireland were invited to submit nominations. The award recognizes books that are exciting and encourage children to read more....
Northern Ireland Book Award, Mar. 28

Cover of Cooking with PooCooking with Poo wins oddest title prize
Cooking with Poo, a Thai cookbook penned by Bangkok resident Saiyuud Diwong and published in Australia, has trumped its rivals to scoop The Bookseller’s coveted Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year award. Diwong’s nickname is “Poo” (that’s Thai for “crab”), hence the title. The Diagram Prize, conceived as a way to avoid boredom at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, was first awarded in 1978 to Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice....
The Bookseller, Apr. 2

Go back to the Top

Libraries in the News

The ImaginOn and Jon StewartDaily Show to tape at ImaginOn in September
Tickets were all snapped up within an hour April 2 once word got out that popular fake-TV-news-show host Jon Stewart was coming to town in September for the Democratic National Convention. The Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library board agreed to rent part of the ImaginOn children’s library and theater to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show for $94,488. Taping will take place September 4–7. The revenue will supplement the library’s operating budget, including services that support literacy, educational success, and workforce development, and will support Children’s Theatre programs and infrastructure....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Apr. 2; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Apr. 2

Toronto libraries reopen
Toronto Public Library workers are back on the job after voting to approve a new contract on March 29. CUPE Local 4948 president Maureen O’Reilly said the agreement reached between the union and the city is a victory for the union. The new agreement provides employees with a modest wage increase in the second, third, and fourth year of the contract. Library workers went on strike March 19, after a breakdown in negotiations....
CBC News, Mar. 29; Toronto Public Library, Mar. 2

Camdenton agrees to comply on filtering
The ACLU said on March 28 that it has settled a lawsuit with a central Missouri school district whose internet filtering software was blocking access to nonsexual websites about LGBT issues. The ACLU said the Camdenton R-III School District has agreed to stop blocking the sites, submit to monitoring for 18 months to confirm compliance, and pay $125,000 in legal fees and costs. However, a local attorney has vowed to fight the settlement “to the end,” and the local Tea Party is rallying opposition....
eSchool News,
Mar. 29; Camdenton (Mo.) Lake Sun, Mar. 29; Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Mar. 29

Salt Lake library aims to help homeless patrons
In a new program, the Salt Lake City Public Library will begin working with Salt Lake County Human Services, the Utah Department of Workforce Services, and Salt Lake City police to direct patrons to social services including homeless shelters, mental health counseling, or substance-abuse prevention programs. But only with patrons’ consent, a library spokesperson stressed....
Salt Lake Tribune, Apr. 1

State library worker accused of stealing $110,000
A Louisiana State Library employee wanted for allegedly embezzling $110,000 of privately donated funds turned herself in to authorities March 29. Alison Claire Foster was arrested and booked on 174 counts of unauthorized use of a credit card and 94 counts of forgery and felony theft. Foster was employed as the executive assistant to the state librarian since June 1996. Foster’s attorney said she is innocent....
Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Apr. 1

The broken-down Cobleigh Public Library bookmobile sits idle at a storage facility in Lyndonville, Vt. Supporters are raising money to put it back on the road. Photo by Herb SwansonThe final chapter for a trusty bookmobile?
The Cobleigh Public Library in Lyndonville, Vermont, had managed to keep its bookmobile rolling until about a month ago, when it died. Now that the bookmobile has broken down, librarians have to bring books in their own cars for story hour for preschoolers at Stay and Play, a daycare center. Over the years, Vermont’s large fleet has dwindled to three or four. Lyndonville’s head librarian, Cindy Karasinski, says replacement costs have skyrocketed, and the kind of grants that used to fund bookmobiles have all but dried up....
NPR: Weekend Edition Sunday, Apr. 1

The headquarters and library of the Royal Philatelic Society London are in this buildingPhilatelic libraries join forces
Mark Kellner writes: “One of the most important aspects of philately is the accumulation of the knowledge to create a comprehensible collection or exhibit. Now, some of the world’s leading philatelic organizations are joining forces to make the finding of that specialized knowledge easier. According to an announcement from the Royal Philatelic Society London, or RPSL, the groups will ‘provide a centralized gateway to the greatest philatelic research in existence.’”...
Stamp Collecting Examiner, Apr. 1

UK court rules volunteer-run libraries unlawful
Surrey County Council’s decision to run 10 libraries by volunteers in a move to keep its 52 libraries open has been ruled unlawful by the UK High Court of Justice. Campaigners opposed the move on the technicality that paid staff were more knowledgeable in providing assistance to users. Justice Wilkie said the decision-making process was flawed, because training for volunteers was not fully discussed. The verdict could have implications for other councils that have earmarked changes to library services....
BBC News, Apr. 3

Nobel laureate donates books to Peruvian hometown
Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa says he’ll donate the 30,000 books of his personal library to his hometown of Arequipa, Peru. The Nobel literature laureate announced the plan at a news conference March 28, his 76th birthday. The author of novels, including Conversation in the Cathedral and The Time of the Hero, says he will include a variety of volumes, from history and philosophy to politics and literature....
Associated Press, Mar. 28

Go back to the Top


Chart: New books from Amazon warehouse by decadeHow copyright protection makes books vanish
Rebecca J. Rosen writes: “The chart on the right shows a distribution of 2,500 newly printed fiction books selected at random from Amazon’s warehouses. What’s so crazy is that there are just as many from the last decade as from the decade between 1910 and 1920. Why? Because beginning in 1923, most titles are copyrighted. Books from before 1923 tend to be in the public domain, and the result is that Amazon carries them—lots of them.”...
The Atlantic, Mar. 30

Kurt VonnegutKurt Vonnegut’s letter to a book burner
In October 1973, Bruce Severy, a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake (N.Dak.) High School, decided to use Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five as a teaching aid in his classroom. On November 7, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school’s furnace as a result of its “obscene language.” On November 16, Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter. He didn’t receive a reply.”...
Letters of Note, Mar. 30

Lawsuit over Bush and Cheney records
Gawker Media reporter John Cook writes: “I filed a FOIA complaint in 2011 against the National Archives and Records Administration, demanding copies of the paperwork President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney used to access files from their official papers. NARA is fighting it. In court papers filed March 26, the agency ironically invoked the inviolate confidentiality inherent in the relationship between librarians and patrons. Ironic, because Bush and Cheney made sure that the Patriot Act empowered the FBI to rummage through library records with impunity.”...
Gawker, Mar. 28; Courthouse News Service, Dec. 1, 2011

OITP Research Associate Jessie L. Mannisto spaks at the Rochester Hills (Mich.) Pyblic Library about her newly-released report, Restoring Contemplation: How Disconnecting Bolsters the Knowledge Economy (OITP Perspectives No. 2)Disconnection: Part of a balanced information diet
Christine Lind Hage writes: “Like many people today I am seldom far from my computer, email, or Droid. Even while reading for relaxation, I have a computer at hand to look things up, surf, and quickly respond to emails coming in. Soon it became apparent to me that that this experience was becoming more and more prevalent in our community, and it has evolved into a wider community discussion here at the Rochester Hills (Mich.) Public Library.”...
District Dispatch, Apr. 4

Libraries as software
Hugh Rundle writes: “The software/hardware framework is a good way to think about what libraries are really about as we move further into a world of post-paper publishing. What libraries have too often focused on in the past is hardware—buildings, books, journals, and rooms. But the real value of libraries is not the hardware. Users don’t come to the library to find books, magazines, journals, films, or recordings. They come to be informed, inspired, horrified, enchanted, or amused. They come for the software.”...
It’s Not About the Books, Apr. 4

English, Bengali newspapers banned from West Bengal libraries
The chief minister of the Indian state of West Bengal has banned English and mass-circulation Bengali newspapers from public libraries in the state in an effort to promote “free thinking” among readers, according to the March 14 statement from the West Bengal government. Only eight vernacular newspapers have been approved. Two major political parties in India have condemned the state government’s ban....
Times of India (New Delhi), Mar. 28; Indo-Asian News Service, Mar. 28; Kottayam Malayala Manorama, Apr. 1

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Google's augmented reality glassesGoogle’s augmented-reality glasses
Google finally acknowledged that it’s testing a prototype set of eyeglasses that can stream data to the wearer’s eyes in real time. A video (2:30) of this augmented-reality experiment was posted by Google on YouTube showing someone wearing the glasses as he makes his way around a variety of Manhattan venues, receiving up-to-the-minute updates as information streamed in. The New York Times reports that one of the researchers on the project, Babak Parviz, is a University of Washington specialist in bionanotechnology who developed a contact lens (video, 14:20) with embedded electronics that can show pixels to someone’s eye....
CNET News: Cutting Edge, Apr. 4; YouTube, Feb. 7, Apr. 4; New York Times: Bits, Apr. 4

Iolo System Mechanic 10, widgetTuning up your computer (for beginners)
Jill Duffy writes: “If you learn how and why it’s important to maintain your computer, you can implement an efficient system for making sure it happens regularly. This article is for people who don’t know what it means to tune up a computer (if that description does not fit you, then perhaps this is an article you can share with your less technical friends and family). I’ll make it simple to understand and give a few options for products and services that will do the tune up for you.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 2

Cybersecurity’s 7-step plan for internet freedom
Greg Nojeim writes: “Pending cybersecurity bills (H.R. 3523, S. 2105, and S. 2151) in Congress include provisions that pose major civil liberties risks that must be addressed before any bill is enacted into law. The House is ready to take up legislation as soon as the week of April 23; after that, the Senate will act. Here are some dos and don’ts that preserve internet privacy and freedom.” (For a more fully explained analysis, view the PDF file.)...
Center for Democracy and Technology, Mar. 28

The Dell XPS 13 UltrabookA bevy of beauties, and so PC
David Pogue writes: “So what is an ultrabook? It’s a MacBook Air that runs Windows. Because of the tiny storage, an ultrabook doesn’t make a good primary computer and can store only wee photo, music, and video collections. Forget high-horsepower games, too. But never mind all that. If you have the money, you’ll love how satisfying, beautiful, and exquisitely designed these machines are. For most uses—email, web surfing, chat, Microsoft Office, music, streaming movies—an ultrabook is pure joy.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Mar. 28

Epson Stylus Photo R2000How to buy a photo printer
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “True photo printers—in contrast to standard inkjets that manufacturers merely call photo printers—fall into two broad categories at the consumer level: dedicated and near-dedicated photo printers. Dedicated (also known as small-format) photo printers can print nothing but photos. Near-dedicated photo printers offer professional-level output quality.” Here are PC Magazine’s top five photo printers....
PC Magazine, Mar. 29

5 iPad apps that look great on the new retina screen
James Bruce writes: “Apps that haven’t been updated for the new retina screen are now painfully obvious, so here are five apps that have been updated, and are now among my most used apps for precisely that reason.”...
MakeUseOf, Mar. 30

PDF logo4 tips for securing PDF documents
When you create PDFs for business purposes there are a number of security concerns you may have, ranging from who can view it to how the content can be reused. It’s therefore vital to understand your PDF security settings well and to know what protection features are generally available. Here are some of the top PDF security tips....
MakeUseOf, Mar. 29

Limbo is creepy. The puzzle platformer abides by many standard conventions, but the atmosphere is what truly sets it apart10 PC games for less than $10
Matt Silverman writes: “It’s a great time to be a PC gamer. The most anticipated studio titles can be downloaded the moment they’re released, the classics you grew up with are increasingly available again, and independent developers have the means to create worlds the industry only dreams of. We’ve selected 10 of our favorite low-priced PC games—a good mix of modern classics, indie innovation, and nostalgia-soaked reissues—which all come in under $10.”...
Mashable, Mar. 30

Wikidata logoWikidata to unify structured data for Wikipedia
With more than 280 different language editions of Wikipedia often sharing data elements like people’s birth dates and definitions, there has never been a single central data repository from which each version could pull such information. Until now. On March 30, the German chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation pulled back the wraps on Wikidata, a project that aims to be a single common source of structured data that can be used across all versions of Wikipedia. By December, Wikipedia editors will pull data from that repository rather than adding it by hand themselves.”...
CNET News: Geek Gestalt, Mar. 30

Nathaniel Borenstein, father of the email attachmentThe father of the email attachment
Twenty years ago in March, 100 American web geeks opened their inboxes to find a bizarre email. Inside the message were two attachments. The first was a photograph of the Telephone Chords, an a capella quartet comprising four hirsute IT researchers. The second, the Chords’ recording of an old barbershop favorite, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” But the content wasn’t the weirdest thing. It was the attachment itself. This was the first functional attachment ever, sent by the quartet’s tenor, Nathaniel Borenstein (above)....
The Guardian (UK), Mar. 26

Go back to the Top


Angry DRM gorillaEbooks 101: Digital Rights Management
Christopher Harris writes: “Where does a 300-pound gorilla apply DRM (Digital Rights Management)? Answer: Wherever he wants. And in the case of many publishers, that is everywhere. But what exactly is this seemingly ever-present DRM? As a broad definition, DRM refers to a technology that works to protect digital content.”...
AL: E-Content, Apr. 3

Will Hachette be the first to drop DRM?
DRM “doesn’t stop anyone from pirating,” Hachette Senior Vice President Maja Thomas said in a March 31 publishing panel at the Copyright Clearance Center’s OnCopyright 2012 conference. “It just makes it more difficult, and anyone who wants a free copy of any of our books can go online now and get one. There’s a misconception that somehow the digital format of books has made piracy increase, or become logarithmically more serious. But piracy was always very easy to do.”...
paidContent, Mar. 31

Defining digital literacy
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “When I was invited to serve as a member of the Digital Literacy Task Force in the spring of 2011 I was thrilled that OITP was forming a group to focus on the issue of digital literacy. One of the first action items we agreed upon was the need for a clear definition of digital literacy. And here it is: Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”...
District Dispatch, Apr. 2

Offerings on the Portsmouth PL's online newsstandPlug pulled on librarian’s digital newsstand
Michael Kelley writes: “A popular online newsstand devised by a New Hampshire librarian has run afoul of licensing terms and was deactivated at least temporarily. About two years ago, Steve Butzel, assistant director of the Portsmouth Public Library, wanted to increase usage of the library’s EBSCO subscription databases, so he created a friendlier interface. However, as the interface spread to other libraries and drew more attention, EBSCO notified him that it violated its licensing agreement. Butzel and EBSCO are now talking about how to keep the project alive.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Mar. 30

Darnton promises Digital Public Library by 2013
Scholar and Harvard University librarian Robert Darnton vowed that the Digital Public Library of America, a nonprofit, nationwide effort to digitize and offer access to millions of free, digitized books and special collections would launch by April 2013. He made his remarks April 2 as the featured speaker at the 25th Annual Horace S. Manges Lecture at Columbia Law School. He noted that copyright-related issues were the biggest challenge....
Publishers Weekly, Apr. 3

Brainstorming digital learning
In an encouraging move for advocates of digital learning, leaders from the Education Department, the Federal Communications Commission, and the textbook and broadband industry met March 29 on Capitol Hill to discuss how companies can better serve schools and districts with digital textbooks. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the meeting was a follow-up to a challenge issued by the two agencies in February to state and industry leaders to drive national adoption of digital textbooks in the next five years....
eSchool News, Mar. 30

A series of screenshots showcasing the varied art styles of modern animeWhose digital manga is it anyway?
Elizabeth Watson writes: “In many ways, manga’s digital revolution had its roadblocks in the making before it even got started. Digital piracy was seized on by manga’s young readership early on. Scanlation—where website users upload scans of original manga pages and translate the work—is a particular driver of digital piracy, as it makes whole works available online without license or permission.” Aside from scanlations, the manga publishing industry has been hit hard by the collapse of Borders, which represented around 30% of manga’s (legal) US market share....
Publishing Trends, Mar. 29; TeleRead, Mar. 30

Bringing up an e-reader
Amid the excitement and enthusiasm of e-readers like the iPad, Nook Color, and Kindle Fire, some people are suggesting a closer look, especially for younger children learning to read. In an attempt to figure out whether parents should embrace ebooks with great enthusiasm or ration e-reader screen time as they do TV time, the Center for Literacy at the University of Akron is conducting a research project to find the best way to integrate ebooks into classrooms....
New York Times, Mar. 28

Pottermore DRM hacked, ebooks on Torrents
Nate Hoffelder writes: “Forty-two hours. That’s how long it took for the first pirated copies of the official Pottermore Harry Potter ebooks to show up on a pirate site. One not terribly intelligent pirate uploaded a complete set of the Pottermore ebooks, in Epub March 28.If this hacker’s fate is widely publicized, Tony Cole writes, it could discourage others from imitating him and prevent giving more fuel to publishers who insist that the old system of protecting against piracy is the only one to use....
The Digital Reader, Mar. 28–29; eBookAnoid, Mar. 30

The book of the future, as illustrated by Grant SniderThe book of the future
Note to your future self: You may become tired of reading books on screens and breaking them along the moving sidewalks. And perhaps the new and improved book will be more to your taste. Made with a biodegradable non-glowing type encased in a protective layer of wood pulp, the redesigned book of the future, as illustrated by Grant Snider, may resemble something we’ve all seen before....
New York Times, Mar. 30

Crazy born-digital content
James A. Jacobs writes: “Producers of digital content must understand that they need to produce preservable content. If producers and publishers created digital content in neutral, preservable formats, we would not have to spin our wheels with the Sisyphean task of constantly trying to fix unpreservable content with techniques such as emulation and format migration. That brings me to this example (PDF file) of what looks to be shoddy content creation. It has no periods at the end of any of its sentences.”...
Free Government Information, Mar. 31

Pastel Pointers is one ebook that will be made available through this serviceSubscription service for art ebooks
F+W Media announced March 29 that it is launching a new ebook subscription service for art enthusiasts. Part of the Artist’s Network, the service will be entirely focused on the art e-content niche and will offer access to more than 120 full-color art instruction titles from F+W Media’s publishing imprints....
eBookNewser, Mar. 29

Go back to the Top

ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim logo

Rebecca MacKinnon

Thought-provoking speakers Rebecca MacKinnon (above) and J. R. Martinez kick off and close out the conference, respectively. MacKinnon, a journalist, internet policy specialist, and author, headlines the Opening General Session June 22. Actor, author, soldier, speaker Martinez will help end on a high note as speaker at the Closing General Session June 26, at the ALA Annual Conference.

Midwest Tape ad

Booklist webinars

Booklist’s free webinars always attract crowds of attendees. Free Booklist webinars in April include New Graphic Novels, Children’s Reference, and Hot Mysteries. All webinars are archived for future review. Get more details at the Booklist Online webinars page. NEW! From Booklist.

Great Libraries of the World

Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library

Vatican Library, Vatican City, Rome, Italy. Pope Nicholas V established the current collection in 1448 by combining some 350 Greek, Latin, and Hebrew codices inherited from his predecessors with his own library, as well as manuscripts from the imperial library of Constantinople. The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana was established in 1475; its first librarian, Bartolomeo Platina, produced the first catalog list of 3,498 items in 1481. Around 1587, Pope Sixtus V hired Domenico Fontana to construct the library building that is still in use today. One of its treasures is the Codex Vaticanus, one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible written by hand in the 4th century. Another is the Bodmer Papyrus XIV-XV; written in the early 3rd century, it is one of the very earliest surviving witnesses to the text of the New Testament. The library was closed to scholars in 2007–2010 for a major renovation and installation of a new security system.

Martynas Mažvydas commemorative doorway, Vilnius University Library

Vilnius University Library, Vilnius, Lithuania. The library has been located in the old university building since its establishment in 1570 as a Jesuit college. Pranciškus Smuglevičius Hall, named after the Lithuanian painter who decorated it in 1803, is one of the oldest parts of the library and today is used by the Department of Rare Books. A unique collection of historical globes and astronomical instruments is housed in the White Hall, which served as the university observatory in 1753–1883. Some 10,000 Old Lithuanian books are the pride of its special collections. The library’s commemorative doorway (above) was dedicated in 1997 for the 450th anniversary of the first Lithuanian book, Martynas Mažvydas’s 1547 catechism.

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

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Tenure-Track Faculty Librarian, Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, Washington. This full-time tenure-track position is the primary contact for free and fee-based electronic information resources and takes the leadership role in procurement, licensing, and management of the library’s electronic information resources. Works closely with Information Technology Department in the design and maintenance of the library’s web presence....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Vincent van Gogh's Girl in White (1890 painting)

NGA Images, a new online resource that launched March 16, is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 20,000 open access digital images—up to 3,000 pixels each—are available free of charge for download and use. NGA Images is designed to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.

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, Check out our Featured Digital Libraries Pinterest board.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Outside, I ducked out of the way of a beeping Book Robot that was performing no book-like functions I could see, and I slid down the wall. Beside me sat a young-ish librarian in shiny black flats, poking derisively at her phone. This was my last chance to get someone on the record saying the end is near. Has her New Jersey library suffered from the loss of grants and city budget cuts? ‘Actually, we’re working on expanding,’ she told me. ‘We desperately need more space.’ This was her first conference. ‘It’s been very interesting.’ God, I can’t even coax her into saying how the lack of natural light and recycled air is destroying her will to live.”

—Jessa Crispin, in her description of the PLA Conference exhibit hall, “Book Report,” The Smart Set, Mar. 27.

“The fact is that well over half the ebooks currently available can be read at no cost whatsoever and most of the rest are available at prices so low as to unlikely challenge any but the most destitute among us. And this raises some very real questions about the continued value of the ‘free’ lending library in the age of the ebook.”

—LSSI Vice President Steve Coffman, “The Decline and Fall of the Library Empire,Searcher 20, no. 3 (Apr.).

@ More quotes...

Enjoy our latest content

Connect with your Kids: How Do You Explain the Holocaust to a Child?

Father Bruno with some of the children he saved from the Holocaust

Bully—a Heartbreaking Look at Kids Under Daily Attack at School

Libraries offer resources during National Poetry Month

Great Movies: 'The Highest Moment in the Movies:' City Lights

'The Evolving Universe' Travels Back to Beginning of Time and Space

Trains Inspire Great Books, Films

Join Us on Facebook Join Us on Facebook

Subscribe to our

at your library logo


Apr. 12–13:
Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, Student Center, Kent State University, Ohio.

Apr. 18:
Ninth Annual Copyright Conference,
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. “©opyright in ©asablanca: Round Up the Usual Suspects!”

Apr. 25: and Linked Data: Complementary Approaches to Publishing Data,
NISO/DCMI webinar.

May 3–6:
Association of Independent Information Professionals,
Annual Conference, Indianapolis. “Racing to Succeed.”

May 18–19:
International Conference on Information and Religion,
Student Center, Kent State University, Ohio.

June 4–8:
International Association for Social Science and Information Technology,
Annual Conference, Marvin Center, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. “Data Science for a Connected World.”

June 5–7:
Kohacon 12,
Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.

June 9–11:
Kohacon 12,
Hackfest, Edinburgh, Scotland.

June 18–21:
Canada International Conference on Education,
University of Guelph, Ontario.

June 25–28:
Association for Computing Machinery,
Hypertext and Social Media Conference, Milwaukee.

July 17–20:
6th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication, and Management,
Orlando, Florida.

Aug. 12–16:
Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval,
Conference, Portland (Oreg.) Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

Sept. 7:
Ohio Library Council,
Expo, Lausche Building, Ohio Expo Center, Columbus.

Sept. 10–11:
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Cataloguing and Indexing Group,
Conference, University of Sheffield, UK.

Sept. 19–22:
North Dakota Library Association,
Annual Conference, Best Western Doublewood Inn & Conference Center, Fargo. “Finding Your Voice.”

Sept. 30–
Oct. 3:

Pennsylvania Library Association,
Annual Conference, Gateway Gettysburg. “PA Libraries: Leading the Charge.”

Nov. 7–10:
New York Library Association,
Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs. “Writing Our Next Chapter.”

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Associate Editor:

Laurie D. Borman
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

Jennifer Henderson,
Contributing Researcher

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

The endangered scholarly book review
Lynn Worsham writes: “More and more scholarly journals seem to be shrinking or considering eliminating their book-review sections. That is a sad trend. Despite the doubts of some of my editor colleagues, I believe that the book review, done properly, is still a viable and important contribution to intellectual life. Substantive reviews help busy scholars make informed choices as to which books to read carefully, which to skim, and which to bypass altogether. Here are some tips I give doctoral students who are interested in writing reviews for scholarly journals.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 1

The Kitchenmaid Listens to the Nightengale, by Henry J. Ford10 classic children’s fairy tale illustrators
Alison Nastasi writes: “International Children’s Book Day, April 2, honors the important role reading plays in healthy child development, aiming to instill a lifelong love of printed works for young bookworms across the world. Storybook illustrators have been bringing the tales of Andersen and other authors to life for eons, offering an imaginative entryway into each fable’s unique universe—many of the artworks now inseparable from the books. With this in mind, we wanted to share the incredible creations of several famed fairy tale illustrators.”...
Flavorwire, Apr. 2

Cover of QB VII, by Leon UrisLeon Uris taught me about sex
Linda Ueki Absher (the Lipstick Librarian) writes: “In 6th grade, no less. I was what sociologists have come to identify as a ‘bookworm.’ The library was the obvious route: Living on an air force base on a teeny island off the coast of Japan with 25-cent taxi rides being the norm, getting myself to the library was simple. I lumbered through the children’s section, and then I spotted it: a nondescript book left on a nearby table. It had a peculiar title: QB VII. I began to read. As I slogged through the endless jumble of exposition, I came upon ... the page.”...
CounterPunch, Mar. 29

Screenshot from Birth of a BookBirth of a book
How many of us pause to wonder, when we hold a beautiful book in our hands, about the work that went into making it? For this mesmerising exclusive video (1:55), Glen Milner visited Smith Settle bookbinders near Leeds, where the owners, Don Walters and Tracey Thorne, allowed him to film the making of a limited-edition book, Suzanne St Albans’s memoir Mango and Mimosa, from start to finish....
The Daily Telegraph (UK), Mar. 10

The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb (Hamish Hamilton, 1954). Design by Ray SanfordBritish book jacket design, 1950s–1960s
Existential Ennui writes: “Here is a permanent, ever-expanding Existential Ennui gallery page of some of the most gorgeous British dust jackets ever to wrap around books in the 1950s and 1960s, especially crime and spy thrillers and science fiction. Above all, these jackets are striking, evocative, and memorable works in their own right, ones which should, I feel, be considered as art as well as design.”...
Existential Ennui, Mar. 29

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

1940 census poster: Uncle Sam yourself!1940 census site crashes after release
A National Archives website that crashed with the release of 1940 census data was back up April 3 after it was swamped by people looking for family information. The site was overwhelmed from the first minute the data was made available on April 2, with 22.5 million hits in the first four hours, said Miriam Kleiman, a National Archives spokeswoman. The number reached 37 million by the afternoon. The 1940 data is the first census to be posted online. Here are some tips on how to find cool stuff. The Census Bureau is also offering some fun facts and features about the 1940s....
Reuters, Apr. 3; US National Archives 1940 Census; US Census Bureau; Gawker, Apr. 3

Top 10 ways to tell if your library is inclusive
Renee Grassi writes: “A few months ago, I read this great article on how to tell if your child’s school is inclusive. It got me thinking that there are many things we can do to promote an inclusive library environment for patrons with special needs, too. Here’s a list of just 10.”...
ALSC Blog, Apr. 3; Special Education and IEP Advisor, Oct. 4, 2011

Cat eating treats. "Without my library I would be forced to turn to less productive activities."Where would you be without your library?
The M. N. Spear Memorial Library in Shutesbury, Massachusetts (remember their fundraising video?), still needs some help. So in honor of National Library Week, the staff created a Tumbler page to raise awareness about their cause and to show how vital libraries are in their communities. They are asking everyone to ask the question “Where would you be without your library?” and contribute a photo that illustrates the answer....
M. N. Spear Memorial Library

Streaming moviesSix streaming media services compared
Matt Smith writes: “Streaming media has become the way of the future for many consumers, and as a result there’s no shortage of services to pick from. But this is sure to leave some people wondering: Is one clearly superior? Is there a point to subscribing to more than one at a time? Let’s compare six of the best streaming media services to see exactly what they have to offer and which is the king of this crowd.”...
MakeUseOf, Mar. 29

What is a graphic design development process?
Lisa Kurt writes: “I’d like to focus on what the graphic design process entails. For librarians who design regularly, I hope this helps to articulate what you may be doing already or perhaps add a bit to your tools and tips. For those who don’t design, I hope this will give you insight into a process that is more complex than it seems. The very basic process of design, like many processes, is to solve a problem and then create a solution.”...
ACRL Tech Connect, Apr. 4

Everything you want to know about data mining
Alexander Furnas writes: “This article is an attempt to explain how data mining works and why you should care about it. Because when we think about how our data is being used, it is crucial to understand the power of this practice. Data mining allows companies and governments to use the information you provide to reveal more than you think. Discovering information from data takes two major forms: description and prediction.”...
The Atlantic, Apr. 3

The Prayer Book of Hans Luneborch, in Low German, a rare 15th-century illuminated manuscript in the Peabody Library's collection, was presumed lost for decades. And then it mysteriously turned up in the mailReturn to lender
Bret McCabe writes: “When a slip in Paul Espinosa’s mailbox informed him that he had a package, the George Peabody Library rare books assistant had no idea what the small box contained. It had been addressed simply to the Peabody Library and bore no return address. Inside the box was a gorgeous illuminated manuscript, dated 1492. There was no indication that it belonged to the library, but when the rare books curator looked at it and recalled something about a manuscript that had gone missing, Espinosa wondered: Is somebody returning this?”...
Johns Hopkins Magazine 64, no. 1 (Spring)

Mouse move heat map from ClickTaleGlimpses into user behavior
Gwen Evans writes: “Would you like an even more intimate glimpse into what users are actually doing on your site, instead of what you (or the library web committee) think they are doing? There are several easy-to-use web-based analytics services like ClickTale, userfly, Loop11, Crazy Egg, Inspectlet, or Optimal Workshop. These online usability services offer various ways to track what users are doing as they actually navigate your pages.”...
ACRL Tech Connect, Mar. 28

Why bilinguals are smarter
Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age....
New York Times Sunday Review, Mar. 17

Liberate your tweets: Archiving without Twitter
Matthew Braga writes: “Some people have a lot of tweets—nearly 25,000 in my case. Many are throwaway statements or snippets of conversational snark, but I know at least some contain links or information of actual use. While I could simply use Twitter’s built-in favorites functionality on each of my important, memorable tweets, let’s face it: I don’t have that sort of foresight. Also, I’m kind of lazy.”...
Ars Technica, Mar. 29

6 most useful US government websites for international travelers
Whether you are coming to the United States to visit, to work, to go to school, or to live, it helps a great deal if you are prepared. Thankfully, several US government websites are filled with all kinds of helpful information, such as visa information, currency exchange rates, and border wait times....
MakeUseOf, Mar. 29

Autism Awareness logoAutism in your library
Renee Grassi writes: “Many of us working in public libraries don’t have a background in special education. So, it can be challenging for us to know how best to approach and communicate with a child who has autism. Adapted from a handout created by The Joint Library and just in time for Autism Awareness Month in April, here are some customer service tips I’ve picked up along the way for interacting with a child with autism.”...
ALSC Blog, Mar. 31

From left: Jim Pate, Danny Dorroh, Mary Beth Newbill, Jaclyn Hogan, Jared Millet, Tobin CataldoBirmingham library team takes top trivia prize
The Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library team won the top prize of $10,000 in a March 13 trivia contest after competing with 67 area businesses and organizations to raise money for Impact Alabama and each team’s designated charity. The BPL team was competing for the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library. The funds will enable the Friends to continue providing resources for some of the library’s special programming needs....
Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library, Mar. 15

Public TV series to highlight special collections
Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU-TV) is developing a national public television series called Treasures of the Special Collections—that the producers see as a cross between History Detectives and Antiques Roadshow—to tell stories found in the special collections of research libraries. The producers are currently developing a funding proposal and are seeking help to identify story ideas to be cited in a written description of a hypothetical first season. Send brief descriptions of your story ideas to WPSU producer Kristian Berg by April 20....
Association of Research Libraries

The music of New Orleans. Vol. 5 [sound recording], Folkways, 1959April is Jazz Appreciation Month
Happy Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)! Paying tribute to the American-born music that has many definitions, the entire month of April is full of jazz concerts, events, and programs throughout the United States. Now in its 11th year, JAM’s 2012 theme is “Jazz Crossing Borders and Cultures.” Even UNESCO has declared April 30 as the first International Jazz Day, with many global events to take place. The National Museum of American History started JAM in July 2001....
The Bigger Picture, Apr. 3

On Board the Titanic logoNine resources for teaching about the Titanic
Richard Byrne writes: “I was asked if I could share some resources for teaching and learning about the Titanic. On Board the Titanic is a virtual field trip produced by Discovery. To take the field trip, students select one of five characters to be as they set sail on the Titanic. When selecting a character, the students do not know who they are or if they will survive until the night of the sinking.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 2

Top 10 social media–savvy universities
Harvard University is at the head of the class when it comes to using social media to connect with students, potential applicants, and the community, beating out University of Pennsylvania and MIT for the top spot. Social media consulting company Sociagility revealed a list of which of the 25 highest-ranked universities in both the US and UK are best at using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube....
Mashable, Mar. 30

Books damaged in the 2010 fire at the Fleece LibraryRestoring a fire-damaged library collection
On May 8, 2010, an electrical fire caused $2.5 million in damage to the Columbia (S.C.) International University’s G. Allen Fleece Library. Jay Straughan, vice president of Enservio Commercial, a provider of inventory, valuation, salvage, and replacement services, said that the inventory and valuation of the books was completed in just a few months. However, the company was also engaged in replacing the 35,000 damaged books, trucking the 150,000 books that were conserved back to the library, and reshelving the collection. The library reopened January 17....
Claims Journal, Apr. 2

How to search Google by reading level
If you are writing for younger audiences or simply trying to make the internet make more sense for a young person in your house, Google has a feature that will let you set the specific reading level on search results. For instance, a middle school science teacher looking up earthquakes may want different search results than a geologist who wants up-to-date research on a subject. Google has published the following steps to help you search by reading level....
GalleyCat, Apr. 2; eBookNewser, Mar. 30

Meet Google’s search anthropologist
About four years after forming, Google came to realize it needed human insights to infuse its information with context and meaning. The company began conducting user research studies and hiring human-computer interactions experts like Dan Russell, a Google search scientist. His main role is studying web searchers in their natural environment, at home or work, picking up the human scent where the data trail goes cold....
San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 30

White House: Portrait of John F. Kennedy by Aaron ShiklerMajor expansion of Google Art Project
Ryan Falor and James Davis write: “As a continuation of our global efforts to expand Street View to the world’s most interesting places, we’re pleased to announce a major expansion of the Google Art Project. Since we introduced the Art Project in 2011, curators, artists, and viewers from all over the globe have offered exciting ideas about how to enhance the experience of collecting, sharing, and discovering art. Institutions worldwide asked to join the project, urging us to increase the diversity of artworks displayed. We listened.” Watch the video (1:39)....
Google Lat Long Blog, Apr. 3; YouTube, Mar. 31

Melati Suryodarmo, Boundaries That Lie (2004), lambda print, displayed on Art.syOnline art database in the works
Gone are the days of easily outdated catalogues raisonnés and unreachable crafts., a powerful online platform, will soon unveil the biggest collection of artworks from all over the world, giving people the opportunity to transcend distance to locate and appreciate art. Powered by the Art Genome Project, an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art, will serve as a real-time catalog of every known artist, organization, exhibition, and performance....
PSFK, Mar. 29

University of Indonesia Central Library (architect's rendering). Courtesy of Denton Corker MarshallDesign for the University of Indonesia library
Alison Furuto writes: “Selected in an open design competition, the scheme by Denton Corker Marshall for a new library for the University of Indonesia deftly bridges the past and the present. Located in a highly visible and central site on the side of the campus lake, its circular form responds to the strong circular buildings and roadways that distinguish the campus pattern. Conceived as earth architecture, it cleverly integrates building and landscape to become an occupied tropical landform.” And here is a completely different design for the city library in Stuttgart, Germany....
ArchDaily, Mar. 29; Designboom, Nov. 28, 2011

Ambassade Hotel Library, Amsterdam10 wonderful hotel libraries
Jennifer Paull writes: “As travelers turn increasingly to e-readers and tablets, the allure of libraries might seem to be fading—but luckily, some hoteliers are preserving, and even revitalizing, the tradition of linking travelers with books. And they’re doing so right in their own hotels. Ready to bookmark—and spin the globe? Here are 10 truly outstanding hotel libraries around the world.”...
Departures, Mar./Apr.

The International Edible Book Festival is held every year around April 1Students, libraries dig into edible books
Hundreds of libraries across the world united in celebration of the International Edible Book Festival, a tasty event that has gained popularity and momentum since 1999 when book artist and librarian Judith Hoffberg and friend Béatrice Coron came up with the idea to showcase the work of artists in edible format. Students like those at Milligan College participated in the contest at their library to create a completely edible representation of a book....
Huffington Post, Mar. 30; Elizabethton (Tenn.) Star, Mar. 28

You know you are married to a
library director when . . .

Will Manley writes: “Rumors surface that Freckles, the family dog, has been downsized when he is nowhere to be found one morning. You are told to complete a self-evaluation form in anticipation of your annual spousal performance review. Family travel budget is cut for everyone but your spouse. You discover secret paperwork penciling out cost of outsourcing spousal unit function to lowest competitive bidder.”...
Will Unwound. Apr. 4

Screenshot from Out of the Game music videoHelena Bonham Carter as a naughty librarian
Rufus Wainwright has teamed up with Helena Bonham Carter (right) in the music video (3:54) for his latest single “Out of the Game,” from his upcoming album of the same name. The actress, showing off her impeccable lip-syncing skills, plays a straight-laced librarian driven into a lustful frenzy by Wainwright’s multiple impassioned personas. Needless to say, the two behave very badly in the stacks....
Huffington Post, Apr. 3; YouTube, Apr. 3

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.
American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611