|American Libraries Online
New ADA signage standards
Liz Humrickhouse writes: “On March 15, updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 went into effect. The new standards—known as the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design—focus specifically on creating wayfinding signage for the visually impaired. The good news is that libraries are already doing well in compliance from a technology standpoint. The better news is that these new standards offer more guidance in making traditional wayfinding signage more patron-friendly.”...
American Libraries feature
Think digitization during Preservation Week
Julie A. Mosbo writes: “April 22–28 marks the third annual Preservation Week—an event sponsored by ALCTS that’s dedicated to educating the public about caring for personal treasures, and is intended to heighten interest in preservation among library, archives, and museum staff. For libraries and archives, digitizing materials has become a key concern, especially as more and more patrons and users go online to research information. But several factors must be considered.”...
American Libraries news, Apr. 25
Youth Matters: Make room for homeschoolers
Abby Johnson writes: “Did you know there are an estimated 2 million home-educated children in the United States? And that number is increasing by 2%–8% each year. In Floyd County, Indiana—where I work—there is a substantial homeschooling population, and many of them visit the library regularly. I knew I wanted to provide programming for the homeschooling community, but how to start?”...
American Libraries column, May/June
Building the Digital Public Library
Laurie Borman writes: “There are no bricks, architect, or blueprint for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). But as John G. Palfrey Jr. (right), faculty codirector of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said April 18 at the ACRL Spring Virtual Institute, the DPLA has built a strong foundation through a growing and vibrant community. The project, hatched in October 2010 by the Berkman Center, hopes to create a free, open, large-scale digital public library, with a launch by April 2013.”...
AL: E-Content, Apr. 19
Go back to the Top
Why you should go to ALA Annual
Making the case for time off and support for travel and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to the workplace, to both supervisors and your colleagues. A new resource—“Making Your Case for Attending”—will help you communicate the many ways that conference attendance can pay big dividends. “In the Words of Your Colleagues” offers dozens of testimonials from the 2011 ALA Annual Conference postconference survey that show how attendees feel they benefited....
Conference Services, Apr. 23
An inspiring range of options
Innovation, thought leaders, and technology are keys to transformation, and the 2012 ALA Annual Conference delivers on all those fronts. Energizing and transformative conversations, programs, preconferences, discussion groups, and high-profile speakers are lined up to spark creativity and foster ideas. Full listings of related events, as well as details about the highlights below, are on the ALA Annual Conference website....
Conference Services, Apr. 23
Why preserving history matters
Steve Berry writes: “More than 4.8 billion artifacts are held in public trust by more than 30,000 archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, scientific research collections, and archaeological repositories in the United States, but lack of funding places a third of these items at risk of being lost. This is why my wife, Elizabeth, and I started our foundation, History Matters, and why I am so proud to be the first national spokesman of the ALA’s Preservation Week, April 22–28.” Consult the Preservation Week event map....
Huffington Post, Apr. 23; ALCTS
Legislative Day attendees seek funding
More than 350 librarians and library supporters from across the country converged in Washington, D.C., April 23–24 to meet with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during the ALA’s 38th annual National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). The event focused on supporting federal funding for the nation’s libraries. This year, ALA included a virtual advocacy component for library supporters who could not attend the Washington meetings—advocates worked remotely to connect with legislators via phone calls, emails, and social media platforms....
Washington Office, Apr. 24
One state’s experience at NLLD
Jazzy Wright writes: “Concern over federal and state budget cuts to library programs motivated Georgia State Librarian Lamar Veatch (on right) to make his 15th annual trip to Washington, D.C., for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). In fact, Veatch asserts, coming to D.C. is a big part of his commitment to librarianship. ‘My job is to represent libraries, and it’s a part of my professional responsibilities to do this,’ Veatch said. ‘If I’m in Washington, I might make a difference. And, truthfully, it’s fun.’”...
American Libraries news, Apr. 25
ALA election closes April 27
The 2012 ALA election will close at 11:59 p.m. Central time on April 27. If you have not yet cast your vote, please do so. If you have “parked” your ballot (started but not yet completed), please return to complete the process....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 20
World Book Night: A report from the field
Judith Rosen writes: “World Book Night, April 23: In principle, what could be simpler than handing out a free book, no strings attached. Just read, enjoy, and pass to a friend. In reality, not so much. It took me 50 minutes to hand out 20 copies of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried to commuters in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, as they wended their way home from work. Maybe I should have taken the morning’s pouring rain as an omen.” The Washington Post has more World Book Night anecdotes....
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Apr. 24; Washington Post, Apr. 24
Choose Privacy Week resources
May 1–7 is Choose Privacy Week, ALA’s campaign to educate the public on how to protect their privacy and understand their rights. The keynote event of the week will be the May 3 premiere on privacyrevolution.org of a new documentary on privacy, government surveillance, and civil liberties that libraries can share with their communities. Other resources include: A video podcast (2:19) from Office for Intellectual Freedom Executive Director Barbara Jones (above) highlighting the importance of privacy rights in the digital age; online presentations from Michael German, George Christian, and Amie Stepanovich that explore the growing impact of surveillance on civil liberties that will be released April 25–27; and posts from five guest bloggers during Choose Privacy Week....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Apr. 24; YouTube, Apr. 24
Jamal Joseph to address JCLC
Author, director, and activist Jamal Joseph (right) will be the closing general session speaker at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color September 19–23 in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1970, Joseph exhorted students at Columbia University to burn the college to the ground. Today, he is an associate professor at Columbia’s School of the Arts film division. His personal odyssey, from the streets of Harlem to Rikers Island, Leavenworth, and Columbia, is detailed in his book Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention....
Office for Diversity, Apr. 24
The power of storytelling in your job search
How many times have you heard the words, “Tell me about yourself”? Did you know that this interview question is a fantastic opportunity for you to distinguish yourself from other candidates? Join the ALA JobLIST Placement Center for the next in a series of online chats on April 26 to discuss how you can make these opportunities work for you....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Apr. 19
New ALA Google Policy Fellow
Derek Attig (right), a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will serve as ALA’s 2012 Google Policy Fellow. Attig will spend 10 weeks this summer at the ALA office in Washington, D.C., working on technology and internet policy issues. As a Google Policy Fellow, Attig’s work will involve the future of libraries and the examination of new models for the physical infrastructure of libraries....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Apr. 20
Students can join ALA for one low price
ALA offers three categories of joint memberships: Joint Student Membership, Joint Library Support Staff Membership, and Joint Trustee Membership. You can join online via ALA’s secure database. If you prefer to pay by check or money order, you may also complete and mail in a paper form. Twenty chapters (state library associations) are allowing students to join them and ALA for one low price of $35, from now through August 31....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Apr. 18
New joint membership program for trustees
ALA and ALTAFF have announced a new Joint Trustee Membership program with ALA chapters.
Trustees new to ALA and the chapter can join three great organizations for only $100, a 30% discount. Five ALA chapters have already signed up to participate. To make signing up easier, ALA has created new online forms for all joint memberships....
ALA Membership Blog, Apr. 18
Protecting intellectual freedom
Published by ALA Editions, Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Public Library by June Pinnell-Stephens offers reliable how-to guidance for public librarians and paraprofessionals when confronted with challenges like censorship and policy disputes. A valuable resource chock-full of case studies, real-life examples, and hypothetical scenarios, this book provides practical advice on how to effectively handle intellectual freedom challenges....
ALA Editions, Apr. 20
Herbert Putnam and ALA’s Library War Service
Larry Nix writes: “The United States declared war on Germany and entered World War I on April 6, 1917. In the same month, Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam (right) initiated events that led to the creation of the ALA’s Library War Service, one of the Association’s most ambitious and successful undertakings. Putnam presented his idea of furnishing books to the American army in a meeting with Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, who responded positively to the idea.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 24
Go back to the Top
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Cohen, Rich. The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King. June 2012. 320p. Farrar, hardcover (978-0-374-29927-9).
In this gripping biography—it’s as page-turningly exciting as any thriller—Samuel Zemurray, once the most powerful banana importer in America, comes off as a sort of real-world Charles Foster Kane (if Kane had been in the fruit trade and not a newspaperman). Zemurray was not above fomenting rebellion in foreign countries to ensure that he had a ready supply of bananas, and he was such a ruthless and clever businessman that he went head-to-head with the mighty United Fruit—itself an extremely powerful entity—and emerged victorious. Cohen’s lively and entertaining prose style (“a ripe banana you have left in the sun that has become as freckled as a Hardy boy”; “juke joints that stayed open from can till can’t”) provides the perfect vehicle for this story of a surprisingly cutthroat world....
May is Mystery Month
Every year, the jewel in Booklist Mystery Month’s crown is the Mystery Showcase issue—an annual highlight for Booklist readers since 1997. The Mystery Showcase issue is packed with more than 100 new mystery reviews and best-of lists, as well as an array of features, including: “The Year’s Best Crime Novels,” with the top 10 crime novels of the year. A mystery-themed issue of the free e-newsletter REaD ALERT mails on May 3, offering all mystery and no filler, and, just a week later, dozens of free mystery reviews will debut in Booklist Online Exclusives....
These commutes are not recommended
Keir Graff writes: “If you think that all Booklist editors review are a lot of books, audiobooks, and databases, think again. As proven by these evaluations of their trips to work, once the book-critical part of the brain has been activated, it’s impossible to turn it off.”...
Likely Stories, Apr. 24
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Go back to the Top
The countdown is on: Only two months until the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Have you registered yet? Remember to take advantage of Early Bird registration until May 13. YALSA’s Conference Marketing and Local Arrangements Committee has shared practical tips on how to make the most of your ALA experience and many reasons to come to Anaheim. Now that the big event is approaching, here is a refresher....
YALSA Blog, Apr. 24
Visiting Disneyland in just one day
Wayne Toigo writes: “Recently our team discussed how to tour the Disneyland Resort if you had just one day to visit—either as an experienced visitor or if you were making your first visit to Disneyland. What would you do? How would you spend your day? Here is my version of the One Day at Disneyland plan. I recommend it for the first-time Disneyland visitor, or the experienced visitor who only has one day to spend at the Disneyland Resort.”...
DIS Unplugged Disney Blog, Mar. 18
Ian Hamilton writes: “In February, Disney released its official free Mobile Magic app for iPhone, providing wait times and other important information for visits to the park straight from the company. But unofficial Disneyland apps—including MouseWait—have long filled the void left by Disney on the iPhone. The Mobile Magic app has been available on Android for a while. So what app should you take into the park the next time you visit?”...
Orange County (Calif.) Register: Around Disney, Feb. 24, Mar. 8
How Doritos were born at Disneyland
Gustavo Arellano writes: “Just months after Disneyland opened in 1955, Frito-Lay founder Elmer Doolin convinced Walt Disney to let him open Casa de Fritos, a Mexican restaurant, in Frontierland. The food was straightforward Tex-Mex and it exceeded all expectations, swarmed by tourists who sought to taste Mexican cuisine for the first time. One day in the early 1960s, a route salesman for local Frito-Lay contractor Alex Foods saw discarded tortillas and told the cook to make them into tortilla chips instead of just tossing them in the trash. Doritos debuted in 1966.” Watch this video compilation (2:05) of Casa de Fritos ads and promotional materials....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Apr. 5; YouTube, June 9, 2011
ADA rules on hotel room accessibility
Critics of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act have said the legislation was vague and some issues could be resolved only by litigation. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design provide a level of detail that the original law did not, covering some of the issues in making a hotel reservation. Until the 2010 standards became effective on March 15 of this year, the responsibility of a hotel to provide and guarantee reservations was somewhat clouded. The current requirement, when someone books a specific type of room, is that the room be “hard blocked” and available at check-in....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 15
Go back to the Top
“The Laugh’s on Us” at ALA Annual Conference
ALTAFF will host “The Laugh’s on Us,” sponsored by Playaway, on June 24 at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Lizz Winstead (right), cocreator and former head writer of The Daily Show, will join comedian and ALTAFF spokesperson Paula Poundstone for the event, which will also feature Carlos Kotkin, Tracy McMillan, Julia Pandl, and Joel Stein. Purchase tickets early to this event, which is always a sell-out....
ALTAFF, Apr. 23
ACRL announces conference keynoters
Education reform crusader Geoffrey Canada (right), punk icon and spoken word artist Henry Rollins, and Emmy award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa will present keynote speeches at the ACRL 2013 conference in Indianapolis April 10–13. Proposals for contributed papers, panel sessions, workshops, and preconferences are due May 13. Registration for the conference will open in May....
ACRL, Apr. 24
ACRL has four new discussion groups
ACRL has established four new discussion groups, which were approved by the ACRL Board of Directors during the 2011–2012 fiscal year: The Digital Humanities Discussion Group, the International Perspectives on Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group, the Leadership Discussion Group, and the Student Retention Discussion Group....
ACRL, Apr. 20
LRTS now available online
ALCTS has launched eLRTS, a new website and electronic archive for Library Resources and Technical Services, the ALCTS journal. The site includes more than 17 years’ worth of LRTS issues in a fully searchable archive, HTML (2007 to present) and PDF (1996 to present) versions, the ability to purchase individual articles, unlimited simultaneous access for subscribing institutions, and personalization tools. Subscribe online....
ALCTS, Apr. 24
YALSA seeks book groups for Teens’ Top Ten nominations
YALSA is now accepting applications from young adult book discussion groups that want to be a part of the Teens’ Top Ten project. The 15 selected groups will receive galleys of recent titles to evaluate, and at the end of the year they will vote to determine 25 nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten poll. Each group will serve a two-year term beginning in January 2013. Applications (Word file) must be submitted electronically by an advisor who is a current YALSA member by August 1....
YALSA, Apr. 24
Webinar on teen reading
Summer reading is right around the corner, and this webinar will offer a crash course in the books you need to know to lure teens into the library this summer. Join Shauna Yusko, teacher-librarian at Evergreen Junior High in Redmond, Washington, for “Book Blitz! 45 Must-Know YA Titles in 60 Minutes” on May 17. Register online....
YALSA, Apr. 20
YALSA program proposals
YALSA will accept proposals for its programs for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27–July 2. Proposals may be submitted through May 31. Individuals may submit multiple proposals, although no individual will be chosen to present or copresent more than one program....
YALSA, Apr. 19
YALSA launches sponsorship program
YALSA has created a new sponsorship program that will provide a simple way for vendors and others to connect with the division’s more than 5,000 members. Sponsorship opportunities include YALSA events at Annual, Midwinter, and the Young Adult Literature Symposium....
YALSA, Apr. 24
Go back to the Top
2012 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award
Eight libraries were selected from 108 submissions as winners of the 2012 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. Winners included Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library’s rebranding in preparation for the reopening of the main downtown library that had been devastated in a 2008 flood; Contra Costa (Calif.) Public Library’s QR code-based “Snap & Go” campaign; and the Emily Jones Pointer Library in Como, Mississippi, which enlisted teens to record life stories of local residents (above) for visiting tourists on the Mississippi Blues Trail....
LLAMA, Apr. 24
Sen. Jack Reed receives Crystal Apple award
AASL President Carl Harvey presented the 2012 Crystal Apple, which recognizes an individual or group for a significant impact on school library programs and students, to Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) at a ceremony (right) in conjunction with National Library Legislative Day April 23. Reed has advocated in the Senate for the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act and funding for the Library Services and Technology Act. He was also recognized with an Honorary Membership, ALA’s highest honor....
AASL, Apr. 24; ALA Washington Office, Apr. 24
WHCLIST Award to Kentucky advocate
Louis “Buzz” Carmichael, trustee of Lexington (Ky.) Public Library for four years, received the White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce Award April 24 as part of National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. WHCLIST recognizes a nonlibrarian advocate for libraries and provides the winner a stipend to travel to National Library Legislative Day....
ALA Washington Office, Apr. 24
H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant
ALA has chosen the Virginia Beach (Va.) Public Library as the winner of the 2012 H. W. Wilson Staff Development Grant, for its innovative concept of a hands-on staff training program titled “Petting Zoo.” This annual award of $3,500 is given to a library organization whose application demonstrates the greatest merit for a program in furthering its staff development goals and objectives. The library plans to purchase a variety of digital devices to create a “Petting Zoo” to provide hands-on training for staff....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 23
RUSA RSS Service Achievement Award
Lisa R. Horowitz (right), assessment librarian for administrative services and user experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries in Cambridge, is the 2012 winner of the RUSA Reference Services Section Service Achievement Award. The award recognizes Horowitz’s sustained contributions to RSS since its founding....
RUSA, Apr. 24
2012 AASL Distinguished Service Award
Sharon Coatney (right), senior acquisitions editor for Libraries Unlimited, is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development. Dedicated to the profession, Coatney has been described as “influential in providing a model of what a school library should be.”...
AASL, Apr. 23
2012 AASL Collaborative School Library Award
The “EDSET Research Poster Session and Podcast Project” team from Albany (Calif.) High School has won the 2012 AASL Collaborative School Library Award. The team—consisting of school librarian Sara Oremland, environmental science teacher Darren McNally, history teacher Corinne Berletti, and English teacher Jessica Park—works with junior and senior high school students participating in the school’s Environmental Design, Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (EDSET) academy....
AASL, Apr. 23
Pacific Glory wins Boyd Award
Pacific Glory by P. T. Deutermann (St. Martin’s) is the winner of the 2012 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award. The $5,000 award, donated by author W. Y. Boyd II, honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war, and will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Pacific Glory depicts naval action in the Pacific during World War II from Guadalcanal to Leyte Gulf....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 24
2012 AASL Innovative Reading Grant
Kristine Klopp’s project, “Square Off for Reading!” is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Innovative Reading Grant. Sponsored by Capstone, this grant of $2,500 supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. The project will pair Klopp (right), librarian at Lindbergh Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, with the school’s educational specialist to provide a fun and challenging summer reading program....
AASL, Apr. 23
2012 BRASS Student Travel Award
Ilana Barnes (right), circulation supervisor and reference assistant at the University of Michigan Kresge Business Administration Library and a student at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, is the 2012 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, a travel grant given annually by the RUSA Business Reference and Services Section....
RUSA, Apr. 23
Internet Hall of Fame established
To mark its 20th anniversary, the Internet Society (with offices in Geneva and Reston, Virginia) has established an Internet Hall of Fame to identify, recognize, and celebrate individuals who have fueled the development of the internet and used it to transform the lives of people throughout the world. The 33 inductees in 2012 are from nine countries and include Tim Berners-Lee, Brewster Kahle, Vint Cerf, Craig Newmark, and Al Gore....
Internet Society, Apr. 23
Bookmobile gets Fueling Good award
The Friends group of the Columbia County (Pa.) Traveling Library (right) has been named a 2012 Winter Fueling Good winner by CITGO, an award that consists of $5,000 in CITGO gift cards. The prize is intended to boost the bookmobile’s travel budget after record flooding in 2011 severely damaged the library’s headquarters, which sustained $70,000 in uninsured losses. Registration for the next Fueling Good program will open for all 501(c)(3) nonprofits within the CITGO marketing area on September 4....
CITGO, Apr. 24
2012 Irma Black Award
Thousands of children have discussed, considered, and voted, and the 2012 winner of the Irma Black Award is What Animals Really Like (Abrams, 2011), written and illustrated by Fiona Robinson. Each year, the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature is presented to an outstanding book for young children in which text and illustrations are inseparable. This year, more than 9,000 children internationally read or heard aloud all four finalists....
EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Apr. 22
2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
The 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were presented April 20 in a ceremony in the Bovard Auditorium on the University of Southern California campus. The winner in the Fiction category was Alex Shakar’s Luminarium (SoHo Press), and the winner in the History category was Richard White’s Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (W. W. Norton)....
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
The Poetry Foundation has awarded poet W. S. Di Piero (right) its 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Presented annually to a living US poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition, the prize is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets. At $100,000, it is also one of the nation’s largest literary prizes. Di Piero has authored 10 books of poetry, including, most recently in 2011, Nitro Nights, as well as five essay collections....
Poetry Foundation, Apr. 17
2012 ASJA Writing Awards
The American Society of Journalists and Authors announced the recipients of its 2012 writing awards, honoring outstanding nonfiction produced on a freelance basis during the past year. The awards will be presented April 26 during the 41st annual ASJA Writers Conference in New York City. The winner in General Nonfiction was Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson (St. Martin’s)....
American Society of Journalists and Authors, Apr. 10
Children’s Choice Book Awards voting closes May 3
The Children’s Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by children and teens. Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader (the CBC Foundation), the program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them. Teachers and librarians can vote on behalf of their students here through May 3....
Children’s Choice Book Awards
Go back to the Top
Harvard criticizes high-priced journals, pushes open access
In an April 17 memo to all faculty members, the Harvard Faculty Advisory Council noted that “large journal publishers have made the scholarly communication environment fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive. This situation is exacerbated by efforts of certain publishers to acquire, bundle, and increase the pricing on journals.” It asked all faculty members to make their research publicly available in open access journals. It advised the library to sign contracts that unbundle subscriptions and concentrate on higher-use journals, move journals to a pay-per-use system, and insist on subscription contracts in which the terms can be made public. See SPARC’s guide for other open access actions....
Harvard University, Apr. 17; Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Anthony Marx answers questions about NYPL changes
When the New York Public Library announced plans in 2008 to renovate its Fifth Avenue main building, the project sounded glamorous and exciting: For the first time, the landmark would become a circulating as well as a research library. Scholars, writers, and the general public have raised serious questions about the changes. NYPL President Anthony Marx agreed to answer a few of them....
New York Times, Apr. 20–21
The Queens Library: An endangered jewel
In what has become an annual struggle, New York’s executive budget for 2013 proposes a 31% cut in public funding of libraries citywide. For the Queens system, which operates independently from the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries, such a cut would likely mean closing 18 branches while 30 others would be shuttered most of the week. Or so warns Thomas Galante, the library’s president, who hopes that in May the city council will have second thoughts—as it did last year, when it restored $23 million in budget cuts....
New York Daily News, Apr. 20
Dirty Cowboy too much for Pennsylvania school district
The Annville-Cleona (Pa.) School District board voted April 19 to remove the children’s book The Dirty Cowboy from elementary-school library shelves because of its illustrative content, involving a cartoon cowboy taking his annual bath. The book was written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Adam Rex. After a parent’s complaint, the school board voted unanimously, with one absence, to pull the book. Timberlake described the action as “ridiculous.”...
Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News, Apr. 20
UK parents complain about books too
While Americans are busy protesting the violence and offensive language in The Hunger Games, parents in the UK are focusing their complaints on the “coarse language” of Roald Dahl and the violence of the Horrible History books, according to a survey of the country’s libraries. The poll covered more than 300 complaints received over the last five years at 98 library authorities in the UK about “unsuitable, inappropriate, or offensive” books. Half the complaints were about children’s books....
The Guardian (UK), Apr. 23
Librarian recovering after assault
A librarian is recovering from a concussion after she was beaten up by a 19-year-old in the children’s room of the Auburn (Maine) Public Library April 20 in view of young kids. Library Director Lynn Lockwood said Kewane Pontoo had been on the library’s upper floor and acting agitated, so she asked him to calm down or leave. He went into the children’s room and struck Children’s Librarian Laurie Pinkham multiple times. Pontoo was restrained by a patron and staff until police arrived. He has been charged with three counts of assault....
Lewiston-Auburn (Maine) Sun-Journal, Apr. 24
Occupy Bangor occupies library budget talks
Five months after the Occupy Bangor movement occupied Peirce Park and the Bangor (Maine) Public Library grounds for almost a month, library officials faced some tough questions during a city council budget session April 19. After the library’s presentation, Mayor Cary Weston asked why Occupy protesters were not barred from the library grounds after hours from October 29 until December 4, 2011. “We’re open to everyone and I don’t want to see this become a political thing,” Director Barbara McDade said....
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Apr. 24
Law librarian has strong showing on Jeopardy
Michelle LaLonde’s run as the Jeopardy champion lasted just one episode this week. LaLonde (right), law librarian for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, was the leader heading into the last question April 17 in the category “Museums.” She said felt confident about her knowledge of the topic and wagered $5,500 of her $8,800 pot. LaLonde and the other two contestants answered incorrectly, but her large wager dropped her into second place behind winner Mary Harris....
Novi (Mich.) News, Apr. 20
Mercer librarian is a Pillsbury Bake-Off champ
Mercer County (N.J.) Community College reference librarian Donna Wolfe (right) was the winner in the “Dinner Made Easy” category for Pillsbury’s 45th Bake-Off Contest held March 25–27 in Orlando, Florida. Although she did not take home the million-dollar grand prize, she was a finalist and earned $5,000 for her Chicken Empanada Cones. The Bake-Off, held every two years, is one of the highest-profile cooking competitions in the US....
The College Voice, Apr. 23
The Not So Quiet Librarian
A one-actor play detailing the life of librarian Forrest Brisbin Spaulding (right) was performed April 18 by Tom Milligan, of the Old Creamery Theatre, at the Kendall Young Library Friends meeting in Webster City, Iowa. The Not So Quiet Librarian, written in 2006 by playwright Cynthia Mercati, tells the story of Spaulding, who served as director of the Des Moines Public Library in 1917–1919 and 1927–1952. He is also known as the original author of the Library Bill of Rights, which was adopted by ALA in 1939....
Webster City (Iowa) Daily Freeman-Journal, Apr. 20
Romania opens new National Library building
The new National Library of Romania opened its doors in a monumental building in Bucharest on April 23, more than 20 years after its foundations were laid under the former communist regime. Shortly after dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown in 1989, construction stopped due to lack of funds. Work resumed in March 2009, and the new facility will ultimately hold some 12 million volumes....
Agence France-Presse, Apr. 23
Go back to the Top
ALA urges library advocates to oppose CISPA
ALA President Molly Raphael urged several hundred library advocates April 24 to petition their elected officials to oppose H.R. 3523, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). “We cannot stand by silently and let a federal law trump all of the federal and state laws that protect personal privacy,” Raphael said. “This is especially so when a bill like H.R. 3523 allows for an excessive amount of information that could be shared between the private sector and the government.” ALA’s stance was applauded by geek culture blogger Eric Limer. You can still call or email or Tweet your support: Visit Capwiz to find elected officials by ZIP code as well as talking points for your messages. Members of the House said April 24 that they will modify the bill’s language in a nod to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has expressed strong opposition thus far....
ALA Washington Office, Apr. 24; Geekosystem, Apr. 24; ALTAFF, Apr. 24; YALSA, Apr. 20; Ars Technica, Apr. 24
Don’t expect a big CISPA fight
Dave Copeland writes: “Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of US public policy, issued a statement April 13 that the company has ‘no intention’ of sharing ‘sensitive personal information with the government in the name of protecting cybersecurity,’ and explained why the company is supporting CISPA but did not support SOPA—which would have required such sharing. The question for privacy advocates is whether or not Facebook can be trusted.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Apr. 20
Thinking through a DRM strategy
Joseph Esposito writes: “If publishers were to drop Digital Rights Management, as is being openly discussed nowadays, what would happen? Well, this would have no effect whatsoever on the large file-sharing sites because they already have access to all the books they could possibly want. But in terms of casual infringement, the situation may be different. The real economic weakness of a no-DRM strategy is the propensity for people to organize themselves (or be organized by others) into communities, where casual sharing can alter the structure of markets.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Apr. 23; Defective by Design, Feb. 2
Are copyright infringers pirates and thieves?
Asher Hawkins writes: “The habit of relying on metaphors such as ‘piracy’ and ‘theft’ to describe violations of copyright protections can elicit enraged reactions online ‘it’s infringement, not theft!’ is one common lament. True as that may be, using tough words in the copyright context is a centuries-old practice. Consider the following.”...
Ars Technica: Tech Policy, Apr. 19
Library Copyright Alliance files amicus in HathiTrust case
The Library Copyright Alliance (consisting of ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries) filed an amicus brief (PDF file) April 20 in the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust copyright case. The brief was written by policy analyst Jonathan Band. It argues that the Authors Guild advances a radical and unprecedented interpretation of the copyright code—asserting that Section 108 limits the availability of the fair use right—which would prevent libraries from performing their most basic functions....
ACRL Insider, Apr. 24
DIY universities and open education
Gwen Evans writes: “DIY universities and the coming transformation of education are all the rage these days, as prestigious universities and professors, Edupunks, loose collaboratives, and start-ups participate in collaborative free online offerings through various platforms and with different aims: Coursera, Khan Academy, P2PU, MIT OpenCourseWare, Udacity, NYU Open Education, and many more. This is a call to action for us. Instead of endlessly debating what this might mean for academic libraries, I suggest actually signing up for a course and experiencing it firsthand.”...
ACRL Tech Connect, Apr. 23
Consumers using Facebook, Twitter for health advice
Lance Whitney writes: “Polling 1,060 US adults in February, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that one third use social media to find medical information, research‚ and share symptoms, and offer their opinions about doctors, drugs, treatments, and health plans. Among those polled, 41% said information found through social media would affect their choice of a doctor or hospital, 34% said it would affect their decision to take a certain medication, and 32% said it would influence their choice of an insurance plan.”...
CNET: Webware, Apr. 17
Go back to the Top
Google Drive finally arrives
Greg Sterling writes: “After literally years of speculation and a few weeks of intense anticipation, Google Drive has arrived. Google Docs is being folded into the new service. Indeed, Google Drive is a logical extension of Google’s current cloud platform. Google Drive users will have access to 5GB of free storage in the new service. Additional storage can be purchased starting at $4 per month. Google Drive is intended to work with multiple platforms and devices and it will allow storage of all file types.” Lee Mathews compares Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive. Google Drive terms of service compares unfavorably with the others....
Marketing Land, Apr. 24; Geek.com, Apr. 24; The Verge Forums, Apr. 24
File sharing just got easier through Dropbox
Richard Byrne writes: “For a long time Google Docs has made it very easy to publish work to the web by simply selecting the ‘anyone with link’ or ‘make public on web’ options in the sharing menu. Now Dropbox has gotten in on the easy file-sharing game by introducing a very similar feature. The new Dropbox file-sharing option allows you to publish to the web any file that is in your Dropbox account.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Apr. 23
Video walls in academic libraries
Jeffrey R. Young writes: “A Hollywood-style trend is emerging on some campuses: large-scale video walls. These banks of high-definition monitors are designed to let students and researchers show images in a larger-than-life form to see details more clearly and collaborate better. Call it Big-Screen Research. For college libraries, Big-Screen Research symbolizes the size of their digital investments. Brown University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi says she was inspired to build a video wall after visiting a high-tech building in South Korea, where some rooms had interactive displays on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr. 22
How to buy an LCD monitor
John R. Delaney writes: “The monitor you are using right now probably came bundled with your desktop PC, or maybe you bought it back when 1,240 x 1,024 was considered high resolution. Since you spend a huge part of each day looking at it, however, it pays to be picky when choosing an LCD monitor. Price ranges vary widely, as do the quality of the panels. So how can you make an informed choice? We will walk you through the latest trends in the display market, as well as the specific features to look for in order to buy the best LCD monitor out there.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 30, Apr. 19
YouTube upgrades audio editing tools
Trevor Mogg writes: “YouTube rolled out more enhancements to the site’s video editing tools in mid-April, offering users better options when it comes to sound mixing and adding music tracks. Users of AudioSwap—the tool that allows you to replace the often dull sound recorded live during your video shoot with a piece of suitable music—will be pleased to hear that the library of songs has been expanded enormously to more than 150,000 tracks, and will continue to grow.” Watch the video (1:03)....
Digital Trends, Apr. 19
Eight new Chrome extensions that you need now
Jackson Chung writes: “There are so many extensions in the Chrome Web Store that it can be quite overwhelming to pick the right ones. Luckily, we did the work of sifting through the thousands of extensions for you, narrowed it down to just over 100 of the best extensions and came up with our Best Chrome Extensions page. Under ‘Browsing Aids’ we added Instant Translate—this extension provides an in-browser interface that instantly translates highlighted text.”...
MakeUseOf, Apr. 20
Change social network settings from one place
Yaara Lancet writes: “Bliss Control helps you control and change settings on multiple services, all from one place. True, it’s not that big of a deal to load each social networking site separately and find the right spot in the settings you wish to change, but Bliss Control can do it all for you from the same interface.”...
MakeUseOf, Apr. 20
Ambitious photo tools that won’t make you feel dumb
Bob Tedeschi writes: “If you want to share a photo on the fly, there’s Instagram, and then there’s everyone else. But for creating and sharing entire photo albums, far fewer options exist. Thankfully, that short list includes two newly released apps, iPhoto and Pholium, that will appeal to many photographers.”...
New York Times, Apr. 18
Iris app: View Instagrams on your iPad
Leslie Horn writes: “Though Instagram finally landed on Android, there isn’t yet a tablet version. With its big, bright retina display, the iPad is the perfect venue to browse photos. Iris satisfies that need, letting you check out all your favorite filtered snapshots with Apple’s slate. While you can’t actually publish photos to Instagram with Iris, you can do almost everything else. That includes perusing your feed, liking other people’s pics, and following or unfollowing users.”...
Gizmodo, Apr. 19
James Bond gadgets you can make from an old smartphone
Saikat Basu writes: “The smartphone is the most sophisticated gadget we carry with us every day. And while we don’t have our own Q Branch working for us in a secret lab, thanks to a few intrepid DIY-ers and hackers, we can repurpose our old smartphones in our basements. I wouldn’t advise you to brick a new smartphone while playing spy, but here are three James Bond–styled spy gadgets you can make from an old smartphone.”...
MakeUseOf, Apr. 25
Go back to the Top
Harvard Library releases nearly 100% of its records
Harvard University announced it is making more than 12 million catalog records from the 73 Harvard libraries publicly available. The records contain bibliographic information about books, videos, audio recordings, images, manuscripts, and maps. The release is in accordance with Harvard’s Open Metadata Policy and is under a Creative Commons public domain license. The catalog records are in MARC21 format and are available for bulk download....
Harvard University, Apr. 24
Publishing or publishing?
Christopher Harris writes: “One of the interesting conversations that has emerged from ALA’s Digital Content Working Group is a comparison of Publishing with a capital P and publishing with a lowercase p. Or, to be blunt, commercial Publishing vs. self-publishing. But is there something in the middle? Something between a capital P and a lowercase p?”...
AL: E-Content, Apr. 19
Why everyone is wrong about the DoJ ebooks case
Hugh Rundle writes: “I didn’t mean to write a post about this, but I couldn’t help myself. Some of you won’t like what I have to say. I have been following the Department of Justice price-fixing case for a while now. Rather, I have been following the commentary online. Reading the posts and the comments, I see two main themes—either what could be loosely summarized as ‘DoJ #fail’ or ‘Amazon gives me cheap ebooks, so what’s the problem?’ Let’s take a moment to examine both arguments.”...
It’s Not About the Books, Apr. 19; Wall Street Journal, Apr. 11
Ebook price-fixing lawsuits hit Canada
Alleging that Apple and leading publishers conspired to make readers pay more, Canadian lawyers have launched lawsuits echoing the ebook price-fixing investigations recently initiated in the US. Two law firms in Ontario and one in British Columbia have named Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and their Canadian subsidiaries in class action claims asserting the companies colluded to “fix, maintain, increase, or control the price of ebooks” as Apple was preparing to launch the iPad two years ago....
Toronto Star, Apr. 18
Ebook and print sales drive one another
Paul Biba writes: “Self-publishing company Lulu says the number of print titles it produced for 2011 was around 50,000, which was a 9% increase over the prior year. Over 115,000 new ebook titles were released during the same period, which is a 22% increase over the prior year. What Lulu has found is that each of the two types of formatting tends to help fuel sales of the other.”...
TeleRead, Apr. 20
Libraries loaning iPads
Michelle Kraft writes: “A few weeks ago I sent out an email to MEDLIB-L asking for librarians who are circulating iPads to contact me off list to answer some questions. I wanted to investigate the idea for our library and I wanted to share the information for others on this blog. A lot of librarians got back to me. Here are some links about library loaning projects, some current policies, apps loaded onto library iPads, loan rules, and other suggestions.”...
The Krafty Librarian, Apr. 23
Which city buys the most e-readers?
Rohin Dhar writes: “If the self-appointed ‘elite’ members of society avidly read, then the ‘elite of the elite’ must avidly e-read, right? Who are these people and where do they live? That city must surely be the most elite and cultured city in America. It turns out all of our preconceived notions about e-reader adoption was wrong. When you dig into the data about where Kindles are actually bought and sold, the most ‘cosmopolitan’ cities in America are soundly beaten by mid-sized cities in the Midwest and South.”...
The Atlantic, Apr. 18
Spanish railway launches “library train”
Nate Hoffelder writes: “Catalan Government Railways has teamed up with Random House Mondadori, the Spanish subsidiary of Random House, to let passengers read the first chapter of selected ebook titles. In the first phase of the program, the railroad has added signs with QR codes to trains running in Baix Llobregat, a county on the coast of Catalonia. Passengers scan the codes and they are directed to a RH website where they can read from one of the 40 titles.”...
The Digital Reader, Apr. 19
Karen Coyle writes: “As we reach a point where many of the classic books of literature and science published before the magical date of 1923 have been digitized, it is time to consider the quality of those copies and the issue of redundancy. While the digitized images of pages may be relatively accurate, the underlying (and uncorrected, for the most part) OCR introduces errors into the text. The amount of error is often determined by the quality of the original or the vagaries of older fonts.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Apr. 25
Digital resources for early learning
Kelsey Herron writes: “Specialized ebooks, apps, and tablets marketed toward young children are ubiquitous staples in toy stores, and it can be difficult to determine the difference between an effective learning tool and the gratuitous use of digital technology to entertain a child. To help parents and educators sort through the choices, the Fred Rogers Center unveiled its new early learning environment, called Ele, to catalog digital resources that support early learning and development in children from birth to age 5.”...
Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, Apr. 5
How the iPad is changing education
John Paul Titlow writes: “In a way, Apple didn’t enter the education market. Rather, it followed its customers there. By the time iBooks 2 landed in the App Store, many people had already seen the potential the iPad had to change education. A growing number of college students have, on their own accord, made the device a mainstay of their backpacks. More importantly, several school districts wasted no time launching pilot programs to use the iPad in the classroom in a more official way.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Apr. 23
E-textbook catalog launched at University of Minnesota
In an effort to reduce the costs of higher education, the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development has created the Open Academics textbook catalog. The catalog lists open textbooks that faculty are free to customize by remixing, editing, and adding their own content. Believed to be the first of its kind hosted at a major research institution, the Open Academics catalog is available for free to faculty worldwide....
University of Minnesota, Apr, 23
The magazine of the future (on floppy disk)
Matt Novak writes: “In 1987, a small Dallas-based company launched a floppy-disk magazine that was supposed to be a grand experiment in the future of the medium. At $19.95 an issue, The New Aladdin was a bimonthly general-interest magazine that hoped to give readers an entirely new kind of interactive experience; complete with animated graphics, computer games, music, puzzles, and feature stories that allowed you to ask questions. And it came with fancy 8-bit graphics.”...
Smithsonian: Paleofuture, Apr. 23
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference has the ebook and digital content bases covered, with a wide range of options to inspire discussion and innovation: “The Rise of E-Reading” with Lee Rainie; “The Future of the Book: Innovation in Traditional Industries” with Duane Bray of IDEO; “The Ebook Elephant in the Room”; and “Digital Literacy and Libraries: Designing What Comes Next.” Preconferences include: “Libraries in the Cloud” (AASL), “Web Content Strategy for Libraries” (LITA), and “Digital Humanities in Theory and Practice: Tools and Methods for Librarians” (ACRL).
Booklist Online just keeps getting better. There’s never been a better time to integrate Booklist Online into your collection-development and readers’-advisory workflow—and to share it with your library’s users, too. Unlimited-use subscriptions are great for school districts, public libraries, and academic libraries. NEW! From Booklist.
Great Libraries of the World
Bibliotheca Thysiana, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands. The library was built in 1657 to house the book collection of the lawyer Johannes Thysius. Upon his death, he bequeathed funds to build a public library. Designed by architect Arent van ’s Gravesande, the building is in the Dutch Baroque style and regarded as one of the jewels of 17th-century Dutch architecture.
DOK Library Concept Center, Delft, Netherlands. The city commissioned architects Liesbeth van der Pol and Aequo BV to renovate, expand, and redesign a gloomy 1970s building into an inviting, 21st-century music, art, and public library. The library that opened in 2007 is a vividly colorful, innovative space with futuristic computer workstations; listening pods for music; Xbox and PlayStation gaming kiosks; comfortable chairs; a circulating art collection; a video-based public information system on a Wii channel; current newspapers and magazines in different languages displayed in recyclable bins; movable bookshelves; elaborate signage at eye-level and on the floors; huge glass windows and glass ceiling; wireless internet connections; a technology training area; and youth areas where children and teens can read graphic novels, play with toys, or download information to mobile phones.
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.
Associate Editor, American Libraries, Chicago. ALA’s American Libraries magazine seeks an Associate Editor to join the editorial and production team that produces ALA’s flagship membership magazine, the American Libraries website, the American Libraries Direct e-newsletter, and other media products. Reporting to the Managing Editor, the Associate Editor is responsible for editing and packaging feature articles, reporting and writing news and event coverage for print and online publication, supporting weekly publication of the e-newsletter, meeting daily deadlines, contributing to the magazine’s social media presence, and working with freelance writers, photographers, and illustrators....
Digital Library of the Week
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory digital archive was launched in March 2012 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the date the South African leader became an attorney. The website includes photos, videos, letters, and personal documents about Mandela’s life and times, with some archival data dating back to 1929. The project is a joint venture between the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton, South Africa, and the Google Cultural Institute.
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.
“The problem is, Google aspires to know everything. Knowledge is control. Give Google the right search terms and almost anything known will soon be on your computer screen. Now much mail is ‘Gmail’—living on Google’s servers. Google offers online office programs and storage of your private and business documents. Our privacy is in many ways determined by the benevolence of Google. Woe to us when Google goes bad.”
—Dennis E. Powell, “We’ll Miss Libraries When Google Takes Over the World,” Athens (Ohio) News, Apr. 22.
Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Traverse City, Michigan.
Discovery Tool Implementation and Selection, ALCTS e-forum.
Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Conference, MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary.
University of Illinois, eTextbook Unconference, I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting and Conference, Boston. “Learn, Connect, Grow.”
R-Squared Risk and Reward Conference, Telluride Conference Center, Colorado.
iPRES 2012, Conference on Digital Preservation, Chestnut Convention Centre, University of Toronto.
Access 2012 Conference, Montreal.
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Baltimore. “Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present, and Creating the Future.”
Conference on Information Systems Applied Research / Information Systems Educators Conference, New Orleans.
Association for Information Management, Translating and the Computer Conference, London, UK.
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Library Association and subscribers.
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
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.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611