|American Libraries Online
Newsmaker: Jonah Lehrer, a day before disgrace
Jonah Lehrer (right) is the author of three books about the brain, including his most recent, Imagine, an exploration of the biochemical processes that constitute human creativity. American Libraries conducted this Q&A with Lehrer on July 29, one day before news broke that he was resigning from his position as staff writer at the New Yorker. It was discovered that he had fabricated quotes from singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and had included those quotes in Imagine....
American Libraries column; New York Times: Media Decoder, July 30; Tablet Magazine, July 30
Technology in Practice: Tools for optimal flow
Meredith Farkas writes: “Many fantastic tools have been released in the past seven years that make the work of collecting and using research so much simpler. Tablets have made the experience of annotating research online far more pleasant. Instead of printing out my research, I corral all of it into a folder in Dropbox and then upload it into iAnnotate on my iPad. Using Zotero and Mendeley, I haven’t had to create a citation from scratch in years.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Librarian’s Library: Prepare, protect, and market your library
Karen Muller writes: “Most libraries in the US are small. What this means, practically speaking, is that many librarians work without colleagues at hand to help answer those pesky questions about the mundane work we didn’t learn how to do in library school. (Marketing your library, anyone?) This roundup includes recent titles that may serve as guides to a few of these areas.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Will’s World: Your mileage may vary
Will Manley writes: “A new phrase is being thrown around these days in our profession: ‘library fatigue.’ It’s a new term for an old set of symptoms that we used to call burnout. It is characterized by the following feelings: ‘Everyone who works here is a moron but me. Library patrons are getting increasingly stupid.’ Now let’s say a 55-year-old person who got into the library profession five years ago as a second-chance career still has the fires of library passion within her soul.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
The American Dream Starts @ your library
The Summer 2012 American Libraries digital supplement tells the story of how libraries make a difference in the lives of adult English-language learners and their families through grants from Dollar General. The supplement, which features libraries that received grant funding through the American Dream Starts @ your library project, was published as Dollar General accepted applications for 50 new libraries to receive American Dream grants in 2012. Apply by August 26....
American Libraries, Summer 2012
Children’s libraries (updated)
Q. Are there stand-alone libraries serving children (other than those in schools, that is)? A. A year ago we reported 10 such libraries, but received additional information from our readers. Here is our current list, with links checked and updated, as well. We now can report 16 libraries, 10 affiliated with public libraries, one under construction, and five in other settings.”...
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, July 31
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ALA joins national campaign to protect privacy
This week, as the Cybersecurity Act (CSA) moves to the Senate floor, ALA is joining a wide-ranging coalition of digital rights groups and advocates that are launching the Stop Cyber Spying campaign to ensure companies do not have new, overbroad authority to monitor and block private communications. The coalition supports a CSA amendment from Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and opposes attempts to remove privacy protections in the bill. Watch a video summary (1:35) of the CSA bill. You can help by contacting your senators....
Office of Government Relations, Aug. 1; YouTube, July 30
Volunteer to serve on a committee
ALA President-elect Barbara Stripling encourages members to volunteer to serve on ALA and Council committees for the 2013–2014 term of July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. Stripling is chair of both the Committee on Appointments and Committee on Committees. Serving on a committee provides members with leadership training, networking opportunities, and experience in working on specific Association topics. The online committee volunteer form will be available August 7 through November 2....
Office of ALA Governance, July 31
Are you an ALA personal member?
Personal membership in ALA starts to pay you back the moment you join. With discounts on products and services, and members-only access to information through our website and journals, you will benefit right away. Included in many of these benefits are resources to advance your career, your library, and the whole profession. There are several types of personal membership, with varying costs. Join ALA here....
ALA Connect, redesigned
Jenny Levine writes: “The ALA Connect redesign goes live August 1, with implementation causing the site to go down 6–8 p.m. Central time. We’ve moved some things around, added shortcuts to make it faster to get places, and changed some labels to make it easier to figure out where to start. Here’s a summary of some of the biggest improvements.”...
ALA Connect, Aug. 1
World Book Night 2013
World Book Night 2013 is a celebration of literacy by publishers, bookstores, libraries, and individuals who love books and reading. On April 23, 2013, 25,000 “book givers” will each give away 20 copies of a specially printed, not-for-resale WBN edition of a book they have read and loved (from a list of 25–30 titles to be selected by librarians and booksellers) to complete strangers—people who may never have owned a book of their own. If your library would like to participate, fill out the form (Word file) and return it by September 1....
ALA Connect: World Book Night 2013; Bookselling This Week, July 25
Put social media to work for your library
In Google This! Putting Google and Other Social Media Sites to Work for Your Library, available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, librarians or museum professionals interested in developing a greater web and social media presence for their institutions will find a wealth of material to justify these actions to directors and boards. Author Terry Ballard has conducted more than two dozen interviews with professionals who have created exemplary work using social media and shows how their experiences can create success for your institution’s library....
ALA Neal-Schuman, July 27
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The best of #cheeselit
Keir Graff writes: “On July 20, we amused ourselves by coming up with the cheesiest book titles ever. It was both a lot of fun and a sobering reminder of the havoc Twitter can wreak on an otherwise productive workplace—fortunately, the meme was book-related. There were well over 200 #CheeseLit tweets in all, and I’ve shared some of our favorites here. Note that though many people suggested East of Edam, I’m only giving credit to the first one I saw. Ditto The Velveeta Rabbit.”...
Likely Stories, July 27
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Kindstedt, Paul S. Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization. Apr. 2012. 256p. Chelsea Green, hardcover (978-1-60358-411-1).
In this scholarly yet accessible history of cheese, noted food scientist Kindstedt plumbs the very earliest evidence of cheese making. Beginning in the shadowy Neolithic era, improving climatic conditions encouraged sheep and goat herding throughout the Fertile Crescent. Manufacture of pottery made possible the storage of excess milk and provided a transportation medium. Primitive acid-coagulated cheeses emerged for local consumption, but the discovery of rennet coagulation made possible hard cheeses with long shelf lives that could readily be shipped across land and sea....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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AASL Fall Forum Ning
Become a part of the conversation on the range of skills comprising the concept of transliteracy, the focus of the AASL 2012 Fall Forum, by joining the new AASL 2012 Fall Forum Ning. Fall Forum attendees and those unable to join their colleagues at the live event October 12–13 in Greenville, South Carolina, are invited to join the Ning and start the discussion on the skill set students need in order to navigate the current information landscape....
AASL, July 25
Socialize and win at the AASL Fall Forum
Attendees of the AASL 2012 Fall Forum are invited to pin, tweet, and post their way into a drawing for an autographed copy of keynote speaker Henry Jenkins’s book Convergence Culture. To enter, share your excitement over attending the Fall Forum across social networking platforms and complete an entry form on the AASL website. Three copies of Convergence Culture will be raffled off during “Transliteracy and the School Library Program,” October 12–13....
AASL, July 27
AASL celebrates Connected Educator Month
AASL has become one of 60 participating organizations in “Connected Educator Month,” which takes place throughout August as declared by the US Department of Education. CEM is aimed at broadening and deepening educator participation in online communities and networks, while providing opportunities for education leaders to work together to move the field forward. Visit the CEM website for a complete month-long schedule of online programming that includes forums, webinars, guided tours, open houses, contests, and badges....
AASL, July 31
Help ALSC design an eBadge
ALSC wants its members’ help in designing a new badge they can proudly display on their email signature lines or blogs. The badge should reflect the creativity of the division. This contest is being sponsored by the Friends of ALSC and the ALSC Membership Committee. Once you have your idea, using the subject line “ALSC eBadge Contest,” email it with your 100-word-or-less description by August 20. The winner will get a Nook and a Book....
ALSC Blog, July 30
New guides and webinars for sudden selectors
Library professionals suddenly tasked with selecting resources in new and unfamiliar subject areas have two new books and webinars to help them from ALCTS. Two new guides have been released: Sudden Selector’s Guide to Biology Resources by Flora G. Shrode, and Sudden Selector’s Guide to Chemistry Resources by Elizabeth Brown. The authors will present an ALCTS webinar based on each guide....
ALCTS, July 30
Training for the technology trainer
PLA is offering the interactive online course “The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer” beginning September 10. This four-week blended learning program, which will be taught by librarian, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding, is designed for library professionals who have unexpectedly found themselves responsible for technology training for users or staff at their library. The deadline for registration is September 7....
PLA, July 31
Library services in juvenile detention centers
In “Critical Issues in Juvenile Detention Center Libraries,” a new paper posted in YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, Jeanie Austin (right) discusses the challenges that staff face in juvenile detention center libraries and argues that libraries should take a more active role in societal and political change. Austin’s paper was originally presented at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas....
YALSA, July 27
Craft programming on the cheap
Crafting programs are a mainstay of teen services at the library, but the supply costs can add up. There are some creative ways to extend the teen services budget—a little glue and a lot of innovation—to ensure that teens can have fun making a variety of projects at your library. To find out how, join host Beth Saxton for “Get Crafty for Less,” YALSA’s August 16 webinar at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is now open....
YALSA, July 27
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Interviews with the Carnegie Medal winners
Anne Enright, author of The Forgotten Waltz, and Robert K. Massie, author of Catherine the Great, won the first Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction respectively. The winners were announced at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, on June 24. Booklist Editors Donna Seaman and Brad Hooper interviewed them. An excerpt from their interviews follows. Read the full interview at Booklist Online....
American Libraries feature
Site chosen for 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture
The ALSC Arbuthnot Committee has chosen Nazareth College and the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association in Rochester, New York, as the site of the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring British children’s author Michael Morpurgo (right). The honor lectureship will be tied to several other significant events for librarians and readers of children’s and young adult literature during Children’s Book Week and will kick off the 38th annual NYLA Youth Services Section’s Spring Conference on May 16, 2013....
ALSC, July 27
ALSC National Institute scholarships
The Friends of ALSC have awarded scholarships to attend the ALSC National Institute, to be held September 20–22 in Indianapolis, to Joella Peterson, youth services librarian at the Tumwater Timberland (Wash.) Library, and Amanda Struckmeyer, head of youth services at Middleton (Wis.) Public Library. The scholarships are given to support ALSC’s goal of continuing education for children’s librarians....
ALSC, July 31
2012 Kansas Notable Books list
Kansas State Librarian Joanne Budler has announced the selections for the seventh annual Kansas Notable Book List—the best 15 books published in 2011 by Kansas authors or about Kansas include fiction, nonfiction, adult, and young adult books. The presentation of medals will be made during the Kansas Book Festival, September 15, at the Kansas History Museum in Topeka. The authors will also be honored during the year at various literary events throughout the state....
Emporia (Kans.) Gazette, July 27
2012 CLPE Children’s Poetry Award
At a ceremony at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in London on July 24, Rachel Rooney was named the winner of the 2012 CLPE Poetry Award for her debut collection The Language of Cat (Frances Lincoln). The award is the only national prize in the UK for a children’s poetry collection. It was launched in 2003 to highlight the importance of this branch of children’s literature....
Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, July 24
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Weinberg Foundation pledges $5 million for school libraries
The private Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation on July 25 announced a major expansion of its Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. This initiative works with Baltimore City (Md.) Public Schools to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated school libraries where existing public funding can be leveraged. As a result of its success in the past year, the foundation is making a $5 million commitment to build a total of 12 new libraries over four years....
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, July 25
Toledo proves libraries’ value
With voters set to decide on a levy for the Toledo–Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library in November, the library system has published a study that aims to quantify the value of the services it provides and that administrators hope will bolster support for the tax request. The study determined that for every dollar of the library’s $35.3 million in its 2011 budget, Lucas County residents derived $2.86 worth of benefits. The return-on-investment assessment was conducted by University of Toledo economist Oleg Smirnov....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, July 29
Memphis library photo IDs nixed
Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library’s new photo cards won’t qualify as voter IDs in the August 2 elections, and the long-term outlook for Mayor A. C. Wharton’s voter-photo initiative appears in serious jeopardy after a two-hour hearing in federal court July 31. US District Judge Aleta Trauger denied the city’s request for an injunction ordering election officials to accept the photo cards as identification, but she also urged lawmakers to revisit the state’s voter identification law to clear up aspects of it that she said made no sense....
Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, July 31; Nashville Tennessean, Aug. 1
Sunland Park library stays open, director faces charges
After plenty of haggling, Sunland Park, New Mexico, city councilors approved a final spending plan July 26 that will keep the community library open but will require employee furloughs during the coming year. The final budget also retains the director position. Director Luz E. Vargas posted bond July 25 shortly after being arrested on charges of false voting, conspiracy to commit false voting, registration offenses, falsifying election documents, and false swearing after serving as a voter registration agent....
Las Cruces (N.Mex.) Sun-News, July 26
Pomona offered $200K for its citrus label collection
Pomona (Calif.) Public Library Director Bruce Guter recently told trustees that a group had expressed interest in purchasing the library’s Citrus Label Collection for $200,000. The collection consists of about 4,000 fruit labels that packing houses placed on crates in the early 20th century. Trustees told Guter that they were not in favor of any sale at this time, despite the library’s financial troubles. In June, a recommendation was presented to close the library for one year beginning in mid-August as a way to save money....
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.), July 27
Trenton reopens last shuttered branch—sort of
The day after Mayor Tony Mack reopened the former East Trenton branch of the Trenton (N.J.) Free Public Library as a learning center July 30, the facility failed to open on time as Mack aide Anthony Roberts scrambled to find someone who could unlock the gate to the property. Mack said at the opening ceremony, “We are very pleased to say that more volunteers than you could ever imagine have come forward to help us maintain these libraries.” All four former branches operate four hours on weekdays. Critics argue that Mack’s plan (PDF file) violates state law....
The Trentonian, June 17, Aug. 1; City of Trenton, July 27
Contention in Lake City, Carol Stream libraries
Sheryl Mooers, a former director of the Lake City (Minn.) Public Library, has filed a civil lawsuit against the city and several city officials, alleging she was wrongfully fired and sexually harassed and that the city violated open-meeting laws. She had taken disciplinary action against employee Diane Spence, the wife of a council member. Carol Stream (Ill.) Public Library Director Ann Kennedy was fired by the library board and is considering a wrongful termination lawsuit....
Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin, July 27; Carol Stream (Ill.) Press, July 26; Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, July 27
Lawsuits follow dismissal of library workers
Claims of nepotism and corruption at the Lebanon (Ind.) Public Library are dividing this community located about 30 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The fuss goes back to March, when five library employees claim they were wrongfully terminated. The workers contend they were fired for reporting that another library employee—Library Director Kay Martin’s son—was falsifying his time card. After they were dismissed, the employees filed a lawsuit in Boone County Circuit Court against Martin and the trustees....
Indianapolis Star, July 25
Muscatine librarian kisses a fruit bat
Betty Collins, children’s librarian for Musser Public Library in Muscatine, Iowa, kissed an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) on July 24 as a reward to kids who took part in a summer reading program. Collins promised to kiss a bat if participants in the Summer Reading Program read more than 20,000 books. By the deadline, they were up to around 21,000. With nearly 1,000 kids in the program, that breaks down to about 21 books per child during the summer program....
Muscatine (Iowa) Journal, July 24
UK public libraries decimated by closures, cuts
More than 150 libraries have been closed or put into the hands of volunteers in the past year owing to the UK government’s spending squeeze, with a further 225 at risk as councils look for ways of finding savings, according to research released July 30. More than 2,100 staff have lost their jobs, and libraries will open for a total of 150,000 fewer hours this year across the country. The extent of the closures immediately prompted a political storm, with the Labour Party accusing the government of complacency over the threat to the nation’s library network. UK school libraries are also taking serious budget hits....
The Independent (UK), July 31; School Library Journal, July 30
Library and Archives Canada prepares for move
Library and Archives Canada has compiled the first-ever master list of how well its massive collection is holding up as it prepares to move thousands of pieces of Canadian history to a new storage facility in 2013. The $34 million facility has been in the works since 2009. The collection is currently housed in 12 separate facilities, but a number of those will close when the new storage facility opens....
CBC News, July 28
Retired Kashmiri librarian still collects artifacts
In 2001, two years after Atiqa Bano retired as director of libraries for the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, she began collecting artifacts for a cultural museum she established—Meeras Mahal in Sopore, north Kashmir. As a librarian, she was used to collecting things. She saw that lanterns and wicks were fading into darkness and utensils indigenous to Kashmir were no longer being used. Local jewelry had suddenly become junk. “I decided to save that past for our children and grandchildren so they would know who they were and where they had come from.”...
LiveMint, July 27; Free Press Kashmir, July 31
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Senate debates privacy legislation
This week the Senate is considering major cybersecurity legislation (S.3414) that could let the government collect your sensitive and personal internet records. Your calls can make a difference. The bill is in flux and subject to change during floor debate with “good” (Franken-Paul) and “bad” (McCain and Huchison) amendments. Another proposed amendment, filed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), would allow Facebook users to opt-in to automatically share the videos they have watched on Netflix. The bill could be voted on as early as August 2....
District Dispatch, July 29; The Hill: Hillicon Valley, July 27
Nondefense discretionary programs
AASL and others from the nondefense discretionary (NDD) community sent a letter to each member of Congress on July 12 urging them to stop automatic spending cuts by adopting a “balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs” (PDF file). Joining in this effort were nearly 3,000 national, state, and local organizations representing the health, education, science, law enforcement, housing, workforce, transportation, and faith
communities. Across-the-board cuts would reduce funding for the Department of Education by more than $4 billion....
AASL, July 25; Coalition for Health Funding, July 12
Fair use déjà vu
Karen Coyle writes: “In its July 27 court filing, Google has made the case for its fair use defense for the digitization of books in its Google Book Search project. As many of us have hoped, the case it makes appears strong. That it was necessary to throw libraries under the bus to achieve this is unfortunate, but I honestly do not see an alternative that wouldn’t weaken the case a bit. In making its claims for unprecedented public service and research support, Google decided to particularly emphasize its superiority to library catalogs.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, July 29
SkyRiver vs. OCLC: Who wins? Who loses?
A session at the American Association of Law Libraries annual meeting in Boston in June examined the SkyRiver Technology Solutions v. OCLC lawsuit that charges OCLC with unlawful monopoly of cataloging services, bibliographic data services, interlibrary lending, and an attempt to monopolize integrated library systems. The case, still in litigation, began in July 2010, with Innovative Interfaces joining SkyRiver in the suit....
The CRIV Blog, July 30
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How to switch from an iPhone to an Android
Jamie Lendino writes: “A few years ago, we would have been hard pressed to come up with reasons for an iPhone owner to switch to Android. That’s no longer a problem, thanks to the advent of super-fast 4G LTE phones, massive high-resolution displays, free GPS navigation, and Google Play’s enormous expansion. Here’s a guide to ensure that your transition from iOS to Android goes smoothly.” And here’s how to switch from an Android to an iPhone....
PC Magazine, July 24
Goodbye, Hotmail; hello, Outlook
Peter Pachal writes: “If you’ve been on the internet for a long time, there’s a good chance Hotmail was your first email address. Launched in 1996, Hotmail was bought by Microsoft the following year, and the service has gone through myriad changes since then. On July 31, Microsoft rebranded the service under the Outlook banner, moving the service to Outlook.com. You’ll still be able to keep your Hotmail address, but your account will be an Outlook.com account.” One million people signed up for the new email service just six hours after it launched. PC Magazine gives it an Editors’ Choice....
Mashable, July 31–Aug. 1; PC Magazine, July 31
The best workhorse laptop
Chris Null writes: “If I had to get a no-BS, affordable laptop for everyday work, I would buy the Lenovo ThinkPad T430. In my 15 years of reviewing laptops, I found it’s got the best combination of performance, value, durability, and usability of anything else on the market. And I’m not alone in that opinion. What exactly is a workhorse laptop? It’s one that is not high-end and not superthin. Nor is it low-end. It’s just right for people who just want a solid laptop at a good value.”...
The Wirecutter, July 27
Can regular people repair a damaged hard drive?
Joel Hruska writes: “On June 22 my primary hard drive, a Samsung HD103SI, quietly passed away. There was no warning. This is the story of my efforts to repair the drive myself, my research into the question of whether or not users can repair modern hard drives, and the results of my efforts. If your drive is still detected in BIOS, you may be able to use software tools to retrieve your data. We’re going to focus on hardware-related failures, and what your options are.”...
ExtremeTech, July 27
Quantum dots will brighten displays
Katherine Bourzac writes: “A layer of nanomaterial that gives a liquid-crystal display the rich range of colors usually possible only with more expensive technologies will be commercialized later this year by the materials giant 3M and Nanosys, a private company in Palo Alto, California. Nanosys representatives say they are in talks with major display manufacturers to adopt the quantum-dot films, and that they will be in a 15.6-inch notebook computer available in 2013.”...
Technology Review, July 30
Eight TV shows all geeks should have watched
Dave Parrack writes: “Geeks are fairly well represented on television. In many shows, geeks are shown as role models or important people who give something positive to society. Which, as geeks ourselves, we all know we do. The following are eight television shows, some from the past, some from the present, that all geeks should have watched. Not necessarily in their entirety, but for one episode at least. Several show geeks in all their glory, while others are based on geeky concepts which necessitate geeky speak and technology.”...
MakeUseOf, Aug. 1
How everyone will watch TV in the future
Brian Proffitt writes: “Even as cable/satellite TV carriers like Comcast and DirecTV squabble over dollars and cents with broadcast and cable networks like NBC and Viacom, the very structure of their decades-old business model is under attack from new internet technologies and services, as well as new government regulations. At stake is the future of how people watch and pay for television and video—and who controls the experience. The question is, what surprises will the next episode bring?”...
ReadWriteWeb, July 31
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50 shades of red: Losing our shirts to ebooks
James LaRue writes: “For decades, public libraries have seen steady gains in use. At my own library, we’ve seen double-digit growth almost every year for over 20 years running. Until last year. The drop wasn’t big—about 0.7%. You can see from this chart what’s going on: a proliferation of formats combined with a spiking of costs. Together, they greatly impede our ability to meet public demand for a particular work; they erode the purchasing power of the public library.” But Christopher Harris argues that the numbers are far worse: “Buying ebooks for your library is like buying a Prius. It makes no economic sense.”...
AL: E-Content, July 30–31
Berkman Center report on ebooks in libraries
The final version of the report on ebooks and libraries by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society has been released. The report is based on a February 24 workshop organized by the Berkman Center. ALA President Maureen Sullivan and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels attended the workshop on behalf of ALA. The report traces the structure of the business models used by distributors to make ebooks available in libraries and reflects new developments through June. Christopher Harris notes only one point of contention....
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, July 18; AL: E-Content, Aug. 1
I’m breaking up with ebooks (and you can too)
Sarah Houghton writes: “I want to break up with ebooks. Don’t get me wrong. Ebooks is dead sexy and great arm candy at parties, as well as a magnet for attention and memorable experiences. But ebooks makes for a crap boyfriend. This relationship is as dysfunctional as it gets. And I’m too old and jaded to put up with dysfunction. I need a smoldering hot boyfriend who is a wildcat in the bedroom but kisses gently, is unfailingly honest and kind, and sends me cute messages during the day. And that ain’t ebooks.”...
Librarian in Black, Aug. 1
Ebook choices and the soul of librarianship
Andromeda Yelton writes: “Over the last few years, as a fifth of American adults have gotten e-readers, ebooks have transformed the book market and reading landscape. The library market is no exception. There’s now an array of established vendors and emerging options for libraries to choose from in order to deliver ebooks to patrons. Ebook models make us choose which values to advance, and which to sacrifice. We’re making those values choices every time we sign a contract, whether we talk about it or not.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, July 30
DPLA gets $1-million NEH boost
Jennifer Howard writes: “The proposed Digital Public Library of America has gotten a timely $1-million vote of confidence from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award, announced July 26, will ‘specifically support the creation of the infrastructure for a national open-access digital library,’ the agency said in a written statement. The NEH grant will help support a pilot program of DPLA service hubs at the state or regional level that will function as an information ‘on ramp’ to digital content coordinated and made findable by the DPLA.”...
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, July 27; National Endowment for the Humanities, July 26
Hiptype aims to be the Google Analytics of ebooks
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “A new start-up aims to give publishers the ability to track who is reading ebooks and when and how they read them. The Mountain View, California–based Hiptype calls itself the Google Analytics for ebooks, referring to the popular web analytics program, and aims to answer for publishers such questions as what percentage of readers purchased a book after reading a free sample, how many completed the book, and how many stopped in the middle and where they stopped.”...
Digital Book World, July 31
Use Dropbox to move ebook files
J. B. Biersdorfer writes: “It is possible to use Dropbox as a transfer point for ebook files between your computer and your iPad. To make it work, you just need to open the ePub files in an app that can open them, like iBooks or another ebook reader app. Once you have copied the ePub files into the Dropbox folder on your computer and they sync up with the Dropbox app on your iPad, tap an ePub file to open it.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, June 26
Download Your Unofficial Kindle Fire Manual
Justin Pot writes: “Do you own a Kindle Fire, but you aren’t sure what it can and can’t do? It’s time to download Your Unofficial Kindle Fire Manual, a free ebook by Christian Cawley. This manual outlines how to do just about anything with Amazon’s combination tablet and e-reader.”...
MakeUseOf, Aug. 1
Choice E-Collection now available
The Choice E-Collection is the first collection of ebooks to consist exclusively of titles reviewed by ACRL’s Choice magazine. The ultimate goal of the CEC, available now in beta, is to provide libraries with convenient, one-stop shopping for titles reviewed by Choice. Currently consisting of several hundred titles spanning the entire liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the collection will continue to grow in size as publishers participate in the project. A user-friendly interface includes searching by title, author, ISBN, or keyword, or browsing the collection by subject area....
Choice Reviews Online
Report: Library use of ebooks
A report from the Ireland-based Research and Markets looks closely at library ebook purchases and library purchasing plans for ebook readers, tablet computers, and ebook-enabled smartphone technology. The study is based on survey data from more than 90 public, academic, and special libraries. (The release does not specify what proportion are US vs. European.) Among the findings: College libraries will renew an average of 89.4% of their ebook contracts, while corporate and law libraries will renew an average of 67.8%....
Research and Markets, July 30
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Bring the Force into your library with an Origami Yoda READ poster showing the awesome Jedi power of a paper-crafted finger puppet. What better message to share with readers than the mysterious, transformative power of books? Beginning with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and followed by Darth Paper Strikes Back, this popular series by Tom Angleberger follows a couple of middle school outcasts as they work to find acceptance. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
Leufsta Manor Library, Lövstabruk, Sweden. The manor house of 18th-century industrialist Charles De Geer now serves as a living museum. A portion of his library of scientific books is preserved here, although De Geer’s collection was acquired by Uppsala University in 1989, where the more valuable materials are kept, including his impressive sheet-music collection.
Nobel Library, Swedish Academy, Stockholm. The public library of the Swedish Academy was established in 1901 to assist the evaluation of laureates to the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is one of the largest libraries of literature in Scandinavia.
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. Some will be featured 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.
Visitor Experience Librarian, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. The James B. Hunt Jr. Library will draw visitors from around the world, eager to explore this outstanding facility designed by the world-renowned architectural firm, Snøhetta. The NCSU Libraries is already receiving requests for visits from libraries looking to the Hunt Library as a new model of a technology-rich academic library. International visitors to the NC State campus are requesting tours of the space. As part of the User Experience department and in close coordination with library administration, the Visitor Experience Librarian will develop and manage the Libraries’ program for hosting these external visitors, while recognizing that the Libraries’ primary mission is to serve the NC State community....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of New Hampshire Digital Collections contains digital versions of books, letters, photographs, and other items from the collections of the UNH Library. The focus of Digital Collections is the history of New Hampshire, its people, places, events, governance, and industries, including the history of UNH. Digital Collections also contains historic books on a variety of topics such as science, music, poetry, and fly-fishing.
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.
Noted and Quoted
“To use a public library, in most cases all one needs is the desire to. In a world where status and money can fast-track so many to the front of the line, it’s nice to remember that this gateway to reading—a ‘life-long intoxication,’ as writer Logan Pearsall Smith put it—is available to everyone. Equal access to information is a vital cornerstone of democracy. It should never be compromised and never taken for granted.”
—Toula Foscolos, Toula’s Take column, “In Praise of the Public Library,” Westmount (Quebec) Examiner, July 27.
Telling the Library Story, webinar. Sponsored by OCLC.
Kansas Book Festival, Kansas History Museum, Topeka.
Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair, Scottish Rite Temple, Sacramento, California.
Esoteric Book Conference, Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington.
ALSC National Institute, Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana. “Libraries Leading the Race.”
Göteborg Book Fair, Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre, Göteborg, Sweden.
Minnesota Educational Media Organization, Fall Conference, River’s Edge Convention Center and Kelly Inn, St. Cloud.
Southern Festival of Books, War Memorial Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee.
Seattle International Antiquarian Book Fair, Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington.
Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Annual Conference, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Sandusky. “School Libraries 4 the Future.”
Book Club of California, Centennial Symposium, 312 Sutter Street, San Francisco. “Way Out West: Fine Printing and the Cultural History of the Book in California.”
Maryland Association of School Librarians, Annual Conference, Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, Linthicum Heights. “Libraries at the Core.”
Tennessee Association of School Librarians, Annual Conference, Embassy Suites, Murfreesboro. “Don’t Miss a Beat @ your library.”
Michigan Association for Media in Education, Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol, Lansing. “Enter Here and Learn.”
International Association of School Librarianship, Doha, Qatar. “The Shifting Sands of School Librarianship.”
California School Library Association, Marriott Hotel, San Jose. “School Libraries Link Lifelong Learners.”
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J. K. Rowling to launch Harry Potter Reading Club
Children’s publisher Scholastic plans to launch the Harry Potter Reading Club, an online destination created to share the magical world of Harry Potter, with a live webcast on October 11 at noon Eastern time. Rowling will participate in a live virtual author visit to classrooms across America to discuss the world of Harry Potter, including the online website Pottermore. The webcast will take place live from Rowling’s hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the first time she has had the opportunity to answer questions from kids live since 2007. The Twitter hashtag will be #hpREADS....
Book Business, July 31
Real cookbooks from fictional characters
Andrea Borchert writes: “Here at the Los Angeles Public Library we have a huge collection of cookbooks. We even have cookbooks from that mysterious and exotic place: TV Land. Being a fictional character is no impediment to publishing cookbooks: Just ask Betty Crocker. You can get cookbooks here from many of your favorite movies, books, and television shows. These are a few of our favorites.”...
The Huffington Post, July 27
Walter Dean Myers: “Reading is not optional” for kids
Author and Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers (right) talks to NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown (7:25) about his new book. Just Write: Here’s How tells of Myers’s own troubles in and out of school, how reading and writing saved him, and how they can help others too. His mantra: “Reading is not optional.”...
PBS: NewsHour, July 31
You got your book in my app! You got your app in my book!
Ariel Cummins writes: “Books and technology are often pitted against each other. I mean, how many times have you heard (or said), ‘Ah, no e-reader for me! I’m a dead-tree person!’ I am here to tell you, though, that we live in a world that doesn’t force you to choose. You can love books and technology. If, like me, you want to have your trees and pixels too, check out some of these awesome (free!) book-related apps for your iOS or Android phones or tablets.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 1
Bringing comics to life at the library
Rich Shivener writes: “Thanks to a new generation of comics-reading librarians, the expansion of genres in the medium, and the ability of graphic novels to attract hordes of male and female teen readers, comics—namely, graphic novel collections—have found a new home in the library market. The panel, ‘Bringing Comics to Life in the Library!’ held July 12 at the San Diego Comic-Con International, looked at the strategies five libraries use to engage readers and the implications for comics publishers.”...
Publishers Weekly, July 28
10 essential surrealist books
Emily Temple writes: “Shane Jones knows a little bit about surrealism. In his first novel, Light Boxes, the inhabitants of a tiny town fought against perpetual February. And in his wonderful and hallucinatory new novel, Daniel Fights a Hurricane, the weather has only gotten meaner and the people stranger. Because we’re so consistently bewitched by his work, we asked Jones to curate a list of essential surrealist reads for us, so we can pass the time between his novels a little more easily.”...
Flavorwire, July 30
But is it a book?
Jennifer Howard writes: “What makes a book a book? For Michael F. Suarez, director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, a collection of texts on an e-reader doesn’t qualify in the fullest sense. He talked with The Chronicle about how much more there is to a book than the words that go into it. ‘When you take the text of Moby-Dick and pour it into a Kindle, you strip out the bibliographic codes and you strip out the social codes,’ he says. ‘You lose that hermeneutic surplus of meaning that the book is.’”...
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, July 25
The Washington Nationals read Fifty Shades of Grey
Sean Burnett, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, and Craig Stammen of the Washington Nationals baseball team read portions of E. L. James’s bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey on this video (1:17) in order to get psyched to play baseball (they claim)....
YouTube, July 26
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NYPL brings historical geography to the web
Matt Knutzen writes: “100 years ago, a building-sized elephant stood across the street from the Coney Island Cyclone. The ‘elephant bazaar’ was an exciting discovery for the New York Public Library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, which, with the aid of a generous three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is busy transforming the library’s historical paper map and atlas collections into a powerful digital resource.”...
The Huffington Post, July 26
Iowa City’s Local Music Project
Erinn Batykefer writes: “‘If you have a library card and password, and live in Iowa City, you can download this music. You own it forever. Put it on your phone. Play it at parties. Turn it up.’ That’s the message on the Iowa City Public Library’s page for the newly-launched Local Music Project, a digital collection that could prove to be a game-changer for libraries. The new service model started with a common problem: The library needed a new way to deliver music to patrons.”...
Boing Boing, July 30
Have your teens make a memeshirt
Heather Booth writes: “Though I’m no technophobe, I’m not what you would call an early adopter. So involving technology in my teen programming isn’t always the first thing that springs to mind when I sit down to plan my next session. This suggestion is for people like me, who want to bring some of the basic STEM elements into their teen programs but aren’t sure where to start, and who have a core group of teens that enjoys a hands-on project. It works with a wide range of ages and interest, and is equally great with guys or girls.”...
TLT: Teen Librarian Toolbox, July 27
Buffy (and Giles) = top cult TV show
Entertainment Weekly editors rated Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) the top cult TV show of the past 25 years. Teenage vampire hunter Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller) and her loyal Scooby Gang fought supernatural baddies under the watchful eye of wise librarian Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head). The magazine cited the witty dialogue, lovable ensemble, attractive vampires, and relevant scenarios as the secrets of its success. (But we know it’s because a librarian was involved.)...
Entertainment Weekly, Aug. 3, p. 37; MTV: Splash Page, July 27
Report: Digital library infrastructure
The Council on Library and Information Resources and CLIR’s Digital Library Federation program have released a new report, Core Infrastructure Considerations for Large Digital Libraries. The study examines basic functional aspects of large digital libraries and draws on examples of existing digital libraries to illustrate their varying approaches to storage and content delivery, metadata approaches and harvesting, search and discovery, services and applications, and system sustainability....
Council on Library and Information Resources, July 26
Middle East cataloging resource
The Middle East Librarians’ Association Committee on Cataloging has launched a new website that incorporates the Arabic Cataloging Manual. The site provides information and useful resources for catalogers and librarians of Arabic, Persian, and other languages of the Middle East, and serves as a forum for communication with colleagues. With its new site, MELA aims to stimulate an exchange of ideas about current standards, emerging trends, and best practices....
Catalogablog, July 31
Google’s search calculator
Adam Pash writes: “You’ve known for some time that typing 584 + 753 into a Google search will net you an answer from the search engine, but what you may not know is that Google has integrated a basic calculator directly into its search results. To use it, just search for calculator and it will magically appear. Additionally, simply performing an operation will pull up the calculator in the results. It’s not fancy, but it does the job for most quick calculations.”...
Lifehacker, July 31
Demystify the library with game-based mobile learning
Anne Burke writes: “How do you orient students to the library? Put them in a classroom and show them the website? Walk them around in a giant herd, pointing out the important spaces? That’s how we at North Carolina State University Libraries were doing it, too. And we were finding ourselves a little disappointed. Wouldn’t it be better, we thought, if we could get the students into the library, actually engaging with staff, exploring the spaces, and discovering the collections themselves?”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, July 30
Facebook will force you to use its Timeline
Josh Constine writes: “Over the next few months, anyone still refusing to voluntarily switch to the Timeline profile redesign will be automatically migrated, Facebook tells me. Users could choose to adopt the redesign starting in January 2012, but there have been some holdouts who didn’t want their whole life becoming easier to access, or just hated change. Soon they won’t have a choice, though. Facebook revealed it plans to complete the Timeline rollout by this fall as part of its photo revamp.”...
TechCrunch, July 30
Why is everyone on the internet so angry?
Natalie Wolchover writes: “With a presidential campaign, health care, and the gun control debate in the news these days, one can’t help getting sucked into the flame wars on the web comment threads. But psychologists say this addictive form of vitriolic back and forth should be avoided—or simply censored by online media outlets—because it actually damages society and mental health. If it’s so unsatisfying and unhealthy, why do we do it?”...
Scientific American, July 25
The (mostly true) origins of the scientific journal
Bonnie Swoger writes: “Way back in the olden days, way before the internet or phones or even trains, the scientists of the 17th century (called natural philosophers at the time) had two primary ways of hearing about the latest scientific ideas: Wait for folks to have enough ideas to publish a whole book about them, or write a lot of letters, hoping that folks will write you back and tell you what they’ve been up to.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, July 27
NAL guide to identifying plants
The National Agricultural Library offers this list of resources that help people identify plants within a certain category, such as weeds or wildflowers. Some present keys, while others provide photographs for visual matching. Keys offer the user two choices based on a plant’s characteristics and continue to offer choices until the choice narrows down the plant’s identity. Recognizing plant families is a good first step in plant identification....
National Agricultural Library
Postal recognition of IFLA conferences
Larry Nix writes: “The World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions will take place in Helsinki, Finland, August 11–17. In the past, several host countries have recognized the IFLA conference with postage stamps and other postal artifacts. These include: Belgium in 1977 on the 50th anniversary of IFLA, the Philippines in 1980 (above), Kenya in 1984, Japan in 1986, and Vatican City in 2009 when IFLA met in Milan.”...
Library History Buff Blog, July 27
Cycling for Libraries 2012, Baltic States
The second Cycling for Libraries unconference took off in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 28. The tour goes on for 11 days through all three Baltic countries, ending in Tallinn, Estonia, on August 7. The 100 participants come from all over the world, from the US to Taiwan. The event is financed by the participants, sponsors, and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. This video (3:52) describes Day 3 of the trek....
Cycling for Libraries; Vimeo, July 30
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