|American Libraries Online
Louisiana denied state aid; support varies elsewhere
Beverly Goldberg writes: “According to the National Council of State Legislatures, all 32 states with annual July 1–June 30 fiscal cycles finalized their budgets by mid-July, and almost half have projected FY2013 upswings in sales and corporate income taxes. The big unknown is how long it will take for that nascent upswing to reach libraries after years of uncertain support in many states. However, libraries are faring poorly in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal zeroed out the entire budget line of $896,000 for State Aid to Public Libraries for FY2013.”...
American Libraries news, Aug. 8
ALA releases report on ebook business models
Based on conversations with publishers and deliberations on the ebook market, on August 8 ALA released Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries (PDF file), a report that describes general features and attributes of the current ebook environment and outlines constraints and restrictions of current business models. The report, which was created by the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, suggests opportunities for publishers to showcase content through public libraries....
AL: E-Content, Aug. 8
Outside/In: Essential bookmarks
David Lee King and Michael Porter write: “Our library users want and deserve the e-content they need, when they need it, and on the device on which they want to view it. But how can libraries possibly do that in competitive ways? We’ve compiled a collection of resources here that you can use to ensure you are informed about the major issues related to ebooks, e-content, libraries, publishers, and other critical areas.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Newsmaker: Karen Keninger
Karen Keninger (right) became director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in March. She is the first person who is blind to direct the Braille and talking-book program. She spoke with American Libraries in June about how she plans to turn her lifelong patronage of the NLS to the advantage of its other users....
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
APALA member featured at Poetry Parnassus
Anchalee (Joy) Panigabutra-Roberts and Jade Alburo write: “Bryan Thao Worra (right), Lao-American writer, poet, and a member of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, was selected to represent Lao poets in Poetry Parnassus, a poetry festival named after the home of the Greek Muses and part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World, held June 26–July 1 in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics. He was one of the poets picked from more than 6,000 nominations to represent each of the 204 countries participating in the Olympics.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 3
Youth Matters: A tale of two students
Michelle Luhtala and Deb Svec write: “Meet Michael. In June, he graduated from a high school where he was encouraged to use his own technology for teaching and learning, and to connect to the district’s Wi-Fi network, where he shared almost complete open internet access on school- and personal-learning devices while on campus. Now meet Jessica, who is entering 11th grade in one of the 12 largest school districts in the United States. In this district, all personal devices are banned.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Librarians who interview authors on television
Valerie Hawkins writes: “The ALA Library recently responded to a rather specific question: What television programs consist of librarians interviewing authors? We found a good handful of librarian-hosted TV talk shows from all across the country that provide insight into the writer and writing process. We believe that all of these are current. Please do not hesitate to comment here with corrections or additions.”...
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Aug. 7
A new podcast series by AL columnist Joe Janes
We are surrounded by and live by various documents, but we take them for granted. Joseph Janes (right), associate professor in the University of Washington Information School, got to thinking: What if he highlighted their stories by discussing how such documents came to be, what they mean, and how they are evolving in a changing world? That’s how he came up with the idea of a series of podcasts on “Documents That Changed the World.”...
University of Washington, Aug. 2
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Freedom to Read Foundation launches new website, blog
The Freedom to Read Foundation, the First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with ALA, has unveiled its new website. The site, which retains the same URL, is a significant upgrade for the organization and will enhance the online experience for FTRF members, donors, grant and award applicants, and those who want to know more about the cases and programs in which FTRF is involved. Among the features of the new site is a new FTRF Blog....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Aug. 7
“All Things Digital” panel at JCLC
The Institute of Museum and Library Services will convene an “All Things Digital” panel at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color on September 22 in Kansas City, Missouri. The event will provide an opportunity to explore the future of library services with experts leading some of the profession’s most innovative and ambitious projects. Scheduled speakers include Charles Henry, Jon P. Gant, and Jake Cowan....
Office for Diversity, Aug. 7
ALA Publishing and National Library of China Publishing House have reached an agreement for the translation of RDA: Resource Description and Access into the Chinese (Mandarin) language. The publishing house will translate a print version of RDA in Mandarin and distribute it in China and globally. The current agreement does not include any plans to offer an electronic version of the translation....
RDA Toolkit, July 31
Getting the most out of social media tools
Social Information: Gaining Competitive and Business Information Using Social Media Tools, published by Chandos Publishing and available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, explores how information available through traditional business and competitive resources can be complemented by information gained through social media tools. Outlining different categories of social tools and their competitive and business applications, author Scott Brown provides many examples of searches with screenshots....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Aug. 1
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Featured review: Adult historical fiction
Doig, Ivan. The Bartender’s Tale. Aug. 2012. 400p. Riverhead, hardcover (978-1-59448-735-4).
If we were to expand the definition of the traditional western to include historical fiction about the American West, then Doig’s acclaimed body of work would fit squarely within the genre’s redefined borders. His latest stars Tom Harry, owner and chief barkeep (a classic western archetype) of a saloon called Medicine Lodge in Gros Ventre, Montana, which itself lies in the heart of Doig’s version of Yoknapatawpha County, the Two Medicine country, which straddles the Continental Divide in northern Montana and is the setting for many of the author’s best novels (including English River, 1985). Tom’s story, narrated by his precocious, 12-year-old son, Rusty, begins in 1960 but quickly flashes back to the Depression, when Harry ran another bar at the site of the Fort Peck dam construction (the subject of Doig’s Bucking the Sun, 1996)....
Westerns for the 21st century
Joyce Saricks writes: “I’ve always loved westerns—the daring adventure, the laconic heroes, the rugged landscape. As a child on the Kansas plains, I grew up surrounded by reminders of the Old West. Black Kettle Creek ran at the back of our pasture, and I spent years searching for the connection to its namesake, a Southern Cheyenne chief. Westerns likely aren’t the most popular genre in most of our libraries, yet I think we ignore them at our peril. Like fiction and nonfiction on the Civil War, westerns reflect an important part of our history and culture, and there will always be a place for these novels and the accompanying histories, art, and films that reflect the western expansion of the US and the men and women who made it happen.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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John Green to be 2012 Teen Read Week spokesperson
Best-selling YA author John Green (right) has been named Teen Read Week spokesperson for 2012. Teen Read Week is YALSA’s annual literacy initiative aimed at encouraging teens to read for the fun of it. The week will be celebrated October 14–20 with a theme of “It Came from the Library!” As spokesperson, Green will host a national kickoff event and judge a teen book-trailer contest....
YALSA, Aug. 7
YALSA seeks a blog manager
YALSA is looking for a member manager for its acclaimed YALSAblog. The blog delivers news, information, and resources of interest to public and school librarians and library workers who serve teens. Full details, including qualifications, duties, and honoraria, are available online. Applications are due by November 1....
YALSA, Aug. 7
Stories that matter
Everybody knows that some stories are more compelling than others. Now you can discover how to select and communicate the stories of your library’s successes in ways that will have the greatest impact and will produce the results you need. LLAMA will present a webinar on “Library Outcomes: Stories that Matter” on August 22. Register online....
LLAMA, Aug. 7
RUSA reveals its fall online learning lineup
This fall, RUSA is offering courses on interlibrary loan, business reference, spatial literacy and online mapping, reference interview skills, and genealogy reference. Also available is the brand-new Health Information 101 course. Registration is open....
RUSA Blog, Aug. 1
New evaluation workbook for school librarians
AASL has released a new book that provides school librarians an opportunity to engage in rigorous self-evaluation and shape school administrator evaluations. A 21st-Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation, written by Patricia Owen, is available in both print and ebook formats. The publication includes workbook-style prompts that walk school librarians through suggested readings, action tips, and evidence collection....
AASL, Aug. 7
Analyze your data sets
AASL has released a new publication focused on increasing a school librarian’s ability to analyze and articulate data sets. The Power of Data: An Introduction to Using Local, State, and National Data to Support School Library Programs, written by Sandra Andrews, guides school librarians through the effective use of data in order to influence school library program stakeholders. The publication is available in both print and ebook formats....
AASL, Aug. 7
ALSC offers student session on mentoring
ALSC will offer a free online workshop on August 14 for all students and early career professionals interested in children’s services. “Emerging As a Leader: How ALSC Helped Us Become the Future” is presented by three members of ALSC’s 2012 Emerging Leader project team. Debbie Zimmerman, Kim Castle-Alberts, and Maria Pontillas were members of Team E, which developed recommendations for an ALSC mentoring program. Register by August 13....
ALSC, Aug. 2
How to improve service for people with disabilities
In the four-week course “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities,” instructor Kate Todd teaches about resources and assistive technologies; the changes in attitudes, laws, and technologies that have impacted people with disabilities; and how to recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services. Registration is open....
ASCLA Blog, Aug. 7
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Win a $3,000 National Library Week grant
Libraries seeking to share their stories and raise public awareness are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The library that develops the best public awareness campaign using the 2013 National Library Week theme will be awarded $3,000 to promote its services. All proposals must use the theme “Communities Matter @ your library,” which incorporates the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand. Apply by September 30....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Aug. 7
Anastasi, England win YALSA stipends
Meg Anastasi, reference and teen librarian with the Springfield (Mass.) City Library and teen services coordinator with Meekins Public Library in Williamsburg, and Megan England, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have won 2012 Young Adult Literature Symposium stipends from YALSA. Anastasi received a worker stipend, while England received a student stipend. The grant provides them with up to $1,000 to attend the 2012 symposium, to be held November 2–4 in St. Louis....
YALSA, Aug. 7
2012 RITA Awards
The 2012 RITA awards were announced at the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference in Anaheim, July 25–28. The awards signify excellence in 12 categories of romantic fiction. The winner for romantic suspense was J. D. Robb, New York to Dallas (Penguin), for YA romance it was Ann Aguirre, Enclave (Macmillan Feiwel and Friends), and for historical romance the winner was Joanna Bourne, The Black Hawk (Berkley)....
Romance Writers of America
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Trash fees bail out three Springfield branches
In a decision cheered by library supporters, the Springfield, Massachusetts, city council approved a $15 trash fee increase July 30, part of which will be used to reopen three library branches in the fall. The council voted 7–4 to boost the trash fee from $75 to $90, and then approved using $200,000 of the new revenue to reopen the Liberty Street, Pine Point (above), and East Forest Park branches of the Springfield City Library as early as September 24....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, July 30
Library becomes a village post office
On August 1, the Leighton Township Library in Moline, Michigan, became the first library in the country to be designated a “village post office,” according to US Postal Service representative Sabrina Todd. Most village post offices are located inside pharmacies, grocery stores, or other businesses. After hours were cut at the nearby post office branch, Library Director Andrea Estelle suggested that the library might offer some postal services as an added benefit to patrons....
Wayland (Mich.) Advance, Aug. 2
University of Wisconsin–Superior reopens library after flood
The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Jim Dan Hill Library reopened August 7, some six weeks after massive floods destroyed thousands of books on the building’s lower level. The library is offering access to its collections on the upper two floors. Director Debra Nordgren said she plans to have the core of the book collection replaced by late September. “This is a good opportunity for us to make sure we have a collection that is vital to our curriculum,” Nordgren said....
University of Wisconsin–Superior, Aug. 7
Kansas museum library sustains water damage
The University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence remained closed August 6 after a water line broke early August 1 and leaked water into the bottom two floors of the building. The water damaged between 15,000 and 20,000 books, roughly 10% of the library’s 170,000 volumes. KU spokesman Joe Monaco said the books will be taken to a Chicago facility where they will be vacuum-freeze dried, evaluated, and treated....
Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, Aug. 2
Bedbugs close two libraries
Wichita (Kans.) Central Library was closed August 2–6 after bedbugs were discovered on chairs on two floors of the building. The bugs were sniffed out by Ms. Liberty Belle, the beagle who did the same for the Tulsa library recently. Library Director Cynthia Berner Harris (right) said officials don’t believe any library materials were affected. Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut, reopened August 3 after the building closed earlier in the week due to an infestation that affected about 2,000 items in the collection....
KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kans., Aug. 2; Wichita Eagle, Aug. 6; WTIC-AM, Hartford, Conn., Aug. 3
Library cafés: One persists, another closes
For the third year in a row, the Laramie County (Wyo.) Library System’s café closed out the fiscal year in the red. The café, which first opened in September 2009, has operated at a loss every year since then. But Chief Operations Officer Laura Block said neither she nor the library board consider the loss to be a serious issue, as the café generates revenue and customer numbers are going up. But the business-operated café in the West Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library is closing August 10. It has had five different owners since 2003, and Library Director Darryl Eschete plans to repurpose the space. Check out this 2012 survey of library cafés....
Cheyenne Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Aug. 2; Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Aug. 4; Primary Research Group, July 3
Bronx library labors to be relevant again
The stacks of the Huntington Free Library and Reading Room in the Bronx, New York, once overflowed with American Indian manuscripts, books, and artwork so prized that the Smithsonian Institution tried unsuccessfully to seize the collection. But decades of financial trouble eventually forced the historic but little-known library to part with the collection. Today, it is trying to reinvent itself in the role of a traditional community library....
New York Times, Aug. 7
Chicago Public Library offers a Blue Moon fine amnesty
For the first time in 20 years, the Chicago Public Library is offering a fine amnesty program to encourage all patrons to return overdue materials and not allow fines to discourage students from taking advantage of library resources. Coinciding with the astronomical phenomenon taking place on August 31, the Library is naming the program the “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty,” reinforcing the fact that it is not a regular occurrence. The last amnesty was in 1992. CPL is currently owed $1.4 million in unpaid fines from overdue materials with an estimated worth of more than $2 million....
Chicago Public Library, Aug. 6
Google tries out new mapping program in Oceanside
In the first project of its kind on the West Coast, Google is about to include the indoor floor plans of Oceanside (Calif.) City Hall, the Civic Center Library, and the city’s senior citizen centers in Google Maps. Want to know where the video discs are displayed in the library or how to find the children’s section? The answer will be found on your smartphone or tablet. Better yet, the map will show where you are and how to get there—with the display constantly updating as you take an elevator or escalator or walk upstairs to a higher level....
Escondido (Calif.) North County Times, Aug. 4
Clearwater library to put up a fence
After only eight years, the downtown Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library’s front entrance and the outdoor terrace on the west side are starting to show wear and tear. Officials say that’s partly because there’s a problem with homeless people sleeping around the building at night. So the city council voted August 2 to put a teal-colored, 8-foot metal fence around the front entrance, with a curving arch on top that mirrors the library’s wavelike roof. A similar fence will surround the west terrace, for a total cost of $119,400....
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, Aug. 4
US scholar urges closer cultural ties with China
At age 80, Chi Wang (right), a Georgetown history professor who helped develop the Chinese Collection at the Library of Congress, still has a dream—to open an office in China to enhance the country’s cultural interaction with the United States. The office, he said, could buy books directly from publishers in China and help US scholars conduct research there. LC only had 300,000 volumes in its Chinese Collection when Wang began working on it in 1957; it now holds about 1 million books, newspapers, magazines, and films....
China Daily, Aug. 4
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It’s time to stop trying to save libraries
R. David Lankes writes: “Close the crisis center. Take down the picket signs. Please proceed to unoccupy the library. It is time to stop trying to save libraries. No, this is not another bait-and-switch act of verbal irony about how libraries are obsolete. This is about the messages we send. By taking on the mantra of saving libraries, we are assuming that we are weak. Worse, it plays into the whole idea that we are wounded or broken.”...
Virtual Dave...Real Blog, Aug. 1
What do we do and why do we do it?
Emily Ford writes: “The library community should develop a philosophy of librarianship. In order to do so, the community should engage in a dialogue about what we do and why we do it. Engaging in a reflective and philosophically based practice of librarianship will enable the library community to have successful conversations with those they serve. As a result, librarians will be invited to participate in important community decision-making efforts, and be able to further impact communities.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Aug. 8
Cybersecurity Act fails Senate vote
On August 2, the US Senate took a cloture vote to end debate on S.3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The vote was recorded as 52–46, meaning there were not the 60 votes necessary to advance the bill. This vote signals that the bill will likely not be taken up this year. The defeat of the bill also deals a heavy blow to the White House, which lobbied hard for passage all year. Part of the problem, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), was that Republicans were insisting on amendment votes that were not germane to cybersecurity. The White House hasn’t ruled out issuing an executive order....
District Dispatch, Aug. 2; The Hill: Hillicon Valley, Aug. 2, 4
LCA files amicus brief in Google Book Search case
On August 1, members of the Library Copyright Alliance (ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries), together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed an amicus brief (PDF file) in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., a lawsuit in which authors allege that Google violated copyright by scanning books to create Google Book Search. The brief defends GBS as permissible under the doctrine of fair use. Meanwhile, the Authors Guild filed a motion for summary judgment (PDF file) July 27, asking for $750 per infringement, which could result in damages that exceed $1 billion....
District Dispatch, Aug. 2; Publishers Weekly, Aug. 6
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What powers the Mars Curiosity rover?
Chloe Albanesius writes: “According to NASA, Curiosity is equipped with just 2GB of flash memory (the new MacBook Air offers up 64GB, 128GB, or 265GB). However, that 2GB is eight times as much as the previous Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, had on board. Curiosity’s computer chip clocks at up to 200 megahertz, and there is 256MB of RAM and 256KB of electrically erasable programmable read-only memory in Curiosity’s calculating engine. If those specs sound pedestrian, consider that the MacBook probably couldn’t handle the radiation on Mars.” Ian Paul offers some tips on how to follow Curiosity’s Martian adventures....
PC Magazine, Aug. 6; PC World, Aug. 8
2012: The year code broke
R. Toby Greenwalt writes: “Libraries are uniquely positioned to take advantage of technological trends. But if we want to see resources customized to our information needs, we’re going to have to learn a thing or two about code. Like many of the topics that come across our desks, we don’t have to be experts to get results. Whether it’s tweaking the PHP in a WordPress template, performing a batch edit on a group of MARC records, or experimenting with a catalog API, knowing just a little bit can go quite a long way. Consider this your crash course in how code can help your library.”...
Public Libraries Online, Aug. 2
How security flaws led to my epic hacking
Mat Honan writes: “In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. In many ways, this was all my fault. But it also exposes vital security flaws in the customer service systems of Apple and Amazon.” In the wake of Honan’s hack, some people are turning to Google’s two-step verification process (video, 3:28); but Bobbi Newman has a cautionary tale about this procedure....
Wired: GadgetLab, Aug. 6; Mashable, Aug. 8; YouTube, May 27, 2011; Librarian by Day, Aug. 8
Is cloud security an oxymoron?
Paul Lilly writes: “Like it or not, technology is becoming ever more reliant on the cloud, and that has both positive and negative ramifications. On the positive side, cloud computing has opened up a whole new world of productivity with Google Docs and Office 365. The cloud also flipped the entertainment industry on its head with online music lockers that make it possible to access playlists anywhere. But playing in the cloud isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.”...
ExtremeTech, Aug. 8
How to buy a scanner
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “Finding the right scanner can be a challenge. Most can scan just about anything, but they come in a variety of types and sizes that are fine-tuned for different purposes. Here are the key questions to ask to help make sure you pick the right scanner—or scanners—for your needs.” And here are eight of the best portable scanners for you to consider....
PC Magazine, Aug. 2
http://, @, Ctrl-Alt-Del, and all that
Caleb Garling writes: “Why is there an @ symbol in your email address? Why do we type http:// when visiting a website? Why have we spent so much of our lives trying to hit the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time? You can often trace such arcana back to a very personal moment, when a particular computing pioneer had to make a choice. The choices were made. And, for some reason, they stuck.”...
Wired: Enterprise, Aug. 3
When you need a stylus
David Pogue writes: “I rounded up 40 styluses from Just Mobile, BoxWave, Griffin, Hand, SuckUK, Hard Candy, Hub, Kensington, Kuel, Logiix, MediaDevil, oStylus, Studio Neat, Targus, and Wacom; even then, I’m sure I missed a few. I tested them in art apps like Paper and Sketchbook Pro, in note-taking apps like Penultimate, and in everyday navigation on tablets and phones. Here’s a guide to a panoply of styluses, organized by the problems that their designs address.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Aug. 1
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Rightsizing digital content purchase groups
Christopher Harris writes: “What is the ideal size of a group for purchasing digital content? Some states engage in statewide purchasing of digital resources, but I wonder how well that will continue to work as digital content becomes a larger part of our collections. New York State, for example, offers NOVELny as a set of resources for all students and residents across all grades and library types. Today, however, the statewide system is falling apart.”...
AL: E-Content, Aug. 6
BISG endorses EPUB 3
The Book Industry Study Group, a leading US-based trade association, announced August 6 the publication of a new policy statement that endorses EPUB 3 as the accepted and preferred standard for the creation of digital content. BISG Policy Statement POL-1201: Endorsement of EPUB 3 encourages all member companies and other industry stakeholders to work toward adopting the full range of functionality within EPUB 3 as soon as possible....
Book Industry Study Group, Aug. 6
OCLC recommends Open Data Commons Attribution License
OCLC is recommending the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-BY) for member institutions that would like to release their library catalog data on the web. This license provides the means for users to share WorldCat-derived data in a manner that is consistent with the cooperative’s community norms defined in the “WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities.” Data can be freely shared subject only to attribution and OCLC’s request that those making use of WorldCat-derived data conform to community norms....
OCLC, Aug. 6
Library patrons want ebooks
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “Library patrons, it turns out, are just like everybody else when it comes to ebooks: Increasingly, they want them. According to the new Patron Profiles report from Library Journal and Bowker, 28% of library patrons want to download ebooks at their local libraries. That number increases when it comes to library patrons who also read ebooks: Nearly two-thirds of those want ebooks available at their local libraries. Among library patrons, the Kindle e-reader is the favored e-reading device.”...
Digital Book World, Aug. 1
David Pogue downloads BitTorrent ebook
Author and New York Times tech columnist David Pogue writes: “Hm. That’s weird. There’s no electronic edition of The Bourne Identity on Amazon. Nor any of its sequels. I eventually learned that Robert Ludlum’s estate can’t agree on a royalty rate with its publisher. Dudes: It’s 2012. How about worrying about the thousands of dollars a month you’ve been leaving on the table by not offering the books to the public? So I downloaded the book from a BitTorrent site. I sure wish I could have paid for it, so I sent the publisher a check for $9.99.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Aug. 2
The uncertain economics of lending ebooks
Like a tired marriage, the relationship between libraries and publishers has long been reassuringly dull. Ebooks, however, are causing heartache. Libraries know they need digital wares if they are to remain relevant, but many publishers are too wary of piracy and lost sales to cooperate. Library advocates argue that book borrowers are also book buyers, and that libraries are vital spaces for readers to discover new work. So publishers keep tweaking their lending arrangements in search of the right balance....
The Economist, July 28
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Great Libraries of the World
Parliament Library, Stockholm, Sweden. The Riksdagsbibliotek, created in 1851, is one of the few parliamentary libraries in the world that is open to the public.
Stockholm Public Library, Stockholm, Sweden. A Nordic neoclassical building designed by Gunnar Asplund in 1918–1924 and completed in 1928, the library was Sweden’s first open-stack public facility. Three levels of bookshelves surround the interior of the 23-meter-high rotunda. Asplund also designed 20 different kinds of chairs for the library. The Sandman, a painting by Post-Impressionist artist Nils von Dardel is in the children’s room.
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.
Programming Librarian. Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach (formerly West Palm Beach Public Library), Florida, was recently awarded a grant from the Mandel Foundation to assist the library in establishing world-class programming. This yearlong, grant-funded position will require researching, planning, and implementation of interactive, cultural, and educational programs for all ages. The Programming Librarian will develop and manage public relations efforts, perform needed community analyses to determine public programming needs, and provide exceptional customer service. In addition, this person will work closely with the Library’s Foundation and Friends groups, community groups, and outside agencies....
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital Library of South Dakota is a collaboration of the libraries of six Board of Regents colleges and universities in the state of South Dakota: Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota. The consortium has made a variety of unique collections digitally available, among them the 1972 Flood Collection, the George S. McGovern Collection, the USD and SDSU photo collections, and the Black Hills National Forest Collection.
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
“Visiting the Flushing (N.Y.) library helped me realize that libraries persist because the marketplace, with all its many splendors, provides no good alternative to these comforting institutions where you can sit and think without a penny in your pocket. Libraries also persist because the idea of improvement persists—and because libraries continue to meet the needs of their patrons, perhaps even better than they have in the past.”
—Daniel Akst, “Today’s Public Libraries,” Carnegie Reporter 6, no. 4 (Spring 2012).
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, National Conference, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. “Leading Creatively.”
Nova Scotia Library Association, Annual Conference, Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Best Western Doublewood Inn and Conference Center, Fargo. “Finding Your Voice.”
Kentucky Library Association / Kentucky School Media Association, Joint Conference, Galt House Hotel and Suites, Louisville. “Kentucky Libraries: For Every Chapter of Your Life.”
The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation Conference, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia. Sponsored by UNESCO.
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Centre, Casper. “Celebrate Our Past—Create Our Future.”
Nairobi International Bookfair, Sarit Centre Expo Hall, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. “Education and Peace.”
KidLitCon, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Public Library, New York City.
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Gettysburg. “Pennsylvania Libraries: Leading the Charge.”
Emerging Technologies in Academic Libraries, International Conference, Rica Nidelven Hotel, Trondheim, Norway.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Peoria Civic Center. “Bouncing Higher.”
Books in Browsers conference, Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco.
In Re Books, a conference on law and the future of books, New York Law School, New York City.
Conference of the Library and Information Community of Quebec, Palais des congrès de Montréal. “Creating, Sharing, and Transferring Know-How.”
National Council of Teachers of English, Annual Convention, MGM Grand Hotel Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
National Communication Association, Annual Convention, Dolphin Hotel, Orlando, Florida.
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What grownups can learn from kids’ books
Maria Konnikova writes: “To a child, The Little Prince is the story of a boy who falls from the sky, meets lots of funny people on his travels, and then returns to his star. But take a closer look and you find as clear a commentary on everything that’s wrong with modern life—and what can be done to fix it—as you would in the most biting social satire. It may seem silly for adults to waste time on books for children. But are we really wasting it—or using it to much better advantage?”...
The Atlantic, Aug. 6
Rousing Reads: An homage to film noir
Bill Ott writes: “We all know about life imitating art, but what about novels imitating film—film noir in particular? Patrick Conrad’s No Sale (the words written in lipstick on a mirror by Gloria Wandrous, the Elizabeth Taylor character in Butterfield 8) is only the latest in a short list of noir fiction that draws on film noir. I’m not talking here about novels that simply use the themes and techniques of film noir to tell a story, but rather about novels that refer directly to famous films and their actors.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
NPR listeners nominate 100 best-ever teen novels
It’s almost a cliché to say that teen fiction isn’t just for teens anymore. Which is why NPR was only a little surprised to see the tremendous response that came in for this summer’s Best-Ever Teen Fiction poll. A whopping 75,220 people voted for their favorite young adult novels, submitting more than 1,200 nominations. (For your convenience, here’s a printable version of the top-100 list, as well as a list of the 235 finalists.) This year’s response blasted past the total for last year’s science fiction and fantasy poll at warp speed....
National Public Radio, Aug. 7, 2012; Aug. 11, 2011
Goodreads vs. LibraryThing
Amanda Nelson writes: “If there’s one thing I love almost as much as books, it’s making lists of books. The two most popular book cataloging and social networking sites seem to be Goodreads and LibraryThing. So which one should you use? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? I’ve done some major digging into their terms of service and various functionalities to give you many points to consider about both sites.” Read Part Two....
Book Riot, July 31, Aug. 7
Souvenir postcard booklets
Alastair Johnston writes: “The postcard booklet is either a set of cards in a folder or a single accordion-fold booklet that folds up into a cover. Such photo-illustrated booklets are a wonderful adjunct to books with other types of imagery. Some folding postcards were printed on both sides, so were not meant to be detached but kept as a surprising foldout that echoed the journey through changing landscapes. A folder containing loose cards is also a popular souvenir.”...
Booktryst, Aug. 6
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Five key roles for 21st-century school librarians
Michelle Luhtala writes: “According to Joyce Valenza, teacher librarian at Springfield Township (Pa.) High School, this is the golden age of librarianship. Copresenting a session at the 2012 Building Learning Communities conference on July 19, Valenza outlined five areas in which K–12 schools should turn to their librarians to empower learners with valuable 21st-century college and career readiness skills. Librarians help all students gain access to, evaluate, ethically use, create, share, and synthesize information.”...
eSchool News, Aug. 2
Creative Commons license chooser
Joyce Valenza writes: “If your students are creating and publishing digital content at the rate mine are, you likely want to lead them to select a CC license to apply to their own materials. A new Creative Commons license chooser launched this week. The very simple interface presents four boxes that update dynamically as users select options and complete attribution metadata. After completing the form, users are presented with a suggested license, a choice of icons, and embed code for inserting their license on a web page.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Aug. 5
Librarians second only to doctors in public trust
Internet users in the UK trust library staff more than most other providers of online support and information, and public library staff are second only to doctors in terms of the trust placed in them by information seekers, according to a survey commissioned by the Society of Chief Librarians. 80% of the users surveyed through the Public Libraries Information Offer said that the support provided in libraries improved their level of understanding of online information....
Society of Chief Librarians blog, Aug. 3
New ARL salary survey for 2011–2012
The Association of Research Libraries has published the ARL Annual Salary Survey 2011–2012, which analyzes salary data for all professional staff working in the 126 ARL member libraries during FY 2011–2012. Data are reported for 9,910 professional staff in the 115 university ARL libraries and for 4,046 professional staff in the 11 non-university ARL libraries. The median salary for US ARL university libraries in 2011 was $66,467, an increase of 2.3% over the 2010–2011 median salary of $65,000....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 8
The immeasurable Library of Congress
Nicholas Taylor writes: “The popular estimation that the Library of Congress represents 10 terabytes of data came from a 2000 study by two UC Berkeley iSchool professors. Several critical, and often overlooked, caveats were that this number only figured the print collections (PDF file) and that these were counted as the amount of disk space occupied when reduced to plaintext (PDF file). The tacit critique that so much more data is being created, transmitted, and stored via digital technologies than is housed in the putatively nondigital Library of Congress is that LC is somehow less relevant.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 6
Nine data visualization tools for librarians
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Data visualization and infographics tools are a great way to keep students and readers engaged. Here are nine free applications that will enable you to create your own infographics, maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams. For example, Stat Planet, which lets you create customizable, interactive maps or graphs with data you import.”...
iLibrarian, Aug. 4
Why gamify and what to avoid
Bohyun Kim writes: “We tend to associate the library with learning, research, scholarship, and something serious. Games make us think of fun. For this reason, it is natural to worry about any library-related activities such as reading, studying, or researching becoming frivolous and trivial by gamification. In an effort to address this concern, I will point out that gamification is a society-wide trend (and likely not so frivolous after all), what to avoid in gamifying libraries, and what the limit of gamification is.”...
ACRL TechConnect, Aug. 7
QR Code treasure hunt brings teens into the library
Sarah Rich writes: “As a way to teach teens about library resources, the Chesterfield County (Va.) Public Library gave them a challenge: Solve problems with the help of quick response (QR) codes. In November 2011, the libraries tried a two-month program called ‘iHunt: Crack the CCPL Code.’ The program challenged teens to learn about library resources by completing a digital treasure hunt inside the library. Librarians strategically placed signs equipped with QR code readers throughout the facility.” For more details, read this Virginia Libraries report....
Government Technology, Aug. 7; Virginia Libraries 58, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar.)
A collaborative adventure in library programming
Mary Bear Shannon writes: “It was January 2011, and I had only been working at the Haverford Township (Pa.) Free Library for three weeks. My director handed me an announcement for an opportunity titled ‘Traveling Exhibitions Exploring Jewish History and Culture.’ She and I had just been discussing ways to expand our programming at the library, so I was game. Although I had worked in educational programming in nonprofit organizations for 10 years, this was my first time planning programs in a public library.”...
Programming Librarian, Aug. 7
Exhibiting controversial materials
David Haberstich writes: “Archivists, curators, and librarians often have controversial materials in their collections, and the mere act of presenting them to the public in the form of exhibitions, publications, and online catalogs can be fraught with risks for such professionals and their institutions. To a lesser extent, images and text posted online by institutions can also carry risks of offending segments of the public. I feel that exhibitions can legitimately seek to educate through provocation and confrontation, whereas through cataloging I try to document and describe without unnecessary provocation.”...
Smithsonian Collections Blog, July 31
10 avant-garde works on the National Film Registry
Cary O’Dell writes: “The avant-garde is just the norm that hasn’t happened yet. Certainly that seems to be the case with most of the historic ‘avant-garde’ works that have so far been named to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. Since its inception, the Librarian of Congress and the National Film Registry Board have worked to incorporate avant-garde works into the Registry, recognizing the important role that experimental filmmakers play in moving the art of movie-making forward.” Here are 10 that you can watch. (See the American Libraries Pinterest page for more NFR titles.)...
Listverse, Aug. 5
Deciphering signature marks
Sarah Werner writes: “Signature marks are those letters, numbers, and sometimes symbols at the bottom of the first portion of gatherings to help binders assemble the sheets of a book into the right order. Books in the handpress era were printed not as single leaves, but as sheets with varying numbers of pages per side. One sheet of paper might contain, once properly folded, 2 leaves (a folio), 4 leaves (a quarto), 8 leaves (an octavo), or 12 leaves (a duodecimo or twelvemo). Signature marks can also tell us about where the book was printed, and that’s where things get exciting.”...
The Collation, Aug. 7
Harvard acquires Trotsky’s last reading material
Harvard University’s Houghton Library has acquired the copy of the Mexico City newspaper, Ultimas Noticias de Excelsior, that exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was purportedly reading when he was fatally attacked August 20, 1940, in his home in Coyoacán, Mexico, by an undercover NKVD agent with an ice axe. The newspaper, spattered with blood, was retrieved by one of Trotsky’s guards, Henry Schnautz....
Modern Books and Manuscripts, Aug. 1
Special collections and archives in the Digital Age
The Association of Research Libraries has published the final version of its Research Library Issues, no. 279, which is devoted to legal concerns and evolving professional practices around digitizing special collections and archival materials. The issue also includes a model digitization contract for use with outside vendors, model “deeds of gift” that can secure permission from rights holders to make donated material accessible, and an essay by Duke University’s Kevin Smith on a new way of thinking about copyright and risk management in digitizing special collections....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 7
Washington and Lee receives Civil War newspapers
More than 150 Civil War-era newspapers have found a home in the special collections of Washington and Lee University’s Leyburn Library, thanks to Fred Farrar, Class of 1941 and a retired teacher of journalism. The collection, which is in excellent condition, includes a mix of Northern and Southern newspapers, from the Richmond Whig and the Nashville Daily Union to the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. There are also pages from 1860 and 1862 editions of Harper’s Weekly....
Washington and Lee University, Aug. 6
I found her in the archives: The first Serbian at Mount Holyoke
Jelena Jezdimirovic writes: “As I was reading about Mary Woolley, the 11th president of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, I thought that she must be the most exciting college president in the history of higher education. In one of her letters dating back to 1920, Woolley mentioned a Mount Holyoke student named Marija Yovanovitch (right) from Belgrade. I felt the need to discover how Marija ended up at Mount Holyoke. For two afternoons, Head of Archives Leslie Fields and I looked through all the possible documentation relating to international students in the 1920s.”...
Mount Holyoke College LITS, July 31
These nourishing little book cupcakes are the perfect thing for your next book club gathering. These are not fictional! They are genuinely literary cupcakes. But you will have to travel to Victoria’s Kitchen in Chiswick, West London, to sample them in person....
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