|American Libraries Online
How public libraries are a boon to small business
Bradley Collins writes: “Libraries from coast to coast have won accolades for being oases in the unemployment desert for millions of job seekers using their free internet computers to sharpen interview skills and sift through job boards. Much less recognized is that many libraries are also making important contributions to the nation’s economic recovery by assisting the job creators in small-to-medium-size businesses. Unfortunately, libraries may be hiding their light under a bushel by failing to promote their business services.”...
American Libraries feature
Libraries shelter evacuees from the summer of 2012
Brian Cook writes: “This summer saw wild weather events spring up across the country, with record high temperatures, historic droughts, thunderstorms that downed power lines, massive wildfires, and flash floods. The resulting mayhem provided opportunities for libraries to better serve their communities while it spelled disaster for at least one facility. Perhaps the hardest hit was the Jim Dan Hill Library on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Superior, which suffered severe flash flooding on June 19–20.”...
American Libraries news, Aug. 13
ALA Virtual Conference talks trends, ideas
Laurie D. Borman writes: “The Mario-themed, cube-shaped lamp cha-chings when punched. ‘That light was awesome,’ said a Texas participant in the online chat sidebar. A bike rider’s jacket features an embedded turn signal indicator on the back. At the ALA Virtual Conference, held July 18–19, attendees learned that these are just a couple of ideas hatched in makerspaces, and they discussed the concepts as they appeared online.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Aug. 13
IFLA opens with warnings of genocide, globalized internet
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Identified in the program as a forensic dentist, keynote speaker Helena Ranta (right) had many delegates to IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Helsinki, Finland, wondering what connection she would make to libraries. At the August 12 opening session, Ranta, who is also a professor at the University of Helsinki, left the audience stunned by the ways in which her work has everything to do with libraries and with the preservation of cultural heritage that they represent around the world.”...
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 13
Dominican Republic nabs $1 million at IFLA
Leonard Kniffel writes: “The Dominican Republic came up the big winner August 13 during the World Library and Information Congress in Helsinki, Finland, where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation presented its 2012 Access to Learning Award of $1 million to the Caribbean nation’s Community Technology Centers. The award called them ‘a groundbreaking network of facilities that provide all residents free access to high-tech tools, training courses, and a wide variety of other services to help them improve their lives.’”...
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 14
IFLA spotlights OCLC, copyright issues
Leonard Kniffel writes: “‘We’ve got to do much more to deliver knowledge with all that is available to us, much more than we do today,’ said OCLC President and CEO Jay Jordan at the conclusion of a presentation titled ‘WorldShare: Cloud Computing, Webscale, and Building the Future with Libraries.’ After screening a video demonstrating how vastly the library user experience could be enhanced, Jordan envisioned how accessibility can be made easier and thoroughly appealing through technologies that are available but not yet fully harnessed in the library world.”...
AL: Global Reach, Aug. 15
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Use your phone to be a super library advocate
Ted Wegner writes: “In early August, the Washington Office sent out its first action alert using a new advocacy tool, Mobile Commons. This was an exciting first step, because it was our first time using mobile technology with our network of library advocates. Mobile Commons allows us to send text-message alerts to our mobile list. From there, our advocates can connect directly to their legislators by simply responding to the text.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 13
Prepare for Library Card Sign-up Month
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Online resources include a print and digital PSA featuring Honorary Library Card Sign-up Month Chair Troy Polamalu (right) of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sample media tools include a sample newsletter article, proclamation, and PSA scripts....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Aug. 14
Deadline extended for Council candidate nominations
The 2013 Nominating Committee has extended the deadline for applications for anyone interested in being considered for Council candidacy. No fewer than one-and-one-half times the number of Council vacancies that will occur must be slated; for the 33 vacancies in 2013, at least 50 candidates must be slated. The online biographical information form is due by 4:30 p.m. Central time on September 17....
Office of ALA Governance, Aug. 14
“America’s Music” to play at 50 host sites
The National Endowment for the Humanities will enable 49 libraries and one nonprofit to host “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway,” a six-week series of public programs featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions of 20th-century American popular music. NEH funded the program, administered by the Public Programs Office, through a $125,000 grant to the Tribeca Film Institute....
Public Programs Office, Aug. 14
Plan a more effective social media presence
Building a presence for your library on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is a great idea, but how do you ensure that, in doing so, you’re maximizing the benefit to your library and effectively organizing staff time and responsibility? In “A More Effective Social Media Presence: Strategic Planning and Project Management,” workshop instructors Sarah Steiner and Cliff Landis offer guidance on building a strategy from the ground up. Register for the September 12 workshop....
ALA TechSource, Aug. 14
Are you ready for the book as iPad app?
Your patrons trust your recommendations on what to read next, and as the use of iPads proliferates, they will look to you for recommendations on exemplary books as apps. In the four-week eCourse “Book as iPad App: Multimedia, Multi-Touch E-Books and Their Future in Libraries,” instructor Nicole Hennig (right) will provide guidance on integrating iPads into your library’s services and evaluating book apps. Registration is now open for the eCourse, which begins October 15....
ALA Editions, Aug. 14
“Crews on Copyright” series to debut
A US District Court has ruled on the application and scope of fair use for nonprofit educational pursuits and e-reserves (the Georgia State case). In “Crews on Copyright: E-Reserves and Fair Use,” the first in an occasional workshop series, copyright expert Kenneth D. Crews (right) will analyze Judge Orinda Evans’s opinion in Cambridge University Press v. Becker, answering such questions as how it might apply to other libraries and universities and whether it is the right time to start rethinking libraries’ fair use policy. Register for this September 5 workshop....
ALA Editions, Aug. 14
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Featured review: Youth fiction
Woodson, Jacqueline. Each Kindness. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Oct. 2012. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, hardcover (978-0-399-24652-4).
Starting with the title, this quiet, intense picture book is about the small actions that can haunt. As in collaborations such as Coming on Home Soon (2004), Woodson’s spare, eloquent free verse and Lewis’s beautiful, spacious watercolor paintings tell a story for young kids that will touch all ages. In a first-person voice, Chloe speaks about how a new girl in class, Maya, gets the empty seat next to her and tries to be friends. But Chloe and her clique will have none of the poor white kid in her old ragged clothes, and their meanness intensifies after Maya asks to play with them. Then Maya’s family moves away, and she is “forever gone,” leaving Chloe without the chance to put things right....
In search of empathy
Michael Cart writes: “One of the glories of young adult literature has been its capacity to give kids faces, kids who have traditionally been marginalized thanks to such factors as race and ethnicity, country of origin, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), physical appearance, or sexual/gender identity; and, yes, in the last case I’m thinking of kids who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT). This capacity has never been more important than now, when our country is more diverse than ever before. Happily, young adult literature has never before been more richly diverse, either. So all’s right with the YA world, yes? Well . . . no. We’re doing a better job of rendering the invisible kid visible but still, that’s not good enough.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Voting now open for Teens’ Top Ten
YALSA invites all teens (aged 12–18) to vote for the Teens’ Top Ten. Teens can vote for their favorite books from the past year in the annual poll, now through September 15. The YALSA website lists the 24 nominees (PDF file) for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten, along with a toolkit for librarians to promote the list to the young adults visiting their libraries. The final 2012 Teens’ Top Ten list will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 14–20....
YALSA, Aug. 15
Interdisciplinarity in academic libraries
Through 10 forward-thinking, detailed essays, Interdisciplinarity and Academic Libraries, edited by Daniel C. Mack and Craig Gibson, addresses an emerging yet largely unexamined strategic priority: interdisciplinarity in the academy. The essays offer a variety of perspectives on transforming academic library programs, collections, and services to meet the evolving challenges of today’s higher education....
ACRL, Aug. 14
Two weeks left for special ALSC Institute pricing
Students, ALSC members, and nonmembers have two weeks left to take advantage of special pricing for the 2012 ALSC National Institute in Indianapolis, September 20–22. Special pricing ends August 24. ALSC members can save up to $60 before that date, while students can save $190. This two-and-a-half-day workshop is devoted solely to children’s and youth library services. ALSC is also looking for microbloggers who will cover the event....
ALSC, Aug. 9; ALSC Blog, Aug. 15
Take a librarian’s holiday in Italy next spring
The itinerary is set for “ASCLA in Italy” April 15–24, and you don’t need to be a member of ASCLA to participate. Voyagers will convene in Rome and then head to the Amalfi Coast, spending time in Sorrento, Puglia, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and Capri. Upon returning to Rome, tour participants will visit the National Library, the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. The cost is $2,950, with airfare paid separately by participants. Download the trip brochure (PDF file) for more information. Send your $500 deposit by September 15....
ASCLA, Aug. 14
PLA course on serving diverse populations
PLA and its cosponsor, the Kent District Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will present an in-person CPLA management course, “Serving Diverse Populations,” at the library’s Cascade Township branch, October 11–12. The course offers library managers, supervisors, and directors the opportunity to gain practical, real-world skills to make their library successful at serving a mixed community. Yolanda Cuesta will be the instructor....
PLA, Aug. 13
Share indie fiction with your patrons
On September 19, PLA will host a live, hour-long webinar, “Alternative Reads: Discovering and Sharing Great Indie Fiction with Your Patrons,” to introduce attendees to the wide array of books from small and independent presses, hybrid publishers, and self-published works. Presenters Dedra Anderson and Lisa Casper, both from the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, will provide insight into this burgeoning field of fiction and offer readers’ advisory. Register by September 17....
PLA, Aug. 14
Navigate through physical and virtual library planning
The library of the future needs to be a vibrant learning hub and an intellectual crossroads where the physical and virtual spaces connect. But the transition from a physical library plan into a blended service model requires a solid methodology. Alexander Cohen of Aaron Cohen Associates introduces new ways of thinking about library planning through diverse literacies in the August 29 webinar, “Physical and Virtual Library Planning.” Registration is open....
LLAMA, Aug. 14
New LITA board members
Cindi Trainor (right), coordinator of library technology and data services at Eastern Kentucky University, is the newly elected LITA vice-president / president-elect. Her term began at the conclusion of the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in July. The two newly elected LITA directors-at-large are Cody Hanson and Rachel Vacek....
LITA, Aug. 9
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A new round of American Dream grants
ALA, with generous support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, is offering a third round of “The American Dream Starts @ your library” literacy grants to add or improve literacy services at public libraries nationwide. In this round, 50 libraries will be selected to receive American Dream grants in amounts of $5,000–$15,000. Public libraries or bookmobiles focused on literacy services for adult English-language learners are eligible. Apply by August 26....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Aug. 9
Gwaradzimba named ALSC Spectrum Scholar
ALSC has chosen Ticha Gwaradzimba (right) as its 2012–2013 Spectrum Scholar. She is currently pursuing her LIS degree at the University of Western Ontario in London. A native of Zimbabwe, Gwaradzimba first began working in libraries while living in Atlanta and currently is a library assistant at the Beacock branch of the London (Ont.) Public Library....
ALSC, Aug. 13
2012 Paul Evan Peters Fellowship
The Coalition for Networked Information has selected Courtney Loder, a doctoral student in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, as the 2012 recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Fellowship for graduate study in the information sciences or librarianship. The fellowship recognizes outstanding scholarship and intellectual rigor, a commitment to civic responsibility and democratic values, and imagination....
Coalition for Networked Information, Aug. 13
ARL Career Enhancement Program
The Association of Research Libraries is now accepting applications for its Career Enhancement Program. MLIS students from racial and ethnic minority groups who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 credit hours (or will complete 12 hours by the scheduled internship) from an ALA–accredited program, are encouraged to apply for this enriching program experience. Apply by October 12....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 15
2012 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature
Molly Beth Griffin has won the $10,000 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature for her debut YA novel, Silhouette of a Sparrow. The Minnesota-based indie publisher will release the title in September. The prize, established in 1994, awards the best manuscript for young readers that Milkweed accepts for publication during the calendar year by a writer not previously published by Milkweed....
Milkweed Blog, Aug. 13
2012 Bulwer-Lytton award for bad writing
The winner of the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest was Cathy Bryant of Manchester, England, who came up with this intro to an imaginary novel: “As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.”...
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Aug. 13
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NBC to host Education Nation at NYPL (PDF file)
Education Nation, the annual NBC News initiative to engage citizens in a solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in the United States, will be held at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, September 23–25. The library invites the public to take part in special events and programming throughout the library system. This year’s summit will focus on successful examples of innovation in education....
NBC News, Aug. 13
The fight for D.C. libraries
Jonetta Rose Barras writes: “District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council members have said they want to keep the city’s public libraries open seven days a week. But Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans, who is urging legislation for mandatory Sunday hours, has accused them of being all talk and no action. They certainly didn’t provide more funding to achieve their goal in the recently approved FY2013 budget. Later this month, 57 D.C. public schools will open without librarians, adversely affecting 17,000 children.”...
Washington Examiner, Aug. 11, 13
The plundering of the Girolamini Library in Naples
For months now, the alarm has been resounding throughout the insular and competitive world of antiquarian books: Beware of volumes bearing the stamp (right) of the storied Girolamini Library in Naples. They could be hot. The library’s former director, Marino Massimo De Caro, was arrested in May, accused of systematically despoiling the library he had been charged with keeping safe, stealing books, and selling them on the open market or directly to collectors....
New York Times, Aug. 11
Cornell library appoints DJ Afrika Bambaataa visiting scholar
Hip hop founding father DJ Afrika Bambaataa (right) has been appointed to a three-year term as a visiting scholar at Cornell University. The appointment, made by Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection in conjunction with the Department of Music, marks the first such university distinction for a hip hop pioneer of Bambaataa’s stature. He will visit Cornell’s campus several days each year to talk to classes. Cornell University Library is home to the largest national archive on hip hop culture....
Cornell University Library, Aug. 14
University of North Texas acquires GLBT collection
Materials that trace 60 years of the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements in the North Texas region will be housed at the University of North Texas Libraries under an agreement with Resource Center Dallas to acquire the center’s archives. The UNT Libraries will receive approximately 400 boxes of materials from the center’s Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research Library. Assistant Dean for External Relations Dreanna Belden said the archive will be a strong foundation for the libraries’ goal of collecting LGBT archival material from across the South....
University of North Texas, Aug. 8
Sri Lanka: Remembering the British Council library
Eranda Ginige writes: “The British Council in Sri Lanka and its library (right) are inseparable. We started out as a library in 1949, grew as a library for half a century, and therefore are known mostly as a library. Coming to the British Council some 15 years ago was nerve-wracking. Everything about it was elite. I was just a schoolboy from a middle-class family that lived in the outskirts of southern Colombo, far from the British Council’s posh location. I never imagined that I would be working here when my father dragged me to the British Council to get a library membership. It’s a haunting memory.”...
British Council Voices, Aug. 13
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Nine reasons to save public libraries
Emmily Bristol writes: “Our public libraries are not just threatened this election season. They’re fighting for their lives. Library districts in California, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and more have measures or proposals to slash budgets in 2012. Where I live, the library district is facing a 30% budget cut that will close at least two branches. The state of our public libraries is a litmus test of both our economic health and our democracy. Here are some reasons why public libraries are still the place where we as a nation will achieve our destiny.”...
Independent Voter Network, Aug. 8; ALA, The State of America’s Libraries 2012; The Sin City Siren, July 29
Court lets Google appeal digital books class status
Google has won the right to appeal the granting of class status to thousands of authors suing the search engine company over its plan to create its digital books library. In a brief order, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted Google permission to challenge a May 31 decision by Judge Denny Chin letting authors sue as a group rather than individually. It is unclear when the court will hear the appeal....
Reuters, Aug. 14
More on the Georgia State case
Kevin Smith writes: “Since the ruling in the Georgia State case in May that decided, at the trial court level, the substantive issues of the claimed copyright infringement, I have been telling people to wait for a while before deciding to take any strong action based on that ruling. On August 10, Judge Orinda Evans filed her order on declarative and injunctive relief (PDF file), and she clearly told us who she thinks won the case. The prevailing party is Georgia State University.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Aug. 11
Open access to publicly financed research
Jennifer Howard writes: “Researchers, publishers, and librarians have spent a lot of time this year firing up the longstanding debate over access to published research. This summer, the fervor has gone global, with policy makers in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and in Australia signaling that they’re ready to come up with some answers. Details vary from country to country and proposal to proposal, but the overall warming trend looks very clear.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Technology, Aug. 13
State of the First Amendment report, 2012
Gene Policinski writes: “Americans don’t run up big positive numbers in an annual First Amendment Center survey (PDF file) when it comes to being able to name all five freedoms in the opening 45 words of the Bill of Rights. But once reminded of ‘religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition,’ they do have some strong opinions about how those freedoms ought to work. The First Amendment Center’s annual State of the First Amendment national survey showed that only ‘speech’ is named by more than half of the respondents.”...
First Amendment Center, July 19
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Why bother with academic library security?
Becky Yoose writes: “When you’re one of the techies in an academic library, you are on the front line when things go wrong. How good are you, though, in dealing with library IT security? Academic libraries have much to offer anyone who wants to break in and wreak havoc, including student and faculty data, restricted resources, and access to the campus network. And yes, there are bots out there that screen-scrape MARC records from OPACs that slow systems down to a crawl. The most important thing you can do is to be proactive.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Aug. 13
How to install a motherboard
Matthew Murray writes: “The motherboard is at once the least and the most important part of your computer. It directly affects performance less than almost any other component, but without it nothing else will work. Because of this, you might think that installing a motherboard would be a difficult or time-consuming process, but that’s not true. All you need is a Phillips screwdriver.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 9
Ten clever uses for Dropbox
Whitson Gordon writes: “Dropbox is an awesome service. You can back your files up to the cloud, sync them between computers, and share them with your friends. That’s not all it can do, though. Here are our top 10 favorite clever uses for our favorite file-syncing program—including hosting a website, remote printing to your home computer, and secure file sharing.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 11
How to make your lost phone findable
David Pogue writes: “Last week, I lost my iPhone on a train. I used Apple’s Find My iPhone feature to track it to a house in suburban Maryland, and the local police were able to return it to me. Because I’d tweeted about these developments, the quest for the phone became, much to my surprise, an internet-wide, minute-by-minute real-life thriller. Several readers wrote to ask how to set up their own phones to be findable. Here’s how you set things up.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Aug. 9
Pinterest launches iPhone, Android apps
Josh Ong writes: “After months of anticipation, Pinterest has gone all out on mobile with the launch of a native iPad app and its debut on Android. Version 2.0 of the iPhone app is also now available in iTunes. It introduces a two-column layout and includes better usability and improvements to stability and performance. The Android app has been custom designed for Android phones and tablets of all cost, speed and size.”...
USA Today, Aug. 15; Pinterest Blog, Aug. 14
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California libraries will try buying ebooks directly
San Francisco and other California libraries are preparing to try something new in their efforts to expand their digital collections—buying ebooks directly from smaller publishers. Starting this fall, the 220-member library cooperative Califa Library Group will begin rolling out a $325,000 project with the goal of buying from the smaller publishing companies thousands of ebooks that the libraries will own forever. About 50 publishers, mostly independent, have shown interest so far....
San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 14
The success paradox
Karen Coyle writes: “An American Libraries article, ‘New Research Finds Public Awareness Gap about Ebooks in Libraries,’ reports that 62% of Americans polled did not know if their library lends ebooks. I would agree with ALA Immediate Past President Molly Raphael that libraries should increase public awareness of their services, except for the other statistics: 56% of those who do borrow ebooks were unable to borrow a particular book they sought, and 52% had encountered wait lists. Really, why would an institution so stretched in its resources want to stimulate more demand?”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Aug. 11; American Libraries news, July 11
Is the ebook revolution slowing down?
Mike Shatzkin writes: “The dizzying pace at which US consumers were switching from print to digital couldn’t last forever. Based on the numbers published by the AAP, with a huge assist in interpretation by Michael Cader at Publishers Lunch, it seems that the slowdown has become very noticeable in the past 12 months. Cader also cites reports from Penguin and Simon & Schuster to document the slowdown.”...
The Shatzkin Files, Aug. 13
Libraries and e-publishers: Friend Zone Level 300
Andy Woodworth writes: “Unless the publishing industry has been living under a rock, it knows that public libraries have a keen interest in lending ebooks. Publishers certainly like libraries (and have sent out the rosy, platitude-laden press releases to prove their fond rapport) but balk at allowing them to lend ebooks. ‘Sorry, libraries,’ they are saying, ‘We like you very much, but not in that way.’ Personally, my sympathy train doesn’t stop at the station anymore for this dynamic.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Aug. 13
Amazon forces Unglue.it to suspend crowdfunding
Eric Hellman writes: “Amazon Payments has informed us that they will no longer process pledge payments for Unglue.it, forcing us to suspend all active ungluing campaigns. According to a senior account manager at Amazon, the company has decided against ‘boarding fresh crowdfunding accounts at this time.’ Amazon has been providing payment services for Unglue.it, as it does for Kickstarter. The Unglue.it website supports crowdfunding campaigns to raise money to release the rights on specific, already-published books.” Hellman explains in more detail why he is not mad at Amazon....
Unglue.it, Aug. 9; Go to Hellman, Aug. 10
Ebooks at sea
The reading list available to deployed sailors may soon be much longer. The Navy Library Service is working to put e-library systems on ships, allowing sailors to choose from thousands of digital books to read while at sea. This is a challenge, because limited bandwidth on surface ships and the complete lack of it on submarines prevents seamless ebook downloads while at sea.
A test run is tentatively scheduled for next spring with one submarine and four ships....
Navy Times, Aug. 10
Ebook acquisition and lending in the UK (PDF file)
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has issued a briefing paper on ebooks in public libraries: “This paper presents some of the legal, strategic, and technical problems that arise from the addition of scholarly and trade ebooks to library collections, together with possible solutions. Some of the most common business models are briefly set out. The latest data on ebook usage is also included.”...
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Ethical Behaviour in the E-Classroom explores the ethics and values that the online student needs to understand in order to successfully participate in an e-classroom. Cassandra J. Smith addresses such pertinent topics as ethics in general, ethical behavior specific to online classrooms, violations of ethics in online classrooms, opportunities for applied ethics, what makes a successful online learner, and critical thinking concepts. NEW! From ALA Neal-Schuman.
Great Libraries of the World
Trolleholm Castle Library, Svalöv, Sweden. Set up by Wiveka Trolle in the late 18th century, the library in this 16th-century castle is Sweden’s largest privately owned collection. Its elegant bookcases and galleries preserve the archives of the noble family of Trolle.
Abbey Library of St. Gall, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Although the 8th-century Benedictine abbey was largely destroyed during the Reformation, its library—the oldest in the country—was spared. The reading room, designed in 1758–1767 by Austrian architect Peter Thumb, is a stunning Rococo masterpiece. Its wooden floor is intricately inlaid, and the ceiling is decorated with stuccowork by Johann Georg and Matthias Gigl and trompe-l’oeil paintings by Josef Wannenmacher. The monk Gabriel Loser was responsible for the wood carvings. Its holdings include an important collection of Irish manuscripts from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Books printed after 1900 can be borrowed, whereas older volumes can only be used in the reading 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.
Digital Processing Coordinator Librarian, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Reporting to the Head, Preservation and Conservation, the Digital Processing Coordinator Librarian manages centralized digitization and processing of collections. The coordinator works closely with staff in Library Information Technology, Cataloging-Metadata, Digital Research and Publishing, other library departments, and vendors on digitization projects in all formats, including books, photographs, manuscripts, 3D objects, and audiovisual media....
Digital Library of the Week
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, is a complex of museums displaying artifacts and art of the American West. Its McCracken Research Library has embarked on a digital initiative, contributing 20,000 images to the center’s website. Online visitors can search a suite of Wyoming photographic collections by Charles Belden and Jack Richard, and digital documents related to William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Plains Indian tribal groups, firearms, Yellowstone National Park, and other Western themes.
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
“[T]he dispositions of mind displayed by these librarians are wide as the poles asunder. Some of them babble like babies, others are evidently austere scholars; some are gravely bent on the best methods of classifying catalogues, economizing space, and sorting borrowers’ cards; others, scorning such mechanical details, bid us regard libraries, and consequently librarians, as the primary factors in human evolution.”
—Augustine Birrell, “Librarians at Play,” In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays (London, 1906).
Fast Forward: The Future of Audio Visual Materials, online conference sponsored by Amigos Library Services.
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Annual Conference, Atrium Room, Gerbeaud House, Budapest, Hungary.
EuroIA2012, Information Architecture Summit, Crowne Plaza Rome–St. Peter’s, Rome, Italy.
Library 2.012, online conference.
Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Fall Meeting, Hilton Lexington Downtown, Kentucky.
Ages of the Book, international conference, Institute for Bibliographic Studies, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.
Open Education Conference, University of British Columbia, Robson Square Campus, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Beyond Content.”
Academy of American Poets, Poets Forum, the New School and New York University, New York City.
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Baltimore. “Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present, and Creating the Future.”
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Annual Conference and Expo, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. “Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the 21st Century.”
American Studies Association, Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Past, Present, and Future.”
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We are drowning in indie books: That’s a good thing
David Vinjamuri writes: “A profound and wrenching transformation is shaking the publishing industry to its roots. The beneficiaries of the existing order—major publishers and their most successful authors—have become the most visible opponents of the turmoil that indie authors have introduced. Which is too bad, because careful examination suggests that this period of chaos will eventually yield significant rewards for both authors and consumers. It even points a way forward for traditional publishers who have faced years of declining profits.”...
Forbes, Aug. 15
In polyglot New York City, 50 shades of bestsellers
Sarah Maslin Nir writes: “In the Babel that is New York City, where nearly 200 languages are spoken and read within the public school system and nearly 40% of the population was born abroad, literary tastes among immigrant cultures turn out to be as different as their cuisines. But what is popular in foreign languages is not always what is selling well back home in Bahrain or Bucharest. And the foreign-language stacks of the New York Public Library now include 60 languages spread across the system’s 87 branches.”...
New York Times, Aug. 9
Gruesomely irresistible YA books
Sharon Rawlins writes: “I know a lot of you like horror. In considering what books to present here I really wanted to highlight truly gruesome books—ones that genuinely make you sick to your stomach. I know what makes someone want to hurl is subjective, but I think I’ve identified some pretty icky books. Most of these books aren’t brand new. I can’t really describe why some are so horrific unless I describe some of the plot so, beware spoilers.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 14
What the Guantánamo prisoners are reading and watching
Harry Potter books are passé among the prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. The adventures of the boy wizard have been supplanted by early episodes of Will Smith’s 1990–1996 TV comedy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as a popular way to pass time among the 168 captives. A civilian contractor named Milton serves as the librarian and maintains the multilingual collection of books that mostly circulate in Arabic, Pashto, English, and French that reach the four lock-ups....
Miami Herald, Aug. 9
Ten books to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday
Rocco Staino writes: “Gourmets and gourmands are pulling their 10 Julia Child’s cookbooks off the shelves to help celebrate the culinary icon’s 100th birthday on August 15. In 1961, Child introduced America to French cooking with her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, then went on to become a pop celebrity with her PBS series The French Chef. These books will give you an insight into the woman, the cook, and the wife.” Google honored her with a Google Doodle on August 15 (0:50). The National Museum of American History is putting Child’s kitchen back on display for a limited time, August 15–September 3, and her niece, Philadelphia Cousins, describes what the kitchen was like in real life....
The Huffington Post, Aug. 9; YouTube, Aug. 14; O Say Can You See?, Aug. 14
The top 10 most difficult books
Back in 2009, The Millions started its “Difficult Books” series, devoted to identifying the hardest and most frustrating books ever written, as well as what made them so hard and frustrating. The two curators, Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk Hallberg, have selected the most difficult of the most difficult, telling us about the 10 literary Mt. Everests waiting out there for you to climb, should you be so bold. How many have you read?...
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 3; The Millions, Oct. 29, 2009
Book of Kells viewed by 10 millionth visitor
The Book of Kells, housed in Dublin’s Trinity College, was visited by its 10 millionth viewer on August 8. English tourist Robbie Howatson, his parents Ian and Jan, and sister Rosina, were the lucky visitors to the historical artifact. Upon arriving, the family was welcomed by the librarian, Robin Adams. The library and its Book of Kells is considered one of Ireland’s major tourist attractions, with over 520,000 visitors each year. The library is marking its 300th anniversary this year....
Irish Voice, Aug. 10
Dysfunctional and codependent (satire)
Steven Harris writes: “There is a dysfunctional and codependent relationship going on in libraryland. (No, not ebooks!) I’m looking at you, print books. We’ve shacked up with print books for so long, everybody thinks it’s a common law marriage. And still we won’t admit that this is a ‘books who hate librarians and the librarians who love them’ relationship. Denial. Let’s look at this crazy relationship: First of all, our lover turns out to be a hoarder.”...
Collection=Connection, Aug. 14; Librarian in Black, Aug. 1
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Load South By Southwest with librarians
Butch Lazorchak writes: “The South By Southwest conference has garnered a reputation as the place where new technologies are launched. There’s an egalitarian spirit to the event that encourages anyone to attend and participate. The ‘anyone’ increasingly includes information professionals in libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs). The panel voting for SXSW 2013 takes place August 13–31. To vote for a session, you need to visit the Panelpicker site and create an account. After that, it’s just a matter of browsing through the 3,519 entries and picking the ones you like. Here’s a sampling.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 15; CNN, Mar. 9
Seven tips for cleaning up your blog
Jill Duffy writes: “Blogging gets messy quickly. Images, tags, links, and titles whirl around in a flurry, and land in a back-end heap that lacks any sort of organization whatsoever. The tips and blog clean-up checklist here are meant to guide you toward fixing up your blog in a way that will have the biggest payoff. Focus on the posts, structure, and other pieces that, when cleaned up, will actually result in more traffic to your site.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 13
How to live-tweet an event: 12 steps
Susannah Vila writes: “Whether you are hosting an event such as a fund-raiser or a conference, or you are signed up to attend one, Twitter can help you to expand the event’s reach, grow your organization’s audience, and connect with potential collaborators or partners. One effective technique is to take advantage of Twitter’s viral power during an event or conference—your own or someone else’s. Here’s a 12-step guide on how to live-tweet an event.”...
Socialbrite, Sept. 30, 2011
Designing a unique library experience
Steven J. Bell writes: “How would you convert a non-library user into a passionate library user? What must you do to get their attention? Perhaps we should just focus on creating a core library user community of passionate users—those who will give us their loyalty and tell others about the library. Even accomplishing that requires librarians to design a unique library experience that gives individuals something they cannot obtain elsewhere—on the internet, at a coffeehouse, or even in the comfort of their own homes.”...
Designing Better Libraries, Aug. 15
Being a librarian means...
The SAGE Publications staff attending the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim this June had a wonderful time talking to librarians about what they want and need from publishers. In an effort to better understand the librarian experience, they asked some creative and experienced librarians to complete the following sentence (in a very public way on the SAGE graffiti wall): “Being a librarian means:” Here are some of their responses....
SAGE Connection, Aug. 8
On the Negative Nellies
Amy Frazier writes: “Librarians can be awfully negative. And often that negativity ends up aimed right at us, the library students. From generalized rants about how the schools are producing too many of us, to complaints about all the ways in which our education falls short, to comments about our own foolishness for wanting to join the profession, I don’t personally know any library student who hasn’t gotten a dose of negativity from a librarian at least once. So what should we do when we run into one of these pessimists?”...
Hack Library School, Aug. 13
Who’s reading your research?
Audrey Watters writes: “Academia.edu, a social network for scholars, is unveiling a new feature that its founder Richard Price hopes will help address part of the ‘credit gap’ for research. Academia.edu allows users to upload and share their research papers, and the site launched its Analytics Dashboard for Scientists August 15 that Price says will let scholars see the ‘real-time impact’ of their work. Many of the scholars who beta-tested the feature found they were increasingly addicted to the stats.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Hack [Higher] Education, Aug. 14
Participatory culture, participatory libraries
Barbara Fister writes: “There’s a choice academic and public libraries face. One is to focus entirely on providing access to the published information that our community members want. The other is to make libraries a platform for creating and sharing culture. In public libraries, the tension between sharing and selling is growing particularly stark. In academic libraries, the open access movement is gaining traction, largely because scholars think sharing is pretty much the point of publishing.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 14
Library search box design
Aaron Tay writes: “Assuming that one believes library websites should be search-centric with a search box on the homepage, how should we design our search boxes? There seems to be four main options: one search box with options, a multi-search tab box, multiple search boxes, or no search box on the main page. Let’s look at each category in turn.”...
Musings about Librarianship, Aug. 12
iPad apps for librarian productivity
Francisca Goldsmith writes: “A few days ago, I received another in a growing line of requests for a list of iPad apps that I find most useful in my workaday life. Maybe sharing a current snapshot list here is in order, but this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, nor a sales pitch. For word processing, I use Pages. This app allows the finished (or finished-for-now) doc to be emailed in Word.”...
Infoblog, Aug. 13; Macworld, June 7, 2011
Why librarians should join a MOOC
Andy Burkhardt writes: “I am now in my fourth week of a Coursera course called Introduction to Finance. It’s a massively open online course (MOOC) that I am taking with thousands of other people around the world. The class involves video lectures, working through problems, discussion forums with other classmates, quizzes, and even math. Even though I’m not quantitatively inclined, I love taking this course despite the work and number crunching. It was something outside of my training and education. There are many reasons why librarians should sign up for a MOOC. Here are a few.”...
Information Tyrannosaur, Aug. 13
Demystifying marketing definitions
Alison Wallbutton writes: “Definitions in the field of marketing can be rather confusing—many terms are used interchangeably. For instance, people talk about marketing when more accurately they are talking about advertising. These definitions from Kathy Dempsey’s book, The Accidental Library Marketer (2009, p. 16–17), are useful for demystifying some of the terminology. But stare at these definitions long enough and I think that even they get a bit blurry around the edges.”...
Marketing Matters for Librarians, Aug. 12
Do fonts affect how people accept information?
Kent Anderson writes: “Cracking the code on type has helped me see a different part of the psychology of communication, and one that’s often overlooked—the aesthetic aspect and its almost undetectable power. A recent two-part series by Errol Morris in the New York Times sought to explore fonts and their effect on credulity—their ability to generate truthiness themselves. In short, Baskerville proved to be what they call ‘the king of fonts,’ making the true statements more likely to be accepted and less likely to be dismissed.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Aug. 13; New York Times: Opinionator, Aug. 8
The taxonomy of nerdrage
Diane Rasmussen Neal writes: “Nerdraging is one of our favorite pastimes. I have no answer for why nerdrage happens. However, I have attempted to create a classification of gamer nerdrages. This was not an easy task, but it’s an important one for the future of gamer culture. We can’t understand why we nerdrage until we examine how we nerdrage. The unexamined nerdrage is not worth executing. First, definitions.”...
tl-dr, Aug. 14
Sorting and searching at the library
Jason Orendorff writes: “I gave the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library two hours a week this summer as a volunteer putting books on the shelves, and it turned out to be unexpectedly rewarding. And humbling. When I started at the library, there was this moment, embarrassing now in hindsight, when I thought, hey, I know information systems. I could teach the library a thing or two. But of course, it turned out the library had something to teach me. I don’t feel too bad about it, though. Librarians have been in the IT game for a long, long time.”...
Jason Orendorff, Aug. 11
A visit to a British prison library
Phil Bradley writes: “HMP Highpoint is a Category C men’s prison in Suffolk, with around 1,300 prisoners. Its library was impressive. It was quite small, but had a large quantity of books in it, both English language and foreign. Librarian Lorna Brook had recently started a section on LGBT titles, which was proving quite popular. It was clear that the prisoners valued the library very highly indeed. It gave them an opportunity to escape from their situation, but also I think it gave them much more than that.”...
CILIP: President Phil’s Blog, Aug. 13
October is American Archives Month
American Archives Month is around the corner. The Society of American Archivists will continue to support the effort with its “I Found It In The Archives!” campaign. In its third year, this campaign is a collective effort to reach out to individuals who have found their records, families, heritage, and treasures through archival collections. The 2012–2013 I Found It In The Archives! PR kit and evergreen resources for American Archives Month are available on the SAA website....
Society of American Archivists
National survey of folklore collections
The American Folklore Society invites your participation in the National Folklore Archives Initiative, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. One of the project activities is a survey of archival folklore and folklife collections in the United States. If your repository or program holds archival materials documenting or pertaining to folk culture and traditional arts, AFS wants to hear from you—please spend a few minutes to complete this survey. The deadline is September 7....
American Folklore Society, Aug. 14
Library charge cards of the rich and famous
Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “Elvis Presley’s signed high school library check-out card (right) came to auction at Heritage Auctions’ August 14 Elvis memorabilia sale. The card from 1948 holds Elvis’s early autograph; he was only 13 when he signed it. His family had recently moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to Tupelo, Mississippi, where Elvis attended Humes High School and checked out The Courageous Heart: A Life of Andrew Jackson For Young Readers from the school library.” The card, containing Elvis’s earliest extant signature, fetched $7,500....
The Fine Books Blog, Aug. 8; RT, Aug. 15
Partnerships and collaborations are excellent ways for libraries to secure and develop their influence on society. Better Together is a short film (4:59) about the potentials of partnerships between libraries and organizations, companies, and users. It features the library in Roskilde, Denmark, partnering with the city music festival to create a new Rock Museum and Library, and a new media library in Aarhus that is partnering with the international community and local companies to improve their digital communication services....
Build Partnerships; YouTube, June 30
Fifth graders in 1995 predicted today’s internet
A 1995 public service announcement (1:00) created by 5th graders to tout the brand-new internet is making the rounds online, and for good reason: Their predictions all came true. These Ray Bjork Elementary School students living in Helena, Montana, produced a video answering the question, “Why should I be on the internet?” Their answers are jaw-droppingly identical to the reasons we are all online today....
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 14; YouTube, Dec. 18, 2009
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