|American Libraries Online
American Dental Association library may be set to close
Maria R. Traska writes: “In July, the American Dental Association’s library budget was slashed, and eight of 13 library staffers expect to lose their jobs January 1 if the board doesn’t reverse action at its December 9–12 board meeting. The library cuts sparked a furor over the summer and at the ADA House of Delegates meeting in October, but the board’s budget passed without $600,000 for the library. The final budget also included a new line of $800,000 to hire a public relations firm.” The ADA library was started in 1927 and contains a collection of nearly 30,000 books and over 600 current journals....
American Libraries feature; MLS E-nnounce, Nov. 28, 2007
Writing for civilians
Laurie L. Putnam writes: “Love to write about libraries? Many of us do. For our fellow librarians, we speak volumes, clamoring to fill blogs, association newsletters, and scholarly journals. But for our communities? Not so much. The volume drops significantly when we consider the words we produce for publications our users and supporters read: local newspapers and company intranets, faculty newsletters, and industry magazines.”...
American Libraries feature
Dispatches from the Field: The Tao of tablets
Rebecca K. Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier write: “Mobile phones, personal electronic devices, and tablet computers have infiltrated most corners of the academic library. Although many institutions are interested in exploring these new technologies, some are focusing on tablet computers in particular to enhance and even reimagine their services to better support their communities. Yet we are only at the beginning.”...
American Libraries column, March
In December, Judith Sessions (right) retired as dean of Miami University Libraries in Oxford, Ohio. Barbara Ann Schmitt Webb, 66, retired assistant director of electronic resources and technology at Montgomery County (Md.) Public Libraries, died November 10. Kristin Weltzheimer, 63, died November 29. She had served as director of the Somers Library in Katonah, New York, and the Warner Library in Tarrytown, New York....
American Libraries column
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Lisa Genova to present 2013 Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture
Neuroscientist-turned-novelist Lisa Genova has captured a special place in contemporary fiction by using her immense knowledge of how the brain works in her novels. ALA Midwinter attendees have a chance to hear this unique, popular, and moving author at the 2013 Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on Saturday, January 26....
Conference Services, Nov. 28
Innovative Advocacy in Action Institute
In a changing landscape, libraries and library communities are rethinking the way they advocate for funding and services. “Innovative Advocacy in Action: An Advocacy Institute Discussion,” to be held January 25 at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting, will showcase some of these new efforts from around the country. Speakers include John Chrastka, Ken Haycock, Pat Tumulty, Lauren Comito, and Christian Zabriskie....
Office for Library Advocacy, Dec. 3
ALA-APA Networking Reception
The ALA–Allied Professional Association will present its first-ever fundraising event on January 26 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The Networking Reception will be an evening of fun, music, and refreshments where you can experience a taste of Seattle’s nightlife. Register through the Midwinter Meeting registration page....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Nov. 29
Ignite yourself at Midwinter
PC Sweeney writes: “This year at Midwinter, the ALA Think Tank will hold the first-ever Ignite ALA. Ignite is a geek event held in more than 100 cities worldwide where presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. Many of these presentations are recorded live and broadcast or archived to be shared. This will be ALA’s first-ever attempt to Ignite our passions for our profession. We are looking for 8–10 presenters on any number of topics.”...
PC Sweeney’s Blog, Dec. 1
Wrap up Midwinter with a Star Wars party
Best-selling authors Chris Alexander and Tom Angleberger will host a Star Wars–themed Wrap Up/Rev Up party at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday, January 28, 2–3 p.m., wrapping up the Seattle event and revving up for Annual Conference in Chicago. From storm troopers to origami, there’ll be something for everyone, including photo opportunities with characters....
Conference Services, Dec. 4
Steve Berry is spokesperson for 2013 Preservation Week
The Preservation Week adventure continues with New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry (right) as National Spokesperson for Preservation Week, April 21–27. A devoted student of history, Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, founded History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding the preservation of the fragile reminders of our past. He will appear in print and digital PSAs promoting Preservation Week....
ALCTS, Nov. 30
Free webinar on digital literacy and libraries
To start a national dialogue on digital literacy education, ALA will host a free webinar, “Assessing Digital Literacy: Outcomes and Impact,” on December 11. The webinar, hosted by the Office for Information Technology Policy and the ALA Digital Literacy Task Force, is a follow-up to the well-attended web-based forum that ALA hosted in November. To RSVP for the webinar (to be streamed live), email Marijke Visser using Digital Literacy in the subject line....
District Dispatch, Dec. 3
Two support staff webinars in December
The ALA–Allied Professional Association’s Library Support Staff Certification program will be offering two free webinars, one an introduction to the LSSC program on December 10, and another on preparing a portfolio on December 11. Anyone interested in the programs are welcome to sign up....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Dec. 4
Present a poster session in Chicago
Share your best ideas and work with the national library community by presenting a poster session at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. You can start the application process now. The poster session committee encourages submissions from all types of libraries on any topic relevant to librarianship. Submissions could include a description of an innovative library program, an analysis of a solution to a problem, or a research report. The deadline is January 18....
National Model for Scholar-Led Reading and Discussion
Join the ALA Public Programs Office for a live, one-hour webinar, titled “Let’s Talk About It: The National Model for Scholar-Led Reading and Discussion.” The session will take place on December 12 at 2 p.m. Central time. Presented by Frannie Ashburn, a Let’s Talk About It state-level coordinator and 24-year veteran, the webinar will offer an overview of the model, tips for recruiting and working with a scholar, and a tour of ProgrammingLibrarian.org’s ready-to-present program content....
Jump-start your digital career
The skills of digital librarianship are more crucial than ever, and these same skills are in high demand outside the field, from tech startups undertaking digitization projects to digital humanities centers bringing together professors, computer scientists, and information technologists. Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian: A LITA Guide, edited by Jane Monson and published by ALA Neal-Schuman, helps readers map out a career in this fast-growing field....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Nov. 28
The transformed library
A wide-ranging survey that takes stock of our institutions’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, The Transformed Library: E-books, Expertise, and Evolution, published by ALA Editions, analyzes how libraries and the very concept of librarianship have been comprehensively transformed over the past few decades. A respected veteran of libraries who has witnessed first-hand the many changes in the library world, author Jeannette Woodward provides a balanced, realistic look at the situation confronting both libraries and information professionals....
ALA Editions, Dec. 4
Alternatives to a four-year college degree
As college tuitions soar and the job market tightens, many young adults are questioning whether or not they should go to college. For those interested in diving directly into the workplace, I Don’t Want to Go to College: Other Paths to Success maps out the route to career success. Written by Heather Z. Hutchins and published by Huron Street Press, this book discusses the pros and cons of this path, as well as the reasons why many students fare poorly in college....
ALA Huron Street Press, Dec. 4
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Featured review: Science
Shubin, Neil. The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People. Jan. 2013. 240p. Pantheon, hardcover (978-0-307-37843-9).
Walt Whitman yawped, “I contain multitudes,” and in Your Inner Fish (2008), Shubin confirmed him by demonstrating how the evolution of life on earth is inscribed in the human body. Now Shubin shows that all creation, from the big bang on, is packed in there, too. Hard to swallow? Well, ingestion had little to do with it. But analogize rocks and bodies, both of which bear “the signature of the great events that shaped them.” Shubin relates the discoveries of eight such events and their signatures. The big bang gave us the atoms of our bodies. The formation of the solar system, by allowing earth so much water, helped determine our size, shape, and functionality....
Top 10 science and health books
Donna Seaman writes: “From gripping memoirs to tours de force born of arduous research and masterful writing, the 10 best science and health books of the last 12 months offer arresting and invaluable insights into the workings of our minds and bodies and the complexities of nature that sustain and endanger us.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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The Seattle Aquarium
The city’s aquarium is the ninth largest aquarium in the US by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. Its species collection is featured within six major exhibits: Window on Washington Waters, Life on the Edge, Pacific Coral Reef, Puget Sound Fish and Dome Room, Puget Sound Orcas Family Activity Center, and Marine Mammals. A special exhibit on Midwinter weekend is “Hawaii in Your Own Backyard.” Check out the otter cams....
Virtual walking tours of five districts
HistoryLink offers virtual walking tours of Ballard, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Columbia City, and the International District to get you in the proper historical mood for your Midwinter visit....
Are you up for comedy?
Unexpected Productions offers improv shows or Seattle Theatresports competitions every night except Monday and Tuesday in Market Theater, at the Gum Wall in Pike Place Market. Jet City Improv, at 5510 University Way N.E., is a fast-paced, audience-interactive, all-ages-appropriate, short-form improv show. Comedy Underground brings the best in comedy to its venue at Swannies, 109 S. Washington Street....
The Log House Museum
The Log House Museum, 3001 61st Ave. S.W., is located in a renovated 1904 Douglas fir log structure that once served as a carriage house to the Fir Lodge, one of the first year-round homes built on Alki Beach. Run by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, the museum’s current exhibit brings to life the stories of ordinary people on the Duwamish Peninsula....
Log House Museum
Top 10 vegetarian restaurants
Hanna Raskin writes: “Chefs have lately gotten wise to the splendor of vegetables, and eaters of all dietary inclinations are the beneficiaries. Here are our picks for the 10 Seattle restaurants serving the very best vegetarian dishes, no matter what drives you to order them. And, speaking of ordering, the numbering of our list is arbitrary, except that we’ve put our favorite restaurant, Carmelita, in the number-one slot.”...
Seattle Weekly, July 9
Check, Please! Northwest
Check, Please! Northwest on KCTS-TV features local diners, not professional restaurant critics. Each week three guests dine out at and discuss their favorite restaurants in the Greater Seattle area. The 2012 season is over, but you can watch all the episodes online....
Travel tips from Silicon Valley
Stephanie Rosenbloom writes: “For a certain type of frequent-flying entrepreneur in and around Silicon Valley, travel is an art form—one that doesn’t require private jets and fat wallets. Rather, they have perfected the art of traveling comfortably, without anxiety or wasted time. I caught up with half a dozen of these travel aces from companies like Google, Klout, Yelp, and LinkedIn and pumped them for pointers on how to make planning and taking vacations as effortless as shuffling an iPod.” Watch the video (3:04)....
New York Times, July 12
J. A. Jance and others highlight the Gala Author Tea
United for Libraries will host the Gala Author Tea, sponsored by ReferenceUSA, on January 28 at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Featured authors will be J. A. Jance (right), Erica Bauermeister, Roger Hobbs, Amanda Hocking, Phillip Margolin, and Thomas Perry. Register through the Midwinter Meeting registration page....
United for Libraries, Nov. 29
ACRL launches new Immersion track
Registration is now available for the ACRL new Information Literacy Immersion program’s “Practical Management for the Instruction Coordinator” track. The new track will address how to lead from within and develop the powers of persuasion to influence in multiple directions. It will be held April 10 in Indianapolis. The deadline is February 22....
ACRL, Dec. 4
Celebrate reference at the RUSA reception
All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to celebrate the winners of numerous adult reading and reference awards and build their 2013 to-be-read lists at the RUSA Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception on January 27. The literary winners announced at this event will shape the author lineup for the Literary Tastes program at ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago....
RUSA, Dec. 4
Holiday gift recommendations from RUSA
Wondering what to buy for the book lover in your life this holiday season? Let the readers’ advisory and collection development librarians of RUSA help you with your shopping list. Each year these experts hand-pick winners for a variety of adult reading awards sponsored by the division, and there’s something for every adult reader among the 2012 winners....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 28
Relax with RUSA colleagues
Kick off the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in style with the RUSA Membership Social on January 26—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, win door prizes, and learn more about the division. The social is open to all current RUSA members, friends of RUSA, and those Midwinter attendees interested in learning more about the division and networking with peers....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 28
YALSA Teens and Libraries Summit
Fifteen applicants have been selected to attend the YALSA Teens and Libraries Summit, January 23–24, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The Summit, part of YALSA’s year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens project, will feature two days of speakers, panels, and small group discussion to examine the current state of library services for and with young adults, and to explore how library services may need to evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century adolescents....
YALSA, Dec. 4
LITA workshops at Midwinter
LITA, Dec. 4
ASCLA seeks webinar proposals
Proposals are invited from subject matter experts and experienced librarians for ASCLA webinars to be presented in 2013 on topics such as innovative services for an aging population, collaborative digitization, correctional librarianship 101, data analysis and assessment, and serving disabled patrons. Webinar presenters are compensated for their work and will receive training and support for Blackboard Collaborate. Learn how to submit a proposal....
ASCLA Blog, Oct. 26
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Julie Walker receives Outstanding Achievement Award
AASL Executive Director Julie Walker
(right) was recognized with an outstanding achievement award by the Family Online Safety Institute during its 2012 annual conference in Washington, D.C., on November 15. Nominated by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Walker was recognized for her role as a leading advocate of information literacy and for educating students to be smart, safe users of information....
AASL, Nov. 29
Finalists in the 2013 Award for Excellence in YA Nonfiction
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between November 1, 2011, and October 31, 2012. YALSA will name the winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 28 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the YALSA website....
ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award
Has your ALA student chapter had an outstanding year? Has membership in your chapter increased? Do you have outstanding officers or members who should be recognized nationally? If you answered yes to these questions, then apply for the New Members Round Table Student Chapter of the Year Award. The winner will receive $1,000 to help defray travel expenses to ALA Annual Conference....
NMRT Notes, Dec. 3
Nominations sought for Kilgour Award
Nominations are invited for the 2013 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC and LITA. The award recognizes research relevant to the development of information technologies. The deadline for nominations is December 31....
LITA, Nov. 29
Nominations for RUSA awards due December 15
RUSA is offering travel grants, research grants, and achievement awards, many with cash prizes. Do you know someone who should know about one or more of these? Especially noteworthy this year are two new awards: the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award and the BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Business Librarians....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 28
California State Library website wins award
The International Council on Active Aging has awarded California State Library’s Transforming Life After 50 website the Rebranding Aging Silver Award in its Best Website category for 2012. The awards, presented in New Orleans on November 29, were included as part of ICAA’s Changing the Way We Age Campaign and went to organizations that exemplify exciting new ideas on aging that help to break stereotypes about older consumers....
California State Library, Nov. 30
New Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries
Stanford University Libraries announced December 4 that it will offer a prize to recognize innovation through programs, projects, and new or improved services that benefit readers and users. The goal is to celebrate significant results of the innovative impulses in libraries anywhere in the world that support research. Nominations must be submitted by January 15....
Stanford University Libraries
2012 Tower Hamlets Book Award
Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Scholastic) was announced as the winner of this year’s Tower Hamlets Book Award on November 30 at a ceremony in the new library at Swanlea Secondary School in Whitechapel, East London. The award, now in its sixth year, is for the best fiction book as voted by Tower Hamlets pupils in grades 5–8, and it aims to inspire children to read for fun and to encourage discussion about some of the best new books....
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service
2012 Guardian First Book Award
The 14th annual Guardian First Book Award has been won by Kevin Powers for The Yellow Birds (Sceptre), a novel that dramatizes the psychological trauma of Private John Bartle during his first tour in Iraq and the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home. It is based on Powers’s own experiences as a gunner. The First Book Award, which carries a prize of £10,000 ($16,106 US) is for new writing in any genre....
The Guardian (UK), Nov. 29
2012 Bad Sex in Literature Award
Nancy Huston has won the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex in Literature Award for her novel Infrared. Now in its 20th year, the award continues a tradition of “gentle chastisement of the worst excesses of the literary novel.” Follow this link to read an excerpt. The choice was announced December 4 by Downton Abbey actress Samantha Bond during a ceremony at the Naval and Military Club in London....
GalleyCat, Dec. 4; Huffington Post, Dec. 4
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Newark library covers up controversial art
A huge drawing (right) hanging in the second-floor reference room of the Newark (N.J.) Public Library has raised so much ruckus that the head librarian has had to cover it up with cloth so no one can see what it shows. Kara Walker, an African-American artist who examines race, gender, sexuality, and violence, created the drawing, which depicts the horrors of Reconstruction, 20th-century Jim Crow laws, and the Ku Klux Klan. But what has people upset is one section that depicts oral sex....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Dec. 2
Neonomicon banned in South Carolina
The executive director of the Greenville County (S.C.) Public Library made the decision in November to remove Alan Moore’s award-winning graphic novel Neonomicon from shelves throughout the system, despite a letter of support from anticensorship groups. The removal was against the recommendation of the library’s content review committee. WSPA-TV interviewed retired librarian Pat Scales (above), who is on the board of advisors for the National Coalition Against Censorship, about the situation....
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund blog, Dec. 3–4; Greenville (S.C.) Journal, Nov. 6; WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, S.C., Dec. 3
Undertaking NYPL’s destruction
Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable writes: “There is no more important landmark building in New York than the New York Public Library. Yet it is about to undertake its own destruction. The library is on a fast track to demolish the seven floors of stacks (right) just below the magnificent, two-block-long Rose Reading Room for a $300 million restructuring referred to as the Central Library Plan. However, I have become convinced that irreversible changes of this magnitude should not be made in this landmark building. This is all about the building, a subject that has not been adequately addressed.”...
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 3
School librarian wins on Wheel of Fortune
Kathy Mansfield (right, with host Pat Sajak), librarian at Heritage Elementary School in Shelby County, Kentucky, won big on the Wheel of Fortune game show that aired November 23. She brought back $16,000 in cash, a $1,000 gift certificate from Omaha Steaks, and a ticket for an eight-day cruise through the Panama Canal....
Wheel of Fortune contestant blog, Nov. 24
Naperville pilot program aims to keep residents healthy
In January, the Naperville (Ill.) Public Library will launch “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise,” a yearlong pilot initiative that aims to improve the financial and physical health of residents and transform the library into an indispensable center of unbiased health and financial information for the entire community. Naperville Executive Director John Spears (above) said, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise is an excellent opportunity to reposition us as a community center: a vital resource for the well-being of our residents and library users.”...
RUSA Blog, Dec. 3; Naperville (Ill.) Community Television, Nov. 16
Tennessee library wants to end LSSI contract
Library officials in Millington, Tennessee, want to cut ties with their private operator and create a library services department in the city. Millington contracted with Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in 2005, when control of the public library transferred from Shelby County to the city. Library Board Chair Sue Nan Hartley told the city board December 3 that LSSI has been helpful over the years, but recently has boxed them in, limiting what books they can order and what equipment they can purchase....
Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, Dec. 3
Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica
Pennsylvania State University Libraries have received the Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica, a gift valued at $8.5 million and containing more than 11,000 items. It documents the social and economic development of early Jewish life in the Western Hemisphere, with its core covering the period before mass Jewish migration to the Americas in the late 1880s....
Pennsylvania State University, Dec. 3
Cornell lays down the lawn for finals week
On December 3, Cornell University custodial staff laid down a patch of grass inside Olin Library in preparation for finals week. According to a couple of the library employees and at least one guy at the circulation desk, it’s grass trucked in from the Adirondacks because apparently the feel and sight of it has a “cognitive relaxing effect.”...
Cornell Daily Sun, Dec. 3
Pennsylvania modernizes its library code
On November 30, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett ceremonially signed into law changes (Senate Bill 1225) that will modernize the state’s Library Code. The new law will help all of Pennsylvania’s libraries by eliminating outdated mandates and updating requirements for staffing, collections, facilities, and accessibility. It will also establish continuing education requirements for librarians, include more librarians on the Advisory Council on Library Development, and require a complete review of all regulations that apply to Pennsylvania libraries....
Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, Nov. 30
UK public libraries face rapid changes
More than 1,000 library staff in the UK will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, according to a new survey (PDF file) by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. A survey of local authorities by CILIP, carried out during July and September with the support of the Society of Chief Librarians, led to their estimate that 1,720 opening hours a week will also be cut. The library service in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will also lose £22.5 million ($36.2 million US) in revenue expenditure....
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Dec. 4
Medieval trench uncovered in future Vaclav Havel Library
Archaeologists conducting research on the courtyard of a Prague building that is to host the Vaclav Havel Library have uncovered a medieval trench filled with ground layers that come from a cemetery and contain a number of human bones. Experts say the trench was used from the latter half of the 13th century to the mid-16th century. The planned reconstruction of the historical house, built in the 16th century near Prague Castle, has stirred up stormy discussions....
Czech News Agency, Dec. 3
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Online privacy protection moves forward
The Senate Judiciary Committee took an important bipartisan vote November 29 to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and strengthen the privacy protection of emails and documents stored online in the cloud. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spearheaded an amendment to the existing law to require that the government seek warrants before law enforcement can obtain personal online records from internet service providers and third-party providers. The current ECPA law allows investigators access without judicial approval....
District Dispatch, Nov. 29
How community broadband saves tax dollars
Schools, libraries, and other community anchor institutions have an acute need for high-capacity telecommunications connections. But the cost of leasing can break budgets already under pressure to shrink while the demand for bandwidth grows. However, local and regional governments can find new and unexpected ways to cut costs when they build their own next-generation networks, as shown by this Public Savings Fact Sheet (PDF file)....
Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nov. 29
Let’s (not) do the numbers
Barbara Fister writes: “There seems to be a sense that if libraries can’t please everyone all the time, if they don’t have as much market share and mindshare as possible, they are not demonstrating their value. Why does it matter so much whether students recognize our brand and find it valuable for their own self-interest? When did being liked become our mission? I blame Mark Zuckerberg. Actually, I blame the larger forces that have primed us to believe that being liked in quantifiable numbers is our goal in life.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Dec. 3
What motivates donors
Katya Andresen writes: “A new study from Charity Dynamics and NTEN, the Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark Study (PDF file), as well as the hot-off-the-presses Donor Perspectives Study from Blackbaud, come to the same conclusions. The findings aren’t surprising but are certainly worth remembering as we go into fundraising season. The bottom line? Establishing emotional connections with donors remains paramount.”...
Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Nov. 14
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Publishers must catch up to mobile adopters
Judy Luther writes: “When content is available on a mobile device, we expect the convenience of access anytime from anywhere. However, if the content is licensed to an institution, the user’s path for mobile access can be complicated with pitfalls. The current method of using IP authentication to verify legitimate users is a location-based method that requires the user to either be on campus or appear to be on campus by signing on through the university’s network. So unless the user plans ahead, he or she is likely to be disappointed.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Dec. 3
Stand-up desks gaining favor in the workplace
Steve Lohr writes: “The health hazards of sitting for long stretches are significant even for people who are quite active when they’re not sitting down. Yet many of us spend long hours each day sitting in front of a computer. There are now workstations that allow modern information workers to stand, even walk, while toiling at a keyboard. Steelcase offered its first models of height-adjustable desks in 2004, and in the last five years sales of its adjustable desks and the treadmill desk have surged fivefold.” Less expensive models can be found....
New York Times, Dec. 1
Using volunteer technology instructors
Crystal Schimpf writes: “Volunteer technology instructors make it possible for libraries to expand technology training programs and reach more people needing assistance and instruction. Volunteers can provide dedicated attention to technology learners without juggling other responsibilities like the reference or circulation desk. Here are some important tips and best practices to remember as you find ways to involve volunteers as tech instructors.”...
TechSoup for Libraries, Dec. 5
Can I leave my gadgets in a cold or hot car?
Whitson Gordon writes: “Leaving gadgets in your car in the cold or heat affects the battery, screen, and other parts. In general, you want to avoid extreme temperatures as much as possible, so no, I would not recommend leaving it in your car. Here’s a bit more detail on what your laptop or smartphone can take.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 5
Five essential WordPress tips
Jonathan Goldford writes: “Have you ever been driving your car, playing on your computer, or trying to change the input on your TV when, all of a sudden, someone introduces you to a mind-blowing new feature? Here, we cover five great, lesser-known WordPress features. Soon, you too will experience that elusive ‘Ah-ha!’ moment.”...
Mashable, Dec. 5
What resolution should I use?
Barry Wheeler writes: “What is resolution? What resolution should I look for when I buy a scanner? What resolution should I use when using my scanner? These are questions we hear frequently when speaking to people about their digital conversion projects. Unfortunately, the questions are hard to answer. The material can get very technical and can be difficult to apply. So I’ll try to answer the first question now and the second two questions in a follow-up blog post later on.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Dec. 5
Making reference targets for digital images
Robin Ness writes: “It is standard practice to include a reference target for tone and color reproduction in each digital image capture. Reference targets are used to achieve accurate color reproduction by providing visual references to known swatch color values directly within digital image captures. The Kodak Q-13 is recommended for the grayscale and color reference. Here are the materials and tools you will need.”...
Curio, Nov. 28
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Survey for librarians on ebook use
Against the Grain is conducting a survey of librarians’ personal and professional ebook usage. The survey is 24 questions long and should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Contact Leah Hinds if you have any questions or comments....
Against the Grain
Children’s ebooks come up missing
Christopher Harris writes: “For its December ebook report (PDF file), Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries looked at availability of books the top 10 New York Times Children’s Chapter Books list. The mix of fiction and nonfiction on the list reveals the problem of trying to force a move towards digital content. In this case, 40% of the books are simply not available in any electronic format.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 5
For authors: Six essential issues in ebook contract negotiations
Deanna Utroske writes: “Publishers and authors are shaping new standard contracts as the industry shifts toward digital-first and e-original book publishing. As opposed to big publishers, which are thought to pay authors a standard ebook royalty of 25%, new independent ebook publishers like The Atavist, Open Road Media, and OR Books, can and do pay authors substantially more. But on what terms? There are six basic issues at stake.”...
Digital Book World, Dec. 4; Authors Guild Blog, Feb. 3, 2011
Who is tracking your ebook reading habits?
Cindy Cohn and Parker Higgins write: “If you’re in the market for ebooks or an e-reader this year, you might want to know who’s keeping an eye on your searching, shopping, and reading habits. As we’ve done since 2009, we’ve taken some of the most popular ebook platforms and combed through their privacy policies for answers to common privacy questions that users deserve to know. In nearly all cases, reading ebooks means giving up more privacy than browsing through a physical bookstore or library, or reading a paper book in your own home.”...
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 29
Why we need two national digital libraries
David Rothman writes: “A commenter writing as Front Line Librarian shares: ‘On a daily basis I help people who struggle with literacy, never mind using a computer, to apply for jobs like cook, janitor, deck hand. When that requires you to fill out a web form, complete with CAPTCHA spam shield, I know there is a problem.’ Front Line is strengthening my argument that America urgently needs two intertwined but separate national digital library systems—one public and one academic. Believe me, I of all people know the digital gap is alive and wide.”...
LibraryCity, Dec. 2, 3
Has it ever been this bad?
Brian Kenney writes: “When I left magazine publishing and returned to working in libraries a year ago, I promised myself one thing: When it comes to ebooks, I wouldn’t get my boxer shorts into a twist. It hasn’t been easy. To find a period as bleak as this, we have to jump back to 1966 and the Senate hearings on the price fixing of library books. Sound familiar? It was Marvin Scilken (right), then the young director of the Orange (N.J.) Public Library, who blew the whistle on the growing practice of publishers and wholesalers requiring libraries to purchase ‘library editions’ costing 50% more than trade editions.”...
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 30
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ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, January 25–29. Connect and get the conversations going—facilitated conversations and discussion groups, award and author events, Exhibits Opening Reception, Book Buzz Theater, the ALA-APA Networking Reception, speed networking, Dine-Around, and much more. Stay in touch and get updates at the Midwinter website.
With more than a million followers on Twitter, Printz-award winner John Green has a lot to say. When he declares “Reading Is Awesome” on this new poster, we couldn’t agree with him more. Green is the New York Times–bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and most recently, The Fault in Our Stars. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK. Designed by architect Christopher Wren in 1676 and completed in 1695, the library’s first floor is decorated with limewood carvings by sculptor Grinling Gibbons and furnished with a series of marble busts of college alumni by Louis-François Roubiliac, among them naturalist John Ray, ornithologist Francis Willughby, classicist Richard Bentley, philosopher Francis Bacon, and mathematician Isaac Newton. At the far end of the library is a statue of poet Lord Byron by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Some of the college’s most notable manuscripts are displayed in the library, including an 8th-century copy of the Epistles of St. Paul, John Milton’s shorter poems in his own handwriting, and the original manuscript of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.
York Minster Library, York, UK. The largest cathedral library in the country, the collection of books, tracts, and pamphlets had its origins in 1414, when Canon Treasurer John Newton bequeathed 40 volumes of manuscripts for a library. In 1629, the library grew to a collection of national significance with the gift of some 3,000 books by Archbishop Tobias Matthew. The old library resides in a former 13th-century chapel that was restored around 1810 to accommodate it; a new addition was built in 1998.
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.
Director of Strategic Assessment, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh. Achieving and sustaining the Libraries’ vision of being NC State’s competitive advantage requires strategic planning along with measurement, assessment, and evaluation of organizational performance. The Director of Strategic Assessment will lead the Libraries’ systematic collection, analysis, and reporting of organizational data to support management decisions and demonstrate and enhance the library’s value....
Digital Library of the Week
The Trials Pamphlet Collection at the Cornell University Law Library consists of pamphlets ranging in date from the late 1600s to the late 1800s. Trial pamphlets are contemporary accounts of trials that involved prominent citizens or that dealt with especially controversial or lurid topics. These pamphlets were produced quickly and inexpensively, and then sold on the street soon after the trial to a mass audience. The collection contains a wealth of information about the daily lives of ordinary people of the period, with a special focus on the treatment of women and minorities. Because cases were not officially reported on until the 1830s, the collection is one of the few ways to research trials from the 18th and early 19th centuries. The collection includes pamphlets from John Brown’s trial for his raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, and Lizzie Borden’s trial for her parents’ murders.
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.
CurateGear 2013: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections, Conference, William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
American Libraries Live, “Landing Your Ideal Library Job.”
HTML5 and CSS3: Ready for Prime Time, webinar. Sponsored by Amigos Library Services.
Jerusalem International Book Fair, Jerusalem, Israel.
2nd International Conference on Academic Libraries, GGSIP University, New Delhi, India. “Academic Library Services Through Cloud Computing: Moving Libraries to the Web.”
American Libraries Live, “Mobile Services: The Library in Your Pocket.”
Penn State Shenango Teaching Conference, Penn State Shenango Campus, Sharon. “Meeting the Challenges of the 21st-Century Classroom.”
International Children’s Book Day.
1st Annual North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference, Kansas Union, University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Sponsored by the American Society for Information Science and Technology.
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OED word-deletion story a bit more prosaic
Last week, the UK newspaper The Guardian broke a story from the dictionary world about a former Oxford English Dictionary editor who quietly deleted thousands of words. But the truth is more prosaic. The former editor, in compiling material for four supplements to the OED, had not seen fit to include everything that was in a previous supplement to the dictionary’s first edition, published in 1933, including thousands of words borrowed from foreign languages. All omitted words are now being reincorporated....
New York Times, Dec. 2
Vintage holiday books
Beth Carswell writes: “Pinterest’s specialty lies in an abundance of beauty—a feast for the eyes. AbeBooks’s Pinterest board embraces that notion, along with some wonderful memories and nostalgia for the booklover. It showcases a huge selection of Christmas books and holiday books from the late 19th century to the 1960s, including titles from Charles Dickens, Jean de Brunhoff, L. Frank Baum, Alison Uttley, G. A. Henty, and Enid Blyton.”...
AbeBooks’s Reading Copy, Dec. 3
The top 10 novellas of all time
Johann Thorsson writes: “Novellas, works of between 20,000 and 40,000 words, are awesome and wildly underrated. With the rise in e-readers—Kindle and Kobos and whatnot—it is my theory that the time of the novella is upon us, since reading a novella is a more rewarding experience than long books. So what are the best of this best form of fiction? Here is the definitive list, the best of the best of novellas.”...
Book Riot, Nov. 30
AIDS in YA literature
Molly Wetta writes: “Despite advances in treatment and an increased awareness about transmission of the disease, the statistics related to HIV-positive individuals and new infection rates are alarming: 1.2 million in the US are living with HIV, and about 20% of them are unaware of their status. Reading literature about characters living with this affliction is one way to promote understanding that will reduce the stigma associated with the disease as well as increase education. These books tackle this issue.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 1
Gender-neutral names in YA novels
Allison Tran writes: “As an admitted name nerd, I’ve noticed a trend in YA fiction recently—many characters who sport gender-neutral names. Gender-neutral names aren’t new: Morgan, Ashley, and Kelly crossed over from the boys’ side during the mid-20th century, for example. Authors might be using them to make their characters sound strong, maybe even a little edgy. Let’s take a look at some of the gender-neutral character names in recent YA novels.”...
YALSA The Hub, Nov. 29
Hanukkah books for kids
The Association of Jewish Libraries has created “Hanukkah Read Up!” (PDF file), a list of Hanukkah books for children recommended by the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee. Each of the 29 titles includes a brief summary and age recommendation. All the books on the list have been recognized by the award committee as gold or silver medalists or as Notable Books. The list will serve as a guide for librarians and booksellers who wish to stock holiday titles....
“People of the Books” Blog, Dec. 4
12 days of Christmas book club meeting ideas
Neil Hollands writes: “A December meeting is always tricky for book groups. Readers are busy and can’t get through the book or give priority to another holiday event. My answer to this dilemma can be summarized this way: Go big or stay home. I don’t like the idea of staying home. If your book club is succeeding, your readers will care enough about each other to make a holiday meeting a priority. So that leaves ‘go big’ as the go-to option. Here are 12 ideas for a special December meeting.”...
Booklist Online: Book Group Buzz, Nov. 30
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Making implicit library skills more explicit
Bonnie Swoger writes: “One of the reasons I love being a librarian is that I have an opportunity to do many different things as a part of my job. At the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Charlotte, November 4–7, I had a chance to wear many hats: advisor to an undergraduate giving a talk, librarian looking at possible books to purchase and strategies for teaching students about the scientific literature, editor of a society newsletter, and occasional instructor of an introductory geoscience course.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Nov. 29
Makerspaces move into academic libraries
Erin Silva Fisher writes: “During the past year, makerspaces have been gaining traction in public libraries. These tech shops provide opportunities for people to learn with their hands. A handful of academic institutions have already implemented aspects of makerspaces with great success. Other academic libraries are eager for information about equipment and programming. If you are curious about the hardware in current academic library makerspaces, read on.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Nov. 28
The Year of the MOOC
Audrey Watters writes: “Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCs. This was, without a doubt, the most important and talked-about trend in education technology this year. The trend started to pick up in late 2011 with the huge enrollment in the three computer-science courses that Stanford offered for free online during the fall semester, along with the announcement of MITx in December. Add to that the increasing costs of college tuition and arguments that there’s a ‘higher education bubble,’ and the promise of a free online university education obviously hit a nerve.”...
Hack Education, Dec. 3; MIT News, Dec. 19, 2011; Hack Education, Dec. 13, 2011
Behold: The Yelp of MOOCs?
Students looking for massive open online courses (MOOCs) can now turn to a handful of websites that have popped up in the past few months, much as a restaurant-goer might turn to Yelp. Some sites incorporate students’ reviews of the MOOCs they’ve taken. Course Buffet lists more than 500 MOOCs from various providers, assigning each course a difficulty level (i.e., Psychology 100) to help users move from easier to more difficult material....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Dec. 4
Digital tools for formative assessment
Jennifer LaGarde writes: “When incorporated into a lesson, formative assessment provides the teacher-librarian with a snapshot of teaching and learning while it is still happening. Teachers and students today have a plethora of digital teaching and learning tools at their fingertips that makes incorporating formative assessment in the learning process both easy and fun. Here are some of my picks, along with a few that were suggested by others.”...
The Adventures of Library Girl, Dec. 3
ePals Common Core Implementation Center
Richard Byrne writes: “Many of you probably know of ePals, a global classroom community for collaborating on projects with others worldwide. ePals recently launched its new Common Core Implementation Center that gives teachers access to a broad range of online communication and collaboration tools, along with rigorous learning resources designed to facilitate authentic, project-based learning, as specified by Common Core State Standards.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 3
Manga mania: DIY edition
Wendy Stephens writes: “Purists may scoff at a point-and-click way to ape the Japanese art form of manga, but the free iOS app Manga Camera makes rendering black-and-white scenes with drama and romance nearly foolproof. The app includes 32 backgrounds, most of them with manga-style captions or actions suggested, which will take your photo to entirely new places.”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 28
Take the Global Libraries Initiative survey
Take a five-minute survey to help the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fine-tune its Global Libraries Initiative. The purpose of the survey is to help the GLI identify opportunities to focus its current support of public libraries in ways that foster innovation and dramatically accelerate positive and lasting change in libraries throughout the US and around the world....
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Posting a parody video? Read the Lansdowne story first
Meredith Schwartz writes: “Lansdowne (Pa.) Public Library’s ‘Read It’ video (3:09), based on Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It,’ was originally yanked from YouTube for a copyright violation. But the story may have a happy ending. Library Director Sandra Samuel Giannella said that the video was back up on YouTube and she believes that it will stay there. Lansdowne is far from the first to post a parody—or a satire—of a Michael Jackson song. They’re not even the first library to do so. So why was Lansdowne singled out for harsher treatment?”...
Library Journal, Nov. 29
You would not say “Astronomer: The original telescope”
Rory Litwin writes: “I hate the slogan, ‘Librarian: The Original Search Engine.’ I find it problematic as an attempt to promote the services of librarians or the value of the library profession. It concedes that search engines do what librarians do, which would be another way of saying that there is no reason to talk to a reference librarian if you can just Google it. A better slogan would be designed to get at what librarians can do that search engines don’t know how to do.”...
Library Juice, Dec. 4
Winter break @ your library
Kids, tweens, and teens are counting down the days until winter break and looking forward to two weeks without school. While part of the vacation will be taken up with family celebration, two weeks can lead to a lot of free time. Here are just a few ideas of how libraries are planning something for everyone this winter break....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Dec. 4
Hear what an Edison wax cylinder recording sounds like
In the Special Collections department at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, Roy Webb and Molly Creel allow us in to have a look at their Amberola phonograph from about 1911, donated by a former employee of the library. They show the actual phonograph and play a few wax cylinders, including a 19th-century comedy skit between two men about a job available on a farm (7:10)....
YouTube, May 17
Cataloging at the Folger
Deborah J. Leslie writes: “The days are long gone when a cataloger sat down with a book and a stack of blank cards. Let’s look at the cataloging history of an ordinary book from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s large collection of early Italian imprints. This Latin translation of Euripides’s Hecuba (right) was issued without a title page; the opening pages are a dedicatory epistle facing the first page of text. Publication information is from the colophon. The Folger copy belonged to Michael Wodhull (1740–1816), a book collector, poet, and translator of Euripides’s corpus into English.”...
The Collation, Nov. 26
Tips for going on TV
David Lee King writes: “My library is lucky: Our local TV news station loves the library and gives us a spot every Tuesday afternoon called Library Tuesday. The afternoon anchor does a quick three-minute interview with someone from the library. Once in a while, that someone is me. Between being prepped by the library’s marketing director, by reading a couple of articles, and just by doing it, I have picked up a few pointers along the way that I’d like to share with you.”...
David Lee King, Dec. 5
The art of the library cross-sell
Michelle Dalton writes: “Marketing is now an essential aspect of library management, but communicating your value to customers achieves very little if you don’t create conversions. Cross-selling (think of McDonald’s and their ‘Would you like fries with that?’ tagline) and up-selling (getting a customer to upgrade to a higher-value product) are two classic sales techniques. The basic principles behind these sales strategies—encouraging your customers to use more of your products or to try higher-value services—are common objectives for many libraries.”...
Libfocus, Nov. 27
Notebooks compared: Paper notebooks, that is
UK writer and musician Joe Craig (right) compares two writing notebooks, a Moleskine vs. the Leuchtturm1917, and explains why he has switched brands (10:26). The Leuchtturm notebooks have better paper quality, page numbers, a table of contents, archival stickers, optional pen loops, brighter colors, and lined paper....
YouTube, Nov. 30
Libraries are such a drag
Oscar Gittemeier, a library professional in Atlanta, has put together a 2013 calendar featuring some of Atlanta’s queer literary devotees and their allies. The calendar is called “Libraries Are Such A Drag” and all proceeds from its sale will go to the Georgia Library Association’s Beard Scholarship. The calendar is available on Amazon.com. Gittemeier’s partner Jessi Noreault is the calendar’s cover model....
GA Voice, Nov. 26
Other 2013 calendars for book nerds
Kim Ukura writes: “A highlight of every new year is the chance to pick out new planners and a calendar. While I usually end up buying myself a calendar with tiny pigs hanging out on farms (for real, don’t ask, I know it’s weird), there are always a huge variety of calendars for the bookish people you know (yourself included). These are a few of my favorites.”...
Book Riot, Nov. 30
Five annoying things librarians have a right to do
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “I love being a librarian, but we can be a little eccentric, and that’s okay! Here are five annoying things that we have every right to do as librarians: Shush people, tell people to ‘look it up,’ design obscure classification systems, discuss DRM at cocktail parties, and repurpose library furnishings.”...
iLibrarian, Nov. 30
The Diboll, Texas, Christmas book tree
After seeing another Christmas book tree in a magazine, the staff of the T. L. L. Temple Memorial Library in Diboll, Texas, started collecting discarded and donated books to make their own and place it in the library entrance. Most of the books are covered with red wrapping paper to make them a uniform color, allowing them to attach additional decorations without damaging the covers. Circulation Assistant Justin Barkley said the library is having a contest for its patrons to guess how many books are in the tree. See some other efforts here....
T. L. L. Temple Memorial Library, Dec. 3; The Mary Sue, Dec. 13, 2011
Christmas tree made from catalog drawers
The University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, topped their Christmas book tree creation last year by building a tree out of empty card catalog drawers (1:06). The Special Collections Department took the initiative to create a three-meter-high, sparkling, monumental tree made of 400 drawers. They explain the process here (in Polish, with photos)....
YouTube, Dec. 3; Pulowerek.pl, Dec. 3
The quagmire of circulation
Brian Herzog writes: “I’m sure every library has its ‘regulars,’ but I was struck by how well the writers of the November 4 episode of Family Guy captured a typical interaction at the circulation desk between Glenn Quagmire and a library worker (right). At first I cringed at what I saw as the negative portrayal of public libraries. But then I realized just how amazingly accurate it was—how, no matter what, it’s almost impossible to break off aimless and never-ending conversations. Now that is a skill I would love to learn.” Watch the segment (0:52)....
Swiss Army Librarian, Dec. 1; Family Guy, Nov. 4
I Ran After the Gingerbread Man
Meredith Myers, the StandUpLibrarian, writes: “I decided to premiere my new holiday literary parody video live on stage in early December where I choreographed a chase sequence with a real ginger man (my friend, librarian Justin Brasher) and concluded with gingerbread man cookies I baked myself. Watch ‘I Ran After the Gingerbread Man’ (5:06), a mashup of ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’ by A Flock of Seagulls with the Gingerbread Man folktale.”...
StandUpLibrarian.com, Dec. 3; YouTube, Dec. 2
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