|American Libraries Online
Toughing it out in a tight job market
Janice Arenofsky writes: “You’re all alone—with thousands of other information professionals—pursuing a library job in a down economy. If not for sheer stubbornness and hard-won self-respect, you might consider a career in the fast-food industry. But don’t despair, said David Connolly (right), who compiles ALA’s JobLIST, the market is back to pre-2008. ‘We may be treading water,’ he said, ‘but at least it’s not getting worse.’”...
American Libraries feature
Local music: Live! at your library
Matthew Moyer and Andrew Coulon write: “It’s hard to miss the ever-growing enthusiasm for the ‘buy local’ movement. People want locally created products, so now is the best time for libraries to join that movement and collect local content, particularly local music. They’re a plus for libraries in terms of economics and partnerships. But why stop there? You can also host concert events in the library or promote local musicians and albums on the library website.”...
American Libraries feature
On My Mind: Libraries as safe spaces
Shawn Vaillancourt writes: “Despite gains in the 2012 elections, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ)—especially youth—are still targets of bullying, harassment, violence, and discrimination. The great news is that so many libraries are already taking positive steps to show youth and the broader LGBTQ population that they are welcome and safe in their libraries.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
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A holiday greeting from Keith Michael Fiels
Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels addresses ALA members, friends, and supporters with a message of appreciation for the 2012 holidays (1:18): “We’re here to support librarians, libraries, trustees, and volunteers at libraries of all types—public, school, academic, and special—as they meet the needs of their communities. Thank you very much for your generosity and your support during the last year.”...
YouTube, Dec. 10
Follow the 2013 Youth Media Award results live
Approximately 12,500 webcast viewers will join more than 1,300 onsite audience members for the 2013 announcement of ALA’s Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. Pacific time on January 28, as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. There will be 19 awards given, including the 75th Randolph Caldecott Medal, John Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards, and Michael L. Printz Award....
Public Information Office, Dec. 11
Midwinter session on ebooks and libraries
On January 26, members of the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group will discuss ALA initiatives taken thus far—from reports and articles to in-person discussions with publishers in visits to New York—and discuss ALA ebook policy strategies for the future. Moderated by Sari Feldman, the session will also include Bob Wolven, Alan Inouye, Skip Dye, Matt Tempelis, and Jamie LaRue....
AL: E-Content, Dec. 10
Innovative advocacy in action
In a changing landscape, libraries and library communities are rethinking the way they make the case, whether they’re in a struggle to keep library doors open or to improve services. In this Midwinter preconference, “Innovative Advocacy in Action! An Advocacy Institute Discussion” on January 25 in Seattle, attendees will hear techniques and strategies from a librarians and grassroots organizations that are reshaping our notions of library advocacy. Save $25 by registering before you go....
Office for Library Advocacy
Teens learn News Know-how at the library
First-year projects completed in the News Know-how initiative, which teaches basic news literacy skills to 9–12th graders at 10 public libraries, are now online. Participants worked with librarians, journalists, and news ethicists to learn how to distinguish between fact and opinion in print and online coverage during the 2012 presidential election. News Know-how is funded by the Open Society Foundations....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Dec. 11
Apply for “StoryCorps @ your library”
The ALA Public Programs Office, in partnership with StoryCorps, is accepting applications from public libraries and library systems interested in hosting “StoryCorps @ your library” programs. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the program seeks to bring StoryCorps’ popular interview methods to libraries and develop a replicable model of oral history programming. Program guidelines and an application are available online. The deadline is January 18....
Public Programs Office, Dec. 10
APALA sponsors two Emerging Leaders
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association is sponsoring Frans Albarillo and Susan Hoang as participants in the 2013 class of ALA Emerging Leaders. APALA will provide funding to support their attendance and participation in the program at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Albarillo is bibliographer for business and sociology at Brooklyn College, and Hoang is reference and instruction librarian at Carleton College....
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Dec. 3
Student chapter members chosen for Student to Staff program
Forty ALA student chapter members were nominated by their schools and were accepted to assist ALA staff during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. In exchange for working four hours a day (or a total of 16 hours), these students participating in the ALA Student to Staff program receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Dec. 10
Create a digital media space for teens
To get teens more active in the library and enthusiastic about library programs and services, a digital media space can be the draw—a place where teens can go to record videos, use social media, create projects, and engage with their peers on their own terms. ALA TechSource is hosting a new workshop, “Creating a Digital Media Space for Today’s Teens,” featuring Corey Wittig, digital learning librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. It will take place January 24 and 31 in two 60-minute sessions....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 10
The E-copyright Handbook
Providing practical guidance to minimize the risk of copyright infringement, The E-copyright Handbook by Paul Pedley considers how copyright applies internationally to diverse e-content types such as APIs, ebooks, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, email, streaming, podcasts, broadcasts, databases, social networking sites, and GUIs, while focusing on activities that are especially relevant to library and information services, such as e-content lending and mass library digitization. He also covers copyright issues associated with deep linking, file sharing, mashups, and scraping....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Dec. 11
“Introducing RDA” workshop returns
By popular demand, ALA Editions has announced a new session of its popular workshop, “Introducing RDA” with Chris Oliver. Author of the bestselling Introducing RDA, Oliver will give an overview of RDA and look at the key aspects that make RDA different from AACR2. She will provide background for catalogers before they begin RDA training but will also serve as a refresher for those wanting to brush up. Registration is open for the January 9 session....
ALA Editions, Dec. 11
Women librarians and ALA’s Library War Service
Larry Nix writes: “With ALA’s decision to play an active role in providing reading materials to America’s armed forces during World War I, it was only natural that women would seek to be involved in that enterprise. However, their efforts were thwarted to a large degree by Herbert Putnam, the Librarian of Congress and the general director of the Library War Service. At the 1918 ALA Annual Conference, seven women (including Theresa Elmendorf, ALA’s first woman president) petitioned the ALA War Service Committee to modify the policy against women serving as camp librarians.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 11
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Littlefield, Sophie. Garden of Stones. Mar. 2013. 320p. Harlequin, paperback (978-0-7783-1352-6).
Suspense, mystery, and love drive the intricate plot in this moving drama of women in a Japanese-American family over the course of three generations. In 1978, Patty is preparing for her wedding when her mother, Lucy Takeda, is accused of murdering a man in her neighborhood. Locals say they could identify Lucy by her horrifying facial deformity. Flash back to 1942, after Pearl Harbor, when Lucy, 14, is called “Jap” at school, and even her best friend avoids her. Lucy cannot speak Japanese; to her, “we” means “Americans.” But she and her beautiful widowed mother, Miyako, are forced from home in Los Angeles and imprisoned in the Manzanar concentration camp....
The Booklist interview: Sophie Littlefield
Hazel Rochman writes: “To commemorate Pearl Harbor Day in a thoughtful way, we asked Garden of Stones author Sophie Littlefield to discuss her book, her research, and the legacy of Manzanar. Q. For your research about conditions in the camp, did you interview survivors and their families? Are they still haunted? A. I relied on the written accounts of those who were interned, as well as others involved in the camps. I discovered that people I’ve known for years have connections to the internment experience. Living in California, we are surrounded by the living legacy of internment.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Thrilling Tales: Special Library Edition
Twice each month, the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch hosts a lunch-hour storytime for grown-ups, read for you live by reader services librarian David Wright (right). On January 28, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, Wright is hosting a special Thrilling Tales lunch hour devoted to libraries: This week’s stories are: “The General in the Library” by Italo Calvino, “The Reference Room” by John D. MacDonald, and “Exchange” by Ray Bradbury. Midwinter attendees are invited....
Shelf Talk, Dec. 7; Seattle Public Library
Teriyaki: Seattle’s national dish
John T. Edge writes: “In Seattle, teriyaki is omnipresent, the closest this city comes to a Chicago dog. Many Hawaiian restaurants serve a version. Some Thai restaurants do too. Tokyo Garden Teriyaki in the University District violates the dictates of traditional American and Japanese cookery with its corn dog teriyaki. Here, teriyaki is shorthand for a range of dishes, from teriyaki burgers piled with chopped beef, to pineapple teriyaki, platters of chicken paved with canned pineapple.”...
New York Times, Jan. 5, 2010
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is a store on the Central Waterfront of Seattle, founded in 1899. It has moved several times, mainly within the waterfront area, and is now located on Pier 54. Best known today as a souvenir shop, it also has aspects of a dime museum, and was for many years an important supplier of Northwest Coast art to museums. Its museum of oddities and curiosities range from genuine mummies and shrunken heads to a two-headed lamb and a four-legged chicken. As of 2008, the store has been owned by four generations of the same family....
Wikipedia; Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
The Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a museum dedicated to preserving and documenting the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest area. Located at 1010 Valley Street in South Lake Union, the center collection includes over 100 vessels, mostly small sailboats and rowboats. Its fleet of boats for rent operates year-round, renting sail and rowboats to the public. The center also offers classes in sailing and other skills for adults and youth as well as one-on-one sailing lessons....
Center for Wooden Boats
Visit the Center of the Universe
Fremont is a funky Seattle neighborhood, home to Adobe and Google as well as many good ethnic restaurants and excellent boutique stores. As the self-proclaimed Center of the Universe, Fremont has year-round unexpected and unconventional entertainment. Visit the old Carnegie branch library while you’re there and get your photo taken with the Fremont Troll (located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge) or Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (a statue at 600 N. 36th Street that was salvaged from Slovakia by a local art lover)....
Fremont.com; Wikipedia; Roadside America
Apps for last-minute hotel rooms
Susan Stellin writes: “Smartphones and tablets are giving travelers a reason to wait until the last minute to book a hotel: discounts if you reserve a room for the same day using an app. Kayak, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia all offer apps that let travelers search for available hotel rooms, often discounted 10%–50% for stays that begin the day you book. The apps have different features (and flaws) but they basically use a device’s GPS to show where you can find a room near you.”...
New York Times, Oct. 31
Literary Landmark: Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City was dedicated as a Literary Landmark on November 29 in honor of Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) on what would have been her 94th birthday. L’Engle, author of the 1963 Newbery Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time, served as the church’s librarian for more than 40 years....
United for Libraries, Dec. 11
Register your Día program
ALSC is inviting librarians to register their 2013 El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) programs in the 2013 National Día Program Registry. By registering, libraries build a national database that showcases all types and sizes of Día programming. The information will display on the website, in both the map and database format, allowing you to share program information. This year’s slogan is “Día: Diversity in Action.”...
ALSC, Dec. 7
Winter ALSC online courses offer CEUs
ALSC encourages participants to sign up for its winter 2013 online courses. Classes begin January 14. Registrants will find that ALSC has increased the number of courses offering certified education units (CEUs). As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options....
ALSC, Dec. 6
New articles available in School Library Research
Two new peer-reviewed articles are now available online as part of AASL’s research journal, School Library Research. Judi Moreillon and Maria Cahill report on “State Library Conferences as Professional Development Venues: Unbalanced Support for the AASL-Defined Roles of the School Librarian” (PDF file), and Karla Collins and Carol Doll document “Resource Provisions of a High School Library Collection” (PDF file)....
AASL, Dec. 11
Small acts, big impact
Steven J. Bell writes: “I want to share two items with you. Individually they are they are the sort of things we hardly give much thought about. Together they are important symbols of the value that ACRL brings to its members and a valuable reminder of the impact ACRL has on academic librarians. What makes it all possible are the members and the support they provide for beneficial ACRL initiatives.”...
ACRL Insider, Dec. 10
ALCTS YouTube channel
ALCTS has made all of its free webinars available on the ALCTS YouTube Channel. Categories include collections, cataloging, preservation, institutional repositories, and RDA Series Webinars....
TSLL TechScans, Dec. 7
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YALSA names 2013 Morris Award finalists
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2013 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The division will name the 2013 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 28 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. More information on the finalists and the award can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Dec. 11
Join the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge
Gretchen Kolderup writes: “There are now seven weeks until the winners of the William C. Morris Award, the Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and all of YALSA’s other book awards are announced at the Youth Media Awards, so it’s time to start our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge! We’re hoping the challenge will push you to read as many of these outstanding titles as possible. You have until January 28.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 10
YALSA chooses 2012–2013 Spectrum Scholar
As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in the profession, YALSA has chosen Ivelisse Maldonado (right) as its 2012–2013 Spectrum Scholar. Maldonado has attended North Carolina Central University in Durham since August 2011, pursuing an MLS with a concentration in school media....
YALSA, Dec. 11
Apply for a Baber Research Grant
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics is now accepting applications for the Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant, a grant of up to $3,000 given to one or more librarians or library educators who will conduct innovative research that could lead to an improvement in services to any specified group of people. The application deadline is January 3....
Office for Research and Statistics, Dec. 6
ARL names 2013 Career Enhancement fellows
The Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program Coordinating Committee has selected 10 fellows. This competitive diversity recruitment program gives MLIS students from underrepresented groups an opportunity to jump-start their careers in research libraries by providing a robust fellowship experience that includes an internship in an ARL member library....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 12
Apply for an Innovations in Reading Prize
The National Book Foundation has opened its Innovations in Reading Prize for the fifth year, giving up to $2,500 to efforts “that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading.” You must apply for the prize before February 20. The winning individuals will get a free trip to New York City, attending all the National Book Awards Week events....
GalleyCat, Dec. 11
Gift to LC will support three new literacy awards
The Library of Congress on December 6 opened the first International Summit of the Book, a gathering of leaders in academia, libraries, culture, and technology to discuss the powerful and crucial form of information transmittal. As the conference opened, longtime friend of reading David Rubenstein announced he is contributing $1.5 million to fund three new Library of Congress annual literacy awards over five years: the David M. Rubenstein Prize for a groundbreaking contribution to the sustained advancement of literacy, the American Prize, and the International Prize....
Library of Congress, Dec. 6
2012 Goodreads Choice Awards
The results of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 are in. The winners were voted on by the Goodreads site users, making it a sort of people’s choice of the book world. There were a few close calls, and more than a few landslide victories (including Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in the Mystery and Thriller category). More than 1.1 million votes were cast this year—winners and runners-up are listed here....
Book Riot, Dec. 5; Goodreads
Best of the James Tait Black Prize
The late Angela Carter’s masterpiece Nights at the Circus has been declared the best-ever winner of Britain’s oldest literary prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Awarded since 1919, the James Tait Black embarked on a quest this autumn to find the best novel from a roll call of former winners who included Graham Greene, Walter de la Mare, E. M. Forster, and Aldous Huxley. Nights at the Circus, the story of winged circus performer Sophie Fevvers’s travels through 19th-century Europe, was the eventual choice....
The Guardian (UK), Dec. 6
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New York Times bedbug story was misleading
Edward Champion writes: “On December 5, the New York Times published a story written by Catherine Saint Louis claiming that public libraries were now devoting precious resources to a new threat: bedbugs nesting inside the spines of hardcover books and making their way into public libraries like Norway rats stowing away on dusty ships. But we talked with many of Saint Louis’s sources and learned that the article is misleading. In fact, some of the library directors who Saint Louis spoke with have never had a bedbug epidemic at all.” However, bedbugs occasionally turn up and librarians must take precautions. Here is what bedbug expert Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann recommends....
Reluctant Habits, Dec. 6; New York Times, Dec. 5; Associated Press, Dec. 7; KCPQ-TV, Seattle, Dec. 7; Cornell University, Dec. 11
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum lays off its library staff
St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Athenaeum is cutting its workforce. The board of trustees will lay off all 11 of its library-based employees as of February 1, but will retain all four of its nonlibrary employees. One of those people cut will be Head Librarian Lisa von Kann. The athenaeum will maintain just five full-time or near-full-time library-based positions going forward....
St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Caledonian-Record, Dec. 7
Gary Public Library reacts to scathing audit
Gary (Ind.) Public Library board President Nancy Valentine has promised state officials that the library will tighten up its financial-documentation policies in response to the issuance of a scathing FY2008–2011 audit by the State Board of Accounts. The report lists a slew of instances of financial mismanagement by the library, including issues with credit card use and an unauthorized wage increase. GPL has had five acting, interim, and permanent directors since 2008....
Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune, Dec. 12; Munster Times of Northwest Indiana, Dec. 7; Library Journal, Apr. 19
Elmhurst College librarian headed to state legislature
Kathleen Willis (right), coordinator of access services at Elmhurst (Ill.) College library, was elected to the Illinois General Assembly on November 6 to represent the state’s 77th legislative district. The district covers parts of western Cook and eastern DuPage counties. Willis will leave the college to serve as a full-time legislator. Her inauguration will take place January 9. Her priorities will be to protect funding for education and provide relief for homeowners facing foreclosure....
Suburban Life Media, Dec. 5
St. Louis Central Library reopens after renovation
The public had its first chance to explore St. Louis’s historic Central Library December 9 after it had been closed for more than two years. The $70 million renovation retained the building’s classic design elements, while integrating state-of-the-art technology. Overall, the historic parts of the 190,000-square-foot building were restored, while space available to the public almost doubled. Here’s a guide to some of the highlights, old and new....
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 9; KSDK-TV, St. Louis, Dec. 9
Banned book trading cards at Lawrence Public Library
Susan Brown writes: “Banned Books Week may have ended weeks ago, but for one public library in Kansas, the spirit of the week lives on. This year, Lawrence Public Library celebrated the freedom to read with a unique project that engaged the local arts community, heightened awareness of intellectual freedom, and gave library patrons the chance to collect seven original pieces of art.”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Dec. 10
Santa Rosa settles ex-director’s lawsuit
The Santa Rosa County (Fla.) Commission gave preliminary approval December 10 to a settlement in a federal lawsuit brought by former County Library Director Linda Hendrix, asserting that she had been discriminated against because of a disability and her age. The settlement would give Hendrix $80,000. She was demoted and fired after she returned to work in February 2011 following cancer surgery, according to the suit filed June 20....
Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, Dec. 10
Intersection near LAPL named for Ray Bradbury
The intersection of 5th and Flower streets in downtown Los Angeles was designated Ray Bradbury Square by city officials on December 6. The location, near the front entrance to the Central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, is a fitting place to honor the author of The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles because Bradbury was a lifelong supporter of libraries and wrote his early short stories and novels on library typewriters that were available to the public....
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 6
Retired school librarian wins on Millionaire
A retired Belleville (N.J.) high school librarian handled herself quite well on the December 6 taped episode of ABC-TV’s popular game show program, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Michele Monica (right) answered five questions correctly (including one worth $25,000 about the dinosaur Albertosaurus having originally been found in Canada) and left the program $23,000 richer....
Belleville (N.J.) Times, Dec. 6
UK lost more than 200 libraries in 2012
The fight to keep libraries open has dominated recent headlines, but the UK has quietly lost more than 200 branches over the past year, according to an annual report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. A total of 146 branches closed between 2010 and 2011, with the number stepping up to 201 this year. The UK now has 4,265 libraries, compared with 4,612 two years ago, and the number of closures is likely to grow. Phil Bradley puts these depressing numbers into perspective....
The Guardian (UK), Dec. 10; Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Dec. 11
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Facebook’s new privacy settings
Sam Biddle writes: “As surely as the sun rises, Facebook will keep revising its privacy settings in an effort to keep everyone from complaining. Starting December 12, there’s a brand new method, and it’s simpler than ever before. But there are some catches.”...
Gizmodo, Dec. 12
New Ithaka report on historians
In 2011–2012, Ithaka S+R examined the changing research methods and practices
of academic historians in the United States, with the objective of identifying
services to better support them. Its new report, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Historians (PDF file), recommends that libraries
address changing format preferences and develop new research support models that address historians’ need both for
expertise at a subdisciplinary level and for assistance in discovering and accessing
primary source materials....
Ithaka S+R, Dec. 7
Year End, 2012
Andy Woodworth writes: “Awhile back, I wrote a post about librarians picking needless fights. I’m starting to rethink parts of that. I think the departure point from last year to this one should be librarians picking more fights. Not frivolous ones like the Amazon lending service, but bigger ones like copyright reform, fair practices in ebook lending, vendor negotiation transparency, open access, and digital content rights. It needs to go beyond the underlying anger and frustration that dwells within online petitions and cosigned press releases statements.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, May 14, Dec. 10
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Emerging and disruptive technologies
Chad Haefele writes: “As the years go by I’m less a fan of the term ‘emerging technology.’ Any new technology emerges, just by virtue of being new. I find myself looking at a new technology and asking: Is it disruptive to libraries? ‘Disruptive’ does a better job of defining what I deal with on a day-to-day basis. The technologies I look at tend to be new, but as they emerge they also disrupt that context and the way we do things. Disruptive technology arrives in two different flavors.”...
Hidden Peanuts, Dec. 3
Tech review and forecast for 2013
Marshall Breeding writes: “It’s time to reflect on the trends in play related to library technologies and anticipate their trajectory going forward. We are in an incredibly interesting period in the realm of library technologies. Rather than just refining and rebuilding products on models of functionality that have been in place since the early decades of library automation, many efforts are under way to break free from well-established historical approaches. The current cycle includes some uncharacteristically revolutionary tracks.”...
Computers in Libraries: The Systems Librarian, Dec.
Your guide to new features of iTunes 11
Bakari Chavanu writes: “Apple recently released the 11th version of its popular media player iTunes, and its redesign and new features have gained much praise from critics of the older versions who found the player bloated with features and difficult to browse. This one focuses on the most-used features of iTunes and tucks secondary features out of the way.”...
MakeUseOf, Dec. 12
Laptop buyers: Pay attention to the Chromebook
David Pogue writes: “There seem to be a trillion variations on tablets and laptops these days. There are laptops with keyboards that slide, with screens that flip, with hinges that bend backward. I have a strong feeling most of them will wind up in the junk drawers of history. But one of them is eminently successful, and it’s not getting enough attention: Google’s new Chromebook.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Nov. 29
Which tablet should I buy?
David Pogue writes: “No wonder people are confused. The marketplace has gone tablet-crazy. There’s practically a different model for every man, woman, and child. So how are you, the confused consumer, supposed to keep tabs on all these tablets? By taking this handy tour through the jungle of tablets 2012. Keep hands and feet inside the tram at all times.”...
New York Times, Nov. 28
The 10 best digital cameras
Wendy Sheehan Donnell writes: “The problem with buying a digital camera is not only that there are hundreds of models for sale at any given point in time, but you also need to figure out which type of camera is right for you. The good news is that we review lots of cameras—and these 10 are among the best we’ve tested.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 3
How to buy a game console
Will Greenwald writes: “Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all continue their slow, steady battles for gaming and entertainment domination. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are still going strong, with each console continually adding functionality. Here we’ll take a look at the big three consoles and help you decide which ones are best to buy right now. We’ll also outline the top options for non-console and on-the-go gaming.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 5
Learn how to code, effectively
Bohyun Kim writes: “I would like to share some effective strategies to obtain coding skills and cover common mistakes and obstacles that librarians make and encounter while trying to learn how to code in the library environment, based upon the presentation that I gave at the Charleston Conference in November, ‘Geek out: Adding Coding Skills to Your Professional Repertoire.’ At the end, you will also find a selection of learning and community resources.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Dec. 10
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Ebooks for libraries
David Lee King (right) writes: “Ever wondered what your library shelves would look like if you removed all the books you can’t get in an ebook format? This video (1:47) shows you what that shelf would look like. (Warning: It’s pretty scary.) Why did we make this video? Pretty simple: Most of us, if we’re honest, really don’t know much about the current ebook landscape. The issues, the hurdles, or even the possibilities. But Ebooks for Libraries is here to help.”...
Ebooks for Libraries, Dec. 10; YouTube, Dec. 10
Protest at Amazon over Kindles in schools
The National Federation of the Blind is gathering outside Amazon headquarters in Seattle on December 12 to protest efforts to put Kindle devices and ebooks in classrooms across the US. The organization contends that Kindle ebooks are inaccessible to blind students. According to the NFB, the Kindle text-to-speech functionality that would give the blind access must be turned on by a sighted person, and Amazon allows publishers to restrict that feature for certain titles. Federal law mandates that school districts use only technology that is accessible to students with disabilities....
Digital Book World, Dec. 10; National Federation of the Blind
Kindle Fire adds accessibility features
Christopher Harris writes: “Accessibility is one of those issues that often needs a headline to grab attention. Pretty much the only general consumer reading devices that meet accessibility standards are the Apple iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch families. Amazon recently announced new accessibility features that should help bring the Kindle Fire line of tablets into compliance. While the E Ink versions of Kindle have had some text-to-speech capabilities for content (if the publisher allows it), the inaccessible menu system has left the devices with an overall failing grade.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 10; Amazon.com, Dec. 6
The wrong war over ebooks: Publishers vs. libraries
David Vinjamuri writes: “Libraries and Big Six publishers are at war over ebooks. This column is the first in a two-part series about libraries and their role in the marketing and readership of books. This first part addresses the present conflict. The second part will look forward to the future for libraries and publishers and the important challenges that they must address. Conclusion: A system based on actual use would more fairly allocate cost and risk as long as ebooks are not governed by the first-sale doctrine.” Jamie LaRue comments on this conclusion....
Forbes, Dec. 11; myliblog, Dec. 11
Three ebook consumer-pricing predictions
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s been a little flap over the past year about ebook pricing: a Justice Department lawsuit alleging a price-fixing conspiracy, a major settlement with billion-dollar implications, and an upcoming court date between Apple, Penguin, Macmillan, and the DOJ that should feature some special guests, including Amazon. I think we will see a much more diverse ebook pricing marketplace, with retailers angling to eke out advantages against each other whenever possible. Here are some predictions.”...
Forbes, Dec. 10
Calling for an ebooks revolution
Andromeda Yelton writes: “What’s the future of ebooks? Well, we are all doomed. Why are we doomed? Over the last 200-some years the scope of copyright protection has steadily increased and the space left for fair use has shrunk. With some types of works—ebooks, software—you don’t even get first-sale rights because they’re typically not sold; they’re licensed. Contract law, not just copyright law, applies. For content that’s already been produced, we need a grassroots revolution to make it free, in a way that respects authors’ and publishers’ incentives.”...
Andromeda Yelton, Dec. 8
Right-pricing digital content
Christopher Harris writes: “I love living and working in rural Western New York, but the schools and libraries in my geographic area are facing daunting challenges in the shift to digital content. E-content is often priced on a site-based basis, and that means our small school libraries end up paying an inequitably high price. What is needed is a new pricing model that takes into account the potential user base of a school site. Yet publishers often struggle to translate their traditional site-based pricing into a user-based model.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 7
Folger launches open-source digital Shakespeare
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials, launched the Folger Digital Texts on December 6. It’s a set of authoritative Shakespeare plays available for free, along with the source code that noncommercial app builders and scholars can use. The first releases includes a dozen plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest. Throughout 2013, the Folger will add new material until it includes all of Shakespeare’s plays and poems....
Folger Shakespeare Library, Dec. 6
Welcome to my rare and antiquarian ebook shop
Eric Hague writes: “Why, hello there! I was just appraising some rare PDFs in the back room when I heard you come in. Feel free to peruse our inventory, and if you have any questions, please allow me—one of the world’s foremost authorities on and purveyors of fine electronic books—to act as your steward through the wonderfully esoteric world of antique ebook collecting. No, I’m sorry. The bathroom is for customers only.”...
McSweeney’s, Dec. 6
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ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, January 25–29. Do you need to know more about effective advocacy, developing web analysis strategies, libraries and online learning, planning career moves, or building web applications? There’s still time to register for several unique opportunities for in-depth professional development at pre-Midwinter Institutes.
The best gift to yourself or your favorite librarian is a subscription to Booklist. Subscribers get a year of print issues plus 24/7 password-access to Booklist Online. The online archive of articles and recommended titles, plus editor–selected read–alikes pulled from over 135,000 reviews, is an indispensible tool any time of year. NEW! From Booklist.
Great Libraries of the World
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. Completed in 2002 as a tribute to the Great Library of antiquity, the library has space for 8 million books, as well as a conference center, art galleries, planetarium, preservation laboratory, and digital repository. Collections have been donated by countries from all over the world, and the library maintains the only external backup of the Internet Archive.
Saint Catherine’s Monastery Library, Sinai Desert, Egypt. This library of the oldest working Christian monastery contains the second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts in the world (some 3,300), outnumbered only by the Vatican Library. Its strength lies in Greek, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Georgian, Syriac, and Udi texts. There are many early and important editions of the bible, patristic and classical texts, and Orthodox service books. The Syriac Sinaiticus palimpsest is one of only two manuscripts that preserve the text of the Old Syriac translation of the Gospels. The Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th-century manuscript that contains the oldest complete New Testament, was housed here until 1859 when the German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf removed it to Russia for study; it was sold in 1933 to the British Museum, where the greater portion of it now resides.
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.
Educational Technology and Reference Librarian, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This full-time position reports to the Head of Research Support and Educational Technology and shares responsibility for coordinating and supporting campus educational technology planning, pedagogical support of instructional technology, and library reference services and bibliographic instruction to students, faculty, and staff. The Educational Technology and Reference librarian interacts directly with faculty and students to serve their library and educational technology needs and plays a major role in the Tri-College (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore) library and information technology development....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Southern California Digital Library is now providing improved search and discovery tools to help the USC community integrate digital collections more easily into teaching, learning, and research. New and upgraded research capabilities include fully searchable text for every page of every document, supplementing the metadata developed by the libraries to describe content. A more powerful document-viewing tool reveals details—such as names on street signs and words on billboards—that previously were inaccessible to researchers. The new Digital Library also offers improved engagement tools, including a system for creating individualized collections of materials that are relevant to specific papers or courses, as well as easier integration with social media services, such as Facebook and Pinterest. Its collections include early photos of Southern California, early-20th-century Russian satirical journals, and photographs from the archives of the Los Angeles Examiner.
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
“Our lights went out for 10 days due to Hurricane Sandy. It would have been intolerable, if not for the Oakland (N.J.) Public Library. They extended their hours and days to accommodate many citizens of many towns in the crisis. The library gave us a place to warm up, read, watch TV, charge our phones, and utilize their computers. In this digital age when some are saying libraries are obsolete, it is so easy to forget that our libraries are more than just books. They provide a wonderful community resource for families and seniors alike.”
—Letter to the Editor from Rich and Beth Pierce, Franklin Lakes–Oakland (N.J.) Suburban News, Dec. 6.
CurateGear 2013: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections, Conference, William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Atmospheric Science Librarians International, Annual Conference, Austin, Texas. “Taking Atmospheric Sciences Information to the Next Level: Expanding Beyond Today’s Library Collections and Resources.”
American Libraries Live, “Landing Your Ideal Library Job.”
NASA Space Science Training: Explore: Life on Mars?, Arizona State University Mars Space Flight facility, Tempe. Public library staff that provide programs for 8–13 year-olds in Arizona can apply.
Code4Lib, Conference, University of Illinois at Chicago Forum.
iConference 2013, Worthington Renaissance, Fort Worth, Texas. “Scholarship in Action: Data, Innovation, Wisdom.”
American Libraries Live, “Mobile Services: The Library in Your Pocket.”
EDGE Conference, Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland. “Rising to the Challenge—Delivering Value through Innovation and Partnership.”
SXSWedu (South by Southwest Education), Conference, Hilton Austin Downtown, Austin, Texas.
SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive Gaming Expo, Palmer Events Center, Austin, Texas.
SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive, Conference, Austin (Tex.) Convention Center.
Electronic Resources & Libraries, Conference, AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas.
NASA Space Science Training: Explore: Jupiter’s Family Secrets, Worcester County (Md.) Library, Ocean Pines branch. Public library staff that provide programs for 8–13 year-olds in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia can apply.
Acquisitions Institute, Timberline Lodge, Oregon.
Academic Library Advancement and Development Network (ALADN), Annual Conference, Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Getting to the Point.”
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Choice previews its 2012 Outstanding Academic Titles
Celebrating the best in scholarly publishing, Choice’s annual Outstanding Academic Titles will appear in its January 2013 issue, featuring 644 exceptional titles. Again this year, the Choice subject editors have selected from the full run of Outstanding Academic Titles their list of 25 favorite print titles and 10 digital resources, which is now available at Choice Reviews Online....
ACRL, Dec. 11
Teaching controversial comics
Anastasia Betts writes: “As teachers we have to make determinations every day on whether this image, this book, this movie, or this discussion is appropriate for our classroom. For some reason though, comics seem to get a bad rap in terms of classroom appropriateness. Whenever this happens, I am confronted with a dilemma: How can I use a book that I think is incredibly important for students to study, but that contains some content that my colleagues or parents would find controversial?”...
The Comics Observer, Nov. 26
Racism in YA book covers
Annie Schutte writes: “There’s usually a moment once a month when I feel sick, tired, and embarrassed to be working with YA books for a living. That’s when I see a menagerie of gorgeous white girls staring back at me from the covers of upcoming releases. If a YA book features a white, female protagonist, it seems inevitable that the book cover will display an idealized and airbrushed masterpiece of her on the cover. And when a YA book actually does have a protagonist of color, too often one of three things seems to happen.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 10
Islam in YA fiction
Whitney Etchison writes: “The following books provide insight into Islam, a religion that is all too often stereotyped and villainized in American society. However, as I was putting together this list, I noticed that every novel but one includes an Islamic terrorist act or organization as part of the story line. Within the context of each novel, I don’t feel that any of them perpetuate the negative stereotype of ‘Muslims are terrorists,’ but as a trend, it is somewhat disturbing to think that four out of five deal with violent acts by Muslims.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 6
2012 children’s lit: The year in miscellanea
Travis Jonker writes: “It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. For example, Most Unexpected: Maurice Sendak on The Colbert Report. In an appearance that proved to be a swan song of sorts, the children’s lit legend sat down for a typically ridiculous Colbert interview at Sendak’s house (above). Watch both part 1 and part 2....
School Library Journal: 100 Scope Notes, Dec. 10
Michael Levine-Clark writes: “We have done such an amazing job building digital collections that students can attend the University of Denver without ever needing to touch paper publications, without ever having to encounter physical books—and that’s a shame. There is value to the book as a physical object, and libraries need to find ways to emphasize that value to digital natives. We decided to emphasize books by increasing funding for special collections. Within that context, we began collecting artists’ books heavily about five years ago and now have a collection of almost 900 titles.”...
OUPblog, Dec. 10
Mystery book sculptor returns
Scotland’s mystery book sculptor was up to her old tricks again in late November, leaving a series of literary-themed sculptures in secret locations. The sculptor—all that has been revealed about her is that she is female and she loves books—made her first startling appearances in 2011. Now, to mark Book Week Scotland, she has been enticed into making a comeback, with five new sculptures inspired by classic Scottish stories hidden around the country....
The Guardian (UK), Dec. 1, 2011; Nov. 30
Beall’s list of predatory publishers 2013
Jeffrey Beall writes: “The gold open-access model has given rise to a great many new online publishers. Many of these publishers exist only to make money off the author-processing charges that are billed to authors upon acceptance of their scientific manuscripts. Here are two lists. The first includes questionable, scholarly open-access publishers. The second list includes individual journals that do not publish under the platform of any publisher; they are essentially independent, questionable journals.”...
Scholarly Open Access, Dec. 4
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Top 10 academic library websites
Emily Singley writes: “Here is my annual review of academic library websites. This year I reviewed sites based on the following 10 criteria: help with research, ILL, tech help, faculty info, accessibility, integration, navigability, readability, searchability, and design. Virginia Commonwealth University was my choice for Best Overall Academic Library website.”...
The Cloudy Librarian, Dec. 3
Four tools for determining web cred
Joyce Valenza writes: “As teachers and librarians we are used to discussing traditional measures of credibility with student researchers. Scholars and journalists let you know about their credentials. Serious bloggers generally do that too. But creators of social media and members of networked communities don’t always have CVs. So what strategies can we share for analyzing the credibility of social media and user-generated content?”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 9
Holiday feasts @ your library
Libraries across the country are offering programs, tools, and resources on cooking during the holiday season, covering everything from gluten-free cookbooks to classes on how to prepare a vegan feast. Here are a few examples....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Dec. 11
What is outreach and why do we do it?
Betha Gutsche writes: “For libraries, outreach is about reaching out to those who don’t know how awesome the library is—to nonusers and people with special needs that can be addressed by library services. That means getting out of the library and reaching potential users where they are. Delineating the benefits to the library clarifies why outreach makes sense as an integral part of planning, communication, and advocacy. What does library outreach mean to you? Take the poll.”...
OCLC Webjunction, Dec. 4
Diane P. Tuccillo writes: “Teens often have the biggest impact in impressing their peers—this can be negative or positive, and with library advocacy, it’s positive. Adults are readily impressed by teens and their contributions. I have heard so many great responses from parents who truly appreciate their teens’ library involvement, and those parents are telling their friends and relatives in the community what their teens are doing. The teen library activity presence filters to their fellow teens, families, and friends, becoming advocacy in itself.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 10
Twitter image filters launched
Twitter’s image filters have been officially released for its Android and iOS apps. The app now offers eight filters, including “vignette, black and white, warm, cool, vintage, cinematic, happy, and gritty” tones. It also allows users to preview filters for their images in a grid format, and includes standard editing features like cropping, zooming, and auto-image enhancement. The update is thought to be a direct response to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram earlier this year....
The Verge, Dec. 10; Twitter Blog, Dec. 10
7 new tools to create your own infographics
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “If the popularity of Pinterest has proven anything this past year, it’s that people love images. They love creating them, curating them, and learning from them. So why not give your patrons what they want and create helpful infographics demonstrating how to use the library and other information literacy topics? Here are seven free and easy-to-use tools to get you started.”...
iLibrarian, Dec. 11
IE, PubMed, and the end of the world
Michelle Kraft writes: “If you haven’t heard about the Mayan civilzation’s calendar predicting the end of the world on December 21, then you have been living under a rock. Personally I believe the Mayans were on to something, but I think the end of the world will happen on January 1. Why? On that date, the National Center for Biotechnology Information will no longer support Internet Explorer 7, and all the hospitals that haven’t upgraded will begin to have problems searching PubMed.”...
The Krafty Librarian, Dec. 12
Cultural recovery center opens in Brooklyn
The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) is opening a temporary facility the week of December 10 to provide volunteer assistance and work space to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, galleries, collectors, and artists in Brooklyn affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Cultural Recovery Center will be operated by the foundation, in cooperation with a consortium of cultural organizations. Information for owners of cultural materials can be found here....
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Dec. 6; Museum of Modern Art
Strategic directions for school libraries
Judy O’Connell writes: “Perhaps one of the most challenging conversations to have in libraries and learning communities as we move toward 2013 is the arrival of RDA. Yes, here is a new acronym that needs to be embedded in our thinking. 2013 will be a year of living dangerously when RDA arrives. Don’t know about RDA yet? Then it’s time to get excited, and up-to-date.”...
Hey Jude, Dec. 6
Identifying spurious quotations by Thomas Jefferson
In this video (3:45) Monticello Research Librarian Anna Berkes (right) describes common misuses of Jefferson quotations and how the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello is trying to identify and dispel spurious sayings by the third president: “There are quotes that bear no relationship to what Jefferson thought about a particular topic.” Here is Berkes’s top 10 misconceptions about Thomas Jefferson....
YouTube, Dec. 7; Monticello Library
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