AL Direct masthead

American Libraries Online | ALA News | Booklist Online
Seattle Update| Division News| Awards & Grants | Libraries in the News
Issues | Tech Talk | E-Content | Books & Reading | Tips & Ideas
Great Libraries of the World | Digital Library of the Week | Calendar

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 19, 2012

NKU Online

APA Handbook

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

2012 I Love My Librarian AwardAll about the I Love My Librarian winners
Sally Chapralis writes: “Ten dedicated and passionate librarians were honored for their unwavering commitment to patrons, communities, and libraries when they received the 2012 I Love My Librarian Award, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times, administered by ALA, and presented to the winners at a ceremony in New York City on December 18.” Read what each of them said about the honor and why they were nominated....
American Libraries feature, Dec. 19

Irvin Mayfield at the New Orleans Public LibraryNOPL celebrates the arts
On November 29 New Orleans Public Library welcomed musician Irvin Mayfield for the exclusive premiere of “Dust, Dirt, and Trees,” written by Mayfield and performed by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The concert, a tribute to literary legend Ernest Gaines, is part of a series titled The NOJO 10, which celebrates the orchestra’s 10th anniversary with 10 signature jazz events....
AL Focus, Dec. 17

Another Story: The wheel turns again
Joseph Janes writes: “And here we are, at my 100th column, which comes smack on top of my 10-year anniversary writing it; this double circle has given me an opportunity to reflect on what has been, what is, and what could be, and I’ve arrived at the conclusion that a column called Internet Librarian is no longer necessary. So, am I done here? No such luck.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

The Rangeview Library District's Anythink Perl Mack Branch, Denver, Colorado, was featured in the 2012 Library Design ShowcaseLibrary Design Showcase moves to Sept./Oct.
American Libraries is now accepting submissions for itse 2013 Library Design Showcase, an annual feature celebrating the best new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. In 2013, the showcase will be moving from the March/April issue to the September/October issue. Send a completed submission form (PDF file), along with color prints or high-resolution digital images, to American Libraries, Attn: Library Design Showcase, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Submissions can also be sent via YouSendIt to View last year’s selections here....
American Libraries news, Dec. 19

No AL Direct for two weeks
AL Direct is taking two weeks off for the holiday season. Look for a new edition on Wednesday, January 9. Happy Holidays!

Go back to the Top

AL Live

ALA News

Sandra Hughes-HassellJeanne TheoharisTheoharis to keynote Dr. Martin Luther King Sunrise Celebration
Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, who has written on the black freedom struggle and the contemporary politics of race in the US, will keynote the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration on January 28, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The Call-to-Action Speaker will be Sandra Hughes-Hassell, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SLIS, whose current research focuses on social-justice issues in youth library services and the role of school librarians in education reform....
Social Responsibilities Round Table, Dec. 18

23 chapters offer joint ALA student membership
Twenty-three ALA chapters (aka state library associations) partner with ALA to offer students the opportunity to join both a chapter and ALA for one low price of $35, now through August 31, 2013. If you join online, ALA Membership and the participating chapters each receive a receipt on the day you joined....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Dec. 14

Lesley Ellen Harris eCourseHow to educate your staff and patrons on copyright
As libraries move into the roles of publisher, platform-provider, or aggregator, making sure that your staff has basic knowledge of copyright is important. A new session of the four-week facilitated eCourse “Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Community” will begin February 4, taught by copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer Lesley Ellen Harris (right). Harris will show step-by-step how to develop a copyright education program for library staff and community. Registration is open....
ALA Editions, Dec. 18

Understanding WebDewey and Understanding Dewey Decimal Classification eCourseUsing WebDewey and Understanding DDC
Gain a comprehensive grounding in Dewey Decimal Classification principles and practice in a new session of the four-week facilitated eCourse “Using WebDewey and Understanding Dewey Decimal Classification,” which begins February 4. Expert cataloging instructor Cheryl Tarsala (right) will teach you how to assign DDC numbers with correct meaning in hierarchy, build numbers using tables, and apply numbers that help patrons browse your library. Registration is open....
ALA Editions, Dec. 18

Getting Babies into Books with Early Literacy Programs eCourseGet babies into books with early literacy programs
Whether you’re preparing programs for babies in your library or community center, teaching early literacy skills to daycare providers, or providing support to new parents in an outreach program, “Getting Babies into Books with Early Literacy Programs” will make your work easier and more productive. Taught by children’s librarian Kathy Kirchoefer (right), the new four-week facilitated eCourse, which begins February 4, teaches how to plan a baby program from start to finish, including how to select the best books and music. Registration is open....
ALA Editions, Dec. 18

Cover of Information Resource Description: Creating and Managing MetadataLearn how to create and manage metadata
A primer on information and knowledge organization, with particular reference to digital environments, Information Resource Description: Creating and Managing Metadata introduces the conventions and standards of contemporary document description and the principles and trends of professional practice. Employing the unifying mechanism of the Semantic Web and the resource description framework, author Philip Hider integrates the various traditions and practices of information and knowledge organization....
ALA Editions, Dec. 18

Cover of Silly Books to Read AloudSilly Books to Read Aloud
Silly Books to Read Aloud is the ultimate guide to choosing fun and funny stories to read with and to children. Acclaimed children’s book authority Rob Reid offers a concentrated look at the content and appeal of different books, helping adults make informed decisions about what children read. More than simply a recommended reading list, books in this guide help children’s language development and encourage good reading habits, improved comprehension, and a broadened vocabulary....
ALA Huron Street Press, Dec. 13

Go back to the Top

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Heartland: The Photographs of Terry EvansFeatured review: Adult nonfiction
Evans,Terry, and Keith F. Davis. Heartland: The Photographs of Terry Evans. Dec. 2012. 220p. Illustrated. Yale, hardcover (978-0-300-19075-5).
The first retrospective volume of Terry Evans’s work establishes beyond question her standing as a major American photographer. She took her first flight over the majestic prairie in 1980 and began creating the breathtaking aerial compositions for which she is known best, photographing prairies from Texas to Canada, Chicago, mountaintop-removal coal mining, melting glaciers in Greenland, and the oil and gas boom in North Dakota. The salient essays that accompany the book’s exceptionally sharp and saturated plates elucidate the “central tension in her work: the play between fact-gathering and personal expression.”...

He Reads with David WrightHoliday shopping list for male readers
David Wright writes: “Books make lousy gifts, or books can make the perfect gift. It all depends on whether you’ve picked a book the recipient will read, or even open—something he hasn’t already read that is easy to get into and hard to get out of. If you’re heading to the bookstore to pick up something for the various men in your life, readers or not, here’s a shopping list to take along.”...

She Reads with Kaite Mediastore StoverShe shopped; she read; she scored
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “It seems as if holiday shopping for biblio gal pals would be easy, but not so. I avoid the fiction section since these gal pals are always caught up on the latest titles. The nonfiction section, though, offers infinite possibilities, and I get to employ my readers’ advisory skills as I craft how I’ll describe the beribboned books that match each babebrarian’s personality (and one guybrarian). Here’s my shopping list.”...

Great Reads from Booklist Online EditorsGreat reads of a Booklist Online editor
Keir Graff writes: “With the list-making and gift-giving season in full swing, this would be a good time to show restraint. But the holidays, at least as we practice them in the US, are all about poor judgment and excess, and so I’ll add to the overkill by offering a list of suggestions for gift giving, choosing only from the books I’ve read and reviewed over the past 12 months.”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Go back to the Top

Midwinter Meeting 2013

Seattle Update

Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibitionChihuly Garden and Glass
This long-term exhibition at the Seattle Center provides a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of artist Dale Chihuly. Intended to function as a community gathering place, “Chihuly Garden and Glass” broke ground in August 2011. Its Exhibition Hall contains eight galleries and three Drawing Walls, offering visitors a comprehensive look at Chihuly’s significant series of work. The installation of artworks in the Gardens started March 2012, and then moved into the Glasshouse and Exhibition Hall....
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Pike Place BakeryBest Seattle bakery, 2012
Gavin Borchert writes: “Pike Place Bakery keeps a low profile, even though it’s at the Market’s central crossroads, right where Pike Street bends into 1501 Pike Place. Tucked into a corner behind the fish-throwers (ah, that explains it), its glass cases are stuffed with rolls and breads, yes, but mostly old-school sweets. Their philosophy seems to be never to use one topping on a sweet roll when you can use more: cream cheese strawberry, chocolate-chip cream cheese, almond cinnamon caramel.”...
Seattle Weekly

Bigfood truck, 305 Harrison St., SeattleTop 10 Seattle food trucks
New food trucks are opening in Seattle almost every week. And if the quantity isn’t crushing, the trucks’ overall quality is reason for mobile food fans to celebrate. But there are a few standouts. Jen says the following 10 trucks are the ones you ought to wish were permanently parked outside your office. And they are increasingly cooperating by forming “pods,” or spaces shared by a bunch of trucks, such as the one that opened November 8 on the corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street....
Seattle Weekly, Oct. 22; Puget Sound Business Journal, Nov. 1

Looking southeast along the Central Waterfront from the Bell Street Terminal. Photo by X-Weinzar, used CC BY-SA 3.0On the waterfront
The Central Waterfront of Seattle is the most urbanized portion of the Elliott Bay shore. It runs from the Pioneer Square shore roughly northwest past Downtown Seattle and Belltown, ending at the Broad Street site of the Olympic Sculpture Park. Several century-old piers are now devoted to shops and restaurants. There are several parks, a ferris wheel, an aquarium, and one over-water hotel, the Edgewater. The piers are numbered from Pier 46, at the south end of the area, to Pier 70 at the northern end....

Vashon Island, in background, is a 22-minute ferry ride from Seattle. Photo by Stuart IsettVashon Island, a trip across time
Unknown to the rest of us, the Washington State Department of Transportation has invented a time machine. Sure, it looks like a ferry, running the route between Seattle and Vashon Island dozens of times a day. But how else to explain what you find when you arrive on Vashon? The island has no bridge connecting it to the mainland, so it retains its Mayberry-meets-Burning-Man character, a place where Seattleites get a taste of small-town life—including a Food Preservation Tool Library and the historic Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie (a coffee musuem)....
New York Times, Mar. 30; Seattle Weekly, Aug. 22; Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie

Go back to the Top

Division News

“Check In @ your library” Teen Tech Week 2013 logoCheck in for 2013 Teen Tech Week
The theme for Teen Tech Week 2013, March 10–16, is “Check In @ your library,” which was designed to encourage libraries to showcase the outstanding technology they offer for teens and their families, services such as online homework help, digital literacy–focused programs, ebooks, movies, music, audiobooks, and databases. Registration is open for a free webinar on makerspaces with Hilary Kolos from Dreamyard and materials from TTW Partners, such as database trials and books....
YALSA, Dec. 18

Bedtime Math, a Great Website for KidsMore Great Websites for Kids
Nine websites have been added to ALSC’s list of Great Websites for Kids. GWS features links to high-quality websites of interest to children 14 years old and younger, organized into diverse subject headings such as animals and dinosaurs, games and entertainment, history and science, and art and music. Each site entry includes a brief annotation and a grade-level rating. GWS users can also rate sites and save their favorite sites to access later....
ALSC, Dec. 18

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

Invitation to I Love My Librarian Award event in New YorkI Love My Librarian winners announced
Ten librarians have been recognized for service to their communities, schools, and campuses as winners of the Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. More than 1,500 library patrons nationwide nominated a librarian. Each received a $5,000 cash award and was honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by the New York Times, on December 18. In their nominations, library patrons told stories of how their librarians make a difference in their communities....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Dec. 18

Two new 75th Caldecott Facebook Forums
ALSC has announced two more 75th Caldecott Facebook Forums. On January 10, ALSC will host Melissa Sweet (illustrator of A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams), and on February 26, Laura Vaccaro Seeger (author and illustrator of First the Egg) will be the guest. As part of the forum, ALSC will interview Sweet and Vaccaro Seeger about their Caldecott experiences. This event is open to the public, and a Facebook account is not required to view the event, held on the ALSC Facebook page....
ALSC, Dec. 14

Call for United for Libraries trustee nominations
United for Libraries is accepting applications for the ALA Trustee Citation and the United for Libraries/Gale Outstanding Trustee Grant. The citation recognizes public library trustees for distinguished service to library development and the grant will enable a public library trustees to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Apply by December 31....
United for Libraries, Dec. 18

RUSA extends awards-nomination deadlines
The nomination deadline has been extended to January 15 for several annual awards offered by RUSA, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, whos deadline is January 31. Visit the RUSA Awards website for details about each award, including eligibility, criteria, submission guidelines, and committee information....
RUSA, Dec. 18

Nomination deadlines extended for ASCLA awards
ASCLA has extended the nomination deadline to January 31 for its 2013 awards, which recognize projects focused on library services to people with disabilities; the advancement of library services for the blind and physically handicapped; exceptional achievement in extension and outreach services; exemplary leadership and achievement in consulting, state library services, and library cooperatives; and service to ASCLA. Visit the ASCLA Awards website for more information....
ASCLA, Dec. 18

EMIERT 2013 Distinguished Librarian Award
The ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table is seeking nominations for its 2013 Distinguished Librarian Award. The award recognizes significant accomplishments in multicultural library services that are national or international in scope and that include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural services in libraries. Nominations will be accepted through January 21....
Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, Dec. 14

RUSA represented on PROSE Award jury
RUSA member Dan Mack, deputy director for collection management and special collections at the University of Maryland Libraries, has been named to the 2012 PROSE Award jury as the subject matter expert for language and linguistics. The PROSE Awards, presented by the Association of American Publishers, recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and e-content in more than 40 categories....
RUSA, Dec. 18

EBSCO scholarships awarded for ALA Midwinter
Five librarians have received $1,500 scholarships to attend the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 25–29, in Seattle. They are: Susan H. Brown of Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library, Ariel Cummins of San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, Liane Elizabeth Elias of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jacqueline Keleher of Southern University at New Orleans, and Stacey Nordlund of Toronto (Ont.) Public Library....
Office of ALA Governance, Dec. 18

Ginnie CooperGinnie Cooper wins architecture award for DCPL
Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian and executive director of the District of Columbia Public Library, has won the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. Cooper was in the award’s third category, which recognizes the role of elected officials, public administrators, and institutional leaders who encourage the production of high-quality architecture. She is credited for D.C.’s recent renaissance in library construction and renovation of 14 branches since 2006....
American Institute of Architects; District of Columbia Public Library

Carole King, at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 2012. Photo by Angela George, used CC BY-SA 3.0Carole King wins LC’s Gershwin Award
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced December 13 that Carole King (right) is the 2013 recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The singer-songwriter, known for such hits as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “I Feel the Earth Move,” will receive the prize in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2013....
Library of Congress, Dec. 13

Ken Burns's documentary The Dust Bowl (PBS) was top of the list in the video categoryBooklist 2012 Top of the List selections
Booklist magazine has announced its Top of the List winners for 2012. The eight winning titles were chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2012, and, as every year, the expert selections influence readers and book buyers in libraries, bookstores, and beyond. The Top of the List picks are featured in Booklist Online as well as in the special combined January 1 and 15 issue of Booklist, which includes the complete annotated Editors’ Choice lists for adult books, adult books for young adults, books for youth, reference sources, and media....
Booklist, Dec. 13

The Adventures of Library Girl, by Jennifer LaGarde2012 Edublog Award winners
The winners and runners-up of the 2012 Edublog Awards were announced December 13. Sponsored by blogging service Edublogs, the awards are determined by a nomination process open to the general public, and winners are chosen by vote. The winner in the category of “Best Library/Librarian blog” was a Bulgarian-language site translated as “Educational Blog” by Iliana Ilieva-Dabova, who works in the Bulgarian School in Barcelona, Spain. Runners-up were Mighty Little Librarian, Bulldog Readers, Watch.Connect.Read, and The Adventures of Library Girl (right)....
School Library Journal, Dec. 14; Edublogs, Dec. 13

Follett Challenge logoIs your school innovative?
With just three weeks remaining before the January 4 entry deadline for the 2012–2013 Follett Challenge, Follett has sweetened the deal by announcing it will throw a party for the contest’s two grand-prize winners at their respective schools. The contest will award $200,000 worth of Follett products and services to six K–12 schools that are aligning their curriculum to teach 21st-century learning skills. The challenge is open to all public and private K–12 schools in the United States and Canada. Apply by January 4....
Follett, Dec. 14

Go back to the Top

Libraries in the News

Mary Ann JacobYvonne CechSandy Hook library staff saves 18 children
During the horrific December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the quick thinking of school librarian Yvonne Cech and library clerk Mary Ann Jacob saved the lives of 18 fourth graders. Cech and Jacob locked themselves, two other library assistants, and the students inside a storage room used to house servers for the library computers. After barricading the door with filing cabinets, they tried to keep the kids calm by giving them crayons and paper. They were rescued by state police after about an hour. Jacob was interviewed afterwards by Fox News. AASL President Susan Ballard had some timely words to say about the event....
New York Times, Dec. 14; Daily Mirror (UK), Dec. 15; Fox News, Dec. 15; AL: Inside Scoop, Dec, 14

Probe centers on Detroit library’s IT contracts
A search warrant from a Detroit Public Library raid on November 20 shows that a federal grand jury is investigating Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cromer and his ties to two library technology contractors, Cubemation and Core Consulting and Professional Services. They also sought library records concerning Dacrotek, a company that Cromer formed in 2005, while he was director of the library’s information systems department....
Detroit News, Dec. 17

How CUNY libraries adjusted after Hurricane Sandy
Maura Smale writes: “Overall, most City University of New York facilities escaped serious damage from the hurricane and were able to reopen to students on November 2. We all returned to a semester that looked different from the usual, and in some cases, very different. Here my colleagues and I share our post-hurricane adaptations in some of the libraries across the CUNY system.”...
ACRLog, Dec. 14

Screenshot of Central Falls’ Adams Memorial Library with a banner saying “Welcome to Your Library” from December 18 WPRI-TV news reportAlec Baldwin helps out Central Falls library
The Adams Memorial Library in Central Falls, Rhode Island, has received an unexpected check for $5,000 from actor Alec Baldwin, his second donation in 12 months. “A year ago, Alec’s donation [of $10,000] helped us keep the doors open,” said board President Bruce Kaplan. “This year he’s helping us expand hours of operation and community programming.” The library was closed for several months in 2011 in the wake of Central Falls’s bankruptcy, until volunteers raised enough money to reopen it. The library was almost halfway toward its $40,000 fundraising goal....
Lincoln (R.I.) Valley Breeze, Dec. 18; New York Times, Sept. 30, 2011; WPRI-TV, Providence, R.I., Dec. 18

Labrary logoMeet the Labrary
Corydon Ireland writes: “Ever get the urge to print a few words on a graham cracker, with chocolate? No? Well, you only have until December 21 to sample that creation. That’s the last day the Labrary will be open on the Harvard campus. The student-designed pop-up space explores what libraries of the future might look like. The project originated in an advanced seminar called ‘Library Test Kitchen.’”...
Harvard Gazette, Dec. 12

James H. BillingtonThe Russians love the Librarian of Congress
The Russian ambassador used Italian opera to honor the Librarian of Congress on December 11, part of a resplendent evening the Russians put together for James H. Billington (right). The official reason for the gathering was to celebrate Billington’s 25 years as head of LC. But there is much personal affection among the federation’s diplomatic and artistic set for Billington, a Russia scholar. The ambassador’s residence, where the soirée was held, is rarely used to fête individuals in such a manner, much less an American official....
Roll Call: Heard on the Hill, Dec. 12

Terry Weech at ENSSIBIllinois GSLIS collaborates with French school
In December, University of Illinois Associate Professor Terry Weech (right) visited ENSSIB, France’s national school for information and librarianship in Lyon, to talk to students, staff, and faculty about an exchange program with GSLIS. The program, recently authorized by the board of trustees, is the formalization of a nearly 20-year informal collaborative relationship with l’École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques (ENSSIB), the premier LIS school in France....
iSchool at Illinois, Dec. 14

Maranello, Italy, City LibraryNew town library in Maranello, Italy
A glazed reading room appears to float over the still waters of a shallow pool at this town library in Maranello, Italy, by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Italian architect Andrea Maffei. It opened to the public on November 19, 2011. The curving glass façade wiggles back and forth to form the building’s perimeter, while study areas behind the glass offer visitors a view out across the water towards the ivy-covered walls that bound the site....
Dezeen, Dec. 16

Go back to the Top


Social justice and the public library
Sarah Hashemi Scott writes: “As librarians, we know that intellectual freedom, education, and democracy are among the most important of our profession’s ethics, values, and foundational principles. These values and principles are codified in the ALA Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights. A related but perhaps less-talked-about value is that of social justice. Public libraries can—and, in many ways, already do—play a vital role in advancing the cause of social justice.”...
Public Libraries Online, Dec. 11

In-context notices will alert you if content you choose to hide from your Facebook Timeline might still appear in news feeds, searches, and elsewhereKeeping up with Facebook’s privacy changes
Jill Duffy writes: “Anytime Facebook makes changes to its Privacy Settings, as it did once again on December 12, a number of users panic. An equal number of users berate the panickers for panicking, and many more don’t even realize anything changed. Do you need to keep up with Facebook’s privacy changes? Getting rid of Facebook isn’t such a simple proposition, nor is ignoring its ever-shifting privacy policies.” See more on Mashable....
PC Magazine, Dec. 12–13; Mashable, Dec. 12

Soviet propaganda poster, "Do not talk!"Where books go to die
Marianna Tax Choldin writes: “I’m writing a memoir about my more than 50 years of engagement with Russia, nearly 40 of which I’ve devoted to the study of censorship in three eras: imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia. The Soviet period has been the most difficult to document, because the Soviet authorities always denied that censorship existed in their country. But scholars like myself were able to learn quite a bit anyway, from emigrés, from some published sources available outside the Soviet Union, and by the time-honored method of reading between the lines.”...
Illinois Library Association, Dec. 19

Justin Hughes, the head of the US delegation to WIPO, delivers the US remarksEnding the book famine for the blind
Carrie Russell writes: “The World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly decided on December 18 to convene a Diplomatic Conference in Morocco in June 2013 to finalize negotiations on an international copyright treaty that would allow for the cross-border sharing of accessible content to people with print disabilities around the world. This is the final step in a long diplomatic process to end the ‘book famine’ for the blind.”...
District Dispatch, Dec. 19

The importance of physical space
Jill Hurst-Wahl writes: “How do we arrange our libraries? Do we think about the best layout for the goals that we have? If we want the library to be a community center, have we laid it out with that goal in mind? If our focus is on literacy, does the layout and placement of material support that? Are our aisles wide and uncluttered? Do we make it easy for people to linger? For those who linger, can they find the things they need (restrooms, power outlets, water, food)? Is our signage big and easy to read, even from across the room?”...
Digitization 101, Nov. 26

Slide from Mita Williams's presentation: "Yes, libraries are being replaced by robots"The library as a free enterprise
Barbara Fister writes: “Mita Williams, of the University of Windsor, recently posted her slides from an amazing talk that she gave in November. It was a wide-ranging talk, but it projected the kind of future we can have if we pay attention to what’s going on and keep hold of one important idea: The future of the academic library is free. Free as in freedom. Free as in access to ideas without gatekeepers or tolls. Free as in libraries.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Dec. 13; New Jack Librarian, Nov. 30

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

We studied the implementation of feature requests in mobile wayfinding appsMobile app use studies at UIUC
Jim Hahn writes: “The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team of IT diversity interns is working on departmental-specific mobile app modules and user studies of those app modules this fall semester. Specifically, we wanted to understand how departmental collections and other library locations would use our already developed web services for departmental and subject-based mobile application modules. The modules we studied include enhanced wayfinding support of multistory buildings and collections, a reserves module for all libraries, and hours integration into book information data elements.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Dec. 17

Are desktop computers still relevant in academic libraries?
Susan Thompson writes: “A two-year study conducted at California State University, San Marcos library analyzed student use of computers in the library, both the library’s own desktop computers and laptops owned by students. The study found that, despite the increased ownership of mobile technology by students, they still clearly preferred to use desktop computers in the library. It also showed that students who used computers in the library were more likely to use other library services and physical collections.”...
Information Technology and Libraries 31, no. 4 (Dec.): 20–33

The Kingston DataTraveler Workspace puts Windows To Go in your pocket, letting you roam without losing secure access to your office workspaceEssential Windows 8 peripherals
Brian Westover writes: “Windows 8 may be touch friendly, but there are many people upgrading to the new OS that won’t be running it on tablets and touch screens. For those whose desktops and laptops get poked and prodded the old-fashioned way (through the keyboard and mouse), you don’t need to worry about being out of touch. New peripherals put many of the touch capabilities and gesture controls of Windows 8 into devices usable on older systems.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 13

Netflix vs. Amazon: Who streams supreme?
Russell Holly writes: “The natural evolution of the video rental store is the ability to watch content digitally for a set number of days. Amazon Instant Video started out as exactly this kind of service, but has grown into a much larger video distribution system, one that seeks to compete with the 800-pound gorilla of the streaming video world: Netflix.The two services also offer fairly different content.” And how do Netflix and Hulu Plus compare?...., Dec. 3, 13

PowerTrip chargerPowerTrip charger
David Pogue writes: “Everyone probably knows the heartbreak of Dead Battery Syndrome. It’s barely dinnertime, and your iPhone, Android phone, or tablet is giving you the ‘10% remaining’ sign. The PowerTrip charger, about the size of a deck of cards, nips that problem in the bud. This one can be charged from three different sources: a wall outlet, a computer’s USB jack or—get this—the sun. Yes, there’s a solar panel on the back for topping off the charge.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, Dec. 12

The Interactive Guide to Blog Typography
Melanie Pinola writes: “If you have a blog or other website, your choice of fonts and how you style the text can make a big difference not only in how attractive your site looks, but also its readability. This interactive guide by Tommi Kaikkonen can quickly teach you what you need to know about typography.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 19

How to edit Word files in Google Drive
Richard Byrne writes: “This morning I received an email from a friend of mine who needed some help opening a Word (Docx) file in Google Drive. Google recently made a slight change to how this is done. And since it threw off my friend who is a fairly savy Google Drive user I thought that there are probably others who have or will have the same question.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 17

Sharing photosSharing digital photos on the web
Michael Muchmore writes: “If you want to get your photos out to colleagues, there are many good ways to do so via the internet. Most photo-editing software applications and mobile apps offer built-in tools for sharing pictures through email, photo sharing sites, and social networks. If you can’t wait to get to your PC, some cameras (and memory cards such as Eye-Fi) and all smartphones now let you do so right from the same device that snapped the photo.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 14

The map scrolls to match instructions as you drive, or you can swipe to look ahead at the next driving instructionMaps app for iPhone
David Pogue writes: “It was one of the biggest tech headlines of the year: In September, Apple dropped its contract with Google, which had always supplied the data for the iPhone’s Maps app, and wrote its own app. It was like a 22-car pileup. But in December, Google Maps for the iPhone has arrived. It’s free, fast, and fantastic. Even if public transportation were all it did, Google Maps would be one of the best apps ever.” Watch the video (1:11). More than 10 million people downloaded Google Maps from the App Store in the first 48 hours....
New York Times: Personal Tech, Dec. 12; WebProNews, Dec. 17

Go back to the Top


Cover of The Year We Left Home, by Jean ThompsonSimon & Schuster ebooks can’t resist Iowans
Christopher Harris writes: “I had the honor of delivering the opening general session address at the Iowa Library Association conference in October, and I was certainly impressed by the persistent power of Iowa librarians. That power was again evident in the December 17 announcement that Simon & Schuster would be making an exception to its policy of not selling ebooks to libraries: The 2013 All Iowa Reads book selection, The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson, will be available to libraries on OverDrive beginning January 1.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 18

The Big 6: What are these publishers doing to library users?Kansans make ebook inequity go viral on Facebook
Jazzy Wright writes: “After years of being on the receiving end of unfair ebook prices and library lending restrictions from some of the world’s largest book publishers, leadership at the State Library of Kansas has had enough. To bring the public’s attention to libraries’ ongoing ebook conflict with some publishers, the state library created a Facebook page that lists ebook titles that publishers refuse to sell or license to libraries, as well as ebooks currently offered to libraries only at sky-high prices.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 18

The 3M Cloud LibraryE-content in libraries: The year in review
Mirela Roncevic writes: “2012 was a busy year for e-content. New alliances were formed among both publishers and vendors, more mergers took place, controversies surrounding ebook lending in public libraries persisted, open access initiatives showed no signs of slowing down, and the pressing need to digitize scholarly publishing gave rise to several monograph e-platforms. Emerging technological advances continued to push the boundaries of what we thought was possible only a year before.”...
No Shelf Required, Dec. 17

Predictions for digital media in 2013
The paidContent editors write: “What changes will next year bring in digital media? Everyone loves to look into their crystal ball, and we’re no different. So here are our collective predictions for 2013, from books and video to newspapers and advertising.” Laura Owen thinks: “Remaining book publishers will settle with the DOJ in the ebook pricing lawsuit, a well-known author will turn down a seven-figure deal to self-publish, and Barnes & Noble will drastically cut back its Nook product line.”...
GigaOM, Dec. 11

The history of text digitization
Leslie Johnston writes: “We are all pretty familiar with the process of scanning texts to produce page images and converting them using optical character recognition to full-text indexing and searching. But electronic texts have a far older pedigree. Text digitization in the cultural heritage sector started in earnest in 1971, when the first Project Gutenberg text—the United States Declaration of Independence—was keyed into a file on a mainframe at the University of Illinois.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Dec. 19

Unsubscribing to the library
Peter Brantley writes: “Although it is not a popular opinion, I believe that library ebook borrowing erodes ebook sales, at least modestly, particularly of frontlist titles, net of whatever positive marketing effect libraries have in introducing new books and authors to readers. Obviously, it would be useful to verify this with solid data, but it is damnably difficult to construct a reliable instrument with control cases.”...
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Dec. 14

Penguin settles price-fixing suit with DoJ
Penguin Group has reached a proposed settlement with the Department of Justice over the price-fixing lawsuit filed in April. Macmillan (as Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC) and Apple are the only two remaining parties who have not settled with the DoJ about an alleged conspiracy to fix ebook prices....
GalleyCat, Dec. 18

Go back to the Top

2013 Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, January 25–29. Starting at 1 p.m. on January 28 with members of the 501st Legion (a Star Wars fan organization) in the Exhibit Hall and special discounts from exhibitors, Wrap Up/Rev Up will continue with bestselling authors Tom Angleberger and Chris Alexander hosting a Star Wars–themed party at 2–3 p.m., featuring the storm troopers, origami, and photo opps with characters. The exclusive READ posters and bookmarks featuring Origami Yoda and Darth Paper will be available at the ALA Store.

Simmons GSLIS

Project MUSE

Innovative Interfaces Sierra III

Midwest Tape

Booklist Corner Shelf

Cover of Reference and Information Services

The third edition of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction by Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath is the perfect text for students and librarians looking to expand their personal reference knowledge, teaching failsafe methods for identifying important materials by matching specific types of questions to the best available sources, regardless of format. NEW! From ALA Neal-Schuman.

Solutions and Services

AL Live

Great Libraries of the World

Entrance to the Karaouine Library

University of Al-Karaouine, Library, Fes, Morocco. Originally a madrasa for a mosque founded in 859 A.D., the school attained university status in 1947. Although it undoubtedly kept copies of the Qur’an and other religious manuscripts from the beginning, its library was formally established by Sultan Abu Inan Faris in 1349. Among its treasures are volumes of the Al-Muwatta compiled by Malik ibn Anas and written on gazelle parchment; the Sīrat Rasūl Allāh of Ibn Ishaq; a copy of the Qur’an given to the madrasa by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur in 1602; and the original copy of Ibn Khaldun’s universal history Kitab al-’Ibar.

Concert outside the International Library of African Music, Rhodes University

International Library of African Music, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. The largest archive of sub-Saharan African music in the world, the library was founded by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in 1954 after 25 years of field recording and research. In 1978, ILAM moved to Rhodes University where it is now affiliated with the Department of Music and Musicology. Since 1999, the library has been working to digitize its entire collection of thousands of recordings.

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.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Collections Strategist, Ohio State University, Columbus. Partnerships with other libraries are integral to collection development and management strategy for OSU Libraries. The Collections Strategist will advance an environment of active consortial engagement through OhioLINK, the CIC, HathiTrust, and other cooperative programs. The Collections Strategist leads OSUL participation in the OhioLINK Cooperative Information Resources Management Committee and other OhioLINK groups as appropriate and represents OSU Libraries in initiatives with CIC partners, CRL, OCLC Research Libraries Partnership, HathiTrust, and elsewhere....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

The cathedral (Dom) at Köln, Germany, July 1928. Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg Abt.Staatsarchiv Freiburg, W 134 Nr. 000474C

The beta version of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library) launched on November 28. Its goal is to offer the public unrestricted access to Germany’s cultural and scientific heritage, which includes access to millions of books, archived items, images, sculptures, pieces of music and other sound documents, as well as films and scores from all over the country. More than 1,880 institutions are contributing digital resources to the project, which currently offers some 5.6 million items. The German federal government contributed 8 million euros to developing infrastructure, and federal, state, and local authorities have guaranteed an annual operational budget of 2.6 million euros for five years.

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

“We need a place where children can come and not be bothered by reporters and people seeking information. Just a neutral place they can come where they can feel normal in an abnormal situation.”

—Alana Bennison, children’s librarian at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library in Newtown, Connecticut, on creating a safe space for traumatized youngsters in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings, quoted in “Librarian: No One Is Untouched by This Tragedy,Danbury (Conn.) News-Times, Dec. 15.

@ More quotes...

Enjoy our latest content

Meet the Winners of the 2012 I Love My Librarian Award

I Love My Librarian 2012 Award

Scott Hutchins: 'There would have been no option for books except for the library' (video)

Asperger's Syndrome and the Journey Taken by One Family to Understand It

Whistler's Changing London

Animal Welfare Libraries

Gordon Parks-- Humanitarian Journalist, Master of the Camera

Join Us on Facebook Join Us on Facebook

Subscribe to our

at your library logo


Jan. 10:
American Libraries Live, Web Episode. “Landing Your Ideal Library Job.”

Feb. 1–3:
Los Angeles Art Book Fair,
Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Feb. 12–14:
O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference,
New York Marriott Marquis, New York City. Librarians save 30% with the discount code ALATechSource.

Feb. 14:
American Libraries Live,
Web Episode. “Mobile Services: The Library in Your Pocket.”

Feb. 27–
Mar. 3:

Music Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Fairmont Hotel, San José, California.

Mar. 1:
Hug-a-Librarian Day.

Apr. 4–5:
Coalition for Networked Information,
Membership Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.

Apr. 10–13:
ACRL National Conference,
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. “Imagine, Innovate, Inspire.”

Apr. 17–19:
American Society for Indexing,
Annual Conference, Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, Texas. “The Art and Craft of Indexing.”

Apr. 19–22:
International Reading Association,
Annual Convention, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas. “Celebrating Teachers Making a Difference.”

Apr. 25–29:
Art Libraries Society of North America,
Annual Conference, Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California. “Crafting Our Future.”

May 4:
Boston Book, Paper, and Photo Exposition,
Shriner’s Auditorium, Wilmington, Massachusetts.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Phil Morehart
Phil Morehart,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

Laurie D. Borman
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send news and feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

Dr. Frederic Wertham testifies against comics before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954Welcome to government comics
Joe Sergi writes: “Throughout history, state and federal governments have utilized popular culture to spread their message. Given the effectiveness and popularity of sequential art, it should be no surprise that comics would be enlisted into the cause. And much like Marvel’s merry mutants, comics protected a world that feared and hated them. This was apparent in 1954, when the same government that made comics also held hearings that nearly destroyed the medium forever.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Dec. 14

Cover of Collateral, by Ellen HopkinsBeyond YA literature
Molly Wetta writes: “There has been much buzz in the world of young adult literature about a possible new category: new adult fiction. This is designed to bridge a gap between young adult fiction and adult fiction and is often characterized as featuring college-aged protagonists. I want to share books written for the adult market by popular young adult authors and books that are shelved in the adult literature section but that are about teenage protagonists and would appeal to fans of YA.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 17

Having fun isn't hard when you have a library cardClever ideas for wrapping books
Kit Steinkellner writes: “You went to all the trouble of picking out the perfect book (or books) for one of your favorite people. And now you’re going to wrap that book (or those books) in the most boring way possible? No, no, a thousand times no! Book Riot to the rescue, making sure your presents look as cute as a boot under the Christmas tree.”...
Book Riot, Dec. 18

Cover of Black Boy White School, by Brian F. WalkerYA covers that got it right in 2012
Annie Schutte writes: “Publishing companies aren’t putting out enough YA titles that feature protagonists of color. And when they do, some book covers try to obscure the characters’ race by showing them in silhouette or in shadow, or at times whitewashing them completely. However, some publishers have no problem putting people of color on the covers of their books. Here are some book covers that got race right in 2012.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 17

Cover of Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart (1949)20 books for the end of the world
Beth Carswell writes: “Well, it’s been a great 5,125 years, folks. Sure, we made some mistakes, but I like to think we’ve all learned a little, loved a little, grown a little. And now, according to some, we are in the end of days. Some of those inclined toward the prophecies believe that on December 21 the world will undergo catastrophic and catacylsmic events. We have you covered with this selection of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction—the perfect books for the end of the world.”...
AbeBooks’ Reading Copy, Dec. 18

Authors who pin
Joyce Valenza writes: “We’ve followed their blogs and tweets. Now many of us are following their boards. Through Pinterest, some of our favorite authors are sharing fan art, previewing book covers and chapters, allowing us a lens on the inspirations for their writing, illustrating the background and locations for their books, suggesting literary extension activities, and revealing their hobbies and interests and style preferences.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 16

At the NoMad Hotel, 16 blocks north of the Strand on Broadway, guests can enjoy a book with a cocktail or coffee at the Library Bar. Photo by Piotr RedlinskiA critic’s tour of literary Manhattan
Dwight Garner writes: “Is Manhattan’s literary night life, along with its literary infrastructure (certain bars, hotels, restaurants, and bookstores) fading away? Not long ago I installed myself at the Algonquin, the Midtown hotel where Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, and others once traded juniper-infused barbs, and used it as a launching pad to crisscross the island for a few days, looking to see what’s left.”...
New York Times, Dec. 14

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” - Alice's Adventures in WonderlandThe best literary quotes ever tattooed
Emily Temple writes: “Some people choose to literally ink odes to their favorite books on their bodies, whether inspired by children’s books or by some of the incredible turns of phrase shown here, which we’ve chosen for their resonance as well as their beauty. Certain books tend to spark more tattoos than others—so we’ve simply chosen our favorites.” Mental Floss has 12 more literary tats....
Flavorwire, Nov. 1, Dec. 9; Mental Floss, Dec. 14

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

Consoling a child30 resources to help children cope with tragedies
Julie Greller writes: “As teachers, we go through lockdown drills on a regular basis, praying that we will never have a real life-and-death situation. If not for those practice drills, teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, would not have known what to do. Angela Maiers posted ‘There is No Lesson Plan for Tragedy: Teachers You Know What to Do’ on her blog. It is a must-read. Here are some resources to aid you and parents in helping kids deal with the violence.” Larry Ferlazzo offers additional resources....
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Dec. 16; Angela Meiers, Dec. 14; Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day, Dec. 14

Most-searched libraries, according to Google ZeitgeistLibrary Zeitgeist
The Library of Congress was the most-searched library in the United States in 2012, according to Google’s annual “Zeitgeist report” (PDF file), which tracks internet search trends. The report does not indicate how many actual searches were done or whether the searches included both website hits and catalog searches. The four next libraries, in descending order, were Chicago Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Hennepin County (Minn.) Library....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Dec. 15; Google Zeitgeist 2012

Original film poster for Born Yesterday (1950)LC adds 25 films to its National Registry
The excitement of national football, the first black star of an American feature-length film, the visionary battle between man and machine, and an award-winning actress born yesterday are part of a kaleidoscope of cinematic moments captured on film and tapped for preservation. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington on December 19 named 25 motion pictures that have been selected for inclusion in LC’s National Film Registry. These cinematic treasures represent important cultural, artistic, and historic achievements in filmmaking....
Library of Congress, Dec. 19

Who knew Santa uses Google Docs?Metadata explained using a Christmas metaphor
Bonnie Swoger writes: “When I talk to most scientists and mention the word ‘metadata’ they look at me as if I’ve grown a second head. Despite the fact that these folks regularly use and create metadata (not to be confused with megadata or ‘big data,’ which is another subject), many have not heard of the term. The best way to understand metadata is to look at a few examples of metadata at work, using Santa Claus as the data creator.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Dec. 17

GPO moves toward RDA adoption
The US Government Printing Office has created a Resource Description and Access implementation team to ensure a smooth transition from AACR2 to RDA. GPO cataloging staff are continuing their training efforts, and are now working on sample record creation, the identification of local practices, and formal Program for Cooperative Cataloging review. Full implementation is expected in April 2013. The timeline is now available on the RDA project page....
FDLP Desktop, Dec. 18

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Normalizing RDA capitalization with OCLC Connexion macros
One immediately noticeable difference in RDA records is capitalization that differs from the AACR2 standard. Depending on the cataloger, the same movie might have its title recorded as any of: Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Who’s Afraid of VIRGINIA WOOLF? Is this okay? If not, what can we do about it?...
Problem Cataloger, Dec. 14

IFLA 2013 logoIFLA call for papers
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is seeking papers that will be presented at its World Library and Information Congress in Singapore, August 17–23, 2013. The content of the IFLA conference program is organized by different professional groups (sections, core programs, and special interest groups). Most of the deadlines for proposals are in January and February, depending on the group....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

eBird logoCitizen science in the library
Allison Scripa writes: “Citizen science is a method of conducting scientific research that uses people without formal scientific education or training to gather the data needed for an experiment. How does this fit into libraries? Well, we’re all about lifelong learning. Citizen science projects don’t just help the scientists running them; they provide an opportunity for people participating in them to learn something new about their world. Here are two examples of successful citizen science projects.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Dec. 13

Shakespeare says: "Ay, if I know the letters and the language"SwipeSpeare, an interactive Shakespeare app
Shakespeare fans who have an iPad or iPhone now have an intuitive interface that lets them swap Elizabethan English passages for Modern English versions of the text and vice versa. SwipeSpeare, from Golgotha Press, is free and comes preloaded with a swipeable copy of Romeo and Juliet, a Shakespeare biography, and a dictionary of some of the more difficult Shakespearean words (additional plays are purchasable). Once the play loads, readers can swipe a passage to view either a Modern English or Elizabethan English version....
Golgotha Press, Dec. 17

Sponge Bob and Santa in the Hope Mills branch's library floatCelebrating the season with a float
Megan Smith writes: “What do a trailer, a blow-up Santa Claus, and a giant inflatable SpongeBob SquarePants have in common? They all played a festive role in the float created by the Cumberland County (N.C.) Library Hope Mills branch for the annual city Christmas parade. Though the parade has been a beloved tradition for the town of Hope Mills, it is our library’s first experience with this holiday celebration. This incredible outreach opportunity has offered a wonderful way for our team to actively share our programs and services with those in our community.”...
ALSC Blog, Dec. 18

Alden Kamaunu and Larry Smith from the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries take a break after building the 2012 holiday book tree in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. Photo by Nick CrowlReno has an NUC-tree: The largest ever?
The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno has a giant and unconventional tree on display this holiday season, made up of National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints volumes. The tree is almost twice the size as the one it had last year, and according to research conducted by UNR librarians, the tree appears to be the largest book tree ever built, at nearly 14 feet tall. Watch a time-lapse video of its construction....
University of Nevada, Reno, Dec. 18; Flickr, Nov. 30; AL Focus, Dec. 19

Papo & Yo video game, Minority Media, 2012NYPL adds video games to its discussion groups
Brian Crescente writes: “In his years at the New York Public Library, Senior Librarian Thomas Knowlton has led discussions about a confounding assortment of topics, from the influence of Ken Loach’s Kes on the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski to the ‘ecstatic truth’ of Werner Herzog’s movies. But earlier this year, he shifted his attention to video games. The NYPLarcade Game Club launched in May with an inaugural discussion about developer Jenova Chen’s game Journey and whether Chen’s interest in the Theory of Flow impacted the game’s design.”...
Polygon, Dec. 17

Horn & Hardart Automat on display at the New York Public LibraryAutomats featured in NYPL’s Lunch Hour exhibition
Glenn Collins writes: “It is a century since the first Automat opened in New York, and 21 years since the chain closed in Manhattan, but people still crave the recipes for its food served up from little glass doors at the drop of a few coins. Indeed, there is ‘an Automat recipe cult,’ said Laura Shapiro, cocurator with Rebecca Federman of the current ‘Lunch Hour NYC’ exhibition at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. The exhibit features the Horn & Hardart Automats, which began in Philadelphia and purveyed ready-made lunches to workers of all classes.”...
New York Times: Diner’s Journal, Dec. 17

Newly discovered Tallow Candle manuscript. Photo by Bubandt MartinNew Hans Christian Andersen tale discovered
A fairy tale about a lonely candle that wants to be lighted had been languishing in a box in Denmark’s National Archives for many years. In October it was discovered by retired historian Esben Brage, who now believes it is one of the first fairy tales ever written by Hans Christian Andersen. Brage said on December 13 that he had unearthed the six-page manuscript of “Tallow Candle” at the bottom of a box while searching through the archives of the Plum family from Andersen’s hometown, Odense. The tale is one from Andersen’s youth, with the tone of the work reminiscent of his time at the Latin School in Slagelse and Elsinore from 1822 to 1826. Read the story in English....
New York Times: Arts Beat, Dec. 13; Politiken (Copenhagen): News in English, Dec. 12

Interpreter and recorder interviewing newcomers, Ellis Island, New York, 1908DPLA and Europeana launch joint exhibition
To mark the beginning of a unique digital collaboration, the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana have launched “Leaving Europe: A New Life in America.” This all-new virtual exhibition tells the story of European emigration to the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Jointly curated by the two digital libraries, the exhibition uses photographs, manuscripts, broadsheets, paintings, letters, audio, and government documents to chart people’s journeys across the European continent and their settlement in the United States....
Digital Public Library of America, Dec. 18

An Israel Antiquities Authority worker points to a spectral image photograph of fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on December 18. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90Dead Sea Scroll fragments are digitized
Thousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls went online December 18 with the launch of a new website by Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority, part of a move to make the famed manuscripts easily available to scholars and the public. The website provides access to high-resolution images of the famous scrolls, which were written some 2,000 years ago and first discovered at Qumran, on the shore of the Dead Sea, in the 1940s. Google is involved in the project as part of a broader effort to preserve world cultural heritage online....
Times of Israel (Jerusalem), Dec. 18; Official Google Blog, Dec. 18

Digital Images Collections Guide
Scott Spicer writes: “Here is a curated bibliography of quality digital image collections spanning around 85 subjects, including some 950 digital collections, that have been culled primarily from the LibGuides Community, and several subject areas have been further refined by 20 subject liaison librarians at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The goal of the site is to share this work with the visual resources community, hopefully making the resource stronger through participation for others to repurpose.”...
ALA Connect, Dec. 18

Capturing a digital image of a faunHow museum and library image policies undermine education
Beth Harris and Steven Zucker write: “Is the discipline of art history (together with museums and libraries) squandering the digital revolution? We have built only a fragmented system for distributing high-quality digital images—one that is failing our students, our discipline, and the public. If we want the best images available for our classes, we spend hours cobbling together a presentation from a frustrating array of sources, each with its own restrictions. No other discipline would accept this kind of ridiculous fragmentation.”...
e-Literate, Nov. 26

Practical first steps in digital preservation
Helen K. Bailey writes: “Libraries everywhere are seeing a constant increase in e-journals, ebooks, databases, and other electronic resources. Many larger institutions have digital preservation repositories in which they deposit and manage much of this digital content, but smaller institutions may not have the resources or may be searching for an interim solution until a repository is in place. Here are some simple steps that a digital content manager can take in such situations.”...
ALCTS Newsletter
23, no. 4 (Dec.)

Top 10 traits of great library leaders
Steve Matthews writes: “As we approach the end of 2012, I thought I’d get back to my theme for the year: Library Leadership. In order to be a great leader, a person must possess and demonstrate certain characteristics, or traits of leadership. Here are 10 that should be at the top of anyone’s list who is striving to become a great library leader.”...
21st Century Library Blog, Dec. 18

Screenshot from the Round Rock ISD book cart drill team performance at TLABook Cart Drill Teams: A retrospective
Rebecca Joines Schinsky writes: “These bits of awesome come to us by way of a librarian friend of mine who mentioned her book cart drill team in passing. It’s a brave lady who will wear sweatpants with words on her bum. It’s an awesome one who makes the word ‘books.’ Bonus points to the Round Rock (Tex.) Independent School District team (right) for the Sir Mix-A-Lot remix (5:37).”...
Book Riot, Dec. 16; YouTube, Apr. 19, 2010

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.
American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611