|American Libraries Online
Displays that move the merchandise
Alan Jacobson writes: “Displays are hit or miss. So often we throw together a bunch of books on a theme. In our flurry to pull just the right items and create beautiful signage to market the display, we get lost in the process and fail to ask ourselves important questions. Will patrons find this useful? Should it be permanent? A new method of approaching displays is called for.”...
American Libraries feature
On My Mind: Returning the love
Sarah Prielipp writes: “Librarians love their patrons; it’s why we do everything we do. But do our patrons really know that our efforts to save libraries, to maintain (and increase) funding, and to reevaluate our role in society as a common good do not stem from a purely selfish desire to save our jobs and paychecks, but from honestly wanting to continue providing them with these services, programs, and classes? I propose a new marketing campaign for libraries: We Love Our Patrons.”...
American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.
Tools of Change Conference, day 1
Kate Sheehan writes: “Greetings from the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference 2012 in New York, put together by O’Reilly Media (which publishes the computer books with the pen-and-ink drawings of animals on the covers). This is my second publishing conference this year, and it has been fascinating to look at ebooks from the publishing perspective. The first day of TOC opened with actor and director LeVar Burton (right) as the keynote speaker.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Feb. 15
Outside/In: Create a library tech shop
David Lee King and Michael Porter write: “We librarians are experts at collecting. Our jobs, our departments, our very buildings have been designed to acquire content. There is, however, another side to content that many libraries haven’t yet fully explored, and that is content creation. Here are three different but connected areas where libraries can supply the tools for creating content: digital media labs, hackerspaces, and coworking spaces.”...
American Libraries column, Mar./Apr.
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Penguin drops OverDrive; ALA responds
Christopher Harris writes: “Penguin announced that as of February 10 its books will no longer be available on OverDrive. In its statement released February 9, the publishing group reaffirmed its commitment to ALA and libraries. My interpretation of this is that Penguin is joining others in expressing dissatisfaction with the OverDrive model.” In a February 10 statement, ALA President Molly Raphael wrote: “Despite this discouraging development, we are hopeful that Penguin will continue to seek a solution to make its titles available to libraries.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 10
LSTA level-funded in FY2013 budget request
President Obama’s proposed FY2013 budget has requested $184.7 million in Library Services and Technology Act funding to be administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This request is equal to the current funding level. ALA President Molly Raphael stated: “The President’s proposal demonstrates the administration’s recognition that libraries are part of the solution for our economic recovery.” However, the budget also leaves out literacy money under the Fund for Improvement of Education and consolidates Improving Literacy through School Libraries with five other literacy programs....
Office of Government Relations, Feb. 13–14
Pro-open access legislation introduced
On February 9, members of the US Senate and US House of Representatives introduced identical bills with bipartisan support aimed at improving access to federally funded research. The Senate bill and House bill—both called the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012—are essentially identical to legislation introduced in previous Congresses dating back to 2006. Nine library, publishing, and research organizations (including ALA and ACRL) sent a letter to legislators February 14 in support of FRPAA (PDF file)....
District Dispatch, Feb. 10; INFOdocket, Feb. 14
Petition candidates for Council
ALA has released the names of 22 individuals who will be running as petition candidates for positions on the ALA Council. The election will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 19 and close on April 27 at 11:59 p.m. Central time. Biographical information on all candidates for councilor-at-large can be found online....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 15
ALA gears up for 2012 election
Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 19 for the ALA annual election. Gina J. Millsap and Barbara K. Stripling are the candidates for the 2013–2014 presidency. Results will be released on May 4....
Public Information Office, Feb. 14
Two new ALA Endowment trustees
Kate Nevins, executive director and chief executive officer of Lyrasis, and Rod Hersberger, dean emeritus of the California State University–Bakersfield Library, have been appointed to serve as ALA’s newest Endowment trustees. Their three-year terms will officially begin on June 27 at the conclusion of the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....
Public Information Office, Feb. 15
Sapphire to talk about The Kid at Annual Conference
Sapphire, the author of the bestselling novel Push, will appear in the Auditorium Speaker Series at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference on June 24. She will introduce attendees to her recent novel, The Kid (Penguin, 2011), which brings readers deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones, son of Precious....
Conference Services, Feb. 14
Fourth chat in job search series
How many channels are you using to get that next job? If you are only responding to posted job ads by sending out a résumé and then hoping to get a call or an interview, it’s not enough. You can do much more to take control of your search and make it more effective. Join the ALA JobLIST Placement Center on March 22 (Note: this has been rescheduled) to find out more. This online chat will focus on social media tools and other strategies. Register now....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Feb. 13
Censorship battles from the front lines
Intellectual freedom is a core value of librarianship, but fighting to keep controversial materials on the shelves can sometimes feel like a lonely battle. True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries, edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco, compiles dozens of stories from the library front lines, helping fortify and inform those in the fray. Published by ALA Editions, this collection touches on such prickly issues as age-appropriateness and some librarians’ temptations to preemptively censor....
ALA Editions, Feb. 9
Readers’ advisory guide to mysteries
The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Mystery, the second edition published by ALA Editions, has all the clues to help librarians solve the mystery of which titles readers should check out next. Authors John Charles, Candace Clark, Joanne Hamilton-Selway, and Joanna Morrison include several well-chosen book lists, practical programming ideas, and a new compendium of print and web-based resources....
ALA Editions, Feb. 14
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Featured review: Spy fiction
Steinhauer, Olen. An American Spy. Mar. 2012. 400p. Minotaur, paperback (978-0-312-62289-3).
When we last saw Milo Weaver, the spy had been shot on the steps of his Brooklyn brownstone (The Nearest Exit, 2010). This book begins with Chinese spymaster Xin Zhu, the man who crippled the CIA’s Department of Tourism and engineered Weaver’s shooting. But Zhu’s coups haven’t earned him accolades, and he’s fighting a power struggle in the Guóānbù. Weaver is alive, and his former boss, Alan Drummond, wants his help taking revenge on Zhu. Weaver says no. Drummond’s plan is foolhardy—his agents are dead and his department no longer exists—and Weaver no longer wants to be “part of the machine” that destroys people. When Drummond proceeds without him, however, Weaver finds he is already involved. The best spy novelists have long shaded their stories with the gray of moral ambiguity, and Steinhauer works in that tradition....
The Back Page: Tinkers and tailors
Bill Ott writes: “For years, I’ve thought that Alec Guinness as George Smiley in the PBS versions of John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Smiley’s People (1982) represents the most perfect bit of casting in movie history. One look and you realize that, without knowing it, you were imagining Guinness as Smiley all along. And when he starts talking, it just gets better—Guinness’s slow, tentative speech is the ideal aural manifestation of le Carré’s equally tentative prose. Guinness, of course, was superb in many, very different roles—Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Gulley Jimson in The Horse’s Mouth (1958), Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977)—but in George Smiley, I believe he found the role of a lifetime.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Revised statement on the role of the school library program
AASL has released an updated position statement on the role of the school library program. Approved by the AASL board at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the statement can be viewed on the AASL website....
AASL, Feb. 14
YALSA stirs up controversy over “Booze for Books”
Rocco Staino writes: “Youth librarians will soon be hosting cocktail parties to fundraise for books. That’s a goal of YALSA, which announced its first ‘Booze for Books’ event set for April 12. The division is asking people to host events that day to raise funds for its Books for Teens project, which provides new, age-appropriate books for at-risk youth. The initiative sparked a flurry of comments on the ALA Council discussion list and elsewhere, some in enthusiastic support of the initiative and others opposed.”...
School Library Journal, Feb. 11; YALSA Blog, Nov. 3, 2010, Feb. 9
Teen Tech Week publicity tools
School and public libraries can promote Teen Tech Week (March 4–10) with online resources offered by YALSA. The division has created a number of publicity resources for you to use: templates for press releases, public service announcement scripts, sample letters to the editor (one from teens, one from parents), and a proclamation....
YALSA, Feb. 14
New editor of RUSQ
Barry Trott (right), digital services director at Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library and past president of RUSA, has been appointed incoming editor of Reference & User Services Quarterly. Effective July 1, Trott will take over for Diane Zabel, who has served as editor for the past six years and led the successful conversion of the journal from print to a completely digital format....
RUSA, Feb. 14
ACRL Spring Virtual Institute
Registration is now open for the ACRL 2012 Spring Virtual Institute, “Extending Reach, Proving Value: Collaborations Strengthen Communities.” To be held April 18–19, the institute will feature a keynote presentation, concurrent live webcasts, and asynchronous lightning talks, allowing for convenient scheduling and flexibility. John G. Palfrey Jr. (right), vice dean for library and information resources at Harvard Law School, will open the institute with a discussion on the Digital Public Library of America....
ACRL, Feb. 13
ACRL presidential candidates online forum
The 2012 candidates for ACRL vice president/president-elect will participate in an open online forum at 1 p.m. Central time on March 8. Trevor A. Dawes and Debbie Malone will discuss their platforms and vision for ACRL and field questions from the audience....
ACRL, Feb. 14
Transforming information literacy programs
ACRL has published Transforming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture, and Campus Community, edited by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson and Courtney Bruch as number 64 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship series. The book offers fresh perspectives on the present and future of information literacy instruction from diverse points of view....
ACRL, Feb. 14
Preconferences offered by AASL prior to the 2012 ALA Annual Conference are designed to empower school librarians as education and technology leaders in their schools. These “bring your own device” workshops will be offered June 22 in Anaheim, California....
AASL, Feb. 14
School librarian retiree SIG
The AASL board has approved the creation of a special interest group for school librarian retirees. AASL members looking to join the new interest group should visit ALA Connect. The Retirees Special Interest Group will give school librarian retirees an opportunity to network with colleagues in person and virtually....
AASL, Feb. 14
Enter your library’s best publicity materials
It’s that time of year again—time to submit entries for the PR Xchange Best of Show competition sponsored by the LLAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section. Download the Best of Show entry form and FAQ (includes category options and submission guidelines) on the LLAMA website. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 16....
LLAMA, Feb. 14
Three libraries win YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway
YALSA has named Southeast Arkansas Regional Library in Monticello the winner of its annual Great Books Giveaway. The library will receive more than $20,000 in books, audiobooks, and other materials that publishers and producers sent to YALSA in 2011. The two runners-up are Jefferson High School in Edgewater, Colorado, and Barton Library in El Dorado, Arkansas....
YALSA, Feb. 14
YALSA Best of the Best website
Librarians, educators, parents, teens, and other YA literature enthusiasts who are looking for the best teen books and media of 2012 can find them online at YALSA’s new Best of the Best website. In addition to lists of YALSA’s awards and top 10 lists, the Best of the Best homepage includes promotional tools featuring the award-winning 2012 books....
YALSA, Feb. 8
Serving LGBTQ teens
For many teens who identify as LGBTQ, the library is a critical resource to help them explore their questions in a safe environment. Join Megan Honig on February 16 for YALSA’s “Serving LGBTQ Teens” webinar. Honig will explore who LGBTQ teens are and discuss their broad range of experiences. Register online....
YALSA, Feb. 8
Upcoming ASCLA webinars
ASCLA is hosting a multitude of webinars beginning this week that touch on such relevant topics as technology, library services to special populations, outreach services, facilitation, and collaboration. Register online now for these exciting webinars....
ASCLA, Feb. 14
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2012 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award
Pamela Bluh, associate director for technical services and administration at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library of the University of Maryland, will be awarded the 2012 ALCTS Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by EBSCO. She will receive a citation and $3,000. Bluh has a long and distinguished record of service to ALCTS and to other professional organizations....
ALCTS, Feb. 14
2012 George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award
ALCTS has selected Gregor Trinkaus-Randall (right) as the 2012 recipient of its George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award. Trinkaus-Randall will receive a citation and an award of $1,250 sponsored by Hollinger Metal Edge. As president of the Society of American Archivists, he was instrumentally involved in coordinating the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Wilma....
ALCTS, Feb. 13
2012 Esther J. Piercy Award
ALCTS has named Timothy Strawn (right), director of information resources and archives at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, the winner of the 2012 Esther J. Piercy Award. The award recognizes the contributions to those areas of librarianship included in library collections and technical services by a librarian with no more than 10 years of professional experience....
ALCTS, Feb. 13
Beall selected for ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award
The ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award recipient for 2012 is Jeffrey Beall for his article “Academic Library Databases and the Problem of Word-Sense Ambiguity,” published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship 37 (January 2011): 64–69. Beall describes the article as emphasizing “the importance of high-quality metadata to efficient information retrieval.” He will receive a citation and $250....
ALCTS, Feb. 13
2012 WGSS Career Achievement Award
ACRL’s Women and Gender Studies Section has selected Ellen Greenblatt (right), scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Library, for its 2012 Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant longstanding contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career....
ACRL, Feb. 10
2012 Eli F. Oboler Award
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has awarded the 2012 Eli M. Oboler Award to Evgeny Morozov for his book The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (Public Affairs, 2011). Jim Teliha, chair of the Eli M. Oboler Award Committee, said Morozov was chosen because “he shows why we must stop thinking of the internet and social media as instant cures for repression.” The award, which consists of $500 and a certificate, is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Feb. 14
Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library Foundation is the winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The award is presented annually to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievement in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources for a public or academic library. The foundation is leading Library 3.0, a capital campaign to raise the private funds necessary to build a new downtown library....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 14
2012 Maureen Hayes Award
ALSC has awarded its 2012 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the Hartford (Conn.) Public Library. The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author or illustrator who will speak to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. The author/illustrator will be featured at an evening event for the community at the downtown Hartford library....
ALSC, Feb. 13
Beth Kumar receives ALCTS First Step grant
Beth Kumar (right), e-resources and serials librarian at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, has received the 2012 First Step Award presented by the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section. John Wiley & Sons sponsors this $1,500 grant, which offers librarians new to the serials field an opportunity to broaden their perspective by attending an ALA Annual Conference....
ALCTS, Feb. 13
2012 Baker & Taylor conference grants
YALSA has awarded the 2012 Baker & Taylor / YALSA Conference Grants to Heather Schubert (Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas) and Susan J. Smallsreed (Northwest Library branch of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon). Each will receive up to $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Recipients must be members of YALSA and have between one and 10 years experience working with teenagers....
YALSA, Feb. 8
New ALCTS “Transforming Collections” microgrants
ALCTS has launched a series of “Transforming Collections” microgrants in support of ALA’s goal of “providing leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment.” Two microgrants up to $1,500 will be funded annually for small projects or research initiatives in support of transforming collections. Submit proposals by May 15 to Mary Beth Thomson....
ALCTS, Feb. 13
Apply for ALTAFF Baker & Tayor Awards
ALTAFF is accepting applications for the annual Baker & Taylor Awards, given to Friends groups and library foundations. Applications are due May 1....
ALTAFF, Feb. 14
Robert Darnton receives 2011 National Humanities Medal
President Barack Obama presented the 2011 National Humanities Medals to nine Americans February 13 for their outstanding achievements in history, literature, education, philosophy, and musicology. One medal went to Harvard University Library Director Robert Darnton (right) for his determination to make knowledge accessible to everyone. As a historian he has illuminated the world of Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, and as a librarian he has endeavored to create the Digital Public Library of America....
National Endowment for the Humanities, Feb. 10
Gernsheim catalog wins recognition
The Gernsheim Collection, copublished by the Harry Ransom Center and the University of Texas Press, has been awarded an Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, which honors a distinguished exhibition catalog in the history of art published during the past year. Its publication coincided with the Ransom Center’s 2010 exhibition “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection,” which explored the history of photography....
Cultural Compass, Feb. 14
CMI Management Book of the Year
The Cult of the Leader (Wiley), written by Christopher Bones, was named CMI Management Book of the Year 2011/12 at a February 6 awards ceremony hosted by the British Library. Bones argues that businesses have been dragged into a talent war, where an ever-larger share of hard-won revenue is paid to a handful of senior executives. He calls this generation of ego-driven leaders the “L’Oreal generation.” The book competition is run by the UK’s Chartered Management Institute....
Chartered Management Institute, Feb. 7
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Bill aims to censor Arizona educators’ speech
A group of Republican state lawmakers is backing legislation that would require teachers to limit their speech to words in compliance with FCC regulations on what can be said on TV or radio. Senate Bill 1467, sponsored by Sen. Lori Klein (R-Anthem), establishes penalties for anyone teaching in a public preschool, K–12 school, community college, or university who violates the FCC standards, whether in the classroom or the teachers’ lounge. David Hudson of the First Amendment Center characterized the bill as “ridiculously overbroad,” “unnecessary,” and “unconstitutional.”...
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Feb. 12; MSNBC, Feb. 13
Harvard library offers buyouts
In a February 10 letter, Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber announced a sweeping overhaul of its library system (PDF file), including the consolidation of services and the shuffling of many of its 900-plus employees. The college said the changes were necessary to bring the system up to speed in the digital era. Some 275 library employees, most of them 55 and over with 10 or more years’ experience, will be offered voluntary buyouts beginning February 15. On February 12, members of Occupy Harvard took over the Lamont Library Café, pledging to stay there five days in order to protest staff reductions....
Boston Globe, Feb. 13; Harvard Crimson, Feb. 14
Occupy Wall Street files a claim against the city
A member of the Occupy Wall Street movement filed a claim on behalf of the group February 9 alleging that New York City had damaged or destroyed $47,000 worth of books and other property while clearing its protest site at Zuccotti Park on November 15. The notice of claim, filed with the comptroller’s office, is a preliminary step toward lodging a civil lawsuit....
New York Times, Feb. 9
Lost in time @ the library
No one really knew how or when it got there. The bust had been sitting on a shelf in the Dixon (Ill.) High School library, collecting dust for at least 20 years, the district’s librarian, Madison Dhennin (right), told the school board February 8. The sculpture, titled “The Poet,” depicts the head of a man, and it was carved from marble by Belarusian-born artist Ossip Zadkine in 1942, Dhennin discovered through her research. And it’s worth as much as $50,000....
Dixon (Ill.) Telegraph, Feb. 9; WQAD-TV, Moline, Ill., Feb. 10
Connecticut State Library to the rescue
There are not many physical remnants of the Somers (Conn.) Congregational Church after a fire on New Year’s Day destroyed the 170-year-old building. The congregation is working to rebuild, but when it does, it will have the help of one of the rare items to escape destruction—the original building plans from 1842. Connecticut State Library Reference Librarian Carol Ganz said that after hearing about the fire in the news, she went to see what documents the library had and found handwritten notes relating to its construction....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Feb. 12
Seven misconceptions about how students learn
Valerie Strauss writes: “Many people—educators included—still cling to some of these misconceptions about learning because they base what they think on their own experiences in school, ignoring what 21st-century science and experience are revealing. Here are seven of the biggest myths about learning that, unfortunately, guide the way that many schools are organized in this era of standardized test-based public school reform.”...
Washington Post: The Answer Sheet, Feb. 14
CBC music library could be lost
For the past 32 years, archivist John MacMillan has cared for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s music library in Vancouver. Until now, producers and DJs have been able to visit the library’s 100,000-item collection to choose tracks to play on the CBC broadcasts that air from coast to coast. In January, MacMillan was informed that he would have to dismantle the entire archive by March 31....
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, Feb. 14
Mining the margins of pop culture
Every morning Jim Linderman gets up in his home in Grand Haven, Michigan, grabs a cup of coffee, and sits down at his computer to blog. A former librarian and archivist, Linderman collects, researches, and writes about the marginal, the forgotten, and the not quite seemly in American folk art and popular culture. In his three blogs—Dull Tool Dim Bulb, Old Time Religion, and Vintage Sleaze—Linderman also discloses an underground history of American popular culture, one oddball tale at a time....
New York Times, Feb. 9
Library book sale yields novel romance
When septuagenarians Earl Liston and Jan Northrop volunteered to work a book sale at the Baxter County (Ark.) Library’s Donald W. Reynolds Library in 2011, they never thought their chance meeting would blossom into a friendship—much less a romance. Now, a year later, the two are planning their wedding. “There isn’t any better place to meet someone,” Northrop said. “You’re meeting the kind of people you want to know.”...
Baxter (Ark.) Bulletin, Feb. 14
Middletown Public Library the scene of Morbid Curiosity
Unexplained noises, chairs moving, and books unexplainedly falling from shelves—they’re part of the lore of the Middletown (Pa.) Public Library building. Producers of the A&E Network show Paranormal Activity were at the library February 3–4, filming what they hope might be a new 22-episode series that they are calling Morbid Curiosity. Head librarian Christine Porter (above) contacted the program to plug the library’s possibly paranormal attributes....
Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Feb. 11
British Library starts archive project of video-game websites
Curators at the British Library have begun the process of archiving video-game websites to preserve gaming culture for future generations. The collection is managed by the digital curation and preservation staff at the library and will include walk-throughs, FAQs, maps drawn by gamers, reviews, pictures, and stories of game narratives. Library staff also plan to collect resources that discuss the cultural and societal impact of computer games, for example research on the impact of games on children’s development....
The Independent (UK), Feb. 13
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I want to learn to code, but...
Becky Yoose writes: “You may have seen people posting that they are learning to code with CodeYear. While CodeYear and CodeAcademy are not the first sites to teach programming, CodeYear has seen quite a bit of marketing and notice, especially in the library world. But many find themselves saying or thinking, ‘I want to learn to code, but . . . ’ Do you fall into any of these categories?”...
ACRL TechConnect, Feb. 13
Google will pay you to give up your privacy
Search Engine Land, Feb. 8; Marketing Land, Jan. 24, Feb. 1; Ars Technica, Feb. 9
How to remove bloatware
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “It has probably happened to you. You get your brand-new desktop or laptop, fire it up, and find yourself confronted with a screen full of programs that you didn’t install. Welcome to bloatware. This is the stuff that PC makers preinstall, ostensibly for your convenience. These programs take up space and may cause problems with programs you actually want to install in the future. Here’s how to get rid of whatever you don’t need.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 13
Visual literacy skills and tactile scholarship
Brian Mathews writes: “Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about visualization, which will likely become a prominent communications outlet. I will not only read an article but also be able to manipulate the adjoining data. Aspiring librarians should invest in developing visualization and visual literacy skills. Another big theme is 3D printing, which makes knowledge production a literal possibility: You write a paper, give a presentation, and design a 3D model to showcase your concept.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Feb. 10
25 essential keyboard shortcuts
Jill Duffy writes: “This column is all about giving you the tools you need to master 25 essential keyboard shortcuts. Get organized and learn them, and you’ll find yourself much more productive. The shortcuts I’ve picked (for both Windows and Mac) operate predominantly at the OS level, although a few work across many programs, and five are specific to browsers, where computer users tend to spend a lot of time.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 13
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We will measure our loss
Peter Brantley writes: “Last week was a hard one for readers, with Penguin pulling out of the library market. It’s left a lot of us feeling markedly less charitable about large publishers. From Penguin, and large publishers generally, there has been a striking paucity of engagement with librarians about their larger obligations to our communities. Not permitting libraries to lend ebooks means that some people have less opportunity in their lives than others. That requires a better explanation than being scared about the revenue impact of letting people read for free without having any data to back it up.”...
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Feb. 13
An ebook model that’s better than OverDrive’s
Brian Herzog writes: “A salesman from Library Ideas recently came here to demo the company’s new ebook product, Freading. Ebooks are more popular than ever in my library, and our OverDrive ebook catalog just cannot keep up. Patrons are disappointed that everything they want to read isn’t available for immediate download. But, instead of using the OverDrive model of building your library ebook collection by purchasing one ebook that only one person can use at a time, the Freading model gives immediate access to its entire 15,000+ ebooks, and any number of patrons can download the same ebook at the same time.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Feb. 8
OverDrive isn’t the only game in town
Steven Harris writes: “So you want to acquire some ebooks for your library? OverDrive isn’t the only game in town. There is a huge and growing number of ways for libraries to acquire ebooks. The main pathways I see (although the boundaries between them are by no means solid) are aggregators, vendors, and publishers. Here is a list.”...
Collection=Connection, Feb. 9
How to talk to your patrons about publishers and ebooks
Bobbi Newman writes: “Possible scripts for your conversation with your patrons when they ask why the library does not have an ebook from a publisher who has chosen not to lend to libraries: ‘I completely understand your frustration, unfortunately [insert publisher] has chosen not to allow public libraries to loan their ebooks. If you would like, I can provide you with contact information for [insert publisher].’” Sarah Houghton also has some ideas on how to raise awareness among patrons....
Librarian by Day, Feb. 9; Librarian in Black, Feb. 9
BookType lets you self-publish
John Paul Titlow writes: “Books can now be published by their authors using a growing selection of self-publishing software and websites. For those disappointed in the current selection of self-publishing tools, there’s a new option. BookType is a self-hosted, open source, and collaborative authoring tool for ebooks and print books. Think of it kind of like a Wordpress for books.”...
Read Write Web, Feb. 15
The bookstore of last resort
Joseph Esposito writes: “The bookstore of last resort is an online venue where you can purchase any book that has been offered for sale in recent years, even if you make that purchase years from now. The idea came to me as I have been studying patron-driven acquisitions over the last several months. PDA has implications that don’t apply or are of less importance to the traditional way libraries acquire books, and among these implications is a new wrinkle on preservation.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct. 4, 2011, Feb. 13
In January, Unglue.It, a website that hopes to “unglue” ebook versions of copyrighted books through crowdfunding, was released in alpha. The site runs crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for specific, already-published books. When the funding goal set by the rights holders is reached, an electronic edition will be issued with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license....
AL: Solutions and Services, Feb. 14
E-journals on the rise in academia
The University of Iowa Libraries are no longer getting the print equivalent of electronic materials, partly because of increased confidence in the longevity of electronic formats. The University of Wisconsin–Madison libraries spend more than 50% of their budget on electronic materials, and the school is part of a group of institutions working with Macmillan in a pilot test of the use of electronic textbooks. Michigan State University libraries spent more than 70% of their entire materials budget on electronic formats....
Daily Iowan (University of Iowa), Feb. 10
Manage your institutional data
To address the growing need for data management plans, the University of Texas at Austin libraries have begun partnering with the Texas Advanced Computing Center and university IT services to develop an ecosystem through which faculty can manage data related to their research projects. In December 2011, the libraries launched a website to answer basic questions about data management and to alert researchers to such resources as supercomputer-powered servers for hosting petascale data collections and consulting services from knowledgeable digital archivists....
Texas Advanced Computing Center, Jan. 24
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Bestselling author Sapphire—whose novel Push was adapted into the 2009 film Precious—will be part of the Auditorium Speaker Series at ALA Annual Conference, June 21–26.
Whether you’re researching, surfing online, using games, reading books, or looking for programs that suit your interests, there’s no place better than a public, school, university, or special library. This spring, turn your library into a celebration of all the resources it provides your community with this National Library Week poster. For more information on National Library Week, April 8–14, visit the NLW website. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland. Dating back to the college’s founding in 1592, the library is the largest in the country. It has benefited from legal deposit legislation of both the Republic of Ireland since 1922 and the United Kingdom since 1801, accounting for much of its collection of 5 million volumes. The Old Library opened in 1732; its main chamber is the Long Room, and at nearly 214 feet in length it is filled with some of the library’s oldest books. The most famous of its manuscripts, the 8th-century Book of Kells and the 7th-century Book of Durrow, were presented by Henry Jones, bishop of Meath and former vice-chancellor of the college, in the 1660s.
Archiginnasio Public Library, Bologna, Italy. This library began operations in 1801 when the city began collecting books owned by religious orders that were disbanded during the Napoleonic Era. In 1837–1838, the collection moved into the upper level of the Archiginnasio, where the University of Bologna was once located. The reading room opened to the public in 1846. The library now focuses on the history, politics, and culture of Bologna, but it also has some 3,500 incunabula and 15,000 rare books from the 16th century.
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. The entire list will be available in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2013 by ALA Editions.
Children’s Librarian, Albion (Mich.) District Library. The Albion District Library has an opening for an enthusiastic, creative, and productive librarian who will be responsible for youth services. The successful candidate should have the ability to create innovative presentations of age-appropriate events that are both educational and fun. The candidate should be able to network effectively both in the library and in the community....
“I saw in the news about Penguin pulling ebooks. Why are publishers such poopyheads to you guys?”
—Los Angeles librarian Shayera Tangri relaying in a tweet an actual statement by a patron, Feb. 13.
Taking Library Data from Here to There, National Information Standards Organization / Dublin Core Metadata Initiative webinar.
Digital Asset Management Conference, Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles.
TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge, entry deadline, online.
Teen Tech Week. “Geek Out @ your library.”
Public Library Association, National Conference, Philadelphia.
Internet@Schools East, Hilton Washington, D.C.
School Library Month. “You Belong @ your library.”
National Library Week. “You Belong @ your library.”
National Library Workers Day.
National Bookmobile Day.
Information Institute ISOneWorld, The Orleans, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Museums and the Web, Sheraton Marina, San Diego.
Association of College and Research Libraries, Spring Virtual Institute. “Extending Reach, Proving Value: Collaborations Strengthen Communities.”
Money Smart Week @ your library.
IEEE Southwest, Symposium on Image Analysis and Interpretation, La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
National Library Legislative Day, Liaison Hotel, Washington, D.C.
El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day).
Choose Privacy Week.
Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
American Library Association, Annual Conference, Anaheim, California.
Association for Computing Machinery, Web Science Conference, Evanston, Illinois.
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Relationship advice from your favorite YA books
Kate McNair writes: “Ah, Valentine’s Day. I keenly remember the sweet pain of anticipation that every Valentine’s Day brought. Although my love life was a comedy of errors, I found solace in the romantic endeavors of my favorite characters. And so to celebrate relationships from fairy tale to failure, we bloggers offer up our favorite dating advice garnered from YA books.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 14
Too big to know
Lane Wilkinson writes: “If David Weinberger is to be believed, the internet hasn’t just changed how we access information, it has altered the very meaning of knowledge. In a recent interview in The Atlantic, Weinberger claims that ‘for the coming generation, knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument.’ His book Too Big to Know has been making the rounds, so I thought I would try to explain Weinberger’s argument and what librarians should—and should not—take away from it.”...
Sense and Reference, Feb. 9; The Atlantic, Feb. 3
The beauty of the printed book
Alice Rawsthorn writes: “Some things seem to be designed to do their jobs perfectly, and the old-fashioned book is one. Many of the publishers of ebooks also produce printed books, yet so far, the design of ebooks has been disappointing. Most of them look suspiciously as though their publishers have simply shunted their contents from print onto the screen. But some of the newer titles—such as the The Numberlys interactive book iPad app (right)—are more promising, largely because their designers have explored the technical and aesthetic possibilities of the new media.”...
New York Times, Feb. 12
Most controversial Judy Blume books
Margaret Bristol writes: “Way before Katniss fought for her life in The Hunger Games and Edward met Bella in Twilight, there was Judy Blume. With more than 20 titles under her belt, Blume has been a driving force in YA literature since the 1970s, and her books still fly off the shelves. In honor of her 74th birthday February 12, here are five of her groundbreaking books that have made ALA’s list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.”...
The Huffington Post, Feb. 12
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Use Facebook for readers’ advisory
A small staff of librarians led by Kitsap (Wash.) Regional Library Digital Branch Manager Sharon Grant wasn’t sure what to expect as 3 p.m. rolled around on January 19. The libraries were closed that day because of snow, but the planned “Facebook Challenge” readers’ advisory event was going to happen anyway. By the time the dust settled on the event, a total of 267 people had posted on KRL’s Facebook page seeking reading suggestions....
Port Orchard (Wash.) Independent, Feb. 10
Bookless at Madison Public Library
Macr Gartler writes: “Madison, Wisconsin, recently asked the question: ‘What would happen if we cleared all the books out of the Central Library, handed the debris-strewn three-story building over to a bunch of artists, live bands, and DJs, and invited the community to a giant one-day-only party?’ The answer was Bookless, on January 28, which drew more than 5,000 people to the send-off event for Madison’s now-former downtown library.” Check out the videos here (5:52) and here (3:20). Paul Everett Nelson has some photos here....
Boing Boing, Feb. 13; YouTube, Jan. 29–30; Retiring Guy’s Digest, Jan. 29
Public library openings and my problem with negativity
Walt Crawford writes: “On November 25, 2011, I asked, ‘How many US public libraries have actually closed?’ LISNews, for example, seems to feature any story that suggests a public library might be in danger of closing, or that some source of funding has declined, and sometimes it seems to have a ‘we’re all gonna die!’ feel to it. A consistent push toward negativity damages public libraries because it creates the perception that libraries are doomed anyway—that cities are already shutting them down.” Indeed, some library systems are on the rebound: Bridgewater and Santa Barbara....
Walt at Random, Nov. 25, 2011; Feb. 14; Brockton (Mass.) Enterprise, Feb. 13; Santa Barbara (Calif.) Daily Sound, Feb. 14
11 ways to use Pinterest in your library
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Pinterest is a digital pinboard application that started in 2011 but has quickly become one of the top 10 most trafficked social networking websites. Pinterest’s inspiration boards have great potential for libraries and other organizations for creating visual displays of resources and services. Here are some ideas on how you can make the most of this popular social network for your library.” The second set of ideas is here....
iLibrarian, Jan. 18, Feb. 10
Downsizing the reference desk
Deborah Ahlers and Heidi Steiner write: “Built in the early 1990s, the Kreitzberg Library at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, had a monstrous reference desk. As years passed, less and less of the 10-by-18-foot desk was used. Recently we installed a significantly smaller, 4-by-8-foot, transaction-height desk with seating for students (above). We learned many lessons during this process, which involved a significant repurposing of first floor space. This article features some tips and considerations for libraries considering a similar endeavor.”...
College and Research Libraries News 73 (Feb.): 70–73
Five tips for unplugging while staying connected
Alexandra Samuel writes: “Going offline is no longer a realistic option. The offline world is now utterly defined by networks, too. What we can do is approach our time online with the same kind of intention and integrity we bring to our best offline interactions. The new unplugging doesn’t require you to quit Facebook but to pay careful attention to the challenging qualities of online interaction, and find a way to switch them off.” Here are five ways to find the analog in the digital....
The Atlantic, Feb. 14
24 places to find bulletin board display ideas
Julie Greller writes: “I have worked as a media specialist in elementary, middle, and high schools. The most creative teachers by far are those in the elementary schools. Their bulletin boards are always eye-catching. They are constantly changing the displays and are never short on ideas. In gathering this list of resources for bulletin board ideas, I found that most of the lists are for K–6 teachers.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Feb. 8
What is the future for federal librarians?
Butch Lazorchak writes: “The Position Classification Standard for Librarian Series GS-1410 (PDF file) describes what it means to be a librarian in the federal service. Of course, the description for librarians hasn’t been updated since 1994, and it’s hard to imagine a profession that’s changed more in that time. It’s long past time to reconsider this position description. The movement to reevaluate the qualifications of information professionals is shared by, among others, the Archivist of the United States.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Feb. 15; AOTUS: Collector in Chief, Jan. 31
You’re not really a librarian
Sara Kelley-Mudie writes: “The other day I got into an argument with a student about whether or not I was really a librarian. His position was that I wasn’t a librarian—I was actually a teacher who happened to have an office in the library. I was thinking about the discussion I had with him, and with other students, in light of one of the phrases I so often hear when it comes to changing the perception/image of school librarians: ‘How do we make them see that librarians [fill in the blank]?’” More librarian musings here....
K-M the Librarian, Feb. 6, 13
Not a librarian?
Nicole Fonsh writes: “When I left my previous job in finance and decided to get my MLS, I had dreams of leaving the corporate and finance worlds for a future role of a reference librarian at an urban public library. Fast-forward to mid-2011. And I was asking myself how I had gotten here. How was I working for a finance firm in Boston? As you may have figured out, I just started a new position. And the kicker? I am still not a librarian. At least not by title.”...
Living the Dream, Feb. 15
How to identify and address burnout
Adam Dachis writes: “Most demanding careers practically guarantee stress, but if you’re feeling completely exhausted, unable to concentrate, or as though you’re neglecting your own well-being, you may be suffering from burnout. It’s a very real condition that’s easy to ignore, but you can detect and fix the problem if you know what to do. Here’s how.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 13
Why you should register for a conference ASAP
Joanna June writes: “Here we are in the second month of the semester, and if you are new to your LIS program, you’re probably just trying to get your feet under you. Old hands are reacclimating to the familiar not-enough-hours-in-the-day feeling, and we are all looking at due dates, reading lists, and task lists with dread. Believe me, though, the effort of finding a good conference and then attending is going to save you tons of time, energy, and even money in the long run.”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 8, 10
Monetizing your research staff
A for-profit research service at the University of Minnesota tracks down and delivers information and documents to law firms, medical companies, financial services, pharmaceutical makers, publishers, and others—all of whom pay for the access. The service, InfoNOW, has a small staff of information professionals who have access to all University of Minnesota librarians and libraries. InfoNOW operates on a hourly charge of $60, with upcharges for rush work. Since opening in 2009, the service has generated a healthy margin for the libraries....
Business @ the U of M, Feb. 7
Calculating scholarly journal value
The California Digital Library’s Collection Development and Management: Licensed Resources program has developed a value-based strategy that is now used as a major part of the University of California’s journal collection-planning process. The strategy involves using objective metrics to calculate the value of scholarly journals and identify titles that make a greater or lesser contribution to the university’s mission of teaching, research, and public service....
California Digital Library, Feb. 13
Are you prepared to research without the SSDI?
Randy Seaver writes: “We know that we may lose access to the Social Security Death Index in the coming months, and the end of it may come suddenly. Or not. It’s up to Congress and the president, and perhaps they will be influenced by petitions, letters, and phone calls from constituents. I think it’s worthwhile to plan ahead for that eventuality. Here are my upcoming SSDI ‘mining’ plans.”...
Genea-Musings, Feb. 13; Records Preservation and Access Committee, Feb. 7
Librarian Avengers film rating system
Erica Firment writes: “Dear film industry: Your metadata is not granular enough. The MPAA ratings of G, PG, PG-13, and R do not fulfill my needs. I need information relevant to my particular disinterests. I need to know ahead of time if a movie contains elements that I consider unacceptable. I’m not talking about sex, drugs, or violence. I need to know if a movie contains cannibalism, synthesizers, or Jim Carrey. Here is the film rating system we really need.”...
Librarian Avengers, Feb. 12
This is what a librarian looks like
Bobbi Newman and Erin Downey Howerton have set up a Tumblr blog, This Is What a Librarian Looks Like, where library staffers can post photos that go against the librarian stereotype. As Newman says, this is “a site to go beyond the bun and challenge old, outdated librarian stereotypes with photos of real librarians in their real lives doing real stuff.” So find a picture that you think best represents you to the world and submit it....
Librarian By Day, Feb. 13
Raymond James Financial ad features librarian longevity
A 2010 TV ad campaign by financial services firm Raymond James Financial includes a spot (1:01) titled “The Woman Who Lived Longer Than Any Person Who Has Ever Lived.” It tells the story of fastidious librarian Emily Skinner who, at the age of 187, still enjoys life to the fullest thanks to careful planning with her Raymond James financial advisor....
Martin|Williams Advertising, Oct. 16, 2010; YouTube, Oct. 20, 2010
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