American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 5, 2012

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Dallas Update
Division News
Awards & Grants
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Books & Reading
Actions & Answers
New This Week

ALA ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Future President John F. Kennedy chats with curious New Hampshirites at a Nashua diner during the 1960 race. Photo: The New Hampshire Institute of Politics and Political Library at St. Anselm CollegeThis political library gets everyone’s vote
Janice Arenofsky writes: “Tough reference questions—from reporters, candidates, and political junkies—are the lifeblood of the nonpartisan and nonprofit New Hampshire Political Library in Manchester, founded in 1997 by former New Hampshire Gov. Hugh Gregg and Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Queries usually peak before primary and general presidential elections. Library visitors can interact with a permanent exhibit of the historical New Hampshire primary and various temporary exhibits.”...
American Libraries feature

Joanne BudlerNewsmaker: Joanne Budler
Kansas State Librarian Joanne Budler (right) recently terminated the Kansas Digital Library Consortium’s contract with ebook vendor OverDrive to become a beta tester of 3M’s new Cloud Library ebook lending service. The change is the culmination of a nearly yearlong battle over whether the consortium owned the content it had purchased or had simply licensed it. In this interview, conducted by email with AL Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg, Budler discussed her decision and its ramifications for Kansas....
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Karen Bonanno. Screen shot from ASLA videoYouth Matters: Making progress by fives
Dorcas Hand writes: “At the Australian School Library Association conference in October 2011, Executive Director Karen Bonanno (right) offered several excellent insights in her keynote (31:46) that are useful to all librarians in this era of tightened budgets and job opportunities. School librarians in particular may want to implement Bonanno’s five-finger mnemonic to craft that one-minute elevator speech we should all have at the ready to explain to anyone who will listen what it is we do and why it is important.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Library Design Showcase deadline January 13
Two pieces of information regarding American Libraries' annual Library Design Showcase. First, a friendly reminder: Submissions are due January 13. Download the submission forms here. Second, an alert for anyone who submitted through YouSendIt on January 2 or 3: The YouSendIt site was down for significant portions of those days....
AL: Inside Scoop, Jan. 4

Perpetual Beta blog logoPerpetual Beta, signing off
Jason Griffey writes: “On December 28, I received notice that that my contract with American Libraries for Perpetual Beta is not being renewed. Perpetual Beta was originally conceived of by myself and former Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick as a way of highlighting edgy, interesting tech that pushed the boundaries of what might be considered ‘library technology.’”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Dec. 31

Deanna MarcumCurrents
On January 1 Deanna Marcum (right) became managing director of Ithaka S+R. Pauline J. Shipp Love, 100, died December 8. She was a librarian at Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, and Atchison (Kans.) High School before joining the ALA Publishing staff as editorial assistant in 1942....

American Libraries column

ALA News

2012 ALA Annual Conference logoAnnual Conference early bird registration now open
ALA looks forward to welcoming attendees to its 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 21–26. Early bird registration and housing opened on January 3. Registering early ensures the best rates. Housing is open for bundle and all other conference registrants. New in 2012 are “Conversation Starter” programs, where presenters will share expertise and ideas in 45-minute sessions. Anyone wishing to submit a program should fill out this form....
Conference Services, Jan. 3

Camila AlireCamila Alire to open DiversiTea
Camila Alire (right), dean emerita of the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University libraries and 2011 Achievement in Library Diversity Research honoree, will provide opening remarks and receive her plaque at the DiversiTea on January 22 during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The ALA Council Committee on Diversity, the Diversity Research Grants Advisory Committee, and the ALA Office for Diversity recognized Alire with the 2011 Achievement in Library Diversity Research Honor for her contributions and her promotion of diversity within the profession....
Office for Diversity, Dec. 29

Ronald J. JankowskiNew ALA membership development director
Ronald J. Jankowski (right) has been appointed the new ALA membership development director, effective January 9. Jankowski brings to the position more than 20 years’ experience in marketing in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He will be filling the position most recently held by John Chrastka, who left ALA on August 30 to become a partner in an association consulting agency....
Communications and Member Relations, Dec.

OITP digital collections panel
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy will continue the conversation about libraries increasing access to digitized materials with the panel “Online and Above the Radar: Ensuring the Use and Discoverability of Digital Collections” at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 21. Organized by Gwen Glazer and Jason Kucsma, the panel will include several speakers from diverse parts of the library world....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 3

Renee HobbsNew OITP Fellow
The Office for Information Technology Policy has named Renee Hobbs (right) as its most recent OITP Fellow. Her term extends through 2012. Hobbs is one of the nation’s leading authorities on media literacy education and has developed award-winning multimedia resources to integrate digital and media literacy into the context of K–12 education. She is also the founding director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island....
District Dispatch, Jan. 5

The board of the Minnesota Library AssociationMinnesota Library Association supports Spectrum
The Minnesota Library Association has announced its support of the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program through a gift to the Spectrum Presidential Fundraising Initiative. MLA has made a $750 contribution. MLA’s contributions will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships....
Spectrum Presidential Initiative, Jan. 3

John Green. Photo by Ton KoeneJohn Green to appear at FTRF Banned Author Event
On January 22, in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, bestselling YA author John Green will appear at the Freedom to Read Foundation’s annual Banned Author Event at the Dallas Public Library. Green, author of the challenged book Looking for Alaska and the forthcoming The Fault in Our Stars, is a major voice in the YA world. Reserve your spot now by making a donation to the Freedom to Read Foundation....
OIF Blog, Jan. 3

Family literacy @ your library
Dale Lipschultz writes: “Family literacy programming has a long history in public libraries. As a national movement, it emerged in the late 1980s in response to the 1983 release of the seminal report A Nation at Risk (PDF file). If anything, the need to help children succeed in school is greater now than it was 30 years ago. In these challenging times, I’m delighted to share two very different family literacy funding opportunities.”...
OLOS Columns, Jan. 3

eCourse on library instruction with Paul SignorelliImprove your library instruction
ALA Editions is offering a new session of Paul Signorelli’s facilitated eCourse, “Rethinking Library Instruction: Libraries as Social Learning Centers.” Signorelli, former director of staff training and volunteer services for the San Francisco Public Library system, will lead this four-week course, which begins February 6. Registration is purchased through the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Jan. 3

Copyright eCourse with Lesley Ellen HarrisCourse on copyright for librarians
ALA Editions will host a new session of the popular facilitated eCourse “Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Community.” Lesley Ellen Harris (right), a copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer who works with the information industry, will serve as instructor for this four-week course, which begins on March 5. Registration is purchased through the ALA Store....
AAL Editions, Jan. 3

Drupal for Websites eCourse with Sean FitzpatrickNew session of Drupal for websites
ALA Editions is offering a new session of the facilitated eCourse “Using Drupal to Build Library Websites.” Sean Fitzpatrick will once again serve as the instructor for this six-week facilitated eCourse starting on February 6. Librarian, consultant, and Drupal expert Fitzpatrick will guide participants in building an attractive, functional library website using Drupal. Registration is purchased through the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Jan. 3

Recent Booklist coverNew Booklist subscription model offers it all
Booklist is introducing a new subscription model effective January 1—a combination of print and online access that promises to have a strong impact on streamlining collection development and readers’ advisory workflows. A subscription now includes 22 Booklist and 4 Book Links print issues, plus the new benefit of 24/7 password-access to Booklist Online. Subscribers who haven’t already done so can activate their new online access....
Booklist, Jan. 3

Booklist Online banner

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The DarlingsFeatured review: Adult fiction
Alger, Cristina. The Darlings. Feb. 2012. 338p. Viking/Pamela Dorman, hardcover (978-0-670-02327-1).
Probably the most compulsively readable fiction to come out of the Wall Street financial scandal so far, this debut novel by a former Goldman Sachs analyst offers readers plenty of schadenfreude, if only of the imaginary variety. Paul Ross, married to the daughter of billionaire investment manager Carter Darling, has lost his job. The pressure to maintain a Manhattan lifestyle trumps his unease about working for his father-in-law, and he is hired as general counsel. Two months into Carter’s new post, one of his closest friends, who also runs the fund in which the firm is most heavily invested, takes a header off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Turns out the feds were closing in. Now Paul has to answer for the millions of dollars that have vanished from the fund, which turns out to have been nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. Alger knows the ins and outs of both Wall Street and an upscale NYC lifestyle, nailing all the details, from the plush, hushed atmosphere of high-end law firms to the right tennis togs for a “casual” weekend in the Hamptons. Delicious reading....

Cover of Gardens of WaterThree debuts for the new year
Kaite Stover writes: “On the first day of a fresh year, I’m offering up three debut novels that have book group appeal. Compelling stories, discussable points, and realistic characters make these books fine choices for a reading group. Gardens of Water by Alan Drew: Two families of differing faiths and cultures come together in Turkey in the aftermath of the cataclysmic earthquake of 1999. Over and Under by Todd Tucker: This story set in the summer of 1979 follows best friends Andy and Tom as they come of age during a labor dispute at a local factory that pits their fathers against each other. Reminiscent of Stand by Me and To Kill a Mockingbird. The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore: A young woman returns to her family home after the death of her father. She and her sister were child-models for a controversial photographer, and someone wants to bring her past into the present.”...
Book Group Buzz, Jan. 1

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

Dallas Update

Florida stone crab claws at Truluck'sDining in Dallas
Greg Landgraf writes: “The informal parts of Midwinter—those personal meetings that take place outside of the official sessions, often over a good meal—can be among the most rewarding. Fortunately, Dallas offers plenty of options for tasty meals. Here, several Dallas librarians have shared some of their favorites.”...
American Libraries feature

The Dallas World Aquarium logoAn insider’s look at Dallas
Heather Botelho writes: “If you’re going to Dallas for Midwinter, you’ve probably seen the different lists of places you should visit and eat. Having lived in Dallas–Fort Worth for a couple of years now, I can tell you that a lot of places that make those lists aren’t the true gems. I asked my library friends, and we came up with a list of our combined must-see and must-dine places in DFW.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 29

De Música sculpturePublic ArtWalk Dallas
Public ArtWalk Dallas is a 3.3-mile, self-guided tour that highlights 30 pieces of art and architecture in the Arts District and downtown Dallas. The route begins at the Nasher Sculpture Center and takes you past such public artworks as the Genesis mosaic, Four Chromatic Gates, Lot’s Wife, the Floating Sculpture, and De Música (right). The Dallas Public Library is also included on the walk....
Public ArtWalk Dallas

John Neely Bryan log cabin replicaJohn Neely Bryan cabin replica
In 1839, John Neely Bryan, a Tennessee-born attorney, first visited the place that would one day become Dallas. He returned to Arkansas temporarily, but in November 1841 he was back in Texas and settled on the east bank of the Trinity River, not far from the present location of downtown Dallas. In the spring of 1842 he persuaded several families who had settled at Bird’s Fort to join him. A replica of the one-room log structure, the first in Dallas, stands in Founders Plaza near the corner of Elm and Record Street. The original was destroyed by a flood in the 1930s....
D Magazine

Dallas Mavericks logoThe five best things to see and do in Dallas
Wondering what to do while you’re in Dallas for the Midwinter Meeting?, the online home of Forbes Travel Guide, has some suggestions: Catch a Mavericks game. Getting seats at the American Airlines Center may be pretty tough to come by these days after the Mavs became the 2011 NBA Champions, “but watching Dirk Nowitzki hit three-pointers like nobody’s business is absolutely worth it.” Dallas is also known for being the city where JFK was assassinated; visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to view related artifacts and exhibits....

Cranky Concierge logoCranky Concierge
MrSkyGuy writes: “This month I had the opportunity to utilize a service I’d been watching with interest―Brett Snyder’s Cranky Concierge. It is an extension of the goodwill Brett has established over the years as a top airline blogger worldwide on The concierge service is something he developed as an answer to the ‘what do I do now’ question travelers frequently ask when things don’t go as planned.”...
Airline Crazy, Dec. 27

Division News

Every Child Ready to Read logoEvery Child Ready to Read webinar
Following the release of the second edition of Every Child Ready to Read @ your library, ALSC and PLA are offering a new webinar to update librarians on the new product: Every Child Ready to Read: New Conversations on Research, Relationships, and Partnerships. The webinar will be offered on three different occasions: February 16, March 8, and April 12. To register, visit the ALSC webinars site....
ALSC, PLA, Dec. 29

Great Websites for Kids logoGreat Websites for Kids redesigned
Great Websites for Kids, the ALSC online website directory, has been completely redesigned. The renewed site boasts a fresh and colorful kid-friendly look and interactive social media enhancements. Clear, bright icons display subject categories, while special sections highlight Sites of the Week and Month, Most Popular pages, and Top Rated selections. A second round of improvements will take place in 2012 and include further development of social functionality and interactivity....
ALSC, Dec. 27

Cover of Great Early Elementary ReadsNew edition of Great Early Elementary Reads
ALSC has revised its popular bibliography Great Early Elementary Reads, which features recommended book titles for beginning readers. PDFs of the book list are available online in full color and black-and-white and are free to download, copy, and distribute. The updated bibliography is organized into two categories: “Starting to Read” and “Reading on My Own.”...
ALSC, Dec. 27

New Día logoNew Día brochure, webinars
ALSC is releasing a new El día de los niños / El día de los libros brochure for parents and will also host a new round of Día-related webinars. The new brochure for parents and caregivers will be available after the ALA Midwinter Meeting. A downloadable PDF will be available from the new Día website. Each webinar will covers a different area of Día celebrations, including strategies, expansion, and cooperation in the community. The dates are January 11, February 21, March 2, and April 12....
ALSC, Dec. 29

Register for ALSC online courses
There is still time to register for the new semester of ALSC online courses. The division is offering four great courses, all of them beginning on January 16. Detailed descriptions and registration information are available on the ALSC online course information page. All courses will run between four and six weeks and will be taught in an online learning community using Moodle....
ALSC, Dec. 29

ACRL Scholarly Communications road show
Once again, ACRL will take its popular scholarly communications workshop on the road to five locations in 2012. Titled “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement,” the road show was originally offered to raise awareness about scholarly communications in the community. In 2012, the program will be expanded to a full-day workshop with more applied programmatic elements, while still retaining much of the “101 basics” elements. The deadline to apply is February 7....
ACRL, Jan. 3

Leonard KniffelLeonard Kniffel at ALTAFF’s Gala Author Tea
ALTAFF will host its Gala Author Tea, featuring former American Libraries Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kniffel (right), on January 23 at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The tea will also feature Kim Edwards, Erin Duffy, Pam Houston, and Taylor Stevens. Attendees will enjoy tea, finger sandwiches, and a variety of sweet treats. Tickets will remain at the discounted rate through January 13....
ALTAFF, Jan. 3

Books for Teens logoThanks, we did it
Linda W. Braun writes: “In December, an anonymous donor gave YALSA a challenge. If the association was able to raise $500 for the Books for Teens project, the donor would give a matching $500. Because of the generosity of those who support and understand the importance of teen reading, the challenge was met and even exceeded. $780 was raised by donations (after the service charge) plus another $500 from the donor, making for a grand total of $1,280.”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 3

Help review Library Consultants Code of Ethics draft
The Library Consultant Interest Group—an ASCLA member group—invites independent librarians, library consultants, state and regional library consultants, and any library staff who help others learn and solve problems to join the conversation. An open forum to discuss a draft Library Consultants Code of Ethics will be held January 22 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting....
ASCLA, Jan. 3

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

ALA awards deadline extended
The deadline has been extended to February 1 for a number of ALA awards and grants, including the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award, Beta Phi Mu Award, Melvil Dewey Award, Equality Award, Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, Ken Haycock Award For Promoting Librarianship, and the Scholastic Library Publishing Award. Although the online application has a December 1 deadline date the applications will be accepted through February 1....
Office of ALA Governance, Dec. 29

Printz sealDIY mock Printz
Amanda Margis writes: “Last month I had the most fun doing the nerdiest thing since becoming a librarian: I participated in my first Mock Printz discussion. Fourteen YA librarians met for a morning of great books, amazing discussion, and criminal amounts of fun. Afterwards, I realized how easy organizing a Mock Printz discussion would be. All you need is a group that loves YA literature—librarians, teens, or your monthly book club—and these easy steps.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 2

National arts and humanities youth program awards
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is accepting applications for the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. The 12 winning programs will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to accept their awards from First Lady Michelle Obama, the President’s Committee’s Honorary Chairman, at a ceremony at the White House. The deadline for application submissions is January 31....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 28

Cover of Tiny Sunbirds Far Away2011 Costa Book Awards
Carol Ann Duffy has won the Costa Poetry Award for The Bees (Picador), and debut biographer Matthew Hollis has scooped the Costa Biography Award with Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber). A nurse, Christie Watson, won the Costa First Novel Award for her book, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (Quercus), which is set in Nigeria. The Costa Book Awards are among the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary awards. The category prize winners each win £5,000 ($7,800 US)....
The Bookseller, Jan. 4

Seen Online

The dangers of SOPA
David Carr writes: “Virtually every traditional media company in the United States loudly and enthusiastically supports the Stop Online Piracy Act, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for the rest of us. Rather than launch into a long-winded argument about why the legislation is a bad idea—it is, as currently written—I thought it might be worthwhile to boil SOPA down into a series of questions.” Eric Hellman notes some further potential SOPA problems for foreign libraries....
New York Times, Jan. 1; Go to Hellman, Jan. 3

Larry NealBloomfield Hills librarian’s winning advocacy effort
This is a story about a librarian who fought a battle for the common good—and mobilized one of Michigan’s wealthiest communities to listen first to its heart, then to its wallet. Larry Neal (right), now director of the Clinton-McComb (Mich.) Public Library, persisted because he believed in a basic American idea that everyone should have access to a public library, including the affluent residents of Bloomfield Hills, where he lives....
Detroit News, Dec. 29

Three NYC public library systems receive $5 million
The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced December 22 a $5 million grant to New York City’s three public library systems: the New York Public Library, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library. The grant, which boosts the amount Carnegie has provided to the city’s public library systems to approximately $15 million over the past 14 years, will be used to expand services and resources across each system and strengthen the partnership between the region’s public libraries and public schools....
Carnegie Corporation of New York, Dec. 22; Philanthropy News Digest, Dec. 28

Pentagram pendant shown on the Wikipedia page for Wicca, which was blocked by NetsweeperACLU sues library for blocking Wiccan websites
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit January 3 (PDF file) charging the Salem (Mo.) Public Library with unconstitutionally blocking access to websites discussing minority religions by improperly classifying them as “occult” or “criminal.” Salem resident Anaka Hunter contacted the ACLU after she was unable to access websites pertaining to Native American religions or the Wiccan faith for her own research. After protesting to the library director, Glenda Wofford, portions of the sites were unblocked, but much remained censored by the Netsweeper software. Jason Pitzl-Waters comments that web-filtering software has an inherent Christian bias....
American Civil Liberties Union, Jan. 3; The Wild Hunt, Jan. 3

Shannon Benoit reads a book to her daughter Hailey. Screen shot from newscastMom says police went to collect overdue books from 5-year-old
WBZ-TV in Boston reported (1:55) that a 5-year-old girl (right) was left in tears after a police officer showed up at her family’s house to collect an overdue library book. But the Charlton (Mass.) Public Library director said that the branch was actually looking for an audiobook worth $100 checked out since April 2009 by the girl’s father. David Lee King notes that this is a good reason why you should update your library policy page: “After I read the article, I first visited the library’s website and tried to find their fines and fees policy. Here’s all I found (until they updated the site and their Facebook page).”...
Worcester Telegram, Jan. 4; WBZ-TV, Boston, Jan. 2; David Lee King, Jan. 3

Community protests Detroit library closure
A group of metropolitan Detroit activists have been protesting the closure of the Lincoln branch of the Detroit Public Library, calling it an integral hub to the community. Some 18 protesters organized by the group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) were circling and chanting January 3 in front of the branch. In December at the same branch, police arrested 10 adults and one child protesting the library’s closure....
Detroit Free Press, Jan. 3; Michigan Citizen (Detroit), Jan. 1

Woody Guthrie, circa 1943. New York World-Telegram and Sun photo by Al AumullerOn centennial of birth, Guthrie gets a belated honor in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has always had a troubled relationship with her native son Woody Guthrie. The communist sympathies of America’s balladeer infuriated local detractors. But as places from California to the New York island get ready to celebrate the centennial of Guthrie’s birth in 2012, Oklahoma is finally ready to welcome him home. The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa announced that it is buying the Guthrie archives from his children and building an exhibition and study center to honor his legacy....
New York Times, Dec. 27

Library card at burglary scene leads to arrest
A Muncie, Indiana, man was arrested December 30 after police said he burglarized a woman’s home on Christmas and left his library card at the scene. The alleged victim told police several items had been stolen from the house and said she also found one item on the floor that wasn’t there when she left the previous day: Jerry Ray Bane’s signed Muncie Public Library card....
Muncie (Ind.) Star Press, Jan. 1

An image of Charlie Brown, created by cartoonist Charles SchulzCharles Schulz Library finds new home after hurricane damage
The Center for Cartoon Studies has found a new home for the Schulz Library in the old post office building in White River Junction, Vermont. The building will provide instruction space, faculty offices, and will be the new home to the Schulz Library, a one-of-a-kind cartoon collection that was damaged in the flooding after Hurricane Irene in August....
Center for Cartoon Studies, Dec. 20; The Comics Reporter, Aug. 29

$30K grant replaces books lost in Alabama storm
The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Alabama Humanities Foundation a $30,000 grant as part of “Project Turn the Page,” which helped provide thousands of books to nine state facilities that were damaged by last April’s devastating storms. The foundation compiled a list of books that were damaged or destroyed, focusing on Southern and Alabama history and fiction, as well as award-winning young adult titles....
Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Dec. 23

The Painted Mirror puts you in the story
The new Springville (Utah) Public Library has an unusual feature called The Painted Mirror, a full-length video monitor that captures your image and draws it into the story. Created and installed by Design I/O, it invites library visitors to move and perform as they stand in front of a storybook page. “Kids step into the world of The Painted Mirror, and they are transformed by different illustration styles inspired by favorite children’s illustrators like Eric Carle or Chris Van Alsburg,” said Theodore Watson, one of the designers....
Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, Dec. 24

Ex-Revere Library director pleads guilty
The former Revere (Mass.) Public Library director charged with stealing more than $270,000 from the city pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement and 15 counts of procurement fraud December 27. Robert Rice Jr. will serve six months in the Suffolk County House of Correction and pay full restitution to the city. Prosecutors said Rice used his position as library director to falsify city purchase orders, which he then used to buy personal items. Rice will return to his current position as director of the Pelham (N.H.) Public Library after serving his sentence....
Lynn (Mass.) Daily Item, Dec. 28
; Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, Dec. 29

Phil Bradley's Facebook Dislike image for UK library closuresOfficials remove books from UK library under police guard
Protesters campaigning against library closures in the London borough of Brent were dealt a post-Christmas blow December 29 after council staff moved in to empty one of the condemned branches of its contents. Members of Brent’s SOS libraries group were held back by around seven police officers as they stood outside Preston Library. Campaigners lost a second bid in the Court of Appeal in their attempt to overturn the council’s decision to shut six of Brent’s 12 libraries....
London24, Dec. 29

Can Sales library located in Plaza Porta de Santa Catalina in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, SpainLibraries are popular in Spain
The Spanish Statistics Institute in December released figures on library use, showing that, on average, Spaniards visited their libraries 4.6 times per year. Navarre in northern Spain is the region where users visit the library the most (6.9 visits annually), while the Balearic Islands show the least use (2.4 visits per year). Nine out of 10 libraries in Spain provide internet access. Nationally, the number of library users has increased by 11.5% every two years since 2008....
EuroWeekly Online, Dec. 30

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Watch It logoDavid Pogue’s Pogie awards
David Pogue writes: “It’s time for the seventh annual Pogie Awards! The awards celebrate the best ideas of the year: ingenious features that somehow made it out of committee and into real-world products, even if the resulting products aren’t that great—such as Watch It, which tells you where, how, and if a movie is available with one quick search.”...
New York Times, Dec. 28

The Canon PowerShot S100The 10 best digital cameras
Wendy Sheehan Donnell writes: “The problem with buying a digital camera is not only that there are hundreds of models for sale at any given point in time, but you also need to figure out which type of camera is right for you. The good news is that we review lots of cameras—and these 10 are among the best we’ve tested.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 20

Five great apps to help you write
Liz Buffa writes: “Whether you’re writing a to-do list, journaling, writing a blog, a novel, or simply a note, there are plenty of great apps out there to make your writing better. But even more importantly, these apps can keep you organized and learning all year long. Make your 2012 resolution to write more, write better, and get your writing organized.”...
Family Goes Strong, Jan. 2

Google Music logoTop 10 apps for Android phones
In 2011, with devices using the Android operating system reaching a dominant position in the world’s smartphone market, deeper-pocketed developers turned their full attention to them. The result was a slate of new apps that can more seriously challenge Apple’s best....
New York Times, Dec. 28

The portable DVD playerDitch these 10 devices in 2012
Deborah Netburn writes: “Most of the devices we’ve deemed no longer necessary are actually very useful items that served us better than the smartphone functions that have come to replace them. They helped us navigate strange cities (GPS for the car), easily take video of our children (Flip cam), and transport large files between our home and office computers (flash drive). So why have they become obsolete? Because they did one thing and one thing only, and a person can carry only so many devices.”...
Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29

Google acquires more IBM patents
Google has acquired more IBM patents, adding more than 200 to approximately 2,000 patents it had previously bought from IBM. The latest set of IBM patents, transferred to Google on December 30, covers a variety of technologies, including email management, server backup, tuning and recovery, e-commerce, advertising, mobile web page display, instant messaging, online calendaring, and database tuning....
PC World, Jan. 3

Four tips to a super password10 super geeky tips for the new year
Gwyneth Jones writes: “I’m usually not one for New Year’s resolutions. If I decide to do something, the calendar doesn’t matter and I’ve blown too many good resolutions to believe an arbitrary day will make a diff. But there are a few things that are easily done and it can feel great for a super geeky safe (errm) aware New Year.” Number 1: Change your passwords, all of them....
The Daring Librarian, Dec. 29

Printliminator logo10 useful Chrome apps for teachers
Richard Byrne writes: “As reported by numerous news outlets, at the end of 2011 Google’s Chrome surpassed Mozilla’s Firefox to become the second-most-used web browser. If you’re one of the people that made the switch to Chrome in 2011, here are some extensions and Chrome web apps that you and your students should find handy.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Jan. 4; Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2


Publishers vs. libraries
Randall Stross writes: “In the eyes of publishers, borrowing an ebook from a library has been too easy. Worried that people will click to borrow an ebook from a library rather than click to buy it, almost all major publishers in the United States now block libraries’ access to the ebook form of either all of their titles or their most recently published ones. While many major publishers have effectively gone on strike, more than 1,000 smaller publishers, who don’t have bestseller sales that need protection, happily sell ebooks to libraries.”...
New York Times, Dec. 24

Barnes & Noble could sell off its Nook
Barnes & Noble cut its Nook sales forecast for this year and shocked investors by saying it was considering a sale of the e-reader and tablet business, sending its shares down more than 20%. News that holiday sales of the Nook were disappointing raised investors’ fears that Barnes & Noble is finding it hard to compete with its deep-pocketed rival,’s Kindle. PC Sweeney writes that B&N is much more library-friendly than Amazon....
Reuters, Jan. 5; PC Sweeney’s Blog, Jan. 5

Brilliance Audio for Libraries logoBrilliance Audio suspends library sales
Gary W. Price writes: “Brilliance Audio is suspending the sale of audiobooks for library lending via OverDrive and other vendors as of January 31. OverDrive partners were informed of this change in a collection development update email. Brilliance Audio was acquired by in May 2007. Amazon also owns, the popular audiobook download service.”...
InfoDocket, Jan. 4

So you want to set up a Kindle lending program
Patrick Berry writes: “Lending out Kindles to patrons may, on the surface, seem like a really easy thing to do. Perhaps it’s easier to get funding for a project if you sprinkle in a little technology. I’m not here to stomp your newfound excitement into the ground, but I do want to help you understand the technical issues that you will need to deal with to make this program workable and sustainable. I strongly advise that you work with your circulation folks to figure out what will work best for them.”...
code{4}lib, Dec. 14

Cover of Nov./Dec. 2011 issue of LTRThe No Shelf Required Guide to Ebook Purchases
There’s no question that the role of ebooks and e-readers in libraries is increasing rapidly. For the November/December issue of Library Technology Reports, Sue Polanka has compiled an expert-authored series of articles that provide librarians with strategies, best practices, and case studies for meeting the unprecedented legal, technological, and vendor challenges that come with ebook purchasing....
ALA TechSource

E-textbooks saved students only $1, study finds
Despite the promise that digital textbooks can lead to huge cost savings for students, a new study at Daytona State College in Florida has found that many who tried e-textbooks saved only $1, compared with their counterparts who purchased traditional printed material. The study, conducted over four semesters, compared four different means of textbook distribution and found that e-textbooks still face several hurdles as universities mull the switch to a digital textbook distribution model....
Wired Campus, Jan. 4; Educause Quarterly, Vol. 34, Number 4

Go back to the Top

Books & Reading

Cover of Isle of Joy, by Don WinslowRousing Reads: It’s that time of year
Bill Ott writes: “For compiling best lists, that is. I either make or participate in the making of at least three different kinds of best-book lists every year. First, there’s the Booklist Editors’ Choice list; then there’s my Back Page list of favorite personal reading; finally, there’s this list, which I suppose we could call my most Arousing Reads. The books below—new or old, read to review or not—are simply the titles I most enjoyed over the past 12 months.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

John James Audubon's Great American Hen & Young The world’s most expensive book at auction
The Duke of Portland’s four-volume set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, the most expensive printed book ever sold at auction, will be coming up for auction on January 20 at Christie’s. Estimated at $7–$10 million, bibliophiles will wait with bated breath to find out if the duke’s Birds will break the current world record of $11.5 million, set at Sotheby’s sale of rare books and manuscripts in December 2010....
Fine Books and Collections, Jan. 3

Space landing (artist's conception), 1958Vintage space flight books
Dreams of Space is a wonderful blog by University of California, Irvine, Biology Librarian John Sisson that celebrates graphics from children’s books and ephemera related to space flight from 1945 to 1975. The illustration on the right is from William M. Hutchinson (illustrator) and Kurt Spielberg, Space Travel (New York: Maxton Publishing Co., 1958), 28 pages....
Dreams of Space

The Hobbit, in Russian, ca. 1987Vintage Tolkien covers
Tom Hawking writes: “It would have been the late J.R.R. Tolkien’s 120th birthday January 3, and with the film of The Hobbit on the horizon, the great man has been on our mind a bit of late. A gazillion different editions of his books have been published around the world since The Hobbit first appeared in 1937, so we’ve put together a gallery of some of the most beautiful and/or weird cover artwork that’s adorned Tolkien’s work over the years.”...
Flavorwire, Jan. 3; English Russia, May 27, 2010

The 2011 book lists digested
John Crace writes: “What are the must-read lists made of? Here is our ultimate guide,” including “7. The heartbreaking biography of a previously unknown major war poet who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme having just completed the first verse of his only poem” and “15. The provocative and groundbreaking insight into Lady Gaga buying her own drinks in a German nightclub that has reclaimed feminism for the 21st century.”...
The Guardian (UK), Dec. 28

2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas

View the ALA Midwinter Meeting Scheduler in ALA Connect. Find upcoming sessions, read tweets about the meeting, look for speaker schedules, and much more.

Midwest Tape ad

Northern Kentucky ad

Project MUSE ad

Dig in and Read, Dinotrux poster

With this new Dinotrux poster, encourage kids to read amid the rumble and tumble of Tyrannosaurus Trux, Tankersaurus, Garbageadon, and their riotous band of prehistoric pals. Chris Gall’s imaginative, high-intensity illustrations command attention as the rude, crude, and totally dashing Dinotrux crash and honk their way into readers’ hearts. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

New this week
in American Libraries

Future President John F. Kennedy chats with curious New Hampshirites at a Nashua diner during the 1960 race. Photo: The New Hampshire Institute of Politics and Political Library at St. Anselm College

The New Hampshire Political Library

Dining in Dallas


Youth Matters

Rousing Reads

Global Reach


Censorship Watch


Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Solutions and Services

AL Focus

Great Libraries of the World

One of several carved wooden sculptures that appears to be holding up the second-floor balcony

Waldsassen Abbey Library, Waldsassen, Germany. The current library of this Cistercian monastery was completed in 1727. The four ceiling frescoes were painted by Karl Hofreiter, and the 10 wooden sculptures of life-sized figures that seem to be holding up a second-floor balcony were created by Karl Stilp.

Wiblingen Abbey Library

Wiblingen Abbey Library, Ulm, Germany. Originally designed as a reception hall in 1744, the former Benedictine library’s multicolored marble Corinthian columns are topped with gilded capitals that support an elaborate balustrade. The library is exquisitely decorated with scholarly iconography filled with theological and philosophical references by artist Franz Martin Kuen and sculptor Dominikus Hermenegild Herberger.

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.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Library Children’s Services Manager, Waukesha (Wis.) Public Library. The retirement of Waukesha Public Library’s longtime children’s services manager has created an opportunity for a creative, dynamic, professional who is dedicated to serving children, families, and educators. Lead the children’s services team and oversee all aspects of the children’s services Department, including collection development; program planning and implementation, both within the library and at outreach locations; readers’ advisory; and reference service. Work in Waukesha Public Library’s vibrant, recently remodeled and expanded children’s area, which includes an early learning/pre-literacy center....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

A Dutch travel poster for Ascona, Switzerland, Dad ganze Jaar oopen, printed sometime between 1910 and 1959.

The Boston Public Library’s Print Department is home to more than 350 vintage travel posters, most dating from the 1920s to the 1940s, the “Golden Age of Travel.” Railways opened up America and Europe, luxe ocean liners introduced elegance into overseas voyages, and drivers took to the road in record numbers in their new automobiles. By the mid-1940s, new airlines crisscrossed the globe, winging adventure-seekers to far-flung destinations. Travel agents and ticket offices during this period were festooned with vivid, eye-catching posters, all designed to capture the beauty, excitement, and adventure of travel, and to promote a world of enticing destinations and new modes of transportation. Individual artists gained fame for their distinctive graphic styles and iconic imagery, and many posters from this era still remain important works of art long after their original advertising purposes have faded.

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.

American Libraries' Solutions and Services column

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

LIBRARIANS—in times of stress we take comfort in trusted authorities.”

Time magazine’s list of things not considered dangerous for 2012, which also includes money, teddy bears, and hugs, Jan. 9, p. 36.

@ More quotes...

Enjoy our latest content

Win a Copy of Pam Muņoz Ryan's 'The Dreamer'

Book cover: The Dreamer

Kick Start Your Career Search Strategy! by Rebecca Walden

National Film Treasures Selected for Preservation

Libraries Provide Resources for Book Clubs

Untraditional Lincoln Museum Exhibits Garner Much Attention

New Porgy and Bess Stirs Up Controversy as it Opens on Broadway

A.S. King: 'Libraries had the weirder books.' (video)

Join Us on Facebook Join Us on Facebook

Subscribe to our

at your library logo


Jan. 23–25:
BOBCATSSS, International Conference on Information Management, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
“Information in E-Motion.”

Jan. 27–29:
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators,
Winter Conference, Grand Hyatt, New York City.

Feb. 8:
Amigos Library Services, online technology conference. Keynote speaker is Jean Carlos Bertot. “Technology: Unexpected Consequences of Legislation and Policies in Libraries.”

Mar. 1–2:
University of Oklahoma Libraries, Annual Conference.
“Incredible Transformations for Research Libraries: Back to the Future.”

Mar. 12:
Oxford Internet Institute,
Keble College, Acland Centre, Oxford, England. “Social Science and Digital Research: Interdisciplinary Insights.”

Mar. 13–17:
Public Library Association,
Annual Conference, Philadelphia.

Mar. 19–22:
Bologna Children's Book Fair,
Bologna Fair Center, Bologna, Italy.

Mar. 21–23:
Computers in Libraries conference, Hilton Washington, D.C.
“Creating Innovative Libraries.”

Mar. 29
Apr. 2:
Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario.
“Colouring Outside the Lines.”

May 15–16:
Enterprise Search Summit, Hilton New York.

May 22–25:
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, international conference, Absolute Hotel, Limerick, Ireland.

Apr. 16–18:
London Book Fair,
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5, UK.

June 21–26:
American Library Association
, Annual Conference, Anaheim, California.

Oct. 29–31:
Library Assessment Conference. Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment.”

@ 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:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Associate Editor:

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

Jennifer Henderson,
Contributing Researcher

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send 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

Actions & Answers

Walter Dean MyersWalter Dean Myers named Young People’s Ambassador
Walter Dean Myers (right), five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and two Newbery Honors, was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on January 3 by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Myers will serve in the position during 2012 and 2013, succeeding Katherine Paterson (who reflects on her own term here). Myers has chosen “Reading Is Not Optional” as the heading for his platform. The inauguration ceremony will take place on January 10 in LC’s Thomas Jefferson Building....
Library of Congress, Jan. 3; Huffington Post, Jan. 3

Wire recorderCopyright Office approves fix for sound recordings
The US Copyright Office has recommended that pre-1972 sound recordings should be protected by federal copyright law in its Report on Federal Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings (PDF file). See the executive summary. Currently, these older sound recordings are protected by state laws under which copyright exceptions such as library and archival preservation and fair use are uncertain. This uncertainty leads to caution on the part of music librarians and archivists to actively preserve sound recordings—some in fragile or obsolete formats and extremely rare....
District Dispatch, Dec. 30

Public Domain Day 2012 graphicPublic Domain Day 2012
John Mark Ockerbloom writes: “It’s January 1 again, and in much of the world this means another year’s worth of works enter the public domain. There’s not so much excitement about Public Domain Day in the US, where no published works are scheduled to enter the public domain for another seven years, due to a 20-year copyright extension enacted in 1998. But Americans don’t have to simply sigh and contemplate what might have been if copyright terms hadn’t been extended. There are five things Americans can do to improve access to the public domain.”...
Everybody’s Libraries, Jan. 1; Center for the Study of the Public Domain

New Year’s resolutions for social media managers
Heather Mansfield writes: “Here are 11 resolutions for nonprofit social media managers: (1) Create thank-you videos for your 2012 fundraising campaigns, because sometimes your supporters want to see what your staff and working space look like, which can inspire them and make them more committed to your cause; (2) Learn basic HTML to add social networking icons, a Donate Now button, or an e-newsletter subscribe link to your blog, Facebook page, or Flickr Sets and Collections.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Jan. 3

Google Book Search redux
Karen Coyle writes: “On December 12, the Authors Guild filed a fourth amended complaint (PDF file) against Google. This brings us back to square one, with the addition of the involvement of more libraries and the creation of HathiTrust as a way for the libraries to store their (allegedly) ill-gotten copies. We are therefore back to the question of whether Google’s book scanning is or is not fair use. Looking at this from the library point of view, I wonder what will happen to the millions of library books already scanned by Google.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Jan. 2

Wordnik logoThe wonders of Wordnik
Anne Eisenberg writes: “Traditional print dictionaries have long enlisted lexicographers to scrutinize new words as they pop up, weighing their merits and eventually accepting some of them. Not Wordnik, the vast online dictionary. Automatic programs search the internet, combing the texts of news feeds, archived broadcasts, the blogosphere, Twitter posts, and dozens of other sources for definitions and example sentences.”...
New York Times, Dec. 31

OpenStreetMap logoOpenStreetMap challenges Google Maps
Christopher Mims writes: “OpenStreetMap is exactly what its name implies—a wiki of maps and location data to which anyone can contribute, just like Wikipedia. With the help of some deep-pocketed boosters, including MapQuest and Microsoft, it’s suddenly a legitimate challenger to the hegemony of”...
Technology Review: Mims’s Bits, Dec. 26

Yes We Scan campaign
Public-domain advocate and president of Public.Resource.Org Carl Malamud launched a campaign seeking 25,000 signatures to petition the US government to respond to the idea that federal cultural institutions (including libraries) are national treasures and should be made available to everyone through a federal digitization effort. The petition asks the administration to create a group that will answer, within one year, the question, “What would it take to scan .gov?” The deadline is January 20 to sign on....
Yes We Scan

Historical Facebook page for Joe McDonaldFacebook, 1911: When Joe met Leola at UNR
In 1911, a young Joe McDonald and Leola Lewis, a freshman and junior, were meeting at University of Nevada, Reno’s Morrill Hall to study in the basement library. They probably would have had Facebook pages 100 years later. So the university’s Special Collections and Archives is providing a new opportunity for Joe, who would become president of Reno Newspapers, and Leola, his wife-to-be, to have those pages, with the help of a rich supply of historical photos and other materials....
University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada Today, Dec. 15

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517How Luther went viral
Scholars have long debated the relative importance of printed media, oral transmission, and images in rallying popular support for the Reformation. Now the internet offers a new perspective on this long-running debate, namely that the important factor was not the printing press itself, but the wider system of media sharing along social networks—what is called “social media” today. Luther, like the revolutionaries of the Arab Spring, grasped the dynamics of this new media environment quickly and saw how it could spread his message....
The Economist, Dec. 17

A 15th-century map of Central AsiaMedieval Jewish manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan
More than 150 medieval Jewish documents have been discovered in Afghanistan. The works were found, purportedly by shepherds looking for sheep, in the mountains of Samangan Province, which lies along the Silk Road trade route. The manuscripts were written in the 11th century and written in Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian. They include an unknown history of the Kingdom of Judea, passages from the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah; hitherto unknown works by the 10th-century sage Rabbi Sa’adia Gaon; and personal poems of loss and mourning....
Medievalists, Jan. 3

Linking, not typing
Lorcan Dempsey writes: “‘Knowledge organization’ seems a slightly quaint term now, but we don’t have a better in general use. Take the catalog. This has been a knowledge organization tool. When an item is added, the goal is that it is related to the network of knowledge that is represented in the catalog. In theory, this is achieved through ‘adjacency’ and cross reference, notably with reference to authors, subjects, and works. In practice this has worked variably well.”...
Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, Jan. 1

Skokie (Ill.) Public Library's digital media labIs a digital media lab right for you?
Mick Jacobsen writes: “This post is for those of you who are considering starting a digital media lab and wondering if you will enjoy it as an aspect of your job. This is what my work life looks like being in charge of the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library DML. Training, training, and more training. Training myself, colleagues, and library members. Oh, and also making sure everything runs smoothly and is positioned for the future.”...
Tame the Web, Dec. 31

61 nontraditional jobs for LIS grads
Mia Breitkopf writes: “I’ve been combing through library job postings, looking at the varied types of positions available right now, a year before I’ll be applying for jobs. Some of them are traditional library jobs, like reference librarian and cataloger. But many of them aren’t. I’ve come up with a list of 61 jobs for librarians, almost none of which actually have the word ‘librarian’ in the title. Nearly all of them require an MLIS.”...
Information Space, Dec. 23

The words “library” and “librarian”
Jill Hurst-Wahl writes: “Which is more important, the name ‘librarian’ or what librarians can accomplish? Sadly, it does matter—maybe not to you, but to a colleague who is job hunting, a student who is graduating, or an organization that needs a skill and isn’t sure where to find it. In those and other situations, the words may be hindering what is truly possible.”...
Digitization 101, Dec. 24

One of the Peter Sís murals (and Peter Sís) at Champaign (Ill.) Public LibraryPeter Sís murals at Champaign
Three murals by illustrator and author Peter Sís (right) were installed in the children’s department of the Champaign (Ill.) Public Library on November 30. Sís says the imagery conveys the way that books open the world to young readers, combining familiar faces from children’s literature with the artist’s own characters. He paid a visit to the library December 14 to talk about the project....
Champaign (Ill.) Public Library, Dec. 21

Mary Alice Mitchell was a former slave in the Fore household in the Hixburg area of Appomattox County, Virginia. Following the end of the Civil War, she and her husband eventually owned over one hundred acres of land in Appomattox County. An independent woman, she was often seen in the county traveling in her horse and buggy visiting family and friends. Ms. Mitchell’s descendent brought this image to a CW 150 Legacy Project event to share this incredible woman’s story of success following enslavement. Scanned in partnership with the Prince Edward County Local Sesquicentennial CommitteeCivil War’s 150th anniversary uncovers treasures
From New England to the South, state archivists are using the sesquicentennial of the Civil War to collect a trove of wartime letters, diaries, documents, and mementos that have gathered dust in attics and basements. This still-unfolding call will help states expand existing collections on the Civil War and provide new insights into the era. Virginia archivists are especially pleased by a submission from the family of David Harris, an escaped slave who wrote of his love for a woman named Julia at the same time he fled bondage....
Associated Press, Dec. 26

Screen shot of Constance Potter and the US CensusTips for using US Census records, 1790–1930
Constance Potter, archivist at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., discusses US Federal Census records from 1790 to 1930 and how they can be used for genealogical research in this video tutorial (12:13). This is one of five videos that are part of the Know Your Records program hosted by the National Archives....
YouTube, Dec. 12

John Boynton KaiserJohn Boynton Kaiser, bibliophilatelist
Larry Nix writes: “January 1 is the 125th anniversary of the birth of John Boynton Kaiser (1910–1971), librarian and philatelist. Kaiser was one of the first to collect postage stamps that depict libraries and librarians. He had a successful career as a librarian, which included serving as administrator of the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library, the University of Iowa Libraries and Library School, and the Newark (N.J.) Public Library.”...
Philatelic Literature and Research, Jan. 1

The various positions of stamps and what they meanThe secret language of stamps
Many philatelists are familiar with positioning postage stamps to silently express their sentiments. The various positions of the stamp found on postcards indicated, as the pointer of an erotometer, the temperature of love. Others, by contrast, informed unwanted suitors about the reasons for rejection through the position of the stamp. The majority, however, conveyed more subtle messages, from hesitation through desire to rejection, and even specific instructions such as “tomorrow at the usual place!”...
Poemas del río Wang, Dec.

Poster for Bambi2011 National Film Registry choices
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington selected on December 28 Forrest Gump (1994) and 24 other films to be preserved as cultural, artistic, and historical treasures in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Annual selections to the registry are finalized by the Librarian of Congress after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public. Other picks this year are The Kid (1921), Bambi (1942), The Lost Weekend (1945), Norma Rae (1979), and El Mariachi (1992)....
Library of Congress, Dec. 28

Library kit: Flip Filmmakers
Carissa Christner, youth services librarian at the Madison (Wis.) Public Library, created this kit (PDF file) for a fun filmmaking library activity. Good for older kids and teens, the program teaches about short films and lets kids put what they learn into practice by writing and filming their own short film. The kit is free to share and modify to suit your library’s needs....
Library As Incubator Project, Jan. 2

Vannesla Library, Norway, designed by Helen & HardRibbed library in Norway
Bringing together a library, café, meeting places, and administrative areas into one shared space, the municipal library of Vennesla, Norway, conveys a soothing, intimate feeling. Underneath the 27 ribbed wooden structures, shelves and benches offer visitors a personal study zone. Designed by Helen and Hard architects in Stavanger....
Freshome, Dec. 22; Helen & Hard

Guy Laramee's book sculpture of The Treasury at Petra, JordanExtreme book sculptures
Benjamin Starr writes: “I thought I’d seen every type of book carving imaginable until I ran across these jaw-dropping creations by Guy Laramee. His works are so sculptural, so movingly natural in their form, they’ve really touched me. His works are inspired by a fascination with so-called progress in society: a thinking which says the book is dead, libraries are obsolete, and technology is the only way of the future.”...
Visual News, Dec. 22

Screen shot from The Library of DeathBilly Quan and the Library of Death
Billy Quan is reading his father’s book on manners when John Rudely interrupts him, in an episode (2:14) of “Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan,” featured in the Seattle TV comedy series Almost Live! in the 1990s. Quan was played by cameraman Darrel Suto. The voice and mouth movements of the characters were out of sync, a reference to some of Bruce Lee’s early martial arts films....
YouTube, Mar. 5, 2007

Screen shot from "PCC Library" sketchAdult hide-and-seek in the PCC Library
Portlandia, the IFC channel’s sketch comedy program, featured the Portland (Oreg.) Community College library in its Season 1 opening episode, which aired January 21, 2011. In the “PCC Library” sketch (3:41), two rival teams in Portland’s Adult Hide-and-Seek League, the Sherlock Holmies and the Punky Bruisers, play a competition match in the reading room, where a senior patron criticizes their lifestyle: “Kind of a house, but kind of falling apart—I think that describes your life right now, honey.” Season 2 starts this Friday....
YouTube, Jan. 28, 2011

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