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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 18, 2012

Solutions and Services column

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American Libraries Online

Screen shot from video: SOPA? Nopa!Top 10 library stories of 2011
Facing natural disasters, technology issues, and privatization concerns, librarians responded with advocacy and innovation. These are the top library stories of 2011, as selected by American Libraries editors. Share your top 10 in the comments. Watch the video (2:47)....
American Libraries feature; AL Focus, Jan. 13

Emphasis on ebooks rocks Rockford
Area residents served by the Rockford (Ill.) Public Library are questioning a decision by the board of trustees to allocate 25.5%—or nearly $303,332—toward the purchase of ebooks for the year. Protesters, including the local chapter of the NAACP, held a news conference at the main library January 13 to voice their opposition, stating that the increasing shift toward digital media will leave behind traditional users and those without money or access to new technology....
American Libraries news, Jan. 18

Books taking flightThreats to digital lending
Carrie Russell writes: “Check out your ebook licenses; if you think you own the ebooks that you paid for, think again. A thorough examination of the contract language may indicate that you are only renting the content, which would mean you have to pay the rent every year or risk losing all of your ebooks. State and local government officials might question what you have been doing with the money appropriated to fund your public library.”...
American Libraries feature

Graphic on pageEbooks and school libraries
Christopher Harris writes: “In their efforts to implement ebooks, school libraries face a set of challenges that differ from those confronting their public and academic counterparts. In addition to the struggle they share with other types of libraries to offer current bestselling fiction ebooks, school libraries are also working to secure backlist fiction, curriculum-focused nonfiction, and multiple copies of books for group use.”...
American Libraries feature

Page from the Gutenberg Bible on an E-Ink displayA publisher’s perspective on ebooks
Andrea Fleck-Nisbet writes: “It was a rainy afternoon just before Thanksgiving in 2007 when I stood on a New York City sidewalk clutching my first e-reading device. I had just come from Amazon’s press conference where Jeff Bezos announced the launch of Kindle. Publishers were skeptical. But in just a little over four years, the business of publishing has changed irrevocably.”...
American Libraries feature

Union sues to block library outsourcing
Just a month after the Simi Valley (Calif.) City Council voted to withdraw its city library from the Ventura County Library System, the union local that represents southern California library workers is suing to have the decision reversed. Filed January 10 in Ventura County Superior Court by Local 721 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the lawsuit charges that the city, in passing a resolution that went into effect immediately, failed to give the 30 days’ notice required....
American Libraries news, Jan. 18

Cover of Reflective Teaching, Effective LearningUsing other sources
Q. Today’s been tough. Kids are coming in with left-to-the-last-minute homework assignments for which they normally turn to Wikipedia. Do you have suggestions for teaching research skills? A. AASL and ACRL have developed statements and standards supporting information literacy. The ALA Library has developed a pathfinder to these resources that includes some sample content for a class on research skills....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Jan. 18

Houston's Julia Ideson LibraryHistoric Houston landmark reopens
An iron fence encircling the relandscaped front plaza and a Spanish Renaissance–styled interior highlight the $32-million expansion and restoration of Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Library, home of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. The library reopened in December....
AL Focus, Jan. 12; Houston Lifestyles and Homes, Jan.

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2012 ALA election

ALA News

ALA Washington Office censoredALA applauds SOPA blackout
ALA applauds the numerous websites that have taken to the internet to protest two congressional bills—PIPA and SOPA—in a very public way. By either going dark or brandishing their website with a black box, sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, Google, Tumblr, and many others, are demonstrating in a very real way the potential impact of these bills. ALA is on the record taking a strong stance in opposition to these bills; we also constructed the “PIPA, SOPA, and OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide” (PDF file). Add your voice through ALA’s Legislative Action Center....
District Dispatch, Jan. 18

NetGalley logoNetGalley: New ALA member benefit program
ALA announced January 17 the official launch of a new member benefit program for members in partnership with NetGalley. Members who sign up to request digital galleys from NetGalley can now add their ALA member number to their profile, in order to speed request approval and access to upcoming titles. NetGalley’s catalog currently includes new titles from more than 140 publishers. In conjunction with this announcement, NetGalley is conducting a survey of librarian reading habits and use of digital devices. It will remain open until January 25....
Communications and Member Relations, Jan. 17

Youth Media Awards presentation, 2011 Midwinter Meeting, San DiegoALA to unveil the best in children’s and YA books and media
Children’s and young adult authors, illustrators, and publishing groups will wait in anticipation as ALA announces the top awards in children’s and young adult literature and media. The ALA Youth Media Awards, 7:45 a.m. Central time, January 23, in the Dallas Convention Center Theatre, will be presented during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians, and those interested in providing youth with the very best reading and viewing materials....
Public Information Office, Jan. 18

What’s happening: A pre-Midwinter update (PDF file)
The guide to all things Midwinter in Dallas has been posted in ALA Connect in the ALA Council community. This 30-page document by Mary Ghikas highlights what’s new, hot topics, get-acquainted sessions, interactive learning, and getting organized....
ALA Connect, Jan. 13

Librarians socializingParty hard guide to #alamw12
PC Sweeney writes: “Here it is in all its glory: the ALA Think Tank’s Party Hard Guide to ALA Midwinter 2012. Each of these links to an event in Facebook because they are not all on the official conference scheduler and they are not all official conference events. Take the time to socialize and meet everyone you can.”...
PC Sweeney’s Blog, Jan. 13

2012 National Library Week theme, "You Belong @ your library"Ideas wanted for National Library Week
Visit the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ exhibit space at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting and submit your programming ideas for National Library Week. You could win a set of National Library Week themed promotional materials. Programming ideas will be featured on the National Library Week website as a useful tool to use the National Library Week theme, “You belong @ your library.”...
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Jan. 17

ALA invites Obama on a school library tour
ALA commends the First Family for its service to a school library on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 16. President Obama and the First Lady helped build bookshelves, paint the walls, and construct a reading corner for students in the Browne Education Center’s school library in Washington, D.C. ALA sent a letter (PDF file) inviting the Obamas to tour an up-to-date, fully staffed, school library....
Washington Office, Jan. 17; CBS News, Jan. 16

Digital Learning Day logoShare your Digital Learning Day activities
The ALA Digital Literacy Taskforce is calling on all libraries to put a social media megaphone to their activities planned for Digital Learning Day, February 1. As part of the taskforce’s efforts to raise awareness of libraries’ work in this arena, the taskforce asks library staff to tweet (hashtag #DLDay), blog, photograph, and videotape digital literacy activities and testimonials throughout the day. AASL and YALSA are serving as core partners. A toolkit is available from the Alliance for Excellent Education....
District Dispatch, Jan. 17; Alliance for Excellent Education

Huron Street Press logoHuron Street Press furthers ALA’s mission to the public
Taking ALA Publishing beyond its traditional market of library and information professionals, ALA announces the launch of a new publishing imprint, Huron Street Press. In line with ALA’s mission to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all, Huron Street Press will publish a variety of titles designed to appeal to a broad consumer and library market. Its publications will harness the expertise of the Association, while encouraging library use among the public....
ALA Publishing, Jan. 17

Hugo READ posterStart the conversation at the ALA Store in Dallas
The ALA Store at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas will be in the Exhibits Hall at Booth #1835, ideal for easy access and convenient browsing. With plenty of new and bestselling items available, you’ll want to make sure to carve out some time in your schedule to stop by. While there, enter drawings for signed READ posters and the chance to win a Professional Development Library....
ALA Publishing, Jan. 17

Latin jazz concertAmerica’s Music programming
The Public Programs Office, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the National Endowment for the Humanities have announced America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway, a six-week series of public programs featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions of 20th-century American popular music. Libraries related to music and music history may apply by March 14 to receive a $2,500 grant to support the program series....
Public Programs Office, Jan. 10

RDA Toolkit release
A new release was pushed to the live site of RDA Toolkit on January 10. New releases are issued on the second Tuesday of the month. These typically contain updates to content and metadata, enhancements to RDA Toolkit functionality, and fixes to existing bugs. The next release is scheduled for February 14....
RDA Toolkit, Jan. 4

IRRT supports Emerging Leader Valeria Gallo-Stampino
The International Relations Round Table has announced that Valeria Gallo-Stampino has been selected as its 2012 candidate in ALA’s Emerging Leaders program. She will receive a small award from IRRT to assist with program costs. Valeria currently works as a librarian at the Online Information and News Division in the busy Central Branch of the Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library....
International Relations Round Table, Jan. 17

John ChrastkaLibrarian wardrobe: John Chrastka
Nicole Pagowsky writes: “We have John Chrastka today. Although not an official librarian, John was a superstar at ALA as Director for Membership Development before moving on to his own consulting firm and is also currently involved with public libraries as a trustee and board president.” Librarian Wardrobe will have four photographers at Midwinter and they might be asking to take your picture....
Librarian Wardrobe, Jan. 12, 17

Screen shot from video, showing the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library starting its "Read Out - Road Trip"2011 Krug Memorial Fund Banned Book Week events
Jonathan Kelley writes: “The six recipients of 2011 Banned Books Week grants from the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund sent in clips from their many excellent activities—and we’ve compiled them in a new video (3:00). It features a montage of events from across the country.”...
OIF Blog, Jan. 17; YouTube, Jan. 17

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Booklist Online logo

Cover of A Monster CallsFeatured review: Youth fiction
Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. Sept. 2011. Illustrated by Jim Kay. 224p. Grades 7–10. Candlewick, hardcover (978-0-7636-5559-4).
After the stylistic feats and dumbfounding originality of Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, this follow-up effort comes as something of a surprise—an earthbound story concocted from a premise left behind by the late Siobhan Dowd. As Conor watches his mother succumb to cancer, he is pummeled by grief, anger, isolation, helplessness, and something even darker. At night, when he isn’t trapped in a recurring nightmare too terrible to think about, he is visited by a very real monster in the form of a giant yew tree. The monster tells Conor three ambiguous, confusing stories, then demands a final one from the boy....

Top of the List interview graphic with Patrick NessTop of the List interview
Ian Chipman writes: “The genesis of A Monster Calls is both sad and fascinating. After British writer Siobhan Dowd died in 2007, leaving behind the premise for what would have been her fifth novel, Patrick Ness was asked to write the book from her seedling idea. Ness, whose literary sf Chaos Walking trilogy made a three-peat appearance in Booklist’s Editors’ Choice lists, spoke to us about A Monster Calls, the 2011 Top of the List winner for Youth Fiction.”...

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

Dallas Update

Midwinter Exhibit Hall map color-coded by vendor supportThe concerned librarian’s guide to the ALA Exhibit Hall
Andy Woodworth writes: “With a number of issues floating around Libraryland at present, some social circles have been pondering what to do about library vendors who have expressed support for legislation with the potential to impede or block access to information. I thought the Midwinter Meeting would be a perfect opportunity for librarians to meet with company representatives to discuss their concerns about contentious legislation and ebook lending. Here is a list of exhibitors who support SOPA or RWA, as well as a list of exhibiting ebook publishers.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Jan. 12

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Division News

YALSA AcademyYALSA Academy launches on YouTube
YALSA Academy, a new online educational video initiative, launched January 17. The channel offers free training videos on popular, practical, professional development topics for school and YA services librarians, as well as other staff who work with teens in libraries. YALSA members and nonmembers are all eligible to submit a video. Those interested in posting a video should consult the YALSA Academy website....
YALSA, Jan. 17

AASL turns White House petition into a teachable moment
Utilizing Carl Harvey’s petition for school libraries on as a teachable moment, the AASL Advocacy and Legislation committees have developed a wiki site for high school librarians to raise awareness of the historical roots of the petition process. The site contains resources on petitioning the government, school libraries, and the SKILLs Act, as well as a lesson plan, “Will you sign this petition?”....
AASL, Jan. 17

Serving LGBTQ teens
Navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood can be challenging enough, but for teens who identify as LGBTQ, adolescence can be an especially difficult time. Join Megan Honig for YALSA’s Serving LGBTQ Teens webinar on February 16. Participants will learn to identify the common information needs of LGBTQ teens and how to develop strategies for supporting their safety and well-being in library spaces....
YALSA, Jan. 17

PLA Conference 2012 in PhiladelphiaWin a trip to PLA 2012
Kathleen Hughes writes: “Create a 60-second video telling us about your library and what you would hope to get out of attending PLA 2012, March 13–17, and email it to us. One winner will receive a free registration, four nights in a hotel, and up to $500 reimbursement for travel to and from the conference. If your library submits the video, only one person from the library can receive the prize. The top five videos (determined by members of the PLA board and staff) will be posted to our Facebook page for voting.”...
PLA Blog, Jan. 16

Winter e-learning from ACRL
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in winter 2012 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. ACRL online seminars are asynchronous, multiweek courses delivered through Moodle. Registration for all online seminars and webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner Program....
ACRL, Jan. 17

Cover of Curriculum Materials Collections and CentersCurriculum Materials Collections and Centers
ACRL has released Curriculum Materials Collections and Centers: Legacies from the Past, Visions of the Future. Edited by Rita Kohrman, education resources librarian at Grand Valley State University, the book provides practical applications for curriculum material center operations that focus on the fundamental needs of students, faculty, and current teachers. This volume is essential reading for education liaison librarians, curriculum materials center collections and librarians, library schools, and general professional collections....
ACRL Insider, Jan. 18

LITA National Forum call for proposals
The 2012 LITA National Forum Committee seeks proposals for high-quality preconferences, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions for the 15th annual LITA National Forum to be held in Columbus, Ohio, October 3–7. Submit proposals by February 17....
LITA Blog, Jan. 17

Friends group survey
ALTAFF is conducting a survey of Friends of the Library groups. The simple 10-question survey can be completed in five minutes or less. Survey responses will help ALTAFF develop resources for members and will be published on the division’s website and in an upcoming edition of its member newsletter, The Voice. Responses will be collected through March 1....
ALTAFF, Jan. 17

Upcoming ALCTS webinars and web courses
ALCTS offers a wide variety of online continuing education opportunities through e-forums, webinars, and web courses. Here is a list of upcoming events for the winter and spring. Information on new courses, additional details, fees, and links to registration are available online....
ALCTS, Jan. 17

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Awards & Grants

New name for a Stonewall Award
The ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table has unveiled a new name for the newest Stonewall Book Award: the Stonewall Book Awards–Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. In recognition of a significant gift to the GLBTRT endowment, the name recognizes longtime round table member Larry Romans and his partner of more than 40 years, Mike Morgan....
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, Jan. 17

H. W. Wilson renews LIS scholarships (PDF file)
The H. W. Wilson Foundation has announced continuation of its support of education in library and information science with a new round of scholarship grants. This year’s scholarship program, its 14th consecutive, will deliver grants of $10,000 to each of 58 schools, for a total of $580,000. Grants will be distributed over four years (2012–2015). Each school will distribute its grant in accordance with its own scholarship criteria....
H. W. Wilson Foundation, Dec. 22

Apply for a Libraries and Families Award
The National Center for Family Literacy is now accepting applications for the third annual Libraries and Families Award, made possible by Better World Books. Three library literacy programs that serve families will win $10,000 each and scholarships to the National Conference on Family Literacy in 2012 and 2013. Applications are due February 6....
National Center for Family Literacy

Cover of Chanukah Lights2012 Sydney Taylor Book Awards
Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda, author and artist of Chanukah Lights; Susan Goldman Rubin, author of Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein; and Robert Sharenow, author of The Berlin Boxing Club are the 2012 winners of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Book Award. The award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience....
People of the Books Blog, Jan. 17

Cover of Jerusalem: A BiographyNational Jewish Book Awards
The Jewish Book Council has selected Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem: The Biography (Knopf) as 2011 Jewish Book of the Year. The award honors the best nonfiction book with Jewish content written in English. The award ceremony in the spring will honor 17 winning books in other categories....
Jewish Book Council

Cover of Waiting for No One2012 Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Awards
The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award will be presented January 19 at the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities international conference. The intermediate/YA award will be presented to Kathryn Erskine, the author of Mockingbird, and Beverley Brenna, author of Waiting for No One. In the picture book category, the awards go to Rebecca Elliott, author/illustrator of Just Because, and Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete (authors), and Shane W. Evans (illustrator) for My Brother Charlie....
Council for Exceptional Children, Jan. 11

Cover of Black Cat BoneT. S. Eliot Poetry Prize
The Scottish poet John Burnside has won the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize for a collection described as “haunting.” Burnside took the £15,000 ($22,980 US) prize for his 11th collection, Black Cat Bone. Burnside was presented with the check by Valerie Eliot, widow of the poet, at a ceremony in London. She has funded the prize itself since it was launched 18 years ago....
The Guardian (UK), Jan. 16

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Seen Online

Proposed Wikipedia blackout pageThe White House and SOPA
The White House has finally given a detailed explanation of its stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). In a blog post responding to a petition posted on the White House’s website, the Obama Administration clearly laid out what it would and would not support. Any new legislation designed to combat online piracy “must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.” Meanwhile, Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, the Internet Archive, and other online media (as many as 7,000) are participating in a 24-hour online blackout January 18 to protest SOPA. More information on the piracy acts is here; see how it might affect you here. Late-breaking news: PIPA cosponsors Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) have withdrawn their support of the bill because of the outcry....
Mashable, Jan. 16; We the People, Jan. 16; PC Magazine, Jan. 18; Huffington Post, Jan. 16; Swiss Army Librarian, Jan. 12; CNET News, Jan. 18

Screen shot from The Day the LOLcats DiedA song against SOPA
Josh Constine writes: “On January 18, people took to the streets and blacked out the web to protest unfair piracy legislation. To the tune of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ they sang ‘The Day the LOLcats Died.’ Created by comedy team LaughPong, the video (3:04) is silly enough to go viral but simple enough to make a difference. It urges viewers to fight back against SOPA/PIPA by finding their senators’ phone number and telling them how they feel.”...
TechCrunch, Jan. 17; YouTube, Jan. 17

Rep. Holt promotes WILL and SKILLS acts
Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) stopped at the East Brunswick (N.J.) Public Library January 12 to talk about his effort to try to pass the Workforce Investment through Local Libraries (WILL) Act, which he said would help local libraries assist in the nation’s economic recovery by integrating them in job training efforts. Earlier, Holt stopped at the Oak Tree Elementary School library in Monroe to announce the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act, which would bolster support for school libraries with additional resources and funding....
Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier News, Jan. 12

Budget cuts force US biodiversity program to close
Budget cuts have forced a key biodiversity database to close, leaving scientists and researchers without a unified tool to access biological data from across state and federal agencies. The US Geological Survey’s National Biological Information Infrastructure program and its popular website shut down on January 15 due to the elimination of the program’s 2012 federal budget. The program’s closure follows a series of drastic cuts that reduced its budget to zero in 2012 from $7 million in 2010....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 12

Arlington Heights (Ill.) Public LibraryHomeless persons turn to social media at the library
Marcus Leshock writes: “She found herself alone, on the streets of Arlington Heights, Illinois, with nowhere to turn. Today, AnnMarie Walsh has a Twitter following 6,000 strong. Her online diary, @PadsChicago, has spread all over the country, offering an intimate portrait into a world many know little about. How does a homeless person tweet? At the public library. AnnMarie was a frequent visitor to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, using its computer stations to update all of her internet endeavors.”...
WGN-TV, Chicago, Jan. 11; Mashable, Jan. 5

Schoolbook censorship emerges in Arizona
At the beginning of the school year, as the Dysart Unified School District was preparing to buy more than 1,000 novels for its libraries and classrooms, Arizona Rep. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) posted to an online message board a list of books he thought the district was considering buying that he found objectionable. He said they may contain gay, anti-Christian, transsexual, and pro-Islam references. Arizona schools are also now prohibited from teaching ethnic studies. If a book never makes it into a school library because of public pressure, does it constitute censorship? ALA thinks so....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Jan. 14; Salon, Jan. 13

Vanity Fair library poll60 Minutes / Vanity Fair poll on library visits
Slide #4: “In general, how often do you visit your local public library? As for visits to one’s local public library, they fairly drip long-gone-era . . . and two-thirds of us partake no more than once or twice a year.”...
Vanity Fair, Jan.

UK public libraries agree on digital standards
The heads of more than 4,000 public libraries across the UK have agreed to national digital standards, which include providing free internet access in every library, and the ability to join a library and renew and reserve items online. The Society of Chief Librarians said that the National Digital Promise will set the minimum standard for online services provided by public libraries in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland....
The Guardian (UK), Jan. 17

Anna Ella CarrollAnna and the librarian
Adam Arenson writes: “Did Anna Ella Carroll (right) save the Union, or just destroy an aging librarian’s career? A fervent Unionist from Baltimore, Anna Ella Carroll was an active pamphleteer who knew many of the Republican Party’s leaders. As the months-old Civil War intensified, Carroll embarked on a series of trips across the border states. In an 1886 article, Carroll gives an extensive account of how she turned the white-bearded director of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, Edward William Johnston, into a key source.”...
New York Times: Opinionator, Jan. 11

Trove of checks signed by presidents found
Dozens of personal checks—some 150 to 200 years old and signed by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, George Washington, and Thomas Edison—have been unearthed by the Huntington bank in Columbus, Ohio. Some of the historic checks, all signed by US presidents, are on display at Huntington’s newest branch in Brooklyn, Ohio. The checks had been in storage since 1983, but an employee noticed the historic signatures in 2011....
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 11

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Tech Talk

Cover of Meet the Connected ConsumerConsumers prefer websites and mobile sites over apps
Alicia Eler writes: “Welcome to the connected consumer. This person most likely has a tablet and smartphone, and is constantly connected to friends via Facebook. Today, more than 60% of 25–34 year-olds (Generation Y) own a smartphone. One in three online consumers will buy a tablet by 2014. That’s a lot to digest at once, right? A new survey (PDF file) from Zmags investigates the connected consumer and digital habits.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Nov. 22, Jan. 16

Congressional Record app home screenNow there’s a Congressional Record app for that
Andrew Weber writes: “January 18 marks the launch of the Congressional Record app presented by the Library of Congress, an initiative of the House leadership under the guidance of the Committee on House Administration. The goal of this new free app is straightforward—to easily read the daily edition of the Congressional Record on your iPad (and maybe save a few trees in the process). It has been a lot of fun to watch this project move from the conceptual mockups to a working iPad app.”...
In Custodia Legis, Jan. 18; Library of Congress, Jan. 18

Font Squirrel logo19 websites with free fonts
Julie Greller writes: “Free is always good. And when it comes to fonts, there are so many out there, why pay for them? This list should keep graphic design teachers and other creative sorts busy. One thing to remember: The downloads are in a zip file, so your school might block this action.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Jan. 17

Screen shot from touchscreen ergonomics videoTablet ergonomics: How to hold your devices correctly
Whitson Gordon and Adam Dachis write: “While it’s hard to use tablets in the same way you’d use a computer, the risks of injury are the same: Repeated motion, unnatural postures, and bright screens can all cause injury if you aren’t careful. The problem with smartphones and tablets is that you can literally use them in a million different positions—most of which probably aren’t very good for your body.” Franklin Tessler has more detailed information. Watch the video (0:56)....
Lifehacker, Jan. 17; InfoWorld, Jan. 11

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Apple Education Event, January 19Major Apple announcement on e-publishing January 19
Chris Foresman writes: “Apple is set to announce a new product that will improve the use of technology in education at a special media event on January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, some sources suspect that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive ebooks and that will be distributed to iPhone and iPad users.” John Biggs calls it “a system for authoring and selling ebooks that is so simple that even the benighted publishing industry will admit that these Apple fellows are onto something with this whole ebook business.”...
Ars Technica, Jan. 16; TechCrunch, Jan. 17

JSTOR logoJSTOR tests free, read-only access
Jennifer Howard writes: “It’s about to get a little easier for users without subscriptions to tap JSTOR’s enormous digital archive of journal articles. In coming weeks, JSTOR will make available the beta version of a new program, Register & Read, which will give researchers read-only access to some journal articles, no payment required. All users have to do is to sign up for a free MyJSTOR account.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Jan. 13

The Midwinter awards bump
Toby Greenwalt writes: “So much of what libraries do to fuel the engine of book discourse is intangible by nature. It’s a sad irony that we’re unable to document just how much we’re able to contribute to book sales, be they e- or p-. Here’s my cockamamie idea: I’d like to get a snapshot of where the award-winning books in each category currently stand saleswise, and then compare that to its sales after the award announcements at Midwinter.”...
TheAnalogDivide, Jan. 16

Growing an ebook library
Carolyn Foote writes: “OverDrive has many limitations, but it’s the major player in the ebook market for 1:1 iPad devices. It’s fairly costly, only offers certain publishers, is an annual subscription (again costly), and using it with Kindles or Nooks is a bit complex. But with the iPad app, it’s a pretty easy implementation once the actual collection is built. I learned some lessons during our implementation process.”...
Not So Distant Future, Jan. 15

Douglas County Libraries ebook purchasing agreement
Jamie LaRue writes: “This is a draft ‘Statement of Common Understanding for Purchasing Electronic Content’ produced for the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries with the assistance of Mary Minow of We propose to start using it—and to encourage other libraries to start using it, too. Your comments are welcome. See also our ‘Dear Publishing Partner’ letter.”...
myliblog, Jan. 17

Libraries struggle to stock their virtual shelves
Christian Davenport writes: “Kindles, Nooks, and iPads can do many amazing things, but they can’t bump you ahead in line at the Reston (Va.) Regional Library. In fact, if you want to borrow a book, it may be quicker to put down your sleek new device and head into the stacks. Checking out ebooks without having to leave home might be the fastest-growing segment in the library business these days. But the experience is often far from the on-demand satisfaction people have come to expect from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones.”...
Washington Post, Jan. 14

Amazon authors see 449% royalty growth
Mystery writer Carolyn McCray earned $8,250 in December from having her ebooks checked out from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Amazon reported January 12 that its top 10 KDP Select authors earned more than $70,000 in December for their participation in the library, which lets readers check out books for free. Royalties for these authors grew 449% month-over-month from November to December....
GalleyCat, Jan. 12

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2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas

Be prepared for Midwinter with this Gale Cengage shuttle bus schedule (PDF file). And join the conversation from the exhibit floor or from your couch by following the Twitter hashtag #alamw12.

Northern Kentucky ad

Project MUSE ad

Midwest Tape ad

Library Worklife ad

Cover of No Shelf Required 2

In No Shelf Required 2, the sequel to her best-selling book of the same title, expert Sue Polanka dives even deeper into the world of digital distribution. Contributors from across the ebook world offer their perspectives on what’s happening now and what to expect in the coming months and years. NEW! From ALA Editions.

Great Libraries of the World

Library, St. John the Theologian Monastery

Monastery of St. John the Theologian Library, Pátmos, Greece. This Greek Orthodox monastery was established in 1088 by Hosios Christodoulos. Its library includes a wealth of Greek bound manuscripts, scrolls, early documents, printed books published between 1535 and 1845, the Golden Bull of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos that established the monastery, and 33 leaves of the 6th-century Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus.

Archbishop's Library, Kalocsa

Archbishop’s Library, Kalocsa, Hungary. This diocesan library is located in the archiepiscopal palace near the city cathedral. Established by Archbishop Ádám Patachich in 1784 from his own book collection and the cathedral’s medieval holdings, the library’s reading room is surrounded by adjustable shelf units topped by 12 grisaille paintings by Franz Anton Maulbertsch showing the great thinkers of the ancient world. The library’s oldest manuscript is the St. Fulgentius Codex dating from 1040, while the oldest in its rich collection of medical codices is a 1330 Compendium medicinae.

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.

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Digital Library of the Week

A mob of students and segregationists gather in front of the administration at the University of Mississippi during a protest against the enrollment of James Meredith in 1962

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta has made available online 200,000 papers belonging to the civil rights leader—the first step to bringing more than one million documents to the web. The documents give you a good glimpse of Dr. King’s role as a scholar, father, pastor, and catalyst for change. Among the papers, you will find “speeches, telegrams, scribbled notes, patient admonitions, and urgent pleas.” Notable documents worth visiting include King’s 1964 Nobel Prize Acceptance Lecture, his Eulogy for the Four Girls Murdered in Birmingham (1963), and a draft of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech. Underwritten by J. P. Morgan Chase, the archive lets you navigate through documents by theme and by type of document. Or you can simply use a dedicated search engine.

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.

Public Perception
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“People will be doing research here, so we’re going to discourage them from making phone calls. But if somebody wants to break into song, I guess that would be all right.”

—Andy Leach, director of the newly opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives in Cleveland, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 15.

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'The Artist,' 'Hugo' Remind Us of Glories of Silent Movies, Cinema Past

Screenshot: A Trip to the Moon

History of the Youth Media Awards: Part 4, the Pura Belpré Award

Greetings from Los Angeles: Arts and Publics, 1950-1980

Connect with your kids: Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those Were the Days: Radio Broadcasts Illuminate History, Our Culture

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How to Get a Great Job: Getting Down to Brass Tacks

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Jan. 23–25:
Digital Book World, Conference and Expo, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, New York City.

Feb. 1–2:
Ambassadors of the Book: Competences for Heritage Librarians, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Feb. 7–10:
University of Toronto, Faculty of Information iConference, Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel. “Culture, Design, Society.”

Feb. 22–24:
Intelligent Content, Hotel Zoso, Palm Springs, California. “Strategies for Reaching Customers Anywhere, Anytime, on Any Device.”

Feb. 29
Mar. 2:
WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital Age, Baltimore. “Tradition and Innovation.”

Mar. 21–23:
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Marriott Knoxville. “Libraries Transform.”

Mar. 29–
Apr. 2:

Art Libraries Society of North America,
Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre, Toronto. “Colouring Outside the Lines.”

Apr. 11–13:
New Mexico Library Association, Annual Conference, Las Cruces Convention Center.

Apr. 17–20:
Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston. “Relevant, Responsive, Revolutionary, Right Now.”

Apr. 18–20:
Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Tulalip Resort Casino. “One Tribe: Bringing Washington’s Libraries Together.”

Apr. 24–26:
International Bielefeld Conference,
Bielefeld, Germany. “Shaping Future INFO-Structures.”

Apr. 25–27:
Oregon Library Association, Annual Conference, Riverhouse Convention Center, Bend. “Oregon Libraries: Right at the Heart of Things.”

Apr. 25–27:
Utah Library Association, Annual Conference, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City. “From Telegrams to Tweets: 100 Years of Connecting Utah Librarians.”

May 22–25:
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists, Annual Conference, University of Nevada, Reno. “Stepping Out of Our Silos: Creating Partnerships, Building Capacity, Delivering Information.”

May 31
June 1:
Rhode Island Library Association, Bryant University, Smithfield. “RI Libraries: Enriching Individuals, Strengthening Communities.”

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Books & Reading

Downton Abbey starsLike Downton Abbey? Here is a reading list
The British melodrama Downton Abbey is already the darling of American public television. Now the PBS Masterpiece
series has become a marketing tool for booksellers and publishers hoping to tap into the passion of the show’s audience. Publishers are rushing to print books that take readers back to Edwardian and wartime England: stories about the grandeur of British estates, the recollections of a lady’s maid, and World War I....
New York Times, Jan. 11

iPod and bookThe soundtrack of our books
Sharon Steel writes: “Publishers and authors have begun to experiment more with audio as a natural step in the promotion of their books. Listening to music has always been an organic piece of literary consumption—anyone who has queued up a favorite record of sad ballads while reading a heartbreaking novel, in order to up the emotional catharsis, can attest to that. But recent trends suggest that readers are looking for even more direct ways to incorporate music into the reading experience.”...
The Millions, Jan. 5

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Actions & Answers

Joe McDonald's former Facebook profileFacebook deletes UNR’s history project
Nick DeSantis writes: “The two students brought back to life on Facebook by a University of Nevada at Reno librarian have been returned to the history books for violating the social network’s terms of service. Facebook shut down the historical profiles of Joe McDonald and Leola Lewis January 11 for providing ‘false personal information.’ However, Facebook ‘pages’ have now been created for the students, rather than profiles, which are permissible under Facebook rules. McDonald can be found here, and Lewis is here.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Jan. 11

World Book Night logoGermany joins World Book Night
World Book Night is continuing its international spread, with Germany now set to join the US and UK in staging a one-million-book giveaway on April 23. The event will be carried out in association with the Friends of Reading campaign, which is launching in Germany as part of the German World Book Day....
The Bookseller (UK), Jan. 17

Graphic for the Dutch LibrarySchoolCreating the library of tomorrow
Laurie Putnam writes: “All around the world, today’s libraries are serving their communities in new and different ways. But is that enough for tomorrow’s library? We do need to promote modern, relevant services in our current libraries, says Rob Bruijnzeels, founder and rector of the Dutch LibrarySchool in Amsterdam. For the long term, however, Bruijnzeels believes that libraries need rethinking, and they need librarians who think differently.”...
Mind/Shift, Jan. 12

"PutYourFaceinaBook" Milwaukee Public Library billboardMilwaukee campaign spoofs social media (PDF file)
The Milwaukee Public Library has captured the interest of bibliophiles the world over through the promotion of three billboard ads for its literacy campaign. Using social media logos as inspiration, the three outdoor billboards put a clever spin on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The billboards will run until January 22 in Milwaukee County. But David Lee King thinks the message is misguided....
Milwaukee Public Library, Jan. 13; David Lee King, Jan. 17

Becoming a departmental liaison
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Many academic librarians end up becoming the library liaison to one or more academic departments, including librarians who don’t normally work in public services. A good liaison is more than a contact for the academic department. Good liaisons become a resource faculty choose to contact first about any library issues. Here is some general advice on how to become an effective liaison based upon my experience.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Jan. 12

Classifying games and gamers
Welcome to Gamer Classification Week. This week, Jacob A. Ratliff and Diane Rasmussen Neal are providing a five-part series on the categorizations related to gamers and gaming. Understanding these aspects of gaming is essential to helping you understand games, gamers, and the information with which we collide. Make sure you catch up with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.”...
tl;dr, Jan. 13

Health Literacy Challenge video contest
The ¡VIVA! Peer Tutors of the South Texas Independent School District are conducting a nationwide health literacy challenge. Students enrolled in US schools in grades 6–12 can submit a video promoting the website from February 1 through March 23. Winners will be announced on April 16....
Vital Information for a Virtual Age

Pick your poison: Wimp or dictator?
Will Manley writes: “There are basically two types of library directors: wimps and dictators. Oh I know what you are going to say. There is a golden middle. Actually there’s really not. There are dictators who masquerade as wimps and there are wimps who talk tough. Typically, a library director is either on the wimp side or the dictatorial side. Deep down you know that’s true.”...
Will Unwound, Jan. 17

Screen shot from supercut video showing Parker Posey as a library assistant in Patry GirlLibrary supercut
The Greene County (Ohio) Public Library staff used video clips and music from 33 movies and TV shows to create a fun montage (5:24) of libraries in the media. It is well-edited and anchored by a Sesame Street episode with Cookie Monster in the library....
YouTube, Dec. 9

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