|American Libraries Online
Controversy in Fifty Shades of Grey
Barbara M. Jones writes: “Last weekend I read the 2012 Vintage version of the New York Times bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I read it as a whole because I am tired of reading pseudo-reviews that count the number of incidents involving drinking, smoking, sex, and dirty words. If libraries carry popular fiction—and classics, too, by the way—they have erotic content in their libraries already.” Nanette Wargo Donohue took a look at the online catalog of the Brevard County (Fla.) Public Library, which pulled copies of the book from shelves in early May, and found a Dirty Dozen fiction books in the collection that she considers “hotter” than Fifty Shades of Grey....
AL: Censorship Watch, May 15; New York Times: Arts Beat, May 4; Confessions of a Recovering English Major, May 15
Open Access spreads to Miami University
The librarians of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, joined the ranks of the worldwide open-access movement May 14 by voting to make their scholarly articles freely available in the university’s institutional repository, the Scholarly Commons. Based on Harvard University’s model policy, MU’s open-access principles take effect immediately and make the libraries the first department on Miami’s campus to successfully pass an open-access policy....
American Libraries news, May 16
Are Harvard’s realignment throes unique?
Beverly Goldberg writes: “Harvard University Library is poised to launch a massive reconfiguration of its services in July. Reorganizations usually trigger anxiety in any work setting, so the mandated realignment of 73 libraries into streamlined reporting structures and shared services was bound to create a stir. Despite a series of communications from Harvard officials since January, campuswide worries about the fate of the library system and its staff have not eased.”...
American Libraries news, May 10
Library as publisher: Your feedback needed
Jamie LaRue writes: “As part of the work of ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (which is tackling our many ebook-related issues), we are seeking some focused feedback before the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in June. If you are experimenting with the creation, publication, and preservation of digital content, we need to hear from you by June 1. Read on for details, then respond.”...
AL: E-Content, May 11
Joseph A. Rosenthal (right), 81, retired university librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, died April 7. Russell M. Smith, 93, retired archivist at the Library of Congress, died April 21 from Alzheimer’s disease. Harriet S. Jarosh, 72, retired director of Laurel (Del.) Public Library, died April 27. Thomas F. Moroney Jr., 99, owner of the Thomas F. Moroney Company, died March 19. His company built bookmobiles that earned a distinguished national and international reputation....
AL: Currents, May
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Executive Director’s Message: On a screen near you
Keith Michael Fiels writes: “Two items discussed during the ALA Executive Board Spring Meeting, held April 20–22 at the Association’s Chicago headquarters, illustrate the wide range of issues and activities affecting our members and their libraries. The board approved procedures and guidelines for ALA’s first Virtual Membership Meeting and discussed the current impasse regarding ebooks and libraries and how the Association can step up efforts to make ebooks available to library users.”...
American Libraries column, May/June
Register for Virtual Membership Meeting
All ALA members are invited to participate in ALA’s first online Virtual Membership Meeting June 6. Updates on initiatives during President Molly Raphael’s term will be followed by an opportunity to discuss and vote on any resolutions offered by members and an open forum on topics chosen by members in a recent online survey. The iLINC web platform is limited to 1,000 participants, so preregistration is required. Find relevant documents, meeting agenda, and the Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions on the ALA Members Connect group....
ALA Membership, May 15
Register for ALA Virtual Conference
“Mapping Transformation” is the theme of the ALA Virtual Conference, an interactive professional development opportunity to be held online July 18–19. The Virtual Conference is ideal both for those unable to attend Annual and for Annual attendees who are ready for more. It will feature a full series of interactive, 45-minute web sessions on key issues related to transformation in libraries, as well as keynote speakers and author lunches hosted by Booklist editors Brad Hooper and Donna Seaman....
Conference Services, May 14
ALA officer candidates sought
ALA’s Nominating Committee is seeking nominees to run for ALA president-elect, ALA treasurer, and councilor-at-large on the 2013 spring ballot. The committee will select two candidates to run for president-elect, two candidates for treasurer, and no fewer than 50 candidates for the 33 at-large Council seats. Submit the nominee’s name, present position, institution, address, telephone, fax, and email address to any Nominating Committee member. Self-nominations are encouraged....
Office of ALA Governance, May 15
2012 PR Forum
Tom Peters (right), assistant dean for strategic initiatives at Illinois State University, will speak at the 2012 PR Forum June 24 during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Peters will discuss how to implement emerging technologies, including mobile technology, in your library through collaboration. The program will also address how technologies can be implemented successfully with attention to time and budget management....
Public Information Office, May 15
Six Annual Conference programs on programs
The Public Programs Office will present a diverse offering of programs at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim for attendees interested in learning how to make their library a community center for lifelong learning and civic engagement through arts and humanities programs. Speakers will share ideas about library programs on topics from the Civil War to Islam and earth sciences, and showcase models for civic engagement. See full program descriptions....
Public Programs Office, May 14
GraphiCon 2012 @ Annual
New this year at Annual Conference will be ALA GraphiCon, a collection of programs, events, and exhibits especially for graphic-novel and comic fans and anyone wanting to learn more about their role in the library. GraphiCon events include graphic novel-related programs; the Artists Alley in the exhibits hall, where attendees can meet 20 artists and illustrators of comics, games, and graphic novels; a Graphic Novel Stage; the Graphic Novel Pavilion; and Ignite Sessions on “Graphic Nonfiction” and “The Freakiest Moments of Osamu Tezuka.” Find details in the Conference Scheduler....
Conference Services, May 11
Diversity in graphic novels
The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and Reforma will host “Beyond Books: Graphic Novels and Magazines of Color” June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Scheduled speakers include David Inocencio (The Beat Within); Keith Knight (The Weekly K Chronicles); Rebecca Marrall, diversity resident librarian at Western Libraries in Bellingham, Washington; and Jason Shiga (right, Empire State)....
Office for Diversity, May 14
Opportunity of a lifetime: ALA’s Emerging Leaders program
Kristi Brumley (right) writes: “I have fond memories of my time spent as a 2011 Emerging Leader in San Diego and New Orleans. What did I take away from my experience? Among other things, I received leadership advice from some of the top innovators in the library field and shared experiences with hundreds of committed and enthusiastic librarians.” This summer, both the Idaho Library Association and ALA will accept applications for the 2013 ALA Emerging Leaders Program. If chosen as ILA’s representative to the program, you could receive a $1,000 scholarship to participate....
Idaho Librarian, May 9
Killer question on a job application
Mindy Chapman writes: “Hopefully, you know to avoid questions on your job applications about applicants’ disabilities or medical procedures. And as the following case shows, you won’t be able to avoid liability by using an outside recruiting firm to hand out the application. There’s only one standard when it comes to medical inquiries: the legal one.”...
Library Worklife, May
JCLC early-bird registration
Early-bird registration for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color closes Wednesday June 13. Early-bird registrants can save up to $100 over on-site registration. JCLC will be held September 19–23 in Kansas City, Missouri....
Office for Diversity, May 14
FTRF elects trustees
The Freedom to Read Foundation has announced the results of its 2012 board of trustees election. Five trustees were elected to two-year terms, beginning in June: Carol Brey-Casiano, Mary Minow, and Judith Platt were reelected, and Julius C. Jefferson Jr. and Nancy P. Zimmerman will join the 11-member board at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 15
New eCourse: Gadgets in the library
ALA Editions will offer a new facilitated eCourse, “iPads, Tablets, and Gadgets in the Library: Planning, Budgeting, and Implementation,” starting July 2. Taught by Virginia Tech Librarians Carolyn Meier, Rebecca Miller, and Heather Moorefield-Lang, the six-week course will show students how they can integrate iPads and other high-tech devices into their libraries for both staff and patron use. Register online....
ALA Editions, May 15
RA for young adults eCourse
ALA Editions has announced a new session of the popular “Young Adult Readers’ Advisory Services” eCourse, beginning July 16. The 4-week course will offer tips for improving service for young adult specialists and all reference staff. The course will be led by Jennifer Thiele, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Register online; registration includes a copy of the ALA Editions ebook The Readers’ Advisory Handbook....
ALA Editions, May 15
Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror
Readers love things that go bump in the night. ALA Editions’ second edition of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror will help you find the horror books that best fit a particular reader’s interests. Author Becky Siegel Spratford includes lists of recommended titles, authors, and subgenres, all cross-referenced; tips for effectively practicing horror RA; and an expanded resources section with an overview addressing the current state of horror literature....
ALA Editions, May 10
A smooth transition to RDA
In Practical Cataloguing: AACR2, RDA, and MARC21, a new title from Neal-Schuman, authors Anne Welsh and Sue Batley offer a step-by-step guide for mapping new cataloging standards onto existing rules for description. The book thoroughly covers Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records and FRAD (Functional Requirements of Authority Data), and explores how RDA elements can be incorporated into MARC21....
ALA Neal-Schuman, May 14
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Featured review: Adult crime fiction
Fantoni, Barry. Harry Lipkin, Private Eye. July 2012. 224p. Doubleday, hardcover (978-0-385-53610-3).
The author of this truly fine detective novel—it’s really more of a novella—seems thoroughly unimpressed by the conventions of the genre, and his book is all the better for it. Harry Lipkin is an 87-year-old Jewish private eye, plying his trade in Miami, but he’s neither cute nor abrasive. He’s just a shamus plugging away at his job, with an occasional stop for blintzes. The case he takes on would have Sherlock Holmes sniggering: A wealthy widow’s heirlooms are vanishing from her house. When the reveal comes, it’s as startling to Harry as it is to readers—and moving, too. That’s another break from the classic rules of the game....
Books by the yard
Keir Graff writes: “Some writers are just too important to deal with all the little details of writing books, like writing books. Ideas for characters, settings, and stories tumble from their fevered brains in such abundance that they’re forced to hire other people just to get it all down. And if you think the reading public is wary when confronted by such blatantly commercial maneuvers, you’re wrong: Sales figures show that a writer’s trusted brand means more to fans than having that writer actually write the books.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Conference packing tips and tricks
Gwyneth A. Jones writes: “Sorry guys. Half of this post contains girlie talk: packing tips for conferences, travel tech, clothes, makeup, tips, and tricks. But let me start with the non-girlie. I always pack a powerstrip. Actually, I bring two. One regular lightweight-blue (so I can’t lose it) power strip and one Belkin powerbar with two USB charge docks. Sometimes hotel rooms need more power. I’m a geek, so I have a lot of electronics.”...
The Daring Librarian, May 14
Mountaineers to return to Disney’s Matterhorn
Disneyland announced May 8 that the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the iconic roller-coaster-type ride that has been closed since January for a revamp, will have mountaineers once again scaling its slopes when the ride reopens June 15. The ride will have a new fleet of bobsleds with three seats each and hitched together two at a time. The Matterhorn, which has two runs, stands 100 times shorter than the real Swiss peak that is 14,700 feet tall. The ride made its debut at the park in 1959....
Los Angeles Times, May 9; Disney Parks Blog, May 8
A day at Disney California Adventure Park
The Blue Sky Cellar imagineering shop has been updated to give Disney California Adventure Park guests even more to see from the development of Cars Land, opening in June. Among the updates is a brand-new video that takes you through “A Day at Disney California Adventure Park” in a whole new way. Take a look at this sneak peek (1:47)....
Disney Parks Blog, Mar. 5
Anaheim Farmers’ Market and Craft Fair
The Downtown Anaheim Certified Farmers’ Market is an outdoor street fair
that takes place every Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. It is a nonprofit organization establishing an indie music showcase once a week. Gourmet food trucks on hand at the June 21 market will be Sweet Lou’s BBQ and Moustache Mike’s Italian Ice, with music by Tobago steel drummer Desmond Bedlow. Even closer to the Convention Center is the Ponderosa Park Farmers’ Market, which takes place Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m....
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RUSQ, open access, and me
Catherine Pellegrino writes: “In the past week or so, there’s been a tempest in a teapot surrounding Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), RUSA’s peer-reviewed journal. I’ll try to tell the story as clearly as I can from the beginning, though others undoubtedly can tell parts of the story better. Back in 2006, RUSA announced that going forward, RUSQ would be open access. Fast forward to summer 2011: The RUSA board approved a decision to end the print version of RUSQ, go online only, and set a one-year embargo on new issues.”...
Spurious Tuples, May 11
Find out more about RUSA, the Reference and User Services Association, at RUSA 101. You’ll learn about what RUSA and its sections do, how to get involved, how to stay informed in our activities, and get any of your RUSA questions answered. Five free online sessions are scheduled in June, and an in-person session is scheduled for June 22 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....
RUSA Blog, May 10
Weber named LRTS editor
Mary Beth Weber (right), head of central technical services at Rutgers University Libraries, has been appointed as the new editor of Library Resources & Technical Services. Her term will begin July 1 as editor designate, working with the current editor Peggy Johnson through the end of December, and continue through December 2016....
ALCTS, May 14
Laura Bush in Knowledge Quest
AASL Executive Director Julie Walker interviews (PDF file) former First Lady Laura Bush in the new issue of Knowledge Quest. The issue focuses on the theme “Caring Is Essential,” while the interview discusses the caring power of the Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative, a project overseen by the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries....
AASL, May 15
Advocacy brochures in Spanish
AASL has created a Spanish translation of the parent-focused entry in the School Library Programs Improve Student Learning series of advocacy brochures. Each brochure in the series speaks to a specific stakeholder audience within the school library community. Each brochure, including the Spanish translation of the brochure targeting parents, is available as a free download on the AASL website or in packs of 25 through the ALA Store....
AASL, May 15
ALTAFF votes to rename itself
ALTAFF members voted to change the division’s name to “United for Libraries: the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations.” The name change will become official September 4....
ALTAFF, May 15
Specialized Outreach Services Luncheon
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will speak at ALTAFF’s Specialized Outreach Services Luncheon June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The event will also feature Cheryl Gould of Fully Engaged Libraries, speaking about what it means to be a community anchor. Purchase tickets online....
ALTAFF, May 15
Jane Green at Gala Author Tea
See Jane Green (right), author of Another Piece of My Heart, and other authors at ALTAFF’s Gala Author Tea June 25 at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Sponsored by ReferenceUSA, the event will also feature Selden Edwards (The Lost Prince), Andrew Gross (15 Seconds), Adam Mansbach (Go the F**k to Sleep), and Dustin Thomason (12:21). Tickets are required....
ALTAFF, May 15
The Transformative Power of Care
AASL will host “The Transformative Power of Care” on June 12, a Knowledge Quest webinar on how showing care can make school library programs stronger and help them become the heart of the school community. The webinar will be presented by Olga Nesi, library coordinator for the New York City School Library System. Register online....
AASL, May 14
WrestleMania Reading Challenge
Registration is open for the eighth annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by WWE and YALSA. To enter, teens and tweens must write a letter to convince their favorite WWE Superstar to read their favorite book. Eighteen finalists will win transportation, hotel, tickets, and spending money to attend WrestleMania 29 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, April 7, 2013. The sponsoring libraries will each win $2,000. Librarians and educators must register by July 31; teens and tweens can enter between October 1 and 31....
YALSA, May 14
Genevieve Owens elected ALCTS president
Genevieve Owens (right), assistant director of the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library, has been elected ALCTS president for 2013–2014. Owens has served as chair of the ALCTS fundraising committee, the ALCTS program committee, and the ALCTS publications committee....
ALCTS, May 14
Sara G. Laughlin elected ASCLA president
Sara Gaar Laughlin (right), director of the Monroe County (Ind.) Public Library, has been elected ASCLA president for 2013–2014. Laughlin joined ASCLA more than three decades ago when she took on a coordinator position at the Stone Hills Library Network. She has served both the library profession and the division in a broad variety of capacities....
ASCLA Blog, May 16
Kathleen Kern elected RUSA president
M. Kathleen Kern (right), reference librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected RUSA president for 2013–2014. Kern has been an active RUSA member since 2001, and has served as RUSA division councilor and a member of the RUSA Executive Committee since 2009....
RUSA Blog, May 16
ALCTS presents two virtual preconferences
ALCTS will offer two virtual preconferences in June prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. “Local Collections, Collective Context: Managing Print Collections in the Age of Collaboration” runs June 4–6. “The How and Why of Research: What Is the Rock in Your Shoe?” runs June 12–14. Register online....
ALCTS, May 14
New webinar on the read/write library
LITA will offer “Social Networking the Catalog: Community Based Approaches to Building Catalogs and Collections,” a webinar that will introduce the Read/Write Library Chicago model for illuminating and creating connections between materials and institutions, on June 7. Margaret Heller of Dominican University will present. Register online....
LITA, May 15
PLA webinar on managing media
PLA will host a free live, hourlong webinar, “Managing Traditional and Social Media for Libraries,” on May 31. Presented by Steve Yacovelli, owner and principal of TopDog Learning Group, the webinar will cover the fundamentals of media planning and outreach—including social media—to prepare library staff to work with the media and generate attention that will support the library’s activities and advocacy efforts. Registration is required....
PLA, May 14
New ASCLA interest groups
Two new ASCLA interest groups are now welcoming members: the Future of Libraries Interest Group and the Tribal Librarians Interest Group. You can join the group by logging into ALA Connect, accessing the group page, then clicking “join” on the right side of the page. You do not need to be a member of ASCLA for the first year of your interest group membership....
ASCLA Blog, May 16
ASCLA in Ireland
The deadline to reserve your spot on ASCLA’s trip to Ireland (PDF file), October 4–12, is fast approaching. The itinerary includes castles, libraries, and important historic sites of Ireland and is hosted by Lyceum Tours. Participants are responsible for their own airfare. A portion of the trip’s proceeds benefits ASCLA. Deposits for this upcoming adventure are due by June 1....
ASCLA Blog, May 14
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Caldecott 75th anniversary logo
ALSC has introduced a very special Caldecott 75th anniversary logo created by 2008 Caldecott Medal Winner Brian Selznick. The characters featured span 75 years of distinguished picture books from 1938 to the 21st century. Which character in the logo represents the oldest Caldecott Medal–winning title? ALSC will reveal the answer in June in its Caldecott clue countdown....
ALSC Blog, May 13
Scholastic Library Publishing Award
Paul Kelsey (right), head of acquisitions at Sims Memorial Library at Southeastern Louisiana University, has been named the winner of the 2012 Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The award, which includes a citation and $1,000 prize, recognizes a librarian for extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning....
Office of ALA Governance, May 15
My Favorite Martian Award
Carolyn S. Larson (right), head of the Business Reference Section of the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress, is the recipient of the 2012 My Favorite Martian Award for contributions to RUSA’s MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section. The award is given annually to a member who has demonstrated excellence in service to the section....
RUSA, May 14
2012 Jesse H. Shera Awards
The Library Research Round Table has chosen the 2012 winners of the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, which went to Shana Pribesh, Karen Gavigan, and Gail Dickinson for their article, “The Access Gap: Poverty and Characteristics of School Library Media Centers,” Library Quarterly, April 2012; and the Jesse H. Shera Award for the Support of Dissertation Research, which went to Victor J. Sensenig for his dissertation Public Libraries and Literacy in Ecological Perspective....
Library Research Round Table, May 15
Apply for Best Friends Awards
ALTAFF is accepting applications for the seventh annual Best Friends Awards, which recognize Friends groups around the country for print and electronic materials that promote the group and its projects. Winners will be recognized in ALTAFF’s newsletter, The Voice. Apply by June 15....
ALTAFF, May 15
RUSA BRASS Conference Travel Grant
Joel Glogowski (right), business librarian at Georgia State University, is the inaugural recipient of the BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Librarians, a travel grant presented by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section. The grant recognizes a librarian new to the field of academic business librarianship and provides financial support in the amount of $1,250 for attendance at the ALA Annual Conference....
RUSA, May 14
13th Annual Awards for Federal Librarianship
The Federal Library and Information Network has announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship. Two 2011 Federal Library or Information Center of the Year Awards went to the Woodworth Consolidated Library (right) at Fort Gordon, Georgia; and Eglin Air Force Base Library, Florida. MaryLynn Francisco, acting director of the GEOINT Research Center at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Virginia, is the 2011 Federal Librarian of the Year....
Library of Congress, May 11
EBSCO wins Best in Biz Award 2012 EMEA
EBSCO Publishing has been named the silver winner in Most Innovative Company of the Year in Best in Biz Awards 2012 EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), the only independent international business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts. Winners were determined by scores from a panel of judges from top-tier newspapers, business and technology publications, and broadcast outlets in 11 countries. EBSCO Publishing is an international company with employees around the globe....
EBSCO, May 16
Lois Lenski Library Grants
The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation, established by the 1946 Newbery medalist and author of Strawberry Girl, annually awards grants for purchasing books published for preschoolers through grade 8. Public, school, and nonprofit special libraries that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need are eligible. Grants for 2012 will range from $500 to $3,000. Applications must be postmarked by June 15....
Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award
The New York Public Library announced May 14 that Karen Russell is the winner of the 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award for her debut novel, Swamplandia! The award includes a $10,000 prize. Now in its 12th year, the awadr recognizes an American writer 35 years old or younger for publishing a novel or a short story collection. The 2011 debut novel was chosen from four other titles....
GalleyCat, May 15
2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
Octogenarian Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld has won the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his novel Blooms of Darkness, published by Alma Books and based on his experiences during the Holocaust. The tale is told from the perspective of 11-year-old Hugo, who is taken in by Mariana, a prostitute, to keep him safe as Jewish people are sent to concentration camps. The award honors contemporary fiction in translation in the United Kingdom....
The Bookseller, May 15
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In defense of the New York Public Library
Robert Darnton writes: “The trustees of the New York Public Library—I write as one of them but only in my capacity as a private individual—have decided to rearrange a great deal of its sacred space. They will sell the run-down Mid-Manhattan branch library and the Science, Industry, and Business Library at Madison Avenue and 34th Street, and will use the proceeds to expand the interior of the 42nd Street building. The shrill tone of the rhetoric over this plan suggests an emotional response that goes beyond disagreement over policy.”...
New York Review of Books, June 7
Broken Arrow school board gets it
A popular teen novel about a boy entering his freshman year in high school will remain on middle school library shelves, the Broken Arrow (Okla.) Board of Education ruled May 10. The board voted 3–0 to keep the book, Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, in middle school libraries. Theresa Sallee, parent of an 8th-grade son who attends Childers Middle School, had asked the board to remove it, saying it is “vulgar.”...
Tulsa (Okla.) World, May 10
L.A. Unified’s annual Reduction in Force
Steve Lopez writes: “RIF season, some call it, for Reduction in Force. This year, Los Angeles Unified is going for the gold. An astounding 9,500 teachers, nurses, and human services employees have been notified by mail that their jobs are on the line. This year, 50 teacher-librarians got RIFed and several have gone before the kangaroo court to fight for a chance to keep working, in a classroom if not in a library. There has to be a saner way to fund and operate the state’s public schools.”...
Los Angeles Times, May 8
Expensive routers in tiny West Virginia libraries
Nate Anderson writes: “West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette has been hopping mad this week as one of its reporters learned that the state has been sticking 1,064 high-end $22,600 routers (right) into ‘little public institutions as small as rural libraries with just one computer terminal.’ The money for the routers came from federal stimulus funds designed to boost broadband access by better equipping public facilities like schools and libraries, especially in more rural areas. West Virginia officials decided not to vary the size of the routers they purchased.”...
Ars Technica, May 10; Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette, May 5
San Antonio’s underground library
San Antonio is one of four cities (the others are Houston, Albuquerque, and Tucson) hosting what author Tony Diaz has dubbed “underground libraries,” community-minded reference and lending facilities that will keep at least four copies of each book taken out of classrooms when Arizona’s HB2281 law effectively killed off Tucson’s ethnic-studies school programs in 2010 and sent boxes of Latino literature to a book depository. San Antonio’s Underground Library went into operation May 10 with a reading by author and columnist Gustavo Arellano....
San Antonio (Tex.) Current, May 9
Brooklyn Public Library leads in preservation contest
The Brooklyn Public Library is currently the top vote-getter in a Partners in Preservation competition that will distribute $3 million in grants to the four city organizations out of 40 that garner the highest number of votes. BPL, which is asking for funds for the “replacement of main entry doors with historically sensitive materials” currently leads all submissions with 9% of the vote. The Jefferson Market Library is also a contender. Anyone who creates a Partners in Preservation account can vote through the deadline of May 21....
New York Daily News: Pageviews, May 10
Sacramento library tries to recoup losses
Prosecutors want a receiver to look into two houses, two rental properties, seven cars, and more than 20 bank accounts in search of $815,000 they say was looted from the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library Authority by three people, including two former library officials, who in 2011 were convicted in a kickback scheme. The single most valuable asset at stake appears to be a house on American River Canyon Drive in Folsom that was owned by the library’s former facilities director, Dennis Nilsson....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, May 12
Buffalo gets a large state grant
New York State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy (D-58th, on the right), a member of the Senate Committee on Libraries, announced a significant state investment in local libraries May 10 at the downtown Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Joined by library officials and fellow state lawmakers, Kennedy announced the state has directed $617,970 in construction and improvement grants to the Downtown Central Library, as part of the overall award of $740,000 to a total of four libraries in the system....
Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, May 11
A home for sketchbooks of the world
For $25, any doodler, student, parent, graphic designer, architect, or would-be artist with an idea can fill a 32-page sketchbook and add it to the Sketchbook Project collection at the Brooklyn Art Library. For six years, the project has been offering intimate glimpses into the imaginations of its worldwide contributors. Its shelves now feature approximately 12,500 sketchbooks from more than 130 countries....
New York Times, May 13
Trove of Lincoln documents discovered in Japan
When Daniel Stowell, director and editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a project run by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois, traveled to Tokyo in April to examine the largest collection of original Abraham Lincoln documents outside the US, he expected to be looking at about 60 documents he already knew existed at Meisei University. He found those, plus a treasure trove of 51 more documents—some of which weren’t known to exist anywhere else. University officials acquired a portion of the collection in 1980 from businessman Masaharu Mochizuki, who created the Tokyo Lincoln Center in 1961....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, May 15; Chicago Sun-Times, May 15
Singapore to open first green library for kids
The National Library of Singapore in 2013 will be home to one of the world’s first green libraries for kids when the children’s section is transformed into an ecolandscape. Called “My Tree House,” the new section will incorporate sustainability in its design and infrastructure. Plans call for an enchanted forest ambience with fun spaces for hands-on learning and contemplation. About 30% of its 70,000 books will focus on environmental topics....
National Library Board of Singapore, May 9
Armed forces build school library in the Philippines
San Isidro Elementary School in Santa Ana, Pampanga (about two hours north of Manila), in the Philippine Islands, will have a ribbon cutting May 19 for a new library for its more than 750 students, thanks to members of the Guam Army National Guard and the Philippine Air Force. “Building a library for this school is a big blessing not only for the children in San Isidro but also for the whole barangay [administrative district],” principal Leilani Capati said, noting a high number of nonreaders in the Philippine school system overall....
Pacific News Center, May 15
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House bill kills Census Bureau survey
On May 9, the House voted 232–190 on the Webster-Lankford amendment to kill the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which collects data on some 3 million households each year and is the largest survey next to the decennial census. The ACS provides data that helps determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are spent annually. The appropriations bill also eliminates the Economic Census, which measures the health of our economy. Director of the US Census Bureau Robert M. Groves writes, “This bill thus devastates the nation’s statistical information about the status of the economy and the larger society.”...
Business Week, May 10; Director’s Blog, May 11
Ruling in Georgia State e-reserves case
Jennifer Howard writes: “Judge Orinda Evans in Atlanta has handed down a long-awaited ruling in a lawsuit brought by three scholarly publishers in 2008 against Georgia State University over its use of copyrighted material in electronic reserves. The ruling (PDF file), delivered May 11, looks mostly like a victory for the university, finding that only five of 99 alleged copyright infringements did in fact violate the plaintiffs’ copyrights.” James Grimmelman, Kevin Smith, and Barbara Fister discuss the implications....
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13; The Laboratorium, May 13; Scholarly Communications @ Duke, May 12; Inside Higher Ed, May 13
Senate passes Whistleblower Act
On May 8, the Senate voted unanimously to pass S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011. This is a landmark bill that will expand the scope of whistleblower protections in the federal government, including providing whistleblower rights to employees of the Transportation Security Administration....
District Dispatch, May 9
Shorter University’s lifestyle statement
A tenured librarian at a Georgia Baptist university is refusing to sign a “lifestyle statement” against homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, drug use, and drinking in public. So far, the college has not responded. “It’s a matter of conscience,” said Michael Wilson (right), who has worked at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, for 14 years. Nearly 60 staff members are leaving because of recent policy changes at the school. In October 2011, the announcement that employees would be required to sign the statement appeared to be the last straw....
New York Daily News, May 14; Inside Higher Ed, May 14
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A bombproof case for your iPad
You probably aren’t expecting your iPad to be hit by an improvised explosive device, but if you are, you might want to secure it in a Pelican case. Pelican, which makes protective cases often used by the military to transport weapons, medical supplies and electronics, now makes a case for people who fear their iPad is in for some serious abuse. The i1075 Hardback is a hard ABS-plastic case about the size of a pair of 13-inch laptops stacked atop one another....
New York Times: Gadgetwise, May 9
Five Mac antivirus apps
Jacqui Cheng writes: “Mac invulnerability to malware is a myth, at least according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab. Given the spike in questions we’ve been receiving about which antivirus software is the best, we thought we’d take a look at a handful of the most well-known apps out there for Mac users. Here are our impressions of five different antivirus packages.”...
Ars Technica, May 13
13 problem areas for web preservation
David Rosenthal writes: “Kris Carpenter Negulescu of the Internet Archive and I organized a half-day workshop on the problems of harvesting and preserving the future web during the International Internet Preservation Coalition General Assembly 2012 at the Library of Congress. In preparation for the workshop we put together this list of 13 problem areas already causing problems for web preservation.”...
DSHR’s Blog, May 7
The worst phones you can buy
Sam Biddle writes: “There’s still a need for the cheap phone. And then, there’s what you find below. A buffet of horrendous hardware, redundant mediocrity, and straight ugliness. Phones that are both bad and not free. Dumbphones that pretend to be Android. Why do they exist? Presumably, because people are buying them—but why are there so many? We don’t know, but here’s the menu.”...
Gizmodo, May 15
Icons that don’t make sense any more
Scott Hanselman writes: “What happens when all the things we based our icons on don’t exist anymore? Do they just become iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery? The floppy disk means “save”? Save where? You know, down there. Adding the Arrow to the 3.5-inch floppy makes me smile. Is it pointing to under my desk? What’s a floppy? Why not a USB key? Maybe a cloud icon? That will be easy since there is only one cloud icon in the world.”...
Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen, Oct. 11, 2011; May 9
Eight websites that teach seniors computer skills
Saikat Basu writes: “For senior citizens, learning computers and basic internet skills is not only for accessing information. It is the tool now for keeping in touch with family members. Let’s head out and attend classes at these eight websites that teach basic internet and computer skills . . . not only for senior citizens, but also for any rank newcomer.”...
MakeUseOf, May 11
Sign language translator turns gestures into speech
Jon Fingas writes: “By far one of the greatest challenges of sign language has been to translate it for everyday folk that wouldn't know where to begin a conversation with the deaf. Cornell University engineering students Ranjay Krishna, Seonwoo Lee, and Si Ping Wang used their final project time this past semester to close this gap in one of the more practical solutions we've seen to date. Their prototype glove uses accelerometers, contact sensors, and flex sensors to translate complex finger gestures from the American Sign Language alphabet into spoken letters.” Watch the video (4:19)....
Engadget, May 15; YouTube, May 11
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The Douglas County model
Monique Sendze writes: “Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries is trying something new: buying ebooks directly from publishers and hosting them on its own platform. That platform is based on the purchase of content at discount; owning (not leasing) a copy of the file; the application of industry-standard DRM on the library’s files; multiple purchases based on demand; and a ‘click to buy’ feature. As of this writing, more than 800 publishers have signed up.” Watch the video (3:15)....
Boing Boing, May 10
Libraries own Random House ebooks
Rob Maier writes: “On May 10, at the Massachusetts Library Association annual conference in Worcester, Ruth Liebmann, director of account marketing at Random House, stated emphatically that libraries own the ebooks they purchase from Random House. Liebmann and Josh Marwell, president of sales at HarperCollins, participated on a panel moderated by ALA President Molly Raphael. There was agreement that the work ALA is doing by meeting with publishers is opening a much-needed conversation in a positive way.”...
AL: E-Content, May 10
The real battle is: Not reading
Chris Rechtsteiner writes: “Four months ago, the real competition for ebooksellers was libraries. Today, the competition is much more severe—it’s across the entire ecosystem. Today, the real competition for booksellers, publishers, and libraries is not reading. Libraries have, for a very long time, been battling competition from not reading. They’re experts in this area, which is why they made such consistent inroads as an early competitor to booksellers and were a thorn in the side of publishers.”...
Digital Book World, May 15
The ebook age has accelerated the metabolism of book publishing. Authors are now pulling the literary equivalent of a double shift, churning out short stories, novellas, or even an extra full-length book each year. They are trying to satisfy impatient readers who have become used to downloading any ebook they want. The push for more material comes as publishers and booksellers are desperately looking for ways to hold onto readers lured by other forms of entertainment, much of it available nonstop and almost instantaneously....
New York Times, May 12
Wave of bad ebook news: Dark cloud or blip?
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “A mini-wave of middling news has hit the ebook world in the past several weeks, in contrast to the usual positive narrative about explosive growth and boundless opportunity. Is it a dark cloud on the horizon or just a blip on the radar? Despite the news, experts and observers say that ebook publishers have little to worry about.”...
Digital Book World, May 10
Motion to dismiss ebook price-fixing suit denied
Apple and five major book publishers have failed to persuade US District Court Judge Denise Cote to throw out a lawsuit by consumers accusing them of conspiring to raise electronic book prices in 2010. The lawsuit accuses Apple and the publishers of colluding to break up Amazon.com’s low-cost dominance of the digital book market. HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette previously reached settlements with the Department of Justice’s antitrust division....
Reuters, May 15
How compatible are rival e-readers?
David Pogue writes: “The mail is still coming in about my review of Barnes & Noble’s latest ebook reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. Very little of the mail is actually about the reader, though. Most of it challenges the statements I made when I characterized the state of the ebook world right now. Here’s a summary and a few clarifications.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, May 10
All digital objects are born-digital objects
Trevor Owens writes: “Cultural heritage professionals often talk about ‘born-digital’ and ‘digitized’ objects. In some respect this distinction captures meaningful differences. A digitized object exists to record and present characteristics of some physical object. In contrast, born-digital objects began their existence as digital. The idea of digitization obfuscates the fact that digitization is not a preservation act. Digitization is a creative act.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, May 15
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The ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, June 21–26, is the event of the year for reading fanatics. Hundreds of authors will be speaking in programs, at the Book Buzz Theater, and in the exhibits: Meet the Authors; Live@Your Library Reading Stage, Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage; Zine Pavilion, PopTop Stage, and more.
Great Libraries of the World
Jagiellonian University Library, Kraków, Poland. Housed from 1515 to 1940 in what is now the Gothic Revival Collegium Maius Museum, the new university library facility built in 2000 is one of the largest in Europe. The origins of its collections are in the 14th century, but the library also has a large number of 16th-century items, including Nicolaus Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) and the Balthasar Behem Codex. During the Nazi occupation, Polish scientists and youths studying in secret were allowed unofficial access to the collection, thanks to the help of the Polish librarians, who also saw to it that the library did not suffer significant damage.
National Library, Warsaw, Poland. The library originated with the collection of Bishops Józef Andrzej Załuski and Andrzej Stanisław Załuski, opening in 1747. It was one of the first libraries in the world intended to amass the entire body of Polish literature and make it accessible to the public. After Russian troops invaded Poland in 1794, nearly 400,000 of the library’s volumes were removed to the Imperial Library in St. Petersburg. Other books were acquired after independence in 1918, but much of the new library’s holdings, in particular its special collections, was destroyed toward the end of World War II. After the war, it has once again built up its collection to some 8.7 million items.
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. There is also a Great Libraries of the World Pinterest board.
Head of Acquisitions and Electronic Resources, University of Texas at Dallas. The Eugene McDermott Library invites applications and nominations for a forward-thinking, service-oriented, collaborative leader to manage the Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Department. Reporting to the Director of Libraries, the Head of Acquisitions and Electronic Resources is responsible for envisioning and defining the services provided by the Department. The position is responsible for ordering and receiving all library materials including processing and reconciliation of payments, preparing appropriate reports and statistics, and monitoring the budget for materials. Candidates should have experience with the management of electronic resources and provide knowledge of trends and best practices in the field of acquisitions. The Senior Librarian is responsible for managing all department personnel....
Noted and Quoted
“Recovering from post-lunch sleepies at the lawbrary is like trying to climb out of a dark pit on a rope made of barcodes.”
—Eleanor Crumblehulme, @Crumblehulme, Vancouver, B.C., in a May 15 tweet.
National Simultaneous Story Time, Australian Library and Information Association.
Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Digital Humanities Summer Institute, University of Victoria, British Columbia.
BookExpo America, Jacob Javits Center, New York City.
WebJunction / Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Webinar. “Best Kept Secret: Marketing the Small and Rural Library.”
Amigos Library Services, Online Conference. “Access by Touch: Delivering Library Services Through Mobile Technologies.”
Canadian Health Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Hamilton, Ontario. “Cascade of Knowledge.”
United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association, Annual Conference, Quincy, Massachusetts. “A Revolution in Scholarship—A Commonwealth of Knowledge.”
Association for Computing Machinery, Hypertext and Social Media Conference, Milwaukee.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting and Conference, Boston. “Learn, Connect, Grow.”
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Springfield, Illinois. “Lincoln Logs On: Tradition and Innovation in Library Ministry.”