|American Libraries Online
Ebooks: Promising new conversations
ALA President Molly Raphael writes: “Earlier this week, I led a four-person ALA delegation to New York to meet with Hachette Book Group and four national organizations that represent authors. Meeting with Hachette was a priority, as we were unable to meet with them on our last delegation trip to New York. The majority of our time was allocated to meetings with the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Authors Guild, PEN American Center, and the National Writers Union.”...
AL: E-Content, May 18
New American Libraries digital supplement on e-content
ALA has released a report that examines critical issues underlying equitable access to digital content through our nation’s libraries. Published as a digital supplement to American Libraries, “E-Content: The Digital Dialogue” explores authors’ various licensing models and the state of librarian-publisher relations. Additionally, the report provides an update on ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group and its efforts to promote access to digital content. For more ebook news, see the three features below, as well as the E-Content section of AL Direct....
ALA Washington Office, May 23
Warning: You are about to enter the ebook zone
Robert C. Maier and Carrie Russell write: “Welcome to the world of constant change. Every week sees a new twist in the world of public libraries and ebooks, and if you are feeling bewildered, you’re not alone. What happened to the physical-book world that we knew so well? It’s still here, but in the last two years a newcomer has started to shake things up. Hello, ebooks.”...
American Libraries feature
Navigating the ebook revolution
James LaRue writes: “It’s here. Long heralded, the e-revolution has finally arrived in the form of rapid adoption of e-reader devices. It seems safe to assume that by the end of 2012, public libraries may be directing as much as 20% of their collection budgets to digital content. Libraries don’t exist in isolation. We aren’t the only player. But we are the only player whose main concern is to make as much content available as possible, to all. To that end, there are a few directions we need to pursue.”...
American Libraries feature
Lessons from the typewriter
Peter Brantley writes: “For the first time in decades, we are living through a moment in which the book is being reenvisioned and reenlivened. But unlike the past, we will write these complex and intricate stories in a world far more complex than the one we left a few short decades ago, in which typewriters struck uniform black letters on white sheets of paper. With the power of story, libraries can enable communities to preserve their heritage. Let’s build the new generation of typewriters that will help these stories get written.”...
American Libraries feature
Remembering ALA on Memorial Day
As Memorial Day approaches, the US Naval Institute in Annapolis shared two vintage shots of American troops enjoying books donated by the American Library Association through its Library War Service program. The photos were taken aboard the USS Mercury, which brought some 20,000 soldiers home from France after the World War I armistice in eight transatlantic crossings from 1918 to 1919....
AL Focus, May 17
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ALA advocates for public access
On May 16, Corey Williams (right) of the ALA Washington Office participated in the research panel “Knowledge and Innovation: Understanding Public Access to Research,” hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation in Washington, D.C. The discussion focused on increasing public access to federally funded research. The event opened with keynote speaker Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), sponsor of H.R. 4004, the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012 (FRPAA)....
District Dispatch, May 17
Visit the Advocacy Corner at Annual
Influencing library boards, using statistics to make the case, and privatization are among the topics to be discussed at the Advocacy Corner at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, June 23 and 24 at the ALA Membership Pavilion (Booth #1939). Ken Haycock, Stephanie Vance, and Peter Pearson are among the speakers who will host short discussions, workshops, and Q&A sessions designed to improve advocacy skills and showcase advocacy ideas and initiatives from all types of libraries. See the full schedule....
Office for Library Advocacy, May 22
Thinking about buying a Makerbot?
Jenny Levine writes: “Bre Pettis, cofounder of MakerBot Industries, just made a pretty good offer to libraries: ‘I want every library to have MakerBots. If any librarians take a picture of themselves holding a sheet of paper that says A MakerBot will go here! with an arrow to someplace in their library and emails that picture, I’ll hook them up with a discount code for $100 off a MakerBot Replicator.’”...
ALA Connect: DIY Spaces, May 23
2102 Diversity and Outreach Fair
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services has selected presentations for its Diversity and Outreach Fair, to be held June 23 in the Special Events area of Hall A at the Anaheim Convention Center. The presentations will highlight innovative and successful library outreach initiatives during a poster session open to all attendees at the ALA Annual Conference. The theme of this year’s fair will be “Building Community Connections.”...
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 17
Engagement opportunities at Options Fair
The Association Options Fair, to be held June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, will provide opportunities for attendees to engage with leaders from throughout the Association and profession. Part of ALA President Molly Raphael’s “Empowering Diverse Voices” diversity leadership initiative, the fair was developed to address one of the most essential steps towards leadership development: exposure to the leadership and involvement opportunities that are available....
Office for Diversity, May 22
A new season of Step Up to the Plate
Step Up to the Plate @ your library, ALA’s annual baseball trivia contest, returns just in time for summer. This year’s program has a greater emphasis on social media to encourage people of all ages to use the resources at their library. Participants answer a series of trivia questions developed by National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum staff for a chance to win weekly prize packs and a final grand-prize drawing for a trip to Cooperstown, New York, and the World Series Gala in October. Programming ideas and promotional materials are available....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, May 22
“Perspectives on Leadership” webinar
A free June 12 webinar, “Perspectives on Leadership,” will focus on the intersection of diversity and leadership. Part of ALA President Molly Raphael’s “Empowering Diverse Voices” diversity leadership initiative, the webinar will feature a panel of diverse leaders exploring the implications of diversity on leadership. Registration is required....
Office for Diversity, May 22
Academic liaison librarians
Academic liaison librarians are a vital link between faculty, students, and library resources. New Directions for Academic Liaison Librarians, by Alice Crawford, provides liaison librarians with new opportunities for innovative partnerships and projects. A practitioner in the field, Crawford showcases areas where liaison librarians can collaborate with others in their institution, extend their role, and maximize the flexibility, imagination, and initiative their post demands....
ALA Neal-Schuman, May 17
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Reviews of Carnegie Medal finalists
Bill Ott writes: “In the two short months since the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established, those of us involved in the launching of the award—which is cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA and funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York—have been very busy. These six books rose to the top of a long list composed of nearly 50 titles drawn from the Booklist Editors’ Choice list and RUSA’s Notable Books list. The winning fiction title and nonfiction title will be announced at a special event at ALA Annual Conference on June 24, in Anaheim.” Meanwhile, you can read the Booklist reviews for each finalist....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Disney park prices rise again
If you’re thinking of visiting a Disney theme park in Anaheim in June, be warned that the price has just jumped between $7 and $150 depending on the ticket deal. The annual summer price hikes for tickets to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park took effect May 20. For example, a ticket for one day at either Disneyland or California Adventure Park was $80 for park-goers 10 or older. The new price is $87, up nearly 9%. ALA has a special Disney Discount Ticket for conference attendees....
Los Angeles Times, May 18
A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour
One Disneyland tour that could appeal to some adults is the
Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour, a 3.5-hour guided walk that covers the life of Walt Disney and how his vision became reality. The tour includes a ride on the Disney railroad, a look at the lobby of the famed Club 33 (right), and private lunch on Main Street USA. If you have kids with you, the Discover the Magic guided tour might be fun....
Disney World; Mouse Planet; DIS Unplugged Disney Blog, Apr. 4
Disneyland monorails get new faces
The Disneyland Monorails have gotten a makeover in anticipation of Cars Land opening at the Disney California Adventure park. Mandy and Mona Monorail are already driving around the resort; Manny Monorail will be joining them soon. The faces on the monorails look similar to the characters in the Cars films. The Disneyland Monorail was the first transportation system of its kind in America and opened June 14, 1959, with its popular “Googie” architecture....
Disneyland News, May 16; Disneyland Resort
The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café is the only eatery open on Main Street in Disneyland early in the morning, so long lines form but move quickly. It opened in January with a Mary Poppins theme and penguins on its stained-glass windows. The bakery features an assortment of pastries, specialty coffees, fresh salad, sandwiches, soups, quiche, Merry Cherry lemonade, and Matterhorn macaroons. Watch the video (2:03)....
The Disney Food Blog; YouTube, May 1
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New Literary Landmark: Hackley Public Library
ALTAFF will dedicate the Hackley Public Library (right) in Muskegon, Michigan, a Literary Landmark in honor of Verna Aardema on June 12. Aardema (1911–2000) was an award-winning children’s author who based her stories on traditional folk tales from Africa, Latin America, and other countries. Hackley Public Library and its librarians provided the setting and support for her research. She is the author of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1976, as well as more than 30 other books and collections of stories....
ALTAFF, May 17
Public library data available online
Data PLA has collected for the 2012 Public Library Data Service Statistical Report Survey is now available exclusively online at PLAmetrics. The 2012 PLDS Statistical Report includes details on public library finances, resources, annual use figures, and technology from more than 1,300 public libraries throughout the US and Canada. Subscribers to PLAmetrics can access PLDS data (2002–2011) and public-use IMLS data (1998–2009) and take advantage of convenient templated or customizable reporting features....
PLA, May 22
Transforming libraries through frontline advocacy
ALTAFF will host “Transforming Libraries through Frontline Advocacy,” an advocacy program featuring Larry Neal, director of Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library, and Deborah Doyle (right), interim executive director of the Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim on June 24. Each speaker will discuss frontline advocacy for library Friends, trustees, foundations, and other advocates....
ALTAFF, May 17
Develop a free online management system
Library managers at all levels are discovering that the ever-expanding world of social media can be their most effective tool for communication, supervision, and project management. LLAMA will present a webinar on “Online Management Systems: Wielding Web 2.0 Tools to Manage and Track Projects Collaboratively,” on June 6. Register online....
LLAMA, May 17
Turn the page this summer
Registration has opened for the online summer session (week of July 9 through the week of August 13) of “Turning the Page 2.0,” a free advocacy training program for public libraries developed and presented by PLA with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participants will choose an advocacy goal for their library and are guided through the creation of an Advocacy Work Plan....
PLA, May 21
ASCLA is offering innovative, half-day workshops prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The topics are developing a library champions campaign, promoting online services to print-disabled patrons, and building a public library–prison library partnership....
ASCLA Blog, May 23
RDA sessions at Annual
RDA (Resource Description and Access), the new cataloging standard, will be implemented in US libraries in March 2013. As libraries prepare for the change, ALCTS has scheduled a preconference, programs, and interest group presentations at this year’s Annual Conference in Anaheim. Register online....
ALCTS, May 22
AASL offers Common Core webinar
A new AASL webinar will discuss the vital role school librarians play in assisting teachers with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Facilitator Paige Jaeger will present “Common Core Carpe Diem: Seize the Day on Information Integration!” on June 6. Registration is required and limited to 100....
AASL, May 22
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Andrew Carnegie Medal finalists
ALA, along with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, on May 17 announced six finalists for the inaugural Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The awards honor the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the United States. From these finalists, a fiction winner and a nonfiction winner will be announced at an awards program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim on June 24....
AL: Inside Scoop, May 17
Honorary member nominations open
ALA is now accepting nominations for honorary membership, the Association’s highest honor. Honorary membership is bestowed on living citizens of any country whose contributions to librarianship or a closely related field are so outstanding that they are of significant and lasting importance to the whole field of library service. To make a nomination, submit the nomination form and supplementary materials by September 1....
Office of ALA Governance, May 22
Outstanding Friend Conference Grant
ALTAFF has awarded the 2012 LexisNexis Outstanding Friend Conference Grant to Mary Alicia McRae (right), secretary of the Friends of the Salinas (Calif.) Public Libraries. McRae will receive $850 plus full conference registration to attend the 2012 ALA Annual Conference June 21–26 in Anaheim, where a formal award presentation will be made....
ALTAFF, May 22
LHRT supports Spectrum
The Library History Round Table has announced its support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program with a gift of $1,000. LHRT’s contributions will allow ALA to continue to support master’s-level Spectrum Scholarships....
Office for Diversity, May 22
Best websites for teaching and learning
AASL will announce the recipients of the 2012 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning June 23 during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Sites recognized as a Best Website for Teaching and Learning are free, user-friendly, and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. They also provide a foundation to support AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. View current and past recipients or nominate websites for the list....
AASL, May 22
Teen Summer Internship Program Grants
YALSA has announced the winners of its Teen Summer Internship Program Grants, which are funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Forty public and school libraries will receive $1,000 to help fund summer internships for teens....
YALSA, May 17
2012 NASIG awards and grants
The North American Serials Interest Group has announced its awards and grants for 2012. Jane Skoric, cataloging and metadata librarian at Santa Clara (Calif.) University, won the Horizon Award, sponsored by EBSCO, which recognizes a promising new information professional....
North American Serials Interest Group, May 18
2011 Nebula Awards
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2011 Nebula Awards for the best science fiction and fantasy fiction published in the United States during the previous year. The winner of the Best Novel award was Jo Walton for Among Others (Tor), while the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book went to Delia Sherman for The Freedom Maze (Big Mouth House)....
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, May 19
2012 South Asia Book Awards
Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw and Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman are the 2012 winners of the South Asia Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, respectively. The South Asia National Outreach Consortium gives the annual award to 1–2 outstanding works of literature from early childhood to secondary reading levels that accurately and skillfully portray the experience of individuals who relocated to South Asia or of South Asians living in other parts of the world....
South Asia Book Awards
Emily Dickinson First Book Award
Hailey Leithauser has won the Poetry Foundation’s 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award. The 57-year-old poet has been published in The Antioch Review, The Gettysburg Review, Pleiades, Best American Poetry, and Poetry. The award, which is given only occasionally, was designed to give recognition to an American poet over the age of 40 who has yet to publish a poetry collection....
GalleyCat, May 17
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Freeze drying saves Escondido books
Things looked bad March 26 when Librarian Ron Black discovered a weekend storm had flooded the Central School library in Escondido, California, but now almost all the once-damaged books are back on the shelves and the room is open for business. The library reopened May 9, and Black said many of the 2,000 books he thought would have been lost had been saved. After being treated with a freeze-drying technique by Belfor Property Restoration in San Diego, only about 45 were lost....
Escondido (Calif.) North County Times, May 16
Toledo districts cut school librarians
When school ends in a few weeks, Maumee (Ohio) High School Media Specialist Cindy Bramson will retire and, like so many school librarians, will not be replaced. School administrators don’t disagree that certified librarians are beneficial. They simply can’t afford the luxury. At Pike-Delta-York Local Schools, the district’s sole librarian is one of eight positions being eliminated next school year to make up about $600,000 of an upcoming $800,000 shortfall. The district, however, will maintain its school libraries....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, May 20
New Orleans Public Library expands
At an April 17 ribbon cutting for the reopened Rosa F. Keller Memorial branch, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (right) traced the genesis of the library’s reopening. Neighborhood residents had gathered in the months after Hurricane Katrina to ensure that a library would return. Inside the rebuilt branch—a sleek, LEED-certified, 9,000-square-foot space with classrooms, modern lighting, and a café—a dozen computers guard aisles of books, surrounded by inspirational literary quotes on the walls....
Gambit, May 22
An incident in Brooklyn
A Brooklyn man stabbed in the chest May 15 at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library insists he was simply searching for a job—not surfing porn sites. Ransom Alton spoke from his East New York home less than a day after Ralph Neptune allegedly knifed him on the second floor. Neptune sprang into action after seeing what he believed was a porn video on Alton’s screen, police sources said. At BPL, adult patrons have the choice to look at filtered or unfiltered internet sites....
New York Daily News, May 16; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 16
Curitiba’s train car library
Paula Alvarado writes: “Urban interventions to turn old structures into useful facilities for society might seem like a recent trend, but it has been happening for decades. Located in downtown Curitiba, Brazil, since 1973, this stationary recycled train car in 2010 became the Bondinho da Leitura, an open library that offers free books to residents. Any city resident can borrow a book for free by just presenting an ID and stating an address. There are over 2,500 titles for all ages.”...
TreeHugger, May 22
Treasure trove discovered in Russian library
While preparing for a massive renovation of its 100-year-old facility, librarians at the Russian State Polytechnical Museum in Moscow found a hidden cache of pre-revolutionary books and magazines. In preparing the collection for a move to a temporary depository, they discovered a plywood wall that sounded hollow when tapped. Behind the wall were piles of books stacked up to the ceiling. According to preliminary estimates, the 6.5-foot-long hiding place contained about 30,000 books printed before the 1917 Russian Revolution....
Russia Beyond the Headlines, Feb. 16
Protesters force delay in clearing out Kensal Rise Library
Council leader Mohamed Butt of the London borough of Brent promised May 17 that his staff will delay returning to strip Kensal Rise Library of its books following protests. Advocates formed a human barricade outside the building May 16—a historic library opened by Mark Twain in September 1900—to stop the council from taking away the books. The library was closed and ownership legally reverted to its original owners, All Souls College in Oxford, in 2011....
The Telegraph (UK), May 17
Ontario carved-books mystery solved
The old books were given new life with each carving etched into their pages. After being transformed into works of art by H. B. Beal Secondary School students, they were stealthily brought into many London (Ont.) Public Library branches, causing much excitement and confusion to both staff and patrons alike. Since late March, the carved books were placed in six branches across the city, an action that had LPL’s librarians scratching their heads....
London (Ont.) Community News, May 17; London (Ont.) Public Library, May 17
UK academic librarian to jump for charity
Helen Westmancoat (right), deputy university librarian at York St. John University, came up with the idea to mark her 60th birthday with a parachute jump in support of the Age UK Yorkshire charity. Westmancoat turned 60 on May 3 and will take the leap on June 16. She has had one other parachute jump in 2011, “just to prove that librarians can do exciting things.”...
York (UK) Press, May 18
Sipar to install libraries in Cambodian prisons
A French educational organization hopes to set up libraries is seven of Cambodia’s prisons. The group, Sipar, hopes to have the libraries finished by the end of the year, in an effort to educate prisoners so that they might better integrate with society on their release. The ultimate goal is to have libraries in all of Cambodia’s 26 prisons by 2014, serving more than 15,000 prisoners nationwide....
Voice of America Khmer, May 18
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White House petition on open access
Heather Joseph writes: “On May 13, a petition calling for public access to all federally funded research has been posted to the White House’s We the People website. If the petition collects 25,000 signatures by June 19, it will be reviewed by White House staff and considered for action. So take some time to sign the petition and spread the word far and wide.” It needs about 12,000 more....
SPARC, May 21
Vint Cerf: Web freedom is under attack
At the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington, D.C., on May 21, “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf warned that internet freedom is under threat from governments around the world, including the United States. Cerf said officials in the US, UK, and Europe are using intellectual property and cybersecurity issues “as an excuse for constraining what we can and can’t do on the net.”...
The Hill, May 21
Computer programming for all: A new standard of literacy
Dan Rowinski writes: “Everyone ought to be able to read and write; few people within the global mainstream would argue with that statement. But should everyone be able to program computers? The question is becoming critically important as digital technology plays an ever more central role in daily life. The movement to make code literacy a basic tenet of education is gaining momentum, and its success or failure will have a huge impact on our society.”...
ReadWriteWeb, May 17
Can you be too private on Facebook?
Adam Dachis writes: “There are plenty of stupid things you can do on Facebook, but you probably wouldn’t expect that being too private is one of them. There are actually real downsides to locking down your Facebook profile. It can hurt you in a job search or the quality of the search results for your name. Here’s why.”...
Lifehacker, May 22
Librarians, expertise, and the social transcript
Lane Wilkinson writes: “Information and knowledge are not the bedrock of a philosophy of librarianship. Yes, information and knowledge are integral to a properly functioning library, but they aren’t the things that distinguish us as librarians: we’re neither information scientists nor epistemologists. Instead, we’re experts on the transmission of information and knowledge through testimony. That’s the social transcript. And that’s where librarians live.”...
Sense and Reference, May 21
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2012 tablet buyer’s guide
James Trew writes: “It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something big, small, just good enough‚ or so powerful that it could replace your laptop: We’ve collected our favorites and shepherded them safely into this one humble guide. Of course, if you want to cast your net a little wider, you can always check out our tablet review hub, but if you struggle with indecision, take a look and see what’s hot right now in Tablet Land.”...
Engadget, May 17
A whale tail for your tablet
Gregory Schmidt writes: “Tablets are easy to rest in your lap when you’re sitting, but they become awkward to grip if you’re standing or multitasking. a Denver-based firm called Octa designed the TabletTail, an innovative idea that combines a grip and a stand. The grip, called the Vacuum Dock, adheres to the back of a tablet or e-reader through a suction cup. The stand, called the WhaleTail, attaches to the dock to provide support, even on soft or uneven surfaces.” Watch the demo video (0:44)....
New York Times: Gadgetwise, May 16
How to track your smartphone data usage
David Pogue writes: “As more and more cellphone owners are herded from unlimited data plans into the capped data plans, keeping tabs on how much you’ve used your phone is an increasingly urgent task. If you go over any of your monthly limits—calling minutes, text messages, or data—you’ll pay overage charges. But the other day, I stumbled onto the My Verizon app for iPhone.”...
New York Times: Pogue’s Posts, May 17
Wristband supplements to your smartphone
Anne Eisenberg writes: “I’ve been trying out some of the new watches that display caller IDs, text messages, Twitter and news feeds, and the weather—all beamed from a nearby companion smartphone. The watches are intended for those times when it is inconvenient to pull a smartphone out of a backpack or a pocket to check messages. Instead, you just check your quietly vibrating wristwatch.”...
New York Times, May 19
10 tips to get the most out of Skype video conferences
Tina Sieber writes: “Skype is a text, audio, and video chat program that allows you to connect with people online. With the right setup, it can be a great tool for private or professional video conferences. However, as with any tool, there are pitfalls that can be avoided by preparing properly. This article will walk you through the basic preparations that should precede any use of Skype and it will conclude with specific tips for video conferences.”...
MakeUseOf, May 16
What is the point of hashtags?
Jon Mitchell writes: “The hashtag was invented as a label for groups and topics in IRC chat. By adding the ‘#’ sign before a string of text, users made that string easy to find in a search. But the hashtag went mainstream thanks to Twitter. By July 2009, Twitter had realized what an ingenious trick its users had invented, so it began to turn hashtags into links.”...
ReadWriteWeb, May 17
Finding storage space in the cloud
Mickey Meece writes: “A number of companies now store your data free and make it accessible to whatever device you are using, wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. For those using thumb drives and external hard drives, think of cloud storage as just another way to back up data, but on a remote server. Add in the ability to synchronize and the service becomes even more appealing. What is different now is the ability to synchronize seamlessly across multiple devices. Here is how to start using it right now.”...
New York Times, May 16
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Disaster mythologies and digital preservation
Jefferson Bailey writes: “I can’t imagine that book and paper conservators are often asked how we will be able to preserve print collections during a catastrophic shortage of bone folders or a plague of acidic zombies. So what is it about digital content that incites this type of rebuttal? There are two characteristics of digital objects that underlie these claims: their dependencies and opacities.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, May 18
Unglue.it goes live
Unglue.it launched on May 17, with campaigns for books from five initial authors and publishers. A crowdfunding site that lets book lovers pay authors and publishers to make their already-published books free to the world under a Creative Commons license, Unglue.it is a product of Gluejar, helmed by Eric Hellman. If supporters pledge an amount chosen by the books’ rights holders before a given deadline, those books will be released as “unglued” ebook editions....
TeleRead, May 17
New Baker & Taylor platform assists blind users
Book distributor Baker & Taylor released a new version of its Axis 360 digital media platform that allows visually impaired ebook users to have full access and use of their library’s digital collections. The company worked closely with the National Federation of the Blind to develop the service, which makes Axis 360 fully compatible with the leading assistive screen-reader technologies: JAWS (Job Access with Speech), Window-Eyes, NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access), and System Access To Go....
Baker & Taylor, May 22
Megan Geuss writes: “On May 18, the International Digital Publishing Forum issued a statement suggesting an outline for a new ‘lightweight DRM.’ This proposed Digital Rights Management standard could increase interoperability of books on various e-readers. Of course, publishers aren’t giving up entirely on DRM yet—they just want a different kind. But the IDPF-suggested version of content management doesn’t require a lot of proprietary hardware or software to decrypt ebooks (like the system we have today).” Andy Woodworth has some commentary....
ArsTechnica, May 20; Agnostic, Maybe, May 21
Roadmap for a digital government
The US launched a new initiative May 23 to open up data that was previously locked up in government documents and arcane back-end systems. The Digital Government Strategy makes open data “the default for government IT systems and embraces the use of web APIs,” allowing developers to create new applications and services based on that data, US Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel explains. The White House directive calls for aggregating federal agencies’ online resource pages at Data.gov within a year...
TechCrunch, May 23; Office of Management and Budget, May 23
A vision of the role and future of web archives
Kalev H. Leetaru writes: “The loss of the Library of Alexandria (right), once the greatest library on earth, created an enormous hole in our understanding of the ancient world. Imagine if that library had not only persisted to present day, but had continued to collect materials through the millennia? That’s where web archives come in: to make sure that a few years, decades, centuries, and millennia from now we will still have at least a partial written record of human society at the dawn of the 21st century.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, May 22
Does ebook sharing create economic damage?
Edward Nawotka writes: “A fear of piracy is one thing, but a fear of sharing? With the new digital age of publishing upon us there are many variables at work, among them whether or not allowing sharing of ebooks among consumers is cannibalizing sales or otherwise causing economic damage.”...
Publishing Perspectives, May 17
Digital archivists: Custodians of technology
Chris Foresman writes: “Game creator Jordan Mechner wanted to teach the next generation. So the man behind the groundbreaking 1989 Apple II game Prince of Persia recently posted his original 6052 assembly source code to Github. But getting the code from decades-old floppy disks ‘covered with dust’ was no simple task. Mechner employed the services of vintage computer expert Tony Diaz and digital archivist Jason Scott to extract the bits from the floppies and assemble it into a readable code file.”...
Ars Technica, May 20
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ALA GraphiCon is a new mini-conference within a conference for graphic novel and comics fans and anyone wanting to learn more about their role in the library. ALA GraphiCon offers a wide range of programs, events, and exhibits, including the Graphic Novel Stage, Graphic Novel Pavilion, and the new Artist Alley in the exhibits where you can meet artists and illustrators who create or illustrate comics, games, graphic novels, and books.
The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, edited by Michael Levine-Clark and Toni M. Carter, presents a thorough yet concise guide to the specific words that describe the materials, processes and systems relevant to the field of librarianship. Written by a panel of experts from across the LIS world, and updated to include the latest technology- and internet-related terms, this handy book will become an essential part of every library’s and librarian’s reference collection and will also be a blessing for LIS students and recent graduates. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Ajuda National Palace Library, Lisbon, Portugal. Three kilometers of shelves circle the walls from floor to ceiling in this 15th-century library. Despite losses from the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, a relocation to Rio de Janeiro (later partially returned), and mergers with other libraries, its collection of manuscripts remains impressive with its specialization in 18th-century chamber music and opera. In 2007, it merged with the National Library of Portugal.
Biblioteca Joanina, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Built between 1717 and 1728 for King John V, the library is a showcase of 18th-century Rococo design, with three great rooms divided by decorated arches designed by Portuguese artists. The walls are covered with shelves decorated in gilded or painted exotic woods. The ceiling frescoes are by Lisbon artists Antônio Simões Ribeiro and Vicente Nunes. The library now houses books published prior to 1800; its treasures include a 48-line Latin Bible from 1462, a 15th-century Book of Hours, and a 1599 interpretation of the Song of Solomon by Dominican scholar Luis de Sotomaior.
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.
Library Services Manager, Iowa Valley Community College District, Marshalltown, Iowa. Participates and supervises the daily activities of the Marshalltown Community College library staff and programs. Develops marketing strategies to reach library patrons. Manages a departmental budget. Oversees the Library Management System reports, as well as departmental, state, and federal reporting as needed....
Digital Library of the Week
The Royal Society Picture Library is an online database of digital images of paintings, drawings, and prints held in the collections of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy. It has been created to inspire the exploration of science through its visual history. It contains portraits of some of the most eminent scientists, past and present, such as Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren, and Charles Darwin, including original oils, works on paper, miniatures, photographs, and engravings. Among its other features are drawings, sketches, and paintings from the Royal Society’s archive collections, including botanical studies, microscopic observations, anatomical drawings, engineering plans, and travel documentary photography; and images of rare published plates from the 16th to the 19th centuries, hand-picked from its extensive library of printed books and journals.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site, Check out our Featured Digital Libraries Pinterest board.
Noted and Quoted
“I was raised by librarians. It’s like being raised by wolves, but wilder. When Toronto’s librarians went on strike this spring, I went down to the picket line by City Hall and told them fairy tales through a megaphone. It was a small way of thanking them for running the greatest municipal library system in the world and, more personally, for turning me into a storyteller.”
—Dan Yashinsky, founder of the Toronto Festival of Storytelling, expressing his indebtedness to librarians, “I’m a Librarian Groupie,” Toronto Globe and Mail, May 21.
Association for Computing Machinery / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
24th Polar Libraries Colloquy, ATLAS Building, University of Colorado, Boulder. “Cold Regions: Pivot Points, Focal Points.”
Digital Directions Conference, Boston, Massachusetts. “New Foundations: Creation, Curation, Use.”
Milwaukee Conference on the Ethics of Information Organization, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, Annual Meeting, Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, Trinidad. “Popular Culture: Arts and Social Change in Latin America.”
Association of Jewish Libraries, Annual Convention, Langham Hotel, Pasadena, California.
American Theological Library Association, Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch, Arizona. “A Desert Retreat.”
National Storytelling Network, National Storytelling Conference, Cincinnati Marriott at River Center, Ohio. “A Conference to Remember!”
LauraPalooza, the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder conference, Minnesota State University at Mankato. Register by May 31.
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, Annual Conference, Richmond Marriott Hotel, Virginia.
Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Post-Modern Cataloging: It’s All AV Now!”
American Society for Theatre Research / Theatre Library Association, Joint Conference, Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel. “Theatrical Histories.”
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Libraries debate Fifty Shades of Grey
It did not escape the notice of Tim Cole, the collections manager for the Greensboro (N.C.) Public Library, that Fifty Shades of Grey was “of mixed literary merit,” as he put it with a heavy helping of Southern politeness. He ordered 21 copies anyway. In recent weeks, readers have besieged libraries with requests for the E. L. James books, forcing some exasperated library officials to dust off their policies on erotica. Meanwhile, more than 10 million copies of the books have been sold in the United States in six weeks....
New York Times, May 21–22
Books featuring male teens that may make you cry—with laughter
Amy Pelman writes: “I started thinking about the books that have made me crack up, and I’m not going to lie. A lot of them (a) have a teenage male protagonist, (b) contain such a male who is very—ahem—hormonal, and (c) feature a guy who is also, shall we say, endearingly clueless? Combine those elements, and you’ve got a recipe for the funny. Thankfully the YA world has many to choose from. Here are a few that proved particularly memorable.”....
YALSA The Hub, May 17
Confirmed? Amazon reviews are reliable
Jamie Condliffe writes: “While there are some dubious reviews floating around on Amazon, the system has one thing going for it: power in numbers. In fact, a new study from the Harvard Business School suggests that Amazon reviews are, taken together, just as trustworthy as those from professional critics. The study analyzed the top 100 nonfiction reviews from 40 media outlets. The researchers then compared data from review aggregator metacritic.com to data from Amazon.”...
Gizmodo, May 17; Harvard Business School: Working Knowledge, Apr. 26
Authors who went to war
Beth Carswell writes: “Many young men with an urge to write have gone to war and then produced a masterpiece on their return. Is writing a cathartic experience after years of conflict and turmoil? Does experiencing something so life-changing and unforgettable increase the ability to write, or provide a greater impetus? This selection of fiction and nonfiction stretches from the Napoleonic Wars to Vietnam, and features soldiers, sailors, submariners, and airmen who made literary history.”....
Reading Copy Book Blog, May 22
26 modern minimalist book covers
Beth Carswell writes: “Sometimes less is more. The minimalist art movement originated in 1960s New York City. It tended toward simplicity and focus, rather than ornate background or decoration. Many book designers utilized these principles, eschewing the busy and elaborate in favor of the bare essentials. Enjoy this selection of books whose eye-catching design proves that a little goes a long way.”...
Reading Copy Book Blog, May 18
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What if you only knew George Carlin from a Web 2.0 search?
Alison Leonard writes: “Suppose you were to conduct an experiment and ask the question: ‘What would a 15-year-old high school student, a 10th grader, learn about George Carlin by looking at social networking websites?’ I decided to invite the commentary of one 15-year-old boy. We will call him Tyler. Tyler did not know who Carlin was, which was an important factor in the experiment.”...
Voice of Youth Advocates 35, no. 1 (Apr.): 32–34
Use social media to create hybrid events
Anne Peters and Damon Bullis write: “Here at the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries, we have experimented for the past two years with running week-long social media–driven celebrations in honor of National Library Week. By blending virtual activities with physical ones to create hybrid events, we raised awareness of library services, increased our Facebook likes, and showcased our friendly, knowledgeable staff. Here are some of the activities we created to engage students during our 2011 and 2012 NLW campaigns.”...
Link: The Journal of Higher Education Web Professionals, May 15
50 must-read higher-education technology blogs
Technology is creating better learning environments, faster and more efficient access to such resources as email and online lectures—and ultimately, a better experience for professors and students. EdTech: Focus on Higher Education has surveyed the web and found the 50 best IT blogs in higher education covering every aspect of technology, both in the classroom and behind the scenes. Of the 50, Tame the Web is the only library blog so honored....
EdTech: Focus on Higher Education, May 15
Design Elements 101
Lisa Kurt writes: “With good color, composition, and size, you can create a strong design whether you are making a flyer, sign, promotional materials, or webpage. To create a design considered high quality, nuanced, or sophisticated by design standards, you will need to push further and understand shape, line, value, texture, and typography as well. This post is just to get you started making something professional that will add to your credibility as a organization.”...
ACRL Tech Connect, May 23
Help kids and teens discover Earth
Keliann LaConte writes: “Discover Earth: Hands-on Activities is a module to support hands-on Earth science explorations in libraries and other places of community learning. Educators are invited to download the activities, related reading games, and facilitator resources—all for free.”...
Programming Librarian, May 17
How to buy an office suite
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “Microsoft Office 2010 may be the brand that comes to mind when you think of office suites, but it isn't the only productivity package available for getting work done. In fact, the current crop of office suites (consisting of both free and paid software) are designed to meet the needs of different users—PC, Mac, mobile, and those that want to work and collaborate in the cloud, regardless of platform. Here's what you need to know to select the right one.”...
PC Magazine, May 17
Six tips for protecting your email privacy
Neil J. Rubenking writes: “By now we all know not to post sensitive information on social networking sites. By comparison, email seems like a much safer communications medium, but you can still get into trouble if you lose control of your account. In addition, email messages bounce unprotected from server to server, so private information might be compromised. Here are six tips to protect your email account and your private messages.”...
PC Magazine, May 17
New items added to National Recording Registry
The voices of former slaves, the sounds of Native American culture, the creative wordplay of Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” Donna Summer’s 1977 hit “I Feel Love,” and the only surviving recording of stage icon Lillian Russell are among the sound recordings selected for induction into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Marking the 10th anniversary of the registry, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington on May 23 selected 25 sound recordings to be preserved as cultural, artistic, and historical treasures....
Library of Congress, May 23
National Book Festival authors and poets
Renowned authors Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, T. C. Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Eugenides, and poet Nikky Finney will be among more than 100 writers speaking at the 12th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, September 22–23, on the National Mall. The event is free and open to the public....
Library of Congress, May 17
Five things you can do with Google Knowledge Graph
Melanie Pinola writes: “On May 16, Google introduced Knowledge Graph, the company’s new search technology that understands ‘things, not strings’ and adds rich and relevant details about your query in the sidebar of your search results. Here are five great things you can now do with a quick Google search.”...
Lifehacker, May 18
What do law librarians do?
Catherine Deane writes: “The term ‘law librarian’ is a catch-all phrase for people who enter the legal industry and then choose to spend their time participating in the legal information service industry. As a group, we have diverse skills and we apply them in ways that in large part depend on the flexibility of our job descriptions, the vagaries of our individual personalities, the needs of those around us, and the whims of the administrators who supervise us or merely outrank us.”...
RIPS Law Librarian Blog, May 16
Rare book bloggers and the links they build
Brooke Palmieri and Daryl Green write: “Working on opposite sides of the UK, we met by chance at the launch party for the USTC database held in Edinburgh in 2011 and quickly began to postulate on the role of the blog in the rare book world. What follows are some of the ideas and criticisms from multiple conversations held around individual blogs and on the wider theme of blogging and its place in the rare book sphere, told from both the private bookseller’s and the institutional collector’s perspective.” Rare book blogger Simon Beattie has a good post on book curses....
8vo, May 15; Simon Beattie, May 22
Advice for choosing an MLIS program
PC Sweeney writes: “A couple of weeks ago, someone asked in the ALA Think Tank about what MLIS program they should enroll in. They wanted to narrow down their search to a school that would allow them to do well in a museums and archives library. I thought I would share my thoughts on getting the most out of your MLIS program for your future career.”...
PC Sweeney’s Blog, May 22
Presenting at conferences while you are in library school
Brianna Marshall writes: “Attending conferences is a valuable part of your library school years because of the networking opportunities, educational takeaways, and considerably lower student registration costs. When you present at a conference, you get all of the same benefits of attending while also gaining valuable experience. So, why don’t all library school students present at conferences? Here are a few barriers to conference participation and how to overcome them.”...
Hack Library School, May 21
Librarian salaries in the US and Colorado
Comparisons between the 2010 ALA-APA Annual Salary Survey and the 2010 Public Library Annual Report compiled by the Library Research Service show that across professional library positions in Colorado, salaries are pretty evenly matched with national averages, with the exception of library directors. A Fast Facts report (PDF file) compares the data....
Library Research Service, May 22
Five things to do before applying for a library job
Jaime Huaman writes: “So you have just entered the job market and are looking for the perfect job. But that can be very difficult. Applicants must find a way to stand out from the crowd and show that they are the best person for the position. Competing with people with more experience is a difficult thing to do. However, if you follow these five golden rules, then you will be able to stand out.”...
The Library Musings of Jaime Huaman, May 20
A unique community workshop collaboration
Amanda Foster writes: “Each Friday and Saturday morning, members of the Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro communities in North Carolina make their way to their local public library to attend a computer or information-literacy class put on by the Community Workshop Series. But before you think this is another case of traditional public-library computer class offerings, keep reading to learn about the unique partnership that brought the CWS about.”...
OLOS Columns, May 17
What if you designed mobile first?
Linda W. Braun writes: “In the course I teach for Simmons College library school on web development and information architecture, one of the things we talk more and more about is developing a library web presence for a mobile environment. The thing is, it’s also something to think about when planning programs, services, and collections that tend to be face-to-face but could really have an on-the-road or on-a-device aspect.” ...
YALSA Blog, May 21
How the professor who fooled Wikipedia got caught
Yoni Appelbaum writes: “Undergraduates at George Mason University enrolled in T. Mills Kelly’s course, ‘Lying About the Past,’ have been carefully crafting internet hoaxes. Their escapades were encouraged by their professor. In 2008, students created a Wikipedia page detailing the exploits of Edward Owens, the last American pirate, successfully fooling Wikipedia’s community of editors. In 2012, though, one group of students made the mistake of launching their hoax on Reddit. What they learned in the process provides a valuable lesson for anyone who turns to the internet for information.”...
The Atlantic, May 15; The Last American Pirate, Dec. 18, 2008
Lorraine and Jared talk about metadata
Jared Polin writes: “While I was in Florida visiting my grandfather, I went out to breakfast with his crew of ladies, which includes an amazing lady named Lorraine (on the right). Lorraine is a librarian and sweet and extremely bright. She got to asking me about my photography and how I go about tagging my images to find at a later date. Sit back and enjoy the wisdom that Lorraine lays on us during this video (9:26).”...
Fro Knows Photo, May 10; YouTube, May 9
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