|American Libraries Online
Libraries weather the superstorm
George Eberhart writes: “Beyond temporary power outages and minor wind and water damage, libraries along the Atlantic coast weathered Superstorm Sandy fairly well, considering all the flooding and destruction inflicted on homes and businesses. Although some areas of central New Jersey were still without power six days after the storm, many public libraries in affected states were powered up and serving as community support centers for residents without electricity, internet access, or heat. The worst library damage occurred on the Rockaway Peninsula, New York.” Here is how you can help damaged libraries in New York and New Jersey....
American Libraries feature; Chapter Relations Office
ALA hosts State Department fellow
George Eberhart writes:
“For three weeks in October, ALA served as host for a legislative fellow from Morocco in an exchange program sponsored by the US Department of State. Khadija Semlali (right) serves as a project manager for the Books, Libraries, and Archives Department in the Moroccan Ministry of Culture in Rabat. One of her duties is to help organize the annual Casablanca Book Fair (Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre) in February.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Nov. 5
Personal branding for librarians
Karen G. Schneider writes: “The trend of establishing and maintaining a personal brand has been a hot topic for some time with the public at large, traceable as far back as 1937 and Napoleon Hill’s self-help classic Think and Grow Rich, if Wikipedia is to be believed. Unsurprisingly, personal branding has also caught on with librarians, notoriously preoccupied as we are with our professional image, both as we appear to fellow librarians and as we appear to others.”...
American Libraries feature
Editor’s Letter: Gauging your interest
Laurie D. Borman writes: “We want to know what you think about the magazine, and indeed, all the media streams of American Libraries. We’ll be looking at all the data from our recent survey and plan to make improvements to the look and content of the magazine as well as to our website. Starting this month, we’re also launching American Libraries Live, a streaming video broadcast that you can view for free. The first program, on November 16, will feature ALA TechSource author Jason Griffey.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Librarian’s Library: Making sure libraries measure up
Karen Muller writes: “When times get tough, managers start asking about the viability of programs. In Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data, editors Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer provide an array of examples that use qualitative research (which analyzes observed behaviors or transactions of a group under study) to understand what does and doesn’t work with a library instruction program.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
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Peter Block on leadership
Peter Block (right), best-selling author of Community: The Structure of Belonging and widely known for his work on community engagement and reconciliation, will facilitate an interactive discussion about the nature of real transformation and what kind of leadership is required to achieve it. ALA President Maureen Sullivan welcomes Block as part of the President’s Program on January 27 at the 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle....
Conference Services, Nov. 1
Smitty and LiLi on the road
“What do you get when you cross a librarian with a hot-rod shop?” In this unusual case that shatters stereotypes of libraries, librarians, and literacy, you get a mobile initiative that delivers the library to people who may not know about or who have some obstacle to visiting libraries. Smitty Miller (right) will tell you more about this unique project in the ALA Masters session, “Library Live and On Tour: Taking the Library to the Street” on January 28 at the 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle....
Conference Services, Nov. 1
Dine Around Seattle
For Midwinter Meeting attendees interested in hitting the town and exploring Seattle over a great dinner with old and new conference friends, the Dine Around Seattle evening offers the perfect opportunity. Reservations for 10 have been secured at several local hot-spot restaurants the evening of January 25. Anyone interested can sign up for a single seat or join the group with colleagues and friends; either way, the evening offers networking, good food, and good conversation at restaurants you may not have otherwise discovered....
Conference Services, Nov. 6
How Singapore took a lead in library transformation
In a two-part ALA Midwinter Meeting Masters session on January 26, Katherina Lee and Lee Kee Siang from the National Library Board of Singapore will address changes that have led the NLB to be considered a global leader in transformation. Lee will discuss how establishing the National Library Board in 1995 marked a radical shift in organizational paradigms; and Siang will show how the NLB has emphasized leveraging technology to offer dynamic, innovative services....
Conference Services, Nov. 5
Creating a culture of learning
Speakers from a range of settings and library backgrounds have been confirmed to participate in ALA’s Digital Literacy Task Force program “Creating a Culture of Learning: How Librarians Keep up with Digital Media and Technology,” a Google Hangout session moderated by OITP Fellow Renee Hobbs. This virtual national conversation will take place on November 14. The session will explore how information professionals can stay ahead of our students, colleagues, and patrons as new devices, software, and internet-enabled services emerge. RSVP by email....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Nov. 6; District Dispatch, Nov. 7
Changes to AACR2 online access coming
Effective April 1, online access to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, will be available exclusively through RDA Toolkit. Access to AACR2 will no longer be included in the Cataloger’s Desktop subscription price. An online version of AACR2 has been included in RDA Toolkit since its launch in June 2010, and this change will not increase the RDA Toolkit subscription price....
ALA Digital Reference, Nov. 6
Manage your social media
A detailed analysis of the whys of social media and the hows of getting staff and library users involved, Managing Social Media in Libraries: Finding Collaboration, Coordination, and Focus, available through ALA Neal-Schuman, explores the developing information environment. Author Troy A. Swanson takes librarians beyond the mechanics of using social media to establish a framework for making social media effective....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Nov. 6
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Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Egan, Timothy. Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis. Nov. 2012. 412p. Houghton, hardcover (978-0-618-96902-9).
Ace popular historian Egan makes the story of self-made master photographer Edward Curtis (1868–1952) frequently suspenseful, always gripping, and monumentally heroic. When the last book in Curtis’s 20-volume The North American Indian emerged, Curtis was old, broke, and dependent on his daughters. Though it consumed $2.5 million of J. P. Morgan’s money over the course of three decades, Curtis never took a cent in salary. He lost his business, his property, his marriage, and any control of his great project. But he completed it, preserving a great deal of what we know about Indian cultures, including more than 75 languages, thousands of songs and stories, traditional practices in everything from clothing to religious ritual, and the Indian accounts of such historic milestones as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Simultaneously, he fixed the image of the North American Indian in a body of work as iconic as any created by any other visual artist in any medium....
Top 10 art books: 2012
Donna Seaman writes: “The best art books of the past 12 months embrace music and movies, paintings and photography, telling the stories of artists contemporary and past, and illuminating what it is that makes art transcend time and place.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Seattle dogs: An oral history
Hanna Raskin writes: “Slathering cream cheese on hot dogs is a notion that rose from the streets, not recipe books. But for Seattle eaters, there’s nothing silly about the cream-cheese dog. It’s the city’s signature drunk food, sold from carts that congregate in Belltown, Ballard, and at the corner of 10th and Pike. As best as the crack staff at the Seattle Public Library can determine, Seattle dogs were first mentioned in print by The Stranger, which in 1999 briefly reviewed Otmane Bezzaz’s cart.” Watch the video (1:55)....
Seattle Weekly, Aug. 29; Vimeo, Sept.
Special Collections at the University of Washington Libraries
Special Collections is open to members of the University of Washington community, visiting scholars, and the general public, and contains many rare, valuable, and unique items. Popular holdings include the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, GLBTQ collections, Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest, discovery and early settlement in the Northwest, and historic architecture. Even before you arrive at the Midwinter Meeting, you can explore its extensive digital collections....
University of Washington Library
Bhutan: One of the world’s biggest books
Michael Hawley’s Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom is a whopping 7 feet tall by 5 feet wide, making it one of the world’s largest books. It was meant to capture photographically a visual record of Hawley’s field expeditions to the small Central Asian country. The book, a gift from an anonymous donor, is on permanent display outside the Graduate Reading Room in the University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library. Pages are turned once a month....
University of Washington
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum (commonly known as SAM) is located at 1300 First Avenue and is open Wednesday through Sunday. It houses nearly 25,000 works of art. Special exhibitions during the Midwinter Meeting include Going for Gold (all items containing gold), The Distant Relative Who Calls at Midnight (a mixture of Aboriginal Australian art with modern art), Morality Tales (American art and social protest, 1935–1945), and Light in the Darkness (lighting in art)....
Seattle Art Museum
Three novels of Seattle
Knute Berger writes: “Does the Great Seattle Novel exist? If there is one, there’s a good chance it was written in the past year, as the city has become a vital character in some fascinating, fun books by David Guterson, Jim Lynch, and Maria Semple. These books tussle with fundamental Seattle issues. Has success spoiled us? Does money corrupt? Can Seattle live up to its utopian ideals? They describe rainy skies and self-absorbed yuppies and a city not as perfect as often advertised.”...
Crosscut.com, Aug. 24
Find your way around the airport maze
Kit Eaton writes: “As I planned our summer vacation this year, one of the critical issues I considered was how to shepherd two young children through the different airports where we would need to change flights. Apps came to the rescue. The iFly Pro app (right) is probably the most widely known app of its kind. The app, $7 on iOS and Android, bills itself as an all-purpose airport guide for the informed traveler. It contains guides for airports around the world, as well as flight timing data and other airline information.”...
New York Times, July 18
David Wiesner in special Caldecott Facebook Forum
Three-time Caldecott Medal–winning author David Wiesner (right) will participate in a Facebook Forum hosted by ALSC. As part of the forum, ALSC will interview Wiesner about his Caldecott Award books and take questions from participants. This event is open to the public and will take place at 11 a.m. Eastern time on November 29 on the ALSC Facebook page....
ALSC, Oct. 31
AASL partners with Carnegie Science Center
AASL has partnered with the Carnegie Science Center to inspire girls to see themselves in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers through gaming and online activities. As part of the initiative, the center has developed the Can*TEEN Trivia Wheel Library Interactive game, a new spin on the classic gaming style of multiple-choice trivia questions. AASL will help distribute game toolkits to more than 2,500 middle schools....
AASL, Nov. 6
New School Library Research articles
Three new research articles covering the topics of information literacy, professional development and collaboration, and the impact of staffing levels on student achievement are available online as part of AASL’s peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research....
AASL, Nov. 6
Still without a disaster plan?
Libraries may want to consider
The Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery (2009) by Frances C. Wilkinson, Linda K. Lewis, and Nancy K. Dennis, which provides a toolkit for librarians and serves as an essential resource for medium to large libraries. The authors offer readers practical approaches on preparing for a disaster by creating a plan, responding to an emergency, and the intricacies of recovering from a disaster....
Literary Landmark: Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
United for Libraries will designate the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York a Literary Landmark in honor of Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007, right) on November 29. L’Engle, a legendary children’s author who wrote A Wrinkle in Time (1962), served as the church’s librarian for more than 40 years. Partnering with United for Libraries for the dedication are the Empire State Center for the Book, the Children’s Book Council, and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux....
United for Libraries, Nov. 6
Take your visuals from blah to ahhh
Are you taking heed of all of the opportunities to promote your library visually? LLAMA is presenting a webinar, “Going Visual: Transforming Library Communication from Blah to Ahhh!,” on November 14. Presenters Kristina Martinez and Elizabeth Titus, from New Mexico State University, will present examples of how their library has transformed donor communication visually. Register online....
LLAMA, Oct. 31
Learn how to revitalize reference
The November 15 webinar “On Life Support, but Not Dead Yet! Revitalizing Reference for the 21st Century” will help participants understand how to redefine the role of the reference department, develop programs and services designed to increase the number of reference transactions and devise strategies to increase the exposure of their reference staff. Register by November 13....
PLA, Nov. 6
New ALCTS z687 editor
Pamela J. Thomas, technical services librarian at Illinois Central College, is the new editor of z687: Creating the Future of Technical Services, a series of digital publications from ALCTS. z687 is the online collection of white papers and think pieces by ALCTS members and others in libraries and related professions for the library community whose interest extends to issues in collections and library technical services....
ALCTS, Nov. 5
YALSA Symposium: It’s all about the connections
Sarah Flowers writes: “I’m just back from YALSA’s 2012 YA Literature Symposium in St. Louis. I’ve been going to ALA Annual and Midwinter for over 15 years, and they are great. But a symposium like this is something really special, and it’s all about the connections. Let me just give you a few examples that I observed.”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 7
Teens’ Top Ten book groups picked for 2013
Sixteen public and school libraries from across the country have been selected to serve as official book groups for YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten. They will nominate books published in a calendar year to create the official Teens’ Top Ten nominations for 2013, from which teens nationwide will cast ballots for their three favorites. Final nominations for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten vote will be posted online on April 19, which is Support Teen Literature Day....
YALSA, Nov. 6
Create a Latino-friendly library
Bringing Latinos into the library in our communities still remains an uphill battle that has stumped many a librarian. Take the first step towards engaging this community with your library by attending ASCLA’s 90-minute webinar on November 15, “Creating a Latino-Friendly Library.”...
ASCLA Blog, Oct. 31
ASCLA still needs a consultant
ASCLA has extended the deadline for its RFP (PDF file) for a project consultant to November 20. The consultant will assist in the production of an online, interactive ASCLA Accessibility Academy module focused on improving library staff communications and interactions with people with disabilities....
ASCLA Blog, Oct. 31
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2012 National Medals for Museum and Library Service
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The Institute of Museum and Library Services named five libraries as the 2012 winners: Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library; Cumberland County (N.C.) Public Library (above); Naturita (Colo.) Community Library; Park View High School Library Media Center in Sterling, Virginia; and Shaler North Hills Library in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania. The medals will be presented during a celebration in Washington, D.C., on November 14....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 5
Guide to Reference voted best professional database resource
Based on votes from librarians, readers of Library Journal, and reviewers, ALA’s Guide to Reference was selected the number one Best Database in Library Journal’s 2012 Best Professional Resource category. Guide to Reference is the online successor to the former gold-standard print Guide to Reference Books. An editorial team of top reference librarians and subject experts select, annotate, and update more than 16,000 entries to make Guide to Reference a versatile, selective online guide to the best reference sources in print and web-based formats....
ALA Digital Reference, Nov. 6
Cutting-edge technology deadline extended
The Office for Information Technology Policy and LITA are extending the deadline for submitting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology to November 16. Additional details, including submission information, for the nomination process can be found on the OITP website....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Nov. 6
RUSA awards deadline
RUSA has many awards to offer—even for nonmembers—in the areas of reference, genealogy, business reference, adult services, readers advisory, resource sharing, and technology. The deadline for all nominations is December 15, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31. Details are on the RUSA awards page....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 1
Gale Cengage Learning Award
Do you know of a library that has had a successful library financial development program? Recognize this successful project with a nomination for the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award funded by Gale Cengage. Six copies of the nomination form must be submitted to ALA by December 1....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 5
Nominate an outstanding book reviewer
Know someone who should be recognized for their work in book reviewing? RUSA is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Louis Shores Award. The deadline for nominations is December 15. The award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium, or organization for excellence in reviewing books and other media for libraries....
RUSA Blog, Nov. 2
Funds available for the News Know-how initiative
Public libraries and library consortia are invited to apply for more than $50,000 in training and support in the News Know-how initiative that helps students in grades 10–12 learn skills that will help them distinguish fact from opinion, check news and information sources, and distinguish between propaganda and news. The program is funded by the Open Society Foundations. Proposals must be submitted by December 8....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 5
2013 Coretta Scott King Book Donation grants
Underfunded libraries, schools, and nontraditional organizations that provide educational services to children are invited to apply to receive one of three Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants. The grant program provides books submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections. Applications will be accepted through January 31....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Nov. 1
Apply for the 2013 Bechtel Fellowship
ALSC is accepting applications for the $4,000 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship, which enables the recipient to spend at least four weeks researching in the special collection of 85,000 volumes of children’s literature at the Baldwin Library (right) of the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries. Research by past fellows include a survey of horror in children’s books and family stories of the 1930s and 1940s. The application deadline is December 30....
ALSC Blog, Nov. 2
Tornado-ravaged school library gets $15,000 to rebuild
After an EF-5 tornado demolished the town of Smithville, Mississippi, in April 2011, many citizens did not know where to begin to rebuild. For Kerry Baker (right), librarian at Smithville High School and an online graduate student at the University of Mississippi, one step toward recovery was landing a $15,000 AASL Beyond Words grant funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to help rebuild the library by the time the new school building opens in August 2013. “I was able to pursue the grant as part of my literacy classes,” she explained....
University of Mississippi News, Oct. 27; AASL
The National Center for Family Literacy is offering 10–20 educators $500 grants to support innovative family-engagement activities. School librarians and public librarians serving K–12 children are eligible. All applications must be submitted online. The deadline is December 20....
National Center for Family Literacy
2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize
Jamie Thomson, an Iranian-born writer and computer games developer, won the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize, an annual award to authors of humorous children’s fiction, in the 7–14 category for his book Dark Lord: The Teenage Years (Orchard). My Big Shouting Day! (Jonathan Cape), a picture book about toddler tantrums by writer and illustrator Rebecca Patterson, grabbed the prize for the age 6 and under category. Both winners received £2,500 ($4,000 US) at an awards ceremony in London on November 6....
The Telegraph (UK), Nov. 6
2012 World Fantasy Awards
Tor Books announced the winners of the 2012 World Fantasy Awards at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto, November 1–4. The winner for best novel was Lavie Tidhar’s Osama (PS Publishing), and the award for best collection went to Tim Powers’s The Bible Repairman and Other Stories (Tachyon). The 2012 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Alan Garner and George R. R. Martin....
Tor Books, Nov. 4
2012 Business Book of the Year
American journalist Steve Coll has won the Financial Times / Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012 for his book on US oil giant ExxonMobil. Coll’s Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (Penguin) faced stiff competition from biographies of Steve Jobs and Paul Volcker as well as three other books to receive the award with a £30,000 ($47,950 US) cash prize....
International Business Times, Nov. 2
2012 Prix Femina
American writer Julie Otsuka won France’s Prix Femina in the foreign category November 5 for The Buddha in the Attic, a novel about the thousands of Japanese women sent to California in the early 1900s for arranged marriages. The novel follows Fumiko, Hanako, and Miyoshi with their kimonos, sandals, and long black hair, first to the Japanese husbands awaiting them in the United States, then through their new lives....
The Raw Story, Nov. 5
Marías turns down Spanish award
One of Spain’s most popular novelists, Javier Marías, has turned down the Spanish government’s National Narrative Prize of €20,000 ($25,600 US). The prize money was awarded to Marías for his novel, Los Enamoramientos (The Infatuations). While he expressed gratitude to the jury for appointing him the winner, he reaffirmed his stance on Spanish state-backed literary prizes, claiming that he doesn’t “want to be seen as an author who is favored by any particular government.”...
The Telegraph (UK), Nov. 1
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School librarian elected in Indiana
Glenda Ritz (right), library media specialist and teacher at Crooked Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis (where she helped guide her school to develop a strong literacy program that led to it becoming a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School and an Indiana 4-Star School) was elected Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction on November 6. An AASL member, Ritz credited the Indiana State Teachers Association, social media, teachers, principals, and parents for her success. She unseated Republican incumbent Tony Bennett with a pledge to halt his reforms, which she said “were misguided and pushed through too quickly.” Watch the newscast (1:31)....
Indianapolis Star, Nov. 7; North Vernon (Ind.) Plain Dealer–Sun, Oct. 24; WTHR, Indianapolis, Nov. 6
Polls must honor Memphis photo ID library cards
The Tennessee Supreme Court on November 1 ordered state and local election officials to accept Memphis Public Library’s photo ID cards for voting purposes in the November 6 general election, provided that the voter is properly registered. Memphis City Attorney Herman Morris appointed a team of six lawyers on his staff to clear up any confusion regarding voters’ use of the library photo ID cards. Still at issue is whether the state’s new voter ID law is constitutional....
Memphis Commercial Appeal, Nov. 1; WREG-TV, Memphis, Nov. 4
NYPL feeds Staten Island evacuees
Some 600 Staten Islanders affected by Superstorm Sandy ate a gourmet meal November 6 at three area shelters courtesy of New York Public Library, which canceled its annual Library Lions fundraiser due to Manhattan’s power outage. Library staff helped serve Caesar salad, garlic bread, beef bourguignon with fall vegetables, purée of rutabaga and potato, and apple Brown Betty....
Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance, Nov. 5
Different Seasons retained at Rocklin High School
A Stephen King book that was briefly banned from the Rocklin (Calif.) High School library will remain in the collection, a school district committee announced November 2. A parent had sought the removal of Different Seasons because of a rape scene in the novella “Apt Pupil.” The National Coalition Against Censorship wrote the district October 24 urging officials “to assess this work as a whole, not by a single passage alone, and to consider your responsibility to the entire student body not to cater to any specific viewpoint.”...
Sacramento Bee: Report Card, Nov. 2; National Coalition Against Censorship, Oct. 24
Trustee’s firm helps build branches in Chicago
As vice president of Chicago Public Library’s board of directors, Cherryl T. Thomas helps decide when new libraries (such as the Richard M. Daley branch, right, dedicated in 2011) are needed and where they are built. And as president of Ardmore Associates LLC, which she founded after leaving her city building commissioner post in the late 1990s, she is paid to help oversee construction of those branches. Asked if this is a conflict of interest, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said, “Cherryl has asked that an opinion be obtained from the Chicago Board of Ethics regarding this matter. The mayor’s office fully supports her request.”...
Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 5
Goldwater Library announcement premature?
Monica Alonzo writes: “Despite an October 23 announcement, a new library in Mesa, Arizona, is nothing more than a gleam in the eye of the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to preserving the legacy of Arizona’s longtime senator. It doesn’t own the documents that would anchor the library, and its representatives haven’t had any recent conversations with the entity that does own them—Arizona State University.”...
Phoenix New Times blog, Nov. 5: Phoenix Arizona Republic, Oct. 23
Libraries lure teens on Gaming Day
Sixteen-year-old Charnay Cromwell played Scrabble for the first time November 4 at the Millhopper branch of the Alachua County (Fla.) Library District during International Games Day, a day (sponsored by ALA) for people all over the world to engage in gaming. Her family stood over her shoulder, helping her come up with creative ways to use the letters. Teen librarian and organizer of the event, Bryan Kratish sat on the other side of the board....
Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, Nov. 4
Smartphone smackdown at Princeton
The “Smartphone Smackdown: Droid vs. iOS” debate at Princeton (N.J.) Public Library on October 23 gave everyone more to consider when purchasing their next phone, along with an evening of entertainment. An audience of more than 50 gathered in the community room to hear the virtues and the drawbacks of each operating system as presented by Khurt Williams, who highlighted the merits and advantages of iOS. John LeMasney came to sing the praises of the Android operating system and related devices....
Princeton (N.J.) Library blog, Nov. 6
Firefighters vs. librarians in chili cook-off
On October 20, librarians from the Spokane County (Wash.) Library District and Spokane County District 9 firefighters went head-to-head in a taste challenge at the North Spokane branch to see who makes the most mouth-watering chili. Youth Services Librarian Gwendolyn Haley’s Fahrenheit 451 chili, featuring coffee and a can of Guinness beer, garnered a respectable number of votes. But ultimately one of the firefighters’ recipes proved to be the voters’ choice....
Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review, Oct. 31
Crowdsourcing a taste of the past
A handwritten recipe for calf’s head stew by Abigail Wellington Townsend in 1840 is one of hundreds of recipes—dating as far back as the 17th century—that the staff at University of Iowa Libraries has for the past year been scanning and digitizing. They’re now letting history buffs take a whack at transcribing the recipes on a newly launched do-it-yourself website. The vast majority of the recipes came from the extensive collection of the late Chicago chef Louis Szathmary, who donated it to UI in 1986....
Iowa City Press-Citizen, Oct. 31
The largest book theft in decades unravels
Michael Stillman writes: “It’s the story that keeps getting worse. A massive book heist in Italy apparently has ensnared thousands of books, millions of dollars, and made some important people look very foolish, and others look like criminals. Some believe this to be the largest book theft in decades. Last spring, an Italian historian, Tomaso Montanari, walked into the Girolamini Library in Naples, a Church-related institution generally not open to the public. He was amazed by what he saw.”...
Americana Exchange Monthly, Nov.
Some UK library closures could be illegal
In a report released November 6, the UK House of Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee says that some local authorities, under considerable pressure to quickly find cost savings, have drawn up plans without taking proper account of local needs. They are therefore in danger of failing in their statutory duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service. Other councils, however, have found innovative and cost-effective ways of continuing to supply or improve their library service....
UK Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, Nov. 6
Arizona State acquires manuscripts of Rubén Darío
Arizona State University Libraries has acquired a privately held collection of manuscripts created by famed Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867–1916, right), known as the founder of Spanish-American modernism. The archival material includes approximately 900 handwritten pages of poetry, essays, short stories, diplomatic notes, and personal letters spanning more than three decades. The finding aid to the collection is now available online....
Arizona State University Libraries, Nov. 1
This library revitalizes a Mayan language
Eddie Avila writes: “Located in the heart of the town of San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala, the Community Library Rija’tzuul Na’ooj (right) regularly buzzes with activity. If you listen closely, you might hear the children playing with one another in their maternal language of Tz’utujil. Books for storytime are often read in this Mayan language. And grandparents volunteer their time to take part in the Pixab’, which provides an opportunity to teach young people traditional customs and etiquette.”...
Rising Voices, Oct. 31
National Library of Poland adds records to WorldCat
The National Library of Poland (Biblioteka Narodowa, right) and OCLC have signed an agreement to add 1.3 million Polish library records to WorldCat, increasing the visibility of these collections for researchers around the world. The library acts as the central library of the state and one of the most important cultural institutions in Poland....
OCLC, Nov. 6
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The year of the MOOC
Laura Pappano writes: “MOOCs (massive open online courses) have been around for a few years as collaborative techie learning events, but this is the year everyone wants in. Elite universities are partnering with Coursera at a furious pace. It now offers courses from 33 of the biggest names in postsecondary education, including Princeton, Brown, Columbia, and Duke. In September, Google unleashed a MOOC-building online tool, and Stanford unveiled Class2Go with two courses.”...
New York Times, Nov. 2
Copyright case could change the nature of ownership
Lisa Schuchman writes: “On October 29, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng—a copyright case that could change the fundamental view of property ownership in the United States. Even after the oral arguments, however, it’s impossible to predict how the justices will rule in this high-stakes case. Lawyers on both sides say some issues will likely remain unresolved no matter what. So the Owners’ Rights Initiative was created to educate members of Congress about how changes to copyright law might affect them.”...
Corporate Counsel, Nov. 6
Librarian job growth—exploding?
Butch Lazorchak writes: “Quick quiz: Is the employment outlook for librarians growing or shrinking? The answer depends on what you call a ‘library job.’ According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for librarians is ‘slower than average.’ The problem is, BLS doesn’t describe too many of the librarians, archivists, and museum professionals I know. The job area of computer and information systems managers, which the Occupational Information Network describes as having a ‘bright outlook,’ looks a lot more like the job descriptions of the librarians I know.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Nov. 6; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Information Network
The role of paralibrarians
David Shumaker writes: “One of the sessions at Fedlink was devoted to discussion of the role of individuals who work in libraries, but whose jobs don’t require library science degrees and are generally lower paid. One of the points of the meeting was that ‘paraprofessionals’ are indeed professionals at what they do. In the legal profession, there are paralegals. Why not use the term ‘paralibrarian’?”...
The Embedded Librarian, Oct. 30
Data sharing is at odds with traditional library privacy
Marc Parry writes: “Colleges share many things on Twitter, but one topic can be risky to broach: the reading habits of library patrons. Harvard librarians learned that lesson when they set up Twitter feeds broadcasting titles of books being checked out from campus libraries. It seemed harmless enough, but the social-media experiment turned out to be more provocative than library staffers imagined. The episode points to an emerging tension as libraries embrace digital services.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 5
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Hold your ILS vendor’s feet to the fire (PDF file)
Lori Ayre writes: “When you go to the hardware store with a bolt in hand, you probably feel pretty confident that you’ll be able to find the nut you need to tighten that bolt. That’s how it should work with the nuts and bolts of library software—the integrated library system. But that isn’t how it works at all. For various reasons, our library systems have evolved into Winchester Mystery Houses that require all sorts of special, and often expensive, adaptations to bolt anything onto them.”...
Collaborative Librarianship 4, no. 3 (2012): 124–125
Perceptions 2012 International Library Automation Survey
Marshall Breeding writes: “For the last five years I have conducted a survey and written a report on the perceptions that libraries form of the quality of the core automation products they use and their satisfaction with the service they receive. Please help your fellow libraries who might be in the process of evaluating library automation options by taking the 2012 survey. The first step is to find your library in lib-web-cats.”...
GuidePosts, Nov. 5
Sticking with Windows 7
J. D. Biersdorfer writes: “Microsoft’s latest edition of the Windows operating system has just landed, but Windows 7 is not going anywhere soon. As explained on the Microsoft website, copies of Windows 7 will be available for retail purchase for another year, and PC manufacturers then have an additional year to keep selling Windows 7 installed on new computers. The company has long-term technical support plans for Windows 7 too.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Oct. 31
10 geeky gadgets librarians will love
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Last week’s post on 10 geeky office supplies for librarians was so popular, I decided to follow it up with these awesome and very geeky gadgets that are on my wish list. How about this Aroma USB (right)? Keep your office smelling fresh with this USB-operated, cold-mist, ultrasonic fragrance dispenser. It will work with nearly any fragrance oil available on the market. I can definitely think of a few times this would have been very useful, especially on rainy days when everyone orders lunch in.”...
iLibrarian, Oct. 23, Nov. 3
How to use the internet when the internet is gone
John Herrman writes: “A storm plows through your hometown, knocking out the electricity. Your lights go out and with it your Wi-Fi. Your laptop, still charged, is without internet. Your phone is getting service, but just barely. Calls are patchy. 3G and 4G internet aren’t working at all, so neither are your apps. All you can depend on is the most resilient, and limited, feature of your cell service: Text messages.” Or Twitter....
NBC News, Nov. 3; Washington Post, Oct. 29
Hand-crank cellphone charger
Hurricane Sandy has many people thinking about what they would do without power for days on end, particularly when it comes to keeping essential items like cellphones charged, ready, and available for use. The Eton Corporation understands that challenge and responded with the BoostTurbine, a hand-crank cellphone charger that allows you to power your device when electricity is unavailable....
Inhabitat, Nov. 6
Gmail in many languages
J. D. Biersdorfer writes: “Google’s new collection of Input Tools for its Gmail service expands the options for typing in different languages and non-Western character sets. These tools include on-screen virtual keyboards designed for languages like Korean, Hebrew, and Arabic, as well as a transliteration feature that converts typed letters used for English words into the same phonetic sounds produced by another alphabet. Google also provides an Input Method Editor that converts keystrokes on a Latin-character keyboard into characters used by the Chinese and Japanese languages.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Nov. 1; Official Gmail Blog
20 iPad apps for productivity
Jill Duffy writes: “The 20 iPad apps on this list can indeed help you stay productive at work, in the classroom, at a conference, from a hotel, or in an airplane seat. Some of the apps help you stay connected to people while others connect you to files and data that you need to get work done. One lets you e-sign documents without the hassles of printing, signing, scanning, or faxing, while another lets you send a fax for those rare occasions when someone can’t accept a document by email.”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 2
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Brain Hive has a new ebook business model
Christopher Harris writes: “Brain Hive is creating buzz and a bit of controversy with a new business model for delivering ebooks to school libraries. The site claims that its $1-a-read rental strategy will ‘add thousands of titles to your collection.’ Can it deliver? At first glance, I was quite skeptical: $1 per read seems rather high. After all, school libraries in New York only get $6.25 per student in materials aid. When I started doing the math, however, Brain Hive started looking like a much more interesting proposition.”...
AL: E-Content, Nov. 1
Book discussions from inside the ebook
Linda W. Braun writes: “On November 3, attendees of the YALSA YA Literature Symposium had the chance to talk about book discussions that take place right inside an ebook. No more going to a website like GoodReads or Twitter or Facebook to have your discussions. The app mentioned the most for these inside-the-ebook discussions was Subtext. Subtext is a free iPad app with many features that make these book discussions easy to do and fun.”...
YALSA The Hub, Nov. 6
DC Comics expands its digital reach
DC Comics has announced the next big step in its digital plans, saying it will sell monthly comics in the Kindle Store, iBookstore, and Nook Book Store. The company wasn’t exactly missing from those stores before, because it was already selling graphic novels. However, if you wanted the newest content delivered on a monthly basis, just as you would find in a comic book store, you had to turn to ComiXology....
TechCrunch, Nov. 7
A beginner’s guide to setting up an ebook library
Bakari Chavanu writes: “The recently announced iPad mini, along with similar digital tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, make for nearly perfect e-reading devices. This beginner’s guide recommends apps and features to get you started in building your library. Though the focus is on the iPad, because it’s the device I’ve used for the last two years to build my e-library, the recommendations apply to other devices, including the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.”...
MakeUseOf, Nov. 3
Gale ebook giveaway
Gale announced that its ebook platform, Gale Virtual Reference Library, was voted “Best Overall Database” by readers of Library Journal in the magazine’s Best Databases issue, beating out hundreds of other resources. Cengage Learning’s Questia was also voted “Best Upgrade.” Non-GVRL customers—all US school, public, and academic libraries, as well as Canadian public and academic libraries—can receive a collection of 15 of the most popular ebooks. In thanks for their support, existing GVRL customers can select one free ebook from a list of yet unpublished titles....
Cengage Learning, Nov. 1
ProQuest offers an ebook boost
ProQuest is boosting the visibility of ebooks in library collections by providing for the full text of an additional 400,000 ebooks to be discovered and accessed as part of a broad search of library holdings. The initiative to improve ebook visibility began in 2011 when Serials Solutions pioneered indexing of the contents of the HathiTrust collection in its Summon discovery service. ProQuest is expanding Summon to include searches across all of a library’s ebrary products, encompassing titles acquired through subscription, patron-driven acquisition, short-term loan, and perpetual archive models....
ProQuest, Nov. 7
UCLA Library Ebook Value Statement
Increasingly ebooks can provide essential content for use in teaching, learning, and research for UCLA students, faculty, and scholars. However, the still-evolving ebook market lacks standardized business and use models. The library seeks to develop that marketplace in ways that support UCLA’s core values and the university’s mission. The following statements of principle reflect the applicability of these values to the ebook marketplace....
University of California, Los Angeles, June
A bad month for access to library ebooks
Christopher Harris writes: “October was a rather rough month for library ebook access, at least if you are looking to pick up digital versions of the USA Today’s bestsellers. None of the top five books, and only six out of the 25 on the list, are available as ebooks to libraries, according to the latest DCL pricing report (PDF file).”...
AL: E-Content, Oct. 31
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ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, January 25–29.
Caroline Kennedy—author, attorney, and Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2013—will be a Midwinter Meeting Auditorium Speaker on January 27, 10–11 a.m. More details coming soon.
Electronic resource management encompasses much more than turning on and off resources and tracking usage. Managing Electronic Resources: A LITA Guide, edited by Ryan O. Weir provides advice on the tools and best practices to help you tackle heavy workloads while saving time, effort, and money. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Great Libraries of the World
Long Library, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK. One of the longest (55 meters) rooms in a private home anywhere in the United Kingdom, the library was planned by John Vanbrugh and designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1725 as a picture gallery. Charles Spencer, 3rd duke of Marlborough, altered it to house the Sunderland Library, which had been collected by his father, although the carved bookcases suffered from damp and sunlight. The Sunderland Library was sold in 1881–1883, but the hall was restored as a library in 1912 by Charles Spencer-Churchill, the 9th duke. The largest pipe organ in a private home was installed in 1891, built by Henry Willis. More than 10,000 books are currently kept on the bookshelves.
Mackintosh Library, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Designed by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1909, the library houses original Art Nouveau furniture and light fixtures. It serves as the school’s reference library with a collection of historic books, periodicals, and journals.
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. Some will be featured 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 Manager II. Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library is seeking a Library Manager who has a passion for creating an environment of teamwork that embraces change and excellent customer service. The right candidate will be a leader who is an effective communicator, creative thinker, and a continuous learner. Responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of a branch including information, circulation, and programming services; supervising, training, and evaluating the work performance of staff and encouraging their professional development; and building partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, and government agencies to further strengthen the library’s relationship with our diverse communities....
Digital Library of the Week
The Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collections is an online database that launched in July 2012 and provides public access to digitized materials from the collections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library, located at the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills, California. Currently the database contains more than 3,000 items, including correspondence, photographs, early release fliers, full issues of rare periodicals, and movie star ephemera. The database also has complete copies of more than 250 Academy publications, dating back to the founding of the organization in 1927. Special collections within the digital library include an Academy Awards collection, the George Cukor papers, Cecil B. DeMille photographs, the Alfred Hitchcock papers, the Mary Pickford papers, and a sheet music collection. The library uses OCLC’s CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software.
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
“It makes me proud to be a library professional to see how much positive we add to the community in times of need. Libraries are the solution in situations like these; not the problem.”
—Allan M. Kleiman, director of the Montville Township (N.J.) Public Library, in a Facebook post, Nov. 3.
Boston Radical Reference Collective, Critical Librarianship Symposium, Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. “Practical Choices for Powerful Impacts: Realizing the Activist Potential of Librarians.”
Ontario Library Association, Super Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Center. “Educate, Entertain, Empower.”
Association of College and Research Libraries, National Conference, Indianapolis.
Library Association of Alberta, Annual Conference, Jasper. “Stronger Together.”
LOEX, Annual Conference, Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee.
Saskatchewan Library Association, Annual Conference, TCU Place, Saskatoon. ”Get Jazzed Up @ your library.”
Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, Annual Conference, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. “Synchronicity: The Time is Now.”
British Columbia Library Association, Annual Conference, Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond. “Are We There Yet?”
Atlantic Provinces Library Association, Annual Conference, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, P.E.I. “Go Organic! Locally Sourced Libraries.”
Canadian Library Association, National Conference, Winnipeg (Man.) Trade Centre.
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