|American Libraries Online
The visible hand of the market?
Jamie LaRue writes: “In the past few months, the prices of ebooks for libraries—and in particular, some large price increases—have received considerable attention. But these discussions typically occur in the abstract. I decided that a focus on actual prices would greatly illuminate the challenges that libraries face. Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries has compiled a new price comparison report (PDF file) that will be updated monthly. In addition to the American Libraries E-Content blog, this report also will be available at Evoke.”...
AL: E-Content, Sept. 10
Teens geek out at digital learning labs
Greg Landgraf writes: “Teenagers are natural and voracious media consumers. But new research suggests that teens can learn more effectively in hands-on projects where they can be creative and think critically. The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation made $100,000 grants in November 2011 to eight libraries and four museums to plan and design their own digital learning labs where teens can hang out, mess around, and geek out. In the process, these young patrons are learning to create media rather than just consume it.”...
American Libraries feature
Technology in Practice: Let’s #makeithappen
Meredith Farkas writes: “Have you ever seen something in your work that you wanted to change but did nothing about it? What stopped you? Maybe you didn’t do it because you were too busy, but maybe you also felt that creating change was too daunting and you didn’t feel capable of making it happen. The Twitter hashtag #makeithappen, coined by librarian J. P. Porcaro, is a rallying cry for librarians new to the profession to let go of whatever is keeping them from taking professional risks and creating change.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Internet Librarian: The march of time
Joe Janes writes: “Can it really be 10 years since I began writing this column? It doesn’t seem possible, yet there I am, horrible picture and all, chirpily nattering away on page 74 of the September 2002 American Libraries. A lot of water has gone under many bridges since then, which puts me in a nostalgic frame of mind. I could revisit those past 10 years, but it seems more interesting to go back 10 more to get a broader perspective. So let’s have a look at what was going on in 1992.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Animated video promotes reading
Todd Frei and Benjamin McFadden, digital librarians for Wake County (N.C.) Public Libraries, created “Read: The Motion Picture” (1:33), a stop-motion animated video to promote reading among its patrons. McFadden drew more than 700 images as animated GIFs, which were then projected onto a marker board, captured by camera, and edited by Frei. The library is offering to edit the ending credits so it can be used as a promotion by other libraries. If you are interested in having the video custom-edited, contact Wake County’s Digital Library department....
AL Focus, Sept. 10
2012 international digital supplement
American Libraries’ 2012 international digital supplement, with coverage of the IFLA conference in Helsinki by former AL Editor Leonard Kniffel, is now available online. You can also read about ALA’s new International AL Direct e-newsletter, implementation of RDA, international advocacy efforts, ALA web-based e-content and online learning opportunities, winners of the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects, and the ALA Campaign for the World’s Libraries....
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Library Card Sign-Up Month
September is the 25th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when families will turn to their local library to register students for the most cost-effective back-to-school supply of them all—a library card. Libraries offer free access to important educational resources like online homework resources (82.3%) and access to online databases (98.8%), with content in virtually every school subject, including history, literature, and science....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 5
35 local businesses partner with Connecticut library
Residents of Orange, Connecticut, will save on more than books, movies, and music during the month of September, thanks to the Case Memorial Library. As part of National Library Card Sign-Up Month, the library has partnered with 35 Orange businesses for a new promotion called “Show Your Card” (PDF file) that offers discounts and complimentary gifts and services to residents who show their up-to-date library card. From the beginning, the month-long event was meant to be a mutually beneficial library-business partnership....
Milford-Orange (Conn.) Bulletin, Sept. 4
Bundle registration open for ALA conferences
The popular Bundled Registration option for 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference opened September 10. This cost-effective and efficient registration package offer will remain open through September 30. The conversation starts in Seattle, January 25–29, and continues as we work on “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves” in Chicago, June 27–July 2. Bundled registration offers the best value for these two events in two terrific cities....
Conference Services, Sept. 11
Let the Day of Games begin!
Kristin Boyett writes: “ALA’s International Games Day on November 3 is a wonderful way to entice people into the library for a day of fun and learning. Many library collections not only house electronic resources and ebooks, but have now begun collecting games. This event is a superb way to showcase this collection along with any related collections. Registration is now open for this event. The first 1,000 libraries will receive a copy of the board game Labyrinth along with a $5 coupon for Raveburger’s online shop.”...
Programming Librarian, Sept. 6
ALA commends Weinberg Foundation
ALA applauds the Weinberg Foundation for its dedication of $5 million to build 12 new school libraries for Baltimore City Public Schools. On September 11, the first of the three renovated libraries was opened to the public at Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle School. Each library will include thousands of new books, e-readers, computers, and designated areas for parent visits and school instruction. Watch the newscast (3:16)....
Office of Government Relations, Sept. 12; WMAR-TV, Baltimore, Sept. 11
Mrs. Thompson’s ALA conference badges
Larry Nix writes: “As a collector of library ephemera and memorabilia, I’m always happy to find items that connect me to library workers of the past who engaged in the same kinds of activities that I took part in during my library career. I recently acquired three badges for ALA conferences that took place in Detroit (1922); Hot Springs, Arkansas (1923); and Saratoga Springs, New York (1924). All three belonged to Mrs. Joseph A. Thompson, director of the Chickasha (Okla.) Public Library.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Sept. 10
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Featured review: Media, adult fiction
Grisham, John. Calico Joe. Read by Erik Singer. Apr. 2012. 4.5hr. Books on Tape, CD (978-0-449-01102-7).
Gentle piano music opens Grisham’s touching, nostalgic baseball tale. With the leisurely feel of nine innings on a hot summer day, the story unfolds in a series of flashbacks, beginning when Paul Tracey learns that his estranged father, Warren, has terminal cancer. There’s a history of bad feelings between Paul and his father, a former pitcher for the New York Mets who ended the career of rookie phenom “Calico Joe” Castle when he purposely beaned him with a fastball. Paul is determined to bring his father and Castle together one last time. Singer’s sensitive reading portrays Paul’s love of the game and longing for his father’s love. In Singer’s talented vocals, the emotions that seem hidden in the writing come forward, making the audio perhaps even more rewarding than the book....
Listen-alikes: Talking sports
Sue-Ellen Beauregard writes: “Novels and stories with sports themes attract audiences beyond sports junkies. The following seven titles (including two youth selections) stick with a sports theme and feature distinctive readings and excellent production values.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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United for Libraries is now official
As of September 4, the ALA division formerly known as the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) is known as “United for Libraries.” The United for Libraries name and logo will be featured on the division’s website and materials. It will continue to provide its members, which include Friends of the library, library trustees, foundations, and library advocates, with the best possible specialized resources that will empower them to support and advocate for their libraries....
United for Libraries, Sept. 11
Last free chance to Turn the Page 2.0
Librarians and library supporters have one more opportunity to participate in the PLA-sponsored online public library advocacy course, “Turning the Page 2.0.” The final free session from PLA begins the week of September 24 and runs through the week of October 29. Participants choose an advocacy goal for their library and are guided through the creation of an Advocacy Work Plan. Register here....
PLA, Sept. 10
Deadline for ASCLA Italian holiday extended
The itinerary is set for “ASCLA in Italy” April 15–24, and you don’t need to be a member of ASCLA to participate. Voyagers will convene in Rome and then head to the Amalfi Coast, spending time in Sorrento, Puglia, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and Capri. The deadline to send in your initial deposit of $500 has been extended to September 21....
ASCLA Blog, Sept. 12
Digitizing cultural history webinar
LLAMA is presenting a webinar, “Social Entrepreneurship in Action: Digitizing Our Cultural History,” on September 19. Social entrepreneurs are people who use entrepreneurial principles to identify and remedy a social issue or problem and improve life for their communities or the world. Presenters are David Gwynn, Susan Sharpless Smith, and Jeff Suchanek. Register online....
LLAMA, Sept. 11
Register for RUSA courses by September 13
Registration ends September 13 for several online courses offered by RUSA: Health Information 101, Reference Interview, Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping, and Interlibrary Loan 101. Content for RUSA’s online courses is mostly self-paced. Two or more participants from the same library can take advantage of group registration rates....
RUSA, Sept. 11
Wanted: RUSA webinar proposals
Ebooks, library programming and outreach, reference services, collection marketing, and leading a book group are just some of the webinar topics sought by RUSA for spring 2013; proposals can be submitted via online form through December 1. Successful proposals will show plans for presentations that are 60–75 minutes in length....
RUSA, Sept. 11
New book for busy STEM librarians
ACRL has just released The Busy Librarian’s Guide to Information Literacy in Science and Engineering, edited by Katherine O’Clair and Jeanne Davidson. The book offers practical advice to librarians responsible for science, engineering, and technology information literacy instruction to understand and apply the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology into curriculum design and ongoing instruction....
ACRL Insider, Sept. 12
Fall e-learning from ACRL
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in the fall—including courses on mobile apps and team-based learning and a webcast on Pinterest. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. Registration for all online courses and webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner Program....
ACRL, Sept. 11
AASL Lesson Plan Database
Kathy Lowe writes: “Have you checked out the AASL Lesson Plan Database yet? Now with over 100 published lessons contributed by practitioners in the field, the database showcases learning experiences for K–12 students that integrate the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner with classroom projects and assignments and are automatically cross-walked with ELA and Math Common Core State Standards upon publication. If you are looking for ways to teach your students the skills, dispositions, responsibilities, and self-assessment strategies they need to be successful 21st-century learners, this is the place to go.”...
AASL Blog, Sept. 7
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Special offer for the Caldecott’s 75th anniversary
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, ALSC is offering a free, archived, mock-elections webinar to anyone who purchases the Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Tool Kit digital download. Individuals must purchase the digital download in September, October, or November to receive access to the archived webinar. This authoritative tool kit provides you with everything you need to plan and execute stellar mock elections in your community....
ALSC, Sept. 7
Nominate someone for a PLA award
PLA is offering nine awards and grants designed to highlight the best in public library service and to honor those bringing innovation, creativity, and dedication to public libraries. Many of the awards include an honorarium. Fill out the PLA award nomination form by December 1. Winners will be announced in February....
PLA, Sept. 10
Nominate a school library for the Jaffarian Award
Nominations are open for the 2013 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. Public and private school libraries that served children in any combination of grades K–8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2011–2012 school year are eligible for the $4,000 award. The deadline for applications is December 15. Register for a free, online learning session October 24 with the 2012 winner, Francis Feeley, school librarian of the Inter-American Magnet School in Chicago....
Public Programs Office, Sept. 11
Apply for a Carnegie-Whitney grant
The ALA Publishing Committee provides a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library. Funded projects range from the popular to the scholarly. Applications must be received by November 2; recipients will be notified by the end of February 2013....
ALA Publishing, Sept. 5
Two Spectrum Scholars to attend AASL Fall Forum
AASL will sponsor the travel, lodging, and attendance of two Spectrum Scholars, Judith Guzman-Montes and Connie Thompson, at the AASL 2012 Fall Forum. “Transliteracy and the School Library Program” will be held October 12–13, in Greenville, South Carolina, and simultaneously broadcast to four participating satellite sites....
AASL, Sept. 11
Apply for ACRL scholarships and travel grants
ACRL is offering 70 scholarships in five categories worth more than $40,000 for its upcoming conference to be held April 10–13 in Indianapolis. Applications for scholarships in all categories are due November 9. Complete details on each scholarship category and application instructions are available on the ACRL 2013 website....
ACRL, Sept. 11
UIUC library school wins an IMLS grant
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s GSLIS has been awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant in the amount of $99,168 for “Inclusive Gigabit Libraries: Learn, Discuss, and Brainstorm.” With this support, the school will hold a series of four continuing education forums to enhance understanding of how libraries can adopt and use next-generation internet networks to address social inclusion through the organization US Ignite....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 12
2012 Dolman Travel Book of the Year
John Gimlette has won the 2012 Dolman Travel Book of the Year award for Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge (Knopf, 2011), an account of his journeys in Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. He received the £2,500 ($4,000 US) prize at an Authors’ Club ceremony in London on September 5. Gimlette explored the dense jungles between the Orinoco and the Amazon rivers, stumbling upon remote villages, snakes, and the hideouts of runaway slaves....
The Telegraph (UK), Sept. 6
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L.A. considers multiuse library cards for illegal immigrants
Los Angeles officials are considering a plan to turn the library card into a form of identification that the city’s large illegal immigrant population could use to open bank accounts and access an array of city services. The ID card would include the user’s name, address, and a photograph, and would be issued through the Los Angeles Public Library. The city would partner with a private vendor to set up bank accounts. Anyone able to provide proof of L.A. residency would be eligible for the library card. The L.A. chapter of Reforma has drafted a letter in support of the plan....
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 11
Closure of Escondido branch hurt student grades
The closure of the East Valley branch (right) of the Escondido (Calif.) Public Library in 2011 cost many young city residents a crucial place to do homework, read books, and feel safe after school, according to a survey of public school students conducted recently by California State University, San Marcos. 20% of the nearly 500 East Valley students surveyed said loss of the branch, which the city council closed to help balance the city’s budget, had negatively affected their grades....
Escondido (Calif.) North County Times, Sept. 6
Bold library promotion in Arkansas
Benjamen A. Bizzle writes: “I’m a member of the creative team at Craighead County Jonesboro (Ark.) Public Library, and we have the privilege of feeling creative on a fairly regular basis. From a YouTube comedy series (“No, you cannot die from dyslexia”) to the ridiculous Facebook covers to the billboards and posters around town (above), we are constantly looking for new and creative ways to sell the library to the people of Craighead and Poinsett counties in Arkansas. We’re always looking for different ways to catch people unexpectedly and just get them thinking about the library. Indications are that it’s working.”...
Marketing Library Services, Sept./Oct.
Chicago amnesty program brings in more than 101,000 items
The Chicago Public Library recently held its own type of homecoming, welcoming the missing books, CDs, and DVDs that found their way back to library shelves. Exactly 101,301 items were returned from August 20 to September 7 in the library’s “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” program, a rare window of time during which outstanding fines and fees were waived. The library estimates the value of the items returned during the program at about $2 million....
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 11
Springfield branches slated to reopen
Three branch libraries that were closed on July 2 in Springfield, Massachusetts, due to budget cuts are now expected to reopen the week of October 15 in the aftermath of restored funds and ongoing efforts to hire staff. The reopening branches are Liberty Street, Pine Point, and East Forest Park. The city council granted final approval July 30 to a $15 increase in the annual trash fee, including $5 that would help with opening the branches....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Sept. 10
New York library adopts ad-supported toilet paper
Meredith Schwartz writes: “Toilet paper printed with advertisements will appear in the bathrooms of the Port Chester–Rye Brook (N.Y.) Public Library in October. The toilet paper is 100% recycled, two-ply, and printed with soy-based ink. Venues that use the paper receive it for free, making it a potentially attractive way for cash-strapped libraries to reduce spending. The move comes a few months after budget constraints forced the library to cut hours and eliminate two part-time positions.”...
Library Journal, Aug. 22; White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News, Aug. 18; Port Chester (N.Y.) Daily Voice, June 1
87 Minnesota libraries affected by power outage
Eighty-seven libraries in southeastern Minnesota were unable to serve their patrons September 5–7 because of a power outage at the Southeastern Libraries Cooperating building in Rochester. SELCO was one of about 4,800 Rochester Public Utilities customers that lost power when a severe thunderstorm rolled through the city. SELCO’s integrated library system provides access to the 3 million holdings of its member libraries....
Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin, Sept. 7; SELCO Tumblr
UK plans to increase young library volunteer force
The Reading Agency and the UK government have launched an initiative working with local library services across the country to create a “Youth Innovation Network” of library workers that seeks to generate thousands of volunteering opportunities in public libraries for youth aged 11–25. The initiative will be delivered in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians. It is funded by a grant from the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund....
The Bookseller, Sept. 10
Queensland government libraries threatened (PDF file)
The Queensland Government is making moves to marginalize, shrink, and in the worst case, eradicate its government libraries. In doing so, the Australian Library and Information Association says the state government will be dumbing down policy and decision-making and fears that, once lost, unique collections of valuable historic and contemporary documents, referred to by scientists and researchers on a daily basis, will be lost forever. ALIA sent a letter (PDF file) to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman on September 4 expressing its deep concerns about the situation....
Australian Library and Information Association, Sept. 10
Japanese police say man stole over 1,100 library books
A 61-year-old man has been accused of stealing more than 1,100 library books from 15 locations in Japan. Mitsuka Suizu was first arrested in July for taking a few books from the public library in Nagato. When police searched his home in the city of Ube, Suizu admitted to taking 1,170 books over seven years. “None of [the libraries] had security gates, so he was able to get by relatively unnoticed,” Nagato police spokesperson Yosuke Miyoshi said....
ABC News, Sept. 7
Rare Indian collection may close
One of India’s oldest libraries is facing closure after government funding was withdrawn. Old Delhi’s Hardayal Municipal Library (right) houses one of the country’s finest collections of rare antiquarian books, including a print of Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1676 History of the World, a series of early British Indian travelogues, and handwritten and gold-illuminated translations of Hindu and Muslim religious works. But today the building is dilapidated, its books are caked in dust, and their pages are slowly disintegrating in rooms without air conditioning....
New York Daily News, Sept. 7
The cultural crisis in Mali
Muhammad Amir Rana writes: “Until recently, Mali had persistently shrugged off the possibility that a small number of extremists could take over the country. Now, after the militants have captured most of the northern region and destroyed several sites of cultural heritage, the people are calling out to the international community for help. Most tragic was the reported burning of some manuscripts allegedly by a librarian after the militants’ arrival in the city of Timbuktu. The value of these treasures is beyond estimation.”...
Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan), Sept. 8
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Publishers appeal decision in Georgia State e-reserves case
The three publisher plaintiffs in the Georgia State University e-reserve case lodged an appeal September 10 with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn one of the most significant fair-use rulings in decades. The appeal comes after Judge Orinda Evans filed her final order for relief in the case on August 10, rejecting the plaintiff publishers’ sweeping proposal for relief and ordering the publishers to pay the defendants’ attorneys’ costs. Kevin Smith offers some background....
Publishers Weekly, Sept. 11; Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Sept. 11
The plagiarism perplex
Barbara Fister writes: “There is an extraordinary tension in our culture between individual creativity and the creative community, between originality and a shared body of knowledge, between the acts of reading culture and writing culture. And our students are caught in the middle. The fire and brimstone tone of plagiarism warnings are one kind of mixed message. Most students understand that it’s ethically wrong to purchase a paper and hand it in as one’s own; and most students understand that copying chunks of text without acknowledging the source is plagiarism. But most students will encounter gray areas.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Sept. 6
Why I gave to EveryLibrary
Monique le Conge writes: “When I was president of the California Library Association, one of the things that I learned from attending library legislative days both in Sacramento and Washington was that until libraries could bring money to the table, we’d continue to be a nice, nostalgic, heartwarming, and woefully underfunded service for most, if not all politicians. But EveryLibrary has turned thought into action, and I appreciate and support its efforts.”...
EveryLibrary, Sept. 6
Walking away from the American Chemical Society
Jenica P. Rogers writes: “There’s no gentle introduction to this, so I’ll get right to my point. SUNY Potsdam will not be subscribing to an American Chemical Society online journal package for 2013. We will instead be using a combination of the Royal Society of Chemistry content, ACS single-title subscriptions, the ACS backfile, and ScienceDirect from Elsevier to meet our chemical information needs. We’re doing this because the ACS pricing model is unsustainable for our institution, and we were unable to find common ground with the sales team from the ACS. Here’s how we got there.”...
Attempting Elegance, Sept. 12
What if OA was the default for scholarly publishing?
Heather Joseph writes: “Ten years ago, a small group of activists convened in Budapest, Hungary, to discuss ways for the academic community to make all research articles in all academic fields freely available online. The result was the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Participants in this year’s meeting have released a set of recommendations with an ambitious new goal: achieving OA as the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research within 10 years’ time.” Read OA proponent Peter Suber’s perspective....
SPARC, Sept. 12; Open Access Foundation, Sept. 12
“Open” data: Attribution or no restrictions?
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “There is an ongoing debate about whether ‘open data’ should be released under an ‘attribution required’ license, or a ‘no restrictions’ license. For instance, lately OCLC has been suggesting its data is or should be licensed with an ODC-BY attribution-required license, while European libraries and cultural heritage institutions have been leaning toward and encouraging CC0-style no-restrictions licenses or releases instead. What is best?”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Sept. 11
Whither science publishing?
John Dupuis writes: “On August 1, The Scientist published some interesting comments by scientists, publishers, and LIS faculty on the future of scholarly publishing. It’s a pretty good set of questions and answers, provocative and thought-provoking, with a few good shots especially from the scientist side of things. Unfortunately, I think it lacks a bit in terms of having an honest-to-goodness librarian as part of the panel. Guess what? I’m taking a crack at those questions too.”...
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Sept. 5
(Re)defining the library, part 1: Why?
Rick Anderson writes: “A huge number of factors complicate the scholarly communication landscape today, and with it the world of libraries, particularly research libraries. Questions that once had obvious and widely agreed-upon answers are now much more difficult. These include: What is a book? What does ‘publication’ mean? What is the appropriate unit of sale for scholarly products? In Part 2, I’ll propose a simple taxonomy of libraries.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Sept. 11–12
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Amazon announces new Kindles
Amazon announced big upgrades to its Kindle family September 6 in Santa Monica. While improvements on older models and dropped prices were great news to those looking to pinch a few pennies, the real superstars are the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader (right) and Kindle Fire HD—the latter of which is now complete with a 4G LTE wireless upgrade. The “awesome” Paperwhite combines the paper-like text of e-ink screens with the usability of LCD screens but none of the eyestrain; however, Amazon failed to supply it with text-to-speech capability. Lost in the Amazon hoopla was the release of a new line of Kobo e-readers....
Digital Trends, Sept. 6; Gizmodo, Sept. 6; TeleRead, Sept. 6–7
Apple unveils the iPhone 5
Don Reisinger writes: “As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 5 at its September 12 event. The smartphone is made of glass and aluminum, and all of the buttons are in the same places. According to Apple, the device is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S, and it’s also 20% lighter. One of the biggest additions is the new 4-inch display, besting its predecessor’s 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone 5 will also come with support for 4G LTE service, delivering what it calls Ultrafast Wireless.”...
CNET News, Sept. 12
A visual history of the iPhone
Mark Hachman writes: “To know where you’re going, you’ve got to first know where you’ve been. On January 9, 2007, Apple’s Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone (right) at the MacWorld convention in San Francisco. The iPhone’s success certainly stems from its hardware design. But Apple should be also credited with developing the app ecosystem, a greater achievement than the phone itself.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 11
Alerts to make your phone more distracting
Roy Furchgott writes: “If your Facebook, email, Twitter, and text alerts aren’t intrusive enough, meet an app called Pops. A free app for Android phones, Pops lets you choose an animation that can be assigned to specific kinds of alerts, or to alerts from specific people. Instead of your phone just showing an icon when you receive a Facebook alert, an animation can take over your screen. And it lets you send messages with animated alerts that show up on the phones of recipients.” Watch the video (0:51)...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Sept. 5; YouTube, Aug. 12
Technology DeathWatch: QR codes
Cormac Foster writes: “For 15 years, the QR code lived a quiet life in factories and warehouses, but when smartphones burst on the scene, advertisers (and libraries) began embedding URLs in QR codes so users could simply snap a picture of a tag and visit a website without having to type in the address. But scanning QR codes isn’t all that easy. Without simpler client tools and much better awareness, it’s likely that texting, speech-based searches, and alternative scanning technologies will win out.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Sept. 10
Who makes the best 802.11ac router?
Michael Brown writes: “It’s a tricky time to be in the market for a new wireless router. The safe bet is buy a model based on the tried-and-true, rock-solid 802.11n standard—and I recommend that you adopt that course if you’re looking for a new router for your small business. Some, however, may fall in love with the blistering speed and phenomenal range that routers that are based on the second draft of the 802.11ac standard deliver. Here are my assessments of all five 802.11ac router models now available for sale.”...
PC World, Apr. 9, Sept. 12
How to fix broken keyboard feet
Taryn Fiol writes: “Ben Franklin got it all wrong. Beer isn’t proof that God loves us, binder clips are. They are cheap and possibly the perfect hacking material to solve little problems around the office. Like this one, which helps you fix the little feet at the back of your keyboard. Just grab a couple of 10¢ binder clips (or borrow some from a coworker) and try this trick for replacing them.”...
Apartment Therapy, June 10, 2011
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Pricing digital content
Christopher Harris writes: “Leaving aside the larger question of business models for a second, let’s tackle what seems like a really simple question. What should be the base unit for pricing digital content? In reality, this is not a simple question at all. Should content be priced by the size of the population a library serves? Sites? Organizational units? It seems like someone is always ending up with a bad deal.”...
AL: E-Content, Sept. 7
Amazon changed reading: Now it could change writing
Sarah Kessler writes: “In addition to its new Kindle e-readers, Amazon introduced a subscription book format at its September 6 press conference. These books, called ‘Kindle Serials,’ will be released in segments instead of in their entirety, just as Charles Dickens serialized his novels 175 years ago. Updates or episodes automatically appear at the back of the book as they’re created or released at no extra charge. Publishing one segment at a time will enable authors, like app developers, to make decisions based on user activity.”...
Fast Company, Sept. 6
US judge okays ebook price-fixing settlement
US District Judge Denise L. Cote (right) approved a settlement September 6 between the Justice Department and Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster, and HarperCollins in a civil antitrust case that accused the companies of collusion with Apple in the pricing of digital books. The terms (PDF file) include a seven-year cooling-off period during which the publishers cannot restrict retailers from sellng ebooks at a discount. A separate suit between the three publishers and 49 states was settled August 29 for $69 million. HarperCollins and Amazon have already dropped ebook prices; Laura Hazard Owen examines the implications, and Michael Hiltzik senses an Amazon monopoly....
New York Times: Media Decoder, Sept. 6; paidContent, Sept. 10; Los Angeles Times, Aug. 31, Sept. 12
Ebooks in academia
Christina Pikas writes: “The ebook uproar really is about public libraries and popular books. In my science library, our books are nearly all done on the journal model: one PDF per chapter (no special device required); unlocked pdfs (no DRM; can be downloaded, printed, marked up); searchable on Google; IP authenticated. The thing is that scholarly publishers rely heavily on the library purchases for things besides textbooks.”...
Christina’s LIS Rant, Sept. 12
Publishers back African ebook literacy effort
Nick Wingfield writes: “Years ago, David Risher, a former Amazon executive, came up with the unlikely plan of distributing Kindles to children in the developing world to help increase literacy. He gradually found acceptance for the nonprofit he founded to take ebooks to Africa, Worldreader. Now he is getting a significant boost that could help expand its reach. Six book publishers have all agreed to donate ebooks to Worldreader, allowing the nonprofit to triple the size of its digital library to more than 900 books.”...
New York Times: Bits, Sept. 6
50 surprising ways to use your Kindle
Jeff Dunn writes: “Amazon’s e-reader attracts its fair share of fans, but its potential stretches well beyond merely reading ebook documents. Numerous hacks and tricks exist to push the Kindle even further by extending its life, saving money, or tacking on some brand-new features. Enjoy a few random tips to pique ebook readers’ interest, some of which require a bit of hardware and software literacy, others that can be executed with only one neuron firing.”...
Edudemic, Aug. 31
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Bundle your 2013 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference registrations before midnight September 30 to get the most cost-effective professional development, continuing education, and networking. The conversation starts in Seattle, January 25–29, and continues as we work on “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves” in Chicago, June 27–July 2. To help make your case for attending, use these resources.
Let your imagination fly with Ladybug Girl and her good pal Bingo in this poster featuring original art by David Soman. Ladybug Girl’s beautifully illustrated adventures in the natural world make the playful series as popular as it is charming. Share Ladybug Girl’s lessons about cooperation, compromise, and courage with young readers. Illustrated and written by the husband-and-wife team of David Soman and Jacky Davis, their book Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad has been selected for Jumpstart’s 2012 Read for the Record campaign in October. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
The British Library, London, UK. The library’s new facility in St. Pancras has 11 reading rooms, each specializing in different subject areas or types of material, where readers can access most of the library’s 150 million items. Collections of British and overseas newspapers are available in another reading room in North London, and a research collection of 7 million items can be found in a third facility in Boston Spa in West Yorkshire. The Online Gallery provides access to 30,000 images from sacred or significant books, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, together with certain exhibition items in a proprietary page-turning format. Among the library’s treasures are the world’s earliest dated printed book, the Diamond Sutra, from 868 A.D.; two Gutenberg Bibles; two copies of the 1215 Magna Carta; and the sole surviving manuscript copy of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.
Bromley House Library, Nottingham, UK. The Nottingham Subscription Library was founded in 1816 and moved in 1822 to its present home in Bromley House. The library consists of a series of reading rooms with a spiral staircase, gallery, plaster ceilings, cornices, and overmantels.
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.
Research and Outreach Librarian, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. In consultation with the head of reader services and the head of reference, provides research services support for onsite and remote researchers. Participates in reading room rotation including periodic Saturday duty. Instructs individuals and small groups in the use of the catalog, image databases, and specialized print and electronic resources. Develops online instructional tools for staff and readers. Assists readers in the effective use of digital images in classroom teaching and public presentation....
Digital Library of the Week
The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is the Smithsonian’s collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to the history of science and technology. Contained in this world-class collection of 35,000 rare books and 2,000 manuscript groups are many of the most important works dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries in the history of science and technology. Its digital collections include portraits of men and women in science, rare books printed before 1501, original drawings of 16th-century machines for Agostino Ramalli’s Le diverse et artificiose machine (Paris, 1588), and the 200 books selected by Bern Dibner that were donated in 1976 as the most significant titles in the development of Western science and technology.
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
“‘She’s a librarian,’ Sim said. ‘They’re not teachers; don’t give you half as much hassle. If there’s a fire in the school and I’ve got to choose who I’m gonna save—a teacher or a librarian—the teacher’s gonna burn every time.’”
—Keith Gray, Ostrich Boys (New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2010), 24.
Kapow! Comic-Con, Monmouth County Library, Manalapan, New Jersey.
World Maker Faire, New York Hall of Science, Queens, New York.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Peoria Civic Center. “Bouncing Higher.”
Iowa Library Association, Annual Conference, Grand River Center, Dubuque. “We’re All in This Together.”
West Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, Stonewall Jackson Resort, Roanoke. “Be the Change.”
Oral History Association, Annual Meeting, Cleveland Marriott at Key Center, Cleveland, Ohio. “Sing It Out, Shout It Out, Say It Out Loud: Giving Voice through Oral History.”
Digital Public Library of America, Midwest Meeting, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago.
From School to Workforce: Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, and Problem-Solving Skills, webinar. Cosponsored by National Forum on Information Literacy and Credo Reference.
The E-Book Renaissance, Part II: Challenges and Opportunities, Metro Meeting Centers, Boston. Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization.
Internet Librarian 2012, Conference, Monterey (Calif.) Conference Center. “Transformational Power of Internet Librarians: Promise and Prospect.”
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hynes Convention Center.
8th International Digital Curation Conference, Mövenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, Netherlands. “Infrastructure, Intelligence, Innovation: Driving the Data Science Agenda.”
Digital Book World, Conference, Hilton Hotel, New York City.
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Disabilities in YA lit
Michelle Blank writes: “As hard as it is for some to believe, YA novels are not all supernatural romance books about sparkly vampires. YA literature is famous for tackling issues and not shying away from uncomfortable topics, which, for some, include disabilities. So how has the world of YA lit presented the perspective of those with disabilities? The short answer is: in a variety of ways. Many YA novels include characters who not only have disabilities, but thrive in spite of them or as a result of them.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 7
When sequels emerge years later
Kelly Jensen writes: “A new publishing trend over the last couple of years is one that’s been almost under the radar. It’s easy to talk about trends like mermaids or books taking a new spin on Game of Thrones when you’re reading a ton of books every year. But have you noticed recently the number of sequels to books published five or more years ago that are now making an appearance? Let’s take a look.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 11
Audiobook news you can use
Mary Burkey writes: “Here is a roundup of audiobook links of interest. First, join AudioGO on September 28 for Librarian’s Day 2012. Are you close to Providence, Rhode Island? Take a road trip to AudioGo’s North Kingston studio for a tour and treats. There will be a special appearance by library advocate Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). RSVP online by September 14—or register via the RSVP link to win $500 worth of free audios, even if you can’t attend.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Sept. 10
What does your bookshelf say about you?
Peter Knox writes: “Only a bookshelf can truly hold a reader’s history and future at the same time. A lifelong reader myself, I’ve always had an obsession with seeing a person’s bookshelf, to get a sense of what they’ve brought inside their home and their head. So I created the ShareYourShelf tumblr as a way to attach individuality and ownership to these previously anonymous assortments of titles.”...
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 7
Adi Robertson writes: “The book has been adapted to a variety of new forms, most of which rely on computer interfaces. Waldek Węgrzyn, a design student at Poland’s Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, has done the opposite, building an electronic book that controls text and graphics on the web. Elektrobiblioteka can be viewed online, though you’ll need to translate the text if you don’t speak Polish. But as seen in this video (4:08), it’s designed to be connected to its companion volume. Turning a page in the book switches web pages, and tapping graphics brings up animations on the screen.”...
The Verge, Sept. 7; Vimeo, Aug. 21
Printer’s waste or endleaf?
Heather Wolfe writes: “This book mystery concerns the nature of a fragment of paper used to repair a letter from Thomas Cromwell to Nicholas Wotton written in 1539. The presence of a faint impression of printing on the fragment led us initially to two main threads of inquiry: What is the printed text from which this artifact derives, and what part of the printing process or post-printing process does this fragment represent? At first glance, it seems likely that the text is a preliminary leaf from the second volume of Knightley D’Anvers’s A General Abridgment of the Common Law (London, 1713).”...
The Collation, Sept. 6
20 famous authors’ school photos
Emily Temple writes: “It’s back-to-school season, which means new books, new classes and yes, new photos, yearbook and otherwise. But don’t worry: Your favorite authors had to go through it too. To celebrate the new season of scholarship, we’ve collected a few pictures of some of our favorite authors’ school photos, ranging from proud snapshots of the first day of kindergarten to writers-to-be goofing off behind a desk to posed high school graduation photos.”...
Flavorwire, Sept. 6
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Europeana releases content into public domain
On September 12, Europeana opened up nearly 20 million of the items in its digital library under a CC0 rights waiver. This means that anyone can reuse the data for any purpose—whether using it to build applications to bring cultural content to new audiences in new ways, or analyzing it to improve an understanding of Europe’s cultural and intellectual history. This is a coup for advocates of open cultural resourcs. The data was released after a grueling and unenviable internal negotiation process that has lasted more than a year....
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 12; Europeana, Sept. 12
The Risk and Reward Conference
Heather Acerro writes: “This week, 350 librarians gathered in gorgeous Telluride, Colorado, for the R-Squared Conference, with the vision of transforming the library ‘from a quiet storehouse of books to a dynamic center of free engagement with knowledge.’ The conference was divided into four experiences: culture, abundant community, customer curiosity, and creative spaces.”...
ALSC Blog, Sept. 12
DPLA announces board of directors
The steering committee of the Digital Public Library of America has appointed five members to its inaugural board of directors. The board will support the DPLA’s goal of creating and maintaining a free, open, and sustainable national digital library resource. The five are Cathy Casserly, Paul Courant, Laura DeBonis, Luis Herrera, and John Palfery....
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Sept. 11
Open source ILS information portal
The new Opensource ILS website provides a single portal for information about Evergreen, Koha, and other open source ILS systems and how they can work in any academic, public, school, or special library setting. The site enables you to see if open source can work for your library, learn about the steps involved in migrating, and locate technical assistance from the open source community as well as support vendors....
WebJunction funded another five years
OCLC has received a $4.1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support five years of ongoing operations of WebJunction, the learning place for libraries. Launched in 2003, WebJunction has helped more than 70,000 library staff build the job skills they need to meet the challenges of today’s environment. Its website provides a wealth of training resources that share the knowledge, skills, and support to sustain relevant, vibrant libraries....
OCLC, Sept. 6
New tricks for academics
Joyce Valenza writes: “Subscription databases rock, no question about that. And they will likely be the best starting point for the full-text needs of scholars young and old. But new academic search options are appearing as real players, reaching beyond search as location and networking tools for scholars, scientists, and practitioners. Here are three relatively new options you may have missed.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Sept. 10
30 Google search shortcuts
Thorin Klosowski writes: “Hidden behind Google’s search box are a slew of shortcuts leading to so-called ‘OneBox’ results that provide awesome tools and display helpful information quickly and directly. You might think you know them all, but a few are more hidden than others. Google’s OneBox is the result you get when Google magically knows the answer to a search you perform. Here are 20 examples.” And 10 more....
Lifehacker, Sept. 6, 10
How Google builds its maps
Alexis C. Madrigal writes: “Behind every Google Map, there is a much more complex map that’s the key to your queries but hidden from your view. The deep map contains the logic of places: their no-left-turns and freeway on-ramps, speed limits, and traffic conditions. This is the data that you’re drawing from when you ask Google to navigate you from point A to point B—and last week, Google showed me the internal map and demonstrated how it was built. It’s the first time the company has let anyone watch how the project it calls GT, or ‘Ground Truth,’ actually works.”...
The Atlantic, Sept. 6
The Fotopedia National Parks app
Richard Byrne writes: “Last week I installed the Fotopedia National Parks app on my iPad. The imagery in the app is simply stunning. Beyond the imagery the app offers photo-stories based on the imagery of the national parks in the app. And just like on the Fotopedia website, each image is linked to a related Wikipedia entry. Fotopedia offers 10 other iPad apps, including an app featuring UNESCO World Heritage sites.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Sept. 9
Find a sound
Phil Bradley writes: “OK, it’s almost 7 on a Friday night, and you’re desperate to get the sound that a zebra makes. (Don’t ask why, you just are, work with me on this!) Where do you go? I’ll tell you, you go to FindSounds: Sound Types which is quite a funky little website. Along with the sounds of animals (including that zebra) you get hundreds of other sounds. For example: There’s not just one zebra sound, there are 10 different ones. This is going to be zebra heaven for someone, you mark my words.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Sept. 7
Six impressive posts on librarianship
Aaron Tay writes: “So we librarians are failing (or are we)? Amazon is eating our lunches. Google is where people go. Surely we must be doing something wrong? Here are some critiques about how we librarians do things that perhaps deserve our consideration. The fact that some of them come from people who are not librarians (or traditional librarians) but working in the library field is interesting.”...
Musings about Librarianship, Sept. 8
Do I really want to be a librarian?
Andy Burkhardt writes: “There was a great thread in the ALA Think Tank Facebook group several weeks ago in which someone asked others about having mixed feelings and angst about librarianship. I loved the post and all the answers because they were so authentic and sincere. These are very real, genuine questions that I know I have dealt with and that we all have to deal with as librarians and as professionals. Does my work satisfy me? Is my work fulfilling? Do I really want to be a librarian?”...
Information Tyrannosaur, Sept. 11
Networking tips for job-hunting librarians
Brian Herzog writes: “A little while ago, a reader emailed me with this question: ‘I’m a recent MLIS graduate, and just moved to a new state. I was wondering if you could give me some job-hunting tips?’ I am certainly no expert, but I did come up with some ideas.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Sept. 12
Call for library-incubated quilters
Erinn Batykefer writes: “My interest in quilts and quilting was incubated by the American Craft collection at Bucknell University’s Bertrand Library in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. I’m sure there are other quilters who were inspired by library collections, who use libraries to research their latest projects, and who show their creations in libraries. Quilters and librarians, consider this a formal call to share your work, your community’s quilting tradition, good quilting books or collections, and quilting programs or shows.” See submission guidelines or contact the Library as Incubator Project on Twitter or Facebook....
Library as Incubator Project, Sept. 6
How library spaces are changing
Jazzy Wright writes: “This summer, I had the opportunity to witness the latest in cutting-edge library services when I took a tour of Arlington (Va.) Central Library (right). I spoke with Director Diane Kresh, one of whose main achievements has been the creation of the library’s Digital Projects Lab, a pop-up, tech-filled space that provides the technology resources for community members to create digital projects.”...
District Dispatch, Sept. 11
11 amazing librarian tattoos
Jill Harness writes: “There are plenty of literary tattoos out there, and plenty of tattooed librarians. A bit less common are librarians with tattoos celebrating their career choice. Elizabeth Skene has what might be the most awesomely complete librarian sleeve around, featuring a skull sitting on top of a book, with a graduation cap next to a card catalog and a banner reading ‘Peace and Knowledge.’ There is also an open book with pages coming out and turning into birds. Let there be no doubt here: Elizabeth loves libraries.”...
Mental Floss, Sept. 11
Date your library
The city library of Hjørring, Denmark, created this visually minimalist yet rocking video (1:23) to promote a youth event. The music is “Love Radar” by Danish rock band The Blue Van and singer-songwriter Nabiha Bensouda....
YouTube, Sept. 1
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