|American Libraries Online
To protect and preserve
Jeanne Drewes writes: “Preservation librarians around the country work to protect and preserve the collections in their care. But it isn’t all about disasters. In fact, libraries should be proactive—before disasters hit—and find out how to prepare, protect, and preserve collections and share with patrons this crucial information. Preservation librarians are an expert resource for many issues: lighting for exhibits; temperature and humidity settings to inhibit deterioration; pest management; and conservation of physical items (books, paper, and art) as well as digital collections.”...
American Libraries feature
Go back to the Top
ALA 2013 election polls close April 26
The 2013 ALA election will close at 11:59 p.m. Central time on April 26. If you have not yet cast your vote, please do so. Information about the election and the candidates can be found in “Your Guide to the 2013 ALA Elections.” If you cannot locate your emailed voting credentials, contact the ALA Member and Customer Service Department or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Join the 19.81% of eligible voters who have submitted their ballots as of April 22....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 23
Closing General Session: Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer (right) has been busy recently, appearing on 30 Rock and writing her first novel. Attendees will find out more when she appears as keynote speaker at the Closing General Session of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on July 2. She’ll be talking about (among other things) her upcoming first novel, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (Simon & Schuster, October 2013)....
Conference Services, Apr. 22
Mark Frauenfelder on maker innovations
Mark Frauenfelder (right), prolific author and cofounder of BoingBoing, will update 2013 ALA Annual Conference attendees on the latest maker innovations in a special session on July 1. After offering a brief and colorful history of 19th- and 20th-century making, Frauenfelder plans to present the new tools and technologies that give individuals and small groups the ability to create amazing things that would have been out of their reach just a few years ago....
Conference Services, Apr. 22
Public Programs Office events at ALA Annual Conference
The ALA Public Programs Office is hosting several special events in Chicago that may be of interest: “80 Is the New 30! Learn How Public Libraries Are Delivering Proven, Inspiring, and Transformative Arts Programs for Today’s Older Adults,” and “Explore a Chicago Architectural Landmark” (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House). Registration for either of these events is available as part of conference registration. Watch the “80 Is the New 30” video (6:45) by Lifetime Arts....
Programming Librarian, Apr. 16; Public Programs Office, Apr. 23; YouTube, Apr. 10
Attend the talks you voted for
Public voting for 36 “Conversation Starter” talks and “Ignite” sessions has determined which ones were added to this year’s Annual Conference program. The public votes counted for 30% of the selection process; staff votes accounted for another 30%; the remaining 40% were an advisory group of ALA members....
Conference Services, Apr. 22
Association Options Fair
The Association Options Fair on June 30 will provide opportunities for Annual Conference attendees to engage with leaders from many areas in the Association and the profession. All attendees are invited. The event was developed to address one of the most essential steps toward leadership development—exposure to the leadership and involvement with the opportunities that are available to you....
New Members Round Table, Apr. 17
Celebrate Preservation Week
Celebrate Preservation Week, April 21–27. Get involved. Find a library with an event. Check out the toolkit. Like Preservation Week on Facebook. Ask a question on “Dear Donia.” This national awareness campaign was developed by ALCTS to promote the understanding and importance of care for personal and community cultural heritage collections....
ALCTS, Apr. 22
New #chooseprivacy website debuts
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has launched its new website for Choose Privacy Week, celebrated May 1–7. The refreshed and redesigned website will offer the Voices for Privacy blog, which provides news and discussions about privacy advocacy and issues, along with new functionality that offers users the opportunity to comment and add content. There is also a wealth of resources, including the free, downloadable “Choose Privacy Week Resource Guide” (PDF file) and a video gallery of documentaries on privacy issues....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Apr. 23
Re-introducing the ALA Library
ALA Librarian Karen Muller writes: “Some members are surprised to learn that ALA has its own library—and has had one since September 30, 1924. The purpose of the library was then, as it is now, to provide information needed by ALA staff as they carry out the work of the Association and to provide information to members and others who contact ALA with questions. With this post we are initiating the new iteration of our blog, now called Ask the ALA Library, in our own space on the ALA website. At the same time, we’ll provide an update on our work.”...
Ask the ALA Library, Aug. 24
UNESCO representative sought
ALA’s International Relations Office is seeking qualified applicants to serve as a representative on the National Commission of UNESCO, which is comprised of up to 100 members appointed by the Secretary of State. ALA representatives to the US National Commission of UNESCO will serve a two-year term, from September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2015. Apply by June 1 to Michael Dowling....
International Relations Office, Apr. 23
Represent ALA on the US Committee of the Blue Shield
Nominees are sought to serve as ALA Representative to the US Committee of the Blue Shield for a two-year term, from September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2015. The cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, the Blue Shield is the symbol specified for marking cultural property in the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Apply by June 1 to Michael Dowling....
International Relations Office, Apr. 23
Transformational change in academic libraries
Stephen Mossop’s Achieving Transformational Change in Academic Libraries, available through ALA Neal-Schuman, explores the purpose and nature of “Transformational Change” and its exponents and discusses the benefits and limitations of its place in an academic library setting. Mossop covers selling the vision of cultural change, human resources issues, and the nature of change as a constant....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Apr. 22
Everyday HR for academic library staff
From the dean or director to student assistants, every academic library employee is subject to a number of complicated, confusing, and intertwined employment policies and procedures. Because of this complex interplay, human resources management and personnel transactions can seem mysterious or confusing. Gail Munde clears the air in Everyday HR: A Human Resources Handbook for Academic Library Staff, published by ALA Neal-Schuman....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Apr. 22
Go back to the Top
Featured review: Historical fiction for youth
Winters, Cat. In the Shadow of Blackbirds. Apr. 2013. 304p. Gr. 9–12. Abrams/Amulet, hardcover (978-1-4197-0530-4).
Winters’s debut ropes in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, WWI shell shock, national prejudice, and spirit photography, and yet never loses focus from its primary thesis: Desperation will make people believe—and do—almost anything. Mary Shelley Black, 16, has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego, a city crawling with gauze mask–wearing citizens fearful of catching the deadly virus. Loss is everywhere, which means booming business for spirit photographer Julius, the older brother of Mary’s true love, Stephen, who is off fighting in the trenches. Stephen’s death coincides with Mary suffering electrocution, an event with strange aftereffects....
Top 10 historical fiction for youth
Ilene Cooper writes: “A wide-ranging cast of memorable characters stand out in this year’s crop of best historical fiction titles for young people, all reviewed in Booklist between April 15, 2012, and April 1, 2013.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Go back to the Top
Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art at 220 East Chicago Avenue is one of the world’s largest venues for post–1945 painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance art. In addition, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan. Exhibitions on hand during the ALA Annual Conference include Homebodies (works by contemporary artists who examine the space of the home, both literally and metaphorically, as an integral site for making art); and the art of modern cartoonist Daniel Clowes....
Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago Theatre tours
The grandeur of the Chicago Theatre on North State Street often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase, and beautiful auditorium (complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling) are components of an amazing building that was called “the Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened on October 26, 1921. The theatre was the first large, lavish movie palace in America. It offers tours during Annual Conference at noon, Sunday through Friday; and at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday....
The two best Chicago blues clubs
Chicago blues developed by taking the basic acoustic guitar and harmonica-based Delta blues, making the harmonica louder with a microphone and an instrument amplifier, and adding electrically amplified guitar, amplified bass guitar, drums, piano and sometimes saxophone, and trumpet. You can hear live music every night of the year, and there are at least 16 blues clubs in the city alone. Start with two of the best: Kingston Mines (2548 North Halsted Street) and Buddy Guy’s Legends (700 South Wabash Avenue)....
Centerstage Chicago; Wikipedia
For eleven weeks each summer, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into an urban dance space. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the series, held June 27–September 15, Thursday through Sunday, offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing....
City of Chicago
Top 40 movies filmed in Chicago
Marcia Froelke Coburn writes: “Everyone is a critic, particularly when it comes to movies, and nowhere is that more true than in Chicago—after all, a television show with two guys arguing about films started here more than three decades ago and went on to become part of the national Zeitgeist (commemorate the late Roger Ebert by visiting his excellent website). In selecting these 40 films, we sifted through hundreds of candidates to choose those that we thought captured a piece of Chicago in some iconic, evocative, or magical way.”...
Chicago magazine, June 2010
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a nonprofit, professional theater company located at Navy Pier. Founded in 1986, the theater offers performances 48 weeks out of the year. In late June, it will be featuring Inner Voices by Eduardo De Filippo. First written and performed in Naples in 1948, Inner Voices tells the story of a man who dreams the murder of a friend so vividly that he believes the crime has actually been committed by his neighbors’ family....
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Chicago’s libraries: A postcard montage
Larry Nix writes: “My favorite Linen Era library postcard (right) was produced by the Curt Teich Company and depicts four Chicago libraries. This postcard was first published in 1937 and was mailed in 1942. The four libraries shown are the Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library, the John Crerar Library, and the Harper Memorial Library of the University of Chicago. The Chicago Public Library building on the postcard is currently the home of the Chicago Cultural Center.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Apr. 23
Go back to the Top
2013 Teens’ Top Ten nominations
YALSA announced the nominees for the annual Teens’ Top Ten April 18 in honor of Celebrate Teen Literature Day. This year, the nominee list features 28 titles that were published in 2012. The titles can be found on the Teens’ Top Ten website and on the new YA-friendly Teens’ Top Ten website for teens. Teens are encouraged to read the books before the national Teens’ Top Ten vote, which will take place August 15–September 15. Watch the video (2:28)....
YALSA, Apr. 22
WrestleMania Reading Challenge champions crowned
Dianna Nielsen, Harneek Kapoor (on the right), and Kenyan Gustafson were crowned national champions in the WrestleMania 29 Reading Challenge on April 6, sponsored by YALSA and WWE, after completing the national finals at City College of New York. The three, who beat a total of 18 regional finalists in their respective categories (grades 5–6, 7–8, and 9–12), also won ringside seats to WrestleMania 29 at MetLife Stadium on April 7....
YALSA, Apr. 23
Get ready for Virtual NLLD
Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill on May 8 for National Library Legislative Day, when hundreds of library advocates descend on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, can still participate through Virtual Library Legislative Day. United for Libraries’ website will provide talking points and congressional contact information so virtual advocates can connect with their elected officials the week of May 6–10....
United for Libraries, Apr. 23
Raising $ preconference
United for Libraries will join LLAMA in hosting the preconference “Raising $: Process and People” on June 28 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Successful fundraisers will share what works, what doesn’t, and how to get a better return on fundraising investments. Speakers include Lynne Carey, Kim Olson Clark, Deborah Doyle, Kit Hadley, Peter Pearson, Gary Shaffer, and Felton Thomas....
United for Libraries, LLAMA, Apr. 22
Specialized Outreach Services Luncheon
United for Libraries will host its Specialized Outreach Services Luncheon, “Intellectual Freedom and Accompanying Library Policies,” on June 29 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The luncheon will feature Kent Oliver (right), director of the Nashville Public Library and former chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit the United for Libraries website....
United for Libraries, Apr. 22
ASCLA calls for proposals
ASCLA is now accepting proposals for 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting institutes in Philadelphia, January 24–28, and preconferences and programs for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Download this PDF for more information and apply online through Survey Monkey by May 15....
ASCLA, Apr. 22
ACRL Conference papers
Papers from ACRL 2013 in Indianapolis, April 10–13, have been posted on the ACRL website in PDF format....
New School Library Research articles
Articles on the use of audiobooks with struggling readers (“Use of Audiobooks in a School Library and Positive Effects of Struggling Readers’ Participation in a Library-Sponsored Audiobook Club,” by Jeff Whittingham, Stephanie Huffman, Rob Christensen, and Tracy McAllister) (PDF file) and high school students’ information literacy skills (“Information Literacy and High School Seniors: Perceptions of the Research Process” by Cindy Kovalik, Susan Yutzey, and Laura Piazza) (PDF file) are now available in volume 16 of School Library Research....
AASL, Apr. 22
Bring urban fiction from the street to your shelves
Street lit is rapidly growing with both authors and fans. Get an introduction to this popular genre on May 15 in the webinar “Street Smart: Urban Fiction in Public Libraries.” Presenter Vanessa Irvin Morris (right), assistant teaching professor at Drexel University’s iSchool, will provide concrete ideas for collection development, readers’ advisory, and programming....
PLA, Apr. 23
LLAMA webinar to feature Elliott Shore
How do we as library managers and leaders handle change effectively and efficiently for ourselves and those we lead? LLAMA will present a new webinar, “Leading and Communicating Change,” on May 20. Presenter Elliott Shore (right) is executive director of the Association of Research Libraries and a nationally recognized figure with many years of experience as a library administrator....
LLAMA, Apr. 22
Go back to the Top
2013 National Medals for Museum and Library Service
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced five library recipients of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service on April 23. The medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on libraries and museums for service to the community. The library winners were Marshalltown (Iowa) Public Library (right), Pierce County (Wash.) Library System, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Public Library, and Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library. The medals will be presented during a celebration in Washington, D.C., on May 8. Watch the video (8:11) honoring the recipients....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Apr. 23; YouTube, Apr. 23
2013 Carnegie Medal finalists
ALA has announced six books as finalists for the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the United States. Along with a medal presentation at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on June 30, each winning author will receive $5,000, and the four finalists will each receive $1,500....
ALA Publishing, RUSA, Apr. 22
2013 John Cotton Dana public relations awards
Eight libraries were selected for the 2013 John Cotton Dana Award that honors outstanding library public relations and marketing with $10,000 and a plaque. The most prestigious awards in the field of public relations and marketing, the John Cotton Dana awards will be presented at a reception sponsored by EBSCO on June 30 during ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
LLAMA, Apr. 22
2013 Ken Haycock Award
Jeanette C. Smith (right), grants and university relations officer at the New Mexico State University Library in Las Cruces, has been selected to receive the 2013 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. This special honor is given to an individual for significant contribution to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching, or writing. Smith has promoted library history and librarianship through her book, The Laughing Librarian: A History of American Library Humor (McFarland, 2012)....
ALA Office of Governance, Apr. 22
Inaugural Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award
ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table seeks nominations for the inaugural Gerald Hodges (right) Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, named for the ALA associate director of communications and marketing who died in 2006. The award will recognize an organization that has developed a strong multiyear, ongoing program or a single, one-year project exemplifying support for intellectual freedom, patron confidentiality, and anticensorship efforts. ALA chapters, divisions, round tables, and affiliates are eligible. The deadline is May 13....
Intellectual Freedom Round Table, Apr. 23
Scott Bacon wins AASL Distinguished School Administrators Award
Scott Bacon, principal of Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas, is the 2013 recipient of AASL’s Distinguished School Administrators Award. Sponsored by ProQuest, the $2,000 award honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program....
AASL, Apr. 23
AASL Collaborative School Library Award
The “Make a Difference” research project team from Scott Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska, has received AASL’s 2013 Collaborative School Library Award. Sponsored by Highsmith, the $2,500 award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs” through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of the curriculum and using school library resources....
AASL, Apr. 23
Nemec-Loise receives YA Advocacy Travel Stipend
Jenna Nemec-Loise, children’s librarian at Chicago Public Library’s Roosevelt branch, is the recipient of a $1,000 stipend from YALSA to attend the 2013 National Library Legislative Day, May 7–8 in Washington, D.C. The award will defray event registration, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, and other travel expenses. Upon her return, she will describe her experiences meeting with legislators on the YALSA Blog....
YALSA, Apr. 23
2013 BESSIE Awards
The ComputED Gazette has announced the winners of its 19th Annual Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIEs). The awards target innovative and content-rich programs (including apps for iPad and Android) and websites that provide parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence. The winners are selected from titles submitted by publishers worldwide and are grouped by educational level....
ComputED Gazette, Apr. 17
2013 Indies Choice and E. B. White Awards
The American Booksellers Association announced the winners of its 2013 Indies Choice Book Awards and E. B. White Read-Aloud Awards on April 17, as voted by independent booksellers nationwide. The awardees will be saluted at the Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch on May 30 at BookExpo America. John Green is the winner of the Indies Champion Award, which honors an author who has the best sense of the importance of independent bookstores to their communities at large....
Bookselling This Week, Apr. 17
2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, administered by the Cleveland Foundation, honor written works that make important contributions to the understanding of racism and the appreciation of the rich diversity of human culture. The two winners in fiction are Kind One by Laird Hunt (Coffee House) and The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown), while Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon (Scribner) won in the nonfiction category....
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Kevin Starr a winner at LA Times Festival of Books
Former California State Librarian Kevin Starr, author of an ongoing series of California history books titled “Americans and the California Dream,” was the 2012 recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 19. The Innovator’s Award was presented to writer and activist Margaret Atwood. The prize in history went to Fergus M. Bordewich, America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union (Simon & Schuster)....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19
Go back to the Top
Libraries in the News
Digital Public Library of America launches
Megan Geuss writes: “One year ago, a group of professors, librarians, and futurists gathered in San Francisco to discuss how they would go about building a Digital Public Library of America. On April 18, the founders of the DPLA made good on their promise. The website allows users to browse more than two million archived books, images, records, and sounds. The content comes from the libraries of institutions like Harvard University, the Internet Archive, and the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Public Libraries. But one of the best things about DPLA so far is Harvard’s StackLife app.” Some library professionals reveal their assessment of DPLA here....
Ars Technica, Apr. 21; Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Apr. 19
OSHA shuts Orange Public Library
After battling issues with lead paint and asbestos that led to a two-month closure in 2010, the Orange (N.J.) Public Library has shut its doors indefinitely due to extensive structural issues discovered by state health inspectors, according to Mayor Dwayne Warren, who estimates that repairs will cost more than $1 million. The inspection report cited structural issues including roofing problems, electrical issues with live wires, and boiler and heating system trouble....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Apr. 22; Aug. 24, 2010
Fire at JFK Library caused by smoking
The fire at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on April 15 was caused by careless disposal of smoking materials, city fire officials said. Officials had initially feared that the fire at the library might have been connected to the bombings at the Boston Marathon, because it was reported just six minutes after the explosions went off in Copley Square. The library said April 18 that it would remain closed until further notice while officials fully test the building’s fire and security systems....
Boston Globe, Apr. 19; John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Apr. 18
Bush Presidential Library dedication on April 25
Former president George W. Bush said his new presidential library is “a place to lay out facts,” not a forum to explain his policies. Bush is returning to the spotlight for the April 25 dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. He will be joined by Barack Obama and three other ex-presidents. Former First Lady Laura Bush led the design committee for the 226,000-square-foot George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The more than 29,000 cubic feet (70 million pages) of textual materials housed inside include records from the Executive Office of the President....
USA Today, Apr. 21; Associated Press, Apr. 23; George W. Bush Presidential Library
FCC library holds open house
Lisa Leyser and Levertes Ragland write: “On April 17, the Federal Communications Commission Library held its 10th Annual Library Open House. Open house provides an opportunity for those within the FCC to experience the latest in cutting-edge technology to access content. This year the library used a modified take on the National Library Week theme, ‘Community Matters @ The FCC Library.’ The idea was to show that no matter where an employee works within the agency, the library is always there to help them.”...
District Dispatch, Apr. 23
Pequot Library funding restored
A $350,000 town allocation for the Pequot Library was restored to the proposed 2013–2014 budget with overwhelming Representative Town Meeting (RTM) support April 22, but that may not be the final chapter in the funding drama for the privately run library in Southport, Connecticut. Although the legislative body restored the full amount cut earlier this month by the Board of Finance, RTM Minority Leader Hal Schwartz warned that he plans to propose that figure be reduced by $100,000 at the May 6 budget meeting....
Fairfield (Conn.) Citizen, Apr. 23
Chicago’s Gerber/Hart Library to move, finally
The Gerber/Hart Library, which holds the Midwest’s largest collection of LGBT literature, plans to begin moving into its new location in late April after a year without a home. When the library packed up and moved out of its former storefront location in 2012, it claimed it would reopen shortly after in a new spot (above) in the Rogers Park neighborhood. But months went by and the library’s collection of more than 14,000 volumes and 800 periodicals about the LGBT community remained in boxes and in offsite storage....
DNAinfo, Apr. 19
Elmhurst library rejects videogame challenge
Rejecting claims of a direct link between violent videogames and violent behavior, Elmhurst (Ill.) Public Library board members on April 17 turned down requests by a small group of residents to change the library’s selection policy for M-rated videogames. Library Director Mary Beth Campe and board members made clear they see the inclusion of the materials in the library’s collection as an issue of First Amendment freedom of expression....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 18
Flooding affects Midwest libraries
The village of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was in recovery mode on April 19, cleaning up streets flooded by the rains of April 18–19. One of the buildings hardest hit was the Glen Ellyn Public Library, which will be closed through April 29 because of five feet of water in the mechanical room in the basement and in the elevator shafts. The staff is temporarily providing curbside service. The Morton Arboretum in Lisle reopened to the public April 21 after a basement building where the Sterling Morton Library is located took on some water. Basement flooding also occurred at the Grandville (Mich.) Library and the Clinton (Iowa) Public Library....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 19; Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Apr. 24; Positively Naperville, Apr. 22; WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich., Apr. 24; Clinton (Iowa) Herald, Apr. 19
Police substations sprout mini-libraries in Holyoke
The city of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is bolstering its Early Literacy Initiative by stocking police substations with reading materials in both English and Spanish for children and families. Police officers will also keep books on hand in their patrol cars to hand out to children around the city....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Apr. 23
Louisiana school librarian mandate stands
Louisiana’s top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools. The current rule mandates that high schools have at least one part-time librarian and, for every 450 students, at least one counselor. A plan to lift the mandates met an outcry from school counselors and librarians April 17, who were worried it would mean the loss of their jobs to cheaper alternatives....
WRKF-FM, Baton Rouge, Apr. 17
Windsor library workers share in $1 million payout
A million-dollar pay equity settlement for Windsor (Ont.) Public Library workers that covers the past eight years saw individual employee payouts ranging from between a few hundred dollars to almost $40,000. With an annual budget of just over $8 million and no way to pay out such a large sum on its own, the library board was forced to go to the city to plead for a loan. The $1.06 million must be repaid over a 10-year period at a 2.3% interest rate....
Windsor (Ont.) Star, Apr. 18
University of Limerick hires library noise monitor
Students at the University of Limerick in Ireland won’t have any studying excuses during exam week, because the library is hiring a library noise monitor to ensure silence. Michelle Breen, library administrator, said that a noise monitor is one of many methods that Glucksman Library has introduced over the years to improve customer satisfaction with noise levels. The monitor wears a distinctive blue T-shirt and will circulate throughout the library to ensure that the rules for each noise zone and the use of mobile phones are observed....
Limerick (Ireland) Leader, Apr. 21
Iran National Library to preserve carpet patterns
The Iran National Library and Archives (INLA) in Tehran will preserve the historical Persian carpet patterns that are currently held by the Iran Carpet Company. The patterns will be transferred to the library to protect the copyright of the carpet art. INLA views the patterns as important documents, INLA Director Es’haq Salahi said, adding that they will establish regulations for the use of the patterns....
Tehran Times (Iran), Apr. 22
Go back to the Top
What is CISPA and why should you care?
Chloe Albanesius writes: “A controversial cybersecurity bill known as CISPA is once again in the news. The House approved the bill 288–127 on April 18, and it now moves to the Senate, but opponents of the measure are not going down without a fight. Critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation describe the legislation as an attack on user privacy. But what is CISPA and why is it creating such a ruckus? Why is it being compared to SOPA and PIPA? Let’s break it down.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 22; ACLU, Apr. 18; Electronic Frontier Foundation, Apr. 18
A librarian considers Persepolis
Carol Tilley writes: “In March, a Chicago Public Schools’ directive seemed to require that copies of Marjane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis be removed from classrooms and school libraries. How CPS handled this particular situation is beyond the scope of my comments. Instead, as a librarian, I want to touch on the issue of what belongs in a school library’s collection. The danger in what almost happened in CPS libraries is that politics would override policies, practices, and professional ethics.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Apr. 19
Go back to the Top
The 10 best computer monitors
Laarni Almendrala Ragaza writes: “Let’s face it, most people who buy a PC don’t necessarily give much thought to the monitor it comes with; or they stick with the monitor they already have. You know, when 1,024 by 786 was considered high-res. We’re here to tell you that it’s time to upgrade your view. Whatever your need or budget, there is a computer monitor out there that’s just the right fit for you. We help you winnow down the selection with the best monitors on the market today.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 18
The 21 worst tech habits and how to break them
Christopher Null writes: “We all have bad habits in real life. Why can’t technology help cure them? While technology should help us break bad habits, all too often it makes things worse. Are you guilty of a bad tech habit? Here are 21 of the worst technology-oriented habits, plus potential fixes for all of them. (And we have a bonus at the end, on mending bad email habits.)”...
PC World, Apr. 23
An assistive technology guide for autism
Meris Stansbury writes: “In recent years, educators and parents have touted iPads, tablets, and mobile apps as assistive technologies that can help children or students diagnosed with autism communicate and learn basic concepts. Just as there is a spectrum of autism disorders, there are many assistive technologies. But which assistive technology is the best choice?”...
eSchool News, Apr. 23
Use tech to reduce your energy use
Eric Griffith writes: “Your appliances and devices may be sucking you dry while you sleep. In fact, the idle charger you keep plugged into the wall is drinking up electrical juice and probably costing you a few extra cents right this second. Energy efficiency programs have been spending billions for years to make consumers aware of just how much they’re spending (and wasting) on electricity. Take a look at these tools and methods you can use to curb energy use and waste.” Some of these consumer products could also work in small or medium-sized libraries....
PC Magazine, Apr. 22
Seven things libraries can do with Google Glass
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Google Glass is in essence a wearable computer in the form of a pair of eyeglasses that are voice activated. According to the New York Times: ‘Glass wearers can take pictures or record video without using their hands, send the images to friends or post them online, see walking directions, search the web by voice command, and view language translations. The glasses reach the internet through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.’ If you’re wondering how you could use Google Glass in your library, here are seven ideas.”...
iLibrarian, Apr. 18; New York Times, Feb. 20
Adventures with Raspberry Pi
Nicholas Schiller writes: “Raspberry Pi, a $35 fully-functional desktop computer about the size of a credit card, is currently enjoying a high level of buzz and media exposure. Librarians are also getting in on the action. However, it can be difficult to see through the enthusiasm to the core of the issue. Do we all need to run out and buy a Raspberry Pi? Here I provide some examples of library projects that use Raspberry Pi and offer a shopping list for those who want to get started.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Apr. 22
The 10 best words the internet has given us
From hashtags to LOLs to Cupertinos and Scunthorpe problems, Tom Chatfield picks the most interesting neologisms drawn from the digital world: “I’ve been an etymology addict since I was a teenager, and I especially love unpicking technological words. It’s a great reminder of how messily human the stories behind even our sleekest creations are—not to mention delightful curiosities in their own right.”...
The Guardian (UK), Apr. 17
Go back to the Top
Canada clears Random House–Penguin merger
Canada’s Competition Bureau and the Department of Canadian Heritage approved the proposed merger between Random House and Penguin on April 19. Penguin parent company Pearson and Random House parent company Bertelsmann expect the merger to take place in the second half of 2013. The US approved it in February, followed by Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union. The merger awaits approval in China....
paidContent, Apr. 22
Are libraries offering enough self-published ebooks?
Beth Bacon writes: “Society is now producing relevant books—books worth reading, books impacting our culture—from individuals, not just publishing houses. This is a significant change and has ramifications for libraries. Librarians in the past haven’t bothered much with self-published ebooks because too many of those titles have been low-quality or vanity volumes. But now, with more high-profile writers marketing titles on their own, libraries cannot keep brushing self-published books to the edges of cultural importance.”...
Digital Book World, Apr. 19
EPUB, libraries, and ebook accessibility
Matt Enis writes: “The new EPUB 3 standard could enable publishers to integrate accessibility features into their ebook production workflows, creating ebooks that are immediately available to everyone, including customers with print disabilities. The International Digital Publishing Forum is responsible for the free and open EPUB standard, and accessibility features were considered an integral component as this latest iteration was developed. EPUB 3 is sometimes described as a marriage of EPUB 2 and the DAISY Consortium’s standard, which is designed specifically for accessibility.”...
Library Journal, Apr. 16
Amazon’s Kindle Singles
David Blum is the editor of Amazon Kindle Singles, a web service that is helping to promote a renaissance of novella-length journalism and fiction, known as e-shorts. Amazon Kindle Singles is a hybrid. First, it is a store within the megastore of Amazon.com, offering a showcase of carefully selected original works of 5,000–30,000 words that come from an array of outside publishers as well as from in house. Most sell for less than $2. It is also a small, in-house publishing brand....
New York Times, Apr. 22
The science of paper versus screens
Ferris Jabr writes: “Understanding how reading on paper is different from reading on screens requires some explanation of how the brain interprets written language. We often think of reading as a cerebral activity concerned with the abstract—with thoughts and ideas, tone and themes, metaphors and motifs. As far as our brains are concerned, however, text is a tangible part of the physical world we inhabit.”...
Scientific American, Apr. 11
German court: Ebooks cannot be resold
The German District Court of Bielefeld has ruled that digital books can’t be resold by purchasers. Unlike physical works, ebooks and digital audiobooks are not subject to “exhaustion of the rights of the author,” according to the ruling. The German publishing industry magazine Börsenblatt said that the Booksellers Association “welcomed” the decision, which only allows the resale of digital books with the consent of the author and publisher....
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 22
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 27–July 2. Opening General Session keynote speaker and atypical economist Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics) promises to turn your brain inside out and get you to “Think Like a Freak” before the conference even starts. And beloved TV and film character actor (now also an author) Octavia Spencer closes things on a lively note at the Closing General Session.
Charlie Joe Jackson and his deep-seated love of “not reading” speak to reluctant middle-school readers as well as those just looking for a laugh. Well-known for avoiding homework and books like the plague, Charlie’s top five reasons why summer reading is acceptable are just the type of slacker tips he regularly offers readers—which many times backfire. This Charlie Joe Jackson poster is a perfect companion to the series’ newest title available this summer, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Librarian, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles. Maintain a library devoted to the needs of acting students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles. Library is concentrated in the areas of drama, theatre history, voice, vocal production, movement and social history. Duties: acquisitions, collection development, cataloging, reference, circulation, outreach, and information literacy. Also, order and distribute scripts and textbooks, maintain accurate debit and credit accounts, request royalties permissions, evaluate and catalog appropriate donations, instruct students and faculty in library usage, tutor students in writing skills as needed, supervise work-study students, participate in accreditation and assessment teams, and chair the library committee....
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital Public Library of America, launched on April 18, offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, and moving images—from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search the DPLA’s collections by timeline, map, format, and topic; save items to customized lists; and share lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff. The DPLA is funded by grants from a number of foundations and government agencies. Each metadata record in the DPLA contains a link to the digital object on the content provider’s website. Digital copies of some objects are available for download, based on the content provider and the individual rights status of the object.
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
“What consultation and long term planning went into a decision like that—that you’re leaving the City of Corner Brook [Newfoundland] without a librarian? The analogy I would use would be if you took a hospital and [then] you laid off all the doctors, and then you said to the remaining staff, ‘We’re just going to divide that work up amongst you guys. Oh, we’re going to fire some of you as well, and, oh, the public is not going to be affected.’”
—Former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association Carol Rose, in a budget forum organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party, CBC News, Apr. 9.
Association of American Publishers, Annual Conference, New York University.
Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Annual Conference, Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, Missouri.
Steampunk World’s Fair, Piscataway, New Jersey.
Academic Library Advancement and Development Network, Conference, Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, Pennsylvania. “Getting to the Point.”
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, San Diego Convention Center, California.
International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.
Association of Canadian Archivists, Annual Conference, Delta Winnipeg Hotel, Manitoba. “Community as Archives, Archives as Community.”
10th International Librarians’ Conference (June on the Una River), Cantonal and University Library, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
World Horror Convention, New Orleans.
BotCon, Town and Country Resort, San Diego, California.
African Library Summit 2013, University of South Africa, Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria. “African Librarianship: The Horizon and Beyond.”
Early Book Society, Biennial Conference, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. “Networks of Influence: Readers, Owners, and Makers of MSS and Printed Books, 1350–1550.”
Anime-Expo, Los Angeles Convention Center.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Conference, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. “Rethink Your Value.”
Comic-Con International, San Diego Convention Center.
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, North Carolina. “Librarians at the Lakeside: Enrichment, Reflection, Renewal.”
Otakon, anime and manga, Baltimore Convention Center.
Gen Con, the best four days in gaming, Indianapolis.
24th International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications, Prague, Czech Republic.
Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, Portland, Oregon.
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Annual Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand. Abstract submissions are due by May 3.
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Library Association and subscribers.
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
news and feedback:
links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes
only. Questions about the content of any external site should be
addressed to the administrator of that site.
Sign up to receive AL Direct every Wednesday here.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
James Patterson: Who will save our books?
Bestselling author James Patterson took out a full-page advertisement on the back of the New York Times Book Review April 23 that raised several important questions facing our culture during these electronic times. “If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature?” Then, “The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books?”...
Book Patrol, Apr. 23
Remembering E. L. Konigsburg
Lisa Van Drasek writes: “During dinner with one of my oldest friends on April 21, I asked if she’d heard that E. L. Konigsburg (right) had died. She said, ‘Oh no! You don’t know what she meant to me.’ And I didn’t. I only know what she meant to me. My friend, who isn’t a librarian and hasn’t been to the kids’ section of the library since her son was little, vividly recalled reading Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (Simon & Schuster / Atheneum) in elementary school. She and her friends were so entranced by the book that they became witches, making up spells and wreaking havoc.”...
EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Apr. 22; New York Times, Apr. 22
Love+: YA books with more than romance
Anna Tschetter writes: “Sometimes, don’t you want a little bit more than just love? Something a little bit . . . weirder than your run-of-the-mill Nicholas Sparks sob-fest? I do. I like my genres to be mixed and mashed together like a perfect equation. Sure, solving for x is the goal, but you can still appreciate the distinct parts along the way. So if you’re looking for some great YA romances that mix up their genres, here are some picks for you. Check out my equations.”...
YALSA The Hub, Apr. 17
Falling in love with audiobooks
Katie Shanahan writes: “I can’t seem to listen to an audiobook while sitting on my couch or at the beach like with a normal book. I need to be doing something with my audiobook, like driving or running. While my other books are at home on the couch, my audiobooks go out on the town with me. So for you audiobook neophytes like me, here are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered in the past year and where on the town they have joined me.”...
YALSA The Hub, Apr. 19
2013 Tower Hamlets Schools teen book picks
The Teenage Booklist (PDF file) is selected annually by librarians from London’s Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services, secondary school librarians, and pupils. It represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback over the past year and aims to cover a diverse range of subjects, genres, authors, and interests. Tower Hamlets also released a Primary Must-Read Fiction booklist (PDF file) for children aged 8–11....
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services
Reading strategies for difficult books
Peter Damien writes: “Suppose you are reading a book where you have no idea what’s happening, can’t recall the last chapter, or can’t figure out any of the characters. It’s not required reading, but you just want to read it. You want to say you read Don Quixote, or the plays of William Shakespeare, or the works of Marcel Proust, but you find them bewildering, despite your best intentions. Happily, I’ve got some strategies for getting into them.”...
Book Riot, Apr. 18
Go back to the Top
School Library Marketing 101
Jennifer LaGarde writes: “These days marketing isn’t just about marketing. It’s about advocacy for students and how high-quality library programs can change their lives. The problem, however, is that most marketing is focused on tools: the slogan, the brochure, the newsletter, the infographic, the wiki. But it’s the message itself that really counts. I’ve been working on a template (PDF file) for creating a school library marketing plan. In the end, I settled on four formal steps.”...
The Adventures of Library Girl, Apr. 23
Selecting materials for a Latino user collection
Roberto Delgadillo writes: “In this blog post I will provide guidance on how to select materials for a Latino user collection. I will also briefly discuss associated issues and offer recommendations based on my experiences as a public and academic librarian serving Latino populations for the past 16 years. Basically, here are some tips and tricks and best practices I’ve developed during my career.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Apr. 18
How to choose the right streaming music service
John Paul Titlow writes: “The all-you-can-stream music subscription space is set to heat up, with rumored Spotify competitors from Google and Amazon potentially in the offing and an already-huge European service called Deezer planning to launch in the US. In the meantime, there are several music subscription services to choose from, depending on where you live. None of them are perfect. Which service is right for you?”...
ReadWrite, Feb. 26, Mar. 21, Apr. 23
Congratulations! Now get a job
Madeleine Mitchell writes: “Last week, I submitted my final portfolio and had it approved by my advisor. So that’s it—I’m officially graduating in May. The specter of the Job Hunt has been haunting me since I started my MLIS, but in the whirl of coursework, I allowed myself to settle for being haunted. What I should have done instead is to lay some groundwork early on. Here are a few suggestions for making the search for gainful employment a sanely successful undertaking.”...
Hack Library School, Apr. 19
An employer’s guide to equal pay
Magdalene Chan writes: “In addressing the Equal Pay Gap, the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor recently released two guides on Equal Pay: A Guide to Women’s Equal Pay Rights (PDF file) and An Employer’s Guide to Equal Pay (PDF file). The second guide breaks down the five major federal laws addressing equal pay and compensation. It also highlights tips for employers to review pay practices and where to go for help.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Apr. 23
Librarian is no. 88 of 200 top jobs for 2013
Sandwiched between industrial designers and sewage plant operators, the noble profession of librarian is the 88th best job of 2013, according to a report by Careercast, a job-search website. Average income is given as $55,158, with a (low) stress level of 10.0. Actuary is the best job at position 1, and the worst is newspaper reporter. Another site, PayScale, states that an MLIS is the fourth worst-paying master’s degree for ROI (with a median salary of $57,100)....
Careercast.com, Apr. 23; PayScale.com; 21st Century Library Blog, Apr. 23
How to post a correction on Twitter
Devon Glenn writes: “In the fast-paced world of journalism, mistakes happen. It’s common for publishers to post a correction loudly and proudly on their websites by crossing out the
bad information part that needs updating so that readers can see what’s been changed. Now there’s a way to do it on Twitter. You’ll find a tool for generating strikethrough text on Fsymbols.com.”...
SocialTimes, Apr. 23
A gallery of playful libraries
Alison Nastasi writes: “During our internet travels, we’ve stumbled across some pretty amazing places for book lovers. After spotting a library slide on Colossal, we were inspired to seek out other light-hearted libraries that emphasize imagination, fun, and bookish wonder. The most well-read, creative people know that adventure and play can be a wonderful tonic for the soul. Check out these clever designs.”...
Flavorwire, Apr. 21; Colossal, Apr. 17
Cracking the Voynich code
Batya Ungar-Sargon writes: “A mysterious manuscript has plagued historians, mathematicians, linguists, physicists, cryptologists, curators, art historians, programmers, and lay enthusiasts alike since an antiquarian and book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich first began to mention it in his correspondence in 1912. Written in an unknown script and replete with pictures and diagrams, and now residing at the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Voynich Manuscript has become a beacon for a secular community of quasi-Talmudic scholars whose interpretive ingenuity and stamina have few parallels.”...
Tablet Magazine, Apr. 15
Brush up your Shakespeare @ your library
It seems appropriate that William Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, should take place during the same month as National Poetry Month and that libraries across the country are celebrating the Bard of Avon’s 449th birthday. For example, Rock Island (Ill.) Public Library kicked off the celebration April 23 with an in-depth look at the historical person and personality of one of the Bard’s greatest villains: Macbeth. On April 26, local high school students will perform scenes from The Tempest at the library, with a student-run discussion to follow....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Apr. 23
How to carbon-date a web page
Ever needed to know the age of a web page only to discover that it lacks a time stamp saying when it was published? If so, then the work of Hany SalahEldeen and Michael Nelson at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, may be of interest. They have created a web application called Carbon Date that works out the creation date of a page by searching for the earliest evidence of its existence....
MIT Technology Review: Physics arXiv Blog, Apr. 22
Bookmobile on the streets of San Francisco
This is an excerpt (1:12) from a forthcoming documentary titled Free For All: Inside the Public Library. The film crew takes a ride along the hills of San Francisco with the SFPL Bookmobile driver delivering books and DVDs to the elderly and infirm....
YouTube, Apr. 17
A short film on the power of reading
“The Last Bookshop” is a delightful video (20:15), set in the future, about the power of reading. Made by BakeryTV, it’s an affectionate look at how we might forget the art of physical books, though their power will never disappear. The principal villain in the piece seems to be an all-knowing digital monster called GamaZone. Sound familiar? Richard Dadd and Dan Fryer were the directors and it was filmed in various bookstores in Kent and London....
The Huffington Post, Apr. 16; YouTube, Apr. 9
Go back to the Top