|American Libraries Online
The void in charter schools
Maria R. Traska writes: “Charter schools in the District of Columbia are typical. ‘In D.C., most charter schools don’t have libraries—they don’t have the space for them,’ said parent and activist Peter MacPherson of the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization, a D.C.-based parents group. While a number of schools have been physically modernized recently, their libraries have not, he says. Anacostia High School, which just underwent a complete $63 million rehab, reopened without a single book in its library and has functioned that way for most of this school year. No money was designated for the initial collection.”...
American Libraries feature
Dispatches from the Field: Ebook business models
Mirela Roncevic (right) writes: “Dealing with business models and understanding the multitude of pricing options available is the most complicated part of ebook acquisition. It requires a constant monitoring of policies and business practices that continually change because of industry mergers and technological advances that enable companies to frequently upgrade their purchasing plans. Pricing options are usually not explained at length on vendor websites, so librarians need to take a proactive approach and explore viable alternatives.”...
American Libraries column, June
In Practice: Need help? Join.me online
Meredith Farkas writes: “When librarians first began offering chat reference, most envisioned it as a medium to answer quick and simple questions. Involved research questions were best answered in person. Somehow, our patrons didn’t get the memo on this, and many chat interactions are just as involved as face-to-face reference sessions. What complicates these chat-based interactions is that the patron can’t see the librarian’s screen.”...
American Libraries column, June
Did you miss last week’s AL Live session?
Not to worry. The archived session (1:01:31), “Discovery Services: The Future of Library Systems” with Marshall Breeding (Library Technology Guide), Andrew Nagy (Serials Solutions), Brad Jung (Innovative Interfaces), and Anya N. Arnold (Orbis Cascade Alliance), is available on the AL Live website....
AL Live, Aug. 1
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Digital Inclusion Survey launches in September
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics and the University of Maryland Information Policy and Access Center will begin capturing information about the vital roles public libraries play in supporting digital inclusion. The Digital Inclusion Survey, which will go live September 3, will take the pulse of public library service in the areas of digital literacy, economic and workforce development, civic engagement, educational support, health information, and public access to the internet....
Office for Research and Statistics, Aug. 7
ALA Graphics fall catalog
ALA Graphics has released its Fall 2013 catalog, featuring 48 pages of exciting new products that will inspire and excite readers in schools and libraries across the nation. Gracing the cover of the catalog is the ensemble cast of the hit CBS show The Big Bang Theory on a Celebrity READ poster. A coordinating bookmark is also available. Snoopy fans can choose from several Snoopy products including a poster (right), bookmarks, and stickers. The catalog is available online in PDF format....
ALA Graphics, Aug. 5
Become a career development facilitator
If you are a library staffer who works with patrons seeking employment, you’re probably seeing many more who are requesting resources for guidance in their job search. You’re probably also hearing from more individuals who are underemployed. How do you answer all their questions? The Career Development Facilitator program may be the answer. The training consists of 14 weeks of self-paced online coursework from September 10 to December 10. Contact Caitlin Williams to register....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Aug. 6
Serving children with autism spectrum disorder
ALA Editions will host “Serving Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” with Lesley Farmer, a new workshop that will take place in two 90-minute sessions on November 13 and 20. Farmer will take you through the basics of autism, explaining the forms the condition can take and how diagnosed children tend to be unique. Registration is available through the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Aug. 6
Making data-based decisions
ALA TechSource will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Gathering and Using Community Data: Making the Best Decisions for Your Library” with Marie Pyko and Thad Hartman, on November 6. This workshop will teach you how to gather data about your community to assess patrons’ needs and desires and then use it to help guide library services. The instructors will use their experience at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library as an illustration....
ALA TechSource, Aug. 6
Mentoring and managing college students
Most academic libraries could not operate without a host of part-time student workers. But employing students is different from filling a professional position with an experienced worker; often their library employment will be their first job experience. Since many student positions make them the public face of the library, effective mentoring of such student employees is vital. Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library, written by Michelle Reale and published by ALA Editions, explores the challenges and opportunities involved in recruitment....
ALA Editions, Aug. 1
Developing electronic collections
The complex issues associated with developing and managing electronic collections deserve special treatment, and library collection authority Peggy Johnson rises to the challenge with a book sure to become a benchmark for excellence. Providing comprehensive coverage of key issues and decision points, Developing and Managing Electronic Collections: The Essentials, published by ALA Editions, offers advice on best practices for developing and managing these important resources for libraries of all types and sizes....
ALA Editions, Aug. 5
The future of the catalog
New digital technologies, the internet, and user expectations have changed the role of the catalog in libraries considerably in recent years. Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue, edited by Sally Chambers, takes into account developments that influence catalog potential and patrons’ needs. Such key leaders as Karen Calhoun, Lorcan Dempsey, Emmanuelle Bermès, and Marshall Breeding discuss cutting-edge issues....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Aug. 6
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Featured review: Youth fiction
Yancey, Rick. The Final Descent. Sept. 2013. Grades 9–12. Simon & Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4424-5153-7).
It can now be said with assurance that The Monstrumologist series is a landmark of modern YA fiction. Even given the remarkable Printz Honor–winning first book, who could have predicted the haunting, profound developments of the subsequent titles, none more so than this penetrating, devastating coda. Yes, there is a monster: the T. cerrejonensis, a dangerous reptilian creature thought to be extinct for 100 years. But the true monster is Will Henry himself, now 16 and becoming “the most aberrant of aberrant life forms.”...
Talking with Rick Yancey
Rick Yancey’s celebrated Monstrumologist series wraps up in August with The Final Descent. Booklist’s Daniel Kraus spoke to him about completing this ambitious four-part saga. Yancey reveals: “Here’s how it began: ‘Hey, monster hunters! That would be cool!’ I had no clue, not a smidgeon, where the story might go from that simple premise. By the middle of the third book, my concern for Will Henry became acute as the terminus of his journey started to come into focus. I knew where he would end, where Warthrop would end, where monstrumology would end. Going back to the first book, I discerned clues there—and I realized the seeds were planted without my knowledge. In short, I hadn’t consciously planned it, but something deep down had determined the outcome.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Bill Morris invitational seminar
ALSC is now accepting applications for its third biennial “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” to be held on January 24 prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. This invitational seminar supports and honors William C. Morris’s dedication to connecting librarians and children with excellent children’s books. Apply by September 20. Information and the application form are available on the ALSC website....
ALSC, Aug. 1
Submit a ConverStation
The deadline to submit a ConverStation proposal for the PLA 2014 Conference in Indianapolis, March 11–15, is fast approaching. ConverStations at PLA Conference are unique, interactive sessions that enable attendees to discuss a public library issue or topic and learn from each other. Session facilitators typically introduce a topic for 5–10 minutes, then moderate the discussion. The deadline to submit proposals is August 16....
PLA, Aug. 6
Updated Teen Book Finder app
YALSA has launched an updated version of its free Teen Book Finder app that now includes all titles that appeared on YALSA’s 2013 lists of recommended reading or that were honored by one of YALSA’s six young adult literature awards. The app is free to download through the Apple Store. An android version of the app is planned for release in 2014....
YALSA, Aug. 6
YALSA and Soho Teen promote Teen Read Week
YALSA is partnering with Soho Teen in promoting Teen Read Week, October 13–19. Any individual hosting Teen Read Week events at schools, public libraries, or afterschool programs who joins the online community will be eligible to receive a Soho Teen Shelf of approximately 10 hardcover books. A total of four Soho Teen Shelves will be given away....
YALSA, Aug. 6
Digitization Capture Recommendations
At the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the ALCTS board endorsed “Minimum Digitization Capture Recommendations.” A task force of the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section’s Preservation Standards and Practices Committee was commissioned to develop minimum standards for the digital capture or reformatting of documents for preservation purposes. These were developed as guidelines for libraries intending to produce sustainable digital products that will not need to be redigitized....
ALCTS, Aug. 6
Webinar on social media success
LITA is offering a webinar, “All Aboard: The Party’s Starting! Setting a Course for Social Media Success,” presented by Mary Anne Hansen, Doralyn Rossmann, Angela Tate, and Scott Young of Montana State University Library on August 20. Participants will take home a template for creating a comprehensive plan for social media usage and assessment, with an emphasis on creating a meaningful voice and a compelling personality....
LITA, Aug. 6
21st-century access services
ACRL has published Twenty-First-Century Access Services: On the Front Line of Academic Librarianship, edited by Michael J. Krasulski Jr. and Trevor A. Dawes. Today’s access services departments are expanding their portfolios to include electronic reserves (e-reserves), increased cooperative and shared services, facilities management, assessment initiatives, ebook lending initiatives, and copyright management. The 10 chapters in this book highlight these services and discuss the role access services departments will continue to play in the success of the academic library....
ACRL, Aug. 1
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Hongjie Wang receives Fulbright grant
University of Connecticut Health Center medical librarian Hongjie Wang (right) has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture in China during the upcoming academic year. Wang will teach two graduate courses on medical information management at Sichuan University in Chengdu and conduct guest lectures at various institutions in China throughout his Fulbright Scholar tenure, which ends January 2014....
UConn Today, Aug. 2
Hastler wins CEO award
Harford County (Md.) Public Library Director Mary Hastler (right) was presented with a Brava! Award from Baltimore SmartCEO on July 10, recognizing her as one of the top 25 female CEOs in the Baltimore area. Hastler was selected for the award for her leadership in expanding the library system’s public service role by introducing innovative literacy programs, product expansions, record-breaking fundraising events, and cutting-edge technology....
Harford County (Md.) Public Library, July 31
2013 Swets Annual Charleston Conference Scholarship
For the sixth year in a row, Swets is holding a $1,000 scholarship contest to allow the winning applicant to attend the 2013 Annual Charleston Conference, November 6–9. Applicants must complete an essay of no more than 1,000 words on a specified topic. Submit an email including your essay and brief curriculum vita by September 3....
Swets, Aug. 1
2012 Shirley Jackson Award winners
The 2012 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on July 14 at Readercon 24, the Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts. The awards are given for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. The winner in the Best Novel category was Koji Suzuki’s Edge (Vertical). The best Single-Author Collection award went to Jeffrey Ford’s Crackpot Palace (William Morrow)....
Shirley Jackson Awards, July 15
2013 SIBA Book Awards
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance announced its 2013 awards for the best books that are Southern in nature or by a Southern author. The winner in the children’s category was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (Atheneum Books for Young Readers), and the winner in the young adult category was Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers)....
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, July 4
2013 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards
Tina Matthews was presented with the Russell Clark Medal for Illustration at the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards ceremony in Wellington, New Zealand, on August 5 for her picture book A Great Cake. The book tells the story of young Harvey, who learns a few lessons along the way as he eventually makes his perfect cake. Rachael King was awarded the coveted Esther Glen Medal for her novel Red Rocks, a story in which the rugged South Coast of Wellington comes alive for the reader....
Beattie’s Book Blog, Aug. 5
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Libraries in the News
Chicago suburb has library district, but no library
Ford Heights, Illinois, has a library district that collects about $20,000 a year from taxpayers who live in one of the poorest communities in the state. But it has no library. The district was forced to close its free-standing library about 20 years ago when it couldn’t come up with the money to maintain the building. A library in neighboring Glenwood took its place for a while but canceled services to Ford Heights residents in 2009 after the village fell behind on payments by about $50,000....
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 4
Flint library cuts staff
The Flint (Mich.) Public Library board of trustees voted unanimously on August 1 to lay off two full-time librarians, two assistant librarians, and two clerks, finishing staff cuts first approved in a June budget meeting. In addition to staff cuts, which will be effective September 1, the library will also be rolling back its hours of operation. Library Director Kay Schwartz noted that a $275,000 deficit still remained....
Flint (Mich.) Journal, Aug. 1
Weekend rally for Miami-Dade
Hundreds braved a rainy weekend to rally to save Miami-Dade libraries, clearly disproving Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s claim that the Age of the Library is probably ending. On August 2–4, protesters gathered outside the branches slated for closure, flashing signs that read: “Only closed minds close libraries” and “Libraries are fundamental. Mayors are replaceable.” County administrators have since revised the mayor’s closure plan, narrowing it to 14 branch closures, down from the original 22....
The Huffington Post, July 17, Aug. 5
School–public library partnership in Seattle
Students at Seattle’s Sanislo and Roxhill elementary schools will benefit from expanded literacy programs and library resources this school year, thanks to a partnership with the Seattle Public Library. The one-year pilot project is funded by a $91,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The grant allows SPL to loan books and materials to the students, provide special library cards to school teachers and librarians, and introduce a Raising a Reader program....
Seattle Public Library, Aug. 6
Chesapeake’s newest branch
Chesapeake (Va.) Public Library’s newest branch, initially perceived by residents as second-rate when the city’s original plans changed, is now considered something special, thanks to the efforts of recently retired library director Betsy Fowler and her staff. The city scrapped its plans for a $6.4 million standalone facility, opting instead to utilize vacant retail space inside the Gateway at SoNo condominium development to prevent its foreclosure. From that, and with a little do-it-yourself ingenuity, Fowler created the vibrant, modern South Norfolk Memorial branch at a cost of $2.1 million....
Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 4
Sneak peek at new Cedar Rapids Public Library
Cindy Hadish writes: “The new Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library doesn’t open until later in August, but I had the opportunity to tour the building and got a sneak peek. Indoor space feels much larger than that at the former library, which was flooded in 2008, but it’s the outdoor space that most entices me. A reading terrace overlooks Greene Square Park and the green living and learning roof provides spectacular views of Cedar Rapids.”...
HomegrownIowan.com, Aug. 5
Plainfield archivist finds John Quincy Adams letter
Taking up precisely a full page with neat, handwritten script, former President John Quincy Adams politely and eloquently declined an invitation to attend a Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society event on July 28, 1838, citing his flagging health during a sweltering heat wave. No one might have ever known it, if not for Plainfield (N.J.) Public Library Archivist Jeff Wassen, who said he knew the letter was part of the library’s huge collection of historic archives, but forgot about it before recently rediscovering it. The letter probably was given to a Plainfield resident by the recipient, Edmund Quincy....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Aug. 2
Mommy Laid an Egg upsets Lodi grandmother
When 9-year-old Daidree Diacon was picking out books at the Lodi (Calif.) Public Library to read over summer vacation, one hardback by Babette Cole with cute, colorful illustrations caught her eye. The cover features a broken eggshell on a couch with a baby inside and a family of four looking on. “She thought it was funny, because it says Mommy Laid an Egg,” explained her grandmother, Patty Garcia, who wants the book reshelved out of the reach of children....
Lodi (Calif.) News-Sentinel, Aug. 2
The New Bodleian’s renovation
Oxford University is undertaking a major renovation of the New Bodleian Library, which will reopen to readers and researchers as the Weston Library in October 2014. An official public opening is planned for March 2015. The Weston Library will become the new home of the Bodleian’s special collections. The renovation will create high-quality storage for the collections, which include rare and unique manuscripts, books, and maps that the Bodleian preserves for the international world of scholarship....
Fire at the French national library
A fire broke out August 5 on the roof of the old Bibliothèque Nationale building on the Rue de Richelieu in Paris. Some 100 square yards of the roof were damaged in an area that was undergoing asbestos removal. Eight library workers were evacuated, but there was apparently no impact on the collections. Watch the video (1:08)....
Le Figaro (Paris), Aug. 5; YouTube, Aug. 5
Muhammad Rehbar, Hunza librarian
Muhammad Rehbar is a teacher and a librarian in the Hunza Valley of Pakistan with an insatiable thirst for words. His love for learning made him collect old newspaper clippings when he couldn’t afford the luxury of books. Apart from serving as a school teacher for 34 years, Rehbar is also responsible for setting up the first library in the area and is considered an institution by the locals....
The Express Tribune (Pakistan), Aug. 1
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What you can do during your summer vacation
Lynne Bradley writes: “Congress is now in a five-week recess. Now is the time, when your representatives and senators are back home for recess, to contact them about important surveillance issues. By calling their respective district or regional offices, you can find out about town hall meetings and other events where you can ask them to support serious reforms to the country’s surveillance laws and practices (PDF file). With so many bills introduced, and likely more in September, a generalized message is appropriate.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 5
School web filtering needs extreme makeover
Meris Stansbury writes: “During a recent symposium on the Children’s Internet Protection Act, experts agreed that though the law backed by the FCC has good intentions, school web-filtering software and practices need a major overhaul. According to Deborah Stone, deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, many of the lawsuits over the last 10 years involving schools and CIPA deal with issues in constitutional access to information.”...
eSchool News, Aug. 2
A user guide to the Marrakesh Treaty
On June 27, a diplomatic conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization held in Marrakesh, Morocco, adopted the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” The Library Copyright Alliance has issued a new “User Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty” (PDF file) by Jonathan Band. The treaty is intended to promote the making and distribution of copies of books and other published materials in formats accessible to people with print disabilities....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 7; ARL Policy Notes, Aug. 6
Reversing the summer slide
“Lower-income kids in our research are basically treading water in the summer months,” said Karl Alexander, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University who has done extensive work into the setbacks for children without summer educational opportunities, known as the “summer slide.” For two decades, Alexander followed a group of 800 students in Baltimore, beginning in 1982. Only about 4% of the children from lower-income households went on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Alexander suspected it had something to do with the time they were out of school....
NPR: All Things Considered, Aug. 4; Henry A. Murray Research Archive
Academic libraries in the developing world
Raising awareness of how the library supports teaching and research staff is key to demonstrating library value in developing countries, concludes a new report published August 6. The findings are the result of a six-month research study with 12 developing-country institutions conducted by SAGE. Library Value in the Developing World (PDF file) reports that developing-country librarians are beginning to recognize the importance of evaluating their value for research and teaching staff....
STM Publishing News, Aug. 6
Copyright hearings continue
The House Judiciary Committee continues to move forward with hearings addressing Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) call for a comprehensive review of US copyright law. On July 24 and August 1, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held two hearings regarding copyright and the role it plays in innovation. Congress will go on recess for most of August. It is expected there will be more copyright hearings in the fall....
District Dispatch, Aug. 2
Is online privacy a right?
David Sirota writes: “‘Keep Calm, and Encrypt.’ This slogan, a play on Britain’s World War II posters, is the privacy-seeker’s new motto in the age of mass surveillance and data mining. The idea is that even with the expansion of surveillance, some data can still be kept away from eavesdroppers, as long as it is properly encrypted. After all, even with the NSA’s impressive codebreaking abilities, secure encryption still works.”...
Salon, July 29
The long-suffering librarian
Andy Woodworth writes: “I’m thinking that one of the common bonds between librarians is a taste for suffering. While we as a profession find common cause in working towards justice in its social, economic, and educational forms, it is our nature at enduring suffering that builds the bonds between us faster than an open bar at a vendor social event. Right now, you don’t have to travel very far to get antagonized.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, Aug. 6
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How to buy a scanner
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “Finding the right scanner can be a challenge. Most can scan just about anything, but they come in a variety of types and sizes that are fine-tuned for different purposes. Here are the key questions to ask to help make sure you pick the right scanner—or scanners—for your needs.” The 10 best are listed here. The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is one of the best for on-the-go scanning, while the HP Scanjet Pro 3000 s2 Sheet-feed Scanner is an excellent desktop scanner for any size office. The Atiz BookDrive Mini (right) is designed exclusively for scanning books....
PC Magazine, July 31
One Week, One Tool, many lessons
Meghan Frazer writes: “Last week I helped develop Serendip-o-matic, a tool that introduces serendipity to research, as part of a 12-person team attending One Week | One Tool at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. In this blog post, I’ll take you through the serendipitous story, from the convening of the team to the selection and development of the tool.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Aug. 7
3D printing at DCPL
Andrea Peterson writes: “Nicholas Kerelchuck, manager of the recently opened Digital Commons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., calls their 3D printer the rock star of the space. The library runs two to three ‘intro to 3D printing’ programs per day, and plans to purchase another unit soon. Kerelchuck describes the 3D printer’s popularity as a boon to the library, but also a substantial benefit for library patrons.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, Aug. 1
The 12 best Android tablet apps
Max Eddy writes: “When we talk about mobile and mobile apps, we often lump tablets and smartphones in together. But while they both use apps from the same store, tablets often fill a different niche than smartphones, and great apps for phones aren’t always great apps for tablets. Also, developers don’t always have tablets in mind when they create their applications, and sometimes the feel of an app can get lost in translation. We’ve created this brief list of Android apps that are not only good, but look and feel perfect on tablets.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 2
Increase your Windows laptop’s battery life
Chris Hoffman writes: “We often fixate on smartphone battery life, but most laptops still don’t have all-day battery life. Rather than always using your laptop tethered to an outlet, here are some ways to squeeze more life from your laptop’s battery. None of these tricks will turn a laptop without much stamina into an all-day workhorse, but they’ll help you go without an outlet for longer. Pay particular attention to your laptop’s display—that’s the big battery sucker.”...
How-To Geek, Apr. 13, Aug. 7
Use Google as a timer
Thorin Klosowski writes: “You can set a quick timer by typing, ‘set timer X minutes’ into Google. Once you hit enter, the timer will count down and then sound off when the time expires with an obnoxious, possibly never-ending tone. If a countdown doesn’t do it for you, then you can also use the command, ‘set timer for X time.’”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 1
Save this timeline
Terry Heick writes: “In 2013, technology has become not just a tool, but a standard and matter of credibility. While learning does not require technology, to design learning without technology is an exercise in spite—proving a point at the cost of potential. And it’s difficult to forget how new this is. Here are 30 incredible ways that technology will change education by the year 2028.”...
TeachThought, Mar. 19
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Ebooks, libraries, and publishers
NPR’s Lynn Neary discusses how ebooks have strained the relationship between public libraries and publishers. Her guests were State Librarian of Kansas Jo Budler and Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Director Jamie LaRue. She comments: “After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. Some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on ebooks.”...
NPR: Morning Edition, Aug. 5
Why writers should stand up for libraries
Cory Doctorow writes: “Earlier this summer, I worked with ALA on its Authors for Library Ebooks project, which is asking authors to call on their publishers to offer ebooks to libraries at a fair price. Right now, libraries pay several times more for ebooks than people off the street: up to six times more. I recorded this video (4:19) explaining why libraries and authors are natural allies.”...
Boing Boing, Aug. 6; YouTube, July 31
The end of the HarperCollins boycott, and an analysis
Brett Bonfield writes: “On February 24, 2011, Joe Atzenberger broke the news that HarperCollins would begin distributing self-destructing ebooks through OverDrive. This was not welcome news. Gabriel Farrell and I got together and created a website to let the world know that many people were going to boycott HarperCollins until it changed its policies. Although we still believe in our reasoning, and even though HarperCollins has not changed its policy, we think the time has come to end the boycott. One reason is this: The boycott has not worked.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Aug. 7
What Jeff Bezos might do with the Washington Post
Lydia DePillis writes: “Alan Mutter, who knows the media business and the tech world better than most, thinks there are many ways in which buying a legacy newspaper makes all the sense in the world for the Seattle-based billionaire. Bezos hasn’t talked yet about his future plans for the company, but from what we know, it’s fair to speculate a bit. So what’s going to happen? A few ideas.”...
Washington Post: Wonkblog, Aug. 5
The new explosion in e-audiobooks
Alexandra Alter writes: “Cory Wilbur, a 25-year-old software engineer in Boston, never used to read much. He barely cracked a book in college and would read one or two a year on vacation, at most. But in the past year, he’s finished 10 audiobooks. The digital revolution may have dealt a heavy blow to print, but it is boosting literacy in other unexpected ways by fueling the explosive growth of mass-market audiobooks.”...
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 1
University of California system goes open access
Jennifer Howard writes: “After years of discussion, the University of California’s Academic Senate has adopted an open-access policy (PDF file) that will make research articles freely available to the public through eScholarship, California’s open digital repository. The new policy, to be phased in over the next few months, applies to all 10 of the system’s campuses and will affect as many as 40,000 research papers a year.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 2
CRL to audit CLOCKSS
The Digital Distributed Community Archive (the CLOCKSS Archive) has engaged the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago to undertake an in-depth audit of the CLOCKSS preservation archive. CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS) is a not-for-profit joint venture between the world’s leading academic publishers and research libraries to ensure the long-term survival of web-based scholarly publications....
Center for Research Libraries, Aug. 5
Follett and Random House offer popular titles
Follett is partnering with Random House to offer new and popular ebook titles to school libraries. Follett’s ebook customers are now able to purchase Random House ebooks and lend them to students. The partnership gives librarians the opportunity to enhance their collections with many sought-after titles, such as Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina and Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963....
Follett Corporation, Aug. 2
Access barriers to online public-domain texts
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “You can get Wired Love: A Romance of Dots and Dashes (1880) by Ella Cheever Thayer from Project Gutenberg, in ASCII. But to read something that long, I’d really prefer a properly typeset copy, say in PDF, so I can easily read it on my laptop or iPad. Google Books has the full text freely available to read online in its page scroller. But if Google Books still offers free PDF or ePub downloads for out-of-copyright works, I can’t figure out how.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, July 31
Custom book scanning
Juli Monroe writes: “I know many ebook readers who virtually stop reading paper books once they discover ebooks. But that leaves the question of how to replace beloved favorites. When Mark Burger of Custom Book Scanning contacted me and offered me a free trial of his service, I was interested. I’ve had this one book on my shelf for years that I’ve been wanting to have digitized. Pricing is based on the length of the book, and starts at $9.95 for a 100-page or less book.”...
TeleRead, Aug. 1
Dresden library ebook program now includes all of Germany
The Dresden Municipal Libraries announced August 2 that they are expanding their digital library program. Any resident of Germany can now register online for a library card and check out ebooks, music, and video. The cost is €10 per year, and in addition to music and videos a library patron can check out ebooks. The library offers 7,000 ebook titles at the moment, and they can be checked out for 2 weeks....
The Digital Reader, Aug. 2
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2014 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Registration and housing will be open October 1.
2014 Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 26–July 1. Registration and housing will be open January 14.
(Bundle registration for 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference opens September 9.)
Celebrate the freedom to read in your school or library during Banned Books Week, September 11–28, with this new poster encouraging you to “discover what you are missing.” Use this poster to help emphasize the importance of the First Amendment and the power of uncensored literature. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
The War of the Worlds (1953). Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) is a library science teacher at the University of Southern California.
A Warrior’s Heart (2011). Ashley Greene as Brooklyn Milligan and Kellan Lutz as lacrosse player Conor Sullivan flirt in the prep school library.
Washington Merry-Go-Round (1932). Lee Tracy as Congressman Button Gwinnett Brown goes to the Library of Congress to research a bill and discovers that it is fraudulent, meant to honor a man who stole land from Native Americans.
The Watermelon Woman (1996). Cheryl Dunye (playing herself) goes to the fictional CLIT Institute, an all-volunteer lesbian archives, to research a gay African-American actress from the 1930s. The archivist (Sarah Schulman) is careless with rare, primary materials.
This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.
Ebook Trainer / Coordinator, Reading Across Illinois Library System, Burr Ridge. The Illinois Statewide E-Book Project is a two-year grant project funded by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. The project will increase access to ebooks for Illinois residents and grow ebook expertise among library staff, library system staff, and Illinois residents. It includes ebook collections and software platforms for Illinois Heartland Library System and Reaching Across Illinois Library System member libraries, research into a self-hosted model, training, a list of free ebook resources, a website, communication to libraries, and assistance to libraries in promoting the project to their patrons....
Digital Library of the Week
The Ball State University Digital Media Repository in Muncie, Indiana, provides online access to a variety of primary source materials, including photographs, oral history interviews, artwork, video and film footage, cartographic resources, architectural drawings, publications, and 3-dimensional objects. The repository, a collaborative project of the BSU libraries, offers collections in African-American studies, apparel and accessories, architecture, education, fine arts, maps, journalism, local history, and military history.
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
“Libramnesia is a highly common but undertreated social condition that causes its sufferers to completely forget about libraries or, even worse, believe libraries are irrelevant. Personally, I know all about Libramnesia because I once suffered from this debilitating disease for almost 10 years. My particular case was caused by the trauma of spending countless overnighters on the first floor of Bird Library throughout my four years at Syracuse. Once I handed in my last paper of my college career, I did not step foot into a library again until nearly a decade later. My first visit back to the library was prompted by another debilitating condition I was also suffering from at the time called unemployment.”
—Thea Montanex, “New Case of Libramnesia Confirmed in Miami,” The Huffington Post Blog, July 25.
Art and Crafts for Youth Librarians, online workshop.
4th International Symposium on Information Management in a Changing World, Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick, Ireland.
European Information Architecture Conference, Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Code4Lib Midwest, conference, John Pappajohn Business Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel, Lansing Center.
Colorado Association of Libraries, CALCON13, Loveland. “Full Steam Ahead.”
Internet Librarian 2013, Monterey Conference Center, California.
Brick and Click Libraries Symposium, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.
Association for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec. “Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking Information Boundaries.”
American Society for Theatre Research / Theatre Library Association, Joint Conference, Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas. “The Post-Thematic Conference.”
4th Annual Symposium on Computing for Development, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, Annual Conference, Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile.
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15 essential Irish novels
It is difficult to dispute the place of James Joyce among the pantheon of all literary greats, but Ireland has much more to offer than his modernist virtuosity. Not only is it the ancestral home of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, but many of the finest active writers have a firm footing on the contemporary fiction scene. Here are some of the finest works from the post-Joycean era....
QwikLit, Aug. 3
Adult anxieties over YA fiction
Maren Williams writes: “Every once in a while, some blogger or columnist garners a lot of pageviews by rekindling the simmering debate as to whether young adult fiction has become ‘too dark.’ Many adults profess to believe that YA books dealing with such topics as sex, violence, bullying, drugs and alcohol, rape and abuse, or suicide and self-harm encourage those behaviors rather than simply reflect their existence in the lives of many teens. However, trying to protect youth by condemning or even banning books does nothing to change this reality.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, July 24
A guide to YA novels with LGBTQ characters
Molly Wetta writes: “A growing number of young adult novels feature characters that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. They are moving beyond traditional coming-out stories. It’s more common to see them in fantasy or sci-fi, or in stories featuring characters with ambiguous identities. The following guide will give you an overview of the diversity within queer YA fiction for readers looking to explore these stories.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 6
NPR’s ultimate backseat bookshelf
In June, some 2,000 National Public Radio listeners belonging to NPR’s Backseat Book Club responded to a request to nominate their favorite books for children 9–14. NPR then turned to its expert panel of six (including school librarian Travis Jonker), who combined audience favorites with their own choices to come up with a curated list of 100 must-reads. The final list has a little bit of everything....
NPR Books, Aug. 5
Classic wilderness survival chapter books
Summer Anne Burton writes: “We had so many crazy adventures as kids, all of them while hiding under the covers with a flashlight after bedtime. Here are 12 classic wilderness survival chapter books worth revisiting.” Among them is Swallows and Amazons (1930) by Arthur Ransome: “The summer adventures of two families of children who sail, camp, fish, and pirate together in the Lake District of England. Inspired by the stories of Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, the kids make an enemy out of their uncle James Turner, nicknaming him Captain Flint.”...
Buzzfeed, Aug. 2
Orange Is the New Black: A reading list
Stevie Feliciano writes: “Orange Is the New Black is the latest series from Netflix based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name (right). Piper and other characters such as Tastyee, Red, and Alex are seen reading or referencing various books throughout the series. I decided to watch Orange Is the New Black a second time in order to compile a list of the books that are visible in a scene or explicitly referenced.”...
New York Public Library blogs, Aug. 6
The brave new world of dystopian fiction
Kelly Dickinson writes: “Dystopian fiction: It’s everywhere. There have been exciting dystopian tales appearing on adult fiction shelves that are as thrilling and thought-provoking as their young adult counterparts. So whether readers are suffering from futuristic fiction fatigue or are desperate for a fresh fix of dystopian adventure, one of these titles is sure to please.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 1
25 best websites for literature lovers
Jason Diamond writes: “The literary world occupies a decent-sized space on the web. Readers, writers, publishers, editors, and everybody in between are tweeting, Tumbling, blogging, and probably even Vine-ing about their favorite books. In case the demise of Google Reader threw your literary internet browsing into a dark void, here’s a list of 25 book sites to bookmark.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 5
My books about libraries
Jerry Morris writes: “Could I have been a librarian in a previous life? That would explain why I have so many books about libraries. I will display the front covers of some of my books, and if you click on the links above the images, you will find out more about them, including, in some cases, provenance information. From some of the books I will post passages I think you might find interesting.”...
My Sentimental Library, July 31
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Rethinking what we do: Library cards
Linda W. Braun writes: “The physical library card has changed, but have the policies and procedures that relate to cards done the same? How long has it been since you reviewed those policies with the teens you serve in 2013 in mind? I would guess that for some it’s been a very long time. Here are two scenarios to consider when thinking about teens, the library card application process, and related policies.”...
YALSA Blog, Aug. 5
Branding on social networks
Heather Mansfield writes: “Internet users of 2013 expect polish and professionalism across all your online channels, not only in their appearance but in how they are managed. A good content strategy requires time and skill to execute, and the successful management of your social networks requires training. Quality graphic design for your social networks is also not free unless you are fortunate enough to have a staff person or volunteer skilled in Photoshop.”...
Nonprofit Tech for Good, Aug. 7
DPL Connect: Denver’s new pedal-powered library
Zac Laugheed writes: “Over the past few months, the Denver Public Library has been developing a new service to connect the library to the community outside of our physical locations. We wanted to literally take our services to the streets, so we created DPL Connect, a pedal-powered mobile library and Wi-Fi hotspot. DPL Connect is making its inaugural ride on August 7. It will be stocked with a rotating collection of books tailored to the bike’s location.”...
Denver Public Library, Aug. 5
How to enable Do Not Track
Thorin Klosowski writes: “Do Not Track, the feature in web browsers and websites that asks advertisers and data miners not to track your browsing habits, is a relatively new service. It’s also typically an opt-out feature. So here’s a listing of places where you can enable Do Not Track so advertisers can’t snoop in on your habits.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 5
Discover in-depth articles on Google
Pandu Nayak writes: “To understand a broad topic, sometimes you need more than a quick answer. Our research indicates that perhaps 10% of people’s daily information needs fit this category—topics like stem cell research, happiness, and love, to name just a few. That’s why over the next few days we’ll be rolling out a new feature to help you find relevant in-depth articles in the main Google Search results.”...
Google Inside Search, Aug. 6
Six non-crappy ways to find song lyrics
Yaara Lancet writes: “The search term ‘lyrics’ is super popular on Google, and the amount of websites offering song lyrics is endless. Many of these websites are strewn with endless ads, while the actual lyrics, obviously not the most important element on the page, get buried between confusing banners and dubious links. Is there a way out? Of course!”...
MakeUseOf, Aug. 6
Explore the CDC Stacks
CDC Stacks is a free digital library of scientific publications produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It includes peer-reviewed articles and CDC guidelines and recommendations. Users can search the full text of all documents, browse entries by public health subject, examine historical data, and explore the curated collections of more than 11,000 publications. The collection is updated weekly....
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Making STEM programs work in the library
Angela Critics writes: “STEM is certainly the new buzzword in library programming for children. That means a rush to create and promote STEM programming. The problem is that STEM is an educational initiative and most of the available literature is geared towards classroom activities. As yet, there is no set of best practices for STEM programming in libraries.”...
Literacy in a Digital Age, June 21
After-school STEM at Chicago’s Level UP
Brian Heater writes: “Level UP is located in the basement beneath the food court of the Ford City Mall on Chicago’s south side. Jackie Moore has devoted this space and her life to teaching kids how to build robots. Moore and other concerned parents formed Agape Werks, a name stenciled on various pieces of equipment scattered about the Level UP space. Agape gave birth to the Chicago Knights, a team of high school–aged roboticists who travel the country, taking part in competitions like the autonomous Botball and FIRST Robotics. And Level UP became the team’s home base.”...
Engadget, Aug. 6
Article-level metrics: A bad idea
Jeffrey Beall writes: “Many are excited about innovative measures that purport to quantify scholarly impact at a more granular level. Called article-level metrics or ALMs, these measures depart from time-honored computations of scholarly influence such as the journal impact factor. Instead, they rely on data generated from popular sources such as social media and other generally nonscientific and meager venues. I can promise you that any system designed to measure impact at the article level will be gamed, rendering the metrics useless and invalid.” Bonnie Swoger offers some background on ALM....
Scholarly Open Access, Aug. 1; Scientific American: Information Culture, Aug. 3
New retirement toolkit
The US Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have partnered to publish a Retirement Toolkit (PDF file). This toolkit includes links to publications and to interactive tools that can help your patrons plan their retirement. It includes a timeline for retirement, information to help individuals decide at what age they want to retire, and information on how to avoid paying a Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty....
Pasco County (Fla.) Library System Senior Services Blog, July 27
Serving at-risk daycares
Sarah Hathaway writes: “As the Money Smarts programmer for the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, I have the opportunity to work extensively with daycares in many at-risk and impoverished areas. Due to a variety of factors, including food security issues at home, children in these neighborhoods often spend their entire day in a child care location. Working with daycares in at-risk areas is essential since it is often the only way these children will experience the library in their young lives. Here are some of the barriers daycare children and caregivers face.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 3
Latino librarians: Guardians of culture
Roberto Haro writes: “There are numerous public librarians who can be singled out for the outstanding contributions to their respective communities. Elizabeth Martinez, director of the Salinas (Calif.) Public Library, comes to mind immediately. She was responsible for introducing Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzalez, the author of the epic poem I Am Joaquin (1967), to an audience of rapt listeners at an ALA conference. Others following in Elizabeth’s steps are Ben Ocon in San Mateo, Luis Herrera in San Francisco, and Carmen Martinez (above) in Oakland.”...
Somos en escrito, July 19
How Andrew Carnegie turned his fortune into libraries
Susan Stamberg writes: “Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the US, by the 1880s he had built an empire in steel, and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. Carnegie libraries are still the best buildings in many towns. Over the years some have been expanded or torn down. And, in addition to books and computers, Carnegie libraries find new ways to serve the community.”...
NPR: Morning Edition, Aug. 1
Whimsical sea monsters
Chet Van Duzer writes: “While researching and writing Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, just published by the British Library, one of the things I discovered is that cartographers generally used the most recent authoritative sources available to them for the sea monsters on their maps. Despite this tendency, there are cases in which the mapmakers did simply invent creatures, and those monsters can be delightfully whimsical. Here are examples of whimsical sea monsters from the second half of the 16th century.”...
British Library: Maps and Views Blog, Aug. 2
How to land a library job
Brian Kenney writes: “Although the economy is slowly climbing out of its sinkhole, don’t expect finding a library position to get easier any time soon. State funding is under pressure, and local funding—which now makes up nearly the entire budget of your typical public library—remains flat at best. Although there are more job openings in 2013 than in previous years, there is also more competition for those positions. Jobseekers, especially those looking for their first librarian positions, need to have their game faces on.”...
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 2
Librarians as college recruiters
Jessica Olin writes: “Not everyone realizes it, but prospective students and their parents do take the library into account when making a decision about colleges. After I talked the admissions department up, I made my big move and revealed the reason I had wanted to connect with them in the first place. And that was this: I offered to come up with a list of talking points about the library for the admissions counselors and the student tour guides. If you’re curious, here are the points I made.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Aug. 6
Order in the Library
Order in the Library, a game that teaches pre-college students how to correctly shelve books using the Dewey Decimal system, was developed by four teams of software engineering students at the University of Texas in 2002–2004. The product was based on specifications the teams received from Susan Sanders, an elementary school librarian at Zavala Elementary in Austin. The project was developed in Flash and has enjoyed great popularity thanks to the simplicity of its design and its usefulness....
University of Texas at Austin School of Information
Adventures in shelf-reading
Kathryn Lybarger writes: “This summer, our circulation department is doing a large shelf-reading project in the stacks. I got to shelf-read around PR 6000 (English literature — 1900–1960 — Individual authors). I didn’t have any major problems as I worked through Joseph Conrad, then Noël Coward, and A. J. Cronin, through what I thought was the end of the C’s, when suddenly there was half a shelf of books in random order, including a bunch of Joseph Conrad and Noël Coward. What in heck happened?”...
Problem Cataloger, Aug. 1
Where to find public-domain images
Richard Byrne writes: “On a fairly regular basis I’m asked for suggestions on places to find public domain images. I have a handful of go-to sites that I usually recommend.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Aug. 6
Constitution Day poster contest
K–12 students are invited to participate in the 2013 Constitution Day poster contest. Constitution Day will be celebrated on September 17. Entrants must create a poster that demonstrates how the freedoms embodied in the US Constitution affect their daily lives. Entries (PDF file) will be judged on both artistic merit and relevance to the US Constitution and must be postmarked by October 1. Each winner will receive a $50 US savings bond,
with the Grand Prize winner receiving a $200 savings bond. The contest is cosponsored by Constitution Facts and the Gov Doc Kids Group....
New York’s City Hall Library
Stephen Farrell writes: “Nothing on the street outside says that it is there. First-time visitors must push through a revolving door of a court building in Lower Manhattan on faith, and hear their footsteps echo across a vast marble lobby before they finally glimpse a set of wooden double doors near a staircase leading down to a goblin-dark basement. This is the entrance to the City Hall Library, open to all yet known to relatively few.” Watch the video (3:09)....
New York Times: City Room, Aug. 5
Psy in the library
Roger Tagholm writes: “For one of the scenes in ‘Gentleman’ (3:54), his follow-up song to ‘Gangnam Style’ released this past April, Psy chose Seoul’s splendid Metropolitan Library, recently refurbished and reopened to the public. He can be seen dancing on the sweeping steps by the impressive, five-meter-high wall of books that links the two General Collection floors—thereby giving the library some extraordinary publicity. The video has now been viewed more than 507 million times, which may explain why these steps were so crowded when I visited.”...
Publishing Perspectives, Aug. 5; YouTube, Apr. 13
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