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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 21, 2013

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American Libraries Online

Foreign-language instructional materials at the DOD's Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center libraryOn My Mind: Under sequester
Kathleen Hanselmann writes: “More than 260 librarians and almost 800 library technicians who work for the Department of Defense are being furloughed 11 days, one day per week from July 8 to September 27, due to sequestration. While this is a personal financial hardship, we are also concerned about having to cut library services for our patrons: military servicemen and women and their families. This is a time of confusion for many of us, as the situation is complex and constantly changing.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

Cover of Summer ReadingYouth Matters: Ramping up summer reading
Ernie Cox writes: “As a teacher-librarian in a school serving an economically diverse student population, I find Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen’s recent research a compelling approach to transforming the summer reading ritual. Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press, 2013) shares the results of a multiyear intervention aimed at stemming the effects of summer slide. No academic gains achieved during the school year can overcome the effect of three months without reading.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

Barbara K. StriplingPresident’s Message: Libraries change lives
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling (right) writes: “I am deeply honored to be president of the American Library Association. My presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, is based on a fundamental principle that we have a right to libraries, and is designed to build public goodwill for America’s right to libraries and to highlight and sustain ALA support for three areas of transformative practice: literacy, innovation, and community engagement.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

IFLA Singapore Conference logoIFLA: The American Caucus strategizes
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Some 200 US delegates to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Congress caucused August 16 at the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre to identify top developments in international librarianship. Speakers named a forthcoming trends study, a new online library, conference programs designed to engage new professionals in international librarianship, and the election of an American to the IFLA presidency as causes around which they would rally this year.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 19

Entertainers at the Opening Session of IFLA in Singapore. Photo by Carlon WalkerIFLA: Singapore’s Asian multiculturalism
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Beating drums and a long, colorfully lit dragon welcomed some 3,500 delegates from around the world with the music and dance of the multicultural island nation, a place where ‘different races and religions live together in harmony,’ as IFLA president Ingrid Parent characterized Singapore. Evident in the performance were aspects of Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, and other Southeast Asian ethnic customs and costumes.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 20

Cover of Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide?, an insights document supplementing the web-based trends reportIFLA: New trends report
Leonard Kniffel writes: “It’s designed to assess ‘the impact of new technology on our global information environment,’ said IFLA President Ingrid Parent on August 19, introducing the new IFLA trends report. Commissioned in 2012 and involving social scientists, economists, business leaders, educators, legal experts, and technologists, the provocative study provides the IFLA membership with a basis for discussion about advancing libraries as learning centers for the communities they serve.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 21

Cherian George. Photo by Carlon WalkerIFLA: A scathing indictment of mass media
Leonard Kniffel writes: “‘What is the fate of the public in an age of individual choice?’ That was the central question posed at the IFLA conference by Cherian George (right), journalist and professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. George spoke passionately about the failure of the press and news media to ‘speak truth to power.’ Instead of truth, he said, the media is delivering what humorist Stephen Colbert calls ‘truthiness.’”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Aug. 21

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YALSA Reads 4 Teens

ALA News

Library advocates Emily Chow (left) and her dad Anthony Chow. Photo by Jacob RobertsSpeaking up for libraries
Jazzy Wright writes: “Close to 400 librarians, patrons, parents, educators, and others came to ALA’s 39th National Library Legislative Day to discuss key issues with congressional representatives, and nearly 1,400 others contacted their legislators via phone calls, email, and social media as part of the day’s virtual component. This was the first NLLD for 10-year-old Emma Chow, who came from North Carolina with her dad (above). ‘Legislators see librarians all the time, but they rarely talk to the patrons, so I decided to bring my daughter with me,’ said Anthony.”...
American Libraries feature

Cover of Multiethnic Books for the Middle-School CurriculumMultiethnic books for the middle-school curriculum
Focusing on titles dealing with ethnic and religious groups both in the US and around the world, Multiethnic Books for the Middle-School Curriculum, published by ALA Editions, makes it easy for educators of 5th–8th graders to infuse their curricular area with multicultural literature. Carefully vetted and annotated by authors Cherri Jones and J. B. Petty, the book encompasses fiction and nonfiction published in the last decade, making it an ideal reference and collection development tool for schools and public libraries as well as for classroom teachers....
ALA Editions, Aug. 20

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Booklist Online logo

Cover of Picture Me GoneFeatured review: Books for youth
Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone. Oct. 2013. Grades 6–9. 256p. Putnam, hardcover (978-0-399-25765-0).
Mila, 12, is something of a mentalist. She can read expressions, sense underlying emotions, and put human puzzles together. Even though her father’s lifelong friend Matthew has gone missing, Gil and Mila carry on with their plan to fly from England to Matthew’s home in upstate New York, only now, instead of a visit, the purpose of their trip is to find him. The story is presented as a mystery, and it is, but it is so much more. Rosoff, who writes each of her books differently (and often brilliantly), shapes this story as much by form and intuitions as by events. In making the choice not to use quotation marks for the dialogue, readers are immediately pushed inside Mila’s head....

Readalikes: More than meets the eyeRead-alikes: More than meets the eye
Ilene Cooper writes: “There are plenty of mysteries that hinge strictly on plot—Who ‘dun’ it, and how was it done? But sometimes mysteries can be more. Here are six middle-grade titles that give readers more to think about than just solving a puzzle. These stories get inside the protagonists’ heads as they try to come to terms with new ways of thinking about thinking.”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

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Division News

Allison TranTran to lead YALSA’s The Hub
YALSA has named Allison Tran (right), teen services librarian at Mission Viejo (Calif.) Library, the newest member manager of The Hub, the YALSA literature blog. She began her term as editor in mid-August and will serve through August 2014. Tran leads a team of 50 teen bloggers in creating content for the Mission Viejo Library Voice and as the cohost of the young adult literature podcast, “Authors are Rockstars!”...
YALSA, Aug. 20

Teens' Top Ten logoVoting for Teens’ Top Ten now open
Voting for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten officially opened on August 15. Teens can now vote for their favorite titles through October 19 from the 28 nominees that were announced in April. The 10 nominations that receive the most votes will be named the official titles of the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten. The winners will be announced during the week of October 21....
YALSA, Aug. 20

ALSC dues change on September 1
ALSC is reminding members and prospective members to be aware of an upcoming dues change on September 1. In April, the ALSC membership voted to approve a change to its dues structure. The change affects personal, organizational, and corporate member categories. The new dues structure includes several new categories of personal membership and a three-tiered level of organizational and corporate memberships....
ALSC, Aug. 19

Learning standards and program guidelines
AASL has released ebook versions of Standards for the 21st-Century Learner In Action and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs. Standards includes benchmarks, model examples, and assessments to support school librarians and other educators in teaching essential learning skills, while Empowering Learners provides goals, priorities, criteria, and leadership principles that address what is required to master a changing school library environment driven by learners and the learning process....
AASL, Aug. 20

AASL 16th National Conference logoRise to the collaboration challenge on the AASL13 Ning
Join AASL’s 16th National Conference & Exhibition Ning, which enables attendees to jumpstart the AASL13 conversation and maintain the connections made while at the November 14–17 conference in Hartford, Connecticut. The Ning also offers those unable to attend the chance to share in the excitement of the national conference. More information is available online....
AASL, Aug. 20

ACRL-Choice fall webinars
The ACRL-Choice webinar program is back with an exciting new fall roster of topics and speakers discussing issues pertinent to today’s academic library landscape. Structured as 60-minute, live, interactive webinars, the program offers an excellent way for libraries to learn about new ideas, developments, and products, and to participate actively in discussions with companies that serve their market. Upcoming webinars are August 22, September 24, and October 23....
Choice, Aug. 19

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Awards & Grants

Timothy Egan (left) and Richard FordA Q&A with the Carnegie winners
Timothy Egan (on the left) received the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction for Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. Richard Ford received the Medal for Excellence in Fiction, for Canada. The following excerpts are from interviews with Egan and Ford conducted by Booklist editors Brad Hooper and Donna Seaman, respectively....
American Libraries feature

“Meme Your Library” campaign, Craighead County Jonesboro (Ark.) Public Library2013 John Cotton Dana Award winners
Kathy Dempsey writes: “One of my favorite awards at ALA is the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award ceremony. When I was working in libraries I dreamed of winning the award and finally did a few years back. I still proudly display a copy of the certificate in my office. Now I am working for NoveList and my parent company EBSCO Information Services is the sponsor of the award. The past two years the application process was streamlined to allow libraries to easily submit their campaigns without a mandatory portfolio.”...
The ‘M’ Word: Marketing Libraries, Aug. 20

IFLA/OCLC fellowship program
OCLC, in cooperation with IFLA, has named five librarians to participate in the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program for 2014. The Fellows were announced August 20 by OCLC President and CEO Skip Prichard at a news conference during the World Library and Information Congress in Singapore. The Fellows are from libraries in Nigeria, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Bhutan....
OCLC, Aug. 20

Rasu RamachandranSingapore Lifetime Contribution Award
Singapore has honored distinguished librarian Rasu Ramachandran (right) for his contributions to the development of the library profession over the past four decades, including helping to draft Singapore’s National Library Board Act in 1995. The 70-year-old Ramachandran received the Lifetime Contribution Award from Singapore President Tony Tan at a ceremony at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress on August 18. Ramachandran served as a deputy chief executive officer of the National Library Board for four years and as the secretary-general of IFLA in 2004–2005....
Economic Times (New Delhi), Aug. 19

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AL Live

Libraries in the News

The Tyson Library in Ludlow, Vermont, is required to support itself independentlyFor patrons to borrow, some libraries must go begging
Neda Ulaby writes: “More than 90% of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state. For example, more than two dozen public libraries in Vermont still lack wireless internet, partly because they don’t receive any direct support from the state. Instead, once a year the town librarian has to go to a town meeting and make a case for funding for next year.”...
NPR: Morning Edition, Aug. 19

School librarian crisis in New York City
Patricia Sarles writes: “The New York City public school system has been out of compliance with a New York state law that mandates either a full or part-time librarian in all secondary schools. Now the city’s Department of Education is seeking a waiver so that it will not have to be in compliance with this law at all. As it stands right now, nobody in the DOE seems to care if there is an inequity in the services that students receive in NYC public schools. If you are interested in the plight of the NYC librarians, there is a petition you can sign here and another here.”...
AASL Blog, Aug. 21; Wall Street Journal, Aug. 11

The boxed-up Cuban Collection awaits its fate in the basement of the Main Library. Photo courtesy Diario las AméricasOnly four Miami-Dade branches will close
When Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned that 22 of the county’s 49 libraries could be closed due to budget cuts, the news was met with loud resistance. After loud community protests, Gimenez announced August 15 that his administration now expects to shutter only four. The bad news is that Gimenez still plans to lay off nearly 200 library workers, a reduction of just 52 positions from his previous plans. And residents are still concerned about the fate of the Cuban Collection, now boxed up (right) in the soon-to-be-downsized Main Library....
Miami New Times, Aug. 16; Miami Herald, Aug. 15; Diario las Américas, Aug. 12

Five-time reading club champ could relinquish title
Tyler Weaver calls himself “the king of the reading club” at Hudson Falls (N.Y.) Free Library. But now it seems Library Director Marie Gandron wants to end his reign and have him dethroned. The 9-year-old boy won the “Dig into Reading” event by completing 63 books from June 24 to August 3, averaging more than 10 a week. He has consistently been the top reader since kindergarten. Gandron said Weaver hogs the contest every year and he should “step aside” because other kids are intimidated....
Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star, Aug. 15

Wichita debates a new library . . . again
There’s a Groundhog Day feel to the current debate over the Wichita (Kans.) Public Library for the people who direct it. Seven years of planning produced a plan for a new downtown central library: Money was allocated, designs were progressing. And then came an internal finance report a month ago warning that the city lacked the borrowing ability to build the $29 million facility....
Wichita (Kans.) Eagle, Aug. 17

Santa Clara sign showing library opening is cancelled. Screenshot from KNTV newscastNew Santa Clara library stuck in legal limbo
A new library is 99% complete in the city of Santa Clara, California, but thanks to a funding fight it may never open. Dozens of angry residents protested outside the city council chambers on August 16. But Santa Clara County says the city is spending redevelopment money on the library when, under state law, that money should go to schools and special districts. The county won a court order freezing the city’s redevelopment assets, the library included....
KNTV-TV, San José, Calif., Aug. 16

Iowa City Public Library Local Music Project logoIowa City’s local music project could become a model
Clay Masters writes: “Despite changes in how Americans are listening to music (think Pandora or Spotify), people are still checking out physical CDs from libraries. But just as libraries are introducing ebooks to readers, librarians are also trying to figure out how to get digital music to library goers. Iowa City Public Library has launched a digital music library that focuses on its local music scene.”...
Iowa Public Radio, Aug. 21

Jared Mills and his Books on Bikes Marin HybridThief steals wheels from Books on Bikes librarian
As the project manager of the Seattle Public Library’s “Books on Bikes” team, Jared Mills pedals his bicycle around Seattle with a customized trailer to bring books and library services to community events. But Mills discovered August 14 that a key component of his Books on Bikes effort had been stolen the night before. The books are safe. The bike is gone. Someone sawed through the lock of his black Marin Hybrid bike (right), which was parked outside his house in West Seattle....
Seattle Times: The Today File, Aug. 15

Retired law librarian charged with misusing funds
Police have made another arrest in connection with alleged misappropriation of funds from the Montgomery County (Pa.) Law Library. Bruce Piscadlo, director of the library when the alleged theft occurred, was arrested August 20 and released on $20,000 bond. A library clerk had been charged in June. An audit of the library this summer uncovered misuse of taxpayer funds totaling over $30,000....
Philadelphia Inquirer: Montco Memo, Aug. 20

Book, CD, and DVD donations pour into Calgary Public Library on July 27Calgary book drive exceeds goal tenfold
A goal of 20,000 donated books, DVDs, and CDs was blown out of the water during a drive to help replace items lost at the Calgary (Alberta) Central Library during the June 20 floods. After the library lost thousands of items, the Calgary Public Library Foundation held a one-day event called “20,000 Books Under the Bow” on July 27. Executive Director Paul McIntyre Royston said as many as 360,000 were donated. The goal was to collect materials that could be sold online with the money going towards buying new items....
Calgary (Alberta) Metro, Aug. 14

Cover of English translation of Barefoot GenJapanese school board objects to Barefoot Gen
The board of education in Matsue, Japan, decided last December to restrict copies of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen, the autobiographical story of a 6-year-old boy who survived Hiroshima, in elementary and junior high school libraries. A complaint had been filed about the historical manga’s depiction of violence used by the Imperial Japanese Army troops. The graphic novel depicts troops beheading and stabbing citizens in other Asian countries during World War II, but the board claims its decision was based on the graphic nature of the violence....
Anime News Network, Aug. 17; Robot 6, Aug. 18

Study rooms closed due to sex
The Windhoek Public Library in Namibia closed its three study rooms in early August because some users were indulging in sexual activities as well as watching pornography in the rooms. The culprits, according to librarian Ruth Shikongo, are four university students who ignored a warning sign and refused to come out as the library was closing. To curb the problem, staffers also plan to block some adult internet sites....
The Namibian, Aug. 20

Research Libraries UK logoRLUK joins the European Library
The UK consortium of scholarly libraries, Research Libraries UK, has joined the European Library, a membership organization that provides services to researchers. The new cooperation will allow for the addition of data from RLUK’s member libraries into the European Library portal, providing researchers with greater access to digital items and bibliographic records held by these libraries....
The European Library, Aug. 19

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ALA Editions


Most of US is wired, but millions aren’t plugged in
Edward Wyatt writes: “The Obama administration has poured billions of dollars into expanding the reach of the internet, and nearly 98% of American homes now have access to some form of high-speed broadband. But tens of millions of people are still on the sidelines of the digital revolution. Roughly 20% of American adults do not use the internet at home, work, or school, and are thus shut off from jobs, government services, health care, and education.”...
New York Times, Aug. 18

E-rate, bandwidth, benchmarks, and capacity goals
Larra Clark writes: “At the forefront of our minds right now are the many questions posed in the E-rate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and how they may affect libraries. This notice, with more than 600 questions, is the most comprehensive review of the program since it began in 1997. ALA and the library community need to review these other broadband initiatives and research to better craft our comments. Let’s start with one question the FCC poses.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 20

Top portion of infographic on Fair Use in LibrariesInfographic on fair use
A new infographic (PDF file) released by the Association of Research Libraries tells the story of library fair use and the ARL Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in a clear and compelling way. ARL has an embeddable PNG for blogs and a print-ready version (PDF file) in case you need hard copies to hand out. The infographic tells the story of how fair use has evolved to become a powerful users’ right....
ARL Policy Notes, Aug. 20

Working Together logoEvolving value for academic libraries
Raising awareness of how the library supports teaching and research staff is key to demonstrating library value in developing countries, concludes Library Value in the Developing World (PDF file). The findings are the result of a six-month research study with 12 developing country institutions conducted by SAGE exploring perceptions of the value of academic libraries by teaching and research staff in developing countries....
Sage Publications, Aug.

If you rent a textbook from Amazon, don’t cross state lines
Lauren Ingeno writes: “Students who rent textbooks through’s Warehouse Deals may be unknowingly agreeing to an unusual condition: They are not permitted to cross state borders with their books. If Amazon does determine that a renter has moved his or her book to a different state, it can charge the customer the buyout price of the textbook.” The policy is intended to support Amazon’s efforts to avoid collecting state sales tax. In related news, if you went to the IFLA conference in Singapore, Google Play could be messing with your ebook downloads....
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 16; Boing Boing, Aug. 17

How Google flushes knowledge down the toilet
Bryce Emley writes: “The internet is not a resource for all knowledge, no matter how much we like to think it is. Google doesn’t inherently know what a search query is; it uses an algorithm to link the characters you typed to the websites people actually spent time on after searching for similar terms. Thus we find writers frantically writing posts, blogs, press releases, and website content and gathering data on industries they know nothing about through brief Google searches. That information begins populating the search results of Google and Bing, making it seem more reliable as it spreads further.”...
Salon, Aug. 18

Properly placed scholarly communication outreach materials: an untidy pile on an unused desk concealed behind boxes of other unwanted detritusHow to scuttle a scholarly communication initiative (PDF file, satire)
Dorothea Salo writes: “Open access cannot possibly succeed, given that ‘faculty will never just give their work away’ (librarian, name withheld, personal communication). Actual failure, of course, is such an unacceptable option for beleaguered libraries that failure-prone scholarly communication initiatives cannot be embarked upon until they are sure winners, which in practice means ‘never.’ It is easiest to put a stop to these misguided efforts from a leadership position, but in truth, any academic librarian can stop them in their tracks. Tried and true, proven-effective techniques follow.”...
Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, vol. 1, no. 4

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Tech Talk

Disk cleanup12 tips to speed up Windows 7
Michael Muchmore writes: “The problem with most ‘speed-up Windows 7’ stories is that they tell you to turn off some of the operating system’s more charming visual features. The first nine of my dozen tips show you ways you can speed up your Windows 7 system without compromising its appearance. For those who need even more speed or don’t care about eye candy, I’ve listed three at the end that boost system performance at the expense of some visual effects.”...
PC Magazine, July 5

Tableau Software display map of the number of internet users in the worldDo-it-yourself GIS
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “The world of mapping and presenting data sets through geographical representations is no longer relegated to GIS librarians and highly trained technologists. New free and open source applications make it possible to create complex and robust data visualizations in the form of maps that display statistics and poll results. Here’s a guide to 20 free applications and data sources.”...
iLibrarian, Aug. 21

HP Webcam HD 5210The best webcams
Abigail Wang writes: “To make your life easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best webcams to address all your concerns. First, some tips: If you want the highest possible video quality, look for webcams that have HD streaming and recording. On the audio side, noise-cancelling capabilities are important. Finally, an important feature to look out for in all webcams is the different services that they can work with: Do you want your webcam to be compatible with Skype, for example?”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 16

Evernote logoNote-taking and outliner apps
Eric Griffith writes: “Today the world of note-taking encompasses far more than a simple Notepad file stored on a hard drive. There are web-based apps aplenty that store notes and provide access to your info everywhere you go, even on a handheld. At the least, most incorporate easy-to-understand outlining, categories, and tags. The best note-takers go much further. Here are what we consider the best free note-takers and outliners you can get on desktop and mobile devices.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 21

TeamViewer logoThe best tools for remote tech support
Chris Hoffman writes: “If you’re stuck playing tech support, there are many free tools that allow you to remotely access the other person’s computer and fix it. There are a million and one remote tech support options out there. We’ll look at the best ones here. For some you will need to walk the user through downloading over the phone, others you will want to set up remote access ahead of time.”...
How-To Geek, Aug. 19

Dell XPS 12 UltrabookYour desktop computer is turning into a smartphone
Brad Chacos writes: “PCs aren’t dying out, but they are shifting form to more closely resemble smartphones and tablets. And there’s good reason for it. In a word, people yearn for consistency. And as the industry struggles to satisfy that demand, mobile design is bleeding over to the desktop—though Windows, Ubuntu, and OS X are approaching the convergence in drastically different ways.”...
PC World, Aug. 21

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DCWG logoSummer doldrums (well, maybe not so dull)
Alan S. Inouye writes: “Conventional wisdom is that work slows down in August, especially in Washington, D.C., with the departure of Congress. But for the ALA Digital Content crew, the summer doldrums have passed us by. In continuing to press the library community’s case to publishers, ALA and DCWG leadership will be venturing forth to New York City in early October with ALA President Barbara K. Stripling leading the delegation. On October 23, ALA will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall on ebooks, also featuring ALA and DCWG leadership.”...
AL: E-Content, Aug. 16

DPLA logoCombining the nation’s digital libraries
Laura Sydell writes: “Buried in the archives of America’s public and academic libraries are historical treasures—old papers, photos, and records—that flesh out a detailed picture of our past. This spring, a program launched that aims to put all that great stuff in one place: the Digital Public Library of America. Right now, there are only about 4 million items on the DPLA site, but the collection is growing by about 500,000 new books and documents each month as more libraries from around the country come onboard.”...
NPR: All Things Considered, Aug. 19

WP-DPLA app displayNew apps at the DPLA
Maura Smale writes: “Like many librarians in all kinds of libraries I was delighted when the Digital Public Library of America launched last spring. One of the great things about the DPLA is its API that allows developers to access the metadata and create applications that use the DPLA’s searchable content. So far 10 apps have been created, and all are highlighted on the DPLA website. I’ve played with several that seem to have the potential for use in academic libraries.”...
ACRLog, Aug. 15

The print edition of Slovenly Peter, by Heinrich Hoffman, that my grandmother read to my siblings and me that still bears the crayon imprint of my younger brother, alongside its digital replacementFive years a digital reader
Doug Johnson writes: “It’s been five years that I’ve been reading books primarily in e-formats. I got my first Kindle in the summer of 2008. I am now on my fourth and have purchased 260 books—one per week on average and I estimate I’ve read 90% of them. And yes, I’ve squeezed in a few print books as well. So after five years of e-reading, what impact has the change actually had?”...
Blue Skunk Blog, June 24, 2008; Aug. 19

Bad sign for e-readers?
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “Here’s a sign that e-readers are struggling in the US: E Ink Holdings, the Taiwan-based company that makes e-reader screens for companies such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony, just had its worst quarter in four years. Market research companies have been forecasting the death of e-readers for some time now as more consumers buy tablets.”...
GigaOM, Aug. 16

The 3-click dilemma: Are databases almost obsolete?
Brian Mathews writes: “I had an interesting conversation with a faculty member last week that went something like this: ‘I want you to know that it’s getting harder for me to get students to use the library—especially the databases—anything beyond three clicks is just too many.’ In some disciplines this would not really shock me, but this was a historian—someone who is passionate about the library.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Aug. 20

BREIN logoEbook vendors will fight piracy by sharing customer data
In a move to help combat piracy, ebook merchants in the Netherlands will begin adding unique digital watermarks to the digital books that they sell in order to track the individual copies of ebooks down to the user. In order to do this, they will hand over customer data to the antipiracy group BREIN. If an ebook turns up on BitTorrent, BREIN will match up the watermark with the customer who bought it....
AppNewser, Aug. 14; TorrentFreak, Aug. 13

Nuvem de Livros logoBrazilian tackles library deficit with “Cloud of Books”
A Brazilian businessman has come up with a technological solution to the problem of high book prices and a lack of school libraries in Brazil. Jonas Suassuna has developed an online library known as Nuvem de Livros (Cloud of Books), launched in 2011 and currently offering more than 10,000 titles to nearly one million subscribers who can read the content on their computers, tablets, or smartphones....
Agencia EFE (Spain), Aug. 17

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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.)

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Teen Read Week Seek the Unknown poster

This fall the Young Adult Library Services Association encourages teens to Seek the Unknown during Teen Read Week, October 13–19. Find this poster and more at the ALA Store. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

on Film


Wacko (1982). Jacqueline Cole plays a librarian at Alfred Hitchcock High School who counsels a student (Julia Duffy as Mary Graves) to get over her lawnmower phobia.

Wag the Dog

Wag the Dog (1997). Johnny Dean’s (Willie Nelson’s) song “Good Old Shoe” is recorded on a fake record album. Presidential adviser Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro) orders: “Put this in the Library of Congress right away. Folk music section, 1930, right away. Get it in the stacks of the Library of Congress, now.”

The Waiting List

The Waiting List [Lista de espera] (2000, Spain / Cuba / France / Mexico / Germany). A group of people are stuck at a decrepit Cuban bus station for months waiting for their bus to arrive, so they work together to make the station over as a place worth visiting. One of the things they do is build a library.


Waitress! (1981). Carol Bevar as Jennifer goes to a New York library to look for a man, but finds only a nerd played by Carl Sturmer. Lola Ross is the librarian who tries to quell the disturbance they make.

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.

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Digital Library of the Week

Edward Moran painting depicting the burning of the captured frigate the USS Philadelphia in Tripoli harbor, February 16, 1804, during the War against the Barbary Pirates

The Pritzker Military Library in Chicago is a nonpartisan research library founded in 2003 that attempts to increase the public understanding of military history and the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served. Its digital collections include maps, posters and prints, photos and negatives, realia and artifacts, rare periodicals, and manuscripts and documents.

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

“[In library school] I learned that the measures of success for a public agency like a library are nowhere near as simple as a corporate bottom line and that every customer of a public library is also an owner of it, creating a challenging need for sensitivities to personal and professional interactions that I had never known before library school.”

Library Journal Editor-at-Large John N. Berry III, “From Amateur to Professional,” Blatant Berry, Aug. 16.

@ More quotes...


Sept. 7:
41st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair,
Main Street Armory, Rochester, New York.

Sept. 11:
National Information Standards Organization,
two-part webinar on Research Data Curation. “Part 1: E-Science Librarianship.”

Sept. 18:
National Information Standards Organization,
two-part webinar on Research Data Curation. “Part 2: Libraries and Big Data.”

Sept. 19:
Amigos Library Services,
“Preservation: Back to Basics,” online conference.

Sept. 19–21:
Global STEMx Education Conference,
massively open online conference for educators.

Sept. 27:
Programming Unconference Northeast,
Darien (Conn.) Library.

Oct. 11–12:
40th Annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies,
Saint Louis University.

Oct. 18–19:
Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference,
free online conference.

Oct. 18–20:
International Board on Books for Young People,
10th Regional Conference, St. Louis Public Library. “BookJoy around the World.”

Oct. 18–
Nov. 2:

Concord Festival of Authors,
Concord, Massachusetts.

Oct. 20–23:
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa,
Hamilton, New Zealand. “Wai-Ora, Wai-Māori, Waikato.”

Nov. 7–10:
American Society for Theatre Research / Theatre Library Association,
Joint Conference, Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas. “The Post-Thematic Conference.”

Nov. 15–17:
The Library of Lost Books
conference, Library of Birmingham, UK. “Resurrecting the Book.”

Jan. 21–24:
Association for Library and Information Science Education,
Annual Conference, Philadelphia. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”

@ More...

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Books & Reading

Cover of The Center of the World, by Thomas Van EssenMost overlooked novels of 2013 (so far)
There are too many novels published every year to be able to read just the most accomplished ones. Timing is maybe the trickiest element of publishing: An excellent novel can be published the same day Stephen King’s latest is out or the same day another novel with a similar setting is published and a writer’s coverage of his or her book is diminished. Whatever the reason, these are the novels published so far this year that Kirkus thinks deserve a second look....
Kirkus, Aug. 16

Reading at the beach. Photo by aafromaaWhat is summer reading but life writ large?
Joseph Esposito writes: “Now that we are in the hot stretches of August, the topic of summer reading is not a mere abstraction. I passed a bookstore the other day (yes, I was actually able to find one) that displayed a big sign promoting ‘Summer Reading.’ As you would expect, the books were what are sometimes called beach books: mostly novels set in far-off lands, often wholly imaginary ones, where people do far-off things. Summer reading is thus not a transformative experience but a transportative one. Here is a slice of my own ‘to read’ list.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Aug. 20

Cover of Zombie Queen of Newbury High, by Amanda AshbyBack to school with a supernatural twist
Colleen Seisser writes: “I have a problem: I hate the end of August. Perhaps if I had attended some of the schools I have read about in teen literature—those with a supernatural twist—then maybe I would have liked back-to-school time just a little bit more. Here are some novels that feature schools that are 10 times cooler than your ordinary school and might even help you regain your back-to-school spirit.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 21

Cover of Numbers, by Rachel WardEmpowering the voice of the black male
B. A. Binns writes: “One panel at the recent 8th National Conference of African American Librarians discussed a number of YA books and how they might or might not attract reluctant teen readers, especially young black men. Many young black males see American fiction as a place where they do not belong or are not wanted, especially when the cover art does not give a clue that the central character is black (right). The session included a booklist of recommendations created by author G. Neri to attract young black men to fiction.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 12; Teen Fiction from the Mind of G. Neri

Cover of In Honor, by Jessi KirbyTeen road trip novels
Anne Rouyer writes: “The road trip is an American rite of passage. Nothing is more American than getting in a car, turning it onto a highway and just driving off, destination unknown (or not required). In the end, the trip isn’t about the destination or the roadside attractions, it’s about the characters’ inner journeys, making these particular novels rich and satisfying. Of course, the best thing about a road trip novel? You can travel the entire American landscape without ever leaving home.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Aug. 19

Cover of Comfort Food, by Kate JacobsComfort food for book groups
Neil Hollands writes: “The staff book group at Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library decided to try out a theme we had seen mentioned elsewhere, a meeting with books related to food turned into a potluck by bringing some of the dishes mentioned in the books. I’m not sure what was more pleasurable, the food or the variety of the discussion. With this kind of meeting, you really can’t go too wrong.” Don’t miss Part 2....
Booklist Online: Book Group Blog, Aug. 12, 16

Cover of The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett (1989)40 must-read trashy novels
Michelle Dean writes: “There are many reasons to read other than intellectual elevation. Here are 40 of the greatest trashy books written in the last 100 years that, if you’re not looking for perfect prose, will surely decrease muscle tension over a weekend or on vacation. These books aren’t perfect, but each has some kind of hook—either unexpectedly good construction, entertainingly inventive salaciousness, or historical import in and of itself.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 19

Cover of The Balcony, by Jean Genet (1955)Theater of the Absurd: 15 essential plays
Phil James writes: “The Theater of the Absurd emerged out of the ashes of the destructive first half of the 20th century. Combining the growing claustrophobia of the modern age with the oppressive bureaucracy of fascist police states, playwrights like Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Vaclav Havel staged the absurdity of living in strife. In this article, we trace the genre from its obscure origins to its peak in continental Europe during the 1950s and 1960s.”...
Qwiklit, Aug. 21

Caedmon recording of Dylan Thomas reading "A Child's Christmas in Wales"Audiobooks before audiobooks
Matthew Rubery writes: “Long before anyone had ever heard of audiobooks, Caedmon Records made a name for itself recording authors reading aloud from their works. Many Americans first heard the voices of their favorite writers through the Caedmon Literary Series, launched in the 1950s. Dylan Thomas reading “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” in 1952 was an inspired choice with which to launch a label devoted to the spoken word. The album went on to sell nearly half a million copies over the next decade.”...
Los Angeles Review of Books, Aug. 19

Gertie the Duck statue, Milwaukee RiverwalkEvery public children’s-literature statue in the US
Betsy Bird writes: “In the past I’ve noted each appearance of a statue pertaining to children’s literature when it crops up, but I’ve never been particularly systematic. That ends today! This post, which I shall continually update with your points and suggestions, shall serve as a place to find all statues pertaining to books for kids residing in the continental US where they can be viewed regularly. I will also note the sculptor whenever I am able for each of these.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Aug. 14

Robox Shelving UnitRobot-shaped bookshelf
Dorothy Tan writes: “If you are looking for an unconventional shelf for your library, the Robox Shelving Unit by Italian designer Fabio Novembre for the furniture company Casamania may be just the thing for you. The robot-shaped bookshelf—with a charming red heart box—not only brings back memories of childhood but also adds a whimsical touch. Novembre designed Robox to be exactly the same height as himself and filled it with numerous nooks and crannies of various dimensions to house books of all shapes and sizes.”...
Taxi, Aug. 16

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Tips & Ideas

Six Mile Regional Library District, Granite City, IllinoisNonprofits (including libraries) take to the air
Cole Stangler writes: “Thousands of nonprofits across the United States are preparing to take advantage of what could wind up as the largest expansion of community radio in the nation’s history. From October 15–29, the FCC will be accepting applications for low-power FM radio licenses—community radio stations that broadcast at 100 watts or less. The two-week window may be the last chance for community radio stations to get a share of the airwaves.” One library, the Six Mile Regional Library District (above) in Granite City, Illinois, plans to apply....
In These Times, Aug. 14

New York Public Library photo booth. Photo by Jonathan BlancNYPL sets up photo booths
Jen Carlson writes: “The New York Public Library is getting into the selfie game. They’ve brought photo booths to their halls, available for free for anyone to use. We’re told one is currently at the 42nd Street building, and another at the Mid-Manhattan Library across the street (which will soon start traveling around to other branches). Visitors are invited to take their own photo, which will then get emailed to them and get shot over to the front page of the library’s website.”...
Gothamist, Aug. 20; New York Public Library Blogs, Aug. 12

Topeka's street pianoTopeka has a street piano
David Lee King writes: “Have you heard about street pianos? Some cities have taken old upright pianos, refurbished them, had an artist paint them, and installed them in public spaces. The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library heard about the idea, had a piano donated, painted it, and it’s now outside the library, ready for anyone to play.”...
David Lee King, Aug. 16; Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, July 24

Puffball dog from Bad Art NightAlternative programming ideas
Jessica Zaker and Lori Easterwood write: “If Bad Art Night, Broke A$$ Holidays, and Punk Rock Aerobics don’t sound like typical public library programs, that is because they aren’t supposed to. With the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library’s alt+library programming we’ve tried to create library events that are fun, irreverent, and appealing to a 20s–30s audience. We were initially inspired by a presentation at PLA 2010 called ‘If You Didn’t Work Here, Would You Come Here?’”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Aug. 21

Alone, messy, loud, and broken: What to do?
Amanda Ellington writes: “Libraries across the nation are incorporating play into their children’s spaces. Inviting families to play at your library will often create some undesired consequences. It is important to be prepared to deal with issues before they arise. Undesired consequences can be simplified by being prepared both physically and mentally. Address them with staff before they happen so that they are empowered to deal with each situation as it arises.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 21

An electronic cigarette resembling a tobacco cigaretteE-cigarettes in libraries?
Brian Herzog writes: “Massachusetts has a statewide library email discussion list, and lately I’ve been following with interest a discussion about whether or not e-cigarettes (electronic inhalers meant to simulate and substitute for tobacco smoking) should be allowed in libraries. The sentiment seems to be coming down on the ‘not allowed’ side, which is where I am, too. When the user exhales, there’s a cloud of PEG (propylene glycol) vapor that looks like smoke. That might be the problem for libraries.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Aug. 21

Surviving the all-day interview
Topher Lawton writes: “A sizable number of library students graduated recently, and many of us faced the prospect of finding that perfect job. Hack Library School has tackled other sides of this topic before. I wanted to add my perspective after landing a number of all-day on-campus interviews for other jobs and collecting advice from many friends and colleagues I greatly respect. In true librarian fashion, I’ve synthesized their advice and built my own list.”...
Hack Library School, Aug. 16

Salt Lake teens work on Speak Up! video projectOutreach to refugees
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead writes: “Refugees in the United States can be an overlooked population when providing library services. But they are an important community, and the library can offer a great deal. The Salt Lake County (Utah) Library has been working increasingly with this population since 2011. One library staff member, Nyssa Fleig, secured a grant for a program called Speak Up! for refugee teens and technology.”...
The Outreach Librarian, Aug. 15

Docwise displayMedical journal app wars
Michelle Kraft writes: “I have doctors asking about all four journal browsing apps: Docwise (right), Docphin, Read, and Browzine (click links for reviews). A few of the requesting doctors have used one of them, but it seems the vast majority of the doctors haven’t used any and are asking based on word of mouth. The four apps are very similar. The biggest difference is that three of the apps show the abstracts and tables of contents to almost every medical journal. The full text is provided if the library or institution has a subscription to that journal.”...
The Krafty Librarian, Aug. 20

The Quietus25 best websites for music lovers
Tom Hawking writes: “There are the obvious music sites that everyone reads: Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, Resident Advisor (if you’re into electronic music), etc. But there are a galaxy of other sites out there, so here are our favorites: 25 of the sites you may not be reading already, but probably should be.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 20

Five follow-worthy ed-tech Pinterest boards
Laura Devaney writes: “As social media continues to influence how educators collaborate and teach, more educational social media sites are available to help educators use ed-tech in the best way possible. Here are five active and connected Pinterest users who have found great ed-tech resources.”...
eSchool News, Aug. 20

Weston (Mass.) High School boardsPromoting new titles with Pinterest
Joyce Valenza writes: “Here’s one Pinterest rabbit hole well worth falling through. I discovered Alida Hanson’s wonderfully comprehensive and attractive Pinterest boards promoting the new books and media at Weston (Mass.) High School Library, via a recent AASL Forum discussion. When I asked Alida if she’d allow me to share her process for organizing those boards, she generously agreed.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Aug. 19

Nine things to do when your email is hacked
Adam Levin writes: “No matter what tips you off, when your email is hacked (notice I say when, not if, here), the impact can be disastrous. When these things happen, we can’t just will them away or delude ourselves into thinking that our computer is simply having a bad day. They could well be manifestations of email hijacking, which often is the prelude to identity theft. Here are some steps you can take to keep both you and your friends safe.”...
The Huffington Post: Tech Blog, July 18

Traffic information, Google Maps, ChicagoTraffic on Google Maps
Thanks to Waze, the popular Israeli mapping app Google bought for a reported $1.1 billion, Google’s Maps app now includes real-time traffic, accidents, road closures, and other incident reports from Waze’s 40 million users. Under the traffic tab of the recently updated Maps app on both iOS and Android devices, travelers will find alerts reported by diligent Waze users....
The Atlantic Wire, Aug. 20; Google Lat Long, Aug. 20; Ars Technica, Aug. 20

Albemarle Region (N.C.) bookmobile, ca. 1950sBest library history websites and blogs
Larry Nix writes: “In 2010 I created a list of the top 10 library history websites. This post will revisit that list and add some library history blogs. The website of the Archives of the American Library Association has been significantly updated and improved since I first posted my top 10 list. I didn’t include the website of the Library History Round Table of ALA in my previous list, but I’ve added it this time because of the section of the website on Popular Resources.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Aug. 19

Queirós Memorial 14. Screenshot from State Library of NSW videoSydney acquires “holy grail” of Australiana
The State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has acquired two documents representing the earliest printed record of the discovery and plans for settling the southern continent, Terra Australis. The two memorials just purchased were printed in 1608 and 1614 by Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. They are part of a series of petitions to King Philip III of Spain requesting support for a missionary expedition to the southern lands Queirós had discovered in 1606. Watch the video (4:56)....
State Library of New South Wales Acquisitions Blog, Aug. 15; Vimeo, Aug.

Newly discovered ostrich-egg globe from 1504Earliest globe to show North America?
An Austrian collector has found what may be the oldest globe, dated 1504, to depict the New World, engraved with immaculate detail on two conjoined halves of ostrich eggs. North America is depicted as a group of scattered islands. The globe is a twin of the copper Hunt-Lenox Globe, dated around 1510 and housed in the Rare Book Division of the New York Public Library. After comparing the two globes, Stefaan Missinne (who may be the new globe’s anonymous owner) concluded that the Hunt-Lenox Globe is a cast of the engraved ostrich egg....
Washington Post, Aug. 19; The Portolan, no. 87 (Fall 2013)

The Periodic Table of Videos, from the University of NottinghamOnline educational videos
Susan Ariew writes: “When YouTube first came into its own in 2006, educators realized the great potential it provided for enhancing teaching and learning. What they may not have realized is that free online educational videos would eventually revolutionize how people think about teaching and learning. Khan Academy and TED Talks are just two of the more prominent examples of educational video sites. Here is an annotated list of other video sites that are useful to educators and the public at large, classified by general subject categories.”...
Choice 50, no. 12 (Aug.)

Considering context in designing online tutorials
Meredith Farkas writes: “I’m working with a colleague to create a suite of tutorials that will be integrated into online University Studies classes. Ironically, I think librarians sometimes don’t take context enough into account when creating information literacy learning objects. Just like with the black-and-white thinking students usually exhibit about sources being good or bad, I think we often view methods of tutorial creation as good or bad. Really, we should also be evaluating technologies and methods for tutorial creation based on the individual context.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, Aug. 19

The Complete Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom and other Writings, translated by Austryn Wainhouse, is one of the items in the Syracuse University Libraries' newly acquired Wainhouse archiveSyracuse acquires Wainhouse archive
Syracuse (N.Y.) University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has acquired the archive of American translator Austryn Wainhouse, who is best known for his complete and uncensored English translations of the Marquis de Sade’s 1791 novel Justine. The archive includes notebooks containing handwritten notes and drafts, journals describing his life as an expatriate, correspondence with prominent authors (including Simone de Beauvoir, whom Wainhouse also translated into English), drafts of his satirical novel Hedyphagetica (1954), photographs, and ephemera....
Syracuse University News, Aug. 20

Musician Mike Herrera reads The Leisure Seeker. Screenshot from library videoKitsap’s One Book, One Community
This year for its One Book, One Community event, the Kitsap Regional Library in Bremerton, Washington, branded 400 copies of its selected book, The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian, and used them for a number of guerrilla marketing campaigns around the county. The books have been found floating in fountains, tied to trees, and used as a tool to start conversations on the street. Watch the library’s video promotion (1:13)....
YouTube, Aug. 13

A world without libraries
Rita Meade writes: “In 2011, I was asked to be a judge for a student library essay contest being held by a local councilman. The topic of the contest was ‘The Future of Libraries,’ and the kids who entered produced thoughtful, enlightening, and quite amusing results. So when I was asked to be a judge for the contest again this year, I jumped at the chance. This year’s essay topic was ‘A World Without Libraries.’ Here are my personal 10 favorite lines from 10 different essays.”...
Book Riot, Aug. 15; Screwy Decimal, Apr. 15, 2011

Screeenshot from community deficit fighters videoCommunity deficit fighters
In a mild-mannered tone, the 2012 annual report of Cleveland Public Library documents how the library “continues to work in tandem with our community partners to prioritize deficits in our city and identify solutions that tear down barriers to literacy, self-esteem, and financial independence.” But its YouTube video (2:49) reveals its true mission: “Who are these masked heroes, fighting hunger, illiteracy, unemployment, and other deficits afflicting our city? Community Deficit Fighters!”...
YouTube, Aug. 15; Cleveland Public Library 2012 Annual Report to the Community

The Lego Public LibraryScenes from the Lego Public Library
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “When I created my own Lego Librarian personalities, I didn’t quite imagine the wave it would create. People love Lego blocks. People love librarians. After I acquired the official Lego librarian, I decided that the Lego librarian needed a library, so I started building the Lego Library. Just like the real library, there’s something for everyone: books, periodicals, technology, events.”...
Mr. Library Dude, July 24, Aug. 19

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