|American Libraries Online
Tax battle in the Bluegrass State
Phil Morehart writes: “Recent lawsuits against libraries in Kentucky continue to reverberate across the state, ever since two separate circuit-court rulings were handed down in April 2013 that found Campbell County Public Library (right) and Kenton County Public Library had improperly raised their millage rates since 1979 and 1967, respectively. The decisions stated that the libraries did not follow state law by petitioning and gathering voter approval. The Campbell and Kenton County libraries are appealing the rulings separately.”...
American Libraries feature; The Huffington Post, Aug. 18; Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer, Aug. 25
Expanding privacy legislation to include ebooks
Mariam Pera writes: “While privacy continues to be an issue on the national scene, at least two states—Arizona and New Jersey—have taken steps to expand their library privacy laws to include ebooks. Arizona House Bill 2165, enacted in April, adds digital books and electronic records to the state’s existing privacy law, while in New Jersey the Reader Privacy Act (A-3802), introduced in February, goes beyond libraries to also protect the privacy of readers and purchasers of books and ebooks.”...
American Libraries feature
Newsmaker: An interview with Kirsten Baesler
North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler (right) is well aware of the centrality of school libraries in K–12 schools. Before her election to state government in November 2012, Baesler served as both library media specialist and assistant principal at two elementary schools in Bismarck. She has served as a member of the North Dakota Library Association executive board and as president of the Mandan Public School District board. American Libraries interviewed Baesler on June 6....
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Making sense of business reference
Celia Ross writes: “At the beginning of every online business reference workshop that I teach, I ask students to submit a stumper: a business reference question that has them shaking their heads. (Or shaking in their boots!) This is a sampling of some of those tricky questions as experienced by real librarians and researchers. Question 1: I would like to know how to find a company’s market share for a certain product.”...
American Libraries feature
IFLA: Parag Khanna and the Hybrid Age
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Geostrategist Parag Khanna (on the left), bestselling author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, opened the fifth day of the World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Singapore August 21 with enthusiasm for ‘ubiquitous libraries.’ He asserted that we are entering the Hybrid Age, a time when technology is erasing boundaries in education and enabling educators ‘to use interactive tools to produce better scholars.’”...
AL: The Scoop, Aug. 22
IFLA closes Singapore conference
Leonard Kniffel writes: “At the closing session of the 79th World Library and Information Congress in Singapore on August 22, IFLA President Ingrid Parent ended her two-year presidency by passing the gavel to incoming president Sinikka Sipila of Finland. It also included the presentation of the Best Poster award to Shiho Suzuki of Japan for ‘The Librarians of Fukushima’ (right), which deals with the aftermath of the nuclear power plant disaster of 2011. The next IFLA conferences will be held in Lyon, France, in 2014, and in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2015.”...
AL: The Scoop, Aug. 23
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Executive Director’s Message:
Who we are
Keith Michael Fiels writes: “Each year, I spend a good deal of time speaking to various groups about libraries and the Association. Often, I talk about library myths. One of the most widespread and persistent myths is that younger people are not joining the Association. Data, however, shows that this is just not true. In a 2009 study conducted for ALA, researchers found that the ALA membership has a younger age structure than librarians as a whole.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.
Bob Wedgeworth earns doctorate, 41 years later
Robert Wedgeworth (right) is one of those people who had everything he needed for his Ph.D. except his dissertation. In 1972, he had completed his coursework, passed his comprehensive examination, and started his dissertation at the Rutgers Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. But ALA reached out to him and “offered me a position I couldn’t refuse” as its executive director. Wedgeworth returned to successfully defend his dissertation on December 14, 2012, and graduated in May 2013....
Rutgers Today, Jan. 11
New traveling exhibition opportunity
The Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and National Museum of American History, invites applications from public, academic, and special libraries, small museums, and historical societies for the traveling exhibition “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation 1863 and the March on Washington 1963.” Online applications must be submitted to ALA by October 21....
Public Programs Office, Aug. 27
San Antonio teens gain News Know-how
Teens in San Antonio, Texas, received information-literacy training thanks to the News Know-how program offered by the San Antonio Public Library’s Teen Services Department at the Central Library, in partnership with ALA and the Open Society Foundations. Fifteen teens (grades 10–12) were given a two-week summer course in media literacy, learning to view the news they are exposed to every day in a critical way....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Aug. 27
eCourse: Rethinking readers’ advisory
Rebecca Howard and Laura Raphael will serve as instructors for a six-week facilitated ALA Editions eCourse, “Rethinking Readers’ Advisory: An Interactive Approach,” starting on November 4. In this eCourse, you’ll learn all about the form-based readers’ advisory model, from start (getting administrative and staff buy-in) to finish (building forms and training staff members). Registration can be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Aug. 26
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Betts, Matt. Odd Men Out. Aug. 2013. 224p. Raw Dog Screaming/Dog Star, paperback (978-1-935738-46-6).
Not to be confused—really, really not—with John Sayles’s classic 1988 baseball movie Eight Men Out, this is a thrilling debut novel, set during the American Civil War and featuring airships, flying bicycle-like contraptions, massive vehicles that walk on stilt-like legs, a flamboyant circus impresario, a fiendishly clever (and distinctly megalomaniacal) villain, some plucky heroes, and a supersecret scientific outpost with some very unusual inhabitants. Oh, and zombies....
Top 10 horror fiction: 2013
Brad Hooper writes: “We’re all a little afraid of the dark, aren’t we? Even those of us who are long, long past childhood? Read these superb novels, all reviewed in Booklist between August 2012 and July 2013, to find out just what might be lurking in that darkness,” such as Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon (which “humanizes the werewolf”) and Will McIntosh’s Hitchers (in which “a terrorist bioweapon attack wipes out a substantial portion of Atlanta.”...
Horror and comedy
David Pitt writes: “When you think of horror comedies, do you default to movies? There’s Young Frankenstein, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Bubba Ho-Tep, Return of the Living Dead, the Scream series—I could go on. But there are some very good horror comedy novels, too. Here are a few you ought to check out.”...
Novels that make you feel gross
Daniel Kraus writes: “Why in blue blazes would you want to pick up one of these festering objects, even with tweezers? Well, there are a lot of reasons. These books push you around, get your blood boiling, and challenge you as a reader to find meaning, even art, in the darkest of darks. Too highfalutin’ for you? Okay, maybe you’ve just read 15 cozy cat mysteries and need to sandblast your palate. Or maybe you’ve just had a visit from the in-laws. Here are five of my ‘favorites.’ Grab the smelling salts.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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RUSA needs a project director
ALA has issued an RFP (PDF file) for a project director to oversee the creation of guidelines and best practices for financial literacy education services provided by libraries. The project is funded by an IMLS grant. RUSA will administer the project, with an expected completion date of October 1, 2014. Applicants must email their proposals by September 23 to RUSA Executive Director Susan Hornung. View more details in the project narrative (PDF file)....
RUSA, Aug. 28
Bryan Stevenson to speak at PLA 2014
The PLA 2014 conference in Indianapolis, March 11–15, 2014, will get off to a powerful start with Bryan Stevenson (right), founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, as the Opening Session keynote speaker. There’s a reason Stevenson has one of the most-viewed and highest-rated TED Talks—he’s an incredible speaker with an inspiring message. And he is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned....
PLA, Aug. 27
Teen Read Week website offers new perks
Visitors who register as an online community member of the Teen Read Week website will have access to a wealth of resources and perks courtesy of YALSA and the official 2013 Teen Read Week sponsors. There are more resources than ever to help library workers and educators with their efforts in encouraging continued literacy development among teens, including eligibility to receive one of three Merit Press bookshelves and an autographed copy of Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick....
YALSA, Aug. 27
Going back to school with YALSA badges
Linda W. Braun writes: “It’s that time: Time to provide an update on the YALSA professional development badging project that will give library staff working with teens a chance to continue their learning successfully. For about a year YALSA has been planning professional development that supports gaining skills and knowledge related to the division’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth (PDF file) and that results in learners earning badges. The badges will be soft-launched this fall.”...
YALSAblog, Aug. 27
Face-to-face presentation skills
Take the microphone with confidence after the one-hour webinar, “Face-to-Face Presentation Skills: How to Present Like a Lion (Even if You Feel Like a Lamb)” hosted by PLA on September 18. Steve Yacovelli (right) will explore the ways in which library professionals can effectively create and deliver face-to-face messages to key stakeholders, whether it’s at a local civic meeting or on a national conference stage. The deadline to register is September 16....
PLA, Aug. 27
Fall e-Learning from ACRL
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in fall 2013 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website. Registration for all online courses and webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner Program. ACRL online courses provide asynchronous, multiweek content delivered through Moodle....
ACRL, Aug. 27
Upcoming RUSA online learning
Labor Day is on the horizon, and RUSA is gearing up for three online learning opportunities: a webinar “How to Conduct Usability Studies: A Librarian Primer” and online courses “Readers’ Advisory 101” and “Business Reference 101.” Group rates are available for all of these events. Find details on the RUSA online learning page....
RUSA Blog, Aug. 27
RUSA President Kathleen Kern’s office hours
Bring your burning questions to RUSA’s Office Hours. RUSA President Kathleen Kern (right) will hold virtual office hours every Tuesday, 2–3 p.m. Central Time, beginning September 3. They are open to any current or potential members with questions about RUSA. To access the meeting at the appropriate start time, click here....
RUSA Blog, Aug. 27
Last call for RUSA online learning proposals
RUSA is seeking proposals for webinars and online courses on highly relevant subjects such as ebooks, library programming and outreach, technology advisory, reference services, collection marketing, and leading a book group. The proposal period will be open through September 1. Submit proposals for webinars and online courses separately....
RUSA Blog, July 29
Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors
Ever wonder who’s at the helm of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies? Hop on over to the ASCLA blog to check out profiles of each of our members on the Board of Directors. More profiles will be added in the coming weeks, so stop by again soon. Learn more about this small, mighty, and innovative division of ALA on the ASCLA website....
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Krahnke, Rérat awarded Books for Teens grants
Jodi Krahnke, young adult librarian at the Ypsilanti (Mich.) District Library’s Michigan Avenue branch, and Cari Rérat, teen librarian at the Joplin (Mo.) Public Library, were each awarded a Books for Teens grant, administered by YALSA. Each receives a grant of $1,000 to empower teens to achieve more by providing them with free high-quality, new, age-appropriate books....
YALSA, Aug. 27
ARL Diversity Scholars selected
The Association of Research Libraries Committee on Diversity and Leadership has selected 15 LIS students to participate in its 2013–2015 Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) as ARL Diversity Scholars. The IRDW offers numerous financial benefits to program participants as well as leadership development opportunities....
Association of Research Libraries, Aug. 22
2013 Carle Honorees
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts, has announced the recipients of its 2013 Carle Honors. Two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Van Allsburg has been named the “Artist” honoree. Editor Phyllis Fogelman Baker holds the “Mentor” honor. Children’s literacy advocates Lynda Johnson Robb and Carol Rasco share the “Angel” honor. Author Barbara Bader has earned the “Bridge” honor....
GalleyCat, Aug. 23
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Libraries in the News
Documenting the 1963 March on Washington
Bill LeFurgy writes: “A recent post from the Library of Congress’s main blog outlined some of the riches at LC in connection with the 1963 March on Washington. Picture This, the blog for our Prints and Photographs Division, also recently highlighted some digitized photographs from the march. In the spirit of the 50th anniversary, I thought I’d mention some other digital resources that relate to the event.” LC’s exhibit, “A Day Like No Other,” opened August 28 and features 42 black-and-white photographs taken on that day. Watch the newscast (1:51)....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Aug. 27; Library of Congress Blog, Aug. 23; Picture This, Aug. 23; WRC-TV, Washington, Aug. 27
No Miami branches will close, but layoffs are coming
Nearly six weeks after cautioning it could shutter 22 public library branches, Miami-Dade County has found a way to keep all 49 facilities open at least some of the time, offering stripped-down services. In all, 169 library workers—more than a third of the department’s 461 employees—will lose their jobs by October 1, and the libraries will begin to operate about three-quarters of the hours they do now, Mayor Carlos Gimenez informed county commissioners late on August 23....
Miami Herald, Aug. 24
Libraries do save lives
Nora Rawlinson writes: “Standing in the library that served as a ‘safe haven’ to her and her four siblings (Middle Country Public Library on Long Island, New York) when they were the homeless children of a mentally ill and abusive mother, Regina Calcaterra (right) talks to Inside Edition (2:09) about her memoir of that time, Etched in Sand (HarperCollins/Morrow). She says she is very moved by ‘just the thought that my book may be in this library where I came as a kid who was impoverished.’”...
EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, Aug. 23; Inside Edition, Aug. 20
NYC school librarians push back to protect jobs
New York City school librarians are fighting back. A group of librarians and parents held a rally August 21 to protest the city’s request for a waiver from state librarian staffing requirements. Standing on the steps of Tweed Courthouse, the state Education Department’s downtown Manhattan headquarters, librarians said they couldn’t just be replaced by a computer in a classroom. Read the Huffington Post editorial by Christian Zabriskie. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is having similar issues, as Debra Kachel explains....
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 11, 21; The Huffington Post: New York Blog, Aug. 26; Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Aug. 23
NYPL rethinks its design
The New York Public Library, responding to an outcry over its plans to demolish century-old book stacks, will this fall unveil a new design that preserves a significant portion of them, NYPL President Anthony Marx said August 27. The library still intends to build a new circulating library in the 80,000-square-foot space under the Rose Main Reading Room. But in contrast to previous renderings, the new design will incorporate the stacks as a prominent feature....
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 23, 27
Trustees eject teen worker before R-rated screening
Some trustees of Morton Grove (Ill.) Public Library have objected to a 16-year-old employee overseeing the library’s summer film series after learning that the girl ran the projector for the June 25 showing of the R-rated film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Trustee Cathy Peters attended the July 23 screening of Safety Not Guaranteed and personally removed the teen. “This girl has done nothing wrong,” Peters said. “She was just hired for a job she shouldn’t have.” Because of the news coverage, the Chicago Tribune is profiling the intellectual freedom policies of other Chicago-area public libraries....
Morton Grove (Ill.) Champion, Aug. 1, 15; Chicago Tribune, Aug. 24, 26–27
Measure A wins in Santa Clara County
John Chrastka writes: “Congratulations to the Save Our Libraries 2013—Yes on A Committee and their dedicated volunteers on winning with 81% of the vote for Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library District on August 27. The measure renews for 20 years a district tax of $33.66 per single-family residence that makes up 18% of the system’s annual budget. EveryLibrary is proud to have backed the committee and looks forward to watching this great library continue to thrive.”...
EveryLibrary blog, Aug. 28
Students protest library cuts at University of South Florida
While more than 1,000 students have signed online petitions and liked Facebook pages calling for the restoration of 24/5 library hours at the University of South Florida Tampa, different university departments are discussing who should pay for the additional funds it takes to keep the library open in a time of financial shrinking. William Garrison, dean of USF Libraries, said the library would see about 400–500 students during overnight hours, and upwards of 1,000 during midterm and finals week. The campus serves a large population of nontraditional, commuter, and working students....
The Oracle, Aug. 26
Chicago thief steals book bike
A thief in Chicago didn’t just steal a bike over the weekend, he or she took a whole library. The “Bibliotreka,” a tricycle custom-built to carry a collection of literary works from Humboldt Park’s Read/Write Library, was stolen sometime in the late hours of August 24–25. Nell Taylor, the executive director of the nonprofit, said the organization is simply seeking a safe return of its library on wheels....
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 26
Proposal story features groom-written kid’s book
Paul Phillips popped the question to his girlfriend (right) on August 17 using a children’s book he wrote about their relationship, which he later had illustrated, printed, and put on the shelf of the Southern Pines (N.C.) Public Library. In the story, he is represented by a gorilla (“I’m clumsy and big like a gorilla, always using brute force to solve problems”) and his girlfriend, Erika Ramos, by a giraffe, one of her favorite animals....
The Huffington Post, Aug. 19
Elmhurst library switches consortia
Elmhurst (Ill.) Public Library has withdrawn from a 77-member library consortium, System Wide Automatic Network, that enables patrons to borrow books and other materials from other libraries. Library director Mary Beth Campe said her library, as one of the larger ones in SWAN, was loaning out too many materials. She said the library will join a smaller resource-sharing partnership of libraries called LINKn that is substantially less expensive. The issues are complex....
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 26
Utah school board meeting debates acquisitions policy
Brought to the attention of the Davis school board in Farmington, Utah, was a formal outline of its library policies. But what was meant to be an innocuous presentation to get suggestions from the board turned into an intense exchange of opinions on how books are acquired. For a district that is still reeling from the aftermath of a lawsuit brought on earlier this year regarding In Our Mothers’ House, it was clear the board wanted to make sure the situation didn’t repeat itself....
Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, Aug. 24
Airport libraries to the rescue
Harriet Baskas writes: “It’s appropriate that a book celebrating the 75th anniversary of Nashville International Airport includes a page and a charming photo (right) documenting the library branch that opened on-site in 1962. Staffed by a librarian who received an extra $4 in her paycheck to cover airport parking, the Nashville Public Library reading room was the first time a public library was ever established in a municipal airport. Today, only a few airport terminals have anything resembling a traditional library,” including Sea-Tac Airport in King County, Washington....
USA Today, Aug. 23; KIRO-FM (Tacoma, Wash.), Aug. 26
Librarian’s historic scrapbook
Inside the crumbling scrapbook, old newspaper clippings and paper mementos tell part of the story of Bertha Mae Winborne Edwards (right), Portsmouth, Virginia’s first black librarian. Mae Breckenridge-Haywood wants the book, which dates to 1938, to be part of a display at the old Portsmouth Community Library, which will open as a museum in December. The book has been entered by the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth in the Virginia Association of Museums’ Top 10 Most Endangered Artifacts competition....
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 21
Raising funds for Lac-Mégantic
When the downtown area of Lac-Mégantic was destroyed in the deadly July 6 oil train derailment, the Quebec town also lost its library, the Bibliothèque de Lac-Mégantic. Libraries across Maine are joining to raise funds to help rebuild the library. Monetary donations will help with the Canadian town’s replacement of the building, computers, and materials....
Farmington (Maine) Franklin Sun Journal, Aug. 26
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Faculty attitudes on MOOCs
Doug Lederman and Scott Jaschik write: “Faculty members, by and large, are particularly skeptical about the value of MOOCs, Inside Higher Ed’s new Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology (PDF file) suggests. The survey of 2,251 professors, conducted by Gallup, finds significant skepticism among faculty members about the quality of online learning, with only one in five of them agreeing that online courses can achieve learning outcomes equivalent to those of in-person courses, and majorities considering online learning to be of lower quality than in-person courses on several key measures.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 27
Home broadband, 2013
Some 70% of American adults ages 18 and older have a high-speed broadband connection at home as of May 2013, according to a nationally representative survey (PDF file) by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. The survey also found that 3% of American adults go online at home via dial-up connections. Groups with the highest rates of home broadband adoption continue to be college graduates, adults under age 50, and adults living in households earning at least $50,000, as well as whites and adults living in urban or suburban areas....
Pew Research Center, Aug. 26
A year later, briefs filed in Authors Guild v. Google
After a delay of more than a year, the long-running Authors Guild v. Google case is heating up again with opposition to summary judgment briefs filed in the long-running case. The Authors Guild argues that Google’s fair-use analysis fails, and that its library scanning project is not some public service but a commercial attempt to “gain a competitive advantage over other search engines and to generate even greater advertising revenues.” Google counters that its scan plan is protected by fair use....
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 27
Lessig fights back over YouTube takedown
Creative Commons cofounder Lawrence Lessig (right) has filed a complaint in a US federal court after he was forced to take down a YouTube video of his lecture that included clips depicting groups of people dancing to a copyrighted song. The complaint filed by Lessig with help from digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation is likely to be a high-profile test of the fair-use doctrine in the reuse of copyrighted material online. Techdirt has more details....
PC World, Aug. 23; Techdirt, Aug. 23
Another fair-use case
A copyright lawsuit that several publishers filed in June against a maverick scholar’s online research library has prompted a countersuit raising fair-use arguments—as well as a claim that the publishers are trying to stifle innovation. The original lawsuit (PDF file) was filed in federal court in Boston by the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, and the publishing company John Wiley and Sons against Michael R. Lissack and the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, Aug. 22
Little Red Riding Hood and assault weapons
This image (right), created by gun-control group Moms Demand Action and widely shared on social media, is designed to be provocative. Two youngsters sit in a children’s section of a library, one holding the fairy-tale book Little Red Riding Hood (Holiday House, 1982) by Trina Schart Hyman and the other holding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The caption: “One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them. Guess which one.” But PolitiFact.com asserts (with the help of data from the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom) that the claim contains an element of truth, yet ignores critical facts that would give a different impression....
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: PolitiFact.com, Apr. 13
Addicted to apps
Claire Cain Miller writes: “If engineers can build something, the thinking goes, they do. Whether they should is beside the point. People will eventually adapt, engineers believe, just as they always have. And they do adapt, most of the time. That uneasy feeling that often accompanies our first experience with a new technology quickly subsides, and we are won over. Sure, smartphones track us everywhere we go, but who worries about that when they’re so cool and useful? But we cannot rely on the makers of new technology to think about the moral and privacy implications.”...
New York Times Sunday Review, Aug. 24
Teens and mobile apps privacy
As teens gain access to mobile devices, they have embraced app downloading. But many teen apps users have taken steps to uninstall or avoid apps over concern about their privacy. Location information is considered especially sensitive to teen girls, as a majority of them have disabled location tracking features on cellphones and in apps because they are worried about others’ access to that information. Here are some of the key findings in a new survey (PDF file) of US teens ages 12–17....
Pew Research Center, Aug. 22
NSA paid Google, Microsoft millions for spying
The National Security Agency reimbursed some of the nation’s top tech companies for participating in its PRISM surveillance program, according to new leaked government documents obtained by The Guardian. Previous NSA documents have linked companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft to the PRISM program, though many of the companies have denied granting the NSA “direct access” to their servers....
Washington Post, Aug. 23; The Guardian (UK), Aug. 22
Timeline of NSA domestic spying
All of the evidence found in this timeline can also be found in the Summary of Evidence that the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted to the court in Jewel v. National Security Agency (NSA). It is intended to recall all the credible accounts and information on NSA’s domestic spying program found in the media, congressional testimony, books, and court actions. The timeline also includes documents leaked by The Guardian in June 2013 that confirmed the domestic spying by the NSA....
Electronic Frontier Foundation
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Google is preparing for screenless computers
Christopher Mims writes: “The spread of computing to every corner of our physical world doesn’t just mean a proliferation of screens large and small—it also means we’ll soon come to rely on mobile computers with no screens at all. Google is already moving rapidly to enable voice commands in all of its products. On mobile phones, Google Now for Android and Google’s search app on the iPhone allow users to search the web via voice or carry out other basic functions like sending emails. Similarly, Google Glass would be almost unusable without voice interaction.”...
Quartz, Aug. 15; EDN Network, Jan. 22
Eight reasons you should be using Google Voice
Chris Hoffman writes: “Google Voice has been out for years, but many people in the US still haven’t given it a try. Google Voice offers many features you can’t get elsewhere, and almost all of them are free. The service allows you to place and receive calls from Gmail, place and receive calls on your phone over Wi-Fi, block phone numbers, text from any browser or phone, and switch phones during a call. It also offers easy number portability, voicemail with transcription, and call forwarding with rules.”...
How-To Geek, Aug. 25
The ABCs of DNS attacks
Timothy B. Lee writes: “Just weeks after the Washington Post had its own run-in with the Syrian Electronic Army, the New York Times went down on August 27 and the SEA claimed responsibility. Other sites, including Twitter, were also attacked. The attack operates by making changes to the Domain Name System. But how does DNS work? And why does compromising it let the SEA take over whole websites? Read on for details.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, Aug. 27
Hashcat can now hack long passwords
Dan Goodin writes: “For the first time, the freely available password cracker ocl-Hashcat-plus is able to tackle passcodes with as many as 55 characters. It’s an improvement that comes as more and more people are relying on long passcodes and phrases to protect their website accounts and other online assets. The long-sought-after improvement targets one of the last remaining defenses people employ to make their passwords resistant to cracking.”...
Ars Technica, Aug. 26
A better way for your iPad to talk to your desktop
David Pogue writes: “Most people probably assume you can’t use Mac or Windows programs on an iPad. The iPad, the world’s most popular tablet, runs its own flavor of software. All kinds of programs would be useful to have on your lovely, lightweight tablet. I’m pleased to report that such a thing is possible, thanks to a remarkable new app, Parallels Access.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Aug. 28
MakerBot’s 3D desktop scanner
Angela Moscaritolo writes: “If you’re in the market for a 3D desktop scanner, you can now order one from MakerBot. The Brooklyn-based company opened pre-orders on August 22 for its Digitizer 3D desktop scanner, which is expected to begin shipping in mid-October. The device lets you scan a real-life object and will create a 3D digital file that can be printed out on MakerBot’s Replicator 2 and other 3D printers. The device can digitize physical objects up to 8 inches in diameter, 8 inches tall, and up to 6.6 pounds.” Of course, you will need a 3D Replicator printer to go with it....
PC Magazine, Aug. 22
AIO Robotics 3D printer and fax machine
Andrew Liszewski writes: “As new models are announced every week, 3D printers are slowly but steadily becoming as common as iPhone cases. But thankfully there are a few standouts that boast features other than a cheaper price tag, like the Zeus from AIO Robotics that is set to premiere on Kickstarter in just a few weeks. It’s a 3D printer that doubles as a 3D scanner, allowing you to print, copy, and fax 3D objects to another machine.”...
Gizmodo, Aug. 22
First human brain-to-brain interface
The telepathic cyborg lives, sort of. University of Washington scientists Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco (on the right) claim that they are the first to demonstrate human brain-to-brain communication. Rao sent a signal into Stocco’s brain via the internet that caused him to move his right hand. Brain-to-brain communication has previously been demonstrated between rats and from humans to rats. Rao spent time training his mind, with feedback from the computer, to emit a brainwave for moving the right hand so that it could be detected by the computer....
CNet News, Aug. 27; Discovery News, Feb. 28; CNET Crave, Aug. 1
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One year of ebook price comparisons
Rochelle Logan and James LaRue write: “Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries has been publishing a monthly list of pricing for print and ebook bestsellers for the past year. We began in September 2012 when we realized that the availability and pricing of ebooks for libraries was out of whack with the market. Not only could we see a difference in the amount we spent for the same title in OverDrive and 3M, but also a huge discrepancy existed in what libraries and consumers would pay at retail.”...
AL: E-Content, Aug. 27
Smithsonian offers an ebook to detail its digitization
The Smithsonian Institution released a free 77-page ebook on August 27 concerning one of the institution’s top priorities: digitizing 14 million objects in its massive collections. In Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age (PDF file), G. Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian, writes that digitization is necessary for the Smithsonian to maintain its national and international footprint....
Washington Post, Aug. 27
How to buy e-textbooks
Eric Griffith writes: “As more and more students sport tablets along with their laptops and smartphones, the e-textbook’s time has arrived. But where do thrifty students go to get the books they need at prices that won’t deplete all their funds? They need to shop around. That’s because there are several major vendors vying to be the digital college bookstore of choice.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 28
Kobo launches a new e-reader
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “E-reading company Kobo is releasing a new e-reader and three new tablets and launching a book discovery tool called Beyond the Book, the company announced at an event in New York City on August 27. It’s also partnering with read-it-later service Pocket and plans to launch a children’s digital bookstore and a digital newsstand this fall. The new e-reader is the Kobo Aura.”...
GigaOM, Aug. 27
The differences between Kindle Fire and Kindle for Android app
Nathan Groezinger writes: “Does the Kindle Fire HD have any advantages over the Kindle Android app when it comes to reading? The short answer: Yes, yes it does. The long answer: There are a few differences between the Kindle Fire’s reading app and the regular Kindle for Android app that may or may not matter to you based on your reading preferences.”...
eBook Reader, Aug. 26
How to unfreeze your Kindle
Tony Cole writes: “Sooner or later if you have a Kindle, you will find that it has frozen solid on you, and will simply refuse to either turn on or turn off. A real drag when it happens, as I have discovered on several occasions. There are three things you can try if this overcomes your Kindle, no matter which model you happen to own.”...
eBookAnoid, Aug. 24
Practicing freedom in the digital library
Barbara Fister writes: “We used to build collections; now we enable access through annual licenses as a supplement to what is freely available on the web. This is a good thing. Students at my college have far more intellectual content available to them than they did when we were first fretting about technology. It’s an era of abundance, but it has a downside.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Aug. 26
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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.)
Learn about the RDA Toolkit by attending the next free introductory RDA Toolkit Essentials webinar on September 18 at 1:30 Central time. Register today. NEW! From ALA Publishing.
Virtual Nightmare (2000, Australia, made for TV). Michael Muhney as advertising agent Dale Hunter begins to see cracks in the reality of what seems to be his perfect town. With the help of a plucky librarian (Jennifer Congram as Natalie), he tries to solve the mystery.
La vita agra (1964, Italy). Pippo Starnazza is the librarian.
Vlyublyon po sobstvennomu zhelaniyu (1983, Soviet Union). Evgeniya Glushenko plays Vera Silkova, a plain but brainy librarian.
Voyage into Fear (1993, Australia). Monique Dykstra plays a librarian.
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.
Distance Learning Librarian, Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont. The Kreitzberg Library seeks a creative, tech-savvy, and service-oriented librarian to join the library team in developing and providing instruction and other services to our distance learning population. The Distance Learning Librarian develops procedures and implements programs for library distance education services. Serves as liaison to the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Develops and maintains instructional materials and technologies, and manages the library web presence for distance education. Provides support to distance learners and the faculty who create and teach distance education courses. Coordinates activities of library staff in their work associated with distance education. Collaborates with administrators, faculty, and staff to develop collections and services to support distance education programs. Participates as a member of team providing reference and instruction in a broad range of subject areas....
Noted and Quoted
“A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.”
—Lemony Snicket [Daniel Handler], Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid (HarperCollins, 2007), p. 76.
HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp, Hotel and Conference Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Florida Distance Learning Association, Fall Conference, Embassy Suites, Lake Buena Vista South, Kissimmee, Florida. “In the Cloud and Beyond: Building Community and Expanding Distance Education.”
OCLC, cooperative-wide discussion series, Collective Insight: Driven By Shared Data, Johns Hopkins University. “The Metadata [R]evolution: Transformative Opportunities.”
Great Lakes E-Summit, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and Conference Center, Oregon, Ohio.
Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, 5th Annual Latin America Summit, São Paulo, Brazil.
Telecommunications Industry Association, TIA 2013 conference, Gaylord National Resort, Fort Washington, Maryland. “The Future of the Network.”
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, Annual Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
ACRL Western New York / Ontario Chapter, Fall Conference, RIT Inn and Conference Center, Henrietta, New York. “Publishing and Advancing Research.”
Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference, free online conference.
International Digital Publishing Forum, EDUPUB: A Workshop on Digital Publishing for Education, Boston.
Urban Libraries Council, 2013 Partners for Success Conference, Seattle. “Libraries Leading Learning.”
South Carolina Library Association / Southeastern Library Association, Joint Conference, Westin Poinsett Hotel, Greenville, South Carolina. “Regional Reach.”
Association for Information Systems, International Conference on Information Systems, Milan, Italy. “Reshaping Society Through Information Systems Design.”
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Philadelphia. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”
Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Conference, Austin, Texas.
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Learning to read with the help of a tablet
Kit Eaton writes: “I learned long ago that the iPad’s game and video apps cast a magical spell over my children, but this summer I’ve also been pleased by how much they have learned while using their tablets. One of the most comprehensive apps for teaching reading is a free iPad app called Learn With Homer (not the Greek one or Mr. Simpson, you’ll be pleased to hear). It’s a set of lessons and games presented with bright cartoon graphics and amusing sounds.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Aug. 21
Top readings on income inequality
John D. Sutter writes: “Earlier this week, I asked readers of this column to submit ideas for a list of 99 must-reads on income inequality. As of this writing, I have more than 150 unique suggestions in my inbox. I can’t take credit for any of this. It’s all you. Ninety-nine of your suggestions are listed here. Don’t read too much into the order. It has more to do with when the works were suggested than how significant they are.”...
CNN Opinion, Aug. 23
The 50 greatest campus novels ever written
Emily Temple writes: “No matter how old you are, the back-to-school season holds a certain kind of allure—be it nostalgia for scholarly tradition, the crisping of the days, a Pavlovian need to buy books, or just the satisfaction that you don’t have to be in class ever again. If you’re looking to indulge yourself without the schoolwork, you may take pleasure in another hallowed tradition: the campus novel. Here are 50 of the best of these, limited to one per author. Read them all and you’ll definitely get an A.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 23
Companion novels (not sequels)
Jessica Lind writes: “I am a fan of many sequels and series, but I often find myself happy to enjoy a great book that is a stand-alone novel. There are times, though, when I am not ready to let a universe go, or I think I will miss the author’s writing style for a particular storyline even though I don’t feel like I need more of the story. The right balance can be found in companion novels, independent stories that exist in a single world built by the author and often feature the main character in one story as a background character in another.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 22
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Katie Shanahan writes: “The new thing to do in Hollywood these days is to search for the next big YA movie franchise now that Twilight and Harry Potter are completely done. So where in all of that does the adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones (right) fit? Overall, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones shows promise. The fight scenes were terrific, the romance was delectable, and the actors were just what they needed to be. But if you are a fan of the series, you might leave the theater a little perturbed about some things.” Watch the trailer (1:47)....
YALSA: The Hub, Aug. 23; YouTube, Nov. 15, 2012
Five reasons to love science fiction romance
Eridani writes: “Mainstream science fiction has no time for love, Doctor Jones. We’ll get 30 pages of almost fetishistic description of a spaceship, but when it comes to relationships we get a terse, ‘They coupled.’ In the hardest of hard science fiction, personal relationships are persona non grata. What if you could have a great science fiction story and a great love story at the same time? Romance fans are gobbling up SFR like the Borg assimilate new species. Here are five reasons why it’s worth your time.”...
io9, Aug. 27
A brief history of book vending machines
John Geoghegan writes: “The first book-dispensing vending machine was built by Richard Carlile in England in 1822. Carlile was a bookseller who wanted to sell seditious works like Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason without being thrown in jail. His answer was a self-service machine that allowed customers to buy questionable books without ever coming into contact with Carlile. The next book-dispensing machine was the Penguincubator, which appeared in London in 1937.”...
The Huffington Post: Books Blog, Mar. 25
15 bookish Pinterest boards
Becky Cole writes: “There’s a lot of bookish goodness out there in the vast Pinterest wasteland of oddly flavored cupcakes and questionable beauty secrets, but it’s not always easy to find. When you really strike gold, comments and contributions from other book lovers make a board feel more like a community than a collection. Here are a few of the best bookish boards I’ve found.”...
Book Riot, Aug. 27
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Search word definitions in Google
Frederic Lardinois writes: “Google’s dictionary definitions, which you can invoke by using a query like ‘define crunch,’ now feature significantly more information about virtually every word in its catalog. The dictionary box recently began showing sentences that contain the words as well as their synonyms. In addition, it shows a word’s etymology (sometimes as a flow chart and sometimes as regular text), as well as how often a word is used over time.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 22
Wikipedia Loves Libraries
Wikipedia Loves Libraries is a general initiative for improved Wikimedia engagement with libraries and archives, as well as an annual campaign of wiki-workshops and editathons at libraries in October and November. The first Wikipedia Loves Libraries campaign was in 2011 across North America, and it’s coming back in 2013 worldwide. Sign up if your library is interested in participating....
Wikimedia Outreach; American Libraries feature, Nov./Dec. 2011
12 tips on making better Vine videos
David Lee King writes: “Vine is an iPhone and Android video app that makes 6-second videos. With Vine, you can watch videos, follow other Vine video makers, and easily share your videos on other social networks like Twitter. Vine has the potential to be a really powerful and fun medium when used well. Here are 12 tips (that’s like two tips a second in Vine mode) for making better Vine videos.”...
David Lee King, Aug. 27
Rethinking what we do with M-rated games
Mike Buono writes: “I am writing this article as an open letter. We are censoring what video games we provide people, but we are not stopping their consumption. We are shooting ourselves in the foot to avoid an argument, and it will hurt. Plus we are compromising our own integrity. It is time to supply our public with access to M-rated games. People will object because of the violence. But the in-game violence that will give a person chills is only doled out in pursuit of one of the best crime stories you can find.”...
YALSAblog, Aug. 26
2014 SXSWi library proposals
SXSW Interactive is a major annual gathering of thought-leaders and funders in Austin, Texas. There are a slew of incredible submissions this year proposed by creative library and museum professionals. You can help put libraries, archives, and museums at the forefront of this ideas exchange by voting for LAM presentations in the SXSWi Panel Picker through September 9. Here is a list of SXSW LAM and LAM-related panel proposals....
sxswLAM, Aug. 22
National forum on public libraries and open government
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has granted $99,713 to the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany for a national forum that will lead to a better understanding of how public libraries help citizens engage with local governments. The project will include a concept paper, use of online tools to solicit input from stakeholders, a face-to-face workshop, and a widely distributed report....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Aug. 28
Teen writers sleepaway camp
Heather Dickerson writes: “Teen Writer’s Camp, a weeklong sleepaway camp focused on creative writing, combined the best parts of summer camp with a structured writing retreat. Teri Wright, associate director of the YMCA in Helena, Montana, and myself (teen services librarian at Lewis and Clark Library), created a unique opportunity; 16 teens, ages 11–16, immersed themselves in the creative writing process in a way that they could not in the monthly Teen Writers Group.”...
The Library as Incubator Project, Aug. 26
Fossil Free Cities and States
Beth Filar Williams writes: “More and more institutions (some schools are going carbon neutral), organizations (including ALA), and even cities are moving toward a push to divest in fossil fuel industries. Many see it as a moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Check out the Fossil Free Cities and States site, Facebook page, and Twitter stream.”...
Going Green @ your library, Aug. 22; University Business, July; ALA Council document no. 35, Jan. 28
Survey: Resources for historical research
ProQuest is conducting a 15-minute online survey into the information needs of historical researchers. Responses are welcomed from postgraduate researchers, students, teaching faculty, librarians, and anyone who has regular professional contact with historical primary sources. Participation is not limited to just those scholars who self-identify as historians. Participants are eligible to win a $50 Amazon.com voucher....
Half of scientific papers from 2011 are now open access
Richard Van Noorden writes: “Search the internet for any research article published in 2011, and you have a 50–50 chance of downloading it for free. This claim—made in an August 13 report (PDF file) for the European Commission—suggests that many more research papers are openly available online than was previously thought. The finding is heartening news for advocates of open access. But some experts are raising their eyebrows at the high numbers.”...
Nature, Aug. 20
How to read and understand a scientific paper
Jennifer Raff writes: “I want to help people become more scientifically literate, so I wrote this guide for how a layperson can approach reading and understanding a scientific research paper. It’s appropriate for someone who has no background whatsoever in science or medicine, and based on the assumption that he or she is doing this for the purpose of getting a basic understanding of a paper and deciding whether or not it’s a reputable study. The type of scientific paper I’m discussing here is referred to as a primary research article.”...
Violent Metaphors, Aug. 25
Citing data (without tearing your hair out)
Bonnie Swoger writes: “Scientists are producing more data than ever before due to the (relative) ease of collecting and storing it, but they also need to be able to cite these sources. Unfortunately, the traditional citation manuals do a poor job of helping a scientist figure out what elements to include in the reference list, either ignoring data or overcomplicating things. The best and most relevant advice comes from the DataCite cooperative.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Aug. 23
Attack of the bookworms
Christina Duffy writes: “Where the passionate reader sees inspiration and literary genius, the pest sees a delicious and satisfying papery meal. Holes in books and bindings, large chewed areas and scraped surfaces are all evidence of pest attack. Thankfully, damage like this is largely historic and it is a matter for conservation rather than pest control. Here we take a look at a few of the culprits.”...
British Library: Collection Care Blog, Aug. 27
Doing all we can for customers
Amy Koester writes: “This past Wednesday, I worked a split shift. In the morning I was out of sorts. My state of mind had nothing to do with customers or colleagues, just allergies, but I hated feeling like I was in a funk. That evening, however, I was in the zone. My search queries quickly returned great results, I helped save school documents in the nick of time, and I rocked some readers’ advisory conversations with middle graders. By the time we were ready to close, I started to think on my two very different states of mind during the day and whether how we feel affects the service we provide.”...
The Show Me Librarian, Aug. 23
14 illegal things you could be doing on the internet
Denise Lu writes: “Criminal activity may be as simple as installing an ad blocker or hopping on an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. Though they may seem banal, some things people do every single day are technically counted illegal in a court of law. Even if the likelihood of getting caught is slim for some activities, practice caution in the future. Take a look at this list and think twice the next time you download a random image from a Google search.”...
Mashable, Aug. 22
Facebook unveils shared photo albums
Kurt Wagner writes: “Facebook announced shared photo albums August 26, a new feature that allows multiple users to upload images to the same album. The album creator can share access to as many as 50 contributors, who can each in turn share up to 200 photos. Previously, users could only upload photos to albums they created. The new shared albums have three available privacy settings: public, friends of contributors, and contributors only.”...
Mashable, Aug. 26
What I learned working part-time
Jennifer Snoek-Brown writes: “Two years ago, I was an out-of-work librarian. Finally I secured a part-time reference and instruction librarian position at a local community college. Unlike how some might feel about such a position, I didn’t feel it was beneath me in any way. I wanted another full-time position in the long-term, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. I also didn’t want to take my job for granted, as I had been close to doing in the not-so-distant past. So what did I learn as a part-time librarian?”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Aug. 22
The top 10 moments of summer reading
After a terrific summer, the Jefferson Parish (La.) Library counts down its top Summer Reading moments with images and video of its staff, its performers, and, of course, its library patrons who helped make the program so memorable. The video (13:12) was created by Daniel Gitlin and directed by Shannon Kitchens....
Vimeo, Aug. 21
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