|American Libraries Online
Studying up on healthcare literacy
Laurie D. Borman writes: “The Affordable Care Act, with open enrollment for health insurance running from October 1 through March 14, may turn out to be as busy as April tax time for libraries. And as with taxes, those manning the reference desk are not expected to be experts or to help people complete the paperwork, but they do need to be able to direct them to appropriate resources. Librarians will also want to determine how to assist patrons who may have limited computer experience or aren’t health insurance savvy.”...
American Libraries feature
Toy libraries: A place to play
Megan Cottrell writes: “There are about 400 toy libraries around the United States, about a quarter of which offer adaptive toys, according to Judy Iacuzzi, executive director of the USA Toy Library Association in Evanston, Illinois. The nation’s first toy library started in Los Angeles, during the Depression, when a store owner noticed children stealing toys because they couldn’t afford them. He created a library where they could borrow and return toys, eventually expanding into a network of about 60 sites around the city.”...
American Libraries feature
Newsmaker: Kathleen Shearer
In August, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, the Association of Research Libraries, and two other groups launched a Joint Task Force on Librarians’ Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication. Its first task will be to identify expertise and skill sets that academic librarians will need for expanded roles in e-research, repository management, and scholarly communication. American Libraries caught up with COAR Executive Director Kathleen Shearer to find out more about the project....
American Libraries feature
Libraries on the Vine
Phil Morehart writes: “When Twitter unveiled Vine in January 2013, reviews were mixed about the free app that allows six-second-long video loops to be created, viewed, and shared on mobile devices. But libraries are now using Vine to create clips that highlight new book and media acquisitions, advertise events, showcase makerspaces and 3D printers, and instruct patrons on library features. The moving images give these promotions a vibrancy that’s not feasible in text-heavy social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.”...
American Libraries feature
AL Live: Web-scale discovery services
The upcoming American Libraries Live episode features an expert panel that will discuss web-scale discovery services. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on December 5 to hear and interact with Gwen Evans, Courtney Greene, and Edward Smith....
American Libraries, Nov. 25
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Distilling the Innovative story
Kim Massana, CEO, Innovative Interfaces
One of my priorities over the last year has been to seek out Innovative customers and members of the broader library community to listen to their ideas about the technology challenges and opportunities facing libraries today. I’ve been encouraging staff at all levels of Innovative to be doing the same.
But it’s obviously not all about listening. The leadership team at Innovative has also been spending a lot of time considering how we can best tell the Innovative story and let members of the community know that we understand their concerns and are addressing them through the solutions that we offer with Sierra and our other products.
Along with members of our senior management and sales team, I’ve been telling this story personally through individual meetings, conferences, and Innovative user groups. I’m happy to say that I will now have some new tools to help me get our message across—a series of short videos that distill the essence of what we’re seeing in the technology landscape and how Innovative is responding to those challenges.
The first video in the series, “The Innovative Story,” gives a two-minute video overview of what we’re all about. It’s been fun to see the video develop, and I encourage you to take a look.
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International Games Day circles the globe
Libraries on all seven continents celebrated games and gaming for the November 16 for ALA’s International Games Day, which is held annually on the third Saturday in November. Among the activities, libraries around the world joined in the “Global Gossip Game” (also known as “Telephone”), which totaled 840 participants and ran for 29 hours straight, through 74 libraries in 18 international jurisdictions and six languages. GameTable Online, Heartland Games, and Konami donated games to libraries for the occasion....
Games and Gaming Round Table, Dec. 3; Global Gossip Game, Nov. 26
ReadersFirst at Midwinter
Members of ReadersFirst, a movement to improve ebook access and services for public library users, will introduce their organization at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 26 and talk about the tool they’ve developed to help libraries evaluate ebook vendors. ReadersFirst Working Group members Michael Santangelo and Michael Blackwell will discuss the process of how the guide was built, how the criteria were created, and how vendors are scored according to these criteria....
Conference Services, Dec. 2
Community engagement at Midwinter
In keeping with ALA’s ongoing commitment to increased engagement between libraries and the communities they serve, the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting is offering several related sessions. From innovative uses of TEDx events for sparking community conversations to a focus on turning outward and uncovering a community’s aspirations, here are some key sessions....
Conference Services, Dec. 3
News you can use
Experts will again offer the latest updates on policy, research, statistics, and technology in a cluster of “News You Can Use” sessions at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. First introduced in this format in 2012, the sessions are based on recent research, surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, projects, beta trials, focus groups, and other data. Update providers include the ALA Washington Office, other ALA divisions and offices, the ALA Digital Content Working Group, and a wide range of other organizations....
Conference Services, Dec. 3
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling is encouraging Midwinter attendees to participate in kitchen-table-type conversations designed to be a step toward making ALA an innovation space where members and staff can collaborate and create together. Conversations in groups of up to 16 will dig more deeply into what the participants want ALA to be as their professional community. Register in advance by emailing Mary Ghikas with your first and second choices (out of four) for day and time....
Member Programs and Services, Dec. 3
Celebrity READ posters of the 1980s and 1990s
Kelly Jensen writes: “Created by ALA in 1985, the READ poster features a celebrity posing with a favorite book or books. The celebrities are chosen because of their popularity, appeal, and visibility to a general audience, and ALA tries to feature a range of diverse talent who would be good spokesmodels for reading to both adults and children. Here’s a look at some of the celebrity READ spokespeople of the 1980s and 1990s, along with their books of choice.”...
Book Riot, Dec. 3
LSSC course subsidies
The ALA-Allied Professional Association announced that the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program will be offering $200 subsidies to 90 candidates to complete LSSC-approved courses. If the cost of the course is less than $200, the subsidy will cover the cost of the entire course minus materials. LSSC is a national, voluntary certification program administered by the ALA-APA. To apply for a subsidy, applicants must enroll in the LSSC by December 23....
ALA-Allied Professional Association, Dec. 2
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Featured review: Science
Brockman, John (ed.). What Should We Be Worried About? Feb. 2014, 528p. HarperPerennial, paperback (978-0-06-229623-8).
Each year, Edge founder Brockman and “Edge stalwarts” mark the anniversary of the speculative online science salon by posing a far-reaching question as the catalyst for a multidisciplinary essay collection. Brockman introduces this year’s substantial and engrossing anthology, What Should We Be Worried About?, by noting, “Nothing can stop us from worrying, but science can teach us how to worry better, and when to stop worrying.” The array of subjects 150 leading thinkers and scientists identify as worrisome is vast and varied, while the outlooks expressed in their pithy thought-pieces are provocative and enlightening....
Donna Seaman writes: “The enticing collections roll in with impressive frequency, bearing such titles as This Will Change Everything (2009), Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? (2011), This Will Make You Smarter (2012), Thinking (2013), and the latest (above), What Should We Be Worried About? Each anthology features stellar contributors from diverse fields, and all are edited by John Brockman, the founder and CEO of Brockman Inc., a literary agency for science writers, and founder of a nonprofit foundation that supports Edge.org, a world-renowned online science salon. Who, we wondered, is John Brockman, and what compels this cultural impresario and entrepreneur to instigate and curate so many books?”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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The Liberty Bell Center
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. Originally placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the lettering, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” The original Liberty Bell is on display inside the Liberty Bell Center at 6th and Market Streets in Independence Park, which also offers a video presentation and exhibits....
Liberty Bell Center; Wikipedia
Second Bank portrait gallery
The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian National Bank during its 20-year charter from February 1817 to January 1836. Located at 420 Chestnut Street, the building is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the US. Its art gallery houses a famous collection of some 185 portraits of prominent Americans from the colonial and Federal periods painted by Charles Willson Peale and many others....
Spend a day in Pompeii
The Franklin Institute, at 222 North 20th Street, is hosting a new exhibit titled “One Day in Pompeii” that will be showing during the Midwinter Meeting. In the year 79, Pompeii vanished beneath thick layers of volcanic ash left by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The exhibit features more than 150 artifacts on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, including wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims, many of which are making their North American debut....
Dream Garden in the Curtis Center
Dream Garden is an enormous glass mosaic designed by artist Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966), and executed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, for the lobby of the Curtis Publishing Building at 699 Walnut Street—home of the successful magazines Ladies’ Home Journal and Saturday Evening Post. Measuring 15 by 49 feet, Dream Garden was produced by the Tiffany Studios in 1916, using over 100,000 pieces of Favrile glass, each hand-fired to achieve perfection in each of the 260 colors. The Curtis Center is a 15-minute walk from the Pennsylvania Convention Center....
Independence Hall Association
Silver Linings Playbook locations
Alyce Wilson writes: “Here’s a quick, spoiler-free guide to spotting the Philadelphia-area locations in Silver Linings Playbook. Many of the locations are in the Upper Darby area (including the 200 block of South Madison Avenue and the Llanerch Diner at 95 East Township Line Road). Others include the Historic Lansdowne Theater and the Benjamin Franklin House Apartments at 834 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.”...
Yahoo! News, Feb. 25
How to choose a carry-on bag
Susan Stellin writes: “Searching for a carry-on that would fit in most overhead compartments but could handle a 10-day trip, I was surprised by the number of bags available, their price range, and the features I wasn’t sure I would ever need. After spending weeks researching carry-ons, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one-size-fits-all bag. However, there are some factors that all shoppers should consider if they’re in the market for a wheeled carry-on that lets you avoid checking a bag.”...
New York Times, Nov. 27
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LLAMA Midwinter Career Institute
Writing or editing a professional publication is a great way to build skills and advance your career. Plan now to be part of LLAMA’s second annual Midwinter Career Institute. “Writing and Editing: Developing Career Skills and Building Your Professional Reputation” will take place on January 24 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. You’ll learn the elements of successful writing, as Jennifer A. Bartlett, Toby Greenwalt, Marta Deyrup, and a panel of editors share their experiences, tips, and motivations for publishing. Register online....
LLAMA, Dec. 2
LITA workshops in Philadelphia
LITA is offering two workshops on January 24 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia: “Strategic Social Media: Creating Library Community Online” and “Level Up Web: Modern Web Development and Management Practices for Libraries.” Register online by completing the ALA Midwinter registration....
LITA, Dec. 3
Greenway and Zevin added to Gala Author Tea
Alice Greenway and Gabrielle Zevin have been added to the lineup for United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea, sponsored by ReferenceUSA, on January 27 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. They will join Lisa Scottoline, Sue Monk Kidd, Laura Lippman, and Cristina Henriquez in discussing their writing lives and forthcoming books. Tickets are available online....
United for Libraries, Dec. 2
Building web applications
LITA, Dec. 3
AASL sponsors two Emerging Leaders
AASL will sponsor two participants in ALA’s 2014 Emerging Leaders program. Beth Ebenstein Mulch of Brooklyn, New York, and Jillian Rudes of Alexandria, Virginia, will participate in project planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity....
AASL, Dec. 2
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Nominations for 2014 James Madison Awards
ALA’s Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award honors an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level. The Eileen Cooke Award honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness of the importance of access to information. The nomination deadline is January 17....
District Dispatch, Dec. 3
Entries accepted for 2014 John Cotton Dana Awards
Entries are being accepted for the 2014 John Cotton Dana Awards for outstanding library public relations. Eight $10,000 awards are granted each year by the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and the awards ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference is cosponsored by EBSCO. The deadline for submissions is February 14. Entry documents are available online for this year’s award cycle....
LLAMA, Dec. 3
Tween Recommended Reads
ALSC has created a Tween Recommended Reads booklist, intended to engage and encourage tweens to read throughout the year. The Tween Recommended Reads list includes 25 titles chosen specifically to appeal to tweens and to encourage them to read. The booklist is available as a PDF in full color or black-and-white and you are free to download, copy, and distribute it....
ALSC, Dec. 3
Apply for a Big Read grant
The Big Read is accepting applications from libraries and other nonprofit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2014 and June 2015. The Big Read is a program developed by the National Endowment for the Arts to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. The deadline to apply is January 28....
The Big Read
Goodreads Choice Awards 2013
Goodreads has unveiled its version of a best books list. The website, which has been rounding up its users’ favorite books of the year since 2009 through its Goodreads Choice Awards, has posted this year’s results. On the 2013 list, the top book in fiction is Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, with more than 24,000 votes. Coming in at number 2 on the fiction list is Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, with more than 21,000 votes....
Publishers Weekly, Dec. 3; Goodreads
Guardian First Book Award
Irish author Donal Ryan has won the 2013 Guardian First Book Award, a £10,000 ($16,360 US) prize, for his debut novel The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland). Set in southwest Ireland, the book tells a set of interlocking short stories about the struggles of a rural village in the aftermath of the financial collapse of 2008. The prize is awarded by The Guardian newspaper to recognize the best first book by a new writer. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Tate Modern in London on November 28....
The Guardian (UK), Nov. 28
2013 William Hill Sports Book of the Year
Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang by Jamie Reid, a rollicking tale of crooked bookies and nobbled nags—with a sprinkle of sex and royalty for good measure—is the surprise winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2013. Reid, a racing buff and columnist at the Financial Times, received a £25,000 ($40,875 US) check, a £2,500 ($4,087) William Hill bet, and a day at the races....
The Guardian (UK), Nov. 27
Scotland’s favorite book
Irvine Welsh’s debut novel Trainspotting has been named Scotland’s favorite book of the past 50 years. The cult story of drug addiction in Leith topped a poll for Book Week Scotland with 10% of the votes. Welsh said he was flattered that the book, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, had even made it onto the list. More than 8,800 people cast a vote for one of a shortlist of 50 titles compiled by author and literary critic Stuart Kelly and Scottish Book Trust staff....
BBC News Scotland, Nov. 28
2013 Tower Hamlets Book Award
At a packed ceremony at Swanlea Secondary School in Whitechapel, London, on November 29—attended by children’s authors Katherine Roberts, Sarwat Chadda, and Sam Gayton—librarians, teachers, and students from 21 Tower Hamlets schools were on hand to hear The Snow Merchant, a highly imaginative, quirky, and fun-filled debut story by Sam Gayton announced as the winner of the 2013 Tower Hamlets Book Award....
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service, Nov. 29
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Libraries in the News
Dozens of LA schools lack library staff
As many as 145 schools across the Los Angeles Unified School District may have closed their libraries, according to staffing numbers provided to KPCC in early December. The district said it does not have a tally of shuttered libraries, but figures show schools and the district have hired only a fraction of the library aides needed to operate libraries in every public school. The district has 457 elementary schools, but only 380 schools have at least a part-time library aide....
KPCC-FM, Pasadena, Calif., Dec. 2
South Alabama consolidates its special collections
Using a $3 million pledge from the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust, the University of South Alabama in Mobile will renovate the third floor of its Marx Library to house both the university archives and the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The McCall collection, acquired in the spring of 2011, is currently housed in the basement of USA’s Spring Hill Avenue campus. It includes more than one million documents dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century and is one of the most important archival collections in the South....
Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, Nov. 27
Library Diaries author loses damages on appeal
A library assistant who lost her job in 2008 after she wrote a supposedly fictionalized tell-all was improperly awarded damages, a Maryland appeals court has ruled. Sally Stern developed her manuscript for The Library Diaries, written under the pseudonym Ann Miketa, while working at the Mason County (Mich.) District Library in Ludington. Her publisher, Publish America, canceled printing of the book after she was fired, fearing defamation lawsuits. After a three-day trial in 2010, the court had granted Stern damages, but those have now been rescinded....
Courthouse News Service, Nov. 27
The Girolamini Library thefts
It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes—including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo, and Machiavelli—from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. And former Director Marino Massimo de Caro (right) is accused of being at the center of a black-market network. Now, prosecutors are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place....
New York Times, Nov. 29
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Libraries fear the NSA is targeting their records
US libraries are backing legislation that would curb the powers of the National Security Agency. Revelations about NSA surveillance have created a “climate of concern” for libraries, which are seeking to defend the freedom to read and research away from the government’s prying eyes. The activities of the NSA seem to go far beyond traditional police work, reflecting an “almost ravenous hunger” for collecting information, according to Lynne Bradley, director of the ALA Office of Government Relations....
The Hill: Hillicon Valley, Dec. 4
Digital divide: The new version
Aaron Sankin writes: “Activist Larry Ortega, who heads a chapter of the digital literacy group One Million New Internet Users, argues that poor and nonwhite users are largely relying solely on smartphones for internet access. It’s created a two-tiered system where the rich have access to expensive, high-speed broadband internet at home and everyone else is relegated to slower connections on mobile devices that seriously limit users’ ability to contribute to the digital conversation. This digital divide is between digital consumers on the one hand and digital contributors on the other.”...
Salon, Nov. 23
Net neutrality decision could come soon
A federal court could issue its decision on the controversial net neutrality regulations in December or January, FCC Chair Thomas Wheeler (right) said December 2. He said he is “hopeful” the D.C. Circuit will uphold the regulations. Verizon has sued to overturn the rules, which bar internet providers from blocking or discriminating against lawful websites. He said he supports a “see-saw” approach, where regulation is aggressive in uncompetitive markets but hands-off in competitive markets....
The Hill: Hillicon Valley, Dec. 2
Fair use, Georgia State, and the rest of the world
Kevin Smith writes: “It took years, but it finally dawned on the recording industry that suing your own customers was a bad strategy, pursued only by a desperate industry that cannot figure out how to retool their businesses to offer services that people really need and want. But as I tell folks, the publishers suing Georgia State have made an even more foolish decision, since they are suing people who are not just their customers, but also their suppliers.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Dec. 2
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Five best iPad cases
Alan Henry writes: “Earlier this week we asked readers which iPad cases were the best to keep their tablets safe during use or travel. They had many nominees, but we could only pick out the top five. One, the Griffin IntelliCase (above), offers full-body protection for the back and sides of your iPad and a magnetic screen cover that will wake or sleep your device when the cover is opened or shut.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 1
New USB connector in the works
Stephen Shankland writes: “The group behind the USB standard has begun work on a new connector that’s designed to fix a two-decade-old problem: It can be hard to tell which way is up. The Type-C connector will make Universal Serial Bus more like Apple’s Lightning connector, which is used on newer iPads and iPhones. With it, customers don’t have to make sure the connector is flipped upside-down compared to the port.”...
CNET News, Dec. 4
A learning tablet for kids
Gregory Schmidt writes: “VTech has created a safe zone for texting with its latest learning tablet, the InnoTab 3S. The device, which recently dropped in price, has all the typical offerings that you would expect in a learning tablet, including a secure browser and apps that teach reading, math, and science. But the feature that VTech is heavily promoting is Kid Connect, which helps parents and children stay in contact via texting.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, Nov. 26
Chandra Steele writes: “The cold, cruel winter shouldn’t stop you from texting to say you’re stuck in the snow. But when slipping off your gloves can mean risking frostbite, your hands are better off in your pockets. Why do touch screens respond to you? Touch-screen gloves have capacitive elements sewn in; often they use stainless-steel thread sewn into the fingertips. Other metals, like plated silver and copper, can be used as well. Here are 10 pairs we have picked out for men, women, and kids.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 2
Amazon’s drones: Distinguishing hype from reality
David Talbot writes: “Amazon’s plans to deliver packages by drones, which it predicts ‘will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,’ has been widely dismissed as little more than clever self-promotion. For home delivery to work safely and ubiquitously, it would mean avoiding every power line on a suburban street, deciphering satellite maps to decide what precise spot on a property to land, and making sure a drone didn’t hit an errant child or dog. Even if those challenges were dealt with, drone use by Amazon would likely be a niche, high-cost service for high-value items.”...
MIT Technology Review, Dec. 2
Google Visualization API Query Language
Bohyun Kim writes: “Designing a full-fledged searchable web database application from spreadsheet data is not always a feasible option at many libraries, due to the staff time and expertise it requires. But creating an Access custom database or using a free service such as Zoho can be a useful alternative. Google Visualization API Query Language provides a quick and easy way to query a Google spreadsheet and return and display a selective set of data without actually converting a spreadsheet into a database.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Dec. 4
“Many librarians believe computers are the only means to effectively cope with their bulging bookshelves,” according to a 1966 issue of the New York World-Telegram and Sun. This UNIVAC 490 computer and printer (released in 1960) was a 30-bit word machine that used drum memory for storage. Photo is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division....
Shorpy, Dec. 2
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Douglas County ebook report for December
James LaRue writes: “Libraries can’t buy Catching Fire as an ebook. But note the ‘divergent’ pricing for Divergent: an actual savings from the consumer price over Bilbary (PDF file). A question: Since no library that I can find has actual physical possession of a Random House ebook file and the publishing house claims that it is selling (not leasing) ebooks to libraries, is Random House paying its authors a 10%–20% royalty for their ebook titles, or the more usual 50% lease fee that RH authors might well be entitled to?”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 3
An e-reading room just for kids
OverDrive is offering a new service for public library partners to give young readers a place of their own. Now there’s an option to incorporate an e-reading room for young people as an extension of a library website. Kids and teens can browse, sample, place holds, and borrow ebooks and other age-appropriate media. The first live eReading Room for kids is hosted at Kitsap Regional Library in Washington....
OverDrive Digital Library Blog, Dec. 2
Massachusetts selects BiblioBoard
The Massachusetts Library System, along with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s Statewide Resource Sharing Committee, has chosen BiblioLabs’ product BiblioBoard to participate in the MA eBook Project, an endeavor designed to expand access to ebooks for the state’s multitype libraries. Initially, BiblioLabs will make more than 30,000 ebooks and other materials available on an unlimited multiuser basis to pilot libraries via BiblioBoard....
BiblioLabs, Dec. 3
Elsevier partners with Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Sci-tech publisher Elsevier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt to provide 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries with access to ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s online scientific research platform. The new agreement will provide courtesy access for a period of three years....
Elsevier, Dec. 3
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Talk About Innovation: TEDx @Your Library! Chrystie Hill, Teri Skillman, and Meg Omainsky share their success stories and strategies for using TEDx to energize and empower community conversations in a panel moderated by Barbara Stripling on Saturday, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Tonio Kröger (1968, France / West Germany). Jean-Claude Brialy as wandering young author Tonio Kröger returns to his ancestral home in Germany to find that it has been converted into a library.
Tora-san’s Lovesick [Otoko wa tsurai yo: Torajiro koiyatsure] (1974, Japan). A young widow (Sayuri Yoshinaga as Utako) who works in the municipal library retires from work.
Toronto Stories (2008, Canada). In “The Brazilian” segment, Sook-Yin Lee as Willia goes to the public library to look up what “Polkaroo” means, a name that her reserved friend Boris (Tygh Runyan) has been calling himself.
La totale! (1991, France). Miou-Miou plays Hélène Voisin, a stereotypical librarian (complete with cardigan) bored with her life and her husband, who is really an undercover secret agent. Corinne Merle plays another library staffer. The library scenes were filmed at the Agora Library in Évry, near Paris.
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.
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Librarian, University of California, Berkeley. UCB seeks an energetic, creative, and service-oriented librarian to provide research support to the university community in natural resources and environmental science and to develop, promote, and enhance access to library collections that meet the university’s teaching and research needs. The librarian will contribute to public services and work closely with colleagues to address interdisciplinary areas....
Digital Library of the Week
The Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project is a joint effort of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana to make available important bibles and biblical texts from their collections. Over the course of the next four years, 1.5 million pages will be made freely available online to researchers. Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and early printed books have been selected for inclusion by a team of scholars and curators from around the world. The website, launched December 2, features zoomable images that enable detailed scholarly analysis and study. It also includes essays and video presentations made by scholars and supporters, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès. Watch the video (2:26).
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 my foolhardy youth, when my friends were dreaming of heroic deeds in the realms of engineering and law, finance and national politics, I dreamt of becoming a librarian.”
—Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 5.
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit 2014, Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel, Tennessee.
Bibliographical Society of America, Annual Meeting, New York City.
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
Institute of Museum and Library Services, WebWise conference, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace. “Anchoring Communities.”
Handheld Librarian 9, online conference. “Encouraging Innovation and Technology.”
National Latino Children’s Literature Conference, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.”
Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, San Diego.
Loleta Fyan Rural Libraries Conference, The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island Michigan.
The Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries, Library Assessment Conference, Seattle. “Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment.” Proposal deadline is Jan. 17.
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Application deadline is Feb. 1.
The Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lake Oswego, Oregon. “Return to the Oregon Trail.”
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Schaumburg librarians write YA books
Amy Alessio and Susan Miura know something about books and attracting teenage readers. Both work at the Schaumburg Township (Ill.) District Library—Alessio is a teen librarian, while Miura works in public relations—and regularly review books, develop programs, and sponsor author appearances. Now, they find themselves on the opposite side of the table. After years of writing for library journals and hoping to one day publish a fiction work, both have done it. Their books came out within weeks of each other....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Dec. 2
Characters with disabilities
Carli Spina writes: “December 3 was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This annual United Nations–sponsored event aims to further global efforts to promote accessibility and remove all types of barriers. This year the theme is ‘Break Barriers, Open Doors for an Inclusive Society and Development for All.’ Here is a list of books set around the world that feature characters with a variety of disabilities who are facing a host of barriers in their own lives.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 3
Out of print, but not out of mind
David Streitfeld writes: “Even as the universe of printed matter continues to shrivel, the book—or at least some of its best-known features—is showing remarkable staying power online. The idea is apparently embedded so deeply in the collective unconsciousness that no one can bear to leave it behind. Though some features may be getting a second life online, efforts to reimagine the core experience of the book have stumbled. Dozens of publishing start-ups tried harnessing social reading apps or multimedia, but few caught on.”...
New York Times, Dec. 1
Book recommendations based on social media preference
Molly Horan writes: “Selecting books for the people on your Christmas list can be tough. You’re never sure if your favorite will be right for those who swore off sci-fi or those on a nonfiction kick. To find the perfect title, look to your friend’s favorite platform. Do 95% of your Facebook notifications come from them? Are they slightly addicted to Twitter? Their social media of choice can provide insight on what kind of prose they will enjoy.”...
Mashable, Dec. 4
Seven bookish craft projects
Cassandra Neace writes: “If you’re of the crafting persuasion, then you’ve probably already gotten started planning (if not actually doing) your Christmas projects. If you’re like me, books play a big part in those plans. I’ve been scouting the internet in search of some ideas for this year’s craft-fest, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite ideas with you. Take a look. This old book Christmas tree (right) just requires a hot glue gun and a little stash of decorations.”...
Book Riot, Nov. 27
Cozy bookish sweatshirts
Becky Cole writes: “I don’t know about you, but my ideal winter day involves chilly weather outside with me inside, swathed in soft things and curled up with a book and a steaming beverage. DC temperatures dipped below freezing during the day for the first time this week, and I’m ready to hibernate. Let’s take a look at some appropriately bookish sweatshirts to get the winter reading party started.”...
Book Riot, Nov. 29
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Poster sessions: A beginner’s guide
Steve Ammidown writes: “At conferences, poster sessions are an opportunity for students and established professionals to present their work in an informal context. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the conference presentation waters. Unlike a traditional session, all of the posters are set up at once, and each presenter is expected to stand with their poster for the entirety of the session (typically an hour or two) to answer questions from passers-by.”...
Hack Library School, Dec. 2
HealthCare.gov deploys new queuing feature
HealthCare.gov, the US government’s insurance-shopping website, had to deploy a user queuing feature December 2 because of heavy traffic, just days after the Department of Health and Human Services announced the troubled site was working well for a majority of users. Page response time for the site was about two seconds at the time the team launched the queuing system, when page response time has generally been below one second in recent weeks. Insurers are still vexed by some problems the site continues to have....
PC World, Dec. 2; Ars Technica, Dec. 2; New York Times, Dec. 1
Five good resources for personal finance lessons
Richard Byrne writes: “Yesterday, I shared a nice collection of personal finance lesson activities called Money as You Grow. Reviewing Money as You Grow prompted me to pull up some of my other resources for personal finance lessons. Here are five of my favorite personal finance lesson resources that I pulled from dozens of economics resources in my archives.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Dec. 2–3
Evaluating CE courses
Su Epstein writes: “I often find myself considering the merits of various continuing education opportunities. I’ve personally experienced fabulous free courses and useless ones I’ve paid dearly for. The same has been true for my colleagues. Before signing up, or at least before providing payment, evaluate your prospective course and course provider. Even a few hundred dollars is too much to waste. Take these steps before taking that class.”...
Public Libraries Online, Dec. 1
PISA rankings in math, reading, science
George Dvorsky writes: “The results for PISA 2012 are in. The Programme for International Assessment is an international survey done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development every three years to assess the competencies of 15-year-olds from 65 countries in key subject areas. Here’s what they found. Asian countries did the best, with Shanghai performing so well in math that the OECD compares their scoring to the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling in most countries. Canada finished in 13th place and the US finished 36th.” Diane Ravitch offers some criticism of the results....
io9, Dec. 3; OECD, Dec. 3; Diane Ravitch’s Blog, Dec. 3
Gearing up for DeSTEMber
Wendy Stephens writes: “DeSTEMber is sponsored by Girlstart, an organization whose mission involves empowering girls to continue STEM studies. Girlstart’s website provides a wealth of programming ideas, many in online modules, as well as an archive of DeSTEMber content from 2012. There are synchronous guest lectures planned from many top-flight science centers and zoos around the country as well, so all you have to do is dial in.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 2
Rural America at a glance
Rural America at a Glance, 2013 edition (PDF file), highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas. This year’s edition focuses on the US rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and population trends....
US Department of Agriculture, Nov. 24
Undergrads and information technology
Eden Dahlstrom, J. D. Walker, and Charles Dziuban write: “The Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2013, ECAR collaborated with more than 250 higher education institutions to collect responses from more than 112,000 undergraduate students about their technology experiences and expectations. The findings (PDF file) are distilled into four broad themes.”...
Educause, Sept. 16
What if people were paid to study in the library?
Brian Mathews writes: “If I paid you to study in the library you would likely take me up on the offer. And if I paid you and your group to study there together, then you would definitely use the library more often. That’s the gist of a recent economics study: ‘Letting Down the Team? Social Effects of Team Incentives’ (PDF file). The study found that while individuals took advantage of the pay-to-study-here opportunity, incentives tied to team performance resulted in strikingly greater participation.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Ubiquitous Librarian, Dec. 3
Brewing up book club magic
Sharon McClintock writes: “This summer the Mountain View (Calif.) Public Library offered a unique book club called READ Quest for the third year. READ Quest is for entering 3rd and 4th graders and focuses on genres. The program encourages kids to read for the fun of it, discovering the enormous benefits of reading for pleasure. Children who participate don’t all read the same book, but choose a book for themselves from each week’s genre. In this way we are able to accommodate a wide variety of reading levels and interests.”...
ALSC Blog, Nov. 30
Teen book clubs for grown-ups
Linda Jerome writes: “I dearly wish I could say that we’ve had a book club for teens at our library for years and it’s a staple of our programming; but if I said that, I’d be a big, fat liar. But we do have a teen book club for adults who love teen books and aren’t afraid to admit it. There have been some unexpected benefits. First, we’ve seen many more of our library staffers reading teen books.”...
Tiny Tips for Library Fun, Dec. 1
Newsweek plans a return to print
Newsweek, the struggling weekly magazine that ceased print publication in December 2012, plans to turn the presses back on. The magazine expects to begin a 64-page weekly edition in January or February, said Jim Impoco, Newsweek’s editor in chief. He added that the magazine would depend more heavily on subscribers than advertisers to pay its bills—and that readers would pay more than in the past....
New York Times, Dec. 3
LC surveys US silent films
Moviegoers may not realize that 70% of all feature-length silent films made in America have been completely lost to time and neglect. The Library of Congress unveiled on December 4 The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929 (PDF file), the first comprehensive survey of American feature films that survived the silent era of motion pictures. Written by historian and archivist David Pierce, the report is accompanied by an inventory database of surviving films....
Library of Congress, Dec. 4
How I got my LIS groove back
Alison Peters writes: “I fully admit it: I was this close to dropping out. After a semester ‘break’ I needed a jumpstart to put me back on a focused path and engage me again.
So when the call went out to join an independent study course devoted to the LIS Publications Wiki, I jumped at it. The wiki is essentially a database of LIS-centric publications and everything you ever wanted to know in order to write for them.”...
Hack Library School, Nov. 28
Visualizations of MARC usage
Roy Tennant writes: “As part of my work to reveal exactly how the MARC standard has been used over the several decades it has existed (available at ‘MARC Usage in WorldCat’), I’ve always wanted to produce visualizations of the data. Recently, with essential help from my colleagues J. D. Shipengrover and Jeremy Browning, I was able to do exactly that. After trying various graphical depictions of the data, we finally settled on an interactive starburst view of the data.”...
Hanging Together, Dec. 2
Toronto Public Library advocacy video
The Toronto Public Library commissioned Daytime Emmy Award–winning filmmakers James Braithwaite and Josh Raskin to create a provocative animated film, “Our Public Library” (4:17). Narrated by Canadian author Vincent Lam, the video emphasizes the importance of the library to Toronto citizens in the wake of 20 years of budget cuts and political neglect. The video supports an advocacy campaign sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Workers Union....
Our Public Library; YouTube, Nov. 20
Pull over, watch this
Kevin King writes: “I just discovered the best customer service training video (2:40) and it is a news story about a cop. It encapsulates how public servants should interact with patrons. Officer Elton Simmons has made over 25,000 traffic stops over the past 20 years in Los Angeles County and has received zero complaints. What is his secret? It’s incredibly simple: He treats all people with respect. Here are the things Officer Simmons does when interacting with individuals.”...
Library Lost and Found, Dec. 3; YouTube, May 12
Jason Vance writes: “We have experienced 15 deaths in my library this semester. Three victims were decapitated. The bodies of two other victims were never found. Others were abused and left for dead. My library is facing a crisis. Staplercide—the murder of library staplers—is at an all-time high. The average life span for a stapler at my library’s reference desk this past semester was 15.3 days. The most common cause of stapler death was exhaustion.”...
College and Research Libraries News 74, no. 11 (Dec.): 570–572
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