|American Libraries Online
One book, many zombies
Troy Swanson (right) and Tish Hayes write: “Zombies now populate video games, commercials (for everything from cars to Skittles), even spinoffs of classic books like Pride and Prejudice. This fall, the Moraine Valley Community College library in Palos Hills, Illinois, moved this zombie craze into new territory, using it as an academic metaphor to connect disciplines and foster conversation and student engagement. Library staff created a simulated zombie pandemic that linked the curriculum to the library’s cultural programming and student activities.”...
American Libraries feature
John J. Burke writes: “Libraries are all about people—both the people who use their services and the people who work there. Some key areas of concern for libraries relate to patrons with disabilities and patrons who use the library as their primary access point for technology. Library staff members need to know what technology barriers patrons face and how staff members can be open to overcoming them. Many products are available to make both computers and noncomputer resources and services easier to use for those with disabilities.”...
American Libraries feature
Navigating the news
Deniz Koray writes: “Librarians have always been major proponents of literacy campaigns, and now, for the past two years, many librarians have been participating in a new type of initiative: media literacy. To help high school students differentiate between fact and fiction in today’s increasingly chaotic news, ALA, in partnership with local library branches and a nonprofit media literacy organization, created News Know-How, a program that helps young adults become better, more savvy media consumers.”...
American Libraries feature
Another Story: Meeting spaces of the minds
Joseph Janes writes: “This year’s freshmen have settled into their routines, dug into classes, and in many cases engaged for the first time with an academic library. And in many of those libraries, they have found a research- or learning-commons space where they can attend tutorials, find a place to do coursework, collaborate on projects, create presentations, write, or just sit around and think or read. But whenever I go there, I have one nagging question that won’t go away: Why is this space here? Why is this in the library?”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Youth Matters: Moving beyond same-old
Linda W. Braun writes: “Youth services outreach frequently centers on luring young people inside the library by visiting schools to book-talk or promote such programs as summer reading clubs. But is that really the dictionary definition of the ‘extending of services’ in ways that go ‘beyond current or usual limits?’ I’d say no. In a world of mobile devices and e-content, what should outreach to youth look like in the second decade of the 21st century?”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Did you miss “Making the Discovery Decision”?
You can still watch the archived version of this AL Live episode, which features Gwen Evans, Courtney Greene McDonald (right), and Edward Smith, on our website. The next episode, “The Future of Libraries” with David Lee King, Joseph Murphy, Marshall Breeding, Buffy Hamilton, and Bohyun Kim, is scheduled for January 9....
Library Design Showcase submissions are open
American Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Library Design Showcase, our annual feature celebrating new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. The showcase will be featured in our September/October 2014 issue. To have your library considered, send or email a completed submission form (PDF file), along with high-resolution digital images, to American Libraries, Attn: Library Design Showcase, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611....
American Libraries, Dec. 9
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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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Free webinar to kick off Building Community through Making series
ALA President Barbara Stripling’s Winter Webinar series “Building Community through Making,” featuring nationally recognized speakers and innovative library leaders, begins December 16 with “Community Engagement through Making.” The series is presented by the Office for Library Advocacy and cosponsored by LITA and Barbara Stripling’s Presidential Advisory Committee. Registration is mandatory, and limited to the first 100 participants to arrive in the virtual room....
Office for Library Advocacy, Dec. 10
Proposed changes to Accreditation Standards
The ALA Committee on Accreditation has issued a call for comments on the proposed revision to the 2008 Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. Visit the Standards Review website to make comments on the draft document. COA will host a program on the proposed changes on January 26 at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Comments will be accepted through October 24, 2014....
Office for Accreditation, Dec. 9
40 students chosen for student-to-staff program
Forty ALA student chapter members were nominated by their schools and accepted to assist ALA staff during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas in the ALA student-to-staff program. In exchange for working four hours a day (or a total of 16 hours), these students receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses....
Chapter Relations Office, Dec. 10
Vote for the Midwinter T-shirt design
Help us choose the colors of ALA’s Midwinter Meeting T-shirt. The 2014 T-shirt will be a unisex cut with the image on the front. More than 700 people voted to select the colors of ALA’s 2013 Midwinter T-shirt (right), and they sold out quickly. It’s time to vote again, and the deadline is noon Central time on December 16. Check ALA’s Facebook page shortly afterwards to see the winning colors, and remember to come early to purchase yours at the ALA Store....
ALA Publishing, Dec. 10
FTRF remembers Frank Zappa
Jonathan Kelley writes: “December 4 marked the 20th anniversary of Frank Zappa’s death from cancer at the age of 52. The Freedom to Read Foundation and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom were, at the time, designated by his family as among the organizations to receive contributions made in his memory. In addition to being a legendary and influential musician, Zappa (right) was known throughout his career as a free speech activist. Check out our page honoring his legacy.”...
FTRF Blog, Dec. 5
Relief for Philippine libraries
ALA is accepting donations from the United States for libraries in the Philippines. The Philippines Library Relief Fund will help rebuild libraries and archives in the Philippines that were destroyed or damaged by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on November 8, the worst storm in those islands in 101 years. To donate by credit card, visit the ALA Development Office page. To donate by mail, send in the donation form (PDF file)....
International Relations Office; Library of Congress Blog, Nov. 20
CALA Newsletter archives available
The ALA Archives have digitized all the newsletters and conference programs of the Chinese American Librarians Association, an ALA affiliate. Within the newsletters (1982–2000) are messages from the president, announcements, essays on Chinese and East Asian librarianship, obituaries, and reviews. Find the digitized documents here....
ALA Archives, Dec. 9
US librarians in Guadalajara
Leylha Ahulie writes: “The presence of US book professionals can be seen throughout the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL). This year, a growing number of librarians, publishers, agents, distributors, and self-published authors have come to the largest Spanish-language book fair in the world. PW spoke with Michael Dowling, director of the ALA International Relations Office, who works with FIL to coordinate the attendance of US librarians at the fair.”...
Publishers Weekly, Dec. 4
Playful storytelling through folktales
In Folktales Aloud: Practical Advice for Playful Storytelling, published by ALA Editions, teacher and storyteller Janice M. Del Negro gives librarians, teachers, and parents the keys to storytelling success. Including more than a dozen original adaptations of folktales from around the world, tailored specifically for library and classroom use by experienced as well as beginning tellers, she reviews all of the storytelling basics, such as selecting a tale, learning the story, and overcoming stage fright....
ALA Editions, Dec. 4
Music programming for primary grades
Music programs have been scaled back or eliminated altogether from the curricula of many schools. Luckily, storytimes offer ideal opportunities for music and songs. Let’s Start the Music: Programming for Primary Grades, published by ALA Editions, is a collection of easy-to-use, easy-to-adapt library programs for children in grades K–3. Amy Brown connects songs and musical activities directly to books kids love to read....
ALA Editions, Dec. 4
Become an internet search expert
The new fourth edition of the bestselling Expert Internet Searching, from Facet Publishing, is Phil Bradley’s no-nonsense guide to the tools for finding the right information more quickly and effectively than ever before. Formerly titled The Advanced Internet Searcher’s Handbook, the book benefits casual searchers and expert information retrievers alike. It has been rewritten from scratch and offers readers the information and guidance they need to choose the right search tools and strategies for each information query....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Dec. 10
The most important uses of space for 21st century libraries
A cutting-edge text capturing the insights and practical ideas of leading international librarians, educators and designers, Better Library and Learning Spaces: Projects, Trends and Ideas, from Facet Publishing, addresses the critical question of how libraries can maximize spaces through design. Editor Les Watson and his contributors offer a creative resource bank that introduces key concepts, draws together opinions, and encourages new ways of thinking about library learning spaces for the future....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Dec. 10
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Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Meck, Su, with Daniel De Vise. I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia. Feb. 2014, 288p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4516-8581-5).
It was a freaky accident. When a ceiling fan fell and struck her, Su Meck received a gash in her forehead. She writes, “This was the day that my old life ended and my new life began.” The old Su was rebellious, the new Su was compliant after suffering not only a traumatic brain injury but also complete retrograde amnesia as well as anterograde amnesia. Essentially, the accident wiped out her memories and prevented her from making new ones. In this remarkable memoir, Meck chronicles her experiences as she learned to live in “a house full of strangers.”...
Top 10 science and health books: 2013
Donna Seaman writes: “A fantastic voyage through the body, journeys to the edge of mathematical concepts, chasing butterflies, a search for a lost bird, respect and health care for veterans, and wise words of advice for young scientists, the best science and health books reviewed in Booklist between December 1, 2012, and November 15, 2013, cover a world of intriguing discoveries.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Robert Burns at the Rosenbach
Join the staff of the Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008–2010 Delancey Place, as they celebrate Scotland’s most-loved bard, Robert Burns (right), on the afternoon of January 25. Tea and biscuits will be available. Local scholars and enthusiasts will recite Burns’s poetry, and bagpipe and voice duo Susan and Donald Simon will perform Burns songs. You can continue the Burns-a-thon by going to the World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, for its traditional Burns Night celebration....
Rosenbach Museum and Library
National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the US Constitution and its legacy. Located on Independence Mall, the center serves as an interactive museum, a hub of civic education, and a national town hall for constitutional dialogue. It regularly hosts government leaders, journalists, scholars, and celebrities for public discussions. On January 24 it will present a free Coffee and Conversation program on “What You Need to Know about American Politics,” with journalist Linda Greenhouse, historian Donald Ritchie, and political science professor Richard Valelly....
National Constitution Center
National Museum of American Jewish History
National Museum of American Jewish History, established in 1976 on Independence Mall, is the only major national museum dedicated to telling the story of Jews in America from 1654 to the present. During the Midwinter Meeting, the museum will present a special exhibit on “Pop Lubin’s Silent Film Empire.” Siegmund Lubin (d. 1923) was a German-American motion picture pioneer who began making films in 1897. The crown jewel of his empire was Betzwood, a dignified estate that Lubin planned to turn into a model industrial village and the greatest movie studio of its day....
National Museum of American Jewish History
Philadelphia Art Alliance
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is a multidisciplinary arts center located at 251 South 18th Street in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. It is the oldest multidisciplinary arts center in the US for visual, literary, and performing arts. During the Midwinter Meeting, the center will host an exhibit of the works of ceramic artist William Daley (right), including a recent short film about Daley and his work, Mud Architect, as well as images, drawings, and sketches from Daley’s studio....
Philadelphia Art Alliance
Public ice skating in Philadelphia
Jillian Wilson writes: “Embrace the winter chill with open arms (for balance, of course) by showing off your finest ice skating moves at a number of public ice skating rinks in the Philadelphia region. At the Blue Cross RiverRink (right), an open-air Olympic-size rink on Penn’s Landing, skaters take in a spectacular view of the city while gliding alongside the Delaware River. The city’s newest outdoor rink, Skate at the Piazza, offers 5,000 square feet of artificial ice for skaters who want to show off their best moves.”...
Uwishunu, Dec. 5
One of the region’s most-beloved horticulture destinations, the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania holds acres upon acres of forest, gardens, sculptures, and greenhouses. Thousands of rare and lovely woody plants, including many of Philadelphia’s oldest and largest trees, are set in a 92-acre, Victorian landscape garden of winding paths, streams, flowers, and special garden areas. Winter Wellness Walks are held on Saturday mornings, and open-ended guided tours are held year round on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m....
Howl at the Moon
Warm up your vocal cords and prepare for a night singing along with your favorite songs at the Howl at the Moon dueling-piano bar at 258 South 15th Street. Every night, performers take the stage to put together a lively show using pianos, drums, guitars, and audience participation. Shows never follow a set template or playlist, and the party is always evolving. Quench your thirst at the bar with craft beers and cocktails or grab a bite to eat from the menu featuring twists on American classics....
How to pack your suitcase more effectively
Andrew Tarantola writes: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re going away for a few nights or a fortnight, there’s no need to carry more matched luggage than Princess Vespa. With a bit of planning and these simple storage techniques, you'll be able to pack your holiday's worth of gear into a standard carry-on. Over-packing for a trip is a rookie mistake, and a costly one at that; pack too much and your free carry-on will suddenly become a $25 checked bag.” Watch the video (1:23)....
Gizmodo, Dec. 7; YouTube, June 19, 2012
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ACRL financial literacy forum in Philadelphia
Join ACRL on January 25 at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia for “Financial Literacy: Why Students Need Librarians to Get Involved.” Featured speaker Adi Redzic (right), cofounder and executive director of iOme Challenge, will make the case for why young people need librarians and other library professionals to get involved in facilitating greater financial literacy in our communities....
ACRL, Dec. 9
Registration opens for winter ALSC online courses
ALSC has opened registration for its Winter 2014 online courses, three of which are CEU-certified by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training. Register now for 4–6 week classes, which begin January 6....
ALSC, Dec. 10
AASL National Conference is on demand on eCOLLAB
The AASL 16th National Conference has wrapped up, but the learning and conversation continues on AASL’s professional development repository, eCOLLAB, where a selection of recorded concurrent sessions and related handouts are now available to AASL members and eCOLLAB subscribers....
AASL, Dec. 10
Holiday shopping made easier
Need a gift for the book lover(s) in your life? Check out the annual lists of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction, and Jewish literature compiled by the readers’ advisory experts of RUSA....
RUSA, Dec. 10
Midwinter symposium on public access to research
“Here There Be Dragons: Public Access to Federally Funded Research” is a Midwinter Symposium copresented by ALCTS and Digital Commons that offers a unique opportunity to explore the complex issues surrounding the collection, organization, delivery, and preservation of federally funded research. Join your colleagues on January 24 by registering online for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....
ALCTS, Dec. 10
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William C. Morris Award finalists
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2014 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The winner will be named at the Youth Media Awards on January 27 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. More information on the finalists and the award can be found on the YALSA website. Join the Morris Award reading challenge....
YALSA, Dec. 4; YALSA The Hub, Dec. 9
Nonfiction for young adults finalists
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults. The winner will be named at the Youth Media Awards on January 27 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. More information on the finalists and the award can be found on the YALSA website....
YALSA, Dec. 9
ALA awards deadlines extended
The deadline has been extended to February 3 for a number of ALA awards and grants: the Information Today Library of the Future Award, Beta Phi Mu Award, Melvil Dewey Award, Equality Award, Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship, H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant, Scholastic Library Publishing Award, and the Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children....
Office of ALA Governance, Dec. 10
2014 Penguin Young Readers Group Award
ALSC has awarded the 2014 Penguin Young Readers Group Award to JoAnna Schofield, Rikki Unterbrink, Amanda Yother, and Emily Dumas. The $600 stipend, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, enables up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. Applicants must demonstrate an involvement in ALSC as well as other professional and educational associations....
ALSC, Dec. 9
Richards Free Library a Literary Landmark
United for Libraries, in partnership with the trustees of the Richards Free Library in Newport, New Hampshire, designated a memorial park outside the library a Literary Landmark in honor of Sarah Josepha Hale (1788–1879) on November 23. Hale was a prominent editor who promoted the education of women and was instrumental in establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday. The library has presented a Sarah Josepha Hale literary award annually since 1956....
United for Libraries, Dec. 9
Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries
ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation opened applications December 6 for the new Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, which recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature. The collaboration extends graphic novels into a new realm by encouraging public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and honoring the creative excellence of Will Eisner. The application deadline is February 7....
Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group, Dec. 6
Apply for an Opening Minds Innovation Award
Individuals and organizations interested in submitting a nomination for the Opening Minds Innovation Awards, sponsored by Follett, have until December 13 to apply online. The Opening Minds USA awards seek to recognize innovations that are advancing the field of early childhood education to better the lives of young children and their families....
Follett Learning, Dec. 5
2013 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grants
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators revealed the winners of its 2013 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award. Eve Feldman, author of Billy and Milly, Short and Silly (Putnam) and Dog Crazy (Tambourine) is the winner and will receive $3,000. The grant assists mid-list authors to honor their contribution and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress....
SCBWI Blog, Dec. 10
2013 Roald Dahl Funny Prize
Jim Smith’s I Am Still Not a Loser, the second book in the Barry Loser series, has won the 2013 Roald Dahl Funny Prize in the age 7–14 category. Monkey Nut by Simon Rickerty was given the award for the funniest book for children age 6 and under. Both authors were awarded £2,500 ($4,112 US) each at a December 10 ceremony at the Cambridge Theatre in London, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical....
The Guardian (UK), Dec. 10
Waterstones Book of the Year
Forty-eight years after it was first published, Stoner (Vintage Classics) by the late US author John Williams has been named the Waterstones Book of the Year 2013. The story of an unassuming literary scholar who hits career and marriage problems, Stoner was first published in the US in 1965 but had fallen out of print by the following year. Recently it’s been making a slow-burning literary comeback to win praise from contemporary readers and writers. The Waterstones Book of the Year is chosen from suggestions made by its booksellers....
The Bookseller, Dec. 3; The Guardian (UK), Dec. 3
2013 European Book Prize
Catalan novelist Eduardo Mendoza has won the 2013 European Book Prize for fiction with his novel An Englishman in Madrid (Maclehose), set in Madrid prior to the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s. The European Book Prize is organized by the Paris-based Esprit d’Europe association. The announcement was made at a December 4 awards ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels....
Catalan News Agency, Dec. 5
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Libraries in the News
Historical Society recovers documents
The Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore has finished recovering all the historical documents that were stolen in 2012. Librarian Patricia Anderson (right) has cataloged hundreds of historic documents believed to be stolen by Barry Landau, a collector of presidential memorabilia. Last year he and another man pled guilty to stealing thousands of historic documents from several East Coast museums, including the historical society, which lost 140 items in the heist....
WBFF-TV, Baltimore, Dec. 4
Air Force slashes its library funding
Strapped for cash to keep its airplanes in the sky, the US Air Force has slashed funding for its on-base libraries. Four of them across the country—including the Thomas S. Power Library at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska—were closed October 1. Two others have suspended operations until they can be restructured, and 13 more have reduced their hours. The closure at Offutt cost Library Director Becky Sims and five other employees their jobs, but will save the 55th Force Support Squadron $217,000....
Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 9
Librarian dismissed over air-quality dispute
Commissioners have fired Debbie Benedict, director of the Meagher County City Library (right) in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, following two months of conflict over air quality within the building. At a December 5 commission meeting, Benedict was presented with a termination letter charging her with insubordination. The dispute centered around Benedict’s concerns about contaminants in the library, her refusal to work in the building until tests of the air quality were performed, and the county’s refusal to perform the requested tests....
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune, Dec. 10
SFPL’s alleged peeing vandal (beware puns)
Max A. Cherney writes: “Don’t tinkle on his parade. An alleged repeeing-offender accused of causing $3,030.79 in damage to San Francisco Public Library books is now a wanted fugitive, on the run from the law, according to law enforcement officials. Aton Joni Cole was charged with one count of vandalism, but whizzed away from his scheduled arraignment on October 31. Information flowing from law enforcement suggests that the alleged scoundrel urinated on 109 books at San Francisco’s Main Library, across three shelves.”...
San Francisco Appeal, Dec. 10
San Francisco increases security measures
The San Francisco Public Library hopes to start a new chapter in its troubled story as it ramps up investment in custodian and security personnel following a string of complaints and unsavory incidents that renewed the focus on patron behavior. In early December, library officials unveiled increases to both security and custodian staffing as an interim solution and asked the City Controller’s Office to audit both functions, which is expected to lead to more sweeping reform....
San Francisco Examiner, Dec. 9
Racing library speeds ahead with annual raffles
If you’re going to keep a racing library and archives going, the best way to raise money is probably going to have something to do with cars. That is why it isn’t surprising that the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York, raffles off a classic car every year to raise money. This year, the $60 tickets went toward the chance of owning a 1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi with only 1,250 miles on the odometer. The tickets raised about $130,000 for the library, which is an adjunct to the Watkins Glen Public Library....
New York Times, Dec. 11
Dallas launches new homeless awareness program
Many Dallas Public Library patrons are homeless, and now the library staff has started to welcome them in a new way. Coffee and Conversations, a one-hour session that caters to homeless people, is the brainchild of Jo Giudice, who became library director in 2012. Two sessions have been held since early November, and the next is set for December 19. Attendance has doubled to more than 70. The next step is to develop targeted programs for the homeless customers....
Dallas Morning News, Dec. 6
Man sues Salt Lake City over library rules
After being asked to leave the Sprague branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library because of his lack of hygiene, a Utah man is suing the library for $25,000, and he wants his library card reactivated. According to a lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court December 4, the man wrote that over the summer, he was banned from the branch by a staff member “who said that I smelled and I was unclean.”...
Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 5
Oakland school libraries are struggling
Liza Veale writes: “The nonprofit Friends of the Oakland (Calif.) Public School Libraries works to fill the funding void for in-school libraries that often is supplemented in more affluent neighborhoods by the PTA. On November 18, the Friends hosted a community dialogue to strategize their mission to endow all Oakland Public Schools with multimedia libraries. Only nine of the city’s 75 schools meet or even approach the state standards for in-school libraries.”...
Oakland (Calif.) Local, Dec. 9
British libraries continue to close
More than 70 libraries closed in the UK during the past year, according to 2012–2013 figures published December 10 by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. As well as recording the loss of 74 static and mobile libraries, the annual report also recorded drops in library expenditure, library visits, the number of staff, and the number of books issued....
The Bookseller, Dec. 10
Canada dismantles its best fishery library
The Canadian government has dismantled one of the world’s top aquatic and fishery libraries as part of its agenda to reduce government and limit the role of environmental science in policy decision-making. Nearly 40,000 books and papers were removed from the Eric Marshall Library at the Freshwater Institute at the University of Manitoba and taken to a federal library in Sidney, British Columbia. Scientists, consultants, and members of the public were allowed to scavenge through whatever remained....
The Tyee, Dec. 9
Exploring Dutch culture at the airport library
Jeanine Deckers writes: “Shortly after I became manager of the Mobile Library department of ProBiblio, a service organization for public libraries in the Netherlands, we decided to make libraries on the beach for the summer holidays. It was a huge success, so we started thinking about other places to make libraries. Why not the airport?”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Dec. 10
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How Americans value libraries in their communities
Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. A new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project emphasizes that value, with some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older saying that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community; 63% said it would have a “major” impact. Respondents rated “books and media,” “librarian assistance,” and “having a quiet, safe place” as the most important library services....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Dec. 11; ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, Dec. 11
NSA infiltrated video games, Second Life
Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents. The spies created make-believe characters to snoop, recruit informers, and collect data and communications between players, according to documents disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden.” Watch the video (3:17)....
New York Times, Dec. 9
Tech companies push for surveillance reform
Eight of the nation’s largest technology companies called on President Obama and Congress on Monday to impose strict new curbs on surveillance that, if enacted, would dramatically reshape intelligence operations. Sites that have signed on for Global Government Surveillance Reform include AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo. The coalition calls for an end to bulk collection of user information—such as email, address books, and video chats—and the enactment of significant new protections when courts consider specific surveillance requests....
Washington Post, Dec. 8
Elsevier vs. Academic.edu vs. researchers
John Dupuis writes: “On December 6, Elsevier began sending takedown notices to Academia.edu for articles that authors have posted where they are in violation of the copyright transfer agreement that the author has signed. On the one hand, Elsevier is completely justified in enforcing its author agreements. On the other hand, this is a stark reminder to authors just who owns their research outputs.” Nancy Sims points out other situations where authors are signing away their rights....
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Dec. 10; MedCity News, Dec. 7; Copyright Librarian, Dec. 9
MOOCs misfire, then morph
A study of one million users of massive open online courses (MOOCs), released December 5 by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, found that only about half of those who registered for a course ever viewed a lecture, and only about 4% completed the courses. But even the loudest critics of MOOCs do not expect them to fade away. More likely, they will morph into many different shapes....
New York Times, Dec. 10; Penn Graduate School of Education, Dec. 5
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Every customer support number you’ll ever need
Jordan Minor writes: “Customer Support is theoretically there to help, but it too can be a disappointingly unpleasant experience. Websites may bury the 800 number, automated systems at the other end of the phone mishear words, and you spend most of your time either pressing buttons or shouting ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ at the phone. To help you avoid all that frustration, we’ve compiled a list of customer support phone numbers and tips for navigating to an actual person.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 5
Take a coding tutorial
Lifehacker, Dec. 6; YouTube, Dec. 8; Code.org
Codecademy releases its first educational app
Eliza Brooke writes: “Codecademy made its first foray into the app space December 10 and released an intro to coding course designed to take less than an hour to complete. I had a lot of laundry to do, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The Hour of Code app offers coursework that can be done in bite-sized portions on the go, well-suited for working professionals and busy types who want to learn a new skill.”...
TechCrunch, Dec. 11
App turns your phone into a 3D scanner
Kevin C. Tofel writes: “I’ve seen a number of 3D scanning applications for smartphones in the past, but the latest one from researchers at ETH Zurich is the most impressive. The output looks incredibly detailed and the application couldn’t be easier to use. Essentially, you just hold your phone in front of an object and the software will create the 3D image on the fly, adding more data points as you move your phone around the scanned object.” Watch the video (2:55)....
GigaOM, Dec. 6; YouTube, Dec. 3
The 10 best HDTVs
Wendy Sheehan Donnell writes: “With new technologies and a wider array of features, there’s a lot more to decide when you’re shopping for a new HDTV. First you need to figure out which type of television to get: Do you want the deep, dark blacks that plasma does best? Next you need to settle on a brand, a screen size, and your must-have features. No small feat, but this Best HDTVs list is a good place to start.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 5
How to digitize cassettes and other old media
Korbin Brown writes: “If you have some old cassette tapes, it’s a good idea to digitize and back them up before they decide to show their age and stop working. In this guide, we’ll show you how to convert your old collections to digital files, and the best practices for doing so. Ideally, you’ll want to use a high-quality tape deck. Lower-quality devices will require you to use the headphone jack on your computer, but better devices will be equipped with a line-out jack, which is what you’ll want to use if you have it.”...
How-To Geek, Dec. 11
Firefox 26 brings improvements
Sebastian Anthony writes: “Firefox 26 is now officially available to download. This is one of the most significant releases in recent history, introducing built-in click-to-play functionality for some plug-ins. Firefox 26 also represents the dramatic culmination of Mozilla’s MemShrink project, which has spent the last two and a half years trying to battle Firefox’s reputation for being a memory hog. Firefox 26 has a very svelte memory footprint indeed.”...
ExtremeTech, Dec. 10
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E-content and libraries: 2013 in review
Mirela Roncevic writes: “Looking back at how e-content in libraries, in all its incarnations, continued to evolve throughout 2013, it becomes obvious that 2013 carried on the legacy of the years past. Those who created, reviewed, sold, and managed e-content for libraries witnessed a kind of solidification (rather than reinvention) of a number of initiatives and products that were introduced in 2011 and 2012. In many ways, 2013 was less about changing the game and more about playing it well.”...
No Shelf Required, Dec. 10
DPLA: Young but well connected
Jennifer Howard writes: “After only seven months, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) serves as the central link in an expanding network of cultural institutions that want to make their holdings more visible to the public. It has attracted financial support from foundations and government agencies, and it’s begun to attract not only users in search of far-flung information but also developers who want to build new tools and applications on its open-source platform.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 9
All Norwegian books to be digitized
Alexis C. Madrigal writes: “The National Library of Norway will digitize its entire collection by the mid-2020s. When the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years. If you happen to be in Norway, as measured by your IP address, you will be able to access all 20th-century works, even those still under copyright.”...
The Atlantic, Dec. 3; National Library of Norway
New study: Many readers will not abandon print
Nearly 70% of consumers feel it is unlikely that they’ll give up on printed books by 2016, according to a new report (PDF file) from Ricoh and analyst firm IT Strategies with the University of Colorado at Boulder. The main reasons for preferring print over ebooks are that these consumers like the look and feel of a real book, they don’t have to strain their eyes to read print, and they like putting books on the bookshelf....
GalleyCat, Dec. 9; TeleRead, Dec. 11
Tablet aspect ratios compared
Nathan Groezinger writes: “Thys Kotzé sent in this chart (right) comparing the different aspect ratios for tablets. As the illustration notes, most newer Android tablets have 16:10 ratio screens, Windows tablets have 16:9 ratio screens, and the ever-popular iPad variants all have 4:3 ratio screens. The major exception to the rule is the Nook HD+ with its 9-inch, 1920 x 1280 resolution screen. It’s the only tablet that I know of with a 3:2 ratio screen.”...
The eBook Reader Blog, Dec. 7
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Don’t miss the latest updates on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more in important “News You Can Use” sessions. Update providers include the ALA Washington Office, other ALA divisions and offices, the ALA Digital Content Working Group, and organizations such as IMLS, OCLC, DPLA, Pew Research Center, LibTechGender, and ALISE. For a complete list, use this link.
To Love, Honor, and Deceive (1996, made for TV). Janet Sherkow plays a librarian.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (2003, short, Canada). Steve Arbuckle as high school student Todd discovers in the school library an ancient tome that can summon the devil. Lory Wajnberg is the school librarian.
Tokyo Sonata (2008, Japan / Netherlands / Hong Kong). Ryûhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa) loses his job after 46 years and tries to hide it from his family, going to the public library instead.
Tomcats (2001). Jerry O’Connell as Michael Delany decides in a library bathroom that he will seduce the first woman he sees. He passes on the first, but the second is stereotypical librarian Jill (played by Heather Stephens), who invites him inside after their date. There he meets Grammy (Marnie Crossen), a retired librarian. Jill quickly transforms into a leather-clad librarian dominatrix who berates him for disrespecting books and gives him one whack for each day his book is overdue. Then Grammy joins the pair, wielding a whip.
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.
21st Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts Curator, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. The mission of this position is to identify, appraise, acquire, catalog, and preserve manuscript materials of enduring historical value related to Utah, the Western US, and Mormonism, following accepted professional standards and practices with an emphasis on born-digital collections. This position is responsible for Mormon manuscripts from 2000 to the present, Trans-Mississippi West manuscripts from 2000 to the present, non-Mormon and non-literary manuscripts from 2000 to the present, local Utah County history from 2000 to the present, and Southeastern Idaho Mormon materials from 2000 to the present. Preference is given to qualified candidates who are members in good standing of the affiliated church....
Digital Library of the Week
Franklin, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’s digital repository and virtual research room, was launched on December 4. Franklin offers 350,000 pages of archival documents, 2,000 historical photographs, and hundreds of archival finding aids and collection descriptions. Documents include Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s New Deal and wartime correspondence with world leaders, government administrators, and regular Americans. Photographs include public domain images of the Roosevelts throughout their respective lifetimes, as well as subject areas like the Great Depression, New Deal, and World War II. The FDR Library’s digital partner, Marist College, developed and implemented the underlying database infrastructure based on the Archon platform.
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
“You can never go back to not being a librarian.”
—Courtney Greene McDonald, on the “Making the Discovery Decision” episode of AL Live, Dec. 5.
“A great Library cannot be entered by one of any refinement in thought and aspiration, without a certain feeling of awe. Surrounded by the productions of genius, the elegance of art, the delights of the mind, it is but natural that in the quiet, silent Library, reverence should possess the soul.”
—Richard Skinner, “An Hour or Two in the College Library,” Yale Literary Magazine 27, no. 2 (Nov. 1861): 52.
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, DoubleTree Philadelphia City Center. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”
National Reading Recovery and K–6 Classroom Literacy Conference, Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, 2014 Librarian Focus Group, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.
Amigos Library Services, online conference. “Is RDA on Your RaDAr?”
Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia and Oceania, Annual Meeting, Canberra, ACT, Australia. “National Libraries in the Digital Domain.”
National Latino Children’s Literature Conference, University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.”
Association for Information Science and Technology, 2014 Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina.
Association of Architecture School Librarians, Annual Conference, Miami.
Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual Conference, Grand Hyatt, Washington, D.C. “Art+Politics.”
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.
ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, 55th Preconference, Las Vegas, Nevada. “Retrofit: Exploring Space, Place, and the Artifact in Special Collections.” Proposals due December 16.
ISIC: The Information Behaviour Conference, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
American Association for State and Local History, Annual Conference, St. Paul, Minnesota.
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See grown-ups read
Alexandra Alter writes: “After R. J. Palacio’s novel Wonder was released in February 2012, in a bright, cartoonish hardcover edition clearly aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds, something unexpected happened. Prominent adult novelists heaped praise on the book and urged their fans to read it. Middle-grade books have now become a booming publishing category, fueled in part by adult fans who read the Harry Potter series and fell in love with the genre.”...
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5
10 nonfiction books about poverty
Michelle Dean writes: “Many of the great names in journalism have been those who have doggedly pursued the stories of impoverished people. The appeal of these stories is the way they challenge others, as well as the focus on humanistic detail with which they necessarily qualify established narratives. You might want to check out some of the books on this list, constituting some of the very finest in this kind of reportage and writing over the last half-century.”...
Flavorwire, Dec. 9
NYPL’s list of 2013 children’s books
Jeanne Lamb writes: “Children’s Books: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing (PDF file), the latest edition of the New York Public Library’s annual list of titles published for children, is now available. Nineteen children’s librarians pored over a wealth of new releases throughout the year, often with the help of the children in their branches, and have selected a delicious sampling of stories for you to peruse. Enjoy this snapshot of the creativity and artistry to be found in books being published for preschoolers on up through 6th grade.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Dec. 5
Multicultural holiday books
Nicole Lee Martin writes: “The ALSC Public Awareness Committee makes a special effort to promote programs and books that celebrate multiculturalism. Here you will find some of my favorite multicultural holiday picture books. What better way to honor and educate others about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas than with a fun holiday book? Little ones and adults alike are sure to enjoy sharing these stories.”...
ALSC Blog, Dec. 8
Ice cold girl power
Hannah Gómez writes: “Fairy tales (like Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen) are not technically very interesting. They are usually either weak on plot or heavy-handed with it. The tropes get tired. They’re either Disneyfied or horrifying. The prose in just about any collection is dry and without much art. But that’s what makes them fun to play with. Disney’s Frozen plays with your expectation of how things in fairy tales are supposed to work, because the studio knows what its audience expects.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 5
Breakdown of 2013 YA titles
Kelly Jensen writes: “Welcome to the third annual Best of YA list breakdown. Since 2011, I’ve gone through the ‘best of’ lists developed by the biggest trade review journals and pulled together some statistics. There were a total of 55 books on these lists, 55 authors, and a total of 62 main characters, as some books were written through more than one point of view. This year, I wanted to look at a number of factors like last year, and that requires more than one post, so this is the first of three.”...
Stacked, Dec. 10–12
NPR Books reveals Book Concierge app
Dianna Dilworth writes: “NPR Books has released a new web app designed to help readers discover what they might like to read among NPR’s best 200 books of the year. The Book Concierge lets you mix and match from 21 different categories of reading. You can combine your moods to come up with what will fit.”...
GalleyCat, Dec. 4
Holiday gifts for literature lovers
BuzzFeed offers up 16 gift possibilities for readers, writers, and library lovers. For example, number 8 is a Libraries of Los Angeles tote bag (right) sold by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. And number 3 is a set of hilarious yet oddly beautiful trading cards displaying your favorite authors reimagined as monsters. Another gift source is Archie McPhee (a mail-order shop located in a Seattle suburb), which sells Jane Austen tattoos, Shakespearean insult gum, and Edgar Allan Poe lunchboxes. Courtney Baron suggests a few other ideas....
BuzzFeed Books, Dec. 6; Archie McPhee & Co.; Hack Library School, Dec. 10
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How to kill a school library in 10 easy steps
Robin Overby Cox writes: “This is a straightforward, how-to set of instructions for squelching all remnants of library service in a school community. It’s been a painful set of rants and raves to record, and I can’t say I’ve enjoyed it. However, what I see worries me so much that I just can’t keep my mouth shut.”...
School Library Journal, Dec. 4
OCLC shares library data with Yelp
OCLC is working
with Yelp, the website and mobile app that connects consumers with local businesses, to increase public access to local library information. Yelp is integrating information from the database of library listings maintained through the OCLC Library Spotlight program to supplement existing Yelp library listings. Yelp is the first such online service to work with OCLC, which will incorporate more partners in the future to give libraries greater visibility on the web. Watch the Library Spotlight video (2:12)....
OCLC, Dec. 10; YouTube, Apr. 12
Countries of publication in WorldCat
Roy Tennant writes: “I’m a data geek. So recently I decided to look into the countries of publication as recorded in the 300-million-plus MARC records in WorldCat. Just for kicks I did some processing of the 260 $a subfield, which is the ‘Place of publication, distribution, etc.’ as it appears on the piece, or noted in various other ways if it doesn’t. With no further ado, here are the top 25 countries of publication from the records in WorldCat.”...
HangingTogether, Dec. 10
Video game champions in the public library
Matt Akers writes: “For a handful of Massachusetts librarians, one of the goals of public libraries is to preserve video games. Four such librarians work within the Minuteman Library Network, a consortium of 43 tax-funded institutions across MetroWest Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Their respective philosophies are unique, but they all agree that one of the public library’s most sacred tasks is to archive cultural artifacts and video games—just like books, music, and film.”...
Joystiq, Dec. 10
AALL announces legal research competency standards (PDF file)
The American Association of Law Libraries has launched an online information center dedicated to promoting its Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency within the legal profession. The center provides access to the principles and standards, implementation and best practice ideas, and information on upcoming programs on using the standards....
American Association of Law Libraries, Dec. 6
National Geographic shares maps with Google
Google is launching an initiative to let organizations share their map data with the public, via Google’s Maps product and cloud-based infrastructure, and today partner National Geographic announced its participation in the project and shared some info via the official Google Maps blog. The partnership will mean that more than 500 reference and historic maps will now be available to browse as an additional layer on Google’s digital Maps engine.”...
TechCrunch, Dec. 6; Google Lat Long, Dec. 6
Confess your stress: Selfies as therapy
Brian Mathews writes: “My new favorite thing is the Stress Confessional Photo Booth. Virginia Tech has a portable photo booth that pops up at different campus locations. It’s a great value-add for events: Students snap their photos and print them out for free. This time the library added a creative thematic element: the Stress Confessional. We invited students to open up and confess their stress. Get it down on paper—you’ll feel better.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Dec. 10
Librarians, watch your backs
Roz Warren writes: “There are two kinds of people, my sister says. People with back problems, and people who don’t have back problems yet. What did mine in was decades of library work. Hours spent lifting small weights (books). And heavier weights (reference books). I thought nothing of stooping, hoisting up a mammoth box of books, then lugging it the length of the library. Then one morning I got out of bed and I couldn’t stand up.”...
New York Times, Dec. 10
Presentations without bullet points
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “When I give a presentation, my slides tend to be more visual, or even abstract. I ditched the death-by-bullet point long ago. No one wants to sit through that. Put a few important keywords on a slide, add the rest to your notes, and use a powerful image to convey the spirit of the information you are trying to relay.”...
Mr. Library Dude, Dec. 9
Growing an early literacy initiative in Wisconsin
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt writes: “Early literacy reading programs have deep roots in Wisconsin public libraries. In 2013, an idea sprouted: How could we bring early literacy efforts in the library to the whole community, all across the state? Growing Wisconsin Readers is a new statewide, public library–based early literacy initiative that brings together caregivers of young children and early childhood advocates with a simple message: Read to your child.”...
UpNext: The IMLS Blog, Dec. 6
Book speed-dating for 8th graders
Leigh Collazo writes: “This went so well. I had the best results with the 8th grade class, who better understood all my dating jokes. My 8th grade library assistants, who saw the speed dating as they worked in the library, all asked me to do this with their classes, too. So here is what I did. As students came in, they noticed the signs and books, and I could already tell they were picking their genres, even though I hadn’t said a word about what we were doing.”...
Mrs. ReaderPants, Dec. 9
Snapchat for your library
Paige Alfonzo writes: “Snapchat has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and it might just be the social media application of 2014. Snapchat is a photo chat application developed by Stanford University student Evan Spiegel. What makes it different from other messaging is the fact that the ‘snaps’ (photos, videos, or text) that you send are only viewable 1–10 seconds, and then are deleted permanently. Here are a few ideas on how libraries can use Snapchat.” Unfortunately, the Snapchat creators are currently embroiled in a legal battle. Twitter’s answer to Snapchat is its new mobile feature that allows you to send pictures in direct messages....
Librarian Enumerations, Dec. 9; Mashable, Dec. 5; TechCrunch, Dec. 9; ReadWrite, Dec. 10
Thaddeus Stevens, abolitionist and library advocate
Bernadette Lear writes: “Among Civil War–era figures, one person I have long admired is Thaddeus Stevens (right). When the movie Lincoln was released in 2012, Tommy Lee Jones’s portrayal of Stevens was my favorite part. So I was delighted to learn recently that Stevens was a founding member of the first Library Society of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1822 (long before the present Adams County Library System was established in 1944).”...
In Search of Pennsylvania Library History, Dec. 8
Richard J. Daley: A life in pictures
Some 4,000 photos taken over five years document the final years of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s term in office, and they have made their way back to the city thanks to Laszlo Kondor, who was official photographer for the late mayor from 1972 to 1977. Kondor has donated his archives to the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago....
Crain’s Chicago Business, Nov. 18
Welsh Book of Aneirin goes online
One of the Four Ancient Books of Wales has appeared online for the first time, the last of them to go live. The late-13th-century Book of Aneirin, kept at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, is regarded as one of the most important books in the Welsh language. It was written on animal skin by monks during the last decades of Welsh independent rule. The National Library has digitized the four books to coincide with an exhibition that will be staged there until March 2014....
BBC News, Dec. 8; National Library of Wales
Google Books goofs
Kenneth Goldsmith writes: “Artist Benjamin Shaykin was looking at Google’s scan of the Dewey Decimal Classification system and saw something that disturbed him. It was a brown hand resting on a page of a beautiful old book, its index finger wrapped in a hot-pink condom-like covering. In the page’s lower corner, a watermark bore the words ‘Digitized by Google.’ There are several collections of Google goof-ups around the web; the most thoroughly documented is a Tumblr called The Art of Google Books.”...
New Yorker, Dec. 5; The Art of Google Books
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