|American Libraries Online
The year in review
The American Libraries editors recap the news stories that made the headlines in 2013: ebooks, the Affordable Care Act, the Declaration for the Right to Libraries, privacy and technology, a big win for fair use, New York Public Library’s renovation plans, DPLA, the government shutdown, and more....
American Libraries feature
Referenda roundup, 2013
Kathy Rosa writes: “One of the ways we measure the support for public libraries is through the success or failure of local library referenda. We look back on the previous year cheering the wins and also wondering why some library elections fail. This roundup considers factors related to the success or failure of library referenda and includes a brief listing and summary of some 2013 results.”...
American Libraries feature
LIS on the job
Abigail Wise writes: “Recent funding cuts in public libraries mean that LIS programs across the country are seeing a drop in the speed of placement rates post-graduation. The decrease in graduates landing jobs makes workforce preparation more valuable than ever before. In order to compete in the library job market, applicants must have work experience in addition to their degrees. In many programs, academic libraries play a large role in providing their universities’ LIS students with real-world experience and training.”...
American Libraries feature
New AL Live episode January 9
What challenges and changes lie ahead for our libraries? In “The Future of Libraries: What’s Your Vision?” a panel will look into the crystal ball and discuss the possibilities, led by moderator David Lee King, digital branch and services manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on January 9 to hear Marshall Breeding, Buffy Hamilton, Bohyun Kim, and Joseph Murphy tackle the topic....
American Libraries, Dec. 17
No AL Direct for two weeks
AL Direct is taking two weeks off for the holiday season. Look for a new edition on Wednesday, January 8. Happy Holidays!
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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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ALA receives $1.5 million Gates Foundation grant
ALA has received a grant of $1.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund a two-year project, “Libraries Transforming Communities.” The two-year project includes, in partnership with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, in-person training and coaching of librarians and ALA staff and member leaders to support the transformation of library services and the expanding role of libraries as community conveners. ALA will also offer conference-based and distance-learning opportunities....
Public Information Office, Dec. 17
Cashin to keynote Sunrise Celebration
Sheryll Cashin (right), professor of law at Georgetown University, will keynote the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The celebration will take place on January 27. Cashin is the author of The Agitator’s Daughter, The Failures of Integration, and the forthcoming Place Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America. The theme of the 2014 celebration will be “A New Vision of Opportunity in America” and will bring together leaders from across the Association....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Dec. 17
Naylor headlines FTRF reception at Midwinter
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (right), author of the Alice series of books, will headline FTRF’s annual banned/challenged author event during the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The event will take place January 26, 2014, at the National Museum of American Jewish History, and is open to the general public....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Dec. 17
James McBride and band will wrap up Midwinter
Bestselling author James McBride (right) and his gospel quintet will have attendees on their feet with their mix of exuberant spirituals and jazz renditions of classic gospel music at the Midwinter Wrap Up/Rev Up performance on January 27. The band will combine selected readings with music inspired by the abolitionist John Brown, as they present McBride’s award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird. Several YouTube videos offer a taste of the music and his writing....
Conference Services, Dec. 17
Raising boy readers
Michael Sullivan, bestselling author of numerous children’s services titles, uses stories and anecdotes to humanize his research into boys’ reading habits and preferences in his new book Raising Boy Readers, published by Huron Street Press. The new book provides practical approaches to promote reading to boys, addressing physical differences, such as the different rates of early brain development between boys and girls; psychological issues, such as the outward focus of boys; and social issues, such as stress and confidence....
ALA Huron Street Press, Dec. 16
Marketing with social media
Eschewing mere theory in favor of real-world examples, Marketing with Social Media: A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, offers to-the-point advice for getting up to speed with the world of social media. Ideal for newbies ready to get serious about marketing with social media, as well as practitioners on the lookout for ways to improve existing efforts, this guide will save readers time and effort by providing basic information on the most popular and cutting-edge marketing technologies....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 16
Undertaking research projects in the workplace
Written by academics and practitioners from a diverse selection of libraries throughout the world, Research, Evaluation, and Audit: Key Steps in Demonstrating Your Value, published by Facet Publishing, provides library and information professionals with the guidance they need to undertake research projects in the workplace in order to inform their own practice and improve service delivery. This handbook, edited by Maria J. Grant, Barbara Sen, and Hannah Spring, guides readers step by step through the key phases of planning, doing, and disseminating research....
ALA Publishing, Dec. 17
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Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Green, Kristin, Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants that Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter. Jan. 2014. Illustrated. 225p. Timber, paperback. (978-1-60469-387-8).
Ah, the agony of the impatient gardener. The old adage, first year they sleep, second year they creep, frustrates those who can’t wait for the third year before seeing their plants leaping in botanical euphoria. For those who want success and want it now, Green embraces those plants known as self-sowers, perennials and annuals that quite happily bloom where they’re planted and then move on to areas where they weren’t. Gorgeous photographs illustrate cunning design suggestions, while concise plant profiles give snapshots of VIP volunteers. Basic cultural techniques, handy references, and helpful resources augment this guide to enthusiastic gardening....
Top 10 crafts and gardening books: 2013
Donna Seaman writes: “That crafts and gardening books belong in the same spotlight will become evident as readers pick up and enjoy the following crafts and gardening titles, all reviewed in Booklist between December 15, 2012, and December 1, 2013. What is evident is that crafts and gardening are all part of the world of working with your hands to create something both beautiful and meaningful.”...
Top of the List winners, 2013
Booklist has announced its Top of the List winners for 2013. The eight winning titles, chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2013, influence readers and book buyers in libraries, bookstores, and elsewhere. This year, the expert selections now include two audio picks: one for adult and one for youth. The announcement of the Booklist Editors’ Choice list is a vital step each year in selecting the eventual winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA....
Top 30 titles for K–8 classrooms and libraries
Book Links magazine has announced its annual annotated Lasting Connections list, considered an essential resource for children’s librarians, school library media specialists, and K–8 educators. The list spotlights the editors’ selections of the 30 best 2013 picture books, novels, and informational titles for the K–8 classroom, all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State Standards....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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United for Libraries restaurant recommendations (PDF file)
Sally Gardner Reed writes: “Philadelphia’s restaurant scene is second only to the history in being the highlight of a Philly visit. Honestly, you really can’t miss. Please do not waste your time eating at any chain restaurants while you are here—I don’t care how high end. You can do that when you get back home or on your next trip to some place that isn’t here. These are some of my favorite restaurants, most of which are in walking distance of the Convention Center.”...
United for Libraries, Dec. 16
Tasting Table: Philadelphia
Chefs from around the country have decamped to Philly to open their own restaurants in recent years—and it’s not just because of the comparatively low overhead costs. The city has a devoted and educated base of diners, as well as an impressive array of locally grown or made ingredients; now these newcomers have joined the ranks of longtime restaurateurs to create a vibrant food scene distinguished by talent, not trends....
Entertainment abounds in Philly
Philadelphia weather tends to be coldest in January, and snow is always a possibility. As long as you are prepared with warm, layered clothing, it won’t hinder your ability to go out and have fun in this wonderful historic city. The arts and sports are celebrated in equal measure, and during Midwinter week there will be activities to satisfy both art and sports interests....
YALSA Blog, Dec. 18
The Penn Museum
If you called its 12-ton Egyptian sphinx “one in a million,” you’d be right: It is just one in a collection of nearly a million objects at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (commonly known as the “Penn Museum”)—one of the world’s finest archaeological and anthropological museums, located at 3260 South Street, an 18-minute train ride from the Convention Center. Ancient Greek and Italian treasures are presented in a suite of Classical World galleries. Other noteworthy galleries explore ancient Egypt and Egyptian mummies, Africa, Asia, and Central America....
With Art Philadelphia; Penn Museum
36 hours in Philadelphia
Freda Moon writes: “A city with dozens of beguiling neighborhoods, a daunting number of world-class museums, and a key role in the story of the nation’s founding, Philadelphia has seen a parade of openings over the last decade: ambitious design-centric boutiques, an ever-expanding universe of Stephen Starr restaurants, and stylish hotels in artfully remodeled historic high rises. Entire neighborhoods have been transformed, parks have been built, and a wave of newcomers have brought new energy to the cultural and culinary landscape.”...
New York Times, Jan. 3
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a visionary art environment, gallery, and community arts center that preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic art environment and public murals. The Magic Gardens site, Zagar’s largest artwork, includes a fully tiled indoor space and a massive outdoor mosaic sculpture garden that spans half a block on 1020 South Street, a short bus ride or 17-minute walk from the Convention Center. PMG hosts year-round, low-cost public programs within its own distinctive venue and the surrounding community....
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum at 1214 Arch Street, the only museum of its kind, offers emerging and internationally renowned artists the resources to create new work in experimental materials and new media. The museum’s permanent collection contains work by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Felix González-Torres, Ann Hamilton, and Anish Kapoor. An annex gallery, the New Temporary Contemporary, is located next door. A special exhibition by Artist-in-Residence Sarah Sze will be on view through April....
Fabric Workshop and Museum
11 weird but awesome things at the Mütter Museum
DeAnna Kerley writes: “The Mütter Museum was founded in 1858, when Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter donated a collection of medical anomalies, anatomical and pathological specimens, and bizarre medical instruments to the museum. Its original purpose was to continue medical education and research in the heart of Philadelphia. From the conjoined livers from a pair of Siamese twins to slides of Albert Einstein’s brain, the Mütter Museum houses dozens of strange artifacts from medical history. Here are 11 of our favorites (with videos).”...
Mental Floss, Dec. 17
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Spotlight on adult literature
United for Libraries, along with ALA Conference Services, will sponsor “Spotlight on Adult Literature” on January 25 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Exhibit Hall at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Participating publishers will host book and galley giveaways, as well as author signings....
United for Libraries, Dec. 17
Studying students: A second look
ACRL has published Studying Students: A Second Look, edited by Nancy Fried Foster. The book revisits the groundbreaking ethnographic work done by the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries and serves as a follow-up to the 2007 ACRL publication Studying Students. Topics include how college students learn the ropes, student use of technology, how they study and write their research papers, and what professors expect of their students....
ACRL, Dec. 17
AASL research summit
Researchers and scholars are invited to submit their interest in participating in an AASL research summit. Focused on setting an agenda for future school library research, the “Causality: School Libraries and Student Success” (CLASS) summit will take place April 11–12, in Chicago. Participants will examine the issues of causality related to student learning and school libraries to articulate a research agenda and investigate causal phenomena in school library instruction, resources, and services. Submit materials by January 10 to Allison Cline....
AASL, Dec. 16
Building powerful partnerships for Common Core
Participants in “Powerful Partnerships: Libraries, Technology, and the Common Core,” a new webinar from AASL, will learn how to propel the school library program into the center of teaching and learning in the era of the Common Core State Standards. Facilitated by Kathryn Lewis and David Loertscher, the all-access webinar will take place on January 14. Registration is open....
AASL, Dec. 17
Win your way to PLA 2014
PLA has announced a new contest for two library professionals to win their way to the PLA 2014 conference, March 11–15, in Indianapolis. The contest requires participants to submit a 60-second (or less) video telling PLA why they want to attend. Two winners will receive a free registration, four nights in a hotel, and up to $500 reimbursement for travel to and from the conference. Find complete details on the PLA 2014 website....
PLA, Dec. 16
15 preconferences at PLA 2014
Before the PLA 2014 Conference gets underway in Indianapolis in March, eager learners can take advantage of in-depth, full and half-day preconferences on March 11–12. Preconferences require separate registration. However, attendees are not required to be registered for the full conference. There are discounts for PLA, Indiana Library Federation, and ALA members....
PLA, Dec. 16
Join ASCLA on a trip to Spain
Susan Hornung writes: “Join ASCLA on our next trip: We’re off to Spain, March 26–April 4. Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville will be a part of the tour. This adventure is open to the entire library community, as well as their friends and family. To reserve your spot, download the application form (Word file) and send the completed form and checks to Lyceum Tours.”...
ASCLA Blog, Dec. 11
New SLR articles
Two new research articles covering the topics of public school district social media policies and the correlation between librarian staffing levels and student learning are now available online as part of the AASL peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR)....
AASL, Dec. 16
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2013 I Love My Librarian Award winners
Ten librarians from various types of libraries joined the company of a select few as recipients of the Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The 2013 awardees were selected for their dedicated public service and the valuable role they play in our nation’s communities in transforming lives through education. Only 60 librarians nationwide have won the I Love My Librarian Award since its inception in 2008. Each recipient received a $5,000 award at a ceremony and reception in New York City on December 17. For more information on the winners, visit the I Love Libraries website....
ALA Public Information Office, Dec. 17; I Love Libraries, Dec. 17
Celebrate the RUSA adult book and media awards
All ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees are invited to celebrate the winners of numerous adult reading awards—including the Notable Books, from which selections are chosen for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Non-Fiction; the Reading List, announcing the best in genre fiction; and the Listen List, announcing the best in audiobook narration—at the RUSA Book and Media Awards reception on January 26....
RUSA, Dec. 16
RUSA achievement awards
RUSA has extended the nominations deadline to December 23 for several annual awards, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31. Award criteria, nomination forms, and instructions for submissions are available at each of the award’s web pages....
RUSA, Dec. 16
ASCLA seeks nominations for 2014 awards
ASCLA is accepting nominations for its 2014 awards, including the Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, the Exceptional Service Award, the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award, the ASCLA / KLAS / NOD Award, and the Francis Joseph Campbell Medal. Nominations for all awards must be received by February 1....
ASCLA, Dec. 16
2013 Robert Downs Intellectual Freedom Award
Elementary school librarian DaNae Leu is the recipient of the 2013 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award given by the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Leu is being honored for her efforts to defend the picture book In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco against her school administration’s decision to remove it from the district library shelves. Leu played an active role in bringing national media attention to the case....
UIUC Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dec. 17
Elgin wins Hometown Award
The Elgin, Illinois, summer reading program “Reading Is So Delicious” has earned a 2013 Governor’s Hometown Award. The program kicked off at the Gail Borden Public Library in March 2012 and was run at several other locations. At the end of the summer, 3,768 young people had finished the program, double the number in 2011. The program got the award in the category for more than 70,000 residents....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Nov. 8
2013 Specsavers National Book Awards
The 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards (in 10 categories) were announced in London on December 11. The Nonfiction Book of the Year went to I Am Malala by Malala Youzafzai and Christina Lamb (W & N). The winner in the popular fiction category was An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Random House), a story based on the 1895 Dreyfus Affair. The Children’s Book of the Year was won by David Walliams for Demon Dentist (HarperCollins). The awards celebrate the best UK writers and their works, as selected by the British book publishing industry....
The Telegraph (UK), Dec. 11
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Libraries in the News
Librarian was the target at Arapahoe High School shooting
The senior at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, who shot and seriously wounded a fellow student December 13 in the school’s hallways before killing himself was no longer an active participant on the debate team, and that was perhaps one of the motives behind the attack. Karl Pierson had been feuding with the debate coach, school librarian Tracy Murphy (right), who had suspended him from the team. Pierson showed up at the school armed with a pump-action shotgun, a machete, and Molotov cocktails, heading for the library. Alerted to the threat, Murphy left the building, which police praised as a tactical move to lure Pierson outside....
Denver Post, Dec. 14; NBC News, Dec. 16
UNCG library vandalism investigated as a hate crime
University of North Carolina at Greensboro police are investigating the vandalism found in the African American Studies section of the Jackson Library as a hate crime. Racial slurs were found written on book covers, walls, and desks on December 4 by a school janitor....
Greensboro (N.C.) News and Record, Dec. 12
British Library releases a million images on Flickr
The British Library announced December 12 that it has uploaded more than one million public domain photos from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries to its Flickr photostream. The move comes as part of an ambitious project that will crowdsource inventive ways to navigate the massive store of photos, foster research, and encourage users to remix and repurpose the images. The dataset, digitized with help from Microsoft, boasts 300 years of maps, diagrams, illustrations, comic satire, decorative letters, landscapes, and paintings waiting to be explored....
The Verge, Dec. 13; British Library: Digital Scholarship Blog, Dec. 12
“Records of Rights” at the National Archives
Edward Rothstein writes: “‘Records of Rights,’ a new permanent exhibition in the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., opened in December and is meant to prepare a million visitors a year for what awaits them above, in the dimly lit Rotunda: original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. What kind of exhibition could possibly serve as preamble? The answer: one of four surviving copies of the 1297 Magna Carta, a contract between English barons and their tyrannical king.”...
New York Times, Dec. 16
NYPL renovation update
The New York Public Library agreed to temporarily shelve its controversial plans to demolish century-old steel book stacks at the main branch during a court proceeding on December 17. The library will wait until Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten decides whether to halt the $300 million renovation of the Fifth Avenue building while a lawsuit against the institution plays out....
New York Post, Dec. 18
Rally to reopen Orange Public Library
On December 14, members of the New Jersey Library Association, local leaders, and concerned residents gathered on the steps of the shuttered Orange (N.J.) Public Library to distribute books and call attention to the lack of library services in this major urban center. Since the library was closed in April due to safety violations (including loose floor tiles, live wires, lack of safety markings, and electrical problems), residents have been without books, access to programs, job-seeking assistance, summer reading for children, and public computers....
Newark (N.J.) Patch, Dec. 15; Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Dec. 13
DC acquires Superman art to give to Kennedy library
Fulfilling one of Al Plastino’s final wishes, DC Entertainment announced it has acquired his original art for the 1964 story “Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy” for donation to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. A prolific Golden Age artist who died November 25 at age 91, Plastino was surprised to discover at New York Comic Con in October that the pages hadn’t been given five decades earlier to the library, as he’d been led to believe....
Robot 6, Oct. 28, Nov. 26, Dec. 17; DC Comics, Dec. 16
Bane remains in Geneva
A muscular guy with a Darth Vader–like facial contraption is being pursued by an equally muscular Batman. Is this image too scary for young readers? One mom thought so and asked the Geneva (Ill.) Public Library to move the 24-page picture book The Dark Knight Rises: I Am Bane by Lucy Rosen and Scott Cohn from its section for preschool children to a section for an older age group. Acting library director Peggy Carlson said three staff members reviewed the parent’s request and determined that the book should stay....
Kane County (Ill.) Chronicle, Dec. 13
Michigan schools struggle to keep libraries current
When Olivia Bales, an 8th grader at Central Middle School in Port Huron, Michigan, finished reading The Selection by Kiera Cass, she wanted to begin the next book in the series, but that had to wait. She had borrowed the book from a teacher because the school’s library doesn’t have any of the books in the series. Olivia reads almost every day, but has trouble finding a book that interests her and is at her reading level in the school library. Michigan does not have state standards for school library collections or the number of books that should be available per student....
Port Huron (Mich.) Times Herald, Dec. 14
Morton library is storing items lost in the tornado
Beyond destroying homes and killing two people, the November 17 tornado that ripped through Washington, Illinois, scattered bits of family history across the state. Papers and photos have been found 150 miles away in the Chicago suburbs. Ground zero for the return of photos, documents, and small mementos is a cramped room at the Morton (Ill.) Public Library....
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, Dec. 8
School librarian has run a marathon in all 50 states
Jennifer Harward (right), librarian at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah, knows a few things about marathons. Harward finished her 81st marathon on December 7 in Delaware, qualifying her for the 50 States Marathon Club. She has now run a marathon in every state. Through her marathons she has collected and donated more than $37,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation which goes towards Alzheimer’s research and care....
Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, Dec. 16
Kentucky Derby Museum library opens to the public
The Colonel Clark Library at the Kentucky Derby Museum is now open as a publicly accessible research facility, giving visitors access to more than 10,000 collection items related to Kentucky Derby history. The library houses items dating back to the mid-19th century and curates an extensive collection of books, newspapers, magazines, and manuscripts....
Kentucky Derby Museum, Dec. 4
Great Falls library to host TED talks
The Great Falls (Mont.) Public Library will start holding monthly TED talks beginning January 16. TED—which stands for technology, entertainment, and design—is a nonprofit devoted to the exchange of “ideas worth spreading.” The local library events are referred to as TEDxGreatFallsLibrary. “TED talks really inspire and spark discussion about important things,” said Jude Smith, the library’s public relations officer....
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune, Dec. 13
Rare books from Turkish National Library sold for paper value
Many historical books and manuscripts (allegedly 147 tons) in the inventory of the National Library of Turkey were sold to second-hand booksellers for lower prices and were later bought by collectors. The illegal dealing was first detected during a library meeting when a historical book with the National Library’s stamp was reported sold to a manuscript department in Konya. Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said he would clamp down on the corruption....
Hürriyet Daily News (Istanbul), Dec. 10
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Libraries: Better than Congress, baseball, apple pie
Robinson Meyer writes: “Every so often, a grave and concerned person will ask (as, in fact, the New York Times asked last year): “Do We Still Need Libraries?” Hasn’t the internet ended all that? Well, a new Pew study finds that not only do Americans adore libraries, but a majority of us think they’re adjusting to new technology just fine. Using exclusive and highly accurate statistical analysis techniques, I determined that public libraries rank higher in the American psyche than Congress, journalists, President Obama, baseball, and apple pie.”...
The Atlantic, Dec. 13; New York Times, Dec. 27, 2012; Pew Research Center, Dec. 11
Student data is inadequately protected
Public schools around the country are adopting web-based services that collect and analyze personal details about students without adequately safeguarding the information from potential misuse by service providers, according to new research by Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy. Many contracts failed to list the type of information collected, while others did not prohibit vendors from selling personal details or using that information for marketing purposes....
New York Times, Dec. 12; Fordham Law, Dec. 13
No more secrets on the internet
Nick Bilton writes: “Anyone who can watch you will watch you. In technology, that is one of the big lessons of 2013. The National Security Agency and who knows who else have been tracking this or hacking that. China has been breaking into our computers. Google has been sifting through our home networks. Facebook has been tinkering with its privacy settings. And the fact is, many services that claim to offer that rarest of digital commodities—privacy—don’t really deliver. Read the fine print.”...
New York Times: Bits, Dec. 15
Understanding your rights
Bonnie Swoger writes: “Recently, Elsevier has come under fire for exercising its rights under copyright law by asking various platforms to remove copies of articles published in its journals. As authors examine their copyright transfer agreements to figure out what they are allowed to do, one big question they should ask is: What version of your article do you want to post online? Publishers often make distinctions between three primary versions of a manuscript: the pre-print, the post-print, and the publisher’s version.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Dec. 16; Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, Dec. 6
Universities to provide access to high-energy physics research
Starting January 1, an international publishing initiative of more than 1,000 libraries, library consortia, and research organizations in 24 countries will provide open access to articles published in high-energy physics research. The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) is the largest open access initiative ever created. It was developed through negotiations among many publishers of high-energy physics research, libraries, and funding agencies to change an entire discipline from a subscription-based model to an open access model....
Washington State University News, Dec. 12; SCOAP3, Dec. 5
What is the lifespan of a research article?
Phil Davis writes: “An analysis of article downloads from 2,812 academic and professional journals published by 13 presses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities reveals extensive usage of articles years after publication. Measuring usage half-life—the median age of articles downloaded from a publisher’s website—only 3% of journals had half-lives shorter than 12 months, while nearly 17% of all journals had usage half-lives exceeding six years. As the author of the study (PDF file), it is my hope that such evidence-based studies will help inform those developing public policy and aid in setting access embargoes.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Dec. 18
Public meeting on copyright policy
Carrie Russell writes: “The US Patent and Trademark Office–sponsored public meeting on the Department of Commerce’s “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy” (known as the green paper, PDF file) was primarily about the market for digital goods. The all-day meeting on December 12 was organized around six topics: statutory damages and secondary liability, digital first sale, the legal framework for remixes, the notice and take down system established in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the online marketplace, and online transactions.”...
District Dispatch, Dec. 17
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The library has left the building, but...
Keith Norbury writes: “Even though digital resources are now front and center in higher education, libraries must still work hard to integrate them into their schools’ Learning Management Systems. As State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota Instructional Librarian Rhonda Kitchens sees it, the majority of LMSes don’t provide an intuitive, easy way to integrate library resources into course materials.”...
Campus Technology, Dec. 5
Google Glass updates
Chloe Albanesius writes: “Google has rolled out a number of December updates for Google Glass, including a feature that lets you take photos with the wink of an eye. At this point, it will only work for taking photos, but Google said there could come a day when you wink to pay a cab fare, buy an item in a store window, or save a recipe from a cookbook. The move, however, might inspire even more concern from privacy advocates. Are you taking a photo of me or do you just have something in your eye?”...
PC Magazine, July 1, Dec. 18; Google+, Dec. 17
A digital pen that combines writing and recording
Damon Darlin writes: “The Livescribe 3 pen contains some amazing technology. A tiny camera inside the device records the ballpoint pen’s movement across special dotted paper made to be used with the device. Everything you write or draw during a conversation, interview, meeting, or lecture on the dotted paper is transmitted to a nearby iPad or iPhone running the free Livescribe app. You can convert the handwritten notes to text and tag sections with keywords.”...
New York Times, Dec. 17
Cornell 3D-prints a fully functional loudspeaker
Researchers at Cornell University have created a fully functioning loudspeaker, seamlessly integrating the plastic, conductive, and magnetic parts, and using only 3D printers. The piece of audio equipment was developed by Apoorva Kiran and Robert MacCurdy, graduate students in mechanical engineering, who are working with Hod Lipson, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Watch the video (2:02)....
Designboom, Dec. 16; Vimeo, Dec. 16
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On the perils of licensing
Chris Harris writes: “Cory Doctorow shared the sad tale on December 15 of one family’s holiday hopes being dashed by bah-humbug capitalism and the slippery nature of contractual licenses.
Bill got hit with a new form of low-down, no-good capitalism, the termination of license during times of high desirability. Oh, you wanted to watch that Christmas movie during the holiday season? Too bad! We will turn it back on for you in July . . . maybe . . . if we feel like it.”...
AL: E-Content, Dec. 16; Boing Boing, Dec. 15
Do you have digital preservation tools?
Susan Manus writes: “A few weeks ago, as part of the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation conference, an announcement was made of the beta launch of a new resource to catalog and describe digital preservation tools: Community Owned Digital Preservation Tool Registry. The idea behind this registry is to try and consolidate all of the digital preservation tool resources into one place, eliminating the need for many separate registries in multiple organizations.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Dec. 17
Staffing for digital preservation
The results of the 2012 National Digital Stewardship Alliance Standards and Practices Working Group’s digital preservation staffing survey have just been released. Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation: An NDSA Report (PDF file) shares the results of a survey of 85 institutions on how they staffed and organized their preservation functions. One key finding is that almost all institutions believe that digital preservation is understaffed. Organizations would prefer nearly twice the number of full‐time equivalents than they currently have....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Dec. 16
Digitization as a preservation tool
Flavio Marzo writes: “Conservators tend to look at digitization projects with caution if not suspicion. In general conservators are often against the mass approach and digitization processes are primarily focused on targets that are sometimes strained under tight deadlines and budgets. This can be an unsuitable environment for the normal conservation requirements. With retreatability and minimal intervention approaches clearly in mind, we know that today we must plan our work in a more efficient and effective way.”...
British Library: Collection Care Blog, Dec. 13
How do you solve a problem like a foldout?
Lindsay Elgin writes: “The key to photographing books well—by which I mean providing well-lit images, in good focus, without damaging the book or its pages—is to provide as much support as possible to both the book itself (especially the spine) as well as to each individual page. But some books hit the challenging-to-shoot trifecta: They are oversize, have some element of fragility to them, and the plates involve spreads or foldouts that require even more supports and careful handling.”...
Curio, Dec. 13
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Ask questions, explore options, make recommendations, examine ideas, and reflect on the implications with colleagues at the Unconference on Friday and Library Camp on Monday afternoon, during the facilitated conversation on Saturday afternoon, by signing up for the kitchen-table conversations and participating in discussion groups on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and using the Networking Uncommons area at any time to follow up or start a small-group discussion.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009). Special Collections Librarian Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana), who works at the Newberry Library in Chicago, has a genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. He occasionally returns to work nude from a time trip. He is approached by 20-year-old Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams) who knows and loves him since she met him at age six. Carly Street is a librarian, and Bart Bedford is a library researcher.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979, UK, TV miniseries). Michael Jayston as agent Peter Guillam steals a file from the MI6 archives.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, France / UK / Germany). Benedict Cumberbatch as Peter Guillam goes to the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service archive in the early 1970s to look at (and snitch) a critical document. Sal the archival clerk (Laura Carmichael) lets him into the closed stacks with the information: “Corridor D, the 2-8’s are halfway on your right. The 3-1’s the next alcove down.”
Tiny Furniture (2010). Lena Dunham as Aura moves back home to Brooklyn after graduating from college in Ohio. She is depressed and calls her friend Frankie (Merritt Wever), who happens to be sitting on the floor of the college library stacks. Later, Aura meets up with Jed (Alex Karpovsky), a YouTube video artist, and asks him what people without money do; he suggests that they “loiter at libraries.”
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.
Learning to Read Grant Coordinator, Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library. “How does the public library support children who are learning to read?” That is the question you’ll help us answer as Multnomah County Library’s new Learning to Read Grant Coordinator. In this limited duration, grant- funded position, you will use your considerable knowledge of the local early elementary public school community to determine what unmet needs exist for K–3 educators and parents as they facilitate the learning to read process. Your work will help enhance the library’s capacity to be a stronger partner with these schools and parents in advancing 3rd-grade reading achievement....
Digital Library of the Week
The Rwanda Youth and Children’s Testimonies is now freely available online through the University of South Florida’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center. The Center has digitized 864 handwritten testimonies of children who were in the Gitarama prefecture describing their personalized experiences during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Most of these testimonies depict what these children went through on a day-to-day basis from the time the genocide started on the evening of April 6, 1994, until the time the child was rescued. When the genocide was taking place, most of these children were between ages 8 and 15 years and most of them were still in elementary school. Many Tutsi refugees from other prefectures fled to Gitarama hoping to find a safe haven; Gitarama, however, is the prefecture where some of the most heinous killings took place.
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.
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Philadelphia. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”
Cairo International Book Fair.
Association of Canadian Publishers, Midwinter Meeting, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Toronto.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Librarian Focus Group, The American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.
IFLA Newspapers Section, International Newspaper Conference, Family Search Headquarters, Salt Lake City. “Start Spreading the News.”
Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt Atlanta.
Library Publishing Coalition, Library Publishing Forum, Intercontinental Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri.
Paris Book Fair, Paris, France.
Code4Lib Conference, Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Catholic Library Association, Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles of 2013
The Choice magazine subject editors recognize the most significant titles reviewed each calendar year by compiling the “Outstanding Academic Titles” list, published each January in the magazine and on Choice Reviews Online. As a special preview to the full 2013 list, which will appear in the January 2014 issue, the editors have selected from among the 2013 list their favorites for the following Top 25 Books and Top 10 Internet Resource lists....
Choice, Dec. 17
Rousing Reads: Salinger and the mysterious vault
Bill Ott writes: “Several questions linger about the vault that many people believe the late J. D. Salinger left behind, purportedly filled with nearly half a century’s worth of unpublished manuscripts. Is there a vault? Does it really contain books soon to be published? And will the vault prove to be a treasure trove or a Pandora’s box full of indigestible ramblings about Eastern spirituality, in the manner of Salinger’s last published story, the ungainly ‘Hapworth 16, 1924’?”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Put your trust in an unreliable narrator
Colleen Seisser writes: “Some of my favorite novels are those where the narrator is unreliable. This is usually due to an impaired mental state like schizophrenia or amnesia. Whatever the case, unreliable narrators don’t usually present themselves right away, but when they do they seem to turn the novel you are reading upside down. If you’re interested in taking a chance with an unreliable narrator, then check out this list of titles. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 18
20 essential works of historical fiction
Historical fiction is not necessarily a new genre, but many of the authors in this list have painstakingly recreated the past through years of academic and on-location research. As a window into the past, historical fiction is a healthy way to remove modern prejudices that affect our judgment of the olden days. This selection includes many skilled authors who boast many other quality works that should also be considered. These novels do more than just tell us about what happened; they make us experience it, too....
Qwiklit, Dec. 12
Batman for beginners
Traci Glass writes: “I put together this all-time, top-five list of Batman titles in celebration of the new Batman vs. Superman movie that isn’t even going to happen until 2015. Oh well—there’s no time like the present to get ready. These are books that appeal not only to anyone who is excited about the new movie, but also to the reader who likes any televised form of Batman and his crew. And, yes, I know Superman’s in the movie, too, but come on: We all know that Batman’s the real star, right?”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 13
11 rare children’s books from the Library of Congress
DeAnna Kerley writes: “The Library of Congress has a collection of books that would make any bookworm turn green with envy. From the world’s smallest book to a cuneiform tablet dating from 2040 B.C., it has everything. One of its most interesting collections is the rare children’s book library. Visitors can read these books online in their entirety. Here are 11 of our favorites.”...
Mental Floss, Dec. 11
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LC adds 25 films to its National Registry
Heroes of the space race, a pop cult classic, the age-old battle between the sexes, and a record of Native American traditions are among a cadre of films being recognized as works of great cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance to the nation’s cinematic heritage. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced December 18 the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. They will be preserved as cinematic treasures for generations to come. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 625....
Library of Congress, Dec. 18
First-year students in the library
Barbara Fister writes: “It’s always a red-letter day when Project Information Literacy comes out with a report. A new one, ‘Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College’ (PDF file), was published December 5. This report confirms what we already know (but sometimes forget): Research strategies that worked in high school don’t work as well at the college level. Many students in the study stepped up to the challenge of using library databases for their work, but some continued to rely primarily on Google.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Dec. 12
ASU students transform food trucks into mobile libraries
For many of us, food trucks conjure up images of mouth-watering tacos, burgers, and fries. But three enterprising Arizona State University students see food trucks and envision e-readers, computers, and books instead. Enter BiblioTrucka, a cost-effective, new-age mobile library conceived by the student trio to serve primarily low-income schools and communities lacking basic library resources. Watch the video (2:32)....
ASU News, Dec. 13; Vimeo, Dec. 10
Re-engineer your library space
Christopher Harris writes: “Improving perceptions about the need for school libraries can be an uphill journey, though many of us attempt it daily. Perceptions are hard to change. Might I suggest a new approach? Consider the value of your square footage. You can make a positive impact by radically changing your library space—right now. A re-conceived facility in Essen, Germany, recently showed me what the future library could be.”...
School Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Dec. 16
Shifting away from incandescent bulbs
Kevin Lee writes: “The United States is moving away from incandescent light bulbs. In a move to sway the country to being more energy conscious, 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured stateside or imported beginning January 1. It’s not something to panic about, but we’re going to quickly go over everything you need to know about the ban and affordable lighting alternatives.” Watch the video (6:02)....
Inhabitat, Dec. 17; YouTube, July 23, 2012
IFLA call for papers
The content of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions conference program is organized by different professional groups (Sections, Core Programs, and Special Interest Groups). The conference will be held in Lyon, France, August 16–22. Papers should be submitted through these groups and will be made available on this web page as soon as delivered. Deadlines vary from January 15 through March 10....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Video games as literature
Lynsea Garrison writes: “The relationship between literature and video games is close, and many developers have adapted works of literature into games. In 2010, for example, the studio Visceral Games adapted The Divine Comedy into a game called Dante’s Inferno. But companies are increasingly adapting stories originally written for video games into novels, comics, and movies. While storytelling in video games isn’t new, advancements in technology provide new ways of presenting a narrative.”...
BBC News, Dec. 13
Giving games the old college try
Amy R. Hofer writes: “Based on evidence that games might help students get more engaged in my online class, I decided to overcome my skepticism and road-test two information literacy games. First I tried BiblioBouts, then the following year I tried Citation Sleuthing. After reconsidering my assumptions about games in an environment where serious learning takes place, I still have questions about using them for information literacy instruction.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Dec. 18
Manga a big hit at Elkton High library
In Elkton (Md.) High School’s library, brightly colored books illustrated with modern Japanese art and cartoon faces stand out on shelves and at displays. Through help from Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware, and the Cecil County Public Library, Elkton High has been able to expand its collection of manga and graphic novels this year. It now has close to 500 manga and graphic novels in its collection—and students are asking for more....
Elkton (Md.) Cecil Whig, Dec. 16
Therapy dogs in the library
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “December 12 was the third annual visit of therapy dogs to the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay library. (Technically they’re outreach dogs: dogs that have passed their canine good citizenship test.) It’s something that the students eagerly look forward to (and now come to expect) as fall semester Final Exams begin. We had 16 dogs with us and several hundred students. It’s a great way to put a different face on the academic library: to show students we care about their mental well-being.”...
Mr. Library Dude, Dec. 12
Outreach ideas from the corporate world
Lizz Zitron writes: “Good ideas come from inspiration. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest places, which is why I always have a small notebook on me. (I won’t look at Notes on my phone but I will look at paper shoved in my wallet.) If you’re looking to reach users through video and online media, may I suggest stealing from some excellent recent examples of outreach from the corporate world?”...
The Outreach Librarian, Dec. 18
An app that never forgets a file
Paul Boutin writes: “The easiest catchall tool for saving anything you might need later is an app for computers and mobile devices called Evernote. Evernote provides a comprehensive single archive of your digital life, giving you one location to store and find practically everything saved on a computer or phone. And the files are automatically backed up on Evernote’s servers. The only real downside with Evernote is that it has so many features, which can make getting started with the app daunting.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, Dec. 11
Images now showing in Gmail
John Rae-Grant writes: “Thanks to improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS, and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers.” However, Andrea Peterson points out that Google’s new method for image caching will actually make marketers’ efforts to track unique open rates more accurate....
Official Gmail Blog, Dec. 12; Washington Post: The Switch, Dec. 12
Twitter buzz does not correlate with influence
Richard Van Noorden writes: “A list of the 100 most popular research articles mentioned on social media in 2013 does not necessarily reveal the papers that scientists will find most influential in the future. A recent study in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology reveals that the amount of buzz a biomedical paper gets on Twitter bears little resemblance to the impact it will have in terms of academic citations in later years.”...
Nature, Dec. 12; Altmetric, Dec. 11; Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Nov. 26
11 Twitter chats for educators
Laura Devaney writes: “Social media is one of the top ways educators and students interact and learn from one another. Some of the most engaging professional development and professional learning occurs on Twitter. Through organized Twitter chats, administrators and educators can discuss a number of topics, from special education and libraries to content-specific resources. Here are 11 weekly, content-rich Twitter chats.”...
eSchool News, Dec. 17
Beinecke Library acquires James Baldwin letters
Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired an archive of approximately 100 letters by renowned writer James Baldwin, and a typescript draft of his third novel, Another Country, with his handwritten annotations. The archive constitutes one of the largest collections of Baldwin’s letters and manuscripts held by any institution worldwide....
Yale News, Dec. 16
School librarian discovered the first US ransom note
Carrie Hagen writes: “One day in March 2012, Bridget Flynn, a librarian at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was searching for an old family drawing to print on the invitations to her daughter Rebecca’s bridal shower. As she and Rebecca rummaged through the several generations of family artifacts—letters, photographs, an envelope of hair cuttings—that she keeps in plastic bins in her basement, they found a stack of small envelopes tied together with a black shoelace.”...
Smithsonian: Past Imperfect, Dec. 9
America’s second bookmobile
Orty Ortwein writes: “Plainfield, Indiana, was most likely the home of America’s second bookmobile. In 1909 Plainfield librarian Mayme C. Snipes set up a series of deposit stations in the surrounding area, boxes of books mostly kept in schools. In her 1915 annual report she voiced concern that while the deposit station network helped, only 25% of rural patrons had access to books. To bridge this gap, she advocated using the new technology of automobiles.”...
Bookmobiles: A History, Dec. 12
ARL selects Career Enhancement fellows
The Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program Coordinating Committee has selected 14 fellows to participate in this competitive fellowship program. The program offers MLIS students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups an opportunity to jump-start their careers in research libraries by providing a robust fellowship experience that includes an internship in an ARL member library....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 11
How music has evolved since 1950
As society changes, our favorite music changes too, and variations in musical memes are passed down through the years. Echo Nest data alchemist Glenn McDonald traced nine distinct audio attributes in the 5,000 most popular songs from each year, 1950–2013. Seven of those attributes showed detectable changes over the past 63 years....
The Echo Nest Blog, Dec. 17
Fun finds in Firestone
At Princeton University’s Firestone Library, a renovation project scheduled to continue through 2018 has produced some unexpected clues to the past. Workers knocking down walls and dismantling old study carrels have come across some interesting 20th-century ephemera. Among the finds are a wedding invitation from 1918, a 1957 Havana travel brochure (right), an exam from 1959, an origami bird from 1969, and a guide for visitors to Oxford, England, dating from the 1850s....
Princeton (N.J.) Town Topics, Dec. 18; Princeton Rare Books, News and Events, Oct. 14
2013 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide
Travis Jonker writes: “Time is running out to get gifts for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2013 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. For example, the Victorian cosplay woman’s hat (right), could be for the librarian who makes things clear.”...
100 Scope Notes, Dec. 12
’Tis the season...
...for library Christmas trees made out of books. Susan Schatvet, youth and reference librarian at Seabrook (N.H.) Library, created a tree out of used books that were set aside for an upcoming book sale. She said that building the base of the tree was the most difficult and important step, and gradually fitting the books together as the tree got taller became another challenge. The Irving (Tex.) Public Library also boasts a tree (right) made out of books and bows, and the La Grange Park (Ill.) Public Library built its first, created by circulation volunteers....
Hampton (N.H.) Union, Dec. 13; Dallas Morning News: Irving Blog, Dec. 12; The Doings La Grange, Nov. 25
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