|American Libraries Online
Many libraries across the US have developed makerspaces—places to create, build, and craft—and they are experiencing increased visits and demand as a result. In the next few sections, you’ll find expert opinions and advice from author Cory Doctorow and Make magazine writer Travis Good, as well as practical pieces on the costs and resources involved....
American Libraries feature
Newsmaker: An interview with Jenica Rogers
In 2012, Jenica Rogers (right), director of libraries for the State University of New York at Potsdam, drew attention in the library community for announcing candidly that she would not be renewing her university’s annual subscription to the American Chemical Society’s online journals package because of ever-increasing subscription costs. Her stance sent shock waves through the community and brought up questions concerning new business models and the challenge of open access....
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.; Attempting Elegance, Sept. 12
Librarian’s Library: How we do librarianship
Karen Muller writes: “Regardless of how large (or small) your library is, or whether you serve elementary school students, college professors, or retirees seeking the latest book by their favorite author, you are affected by issues that may change how we ‘do’ librarianship. Here are a few recent titles that discuss these topics, sometimes raising more questions than not.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
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Sullivan, Clinton sign “Declaration of Learning”
On January 30, ALA President Maureen Sullivan (third from left) joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (at podium), along with 12 government agencies and organizations, to sign the “Declaration of Learning,” a statement that formally announces their partnership as members of the Inter-Agency Collaboration on Learning. The declaration recognizes participating institutions for their commitment to use historic artifacts in their collections to create digital learning tools for students and educators....
Office of Government Relations, Jan. 31
Midwinter’s Maker Monday
Steve Teeri writes: “ALA Midwinter in Seattle highlighted the growing interactions between libraries and the Maker Movement. An entire day, Maker Monday, was devoted to examining the current state of makerspaces in libraries. The high point was ‘The New Stacks: The Maker Movement Comes to the Library.’ Speakers Dale Dougherty, founding editor and publisher of Make magazine, and Travis Good, contributing writer for Make, provided a history of library involvement in the movement and a vision of the future for library makerspaces.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Jan. 31
ALA Council approves dues adjustment proposal
On January 29 during the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council approved a dues adjustment proposal and directed that it be placed on the spring ALA ballot for membership approval. If approved by the membership, a five-year dues adjustment mechanism would be established, directing the Executive Board to review personal member dues annually every September from 2013 to 2017. Read the Q&A document (PDF file) about the proposal....
ALA Membership, Feb. 4
Michelle Harrell Washington to direct OFD, OLOS
Michelle Harrell Washington (right) has been appointed director of the Office for Diversity and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, effective February 11. Currently public services librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries, where she has been since 2009, she previously served as director of library services at the University of Wisconsin–Washington County, and prior to that was multicultural services librarian at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries....
Office for Diversity, Feb. 5
Instagramming ALA Midwinter 2013
Travis Jonker writes: “I mentioned last week that it was time to stop fooling myself that I would get a lot of blog posts out the door during ALA Midwinter. Success! I did, however, manage to take pictures on Instagram. Why don’t I dump all the photos right here for anyone interested? I take your silence as a hearty encouragement (bad at interpreting silence). But before we start, here’s a quick guide to common ALA ailments (right). I suffered from every one of these conditions at one time or another during the weekend.”...
School Library Journal: 100 Scope Notes, Jan. 30
How to chair an ALA committee meeting
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Although I haven’t the decades of experience of some librarians, I’ve been to a lot of bad meetings and many good ones. I think I can say without too much immodesty that most of the meetings that I’ve chaired have been better than average, at least if the goal is to get the most amount of work with the least amount of time spent. And if that’s not the goal of meetings, then why have them? Here are some tips that I offer freely to anyone who will be chairing a committee meeting at ALA.”...
Academic Librarian, Feb. 1
Examining the ALA Core Values Statement
Rick Anderson writes: “I recently decided to take a hard look at the ALA Core Values of Librarianship statement (2004). First, as core values go, everything on the list looked pretty timeless to me. However, I found myself dividing the list of values into three categories: those that strike me as representing fundamental principles, those that represent subordinate principles, and those that we might do well to question as core values of librarianship at all.”...
Library Journal: Peer to Peer Review, Jan. 31
Ebooks workshop returns
By popular demand, ALA TechSource announces another session of its best-selling workshop, “Integrating Ebooks and E-Readers into Your Library” with Sue Polanka. In two 90-minute sessions on February 14 and 21, Polanka will provide practical guidance on how to begin purchasing ebooks for your library to lend electronically and how to purchase e-reader devices for patron use....
ALA TechSource, Jan. 31
Tablets in libraries
ALA TechSource is offering a new session of the popular workshop, “Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services,” with Rebecca Miller, Carolyn Meier, and Heather Moorefield-Lang. The workshop consists of two 90-minute sessions that will take place on March 14 and 21....
ALA TechSource, Jan. 31
“Book as iPad App” eCourse returns
Your patrons trust your recommendations on what to read next and, as the use of iPads proliferates, they will also ask you about books as apps. In “Book as iPad App: Multimedia, Multi-Touch Ebooks and their Future in Libraries,” instructor Nicole Hennig (right) will provide guidance for integrating iPads into your library’s programs and services, and offer benchmarks for evaluating book apps and writing reviews of them. Registration is open for the eCourse, which begins April 2....
ALA Editions, Feb. 5
“Collaborating with Teens” eCourse
Only a foundation of teen participation can build a vibrant scene such as the one in San Antonio’s main library, where teens use computers, listen to music, take cooking classes, do homework, participate in book clubs, and generally hang out. In “Collaborating with Teens to Build Better Library Programs,” instructor Jennifer Velásquez (right), who coordinates San Antonio’s teen services, will present practical strategies for giving teens the lead in developing high-appeal collections and services. Registration is open for the eCourse, which begins April 2....
ALA Editions, Feb. 5
Bring patrons in with music
ALA Editions announces another session of its bestselling workshop, “Building a Music Collection That Brings People to Your Library,” with Matthew Moyer and Andrew Coulon, who will show how your library can build a modern collection for a modern audience. This 90-minute workshop will take place on February 20....
ALA Editions, Jan. 31
Are we meeting the needs of student users?
Meeting the Needs of Student Users in Academic Libraries: Reaching Across the Great Divide, available through ALA Neal-Schuman, takes an honest look at learning commons in academic libraries and discusses what is working and what is not. To evaluate their findings, authors Michele Crump and LeiLani Freund examine the measurement tools that libraries have used to evaluate usage and satisfaction....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Feb. 4
Using LibGuides to Enhance Library Services: A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, shows readers how to harness the easy-to-use tools in Springshare’s LibGuides to help organize webpages, improve students’ research experience and learning, and interact with an online community of librarians sharing their work and ideas. Editors Aaron W. Dobbs, Ryan L. Sittler, and Douglas Cook recruit expert contributors to address specific applications, creating a one-stop reference....
LITA, Feb. 4
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Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Alexandrov, Vladimir. The Black Russian. Mar. 2013. 336p. illus. Atlantic Monthly, hardcover (978-0-8021-2069-4).
Born in Mississippi in 1872 to former slaves, Frederick Bruce Thomas became rich and famous against all odds. In this magnetically appealing, unforgettable biography, Alexandrov tracks Thomas as he works his way cross-country as a waiter, bellhop, and personal valet, then takes “the extraordinary step” of sailing to Europe in 1894. Thomas thrived in the absence of racism in France, Germany, and Italy, then settled in Russia, a land of nearly no people of African descent, where he achieved international renown as a brilliantly innovative and strategically charming nightclub owner. He married a German woman and started a family, but as the world went to war and the Bolsheviks came to power, questions about Thomas’s citizenship became dangerously complicated....
Read-alikes: African-American expatriates
Donna Seaman writes: “Frederick Bruce Thomas’s astounding life, so dramatically chronicled in Vladimir Alexandrov’s groundbreaking biography, The Black Russian, is exceptional in its dramatic particulars. But it fits neatly into the mosaic of other African-American expatriates and their experiences, as told in these nine books.”...
Top 10 black history nonfiction: 2013
Brad Hooper writes: “‘Black History Nonfiction’ sounds so staid in view of the enlightening range of topics that fit under that umbrella, as evidenced in the outstanding books in the list that follows, all reviewed in Booklist over the past year. Each title contains a wealth of information and, taken all together, the books provide a treasure trove most public libraries can’t do without.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Sign up for the PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
The PLA 2013 Virtual Spring Symposium will take place March 20. Moderated by librarian, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding (on the left), the symposium offers eight education programs across four subject tracks: administration and leadership, youth services, marketing and customer service, and technology. Futurist Garry Golden will wrap up the all-day program with a thought-provoking keynote, “Designing a 21st-Century Roadmap for the Future of Public Libraries.” Registration is open....
PLA, Feb. 5
Become a webinar superstar
With both audience and presenter out of sight, online presentations pose a unique challenge. Learn how to engage an online audience and keep their attention at “How to Be a Webinar Superstar: Tips for Running Effective Online Presentations” with instructor Steve Yacovelli (right), owner and principal of TopDog Learning Group. Yacovelli will teach how to confidently present an online event that not only has attendees listening, but also remembering what you said. Registration for the February 27 webinar is open....
PLA, Feb. 5
Langston Hughes Library a Literary Landmark
Queens (N.Y.) Library’s Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center will be designated a Literary Landmark on February 9. A plaque will be placed in the library during its 28th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration. Langston Hughes Community Library is home of the Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County, housing New York State’s largest public circulating collection of print and nonprint material on the black experience....
United for Libraries, Feb. 6
Aligning graphic novels to standards
In a new Knowledge Quest webinar hosted by AASL, writer Katie Monnin (right) will guide attendees through aligning graphic novels to various national standards, including the AASL learning standards and the Common Core State Standards. “Aligning Graphic Novels to the Standards” will take place February 12. To register, visit eCollab....
AASL, Jan. 31
It’s Digital Learning Day
Digital Learning Day, February 6, is a nationwide celebration of teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized, education experience. Eight lesson plans featured as part of “Digital Learning: Lessons in Action” were created by school librarians or as part of a school librarian and teacher collaboration....
AASL, Feb. 4
Student video contest
AASL, in collaboration with SchoolTube, announces the launch of the School Library Month 2013 student video contest, “Communities matter @ your library.” Contestants are urged to let loose their creativity and use humor, drama, music, and special effects to illustrate how the school library program fosters a sense of community in their school. Submissions for the video contest will be accepted through March 19. More information can be found on the AASL website....
AASL, Feb. 4
Submit an idea for the IDEAxCHANGE
Attendees of the AASL 16th National Conference and Exhibition will once again get a taste of current programs that are leading the way in school library program development during the conference’s best-practice showcase. The IDEAxCHANGE, formerly known as the Exploratorium, will be held Thursday afternoon of the conference that will take place November 14–17 in Hartford, Connecticut. Submit proposals online....
AASL, Feb. 4
ACRL program proposals
ACRL invites its committees, sections, interest groups, and individual members to consider submitting program proposals for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. There will be a virtual meeting on April 18 for ACRL units and members interested in submitting proposals. RSVP online to attend....
ACRL, Feb. 5
Free Teen Tech Week webinar
Visit YALSA’s 2013 Teen Tech Week website to take part in the annual celebration of digital literacy and technology via the library and receive free registration for a webinar highlighting the hot topic of makerspaces. Teen Tech Week is March 10-16, with the theme of “Check In @ your library.” The free webinar, “Maker Spaces 101, Teens, and You,” will take place on February 7....
YALSA, Jan. 31
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Betsy Wilson wins Atkinson Award
Lizabeth (Betsy) A. Wilson (right), dean of university libraries at the University of Washington, has been named the 2013 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Wilson will receive a cash award and citation during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management, and has made notable improvements in library services or research....
ACRL, Feb. 4
2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2013 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. This year’s list of 102 books was drawn from 200 official nominations. The books, recommended for ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and novels in verse....
YALSA, Feb. 1
2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA announced its 2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The list of 55 titles, drawn from 98 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and appealing reading for teens....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
YALSA has announced its 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The list is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The Quick Picks list suggests books that teens, ages 12–18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure. The complete list of 65 titles and three series is drawn from 217 nominations....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2013 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. The list, drawn from official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The complete list of 90 titles is arranged in four categories....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2013 Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2013 Fabulous Films for Young Adults. The list identifies a body of films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults ages 12–18 and is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year’s list includes 25 titles based on the theme “Survival.”...
YALSA, Jan. 31
2013 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
YALSA announced its 2013 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list. The list for ages 12–18 is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases and presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting....
YALSA, Jan. 31
I want to be on a youth book awards committee
Marge Loch-Wouters writes: “Many of us have this aspiration. There are a number of avenues to make this dream come true, including the many excellent awards bestowed by state library associations; in the blogosphere with awards like the Cybils; and through national associations like NCTE, USBBY, and the National Council on Teachers of English. So what are the pathways to becoming a critical reader (an absolute must) and an awesome award committee candidate?”...
Tiny Tips for Library Fun, Feb. 4
APALA Awards for Literature
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association
has selected the winners of its Awards for
Literature. The awards, given in five categories, promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are selected based on literary and
artistic merit. The winner in the Children’s Literature category is Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang (Tanglewood), and the winner in the Adult Fiction category is The Collective by Don Lee (Norton)....
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Feb. 3
Call for diversity research grant proposals
The ALA Office for Diversity seeks proposals for its 2013–2014 Diversity Research Grant of $2,500. Applications may address any diversity topic that deals with critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science, including recruiting and promoting diverse individuals within the profession or providing library services to diverse populations. Read the application criteria before emailing your original research proposal. The deadline is April 30....
Office for Diversity, Feb. 5
Grants awarded to support financial literacy
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation and RUSA have announced $1.12 million in grants to 14 recipients as part of the Smart Investing @ your library initiative. The program funds library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing. Now in its sixth year, the program has awarded a total of $7 million to public libraries and library networks nationwide....
RUSA, Jan. 31
Allen Foundation grants for Washington and Oregon
Sarah Goodyear writes: “The foundation created by Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen is seeking to build the relationship between libraries and their patrons in a recent round of grants to libraries in the Pacific Northwest. While the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is funding tech initiatives such as a smartphone app for the Washington State Library, the focus on the human element is key. The foundation is also investing in a readers’ advisory program that will pair library patrons in Multnomah County, Oregon, with librarians who will personally assist them with reading choices.”...
The Atlantic: Cities, Feb. 4; Seattle Times, Jan. 29
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Libraries in the News
Historic Timbuktu texts saved
The vast bulk of the Ahmed Baba Institute library in Timbuktu, Mali, was saved from destruction by wily librarians and a security guard—with an assist from modern technology. An estimated 28,000 of the library’s artifacts were smuggled out of town by donkey cart, according to Prof. Abdoulaye Cissé and security guard Abba Alhadi, who worked to relocate the documents. Their survival is a testament to the habit of Timbuktu’s families of hiding away their valuable relics whenever danger is near. Gunmen managed to burn only a few hundred papers, but even those were backed up digitally. Other collections, notably the Mamma Haidara Manuscripts Library, which houses 45,000 documents, were also preserved....
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 1; New York Times, Feb. 4; Global Post, Feb. 3
Ex-Detroit Public Library contractor indicted for bribery
A former contractor with Detroit Public Library was indicted on bribery charges January 31. James Henley, owner of Core Consulting and Professional Services, was accused of secretly paying at least $600,000 in kickbacks to an unnamed library official for help with winning a $1.5 million deal. The indictment came about two months after the FBI raided DPL’s Main Library and the West Bloomfield home of DPL Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cromer....
Detroit Free Press, Nov. 22, Feb. 1
Teacher challenges two books
A teacher has called for two books he considers inappropriate to be removed from libraries in the Prosser (Wash.) School District. Richard Korb, a social studies teacher at Prosser High School, has formally challenged the books for depictions of child abuse and profanity and what he says is the promotion of homosexuality. The books are A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer, and The Popularity Papers, a series by Amy Ignatow. Neither are used in classroom instruction but are available in school libraries for certain grade levels....
Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, Feb. 5
Religious non-libraries exploit e-rate subsidies
The plaque on the door at Kollel L’Horauh in Brooklyn calls the room a library. As a library, it has received $135,000 in federal e-rate subsidies. But there’s no librarian, and the room’s “collection” consists of a subscription to a single digital database of Jewish books that is not even available on all the computers. Nine such groups have received an average of $161,000 in commitments from e-rate since 2010—more than twice the average amount committed to libraries in New York State during the same period....
Jewish Daily Forward, Feb. 5
EveryLibrary supports new Shorewood-Troy library
EveryLibrary, the nation’s first Political Action Committee for libraries, announced February 4 it would support “Citizens for a New Shorewood-Troy Library” as they campaign for a new library building on the April 9 ballot in Illinois. This new library building will meet the space, collections, computer access, and programming needs of this rapidly growing community in suburban Chicago....
EveryLibrary blog, Feb. 4
Minneapolis toughens security, adds outreach
Hennepin County Central Library Manager Betsy Williams
estimated that a “preponderance” of the 1 million-plus visitors to the Central Library each year are the “poor and underserved” and her sense is that the numbers are increasing. But as the number of homeless persons grows, so do the challenges, prompting ramped-up security, additional training for library staff, and tougher enforcement of rules against sleeping and alcohol use. The library has even started setting aside space for advocates to meet with the homeless twice a month and connect them with county services....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb. 5
Seeds of the future
The public library in the small town of Basalt, Colorado, is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds. Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others. Director Barbara Milnor says that in an age of digital books and magazines, the tangible seed packets are another way to draw people in....
NPR: The Salt, Feb. 2
Library statue recovered
A statue that was missing from the Miami (Okla.) Public Library was recovered over the weekend after showing up at a metal recycling business in Joplin, Missouri. The statue disappeared from the library on January 24, according to Library Director Marcia Johnson. The recycler purchased the 40-inch-tall bronze statue of a boy reading for $200 from a man who claimed it came from his grandfather’s pasture, then contacted police to see whether it had been stolen....
Joplin (Mo.) Globe, Feb. 4
Liverpool threatens to close 10 libraries
Liverpool in the UK is considering closing half its libraries as it looks to make another round of budget savings. Like Newcastle City Council, which is aiming to close 10 of its 18 libraries, Liverpool City Council could shut 10 of its 19 libraries in an attempt to cut £938,000 ($1.5 million US) from its budget. Mayor Joe Anderson blamed the situation on a massive loss in funding from the UK government....
The Bookseller, Feb. 5
More arrests in Girolamini theft case
Two more men—a Bologna bookbinder accused of erasing identifying imprints and a runner who ferried stolen books between buyers and sellers—have been arrested in connection to a stolen book-trafficking business that operated out of the Girolamini library. Senator Marcello Dell’Utri (right), a former close aide of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, is also under investigation. Investigators say as many as 4,000 books from its collections may have been sold off by former Library Director Massimo Marino de Caro during his tenure. The director of the Vatican Museums called it a “premeditated, organized, and brutal” sacking....
ArtInfo: In the Air, Jan. 31; Messina Gazzetta del Sud, Jan. 29; The Guardian (UK), Jan. 30
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DOJ might join appeal in Georgia e-reserves case
Fair use and electronic course reserves are back in court. A keenly watched copyright case that pitted three academic publishers against Georgia State University has entered the appeals phase, with a flurry of filings and motions at the end of January and more expected soon. One surprise motion came from the US Department of Justice, which requested more time (PDF file) to consider filing an amicus brief either in support of the publishers or in support of neither party. The case will be heard by the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which is no stranger to high-profile copyright cases. Nancy Sims adds further insight....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 1; Copyright Librarian, Feb. 1
FTC releases mobile privacy guidelines
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a staff report, Mobile Privacy Disclosures: Building Trust through Transparency (PDF file), recommending ways that key players in the rapidly expanding mobile marketplace can better inform consumers about their data practices. Most of the recommendations involve making sure that consumers get timely, easy-to-understand disclosures about what data is collected by mobile platforms, app developers and trade associations, advertising networks, and analytics companies, and how they use the data....
Federal Trade Commission, Feb. 1
15 sites that help you teach copyright
Julie Greller writes: “An important area for all teacher-librarians to cover is copyright law. Students (and teachers) are really not aware of what they can and can’t do legally. I teach my students about plagiarism and copyright because they will be held accountable if they do not follow the law. Here are 15 websites that will help you.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Feb. 1
Reputation metrics and scientific publishing
Richard Price writes:
“Aaron Swartz perceived an injustice in which scientific research lies behind expensive paywalls despite being funded by the taxpayer. The taxpayer ends up paying twice for the same research—once to fund it and a second time to read it. The way out of this mess is to build new reputation metrics. An ecosystem of startups is working on building these new reputation metrics in science, including my startup Academia.edu, as well as Mendeley and ResearchGate. In three to four years, all the world’s scientists will be on one or all of these platforms.”...
TechCrunch, Feb. 3
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Six technologies that will impact higher education
Wearable gadgets, gamification, and learning analytics are three of six technologies that will have a major impact on strategic technology planning in higher education in the next five years, according to the latest NMC Horizon Report released by the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative. The most immediate trends identified in the report—those whose impact will be felt in a significant way within a year at most—were massively open online courses (MOOCs) and tablet computing....
Campus Technology, Feb. 4
San Francisco eyes laptop-lending kiosks
The latest gadget that the San Francisco Public Library staff is eyeing has some library commissioners questioning whether face-to-face contact trumps high tech. The library wants to earmark $99,500 in its upcoming budget to purchase three laptop lending kiosks that would boost the number of available computers and remove the human element from the current system where librarians check out portable computers to patrons for inside use. The kiosk pilot program would start in July if the funds are approved....
San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 3
Four mobile options for libraries
David Lee King writes: “I just read ‘Your 4 Mobile Options’ by Paul Boag. Good stuff! In the article, Paul suggests that there are basically four choices when it comes to having a mobile presence: responsive website, native application, web application, and hybrid application. Which one of these options should libraries use? Figure out what your mobile users are doing, how they do it, and what they want to do.”...
David Lee King, Feb. 6; Boagworld, Feb. 4
It’s a tablet. No, it’s a PC. Surface Pro is both
David Pogue writes: “For decades, Microsoft has subsisted on the milk of its two cash cows, Windows and Office. The company’s occasional ventures into hardware generally haven’t ended well: (*cough*) Zune, Kin Phone, Spot Watch (*cough*). But the new Surface Pro tablet, which goes on sale February 9, seemed to have more going for it than any Microsoft hardware since the Xbox.” John Biggs thinks the Surface Pro will save Windows 8; others are not so sure....
New York Times, Feb. 6; TechCrunch, Feb. 5; ExtremeTech, Feb. 6
The top five external hard drives
Laarni Almendrala Ragaza writes: “I’ve always extolled the virtues of regularly backing up your data, so for me, having an external hard drive is must. And these days, it won’t cost anyone an arm and a leg. For under $100, you can add up to one terabyte of data storage to your PC or Mac, portable or desktop. But which to choose?”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 5
The 10 best wireless routers
Samara Lynn writes: “A wireless router is the hub of your home or business network. At its most basic, a router delivers a single internet connection to other devices on the network either through wired Ethernet or wireless connectivity. When testing routers, we look at several key features: throughput speeds, how well the device keeps decent throughput as you move a wireless client further from it, how easy or difficult the router is to set up, its manageability, its feature set, and pricing.”...
PC Magazine, Jan. 31
Bright screens could disrupt your sleep
If you have trouble sleeping, laptop or tablet use at bedtime might be to blame, new research suggests. Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her team showed that two hours of iPad use at maximum brightness was enough to suppress people’s normal nighttime release of melatonin, a key hormone in the body’s circadian rhythm. The brightness of the light and exposure time, as well as the wavelength, determine whether it affects melatonin....
Scientific American, Feb. 1
When will the rest of us get Google Fiber?
David Talbot writes: “In 2012, Google installed ultrafast internet fiber to homes in the Kansas City area. A Google spokeswoman said the company expects to operate profitably and that Google Fiber is neither a loss leader nor a PR stunt. If that’s true, then why isn’t it being made available everywhere? The answer is that there are no compelling business incentives for the established players.”...
MIT Technology Review, Feb. 4
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Seattle, ebooks, and #alamw13
Sari Feldman writes: “ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group was busy at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Between formal business meetings of the full DCWG and its individual subgroups, presentations to ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board, meetings about related initiatives, one-on-one discussions on the Exhibit Hall floor and with ALA members, and two DCWG-sponsored programs, we covered a lot of ground.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 4
What’s selling at the library
Jamie LaRue writes: “Over the months, the DCL Report has examined various bestseller lists. We’ve sampled the New York Times, Amazon, USA Today, and others. This month (PDF file) we take a look at our library system’s “bestsellers”: the titles that were the most borrowed by patrons of Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries in the month of January 2013. I’m intrigued by the idea of a local library bestseller list. It would be also be interesting, and perhaps useful, to compare library lending lists regionally or to aggregate them nationally.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 4
The disappearing library discount
Christopher Harris writes: “What would it mean for libraries if one of the ideals that we commonly hold to be fundamental to our existence suddenly ceased to be true? The Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries’ ebook report this month shows a continuation of a concerning trend related to book pricing—at least in this small sample. Looking back at six months of the DCL Report reveals much smaller library discounts for print titles than one might expect.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 4
The e-reading advantage
Doug Johnson writes: “Last month, Ryan Bretag wrote about an experiment in his school where students, often reluctant to leave print, read from ebooks. His students’ reaction to the brief e-reading experience was heartening. Then Tim Stahmer suggested some requirements for e-textbooks. The real reason to invest in the e-text comes not from a lighter backpack, reduced distribution costs, or even updatability, but in the value-added features afforded by e-reading.”...
The Blue Skunk Blog, Feb. 6; Metanoia, Jan. 25; AssortedStuff, Feb. 3
New ideas in scholarly publishing
Jennifer Howard writes: “Can a small college library fix what’s wrong with scholarly publishing? Bryn Geffert (right), librarian of Amherst (Mass.) College, wants to find out. Geffert is starting a new publishing operation overseen by the library and committed to open access, called the Amherst College Press. It will produce a handful of edited, peer-reviewed, digital-first books on a small number of subjects. The venture is yet another sign of how active academic libraries have become in the publishing arena.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 4
A Book of the Month Club run by libraries?
Matt Enis writes: “ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group has begun exploring an idea that could help publishers better understand the powerful impact that libraries can have for their authors and their bottom lines. ‘What if one book a month was selected and promoted around the country by all sorts of libraries?’ Gluejar founder Eric Hellman said. Choosing relatively new titles that are several months removed from a publisher’s marketing efforts would help illustrate that libraries are behind any sales resurgence.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Jan. 31
Library ebook follies
Software solutions provider BiblioCommons put together this video (2:25) to demonstrate the difficulty the company had in integrating the access, downloading, and account management of multiple ebook distributors into one unified user experience: “We think there is a better way, and we look forward to working with other vendors, libraries, and publishers to make it happen.”...
YouTube, Jan. 24
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See how more than 10,700 librarians, exhibitors, authors, staff, paraprofessionals, teachers, and Friends made the most of ALA Midwinter Meeting conversations, networking, programs, award ceremonies, exhibits, speakers, institutes, social events, and the wonderful city of Seattle. Check out American Libraries online, the Cognotes Highlights edition (interactive version, mobile version, accessible version, PDF version), AL Direct, and the Seattle Pinterest board.
Invite teens to Check In @ your library during YALSA’s Teen Tech Week, March 10–16. The library is a hot spot, so remind teens to check in and check out all the technology you offer. From ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies to games, databases, homework help, and more, show off your library as the hub where teens can plug in and stay connected. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Great Libraries of the World
National Library of Iran, Tehran. The new library building opened in March 2005 in the Abbas Abad district north of the city center, with space for at least 4 million volumes. The collection had languished since 1937 in a facility adjacent to the National Museum of Iran. Further additions are planned through 2015. The new library blends traditional architectural features with modern information technology and has broad staircases, strategically placed skylights, fountains and waterways reminiscent of a Persian garden, an automated document-retrieval system, and state-of-the-art temperature controls for its rare materials.
National Library of Israel, Jerusalem. Currently located in the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the library was founded in 1892 by B’nai B’rith as a world center for the preservation of books relating to Jewish thought and culture, assumed the additional functions of a general university library in 1925, and became the depository library for the state of Israel in 2007. Among its special collections are the personal papers of noted Jewish individuals and organizations; the National Audio Archive of Jewish radio broadcasts, commercial recordings, and traditions; the Eran Laor Map and Travel Book Collection of the Holy Land; the Edelstein Collection in the history of science; and the Gershom Scholem Collection of Kabbalah and mysticism.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. Some will be featured in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2013 by ALA Editions. There is also a Great Libraries of the World Pinterest board.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Librarian, University of Maryland, College Park. Reporting to the Head of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Librarian manages a combination of duties and expectations. Duties and responsibilities include: library liaison to specified academic units/departments; data services and management; general and subject-specific research and information service and instruction; new or enhanced services using emerging technologies; collaborative work. The subject librarians have vision and dynamic perspective to help shape new approaches to faculty/library relationships....
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital Scriptorium is a growing image database of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. With technical support provided by the University of California, Berkeley library, DS allows scholars to verify cataloging information about places and dates of origin, scripts, artists, and quality. Special emphasis is placed on the touchstone materials: manuscripts signed and dated by their scribes. DS records manuscripts that traditionally would have been unlikely candidates for reproduction. It fosters public viewing of materials otherwise available only within libraries.
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
“Here, then, is the point at which I see the new mission of the librarian rise up incomparably higher than all those preceding. Up until the present, the librarian has been principally occupied with the book as a thing, as a material object. From now on he must give his attention to the book as a living function. He must become a policeman, master of the raging book. ”
—Philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. from a translation of his address to the International Congress of Bibliographers and Librarians, Paris, 1934.
Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, University of Manchester Library, UK.
Urban Librarians Conference, Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Central Library, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library.
Association of College and Research Libraries, National Conference, Indianapolis. “Peer Revered.”
Maryland Information Literacy Exchange Conference, Loyola Graduate Center, McGaw Road, Columbia, Maryland.
Distance Library Services Conference, Curtis Hotel, Denver.
El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day).
LOEX Conference, Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel.
Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. “Synchronicity: The Time Is Now.”
ACRL New England Chapter, Annual Conference, College of the Holy Cross, Hogan Campus Center, Worcester, Massachusetts. “Communities in the Cloud, the Commons, and the College.”
Futures of Academic Publishing, University of North Texas Fourth Annual Open Access Symposium, Communities Foundation of Texas, Dallas.
National Day of Civic Hacking.
Association of Christian Librarians, Annual Conference, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California. “More Than True.”
North American Symposium on Knowledge Organization, Continuing Education Center, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
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YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge
Gretchen Kolderup writes: “It’s time for YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge. We’re hoping it will push you to read or listen to more great books than you would have and to discover something new in a genre or category you might not have tried.
Read or listen to 25 of the 83 titles on our list of eligible titles (PDF file) to finish the challenge by June 22. The list includes YA novels, audiobooks, graphic novels, and books for adults, so there’s plenty to choose from.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 3
Five tips for a successful book club
Wallace Yovetich writes: “Let’s face it, book clubs are fantastic in theory, but they’re really hard to pull off successfully in real life. However, whether you’re an avid reader or not, it’s a fun excuse to share ideas (and some wine) with a few friends. Many of us have been in book clubs that have crumbled quickly, or felt a bit more like school than a social activity. But what if book club was actually fun instead of stressful? Here are a few tips to creating a successful book club.”...
Book Riot, Feb. 5
Finnegans Wake a bestseller in China
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “James Joyce’s fiendishly difficult novel Finnegans Wake has been called many things since it first began appearing in portions in 1924, including ‘the most colossal leg-pull in literature,’ ‘the work of a psychopath,’ and ‘the chief ironic epic of our time.’
Now it can add another designation: bestseller in China. A new translation (right) has sold out its initial print run of 8,000 since it appeared on December 25, thanks in part to an unusual billboard campaign in major Chinese cities.” Emily Temple identifies the top bestsellers in 10 foreign countries....
New York Times: Arts Beat, Jan. 30; Flavorwire, Feb. 3
Self-help books: Rx for mental illness
Individuals in England with mild to moderate mental health concerns—including panic attacks, anxiety, and depression—will be prescribed self-help books that they can borrow from their local libraries. Titles such as The Feeling Good Handbook, How to Stop Worrying, and Overcoming Anger and Irritability will be among the 30 prescription titles that libraries in the UK will stock in an attempt to improve the wellbeing of the nation. The plan was announced January 31 at the British Library....
The Guardian (UK), Jan. 31
Book and article recommender systems
Aaron Tay writes: “By now most academic libraries have implemented web-scale discovery systems, which is what Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC would call ‘aggregating supply.’ The next logical step is to ‘aggregate demand’ using recommender systems. Here are eight that I am aware of. I focus mostly on recommenders that make use of circulation data or usage data of other users (‘People who borrow or read X also read Y’), though matching based on other item characteristics might be included as well.” A new recommender site, Bookish, is backed by big-six publishers Hachette, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster; but take a look at its terms of service....
Musings About Librarianship, Feb. 3; Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, July 30, 2006; paidContent, Feb. 4; Mike Cane’s xBlog, Feb. 5
10 insane superhero PSA comics
Rob Bricken writes: “Marvel and DC have frequently produced public-service announcement comics, generally referred to as PSAs, using their superheroes to promote awareness of things kids need to be aware of, or warn kids about bad things like drugs, sex, and landmines. Since these comics were educational and given out for free, they were almost invariably terrible and lame. But a few of them were terrible and insane. Here are 10 comics that were significantly crazier than they were educational.”...
io9, Feb. 5
Exploring Cover Browser
Laura Damon-Moore writes: “Cover Browser is today’s timesuck for you. As its name would suggest, the site (developed and maintained by Philipp Lenssen) is chock full of different media covers (films, magazines, books, music, comics). And by chock full, I mean over 450,000. Lenssen provides the technical details on how he aggregates and organizes this massive collection here and has created a section called ‘The Labs’ where you can play games, view certain comic book characters’ timelines, and download comic screensavers, all here.”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Feb. 6
Judaism in YA literature
Whitney Etchison writes: “Judaism is second only to Christianity in terms of number of YA books published, so there was a lot of literature out there to choose from for this post. The books I will highlight are only a small sample; you can also take a look at this great post by Amy Pelman for more titles that involve the Jewish faith.”...
YALSA The Hub, Dec. 11, Feb. 5
The 10 most notorious parts of famous books
Gabe Habash writes: “A little controversy goes a long way in the book world, where tweets from prestigious publishers resembling Kanye West lyrics cause people to flip out. In the case of these books, notoriety and controversy have added an extra facet to their reputations, propelling discussion and (in some instances) fierce debate that involved censorship. Here are our picks for the most infamous passages of famous books.”...
Publishers Weekly: PWxyz, Jan. 31; MobyLives, Jan. 28
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Libraries: Good for the waistline
Bobbi Newman writes: “This is a half-thought-out mashup of two things that crossed my path this week. The first was the article in the Wall Street Journal, “The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald’s.” Which covers what many of us already know: 33 million Americans do not have broadband service at home. We also know that people without home internet access or computers often turn to their local public libraries, as OITP noted in its response. But when libraries are closed, students head to other alternatives, including McDonald’s or Starbucks.”...
Librarian by Day, Jan. 31; Wall Street Journal, Jan. 28; District Dispatch, Jan. 30
Infographic on school librarians
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians has created an infographic, “School Libraries: A Lesson in Student Success” (PDF file). It reinforces research that shows the positive value that certified school library media specialists and resource-rich school libraries have on student achievement. An educational video (2:04) with the same title was released earlier this fall....
New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Feb. 6; YouTube, Sept. 27
2013 Digital Influence Report
Technorati Media has released its 2013 Digital Influence Report (PDF file), which replaces its historical State of the Blogosphere and expands the concept to all things social. The report is filled with insights culled from surveys that included more than 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers, and 150 top brand marketers. For example, according to consumers,
blogs are more influential
in shaping opinion than
Twitter, and when it comes
to affecting purchase decisions,
more important than
Merge your Facebook community page with your official page
Heather Mansfield writes: “Most nonprofits have no idea that they likely have a Facebook Community Page. Launched in 2010, the purpose of community pages are still mostly unknown, although a sound hypothesis would be that their existence is now connected to the recently launched Facebook Graph Search. Facebook has no plans for getting rid of them anytime soon. That means you need to find your community page and request to merge it with your official Facebook page.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Feb. 3
Gadgets in the library
Melissa Delaney writes: “Instead of readers with their heads buried in books, a visitor to Cleveland Public Library’s TechCentral space (right) will find community tables where groups of people can tinker with waterproof cameras, e-readers, global positioning systems, tablet computers, and other gadgets on display. It’s like walking into an electronics store, but instead of making a purchase, patrons can take home the goods at no charge for up to a week.”...
State Tech Magazine, Jan. 14
How NYPL increased card sign-ups by 35%
Courtney Eckerle writes: “Celebrated every September, National Library Card Sign-up Month marks an opportunity for the New York Public Library to bring in scores of new library users. The solution to take part in this nationwide effort was to generate a creative social media marketing campaign. Using its flagship channels of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest, the library could reach its social media network of more than 550,000 fans and followers.”...
MarketingSherpa Blog, Jan. 31
Hiring the next wave of multicultural librarians
Rosa Ramirez writes: “Jason Alston (right), a doctoral candidate in library and information science at the University of South Carolina, sometimes answers uncomfortable questions on why he selected his chosen career path. For starters, he’s preparing for a career in librarianship, an industry largely dominated by white women. As an African-American male, Alston is what some would consider a double minority. But more often than not, librarians don’t look like the people they serve, something industry leaders hope to change as the nation continues to rapidly diversify.”...
National Journal, Jan. 31
Finding balance in a final push
Topher Lawton writes: “Rocketing toward the end of my library school career is exhilarating, but the closer I get to graduation, the more I feel like my list of projects to accomplish is too long to finish. I’m excited to be involved in our student activities, my classes are challenging in all the best ways, and my work outside of the academic milieu is giving me valuable experience, but there’s always a voice saying, ‘You should do more!’”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 4
ARL’s Position Description Bank
Would you like to search job descriptions at your peer libraries from a single interface? Could you use a digital archive of job descriptions from your own institution? The new Association of Research Libraries Position Description Bank—launched February 1—could be just the tool for you. The service was developed by a team from the University of Florida Libraries and ARL, along with personnel officers from ARL member institutions....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 1
Access to court opinions expands
A pilot project giving the public free, text-searchable, online access to court opinions now is available to all federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. The Judicial Conference, the policy-making body of the federal court system, approved national implementation of the project with the Government Printing Office’s Federal Digital System website, which provides free access to publications from all three branches of federal government via the internet....
Administrative Office of the US Courts, Jan. 31
Serving homeless teens: What you need to know
Kelly Czarnecki writes: “Sometimes we may not even know who the homeless teens are in our library. It’s not information they likely want to broadcast nor do they necessarily show any obvious outward signs of being without a home. Individual teens’ situations differ vastly. A teen might be sleeping in a shelter, living on the streets, or staying with friends or relatives in a temporary situation. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a relationship between being homeless and academic success.” Don’t miss parts two and three....
YALSA Blog, Feb. 4–6
Early modern rocket cats
Mitch Fraas writes: “I was puzzled when a friend asked me a few weeks ago if I’d seen the ‘rocket cat’ illustrated in a Penn manuscript which had been featured on the book blog BibliOdyssey in November. The image, from what was described as a 1584 ‘Feuer Buech’ manuscript, appeared to show a cat and a bird propelled by rockets towards a castle. Given the illustration’s new-found fame I thought it would be worthwhile to provide a bit of context.”...
Unique at Penn, Feb. 5
Dogs in medieval manuscripts
Nicole Eddy writes: “Recently we examined cats in medieval manuscripts. But what about man’s best friend, the dog? Dogs were, then as now, renowned for their loyalty. Medieval tomb effigies sometimes included a dog resting at the feet of the deceased, indicating loyalty as a faithful retainer to his lord. This quality of loyalty works its way into many of the stories told about dogs in bestiaries.”...
British Library: Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog, Feb. 4
OSU library becomes a dance set
“Library Dance Works,” a Master of Fine Arts event, took place in multiple levels of Ohio State University’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library on February 4, within the book stacks and in the East Atrium. Choreographer Brian Devine, an MFA dance candidate, said he wanted to use the space after falling in love with Thompson Library. He spent time in the library researching student flow through the space to determine the exact time when the performance should begin....
The Lantern (Ohio State University), Feb. 3
11 beautiful museum libraries
Emily Temple writes: “We’ve shown you many beautiful libraries from around the world, but what about gorgeous museum libraries? Many museum libraries are strictly utilitarian, meant for easy browsing, and not necessarily planned to be easy on the eyes. That said, some standouts manage to be both. Check out 11 of the most beautiful museum libraries from around the world.”...
Flavorwire, Feb. 2
The joy of toy libraries
Christina Mayhand writes: “I was in my Foundations library class when I first heard about toy libraries. Entering library school I had no idea that there were toy libraries in existence, what exactly they were, or what they did. Recently I had the chance to talk to a member of the USA Toy Library Association about just that. A toy library’s objectives depends on the community it serves, though it is mainly to provide toys to children.”...
Public Libraries Online, Jan. 31
Indianapolis PL contest winner
More than 18,000 children from age 6 to 17 used their Indianapolis Public Library cards in December 2012 during the “Coltstrong, Librarystrong” campaign designed to promote the benefits of a library card to access the free resources of the public library. In a drawing of all eligible entrants, 6-year-old “Tino” Pablo Valentino Sosa Castañeda (on the right) won a private visit from Indianapolis Colts players Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen hosted at the College Avenue branch. Tino will be joined by his 8-year-old brother “Alito” Alessandro Carlos Sosa Castañeda....
Indianapolis Public Library, Feb. 5
Affairs of the Heart @ your library
Love is certainly in the air at the library this month, as February marks not only Valentine’s Day, but also Love Your Library Month and American Heart Month. For example, West Babylon (N.Y.) Public Library’s YA section is hosting “Fall in Love with a Good Book @ your library,” featuring a selection of teen romance novels....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Feb. 5
Five task management services for teachers and students
Richard Byrne writes: “This afternoon I was looking at a web-based to-do list service and I was about to write a review of it when I realized that it wouldn’t function well on my iPad. The way that we work today requires that our to-do lists and task management services be accessible from whichever device we’re using at the time. Here are five to-do list and task management tools that work on the web, on Android devices, and on iOS devices.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 1
Iowa’s Masonic Library
Larry Nix writes: “Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization with a membership of approximately 4 million men including 2 million in the United States. I have several items in my collection related to Masonic libraries. The most recent addition is the postcard shown here, which proclaims ‘Greetings from a Unique Library.’ The unique library is the Masonic Library of Iowa located in Cedar Rapids.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 3
Abolition and modern slavery
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Museum of American History is hosting a National Youth Summit on Abolition, a webcast on February 11 for secondary students to look at the strategies used by 19th-century abolitionists to end slavery in the US and how this history can inform efforts to end modern-day slavery. Chris Wilson, director of the Program in African American Culture, asked Harvard Professor John Stauffer to answer three essential questions to get the conversation started....
O Say Can You See?, Feb. 5
Murder in the library
Laura Damon-Moore writes: “Murder in the Library is a popular program for libraries around the world. The format for this classic game is familiar to many: Actors (library staff or other local talent) mingle with guests until a body is found somewhere in the library. Clues are provided, and guests are dispatched to question the cast members until a guilty party is found. One lovely example of this can be found in After Dark Entertainment’s work with several UK libraries.”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Feb. 5
How waitressing made me a better librarian
Jessica Olin writes: “Like a lot of people, I was not born with a silver spoon. The relevant ramification of that fact is that I had to work while attending graduate school. Waiting tables was the most profitable job that had a flexible schedule. Little did I realize that not only would I be making money with which to pay for graduate school, but that I’d also be learning to be a better librarian. Don't believe me? Look at the skills I gained by waitressing.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Feb. 5
Bring back shushing librarians
Laura Miller writes: “Librarians hate to be depicted as bun- and glasses-wearing shushers, hellbent on silencing noisy activities within their sacred domain. Fair enough: Librarians should not be reduced to a cultural stereotype ranking only a notch or two above a church lady on the hipness scale. Nevertheless, I’ve long believed that one of the most precious resources libraries offer their patrons is simple quiet. Now we have data!” 76% of respondents to Pew’s “Library Services in the Digital Age” (PDF file) agree that “quiet study spaces for adults and children” are very important....
Salon, Jan. 31; Pew Internet and American Life Project, Jan. 22
Oreo riot in the library
Tim Keeney writes: “Some commercials later in the night may have surpassed Oreo’s ‘Whisper Fight’ (0:35), but the ‘cookie or cream’ debate remains near the top of a short list for best ads from Super Bowl Sunday. There’s just something about a massively large, fire-filled fight breaking out in the middle of the library while everyone still keeps their ‘library voice’ on that makes it nearly impossible not to laugh.”...
Bleacher Report, Feb. 4; YouTube, Feb. 3
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