|American Libraries Online
How libraries help homeowners fight foreclosure
Deniz Koray writes: “When Susan Moore accepted a job at the San Diego County (Calif.) Library in 2008 after spending the previous 15 years in Louisville, Kentucky, she did not expect to be organizing foreclosure clinics for the public. However, Moore’s arrival in Southern California coincided with the beginning of the nationwide housing crisis—and San Diego would be among the hardest-hit locations in the country. ‘They don’t really tell you about this in library school, and it’s not very traditional as a library service, but we saw the need was there.’”...
American Libraries feature
Youth Matters: Teacher librarian tips
Michelle Luhtala and Dan Ambrosio write: “Not everything you need to know about school librarianship is taught in graduate school. No matter how comprehensive the training for school library certification is, there are a few aspects of teaching that may still surprise you. What follows is a top 10 list of what to expect as a newbie school librarian—areas in which you may have little training, despite colleagues’ assumptions that you, the rookie, have mastery.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
New AL Live episode on mobile services
American Libraries Live, a series of free, streaming video broadcasts, returns at 2 p.m. Eastern time on February 14 with a new episode on mobile library services. Moderated by Jason Griffey, “Mobile Services: The Library in Your Pocket” will feature an in-depth discussion with technology gurus Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings. The program allows you to interact with the hosts via live chat, giving you immediate answers to all of your questions....
American Libraries, Feb. 11
Library educator Brooke Sheldon dies
Brooke Sheldon, 81, ALA president in 1983–1984, died February 11. An advocate for diversity in librarianship, Sheldon worked to promote and secure funding for minority hiring. Her most recent position was as interim director and professor at the School of Information Resources and Library Science at University of Arizona, Tucson, until her retirement in 2004. She was a long-time supporter of Reforma and opened her home in Austin, Texas, to those attending the first Reforma conference in 1996. Contributions in her memory can be sent to the Brooke E. Sheldon Endowed Professorship in Management and Leadership at the University of Texas, Austin, and the New Mexico Library Foundation....
AL: Inside Scoop, Feb. 12
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Congressman John Lewis to speak at Annual
Civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga., right) will appear at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago as part of the Auditorium Speaker Series on June 29. He will be joined by Andrew Aydin and comic book artist Nate Powell, who collaborated with him on March, a three-volume autobiography in comic-book form, to discuss how the project developed and why they believe the format will effectively engage readers with the story of the Civil Rights Movement. Their appearance is sponsored by March publisher Top Shelf Comix....
Conference Services, Feb. 12
Find out why 80 is the new 30
ALA’s Public Programs Office, in partnership with Lifetime Arts, will present a day-long preconference workshop based on the Creative Aging Libraries Project during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. “80 Is the New 30! Learn How Public Libraries Are Delivering Proven, Inspiring, and Transformative Arts Programs for Today’s Older Adults” will be held on June 28 and is aimed at public libraries interested in moving programming for older adults aged 55+ beyond passive entertainment. Registration is open....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 12
Teaching information literacy with discovery tools
Offering the use of a single interface for teaching information literacy, discovery tools free you from the cumbersome necessity of toggling back and forth between multiple screens. Instead you can focus on developing students’ skills. Applicable for teaching one-shot sessions as well as curriculum-embedded instruction, “Teaching Information Literacy with Discovery Tools” with instructors Nancy Fawley and Nikki Krysak takes place April 24. Registration is open....
ALA Editions, Feb. 12
Cloud-based services for your library
Based on his first-hand experiences migrating the IT infrastructure of Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Erik T. Mitchell’s Cloud-Based Services for Your Library: A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, bridges the gap between organizational and technical issues in decision making for cloud computing in libraries. This book helps librarians select the cloud computing solution that is right for their libraries while matching staff expertise to the customization involved....
ALA TechSource, LITA, Feb. 12
Find out about diabetes
The Medical Library Association Guide to Finding Out about Diabetes: The Best Print and Electronic Resources, published by ALA Neal-Schuman, is a comprehensive guide that provides librarians and users with background on key diabetes concepts, encompassing print and electronic resources, hard-to-find periodicals, and audiovisual sources. Each chapter in this guide, authored by Dana L. Ladd and Alyssa Altshuler, provides an overview, description, and an annotated list of multiformat resources on the disease, its treatment, and related issues....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Feb. 8
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Hobbs, Roger. Ghostman. Feb. 2013. 336p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-95996-6).
A first novel comes along every few years that clearly separates itself from the field, like Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. This year’s Secretariat is going to be Ghostman, a propulsive thriller that combines incredible detail and nonstoppable narrative drive. Jack White is the Ghostman, a pseudonymous loner living far off the grid who specializes in disappearing. After a high-level heist, he makes sure that all traces of the caper vanish. Only once, in Kuala Lumpur, did it all go bad. The organizer of that job, a master criminal named Marcus, blames Jack for the fiasco, so when Marcus penetrates Jack’s deep cover, it clearly means trouble....
Technology in an RA world
Joyce Saricks writes: “Last week found me in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Those of you who frequent bookstores won’t be surprised that I found printed on my receipt some suggestions of other books I might want to buy, based on what I had purchased that day. They were poor suggestions I’d never want to pursue, and I thought: We can do much better than that in libraries. So why don’t we? The answer is that staff has been cut to the bone. Many complain they’re overwhelmed by questions about how to download books to a device or how to make a computer program work. It’s interesting that patrons have no qualms about asking for assistance with tablets and iPods, but they’re reluctant to ask for reading, listening, and viewing suggestions. (And what better place to start an RA conversation than with a patron whom we’ve helped download a book? ‘Let’s find you another title, just in case this doesn’t please you?’)”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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ACRL 2013 early bird registration deadline
The early bird registration deadline for the ACRL 2013 conference in Indianapolis, April 10–13, is coming up February 22. Take advantage of discounted registration fees to save $70 or more off advance and on-site rates. ACRL 2013 will showcase the most current and relevant trends in academic and research librarianship. The conference offers more than 300 thought-provoking sessions carefully curated to motivate you to imagine, innovate, and inspire....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 13
ALSC spring online course schedule
Registration is now open for all ALSC spring 2013 online courses. Classes begin April 8. The schedule includes courses that are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). There is one new course in 2013, “Integrating New Technologies into Your Collections.” Registration information is available on the ALSC online learning website....
ALSC, Feb. 7
Gear up for El día de los niños / El día de los libros
On April 30, libraries across the country will host multicultural celebrations that include family programs, bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events. in celebration of El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). ALSC offers free promotional tools for the event, including press release and PSA templates, talking points, logos and downloadable audio PSAs featuring Día founder Pat Mora. Join the National Día Program Registry....
ALSC, Feb. 12
Training the technology trainer
PLA’s interactive online course, “The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer,” to be held April 8–May 3, is now open for registration. This four-week blended-learning program is designed for library professionals who have unexpectedly found themselves responsible for training users or staff in technology at their libraries. Librarian, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding (right) will guide participants through an engaging combination of live webinars, independent assignments and online discussions. The deadline to register is April 5....
PLA, Feb. 11
Performance evaluation webinar
Writer Patricia Owen discusses AASL’s recently published 21st-Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation in the newest archived webinar available in eCOLLAB. Owen walks participants through the workbook’s suggested readings, action tips, and evidence collection to help school librarians engage in rigorous self-evaluation and shape school administrator evaluations....
AASL, Feb. 11
Call for papers for AASL National Conference
The AASL Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS) invites submissions for papers on original research on school library practice or school librarianship, with a focus on the need for new conceptualizations of how a school library looks and functions. Selected papers will be presented in a concurrent session at the AASL 16th National Conference, November 14–17 in Hartford, Connecticut. The deadline for submissions is March 30, and online conference registration is now open....
AASL, Feb. 12
Webinar invites you to join the Common Core conversation
In a new AASL webinar, presenter Kristina Holzweiss (right) introduces professional social networking using Edmodo and illustrates its use in establishing nationwide connections relating to the Common Core State Standards. “Join the Common Core Conversation” demonstrates how school librarians can extend their classroom beyond the book stacks, as well as collaborate with other educators who are also implementing state standards. Registration is open....
AASL, Feb. 12
Teen summer reading website launches
YALSA has launched its 2013 Teen Summer Reading Programs website, which offers a place to exchange information and ideas to help implement programs for and with teens. It is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which also provides grants for summer reading programs. Join and access the materials available, which will continue to be updated throughout the spring and summer....
YALSA, Feb. 12
YALSA, Best Buy Mobile team up for teens
YALSA has announced a partnership with Best Buy to direct resources towards closing the digital divide for teens. When Best Buy Mobile—specialty stores offering smartphones, tablets, and services—opens a new location in the US, YALSA will identify a nearby public or school library to receive a $2,000 donation from Best Buy for digital library resources for teens. The recipient library may opt to participate in a community celebration to promote this collaborative partnership....
YALSA, Feb. 12
Syd Hoff home becomes a Literary Landmark
The Miami Beach, Florida, home of children’s book author and cartoonist Syd Hoff was designated a Literary Landmark on February 10. Creator of Danny and the Dinosaur, Sammy the Seal, and more than 60 HarperCollins I CAN READ books, Hoff also published more than 500 cartoons in The New Yorker, as well as for King Features Syndicate, The Saturday Evening Post, and more. Carol Edmonston, Hoff’s niece and creator of the official Syd Hoff website, was among those who spoke at the dedication ceremony....
United for Libraries, Feb. 12
CEUs available for ASCLA course
ASCLA is now offering continuing education units (CEUs) for its online course “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities.” The course is designed for all library staff, including support staff, general professional staff, age-level or subject specialists, managers, and administrators. The next session begins February 18; registration ends on February 14....
ASCLA Blog, Feb. 12
ASCLA preconferences at Annual
ASCLA will host three workshops at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Chicago covering the important topics of disaster response, servant leadership, and resource sharing. Add any of these events to your conference registration or you can register for this event without attending the ALA Annual Conference (registration type: Ticketed Events and Preconferences Only)....
ASCLA Blog, Feb. 11
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Longlist for 2013 Carnegie Medals revealed
Fifty books comprising the longlist for consideration for the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been selected from the most recent Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books List. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be announced in late April, and the two winners will be announced at a ticketed event on June 30 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Booklist, RUSA, Feb. 12
2013 Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award
The ALCTS Acquisitions Section has selected Rick Anderson (right), interim dean and university librarian at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, to receive the 2013 Harrassowitz Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. Anderson was cited for his articles and reviews, an Against the Grain column, presentations delivered throughout the US and abroad, and his book Buying and Contracting for Resources and Service: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians....
ALCTS, Feb. 11
2013 Cunha/Swartzburg Award
The ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section has selected Martha Anderson (right) to receive its George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award. Anderson retired at the end of 2012 as the managing director of the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, where she managed initiatives and programs for a national collaborative network of more than 200 preservation partners....
ALCTS, Feb. 11
Xan Arch wins 2013 Esther J. Piercy Award
Xan Arch, director of collection Services at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, is the recipient of the 2013 Esther J. Piercy Award of $1,500. The ALCTS award recognizes contributions to library collections and technical services by a librarian with no more than 10 years of professional experience who has shown outstanding promise for continuing contribution and leadership....
ALCTS, Feb. 12
Richey receives ALSC Distinguished Service Award
Cynthia K. Richey was named the 2013 recipient of ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC. Richey began her career as children’s librarian in 1971 and for the past 17 years has served as director of the Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library. She was cited for being a role model and mentor to many over the years....
ALSC, Feb. 12
2013 PLA award winners
PLA has announced 11 winners of its awards that honor the best in public library service, innovation, and outreach. PLA President Eva D. Poole, along with the award sponsors and PLA members, will recognize all of the winners as part of the President’s Program and Awards Presentation on June 30 at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
PLA, Feb. 8
Awards are like a box of chocolates
Francisca Goldsmith writes: “What I hope to provide here is some focus on how awards, lists, reviews, and readers’ advisory possibilities differ in both purpose and approach. An award isn’t about finding the Perfect Book that will magically fit Any Reader; it’s the book that shows off to the highest possible degree, in the refined judgment of a committee, that the award criteria are embodied in it during the annual award cycle. It’s the blue-ribbon bonbon among the year’s confections, not the one piece of chocolate that all tasters would agree as making the perfect breakfast food.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 11
RUSA book and media awards
Last month in Seattle, a standing room-only crowd at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception celebrated the winning, honor, and short-listed titles for the division’s annual adult reading and reference awards. Take a moment to review this year’s winners. Do you have something to say about them? Want to advocate for a book or resource for the 2014 awards? You can tweet about it using the hashtag #literarytastes....
RUSABlog, Feb. 11
2013 Merrill-Oldham Grant
Marianne Swanberry-Hanley (right), assistant conservator at Syracuse University’s Bird Library, has been awarded the ALCTS Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant. The grant is intended to support preservation librarians who are new to the field to become involved in the ALA Annual Conference. Swanberry-Hanley will attend the Preservation Administrators Interest Group meeting and at least one other PARS interest group meeting....
ALCTS, Feb. 11
2013 De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant
Daniel M. Pennell (right), bibliographer for Russian, East European, Germanic, and Global Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, has been selected to receive the 2013 ACRL Western European Studies Section De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant. The grant provides €3,000 for a trip to Europe in support of a project on the acquisition, organization, or use of library resources from or relating to Europe....
ACRL, Feb. 11
Burke County Public Library wins 2013 Light the Way grant
Burke County (N.C.) Public Library has won the 2013 Light the Way grant of $3,000 for its Outreach to the Hearing Impaired project. Funded by Candlewick Press in honor of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, the grant will fund the library’s partnership with the county’s public schools and the North Carolina School for the Deaf to create library programming for children who are hard of hearing....
ALSC, Feb. 12
Apply for $1,000 travel grant to PLA 2014
PLA is accepting applications for eight Innovations in Literacy Scholarships to recognize original literacy programs of all types in public libraries. Funded by a generous donation from the Cambria Estate Winery, which has a strong tradition of supporting literacy initiatives, grants in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to eight winning applicants for registration and travel to the PLA 2014 Conference in Indianapolis, March 11–15. Apply by March 29, 2013....
PLA, Feb. 12
Apply for a Conable Conference Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation has opened applications for its 2013 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27–July 2. The recipient will attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and events at the conference, consult with a mentor or board member, and present a report on their experiences. Apply by April 5....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Feb. 11
Deadline extended for Citizens-Save-Libraries grants
The deadline to apply for Citizens-Save-Libraries grants from United for Libraries, made possible by the Neal-Schuman Foundation, has been extended to April 15. The 20 grants, 10 to be awarded in 2013 and the rest in 2014, will support advocacy at the local level for libraries with troubled budgets by provideing them with expert advocates over the next two years. Among the criteria to apply is a willingness to “pay it forward” by sharing what is learned with others in your state. Apply online....
United for Libraries, Feb. 12
Día with an African-American focus
The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature will award $500 grants in selected multicultural children’s books for your library if it has a 2013 El día de los niños / El día de los libros program with an African-American focus. Email Executive Director Claudette S. McLinn for an application if you are interested. The deadline is March 15....
ALSC Blog, Feb. 12
Opportunities with Fulbright Canada
Fulbright Canada supports focused academic exchanges between Canada and the United States. It is currently seeking applicants by American scholars for 43 visiting research chairs at 22 Canadian institutions, all valued at $25,000 for one semester. It is also recruiting American scholars and American students for self-placed traditional awards that can be held at any institution across Canada. The deadline to apply for the 2014–2015 academic year is August 1 for scholars and October 17 for graduate students....
Library symposium wins Wisconsin award
A coalition of school, public, and academic libraries has won the Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities Award for its work in successfully organizing the first Lake Superior Libraries Symposium, which took place in June at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers presented the award to the organizers February 1 in Madison....
BusinessNorth, Feb. 6
Janis Ian wins Spoken Word Grammy
Mary Burkey writes: “Society’s Child: My Autobiography, written and read by Janis Ian, has won the Grammy for the Best Spoken Word Album. Ian was able to sing her signature tunes on the audiobook because she had retained the rights to her songs. If you’ve ever wondered why a narrator speaks lyrics in a book rather than sing, it’s all about procuring the rights. The combination of words and music make Society’s Child such an amazing audiobook.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, Feb. 10
2012 PROSE Awards
The Association of American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (the PROSE Awards) annually recognize achievements in professional and scholarly publishing. More than 50 awards were presented February 7 in Washington, D.C. The R. R. Hawkins Award, the top honor, went to Princeton University Press for Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD by Peter Brown....
Association of American Publishers, Feb. 7
New political books award
The winners of the inaugural Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards were announced in London on February 6. The winners were in 11 categories, with Caroline Shenton winning the Political Book of the Year award for The Day Parliament Burned Down (Oxford University Press), recalling the events of a horrifying day in October 1834. In the Political Biography category, the winner was Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead by W. Sydney Robinson (Robson Press). These new awards, to be made annually, recognize the best in political writing and publishing....
Total Politics, Feb. 7
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Libraries in the News
Prosser committee votes to keep disputed books
A review committee has recommended a book challenged for its portrayal of a family with two fathers remain on the shelves of libraries in two elementary schools in the Prosser (Wash.) School District. The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow is only available to 5th graders in those two schools. That restriction will remain in place. The committee also recommended that a book challenged for its graphic depiction of child abuse, Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called ‘It’, remain available to 7th and 8th graders at Housel Middle School....
Kennewick (Wash.) Tri-City Herald, Feb. 6, 8
Publisher sues university librarian for libel
Colleen Flaherty writes: “In September 2010, a Kansas State University librarian questioned the quality of a publishing house on his personal blog. In June 2012, the librarian and his current employer, McMaster University in Ontario, are getting sued for libel and damages in excess of $4 million. McMaster Associate University Librarian Dale Askey said his comments about Edwin Mellen Press pertained to his work, assessing materials for potential inclusion in Kansas State’s library collection in a time of diminishing resources.” Wayne Bivens-Tatum comments on the implications, Philip Nel outlines the problems with the suit and suggests what steps you might take, and Rick Anderson tells of a personal encounter with Mellen Press publisher Herbert Richardson....
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 8; Academic Librarian, Feb. 6; Nine Kinds of Pie, Feb. 8; The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb. 11
Spokane voters approve library tax
Spokane, Washington, voters resoundingly approved February 12 a tax to ensure that branch libraries won’t close. It is the first library-only tax placed on the ballot since construction of library branches was approved in 1990. The four-year library tax plan, called a levy lid lift, had wide support from the city’s elected leadership. The national library PAC EveryLibrary contributed $5,000 in support of the “Yes for Spokane Libraries” citizens committee’s work educating voters through phone campaigns, voter awareness mailings, and yard signs....
Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review, Feb. 13; EveryLibrary, Jan. 14
Suburban Pittsburgh library wants photo removed from exhibit
Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library officials have asked photographer John Flatz to replace one of his exhibition photos with something else. Flatz refused to remove his photo of a 1911 painting hanging in the Mercer County Courthouse that shows a woman with an exposed breast. “Innocence” is one of Flatz’s architectural photographs that is on display through the end of February, but “the possibility exists that it could be challenged,” said Assistant Director Cynthia Landrum....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Feb. 7
Indianapolis displays the Lynch Quilt Project
A provocative and disturbing quilt that displays the stark black-and-white image of a woman who was lynched in 1911 by a mob in Oklahoma drew a steady stream of viewers February 7 at the Indianapolis Central Library. Artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm (right) said she created the quilt, “Her Name Was Laura Nelson,” in hopes of spurring a broader conversation about race relations. “This is appropriate to display in the library,” library trustee Robert J. Bonner said. “It educates people about our history.” Watch Storm discuss her work (2:06)....
Indianapolis Star, Feb. 9
Maine income tax check-off helps libraries
Library directors across Maine are encouraging their patrons to help struggling libraries by donating money through a new state income tax check-off. The first year of the tax check-off is especially crucial, because if $10,000 isn’t raised, the fund will not be established. All funds raised will come to the Maine State Library, which provides grants and training to individual libraries....
Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald, Feb. 10
Harvard library workers resist restructuring
Workers at Harvard University avoided threatened mass layoffs last spring but are now enduring the consolidation of their work in a new “shared services” model that translates into bigger workloads and fragmented work relationships. Now, along with the rest of Harvard’s clerical and technical employees, library workers are mobilizing for a fair and long-overdue contract....
Labor Notes, Feb. 12
San Diego State acquires major science fiction collection
Edward E. Marsh spent 30 years and millions of dollars assembling one of the largest and most significant collections of science fiction on the planet. And now he is giving much of it to San Diego State University’s Love Library. The gift, valued at more than $2.25 million, will eventually be displayed in the “Edward Marsh Golden Age of Science Fiction Room,” created specifically to house these works. Most of the books in the collection are signed first editions and include ephemera such as press clippings, notes, and autographs....
San Diego State University NewsCenter, Jan. 29
San Francisco Law Library sues over space
The San Francisco Law Library sued the city February 6, alleging that officials would be violating the City Charter if they fail to provide it with adequate space to house its 250,000 law books. The War Memorial Veterans Building has housed the library since 1995, when the library was moved out of City Hall for renovations after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. It was supposed to be temporary, but now the building is closing in May for renovations and its board fears the library will be homeless....
San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 6
The chief justice, in the library, with paint thinner
For more than 15 years David Gilbertson (right), chief justice of the South Dakota State Supreme Court, had heard rumors of a lost mural hidden behind the bookshelves in the State Capitol building’s law library. It was modern technology that gave him the chance to investigate. Computerized research made most of the law library’s books—and more importantly, the shelves holding them—obsolete. After the start of the new year, a team began pulling away the metal backing on a mezzanine-floor bookcase. They didn’t see evidence of a mural, but instead found an intricate stenciling pattern. See what they found (scroll down on the left to watch the video, 2:46)....
Pierre (S.Dak.) Capital Journal, Feb. 8
Student collects 50,000 books for Tonga library
A University of Alaska Anchorage student has collected 50,000 books to help build the first public library in the island nation of Tonga. 29-year-old Kato Ha’unga (right) began her quest to build a library after the country was devastated by a pair of huge earthquakes and a subsequent tsunami in September 2009. After three years, she has filled a storage unit of books that are now ready to be shipped. She is also raising funds to rebuild a community center that will house the Northern Lights Library....
Alaska Dispatch, Feb. 8
Russia and US in brawl over Schneerson collection
Moscow is preparing a lawsuit against the Library of Congress over rare books claimed by a US-based Hasidic group. The move comes after a US District Court ruled in January to fine Russia $50,000 daily (as a penalty for not complying with its 2010 decision) until the Russian State Library surrenders the Schneerson Library to the Chabad-Lubavitch organization. The Russian Foreign Ministry plans to fight the ruling, claiming the collection, gathered by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, was nationalized in 1918 because there were no legal heirs in the Schneerson family....
RT, Feb. 8; Interfax, Aug. 10, 2010
It’s a Sadistic story, and France wants it
Elaine Sciolino writes: “The 120 Days of Sodom, by the Marquis de Sade, is one of the most perverse works of 18th-century literature. Even Bruno Racine, director of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, calls it ‘depraved.’ But that hasn’t stopped him from negotiating long and hard to buy de Sade’s manuscript. He has argued in front of the Commission of National Treasures to declare it provisionally a ‘national treasure’ that needs to be preserved in the library. And he is ready to pay more than $5 million to get it.”...
New York Times, Jan. 21
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Libraries and violent media
One consequence of the recent gun-violence tragedies in the United States is increased scrutiny of video games, films, and other media with violent content held in library collections. As a result, libraries are now receiving requests to remove or restrict access to these materials. The discussion points here provide an intellectual freedom framework for talking about the issue of violent video games and violence in media with library trustees, staff, and library users....
OIF Blog, Feb. 7
A warning to college profs from a high school teacher
Kenneth Bernstein writes: “You are a college professor. I have just retired as a high school teacher. I have some bad news for you. In case you do not already see what is happening, I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom. No Child Left Behind went into effect for the 2002–2003 academic year, which means that America’s public schools have been operating under the pressures and constrictions imposed by that law for a decade.”...
The new digital divide is hard to cross
Mike Cassidy writes: “The new digital divide isn’t about who has computers and who doesn’t; or who does and doesn’t have internet access. This divide is between kids whose families have the means and know-how to layer an extra helping of education on their children and those who don’t. The old divide is closing with the wide adoption of smartphones and the growth of free access to the internet through public Wi-Fi and public libraries. But the new gap has to do with how kids are using the internet and who is available to guide them along their digital journey.”...
San José (Calif.) Mercury News, Feb. 8
How BTOP and public libraries have impacted communities
ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy released February 12 the first national report detailing US library engagement with the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The preliminary report (PDF file) highlights statewide library BTOP projects, funded with just over $4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and improvements they have made to public access technology resources, digital literacy, and workforce development. A final report is slated to be available by April 1....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Feb. 12
Copyright explained musically
Mike Masnick writes: “For those of you who claim that copyright inspires no creativity whatsoever, perhaps you have not seen the following video, “PandoHouse Rock: Copyright, Explained” (1:35), a collaboration between PandoDaily and Explainer Music’s David Holmes. This one actually does a pretty good job of making the key point: that copyright is a crazy mess and widely abusable and abused.”...
TechDirt, Feb. 8
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Google Drive’s new Create menu
Joyce Valenza writes: “It’s just a little easier to find your apps these days and to discover and connect to new ones. On February 8, Google announced a new feature in its Drive interface. The Create menu now expands to list a lovely variety of third-party Drive-connected apps. These apps may now be conveniently added to your Create menu in a list to the right of the official Google Apps—documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEnding Search, Feb. 12; Google Developers Blog, Feb. 8
The ultimate Google toolbox
Daniel Ionescu writes: “Google’s search, mail, maps, and cloud services are practically de facto public utilities. Fire up your browser, and there Google is. But don’t take Google for granted. With this toolbox of tips, usability tricks, and third-party services, you can keep your privacy, fix Google annoyances, and get the most out of automation.”...
PC World, Feb. 13
Tablets not a replacement for PCs and laptops
Don Reisinger writes: “The rise of tablets has been well-documented. PC vendors, offering notebooks and desktops, have seen their shipments drop as tablet sales have steadily increased. That performance, along with the continued success of Apple’s iPad, has prompted many to speculate that tablets are slowly but surely replacing larger PC models. But that logic might not actually hold up. Here’s why.”...
eWeek, Feb. 7
Top three problems with tablets in the classroom
Beth Bacon writes: “One million iPads. That’s the number of tablets Apple sold to schools and colleges in the year before the current school year. It’s roughly double the number sold in the education market during the previous year. As versatile as tablets are for learning, educators are still in the infancy stage of integrating them into their academic curricula. A quick survey of the environment reveals the three essential problems today.”...
Digital Book World, Feb. 11
How to access your old 3.5-inch floppy disks
Rick Broida writes: “Modern PCs don’t have floppy drives. So how can you hope to extract your photos, WordPerfect documents, and any other old data that might be lingering on those disks? I did a little shopping on eBay and found plenty of 3.5-inch external floppy disk drives, most of them selling in the $10–$15 range. Newegg also sells an external floppy drive for $14.99 shipped. Just plug the drive into a USB port and you should be good to go.”...
PC World, Feb. 13
How the Linux file system is different from Windows
Chris Hoffman writes: “Linux’s file system has quite a few differences from the Windows file system. You won’t find any drive letters or backslashes, but you will find an alien-looking layout where files can have the same name, differing only in capitalization. This isn’t an exhaustive list. It is intended for new Linux users who aren’t aware of all the differences between Linux and Windows. There are many more differences that apply.”...
How-to Geek, Feb. 13
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One ebook to prove them all
Eric Hellman writes: “There’s a lot of data suggesting that exposure to books in libraries increases sales for those books. There’s also a lot of data that suggests that many publishers believe the opposite: namely, that the availability of books in libraries depresses sales, and that if libraries improve the ebook lending process, making it easier for library users to substitute loans for sales, then ebook sales will be hurt even more. That word ‘suggests’ is the problem.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 11
Macmillan to pay $20 million in ebook-pricing lawsuits
Macmillan settled with the Department of Justice February 8 over allegedly colluding to set ebook prices, and is now settling the class action and states’ lawsuits remaining against it. Under the proposed settlement, Macmillan will pay $20 million to consumers represented by 33 states’ attorneys general and by Hagens Berman, the law firm handling a separate, consolidated class action suit. Macmillan’s payout is added to the $69 million that Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster agreed to pay consumers. The money will be doled out in the form of small credits at ebook retailers.”...
paidContent, Feb. 11; Aug. 30, Sept. 17, 2012; Hagens Berman, Feb. 8; Attorney General of Texas, Feb. 8
#1 battery-saving tip for Android e-readers
Nathan writes: “The number-one battery-saving tip for tablets and ebook readers is quite simple: Turn off Wi-Fi. Obviously you want to keep it on when you have need of it, but you’d be surprised how much Wi-Fi drains the battery when you aren’t even using the device. Just by leaving that default setting where Wi-Fi is always on managed to drain my entire battery overnight.”...
The eBook Reader Blog, Feb. 11
Anachronisms of ebook front and back matter
Eric Hellman writes: “The process of digitizing a printed book involves much more than the conversion of ink on paper to bits in a file. Functional aspects of the book must be mapped to digital equivalents. Thus we have tables of contents and indices turning into hyperlinks and spine files, page numbers that beget location anchors, and progress indicators. The terms of art for this stuff are front matter and back matter. What is this stuff for, anyway?”...
Go to Hellman, Feb. 8
How America’s billionaires could be modern Carnegies
David Rothman writes: “It’s time for Warren Buffett, Bill Gates (right), and other billionaires to think analytically and strategically about America’s digital library needs. I’d much rather that public funding alone sufficed, but this is the era of rampant dysfunction on Capitol Hill. So perhaps billionaires can themselves finance a new national endowment to help fund two separate but tightly intertwined national digital library systems—one public, one academic.”...
LibraryCity, Feb. 11
IFLA principles for library ebook lending
The governing board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has endorsed a new policy document on “IFLA Principles for Library eLending.” The document is intended to help all library professionals seeking to provide downloadable ebook content to their users and is broadly drafted to maintain relevance across IFLA’s 150 member countries....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Feb. 8
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ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 27–July 2. A highlight of the ongoing 75th anniversary celebrations for the Caldecott Medal will be the special preconference “A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal” on Friday, June 28, at the Art Institute of Chicago with high-profile experts and distinguished children’s book illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Chris Raschka, Brian Selznick, Melissa Sweet, Erin Stead, Philip Stead, and Paul O. Zelinsky. Find out about many other award-related events at the ALA Annual Conference website.
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Great Libraries of the World
National Diet Library, Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. Established in 1948 to assist members of parliament with researching matters of public policy (a luxury unavailable to them under the Empire), since 1949 the library has served as the national library after its merger with the former Imperial Library. It has occupied its current location next to the Diet building in Tokyo since 1961. Two new branches opened in 2002—an international library of children’s literature in northern Tokyo, and the Kansai branch in Kyoto, which houses foreign literature and scientific and technical reports. The library also has special collections in Japanese modernization (1868–1926), postwar occupation, maps, music, foreign-language materials about Japan, and premodern writings on astronomy and calendars.
Waseda University Library, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Unlike many other schools, the university and its library, established in 1882, escaped much of the destruction caused by US bombing raids during World War II. Its collections are a primary resource for Japanese prewar history and include literary works from the Qing dynasty, books on the Ming dynasty, the correspondence of university founder Shigenobu Ōkuma, Japanese and Chinese classical mathematical texts, rare books printed during the Tokugawa shogunate, books and manuscripts of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, and original manuscripts by the masters of renga collaborative poetry (Sōgi, Shinkei, Soboku, and Inawashiro Kensai).
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.
Senior Community Library Manager, Contra Costa County Library, Antioch, California. Currently there is one full-time (40/40) vacancy located in Antioch that will oversee the Antioch and Prewett community libraries. Incumbents are responsible for day-to-day administration and operation of the library. This includes responsibility for the supervision of subordinate personnel; development of material collections appropriate for the community served by the library; development and implementation of a plan of service; recommendations to County Library Administration regarding community needs and improvements in library service patterns; and the establishment and maintenance of direct liaison between the community library, city, school district, library Friends, and local groups to encourage good community relations....
Digital Library of the Week
The Anthropology Photographic Archive database contains images from the anthropology collections of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The images record staff research in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in the field of archaeology and social anthropology from 1950 to date. At present approximately 50,000 images have been digitized and uploaded, ranging from social anthropology in Papua New Guinea and Tokelau, to archaeology in Western Samoa, Tonga, and New Zealand. The archive is a joint project between the University Library and the Department of Anthropology to preserve and ensure long-term access to items in this valuable and unique research archive.
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
Don’t need classrooms, that’s for sure.
Libraries are so passé—
Remnants of another day.
“We’re creating new tradition.
Ours is wireless erudition.
We eschew all printed words.
Rest in pace Gutenberg.”
—A rewrite of the graduation song “Gaudeamus Igitur” by Ted Fiske, in “College Songs for MOOC Era,” Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 12.
“I disagreed with former President George W. Bush on many things. But on one issue, I admired him greatly: He was wise enough to marry a teacher and a librarian. I’m unabashedly biased about this, since my late mom was also a teacher and a librarian.”
—Op-ed columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. in “Nothing Self-Made about Me,” Washington Post, Feb. 10.
American Libraries Live, web episode. “Mobile Services: The Library in Your Pocket.”
National Information Standards Organization, Virtual Conference. “Future Perfect: How Libraries Are Implementing Emerging Technologies.”
OCLC Research Roundup, webinar.
Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival, University of Redlands School of Education, Redlands, California.
American Libraries Live, web episode. “Library Safety and Security.”
Southwest Florida Reading Festival, Harborside Event Center and Centennial Park, Fort Myers.
Public Library Association, Virtual Spring Symposium.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Valdez Convention and Civic Center. “Alaska’s Libraries: The Original Discovery Channel.”
Association of College and Research Libraries, National Conference, Indianapolis. “Peer Revered.”
Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group, Annual Conference, Mercer University, Atlanta. “Beyond Face Value: Asserting the Value of Instruction and Making Instruction Valuable.”
5th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries, Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel, Shanghai, China. “Collaboration: Information, Access, and Partnership.”
Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Indianapolis. “Digital Libraries at the Crossroads.”
Digipalooza ’13, OverDrive User Group Conference, Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Cleveland, Ohio.
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Room to Read builds libraries worldwide
There’s no better way to build a peaceful world than by building literacy, John Wood said February 11 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. A former Microsoft executive, Wood was in Washington for the release of his book Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy (Viking,). It describes how his nonprofit group, Room to Read, has built more than 1,600 schools and almost 15,000 libraries across south Asia and Africa....
Washington Post, Feb. 12
30 books to read to a 6-year-old
Richard Davies writes: “Each night I read to my daughters before bedtime. It’s a ritual.
I’ve tried to keep this list to books that work for a broad spectrum of 6-year-olds—suitable for boys and girls—and literature that is a pleasure to hear aloud. A 6-year-old needs stories that move along briskly. The text must be easy on the ear but regularly introduce new words, and the books must also satisfy the adult doing the heavy lifting. I heartily recommend The Sam Pig Storybook by Alison Uttley—these stories of rural life come from another age but are so readable.”...
AbeBooks, Feb. 7
YA fantasy novels for book clubs
Molly Wetta writes: “The following titles will appeal to longtime fantasy fans and might hook readers who shy away from fantasy in their normal reading. Some of these are new, some are old, some are more obvious choices, and others are easily overlooked. What they have in common is thought-provoking premises and compelling characters—just what you need for a good book club discussion.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 7
Five reading gadgets
Wallace Yovetich writes: “What could be better than reading? How about reading with the aid of five awesome gadgets? I can think of quite a few uses for Night Owl LED reading light (right). Not only do I love that you have to have glasses to use this (cheers to my fellow four-eyes of the world), but you can use this for so much more than reading.”...
Book Riot, Feb. 11
Celebrating African Americans in picture books
In honor of Black History Month, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has selected a list of illustrated books that highlight the contributions of African Americans. Deborah Pope, executive director of the foundation, said the list of more than a dozen recommended books “tells compelling stories, both fictional and historical, about African Americans through gorgeous art and powerful storytelling.”...
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Feb 12; NY1 News, Jan. 31
10 books that could save your life
This week marked the release of author David Shields’s newest book, How Literature Saved My Life, a wonderfully meandering meditation on reading, writing, and the reason for art. Part of the pleasure of reading this book is watching him pick apart his favorite writing and piece it back together, perhaps in a different way than originally intended. To mark the occasion, here are 10 books that just might save your life—some of which Shields mentioned in his latest, others of which are the Flavorwire editors’ favorites....
Flavorwire, Feb. 7
23 exciting science books that read like genre fiction
Annalee Newitz writes:
“Some of the greatest nonfiction books about science read like novels. They borrow tropes and narrative tricks from science fiction, fantasy, and horror—turning great discoveries into great adventures. Here are 23 science books that are better than genre fiction because they’re true. I've tried to offer a representative sample, picking from classic works as well as science books that borrow their styles from a few popular genres.”...
io9, Feb. 11
Seven ways to be ready the next time news breaks in Latin
Arika Okrent writes: “When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 11, the first reporter to break the story was Giovanna Chirri. The Pope gave his statement in Latin, and Chirri got the scoop because she understood Latin. Latin is not just a fossilized church language. It is alive in the modern world, doing lively modern things. Here are VII ways to keep up your Latin and be ready when the next chance to be a Latin superstar presents itself.”...
Mental Floss, Feb. 12; Huffington Post, Feb. 11
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Edge benchmarks: We can do better
Steve Matthews writes: “Launched in March 2011, the Edge Initiative is led by a coalition of library and local-government organizations. It has developed benchmarks that are a suite of tools supporting continuous improvement and reinvestment in public technology. But as I read the specific 11 recommendations, my high hopes sank. They contain neither leadership nor new, useful ideas that I can discern. Among these benchmarks, which ones are innovative or even new?”...
21st Century Library Blog, Jan. 29
Digital storytelling in ETMOOC
Paul Signorelli writes: “After dabbling with digital storytelling as part of the work I’m doing as a learner in #etmooc, the Education Technology and Media MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) organized by Alec Couros, professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, and several co-conspirators, I circled back on the theme in a more focused and serious way. And found myself in far deeper emotional waters than expected—as is often the case with any completely engaging learning experience.”...
Building Creative Bridges, Feb. 2
LC announces National Recording Preservation Plan
On February 13, LC unveiled its Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan, a blueprint for saving America’s recorded sound heritage for future generations. The congressionally mandated plan spells out 32 short- and long-term recommendations involving both the public and private sectors and covering infrastructure, preservation, access, education, and policy strategies. The plan is the result of more than a decade of work by the library and its National Recording Preservation Board....
Library of Congress, Feb. 13
Carol Tilley deconstructs 1950s anti-comics crusade
Televised public hearings held by the US Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954 resulted in the decimation of what was an enormous comic book industry. The hearings were largely inspired by the book Seduction of the Innocent by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, based on his own case studies. But Carol Tilley (above), who teaches media literacy, youth services librarianship, and a readers’ advisory course on comics at the University of Illinois GSLIS, has gone through Wertham’s case studies at the Library of Congress and found that he had “played fast and loose with the data.”...
University of Illinois News Bureau, Feb. 11
Learning Space Toolkit
Kristin Antelman writes: “The Learning Space Toolkit is a freely available resource designed to support the full lifecycle of an informal learning space design project, from defining the goals and needs to designing the space to supporting it. Whether you’re a librarian, architect, administrator, or facility manager, you can use the toolkit to plan, evaluate, and support your new space.”...
UpNext: The IMLS Blog, Feb. 8
Kids read to dogs at Stowe Free Library
Julia Rogers writes: “Sylvester, a certified therapy dog with Therapy Dogs of Vermont, has just started a new gig at the Stowe Free Library. To him, this seems like the easiest job in the world: He shows up, gets loads of pets, cuddles, and treats, and has an opportunity to show off his best tricks. But what he doesn’t realize is that he’s making a difference in many young lives.”...
Children’s Literacy Foundation, Feb. 12
A library with a pedigree
Joanne Kaufman writes: “The American Kennel Club research library (right) is one of the largest in the world devoted to man’s best (pedigreed) friend. From modest beginnings in 1934—three shelves in a meeting room—the collection now has a dedicated 1,600-square-foot space in the AKC’s quarters on lower Madison Avenue in New York. The holdings are expansive (18,000 volumes) and ecumenical (they include cat books). The rules are simple: No books are allowed out, no dogs are allowed in.”...
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11; AKC Breeder, June 2006
The five stages of retirement planning angst
Paul B. Brown writes: “Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who died in 2004, is best known for identifying the five stages of grief that people go through once they understand they are dying. And those stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—describe perfectly my reactions when I read recently that, according to Fidelity Investments, my wife, Alison, and I will need to save eight times our current annual income to come even close to having the kind of retirement we want.”...
New York Times, Feb. 9
Why more Americans are working past age 65
Emily Brandon writes: “Turning 65 is no guarantee that you will be ready or willing to retire. A rapidly growing number of Americans are continuing to work beyond their 65th birthdays. The proportion of people age 65 and older in the workforce grew to 16.1% by 2010, up from 12.1% in 1990. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why people are increasingly working during the traditional retirement years.”...
US News and World Report, Feb. 11
Staying private on the new Facebook
Somini Sengupta writes: “Facebook is a personal vault that can contain photos of your firstborn, plans to bring down your government and, occasionally, a record of your indiscretions. It can be scoured by police officers, partners, and would-be employers. It can be mined by marketers to show tailored advertisements. What can you do? Ask yourself these four simple questions.” There are also two new tools, My Permissions and Scrambls, you can use to help you with your privacy settings....
New York Times: Personal Tech, Feb. 6; Bits, Feb. 7
10 social media marketing tips for libraries
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “There are now so many social media platforms available for libraries to participate in, but it’s sometimes difficult to get a handle on how these channels can best be used for marketing library services. If you’re considering leveraging social media to promote your library, here are some strategies I’ve found helpful.”...
iLibrarian, Feb. 12
Help choose the Follett Challenge winners
Nearly 120 entries have been submitted for the second Follett Challenge, and contest organizers are calling on the public to crown the winners. The Follett Challenge will award $200,000 worth of Follett products and services to six winning schools, and also provide educators with a platform to show off their innovative teaching programs to the world. Help choose the winners by voting for the best video submission once a day between now and March 18....
Follett Software Company, Feb. 6
Content analysis of librarian blogs
Grace M. Jackson-Brown writes: “A content analysis study of leading librarian blogs shows how blogs are used for professional development, political advocacy for libraries, research, and other information dissemination uses. An examination of blog posts, comments, and blogger responses to reader comments show major areas of interaction. Unstructured interviews with librarian bloggers illuminate how these bloggers view the role of their blogs now and blogging into the future.”...
First Monday 18, no. 2 (Feb. 4)
Five environmentally friendly libraries
Jeff O’Neal writes: “The only thing better than a cool library is a cool library that is ecofriendly, right? Here is a tour of some of the greenest libraries in the US. Each of these libraries is LEED certified.” For example, the Appaloosa branch (right) of the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library, where more than 95% of the construction waste was recycled and most of the landscaping requires no irrigation....
Book Riot, Feb. 8
Sex materials in libraries
Michelle Martinez and Scott Vieira at Sam Houston State University Library in Huntsville, Texas, are gathering opinions on collecting sex materials for libraries. They are planning to present preliminary findings at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association meeting in March. Library staff from any type of library are encouraged to take the 49-question survey, which takes 25–40 minutes....
Sam Houston State University, Feb. 11
Too gay, or not too gay: That is the question
Sarah Alexander writes: “I like to think that most librarians are open-minded. We’re the protectors of the First Amendment. We believe in information for all. We help the patron in front of us no matter who they are. But then I think about all the awkward looks I got when I wore a rainbow tie at a library conference. I think about a long argument I had with a coworker about the appropriateness of providing information on trans* issues. Did I mention I’m a big ol’ lesbian?”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 8
On identifiers: DOI, ISBN, CASRN, SSN, ISSN
Bonnie Swoger writes: “With information sources, there are many types of identifiers that help us pinpoint the exact item we are talking about and distinguish it from similar items. In libraries, a common identifier is the ISBN, or international standard book number. Another identifier used extensively in the scientific literature is the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Each journal article has a DOI, and no two articles have the same identifier.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Feb. 7
Public service on the inside
Stephen M. Lilienthal writes: “A cart laden with books is pushed down the corridors of the George R. Vierno Center (GRVC), one of the correctional facilities on New York’s Rikers Island. The library may consist only of a small storeroom of books and a cart attended by Nicholas Higgins, supervising librarian of NYPL’s Correctional Services Program, but library service to the inmates of GRVC is definitely welcome. In Higgins’s view, providing library service to inmates and those returning from prison allows ‘a wholly segregated group of people’ access to information that most Americans take for granted.”...
Library Journal, Feb. 4
Deposit collections in homeless shelters
Sara Zettervall writes: “Hennepin County (Minn.) Library is rolling out an innovative effort to connect homeless patrons with the library system. The Shelter Deposit Program, the brainchild of Substitute Librarian Amy Mars and coordinated and sustained by Outreach Librarian Dan Marcou, places deposit collections in Minneapolis homeless shelters and surrounds them with library resources and activities. The project is inspired by similar work in Multnomah County, Oregon.”...
Public Libraries Online, Feb. 12
Advanced searching in FDsys
A new training video (9:54) on Advanced Searching of GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) is now available. The video focuses on utilizing the FDsys Advanced Search function, using metadata to return precise results, and ways to further improve search results. Note the options for closed captioning, enlarging the video, and volume control from the menu in the bottom right-hand corner of the video screen....
Federal Depository Library Program, Feb. 11
Advice for genealogical searchers
James Tanner writes: “The first lesson is patience. Always assume what you are looking for is there if you just keep looking a little while longer. Lost arrows do not just disappear, despite how much you would like to believe. The same goes for ancestors; they do not just disappear, no matter what the appearances from the information you are given. Here are some rules for searching that can help you avoid frustration.”...
Genealogy’s Star, Feb. 3
Presidential Library boosts knowledge with Abe App
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois, along with AT&T, launched a free “Abe App” February 12 in honor of the 16th president’s 204th birthday. The new app, which is available for iPhones and Android phones, lets people explore Lincoln facts, answer quiz questions on the president, and look at pictures of the presidential museum....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, Feb. 12
National Library of Medicine seeks social-media data
The National Library of Medicine wants to mine social media to learn how people are using its services and how it can make those services better, solicitation documents show. The library plans to contract for a system to mine Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news sites, discussion boards, and video- and image-sharing sites to determine how health-related emergencies such as a West Nile virus outbreak can affect how people use library resources, according to a request for proposal posted February 11....
Newberry Library receives funding for paleography seminars
The Newberry Library in Chicago has received a $600,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to teach students and scholars how to read late medieval, Renaissance, and early modern manuscripts written by hand in Italian, French, Spanish, and English. The funding allows the Newberry to begin a four-year series of summer institutes. The Folger Shakespeare Library, the Getty Research Institute, and the Huntington Library are also involved in the program, the only one of its kind in North America....
Crain’s Chicago Business, Feb. 8
Transcribing the diary of a Civil War surgeon
As an intern in the National Museum of American History’s Paper Conservation Lab, Greg Waters got to spend time with the diary of a surgeon in the Union Army. The diary’s first entry appeared on January 30, 1863, 150 years ago. Waters writes: “I was assigned to go through this diary and transcribe what was written within. All I was told is that it was written by a Civil War surgeon named M. A. Henderson. With no idea what to expect, I put on gloves and very carefully opened the front cover.”...
O Say Can You See?, Jan. 30
Chaim Grade’s papers to be made public
The literary estate of the esteemed Yiddish writer Chaim Grade (right) has found a home—or more precisely two. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Manhattan and the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem have been chosen to jointly receive Grade’s literary estate, including 40 boxes of his letters, manuscripts, and photographs, and 20,000 books from his wide-ranging personal library. They will jointly arrange for the translation, publication, and digitization of Grade’s works, including much that had not previously been published....
New York Times: Arts Beat, Feb. 12
Gaylord Brothers and book repair
Larry Nix writes: “Whenever I have the chance, I acquire early catalogs of library supply companies. Among those in my collection are several from Gaylord Brothers, a library supply and furniture company that was established in 1896 and continues today. My earliest Gaylord Brothers catalog dates from 1912 (right). A specialty for Gaylord from its beginning was the repair of books.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 9
Australian Zombies in the Library project
On November 9, 2012, the rural Australian town of Tullamore, New South Wales, experienced a library event like no other. Students from 8 to 18 visited the public library for a storytime event, only to find it vandalized and quickly surrounded by a zombie horde. The students now faced a desperate battle for survival. With only the library’s books at their disposal, would they survive? Matt Finch, the organizer of the project, describes what happened and how you can set up a similar zombie event at your own library....
The Library As Incubator Project, Feb. 13
Nine very specific rules from real libraries
John Brandon writes: “We've all seen signs banning cellphones, food, and drinks. But these rules cover issues that might not be common to all libraries. For example, in Charlemont, Massachusetts, the historic Goodnow Hall also houses the Tyler Memorial Library. If you are having a meeting, make sure you check with the front desk—there’s a rule about making sure you keep the door closed so that bats do not come inside.”...
Mental Floss, Feb. 10
Luis Herrera reads “The Raven”
Because he lost a bet with the Enoch Pratt Public Library over who would win Super Bowl XLVII, San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera (right) paid up by reciting Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in the atrium of his library wearing a Ravens jersey. Part of the deal was to post the event on YouTube (10:58), which he gamely did (with the help of a chorus of staffers)....
YouTube, Feb. 9; San Francisco Public Library, Jan. 31
Harlem Shake in the library
Jason Boog writes: “The Harlem Shake meme exploded online last week, as a video maker named Filthy Frank took an infectious beat created by a producer named Baauer and invented a kooky dance sequence. Videomakers around the globe took the same 30-second clip from the song, choreographing surreal dances in everyday locations, including libraries. We have already uncovered a few examples of library patrons doing the Harlem Shake, but our favorite was the West Point Military Academy Library version of the dance (0:43).” Other library venues are University of Texas Library (0:30), Tutt Library at Colorado College (0:31), Bapst Library at Boston College (0:30), and others....
GalleyCat, Feb. 11; YouTube, Feb. 11–13
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