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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 20, 2013

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American Libraries Online

Cover of Cloud Computing for Libraries, Tech Set #1110 great technology initiatives for your library
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Today’s hottest web and mobile technologies are offering libraries a new world of opportunities to engage patrons. Forward-thinking librarians are actively experimenting with and incorporating these new technologies into their digital strategies. Here are 10 ideas for you to leverage today’s most innovative tools and techniques—all of these straight from The Tech Set #11–20 series.”...
American Libraries feature

Johnny DeppEditor’s Letter: Engaging our communities
Laurie D. Borman writes: “Where’s Johnny Depp? In 2013, you can find him in American Libraries, as part of our annual Year in Review. He started his own book imprint last year, with the inaugural title—about Bob Dylan—slated to appear in 2015. There’s a lot more to our 2012 retrospective than celebrity sightings, though. Check out surprising Pew Research Center stats, the truth about ebook pricing, the launch of Google Fiber at the library, and the new Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Another Story: Why do publishers hate us?
Joseph Janes writes: “It doesn’t take much to find numerous examples in recent months to indicate that the publishing world, broadly construed, has a library problem. (Or, more aptly, the library world has a publishing problem.) The prevailing school of thought seems to be that it’s preferable to lock stuff up rather than run the tiny risk that some long-tail novel or journal might get copied and read a second time. Please.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Libraries Connect Communities logoInternet use in libraries
Valerie Hawkins writes: “The ALA Library recently revised ALA Library Fact Sheet 26: Internet Use in Libraries. Originally, the focus of the fact sheet was on the prevalence of US public libraries having computers with access to the internet that their patrons could use. But, as noted in the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) 2011–2012, virtually all public library outlets provide public access to the internet. And so the fact sheet’s focus now is on how libraries assist with the ever-growing internet access needs of their patrons, especially those whose only internet access is in public libraries.”...
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Feb. 20

Cover of AL's 2013 Online Learning Digital Supplement to March/April 2013 issueAL Online Learning Digital Supplement
ALA provides continuing education in a variety of venues and formats for librarians, support staff, and trustees. Check out the opportunities in the American Libraries Online Learning Digital Supplement from 11 divisions, ALA Publishing, and the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Also read Greg R. Notess’s article, “Guiding Your Users with Screencasts.”...
American Libraries Digital Supplement, Mar./Apr.

Sarah N. Harvey, author of Three Little Words, at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in SeattleSubmit a photo
Take a photo of someone holding an issue of American Libraries and we’ll add it to our “People with American Libraries” Pinterest board. It can be of yourself, a colleague, or a writer or celebrity whom you have coaxed into posing. Email them to American Libraries and we will add them to the lineup....

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ALA News

Screenshot from FCC videoFCC chairman lauds the role libraries play in digital literacy
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (right) released a YouTube video (2:44) that thanks the nation’s librarians for their service in closing the digital divide. ALA and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have worked with Genachowski and FCC staff members to support broadband adoption, with a focus on digital-literacy training through some 16,400 public library locations. This spring, the Ad Council will team up with the nonprofit Connect2Compete to begin a national campaign to promote digital literacy....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Feb. 14; YouTube, Jan. 25

Register for National Library Legislative Day
Library advocates are encouraged to support federal funding for libraries by attending the ALA’s 39th annual National Library Legislative Day, an advocacy event that will be held May 7–8 in Washington, D.C. Every year, hundreds of library supporters, leaders, and patrons meet with members of Congress during the event to advocate for national library funding. Participants will receive training and briefings to prepare them for meetings with their members of Congress. Register here....
Office of Government Relations, Feb. 14

Khaled HosseiniKhaled Hosseini to speak at ALA Annual
One hot new title that people will be reading, recommending, and talking about this season is Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, his first new novel in more than six years. Attendees of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago will be able to hear Hosseini, the bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns on June 29 when he appears as an Auditorium Speaker, sponsored by Penguin. Register and book housing now for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, June 27–July 2....
Conference Services, Feb. 19

Google Policy logoALA seeks candidates for Google Policy Fellowship
For the summer of 2013, a selected Google Policy Fellow will spend 10 weeks in residence at the ALA Washington Office to learn about national policy and complete a major project. Google provides the $7,500 stipend for the summer, but the work agenda is under the full control of ALA and the fellow. The Google Washington office provides an educational program for all of the fellows. Applications are due by March 15....
District Dispatch, Feb. 19

Two new programming opportunities
Libraries and state humanities councils that received NEH’s “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys” are eligible to apply online for “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys” funding through March 29. Also, the United States Institute of Peace and the Institute of International Education will also be accepting proposals beginning in early March for a public education initiative titled, “US Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding Support.” Eligible institutions may apply by May 1 to receive up to $2,000 in matching support for programming....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 19

Robie HouseSupport programming and visit the Robie House
Tickets are now available for attendees of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago to spend an evening exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Robie House (right) while toasting the 10th anniversary of the ALA Cultural Communities Fund. This unique evening at the renowned Robie House on the University of Chicago campus is scheduled for July 1, with tours available starting at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Transportation to and from the event will be provided. A limited number of tickets for this exclusive event are available as part of conference registration....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 15

Webinars on youth and technology programming
Public Programs Office and announced two upcoming webinars that will present innovative, effective ways to engage young audiences with technology programs. These webinars are suitable for librarians from public and school libraries. A March 12 webinar will focus on digital literacy for early learners, while an April 9 webinar will discuss using webisodes to engage teen readers. Register online....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 15

ALA Editions workshop logoHiring, training, and supervising shelvers
Shelvers are crucial to library operations. They play a major role in determining how your physical collection is organized and presented, helping ensure that your library is as user-friendly as possible. But how do you find good library shelvers and keep them for more than a few months? In “Hiring, Training, and Supervising Shelvers,” Patricia Tunstall, a former page who has also supervised shelvers, offers practical advice to help you do just that....
ALA Editions, Feb. 19

Find the bugs and win a Nexus 7
Jenny Levine writes: “We are upgrading ALA Connect from Drupal 6 to version 7 in March, and we need your help to find all of the bugs we know are lurking in the corners. Help us find them, and if you’re the ultimate bug squasher, we’ll give you a free 16GB Google Nexus 7 tablet. The bug deadline is February 25.”...
ALA Connect, Feb. 14

Where are future ALA leaders? Student chapters
For library students, the best place to start being active and gain leadership skills is through one of the 56 active ALA student chapters. ALA student members at the master’s level and beyond are eligible to form official ALA student chapter groups at schools offering ALA-accredited programs. The first ALA student chapter was created in 1980 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The most recent was created in 2011 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota....
ALA Student Membership Blog, Feb. 15

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Cover of Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled PlanetFeatured review: Adult nonfiction
Wilkinson, Todd. Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet. Apr. 2013. 368p. Lyons, hardcover (978-0-7627-8443-1).
If Ted Turner were a superhero, as befits the extraordinary daring and scope of his singular, under-the-radar achievements, his powers would involve shape-shifting, controversy-igniting, strategic charisma, and making and giving away epic sums of money. Turner’s philanthropic innovation and zeal led him to fund the work of his great mentor, Jacques Cousteau; bolster the UN; found an organization devoted to eliminating nuclear weapons; support clean water and sustainable energy initiatives; and restore and preserve vast ecosystems and diverse endangered species. Journalist Wilkinson first interviewed Turner in 1992, when the ecohumanitarian—a restless man of high curiosity, “expansive thinking,” and bold action—was newly married to Jane Fonda and busy with his now-famous bison herd on his majestic Montana ranch....

Top 10 books on sustainabilityTop 10 books on sustainability: 2013
Donna Seaman writes: “As this list of titles attests, sustainability—the need to stabilize and balance the relationship between humankind and the rest of nature—encompasses everything from facing the facts about climate change (Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future) to defending human rights (The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth), protecting wilderness areas (Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone), and establishing clean, renewable energy sources (The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse).”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

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ALA 2013 Annual Conference

Division News

Paula PoundstonePoundstone headlines “The Laugh’s on Us”
Author, standup comedian, and library advocate Paula Poundstone (right) will headline “The Laugh’s on Us” fundraiser for United for Libraries on June 30 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Sponsored by Sage Publications, the event will also feature Selena Coppock (The New Rules for Blondes: Highlights from a Fair-Haired Life) and other comedians and humorists. Tickets are on sale....
United for Libraries, Feb. 19

Preconference workshops at AASL conference
The AASL 16th National Conference and Exhibition promises to help school library professionals rise to the challenges of their careers with its offering of hands-on, full-day preconference workshops. The conference, “Rising to the Challenge," will take place November 14–17 in Hartford, Connecticut. Full-day preconference workshops will be held November 13....
AASL, Feb. 19

Karol M. WasylyshynACRL/LLAMA President’s Program (and a contest)
Join ACRL and LLAMA for their joint Presidents’ Program at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Titled “Standing on Marbles: Ensuring Steady Leadership in Unsteady Times,” the June 29 program will feature noted author, executive coach, and leadership consultant Karol M. Wasylyshyn (right). The Program Committee is also offering ALA members the opportunity to reflect on memorable moments of leadership that have inspired them. Entries must be submitted by May 1 to cochairs Valeda F. Dent and Lila Fredenburg....
ACRL, Feb. 19

LITA Forum call for proposals
The 2013 LITA National Forum Committee seeks proposals for high-quality preconferences, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions for the 16th annual LITA National Forum to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, November 7–10. Proposals should relate to the themes of creation, empowering library users, collaboration, cooperation, and building or engaging communities. Use the online form to submit proposals. The deadline is February 25....
LITA Blog, Feb. 14

New resources from ASCLA
The ASCLA resources page has been updated to include new information on website accessibility and students with disabilities. The page contains links that will lead you to excerpts from selected ASCLA publications or to websites that may be of interest in the areas of services to special populations....
ASCLA Blog, Feb. 19

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Awards & Grants

Kathi Carlisle Fountain2013 Marta Lange / CQ Press Award
Kathi Carlisle Fountain (right), head of collection development at the Washington State University Vancouver Library, has been awarded the 2013 ACRL Law and Political Science Section Marta Lange / CQ Press Award. The award honors an academic or law librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science....
ACRL, Feb. 19

Barbara Tillett2013 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award
Barbara Tillett (right), recently retired chief of the Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress, has been awarded the 2013 ALCTS Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. Tillett has a distinguished record of service to ALCTS and a long history in catalog rule revision, including serving as the LC representative to the Committee on Cataloging: Description: and Access beginning in 1994. The award, sponsored by EBSCO, will be presented at the June 30 ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
ALCTS, Feb. 19

Judith Kuhagen2013 Margaret Mann Citation
Judith A. Kuhagen (right) has been awarded the 2013 Margaret Mann Citation by the ALCTS Cataloging and Metadata Management Section. The Mann Citation recognizes outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification and includes a $2,000 scholarship donated in the recipient’s honor by OCLC to the library school of the winner’s choice. Kuhagen has chosen the LIS program of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver to be the recipient....
ALCTS, Feb. 19

Randy Silverman2013 Banks/Harris Preservation Award
Randy Silverman (right), preservation librarian at the University of Utah, is the recipient of the 2013 Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, given annually by the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section. The award, sponsored by Preservation Technologies, consists of $1,500 and a citation. It recognizes the contribution of a professional preservation specialist who has been active in the field of preservation of library materials....
ALCTS, Feb. 19

Jennifer Castaldo2013 First Step Award
Jennifer Castaldo (right), electronic resources manager and distance education librarian at Johns Hopkins University, will receive the 2013 First Step Award, a Wiley professional development grant presented by the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section. This $1,500 grant offers librarians new to the serials field an opportunity to broaden their perspectives by attending an ALA Annual Conference....
ALCTS, Feb. 19

ALA scholarship deadline is March 1
ALA has more than $300,000 for students who are studying library science or school library media at the master’s level. Scholarships typically range from $2,500 to $7,000 per student per year. The application and instructions are available online and the application deadline is March 1....
ALA Membership Blog, Feb. 20

LSSC program logoEnrollment Assistance Awards for support staff
The Library Support Staff Certification program, in cooperation with nine state-level library organizations, will be offering Enrollment Assistance Awards this spring to library support staff applying for certification. The program offers library support staff the opportunity to achieve recognition for their existing skills and knowledge, to gain new skills and knowledge, and to enhance their library’s service to the public. Apply by March 15....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Feb. 19

National Medal for Museum and Library ServiceFinalists for National Medal
On February 14, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 33 finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community. Sixteen libraries are on the list. IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. The 10 winners will be announced in late April....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Feb. 14

Cover of Me and Earl and the Dying GirlThe Cybils 2012
The Cybils awards are given by bloggers for the best children’s and young adult titles published in the US or Canada in the past year. The winner in the Nonfiction Picture Book category was Mrs. Harkness and the Panda (Knopf), written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Melissa Sweet; the winner in Young Adult Fiction was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Amulet) by Jesse Andrews....
Cybils Awards, Feb. 14

Jan Stauber Grants available
The Beacon Society is offering Jan Stauber Grants of $350 to persons and organizations proposing literacy projects and other educational experiences that will introduce young people to Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. US and Canadian teachers, librarians, and Sherlockian literary societies are invited to apply. The deadline is May 1....
Beacon Society, Feb. 17

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AL Live

Libraries in the News

Kathleen ImhoffArbitration panel vindicates former Lexington director
The Lexington (Ky.) Public Library owes Kathleen Imhoff (right), its former chief executive officer, an undetermined sum of money because it dismissed her without cause in July 2009, an arbitration panel ruled February 15. In a 2-to-1 legally binding decision, the arbitrators said Imhoff had a four-year employment contract with the library, which was required to honor the remaining two years of her contract. The library could be asked to pay nearly $1 million in damages....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Feb. 15

Librarians rally behind blogger
A university librarian who is being sued after writing a critical blog post about a scholarly publisher is finding support from professors and librarians around the world. In 2010, Dale Askey, now a librarian at McMaster University in Ontario, wrote a blog post about Edwin Mellen Press on his personal website, referring to the publisher as “dubious.” The publisher responded with a libel lawsuit. The Association of Research Libraries released a joint statement with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries on February 14, saying they disapprove of the publisher’s “aggressive use of the Canadian court system.” The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and the Medical Library Association released a statement on February 15, while ACRL issued a statement February 20....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 14; Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 14; Medical Library Association, Feb. 15; ACRL Insider, Feb. 20

Another publisher threatens a libel suit
The Canadian Center of Science and Education, publisher of numerous open-access journals that charge authors to get published, sent a letter to Jeffrey Beall, scholarly initiatives librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, informing him that his inclusion of the company and several of its products on a list of a possible “predatory” journals amounted to defamation and libel. The letter threatened legal action unless Beall removes the material and pays $10,000 in damages. Beall runs the Scholarly Open Access blog devoted to critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing....
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 15

Ocean County (N.J.) Library's Bay Head Reading Center remains closedFive Jersey Shore libraries remain closed, post-Sandy
Five libraries that served patrons in Jersey Shore towns devastated by Hurricane Sandy remain shuttered months after the storm as they wrangle with the same questions many residents now face: How much of the storm damage will insurance cover? When will that money arrive? What is the best way to rebuild? With few firm answers available, timelines for reopening are sketchy....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger,
Feb. 19

Gary Public Library, main branchGary Public Library struggles toward reopening
The main branch of the Gary (Ind.) Public Library is on course to once again become a library. Closed in January 2012 following a 40% cut in the budget, library officials hoped to turn the 50-year-old building into a museum and cultural center. The move triggered an outcry and led Robert Buggs to form Citizens to Save the Gary Public Library. The group gathered 5,000 signatures in opposition, filed a court injunction, and lobbied to get library board members recalled. Buggs himself became a library board member on February 18....
Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune, Feb. 18

Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public LibraryPlan to downsize Brooklyn Heights branch
Residents are up in arms over a controversial plan to sell the city-owned Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library to a private developer who will erect an apartment tower with a new, 15,000-square-foot library on the ground floor. But the existing building needs $9 million in repairs to its air-conditioning system that the library can’t afford. Half of the space in the old building is taken up by the BPL Business and Career Library, which will move to the Central Library in Prospect Heights....
New York Daily News, Feb. 17; Brooklyn (N.Y.) Daily, Feb. 4

Camden County will finally get a public library
As of July 1, Camden will no longer be North Carolina’s only county without a library. After partnering with Pasquotank County for library services for more than 70 years, Camden plans to lease space in a business park, furnish it, and stock it with computers and about 20,000 books at a cost of $450,000. With a population of about 10,000, Camden is one of the smallest and poorest counties in the state....
Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 16

Seventh-grader wants a better school library
A 7th-grader’s poem may have sparked some change in a local school’s neglected library. Greta Jarvi, a student at McKay Arts Academy in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, says she’s had limited opportunities to access the books in the school library, many of which she says are sitting in boxes out of reach of the children or in disarray on library shelves. Frustrated, Greta wrote a letter to the local newspaper in poem form to describe the situation. Principal Dan Hanneken said that the school’s librarian had been out on medical leave for most of the school year....
Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel and Enterprise, Feb. 18

Artist's conception of the George Washington libraryGeorge Washington presidential library in the works
The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, a new library dedicated to the study of the first US president, will open September 27 on the grounds of Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Mount Vernon has prided itself on never accepting government funding and emphasizes that this library is not affiliated with other presidential libraries operated by the National Archives. Nor is it intended for visits by the general public. It is designed as a scholarly destination and a conference center....
Boston Herald, Feb. 15

Friern Barnet library, staffed by volunteersAdvocates save Friern Barnet library
Squatters who have occupied Friern Barnet library in north London for the past five months claimed victory February 5 and moved out after the Barnet council agreed to hand the library over to the local community. The council closed the library in April 2012, but squatters entered the building through an open window in September, restocking shelves with donated books and acting as librarians with the backing of the local community. Now an agreement has been reached for the library to be run as a community facility by residents....
The Guardian (UK), Feb. 5

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Terry DearyWhy Terry Deary is wrong: The case for libraries
Foz Meadows writes: “Terry Deary (right), author of the Horrible Histories series, has not only said that libraries are defunct, but accused them of stealing the income of authors: ‘cutting their throats and slashing their purses,’ as he rather dramatically has it. The linchpin of his argument seems to hinge on his belief that, because his books were borrowed more than 500,000 times from public libraries in 2012, he’s lost out on the £180,000 ($278,400 US) he feels he ought to have had if he’d instead sold those extra copies. There’s so much wrong with this statement that I hardly know where to begin.” Historian Marc Morris takes Deary to task for sloppy research, saying he should have spent more time in a library....
The Huffington Post, Feb. 15; The Guardian (UK), Feb. 13; Marc Morris, Feb. 14

Ray Bradbury25 writers on the importance of libraries
Alison Nastasi writes: “Terry Deary’s cranky comments (previous entry) feel like a swift kick in the teeth, since libraries around the world are struggling against significant budget cuts each year, and authors have been tirelessly advocating for their importance. We gathered a few passionate statements from 20 writers that emphasize why libraries aren’t ‘sentimental’ institutions. Read what Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Ray Bradbury (above), and other writers have to contribute to the conversation....
Flavorwire, Feb. 17

Screenshot from Across Three Continents: A Tale of Tumblr, Copyright, and Excellent Posters videoJohn Green tackles copyright
Kathy Ishizuka writes: “Copyright law is complex enough—throw in an instance of international remixing by young nerdfighters, and you have a real mess. But in the hands of author John Green, it’s the basis for a pretty cool video (3:56). Green recounts his attempt to discern the provenance of a poster based on characters from his novel The Fault in Our Stars, revealing the complexities of copyright in the digital age along the way.”...
School Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Feb. 17; YouTube, Jan. 29

Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act
On February 14, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (PDF file) was introduced in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. This bicameral and bipartisan legislation would require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. ACRL joined other organizations in a letter (PDF file) thanking the members of Congress who introduced the bills. Rick Anderson offers some analysis....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 15; SPARC, Feb. 14; The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb. 19

French National Library privatizes public domain
In January, the French Ministry of Culture announced a fresh public-private partnership between the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the privately held ProQuest, defining how the company will digitize 70,000 books published between 1470 and 1700. The agreement sparked outrage among free-culture defenders. In short, the BnF has agreed to sell access to digitized copies of books in the public domain. The library is supposed to grant access to these works, but the private agreement actually blocks access. The BnF at one point admitted that its contract with ProQuest had been misplaced....
Techdirt, Jan. 31, Feb. 19; ActuaLitté, Feb. 7

An Act to clarify the immigration status of certain aliens, 1951 P.L. 14GPO is closing the gap on public access to law
Daniel Schuman writes: “The GPO’s recent electronic publication of all legislation enacted by Congress from 1951 to 2009 is noteworthy for several reasons. It makes available nearly 40 years of lawmaking that wasn’t previously available online from any official source. And it has published the information in a way that provides a platform for third-party providers to cleverly make use of the information. While more work is still needed to make important legislative information available to the public, this online release is a useful step in the right direction.”...
Sunlight Foundation Blog, Feb. 19

New ed-tech bill in the hopper
A new bill calls on Congress to fund $500 million in grants to states and districts for educational technology, and supporters say it could replace the old Enhancing Education Through Technology program, which died in 2011. The Transforming Education Through Technology Act was introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and is backed by a coalition of national education organizations representing K–12 schools. The bill encourages the use of technology to redesign curriculum to meet Common Core standards, individualize instruction, and increase student engagement....
eSchool News, Feb. 15

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Tech Talk

Ouya game consoleOuya: A game-changing game system
Christopher Harris writes: “Book publishing has the big six; console gaming has the big three. As the only major survivors from the more robust console ecosystem of the 1990s, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have dominated the console system market for over a decade with big name consoles and bigger game franchises. But that might be changing, thanks to the upstart Ouya console, set to debut in the next few months.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 17

In 2010, Stratasys and Kor Ecologic teamed up to develop Urbee, the first car ever to have its entire body 3D printed by printing layers of material on top of each other until a finished product appearedCool 3D printer projects
Mark Hachman writes: “Digital printing traverses the boundaries of the practical and the artistic, creating a physical something from specks of powdered material, painstakingly rendered layer upon layer during a process that can take hours. Each 3D-printed object begins with a digital Computer Aided Design (CAD) file, created with a 3D modeling program or scanned into a 3D modeling program with a 3D scanner. Software then slices the design into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. Here are some of the best digital objects that a 3D printer can create.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 16

A red abalone gets 3D-scanned at Dalhousie UniversityDalhousie library students build 3D model archive
On behalf of the Dalhousie University Library in Halifax, Nova Scotia, LIS grad student Michael Groenendyk and his team are building a 3D model repository—an open database filled with three-dimensional scans of interesting objects in the university’s possession. The files can be freely downloaded in full detail and viewed in most common 3D modeling applications. Currently the team is working on scanning about 30 objects—mostly shells and bones—from the marine biology collection of the university’s Thomas McCulloch Museum. Watch the video (1:22)....
UNews, Feb. 13; Vimeo, Feb. 13

It’s okay to open more than nine browser tabs
Whitson Gordon writes: “Recently, we had a guest post on why you should never have more than nine browser tabs open, and it was quite controversial, even among some of us on staff. So, here’s our counterpoint: It’s okay to have a ton of tabs open, but you need a few tricks to keep them all organized.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 14, 19

Corsair Vengeance K90 keyboardHow to buy a keyboard
Brian Westover writes: “With so much of your time spent dealing directly with the letters and keys, why would you ever settle for the generic keyboard that came bundled with your desktop PC? A good keyboard can spell the difference between frustration and efficiency, between gaming defeat or victory, and has a serious impact upon your health. For these reasons, and more, it pays to know what makes a keyboard a good fit.” Here are 10 of the best keyboards for gaming....
PC Magazine, Feb. 13

Roccat Lua Tri-Button Gaming MouseHow to buy a mouse
Brian Westover writes: “In its most basic form, a computer mouse is a simple device, a sensor on the bottom with two buttons on top, and a scroll wheel. But while all mice are simple in concept, this basic pointing device has found several unique incarnations. Thus, it pays to know what distinguishes one from another when you go shopping for a new mouse.” These are the top 10 mice reviewed by PC Labs....
PC Magazine, Feb. 13

Batch renaming the easy way
Meghan Frazer writes: “Everyone occasionally dives right into a problem without researching the best solution. For me, this once meant manually renaming hundreds of files and moving them into individual folders in preparation for upload to a digital repository. Then finally a colleague said to me, and rightly so, ‘Are you crazy? There are scripts to do that for you.’ In this post, I’ll review a few easy methods for batch renaming files.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Feb. 18

The Opte Project creates visualizations of the 14 billion pages that make up the network of the web. Image via Opte Project19 degrees of separation
No one knows for sure how many individual pages are on the web, but right now it’s estimated that there are more than 14 billion. Recently, though, Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási discovered something surprising. Like actors in Hollywood connected by Kevin Bacon, from every single one of these pages you can navigate to any other in 19 clicks or less. His findings were published February 18 in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society....
Smithsonian, Feb. 18; Philosophical Transactions, Feb. 18

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Kindle with custom screensaverJessamyn gets a Kindle
Jessamyn West writes: “I am aware that I am dreadfully behind the times, but the Kindle I wanted finally hit a price point that I felt was worth it and I got one: a Kindle Keyboard 3G Wi-Fi model. It’s nice. I’ve been tinkering with it. Here are some initial impressions. I am mostly interested in using this when I travel for the free worldwide-ish internet access as well as being able to carry a lot of books with me on a long trip.”..., Feb. 16; xkcd

Impelsys logoImpelsys debuts ebook ordering system
E-content provider Impelsys has launched a new acquisitions system for libraries that enables library staff to order ebooks for their collections directly from participating publishers. The Impelsys eBook Ordering System was developed in partnership with Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries. The acquisition dashboard was beta-tested by DCL’s professional staff, and system modifications were made prior to commercial launch in February....
Impelsys, Feb. 14

UW-Stout student Lidia Orzol with laptop computer in organic chemistry labUW-Stout explores digital textbook rentals
Nate Hoffelder writes: “The University of Wisconsin–Stout is one of a couple dozen American universities that directly rents print textbooks to students. This past fall semester they started dabbling in renting digital textbooks. The pilot program will be expanded this spring, and the early results from fall have already revealed some interesting info on cost and user adoption. Students pay $170 per school year to rent textbooks at UW-Stout, far less than the national average of $600.”...
The Digital Reader, Feb. 19; UW-Stout News, Feb. 6

Librarians Against DRM. Photo by listentomyvoice, used CC BY-SA 3.0Can libraries lend books without DRM?
Eric Hellman writes: “Librarians are nothing if not practical, but the strong DRM that’s been imposed on them by the incumbent ebook platforms is in conflict with many of the core beliefs of librarianship. DRM degrades accessibility, fair use, and privacy. Is there a way to use the strength of the library lending social construct to enable an ebook lending system that works without DRM?”...
Go to Hellman, Feb. 14

UC Berkeley students aim to revolutionize ebooks
University of California, Berkeley students in the School of Information are collaborating to enhance the efficiency of ebooks in the hopes of revolutionizing the accessibility of information among researchers and the general public. According to Master of Information Management and Systems student Jacob Hartnell, research on ebooks will improve an inefficient system that is “app-based” instead of “web-based.”...
Daily Californian, Feb. 19 logoFour companies that are changing e-reading in Africa
The digital reading revolution is not going to look the same in developing countries as it has in the developing world—but that doesn’t mean that ebooks don’t have potential there. Efforts to get them into readers’ hands, however, are complicated by low incomes, spotty or nonexistent internet access, and lack of credit cards. Here are four companies that are bringing new ways of reading to developing countries in Africa....
paidContent, Feb. 18

Old technology. Photo by crabchick, used CC BY 3.0Personal digital archiving: How well do you score?
Tess Webre writes: “I love dumb magazines. Love ’em. Most of all, I adore the quizzes with titles such as ‘Is your guy a zero or a hero?’ or ‘What is your hair personality?’ So I thought, why not make a quiz on digital preservation complete with over-the-top puns, graphics, and dated pop-culture references? Why not indeed, I ask? Here it is.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Feb. 20

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ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 27–July 2. Check out the preconferences offered by ALA divisions and offices. Topics include Common Core, digital media labs, the semantic web, RDA basics, a YA Lit bloggers’ summit, the crowdsourcing experiment TERMS, rethinking resource sharing, creating scalable laptop services, international perspectives on innovation, and 80 as the new 30.

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Great Libraries of the World

Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi, Pakistan

Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi, Pakistan. Named after Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, the library houses more than 170,000 books, manuscripts, newspapers, dictionaries, atlases, and technical reports. It was built in 1950 from donations commemorating Ali Khan’s service to the nation and since 1986 has been administered by the Culture Department of the government of Sindh.

Entrance, National Library, Singapore

National Library, Civic District, Singapore. The library’s new 16-story, energy-efficient facility on Victoria Street opened in 2005, replacing the much loved but overcrowded red-brick facility on Stamford Road where it had been housed since 1960. The library traces its origins back to 1837 when the library of the Singapore Institution was established, and it soon developed into a combination lending library, reference library, and museum by 1887 when it reopened as the Raffles Library and Museum. Bricks from the demolished Stamford Road building are incorporated into a wall along one of the two gardens inside the new facility, which houses both the Central Lending Library and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

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.

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Geographic/Adaptive Technologies and Instruction Librarian, Indiana University Northwest, Gary. This Assistant Librarian position will oversee the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Data Center and Adaptive Technology Center in the John Anderson Library. Additional responsibilities include support of the expanding general education information literacy program through instruction presentations and modules for face-to-face and online classes. This librarian will have Information Commons (Reference) Help Desk and subject-discipline collections development responsibilities. Successful candidate will serve on the library’s New Media Committee and be knowledgeable about academic library community engagement activities....

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Digital Library of the Week

Letter from John F. Clark to Florence Nightingale, 1863

The Florence Nightingale Letters Collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago highlights aspects of Nightingale’s work in the fields of nursing and medical sanitation throughout her life. She developed a model of statistical gathering and reporting for medical data, distinguishing herself as a professional statistician. The correspondences exemplify her engagement in policy matters as well as her leadership. Many letters appear on black-bordered mourning stationery. Dr. Karl A Meyer accumulated the letters in this collection, later donating them to the Cook County School of Nursing. The Special Collections Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago acquired the collection in 2000.

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

“What other industry creates a product and allows someone else to give it away, endlessly? The car industry would collapse if we went to car libraries for free use of Porsches. . . . Librarians are lovely people and libraries are lovely places, but they are damaging the book industry. They are putting bookshops out of business, and I’m afraid we have to look at what place they have in the 21st century.”

—British author Terry Deary on the irrelevance of libraries, The Guardian, Feb. 13.

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Mar. 17–20:
Electronic Resources and Libraries,
Conference, AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas.

Mar. 1819:
MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?
Conference, Hall of Flags, Perelman Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The event (now full) will also be livestreamed and archived on YouTube. Sponsored by OCLC.

Mar. 27–30:
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association,
National Conference, Wardman Park Marriott, Washington, D.C.

Apr. 4–5:
Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth,
Student Center, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. “Dreams and Promises: Multicultural Literature and the Common Core.”

Apr. 5:
Urban Librarian’s Conference,
Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library’s Central Library. “Living in Interesting Times.”

Apr. 26–27:
Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries,
Third International Research Symposium, Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick, New Jersey. “Digital Youth, Inquiry, and the Future of the School Library.”

May 16–17:
Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians,
University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “Social Entrepreneurship in Action.”

June 10–13:
International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums,
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

July 9–11:
Western Conference on Science Education,
Western University, London, Ontario. “More ___ with Less ___.”

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Books & Reading

Cover of The Quiet American by Graham GreeneRousing Reads: Hot country
Bill Ott writes: “I’m a sucker for novels starring war correspondents, especially those set in tropical climes. You know what I’m talking about here—rumpled, sweat-stained seersucker suits; constant consumption of gin and tonics (ostensibly to fight off malaria); a few days’ growth of beard (before that look became hip); and, most important, a sense of constant innuendo hanging (like a ubiquitous cloud of cigarette smoke) over the denizens of the press club. Graham Greene’s The Quiet American (1956) is really the godfather of the war correspondent novel.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Goodreads app iconGoodreads brings readers together, a social media site for finding and sharing titles, has 15 million members, is exploding in popularity, and now rivals as a platform for promoting new books. The site allows passionate readers to share what they are reading, rate books they have already read, and list what they are considering next. They can do this publicly or among only a self-selected network of online friends. The site is also host to roughly 20,000 organically occurring online book clubs for every preference....
New York Times, Feb. 12

World Book Night logoWorld Book Night readiness
Executive Director Carl Lennertz announced several major milestones in the preparations for this year’s giveaway of a half million free books during the April 23 celebration of World Book Night. Host bookstore and library sign-up is completed, and there will again be more than 2,000 WBN host locations this year. An additional 250 libraries signed up this year thanks to coordination by ALA....
Bookselling This Week, Feb. 13

Cover of Lulu and the Duck in the Park, by Hilary McKayDuck on the cover: Which search is best?
Brian Herzog writes: “One common question at the reference desk is a patron asking for a specific book by describing the cover. In this case, the patron was actually a coworker of mine. She had taken her niece to a different library, and was trying to relocate a book her niece had picked out and loved, to see if the author had any others. But all she could remember was that it was a newish kids’ book with a girl holding a duck on the cover. I first went to Amazon’s advanced search with this question.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Feb. 16

Call me Ishmael in emojiLC accepts first emoji novel
It's been more than 30 months since New York City microengineer Fred Benenson put the last smiley face on his epic new media novel Emoji Dick. But the hits keep coming for his Kickstarter-funded remake of Moby-Dick, which refashions Herman Melville’s 212,000+ words into emojis, those Japanese picture characters that kids send through text. The Library of Congress contacted him February 19, saying it wanted to acquire Emoji Dick as the first emoji book in its collection....
Mashable, Feb. 19

Cover of Irresistible, by Liz BankesSex on the rise in New Adult Fiction
Irresistible by debut novelist Liz Bankes is, according to its British publisher, an attempt to capture the Fifty Shades of Grey success within the teen market, and in the United States raunchy teen literature has been flying up bestseller lists. But is there any more to so-called “steamies” than a marketing ploy, and how many teens are really getting their hands on them? Steamies are better known in the trade as New Adult Fiction. The genre was coined in 2009 by St. Martin’s Press to reflect a slightly older group of readers who were reading YA fiction....
The Telegraph (UK), Feb. 14

Cover of Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth WeinHot historical fiction set in Nazi-Occupied France
Anne Rouyer writes: “Readers who think historical fiction is blah or boring should stop right there! This list of books, set in France in 1940–1944, will provide you with fast-paced adventure, high-stakes thrills, nail-biting tension, whirlwind romance, and daredevil girls who are cool under pressure. A 2013 Printz Honor Book, Code Name Verity (2012) is hands-down one of the most thrilling historical fiction novels I’ve read in years.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Feb. 20

Cover of Compromised, by Heidi AyarbeHomeless and abused teens in YA fiction
Molly Wetta writes: “Tragically, too many of today’s youth experience abuse and neglect, and many are homeless. There are many factors that contribute to homelessness. Differences and disagreements with parents and guardians can lead youth to leave home, as can abuse and neglect. To commemorate February as Mend a Broken Heart Month, we’re promoting ways in which you can help these teens and spotlighting young adult fiction that deals with the difficulties they face.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 20

Cover of Graffiti Moon, by Cath CrowleyA teen’s perspective: Three reasons to read
Lauren, an 8th-grader, writes: “It’s not really a big deal when someone says to me, ‘I don’t really read books that often.’ But when I hear a classmate say, ‘Books’ (pause for obnoxious laughter) ‘who reads those!’ I feel like grumbling. How can someone not be in awe of how these incredible people called writers have managed to harness meaningless words and turn them into your best friends? Here are three reasons why reading is cool.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 19

Cover of Keeping the Castle, by Patrice KindlWhat to read while waiting for Downton Abbey
Carli Spina writes: “If you are like me, you started wondering how you were going to manage to wait for the start of Season 4 of Downton Abbey about five minutes after watching the final episode of Season 3. Sharon Rawlins has written about Downton readalikes before in a great post that I highly recommend. But if you’ve already read all of those books and you are still looking for more, try these options to fill the void now that Downton Abbey is done for another season.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 18; Feb. 21, 2012

Libraries of the Future, by Tom GauldThe book mind of Tom Gauld
Michael Lieberman writes: “Here is a healthy sampling of some of the book-friendly cartoons by Tom Gauld. His latest book, You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, will be published later this year by Drawn & Quarterly. The book comprises a selection of Gauld’s weekly cartoons for The Guardian. His Tumblr, whose title mirrors the book title, is a treat to scroll.”...
Book Patrol, Feb. 18

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Tips & Ideas

Lernen Sie das schöne Deutschland kennen, a purported guidebook to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Translated, the main title is Learn about Beautiful Germany. Actually, it is a pamphlet describing conditions in Germany under Hitler. Inside it has a map marking the locations of concentration camps and prisons in GermanyCamouflaged anti-Nazi literature at NYPL
Jack Sherefkin writes: “In the early 1980s, Rare Book Librarian John Rathe pulled down a dusty box, wrapped in twine, from a far corner of the New York Public Library’s rare book room. Attached to the box was a label that said: ‘Do not open until war is over.’ Inside he found disguised anti-Nazi tracts hidden in packets of tea and shampoo and concealed in miniature books both popular and scholarly. From 1933 to 1945, without freedom of speech, press, and assembly, opponents of the Nazis began to use camouflaged writings called Tarnschriften to communicate with their supporters.”...
New York Public Library Blogs, Feb. 14

Dewey vs. genre shelving
Jen Habley writes: “At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, I moderated the AASL-sponsored Hot Topics discussion on genre-fying the school library collection. Six panelists presented a variety of viewpoints; two of them, Devona Pendergrass and Christopher Harris, offer their thoughts here.”...
AASL Blog, Feb. 15

Project ENABLE logoProject ENABLE summer workshops
Project ENABLE, a collaborative project of Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, Center for Digital Literacy, and Burton Blatt Institute, provides continuing education programs to train school librarians in creating effective library and information services to students with disabilities. Its launch was made possible by Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is recruiting three-person teams (librarian, general educator, special educator), as well as 14 school library faculty in higher education, to attend workshops on the Syracuse University campus in either June or August 2013. Apply on the project website....
Project ENABLE; UpNext: The IMLS Blog, Feb. 15

Jim GillJim Gill on “Music Play with Purpose”
Sharon McClintock writes: “I recently attended the California Kindergarten Association’s PK1 Conference, where Jim Gill (right) presented a workshop on ‘Music Play with Purpose.’ Gill is an early childhood specialist with a graduate degree in child development and an emphasis on play. He has created six albums and written two delightful picture books. Here are my key takeaways from his workshop.”...
ALSC Blog, Feb. 18

Using photo scavenger hunts in the classroom
Aditi Rao writes: “As a technology resource specialist, it is my job to provide the faculty at my school with new, relevant options for technology integration in their own classrooms. Recently, what I have been most excited about sharing with my colleagues is a relatively simple and often overlooked idea: using student smartphones for photo scavenger hunts. Check out these examples of task lists for photo scavenger hunts, broken down by subject area.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 18

Neil Gaiman writing in a library. Scerenshot from videoHelp illustrate 12 new Neil Gaiman mini-stories
Tasha Robinson writes: “A few weeks ago, author Neil Gaiman took to Twitter to call for story prompts. He asked his followers 12 questions over the course of a day, each tied to a month, such as ‘Why is January so dangerous?’ Then he picked one reader response per month and wrote a short story around it. All 12 stories have now been posted online (PDF file). His project is called ‘A Calendar of Tales,’ and the end plan is a digital and limited-edition print collection matching his stories to illustrations contributed by readers. You can now submit your own artwork for the collection.” Watch the video (1:53)....
A.V. Club: Great Job, Internet! Feb. 19; YouTube, Feb. 19

Maria Tristan wins “I Love My School Librarian” contest
The winner of Hertz Furniture’s “I Love My School Librarian” contest is Maria G. Tristan of Dr. Palmira Mendiola Elementary School in Mission, Texas, who has received an OFM ergonomic Airflow executive office chair. The competition, which ran for six weeks, invited students, teachers, principals, and parents to nominate a special school librarian and write a short paragraph about him or her....
Hertz Furniture, Feb.19

Geezer Gamers logoOnline games for geezers
When Thomas Abel gets home from a stressful day at work, the 43-year-old airplane mechanic likes to let off steam by playing videogames. But he doesn’t like to play against kids. He says they spout mom jokes and infantile nonsense during online matches. So Abel retreats to a safe haven where he knows he can find suitably mature joystick companions: a website he helped found called Geezer Gamers, where players meet on forums with names like ‘Get off my lawn.’”...
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18

The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library, HoustonThe Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library
Cassandra Neace writes: “February 15 was the grand opening of the Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library, a bookmobile based in Houston, Texas. It will be joining the fleet of other trucks (food trucks and mobile boutiques) that navigate the city streets.” The brainchild of two former University of Texas School of Information students, Chris Grawl and Kelly Allen, the bookmobile serves as a traveling library that works on a rent-barter-donate system and can be rented out to organizations for meetings and activities....
Book Riot, Feb. 15

Bibliolancha brings new books each month to the Chiloé IslandersBibliolancha, Chile’s library boat
Once a month, Teolinda Higueras, director of the library in Quemchi, Chile, visits the Chiloé Archipelago’s most remote villages in a Bibliolancha, or library boat, to lend books, as this video (3:45) describes. Among the community’s favorites are novels, gardening handbooks, and manuals on traditional and natural medicine. The service makes the townspeople feel less remote from urban centers....
YouTube, Jan. 18

Getting started with social media for your library
Andy Burkhardt writes: “I occasionally get emails from people who have seen my more popular posts about library social media. People who write often want to know how to get started using social media from a library account. I wanted to collect some of the advice that I’ve shared with them into a post for others who may have similar questions.”...
Information Tyrannosaur, Feb. 20

Jeff Sturges. Photo by Doug CoombeJeff Sturges on libraries and makerspaces
Caitlin A. Bagley writes: “On February 14, I talked with Jeff Sturges (right), founder and conductor of the Mt. Elliott Makerspace in Detroit, about makerspaces and libraries. Jeff and the Mt. Elliott Makerspace collaborate with the Detroit Public Library on their HYPE teen makerspace, featured in ALA TechSource’s December makerspace webinar. Here are highlights from the interview.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Feb. 15

NASA Science 4 Girls logoCelebrate Science and Women’s History Month
NASA science education partners are celebrating National Women’s History Month in March with the expanded “NASA Science4Girls and Their Families” initiative. The theme for this year’s month is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Libraries are encouraged to partner with NASA science education programs throughout the spring to empower women’s success....
Programming Librarian, Feb. 19

Figure 1.7: Most significant collection care problems, p. 39Report calls for change in special collections in UK, Ireland
OCLC Research and Research Libraries UK collaborated to survey the special collections practices of RLUK members and OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions in the UK and Ireland. The findings from this survey as well as the resulting recommendations have just been published in Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The report provides inspiration to plan for much needed and deserved transformation of special collections. OCLC Research prepared a similar report, Taking Our Pulse (PDF file), on North American special collections in 2010....
OCLC Research, Feb. 13

NOAA’s FOIA office and library collaborate
Wendy Schumacher writes: “I started my job as the FOIA Officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about a year after the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. My new colleagues had collected, organized, reviewed, redacted, and released tens of thousands of pages of records in response to a large number of FOIA requests prior to my arrival. It didn’t seem feasible to host these large files on our server, so we needed to figure out another way to give people access. Now the records are available through the NOAA library’s online catalog.”...
The FOIA Ombudsman, Feb. 12

LibriVox logoVolunteer to read public domain books
The nonprofit group LibriVox is asking for volunteers to read and record chapters of books in the public domain (usually published before 1923) so that they can be made available for free on the internet. All their recordings are also placed in the public domain. Books can be recorded in any language. All LibriVox activity (book selection, project management, discussion) happens on the Forum, and you’ll need to register there to join....

Google Translate iconGoogle Translate app can be a conversation starter
Seth Kugel writes: “Heading up the Yangtze River on $50 a day was intimidating. In China, English speakers are rare at $20-a-night hotels, $2-a-plate restaurants, and ferry ports. I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: Could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf, and mute?”...
New York Times: Frugal Traveler, Feb. 13

Managing your career in a negative environment
Mandy R. Simon writes: “Many colleagues I’ve spoken to lately have the same problem in their work environments: rampant negativity from coworkers. Workplace negativity is insidious and can feel downright inescapable. Negativity can seep into an organization unannounced and threaten to discourage even the most motivated and enthusiastic leaders. How does one manage a career in such a climate? Here are some tips I’ve found useful for staying buoyant in a pessimistic sea.”...
Library Worklife, Feb.

Alexandria Network logoArizona State to set up business incubators in public libraries
Arizona State University and the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library have announced a new initiative for helping inventors, problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The new Alexandria Network will support the innovation economy within designated public libraries, creating a network of locations in the greater Phoenix area and eventually across Arizona. The locations will combine elements of the now popular coworking spaces, along with expert library fact-finding services and ASU startup resources....
Arizona State University, Feb. 5

Sun City Library, Menifee, CaliforniaSun City Friends court businesses
The Friends of the Sun City Library in Menifee, California, launched a new program that allows businesses to advertise on the window façade of the bookstore it maintains in exchange for an annual membership donation of $50. The membership also allows businesses to have their logos printed on the Friends newsletter and displayed during its four yearly book sales, as well as on its Facebook page....
U-T San Diego, Feb. 19

Overcoming instruction stage fright
Julia Feerrar writes: “I realized that if I was going into academic librarianship I should prepare for instruction to be a part of my job. While the idea of actually standing up in front of a classroom was pretty frightening to me, I saw the user education side of libraries as incredibly important and exciting. Building confidence in the classroom will take a while, but after only two hours of experience last week, I have much better tools for getting there. Here are the steps and approaches I’ll be taking.”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 18

The secret titles of librarians
Timothy A. Lepczyk writes: “In my post last week about skills and titles for library workers, I asked librarians what their secret or unofficial title is at work. The inspiration for looking at secret titles came from Rands in Repose. Of the librarians that responded to my survey, more than one-third felt their title did not match well with what they actually did at work. Here are some of my favorite unofficial titles that people wrote.”...
Eduhacker, Feb. 18

Screenshot of trailer from Library WarsLibrary Wars to be released in Japan in April
A trailer (1:32) has been released for the live-action Japanese movie titled Library Wars, scheduled to open on April 27 in Japan. It is adapted from the Toshokan Sensō anime series. The premise is that in 2019 the Japanese government is cracking down on free expression in books and media. All major libraries are fully equipped with military task forces, who take it upon themselves to protect intellectual freedom and do battle with agents of the Media Betterment Committee....
Digital Journal, Feb. 13; YouTube, Feb. 14

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