AL Direct masthead

American Libraries Online | ALA News | Booklist Online
Division News | Awards & Grants | Libraries in the News
Issues | Tech Talk | E-Content | Books & Reading | Tips & Ideas
Libraries on Film | Digital Library of the Week | Calendar

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 24, 2013

Northern Kentucky


AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Cover of the online-only July/August American LibrariesRead the July/August issue online
Relive the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in the July/August issue of American Libraries. From talks by Oliver Stone, Ping Fu, Khaled Hosseini, and Alice Walker to Council meetings and new technologies featured in the Exhibit Hall, our editors and writers recap all of the Annual action. Other features include a guide to making sense of business reference, and privacy issues regarding ebooks....
American Libraries, July/August

New American Libraries Live session
Marshall Breeding will moderate a panel discussion on “Discovery Services: The Future of Library Systems” on American Libraries Live, August 1, at 1 p.m. Central time. Panelists include Anya N. Arnold (Orbis Cascade Alliance), Andrew Nagy (Serials Solutions), and Brad Jung (Innovative Interfaces). Sign up here. As an audience member, you will have the opportunity to participate in the live discussion via chat, Twitter, and Facebook....
American Libraries Live, July 22

The evolution of book returnsWill’s World: Reading Mom like a book
Will Manley writes: “This past August, I was cleaning out my mother’s rambling old house a few days after she died. My sister was in charge of furniture, my brother took care of business records, and I sorted through her books. A few hours into this chore, I realized that her books told her life story. I started in the basement, where I found a large wooden box nailed shut. Inside was a complete series of the Bobbsey Twins and the Bunny Brown stories.”...
American Libraries column, June

Another Story: As a matter of fact
Joseph Janes writes: “As always, it was a pleasure to welcome friends and colleagues to Seattle for the Midwinter Meeting this past January. Two topics of conversation often arose, unexpectedly: our recent ballot measures on marriage equality and marijuana legalization. Of course, we’d been living with those issues all through the election, so the fact that anybody else wanted to talk about them took me by surprise.”...
American Libraries column, June

Go back to the Top

ALA Editions

ALA News

WebJunction logoAffordable Care Act resources for library staff
With the enrollment for the Affordable Care Act beginning on October 1, ALA and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are highlighting new resources available to libraries. An IMLS cooperative agreement with OCLC’s WebJunction will result in online educational webinars, tip sheets, and other resources to help library staff members respond to increased patron information needs related to the Health Insurance Marketplace....
Office of Government Relations, July 18

James NealParting thoughts from former ALA Treasurer James Neal (PDF file)
Departing ALA Treasurer James Neal (right) shared some of his musings for the future success of the Association as part of his report to Council III on July 2. He observes: “We must make sure that our resources are aligned with ALA’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities. I often observe that if you want to understand what an organization really thinks is important, look at its budget.”...
Council III, July 2

ALA Council resolutions
ALA Council passed several important resolutions at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago: resolutions reaffirming its commitment to basic literacy, affirming the need for intelligence community reforms, designating GPO the lead agency in managing government digital information, supporting librarians sued for performing their professional duty, recognizing the contributions of libraries during emergencies, and endorsing the Declaration for the Right to Libraries. All of the 2013 Annual and Midwinter Council documents are now posted on the ALA website....
Office of ALA Governance, July 22–23

Transforming Libraries logoNew tools for community engagement
Attendees at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago got a first look at an array of tools produced to assist libraries with community engagement and innovation as part of the “Libraries Transforming Communities” initiative. ALA has partnered with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation for this multiphase initiative to develop a sustainable national plan to advance community engagement and innovation and transform the role of libraries in their communities. The Public Programs Office is managing the initiative....
Public Programs Office, July 18

Poster: You fought for our homes, we'll fight for yoursNew homelessness resources
During the ALA Annual Conference, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services highlighted new resources that librarians can use to help veterans who are homeless get back on their feet. One call to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3828) connects veterans who are homeless to a wide range of services....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, July 23

ALA demands transparency in government surveillance
On July 18, ALA joined an unprecedented coalition of internet companies and advocates to deliver a letter (PDF file) to the US government demanding greater transparency around national security–related surveillance of internet and telephone communications. Key civil liberties organizations and major companies like Apple, Facebook, and Twitter joined in the effort with dozens of other companies and organizations. We Need To Know, a newly launched petition directed at the White House, invites the public to contribute to the call for greater transparency....
Office of Government Relations, July 18

Campaign for Reader Privacy logoGroups renew call to amend Patriot Act
Citing recent revelations about the scope of the US government’s secret surveillance programs, organizations representing booksellers, librarians, publishers, and authors called on Congress to pass legislation to restore privacy protections for bookstore and library records that were stripped by the Patriot Act as a first step toward reining in “runaway surveillance programs.” The Campaign for Reader Privacy is a joint initiative of ALA, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and PEN American Center....
Office of Government Relations, July 18

Revisiting CIPA
ALA and Google will host national library, education, technology, legal, and policy experts for a national symposium considering the impact of the Children’s Internet Protection Act on access to electronic information, July 29–30. Librarians nationwide can join the virtual conversation with two Google Hangouts on July 30. “Revisiting the Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later” is part of the Office for Information Technology Policy’s and the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s larger project on CIPA and access to information....
Office for Information Technology Policy, July 23

Introduction to web service APIs
ALA Editions announces a new session of its facilitated eCourse, “Introduction to Web Service APIs Using PHP and HTML” with Jason Paul Michel. This four-week eCourse will begin on October 15. By the end of the course you will be writing PHP scripts to pull data from Twitter or the Digital Public Library. Registration can be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, July 23

Cover of Caldecott FunHave some Caldecott fun
Caldecott Fun: Poems, Songs, and Games with Caldecott Winners by Nancy Polette spotlights 40 of the most popular winners of the prestigious children’s book award and assembles an exceptional array of activity sheets to use with the books to enrich classroom, afterschool, and storytime programs. Enhanced with whimsical illustrations by Paul Dillon, this resource (available as a PDF file) includes word search puzzles, songs, story strips, fill-in-the-blank fun, and arts-and-crafts projects, all tailored perfectly to the content of each award book....
ALA Editions, July 22

Cover of Library Management 101Library management 101
Created to fill a surprising educational void, Library Management 101: A Practical Guide, published by ALA Editions, focuses on best practices from library management experts teaching in LIS programs across the country. Edited by Diane L. Velasquez, among the many topics discussed in this comprehensive collection are human resource planning, marketing and public relations, and facilities management....
ALA Editions, July 23

Go back to the Top

Booklandia banner

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Fortunately, the MilkFeatured review: Youth fantasy
Gaiman, Neil. Fortunately, the Milk. Illustrated by Skottie Young. June 2013. 128p. Harper, hardcover (978-0-06-222407-1).
A little boy and his little sister awake one morning, milkless. Their mother is away on business, their father is buried in the paper, and their Toastios are dry. What are young siblings to do? They impress upon their father that his tea is also without milk and sit back to watch their plan take effect. But something goes amiss, and their father doesn’t return and doesn’t return some more. When he does, finally, he has a story to tell, a story involving aliens; pirates; ponies; wumpires (not the handsome, brooding kind); and a stegosaurus professor who pilots a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (which looks suspiciously like a hot-air balloon). There is time travel, treachery, and ample adventure....

Cover of BlufftonRoad trip to Muskegon
Cindy Dobrez writes: “I was excited when the galley of Matt Phelan’s new graphic novel, Bluffton (Candlewick), showed up on my porch, but when I flipped it over I was even more excited. The jacket copy promised the book was set in Muskegon, Michigan. What? That’s minutes from my house. Buster Keaton? Buster and his family and vaudeville performers used to vacation in Muskegon in the summer? I read the flap to my husband, who looked up from his Muskegon Chronicle newspaper and said, ‘Yes, they have a festival for Keaton every October in Muskegon and show his films at the Frauenthal Center. Maybe you should read the paper in addition to your novels and you’d know what’s going on.’”...

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

Go back to the Top

Division News

Digital Learning logoResources for digital literacy trainers
After months of thoughtful planning, development, and beta testing, has officially launched. This online hub for digital literacy offers an active community of practice and an evolving collection of training resources for those who teach and support digital learners. is managed by PLA and funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services....
PLA, July 19

Top part of Declaration for the Right to LibrariesAASL supports the declaration
AASL President Gail Dickinson supports the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries,” a component of ALA President Barbara Stripling’s 2013 presidential initiative, “Libraries Change Lives.” School library programs change lives by empowering students to become effective and independent users of information and ethical and productive members of our democratic society....
AASL, July 18

LITA Forum bannerRegister for the LITA Forum
Registration is available for the 2013 LITA National Forum, “Creation, Collaboration, Community,” to be held November 7–10, at the Hyatt Regency Louisville, Kentucky. Visit the LITA Forum web page to register. Keynote speakers include Travis Good, Nate Hill, and Emily Gore. Registration is limited to 500 in order to preserve the advantages of a small conference....
LITA, July 17

Travel with ASCLA to FranceSpots still open for ASCLA trip to France
ASCLA still has some space available on its October 6–13 trip to southern France (PDF file). This adventure is open to the library community; there are no membership requirements in order to participate. Previous travelers have brought spouses, siblings, and friends along. Those interested in making a reservation should contact Michael Stillwell at Lyceum Tours. Trip payments are due in full by August 25....
ASCLA Blog, July 23

New ALSC mentoring program
ALSC has announced the launch of a new mentoring program this fall. The program, open to both members and nonmembers, is intended to help build a new collection of leaders in the field of library service to children. Applications are now open for both mentors and mentees. Registration ends August 30....
ALSC, July 22

Patti McCallManage the one-person library
The one-person library presents many challenges for a librarian. Lacking big budgets, staff, and time, the solo librarian must be both the strongest advocate for the library and the face of the library, while running all the behind-the-scenes operations. LLAMA will present a webinar, “Going Solo: Managing the One Person Library” presented by Patti McCall (right), on August 7. Register online....
LLAMA, July 23

ALCTS webinar series: Libraries and MOOCs
Massive Open Online Courses are sweeping the country and libraries and librarians are watching this development carefully. This series of four webinars will help librarians gain an understanding of the complexity of the MOOC “movement,” learn how to support students and faculty engaged with MOOCs, become familiar with copyright and intellectual property requirements, and hear what the future may hold. To register, complete the online registration form or register by mail (PDF file) for the session you would like to attend....

RUSA online learning
RUSA has several online courses and webinars taking place prior to Labor Day. Armed with the information presented in these courses and webinars, you’ll be prepared to confidently conduct genealogy reference searches, use web video as a marketing tool for your library and its resources, and conduct effective market research. Registration information can be found here....
RUSA Blog, July 22

ASCLA online learning
Summertime is learning time. Get signed up for a webinar or online course with ASCLA and reap the benefits of affordable, convenient, and valuable professional development. More information about scheduling, pricing, and group discounts is available at the ASCLA online learning page....
ASCLA Blog, July 16

Deadline extended for ASCLA programming proposals
The ASCLA Conference Programming Committee is accepting proposals until July 31 for institutes for the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and preconferences and programs for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The proposal forms are available online and in PDF format....
ASCLA Blog, July 10

Windmill at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook UniversityWindmill becomes the latest Literary Landmark
United for Libraries, in partnership with Empire State Center for the Book, designated the windmill at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University of New York a Literary Landmark in honor of Tennessee Williams on July 13. The site was selected because Williams spent the summer of 1957 living in the windmill and writing the experimental play The Day on Which a Man Dies in response to the death of his friend Jackson Pollock the summer before....
United for Libraries, July 22

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

Kirk MacLeodRUSA selects Spectrum Scholar
Kirk MacLeod (right), MLIS candidate in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta and serials technician for the Government of Alberta, will serve as the Spectrum Scholar for RUSA. MacLeod is a 2012 Spectrum Scholarship recipient and was selected from a pool of participants who are RUSA members....
RUSA, July 23

Miriam TuliaoTuliao to swim for Spectrum
Miriam Tuliao (right), assistant director for selection at BookOps of the Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library, announced that she will participate in the IGLA Championship Open Water Swim to help raise funds for ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program and promote diversity in libraries. The event, to be held August 18, is a two-mile open-water swim taking place in Lake Washington off the coast of Mercer Island in Washington State. Tuliao is a United States masters swimmer who has participated in several long-distance open water events....
Office for Diversity, July 23

LITA scholarships
LITA will be accepting applications for three scholarships designed to encourage the entry of qualified persons into the library technology field. You can apply for LITA scholarships through the single online application hosted by the ALA Scholarship Program. The ALA Scholarship Application Database will open in September....
LITA, July 18

E. J. Josey Scholarship Awards
Essay submissions are being accepted by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for two 2013–2014 E. J. Josey Scholarship Awards of $2,000 each. The awards are given to African-American students in the US or Canada enrolled in or accepted by an ALA-accredited LIS program. The deadline for submitting essays is October 31....
Black Caucus of the American Library Association, July 16

Apply for a 2014 Bechtel Fellowship
ALSC is now accepting online applications for the 2014 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship, which allows qualified children’s librarians to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The fellowship provides a stipend of $4,000. The deadline for submissions is October 18....
ALSC, July 23

2014 Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The program supports grants for the recruitment and education of library students and continuing education for those already in the profession, as well as the development of new programs and curricula. The deadline to apply is September 16....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 22

2013 Native American library services basic grants
On July 18, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grants serving 242 federally-recognized tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations and totaling $1.67 million for the Native American Library Services Basic Grants. The full list of funded projects is here....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 18

Cover of Gods and BeastsTheakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of 2013
Scottish mystery writer Denise Mina has won the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. Announced during the July 18 opening ceremonies of the Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, UK, Mina’s £3,000 ($4,608 US) award marks her second consecutive win. The 2013 prize went to Mina’s novel Gods and Beasts, the third book in a series featuring Glasgow police detective Alex Morrow....
The Guardian (UK), July 19

Cover of Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow2013 Prometheus Award winners
The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced the winners of the 2013 Prometheus Awards for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame). Cory Doctorow won the award for Best Novel for Pirate Cinema (Tor), while Cryptonomicon, a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson, won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction. The awards will be presented August 30 at LoneStarCon3, the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio....
Libertarian Futurist Society, July 20

Go back to the Top

AL Live

Libraries in the News

Friends of Miami-Dade Public Library 10-by-10 Challenge logoMiami-Dade closure plan would hit poor areas harder
Miami-Dade (Fla.) Mayor Carlos Giménez has proposed a plan to close 22 of the county’s 49 library branches, and residents living west of the Palmetto Expressway or in a poorer neighborhood are much more likely to see their local branches shuttered. Riptide has listed the median income for the zip code each library branch is located in and highlights the branches slated for closure. There is now an online petition opposing the cuts. Here are several ways you can help the Miami-Dade Public Library....
Miami New Times: Riptide, July 16, 18; GalleyCat, July 18

20,000 Books Under the BowCalgary library calls for 20,000 books
Thousands of books may have been lost during the devastating flood of June 21, but the Calgary (Alberta) Public Library is hoping community generosity will help keep their collections afloat. “20,000 is, we think, about the amount we lost in books, DVDs, and CDs,” said Paul McIntyre Royston, Calgary Public Library Foundation president and CEO. The foundation is putting on a book drive titled “20,000 Books Under the Bow,” a play on Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea....
Metro Calgary, July 22; Toronto Globe and Mail, June 22; Calgary Public Library

Lawsuits in Kentucky target library tax rates
The outcome of civil suits that seek to roll back tax rates levied by library districts in Anderson and Montgomery counties could have implications for many libraries elsewhere in Kentucky. A suit filed in May would roll the Anderson County library tax back to its level in 1967, when the library was first organized. A similar suit filed in June would roll back the Montgomery County library tax to its level in 1980, when it was organized. The suits argue that the library districts have improperly raised tax rates over the past decades without voter approval....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, July 19

Screenshot of Centre College's Ancient History volume, from WLEX-TV newscastCentre College Library retrieves an early holding
In early 2013, Caroline Washnock, a student intern working in the Jacobs Hall Museum at the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville came across a 200-year-old book that was inscribed “Centre College Library, December 1828.” Although the nearby college did not have a distinct library until 1862, Centre College Director of Library Services Stan Campbell said books circulated informally, especially to teachers, many of whom worked closely with the deaf school. The library has reacquired the book, volume 2 of the 1812 edition of Charles Rollin’s Ancient History....
WLEX-TV, Lexington, Ky., July 22; Centre News, July 18

Image of St Louis, from Das illustrirte MississippithalNational Library of Sweden recovers two stolen books
Two rare books stolen by an employee from Sweden’s National Library were returned July 24 at a ceremony in New York City after the antique book seller in Baltimore who purchased them agreed to hand them over to the FBI. The chief of the Royal Library’s Manuscript Department, Anders Burius, stole at least 56 volumes during his 10 years of employment. The two recovered were Description de la Louisiane, a 1683 description of Louisiana in French written by Louis Hennepin; and Das illustrirte Mississippithal, a 19th-century illustrated volume about the Mississippi Valley in German....
Bloomberg BusinessWeek, July 24; National Library of Sweden, July 24

Richard J. Daley views skyline in 1966 from atop then-new Daley Center. Photo: UIC Library Special CollectionsRichard J. Daley collection opens
Documents and artifacts from Richard J. Daley’s six terms as mayor of Chicago (1955–1976) will be available for review by researchers and the public beginning July 25 with the opening of the Richard J. Daley Collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Archivist Peggy Glowacki, who prepared the collection for the Special Collections Department, hopes researchers and historians will use the archive to glean new insights into the mayor’s life and times....
University of Illinois at Chicago News Center, July 22; Chicago Tribune, July 23

Hemingway's parents' anniversary, Oct. 1, 1912JFK Library releases Hemingway scrapbooks
On July 21, to mark the 114th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which holds nearly all of the author’s manuscripts, made digital versions of his early scrapbooks available online for the first time, offering an unprecedented view of the writer’s childhood. Mary Hemingway, the author’s fourth wife, promised his papers to the JFK Library in a letter to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1968....
Boston Globe, July 21

The Reading NestA reading nest at Cleveland Public Library
If a nest is where birds grow and soon learn to fly, a giant nest at the Cleveland Public Library is where kids can learn to read. And maybe they can learn to fly in a different way. That’s the idea behind the 30-foot-wide, 12-foot-high Reading Nest that was completed recently at the Eastman Reading Garden, next to the main downtown library. The temporary art installation was designed by Mark Reigelman, who created it from discarded and reclaimed wood collected from various Cleveland industrial and manufacturing sources....
Cleveland Sun News, July 19

Watertown and collection development
Watertown (Mass.) Free Public Library Director Leone Cole has responded to the library trustees’ decision to remove certain historical titles from the library’s history room. On July 17, a trustee defended her board’s decision to remove some historical books to clear shelf space, despite the uproar it has caused among local genealogy and history users. Cole reiterated the library’s “strong commitment to preserving and collecting Watertown’s history.”...
Boston Globe, July 17, 22

Some school libraries are open in Baltimore County
Halstead Academy in Parkville, Maryland, is among 13 public schools in Baltimore County that open libraries and media centers during the summer. It’s a practice that’s out of the ordinary among school systems in the Baltimore area, but it’s a service Baltimore County has offered for 10 years. Many libraries are open in areas where youngsters don’t have easy access to public libraries. While some savor time away from school during the summer, many Halstead Academy students are reading the books they relish during the school year....
Baltimore Sun, July 21

Arrest made in Florida library fire
Two weeks after a fire ripped through a screened porch at the East Hernando branch of the Hernando County (Fla.) Public Library in Brooksville, the sheriff’s office has made an arrest in the case. Joseph Michael Brannen was booked at the jail on charges of second-degree arson on July 19. The July 6 fire started in a screened-porch reading area and wicker furniture was found piled up against the door....
Hernando (Fla.) Today, July 20

The new Latvian National Library in Riga, taken along the Stone Bridge before the May 2013 “topping” ceremonyLatvia’s new national library
John Lubans writes: “On July 18, I got to tour the spectacular new National Library of Latvia building (right). It glimmers in the summer light on the left bank of the Daugava River, across from Riga’s Old Town. Twenty years in the making, the National Library will open to the public in September 2014, during Riga’s celebration of its designation as a ‘European Capital of Culture.’ Most of these photos come from the tour that was most kindly organized by Viktorija Moskina, the library’s assistant to the director.”...
Leading from the Middle, July 23

Plans to restore Somalia’s national library
It is hard to imagine that the faded yellow building, where a few families eke out an existence, was once Somalia’s National Library. Mogadishu’s ruins blend one building to the next, so there is little to distinguish it from the bombed-out remains of nearby parliament buildings. But that may soon change if an ambitious plan to restore Mogadishu’s library, the latest project in the capital’s construction boom, moves forward.”...
Toronto Star, July 19

St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai Desert, EgyptMonks hope to preserve St. Catherine’s library
Ladan Cher writes: “Just as they have done for 17 centuries, the Greek Orthodox monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt’s Sinai Desert and the local Jabaliya Bedouins worked together to protect the monastery when the 2011 revolution thrust Egypt into a period of uncertainty. The community’s fears of an attack were not realized, but the monks decided they needed a new way to protect their treasured library from any future threats. Last year, they accelerated a program of digitally copying biblical scripts with the help of multispectral imaging specialists from around the world.”...
Time, July 21

Go back to the Top


E-rate funding requested compared with funding available and disbursed, FY 1998-2011 FCC looks to update e-rate fund
The Federal Communications Commission voted on July 19 to overhaul and possibly expand its e-rate program, a $2.3 billion effort to provide schools and libraries with up-to-date telecommunications service and equipment, including high-speed internet connections. A proposal calls for funds to be moved away from such outdated uses as paying for paging service and long-distance phone calls and into areas that will accelerate digital literacy. About 80% of US schools and libraries say they do not have enough bandwidth. ALA welcomes the July 23 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF file) that will modernize this vital program....
New York Times, July 19; Federal Communications Commission, July 19, 23; PC World, July 19; ALA Washington Office, July 19

Justin AmashAmendment to defund NSA surveillance
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich., right) has introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2397, that would stop funding the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance programs. The amendment is likely coming to a vote in the House on July 24. While the amendment would not halt all NSA surveillance activities, it does take an important step in requiring that it only be used to collect information on those who are in fact the subject of an investigation. Civil liberties organizations are supporting it....
District Dispatch, July 23–24

The J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake CityAnother perspective on library-press partnerships
Rick Anderson writes: “On July 16, Joe Esposito wrote a thought-provoking piece about what we mean when we talk about partnerships and collaborations between libraries and university presses (particularly when the university press is absorbed into the library itself) and about whether such arrangements really make sense. But to my mind, the important question is not whether that relationship can accurately be called a partnership.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, July 16, 23

Thesis of Nobel Laureate Marie Curie (1903)The AHA: Dissertations must be embargoed
Barbara Fister writes: “Today I found myself revisiting a blog post by Doug Armato of the University of Minnesota Press just as my Twitter stream was responding to the American Historical Society’s new statement on why historians’ dissertations must be protected from the public eye. The posts are fascinating to read side by side because they take such different positions on what it is we are trying to do when we make scholarship public.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, July 24; University of Minnesota Press Blog, Jan. 7; AHA Today, July 22

The next two hearings on copyright reform
Mike Masnick writes: “As Congress kicks off its latest effort towards comprehensive copyright reform, I noted some talking points that raise a major concern. Many in Congress seem to think that copyright reform is a fight between content creators and technology companies, and that any eventual result will be a balance between what those two sides are squabbling for. This is very disturbing for a variety of reasons.”...
Techdirt, May 17, July 19

The problem with permission
Kevin Smith writes: “Because Duke has begun teaching Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), my office has gotten much more involved, over the past year, in the process of seeking permission to use copyrighted content. The most common frustration, as many people have discovered, is that so many rights holders simply do not respond. Sometimes, however, it is even more frustrating to receive a reply, because those answers often confirm that we are not dealing with a well-managed or carefully administered process.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, July 18

Common Core State Standards logoWhy Common Core standards are losing popularity
Meris Stansbury writes: “45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards in what was once lauded as a giant step in the right direction in trying to improve student achievement and college- and career-readiness. Yet many states, policy makers, and educators are saying that successful planning didn’t factor well enough into the decision to adopt, causing problems that states are only now beginning to fully comprehend. Here are the four most widely discussed contentions.”...
eSchool News, July 19

Delete all the things!Libraries and privacy in the Internet Age
Eric Phetteplace writes: “Our privacy protections must stay current with technology. Today, people expose more and more of their personal information online and do so mostly on for-profit websites. In this post, I’ll go beyond library-specific data to talk about how we can offer patrons enhanced privacy even when they’re not using resources we control, such as the library website or ILS.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, July 24

Cameron wants UK families to have internet filters
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is facing serious questions over how his plan for automatic internet porn filters in every British home would work. Cameron set out a raft of reforms on July 22 to protect children from pornographic websites that are “corroding childhood.” He announced that ISPs had agreed to introduce family-friendly filters that automatically block pornography unless customers chose to opt out. His proposals were criticized by anti-censorship groups, who warned that sites about sexual health could get caught up in the ban. Phil Bradley provides some commentary....
The Independent (UK), July 22; Phil Bradley’s Weblog, July 22

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Screenshot from video, showing Marianne KruppaIndiana librarian tries out Google Glass
If you see someone walking around South Bend, Indiana, with some Jetsons-esque headgear, it’s probably Marianne Kruppa (right), manager of Sights and Sounds for the St. Joseph County Public Library. Kruppa was one of 8,000 US residents chosen to be a part of Google Glass Explorer Class, the select group that gets to own the wearable computer-like technology long before it hits the commercial market. Her job requires all sorts of searches for patrons, so it’s pretty simple for her to say, “OK, Glass. Google [name of movie].” Watch the video (2:27). Michelle Kraft lists some uses for Google Glass in medicine....
South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, July 17; The Krafty Librarian, July 16

New Chromecast dongleChromecast dongle will stream video and audio to your TV
Google announced a new device, dubbed Chromecast, at a July 24 press event in San Francisco. The tiny dongle plugs into an HDMI input on a TV and connects to WiFi, allowing users to stream video directly to their TVs from other devices—without requiring matching operating systems. Interfaces will now present a “cast” button that, when clicked, will send the video from a PC, tablet, or smartphone to the television. Playback can then be controlled by the device sending the video. Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube will be among the stream providers. The dongle will sell for $35....
Ars Technica, July 24; Engadget, July 24; GigaOM, July 24

DCPL Chief Librarian Ginny Cooper and DC Councilmember Tommy WellsDC Public Library’s new Digital Commons
Jamie Schleser writes: “The District of Columbia Public Library has created a new Digital Commons to showcase some of the most cutting-edge software and hardware with the goal of stimulating exploration, innovation, and economic development. At the July 17 launch event, which featured comments by D.C. Deputy Mayor Hoskins and other local luminaries, the excitement among the assembled crowd of library lovers and regular patrons was obvious.”...
District Dispatch, July 22

Scanning station, Chelmsford (Mass.) Public LibraryOptions for offering a public scanner
Brian Herzog writes: “My library finally rolled out a service patrons have been asking for ever since I started: a public scanner. We did do some research beforehand, asking around to see what other libraries did. Coincidentally, on the very day we put the scanner out for the public, another library sent around an email asking the same questions—and very kindly, she also compiled and shared the responses.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, July 18

3D printing will explode in 2014
Christopher Mims writes: “Here’s what’s holding back 3D printing, the technology that’s supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire. These patents cover a technology known as ‘laser sintering,’ the lowest-cost 3D printing technology.”...
Mashable, July 22

Instapaper iconBest iPhone apps for 2013
Thorin Klosowski writes: “The iPhone has the largest selection of apps on the mobile side, but that means it’s also the most frustrating to find what’s worthwhile. For our fourth annual Lifehacker pack for iPhone, we’re highlighting the apps that help you stay productive, connected, informed, and entertained.”...
Lifehacker, July 17

Viddy iconBest apps for making and sharing videos on your iPhone
Michael Muchmore writes: “You’ve long been able to shoot video with your iPhone, but until recently there hasn’t been an app that does anything comparable to what Instagram has done for photos. The closest an app has come to this level of public engagement has been Vine. But Vine has its limitations, and it isn’t really comparable with Instagram since it does nothing to jazz up your videos. We found a few apps that do just those things, each in different and interesting ways.”...
PC Magazine, July 19

YouTube subscribe buttonHow to add a YouTube subscribe button to your site
Amy-Mae Elliott writes: “Until now, the only way you could subscribe to a YouTube channel was on the main site. The video-sharing company has just introduced an embeddable button that you can place on your own website, giving your audience a handy shortcut to subscribe to your video content. We’ve taken a look at how to add this useful button to your site, and how to customize it to suit your site’s style.”...
Mashable, July 24

Use Google as a proxy server
Amit Agarwal writes: “If you have trouble accessing a web page, either because the website is blocked at your workplace or because that page happens to be behind a paywall, there are a couple of undocumented Google proxy servers that may help you read that page. When you access any page via one of these Google proxies, the content of that page gets downloaded on Google servers and then served to you.”...
Digital Inspiration, Mar. 29, July 15

Asus Zenbook Prime Touch UX31A-BHI5THow to buy an ultraportable
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “Ultraportables used to be a small subset of the whole laptop PC market. Now, unibody construction has made ultraportables both thinner and stronger than similar systems in the past. Instead of being the adjunct PC of the 1990s and 2000s, the ultraportable is now capable of being the primary PC in your life. What is an ultraportable, and how does it differ from laptops, sleekbooks, and ultrabooks? In general, most ultraportables weigh less than 4.5 pounds, have screens 14-inches or smaller, use processors more powerful than the Intel Atom, and lack optical drives.” Here are the 10 best ultraportables....
PC Magazine, July 18

HopStop displayApple buys two mapping companies
Nick Bilton writes: “Apple is deepening its mapping skills, buying two start-ups that specialize in location technology, HopStop (right) and Locationary, giving Apple more expertise in an area where it has struggled. HopStop is an application that can be used to get directions within cities and shows real-time traffic delays. The other start-up, Locationary, is based in Toronto and specializes in maps and mapping data, according to its website.”...
New York Times: Bits, July 19

How to opt out of Amber Alerts
J. B. Biersdorfer writes: “Amber Alerts are urgent bulletins about abductions and are issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, along with public safety officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says people can opt out of Amber Alerts and alerts for ‘imminent threats’ like serious weather.” Here’s how....
New York Times: Personal Tech, July 22

Go back to the Top


Publishers paid $166 million to settle ebook claims
According to a recent filing, publishers have paid a total of $166 million to settle state and consumer ebook price-fixing charges, including an additional $3.9 million to settle consumer claims in Minnesota. The figures come from a letter filed with Judge Denise Cote earlier in July by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and do not include legal fees and other court costs. Minnesota was not part of the original state suit and pursued its own litigation....
Publishers Weekly, July 24

Second generation Nexus 7 tablet2nd gen Nexus 7: The best tablet for e-reading?
Nathan Groezinger writes: “On July 24, Google officially unveiled the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet. Google’s latest 7-inch tablet runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and comes in three varieties. It has an unprecedented 1920 x 1200 pixel screen with an impressive 323 pixels per inch. Text will be incredibly clear and easy to read. Couple that with the lightweight design and all the e-reading apps available in the Google Play store, this is going to be one formidable tablet for e-reading.”...
The eBook Reader Blog, July 24

A weird region: New Zealand lakes, terraces, geysers, and volcanoes, with an account of the eruption of Tarawera, by Thomson Wilson Leys. Published by New Zealand Newspapers Ltd. in Auckland, 1950Ebooks from the New Zealand National Library
Greig Roulston writes: “After a whole lot of trial (and a little error), the National Library’s book digitization pilot program has successfully produced its first ebooks. 36 titles made up of 12,700 pages have been digitized and turned into PDF and EPUB files. We’ve loaded them into the National Digital Heritage Archive for preservation, but you can grab them all from the bottom of this post. The books cover a range of topics, from volcanic eruptions to government reports on famous plane crashes, and run between 42 and 920 pages.”...
National Library of New Zealand, July 22

Cover of 2014 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship2014 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship
The inaugural National Agenda for Digital Stewardship (PDF file) was released July 23 in conjunction with the first day of the Digital Preservation 2013 meeting in Washington, D.C. The document integrates the perspective of dozens of experts and hundreds of institutions, convened through the Library of Congress, to provide funders and executive decision‐makers insight into emerging technological trends and key areas for funding, research, and development....
The Signal: Digital Preservation, July 23

Amazon vs. the public library
Verne Kopytoff writes: “Could Amazon, tech’s behemoth retailer, really be threatened by the neighborhood public library? The answer is complex. Much hinges on whether libraries and publishers can iron out differences that have limited the selection of ebooks available for lending. Superficially, libraries seem to be on the ball with digital books. But the most serious challenge facing libraries is that most have relatively few ebooks to chose from.”...
Fortune, July 22

DPLAfest 2013 logoDPLAfest is accepting proposals
The Digital Public Library of America is accepting workshop suggestions for its first annual DPLAfest, October 24–25, in Boston. If you have an idea for a DPLA-related session or workshop for October 25, let them know using this form by August 9....
DPLA Blog, July 13

If Nook goes bust, will your ebooks survive?
Quentin Fottrell writes: “The Nook, some experts say, is on its way out. This leaves Nook customers with a big problem similar to what some consumers faced when the Betamax video format lost to VHS in the early 1980s. If Barnes & Noble stops production on all Nooks, experts say, Nook owners would have a hard time moving their libraries. In fact, customers are already grappling with that very issue on online forums.”...
MarketWatch, July 11

ABC-CLIO's Modern Genocide2013 e-products for academic libraries
Susanne Bjørner writes: “This annual Choice feature, traditionally appearing in the August issue, has two purposes. First, it gives readers a convenient way to discover new web-based products and updates to standard sources available for the academic market. Second, it offers the producers a no-charge venue in which they may tell librarians what they think is most important about their offerings.”...
Choice 50, no. 12 (Aug.)

Go back to the Top

RSSFacebook YouTubePinterest

Follow @amlibraries

2014 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Registration and housing will be open October 1.
2014 Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 26–July 1. Registration and housing will be open January 14.
(Bundle registration for 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference opens September 9.)

Duke University Press


AL Live

Guide to Reference logo

LIS faculty and students can get free online access to Guide to Reference for their teaching and coursework. Learn how. NEW! From ALA Publishing.

on Film

The Wedding Cow

The Wedding Cow [Die Hochzeitskuh] (1999, Germany / Switzerland). Isabella Parkinson as Flora is on her way to a new job as a librarian in southern Germany, but her money is stolen and she gets kicked off the train. Flora hitchhikes and gets picked up by a pink truck driven by a plumber named Tim (Oliver Reinhard) who is traveling with his cow Hannah.


Weeds (1987). Nick Nolte as suicidal San Quentin inmate Lee Umstetter checks a book out of the prison library and gets the idea to write a play.

Weird Woman

Weird Woman (1944). Evelyn Ankers as scorned academic librarian Illona Carr spreads gossip about her ex, Monroe College anthropology professor Norman Reed (Lon Chaney Jr.), until her former friends create a librarian voodoo doll and drive her to suicide. Lois Collier plays love-struck student assistant Margaret Mercer.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home (2004, Austria). Stephanie Commings plays a librarian.

This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Assistant Head of Research and Instruction, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City. FIT seeks a creative and service-oriented librarian with managerial experience to assist with running the Research and Instructional Service unit. Under the direction of the Head of Research and Instruction, this person will help expand the reach of the library by planning, implementing, and evaluating instructional programs and reference services, employing technology to enhance face-to-face and online interactions, and collaborating with classroom faculty and academic service departments....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Menu for the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, 2002

The Culinary Institute of America Collection is one of dozens of digital collections housed on the Hudson River Valley Heritage website. The institute recently uploaded a collection of menus from its restaurants dating back to 1961; historical menus from around the world will be added soon. HRVH provides access to historical materials from digital collections contributed by colleges, libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and cultural organizations from the following counties in New York State: Columbia, Greene, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester.

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

While most of us see librarians sitting and talking to people or moving quietly about the facility [Nova Scotia Community College in Truro], they are, in fact, quite an active group. One is training as a competitive barrel racer. Others are belly dancers. There are several long-distance runners. These individuals are committed to improving their fitness, which will help them maintain their focus on the demands of research and data management that are part of a modern librarian’s daily life.”

—Keltie Jones, “The Secret Lives of Librarians,Truro (N.S.) Daily News, July 22.

@ More quotes...


Aug. 7–11:
8th National Conference of African American Librarians,
“Culture Keepers VIII: Challenges of the 21st Century: Empowering People, Changing Lives,” Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington.

Aug. 25–28:
12th International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition,
Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 11–13:
Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference,
Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, Portland, Oregon.

Sept. 23–25:
The Clute Institute,
International Academic Conference, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, Las Vegas.

Sept. 26–27:
11th International Conference on Books and Publishing,
Universität Regensburg Universitätsbibliothek, Regensburg, Germany.

Sept. 26–28:
European Information Architecture Conference,
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Oct. 6–8:
Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Conference,
North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

Oct. 20–23:
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa,
Hamilton, New Zealand. “Wai-Ora, Wai-Māori, Waikato.”

Oct. 21–22:
Southeastern Library Assessment Conference,
The Georgian Terrace Hotel, Atlanta.

Oct. 24–25:
Digital Public Library of America,
DPLAfest, Boston Public Library. The celebration that was postponed after the Boston Marathon bombing incident.

Nov. 1–6:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Meeting, Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec. “Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking Information Boundaries.”

Nov. 21–24:
National Communication Association,
Annual Convention, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Dec. 6–7:
4th Annual Symposium on Computing for Development,
University of Cape Town, South Africa.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Phil Morehart
Phil Morehart,
Associate Editor:

Mariam Pera
Mariam Pera,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

Laurie D. Borman
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send news and feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

From left: Eva Volin, Josh Elder, Karen Green, Scott Robins, Heidi MacDonald, and Dave Roman, who made up the PW Panel: What's Next for Graphic Novels and LibrariesLibrarian panel at Comic-Con
The San Diego Comic-Con panel “What’s Next for Graphic Novels in Libraries” was organized by Publishers Weekly Graphic Novel Reviews Editor Heidi MacDonald and surveyed both the upbeat current marketplace as well as possible obstacles to growth. The panel brought together a mix of librarians, including Eva Volen from the Alameda (Calif.) Free Library, academic librarian Karen Green from Columbia University, and Scott Robins from the Toronto Public Library. It also included Josh Elder, developer of iVerse’s Comics Plus: Library Edition, an online pay-per-checkout digital comics lending service that launched at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Publishers Weekly, July 23

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples's space comic Saga made a huge splash at Comic-Con this yearWinners and losers at Comic-Con 2013
San Diego Comic-Con is a white-hot furnace in which projects are made or destroyed. Some emerge from the flames stronger, with invincible buzz levels, while others are melted down. Here’s io9’s list of the people and projects that gained buzz from Comic-Con, and the ones that lost some of their buzz. Book Riot has a bookish Comic-Con roundup....
io9, July 22; Book Riot, July 23

Jane Austen 10-pound banknoteJane Austen appears on new £10 banknote
English novelist Jane Austen was unveiled as the face of the new £10 banknote that will be issued in 2017, when the current note featuring Charles Darwin ceases circulation. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, announced his decision July 24, after a high-profile campaign to ensure that a woman remained on an English banknote, following the decision to replace Elizabeth Fry with Sir Winston Churchill on the £5 note....
The Telegraph (UK), July 24

12 tales of book thievery
Alison Nastasi writes: “As devoted book lovers and defenders of libraries, there are few things that upset us more than people who steal books. We read about a recent case of book theft in China this week that compelled us to explore a brief history of shocking book thievery. Greed, desperation, and delusion have compelled ordinary citizens and literary insiders to snatch rare books and manuscripts for dubious purposes.”...
Flavorwire, July 20; RocketNews24, July 16

Cover of Alex, by Pierre LemaitreA French New Wave of crime thrillers
As the interest in Nordic detectives and killers wanes, publishers are looking to France for the next wave of crime thrillers. Scandinavian crime fiction turned conventional publishing wisdom on its head, proving that readers had an appetite for works in translation. Now Christopher MacLehose, founder of MacLehose Press, is bullish on the talent emerging from France. He picked out six French crime writers, including Pierre Lemaitre, Hervé Le Corre, Antonin Varenne, and Dominique Sylvian, who “are as good as anyone who ever came out of Sweden,” he said....
The Independent (UK), July 17

Cover of Shift, by Jennifer BradburyMystery reads for the summer
Colleen Seisser writes: “I don’t know what it is about reading mysteries in the summertime, but it just seems right to me. A pleasant surprise is when I crack the spine of my paperback and realize that the mystery I am reading is also set in the summer. It makes it all the more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a good mystery set in the summertime for your poolside reading, check out these titles.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 24

BookVibe logoBookVibe picks up the buzz
Vindu Goel writes: “BookVibe, created by a tiny start-up called Parakweet, analyzes the tweets of the accounts that you follow on Twitter and compiles a list of book recommendations based on which titles those people are talking about. The company uses AI techniques to distinguish between someone expressing true affection for a book as opposed to merely mentioning it. The service is still in beta, and it shows signs of being a work in progress.”...
New York Times: Bits, July 18

What Should I Read Next? logoBook recommendation engines compared
Leila Roy writes: “I find books through a variety of sources. What I don’t use very often are book recommendation engines. Not because I have anything against them; it’s just because I tend to find them and play with them and then forget what they’re called. So let’s make a list. I shall use Howl’s Moving Castle and The Book Thief as my test subjects. Let’s watch.”...
Bookshelves of Doom, July 22

Cover of Winger, by Andrew SmithYA fiction for graphic novel fans
Molly Wetta writes: “I like to convince tried and true graphic novel fans that there are other types of books they can enjoy reading. Even though I think graphic novels are definitely worth reading and that there’s nothing wrong with preferring that format, I do like to show reluctant readers that there are exciting stories waiting to be discovered inside non-graphic novels. In recent years, there have been many great YA novels that feature illustrations, and these books will appeal to fans who like their stories accompanied by pictures.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 18

Bella Swan: The biggest setback in feminism since the sandwichFeminism and YA romance novels
Chelsea Condren writes: “No matter what the dictionary says, there is no real working definition for feminism. It is also hard to pin down what constitutes a romance novel versus just a novel with romance. Nonetheless, everybody has an opinion about romance novels and feminism, whether they realize it or not. For instance, I bet you think Twilight is very unfeminist, right? I think that’s wrong because men really, really, really hate Twilight, way more than women do, and I think that anything written by women that makes men uncomfortable has a place in feminism.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 22

Rosemary's Baby, by Ira LevinThe 35 worst children in literature
Beth Carswell writes: “Children can be innocent, inquisitive, and the embodiment of hope. But those characteristics make for boring stories. Sometimes authors enjoy creating a fictional child that is just plain nasty. While Draco Malfoy, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, and Veruca Salt may be distasteful, they are actually quite mild-mannered compared to some of the horrible children literature has to offer. We’ve collected a list of 35 of the most malevolent and despicable children from the pages of fiction.”...
AbeBooks’ Reading Copy, July 22

Frontispiece of Violets and Other Tales, by Alice Dunbar Nelson (1895)Six influential women writers
For centuries, female writers have given us some of the greatest novels, short stories, poems, and essays ever written, but this recognition didn’t come easy for most women. Some used male pen names or remained anonymous so that their works wouldn’t be rejected because they were female. Here are six of the most influential women writers you’ve never heard of....
Policymic, July 9

Münchhausen syndrome is named after Carl Friedrich von Münchhausen, a real German cavalry officer and master of tall tales whose oft-embellished exploits were chronicled (and further exaggerated) in the 1785 book The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen by Rudolf Erich RaspeSeven ailments named after literary characters
Kimberly Turner writes: “When you’re immersed in a good story, it’s easy to lose yourself in a character’s world. But what would life be like if you actually had to experience what they experience? From 10-month-long sleep sessions to extreme vanity and delusional jealousy, walking in your favorite protagonist’s footsteps might be more of a nightmare than a dream come true. Here are a few of the fascinating (and horrifying) physical and mental illnesses named after the quirks and adventures of some of literature’s most interesting characters.”...
LitReactor, July

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

A new Heritage Health Index
Heritage Preservation, working in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will conduct a second Heritage Health Index survey in 2015. The original survey, conducted in 2004, was the first comprehensive study to assess the condition and preservation needs of US collections. It examined the state of preservation across the entire spectrum of collecting institutions. The results were published in the groundbreaking A Public Trust at Risk (PDF file). Heritage Health Index II will use a similar instrument and methodology to the first study....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 19

Cover of The Global LibrarianReinventing librarians around the world
The Global Librarian is a new joint publication of the ACRL Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter and the Metropolitan New York Library Council. It aims to highlight librarians who have implemented creative ways to serve the information needs of their patrons, both directly and remotely, and includes contributions from 25 professionals and 17 case studies. The Guardian newspaper extracted five practical tips....
Metropolitan New York Library Council, July 9; The Guardian (UK), July 18

EveryLibrary iconEveryLibrary is winning
John Chrastka writes: “Though EveryLibrary has existed for just six short months, it has helped raise $1.85 million for libraries by campaigning at the ballot box. This is entirely because of your support. Where exactly has this money gone? After filing our paperwork and becoming an established organization, we were able to support three library campaigns. Those were Spokane, Washington; Ronan, Montana; and Shorewood-Troy, Illinois.”...
EveryLibrary Blog, July 19

Iowa libraries refocus spending
Libby Collins writes: “No longer limited to ink and paper, Iowa’s public libraries are spending increasing amounts of money on new technologies, such as ebooks and iPads. The number of computers in these libraries increased 76% from 2003 to 2012. But it has come at a cost. Some items—notably magazines, newspapers, CDs, and reference materials—are no longer purchased. And staff training to understand expensive technology and maintaining it is a challenge, particularly at a time when budgets are razor-thin.”...
Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, July 21

Linked data first steps
Karen Coyle writes: “Often when I am with groups of librarians talking about linked data, this question comes up: ‘What can we do today to get ready for linked data?’ It’s not really a hard question, because there is an obvious starting point: identifiers. We connect the textual data in our bibliographic records with identifiers for the same thing or concept. The linked data standards require that identifiers be in the form of an HTTP-based URI. What this means is that your identifier looks like a URL.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, July 23

Free online tools to learn another language
Andrew Tarantola writes: “That foreign-language commercial software costs $500? Thank you, no. There are too many free language-learning resources on the internet to warrant that sort of expense. Here are just a few that will cost you nothing but time and effort.”...
Gizmodo, July 20

The 30-foot Egg DropSTEM program of the year: Egg Drop Science
Amy Koester writes: “In the summer, there are more people in the library, the reading program and its prizes turn kids’ excitement up to 11, and program attendance goes through the roof. With all of those factors conspiring to make the library a better place to spend hot summer days, I knew my first school-age STEM program of the summer would need to be a great one. Enter Egg Drop Science, which was an engineering hit complete with a surprise reveal for the testing portion of the program. Here’s what we did.”...
ALSC Blog, July 23

KidLibCamp 2012, Darien LibraryHow to host an unconference
Kiera Parrott writes: “Since 2009, the Darien (Conn.) Library has organized and hosted a one-day unconference for youth services librarians called KidLibCamp. The event was an immediate success and we’ve been hosting the one-day professional development camp every year since. While it is mostly attended by librarians in the region, we’ve received inquiries from librarians from around the country wanting to know more about unconferences and how to set up one of their own.”...
ALSC Blog, July 24 screenFive best web-based video chat services
Alan Henry writes: “If you need a little face time with friends and family who live far away, firing up a video chat has never been easier. These days you don’t even need to install an app or download a heavy client—many services let you open a browser and within seconds see your friends’ faces, no matter where they are in the world. This week we’re going to look at five services that give you the best, fastest, and most hassle-free video chatting experience.”...
Lifehacker, July 21

Use these quick and looping videos to show off your new acquisitions15 ways to use Vine to create social videos
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Vine is a new social video application from the folks at Twitter that will let you create and share short and sweet six-second videos that loop. This exciting free app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and libraries have already begun adopting this popular new format. If you’re wondering what can be accomplished in a six-second video, here are some ways libraries can use Vine videos.”...
iLibrarian, July 23

Make time to find time
Rebecca Cruz writes: “In my first post on time management, I quickly realized I didn’t have enough time to cover everything. And while I never will, I did want to share a bit more of what I learned about managing my time. The following provides you with a few more tips to help you find more time in your day.”...
Public Libraries Online, July 19, 23

Postcard of the Castle with White Border #M536: 8388, c. 1930-1944, by B. S. Reynolds Co., Linen, Record Unit 95, Box 75, Folder 6, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Neg. no. SIA2013-06639The mystery of the undated postcards
Leah Tams writes: “This summer as an intern at the Smithsonian Archives, I have been working on revamping our online exhibit about postcards that show the museum. The most challenging part for me has been determining the dates of the postcards. Some of the postcards we have in our collections are postally used, so it’s very easy to give them a date. However, many of the postcards are unused. At first, dating these cards seemed like an impossible mystery to solve.”...
The Bigger Picture, July 23

The frontispiece to Genesis, depicting the Creation of Adam and Eve, their Temptation and Expulsion from the idealised landscape of Eden to labour on thorny soil, from the Moutier-Grandval Bible, France (Tours), c. 830 – c. 840, Add MS 10546, f. 5vThe Moutier-Grandval Bible digitized
Sarah J. Biggs writes: “Charlemagne was committed to resurrecting the classical scholarship of Greece and Rome that many felt was lost during the so-called Dark Ages, and he gathered intellectuals from around Europe to his court in Aachen. One notable recruit was the English cleric Alcuin of York (c. 735–804). One of Alcuin’s contributions was to produce an emended version of the Latin Vulgate Bible. A great product of his scriptorium, the Moutier-Grandval Bible made under Abbot Adalhard (834–843), is now available online on the British Library website.”...
Medieval Manuscripts Blog, July 22

Sir Walter ScottWeeding Sir Walter
Laura Raphael writes: “Who would want to kill the dashing Sir Walter Scott (right), 19th-century author of popular historical novels, plays, and poetry? Not I. But I did find myself weeding many of his works in my library—and feeling horrible about it. This article explores some of the reasons why weeding can be so heartbreaking, difficult, and miserable.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, July 24

Wikipedia controversiesThe science of Wikipedia controversies
Derrick Harris writes: “I don’t know what it says about the English-speaking world (OK, in this case probably the United States) that its Wikipedia contributors disagree more about professional wrestlers than nearly any other topic, but it can’t be good. It’s one of numerous interesting, if not always surprising, findings from a group of international researchers who determined the most-controversial Wikipedia articles (PDF file) across 10 different languages. The researchers identified the articles by creating a formula based upon the number of mutual reversions each article receives.”...
GigaOM, July 17;

Bowlby librarians Diana Moninger, Kathy McClure, and Kerry McClure gear up for a sticky fundraiserStick it to the librarians
Did you ever wish you could just duct tape the librarian to a wall for shushing you or telling you a book had not been returned or a fine had not yet been paid? Well, the Eva K. Bowlby Public Library in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, is giving patrons the opportunity to “Stick It to Your Librarians!” This clever fundraiser is offering one yard of duct tape for $1 or six strips of duct tape for $5. If enough is sold by August 16, purchasers can duct tape their favorite Bowlby librarians to the wall....
Washington (Pa.) Observer-Reporter, July 23

Library stacks30 things librarians love
Jessica Misener offers this list of 30 things that information professionals are allegedly wild about: “1. Pointing out that you have to have a master’s degree to be a real librarian. 2. Metadata. 3. Ranting about the increasing value of paper books in an e-printing world. 10. Scaring your coworkers in the stacks.”...
Buzzfeed, July 23

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611