|American Libraries Online
ALA annual report highlights initiatives
ALA has released its 2011–2012 Annual Report, an overview of the Association’s initiatives and accomplishments on behalf of the library profession. The report highlights the key initiatives of former ALA President Molly Raphael, which centered on her theme, “Empowering Voices.” The report also underscores how ALA supports the efforts of libraries in providing essential technological resources, protecting patron privacy, and promoting early childhood literacy....
Public Information Office, June 18
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Scholarship Bash to feature clever librarian sketches
Unique, customized, library-related material will add a special zing to Chicago’s legendary sketch comedy theater, “The Best of the Second City,” when they bring some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from the Second City’s 52-year history to the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Offering attendees a good laugh while raising money for an important cause, the troupe will appear at the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash on June 29 at McCormick Place....
Conference Services, June 13
Now Showing @ ALA
Back by popular demand, the “Now Showing @ ALA Film Program” will offer a variety of films and documentaries throughout Annual Conference from Saturday through Monday. Many will offer a chance to meet the film’s writer, director, or subjects. On Saturday morning, filmmakers Dawn Logsdon and Lucie Faulknor will present a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of their multiplatform documentary in progress, Free For All: Inside the Public Library, that explores the history, spirit, and challenges of the free public library....
The $84 question: Why libraries matter
Attend the PR Forum on June 30 at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference to hear branding expert, NYU professor, and Forbes contributor David Vinjamuri (right) speak on branding and ebooks. Vinjamuri says: “Ebooks are expensive and harder to source than print books, but the current environment presents some unique opportunities to position libraries for the next generation.”...
Public Information Office, June 18
Susan Crawford to anchor the Washington Update
Susan Crawford (right), telecommunications policy expert and former White House assistant, will share insights about national technology policy and implications for the library community at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on June 29 at the “Washington Update.” Crawford focuses on a broad range of information policy that includes open government initiatives, internet law, and communications law....
Washington Office, June 17
Libraries and health insurance
Is your library prepared to deal with the rush of patrons who will need help completing Affordable Care Act applications this year? In October, library patrons are expected to come to libraries in great numbers to learn about new insurance requirements and options available. To learn how to serve patrons on the new health program, participate in the session “Libraries and Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1” on June 30....
Office of Government Relations, June 17
Helping patrons become citizens
Learn how a newly launched website, LibEGov, can help librarians serve their communities’ e-government needs regarding immigration and taxation on June 29 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. “How Do I Become A Citizen? Libraries and E-Government: Meeting The Needs of Your Community” features John Bertot, Ursula Gorham-Oscilowski, and Natalie Greene of the University of Maryland’s Information Policy and Access Center, and Jessica McGilvray of ALA’s Washington Office....
Office of Government Relations, June 18
Using US Census datasets
How can you help your patrons use census figures? On June 29, join officials from the US Census Bureau for “The Census, Your Patrons, and the DataFerrett,” a hands-on workshop that will teach participants to use census datasets. Stephen Laue, information services specialist for the US Census Bureau’s Chicago Regional Office, will also show you how to use DataFerrett, an analytical tool that searches and retrieves data across federal databases and creates complex tabulations, business graphics, and thematic maps....
Office of Government Relations, June 17
School library tech trends
Learn how public policy shapes K–12 education by attending “National Public Policy, School Libraries, and Technology,” an interactive session during the 2013 Annual ALA Conference in Chicago on June 29. Speakers include Michelle Luhtala, department chair of the New Canaan (Conn.) High School Library; and Lisa Perez, network library coordinator of the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries....
Office for Information Technology Policy, June 17
Share your tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association invite ALA Annual Conference attendees to record their reflections on how the work and legacy of Dr. King has inspired them in their careers as librarians and information professionals. Tributes will be recorded on video on the afternoon of June 30....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, June 17
The big list of things to do at #ala2013
PC Sweeney writes: “Once again, we have the obligatory blog post about what you need to do at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. I’m excited about this year because we have the return of some great programs and events that started last year and we have some longer-running programs and events that just keep getting better. So, if you’re wondering what you should absolutely go do at the conference, here they are.”...
PC Sweeney’s Blog, June 18
Authors LIVE! in Chicago
The Public Programs Office will present 26 critically acclaimed authors—including Ellen Hopkins, Sara Paretsky, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Matthew Quick, René Saldaña Jr., and Julia Sweeney—on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage, June 29–July 1, at the end of the 1600 aisle in the exhibits hall at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Most readings will be followed by an autograph session....
Public Programs Office, June 14
Midwestern mystery authors showcased at conference
The Public Programs Office will present three emerging Midwestern voices as a part of Mystery Day on the PopTop Stage on June 29 at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The discussion panel at 11 a.m.–noon, “Mystery Solved: Introducing New Mystery Writers to Library Audiences,” will feature three up-and-coming mystery authors from the Midwest: Libby Fischer Hellmann, Eric Lundgren, and Peter Robertson....
Public Programs Office, June 14
World’s strongest librarian to appear
United for Libraries will present “Quirky Books for Quirkier Librarians” on June 29 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Such great writers as Josh Hanagarne (“the world’s strongest librarian,” right), Stephen Kiernan, John Scalzi, and Abby Stokes will talk with pride about their geeky—and often out-in-left-field—favorite topics....
United for Libraries, June 14
Digital Literacy Task Force recommendations
On June 14, the ALA Digital Literacy Task Force released its recommendations (PDF file) to advance and sustain library engagement in digital literacy initiatives nationwide. These recommendations build on the January 2013 Task Force report Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy and constitute a call to action on the part of the ALA, library education programs, front-line librarians, various funding bodies, and the diverse stakeholders who use and support library services....
District Dispatch, Jan. 24, June 14
Join the national conversation about mental health
The ALA Center for Civic Life is a partner in an effort announced by the White House to launch a national conversation called “Creating Community Solutions.” The Creating Community Solutions website includes a map where you can locate local initiatives. You can also find people who can lead the discussion in your community. Be sure to sign up as a participant if you plan to host a conversation locally or participate in an online dialogue....
ALA Center for Civic Life, June 13
ALA joins others to demand civil liberties
ALA recently joined 86 other civil liberties groups, internet activists, and authors to sign an open letter to Congress (Word file), calling for a congressional investigative committee similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s. The letter is in response to the recent leaking of highly classified documents about the National Security Agency’s monitoring of private internet and telephone communications....
Office of Government Relations, June 14
ALA supports Treaty for the Blind
ALA supports the Treaty for the Blind, an international agreement that would allow the lending of accessible content to print-disabled people around the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization diplomatic conference that will finalize the treaty began in Morocco on June 17. The treaty asks each member nation to establish a national exception that authorizes the making of accessible copies. You can follow the meeting via livestream, textstream, or on Twitter (hashtags #WIPO or #books4blindtreaty)....
Office of Government Relations, June 17
Garcia-Febo appointed to IFLA board
Former Reforma president Loida Garcia-Febo (right) has been appointed to the governing board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. She says that advocacy, multicultural populations, membership, technological innovation, new librarians, and strengthening IFLA will be among her top priorities. There were 10 vacancies on the board; each will serve during the 2013–2015 term....
Reforma, June 13; IFLA, June 7
The art of collaboration
Collaborative networks are more important than ever. Collaboration in Libraries and Learning Environments, published by Facet Publishing, recognizes and uncovers the innovations that leaders and practitioners are implementing to develop sustainable and creative support services. Editors Maxine Melling and Margaret Weaver consider the foundational principles that affect library services, offer case studies of changes that have already taken place, and show how various institutions are rising to the challenge....
ALA Neal-Schuman, June 12
Rethinking information literacy
Based on research undertaken by editors Jane Secker and Emma Coonan as part of the prestigious Arcadia Program at Cambridge University, Rethinking Information Literacy: A Practical Framework for Supporting Learning, published by Facet Publishing, presents a new and dynamic information literacy curriculum developed for the 21st-century information professional. The authors adopt a broad definition that encompasses social as well as academic environments....
ALA Neal-Schuman, June 14
Handbook for adult programs
Programming is an important means not only of drawing new people to the library, but also better serving existing patrons. Brett W. Lear’s invaluable guide Adult Programs in the Library, published by ALA Editions, is back—and the second edition is better than ever, with refreshed, expanded content and new ideas to reinvigorate programs and give them a 21st-century spin. The book includes a new section on technology, with ideas for online book discussions, offering programs via Skype, and turning programs into podcasts....
ALA Editions, June 13
Weisburg’s career planner
School librarians know that making smart choices and planning strategically are the best ways to create a career that is both within their control and professionally fulfilling. In School Librarian’s Career Planner, published by ALA Editions, school library authority Hilda K. Weisburg offers a hands-on roadmap for both long-time school librarians and those who have recently entered the profession with a background in education....
ALA Editions, June 17
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Featured review: Science for youth
Hopkins, H. Joseph. The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever. Aug. 2013. Grades 1–3. 32p. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, hardcover (978-1-4424-1402-0).
Katherine Olivia Sessions, who grew up in Northern California in the 1860s, always loved trees; she used to weave their leaves into necklaces and bracelets. Girls back then weren’t supposed to get their hands dirty, “but Kate did.” Girls were also discouraged from studying science, but Kate sure did, graduating from the University of California with a degree in science in 1881. Postgraduation, Kate moved to San Diego, a desert town with little greenery. She wrote to gardeners far and wide, seeking out seeds that would thrive in a harsh desert climate, and by the turn of the century, oaks, eucalypti, and palms sprung up throughout the city. But Kate’s biggest planting project would come in 1915....
Top 10 biographies for youth: 2013
Ilene Cooper writes: “Legendary figures—from Mata Hari to Mahalia Jackson, the Marquis de Lafayette to Martin Luther King—appear in these best biographies for young readers. The titles were chosen from books reviewed in Booklist between June 1, 2012, and May 15, 2013.” In Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song, author Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrator Brian Pinkney “use their considerable talents to weave together the stories of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson, who forged a collaboration that carried them to King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Best Comedy Clubs in Chicago
If the Second City performance at Saturday’s Scholarship Bash inspires you to seek out more comedy venues, you are in luck. As Chicago magazine’s Jenna Marotta writes: “The sheer volume of comedic choices here can be paralyzing. So our reporter visited scads of comedy shops around town to separate the hilarious from the hideous. A dozen destinations made the cut. Read on for her expert picks.”...
Chicago magazine, Apr. 2012
One of the highlights in Chicago’s Millennium Park is the spectacular Crown Fountain. Its two glass towers are illuminated with LED lighting that shows video clips of the faces of Chicagoans. (Each face appears for five minutes.) The fountain consists of two 50-foot-high towers flanking a 232-foot-wide granite plaza. The fountain, designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, opened in July 2004 and serves as a public play area, offering people an escape from summer heat and allowing children a chance to frolic in the fountain’s water....
Wikipedia; LEDs Magazine, May 2005
Chicago food trucks
Trupti Rami writes: “This summer, there are (at least) 18 trucks feeding the streets of Chicago, dishing out sandwiches, sausages, tamales, tacos, and even the odd plate of pancakes. (And Mayor Emanuel just licensed seven new ones.) It’s actually kind of a new thing in town—until last July, incredibly, it was illegal to cook food on a truck in Chicago.” Where to find them? Use this map of designated food truck spaces and the food trucks Twitter list....
Chicago magazine, May 30; Chicagoist, June 16; WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Jan. 31
The top 12 rooftop bars
Kaitlyn Jakola writes: “After a winter of drinking indoors, it’s time to come out of hibernation and drink on a roof. These alfresco bars are some of the top spots in Chicago for the summer of 2013—an update to our 2012 list, and a nice chaser to February’s 100 Best Bars package. Just keep a sweater on hand in case a chill comes to join the party.”...
Chicago magazine, June 5
Pritzker Military Library
The Pritzker Military Library is a research library for the study of military history at 104 South Michigan Avenue, across the street from Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Founded in 2003 by Col. James N. Pritzker (ret.), the library is open to the public and offers live events and exhibits that tell the story of the Citizen Soldier in American military history. It has amassed 75,000 books, objects, and artifacts, including a flag from the Spanish-American War of 1898. Watch the video (2:22)....
WFLD-TV, Chicago, June 12
Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory at 300 North Central Park Avenue on the city’s West side is one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the conservatory occupies approximately 4.5 acres and includes cold frames and propagating areas where thousands of plants are grown each year for displays in city parks and spaces. In 2012 it was one of 10 recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service....
Garfield Park Conservatory
38 essential shopping experiences in Chicago
Jared Hatch writes: “It’s that time again to update the Racked 38, Chicago’s only list of the most monumental, meaningful, and outright beautiful shopping experiences that make our fair metropolis so vibrant. There are oodles of options from high-end to extreme-value all over the grid from the North Side to the South Side. Using this guide for exploration, you are off to a great start.”...
Racked Chicago, Apr. 2
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The 50th anniversary of the Knapp Project
AASL recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Knapp School Libraries Project (1963–1968), which established model school libraries across the United States. The project was a result of a $1.1 million grant funded by the Knapp Foundation of North Carolina. At the time, it was the largest grant specifically earmarked for the development of school libraries received by ALA....
AASL, June 18
Steven J. Bell writes: “At its 2012 strategic planning retreat, the ACRL board of directors engaged in a day-long branding workshop. What emerged is a new brand that is being integrated into ACRL publications, webpages, and messages. As part of the refreshing of our brand we also developed a new tagline for ACRL: ‘Advancing Learning, Transforming Scholarship.’ I invite you to view the promotional video (2:23) created for ACRL 2015 in Portland, Oregon. Watch for the brand messages smartly embedded in the video.”...
ACRL Insider, June 19; YouTube, May 13
Hone your public speaking skills
Public speaking is a vital skill for all librarians, but outreach and other events don’t always go quite as planned. Both novice and experienced librarians are invited to learn from colleagues and share their own experiences during the LLAMA/NMRT New Leaders Discussion Group on June 30 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Short presentations by Julia Frankosky and David Hurley will serve as discussion starters....
LLAMA, June 17
Maintaining teen e-collections
Would you like to build a robust teen collection for your library? In “Maintaining Teen E-Collections,” a YALSA program at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, participants will have the opportunity to talk to experts about building strong teen e-collections. The interactive session will take place on July 1....
YALSA, June 17
New Trustee Academy course
The course “Evaluating the Library Director,” led by former ALA president Sarah Ann Long, has been added to the United for Libraries Trustee Academy, a series of online courses to help library trustees become proficient in their roles. The course covers the importance of annual evaluations of the library director, planning to evaluate, methods of evaluation, tools and other approaches, additional considerations, and avoiding common problems....
United for Libraries, June 17
All 83 North Dakota libraries join United for Libraries
All 83 libraries in North Dakota are now group members of United for Libraries, thanks to a statewide membership purchase by the North Dakota State Library. A complete list of membership benefits is available online....
United for Libraries, June 18
Learn how to get “Teens on Board”
A panel of speakers will share their experiences and tips for engaging teens on library boards and the boards of Friends groups “Teens on Boards, Oh Yes! Library Boards, Friends Boards, and Engaging Teens” on July 1 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
United for Libraries, June 18
“Nuts and Bolts” for trustees, Friends, and foundations
Speakers will address topics of interest to Friends, trustees, and advocates, including the fiduciary responsibilities of boards, at “Nuts and Bolts for Trustees, Friends, and Foundations,” to be held June 28 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
United for Libraries, June 18
Network with ASCLA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception on June 29 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Whether you’re a current ASCLA member or you’re interested in the division’s work with library services to people with disabilities, accessibility, and state library agencies, you are welcome to attend....
ASCLA Blog, June 10
Make RUSA 101 on June 28 your first stop at Annual Conference. This networking and orientation event is for librarians working in adult services, reference, readers advisory, collection development, genealogy, resource sharing, and technology. Both RUSA members and nonmembers are invited....
RUSA Blog, June 17
RUSA Literary Tastes
Four award-winning authors will be featured at the RUSA’s 2013 ALA Annual Conference program, “Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year” on June 30: Peter Heller, Jonathan Tropper, Matti Friedman, and Lindsay Faye. Following the formal presentation, authors will be available for book signings....
RUSA, May 21
Want to sit with Paula Poundstone at “The Laugh’s on Us”?
From June 12 to June 20, those who “like” the Facebook pages of United for Libraries or SAGE Publications, or who follow either on Twitter, will be eligible to win two VIP tickets to “The Laugh’s On Us,” sponsored by SAGE, on June 30 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The winner and a guest will sit at a VIP table with Paula Poundstone during the event. Enter the contest at SAGE Publications’ blog....
United for Libraries, June 11
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Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor
The Freedom to Read Foundation announced that its past president Judith Platt and former Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold have received the 2013 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Awards. Platt is the director of free expression advocacy for the Association of American Publishers, and Feingold was the only senator to vote against the USA Patriot Act in 2001, based on civil liberties concerns. The Roll of Honor was established in 1987 to recognize those individuals who have contributed substantially to FTRF through adherence to its principles or monetary support....
Freedom to Read Foundation, June 18
2013 John Ames Humphry Award
The International Relations Committee has chosen Susan M. Schnuer (right), associate director at the University of Illinois Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, to receive this year’s John Ames Humphry Award. OCLC/Forest Press donated the cash award of $1,000, which is given to an individual for significant contribution to international librarianship. Schnuer is well known for her work in international development....
International Relations Office, June 18
2013 Gerald Hodges Award
The Utah Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee has received the 2013 Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award. The award recognizes an intellectual freedom–focused organization that has developed a strong ongoing program or a one-year project that exemplifies support for intellectual freedom, patron confidentiality, and anti-censorship efforts. This is the first year the award was given in honor of Gerald Hodges, former ALA director of membership services....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, June 13
Sung Jae Park wins Shera Published Research Award
Sung Jae Park has won the 2013 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research for the article, “Measuring Public Library Accessibility: A Case Study Using GIS,” published in the December 2011 issue of Library and Information Research. The article was cited because of its great significance to both current and future issues in library and information science, as well as future considerations in the profession....
Office for Research and Statistics, June 18
Nominations for the Eli Oboler Award
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is seeking nominations for its 2014 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award. The biennial award is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom and consists of $500 and a citation. Nominations (PDF file) will be accepted through December 1....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, June 14
Yosemite librarian wins park’s highest honor
Linda Eade (right), Yosemite National Park research librarian, has won the 2012 Barry Hance Memorial Award. Eade has worked in the park since 1971. She is responsible for visitor and staff access to materials on park history, biology, botany, and geology. The award is given annually to employees who exemplify a positive attitude, a concern for fellow employees, a willingness to work with other divisions in the park, getting the job done, and a love for the park....
Mariposa (Calif.) Sierra Sun Times, June 13
2013 StoryTubes awards
The winners of this year’s StoryTubes contest, in which students create videos of two minutes or less that describe their favorite books, have been announced. There were 12 winners in the Judges’s Choice and Online Voting categories....
StoryTubes, June 18
2012 Bram Stoker Awards
The Horror Writers Association announced the winners for its 2012 Bram Stoker Awards at a banquet in New Orleans as part of the World Horror Convention. The winner for Superior Achievement in a Novel is Caitlín R. Kiernan for The Drowning Girl (Roc). Jonathan Maberry won in the category of Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel for Flesh and Bone (Simon & Schuster), and Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton (McFarland) won in the graphic novel category....
Horror Writers Association, June 16
2013 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction
Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng has won the £25,000 ($39,266 US) Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction for his second novel The Garden of Evening Mists. Set in the Malaysian jungle in the aftermath of World War II, it is the first novel by a writer from outside the UK to win the four-year-old prize. Eng was awarded the prize at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, on June 14....
BBC News, June 14
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Libraries in the News
Santa Monica College Library workers saved lives
Jan Juliani was standing behind the counter of the Santa Monica (Calif.) College library about noon on June 7 when a group of terrified, screaming students sprinted through the entrance. One was running backward, shouting, “He has a gun!” Juliani knew exactly what to do. Recalling a lesson from a recent workshop on how to respond during “active shooter” incidents, the library assistant headed for a set of double doors that led to a storage closet in the back office. Other library workers followed her....
Los Angeles Times, June 14
Former LAC chief criticizes digitization deal
Canada’s former chief librarian and archivist is harshly critical of the deal to have a private company digitize the public documents and photos of Library and Archives Canada. Ian Wilson (right) says it smacks of “desperation” by the federal government. Further, he says the contents of the archives are a “public good” like historic sites and national parks, and shouldn’t be sold back to citizens. LAC is already “superb” at preserving documents, he said....
Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, June 13, 16
Mistake was made in book weeding
Urbana, Illinois, residents called for more library oversight at a June 17 city council meeting after a shipment of books removed from the shelves of the Urbana Free Library only a week earlier began making its way back to the library. Headed back are art books, gardening books, pet books, and some cookbooks that were taken off the shelves as a result of what has been described as a misstep by Library Director Debra Lissak. During a recent weeding process, more books than expected were removed, and the sight of bare shelves created concern. Tracy Nectoux has more details....
Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette, June 14, 18; Smile Politely, June 13
Discarded books, recovered nostalgia
Matt McCann writes: “Kerry Mansfield’s ‘Expired’ is a photo series whose substance is the physicality of discarded and withdrawn library books. She brings the lens in close, showing worn edges and torn covers and photographing the ephemera of the library experience—the check-out cards and the paper pockets they went into, for example. Her photographs also reveal details that will disappear as scanners replace cards and tablets replace books.”...
New York Times: Lens, June 17
A deal spares a Brooklyn branch
The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library had been planning to sell its Pacific branch (PDF file) to a private developer in order to raise money toward the $300 million needed for repairs and long-delayed maintenance of its branches, now numbering 60. But officials said June 17 that the branch would be spared from sale and demolition, at least for the near future, as part of a deal to win city council approval for a 32-story residential and cultural tower opposite the Brooklyn Academy of Music that will contain a new library....
New York Times, June 18
Chicago Public Library hosts a maker space
In July, the Chicago Public Library will open the city’s first free “maker space” on the third floor of Harold Washington Library in the Loop. The pop-up fabrication lab will offer the public access to 3D printers, laser cutters, a milling machine, and a vinyl cutter as well as a variety of supporting design software. The space opens July 8 and will close at the end of the year. After its six-month run, the library says it will consider hosting labs in neighborhood branches....
Crain’s Chicago Business, June 13
Worcester Public Library to open branches in four schools
Tatnuck Magnet School in Worcester, Massachusetts, is participating in a pilot program to install public children’s libraries in four elementary schools across the city. The schools will have space outfitted with library materials and technology, but they will be staffed by librarians from Worcester Public Library as part of the “One City, One Library” program. The branches will be available only to students and staff when school is in session....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette, June 17
FSU gives home library to Habitat for Humanity family
Florida State University’s School of Library and Information Studies and former AASL President Nancy Everhart, director of the PALM Center (Partnerships Advancing Library Media), hosted a ceremony on June 10 to commemorate the donation of a 106-book library to a local single-parent family. This is the fourth home library of $1,000 worth of books that the library school and Follett Library Resources have partnered to provide for a Habitat family in conjunction with the Warrick Dunn Charities’ Homes for the Holidays Program since 2011....
Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies, June 17
Good news from the Georgia Archives
Georgia Archives Director Christopher Davidson announced June 14 that the archives will be adding staff, increasing hours for part-time employees, and opening to the public for two additional days per week beginning July 31. In September 2012, access to the archives was in doubt when Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that the facility would only have limited public hours....
GeorgiaArchivesMatters, June 14
Brown University Library retrieves its sword
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered a judgment on June 4, confirming that Brown University is the lawful owner of a Civil War–era silver Tiffany presentation sword, the Rush Hawkins sword, reported stolen from the university’s collections in 1977. The sword is from the original collections that Col. Hawkins endowed to the Annmary Brown Memorial along with incunabula, paintings, and artifacts from his Civil War service....
Brown University Library News, June 13
UK public libraries in mortal danger
Alan Gibbons writes: “The UK trade union UNISON has produced a brilliant piece of research by Steve Davies from the University of Cardiff. His pamphlet, The Damage: The Public Library Service under Attack (PDF file), comes at a time when enormous damage is being done to our public library service. This is Davies’s second report on UK libraries. The first warned that the service was in crisis. It is now in mortal danger.”...
Alan Gibbons’ Diary, June 16
Legal trove headed to Yale
A pocket-size handwritten copy of Magna Carta from the 14th century, the first book on the legal rights of women published in England (1632), letters to and from the 18th-century jurist William Blackstone, and the first English legal bibliography (Thomas Bassett’s A Catalogue of the Common and Statute Law-books of This Realm, 1671) are among the highlights of a rich trove of rare legal books and manuscripts just acquired by Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library....
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, June 17
Schneerson Collection lands in Moscow’s Jewish Museum
A new exhibit spotlighting rare books from the disputed Schneerson Library collection, featuring 12,000 Hasidic religious books and 50,000 rare documents, has opened at the Jewish Museum and Center of Tolerance in Moscow. The collection is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute between the Library of Congress and the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin came up with the idea in February to house the collection at the Jewish Museum....
RT News, June 13
Design for Helsinki Central Library
Finnish studio ALA Architects has won an international competition to design a new public library in Helsinki. The competition asked applicants to come up with a timeless, flexible, and energy-efficient building to sit opposite the Finnish Parliament building in the Töölönlahti area of the city. In the winning entry, public activities and group study areas will occupy an active ground floor beneath curving wooden surfaces, while a traditionally quiet reading room will be located on the third floor and a contemporary media facility and public sauna will be housed on the second....
Dezeen, June 14
Iraq plans its first new public library since the 1970s
Adele Peters writes: “After decades, Iraq will finally soon have a new public library. It’s part of a bigger ‘Youth City’ plan for part of Baghdad, intended to inspire the younger generation. Developer Ali Mousawi’s design includes space for three million books, state-of-the art computers, and flexible spaces for public events like art exhibitions, film screenings, book clubs, theater, conferences, and workshops.”...
GOOD, June 12
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NSA’s Utah facility will store vast amounts of data
If anyone still doubts the formidable reach of the National Security Agency, a quick drive to Bluffdale, Utah, should convince them otherwise. Thousands of laborers have worked for two years to build a $1.7 billion Utah Data Center that will provide a new home for the NSA’s exponentially expanding information storage. By September it will employ about 200 technicians, span 93,000 square meters, use 65 megawatts of power, and store data at the rate of 20 terabytes per minute....
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), June 16; NSA Domestic Surveillance Directorate
Why you should care about privacy
Cory Doctorow writes: “The revelations about PRISM and other forms of National Security Agency dragnet surveillance have some people wondering what all the fuss is. You should care about privacy because privacy isn’t secrecy. You should care about privacy because if the data says you’ve done something wrong, then the person reading the data will interpret everything else you do through that light. You should care about dragnet surveillance because it gives cops bigger haystacks with proportionately fewer needles.”...
The Guardian (UK): Technology Blog, June 14
Remember when the Patriot Act was all about library records?
Justin Elliott writes: “In the months following the October 2001 passage of the USA Patriot Act, there was a heated public debate about its Section 215, the controversial provision that we now know the government is using to vacuum up phone records of American citizens on a massive scale. But the consternation didn’t focus on anything like the mass collection of phone records. Instead, the debate centered on something else—library records.” Now Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a main backer of the original Patriot Act, is saying that it was specifically drafted to prevent data mining....
The Beachwood Reporter (Chicago), June 18; TechDirt, June 13
Reflecting on libraries and social media
Woody Evans writes: “The personality of Edward Snowden is drawing lots of attention at the moment. But forget Snowden for a minute. Remember with me a time when librarians were freshly militant and radical. Remember January 2002, when, just a few months after the attacks we suffered, ALA proposed this response to the USA Patriot Act. A year later, the proposed resolution would be adopted by the ALA Council, and library staff have been since emboldened to take such radical steps as to fail to keep patron book checkout records.”...
Library Journal: Backtalk, June 14
Our schools, cut off from the web
Luis A. Ubiñas writes: “On June 6, at a middle school in Mooresville, North Carolina, President Obama set a goal of high-speed internet in nearly every public school in America in five years. It was a bold and needed pronouncement, except that in 1996 President Clinton said virtually the same thing, calling for libraries and classrooms to be ‘hooked up to the Information Superhighway by the year 2000.’ The question is quality. Children who go to school in poor neighborhoods are connected at speeds so slow as to render most educational websites unusable.”...
New York Times, June 16; White House, June 6; Oct. 10, 1996
“Happy Birthday” copyright claim challenged
Joe Mullin writes: “Filmmakers and TV producers have long been harassed by Warner/Chappell Music, a subsidiary of Time Warner that enforces the copyright on ‘Happy Birthday,’ probably the most popular song in the world. If that song pops up in any TV show or movie, the creators are sure to get a hefty bill. Now there’s a new documentary film about the song and the filmmakers had to pay a $1,500 fee. On January 13, the company that made the documentary filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to prove once and for all that ‘Happy Birthday’ is in the public domain.” Nancy Sims offers some perspective....
Ars Technica, June 14; New York Times, June 14; Copyright Librarian, June 14; Slate, July 21, 2011
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Google balloons to beam internet to rural areas
Google will be launching high-altitude balloons to provide internet access to buildings on the ground. About 30 of the superpressure balloons will be launched in New Zealand from where they will drift around the world on a controlled path to provide 3G-like internet access. Google says the balloons could one day be diverted to disaster areas to aid rescue efforts in situations where ground communication equipment has been damaged. Google calls the experimental effort Project Loon....
BBC News, June 15
Gamers rally against Xbox One
Chris Suellentrop writes: “Even though new video game systems depend on technological innovation, players are a conservative lot. There are signs of growing resentment toward Microsoft, which is promoting its new console, the Xbox One. Microsoft has proposed limiting players’ ability to resell games that will be made for the Xbox One, due in stores in November. Microsoft says Xbox One users will be able to give away a single copy of each game to one other player, if that player has been an Xbox Live friend for 30 days.”...
New York Times, June 14
A workout for your brain
Lumosity Brain Trainer, free on Apple’s iOS, is one of the better-known brain-training apps. It is split into several sessions of three games each that are supposed to help you improve your memory, problem-solving ability, or flexibility of thinking. To track your progress, you get a “brain profile” that charts details like speed, problem-solving, and memory. Lumosity is likable and simple, but there’s a catch: only five sessions are free....
New York Times, June 12
How to buy a cellphone
Jamie Lendino writes: “If you thought choosing a cellphone was difficult before, it’s even tougher today. That’s a good thing, though, because it demonstrates how innovation in the wireless industry has skyrocketed. We’re seeing rapid progress across all fronts, including displays, data networks, user interfaces, voice quality, third-party apps, and even mobile gaming. So what should you be looking for when buying a cellphone? Here are key points to consider.” And more advice: the top 10 smartphones, the best Android phones, and the best camera phones....
PC Magazine, June 7, 12–13
Printing from your Android phone or tablet
Chris Hoffman writes: “Modern smartphones and tablets can help you go without printers, but they can also help you print. You could even start print jobs from anywhere and pick up the document when you arrive at home or the office. Here’s everything you need to know about printing from your Android phone or tablet. It’s surprisingly easy; certainly easier than setting up Windows networked printers in the past.”...
How-To Geek, June 19
Use your Google Maps for Android offline
J. D. Biersdorfer writes: “The Google Maps app for Android includes an offline feature that lets you store a map on your phone for those times when your data signal is weak or nonexistent. To save an open map on the phone, press the Menu button and choose ‘Make available offline.’ Select the area of the map you want to save by pinching or zooming to it, then press Done. Find your map by selecting My Places and then Offline.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, June 12
Is it time to get a smartwatch?
Adam Dachis writes: “Just as a smartphone did with the telephone, a smartwatch provides live access to certain kinds of information and intelligent features to try and add more convenience to your life. While most smartwatches take a similar app-based approach, they’re all a little different. However, you’ll find that most provide you with notifications and all of them tell you the time. I tested out a few currently on the market.”...
Lifehacker, June 17
The sneakiest kinds of malware
Neil J. Rubenking writes: “Some malware attacks are so blatant you can’t miss the fact that you’ve been victimized. However, a totally invisible malware infestation can be much more dangerous. If your antivirus doesn’t ‘see’ it and you don’t notice any untoward behaviors, the malware is free to track your online banking activities or use your computing power for nefarious purposes. Here are four ways malware can hide from you, followed by some ideas for seeing the unseeable.”...
PC Magazine, June 18
Resources on the history of computers
Kyle D. Winward writes: “The history of computer development is a chronicle of the work of brilliant scientists and of dramatic leaps in innovation that have had a profound impact on the way we work and live. This essay focuses on works covering milestones in computer development as well as the individuals and organizations responsible for these amazing achievements, with an emphasis on American and British innovations.”...
Choice 50, no. 11 (July)
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Why borrowing an ebook from the library is so difficult
K. T. Bradford writes: “Borrowing an ebook from your local library is still a difficult and confusing process that varies wildly depending on what kind of e-reader or device you own. And once you finally figure out how to borrow a book, there are other frustrations. Often, the ebook you want is unavailable, either because it’s been checked out by another patron, it’s not in your library’s system, or it’s not available for your device. So why is it so hard to borrow an ebook? It’s because none of the companies involved are working together.”...
Digital Trends, June 15
HathiTrust to partner with DPLA
The HathiTrust Digital Library will partner with the recently launched Digital Public Library of America to expand discovery and use of HathiTrust’s public domain and other openly available content. By offering a unified discovery point for these disparate collections, DPLA aims to make readily available the words, images, sounds, and objects of America’s shared cultural heritage. Of HathiTrust’s nearly 11 million volumes, the metadata records associated with the almost 3.5 million that are freely available will be accessible on the DPLA website....
Digital Public Library of America, June 18
New DRM will change the words in your ebook
Roberto Baldwin writes: “The next ebook you buy might not exactly match the printed version. The changes are put in place to make sure you’re not a pirate. German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an ebook ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, the changes are unique to each ebook sold. The alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online.”...
Wired: Gadget Lab, June 17
Ebooks are not e-journals
Ian McCullough writes: “As a physical science librarian, I know journals are the primary form of scholarly communication in the sciences, and e-journals are greatly preferred. But the same faculty who like e-journals are not nearly as interested in ebooks. Much of the problem is the platform; not everyone has a dedicated electronic reader to make ebook reading pleasant. Until the vendor platform offers ebooks my patrons want, I can’t say I’ll be buying many.”...
ACRLog, June 17
Medical library ebooks: Five years behind
Michelle Kraft writes: “Public libraries and Amazon are ahead of medical libraries regarding ebooks. Providers of medical library ebooks—such as the McGraw Hill Access databases, Ovid, and Elsevier’s ClinicalKey—are using methods from the digital dinosaur age when a portable device was considered a laptop. Our users go to their website and view the book online like they are viewing a webpage, the same way they did before the Kindle or iPad.”...
The Krafty Librarian, June 19
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ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 27–July 2. “Best of the Second City” brings custom-created, laugh-out-loud new library-related material, plus some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from Chicago’s legendary Second City’s 52-year history to McCormick Place, Saturday, June 29, 8–10 p.m. Sign up when you register for the conference, or go back and add this year’s ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash now.
When the Wind Blows (1986, UK). Jim Bloggs (voiced by John Mills) picks up a government nuclear-blast survival leaflet and a book from a Sussex library after the radio announces that a bomb will drop on Britain.
Where the Heart Is (2000). Forney Hull (James Frain) takes over for his sister Mary Elizabeth (Margaret Hoard) as librarian in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, while she is bedridden from chronic alcoholism. He befriends single teen parent Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) when she visits the library.
Whisper of the Heart [Mimi wo sumaseba] (1995, Japan). In this animated feature, middle school student Shizuku Tsukishima finds that all the books she wants to check out from the public library (where her father is a librarian) were previously checked out by the same boy, Seiji Amasawa.
The Whisperers (1967, UK). Dame Edith Evans plays Maggie Ross, a lonely old lady who spends lots of time reading the daily papers and warming her toes in the library.
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.
Library Director, Bismarck Public Library, Bismarck, North Dakota. Progressive public library with an annual budget of $2.5 million and serving the capital city and county of 86,000 is seeking an energetic, capable leader. Incumbent has resigned due to family health issues requiring geographic relocation. Responsible to the Library Board of Directors for administration of the library operation, including: the hiring and retention of staff; development and maintenance of collections of print and nonprint materials and access to online resources; and cooperative liaison with other libraries and agencies relevant to the delivery of library services....
Digital Library of the Week
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection, a collaboration of the Speedway and the Indiana University– Purdue University Indianapolis Library, captures racing history through more than 14,000 images. The collection features highlights from the Speedway’s 114-year history with photographs dating from 1879 to 1997. Some of the highlights include the very first public event at the Speedway, the 1909 US National Balloon Championship. Other historic moments represented in the collection are the 1909 motorcycle race, dominated by “Cannonball” Baker, and the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1911.
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
“[W]hat irks me the most is this idea that the internet is free. I would invite anyone to tell that to the folks who are lined up outside my library every day waiting to use our computers to fill out job applications, something many of us take for granted. Why do they need to use our computers? Because many of them are homeless and most job applications are online these days. Because many of them live at or well below the poverty line and cannot afford the internet let alone a home computer or a smartphone.”
—Houston librarian Claire Sewell, “How Not to Be a Dick to a Librarian,” xoJane, June 13.
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, Indiana.
National Association for Media Literacy Education, Annual Conference, Torrance, California. “Intersections: Teaching and Learning across Media.”
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting and Conference, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. “Rethink Your Value.”
Heartland School Library Conference, University of Nebraska at Omaha. “Inquiry and the Common Core.”
8th National Conference of African American Librarians, Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington. “Culture Keepers VIII: Challenges of the 21st Century: Empowering People, Changing Lives.”
Council of State Archivists / Society of American Archivists, Joint Meeting, Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
12th Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, Portland, Oregon.
Bok & Bibliotek: 29th Göteborg Book Fair, Göteborg, Sweden.
National Friends of Libraries Week.
Brick and Click Libraries Symposium, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.
ACRL/NY Symposium, William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center, Baruch College, New York City. “The Library As Knowledge Laboratory.”
American Booksellers Association, Winter Institute, Seattle.
Oregon University System Library Council, Online Northwest Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
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What kids are reading, 2013
Renaissance Learning explored the book-reading habits of American students in the fifth edition of its What Kids Are Reading report (PDF file), which lists the top 40 books read by students in grades 1–12 in the 2011–2012 school year. Rankings are based on the Accelerated Reader database, the largest of its kind, which houses reading records for students who read 283 million books. In this new free edition, authors, educators, and kids share their thoughts on what motivates students’ book selections....
Photographers on reading
Alastair Johnston writes: “In our image-saturated society, who doesn’t love a good photo of someone else reading? The Hungarian photographer André Kertész (1894–1985) published a book of 63 candid black-and-white photos of people reading, called appropriately enough On Reading (Grossman, 1971). It celebrated the universal joy of reading in a poetic elegy of private moments made public.”...
Booktryst, June 18
Books for Superman and Clark Kent
Amanda Margis writes: “It’s a bird, it’s a plane—no, it’s Superman! Or is it Clark Kent? It’s kind of hard to tell, right? One is a mild-mannered journalist, while the other is a spandex-wearing alien superhero. Here are two booklists to help celebrate the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, that opened June 14: one for Clark Kent and another for Superman. I’ll try to keep them straight.” Here are more suggestions from Katie Shanahan....
YALSA The Hub, June 13, 19
From zero to well-read in 100 books
Jeff O’Neal writes: “Isn’t it strange that we have the term ‘well-read’ but absolutely no one can come close to defining it? Thinking about this recently sucked me into a little thought-experiment. Suppose someone had never read any literature and wanted to be well-read. What should they read? And how many books would it take them to get close? The following 100 books (of fiction, poetry, and drama) is one attempt to satisfy the requirement.”...
Book Riot, June 13
20 classic novels you’ve never heard of
From Qwiklit: “When I ask people about their favorite classic novels, I usually get a similar response from everybody: Jane Austen, a couple Brontës, a few Dickenses, an odds-and-ends collection of complex modernist tomes, and of course a dystopian novel or two to garnish the collection. Here are a few great novels you have probably not heard of, but were nevertheless significant influences for some of the more common works on your bookshelf.”...
Qwiklit, Apr. 29
Browsing habits of 14th-century readers
A new book by MIT Professor Arthur Bahr, Fragments and Assemblages, reveals that in the 14th century many people maintained eclectic reading habits. Consider Andrew Horn, the chamberlain for the city of London in the 1320s. The manuscripts in Horn’s possession, handed down to the city and preserved today, reveal a rich mixture of shorter texts: legal treatises, French-language poetry, and descriptions of London, all bound together....
MIT News, May 23
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TED Talks earn no points from peers
TED Talks, the most popular conference and events website in the world with over 1 billion informational videos viewed, provides academics with increased popular exposure but does nothing to boost citations of their work by peers, new research led by Indiana University has found. In the comprehensive study of more than 1,200 TED Talks videos, IU Information and Library Science Assistant Professor Cassidy R. Sugimoto also looked at the demographics of TED Talks presenters and the relationship between a presenter’s credentials and a video’s popularity....
Indiana University News Room, June 18
How to moderate a panel like a pro
Scott Kirsner writes: “The panel discussion was invented by someone who liked to sit three feet above his audience, talk with five of his closest friends for an hour, and barely acknowledge that there are 100 other people in the room, usually sitting in uncomfortable chairs. But until the panel discussion disappears from conference agendas, you may be asked to moderate one. Here are a dozen guidelines to put you on the right track.”...
Harvard Business Review, May 30
The retail revolution @ your library
Corrado Di Tillio writes: “What makes a group of librarians from all over the world want to visit the public library of a Dutch city of 180,000 inhabitants? The participants of the 2013 MetLib conference, held in Amsterdam Openbare Bibliotheek May 5–10, had the chance to experience the so-called retail concept in the new library of the city of Almere, a place that attracts many professionals.”...
Public Libraries Online, June 18
Embedded Librarian 101
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “As librarians, we can’t wait for students to ask us questions. That’s why we’ve had virtual reference services since the early 2000s. But it’s simply not enough to have an online presence. The key is being online where the students are. For most universities, this means the learning management system (Moodle, Blackboard, D2L). It’s where students spend their academic time. It’s where librarians need to be. It’s embedded librarianship. Here’s how to get started.”...
Mr. Library Dude, June 17
David Lee King writes: “Way back in 2011, Twitter announced that it was starting to offer analytics for some accounts. Finally, almost two years later, it is offering analytics to everyone. Right now, there are two choices: Timeline Activity and Followers. The Timeline Activity view provides most of the analysis.”...
David Lee King, June 14
Reliving your Twitter history
J. D. Biersdorfer writes: “Twitter can send you a file containing all your posts. To request a copy of your archive, log into your Twitter account on the web, click the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner, and select Settings. On the main Settings page, scroll down to ‘Your Twitter archive’ and click the ‘Request your archive’ button. Twitter then sends you an email message with a link to download your file when it is ready.”...
New York Times: Gadgetwise, June 19
Feedly quits relying on Google’s backend
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “As Google Reader’s death nears on July 1, RSS reader Feedly is stepping up its game. Feedly, which hit 12 million users at the end of May, announced June 19 that it is now an independently operating cloud product—that is, it’s no longer relying on Google Reader’s backend. (If you’re already using Feedly, here’s how to be prepared for the company to roll your account over to the new cloud.)”...
paidContent, June 19
The last telegram? Not so fast
The Christian Science Monitor reported what many people may have assumed had already happened years ago: the death of the telegram. With the pending closure of Indian telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited’s telegraph service offices, the Monitor reported that “the world’s last telegram message will be sent somewhere in India on July 14.” But hold the phone—news of the death of telegraphy services has been greatly exaggerated. (The first telegram was sent by Samuel Morse from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore on May 24, 1844, with the message, “What hath God wrought?”)...
Ars Technica, June 19; Christian Science Monitor, June 14
Papers of the Founding Fathers are now online
Keith Donohue writes: “For the past 50 years, teams of editors have been copying documents from historical collections that serve as a record of the Founding Era. These papers have been assembled in 242 documentary editions covering the works of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, as well as hundreds who corresponded with them. Founders Online is a new website at the National Archives that will allow people to search this archive.”...
White House Blog, June 13
The unspoken stigma of workplace flexibility
Tara Siegel Bernard writes: “Assume for a moment that your employer lets you decide when and where you worked—you might arrive early so you could leave in time to care for a child, or work part of the week from home. Or perhaps you want to reduce your hours for a while to care for an aging parent. How would you be perceived if you raised your hand for one of these options? Many times these policies are on the books, but informally everyone knows you are penalized for using them.”...
New York Times, June 14
Top five weather apps
Check out the top five weather apps for the iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones that will keep you one step ahead of Mother Nature. One is NOAA Weather Radio (right), which broadcasts radio reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, alerting you to weather patterns and possible storm surges. In addition to the radio service, the app also comes complete with storm-tracking graphics so you can save several locations to stay up-to-date on nearby storms....
Christian Science Monitor, June 18
A librarian’s guide to space tourism
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “There has been much news this year about the burgeoning space tourism industry. Today, a Virgin Galactic ticket for a seat on board SpaceShipTwo will set you back $250,000 for a suborbital flight. XCor is offering suborbital flights aboard the Lynx for $95,000 per flight, including medical screening and G-Force training. The first thing I thought about when I started reading about all of this was: Do they need librarians? Here are 32 resources to get you started.”...
iLibrarian, June 17
Make a splash: Water science for preschoolers
Amy Koester writes: “Summer is a wonderful time for playing with water. It is refreshing and, by offering a water science preschool STEM program, it can be sneakily educational, too. Go ahead, take advantage of the warm summer season and play with water at your library. Steal this program. Here’s what we did.”...
ALSC Blog, June 18
Can digital games boost student STEM scores?
Tina Barseghian writes: “In the past few years, educators have been closely watching the evolution of digital games used for learning to see whether playing those games can actually improve student achievement. A new SRI study released June 17 suggests they do, at least in the subjects of science, math, engineering, and technology. According to the report, students who had no instructional games could have done 12% better in “cognitive learning outcomes” if they had played the games....
Mind/Shift, June 17; SRI International
“Old book smell” is a mix of grass and vanilla
Joachim Koch writes: “Scientists say that ‘old book smell’ is more than just mustiness; it contains hints of grass and vanilla. That’s because of all the compounds used to make the book release its distinctive odors as they break down. For example, lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent. It may even be possible to approximate the age of a book based on its smell.”...
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
Joel Bruns writes: “In the 1980s, a comedian named Rich Hall popularized ‘sniglets,’ which he described as ‘any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should.’ Often these are portmanteau words like Bennifer (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez), mankini, manscaping, sexting, or frankenfood. YA lit should have its own collection of sniglets, so here is my contribution. I hope that you will follow up with some of your own.”...
YALSA The Hub, June 18
The ends of the road
Alan Taylor writes: “I spent some time recently in Google Maps, finding the edges of their Street View image coverage. I’ve always been drawn to the end of the road, to the edges of where one might be allowed to travel, whether blocked by geographic features, international borders, or simply the lack of any further road. Gathered here is a virtual visit to a few of these road ends around the world.”...
The Atlantic: In Focus, June 14
Sir Arthur and the fairies: A failure in critical thinking
Mary Losure writes: “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s claim in 1920 that fairies—real fairies—had been photographed in the north of England by two young girls was greeted with wonder, but unfortunately for him, most of it was of the ‘what can he be thinking?’ variety. How could the creator of the world’s most famous, least-fool-able detective have convinced himself that fairy photographs were real? Let us proceed, Holmes-like, to examine the question.”...
The Public Domain Review, June 12
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