|American Libraries Online
New AL Digital Supplement looks at ebook lending
Leading library practitioners and experts discuss promises and “Faustian bargains” of ebooks in the new American Libraries digital supplement Digital Content: What’s Next? This future-focused issue examines how libraries are evolving in response to the digital revolution, exploiting opportunities in self-publishing, and confronting challenges in licensing constraints. The supplement also details progress made by the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group to advocate for equitable access to ebooks produced by the world’s largest book publishers....
American Libraries, May 22
Gun violence, videogames, and libraries
Barbara Jones writes: “The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, and the courageous response of our school and library colleagues in Newtown, Connecticut, was a horrific reminder that senseless killings can happen anywhere. Along with calls for ammunition and assault-weapon restrictions, as well as heightened school security nationwide, came renewed concerns about violent videogames. Inevitably, the presence of videogames in several community libraries also became part of the debate.”...
American Libraries feature
Technology in Practice: Spare me the hype cycle
Meredith Farkas writes: “Although I’ve been in the profession only a decade, I’ve seen plenty of hyped-up ideas cycle through over the years. In 2006, every library had to have a blog. Right now, makerspaces are all the rage. And by 2014 it’ll be something else. These things aren’t necessarily bad. However, hype can also blind librarians to what is a right fit for their institutions.”...
American Libraries column, May
Another Story: The applicant pool
Joe Janes writes: “Back in the day, library school applicants often covered two basic points in their personal statements: what job they desired and why they wanted to work in libraries. Most would also tell some version of the Road to Damascus story. Today, I continue to be struck by how things have changed. While many speak of experiences with books and libraries, I also find a less specific sense of what their interests and intended careers are.”...
American Libraries column, May
Skip Prichard named OCLC president
Skip Prichard (right) has been named the next president and CEO of OCLC effective July 1, the firm announced May 16. He will succeed Jay Jordan, who will retire on June 30 after 15 years at the helm of OCLC. Prichard was formerly president and CEO of Ingram Content Group and has held leadership positions at ProQuest and LexisNexis over the past decade....
AL: Inside Scoop, May 16
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes library visit
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joined the County of Los Angeles Public Library on April 18 as it celebrated its 100th anniversary at the Rio Hondo Event Center in Downey, California. The 7-foot-2 inch-tall former center for the Los Angeles Lakers and bestselling author of seven books was the guest speaker at the library’s annual Library Book Breakfast....
AL Focus, May 20
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Community disaster response
Karen Muller writes: “Over the years, librarians, particularly preservation librarians, have written extensively about preparing for and recovering from a disaster, often localized at the library. Preparations include both developing a plan for taking action, as well as documenting the specific techniques and resources that will be needed to protect or restore the collections. A few months ago, ALA Councilor Lauren Comito noted that the existing literature mostly covers dealing with the materials, not the community.”...
Ask the ALA Library, May 22; ALA Library Fact Sheet 10
Meet the 2013 Emerging Leaders
Attendees of the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago are invited to meet the 2013 class of Emerging Leaders at a poster session and reception on June 28, where the class will showcase their final projects. Since the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the groups have been working virtually on projects related to ALA or a professional concern....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 21
Become a 2014 Emerging Leader
ALA is now accepting applications for the 2014 class of Emerging Leaders. Details on the program criteria and a link to the application can be found on the Emerging Leaders web page. The program is designed to enable library workers to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. An ALA division, round table, ethnic affiliate, state chapter, or school library media affiliate will sponsor nearly all of the selected applicants. The deadline to apply is August 2....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 21
June 29 is Bookmobile Saturday
Bookmobile Saturday, June 29, during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, gives attendees the opportunity to learn, gain inspiration, and network. Learn about the trends, model practices, and opportunities for professional involvement during two morning programs, attend an author lunch and book signing featuring Lauren Myracle and Audrey Niffenegger, and explore some of the latest vehicles during the Parade of Bookmobiles. Tickets to the lunch must be purchased online by June 14....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 21
Webinar on “Your Library Journey”
The JobLIST Placement Center will host the hour-long webinar, “Your Library Journey: Brand and Career” on June 11. National workplace expert, former Fortune 500 Human Resources executive, and new-Millennium career advisor Liz Ryan (right) will present this high-energy, informational session. The webinar will be full of useful tips for library job seekers and anyone interested in learning new techniques for a job search. To register, visit the registration page....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 14
A Taste of Poland at ALA
Join the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table and the Polish American Librarians Association for a Taste of the Town, featuring a visit to the Polish Museum of America and family-style lunch at Podhalanka restaurant (right) in Chicago’s famous Polonia Triangle, during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on June 28. To reserve your place, email John Amundsen....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, May 21
Grants support Muslim Journeys programming
The National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with the ALA Public Programs Office, announced that 125 libraries and state humanities councils will receive programming grants of $3,500–$4,500 to host a “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series featuring some of the materials included in the “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys.” The selected sites represent 54 public libraries, 47 academic libraries, 11 community college libraries, and 13 state humanities councils in 38 states and the District of Columbia....
Public Programs Office, May 17
Members qualify for Visa Platinum Rewards card
ALA and UMB CardPartner have launched the American Library Association affinity Visa Platinum Rewards credit card, expanding its Affinity/MVP Programs for ALA members. The card offers qualified cardholders exceptional benefits, including competitive rates and terms. Apply online....
Communications and Member Relations, May 17
Technology for small libraries
For those working in a small library, particularly one that may have little technical support, a foundational knowledge of technology is crucial. Written for librarians, library staff, and administrators at libraries serving populations of 15,000 or less, Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries: A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, shows how to successfully develop, implement, sustain, and grow technology initiatives....
ALA TechSource, May 20
Diversity in YA literature
The full spectrum of diversity extends far beyond race, ethnicity, and celebrations of cultural pride. Surveying the landscape, Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors through Reading, published by ALA Editions, shows how YA lit now includes the wide range of our increasingly diverse society. Edited by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and Sarah Park Dahlen, this volume offers chapters on the representations of culture groups that are often ignored in examinations of diverse youth literature, while examining more common groups through a new lens or perspective....
ALA Editions, May 20
Coteaching reading comprehension
As part of the US-wide drive to improve test scores and build a nation of readers, Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact, published by ALA Editions, offers proven teamwork tools to accomplish both goals. Judi Moreillon, a veteran teacher-librarian, updates Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension to draw on cutting-edge research in instructional strategies, offering a clear, rigorous roadmap to teaching reading comprehension in a proven collaborative process....
ALA Editions, May 21
Library services for autistic youth
Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability. Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders, published by ALA Editions, introduces what autism spectrum disorders are and identifies the great need to build and manage programs for autistic youth. Lesley S. J. Farmer offers librarians in or outside a school environment all the information they need to build a library literacy program geared towards these children....
ALA Editions, May 20
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Featured review: Science fiction and fantasy
Mott, Jason. The Returned. Sept. 2013. 352p. Harlequin/MIRA, hardcover (978-0-7783-1533-9).
In this sparely written first novel, poet Mott posits intriguing questions about our uneasy relationship with death. Harold and Lucille Hargrave are stunned to find their 8-year-old son, Jacob—decades after the boy’s death by drowning—standing on their front porch, along with Martin Bellamy, a government agent for the International Bureau of the Returned. All over the globe, the dead are returning to their families, causing massive confusion and a pervasive anxiety that countries will run out of room and the resources to care for the enlarging population....
Top 10 Science Fiction/Fantasy of 2013
Brad Hooper writes: “The creative imagination displayed by science-fiction and fantasy writers continues to impress us, and the 10 titles listed here, reviewed in Booklist between May 15, 2012, and May 1, 2013, only confirm the ingenuity found in these two genres.” For example, The Cassandra Project (Ace), by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick, in which the two SF powerhouses team up in a near-future thriller that touches on one of the great conspiracy theories of our time: that NASA is keeping secrets about the Apollo program....
Speculating on big questions
Speculative fictions—fantasy, science fiction, and horror—are often described first as escapism, a way to run away from this world on an armchair voyage through fantastic landscapes or the reaches of space. It’s true: Plenty of quick-reading, thrill-packed books populate the shelves of genre collections, and no apologies are required from those who enjoy light pleasure reading. However, the need to escape reality is probably overestimated as a motive for reading genre fiction....
Booklandia: Where YA Books Live
Booklandia: Where YA Books Live has just joined the roster of popular Booklist Online e-newsletters. This new free bimonthly newsletter, edited by Dan Kraus, will keep subscribers updated on trends in YA literature through a mix of original feature articles and selected Booklist reviews of notable YA titles, as well as offering informative, entertaining, and often edgy commentary on the YA scene. Sign up and look forward to your six engaging issues in the coming year....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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The Harold Washington Library design competition
Lee Bey writes: “For several months in 1988, the competition to design the Harold Washington Library Center was the talk of the city. The new downtown library was architectural gut check: Would America’s first city of architecture pick a daring design? Or would Chicago select the safe and familiar? In 1989, PBS’s Nova series took a look at the competition in an episode called ‘Design Wars,’ seen here in an edited version (14:18). A quarter of a century later, there is much to note.”...
WBEZ-FM, Chicago, May 17; YouTube, May 12
Best-kept secrets of Chicago
Alan Solomon writes: “Most visitors to Chicago arrive with a checklist of things to see. It’s no secret that architecture, museums, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the lakefront, restaurants, and theaters are why folks come. But there are Chicago secrets, some that even the locals don’t know about. We do. Now, you will, too.” For example, the site of Essanay Studios (right) at 1333–1345 West Argyle Street, which cranked out Charlie Chaplin films in the early days of cinema....
The Travel Channel
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan. It operates from April to October, with regular water shows and evening color-light shows. The fountain’s pumps are controlled by a Honeywell computer that pushes out more than 14,000 gallons per minute through 193 jets....
Used bookstores still flourish in Chicago. Here are some of the best: The Bookworks, 3444 N. Clark Street, has a good selection of history, fiction, music, film, and art books, all at reasonable prices, as well as first editions, pamphlets, and vinyl records. Three popular stores in Hyde Park on the South Side are 57th Street Books, at 1301 E. 57th Street; O’Gara & Wilson, 1448 E. 57th Street; and Powell’s Bookstore, at 1501 E. 57th Street, all within two blocks of each other. In the South Loop, a fine bookstore is Selected Works, on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue; they excel in fiction, poetry, politics, sheet music, and musical scores....
The Huffington Post, Oct. 19, 2010
The Haymarket Memorial
The Haymarket Memorial, a bronze sculpture completed in 2004 by artist Mary Brogger, commemorates the 1886 Haymarket affair, a significant event in the history of Chicago labor relations and law enforcement. The sculpture represents the wagon on which labor leaders stood in a rally for the eight-hour work day in Haymarket Square. The incident became an early symbol for the labor movement and the establishment of May 1 labor rallies in many cities. It’s located at 175 North Desplaines Street, the nearest El stop is Clinton on the Green Line....
City of Chicago
The Thrillist guide to eating around town
Chicago’s food scene runs the gamut from the humblest of hot dog joints to the forefront of fine dining, with a whole mountain of caloric goodness in between. (Metaphorically speaking, of course, as it’s actually quite flat here.) To make sure that even the slightest incline will leave you gasping for air, Thrillist Senior Editor Matt Lynch is bringing you his picks for grubbing around town....
Thrillist, May 3
Pack a pair of walking shoes
Christopher Berger, an exercise physiologist and professor at the University of Indianapolis, has an uncommon view of airports and business travel. Where some see an interminable wait, he sees an invigorating walk. “Travel does not mean deconditioning,” Berger said. “You’re stuck in a terminal for three hours, boo hoo, but you have a climate-controlled place where you can walk literally for miles at some airports if you want.”...
New York Times, Apr. 30
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ASCLA hosts tour of juvenile detention center library
Gain insight into the world of juvenile corrections and juvenile correctional librarianship by attending a July 1 tour of the Cook County (Ill.) Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and library at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, cohosted by ASCLA and Library Services for Youth in Custody. The center’s school and library are operated by Chicago Public Schools, and the library is staffed by a full-time school library media specialist. To register, complete this form by June 7....
ASCLA, May 20
ASCLA events at Annual Conference
ASCLA will offer innovative and insightful preconferences, programs, and events at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. This year’s topics include disaster response, leadership development, effective decision-making, accessibility, services to older adults, arts programs for incarcerated youth, and service evaluation....
ASCLA, May 21
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
Mystery writers will reveal all
United for Libraries will present “Shoot Between the Lines: Mystery Writers Reveal All” on June 30 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Don’t have a clue? Come to this program and hear from Jeff Abbott, John Dufresne, Sara Gran, Michael Harvey, Lars Kepler, and Ingrid Thoft, who’d like to share theirs with you. Barbara Hoffert will moderate....
United for Libraries, May 21
PLA opens special registration for PLA 2014
PLA is now offering Special Registration for its PLA 2014 Conference, March 11–15, in Indianapolis. This is an (extra) early registration period for general conference registration only. Housing reservations, as well as preconference and special event registration, will be available September 4, when Early Bird Registration opens....
PLA, May 21
David Sedaris will close the PLA 2014 Conference
Attendees at the PLA 2014 Conference, March 11–15, in Indianapolis will want to stay through the end to enjoy humorist and author David Sedaris (right) at the PLA 2014 Closing Session. Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today, as well as the author of the newly released Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Special Registration is now open for PLA 2014....
PLA, May 21
Tony Wagner to open AASL National Conference
Harvard education innovator Tony Wagner (right) will headline the opening general session at AASL’s 16th National Conference and Exhibition, November 14–17, in Hartford, Connecticut. His presentation will draw on his more than 25 years of education consulting experience focused on creating strategies to improve learning for all students. Registration for the conference is now open....
AASL, May 16
Make your website accessible
“Accessibility Is Usability,” a new webinar hosted by ASCLA, will tackle web accessibility and its strong connection to usability and will discuss adaptive technologies, how to write accessible website code, and how to check a website for accessibility. The webinar is on May 31 and will be presented by Christopher Corrigan. Registration will close on May 30....
ASCLA, May 21
Bring your own lessons
During “BYOL: Bring Your Own Lessons into the 21st Century,” AASL’s newest e-Academy course, participants will learn about AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and how best to integrate them into a lesson plan. The facilitators will then walk participants through the submission of their plan to the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database. This six-week, self-paced course facilitated by Liz Deskins and Christina Dorr will begin June 24. Registration and additional course information are available online....
AASL, May 20
SLR editor search extended
AASL has extended the application deadline for the volunteer editor/coeditor position for its peer-reviewed online research journal, School Library Research (SLR). Applicants now have until May 31 to submit their applications. Responsibilities include setting the scope and tone of the journal, managing editorial activities and the refereeing process, and soliciting high-quality articles. Additional information is available on the AASL website....
AASL, May 16
Read! Build! Play! 2013 Summer Reading List
ALSC has teamed up with Lego Duplo to create the Read! Build! Play! 2013 Summer Reading List, which features recommended titles that inspire play for children age 5 and under. It is free to download, along with a parent activity guide. The guide includes inspirational building instructions matched with each book for children and their caregivers....
ALSC, May 21
Joe Thompson elected RUSA president
Joe Thompson (right), associate director of Western Maryland Regional Library in Hagerstown, has been elected RUSA president for 2014–2015. He also serves as liaison between the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators and Citizens for Maryland Libraries, the statewide Friends group. Learn a little bit more about Thompson with this fun Q&A put together by the RUSA staff....
RUSA Blog, May 20
Mary Page elected ALCTS president
Mary Page (right), associate director for collections and technical services at the University of Central Florida, has been elected ALCTS president for 2014–2015. She has served as director-at-large for the ALCTS Board of Directors, cochair of its Program Committee, and chair of its Continuing Resources Section. Page has also served as president of the North American Serials Interest Group....
ALCTS, May 17
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2013 Phyllis Dain Library History Award
Sharon McQueen (right) has won the Library History Round Table’s 2013 Phyllis Dain Library History Award for her dissertation, The Story of “The Story of Ferdinand”: The Creation of a Cultural Icon. The dissertation, which the committee suspects may be nearly publication-ready, will serve as a model for future histories of such other popular publications as the Harry Potter books. McQueen earned her degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison SLIS, where she is currently an honorary fellow....
Office for Research and Statistics, May 16
National School Library Programs of the Year
Swan Valley High School in Saginaw, Michigan; New Augusta South Elementary School in Indianapolis; and Pennsylvania Avenue School in Atlantic City, New Jersey, have received AASL 2013 National School Library Program of the Year Awards. The schools will receive a portion of $10,000 toward their school library programs. AASL award recipients will be honored at the AASL Awards Luncheon during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
AASL, May 21
2013 EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award
Ghada Elturk (right), outreach librarian at the Boulder (Colo.) Public Library, is the 2013 recipient of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table Distinguished Librarian Award. The award recognizes a librarian for outstanding achievement in developing creative multicultural materials and programs....
Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, May 21
RUSA awards reception
Celebrate the year’s winners of RUSA’s achievement awards in adult reference and library services at the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party on June 30. Nearly two dozen awards, including the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, RUSA’s highest honor recognizing distinguished contributions to the field of reference librarianship, will be presented....
RUSA, May 21
2013 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation has named Amanda Meeks (right) the sixth recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship. The grant will provide for Meeks’s expenses to attend the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. As part of the scholarship, Meeks will attend various FTRF and intellectual freedom meetings....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 21
2013 Banned Books Week grants
The Freedom to Read Foundation, through its Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, has announced seven $1,000 grants to libraries, schools, and community organizations in support of Banned Books Week events. Banned Books Week, which will take place September 22–28, celebrates the freedom to access information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 21
Eight receive grant to attend PLA 2014
Eight public librarians who demonstrated their involvement in exceptional literacy programs have received the Innovations in Literacy Scholarship from PLA. The recipients will be awarded $1,000 for registration and travel to the PLA 2014 Conference in Indianapolis, March 11–15. This new scholarship is funded by a generous donation from the Cambria Estate Winery....
PLA, May 20
2012 ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award (PDF file)
The Art Libraries Society of North America has presented Edward C. Goodman (right) with its 2012 Distinguished Service Award, the society’s highest honor. Goodman was cited for his work as general editor of the Avery Index, one of the world’s premier architectural indexes, as well as his service to the society....
Art Libraries Society of North America, May 16
2012 FEDLINK Awards for federal librarianship
The Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) has announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship, which recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians, and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business, and scholarly communities and the American public. The award winners were honored at the 2013 FEDLINK Spring Exposition on May 22 at the Library of Congress. Joyce Greene (above) was named 2012 Federal Librarian of the Year....
Library of Congress, May 15
2013 Carle Museum honorees
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has announced the 2013 Carle Honors to be celebrated at Guastavino’s in New York City on September 26. The eighth annual benefit will pay tribute to the talented people who have made the picture book such a vibrant and impactful art form in America. This year, the Carle will honor individuals in four categories. In the artist category, the museum has chosen Chris Van Allsburg (right), the artist and author of Jumanji and The Polar Express....
Children’s Literature Network, May 20
2012 Nebula Award winners
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named the winners of the 2012 Nebula Awards that recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the US during the previous year. The awards were announced at the Nebula Awards Weekend held in San José, California, May 16–20. The winner in the Best Novel category was Kim Stanley Robinson for 2312 (Orbit). The Andre Norton Award for YA was given to E. C. Myers for Fair Coin (Pyr)....
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, May 20
2013 Romantic Novel of the Year
Jenny Colgan’s Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams (Sphere) was chosen Romantic Novel of the Year 2013 by the Romantic Novelists’ Association at the group’s summer party held in London on May 16.
The story is a romantic comedy set in rural Derbyshire in the English Midlands. The RNA judges praised the “element of surprise” in the book, describing it as “unusual in a romantic novel.”...
BBC News, May 16
2013 Left Coast Crime Awards
The 2013 Lefty award for most humorous mystery novel went to Brad Parks for The Girl Next Door (Minotaur). The award is one of several given out at the Left Coast Crime conference, organized by fans of mystery fiction that takes place in the western US. The Rocky award, for the best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Crime geographical region, went to Craig Johnson for As the Crow Flies (Viking)....
Left Coast Crime
2013 Orwell Book Prize
Law professor A. T. Williams has won the 2013 Orwell Book Prize for political writing for his investigation into the killing of hotel receptionist Baha Mousa by British Army soldiers in Iraq. A Very British Killing was said by judges to be “written in the spirit” of George Orwell’s journalism. With a controlled ferocity Williams details the shameful treatment of Mousa and other Iraqis in Basra in 2003. The £3,000 ($4,580 US) prize was awarded at a ceremony in London on May 15....
The Guardian (UK), May 15
2013 British Sports Book Awards
The 11th annual British Sports Book Awards were announced May 21 at a ceremony held at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The awards, in 10 categories, are a celebration of the very best in sports writing. The winner in the Best Biography category was David Walsh’s Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (Simon and Schuster). All winning books will be entered into a public online vote to find The Times Sports Book of the Year....
British Sports Book Awards, May 22
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker has won this year’s £10,000 ($15,150 US) Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with his novel The Detour, published by Harvill Secker. Bakker will share the prize money with the title’s English translator, David Colmer. The Detour follows Emilie, a translation professor and Emily Dickinson scholar, who retreats from her life in the Netherlands to an isolated farm house in Wales following an affair with a student....
The Bookseller, May 21
2013 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize
Howard Jacobson has won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for the second time. The author won the comic writing prize for Zoo Time, a novel about a novelist who is distracted from writing by the provocative presence of his highly strung wife and her alluring mother. He first won the prize, which celebrates books capturing P. G. Wodehouse’s comic spirit, for The Mighty Waltzer in 2000....
The Independent (UK), May 15
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Libraries in the News
LAC head steps down amid controversy
Canada’s librarians and archivists are urging the federal government to appoint someone from their own professional ranks to replace the chief of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) who quit May 15 amid questions about his spending. Daniel Caron (right), an economist and career public servant, was deeply unpopular with library and archival professionals who accused him of muzzling his staff and neglecting key areas of the venerable national collector’s mandate. With the dust settling on the resignation, there were immediate calls for a new style of leadership at LAC....
Ottawa Citizen, May 16
Former Detroit library official charged in bribery scheme
A former top official of the Detroit Public Library was indicted May 21 on allegations that he took bribes and kickbacks totaling $1.4 million—money that could have saved branches closed by the struggling system. The 21-count indictment of former chief administrative officer Timothy Cromer and two contractors followed a November raid by the FBI of library offices and his home. The charges did not shock library officials and patrons—but the size of the alleged bribes did....
Detroit News, May 22
School district retains Walter Dean Myers’s Monster
District 97 in Oak Park, Illinois, will not remove the novel Monster from its reading curriculum based on a mid-May decision by school administrators after a review of the book. Seven families filed a reconsideration request April 16, citing the book’s mature themes: violence, drug use, sex among minors, and “racially offensive” language. Monster, a courtroom drama by Walter Dean Myers about an African-American teen on trial for murder, told from the lead character’s point of view, has been taught in the district middle school since 2008....
Oak Park (Ill.) Wednesday Journal, May 14
Parents challenge school library’s Little Black Book for Girlz
A parent’s concern about a library book in Taft High School in Lincoln City, Oregon, has sparked concerns about age-appropriate materials and opened discussion on what parents can do if they object to such materials. Bridget O’Donnell said she was horrified when she found out her daughter had brought home The Little Black Book For Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality. “It is simply too graphic for a seventh grader and for my daughter,” O’Donnell said. Principal Scott Reed said he is reviewing O’Donnell’s request....
Lincoln City (Oreg.) News Guard, May 15
William & Mary alumni gain access to JSTOR
More than 90,000 alumni of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, now have access to JSTOR, thanks to the library’s participation in JSTOR’s Alumni Access program. Alumni can freely use all JSTOR collections licensed by W&M’s Swem Library. Swem is only one of 47 university libraries worldwide participating in the program....
William & Mary News and Events, May 21
New joint academic library facility in Texas
The University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems will celebrate the opening of their Joint Library Facility (right) on May 24 at Texas A&M’s Riverside Campus located west of Bryan. The $6.3 million, 18,000-square-foot library facility will house about 1 million books culled from the general and reference collections of the state’s preeminent universities and make them available for use by other academic or medical institutions. The facility will keep the burden of storage costs off the individual campuses in both systems....
University of Texas at Austin Libraries, May 21
Girl Scout troop advocates for Brooklyn branch
If there was a merit badge for tenacity, this hard-headed group of Girl Scouts would earn it. The 17 girls of Troop 2657 are fighting the proposed sale of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library’s Pacific branch in which they hold their weekly meetings. The library is hoping to raise money to open a newer branch two blocks away, but the girls and their parents say they have filed papers to have the library considered for landmark status, and they are enlisting the support of city officials....
New York Daily News, May 20
Westport’s Comic-Con was super fun
Fans of all sorts of super heroes, caped crusaders, intergalactic warriors, and sleuthing iconoclasts blasted into the Westport (Conn.) Public Library on May 18 for the first Westport Comic-Con. The library organized the celebration, which featured a range of activities in addition to costumed characters, such as talent showcases, merchandise, and displays of comic art skills. Teen Services Librarian Jaina Lewis (right) credited two teen volunteers with coming up with the idea for the event....
Westport (Conn.) News, May 19
Library plugs in electric-vehicle charging station
Dozens of Bay Area electric-vehicle owners turned out to celebrate the dedication of two electric-vehicle charging stations at Santa Clara (Calif.) Public Library’s Central Park branch May 11 as city officials symbolically cut a gasoline hose. “Library patrons can charge their cars while taking a computer class or attending a gardening or financial literacy program,” said Adult Services Librarian Mary Boyle. The project was funded by the US Department of Energy and Silicon Valley Power....
Santa Clara (Calif.) Weekly, May 15
Web-connected libraries for Africa
With an initial funding of $50,000 from Kickstarter, library startup Librii is building its first “eHub” prototype: a shipping container filled with computers, printers, and training materials, connected to a simple, low-cost study center that will let visitors access information, print materials and, crucially, contribute back to the project and the web at large. Once the prototype is tested, a partnership with the University of Ghana and Librarians Without Borders will start importing the containers and their contents to Africa, following the frontiers of fiber-optic cable as they push into the continent. Watch the Librii video (4:18)....
The Guardian (UK), May 18; Vimeo, Jan.
Welsh fire started by worker’s blowtorch
A fire that gutted a section of roof at the National Library of Wales on April 26 was started accidentally by workers using a blowtorch, an investigation has found. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the propane-powered device set fire to wood behind some external cladding. Two workers had been carrying out repairs to a flat roof at the library in Aberystwyth when the blaze started....
BBC News, May 16
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Teens, social media, and privacy
According to a new Pew Internet & American Life survey, teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and nontechnical steps to manage their privacy. Yet teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third parties (such as businesses or advertisers) accessing their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned. While Facebook remains the most commonly used social media site, teen Twitter use has grown significantly....
Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 21
Creation, consumption, and the library
Lane Wilkinson writes: “Last week I had an interesting Twitter conversation regarding a popular rhetorical strategy surrounding makerspaces, New Librarianship, participatory culture, and the other assorted big ideas for the future of libraries. I think makerspaces are pretty cool and I certainly don’t want anyone to think I want to be slagging on making, hacking, or tinkering but, even though makerspaces are rad, they’re being marketed with some pretty suspect rhetoric. Let me give you a few examples.”...
Sense and Reference, May 21
Copyright’s constitutional chameleon
John Duffy, Peter Strauss, and Michael Herz write: “Earlier this year, more than 100,000 citizens petitioned the White House to overturn a copyright rule issued by the Librarian of Congress that made unlocking a cellphone a crime. The White House promised to seek legislation to overturn the Librarian’s rule. The New York Times reported that because LC and the Copyright Office are part of the legislative branch, the White House could not simply overturn the ruling. Yet the Department of Justice has been vigorously arguing precisely the contrary constitutional position in the federal courts.”...
Concurring Opinions, May 17
Government edicts should be free from copyright
Carl Malamud writes: “105 law professors and law librarians have endorsed a call to change US Copyright law to exclude edicts of government. Edicts are ‘the law’ and include all pronouncements of government that are binding on citizens and residents, including statutes, regulations, court opinions, and legally-mandated codes.”...
Boing Boing, May 16
Intellectual property access for the world
On May 14, five members of Congress signed a letter to Acting US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis backing an extension of a World Trade Organization waiver exempting least-developed countries (LDCs) from enforcing intellectual property rights and other international agreements until an LDC graduates from impoverished status. The waiver would affect the price, availability, and use of resources in libraries for education, research, and personal development, as well as access to affordable medicines, agricultural goods, and renewable technologies....
District Dispatch, May 16
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Why 3D printing is overhyped
Nick Allen writes: “People see images or videos of 3D printed mechanisms, 3D printed tables, material 3D prints, and of course guns—and then they see that they can buy one for under $800 and think ‘Wow! I can do all this at home. This is the future!’ And it is, in some respects. But that doesn’t mean to say that you will do it yourself or that it will decentralize manufacturing. So here we go, my list of reasons 3D printing isn’t all you think it’s cracked up to be.”...
Gizmodo, May 17; Outdoor Hype, May 10
The 10 most important things Google announced at I/O
Chloe Albanesius writes: “Google spent more than three hours at its I/O conference May 15, showing off what’s next for Android, Chrome, Google Search, and more. There were no eye-popping demos like last year's sky-diving Google Glass extravaganza, and we didn’t see any hardware announcements, save for Google’s version of the Galaxy S 4. Still, there were several things that caught our attention.”...
PC Magazine, May 16
Why Google Glass is creepy
David Pogue writes: “Every new technology causes initial public discomfort. But when I finally got to try Google Glass, I realized that they don’t put anything in front of your eyes. You still make eye contact when you talk. You still see the road ahead. The screen is so tiny, it doesn’t block your normal vision. No, the biggest obstacle is the smugness of people who wear Glass—and the deep discomfort of everyone who doesn’t.” Geek’s Russell Holly spent 48 hours wearing Glass fitted onto his existing glasses and reports on the experience....
Scientific American, May 21; Geek, May 21
Coding and collaboration on GitHub
Eric Phetteplace writes: “Git is open-source version-control software. You don’t need to rely on any third-party service to use it, and you can benefit from many of its features even if you’re working on your own. GitHub, on the other hand, is a company that hosts Git repositories on their website. If you allow your code to be publicly viewable, then you can host your repository for free. If you want to have a private repository, then you have to pay for a subscription.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, May 20
Yahoo acquires Tumblr
Yahoo announced May 20 that it is buying the blogging site Tumblr with the express promise “not to screw it up.” The company made the announcement after days of speculation that the web giant would scoop up the fast-growing blogging site. Yahoo said in a release that the deal is worth approximately $1.1 billion, “substantially all of which is payable in cash.”...
Washington Post, May 20
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AL’s Digital Supplement on ebooks
Digital Content: What’s Next, the third supplement on ebooks and digital content from American Libraries, launched May 22. Contributing to the supplement are ALA President Maureen Sullivan, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, ALA President-Elect Barbara Stripling, and others. Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, provides an overall assessment of the library ebook situation, concluding that “the reality has been appalling.”...
AL: E-Content blog, May 22
Random House library sampler
Christopher Harris writes: “This summer, Random House is reaching out to libraries with an ebook preview sampler that offers chapters from nine books by new authors. This is wonderful recognition of the vital role that libraries play in building an audience for emerging authors. And yet, I have a couple of bits of constructive criticism. It is unfortunate that the sampler only provides the first chapter of each book.”...
AL: E-Content blog, May 22
New survey on self-published ebooks
Smashwords founder Mark Coker writes: “For our study this year, we analyzed over $12 million in sales for a collection of 120,000 Smashwords ebooks published between May 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013.
The survey attempted to identify viral catalysts by analyzing the common characteristics of bestselling (and poor-selling) Smashwords ebooks.” Key findings include: longer books sell better; $2.99 is the most common price point; and indie authors have a slight advantage over traditionally published authors....
The Huffington Post: Blog, May 16
Steve Jobs, in the e-library, with a dollar sign
Christopher Harris writes: “A recently released email from Steve Jobs (right) to James Murdoch of News Corporation, which owns HarperCollins, shows just how involved the late Apple executive was in developing the agency model and increasing ebook prices. Interpretation of his email varies widely, however. The core of the issue is one sentence where Jobs mentions numbers: ‘Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99.’”...
AL: E-Content blog, May 17
DPLA raises many questions
Lucy Bernholz writes: “Digital materials raise deep questions about ownership, permanence, and access. In its approach to each of these questions, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is on the frontier of what building a digital civil society will require. Like the Mozilla Foundation, Creative Commons, and WikiMedia, the DPLA is a nonprofit built entirely around data and people. Here are some of the ways these ‘digital civil society’ institutions matter.”...
MediaShift, May 16
Califa launches Enki
The Califa Library Group and Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library on May 20 officially announced the beta launch of Enki Library, a new ebook platform designed to host and lend library-managed ebooks using the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries model. Named after the Sumerian god of mischief, creativity, and intelligence, Enki went live at CCCL and the San Francisco Public Library on May 6, and will soon serve multiple libraries in California....
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, May 20
Ebook sales a boon to publishers in 2012
Ebook sales, especially in the thriving romance genre, gave the book business a lift in 2012, according to a survey of publishers released May 15. The survey revealed that ebooks now account for 20% of publishers’ revenues, up from 15% in 2011. Publishers’ net revenues in 2012 were $15 billion, up from $14 billion in 2011. The annual survey, known as BookStats, was compiled by two trade groups, the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group....
New York Times, May 15
Digital book signings: The technology
Beth Bacon writes: “Digital book authors and publishers who are seeking to enrich their relationships with readers find digital signatures an effective way to connect with their most ardent fans. Today, authors have several e-signature options to choose from. Some services allow authors to sign the digital book itself, others offer the e-signature as a separate document. They are available in a range of prices and service levels. Here are a few e-signature options.”...
Digital Book World, May 21
Harris named to T.H.E. Journal advisory board
American Libraries E-Content blogger Christopher Harris (right), coordinator of the school library system for Genesee Valley (N.Y.) Educational Partnership, has been appointed for a two-year term to a new advisory board that will help guide T.H.E. Journal in its new life as a multimedia publication. The journal is a leading magazine covering technology in K–12 education. Harris is the only librarian on the eight-person board....
1105 Media Education Group, May 20
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ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 27–July 2. Get a conference highlights overview from the first Cognotes digital preview, just out. Share the articles and find out about the multitude of events, programs, conversations, activities in the exhibits, preconferences, discussions, speakers, authors, and social events.
The Whole Library Handbook, now in its fifth edition, is an encyclopedia filled with facts, tips, lists, and resources essential for library professionals and information workers of all kinds, all carefully handpicked to reflect the most informative, practical, up-to-date, and entertaining examples of library literature. Organized in easy-to-find categories, this unique compendium covers all areas of librarianship from academic libraries to teen services, from cataloging to copyright, and from gaming to social media. NEW! From ALA Editions.
The Winslow Boy (1999, UK/US). Rebecca Pidgeon as Catherine Winslow conducts some research in the law library to help clear her young brother’s name of theft.
The Wire (July 6, 2003, TV series), “All Prologue.” Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as D’Angelo Barksdale attends a book group in the prison library and discusses F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. While working in the library, he is assaulted and strangled to death with a belt by another inmate named Mugs (Dakota Anderson).
The Witch [La strega in amore] (1966, Italy). Richard Johnson as historian-scholar Sergio Logan answers an ad placed by Consuelo Lorente (Sarah Ferrati) and goes to a ramshackle castle library to catalog some erotic literature written by her late husband. The previous librarian, Fabrizio (Gian Maria Volonté), is still annoyingly on hand.
Witchboard (1986, UK/US). Brandon Sinclair (Stephen Nicholas) and Jim Morar (Todd Allen) look at microfilmed newspapers in the Big Bear Lake branch of the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Public Library to find out how a boy named David, now manifesting as a Ouija board spirit, died in a boating accident.
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.
Research Services and Information Technologies Librarian, McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois. Research assistance is provided in person or via phone, email, text, and chat. Instruction is delivered in the classroom or via online learning platforms such as Collaborate, online tutorials, mobile technology, and embedded library resources into faculty Blackboard courses. Provides research assistance from the library’s reference desk, develops library instructional materials, and manages the online and print reference collection. The position is responsible for the library’s website as well as social media, works with online database vendors, and is responsible for routine online database maintenance....
Digital Library of the Week
The Balboa Park Commons contains more than 20,000 rare and significant materials from the museums in Balboa Park, San Diego. Launched on May 7, the online resource offers access to photos and artifacts from Mingei International Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, and Timken Museum of Art. The Balboa Park Online Collaborative is also hoping to add more San Diego-based cultural institutions to their roster in the future.
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
“To me, [the library] was a place where you get a hint there was somewhere called civilization. It was the only place where I would willingly obey the laws, like silence. It was somewhere I could find out about things I was interested in.”
—Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, 69, admitting that he still owed overdue fines to the library in Dartford, Kent, dating back to the late 1950s, The Daily Mirror (UK), May 22.
New Media Consortium, Summer Conference, Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, San Diego Convention Center.
Association of Christian Librarians, Annual Conference, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego.
American International Consortium of Academic Libraries, Annual Conference, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy. “New Media, New Literacies, New Models: Library-IT-Faculty Collaboration in a Learning-Intensive World.”
exLibris Bluegrass User Group, Annual Conference, Georgetown (Ky.) College.
Handheld Librarian Online Conference, “Encouraging Innovation and Technology.”
Early Book Society, Biennial Conference, University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. “Networks of Influence: Readers, Owners, and Makers of MSS and Printed Books, 1350–1550.”
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, Annual Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
American Printing History Association, Annual Conference, Grolier Club, New York, New York. “Seeing Color/Printing Color.”
Association for Information Science and Technology, Annual Conference, Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. “Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking Information Boundaries.”
American Society for Theatre Research / Theatre Library Association, Joint Conference, Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas. “The Post-Thematic Conference.”
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Evaluating summer reading programs
Joe Matthews writes: “One of the common assumptions about summer reading programs is that they are valuable. Reading practice improves word recognition, builds vocabulary, improves fluency and comprehension, is a powerful source of world knowledge, and is a way to develop understandings of complex written language syntax and grammar. But there is little literature on evaluating these programs. What there is can be conveniently divided into two broad categories: summer school programs and public library summer reading programs.”...
Public Libraries Online, May 10
Summertime and the listening is easy
Mary Burkey writes: “May is Mystery Month here at Booklist, but why not spend the whole summer with the very best narrators sharing great stories? Your library is gearing up for summer reading programs, so why not add in-car family listening to your promotions? No matter if the trip is down the block or across the country, shared listening is a great way to foster family bonding. Looking for audiobook titles that will satisfy young listeners while maintaining adult interest? Here are some suggestions.”...
Booklist Online: Audiobooker, May 21
Author appearances: Four proposed categories
Matthew Dicks writes: “Not every author reads for 45 minutes. Many tell stories about writing their book. They talk about their writing process. They share the sources of inspiration. Some will happily answer dozens of questions. Quite a few are genuinely entertaining. I would like to propose breaking the author appearance down into four distinct categories and advertise all future events using these categories: the Signing, the Reading, the Book Talk, and the Author Talk.”...
Grin and Bare It, May 15
10 action-packed SF novels
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “It’s summer movie season, the time when blockbuster films come out every week and we pit Vin Diesel against Wolverine. But how do you keep that cineplex excitement alive when you’re at home on the couch? With books! Here are 10 science fiction novels that pack more non-stop thrills than Fast & Furious 6. Really.” For example, The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook is basically your standard “buddy cop romance in a steampunk post-apocalyptic world with zombies” kind of story....
io9, May 21
22 pandemic books to plague readers
Carrie Bailey writes: “If you’ve been following the outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu with morbid fascination, you know the World Health Organization and the Chinese government don’t want people to panic…yet. Our natural fear of deadly viruses is rooted firmly in history and set ablaze by our imagination. So before you succumb to H7N9, here are 22 books, both fiction and nonfiction, about disease and death.”...
The Bookshop Blog, Apr. 22
Imaginary YA books in Moonrise Kingdom
Adam B. Vary writes: “In Wes Anderson’s 2012 indie film Moonrise Kingdom, 12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward) packs an unusual set of items for her runaway adventure with her pen-pal boyfriend, Sam (Jared Gilman): A half-dozen (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the library, three of which she reads aloud over the course of the film. Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers.” Watch the EW video (4:14) in which Bob Balaban’s librarian character takes us through the reading sections of each of these books....
Entertainment Weekly, June 7, 2012
Feel-good YA lit
Amanda Margis writes: “There are many uplifting and positive YA books that bypass heavier subjects. Sure, we still love the dystopias, zombies, and drama-filled love triangles, but sometimes we need a good story with a happy and satisfying ending. Inspired by a teen reader who came to me recently looking for a book that would ‘just make me feel good,’ here are some books that will make you smile, laugh, and maybe cry—but only happy tears.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 15
A teen’s-eye view of The Great Gatsby
Teen blogger Halle M. writes: “I read the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald in school a few months ago and was fairly certain that I’d like it, but I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did. In my experience, school makes reading books way less fun than it should be. But I ended up thinking Fitzgerald is a genius, an amazing writer, and a brilliant storyteller. I was also very excited to see Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in 3D. It’s a story that still resonates in 2013, and it’s definitely a book I’ll be reading again and a movie I’ll be seeing again.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 17
Kids can vote for their favorite comics
Kids’ Comics Revolution!, a podcast dedicated to spotlighting the expanding worlds of kids’ comics and kid lit, announces the first annual KCR Comics Awards, which will honor the best comic books and graphic novels for kids published across the US and Canada. From now through June 23, kids can vote online. KCR hosts Dave Roman and Jerzy Drozd collaborated with editor Chris Duffy and the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library to develop the awards....
It’s Yaytime!, May 8
New Irish stamp features an entire short story
Ireland’s newest stamp features an entire short story written by a talented Dublin teenager. The 60-euro-cent stamp was commissioned to celebrate Dublin’s permanent designation as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010. It was unveiled at Roddy Doyle’s Fighting Words Centre on May 21. The bright yellow rectangle includes all 224 words of Eoin Moore’s short story, which strives to capture the “essence” of the Irish capital city....
Journal Media, May 21
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A librarian’s guide to BEA 2013
Margaret Heilbrun and Henrietta Thornton-Verma
write: “Changes are afoot at BookExpo America, and they mean more of everything. Along with a return to weekend hours—the show now runs from May 29 through June 1—there is now a third author stage. Attendees will find almost 300 autograph signings on the three stages, as well as the relocated BEA Editors’ Buzz sessions, which cover children’s, YA, and adult books. Here are the offerings that are best for librarians.”...
Library Journal, May 15
Building teen services from scratch
Gretchen Kolderup writes: “During my first professional position I found myself building a teen services program from scratch at a public library in a small town. This article isn’t going to be a practical how-to guide for others. Instead, it is a collection of personal reflections on four things—the value of data, the importance of having a vision, how much relationships matter, and the value of professional community—that I wish I’d appreciated when I was beginning to build our teen services program.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, May 22
Shared governance and library faculty
Sue Wiegand writes: “Should librarians participate in shared governance? In my experience, the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. The experience is so rich and the opportunities for interaction with classroom faculty so rewarding, that I think librarians should let their voices be heard in their academic communities whenever possible. Shared governance and faculty status lets the librarian voice be heard, lest students enter the library to do research and find there’s nothing there to support it.”...
ACRLog, May 22
Autism and online learning: A guide for teachers
Autism affects more than 2 million people in the US and tens of millions worldwide. But it hasn’t always been this way. Statistics show a tenfold increase in autism in the past 40 years, and prevalence rates are increasing 10%–17% each year. With autism on the rise, many schools struggle to meet their needs. But tech tools and virtual learning environments present an opportunity to better serve autistic students with flexibility and resources that are well suited to guide them in learning....
Education Database Online Blog, Apr. 5
Library delegation to Costa Rica
Consider this once-in-a-lifetime experience: a custom-designed library and information services delegation to Costa Rica in November. Former ALA President Camila A. Alire is working with People to People to promote personal visits by library professionals to their counterparts in other countries. Alire will lead the first tour to Costa Rica, November 30–December 7. Apply by September 1....
People to People, May 16
Google News searches turn up incomplete results
Robert Epstein was searching for links to add to his website when he noticed something peculiar: Although articles about one of his research topics showed up in Google’s main web search and in other search engines, Epstein could no longer find them on Google News. That made Epstein—a psychologist who has written about whether search engine results can influence elections—wonder whether Google was making his work on that topic more difficult to find....
Washington Post, May 15
The types of people I met in job interviews in May
Jacob Berg writes: “Over the past two weeks at my place of work, we interviewed five people for a part-time position in the library that is either a part-time librarian position, the adjunct, or an intern position. We brought five people in for interviews. Some had extensive library experience, and all appeared, on paper, as both trainable and interesting.” Here is how they stacked up. (Applicants, there could be some hidden advice in this summary.)...
BeerBrarian, May 20
A cabinet of gold
Martha Kennedy writes: “The new Library of Congress exhibition, ‘The Gibson Girl’s America: Drawings by Charles Dana Gibson,’ features works by a great American master of pen-and-ink drawing selected from the library’s Cabinet of American Illustration.
The story of how drawings by Gibson (1867–1944) and other illustrators became part of the cabinet presents a fascinating case history of building a collection. A special initiative launched in the 1930s, the cabinet came into being largely through the dedicated efforts of William F. Patten.”...
Library of Congress Blog, May 20
Artists in the archives
On a recent afternoon, Carla Rae Johnson riffled through an array of cards in one of the narrow wooden drawers of a card catalog at the Greenburgh Public Library in Elmsford, New York. But she wasn’t doing research, and the cards she was examining had nothing to do with books. She was inspecting her installation, the “Alternet,” a 50-drawer card catalog that she repurposed to hold more than 15,000 three-by-five-inch works of original visual art. The “Alternet” is one of three side-by-side installations that make up “Artists in the Archives: A Collection of Card Catalogs.”...
New York Times, May 18
Cornell papyrus leads to detective story
Gwen Glazer writes: “In 1889, Andrew Dickson White’s extensive travels found him in Cairo, where he purchased an 8-foot-long papyrus scroll found in an ancient tomb. A museum conservator told White it was Spell 125 from The Book of the Dead, a traditional Egyptian funeral text. White shipped it to Cornell University and no one translated the scroll after it arrived in the library’s archives—until now, when a collections assistant in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections examined it carefully.”...
Cornell Chronicle, May 17
Learning to write the alphabet
Heather Wolfe writes: “Learning to write the alphabet is one of the first stages of writing literacy. For early modern English children, this meant first learning to read the letters of the alphabet (printed in black letter) from a hornbook (right). They then learned to write the letters of the alphabet in one or both of the two main handwritten scripts, secretary and italic. For this, they relied on manuscript or printed copybooks or exemplars, usually supplemented by instruction from a writing master at a writing school, a private tutor or family member, or an usher in a grammar school.”...
The Collation, May 13
Two awesome dollhouse libraries
Tasha Brandstatter writes:
“In the 1920s, two women created dollhouses so fantastic they’ve both been described as invaluable: Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle and Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. But among the many tiny treasures in each house, the library collections are the most fascinating.”...
Book Riot, May 20
Has YouTube changed everything?
YouTube’s accessibility, ease of use, and depth of content are strong lures for music students. But do music teaching faculty and librarians encourage this, and do they use it in their own research, teaching, and work? This study surveyed over 9,000 music faculty and over 300 music librarians in the United States. It discovered that faculty and librarians do not entirely share perspectives concerning the quality of YouTube’s content, metadata, or copyright concerns....
College and Research Libraries preprint
Other ways to cut spending (satire)
Mark Saal writes: “Brad Smith may not be the most hated man in America. But the Ogden (Utah) School District superintendent is just one cost-cutting measure away from becoming the most despised person in Ogden after he fired the district’s 20 certified librarians. After some extensive thought during commercial breaks on the American Idol season finale, I’ve come up with a dozen suggestions to put the Ogden School District back in the black. Number 1: Stop heating and lighting school buildings.”...
Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, May 20
Librarians + Beastie Boys = Sabotage
This is perhaps the only music video (3:07) dedicated to the exciting lives of library security guards. It was directed by the Mike and Duane Show, who are apparently a musician/comedian duo in the Chicago area. It was filmed at the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, with some of the library staff as actors. The soundtrack is the Beastie Boys’ 1994 hit, “Sabotage.”...
Vimeo, May 16
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