|American Libraries Online
Friday night library lights
Adam Doster writes: “Fantasy sports are a $2 billion industry now, catering to 36 million North American players, a bloc that has nearly doubled since 2007. Not surprisingly, hundreds of websites have sprouted in recent years, all peddling detailed and insightful information as they try to gain a foothold in the growing market. Some are more reliable than others, and librarians are well positioned to help interested players sift through what’s available. Some library systems, like the one in the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, have gone so far as to set up the library’s own internal leagues.”...
American Libraries feature
Brave new library
Tim Inklebarger writes: “The award-winning Innovation Lab at Chicago Public Library— home to a Maker Lab featuring 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, and a milling machine—took center stage at the Library Journal Directors’ Summit conference held at the Harold Washington Library Center on November 19–20. Participants got a chance to tour the lab and other innovative tech-centric initiatives at the library. The Maker Lab has a little over a month left at the library before the temporary program ends on December 31.”...
AL: The Scoop, Nov. 22
Dispatches from the Field: Not just angels on a pin
Jason Vaughan writes: “‘Innovation’ is a broad, amorphous concept. In today’s volatile higher education environment, the day is long past where the word does not crop up—whether in library meetings, memos, coffee conversations, or annual conference themes. To gain further insight, I explored several avenues that extend the conversation and shed more light on the library community’s use of the word.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Librarian’s Library: Continuous learning
Karen Muller writes: “Funds shift, coworkers leave, a new director arrives. Such unexpected job changes may require you to learn a new skill—fast. In my experience, I feel as though I can learn nearly anything from books. Even if I need to take a class, watch a webinar, or participate in a hands-on demonstration, reading about a topic beforehand helps immeasurably. In that vein, one or more of these books may help you with your personal learning list.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.
Next AL Live: Web-scale discovery services
If you are interested in web-scale discovery services, you won’t want to miss the upcoming American Libraries Live episode, when an expert panel will discuss how they work and how you can get the most out of them. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on December 5 for this free, streaming video broadcast that you can view from your home, library, or on the go. Joining us for the 60-minute discussion will be Gwen Evans, Courtney Greene, and Edward Smith....
American Libraries, Nov. 25
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Panel discussion: TEDx in the library
Teri Skillman, Meg Omainsky, and Chrystie Hill (right) will share their success stories and strategies for conducting TEDx events that have energized and empowered community conversations in the library during a panel discussion moderated by ALA President Barbara K. Stripling. “Talk About Innovation! TEDx @ your library” will take place on January 26 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and will focus on innovative and engaging uses of TEDx in the library for community engagement....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 25
Lafourche teens create book on censorship
Six Louisiana teens are newly published authors. Knowledge Deleted__ is a graphic novel about censorship and what happens when the freedom to read for all is challenged by a few. The book was created by teens attending a three-day workshop on comic book drawing, book banning, and censorship at the Lockport branch of the Lafourche Parish Library. The book is the result of a grant from the Judith Krug Memorial Fund for Banned Books Week, in partnership with ALA and the Freedom to Read Foundation....
Houma (La.) Courier, Nov. 25
Call for international papers
The ALA International Papers and Projects Committee invites proposals for presentations to be made at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers Session scheduled for June 28. The theme will be “Ebooks and E-Readers: Leveling the Playing Field or Widening the Digital Gap?” The deadline for submitting proposals is December 20....
International Relations Office, Nov. 25
Call for international poster sessions
The ALA International Relations Round Table International Poster Sessions Committee invites you to submit poster session proposals on international themes at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Sessions will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on June 28–29. The deadline for submitting proposals is January 17....
International Relations Office, Nov. 25
Turn the pages of patriotism with ALA
Tammy Kiter writes: “Thoughts of World War I do not necessarily conjure up images of soldiers reading for leisure. We tend to recall seeing photographs of brave young men engaged in trench warfare and scenes of the horrific aftermath of brutal battles. But through the efforts of ALA, thousands of US servicemen and allied forces were given an opportunity to step away from the training camps and battlefields and into the pages of a book, magazine, or newspaper sent from the home front.”...
New-York Historical Society: From the Stacks, Aug. 28
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Featured review: Religion
Hobson, Theo. Reinventing Liberal Christianity. Sept. 2013, 304p. Eerdmans, hardcover (978-0-8028-6840-1).
Liberal Christianity has been fighting second-class status for decades, but Hobson believes it should and must be revived, because other strains of Christianity—orthodoxy, American Evangelicalism, fundamentalism—uphold neither the separation of church and state nor the liberty of conscience that, he asserts, God wills. Perhaps the most important element in reviving liberal Christianity, Hobson says, is the revival of the cultic aspect of Christianity....
Top 10 religion and spirituality books: 2013
Ilene Cooper writes: “Contentious and controversial, but also faith-affirming and humanizing—all of those qualities and more are to be found in this year’s top 10 books on religion and spirituality, originally reviewed in Booklist from November 15, 2012, through November 1, 2013.” For example, in Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Science of Belief, author Lawrence Wright “offers a fascinating look behind the curtain of an organization whose ambition and influence are often at odds with its secretive ways.”...
Novels about the JFK assassination
Ben Segedin writes: “According to Jill Abramson in the New York Times, 40,000 books about JFK have been published in the 50 years since his death.
Among those 40,000 titles are novels that use Kennedy’s assassination as a key subject. They range from the pulpy to the literary, from the ludicrous to the self-consciously artistic. To mark the 50th anniversary of that dark day, we present 50 books, arranged in chronological order. They include what-ifs, time travels, alternate theories, political thrillers, and artistic explorations.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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The Mütter Museum
America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter (at 19 South 22nd Street, a short bus ride from the convention center) displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century “cabinet museum” setting. Run by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the museum’s collection includes the shared liver of original Siamese twins Chang and Eng, pieces of Einstein’s brain, hanging skeletons (right), antique surgical tools, the Hyrtl skull collection (if you like this, you can adopt one of these skulls for $200), all sorts of bottled fetuses, and a nine-foot colon....
Mütter Museum; Wired, Nov. 22
JFK “Single Bullet” exhibit
Philadelphia University’s Paul J. Gutman Library (4201 Henry Avenue) is hosting an exhibition through April 11 that showcases US Senator Arlen Specter’s seminal role in the Warren Commission investigation of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The exhibition depicts Specter’s selection, participation, and unique contributions to the Warren Commission’s activities and final report, with special attention focused on his “single bullet theory or conclusion.” It is open to the public on weekdays....
Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy
This Philadelphia street is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited street in the US, dating back to 1702. Currently, there are 32 houses on Elfreth’s Alley, all private homes built between 1728 and 1836 except for the Elfreth’s Alley Museum at #124 and 126. The alley is a rare surviving example of 18th-century working-class housing. The site, an 18-minute walk from the convention center, stands in sharp contrast to the more frequently preserved grand mansion houses of Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood....
Wikipedia; Elfreth’s Alley Association
Movies set or filmed in Philadelphia
Dan McQuade lists Philadelphia films in this roundup, including Blow Out (“the best movie filmed in Philadelphia”), Trading Places (“the funniest movie set in Philadelphia”), and Unbreakable (with Bruce Willis as “one of the best Philadelphia heroes in any movie”). An earlier, 20-best list has a few more. Have the urge to visit Rocky locations? Here is a guide. Other Philly film locations are grouped here....
Philadelphia, May 6, 2008; Nov. 14, 2012; The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations
The rise and fall of the Philadelphia Commercial Museum
Larry Nix writes: “Unlike the ALA members who celebrated ALA’s 50th anniversary in Philadelphia in 1926, members attending the Midwinter Meeting in January will be unable to visit one of America’s most influential commercial museums and libraries. Opened in 1897 at 34th and South Streets, the Commercial Museum was once the greatest resource for international trade information in the US. It closed in 1994, a shadow of its former self. This 1919 postal card (above) acknowledges a Swiss acquisition.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Sept. 26, 2011; Nov. 27
Five best travel planning apps
Alan Henry writes: “Whether you’re hitting the road or taking to the skies, you could do with a digital companion to help you plan your itinerary, make sure your tickets and connections are all lined up, and that you have plenty of time to do everything you want (or need) to do while you’re traveling. This week, we’re looking at five of the best travel planning apps or services.”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 24
Gadgets and apps for travel
Amy Azzarito writes: “Check out these 10 favorite gadgets and apps to make your travel experience a little easier. From noise-canceling headphones (for that airplane ride) to apps that promise to give you a break from the constant barrage of email, there is sure to be something on this list that makes your travel a little merrier.”...
LifeScoop, Nov. 14
Securing medications for your trip
Diana Rodriguez writes: “If you take daily medications, it’s especially important that you stay informed about what the regulations currently are for taking prescription drugs on an airplane. Obviously, you can’t leave the gate without them. If you’re packing prescription drugs or other medications in a carry-on bag, follow some expert recommendations to get them safely through security.”...
Why people get sick on airplanes
Robert T. Gonzalez writes: “If you’re about to fly somewhere, you’re probably dreading the possibility that you’ll catch a bug along the way. And with good reason: Many people come down with something nasty in the days following an airplane flight. Why does this happen, and how can you keep yourself from getting sick?”...
io9, Nov. 26
Accumulate all your frequent flyer miles in one place
Anil Polat writes: “Scattered airline miles aren’t likely to do many flyers much good since most people tend to hop around airlines, making it tough to save up a useful amount with any one carrier. So how do you actually get all of your airline miles in one place?”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 27
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Support libraries and teen literacy
Donate to YALSA to help create a world where all teens have access to great libraries. As part of Giving Tuesday on December 3, the division’s goal is to raise $2,000 to send two YALSA members to Washington, D.C., to advocate for library services for teens. Supporting libraries and teens is easier than you think. Check out nine other ways you can help to make a difference, and watch this “Teens Need Libraries” video (2:03)....
YALSA; YouTube, Nov. 20
RUSA institute on genealogy
RUSA’s full-day professional development institute, “Genealogy Resources for Librarians,” January 24 at the Philadelphia Free Library, will address issues of importance in genealogy research. Nationally known specialists will discuss everything from free resources to future directions at the National Archives and Records Administration to webinar outreach and instruction, new online offerings, government documents, Quaker resources, and making the financial case for genealogical librarianship. Register online....
RUSA, Nov. 20
Managing multigenerational teams
Is managing your baby-boomer staff the same as managing millennials? Not always. LLAMA will present “Talking About the Generations: Communicating with and Managing Intergenerational Teams,” 1:30–3 p.m. Central time on December 11. Register online....
LLAMA, Nov. 22
Join United for Libraries and receive a free book
New United for Libraries personal members who join by February 28 will receive their choice of The Complete Library Trustee Handbook or Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends. Current personal members of ALA can join United for Libraries for $50, prorated to match current membership expiration....
United for Libraries, Nov. 25
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John Cotton Dana Award accepting online entries
ALA is now accepting submissions for the 2014 John Cotton Dana Award. The award, which is administered by LLAMA, honors outstanding library public relations. Eight $10,000 awards are granted each year by the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and the annual awards ceremony is sponsored by ALA and EBSCO Information Services. A new website has been created for entries to be submitted electronically....
EBSCO, Nov. 25
Attend the 2013 I Love My Librarian Awards ceremony
Join other librarians, library students, and advocates in New York City on December 17 to honor the 10 winners of the 2013 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. There will be a special appearance by Richard Ford (right), winner of the 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, for his work Canada. The ceremony will be at the TimesCenter, 242 West 41st Street, 6–8 p.m....
I Love Libraries
ALA recognition awards and grants
This is the last week to nominate yourself, colleagues, or your library for a 2014 ALA recognition award or grant. The deadline for most awards and grants is December 2....
Office of ALA Governance, Nov. 26
Nominations extended for the Immroth Award
The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship. The award consists of $500 and a citation. The deadline for nominations for the 2014 award has been extended to February 14....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 22
National Friends of Libraries Week Awards
The deadline to apply for the United for Libraries National Friends of Libraries Week Awards has been extended to December 31. Two awards of $250 will be given to Friends of the Library groups for activities that were held during National Friends of Libraries Week, October 20–26. Application materials are available online....
United for Libraries, Nov. 25
Innovative International Library Projects
Nominations are open for the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Citations are awarded each year by the ALA President at the International Relations Round Table’s International Librarians Reception during the ALA Annual Conference to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. The deadline for nominations is January 1....
International Relations Office, Nov. 25
Humphry Award nominations
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2014 John Ames Humphry / OCLC / Forest Press Award for International Librarianship. The award, a prize of $1,000, is given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. The deadline for nominations is January 1....
International Relations Office, Nov. 25
Bogle Pratt Travel Fund Award
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2014 Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, sponsored by the Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. An award of $1,000 is given to an ALA member to attend their first international conference. The deadline for applications is January 1....
International Relations Office, Nov. 25
Apply for a Trustee Conference Grant
United for Libraries is accepting applications for the its Gale Trustee Conference Grant. The grant of $850 plus full conference registration enables a public library trustee to attend the ALA Annual Conference for the first time. A formal presentation to the winner is made at the conference. Apply by January 15....
United for Libraries, Nov. 25
AILA/APALA Talk Story project grants
The American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association are again offering mini-grants, sponsored by Toyota Financial Services, for the Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture literacy program. Grant applications will be available beginning in December and will be due February 15....
Talk Story, Nov. 21
Health Science Librarians video contest winners
The winners for the “Health Sciences Librarians Make a Difference” video contest sponsored by Wolters Kluwer Health have been announced. All entries were judged by an expert panel comprised of clinicians, librarians, and publishers who reviewed the videos on the basis of creativity and originality, quality, and content of the message. The first prize went to the University of Missouri–Kansas City Health Sciences Library for its “Spot of Tea” video (right, 2:22)....
Wolters Kluwer Health; YouTube, Oct. 31
National Book Award winners for 2013
The winners of the National Book Awards were announced by the National Book Foundation at a gala dinner in New York City on November 20. James McBride won the fiction award for The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead), while George Packer won the nonfiction award for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar Straus Giroux). The Young People’s Literature Award went to Cynthia Kadohata for The Thing About Luck (Atheneum)....
GalleyCat, Nov. 21
Royal Society Winton Prize
Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll has won the £25,000 ($40,530 US) Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Carroll’s The Particle at the End of the Universe (Oneworld) tells the story of the hunt for the elusive Higgs Boson. Uta Frith from University College London said the book “is an exceptional example of the genre and a real rock star of a book.” Previous winners of this prize have included Stephen Hawking and Bill Bryson....
The Bookseller, Nov. 26
2013 Inky Awards
The Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria on November 27 announced the winners of the 2013 Inky Awards, Australia’s only national teen choice literary prize. The Gold Inky, awarded to an Australian author, includes $2,000 prize money and went to My Life As an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin). The Silver Inky, awarded to an international author, went to The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)....
State Library of Victoria, Nov. 27
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Libraries in the News
Twiggs library reopens with school funds
The Twiggs County Public Library in Jeffersonville, Georgia, reopened November 22, but it will need more money soon to stay open past New Year’s Day. Library officials learned that they would receive $5,000 from the Twiggs County school board to make that happen. The county’s new library was built using a $1.15 million state grant and a $600,000 insurance payment from the loss of the previous library building in a fire. It opened earlier in the month but closed November 19 during a dispute over funding....
Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, Nov. 22
I Hunt Killers challenged at Lexington high school
Parent Kassie Bennet claims that I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is too violent for teens and should be removed from the reading list and library at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky. Now the Fayette County School System is trying to decide whether the award-winning book should be accessible to students....
WLEX-TV, Lexington, Ky., Nov. 21
Eleanor and Park will remain at Anoka High School
Some parents at Anoka (Minn.) High School challenged Eleanor and Park, a YA novel by Rainbow Rowell, but a panel concluded the novel was honest and realistic, not profane. The parents of a high school freshman, partnering with the conservative Parents Action League, challenged the book’s place in school libraries, calling it “vile profanity.” They cited 227 instances of coarse language and sexuality. But this novel about first love, bullying, and poverty will remain on high school library shelves....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 22
NYPL acquires Tom Wolfe papers
Author and journalist Tom Wolfe (on the left) is about to be enshrined in one of the city’s most august institutions, thanks to the sale of his archives to the New York Public Library. The $2.15 million acquisition, largely paid for with a private donation, was approved by the library’s board on November 20. It will add significantly to its holdings not just in American literature but in the history of New York City as well, said Anthony W. Marx, NYPL president and chief executive....
New York Times, Nov. 20; New York Public Library, Nov. 21
Libraries help tornado victims recover lost items
The Washington (Ill.) District Library and Morton (Ill.) Public Library are accepting personal items found during cleanup efforts following the destructive tornado of November 17. More than 200 personal papers and about 150 photos have been recovered and await their owners at the Morton library. The Fondulac District Library in East Peoria is offering free digitization of personal photos and scrapbooks to tornado victims in order to preserve an image in case of further decay. Library services company Tech Logic has donated hundreds of flash drives to aid the process....
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, Nov. 23; Tech Logic, Nov. 21
Historic Portsmouth library reopens as a museum
When the front door of 804 South Street in Portsmouth, Virginia, first opened in the segregated world of 1945, it offered black citizens access to a library. When that door reopens December 22 as the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum, today’s generation will revisit that time and understand what it meant for the city’s black community. The library originally offered patrons some 3,000 books, 20 magazines, and three newspapers. But the building was vacated after a lawsuit filed in 1959 by two Portsmouth dentists led to the integration of the city’s main library....
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Nov. 20
Former librarian videotaped 35 years of TV news
In a storage unit somewhere in Philadelphia, 140,000 VHS tapes sit packed into four shipping containers. Most are hand-labeled with a date between 1977 and 2012. These tapes are the life work of Marion Stokes (right), a former librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia who built an archive of network, local, and cable news, in her home, one tape at a time, recording every major (and trivial) news event until the day she died in 2012 at the age of 83. The Internet Archive plans to digitize them and make them available online....
Salon, Nov. 22; Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 21, 2012
TV station donates news footage to University of North Texas
KXAS-TV in Dallas–Fort Worth announced on November 25 it was donating three decades of historical news film to the University of North Texas Libraries in Denton. Thousands of film reels from the 1950s through the 1970s will offer scholars a moving-picture history of newsworthy events. UNT will permanently preserve the film and script images in digital files through its digital preservation network as funds become available....
KXAS-TV, Fort Worth, Tex., Nov. 25
Gettysburg library gets new Lincoln statue
After five years of planning, a new statue of President Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address was placed on the stairs outside the Adams County Library in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 22. The 800-pound statue sits less than a mile from the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, near where Lincoln gave his famous address in 1863. The new bronze Lincoln is the work of Salt Lake City artist Stanley Watts....
Hanover (Pa.) Evening Sun, Nov. 25
Suspected Gonzaga book thief arrested
The Foley Center Library and Chastek Law Library at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, have seen a significant number of book thefts in recent months, but a suspect was finally arrested in Foley on November 11. The thief had followed a noticeable pattern of stealing books that could be sold for easy earnings. The suspect would sit with a stack of books and enter information into an iPad or iPhone to look up their value. Chastek Library Interim Director Patrick Charles said the number of missing books is yet to be determined, but the value is “enough to make it a felony.”...
Gonzaga Bulletin, Nov. 20
Boston’s Central Library needs repairs
Renée Loth writes: “The Johnson wing (right) of the Boston Public Library seriously needs some love. Designed by the architect Philip Johnson and opened in 1972, the monumental structure on Boylston Street has fallen in the public esteem, especially compared to the classical 1895 main library designed by Charles Follen McKim. Hulking, barren, and closed off from the street by a barricade of 97 vertical granite slabs, or plinths, the unwelcoming façade of the Johnson wing today mocks the spirit of the library’s inscribed motto, ‘Free to All.’”...
Boston Globe, Nov. 23
Worse times ahead for UK libraries
Joshua Farrington writes: “Library supporters in the UK must brace themselves for worse times ahead and work together in spite of differences, speakers at the annual Speak Up for Libraries conference said. Delegates from across the country gathered for the London conference on November 23. Laura Swaffield, chair of The Library Campaign, said that the day had painted a grim picture of the library situation around the country, but also showed the level of support that was forming in opposition to the cuts and closures.”...
The Bookseller, Nov. 25
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FTRF files amicus in Arizona ethnic studies case
The Freedom to Read Foundation on November 25 joined other library, education, and free-speech organizations in filing an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Arce v. Huppenthal, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an Arizona statute. The brief argues that the statute, which led to the disbanding of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program, violates Arizona students’ First Amendment rights to receive information and is unconstitutionally overbroad....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Nov. 26
A discouraging day in court for Georgia State
Kevin Smith writes: “The best word to describe the oral argument November 19 at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in regard to the appeal of the Georgia State University e-reserves decision is probably ‘bizarre.’ But that has to be qualified. It was bizarre in a very discouraging direction for GSU and fair use in the academy. Lawyers for both sides seemed bewildered by the direction of the questioning.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Nov. 20
Creative Commons version 4.0 is here
Diane Peters writes: “We proudly introduce our 4.0 licenses, now available for adoption worldwide. The 4.0 licenses—more than two years in the making—are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date. We have incorporated dozens of improvements that make sharing and reusing CC-licensed materials easier and more dependable than ever before.” Find out what’s new in 4.0....
Creative Commons, Nov. 25
From things to conversations
Barbara Fister writes: “I’m working on this thing about how librarians and faculty in the disciplines think differently about knowledge. One of the major differences is that librarians have a tendency to think of knowledge as made up of things and faculty in other disciplines think of people. This was brought home to me this fall in a political science methods course in which the guiding metaphor for understanding the literature of the field was ‘conversation.’”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Nov. 26
3D printing: The legal issues
There’s still a gee-whiz aspect to 3D printing, but once that fades away, it’s likely to set off something else: lawsuits. That warning comes from two law professors, Deven R. Desai and Gerard N. Magliocca, in a forthcoming paper in the Georgetown Law Journal. Just as people copy music files, it seems probable that they will do the same with objects—a tool, say, or a piece of furniture that may be covered by a patent. So what will a patent owner do to stop an infringement?...
New York Times, Nov. 23
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Throw a tablet at it
Eric Phetteplace writes: “Libraries and academic institutions have been flooded with mobile devices over the past few years.
However, there still seems to be confusion over what exactly tablets are good for. Amid all the hype, I feel like we’re throwing them at some problems without answering fundamental questions first. What problems do they solve? Why would one choose a tablet over another type of computer? In my eyes, tablets’ usefulness in the classroom centers around two things: mobility and multimedia.” Elaine Wynn weighs in on the tablet topic....
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Nov. 21; ALSC Blog, Nov. 27
The best photo and video apps
Selena Larson writes: “Certainly one of the most popular apps is Instagram. It makes taking and sharing photos and videos simple, with elegant filters you can splash on even the grainiest square-shaped images. But if you’re ready to step outside of the conventional Amaro-tinted offerings, check out some other apps that make it easy to capture, edit, and share photos and videos.”...
ReadWrite, Nov. 26
The Cicada 3301 internet crypto-puzzle
Chris Bell writes: “For the past two years, a mysterious online organization has been challenging the world’s finest code-breakers with a series of seemingly unsolvable problems. But to what end? Welcome to the world of Cicada 3301. For some, it’s just a fun game, like a more complicated Sudoku; for others, it has become an obsession. And the next set of riddles is due to appear on January 4.”....
The Telegraph (UK), Nov. 25
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Christopher Harris writes: “In the November 19 Atlantic, Megan Garber explored a nascent meme that has been gaining traction on the web. Previously just a simple conjunction, ‘because’ is evolving into a preposition as a way of concisely declaring reasoning that should be overwhelmingly obvious. In fact, this new ‘because’ web construction can greatly shorten our conversations about digital content in libraries: ‘Yes we are asking publishers to find a way to let us easily loan ebooks, because libraries.’”...
AL: E-Content blog, Nov. 26; The Atlantic, Nov. 19
Google Books, HathiTrust, and the DPLA
Naomi Eichenlaub writes: “Google Books and HathiTrust have been making headlines in the library world and beyond for years now, while a new player, the Digital Public Library of America, has only recently entered the scene. This article provides a ‘state of the environment’ update for these digital library projects, including project history and background. It also examines some challenges common to all three projects including copyright, orphan works, metadata, and quality issues.”...
Computers in Libraries 33, no. 9 (Nov.)
Ebook predictions that came true in 2013
Joanna Cabot writes: “I thought I would check in on my predictions for this year and see how I did. Did I have my finger on the pulse of the ebook world? Did any of my ebook predictions come true? Yes, on all counts! I was amazed, when looking back, just how spot-on my predictions were. Here they are again, with some remarks on how it all went down.”...
TeleRead, Dec. 12, 2012; Nov. 27
Most UK YAs prefer print books
The majority (62%) of 16–24 year-olds in the UK prefer print books to ebooks, according to a new report from Voxburner. The report included responses from 1,420 participants who were surveyed between September 25 and October 18. The main reasons that the respondents prefer print are that print books are a good value, and that readers have an emotional connection to books....
GalleyCat, Nov. 27; Voxburner, Nov. 18
Turn a book binding into an e-reader case with Sugru
Mihir Patkar writes: “This is one of the coolest projects I’ve come across. With an old leather-bound book and some Sugru (DIY miracle putty) you can make a great-looking case for your tablet or ebook reader. First, cut off the pages of your book while being careful not to damage the spine. Take the tablet out and wrap it in cellophane wrap or cling film. Stick little cylindrical Sugru bits at the marked corners and place the tablet between them.”...
Lifehacker, July 13, Nov. 23; Instructables
E-reader holiday gift guide
Juli Monroe writes: “You want to buy someone an e-reader for the holidays. Which one should you get? I’ve narrowed the choices down to just five, some of which have some good Black Friday sales going on. We’ll start with the dedicated e-readers. E Ink for many is easier on the eyes, and e-readers are less expensive than the tablet options. So what are my recommendations?”...
TeleRead, Nov. 26
Trench journals of World War I
ProQuest has launched a database that offers access to rare periodicals written and illustrated by and for servicemen and women of the armed forces during World War I. To accompany the launch of Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War, ProQuest has issued a free, downloadable graphic novel (PDF file) that describes its role in preserving these resources. Watch the video about the collection (6:10)....
ProQuest, Oct. 8; YouTube, Sept. 30
South Korea donates ebooks to Hawaii
The Republic of Korea presented a check for $45,228 to the Hawaii State Public Library System that will be used to purchase 2,100 Korean ebooks and other materials for the Korean Library Foundation, located in the library. The grant also provides for 450 paperback books, some 200 Korean-language DVDs, and office equipment and furniture....
Hawaii News Now, Honolulu, Nov. 19
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. “Hello, Librarians—it’s me, Matthew Quick.” Go one better than YouTube at Midwinter—hear Quick (Silver Linings Playbook author) live when he appears as an Auditorium Speaker (and introduces his “Girlbrarian”) on Saturday, January 25, 1–1:30 p.m.
Toute la mémoire du monde (1956, France). This documentary short directed by Alain Resnais shows the behind-the-scenes workings of the Bibliothèque Nationale and follows a new book around as it is processed, cataloged, and shelved.
Toy Story 3 (2010). The Bookworm (voiced by Richard Kind) is a green worm flashlight toy with glasses who maintains a library of instruction manuals in a closet.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). Isabel Lucas plays Alice, a Decepticon Pretender, who chases Sam (Shia LeBeouf), Leo (Ramon Rodriguez), and Mikaela (Megan Fox) into a Princeton library and destroys it, crashing through walls and knocking over bookshelves and tables. Scenes were filmed outside the Firestone Library at Princeton and at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Transylvania Twist (1989). Steve Altman as Dexter Ward must collect the fine on and retrieve The Book of Ulthar, which was loaned from the Arkham (Mass.) Public Library by the librarian, his Uncle Ephram (Jay Robinson), 20 years earlier to a man named Marinas Orlock (Howard Morris). The book has the power to unlock doorways to another dimension and is hidden somewhere in the Transylvanian castle of Lord Byron Orlock (Robert Vaughn).
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.
Outreach Services Manager, Hernando County Public Library System, Brooksville, Florida. The Hernando County Public Library System, selected as the Florida Library Association’s 2013 Library of the Year, is seeking a full-time Outreach Services Librarian. The individual selected will plan and direct the delivery of all outreach efforts through a variety of programs and projects, as well as managing our public relations and social media presence....
Digital Library of the Week
Propaganda Posters, a new digital collection at Washington State University Libraries in Pullman, shows how propaganda posters (or “weapons on the wall”) helped governments influence citizens’ public and private behavior and decisions during World Wars I and II. The collection features roughly 520 images of posters made between 1914 and 1945. Posters strengthened public support for the wars by providing “message control” about the government’s allies and enemies.
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
“It’s amazing to me that people come in with these devices like smart phones, they’ll know the book they want but they’ve never even contemplated checking the catalog. So some things never change in the profession. I think we’ve made finding things so hard that we’re always going to have a job in libraries.”
—Jan Perrier, director of the Mendham (N.J.) Borough Library, Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, Nov. 17.
International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, Bangalore, India. “Social Media and Community Networks.”
Specialized Information Publishers’ Marketing Conference, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas.
CurateGear 2014, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections.”
Bibliographic Society of America, Annual Meeting, New York City.
IFLA International Newspaper Conference, Family Search Headquarters, Salt Lake City. “Start Spreading the News.”
Digital Learning Day.
Online Northwest Conference, CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Visual Resources Association, Annual Conference, Milwaukee.
Association of Independent Information Professionals, Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor, Baltimore. “Chart Your Course in Charm City.”
Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Conference, Austin, Texas.
Symposium on Diversity in LIS Education, University of Maryland, College Park.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, The Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston. “Who’s at Stake and What’s at Stake? Looking Outward at the Future of Scholarly Publishing.”
Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference, Hilton Garden Inn at Perrysburg, Toledo, Ohio.
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A reader’s view of Catching Fire
Katie Shanahan Yu writes: “The film adaptation of Hunger Games: Catching Fire managed to earn $70.5 million on its opening day. There was hype, expectation, and excitement—so how did the filmmakers do with the novel Catching Fire? The film gets a Grade A from this Hunger Games fan, and I’m not alone. Part of what was missing from the first film is the connectedness we want to feel with Katniss. Catching Fire does a much better job than the first film in utilizing Jennifer Lawrence’s talents to give us a front row seat.”...
YALSA The Hub, Nov. 25
YA books for gamers
Carli Spina writes: “In August, the Smithsonian announced the discovery of 5,000-year-old gaming pieces, perhaps the oldest known. This month, the movie versions of Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were released, both of which take place in worlds where games and competitions are central. With games being such a universal theme across time, it is no surprise that they are also a recurring theme in literature. If you enjoy games and think it would be fun to read books that center around them, check out some of these great options.”...
YALSA The Hub, Nov. 21; Smithsonian: Smart News, Aug. 16
100 books by black women everyone must read
Kimberly N. Foster writes: “Far too often black women are excluded from the classic literary canon. But black women have consistently published evocative, thoughtful works. Our stories soar. They provoke. They inspire. The work of black women across history is expansive. Though we’ve listed 100 selections, this is still only the tip of the literary iceberg.”...
For Harriet, Feb. 4
The greatest monsters in children’s literature
Alison Nastasi writes: “Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are first roared its terrible roars on November 23, 1963. Sendak’s tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him to a land full of wild things was an early, rare portrait of the dark emotions children learn to cope with. The many monsters in children’s literature have helped young readers face their fears. We love them all, so we’ve selected 13 of the greatest monsters featured in children’s books.”...
Flavorwire, Nov. 23
Suggest a significant labor book
In honor of its centennial this year, the US Department of Labor, in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America. The Labor Department’s 100th anniversary presents an opportune time to further explore and discuss the relationship between books and work. You are invited to recommend titles to add to the list by using this online form....
US Department of Labor, Nov. 20
50 essential novels for foodies
Emily Temple writes: “’Tis the season, as they say, to stuff your face. Thanksgiving, that hallowed day of highly caloric foods and oft-tempestuous family relations, is upon us. To celebrate—or just to escape the festivities for a while—why not nourish the foodie in you with some gourmand-friendly literature? Behold, a spread worthy of kings: 50 essential works of fiction (no memoirs or travel narratives here) to whet your appetite, and then satisfy it, and then satisfy it some more.”...
Flavorwire, Nov. 25
John Schwartz writes: “We audiobook listeners have grown accustomed to the condescending smirks of friends, and even spouses, who believe real reading is something done only with the eyes and paper—or perhaps, some concede, with a Kindle or other e-reader. But it turns out that listeners are very similar to readers in their buying habits. As for me, I like to mix it up.”...
New York Times Sunday Book Review, Nov. 22
14 hotels inspired by literature
Mridu Khullar Relph writes: “They say that all fiction can be reduced to two basic plots: ‘a stranger comes to town’ and ‘a man goes on a journey,’ which suggests that travel and literature make for cozy bedfellows. Here are some of the coolest hotels inspired by writers and their works,” including the Algonquin Hotel in New York City and the Radisson Sonya Hotel (right) in St. Petersburg, Russia, where all the rooms feature details from Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment....
CNN, Nov. 21
15 forgotten items found in books
Vanessa Grall writes: “In the village of Otego, New York, there is an independent used bookshop with something very special about it. For decades, the owner of Popeks Used and Rare Books, which was passed onto Michael Popek from his father, has been collecting and cataloging the unusual and forgotten things he finds inside the pages of old books. Here are 15 of my favorites from his Forgotten Bookmarks website.”...
Messy Nessy Chic, Nov. 21
Books don’t take you anywhere (satire)
A study released Monday by the US Department of Education revealed that, contrary to the longtime claims of librarians and teachers, books do not take you anywhere.
According to the study, those who read are not transported to any place beyond the area in which the reading occurs, and even these movements are always the result of voluntary decisions made by the reader and not in any way related to the actual reading process. In various field experiments, the study found that young readers are particularly susceptible to the reading-travel myth....
The Onion, Dec. 16, 1997
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Record auction price for a printed book
The Bay Psalm Book sold at Sotheby’s New York on November 26 for a hammer price of $12.5 million, a new record price for a printed book, but well below the estimate of $15–$30 million. Total price, including buyer’s premium, will be $14,165,000. The book was bought over the phone by American businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein, who plans to lend it to libraries around the country. Only 1,700 copies of the book were printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640; a mere 11 survive now....
Associated Press, Nov. 26; New York Times Sunday Review, Nov. 23
Financial education webinar for libraries
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are developing financial education tools and sharing best practices with the public library field. On December 4, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, they will hold a free webinar on financial literacy and on how the CFPB is working to raise the profile of libraries in every community. Join online....
District Dispatch, Nov. 21
Office space: Open or closed?
Steven Bell writes: “Lately the idea of the open office, whether it’s people at cubicles, long tables, or some other sort of non-private office arrangement, is taking a beating. What are we supposed to believe about open office space? I’ve been to both libraries and other buildings that are using open office arrangements, and the impression I got is that the workers are satisfied and do believe the arrangement contributes to a more successful organization and user experience.”...
Designing Better Libraries, Nov. 25; Fast Company, Nov. 4
2014 E-Rate survival guide
Laura Devaney writes: “Uncertainty. That’s the key theme as school officials prepare to apply for the next cycle of E-Rate funding. This past year, schools requested approximately $5 billion in E-Rate funding—nearly twice the program’s capacity. Without new regulations, 47% of schools will have no E-Rate support in 2014, and by 2015, there would be no support for 71% of schools.” Download a copy of this special report (PDF file)....
eSchool News, Nov. 25
The 411 on rural libraries
Justin Grimes writes: “Public libraries play an important role in any community, but when that community is small or geographically isolated, the role they play as an essential community anchor institution comes into full view. Having grown up in Appalachia, I know firsthand the impact that public libraries can have on rural communities. But when I say rural, what does that mean?”...
UpNext, the IMLS Blog, Nov. 27
Pennsylvania libraries and the floods of 1936
Bernadette Lear writes: “If you were to ask someone to recall an environmental disaster of the 1930s, most likely he or she would mention the drought that turned much of the Midwestern plains into a Dust Bowl. However, Pennsylvania experienced quite a different catastrophe: the Great Flood of March 1936. Public libraries were among the many institutions struggling to recover from the flood. Interestingly, in doing so, they may have set important precedents in terms of state funding for Pennsylvania libraries and in best practices for reclaiming water-damaged materials.”...
In Search of Pennsylvania Library History, Nov. 24
20 tips for interpreting scientific claims
William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark A. Burgman write: “We suggest 20 concepts that should be part of the education of civil servants, politicians, policy advisers, journalists, and anyone else who may have to interact with science or scientists. What we offer is a simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers parse how evidence can contribute to a decision. Others will have slightly different lists. Our point is that a wider understanding of these 20 concepts by society would be a marked step forward.”...
Nature 503 (Nov. 21): 335–337
Geyser science for the school-age crowd
Amy Koester writes: “Explosions are almost always a hit with the school-age crowd. When my library offered a Volcano Science program last year, the excitement in the room was palpable as we erupted individual volcanoes. There’s just something about witnessing a destructive force that connects with kids. If that’s what it takes to get student library visitors interested in STEM concepts, well, hook me up with the (child-safe) explosives. Geyser Science is just the thing.”...
ALSC Blog, Nov. 30, 2012; Nov. 26
10 science information things to be thankful for
Bonnie Swoger writes: “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, a time to be thankful for just about anything. It is my favorite of all the major holidays because it involves mostly food and not a lot of stuff (gifts, decorations). Here is my list of the science information things that I am thankful for this year. Number 10 is open peer review from journals like PeerJ and F1000Research.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Nov. 27
Gmail’s latest update
Taylor Casti writes: “Gmail had a little work done lately, and it’s looking good. The latest version of the web’s favorite email client comes with a host of new features, ready to help you reach Inbox Zero. But with new updates rolling out every month or so, it’s hard to keep track of the latest tools. Just when you think you know it all, one little change can completely affect your whole experience. Here is the definitive guide to the latest updates.”...
Mashable, Nov. 27
Find local census statistics on the go
The US Census Bureau has released dwellr, a mobile app that delivers on-the-go access to key demographic, socioeconomic, and housing statistics for thousands of places across the nation. Powered by American Community Survey statistics, dwellr can pull up a list of US locations that matches users’ preferences for such variables as city size, geographic region, job type, and income. Users can also learn more about where they are by a simple tap of the screen that reveals educational levels, housing values, and commute times....
US Census Bureau, Nov. 26
The Library Shop opens in San Diego
The Library Shop, the nonprofit bookstore inside the new San Diego (Calif.) Central Library, opened its doors on September 30, the same day as the library itself. The event took place in the space directly adjacent to the main entrance of the impressively designed library. “The Friends organization has a used bookstore in the building that’s staffed by volunteers and is a fundraising operation, which is why we carry more gift items than books,” Library Shop Manager Erin Zlotnik (above) explained....
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 26
LC’s amazing comics collection
David Dissanayake writes: “In retrospect, it should have been obvious that the Library of Congress would have one of the greatest comics collections in the world, but for some reason I never thought of comics when I thought of the library. Well, it has a collection of more than 11,000 titles and more than 130,000 single issues, not including the thousands of graphic novels and collected editions stored in a separate division from the single-issue comics. And it grows by roughly 2,500 new comics a year.”...
Bleeding Cool, Nov. 21
Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club contest
It is that time again for kids 7–14 to get those creative juices flowing and start thinking about new business ideas for the Warren Buffett Secret Millionaires Club “Grow Your Own Business Challenge.” Kids are invited to create a new business idea. One Grand Prize individual and members of one Grand Prize team will each be awarded $5,000 and present their winning ideas to Warren Buffett in Omaha. Enter by January 15....
Secret Millionaires Club
Once again, why RDA?
Salman Haider writes: “Let’s first encounter head-on the questions from those who ask: ‘Why don’t we just amend AACR2 again, like we used to?’ To address such questions, we need to examine the current cataloging environment and how it continues to evolve, and perceive how Resource Description and Access (RDA) is an improvement over AACR2 as a tool for that environment.”...
Resource Description and Access, Nov. 24
Adding musical scores to Wikimedia
Matthew Roth writes: “Sound and musical content have long trailed behind other subjects on Wikipedia, but that is beginning to change with a new musical scores extension for MediaWiki, the software running Wikipedia and thousands of other wikis. The Score extension was added to a MediaWiki deployment earlier in 2013 and allows users to render musical scores as PNG images and transform them into audio and MIDI files.”...
Wikimedia Blog, Nov. 27
Install Wikipedia to your desktop in just 30 hours
An open source application automates the process of downloading and displaying all of Wikipedia on your desktop, a large task that takes more than a day to complete. Dubbed Xowa, the software displays an offline copy of 4.4 million Wikipedia articles with full HTML formatting intact. You can even set up additional wikis, like Wiktionary or Wikiquote, and navigate between them while offline....
Ars Technica, Nov. 26
Matthew MacArthur writes: “Have you ever wished that you could go behind the scenes here at the National Museum of American History and explore our vast collection of objects? Thanks to our new YouTube series, now you can. We’re excited to share a new series of short videos that we call ‘Founding Fragments.’ Each episode dives into our backroom storage cabinets and drawers to find an interesting object that illuminates a small piece of the American story.”...
O Say Can You See?, Nov. 26
The first-ever selfie, 1839
The editors of the Oxford English Dictionaries recently selected “selfie” as the 2013 Word of the Year. The word is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” But the practice is not new. In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie.” The image (right) was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius....
The Public Domain Review, Nov. 19; CNET: Crave, Nov. 18
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