|American Libraries Online
Melding minds to make a library
Peter Gisolfi writes: “Architects build for practical purposes. Ideally, they build in a specific setting for the people in that setting. Successful design comes from understanding the objectives of the building’s owners, and collaborating with them to create a facility that reflects its objectives. The best libraries are designed using such an approach. It’s a process that requires listening to every voice with a stake in the outcome and establishing a clear set of goals and paths to meet them.”...
American Libraries feature
Another Story: The toxic middle
Joseph Janes writes: “I couldn’t help being struck by the number of young faces everywhere at the ALA Annual Conference this year; it’s heartwarming and reassuring to witness new librarians making their way in the profession. If only our profession would authentically and wholeheartedly embrace the ideas and enthusiasm of our new colleagues. If only our leaders could engage those ideas and use them to effect change. If only. I don’t know if I just coined the phrase ‘toxic middle’ for a layer of people—often of my generation—who act like wet blankets all the time.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Youth Matters: Sponsored by your library
Abby Johnson writes: “Many corporations want to surround children with advertising, creating brand loyalty and imprinting on their psyches that buying things will make them happy. A movie or TV show is no longer simply a story but a platform from which to launch an entire line of toys, games, books, and (often unhealthy) foods plastered with character images. Should we include these branded characters in our libraries?”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
How European librarians engage their users
Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on October 10 for a 60-minute discussion on “European Libraries: A View from Friends across the Pond,” when we’ll be joined by Hans van Velzen from the Amsterdam Public Library, Paola Manoni from the Vatican Library, Frédérique Manning from the City of Paris Library Network, and Eric Conderaerts from Infor. This episode of American Libraries Live explores the ways libraries can engage visitors and drive the continued relevance of the library as a cultural institution....
American Libraries, Oct. 4
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ALA to establish a Center for the Future of Libraries
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded ALA a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant in the amount of $50,000 to establish a Center for the Future of Libraries. Its goal is to provide library planners and community leaders with information resources and tools that will help them better understand the trends reshaping their libraries and communities and help them incorporate foresight into their planning processes....
AL: The Scoop, Oct. 8
Declaration for the Right to Libraries now fully accessible
The Declaration for the Right to Libraries found on the I Love Libraries website is now fully accessible. Visually impaired persons with a screen reader will be able to both read and sign the declaration through a text-only pop-up....
I Love Libraries
Fiore, Williams named cochairs of planned giving campaign
Carole D. Fiore and J. Linda Williams have been named 2013–2014 cochairs of ALA’s 15x15 planned-giving campaign. The goal of the 16-month-old campaign is to raise $15 million in planned gifts to ALA by 2015. As of September 30, 44 individuals (including Fiore, her husband Stan, and Williams) have been recognized as ALA Legacy Society members. Read more about making a gift and watch the video (8:30)....
Development Office, Oct. 8; YouTube, June 21
Get free tips on fostering civic engagement
The Public Programs Office will hold a free, one-hour webinar on November 5 that will present books, videos, and other guides to help librarians bring their communities together to talk in productive, civil, and interesting ways. The fifth in a civic engagement series, the webinar will be led by Patty Dineen from the National Issues Forum Institute and Carolyn Caywood and Nancy Kranich of ALA’s Center for Civic Life. Registration is open....
Public Programs Office, Oct. 8
IRRT at Library 2.013 Conference
The International Relations Round Table will be presenting on the topic “Internationalizing Your Library” at the online Library 2.013 conference on October 18. Beneficial for all librarians wanting to add more international aspects to their libraries, this presentation will walk participants through the IRRT website, highlighting IRRT tools and resources for helping in this process. Librarians wishing to view it must register at the Library 2.013 conference website....
International Relations Office, Oct. 8
Medical Library Association heart-disease resource guide
Featuring nearly 1,000 annotated entries, The Medical Library Association Guide to Finding Out about Heart Disease organizes and offers evaluated print and online resources to help readers develop a collection of research-specific medical options, incorporating data on risk factors and symptoms of heart disease. Authors Jeanette de Richemond and Terry Paula Hoffman annotate each resource to provide essential information needed to determine if that resource is the right one to answer a given question....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Oct. 8
Going beyond Google again
Jane Devine and Francine Egger-Sider demonstrate why teaching the Invisible Web should be a requirement for information literacy education in the 21st century. in Going Beyond Google Again: Strategies for Using and Teaching the Invisible Web, the authors expand on the teaching foundation provided in their first book and persuasively argue that the Invisible Web is still relevant not only to student research but also to everyday life. Intended for anyone who conducts online research, the book offers an assortment of tools, both public and proprietary, for trawling the Invisible Web....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Oct. 3
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Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Kawash, Samira. Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Oct. 2013. 416p. Illustrated. Faber and Faber, hardcover (978-0-86547-756-6).
For a small, seemingly innocuous treat, candy has a turbulent history and much-maligned reputation. With gusto, Kawash traces the effects of scientific, business, military, cultural, and domestic developments on candy: from the pervasive (and unfounded) perception of candy as a poisonous threat more than a century ago to its use as a military staple in the world wars and the truth about supposedly tainted Halloween treats. Advertisements and newspaper clippings showcase some amusing and jaw-dropping misconceptions....
Top 10 food books: 2013
Brad Hooper writes: “A spotlight on food is as necessary and inevitable as the sunrise. And the following books, all reviewed in Booklist between October 15, 2012, and October 1, 2013, show how devoted we are to good reading about food.” For instance, in Jerusalem, authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi “have compiled a luscious, photographic collection of 120 recipes with origins encompassing various religions, countries, and, occasionally, continents, with the history of Jerusalem and the foods found there sprinkled throughout the text.”...
Lift-alikes: Books that work your biceps
Sarah Hunter writes: “Sure, ebooks are convenient. But there’s one place where print books will never, ever be beaten: their ability to Pump. You. Up. Booklist regularly gets some heavyweights in the mail, and a few trips back and forth between book truck and circ counter with these babies are sure to leave you feeling toned and fit. And maybe a little sweaty. Bonus points for lifting them to the top shelf (my triceps ache just thinking about it).” Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection (right) weighs in at 19 ½ pounds of “classic and contemporary tales reprinted in full color and on glossy (read: heavy) paper.”...
Likely Stories, Oct. 7
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Top hotels and B&Bs
Some of the best rates during the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia are at the conference hotels. But if you want to arrive early or stay a bit late, here are some other options. Alex Schechter writes: “From cozy B&Bs and small hotels brimming with history, to deluxe establishments and trendy, escapist nooks, the city has a spot to suit every weary traveler.”...
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 30
The City of Brotherly Love
Philadelphia was founded by the English Quaker William Penn (right) in 1682 as the capital of his Province of Pennsylvania (Penn’s Woods). The word is a Greek compound of philos (φίλος) “loving,” and adelphos (αδελφός) “brother,” hence its nickname, the City of Brotherly Love. However, Penn never stated why he gave it this name. Some speculate it was meant as a place of religious tolerance, but Sydney Fisher writes, “It was the name of an ancient city in Asia Minor where one of the seven churches of the primitive Christians was established; and as the Quakers were attempting to return to primitive Christianity, this would be a strong reason for giving it this name.”...
Wikipedia; Sydney George Fisher, The True William Penn (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1900), p. 213
Pennsylvania Convention Center
The venue for the 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits is the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the heart of Center City Philadelphia at 1101 Arch Street. The convention center, which opened in 1993, consists of four main halls or rooms, smaller meeting rooms and auditoriums, and the Grand Hall, which occupies much of the trainshed of the former Reading Railroad terminal. A $700 million expansion, completed in March 2011, brought the amount of convention space to approximately one million square feet....
Pennsylvania Convention Center; Wikipedia
The Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street, is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America’s oldest cultural institution. It recently acquired the extensive Joe Freedman Collection of Philadelphia Ephemera....
Library Company of Philadelphia; Fine Books & Collections, Oct. 1
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Schools and Staffing Survey
AASL has released an executive summary of the 2011–2012 National Center for Education Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey (PDF file). Prepared by AASL’s Research and Statistics Committee with a data analysis by Sue Kimmel, the summary highlights findings relevant to the school library profession and areas inviting further study. The full report will be available online at NCES after the government shutdown has ended....
AASL, Oct. 8
ACRL has published Designing Training by Melanie Hawks, the fifth entry in its Active Guides series. Focusing on the needs of the adult learner, Designing Training will help librarians and library staff plan training sessions for takeaway value, learner engagement, and learning transfer. Hawks provides examples and exercises that demonstrate how to design highly effective learning events from the ground up....
ACRL, Oct. 3
Mary Jane Petrowski writes: “Launched in the summer of 2010, ACRL Metrics is an online subscription service developed by Counting Opinions in partnership with ACRL to provide comprehensive access to the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey data as well as the biennial National Center for Education Statistics Academic Library Survey data. ACRL Metrics was developed to help academic libraries demonstrate value, create evidence for support, track trends over time, demonstrate productivity, and conduct peer-group comparisons.”...
ACRL Value of Academic Libraries, Oct. 7
Advance AASL registration rates end October 17
AASL encourages members planning to register for its 16th National Conference and Exhibition to do so before the October 17 advance registration deadline. On October 18, registration rates will be raised $50. The conference, themed “Rising to the Challenge,” will be held November 14–17 in Hartford, Connecticut....
AASL, Oct. 7
Access to federally funded research
“Here There Be Dragons: Public Access to Federally Funded Research,” an ALCTS Midwinter Symposium on January 24, offers an opportunity to explore the complex issues surrounding the collection, organization, delivery, and preservation of federally funded research. Registration is through the ALA Midwinter registration form....
ALCTS, Oct. 8
Successful project management skills
LLAMA will present “Project Management: A Skill Set Every Leader Needs” on November 6. This 90-minute webinar will explain the concepts of project management and demonstrate how they have been used for the successful implementation of specific library projects. The presenters are Chestalene Pintozzi and Kevin Barclay. Register online....
LLAMA, Oct. 7
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2013 Sara Jaffarian Award
The Meadowbrook School Library in Weston, Massachusetts, has received the 2013 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The library will receive a plaque recognizing the achievement, a cash award of $4,000, and promotion of the winning program as a model for other school libraries through Programming Librarian. The winning program, “Transforming Tales,” uses fairy tales from around the world to serve as a creative introduction to global studies for the school’s third-grade students....
Public Programs Office, Oct. 4
Applications open for 2014 Bookapalooza
ALSC is now accepting applications for the 2014 Bookapalooza Program, which offers select libraries a collection of materials to be used in a way that creatively enhances their library’s service to children and families. The materials are primarily for children age birth through 14 and include newly published books, videos, audiobooks, and recordings from children’s trade publishers. The application deadline is February 1....
ALSC, Oct. 8
Library halls of fame
Larry Nix writes: “There are halls of fame to recognize human accomplishment in every conceivable endeavor. There are even a few library halls of fame. Two state library halls of fame have recently announced inductees for 2013. The California Library Hall of Fame will be inducting nine individuals at the California Library Association meeting on November 3, and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will be inducting four individuals at the Wisconsin Library Association meeting on October 23.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Oct. 9
ARL awarded grants for strategic thinking and design
The Association of Research Libraries has been awarded two grants, from IMLS and the Mellon Foundation, to support a strategic thinking and design process in 2013–2014. This strategic process will frame the critical work of the association and define the role ARL plays in higher education and research to maximize its ability to be agile and responsive to rapidly changing priorities and member institution needs....
Association of Research Libraries, Oct. 4
EBSCO wins Learning in Practice Award
EBSCO Information Services received a prestigious Learning in Practice Award from Chief Learning Officer magazine. The company was awarded the Bronze Excellence in Content Award for its accomplishments in creating superior learning content. This is the second year in a row that EBSCO has received this recognition....
EBSCO, Oct. 8
2013 Chinese Nebula Awards
The winner of the Best Novel category in China’s 2013 Xingyun (Nebula) Awards is a book that paints a pessimistic, dark view of a corrupt near-future China. The Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan takes place in the 2020s, and depicts a dystopian future China. Workers in an “economic zone” in Guangdong Province are turned into cyborgs, whose minds and bodies have been altered to make them the perfect manufacturing workers....
io9, Oct. 7
2013 Ohioana Award winners
The Ohioana Library in Columbus has named the winners of its 2013 Ohioana Awards, which recognize the written work of Ohio’s writers, artists, and musicians. The winners will be recognized at an awards presentation in the Ohio Statehouse on October 11. The winner in the fiction category is Robert Olmstead for The Coldest Night (Algonquin), and the winner in nonfiction is Julie Zickefoose for The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)....
2013 Forward Prizes for Poetry
The winner of the 2013 Forward Prize for the best poetry collection is Michael Symmons Roberts for Drysalter (Jonathan Cape). The Forward Prizes are the major awards for poetry in the UK and Ireland, and are unique in honoring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. The Felix Dennis prize for Best First Collection was awarded to Emily Berry for Dear Boy (Faber and Faber). The announcement was made at a public poetry event in London on October 1....
Forward Arts Foundation, Oct. 1
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Libraries in the News
SUNY Canton librarian wins, loses on Jeopardy!
Cori Wilhelm (right), assistant director of library services at the State University of New York at Canton, won a total of $18,001 along with the impressive title of Jeopardy! champion on the episode that aired October 4. She correctly answered “What is Indonesia?” to the Final Jeopardy statement, “By population, it’s the largest country in the world without nuclear weapons.” But on the October 7 program, her answer on Nerf products was only “half right,” and she walked away in third place with only $1,000....
Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times, Oct. 5; Potsdam (N.Y.) North Country Now, Oct. 7
NYPL to create program for at-risk youth
The Helen Gurley Brown Trust has given $15 million to the New York Public Library to establish NYPL BridgeUp, an innovative educational and antipoverty program that will provide academic and social support to New York City youth. The effort, which aims to support at-risk youth and prepare them for success, will be based at the NYPL branches. The five-year program will offer services to more than 250 New York City 8th graders each year at five locations in underserved neighborhoods in the Bronx and Manhattan....
Hearst Corporation, Sept. 26
Colorado libraries assess the damage
Ian Chant writes: “In September, Colorado was inundated by rains that caused unprecedented flooding throughout the state, damaging or destroying more than 19,000 homes and claiming eight lives. Weeks later, recovery crews are still trying to return the state to a sense of normalcy, as libraries try to provide needed services to residents while also working to restore damage to some of their own facilities.”...
Library Journal, Oct. 8
Director on paid leave after library card foul-up
New Bedford (Mass.) Public Library Director Stephen Fulchino was placed on administrative leave October 3, one week after officials took another library employee off the job following reports that dead men’s library cards were used to check out nearly 200 books years after their deaths. Mayor Jon Mitchell declined to confirm the second employee’s identity, saying it was a personnel matter....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Oct. 4
Maryland receives AFL-CIO archive
The University of Maryland has received a gift from the AFL-CIO of its historical archive—an extensive collection of documents, photographs, books, and audio and visual recordings pertaining to this federation of labor unions based in Washington, D.C. The collection is the largest such donation to the university and a boon to scholars of labor studies. The AFL-CIO will also fund a position to support the collection....
UMD Right Now, Oct. 1
Michigan acquires John Sayles archive
Perhaps more than any modern filmmaker, John Sayles personifies American individualism. Thanks to a gift to the University of Michigan Library announced October 8, documents, images, and props illuminating Sayles’s vast body of work will be made available to researchers in the John Sayles Archive at the Special Collections Library. Watch the video (2:43)....
University of Michigan News Service, Oct. 8; YouTube, Oct. 7
Ned Kelly letter donated to State Library of Victoria
After 133 years, a letter containing an eyewitness account of the dramatic capture of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly during the 1880 siege at Glenrowan has been donated to the State Library of Victoria by the descendants of its author—Scotsman Donald Gray Sutherland. The letter addressed to Sutherland’s family on July 8, 1880, proclaims “the Kellys are annihilated. The gang is completely destroyed.” It continues describing Kelly’s famous armor and the gunshot wounds that finally brought him down....
State Library of Victoria, Oct. 9
Topeka’s revamped Kids Library
A two-year project in the making, the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library will present its newly updated Kids Library on October 12. The overall goal was to expose children to environments in their world—from prehistoric dinosaurs to underwater creatures and heroes battling dragons to rescue the princess. Everything about the revamped 8,200-square-foot space is designed to get kids excited about reading and learning. Watch the video (1:07)...
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Oct. 7
Chicago to expand YOUmedia Digital Skills learning program
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held the first of three budget roundtables on October 3 to discuss the 2014 budget and announced a new $500,000 investment that will allow the Chicago Public Library to increase the number of teens that receive training in web design, digital media production, and programming from the nationally recognized YOUmedia program by 25%. Starting next summer, CPL will offer regular digital skill development programs at six new library locations....
Office of the Mayor of Chicago, Oct. 3
Jackson County libraries closer to tax proposal
A proposed special district to fund libraries in Jackson County, Oregon, would generate an estimated $9 million a year, enough to eliminate the need for county general fund support and bring library hours back to pre-shutdown levels. Proponents are seeking support for a ballot measure in May 2014. The funding would bolster operating hours to the same level they were before all branches were shut down for six months in 2007....
Ashland (Oreg.) Daily Tidings, Oct. 4
Windsor abandons its no-fines policy
Late fees will return to the Windsor (Ont.) Public Library, following the release of a report October 4 that says a 21-month no-fine experiment was an abject failure. The pilot project was approved two years ago at the urging of former Library CEO Barry Holmes, who wanted Windsor to become the first large urban library in Ontario to not charge fines for overdue materials. The library has lost about $200,000 in fines it would otherwise have collected since the pilot started January 1, 2012....
Windsor (Ont.) Star, Oct. 4
Thousands join libraries in response to proposed cuts
In June, the Lincolnshire County Council in the UK announced it would close 32 of its 47 public libraries in an attempt to save £2 million ($3.2 million US) from its budget. Since then, 5,294 new members have joined county libraries in July and August. But despite the new members, the county council insists library usage is still falling....
Lincolnshire Echo (Lincoln, UK), Oct. 7
Eight Greek universities suspend operations
For the first time in its peacetime history, the gates of the University of Athens remain closed. The institution recently declared its inability to continue operating as a result of government austerity policies that have led to “the subversion and marginalization of higher education.” At least seven other major Greek universities and their libraries have also closed in protest of the government’s order to reduce their administrative staffs by nearly 50%—including librarians, secretaries, and technicians....
University World News, Oct. 5
Israel’s National Library to digitize rare collection (in Italian)
The National Library of Israel has signed an agreement with the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma, Italy, to digitize and display online some 1,600 Hebrew manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. More than 1,400 of them come from the private collection of biblical scholar Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi (1742–1831), a Catholic priest and scriptural scholar. Among them is one of the oldest copies of the Mishnah, a collection of oral traditions, dating from the 11th century....
La Repubblica (Parma), Oct. 4
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HealthCare.gov hits reset on passwords
Sean Gallagher writes: “Amid all the online activity in light of the Affordable Care Act, potential registrants talking to phone support for HealthCare.gov on October 8 were told that all user passwords were being reset to help address the site’s login woes. Individuals whose logins never made it to the site’s database will have to re-register using a different username, as their previously chosen names are now stuck in authentication limbo.”...
Ars Technica, Oct. 8
The Federal Communications Commission is now considering proposals to revamp the e-rate program, the funding source libraries and schools use to obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. Libraries, schools, telecommunication firms, nonprofits, and teachers have submitted their own proposals to the FCC on the best ways to modernize the program. In early October, several of those groups met at the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition in Washington, D.C., to discuss proposed reforms....
District Dispatch, Oct. 5
A clear choice on privacy
Jake Laperruque writes: “Members of Congress may soon face a stark choice: To endorse legislation that would permit a secretive military intelligence agency to collect a record of all phone calls made to, from, or within the US, or endorse a competing proposal that would outlaw it. The bills are being introduced in response to the NSA’s ongoing collection of telephony metadata of all Americans and its collection of the contents of internet communications under the PRISM program, which operates under Section 702 of FISA.”...
Center for Democracy and Technology, Oct. 8
Your browsing habits expose your privacy preferences
Dan Tynan writes: “There are actually five kinds of people on the internet, according to a new survey (PDF file) commissioned by MasterCard. The credit issuer collected responses to more than 50 questions from 9,029 internet users in nine countries. According to the survey, these habitual internet users fall into one of five kinds of ‘social citizen,’ split almost equally within the population.”...
PC World, Oct. 6
A world map of internet freedom
Eric Limer writes: “Here in the US, it’s easy to slip into the comfortable idea that the internet is unrestricted, a home for free speech and exploration, whether it’s meaningful and important, or dumb hashtags. It’s not that way everywhere though, and Freedom House has mapped out the current state of affairs across the globe in its Freedom on the Net 2013 report (PDF file). The United States has taken a hit thanks to the NSA, but still gets to remain classified as free.”...
Gizmodo, Oct. 5
Youth are not necessarily digital natives
Eric Pfanner writes: “Everyone knows young people these days are born with smartphones in hand and will stay glued to the internet from that time onward. Right? Well, not quite. Actually, fewer than one-third of young people around the world are digital natives, according to a report by the Georgia Institute of Technology and International Telecommunication Union published October 7 and billed as the first comprehensive global look at the phenomenon.”...
New York Times: Bits, Oct. 8; Georgia Tech News Center, Oct. 7
LSE study: Strict copyright enforcement is anti-creative
The Department of Media and Communications at the UK’s prestigious London School of Economics has just released a policy brief titled “Copyright and Creation: A Case for Promoting Inclusive Online Sharing,” which suggests that policymakers and Big Media are gaining little from their efforts to enforce heavy and restrictive copyright rules. Online piracy, in fact, could bring more benefit than harm to the creative sector.”...
TeleRead, Oct. 8
Everybody’s a curator
Christopher Borrelli writes: “You have a Netflix queue, which you maintain, nurture, cull, and arrange just so. Therefore you curate movies. True? False? Doesn’t pass the smell test? Or is there room for argument? This is a story about the slipperiness and relevance of a word: ‘curate.’ What curating means now. But mostly it’s about why curation—until recently, a job rarely claimed outside the marble halls of museums—has become an ubiquitous, quintessentially 21st-century act.”...
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 4
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Best iPad comic-book readers
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “Digital comics represent 10%–12% of all comic book purchases—a number that’s expected to rise by the end of 2013. Some digital comic book readers feature integrated stores. Others are stand-alone readers that let you enjoy DRM-free comic files. A few more are publisher-exclusive apps for fans of a particular comic book house. In short, there are numerous ways to read comics on an iPad. Here is a sampling.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 8
TabletRocket compares specs and benchmarks
Alan Henry writes: “If you’re in the market for a new tablet, you have a lot of information to sift through. Benchmarks, specs, software versions, supported apps—there’s a ton of data. TabletRocket makes it a little easier by putting any two tablets side-by-side so you can compare them directly. Just start typing in the name of the tablet you are interested in, and a drop-down menu will pre-populate with suggestions for you.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 8
Six Android keyboard apps
Florence Ion writes: “Android’s open source nature makes it one of the only mobile operating systems that allows its users to swap out the default keyboard—and why not? If you can choose the keyboard for your desktop computer, then surely you should be allowed to do so on your mobile phone. There are a plethora of keyboard applications available in the Google Play store, but here’s a small helping of some of the ones that are worth a download.”...
TechHive, Oct. 9
Take an auto-guided Google Street View tour
Tina Sieber writes: “Google Maps is a nifty navigation tool and all the information embedded in the maps make it a great travel guide, too. Now you can even set Street View on auto-pilot and let it take you on the world’s most scenic drives. Here are five tools that make this possible.”...
MakeUseOf, Jan. 11, Sept. 26, Oct. 9
Quick directions in Google Maps
Phil Bradley writes: “Need to know how to get from point A to point B and you don’t want to faff around with Google Maps? Now you don’t have to. In the normal search box, just type in Place A to Place B and Google will pull up a directions card for you, and you can then click on that to expand the driving directions, or click on the map to go to the usual map directions.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Oct. 7
Skype tips for power users
Chris Hoffman writes: “Now that Skype has been merged with Windows Live Messenger, it’s more popular than ever. There’s no way to use Skype with a third-party client, but Skype does offer hidden features that can make it more powerful. Here are a few useful Skype tricks, offering ways to sign into multiple Skype accounts, use IRC-style chat commands, record Skype calls, and even disable some of Skype’s built-in advertising.”...
How-To Geek, Oct. 8
New Windows Update Cleanup
Melanie Pinola writes: “Microsoft has released a Windows 7 update that adds a new option in the Disk Cleanup tool called Windows Update Cleanup. With it, you can free up several gigabytes of hard drive space from the bloated Windows Updates folder. Released October 8 for Windows 7 SP1 machines, KB 2852386 adds the ability to clean up all the obsolete updates in the WinSxS folder.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 9
Seven questions to ask a computer technician
Ryan Dube writes: “These days, finding a high-quality computer repair person is rather easy. In fact, many people know a self-described computer expert who is more than capable of doing computer repairs and doing them well. However, what separates these experts from the ones you actually want working on your computer are three important things: experience, support, and documentation. If you know the right questions to ask, you can easily weed out the fly-by-night computer repair folks.”...
MakeUseOf, Oct. 8
The top 100 gadgets of the past 100 years
Does it make you feel old to know that Dyson’s dustbag-free vacuum is 20 this year? Or that the much-loved Sony Walkman and the world’s first ever laptop, the Epson HX-30, are both over 30 years old? These are just a few of the gadgets that have made it onto the 100 gadgets of the past century that we can’t live without, with technologies ranging from the humble zip to the Playstation 4....
The Daily Mail (UK), Oct. 8
Death in the digital age
Joe Miller writes: “In the two years since the Eric Rash case, which led to the drafting of a US federal law concerning the data of minors, few countries have issued clear guidance on the rights of families to access their deceased loved ones’ data. And despite the fact that we put more of our lives in the cloud than ever before, few of us are preparing for our digital afterlife. As a result, it is more difficult to bequeath your iTunes library to a loved one than it is to leave your CD collection to them in a shoebox.”...
BBC News, Oct. 8
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The wind at our backs
Alan S. Inouye writes: “I just returned from New York City as part of an ALA delegation that discussed libraries and ebooks with publishers and related organizations. We arrived with the knowledge that all of the largest publishers now deal with libraries in some way. While the progress is gratifying, there remains a long road ahead. Nevertheless, we came with a little breeze at our backs, and we felt the wind grow a bit stronger during our visit.” Read Jeremy Greenfield’s report on the delegation in Forbes....
AL: E-Content, Oct. 4; Forbes, Oct. 3
Science magazine’s open access sting
Heather Joseph writes: “Science magazine published ‘Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?’ October 4, which reported on a sting designed to expose the flaws in open access journals. The author, self-proclaimed ‘gonzo’ scientist John Bohannon, recounts how he submitted a deliberately flawed scientific paper under a pseudonym to 304 open access journals over 10 months. Over half of the journals accepted the paper. While shining a light on an issue of deep concern to academe, it’s important to try and unpack just what Bohannon’s study did—and didn’t—investigate.” Phil Davis cautions not to dismiss the study altogether....
SPARC Advocacy, Oct. 4; Science, Oct. 4; The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct. 4
Apple appeals price-fixing verdict
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “Apple has filed an appeal against federal judge Denise Cote’s verdict in the ebook pricing case. The company seeks to overturn her July verdict that it conspired with publishers to fix ebook prices, as well as the September 6 injunction that prohibits it from including most-favored-nation clauses in its ebook contracts for five years and requires it to be monitored by a court-appointed external monitor. The notice of the appeal (PDF file) was filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on October 3.” Evan Hughes offers some insight on the ebook publishers’ strategy in general....
GigaOM, Sept. 6, Oct. 4; paidContent, July 10; New Republic, Oct. 8
DCL ebook report for October
Christopher Harris writes: “The October 2013 Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Report on ebook pricing for libraries (PDF file) suggests that things may be looking up for libraries. Of the top 25 ebook bestsellers from Digital Book World, only six are not available for libraries as ebooks. Two of the six are self-published books of an adult nature. Pricing has also become more predictable in the past few months.”...
AL: E-Content, Oct. 8
The changing landscape of ebooks
Ebooks and the School Library Program: A Practical Guide for the School Librarian provides school librarians with a roadmap to help navigate the vast and intricate world of ebooks. Written by AASL members Cathy Leverkus and Shannon Acedo, the book familiarizes school librarians with available ebook devices and helps facilitate decision making about ebook collections. The publication is available in both print and ebook formats, as well as a print/ebook bundle....
AASL, Oct. 8
How to discuss ebooks with patrons
ALA TechSource will host a two-part workshop, “How to Discuss Ebooks with Patrons,” with Phil Spirito on December 5 and 12. In the first session, Spirito will cover tips and tricks for improving your technical know-how, and in session two he will focus on several different aspects of ebooks and how they function on different devices and platforms. Registration for this ALA TechSource Workshop is available on the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Oct. 8
Ebooks are changing reading habits
A poll conducted for USA Today and Bookish, a book-referral website, finds that 40% of adults (including 46% of those ages 18–39) own an e-reader or a tablet. That’s more than double the numbers less than two years ago. According to the poll, 35% of those with reading devices say they are reading more books since they got their devices....
USA Today, Oct. 7
Paul St. John Mackintosh writes:
“As highlighted by reports on GigaOM and Good E-Reader, two different teams are taking different approaches to the potential for e-paper e-readers that never need to be charged at all. Both work on the principle that e-paper displays consume practically no power, and the amount of current needed to change pages or load new books is so small that it could realistically be provided simply by a reader’s gestures.”...
TeleRead, Oct. 9; GigaOM, Oct. 7; Good E-Reader, Sept. 14
The ebook copyright page is broken
Eric Hellman writes: “In a printed book, the copyright page serves a number of purposes. Mostly, it presents metadata about the book. This essay will focus on the copyright statement, but it is hard to pass by the somewhat comical observation that digital books being published and sold today kowtow to the requirements of metal type. The traditional copyright statement is thoroughly and fundamentally broken. Consider the simplest possible case of a single copyright holder.”...
New York Law School Law Review, Apr. 24
App Annie releases ebook analytics tools
Jason Boog writes: “App Store intelligence company App Annie has created a new set of tools for ebook authors, helping writers analyze their sales and monitor trends in different ebook marketplaces. The analytics tools will help authors track and compare sales. The dashboard measures ‘revenues, downloads, ratings, reviews, and rankings’ in both the Apple iBookstore and the Amazon Kindle Store, along with downloadable reports.”...
GalleyCat, Oct. 8
Everywhere Library offers free ebooks to Ugandans
A South African–based telecommunications company, the MTN Group, is attempting to improve literacy by providing downloadable books to any citizen of Uganda who owns a mobile phone. The telecom partnered with the ad agency MetropolitanRepublic Group in a campaign called “The Everywhere Library” to give out ebooks using newspaper ads and simple cellphones. The campaign ran for four weeks, adding a new collection of titles each week to provide the public with free literature....
PSFK, Oct. 3
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Ishmael Beah—human rights advocate with a focus on how war affects children, and bestselling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier—will inspire and move you at the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture.
Employing students is different from filling a professional position with an experienced worker; often their library employment will be their first job experience. Since many student positions make them the public face of the library, effective mentoring of such student employees is vital. In Mentoring and Managing Students in an Academic Library, Michelle Reale explores the challenges and opportunities involved in recruitment. NEW! From ALA Editions.
The Ultimate Gift (2006). Spoiled kid Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller), in order to claim an inheritance after the death of his billionaire grandfather (James Garner as Howard “Red” Stevens), must complete a series of tasks designed to teach him the value of money. One is to work for a month in a nearly bookless rural library (Stevens Biblioteca) that his grandfather established in Ecuador. Rose Bianco plays Bella, the Ecuadorian librarian.
The Underground Man (1974, made for TV). Maxine Stuart plays a librarian.
The Undying Monster (1942). Bramwell Fletcher as Jeff Colbert removes a book containing a history of the Hammond family from a private library so that police lab assistant Christy (Heather Thatcher) won’t learn the family’s werewolf curse.
Universal Signs (2008). Sabrina Lloyd is Mary, an academic librarian who befriends a deaf artist named Andrew (Anthony Natale). Susan Wilder plays another librarian.
This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.
Outreach Librarian, University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Baltimore. Well-informed, enthusiastic, and resourceful librarian wanted to further the outreach mission of the library, focusing on underserved communities and health disparities in Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and beyond. The Outreach Librarian is responsible for engaging the community, building relationships, and advancing research....
Digital Library of the Week
Baylor University’s JFK research collection consists of original materials related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Held by Baylor’s W. R. Poage Legislative Library, the collection includes copies of Robert Bradley Cutler’s Grassy Knoll Gazette (1977–1996); assassination-related images from the Jack D. White Slide Collection; documents from the research files of John Armstrong, author of Harvey and Lee (2003); accounts of the assassination from US newspapers of the time; photos collected by researcher William Penn Jones Jr. and a complete run of his newsletter, The Continuing Inquiry; and other materials related to the life and legacy of JFK.
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
“Two big storms and a major blackout have battered New York City since the Sept. 11 attacks. Climate change threatens higher tides and more extreme heat. Architects and engineers look for ways to respond. So here’s an out-of-the-box suggestion: Let’s build more branch libraries.”
—Michael Kimmelman, “Next Time, Libraries Could Be Our Shelter from the Storm,” New York Times, Oct. 2.
“Some schools have closed their libraries. Alice Hedstrom, a former librarian at [Houston Independent School District’s] Fonville Middle School, told me she can’t forget a heartbreaking story from when she left. A coworker at Fonville called to tell her that, with the library closed, she caught a student trying to steal books, hiding them in his sweatshirt. ‘He said, “I really, really want to read,”’ Hedstrom said. ‘It hurts your heart when you hear those kinds of things.’”
—Ericka Mellon, “Librarians Dwindle in HISD,” Houston (Tex.) Chronicle: K–12 Zone, Oct. 8.
National Information Standards Organization, virtual conference. “Revolution or Evolution: The Organizational Impact of Electronic Content.”
Internet Archive, annual reception, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco.
Amigos Library Services, online conference on MOOCs and mobile technologies and their impact on reference service.
Urban Libraries Council, Partners for Success Conference, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle.
Educopia Institute, Meeting, National Library of Catalonia, Barcelona. “Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation: An Action Assembly.”
2013 ACRL/NY Annual Symposium, The William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center, Baruch College, New York City. “The Library as Knowledge Laboratory.”
American Booksellers Association, Winter Institute, Westin Seattle.
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, International Newspaper Conference, FamilySearch Headquarters, Salt Lake City.
Society for Library Professionals / University of Delhi South Campus / Asian Chapter-SLA, Conference, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi, India. “From Brick to Click: Transforming Libraries into Social Spaces.”
Electronic Resources and Libraries, Conference, AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas.
The Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.
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Reading literary fiction improves your cognition
Kelly Servick writes: “Fifty Shades of Grey may be a fun read, but it’s not going to help you probe the minds of others the way War and Peace might. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that, compared with mainstream fiction, high-brow literary works do more to improve our ability to understand the thoughts, emotions, and motivations of those around us.” David Kidd and Emanuele Castano of the New School present their results....
Science Now, Oct. 3
Self-published titles grow nearly 60%
Self-publishing became ever more popular for aspiring authors in 2012, according to new data from Bowker. The number of ISBNs purchased for the purpose jumped nearly 60% from 2011. Since 2007, the number of self-published titles hitting the marketplace has gone up five-fold. Bowker also tracked the growth in ebook ISBNs. Ebooks now comprise 40% of all ISBNs purchased, up from 11% in 2007....
Digital Book World, Oct. 9
20 essential American dramas
Elizabeth DiEmanuele and Phil James write: “American theater has today been marginalized by big-budget Broadway productions, but its storied history reveals that the dramatic arts served more than just entertainment purposes. Theater may not be as resonant in our technology-driven era, but its ability to address important issues without the intrusion of profiteering interests helped the United States forge an identity as one of the most diverse and colorful nations in the world.”...
Qwiklit, Oct. 3
YA reads for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Diane Colson writes: “The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. While some commentators are appalled when YA lit addresses dark issues like abuse, the following books can be the first light of understanding encountered by an abused teen. The Committee Overcoming Relationship Abuse reports that 3–10 million children witness domestic violence or abuse each year in the US.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 7
Rereading That’s My Baby
Sarah Debraski writes: “I had a hard time choosing which of Norma Klein’s wonderful books to reread, but I’ve chosen That’s My Baby, copyright 1988. I honestly don’t remember too many details about this one—all of Klein’s books have run together in my memory. This one is about a teenage boy who begins a relationship with a slightly older woman. The big catch here is that she’s married. In my memory there was nothing sleazy or inappropriate about their age difference, though the adultery was shocking to me. Let’s see how it holds up in 2013.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 3
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EBSCO keeps ERIC open during shutdown
EBSCO Information Services is making the government database ERIC available during the government shutdown. ERIC, the Education Resource Information Center, is typically available through its US government website as well as through the EBSCOhost research platform. Because of the shutdown the government website is unavailable, so EBSCO has decided to temporarily open its version of ERIC and make it available....
EBSCO, Oct. 3
OUP offers access to the US Census
In light of the government shutdown, another vendor has opened up a licensed database for access these next two weeks. This time it is Oxford University Press with the Social Explorer website. Social Explorer provides US Census demographic data. The current shutdown in Washington is limiting the access that scholars and researchers have to vital materials, including the US Census website. Here are some other ways to find census data....
No Shelf Required, Oct. 4; Pew Research Center, Oct. 8
Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed by budget cuts
Annalee Newitz writes: “One of the great tragedies of ancient history, memorialized in myths and Hollywood film, is the burning of the great library at Alexandria. But the reality of the library's end was actually a lot less pyrotechnic than that. A major cause of the library’s ruin was government budget cuts. As historian Heather Phillips notes in an essay on the library, the library’s destruction was gradual.”...
io9, Oct. 8
Two very different ideas for a central library
Lynn Becker writes: “Ambitious new central libraries continue to be built. Chicago came to its own terms with what a central library should be a long time ago, back in the 1980s, when the city decided to board the short-lived Post-Modernist express by picking the entry from Hammond, Beeby, and Babka (right). But it was left, not to Chicago—the city that prides itself on cutting-edge architecture—but Seattle, to build the first major structure that actually tried to imagine the library of the future.”...
ArchitectureChicago Plus, Oct. 6
New academic librarians’ perception of the profession
What’s the point of all this relentless search for work anyway? What happens once a librarian is hired? How does this step change a librarian’s career, and how can hiring managers help new hires transition into work successfully? If you’re interested in the answers to these questions, keep reading. Laura Sare and Stephen Bales have written a fantastic intro to some of their research on new librarians’ perception of the work....
Hiring Librarians, Oct. 8
What to ask in an outreach-related job interview
Lizz Zitron writes: “Job seekers might notice a surge in outreach-specific jobs and jobs with an outreach component in recent years. While outreach-specific jobs might not stay on the radar, you can be fairly certain that outreach as a job component will increase. Which has led to folks asking their Libraryland peers: What questions do I need to ask in such an interview?”...
The Outreach Librarian, Oct. 3
Victorian trade bindings
Edmund M. B. King writes: “Look after your 19th-century decorated books. From the 1840s, books were bound in ever-greater numbers in boards covered with cloth that had been dyed in bright colors and grained to provide contrast. How durable are these 19th-century books? The pages are liable to decay because of the use of wood in papermaking, which resulted in the shortening of paper fibers, then mixed in a combination of chemicals to make the process more rapid.”...
British Library: Collection Care blog, Oct. 8
10 Microsoft Word tips
Amit Agarwal writes: “Here are 10 tips and tricks for Microsoft Word that will help you get things done faster and more efficiently than ever before. I have created the animated GIFs with Word 2013 but the tricks will work just fine with older versions of Microsoft Office as well. Let’s get started.”...
Digital Inspiration, July 4, Oct. 7
A photographic tribute to bookmobiles
Vanessa Grall writes: “Long before Amazon was bringing books to people’s doorsteps, there was the bookmobile. The bookmobile went from a simple horse-drawn cart in the 19th century to a large customized vehicle that became part of American culture and reached its height of popularity in the mid-20th century. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane with this forgotten four-wheeler.”...
Messy Nessy Chic, Oct. 8
Managing your social media brand
Merrilee Proffitt and Roy Tennant write: “Your online brand is the reputation you establish over time by providing useful and appreciated value to others. Establishing your brand and maintaining it requires commitment, since constant activity is better than episodic participation. Also, it is much easier to damage your online brand than it is to build it, so participate thoughtfully and with grace.”...
Hanging Together, Oct. 7
Using Pinterest to plan YA programming
Courtney Lewis writes: “One of the best things for me about using Pinterest is that I never know when inspiration for library programming is going to strike. Whether it happens when I’m surfing through my feed of pins from boards I follow or when I’m combing through my RSS feed in the morning, I invariably find ideas that would make great programs. But how do you use Pinterest when you are actively trying to plan specific programs, particularly with Teen Read Week in mind?”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 7
Content, not format
Jessica Olin writes: “I sent this tweet (and posted it as a status update on Facebook as well) in a moment of deep frustration. Leading up to that point, I’d had a string of interactions with students, faculty, and staff that left me slightly gobsmacked. Although the specifics were different, in each moment I was being told, ‘Paper good. Electronic bad.’ I don’t want to share further details since I’m not interested in shaming the people involved. What I want is to educate them.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Oct. 8
Five visual dictionaries and thesauri for students
Richard Byrne writes: “Like all teachers, I have found that the right visual aids can make all the difference between students understanding a term or walking away shaking their heads. This pattern carries over to learning new vocabulary words and seeing the connections between similar words. Here are five visual dictionaries and thesauri that can help your students learn new words.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Oct. 7
International library pen pals
Megan McGlynn writes: “Reignite your wanderlust with a peek at the International Librarians Network, a group that connects peer librarians across the globe for a two-way sharing experience over email and video chat. The current round of matches was just made, but you can follow along in blog posts and plan to sign up for the next time.”...
Library Lost & Found, Oct. 3
Early American penmanship
Barbara Pero Kampas writes: “Recently a colleague was looking through handwritten catalog cards and remarked, ‘Who writes like that today?’ His comment reminded me of the penmanship handbooks and scrapbooks we hold in the Phillips Library collection. So, I went into the vault and pulled three volumes of penmanship samples from our Essex County manuscript collection, which had been completed by students in the Salem schools in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.”...
Connected (Peabody Essex Museum), Sept. 25
Library-book domino, Kiwi style
Watch as a returned book triggers a snake-like progression of tumbling tomes through the Wellington (New Zealand) Central Library. The video (3:54) earned the library its third victory in as many years in the third annual Wellington Library Book Domino competition....
YouTube, Oct. 6
11 bookshelves made from repurposed items
Tom Hawking writes: “When we noticed a photo on Huffington Post of a car that someone had repurposed as a bookshelf, we got to thinking about other items that could be reworked for similar purposes. Not everyone has a Jaguar kicking about, but various designers, both professional and amateur, have come up with some impressively innovative designs, using items from the quotidian to the completely outlandish. Here are some particularly interesting ideas.”...
Flavorwire, Oct. 4; The Huffington Post, Sept. 21
Librarian Shaming: PostSecret for info professionals
A Tumblr site called Librarian Shaming reveals that library workers have just as many guilty pleasures and embarrassing secrets as anyone else. The site, described as “a place for those of us in Libraryland to come clean,” started as a series of hilarious anonymous confessions from staffers at the Parker Memorial Library in Dracut, Massachusetts. All faces are hidden “to protect their professional reputations,” and Librarian Shaming is now accepting submissions from library staff and well-wishers everywhere....
Daily Mail (UK), Oct. 7; Dracut Library Blog, Sept. 26
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