|American Libraries Online
How low can our book budgets go?
Steve Coffman writes: “Ask the average Joe what’s the first thing that comes to his mind when he thinks about libraries, and the answer will almost always be ‘books.’ Most people could not imagine a library without books any more than they could imagine accountants without accounts or lawyers without the law. But the numbers tell a different story. According to the most recent Institute of Museum and Library Services data, in 2011 public libraries spent an average of only 11.4 cents of every dollar on books or materials of any kind.”...
American Libraries feature
Editor’s Letter: Dreamy reading rooms and more
Laurie D. Borman writes: “I’ve never been to Ketchikan, Alaska, but I wouldn’t mind being there right now, contemplating the amazing vista of woods and mountains from the Ketchikan Public Library windows (right). I’d be happy to check out the reading room view from the Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Libraries’ Middle Tyger branch, too, watching the river tumbling over rocks. These are just two of the beautiful library designs featured in our annual Library Design Showcase article.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Associate Editor Phil Morehart to present at Library 2.013
“Inside New Library Design” is a live online session, part of the Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference, which will be held October 19 at 5 p.m. Central time. American Libraries Associate Editor Phil Morehart will be highlighting selections from the magazine’s 2013 Library Design Showcase, discussing emerging trends, advances in green technologies, and exciting historic renovations, as well as tips for library administrators who are preparing to renovate their libraries....
Go back to the Top
ALA town hall on ebooks
Want to learn more about the current digital publishing climate or hear about efforts made by ALA to advocate for library interests in the book world? Register now for ALA’s Virtual Town Hall on Ebooks, a free interactive online session that will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Central time on October 23. Panelists include Barbara K. Stripling, Maureen Sullivan, and Keith Michael Fiels....
AL: E-Content, Oct. 14
Wes Moore finds a life that matters
Wes Moore (right), bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore, is and has been on a remarkable quest to “find a life that matters.” As a youth advocate, he is committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors, and advocates who serve youth in the US—something that will sound familiar as well as inspiring to librarians who hear him as an Auditorium Speaker at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits on January 26....
Conference Services, Oct. 14
What are you worth?
The ALA–Allied Professional Association updated its Pay Equity Bibliography (PDF file) in August. Initially created in 2003, the updated edition is an easy-to-use resource aimed at helping librarians and library workers understand what they are worth and then use that information to advocate for better pay in an effort to close the wage gap. The ALA-APA Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers has updated this bibliography since the first edition....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Oct. 14
On the road with The American Dream
On September 20, the Office for Library Outreach Services staff attended the third naturalization ceremony held at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. STDL is a two-time recipient of The American Dream Starts @ your library, a grant initiative from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and ALA geared towards the improvement and promotion of library service to English-language learners in areas served by Dollar General stores. Watch the video (5:33)....
OLOS Columns, Oct. 15; YouTube, Oct. 3
The ALA Student-to-Staff program
Each Annual Conference ALA provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 40 students engaged in ALA Student Chapters to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program (S2S). Established in 1973, S2S offers qualifying students the opportunity to attend Annual Conference and work behind the scenes with ALA staff. Interested? Contact your ALA Student Chapter for its selection criteria....
Chapter Relations Office
ASL for children and adults
Appropriate for adults who are completely new to signing, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together by Kathy MacMillan is an authoritative guide on sign language that helps readers engage with children up to age 5, regardless of their hearing ability. Each of the eight chapters contains a variety of activities, such as games, finger plays, songs, and crafts, which help children develop language skills, improve communication and self-expression, and raise their self-esteem....
ALA Huron Street Press, Oct. 15
40 years of ALA Archives at UIUC
Cara Bertram writes: “As its 1976 centennial approached, ALA noticed an increased interest in the history of librarianship and the Association by historians, writers, and archivists, and expressed concern over the management and preservation of its archives. ALA sought out an archival repository and listened to University of Illinois Archivist Maynard Brichford as he make a strong argument for transferring the records to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”...
ALA Archives blog, Oct. 14
Go back to the Top
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Veseth, Mike. Extreme Wine: Searching the World for the Best, the Worst, the Outrageously Cheap, the Insanely Overpriced, and the Undiscovered. Oct. 2013. 224p. Rowman and Littlefield, hardcover (978-1-4422-1922-9).
No wine-making or wine-selling professional can afford to ignore Veseth’s blog, which illuminates wine’s often murky economics. Here he expounds on wine’s outliers, revealing those wines that have unusual histories, are particularly expensive or cheap, or are made under the most difficult conditions. Taking what could be an esoteric subject and making it compelling for any wine drinker, Veseth probes the best and worst that the world’s vineyards produce. He chronicles booms and busts, relating how Prohibition actually became a boon for vineyards as home winemakers of the era snapped up grapes by the case for cross-country shipment. Explaining the impact of international currency markets, he documents how Australia’s strong dollar has dampened exports. Veseth also details why the cheapest wines aren’t necessarily the worst, nor the most expensive the best....
He drinks: Books that make me thirsty
David Wright writes: “The shelves groan with novels and memoirs about reckless boozers by the likes of Pete Hamill, Frederick Exley, and Malcolm Lowry, most of which make you want to climb up on that wagon that everyone’s always falling off of. Lest such sobering realizations spoil my ongoing pilgrimages to my ancestral homeland via the medium of its most celebrated product, single-malt Scotch, I explored titles that whet the drinker’s appetite and expand his taste—books that went down smoothly and made me thirsty in about 20 different ways.”...
She drinks: And Miss Readergal drinks a little
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “It seems fitting that Readergal pours herself a glass as she contemplates the murky relationships women have with alcohol. Readergal admires the women who have distilled wine into song and gin into poetry. Would that we were all as articulate as these ladies after lounging in our cups.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Go back to the Top
Top 10 historic spots to visit
Emily Guendelsberger writes: “Historic monuments, huge parks, art collections, a market, a creepy old prison—Philadelphia has plenty of experiences to delight the eye and feed the soul.” Here are 10, from the Eastern State Penitentiary to the Reading Terminal Market (right)....
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 20
Best Irish pubs
Swabreen Bakr writes: “Irish pubs are plentiful, since the Gaelic tradition of enjoying good whiskey and brew goes back many years. Here we present our picks for the top 10 Irish bars in Philadelphia.” For example, Moriarty’s at 1116 Walnut Street: “This popular Center City pub has been around for over 77 years. Patrons of all kinds can take advantage of plentiful outdoor seating and the award-winning wings while throwing back a few brews.”...
Drink Philly, Mar. 12
Wednesday nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, allow you to explore the museum and its remarkable collections in inventive, interactive, and dynamic new ways. Mini-film festivals showcase international independent films, artist’s films, and old favorites. “Happenings” offer creative and surprising gallery experiences by regional artists, musicians, and local cultural organizations. “Make Stuff” is a drop-in art-making workshop that features different projects each week....
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Go back to the Top
Support Teen Read Week through social media
Teen Read Week, October 14–18, is in full swing, and while libraries and schools are in the midst of carrying out a week full of fun and exciting activities, YALSA also has a few up its sleeve. The division invites library workers and supporters to participate in a Teen Read Week Thunderclap to raise awareness about the important role libraries play in helping teens gain critical literacy skills. All you need is a Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account....
YALSA, Oct. 11
National Forum on Libraries and Teens
From now through November 1, YALSA is collecting public comments on its draft report (PDF file) for the National Forum on Libraries and Teens project. The forum is a year-long grant-funded effort that will bring together key stakeholders to produce a final report that will provide direction on how libraries need to adapt and change to better meet the needs of 21st-century teens....
YALSA, Oct. 15
Introducing Launch Pad: AASL’s conference daily
The preview issue of Launch Pad, the newly named onsite daily newspaper for AASL’ s 16th National Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14–17, is now online. During the conference, Launch Pad will be available to attendees in a print and online edition. It will contain up-to-date information on conference events, exhibits, local events, and attractions. Formerly known as AASL Advocate, the show daily’s new name was selected by member vote after it was suggested by Val Edwards, instructional materials director at Monona (Wis.) Grove High School....
AASL, Oct. 15
Meet AASL authors at division conference
Attendees of AASL’ s 16th National Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14–17, will have the opportunity to purchase AASL’s newest publications from the exhibit hall bookstore and to have selected authors of these publications sign copies of their books during the conference. A full schedule of appearances is available online....
AASL, Oct. 15
Survey on Common Core State Standards
As work on the Common Core State Standards is taken up in schools across the country, it’s important that key decisionmakers get a clear picture of what this means for teaching and learning in every discipline. That’s why AASL is cooperating with the National Center for Literacy Education to invite school librarians to complete by October 28 a 20-minute questionnaire about collaborative professional learning and integrating the Common Core State Standards into professional practice....
AASL, Oct. 14
Lesley Farmer to present YA trends paper at Midwinter
Lesley Farmer (right), coordinator of the Teacher Librarian program at California State University, Long Beach, will present her paper, “Trends Impacting YA Services: Sex, Mind, and Body: How Guys and Girls Search for Health Information,” at YALSA’s “Trends Impacting YA Services” session on January 25 during the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....
YALSA, Oct. 15
Learn how to train the technology trainer
The popular PLA interactive online course, “The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer,” returns October 28–November 22. This four-week blended-learning program is designed for public library professionals who have unexpectedly found themselves responsible for technology training of users or staff at their library. Librarian, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding will be the guide. Register by October 25....
PLA, Oct. 15
Webinar teaches how to lead school-library initiatives
School library professionals can kick off the school year right by learning how to take charge of three major library initiatives: library advisory committees (LACs), Response to Intervention (RtI), and community assessments during a new Knowledge Quest webinar from AASL and presented by four KQ contributors: Sue Kimmel, Janie Pickett, Jennifer Robins, and IdaMae Craddock. “LACs, RtI, and Community Assessment How-Tos” will take place on October 24. Registration is open....
AASL, Oct. 15
Join ASCLA in San Francisco
This is the fourth fundraising trip hosted by ASCLA and will take place April 23–30. The adventure is open to librarians and their friends and family; there are no membership requirements in order to participate. Tours of the San José Public Library, Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, selected Napa Valley wineries, the Franciscan vineyards, and Chandon are scheduled. Deposits are due by December 1, with the balance by February 23....
ASCLA Blog, Oct. 11
Go back to the Top
Carnegie-Whitney Awards deadline approaches
The ALA Publishing Committee provides a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of resources at any type of library. Applications must be emailed to Mary Jo Bolduc by November 1....
ALA Publishing, Oct. 15
2013 Diversity in Library Research Award
Patricia Montiel-Overall (right), associate professor in the School of Information Resources and Library Science and affiliate professor of Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona, has been named the 2013 Achievement in Library Diversity Research honoree. Montiel-Overall has had a full career focused on education, early literacy, and cultural competence....
Office for Diversity, Oct. 15
2013 Diversity Research Grant recipients chosen
Sung Un Kim of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Lian Ruan of the University of Illinois, and YungWon Yoon of the University of South Florida SLIS are the recipients of Diversity Research Grants for 2013, a one-time $2,500 award for original research....
Office for Diversity, Oct. 15
Apply for a Día mini-grant
ALSC is now accepting applications for mini-grants intended to allow libraries to initiate Día Family Book Club programs. Mini-grants are part of ALSC’s Everyone Reads @ your library grant, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Día Family Book Club is a reading program that engages children and families in the shared reading and discussion of contemporary children’s literature that reflects our common plurality. Up to 15 mini-grants will be awarded at $2,000 each to public libraries. Apply by November 30....
ALSC, Oct. 14
Arizona State wins the Mora Award
Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, has selected Arizona State University in Tempe to receive the 2013 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for the most exemplary culminating celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros / Children’s Day, Book Day. This is the first year an educational institution has won the award. ASU will receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating its efforts....
Reforma, Oct. 15
2013 Emerson Greenaway Distinguished Service Award
The New England Library Association has awarded its 2013 Emerson Greenaway Distinguished Service Award for Librarianship to Robert C. Maier (right). After many years of service, Maier retired this year from his position as executive director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. He was chosen for the award for his dedicated and effective service to libraries throughout his career....
New England Library Association, Oct. 10
National Medal deadline extended to October 31
Think your favorite library provides exceptional service? Now’s your chance to nominate your library for a $5,000 award. Library supporters have the opportunity to nominate their libraries for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for exemplary service by museums and libraries. The award nomination deadline ends on October 31. (The original deadline has been extended due to the federal government shutdown.)...
District Dispatch, Oct. 10
Alice Munro awarded Nobel Prize in Literature
Alice Munro (right), the renowned Canadian short-story writer whose visceral work explores the tangled relationships between men and women, small-town existence, and the fallibility of memory, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature on October 10. The Swedish Academy said that Munro, who has written 14 story collections, was a “master of the contemporary short story.” She is the 13th woman to win the prize....
New York Times, Oct. 10
Eleanor Catton wins 2013 Man Booker Prize
New Zealand author Eleanor Catton has won the 2013 Man Booker Prize, the UK’s highest literary honor, for her novel The Luminaries (Granta). Set during New Zealand’s 1866 gold rush, Catton’s novel is a layered murder mystery that centers on a group of men with intertwined fates. Catton accepted the award at a ceremony in London on October 15....
USA Today, Oct. 15
US Government Shutdown Notice Awards
The Archive-It team writes: “On October 1, the Internet Archive began saving the home pages of federal agencies affected by the government shutdown. Each government agency was left to its own devices to prepare for the shutdown on its website, and the results vary. Some created unique graphics to represent the impending shutdown. A few integrated notices within their sites to an almost comic degree. Here are some of our favorites.”...
The Archive-It Blog, Oct. 11
Go back to the Top
Libraries in the News
High school decides not to ban Dreaming in Cuba (subscription required)
A curriculum review committee has decided the book Dreaming in Cuban will stay on Buena High School shelves in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and remain available for use in classes at the discretion of teachers, but an appeal is likely on the way. Parent Debbie Stoner filed a complaint requesting that the book, authored by Cristina Garcia, be removed from both the school library and curriculum after her son’s class was asked to read aloud a passage containing sexually explicit content....
Sierra Vista (Ariz.) Herald, Oct. 10
Neil Gaiman novel pulled from Alamogordo curriculum
Alamogordo Public Schools has “temporarily removed” a book from its English curriculum because of what one parent calls “inappropriate content.” Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman has been used in Alamogordo (N.Mex.) High School’s 10th-grade English curriculum since 2004. Parent Nancy Wilmott objected to a four-paragraph passage that graphically describes an adulterous sexual encounter between a married man and a single woman. Betsy Gomez has more details. On October 16, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom sent a letter (PDF file) urging the district to rescind its removal....
Alamogordo (N.Mex.) Daily News, Oct. 11; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Oct. 14; OIF Blog, Oct. 16
Bad Boy book stays in Currituck school
A sexually charged book about teen girls and their reactions to an ardent senior boy will remain in the Currituck County (N.C.) High School library. The county board of education decided with a 4–1 vote October 14 that A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone should remain available as it has since 2006. Parent Elissa Cooper objected to the book after her freshman daughter brought it home to read in February....
Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 12, 15
Two shuttered Philly school libraries to reopen
Two Philadelphia school libraries, shuttered in September due to budget cuts, reopened October 15 after receiving a gift from an anonymous donor. Central High and Masterman, two of the city’s most prestigious schools, closed their libraries because the district did not fund librarians. The $205,000 contribution will cover the salary and benefits of the two librarians for the remainder of the school year....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 12
Target lays off its archivists
When Target cut about 150 jobs on October 9 (citing a reorganization to eliminate areas of duplication), the Minneapolis-based retailer discontinued its formal archives and heritage department, eliminating the two senior archivists, Tony Jahn (right) and Jamie Martin. The archives department was responsible for expanding and organizing Target’s collection of historical artifacts, including business papers, photographs, textiles, other objects, and electronic records....
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Oct. 11; YouTube, Aug. 3, 2012
San Juan rehires its library director
The longtime director of the San Juan (Tex.) Memorial Library (right) is back, along with a new full-time children’s librarian, after the city took over library operations from private Maryland-based company Library Systems & Services Inc. for the new fiscal year. Armandina Sesin previously ran the library as an employee of LSSI since 2007. LSSI called the partnership with San Juan a success, emphasizing that it worked with the city through a transition from a small trailer to a 16,000-square-foot building....
McAllen (Tex.) Monitor, Oct. 11; LSSI, Sept. 30
Jean Rice Homeless Liberation Reference Library
Melissa Morrone writes: “On September 18, I attended the opening dedication (5:49) of the Jean Rice Homeless Liberation Reference Library, sponsored by Picture the Homeless, in the Fordham area of the Bronx. By the time I got to the event, someone was just beginning a foot-stomping rendition of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ to murmurs of encouragement from the crowd, so I suppose it wasn’t your typical library ribbon-cutting. This library is meant to be a resource for people fighting homelessness, a space for self-education and reflection.”...
Library Juice, Oct. 14; YouTube, Sept. 20
Chicago gives patrons more say in book purchases
In an effort to give readers more of what they want, the Chicago Public Library has started a pilot program that lets borrowers select books for the library to buy. The large-scale patron-driven acquisition program—supported by Ingram Content Group—began in late September, with a $300,000 Illinois State Library grant that allows CPL to expand its offerings by about 13,000 titles over the next two years. When a lender puts a hold on one of the new books in the existing online catalog, it triggers a purchase of that book....
Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 15; Ingram, Oct. 15
University partners with public library to explore priorities
The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities at the University of Iowa has launched a partnership with the city of Washington, Iowa, that will identify key projects for the city’s long-term sustainability. The collaborative process will address cultural, social, environmental, and educational priorities in the community. Graduate students in the School of Library and Information Science are focusing on family resources at the Washington Public Library. Another project includes a mural painting on the back of the library building....
Iowa Now, Mar. 11, Oct. 10
A new breed of teen-services librarians
Cambridge (Mass.) Public Library’s Maya Escobar (right) is one of a mushrooming corps of librarians in Greater Boston working to put books in the hands of young adult readers. She is part of an increasingly visible group that has almost doubled in size in the past 13 years. This new breed shares some common traits. A goodly percentage, YALSA President Shannon Peterson says, are new to the field and “on the young side” themselves. Perhaps because of their relative youth, they also display a distinct sense of mission....
Boston Globe, Oct. 11
Evanston librarian shows her puzzle genius on NPR
Evanston (Ill.) Public Library Readers’ Services Librarian Barbara Levie (right) was the randomly chosen winner of NPR’s Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz. The challenge: “Name something in seven letters that most people keep in their homes. Take the first, third, fourth, and seventh letters and rearrange them. The result will be a four-letter word naming something that the seven-letter thing is commonly used for. What is it?” The answer came to Levie in a flash: “aspirin.”...
NPR: Weekend Edition, Oct. 6
City officials turn to library after finding soggy time capsule
Workers chiseled out the Virginia Beach (Va.) City Hall cornerstone October 10 to uncover a time capsule that was encased in concrete 44 years ago. But the contents, not waterproofed, had been completely soaked. Pieces of slide film and a periodical highlighting the city’s economic goals were the only salvageable items. City staffers began creating copies of the other documents inside the capsule, many of which are owned by the Virginia Beach Public Library....
Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 11
Key West library receives rare collection of island history
In 1823, Commodore David Porter wrote a letter ordering that an American flag be raised at Thompson’s Island (later known as Key West) to establish the Navy’s Anti-Piracy Squadron. That letter is at the centerpiece of an extraordinary, professionally curated collection of Keys–related documents, photographs, and memorabilia recently donated to the Florida History department of the Monroe County Public Library in Key West....
Monroe County Public Library, Oct. 11; Miami (Fla.) Herald, Oct. 14
Automated library machine takes the place of a new branch
An automated library manufactured by EnvisionWare was installed October 11 in Norman, Oklahoma, for the Pioneer Library System.
The library is similar to the movie box concept and holds a combination of 400 books, audiobooks, and DVDs. Browsing any of the 11 Pioneer Library locations, patrons can reserve materials and designate the new automated library as the pickup point. Pioneer purchased the machine at a discounted price of $95,000, much less expensive that a proposed new branch for the city’s east side. Similar units are scheduled to be installed in Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, San Diego, and Fresno, California....
Norman (Okla.) Transcript, Oct. 12; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 14
Super-libraries herald a new age
Tim Vanson writes: “Around the UK and the world, a new type of civic building has been appearing on many a metropolitan skyline: the super-library. Architecturally daring and with a price tag to match, these ambitious constructions have popped up in Newcastle, Liverpool, Southwark, and Birmingham (right). They are symbols of urban prestige that reimagine the purpose and function of the traditional library on an impressively dramatic scale.”...
The Guardian (UK), Oct. 10
Digitizing the Dunhuang library
Jacob Mikanowski writes: “Over 1,000 years ago, someone sealed up a chamber in a cave outside the oasis town of Dunhuang in western China filled with more than 500 cubic feet of bundled manuscripts. Since 1994, an ambitious digitization program has slowly pushed the cache online, allowing scholars to reconstruct individual documents whose pages might be held by multiple collections. Run by a team based in the British Library and working with partners in five other countries, the International Dunhuang Project is making the contents of the library available to experts worldwide.”...
The New Yorker, Oct. 9
Go back to the Top
Why US government IT fails so hard and so often
Sean Gallagher writes: “The rocky launch of the Department of Health and Human Services’ HealthCare.gov is the most visible evidence at the moment of how hard it is for the federal government to execute major technology projects. But the troubled website—which uses systems that aren’t connected in any way to the federal IT infrastructure—is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the government’s IT problems.”...
Ars Technica, Oct. 8, 10
loc.gov gone, back, but not in Google
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “So on October 1, the Library of Congress website was down for the government shutdown, with all URLs resulting in an outage message. Then, around October 3 or 4, loc.gov websites mostly came back, although I didn’t notice it until October 14. Why? Because those pages are still not showing up in Google, and that’s something of a mystery. It’s possible LC and other government sites were using incorrect HTTP status codes.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Oct. 15
Cinema and shutdown
Kyle Westphal writes: “In the short history of the Northwest Chicago Film Society, we’ve faced some formidable challenges. But there’s another looming problem that’s definitely out of the ordinary: the ongoing shutdown of the federal government. Like many of the world’s film societies and museums, we regularly borrow 35mm prints from the Moving Image, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress. LC is one of the many government services deemed inessential and thus suspended until Congress approves a continuing resolution to reopen and fund the federal government.”...
Northwest Chicago Film Society, Oct. 14
The shutdown from an archives point of view
Society of American Archivists President Danna C. Bell (right) writes: “The Librarian of Congress, James Billington, sent a message to the furloughed employees of the library and I want to share it with you: ‘In these uncertain days, I want all of you to know how much your expertise and commitment is valued by me personally and by the great institution that we all serve. . . . [In] all our divisions, your knowledge, skills, and dedication are important for America, not just in our own time, but for future generations.’ I think with just a few changes his words could apply to all federal employees and even all archivists.”...
Off the Record, Oct. 14
The perils of data discrimination
David Talbot writes: “Data analytics are being used to implement a subtle form of discrimination, while anonymous data sets can be mined to reveal health data and other private information, a Microsoft researcher warned October 9 at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference. Kate Crawford (right), principal researcher at Microsoft Research, argued that these problems could be addressed with new legal approaches to the use of personal data.”...
MIT Technology Review, Oct. 9
Broadband and e-rate: Libraries as community leverage
Alan S. Inouye writes: “Libraries enable access to an eclectic information menu. An increasing number of their activities rely on high-capacity broadband, such as those that use video conferencing and streaming media. But many libraries still lack robust broadband access. Thus, the open proceeding on the e-rate program at the FCC and the President’s proposal for a ConnectED initiative are truly exciting developments.”...
Benton Foundation, Oct. 15
New Facebook privacy settings
Hayley Tsukayama writes:
“Facebook users may be wary after hearing that the social network is following up on a promise to cut a privacy setting that kept user names out of the social network’s graph search. Here’s a quick guide to what changes are coming and which settings to review as they hit users’ accounts.” Josh Costine has more details. Oh, and Google+ will now use your real name in its ad promotions—unless you tell it not to....
Washington Post, Oct. 11; TechCrunch, Oct. 10; New York Times: Bits, Oct. 14
Go back to the Top
Seven things to think about as wearable computing emerges
Brian Mathews writes: “I joined the Google Glass community in October. A Glass Explorer at Virginia Tech invited me in. We are forming a cohort of Glass Explorers on our campus in an effort to apply the technology to both teaching and research situations. I’m glad that the library was invited to the mix; it’s interesting to observe the way faculty think and to contribute to the venture. Today I wanted to share a few quick observations about Glass and libraries.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Oct. 10
Redesigning the item record summary view
Bohyun Kim writes: “Almost all librarians have a love-hate relationship with their library catalogs. Interestingly enough, I hear a lot more complaints about the library catalog from librarians than patrons. Sometimes it is about the catalog missing certain information that should be there for patrons. Aaron Schmidt has recently put forth an alternative design for a library item record that provides a good starting point to rethink how to design the library catalog’s search results display.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Oct. 15; Walking Paper, Sept. 24
The future of video games will be in your browser
Alex Cocilova writes: “I’ve had it with interminable game downloads. And you can keep your fancy new Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii consoles. The future of PC gaming is in the browser, and it’ll be here sooner than you expect. I’m not talking about silly Flash games or Facebook time-wasters. We’ll soon be playing AAA games that don’t require pricey investments in new hardware. Even better, most of them will be absolutely free to play.”...
PC World, Oct. 14
Apps that find fun local activities
Tracey Wallace writes: “Finding cool local hangouts and events as an undercover tourist can be difficult, especially when you don’t know anyone in the area. Looking to bridge that gap, these 11 local event apps make finding the best events in your destination city as easy as a free download and quick click.”...
Mashable, Oct. 10
Apple iPhone 5S or Nokia Lumia 1020: What camera is better?
Jim Fisher writes: “Two of the most talked-about phones, the Apple iPhone 5S and Nokia Lumia 1020, take very different approaches to the camera design. Alas, neither camera is perfect. We’ve compared each one in a few key categories to help you decide which one is the best always-on-you camera to carry.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 10
So far, smart watches are pretty dumb
Rachel Metz writes: “Companies like Samsung and Sony are rushing to produce smart watches, which typically connect wirelessly to a smartphone so that you can see call alerts and message notifications on your wrist. In theory, smart watches offer a smoother, more natural way of checking information than pulling out a smartphone. The act of glancing at your watch is a commonly accepted social custom. It’s just that now we want to see more at a glance than simply the time.”...
MIT Technology Review, Oct. 16
Why does rebooting fix so many problems?
Chris Hoffman writes: “Ask a geek how to fix a problem you’ve having with your Windows computer and they’ll likely ask ‘Have you tried rebooting it?’ This seems like a flippant response, but rebooting a computer can actually solve many problems. You’ll find the advice ‘try resetting it’ applied to software, wireless routers, iPads, and Android phones. To illustrate why rebooting can fix so many problems, let’s take a look at the ultimate software problem: the blue screen of death.”...
How-To Geek, May 21, Oct. 15
Go back to the Top
Ebook review copies
Paul St. John Mackintosh writes: “This post was prompted by the complaints of a friend on Facebook about the DRM on a review copy of an ebook he had been sent to cover. Not a fan of ebooks at the best of times, he was driven to protest long and hard about the struggles he had been put through to actually open and read the book. I’ve had similar and worse experiences.”...
TeleRead, Oct. 15
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 vs. Sony PRS-T3
Michael Kozlowski writes: “Sony and Amazon have a storied history in e-reader production, and both companies have been in the hardware game for a long time. Amazon started producing e-readers in 2007, while Sony started in 2006. The Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Sony PRS-T3 reflect the very latest generation in e-reader technology. Today we look at how both fare head to head.”...
Good E-Reader, Oct. 14
Don’t drop your Kindle Fire HDX
Ian Paul writes: “If you’re clumsy with your electronics, you might want to think twice about buying Amazon’s superb new 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX. If you break the front glass or damage its innards, you’re going to have one heck of a time repairing it. The teardown experts at iFixit recently got their hands on Amazon’s latest addition to the Kindle Fire family, and from a fixability perspective, this low-priced stunner stinks.”...
TechHive, Oct. 16
Ebook apps you should be using
Eric Ravenscraft writes: “We look at reading apps on your phone or tablet, but there are also plenty of advantages to dedicated e-readers. Not the least of which is e-ink displays that are less harsh on the eyes and built-in book lights. But for now, let’s look at the sweet features of the much more widely available apps.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 16
Add soundtracks to self-published ebooks
Dianna Dilworth writes: “Want to add a soundtrack to your self-published book? Check out Booktrack, a new app that will let you add music or sound effects to your ebook. Available for iOS devices and as a Chrome app, you can use Booktrack to record audio tracks and then insert them into your text.” Watch a demo (0:31)...
AppNewser, Oct. 11
Two ways ebooks may benefit kids
Beth Bacon writes: “Ebooks aren’t so bad for children after all. New research by MeeGenius and LookTracker shows that when digital books with recorded narration and highlighted words are presented to children, the kids gaze at words longer and progress through the stories slower than when they’re read to by a caregiver.”...
Digital Book World, Oct. 11
In the future, ebooks will stalk their readers
Charlie Stross writes: “In the future, readers will not go in search of books to read. Feral books will stalk readers, sneak into their ebook libraries, and leap out to ambush them. Readers will have to beat books off with a baseball bat, hold them at bay with a flaming torch, refuse to interact, and in extreme cases, feign dyslexia, blindness, or locked-in syndrome to avoid being subjected to literature. You think I’m exaggerating for effect, don’t you?”...
Charlie’s Diary, Oct. 10
Go back to the Top
2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Don’t miss this discussion about award-winning nonfiction for youth at the ERT/Booklist Author Forum. Acclaimed children’s book creators Tonya Bolden, Brian Floca, Kadir Nelson, Steve Sheinkin, and Melissa Sweet join fellow author and Booklist Books for Youth Senior Editor Ilene Cooper, 4:00–5:15 p.m., Friday, January 24.
“All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk,” warns Lemony Snicket on this intriguing new poster depicting his younger self in the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, the setting for his All the Wrong Questions series. A prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events, the latest series will have legions of Lemony Snicket fans searching your library for all the right answers. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal [Le due vite di Mattia Pascal] (1985, Italy / France / West Germany / Spain / UK). Marcello Mastroianni as Mattia Pascal is a library clerk. In one scene he and another staffer sit together in the library cutting cheese into little pieces for the mousetraps.
The Two Ronnies (1983–1984, Season 10, UK, TV series), “The Confusing Library.” Ronnie Barker as the librarian and Ronnie Corbett as a patron debate the merits of having books shelf-arranged by color.
2:13 (2009). Jo Steele plays a librarian who brings Police Detective Russell Spivey (Mark Thompson) the complete works of William Shakespeare.
UHF (1989). Weird Al Yankovic as George Newman becomes manager of a small TV station and hits it big with a mix of crazy programs. A vignette for the program “Conan the Librarian” features a patron (Robert Frank) asking for a book on astronomy. Conan (Roger Callard) lifts him into the air and says threateningly, “Don’t you know the Dewey Decimal System?” Later, Conan slices another borrower (Jeff Maynard) in half for returning a book late.
This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.
Library Director, Canby (Oreg.) Public Library. Day-to-day supervision, leadership, and management of the library, including long-range planning, organizing, and directing the overall operation of the library. Initiate and implement policy development; perform professional library duties, and develop and coordinate library programs and publicity. Partner with other organizations and engage in outreach opportunities. Formulate and maintain Library budget. Represent the Canby Library in a professional and positive manner....
Digital Library of the Week
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee, a project of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, is part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Archivists are digitizing relevant records and artifacts from private owners in all 95 counties in the state. Assistant State Archivist Wayne Moore said “the quality of the photographs, documents, and artifacts that people are bringing out is just extraordinary. No other state has done a Civil War digitization project on this scale to create an important legacy for future generations of students and Civil War scholars.”
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
“The closure of libraries is insidious. We are inflicting it on our children. It’s like stopping vaccinations.”
—Author Neil Gaiman, at the second annual Reading Agency lecture in London, Oct. 14.
“It has been a nine-year struggle, and in the process, I have learned that even a cause as worthy as a library has enemies. Forces beyond my understanding are against us. I don’t know what lies ahead in the next few weeks and months, but it doesn’t look good.”
—Madeline DeJournett, on the probable closing of the small Advance (Mo.) Community Library, “Death of a Library,” Dexter (Mo.) Daily Statesman, Oct. 11.
Open Access Week.
Edcamp Online. A free, informal conference organized by educators for educators.
Indiana Online Users Group, Fall Conference, Indiana North Education and Conference Center, Indianapolis. “Digital Libraries: Live Spaces, Learning Places.”
Association of Academic Health Science Libraries / Association of American Medical Colleges, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. “Learn, Serve, Lead.”
Taxonomy Boot Camp, Conference, Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.
Association of Moving Image Archivists, Conference, Richmond, Virginia.
American Association of School Librarians, National Conference, Hartford, Connecticut. “Rising to the Challenge.”
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit 2014, Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel, Memphis, Tennessee.
American Booksellers Association, Winter Institute, Seattle.
International Summit on Accessibility, Ottawa (Ontario) Convention Centre. “Making It Happen: From Intention to Action.” Deadline to submit presentation proposals is October 30.
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
news and feedback:
links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes
only. Questions about the content of any external site should be
addressed to the administrator of that site.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Librarian’s career began with her struggle to read
Alison Leigh Cowan writes: “Patricia Ann Kettles did not read her first book until she was 10. She knows what it is to struggle with the very act of reading. Now 40, Kettles is library manager at the Port Richmond branch of the New York Public Library. She talked recently about what it was like to be illiterate while others around her were devouring entire worlds.”...
New York Times, Oct. 15
The power of fantasy fiction
The Telegraph published an interview with novelist Joanna Trollope in which she stated that children should read more classics rather than fantasy novels. She feels that fantasy novels often do not relate to the real world and these stories can offer their readers little guidance or comfort. Such statements were bound to fire up fantasy fans—and Hub bloggers Kelly Dickinson and Chelsea Condren were no exception.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 14; The Telegraph (UK), Oct. 6
Articles and studies I’d like to read about YA lit
Kelly Jensen writes: “I’ve got a few ideas of articles about YA literature I’d love to read or studies I’d like to see done. Perhaps some of these exist and they’ve been buried beneath confessional click-getters. Perhaps they do not exist yet, but now, with YA enjoying a golden age with teen and adult readers alike, maybe it’s time to look a little deeper and offer some substance to the discussion of ‘why YA?’”...
Book Riot, Oct. 11
Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The results
Betsy Bird writes: “In 2012 I came up with a crazy idea. I asked folks to illustrate a scene from their favorite Dr. Seuss book in the style of a different children’s author. The result: The Re-Seussification Project. Then Phil Nel had a notion. What if The Niblings (Travis Jonker, Phil Nel, Julie Danielson, and myself) were to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication date of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are? You will find that each one of us has come up with an interesting and original way of celebrating the man and his legend.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Mar. 1, 2012; Oct. 15
Judge a book by its spine
Brandi Smits writes: “Face-out displays are a fabulous way to get someone to stop and ponder reading a book. The cover might be bright, mysterious, or just plain beautiful. But here is another question to consider: What about the book spines? When you hit the shelves, what makes you pick up a book? Is it the title? Is it the color of the spine? I asked a group of teen readers what exactly they look for in a book spine.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 15
The 50 scariest books of all time
Emily Temple writes: “The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means. It’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers—or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to see. One caveat: The list is limited to one book per author, so Stephen King fans will have to expand their horizons a little bit.”...
Flavorwire, Oct. 9
19 cookbooks that will improve your life
Emily Fleischaker writes: “There’s something about the idea of cooking through an entire cookbook that’s very appealing. Many of the most talented chefs of our era—Alice Waters, Tom Colicchio, Alton Brown—started out learning a single cookbook front to back. BuzzFeed asked them and other food celebs to pick one they’d recommend cooking through and explain why. If you’re a fan of one of these chefs, getting to know the cookbook that informed their dedication to food will be fascinating.”...
BuzzFeed Food, Oct. 15
Go back to the Top
The end of “The end of libraries”
Jacob Berg writes: “On October 13, yet another ‘end of libraries’ piece appeared. As usual, it was written by a white male with no use for libraries, because every single time this trope appears, that’s a crucial part of the author’s demographic background. It is overwhelmingly affluent white men who argue that because they do not use something, it has no value for anyone.”...
BeerBrarian, Oct. 15; TechCrunch, Oct. 13
Rhode Island tattooed librarians calendar
The Rhode Island Library Association is challenging people to check their preconceived library notions at the door. RILA’s fall fundraising plans include the launch of its first-ever Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State 2014 calendar. The 12 librarians and library workers featured in the calendar represent just a few of the many working professionals who are proud of their career, their ink, and the stories they tell. The calendar is the brainchild of Public Relations Committee cochairs Emily Grace Mehrer and Chelsea Dodd....
The Huffington Post, Oct. 11; Rhode Island Library Association
Board games to support the Common Core
Christopher Harris writes: “The modern board games we offer our member libraries—the same ones I play at home for fun—can be incredibly detailed and complex. Game designers, like authors, often perform in-depth research into their games. The resulting activity is designed to be fun, but rich enough in content to function as an instructional tool. Games like this satisfy the Common Core’s call for new types of resources strong in detail and worthy of deep study.”...
School Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Oct. 15
Seven science lessons that use Google Earth
Richard Byrne writes: “Google Earth is one of my favorite tools for students and teachers. The more time a person spends learning the many features of Google Earth, the more that person will see that Google Earth can be used for a lot more than just social studies lessons. I have seen many good science lessons incorporate Google Earth. Since this is Earth Science week, I’ve dug up some science lessons that utilize Google Earth.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Oct. 15
Social media guidelines and library patrons
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “Currently, I’m working on a social-media-guidelines assignment for class. Browsing around the web for examples of other library social media policies, I stumbled on one that states: ‘We reserve the right to use your comments in promotional materials, to use your stories to show others what makes [insert library name] unique and extraordinary.’ Is this standard boilerplate language? If so, what exactly does it mean?”...
Mr. Library Dude, Oct. 11
Twitter eases rules on direct messages
Tom Warren writes: “Twitter is rolling out an option to ease the use of direct messages. Traditionally, Twitter has allowed users who follow each other to send direct messages back and forth, or for users to send direct messages to accounts that follow them. A new setting that appears to have been rolling out in early October allows Twitter users to receive direct messages from any follower.”...
The Verge, Oct. 15
Perma CC will give citations a good home
Casey Johnston writes: “Times Higher Education has highlighted a new consortium, Perma CC, that seeks to provide a central archive for important webpages referenced in scholarly works and legal documents. One review found that 70% of the links cited in three Harvard law journals no longer worked after 12 years, while 49% of citations in US Supreme Court decisions are no longer functional. Perma CC is the product of a coalition of law libraries, including those at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Oxford.”...
Ars Technica, Oct. 14; Times Higher Education, Oct. 10
Americans’ views on online courses
A majority of Americans believe online instruction is at least as good as classroom-based courses in terms of providing good value, a format most students can succeed in, and instruction tailored to each individual. But they question the rigor of testing and grading, and whether employers will view such degrees positively, a new survey by Gallup shows (PDF file)....
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 15
Professional development for school librarians
Wendy Stephens writes: “At the beginning of every school year, some school librarians inevitably grouse about having to sit through whole-faculty professional development. They often say their needs differ from those of classroom teachers, and their professional learning should reflect that. I would argue that school librarians need that learning and more. School librarians actually need more ongoing professional development than anyone else in the building.”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 14
Online Audiovisual Catalogers’ movie experiment
Cyrus Ford writes: “The OLAC Movie and Video Credit Annotation Experiment is part of a larger project to make it easier to find film and video in libraries and archives. In the current phase, we’re trying to break existing MARC movie records down to pull out all the cast and crew information so that it may be reordered and manipulated. Libraries would have the flexibility to create more standardized and readable displays of production credits, such as you see at IMDb.” Anyone wishing to help out should contact Kelley McGrath....
OLAC blog, Oct. 14
The ILLlibrarian is in
Andrew Shuping writes: “You’ve just graduated library school and you’re heading off to your first job that involves interlibrary loan. How the heck does that work? They never even mentioned it in library school. What do you do? ILL work can be fun and challenging, and it requires a wide variety of skills and talents to help the department work well. Here are the skills you need to do this job.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Oct. 10
Helping young librarians by sticking with it
Cheryl LaGuardia writes: “An important component of our work is to encourage potential librarians and help new ones to grow in the profession. Given the changing nature of our work, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to learn how to navigate complex library environments, along with everything else they need to learn just to begin to do the job. Filling them in on these nuances is an important service we seasoned librarians can provide—only we have to still be in the job to provide this guidance and assistance; we can’t do it if we’re not in libraries.”...
Library Journal, Oct. 10
Explore the workings of a university press
The University of Regina Press in Saskatchewan provides an insider’s view into the publishing process in this series of “Reality Publishing” videos. Publisher and Director Bruce Walsh (right) introduces the 10-webisode series in a two-minute trailer. Using cinema vérité–style clips, the videos explore the mysteries of publishing for authors, readers, and anyone fascinated with the romance of books....
University of Regina Press TV, June 10–Oct. 4
Finding libraries in unexpected places
Derek Attig writes: “We usually think about libraries as staid and steady buildings, safely immobile on our city streets. But they don’t always stay there. One of the most fascinating things about bookmobiles, for example, is that they take libraries out on the road. And they can end up in some pretty strange places—like, say, the banks of a Louisiana bayou. Or under fire in the Italian countryside.”...
Book Riot, Oct. 14
Go back to the Top