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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 23, 2013

ALA Neal-Schuman

APA Handbook

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Humanities librarian Gabriella Reznowski, left, and access services manager Sue Shipman, both with WSU Libraries, steady Reznowski’s son, Xavier, on Shipman’s unicycle. Photo by Nella LetiziaHow Open Access scholarship saves lives
Nella Letizia writes: “Gabriella Reznowski’s son, Xavier, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder in 2012, 14 years after she first noticed the developmental delays and helped him ride out the seizures caused by the disorder. The most current information that describes it is only found in research journals, which often require subscriptions to access. That’s something Reznowski, humanities librarian at Washington State University Libraries in Pullman, would like to change.”...
American Libraries feature

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ALA Editions

ALA News

Andrew SlackPresident’s Program to feature Andrew Slack
Harry Potter Alliance Director Andrew Slack (right) will offer ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits attendees an outstanding opportunity to learn more about his work and how he sees it relating to libraries and their role in the community. The Harry Potter Alliance is a coalition of fandom leaders and members who feel passionate about the power of story to inspire and effect social change. Slack will be welcomed by Barbara K. Stripling at the ALA President’s Program on January 26....
ALA Conference Services, Oct. 22

Digital Inclusion SurveyTake the Digital Inclusion Survey
ALA encourages public librarians to participate in the first Digital Inclusion Survey. The survey will take the pulse of public library service in the areas of digital literacy, economic and workforce development, civic engagement, educational support, health information, and public access to the internet. In addition to the survey questions, libraries are requested to complete a broadband speed test (speed capture is automatic). The survey is open through November 15....
District Dispatch, Oct. 23

ALA Graphics catalog, Winter 2013ALA Graphics winter catalog
Dozens of exciting new products that are bound to inspire and excite readers in schools and libraries across the nation are spotlighted in the new ALA Graphics Winter 2013 catalog. Featured on the cover is YALSA’s 2014 Teen Tech Week theme, “DIY @ your library.” Find all the new products at the ALA Store, where your purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide....
ALA Graphics, Oct. 21

Join SustainRT
Beth Filar Williams writes: “The new ALA Sustainability Round Table, called SustainRT, is open for membership. SustainRT was created to exchange ideas and opportunities regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy, and economically viable society. There are no official officers yet; just a group of us helping to get it started. This interim steering committee is in the process of creating by-laws and putting together a ballot of nominees for the ALA election in the spring.”...
Going Green @ your library, Oct. 21

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Booklist Online logo

Cover of Monument RoadFeatured review: Adult fiction
Quimby, Charlie. Monument Road. Nov. 2013. 378p. Torrey House, paperback (978-1-937226-25-5).
Leonard Self, an aging Colorado rancher, sets out to fulfill the promise he made to his dying wife, Inetta, to release her ashes over the highest overlook on Monument Road one year after her passing. Having made preparations, he plans to fling himself over the edge, as well. As he makes his way in his truck, Leonard ties up a few loose ends and meanders through his memories. We see that fateful meeting with Inetta, the coming together of this stoic man and optimistic woman of faith and their years of weathering life as a solid unit. We see Len struggle to tamp down a dark energy from his past and, over time, learn the meaning of love. Within the novel, two powerful subplots—a teenage girl seeking her inner Joan of Arc, an abused boy giving up on himself—rear up seemingly from nowhere. But trust Quimby....

Top 10 First NovelsTop 10 first novels: 2013
Donna Seaman writes: “First novels often tell coming-of-age tales, but the 10 best debut novels reviewed in Booklist between October 15, 2012, and October 1, 2013, take unusual and uniquely arresting approaches to that classic theme as teens and twentysomethings seek solid ground in the wake of catastrophes and upheavals both personal and societal. These vividly portrayed characters also cope with profound questions of identity, purpose, and doing what’s right.”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

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Philadelphia Update

Final drawing for Where the Wild Things Are. Pen and ink, watercolor. © 1963 by Maurice SendakThe Rosenbach Museum and Library
The Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008–2010 Delancey Place, was founded in 1954 through a testamentary gift by Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach and his brother Philip. Renowned dealers in books, manuscripts, and fine art, the brothers played a central role in the development of private libraries that later became important public collections of rare books. The Rosenbach showcases the brothers’ collections of rare books, manuscripts, furniture, silver, paintings, prints, drawings, and sculpture. The exhibit “The Night Max Wore His Wolf Suit: 50 Years of Wild Things” will be on view through March 2. Guided tours are available....
Rosenbach Museum and Library

Green Eggs CafeThe best brunches in Philly
Jason Sheehan writes: “Brunch in Philadelphia has risen to such a level of obsessive love that it’s become a food group in its own right. Don’t believe us? Check out the lines on Sunday afternoons, the crowds that pack the floors, and the internet chatter this list generates.” The Green Eggs Café at 212 South 13th Street is only a 12-minute walk from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but it is always packed on weekends. Loyal crowds know it’s worth the wait....
Philadelphia magazine, Sept. 30

Exhibition poster for Oh, Sugar!Independence Seaport Museum
The Independence Seaport Museum is dedicated to the maritime history of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. It is located in the Penn’s Landing complex along the Delaware River. The museum was founded in 1961 by J. Welles Henderson and has dozens of exhibits, including the warship USS Olympia and the World War II submarine USS Becuna. The exhibition “Oh, Sugar! The Magical Transformation from Cane to Candy” showcases a collection of confectionery machinery, molds, and ephemera that will be on view through February 17....
Independence Seaport Museum

Eastern State PenitentiaryEastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue, was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world—the world’s first true penitentiary, opened in 1829—but today it stands in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone. Its audio tour is narrated by actor Steve Buscemi. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m....
Eastern State Penitentiary

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Division News

Teens' Top Ten logoTeens’ Top Ten titles
YALSA has announced its official 2013 Teens’ Top Ten titles. Voting for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten took place from August 15 through Teen Read Week, October 13–19, with more than 32,000 votes cast. This year, there were 28 nominees that competed for the list. The official 2013 Teens’ Top Ten titles are featured in a video announcement (1:37). Nominators are members of teen book groups in 16 school and public libraries around the US....
YALSA, Oct. 21; YouTube, Oct.21

Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway recipients
YALSA has announced the 50 recipients of its Teens’ Top Teen Book Giveaway, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Each library will be receiving a set of all 28 nominated 2013 Teens’ Top Ten titles. The official 2013 Teens’ Top Ten titles were announced this week....
YALSA, Oct. 17, 21

Cover of The Greening of America's LibrariesThe Greening of America’s Libraries
ACRL and LLAMA have published a new ebook, The Greening of America’s Libraries: LEEDing the Way. Written by Mary M. Carr and Steven L. Carr, this digital publication introduces librarians and design professionals to the information, standards, and tools necessary to construct or renovate a library in accordance with the US Green Building Council’s LEED requirements and process. The Carrs provide readers with point-by-point explanations of LEED requirements in all relevant categories....
ACRL, Oct. 22

Creating a leadership development training program
If you have ever thought about how to create a leadership development training program for your region or institution, LLAMA’s new webinar may be what you need. “Creating a Leadership Development Training” will take place on November 20 and will present the process used to create the Virginia Library Leadership Academy, a biennial leadership development training program for library staff sponsored by the Virginia Library Association. Register online....
LLAMA, Oct. 22

Ina LaguertaIna Laguerta is AASL’s Spectrum Scholar
As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in the school library profession, AASL has named Ina Laguerta (right) as its 2013 Spectrum Scholar. Laguerta is currently working on her MLIS degree through San José State University's online program, with a focus on children’s services and teacher librarianship. She is also pursuing a graduate degree in public administration at California State Polytechnic University....
AASL, Oct. 21

Friend your library buttonsIt’s National Friends of Libraries Week
United for Libraries is coordinating the eighth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, October 20–26. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to promote your group in the community and raise awareness; it’s also an excellent opportunity for your library and trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support, just as the Bemidji (Minn.) Public Library is doing. Applications for the 2013 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards, which recognize celebrations during the week, are due December 2....
United for Libraries; Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer, Oct. 21

Trustee Academy logoVirginia offers Trustee Academy
The state of Virginia recently joined six other states in making the United for Libraries Trustee Academy available for its libraries through a multiple-use purchase. The Trustee Academy is series of online courses to help trustees become exceptionally proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. All of the courses are taught by a professional in the field....
United for Libraries, Oct. 21

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Awards & Grants

Nominations sought for Kilgour Award
Nominations are invited for the 2014 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC and LITA. The $2,000 award recognizes research relevant to information retrieval, storage, and dissemination. The deadline for nominations is December 31....
LITA, Oct. 21

ALSC and YALSA receive Youth Literacy grant
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded a Youth Literacy grant in the amount of $246,806 to ALSC and YALSA. The two divisions will use the grant to support three important initiatives: El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day), Teen Read Week, and summer reading for teens. The grants are awarded to public libraries, schools, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading....
ALSC, Oct. 21

Kid climbs into US Air Force jet engine, ca. 1947. From Boston Public Library's Leslie Jones collectionBoston Public Library wins 2013 Focus Award
The Boston Public Library has received the Commonwealth Focus Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography for its work in digitizing photo archives, books, maps, manuscripts, prints, and other library materials for the Digital Commonwealth, Massachusetts’ consolidated statewide digital library. The award honors work that brings prominence to the local photographic scene....
Boston Public Library, Oct. 21

Isabel Allende2013 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards
On October 23, the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library recognized internationally celebrated author Isabel Allende (right) and bestselling nonfiction author and journalist Michael Lewis with the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the literary world. Receiving the 21st Century Award for significant recent achievement by a Chicago-area writer was Christine Sneed....
Chicago Public Library Foundation

Amanda Coplin, author of The Orchardist, was one of the winners2013 Whiting Writers’ Awards
Ten writers have been chosen to receive the $50,000 for the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Awards. Since 1985, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Writing Foundation has given over $6 million to 290 writers who have shown “exceptional talent and promise in early career.” The awards honor works in the categories of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays, and are intended to identify writers “who have yet to make their mark on the literary culture.”...
GalleyCat, Oct. 22

Cover of The Rise of Liberal Religion2014 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize
The American Society of Church History has awarded Matthew S. Hedstrom, assistant professor of religious studies and American studies at the University of Virginia, the 2014 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for the best first book in the history of Christianity. His book, The Rise of Liberal Religion: Book Culture and American Spirituality in the Twentieth Century, was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press....
UVA Today, Oct. 17

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AL Live

Libraries in the News

Major R. OwensMajor R. Owens dies at 77
Major R. Owens (right), a former librarian who went to Congress from Brooklyn and remained there for 24 years, fighting for more federal aid for education and other liberal causes, died October 21 in Manhattan. He was 77. Owens spent much of his time in Congress (1983–2007) sponsoring and shaping measures to put more federal money into reducing high school dropout rates, hiring more teachers, and improving library services. In 1987, Owens received Honorary Membership in ALA. An interview with Owens appeared in the June/July 2001 issue of American Libraries....
New York Times, Oct. 22; Little Known Black Librarian Facts, June 14, 2012; “Making a Difference: Our Librarian in Congress,” American Libraries 32 (June/July 2001): 56–59

Kentucky libraries under threat
John Chrastka writes: “Wayne Onkst, director of the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, spoke at the recent KLA/KSLA 2013 Joint Conference about the impact that the pending court cases against Campbell and Kenton County libraries could have on the rest of the libraries in the state. As we have been commenting on for some time, if the appeals court finds with the plaintiffs and against the libraries, the results will be devastating around the state. We asked Onkst a few follow-up questions to put some data behind this perilous situation.”...
EveryLibrary Blog, Sept. 4, Oct. 23

Rachel Reynolds Luster in the Myrtle (Mo.) Library. Photo by Jennifer Davidson/KSMUInside a rural, one-room library
Jennifer Davidson writes: “There’s one state highway running through Myrtle, Missouri. It’s a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. While the Myrtle library receives taxpayer money, it only gets $200 a month for books and supplies. So Director Rachel Reynolds Luster (right) has used social media to garner donations from people around the state. She’s already secured about 1,000 new books. Luster is one of thousands of rural librarians trying to bring a sense of community, learning, and connectedness to their isolated areas.”...
NPR: Morning Edition, Oct. 21

Cover of Lost GirlsLost Girls removed from Auckland libraries
A graphic novel that depicts the sexual encounters of fairytale heroines has made history as the first book pulled from the Auckland (N.Z.) Libraries shelves for being too explicit. Lost Girls, by English graphic novel writer Alan Moore and his wife, artist Melinda Gebbie, was originally purchased in 2008 for the library’s collection at the request of a user. It was removed after questions were raised over its erotic content...., Oct. 20

Cover of Eleanor and ParkRowell gets a second chance in St. Paul
Author Rainbow Rowell may have lost a chance to speak to Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota, high schools in September after her visits were canceled, but she will be in St. Paul for two events in late October. After the controversy over her novel Eleanor and Park piqued interest in the book, St. Paul Public Library staff chose it for their 2014 Read Brave program for teens and adults. The St. Paul library started the Read Brave program in 2013 to spark intergenerational conversations about a young adult novel....
St. Paul (Minn.) Star Tribune, Oct. 22; MPR News: The Daily Circuit, Sept. 25

Cover of To Kill a MockingbirdPlaquemines reinstates To Kill a Mockingbird
The Plaquemines Parish (La.) School District has lifted a 12-year-old ban on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and will review its policies regarding textbooks and other reading materials. The move follows an earlier report that noted teachers had been instructed to stop using the Harper Lee novel as part of their coursework. The American Civil Liberties Union drafted an open letter (PDF file) to the district urging it to reconsider....
WDSU-TV, New Orleans, Oct. 12, 22

Mary RyanIllinois librarian has the right stuff for NASA
Woodstock (Ill.) Public Library Youth Services Librarian Mary Ryan (right) recently received an invitation to participate in a NASA program that allows educators to join training for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution program (MAVEN). The basis of NASA’s mission is to launch a Mars-bound spacecraft that will help determine certain facts about the Red Planet. Ryan and other educators will take part in the mission’s training course....
Woodstock (Ill.) Independent, Oct.

Richard T. GreenerHistoric African-American documents undervalued, finder says
Rufus McDonald, a Chicago contractor who uncovered a trove of documents belonging to the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University, said October 16 he’s been frustrated by how little the Ivy League school is offering him for the papers. The documents belonged to Richard T. Greener (right), a prominent intellectual of the 1800s who spent his final years in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood....
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 17

The papers left behind after Dickinson's death included many poems written during that period on various types of household paper, including this manuscript for “We talked with each other about each other” on a piece of ledger. Amherst CollegeEmily Dickinson revealed online
The manuscripts of Emily Dickinson have long been scattered across multiple archives, meaning scholars had to knock on numerous doors to see all the handwritten drafts of a poet whose work went almost entirely unpublished in her lifetime. The online Emily Dickinson Archive, launched October 23, promises to change all that by bringing together on a single open-access website thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, Boston Public Library, and five other institutions....
New York Times, Oct. 22

Screenshot of video showing portion of Japanese game collection acquired by the National Museum of PlayNational Museum of Play acquires Japanese games
Chris Kohler writes: “The Strong, an institution in Rochester, New York, that encompasses the National Museum of Play and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, has acquired a massive collection of complete sets of games for classic Japanese consoles. Spanning more than 7,000 games, the collection features the entire libraries of games for 18 different platforms, including the Famicom, Sega Mega Drive, and Nintendo 64.” Watch the video (1:06)....
Wired Game|Life, Oct. 7

Michigan librarian fired for cooperating with police
A former Montrose, Michigan, branch librarian is suing the Genesee District Library over claims she was fired for cooperating with the police after she called for help with a patron who refused to leave the library. Susan Harshfield said she was fired because library management was upset that she provided a detailed statement of the September 5 incident to police and that those statements could cause liability issues for the library in potential future civil or criminal cases. Her attorney claims his client was serving as a whistleblower....
Flint (Mich.) Journal, Oct. 17

J. Erik Jonsson Ccentral Library, Dallas. Screenshot from WFAA-TV newscastDallas Public Library repairs will cost $1.3 million
On October 4 the city of Dallas had to temporarily close the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library downtown because of a sewer leak that knocked out the power. Weeks—and hundreds of thousands of dollars—later the issue is not yet resolved, which is why another shutdown is coming on October 27, when crews begin installing a more permanent fix guesstimated to cost around $1.3 million....
Dallas Morning News: City Hall Blog, Oct. 4, 21; WFAA-TV, Dallas, Oct. 21

Topeka seeks a four-year concealed-carry exemption
The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library will seek a four-year exemption to the state’s new concealed-carry law after the board approved the measure 7–1 on October 17. The board reached its decision after two hour-long executive sessions and after reviewing feedback from dozens of patrons. While the current board consensus is to ban guns, which is in line with the majority of that feedback, the board does have the option to allow guns on the premises....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Oct. 17

North Hampton (N.H.) Public LibraryGhost hunters visit North Hampton library for Teen Read Week
On August 21, investigators from North East Paranormal Associates and the Seeking The Unknown Realm Society visited the North Hampton (N.H.) Public Library (right) to search for ghosts and spirits with a group of children who assisted them. Both paranormal teams use a variety of equipment to detect electromagnetic fields. On October 15, during Teen Read Week, the teams returned to the library to review their videos and photos and to report on historical research they conducted....
Hampton (N.H.) Union, Oct. 22

New Bedford branch manager faces larceny charge
Police charged Judith Downey, manager of the Casa da Saudade branch of the New Bedford (Mass.) Free Public Library, with larceny October 18 after a probe into whether she had used dead people’s library cards to check out books in what police authorities have described as a “hoarding” case. Police said Downey admitted to the theft after a detective saw her trying to return some of the books. Director Stephen Fulchino, whose expired contract was not renewed on October 9, had been informed in February by the SAILS Library Network that an employee was abusing library privileges....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Oct. 19, 22

Estelle WilhelmSyracuse iSchool receives $7 million gift
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University was the recipient of a landmark gift of $7 million—the largest single gift in the iSchool’s history—from the estate of Estelle Wilhelm (right), a 1939 graduate of the iSchool. A professional librarian for most of her career, Wilhelm died in 2012 in Gillette, New Jersey. $1 million of the gift will be designated for the iSchool’s Tech Endowment, which provides new and upgraded technology for classrooms and labs....
iSchool News, Oct. 17

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Wilmington Trust report on library foundationsPublic library foundations in the United States
The Wilmington Trust has released a report (PDF file) that covers important trends in public libraries and data on public library foundations. Managing Director Walter J. Dillingham Jr. writes: “We found that almost 80% of public libraries (out of the top 100 libraries) use a separate fundraising foundation. These vary in size and scope. Queens Borough Public Library is the only New York City system to utilize a foundation, while Boston Public Library has three foundation entities that support its fundraising.”...
Wilmington Trust

Tor, encrypting software you need to access the DarknetDarknet: The alternative internet
Clive Thompson writes: “Criminals have figured out something vital when it comes to communicating. Many of them—the ones with any security sense—use a Darknet. These are networks of secretive websites that can’t be viewed on the ‘regular’ internet. Darknet sites are hosted on regular servers, but to access them you need special software like Tor, usually something that encrypts all users’ traffic and allows them relative anonymity. Get set up with the right technology and presto: You can see a second, parallel internet.”...
Wired Opinion, Oct. 18

Let’s talk about “censorship”
Kelly Jensen writes: “Since when is critically assessing what one reads censorship? And when can we fairly point to something and claim that it’s an act of censorship? Perhaps it’s time we look at what censorship really means. Censorship is the act of suppressing speech, books, or movies. Criticism, on the other hand, is an evaluation, examination, and judgment on the strengths and weaknesses within an artistic work.”...
Book Riot, Oct. 21

American Mensa logoMensa members list favorite banned books
Members of American Mensa have ranked the “banned books” they think are must reads. Randomly selected members chose their top 10 from a list of 30 banned books and ranked them in order of importance. The top five were 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, On the Origin of Species, and Catcher in the Rye....
American Mensa, Oct. 21

Wikipedia vs. PR firms
Joe Mullin writes: “Wikipedia editors have disabled hundreds of paid Wikipedia editing accounts in recent weeks as part of a campaign against so-called ‘sockpuppetry.’ The efforts were described in a statement by the Wikimedia Foundation, in which Director Sue Gardner acknowledged that ‘as many as several hundred’ accounts belong to editors who are being paid to promote products or services on the site. That’s a violation of Wikipedia policies and terms of use.”...
Ars Technica, Oct. 21; Wikimedia Blog, Oct. 21

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Tech Talk

iPad AirApple’s new rollout
Chris Velazco and Darrell Etherington write: “Apple wrapped up its event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco on October 22 and, as promised, there was plenty to dig into. We’ve pumped out many stories dissecting the announcements, but in case you’re looking for a highlight reel of sorts, we’ve put together this quick rundown of everything Apple pulled back the curtain on”: Retina MacBook Pros, a new Mac Pro, iPad Air (right), an iPad mini with Retina display, a platform upgrade to OS X 10.9 Mavericks (with its hidden features), and, significantly, free software suites with new purchases....
TechCrunch, Oct. 22; Macworld, Oct. 22; CNET News, Oct. 22; Gizmodo, Oct. 22; Ars Technica, Oct. 22; Lifehacker, Oct. 22; New York Times: Bits, Oct. 23

Freedom Spot Photon from FreedomPopThe best mobile hotspots on every carrier
Eugene Kim and Alex Colon write: “Looking to get online anytime, anywhere? Mobile hotspots are a great one-size-fits-all solution because they let you connect laptops, tablets, or any other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the mobile network of your choice. But depending on your hotspot, plan, and usage, nationwide connectivity can cost you well over $100 if you do much downloading or streaming. With that in mind, here’s our roundup of the best mobile hotspots on the market today.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 16

Text and driveHands-free texting is not safer while driving
David Pogue writes: “For the first time, researchers finally have compared hands-free texting with hands-on texting. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute studied people driving a closed course under three conditions: while texting by hand, while texting by voice (using Siri for iPhone and Vlingo for Android), and without texting at all. Whether texting by hand or by voice, drivers who were texting took about twice as long to react and spent less time watching the road than those who did not.”...
Scientific American, Oct. 22; Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Apr. 23

Windows 8.1 offers the ability to bypass the Start screen and go directly to the desktopTop six features in Windows 8.1
Michael Muchmore writes: “Microsoft’s just-launched Windows 8.1 upgrade is much more than a service pack, even though it’s a free update for Windows 8 users through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 brings literally hundreds of updates, fixes, and tweaks for both home and business users. Here are what we consider the handful of new features that we think will affect the largest number of Windows 8 users.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 17

Free LiFi spotNew Chinese light bulb emits Wi-Fi signal
A group of Chinese scientists at Shanghai’s Fudan University had a bright idea: a light bulb that produces its own Wi-Fi signal. The technology is called LiFi (light fidelity) and the prototype actually works better than the average connection in China. As many as four computers placed near a LiFi bulb can connect to the net, using light frequencies rather than the usual radio waves. However, the private company PureVLC said it did not know how valid the report was “without seeing more evidence.”...
Gizmodo, Oct. 18; Xinhua, Oct. 17;, Oct. 21

Dust in the computer caseHow to tell if your computer is overheating
Chris Hoffman writes: “Heat is a computer’s enemy. Computers are designed with heat dispersion and ventilation in mind so they don’t overheat. If too much heat builds up, your computer may become unstable or suddenly shut down. The CPU and graphics card produce much more heat when running demanding applications. If there’s a problem with your computer’s cooling system, an excess of heat could even physically damage its components.”...
How-To Geek, Oct. 23

Total Commander file management appFile manager apps for your Android
Amit Agarwal writes: “The good thing about Android is that it gives you access to the device’s entire file system without requiring you to ‘root’ the phone (or tablet). Android, the vanilla edition, itself doesn’t include any file manager app but there are literally hundreds of apps in the Google Play store that fill the void and let you easily manage files and folders stored on your mobile device.”...
Digital Inspiration, Oct. 22

MakerBot DigitizerThe MakerBot Digitizer
John Biggs writes: “We now have real magic. It’s here. It’s not always perfect nor is it quite consumer-ready, but the $1,400 MakerBot Digitizer is one of the coolest things I’ve seen this decade. The Digitizer is essentially a turntable, a webcam, and some lasers. It uses MakerBot’s conveyor app to control the motion of objects on the turntable and then scans the points generated by the laser during the rotation. Are the scans perfect? No. Scanning requires work and tradeoffs, but in the end you get approximately what you’re looking for.”...
TechCrunch, Oct. 17

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Macmillan expands library ebook lending
Alan S. Inouye writes: “In October, Macmillan will begin offering its entire ebook backlist to libraries. The publisher first entered the library ebook market in January 2013 by offering a pilot of its mystery titles under the Minotaur imprint, then expanded the pilot to romance titles in June. With its third foray into the library ebook market this year, Macmillan is definitely on an ‘upward trajectory with librarians,’ said ALA President Barbara Stripling. This updated chart (PDF file) summarizes the library ebook offerings of the Big Six publishers.”...
AL: E-Content, Oct. 17; Publishers Weekly, Oct. 17

An ebook version of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, rendered on a mobile phone, e-reader, and tablet. Photo courtesy of OverDriveHow to get the most from library ebooks
David Rothman writes: “Want to hear text to speech from free library ebooks on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android and the usual OverDrive app can’t do ‘read-aloud’ unless audiobooks count? Also, what if you haven’t even bought an e-reading gizmo for library use, but want to? In those cases and others, the guidance here is for you. Most tips will work even with low-cost, no-name tablets. But let’s pay special attention to the new Kindle Fire HDX.”...
TeleRead, Oct. 18

Spending big on Fifty Shades of Grey
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “How much do you think is appropriate for a library system to pay to give its patrons access to an ebook like Fifty Shades of Grey? I realize this is a loaded question, but it’s loaded for a reason: I’m on an ALA webcast right now in which one librarian, Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Cleveland, revealed that her library spent roughly $23,400 on purchasing 300 ebook copies of the E. L. James bestseller.”...
Digital Book World, Oct. 23

New digital natives find it hard to type
Dianna Dilworth writes: “Kids that have grown up with iPads and iPhones are having a problem learning how to use QWERTY keyboards, according to a October 13 report in the Washington Post. Elementary school kids are now getting lessons in how to use a keyboard and a mouse, but their teachers say they are having difficulty composing text on a keyboard, compared to swiping a tablet or smartphone. This report raises the question of how these kids will be writing in the future.”...
AppNewser, Oct. 21; Washington Post, Oct. 13

Provincetown Public Press logoProvincetown Public Press: The good, the bad, the unknown
Matt Clark and Cheryl Napsha of Provincetown (Mass.) Public Library have written a series of posts on different aspects of the library’s new e-publishing venture, Provincetown Public Press. This week, they’re following up with a summary of their efforts so far—obstacles, successes, and a vision forward: “We come before you older, wiser, and, well, older. And it’s possible that we lied about the wiser part. Here’s what we’ve learned.”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Oct. 17

Zola Books logoCan ebooks save the neighborhood bookstore?
Michael Grothaus writes: “An e-bookstore startup called Zola Books has paired with the popular novelist Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, to try to save brick-and-mortar shops. Niffenegger says that, despite what some assume, the reason she never released The Time Traveler’s Wife on Kindle or iBooks wasn’t in protest against the book industry’s transition to digital—it was simply out of patience.”...
FastCompany, Oct. 17

10 laws of digital preservation
Kevin Driedger writes: “On October 18, I posted Paul Banks’s 10 Laws of Preservation. I concluded the post acknowledging that these 10 laws were book-and-document focused and that I would be interested in reading 10 laws of digital preservation. Dave Thompson, digital curator at the Wellcome Library in London, happened across my blog post and offered up his 10 Laws of Digital Preservation. With his permission, I present them here.”...
Library Preservation 2, Oct. 18, 20

Western Regional Storage Trust logoPhase 2 of the Western Regional Storage Trust
Researchers can be assured that the scholarly record will be preserved for future generations through a coordinated system of trusted print archives held at libraries throughout the western United States. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of California Libraries a three-year grant to continue development of the Western Regional Storage Trust, a distributed shared print repository program for retrospective journal archives....
University of California, Oct. 21

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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Don’t miss in-demand speaker and activist Andrew Slack at the ALA President’s Program on January 26 talk about his work and the importance of libraries in the community. Creator, cofounder, and executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance, Slack focuses on making fantasy an invitation to change the world for the better.

San Jose State University

Project MUSE


Cover of Records and Information Management

Benefiting LIS students and professionals alike, Patricia C. Franks in Records and Information Management presents complete coverage of the records and information lifecycle model. Encompassing paper, electronic (databases, office suites, email), and new media records (blogs, wikis), as well as records residing in “the cloud” (software as a service), the text addresses a full range of topics. NEW! From ALA Neal-Schuman.

AL Live

on Film

Twlight Zone

Twilight Zone (November 20, 1959, TV series), “Time Enough at Last.” Burgess Meredith plays a bookish bank teller who survives a nuclear holocaust. He discovers that the public library’s collection is intact, and he begins a plan of uninterrupted reading for years to come. Just as he settles down to read, his glasses slip from his face and shatter. The episode ends as he cries, “That’s not fair at all. There was time now. There was all the time I needed! It’s not fair!

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone (June 2, 1961, TV series), “The Obsolete Man.” In a totalitarian State that has made literacy a crime, librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) is considered obsolete. The prosecuting Chancellor (Fritz Weaver) declares that there are no longer any books and therefore no need for a librarian. Wordsworth is sentenced to die, but he cleverly sets a trap to demonstrate that the individual is stronger than the State.

Twn Peaks

Twin Peaks (April 8, 1990, TV series), “Pilot.” Sheriff’s deputies Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) and Hawk Hill (Michael Horse) interrogate student Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) in the Twin Peaks High School library about the murder of his girlfriend Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The scene was filmed at Snoqualmie (Wash.) High School.

Twisted Nerve

Twisted Nerve (1968, UK). Hayley Mills is library assistant Susan Harper, who recommends a book on the Tower of London to two teens. She is stalked by obsessed psychopath Martin Durnley (Hywel Bennett), who poses as a mentally challenged young man named Georgie. Timothy Bateson plays her supervisor Mr. Groom, who has the initials “A.L.A.” after his name.

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.

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Research and Data Support Coordinator, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Organize, plan, and coordinate the libraries’ interdepartmental initiatives to support faculty research in a collaborative environment. Working within the Libraries’ Electronic Resources and Information Technology Department, the Research and Data Support Coordinator coordinates the libraries’ provision of the following services in support of faculty research: research data management, digital humanities tools, web site design, user interface design, database development, digitization services, and content and application hosting and development....

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Digital Library of the Week

Keep Calm and Pray for Boston

Our Marathon is a comprehensive, crowd-sourced digital archive of pictures, videos, stories, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013, hosted by Northeastern University in Boston. The site is asking for stories from survivors, families, witnesses, visitors to the city, and everyone around the world touched by the event in order to speed the healing process. Five graduate students were hired to help build the infrastructure and secure partnerships. They have collected 3,000 items, including content that station WCVB-TV filmed during Marathon Monday that didn’t make it to air, well-wishes gifted to patients at Boston Medical Center, and first-person accounts from victims of the bombings.

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

InStyle, November 2013 cover

The usually glamorous diva [Taylor Swift] wears a simple green woolen sweater and skirt combination — giving off sexy librarian vibes.”

—Mike Wass, describing singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on the cover of the November InStyle magazine, Idolator, Oct. 11.

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Nov. 2:
Buckeye Book Fair,
Fisher Auditorium, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center of Ohio State University, Wooster.

Nov. 6–8:
Access Services Conference,
Georgia Tech Global Learning Center and the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta. “Unlocking the 21st Century Library.”

Nov. 6–9:
Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition,
Charleston, South Carolina. “Too Much Is Not Enough!”

Nov. 7:
Amigos Library Services,
online conference on MOOCs and mobile technologies and their impact on reference service.

Dec. 6:
2013 ACRL/NY Annual Symposium,
The William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center, Baruch College, New York City. “The Library as Knowledge Laboratory.”

Jan. 21–24:
Association for Library and Information Science Education,
Annual Conference, DoubleTree Philadelphia City Center. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”

Feb. 1–4:
National Reading Recovery and K–6 Classroom Literacy Conference,
Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Feb. 26–
Mar. 2:

Music Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt Atlanta.

Apr. 22–24:
Catholic Library Association,
Annual Convention, Pittsburgh.

Apr. 27–
May 3:

Preservation Week.

May 16–21:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Chicago. “Building Our Information Future.”

May 27–30:
International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries,
Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey. Abstract submission deadline is December 20.

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Books & Reading

Cover of The Double, by George PelecanosRousing Reads: Pelecanos, locked and loaded
Bill Ott writes: “I started reading George Pelecanos in 1997, when he published King Suckerman, which is, of all things, a fictional homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Combining the eccentric flash of Pulp Fiction, the noir soul of David Goodis, and the idiosyncratic heart of Elmore Leonard, this wildly violent novel effectively evokes the comic book heroics of the Superfly era while at the same time sucker-punching us with the humanity at its core. Naturally, I was hooked and immediately backtracked to all of Pelecanos’s earlier novels.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Satan in the ninth circle of the Underworld, Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno). Illustration by Gustave DoréThe devil’s 10 best literary appearances
Jason Diamond writes: “It’s hard to deny that there is something downright evil about contemporary Halloween. And who is the personification of all evil? The devil, of course. So while you might be watching movies with Michael Meyers running around and slashing people, try not to forget that no matter how evil any psycho killer, ghost, ghoul, or goblin might be, the devil is the baddest bad guy of them all, and he’s had a long and fruitful relationship with literature. Here are his 10 best moments.”...
Flavorwire, Oct. 18

Cover of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeFind your next supernatural read
Carli Spina writes: “Which type of supernatural creature are you in the mood for? Are you a fan of vampires? Would you rather read about werewolves? Ready for a good ghost story? Are spells more your speed?” For a good ghost story, try Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake, which follows ghost-hunter Cas when he moves to a new town to kill the title ghoul and begins to wonder if she is more than just the next phantom for him to eliminate....
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 22

Cover of Ten, by Gretchen McNeilGenre guide: Horror for teens
Colleen Seisser writes: “Lately, horror novels for teens have been getting some good recognition thanks to authors whose works of horror have a high crossover appeal and good literary merit. A growing trend is that authors are exploiting the horrors of reality. They do this by tackling gritty teen issues in horrific ways—eating disorders, abuse, and destructive relationships are taken to a horrifying level to satisfy teen readers.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 21

Cover of The Witch in the Cherry Tree (1974), by Margaret MahyBest Halloween read-aloud books
Elizabeth Bastos writes: “I am a big booster of ‘gather ’round the cauldron,’ old-fashioned, read-aloud storytime for Halloween. So here are 13 suggestions for the best Halloween-themed read-aloud picture books that won’t give the under-10 set nightmares. Light some candles, put on some spooky Toccata and Fugue in D Minor organ music, sit your little werewolves down, and get reading by the light of the big full moon.”...
Book Riot, Oct. 21

Cover of Freckleface Strawberry, by Julianne MooreChildren’s book Halloween costumes
Author James Howe writes: “Halloween is an opportunity for everyone—writers and readers, kids and adults—to get creative and inhabit the character they’d like to be, if only for one night. I suggest replacing familiar costumes with costumes that are fresh and new. ‘And who are you meant to be?’ will be asked much more often when the answer isn’t obvious.” For example, Hugo Cabret or Freckleface Strawberry...., Oct. 11

Cover of Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie PerkinsVegetarian characters in YA lit
Jessica Lind writes: “October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, beginning with World Vegetarian Day on October 1 and ending just before World Vegan Day on November 1. Teens are no strangers to vegetarianism. In 2007, 3% of teenagers considered themselves vegetarians; this is triple the amount that self-identified as such in 1997. In honor of this month-long celebration, here are five characters from YA literature that identify as vegetarian.”...
YALSA The Hub, Oct. 23

Cover of Unbearable Weight, by Susan Bordo20 essential reads on feminist theory
Elizabeth DiEmanuele writes: “Unfortunately, most feminist literature remains hidden from everyday society. Often tedious, feminist literary theory can be inaccessible and perhaps elitist in its complex use of language and analysis. It is important because, like any study of injustice, it exposes the illogical format of the arguments that support prejudice and discrimination. Here is a list of essential reads, with some brief analysis for your awareness.”...
Qwiklit, Oct. 21

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Tips & Ideas

Average starting salaries dropped 0.14% from 2011 to 2012Placements and Salaries 2013
Stephanie L. Maatta writes: “While new roles offered higher compensation opportunities as well as excitement, that growth did not extend to the full range of new librarians. Overall, starting salaries were flat and placements decreased in school libraries. The overall average starting salary growth was lackluster, holding steady at $44,503, $62 less than in 2011, though this varied widely by region.”...
Library Journal, Oct. 17

How not to blow an interview
Robert J. Sternberg writes: “I’ve watched many a job candidate blow the interview in the roughly 20 seconds it took to answer a typical question. Sometimes I’ve even been that candidate. As academics, we spend many years preparing to get the job we want. And it’s all too easy to lose the opportunity. Whether you are a candidate for a faculty or an administrative position, here are 10 tips to avoid placing yourself in that predicament.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 21

ALA JobLIST Placement CenterTools for an organized job search
Julia Feerrar writes: “I know that the job hunt can be a very long and involved process. There are so many resources available for job-seekers and, as with most things on the web, the volume can be pretty overwhelming. My aim here is to round up some of the tools and resources I’m utilizing so far, and to open the floor for more tips and sharing.”...
Hack Library School, Oct. 16

RLI 283Mainstreaming special collections
The Association of Research Libraries has published number 283 of Research Library Issues, a special issue on aligning, integrating, and mainstreaming special collections into broader library operations, guest-edited by ARL Visiting Program Officer Lisa Carter of Ohio State University. This issue includes six case studies from ARL member libraries that are incorporating special collections more holistically into library initiatives....
Association of Research Libraries, Oct. 22

Archiving web content? Take this survey
Abbie Grotke writes: “Are you or your employer involved in archiving web content? If so, you may be interested in the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s (NDSA) 2nd biennial survey of US organizations that are actively involved or planning to archive web content. You can preview the questions (PDF file) before taking the survey, which closes November 30.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Oct. 22

Furloughed Meris Westberg lends a helping hand at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., during the government shutdown. Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.National Archives welcomes visitors back
When the doors to the National Archives Museum on Constitution Avenue opened October 17 for the first time since September 30, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero greeted the first visitors to enter the building. “It’s clear that our visitors are extraordinarily grateful to spend this special time with the documents,” he said. Read about the short-term preservation projects furloughed archivist Meris Westberg (above) undertook as a historical-society volunteer during the shutdown....
Prologue: Pieces of History, Oct. 17

An iconic example of a pulp fiction cover. Screenshot from CBS Evening News, October 20Saving pulp fiction
Pulp-fiction authors created some of the most enduring characters of any literary genre including Tarzan, detective Sam Spade, and Zorro. The physical magazines that contained their exploits, unfortunately, haven’t fared as well. They were printed on cheap, wood-pulp paper (hence the name “pulp fiction”) that quickly became brittle and acidic. Technicians in the Library of Congress’s Preservation Directorate are working to give new life to the lustrous, eye-catching covers in LC’s collection of roughly 14,000 issues from more than 300 US pulp-fiction titles published between the 1920s and 1950s. Watch the CBS Evening News report (2:35)....
Library of Congress Blog, Sept. 5; CBS Evening News, Oct. 20

Library history as women’s history
Bernadette Lear writes: “When I was researching the history of the Lebanon (Pa.) Community Library this week, I finally looked up from a folder of century-old, carefully handwritten meeting minutes and realized, ‘This library wouldn’t have existed without women.’ And: ‘Most libraries wouldn’t have existed without women.’ I now see that women could be a viable ‘unit of analysis’ in library history (to borrow a phrase from the social sciences).”...
In Search of Pennsylvania Library History, Oct. 19

CCBC 50th anniversary logoChildren’s library for adults celebrates 50 years
Larry Nix writes: “For 50 years the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in Madison, Wisconsin, has been assisting librarians, teachers, and parents with the selection of the best books for children. It has been celebrating this milestone with a number of activities this year including a gala dinner on October 17 and a special display. The CCBC opened on the fourth floor of the State Capitol on June 23, 1963.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Oct. 22

School librarians as school leaders
Laura Devaney writes: “Today’s school librarians, according to a panel discussion that took place on Connected Librarians Day (October 14), are being tapped as influential school leaders with the power to help support the digital transition. This offers great potential for interconnected partnerships. An investment in teacher librarians, who help students and teachers use digital technologies and resources to their fullest, is essential.”...
eSchool News, Oct. 18

Directory information is located on each floorDo a kindness audit
Joe Hardenbrook writes: “Have you ever considered doing a kindness audit at your library? In his HyperlibMOOC class, Michael Stephens discusses the concept of a ‘kindness audit’—looking at your library space to examine how kind it is for your patrons. Is the signage positive? Are your service desks welcoming? Can users find their way easily? What obstacles do your users encounter? I did a walk-through of my library and tried to experience it as someone who has never set foot in the doors.”...
Mr. Library Dude, Oct. 17

Muhlenberg branch of the New York Public Library. Photo by Beyond My Ken used CC BY-SA 3.0NYPL branch offers Spanish lessons
The Muhlenberg branch (right) of the New York Public Library started offering free Spanish classes for beginners in September. The initial idea was to offer just one class, but so many people wanted to enroll that a second class was added. Eighteen of the 20 spots in one class were claimed 15 minutes after the library started allowing people to enroll over the internet, said Branch Manager Ashley Curran....
New York Times: City Room, Oct. 18

Meghan Sitar teaching the art of Wikipedia editing. Photo by Helen FernandezUT Austin kicks off Open Access Week with Wikipedia Editathon
University of Texas at Austin Libraries demonstrated a variety of ways to contribute to the Wikipedia community in UT’s first Wikipedia Editathon during Open Access Week, October 21–27. Meghan Sitar (right), instruction and outreach librarian, said the Perry-Castañeda Library hosted the event to promote on-campus open-access resources....
The Daily Texan, Oct. 21

International Open Access Week logoOpen access: Six myths put to rest
Peter Suber writes: “Open access to academic research has never been a hotter topic. But it’s still held back by myths and misunderstandings repeated by people who should know better. Here, at the start of the sixth global Open Access Week, are the six most common and harmful misunderstandings about open access.” Maura Smale has some tips for celebrating open access....
The Guardian (UK): Higher Education Network, Oct. 21; ACRLog, Oct. 22

Open access, tenure, and the common good
Barbara Fister writes: “I posted an admittedly rather cranky bit of finger-shaking October 17, chiding academic librarians who can’t be bothered to make their work open access. It seems hypocritical for professionals in our field to advocate for open access without practicing it ourselves. It’s also detrimental to our discipline. Most research in our field is undertaken in order to improve practice. Plus, there is a connection between tenure and open access that we don’t always notice.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Oct. 22; Library Journal: Peer to Peer Review, Oct. 17

Naperville creates digital media lab
A 3D printer, 12 iMac computers, and one iBook laptop are set to be the main components of a digital media lab the Naperville (Ill.) Public Library is creating at its 95th Street location. Patrons will be able to use creative software such as iMovie, GarageBand, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe Photoshop to do things like edit movies and photos, compose basic songs, or even print 3D models of architectural designs, said Executive Director Julie Rothenfluh....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Oct. 18

In Cloud Atlas (2012), Archivist (on the right) interviews Somni 451, a death row prisoner charged with seditionArchivists in TV and the movies
Archivists are rarely portrayed in film and television. When they are, they’re often called librarians, or they function like an amalgam of archivist and librarian. Furthermore, portrayals of archivists have been problematic, riddled with stereotypes of the information profession. The University of Wisconsin–Madison Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists presents this shortlist of archivists in films and television who break the mold....
Archives Month 2013, Oct. 17

Teach with Movies logoTeach With Movies is now free
Joyce Valenza writes: “Teach With Movies offers access to more than 350 lesson plans and learning guides for movies and films. I’ve been a fan of this site’s rich curricular materials for many years, and I just discovered that I do not need to resubscribe. The site is now available for free (though it will now host unobtrusive advertising and encourage voluntary donations).”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, Oct. 21

Six DegreesSocial media: Did it really start with Facebook?
Matt Smith writes: “Today, Facebook dominates social media. The dominance of Zuckerberg’s juggernaut makes it easy to forget there was a time when social media was considered an open field, ready for any to stake their claim. And many did, some years before Facebook entered the fray. So what were those early social networks—and what killed them?”...
MakeUseOf, Oct. 15

Chinese handwriting in Google DocsGmail and Google Docs now support handwriting
Melanie Pinola writes: “The keyboard might not be the greatest input device when you’re writing in a foreign language that uses special characters. Now you can hand-write those characters in Gmail and Google Docs. The new handwriting input lets you enter text by drawing with the mouse, trackpad, stylus, or your fingers.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 22; Google Drive Blog, Oct. 22

Title of report on UC-Berkeley librariesLibrarians vs. search engines
University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks should spend more money on his library, because its books, services, and space will become more important than ever over the next two decades. So, at least, says an October 16 report (PDF file) from a faculty committee tasked by the previous chancellor, Robert Birgeneau, with figuring out the library’s place on the university campus of the future. The report said that Moffitt Library should become “a safe, secure, and attractive 24/7 study and research space.”...
San Francisco Business Times, Oct. 18

Chemistry Science demoChemistry Science for preschoolers
Amy Koester writes: “What happens when we mix two things together? That’s a fundamental question that every preschooler encounters with astounding frequency. Mixing things together (chemistry) is a common occurrence in everyday life, and giving children a vocabulary for talking about these fun experiments better equips them for understanding what happens in the world around them. Thus Chemistry Science for preschoolers. Steal this program!”...
ALSC Blog, Oct. 22

Problem Generator for algebraWolfram|Alpha’s Problem Generator
Frederic Lardinois writes: “If you’re studying math or science, you are probably pretty familiar with Wolfram|Alpha as a tool for figuring out complicated equations. That makes it a pretty good tool for cheating, but not necessarily for learning. The Wolfram|Alpha team has launched a new service for learners, the Wolfram Problem Generator, which turns the computational knowledge engine on its head. The new tool is exclusively available to users of Wolfram|Alpha Pro.”...
TechCrunch, Oct. 18; WolframAlpha Blog, Oct. 18

Maddox takes down BuzzFeedThe problem with BuzzFeed
Slade Sohmer writes: “Humorist Maddox (George Ouzounian, right) takes an effective shot at doing what many have tried before: listing the reasons why BuzzFeed is terrible for everyone. Maddox’s video (5:57) seemingly comes from a place of rational, justified anger. And while his points about intentionally shaky sourcing, stolen content, and a lack of editorial point of view are well-known, what sets this apart from the rest is the section on why BuzzFeed makes the lists it does and how you’re a pawn who is getting used.”...
Hypervocal, Oct. 22; YouTube, Oct. 21

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