AL Direct masthead

American Libraries Online | ALA News | Booklist Online
Division News | Awards & Grants | Libraries in the News
Issues | Tech Talk | E-Content | Books & Reading | Tips & Ideas
Libraries on Film | Digital Library of the Week | Calendar

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 4, 2013

ALA Neal-Schuman

YALSA Reads 4 Teens

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

John and Maryanne Hennings Post Learning Commons at Drexel Library, Saint Joseph's University2013 Library Design Showcase
Phil Morehart writes: “Welcome to the 2013 Library Design Showcase, an annual celebration of new and newly renovated libraries. These libraries are shining examples of innovative architecture that addresses user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.” For example, the new learning commons (above) at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia offers students a presentation practice room with video capabilities; an audiovisual multimedia lab; and a digital media zone with dual-monitor computers, comprehensive research content, and the latest software....
American Libraries feature

Stethoscope and keyboardLibraries prep for queries on new health care law
Library workers nationwide are educating themselves about the next implementation phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is slated to begin October 1. On that date, the Health Insurance Marketplace opens to an estimated 7 million people who are uninsured so they can select a health-insurance policy. Although the role of libraries seems clear to most in such a rollout, some critics aired concerns that libraries were being used as pawns to advance a partisan agenda....
American Libraries news, Sept. 3

Sylvia K. NortonNew AASL executive director
Sylvia Knight Norton (right) has been appointed executive director of AASL, effective September 30. She comes to ALA from the College of Communication and Information of the School of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she has been school library media internship coordinator and instructor. During this period, she also served as state e-rate coordinator for the Florida Department of Management Services (2011–2012)....
AL: The Scoop, Sept. 3

Cover of School Libraries MatterLibrarian’s Library: Back to school
Karen Muller writes: “Whether we are going back to school or not, most of us sense new beginnings in the air. And whether we are in a school library or not, we are all part of the educational process. Mirah J. Dow, former member of the AASL Legislation Committee, has assembled a set of bibliographical essays addressing the key components of why school libraries are important to the education of our youth. School Libraries Matter: Views from the Research looks at 10 facets of school library excellence.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Cover of Continuing Education for Librarians: Essays on Career Improvement through Classes, Workshops, Conferences, and More, edited by Carol Smallwood, Kerol Harrod, and Vera GubnitskaiaLibrarian’s Library: Keeping up with continuing education
Karen Muller writes: “We like to think we’re done when we graduate from library school, MLIS in hand. But then we meet the real world and a whole new set of questions and challenges: How does your first employer’s library really approach customer service? How does it implement new technology? And a little further down the career path, will you need to learn a new skill or integrate a new program into your library’s existing offerings? Later on, if you become a manager, will you have a clue what the newly minted MLIS you just hired is talking about?”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

Go back to the Top

ALA News

Library Card Sign-up Month Facebook cover artPromote Library Card Sign-up Month
Help celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month in September with new downloadable tools and public service announcements. Sample media tools are available to remind the public of all the resources available for free with a library card. Tools include a sample press release, op-ed, proclamation, PSA scripts, and radio-quality PSAs....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 3

ALA seeks Endowment trustee
Applications are now being accepted for one year of an unexpired trustee term. In addition to serving the unexpired portion of the term, applicants are also being considered to serve a regular three-year term that begins at the conclusion of the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The candidate will be selected by the ALA Executive Board at the 2013 ALA Fall Meeting. The deadline for receiving applications (Word file) is October 15....
ALA Finance Department, Sept. 3

Being Indispensible eCourse bundleBeing indispensible
ALA Editions is offering a new facilitated eCourse, “Being Indispensible: A School Librarian’s Guide to Proving Your Value and Keeping Your Job.” Hilda Weisburg will serve as instructor for the six-week eCourse starting on November 4. It will show you how to lead, how to identify the people you need to influence, and how to influence them on paper, in person, and during meetings....
ALA Editions, Sept. 3

Go back to the Top

Booklandia banner

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Slow Getting UpFeatured review: Sports and recreation
Jackson, Nate. Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile. Sept. 2013. 256p. Harper, hardcover (978-0-06-210802-9).
Nate Jackson played six seasons for the NFL Denver Broncos. He was, at various times, an extra wide receiver, a third-string tight end, and a special-teams regular. He didn’t get a contract that will support multiple generations of heirs; failed to assemble an adoring, self-interested posse; never signed an endorsement deal. But he lived his dream for six years, never quite sure if he’d survive the next cut—until he didn’t. Somewhere along the way he learned to write, not just link words together to form a coherent narrative, which would be more than enough for most sports bios, but really write. For anyone who wants to experience the NFL player experience, this is the book to read....

Top 10 sports booksTop 10 sports books
Bill Ott writes: “Inspirational is the key word in this year’s sports top 10, from a crew team’s triumph in the 1936 Olympics through the incredible story of a chess player from Uganda who became a grand master. Titles were reviewed in Booklist from September 1, 2012, through August 2013.”...

Booklist Great ReadsSports from the inside
Keir Graff writes: “With most athletes, the poetry is in the way they play—not the way they speak. Nothing kills the thrill of an overtime, come-from-behind win like a courtside interview in which the sweat-drenched victor assures the interviewer that the team came to play, gave 110%, and was lucky to be better than the other team on the day. Thankfully, there are some jocks, coaches, and owners who can put into words what they do on the field—even better, what they do off the field, in the locker room, and on the team bus. Read on for an all-star list of memoirs so vivid that you can practically smell the sweat and Ben-Gay.”...

Joyce SaricksJoyce Saricks joins staff as audio editor
The library profession’s well-known readers’ and listeners’ advisor, Joyce Saricks (right), joined Booklist as audio editor on September 3, taking over from Sue-Ellen Beauregard, who retired August 29. Saricks is familiar to Booklist readers from her popular “At Leisure with Joyce Saricks” column and from her work for the audio section as reviewer, interviewer of the annual Voice of Choice selection, and writer of numerous Listen-alikes features. She plans to continue with these in addition to her expanded role....

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

Go back to the Top

Division News

ALSC Read! Build! Play! logoALSC and Lego Duplo partner in giveaway
ALSC and Lego Duplo continue to support constructive play in libraries through the 2013 Lego Duplo Read! Build! Play! giveaway. The two organizations invite parents, children, teachers, community members, and everyone in between to thank their local public library for their great summer programs by visiting the Duplo Facebook page and entering their name, state, and zip code to vote for their library. The deadline is October 15....
ALSC, Sept. 3

Bound journals of C&RLC&RL now on Twitter, Facebook
College and Research Libraries, ACRL’s official scholarly research journal, now has a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter as part of its transition to an online-only publication in 2014. C&RL’s social media outlets will feature updates on preprint and current articles, book reviews, highlights of past articles from the journal’s nearly 75-year history, and exclusive content from C&RL editors and researchers....
ACRL, Sept. 3

Issue of the AASL AdvocateHelp rename the AASL conference newspaper
A new contest launched by AASL will rename the division’s 16th National Conference and Exhibition onsite daily newspaper. Formerly known as the AASL Advocate, AASL members and national conference attendees are invited to submit names and vote online for their favorite submission. The winning name will be revealed with the release of the electronic preview edition of the paper on October 14. Submit suggestions through September 16....
AASL, Sept. 3

AASL commends 10 supportive programs
Moving on recommendations made by its Affiliate Assembly, AASL formally commended 10 programs based on their support of the school librarian profession. To be considered, programs must align with AASL’s learning standards and program guidelines as well as the principles expressed in the AASL mission and value statements....
AASL, Sept. 3

Shelly McCoyMultimedia production spaces
LLAMA will host “Multimedia Spaces: Creating a Culture of Creativity” on October 2. This webinar, presented by Shelly McCoy (right), will focus on what library leaders need to know in order to create and showcase multimedia spaces and services as assets to the library and to the community or campus. Register online....
LLAMA, Aug. 29

ASCLA Midwinter workshops
Designing online courses, the secrets to successful leadership and how to become a library consultant are some of the exciting topics to be addressed at institutes offered by ASCLA January 23–25 at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Philadelphia. Bundle registration for 2014 Midwinter institutes, the 2014 Midwinter Meeting, and ALA Annual Conference will open on September 9....
ASCLA, Sept. 3

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

I Love My Librarian Award logoI Love My Librarian Award nominations extended
Encourage your library users to nominate you or a fellow librarian for the 2013 Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award invites library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college, and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations are now open through September 27....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 3

Nine awards and grants from PLA
PLA is offering nine awards and grants designed to highlight the best in public library service and to honor those bringing innovation, creativity, and dedication to public libraries. Many of the awards include an honorarium; please visit the website for details on each award and nominate your colleague or library through December 2....
PLA, Sept. 3

RUSA 2014 awards and grants
The nomination period is now open for the many achievement awards and conference travel and research grants offered by RUSA. The deadline for all nominations is December 15, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31. More information can be found on the RUSA awards page....
RUSA, Sept. 3

Cover of Redshirts, by John Scalzi2013 Hugo Award winners
The 2013 Hugo Awards for the best science fiction or fantasy works were presented September 1 in San Antonio, Texas, at the LoneStarCon 3 science fiction convention. John Scalzi took home the prize for best novel for his comedic Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Tor). Bradon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul (Tachyon) won for best novella, and Pad Cadigan’s “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” (in Edge of Infinity, Solaris) was awarded the prize for best novelette....
GalleyCat, Sept. 3

Cover of House of Stone2013 Arab American Book Awards
Anthony Shadid, a journalist and Pulitzer Prize–winner who died in Syria in 2012 while on assignment for the New York Times, has posthumously won the Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award, part of the Arab American Book Awards sponsored by the Arab American National Museum. His book, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East, recounts his return to his native Lebanon in order to rebuild his great-grandfather’s estate, and how that served as a catalyst to rebuild his own strength after having been captured and beaten while covering the uprising in Libya in 2011....
Publishing Perspectives, Sept. 2

Go back to the Top

AL Live

Libraries in the News

Cover of The Bluest EyeAlabama senator wants Toni Morrison novel removed
One week after facing an official GOP reprimand for failing to oppose Common Core, Alabama state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) is calling upon educators to ban a novel used in conjunction with the national standards. Holtzclaw objects to The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison’s first novel, being included on high school reading lists. He was unaware whether the book was in high school libraries, but said he would also support removal from school libraries....
Huntsville (Ala.) Times, Aug. 28

Users take advantage of the technology made available to them at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, District of Columbia. Photo by The Freelon GroupAmerica’s libraries branch out
Elizabeth Blair writes: “It’s not exactly a building boom, but several public libraries around the country are getting makeovers. The Central Library in Austin, Texas, just broke ground on a new building that promises such new features as outdoor reading porches and a café. In Madison, Wisconsin, they’re about to open a newly remodeled library that has, among other improvements, more natural light and a new auditorium. Historic libraries in Boston and New York City are looking at significant renovations.”...
NPR: Weekend Edition, Sept. 1

EveryLibrary: Building voter support for librariesLibraries in crisis
John Chrastka writes: “In case you haven’t heard the news, there are two major crises in public library–land that are occurring right now: in Kentucky and in Miami-Dade County. EveryLibrary is working towards building its coalition of library supporters and its resources to campaign on behalf of these libraries when the time comes.”...
EveryLibrary, Sept. 4

Chicago Public Library's new Back of the Yards branchChicago’s new joint-use library opens its doors
Lauren Barack writes: “Can a public library serve both school children and its other patrons at the same time? That question was put to the test in Chicago August 26 as the Back of the Yards branch—meant to serve as a school library for the grade 9–12 students attending the new Back of the Yards High School next door—opened its doors for the first time. The library has two teen librarians, a children’s librarian, and a branch librarian who is also a K–12 media specialist.”...
School Library Journal, Aug. 27

Copy of Common Sense held by Iona CollegeNew Thomas Paine collection at Iona College
Thomas Paine helped inspire the American Revolution, though he suffered a broad range of indignities afterwards. Now a historic endangered collection, including first editions of Common Sense (right), Paine’s eyeglasses, and locks of his hair, has found a safe new home at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, barely a mile from what was once his farm. When the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies formally opens September 9, it will be a widely welcomed resolution to a battle over the fate of his memorabilia....
Associated Press, Sept. 2

The boxcar library at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, just before opening in JuneLumberjack boxcar library put on display in Missoula
A library boxcar that served lumberjacks at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company camp in Greenough, Montana, from 1926 to the late 1950s was placed on permanent display tracks on June 29 at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. During its first seven months, the boxcar library had 5,010 visitors and circulated 3,195 books. It turned out that lumberjacks, when given a chance, would forego gambling and fighting if they had something to read....
Missoula (Mont.) The Missoulian, Aug. 30

Cover of She's Come Undone, by Wally LambConnecticut prison library policies reviewed
The Connecticut Department of Correction will reconsider its policy on prisoner reading material after She’s Come Undone, an acclaimed novel by Connecticut author Wally Lamb, was removed then reinstated on the library shelves at York Correctional Institution. The novel was pulled August 6 due to “sexually explicit” content after the media review board rejected an inmate’s request to read the book....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Aug. 28

New Library of Birmingham, UKThe new library of Birmingham
The replacement for the old Central Library of Birmingham in the UK officially opened on September 3. It is now Europe’s largest public library. Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for championing women’s rights, unveiled a commemorative plaque during the special opening ceremony. The facility cost £189 million (US $293.7 million) and towers 10 stories above Birmingham’s Centenary Square like a gigantic stack of boxes, wrapped in a mesh of metal loops. The Dutch studio Mecanoo designed the exterior of the building to reference the city’s jewelry district. Cathy Rentzenbrink provides a first look. Watch the BBC video (3:00)....
The Guardian (UK), Aug. 29; The Telegraph (UK), Sept. 3; Dezeen, Aug. 29; The Bookseller, Sept. 3; YouTube, Sept. 3

New public library in Dagenham, East London, UKWhy public libraries are glamming up
Ken Worpole writes: “Library advocates need not be too full of doom and gloom. While cuts and closures are affecting library services, it is also true that the past decade has seen a reinvention of the public library in the UK and across the world. Why are libraries back on the urban agenda? Increasing numbers of people are now engaged in some form of continuing or higher education, and need study space and access to the internet, which many cannot find at home.”...
The Guardian (UK), Aug. 30

Barefoot Gen comicBarefoot Gen ban lifted
In a victory for free speech, the school board in Matsue City, Japan, overturned an order that banned the renowned antiwar manga comic Barefoot Gen from school libraries. Keiji Nakazawa’s celebrated series was removed from shelves after a complainant—one who does not even live in the prefecture where Matsue City is located—called the book an “ultra-leftist manga that perpetuated lies and instilled defeatist ideology in the minds of young Japanese.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Aug. 20, 26, 28

Entrance to the American Library in ParisA bookish haven for Americans in Paris
Craig Turner writes: “The American Library in Paris is a gathering place for Americans and other English-speaking residents, a research center, a friendly environment for working writers, and an outpost of Americana in the heart of Europe. On any given day, you might find students, American and French, browsing the stacks and bent over laptops in the reading room; a book group engaged in discussion in the conference room, or a story hour underway in the Children’s Library. In October, the library will inaugurate an annual literary award for the ‘best book of the year in English about France or the French-American encounter.’”...
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 1

Go back to the Top

ALA Editions


Suggested Timeline and Tagging settings on FacebookNew Facebook privacy policy
Facebook announced August 29 that it was updating its privacy policies to clarify how the personal information of its more than 1 billion users gets collected and used by advertisers. In a blog post, Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan outlined the section-by-section changes. Luckily, you’re not defenseless. With a few small setting adjustments, you can take back control and make sure you share only what you want with the world....
Wall Street Journal: Digits, Aug. 29; Facebook, Aug. 29; Wired: Gadget Lab, Aug. 29

Georgia Tech to offer MOOC master’s degree
In January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a master’s degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education. The program rests on an unusual partnership forged by College of Computing Dean Zvi Galil and Sebastian Thrun, a founder of Udacity, a Silicon Valley provider of open online courses....
New York Times, Aug. 17

UC Irvine's "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead" MOOCMOOCs meet the Zombie Apocalypse
Steve Kolowich writes: “How do you get thousands of people excited about an online course in math, physics, and public health that will not earn them formal credit or any kind of certificate? First, make it a MOOC. Second, make the central text a popular TV show (The Walking Dead). Third, add zombies. The University of California, Irvine, and Instructure, an education-technology company, are hoping that recipe will produce a successful MOOC.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus, Sept. 4

Librarians are not knowledge keepers, they are knowledge buildersPass it on: Librarians are not knowledge keepers
Jennifer LaGarde writes: “I’ve been seeing many inspirational-quote-type memes recently, all referencing librarians as ‘knowledge keepers.’ Perhaps there was a time when librarians held the key to unlocking access to information, but that time is no more. Which begs the question: If librarians are knowledge keepers, but people no longer need librarians to access knowledge, are librarians still necessary? The answer can only be yes, if we shed the label of knowledge keeper and earn one of knowledge builder.”...
The Adventures of Library Girl, Sept. 2

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

The Accell Home and Away Power Station has three plugs and two USB portsThe best school supplies
Jamie Wiebe writes: “Most back-to-school guides are full of gear students can’t afford or shouldn’t want. So we decided to do a researched list of the basics for a student’s home, backpack, and lecture hall. Many of our picks stem from fresh research, but some of them are early previews of full-length guides that are 90% done with picks we are 100% sure of, like pillows, sheets, pens, and laundry baskets. But remember, you may have a lot of this stuff already—don’t buy stuff you don’t need.”...
The Wirecutter, Aug. 22

Various types of cellphonesHow to buy a cellphone
Jamie Lendino writes: “If you thought choosing a cellphone was difficult before, it’s even tougher today. That’s a good thing, though, because it demonstrates how innovation in the wireless industry has skyrocketed. We’re seeing rapid progress across all fronts, including displays, data networks, user interfaces, voice quality, third-party apps, and even mobile gaming. So what should you be looking for when buying a cellphone? Here are some key points to consider.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 27

Aliph Jawbone EraThe 10 best Bluetooth headsets
Jamie Lendino and Alex Colon write: “Bluetooth headsets are better than ever, with improved designs, stronger performance, better battery life, and more compelling features than you could find just a couple of years ago. Some features to consider in a headset: call quality, noise cancellation, battery life, style and design, comfort, range, bonus features, mono vs. stereo sound, and price. This list consists of headsets that excel in all of these areas.”...
PC Magazine, Aug. 27

A man wears Google Glass in addition to regular eyeglasses. Photo by Loic Le Muer used CC BY 3.0 Googling yourself takes on a new meaning
Clive Thompson writes: “Google Glass is the company’s attempt to mainstream what the tech industry calls wearable computing, to take the computer off your desk or out of your pocket and keep it in your field of view. Over several weeks of using the device myself, I began to experience some of the intriguing—and occasionally delightful—aspects of this new machine. Generally I found that Googling was pretty hard; you mostly control Glass with voice commands, and speaking queries aloud in front of others was awkward. The one thing I used regularly was its camera.” A Glass app store will be online in 2014. Lehigh University Provost Patrick V. Farrell documented Freshman Move-In Day with his Glass video....
New York Times Magazine, Aug. 30; Mashable, Sept. 4; Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus, Aug. 29

DVS 128 cameraA camera that sees like the human eye
Aviva Hope Rutkin writes: “Engineers at a company called iniLabs in Switzerland are applying lessons from biology in an effort to build a more efficient digital camera inspired by the human retina. Like the individual neurons in our eyes, the new camera (named the Dynamic Vision Sensor) responds only to changes in a given scene. This feature could be especially useful for recording scenes that do not change often, such as surveillance, sleep research, and microscopy.”...
MIT Technology Review, Aug. 23

Electronic Dream PhoneWhen dumb phones were cool: A visual history
Megan Garber writes: “Remember when Nokia was cool? No, seriously: It was a simpler time, a gentler time. A time when Wired was writing long cover stories about the company with titles like ‘Just Say Nokia.’ Dumb phones, in a way that smartphones never fully did, became fashion statements. They represented a culture negotiating with a new technology. So here are 15 reasons the old-school cellphone represented not just personal technology, but personal style.”...
The Atlantic, Sept. 3; Wired, Sept. 1999

GarageBandEd-tech tools for music instruction
New research confirms that music education can help close student achievement gaps and enhance learning in other subjects. Here are seven music apps and websites for use in the classroom, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service—a free database of teacher-written reviews of ed-tech tools....
eSchool News, Sept. 4

Mover logoCopy files from one cloud service to another
You have been using Dropbox all this while to store your files but are now planning to make the switch to another service like Google Drive or SkyDrive. How do you take all your files along? Mover is an online service that helps you easily transfer files and folders from one cloud storage service to another. The service works on a freemium model—you can transfer up to 10 GB of data for free and then pay $1 per extra GB of transfer....
Digital Inspiration, Aug. 31

An example of Ruby scriptDemystifying programming
Eric Phetteplace writes: “We talk quite a bit about code here at TechConnect and it’s not unusual to see snippets of it pasted into a post. But most of us, indeed most librarians, aren’t professional programmers or full-time developers; we had to learn like everyone else. Depending on your background, some parts of coding will be easy to pick up, while others won’t make sense for years. Here’s an attempt to explain the fundamental building blocks of programming languages.”...
ACRL TechConnect, Sept. 3

Go back to the Top


Authors for Library Ebooks logoLibraries and ebooks
Cory Doctorow writes: “At the start of the summer, I traveled to Chicago for the ALA Annual Conference. While I was there, I sat down with some of the ALA strategists to talk about how libraries are getting a raw deal on ebooks. Libraries are paying as much as five times the price you or I pay for the same book. Not only that, but libraries have to buy these books with DRM on them, and invest in expensive, proprietary collection-management software. ALA has launched a program called Authors for Library Ebooks, through which authors can sign onto a call to publishers to give libraries fair and equitable access to ebooks.”...
Locus Online, Sept. 2

Kindle MatchBook to launch in October
Amazon has introduced Kindle MatchBook, a new benefit that gives customers the option to buy—for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free—the Kindle edition of print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Print purchases all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore—will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook. More than 10,000 books will already be available when the service launches in October...., Sept. 3

The new Kindle PaperwhiteA faster Kindle Paperwhite is coming soon
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “The front-lit Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi went out of stock at Amazon in late August, and now we see why: Amazon has announced a new version of the e-reader that will start shipping October 9–10. The second-generation Kindle Paperwhite will cost $119 in the US and offers a higher-contrast display, a better light, and a faster processor. The company also says there’s new touchscreen technology and that a 19% tighter touch grid offers better responsiveness.”...
GigaOM, Aug. 28, Sept. 3;, Sept. 3; The Digital Reader, Sept. 4

Gale Virtual Reference Library logoSchool ebook market directory
Matt Enis and Sarah Bayliss write: “Ebook providers offer different selections of titles with varying terms. Which ones will best meet your school’s needs and budget? School Library Journal’s snapshot of 19 ebook vendors outlines the suppliers’ range of offerings, terms of use, and pricing options. Do you want to buy your ebooks outright or lease them? What kinds of discounts are available? This guide is intended to help librarians choose the vendors that are right for their schools.”...
School Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Sept. 3

How two schools are riding the market to ebooks
Karen Springen writes: “For this close-up report on going digital, SLJ talked to academic experts and visited librarians, teachers, and students at two high-performing Illinois high schools: New Trier Township High School in Winnetka and Northfield, and Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Both schools serve upper-middle-class Chicago suburbs. We asked the big questions on everyone’s mind.”...
School Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Sept. 3

Penguin Random House logoNow there are five
Jane Ciabattari writes: “What will the recent Penguin Random House merger mean for the publishing landscape? Now that we are down to the Big Five—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster—will we see the US market boil down to a Big One within a decade? The silver lining is that Penguin Random House is large enough that even Amazon, with its $61 billion in annual revenues, most from nonbook sales, can’t ignore it.”...
Library Journal, Sept. 3

Ebook prices: Has anything changed?
Nate Hoffelder writes: “For the past year librarians with the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries have been publishing a monthly price list that compares the retail price for an ebook with the price a library would have to pay (if they can buy the title at all). Over the past year things have changed slightly. Libraries can buy more of the titles on the July 2013 list than they could on the September 2012 list. Of course, the ebooks are as expensive now as they were a year ago but at least more are available to be purchased.”...
The Digital Reader, Aug. 29

Go back to the Top

RSSFacebook YouTubePinterest

Follow @amlibraries

2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Registration and housing will be open October 1.
2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 26–July 1. Registration and housing will be open January 13.
(Bundle registration for 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference opens September 9.)

Quercus Publishing


AL Live

Cover of The New Professional's Toolkit

Bethan Ruddock’s The New Professional’s Toolkit will guide you to success as you begin your career in the information field. Full of advice from rising stars, it will give you the tools you need to thrive in libraries and information organizations. This is the ultimate resource for all new professionals across the information disciplines, and internationally, whether in archives, academic, public, or special libraries. NEW! From ALA Neal-Schuman.

on Film

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, Spain / US). Rebecca Hall as Vicky is on vacation in Barcelona, but she spends time in local libraries researching Catalan culture.


Videodrome (1983, Canada). Sonja Smits as Bianca O’Blivion maintains a private library of videotapes of her father Brian (Jack Creley), whose goal is a world in which television replaces every aspect of human life.

La Vie Fantome

La vie fantôme (1996, Canada). Ron Lea as literature professor Pierre successfully lives two fulfilling lives: one with his wife and two children, and another with his librarian mistress Laure (Pascale Bussières).

Violent Saturday

Violent Saturday (1955). Sylvia Sidney plays Elsie Braden, a librarian in Bradenville, Arizona, who steals a patron’s purse to help pay her bills.

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.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Assessment Coordinator, Auraria Library, Denver. The Auraria Library seeks a creative, flexible, and innovative individual who is able to provide leadership in developing comprehensive and sustainable assessment and evaluation programs; to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment; to work independently and collegially with internal and external campus constituents; and who will contribute to a customer-service-oriented library. Reporting to the associate director of technical services, this position will collaborate with a wide range of library units to evaluate, recommend, and implement processes and procedures for measuring the effectiveness of library-wide activities....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

This 1864 pamphlet, entitled “Union Men and Their Sufferings in North-Western Missouri,” was written by Major J.M. Bassett, former Provost Marshal-General of the Northwest District of Missouri. Bassett provides a “glance at the history of the Rebellion in Northwest Missouri,” admitting “it may be that my hatred for rebels is too intense, my sympathy for loyal men too strong, to make every sentence I write acceptable to all.” The pamphlet, which features several black-and-white illustrations, was published by the Press of Wynkcop, Hallenbeck, and Thomas in New York, with proceeds from its sale given to The Ladies’ Aid Society of St. Joseph, Missouri

The Civil War on the Western Border, hosted by the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, engages Civil War buffs, scholars, and students in research and discussion on the Missouri-Kansas Border War that shook the region from 1854 to 1865. Through a collaborative effort among libraries, museums, and historical societies across the greater Kansas City region, the project provides free access to selected primary source materials and adds unique interactive features and a thematic layer of original scholarly essays and topical encyclopedia entries. The project is made possible by generous grant funding from the Missouri State Library as a part of its collaborative statewide Missouri Digital Heritage initiative.

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

”[T]here is one way in which librarians live up to their reputation: They are superbly organized. I’ve been to many library conferences — national, regional, even Europe-wide — and the one thing I can report about all of them is that they ran like clockwork.”

—Blogger and author Cory Doctorow, “Libraries and E-books,” Locus Online, Sept. 2.

“In college, when the libraries got bigger and I had glimmers of a vocation, they began to seem overwhelming. I started thinking about how many books there were, the impossibility of reading them all, and the difficulty of finding a place among them as a writer, and I started getting Stendhal Syndrome—the fainting feeling the novelist got when surrounded by great works of art—and feeling a little dizzy.”

—Novelist Maile Maloy, interview in Public Libraries Online, Sept. 3.

@ More quotes...


Sept. 17:
Wolfram Technology for STEM Education,
Virtual Conference for Education.

Sept. 21:
Elizabeth York Children’s Literature Festival,
Nicholson Library, Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana.

Sept. 26–27:
The 11th International Conference on Books and Publishing,
Universität Regensburg Universitätsbibliothek, Regensburg, Germany.

Oct. 6–8:
Designing Libraries for the 21st Century,
Conference, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

Oct. 9–11:
Association of Bookmobiles and Outreach Services,
Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Oct. 9–11:
Ohio Library Council,
Convention and Expo, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Sandusky.

Oct. 15–16:
Internet Librarian International,
Olympia Conference Centre, London, UK.

Oct. 16:
National Digital Stewardship Alliance,
Webinar. “Overview of NDSA’s 2014 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship.”

Oct. 17–18:
Nevada Library Association,
Annual Conference, Reno. “Lighting the Way.”

Oct. 18–19:
Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference,
free online conference.

Oct. 21–
Nov. 1:

K–12 Online Conference.

Nov. 2:
2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium,
Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. “Information Behavior on the Move: Information Needs, Seeking, and Use in the Era of Mobile Technologies.”

Nov. 5–6:
Taxonomy Boot Camp,
Conference, Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.

Nov. 15–17:
The Library of Lost Books
conference, Library of Birmingham, UK. “Resurrecting the Book.”

Dec. 6:
ACRL/NY 2013 Symposium,
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, Philadelphia. “Educational Entrepreneurship.”

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Phil Morehart
Phil Morehart,
Associate Editor:

Mariam Pera
Mariam Pera,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

Laurie D. Borman
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send news and feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All 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.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

Cover of Night Film, by Marisha PesslRousing Reads: Marisha Pessl’s Night Film
Bill Ott writes: “It’s the time of year when all of us connected to the publishing world begin speculating about the season’s big books. The major book shows—BookExpo America in May and ALA Annual Conference in June—have come and gone, leaving dozens of potential big books in their wakes. Now comes the predicting, the opinion swapping, and, one hopes, the reading.”...
American Libraries column, July/Aug.

Cover of Wilson, by A. Scott Berg (Putnam)Forthcoming biographies
It’s an exciting fall if you’re a fan of biographies—a diverse cast of luminaries are investigated this fall in books by writers who’ve spent years researching their subjects’ lives. Bob Fosse, J. D. Salinger, Barbara Stanwyck, Johnny Cash: The roster of bios about famous last names is long and rich these coming months. Kirkus lists the biographies its staff is most excited about this fall....
Kirkus Reviews, Aug. 28

Cover of Death of a Naturalist, by Seamus HeaneySeven pieces of poetic wisdom from Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney, one of the greatest poets of our generation, has died at the age of 74. Having left behind dozens of poetry books, select prose, and a prolific amount of translations, his legacy will not soon be overlooked. Born in Northern Ireland but having spent most of his life in Ireland proper, his knowledge of place went beyond basic geographic demarcations. Almost 40 years ago, Heaney delivered a lecture called “Feelings into Words” to the Royal Society of Literature. Here are some of the finest pieces of wisdom from his speech....
QwikLit, Aug. 31

Cover of Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson50 books you haven’t read by authors you already know
Emily Temple writes: “Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Flavorwire has you covered. Sometimes amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they are before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. Check out 50 great underappreciated, underread, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite authors.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 13

Cover of The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (2013), by Fred Vargas, showcases the eccentric methods of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, a scruffy Paris daydreamer who wouldn’t last cinq minutes in most police forcesNine top foreign cities for detective travel
Barry Neild writes: “A recent boom in the popularity of Nordic noir—TV cop dramas and crime novels based in northern Europe—has seen fans making pilgrimages to the scene of the crime, the Scandinavian cities featured therein. But why stop there? Whereas traditional guidebooks stick to the boring old tourist mill, crime fiction steers its readers to the seamier corners of the city, where mystery, adventure, and possibly even sauciness lie in wait. Let’s look at the evidence.”...
CNN Travel, Aug. 27

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart, details a series of pranks and a secret society at a prominent boarding schoolBooks for every class in your schedule
Carli Spina writes: “Welcome back to school! As you get ready to embark on the new year, check out this class schedule, designed just for you by The Hub bloggers. You just might find some new books in your favorite subject areas or the inspiration you need to branch out to topics you haven’t read about before. Today we’ll be delving into the first part of your day, with the rest in Part 2 and Part 3.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 26–28

Cover of This Dark Endeavor, by Kenneth OppelRemembering Victor Frankenstein
Diane Colson writes: “Brilliant, tragic Victor Frankenstein: He dared to usurp the role of God, galvanizing a haphazard assortment of body parts into a creation of his own. Obviously, he did not think this through very carefully. Frankenstein paid dearly for his hubris, not only during the course of Mary Shelley’s novel, but forever after. Nevertheless, the story of the scientist who used electricity to animate inert matter is still fascinating. In honor of Mary Shelley’s birthday on August 30, here are a few books that build upon her imaginative story.”...
YALSA The Hub, Aug. 30

Cover of Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy LarsenYA books and the maker movement
Ellen Snoeyenbos writes: “Any YA lit reader who’s visited a library recently may be aware that the maker movement is taking the library world by storm. Librarians everywhere are building with cardboard, doing circuitry workshops, and planning do-it-yourself programs for children, teens, and adults. Looking for books that encapsulate the spirit of the makerspace movement? I have a few suggestions.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 3

Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon (Jonathan Cape, 1932) 75 vintage dust jackets
Jason Diamond writes: “Looking at a beautifully designed book cover is one thing, but if you only get the front, you aren’t getting the whole story. Older book covers served as windows into what people used to read, thanks to the catalog selections a lot of publishers put on the backs of their books, as well as showing even more beautiful art on the back. And that’s why going through a site like Facsimile Dust Jackets is such a treat.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 29

Neil Gaiman: "Write. Finish things. Keep writing."Authors who wrote advice on their hands
In preparation for its Shared Worlds 2013 writers’ camp, Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, asked some of speculative fiction’s finest artists, editors, and writers to write advice on their own hands and send them a picture. Shared Worlds Codirector Jeremy L. C. Jones advises: “Sort through these images and read through the text. Bounce this advice off your own writing experiences. Connect these words of wisdom like puzzle pieces.”...
Shared Worlds, Wofford College

Why was I given emotions?17 problems only book lovers will understand
If you’re a self-proclaimed bookworm (or a bibliophile in denial), you can probably relate to these 17 problems. For example, when someone you like tells you they don’t like to read; when an author stops writing mid-series; or when a book makes you cry hysterically in public and everyone thinks you are crazy....
Buzzfeed Books, Aug. 16

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

The public library is the digital bridge
Sarah Houghton writes: “On August 26, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released its survey results about broadband adoption in the United States. It shows that there is still a whopping 17% of the US population that does not have any kind of independent, personal internet access at home. So who’s left to provide internet access for the 17%? The public library. If you ever doubt that offering computers and internet access in your library is a worthwhile service, read this report again.”...
Librarian in Black, Aug. 29

Maker Faire banner outside the New York Hall of ScienceA librarian’s guide to boosting the maker movement
Phil Shapiro writes: “Here’s a goal for all of us who support the maker movement. Let’s try to raise public awareness of Make magazine and the maker movement such that 20% of the population is in the know. That’s a lofty goal, but it’s achievable if we each do our part. The following suggestions are just some ways of working toward that goal.”...
Make, Aug, 28

Lunch bags for craft materialsCraft tips for programs
Lisa M. Shaia writes: “Over the years of doing crafts with all ages, I’ve learned a thing or two. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your storytimes, after-school programs, and outreach programs. I always set up the craft before the children enter the room. I divide the room into two: one side for sitting on the floor and listening to a story, the other with tables and chairs for an activity. If you don’t have separate space, I suggest putting the craft in baggies or lunch bags, or layering in paper plates, and then distributing.”...
ALSC Blog, Sept. 3

The Breakfast Time app teaches fractions. Photo by Greg Shea/WGBHField-testing the math apps
Lisa Guernsey writes: “Six software developers and designers from WGBH, the Boston public television station, descended on a child care center in Lawrence, Massachusetts, bearing a fleet of rubber-cased iPads. Their mission was to test prototypes of math apps they had been working on for months—tools designed with the help of researchers in child development and cognitive science—and to learn from pupils. Would they understand how to play the games? Would they like them? Would they learn anything?”...
New York Times, Sept. 2

Screenshot from time-freeze Vine videoHow to add special effects to Vine and Instagram videos
Taylor Casti writes: “Anyone can become ‘Instafamous’ by adding a filter or a few hashtags to a cool selfie. The real pros live on video. One of the most impressive types of videos on Vine and Instagram is the special-effect video. Hands-free, reflection, and cloning videos are among the most liked and shared. Here’s a rundown of how to create some of our favorite special effects.”...
Mashable, Sept. 4

Pay attention!
Mary Kelly writes: “A while back I was talking with some librarians about the recent problems at the Urbana (Ill.) Free Library, concerning the weeding of a major portion of the collection. I was surprised that no one in my group had heard about this, as it dominated my newsfeed, Twitter, and Facebook. Reading professional literature should be a daily job function. When I say ‘pay attention,’ I don’t mean you have to be an expert, but you have to be aware of the issues, events, and landscape of modern library practice.”...
Library Lost & Found, Sept. 4; Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette, June 14

Admitting our agendas
Barbara Fister writes: “Chris Bourg, assistant university librarian for public services at Stanford University, recently wrote an interesting blog post about her agenda for libraries. It’s a queer and feminist agenda, which might startle some librarians—but she points out that everyone has agendas. They just aren’t always acknowledged. This is the kind of thing you rarely hear from librarians.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Aug. 29; Feral Librarian, Aug. 25

Child of a prisonerChildren and families of parents in prison
Megan Sullivan writes: “In part because prison and jail authorities have no mechanism to identify children, and in part because no agency is tasked with tracking them, millions of minor children of incarcerated parents often remain invisible in our communities. Because of the stigma of incarceration, families are reluctant to out themselves. Yet public libraries are in a unique position to provide a safe haven. They can quietly provide books, media, and other resources that children and families can discover on their own, and they can offer events or opportunities for family and community learning.”...
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 3

Law booksSo you want to be a law librarian?
Janelle Beitz and Mari Cheney write: “You may have heard how the legal job market has tanked, which has a direct effect on law schools. Enrollment is down across the country, which means there is less money for law libraries. Law librarians are expected to do more with less. We’ll never be rolling in money as law librarians, but the job has many perks that make up for that. Interactions with patrons make this job absolutely worthwhile. If you’re trying to decide whether law librarianship is for you, we highly recommend that you engage in some informational interviews.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Aug. 29

Make the transition from librarian to doctoral student
Abigail Phillips writes: “How do you know if you really want to get a PhD? If you are working as a public librarian or school media specialist, how do you know if academia is a good fit for you? What follows are some suggestions, tips, and advice from an ex-librarian turned academic for those thinking about entering a PhD program. Although my focus in this post is on potential doctoral students in information studies, this advice can be applied to any doctoral program.”...
Hack Library School, Sept. 3

Madeline Kripke. Photo by Emon HassanThe dame of dictionaries
Daniel Krieger writes: “About 20,000 books reside in Madeline Kripke’s two-bedroom loft on Perry Street in Manhattan’s West Village—mostly dictionaries and books about dictionaries and language. When she moved in 13 years ago, her collection, by some accounts among the foremost in the world, was a little more than half its current size. At first, the dictionaries she kept on hand for work were simply tools of the trade that took up a few shelves. But a funny thing happened—she became fascinated with these repositories of words and started to fall in love with them.”...
Narratively, Aug. 15

Do our brains work like dictionaries?
A mathematical analysis of the connections between definitions of English words has uncovered hidden structures that may resemble the way words and their meanings are represented in our heads. As every word in a dictionary is defined in terms of others, the knowledge needed to understand the entire lexicon is there, as long as you first know the meanings of an initial set of starter, or “grounding,” words. Finding this minimal set of words and pinning down its structure might shed light on how human brains put language together....
New Scientist, Aug. 29

Cover of Thieves of Book RowBook thieves and other library scoundrels
John Lubans writes: “Travis McDade’s engaging new book, Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It (Oxford University) set me reminiscing about the book crooks I’ve run into during my library career. While Thieves of Book Row is about the booming used-book trade in Depression-era New York City, the book provides antecedents to current skullduggery and book thievery in libraries. Librarians are today more vigilant and diligent than ever, but the book thief is still at large and doing his mischief.”...
Leading from the Middle, Sept. 4

Postal card from Cornell University to LC, sent August 14, 19311931 postal card to the Library of Congress
Larry Nix writes: “One of my favorite categories of postal librariana is pre-stamped government-issued postal cards. Libraries made heavy use of these cards to conduct library business, and they provide an interesting look at library procedures of the past. The postal card (right) featured in this blog post concerns interlibrary loan and was mailed to the Library of Congress by the Cornell University Library on August 14, 1931.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Sept. 3

Fore-edge painting on Autumn, by Robert MudieHidden fore-edge paintings in 19th-century books
Christopher Jobson writes: “Colleen Theisen, outreach and instruction librarian at the University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives, created an animated gif that demonstrates fore-edge painting on the edge of the pages of an 1837 book titled Autumn by Robert Mudie.” The other three books in Mudie’s series also have fore-edge paintings that can only be seen when the pages are fanned....
Colossal, Sept. 2

Demand is high for museum passes
Su Epstein writes: “I truly believe that one of the best services the public library offers is lending museum passes. My library offers 16 passes, some funded by the Friends of the Library and many offered freely by the museums and state parks. In the summer particularly, the passes fly off the shelf. Demand is so high that we have acquired multiple passes for certain locations and also had to devise a reserve system and related policy.”...
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 3

1868 map overlay on current Chicago lakefrontChicago before the fire
This 1868 pocket map of Chicago, published by Rufus Blanchard, shows the city in full-blown expansion, a mere three years before the infamous blaze. The Smithsonian has placed a view-finding lens showing the 1868 map on top of a current satellite view so that you can compare the cartographies. Two of the most interesting comparisons: the extent of the current lakeshore that is made up of landfill, and the number of railroads that no longer exist. There are also similar maps for San Francisco, New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, and Denver....

Screenshot from Ode to LibrariansOde to librarians
Flocabulary has posted an Ode to Librarians (3:31). The song teaches students about the library media specialist at their school. What do librarians do? How can they help you research? Learn all that and more with this educational rap ode. The website provides lyrics and activities. “You know us, the librarians at your school, / Media specialists, there’s so much we can do.”...
Flocabulary, Aug. 15

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611