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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 25, 2013

ALA Neal-Schuman

ALA Editions

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Plus-size friendly measureIs your library plus-size friendly?
Lori L. Smith writes: “Most libraries are conscientious about providing accessible facilities and services tailored to specific populations, yet some forget the needs of their plus-size patrons. More than one-third of US adults and nearly 17% of children and adolescents were obese in 2009–2010, according to a January 2012 data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics. Those numbers mean that every public service facility in the country—including libraries—should be prepared to meet the needs of plus-size patrons.”...
American Libraries feature

By the year 2015, more US internet users will access the internet through mobile devices than through desktops and laptops. From an infographic by PlexicalDispatches from the Field: Don’t dumb down
Bohyun Kim writes: “In the early days of mobile devices, the mantra for the mobile web was ‘Keep it simple,’ both in the visual design of a mobile website and in its content. This claim was based on the assumption that mobile device users would be distracted, in a rush, or only engaged in simple tasks. People’s behavior on smartphones, however, increasingly challenged this assumption.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Accelerated Reader logoOn My Mind: Guide to reading levels
Regina Powers writes: “Technology ensures that readability formulas are here to stay, embedded within the children’s book industry. However, since each publisher and each computerized reading software company subscribes to a different set of readability formulas, which are not sophisticated enough to measure the complexity of content, finding an appropriate book to read can get a bit confusing.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.

Cover of ALA Around the GlobeInternational digital supplement
Explore ALA’s global impact in ALA Around the Globe, the 2013 international digital edition of American Libraries. This special issue (in Zmags format only) presents initiatives, advocacy, issues, and services that affect libraries and ALA members all over the world. In this issue, you’ll find an update on RDA, a look at the campaign to save Romania’s libraries, digital librarianship in Costa Rica, and an ACRL program in Hong Kong....

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ALA News

Banned Books Week virtual read-out 2013Censorship and invisibility
Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Barbara Jones writes: “Over the past few years, hundreds of libraries, bookstores, and community organizations have designed increasingly inventive displays, read-outs, and other activities showcasing Banned Books Week. Yet while we celebrate the deluge of library programming around the world, an upsurge in the censorship of literary classics has challenged the freedom to read. Though books that deal with controversial topics may make some readers uncomfortable, such literature offers a vehicle for true learning and understanding.” Jessamyn West has a nice roundup of Banned Books Week websites. Banned Books Week is now on Google+. ALA President-Elect Courtney Young reads (3:35) from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which is facing opposition in Ohio and Alabama. See all the BBW Virtual Read-Out videos here....
The Huffington Post, Sept. 23;, Sept. 23; YouTube, Sept. 24

Cover of Invisible ManResponding to the Invisible Man challenge
Deborah Caldwell-Stone writes: “The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has sent a letter (PDF file) to the Board of Education of Randolph County, North Carolina, concerning its recent ban of Ralph Ellison’s classic Invisible Man from school library shelves. The letter urges the board to reverse its decision to remove the book, citing constitutional concerns and the importance of having a broad range of materials that represent a diversity of views in school libraries.” The board, responding to the national controversy it created, is scheduled to review its decision on September 25....
OIF Blog, Sept. 24; Los Angeles Times, Sept. 24; Asheboro (N.C.) Courier-Tribune, Sept. 19

Cover of Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers. Books in the series have made the Top 10 Challenged Book list in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2012Book censors target teen fiction
Attempts to ban books are increasingly driven by the desire to protect teenagers from tales of sex, drugs, and suicide in young adult fiction. This growing number of attempts to restrict edgy teen fiction is emphasized as part of Banned Books Week, September 22–28. A total of 464 complaints were registered by ALA in 2012, and it has recorded challenges to more than 11,300 titles since it first started monitoring in 1982. View the Top 10 challenged books for each year since 2001 on the American Libraries Pinterest site....
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 23

Cover of Fahrenheit 451, by Ray BradburyWhy I love Banned Books Week
Kelly Dickinson writes: “The teenage rebel has become a treasured image in American culture. Every nostalgic conversation among my colleagues or friends includes confessions from each individual’s brief past as a teenage rebel. Whether it’s skipping school, sneaking out to a party, or simply dressing as bizarrely as possible, practically everyone has a memory of teenage rule-breaking or bending. Even I clearly recall my version of teenage rebellion—perhaps because the experience helped shape my current career.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 23

Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman, was banned in 1882 by the district attorney of Boston because the sexually charged poems violated "the Public Statutes concerning obscene literature"Lawrence library revisits Banned Book trading cards
From the seemingly innocuous Leaves of Grass (right) to the oft-maligned Catcher in the Rye, the Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library’s winning Banned Books trading cards feature a variety of titles. Throw in assorted media to illustrate them—art quilting, crayon, and digital collage—and the spirit of banned books is captured in a well-rounded set. The library announced the winners of its design contest September 19, surprising the seven people whose designs were chosen from nearly 100 entries....
Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, Sept. 19

Banner for Banned Websites Awareness Day 2013It’s Banned Websites Awareness Day
To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, AASL has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day. On September 25, AASL is asking school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning....

Money Smart Week logoMoney Smart Week webinar
Through Money Smart Week @ your library, April 5–12, 2014, you can join hundreds of other libraries across the country helping individuals to better manage their personal finances. Sign up for this October 10 webinar that will provide valuable programming and promotion ideas, tips on possible partners, and resources that make it easy for you....
Money Smart Week @ your library

Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library chose "Under the Sea: Dive into Reading" as its 2013 theme for Library Card Sign-up MonthLibraries celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month
Throughout September libraries across the country have been working hard to remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply children and teens can have in achieving academic success. For example, Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library hosts a thematic library card treasure hunt each year; more than 1,500 children participate annually. Free downloadable tools from ALA are available online....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 24

Try library card sign-up door-to-door
John Chrastka writes: “I suspect we are missing our key audience when we follow our traditional inbound service model during Library Card Sign-Up Month. I believe we can be much more effective if we take a page out of political campaigns and meet the public door-to-door. I’d settle for event-based sign-ups at the grocery store, bank, train station, or playground. But door-to-door is extremely effective in transforming a contact into a conversation and that conversation into action. And it is rather easy to fix.”...
Library Journal: Advocate’s Corner, Sept. 24

Cover of Including Families of Children with Special NeedsServing families of children with special needs
This newly revised edition of Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians is a step-by-step guide to serving children and youth with disabilities as well as the family members, caregivers, and other people involved in their lives. Authors Carrie Scott Banks, Sandra Feinberg, Barbara A. Jordan, Kathleen Deerr, and Michelle Langa show how staff can enable full use of the library’s resources by integrating the methods of educators, therapists, social workers, librarians, parents, and other caregivers....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Sept. 23

Cover of Say It with DataGet results with data
The collection and dissemination of data about library service in a straightforward, convincing manner are integral components of library advocacy. Say It with Data: A Concise Guide to Making Your Case and Getting Results, published by ALA Editions, addresses front-line librarians lobbying for increased programming or staff, as well as administrators marshalling statistics to stem the tide of budget cuts and prevent library closures. Author Priscille Dando uses a distinctive combination of research-based information and practical applications....
ALA Editions, Sept. 24

Cover of Bringing the Arts into the LibraryBringing the arts into the library
Using a library’s facilities to bring arts to the community is not only a valuable service, but it’s also a wonderful marketing and outreach opportunity. For Bringing the Arts into the Library, published by ALA Editions, editor Carol Smallwood combed the country to present examples of programs implemented by a variety of libraries to enrich, educate, and entertain patrons through the arts—including poetry programs, creative writing, and multicultural arts presentations....
ALA Editions, Sept. 24

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Booklist Online logo

Cover of Love OverdueFeatured review: Adult romance
Morsi, Pamela. Love Overdue. Sept. 2013. 400p. MIRA, paperback (978-0-7783-1537-1).
Dorothy Jarrow, aka D.J., leaves her job working for the director from hell to accept a position as director of a small Kansas library. The building, a beautiful Carnegie library, is dark, dated, and disorganized. It comes with a motley crew: Amos, the depressed bookmobile driver; James, a silent young man with Asperger’s syndrome who has an unsettling ability to disappear into the stacks; Suzy, a perky clerk; and seriously disgruntled Amelia Grundler. Fortunately, D.J. doesn’t have to worry about housing right away because the library board chair, Viv Sanderson, has offered her a room in her home. But Viv has plans for D.J. that have nothing to do with the library....

Top 10 RomanceTop 10 romance fiction: 2013
Donna Seaman writes: “Wit and wise comedy are cherished hallmarks of the romance genre, and humor sharp and tender abounds in the 10 best titles reviewed in Booklist between September 15, 2012, and September 1, 2013, whether set in Regency England (A Wedding in Springtime) or present-day Wyoming (The Accidental Bride). Not to say that serious matters of trust, faith, and love aren’t also addressed in these captivating tales.”...

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

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Philadelphia Update

Make your case to attend Midwinter
Making the case for time off and support for travel and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your institution, supervisor, and colleagues. And you need to be able to communicate those benefits clearly—especially in times of tight budgets and reduced staff. Use the information here to help support your request to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Philadelphia, January 24–28....

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Photo by Beyond My Ken, used CC BY-SA 3.0The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 South 6th Street, is a special collections library and museum founded in 1814 to collect materials “connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge.” It provides an image-rich portal to historical and architectural information for more than 250,000 structures in the United States, as well as biographies for more than 20,000 architects, builders, contractors, and firms, particularly for the period 1800 to 1945. The building was designed in 1845 by architect John Notman in the Italianate style....
Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Vernick Food and Drink signBest new Philly restaurant
Philadelphia magazine selected Vernick Food and Drink, 2031 Walnut Street, as the Best New Restaurant in the city: “Greg Vernick has gathered ideas from places as far-flung as Qatar and Tokyo, but the best thing about his restaurant is the way it makes you feel at home. His best pal, General Manager Ryan Mulholland, makes everyone who comes through the door feel not so much like an honored guest as a welcome friend.” Here is a rundown of other Philly bests for 2013, ranging from Best Doughnuts to Best Red Sauce and Best Dinner Worth Bragging About....
Philadelphia magazine

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Division News

Finalists in AASL 2013 conference daily contest
Four finalists have been chosen in the contest to name the AASL 16th National Conference and Exhibition on-site daily newspaper. AASL members and conference attendees can now vote for one of the following names: Aloft, Hot Air Highlights, The Hartford Current, or Launch Pad. The conference, themed “Rising to the Challenge,” will take place in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14–17. Votes will be accepted through September 27....
AASL, Sept. 24

ACRL Immersion program logoApply for Information Literacy Immersion 2014
ACRL is accepting applications for its Information Literacy Immersion 2014 program. Five members of the nationally recognized immersion faculty will lead participants through intensive information literacy training. Immersion 2014 will be held July 20–25, 2014, at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. The application deadline is December 6....
ACRL, Sept. 24

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Awards & Grants

Anacostia Neighborhood branch of the District of Columbia Public Library. Architect: The Freelon Group2013 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
The following libraries are winners of the 2013 Library Building Awards, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and LLAMA. For the past 50 years, the biennial award has recognized distinguished accomplishment in library architecture by an architect licensed in the United States for any library in the US or abroad. The awards were presented at the AIA Chicago office in conjunction with the 2013 ALA Annual Conference....
American Libraries feature

ACRL seeks nominations for 2014 awards
For more than 75 years, ACRL has been committed to celebrating the achievements of academic and research librarians through the presentation of awards, grants, and fellowships. ACRL urges its members to nominate colleagues whose work has influenced their thinking and growth and whose contributions merit recognition by the profession. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 6....
ACRL, Sept. 24

Jessica BastianACRL’s 2013 Spectrum Scholar
As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, ACRL is supporting Jessica Bastian (right) as its 2013–2014 Spectrum Scholar. Bastian attends the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves as a faculty recruiter for diversity, international, and adult education at Illinois Central College....
ACRL, Sept. 24

Teen Read Week grant recipients announced
YALSA has announced the 10 recipients of its 2013 Teen Read Week Grants of $1,000 apiece, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Teen Read Week will be celebrated October 13–19 this year with the theme “Seek the Unknown @ your library.” Read more about TRW and visit the ALA Store for official products....
YALSA, Sept. 24

Deven BlackDeven Black receives Bammy Award
AASL member Deven Black (right) was named one of five 2013 Bammy Award recipients in the inaugural school librarian category of awards presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International. The Bammy Award is a cross-discipline award recognizing the contributions of educators from across the education field. Other recipients were Jennifer Lagarde, Shannon Miller, Joyce Valenza, and Matthew Winner....
AASL, Sept. 23

Reach Out and Read logo2013 Library of Congress Literacy Awards
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has chosen the winners of the 2013 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, a new program originated and sponsored by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. The awards help support organizations that work to alleviate the problems of illiteracy and aliteracy in the United States and worldwide. Boston’s Reach Out and Read was the winner of the David M. Rubenstein Prize of $150,000 for its promotion of early childhood literacy....
Library of Congress, Sept. 22

George W. Bush Presidential Library entrance. Photo by J. P. Fagerback, used CC BY-SA 3.0Bush Library wins Climate Hero Award
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) handed out her inaugural Climate Hero Award to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas on September 23 for its environmentally friendly design. Former First Lady Laura Bush accepted the award on behalf of the library. Laura Bush was on the design committee for the library, the first presidential library to receive the top environmental certification, LEED Platinum....
CT Politics, Sept. 23

Cover of The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise PennyLouise Penny wins 2013 Best Novel Anthony Award
Louise Penny won the 2013 Best Novel Anthony Award on September 21 for The Beautiful Mystery, her eighth Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery. Penny has received the same prize for other titles in this series during each of the past three years. The Anthony Awards, named after mystery writer Anthony Boucher, are presented each year at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention...., Sept. 22; Mystery Fanfare, Sept. 22

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AL Live

Libraries in the News

Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Pears and Apples, Covered Blue Jar, and Bottle of WineMorgan Library to digitize its drawings
The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City announced September 23 that it will begin the digitization of its collection of master drawings, considered to be one of the greatest in the world. The initiative will result in a digital library of more than 10,000 images, representing drawings spanning the 14th to 21st centuries, available free of charge on the Morgan’s website. The project will begin in October and is expected to be completed within one year, contributing significantly to the Morgan’s commitment to advancing drawings scholarship....
ArtDaily, Sept. 23

Second library worker loses job over reading contest
After 28 years as an aide at the Hudson Falls (N.Y.) Free Library, Lita Casey was stunned to get a telephone call from a member of the library’s board of trustees on September 16, telling her she had been fired. She said she believes the action is related to a controversy over the library’s summer reading program. The decision came days after board President Michael Herman confirmed that Director Marie Gandron, who had been at the library 41 years, was no longer employed there....
Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post Star, Sept. 17

Maywood (Ill.) Public LibraryHistoric Maywood library struggles to stay open
It’s the marquee landmark of Maywood, Illinois, the fifth oldest library in the state. Inside the historic Carnegie building, the village’s public library will turn 140 years old next year. But declining property taxes and state revenue means the facility is more than $500,000 in debt. Director Stan Huntington said the Maywood Public Library is racing against the clock to stay open—either raise the money or extend the bank loan....
WBBM-AM, Chicago, Sept. 23

Librarian Susan Scatena reads to Wally, a 5-foot-long female alligator held by reptile trainer Erik Callendar. Photo courtesy Queens LibraryChildren’s librarian reads to an alligator
Children’s librarian Susan Scatena is willing to look danger in the eye and read it a story if it means getting more children to read. Scatena, who works at the Whitestone branch of Queens (N.Y.) Library, annually makes outrageous promises to children in order to get them to register for the summer reading program. This year’s promise? If at least 300 children registered and read at least 4,000 books over the summer, Scatena would read a story to a live alligator....
Queens (N.Y.) Times Ledger, Sept. 22

Topeka wrestles with concealed carry law
The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library is still wrestling with how to respond to the state’s new concealed-carry law. The new law allows concealed-carry permit holders to carry weapons into all public buildings that don’t have security guards and metal detectors. Continuing its prohibition of concealed-carry would cost between $182,000 and $246,000, depending on whether the guards are armed or full-time employees with benefits....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Sept. 19

The Nicolay copy of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, held by the Library of CongressGettysburg museum butts heads with LC over Lincoln
Officials in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, are hoping to borrow one of the nation’s most historic documents, an original copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The foundation that runs the Gettysburg National Military Park’s museum and visitor center wants to borrow a copy held by the Library of Congress and put it on public display as part of its celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s famed speech. But LC does not lend either of its two copies of the speech because of their fragility and priceless nature....
Associated Press, Sept. 18

A 1536 Froschauer Bible with rare illuminated Fraktur bookplate and genealogical record that documents the flight from religious persecution by the Mennonite immigrant Bachman family. Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, PennsylvaniaPennsylvania’s endangered artifacts
Amy Worden writes: “Pennsylvania is now recognizing its most threatened cultural objects. These are priceless artifacts, tangible pieces of Pennsylvania history. An elaborately illustrated 16th-century Mennonite Bible (right); the oldest surviving butterfly specimens; Red Grooms’s celebrated Philadelphia quadricentennial installation, ‘Philadelphia Cornucopia’; and Thaddeus Stevens’s wig are all among the pieces housed in Pennsylvania collections and named to the state’s first list of Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 20; Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts

Beverly Shattuck. Screenshot from WTSP-TV newscastFormer USF librarian strikes deal on credit-card misuse
A former University of South Florida health librarian accused of using her university purchasing card to run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses will face a light punishment. A university investigation found that Beverly Shattuck used her purchasing card and a department Publix charge card to buy personal items from 2010 to early 2012, with almost $147,000 coming in fiscal 2012 alone....
WUSF-TV, Tampa, Sept. 20; WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, Mar. 28

Dead men rack up late fees in New Bedford
William M. Flynn has checked out nearly 135 books, mostly mysteries, from the New Bedford (Mass.) Free Public Library since 2009, racking up $2,929.61 in late fines. Trouble is, Flynn died in January 2007. The library cards of at least two deceased city men were apparently renewed after their deaths and used to check out books that never were returned in a matter that apparently involves a city employee—although officials declined to say who or how....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Sept. 25

One portion of the Coonskin Library at Ohio University in AthensOhio library dates back a fur piece
The origin of the Coonskin Library in Amesville, Ohio, sounds like a folktale but it’s true. Wanting to establish a library, the pioneers of Ames Township essentially swapped raccoon pelts for books. It happened in 1804 when Ohio was the American frontier and animal furs could be sold in the East to generate cash. Cathy Mowrer wrote about this episode of local history in a new children’s book titled Young Thomas Ewing and the Coonskin Library (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). Portions of the original collection of books in the Coonskin Library are preserved in the Ohio Historical Society and at Ohio University in Athens....
Athens (Ohio) News, Sept. 18; Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 19, 2011; Ohio University

Winning chair design for the Bodleian LibraryWinner of the Bodleian chair competition
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “Student posteriors at the University of Oxford will soon get a new resting place, thanks to the Bodleian Libraries Chair Competition, which has just announced the results. The winning oak seat, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with the manufacturer Isokon Plus, features ‘a strong vertical timber, echoing the spines of the books on shelves.’ It will be installed in the newly refurbished Weston Library (formerly the New Bodleian, built in the 1930s), when it reopens in October 2014.”...
New York Times: Arts Beat, Sept. 19

Newly discovered fragment of Bellini's Il PirataNational Library of Spain finds Bellini opera fragment
Spain’s national library announced September 18 it had discovered a rare fragment of an opera score handwritten by 19th-century Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini in its archives. The single page of manuscript shows an outline of seven bars of notes from a duet in the opera Il Pirata (The Pirate), which had its debut in Milan’s La Scala opera house on October 27, 1827. The fragment was discovered after the library’s cataloging service requested the identification of a “sheet of music bound in an album of 19th century photographs and drawings with landscapes of Malta and Sicily.”...
Agence France-Presse, Sept. 18; Biblioteca Nacional de España Noticias, Sept. 18

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Google Books case to be decided soon?
Andrew Albanese writes: “It took Judge Denny Chin less than 40 minutes on September 23 to hear oral arguments on the cross motions for summary judgment in the Authors Guild’s long-running lawsuit against Google over its library-book-scanning project. Once expected to be a defining copyright battle for the digital age when it was first filed in 2005, the case came down to a short, anticlimactic hearing in which Chin reserved judgment, but sounded more than ready to deliver a decision that could end the matter.” Chin acknowledged the helpfulness of the ALA/ACRL/ARL/EFF amicus brief (PDF file). Read the transcript (PDF file) of the hearing. Karen Coyle offers a useful analysis of the case....
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 27, Sept. 24; Coyle’s InFormation, Sept. 24

Screenshot from Grade 6 antipiracy videoContent industry drafts anti-piracy curriculum for K–6
A new school curriculum on copyright prepared by the California School Library Association and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, in conjunction with the Center for Copyright Information, is part of a pilot project to be tested in California elementary schools later in 2013. Each grade’s material includes a short video and a worksheet for teachers. The material is silent on the concept of fair use; instead, students are told that using works without permission is “stealing.” CSLA Vice President Glen Warren said some of the package’s language has been influenced by rights holders in the Center for Copyright Information. Watch the draft Grade 6 video (2:17)....
Wired: Threat Level, Sept. 23; Wired Video, Sept. 20

Who’s not online
As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email. According to a new Pew Internet and American Life survey, 32% of nonusers cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. They say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys....
Pew Research Center, Sept. 25

Public access bill introduced in the House
Heather Joseph writes: “Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) have introduced the Public Access to Public Science Act (PDF file), which focuses on the issue of public access to publicly funded research results. Sponsors indicate that the bill will build on the February 22 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directive on public access (PDF file) and codify that language into legislation.”...
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Sept. 23

Some people say I have a short attention span. I don't...Ooohh...Glitter!Pay attention to this
Barry Schwartz writes: “Again and again, we are told in this information-overloaded digital age, complex and subtle arguments just won’t hold the reader’s or viewer’s attention. If you can’t keep it simple and punchy, you’ll lose your audience. But by catering to diminished attention, we are making a colossal and unconscionable mistake. The key point for educators to realize is that maintaining attention is a skill.”...
Slate, Sept. 24

Can 3D printing avoid a Napster moment?
Signe Brewster writes: “It’s inevitable that there is a clash coming over intellectual property rights in the 3D printing world. But just how violent will it be? Like music files, 3D printing files can easily be pirated, robbing designers of the chance to make money off their work. But unlike music files, 3D files are highly non-standard, and there is rarely a guarantee to consumers that the design they are considering buying is actually reliable and compatible with their printer.”...
GigaOM, Sept. 18

Bruce SchneierNSA spying is making us less safe
Security researcher Bruce Schneier (right), who is now helping the Guardian newspaper review Snowden documents, suggests that more NSA revelations are on the way. This year Schneier is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In a conversation there with David Talbot, chief correspondent of MIT Technology Review, Schneier provided perspective on the revelations to date—and hinted that more were coming....
MIT Technology Review, Sept. 23

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Tech Talk

Kindle Fire HDXNew Kindle Fire HDX
Kyle Wagner writes: “The new Kindle Fires are here. And they’re pretty damn impressive. The Kindle Fire HDX, in 7- and 8.9-inch models, has improved the screen, processor, RAM, software, and body of last year’s Fire HD. And that’s before you get to the insane new tech support feature Amazon dreamed up. But is that enough for the Fire to shake its rep as the ‘cheap’ tablet? Maybe.”...
Gizmodo, Sept. 25

Some tricks all iOS7 users should know
Greg Kumparak writes: “iOS 7 is a strange new land, especially on day one. Out with the gradients, in with the trippy fluorescents. Your favorite app? It probably looks completely different now. It can be confusing, but we’re here to help. iOS 7 has all sorts of nifty little tricks tucked away in places that are in no way immediately obvious.”...
TechCrunch, Sept. 18

RFID barcode for Mitch Cullin's A Slight Trick of the MindDoes RFID make sense for your library?
Melanie A. Lyttle and Shawn D. Walsh write: “With the adoption of the new RFID ISO standard, it seems like everyone is talking about and looking at RFID right now. There were several vendors at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference exhibiting their equipment and explaining why this was the perfect time to convert your library to RFID. But the real question is does RFID make sense for your library?”...
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 19

Best antivirus products for 2013The best antivirus for 2013
Neil J. Rubenking writes: “Most antivirus vendors that run on a yearly update schedule wait until the fall to release the next year’s version, just like car manufacturers. So, the 2014 models appear in the fall of 2013. As new versions arrive, most of the same products retain their positions at the top of the heap. Here are the best from the current crop of antivirus products.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 19

The demise of the browser plug-in
Brad Chacos writes: “All of a sudden, the browser plug-in as we know it is starting to look mighty unpopular. Microsoft barred plug-ins from the modern UI version of Internet Explorer 10 right out of the Windows 8 gate, and this week, the other two major browsers advanced plans to nerf the out-of-the-box functionality of traditional plug-ins. The reason: Plug-ins may be simple, but they’re also far and away the leading source of browser crashes, hang-ups, and security vulnerabilities.”...
PC World, Sept. 25

Click on an extension to obtain more information about itHow to install and uninstall Chrome extensions
Richard Byrne writes: “Yesterday, I shared a neat Chrome extension called WikiTube. WikiTube matches YouTube videos to Wikipedia entries. This morning I had a couple of emails from people asking how to add that extension to their browsers. Rather than trying to type the directions, I created this screencast video and annotated screenshots.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Sept. 18–19

Laptop keyboard not working?
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “You’re working on your laptop, and all of a sudden, the ‘I’ key stops responding, or a whole section of your keyboard stops responding to keystrokes. Or, worse yet, the keyboard cuts out entirely. While this can be a hassle, particularly when you have work due, there are a few things you can try yourself to get back to the job at hand.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 17

Ancient Windows disks. Photo by Ivo Jansch, used CC BY-SA 3.0How to run old software on Windows
Chris Hoffman writes: “Windows is all about backwards compatibility, allowing people to keep using their important applications on new versions of Windows. But there are limits. The older a program is, the more likely it will break. While you should avoid very old software if possible, sometimes you just can’t. You may have a business-critical application you need to run or may want to play an old PC game. There are ways you can run these programs anyway.”...
How-To Geek, Sept. 24

Make comics with Chogger's Comic CreatorFive tools to create an online comic
Dave Parrack writes: “Once the exclusive domain of geeks, comics are now very much a mainstream phenomenon. This renewed interest in the form factor has led to more people wanting to try their hand at creating comics of their own. Anyone can create a great comic if they have the will to do so and have the tools at hand. Which is where we come in, providing the latter part of that equation, leaving you to figure out the actual content of your comic.”...
MakeUseOf, Sept. 19

Android Device Manager menu screenLock your lost Android phone remotely
Lance Whitney writes: “Worried about the data from your lost Android phone or tablet getting into the wrong hands? You can now lock down your device remotely. Released in August, Google’s Android Device Manager is a handy service that allows you to see the location of a lost or stolen Android device. You can also remotely tell the device to ring or erase all of its data. Now, you can add locking to that list.”...
CNET News, Sept. 24

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Penguin ebooks come to OverDrive
More than 17,000 Penguin ebooks are now live and available for purchase in the OverDrive Marketplace. Penguin’s ebooks are available for public and college libraries, including consortia, in the US in the one copy/one user lending model for a one-year term. Availability of the Penguin ebooks to libraries outside the US is coming soon. Penguin ebooks are available for Kindle via USB side-loading only....
OverDrive Digital Library Blog, Sept. 25

DCWG logoALA Virtual Town Hall on ebooks
Join the ebook library lending discussion by registering for the ALA Virtual Town Hall on Ebooks, an interactive online session that will take place on October 23. ALA members will have the opportunity to join ALA President Barbara Stripling, Immediate Past President Maureen Sullivan, and the leadership of the ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group to learn about ALA ebook activities, plans, and future directions. Register online....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Sept. 24

Portion of Douglas County Libraries ebook report for SeptemberDouglas County ebook report for September
James LaRue writes: “The Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries ebook price report for September (PDF file) takes a look at the ability of libraries to purchase ebook bestsellers on the New York Times list as of September 3. Of the 15 titles in the first fiction list, OverDrive doesn’t carry nine and 3M doesn’t carry six. Of the remaining titles, OverDrive charges between $75 and $80 for seven of the titles; 3M sells five at the same price points.”...
AL: E-Content, Sept. 18

Simon & Schuster begins pilot ebook test in schools
Simon & Schuster has begun a pilot program aimed at making 450 of its most popular children’s and young adult titles available for use in school classrooms as ebooks. The publisher is teaming with school distributors Booksource, Follett, Mackin Educational Resources, and Perma-Bound to make the titles available as ebooks. Each ebook purchased may be used in the classroom for one year from the purchase date, and may only be used by one student at a time....
Publishers Weekly, Sept. 24

BiblioTech's concept of the paperless libraryIs Bexar County’s all-digital library really the future of books?
Zach Sokol writes: “A new library opened September 14 in Bexar County, Texas, called BiblioTech. It is the digital learning center techies have long been promised. Head Librarian Ashley Eklof and I spoke on the phone, and she stressed the idea that this type of library may be a new model, but it won’t necessarily eradicate other types of educational centers. BiblioTech noticed in its first week open that many still wanted the face-to-face interactions when it comes to being taught how to use technology and receive book recommendations.”...
Motherboard, Sept. 23

An NLS-authorized talking book playerEbooks for the visually impaired
People who are blind, visually impaired, or have a physical disability may now download audio and braille books to their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, if they are registered with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in the Library of Congress. The free Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) mobile app is now available through local cooperating libraries. BARD contains nearly 50,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily....
Library of Congress, Sept. 24

iBooks iconBest apps for reading ebooks on the iPad
Isabel Farhi writes: “Admittedly, most reading apps will do the job. But I like a little more than just a basic level of functionality. The main things that I care about as a heavy reader are a good user interface, how progress is marked, and how bookmarks and notes work. With that in mind, I pulled out my trusty iPad mini to try out these 15 e-reading apps. For detailed commentary on each, keep on reading.”...
Digital Book World, Sept. 19

Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library's Software Lending LibraryKansas City to launch software lending library pilot
Matt Enis writes: “Using $17,500 in funding raised by winning the Mozilla Ignite app innovation challenge, the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library developed its new Software Lending Library, a remote desktop system that will enable patrons to check out and use software applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel on their home computers or laptops. KCPL Digital Branch Manager David LaCrone and his team plan to launch a pilot test in October.”...
Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Sept. 13

Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam's WorldRandom House tries out Flipboard magazines
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “Random House has partnered with Flipboard to create curated magazines for two of its bestselling authors, Margaret Atwood and Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. The Margaret Atwood magazine, ‘MaddAddam’s World,’ is inspired by Atwood’s new novel, MaddAddam, the third in a trilogy. George R. R. Martin’s magazine, ‘The World of Ice and Fire,’ is officially being run by fan site Westeros and promoted by Random House.”...
GigaOM, Sept. 20

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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. You only have a few days left to save up to $140, book Midwinter housing before it opens to all registrants, and sign up for the best networking and professional development in 2014. Bundle Registration for 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference is open through September 30. (Midwinter-only registration and housing will open 9 a.m. Central time on October 1.)


AL Live

Wimpy Kid Returns poster

Use the antics of Greg Heffley—the Wimpy Kid—as a tongue-in-cheek, cautionary tale reminding kids not only to read, but to return books and other materials to their library. On November 5, Greg Heffley and his family and friends all return in Book 8 of the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The poster and bookmark will help ramp up the excitement for this highly anticipated book. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

on Film

Up the Down Staircase

Up the Down Staircase (1967). Frances Sternhagen plays stodgy Calvin Coolidge High School librarian Charlotte Wolf, who insists that books be reshelved neatly and is horrified that a copy of Ivanhoe has been hollowed out.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend (1998). Alicia Witt as Pendleton University student Natalie Simon goes to the library to research urban legends and reads a book titled The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand wrote a book with the same title in 2002 in response to the film. Kay Hawtrey is a library attendant.


Urząd (1969, Poland, made for TV). Jósef Rosiński plays a librarian in the Vatican.

Utah Wagon Train

Utah Wagon Train (1951). During a wagon train recreation on the Colorado Trail, rancher Rex Allen (playing himself) climbs a nearby telephone pole and, with a handset secretly borrowed from a telephone lineman, calls the National Library of American History in Salt Lake City just before closing time and learns that the religious Wendover Party was involved in the Gold Rush.

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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Career Leads from
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Director of the High Library and College Librarian, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania. The Director works collaboratively with students, faculty, and administration to enrich the College’s culture of learning. The Director has responsibility for all library services and planning, for management of the budget and personnel, and for development of the collections, and should be prepared to contribute to the teaching functions of the library. The Director of High Library reports to the Provost and Senior Vice President. The college seeks a professionally nimble individual, poised for leadership in a rapidly evolving field. This individual should provide vision, strategic direction, and leadership to the library and should demonstrate expertise in developing and implementing technological innovations as well as in managing library operations and budgets....

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Digital Library of the Week

Hobart Smith  with guitar at the home of his brother Preston Smith, Bluefield, Virginia, August 30, 1959

The Association for Cultural Equity Research Center has made available online its massive collection of folklorist Alan Lomax’s material. Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world. The archive includes more than 17,400 digital audio files, beginning with his first recordings onto (newly invented) tape in 1946 and tracing his career into the 1990s. It also includes photographs, stories, video recordings, lectures, jokes, sermons, personal narratives, interviews conducted by Lomax and his associates, and unique ambient artifacts captured in transit from radio broadcasts. The material is all from Lomax’s independent archive, begun in 1946 and is distinct from the thousands of earlier recordings on acetate and aluminum discs he made from 1933 to 1942 under the auspices of the Library of Congress.

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

“A city without books, a city without libraries, is like a graveyard.”

—Malala Yousafzai, the teenager shot by the Taliban after speaking out for girls' right to education in Pakistan, in her remarks at the dedication of the new Birmingham Public Library in the UK, The Guardian, Sept. 3.

The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa, and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.”

—Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, “The Future of the Library,” Seth’s Blog, May 16, 2011.

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Oct. 2–4:
Missouri Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sheraton Westport Chalet, St. Louis. “Keep Calm and Ask a Librarian.”

Oct. 2–5:
Wyoming Library Association,
Annual Conference, Little America Hotel and Resort, Cheyenne. “Passport to Excellence.”

Oct. 9–11:
Nebraska Library Association,
Annual Conference, Younes Conference Center, Kearney. “Advocacy: Make the Connection.”

Oct. 9–11:
West Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Clarion Inn, Shepherdstown.

Oct. 11–12:
Oregon Association of School Libraries,
Fall Conference, Jesuit High School, Portland. “Branching Out.”

Oct. 11–19:
San Francisco’s literary festival.

Oct. 15–18:
North Carolina Library Association,
Biennial Conference, Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem.

Oct. 17–18:
New Mexico Library Association,
Mini Conference, Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos. “Libraries Grow.”

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

Oct. 28–30:
Washington Library Association,
Annual Conference, Campbell’s Resort, Lake Chelan.

Nov. 13–15:
South Carolina Library Association / Southeastern Library Association,
Joint Conference, Westin Poinsett Hotel, Greenville. “Regional Reach.”

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Contact Us
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American Libraries
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Books & Reading

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man: RevelationsChallenged and banned comics
Betsy Gomez writes: “Because of their visual nature, comic books are an easy target for a would-be censor. What might be acceptable in a prose paragraph is not necessarily accepted in a static image. Let’s take a look at some of the titles that have been challenged and banned over the years, such as
Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr., and Scott Hanna.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Sept. 23

Cover of Eleanor and ParkRainbow Rowell talks about love and censorship
Mallory Ortberg writes: “When Rainbow Rowell’s first YA novel Eleanor and Park came out this spring, people loved it. A group of high school librarians in Minnesota loved it so much that they chose it as their summer read and invited Rowell to come visit Minneapolis-area schools and the local public library this fall. But two parents, with the support of the district’s Parents Action League, have convinced the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the county board, and the library board to cancel her events, calling Eleanor and Park a ‘dangerously obscene’ book. The author responds.”...
The Toast, Sept. 17; MPR News: The Daily Circuit, Sept. 25

Cover of The Book of Broken HeartsYA fiction for Hispanic Heritage Month
Molly Wetta writes: “Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15–October 15, and while I think it’s important to read and discuss a diverse selection of books year round, celebration months are a great time to spotlight these collections. Here is a list of titles that feature Hispanic characters or are written by Hispanic authors. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Sarah Ockler’s The Book of Broken Hearts and discovered it was a rich, layered story about a family that immigrated from Argentina to the United States.”...
YALSA: The Hub, Sept. 24

Cover of LolitaLiterature’s most unreliable narrators
Allison Nastasi writes: “Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita was first published 55 years ago in the US. Nabokov’s remarkable prose is as evocative today as it was in 1958. Facets of the author’s great work about a middle-aged literature scholar’s obsession with a 12-year-old girl have been debated since its publication, many arguing the chronology of the tragic events and Humbert Humbert’s fallibility as a narrator. Here are nine other prevaricating narrators.”...
Flavorwire, Aug. 18

Cover of Morlock Night by K. W. Jeter. The underrated novel picks up the threads of The Time Machine and has the “morlock generals”—the clever monsters behind the scenes in Wells’ novel—use the time machine to return to a richly imagined Victorian London, where they clash with the hero who always rises in England’s hour of greatest need.10 impressive uses of borrowed literary characters
Kim Newman writes: “In the Anno Dracula series, I’ve made use not only of characters and situations appropriated from Bram Stoker’s novel but a host of other preexisting fictional folk to populate the next-door-but-one world where Dracula defeated Van Helsing and became a dominant power in the 19th and 20th centuries. I didn’t invent this approach. Here are my 10 favorite novels built around other novels.”...
Flavorwire, Sept. 23

Cover of Danger: Dinosaurs!, by Richard Marsten (pseudonym of Ed McBain), 1958. Cover art by Alex SchomburgA treasure trove of pulp science fiction art
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “There’s something especially wonderful and bright about pulp science fiction cover art, and The Golden Age blog has collected tons of the stuff. Prepare to have the next hour of your life devoured by monsters and robots from the Golden Age of science fiction. There are galleries themed around artists like Frank R. Paul, Virgil Finlay, Alex Schomburg (right), and many others.”...
io9, Sept. 23; The Golden Age

Bookstore image from Bookshelf PornBookshelf Porn Tumblr site
Bookshelf Porn is a photoblog created to allow people to indulge their love of books, libraries, bookstores, and bookcases by showcasing the best bookshelf photos from around the world. The site was chosen as one of Time’s 25 best blogs of 2012. It was created by Anthony Dever from creative collective Industry Standard in January 2009 and is powered by Tumblr. Another excellent site is the Improbables Librairies, Improbables Bibliothèques Facebook page....
Bookshelf Porn; Time: Technologizer, Oct. 22, 2012

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Tips & Ideas

Semantic search graphThe great shift in search
Charles Silver writes: “The ongoing list of failed search engine companies is deep and wide. The next big battleground search companies must tackle is something called semantic search. This is a technology that promises to truly deliver that Star Trek computer where all the data in the world is linked on graphs and can be queried as one large database. Some companies are on the right track, but many have yet to truly understand what semantic technology means, and how it will benefit them.”...
GigaOM, Sept. 22

JSTOR logoJSTOR introduces JPASS
Nonprofit digital library JSTOR has unveiled its latest effort to expand its reach beyond universities, colleges, and high schools. Individuals can now get their own JPASS—a monthly or annual pass that provides access to 1,500 journals from JSTOR’s archive collection. JPASS holders can download up to 10 articles a month or 120 per year. JPASS fees range from $19.50 for a monthly to $199 for an annual pass. Discounts are being made available to JSTOR’s Register and Read users....
JSTOR, Sept. 19

A link in a 2011 Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. about violent video games now leads to a mischievous error message. Click link to enlargeLink rot and the Supreme Court
Adam Liptak writes: “Supreme Court opinions have come down with a bad case of link rot. According to a new study, 49% of the hyperlinks in Supreme Court decisions no longer work. For most of the Supreme Court’s history, its citations have been to static sources, typically books. Those citations allowed lawyers and scholars to find, understand, and assess the court’s evidence and reasoning. Since 1996, though, justices have cited materials found on the internet 555 times, the study found. Those citations are very often ephemeral.”...
New York Times, Sept. 23; Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It, Sept. 22

Internet archaeologists and the lost web pages
The internet is disappearing, and with it goes an important part of our recorded history. Data is being lost at the rate of 11% within a year and 27% within two years. But all is not lost. Researchers Hany SalahEldeen and Michael Nelson at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, have found a way to reconstruct deleted material and they say it works reasonably well....
MIT Technology Review, Sept. 18

OCLC Control Number 05370389 is for All About LovebirdsLots of OCLC control numbers—all public domain
Jim Michalko writes: “For the last few years I have been part of a group of OCLC staff charged with articulating data-sharing practices that are consistent with the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative. Recently, we recommended that OCLC declare the OCLC Control Number as dedicated to the public domain. I’m pleased to say this recommendation got unanimous support. This is important in counteracting concerns about OCLC having an overly restrictive record use and reuse policy.”...
Hanging Together, Sept. 23

How to be awesome on Instagram
David Lee King writes: “Instagram is a fun photo / video / social network / app that is now owned by Facebook. And it’s on 180 million people’s smartphones. Some organizations and brands are using Instagram to connect with their customers, and libraries should think about using it too. Here are four Instagram photo tips for you.”...
David Lee King, Sept. 19

10 tips for compiling your promotion or tenure file
Bohyun Kim writes: “If you work at an academic library, you may count as faculty. Whether the faculty status comes with a tenure track or not, it usually entails a more complicated procedure for promotion than the professional staff status. I thought that creating a promotion file would not be too difficult, because I have been tracking most of my academic and professional activities. But this was not the case at all. Looking back, there are many things I would have done differently to make the process less stressful.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, Sept. 23

Geo Guns screenThe six best Google Maps games
Keir Clarke writes: “Last week we looked at ‘Five Amazing Google Maps Driving Games’ that have been created with the Google Maps API. This week we are looking at some of the other genres of games that use the Maps API. Besides the popular GeoGuessr, there is Geo Guns (above), an impressive tank-fighting game that takes full advantage of Google Maps’ 45° (Bird’s Eye) satellite view.”...
Google Maps Mania, Sept. 10, 19

Boat race STEM programmingBoat race science
Amy Koester writes: “Have you ever noticed how excited kids get when library programs involve materials they wouldn’t normally think would be in the library? Adding eggs to a program is one example, and another is having a big tub of water, splash risk and all. That’s exactly what kids saw in August when they came into the program room for Boat Race Science, the latest in our series of STEM/STEAM programs for school-age kids. Here’s what we did.”...
ALSC Blog, July 23, Sept. 24

National Geographic's "If All the Ice Melted"Seven resources on climate change
Richard Byrne writes: “This month’s issue of National Geographic includes a feature on glacial meltdown. Part of the online complement to that article is the interactive map (right) of estimates of coastline changes based on glacial meltdown. Here are six other resources through which students can see the effects of climate change.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Sept. 17, 23

YMCA grant will aid early-learning readiness
YMCA of the USA has received a $1 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to expand a pilot program to improve school readiness by enhancing the learning experiences of young children in informal child care settings. The Early Learning Readiness Program provides a preschool-like experience through biweekly meetings throughout the school year for both the caregivers and children at neighborhood locations (including libraries)....
The Y, Aug. 22

1920 Underwood and Underwood photograph of Santas playing cardsQ&A from Ask a Curator Day
The global online question-and-answer session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day took place September 18. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History shared some favorites on its blog, such as: “Q. What collection object makes you laugh? A. This 1920 Underwood and Underwood photograph of Santas playing cards (above). These 1920s Santas were a bit less cheerful.” Answers were also provided for Twitter queries....
O Say Can You See?, Sept. 18; Around the Mall, Sept. 18

Constitute logoConstitutions: Compare and contrast
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writes: “You can now read, search, and compare 160 constitutions from around the world thanks to Constitute, a website launched by Google on September 23. The site has digitized the constitutions of 160 countries, making them fully searchable. A user can browse the constitutions using nearly 350 tagged topics like religion, political parties, or civil and political rights, or simply search by year or country.” Watch the video (1:29)....
Mashable, Sept. 24; YouTube, Sept. 23 logoThe transition from THOMAS to
Andrew Weber writes: “We are hard at work preparing for the day that THOMAS will be retired and will be the system for everyone. We are really proud of So proud that starting in November, when someone types in the URL, they will be redirected to will remain accessible from the homepage through late 2014.” online trainings are available October 17 and November 14....
In Custodia Legis, Sept. 23, Tennessee Electronic Library71 digital portals to state history
Bill LeFurgy writes: “A recent NDIIPP intern, Ingrid Jernudd, did some research into current web resources that provide digital access to a broad array of primary source materials at the state level. She prepared a list of sites that billed themselves as general-interest portals to historical resources. Most of the materials available through these websites are digitized versions of analog items. Many of the sites could, however, accommodate born-digital content and serve as useful models for the ongoing development of access to cultural heritage resources.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Sept. 23

South African Primary Education Support Initiative logoSouth Africa Mobile Library Project (PDF file)
Sony Electronics rolled out a national book collection program September 16 to benefit the South Africa Mobile Library Project, a part of the South African Department of Education’s efforts to improve literacy levels across the country. Sony has set up key recycling vendors from its Take Back Recycling program to enable public donations of gently used children’s books around the country through November 16. The list of recycling vendors is provided....
Sony Electronics, Sept. 16

Fifteenth issue of Ordinari Post Tijdender, 1645The world’s oldest newspapers still being published
Vincze Miklós writes: “People always bemoan the slow death of the newspaper industry; but to be fair many newspapers have had a significantly long run. Here are several papers from around the world that have weathered many centuries and are still publishing today.” The oldest is Post-och Inrikes Tidningar, Sweden’s government newspaper and gazette, which was founded in 1645 as Ordinari Post Tijdender....
io9, Sept. 23

Cover of The Bondwoman's Narrative, by Hannah Crafts, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.Slave-novel author identified?
Julie Bosman writes: “In 2002, a novel thought to be the first written by an African-American woman became a bestseller, praised for its dramatic depiction of Southern life in the mid-1850s through the observant eyes of a refined and literate house servant. But one part of the story remained a tantalizing secret: the author’s identity.” Now Prof. Gregg Hecimovich of Winthrop University claims he has identified the author of The Bondwoman’s Narrative: Hannah Bond, a slave on a North Carolina plantation owned by John Hill Wheeler, who used the pen name Hannah Crafts....
New York Times, Sept. 18

British Museum stamp dated October 25, 1920, showing a variation of the crown in an oval. Blue ink represents legal copyright deposit material of British, Irish, or colonial origin including material from the Old Royal LibraryA guide to British Library book stamps
Christina Duffy writes: “Did you know that ownership stamps are applied to items accepted into our collections? The ownership stamp is used for security purposes and in tracing the provenance of the collections. Ownership of an item was routinely shown by the British Museum, and subsequently the British Library, by using inked stamps, which give a fairly precise date of receipt for the volume leading to entries in acquisitions registers or invoices.”...
British Library Collection Care Blog, Sept. 23

Tips for writing better emails
Andrea Zellner writes: “I recently had the experience of overhearing a few faculty members discussing a particularly annoying grad student habit: the sending of a really bad email. As we are all well aware, the majority of our work is done over email. Figuring out email etiquette is an essential skill as both a grad student and as a coworker. I believe I’ve struck on some successful strategies for doing just that.”...
Inside Higher Ed: GradHacker, Sept. 20

How to sweep your GmailHow to clean up your inbox
Jill Duffy writes: “My method for maintaining a healthy relationship with email relies on very small and concrete actions that I carry out every day—check out my 11 tips for managing email. In other words, maintaining my inbox is not a one-time cleanup job. But what can you do if your inbox is so awful that you can’t see beyond that huge and immediate hurdle of dealing with it first? In that case, it’s time to sit down and overhaul the inbox.” Watch how to sweep your Gmail inbox (2:18)....
PC Magazine, Mar. 5, 2012; Sept. 23; YouTube, Sept. 23

14 ways to find someone’s death information
Kenneth R. Marks writes: “Determining dates and location of ancestors’ deaths is important, as genealogists document the major events in their lives. Most people limit their search to the obvious repositories, including online or offline death indexes (such as the SSDI and State Death Indexes), death certificates, obituaries, and burial or cemetery records. But there are many more ways to determine the specifics. Here are 14 different ways to find clues and evidence about your ancestor’s death.”...
The Ancestor Hunt, Sept. 17

Global Entry logoThink about getting Global Entry
Brett Snyder writes: “It took me a couple months, but I am now a proud Global Entry (and therefore, TSA Pre Check) member. If you travel abroad even a couple times a year, I’d suggest you join as well. The process was a little confusing and somewhat annoying, but in the end there’s no question that it’s worth it. Since I had to rely on the advice of some others in this confusing process, I thought I’d share what I learned so I can make it as easy for others to join this glorious program.”...
The Cranky Flier, Sept. 10

Webinars, webinars, webinars
Kent Anderson writes: “Because webinars are now so common, it’s becoming more important to evaluate their effectiveness. When you’re putting a webinar together, the technology and marketing aren’t the biggest challenges. Logistics and scheduling are. Speakers can be in various time zones, even halfway around the world. Variability around local technology can also pose challenges. Speakers may have to participate from hotel rooms, where the internet can be spotty. Believe it or not, but weather can play a role too.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Sept. 24

Shredding Day in WiltonThe library, where people go to shred
Residents of Wilton, Connecticut, who wish to get rid of important documents or piles of personal papers will find the relief they have been looking for September 28 at Wilton Library’s Shredding Day. City Confidential Shredding is donating its time, “shredmobile” truck, and operators for the fundraiser to allow all proceeds to benefit the library. The library is offering Certificates of Destruction, as required by law....
Wilton (Conn.) Daily Voice, Sept. 24

Library DVDs at the College of William and Mary Law Library. Used CC BY-ND-NC 3.0Library DVDs versus Netflix streaming
Alan Mask writes: “While I am a Netflix subscriber, and I do not see that changing, I have become disillusioned with their service. Here are five reasons why my library is so much better than subscribing to the Netflix streaming service. First, titles from my library are more timely. Even with a hundred holds on a title, I will get it before it appears on Netflix streaming, if it ever appears there. Second, the library has better titles.”...
Public Libraries Online, Sept. 19

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