|American Libraries Online
Supporting print, digital, and mobile
Marshall Breeding writes: “The exhibit hall at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas provided both a respite from the weather and a chance to learn about the latest developments in library technology. As the world’s largest exhibition of library products, the ALA Annual Conference continues to be a unique opportunity to assess current technologies from an almost comprehensive representation of library vendors. The diverse array of products reflects the reality of managing collections that comprise all media and formats.”...
American Libraries feature
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Twitter chat with ALA President Courtney Young
If you missed the Twitter chat with ALA President Courtney Young on July 30, you can read through the archive. We will definitely do this again....
ALAstories, July 30
GPO asks for ALA feedback
The Government Printing Office is moving forward with possible changes to the Federal Depository Library Program and has asked for feedback from ALA. This is the information that the Washington Office received from Mary Alice Baish, Superintendent of Documents. If you would like to comment, contact Jessica McGilvray at the Office of Government Relations....
District Dispatch, Aug. 1
LIS students gain digitization experience
Emilie Aplin writes: “In the spring of 2014, the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg created Digi Day for students to be provided with a hands-on digitization experience and an opportunity for service hours. Digi Day ran on June 21, with a session in the morning and another in the afternoon; a total of 10 SLIS students participated in the event. Let me share with you how we created this successful event so you can recreate it on your campus.”...
ALA Student Member Blog, Aug. 5
Top 10 new member resources
New Member Round Table President Megan Hodge has set this year’s theme as “Being Influential at All Stages of Your Career,” a perfect theme for a round table that encourages leadership, professional development, and connecting with others in the field. Whether you’re new to NMRT or a long-time member, it can be helpful to be reminded just how much being a member can help you influence the library field positively and move toward your goals. Here are the top 10 resources for new NMRT members....
NMRT Notes, Aug. 4
Guide to reference in business and economics
The ALA Guide to Reference is used internationally as the source of first resort for identifying information and training reference professionals. Focusing on key print and electronic sources, Guide to Reference in Business and Economics, edited by Steven W. Sowards and Elisabeth Leonard, is a must-have for every reference desk. In this guide readers will find sources of information on such topics as business law, e-commerce, and market research....
ALA Digital Reference, Aug. 5
Featured review: Fantasy for youth
Wolitzer, Meg. Belzhar. Sept. 2014. 352p. Grades 9–12. Dutton, hardcover (978-0-525-42305-8).
When Jam suffers a terrible trauma and feels isolated by grief, her parents send her to the Wooden Barn, a boarding school for “highly intelligent, emotionally fragile” teens. Once there she is enrolled in a class with only five specially selected students where they exclusively read Sylvia Plath. Sound angsty? Of course it is (check out the Joy Division T-shirt on the cover), but beneath the depressive trappings is a moving story of emotional growth in the face of catastrophic loss. All of Jam’s classmates are similarly grief-stricken, and Plath’s work, as well as magical journals that transport each student into the blissful moment before his or her loss occurred, help them move on and appreciate their resilience....
What is new adult fiction?
Gillian Engberg and Donna Seaman write: “New adult isn’t a new phenomenon. After all, human beings have always progressed from adolescence to adulthood. What’s new is that we’re seeing a surge of interest in promoting books to readers between the ages of 18 to 24, and the term ‘new adult’ (NA) has emerged as the buzzword to define these titles. There are many similarities between today’s NA fiction titles and the novels that were marketed as chick lit at the turn of this century. So what exactly are we talking about when we discuss today’s NA books?”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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ACRL 2015 keynote speakers
ACRL has announced its celebrated lineup of keynote speakers for the ACRL 2015 Conference, “Creating Sustainable Community,” to be held March 25–28, 2015, in Portland, Oregon. Be challenged and entertained by these three distinguished speakers—G. Willow Wilson (right), Jad Adumbrad, and Lawrence Lessig—who also double as comic writers, journalists, radio hosts, producers, and political activists....
ACRL, Aug. 5
2014 LITA Forum
Join LITA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 5–8 at the Hotel Albuquerque for the 2014 LITA Forum, an educational event that includes preconferences, general sessions, and more than 30 concurrent sessions. Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference....
LITA Blog, Aug. 6
Registration open for fall ALSC courses
ALSC encourages participants to sign up for the fall 2014 ALSC online courses. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin September 8. Registrants will find that ALSC has increased the number of courses offering certified education units (CEUs). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics....
ALSC, Aug. 1
Young children, new media, and libraries
Dan Bostrom writes: “In order to examine how libraries incorporate different kinds of new media devices into their branches and programming, we ask for your participation in the Young Children, New Media, and Libraries Survey by August 18. This survey will help us better understand the scope, challenges, and next steps for libraries regarding new media use.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 4
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Librarian swims to raise Spectrum funds
Miriam Tuliao, assistant director of selection at BookOps, announced that she will participate in the Annual Lake Erie Open Water Classic to raise funds for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The one-mile event will take place in Cleveland on August 10. Tuliao is a United States masters swimmer who has participated in several long-distance open water events. Tuliao is continuing her annual tradition of raising funds for the Spectrum Scholarship Program while honoring two dynamic librarians, George and Deborah Trepp....
Office for Diversity, Aug. 5
2014 Shakespeare’s Globe Award
York University scholar David B. Goldstein is the joint winner of the biennial Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award for Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England, published by Cambridge University Press. Goldstein shares the £3,000 ($5,064 US) prize with University of London’s Gillian Woods for her book on the Bard’s personal faith, Shakespeare’s Unreformed Fictions (Oxford University Press). The award honors first books that have “made an important contribution to the understanding of Shakespeare, his theatre, or his contemporaries.”...
Quill & Quire, Aug. 5
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Libraries in the News
Six ousted trustees sue Borough of Queens
Six people who were removed from the Queens (N.Y.) Library’s board of trustees have filed suit in federal court against Borough President Melinda Katz and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in an effort to be reinstated. Jacqueline Arrington, Joseph Ficalora, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, Terri Mangino, and George Stamatiades were removed by Katz on July 23. All are supporters of embattled Queens Library CEO Tom Galante. Katz, after rejecting an appeal for reinstatement by the trustees, on August 5 urged the court to dismiss the lawsuit....
Queens (N.Y.) Chronicle, Aug. 1; Queens Courier, Aug. 5; New York Daily News, Aug. 5
Palestinian author to speak at Evanston Public Library
After a flurry of criticism through social media, Evanston (Ill.) Public Library officials have reversed their decision to postpone a talk by Palestinian-American author Ali Abunimah. Abunimah will read and discuss his book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, at the library on August 11. Director Karen Danczak Lyons noted on the library’s website that “The statement that the Evanston Public Library banned or censored the work of author Ali Abunimah is false.”...
Evanston (Ill.) Review, Aug. 5; Evanston Public Library
DCPL teams up with Museum of Science Fiction
The Museum of Science Fiction and the District of Columbia Public Library on July 31 announced a partnership to enhance science fiction literacy and project-based learning within the community. The organizations will collaborate on events and initiatives that highlight science fiction’s role in inspiring generations of scientists, artists, and dreamers. They plan to co-host a fall film festival in the library to highlight science fiction across multiple media. The library has also begun organizing a D.C. Punk Archive (see image above) that documents the history and culture of D.C. punk music since 1976....
Slice of SciFi, July 31; Bandwidth, July 31
Independent publishers gather at Providence library
Jack Hayden, 28, came all the way from Portland, Oregon. Sophie Yanaw, 27, came all the way from Montreal. For both, the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo held August 2–3 at the Providence Public Library was a chance to see friends and show and sell their work. Taking up a large portion of the library’s second floor, the expo featured more than 60 artists and cartoonists, most of whom have self-published, and most of whom pursue their work as a labor of love....
Providence (R.I.) Journal, Aug. 2
Pennsylvania seed libraries could be in violation of state law
The Cumberland County (Pa.) Library System in April launched a pilot seed library at Mechanicsburg’s Joseph T. Simpson Public Library. The library system received a letter from the state Department of Agriculture saying it was in violation of the Seed Act of 2004 and that the seed library would have to close unless its staff tested each seed packet for germination and other information. The department said it was concerned about invasive species and agri-terrorism....
Carlisle (Pa.) Sentinel, July 31
Lincoln’s handwriting confirmed in Illinois library book
For years, librarians at the Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton, Illinois, gossiped that a tattered book justifying racism housed in its collection may have been in the hands of none other than Abraham Lincoln. On August 5, state historians verified that Lincoln’s handwriting had been found inside the cover of Types of Mankind, published in 1854, at the same time taking great pains to reassure the public that Lincoln did not subscribe to its theories, but likely read the book to better educate himself about his opponents’ line of thinking....
Associated Press, Aug. 5; Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph, Aug. 5
Photos prompt review of library exhibit policy
The board of Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, New York, will review the library’s policy for displaying artwork after receiving three complaints about nude photos displayed in a recent exhibit. The North Country Arts Center juried photography show, which opened July 7 in the library’s Friends Gallery, included two photographs by Matthew Farenell of nude women. Board president Michael Toomey said the photos were displayed high enough that a child would not see them....
Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star, July 31
NYPL opens temporary outdoor reading room
The New York Public Library is offering an open-air reading room August 5–15, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the plaza of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. It’s no substitute for the currently closed Rose Reading Room, but who can complain about an open-air extension of the iconic building? There is free Wi-Fi and a selection of books specially recommended by the librarians....
Gothamist, June 17, Aug. 5
Portland looks to library to store digital records
The Portland (Maine) City Council on August 4 laid the groundwork for a deal in which the Portland Public Library would store and digitize city records. The collaboration is being touted by city officials as a way to better preserve and allow public access to historic city documents and videos locked in a vault with strictly limited access. City Manager Mark Rees and library officials will develop the details of an implementation plan....
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Aug. 4
Court upholds dismissal of Arkansas librarian
A county court has upheld the library board’s decision to terminate Anita Paulson, director of the Marion County Library in Yellville, Arkansas. Although Paulson was reprimanded for professional conduct at an April 17 board meeting, trustee Mike Scrima said the dismissal was the result of Paulson throwing copies of FOIA pamphlets at board members during the meeting. Paulson contests that claim and has sued the board to reinstate her as director....
Baxter (Ark.) Bulletin, July 31; Harrison (Ark.) Daily Times, July 17
Lenny Bruce papers go to Brandeis
Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, has acquired the personal papers of Lenny Bruce (1925–1966, right), a comedian and free-speech advocate known for his biting, often obscenity-laced satirical commentary on American society. The collection, held by Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce, includes photographs, manuscripts, news clippings, and audiovisual recordings. A generous gift from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation made the acquisition possible....
Brandeis Now, July 29
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Senate introduces revised USA Freedom Act
On July 29, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, S. 2685 (PDF file), that would reform the intelligence community’s domestic surveillance efforts. It represents such a significant improvement over the House’s May bill and current law, however, that more than 40 civil liberties and business trade groups, ALA among them, endorsed the bill in a July 31 joint letter (PDF file). The bill was introduced the same day as a report (right) by the New America Foundation that indicates National Security Agency spying has hurt US businesses, foreign policy, and internet security....
District Dispatch, July 31; TechDirt, July 29; New America Foundation, July 29; The Hill, July 29
Wikipedia details government data requests
Wikipedia released its first-ever transparency report on August 6, outlining the number of requests the wiki had received for its users’ data. Wikipedia has received 56 requests from public and private institutions over the last two and a half years. The Wikimedia Foundation also reported that of 304 general content removal requests it received, none were granted....
New York Times: Bits, Aug. 6; Wikimedia Blog, Aug. 6
What’s in the new E-rate order?
Maximizing the benefit of each dollar spent on telecommunications services for schools and libraries and minimizing the contribution burden on consumers and businesses is a major goal adopted by the FCC in its July E-rate order. The commission hopes to drive down costs for services and equipment needed to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to and within schools and libraries. The FCC changed the rules to increase pricing transparency, encourage consortium purchasing, and amend its lowest corresponding price rule....
Benton Foundation, July 29
The Department of Energy’s new open access plan
On August 4, the US Department of Energy released its plan to implement a White House directive aimed at opening up more federally funded research to the public. But some access advocates, such as Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, say the policy “falls short in some key areas.” Among Joseph’s complaints is a lack of clarity around reuse rights....
Washington Post: The Switch, Aug. 4; Department of Energy, Aug. 4; Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Aug. 4
Consumers will decide what the future looks like
Margaret Kavaras writes: “In late July, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation hosted a panel discussion on IT and disruptive innovation featuring the authors of Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business. The discussion focused on the way in which consumers leave a code trail, or ‘halo’ in virtually everything they do, from personal finance to fitness pursuits to enjoying music.”...
District Dispatch, Aug. 5; Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, July 31
Planning for musical obsolescence
Kevin Smith writes: “Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most celebrated conductors of his generation. As music director of both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela, he has built a solid and enthusiastic following among lovers of symphonic music. He is also, according to his website bio, deeply committed to ‘access to music for all.’ So it is particularly poignant that a recording by Dudamel should serve as the prime example of a new access problem for music.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, July 28
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12 websites that can replace your desktop software
Brad Chacos writes: “Between the rise of broadband and robust web technologies like HTML5, modern browsers are capable of amazing things. Shifting your workload to the cloud is a very real possibility for many people. Whether you’re rocking a Chromebook, looking for handy occasional-use tools, or want to ditch the hassles associated with standalone software entirely, these websites can replace your traditional desktop applications.”...
PC World, July 31
How to share files between mobile phones and computers
Amit Agarwal writes: “Your digital photos, documents, music, and other files are spread across a range of devices from your mobile phones to tablets and computers. How do you transfer a file from your Android mobile phone to your iPad? How will you send a snippet of text copied on your Windows computer to your iPhone without emailing yourself? What is the quickest way to move multiple files from one Android tablet to another? Here are some answers.”...
Digital Inspiration, Aug. 1
10 malware removal apps tested
Patrick Allan writes: “A recent test done by the independent antivirus research group AV-TEST took a look at the performance of today’s most popular malware removal applications. Most of the applications showed excellent performance, but only Malwarebytes—a free download—managed a perfect score. The good news is that, overall, each application was very effective at providing cleanup and repair to Windows machines.”...
Lifehacker, July 31
How to buy a scanner
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “Finding the right scanner can be a challenge. Most can scan just about anything, but they come in a variety of types and sizes that are fine-tuned for different purposes. Here are the key questions to ask to help make sure you pick the right scanner for your needs.” And these are the 10 best, according to PC Magazine. The pricy model shown above is recommended for high-volume departmental scanning....
PC Magazine, July 29–30
Websites that teach you how to code
David Nield writes: “If you’ve always had a desire to build your own apps or create your own websites, then you can begin your coding education with nothing more than a browser, an internet connection, and some spare time. Here we’ve picked out six of the best resources currently available online.”...
Gizmodo: Field Guide, Aug. 6
50 years of BASIC
Peggy A. Kidwell writes: “Fifty years ago, mathematicians John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire introduced BASIC, a new language for programming computers. The name stands for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. At the time, computers were large, expensive machines, usually operated by trained professionals. Dartmouth College had two from General Electric, along with 30-odd terminals. In 1964, staff prepared the new language especially for use by novices.”...
O Say Can You See?, Aug. 5
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All the Big Five now offer ebooks to libraries
Rob Maier writes: “Macmillan announced on July 29 that it is adding its frontlist titles to its backlist pilot for public libraries. Pricing will vary based on when a title was published. With this announcement, all of the Big Five publishers now offer their full ebook catalogs to public libraries. The good news is the opportunity to license ebooks from the major publishers; the bad news continues to be price, loan limits, and consortium access.”...
AL: E-Content, Aug. 4
OverDrive replaces school library books in California
Lauren Barack writes: “Jay Greenlinger (right), director of instructional technology at the Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo, California, knew there was little he could do to restore the school librarian positions that had been cut from his district. So he tackled what he knew best—ebooks, devices, online subscriptions, and technology—to support students’ access to materials for their learning.”...
The Digital Shift, Aug. 5
Amazon’s ebook numbers
Carolyn Kellogg writes: “Certainly publishers would like to sell many more ebooks than they do now, and Amazon provides an example that sounds very tempting: ‘If customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular ebook at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same ebook at $9.99.’ Hmm. Doesn’t this depend on the book? Amazon’s statement is poorly phrased. It’s making a generalization about ebook prices, not claims about how a specific work of art will sell.”...
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Aug. 4
Seattle Public Library encourages ebook authors
Frank Catalano writes: “As part of its ongoing Seattle Writes initiative, the Seattle Public Library has partnered with self-publishing and distribution platform Smashwords to encourage local writers to package their writing for an audience. The eyeball icing on the finger-typing cake? A contest, open until midnight on October 15, in which up to three entrants who publish via Smashwords will have their ebooks included for circulation in the SPL ebook collection.”...
GeekWire, Aug. 3
DCL ebook report for August
James LaRue writes: “As my colleagues at Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries have called to my attention, the DCL report has thus far mostly illuminated the difference between what libraries and consumers pay for ebooks. Alas, as this report (PDF file) again makes clear, that staggering inequity continues. But now let’s look at what’s happening with print.”...
AL: E-Content, Aug. 5
IFLA report on worldwide ebook lending
The publishing industry has firmly embraced making the vast majority of their titles to libraries in the United States. The Big Five have either initiated a major pilot project or have committed themselves to a broad rollout. With all of the news primarily focused on the US, what does the landscape look like for the rest of the world? A new research report (PDF file) by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions seeks to address some of these queries....
Good E-Reader, Aug. 1
New Kindle helps readers show off (satire)
Amazon says the Kindle Flare’s repetitive shouting will appeal to fans of print, who miss the ability to display a book’s cover to strangers. The improved device has the ability to loudly and repeatedly announce the title of the ebook you are reading so everyone knows how smart you are....
The Onion, July 29
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2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Look back at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, enjoyed by 18,626 attendees and exhibitors. Enjoy American Libraries coverage. Get the Cognotes highlights. Looking for handouts? See you in 2015! Bundle registration opens on September 9.
Society’s Child (2002, Canada, made for TV). Doreen Brownstone plays a school librarian.
The Socratic Method (2001). Amber Elise Cox plays a law librarian.
Solaris [Solyaris] (1972, Soviet Union). Hari (Natalya Bondarchuk) and Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) sit in the space station library as its artificial gravity is deactivated. They begin to rise from their chairs as a glass, a candlestick, and a book float around them.
Solitary Man (2009). Michael Douglas, as car dealership magnate Ben Kalmen, was a major donor to his alma mater, an East Coast college, and the library is named after him.
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.
Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is a 100%, twelve-month, three-year visiting position. Position may become permanent at a later date. Oversee and manage a large and diverse collection of rare materials. Responsibilities include reader services and access for special collections, instruction using primary sources, exhibition research, collection development and processing, and public outreach....
Digital Library of the Week
Images from the History of Medicine provides access to over 70,000 images in the collections of the History of Medicine Division of the US National Library of Medicine. The collection includes portraits, photographs, caricatures, genre scenes, posters, and graphic art illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dating from the 15th to the 21st centuries. The database assists users in finding and viewing visual material for private study, scholarship, and research.
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
“At one elementary school, teachers said the library on their campus had become an urban legend of sorts, with talk that students used to be able to go there back in the day. One teacher there (I agreed not to name the school) said she would volunteer to check out books to students before or after school, if only her principal would provide the necessary training.”
—Ericka Mellon, on the lack of librarians in the Houston Independent School District, Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, Aug. 4.
Future ALA conferences:
Midwinter Meeting, Chicago: January 30–February 3, 2015.
Annual Conference, San Francisco: June 25–30, 2015.
Midwinter Meeting, Boston: January 8–12, 2016.
Annual Conference, Orlando, Fla.: June 23–28, 2016.
Midwinter Meeting, Atlanta: January 20–24, 2017.
Annual Conference, Chicago: June 22–27, 2017.
Midwinter Meeting, Denver: February 9–13, 2018.
Annual Conference, New Orleans: June 21–26, 2018.
Midwinter Meeting, Seattle: January 25–29, 2019.
Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.: June 20–25, 2019.
Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia: January 17–21, 2020.
Annual Conference, Chicago: June 25–28, 2020.
Midwinter Meeting, Indianapolis: January 22–26, 2021.
Annual Conference, San Francisco: June 24–29, 2021.
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Vintage book reviews by NYPL librarians
Mark Strauss writes: “Amid the many hidden treasures in the New York Public Library is a huge collection of hand-typed reviews of children’s books. Librarians wrote the reviews to assess the quality of the book collection—and, since they were exclusively for internal use, their opinions were brutally candid. As Quartz reports, Morgan Holzer at the New York Public Library has begun sharing these reviews on Instagram (@NYPL). Here are some of the best offerings.”...
io9, Aug. 1; Quartz, Aug. 1
Sommer Browning (right) writes: “The notion that the world of the librarian is constrictive, that the librarian is interchangeable with the library itself, that she is static, pedantic, is dying. But for some time now, a librarian must be a researcher, a social worker, a teacher, a computer programmer, a mentor—an ear, a brain, a shoulder, a heart—all of these things, sometimes in the span of a day. In this issue written by poets who have worked or currently work as librarians, this is all reflected. I hope you enjoy it.”...
The Volta: Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics, no. 44 (Aug.)
Reading Harry Potter helps reduce prejudice
Tom Jacobs writes: “Sure, Harry Potter destroyed the evil Lord Voldemort. But, aside from making lots of money for book publishers, film studios, and theme-park conglomerates, what has the wizard done for us lately? In fact, he has been helping to reduce prejudice. That’s the conclusion of an article published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. It finds that, for young people, reading J. K. Rowling’s book series—and, crucially, identifying with the lead character—can reduce bias toward stigmatized minority groups.”...
Pacific Standard, July 29; Journal of Applied Social Psychology, July 23
Architecture books for children
Jennette Neville writes: “They say children are made readers on the laps of their parents. I couldn’t agree more, but what else can a child become between the covers of a book? A chef, an astronaut, an architect? Yes, yes, and yes. Here are 15 architecture books recommended for young readers.”...
Archinect, Aug. 5
Readalikes for fall TV premieres, part 1
Hannah Gómez writes: “One of my favorite things about the end of summer is looking forward to fall television premieres. Nearly as much fun is guessing which ones won’t make it past a couple of episodes. But ultimately, there are always a few new shows that you really want to root for and that stand a good chance of making it. I looked at some of those and came up with a list of readalikes so that new fans can have an arsenal of stories to discover.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 31
Essential Armenian literature
Aram Mrjoian writes: “So if my name wasn’t a dead giveaway, I’m Armenian. Well, half Armenian anyway. I’m also proudly half Polish. However, I think my name has always steered me towards the Armenian side of my heritage, at least in regard to reading material. There’s a wealth of brilliant Armenian writers, and many of them are easily identifiable by the tongue-twisting surnames that end in I-A-N.”...
Book Riot, Aug. 2
Does “novel” now mean any book?
Ben Yagoda writes: “I teach mostly writing and journalism workshops, but every once in a while, in class discussions or writing assignments, students will have reason to refer to particular nonfiction books as ‘novels.’ I never gave this much thought till I had a conversation a few months ago with my colleague Kristen Poole, who teaches Renaissance literature. She told me that her students very frequently write things like ‘Shakespeare’s novel Hamlet.’ I speculate that the trend has been accelerated by the arrival and success of the ‘graphic novel.’”...
Slate, Aug. 4
Libraries in fiction quiz
Alison Flood writes: “This week is the 50th anniversary of the UK Public Libraries Act, establishing a statutory obligation to provide this service, as beloved in fiction as it is in real life. In its honor, check out this quiz.” Question 3: Which fictional library contains “every book that’s ever been dreamed. Every book that’s ever been imagined. Every book that’s ever been lost”?...
The Guardian (UK), July 31
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How to make a makerspace
Molly Rubenstein writes: “So you’re going to rally your local makers into a collaborative, community-based workplace. You’ll need a location. You’ll need tools, which can be borrowed from members, donated by sponsors, or purchased. You’ll need a business plan.
After that, it’s all in the details. Here are six tips that you may not be thinking about yet, but should be.”...
Make, Aug. 4
Low turnout? Bring the program to them
Erin Shea writes: “Last year, the Darien (Conn.) Library staff began to notice a change in the drop-in book discussions hosted at the library. We weren’t sure why we were having this drop in attendance. We decided to completely scrap our drop-in book discussion series and try a few other types of discussions. One of these is ‘Read, Ride, Imbibe.’ One spring evening, I brought 20 14-day copies of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to the train station and met commuters as they arrived in Darien from New York City.” The Locust Valley (N.Y.) Library also set up a books-for-commuters program recently....
Programming Librarian, July 30; Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday, July 30
On going prizeless
Abby Johnson writes: “My fellow librarians, we (finally) ditched the cheap plastic Summer Reading Club prizes this year and we are never going back. Is your Summer Reading Club creating lifelong readers by encouraging intrinsic motivation for reading? Or are kids reading just enough to earn that toy or grand prize and then stopping? Many libraries have come up with different ways to address this issue, ditch cheap prizes, and create a program that staff and patrons feel great about.”...
ALSC Blog, Aug. 6
Check out a robot from Peters Township Library
Fourth-grader Michael Hsieh is flexing his mental muscles courtesy of the Finch robot that he checked out from the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania. The gadgets, developed with technology from Carnegie Mellon University’s Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Empowerment Lab, are designed to support computer science education by allowing students to use any of a dozen programming languages to develop interactive programs with the robot....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, July 30
Free webinars in August
Ahniwa Ferrari writes: “It can be a challenge to remain up-to-date in our ever-changing, always-demanding library positions. It’s a good thing, then, that library staff tend to be lifelong learners, and just as good that there are more free training opportunities available out there than ever before. This list, provided by Jamie Markus at the Wyoming State Library, comes out every month and is regularly updated on the WebJunction Free Training page.”...
WebJunction, July 30
Four note-taking apps
Jordan Crook writes: “New data from CampusBooks finds that 91% of college students prefer to take notes by hand. Almost all of them have laptops, and 90% own smartphones. They spend more than a full day each week using these devices, yet these digital beasts prefer to take notes by hand. So we’ve compiled four products that will help students take notes in whatever way is best for them.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 1
How to ace the database presentation
Rebekah Kati writes: “Typically, when candidates are invited to the second round of interviews for an academic library position, they are asked to give a presentation. For reference and instruction positions, this presentation is often a demonstration of a database to undergraduate students in an introductory class. Speaking in front of people is an intimidating experience, especially for new graduates who have not taught an instruction session before, but these tips should help you put together a great presentation.”...
INALJ, Aug. 1
On tenure and publishing
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “There are librarians writing some good material that doesn’t fit in with the empirical, quantitative, social-science model that seems to be the norm. I’ve seen historical, philosophical, or political writing about libraries and librarianship that’s pretty good, and often much more readable than most LIS writing. If the tenure process serves to stymie such writing, then library literature is better off without tenure. For that matter, the literature of most scholarly fields would probably improve if tenure wasn’t a publish-or-perish process.”...
Academic Librarian, Aug. 1
Rutgers student workers “adopt a shelf”
In fall 2013, the collection management staff in Rutgers University’s Alexander Library, led by Rob Krack and Irina Radeva, tried a new approach to shelf-reading assignments—an “adopt a shelf” program. Staff assigned dozens of student workers specific high-traffic stacks and trained them on how to properly shelf read. The goal was to give student workers a specific stake in the library....
Rutgers University Libraries, July 29
Assessing flipped and gamified instruction
Katelyn Tucker and Alyssa Archer write: “Here at Radford University, we’ve been flipping and using games for one-shot instruction sessions for some time, and our assessment librarian wasn’t going to accept anecdotal evidence of success any longer. We decided that the best way to see if our flipped and gamified lessons were accomplishing our goals was to evaluate the students’ completed assignments. Our results had issues that could have been prevented in hindsight. We want you to learn from our mistakes so you are not doomed to repeat them.”...
ACRLog, Aug. 1; ACRL Keeping Up With..., May, July 2013
A librarian’s guide to FitBit
Abby Johnson writes: “A FitBit is one of many different kinds of pedometers, fitness devices worn on your person that track how many steps you take each day. The recommended daily number of steps for an active, healthy lifestyle is 10,000. What I found is that unless I go for an exercise walk, I typically take only 4,000–6,000 steps a day.
So, where can a librarian get her steps in? Aside from parking a little farther away and walking to the corner to cross the street, I have a few ideas.”...
Abby the Librarian, Aug. 2
K–12 librarians you should follow on Twitter
Emily Gover writes: “Our post on 10 academic librarians that you need to follow on Twitter was a huge hit, so we are coming out with a second iteration for K–12 librarians. We like to follow the superstar librarians, but we want to share with you some other librarians you might learn from as well.”...
EasyBib, July 16, 30
Top ed-tech products from eSchool News
This past spring, eSchool News asked its readers to suggest their top picks for school hardware, software, websites, and services—and more than 1,300 readers responded online. The result is a list of 50 ed-tech products and services that have proven to be effective, as noted by teachers in K–12 schools and districts nationwide....
eSchool News, Aug. 1
Academic urban legends
Charlie Tyson writes: “In his Social Studies of Science article, ‘Academic Urban Legends,’ Ole Bjørn Rekdal, an associate professor of health and social sciences at Bergen University College in Norway, argues that through chains of sloppy citations, ‘academic urban legends’ are born. Following a line of lazily or fraudulently employed references, Rekdal shows how rumor can become acknowledged scientific truth, and how falsehood can become common knowledge.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 6; Social Studies of Science 44, no. 4 (Aug.): 638–654
200 years ago: The burning of the Library of Congress
Larry Nix writes: “This month marks the 200th anniversary of the burning of the US Capitol building, which then housed the Library of Congress, by the British on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812. The library consisted of just over 3,000 volumes. The destruction of the collection led to Congress’s purchase of the library of Thomas Jefferson for $23,950 to replace it.” Today, to see areas of the building that survived the fire, make your way to the Small House Rotunda on the second floor of the Capitol....
Library History Buff Blog, Aug. 4–5; Architect of the Capitol, Aug. 22, 2012
Libraries and local politics
Abigail Phillips writes: “This might sound terrible, but a good chunk of politics for librarians involves playing nice. Whether it’s sending a birthday card to the husband or wife of a local representative, providing one-on-one tutorials on downloading ebooks to the chair of the zoning board, or personalized readers’ advisory for a county commissioner, catering to the political elite is often necessary. You want these people to be on your side, rooting for the library or at the very least not attacking it in the press.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, July 31
62 of the world’s most beautiful libraries
For the last couple years, Mental Floss’s Jill Harness has been rounding up the world’s most beautiful libraries by continent. Here they are all in one place, in no particular order....
Mental Floss, July 24
Way overdue at New York Public Library
Books considered lost—such as a 1920s sex manual recently returned 55 years late—make up less than 1% of the 6 million items in its circulating collection, according to New York Public Library officials. But don’t think librarians aren’t taking notice of Dewey Decimal delinquents. “It was 36 years, one month, and seven days late,” said Louise Lareau (right), managing librarian at the Children’s Center, of a stained copy of Making the Best of It: A Common Sense Guide to Negotiating a Divorce—withdrawn during the Carter administration and returned in May 2013....
New York Post, July 30, Aug. 2
Giant medieval manuscripts
Jenny Weston writes: “While most medieval manuscripts are of a size that could be easily picked up and carried, there are some books that are so large and so heavy that it would take two (or more) people to move them. Among these are volumes known as ‘Giant Bibles.’ One particularly famous large-format Bible is an early 13th-century pandect known as the Codex Gigas (right), which measures a whopping 890 x 490 mm and weighs more than 165 pounds.”...
Medieval Fragments, Aug. 1
Scots Wikipedia is no joke
Jane C. Hu writes: “At first glance, the Scots Wikipedia page reads like a transcription of a person with a Scottish accent: ‘Walcome tae Wikipaedia, the free encyclopaedia that awbody can eedit,’ it says. The main page’s Newsins section includes info about the FIFA Warld Cup, a Featurt Airticle about ‘Chicago, the lairgest ceety in the US state o Illinois,’ and a ‘Did ye ken?’ factoid about the common wombat being ‘the lairgest burrowing, plantin-eatin mammal in the warld.’ The Scots Wikipedia has been around since 2005.”...
Slate: Lexicon Valley, Aug. 5
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