|American Libraries Online
Focusing on African-American male youth
Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Casey Rawson write: “Only 13% of African-American male 4th graders and 11% of African-American male 8th graders scored at or above proficient on national reading tests. This is one of the findings discussed in the 2012 report we coauthored, ‘Building a Bridge to Literacy for African-American Male Youth: A Call to Action for the Library Community.’ The report is the namesake of the June 2012 summit that took place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that has sparked several initiatives designed for school and public librarians.”...
American Libraries feature
Another Story: A cautionary tale
Joseph Janes writes: “In an alternative universe, I’m a film historian. Among all my genres of interest (terrible 1950s science fiction, cult stuff, noir, silents, splashy MGM musicals, and on and on), there’s a much less-recognized category that resonates professionally: the ‘information movie.’ Let me offer for your consideration a relatively obscure film: Rollerball. If you know the original 1975 film, you probably have hazy memories of James Caan in studded motorcycle gloves.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
On My Mind: Changes and connections
Ingrid Parent (right) writes: “In 2011, I was elected as president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the global voice of the library and information profession. With my term having ended at the World Information and Library Congress this past August, I wanted to share some thoughts on why libraries remain as relevant as ever in this age of information overload and 140-character sound bites.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
AL Live reminder: Library websites
In “The Library Website,” our panel of experts will look at the dos, should-dos, and don’ts of library websites. Tune in February 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern time for this free video broadcast that you can view from your home, library, or on-the-go....
American Libraries, Jan. 28
Go back to the Top
Judy Blume is Honorary Chair of 2014 National Library Week
Children’s author and intellectual freedom advocate Judy Blume has been named the 2014 Honorary Chair of National Library Week for 2014, which will take place April 13–19. The theme will be “Lives Change @ your library. As honorary chair, she will appear in print public service announcements (PSAs) promoting NLW. The PSAs, developed by ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, will be placed in magazines and online throughout the spring. ALA will also offer free customization of the PSAs for libraries....
Public Information Office, Feb. 4
Talk about innovation: TEDx @ your library
ALA President Barbara Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives campaign continues with “Talk About Innovation! TEDx @ your library,” a free webinar highlighting the benefit of a partnership between libraries and the influential TEDX (Technology, Entertainment, Design) series of videos and presentations. This free webinar will take place at 2 p.m. Central Time on February 13. Sign up here....
Office for Library Advocacy, Feb. 5
Stan Lee to speak at ALA Annual Conference
Stan Lee (right), known as the man whose superheroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic book industry and whose co-creations include Spider-Man, The Avengers, X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and The Fantastic Four, will appear as an Auditorium Speaker at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas on June 28. Lee will talk about his forthcoming action-packed illustrated novel Zodiac, based on the Chinese Zodiac and featuring magical superpowers, a sinister conspiracy, and an unlikely hero....
Conference Services, Feb. 3
Apply for the 2014 ALA Leadership Institute
The application process for the 2014 “Leading to the Future” ALA Leadership Institute (to be held August 10–14 at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois) is now open, with applications accepted through April 25. Building on the success of the 2013 inaugural ALA Leadership Institute, and with support from Innovative Interfaces, the four-day immersive leadership development program for 40 mid-career librarians will be led again by ALA Past-President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 3
2014 Midwinter attendance was best in three years
More than 12,000 people passed through the doors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia. It had an economic impact of $23.6 million, including the booking of 21,629 hotel “room nights.” It was the best-attended Midwinter Meeting since the 2011 event in San Diego, which drew more than 11,000....
Public Information Office, Feb. 4
Save the date for National Freedom of Information Day
The 16th annual National Freedom of Information Day conference will be held March 14 at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Newseum Institute’s annual conference brings together librarians, nonprofits, government officials, lawyers, journalists, and educators to discuss freedom of information and open records....
District Dispatch, Feb. 1
Two free webinars tell about “Our Marvel Moon”
The Public Programs Office and the Lunar and Planetary Institute have announced two free online learning opportunities for public and young adult services librarians, February 24 and March 10. Titled “Marvel Moon,” the online sessions will acquaint audiences with NASA’s investigations into the ongoing saga that has shaped our moon. Registration for both online sessions is required....
Public Programs Office, Feb. 4
Free e-government webinars
ALA and the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland at College Park have relaunched Lib2Gov, an online e-government resource for librarians. A new monthly webinar series, “E-government @ your library,” will explore a variety of topics, including mobile government apps and emergency preparedness, beginning on February 26. All webinars are free and will be archived on the Lib2Gov website....
Office of Government Relations, Feb. 4
ALA urges continuation of World News Connection
The research community expressed disappointment last year when the National Technical Information Service abruptly announced that World News Connection (formerly the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) would cease operations on December 31. The most prominent was the December 18 letter (PDF file) signed by the National Coalition for History and 16 other organizations. Now the ALA Washington Office wrote to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on January 22, also asking him to reconsider....
Free Government Information, Feb. 4; National Technical Information Service
Be a presenter in Shanghai
The International Relations Office is cosponsoring with Tongji University an International Conference on Leadership and Innovative Management in Academic Libraries in the Age of New Technology on June 3–6 in Shanghai, China. Colleagues from around the world are invited to submit PowerPoint presentations for consideration as a presenter. The deadline for submissions is February 17....
Tongji University Library
Sharing poetry with children
Sylvia M. Vardell has revamped and expanded her 2006 guide to poetry written for young people into Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children, published by ALA Editions. Author of many works exploring poetry, as well as a coeditor of the popular “Poetry Friday” series, Vardell shows educators innovative ways to use poetry and establish an atmosphere that encourages individual participation and creativity....
ALA Editions, Feb. 4
Winter, spring, summer, fall in The Story Room
Preparing storytime programs can devour the time of even the most experienced children’s librarians, especially when several different age groups must be taken into account. Infants and toddlers, pre-readers, and emergent readers all have different needs, and who has time to dig through a multitude of resources to gather suitable programming materials? Dawn R. Roginski’s A Year in the Story Room: Ready-to-Use Programs for Children, is an all-in-one planner for young children provides everything needed for a year’s worth of story room fun....
ALA Editions, Feb. 4
A sign for libraries
Larry Nix writes: “In the era of smartphones, GPS, Google Maps, and library webpages, locating a public library in a community is a snap. However, for more than three decades green-and-white highway signs with a stylized figure reading a book have been one of the more effective means of finding a library in an unfamiliar location. The logo was adopted by Council at the 1982 ALA Annual Conference in Philadelphia on the recommendation of a task force that had been appointed by ALA President Betty Stone.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 4
Go back to the Top
Featured review: Adult nonfiction
Reynolds, Anita, and Howard Miller. American Cocktail: A “Colored Girl” in the World. Edited by George Hutchinson. Feb. 2014. Illus. 334p. Harvard, hardcover (978-0-674-07305-3).
Beautiful, vivacious, stylish, and free-spirited, Reynolds (1901–1980) was asked about her “racially ambiguous appearance” so often that she came up with “American cocktail” to describe her “red, white, and black legacy.” A dancer, actor, psychologist, and teacher, Reynolds recorded this archly witty, sexually frank, nonchalantly confident, yet curiously humble memoir in the mid–1970s, and it is published now for the first time, thanks to its discovery by Cornell professor George Hutchinson. Reynolds jauntily describes her lively, privileged childhood in Chicago and Los Angeles among her extended multiracial family, which included her cousin, Langston Hughes. Stating that she always felt free “to do exactly as I pleased,” Reynolds appeared in The Thief of Bagdad with Douglas Fairbanks, moved to New York, absconded with her college tuition, and headed to Paris in 1928—“Away from the lynchings, away from the Negro problem.”...
Top 10 black history nonfiction: 2014
Brad Hooper writes: “The outstanding books listed, all reviewed in Booklist between February 1, 2013, and January 2014, provide an excellent sampling of black contributions to the American national fabric.”...
Great reads: Black novelists under the radar
Joanne Wilkinson writes: “As a tie-in with Black History Month, we thought we’d home in on talented black novelists who are doing great work but are not well known. With distinctive voices and myriad themes, the authors in the following list speak to issues relevant to those both inside and outside the black community.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Go back to the Top
2014 WrestleMania Reading Challenge
Now through March 7, children ages 4–12 can select a World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Reading Buddy and read digital books to participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. New this year, teens ages 13–18 can select a WWE Superstar Pen Pal, read a book, and write a brief essay about their book choice. Have your young patrons sign up online. YALSA will also be giving away up to nine programming grants of $5,000 to libraries....
YALSAblog, Feb. 4
Free webinar on hosting a Preservation Week event
Hosting an event in a discipline you are not too familiar with can be daunting. What topic do you choose? Who can you find to speak? What if someone asks a question after the event and you don’t know the answer? Join Donia Conn for tips on how to host an event for Preservation Week, April 27–May 3. She will show you how to find a speaker and use the Preservation Week website to its fullest....
ALCTS, Feb. 4
2014 ALCTS President’s Program
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler (right), an Atlanta-based author, international speaker, and executive coach hailed as a “champion for introverts,” is the featured speaker at the June 30 ALCTS President’s Program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Kahnweiler’s bestselling books, The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength and Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, have sold more than 50,000 copies and are translated into 10 languages....
ALCTS, Feb. 3
ACRL releases Virtually Embedded
The rise of online education at institutions of higher learning, together with the increasing cost of higher education, lead some to suggest that online (or distance) education will eventually become the dominant form of higher learning. This trend has particular significance for librarians. Virtually Embedded: The Librarian in an Online Environment, edited by Elizabeth Leonard and Erin McCaffrey, is the first book to extensively explore how librarians can play a key role in the virtual academic landscape....
ACRL, Feb. 4
Go back to the Top
2014 longlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals
Fifty books comprising the longlist for consideration for the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been selected from the most recent Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books lists. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be announced in late April, and the two winners will be revealed at a June 29 ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
ALA Publishing, Feb. 4
Libraries with cutting-edge technology
The Office for Information Technology Policy and LITA have recognized four libraries in 2014 for offering cutting-edge technologies in library services: Somerset County (N.J.) Library System, Edmonton (Alberta) Public Library, North Carolina State University, and Penn State University Libraries (above). The selected libraries and their services will be featured in a program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Feb. 4
Schneider wins Elizabeth Futas Award
Karen G. Schneider (right), university librarian at Holy Names University in Oakland, California, is the 2014 recipient of ALA’s Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. It is given biennially to an individual for making positive changes in the profession of librarianship. Committee Chair Ann Symons said Schneider was honored “for a career noted by risk taking, inspiring and mentoring colleagues, and making opportunities for change out of the challenges to librarianship.”...
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 4
2014 ACRL Women’s Studies Librarianship Award
Maria T. Accardi (right), coordinator of library instruction at Indiana University Southeast, is the winner of the 2014 ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Woman’s Studies Librarianship. The WGSS award honors a significant or one-time contribution to women’s studies librarianship. Accardi was chosen for her 2013 book Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction....
ACRL, Feb. 3
Micham wins Career Achievement Award
Laura Micham (right), Merle Hoffmann director of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and curator of gender and sexuality history collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Duke University, is the 2014 winner of the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section’s Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant longstanding contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career....
ACRL, Feb. 4
Grassian receives Miriam Dudley Award
Esther Stampfer Grassian (right), distinguished librarian (emerita) of the UCLA College Library, is the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award of $1,000. The award recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment. Her numerous publications include the award-winning book Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Practice....
ACRL, Feb. 4
Interior design awards competition is open
Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Awards, cosponsored by ALA and the International Interior Design Association. Winners must demonstrate excellence in aesthetics, design, creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives. The competition is managed by the LLAMA Buildings and Equipment Section’s Interior Design Awards Committee. The deadline to submit an entry is March 28....
LLAMA, Feb. 3
Apply for a John Cotton Dana Award
The John Cotton Dana Award, managed by LLAMA, honors outstanding library public relations. Eight $10,000 grants are awarded each year by the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and the annual awards reception is sponsored by ALA and EBSCO Publishing. A new site has been created for the 2014 award that allows all entries to be submitted online. The deadline is February 14....
LLAMA, Feb. 4
ALSC, PLA win award for Every Child Ready to Read
ALSC and PLA have received the 2014 Opening Minds Innovation Award for their joint initiative Every Child Ready to Read @ your library. The Opening Minds Innovation Award honors individuals and organizations whose contributions advance the field of early childhood care and education....
ALSC, Feb. 4
2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA has announced its 2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The annotated list of 78 titles is drawn from 122 official nominations. The books, recommended for those ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and appealing reading for teens....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2014 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. The list, drawn from 183 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The complete list of 74 titles, including annotations, is divided into four categories....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2014 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. This year’s list of 98 books was drawn from 175 official nominations. The books, recommended for ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and novels in verse....
YALSA, Feb. 4
2014 Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2014 Fabulous Films for Young Adults. The list identifies a body of films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults ages 12–18 and is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year’s list includes 25 titles based on the theme “School’s Out Forever—YOLO (you only live once).”...
YALSA, Feb. 3
2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
YALSA announced its 2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list. The list for ages 12–18 is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases and presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting....
YALSA, Feb. 3
2014 Notable Videos for Adults
The Video Round Table has compiled its 2014 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding programs released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults. Its purpose is to call attention to recent releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video. The winners were chosen from 34 nominated videos....
Video Round Table, Jan. 27
2014 Light the Way Grant awarded
ALSC has announced that the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the recipient of the 2014 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant of $3,000. The grant supports the library’s LGBT Family Story Time project. The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its fifth year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented thanks to Candlewick Press....
ALSC, Feb. 4
The LC Center for the Book’s literacy awards
The Library of Congress Center for the Book is now accepting applications for its 2014 Library of Congress Literacy Awards program. A total of $250,000 will go to three organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States and abroad. The winners will be announced during the National Book Festival on August 30, followed by an awards ceremony and formal presentations by the winners at the Library of Congress in October....
District Dispatch, Feb. 4
Time to apply for an Eisner grant
The deadline for applying for a Will Eisner grant is February 7. Administered by the Games and Gaming Round Table, the two grants are the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant, which offers support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; and the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant, which offers support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program, or initiative....
Games and Gaming Round Table
Jan Stauber Grants available
The Beacon Society has opened applications for its Jan Stauber Grants, which provide up to $500 to fund the development of a project that introduces young people to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about his famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. US and Canadian teachers and librarians are invited to apply for the grants. The deadline is May 1....
2014 Charlotte Zolotow Award (PDF file)
Acclaimed children’s book author Lemony Snicket’s The Dark (Little, Brown), illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen, is the winner of the 17th Annual Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding picture book writing. Given since 1998 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the award will be presented to the creators this spring....
Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Jan. 21
2013 Middle East Book Awards
Winners of the Middle East Outreach Council’s 2013 Middle East Book Awards were announced at the Middle East Studies Association conference held in New Orleans in October. Established in 1999, the awards recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. The winner in the Picture Book category was Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books (Dial), by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya....
Middle East Outreach Council
Go back to the Top
Libraries in the News
Arizona tax bill would cut library funding
Members of the Arizona Library Association, county governments, and library districts around the state are warning about proposed legislation they say could gut library funding statewide. House Bill 2379 (PDF file), proposed by Rep. Justin Olson (R-District 25), would put a cap on the taxing capabilities of “special districts” around the state, which includes county library districts. In Pima County, one official said the cap would have a “devastating impact” on the library system. Maricopa County libraries would also be hard hit....
Phoenix (Ariz.) New Times: Valley Fever, Feb. 3; Hipster Librarian, Jan. 30
Community college and library partner on bookmobile service
Enthusiastic schoolchildren helped officials from Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library and Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region unveil the public library’s new bookmobile on January 30. Library mascot Howard the Bear (right) was present as the two institutions announced a new partnership that features Ivy Tech as the bookmobile sponsor for the next three years. The new vehicle will carry library materials to schools, daycare centers, neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and senior centers around Howard County....
Ivy Tech Kokomo Region News, Jan. 31
School library wish list includes quiet spaces
Comfy chairs to curl up with a book or tablet, silent study spaces, and a place to munch on a quick snack are high on a student-generated wish list being considered by officials at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, as they plan for the future of the district’s two libraries. The feedback was gathered through a recent survey that asked 275 students to share their needs and suggest future changes that would enhance their current library experience....
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4
Huntington Library acquires historic SoCal photos
The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, has purchased the extensive photographic trove of Ernest Marquez, a descendant of Mexican land grantees who owned what became Santa Monica and other parts of southern California. Amassed over a 50-year period, the 4,600-image compilation includes rare photos of 1870s Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Curator of Photographs Jennifer A. Watts said this was the Huntington’s costliest purchase of photographs since the time of Henry E. Huntington, who died in 1927....
Los Angeles Times: L.A. Now, Feb. 4; Huntington Library, Feb. 4
UC Berkeley library to get additional funding
Officials at the University of California, Berkeley, announced new financial support for the library system. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer announced $4.6 million in additional funding for all campus libraries in a January 27 email to students, staff, and faculty. The plans, to be implemented in 2014–2015, also call for $1 million from campus deans and $1 million in savings from reorganization and redeployment of library resources. The announcement followed the October 2013 release of a report from the Commission on the Future of the UC Berkeley Library....
Daily Californian, Jan. 29; Oct. 17, 2013
Judge: Bloomfield library violated records law
The Bloomfield Public Library violated New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act when it failed to produce documents pertaining to overdue materials, Superior Court Judge Edith K. Payne ruled on January 13. In July 2013, the Bloomfield Life newspaper had requested records of late fees incurred by library trustees. After the ruling, the library released a document indicating that one trustee had incurred $66.50 in fines, but the trustee’s name was redacted....
Bloomfield (N.J.) Life, Feb. 3
Clovis cat burglar caught
Library Director Margaret Hinchee and her staff at Clovis-Carver (N.Mex.) Public Library on January 28 apprehended a feral cat who had secretly occupied the library premises for nearly a week. The black-and-gray cat, since named Bootsie by the staff, had avoided library staffers on night stakeout and was caught only when they set up a trap containing salmon. The cat had tripped alarms by setting off motion sensors, which in turn led to calls to Hinchee for three nights in a row from the library’s alarm system. Watch the video (2:02)....
Clovis (N.Mex.) News Journal, Jan. 31; KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, Jan. 31
P.E.I. fishermen get licensing help at the library
Prince Edward Island’s public libraries are coming to the aid of fishermen who require assistance in filling out their online licensing requirements with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Until 2014, fishermen went into their local fisheries office where a clerk completed the necessary paperwork. Now all the forms need to be filled out online. Tourism and Culture Minister Robert Henderson said he hopes the assistance will lead to increased use of other library services....
The Sou’Wester, Feb. 3
Crowdfunding helps rebuild torched Lebanese library
A priest’s flock is crowdfunding $35,000 to restore a renowned Lebanese library and bookstore, which was set on fire January 3. Between a quarter and a third of the 85,000 titles in the Maktabat al-Sa’eh (Pilgrim’s Bookshop) in the northern city of Tripoli were destroyed by the fire, according to reports, including a pair of 200-year-old Islamic manuscripts. At the time of writing, more than $29,800 has been pledged....
CNN, Feb. 3
York libraries could be outsourced to a nonprofit
Officials in York, England, are considering a five-year agreement that will transfer the management of the city’s libraries and archives to a nonprofit social organization, Explore Libraries and Archive Mutual. The arrangement would be the first of its kind in the UK. The transfer would take place on April 1 as the city council attempts to cut library costs by £450,000 ($733,900 US) over the next three years. The move is opposed by the unions....
York (UK) Press, Feb. 5
Go back to the Top
Mr. President: Where have libraries gone?
ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff writes: “It was my pleasure to be in the audience on February 4 for President Barack Obama’s speech about the ConnectED initiative at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland. I found myself thinking back to another speech I attended by then-Senator Barack Obama at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, where he credited libraries with helping him land his first job as a community organizer. I was disappointed to find libraries conspicuously absent in his vision of connecting our students to world-class learning.”...
District Dispatch, Feb. 4
FCC to double e-rate spending
The Federal Communications Commission will double the amount of money it devotes to adding high-speed internet connections in schools and libraries over the next two years, in an effort to meet President Obama’s promise to provide broadband service for an estimated 20 million American students in 15,000 schools. The $2.4 billion e-rate program, which provides money for “advanced telecommunications and information services” from fees paid by telecommunications users, will increase its broadband allocation to $2 billion a year from $1 billion....
New York Times, Feb. 1
The real cost of connecting a school to Wi-Fi
Annie Gilbertson writes: “As more schools move to equip all students with a computer, one cost is often overlooked—getting those computers connected to the network grid. The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to spend over $500 million to upgrade servers, pull wire, and connect antiquated schools to a data grid, all a necessary part of its huge effort to supply 700,000 students and teachers with an iPad. But the price tag is high because costs start far from the building, out on the street.”...
Marketplace, Feb. 3
Net neutrality ruling raises concerns about K–12 access
Teachers and students count on having broad access to online content, but a recent federal court ruling raises questions about whether the education community will lose some of its ability to access internet resources. The court ruled (PDF file) January 14 that the FCC does not have the legal authority to prevent telecom providers from blocking the delivery of lawful online content or discriminating against certain kinds of content providers. ALA President Barbara Stripling (above) said the decision “will have a huge effect on K–12 in terms of reducing the equity and quality of access. Information will be controlled by the provider.”...
Education Week, Jan. 29
More than 1 million petition FCC on net neutrality
On January 30, the nonprofit media organization Free Press led a coalition of organizations—including the ACLU, Common Cause, ColorOfChange, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, the Harry Potter Alliance, MoveOn, RootsAction, and the Sierra Club’s SierraRise community—that delivered more than 1 million petitions to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to restore net neutrality. The groups also delivered a letter signed by more than 80 organizations echoing the need for the FCC to take swift action....
Free Press, Jan. 30
Are art professionals afraid of fair use?
Jillian Steinhauer writes: “Visual art professionals are not making use of fair use, a new report issued by the College Art Association says, in large part because they’re concerned about the repercussions of not obtaining copyright permissions. ‘Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities’ (PDF file) released in February, finds that visual arts professionals—art historians, museum workers of all kinds, publishers, and artists—are confused and misinformed about copyright law and fair use.”...
Hyperallergic, Feb. 3
Go back to the Top
Teen uses library’s 3D printer to make prosthetic hand
Using a 3D printer at the Johnson County (Kans.) Library, a 16-year-old student made a prosthetic hand that opens and closes and even holds a pencil. Mason Wilde, a junior at Louisburg High School, made the hand for a 9-year-old boy named Matthew, who was born with only a thumb on his right hand. Wilde used a blueprint called Robohand, which was designed by Ivan Owen and Richard Van As, who put the instructions online for free. The library’s printer is located in its Makerspace, which can be used for free by anyone with a library card....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Jan. 31
Seven tools for creating an optimized mobile website
Tim Ash writes: “Come on, be honest with yourself. Is your website really giving your visitors an optimized, intuitive experience? Or are you still serving mobile visitors a site that was designed for desktop? If you feel like you’re behind the eightball, there’s hope. Here are seven great solutions to help you quickly and cost-effectively develop a mobile version of your site.”...
Mashable, Feb. 5
Google buys AI company to deepen its search
Nick Bilton writes: “‘I’d like to go on a vacation somewhere warm over the summer, but only have a budget of $1,000. Where should I go?’ If you search Google with a very long and human question like this, you will see a series of often irrelevant and strange links. Google wants to change that, which is why the company bought the British artificial intelligence developer, DeepMind, on January 27. Informed sources said the acquisition was intended to enhance the search engine’s ability to understand what people were asking for and to answer in a very human way.”...
New York Times: Bits, Jan. 28
Octonius searches and groups your files
Paul Sawers writes: “If you consider yourself a power-user of Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive, you may wish to check out Octonius, which recently officially launched in the App Store. Optimized for iPhone and iPod Touch, Octonius lets you search all your content on these three accounts, and organize, track, and share all your files easily. We’ve given the app a quick test-drive, and here’s how it works.”...
The Next Web, Jan. 28
Nine free tools that make Windows better
Alex Castle writes: “Windows is packed to the rafters with features, many of them great—and others, just meh. Luckily, there are free alternatives that are more powerful, more efficient, and take only minutes to install. Read on, and we’ll show you nine built-in features of Windows that aren’t up to snuff, and the free software you can use to replace them.”...
PC World, Feb. 3
It’s okay to shut down your computer with the power button
Chris Hoffman writes: “Many computer users were trained never to turn their PCs off by pressing the power button on their desktop case. This used to cause problems in the previous millennium, but it’s now perfectly safe to shut down with the power button. This is especially useful on Windows 8, where there’s no obvious power button unless you know to look in the charms bar or the hidden Windows Key + X menu. But there is a power button, and it’s on your PC’s case.” If your PC is taking forever to shut down, try these tips....
How-To Geek, Mar. 1, May 19, 2012; July 8, 2013; Feb. 1; MakeUseOf, Feb. 4
Go back to the Top
Welcome to Occam’s Reader
Springer Science+Business Media and the Occam’s Reader Project—made up of Texas Tech University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Greater Western Library Alliance—have entered into an agreement to run a pilot program with GWLA’s 33 members, focused on ebook interlibrary loans. This is the first major collaboration of its kind between academic libraries and a major publisher. The year-long project could revolutionize the way libraries share books in a digital world....
University of Hawaii News, Feb. 3
Adobe’s change of DRM will cause e-reader problems
Nate Hoffelder writes: “When Adobe announced its new DRM in January, some said that we would soon see compatibility issues with older devices and apps as Adobe forced everyone to upgrade. At that time I didn’t think Adobe would make the mistake of cutting off so many existing readers, but now it seems that I could not have been more wrong on the issue. Adobe will require everyone to upgrade to the new DRM by July 2014. This means that any app or device that still uses the older Adobe DRM will be cut off.”...
The Digital Reader, Jan. 22, Feb. 3
Feel the fiction
Leslie Katz writes: “Created by students as a final project for MIT Media Lab’s Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class, Sensory Fiction is a wearable book that uses networked sensors and actuators to mimic the characters’ emotions and physical state through discrete tangible feedback. The main protagonist in the prototype augmented story, ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’ by James Tiptree Jr. [a pen name of writer Alice Sheldon], experiences a range of emotions and sensations—deep love and profound despair, the warmth of sunshine, and the constriction and coldness of a dark damp cellar.” Watch the video (1:21)....
CNET: Crave, Jan. 28
E Ink or LCD: Which screen is better?
Chris Hoffman writes:
“There are two big choices when it comes to reading ebooks. You can go with either a dedicated e-reader, like a Kindle Paperwhite, or a tablet with an LCD screen, like an iPad. But which is better? The big difference between the two classes of device—e-reader and tablet—is the type of screen. E-readers have E Ink screens, while tablets have LCD screens. This makes all the difference.”...
How-To Geek, Feb. 3
FCC issues one-year e-reader waiver
Carrie Russell writes: “To the disappointment of ALA and a range of advocates for people with disabilities, the Federal Communications Commission has granted a one-year waiver (Word file) to the E-reader Coalition—Amazon, Sony, and Kobo—on implementing FCC rules for Access to Advanced Communications and Services for People with Disabilities. The coalition had argued that their e-readers were made for the sole purpose of reading text and therefore should not have to comply with accessibility implementation requirements.”...
District Dispatch, Feb. 3
Another Apple ebook lawsuit
James LaRue writes: “Here we go again. The same state attorneys general who sued Apple in 2012 for allegedly conspiring with Big Six [now Big Five] publishers to inflate ebook prices are now seeking triple damages. The total sought is $840 million. What’s the point? If successful, will libraries suddenly get a massive infusion of cash to buy more ebooks? Maybe.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 4; Bloomberg, Jan. 31
DCL ebook report for February
James LaRue writes: “This month’s list from Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries features the top 20 titles from Amazon (PDF file). Call me crazy, but who would have predicted that number 19 on the list would be Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 5
Online research journals offered free to UK public
A new move towards broader open access has made more than 1.5 million journal articles free for public use through UK libraries. In a pilot program called Access to Research that is partly being powered free of cost by ProQuest’s search capabilities, the public can now access these articles and conference presentations through their libraries. According to a press release, the content will primarily be in the fields of health and biological sciences (20%), social sciences (18%), and engineering (14%)....
Good E-Reader, Feb. 3; Access to Research, Feb. 3
UMass launches Torrent site for data sharing
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have launched a torrent site that allows them to share papers and datasets. Academic Torrents provides researchers with a reliable and decentralized platform to share their work with peers, as well as the rest of the world. The site currently indexes at least 1.67 terabytes of data. The site was launched by doctoral students Joseph Cohen and Henry Lo. Watch the video (2:15)....
TorrentFreak, Jan. 31
An experiment with Impelsys
James LaRue writes: “As I often say, this is a time of experimentation. (If you know something’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.) But it’s not enough to try and fail, or even try and succeed. Either way, we have to report out to our colleagues. A little over a year ago, Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries teamed up with content delivery provider Impelsys to devise a new acquisitions system. Here’s what happened: It didn’t work. Why?”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 5
Go back to the Top
2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Annual Conference is heating up. Confirmed speakers now include Jane Fonda, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Stan Lee, Lois Lowry, Alexander McCall Smith, Azar Nafisi, Philippe Petit, and Ilyasah Shabazz, with many more to come. Register before March 3 for the best rates.
The Thief (1952). Ray Milland is Allan Fields, an atomic spy who uses the Library of Congress Reading Room as a drop-off point for microfilmed secrets.
13 Going on 30 (2004). Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink and Mark Ruffalo as Matt Flamhaff stage their Poise magazine photo shoot on the front steps of the New York Public Library.
36th Precinct [36 Quai des Orfèvres] (2004, France). The Boris Vian Médiathèque in Persan, France, serves as the location for the police station.
This Happy Breed (1944, UK). Alison Leggatt plays the widowed Aunt Sylvia who lives with her brother’s family in South London in the 1920s. She considers retiring from her library job and takes up spiritualism.
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.
Business Intelligence Analyst, Bass, Berry and Sims, Nashville, Tennessee. The Business Intelligence Analyst is responsible for providing actionable information in support of the firm’s business development and marketing initiatives. Overall duties involve performing research, analyzing the research findings, and presenting the information in easily digestible and professional reports....
Digital Library of the Week
The Joseph A. Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan is the oldest research collection of radical history in the United States, documenting a wide variety of international social protest movements of the 19th century to the present. It is named for anarchist and labor organizer Joseph Antoine Labadie (1850–1933). Some 1,423 photographs in the collection are now online.
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
“One would be hard pressed to find a finer group of people than librarians. They are there solely to help us find our way exploring and navigating the vast, expanding, and ever-changing ocean that forms our intellectual and cultural habitat.”
—Stevan Goldin, Letter to the Editor, Gloucester (Mass.) Times, Feb. 5.
Polish American Librarians Association, Annual Meeting, Crown Center Auditorium, Loyola University Lake Shore Campus, Chicago. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will keynote.
Association of Test Publishers, Innovations in Testing Conference, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona.
National Latino Children’s Literature Conference, University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.”
Coalition for Networked Information, Spring Membership Meeting, Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.
Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, Kent (Ohio) State University. “Pearls of Wisdom.”
First National Personal Librarian and First-Year Experience Library Conference, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Association of Architecture School Librarians, Annual Conference, Miami.
Urban Librarians Conference, S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York.
Information Literacy Summit, Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Illinois. “Into the Next Generation: The Future of Information Literacy.”
Bibliographical Society of America, “Bibliography, Collections, and the History of Science,” Pyle Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Free Comic Book Day.
City University of New York Office of Library Services, Conference, New York City. “Reinventing Libraries: Reinventing Assessment Innovative Practices and Ideas that Challenge the Status Quo.”
Connecticut Information Literacy Conference, Manchester (Conn.) Community College. “Our New Frontier: Metaliteracy, Threshold Concepts, New Standards, and Other Wild Ideas.”
IFLA Information Literacy Section Satellite Meeting Program, Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland. “Facing the Future: Librarians and Information Literacy in a Changing Landscape.”
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
news and feedback:
links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes
only. Questions about the content of any external site should be
addressed to the administrator of that site.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Interracial teens in historical fiction
Diane Colson writes: “What’s in a color? For many Americans, it’s an identity. It speaks of ancestors from nations unknown, of a history both terrible and proud. The irony is that skin color can hide a past as easily as reveal. Over the long course of American history, countless children have been born to parents of different races, sometimes different skin colors. What race, then, are those children? The deciding factor is often the color of their skin. The books listed focus on the choices available to teens of mixed white and black heritage.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 3
LGBTQ parents in YA novels
Katie Shanahan Yu writes: “A much-needed discussion about the representation of the LGBTQ community is growing in the YA world. Author Malindo Lo does an amazing job of putting a spotlight on the issue by creating a yearly list of published LGBT YA titles and The Hub’s own Molly Wetta put together an impressive guide last year of YA novels with LGBTQ characters. This building conversation and one Stephanie Perkins book later (Lola and the Boy Next Door) left me wondering where the LGBTQ parents were hiding in the YA world.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 31; Aug. 6, 2013
Books about the Vietnamese diaspora
Alegria Barclay writes: “January 31 marked the beginning of Tết—the most important Vietnamese holiday of the year. As the child of a Vietnamese mother and an American father, I have fond memories of this time of year. Growing up mixed race, it was one of the few times a year where I got a glimpse of my mother’s culture and the lives she and my extended family once lived before the Vietnam War made refugees and immigrants of them all. All the books listed explore that experience.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 31
Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 rules for reading
Jeremy Anderberg writes: “It’s well known among historians that our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the most well-read presidents. He would read a book before breakfast every day, and depending on his schedule, another two or three in the evening. What may not be known to the average reader is how much of a book advocate he really was. I stumbled upon a few pages on books and reading in his autobiography that are just too good to not share.”...
Book Riot, Jan. 30
Halftones under the microscope
Christina Duffy writes: “As an imaging scientist, I find it very difficult to look at ordinary objects without wondering what they would look like under a microscope. This was the case when I was shown a beautiful printing block with a portrait of rowing coach Steve Fairbairn etched on the front. Printing blocks like these were used alongside similar-sized blocks containing type in a printing press to produce images and text for commercial publications. But how does it all work?”...
British Library: Collection Care Blog, Feb. 3
Go back to the Top
Everything you need to know about Common Core
Diane Ravitch (right), the education historian who has become the leader of the movement against corporate-influenced school reform, gave this speech to the Modern Language Association on January 11 about the past, present, and future of the Common Core State Standards. Bottom line: “I fear that the Common Core plan of standards and testing will establish a test-based meritocracy that will harm our democracy by parceling out opportunity, by ranking and rating every student in relation to their test scores.”...
Washington Post: The Answer Sheet, Jan. 18
The tool library movement gains steam
Cat Johnson writes: “When Gene Homicki cofounded the West Seattle Tool Library, there were less than 20 tool libraries in existence. Running one was a low-tech affair with either ‘old, clunky software’ or pen and paper to keep track of inventory and loans. There are now nearly 60 tool libraries around the world with an estimated 20 more in the works.
No longer just a place to get a drill when you need one, tool libraries are neighborhood hubs offering classes, community building spaces, workshops, and tools ranging from belt sanders to lawnmowers.”...
Shareable, June 29
2014 Horizon Report, Higher Education Edition
The New Media Consortium and Educause Learning Initiative jointly released the NMC Horizon Report, 2014 Higher Education Edition at a special session of the ELI Annual Meeting 2014. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report is available online, free of charge. Watch the video (3:51)....
New Media Consortium, Jan. 28; YouTube, Jan. 31
Project IDOL increases diversity of librarians
Project Increasing Diversity of Librarians (IDOL) is accepting applications until June 1 for the Fall 2014 semester at Wayne State University library school. Project IDOL Fellows will receive full tuition for their MLIS degree, to be completed within two years, as well as support for books, conference travel, and a personal computer. Project IDOL, a three-year collaboration between WSU and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Library Alliance, is funded by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program....
Wayne State University
Book Club Showdown at Gowanda prison (PDF file)
In December, inmates at the Gowanda Correctional Facility in Erie County, New York, were heavily engaged in a competition that resulted in drastic improvement to their reading skills. The competition, known as the “Book Club Showdown,” is the brainchild of New York Department of Correctional and Community Services Senior Librarian Corinne Leone and combines reading comprehension, teamwork, and rivalry. The goal is to increase reading comprehension and help inmates score higher on their high school equivalency exams....
New York Department of Correctional and Community Services, Dec. 23
Collection weeding as dendrochronology
Buffy J. Hamilton writes: “Since early September 2013, my colleague Jennifer Lund and I have been working on a large-scale and aggressive weeding project for our entire school library collection. We wanted to rethink how we approach collection development to better meet the needs of our students and faculty and to better support the library as a learning studio. I’ve been thinking that dendrochronology, the cross-dating and study of tree rings, stands as a metaphor for weeding as a process of inquiry and discovery.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Jan. 26
Now you can enjoy climate data with Google Maps
John Timmer writes: “In an interesting bit of geotagging, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has placed its global temperature data on Google Maps. The data set, called CRUTEM4, tracks how the temperatures at the Earth’s surface have changed over the last century or so (ocean data is handled by a different project and is not included). By adding geographic data, it’s possible to get a sense of how different regions are responding to our changing climate and where we still lack solid data.”...
Ars Technica, Feb. 4
My first year as library director
Jessica Olin writes: “My one-year anniversary as a library director has now come and gone, so of course I’m feeling reflective. It doesn’t feel like a year. In any given moment I can feel like I’ve been here barely two weeks and then in the next moment it feels like I’ve been here 20 years. I’ve made progress, but honestly, I don’t think I have a good handle on the experiences I’ve had since I first started this job. This list isn’t in any kind of order, but it represents some of the biggest lessons and experiences that I had over the last year.”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, Feb. 4
From here to discovery
Jacob S. Berg writes: “This is a presentation I gave at the 6th Annual Bridging the Spectrum Symposium on January 31, hosted by the Catholic University of America’s Library and Information Science program. It reports on Trinity Washington University library’s experience with a discovery service, EBSCO’s EDS, and the effect it had on the library website. It also discusses how to market and promote website changes to the academic community.”...
BeerBrarian, Feb. 4
Creating a better library experience for birds
Steven J. Bell writes: “Many of our library buildings have a notorious track record when it comes to giving birds a bad library experience. In fact, our buildings, with their many oversized windows, kill the birds. There’s an experience we need to improve. Over the years, Temple University’s Paley Library has tried different strategies as deterrents. In 2012, students at our Tyler School of Art designed a new type of stencil to apply to windows that proved more effective in repelling birds.”...
Designing Better Libraries, Feb. 4
Hack your first professional conference
Sam Winn writes: “I have never met a conference I did not like. They have so much to offer an emerging professional: a chance to make new friends and meet professional contacts, exposure to new ideas and best practices in your field, and the possibility of new opportunities. At a conference, you can challenge your expectations and even meet your professional heroes. Don’t feel intimidated. Here are some steps you can take to help make your first professional conference a success.”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 3
Why do we still need “libraries”?
Steve Matthews writes: “There is hardly a librarian anywhere who has not been asked that question. What this tells me is that the profession has no single or universal answer and that there is no adequate answer—yet. Why? Is it because there is no single answer that satisfies everyone? Is it because the answer is too big for non-librarians to understand? Is it because it is the wrong question that has no correct answer? Yes, yes. and absolutely!”...
21st-Century Library Blog, Feb. 3
Gaming library instruction at Michener
Hoping to inform incoming freshmen about library staff and services, three librarians at the University of Northern Colorado’s Michener Library put together a new activity for the fall semester. Combining their love of board games and library promotion, Sara O’Donnell, Kendra Spahr, and William Cuthbertson came up with game-themed events designed to open the stacks to new students. Michener’s first-ever Game Night was held August 25....
Library Letters 8, no. 1 (Fall/Winter 2013)
Go back to the Top