|American Libraries Online
Peggy Barber writes: “The most powerful marketing and communication strategy is word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). But it’s a big step to go from having just a few people talking about your library to having your message go viral, when everyone is talking about it. Jonah Berger, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, thinks he knows how to make that happen. In his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster, 2013), Berger writes that six basic principles make things, from YouTube videos to policy initiatives, contagious.”...
American Libraries feature
Between Google Glass and a hard place
Jenny Levine (right) writes: “It’s been almost two months. That’s how long I’ve been living in the future this latest time. My Google Glass arrived in December, and I’ve been playing with it in fits and starts since then. My intent was to become comfortable enough to wear them around the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and around the city itself. An ambitious goal, considering I still felt too funny to wear them around my neighborhood.”...
AL: The Scoop, Feb. 7
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
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Azar Nafisi to speak at Annual Conference
Azar Nafisi (right), award-winning author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, will offer insights into her work—including her engagement in promoting literacy and reading books of universal literary value—when she appears as an Auditorium Speaker at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas on June 28. Described as a master of modern memoir, Nafisi returns to Iran and her childhood in her latest book, Things I’ve Been Silent About....
Conference Services, Feb. 11
ALA Council resolutions
At the 2014 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, ALA Council passed resolutions that: urge the US Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Justice to maintain open access to essential government websites during government shutdowns; call upon Congress to pass legislation supporting the reforms embodied in the USA Freedom Act; and urge Congress to extend legal protections for whistle-blowers to employees of all national security and intelligence agencies....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 11
Four elected to ALA Executive Board
Peter D. Hepburn, Gina A. Persichini, Gail A. Schlachter, and Mike L. Marlin have been elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board. Hepburn, Persichini, and Schlachter will each serve three-year terms beginning in July and concluding in June 2017. Marlin was elected to fill the unexpired term of Sylvia Norton, who was recently appointed AASL executive director. His term begins immediately and will conclude at the close of the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 5
Call for 2013 challenges
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is working to finalize its numbers for 2013 challenges and its annual list of most frequently challenged books. OIF collects information for its challenge database from both media reports and those submitted by individuals and, although many challenges are never reported, it strives to be as comprehensive as possible. The final deadline for reporting 2013 challenges is February 28....
OIF Blog, Feb. 11
Town Hall on draft revised ALA accreditation standards
Join Committee on Accreditation members February 20 at 2–3 p.m. Central time in a discussion of the Draft Revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. Learn about the proposed changes and hear information on the review process and research methodology. Register here. COA will hold another session at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Committee on Accreditation, Feb. 11
Promotional ideas wanted for NLW
ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries is soliciting stories telling how libraries of all types are promoting National Library Week, April 13–19, with the theme “Lives Change @ your library.” Ideas will be shared on the 2014 National Library Week tools page. A downloadable PSA featuring author and intellectual freedom advocate Judy Blume as the Honorary Chair of National Library Week is also available. Email ideas to email@example.com....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Feb. 11
Join your state library association
Your state library association, which also serves as an ALA Chapter, needs your help to support libraries in your state. If you’re not already a member, now is a good time to join. The state library associations make every effort to advocate for and support libraries, librarians, and library workers within their membership areas. Also, 28 state associations are partnering with ALA to offer LIS students the opportunity to join both the chapter and ALA for only $35, now through August 31....
ALA Membership Blog, Feb. 10; ALA Student member Blog, Feb. 10
Travel to Costa Rica
Are you interested in a unique opportunity that combines the principles of sustainable tourism and educational travel with international community-based library service work? This trip, June 21–29, hosted by the ALA International Relations Office, is designed for librarians at all stages of their careers. The program combines grassroots, community-based service work on three library projects in the Monteverde Zone in Costa Rica, and a full itinerary of travel activities centered on understanding the country’s natural and cultural environments. For more information, contact IRO....
International Relations Office
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Leon, Donna. By Its Cover. Apr. 2014. 256p. Atlantic Monthly, hardcover (978-0-8021-2264-7).
Think of Leon’s latest Guido Brunetti novel as a love letter to her fans, many of whom are librarians. The premise involves the theft and mutilation of rare books from a private research library, and much of the action takes place in the library itself, with Brunetti inhaling the aroma of aging parchment and fondly remembering his student days. Ah, but amid all this biblio-love, there is a real crime—not only the theft but also the murder of one of the library’s regular patrons....
What we don’t need to do
Joyce Saricks writes: “One of the problems with training is that it can seem overwhelming at all levels but especially for new staff. It is all too easy for them to feel swamped. It’s important to reassure new staff, to make clear to them from the first that they will be taught strategies for working with readers, that providing readers’ advisory is not as impossible as it may seem, and that we all felt we were in over our heads at first. When I conduct training workshops, I like to alleviate some fears right away and start with four things we don’t have to do to provide excellent readers’ advisory service.”...
The long and short of writing longhand
Daniel Kraus writes: “Over the past two years, I’ve seen a small but noticeable number of authors going back to longhand. It is a process so physically and emotionally different from typing in front of a screen that it almost must produce different results—and from a writer’s perspective, that’s exciting. I haven’t had the guts yet to try it, but the following authors have. It’s impossible to read their comments and not want to give it a shot. I especially urge you to stick around for Joe Hill’s essay at the bottom. It’s a bit longer than the rest, but well worth the read. And he wrote it, of course, longhand.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Schuman named lifetime member of United for Libraries board
At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, the United for Libraries board voted unanimously to present former ALA President Patricia Glass Schuman (right) with life membership on its board in honor of her many accomplishments and contributions to libraries both nationally and internationally throughout her career. Her official position will be board member at large....
United for Libraries, Feb. 11
David Warlick to keynote AASL Fall Forum
David Warlick (right), recently named one of the 10 most influential people in educational technology by Technology & Learning Magazine, will serve as keynote speaker and primary facilitator at the American Association of School Librarians’ 2014 Fall Forum. Taking place October 17–18, “School Librarians in the Anytime Anywhere Learning Landscape” will convene in St. Louis and broadcast to nine satellite sites across the country. Registration is open....
AASL, Feb. 11
ACRL e-learning, spring
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in spring 2014 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Its online courses provide asynchronous, multiweek content with weekly readings and assignments. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website....
ACRL, Feb. 6
YALSA and Best Buy partner for Teen Tech Week
Best Buy will support YALSA’s annual celebration of digital literacy and technology, Teen Tech Week, March 9–15. Best Buy Geek Squad agents and store associates will hold teen tech workshops in libraries in seven cities (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and Seattle) to provide hands-on training that will help teens build digital literacy skills. The partnership is also supporting a webinar series to help build the knowledge and skills of library workers....
YALSA, Feb. 11
YALSA seeks manager for YALSAblog
YALSA seeks a member manager for its YALSAblog, which publishes timely information about emerging and new practices for library services for and with teens. Full details are available online. The deadline for applications is March 1....
YALSA, Feb. 11; YALSAblog, Jan. 22
Library foundations discussion list
Library foundation staff, board members, and volunteers from all types of libraries are invited to participate in a United for Libraries electronic discussion group focused on topics of interest to library foundations. Discussion topics might include fundraising, event planning, capital campaigns, planned giving, effective meetings, or board recruitment. Find instructions here on how to join....
United for Libraries, Feb. 11
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Anne R. Kenney wins 2014 Hugh Atkinson Award
Anne R. Kenney (right), Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, has been named the 2014 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. The award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research. Kenney was cited for her leadership on several projects, including 2CUL, arXiv, Project Euclid, and Making of America; her influential work on large-scale digitization and digital preservation standards; and her global contributions in Myanmar, Cuba, and China....
ACRL, Feb. 11
Nominations open for Lemony Snicket Prize
Librarians face adversity every day, whether they are defending a book that has been challenged or fighting to provide services on a limited budget. If you know a similarly beleaguered librarian, now is your chance to give that person some much needed recognition by nominating them for ALA’s new Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. The deadline is April 15....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Feb. 11
2014 Marta Lange/Sage–CQ Press Award
Brian E. Coutts (right), head of the department of library public services at Western Kentucky University, has been awarded the 2014 ACRL Law and Political Science Section’s Marta Lange/Sage–CQ Press Award. The award honors an academic or law librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science....
ACRL, Feb. 5
2014 ACRL IS Innovation Award
Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli, and Kimberly Wilson-St. Clair, all of Portland (Oreg.) State University, have been selected to receive the 2014 ACRL Instruction Section’s Innovation Award for their work on the Library DIY software, which assists students in finding the information they need quickly. Farkas writes the “Technology in Practice” column for American Libraries....
ACRL, Feb. 5
2014 Innovation in College Librarianship Award
Terra B. Jacobson, Troy A. Swanson, and Tish Hayes (right), all of the Moraine Valley Community College Library in Palos Hills, Illinois, have been named 2014 recipients of the ACRL College Libraries Section’s ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award for their work on the “One Book, One College” program (read the details here). The award honors ALA members who have demonstrated a capacity for innovation in their work with undergraduates, instructors, or the library community....
ACRL, Feb. 5; American Libraries feature
2014 Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year
Wendy Holliday and Jim Rogers (right) have been chosen as the winners of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award, for their article “Talking About Information Literacy: The Mediating Role of Discourse in a College Writing Classroom,” published in 2013 by portal: Libraries and the Academy. The award recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years....
ACRL, Feb. 11
Dale Askey receives Canadian intellectual freedom award
Dale Askey (right), associate university librarian at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has been chosen the winner of the Canadian Library Association’s 2014 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada for his stance in the face of an unprecedented defamation suit brought against him by the academic publisher Edwin Mellen Press. Askey is being sued for a September 2010 post on his personal blog that described the publishing firm as a purveyor of “second-class scholarship.”...
CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, Feb. 11
YALSA Writing Award
YALSA has named the winners of its Writing Award, with members winning prizes in four categories: Erica Gauquier and Jessica Schneider for best article in Young Adult Library Services; Molly Wetta for best post on The Hub; Sarah Hannah Gómez for best article in the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults; and Kelly Czarnecki, Marie Harris, and April Pavis for best post on the YALSAblog. The winners for the journals will each receive $500, while the bloggers will each receive $200....
YALSA, Feb. 11
Youth Media Awards: Behind the scenes
On January 27, ALA announced the winners of its Youth Media Awards—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards—at the 2014 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. In this video (7:16) produced by the Public Information Office, you have a rare chance for a glimpse behind the scenes, only a few hours before the presentation, as the Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King committees deliver the good news to the winners and those who received honors....
Public Information Office, Feb. 6; YouTube, Feb. 5
2014 Notable Children’s Books
ALSC has selected its 2014 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity, and value to children 14 years of age and younger....
ALSC, Feb. 5
2014 Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC has selected has selected its 2014 list of Notable Children’s Recordings. The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination, exhibit venturesome creativity, and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways....
ALSC, Feb. 5
2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
YALSA has announced its 2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The list is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The Quick Picks list suggests books that teens, ages 12–18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure. The complete list of 77 titles and three series is drawn from more than 200 nominations....
YALSA, Feb. 5
2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound
YALSA has announced its 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifetime Learners list. Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians. The list offers titles in five categories: arts and humanities, history and cultures, literature and language arts, science and technology, and social sciences....
YALSA, Feb. 11
Apply for a Conable Conference Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation has opened applications for the 2014 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, June 26–July 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The deadline for applications is April 11....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Feb. 11
H. W. Wilson Foundation scholarships (PDF file)
The New York-based H. W. Wilson Foundation is continuing to support LIS education in 2014 with $140,000 in scholarship grants to be distributed equally among 14 ALA-accredited library schools in the US and Canada. The schools may then distribute the funds according to their own scholarship rules and needs. This is the third year of a four-year program that is sending $580,000 to assist qualified students in entering the profession. Thirteen other schools will receive grants in 2015....
H. W. Wilson Foundation, Jan.
2014 Gryphon Award
The Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS has awarded its 2014 Gryphon Award to Battle Bunny (Simon and Schuster) by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers. The award is presented annually to the author of an outstanding
English-language work of fiction or nonfiction for which the primary audience is children in kindergarten through 4th grade....
Center for Children’s Books, Feb. 3
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Libraries in the News
Maine librarian left $1 million in gifts
Before he died in June at the age of 89, retired University of Southern Maine reference librarian Franklin Talbot (right) was known for his wicked sense of humor and the twinkle in his eye, as well as for his generosity. But even his friends may be surprised that Talbot left about $1 million in gifts to colleges, universities, and charities across Maine, including scholarship funds to help young people afford college....
Portland (Maine) Press Herald, Feb. 10
Poetry book pulled from junior high library
A committee of parents and teachers this week pulled a controversial poetry book from the Stapley Junior High School library in Mesa, Arizona. Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls, compiled by Betsy Franco, will be offered to the Mountain View High School library, Principal Ken Erickson said. Lauren Mitchell, whose 13-year-old daughter attends Stapley, complained that the book’s poetry was too sex-and-drug oriented for young teens....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Feb. 7
School board hearing on The House of the Spirits
On February 10, the Watauga County (N.C.) Board of Education listened to community members comment on The House of the Spirits, a novel by Isabel Allende that was taught in sophomore honors English at Watauga High School before it became the subject of a parent book challenge in October. The board decided to hold a third and final hearing February 27 on the appeal by parent Chastity Lesesne to remove the book from the required reading list in an honors English class....
Boone (N.C.) High Country Press, Feb. 10
Toronto Public Library opens makerspace
David Hains writes: “When it unveiled its first two 3D printers February 6, the Toronto (Ont.) Public Library solidified its reputation as both the city’s nerdiest and best institution. The Makerbot Replicator 2 printers are part of a new $44,000 digital media lab at the downtown Reference Library that includes 3D scanners, Arduino kits, Raspberry Pi computers, high-definition video cameras, and audio mixers. The library plans to offer programming classes, demonstrations, workshops, and will host a repair lab where people can bring in their broken tech items and participants can learn how to fix them.”...
Torontoist, Feb. 6
Library Hot Spot opens in Philadelphia airport
Philadelphia International Airport has partnered with the Free Library of Philadelphia to bring the library’s electronic resources to travelers in a brand new Virtual Library Hot Spot. Situated on the busy walkway between Terminals D and E, the hot spot will allow customers to log on to the airport’s free Wi-Fi to access the library’s ebooks, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content....
Cherry Hill (N.J.) Courier-Post, Feb. 5; Free Library Blog, Feb. 7
Girl Scouts donate books to USO airport library
Two Girl Scouts received their Silver Awards after collecting 731 books for the United Through Reading library at the USO inside the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The program, which the USO facilitates around the world, lets troops record themselves reading books aloud to their kids and then send a copy of that reading home to their family. Grace Kinnear and Maeve Hall (above) hosted a lemonade stand, asked for donations at their school book fair, and solicited support from local businesses....
Official USO Blog, Feb. 11
Pratt City branch reopens
The Pratt City branch of the Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library reopened February 10, nearly three years after it was destroyed in the devastating tornado outbreak of April 2011. A storm shelter is now part of the new building, built with reinforced concrete walls to withstand powerful winds. During the opening ceremony, Birmingham City Councilman Marcus Lundy, whose district is Pratt City, described the reconstruction of the area and the library as “like a phoenix.”...
Birmingham (Ala.) News, Feb. 10
Many moldy Missouri books must be discarded
In October 2013, the University of Missouri Libraries discovered that 600,000 books and bound journals, approximately 20% of its entire collection, were covered in mold. The damaged volumes were stored in an offsite underground cavern that is run by an independent company. Library administrators will not be able to save all the books because there is not enough funding. It would cost about $3 per volume in order to get rid of the mold; treatment of all 600,000 texts would cost about $1.8 million. See the library’s FAQ....
University of Missouri Maneater, Feb. 12
William S. Burroughs journals acquired by University of Kansas
The University of Kansas has acquired the final works of legendary author William S. Burroughs (1914–1997), best known as the author of Naked Lunch. James Grauerholz, the executor of Burroughs’s estate, donated the author’s final personal journals, typescripts, and editing materials to KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library. The materials were the source for Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs, published in 2000, which Grauerholz edited....
University of Kansas Libraries, Feb. 6
Dancing with book carts
Samantha Stainburn writes: “What sport demands the precision of synchronized swimming and the book smarts of a librarian? Book cart drills, of course, the choreographed routines performed by librarians and graduate students in library science. The activity was popularized in the mid-2000s by Demco, the book-cart manufacturer, which sponsored a world championship competition at the ALA annual conference for several years. These days, the action is at homecoming parades and state library association conferences.” Watch the Gettysburg College team in 2010 in this video (8:07)...
New York Times, Feb. 7
Superman artwork lands at JFK Library
Last October, a month before his death at age 91, comic book artist Al Plastino of Shirley, New York, was upset to learn that drawings he thought had long been at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library were instead in private hands and up for auction. Now, the illustrations he drew for the DC Comics story “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy” (right), and which he was fighting to reclaim at the time of his death, are finally where they were intended to be all along....
Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday, Feb. 4
Ukrainian opposition has its own library
Paul Waldie writes: “When Viktor Bisovetskyi and his wife Inna (right) saw that protesters had taken over a conference center called Ukraine House near Kiev’s Independence Square, they packed up a couple of boxes of books and jumped in their car. Their plan was to open a library for the anti-government movement known as Maidan, or square. The donated shelves are neatly lined with a couple thousand books on Ukrainian history, detective stories, travel guides, National Geographic magazines, children’s books, philosophy texts, and classic literature in English. All the books were donated and a few librarians stopped by to organize everything.”...
Toronto (Ont.) Globe and Mail, Jan. 29; Associated Press, Feb. 10
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The FCC, e-rate reform, and libraries
Marijke Visser writes: “In the long series of events that is the path to e-rate modernization, February 5 marked a rhetorical high point for libraries so far. Invoking Thomas Jefferson as he helped open the 2014 Digital Learning Day at the Library of Congress, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (right) emphasized the crucial role of libraries as the ‘community on-ramp to the world of information.’ He also turned the familiar refrain of e-rate as a program for schools and libraries to a program for libraries and schools.”...
District Dispatch, Feb. 6
Why the Supreme Court won’t act on net neutrality
Brian Fung writes: “A month after a federal court ruling struck down the government’s ban on internet traffic throttling, the future of net neutrality remains unclear. Verizon is fending off accusations that it’s already slowing down Netflix users. Meanwhile, the nation’s top telecom regulator still hasn’t ruled out an appeal. Could the FCC take net neutrality to the Supreme Court? Perhaps. But it probably won’t happen, and here’s why.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, Feb. 5, 8
The day after The Day We Fight Back
Jessica McKenzie writes: “February 11 was the day the internet fought back against mass surveillance. According to The Day We Fight Back website, roughly 86,815 calls were made to legislators and 179,682 emails were sent. The question is—what to do now? Luckily, the nonprofit organization Fight for the Future already has something in mind. It is in the process of recruiting participants and building support for the campaign Reset the Net, which will likely take place this spring.”...
TechPresident, Feb. 12
FISA court approves new limits on NSA-collected records
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved President Obama’s changes to the National Security Agency program that collects records on virtually all US phone calls, the administration announced on February 6. In a bid to ease growing outrage over NSA surveillance, Obama ordered the NSA to seek court approval every time it wants to access the vast database of phone records. He also reduced the degrees of separation that NSA analysts could stray from their initial target from three to two....
National Journal, Feb. 7
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10 things beginners want to know how to do in Photoshop
D. L. Cade writes: “Your first time opening up Photoshop, especially if you’re only jumping on board now with Photoshop CC, is going to be confusing. You’ve seen some examples of the incredible art and photo manipulation capabilities of this program, but you don’t even know what a mask is. In this recently released episode (46:25) of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, Photoshop master Terry White shows you how to do the 10 things most beginners want to do when they first open up the program.”...
PetaPixel, Feb. 11; YouTube, Feb. 5
Marshall Breeding writes: “This seventh annual Library Automation Perceptions Report provides evaluative ratings submitted by individuals representing over 3,000 libraries from 53 countries and describing experiences with 136 different automation products. It aims to provide information to libraries as they evaluate their options for strategic technology products and to the companies and organizations involved in providing these products and services as constructive criticism to help guide improvements.”...
Library Technology Guides, Feb. 3
The OPAC is dead
Roy Tennant writes: “Anyone who has heard me speak in the last decade or so has likely heard my mini-diatribe against the acronym OPAC. Besides being impenetrable jargon, it is thoroughly anachronistic. It owes its life to an extremely brief period of modern librarianship when we had automated circulation systems that didn’t have a publicly available component. That is the only explanation for the ‘public access’ part of ‘online public access catalog.’ And then we saddled ourselves and the library literature with this monster for decades.”...
The Digital Shift, Feb. 6
IT security for you and your library
Blake Carver writes: “Ultimately, there is no such thing as a secure computer and, sadly, nothing we do can make these things 100% safe and secure. All of the security work we do is about reducing risk. We want to reduce the possible frequency of loss (by securing things as much as possible, given our resources), and we want to reduce the potential magnitude of loss (by limiting what can be lost as much as possible). Keep in mind two things: Any lock can be picked, and people are the weakest link in the security chain.”...
Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2014
Amazon’s new point-and-click purchase
Roberto Baldwin writes: “On February 5, Amazon announced a new feature inside its mobile shopping app that lets you scan items in your home using your smartphone’s camera and quickly order all of your packaged goods online. The new feature, called Flow, will be available inside Amazon’s shopping app for iOS. It’s iPhone-only for now, and the company isn’t saying when it will arrive on other smartphone platforms. It’s all part of the company’s goal to take you from ‘I need that’ to ‘I bought that’ in less than 30 seconds.”...
Wired, Feb. 5
Microsoft Office on tablets and smartphones
Chris Hoffman writes: “Microsoft has been called late to the party for not offering Microsoft Office for the iPad, other tablets, and smartphones. But Microsoft does make quite a few different versions of Office for mobile devices, although they aren’t full versions. Each has different features and even different payment structures. We’ll start with Microsoft’s own tablet and smartphone platforms here, as they have the most feature-complete versions of Office.”...
How-To Geek, Feb. 12
Microsoft to XP holdouts: Upgrade already
David Murphy writes: “On April 8, Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on the Windows XP operating system. The not-so-insignificant number of users running the legacy OS will still be able to use it, but they won’t be able to count on Microsoft for patches, updates, security fixes, and other forms of support past the cutoff date (except for Microsoft Security Essentials, which has been extended through July 2015). Microsoft is renewing its efforts to convince these (stubborn?) users to switch over to Windows 8.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 8; The Next Web, Jan. 15
How to buy an ultrabook
Brian Westover writes: “Thinner, lighter, longer lasting—ultrabooks and ultraportable designs are the new normal for laptops. Over the last two years the once-staid laptop has shifted to become not only more mobile, but more versatile, with the addition of touch-capabilities and sensors once found only in smartphones. That sort of rapid evolution can make for a confusing experience. This guide is here to give you the skinny on the new slim laptops.” Here are 10 of the best....
PC Magazine, Jan. 30, Feb. 6
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Digital humanities: Options for research libraries
The digital humanities are attracting considerable attention and funding at the same time that this nascent field strives for an identity. Some research libraries are committing significant resources to creating DH centers. But is the investment warranted? In “Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center?” (PDF file) Jennifer Schaffner and Ricky Erway suggest many ways to respond to the needs of digital humanists. Dot Porter offers a critique of the report....
OCLC Research, Feb. 6; dh+lib, Feb. 12
ALEC on telecommunications
James LaRue writes: “Here’s the problem: To compete in today’s economy, you have to be wired. And of course, more and more of our library services are digital. In many communities across the United States, the communication carriers just don’t provide the service citizens seek. So some county and municipal governments have stepped into the gap, and set up the infrastructure themselves. But according to limited-government advocates in the American Legislative Exchange Council, that’s not a good thing.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 7
Unglue.it: Books that want to be free
James LaRue writes: “Eric Hellman has the best-named blog ever. He’s also the creator of unglue.it, ‘the bookstore for books that want be free.’ Part tech lab, part Kickstarter for authors, unglue.it is one of the most creative responses to the ebook revolution I’ve seen. So far, Eric, his team, and a host of innovators have liberated just five books. But they’re all pretty good books and deserve the much wider readership that they now enjoy.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 6
Free access to Oxford African American Studies Center
In honor of Black History Month, Oxford University Press is providing free access to its Oxford African American Studies Center through February 28. The site is a rich collection of biographies and other teaching materials, including photo essays, articles, timelines, and primary sources. Users are encouraged to seek out documents, historical route maps, images, and other media illustrating the history of African Americans....
Oxford University Press, Feb. 7
The Europeana Newspapers project
Europeana Newspapers, coordinated by the European Library, will make historic newspapers freely available online via a full-text browsing tool. The site will eventually display images of some 10 million historic newspaper pages from 23 library partners involved in the project. One of the main challenges that the European Library team has faced in designing and implementing this tool is the storage of huge digital files....
European Library, Feb. 10
Saving digital mementos from virtual worlds
Mike Ashenfelder writes: “My two young teenage daughters spend hours playing Minecraft, building elaborate virtual landscapes and structures. What’s unique about this situation is that a virtual world is functioning as both a fun, engaging activity and a viable teaching tool. We’re witnessing the birth of a new set of challenges for preserving the digital creations people build with these tools. To illustrate the basic technological dilemma of preserving a virtual world, here’s a simple example.”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, Feb. 6
Very Hungry Caterpillar to have an app
Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, will soon be adapted into an app. This is thanks to a new partnership between interactive bookmaker StoryToys and The Joester Loria Group....
GalleyCat, Feb. 11
Sony closes its ebookstore
Sony, one of the early players in the ebook business, has closed its ebookstore, The Reader Store. The company did not explain why it shut down, but despite being early to the scene, Sony has lagged behind Amazon and others in device innovations and ebook sales penetration. Starting in late March, Sony’s Reader Store customers will be transferred to the Kobo ebook platform in the US and Canada....
GalleyCat, Feb. 7; Digital Book World, Feb. 7
Author David Baldacci weighs in on ebooks
Author David Baldacci (right), who wrote the bestseller Absolute Power, said he believes publishers will provide libraries with greater access to ebooks in a video (6:06) produced by the ALA Public Information Office. “I think that at the end of the day, publishers will provide a lot more access,” Baldacci said. “They just have to figure out how they can make money doing it and make sure the industry survives.”...
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Feb. 6; YouTube, Feb. 6
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2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Interested in sharing your innovations and ideas at ALA Annual Conference? Submit your Conversation Starter or Ignite proposal by February 18. Details and guidelines for submission are online.
That Touch of Mink (1962). Honeymooners are interrupted in Al’s Motel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, by Philip Shayne (Cary Grant), who leads Mr. Smith (John Fiedler) to believe that he had an affair with Mrs. Smith (Barbara Collentine). After Grant departs, Mr. Smith says to his wife, “You librarians live it up pretty good.” Mrs. Smith insists that there was no other man in her life until he walked into the library.
Their Last Night [Leur dernière nuit] (1953, France). Jean Gabin plays Paris gangster Pierre Ruffin, who has taken a job as a mild-mannered library worker to conceal his activities.
These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America (2011). Librarian of Congress James Billington appears in this documentary showcase of films selected since 1989 by the National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
They Might Be Giants (1971). Wilbur Peabody (Jack Gilford) is a librarian who thinks he is the Scarlet Pimpernel. He is friends with New York Judge Justin Playfair (George C. Scott) who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes. Wilbur does research to track down the imaginary Moriarty. Portions were filmed at the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library.
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.
Food and Agriculture Librarian, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, New York. Albert R. Mann Library, part of the Cornell University Library, seeks a creative energetic professional who is service-oriented, technically skilled, and thrives in an innovative work environment. Candidates should have a strong background and/or interest in food and agriculture in order to develop and implement highly effective services in support of Cornell’s food and agricultural sciences students, faculty, and staff. Working on a team of over a dozen colleagues who make up the Mann Library Research and Learning Services and Collection Development librarians, the Food and Agriculture Librarian will also have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the overall public services program at Mann Library....
Digital Library of the Week
An upgraded version of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library was launched February 4 by the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Visitors can view and explore 10,000 newly uploaded images of unprecedented quality. The website, first unveiled in 2013, also offers accompanying explanations pertaining to a variety of manuscripts, such as the book of Exodus written in paleo-Hebrew script, the books of Samuel, the Temple Scroll, Songs of Shabbat Sacrifice, and New Jerusalem. The upgraded website features many improvements besides the new multispectral images: improved metadata, additional manuscript descriptions, content pages translated into Russian and German in addition to the current languages, a faster search engine, and easy access from the site to Facebook and Twitter.
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
“Libraries are the centers of the community, the last place to receive truly unbiased information. Libraries are the poor man’s university, the place where you can have access to all the knowledge of the world for free.”
—Edwin Maxwell, YA librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. in “This Is What a Librarian Looks Like,” Slate, Feb. 11.
Handheld Librarian Online Conference. “Encouraging Innovation and Technology.”
Association for Computing Machinery, Learning @ Scale Conference, Atlanta.
Visual Resources Association, Annual Conference, Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee. “A Visual Approach.”
Electronic Resources and Libraries, Conference, Austin, Texas. “Exploring Ideas, Trends, and Technologies in E-Resources and Digital Services.”
LibTechGender Summit, AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas. “What Can We Do to Combat Gender Inequality and Sexism in Library Technology?”
Library Leadership in a Digital Age, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archivist of the United States David Ferreiro and ALA Past President Maureen Sullivan are participating faculty.
Startup Weekend, Library Edition, Mozilla Toronto, 366 Adelaide Street West.
American Booksellers Association’s ABC Children’s Institute, Doubletree by Hilton, San Antonio, Texas.
Inaugural Paul Otlet Lecture in Library and Information Science, 126 LIS Building, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS, Champaign.
University of Michigan School of Education, 4T (Teachers Teaching Teachers about Technology) Virtual Conference.
INFORUM 2014: 20th Annual Conference on Professional Information Resources, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic.
Michigan Instruction Exchange, Mary Idema Pew Library, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Annual Conference, Tacoma, Washington.
Library and Information Association of New Zealand, Annual Conference, Skycity Convention Centre, Auckland. “Pou Whakairo: Connect and Thrive.”
European Conference on Information Literacy, Dubrovnic, Croatia.
Association for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle. “Connecting Collections, Cultures, and Communities.”
Pacific Islands Association of Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Annual Conference, Koror, Republic of Palau.
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Two debuts that will thrill
Bill Ott writes: “As anyone who has followed this column knows, I read a lot of mysteries. Many of these books delivered that special shock of recognition that is perhaps a reviewer’s greatest joy. It’s rare to feel that shock, and it seldom happens more than once in the same year. Yet it has happened to me twice in the last 12 months: first with the February 2013 publication of Roger Hobbs’s Ghostman and then with Adam Sternbergh’s Shovel Ready, published in January.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
Experiencing the Harlem Renaissance today
Colleen Seisser writes: “I have always been interested in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, stemming from reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston when I was in high school. If you are looking for some authors, artists, musicians, and other prolific people from that era to get you started on your search for learning more about this historic time of rebirth for African-American culture, check out some of these suggestions.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 10
Comics that will tickle your funny bone
Traci Glass writes: “I love reading funny books and comics, and who doesn’t? Luckily, there have been many funny comic books that have come out in the past year or so that definitely have jokes that will keep you in stitches. Whether you like superheroes, Star Wars, bubblegum, or cursed football team owners, you’ll definitely find something on this list that will come in handy when you are feeling down in the dumps or are just in the mood for a right good laugh.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 7
The Library of Congress in fiction
Abby Yochelson writes: “From murder to alien attack, the Library of Congress has provided novelists with fodder for fiction. Margaret Truman put the nation’s library in the title of her book Murder at the Library of Congress (1999). David Baldacci gave LC increased visibility by putting its Main Reading Room on the cover of The Collectors (2006). These two novels are the only books in the LC online catalog rating a subject heading of ‘Library of Congress—Fiction,’ but many others have scenes set here.”...
Library of Congress Blog, Feb. 11
Fitting in reading
Maura Smale writes: “It seems like every year one of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more. Read more? But I’m a librarian, I read all the time, right? Over the seven years that I’ve been a librarian I’ve heard that misconception all too often upon meeting new people. ‘Oh, you’re a librarian? You must read all the time / love to read / spend your days reading!’ In truth the answers are no, yes, no. Of course I love to read, as I always have. But the amount of long-form, focused reading that I typically do during my workday is very, very small.”...
ACRLog, Feb. 11
Impatience has its reward
Julie Bosman writes: “Annihilation, the chilling first novel of a trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer that was released in early February, tells the story of a scientific expedition to a mysterious place called Area X that has been cut off from the rest of the world. Fans who want to know what happens next won’t be on tenterhooks for long. Authority comes out in May and Acceptance in early September. While the television industry has begun catering to impatient audiences by releasing entire series at once, the book business is encouraging a kind of binge reading.”...
New York Times, Feb. 11
Terry Border’s anthropomorphized paperbacks
Lauren Davis writes: “A few pieces of wire and a couple props turn these old paperbacks into whimsical sculptures, giving them the opportunity to play characters from their own stories. The Hobbit grabs the One Ring; 1984 is spying on us; and the works of Sigmund Freud are ready to analyze your dreams. Wiry Limbs, Paper Backs is the brainchild of Indianapolis artist Terry Border.”...
io9, Feb. 7
Medieval book furniture
Jenny Weston writes: “This post is dedicated to lecterns and bookshelves, the essential furniture of the medieval book. Both of these items were regular companions of the book and they played an important role in supporting and protecting manuscripts. Lecterns are one of the most recognizable features of the church and were used by medieval readers to hold open their books during public readings. Many of them were beautifully carved or decorated to reflect the importance of the books they held.”...
Medieval Fragments, Feb. 7
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This is what a librarian looks like
Jordan G. Teicher writes: “When you think of a librarian, what image comes to mind? Photographer Kyle Cassidy ventured to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January to explore that question. In between networking, educational events, and panels, librarians from across the country stopped by Cassidy’s makeshift studio to sit for a portrait. The result is a celebration of the diversity in the librarian community.”...
Slate: Behold the Photo Blog, Feb. 11
A look at African-American librarians
Alexsandra Mitchell writes: “This February, on the occasion of African American History Month, let us take a look back and appreciate the work of African-American librarians. This gallery takes a look at African-American staff members at the National Library of Medicine between 1948 and 1977. These skilled librarians were responsible for helping the library through its transition from the Army Medical Library to the National Library of Medicine.”...
Circulating Now, Feb. 12
Secrecy: The new trend in social media
Liz Stinson writes: “Created by ex-Googlers Chrys Bader and David Byttow and released in early February, Secret allows users to post updates (aka secrets) under a cloak of semi-anonymity.
Following the release of other anonymity-based apps and sites like Whisper, WUT, and Social Number, it’s safe to say apps that shroud the profile we’ve so meticulously built for ourselves is now a legitimate trend that could answer a big, unsolved question: What will it take to get people to be real online, in the way they might be with a close group of friends? The answer is anonymity.”...
Wired: Design, Feb. 10
How the UC Berkeley libraries were saved
Colleen Flaherty writes: “Close lots of library locations on campus, or close fewer and see services reduced at most of the remaining locations. Faced with those options in light of a budget crunch, the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley said no to both and set out to find alternative funding sources to save the library—all 25 locations. While the main Doe/Moffitt library complex was never in danger, professors wanted to preserve the smaller reading spaces housing specialized collections—and the librarians who know them intimately.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6
Why did Middle States go and do that?
Steven J. Bell writes: “Those of us who work for colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic region were taken by surprise when the word suddenly spread that a draft revision (PDF file) of the Characteristics of Excellence, the primary set of standards for higher education accreditation published by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, now omitted any reference to the library or information literacy as a learning outcome. The surprise was followed by shock for good reason.”...
ACRL Insider, Feb. 11
For Valentine’s Day: 10 records about love
Liz Lieutenant writes: “February is upon us, and while it may be cold outside, we’re keeping warm with thoughts of Valentine’s Day. The Feast of Saint Valentine has been celebrated for centuries. While it is sometimes exclusively thought of as a time for lovers, our top 10 Valentine’s Day records from the National Archives show there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday.”...
NARAtions, Feb. 11
DPLA launches a Tumblr
Amy Rudersdorf writes: “As our current users know, the depth of the riches in the Digital Public Library of America sees no bounds. On February 11 we launched a DPLA Tumblr to bring these riches to new audiences. Five to seven posts per month will feature (mostly) images from our partners’ collections, and when we can, we’ll provide some context, commentary, or a story to go along. Join us for some beautiful images, a little history, and a lot of fun.”...
DPLA Blog, Feb. 11
Online exhibit tracks books saved by real-life Monuments Men
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “The role of the Allied armies’ Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section in saving thousands of European art masterpieces from Nazi plunder is getting a big Hollywood hurrah in The Monuments Men. But a new interactive online exhibit from the Center for Jewish History in New York City points out that the monuments men were also notable as book men. The exhibit is part of a continuing effort to trace the origins of the millions of volumes that the Nazis seized from libraries as they marched through Europe.” The summer 2013 issue of Prologue has more on the large-scale recovery effort of artworks (PDF file). And there were also monuments women....
New York Times: ArtsBeat, Feb. 11; Prologue, summer 2013; New York Times: Art & Design, Jan. 29
The race to save America’s public media history
Rebecca J. Rosen writes: “There is a new effort to digitize the archives of America’s public radio and TV stations. When its public-facing website launches in 2015, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting will hold digital files of 40,000 hours of video and audio tape that contain the second half of the American 20th century as it unfolded. Among those hours will be interviews recorded as African-Americans struggled to register to vote during the Freedom Summer, live speeches and press conferences of George McGovern and Ronald Reagan, and entire episodes of such public-media favorites as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Julia Child’s The French Chef.”...
The Atlantic, Feb. 7; American Archive of Public Broadcasting, Feb. 9
LC launches “Songs of America”
A new Library of Congress online resource, “Songs of America,” launched February 5. More than two years in the making, the website brings together 80,000 digitized, curated items including maps, recordings, videos, sheet music, essays, biographies, and curator talks to explore America’s history through the prism of song. Users can search by time period, location, and format. Examples include an illustrated sound recording of the World War I anthem “Over There,” a curator talk by LC’s Steve Winick discussing labor songs, and the first music textbook published in colonial America (1744)....
Library of Congress, Feb. 5
Indiana library to host Beatles anniversary fundraiser
Renda Hurst remembers seeing The Beatles for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. Now the adult programming librarian at Greentown (Ind.) Public Library, Hurst is organizing a benefit concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band coming to the United States. The Beatles Remix (above), a local tribute band, will play at Eastern Performing Arts Center on February 15. There also will be a 1960s-themed costume contest, period pictures in front of a yellow submarine, and a karaoke machine for singing Beatles songs....
Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune, Feb. 10
How to have the same old Black History Month
Hannah Gómez writes: “Happy February! If you have no interest in reigniting your observance of Black History Month, read on for tips on how to continue doing the same tired thing every year. For example: Definitely put together a display for Black History Month and then never again feature black authors or stories at any other time throughout the year.”...
YALSAblog, Feb. 10
Top eight reasons to go to an international library conference
Nicole Helregel writes: “I recently traveled to Barcelona, Spain, for BOBCATSSS, a library conference organized by European LIS students. Upon returning I realized that many of my peers were unaware of the variety of international library conference opportunities that students can take advantage of. It may seem scary, but attending an international conference can be a great way to open yourself up to new things, make new connections, and meet new people.”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 10
Best websites for learning French
Julie Greller writes: “When I attended elementary school in New York City, I was placed in French classes in 4th grade. Didn’t have a choice. So began my years of study, which ended in 11th grade. Here is my list of the best websites for teaching French.”...
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, Feb. 11
The TL Virtual Cafe: A hangout for teacher-librarians
Richard Byrne writes: “TL Virtual Cafe is an online community for teacher-librarians to connect and learn from each other. The site hosts numerous webinars and online discussions including a monthly show called TL News Night, which features conversations with experts from state library associations, an overview of ‘this month in libraries,’ and a tip, tool, or title of the month. The next episode is coming up on February 17 and will feature some friends from the Washington Library Media Association.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Feb. 6
Overcoming the digital divide
Jessica Leber writes: “There is an increasing demand for smartphone software that serves a broader income base in the US. Here are two examples. HealthLeads is a nonprofit that works with hospitals to help doctors write and fill ‘prescriptions’ for life-saving social services alongside their usual prescriptions for medicine. Cool Culture is a nonprofit that allows more than 50,000 low-income families to visit New York City museums and cultural institutions for free, helping these places to become more inclusive, while improving kids’ literacy and learning.”...
Co.Exist, Feb. 4
Wikipedia vs. the small screen
Noam Cohen writes: “Google and Facebook have proved they can still attract users and advertisers as their traffic shifts from desktops to mobile devices. But at Wikipedia, the transition to a mobile world raises a different existential question: Will people continue to create articles and edit its 9 million existing ones on the small screen of a smartphone or tablet? Only 20% of the readership of the English-language Wikipedia comes via mobile devices, a figure substantially lower than the percentage of mobile traffic for other media sites, many of which approach 50%. And the shift to mobile editing has lagged even more.”...
New York Times, Feb. 9
It’s fun to read at the Y-M-C-A
Bernadette Lear writes: “Given the current reputation of the YMCA and YWCA for physical fitness, it might surprise people to learn that during their early days, the Ys were involved in far more sedentary activities. Like libraries. I often check city directories and old newspapers to find out whether communities offered reading materials and literary activities before public institutions were organized. Quite often, I have found that local YMCAs had ‘reading rooms’ (sitting spaces stocked with current periodicals), if not libraries with substantial lending collections of books.”...
In Search of Pennsylvania Library History, Feb. 7
The legal status of Bitcoin in 40 countries
Kelly Buchanan writes: “The foreign law specialists and analysts at the Law Library of Congress recently completed a report that highlights the emerging global discussion around approaches to regulating virtual currencies, particularly Bitcoin. The regulation of bitcoins in different countries was an interesting topic for us to research. We are often asked to explain provisions in legislation or regulations, and we frequently look at government policy documents as well, but in this case the issues are still relatively new.”...
In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress, Feb. 4
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