|American Libraries Online
Saving our celluloid past
Phil Morehart writes: “Scores of films were destroyed during cinema’s early years by studios that viewed silents as obsolete. These classics were not seen as works of art to be saved and preserved for future generations; they were simply outdated media standing in the way of progress. Untold numbers were destroyed, mishandled, lost, or stolen. Only 14% of films produced at the height of the silent era exist in their complete, original, domestic-release version in 35mm. Libraries and archives are leading the way in film preservation efforts, collecting films in all formats and using state-of-the-art technologies to conserve them.”...
American Libraries feature
Detroit Public Library provides food for hungry children
Megan Cottrell writes: “When Patrice Merritt was asked the number-one challenge Detroit Public Library faced with its summer reading program, she didn’t hesitate with her answer: hunger. ‘Our kids come to our library branches starving,’ said Merritt, executive director of the Friends of the Detroit Public Library Foundation. ‘They can’t concentrate.’ Luckily, the person who asked the question was also someone who was poised to help—Brian Glowiak, vice president of the Chrysler Foundation, the charitable arm of the Detroit-based car company.”...
American Libraries feature
In Practice: Just a game?
Meredith Farkas writes: “Everyone grows up playing games. Whether it’s hide-and-seek, checkers, or Angry Birds, gaming pervades our culture and is an indelible part of our childhoods. Online gaming has become an activity that transcends gender, culture, and age. Even nongaming online platforms contain gaming elements, such as the rewarding of check-ins at locations on Foursquare, the location-based mobile social networking site.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
ALA eLearning digital supplement
American Libraries’ eLearning Digital Supplement is the perfect introduction to ALA’s e-learning options. Inside you will find a comprehensive list of ALA online classes and webinars on collection management, issues and advocacy, administration and leadership, technology, e-content, and ebooks; and an article on fostering library innovation by Megan Hodge, from Planning Our Future Libraries: Blueprints for 2025, an ALA Editions book....
American Libraries, Feb. 26
AL Live: The present and future of ebooks
Sue Polanka, ebook expert and coeditor of the new journal eContent Quarterly, will lead “The Present and Future of Ebooks,” an interactive discussion featuring an all-star panel that includes Jamie LaRue, Troy Juliar, Jeff Metz, and Yoav Lorch. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on March 13 for this free, streaming video broadcast....
American Libraries, Feb. 24
Go back to the Top
Lowry, Handler to appear at ALA President’s Program
Lois Lowry (right), bestselling youth author and two-time Newbery Medal winner, will be the featured speaker in Barbara Stripling’s ALA President’s Program and Awards Presentation at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas on June 29. Stripling will conduct an interview with Lowry and moderate a Q&A with the audience. Prior to her appearance, the ALA awards ceremony will feature Daniel Handler presenting the first Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity....
Conference Services, Feb. 25
Ilyasah Shabazz joins Auditorium Speakers at Annual
Community organizer, activist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X, Ilyasah Shabazz (right) is sure to move attendees as she talks about what inspires and motivates her when she appears as an Auditorium Speaker on June 29 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, promotes higher education, interfaith dialogue, and building bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world....
Conference Services, Feb. 25
Final webinar in “Building Community through Making” series
“What Is and What’s Next: Making Assessment and New Opportunities,” a free webinar focusing on academic, public, and school libraries that are building community and supporting student and user success through making, will take place at 3 p.m. Central time on March 5. Speakers include Leslie Preddy, Margaret Portier, and Tod Colegrove. Registration is mandatory and limited to the first 100 participants who arrive in the virtual room....
Office for Library Advocacy, Feb. 20
Celebrate libraries on the move
On April 16, join the nationwide celebrations as libraries across the country celebrate the vital services bookmobiles provide on the fifth annual National Bookmobile Day during National Library Week. National Bookmobile Day celebrates America’s bookmobiles and the dedicated staff that provide these library services. Free materials for National Bookmobile Day 2014 are now available for download....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. Feb. 25
Accreditation actions at Midwinter
The ALA Committee on Accreditation took the following actions at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Initial accreditation status was granted to the University of Ottawa, continued accreditation status was granted to the University of Washington and Valdosta State University, and conditional accreditation status was granted to the University of British Columbia....
Office for Accreditation, Feb. 24
A LITA guide to makerspaces
Developing a community around shared use of space and equipment, a tenet of the makerspace movement, fits squarely into libraries’ mission. In Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, Caitlin A. Bagley examines nine makerspaces in public, academic, and school libraries, describing their design and technical decisions in depth and showing how each is doing something unique and different, under a wide range of budgets and project offerings....
ALA TechSource, Feb. 21
A programming guide to kids’ after-school clubs
Learning that takes place after hours in a club setting is often an undersupported component of children’s education. After-school clubs built around books encourage independent, recreational reading, which in turn has a positive impact on the rest of a child’s day. In After-School Clubs for Kids: Thematic Programming to Encourage Reading, published by ALA Editions, Lisa M. Shaia offers a year’s worth of ready-to-implement program ideas for librarians and educators, conveniently divided by grade level (K–2, grades 3–4, grades 5–6)....
ALA Editions, Feb. 25
New edition of ALA Book of Library Grant Money
An all-in-one resource for researching library and school grants, The ALA Book of Library Grant Money, published by ALA Editions, is back in a new edition, offering refreshed content and guidance on locating grant funding sources. Using this guide, librarians, fundraisers, and researchers will find quick, convenient access to information on the most likely funding sources for libraries. Edited by Nancy Kalikow Maxwell, this edition includes more than 200 new entries....
ALA Editions, Feb. 25
Cooking up a mix-and-match storytime
Children’s librarians and caregivers tired of leftovers now have a new resource for storytimes that integrate books and games with math, science, and early literacy activities. Cooking Up a Storytime: Mix-and-Match Menus for Easy Programming, published by ALA Editions, features kids’ favorite topics, like animals, families, farms, and food. Author Susan Anderson-Newham offers up a book full of delicious and nutritious storytimes that will engage young ones while easing their transition to school....
ALA Editions, Feb. 25
Go back to the Top
Featured review: Fiction for youth
Green, Sally. Half Bad. Mar. 2014. 416p. Gr. 9–12. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-01678-0).
Black and white, good and evil. Is it really that straightforward? For 16-year-old Nathan, it is not; he is neither. Born the illegitimate son of a white witch mother and a black witch father, he is a Half Code, kept in a cage, beaten regularly, and toughened up for when he turns 17 and receives his three gifts. Both black and white witches want him, hoping he will lead them to his father, the most powerful, evil, and reviled of all black witches. Both plan for Nathan to fulfill his vision and their ultimate goal: He will kill his father. But Nathan has no desire to kill anyone....
Carte blanche: More notes on new adults
Michael Carte writes: “In my December 15 column, I offered a preliminary discussion of the new adult and the literature this nascent population is reading. I described new adults as young people age 19 to 28 who, like Peter Pan, refuse to grow up and often continue to live at home with their parents. To carry this further, we should note that a new adult means a new market. If you think this has escaped publishers’ attention, I would suggest you have been living on a singularly remote planet.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Go back to the Top
Man on Wire Philippe Petit to speak at Annual
Philippe Petit (right), subject of the Academy Award–winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire, will keynote the United for Libraries President’s Program on June 30 at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Author of the forthcoming Creativity: The Perfect Crime, Petit has been a featured speaker at TED and other national venues and also walks on the wire and does street performances whenever (and wherever) he likes. He is also the author of To Reach the Clouds and Why Knot?...
United for Libraries, Feb. 25
ACRL Immersion Program faculty needed
ACRL is accepting applications for new faculty for the ACRL Immersion Program. Now in its 15th year, the Immersion Program brings together academic librarians for four to five days of intensive work in teaching and information literacy. With more than 2,000 graduates of previous national and regional sessions, the program has transformed individuals, students, and instruction programs nationally and internationally. The deadline to apply is March 3....
ACRL, Feb. 24
ACRL seeks feedback on information literacy draft
The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force seeks feedback on its initial draft of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The standards, adopted by ACRL in 2000, have become an essential document related to the emergence of information literacy as a recognized learning outcome at many institutions of higher education. Fill out the feedback form by April 15....
ACRL, Feb. 24
Toolkit on insurance for libraries
United for Libraries President Elect Christine Lind Hage, director of the Rochester Hills (Mich.) Public Library, has written a toolkit on what trustees and directors need to know about insurance for their libraries. The toolkit identifies some common types of insurance coverage that libraries might want to consider. It is available to United for Libraries members (personal or group membership as trustees) in the Trustee Zone....
United for Libraries, Feb. 25
Ann Patchett Book Hour comes to PLA 2014 Conference
As part of the Big Ideas series at the PLA 2014 Conference, March 11–15 in Indianapolis, the Ann Patchett Book Hour will showcase bestselling author Patchett’s bookseller/readers’ advisor side as she offers book and author recommendations inspired by her love of reading and work as co-owner of Parnassus Books, an acclaimed independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee....
PLA, Feb. 25
Programs on leading change at PLA 2014
ALA, in collaboration with PLA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, will offer a series of sessions at the PLA 2014 Conference that will help librarians leverage their trusted positions in the community to engage people on issues that matter. The PLA 2014 Conference will take place March 11–15 at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The four-part “Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community” series is based on the Harwood Institute’s practice of turning outward....
PLA, Sept. 24
LLAMA webinar on recruiting and hiring
LLAMA will present “Library Recruiting and Hiring: How to Get the Best People on Board” on March 19. This webinar will present best practices, including the business literature, on how to bring the right people on board. It will also cover how to develop internal talent through succession planning. Register online....
LLAMA, Feb. 24
Help for managing dispersed teams
Leading a team of staff members who are physically separated from one another presents special challenges for today’s library leaders. Understanding these challenges and the best ways to meet them can help your team run smoothly. LLAMA will present “Leading in Absence: Ideas for Managing a Dispersed Team” on March 26. Registration is open....
LLAMA, Feb. 25
RUSA issues RFP for branding initiative
RUSA is soliciting proposals to oversee and implement a rebranding that will position it as the premier association in the reference and user services field. Project deliverables include new logos, a detailed brand package, and ready-to-use templates for a host of collateral materials. Proposals must be emailed as a PDF file to Marianne Braverman by March 14....
RUSA Blog, Feb. 20
Go back to the Top
Robert Wolven receives Melvil Dewey Medal
Robert Wolven (right), associate university librarian for bibliographic services and collection development at Columbia University Libraries, has been awarded the 2014 Melvil Dewey Medal. This annual award is sponsored by OCLC in recognition of achievement for “creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.”...
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 25
Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award
Cedar Park (Tex.) Public Library is the 2014 winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The award is presented annually to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievements in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources for a public or academic library....
Office of ALA Governance, Feb. 25
Jenica Rogers wins Harrassowitz acquisitions award
The ALCTS Acquisitions Section has selected Jenica P. Rogers (right), director of libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam, to receive the 2014 Harrassowitz Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. The annual award is given to a librarian to recognize outstanding leadership and other contributions in the field of acquisitions and includes $1,500 and a citation. Rogers was cited for her library blog, Attempting Elegance....
ALCTS, Feb. 24
2014 Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award
James M. Reilly (right), director of the Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the 2014 Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, given annually by the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section. The award consists of a citation and $1,500 and recognizes the contribution of a professional preservation specialist who has been active in the field of preservation of library materials....
ALCTS, Feb. 24
Thomas Clareson wins 2014 Cunha/Swartzburg Award
ALCTS has selected Thomas F. R. Clareson (right) as the 2014 recipient of the 2014 George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award. The $1,250 award supports cooperative preservation projects and rewards individuals or groups that foster collaboration for preservation goals. Clareson was cited for his work with the Heritage Preservation Alliance for Response Program, where he was a crucial advocate since its inception in 2003....
ALCTS, Feb. 24
2014 Best of LRTS Award
Wen-Ying Lu, cataloging librarian at the San Mateo County (Calif.) Library, and Mary Beth Chambers, director of catalog and metadata services at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, have been awarded the 2014 Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award for their article, “PDA Consortium Style: The CU MyiLibrary Cataloging Experience,” published in Library Resources and Technical Services 56, no. 3 (July 2013): 164–178....
ALCTS, Feb. 24
2014 First Step grant
ALCTS congratulates Chris Bulock (right), electronic resources librarian at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as the recipient of its 2014 First Step Award, a $1,500 grant, which offers librarians new to the serials field an opportunity to broaden their perspective by attending an ALA Annual Conference and by encouraging professional growth through participation in ALCTS Continuing Resources Section activities....
ALCTS, Feb. 24
PLA recognizes 13 people and libraries for excellence
PLA has announced 13 award winners for 2014 honoring the best in public library service, innovation, and outreach....
PLA, Feb. 25
2013 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards
The Friends of the L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and the Friends of the Grand Rapids (Minn.) Area Library were winners of United for Libraries’ 2013 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards. Each won $250, received a certificate, and were recognized at the Gala Author Tea at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....
United for Libraries, Feb. 25
2014 Bookapalooza winners
ALSC has awarded its 2014 Bookapalooza Program to three libraries: Talahi Community School in St. Cloud, Minnesota; North Shelby Library in Birmingham, Alabama; and Northwood Elementary School in Crestview, Florida. The award includes a variety of materials from books to DVDs and audiobooks that will infuse these three collections with new materials for children from birth to 14....
ALSC, Feb. 25
Enter the Best of Show competition
It’s time to prepare your entries for ALA’s annual Best of Show Competition. Now you can enter online to be recognized for the great promotional materials that your library produced during the 2013 calendar year. Sponsored by LLAMA’s Public Relations and Marketing Section, the competition is overseen by the PR XChange (formerly known as Swap and Shop) Committee. The deadline is April 1....
The ‘M’ Word: Marketing Libraries, Feb. 24
2014 MAE Award
YALSA has awarded Dawn Abron (right), teen associate at Zion-Benton (Ill.) Public Library, the 2014 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens. The MAE Award provides $500 to the recipient and $500 to the recipient’s library and is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Abron created a program called the Book Concert Series, in which a concert or party is held that features a booktalk event with approximately 20 titles from a chosen genre, as well as music, food, a photo booth, and a craft....
YALSA, Feb. 21
BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grants
Jennifer McDonald, youth services librarian at the Lafayette (N.Y.) Public Library, and Carrie Wilson, teen services librarian at the Altadena (Calif.) Library District, have been awarded 2014 BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grants. Each receives a grant of $1,000, donated by BWI, for collection development....
YALSA, Feb. 25
2014 Frances Henne Research Grant
YALSA has awarded the 2014 Frances Henne Research Grant to Crystle Martin (right), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Digital Media and Learning Hub, University of California, Irvine. The $1,000 grant, funded by VOYA magazine, will provide seed money for her research project, “Youth Library Services and Connected Learning as a Means to Support Youth Learning.”...
YALSA, Feb. 24
Diversity Research Grant proposals wanted
The Office for Diversity seeks proposals for its Diversity Research Grant program. Applications may address any diversity topic, including the recruitment and promotion of diverse individuals within the profession or the provision of library services to diverse populations. The Diversity Research Grant consists of a one-time $2,500 award for original research. The application deadline is April 30....
Office for Diversity, Feb. 25
Retired Ontario librarian wins heritage award
Katharine Greenfield (right), 92, a former librarian at the Hamilton (Ont.) Public Library, was the big winner at the city’s 25th annual heritage awards on February 22. She was also instrumental in founding the city archives, which are marking a 40th anniversary. The award, administered by the Hamilton Historical Board, recognizes lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the promotion and preservation of Hamilton’s history and heritage....
Hamilton (Ont.) Spectator, Feb. 23
Pennsylvania mobile library wins Citgo gift
Citgo Petroleum Corporation has selected the Friends of the Columbia County (Pa.) Traveling Library as one of nine winners of its 2014 Citgo Fueling Good Project. The company will provide $5,000 in Citgo gift cards to Director Lydia Kegler and the library’s team of volunteers. Since 1941, the CCTL has provided free mobile library service to rural farm communities in Columbia County....
Convenience Store Decisions, Feb. 21
Fulbright Canada awards available for US scholars
The Canada-US Fulbright Program operates on the principle of reciprocal exchange and provides the opportunity for outstanding US scholars to lecture or conduct research in Canada. Award recipients include prominent and promising scholars, as well as experienced professionals. The awards competition will close on August 1. Professional librarians with an MLS and US citizenship can apply for support in several different categories....
Hack your scholarship essay
Amanda Hope Davis writes: “Scholarships are a great way to secure funding for tuition, conference travel, textbooks, software, and other school-related needs, but in order to earn these scholarships, you first have to conquer the scholarship essay. You will be hard-pressed to find a scholarship application that does not require an essay or personal statement of some sort, so it’s important to be prepared.”...
Hack Library School, Feb. 21
Book awards and popularity
In a paper to be published in the March issue of Administrative Science Quarterly, Amanda Sharkey and Balázs Kovács compared the GoodReads reviews for 32 pairs of books. One book in each pair had won an award, such as the Man Booker prize or the US National Book Award. The other had been shortlisted for the same prize in the same year, but had not gone on to win. They found that “winning a prestigious prize in the literary world seems to go hand-in-hand with a particularly sharp reduction in ratings of perceived quality.”...
The Guardian (UK), Feb. 21
2014 Red House Children’s Book Awards
Rick Yancey has won the 2014 Red House Children’s Book Award for older readers with The 5th Wave (Penguin), a thrilling story that follows 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan’s struggle to survive after an apocalyptic alien arrival. The awards, announced in London on February 22, are the only awards for children’s books in the UK that are voted for entirely by children. The award for younger readers went to Jennifer Gray for Atticus Claw Breaks the Law (Faber and Faber)....
The Guardian (UK), Feb. 22
2014 Diagram Prize: Oddest title nominees
Working class cats, South African trout, and pies as biography are all some of the topics up for scrutiny as part of the 2014 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. Six books have been selected from dozens of nominated titles, with the ultimate winner now chosen in a public vote on the Bookseller’s sister website, We Love This Book. The prize was originally conceived in 1978 by Trevor Bounford, cofounder with Bruce Robertson of publishing solutions firm The Diagram Group, as a way of avoiding boredom at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair....
The Bookseller, Feb. 24
Go back to the Top
Libraries in the News
Many L.A. Unified school libraries forced to close
Budget cuts in the Los Angeles Unified School District have eliminated hundreds of library aides, leaving the Roy Romer Middle School library unstaffed for months at a time over the last four years. Principal Cristina Serrano said the situation has handicapped students, especially as new state learning standards require them to use more research in their papers and projects. About half of the 600 elementary and middle school libraries in the district are without librarians or aides....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 23
Queens Library officials support Galante
Queens (N.Y.) Library President and CEO Tom Galante (on the right), under fire from some city officials and at least one state lawmaker for his high salary, told the press February 24 that he probably works close to 100 hours a week. His $392,000 salary was revealed earlier in February by the New York Daily News, prompting the city council to hold a hearing and the city comptroller to launch an audit of the library. But the figure is not unusual for the head of a nonprofit group of the library’s size, according to Galante and Gabriel Taussig, chair of the library’s board of directors....
Queens (N.Y.) Chronicle, Feb. 24; New York Daily News, Feb. 5
Ellen DeGeneres gives school librarian a bookmobile
Actress and TV host Ellen DeGeneres surprised Kirby Thomas (right), librarian at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, on February 19 with a check for $25,000 for books, a new van for her Summer Mobile Media book program, and Target gift cards for her students. DeGeneres found out that the vehicle currently in use did not have the capacity to hold the number of books needed, so she surprised Thomas with a personalized van filled with books and iPad Minis. Watch the clip from the Ellen Show (9:16) and a video showing Thomas inspecting the van for the first time (1:32)....
KJRH-TV, Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 20; YouTube, Feb. 20
Georgia bill will allow guns in libraries
Georgia legislators passed House Bill 875, the “Safe Carry Act” authored by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), on February 18 that will allow guns in churches, bars, and government buildings without security checkpoints (including libraries). The bill, a smorgasbord of new gun rights expansions that safety advocates say may amount to the most aggressive bill yet, also expands gun rights in both public K–12 schools and colleges, and even broadens the state’s expansive Stand Your Ground law....
ThinkProgress, Feb. 19; Carrollton Times-Georgian, Feb. 18
Mayor: Miami-Dade must become more efficient
With Miami-Dade libraries facing a budget crisis, Mayor Carlos Gimenez on February 21 called for the system to trim spending more than the 25% cut sustained in the last four years. “I don’t think we’re as efficient as we could be,” Gimenez told members of a task force he appointed to recommend changes to the library system. With reserves set to run dry this year, Miami-Dade’s 49-library system will need to cut expenses in the next budget cycle without higher tax revenues....
Miami Herald, Feb. 21
Youngstown experiments with a “conditional card”
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio, is giving its customers a second chance in the form of a “conditional” library card, which will restore library privileges for cardholders who are blocked due to unpaid extended-use fees. The card applies to patrons who owe between $10 and $300 in unpaid fines and fees. The cardholder must make an initial payment of $5 or 10% of the total amount owed....
Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator, Feb. 26
Fraud case is latest twist in library’s revival
Linda E. Duffy, a former Saugus (Mass.) Public Library worker, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of stealing more than $800,000 in library funds from 2004 to 2011. At the time, the library was so broke it relied on fudge sales to buy new books and on volunteers to clean bathrooms. The discovery and an audit that forced trustees to resign came a year after the library regained its full accreditation for the first time since 2007; a town financial crisis had forced the library to close temporarily....
Boston Globe, Feb. 23
LBJ Library to host Civil Rights Summit
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which President Lyndon Baines Johnson shepherded and signed into law, the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will host a Civil Rights Summit April 8–10. The summit will feature keynote addresses from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as former NAACP chairman Julian Bond, author Taylor Branch, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, LBJ’s daughters Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Bird Johnson, and US Rep. John Lewis....
Austin (Tex.) Chronicle, Feb. 21
Library service to African Americans in the South
Larry Nix writes: “There was a recent conversation on the ALA Library History Round Table discussion list about the Alexandria (Va.) Library honoring the 75th anniversary of the 1939 Civil Rights sit-in at the library. I have written a previous post about the sit-in. In the LHRT discussion it was noted that the most definitive study about library service to African Americans in the South prior to 1941 was conducted by Eliza Atkins Gleason (1909–2009), the first African-American to receive a PhD in library science.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 26; May 25, 2010; Alexandria (Va.) News, Jan. 15
Ancient papyri discovered in Luther College Archives
In January, nine papyrus documents nearly 2,000 years old were found by a student in the Luther College Archives in Decorah, Iowa, where they had been stored for decades. Sophomore Brittany Anderson was examining the papers of the late Orlando W. Qualley (1897–1988), longtime professor of classics, when she came across the documents. The papyri—one of which, a libellus (right), is especially rare—date from the 1st to the 5th centuries A.D. and were apparently purchased by Qualley from an antiquities dealer when he was part of an archaeological excavation at Karanis, Egypt, in 1924–1925....
Luther College, Feb. 21
French politician attacks picture book
Maren Williams writes: “A few weeks ago, France found itself in the midst of a rare controversy over a children’s picture book after a prominent politician said on television that it made his blood run cold. The work in question? Tous à poil, a celebration of diverse (naked or partially clothed) human forms that’s intended to teach kids to accept their own body shapes and refrain from judging others.”...
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Feb. 26; The Independent (UK), Feb. 16
Some 300 Anne Frank books vandalized in Tokyo
The Japan Library Association reported that since January, it has found 300 copies of The Diary of a Young Girl by Holocaust victim Anne Frank with some sort of intentional damage—either pages ripped or torn out altogether. Officials said they did not know the motive for the vandalism nor who the perpetrators were. Anti-Semitism is uncommon in Japan, but magazine articles and books have occasionally been written that deny the Holocaust or claim that a Jewish conspiracy was behind various historical events. The government has launched an investigation....
Japan Daily Press, Feb. 24; New York Times, Feb. 21
Go back to the Top
The FCC’s plan for net neutrality
Brian Fung writes: “The Federal Communications Commission has decided not to appeal a controversial federal court ruling that made it legal for internet providers to slow or block web traffic. Instead, the regulators intend to write new rules on net neutrality based on an expanded reading of the agency’s congressional authority. By early summer, the FCC expects to unveil a proposed rule that restores some of the basic ideas behind its ban on traffic discrimination.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, Feb. 19
Dropbox addresses NSA spying
Nextgov.com, Feb. 21; The Hill: Hillicon Valley, Feb. 21
Which browser is better for privacy?
Alan Henry writes: “Different browsers handle user data in different ways, and when you toss add-ons and extensions into the mix, the picture changes even more. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular browsers from a privacy angle, and see who has your back when it comes to tracking—or not tracking—what you do online.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 19
11 issues facing academic libraries
Rudy Leon writes: “A friend asked me if I had any thoughts on the top issues facing academic libraries right now, for a class she’s teaching for first-year LIS students. It turns out—no surprise—I do have thoughts about that, so I sat down and built a list off the top of my head. With some fleshed-out explanation, here’s my list.”...
Deepening the Conversation, Feb. 22
[Don’t] save the time of the reader
Brian Mathews writes: “From time to time I receive faculty feedback that surprises me. There is a contrasting view that occasionally emerges around the notion that learning should be hard: specifically that the process of identifying and locating information sources should be difficult. I’ve encountered this everywhere I’ve worked. We’ve even been called out for making things too easy for students.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Feb. 25
Georgia court reinforces access to prison libraries
A Georgia Supreme Court ruling reinforces inmates’ rights to access prison libraries and legal assistance. In an opinion released February 24, the high court said a trial court erred when it barred an inmate from filing a petition to force prison officials to give him access to a law library....
Associated Press, Feb. 24
Go back to the Top
Are PCs dying? Of course not, and here’s why
Chris Hoffman writes: “Reports of the PC’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. We’ve all heard that everyone’s just buying tablets and throwing out their keyboards and mice. But, if you live in the real world, you see people using PCs every day. Here’s the thing: While more tablets are being sold than ever, the growth of tablet sales is slowing. People are using tablets, but people are also still using PCs. Let’s analyze this data using some common sense.”...
How-To Geek, Feb. 26
NCSU Libraries lend Glass for research projects
North Carolina State University Libraries have begun a pilot program to make Google Glass available to researchers on campus as part of its Technology Lending Service. Only one unit was acquired for use. Initially, the program will be available to selected faculty and graduate students with an urgent research need for the technology. In mid-March the libraries will begin accepting requests from other researchers working with augmented reality, innovative computer interfaces, and other key uses of the new tool....
North Carolina State University Libraries, Feb. 20
Keeping up with augmented reality
Carli Spina writes: “At a minimum, academic libraries will need to be prepared to support augmented reality (AR) if and when it becomes more prevalent in textbooks and other print materials. But, while these materials are certainly relevant to the work of academic libraries, there are also several interesting library-specific AR tools in use at various institutions. ShelvAR, developed by the Miami University Library, is an excellent example of how AR can increase the efficiency of libraries’ existing workflows.”...
ACRL Keeping Up With..., Feb. 20
First handheld 3D Play-Doh printer
Andrew Liszewski writes: “The 3Doodler was the first handheld 3D printer to hit the market, but its use of heating elements and hot plastic meant that it couldn’t be used by kids—arguably one of its main demographics—without parental supervision. So Hasbro has come up with a much safer alternative called the DohVinci that uses a new kind of Play-Doh that hardens overnight. The newly formulated Play-Doh comes in fine-tipped cartridges so that it doesn’t harden all the way through after each use.”...
Gizmodo, Jan. 7, Feb. 19; Make Magazine, Feb. 18
New ergonomic 3D printing pen
Signe Brewster writes: “3D printing pens offer a quick, fun, no-experience-necessary entry into the world of 3D printing. But, so far, using them has been a pain. Literally. Testing the 3Doodler pen last year left my hand aching. Texas 3D printer maker Dim3printing says that it has finally created an ergonomic alternative. The Dim3W, which will ship to distributors and resellers in March, appears to be slimmer in shape compared to the chunky 3Doodler.”...
GigaOM, Feb. 25; Oct. 29, 2013; Dim3 Printing, Feb. 20
13 tools for checking cross-browser compatibility
Grace Smith writes: “With an endless combination of modern and legacy browsers for users to choose from, it’s our responsibility as designers and developers to ensure the websites we build perform adequately. Testing multiple browsers on multiple platforms isn’t just difficult—it can be virtually impossible without the correct resources. However, there are some tools that help out with this.”...
Mashable, Feb. 26
Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S5
Sascha Sagan writes: “Samsung’s Galaxy S5 steps back just a touch from the UI excess of the Galaxy S4, but Samsung just can’t help itself: The phone is packed full of features old and new, especially focused on camera improvements and health tracking. It’s still going to be the everything phone. I got to spend some time with the Galaxy S5 in advance of the announcement at the Mobile World Congress on February 24, and I came away impressed. The Galaxy S5 will be available in April.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 24
Enhance your YouTube videos with clickable links
Christian Cawley writes: “Have you ever tried to add a clickable link to your YouTube videos, only to find that you can’t? There are in fact three ways to do this, methods that have remained hidden—until now. In the past two years, YouTube has added the ability to include clickable links in your videos, an invaluable help to explain something you might be discussing, contextualize whatever you’re showing, or just provide a link back to your website.”...
MakeUseOf, Feb. 26
How online ads work
Adam Clark Estes writes: “You probably think online ads are pretty annoying. But without them, the internet as we know it would not exist—and this blogger would not have a job. These are not your everyday ads, though. They’re built on an impressively complex network of technology that anyone can appreciate.”....
Gizmodo, Feb. 25; Co.Design, Feb. 25
Go back to the Top
Sharing ebooks on the Razor’s edge
James LaRue writes: “The Greater Western Library Alliance of 33 academic libraries may have hit on something by wielding the library equivalent of Occam’s Razor to shave its members’ collective ILL woes. Its product, the work of program developers at Texas Tech University and the University of Hawaii–Manoa, is called Occam’s Reader. It pilots an approach, in as straightforward a manner as possible, that allows universities to share their ebooks without giving away the store.”...
AL: E-Content, Feb. 25
Publishing has entered a new era
Brian O’Leary writes: “We are moving inexorably toward what I have called a ‘pre-book world’: a living manifestation of the development, refinement, and extension of a particular work. At various points, an object—a book or ebook—may be rendered, but it will be a subset of a conversation that includes content, comments, annotations, and sources. The internet has shifted traditional publishing from a gatekeeping role (deciding what will be published) to a truer form of curation (managing the communities and conversations that will inform a rendered component).”...
The Bookseller: FutureBook, Feb. 20
Epic! app offers children’s books
A new startup called Epic! brings a totally kid-friendly bookshelf and book reading experience to the iPad. Cofounded by online gaming veteran Suren Markosian and former YouTube exec Kevin Donahue, Epic is an all-you-can-read app aimed at kids aged 12 and under that provides access to some 2,000 titles for online and offline reading. The subscription service costs $9.99 per month....
TechCrunch, Feb. 24
GPO expands ebook program
The US Government Printing Office is expanding the agency’s ebook program through its Federal Depository Library Program to increase public access to information. The public now has free access to ebook titles using GPO’s Catalog of US Government Publications. The first release includes approximately 100 titles, and GPO will continue work with federal agencies to make new titles available each month....
US Government Printing Office, Feb. 25
Go back to the Top
2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Early Bird registration ends in just a few days. Register by March 3 and pay the least for the latest on digital content, ebooks, innovation, library transformation, community engagement, books and authors, leadership, policy updates, networking, and social events.
The Tell-Tale Heart (1960, UK). Laurence Payne as Edgar Marsh is a shy, disabled, and obsessed 19th-century Parisian reference librarian (he lives in the fictional Rue Morgue) who murders Carl Loomis (Dermot Walsh) and conceals his body under the floorboards.
The Ten (2007). Gretchen Mol plays uptight librarian Gloria Jennings, who goes on vacation to Mexico and has a torrid affair with a mysterious man named Jesus H. Christ. Other librarians are Oliver (A. D. Miles) and Tony (Jason Sudeikis).
Ten Inch Hero (2007). Julia (Adair Tishler) goes to the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Library with her father and surprises art student Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) whom she persuades to give her drawing lessons.
Tennessee Johnson (1942). Ruth Hussey as Eliza McCardle is allegedly the librarian in Greeneville, Tennessee, in 1830 when she meets young tailor Andrew Johnson (Van Heflin) and agrees to teach him how to read and write in exchange for his making her new clothes. They marry and he becomes the 17th President of the United States.
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.
Digital Services Librarian, University of California, Berkeley. The University of California, Berkeley, seeks a versatile, creative, and technology-savvy librarian with a background in a public health–related field to lead and maintain the Public Health Library’s contract digital and web services. The librarian will also participate in providing public services and conducting public health–related literature searches....
Digital Library of the Week
Vassar College Libraries’ Albert Einstein Digital Collection documents a lesser-known aspect of Albert Einstein’s career: his social and political work in the United States and abroad, with special attention to Jewish affairs. A gift of Morris and Adele Bergreen in 2003, the collection was formed by Einstein’s friend and executor to his will, Otto Nathan, an economist and professor at several institutions of higher learning, including Vassar. It is composed of correspondence between Einstein and Nathan, as well as letters from Einstein’s wife, Elsa, to Nathan, some manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs of Einstein. A number of letters discuss the fate of Jews in Europe and other aspects of World War II. Others deal with Brandeis University, Jewish affairs in the United States, and personal matters.
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
”When people ask me if anyone goes to libraries anymore, I tell them that an iPhone will not replace the neighborhood or downtown library; that Google and Wikipedia won’t render direct, personal contact with librarians obsolete. The internet has enabled us to connect easily to increasingly privatized services, but the public library is not going to go behind a paywall, it won’t require you to foot a monthly bill, and it’s never going to make anyone feel unwelcome.”
—Susan Kent, “Your Library Wants You to Make Some Noise!” Zócalo Public Square, Feb. 21.
Read Across America Day.
Visual Resources Association, Annual Conference, Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee. “A Visual Approach.”
Electronic Resources and Libraries, Conference, Austin, Texas.
Sunshine Week, a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information.
Association for Information and Image Management, Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida. “Information Opportunity vs. Information Chaos.”
Rare Book Week, New York City.
American Booksellers Association’s ABC Children’s Institute, Doubletree by Hilton, San Antonio, Texas.
Future of Libraries Survival Summit, Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, Symposium, Rockefeller University, New York City. “Doing It Your Way: Approaches to Research Data Management for Libraries.”
Free Comic Book Day.
British and Irish Sound Archives, Annual Conference, Dublin City University, Ireland.
Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers and the National Library of Australia, Joint Conference, Canberra, Australia. “Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World.”
2nd International Conference on Leadership and Innovative Management in Academic Libraries in the Age of New Technology, Shanghai, China.
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.”
Library Instruction West 2014, Conference, Portland State University Library, Oregon. “Open, Sustainable Instruction.”
IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section, Satellite Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland. “Cultural Heritage in the Digital Era.”
Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium, University of Toronto.
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
Book review byline tally shows more male reviewers
Julie Bosman writes: “Reading a book review in a well-known periodical? Chances are, the byline belongs to a man. In its annual count of male and female bylines in book reviews, magazines, and literary journals, VIDA, a women’s literary organization, revealed that in 2013, the publications still largely favored men over women. At the New York Review of Books, there were 212 male book reviewers and 52 female; at The Atlantic, there were 14 male book reviewers and three female; at Harper’s, there were 24 male book reviewers and 10 female.”...
New York Times, Feb. 23; VIDA, Feb. 24
Fashion hits and misses from historical fiction
Laura Perenic writes: “I love historical fiction. The drama, the intrigue, the fashion. I always assumed the period details regarding clothing were accurate. Or I did until my friend Liz said it was her secret delight to troll the adult fiction section and find anachronistic apparel. Turns out many books from specific dates and locations feature outfits as cover art that either haven’t been invented yet or were way out of fashion. Here are some examples of books that got it right and those that got it wrong.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 26
Life before (and after) page numbers
Alexis C. Madrigal writes: “Print media evolved into its present forms. In, say, 1469, there were no page numbers. This obvious and now necessary part of the book’s user interface simply did not exist. The earliest extant example of sequential numbering in a book (foliation, actually) is the document above, Sermo in festo praesentationis beatissimae Mariae virginis, printed in Cologne in 1470. The practice didn’t become standard for another half century. Now, books can be sliced and diced in an ever-expanding number of ways by computers.”...
The Atlantic, Feb. 21; I Love Typography, Feb. 21
Books for boys that aren’t “books for boys”
Anna Tschetter writes: “There are no such things as ‘books for boys.’ It doesn’t matter if a book is for a guy or a girl; the gender of the intended audience tends to get all mixed up when you factor in the power of a good story. Boys like stories; girls like stories. Readers in general like stories. We need to forget what we think about boys and reading and find them the stories they want. Here are a few titles I’ve recommended to guys recently that they enjoyed.”...
YALSA The Hub, Feb. 25
What would the Glee characters read?
Brandi Smits writes: “Glee is a wonderful show that addresses many teen issues in both dramatic and comedic ways. I’ve watched the show for years, but there is one thing that has always bothered me. Why don’t any of the Glee kids read? So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to educate the Glee Club on books. They’ve been taught about acting, dental hygiene, Spanish, and several other topics. It’s about time that they opened a book.” Don’t miss Part 2....
YALSA The Hub,
Jan. 23, Feb. 20
True Detective revives interest in Robert W. Chambers
Lily King writes: “HBO’s True Detective crime series, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, has sparked interest in a rather forgotten collection of short horror stories published in 1895. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is one the hottest titles in North America right now, thanks to several obscure literary references in the series that tells the story of a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.”...
AbeBooks’ Reading Copy, Feb. 24
Top 100 books by indigenous masters
Susan Hanks, Debbie Reese, Teresa Runnels, and Tim Tingle write: “After a year of informal surveys and queries, we offer a list of more than 100 books that every museum and library should have on their shelves. Written by tribal members, these books are the foundation of our literature as indigenous people. Just as Western culture promotes Shakespeare as a prerequisite to grasping the essence of Western word arts, we promote N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), D’Arcy McNickle (Cree), and many others to ensure that our future writers reference, in images and ideas, our indigenous masters.”...
A Fuse #8 Production, Feb. 26; Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, 2012 conference
The best books of 1963
Jessica Doyle writes: “Old books are what we do best, so when we heard about the creation of the Daphne Award we were on board. Created by Bookslut editor Jessa Crispin, the Daphne Award recognizes the then-unacknowledged books of years past, beginning with 1963. The first-ever Daphne Award shortlist was just announced and includes classic titles that have stood the test of time, like Where the Wild Things Are and The Bell Jar. See the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books that made the cut, 50 years later.”...
AbeBooks’ Reading Copy, Feb. 25
Go back to the Top
Libraries serve as health insurance info hubs
Elana Gordon writes: “What can’t librarians do? Many are now becoming health insurance guides. At the Free Library of Philadelphia’s central branch, library coordinator Nani Manion has started running twice-weekly enrollment clinics in the technology lab. Manion is one of 33 librarians in the Philly system who have undergone a five-hour training session to become certified application counselors.”...
Kaiser Health News, Feb. 14
OCLC releases linked open data work descriptions
Roy Tennant writes: “At the OCLC Europe, Middle East, and Africa Regional Council meeting in Cape Town on February 25, Richard Wallis and Ted Fons announced that OCLC has established 194 million ‘work records’ for bibliographic records in WorldCat, which bring together the sometimes numerous manifestations of a work into one logical entity. These records were released as linked open data on the web, with permanent identifiers that can be used by other linked data aggregations through a human-readable interface.” Richard Wallis has more details....
Hanging Together, Feb. 25; Data Liberate, Feb. 25
How to create animated GIFs
Richard Naples writes: “It might be a sign of a twisted mind, but I can’t help imagining illustrations and pictures from old books coming to life. Lucky for me, we live in a time when tools for making my twisted dreams come true are readily available. Here I will go through the basic steps I take in order to turn images collected from our digitized books into the animated GIFs the Smithsonian Libraries posts to its Tumblr blog.”...
Smithsonian Libraries Unbound, Feb. 21
Harnessing STEM connections in arts and crafts programs
Amy Koester writes: “Arts and crafts programs are a staple offering of many public libraries. They attract many folks because they provide an opportunity to create something personal and meaningful. These programs are great from a librarian’s perspective, too, because they promote creative expression, following instructions, and skills development. But have you considered the potential for arts and crafts programs to connect informally to other areas of learning too?”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Feb. 26
Stop Googling around
Brian R. Smith writes: “I began my New Year’s resolution to ‘quit Google’ soon after the New Year’s holiday. Faithfully sitting at the Info Desk waiting for the next patron to approach or call on the phone, I knew in the back of my mind that I was committed to using our robust and highly accurate databases in 2014—instead of Google. The lazy urge to simply type google.com was at least going to end while on the clock. But old habits linger.”...
Public Libraries Online, Feb. 21
Oldest public library in the Americas?
Larry Nix writes: “There are several libraries that make claim to being the oldest public library in the United States of America, but one library claims to be the oldest public library in the Americas. That library is the Biblioteca Palafoxiana in Pueblo, Mexico. The Biblioteca Palafoxiana was founded in 1646 and was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2005. In 1996, Mexico issued a postage stamp (right) to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the library.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 25; Jan. 28, 2009
Hand-built Italian library on wheels
Antonio La Cava, a retired Italian schoolteacher, decided that after 42 years of teaching, he could do even more to spread the love of reading to children. So in 2003, he bought a used Ape motorbike and modified it to create a portable library that houses 700 books. He’s been traveling in the “Bibliomotocarro” ever since. Each week, he travels to the villages of Italy’s southern Basilicata region, the sound of an organ announcing the Bibliomotocarro’s arrival....
Inhabitat, Feb. 25
Gmail adds an unsubscribe button
Google is making it a bit easier to rid your inbox of spam. It has begun to add an unsubscribe button to Gmail that will automatically appear in the header of emails that it detects might be unwanted messages from marketers. Clicking the button won’t lead you through the marketers’ standard unsubscribe dialogue. Instead it will have Google send an automated email to the marketer requesting that it remove you from future mailings....
The Verge, Feb. 24
Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers
Richard Van Noorden writes: “Publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense. Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has cataloged papers composed by SCIgen software—which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer-science papers—that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013.”...
Nature, Feb. 24
The lure of the Voynich manuscript
Ruth Graham writes: “Here is what is known about the Voynich manuscript, a mysterious document that has bedeviled scholars and top cryptographers for more than a century: It consists of 246 pages of handwritten script and illustrations. It was discovered in an Italian monastery by a Lithuanian bookseller named Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. Here is what is not known: Just about everything else. Today, the manuscript is kept at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.”...
Boston Globe, Feb. 23
Medieval cat humor
Erik Kwakkel writes: “This amusing illustration is from a French copy of Reynard the Fox. It shows the scene where Reynard and Tibert the Cat are racing each other. The latter seems to be winning and is sticking out his tongue to spite the fox. What makes the scene even more hilarious is the pointing hand to the left of this scene, drawing attention to it. It appears out of nowhere, through a hole in the parchment. It seems to hurry the animals along.”...
Erik Kwakkel, Feb. 23
TNT: The Librarian TV series in development
TNT is eyeing The Librarian as a full-fledged series. The Turner-owned cable network is developing a drama series based on the TV movies starring Noah Wyle that began airing in 2004. The series would center on four people with extraordinary talents who discover that they have been selected by Flynn (Wyle) to work for the Library, an ancient fellowship of knowledge and heroism. They travel the world investigating strange occurrences, battling ancient conspiracies, and protecting the innocent from magic....
Hollywood Reporter, Feb. 20
Harold Ramis: Why I love the library
The late writer, director, and actor Harold Ramis discusses why he loves the library in this video (0:28) filmed in 2010 at the Highland Park (Ill.) Public Library. Ramis, the director of Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters, died in Chicago on February 24....
YouTube, Feb. 1, 2010
Go back to the Top