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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 8, 2014

Simmons GSLIS

American Psychological Association

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited street in the US, dating back to 1702Midwinter preview
Benjamin Franklin clearly envisioned that libraries would play an active role in advocacy and the improvement of communities. On January 24–28, librarians from around the country will arrive in Franklin’s native Philadelphia for the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits to discuss the future of their profession and its impact on the communities they serve in a changing landscape. Here are some of the events they will experience....
American Libraries feature

Harry Potter Alliance logoAndrew Slack on how Harry Potter changed his life
Activist Andrew Slack, cofounder and executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance, sees fantasy stories not as an escape from our world but as an invitation to delve deeper into our experiences. He spoke with American Libraries’ Associate Editor Mariam Pera about the power of fantasy in combating real-life issues. Join the conversation by attending Slack’s session during the President’s Program in Philadelphia on January 26....
American Libraries feature

New Chicago Public Library website designChicago Public Library’s new website goes Amazon
Tim Inklebarger writes: “Chicago Public Library’s new website will feel more like than the current website, allowing patrons to create book lists, write reviews, and share content with friends. The library has contracted with the Toronto-based tech company BiblioCommons to develop and run the website. The platform allows patrons not only to have a more interactive experience with other CPL users by way of comments and reviews, but also with the patrons of other library systems that use BiblioCommons.”...
AL: The Scoop, Dec. 20

PDXScholar open access portal for Portland (Oreg.) State University LibraryIn Practice: Open access everything
Meredith Farkas writes: “With the growing cost of higher education, declining library budgets, and the crisis in scholarly publishing, it can sometimes be difficult to feel optimistic. Looking at the creative efforts to address these issues through publishing gives me ample hope. Many academic libraries are supporting the creation of sustainable publishing models through education, institutional repositories, and open access (OA) publishing.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.

“Sorry no more puppet shows. They’ve been replaced with family wilderness survival skills programs.” Cartoon by Richard LeeWill’s World: Warming up to End Times
Will Manley writes: “There is no longer any point in debating the reality of global warming (or, if you prefer to be politically correct, climate change). The handwriting is on the wall: 2012 was the hottest year on record and the polar ice caps are melting at an alarmingly fast rate. Then there’s the research report from the University of Cambridge, which says that the thawing of the Arctic permafrost layer could trigger the release of billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, accelerating the dire consequences of climate change.”...
American Libraries column, Nov./Dec.; World Bank, Nov. 18, 2012

American Libraries cover, Jan./Feb. 2014January/February issue available now
The latest issue of American Libraries includes highlights all of the must-see events, speakers, and forums at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Philadelphia, a roundup of national library referenda in 2013, tips on using word-of-mouth marketing to promote your library, a report on the Edge Initiative, a look at how concealed-carry laws will affect libraries across the country, and more....
American Libraries

New AL Live episode January 9
What challenges and changes lie ahead for our libraries? In “The Future of Libraries: What’s Your Vision?” a panel will look into the crystal ball and discuss the possibilities, led by moderator David Lee King, digital branch and services manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on January 9 to hear Marshall Breeding, Buffy Hamilton, Bohyun Kim, and Joseph Murphy tackle the topic....
American Libraries, Dec. 17

Jason GriffeyJason Griffey recaps the Consumer Electronics Show
The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the most important technology events in the world. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, knowing what goes on at CES is essential. In a special 30-minute episode of American Libraries Live, library technology expert Jason Griffey (right) will share what he heard, saw, and experienced at the show. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on January 13 for this free, streaming video broadcast that you can view from your home, library, or on the go....
American Libraries, Jan. 7

Consumer Electronics Show logoPrologue to CES 2014
Jason Grifffey writes: “I have been reporting on the Consumer Electronics Show now for five years running, and one of the benefits is that you get a feel for the ebbs and flows of the trends in consumer electronics. It’s quite a story. From traditional computing devices that still rely on a screen, keyboard, and mouse for their interactivity, all the way to devices that users wear and passively interact with all day. I have three predictions as to what will be the most interesting things coming out of CES 2014.” Griffey offers a video overview (3:13) of CES Unveiled, the official press event on January 5....
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 7

RevolvThe Internet of Things at CES
Jason Griffey writes: “One of the fastest-growing areas in consumer electronics is home automation. It’s not a straightforward category, but an overarching term used to describe technologies that create some form of automation for everyday events or needs. One of my favorite products in this category is Revolv (above), a solution to what can be a vexing problem for people just beginning to figure out how to handle automating their spaces. Revolv is a central hub that speaks the languages of all the other bits of your system, allowing you to have just one app on your phone to control your entire home or office.”...
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 8

Editor’s Letter: Fear of flying
Laurie D. Borman writes: “Flying to Philly is the only thing I don’t look forward to when it comes to Midwinter. Flying is not pleasant business. The indignity of airport screening, waiting to board an overcrowded plane, jamming my carryon into the overstuffed bins. The sole redeeming feature of air travel is my 15 minutes of quiet reading because no one is on their cellphone texting, playing Candy Crush, or listening to music seeping out of headphones when the airplane leaves the gate.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

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American Chemical Society

ALA News

Barbara K. StriplingPresident’s Message: Advocating for school librarians
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling (right) writes: “As president of ALA, I advocate for all types of libraries, librarians, and library workers. We are, after all, a community. Together, we can fulfill the promise that all libraries change lives. Yet the promise of libraries is in peril because school libraries are in crisis; a threat to one type of library is a threat to all libraries. ALA is planning a multifaceted advocacy campaign for school libraries. Every librarian in the country must be involved.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

Keith Michael FielsExecutive Director’s Message: Community engagement works for libraries
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels (right) writes: “Over the next several years, ALA will be leading a major initiative to help libraries of all types utilize proven community engagement tools and techniques to better understand their communities and to encourage community-based innovations in library service. This effort involves working with the D.C.-based Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, we began a series of ‘kitchen table’ conversations, focusing on ALA as a community.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.

“Making Strategic Partnerships” webinar, January 13
ALA President Barbara Stripling’s second installment of the Winter Webinar series Building Community through Making will be “Making Strategic Partnerships,” featuring nationally recognized speakers and innovative library leaders on January 13. The webinar features Lynne Shain, Jerry Crisci, Edward Iglesias, and Bill Derry. Registration is mandatory and limited to the first 100 participants who arrive in the virtual room....
Office for Library Advocacy, Jan. 7

Lisa BunkerIdeas + community = energy
The Library as a Catalyst for Innovation: Case Studies of Library Entrepreneurship Centers and Programming” is the latest addition to the ALA Masters Series at 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library Social Media Librarian Lisa Bunker (right) will talk about the Catalyst Café she founded and how it lives up to the motto “Ideas + Community = Energy.” This session will take place January 27....
Conference Services, Dec. 27

Cover of the Graphics spring catalogNew spring ALA Graphics catalog
Many exciting new products that are bound to inspire and excite readers in schools and libraries across the US are included in the ALA Graphics spring 2014 catalog. Spotlighted on the cover is a new celebrity READ poster featuring Shailene Woodley, who stars as Beatrice “Tris” Prior in the upcoming film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s wildly popular novel Divergent. The movie hits theaters on March 21....
ALA Graphics, Jan. 7

Conference codes of conduct
Andromeda Yelton writes: “In discussing ALA’s Statement of Appropriate Conduct with ever-wider audiences, I get the growing feeling that we stand at different starting lines, and it affects our understandings of the words in the statement. So if you looked at the statement and your first reaction was ‘but . . . free speech?’ or ‘nanny state’ or ‘political correctness,’ this is for you. Let me attempt to explain some starting points.” Yelton offers more background, and Meredith Farkas weighs in on the code....
Andromeda Yelton, Jan. 3; Library Journal, Jan. 2; Information Wants to Be Free, Jan. 2

Graphic Novel MIG survey
ALA’s Graphic Novel Member Interest Group is looking for feedback from its members and those interested in getting more involved in the MIG and its future projects. Provide your feedback by participating in this online survey....
Graphic Novel Member Interest Group

LSSC logoLSSC program approved for Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Library Association library board have approved the ALA–Allied Professional Association’s Library Support Staff Certification program as meeting requirements of the Oklahoma Public Librarian Certification Program at the highest level....
ALA–Allied Professional Association, Jan. 7

ALA Editions workshop logoCreating successful adult programs
No matter what type of community your library serves, the adult population is crucial to your success. ALA Editions will hold a 90-minute workshop on “Creating Successful Adult Programs” led by Brett W. Lear on February 12. Lear will demonstrate how to assess your community’s needs so your programs respond to what’s unique about your community and in demand among your library’s patrons. Registration is available on the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Jan. 3

Introducing RDA
ALA Editions will host a 90-minute workshop on “Introducing RDA: Resource Description and Access” with Chris Oliver on January 29. In this workshop, Oliver will give an overview of RDA and look at the key aspects that make RDA different from AACR2. Registration is available on the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Dec. 26

ALA TechSource workshop logoNew ALA TechSource workshops
ALA TechSource is hosting several new workshops in coming weeks: “Getting Started with Open Access” on January 15, “Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services” on February 13 and 20, “#Tumblarian Problems: Creating and Curating Your Tumblr Blog” on February 6, “How to Teach Online: A Beginner’s Guide” on January 16, and “What You Need to Know About Starting a Digitization Project” on February 19....
ALA TechSource, Dec. 26

Cover of Maxwell's Handbook for RDAMaxwell’s handbook for RDA
A guided tour of the new, unified cataloging standard from respected authority Robert L. Maxwell, Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA: Explaining and Illustrating RDA: Resource Description and Access Using MARC21, published by ALA Editions, is a clear and comprehensive resource that will help catalogers, LIS students, cataloging instructors, and other information professionals navigate RDA smoothly and find the information they need efficiently. Maxwell uses his trademark practical commentary to interpret and explain RDA....
ALA Editions, Jan. 7

Portion of microcard showing ALA's 1962 Seattle World's fair exhibitALA and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair
Larry Nix writes: “ALA had a penchant for holding its conferences in conjunction with world fairs. It has also sponsored exhibits at some, including the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. The official name for the 1962 fair was the ‘Century 21 Exposition’ and ALA appropriately named its exhibit ‘Library-21.’ The exhibit was designed to highlight technology in the future of libraries, and it featured a state-of-the-art Sperry Rand UNIVAC computer. The exhibit ran from April 21 to October 21, 1962.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 5

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Booklist webinars

Booklist Online logo

Cover of One More ThingFeatured review: Adult fiction
Novak, B. J. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. Feb. 2014. 270p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-385-35183-6).
Novak’s high-concept, hilarious, and disarmingly commiserative fiction debut stems from his stand-up performances and his Emmy Award–winning work on the comedy series, The Office, as writer, actor, director, and executive producer. Accordingly, his more concise stories come across as brainy comedy bits, while his sustained tales covertly encompass deep emotional and psychological dimensions. An adept zeitgeist miner, Novak excels at topsy-turvy improvisations on a dizzying array of subjects, from Aesop’s fables to tabloid Elvis to our oracular enthrallment to the stock market. A master of cringe, Novak imagines a blind date with a warlord, a Comedy Central TV roast of Nelson Mandela, and a mortifying misunderstanding between mega-best-selling novelist John Grisham and his new editor....

He ReadsHe reads: Music
David Wright writes: “The fiftysomething attorney across the way recently built a two-story garage. We thought it was just an eyesore until we saw him moving a drum kit in there, and then we knew just how crucial this man-aerie really was. A place to dream, to relive bygone glories, to channel his primal self by howling and banging on things. Now, suddenly, I want a two-story garage with a drum set. Tom Perrotta captures my neighbor’s vibe perfectly in his first novel, The Wishbones.”...

She ReadsShe reads: Music
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “She’s not just with the band. She inspires the band. Or fronts the band. Or manages the band. These books deliver a sound check for Readergals who want to be Rockergrrls. Serving as muse to a songwriter isn’t as exciting as it sounds. Just ask Audrey Cuttler. In Robin Benway’s debut novel Audrey, Wait, Audrey is tired of the musical shenanigans of her boyfriend, singer/songwriter Evan. Before one of Evan’s gigs, Audrey calls it quits, prompting Evan to pen a tearful ballad, “Audrey, Wait,” which tells the world how heartless Audrey dumped this sad and lonely rockerboy.”...

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

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Philadelphia Update

Year of the Bard logoThe Year of the Bard
Throughout 2014, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, and other cultural organizations are presenting “Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450,” a yearlong celebration packed with special events and festivities to entice devotees and new fans. Highlights include an exhibit, beginning January 27, of some of the Free Library’s priceless Shakespeare holdings. Other monthly events include lectures, an insult contest, digital and live exhibitions, pop-up and theatrical performances, and a big birthday bash on April 23....
Uwishunu, Jan. 6

The Rosenbach LibraryFree Library completes acquisition of Rosenbach
Now it’s the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. With the completion of a series of legal approvals, the Free Library’s acquisition of the Rosenbach Museum and Library is done. The collection, housed in two townhouses at 2008-2010 Delancey Place, was legally placed under the Free Library’s authority as of December 24. The agreement does not involve any plans to remove or alter the museum collection. If you are in town after Midwinter, check out its exhibition, “Networking Before the Net: Sharing Information in the Pre-Digital Age,” which opens January 29....
Philadelphia Inquirer,
Jan. 2

Audacious Freedom exhibitThe African American Museum in Philadelphia
With a diverse collection of fine and folk art, photographs, memorabilia, and costumes, the African American Museum at 701 Arch Street traces the experiences and contributions of African-Americans from the kingdoms of Africa through to the present. The museum’s exhibits tell the story of African American life, focusing on topics such as family life, the visual arts, entertainment, politics, and sports. “Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776–1876” is a permanent exhibit....
Visit Philadelphia

Oysters from the Oyster HouseOyster House to donate used shells to save Delaware Bay
If you like oysters, you can help the environment. The Oyster House restaurant at 1516 Sansom Street (a 15-minute walk from the Convention Center) has teamed up with a New Jersey environmental nonprofit, the BaySave Foundation, to divert thousands of pounds of oyster shells from the garbage to the ecosystem. Oysters combat pollution in Delaware Bay by removing nitrates from the water and replenishing it with oxygen. Baby oysters prefer to grow by attaching themselves to old shells, so your cast-offs will help sustain the mollusks....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 17

Lucio Palazzo, owner of Taqueria Feliz, holds his brisket suadero taco. Photo by Philadelphia Weekly / Ron TarverTacos are taking off
Elisa Ludwig writes: “Twenty years ago, there was nary an authentic tortilla to be found in Philadelphia. Ten years ago, we got our first taste of the real deal with the expansion of the local Mexican population and mom-and-pop shops in South Philadelphia. In 2013, the new school has arrived: three taquerias (Shifty’s Taco, Taqueria Feliz, Union Taco) opening in a span of six months, with at least one more (Calexico) slated by the end of the year.” If you want to try grasshopper tacos, Taqueria Feliz is the place (but they have many more approachable dishes, such as the brisket suadero taco, shown above)....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 8; Philadelphia Weekly, Dec. 30

The changing face of airplane coach seats
Jad Mouawad and Martha C. White write: “Flying coach can be a bruising experience these days. With air travelers increasingly feeling like packed sardines, flying has become a contact sport, nowhere more than over the reclined seat. Now it is only getting worse, as airlines reexamine every millimeter of the cabin.”...
New York Times, Dec. 22

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Division News

Meeting the needs of 21st-century teens
As part of its year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens effort, YALSA has released a report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, that provides direction on how libraries need to adapt and change to meet the needs of 21st-century teens. The report provides recommendations on how libraries must address challenges and re-envision their teen services programs. Visit the YA Forum webpage to download the report and executive summary. A Midwinter session on January 26 will focus on this report....
YALSA, Jan. 8

Rethinking the ACRL information literacy standards
Carol Kuhlthau writes: “I propose three rethinks to consider in recasting the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) for the coming decades. First, rethink the concept of information need. Second, rethink the notion that information literacy is composed of a set of abilities for ‘extracting information.’ Third, rethink the holistic process of learning from a variety of sources of information that is central to information literacy.”...
Communications in Information Literacy
7, no. 2 (2013)

New York Philharmonic KidzoneMore Great Websites for Kids
ALSC has added six more sites to Great Websites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children. Two sites for Spanish readers, the New York Philharmonic Kidzone, a virtual trip to Mount Everest, and a home page for “SciGirls” are some of the new additions....
ALSC, Dec. 20

PLA 2014 early birdRegister early for PLA 2014 and you could win a set of books
PLA has kicked off the Sweet 16 Early Bird promotion for the PLA 2014 Conference, March 11–15, in Indianapolis. Individuals who register by the Early Bird deadline (extended to noon Central time on January 17) will be automatically entered to win one set of 16 signed books from published PLA 2014 Special Event speakers. PLA has five sets of books to give away....
PLA, Dec. 26, Jan. 7

PLA webinar series logoPLA fundraising webinars
PLA is launching a three-part Development and Fundraising Webinar Series beginning January 22. This special series features three weekly webinars designed to provide public librarians with practical information and actionable steps to get started on fundraising, managing friends and foundations, and strategic and development planning. The series instructors are Sue Hall and Peter Pearson....
PLA, Jan. 7

Friends and trustees learn the basics
United for Libraries will host “Nuts and Bolts for Friends and Trustees” on January 24 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City Hotel during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Libby Post, president of Communication Services, will provide valuable information on advocacy and library campaigns. Susan J. Ellis, president of Energize, will give tips on how to engage volunteers. The division will also host discussion groups for Friends group members, trustees, and library foundation staff and volunteers at Midwinter....
United for Libraries, Dec. 26, Jan. 6

Travel to Spain with ASCLATour Spain in the spring
Join ASCLA March 26–April 4 for a grand tour of Spanish libraries in Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid. This adventure is open to everyone, not just the library community. Those interested in making a reservation should contact Michael Stilwell at Lyceum Tours. A deposit in the amount of $500 is due by January 20 to reserve your space....
ASCLA, Jan. 7

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Awards & Grants

2013 Youth Media Award winnersYouth Media Awards, January 27
Children’s and young adult authors, illustrators, and publishing groups are waiting in anticipation for the 2014 ALA Youth Media Award announcements. ALA will announce 18 awards at 8 a.m. Eastern time on January 27 from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The awards include the esteemed Randolph Caldecott Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards, Michael L. Printz Award, and John Newbery Medal. Live streaming will begin the morning of the announcements. For some awards insight, read this interview with Carla Morris, chair of the 2013 Geisel Award Committee....
Public Information Office, Jan. 7; Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4

ALSC awards 15 Día mini-grants
ALSC has awarded 15 libraries mini-grants to start their own Día Family Book Club. These clubs will utilize multicultural, multilingual, or second-language books to provide an opportunity for families in their community to come together. The mini-grants are part of ALSC’s Everyone Reads @ your library grant, generously funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation....
ALSC, Dec. 26

EBSCO Midwinter scholarship winners
In cosponsorship with ALA, EBSCO Information Services has awarded five librarians a $1,500 scholarship to attend the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Applicants were asked to write an essay of the topic of “What will your library be like in five years?” The winners are Jennifer Grub, Ben Himmelfarb, Carlyn Hudson, Pauline Nicholas, and Annie Pho....
Office of ALA Governance, Jan. 7

Library of Birmingham, UKLibrary of Birmingham named UK building of the year
Readers of the UK’s leading architecture magazine have voted the Library of Birmingham as their building of the year. In an online vote, Architects’ Journal readers overwhelmingly selected the new library as their favorite building of 2013. In announcing the winner, journal editors wrote: “With its new building Birmingham has made a bold civic statement at a time when financial pressures are forcing cities across the UK to close their libraries.”...
Birmingham (UK) Post, Dec. 21; Architects’ Journal, Dec. 20

Cover of Life After Life, by Kate AtkinsonKate Atkinson wins Costa Award for best novel
English writer Kate Atkinson won the Costa Book Award for best novel of the year on January 6 for Life After Life, about a woman who gets a second chance to live. The awards honor authors in the UK and Ireland and are divided into five categories: first novel, novel, biography, poetry, and children’s book. Lucy Hallett-Hughes’s The Pike, about Italian poet, serial seducer, and protofascist Gabriele D’Annunzio, got the nod for best biography....
Reuters, Jan. 6

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Libraries in the News

StoryLab logoTacoma to continue its StoryLab
In the three years since the inception of the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library’s StoryLab, a program geared toward teaching digital media to youth, word of its success has spread across the country. Teen Services Librarian Sara Sunshine Holloway has received calls from several library officials asking about it. The program was funded in 2011 with a $150,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The grant expired December 31, but library officials say the program will continue, even if the funding isn’t there....
Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune, Jan. 3

Kate DiCamilloLC names Kate DiCamillo young people’s ambassador
Kate DiCamillo (right), Newbery Medal–winner and honoree, was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on January 2 by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. DiCamillo will serve in the position during 2014 and 2015, succeeding Walter Dean Myers. She has chosen “Stories Connect Us” for her platform. The inauguration ceremony will take place January 10 in LC’s Thomas Jefferson Building....
Library of Congress, Jan. 2

Cover of Tintin in the CongoTintin comics to remain in Amherst
Tintin, a 1930s graphic novel series by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (Hergé) containing racial stereotypes that some parents argue is inappropriate for preteens, will not be removed from the children’s area at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts, as a group has requested. But library officials are pledging to be part of a community dialogue focused on racial issues and to better inform the public about the children’s room policies and how books are chosen....
Amherst (Mass.) Gazette, Jan. 2

Full 3D printout of saber-toothed salmon fossilPaleontologist and librarian create 3D printout of rare fossil
University of Oregon paleontologist Edward Davis and librarian Dean Walton are creating a three-dimensional printout of a rare saber-toothed salmon fossil using a special printer housed at the Science Library. Using a CT scan of the fossil as a digital model, the printer is generating a 3D replica by melting layers of plastic and stacking them atop one another until the object is formed. The library acquired a MakerBot printer in November 2013 after Walton had learned about the new technology....
University of Oregon Communications, Jan. 6

Bill Cochran, director of Billings Public Library. Screenshot from videoNew Billings Public Library opens
By noon on January 6, as many as 500 people had strolled through the new Billings (Mont.) Public Library, most of them wide-eyed and grinning. When the library opened at 10 a.m., Director Bill Cochran (right) stood at the door to let in the 50 or so folks waiting in the freezing cold. He expects to see a 30%–40% increase in the number of daily patrons with the new $20 million library.” Watch the video (4:01)....
Billings (Mont.) Gazette, Jan. 6; YouTube, Dec. 26

Why Seattle PL surrendered its gun ban
Isolde Raftery writes: “When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained. Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years. That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as ‘neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.’”...
KUOW-FM, Seattle, Jan. 7

Seahawks football helmetSeattle PL to screen Seahawks playoff game
Mark Baumgarten writes: “The Seattle Seahawks have woven themselves so tightly into the fabric of the city with this season’s championship-caliber run that the one bastion of intentional quietude in the downtown core has given itself over to the now-ubiquitous roar of the 12th Man. The Seattle Central Library will be showing the Seahawks’ first playoff game in its auditorium for free on January 11.”...
Seattle Weekly, Jan. 6

Georgia might change its funding formula
The Georgia Public Library Service could be changing its state funding formula to allocate more money for paid librarian positions. Deputy State Librarian Julie Walker said the new formula will be based on two factors: population and the number of counties within a library system. Walker said the changes would go into effect in July 2014, which is when the new fiscal year begins....
Covington Newton (Ga.) Citizen, Dec. 22

What do you do with the library of a former town?
Amy Chapman writes: “Selectmen in Newry, Maine, are considering what, if anything, should be done with the several hundred books that once comprised the public lending library of the former town of Grafton, just north of Newry. The books currently reside in two glass-fronted wooden bookcases in the Newry Town Office. Most date from the late 1800s and are in excellent condition. That Grafton, which only existed from 1832 to 1919, had a library at all may come as a surprise to some.”...
Bethel (Maine) Citizen, Jan. 2

Bethlehem (N.H.) Public Library's new buildingThe mystery donor’s tale
Chris Jensen writes: “For 100 years the library in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, occupied three small rooms in the town hall. But in late December that changed with opening of a new library (right) on Main Street. It was the conclusion of a tale involving a mystery donor, a brother, and a sister. The sister was Muriel Brown, who for more than three decades was the town’s librarian. The brother was Arthur Jobin, known to the family as “Bud.” Both grew up in Bethlehem.”...
New Hampshire Public Radio, Dec. 31

Fr. Ibrahim Surouj and the al-Sa'eh Library in Tripoli, LebanonHistoric library in Lebanon burned
A decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest in north Lebanon’s majority Sunni city of Tripoli was destroyed by an arson fire on January 3. Unknown assailants torched the al-Sa’eh Library, incinerating two-thirds of the 80,000 books and manuscripts housed there. The attack came one day after a pamphlet was discovered inside one of the books that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammad, although the library owner, Father Ibrahim Surouj (above), had nothing to do with the pamphlet. Another source alleges that Surouj had written a controversial study on the internet, but he apparently was not responsible for that either....
Agence France-Presse, Jan. 3; Blog Baladi, Jan. 4; Ya Libnan, Jan. 4; The Daily Star (Beirut), Jan. 4

Vital records left in disarray at Winnipeg's Freshwater Institute libraryCanada’s dismantling of its science collections
Cory Doctorow writes: “In 2012, when Canada’s Harper government announced that it would close down national archive sites around the country, it promised that anything that was discarded or sold would be digitized first. But only an insignificant fraction of the archives got scanned, and much of it was simply sent to landfill or burned. The archives that fared worst were those that related to climate research.”...
Boing Boing, Jan. 4; May 27, 2012; The Tyee, Dec. 23

Lac-Mégantic library aims for 2014 reopening
The public library incinerated in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, is aiming for a 2014 renaissance after receiving so many donations that it politely pleaded that people stop sending books. The institution and its treasured archives were consumed by flames in July after a runaway tanker train derailed, exploded, and destroyed part of the town. Lac-Mégantic’s only library lost a one-of-a-kind collection....
Toronto Globe and Mail,
Dec. 29

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Sherlock Holmes and Watson. An illustration by Sidney Paget from the Strand magazine, 1892The public domain is not automatic
Kevin Smith writes: “This year, we received a timely reminder that the public domain is not as automatic as we might think; it requires attention if it is to flourish and be preserved. On December 23, a judge in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a ruling that confirmed the fact that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain. We can easily fall into a false but happy belief that the public domain is automatic, a self-executing realm of free stuff. But it is not.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Jan. 2; Washington Post: The Switch, Dec. 27

Library lending, 1969The first sale exception
Carrie Russell writes: “Five years ago, I attended a meeting with a group of librarians from various countries, where we discussed international copyright law reform. It was then that I learned how unusual the United States first sale model was to the international library community. In fact, many thought that US first sale was improper and certainly out of reach for other countries. First sale or ‘exhaustion’ is the exception that limits the exclusive right of distribution. Without exhaustion, libraries could not lend books.”...
District Dispatch, Jan. 8

Copyright tweetchat logoArchived copyright tweetchat
On January 7, school principals, superintendents, librarians, and educators participated in an interactive question-and-answer tweetchat with copyright expert and bestselling author Carrie Russell. Education professionals who missed the copyright tweetchat now have access to the archived tweetchat....
District Dispatch, Jan. 8

The BiblioTech in San Antonio, TexasThe harm of booklessness
Brian Mathews writes: “You’ve probably seen the press about the BiblioTech (right) in San Antonio, the first bookless public library system in the country. It is being hailed as a ‘big success’ and ‘the future of libraries.’ While I can appreciate the marketing tactic they are using, I actually think they are doing more harm than good. My primary concern is that this is creating false expectations of what all libraries should become. It’s setting a precedent.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: The Ubiquitous Librarian, Jan. 6; Associated Press, Jan. 3; Yahoo Finance, Jan. 3

Libraries can’t be judged like businesses (PDF file)
Tom Allon writes: “In 2007, New York City sold the Midtown Manhattan Donnell Library on 53rd Street. The new plan is to shrink the new library by at least two-thirds and create the oxymoronic ‘bookless library.’ What? A bookless library sounds like a futuristic idea that misses the forest for the trees. There is one group in New York, Citizens Defending Libraries, which has been fighting the good fight the last three years.”...
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Daily, Jan. 3–9, p. 21

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Tech Talk

Google cofounder Sergey Brin wears Google GlassA year with Google Glass
Mat Honan writes: “For much of 2013, I wore the future across my brow, a true Glasshole peering uncertainly into the post-screen world. I’m not out here all alone, at least not for long. The future is coming to your face too. In a few years, we might all be Glassholes. But in 2013, maybe for the last time, I was in dubiously exclusive face-computing company. Here’s what I learned.” But tech-evangelist Robert Scoble thinks Google Glass is doomed, at least for now....
Wired, Dec. 30; +Scobleizer, Dec. 31

Connected devicesThe Wolfram Connected Devices Project
Stephen Wolfram writes: “Connected devices are central to our long-term strategy of injecting sophisticated computation and knowledge into everything. With the Wolfram Language we now have a way to describe and compute about things in the world. Connected devices are what we need to measure and interface with those things. We have launched the Wolfram Connected Devices Project, whose goal is to work with device manufacturers and the technical community to provide a definitive, curated, source of systematic knowledge about connected devices.”...
Stephen Wolfram Blog, Jan. 6

MakerBot's new ReplicatorNew MakerBot printers
Signe Brewster writes: “MakerBot diversified its 3D printer offerings January 6 at the Consumer Electronics Show when it revealed a new generation of its flagship Replicator printer (right), plus a mini and jumbo version that target beginner and advanced users. Dubbed the Replicator Mini, Replicator, and Replicator Z18, the three printers share a group of needed new features. New software from MakerBot includes a new mobile app, plus a free desktop software suite.”...
GigaOm, Jan. 6

The Cube 3New printers from 3D Systems
Signe Brewster writes: “3D Systems revealed the newest in its line of personal printers on January 6: the Cube 3. It also introduced the Cube Pro, a new option for more demanding users. 3D Systems is heavily advocating the kid-friendliness of the Cube 3, which can print up to six inches across. At less than $1,000 from an established printer company, this could be an option that tempts many libraries. The bigger, badder Cube Pro is capable of printing objects roughly 10 inches across.” But wait, there’s more, including ChefJet; and Casio has a printer that can make rubber stamps....
GigaOm, Jan. 6–7; Gizmodo, Jan. 7

New PCHow to set up your new PC
Joel Santo Domingo and Eric Griffith write: “Right out of the box, no computer is perfect. Unlike most electronic devices, Windows PCs need some adjustment before they’re ready for everyday use. You need to make your new system safe and personalize it with your own preferences. There are programs on the hard drive you should get rid of, and other things you should add immediately. If you haven’t yet been introduced to Windows 8/8.1, or it’s been a while since you’ve set up a new machine, we’ll walk you through it all in these 12 simple steps.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 27

DreamTab will update with content from DreamWorksAn inexpensive Android tablet for kids
DreamWorks Animation has partnered with technology company Fuhu on a tablet computer for children that the studio will be able to program much like a cable channel. The companies are introducing the tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The tablets will be sold with a range of DreamWorks-branded accessories, including headphones, protective bumpers, and carrying cases. An eight-inch version of the DreamTab will arrive in stores in the spring....
New York Times, Jan. 2

XO-10 OLPC laptopOne Laptop Per Child unveils two new laptops
Nicole Jewell writes: “One of the most anticipated socially conscious projects comes from the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child, which released two new kid tablets this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. The group strives to create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing ‘rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptops’ to all children regardless of location or means. The new releases are the seven-inch XO-2 and the 10.1-inch XO-10 (right) tablets made for children.”...
Inhabitat, Jan. 8; Engadget, Jan. 7

Android smartphonesWhy do Android smartphones guzzle the most data?
Brian X. Chen writes: “Androids have the biggest screens and tend to use much more data than other types of smartphones, including iPhones. That higher data usage could rack up heftier phone bills. So why does Android use more data? The reasons are multifold. The most obvious is that Android phones tend to have the largest screens, so they download bigger files and video with more pixels.”...
New York Times: Bits, Dec. 31

Violife UV cellphone sanitizerCleaning the mobile germ warehouse
Kate Murphy writes: “Because our electronics are constantly within our grubby grasp, they can get pretty gross. Repeated studies show that what accumulates on your smartphone is germy nastiness worse than what is on the bottom of your shoe. Cleaning your device can be tricky, since you don’t want to damage it and manufacturers don’t give you much guidance. It can be done, however, if you’re careful and conscientious.”...
New York Times, Jan. 1

iMovie 2.0 iconUnlocking your inner movie director
Erik Olsen writes: “Shooting video with a smartphone is usually a breeze, as is displaying it for others. But editing all that raw video remains crucial, a key to creating something that people want to watch. The difference between good video and poor video often comes down to stability and lighting. While hand-held video on your smartphone is fine for many situations, often it is too shaky, which can lead to distracting, unusable footage. Here are a few suggestions for how to begin making good videos on your smartphone.”...
New York Times, Dec. 25

Xerox WorkCentre 3615/DNHow to buy a printer
Tony Hoffman and M. David Stone write: “Picking the right printer can be tough, with so many variations in features, and individual printers with almost any possible combination of those variations available. Here are some questions to help you hone in on both the right type of printer, and the right printer within that type.” These are the 10 best, according to PC Magazine editors....
PC Magazine, Jan. 2

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Library for All logoCatching up over the holidays
Alan S. Inouye writes: “New Year’s week was a good time for me to catch up on work. Accordingly, there are a few recent developments and upcoming events involving the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG) that I’d like to highlight here. Several weeks ago, I ventured forth to New York City. One of my stops was the venerable Strand bookstore for the launch of a new initiative, Library for All.”...
AL: E-Content, Jan. 6

Bilbary logoLibraries as bookstores
James LaRue writes: “Beth Bacon, vice president of content management at Seattle publishing platform Booktrope, recently wrote a blog post on the idea of libraries as ebookstores. On the surface, there is much to commend it. Libraries have dedicated and passionate readers who love to talk about books. All libraries have to do is place a big button on their websites that offers to sell the patron pretty much all the ebooks available from the other e-tailers. Bilbary, for example, can do that right now.”...
AL: E-Content, Jan. 6; Digital Book World, Dec. 30

A million digital checkouts from OverDriveSix libraries exceeded one million digital checkouts in 2013
Adam Sockel writes: “While we’ve seen checkout increases across the board, we wanted to take some time to acknowledge our highest-circulating library partners. The following standalone library systems each had more than one million checkouts of their OverDrive collection in 2013: King County (Wash.) Library System, Toronto (Ont.) Public Library, New York Public Library, Hennepin County (Minn.) Library, Cleveland Public Library, and Seattle Public Library.”...
OverDrive Blogs, Dec. 27

Penguin Random House logoDCL ebook report, January
James LaRue writes: “Here is the first price comparison for ebooks (PDF file) of the new year. A few things stand out. This was a very good fall for Random House, followed by Penguin. They dominate the New York Times bestseller list. Most of the titles are now available, thanks to the pressure applied by ALA presidents. But the terms of sale—$84 for Random House, buy it again after a year from Penguin—mean that it’s still (in my judgment) not a very smart library decision to buy these books.”...
AL: E-Content, Jan. 8

Zola Books acquires Bookish
Start-up ebook retailer Zola has acquired start-up book retailer Bookish in a cash deal that closed January 6 and will see roughly half of Bookish staffers absorbed into Zola, along with the site’s recommendation engine. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Zola’s plan for Bookish is to continue running it as a standalone website for now while it figures out a long-term strategy....
Digital Book World, Jan. 6

Bradley Daigle, a digital curator at the University of Virginia, and his colleagues Matthew Stephens and Lorrie Chisholm were in charge of preserving an early digital archive on the Civil WarBorn digital projects need attention to survive
Jennifer Howard writes: “Publish a scholarly book and chances are it will last as long as a library has space for it. But create a pioneering work of digital scholarship, and how to preserve it becomes more of a challenge—in fact, one of several. While online scholarship often has dazzle—dynamic maps, data visualizations, or other features that invite interaction and exploration—it can have a harder time catching the eye of scholars who are used to arguments packaged in articles and monographs.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 6

Two views on the ebook reading experience
As ebooks gain in popularity, two authors consider whether reading through technology affects the experience of reading. Mohsin Hamid, the author of three novels, extols the convenience and portability of ebooks. Anna Holmes, who has written for numerous publications, has some harsh words for the ebook. She says it is hard to become involved in an ebook because it is read on a device chock full of other distractions. And she likes the look and feel of the printed book....
New York Times: Bits, Jan. 2; New York Times Sunday Book Review, Dec. 31

Cover of Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony TrollopeReading Trollope on my iPhone
Elizabeth Waters writes: “Do you feel that ebooks are just not right for you? Download one and you might be surprised. I was. It was only a couple of winters ago that I finally discovered that ebooks, like their printed siblings, are eminently readable. It now seems incredible to me that there was a time when I wasn’t reading and loving ebooks. I enjoyed reading Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? so much that when I finished it a week or so later I immediately downloaded the next novel in the sequence, Phineas Finn.”...
New York Public Library blogs, Jan. 3

A virtual page from Between Page and ScreenWhat a dodo might teach us about books
Sarah Werner writes: “We seem to be living in a perpetual age of the death throes of The Book. But let’s look at some books that live on the boundary between print and electronic. The obvious starting place is Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse’s Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012). It exists in a codex form that can be held in your hand, but to read it you’ll need a computer. The pages of the book are black-and-white geometric shapes that are referred to as markers or hieroglyphs or sigils. Hold them up to your webcam, and the book’s website will show you the poem floating above the page.”...
Snarkmarket, Jan. 4

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American Chemical Society

2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Get it on the go—the mobile app for the Midwinter Scheduler is here. The app puts all the information at your fingertips, including your existing schedule, the list of exhibitors, and personal notes from the full Scheduler site. Highlights of the Scheduler include easy adding, prioritizing, and updating sessions, events, and booth visits with exhibitors, as well as finding other attendees.

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Recorded Books

AL Live

on Film

Time Changer

Time Changer (2002). Jennifer O’Neill plays fundamentalist Christian library worker Michelle Bain.

The Time Machine

The Time Machine (1960). The Eloi take time traveler H. George Wells (Rod Taylor) to a library with physical books, but the pages turn to dust as he touches them. Later he visits an old museum containing a “history machine” with metal rings that speak when spun.

The Time Machine

The Time Machine (2002). Orlando Jones is Vox NY-114, a holographic librarian who contains all human knowledge, conducts reference interviews, and puts on storytime. He turns up first in 2030, then some 800,000 years into the future.

Time of Her Life

Time of Her Life (2005, UK). Gemma Robinson plays a library assistant.

This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.

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Assistant Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. The Assistant Director provides guidance and support to librarians, teachers, and others on the application of ALA’s intellectual freedom policies and the First Amendment in specific situations involving materials challenges, confidentiality in the library, and other barriers to access. Engages in public advocacy on behalf of ALA’s intellectual freedom programs and will be expected to undertake both short and long-term projects to educate librarians and the general public about intellectual freedom, utilizing all available resources, including new technologies....

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Digital Library of the Week

Interior view of a room in the Ross County Historical Society Museum, in Chillicothe, Ohio, featuring Ohio's Constituion table. Chillicothe00002a

The Ohio Postcard Collection contains more than 9,000 early-20th-century postcards of Ohio cities and towns from Aberdeen to Zoar. The collection, part of Columbus Memory, was originally acquired in the 1970s through funds from the John M. Lewis estate. Columbus Memory is a collaborative project between the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library and the Columbus Historical Society and offers access to thousands of images, primary documents, maps, and artifacts about Columbus, Ohio.

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

United Brewers Industrial Foundation ad

“One bad book doesn’t make it a bad library. You wouldn’t destroy the library to get rid of a few bad books.”

—United Brewers Industrial Foundation advertisement, Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News, August 25, 1941, p. 3. Rediscovered by Bernadette Lear, who comments: “The ad argues that people who oppose beer because of occasional ‘black sheep’ retailers are similar to purists who demand that public libraries be shuttered because of a small number of objectionable books they find on the shelves.”

@ More quotes...


Jan. 24–28:
ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits,
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.

Jan. 27:
Youth Media Awards announcement, ALA Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia.

Feb. 5:
Digital Learning Day.

Feb. 27–
Mar. 2:

Alaska Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage. “No Safe Passage: Navigating the Shoals of Change.”

Mar. 9–15:
Teen Tech Week.

Mar. 26–28:
Louisiana Library Association,
Annual Conference, Lafayette Cajundome Convention Center, Lafayette. “New Directions.”

Mar. 31–
Apr. 1:

Coalition for Networked Information,
Spring Membership Meeting, Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.

Mar. 31–
Apr. 2:

Oklahoma Library Association,
Annual Conference, Southern Hills Marriott, Tulsa.

Apr. 5:
Colorado Teen Literature Conference,
Tivoli, Auraria Campus, Downtown Denver.

Apr. 8–11:
Texas Library Association,
Annual Conference, San Antonio. “LEAD Out Loud.”

Apr. 9–12:
Montana Library Association,
Annual Conference, Billings Hotel and Conference Center.

Apr. 16–18:
Oregon Library Association,
Annual Conference, Salem Convention Center, Salem. “The Inside Out Library.”

Apr. 23–24:
New Hampshire Library Association,
Spring Conference, Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa, Whitefield.

Apr. 28–29:
Connecticut Library Association,
Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza, Cromwell.

Apr. 30–
May 2:

Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, South Towne Expo Center, Sandy. “Explore! Enrich! Engage!”

Apr. 30–
May 2:

Washington Library Association,
Wenatchee Convention Center, Wenatchee. “Spring into Action: Let Your Ideas Bloom.”

@ More...

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AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

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Managing Editor,
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American Libraries:

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American Libraries
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Books & Reading

Cover of WingerThe best YA and middle-grade book covers of 2013
Dan Kraus writes: “You cannot have a conversation about the best YA/MG covers of the year without starting with Andrew Smith’s Winger. I saw it long before publication and knew right away it was going to be iconic. Yes, it’s a big giant face, something the literati tend to look down upon. But instead of overstyling it to make it stand out, they went the other way—it’s an eff-you of upfrontness. Here are the rest of my favorites.”...
Booklist Online: Likely Stories, Jan. 3

3D cover of On Such a Full SeaThe first 3D-printed book cover
Lily Rothman writes: “Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea was released January 7 in limited edition with what the publisher, Riverhead Books, is calling the first-ever 3D-printed slipcover, the result of a collaboration with the mavens at MakerBot. The white slipcover, into which the book fits neatly, features the letters of the title rising off the surface at an angle, and the idea all along was to do something unlike anything ever seen in the world of publishing. Each individual slip cover took 15 hours to print.”...
Time, Jan. 6

The loneliness of the long-distance reader
Colin Robinson writes: “‘To read a novel is a difficult and complex art,’ Virginia Woolf wrote in a 1925 essay, ‘How to Read a Book.’ Today, with our powers of concentration atrophied by the staccato communication of the internet and attention easily diverted to addictive entertainment on our phones and tablets, book-length reading is harder still. It’s not just more difficult to find the time and focus that a book demands. Longstanding allies of the reader, professionals who have traditionally provided guidance for those picking up a book, are disappearing fast.”...
New York Times Sunday Review, Jan. 4

Iain M. Banks. Photo by Tim Duncan used CC BY-SA 3.0

Take the Guardian’s literary beginnings quiz
As we welcome 2014 to our calendars, test your knowledge of some bookish beginnings. What was the name of Eleanor Catton’s debut novel in 2008? With which science fiction novel did Iain M. Banks (right) introduce his utopian society The Culture, in 1987? Hit the submit button to show the answers....
The Guardian (UK), Jan. 1

William Butler YeatsA guide to 20th-century poetry
The 20th century changed literature in ways many could never imagine. This roundup looks at some of the most powerful voices to have emerged during the tumultuous century. While it barely scratches the surface of the variety of poetic movements and styles introduced during the century, the list explores how these poets pioneered a number of different movements and became voices for the marginalized, the lost, and the eccentric....
Qwiklit, Dec. 25

Free Library of Great Conversations logoFree Library of Philadelphia author podcasts
The Free Library holds numerous author events throughout the year, which are recorded and uploaded to the library website as podcasts. These 10 were the most downloaded podcasts in November. They feature authors Donna Tartt, Ross King, Pat Conroy, Deepak Chopra, Julius Erving, Ann Patchett, Katrina van Grouw, Joe Sacco, Malcolm Gladwell, and John Heilemann and Mark Halperin....
Free Library Blog, Dec. 19

Cover of Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy, and Emma RiosSuperhero ladies in comics
Traci Glass writes: “Lucky for us fatigued readers of the world, there are a multitude of awesome comics that feature some seriously awesome superheroes (and villains) to wake up your senses and inspire you. How could you read these stories of some serious kick-butt action and not want to get back to be all that you can be in this hectic dark and cold winter season? Let’s start with the ladies.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 3

Screenshot from the upcoming Vampire AcademyA head’s up for sci-fi collection developers
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “This will be a year of film epics. Some of our most ambitious movie-makers are serving up stories of Biblical apocalypses, space voyages, and the rise of artificial intelligences. Godzilla and the Planet of the Apes are both back. And the superhero genre gets pushed to its absolute limits. Here are 65 movies that could rock your universe this year.”...
io9, Jan. 6

Cover of False Memory, by Dan KrokosCloning in YA fiction
Dena Little writes: “Whenever I read about cloning I think about my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, the one about the Duplicator. Calvin decides to create a cloning machine so that his clone can do all the work Calvin doesn’t want to do. Things backfire a bit and Calvin ends up with multiple clones just as naughty as he is. But where does the clone end and the human begin? Is a clone the ‘same’ as the original? Here are some YA books about cloning and genetic engineering to help you ponder.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 1

Cover of The Great Lake Sturgeon, edited by Nancy Auer and Dave Dempsey (Michigan State University Press)Notable Michigan books 2014
The Library of Michigan in Ann Arbor announced its 2014 list of Michigan Notable Books on January 3, highlighting 20 books focusing on the state, notable residents, and events in the state’s history. Books on the list were selected by a committee composed of representatives from 11 different libraries and other organizations. One title that made the list was The Great Lake Sturgeon, edited by Nancy Auer and Dave Dempsey (MSU Press)....
MLive Media Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 3

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American Libraries Live

Tips & Ideas

Danny Feng's book, Allocutions on the Wall of the Harvard University Library, hit the market in Mainland China (PRC) and quickly climbed to number seven on the bestseller listThe Chinese myth of Harvard Library wall mottos
Millions of students, especially in China, believe there is a list of mottos written on the wall of a library in Harvard University. These mottos have allegedly inspired students to work hard. However, when one student used Harvard’s Ask a Librarian service to find out the truth, the reply was disappointing. Harvard University Library Director Robert Darnton replied: “As the university librarian, I can attest that no such writings exist on any of the walls at Harvard’s 73 libraries.” Find a refutation here....
China News Service, Jan. 2; Harvard Ask a Librarian

How to hide your email address on web pages
Amit Agarwal writes: “You have a website. You want to put your email address on the site so that people can contact you easily, but you are also worried about spam flooding your mailbox. Email harvesting bots, using simple regular expressions, will most definitely find your email address if it’s published in plain text; but you may trick the less clever bots by hiding your email address through these simple CSS and JavaScript–based techniques.”...
Digital Inspiration, Jan. 4

Demetri Martin. Photo by Theresa Lynn, used CC BY-SA 3.0What stand-up comedians teach us about library instruction
Eamon C. Tewell writes: “Imagine a typical stand-up comedian speaking to audiences from a stage in a dark comedy club, holding a microphone and leaning on a stool, perhaps making observations about airline food. Now picture a typical instruction librarian in a classroom, presenting resources and evaluation strategies to students, perhaps making observations about scholarly communication. There are several compelling lessons that librarians can learn from comedians and apply to their own instruction to lead more dynamic classes.”...
College & Research Libraries News 75, no. 1 (Jan.): 28–30

Libraries in unexpected places
Laura Damon-Moore writes: “For today’s Favorite Things post, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite libraries that showed up in rather unexpected places. From book bikes to pop-up literary scenes in vacant lots, libraries were cropping up in a variety of interesting venues this year.”...
The Library As Incubator Project, Dec. 27

How many mid-1990s books about C++ does your library need?Weeding and deselecting
Bonnie Swoger writes: “Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time in the stacks of my library looking for books to remove from our collection. The euphemisms used to describe this process make me laugh: Librarians weed books from their collections or deselect them. Yes, this means that sometimes books are recycled or thrown away. Removing books from a library collection often courts controversy, but there is good reason to think critically about a library collection and to remove materials selectively.”...
Scientific American: Information Culture, Jan. 7

BloggingA comparison of educational blogging platforms
Richard Byrne writes: “I’m often asked for advice about picking the best blogging service for classroom use. Every school’s and classroom’s situation is a little different so it’s not easy to make a blanket statement like, ‘blog service X is best for all teachers.’ To help teachers decide which blogging platform could be best for them, I created the following chart.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Jan. 4

List of predatory publishers, 2014
Jeffrey Beall writes: “The gold (author pays) open-access model has given rise to many new online publishers. Some of these publishers are corrupt and exist only to make money off the author processing charges that are billed to authors upon acceptance of their scientific manuscripts. There are two lists here. The first includes questionable, scholarly open-access publishers; the second includes individual journals that do not publish under the platform of any publisher.”...
Scholarly Open Access, Jan. 2

Non-library jobs and dividing LIS work
Emily Weak writes: “As the number of people enrolled in library school continues to increase, and as the amount of funding for libraries stagnates or shrinks, and as our culture of information and technology changes and evolves, more and more library school students are turning to non-library jobs. Are these non-library librarian positions second-class jobs? Yes and no.”...
MLISsing in Action, Jan. 6

Detail of a kneeling figure in a calendar for January (Germany, 13th century): London, British Library, MS Arundel 159, f. 1vThe British Library’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
Julian Harrison writes: “Did you know that thousands of images from the British Library’s collections are available on our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts? The catalogue enables you to search by keyword or date, or by its reference (if known); and you can also perform an advanced search using such criteria as language or provenance. The site also contains a number of virtual exhibitions. All images are available for download and reuse under a Creative Commons license.”...
British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Jan. 7

In La Philosophe sans Pretention (1775), a strange machine brings a visitor to earth from the planet Mercury300 years of imaginary spaceships, 1630–1920
Trevor Owens writes: “While humans didn’t build apparatus capable of traveling to the moon and other planets until the 1950s and 1960s, there is a long history of thinking about the technology that could get us to other worlds. In this post, I share some illustrations of visions of space vehicles over time. The context for each imaginary contraption becomes fodder for understanding ideas about space and flight.”...
Inside Adams: Science, Technology, and Business, Dec. 26

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