|American Libraries Online
Taking aim at the reality of guns in libraries
Beverly Goldberg writes: “It’s been just over a year since 26 people were shot to death shortly after the school day began at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As it often does in the wake of a mass shooting, the national dialogue post–Sandy Hook about the availability of firearms predicted that the murder of 20 children and six educators would prompt stricter gun controls. That has not proved true, and libraries have become embroiled in the debate more than ever. The complexities involved are exemplified by a court case in Michigan.”...
American Libraries feature
Newsmaker: Ishmael Beah
After serving as a child soldier in Sierra Leone’s civil war, Ishmael Beah struggled to find hope that he could regain his humanity. His first book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, chronicles this experience and has led to his work in human rights advocacy. Beah, who will headline the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, talked with American Libraries about the nature of violence and the profound power of books and libraries....
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
Dispatches from the Field: Web-scale discovery services
Marshall Breeding (right) writes: “Web-scale discovery services—tools that search seamlessly across a wide range of local and remote content and provide relevance-ranked results—have the ambitious goal of providing a single point of entry into a library’s collections. The four major vendors are OCLC, EBSCO, ProQuest, and Ex Libris. Ideally all possible online content providers are indexed, as well as the library’s local holdings. After four years of development, these products have come close to this ideal, but gaps persist.”...
American Libraries column, Jan./Feb.
CES 2014: What does 4K video mean for your library?
Jason Griffey writes: “One of the largest areas at the Consumer Electronics Show is the central hall, where major TV manufacturers set up their most compelling displays for people to ogle. This year, pretty much every TV in the place was a 4K or UHD (Ultra High Def) model. While it doesn’t seem that long ago that we shifted from standard-definition broadcast to high-definition broadcast, this next jump is going to affect us not in the living room, but in our offices and in how we can provide service to our patrons.” Watch the video (1:28), and do the math before you buy one. Griffey sums up his CES experience in this special AL Live episode (35:00)....
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 10; Yahoo Tech, Jan. 13
“The Future of Libraries” AL Live episode
Joe Murphy (right) writes: “‘The Future of Libraries’ was the topic of the January 8 free episode of American Libraries Live on which I had the honor of speaking, along with Marshall Breeding, Bohyun Kim, and David Lee King. We each started out sharing one top direction for the future of libraries and I chose to start with libraries as change foundries and local change experts.”...
Library Future, Jan. 9
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Annual Conference registration and housing now open
ALA promises the same outstanding content, professional development, and networking opportunities as always at the 2014 Annual Conference, June 26–July 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Early Bird registration and housing are now open through March 3. Las Vegas offers an easy-to-navigate conference campus, a plethora of free activities, low hotel rates, a wide range of restaurants and diverse cuisines, unique museums and art galleries, and outdoor activities....
Conference Services, Jan. 14
New products at the ALA Store
Longer hours and easy access near the registration desk make it more convenient to shop and browse at the Midwinter Meeting ALA Store in the Grand Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The ALA Store offers products that meet the widest range of your promotional and professional development needs, as well as fun gift items and live demos of our online subscription products, RDA Toolkit and Guide to Reference....
ALA Publishing, Jan. 14
FTRF to host memorial reception for Carolyn Forsman
The Freedom to Read Foundation will host a memorial reception January 24, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, for Carolyn Forsman (right), the librarian and jeweler who died shortly before the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Forsman exhibited nearly every year, with proceeds going to benefit FTRF. Over the years, she raised more than $150,000 and received the FTRF Roll of Honor Award in 2001....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Jan. 14
ALA creates an institutional repository
ALA, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is creating its own institutional repository (ALAIR). An institutional repository is a digital repository for collecting, preserving, and disseminating the informational, intellectual, and research output of an organization. UIUC, which currently houses the ALA print archives, was chosen because of the expertise of its archives and IR staff. Assistant University Archivist Chris Prom is leading the project and will offer an update at the Midwinter meeting....
ALCTS, Jan. 14
Ask the ALA Library: Music in the library
Q. Are we able to use music CDs in our collection to broadcast background sound? Or do we need to pay for satellite radio or commercially available piped-in music to avoid copyright infringement? A. According to US copyright law, the owner of the copyright retains public performance rights, unless these are specifically granted at the time of sale, or unless the work is being aired in conjunction with an educational activity. The Better Business Bureau has prepared a useful summary of the public performance rules, Music in the Marketplace. Here are some other resources....
Travel to Costa Rica
Are you interested in a unique opportunity that combines the principles of sustainable tourism and educational travel with international community-based library service work? This trip, June 21–29, hosted by the ALA International Relations Office, is designed for librarians at all stages of their careers. The program combines grassroots, community-based service work on three library projects in the Monteverde Zone in Costa Rica, and a full itinerary of travel activities centered on understanding the country’s natural and cultural environments. For more information, contact IRO....
International Relations Office
Creating a digital media space for teens
ALA TechSource will hold a new workshop, “Creating a Digital Media Space for Today’s Teens” with Corey Wittig. This workshop will consist of two 60-minute sessions and take place at on March 20 and 27. To get teens more active in the library and enthusiastic about library programs and services, a Digital Media Space can be the draw—a place where teens can go to record videos, use social media, create projects, and engage with the community and their peers on their own terms. Registration is available on the ALA Store....
ALA TechSource, Jan. 14
WordPress for libraries
More than just an easy-to-use blogging platform, WordPress is in fact a flexible, open source content management system, making it ideal for many libraries’ websites. The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries: A LITA Guide, published by ALA TechSource, introduces the basic principles of WordPress and then shows how to implement them. Amanda L. Goodman leads readers step by step through the basic planning process for a library website that meets users’ needs....
ALA TechSource, Jan. 14
Robert Wedgeworth and ALA
Larry Nix writes: “Robert Wedgeworth served as executive director of the American Library Association from 1972 to 1985. I have a couple of artifacts in my librariana collection related to Wedgeworth. The first (right) is a metal admissions ticket to a reception in honor of Wedgeworth at the 104th ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on July 6, 1985, at the Chicago Public Library. The second is a First Day Cover for the America’s Libraries postage stamp that was issued on July 13, 1982, at the ALA Annual Conference in Philadelphia.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 14
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Keating, Kevin P. The Natural Order of Things. Apr. 2014. 320p. Vintage, paperback (978-0-8041-6927-1).
The wrong reader who picks this up won’t have to read long before hurling it across the room. Packed with depravity like a bloated corpse about to burst, the book could easily be written off as sadistic or hateful. But if you look at Keating’s debut as a sort of horror anthology—no supernatural here, but plenty of monsters—each lurid shock becomes all the more impressive. (The fact that it takes place over a single Halloween weekend is our hint.) The book is arranged as a series of character studies that keep circling back over the same few events, with minor characters from previous stories graduating to the spotlight....
The Back Page: Best personal reading, 2013
Bill Ott writes: “Booklisters, as usual, were all over the personal-reading map in 2013. The list below of our favorites boasts all variety of stuff, including two alternate-world sagas with numbers in the titles; a little WWII history; cookbooks, of course; a crossword puzzle collection; and a book about cadavers. My advice: if Joanne Wilkinson convinces you to try her recipe for slow-cooker oatmeal (and, trust me, she will), don’t let Annie Bostrom talk about Mary Roach while you’re eating. Typically, by the time I finished this column I realized that there was no room for my own contribution. So I’ll just tell you now: Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter. Italy, the making of Cleopatra, Richard Burton at his most drunkenly eloquent. What’s not to like?”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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The 10 best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia
Alan Richman writes: “Five of us tried 23 different cheesesteaks in one afternoon at 10 spots generally considered the best in Philadelphia. Who makes the best, a debate that has consumed the city for decades? What I learned on our excursion changed my mind about almost everything. Here are our top 10, in order. I cannot say the list is entirely democratic. Although all five of us voted, I tinkered a little, moving some places up a notch, some down. We were unanimous in our choice of the best and the worst.”...
GQ, Jan. 6
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum of Art boasts more than 227,000 world-class holdings of European and American paintings, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. A special exhibition on surrealism is going on during Midwinter. One new acquisition is a collection of 97 contemporary artworks donated by collectors Keith and Katherine Sachs; four works are already on view. Besides being known for its collections, the museum is also known for its role in the Rocky films; visitors are often seen mimicking Rocky’s famous run up the front steps, now widely known as the “Rocky Steps.”...
Philadelphia Museum of Art; Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 11; Wikipedia
ArtsGuide for Philadelphia
Going to Philly? Check out the ArtsGuide for Philadelphia. ArtsGuides are created by the ACRL Arts Section for every ALA and ACRL conference to provide attendees with information on cultural attractions and events in the host city. This one, available in both PDF and Google Maps formats, covers visual arts and museums, architecture, dance, theatre, music, and film attractions and events....
ACRL Arts Section Blog, Jan. 13
Visit Philadelphia now offers “My Phillyosophy”
Visit Philadelphia, the city’s chief tourism and marketing organization, has some advice for those planning to explore the city: Finger food is good; both-hands food is better. Leave no cobblestone unturned (when exploring Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods). The group is moving on from its well-known “With Love, Philadelphia” campaign, calling the new initiative “My Phillyosophy.”...
Philadelphia News, Jan. 8
America’s oldest sweet shop
Grinning the widest of grins and sporting the snuggest of suspenders, Ryan Berley shimmies past the carved hardwood display cases at Shane Confectionery, 100 Market Street, like a kid in a candy store. A 36-year-old kid, but a kid nonetheless. He’s entitled: It’s his candy store. Berley and his brother, Eric, recently bought and restored Shane’s, the oldest continuously operated candy shop in America. The Philadelphia landmark has been turning out sweets since 1863....
Where to buy booze in Philadelphia
Holly Tomren writes: “Philadelphia has some great BYOB restaurants, or you might just want some wine or beer to enjoy in your hotel room during the conference. Pennsylvania has wacky liquor laws. Not only can you not buy wine at the nearest Trader Joe’s like in a normal city, you also can’t buy wine and beer at the same place. For wine and liquor, you’ll have to go to a state store, and for beer you’ll have to go to a specialty market. Here are our recommendations based on proximity to the Convention Center.” She also suggests many craft beer opportunities....
SuperPlus Eats Philly, Jan. 10, 14
Show off your Midwinter tattoos
Are you getting tattooed at Philadelphia Eddies Chinatown Tattoo, 904 Arch Street, during your Midwinter trip? They are offering a librarian’s discount of $10 off tattoos costing $60–$100 and $20 off tattoos $100 and up (bring your badge). If you add new ink to your body (especially of the literary or book-inspired variety) at the famous tattoo shop located near the Pennsylvania Convention Center and share it on social media, don’t forget to add both the ALA Midwinter hashtag (#alamw14) and the tattoo hashtag (#LibInk) to your picture and show it off to the Midwinter masses....
Philadelphia Eddies Chinatown Tattoo
ALA conference survival tips
Bobbi Newman writes: “In 2011, I started trying to travel with only a carry on. I was tired of paying the extra baggage fees, waiting for my suitcase at the end of the trip, and lugging around a heavy bag. I don’t even have one of those fancy new carry-ons with the spinning wheels and a bajillion pockets. I usually still manage to bring several pairs of shoes, though I stick to comfortable ones for big conferences like ALA. These are the items I cannot live without.”...
Librarian By Day, May 31, 2012
Flight canceled? Stranded? Try these tips to get home
Brett Snyder writes: “Whether there’s a polar vortex going on or just your standard issue snowstorm, no one wants to be stranded in an airport or on hold with an airline trying to find a way home. But that’s exactly what happened to many travelers in recent weeks when their flights were canceled or delayed because of bad weather. I help people in these situations for a living, so here are some helpful tips you can use the next time you get stuck.”...
Condé Nast Traveler, Jan. 9
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New cataloging guidelines for pictures
ACRL and the Library of Congress have updated the cataloging guidelines for describing pictures, and they are now available in a free, online book, Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials: Graphics. The guidelines cover still images of all types: photographs, prints, drawings, born-digital pictures, book illustrations, posters, postcards, cartoons, comic strips, ads, portraits, architectural drawings, and bookplates. It is available either as a free PDF file or as a hypertext document on the Cataloger’s Desktop....
Library of Congress, Jan. 9
ACRL sponsors new open educational resources book
ACRL is sponsoring the publication by Jossey-Bass of Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What’s Out There to Transform College Teaching by John D. Shank. This book is the only resource to weed through open educational resources to identify which ones are effective. It helps decipher the best tools, resources, and techniques for discovering, selecting, and integrating interactive learning resources into the higher education teaching and learning process....
ACRL, Jan. 14
ACRL Assessment in Action
ACRL is seeking applications from all types of higher education institutions for 100 teams to participate in the second year of “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success,” made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. To apply, each prospective institution must identify a team consisting of a librarian team leader and at least two additional team members from other campus units. The deadline is March 7....
ACRL, Jan. 14
LLAMA Career Institute
Join LLAMA in Philadelphia to learn from seven colleagues who are writing and editing professionally. The second LLAMA Career Institute, “Writing and Editing: Developing Career Skills and Building Your Professional Reputation,” will be offered on January 24 in conjunction with ALA Midwinter Meeting. Panelists will provide advice to participants on how to approach writing projects and work with publication editors. Register online....
LLAMA, Jan. 14
LLAMA leadership development seminar
Everyone has the potential for leadership, but it can be intimidating. There are many different types of leaders and many different leadership styles. The LLAMA Leadership Development Committee will present “Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your Leadership Style” on January 26 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Speakers will be Steven Bell and Rhea Blanken....
LLAMA, Jan. 14
Kahnweiler to speak at Annual Conference
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler (right), an Atlanta-based author and executive coach who specializes in introverts and leadership, will be the featured speaker at the ALCTS President’s Program at the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas on June 30. The author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, Kahnweiler will be signing copies of her books after the program....
ALCTS, Jan. 14
Steve Sheinkin to open 2014 ALSC Institute
Award-winning author Steve Sheinkin (right) will present the Opening General Session September 18 at the 2014 ALSC National Institute in Oakland, California. Sponsored by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Sheinkin has written several books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Registration is open....
ALSC, Jan. 14
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Unlimited virtual seats for Youth Media Awards presentation
The eyes of the publishing world will turn to Philadelphia at 8 a.m. Eastern time on January 27, when ALA unveils the next classics in children’s and young adult literature. ALA will provide a free live webcast of the proceedings, courtesy of 3M Cloud Library. A recording of the webcast will be available at 11 a.m. on the same day. Those unable to join the webcast can follow real-time results via Twitter @alayma or with the #alayma hashtag, as well as on the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page....
Public Information Office, Jan. 14
17 libraries receive Smart Investing grants
ALA and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation have announced $1.19 million in grants to 17 recipients as part of the Smart Investing @ your library initiative. The program, administered jointly by RUSA and the foundation, funds library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing. Grant recipients will use the funds to implement programs that will increase patrons’ access to and understanding of financial information....
RUSA, Jan. 9
Every Child Ready to Read is an award finalist
ALSC and PLA have been named finalists for the Opening Minds Innovation Award for Every Child Ready to Read @ your library, 2nd edition. The Opening Minds Innovation Award honors individuals and organizations whose innovations advance the field of early childhood care and education. The winner of this award will be announced on January 31. Every Child Ready to Read is a parent education initiative that stresses that early literacy begins with the primary adults in a child’s life....
ALSC, Jan. 14
Apply for a Citizens-Save-Libraries grant
Applications for cycle two of the Citizens-Save-Libraries grants from United for Libraries, made possible by a grant from the Neal-Schuman Foundation, are due April 15. The 10 libraries that are selected will receive two days of onsite consultation by advocacy experts, who will help Friends of the library groups, library directors, and trustees develop individual blueprints for advocacy campaigns to restore, increase, or save threatened library budgets....
United for Libraries, Jan. 14
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation minigrants
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression in our diverse culture, celebrates the 26th year of its Minigrant Program with a call for proposals. Approximately 70 grants of $500 each will be awarded to qualifying teachers and librarians at public schools and libraries across the US. The deadline for grant submissions is March 15 and decisions will be emailed to all applicants by May 1, allowing educators to plan for the next academic year accordingly....
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Jan. 15
2013 T. S. Eliot Prize
Irish poet Sinéad Morrissey has won the T. S. Eliot Prize for her collection, Parallax (Carcanet), finally winning the prize after being shortlisted four times. The £15,000 ($24,650 US) prize, awarded January 13 by the Poetry Book Society, honors the best collection of new verse in English first published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. One judge described the book as “politically, historically, and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, [and] as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests.” Morrissey is Belfast’s inaugural poet laureate....
The Bookseller, Jan. 14; Belfast (UK) Telegraph, Jan. 14
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Libraries in the News
Four Ohio libraries to create digitization hubs
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded a $760,421 LSTA grant to four Ohio libraries to upgrade their digitization equipment and software in a statewide effort to creating a network of “Digitization Hubs” to preserve historical materials. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Toledo–Lucas County Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, and Columbus Metropolitan Library will create regional digitization centers to serve other libraries, museums, archives, and local communities. Cincinnati’s Panorama of 1848 (above) is one example of how digitization can preserve a historic image....
Columbus (Ohio) Business First, Jan. 2; Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Most Kansas libraries can’t afford to keep guns out
Kansas lawmakers voted in 2013 to require cities and counties to make public buildings accessible to people legally carrying concealed weapons. Public libraries cannot ban guns unless they pay millions of dollars to install metal detectors and security guards, ensuring the safety of those they have disarmed. The law permitted local governments to apply for a four-year grace period by developing security plans by January 1, but only the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and the state university have done so....
New York Times, Jan. 11
Facebook post from Mesquite library saves captive woman
A Minnesota woman who was held captive for six months in Mesquite, Nevada, by an abusive boyfriend managed to go to the library January 11 and make a status update on Facebook that alerted her family, who called local police. Instead of going out to get beer for her kidnapper, Sheena Herschbach walked three blocks to the Mesquite branch (above) of the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District and used the public computer. Police arrested her captor Jason Greniger that evening....
KVVU-TV, Henderson, Nev., Jan. 14
New DCPL director faces many challenges
Mike DeBonis writes: “Richard Reyes-Gavilan (right), the next chief of the District of Columbia Public Library, loves big libraries. In his new job, he will have the opportunity to revamp D.C.’s biggest library—the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library—seeing through a planned renovation of the four-decade-old structure designed by modernist icon Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It stands to be the most crucial part of his job, coming after predecessor Ginnie Cooper presided over the rebuilding or renovation of most of the system’s neighborhood branches.”...
Washington Post: District of DeBonis, Jan. 8–9
Oklahoma universities collaborate on open-access repository
To make the published results of research easily available to the public, the University of Oklahoma Libraries and Oklahoma State University Libraries have established SHAREOK, an openly available website that will house the intellectual output of both universities. Content will ultimately include digital dissertations, faculty publications and research, digital special collections, open access publications, and open educational resources....
University of Oklahoma Libraries, Jan. 15
Bellevue to rehire school librarians
Washington State’s Bellevue School District will hire two certified media specialists by spring 2014 in order to lead the libraries in two of its secondary schools and hopes to fully staff at least some of its remaining secondary schools soon, District Superintendent Tim Mills confirmed. Up to 11 positions in total could be filled for the 2015–2016 school year. Mills became superintendent in July 2012, three years after the district eliminated many of its teacher librarians—all at the secondary school level—due to state budget cuts....
School Library Journal, Jan. 9
Librarian sets up collection for cancer patients
Stephanie Grable (right), librarian at Humboldt Elementary School in St. Joseph, Missouri, has started a campaign to collect books for patients to read at the Heartland Hospital Cancer Center. Grable has enlisted the help of librarians at more than a dozen other district schools and has collected about 200 books so far. As some patients might spend as long as six hours in the chemo chair, the new books will give them something to do....
KQTV, St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 14
Orange Public Library reopens
Mayor Dwayne Warren announced that the Orange (N.J.) Public Library, which had been shuttered for nine months due to safety violations cited by state inspectors, reopened for regular hours on January 13. The library has been declared safe for public use after “months of repairs and thousands of dollars in renovations,” the city said in a statement. Warren said that $750,000 in matching grants from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration helped to reopen the library....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Jan. 14
Seed library opens in Healdsburg
The movement to share seeds is growing across the globe and the Healdsburg (Calif.) Regional Library is the newest venue where community members can “borrow” seed. Anyone can borrow seeds from the seed library. Seeds are labeled for ease of saving, ranging from a green-starred “super easy” category (squashes and beans) to the more labor-intensive ones (tomatoes). Library Director Bo Simons requisitioned an old card catalog from the Sonoma County Library system to hold the seeds....
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, Jan. 15
Charlie Trotter’s widow hopes to build a culinary library
Rochelle Smith Trotter, the widow of Charlie Trotter (right), who died in 2013, has plans for a library and education center to continue the legacy of the famed Chicago chef. As director and treasurer of the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation, she is working to establish a Charlie Trotter Library to showcase her late husband’s personal collection of culinary-related items and a Charlie Trotter Center for Excellence to teach his cooking methods....
Eater, Jan. 14
Controversial trustee resigns 10 days after appointment
A man who came under fire for his extreme political stances after he was appointed to the Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library board of trustees on January 2 has resigned. Andrew Beacham sent an email to the county board of supervisors on January 12 tendering his resignation. Beacham’s appointment caused some public concern because of his previous political activity. He recently ran for Congress in Kentucky and is an outspoken Tea Party member and anti-abortion activist, known for tearing up pages of the Quran in front of the White House in 2010 (above)....
Leesburg (Va.) Today, Jan. 13
Kane County Law Library sees increased usage, costs
The Kane County Law Library and Self-Help Legal Center in St. Charles, Illinois, wants to increase the fee that supports it, due to increased use and skyrocketing costs of materials. Visitors who requested a librarian’s help increased 28% from 2008 to 2012, and only 10% of those were county employees. Director Halle Cox said that “surprisingly and sadly, there is still such a large population of people that do not function well with computers. Low literacy and technology levels lead to more staff-intensive interactions.”...
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Jan. 11
CLA raises questions about Canadian science library closings
The Canadian Library Association will soon issue a policy statement on its growing concerns about the dismantling of more than a dozen federal libraries, including seven world-class facilities operated by the Department of Fishery and Oceans. The apparently haphazard consolidation of seven of DFO’s libraries into two remaining centers has sparked outrage among scientists who have described the cullings as “information destruction unworthy of a democracy.” John Dupuis chronicles the controversy....
The Tyee, Jan. 13; Confessions of a Science Librarian, Jan. 10
Mary Shelley letters discovered in an Essex archive
It was an idle click on an unpromising website that first directed Nora Crook to an unexpected discovery. Crook, professor emerita at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, was researching an obscure 19th-century novelist when her internet search brought up a listing for 13 documents at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, UK, tantalizingly cataloged as “Letter from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.” The letters date between 1831, nine years after the death of her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and 1849, when Mary was already unwell with the brain tumor that would kill her two years later....
The Guardian (UK), Jan. 8
South Korea to add public libraries
The South Korean government on January 13 announced a plan to greatly increase the number of public libraries, books, and staff as part of an effort to enhance its cultural achievements. According to a presidential committee on library policy, the government will increase the number of public libraries from 828 at the end of 2012 to 1,100 by 2018. The number of librarians will increase from the current 4.2 per library to 6 in 2018....
Yonhap News Agency, Jan. 13
Bosnia opens new library to house manuscripts
During the 1992–1995 Bosnian War and the siege of Sarajevo, residents moved a collection of rare books and manuscripts to eight different locations to save them from destruction. On January 15, thanks to a $9 million donation from Qatar, Bosnia President Željko Komšić and a Qatar minister opened the Gazi Husrev-bey Library in the heart of the Ottoman-era Old Town section of Sarajevo to house the books and more than 100,000 manuscripts. The oldest is a handwritten Islamic encyclopedia that was written in Arabic in 1105....
Associated Press, Jan. 15
A Chilean dictator’s secret library
Simon Romero writes: “The Biblioteca de Presidente Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, on the manicured grounds of the military academy in Santiago, Chile, welcomes visitors with an oil portrait of the dictator himself in military regalia. The library houses volumes from his personal library, parts of which he donated to the academy before stepping down in 1990 after 17 years in power. Some, like From Tarapacá to Lima, the 1914 account by Gonzalo Bulnes of Chile’s humiliation of Peruvian forces in the 19th-century War of the Pacific, are still labeled in homage to their infamous donor.”...
New York Times, Jan. 9
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Appeals court strikes down FCC net neutrality rules
A federal appeals court has struck down important segments of the FCC’s Open Internet rules (PDF file), determining that the agency does not have the power to require internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled on Verizon v. FCC (PDF file), a challenge to net neutrality rules put in place in 2010, vacating the FCC’s antidiscrimination and antiblocking policies. However, carriers must notify subscribers that they are making some traffic run faster or blocking other services. The decision came just days after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made his most forceful endorsement of net neutrality. ALA President Barbara Stripling expressed the Association’s disappointment with the decision; the Association of Research Libraries is disappointed too. A grassroots movement to restore the rules is already underway. The New York Times has a nutshell overview of the issue; Dan Rowinski offers a more detailed analysis....
The Verge, Jan. 14; Washington Post: The Switch, Jan. 9; Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 14; Association of Research Libraries, Jan. 15; New York Times: Bits, Jan. 14; ReadWrite, Jan. 15
Librarians as gatekeepers
Barbara Fister writes: “Earlier today a friend commented on Twitter that he hates it when librarians are called gatekeepers. But it occurred to me that’s exactly what we are. Our job is to keep gates open. The rise of public libraries across the United States was at least in part about giving everyone a chance to read great literature and educate themselves as they wished. There are any number of ways that we have to fight to keep the gates open. Here are a few percolating right now.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Jan. 14
Required reading on copyright
Carrie Russell writes: “In honor of Copyright Week, January 13–17, I encourage everyone to tweet about your favorite copyright book or other resource. I frequently get questions from librarians about good books, articles, or websites about copyright. I try to explain that there are no definitive answers to copyright questions, but I know they really don’t want to hear that. Instead, I want them to read materials that give them a foundation to understanding copyright.”...
District Dispatch, Jan. 14
Stop asking me for my email address
Nicole Perlroth writes: “I’ve covered enough breaches, identity thefts, and cybercrime to know it’s a terrible idea to hand over my personal data—even something as seemingly innocuous as my birthday or email address—to a store clerk or a strange login page on the internet. No company is secure. None of them. Not when they are up against an increasingly sophisticated, elusive enemy. But the problem is not just retailers or technology companies or hackers, it’s us. We regularly hand over data simply because we’re politely asked.”...
New York Times: Bits, Jan. 10
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The 35 best WordPress plug-ins
Jeffrey L. Wilson writes: “WordPress is a flexible, easy-to-set-up web publishing platform with an incredibly rich plug-in ecosystem that gives users the ability to improve their site’s SEO, handle comments and spam, and enhance articles. We’ve tested numerous WordPress plug-ins—both good and bad—to compile a list of the best. If you are self-hosting and ready to enhance your WordPress-powered site, check out these 35 excellent plug-ins.”...
PC Magazine, Jan. 10
Tools for creating screenshots compared
Joel Lee writes: “CTRL + SHIFT + 4. Those are the only three keys you’ll ever need to press when you want to take a screenshot—and I’m not talking about a primitive screenshot either. You can select which region of the screen to capture, or you can capture entire windows with a single keystroke. Taking screenshots doesn’t have to be a hassle if you use one of these tools. Easy-access screenshots are one of those things that seem like it wouldn’t be useful, yet once you’ve used one you won’t ever look back.”...
MakeUseOf, Jan. 14
Six tips to make yourself a Chromebook master
Andrew Tarantola writes: “Chromebooks may be budget-priced, but that doesn’t mean you should have to endure cut-rate performance. Here are six simple ways to boost your Chromebook’s capabilities without breaking the bank.”...
Gizmodo, Jan. 11
How to rescue your PC from ransomware
Eric Geier writes: “With the nasty CryptoLocker malware (right) making the rounds—encrypting its victims’ files and then refusing to provide the unlock key unless a payment of $300 is made via Bitcoin or a prepaid cash voucher—ransomware is back in the spotlight. You can remove many ransomware viruses without losing your files, but with some variants that isn’t the case. I categorize ransomware into three varieties: scareware, lock-screen viruses, and the really nasty stuff.”...
PC World, Jan. 13; Nov. 4, 2013
USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0
Chris Hoffman writes:
“New computers have now been coming with USB 3.0 ports for years. But just how much faster is USB 3.0? Will you see a big speed improvement if you upgrade your old USB 2.0 flash drives? USB 3.0 devices are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports. They’ll function normally, but only at USB 2.0 speeds. The only downside is that USB 3.0 devices are still a bit more expensive.”...
How-To Geek, Jan. 14
A free app for web transcriptions
Ben Woods writes: “Transcribing meeting minutes or interviews is a time-consuming and largely unexciting job, but there is a new, simple, browser-based tool called oTranscribe dedicated to making the process as painless as possible. To get started, you simply need to fire up your browser, head to the oTranscribe website, and hit the Start Transcribing button. The next step is to load your digital audio recording into the browser using the Choose Audio File button.”...
The Next Web, Jan. 8
How to swap files from your PC and Android device
Ian Paulo writes: “The HomeGroup option in Windows is a great way to share files and printers between PCs you have on your home network—but it doesn’t support mobile devices. Until then, we’ll have to make do with our own workarounds for trading files wirelessly. If you’re an Android user and you’re not using the AirDroid app yet, you’re missing out. It’s by far the easiest way to wirelessly swap files between your phone or tablet and your computer.”...
PC World, Jan. 15
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Spanish-language books flourish because of e-readers
Ken Bensinger writes: “For decades, finding Spanish-language books in the US was like tilting at windmills. But lately, thanks in big part to the internet, the nation’s 38 million Spanish speakers have been finding a lot more to read. The explosion of portable reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook has for the first time allowed publishers of Spanish-language content to market electronic books to US buyers—often at a fraction of the cost of printed versions.”...
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11
Two-thirds of kids now reading digitally
Jeremy Greenfield writes: “According to a new study from children’s entertainment research and consulting group PlayCollective and Digital Book World, 67% of US children aged 2–13 are now reading ebooks. That’s up from 54%, the number recorded in a similar study from 2013. Some 92% of the kids who do read ebooks read them at least once a week, with many of them reading ebooks every day.”...
Digital Book World, Jan. 13; Jan. 16, 2013
Oyster raises $14 million in funding
New York-based startup Oyster has raised $14 million in a new round of financing. Oyster is an unlimited subscription service for ebooks; for $9.99 a month, you get access to hundreds of thousands of books on your iPhone or iPad, with Android support arriving soon. For now, HarperCollins is on board along with indie publishers, but the four other big publishers have yet to be convinced. These deals are very publisher-friendly, but they also show that the service counts on casual subscribers....
TechCrunch, Jan. 14; New York Times: DealBook, Jan. 14
Libraries had 102 million digital checkouts in 2013
OverDrive announced January 14 that 2013 was a banner year for libraries and schools with record numbers in digital engagement. Available ebook and audiobook titles, website visitors, ebook discovery, and digital checkouts all increased substantially over 2012. A surge in mobile device usage highlights the demand for on-the-go access, with more than half of all digital checkouts coming from mobile platforms. OverDrive reported a 46% increase over 2012 in ebook checkouts....
OverDrive, Jan. 14
Ebook usage in school libraries on the rise
Karyn M. Peterson writes: “Despite tight budgets that have compounded the numerous challenges to implementation, media specialists are ‘generally enthusiastic about the continued adoption of ebooks’ by their students, and usage in school libraries—especially at the high school level—is expected to continue rising incrementally, according to the 2013 Survey of Ebook Usage in U.S. School (K–12) Libraries. The annual survey, the fourth of its kind, was produced by School Library Journal and sponsored by Follett.”...
School Library Journal, Jan. 14
Using business cards to promote e-content
David Lee King writes: “The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library has a bunch of e-content—services like Freegal, OneClick Digital, Hoopla, OverDrive, Zinio, Treehouse, and Mango Languages. Each of these tools point to real content (movies, music, books, magazines, and classes) but they live on the digital branch. Our marketing department created a fun way to promote these e-content services by using business cards.”...
David Lee King, Jan. 14
Ebooks for young readers: A historical overview
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “Children’s literature, epitomized by the full-color illustrated
picture book, simply does not emulate the trends in publishing
for older readers. While there is evidence of increasing amounts
of electronic material for children, a host of factors complicates
the electronic distribution of children’s books. Neither specialists
in children’s literature nor the champions of the new technologies
and formats have convincingly explained why children’s books,
particularly picture books, linger in what some regard as the quaintly
cumbersome world of print.”...
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 51, no. 1 (2013): 105–129
Seven things you should know about Linked Data
Imma Subirats writes: “The main difference between the web of hypertext and the Semantic Web is that while the first links html pages or documents, the second goes beyond the concept of document and links structured data. In this context, Linked Data is the set of best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the web. This particular scenario is beneficial for digital repositories, as a way to enhance the visibility and interoperability of data by linking their content into the wider Web of Data.”...
Confederation of Open Access Repositories
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2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. Registration and housing for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference are open—same great conference, different city (Las Vegas). We’ve got it covered—digital content, e-books, innovation, library transformation, community engagement, books and authors, leadership, policy updates, networking, and social events.
Three O’Clock High (1987). Mike Jolly as football player Craig Mattey is hired to beat up nasty transfer student Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson). The fight takes place in the school library, but Buddy breaks Craig’s finger, punches him in the face, and knocks him into a bookshelf, which causes all the shelves in the room to fall like dominos. Filmed at Ogden (Utah) High School.
Three Seats for the 26th [Trois places pour le 26] (1988, France). Hélène Surgère and Dominique Varda play librarians.
Threesome (1994). Lara Flynn Boyle as college student Alex squirms sensually on a library table as her gay roommate Eddy (Josh Charles) reads multisyllabic words to her from a book. She reveals that she finds libraries and big words erotic. A librarian (Anna Marie O’Donnell) glares at her from the stacks. Filmed in the Doheny Library, University of Southern California.
Thriller (June 2, 1973, UK, TV series), “File It under Fear.” Maureen Lipman plays dowdy yet sensual British village librarian Liz Morris and Richard O’Callaghan plays library assistant George Bailey. Much of the action takes place in the library, where the villagers come together to gossip about a grisly series of murders. The murderer is revealed when Morris is locked inside the library by the just-fired Bailey and stalked by the killer.
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.
Director of Libraries, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford. The Director of Libraries leads the university libraries in the provision of library collections and services which engage students and support learning, teaching, and research. The Director oversees all aspects of the Libraries’ operation and is a highly competent manager of the Libraries’ human, financial, technological, and physical resources. He/she is an effective advocate for the Libraries to the University community and the region. Within the Libraries, the Director fosters a professional, open, and collegial working environment. The Director shall promote the SWOSU value of celebrating diversity in all forms....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Idaho Campus Photographs Collection offers more than 3,000 digitized images that depict the campus from its beginning in 1889 to the present. The collection can be browsed by building, map, or timeline. A mobile version of the site also has been created to allow browsing for images nearest to the current location of the user’s smartphone. Images in the collection were acquired by the UI Library’s Special Collections and Archives and organized into groups over several decades. The images were digitized by librarians, technicians, and student workers in the Digital Initiatives unit during 2012 and 2013. The recent release of the collection commemorates the university’s 125th anniversary.
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
“For a while I thought 12 Years a Slave was the publishing industry’s next update to their licensing agreement for library ebooks.”
—Andy Woodworth (wawoodworth), in a Jan. 14 tweet.
National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Regional Meeting, Library Company of Philadelphia.
IFLA Newspapers Section, International Newspaper Conference, FamilySearch Headquarters, Salt Lake City. “Start Spreading the News.”
Amigos Library Services, online conference. “Is RDA on Your RaDAr?”
Polish American Librarians Association, Annual Meeting, Crown Center Auditorium, Loyola University Lake Shore Campus, Chicago.
Library Publishing Coalition, Library Publishing Forum, Intercontinental Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri.
Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable, Serendipity 2014 conference, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Children’s Literature in a Digital Age.”
New England Roundtable of Teen and Children’s Librarians, Spring One-Day Conference, Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts. “Kids and Technology.”
Association of Architecture School Librarians, Annual Conference, Miami.
Catholic Library Association, Annual Convention, Pittsburgh.
Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. “Art+Politics.”
University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, Summer Seminars in London and Prague.
Western Archives Institute, University of California, Riverside.
Apply by March 1.
Association for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle. “Connecting Collections, Cultures, and Communities.”
Brick and Click: An Academic Library Conference, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. Proposal deadline is March 3.
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advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
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Reference librarian doubles as romance novelist
“Five years, five manuscripts, and 155 rejections. It was the sixth manuscript that hit.” That became Dorothy Mays’s (right) first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill, published in 2011. Last year, she received the Best Inspirational Romance RITA Award from Romance Writers of America for her third novel, Against the Tide, set in 1890s Boston. A reference librarian at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, Mays writes under the pseudonym Elizabeth Camden....
Orlando Magazine, Feb.
The 1890 book I had to have
Ted Gup writes: “Four years ago, while browsing in Second Story Books in Washington, D.C., I noticed a plain clothbound volume among the fine leather-bound tomes locked in a glass case. I had no business looking at any rare books, but that did not stop me from asking if I might see it. A moment later I was holding a copy of How the Other Half Lives, the 1890 classic by Jacob A. Riis on the squalor of New York’s tenements that pricked a nation’s conscience and became a template for generations of investigative reporters like myself.”...
New York Times: Opinionator, Jan. 11
A crash course in YA lit
Gretchen Kolderup writes: “As early as the pulp fiction of the 1700s and 1800s, books aimed at young people that weren’t mere didactic moral instruction were being published (think Treasure Island, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Little Women). In the early 1900s, the Stratemeyer Syndicate started to publish books that were aimed specifically at children, but they were regarded by many adults as trash that corrupted young minds. What we today regard as young adult literature was born with two titles: Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer in 1942, and, in 1967, S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.”...
The Desk Set, Jan. 8
In defense of Gossip Girl
Chelsea Condren writes: “Why does young adult literature assume that all its readers are coming from a particular social situation? Why do we lump together entire groups of people as ‘shallow’ so that our precocious narrator looks down on them? Is it fair to say that some authors are projecting their own high school insecurities by writing thinly-veiled versions of themselves who orchestrate revenge, or at least quietly devastating wit, on the social elite? Perhaps. On the other end of the spectrum, there are books (and shows) like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 15
15 works of dystopian fiction
Jason Diamond writes: “Dystopian fiction has enjoyed a renaissance in these scary post-9/11 times. The Hunger Games series is a testament to the fact that fiction set in some post-apocalyptic world run by some totalitarian government can occupy the same place in the current cultural zeitgeist as otherworldly monsters like vampires and zombies. Here are some other great books that fall into the same category.”...
Flavorwire, Nov. 18
Libby Gorman writes: “I love to knit. I’m very slow at it and not very advanced, but ever since my husband’s grandmother taught me almost 10 years ago, I’ve enjoyed it. There seems to have been a resurgent interest in knitting over the past few years, but while there are a ton of great nonfiction knitting books out there, I wanted to stick with a list of fictional knitters. It was hard to find very many, so I’ve cheated a bit by branching beyond YA books. Hopefully, one of these knitters will strike your reading mood this winter.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 14
10 tales of off-the-grid adventure and introspection
Alison Nastasi writes: “The son of a spiritualist and astrologer, Jack London maintained more earthly interests throughout his lifetime. He was drawn to the tangible, natural elements of the world. Through his own mythos, he pondered the internal monologue of man and beast in those conditions. January 12 was White Fang and The Call of the Wild author’s birthday, and we’re celebrating with 10 books that also go off the grid. These fictional and true-life tales highlight the inherent adventure, mystique, and philosophical draw of stories set in the great outdoors.”...
Flavorwire, Jan. 12
Seven authors who wrote lying down
Bernd Brunner writes: “People who work lying down often don’t like to admit it. They know that their preference can quickly get them labeled as lazy. Lying down is associated with tiredness, apathy, and a lack of drive, with doing nothing, with passivity and relaxation. But for some people, a horizontal posture seems to create the optimal conditions for creativity and focus. Here are some examples of famous writers who are known to have worked in bed.”...
Huffington Post, Jan. 7
50 novels that will make you a better person
Emily Temple writes: “It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Here are 50 that will make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and more open to the experience of others.”...
Flavorwire, Jan. 13; Science, Oct. 18
I am not a careful reader
Roz Warren writes: “When I read a book, I move right in and make myself at home. I dog-ear pages, underline, highlight, and make marginal notes. I’ll use the blank pages to make shopping lists or jot down phone numbers. At the ballpark, I’ve been known to use that space to list the opening line-ups of both teams. By the time I’m through reading a book, you can definitely tell that I’ve been there. Of course, I treat library books more carefully than I do my own books.”...
Purple Clover, Jan. 12
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Gale launches high-school diploma program
Gale Cengage Learning is partnering with the country’s first accredited online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education, to offer a way for adults to earn a full high school diploma through libraries across the nation: Career Online High School. The program is launching in Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles Public Library has purchased 150 scholarships. Each scholarship will allow one returning student to earn his or her diploma from COHS. Gale executives gave a ballpark cost of $1,000 to $1,200 per scholarship but stressed that that costs would vary depending on a number of factors....
Library Journal, Jan. 9; Cengage Learning, Jan. 9
Editing Wikipedia: A contributor’s guide
Sage Ross writes: “Over the last several months, we’ve been working with the Wikimedia community and designer David Peters on a completely rewritten how-to brochure: Editing Wikipedia: A Guide to Improving Content on the Online Encyclopedia. This new brochure covers both the how and the why of editing Wikipedia, with special focus on the things that trip up new editors most often. It’s available both online and in print.”...
Wikimedia Blog, Jan. 14
Present a paper at IFLA 2014 in Lyon
Interested in presenting a paper or poster session at the World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France, next August? The content of the IFLA conference program is organized by different professional groups (sections, core programs, and special interest groups). Calls for papers should be submitted through these groups. Most deadlines for proposals are in January or February. The deadline for poster session proposals is February 3....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
World Book Night, 2014
The April 22 launch of World Book Night US in New York City will be at the New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and will feature Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Esmeralda Santiago, Walter Dean Meyers, Tobias Wolfe, Victoria Bond, and T. R. Simon. The event will be live-streamed and will be held in the Edna Barnes Salomon Room. Twenty NYPL branches will also host poetry workshops on April 23....
Bookselling This Week, Jan. 14
Sunlight Foundation’s Congress app
Daniel Cornwall writes: “Here’s a new(ish) app from the Sunlight Foundation. It is the Congress App and is available for both iOS and Android. Anyone who is interested in keeping tabs on Congress and who owns a smartphone ought to download this app. As a full-time information activist and an on-and-off political junkie and social justice person, I find this app incredibly helpful. I was also able to put it to immediate use.”...
Free Government Information, Jan. 13
A writer’s guide to government information
Daniel Cornwall writes: “I have a dream of making government information relevant to people’s lives regardless of walk of life. I think it is a dream many government information specialists/documents librarians share. In service to my dream I have created a website called Writer’s Guide to Government Information because I know many fiction writers are interested in getting things right in their stories. . ...
Free Government Information, Jan. 9
Successful strategic planning
Steve Matthews writes: “One of the hardest parts of doing strategic planning is just getting started. But there are a few fundamental questions we should answer before we simply begin. These questions need well-thought-out answers in order to have a high expectation for success. The sequence in which you answer these questions is also important, because the answers at each step will influence the answers to subsequent questions.”...
21st Century Library Blog, Jan. 13
ProQuest offers a free version of Flow
ProQuest’s collaboration and document-management tool Flow is now accessible free for researchers, including those in institutions that do not subscribe to the service. Flow manages researcher workflows, enabling users to discover and manage content, store and organize documents, and (through integration with Microsoft Word) write papers, supported with instant bibliographies and annotation....
ProQuest, Jan. 6
Google Drive adds activity stream
Frederic Lardinois writes: “Google has added an activity stream to Google Drive that finally makes it easier for its users to track changes to documents that are shared with multiple users. This feature, Google says, will roll out over the next week, so it may be a few days before you will see it in your account. The stream will track edits and comments, as well as actions like adding new spreadsheets, renaming documents, and who a file was shared with.”...
TechCrunch, Jan. 14; Google Official Enterprise Blog, Jan. 14
Keep strangers out of your Gmail and your face out of Google ads
Alex Colon writes: “You might have received an email from Google in early January explaining changes that now let Google+ members send messages to your Gmail account without actually needing to have your email address. If you’re anything like me, you might have deleted that email before reading it. But after reading David Meyer’s take on this, I decided to opt out of this new feature, as well as Google’s new privacy agreements that allow it to use your name and photo in ads.”...
GigaOM, Jan. 10, 13
Rare book crime caper: The Oath of a Freeman
Travis McDade writes: “On March 14, 1985, Mark Hofmann, a Utah man just starting to make a name for himself in East Coast book-collecting circles, phoned Justin Schiller, a New York rare book dealer with whom he had a relationship. Hofmann confided that he may have accidentally purchased The Oath of a Freeman broadside on a recent trip to New York, a claim akin to that of finding the winning Powerball ticket on the sidewalk. The Oath of a Freeman is the Holy Grail of United States printing.”...
The Millions, Jan. 7
Always check the endpapers
Mitch Fraas writes: “I’m always delighted to find print nesting within what we tend to describe as manuscript and vice versa. I was browsing through one of our 18th-century manuscript commonplace books (UPenn Ms. Codex 782) a few months ago trying to identify the text when I noticed several printed pieces pasted onto the endpapers and rear board of the manuscript. I snapped some pictures and moved on. Later, looking back at the picture and reading the text, I realized we had two remarkable and unique pieces of print.”...
Unique at Penn, Jan. 9
Growing up in the Webster Library
Kristy Raffensberger writes: “There are many people who say the library played an important role in their childhood. But for Kenneth Choquette, the library was—quite literally—his home. Ken’s grandfather, John Mahon, was the custodian at the Webster branch of the New York Public Library from approximately 1940 to 1971. In those days, mostly because of the coal furnace, being a custodian was a twenty-four hour job. At the very top of Webster, up a back staircase, was Ken’s home: a four-room apartment.”...
New York Public Library blogs, Jan. 8
Infographics lie: Here’s how to spot the b.s.
Randy Olson writes: “Faced with an unprecedented torrent of information, data scientists have turned to the visual arts to make sense of big data. The result of this unlikely marriage—often called ‘data visualizations’ or ‘infographics’—has repeatedly provided us with new and insightful perspectives on the world around us. However, time and time again we have seen that data visualizations can easily be manipulated. Here are three easy steps we can follow to save ourselves from getting duped in the data deluge.”...
Fast Company, Jan. 6
13 words you probably didn’t know Shakespeare invented
Like precalculus and Newton’s laws, Shakespeare’s plays are among the most groaned-about high school topics, begetting the complaint: “When will I ever need to know about this in real life?” Turns out, pretty often. Shakespeare can be credited for the invention of thousands of words that are now an everyday part of the English language (including, but not limited to, “eyeball,” “fashionable,” and “manager.”)...
Huffington Post, Jan. 14
A quick guide to library cats
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “There are currently over 300 living resident library cats throughout the world, 200+ of which reside in the US according to the Library Cat Map. Library cats have been welcomed as rodent-killers since the early 19th century in Europe and even dating back to ancient times in Egypt in the libraries of temples. Here are six famous library cats, as well as resources to find out about many more.”...
iLibrarian, Jan. 9
Mildly attractive men of SLIS calendars for 2014
The heroic males of the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science have stood against the injustices foisted upon ineligible bachelors for seven consecutive years through the production of their Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS calendars. This year, the models have represented the one constant in the life of the painfully common man—retro video games. Calendars are $19 each (postage included) and are available for purchase directly from the school....
University of South Carolina SLIS
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