AL Direct masthead

American Libraries Online | ALA News | Booklist Online
Philadelphia Update | Division News | Awards & Grants | Libraries in the News
Issues | Tech Talk | E-Content | Books & Reading | Tips & Ideas
Libraries on Film | Digital Library of the Week | Calendar

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 22, 2014

Simmons GSLIS

American Psychological Association

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Queens Library rebuilds its storm-damaged branchesHow libraries are faring since Hurricane Sandy
It is sobering to realize that communities are still struggling to recover from the October 2012 devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. Libraries—not all of them intact post-Sandy themselves—nonetheless offered relief to their communities. Emergency services included daytime shelter, reading and programming as a respite from the trauma experienced, and a headquarters for filing insurance claims. But how have the libraries themselves fared?...
American Libraries feature

The Edge Initiative logoHow to get The Edge on technology access
Larra Clark and Mary Hirsh write: “The Edge Initiative, a management and leadership tool library staff can use to evaluate and strengthen public access technology services, is beginning a nationwide rollout in January. Three years in the making, the Edge was developed by a national coalition of library and local government organizations, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and facilitated by the Urban Libraries Council. OITP and PLA are among the coalition members.”...
American Libraries feature

Old World Labs 3D printerCES 2014: 3D printing
Jason Griffey writes: “For the first time, the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show featured an area specifically for 3D printing in the exhibit hall. This was a great idea, although it did put small, independent 3D printer manufacturers next to behemoths of the field like 3D Systems, Stratasys, and MakerBot (who, while owned by Stratasys, had its own separate booth). The fun of CES 2014 and 3D printing came from these other, smaller vendors that were doing interesting things with the technology. My favorites were Hyrel3D and Old World Labs (OWL).”...
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22

3D prints made out of paperCES 2014 wrap-up
Jason Griffey writes: “What did I learn at CES 2014 this year that might affect libraries? I learned that the 3D printing space is still exploding with options, that 4K video is probably just a year or so from widespread adoption, and that the Internet of Things and wearable tech are still fairly young technologies that have a long way to go before they merit serious consideration.”...
AL: The Scoop, Jan. 22

Go back to the Top


ALA News

What’s happening: A pre-Midwinter update
A handy guide to hot topics, locations, phone numbers, socials, participatory learning, member initiative groups, the placement center, exhibits, upcoming events, and getting around Philadelphia. The Midwinter program book is also available online for your previewing....
ALA Connect, Jan. 17

Spencer AckermanInside the NSA leak
Want to hear inside information about the National Security Agency revelations? Get the “story behind the story” from Spencer Ackerman (right), national security editor for the online Guardian US website, at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Ackerman will discuss the ways that the NSA revelations have shaken the American perception of privacy during the Washington Update session on January 25....
Office of Government Relations, Jan. 21

Revisiting CIPA, 10 years later
It’s been 10 years since the Children’s Internet Protection Act was upheld by the US Supreme Court as constitutional. During the past decade, how have libraries coped with the law’s filtering requirements? Join library leaders at “Revisiting the Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later,” an interactive session on January 26 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 21

The ebook revolution expands
Over the past year, what has ALA done to improve access to ebooks and other digital content? Hear about recent Digital Content Working Group activities at the Midwinter session, “ALA and Digital Content: DCWG Directions and the Author-Library Relationship,” on January 25. Panelists will explore new opportunities for collaboration between libraries and authors....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 21

Google Book Search update
Librarians applauded last November when the US District Court protected Google’s searchable book database by calling Google Book Search a fair use under the copyright law. But is the case over, given that the Authors Guild has already filed an appeal? On January 26, Google Legal Counsel Fred von Lohmann will discuss the court ruling of the eight-year Google Book Search lawsuit at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....
Office for Information Technology Policy, Jan. 21

Cover of News Know-how Initiative digital supplementNews Know-how digital supplement
ALA has released a digital supplement focusing on the two-year News Know-how news literacy initiative. The project, conducted in 2012–2013 by the Office for Intellectual Freedom using grant funds provided by the Open Society Foundations, involved librarians, journalists, news ethicists, and students nationwide. Using libraries as “newsrooms,” high school students were taught how to engage in a nonpartisan, critical analysis of news and information....
Public Information Office, Jan. 21

Some of the participants in the 2013 Leadership Institute2014 ALA Leadership Institute
“Leading to the Future,” the four-day immersive leadership development program for 40 mid-career librarians, will be offered again August 10–14 at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois. Led by ALA Past-President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss, the institute will help future library leaders develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of their libraries. The application process will be open February 3–April 25....
Office of ALA Governance, Jan. 17

RDA Toolkit price change, January 1
RDA Toolkit released a new pricing model, effective January 1. This change makes introducing and implementing RDA: Resource Description and Access more accessible for small cataloging departments, distributing the cost per user across all sizes of institutions. This simplified pricing model combines solo and one-user site subscriptions into one option, making it easier to subscribe and renew. RDA Toolkit also offers a 50% discount to LIS programs for instructors and students based on the number of users needed per school year....
RDA Toolkit

The Gabby Douglas Story education guidePromoting African American History Month
The Lifetime Network and the Campaign for America’s Libraries are working together to promote African American History Month by encouraging television viewers to experience the inspirational story of Gabby Douglas. The Gabby Douglas Story, a Lifetime Original movie, premieres on February 1 and tells the story of how Douglas defied the odds to become a two-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics at the age of 16. An education guide (PDF file) accompanying the movie is available....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Jan. 21

Samuel Johnson ponders ALA's Code of ConductConduct unbecoming a library conference
Karen Schneider writes: “A passel of librarians just did two very cool things. First they pulled together on their own to synthesize existing ALA policies to create a code of conduct statement for ALA conferences—an action that makes ALA a safer space for people vulnerable to harassment. Then these librarians worked through the system to get ALA’s Executive Board to approve the statement. Needless to say, once these cool things happened, Complaints Were Voiced.”...
Free Range Librarian, Jan. 18

Go back to the Top

Booklist Booklandia

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel PhilbrickFeatured review: Adult nonfiction (archive)
Philbrick, Nathaniel. Why Read Moby-Dick?. Oct. 2011. 130p. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-02299-1).
“What a book Melville has written!” Hawthorne exclaimed upon first reading Moby-Dick. More than 150 years later, Philbrick echoes Hawthorne’s enthusiasm. Although he repudiates the various interpretations of Melville’s White Whale as a symbol of this or that human nemesis, Philbrick sees in Melville’s story of the whale a mythically capacious emblem of the nation that incubated it—pulsing with poetic imagination, threatened by grim contradictions, and doomed to a devastating catastrophe. Readers thus come to recognize, for instance, how Melville’s portrayal of the Pequod’s pious but hard-hearted owners mirrors the bifurcation separating the nation’s high-spirited idealism from its real-world addiction to the profits of slavery....

At Leisure with Joyce SaricksAt Leisure: Landing a whale
Joyce Saricks writes: “The time has come to account for the two RA goals I set last January. I said I would listen to Moby-Dick and write about each book I read or listened to in 2013 on Goodreads. I’m declaring victory, but it’s been hard-won. I discovered that writing about every book is a daunting task. I’ve long kept an author-title list of every book I read, and I have fairly extensive notes on most books. I was hoping this goal would spur me to keep up-to-date on my notes and then to write about the books as well. I chose to put my annotations on Goodreads, a popular internet forum for readers.”...

Don’t miss Booklist in Philadelphia
Keir Graff writes: “If you read my ‘Great Reads: The Mean Streets of Philadelphia,’ you may be considering changing your travel plans to a destination such as, oh, say, Disney World—but, rest assured, the aisles of the Pennsylvania Convention Center will be 100% free of murder, skulduggery, and the visible effects of a troubling legacy of systemic economic inequality. (There may be a little backbiting and the occasional mean-spirited remark, but trust me, it will be safe for us bookish types.) If you do brave the unpredictable skies to attend, you’ll find it well worthwhile.”...

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

Go back to the Top

Philadelphia Update

Weather news
Valerie Hawkins in the ALA Library put together this Facebook list that brings together news and photos about weather conditions in Philadelphia. Check the status of your flight to Philadelphia at the airport homepage. You can also call the airport’s toll-free flight number, (800) 745-4283, as well as your airline.
Philadelphia International Airport

Fire pits at The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest, Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus BoulevardFireside dining
Kristina Jenkins writes: “Chilly, snowy weather leaves us longing for warm meals and even warmer environs. With just a little planning, a cozy fireside seat at a Philadelphia dining destination can be easily had. Escape the chill and snuggle up by the fire at any of the numerous bars and restaurants around the city that offer dining near a hearth or fire pit. Remember, though, call the restaurant ahead in inclement weather to be sure the kitchen is open and the fires are blazing.”...
Uwishunu, Jan. 3

Center City District Restaurant Week logoIt’s Philadelphia Restaurant Week
Midwinter Meeting-goers can take advantage of the fact that Center City District Restaurant Week is taking place January 19–24 and 26–31. Participating restaurants offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person. In addition, many participating restaurants will also offer a three-course lunch for $20....
Center City District / Central Philadelphia Development Corporation

Blue Figs Sandwich at Wedge + Fig, 160 North 3rd StreetQuick eats in Philadelphia
Holly Tomren writes: “First of all, Reading Terminal Market is the easiest answer to all your breakfast, lunch, and snacking needs during the conference. Philadelphia is also a great town for food trucks. Here are some good places to grab a quick meal. See also our list of coffee shops for more coffee and nibbles options, and our list of restaurants for more sit-down eating options.”...
SuperPlus Eats Philly, Jan. 21

Philadelphia Zoo penguins enjoying the snowPhiladelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo, located in the Centennial District on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, was the first zoo in the United States. Chartered on March 21, 1859, its opening was delayed by the Civil War until July 1, 1874. It is also the first to implement an animal travel system that is designed to allow a wide variety of species to travel to other locations on the zoo property. The zoo is 42 acres and is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of which are rare and endangered....
Philadelphia Zoo; Wikipedia; New York Times, June 14, 2013

Mural Arts Program walking tourMural Arts Program
The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. See the world’s largest collection of outdoor public art during an official tour. All tours include details about the murals, the artistic process, the artists, and the history of the diverse communities that serve as the backdrop for this unique art form. Public tour options include walking, trolley, and bicycle....
City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Copy of Rodin's The KissRodin Museum
The Rodin Museum at 2201-2299 Benjamin Franklin Parkway contains the largest collection of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s works outside Paris. The collection of more than 140 bronzes, marbles, and plasters includes casts of the artist’s greatest works, including The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell. The museum offers a daily tour at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday....
Rodin Museum

Distrito isn't only a great place for dinner and drinks, it's also home to Taco Tuesday, a killer deal on tacos and beverages every Tuesday nightThings to do after dark
Jillian Wilson writes: “Just because chilly nights are on tap for the next few months doesn’t mean that the city shuts down at sunset. There are tons of evening events to keep the good times going all season long. From cooking classes and a drag showcase to late-night happy hours and after-hours museum events, there are nighttime happenings every night of the week all across the City of Brotherly Love. We have broken them up by day, for easy skimming for weeknight and weekend planning.”...
Uwishunu, Jan. 13

Lansdowne TheatreThe historic Lansdowne Theatre
Cinema fans might want to pay a visit to the iconic Lansdowne Theatre at 29 North Lansdowne Avenue in the suburb of Lansdowne. Although it is still under renovation after closing in 1987, director David O. Russell brought the theater to life for one of the famous scenes in the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook. Private tours for four people at a time can sometimes be arranged for a $100 tax-deductible contribution....
Philadelphia magazine, Nov. 1; Historic Lansdowne Theatre Corporation

How does overbooking work?
Brett Snyder writes: “Overbooking is one of those things that people hate, but it actually provides a benefit. Every time an airplane takes off with an empty seat, it’s a missed opportunity. Even if airlines sell every seat, there’s a good chance that not everyone will show up. Because of this, airlines began overbooking flights. You might think that airlines hate when they have to bump people, but that’s not really true. They hate when they have to involuntarily bump people. Let me explain.”...
The Cranky Flier, Jan. 21

Go back to the Top


Division News

Jeff Kinney for School Library MonthJeff Kinney for School Library Month
Jeff Kinney (right), bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has been named the national spokesperson for the 2014 observance of School Library Month. Celebrated in April and sponsored by AASL, School Library Month honors the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career....
AASL, Jan. 21

Powerful Partnerships archiveOn-demand learning offered on eCOLLAB
With the addition of the newly archived webinar, “Powerful Partnerships: Libraries, Technology, and the Common Core,” AASL’s eCOLLAB repository continues its tradition of offering relevant on-demand professional development for school librarians. While content on eCOLLAB is intended for AASL members and subscribers, AASL is offering all members of the profession complimentary access to “Powerful Partnerships.”...
AASL, Jan. 21

Nicola McDonald named YALSA board fellow
The YALSA board of directors has chosen Nicola McDonald, senior librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, as its 2014–2015 Board Fellow. McDonald will begin serving as Board Fellow on June 30. The Board Fellow program gives one YALSA member an expanded opportunity to be involved in the leadership of the division....
YALSA, Jan. 21

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

Libraries Transforming Communities logoLibraries Transforming Communities grant opportunity
The Public Programs Office is accepting applications for the Libraries Transforming Communities Public Innovators Cohort, an 18-month, team-based professional development opportunity for public libraries developed by ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. In April, up to 50 individuals representing teams from 10 public libraries nationally will be selected to participate. Guidelines and application instructions can be found online. A conference call for interested applicants will be held on February 12....
Public Programs Office, Jan. 21

What I love about the Best Fiction for YAs list
Christiana Congelio writes: “I love book awards more than any other award. But you know what I love even more than an award? Lists of awesome books that are all uniquely rad but all completely worthy of my precious reading time. I look forward to ALA’s Youth Media Awards on January 27, especially YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Here is a list of things I love about that award.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 15

2014 Maureen Hayes Award
ALSC has awarded the 2014 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the Keene (N.H.) Public Library. The award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author or illustrator who will speak to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Well-known author Andrea Davis Pinkney will speak about her work and the Civil Rights Movement at the Jonathan Daniels Elementary School and present a public lecture for the community....
ALSC, Jan. 17

2014 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant
ALSC has awarded the 2014 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to the Chesterfield County (Va.) Public Library. This grant is designed to encourage outstanding summer reading programs by providing financial assistance, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. The library will use the grant funds for its therapy dogs program, “Paws to read.”...
ALSC, Jan. 17

St. Louis Public Library's Central Library restorationSt. Louis Public Library wins AIA Honor Award (PDF file)
The American Institute of Architects announced on January 10 that St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library restoration and renewal project is one of 11 winners of its 2014 Institute Honor Award for Architecture. This is the second AIA award of national significance that the library and Cannon Design have won in the last 12 months, the first being the AIA/ALA Library Building Award in May 2013....
St. Louis Public Library, Jan. 21; American Institute of Architects, Jan. 10

Cover of ICF evaluation of the grant programAn assessment of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program
The Institute of Museum and Library Services on January 17 released the results of an independent study of its Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. IMLS launched the LB21 grant program in 2003 to support projects that recruit and educate a new generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders, and to support research about the library services field. Here are several themes that emerged from the evaluation....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 17

Cover of Like Dreamers2013 National Jewish Book Award winners
The Jewish Book Council announced the winners of its 63rd Annual National Jewish Book Awards on January 15. The Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award was given to Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Halevi (HarperCollins), in which history comes alive in a brilliant depiction of the parachuters who reunited Jerusalem and liberated the Suez Canal in 1967. The winners in all the categories will be honored on March 5 at an awards ceremony in Manhattan....
Jewish Book Council, Jan. 15

Cover of Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Indian writer Cyrus Mistry has won the 2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer. The $50,000 prize, given to a novelist writing on South Asian themes, was announced at the Jaipur Literature Festival on January 18. The book tells the painful story of love within the small Parsi community of corpse bearers in Mumbai. Their job is to cleanse the body of a deceased and prepare it for the final journey....
DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, Jan. 18

Go back to the Top

AL Live

Libraries in the News

The 4th floor of the Chattanooga Public LibraryThe library of the future is here
Brian Resnick writes: “The library of the 21st century still has books, but it also has 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, and spaces for conducting business meetings. It offers computer coding classes. It has advanced video- and audio-production software. In 2013, the downtown Chattanooga (Tenn.) Public Library cleared out its entire fourth floor (above)—14,000 square feet of former storage space—and created a community collaboration space. It’s part public workshop, part technology petting zoo. Users can also work on projects or try to launch a business.” Read more on Chattanooga here....
National Journal, Jan. 21; The Library As Incubator Project, Jan. 21

BiblioTech branch library at Bexar County Courthouse. Photo by Eva Ruth Moravec/San Antonio Express-NewsA new bookless branch library
Without pomp and circumstance, Bexar County, Texas, quietly opened a new branch (right) of its all-digital BiblioTech library January 16 in the central jury room of its courthouse in San Antonio. The branch consists of a counter staffed by two employees Mondays through Thursdays and a separate kiosk where books can be checked out by residents serving on jury duty or doing business at the courthouse. Information about the BiblioTech branch now is included on jury summons....
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, Jan. 15

Librarian reacted swiftly to West Virginia water crisis
Connie Schultz writes: “Morgan Paul’s evening on January 9 began as it usually does after a full day as director of Boone-Madison (W.Va.) Public Library. After dinner, she clicked onto her computer to check out the latest local news. That’s how she found out something was wrong with the drinking water in Boone County. Mindful of the patrons at the four libraries in her charge, Paul got into her car and headed to the Dollar General to purchase jugs of water.”...
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Jan. 17

Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library CenterStudy: Chicago Public Library ranks third in the world
A new study ranks the Chicago Public Library number one in the United States and number three in the world, ahead of Shanghai (5th), Singapore (7th), New York (9th), Beijing (13th), Hong Kong (17th), and London (30th). Conducted by three information-science researchers from the University of Düsseldorf, the study (PDF file) compared the websites and social media activities of 31 major public libraries (five of them in the US) to get their results. CPL’s high-tech Maker Lab and new website show that this is a library to watch. Read this interview with CPL Commissioner Brian Bannon....
City of Chicago, Jan. 20; Libri 63, no. 4 (2013): 295–319; AL: The Scoop, Nov. 22, Dec. 20; Chicago Tribune: Blue Sky Innovation, Jan. 21

Hundreds of LA school libraries without staff, shuttered
As many as 145 schools across Los Angeles Unified School District may have closed their libraries. The district said it does not have a tally of shuttered libraries, but figures show schools and the district have hired only a fraction of the library aides needed to operate libraries in every public school. The district has 457 elementary schools, but only 380 schools have at least a part-time library aide. That translates into about one in five schools that can’t open their libraries....
KPCC-FM, Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 16

Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie StameyPayment delays cause library headaches in Ravalli County
After the treasurer’s office in Ravalli County, Montana, failed to distribute tax receipts collected for the first half the year, libraries and other county offices resorted to dipping into reserves to keep their doors open. The Darby Community Library isn’t buying books and won’t be able to operate much longer if the situation doesn’t rectify itself, and the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton was almost $190,000 behind in tax funding in early January. Newly appointed treasurer Valerie Stamey (above), accused of improprieties in another state, could lose her job over the situation....
Hamilton (Mont.) Ravalli Republic, Jan. 8, 18–19; Stevensville (Mont.) Bitterroot Star, Jan. 8

Waukegan library offers Spanish-language GED
The Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library started a volunteer-led Spanish-language GED class in 2013 after hearing from a growing number of patrons who said they had failed to pass a pre-test administered by the College of Lake County. Some came in search of the four-inch-thick GED test prep book, but didn’t know “how to even begin to study,” according to Carmen Patlan, library manager of Spanish literacy services. The library’s class is structured to include educational levels from 2nd through 8th grade....
Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun, Jan. 18

Books and manuscripts from the Evelyn Waugh collectionThe Huntington acquires Evelyn Waugh collection
The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, has acquired an extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts by Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966), considered one of the greatest English prose satirists of the 20th century. The trove—with some 250 rare books and reference books and 135 letters and manuscripts—is a gift of Loren and Frances Rothschild. The Waugh collection significantly strengthens the Huntington’s holdings in 20th-century literature....
The Huntington Library, Jan. 16

The fifth-floor teachers' room in what was then the Chicago Public Library, 1926A new name for Chicago’s former library building?
Deanna Isaacs writes: “On November 13, a Chicago alderman introduced a resolution in city council calling for a hearing to rename the Chicago Cultural Center, which originally served as the main Chicago Public Library, the Eleanor ‘Sis’ Daley Cultural Center. The thousands of Chicagoans who flocked to see this palace of culture when it opened in October 1897 were dazzled, as visitors still are today. The interior—five stories on one side, four on the other—is a symphony of marble, mosaics, elaborately coffered ceilings, and sweeping staircases, capped by two huge stained-glass domes.”...
Chicago Reader, Dec. 30

Health Canada building in OttawaScientists upset over Health Canada library closure
Scientists at Health Canada, the federal department responsible for public health, are so concerned about losing access to their research library that they are finding work-arounds, with one squirreling away journals and books in his basement for colleagues to consult. The draft report from a consultant hired by the department warned it not to close its library, but the report was rejected as flawed. The collection was moved to the National Science Library on the Ottawa campus of the National Research Council in 2013. John Dupuis has some excellent background on what is happening to Canadian libraries....
CBC News, Jan. 20;, Jan. 16

The Friends of Books Chain, inside the new library. Photo by John LubansHuman book chain in Latvia
John Lubans writes: “On January 18, I was in Riga, Latvia, to participate in the Grāmatu draugu ķēde (Friends of Books Chain) that moved thousands of plastic-encased books from the old National Library in the City Center across the old stone bridge over the River Daugava to the nearly completed new building (The Castle of Light). The temperature was 1° F., but Latvians (including soldiers), Estonians, Lithuanians, and a few Americans came out and handled books, sang folk songs, and wept happy tears as the first book was delivered and made its way through a multitude of hands up to the display shelves far above the main floor.”...
Leading from the Middle, Jan. 21

Go back to the Top


A portion of the EFF's Obama scorecardRating Obama’s NSA reform plan
Cindy Cohn and Parker Higgins write: “On January 17, President Obama announced a series of reforms to address abuses by the National Security Agency. In his speech, the President ensured that National Security Letters would not come with perpetual gag orders, brought new levels of transparency and fairness to the FISA court, and ended bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA. We’ve put together a scorecard showing how Obama’s announcements stack up against 12 common-sense fixes.” ALA President Barbara Stripling also reacted to the announcement....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jan. 17; ALA Office of Government Relations, Jan. 17

Every Vote Counts buttonEveryLibrary 2013 annual report
John Chrastka writes: “2013 was our inaugural year as the first national political action committee for libraries. In 2013, more than 350 individual, corporate, and union donors provided financial support for EveryLibrary to work on seven library campaigns, support campaign planning with six other communities, speak at numerous in-person and online events about campaign-style library advocacy, and secure over $15 million in basic funding through tax support for libraries.”...
EveryLibrary, Jan. 15

Association of European Research Libraries logoEuropean librarians: Copyright input needed
Through February 5, librarians in European Union countries can share opinions on copyright with the European Commission through its Copyright Consultation. The Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) has gone through the consultation, highlighted some of the most relevant areas, and produced this guide that can be used to construct an informed response....
Association of European Research Libraries, Jan. 13

Betting on the book
Steve Coffman writes: “Get over it. The library is about books. Celebrate it. Exploit it. Don’t abandon it. If someday soon people are reading everything from the Bible to the Kama Sutra, Pat the Bunny, and Goodnight Moon on their iPads, phones, and tablets, there will be little use for the library as we know it. So I suggest we take the opposite tack and stop trying to reinvent ourselves and run away from who we are and what we do, and focus on books for a change.”...
Ken Haycock & Associates, Jan. 21

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Race Yourself is an augmented reality excercise app for Glass20 things you actually can do with Glass
Steve Dembo writes: “Right now the apps available for Google Glass are very limited. As of the time I typed this blog post, there are 32 apps. That’s it. But if you’re willing to sideload, that all changes. Sideloading refers to taking an app and loading it directly to Glass via USB. You have to put your ‘geek pants’ on to do it too, by installing the Android SDK and then adding or removing apps through the command line. But if you’re willing to take a walk on the wild side, there are some incredible apps available.”...
Teach42, Jan. 15

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear HeadphonesThe best headphones for running
Eugene Kim and Meredith Popolo write: “Before you sprint to the store, read our tips on how to buy the right headphones. You’ll want to consider which features are most important to you. Is comfort, fit, sound quality, price, or style your priority? Maybe you’ve had it with tangled wires, or a flailing arm has sent your iPod tumbling down the treadmill one too many times. In this case you might find a wireless pair of earphones more convenient. So before you lace up, check out these great pairs of running headphones. On your mark, get set, go....
PC Magazine, Jan. 20–21

Beats Music logoWhat is the best streaming music service?
Alyssa Bereznak writes: “On January 21, Beats Music—a new streaming music service from the Dr. Dre–associated Beats Electronics—launched, offering music lovers yet another choice for how to stream their jams and upping the competition to such entrenched services as Spotify and Rdio. We’ve gathered a list of the pros and cons of all of the most promising streaming music services, to make it easier for you to decide which one deserves your hard-earned cash. Let’s start with the newcomer.”...
Yahoo! Tech, Jan. 21

Photoshop gets support for 3D printing
Leslie Horn writes: “Adobe is updating Photoshop to let you create 3D-printable files within the program. The update is now available for free for existing Creative Cloud subscribers, or for $50 for new sign-ups. It converts models into STL, OBJ, 3DS, Collada, and KMZ files, which can then be exported to a MakerBot machine, outsourced to Shapeways (another online printing service), or uploaded to Behance for anyone else to see. Pretty simple, if you are at all familiar with the process of 3D printing.”...
Gizmodo, Jan. 16

Reset your router cablesHow to troubleshoot wireless router problems
Chris Hoffman writes: “Are you having a problem with your internet connection or Wi-Fi? Whatever the problem—from a flaky connection to Wi-Fi troubles or even no access to the internet at all—some router troubleshooting could fix things. Some of this also applies to your modem, although many internet service providers are handing out combined router-modem units these days. Your wireless router and modem may actually be the same device.”...
How-To Geek, Jan. 21

Left to right: George R. Perreault, head of the LC Data Processing Offiice, standing at the computer storage unit; Ernest Acosta Jr., digital computer programmer, working at the card reader unit; and Joseph B. Murphy, digital computer programmer, inserting a new tape in one of the tape units, January 20, 1964A half century of library computing at LC
Audrey Fischer writes: “On January 15, 1964, the first components of a small-scale computer system were delivered to the Library of Congress and installed in the newly established Data Processing Office. The IBM 1401 (right) was intended for use in payroll, budget control, card distribution billing, accounting for book and periodical purchases, and to produce various statistical and management reports. One week later, the library announced the results of a multiyear study on the feasibility of automating its bibliographic functions.”...
Library of Congress Blog, Jan. 15

Go back to the Top


SchoolhouseSchool libraries and the fight for e-content
James LaRue writes: “The world of e-content has so far focused on academic librarians, who were first to immerse their institutions in digital repositories and open access, and public librarians, who struggled to fold the new e-content market into their already crowded offerings. But Chris Harris has been a voice for a too-often-forgotten or overlooked segment of librarianship: our beleaguered school libraries.”...
AL: E-Content, Jan. 16; Jan. 13, 2012

E-reading rises as device ownership jumps
The proportion of Americans who read ebooks is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions. The percentage of adults who read an ebook in the past year has risen to 28%, up from 23% at the end of 2012. At the same time, about seven in 10 Americans reported reading a book in print, up four percentage points after a slight dip in 2012, and 14% of adults listened to an audiobook. Read the full report....
Pew Research Center, Jan. 16

Netherlands libraries establish national ebook service (PDF file)
A new ebook lending service launched January 21 by public libraries in the Netherlands will allow multiple users to read the same ebook at the same time. Dutch librarians have teamed up with publishers to develop a new lending model by which a fee is paid for each ebook circulated. This is an international first for the Netherlands. A total of 5,000 ebooks was available initially....
De Bibliotheek, Jan. 21

Oyster homepageAre there pearls in this Oyster?
James LaRue writes: “The offer is ‘unlimited ebooks for just $9.95 a month.’ This new service, Oyster, has a fresh, clean, appealing interface. It runs on iOS 7 devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch). At this writing, Oyster has about 800 publishers on board. This kind of Netflix experience feels like streaming, although in fact the files are downloadable EPUBs, with DRM. What’s not to like? Well....”
AL: E-Content, Jan. 20

Simon & Schuster logoSimon & Schuster expands ebook pilot
Rob Maier writes: “Simon & Schuster announced on January 16 through a joint press release that it is expanding its library ebook lending pilot to 12 large public libraries and three library consortia through OverDrive. The pilot began in April 2013 with 3M and Baker & Taylor and was limited to the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public libraries. Libraries participating in the pilot must offer a Buy it Now (BIN) opportunity to library users.”...
AL: E-Content, Jan. 21; Publishers Weekly, Jan. 16

Project aims to let libraries share ebooks
Several libraries in central Massachusetts are among 51 statewide that are participating in the state’s ebook pilot project, an effort to have a shared ebook program for the 1,700 libraries that are members of the Massachusetts Library System. One of the main goals of the pilot, which began in November and runs through the end of April, is to encourage vendors and publishers to provide libraries with all ebooks the public can buy and at a similar price....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette, Jan. 16

Organize your books with CollectionsA student’s guide to using the Kindle for research
Thorin Klosowski writes: “The Kindle can be an excellent tool for student research. When used correctly, it can essentially operate as a portable tool to keep all your books, notes, and research in one place. Here’s how to turn a Kindle into a research companion. Since the Kindle is easily the most popular e-reader, we decided to concentrate on its features here, but many of these tips apply to other e-readers or reading apps.”...
Lifehacker, Jan. 16

Cover of Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe, edited by Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrickGetty Publications launches virtual library
Getty Publications launched a Virtual Library on January 21 that provides free online access to more than 250 of its backlist titles. The books are available to read online or download as PDFs. The publications, the earliest of which dates from 1966, span the Getty’s rich publishing history, and include exhibition catalogs, essential historical research, translations, journals, and key resources....
Getty Trust, Jan. 21

Go back to the Top

RSSFacebook YouTubePinterest

Follow @amlibraries

American Chemical Society

2014 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, Philadelphia, January 24–28. As you get ready to leave and once you arrive, get updates and stay in touch at the Midwinter website by using the Midwinter Scheduler, tracking the #alamw14 hashtag, joining the Facebook Event, or on Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also view or download the Midwinter program book and exhibits directory. See you in Philadelphia!

Recorded Books

Adam Matthew Digital


Project Muse

AL Live

Cover of Essential Law for Information Professionals

As the world of information law grows in complexity, it becomes increasingly difficult for librarians and information professionals to understand how courtroom decisions should guide day-to-day choices. Essential Law for Information Professionals offers up-to-date and easy-to-follow practical advice, cutting through the legalese to provide answers in an easily digestible format. Giving readers the tools needed to quickly assess legal hazards and identify solutions, Paul Pedley’s book includes new and up-to-date coverage of UK and EU legal topics. NEW! From ALA Editions.

on Film


Thor (2011). After his laptop is stolen, Stellan Skarsgård as scientist Erik Selvig uses a public computer at a New Mexico library to email a colleague. While he is there, he happens upon a book of Norse mythology.

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2007). Retired Beijing widower Mr. Shi (Henry O) decides to visit his divorced daughter Yilan (Faye Yu), who works as a librarian at Gonzaga University’s Chastek Law Library in Spokane, Washington.

Three Days of the Condor

Three Days of the Condor (1975). Robert Redford as CIA spy Joe Turner spends his time looking for coded messages in books and magazines at the American Literary Historical Society library in New York City.

The Three Lives of Karen

The Three Lives of Karen (1997, made for TV). Jemila Ericson plays a librarian.

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.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Chief Librarian, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library. As the Executive Vice President in charge of public service, the Chief Librarian works in concert with other members of the senior management team to deliver transformative library services and spaces to the residents of Brooklyn. The Chief Librarian reports directly to the President and CEO. Duties include: develop and execute the Library’s strategic vision as it pertains to public service delivery; manage the public service staffing and programming for the Central and neighborhood libraries; implement new and interesting ways to expand our user base and improve access to the library’s collections and services....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Hand-drawn Fraktur alphabet in capital letters, ca. 1825 - ca. 1850

The Fraktur Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia is an outstanding digital example of American folk art. It is a treasure to anyone interested in Pennsylvania German history and decorative arts. With more than 1,000 Fraktur documents and related books, this assemblage includes an astonishing variety of Fraktur themes and reveals a diversity of artistic styles. The collection represents more than a century of Fraktur documents made in many different townships and print shops. Its historic and geographic breadth also provides genealogists with a rich resource for tracing personal and family histories.

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

No living organism chooses to reduce the amount of oxygen that goes to its brain, and no healthy community chooses to close its libraries. The result is a reduction of consciousness and a dimming of the light.”

—Larry Deckman, member of the Eugene (Oreg.) Public Library Foundation, on the city’s proposed closure of two branches, “Library Supporters Stand against Cutting Branches,Eugene (Oreg.) Register-Guard, Jan. 22.

If you want to justify closing a library, you make access difficult and then you say it is hardly used.”

—Retired Health Canada pathologist Rudi Mueller, on the closing of the Health Canada Research Library in 2013, CBC News, Jan. 20.

@ More quotes...


Feb. 4:
Society for Scholarly Publishing,
2014 Librarian Focus Group, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.

Feb. 12:
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers,
Course, Prince Philip House, London. “Publication Ethics: Fraud and Misconduct.”

Feb. 20:
Amigos Library Services,
online conference. “Is RDA on Your RaDAr?”

Mar. 9–15:
Teen Tech Week.

Mar. 13–14:
National Latino Children’s Literature Conference,
University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.”

Apr. 5–8:
American Association of Community Colleges,
Annual Conference, Washington, DC. “Great Expectations: Implementing a 21st Century Student Success Agenda.”

Apr. 7–8:
Future of Libraries Survival Summit,
Washington Hilton, Washington, DC.

Apr. 10–11:
Personal Digital Archiving Conference,
Indiana State Library, Indianapolis. “Building Stronger Personal Archiving Communities.”

May 3:
Free Comic Book Day.

May 18–20:
Virginia Library Association of Paraprofessional Forum,
Annual Conference, Double Tree Koger Conference Center, Richmond. “The Social Impact of Libraries: Ever Changing Roles, Spaces, Electronic Access and Reference.”

May 27–30:
6th Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, International Conference, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey.

June 16–26:
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship,
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

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

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Phil Morehart
Phil Morehart,
Associate Editor:

Mariam Pera
Mariam Pera,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

Laurie D. Borman
Laurie D. Borman,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send news and feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

Cover of Splintered, by A. G. HowardAlice’s reading list
Colleen Seisser writes: “Having always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I was stoked for the spin-off TV series on ABC, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Though it has been met with some criticism as well as praise, I have loved watching this new take on the classic tale. As the show goes into hiatus until the spring, I started thinking about what I could read in the meantime that was similar. Also, what would Alice read? What I came up with is a list of books that Alice may have read as she got older, after her adventures in Wonderland.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 16

Cover of Super Sad True Love Story (2010), by Gary ShteyngartDystopias are excellent social barometers
Adam Sternbergh writes: “Dystopias aren’t just great literary fun, they’re excellent social barometers—the future we fear says a lot about the present-moment anxieties that plague us. And right now, we’re really fond of dystopian tales. Think The Hunger Games or Divergent or Chang-Rae Lee’s new novel On Such A Full Sea. But there are essentially two kinds of dystopian fiction: novels of extreme order and ones of extreme disorder. And the one that’s more popular at a given moment will tell you a lot about the times.”...
Huffington Post Books Blog, Jan. 15

Cover of The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin LevineThe Civil Rights Movement in YA literature
Kelly Dickinson writes: “While the major events and people of the Civil Rights Movement might be familiar, one aspect in particular is frequently under-appreciated: the incredibly significant role of children and teens. Many significant events in the 1950s occurred at places central to the lives of children and teens: schools. In 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down its monumental decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 20

Cover of A Highly Unlikely Scenario, by Rachel CantorSeven chillingly evil corporations in literature
Jason Diamond writes: “Rachel Cantor’s debut novel, A Highly Unlikely Scenario (Melville House), will appeal to fans of Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Douglas Adams. The plot, which concerns a future where fast food corporations run the world, is deliciously weird enough to work in its own warped way, walking the line between straight fantasy and fiction. The protagonist works for Neetsa Pizza—a new bizarre corporation to add to six more memorably insane big business ideas in fiction.”...
Flavorwire, Jan. 16

Cover of Dhalgren, by Samuel R. DelaneyThree SF New Wave classics
Kim Stanley Robinson writes: “The decade from 1965 to 1975 was science fiction’s so-called New Wave, when the genre took on both the turmoil of the 1960s and the literary techniques of high modernism. The mix of the two created spectacular results, as dozens of energized writers penned scores of wonderful books. To this day their impact is being recognized; 2014 will see Samuel R. Delany named the newest Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Here are three of the New Wave’s best.”...
NPR, Jan. 5

Cover of The Martian Chronicles, by Ray BradburySF books that capture their authors’ philosophies
Esther Inglis-Arkell writes: “Every book reflects the beliefs of its author, at least indirectly. But some books are the very apotheosis of their authors’ philosophies, often containing long sections devoted to ethical or moral analysis. These aren’t always the fan favorite books, nor the most popular ones by a given author. Here’s what it looks like when your favorite science fiction authors get philosophical.”...
io9, Jan. 21

WhatSay it with a GIF: Animated book reviews
Diane Colson writes: “In November, Salon published an article by Laura Miller on ‘GIFs, Memes, and Liveblogs: The Controversial New Language of Book Reviewing.’ Amateur book reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads have a considerable amount of verbal and visual freedom to express their opinions to an international audience. Hub bloggers Carla Land, Becky O’Neil, and I explore our reactions to the brave and sometimes brutal new world of customer book reviews.”...
YALSA The Hub, Jan. 21; Salon, Nov. 7

Neil Gaiman's Twitter avatar10 favorite author avatars on Twitter
John McMurtrie writes: “While publishers might not get too creative with author photos, many writers are finding another form that lets them have some fun: the Twitter avatar. Not all writers, of course, are on Twitter. But for many writers who do use Twitter, their avatars are simple, often silly ways of expressing their personalities. Here are 10 of our favorites.”...
San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 17

Poe raven scarf, from binarywinterLiterary scarves to keep you warm
Amanda Nelson writes: “I’m so cold. I’m four-layers-of-shirts, under-a-Snuggie, using-the-dog-as-a-foot-warmer cold because it’s January and I don’t, unfortunately, live in Key West. So I’ve spent the last [insert ridiculously long period of time] looking up coffee-themed sweatshirts and bookish scarves, and you get to reap the benefits of my frigid week.”...
Book Riot, Jan. 21; Food Riot, Jan. 20

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

OCLC introduces WorldCat Discovery Services
OCLC has created WorldCat Discovery Services, a new suite of cloud-based applications that brings together the FirstSearch and WorldCat Local services. Set to launch in March, the new suite will enable discovery of more than 1.3 billion electronic, digital, and physical resources in libraries around the world through a single search of both WorldCat and a central index that represents nearly 2,000 e-content collections. This will make it possible for more than 18,000 FirstSearch libraries to offer a richer discovery experience. Watch the video (2:49)....
OCLC, Jan. 22; YouTube, Jan. 22

Cover of The Story of Zahra, by Lebanese author Hanan al-ShaykhA librarian’s guide to developing an Arabic literature collection
Isabella Rowan writes: “Public libraries are often thought of as extensions of the community. The collection of the local library should be a paper and ink representation of the community demographic. If there are Arabic readers in a community, but no Arabic materials in the library, then something is very wrong. If the collection development librarian doesn’t know the language or anything about Arabic literature, starting an Arabic collection can be a daunting task. Here are some things you can do to make it easier.”...
Arabic Literature (in English), Jan. 20

An American soldier running to escape a thunderbolt in the form of the letters VD, representing venereal disease. Color lithograph by F.O. Schiffers, 1946. Wellcome Library, London. Used CC BY 3.0Wellcome Library releases 100,000 medical images
The Wellcome Library in London has placed online more than 100,000 high-resolution images from its collections in the history of medicine. The images are released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, so that they can be reused with an acknowledgment of the holding source. Treasures include an Egyptian prescription on papyrus, Paolo Mascagni’s vibrantly colored etching of an “exploded” torso, a Persian horoscope for the 15th-century prince Iskandar, and photography from Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of motion. Public Domain Review shows a representative sample....
Wellcome Library Blog, Jan. 20; Public Domain Review, Jan. 20

A visual demonstration of the science behind balloons. Photo by Amy KoesterSchool-age balloon science
Amy Koester writes: “Hot-air balloons and other flying balloon contraptions are a source of fascination for many children. Every year here in St. Louis, the Great Forest Park Balloon Race captivates and inspires wonder for many a child. But how do those balloons work? That’s the exact question, from a 3rd grader at the information desk one day, that inspired this latest school-age science program, Balloon Science.”...
ALSC Blog, Jan. 16

Screenshot from Google Earth Tour Builder videoA good Google Earth Tour Builder tutorial
Richard Byrne writes: “Google Earth Tour Builder is a slick tool for creating Google Earth tours that Google introduced in 2013. I published a video (9:14) about using the new Google Earth Tour Builder shortly after it was made available to the public. My tutorial did not include using the tilt and planned locations aspects of the tool, but Rich Treves has published a tutorial (8:10) covering those aspects that I left out.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, Jan. 16; YouTube, Nov. 13, 2013; Jan. 3

How to improve web-scale discovery relevance results
Aaron Tay writes: “In my experience, one of the most sticky issues with web-scale discovery services is the question of getting relevant results. Only three of the four major discovery companies provide a way for the library to tweak the results directly. Here are some of the implementation choices made by libraries that are trying to address flaws in relevance rankings.”...
Musings about Librarianship, Jan. 19

Writing for the mobile web
David Lee King writes: “Writing for the mobile web is a lot like all those ‘writing for the web’ articles you’ve probably seen before, but with more emphasis on scannability and engagement. Why? Because writing for the mobile web has an audience mostly using smartphones. Three things apply here.”...
David Lee King, Jan. 21

Milton Bradley's Game of Life, 19th centuryGilded Age games and toys
Lynnea Smith writes: “Post–Civil War America was a time of rapid economic growth; the middle class was expanding, while industrialization allowed for increased leisure time and expendable income. Middle- and upper-class children enjoyed play time, and new books, toys, and games were introduced to appeal to children of the era. In 1860, Milton Bradley designed and produced the board game Life (right), which was an immediate success and remains so through the 21st century.”...
Driehaus Museum Blog, Dec. 24

Library shield tattoo13 more wonderful librarian tattoos
Jill Harness writes: “We’ve already shown you 11 great librarian tattoos, but as I’m sure you can imagine, that is by no means the full extent of librarians with book-related ink. Here are 13 more librarians with fantastic tattoos related to their choice of career.” For example, Melissa Deemer’s library shield (right), open book, and “Dewey Ale” tattoos....
Mental Floss, Sept. 10, 2012; Jan. 16

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

American Libraries Magazine, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611