|American Libraries Online
Overcoming the workplace status quo
Katherine Farmer writes: “Many thoughts percolated in my brain the day I started a new library position. I considered the new technologies, theories, and trends that I had encountered in graduate school, in journal articles, at workshops, and at conferences. I wondered how I could implement some of those ideas in my new position. I wanted to make my mark and show everyone what I was capable of accomplishing. At this point I realized I needed to stop, take a breath, and think before making changes at my new library.”...
American Libraries feature
Q&A with Laurie R. King
Mariam Pera writes: “Laurie R. King (right) is the bestselling author of 23 books, known for her detective/mystery fiction, including the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes and Kate Martinelli mysteries. She spoke June 30 at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition.”...
AL: The Scoop, July 3
In Practice: Usability testing
Meredith Farkas writes: “Whatever issues I may have had with an unnamed discovery tool as a librarian, I always believed that it was an easier tool for students to use than our OPAC. And then I met Steve, a participant in an ethnographic study two colleagues and I are conducting to better understand the research habits and needs of returning students. Steve was so overwhelmed by the number of links and buttons on an item record that he couldn’t even figure out how to get to the full text of the article. That made me realize how difficult all those options make it for the novice.”...
American Libraries column, June
Walter Dean Myers dies
Beverly Goldberg writes: “Prolific and award-winning author Walter Dean Myers (right), 76, winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for the novel Monster, died July 1 after a brief illness. His first published title, a picture book called Where Does the Day Go? won the Council on Interracial Books for Children Award in 1968. Myers has received numerous ALA book awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award in 1980, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1998.”...
AL: The Scoop, July 3
Next on AL Live: The kid and teen-friendly library
Children and teenagers are a crucial group of patrons for any public library. On the next episode of American Libraries Live, we’ll discuss how we can effectively get them into the library and involved with library programs and services. Moderated by Jennifer Velasquez, coordinator of teen services for the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library System, the episode will air at 2 p.m. Eastern time on July 10....
American Libraries, July 8
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The academic library administrator’s field guide
Bryce Nelson, an experienced administrator writing from first-hand knowledge, delivers handy advice in The Academic Library Administrator’s Field Guide, published by ALA Editions. Each of its 30 topical chapters begins with an “Assertion,” a one-sentence summary allowing you to rapidly scan the book and find what you need. When you’re on the job, you can dip into this guide for ready-to-use guidance on the full range of administrator responsibilities....
ALA Editions, July 8
Copyright for academic librarians
In Copyright for Academic Librarians and Professionals, published by ALA Editions, seasoned copyright expert Rebecca P. Butler turns her attention to the unique and complex environment of higher education. This practical guidebook will show readers how to make informed decisions regarding the use and availability of print, nonprint, and online resources. Beginning with a solid grounding in the underlying principles of copyright law, Butler then moves on to specific applications....
ALA Editions, July 8
Applying user experience design
Every decision you make affects how people experience your library. Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library, published by ALA TechSource, points the way toward ensuring that your library is a welcoming space for everyone. In this useful primer, user experience librarians Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches identify 19 crucial touchpoints, such as the library website, email, furniture, parking lot, events, and newsletters....
ALA TechSource, July 7
Linked data for libraries
The creation, linking, and publishing of good quality metadata allows library collections to be discovered, accessed, and disseminated in a sustainable manner. In Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums: How to Clean, Link, and Publish your Metadata, published by ALA Editions, metadata experts Seth van Hooland and Ruben Verborgh introduce the core concepts of metadata standards and Linked Data and show how they can be applied to existing metadata....
ALA Editions, July 8
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Featured review: Fiction for youth
Holm, Jennifer L. The Fourteenth Goldfish. Aug. 2014. 208p. Grades 4–6. Random, hardcover (978-0-375-87064-4).
It’s a little strange for 11-year-old Ellie when her mother brings home a boy who looks to be about 13 but dresses like Ellie’s grandfather. But it’s a shocker when Ellie realizes that the kid is her grandfather, a scientist who has suddenly succeeded in reversing the aging process. Now sleeping in their den and newly enrolled in Ellie’s middle school, Grandpa connives with her to sneak into his old lab and swipe what he needs to continue his research. Meanwhile, Ellie comes to admire the grandfather she has barely known, listens to his stories of famous scientists, and discovers her own passion for science....
Ramona Quimby’s cousins
Sarah Hunter writes: “There’s a reason Beverly Cleary’s well-loved middle-grade series about Ramona Quimby is still in print nearly five decades after its debut: Ramona’s hopeful, grouchy, persistent, spunky, and befuddled elementary-age personality is instantly recognizable and relatable. Cleary masterfully combined realistic situations, such as Ramona’s parents’ arguments or concerns about money, with Ramona’s innocent misunderstandings, foot-stomping impatience, and wide-eyed earnestness. Here is a selection of early-middle-grade novels featuring feisty early-elementary-age girls who, like Ramona, buck gender stereotypes.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Information as a human right
Troy A. Swanson writes: “The discussion around ACRL’s new Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education is quickly growing and deepening. One area of discussion that interests me has arisen from librarians interested in critical pedagogy and critical information literacy (the application of critical pedagogy to information literacy instruction). In response to the second draft, a group of librarians has issued a call for a stronger statement within the Framework on civic engagement and social justice.”...
Tame the Web, July 7
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DCPL chosen as 2015 Arbuthnot Lecture site
ALSC announced that the 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Committee has chosen the District of Columbia Public Library as the site of the 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture featuring author and illustrator Brian Selznick (right). The honor lectureship will be held in spring 2015 in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, following several months of innovative programs sponsored by the library and numerous partners, including the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University....
ALSC, July 8
2014 Booktrust Best Book Awards
The winners in the six categories of the inaugural Booktrust Best Book Awards, which are chosen by 12,000 schoolchildren in the UK, were announced in London on July 2. The winner of the Best Story Award for 12–14-year-olds was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Other winners were Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Operation Ouch!: Your Brilliant Body by Doctor Chris and Xand van Tulleken, and Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Ed Bryan....
Booktrust, July 2
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Libraries in the News
Virginia library closes over bat problem
The Chilhowie (Va.) Public Library, a branch of the Smyth-Bland Regional Library, is closed until further notice due to a bat problem. The town has been dealing with bats in the library and community building for many years, but on June 24 one of the resident bats bit a 3-year-old girl who had to be treated for rabies. Library Director Linda Dean said the bats come into the building to roost from late May through the summer. They tend to hang from the rafters in the former school’s gymnasium and sometimes they drop down onto the floor and into boxes and book racks....
Smyth County (Va.) News, July 5
Little Free Libraries now legal in Leawood
Nine-year-old Spencer Collins put his Little Free Library back in his front yard on July 8. The Leawood (Kans.) City Council unanimously approved a temporary moratorium July 7 that exempts the little lending libraries from a city ordinance that prohibits structures in front yards. The moratorium will last until October 20. As soon as the moratorium passed, Mayor Peggy Dunn called Spencer to the front of the room to hand him a book for his library....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, July 7
Queens Library to offer pre-K classes
Two Queens (N.Y.) Library branches in Woodhaven and Astoria will soon start offering free pre-K programs, which officials believe are the first of its kind in the US. The recently renovated Woodhaven branch will kick off the program with one class of 18 children when it launches in September. The two branches were selected due to the neighborhood’s high demand for pre-K seats....
New York Daily News, July 8
B. J. Novak goes the extra mile for libraries
Steve Zalusky writes: “Many people might not know about actor, standup comedian, and author B. J. Novak’s special connection to libraries. He revealed that connection during his talk at the Closing Session of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. During the question-and-answer session, Paula Beswick, director of the Bozeman (Mont.) Public Library Foundation, asked if he would ever consider coming to the library’s annual Children’s Festival of the Book for a reading. Novak said, ‘Actually, I’m going tomorrow for the Fourth of July. So, yes.’” And he did (above), on July 6....
At Your Library, July 8
NYPL: A light in the digital dark
Jim Dwyer writes: “Joey Cabrera stands for part of most evenings on the doorstep of the Clason’s Point Library, near 172nd Street and Morrison Avenue in the Bronx. There, he taps into the Wi-Fi that seeps out of the library after it closes. He checks in on Tumblr, Snapchat, Facebook, and plays Lost Saga, a video game developed in Korea. Like most homes in his part of the Bronx, Joey’s apartment has no internet access.” Surveys by the Pew Research Center show that access to computers and the internet are a “very important” service for libraries to provide....
New York Times, July 8; Pew Internet Libraries, July 9
Harvard librarians become copyright first responders
This fall the Harvard University Library will deploy the Copyright First Responders, a pilot program developed as a resource for anyone at Harvard struggling with copyright issues. The program was founded by Kyle K. Courtney, the copyright advisor at the Office for Scholarly Communication, who observed an increase in his caseload and had rising concerns about copyright’s rapidly changing law and the resulting implications for libraries and their users....
Harvard Library, July 8
Cuts hurt Miami’s successful literacy program
Susan Vodicka writes: “When adults know how to read and write they have the power to transform their lives. I know firsthand about the fine program established in 1985 in the Miami-Dade (Fla.) Public Library System, Project L.E.A.D. Since then, thousands of people have benefited. But over time, the staff was reduced to a miniscule level. Recruitment and training fell off, materials became scarce, and finally, a system-wide layoff drastically reduced library operating hours.”...
Miami (Fla.) Herald, July 4
A new life for Holyoke Public Library
Amy Sutherland writes: “As a patron walked up the Holyoke (Mass.) Public Library’s impressive steps, a chunk of its limestone cornice thunked down in front of him. He carried the fallen architectural detail to the circulation desk like a book he was returning. After this near-miss in 2006, library director María G. Pagán learned that the custodians had been collecting cornice pieces from the lawn for years. The 1902 neoclassical temple to reading cried out for preservation, but there was no way it could become a modern library without more space.”...
Preservation, July 1
UK report: Support school libraries
A multipartisan group of members of Parliament and peers has called for a good library in every school in the UK in a new report, The Beating Heart of the School, that says libraries make “a huge contribution to young people’s educational attainment.” The call follows a long-running campaign from authors, who believe primary and secondary schools should be required by law to have a library and a trained librarian, and comes in the wake of new figures from the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport showing a “significant decrease” in the number of adults using a library....
The Guardian (UK), July 8
The world’s largest tennis library
John Branch writes: “About 40,000 fans crowd onto the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club each day during the Wimbledon Championships, but only a few each day find their way to the Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which houses the sport’s greatest collection of books and magazines. All Wimbledon-related articles printed in the many British dailies are carefully excised from the newspapers and preserved, just as they have been since 1927. A much larger area is devoted to magazines, many defunct, all bound in leather volumes.”...
New York Times, July 5
Libraries take root in Bangladesh
Syed Tashfin Chowdhury writes: “A nonprofit organization in Bangladesh is aiding in the setup and sustenance of libraries in remote districts and villages of the country. The efforts of the Village Library Movement, initiated in 2006, have already benefited at least 3,000 readers through nearly 30 libraries. The group is content that most of these libraries are playing a role towards community development, besides providing rural youth and adults with an opportunity to read more.”...
Al Jazeera, July 7
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Urban libraries getting shortchanged in E-rate funding
Brian Fung writes: “The FCC recently announced plans to spend $1 billion a year for the next two years on better Wi-Fi, amid a broader push to modernize the E-rate program. Library directors from five cities, including Seattle, Memphis, and Hartford, have sent letters to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler this week saying that they stand to be shortchanged if the commission moves forward with a plan to tie the money to the square footage of their facilities.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, July 3
A mad dash as the FCC prepares for its E-rate vote
Marijke Visser writes: “On July 7, ALA filed a joint letter with PLA, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the Urban Libraries Council. The letter supports the proposed E-rate order (currently behind closed doors and under close review at the FCC in preparation for a vote on July 11). The letter is the result of extensive thought and negotiation among the library community and speaks to the shared vision that this E-rate order is a critical opportunity to improve library connectivity. ALA also filed a formula proposal, over which we have been stewing for several months, and PLA filed in support of the ALA proposal.”...
District Dispatch, July 8
At sea in a deluge of data
Alison J. Head and John Wihbey write: “It turns out that college students are poorly trained to effectively navigate the internet’s indiscriminate glut of information. A Project Information Literacy study, involving more than 8,300 undergraduates at 25 American colleges, found that most rely on tried-and-true resources such as course readings, library databases, Google, and Wikipedia. Only 20% of the students said they ever sought help from librarians.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 7
Net neutrality in comic form
Michael Goodwin, of Economix Comix, writes: “You may have heard people talking about net neutrality lately. Unlike most things I talk about, this issue is simple. Here are the facts. An Internet Service Provider, or ISP, is the company that connects you to the internet. If we think of the internet as a road network, your ISP builds and maintains your driveway.”...
Boing Boing, July 7
Android devices can leak location information
Peter Eckersley and Jeremy Gillula write: “Do you own an Android device? Is it less than three years old? If so, then when your phone’s screen is off and it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi network, there’s a high risk that it is broadcasting your location history to anyone within Wi-Fi range who wants to listen. This location history comes in the form of the names of wireless networks your phone has previously connected to, such as homes, workplaces, churches and political offices, small businesses, and travel destinations.”...
Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 3
60 articles retracted in peer review and citation ring
Sage Publishers has retracted 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring” involving a professor in Taiwan. Jonathan Rochkind comments: “This is a good reminder that a critical approach to scholarly literature doesn’t end with Beall’s list, and maybe doesn’t even begin there. I still think academic librarians should consider it part of their mission to teach students (and faculty) about current issues in trustworthiness of scholarly literature, and to approach ‘peer review’ critically.”...
Retraction Watch, July 8; Bibliographic Wilderness, July 9
The right to be forgotten is already broken
Phil Bradley writes: “The law that couldn’t work (requiring Google to comply with European Union privacy laws) is already fundamentally flawed. I’ve previously written about the insanity of being forgotten in a previous blog entry, and the results, now that we’re seeing them in action, are even more laughable than I was expecting. The short version is: It doesn’t work. Here is the longer version.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, June 13, July 3
Librarians and censorship
Sandy Bradley writes: “The story I relate is from a simpler time, when computers were not part of daily life, and the library had only books and a few videos. I was the children’s librarian of a medium-sized public library, and I had already had a few experiences with censorship. I was feeling pretty confident until a patron brought up a picture book and told me that it was dangerous for children to have it on our shelves. The book was titled The Steamroller: A Fantasy, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Evaline Ness.”...
Boing Boing, July 2
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Robotics for the rest of us
Jaina Lewis writes: “With the advent of the maker movement, teen programming has become more about HOMAGO than lesson plans. This led me to do something last winter that I never, ever thought I’d do: I started a Robotics Club with no knowledge of robotics. If I can do it, so can you. Here are my thoughts. Lego Mindstorms kits are a great way to offer beginner robotics.”...
YALSAblog, July 7
Will the maker movement infiltrate mainstream classrooms?
Katrina Schwartz writes: “Dale Dougherty, editor of Maker Magazine, is hopeful that events like the June 18 White House Maker Faire will help catalyze a movement that accepts maker-style, self-directed learning in schools. He sees a lot of interest in affluent communities, but a lot less involvement in low-income areas. Incorporating the maker movement into public schools would help reach all students, perhaps sparking a lifelong interest in kids who might not otherwise be exposed.”...
KQED Mind/Shift, July 2
Mini Maker Faire at Kent State University
Laura Damon-Moore writes: “Maker culture continues to be integrated into the everyday workings of public, school, and academic libraries. Many libraries around the world are hosting Maker Faires in conjunction with community partners, and we’re thrilled to present one example of a Mini Maker Faire at Kent State University Libraries that took place this spring.”...
Library As Incubator Project, July 8
Free Microsoft ebooks
Eric Ligman writes: “Given how much my readers enjoy free resources from Microsoft, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more free ebooks, step-by-steps, and resource guides for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free ebooks I’ve shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection ever (almost 300 total).”...
MSDN Blogs, July 7
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The second phase of technological disruption
James LaRue writes: “I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs. Digital publishing is a case of technological disruption. Its challenge to the gatekeeper of a traditional publisher is now clear. Can’t get your book published? Do it yourself, and do it a whale of a lot faster.”...
AL: E-Content, July 3
Amazon makes an offer to Hachette authors
Amazon has an offer for authors at the book publisher Hachette, which is embroiled in a fight with the internet retailer over ebook prices: Amazon will restore the authors’ books to its website and give writers 100% of the sales price from digital sales of their books. Both Amazon and Hachette would forego all revenue and profit from the sale of every ebook until an agreement is reached. Best-selling Hachette author Scott Turow called Amazon’s offer “little more than a publicity stunt.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, July 8
A debate over Amazon.com at NYPL
Hillel Italie writes: “As Amazon and Hachette Book Group remain in a standoff over revenues from ebook sales, with the online retailer restricting access to books by Hachette authors, literary agent Tina Bennett moderated an often passionate 90-minute exchange among author James Patterson (right) and five other speakers at the New York Public Library on July 1. ‘Amazon: Business As Usual?’ included publisher Morgan Entrekin, author and net neutrality advocate Tim Wu, political theorist Danielle Allen, and attorney and founder of the music download service EMusic.com, Bob Kohn.” Watch the video (1:31:59)....
Associated Press, July 3
The rise in digital pricing
Michael Kelley writes: “Library pricing is once again in the news, this time for ebooks, after a recent decision by at least 17 commercial and university press publishers to increase ebook fees for academic libraries and consortia. One library consortium, the Boston Library Consortium, went so far as to label the increases an ‘experiment in predatory pricing.’ The publishers, however, counter that the increased fees are simply a response to market realities.”...
Publishers Weekly, July 4
DCL ebook report, July
James LaRue writes: “Read the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report for July (PDF file). What interests me this month is that we have a book (Meredith Wild’s Hardline) that doesn’t seem to be available in any readily obtainable format to libraries. It’s part of a series (the Hacker series, number 3), and might be categorized as erotica. For a while, it wasn’t even available through iTunes, although Wild’s website now advertises the ebook through most consumer channels.”...
AL: E-Content, July 7
Tag and release
Trevor Owens writes: “Archives and museums are often focused on acquiring, preserving, and making accessible rare or unique documents, records, objects, and artifacts. While someone might take a photo of an object, or reproduce it in any number of ways, the real object would reside in the institution. How does this perspective shift when we switch to working with rare and unique born-digital materials?”...
The Signal: Digital Preservation, July 8
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2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Whether or not you were there, look back and enjoy the highlights of 2014 Annual Conference—the top news, images, posts, tweets and more, all in one place. You can also read summary coverage in last week’s AL Direct.
The Soul Keeper [Prendimi l’anima] (2002, Italy / France / UK). Marie Franquin (Caroline Ducey) is doing research in the archives of the Lenin Library in Moscow to shed light on the history of Carl Jung’s psychiatric patient, Sabina Spielrein. She steals a diary folded into the pages of a French newspaper, but Prof. Richard Fraser (Craig Ferguson) notices it and confronts her outside. They decide to team up on the project. Tatiana Sciankina plays a librarian.
Soul Man (1986). C. Thomas Howell as law student Mark Watson is passing for black in the law library stacks when he overhears two white students making a racist joke. This and other scenes were filmed in the Wheaton College library, which stands in for Harvard Law School library.
Soulkeeper (2001). When a power outage interrupts their online searching, Terrence Christian (Kevin Patrick Walls) and Corey Mahoney (Rodney Rowland) visit a library to find the books they need.
Soylent Green (1973). In 2022, Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) visits a library (now called the “Supreme Exchange”), accessible only by a dark corridor and a coded knock on the door, where the elderly librarians are called “books” and are privy to top secret oceanographic documents. Celia Lovsky is the library director; the librarians are played by Morgan Farley, John Barclay, Belle Mitchell, and Cyril Delevanti.
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.
Industrial Relations / Labor Economics Librarian, Princeton University. Manage the Industrial Relations collections; provide specialized reference and research services for faculty, students, and affiliates; review published literature and databases in industrial relations, labor economics, and human resources management; and select materials for collections in print and electronic formats, including born digital. Oversee production of Selected References, a broadly distributed bibliography focusing on contemporary labor. Supervise .5 FTE support staff....
Digital Library of the Week
The Association Images et Mémoires in Paris is a French-language site that offers a digital archive of postcards, as well as some photographs and engravings, from all over Africa, especially francophone countries, during the colonial era. Founded in 1995, the Association seeks to work with anthropologists, photographers, and historians to make these images, often in repositories far from their countries of origin, accessible as cultural heritage. The images are grouped into categories of architecture, transportation, people, commerce and schools, agriculture, and group scenes.
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
“Reading is not optional.”
—Theme of author Walter Dean Myers during his tenure as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress, 2012–2013.
“Every child growing up in the UK should have the chance to learn and develop through a good school library. Poor literacy skills stand in the way of children and young people achieving their potential. In an increasingly digital world, we need to teach young people how to evaluate and understand unprecedented amounts of information.”
—Graham Tope, chair of the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group, The Beating Heart of the School, July 8. p. 3.
Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries, Library Assessment Conference, Seattle. “Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment.”
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 15th International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, Sofitel Hotel, Redwood City, California.
Pacific Northwest Library Association, Annual Conference, Great Northern Hotel, Helena, Montana. “Mining the Past to Plan for the Future.”
Henry Stewart Events, “The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media,” InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile.
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
Australian Society of Archivists / Archives and Records Association of New Zealand, Joint Annual Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand. “Connecting: Past, Present, and Future.”
American Printing History Association, Annual Conference, San Francisco Center for the Book.
International Open Access Week.
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Conference, Philadelphia. “Meant to Last? Preserving the Modern and Contemporary.”
Library Information and Technology Association, 17th Annual Forum of the Library Information and Technology Association, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley opens in Orlando
The new Diagon Alley section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sponsored a media preview in the Universal Studios Florida theme park in Orlando on June 18, and Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers was there to report on the festivities: “If you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan, you are going to lose your mind faster than getting hit with a Memory Charm as you take your first steps into Diagon Alley when the land officially opens July 8.” Check out her videos of Red Carpet interviews, tours of the park and concessions, and a ride on the Hogwarts Express....
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Creative Loafing, July 2; StandUpLibrarian, July 3
London’s book benches
Dianna Dilworth writes: “How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll are among the books that have been given a new life in London this summer. The UK National Literacy Trust has developed a public art project, Books About Town, that commemorates 50 books in an new and innovative way: as public benches. Artists have been asked to adapt famous books into benches which have been placed throughout the city.”...
GalleyCat, July 8
Gamification of Summer Reading
Jami Schwarzwalder writes: “Games often provide an opportunity to have fun, learn new things, simulate real life, and explore things only dreamed of before. Whether playing a board game, role playing game, or a video game, players are challenged to overcome obstacles and use strategy to solve problems and meet goals. In classrooms, teachers are using game elements more and more to encourage practice, assess mastery, or explore new concepts with students, while keeping lessons interactive and engaging.”...
YALSAblog, July 2
YA lit gone country
Jennifer Rummel writes: “I love the twang of country music, the songs about trucks, independence, and falling in love. I think I fell in love with country music because most of the songs seem to tell a story, and being a bookish nerd, I loved that. July 4 was National Country Music Day, and in celebration I’ve created a list of YA books featuring country music.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 7
Tactile picture books
Kari Paul writes: “Researchers at the University of Colorado have created a new project that can convert standard picture books into 3D-printed pages, letting children with visual impairments follow the raised illustrations by touch as the stories are read aloud. Tom Yeh (right), the assistant professor in the university’s Department of Computer Science who directed the project, said the goal of the Tactile Picture Books Project is to use computer science to better people’s lives.”...
Mashable, July 3
Fold, flap, peek, pull, pop
The J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah has a digital exhibit, curated by Luise Poulton, of movable books from the Renaissance onward: “For at least a millennia, bookmakers have been cutting, folding, and manipulating papyrus, parchment, paper, and other material to enhance the three-dimensionality of the book. Today’s complex movable books require hundreds of individual handwork procedures in order to create folds, flaps, peek-holes, pull-tabs, pop-ups, and other marvels of paper-engineering.”...
World Book Night is shutting down
World Book Night US is shutting down after three years of distributing free books across the country. The volunteer-run organization is shuttering due to lack of funding. Executive Director Carl Lennertz said the program’s expenses are too high to sustain without additional funding. World Book Night UK, a separate organization that also hands out free books in April, will not be affected by this change....
GalleyCat, July 2
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Lauren DeNisco writes: “The Fairfield (Conn.) Public Library’s Skype-a-Docent: Museum Tours (PDF file) brings the enriching experience of viewing and learning about art to seniors who otherwise could not get to the museums. Every month the library drops off either an iPad or a laptop at a regional museum. Then, at appointed times, the docent at the museum Skypes a video phone call to one of four Fairfield locations for a one-hour tour. The four locations include two nursing homes, an independent senior housing facility, and the library at a time when seniors are able to come. The docent and the tour group are able to ask and answer each other’s questions.”...
PLA Library Technology Buzz, July 2
How to edit your Twitter and Facebook history
“Quitting is harder than you might think,” reports Molly Wood, as she explains that finding the link to quit Facebook is rather difficult, and even then, the actual deletion takes up to 90 days. In this video (3:10), Wood walks us through some easy ways to clean up old Facebook and Twitter posts, change privacy settings, download all posts (a very handy feature even if you don’t want to delete anything), and leave the services.”...
Mental Floss, July 6; New York Times, July 2
Email alerts that are useful
Amit Agarwal writes: “You have been using Google Alerts for keeping track of anything new and interesting online on your topics of interest, but did you know that there exists a plethora of other email alert services that are again very useful and do not cost a penny? Let me just dive right in.”...
Digital Inspiration, July 7
Google Maps update lets you calculate distances
Robert Sorokanich writes: “Ever try measuring the straight-line distance between two points on Google Maps? You had to hold some object or appendage up to the little scale, then eyeball-measure the distance on your screen. No more—a new update puts the task a right-click away, in either the New or Classic version.”...
Gizmodo, July 9; Google Maps Help
The future of braille
Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert J. Dizard Jr. released a report on July 4 exploring issues related to braille, the literacy tool that makes independence possible for people who cannot see to read regular print, at the National Federation of the Blind national convention in Orlando, Florida. The Future of Braille: NLS Braille Summit Presentations and Outcomes details the proceedings of a conference held by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, June 19–22, 2013....
Library of Congress, July 4
Worldwide Day of Play competition
Cable-television network Nickelodeon has launched a new contest for children aged 7–12 to tell why their city should be picked for the Worldwide Day of Play. Each contest entry must include a description of what you like to do when you play and why the Nick Worldwide Day of Play should come to your town in September. The deadline is July 27. Kids must have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate....
Worldwide Day of Play
Geography games for kids and adults
Richard Byrne writes: “After last week’s post about Google’s new geography game, Smarty Pins, I received a couple of requests for geography games that have a little more focus than the random nature of Smarty Pins. Here are some of the more popular geography games that I have reviewed and used with my own students over the years.”...
Free Technology for Teachers, July 3, 6
Concerts and dances in the library
Catherine M. Brown writes: “As we seek to diversify academic library cultural offerings, as our public librarian colleagues do, having concerts and dances opens the library up to the community in an intriguingly different way and enhances the curriculum by offering a new venue for students to perform in and for their audiences. Here are some examples of the types of collaboration that have taken place, the benefits to our students as well as to ourselves, and some how-to’s.”...
College and Research Libraries News 75 (July): 387–391
The Vonnegut Library’s approach to censorship
Julia Whitehead writes: “Banned Books Week is the best week of the year at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis. We get more new visitors than any other time during the year. People love our shenanigans. For example, each year, we have an individual living in the library’s front window surrounded by a wall of banned books (above). This person sleeps on a cot for a week as a ‘prisoner’ to raise awareness of works of literature, particularly our beloved Slaughterhouse Five, banned in schools around this country.”...
Programming Librarian, July 8
Building a solid genealogy library
Michael Hait writes: “Researchers in all areas tend to pride themselves on their libraries. Genealogists work in fairly specific areas—usually either geographically or ethnically based—and their libraries tend to reflect these specialties. While I prefer good old-fashioned paper books, a current library will also contain ebooks. Every researcher’s personal library will be different, but a solid library should almost always contain these five types of works.”...
Planting the Seeds, June 30
The surf’s up in rare books
Julia Blakely writes: “While cataloging Polynesian Researches during a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands by William Ellis (London, 1831–1833), I was intrigued by the title page vignette (right) in the fourth volume of the set. Depicted in this little engraved scene is a group of surfers riding a break on narrow planks. Wondering if it was an early representation of the sport, I naturally turned to Google, where a search turned up the information that it is often cited as the first illustration of surfing, at least in the Western Hemisphere.”...
Smithsonian Libraries Unbound, July 2
The age of erasable books
Shawn Martin writes: “In the 19th century, an Italian priest named Angelo Mai made a career of rediscovering palimpsests from the Middle Ages and inspired many others after him. Though Mai was not the first person to discover a palimpsest, he was the first to uncover a large number of them and the first to study them seriously. Today, the palimpsest as a format has taken on a new meaning. Palimpsests are now characterized by duality—the hidden/erased text and the exposed/overwritten text. By recovering what had been erased, scholars are revealing something that was meant to be deleted.”...
The Atlantic, July 9
A drone’s-eye view of the NYPL book sorter
“Flying Around Book Ops” (1:50) by photographer Nate Bolt features drone footage of the massive book sorting center in Queens, New York, that provides material for the 150 branches of the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries. The machine highlighted is the second largest in the world, sorting 33,000 items a day on average, including books, DVDs, and other media. It was shot on a Phantom 2 with 3-axis gimbal and a GoPro Hero3, and it is set to the song “The Stick” by Ted Leo and Pharmacists....
Laughing Squid, July 9; Vimeo, July 8
Kirby Heyborne’s Librarian Rap Song
Jen Rubins writes: “Award-winning audiobook narrator Kirby Heyborne‘s performance of his original song, ‘Ain’t Nobody Change the World Like a Librarian’ (2:41), on June 30 at the 2014 Odyssey Awards will surely go down in ALA Annual Conference history as one of the best surprise moments experienced by a crowd of librarians. By the time the rap ended, the Twittersphere was bursting with love for Heyborne and audiobooks, with one librarian proclaiming, ‘Ok folks, if you are not at the #odyssey awards, you are really losing out.’”...
Books on Tape, July 7; YouTube, July 7
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