|American Libraries Online
Extremism @ the library
Maria R. Traska writes: “Bring up the subject of extremist literature and hate propaganda, and the first mental image most people are likely to have is of waves of protesters, livid Holocaust deniers, and the ACLU defending free speech. Curating such material takes a special brand of fortitude. Maintaining collections to allow scholarship on these topics without providing free publicity to precisely the wrong element can be a tricky thing.”...
American Libraries feature
A passion for coding
Christopher Harris writes: “Technology is eating the world. Like a hungry dragon seeking out new villages to pillage, the tech world continues to find new markets to disrupt. And, like some mythical beast of apocalyptic proportions, technology is just as unstoppable. Good? Evil? Technology is code and that is all that matters. Some use it for good, and some for not so good. The point is that many others are out there using it. Where are libraries?”...
AL: E-Content, July 11
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ALA, public libraries to measure internet speeds
ALA and the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland College Park will gauge the quality of public access to the internet in our nation’s public libraries this summer. The speed-test study is a supplement to a three-year National Leadership Grant to the ALA Office for Research and Statistics from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This new data collection effort will seek responses from a sample of about 1,000 libraries. Public libraries can log on to the speed test at the Digital Inclusion Survey....
Office for Information Technology Policy, July 9; District Dispatch, July 15
Net neutrality principles
On July 10, ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and other higher education organizations representing thousands of colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide released a joint set of Net Neutrality Principles (PDF file) that they recommend as forming the basis of an upcoming FCC decision to protect the openness of the internet. The groups believe network neutrality protections are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth....
ALA Washington Office, July 10
COA accreditation actions
The Committee on Accreditation announced its accreditation decisions at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Continued accreditation status was granted to programs at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oklahoma, San José State University, and University of Texas at Austin....
Office for Accreditation, July 15
Living Stories, Living Libraries
Margaret Kavaras writes: “A lot has happened in my first month as a Google Policy Fellow at the ALA Washington Office, where I am formally launching a digital storytelling project called Living Stories, Living Libraries. This Tumblr blog relies on photo-documentary submissions to capture the diverse stories of people using libraries. It gives individuals a place to share how libraries have impacted their lives, hear from others, connect ideas, and tell their own stories.”...
District Dispatch, July 15
New Jersey libraries and literacy assistance
Three New Jersey libraries are teaming up for results in the area of community engagement. Through an American Dream Starts @ your library grant provided by ALA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, three Essex County libraries (Bloomfield, Montclair, and South Orange) have established a partnership to provide literacy assistance to all county residents. Watch the video (11:52)....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, July 15
Nominating Committee seeks candidates
The ALA 2015 Nominating Committee reminds all interested ALA members that the deadline for completing the candidate biographical form is quickly approaching. The form will close on August 15. The committee is soliciting nominees to run on the 2015 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president-elect and 33 councilor-at-large seats....
Office of ALA Governance, July 10
Zoia Horn dies at 96
Zoia Horn (right), who was chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee in the mid-1970s and who spent 20 days in jail rather than testify in a trial involving anti–Vietnam War activists, died July 12 at the age of 96. Horn’s autobiography, Zoia!, is available online via Archive.org, and includes a copious accounting of her activism. The California Library Association’s annual intellectual freedom award is named in her honor....
OIF Blog, July 15; San Francisco Chronicle, July 15
The path to a carbon-neutral library
Ecology, Economy, Equity: The Path to a Carbon-Neutral Library, published by ALA Editions, convincingly argues that building a carbon-neutral future for libraries is not only essential but eminently practical. Using the “three E’s” of sustainability (ecology, economy, equity) as a foundation, Mandy Henk traces the development of sustainability from its origins in the 1970s to the present, laying out a path librarians can take at their own institutions to begin the process of building a carbon-neutral library....
ALA Editions, July 15
Preserving complex digital objects
Preserving Complex Digital Objects, published by Facet Publishing, is a groundbreaking edited collection exploring the challenges of preserving complex digital objects such as simulations, visualizations, digital art, and video games. Edited by Janet Delve and David Anderson, the book draws on the outputs of the JISC-funded Preservation of Complex Objects (POCOS) symposia and brings together stakeholder perspectives from across the preservation community....
ALA Publishing, July 15
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Kunstler, James Howard. A History of the Future. Aug. 2014. 352p. Atlantic Monthly, hardcover (978-0-8021-2252-0).
Kunstler’s post-economic-collapse and postdigital A World Made by Hand series continues with increasing literary finesse in the third installment, following The Witch of Hebron (2010). In the slowly recovering upstate New York town of Union Grove, people relearn old skills as they produce their own food and libations, make music, restore old buildings, and use candles and wood-burning stoves and horses and mules. Kunstler, who overtly articulates his post-oil vision in his nonfiction (Too Much Magic, 2013), revels in this back-to-basics way of life, particularly as practiced by Andrew, formerly a “dandy” in New York publishing and a painter....
Life after the Apocalypse
Donna Seaman writes: “When the titular first book in Kunstler’s A World Made by Hand series appeared six years ago, Booklist just so happened to take stock of literary postapocalyptic novels in a core collection, “Before and After The Road,” by Keir Graff, which was linked to Cormac McCarthy’s Top of the List and Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. Now, as Kunstler’s third, and, so far, finest installment in his ongoing speculative saga appears, we take, admittedly, rather morbid pleasure in presenting a new selection of the best of recent post-oil, post-grid, post–financial collapse, post-pandemic tales by exceptional fiction writers.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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ALSC’s Junior Maker Spaces
ALSC and Lego Systems are working together to bring Junior Maker Spaces to libraries across the country. This project will focus on giving children ages 4–6 spaces to make and create in their local libraries. Beginning in August, librarians can download a free digital toolkit with information and inspiration to host Junior Maker Sessions. In addition, 750+ libraries nationwide will receive a physical toolkit to host ongoing Junior Maker sessions in children’s reading areas. Watch the video (1:34)....
ALSC, July 15; YouTube, June 17
AASL’s new mission statement and strategic plan
AASL challenges leaders in all fields to bring about an evolution in student learning with its adoption of a new mission statement and strategic plan. During the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, its board of directors unanimously voted to approve the mission statement: “The American Association of School Librarians empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.” The mission statement will push the division to achieve its strategic plan in three critical areas....
AASL, July 15
Attention, intention, and value
Kevin Smith writes: “How should we understand the value of academic publications? That was the question addressed at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas during the SPARC/ACRL Forum. One useful part of this conversation was a distinction drawn between different types of value that can be assigned to academic publications. Attention can be measured in many ways. Attention measures are far better than what we have had in the past and what we are still offered by toll publishers. But in an open environment we can strive to measure intention as well as attention.”...
Scholarly Communications @ Duke, July 14
Improve your nonfiction circulation
Looking for a way to improve customer service, access, and findability for your patrons? Register for the live, hour-long webinar, “Dewey 2.0: Reinvigorating Your Nonfiction Collections,” on July 23 and learn how Mary Rzepczynski, assistant library director at the Delta Township (Mich.) District Library, led her library in a charge to expand the Dewey for nonfiction collections. The registration deadline is July 29....
PLA, July 14
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2014 ALCTS Presidential Citation
OCLC Research has been awarded the ALCTS Presidential Citation for outstanding service to the division. The organization won for its report, Understanding the Collective Collection: Towards a System-wide Perspective on Library Print Collections, which was cited as a rigorous analysis that will help librarians make informed and intelligent decisions on shared-print collections. Coauthors Lorcan Dempsey and Constance Maipas accepted the award at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
OCLC, July 11
2014 Major Benefactor Citation
United for Libraries, in conjunction with the Orange County (Fla.) Library System, honored Kendrick B. Melrose with its Major Benefactor Citation for his significant contribution to the creation of the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation, and Creativity (right), a high-tech hub that opened at the Orlando Public Library in February 2014. The donation was the largest single private gift in the library’s history....
United for Libraries, July 14
United for Libraries Baker & Taylor Awards
Three groups have been recognized with United for Libraries’ Baker & Taylor Awards for outstanding efforts to support their library. This year’s winners are Friends of the Weber County (Utah) Library (right), Friends of the Peoria (Ariz.) Public Library, and the Danville (Ill.) Library Foundation. Each group receives $1,000 and a clock from Baker & Taylor to honor their achievements....
United for Libraries, July 15
LIRT Librarian Recognition Award
The Library Instruction Round Table awarded its first ever Librarian Recognition Award at the ALA Annual Conference on June 29 to Kenneth Burhanna (right), associate professor and assistant dean for engagement and outreach at Kent State University Libraries. The Librarian Recognition Award was created to recognize an individual’s contribution to the development, advancement, and support of information literacy and instruction....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, July 14
LIRT Innovation in Instruction Award
The Library Instruction Round Table awarded its inaugural Innovation in Instruction Award at the ALA Annual Conference on June 29 to Cannon Memorial Library, Saint Leo (Fla.) University. The library was cited for its innovative take on the traditional new-student orientation library scavenger hunt, developing a multistage program based around a “Mission Impossible” theme that involved saving Fritz, the university mascot....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, July 14
IMLS awards for early learning activities
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced three new awards to engage libraries and museums as key partners in comprehensive early learning strategies. Three separate awards totaling $771,854 will be awarded to the Georgia Public Library Service, OCLC, and the BUILD Initiative. These new investments follow up on recommendations made in Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners (PDF file), a 2013 policy report that called upon policymakers, schools, funders, and parents to make full use of these vital, existing community resources....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 11
Apply for 21st-century librarian grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program now through September 15. The program supports grants for recruiting and educating library students, continuing education for those already in the profession, research, and new programs that build institutional capacity....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 15
2014 Mark T. Banner Award
Lawyer, author, and copyright consultant Kenneth D. Crews (right) has been awarded a Mark T. Banner Award by the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law. The award is presented to an individual who has made an impact on intellectual property law and practice. His most recent book, Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators (3rd edition, ALA, 2012), was cited as an insightful source for understanding and applying copyright law....
ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law
James Dawson named 2014 Queen of Teen
James Dawson (right), the author of the young adult novels Cruel Summer, Hollow Pike, and Say Her Name, has been named the 2014 Queen of Teen. The Queen of Teen Award was set up in the UK in 2008 to honor writers of teen fiction. The shortlisted authors are nominated by YA readers, who then vote for an overall winner. This year marks the first time a male author has been named the winner....
The Telegraph (UK), July 11
2014 Branford Boase Award
YA novel Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood (Simon & Schuster) was announced as the winner of the 2014 Branford Boase Award in London on July 10. The prize, worth £1,000 (US $1,700), is awarded annually for an outstanding debut novel for children and is unique in also honoring the editor of the winning title, in this case Venetia Gosling. Infinite Sky is a thought-provoking story about the friendship between Iris, a girl who lives on a farm, and Trick, a boy from a community of Irish Travelers who sets up camp next door....
BBC News, July 10
Wales Book of the Year 2014
Poet Owen Sheers won the Wales Book of the Year award for the second time in 10 years July 10 for his work Pink Mist. Sheers’s verse drama tells the story of three young soldiers from Bristol deployed to Afghanistan. The book draws on interviews with soldiers and their families, as well as the medieval Welsh poem Y Gododdin, and is the first extended verse dealing with Afghanistan....
Cardiff (UK) Western Mail, July 10
2014 Prometheus Awards
The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced its Prometheus Award winners for 2014. There was a tie for Best Novel: The winners are Homeland (Tor Books) by Cory Doctorow, and Nexus (Angry Robot Books) by Ramez Naam. The Best Classic Fiction winner is Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold’s 1988 novel that explores free will, self-ownership, and human genetic engineering. The awards recognize outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress, and justice....
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, July 14
2014 Caine Prize for African Writing
Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor has won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. Oduor won for her short story “My Father’s Head,” published in Feast, Famine, and Potluck: Short Story Day Africa (Modjaji Books), which includes stories from writers across Africa. The story explores the narrator’s difficulty in dealing with the loss of her father, and explores themes of memory, loss, and loneliness. She was awarded the £10,000 ($17,140 US) prize July 14 at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford....
The Bookseller, July 15
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Libraries in the News
Miami-Dade libraries avoid draconian cuts
Commissioners voted 8–5 late on July 15 to slightly raise the property-tax rate ceiling to avert layoffs at the Miami–Dade County (Fla.) Library. The commission adjusted the ceiling so that they could eventually authorize $8 million more than the $44 million Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposed, bringing the library budget to $52 million. That’s more than the $50 million the library had this year, but far less than the $64 million advocates wanted. Many blue-shirted library supporters appeared for a public comment session that lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. Gimenez has until July 25 to decide whether to veto the commission’s decision....
Miami Herald, July 16; WPLG-TV, Miami, July 16; Every Library blog, July 16
The miseducation of Cape Henlopen School Board
Several Cape Henlopen (Del.) School Board members indicated a willingness to reconsider their June vote to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth from a freshman summer reading list. It had cited foul language, not sexual orientation, as the reason for its action. At a July 10 meeting where librarians and a parent criticized the board for its decision, Margery Kirby Cyr, chair of the Delaware Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, urged board members to follow the written policy on challenges (PDF file). The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (PDF file) and the author also sent letters of concern. A local bookstore is giving away a free copy of the book to any teen who asks for it....
New Castle (Del.) News Journal, July 10–11; Huffington Post Blog, July 7; Lewes (Del.) Cape Gazette, July 11
Looking for Alaska under attack in Wisconsin
A parent in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has decided that John Green’s Looking for Alaska is not a book her high school daughter should read. She has also decided it isn’t fit for any student in the district, so she filed a complaint against the acclaimed and popular novel. Parent Ellen Cox wants the book banned for sexual content. The Waukesha school district appears to be following a formal review process in considering Cox’s complaint....
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, July 11; WISN-TV, Milwaukee, July 11
Teens stay green in Cupertino
Creating a thriving garden is now one of the many learning resources for teens at the Cupertino (Calif.) Library. For just over a year, the library courtyard has been home to a garden that is entirely maintained and cared for by teens from local schools. To date, the Green Teen Volunteer Garden program has seen more than 30 teens work together to grow tasty organic vegetables that are delivered to the West Valley Community Services food pantry....
San José (Calif.) Mercury-News, July 9
San Diego County librarians get mohawks
The Vista Branch of the San Diego County (Calif.) Library set out in 2013 to break a new record—one million checkouts in one year. To gain momentum for their book-loving crusade, Library Director José Aponte and five other male library staffers promised to cut their hair into mohawks if the goal was met—and it was. Aponte and his staff threw a party for their Vista community on July 11 as they got their new coiffures. Watch the video (3:06)....
KNSD-TV, San Diego, Calif., July 13; YouTube, July 13
Hartford’s summer feeding program
A unique partnership between Hartford (Conn.) Public Library, End Hunger Connecticut!, and Hartford Public Schools is helping to keep many of the city’s children fed throughout the summer months. The library is serving a free, healthy lunch to kids at all 10 branches, every weekday through August 15. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) visited the Barbour branch on July 11 and helped serve sandwiches, fruit, and cookies to about a dozen children. Murphy is one of the legislators who supports the bipartisan Summer Meals Act of 2014....
Connecticut Public Radio, July 12
Brookline Library holds Retro Technology Fair
Nothing puts your age in perspective quite like being in a room full of obsolete technology, some of which is barely over 10 years old. Robin Brenner, teen librarian at the Brookline (Mass.) Public Library, put together a Retro Technology Fair on July 7 that included old and new technology from the library staff. A 1982 computer called the Franklin Ace 1000, a competitor for Apple that didn’t last very long, was available for people to use (above), as well as a television hooked up to a Nintendo GameCube....
Brookline (Mass.) Tab, July 9
Singapore libraries to pulp Tango
State-run libraries in Singapore have deemed a children’s book about two male penguins raising a baby chick inappropriate and will destroy all copies following complaints the content was against local family values. Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim supports the decision to pulp all copies of And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, as well as The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption and Who’s in My Family: All About Our Families by Robie Harris, which portrays nontraditional families. Other books have apparently been pulled as well. Nearly 5,000 people have signed an open letter and a petition calling for the books to be put back. The decision also prompted a July 13 reading of the books on the steps outside the National Library. Watch the video (13:46)....
The Guardian (UK), July 12; National Library Board of Singapore, July 8; Straits Times (Singapore), July 10; Wall Street Journal, July 13; YouTube, July 13
UK authors, librarians demand action on school libraries
Children’s laureate Malorie Blackman (right), poets Roger McGough and Michael Rosen, former poet laureate Andrew Motion, and biographer Michael Holroyd are among scores of authors, illustrators, and librarians who are pressing the UK government to take “urgent” action to make sure all schools have a good library....
The Guardian (UK), July 15
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FCC extends net neutrality comments deadline
Federal Communications Commission Press Secretary Kim Hart issued the following statement on July 15: “We have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing System. Be assured that the commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record. Accordingly, we are extending the comment deadline until midnight on July 18.” The 18-year-old FCC system crashed on July 15 from all the last-minute commenters....
District Dispatch, July 15; FCC, July 15; Ars Technica, July 15
Last-minute net neutrality and e-rate amendments
Some House members will try to add an amendment to H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. H.R. 5016 is the bill that keeps funding the government and whose failure to pass can shut it down. The White House has already said it opposed the existing FCC budget cuts and threatened a veto of a bill it says politicized the budget process. ALA has learned that a second amendment that would have affected the FCC’s efforts at E-rate reform did not go forward, thanks to widespread opposition from the library and school community. A third amendment that limits municipal broadband was also submitted....
Multichannel News, July 15; District Dispatch, July 14
E-rate modernization: Back to work
Marijke Visser writes: “On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 along party lines to move forward on the next phase of the E-rate modernization. The resulting E-rate Report and Order, not yet publicly released, will focus on making Wi-Fi support available to more libraries and schools, streamlining the application and administration of the program, and ensuring that the program is cost-effective and efficient. In the final weeks before the vote, ALA invested significant time to convince them to address library issues in the draft order.” The ALA Washington Office has a roundup of relevant news articles for advocates....
District Dispatch, July 15–16; FCC, July 11; Office for Information Technology Policy, July 11
Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act
On July 9, the US House of Representatives passed the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, H.R. 803 (PDF file), in a bipartisan vote 415–6. The passage of the bill comes after the Senate passed the legislation on a 95–3 vote on June 25. ALA thanked Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) for their long-time efforts to include libraries in this legislation. Public libraries will now have access to federal funding for job training and job search programs....
ALA Office of Government Relations, July 10; Opportunity Nation, July 9
The library: Not a Netflix for books
Kelly Jensen writes: “If there’s one phrase I dislike more than the latest company touting itself as the ‘Netflix for books,’ it’s when the retort is that such a thing already exists and it’s called the library. The library is not a Netflix for books. While there are plenty of reasons a company would want to create something as successful as Netflix but for books, the comparison made to how libraries already fulfill this role is a false one at best. It’s a reductive and problematic comparison.”...
Book Riot, July 15
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17 Skype tips
Eric Griffith writes: “Everyone knows what it means to skype—it’s the modern verb for internet phone calls and video conferencing, all on the cheap.
Making a call can be as easy as a double-click on a name in your contacts list, but Skype can do much more than that. And that’s where these tips can help. Whether you’re talking Skype-to-phone, video chatting, texting, looking for Wi-Fi, having meetings, or need a record of all your calls, Skype can handle it. But you may need some help, and these tips will guide you through.”...
PC Magazine, July 14
The best services for sending large files
Amit Agarwal writes: “If you have to share a large file with someone over the internet, there are generally two options. You can either put the file in an email message as an attachment or, if the file is too big to fit inside email, you can upload it to a file hosting service and then share the download links with the recipient. Web email services like Gmail and Outlook allow you to send files up to 25 MB in size. For sending even bigger files, you can use a file-splitting utility like HJ-Split.”...
Digital Inspiration, July 11
10 tools for productive telecommuting
Christopher Null writes: “Working in the home office environment is different from working at work. While your employer has probably set you up with a phone and laptop, VPN access, and whatever software you need to actually get your job done, they might not have thought through how exactly you’re supposed to keep in touch with coworkers, collaborate on projects, and steer clear of distractions. Here are 10 apps, programs, and web services that can help to fill in the gaps.”...
PC World, July 16
Clean your hard drive in 10 minutes or less
Dann Albright writes: “Cleaning your hard drive is about as much fun as it sounds, but what if you could make a real difference in as little as 10 minutes? We love productivity tips, but it’s also important to try to figure out what’s hampering productivity in the first place. Having a disorganized, chaotic hard drive can be one of the reasons. Spend 10 minutes once or twice a day for the next week cleaning your hard drive, and your computer will be a much less stressful place.”...
MakeUseOf, July 15
How to install, remove, and manage fonts
Chris Hoffman writes: “Whether you want to use a new font in Word or just change your operating system’s system font to give it a different look, you’ll first have to install the font on your operating system. The installation process makes the font available to all programs on your operating system. Most applications don’t allow you to simply load a font file and use it—they provide a list of installed fonts for you to choose from.”...
How-To Geek, Sept. 21, 2010; Feb. 17, July 15
Hackers and LED light bulbs
Dan Goodin writes: “In the latest cautionary tale involving the so-called Internet of Things, white-hat hackers have devised an attack against network-connected light bulbs that exposes Wi-Fi passwords to anyone in proximity to one of the LED devices. The attack works against LIFX smart light bulbs, which can be turned on and off and adjusted using iOS- and Android-based devices. LIFX has updated its firmware after researchers discovered a weakness that allowed hackers within about 30 meters to obtain the passwords used to secure the network.”...
Ars Technica, July 7
Cat facial-recognition technology
Jill Duffy writes: “What does the internet love more than anything else? Cats. And what technology have cats been lacking all these years? A comprehensive facial-recognition system and feeder that can monitor how much food and water the cats are consuming, and know when other kittehs in the household are stealing sustenance from one another.”...
PC Magazine, July 15
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Amazon calls baloney
James LaRue writes: “Maybe it’s because I’ve been rereading classic Daniel Pinkwater novels (namely, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror) but Amazon’s latest stunner of a response to stalled negotiations with Hachette reads like a young adult comedy.
Here’s the setup. Amazon was pushing Hachette to cut prices on ebooks. When Hachette didn’t agree, Amazon liquidated ready inventory and made it more difficult to preorder Hachette titles. In other words, Amazon reduced Hachette to Least Favored Status as a vendor.”...
AL: E-Content, June 4, July 10
Amazon tests Kindle Unlimited
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “Amazon is testing an ebook and audiobook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited that offers ‘unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month.’ Amazon’s service, which has been rumored for a couple of months, would compete with existing ebook subscription services Scribd and Oyster. One page, no longer active and titled ‘KU Test,’ showed 638,416 available titles that you could browse through.”...
GigaOM, July 16
Dispatches from the Field: E-content and first sale
Joseph Sanchez (right) writes: “Three pressing questions about e-content face the profession: How much content will be exclusively available electronically, how quickly is that developing, and—especially for public librarians—how will it affect budgets? Currently, the first-sale doctrine does not apply to e-content, an enviable position for copyright holders. Librarians have naively believed for years that publishers were more or less willing partners, rather than recognizing that the first-sale doctrine is the foundation of our practice and services.”...
American Libraries column, June
Mass digitization and the HathiTrust decision
Carrie Russell writes: “Jonathan Band, legal counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance (of which ALA is a member), prepared a document (PDF file) detailing how the June 10 HathiTrust decision affects libraries interested in mass digitization projects. The document primarily focuses on academic libraries, but there are nuggets for any nonprofit library conducting mass digitization.”...
District Dispatch, July 10
Princeton Legacy Library (PDF file)
Princeton University Press introduced the Princeton Legacy Library, its newly digitized out-of-print backlist, on July 14. The PLL makes Princeton’s backlist titles available digitally through Ingram Content Group in both print-on-demand editions and as ebooks for libraries and scholarly institutions through leading library aggregators. Books included in the first installment of 1,200 titles cover the years from approximately 1980 to 2000. When completed in 2016, the program will include more than 3,000 titles....
Princeton University Press, July 14
A typical look at the camera room
Lindsay Elgin writes: “Since I often concentrate on more involved or difficult setups, I thought it might be good to take a look at a setup that we are most likely to encounter at Brown University Library’s Digital Production Services on a day-to-day basis. This image shows an album of watercolors depicting the uniforms of European soldiers from 1791 to 1808. This is our basic reprographic setup: Our digital back is mounted on a specialized lens; and two softboxes (only one pictured) are positioned at the same angle to, and equidistant from, the shooting platform.”...
Curio, July 11
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2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Look back at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, enjoyed by 18,626 attendees and exhibitors. Enjoy American Libraries coverage. Get the Cognotes highlights. Looking for handouts? See you in 2015! Bundle registration opens on September 9.
Somewhere in Time (1980). Christopher Reeve as Richard Collier falls in love with an actress in a 1912 photograph. He goes to the Mackinac Island (Mich.) Public Library to research the actress, Elise McKenna. A librarian (Noreen Walker) reluctantly brings out some theater magazines from the back room.
Sons & Lovers (2003, UK, made for TV). Karen Henthorn plays a librarian in this D. H. Lawrence adaptation.
Sons of Anarchy (December 1, 2009, TV series), “Na Trioblóidi.” In the Stockton State Prison library, Kurt Sutter as Big Otto Delaney takes his revenge on David J. Wright as Squirrel for gouging his eye out.
Sophie’s Choice (1982). Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska, a Polish immigrant, seeks a book by the American poet Emily Dickinson, but she mispronounces it “Emil Dickens.” A prissy, surly male New York librarian played by John Rothman assumes the role of poster child for worst reference interview and tells her to go to the card catalog, even though she won’t find anything. “Charles Dickens was an English writer,” he oozes. “There is no American poet by the name of Dickens.” Sophie is so taken aback by his deskside manner that she faints.
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.
Studio Librarian, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. As part of UTC’s all-new forthcoming library, the Studio serves as a creation space that will support multimedia design and related emerging technologies. The librarian in this position will plan, develop, and implement service initiatives to enhance the Studio as a learning environment and guide patrons in the use of Studio and library resources....
Digital Library of the Week
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum offers a an extremely elegant, slick interface (Rijksstudio) to browse its vast collection, ranging through everything from Dutch Old Masters to 19th-century Japanese paintings. The grid-based system shows interactive, zoomable images of iconic paintings, furniture, and sculpture that can also be liked, saved, and shared on Facebook and Twitter. These range from Vermeer classics to Van Gogh self-portraits, flowers, and still-lifes. Users can create their own collections, curating and organizing the artwork into new combinations.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site, Check out our Featured Digital Libraries Pinterest board.
Noted and Quoted
“When we elected Ronald Reagan and the conservatives decided that they would decide not just what their children would read but what all children would read, it went crazy. My feeling in the beginning was wait, this is America: We don’t have censorship, we have, you know, freedom to read, freedom to write, freedom of the press, we don’t do this, we don’t ban books. But then they did.”
—Author Judy Blume on censorship in the US, The Guardian (UK), July 11.
Cross Timbers Library Collaborative Conference, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, Dallas, Texas.
Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium, Indiana University, South Bend. “Metaliteracy: Seeking Connections and Challenging Traditions.”
Lifelong Information Literacy Conference, JSerra Catholic High School, San Juan Capistrano, California. “Transitions: High School to College.”
Florida State University Libraries and the Panhandle Library Access Network, The Innovation Conference, Florida State University, Panama City.
IFLA World Library and Information Congress, Lyon, France.
Australian Library and Information Association, Annual Conference, Pullman Albert Park Hotel, Melbourne. “Together We Are Stronger.”
Great Lakes E-Summit, Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, Oregon, Ohio. “Delivering Information vs. Collection Building.”
International Library Symposium, The Southport School, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. “Embracing New Landscapes.”
National Federation of Advanced Information Services, Humanities Roundtable, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York City. “Digital Humanities and Digital Publishing: Insights and Opportunities.”
Australian Society of Archivists / Archives and Records Association of New Zealand, Joint Annual Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Georgia Council of Media Organizations, Annual Conference, Augusta. “Transforming Our Libraries: Master the Possibilities in Augusta.”
The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “Take Risks, Embrace Change.”
Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Colloquium: Pedagogy and Practices, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hynes Convention Center, Boston.
Online Northwest, Conference, CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis. Deadline for proposals: Oct. 17.
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50 cult novels worth reading
Emily Temple writes: “Just what is a cult novel? Well, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. Cult novels often come from the fringes, they often represent countercultural perspectives, they often experiment with form. Any book with a squadron of rabid fans swearing that it changed their lives quickly seems cultish. This list contains 50 of the most notable.”...
Mental Floss, July 9
Read the book before the movie (or show)
Tara Kehoe writes: “Young adult and adult novels make it to the big (and little) screen fairly often these days. So, just how smug should you feel when you have already read the book? There is no easy answer, so to tackle this issue I have broken down the tie-ins into categories: the book series made into a show, the stand-alone adaptation, movie adaptations of mega-seller series, and forthcoming and rumor mill titles.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 10
20 autobiographical novels
Amanda Nelson writes: “Even when authors are taking us to the most fantastical places populated with the most fantastical characters, there’s still the chance that they’re spinning their tales based on people they’ve known, places they’ve been, and experiences they’ve had. Sometimes, those novels are thinly veiled autobiographies, with altered names and hair colors to protect (or not, depending on the author’s mood) the innocent. We’ve teamed up with Biographile to bring you 20 of the most interesting autobiographical novels. Check out our 10 picks here, then view their selections.”...
Book Riot, July 16; Biographile, July 16
Vacation destination books
Carly Pansulla writes: “Sometimes I like my books to feel like an extension of the atmosphere I’m experiencing, rather than an escape from it, especially if I’m lucky enough to be on vacation. Sometimes I want to read all about other people having the same disruption to routine that vacations bring, living outside of their regular schedules. And sometimes I just want to savor the season as much as possible—sun, sand, water, just-picked fruits and veggies—and celebrate the many incarnations of a summer vacation with the following vacation-themed reading.”...
YALSA The Hub, July 15
Librarians in science fiction and fantasy
Stubby the Rocket writes: “Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there a number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks.”...
Tor blog, July 14
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Get ready now for Banned Books Week
Cosette Ratliff writes: “Each year, from the start of Banned Books Week (September 21–27 in 2014) through the 50 hours (seven days) that the library is open, there is someone at the Alameda (Calif.) Free Library reading out loud from a banned book. Everyone reads for at least 30 minutes and may sign up to read multiple times per day and multiple days during the week. However, it takes serious up-front preparation and daily monitoring. If you want to start a BBW Marathon at your library, here are some things to put on your to-do list.”....
Programming Librarian, July 15
The Wikipedia Library Project
Merrilee Proffitt writes: “For some time now I’ve been involved with the Wikipedia Library Project. You can find out about more about the project on Wikipedia, but I’ll also break it down for you here. The project was started by an active Wikipedian, Jake Orlowitz, who wanted to solve a big problem: Although those who edit Wikipedia always strive to use the best sources in their citations, they don’t always have access to those sources.”...
hangingtogether.org, July 14
Speaking their language
Katie Salo writes: “Several months ago, I wrote a post titled ‘Engaging Parents after Storytime,’ which was all about how to encourage parents to do activities together at home that would reinforce storytime and early literacy skills. A couple of commenters mentioned that they thought the article might address how to talk to parents or caregivers. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that question and am prepared to offer some tips from a non-parent perspective.”...
ALSC Blog, Nov. 15, 2013; July 16
“Mostly Lost” at the Library of Congress
Steve Zalusky writes: “On July 17–19, I and several other film buffs will have a chance to live out our desert-island fantasies by attending an event called ‘Mostly Lost’ at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. We will be watching silent and early sound films that have been unidentified, underidentified, or misidentified, and trying to identify them—or at least some of the actors, locations, car models, and production companies involved.”...
At Your Library, July 15
LC and ABA collaborate on Magna Carta exhibit
The Library of Congress—which opens its on-site exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” in November—is joining the American Bar Association in commemorating the 800th anniversary of the great charter by collaborating on a facsimile traveling exhibit, which will be launched August 8 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston. For the next several years, the ABA exhibition, “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215–2015,” will travel to public buildings such as courthouses, law schools, universities, and public libraries....
Library of Congress, July 1, 16
The New Yorker: A temporary window
The New Yorker has announced that it will be releasing its online archives dating back to 2007 for a three-month period in an effort to reboot its online presence. As of July 21, the magazine’s articles, old and new, will be available for free online in an effort to attract new readers before introducing a new paywall system. Under the new system, the magazine will no longer offer a portion of its content online for free....
The Daily Dot, July 15
Jenneka Janzen writes: “Bookmarks have an interesting medieval past. Medieval bookmarks tended to be less decorative, but über practical. There are essentially three types of bookmark, most of them extant from the 12th century onwards and usually found in liturgical books (as the Mass celebrant had to locate various readings in several different books depending on the day): fore-edge, register, and found-object bookmarks.”...
medievalfragments, July 11
First book printed in English sells for $1 million+
Hannah Keyser writes: “Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye, a 1464 work by Raoul Lefèvre, tells a chivalrized version of the history of the city of Troy. The Greek heroes, Hercules and Jason, are recast as ideal knights and founders of the Burgundian dynasty. It was translated by William Caxton into English soon after it was written and found popularity under its new title, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye. But these days, it is best known for its place in the literary tradition as the first book ever printed in English, and it just sold for over one million dollars.”...
Mental Floss, July 15
The end of nested Boolean searches?
Aaron Tay writes: “In library school, I was taught the concept of nested Boolean searches. In the first few years of my librarianship career, I taught such searches in class without thinking much of it. It feels so logical, so elegant, it had to be a good thing, right? Then I began studying and working on web scale discovery services, and the first doubts began to appear. I also started noticing that when I did my own research I rarely even did such structured searches.”...
Musings about Librarianship, July 14
The dangers of public computers
Josephine Wolff writes: “I still fear public computers, a terror that was only reinforced by a July 10 advisory about keyloggers on hotel business center machines. The advisory warned of cases in which people who had registered at hotels with stolen credit cards downloaded keylogging software onto the computers in the hotels’ business centers. The software would then capture every keystroke entered on those public machines—including the usernames and passwords entered by hotel guests, as well as the content of any emails or documents they wrote on those machines.”...
Slate, July 15; Krebs on Security, July 14
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