|American Libraries Online
The second wave of the Digital Divide
Corey Taylor writes: “Progress has been made in closing the digital divide between computer-based tools and infrastructure, but an equally debilitating digital divide in internet literacy affects the American public, according to ‘Responding to the Second Wave of the Digital Divide,’ a briefing of local government, public policy, and library experts held May 6 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. ALA President Barbara K. Stripling had several recommendations to address the perils of digital readiness.”...
AL: The Scoop, May 7
Summit on the Future of Libraries
Laurie D. Borman writes: “‘Librarians From Now On: Imagining the Future,’ a national summit on the future of libraries held May 2–3 in the Library of Congress Members’ Room (right), went fast and furious through two days of impressive speakers and discussions with invited library thought leaders. More than 80 participants, including librarians of all types, foundation leaders, publishers, and library vendors, spent time sharing ideas after each speaker’s presentation to begin a national conversation about the libraries of the future.” After each speaker, participants gathered at tables to discuss perceptions and ideas on the presentations. These were captured by a facilitator and will be available at a later date. Nine video interviews are available online....
AL: The Scoop, May 2, 5
Equity, diversity, and inclusion
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling (right) writes: “I am issuing a clarion call for us to act on our values of social equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through public and honest conversation and individual actions, we can build an equitable and just society for our members, for the field of librarianship, and for our communities. ALA has made progress in fostering inclusiveness. What we know, however, is that we are not doing enough. Members of our communities and profession continue to face inequity and discrimination.”...
AL: President’s Message, May 5
A project for ALA and all types of libraries
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels (right) writes: “All around us, libraries are transforming as they adapt to broader changes in the communities they serve and the environment in which they now operate. In the process, librarians have discovered that as they better understand their communities and their aspirations, the more deeply they are ‘engaged’; the more impact they can have on their communities; and the more support they will receive in return.”...
AL: Executive Director’s Message, May 5
Now trending: Tech and people news
Laurie D. Borman writes: “This issue (May 2014) we invited Marshall Breeding to give us a status and trends report on strategic products of the library technology industry. He has been reporting on technology in the industry for more than a decade and regularly provides updates for us and on his own site. Flip to the back page of this issue and you’ll find our new feature, The Bookend. We’re profiling librarians and their work in this new addition to American Libraries.”...
AL: Editor’s Letter, May 5
Tune in for a talk on library security
In the next broadcast of American Libraries Live, Steve Albrecht—a library security expert, consultant, and author of several books on workplace violence—will lead our expert panel in a discussion on both preventative and reactive security strategies. Tune in at 2 p.m. Eastern time on May 8 for this free, streaming video broadcast....
American Libraries, Apr. 29
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Sari Feldman wins ALA presidency
Sari Feldman (right), executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Parma, Ohio, has been elected ALA president for the 2015–2016 term. Feldman received 5,184 votes, while her opponent, Maggie Farrell, dean of libraries at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, received 4,185 votes. Feldman will serve as president-elect for one year before stepping into her role as president at the close of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco....
AL: The Scoop, May 2
ALA councilors elected
33 members have been elected as councilors-at-large on ALA Council for three-year terms. The terms begin at the conclusion of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas and extend through the end of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Office of ALA Governance, May 2
Figueroa to head Center for the Future of Libraries
Miguel A. Figueroa (right), former director of the ALA Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, has been named to head the new ALA Center for the Future of Libraries. As its first director, Figueroa will be responsible for identifying and disseminating information on long-term societal, technological, educational, and demographic trends that may affect libraries and their future. The director will also promote and support the incorporation of “futures thinking” into library policy and planning in libraries of all types....
Office of ALA Governance, Apr. 30
ALA applauds USA Freedom Act
On the eve of the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the USA Freedom Act, which would end the bulk collection of data on Americans, ALA President Barbara Stripling released the following statement on May 6: “Going forward, librarians in every state and congressional district are committed to working with Sen. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in the Senate to strengthen the public’s privacy protections in H.R. 3361.”...
Office of Government Relations, May 6
Virtual Library Legislative Day(s)
If you couldn’t make it to Washington, D.C., for National Library Legislative Day, you can still advocate for libraries by calling or emailing Congress as part of Virtual Library Legislative Day anytime from May 7 to May 9. Library supporters can let their legislators know just how important our nation’s libraries are to the communities they serve....
United for Libraries, May 6
Virtual Membership Meeting, June 5
ALA members are invited to participate in the 2014 Virtual Membership Meeting, 2–3:30 p.m. Central time, June 5. VMM is an annual online forum where ALA leaders present information about topics of interest to the general membership. All ALA personal members may register. Virtual Membership Meetings are part of ALA’s ongoing efforts to reach out interactively to members about its strategic direction, budget priorities, and other topics of interest. Live captioning is provided....
ALA Connect, May 6
New activities at the Placement Center
During the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, the ALA JobLIST Placement Center will introduce several new activities to help library workers get their careers on track: Check Out a Librarian on June 28 and On-the- Fly Mentoring on June 29. All slots for the professional photography service on June 28–29 have been filled....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 6
Placement Center open house
To provide networking opportunities for employers and job seekers, the ALA JobLIST Placement Center will host an open house on June 29 during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. There is no cost to participate and no appointments are necessary. Job seekers can just show up and talk to employers. Employers interested in participating in the open house should complete and submit a participation form (PDF file) to Beatrice Calvin by June 6....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 6
Our library ecosystem is under threat
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling writes: “The sounds of libraries today reveal the impact of libraries throughout our lives. All types of libraries—school, public, and academic—form a library ecosystem that provides and supports lifelong learning, and they work together to deliver learning opportunities for people of all ages. However, a threat to one part of the system stresses the entire system. At this moment we are facing a serious threat to school libraries, and thus to the entire library ecosystem.”...
The Huffington Post, Apr. 16
STEAM in Libraries webinar
STEAM Learning, a framework for teaching across the multiple disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, is the focus for the next webinar in Barbara Stripling’s “Libraries Change Lives” series. This free webinar will concentrate on introducing the STEAM philosophy into school and public libraries; highlighting its project-based learning and collaborative qualities. Mark your calendar for 1–2 p.m. Central time, May 19. Registration is free but mandatory....
Office for Library Advocacy, May 2
2014 International Games Day launched
For the first time, ALA is officially partnering with two international organizations to bring you International Games Day on November 15: the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), ALA analogue Down Under; and Nordic Game Day, who have been successfully running game days in Scandinavian libraries alongside IGD for the past few years. The event is still volunteer-run, but being able to call on the networks and some of the resources of other groups is a huge help in expanding the reach of the day....
International Games Day, May 5
People to People delegation to India
Consider joining a custom-designed library and information services delegation to New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, India, November 2–11. As a People to People Citizen Ambassador, you will network with your library and information services peers from India and around the world through vibrant professional exchanges and discussions. The delegation will be led by Nancy M. Bolt, former chair of the ALA International Relations Committee. Email People to People or call (877) 787-2000 for more information....
People to People
How to host programs about privacy
Mike Robinson writes: “I have been working with several libraries in Alaska to offer programs about online privacy. We offered two programs so far and are taking what we learned to create a series of programs this year. I would like to share how we got started, what we learned, and what we are planning for this year in the hope that it will inspire you. If we can do it, anyone can.”...
OIF Blog, May 4
Just another hysterical librarian for freedom
Nancy Kranich writes: “Are librarians hysterical about protecting user privacy, as Attorney General John Ashcroft contended in 2003? That was the question asked on April 23 when LIS students at Rutgers University heard from two librarians on the front lines defending and promoting intellectual freedom since the September 11th terrorist attacks. The colloquium, ‘Libraries, Privacy, and National Security,’ featured George Christian and Patrice McDermott.”...
OIF Blog, May 5
Five elected to FTRF board of trustees
Five members of the Freedom to Read Foundation were elected to two-year terms on the board of trustees in the annual election. Current FTRF President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. was reelected to the board, while Gretchen McCord, Kathy Ishizuka, and Em Claire Knowles were elected for the first time. Martin Garnar, who also won election, previously served on the board as an ex-officio member when he was chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 6
Slutshelf Giveaway benefits FTRF
After discovering the main character in her debut novel Salvage had been labeled a “slut” on Goodreads, Alexandra Duncan was inspired to turn the word around by initiating a giveaway of Salvage and other books that have been “banned, challenged, or generally derided for including mention of sex and sexuality.” She has offered to donate up to $1,000 to the Freedom to Read Foundation as part of this effort—a dollar for every entrant. And her agent agreed to match the donation. The Slutshelf Giveaway will run through May 19....
FTRF Blog, May 6
Health sciences reference sources
Prepared in collaboration with the Medical Library Association, the sixth edition of Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences, published by ALA Neal-Schuman, lists classic and up-to-the-minute print and electronic resources in the health sciences, helping librarians find the answers that library users seek. Compiled and edited by Jeffrey T. Huber and Susan Swogger, the guide includes new chapters on health information seeking, point-of-care sources, and global health sources....
ALA Neal-Schuman, May 2
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Featured review: Adult crime fiction
Cain, Chelsea. One Kick. Aug. 2014. 320p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4767-4978-5).
Cain has a new publisher and a new series, and even those fans most devoted to the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell novels will find plenty to race their pulses when they encounter Kick Lannigan, a woman on a mission. Part Lisbeth Salander and part Susan Ward, the punky reporter from the Sheridan-Lowell novels, Kick is a 21-year-old martial-arts expert who was abducted from her Seattle home at age six and rescued five years later, but not before being forced to star in a series of kiddie-porn videos still the rage on the underground internet. Now Kick is obsessed with tracking other abducted children, especially two who have gone missing in the last three weeks....
The year’s best crime novels, 2014
Bill Ott writes: “Series versus stand-alone, hard-boiled versus cozy, historical versus contemporary, a carefully planned menu versus potluck? Picking the best crime novels of the year is no easy trick. There is so much to consider beyond the book in front of you, which is why we choose to forget all that, just pick our favorites, and let them stand together. That’s what we did, and it worked out pretty well. Our top 10 includes six stand-alones, two series entries, and two books that seem to be the first volumes in new series.”...
Mystery Month: Don’t miss it
Keir Graff writes: “As everyone in the law-abiding world knows, May is the time when we celebrate the publication of Booklist’s annual Mystery Showcase issue with a happening we like to call Mystery Month. We kicked things off on Tuesday with a webinar, and our May 1 print issue is now live. Our blogs will be chock-full of crime-fiction posts, too, and we’ll be sharing gems from our mystery vault on Twitter and Facebook. Speaking of Twitter, we’ll be tweeting each and every one of our 41 starred mystery reviews before the end of the month.”...
Likely Stories, May 1
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Las Vegas Update
Best Las Vegas buffets
At the top of this list of nine buffets is the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan casino, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South. The Wicked Spoon is divided into sections, beginning with a salad area that includes Italian panzanella bread salad, chickpea salad, hummus, pita slices, and a nice selection of pungent cheeses. It also has a seafood station, an Italian food area, and an Asian station. The highlight is the gelato bar which serves the rich, creamy Italian treat in a wide variety of flavors....
iVegas, Mar. 30
Going healthy in Las Vegas
Stephanie Rosenbloom writes: “There was a time when yoga and Sin City were like fire and ice. But practicing a tree pose while a family of bottlenose dolphins looks on is just one of many health initiatives being introduced by hotels once known only for bars, buffets, and smoky casinos. The Mirage Hotel and Casino has cornered the dolphin-Ashtanga market, but its competitors have their own offbeat mind-body prescriptions.”...
New York Times, Nov. 29, 2013
Miniguide to Las Vegas resort fees
Charles Higgins writes: “Resort fees are mandatory add-on charges for assorted amenities and services most Las Vegas hotels now tack on to nightly room rates. Our previously published guide is now obsolete, as more Vegas hotels have either initiated or increased daily resort fees within the last two years. These extra charges don’t sit well with most Vegas visitors but, like it or not, they’re not going away and will likely increase with time.”...
Las Vegas Examiner, Jan. 3
A glimpse of Las Vegas
This timelapse video (1:03) by Lu Natalino offers a look at the hustle and bustle you will likely experience in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” This screenshot (right) shows Dale Chihuly’s Fiori di Como installation at the Bellagio Hotel on the Strip....
Vimeo, Apr. 29
Find Vegas shows
Vegas.com helps you get tickets for the most popular Las Vegas shows. From musical acts like Celine Dion, the Motown Show, Million Dollar Quartet, Boyz II Men, and the Osmonds, to the acrobats of Cirque du Soleil, this Las Vegas show guide provides you all the details you need, including price, show dates, show reviews, and an easy-to-use purchase process....
Blu Marble turns trash into treasure
Tourists living the high life on the Las Vegas Strip are leaving thousands of pounds of trash behind. Alcohol bottles are some of the most difficult for casinos to recycle, but now one local company is reimagining the trash and making money off of it. It’s called repurposed merchandise. Blu Marble, just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is taking trash, turning it into unique treasures, and selling them online....
KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, May 2
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Snapshots of reality
ACRL has published Snapshots of Reality: A Practical Guide to Formative Assessment in Library Instruction by Mary Snyder Broussard, Rachel Hickoff-Cresko, and Jessica Urick Oberlin. In 10 practical chapters, Snapshots of Reality works from the assumption that classroom-based assessment does not have to take away from invaluable instruction time, nor does it have to be an overwhelmingly complicated task, and it outlines the concept of formative assessment....
ACRL, May 2
Violence prevention in the public library
Public library staff are particularly vulnerable to encountering dangerous or difficult individuals. Learn how to identify potentially violent behavior as well as strategies to diffuse or, in the worst case, survive the situation in an hour-long, live webinar, “Violence Prevention in the Public Library,” presented by PLA on May 14. Instructor Kenneth Wolf is the director of Incident Management Team, Inc....
PLA, May 5
Vailey Oehlke elected PLA president
Vailey Oehlke (right),
director of the Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library, has been elected PLA president for 2015–2016. Oehlke has led Multnomah through three successful funding efforts, culminating in 2012 with the formation of a library district to provide stable funding for the library’s 150th year of service. She has been consistently dedicated to furthering the larger field of public libraries—serving on the PLA Board (2011–2013) and the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board....
PLA, May 5
Ann Campion Riley elected ACRL president
Ann Campion Riley (right), associate director for access, collections, and technical services at the University of Missouri, has been elected ACRL president for 2015–2016. Riley’s activities in ACRL include serving as a member of the ACRL Board of Directors (2009–2013), ACRL Chapters Council (2003-2005), ACRL Library Advocacy Institute (2003), Regional Advocacy Trainer (2003-2005), and member-at-large of the Distance Learning Section....
ACRL, May 5
Andrew Medlar elected ALSC president
Andrew Medlar (right), assistant commissioner for collections at the Chicago Public Library, has been elected ALSC president for 2015–2016. Medlar currently serves as ALSC’s division councilor and has served on ALSC committees, including Budget, Caldecott, and Sibert. He also has served on numerous ALSC task forces, including Friends of ALSC, Award Service and Social Media Review, and Online Continuing Education Strategy....
ALSC, May 5
Leslie Preddy elected AASL president
Leslie Preddy (right), school librarian at Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis, has been elected AASL president for 2015–2016. Preddy has served as chair of the AASL Innovative Reading Grant Committee, and as a member of the AASL Distinguished School Administrators Award Committee and the ALA Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming....
AASL, May 5
Thomas P. Dowling elected LITA president
Thomas P. Dowling (right), director of technologies at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been elected LITA president for 2015–2016. Dowling served on the LITA Board of Directors in 2000–2002 and currently serves as chair of the LITA Publications Committee, 2012–2014....
LITA, May 6
Ed McBride elected United for Libraries president
Ed McBride (right), has been elected United for Libraries president for 2015–2016. McBride was formerly chief member engagement officer at Lyrasis, senior vice president of Cengage Gale’s Customer Resource Center, and director of support services for the San Francisco Public Library. He is currently enrolled in the MLS-Executive Librarian Program at San José State University....
United for Libraries, May 5
Jeff Steely elected LLAMA president
Jeff Steely, associate dean of libraries at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has been elected LLAMA president for 2015–2016. Steely will become LLAMA President in June 2015....
LLAMA, May 5
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Sen. Leahy accepts Public Service Award
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., right) accepted the 2014 Public Service Award, given by United for Libraries, on May 5 during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C. The award was given for Leahy’s introduction of S. 1599, the USA Freedom Act, a companion bill to H.R. 3361 (also the USA Freedom Act). H.R. 3361 was introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who also received the Public Service Award....
United for Libraries, May 6
Norman Horrocks Annual Conference Award
The ALA Retired Members Round Table has named Jennifer S. Kutzik (right) the winner of the Norman Horrocks–Scarecrow Press Annual Conference Award for 2014. She will receive up to $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference. Kutzik retired on June 30, 2011, from Colorado State University Libraries, after a 39-year career as a library and information professional....
Retired Members Round Table, May 6
Diversity Research Grant deadline extended
The ALA Office for Diversity has extended the deadline for proposals for its 2014 Diversity Research Grants from April 30 to May 16. Applicants must be current ALA members, and 2014 proposals may concentrate on any diversity topic that addresses critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science. Submissions should be either PDF or Word attachments and emailed....
Office for Diversity, May 6
Frederick Stoss receives green education award
Frederick Stoss (right), subject specialist for biological and environmental sciences and mathematics at the University at Buffalo, has received the first Friend of the Biblioteca Nacional Aruba (BNA, National Library of Aruba) Award for his work with the BNA in green education programming and for helping to create the library’s Caribbean Energy, Environmental, and Sustainability Program. The award was made at the third annual Green Education Symposium Aruba, held April 7–11 at Cas di Cultura in Oranjestad, Aruba....
University at Buffalo, May 2
ATLA Leaders of Tomorrow
Nine participants were selected for the American Theological Library Association’s Creating the Leaders of Tomorrow program, which works with mid-career theological or religious studies librarians to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective library directors and leaders in the theological library community. Each participant is paired with an experienced library leader to serve as a mentor throughout their participation in the program....
American Theological Library Association, Apr. 23
2014 Depository Libraries of the Year
The US Government Printing Office recognized four libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program for their outstanding achievements and initiatives in 2013 and 2014. These Libraries of the Year were selected for their leadership, educational outreach, and commitment to providing free public access to information available from the federal government: Arizona State Library, Brooklyn College Library (right), University of Iowa Libraries, and the Ottenheimer Library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock....
Government Printing Office, Apr. 30
Excellence in Public History Award
Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library’s Civil War on the Western Border website, developed in collaboration with VTLS, won the 2014 Award for Excellence in Public History from the Society of Civil War Historians. The $5,000 award recognizes the website as an outstanding public history project that improves public awareness and understanding of the Civil War era. The website includes an interactive timeline and map as well as an innovative relationship viewer....
VTLS, May 6
2014 Edgar Awards (PDF file)
On May 1, Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2014 Edgar Allen Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2013. The award for best novel went to William Kent Krueger for Ordinary Grace (Atria Books), the best paperback original prize went to Alex Marwood for The Wicked Girls (Penguin), and Daniel Stashower was given the award for best fact crime for The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War (Minotaur)....
Mystery Writers of America, May 1
2013 Agatha Awards
At its annual Washington, D.C., convention on May 3, Malice Domestic announced the Agatha Award winners for books published in 2013. The awards celebrate “traditional mysteries” written in the style of Agatha Christie, meaning they contain no explicit gore, sex, or violence. Hank Phillippi Ryan won the Best Contemporary Novel award for The Wrong Girl (Forge), while Charles Todd won the Best Historical Novel award for A Question of Honor (Morrow)....
Malice Domestic, May 3
2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award
A debut novel narrated by a space ship has won Ann Leckie the UK’s top science fiction prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The American author’s Ancillary Justice has already jointly won the British Science Fiction Association prize and is nominated for the Hugo best novel award. The award is worth £2,014 ($3,397 US) this year. Ancillary Justice is narrated by what used to be the military space ship Justice of Toren, which now animates one possessed soldier....
The Guardian (UK), May 1
2014 James Beard Foundation Book Awards (PDF file)
The James Beard Foundation Book Awards were announced May 2 at Gotham Hall in New York City. British chef Heston Blumental’s Historic Heston (Bloomsbury) won the Cookbook of the Year award, while Denver author Adrian Miller won in the Reference and Scholarship category for his book Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time (University of North Carolina)....
James Beard Foundation, May 5
Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
Nathaniel Mackey (right) has won the 2014 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The $100,000 lifetime achievement award, one of the richest literary prizes in the world, is given annually by the Poetry Foundation. Mackey has served as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches creative writing at Duke. For decades he has been publishing poetry and prose, including a series of novels under the title From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate....
Washington Post: Style Blog, May 7
2014 O. Henry Prize winners
The 2014 winners of the short fiction O. Henry Prize were revealed May 5, recognizing both established writers and emerging voices. Chosen by series editor Laura Furman, the 20 stories will be collected into a single volume, published as an Anchor Books trade paperback original on September 9. Established in 1919, the prize is intended to “strengthen the art of the short story and to stimulate younger authors.”...
Publishers Weekly, May 5
2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards
The “IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Listed here are this year’s 78 National Category medalists, 275 in all, chosen from about 4,000 entries. The medal ceremony will be held on May 28 in New York City, on the eve of BookExpo America. The gold-medal winner in the religious fiction category was Treason: A Catholic Novel of Elizabethan England, by Dena Hunt (Sophia Institute Press)....
Independent Publisher, Apr. 30
2013 Whitney Awards
The Whitney Awards honor novels in various genres by authors belonging to the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Announced April 27, this year’s winners include Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, for best novel; Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, for best youth novel; Deep Cover by Traci Hunter Abramson, for best mystery/suspense novel; and All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, for best YA general novel....
Whitney Awards, Apr. 27
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Libraries in the News
NYPL abandons controversial renovation plan
In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its plan to turn part of its research flagship on 42nd Street into a circulating library and instead will renovate the Mid-Manhattan branch on Fifth Avenue, several library trustees said. The renovation, formerly known as the Central Library Plan, would have required eliminating the book stacks under the building’s main reading room. The change in course comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio prepares to announce his final budget on May 8....
New York Times, May 7
Chicago’s school libraries
Lauren Fitzpatrick writes: “A beautiful new library opened in early May in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago for the 800 students of Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School. Still, 252 of the 527 Chicago Public Schools that are staffed by union teachers lack a librarian, and 18 more schools have just a part-time librarian, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. CPS said it will spend up to $120 million making sure every classroom has air conditioning, but the district has allocated no money in FY 2015 directed specifically toward libraries....
Chicago Sun-Times, May 4
Perfectly Normal ebook challenged, retained
A controversial ebook on sex education will still be available to middle school students in the Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County, Missouri. Some parents were outraged over the cartoon drawings of naked people in It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and Michael Emberley. One parent filed a formal complaint, but school officials said “it was determined to keep the ebook available as a resource for check-out in the library.”...
KSDK-TV, St. Louis, May 6
Your own personal Multnomah librarian
In April, the Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library quietly launched My Librarian, an online tool that lets readers connect with a real-life librarian, without actually visiting a library branch. Instead, readers can build a relationship with one of 13 librarians through video chats, blogs, or phone calls to discuss their favorite books. The program, Library Director Vailey Oehlke said, is the first of its kind in the country....
Portland Oregonian, Apr. 30
Quiet man didn’t die alone
Vincent T. Davis writes: “When Carly Hatchell learned her uncle, missing more than 10 years, had died in San Antonio, Texas, she feared the worst. She assumed Raymond E. Mueller had been alone and in pain. But when she came to the city, she discovered Mueller hadn’t been alone at all. In fact, he had found some peace. He had refuge at the Central Library, surrounded every day by the books he loved. At night, he sought shelter at Haven for Hope, where he frequently stayed.”...
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, May 2
Saskatchewan to close four campus libraries
Four of seven University of Saskatchewan libraries will likely close as part of the TransformUS cost-cutting program. New details about the budget-slashing measures are included in a group of “project brief” documents on the university website. The plan for library services includes closing libraries in the education, law, and engineering colleges and in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. The university will move some collections into remote storage and could expand study space in the remaining libraries....
Saskatoon (Sask.) StarPhoenix, May 6
Library changes seen as risk to Health Canada
Managers at Health Canada admitted that changes to the department’s library services would lead to risks to its credibility and its ability to produce evidence-based decisions. The managers’ concerns have one observer saying that if the federal health minister doesn’t reverse the changes, “she’s putting Canadians at serious risk.” Health Canada moved its physical collection to the National Research Council in 2013. That led many scientists to use workarounds, like creating their own libraries....
CBC News, May 5
India: Censorship by the Batra Brigade
Wendy Doniger writes: “In February, after a long career of relative obscurity, I suddenly became notorious. In 2010, Penguin India had published a book of mine, The Hindus: An Alternative History, which won two awards in India. But within months of its publication in India, a then-81-year-old retired headmaster named Dina Nath Batra brought the first of a series of civil and criminal actions against the book, arguing that it violated the Indian Penal Code, which forbids ‘deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class’ of citizens.”...
New York Review of Books, May 8
Vatican Library moves into the 21st century
Aimee Chanthadavong writes: “The Vatican Apostolic Library has begun mass digitizing 82,000 historic manuscripts to make them available online. As part of the project, EMC Corporation has offered the library 2.8 petabytes of storage—enough to store about 40 million pages of digitized manuscripts. Speaking at EMC World 2014, Vatican Library Chief Information Officer Luciano Ammenti (right) said the project is halfway through.” IT World Canada has more information....
ZDNet, May 6; IT World Canada, May 6
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White House releases big data and privacy report
The White House released a long-awaited report (PDF file) May 1 on how the technology industry’s collection of big data affects the online privacy of millions of Americans. The report, authored by a group led by White House counselor John Podesta, recommends that Congress pass national data breach legislation, extend privacy protections to non-US citizens, and update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which controls how the government can access email. Here is danah boyd’s take on the report and an analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation....
Washington Post: The Switch, May 1; US Office of Science and Technology Policy, May 1; Nextgov, May 1; Apophenia, May 1; Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 4
Yahoo! drops “do not track” policy
Mark Hachman writes: “Yahoo said in early May that it will stop honoring ‘do not track’ requests made by a user’s browser. It will now actively attempt to track your interactions with its site and its content. ‘Here at Yahoo, we work hard to provide our users with a highly personalized experience,’ the ironically named ‘Yahoo Privacy Team’ wrote in a blog post. Yahoo said it had yet to see a single privacy standard that is ‘effective, easy to use, and has been adopted by the broader tech industry.’”...
PC World, May 2; Yahoo Global Public Policy, Apr. 30
Help EFF test Privacy Badger
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is launching a new extension for Firefox and Chrome called Privacy Badger, which automatically detects and blocks spying ads around the web and the invisible trackers that feed information to them. When you visit websites, your copy of Privacy Badger keeps note of the third-party domains that embed images, scripts, and advertising in the pages you visit. EFF is looking for intrepid users to try it out and let them know before they encourage millions of people to install it....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 1
IMLS hearing on libraries and broadband
Susan Hildreth writes: “On April 17, the Institute of Museum and Library Services convened the first public hearing it has ever held. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (right) is working to modernize the E-rate, an important source of telecommunications discounts for libraries and schools. Considering the analysis of FCC data that IMLS released just prior to the hearing, this moment was perhaps of even greater importance than many of us had realized. More than 90% of public libraries, a total of 15,551 individual libraries, have used the discounts provided by the E-rate.”...
UpNext: The IMLS Blog, May 5
Measures of success
Brett Bonfield writes: “The outcomes that librarians measure are not directly associated with practices that lead to improved lives for our patrons. If we cannot make that connection, we have no way of knowing how well we are really doing our jobs. There are four outcomes that librarians could use to measure success in improving our constituents’ well-being: voting, literacies, employment, and social capital.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, May 7
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Give him a hand
Marti Attoun writes: “Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books, and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas. Feeding and melting plastic filament to make parts on the 3D printer took about eight hours. Mason assembled the 20 pieces with nylon cord and stainless steel screws.”...
American Profile, Apr. 29
Top 10 ultrabooks
Mark Spoonauer writes: “Ultrabooks are the best kind of laptop money can buy. Why? Because they’re slim, light, and wake from sleep almost instantly. You should also expect long battery life, which is great for everyone from students to road warriors. There are many models to choose from at different prices, including hybrids that double as tablets for the ultimate in versatility. You’ll also find new machines with super-sharp quad HD screens. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Ultrabooks based on our extensive reviews.”...
Laptop Mag, May 5
Six new travel routers
Michael Brown writes: “If you need internet access while you’re away from home or work, you should carry a travel router in your bag. Free Wi-Fi hotspots are nearly always insecure, leaving your PC vulnerable to attack. Use a travel router to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot or a facility’s broadband connection, and it will create a private, secure, wireless network with a robust firewall. Here are the features you should look for when shopping for one and hands-on reviews of six new models.”...
PC World, May 5
How to back up your iOS device on the iCloud
Jill Duffy writes: “Everyone who owns a mobile device should back up the data. Period. With iOS, you have two simple options: use iCloud or use iTunes. iCloud is Apple’s own cloud-based storage and backup solution for Apple software. It comes included with your device, and it’s free for up to 5GB. This article explains how to back up using iCloud.” Watch the video (1:44)....
PC Magazine, July 26, 2012; May 7
Microsoft fixes IE bug—even for XP users
Andrea Peterson writes: “Microsoft released a security update for its Internet Explorer browser on May 1 to fix a bug that allowed hackers to take over a computer. The tech company said it will be releasing a similar update for Windows XP, even though it dropped support for the 12-year-old operating system in April. Users who have automatic updates enabled should not have to take any action.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, May 1
Char Booth and Dani Brecher write: “Cool or creepy. Those are the two most common words we hear when sharing Google Glass with the Claremont Colleges Library user community, more often than not in the same sentence. What’s behind these polarized reactions, and why would a library want Glass to begin with?”...
College and Research Libraries News 75 (May): 234–239
PC slowing down?
David Pogue writes: “Modern PCs don’t require as much maintenance as they once did. But showing your hard drive some love now and then can make a difference in its speed and efficiency, especially if it’s fairly full. Here it is: the non-techie’s guide to optimizing your system using Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter.”...
Yahoo! Tech, May 6
Practice programming languages in your browser
Novel Technology, May 5
Getting started with APIs
Lauren Magnuson writes: “There has been much discussion in the library community regarding the use of web service APIs over the past few years. Though APIs can be very powerful and provide awesome new ways to share, promote, manipulate, and mash up your library’s data, getting started using them can be overwhelming. This post is intended to provide a very basic overview of the technologies and terminology involved with web service APIs, and I offer a brief example to get you started using the Twitter API.”...
ACRL TechConnect Blog, May 1
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A world digital library is coming true
Robert Darnton writes: “In the scramble to gain market share in cyberspace, something is getting lost: the public interest. Libraries and laboratories—crucial nodes of the World Wide Web—are buckling under economic pressure, and the information they diffuse is being diverted away from the public sphere, where it can do most good. No one can ignore the economic realities that underlie the new information age, but who would argue that we have reached the right balance between commercialization and democratization?”...
New York Review of Books, May 22
Why paper books will persist
Brandon Keim writes: “Paper books were supposed to be dead by now. Yet in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper. What I’ve read on screen seems slippery; when I later recall it, the text is slightly translucent in my mind’s eye. It’s as if my brain better absorbs what’s presented on paper. Pixels just don’t seem to stick. And often I’ve found myself wondering, why might that be?”...
Wired, May 1
DCL ebook report for May 2014
James LaRue writes: “The Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report for May (PDF file) is now available. Out of curiosity, I added up the price of every single title available to libraries from each source. That is, suppose you decide to buy every New York Times bestseller title available to your library from each of the vendors in this DCL report. Which affords you the best deal?”...
AL: E-Content, May 7
Ebooks and early reading skills
Nate Hoffelder writes: “With some studies showing that enhanced ebooks hurt, and other studies showing that ebook readers help readers learn, the jury is still out on the topic of whether ebooks help or hurt reading comprehension. On May 2, a new study in Frontiers of Psychology added to the debate. A team of researchers at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute have found that displaying a picture book on an iPad and combining it with narration improved small children’s ability to understand the words they were seeing.”...
The Digital Reader, Mar. 14, Apr. 14, May 6; Frontiers in Psychology, May 2
Why Mattoon is cutting OverDrive loose
Mattoon (Ill.) Public Library Director Ryan Franklin writes: “In my last article I said you would see places where we had to cut the budget. The most noticeable cut so far is OverDrive. We have been fortunate to have access to ebooks and e-audiobooks for more than 12 years, but the price to maintain OverDrive is becoming prohibitive. Last year our price to have service from OverDrive went up 250%. Before, each library paid a flat fee. This was a good policy for 11 years. However, last year pricing was redone to reflect the usage from each library.”...
Mattoon (Ill.) Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, May 6
Ebooks for submariners
The Navy doesn’t allow iPads or Kindles on submarines; they’re too dangerous. Spies could use the camera to record inside, and cell signals could betray its location when it surfaces. So the Navy’s General Library Program has just announced the NeRD, or Navy eReader Device. It’s an E Ink tablet that resembles a Kindle, except it has no internet capability, no removable storage, and no way to add or delete content. The Navy plans to send about five to each submarine to be shared. Each reader is preloaded with 300 books that will never change....
The Verge, May 7; Digital Book World, May 7
Five past predictions on the future of the ebook
Matt Novak writes: “The dream of the electronic library dates back to at least the 1950s, and arguably much earlier. But it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that our ebook dreams slowly became a high-tech reality. Here we have a handful of predictions from the end of the last century about the future of the ebook and the various readers we’d be using to consume them.”...
Paleofuture, May 5; Mar, 7, 2012
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2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. You will have 36 new opportunities to experience your colleagues’ latest passions and innovations in Conversation Starter and Ignite Sessions.
Stepping Out (1991). Andrea Martin plays Dorothy, a drab librarian with allergies who takes tap-dancing lessons.
Stones of Death (1988, Australia). A high school student studying late in the library of a seaside housing development is attacked by a bizarre spider.
Storm Center (1956). Bette Davis plays Alicia Hull, the Kenport public librarian who refuses to remove The Communist Dream from the shelves, an action the city fathers have made a prerequisite for granting funds for a children’s wing. At the town meeting, attorney Paul Duncan (Brian Keith) accuses her of being a communist herself and turns the citizens against her, ultimately undermining the loyalty of a young patron, Kevin Coughlin as Freddie Slater, who burns the library down. Martha Lockridge (Kim Hunter) is the assistant, then acting librarian; Carl (Burt Mustin) and Susie (Darlene McCullough) are library staffers. Scenes were filmed in the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Public Library, a Carnegie building that was torn down in 1964. The screenplay was loosely based on Ruth Brown, librarian at the Bartlesville (Okla.) Public Library, who was fired in 1950, ostensibly for having subversive books in the library, but in reality for her civil-rights activism in the 1940s.
The Story of the Vatican (1941). This March of Time documentary shows the Vatican Library and some of its holdings, including papal bulls, manuscripts, and other examples of Catholic church history. Some of the footage came from “The Vatican of Pius XII” newsreel released in February 1940.
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.
Library Media Specialist, Atlanta Speech School. Utilizes leadership and expertise to provide a library media program aligned with the mission, goals, and objectives of the school; collaborates with classroom teachers and school leadership to design, implement, and/or enhance lessons and units of instruction; provides equitable access to information; and establishes an environment that encourages students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information....
Digital Library of the Week
The Indiana State Library has introduced an Indiana Digital Historic Newspapers platform to its Indiana Memory digital library. This collection contains 14,216 issues comprising 95,463 pages from some 30 Indiana newspapers from 1840 to 1922. The content is displayed in Veridian software, which allows registered users to correct OCR errors. The Indiana Memory site itself launched an improved web interface in late March.
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
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor.”
—Writer E. B. White (1899–1985), in the “Notes and Comments” section of The New Yorker, July 3, 1943.
LIBRIS 2014, Madren Conference Center, Clemson (S.C.) University. “Orange You Glad You Work in a Library.”
Canadian Library Association, Annual Conference, Victoria Conference Center, Victoria, British Columbia.
Rhode Island Library Association, Annual Conference, Salve Regina University, Newport.
New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Revel, Atlantic City.
New England Library Instruction Group, Annual Program, UMass Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Palm Springs, California.
Association of Christian Librarians, Annual Conference, Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana. “Crossroads to Discovery.”
Colorado Academic Library Association, Biennial Summit 2014, online meeting. “Educating in a World of Diversity.”
Pacific Northwest Library Association, Annual Conference, Great Northern Hotel, Helena, Montana. “Mining the Past to Plan for the Future.”
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Ramada Inn, Bismarck.
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Casper.
South Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Best Western Ramkota, Pierre. “Libraries: The Center of It All.”
American Libraries Direct
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10 rad female authors to read
Rachel Manwill writes: “In response to Donna Tartt’s well-deserved Pulitzer win for The Goldfinch, Time magazine posted an article listing 21 female authors you should be reading. Though there are some amazing authors on that list, if you’re a book lover like me, many of them are probably already on your radar. If you’re looking for a few more solid women to add to your reading repertoire, here are 10 more that you might not have heard of yet.”...
Book Riot, May 2; Time, Apr. 16
The 18 most hipster books of all time
Maddie Crum writes: “We got to thinking about which books are commonly enjoyed by the younger, trendier counterculture. It’s easy to make jokes about hipsters, which is exactly why we will. But it’s also interesting to examine the commonalities these stories share and why these books resonate so strongly with contemporary readers. So if a hipster is a talented, socially conscientious creative type who sometimes struggles with sincerity, what’s a hipster book?”...
The Huffington Post, May 6
The Indian-American experience in YA lit
Lalitha Nataraj writes:
“I continue to search for books in which I find my personal cultural experiences accurately mirrored. Discovering a story where the characters eat the same food as I do, pepper their English-dialogue with Indian language, and express the frustration of straddling two cultures elicits an internal sigh, like, ‘Finally! Someone else gets it!’ The month of May marks Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and I’m excited to share a few YA titles that focus on the Indian-American experience and Indian culture.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 7
New YA dragon books
Molly Wetta writes: “There’s one type of fantasy book I’m always getting requests for: dragon books! Since they are so popular at my library, I was thrilled to find not only quite a few new releases featuring dragons, but also that the selection is quite diverse. There are dragon books inspired by Asian mythology, those that take their inspiration from tales of medieval Europe, and those that imagine our world if dragons were real, or even a post-apocalyptic future where dragons are kept on reservations.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 5
More historical fashion hits and misses
Laura Perenic writes: “Many books from specific dates and locations feature outfits as cover art that either haven’t been invented yet or are way out of fashion. I was eager to know if these same mistakes were being made in young adult historical fiction. Here are some examples of books that got it right (the Infernal Devices series) and those that got it wrong (A Darkness Strange and Lovely).”...
YALSA The Hub, May 6
Why don’t romance novels get any respect?
Noah Berlatsky writes: “I’m a guy who loves romance novels. Or, rather, I would like to love romance novels. Jane Austen is just about my favorite novelist. Witty heroines and dashing heroes circling each other with arch asides, and sudden plunges of emotion that would make me cry the way that last paragraph about Dorothea and Will always makes me cry in Middlemarch. How hard could that be to find? The answer is: ridiculously hard.”...
Salon, Apr. 21
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How to identify Book Club editions
Kristin Masters writes: “If you collect modern first editions, you have probably encountered Book Club editions. Book Club editions are differentiated from trade editions. There are some notable exceptions in which the book club edition may actually be the first edition, such as with Pierre Boulle’s La Planète des Singes (Planet of the Apes) (right), where the true first French edition of the original text is also the book club edition for Le Cercle de nouveau livre. But this is the exception, not the rule.”...
Books Tell You Why, Apr. 29
Survey on CIP data
The Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication program is seeking input as it considers changes to the content and layout of the CIP data block, which LC produces for publishers to print on the copyright page. The CIP data block is one of the most visible public reminders of the work done by LC catalogers and reinforces the library’s brand. This survey should take 45 minutes to complete. The deadline is June 1....
CIP Data Block Committee
What do we mean by special populations?
Amy Seto Musser writes: “Since I started serving on the ALSC Committee for Library Services to Special Population Children and their Caregivers I am often asked, ‘What do you mean by special population?’ The more I think about this question, the more I realize that the answer is far from straightforward.”...
ALSC Blog, May 3
High tech has board games rolling again
Nick Wingfield writes: “Technology, by all rights, should have killed old-fashioned games, which can never equal the eye-popping graphics, visceral action, and immense online communities of today’s video games. Yet the opposite has occurred. Largely because of new technologies, there has been a creative outpouring of games by independent designers. New tools now power the creation of tabletop games (many in the strategy or fantasy genres) from idea to delivery.”...
New York Times, May 5
A new collaboration between the British Library and games research center Tiltfactor offers an innovative way for the public to explore and tag the British Library’s collection of more than one million public domain images that were posted onto Flickr Commons in December 2013. By playing Ships Tag, players produce in-game tags that directly contribute to the library’s content knowledge. The game launched on May 1....
Tiltfactor blog, Apr. 25
Minecraft programming for tweens
Ernie Cox writes: “Has your library ventured into the realm of Minecraft? Are you looking for new ideas to serve your tween patrons? I encourage you to consider investing in a MinecraftEdu account. This digital environment offers your tweens and the librarians serving them a wealth of programming options. If you’re ready to step into the role of digital media mentor, this is a prime opportunity to do so.”...
ALSC Blog, May 6
Standalone Google apps for docs and spreadsheets
Kif Leswing writes: “On April 30, Google introduced standalone apps for Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets. Slides, Google’s presentation app, will be released soon. Users can still browse and edit your documents through the Drive app, but eventually they’ll be prompted to download the standalone apps when editing or creating a document in Drive. The new apps are almost identical to their implementation inside the Drive app, which will be relegated to organization and viewing duties.”...
GigaOM, Apr. 30; Official Google Blog, Apr. 30
Three good pieces of Google Apps news
Richard Byrne writes: “Over the last seven days Google has made a few announcements that educators should note. The most significant of those announcements came today with the news of Classroom by Google, a new tool designed to help teachers organize workflow inside of Google Apps for Education. Within Classroom by Google teachers will be able to distribute assignments, create folders for students, and push announcements to students.” David Nagel has more details....
Free Technology for Teachers, May 6; THE Journal, May 6
A new, enhanced Firefox
Farhad Manjoo writes: “Mozilla has just released the latest upgrade to Firefox, its popular open-source browser. We’re at version 29 now, which as software goes is pretty long in the tooth. But when I first opened Firefox 29, which became available in late April, I felt a surge of nostalgia. It instantly reminded me of what I liked best about the open-source browser in its heyday. Opening it up is like running into an old friend who had gone astray; he’s cleaned up, gotten his act together, and now he’s ready to escort you on a journey across the web.”...
New York Times: Bits, May 2
Multi-language spell-checking in Chrome
When you install Google Chrome, a default language and dictionary file is automatically installed during the process. Chrome sets the language as the browser’s primary language, which means that it won’t offer to translate web pages published in it and display spelling corrections automatically when you write in the browser. But you can add additional languages and dictionaries to the browser. Here’s how....
gHacks, Apr. 30
Vine opens up
Kurt Wagner writes: “Visitors to Vine.co will now be able to watch Vine videos without creating or signing into an account, an element that the old site didn’t offer. Users were greeted with a login page, but didn’t have access to videos unless they had that video’s direct URL. Vine also added a search tool for finding new content, a noticeably absent element of the previous site. The new website also includes content sections like playlists, featured videos, and ‘popular now’ videos.”...
Mashable, May 1
Ooberdocs: From email to Dropbox
Alex Wilhelm writes: “Tired of having your files pile up in different buckets? Want better harmony between your email and cloud storage account? Ooberdocs solves that issue by copying attachments sent to your email address into your Dropbox account. The hack is currently live, functional, and slightly buggy. At the moment, you can use Ooberdocs with Gmail and some other webmail services.”...
TechCrunch, May 4
Versus compares two things
Patrick Allan writes: “The website Versus takes away some of the tedious research involved with comparing certain products. Two similar items get compared side by side, showing you to the top reasons one item is better than the other. The comparisons cover a wide range of things, including cameras, graphics cards, watches, washing machines, and even universities or cities. An Android app is available.”...
Lifehacker, May 5
What you need to know to take a librarian job abroad
Celia Emmelheinz writes: “When they are worn out by studies and dreaming of a future post-MLIS life, many library students start to imagine what it would be like to travel somewhere far, far away. With a beach, ideally, and palm trees, and a small waterproof hut for books and technology. If you’re looking outward to the rest of the world for library opportunities, the first thing I’d do is to encourage you to go for it. After you’ve applied and started getting interviews, there are several things to keep in mind.”...
Hack Library School, May 2
10 best free historical newspaper sites
Kenneth R. Marks writes: “As I have recently completed 51 different articles that contain links for each state (and D.C.) for online historical newspaper research, I offer you my opinion on which sites I think are my Top 10 favorite free sites. My criteria include the size of the collection, the underlying software, its usability and features, and the extent to which the collection is representative of the number of newspapers ever published vs. the amount that is online in the state.”...
The Ancestor Hunt, Apr. 12, 30
The beauty of the injured book
Erik Kwakkel writes: “While our eyes are naturally drawn to pages filled with color and gold, those without decoration can be equally appealing. Indeed, even damaged goods—mutilated bindings, torn pages, parchment with cuts and holes—can be highly attractive. The visual power of damage may be generated by close-up photography, with camera and book at just the right angle, catching just the right amount of light. These images celebrate the beauty of the injured book, the art of devastation.”...
Medieval Fragments, May 2
Secret libraries of New York City
Allison Meier writes: “As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library, we are looking at some of the city’s less visible libraries. The NYPL has an incredible branch system around the boroughs, but it’s only a part of New York City’s literary resources. From private clubs to nonprofit societies to pop-up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city.”...
Atlas Obscura, May 2
Stand-Up Librarian carves out a career with the tools at hand
Meredith Myers (right)—clad in a tool-motif dress with a red petticoat, pigtails, and a variety of power tools—performed April 12 at the ARTpool Gallery, an artist co-op and vintage store in St. Petersburg, Florida. Myers is part comedian, part performance artist, part book nerd, and part librarian who has created an act for herself as the Stand-Up Librarian. “I am a librarian with a master’s degree working for a home improvement center and having the time of my life,” she told the crowd. “Do it yourself. Do not wait around for people to give you a job.”...
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, Apr. 30
University of Michigan’s napping stations
For those students studying in the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library, relief is not far away. The Central Student Government has implemented its first napping station. The idea is geared toward those who are studying hard for tests but live too far from the library to run home for a quick nap....
Michigan Radio, May 1
Do you wanna go to Starbucks?
Two students from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Jené Nicole Johnson and Olivia Mowry, produced this musical parody (2:13) of Frozen’s song, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” to demonstrate the need for caffeine during finals week. PLNU Instructional Services Librarian Denise Nelson helped out with the video, which was filmed in the Ryan Library. Meanwhile, Book Riot has compiled some other “librarian parody videos.”...
YouTube, May 3; Book Riot, May 6
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