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The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | May 21, 2014



AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Books to weedThe practical librarian’s guide to collection development
Abby Preschel Kalan writes: “After years of practicing adult collection development skills in a medium-sized suburban public library, I have discovered that specific shortcut rules have become second nature to me. I present here an annotated rundown of my shortcuts that can help anyone create and maintain viable and successful collections for customers older than 10. My guide begins with weeding because this process prompts us to think twice before making purchases.”...
American Libraries feature

Gloria Velez and her son, Mauricio, volunteer as promotores to help bring new patrons to Waukegan (Ill.) Public LibraryConnecting Latinos with libraries
Ellyn Ruhlmann writes: “Immigrants have continued to flow into the United States in rising numbers, reaching a current population of more than 40 million. In response to the influx, libraries across the country are developing new strategies like Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library’s Promotores program to address the struggles of a growing Latino population. They’ve discovered that the library’s traditional modus operandi—everything from distributing fliers to developing typical programs—doesn’t necessarily work with this demographic.”...
American Libraries feature

Stan LeeNewsmaker: Stan Lee
Over the past century, superheroes have ingrained themselves in society’s collective psyche and permeated pop culture. Stan Lee (right), the man who created many of these characters for Marvel, will share his insight on the importance of comic books to literacy in his Auditorium Speaker Session at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. American Libraries spoke with the legendary comic book writer in April to discuss the role of comic books in children’s literacy, the lack of diversity among superhero characters, and what secret superpowers he possesses....
American Libraries column, May

René TannerOn My Mind: A moment of science
René Tanner (right) writes: “Libraries are places where people can continue their education. However, for a person studying alone, it is often easy to lose momentum. Starting a book discussion can be an excellent way to encourage people to read challenging material within a supportive learning environment, and it can become an integral part of your outreach efforts. Here is how I experimented with a science book discussion.”...
American Libraries column, May

Cover of Recognizing Public ValueLibrarian’s Library: Businesslike management
Karen Muller writes: “Anyone who has worked in nonprofit management for any length of time and participated in planning meetings has heard the exhortation, ‘We should be managed more like a business!’ The following selections offer guidance to libraries who want to heed that call. In Recognizing Public Value, Mark H. Moore, professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, uses seven case studies to highlight the problems of recognizing and measuring social value.”...
American Libraries column, May

Still time to submit for Library Design Showcase
The deadline for submissions to the 2014 Library Design Showcase is May 31. To have your new or renovated library considered, send a completed submission form (PDF file), along with high-resolution digital images by mail to American Libraries, Attn: Library Design Showcase, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, or by email....
American Libraries, Dec. 9, 2013

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ALA News

Barbara Stripling at the Summit on the Future of Libraries. Photo by Bohyun KimReport on the Summit on the Future of Libraries
ALA President Barbara Stripling (right) writes: “I am pleased to present a report (Word file) on the May 2–3 Summit on the Future of Libraries prepared by Nancy Bolt, coordinator for the summit. Our goal was to bring together thought leaders from the library community and from a broad spectrum of educational organizations, federal agencies, and foundations to begin a national conversation about the future and libraries.” Summit attendee Bohyun Kim also offers her thoughts and takeaways prompted by the talks and the table discussion at the summit....
ALA Connect, May 19; ACRL TechConnect Blog, May 21

Jeff BridgesLois LowryLois Lowry, Jeff Bridges at Annual Conference
Bestselling youth author and two-time Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry will be joined by Academy Award–winning actor Jeff Bridges at Barbara Stripling’s President’s Program and Awards Presentation on June 29 at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Stripling will conduct an interview with Lowry, then Bridges will join them to talk about the movie version of Lowry’s The Giver, scheduled for release in August, in which he stars....
Conference Services, May 15

Virginia Bradley MooreVirginia Bradley Moore to deliver Coleman Lecture
Virginia Bradley Moore (right), former longstanding chair of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force and retired librarian from the Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System, will deliver the 2014 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture on June 30 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Her lecture, “Equality, Equity, Diversity: Libraries, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Mission,” will look at how the profession has respected and promoted King’s ideals....
Office for Library Outreach Services, May 20

Screenshot from The SpeakerControversial film The Speaker to be screened
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Association of American Publishers will present “Speaking about The Speaker,” about the controversial ALA-produced 1977 film The Speaker (right) on June 30 during the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The film depicts a high school current events club that invites a white supremacist professor to address the student body and the controversy that ensues. The film (41:33) is now viewable on YouTube, and American Libraries coverage of the controversy that disrupted the 1977 ALA Annual Conference is online (PDF file)....
Frreedom to Read Foundation, May 20; YouTube, May 20; American Libraries, July/Aug. 1977

Meet the 2014 class of Emerging Leaders
Attendees of the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas are invited to meet the 2014 class of Emerging Leaders at a poster session and reception on June 27. The 2014 class will showcase their final projects at the poster session. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 20

Take action for librariesLate changes weaken USA Freedom Act
Adam Eisgrau writes: “As widely reported May 21, the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361), legislation intended to end the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, was substantially changed late May 20 in the House Rules Committee. Sadly, after approval of a constructive bill by both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the Rules Committee’s version of the bill (PDF file) that will be voted on May 22 without further amendment by the full House of Representatives (and very likely approved) has been so substantially weakened at the administration’s urging that ALA and its coalition partners can no longer affirmatively support the bill.”...
District Dispatch, May 21; Politico, May 21; Techdirt, May 20

ALA and the Open Internet
The May 15 vote by the Federal Communications Commission reopens one of the most important rulemakings to affect America’s internet users and the libraries that support free public access and communities of researchers and learners. ALA Immediate Past President Maureen Sullivan released the following statement in the wake of the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Open Internet....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 15

Former Sen. Jim WebbSen. Jim Webb to address ALA Annual
The midterm elections are steadily approaching, and libraries need to be prepared. Want to learn more about how the November elections will affect libraries? Don’t miss this year’s “Washington Update” session on June 28 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, where former Virginia Senator Jim Webb (right) will detail the upcoming national election season and the ways that libraries and library funding will be affected....
Office of Government Relations, May 20

Gigi SohnFCC counsel to talk about net neutrality
Learn how the Federal Communications Commission is addressing network neutrality issues at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Gigi Sohn (right), special counsel for the FCC’s External Affairs will discuss net neutrality during the session “Information Manipulation Part I: Net Neutrality,” which takes place on June 28. A panel of respondents will join Sohn in discussing the ALA’s actions to support an Open Internet....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 20

Library, privacy leaders to discuss surveillance
What does the collection and retention of bulk phone records and other personal information mean for the public and for library users? Learn about the ways that personal information and internet access ars managed by the government at “Information Manipulation Part II: Surveillance,” on June 30 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office of Government Relations, May 20

Grassroots advocacy expert at ALA Annual
Looking for ways to engage your friends and trustees in a grassroots campaign at your library? Now more than ever, libraries need advocacy on every level, especially from their Friends, trustees, advocates, and foundations. Join Stephanie Vance at “Making an Impact: Proven Grassroots Strategies for Friends, Trustees, Advocates, and Foundations” on June 28 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office of Government Relations, May 20

e-gov ALA logoALA Annual to present e-government panel
Every year, more and more people are turning to libraries for job assistance and e-government tasks. Library leaders are encouraged to participate in “Libraries and E-government,” an interactive program that will take place June 28 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office of Government Relations, May 20

Winning libraries share cutting-edge services
Each year, the Office for Information Technology Policy and LITA recognize cutting-edge technologies in library services. Learn how four libraries are using novel and cost-effective methods to leverage technologies to better serve their communities at “Cutting-Edge Technology in Library Services” on June 28 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 20

Kentucky Library Association president Lisa Rice (far left) and Kentucky delegates meet with Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) in his office. Photo by Jacob RobertsStanding for libraries at National Library Legislative Day
Jazzy Wright writes: “On May 5–6, more than 420 librarians, patrons, teens, and parents gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss library issues with members of Congress during the ALA National Library Legislative Day. This marked the 40th anniversary of the event, organized by ALA’s Washington Office. The number of advocates who participated was a full 20% increase from 2013, which made it one of the best-attended NLLD events in recent years.”...
AL: The Scoop, May 15

Nominating Committee seeks candidates
The Nominating Committee for the 2015 ALA election is soliciting nominees to run on the 2015 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president-elect and councilor-at-large. The committee will select two candidates to run for president-elect and no fewer than 50 candidates for the 33 at-large Council seats to be filled in the 2015 spring election. Potential nominees must complete the Potential Candidate Biographical Form by August 14....
Office of ALA Governance, May 15

Second draft of ALA Standards for Accreditation
The second draft of the revision of the 2008 Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Science, based on comment since December 2013, is now available for review and final comment through October 24 at the Standards Review website. Interested constituents are also invited to meet with the Committee on Accreditation to offer comments on the revision at the ALA Annual Conference on June 29....
Office for Accreditation, May 19

ITTS statistics for 2013ALA strategic technology directions
The ALA Information Technology and Telecommunication Services unit presented its ALA Strategic Technology Directions 2014–2017 report (PDF file) to the ALA Executive Board in April. It provides a good foundation for understanding how technology is implemented to meet the goals of the organization and explains the role of ITTS within ALA. Here are some highlights....
ITTS News, May 16

ALA Editions eCoursesALA Editions eCourses
ALA Editions is offering new iterations of three of its popular eCourses: “Dynamic One-Shot Instruction,” four weeks, starting July 14; “Copyright for Teachers and Librarians,” four weeks, starting July 7; and “Rethinking Readers’ Advisory,” six weeks, starting July 7. Registrations can be purchased at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, May 20

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Booklist webinars

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Magician's LandFeatured review: Adult fiction
Grossman, Lev. The Magician’s Land. Aug. 2014. 404p. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-01567-9).
The third and concluding volume in Grossman’s epic Magicians trilogy finds former High King Quentin ejected from the magical kingdom of Fillory and, in short order, given the boot from a too-brief teaching stint at his old alma mater, Brakebills. What is Quentin to do? At loose ends, he joins a ragtag group of magicians—including Plum, an expelled Brakebills student—on a quest to find a mysterious case, contents unknown but presumed to be invaluable. Meanwhile, it appears, amid intimations of apocalypse, that Fillory is coming to an end, and the novel’s action begins bouncing back and forth between the kingdom and the real world, where Quentin and Plum are now living in a New York town house, with Quentin determined to use an arcane spell to create a new magician’s land. At this point, Quentin’s former inamorata Alice shows up; but wait! Isn’t she dead? Hmm....

Top 10 SF/Fantasy/HorrorTop 10 sf/fantasy/horror: 2014
Brad Hooper writes: “Creativity knows no bounds in today’s sf, fantasy, and horror worlds, as attested to in our latest roundup of top 10 novels in those categories, all of which were reviewed in Booklist between May 15, 2013, and May 1, 2014.”...

#Mystery MonthWin a year of Booklist
Keir Graff writes: “Mystery Month is rolling right along, and now it’s time for you to get into the act. By midnight on May 22, share a picture of the mystery you’re currently reading (or listening to), and you will have a chance to win a free year of Booklist, Booklist Online, and Book Links. Just tweet a picture of the cover using the hashtag #mysterymonth, or share it on our Facebook page (use the hashtag there, too). One winner will be chosen at random on May 23 and announced—how else?—with the #mysterymonth hashtag.”...

Cover of Booklist's 1000 Best Young Adult Books since 2000The 1,000 best YA books since 2000
With the explosion in YA publishing, it’s harder than ever to separate good books from the rest. Booklist magazine’s deep and broad coverage of the landscape offers indispensable guidance, and in Booklist’s 1000 Best Young Adult Books since 2000, published by ALA Editions, editors Gillian Engberg and Ian Chipman bring together the very best of the best books for young adults published in the first decade of the 21st century....

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

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ALA Annual Conference 2014

Las Vegas Update

Breakfast burritos at Sunrise CoffeeDining vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free
Stefanie Bailey writes: “Las Vegas has many restaurants that cater to people who are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. Start your morning off right with a stop at Sunrise Coffee, located close to the airport. This little coffee house gem offers vegan breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, and delicious baked goods. If you’re on the east side near University District, check out Tiabi Coffee and Waffle for their delicious vegan waffles.”...
YALSA Blog, May 19

Halibut tail at DB BrasserieThe best things we ate in Las Vegas
Julia Kramer writes: “We go to Las Vegas to eat. And this past weekend, we took that approach to an extreme, packing in as many bites as we could handle at our blow-out food-and-wine extravaganza, Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit. From burgers and pig roasts to caviar and ramps (apparently not even Vegas is immune to the spring onion’s charms), there is no doubt we got our fill. Here are some of the highlights.”...
Bon Appétit, May 12

Bathroom in the Constantine Villa, Caesar's PalaceTop Las Vegas bathrooms
They don’t do average in Las Vegas. The city specializes in crazy thrill rides, celebrity chefs with gourmet restaurants, luxurious hotel rooms, and yes, even out-of-this-world bathrooms: from restrooms with a view of the Las Vegas Strip to restrooms decorated with chandeliers and Italian marble. Vegas’ great bathrooms are not confined to hotel rooms and suites. There are plenty of unusual and amazing restrooms located off clubs, hotel lobbies, and restaurants....

Smokey Robinson Presents Human Nature: The Motown ShowLas Vegas events
Few cities can compete with the events, concerts, and shows in Las Vegas. There are shows with dancing, singing, acrobatics, comedy, drama, and a healthy amount of spectacle. Some upcoming shows during Annual Conference include: Thunder From Down Under (3850 S. Las Vegas Blvd.), Smokey Robinson Presents Human Nature: The Motown Show (right, Venetian), Penn and Teller (Rio), Donny and Marie Osmond (Flamingo), Celine Dion (Caesars Palace), Olivia Newton-John (Flamingo), Boyz II Men (Mirage), and David Copperfield (MGM Grand)....
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Las Vegas Convention CenterLas Vegas Convention Center
The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the largest convention centers in the world with 3.2 million square feet of space. It is the largest single-level convention center in the world. Located on Paradise Road at least a 12-minute walk away from the Strip, the convention center is adjacent to the LVH–Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel and is accessible from the Las Vegas Monorail....
Wikipedia; Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

X-Mini We speakerNine innovative travel gadgets
Jo Piazza writes: “I typically subscribe to the belief that technology just makes most things better. Good technology, that is. I’ve road tested a lot of fad gadgets that have broken the second I got them, and I have had others that have traveled to six continents, no problem. Here are the nine devices that every traveler should have in her arsenal. For example, a speaker the size of your thumb (above).”...
Yahoo! Tech, May 10

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Division News

RUSA Literary Tastes
RUSA will host three award-winning authors—Daniel J. Brown, Tessa Dare, and V. E. Schwab—at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference program Literary Tastes on June 29, a conference tradition that features authors from RUSA’s literary awards for adults. The event, sponsored by Penguin Group, HarperCollins, and Macmillan, is offered free to all conference registrants. Following the formal presentation, authors will be available for book signings....
RUSA, May 20

ASCLA/COSLA reception
Networking, hors d’oeuvres, and an awards presentation are on the agenda for the ASCLA/COSLA reception at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. All conference attendees are invited to participate in the celebration on June 28. The event is cosponsored by ASCLA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies to celebrate this year’s ASCLA Achievement Award recipients....
ASCLA, May 20

Get a bigger piece of the pie
United for Libraries will present “Getting a Bigger Piece of the Pie: Effective Communication with Funders and Policy Makers” on June 29 at the ALA Annual Conference. Learn from the experts about how to get to know, communicate with, and influence those who approve your library’s budget. Even in tough times, there are strategies to get you more. Enjoy a free piece of pie while you learn how about “getting a bigger piece of the pie.”...
United for Libraries, May 20

Lyle the Crocodile with the Literary Landmark plaqueYorkville School becomes a Literary Landmark
United for Libraries, in partnership with Empire State Center for the Book, the Children’s Book Council, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Yorkville Community School PTA, designated Yorkville Community School on East 88th Street in New York City a Literary Landmark in honor of Bernard Waber on May 14. Author and illustrator Bernard Waber (1921–2013) used East 88th Street as a setting for his cherished Lyle the Crocodile picture books. A United for Libraries bronze plaque will be mounted on the exterior of the school to officially mark the spot....
United for Libraries, May 20; Publishers Weekly, May 15

Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway recipients announced
YALSA has announced the recipients of its 2014 Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway. A total of 100 recipients will be receiving a set of the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten nominees through funding from World Wrestling Entertainment. The nominee list is comprised of 25 teen-acclaimed YA titles ranging from a multitude of different genres and captivating storylines....
YALSA, May 20

YALSA opens proposals for 2015 Annual Conference
YALSA will accept proposals for continuing education sessions to be presented at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference June 26–30 in San Francisco. Proposals may be submitted through July 1....
YALSA, May 19

Trustee Academy logoSouth Carolina purchases Trustee Academy series
The state of South Carolina recently joined 11 other states in making United for Libraries’ Trustee Academy, a series of online courses for library trustees, available to its libraries. Information about the Trustee Academy, which is also available to individual boards and trustees, is available online. To purchase the Trustee Academy for a state or region, email Beth Nawalinski....
United for Libraries, May 20

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Awards & Grants

Karin SlaughterKarin Slaughter headlines Carnegie Medal ceremony
Award-winning crime writer Karin Slaughter (right) will be a featured speaker at the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence award ceremony, where the two winners will be announced. The event will take place June 28 during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, and the two winning authors (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) will each take home $5,000 with their medal....
Booklist, May 19

Belle Isle branch of the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma CityGordon and Laverne Taylor receive Major Benefactor Citation
United for Libraries, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City and its Library Endowment Trust, have honored the late Gordon and LaVerne Taylor with its Major Benefactor Citation for their unprecedented contributions to the Belle Isle branch, which so far totals about $1.4 million from the estate....
United for Libraries, May 20

Two new LIRT awards
The Library Instruction Round Table invites you to attend the inaugural LIRT Awards ceremony June 29 at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The LIRT Librarian Recognition Award is presented to an individual librarian in appreciation for their contribution to the advancement and support of information literacy and instruction. The LIRT Innovation in Instruction Award is given to a library that demonstrates innovation in support of information literacy and instruction....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, May 19

2014 Paul Evan Peters Fellowships
The Coalition for Networked Information has announced that applications for two 2014 Paul Evan Peters Fellowships will be accepted through June 24. The fellowship is awarded every two years to students pursuing graduate studies in librarianship, the information sciences, or a closely related field, who demonstrate intellectual and personal qualities consistent with those of CNI founder Paul Evan Peters....
Coalition for Networked Information, May 15

Cover of Sister Mine2013 Nebula Awards
The 2013 Nebula Awards were presented May 17 at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in San José, California. The winning novel was Ancillary Justice (Orbit) by Ann Leckie, and the award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Book went to Sister Mine (Grand Central) by Nalo Hopkinson. Special awards went to authors Samuel R. Delany and Frank M. Robinson....
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, May 18

Lucy CaldwellCommonwealth Short Story Prize
The regional winners of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize were announced by Commonwealth Writers in London on May 14. For the first time in the prize’s history, female writers won all the regional categories. “Killing Time” by UK writer Lucy Caldwell (right) was the winner in the Canada and Europe region. All the regional winners will now go on to compete for the overall winner award, which will be announced in Kampala, Uganda, on June 13....
Commonwealth Writers, May 14

Cover of This Boy2014 Ondaatje Prize
The Royal Society of Literature in London announced on May 19 that this year’s £10,000 ($16,839 US) Ondaatje Prize has been awarded to This Boy, Alan Johnson’s stirring memoir of a post-war childhood in a West London slum area. Johnson writes of how his mother, Lily, raised him and his sister, Linda, and how, after their mother’s death, Linda fought to keep the family out of social care. This literary prize is given to the book (a novel, a work of nonfiction, or a poetry collection) that best evokes a sense of place and its spirit....
The Guardian (UK), May 20

Cover of Lost for WordsSatire on literary awards wins literary award
Novelist Edward St. Aubyn has shifted from parody into reality by winning the UK’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction with a satire of literary awards, Lost for Words. The novel imagines a literary award filled to bursting with feckless judges and deluded authors. The chairman is a Member of Parliament who wants to stand up for “ordinary readers,” a fellow judge who is more interested in the length of a manuscript than its quality, and novelist Sam Black who thinks it “out of the question not to win.”...
The Guardian (UK), May 19

Cover of Rush Revere and the Brave PilgrimsRush Limbaugh wins Children’s Choice Book Award
Winners of the Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards were announced May 14 at the seventh Children’s Book Week Gala in New York, part of the 95th Children’s Book Week. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh won author of the year for Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, while Grace Lee won illustrator of the year for Sofia the First: The Floating Palace....
CNN, May 15

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AL Live

Libraries in the News

Cover of Sixth Grade Can Really Kill YouTwin Cities school to keep Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You
A panel of parents, teachers, and Rosemount–Apple Valley–Eagan, Minnesota, school officials voted unanimously May 14 to keep a book that uses the word “retarded” in the libraries of nine district schools. Jenna Boutain, a Farmington resident whose daughter attends a district school, requested in April that the book Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements be removed from schools because it uses a derogatory term for students with special needs....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, May 15

Anthony MarxWhat really killed the NYPL renovation plan?
Boris Kachka writes: “When it was announced last week that the New York Public Library was suddenly scrapping its ambitious and embattled plan to gut-renovate its iconic central branch and move many of its books to New Jersey, we had a lot of questions. NYPL President Anthony Marx (right), who’s made the renovation a keystone of his tenure at the library, agreed to our Q&A, but only by email, and only after the questions were severely pared down. Here are the answers he gave us May 14.”...
New York magazine, May 15

Des Plaines meeting room controversy
A controversial group has rankled local religious organizations that want the Des Plaines (Ill.) Public Library to ban the group from meeting. Des Plaines for ACT! is a local chapter of ACT! for America, which bills itself as a grassroots organization dedicated to security and terrorism by speaking out against Islamic extremists. The group has met at the library since fall 2013, but its fliers about a May 17 film screening drew attention to its agenda....
Des Plaines (Ill.) Journal and Topics, May 16

Grand Rapids Public Library union protestersUnion protests Grand Rapids Public Library staff cuts
Union members picketed the main branch of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library on May 20, protesting the 18 jobs that will be eliminated at the start of the new budget year in July. The city library this year faced a $914,000 budget deficit caused by decreasing revenue and “stubborn benefit costs,” according to a city budget summary. A new budget, up for approval June 10, replaces nine full-time office assistants with several part-time library assistants and clerical aides. Two part-time librarians will also be cut....
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press, May 20

Cranky lines for library storytime (subscription required)
Heidi Mitchell writes: “Across New York City, lines for toddler storytime are beginning to rival those for trendy nightclubs, cheap Broadway seats, and, in some cases, cronuts. Rising numbers of tots and their caregivers are queuing up at public libraries, clamoring for book readings and singalongs. Librarians say their job now includes managing stroller gridlock and defusing the occasional shouting match as grown-ups defend their spots in line.” A shorter version of this article that is not behind a paywall is here....
Wall Street Journal, May 19; New York Observer, May 20

Designing the Dallas Little Free Libraries. Screenshot from videoDallas Public Library supports Little Free Libraries
One by one, hand-crafted miniature Little Free Libraries have been popping up around Dallas, Texas, stocked with free books for children and adults. The project—known as Libros Libres—is a collaboration between the Wisconsin-based nonprofit Little Free Libraries, Big Thought, bcWorkshop, and the Dallas Public Library. DPL is donating 4,000 English- and Spanish-language books to establish the libraries and has committed to maintaining them for a year. Watch the video (2:13)....
Dallas Morning News, May 17; Vimeo, Apr.

Franklin, the Fall River (Mass.) Public Library turtleTurtle theft in Fall River
The mascot of the Fall River (Mass.) Public Library, a turtle named Franklin (right), has been stolen. The theft was caught on surveillance camera, and now police are searching for the person responsible. The turtle was stolen May 17 by a person who hid behind stacks of library books until after the building closed. Franklin, a box turtle, has lived at the library for 13 years and is a familiar face (and shell) for the many children who visit the library and love to stop in and say hello....
WLNE-TV, Providence, R.I., May 19

Abdel Kader HaidaraThe brave sage of Timbuktu
Joshua Hammer writes: “It was early in the summer of 2012, and at the Mamma Haidara Library in Timbuktu, Mali, a clandestine operation was underway. Night after night, a team under the direction of the library’s founder, Abdel Kader Haidara (right), quietly packed the ancient works of astronomy, poetry, history, and jurisprudence into metal chests, then spirited them out of the library in mule carts and 4x4s to safe houses scattered around the city.”...
National Geographic, Apr.

One of the oldest libraries of Islam is in Chinguetti and is owned by the Mohammed Habbot family. Photo by Olivier BlaiseThe lost desert libraries of Chinguetti
Vanessa Grall writes: “The sands of the Sahara have all but swallowed Chinguetti, a near ghost town found at the end of a harsh desert road in Mauritania, West Africa. This was once a prosperous medieval metropolis. A principal gathering place for pilgrims on their way to Mecca, it even became known as a holy city in its own right and over time, it was recognized as the seventh holy city of Islam, the City of Libraries. Against all odds, behind these walls sleep 6,000 books, some kept intact since the 9th century in the dry desert air.”...
Messy Nessy Chic, May 14

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons inspects the damage to the school. Photo by Tracey Findlay, News Corp Australia Suspicious fire destroys Australian school library
An arson squad is investigating the cause of a fire at Galston High School in suburban Sydney, New South Wales, that destroyed the school’s library. Rural Fire Service Inspector Peter Marshall said the roof collapsed at the height of the blaze. Police say the doors to the building may have been forced open and are treating the fire as suspicious. They estimate the damage to cost more than $2 million to repair and replace all the library’s content....
ABC News, May 19; Sydney Daily Telegraph, May 19

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The end of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries
Andrea Peterson writes: “The internet’s eyes turned to the FCC on May 15, as the panel approved a proposal to consider allowing internet service providers to charge websites like Netflix for higher-quality delivery of their content to consumers. We spoke to Lynne Bradley, the director of the Office of Government Relations at the ALA Washington Office, about how net neutrality affects libraries, the people who rely on them, and public institutions at large.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, May 15–16

FCC Chairman Tom WheelerHow the FCC fast lanes would actually work
Michael Weinberg writes: “On May 15, the FCC released its proposed open internet (net neutrality) rules. Although both FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (right) and the proposal extensively discuss the problems that occur when ISPs get to choose winners and losers online, the proposed rules still allow fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet. Read on to see just how these fast lanes and slow lanes would work.” Jon Brodkin points out that these fast lanes are already legal, thanks to a federal appeals court. Find out how you can comment on the FCC ruling proposal through September 10....
Public Knowledge, May 16; FCC, May 15; Ars Technica, May 15; Gizmodo, May 15

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at House hearingFCC’s Wheeler grilled at oversight hearing
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (right) faced bipartisan criticism on May 20 from House members concerning proposed new rules governing internet traffic, highlighting the controversy over his attempt to steer a middle path in the net neutrality debate. Republicans said the proposed rules go too far, threatening to stifle internet growth. Many Democrats think the effort doesn’t go far enough in asserting stronger regulatory powers to avoid fast lanes....
Los Angeles Times: Technology Now, May 20

Trigger Warning signTrigger warnings in academia
Jennifer Medina writes: “Should students about to read The Great Gatsby be forewarned about ‘a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive, and misogynistic violence,’ as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism have to be preceded by a note of caution? Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as ‘trigger warnings,’ explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them.”...
New York Times, May 17

Declining homepage visits, 2011-2013The New York Times digital strategy
Jacob Berg writes: “In mid-May, the higher-ups at the New York Times did a bang-up job of reminding everyone that institutional sexism is real and pervasive. In addition, someone on payroll leaked a digital strategy document, titled Innovation, to Buzzfeed that librarians would be wise to read. Namely, the Times has a metadata problem. Does this sound familiar, librarians?” Other summaries are on Mashable and Nieman Journalism Lab....
BeerBrarian, May 16; New Yorker, May 15; Mashable, May 15–16; Nieman Journalism Lab, May 15

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Tech Talk

Microsoft Surface Pro 3Microsoft Surface Pro 3 aims to replace laptops
Mark Spoonauer writes: “Microsoft wants to replace your laptop with the new Surface Pro 3, announced May 20, which sports a large 12-inch display yet is only 9.1 millimeters thin. The Surface Pro 3 is also light given its bigger canvas, weighing 1.8 pounds. Other upgrades include a much improved Type Cover with a more lap-friendly typing experience and a pen that lets you start taking notes with a click. Its 2160 x 1440 pixels display gives you 6% more content than the 13-inch MacBook Air in a smaller and lighter design.”...
Laptop, May 20

Song identified as The Understanding, by Jones Street StationFacebook app will identify songs, media by listening
Nicole Lee writes: “Facebook has just announced a new option in its mobile app that can detect the song, TV show, or movie that’s playing in the background just by using the phone’s microphone. Once it names that tune (or show), you can simply insert that info into your post with just a few taps—no typing required. Songs will appear as 30-second previews linked to Rdio, Spotify, or Deezer depending on your preference. The app only needed the first 10 seconds or so of a Game of Thrones clip before nailing down that it was from the sixth episode of the fourth season.”...
Engadget, May 21

Comic Life iconTurn your photos into comic strips
Kit Eaton writes: “The way a comic book artist can convey so much emotion, drama, and narrative with just a few simple lines has always amazed me. If you want to put a comic strip together and provide your own drama and emotion, there are many mobile apps that can do the basic artwork for you. Comic Life, $5 for an iOS version, has the most features and works best on an iPad because of the bigger screen. The app’s main trick is taking images that you’ve snapped with your device’s camera, applying effects to them, and adding art on top to create a traditional-looking comic strip.”...
New York Times: Personal Tech, May 14

Email spammerHow spammers spoof your email address
Alan Henry writes: “Most of us know spam when we see it, but seeing a strange email from a friend—or worse, from ourselves—in our inbox is pretty disconcerting. If you’ve seen an email that looks like it’s from a friend, it doesn’t mean they’ve been hacked. Spammers spoof those addresses all the time, and it’s not hard to do. Here’s how they do it, and how you can protect yourself.”...
Lifehacker, May 21

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Smashwords logoSmashwords titles available through OverDrive
Smashwords, an ebook self-publishing platform, and digital library vendor OverDrive have reached an agreement to distribute its titles via the OverDrive network of public libraries. The deal will make more than 200,000 Smashwords titles available for borrowing and for purchase through OverDrive. The deal represents books by about 80,000 self-published authors....
Publishers Weekly, May 20

Simon and Schuster titles on Scribd and Oyster
Laura Hazard Owen writes: “Simon and Schuster announced that it is making its entire ebook backlist of more than 10,000 titles available through both Scribd and Oyster, which offer users unlimited access to a library of ebooks for a low price. Until now, the only Big Five publisher participating in either service has been HarperCollins. Once a reader completes a certain percentage of a book (the companies wouldn’t disclose what that percentage is), Simon and Schuster will be paid the same amount as it would receive if the book were sold through a regular retailer.”...
GigaOM, May 21

Boopsie for Libraries logoHoopla digital and Boopsie in partnership
Hoopla digital, a content provider that partners with public libraries in North America, has announced a collaboration with Boopsie, the mobile platform service for more than 2,500 library locations worldwide. Patrons using library-branded mobile apps from Boopsie will be one tap away from Hoopla digital’s app and more than 170,000 popular movies, TV shows, music, and audiobooks....
Digital Book World, May 20

Used Ebooks signWhy used ebooks have not happened
Michael Kozlowski writes: “The Holy Grail of digital publishing is when end users are able to sell the ebooks they purchased from online retailers. Amazon and Apple actually have filed for patents in 2013 to make this happen, but have yet to introduce anything coherent. Why have used ebookstores failed to materialize, and what are the extenuating factors hampering a huge industry?”...
Good E-Reader, May 18

Debate continues over books in prisons
Mercy Pilkington writes: “In light of two pieces of polar opposite legislation concerning books in prisons, it would seem like ebooks have found a entirely new purpose. One UK ruling has banned books from being sent to inmates, while legislation was just approved in one region of Italy that would allow inmates to earn days off their sentences for reading books. In both cases, ebooks stand to have a tremendous impact while still maintaining safety and security.”...
Good E-Reader, May 13

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2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas

2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Don’t miss important Washington Office programs, including former Senator Jim Webb on the 2014 national election season and its impact on libraries on Saturday, June 28, 8–10 a.m.

ALA Editions eContent Quarterly

AL Live

on Film

Station Agent

The Station Agent (2003). Peter Dinklage as train lover Finbar McBride inherits an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. Emily (Michelle Williams), an attractive, blonde library staffer, helps him obtain a library card.


Stay (2005). One scene shows the Gould Memorial Library dome at Bronx (N.Y.) Community College.

Stay Until Tomorrow

Stay until Tomorrow (2004). Barney Cheng as Providence (R.I.) Public Library worker Jim likes to read the books while he is shelving them, even though the rule is that at work “librarians are only supposed to read book reviews.” He lets his childhood pal Nina (Eleanor Hutchins) stay at his place for a while. She tries to learn Italian at the library for her next job, but manages to have flings with a security guard and a high school student on the library roof. Seven librarians are credited in the film, including Cynthia M. Reed.

The Steel Jungle

The Steel Jungle (1956). Perry Lopez as convict Ed Novak is assigned to the prison library, where thugs beat him up in the library basement.

This AL Direct feature describes hundreds of films (and some TV shows) in which libraries and librarians are featured, from 1912 to the present. The full list is a Web Extra associated with The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart and published by ALA Editions. You can browse the films on our Libraries on Film Pinterest board.

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
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Librarian I/Youth and Family Services, City of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Virginia Beach Public Library is seeking a Librarian I for our Youth and Family Services Unit. If you enjoy working with the public (especially youth and their families), team building, and are forward thinking, this is the job for you. Duties for the position include: Presenting Every Child Ready to Read curriculum-based storytimes and special programming for children, preparing and delivering education programs for parents (or caretakers) and other adults to engage them in library services and teach them to help children become successful readers, providing reader’s advisory, and reference and information services to children and teens, assisting with the management of the Summer Reading Program, and additional systemwide youth programming, providing high quality school-age and teen programming with an emphasis on S.T.E.A.M., creating and maintaining community partnerships, and providing training for staff in youth services....

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Digital Library of the Week

Crowd celebrating in the street, Tonopah, Nevada

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years brings together a wide range of original source materials found in widely diverse collections, mostly housed in the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries Special Collections. The Nevada State Museum and Historical Society in Las Vegas and the Clark County Heritage Museum have also contributed collections for this project, which contains more than 1,700 items. Most prominent and popular of these collections are the photographs and photograph albums taken, collected, and preserved by individuals and families who lived and contributed to the boom years. Other UNLV digital collections include showgirls, dining and menus, Howard Hughes, Nevada Test Site oral history, and maps.

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

I felt a certain level of dignity and self-respect at the library. I’d wonder how others perceived me, and at some point it dawned upon me that no one ever looked at me twice. They must have thought that I, too, was being productive. Why else would I be there? What a great feeling! I was no more and no less important than anyone in that building. That didn’t seem to be true anywhere else.”

—District of Columbia Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan on his experiences in the Queens Library as a child of immigrants, “How a Public Library Set Me Free,Washington Post, May 16.

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June 3–6:
2nd International Conference on Leadership and Innovative Management in Academic Libraries in the Age of New Technology,
Shanghai, China.

June 8–10:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Vancouver (B.C.) Convention Centre.

June 20:
National Federation of Advanced Information Services,
The Hub Cira Centre, Philadelphia. “The Next Generation of Discovery Services: Where are They Headed?”

July 23–25:
Library Instruction West 2014,
Conference, Portland State University Library, Oregon. “Open, Sustainable Instruction.”

Aug. 20:
Midwest Youth Services Unconference,
St. Charles City-County Library District, Spencer Road Branch, St. Peters, Missouri.

Aug. 25–26:
IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section,
IFLA Satellite Meeting, Lyon, France. “History of Librarianship.”

Sept. 2–4:
International Society of Addiction Journal Editors,
Annual Meeting, Hampton Inn and Suites, Chicago.

Sept. 24–27:
Wyoming Library Association,
Annual Conference, Parkway Plaza, Casper.

Oct. 2–4:
West Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Snowshoe.

Oct. 5–7:
Arkansas Library Association,
Annual Conference, Embassy Suites and The Austin Hotel, Hot Springs.

Nov. 18–19:
Library History Forum, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. “Libraries for the People.”

Nov. 24–26:
10th International Conference on Knowledge Management,
Miracle Resort Hotel, Antalya, Turkey. “Research Data Management and Knowledge Discovery.”

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

George M. Eberhart
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Senior Editor:

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Associate Editor:

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Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

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American Libraries:

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Books & Reading

Teen fictionDear media, let me help you write about YA lit
Karen Jensen writes: “Recently, there have been many articles written about YA literature. And they are mostly wrong. So if you are a member of the press and given this assignment, I thought I would help you out a little. YA fiction is not any one thing, in part because YA readers are not any one thing. A YA novel can be contemporary fiction, it can be a mystery, it can be a romance, it can be a horror novel, it can be fantasy. It can be any of the many numerous genres out there. In fact, sometimes it is a cross between a couple of genres.”...
Teen Librarian Toolbox, May 17

Cover of The Breakup Bible, by Melissa KantorLove gone wrong in teen lit
Colleen Seisser writes: “Springtime is when love is in the air. New relationships are blooming, the warmer weather drives people outdoors and puts everyone in a better mood, and it just seems like the perfect time to fall in love. But what happens when you don’t want to? When you just want to snarkily smirk at those silly people holding hands and picking flowers? How do you avoid, nay how do you embrace the idea that falling in love is just not for you? One good way is to read books about love gone wrong. Luckily, teen lit is filled with excellent examples of all the ways love can be harmful to your well-being.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 20

Cover of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way), by Sue MacyYA books with bikes for National Bike Month
Sharon Rawlins writes: “If you’re a teen who doesn’t yet have your driver’s license or who does but can’t afford a car, riding a bicycle may be the only way to get around. There’s nothing like grabbing your bike and cycling away when you want to get away from everyone and everything. So, help celebrate National Bike Month by jumping on your bicycle and getting outside for some exercise. Afterward, relax and check out these YA fiction and nonfiction ‘books with bikes.’”...
YALSA The Hub, May 19

Cover of Shift, by Jennifer BradburyHit the road and read
Carly Pansulla writes: “There are many kinds of road trips; you’ve got your epic cross-country odyssey, your basic weekend escape destination, your communing-with-nature car-camping expedition, your established scenic byway. But when the weather takes a turn towards sunny and warm, I love to see the same hit-the-road enthusiasm reflected in my reading. Here are three novels that take their road trip credentials seriously while simultaneously delivering believable characters and engaging plots.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 16

May is Short Story MonthFive short stories to read during Short Story Month
Jason Diamond writes: “Hopefully you’ve spent a good portion of Short Story Month immersing yourself in your old favorites while also finding some new writers whose short works appeal to you as much as any novel. With only a few days left in May, we asked some of our favorite new writers to suggest one story they think everybody should read, in case you’re looking for a little inspiration as we head towards the end of the month.”...
Flavorwire, May 21

Poster for Victor Hugo's Les MisérablesDazzling 19th-century French book ads
Alison Nastasi writes: “Victor Hugo spent nearly 20 years planning and composing Les Misérables. It received lukewarm reviews, but the book became a commercial success after its first printing in 1862, perhaps because of colorful ads posted around Paris. This series of 19th-century French book advertisements from Gallica offers a peek at several of the ads promoting Hugo’s book—and other famous novels from the time period.”...
Flavorwire, May 18

Cover of Rage, by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)10 authors who disowned their books
Madeleine Monson-Rosen and Charlie Jane Anders write: “Science fiction and fantasy publishing is a tough game. Even the best novels get rejected by publishers who don’t understand their brave new worlds. But some authors wind up rejecting their own books. Here are 10 great authors who disowned their own creations after they’d already seen the light of day. In some cases this proves that authors are the best judges of their own work, while others show that the author is the last one who should make the call.”...
io9, Oct. 19, 2010; May 5

Most well-read cities, according to Amazon
Amazon announced its fourth annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities in America. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine, and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format from April 2013 to April 2014 on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents. The top five most well-read cities are Alexandria, Miami, Knoxville, Seattle, and Orlando...., May 20

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Tips & Ideas

eBay advises users to change passwords
eBay has informed its users about a cyberattack that compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data. The company says it currently has no evidence of the compromise resulting in unauthorized activity or access to credit card data. However, it suggests that users still change their passwords as a precaution....
TechCrunch, May 21; eBay, May 21

Woman with a Cat, Fernand Léger, 1921, oil on canvas. 1994.486Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 400,000 images
Jillian Steinhauer writes: “On May 16, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it has made 400,000 images of artworks in its collection available for free download, but the move comes with a major caveat: The images are only intended for noncommercial, scholarly use. The portal provides easy access to high-resolution images of hundreds of thousands of pieces in the Met’s collection that are believed to be in the public domain and free of copyright restrictions.”...
Hyperallergic, May 19; Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 16

Hercule PoirotBook club resources for Poirot fans
To celebrate the 12th season of Hercule Poirot on Masterpiece Mystery this summer (returning on July 27), PBS has compiled reading group ideas for Agatha Christie fans. These free, downloadable resources include background information, discussion questions, and ideas for related activities. Find them online along with many other resources for book and film clubs....
Public Broadcasting Service

Tablets begin to transform the classroom
Michael Alison Chandler writes: “One-to-one computing—in which each student receives a computer for internet access and digital learning—took root with laptops in schools well over a decade ago, but it has gotten a huge boost in recent years with the advent of lower-cost tablet computers. Many advocates for education reform, including US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, see the scaling up of classroom technology as a much bigger opportunity to rethink schools.”...
Washington Post, May 17

Tagboard Twitter displayFour ways to display and curate Twitter
Joyce Valenza writes: “Our Twitter feeds and searches and Tweetdeck display panels are just fine for everyday purposes, but for special occasions (conferences, meetings, professional development, and, perhaps, classes), you may want to dress up your feeds. These four tools allow you to display @signs and hashtags in more attractive, perhaps more usable, ways. I’ll demonstrate with #tlchat.”...
NeverEndingSearch, May 20

ARL Web Accessibility Toolkit
On the third annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the Association of Research Libraries announced the availability of a new resource for the ARL membership and the library community—a Web Accessibility Toolkit for research libraries. The toolkit aims to raise the profile of digital accessibility and provide resources for improving access to information to the broadest audience possible....
Association of Research Libraries, May 15

Screenshot of Eugene Garfield50 years of the Science Citation Index
David Crotty writes: “This month marks the golden anniversary of the Science Citation Index, introduced by Eugene Garfield (right) in 1964. The ability to track the progress of science and the influence each work had on subsequent works revolutionized our understanding of the scientific process. While the latter-day descendants of Garfield’s work are often the subject of criticism due to widespread misuse, the tools themselves remain invaluable methods for making sense of the state of research.” Watch this interview with Garfield (5:48)....
The Scholarly Kitchen, May 16; YouTube, May 13

RDA: What it is
Salman Haider writes: “Resource Description and Access (RDA) provides instructions on recording the content of records. It does not provide instruction on how a given library system should display the bibliographic information (although there is information about displaying RDA content). RDA is less Anglocentric than AACR2. It focuses on user needs, as stressed in the International Cataloguing Principles.”...
Resource Description and Access (RDA), May 20

Library staff members Judy Graves and Pamela Craig conduct a webinar on 2013. Photo by Abby Brack LewisThe Congressional Research Service at 100
Cory V. Langley writes: “When the Legislative Reference Service was established in the Library of Congress in 1914, the small staff provided what its name conveyed—reference information to assist members of Congress in their legislative work. Over 100 years, LRS evolved into today’s Congressional Research Service, a staff of 600 that exclusively provides Congress with nonpartisan policy analysis.”...
Library of Congress Blog, May 21

Developing an online-first mentality
David Lee King writes: “I’ve been thinking about the mobile-first strategy for websites, which makes a lot of sense. That’s the idea that, when designing a website, you make it work on mobile devices first. But I’ve come across another idea that works in a library setting, too: the idea of creating an online-first strategy.”...
David Lee King, May 20

2014 Library and Information Week, Join the DotsIt’s Australian Library and Information Week
Library and Information Week, May 19–25, aims to raise the profile of libraries and information service professionals in Australia and gives librarians the opportunity to showcase their resources, facilities, events, contacts, and services through different programs and events to the community. This year’s theme is “Join the Dots.”...
Australian Library and Information Association

Making eye contact makes a difference
Steven Bell writes: “What’s the first thing you do when making a personal connection with a community member? If it’s not eye contact, then you need to rethink your steps of service. Librarians should not underestimate the importance that good eye contact plays in getting a service transaction off to the right start at every personal touch point in the library.”...
Designing Better Libraries, May 19

How I wrote a six-year assessment plan (and you can too)
Jessica Olin writes: “A strange thing happened to me last week. After hours and hours of working on it, I looked at my computer screen and realized I’d finished the draft of an assessment plan that covers the next six years. Not only is it extensive, but it also assesses all the kinds of things that will make our accrediting bodies happy, since it is drawn from a core document of academic librarianship, Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.”...
Letters from a Young Librarian, May 20

Illustration for “Flying Vermin”, from the 1705 English edition of Orbis Sensualium PictusThe first children’s picture book
Charles McNamara writes: “John Comenius’s Orbis Sensualium Pictus (or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures) is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the first children’s picture book. Originally published in 1658 in Latin and German, the Orbis—with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals—is immediately familiar as an ancestor of today’s children’s literature. At one point it was the most used textbook in Europe for elementary education.”...
Public Domain Review, May 14

Detail of Iskandar, in the likeness of Husayn Bayqara, visiting the wise man in a cave. Ascribed to Bihzad underneath, but to Qasim ʻAli in the text panelThe Khamsah of Nizami: A Timurid masterpiece
Barbara Brend writes: “One of the best-loved of the illustrated Persian manuscripts in the British Library is the Khamsah of Nizami Or. 6810. Made in Herat during the reign of Sultan Husayn Bayqara, and with one picture dated 1494–1495, it contains some of the finest late 15th-century painting. The glorious color and meticulous drawing of its illustrations strike the viewer immediately, while the depth and complexity of their meaning is endlessly fascinating. In addition, the manuscript poses interesting problems of artistic attribution and patronage.”...
British Library: Asian and African Studies Blog, May 18

Title frame of Libraries Now: A Day in the LifeLibraries Now: A Day in the Life
In an eye-opening short film (9:58) that shows a day in the life of various New York City Public Library branches, filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks show just how necessary these public institutions are today. Dressner writes: “In branch after branch, over the course of making the film, we saw how the libraries have evolved into community centers, providing a whole array of services and programs that are stitching together critical holes in the city’s safety net.”...
Gothamist, May 17; New York magazine, May 16

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