AL Direct masthead

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

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | May 28, 2014



AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Amanda HoviusPaul SignorelliMOOCs: Pros and cons
Paul Signorelli writes: “MOOCs appear to be here to stay as part of the overall online learning environment. The fact that they gained so much attention last year speaks well of the possibilities they offer in extending the reach of learning opportunities.” Amanda Hovious counters: “I don’t think MOOCs in their current state have the staying power to remain successful. There is nothing innovative about their current format except their ability to deliver instruction to a massive audience. The resulting interest and curiosity is more reflective of a fad than a long-term trend.”...
American Libraries feature

Cover of the 2014 e-content supplementNew AL supplement on digital content
Leading library visionaries and experts discuss trends in digital content technology and the current state of library ebook lending in Digital Discoveries, the June e-content supplement from American Libraries. Developed by the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, the supplement examines the ways that public and school libraries are defining their roles in the evolving digital publishing environment. It also details ALA’s progress in advocating for equitable access to ebooks produced by the world’s largest book publishers....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 28

Sarah Thomas and Judith NadlerFuture-proofing the research library
Sarah Thomas (left), vice president of the Harvard Library, delivered the inaugural Judith Nadler Vision Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library on May 22. The lecture series was launched in honor of Nadler (right), who is retiring June 30 as director and university librarian since 2004 after a total of 48 years at the University of Chicago Library. Thomas’s talk was attended by some 200 people and examined the many ways that academic libraries are adapting to the changes in their campus roles....
AL: The Scoop, May 26

Linda Barnickel and Luke Herbst at Congressman Jim Cooper’s Veterans Workshop event on May 17, 2011, held at the National Guard Armory in Nashville, Tennessee. They made contact with 42 veterans who expressed interest in the VHP projectFrom boots to books
Tracey Howerton writes: “Luke Herbst, a US Army veteran, joined the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library’s Special Collections Division as a library associate–paraprofessional in December 2010. Although the path that led him to apply for a public library position was circuitous, it originated in experiences he had while in the military and stationed overseas. Herbst has assisted with numerous outreach projects, and in January 2012, he began pursuing an MLIS degree through the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s distance education program.”...
American Libraries feature

Left to right: Library employees Maria Aguilar and Jo Storniolo, Miss California USA Cassandra Kunze, Library employees Dolores Gonzalez, Stephanie Loney and Maureen CourtneyLibrary passport program wins over Miss California
Miss California USA recently visited her local library. In preparation for the 2014 Miss USA pageant on June 8, Cassandra Kunze needed to renew her passport, and she did so at the passport office at the Civic Center branch of the Chula Vista (Calif.) Public Library. Library staffers asked Kunze if she wouldn’t mind bringing her sash and having her photo taken. The library took over the Passport Program in 2011 as a result of budget cuts to the city clerk’s office....
American Libraries feature

Snagit logoIn Practice: More than words
Meredith Farkas writes: “Five years ago, I wrote about the value of screencasting software—software that films the action on your computer’s desktop—to create instructional videos on how to use the library and its resources. Since then, librarians have created thousands of instructional videos on information literacy concepts, library resources, and services. Here are some tips for creating screencasts that will provide value for your patrons.”...
American Libraries column, May

Marilyn Lea Miller. Photo taken at the 1993 ALA Annual Conference in New OrleansLibrary educator Marilyn Miller dies
Marilyn Lea Miller (right), 83, staunch advocate of education, research, and children’s services and 1992–1993 president of ALA, died May 22 after a long illness. A champion of LGBT rights, Miller led a march during the 1993 Midwinter Meeting in Denver to the Colorado State Capitol in opposition to Amendment 2, a referendum enacted the previous November that excluded sexual orientation from protection against discrimination....
AL: The Scoop, May 27

Maya AngelouRemembering Maya Angelou
Author and poet Maya Angelou (right) died May 28 at age 86. An activist and library champion, she remains one of the most frequently challenged authors (and authors of color) of the 20th and 21st centuries, according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. She appeared at various library-related conferences, including the 1986 ACRL National Conference in Baltimore, the 1991 ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta as the PLA President’s Program speaker, and the 1999 AASL National Conference in Birmingham, Alabama....
AL: The Scoop, May 28

Go back to the Top


ALA News

Final “Libraries Change Lives” webinar
The Declaration for the Right to Libraries initiative has flourished as a successful public awareness, advocacy, and community engagement tool since its launch in 2013. This final, free webinar in ALA President Barbara Stripling’s “Libraries Change Lives” series will feature case studies of how this initiative is being used to create positive change in libraries. The webinar will take place on June 9. Registration is mandatory and limited to the first 100 participants who arrive in the virtual room....
Office for Library Advocacy, May 27

The Speaker titleRe-examining The Speaker
In response to some questions about the June 30 program, “Speaking about The Speaker,” at which the controversial ALA-produced 1977 film The Speaker (41:33) will be screened and discussed, the Library History Round Table Executive Committee issued a statement about its decision to cosponsor the program. LHRT Chair Bernadette Lear concludes: “LHRT believes that The Speaker and other artifacts of ALA’s history, however agonizing, deserve to be known and discussed.” The ALA Library has created a pathfinder of resources relevant to the ongoing discussion....
OIF Blog, May 27–28

Banned Books Week Video ReadoutRead a banned book in Las Vegas
On June 28–29, Sage and the Office for Intellectual Freedom invite you to the Banned Books Readout Booth, where you can read a short passage from your favorite banned book and then speak from the heart about why that book matters to you. Readings will be video recorded and featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel during Banned Books Week, September 21–27. The booth will be located at the entrance to the exhibit hall....
OIF Blog, May 27

New directions for digital content
Learn about recent ebook activities and future plans for digital content at “ALA and Moving Ahead with Digital Content” during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The Digital Content and Libraries Working Group will host the session on June 28. Chaired by Sari Feldman, the panelists include Robert Wolven, Gretchen Caserotti, Alan S. Inouye, and James Neal....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 23

Copyright and digitizationCopyright, libraries, and digitization
How are libraries coping with digitization and copyright? Are these activities legal? On June 29, a panel of copyright experts will discuss digital access and mass digitization projects during “Copyright and Digitization+,” during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 27

Experts to discuss copyright trends
Hear about current copyright policy challenges and developments at the session “Copyright Hot Topics and Big Ideas” on June 28 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. This panel presentation will briefly highlight a number of copyright policy developments including copyright legislative reform, the status of the HathiTrust and Georgia State court appeals, and the newly established Authors Alliance....
Office for Information Technology Policy, May 27

Surveillance program hashtagSurveillance, libraries, and information manipulation
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 is managed by the government at “Information Manipulation Part II: Surveillance,” a session that takes place during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference on June 30....
District Dispatch, May 23

Book Wagons, pamphlet by the ALA, 1921Books on wheels
Cara Bertram writes: “In 1904, the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland, outfitted a wagon with bookshelves to serve as a mobile library unit to reach people who could not normally make it to the library. A few times a week, the book wagon was able to reach rural areas of the county and deliver books to residents. The ALA supported the concept of a mobile library unit after it was introduced during the 1909 ALA Annual Conference by Mary Titcomb.”...
ALA Archives Blog, May 22

Go back to the Top


Booklist Online logo

Cover of Savaging the DarkFeatured review: Adult horror fiction
Conlon, Christopher. Savaging the Dark. June 2014. 205p. Evil Jester, paperback (978-0-615-93677-6).
If there’s a single author working in the horror genre who deserves wider notice, it might be Conlon, whose astonishing A Matrix of Angels (2011) is the most wrenching serial-killer novel of the past decade. This button-pusher would pair perfectly with Alissa Nutting’s controversial Tampa (2013), if not for the opening scene: a terrified 11-year-old boy gagged and handcuffed to a bed while our narrator, 6th-grade English teacher Mona Straw, licks the dirt from his feet. From there, we backtrack to learn of Mona’s evolving infatuation with student Connor Blue, a kid as average and unremarkable as his teacher. Connor soon graduates from extra study lessons to yard work to an overwhelming sexual relationship, with every step utterly believable as Mona cycles through giddy elation, mordant depression, and, most of all, tortured self-justifications of her actions....

Monsters, Murder, and MoralityMonsters, murder, and morality
Daniel Kraus writes: “Horror may indeed be the most problematic genre to classify, and waters further muddy (or bloody?) when you insert young adults into the conversation. Can fiction aimed at tender, innocent teenage souls measure up to the shock attacks of similar books for adults? To hack it out, I convened a panel of three YA horror authors: Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers, 2012), Robin Wasserman (The Waking Dark, 2013), and Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement, 2010)—or four authors, if you include me (Rotters, 2011, and Scowler, 2013).”...

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

Go back to the Top

ALA Annual Conference 2014

Las Vegas Update

Elvis sweatsPreparing for Las Vegas
Soraya Silverman writes: “At the end of June, Las Vegas temperatures average high 90s to mid 100s with little cloud coverage, hot winds, and dry, dry air. If you’ve never experienced desert heat before, here are some suggestions on what to bring with you. The conference for the most part is business casual. Bring light, comfortable, and sweat-resistant clothing. Although it may be hot outside, the air conditioning inside the convention center may feel chilly, so it’s a good idea to bring a blazer, a long-sleeve shirt, or a nice sweater to wear inside.”...
YALSAblog, May 22

Tetsu RestaurantThe best sushi restaurants
Zeke Quezada writes: “If you crave sushi as I do, you’ll be pleased to find some of the best sushi options anywhere right on the Strip. Japanese cuisine is not just sushi, so you’ll be greeted with some very impressive menus at each of these spots. Try Tetsu at Aria (right) and you’ll get the best of both worlds, or consider the lounge feel at Nobu for an evening of food and cocktails.”...

Eco City exhibitThe Discovery Children’s Museum
Since opening to the public in September 1990, the Discovery Children’s Museum, now at 360 Promenade Place, has established itself as an important community resource, becoming one of the metropolitan area’s major educational institutions serving children and families. Ongoing exhibits include The Summit, Water World, Patents Pending, and Eco City....
Discovery Children’s Museum

Shark tank and pool, Golden NuggetEight ways to pool hop
Las Vegas takes its swimming pools seriously. Whether you want to pump your fist, take a nap, play some swim-up blackjack, or grab a massage, there is a pool for you. If you want to swim alongside sharks, try the Tank at the Golden Nugget (right), where the on-staff marine biologist tells you everything you need to know about the resort’s 200,000-gallon shark aquarium. For more pools, see the list at
Yahoo! Travel, May 7

Screenshot from Dig This video: Stack gigantic tires!Be the Village People
Bill Fink writes: “They say you can be anyone in Vegas. So one weekend I decided I would be The Village People. All of them. Because it’s Vegas. Why not? I began as the construction worker in the lot of Dig This, a heavy metal playground filled with bulldozers and excavators. Adults can act out their Tonka truck childhood fantasies by piloting machines through a series of exercises in a 90-minute program on a dusty lot.” Watch the video (1:09)....
San Francisco Chronicle, May 2; Dig This

Liaison NightclubGay Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the top destinations in the country for gay and lesbian travelers. Many Las Vegas hotels—Paris Las Vegas was among the first—go out of their way to cater to LGBT clientele, with packages and special offers that can even include commitment ceremonies. At Wynn and Encore, there’s a Pride concierge, dedicated specifically to helping LGBT guests make the most of their time in Las Vegas. The Luxor also has special hotel packages geared specifically for LGBT guests. The Liaison, opening this summer, will be the first gay nightclub on the Strip....
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; The Daily Beast, May 28; On Top, May 17

The volcano at the MirageVolcano action
The Volcano at the Mirage Hotel, on the Strip between Flamingo and Spring Mountain Road, combines fire with music and choreography. It includes two volcano systems, a lagoon, and jets that shoot flame on demand. These massive fireballs blast more than 12 feet into the air. Legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and Indian music composer Zakir Hussain worked together to create and perform a soundtrack exclusively for the volcano, which plays nightly every half-hour beginning at 8 p.m. The Mirage also features Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat....
The Mirage

Screenshot from Las Vegas sign camCheck out the Las Vegas cam
Located on the Strip just south of Russell Road, this iconic sign has welcomed visitors to “Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” since 1959. This HD webcam lets you peek in as movies and commercials are filmed and tourists pose underneath the sign that makes it official that you are in town. You can also spy on the Vegas Wedding Chapel. The Sirens of TI at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino is now permanently closed, but you can still view the empty pirate ship on another webcam....
EarthCam; Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nov. 24, 2013

Go back to the Top

Division News

Barry LopezBarry Lopez to keynote PLA President’s Program at Annual
The PLA President’s Program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas will feature author Barry Lopez (right) on June 29. Lopez is best known as the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award. Among his other nonfiction books are About This Life and Of Wolves and Men, which was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of several award-winning works of fiction, including Field Notes, Winter Count, and the novella-length fable Crow and Weasel....
PLA, May 27

Webinar introduces LLAMA’s New Professionals Section
Are you are a new or aspiring library professional facing the challenges of finishing school, looking for a job, or working hard to succeed in your first position? LLAMA’s New Professionals Section may be just what you need. The division will present “NPS 101: An Introduction to LLAMA’s New Professionals Section” on June 4. This free webinar will introduce participants to NPS, which launched at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Register online....
LLAMA, May 23

AASL debuts virtual membership meeting
AASL will hold its first virtual membership meeting, or “state of the association,” on June 8. As the membership meeting requires no official vote of AASL membership, all members of the school library profession are invited to attend. RSVP to receive an email with a link to the online meeting space....
AASL, May 27

Kimberly BryantLITA President’s Program
LITA President Cindi Trainor Blyberg welcomes Kimberly Bryant (right), founder of Black Girls Code, to present the LITA President’s Program on June 29 during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Black Girls Code introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in such programming languages as Scratch or Ruby on Rails....
LITA, May 27

The Hub logoTeen blogging contest for Teen Read Week
YALSA has announced a Teen Read Week Teen Blogging contest in conjunction with its young adult literature blog, The Hub. Teens aged 12–18 can sign up now through August 1 to participate in the contest for a chance to guest blog for The Hub during Teen Read Week, October 12–18. Selected teens will blog about topics related to YA literature, while developing their writing and blogging skills. More details and guidelines about the contest will be found on the Teen Read Week website....
YALSA, May 23

ALCTS virtual preconferences
Two virtual preconferences coming in June from ALCTS bring the conference experience to you. “Library Preservation Today!” and “Creating Successful Scholarly Communication with an Institutional Repository: Just Say Yes” are sure to guarantee a great experience. Registration is open for each....
ALCTS, May 27

Emily St. John MandelMandel to join Gala Author Tea
Emily St. John Mandel (right) will join the lineup of authors at United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea, sponsored by ReferenceUSA, on June 30 at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Mandel was born in British Columbia and is the author of three previous novels—Last Night in Montreal, The Singer’s Gun, and The Lola Quartet—all of which were Indie Next picks....
United for Libraries, May 27

United for Libraries to host “First Author, First Book”
United for Libraries will present “First Author, First Book: Veteran and Rookies” on June 29 during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. This traditional event, which will feature a continental breakfast, will include first-time authors Adi Alsaid, Kimberly Elkins, Oscar Goodman, and Jim McGinty, joined by veteran author Will Thomas....
United for Libraries, May 27

Jon HasslerLiterary Landmark for Jon Hassler
United for Libraries, in partnership with the Minnesota Association of Library Friends, Central Lakes College Foundation, and Friends of the Brainerd Public Library, designated the library at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota, a Literary Landmark in honor of Jon Hassler (1933–2008, right) on May 16. Hassler was a novelist who captured small-town life as it took place in such Minnesota towns as Staggerford and Rookery....
United for Libraries, May 27

Go back to the Top

Awards & Grants

Herbert KrugHerbert Krug wins 2014 FTRF Roll of Honor Award
Freedom to Read Foundation trustee Herbert Krug (right) has won the 2014 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award. The Roll of Honor was established in 1987 to recognize and honor individuals who have contributed substantially to FTRF. Krug is a founding member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and has served as trustee for three years, including two terms as treasurer. He spearheaded the creation of the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, created in honor of his late wife, FTRF’s founding executive director, after her death in 2009....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 27

Seven win Banned Books Week grants
Seven organizations, ranging from a fine arts organization to an LGBT-focused community library, are recipients of $1,000 grants from the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund for events celebrating Banned Books Week September 21–27....
Freedom to Read Foundation, May 27

Sen. Ron WydenSen. Ron Wyden receives Oregon IF Award (PDF file)
The Oregon Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee has selected US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oreg., right) to receive its 2014 Intellectual Freedom Champion of the Year award. Wyden was selected as the 2014 recipient in recognition of his forceful and sustained campaign to defend the privacy rights of individuals from government surveillance. The award was presented at the Multnomah County Library in Portland on May 28....
Oregon Library Association; Multnomah County Library, May 27

Heidi LernerHeidi Lerner receives AJL Life Membership Award
The Association of Jewish Libraries has given its Life Membership Award to Heidi Lerner (right), metadata librarian for Hebraica and Judaica at Stanford University. The AJL award is granted in recognition of professional contributions to the association and to Jewish librarianship. Lerner was cited for her work on the University of Pennsylvania/Cambridge University Genizah cataloging and digitization project, the digital library JSTOR’s Hebrew Journals project, the editorial board of AJS Perspectives, and the NACO Hebraica Funnel Project of the Library of Congress....
Association of Jewish Libraries

Ezra Jack Keats minigrants awarded
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression in our diverse culture, has awarded minigrants to 60 educators at public schools and libraries in 27 states across the country. Now in its 26th year, the program awards each recipient with up to $500 for specific programs that they have planned for the next academic year....
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, May 28

Cover of The Men Who Lost America2014 George Washington Book Prize
Historian Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy has won the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize for his The Men Who Lost America (Yale University). The award, announced at a ceremony at Mount Vernon on May 20, honors the previous year’s best book about early American history. The prize is sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon....
Washington Post, May 23

Cover of The Iraqi Christ2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
For the first time in its 24-year history, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been won by an Arab writer, Hassan Blasim, for his second short story collection, The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press). The book combines reportage, memoir, and dark fantasy to present Iraq, post-Saddam and post-invasion, as a surrealist inferno. Blasim and Wright share the £10,000 ($16,842 US) prize, which they received May 22 at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London....
Irish Times (Dublin), May 22

Cover of The Outsider2014 British Sports Book Awards
Former tennis ace Jimmy Connors was among the winners May 21 at the British Sports Book Awards. His hard-hitting autobiography, The Outsider (Bantam), won in the Autobiography or Biography of the Year category. Harriet Tuckey won the Outstanding Sports Writing Award for Everest: The First Ascent (Rider), about her father, Griffith Pugh; and Incredible Waves: An Appreciation of Perfect Surf by Chris Power (Orca) won the Best Illustrated Book of the Year....
British Sports Book Awards, May 21

Go back to the Top

AL Live

Libraries in the News

Glasgow School of Art libraryWorld-class Glasgow art library destroyed by fire
The iconic library at Glasgow School of Art has been lost in a fire that swept through the building on May 23. The library was recognized as one of the finest examples of art nouveau in the world. The fire completely destroyed the school’s west wing library, but fire crews managed to preserve 90% of the building and 70% of its contents, including the museum and lecture theatre. Priceless watercolors, drawings, and letters by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh kept in a fireproof vault escaped undamaged. Initial indications are that a projector overheated and lit nearby combustible materials. To offer financial or practical support, visit the GSA website....
BBC News, May 25; Glasgow (UK) Herald, May 26

Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MichiganOutside political group responsible for Birmingham bond defeat
Jay Grossman writes: “Libraries and zoos are ruining America’s future. If you don’t believe it, reach out to Free Congress Action and Americans for Prosperity. The two Virginia-based groups are responsible for mailings and robo-calls to stop a pair of tax increases for the Baldwin Public Library (right) in Birmingham, Michigan, and the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. Birmingham City Commissioner Gordon Rinschler said outside influences played a part in defeating the May 6 ballot proposal.”...
Birmingham (Mich.) Observer & Eccentric, May 21

Library 21cLibrary 21c ready to open in Colorado Springs
When Library 21c, the Pikes Peak Library District’s newest facility, opens on June 21, patrons will see more than a repository for stacks of material. The facility on the north side of Colorado Springs, Colorado, will promote experiential learning with the latest in technology, access to 3D printers, sewing machines and other tools, plus abundant space. The upper level of the two-story facility will be home to the Business and Entrepreneur Center, several hands-on creative spaces, meeting rooms, and a 400-seat venue for presentations and the performing arts....
Colorado Springs (Colo.) Gazette, May 25

School librarian Shannon Englebrecht reminds Tori Reese, 8, that she has several books overdue. Englebrecht allows students at Charles Drew Preparatory Academy, a public school in San Francisco, to check out as many books as they want. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSourcePublic school librarians are rare in California
Lillian Mongeau writes: “California employed 804 school librarians in 2012–2013, which translates to one certified school librarian for every 7,784 students. That is the lowest per-student ratio of any state in the country. This lack of certified librarians has led to a decrease in student access to books, a decline in student research skills, and the loss of an important resource for teachers, said Janice See-Gilmore, president of the California School Library Association.”...
EdSource, May 26

Cover of The Bluest Eye, by Toni MorrisonThe Bluest Eye stays in Durant HS
A book that has been causing some controversy among parents and school administration will remain in the Durant (Okla.) High School Library. After a parent voiced concerns over sexual and violent content in Toni Morrison’s book The Bluest Eye, a committee was formed to review it. During a May 12 meeting, committee members determined the book was suitable for the high-school age range and would stay in the library....
Durant (Okla.) Democrat, May 14

Brown University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi and NASA Astronaut David ScottBrown University receives Apollo 15 flight data file
The Brown University Library has received a gift that is truly out of this world. In late 2013, David Scott (right), retired US Air Force colonel and NASA astronaut, gave the library the world’s only complete collection of flight literature that has traveled to the Moon’s surface. On April 19, Scott met with University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi (left), Director of Special Collections Tom Horrocks, and a small handful of awed library staff members for an informal ceremony in which he presented the 1971 Apollo 15 Flight Data File to the library....
Brown University Library News, May 23

Library director faces embezzlement charges
The director of the Albion (Mich.) District Library has been charged with embezzlement from a nonprofit organization and use of a computer to commit a crime, both felonies. Karen Kuhn-Clarke was arraigned May 23 in Calhoun County District Count. She is alleged to have used a library credit card to pay for between $4,000 and $14,000 of her own expenses beginning in 2011....
Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer, May 23

Networking librarians nab alleged counterfeiter
A man suspected of scamming librarians at the Marin County (Calif.) Free Library is getting the book thrown at him. Daniel Han Shi was charged with burglary, forgery, and counterfeiting after allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at the Fairfax branch. When the man tried to pass a fake $20 at the Marin City branch, staffer Etienne Douglas, who happens to be a former bank clerk, sent an advisory email to other libraries in the county. Shi admitted passing the bills at numerous Marin branches....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, May 21

Librarians question Baltimore County plan to shift IT positions
Public library advocates are questioning a Baltimore County plan to transfer library information-technology services to the county government’s IT office, saying it could set a precedent that threatens the library’s autonomy. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s budget includes the transfer of 28 positions in the Baltimore County Public Library system to the county’s Office of Information Technology starting July 1....
Government Technology, May 22

The Gates Foundation funded a community information center in rural Kenya that offers computer training and internet accessGates Foundation to phase out Global Libraries program
Deborah Jacobs writes: “I wanted to be the first to tell the library community, the community I’ve been working with for the last 40 years, some important news. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has decided to conclude its work in Global Libraries over the next three to five years. This transition will happen slowly with no programmatic changes to our budgets this year or next year, and we are planning a smooth transition for our staff, grantees, and the field.”...
Impatient Optimists, May 7

Russian court demands LC hand over Schneerson volumes
A Russian court demanded on May 22 that the Library of Congress hand back seven precious Jewish texts to Moscow and, in retaliation for a similar ruling against the Russian government by a US court in 2013, said it should pay a $50,000 fine for every day it delays. The Schneerson collection, claimed by both Russia and the New York–based Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group, has become a bone of contention in Russia-US ties....
Reuters, May 22

Street cleaners in downtown Cairo. Photo by YOUM7/Mohamed NabilCairo library organizes street clean-up
Zawya al-Hamra Library in Cairo, Egypt, is organizing a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of clean streets. The campaign, to take place May 28–June 8, is in coordination with Cairo Cleaning and Beautification Agency, a number of volunteer artists, and neighborhood residents. The library is distributing brochures, hosting seminars, and picking up trash in its neighborhood....
Cairo Post, May 26

Go back to the Top


NSA bill passes the House, with a gaping loophole
Andy Greenberg writes: “The US House on May 22 passed the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would end the NSA’s mass collection of Americans’ phone records. Unfortunately, it may not actually do that. The central provision of the bill, which now moves on to the Senate, is intended to limit what the intelligence community calls bulk collection. But last-minute changes added ambiguous language that could essentially give the NSA a generous loophole.” ALA President Barbara Stripling released a statement on the weakened bill....
Wired: Threat Level, May 22; ALA Office of Government Relations, May 22

Why the FCC is vague about net neutrality
Brendan Sasso writes: “Federal regulators are trying to leave themselves plenty of power to oversee the internet—they’re just not willing to get too specific about what they plan to do with it. The FCC is moving ahead with a net neutrality proposal, but no one knows exactly what business practices it would ban. As for the FCC, that’s all part of the strategy.”...
National Journal, May 22

Facebook's privacy dinosaurFacebook finally gets the privacy message
Vindu Goel writes: “Do you know who can see what you are posting on Facebook, including your photos, birthday, and personal cellphone number? Chances are that you don’t. Facebook is worried that you will start sharing less unless it helps you better manage your private information. On May 22, the company announced that it would give a privacy checkup to every one of its 1.28 billion users worldwide, conducted by a cartoon dinosaur.”...
New York Times, May 22

Do Not Track on laptopDo Not Track is pretty much over
Zach Miners writes: “Chalk up another victory for corporate surveillance: Five years after advocates came up with an easy way to let you browse the web with just a little privacy, the Do Not Track system is in tatters and that pair of boots you looked at online last month is still stalking you from website to website. Do Not Track hangs by a thread, neutered by a failure among stakeholders to reach agreement.”...
InfoWorld, May 22

Privacy could be monetized
Kyle Chayka writes: “If you think of the internet as a public good, then think again. Internet service providers are finding new ways to monetize their customers, and all signs point to bigger bills for everyone. The new internet is about turning the process of getting online into a series of tiered options rather than the monolithic package deals we’re used to. Want privacy or quicker downloads? You’ll need to pay for them.”...
Pacific Standard, May 21

eBay signWhy the eBay data breach is bad news for consumers
Andrea Peterson writes: “On May 21, eBay asked its 145 million active customers to change their passwords as a precautionary measure after the company discovered it was breached earlier this spring, although it remains unclear how many users’ data was actually stolen. While the company says no financial information like credit card numbers was swiped, it does believe hackers accessed other personal information—including names, dates of birth, email addresses, physical addresses, and encrypted passwords.”...
Washington Post: The Switch, May 23

The internet can't forgetDangers of the internet culture to society
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “I am increasingly not liking what the use of the internet does to our society and to us. I actually find that maybe my techie friends are more likely to share these concerns than my friends at large, which some find ironic, but isn’t at all, because we have more exposure to it, live more of our lives on the internet, and have done so for longer. Here’s a really good presentation on one aspect of this—the universal surveillance state of affairs brought on by always-on-the-internet culture.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, May 27; Idle Words, May 20

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Windows libraries for documents, downloads, music, and videosWhat you need to know about Windows libraries
Lincoln Spector writes: “To the uneducated eye, Windows libraries are simply convenient places to store your data files, such as documents, spreadsheets, pictures, music, and videos. And they are convenient. They make it easier to find, organize, and back up the most important files on your hard drive. But they are not actually places—in the sense that they are not folders on your hard drive.”...
PC World, May 22

Skype translation screenSkype will attempt real-time voice-call translations
Skype will soon have the ability to translate multilingual conversations in real time, as Microsoft graduates software translations from written text to actual voice calls. The translations will be done simultaneously, displaying multilingual subtitles. Microsoft will launch the translation engine in a beta version on Windows 8.1 later this year. Watch the video (2:02)....
The Wire, May 28; Microsoft Research, May 27; The Verge, May 27; YouTube, May 27

Okay Google iconGoogle adds “Okay Google” voice search for Chrome users
Darrell Etherington writes: “Maybe you already talk to your computer, but now there’s even more reason to: Google has just released the latest version of Chrome, which includes ‘Okay Google’ triggered voice searches that work automatically, without requiring any clicks or other input prompting first. Users will need to enable it once and provide Chrome permission to use their computer’s microphone if they haven’t already, but after that, it’s as simple as opening a new tab, navigating to, and speaking the magic words.”...
TechCrunch, May 22

Wikitude icon15 best Android apps you might not be using
Cherlynn Low writes: “With more than 1 million apps in the Google Play store, there are bound to be a ton of options that you never thought to download, either because you’re not sure what they do or you simply don’t know they exist. Want to type on a better keyboard, speed up your phone’s performance, or experience augmented reality? You can do that and a lot more with our top picks. These are the best Android apps you’re probably not using.” And here are 15 for the iPhone....
Laptop, May 27

MOD-t 3D printerMOD-t, a low-cost 3D printer
Signe Brewster writes: “3D-printer makers are in a race to the bottom to offer the cheapest machine possible, and they are getting there very quickly. But the newest option, freshly launched startup New Matter’s MOD-t, comes with a surprise: It’s beautifully conceived. The MOD-t launched May 28 on Indiegogo, where it is going for $149 to $249. That’s in line with the lowest-priced 3D printers ever.” Watch the video (2:52)....
GigaOM, May 28; YouTube, May 28

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020eHow to buy a projector
M. David Stone and Tony Hoffman write: “Projectors have come a long way from the days when the most useful way to categorize them was by their weight class. Today there are any number of more meaningful kinds of categories, including intended use (business presentations, home theater, game playing), technology (LCD, DLP, LCOS), throw distance (how close to the screen you can place the projector), and more. Here are some questions that will help you to find a projector with the right features for your needs.” Here are the 10 best, according to PC Magazine....
PC Magazine, May 21

Illustration from Photo Editing for Tablets handoutFree tech learning resources
Jessamyn West writes: “New York Public Library has now put all of the handouts for its tech courses online, in multiple languages. There are many things that people point to for good tutorials and lessons, but few have information presented in a clear and easy-to-understand way. Other resources include GCFLearnFree (tutorials on more than just technology, but very good basic tech) and DigitalLearn (good video tutorials, free handouts).”..., May 26

Go back to the Top


Ebook price hike for academic libraries
Susan Stearns and John Unsworth write: “In the Boston Library Consortium program, publishers charge libraries for ebooks based on a model that combines payment for short-term use of a title by a student or researcher with the purchase of the title after a few short-term uses. In this way, libraries pay full price for an ebook that meets the needs of multiple readers, and pay a fractional price for ebooks that are of use to only one or two people. This month the BLC was surprised to learn that a number of the publishers in this program planned immediate, significant, and unexplained increases in price.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education: Letters, May 27

Total BooXTotal BooX expands service to US libraries
Ebook distributor Total BooX has expanded its service in US libraries, which officially launched in late 2013 with Westchester Library System in New York. Three more libraries will now provide the Total BooX to their patrons: Allegany County (Md.) Library System, Brazoria County (Tex.) Library System, and the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut. The Israeli company offers libraries a pay-per-page approach using a state-of-the-art monitoring system to track patron reads....
No Shelf Required, May 28

Ebook and booksLet’s stop the ebook judging
Joanna Cabot writes: “Two articles crossed my inbox recently on the same subject. In the first, David B. Coe, with very little enthusiasm, describes his life with his new e-reader. In the second article, Margaret Drabble expounds on hers with much more enthusiasm. Ebooks for the win, right? So, where is the problem? I have read too many articles lately that condemn people for the reading choices they make yet overlook the salient point that making a reading choice in the first place is already a win because it means you are choosing a book over an app or a movie or a song.”...
TeleRead, May 27; Science Fiction & Fantasy Novelists, May 23; The Guardian (UK), May 23

The real reason enhanced ebooks haven’t taken off
Peter Constanzo writes: “Not enough attention has been paid to the real reason digital projects featuring embedded video, audio, and other forms of interactivity haven’t resonated with readers: The market as it currently exists does not allow publishers to deliver the same enhanced product across all current digital platforms, whether it be Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, or Kobo’s Arc. And when you stop and think about it, no other content creator is faced with this conundrum.”...
Digital Book World, May 23

OverDrive features enhanced ebooks at BEA
OverDrive announced May 27 that OverDrive Read now supports a broad range of enhanced titles based on EPUB3. The leading browser-based ebook platform compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Android tablets and smartphones now displays children’s picture books, textbooks using complex layout, and other enhanced titles produced using EPUB3, HTML5, media overlays (synchronized audio), and other open industry standards. OverDrive will be showcasing embedded ebook samples at BookExpo America, May 28–31....
OverDrive, May 27

Eight ways to jump into ebooks
As districts increasingly move to digital content, many school leaders are chucking printed textbooks in favor of the more interactive content that ebooks and digital texts can offer. Ann Fondren, retired district library coordinator for Spotsylvania County (Va.) Schools, said, “Ebooks are just another format to enhance our collections—I don’t believe ebooks eliminate the need for print books or will anytime soon.” She offers eight tips for plunging right in....
eSchool News, May 26

Cover of Biodigital by John SundmanThe future of the book is unfinished: John Sundman’s Biodigital
Eric Hellman writes: “The most interesting things going on in the ebook world now are being done by people who see books as continuing processes that need not be contained within EPUBs or frozen into PDFs. I notice that these creations fit poorly into today’s book publishing machine. Formats go flat, conventional copyrights do copy wrongs; ISBNs go bonkers, bookstores start selling teddy bears, and libraries look the other way. Which brings me to John Sundman’s Biodigital. It was excellent.”...
Go to Hellman, May 24

Go back to the Top

RSSFacebook YouTubePinterest

Follow @amlibraries

2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas

2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, June 26–July 1. Jeff Bridges joins Lois Lowry for her interview with Barbara Stripling at the President’s Program to talk about the movie version of The Giver, which he produced and in which he stars.

ALA Editions eContent Quarterly

AL Live

on Film

Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002). Needing to find the location of a distant planetary system, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) visits the Jedi Library (which looks similar to the Long Room at Trinity College Library, Dublin), but suspects that the information is missing. A librarian-archivist (Alethea McGrath as Madame Jocasta Nu) declares that if the archive doesn’t have it, the information doesn’t exist.


Stardust (1998). Robert G. Rucker plays a librarian. Filmed in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Start Cheering

Start Cheering (1938). Arthur Hoyt plays a Midland College reference librarian who acts as straight man when Willie Gumbatz (Jimmy Durante) comes in looking for a title that begins with the letter “z.”

State of Play

State of Play (2009, US / UK / France). The scene in which Anne Collins (Robin Wright) makes a statement to the press was shot at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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

JobLIST Direct ad

Career Leads from
JobLIST logo

Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts, University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center, Austin. The Ransom Center seeks a curator, reporting to the Associate Director and Librarian, who will provide support for the Ransom Center’s extensive holdings of early books and manuscripts, including promoting access to, and use of, the collections and interpreting them for the Center’s varied audiences. These include 16th- through 18th-century printed works in the Wrenn Library, the Pforzheimer collection of early modern books and manuscripts, the Recusant collection, the Queen Anne collection, and extensive holdings of 18th-century books and periodicals. The Pforzheimer collection is internationally known for first and important editions of plays, poems, novels, essays, polemical writings, and translations of the most important English writers from 1475 to 1700. Caxton, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Donne, Dryden, Congreve, Marlowe, and Bacon, among many others, are represented....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Chelm, Poland, 1934. Jewish students at the State Gymnasium. Portrait of four Jewish girls posing with a Polish friend, on the far left. Left to right: Ewa Baliat, Henia Pojazd, Marysia Wilenka, and Kasia Harczuk

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has created a digital library on Jewish Life in Poland that offers a variety of documents, videos (from film), audio clips in Yiddish, Polish, Hebrew, and Russian—all described in English. The writings range from poems, school essays, play manuscripts, sheet music, posters of political and cultural events, birth certificates, letters from Yiddish writers to publishers, posters of soccer matches, contributor lists for political groups, and organizational minutes. The site is searchable by keyword and features galleries that can easily be browsed.

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

Who decides what we know, what opinions we see, what ideas we are repurposing as our own observations? Algorithms, apparently, as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social media postindustrial complex rely on these complicated mathematical tools to determine what we are actually reading and seeing and buying.”

—Karl Taro Greenfield, “Faking Cultural Literacy,New York Times, May 24.

I personally witnessed a speaker from Google tell members of the American Society of Indexers at a San Francisco conference that Google had gotten rid of the one librarian on staff in Palo Alto. She was a former cataloger; she was too ‘nitpicky.’”

—Nancy K. Humphreys, “What’s Really Wrong with Google?Huffington Post Blogs, May 20.

@ More quotes...


June 6:
City University of New York Office of Library Services,
Conference, New York City. “Reinventing Libraries, Reinventing Assessment: Innovative Practices and Ideas That Challenge the Status Quo.”

June 10–13:
European Library Automation Group,
Annual Conference, University of Bath, United Kingdom. “Lingering Gold.”

June 17–19:
European Business Schools Librarians’ Group,
Annual Conference, St. Petersburg University, Russia. “Library Design for the Next User Generation.”

July 12–15:
American Association of Law Libraries,
Annual Meeting and Conference, San Antonio, Texas. “Beyond Boundaries.”

July 21–23:
Northeast Document Conservation Center,
Conference, World Trade Center Portland, Oregon. “Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections.”

Aug. 4–6:
Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries,
Library Assessment Conference, Seattle. “Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment.”

Aug. 13–14:
IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section,
Satellite Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland. “Cultural Heritage in the Digital Era.”

Aug. 14–15:
IFLA Information Literacy Section Satellite Meeting Program,
Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland. “Facing the Future: Librarians and Information Literacy in a Changing Landscape.”

Sept. 17–19:
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association,
Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

Sept. 29:
National Federation of Advanced Information Services,
Humanities Roundtable, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York City. “Digital Humanities and Digital Publishing: Insights and Opportunities.”

Oct. 8–9:
Minnesota Library Association,
Annual Conference, Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato. “Better Together.”

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

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

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Beverly Goldberg
Beverly Goldberg,
Senior Editor:

Phil Morehart
Phil Morehart,
Associate Editor:

Mariam Pera
Mariam Pera,
Associate Editor:

Sanhita SinhaRoy
Sanhita SinhaRoy,
Managing Editor,
American Libraries:

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

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Katie Bane
Katie Bane:

Send news and feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

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

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

ISSN 1559-369X

Books & Reading

Hachette and Amazon logosAs publishers fight Amazon, books vanish
David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy write: “Amazon’s power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged—and practically begging for government intervention.” Now Amazon has removed pre-order buttons from
upcoming books by J. K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and other Hachette authors. And finally, on May 27, Amazon broke its silence on the matter....
New York Times: Bits, May 23; Christian Science Monitor, May 24; GigaOM, May 28

Cover of Anahita's Woven Riddle, by Meghan Nuttal SayresOff-the-beaten-path historical fiction
Kelly Dickinson writes: “The genre of historical fiction is vast and varied. The idea of compiling a definitive genre guide is fairly daunting, so I chose a focus: off-the-beaten-path historical fiction—novels set in the past that feature perspectives, places, time periods, or events frequently unexplored in both the average history class curriculum and fiction. These novels expand the genre beyond the ‘white people in interesting clothing’ approach.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 26

Cover of Gingerbread (2002), by Rachel CohnThe 40 best YA novels
Anna Fitzpatrick writes: “In the past decade, young adult literature has gone from a loosely defined term describing books marketed to teenagers to a cultural force that has spawned blockbuster hits. Trying to decide on the most essential books in the genre is a bit like trying to empty the ocean using a thimble. We’ve parsed through hundreds of stories about dystopian societies, supernatural love triangles, awkward first crushes, and many a mixed-tape featuring the Smiths to bring you this core collection of classic staples and overlooked gems.”...
Rolling Stone, May 22

The original Anne of Green Gables houseYA books and real life
Jennifer Rummel writes: “May is National Photography Month and I thought it would be fun to bring together photos of places that reminded us of YA books, times we dressed up as YA characters, and book titles. I asked my fellow Hub bloggers to share their YA lit–inspired photos, and here’s what we came up with. For example, a trip to the original Green Gables house (above).”...
YALSA The Hub, May 22

Cover of Blind, by Rachel DeWoskin (Viking, August 7)30 diverse YA titles to watch for
Kelly Jensen writes: “Since we’ve been talking about getting more diversity into your reading, I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight a number of books that are coming out through the end of the year that feature diversity. Each of these books contains a main character who is either non-white, non-straight, of a non-Christian background, or is disabled. As importantly, these are books where those elements aren’t the entire plot of the book.”...
Book Riot, May 22

Cover of Wrestling Sturbridge, by Rich WallaceYA fiction featuring sports
Karen Jensen writes: “Sports can be a great way to get some more reluctant readers into books if you can connect them to a book that features a sport they enjoy. Plus, regular readers just like to read about the things that interest them, which I understand for a lot of people can be sports. So let’s talk sports in YA fiction, shall we? If we’re going to kick it old school, I think the first sports-themed book that truly moved me was Wrestling Sturbridge by Rich Wallace.”...
Teen Librarian Toolbox, May 27

Authors Damon Suede, Heidi Cullinan, and K.A. MitchellGay romance comes out
Pat Henshaw writes: “GLBT romance came out of the erotica closet at the Romantic Times convention in New Orleans in May to stand as its own entity, a legitimate romance subgenre. Canadian GLBTQ romance author Heidi Belleau explained, ‘Until recently, queer characters in books were either serial killers or dead people.’ Having them now be the heroes of the story, gay authors agreed, is refreshing and long overdue.”...
Likely Stories, May 27

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly is recommended for SpikeReading recommendations for Buffy villains
Brandi Smits writes: “We have finally come to the end of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer trilogy of YA book recommendations. I had people ask me to include Spike and Drusilla as well as other characters that hang out in the dark. I feel this may be the most challenging entry yet. I mean, unless Glory’s minions were reading her the story of her life aloud, I can’t see her being interested in much else. Still, I will do my best to find recommendations for even the most reluctant reader.”...
YALSA The Hub, May 27

Cover of Phases of an Inferior Planet (1898), by Ellen GlasgowOpera in literature
Rachel Cordasco writes: “Once upon a time, I spent most of my waking hours researching and writing about opera in turn-of-the-20th-century American literature. I found a surprising number of novels from this period that included opera scenes or focused on the lives of opera singers. The most interesting time period was in the years from 1870 to 1920. Trust me, these novels that are all about opera are some of the funkiest and most fascinating you’ll ever pick up.”...
Book Riot, May 23

A marked-up book for the Margin ProjectMaking books social
Jen Malone writes: “The current generation of kids has been termed the Me Generation. Everything is social for them: sleeping with a cellphone under the pillow for ‘emergency’ midnight text sessions, gaming while chatting on headsets, watching TV while hashtagging on Twitter, reading while . . . wait, no. Reading isn’t social. But why not meet kids on their own terms and make it so?”...
ALSC Blog, May 22

Reading aloudWhy reading aloud to students is valuable
Holly Korbey writes: “Educator and author Jessica Lahey reads Shakespeare and Dickens aloud to her 7th- and 8th-graders, complete with all the voices. While reading Dickens aloud helps students get used to his Victorian literary style, Lahey said that it’s also an opportunity for her to stop and explain rhetorical and literary devices they wouldn’t get on their own. And they read the Bard’s plays together, divvying up the parts, because ‘that’s how they are meant to be experienced.’”...
KQED: Mind/Shift, May 14

You’re a book nerd if . . .
Beth Bartlett writes: “In this age of YouTube and endless TV, it takes passion to fulfill yourself with the written word. Yet the book nerd thrives, surviving on the scent of old books and the meaty thoughts of great writers. How do you tell the difference between the casual reader and those with binding glue in their veins? You know you are book nerd if . . .”
The Huffington Post, May 23

Why Alexandria does not belong on Amazon’s list
David Rothman writes: “Amazon has once again named America’s “Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities,” based on purchases of its books. Just as before, the winner is Alexandria, Virginia, which should be able to afford a book-rich public library system. Yet the Alexandria library’s budget for books and other materials is well below the national average, despite the needs of the city’s many African-Americans, Hispanics, and low-income people. Simply put, we’re talking about two different realities—Amazon’s and the actual Alexandria’s.”...
LibraryCity, Apr. 27, 2013; May 22;, May 20

Go back to the Top

Tips & Ideas

Cover of Driving with DataEvidence-based decision-making in academic libraries
Academic librarians have been gathering different types of data for some time, using data to measure the usage of their resources, the quality of their services, and how they stack up against similar institutions. But could library leaders collect data differently? In this Ithaka S+R Issue Brief, Driving with Data (PDF file), Deanna Marcum and Roger Schonfeld suggest an approach where library leaders start not with the data that is easy to gather, but with the problems they are trying to solve....
Ithaka S+R, May 28

Five reasons we still need school libraries
John C. Schinker writes: “As schools evolve to meet the needs of next generation students, the role of the library is increasingly unclear. If the model of textbooks and teachers as the source of all knowledge is outdated, then the idea that a school media center can contain all of the instructional resources the school could ever need is equally obsolete. Yet schools do not seem to be tearing out their libraries, and with good reason. We still need them around. They’re still relevant. They still play a critical role in the teaching and learning that takes place in our schools.”...
Taste of Tech, May 26

Be-Ro Home RecipesDuke’s most popular digital item
Molly Bragg writes: “Part of my job is to track our Duke University Libraries digital collections Google Analytics data. As a part of this work, I like to keep tabs on the most popular digital items each month. There is one item that persists as one of our most popular: the Be-Ro Home Recipes: Scones, Cakes, Pastry, Puddings. Looking back at analytics since 2010, I discovered this is the most popular item by about 2,000 hits. I consistently wonder, why this item? Sure, all the recipes call for lard, but that cannot be the only reason.”...
Bitstreams, May 23

Carmen Giménez SmithSpotlight on Hispanic writers at LC
Peter Armenti writes: “As the program coordinator of the Library of Congress Hispanic Division, it’s my pleasure to announce the launch of an exciting online feature: ‘Spotlight on US Hispanic Writers,’ presenting interviews with contemporary American poets and prose writers of Hispanic descent. This feature includes conversations and readings by five poets and prose writers, such as the 2013 inaugural Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, Eduardo C. Corral (the first Hispanic writer to receive the Yale Younger Poets Prize), and American Book Award–winner Carmen Giménez Smith (above).”...
Library of Congress: From the Catbird Seat, May 27

Can non-librarians easily acquire librarian expertise?
Aaron Tay writes: “I have been thinking of the types of expertise academic librarians have and how recent trends in academic librarianship have made things harder. Christina Pikas suggests there are four types: domain, systems, information seeking, and interactional expertise. Can someone who is not an academic librarian (here defined as someone who does not work in a academic library) easily acquire the same type of expertise academic librarians have, assuming time is no object?”...
Musings About Librarianship, May 22; Christina’s LIS Rant, Feb. 28

LinkedIn logoUsing LinkedIn to jumpstart your job search
Mandi Goodsett writes: “Until my job search really got going, I had a LinkedIn profile but it was barren and pathetic. Does that sound familiar to you? If so, you might want to take another look at your profile and use it to improve your chances in the job search. Cleaning up your profile not only can help you snag better job opportunities, it can also prevent potential employers from seeing your LinkedIn page and getting a negative impression.”...
INALJ, May 27

How to stop Google Maps from remembering everywhere you go
Alyssa Bereznak writes: “You likely know that when you search for directions using Google Maps, the service registers where you are to help get you from Point A to Point B. But did you know that the app regularly tracks and archives your location in an entirely separate database? Yes, Apple isn’t the only one quietly filing away your location data.”...
Yahoo! Tech, Apr. 30, May 27

Pinterest boards for academic libraries to follow
Paige Alfonzo writes: “I wrote the Top 10 Libraries for Academic Libraries to Follow on Pinterest back in 2013, but with so many new boards popping up I thought I’d add to the list (as a side note I noticed just about every library has either a Downton Abbey or cat-related board). I used the same criteria as I did back then.”...
Librarian Enumerations, Feb. 15, 2013; May 6

HashtagMaking your Twitter hashtags effective
Courtney Hunt writes: “Even though they’re ubiquitous, not everyone knows what Twitter hashtags are or do. You can get a detailed explanation from this Wikipedia entry or Twitter’s help center, but it is basically a convention for aggregating tweets from disparate, unconnected Tweeters into a single stream. In this post I share seven recommendations based on the most common mistakes I see people make when trying to use Twitter hashtags.”...
The Denovati Group, Nov. 2013

Save Earth: It's the Only Planet with Twitter. Image by Flickr user Danilo Ramos, used CC BY-SA 3.0Top Twitter hashtags for librarians
Michael Rodriguez writes: “Are you ready to become a tweetbrarian? Twitter is a fantastic tool for engaging with other librarians, monitoring LIS trends and debates in real time, and gathering unfiltered insights and inspiration from peers and seasoned professionals. The challenge for new tweeters is to know where to start among the 5,000 librarylanders on Twitter. So to manage your time and start building your online professional learning network, I recommend using hashtags to tune into curated Twitter chats relevant to the library and information science professions.”...
Hack Library School, May 27

The Sense of Sight, by Philip Mercier. Painted circa 1744–1747. Image from Wikimedia Commons.Genealogy tips: Finding your living family members
Duncan Kuehn writes: “There are many different reasons to search for your living relatives. Some of these include organizing a family reunion, finding out-of-contact relatives, or locating family heirlooms, keepsakes, and photos. Doing this sort of research may seem challenging, but these 10 steps will help you in your quest to find living family members.”...
Genealogy Bank, May 20

25 pounds sterlingVisit to a library is worth £25
A single visit to the library is worth more than £25 ($42 US) to the people who use it, according to new research from Archives, Libraries, and Museums Alliance UK. The group surveyed thousands of library users in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and found that library users place a theoretical money value of between £24 and £27 on each visit to the library, a value that is around 5.7 times greater than the cost of providing the service....
The Bookseller, May 15

How to run a gay-straight alliance in your library
mk Eagle writes: “It’s easy to confine the discussion to diversity within the collection or within YA literature more broadly. And there are great conversations going on there, from Tumblr to Twitter, with YA authors and librarians and readers talking about representation and privilege and our responsibility to serve all teens. But what about diversity within your library programs? The library is often an attractive meeting space for groups that otherwise have very little to do with the library.”...
YALSAblog, May 27

Image by Allie BroshDoing all the things, the sequel
Ginger Williams writes: “It’s been about a year since I wrote a guest post that seemed to resonate with a lot of people. I thought now would be a good time to look back on that post and see if I’d been taking my own advice. Do I still believe everything I wrote a year ago? Almost all of it. Honestly, I can’t do all the things. Nobody can. I do some things really well, but when I’m juggling too much I let some of the balls drop. What did I do this year that I’m proud of?”...
Letters to a Young Librarian, May 9, 2013; May 22

Eilene GallowayLibrary analyst helped to launch NASA
Cory V. Langley writes: “The American public was shocked, and its leaders were concerned for national security when, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik—the first artificial Earth satellite. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson called on Eilene Galloway (right), a national defense analyst in the Legislative Reference Service, to assist Congress in determining how to respond. She drafted questions, analyzed testimony, and ultimately advised Johnson in crafting the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created NASA.”...
Library of Congress Blog, May 27

Go back to the Top

ALA Publishing Logo

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