IFLA Conference showcases Québecois culture
Canada played host to the 74th World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, August 10–14, in Québec. The annual IFLA conference is the largest and most diverse international gathering of library and information science professionals in the world. The five-day conference offered more than 3,280 delegates from 150 nations an opportunity to meet colleagues from around the globe, to hone their skills at 224 sessions, and to enjoy the cultural offerings of the host city. Kicking off an elaborate opening session, Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean (right) welcomed the delegates to the 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of Québec City....
American Libraries Online, Aug. 13
Mexico wins $1-million Gates Access Award
A computer and internet training program designed to help some of Mexico’s poorest people gain educational and economic opportunities has been awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2008 Access to Learning Award, presented August 13 at the IFLA Congress in Québec City, Canada. The award of $1 million went to the Vasconcelos Program in Mexico’s Veracruz state “for its innovative efforts to connect people to information and knowledge through free access to computers, the internet, and training.”...
American Libraries Online, Aug. 13
FBI ties seized library computers to anthrax case
A week after removing two public-access computers from the Frederick County (Md.) Public Libraries’ C. Burr Artz Library (right), the FBI has obtained a court order to search the machines for clues to their use on July 24 by Army scientist Bruce Ivins. A suspect in the 2001 anthrax letter attacks who killed himself July 29, Ivins was under surveillance by agents who observed him going to the library and accessing a website about the case, according to a search warrant request granted August 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia....
American Libraries Online, Aug. 8
Long Beach budget proposes library closure
The mayor and city manager of Long Beach, California, has proposed closing the downtown library to the public while expanding hours at neighborhood branches, as part of the city’s effort to eliminate a $17-million shortfall. The budget, which must be approved by and may be altered by the city council, would expand service at each of the 11 neighborhood branches to seven days a week. The proposal has triggered a backlash from downtown residents, including author Ray Bradbury, who accused the port town of being “at war with the printed word and books.”...
American Libraries Online, Aug. 8
Sacramento board rejects grand jury report findings
The Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library governing board met August 6 to approve a 21-page response to a scathing county grand jury report that charged both the board and library director Anne Marie Gold with mismanagement. The board response essentially rejects most of the panel’s findings and ignores the recommendation that Gold be replaced. The board declined to respond to criticism of Gold’s performance because employee appraisals should not be discussed in a public document....
American Libraries Online, Aug. 8
Oregon libraries regroup without timber subsidies
On August 9, the town of Tualatin, Oregon, celebrated the dedication of its new $9.1-million city library. Four years in the making, Tualatin Public Library was built thanks to a combination of capital-improvement bonds approved in 2004 and revenue earmarked for increased library expenses from property development in the city, which is situated in Washington County. “We wanted to have people walk in and say ‘Wow,’ and that’s what we’re hearing,” Library Manager Darrel Condra said....
American Libraries Online, Aug. 13
Mean librarian salaries up 2% in 2008
Analysis of data from more than 1,010 public and academic libraries showed that the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited master’s degrees increased 2% from 2007, up $1,151 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,251, and salaries ranged from $22,000 to $331,200. Results are reported in the 2008 edition of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic, published by the ALA–Allied Professional Association....
Unionized library workers earn more
A study conducted by the ALA–Allied Professional Association and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, has revealed that salaries in unionized public and academic libraries were higher than those in nonunion libraries for staff in positions that do not require an ALA-accredited master’s degree. The findings are published in The Union Difference for Library Workers....
Virtual poster sessions
This year, under ALA President Jim Rettig’s leadership, members will have new opportunities to participate in ALA and to communicate their success stories. One of these opportunities is an ALA-wide virtual poster session. The first of two sessions will debut this fall. Its focus is “Community Central.” Share your experiences of making your library vital in your community. The deadline for submissions is November 15....
Star in your own READ mini poster
Jenny Levine writes: “One of the fun projects I’ve gotten to shepherd at work is now available for you to play with—the READ Mini Poster Generator. Useful for web badges, profile pictures, and especially graphics for events such as Banned Books Week (which is coming up in September). It’s just like the generators on fd’s Flickr Toys because it was created by John Watson, Mr. fd himself. If you post yours to Flickr, be sure to add it to the READ posters pool.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Aug. 7
Young Adult Literature Symposium 2008
The first-ever YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium will be held November 7–9 in Nashville, Tennessee. In this preview (2:14) of what to expect, YALSA members Stephanie Squicciarini, Kim Patton, and Jennifer Balaca talk about the scheduled authors (including Marc Aronson, Coe Booth, and Julie Ann Peters), the opportunities for librarians to network, and the symposium theme of “How We Read Now.” Produced by Linda W. Braun....
Featured review: Reference
Ciment, James (editor). Encyclopedia of the Jazz Age: From the End of World War I to the Great Crash. Aug. 2008. 680p. Sharpe, hardcover (978-0-7656-8078-5).
This encyclopedia focuses on the Roaring Twenties—the years between the end of World War I and the stock market crash of 1929. Featuring the contributions of more than 80 scholars, academicians, and independent researchers, the set is divided into three main sections. The first is a series of multipage essays authored by subject specialists and providing background information and context for five broad scenarios. The second section offers more than 300 alphabetically arranged articles on influential people, places, events, movements, trends, and other social and political forces that shaped the decade. And the third section is a listing of more than 100 “Cultural Landmarks” containing brief descriptions of and critical commentary on representative works of art, architecture, literature, film, theater, and music....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Free Teen Read Week publicity resources
Some library PR professionals could find themselves understaffed and underfunded to launch a media campaign to publicize Teen Read Week activities. The ALA Public Information Office sat down with YALSA Communications Specialist Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn (above) to learn more about the free publicity tools the TRW website has to offer. Listen to the podcast....
Visibility @ your library, Aug. 12
ALSC offers “Kids Reading List” for Oprah
ALSC has teamed up with The Oprah Winfrey Show to provide a Kids Reading List on the show’s website. The list is divided into five age groups, from infant to 2 through 12 and up. Each grouping contains an annotated bibliography of librarian-recommended reading. The website also provides a list of ways to make reading fun for kids and other helpful tips for parents....
New Library Accessibility toolkit
A team of volunteers in conjunction with ASCLA has developed Library Accessibility: What You Need to Know, a toolkit that provides critical information and tips for librarians and staff in all types of libraries. Edited by Monique DeLatte, this toolkit of 15 concise documents outlines the challenges faced by disabled patrons and offers methods for delivering one-on-one library services to these groups. Each can be downloaded from the ASCLA website....
Save by registering now for the LITA National Forum
The early bird registration deadline is approaching for the 2008 LITA National Forum, “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library,” to be held October 16–19 at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to August 15, the registration rates are $50 lower. Online registration is available, or you may fax or mail your completed registration form....
ACRL on The Desk and Beyond
ACRL has released a new publication, The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Services, edited by Sarah Steiner and M. Leslie Madden of Georgia State University. The book provides a thorough exploration of the present and possible future applications of 11 of the most promising new reference delivery methods. This forward-looking collection is intended to provide inspiration for potential new digital and physical reference services at academic libraries....
New Carnegie/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award
The Carnegie Corporation of New York has granted ALA $489,000 to support a new Carnegie/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. Administered by ALA’s Public Information Office and Campaign for America’s Libraries, the award will launch this year and will continue annually through 2013. The award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community....
Apply for next year’s National Library Week grant
Libraries of all types are invited to apply for the $3,000 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant, which will be awarded to the library with the best public-awareness campaign incorporating the 2009 National Library Week theme, “Worlds connect @ your library.” All proposals must use the “@ your library” theme on promotional material supporting NLW activities. The deadline to apply is October 17....
Young Adult Literature Symposium stipend winners
Lisa Lintner-Sizemore, a branch manager, and Laura Anne Lowe, an LIS student, will receive stipends for attending the 2008 Young Adult Literature Symposium. The symposium will take place November 7–9 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The two will receive up to $1,000 to assist with travel and registration for this inaugural symposium....
Edwards Trust to sponsor teen literature award
The Margaret A. Edwards Trust is the new sponsor of YALSA’s award for outstanding young adult reading or literature programs. The award will now be known as the MAE Award for the Best Literature Program for Teens. The award honors a YALSA member for developing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults....
2008 Rita Award winners
The Romance Writers of America handed out its 2008 Rita Awards—named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada—at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel August 1. Terri Garey won the Best First Book Award for Dead Girls Are Easy (right, HarperCollins), Janice Johnson won the Best Contemporary Series Romance Award for Snowbound (Harlequin), and Madeline Hunter won the Best Historical Romance for Lessons of Desire (Bantam Dell)....
Romance Writers of America
2008 Hugo Award winners
The results of the 2008 Hugo Awards, as announced at Denvention 3, the 66th World Science Fiction Convention, in Denver on August 9 include Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (HarperCollins) for Best Novel, and Jeff Prucher’s Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction (right, Oxford University) for Best Related Book....
Hugo Awards, Aug. 9
IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellows
OCLC President Jay Jordan named the IFLA/OCLC Fellows for 2009 during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress in Québec City, Canada, August 11. The program will support six library and information professionals from Uganda, Armenia, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia, and Serbia with advanced continuing education and exposure to a broad range of issues in information technologies, library operations, and global cooperative librarianship....
OCLC, Aug. 11
Escondido librarian wins regional texting contest
Joanna Axelrod (right), youth services librarian at Escondido (Calif.) Public Library’s East Valley branch, is known for her speedy texts that update friends and family about stuff both big and small. She won the San Diego regional texting contest in June sponsored by LG Electronics, then flew to New York City in July to vie for the $50,000 prize in the national text-messaging competition. Axelrod was eliminated in the first round, but her coolness factor has definitely gone up several notches in the eyes of the teens she works with at the library....
San Marcos (Calif.) Today’s Local News, Aug. 9
Cedar Rapids may need interim library for three years
An initial estimate of 12–15 months to fix Cedar Rapids’ central library is “just not realistic,” library board member Doug Elliott said August 7. “We’re probably looking at least at three years,” said Elliott, chairman of the board’s building committee. “That also affects the kind of space we look at” to house the library while the downtown building’s flood damage is repaired....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Aug. 8
Good times at the library
In the face of rising gas and food prices, many financially strapped American families are turning to the library this summer for a fun and free alternative to heavy spending. Pearl Yonezawa, senior librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Los Feliz branch, says visits are up 10% (about 25,000) this year, part of a nationwide trend. As CBS journalist Bill Whitaker says in this 2:06 news story, “When it comes to affordable family fun, librarians wrote the book.”...
CBS Evening News, Aug. 9
Are successful libraries worth reinvestment?
Jamie LaRue writes: “I’ve been pondering the difference between the public and private sectors. Those of us in government often hear this suggestion: Run it like a business! If our library were a business, the market would call for investment. Double-digit growth in use every year, and a proven record of tight fiscal management? By any measure, the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries is successful: performance-oriented, forward-looking, an industry leader. In the business world, you’d snap up more stock.”...
Douglas County (Colo.) News-Press, Aug. 7
Touch-a-Truck: Just another library service
The sound of kids laughing was drowned out by the blaring of trucks’ horns August 9 during the sixth annual Touch-a-Truck event at Ashland (Ohio) Public Library. But no one seemed to mind. Trucks from construction companies, emergency responders, and the city were lined up in parking lots for kids to climb on and examine. The fun signaled the grand finale of the library’s Summer Reading program....
Ashland (Ohio) Times-Gazette, Aug. 11
City librarian’s tip leads to hit-and-run arrest
The search for a driver accused of running down and killing a pair of elderly women over the weekend ended at the Santa Clara (Calif.) City Library August 11, after a tip from the quick-thinking city librarian. Karen Saunders was reading about the incident on a website when she realized she had talked with the suspect the previous week. Astonished, she looked around the library and saw him again. And the wanted car was in the library garage....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Aug. 12
Shelkrot flunks retirement
When Elliot Shelkrot retired in December after 20 years at the helm of the Free Library of Philadelphia, he was looking forward to being alone and having vast stretches of free time to accomplish some pet projects. But he got bored. In mid-July, he started a four-month stint as interim director of the William Jeanes Memorial Library in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. “My wife says I flunked retirement,” quipped Shelkrot....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 7
Kentucky governor advises libraries to yell, loudly
Gov. Steve Beshear took many questions August 6 at a town hall meeting in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but his answer was generally the same: The state needs more revenue. After Warren County Public Library Director Lisa Rice asked, “What can we do to make sure that cuts (to state library services) don’t become permanent?” Beshear said, “Start yelling loud. I need to hear it and these legislators need to hear it.” He noted that his sister is a former librarian, so he knows the value of such facilities and their needs....
Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News, Aug. 7
Online overhaul at Newburyport
The Newburyport (Mass.) Public Library has been given a $50,000 online facelift, pro bono, by local web development and interactive marketing firm iMarc. Quietly launched late in July, the revamped website offers a wealth of new features. Thanks in part to the deep burgundy backdrop and stunning photo of the library surrounded by a lush, springtime bloom (above), the site has an inviting warmth....
Newburyport (Mass.) Current, Aug. 8
Archivist gets prison for document thefts
A former archivist pleaded guilty August 6 to stealing more than $50,000 worth of historic documents and artifacts from the New York State Library and Archives in Albany which he then sold on the internet or at collectors’ shows. Daniel D. Lorello admitted stealing more than 1,600 items from the archives during his employment as an archives and records management specialist with the state Department of Education from January 1997 until he was arrested in January 2008....
Troy (N.Y.) Record, Aug. 6
Humidity, mold threaten Alaskan college library collection
Reporter Andi McDaniel attended a recent work party at Sheldon Jackson College’s Stratton Library in Sitka, Alaska, to find out what has happened to the some 7,000 rare books and photo archives after the state’s oldest college (1878) shut its doors last year. It turns out that former Stratton Library Director Ginny Blackson and other volunteers are treating them for mold and other damage, packing the oldest in boxes, and storing them indefinitely until the board of trustees of the closed private institution decides what to do with the collection....
KCAW-FM, Sitka, Alaska, July 28
Collector indicted in Transylvania library theft
A Jefferson Davis collector who is accused of taking letters and other documents written by the Confederate president was indicted August 7 by a federal grand jury in Lexington, Kentucky. Eugene C. Zollman of LaPorte, Indiana, who was arrested by federal authorities in May, was charged with two counts of stealing objects of cultural heritage from Transylvania University. Police think Zollman originally stole some of the objects in 1994....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Aug. 8
Pillaging Iraqi history
Jon Wiener writes: “Worse things have happened in Iraq, but the removal of the Baath Party archives from the country—7 million pages that undoubtedly document atrocities of the Saddam Hussein regime—is significant. The documents were seized shortly after the fall of Baghdad by Kanan Makiya, an Iraq-born emigré who teaches at Brandeis University and heads a private group called the Iraq Memory Foundation. Despite protests from the director of Iraq’s National Library and Archives, Saad Eskander, the documents were shipped to the U.S. in 2006 by Makiya’s foundation and in June deposited with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University under a deal struck with Makiya.”...
Los Angeles Times, Aug. 8
How Jerusalem’s Russian Library was saved
Jerusalem’s Russian Library has always had to fight for its right to exist. In early August, it fought its greatest battle yet, culminating in a promise from the city to move it to the Clal Building on Jaffa Road. With some 100,000 books, the library is the largest public Russian-language library outside the former Soviet Union, and has the world’s largest collection of books translated from Hebrew to Russian. After 15 years at its current location, it needed to leave the premises by September 1 to accommodate new building owners. Until last week, there was no place for the collection to go....
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 7
Facebook is the fastest-growing social network
Erick Schonfeld writes: “Even though Facebook is now the largest social network in the world—with 132 million unique visitors in June—it is also the fastest growing. According to figures compiled by comScore, Facebook’s visitor growth is up 153% on an annual basis. This compares to an anemic 3% growth for MySpace. Other social networks showing strong global growth include Hi5 (100%) and Friendster (50%), despite each of those being less than half the size of Facebook. Orkut and Bebo fall in at 41% and 32% growth respectively.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 12
Ten weather-tracking gadgets and sites
USA Today in May reported that the U.S. has experienced a near-record number of tornadoes this year, pushing the death toll to 98 people, a 10-year high. Meteorologist Geoff Fox told PC Magazine that we may be seeing record numbers of tornados only because they are much easier to track now.
Everyone needs to be aware of a deadly storm approaching, whether by checking Weather.com, watching your local news channel, or investing in one of these 10 handy weather-tracking gadgets and websites....
PC Magazine, Aug. 4; USA Today, May 13
Understanding web browser vulnerabilities
Stefan Frei and three other security systems experts examine the “insecurity iceberg” of browsers that have not been updated to the latest versions and most secure plug-ins in this paper delivered at DEF CON 16 in Las Vegas August 10. To help combat existing and rapidly evolving threats such as malicious drive-by downloads, they have proposed a concept of a “best before” date for software and related mechanisms to tackle user awareness....
Techzoom.net, Aug. 10
12 tools that will soon go the way of fax and CDs
Dave Pollard writes: “How does the information behavior of Millennials differ from those of previous generations, and what will that mean for the tools they will and won’t be using in the future? I’ve come up with a list of 12 tools, technologies, and other artifacts that will probably disappear within the next generation, just as fax essentially disappeared less than 20 years after it first became popular, and just as CDs—which my generation thought were the last word in music storage—are disappearing even faster.”...
How to Save the World, Aug. 5
Controversy over The Jewel of Medina
A University of Texas scholar stands by her assessment that a novel about the child bride of the Muslim prophet Muhammad is deliberately provocative and could incite outrage from fringe elements in the Islamic community. Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of history at the Austin campus, rejects charges that she is squelching free speech and argues that the book, The Jewel of Medina, takes too many liberties with the facts. Author Sherry Jones says the historian has smeared her book and her reputation and caused Random House to cancel its publication. More details at Galleycat....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 11; Galleycat, Aug. 11
100 online places to connect with bibliophiles
Laura Milligan writes: “Reading is no longer an individual activity. Thanks to online book clubs, book trading networks, social media sites just for librarians and book lovers, and kids’ networks, connecting with your fellow bibliophiles and gnashing about favorite books is easier than ever. Thanks to these sites, you don’t have to wait for your friends to hurry up and finish the book you just read: Chances are, there’s someone out there dying to talk about it too.”...
Online Education Database, Aug. 5
My so-called picture book
Kati Golightly writes: “The graphic novel naissance—comics renaissance—has provided entry for a new way of seeing and engaging with picture books. The marriage of picture with text or picture with wordless narrative is no longer just the first step of the serious American reader. Illustrated books with and without words are accepted for all ages, thanks to the successes of the graphic novel. Librarians must educate patrons that the picture book is a format not always prescribed for very young children.”...
Alternative Teen Services, Aug. 6
A publishing primer
Rachel Toor writes: “When I taught a course about publishing last winter, I learned from my students that much of what I say when I talk about publishing is jargon. Until then, it had never occurred to me how many terms of art there are in the world of book publishing. I thought I would take this opportunity to explain some of its more arcane terminology.” Like dingbats, French flaps, gutters, provisional contracts, and slush piles....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 11
Top 10 obscure but superb science fiction novels
Even though literally tons of crappy SF gets published every year, sometimes the absolute best gets shuffled into obscurity. Here, then, are 10 novels that should have been elevated far above the stink of the heap, but somehow never got the buzz they deserve. Selections move from “should have sold much better” to “should be considered a true classic” as the list counts down....
The List Universe
ProQuest offers British foreign policy documents
ProQuest has released the first online version of Documents on British Policy Overseas, providing scholars in history and world affairs unprecedented access to the activities of Britain’s diplomats and policymakers, from the build-up to World War I to the Cold War. Until now, this valuable collection of primary source materials was only available through three different print series. The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has partnered with ProQuest to make these materials available digitally....
ProQuest, Aug. 11
Jessica Duchen’s top 10 literary Gypsies
Novelist, biographer, and classical music journalist Jessica Duchen gives her top 10 list of Romani characters in literature, including La Esméralda in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (right). She writes: “It’s fascinating that century after century, Gypsies [Roma] are both the most romanticized people on earth and the most vilified. This is almost as much the case now as it was two centuries ago.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Aug. 12
EPA library restoration pact finalized
An agreement (PDF file) between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and one of its unions to reopen shuttered libraries with adequate librarian services and research facilities takes effect August 11. The agreement settles a grievance complaint prosecuted by the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 against EPA for depriving scientists and other specialists of the tools needed to do their jobs....
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Aug. 11
Gómez to leave Urban Libraries Council
Urban Libraries Council President Martín Gómez will leave the organization on October 24 to become director of the San Mateo County (Calif.) Library. Gómez joined ULC as president in 2004, immediately setting to work on an agenda to strengthen the infrastructure of ULC to better serve the membership. Among his new programs is ULC’s Foresight 2020, which prepares libraries for the future by teaching them to be rapid-learning, rapid-responding organizations....
Urban Libraries Council, Aug. 12
Bowdoin College receives pop-up book collection
Some 1,900 pop-up books have been donated to the Bowdoin College Library’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives in Brunswick, Maine, by alumnus and collector Harry Goralnick. The 90 linear feet of books cover a wide range—from children’s literature to pop culture and even the Boston Red Sox (right). “This is an extraordinary collection, and it instantly places Bowdoin among the nation’s top repositories for toy and movable books,” said Richard Lindemann, director of special collections. Watch the video (1:57)....
Bowdoin College, July 31; WCSH-TV, Portland, Maine, Aug. 6
Speaking of pop-up books
Watch this year-old video introduction (2:00) to the Columbus (Nebr.) Public Library using a pop-up book set that combined digital still images and live footage in three-dimensional space. The submission was a Librareo contest entry based on the theme of discovering a new world at the library....
Under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, New York initiated a state-funded traveling library system in 1892. Traveling libraries were rotating collections that served to extend library service to rural areas. These small libraries—usually from 30 to 100 books—were located in a post office or store with a volunteer acting as the caretaker of the collection. Traveling libraries began in Wisconsin in 1896, when Senator J. H. Stout of Menomonie privately funded a system of these libraries for Dunn County. The bookcase pictured here is on display at the Dunn County Historical Society’s Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum in Menomonie....
Wisconsin Library Heritage Center
Connecting to Collections grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites proposals for the 2009 Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grants. Applications for these collaborative grants should address the recommendations published in the Heritage Health Index, which found that many collections held in the public trust by libraries, museums, and archives are at risk. The deadline for applications (PDF file) is October 16....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Aug. 13
ERIC website adds information, expands help
The Education Resources Information Center has redesigned its website to include improved navigation, expanded help and training, an information area for librarians, and a lighter visual design. ERIC has modified the site in response to user feedback identified through emails, user research, and usability testing....
ERIC, Aug. 3
Open access: Why it matters
Here are some notes on the importance of open access itself, quite apart from possible secondary effects. Most of them are brief excerpts of longer essays by Peter Suber. Included are moral and pragmatic arguments for open access, getting the right knowledge to the right users, and self-correction of knowledge....
PALINET Leadership Network, July 23
The National Federation of the Blind Convention
Lindsey Dunn writes: “In early July, I attended the National Federation of the Blind Convention, an annual meeting that is the largest gathering of blind and visually impaired people all over the world. This year’s convention was in Dallas. One of the events we attended was a Braille Book Fair, which was sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children division. At this event, the organization had tables full of books written in Braille. When the doors opened, the kids and parents rushed in, hungrily looking for good books they could read by themselves.”...
YALSA Blog, July 27
Smashing across the U.S.
Kelly Czarnecki writes: “A mini-exhibition was held August 9 for the Super Smash Brothers Brawl game, released in the United States in March. Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library, Detroit Public Library, and ImaginOn at the Public Library of Charlotte (N.C.) and Mecklenburg County played against each other with four teens per library. The game was broadcast live on cable in Ann Arbor. I think playing other libraries online can put the game in a larger context for teens and therefore is more challenging to win. If your library would like to participate in online game play, contact Eli Neiburger at AADL.”...
YALSA Blog, Aug. 11
Reforma advance registration ends August 22
Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, is holding its third National Conference in El Paso, Texas, September 18–21. The local arrangements committee has planned several events showcasing El Paso and its sister city Ciudad Juárez. Submit a completed registration form by mail or fax before August 22 to take advantage of the lower fees. An ALA Advocacy Institute, “Making Our Voices Heard,” will take place on Thursday, September 18....
Reforma resolution on the arrest of a Latina library worker
Reforma President Luis Chaparro has written an open letter of concern over the recent arrest in North Carolina of Marxavi Angel Martinez, a Latina staff member of the Graham Public Library in Alamance County, North Carolina. To help address the financial situation that her incarceration has placed on Martinez and her family, Reforma has created a PayPal link on its website....
Librarian, July 30, Aug. 11
More students are switching to bikes
Many students in high school and college are moving toward using bikes instead of cars. Try to get involved to show the library’s support; make sure you have a bike rack outside the library; encourage your own staff and students to participate (with incentives); try a display of bike-related resources in the library; or highlight your e-resources that students can access remotely, without having to drive or bike to campus at all....
Going Green @ your library, Aug. 12; USA Today, Aug. 6
Read RSS in your language
Ken Varnum writes: “Mloovi takes a web page or an RSS feed, runs it through Google’s translation tool, and gives you a permalink for the translated output. So, if you’ve been dying to read RSS4Lib in French, Russian, Arabic, or Hindi, here’s your opportunity. Having permanent URLs for the translation, whether for a web page or a feed, is exceptionally handy.”...
RSS4Lib, Aug. 11
A million free covers from LibraryThing
A few days ago, just before hitting 30 million books, LibraryThing hit one million user-uploaded covers. So, they’ve decided to give them away—to libraries, to bookstores, to everyone to put on their websites. The process is patterned after the Amazon.com book cover service. Covers come in three sizes. The catch? To get covers, you’ll need a LibraryThing Developer Key—any member can get one. This puts a top limit on the number of covers you can retrieve per day—currently 1,000....
LibraryThing Blog, Aug. 6–7
The internet meme timeline
Underlying Inc. has created an interactive view of the all the memes that have swept across the internet and burrowed into our zeitgeist. Built from Wikipedia and Memelabs, the timeline is open for you to add and maintain. How old is “I can has cheezburger?” Answer: June 2006. Do you remember “Bert is evil” (1997)? How about “HeadOn” (2006) or the first Coke machine on the internet (1982)? There are list, flipbook, and map versions for the timeline-impaired....
Pew/Internet report: Search engine use
The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under one-half (49%). With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of internet users who use email, arguably the internet’s all-time killer app, on a typical day....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Aug. 6
Tour more than 50 virtual worlds in seven minutes
Gary Hayes of Personalize Media created this 2008 Metaverse Tour (6:58) that covers such virtual environments as Kaneva, Second Life, Google Lively, Gaia Online, Club Penguin, Spore, Coke Studios, and Virtual Ibiza. He writes: “The video demonstrates how ubiquitous, popular, and streamlined many of these spaces are becoming across the intraweb / ‘cloud.’ With more than 300 million frequenting or registering for the nongame-based worlds and millions of new investment in second- and third-generation services, there seems to be no stopping them.”...
Personalize Media, Aug. 5; YouTube, Aug. 4
If you work in one of the nearly 80% of public libraries deemed small (serving populations of 25,000 or fewer), then Herbert Landau’s Small Public Library Survival Guide will give you tested and practical techniques to ensure your library’s growth. His customer-centric approaches have brought in resources, volunteers, and in-kind donations, earning local and national awards for a small library faced with funding cuts. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Wikipedia and Literacy Skills
Gratitude As a Catalyst
Details from Disneyland
Banned Books Week, September 27–October 4, 2008, is the 27th annual celebration of the freedom to read. The week will kick off in Chicago, with a Read-Out! The event will feature popular banned or challenged authors and local Chicago celebrities on Saturday, September 27, from noon to 4 p.m., at 401 N. Michigan Ave., Pioneer Plaza. Banned Books Week is now on Facebook and MySpace.
Library Director, City of Faribault, Minnesota, 40 miles south of the Twin Cities in the heart of lake and river recreation area. Starting salary range of $64,481–$72,891 with excellent benefits. Position reports to Buckham Center director and works with City Council and Rice County on budget considerations. Exciting opportunity for progressive, team-building individual. Performs responsible supervisory and managerial work overseeing the operation of the city library, including planning and evaluating the delivery of library services to the city and a portion of the county....
Digital Library of the Week
The Pennsylvania German Broadsides and Fraktur digital site includes some 270 images from the holdings of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Special Collections Library of Pennsylvania State University. Fraktur (the word is both singular and plural) is a German word that originally described a type of printing similar to Old English Gothic. The term today refers to drawings on paper made with pen, ink, and watercolor, using fancy penmanship and illustrations such as birds, hearts, flowers, and angels. Fraktur were commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries to document births and baptisms, marriages, and house blessings. The collection also includes broadsides (sheets of paper printed on one side only, such as commentaries on religious texts and political events) and German-language newspapers. These documents provide insight into the everyday life of German immigrants and show the process of acculturation of German settlers to their new environment.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.
“Think of the library system as something akin to the open-source movement before software. Subsidized institutions buy books, subscribe to journals and proprietary databases, and pay people to help you find ‘stuff,’ all essentially at no cost to you.... While you may not get instant gratification from a library, and few if any are really cutting-edge when it comes to their use of web technologies, there is something to be said for the diversity and quality of information they provide you in your daily development tasks.”
William Hicks, in “Getting the Most out of Your Library,” Digital Web Magazine, Aug. 12.
ALSC is offering ten $100 cash prizes to libraries for the best use of Kids! @ your library campaign materials. Contest entry is easy. In one page or less, tell us how your library has used campaign materials from the tool kit and the results you have achieved. Entries may include photos or samples of materials used. Contest entries are due on October 15, and winners will be announced at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
the ALA Librarian
Q. My summer reading program was successful in bringing teens into the library. Do you have any pointers for continuing to bring this group in during the school year?
A. There are two ALA initiatives that may help. First, YALSA has a program called Teen Read Week. This program is in its 11th year and helps get teens into the library by showing them that reading for fun is a great option for entertainment. While there are extensive resources for services to teens, gaming is gaining popularity at many libraries (see Gaming and Libraries Update). To learn more, ALA has a selection of resources on videogames specifically for librarians. In addition, you might be interested in attending the ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, November 2–4, in Oak Brook, Illinois. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Annual Conference, Sacramento, California. “Go West: Discover Gold @ Your Library.”
Ohio Library Council, Supportive Staff Conference, Columbus.
Access 2008, Hamilton, Ontario.
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
Maryland Association of School Librarians, Turf Valley Convention Center, Ellicott City.
New Mexico Library Association, Mini-Conference, Macey Center, Socorro.
Internet@Schools West, Monterey, California.
Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association, Annual Meeting, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Almost Heaven: Exploring New Vistas.”
Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Conference, Columbus.
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio.
Defrag 2008, Hyatt Regency, Denver. Defrag is a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, and thinkers that are building the next wave of software innovation. Topics include the Implicit Web, online collaboration, collective intelligence, the Semantic Web, mash-ups, and next-level discovery. Contact: Eric Norlin.
Wisconsin Library Association, Annual Conference, Middleton. “Wisconsin Libraries: Building a Better Tomorrow.”