Branch closings and budget cuts threaten libraries nationwide
City governments across the United States prepared in early November to slash public library budgets in the wake of revenue shortfalls and dire economic news. In a grim November 6 speech in which he called for sweeping job cuts and service reductions in many city departments, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (right) announced the permanent closing of 11 out of 54 library branches and the elimination of Sunday hours at the three regional branches. “Make no mistake,” Nutter said. “This will be a mid-year revision of epic proportions.” The first of several public rallies to protest the closings took place November 10; watch the video (2:06)....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 7; Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 11; KYW-TV, Nov. 10
Voters buck bleak economic outlook to fund libraries
Fears of an impending recession did not deter voters in many parts of the country from approving ballot initiatives to expand, renovate, or restore library services in their communities. And in several towns where apparently desperate officials asked the electorate to add money to general-fund coffers by zeroing out library support, residents’ answer was a resounding “no.” Library boosters in Gilroy, California, celebrated the narrow win of a $37-million bond to build a new facility to replace the 42-year-old, seismically unstable building that serves a town whose population has grown five-fold since it was erected....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 11
New federal law requires schools to teach web safety
Signed into law October 10 by President Bush, the Broadband Data Improvement Act requires schools receiving federal e-rate discounts on telecommunications services and internet access to educate their students “about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response.” The legislation effectively supplants the Deleting Online Predators Act, introduced in 2006 and passing the House but stalled in the Senate....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 11
ALA Publishing launches Guide to Reference online
ALA Publishing has launched the new online edition of Guide to Reference. Offering more than 16,000 essential print and web reference resources, Guide to Reference provides guidance in the form of expert introductory essays and annotations for entries. It also offers tips for LIS reference-course exercises and reference department activities such as collection development and reference-desk training. Sign up for a free trial subscription....
Libraries gear up for National Gaming Day @ your library
Hundreds of libraries across the country will join ALA for the first-ever National Gaming Day @ your library November 15. Public, school, and academic libraries will participate in two national events. The first is an attempt to establish a record for the most number of people playing the board game Pictureka! on the same day at the library. Gamers will also participate in a national library video game tournament via the Web. Watch a video interview (6:06) with ALA Literacy Officer Dale Lipschultz....
ALA SLymposium draws 80 avatars
The ALA Fall 2008 Second Life Symposium—called the ALA SLymposium for short—on November 8 stood firm with as many as 80 avatars on its last-minute relocation to Cybrary City, an island next door on the Second Life Information Archipelago that could better accommodate such numbers. Steven Harris writes: “The technically interesting thing to me was how a constant stream of text chatter was going on while the speakers were making their comments in audio.” Tina Coleman from ALA discussed the role of library associations in virtual worlds....
Virtual Presence, Nov. 12; Collections 2.0, Nov. 9; SLA in Second Life, Nov. 10
Veterans’ information from ALA
ALA is reaching out to veterans and their families to help them understand new educational benefits available under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. At libraries across the country, ALA is spearheading Veterans Information @ your library activities to explain a confusing array of benefits that become available next year. Efforts kick off during the week of Veteran’s Day, November 11, and are expected to grow in the weeks and months to come....
District Dispatch, Nov. 10
New ALA Connections Salon topic
The next installment in the series of President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be a discussion with Emily Sheketoff, associate executive director of the Washington Office, and Vic Klatt, ALA political consultant and former staff director of the House Education and Labor Committee. The discussion, entitled “Political Connections: The Long Road Ahead,” will take place 2–3 p.m. Eastern Time, November 21. The salon will take place in OPAL....
Traveling exhibit explores Lincoln and the Constitution
The ALA Public Programs Office will join the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in presenting a new traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” One copy of the exhibition will travel to public, academic, and special libraries from mid-2009 through 2011. The traveling exhibition, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, offers a fresh and innovative perspective on Abraham Lincoln that focuses on his struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War. Libraries must apply through Grants.gov by January 30....
Poster sessions at Annual Conference
Poster sessions will be held at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, July 11–13, at McCormick Place West. The deadline for proposals is January 31. The web form is now available. If you have questions about the status of your submission, or need to change information on a submission, contact Candace Benefiel....
Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium
The 2008 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, held November 2–4 in Oak Brook, Illinois, demonstrated many of the benefits gaming has for libraries, including improved literacy, improved civic engagement, inclusiveness, and even fundraising. Interviewees in this video (4:06) include Lawrence Kutner (right), Seann Dikkers, Lindsey Wesson, Amanda Lenhart, Rick Bolton, Larry Lewis Jr., and Eli Neiburger....
Featured review: Reference
Sauer, Michelle M. (editor). The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry before 1600. July 2008. 514p. Facts on File, hardcover (978-0-8160-6360-4).
The first volume in a four-volume set on British poetry includes English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish poetry before 1600. For this volume, editor Sauer has chosen the poems and poets who are most often included in the major anthologies of literature and the most used high-school textbooks. This means students will find analysis of Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, The Faerie Queene, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Shakespeare’s sonnets in one place. The 600 A–Z entries cover poets, poems, themes, terms, and historical events. Appendixes contain a glossary of literary terms and a bibliography. All articles are signed and include see also references and lists of further readings in journals and books. Entries range in length from a few paragraphs to 43 pages for Shakespeare’s sonnets. The entries on poems give an overview of the text, a discussion of the style, the historical context, and the most common interpretations of the poem....
E-book distributors for school and public libraries
Sue Polanka writes: “No matter which distributor or aggregator is chosen by a library, there are many similarities and differences. Similarities include what I feel are the benefits of e-book distributors and aggregators: a single search platform, international coverage, centralized selection and acquisitions for e-books, one licensing agreement, and price negotiation. However, the public and school library e-book distribution markets have several features that make them unique. First is content. Second is the business model. And third is Digital Rights Management coding. I interviewed Michael Johnson, chief operating officer, Follett Digital Resources, and David Burleigh, director of marketing, OverDrive; what follows is based on the information they provided.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Colorado authors, books, and media
Come to the Midwinter Meeting in Denver fully prepared to discuss the Centennial State knowledgeably by reading about or viewing its heritage. Colorado authors include Sandra Dallas, Diane Mott Davidson, John Dunning, Kent Haruf, Robert Greer, and quite a few writers of speculative fiction. Now might be a good time to revisit Stephen King’s The Shining or discover Marshall Sprague’s Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold for the first time. And don’t forget South Park, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, and Centennial....
Midwinter 2009 wiki
10 tips for photographing a conference
Tris Hussey writes: “There are two things that are pretty common at almost every conference I attend: laptops and cameras. However, the quality of pictures captured and posted from a given conference vary wildly. Very wildly. To help you out I’ve compiled my top 10 tips for better conference pictures (and a few other words of wisdom too).” Tip No. 9: Zoom less, walk more....
Digital Photography School
Civil rights heroine to keynote ALSC program
Only 52 years ago, 15-year old Melba Pattillo Beals faced down furious segregationists, the Arkansas National Guard, and the governor of Arkansas to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Now, a best-selling author, university professor, and Congressional Gold Medal of Honor recipient, Beals will join ALSC at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago to discuss her fight for civil rights in the United States. The ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program featuring Beals is part of the Auditorium Speaker Series and will take place July 13....
Explore family roots at RUSA’s Midwinter Genealogy Institute
Whatever happened to Uncle Seamus who left home to work on the railroads in the 1860s? Which families made the arduous journey along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro to settle New Mexico? Who are my Arikara ancestors? Attendees at the RUSA History Section’s “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk,” a one-day institute on January 24 at the Denver Public Library, could find some answers....
YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium
More than 600 librarians, educators, and authors came to Nashville, Tennessee, November 7–9 to celebrate teen reading. YALSA has posted a series of videos featuring presenters and participants at their Young Adult Literature Symposium in Nashville. Dramacon author Svetlana Chmakova (right) and Yen Press Publishing Director Kurt Hassler served on a preconference panel on manga. Liz Burns talks about a program she presented on fanfic and fandom. Pam Spencer Holley talks about nonfiction for teens. And several librarians talk about their experiences during the first day of the symposium....
YALSA Blog, Nov. 8–9
Tweeting YALSA’s YA Lit Symposium
Wendy Stephens writes: “If Ranganathan’s law about every reader having his book is true, perhaps the 2.0 corollary is that every content creator has his application. I think I have found mine in Twitter. I didn’t get Twitter for a while. It seemed mostly about specifying exactly at which Starbucks you would be spending the afternoon. But I liked the way that institutional users like YALSA and SLJ were using it to alert followers to blogs updates. I decided to gear up for the AASL National Conference in Charlotte by practicing tweeting from YALSA’s symposium in Nashville over the weekend.”...
AASL Blog, Nov. 10
ALCTS electronic forums
ALCTS is presenting a series of three-day moderated electronic discussion forums to provide opportunities for librarians to discuss matters of interest through the ALCTS e-forum discussion list. Registration is necessary to participate. “Collecting Free Web Resources: Selection, Archiving, Metadata Access” moderated by
Kate Harcourt, Melanie Wacker, and Alex Thurman, will run November 18–20....
International papers and poster sessions
The International Relations Round Table invites proposals for presentations to be made at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, July 9–15, 2009. Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers session scheduled for July 11. The International Papers Program provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections, and projects throughout the world. The paper proposal deadline is December 5. Proposals are also needed for international poster sessions scheduled for July 12 (the deadline for these is January 31)....
Nominations open for international librarianship award
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2009 John Ames Humphry/ OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship. The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. It consists of a prize of $1,000 and a certificate presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations is January 1....
Nominations sought for international travel grant
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2009 Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, sponsored by the Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. An award of $1,000 is given to an ALA member to attend his or her first international conference. The nominee must have been an ALA member for one full year. The deadline for nominations is January 1....
Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame
On November 6, the first 10 individuals were inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association conference in Middleton. The award was created by the board of the WLA Foundation at its July 16 meeting. Although the first inductees are all deceased, living individuals will be considered for induction starting in 2009. The 2008 inductees have left a rich personal and professional legacy to Wisconsin and include four founders of the WLA and two presidents of ALA....
Wisconsin Library Heritage Center
Nam Le wins Dylan Thomas Prize
A Vietnamese refugee who escaped to Australia by boat at the age of three months with his parents has won the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize for his debut collection of short stories, The Boat. The £60,000 ($92,500 U.S.) prize, sponsored by the University of Wales, is one of the highest-paying literary awards in the world. Nam Le, who was raised in Melbourne, is the second winner of the award, which is designed to encourage creative talent in writers under the age of 30 whose work has been published in the English language....
The Australian, Nov. 11
2008 World Fantasy Awards
Awards for the best fantasy novel, novella, short story, anthology, collection, and artist were presented at the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary, Alberta, October 30–November 2. Winner in the best novel category was Guy Gavriel Kay’s Ysabel (Viking Canada/Penguin Roc, 2008), while Elizabeth Hand’s Illyria (PS Publishing, 2007) won in the best novella category....
World Fantasy Convention
2009 Joint AIC and Heritage Preservation Award
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and Heritage Preservation are seeking nominations for their 2009 Joint Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. The award is presented annually to an organization in North America that has been exemplary in the priority it has given to conservation concerns and in the commitment it has shown to the preservation and care of its cultural property. The deadline for nominations is December 15....
Sweden’s Library Bus of the Year
Peter Thuvander and Martin Hedenström of the design group Muungano have won the Swedish Library Bus of the Year award for creating a bookmobile for the town of Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost city. The award is sponsored by the Swedish Library Association. Because of the lack of sunlight during most of the year in the area it serves, the bus is well-lit when dark to attract users. It offers books, multimedia, computer games, and internet access....
Dezeen, Nov. 1
San Diego branch closings draw howls of protests
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’s proposal to shutter 17 libraries and recreation facilities to reduce a $43-million deficit has prompted hundreds of calls and emails. On November 10, about 40 people held a rally outside the City Heights branch to protest the cuts. City Council plans an all-day hearing November 12 to discuss the mayor’s plan....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Nov. 11
Trenton resolves branch crisis
Neighborhood branch libraries in Trenton, New Jersey, have been granted a reprieve allowing them to remain open at least through the end of next year, library officials announced November 10. The branches will stay in operation partly by shifting staff from the main library and limiting hours there, thanks to an agreement with State Librarian Norma E. Blake, library director Kimberly M. Bray said....
Trenton (N.J.) Times, Nov. 11
School library staff time scarce in Lafayette
The library doors at Evangeline Elementary School in Lafayette, Louisiana, are open to students all day—if the librarian doesn’t have a class at the tables or if there’s a clerk available. But a policy revision has drastically cut back clerk time. At larger elementary schools, full-time library clerks were split into half-time positions and smaller elementary schools lost half-time staffing in libraries....
Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Nov. 7
Colleges might help Worcester Public Library
For more than 25 years, Worcester (Mass.) City Hall and local colleges—Assumption, Atlantic Union, Clark, and others—have found little common ground during discussions about tax-exempt nonprofits making civic contributions in lieu of paying taxes to the city for the municipal services they receive. But some common ground may have been reached November 10 after some councilors suggested approaching the colleges about pitching in to help subsidize the city’s operation of the Worcester Public Library....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette, Nov. 11
Fortress of comic-tude
As the comic art bibliographer at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Randy Scott is responsible for growing and maintaining the largest library comic book collection in the world. With about 240,000 comics and books about comics, the collection is larger than that of the Library of Congress. If Scott could have his way, he would have a $5,000 monthly budget. However, like most publicly funded entities these days, he doesn’t quite have his dream budget. Scott has just more than $1,000 a month to work with....
East Lansing (Mich.) State News, Nov. 4
Seattle’s library hikers
They’d rather be hiking in the mountains, but 17 members of Seattle Mountaineers decided to celebrate the completion of the city’s library campaign by walking to each library and getting their new library passports (right) stamped. The group began the series of hikes October 9 when it hiked to all five libraries in West Seattle, a distance of 9.2 miles. Kathy Biever, who works for the Seattle Public Library, said she hopes to complete the 27-library hike December 4, starting at the Montlake branch and ending at downtown Seattle’s flagship facility....
Seattle Times, Nov. 8; Seattle Public Library, Oct. 20
Houston’s video games attract teen visitors
After a $17-million renovation, Houston Public Library reopened its central branch in May. The new facility features a library “Gadget Petting Zoo,” technology classes for all ages, and Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation game consoles. Michael Van Campen, HPL’s chief of central services, insists technology isn’t diminishing the library’s priority on books. In fact, Van Campen said the opposite is true: Increased foot traffic due to technology will actually lead to more interest in books....
Government Technology, Oct. 22
Oral histories capture Illinois veterans’ voices
Arthur Betts’s voice may be weak, but his story is powerful: A black soldier serving in a segregated Army, fighting for freedoms he didn’t fully enjoy back in America. Now his story has been preserved, along with those of other Illinois veterans and their families, by the Veterans Remember oral history project at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Interviews and transcripts are available on the library’s website....
Associated Press, Nov. 10
The librarian and the Elf
Janet Bailey, technical services librarian at the Abilene (Tex.) Public Library, touts the wonders of Elf, a web-based and email tool for library users to keep track of library borrowings: “Once upon a time there was a librarian who could not seem to return her books and DVDs on time. She had overdue issues. Soon all of their cards were blocked with late fees. This made her family sad, for they really liked to read, listen to ‘Hank the Cowdog,’ and watch DVDs.”...
Abilene (Tex.) Reporter-News, Nov. 5
Toronto branch uncovers 1920s murals
Books aren’t the only things that tell stories inside the newly renovated Dufferin/St. Clair branch of the Toronto Public Library. Nestled inside the building are a series of vibrant, multicolored wall paintings. For decades they were hidden gems, buried under coats of wall paint. But a recent $2.5-million renovation uncovered the murals, which were painted by noted artist George Agnew Reid (1860–1947) and two of his students between 1925 and 1932....
Toronto Star, Nov. 11
Temporary Cedar Rapids library to open in January
The Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library expects to open in January what it calls the “Bridge Library” in a former Osco Drug Store in Westdale Mall on the southwest side of the city. OPN Architects designed the Bridge Library for free and is working with the library board on plans for a permanent facility to replace the main branch that was damaged by floods in June. Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor and area businesses have donated funds for the library’s recovery efforts....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Nov. 7
Reference Extract to offer results with credibility
Researchers and developers from OCLC and the information schools of Syracuse University and the University of Washington will participate in a new international effort to explore the creation of a more credible web search experience based on input from librarians around the globe. Called Reference Extract, the engine will allow users to enter a search term and receive results weighted toward sites most often used by librarians at institutions such as the Library of Congress, the University of Washington, the State Library of Maryland, and more than 2,000 other libraries worldwide....
OCLC, Nov. 7
How to convert websites to PDF documents
Neil Randall writes: “Working with web pages can be difficult for two reasons. First, they change. Second, you can’t always guarantee a solid internet connection during a live presentation. With this in mind, Adobe has added a full-featured capture utility to its new Acrobat Pro 9. This web-conversion tool expands upon the capabilities of the feature that installed, in previous Acrobat versions, as a toolbar in your browser. Now, instead of capturing only one web page (the page currently displayed in the browser) as a PDF, you can convert all the pages on a site to the link-depth of your choice.”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 11
Talk face-to-face within Gmail
As webcams have become popular, more and more of us are realizing that video is the next best thing to an in-person conversation. On November 11, Google introduced Gmail voice and video chat, which lets you have free voice and video conversations within Gmail. Click on the new “Video & more” menu in a Gmail chat window and select “Start video chat” or “Start voice chat.”...
Official Google Blog, Nov. 11; YouTube, Nov. 7
How to drive traffic to your website
Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan write: “Are you ready to abandon your web promotion efforts because your website doesn’t get much traffic? Don’t. This article will give you options, some quick and some more involved, to make your site findable, to drive traffic to it, and to let more people know about your library. You’re most likely not going to take over the Web, but you can make your pages easier to find, and free links are the key.”...
Marketing Library Services 22, no. 6 (Nov./Dec.)
Planning for Success cookbook
The MaintainIT Project’s latest cookbook is Joy of Computing—Planning for Success, a guide for the overworked librarian. Comprehensive in scope, this free online resource (PDF file) brings together current ideas and best practices for planning, building, and managing your library’s computer technology. Librarians have contributed their knowledge on topics ranging from security solutions and strategic maintenance practices to community building experiences involving Web 2.0 tools and vital partnerships....
Mrs. P’s storytelling site aims to amuse, enchant
After nearly two years in development, Mrs. P, a free children’s entertainment and educational website celebrating books and reading, officially launched November 10. In a nod to Cinderella, the site debuted at the stroke of midnight, featuring 15 classic fairy tales read by Mrs. P from her “Magic Library.” The interactive site features actress Kathy Kinney, who played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show, as a globe-trotting, redheaded Irishwoman who brings classic children’s stories to life with her own brand of quirky humor....
MrsP.com, Nov. 10
Top 10 most annoying phrases
John Scott Lewinski writes: “Not all University of Oxford researchers are uptight and humorless, ‘irregardless’ of what you might think. In fact, a bunch of them compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English language—just because we needed one. The list appears in a new book, Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare, by Jeremy Butterfield.” In addition to the 10 listed, commenters have supplied many others....
The Underwire, Nov. 7
Panel issues classroom fair use guide
When professors want to incorporate clips from television shows or other popular-culture works into their lectures and are unsure about what they can legally use, some are basing their decisions on “urban folklore about copyright,” says Peter A. Jaszi, law professor at American University. A new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (PDF file) by the university’s Center for Social Media offers free legal advice to clarify such issues—and its authors say that the fair use provisions of copyright law are more permissive than many professors may think....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 11
Why I copyfight
Cory Doctorow writes: “Why does all this copyright reform stuff matter, anyway? What’s at stake? Everything. There’s a word for all the stuff we do with creative works—all the conversing, retelling, singing, acting out, drawing, and thinking: We call it culture. Culture’s old. It’s older than copyright. The existence of culture is why copyright is valuable. The reason copyright exists is because culture creates a market for creative works. If there was no market for creative works, there’d be no reason to care about copyright. Content isn’t king: Culture is.”...
Locus Online, Nov. 6
An analysis of the Google settlement
James Grimmelmann, an assistant law professor at New York Law School, reviewed the proposed settlement in the Google Book Search case, along with its 13 appendixes, and came up with some guiding principles for the court as it considers whether to approve the settlement, and for the public to help in thinking about its effects. Basically, he says the settlement is a good thing as it stands, but there are a few tweaks that could make it better....
The Laboratorium, Nov. 8
Reference librarians in the age of Google
At a symposium hosted last year by Columbia University’s library system, Steven Bell, a librarian from Temple University, took a controversial stand. Before an audience made up almost entirely of reference librarians, Bell argued for the abolition of the reference desk by the year 2012. The old model of a desk staffed by highly trained reference librarians is well on its way to becoming outdated, perhaps even extinct. In its place, he and others envision a world where librarians are available 24/7 to help patrons search the vast digital stacks of the internet, as well as physical shelves full of old newspapers and incunabula....
Duke Magazine 94, no. 5 (Sept./Oct.)
The kids have it (PDF file)
Robbie Bravman Marks writes: “During the decade spanning 1998 and 2007, circulation of public library children’s materials and participation in public library programs for children increased significantly both in Colorado and in the United States. While Colorado statistics for these measures grew in fits and starts over the 10-year timeframe, the national numbers show relatively steady growth from one year to the next. This report provides a detailed look at the Colorado and U.S. data, as well as its correlation to the population growth rate of each locale.”...
Fast Facts, no. 265 (Nov. 6)
More Connecting to Collections Bookshelves
Based on the enthusiastic response from information professionals throughout the country, the Institute of Museum and Library Services will offer a third and final round of competition to distribute an additional 1,000 copies of the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf. Online applications can be submitted to the American Association for State and Local History between January 5 and March 9, 2009....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 12
Click, Clack, Moo in the White House Library?
Debra Lau Whelan writes: “Chances are you won’t see Click, Clack, Moo (Simon & Schuster, 2000), The Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick, 2003), and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007) in the White House Library. But if students at Milton Terrace South Elementary School in Ballston Spa, New York, have their way, these and other children’s books will be on the library’s shelves by the time President-elect Barack Obama and his family move in.”...
School Library Journal, Nov. 10
10 ways to make press releases more SEO friendly
Sarah Evans writes: “What can you do to set your press release apart from the pack and allow your target audience to find you? Implement the use of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. While the use of SEO leads to increased visibility and ultimately more views of press releases, it is imperative to remember that you write first and foremost for your audience—the most important traffic of all.”...
Mashable, Nov. 4
Don’t friend me!
David Lee King writes: “I’m noticing that when a library decides to start a Flickr account, a Twitter feed, or create a Facebook page, they naturally want to start ‘making friends.’ So what do they do? They friend me. Or you. Or they friend other libraries. This is bad. Why? Who are you trying to connect with? Me? I don’t live in your neighborhood. Another library on the other side of the world? They’re not going to use your services.”...
David Lee King, Nov. 7
National Day of Listening, November 28
StoryCorps has declared November 28 the first annual National Day of Listening in order to encourage, instruct, and inspire Americans to record conversations with loved ones during the holidays. The organization has created free literature, including a do-it-yourself guide, to help people archive their interviews at home. National Public Radio and the Library of Congress American Folklife Center are partners on the project....
The most wonderful time of the year?
Neil Hollands writes: “What’s a book group to do in December? Half your members won’t have time to read a book, and if you add to their task loads, many will ditch the group altogether, taking one of the other, less-demanding holiday invitations they’ve received. You can just pack up the group for a month and come back in January, but there’s something sad about that. If your book group members are also friends like mine are, it’s an important part of the season to spend an evening with them. Here are 10 ideas for how to handle that awkward holiday meeting.”...
Book Group Buzz, Nov. 8
Libraries go green @ Emerald City
Maxito Ricardo writes: “To help libraries and library-related organizations go green, the Alliance Library System in Illinois, the Mancos Public Library in southwestern Colorado, TAP Information Services, and other libraries and library-related organizations have partnered to create the Emerald City initiative. Emerald City is both a location in the three-dimensional virtual world called Second Life and a website where libraries can access resources and informational programs about going green. The Emerald City project is just getting started. More volunteers are needed.”...
RezLibris, no. 1 (Nov.)
Ransom Center to webcast Flair Symposium
The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin, will webcast the Fleur Cowles Flair Symposium, “Creating a Usable Past: Writers, Archives and Institutions,” November 13–15. Speakers include authors Lee Blessing, Tim O’Brien, Denis Johnson, and Amy Tan; NEA chairman Dana Gioia; Bodleian Library Associate Director Richard Ovenden; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Director Frank Turner; Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Director Stephen Enniss; and Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley....
University of Texas at Austin, Nov. 6
Find your inner Dewey Decimal class number
Spacefem writes: “This quiz will convert your name to a class listed in the Dewey Decimal Classification system. That’s right. There’s no reason you can’t be classified, albeit randomly, just like a library book. Libraries are freaking awesome and we all need to read more, so there. Somewhere between 000 (Generalities) and 999 (Extraterrestrial worlds), you have a place.”...
Ancient Rome lives again in Google Earth
The glory that was Rome is to rise again. Visitors will once more be able to visit the Colosseum and the Forum of Rome as they were in 320 A.D., this time in a Google Earth layer. The project has been developed by Google in collaboration with the University of Virginia’s Rome Reborn Project and Past Perfect Productions. The computer graphics are based on a physical model—the Plastico di Roma Antica, which was created by archaeologists and model-makers between 1933 and 1974 and is housed in the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome....
The Times (U.K.), Nov. 12; Google Earth; Rome Reborn 2.0; ArchArt
Lt. Bookman lectures Seinfeld
An overdue-book detective from the New York Public Library, Lieutenant Bookman (played by Philip Baker Hall), gives Seinfeld a hard time about a title he’s allegedly had overdue since 1971, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. “Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me, maybe. Sure, we’re too old to change the world. But what about that kid sitting down to open a book right now in a branch of the local library, and finding drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees, and The Cat in the Hat, and The Five Chinese Brothers? Doesn’t he deserve better?” The episode originally aired October 16, 1991....
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Going to Denver? Let others know by putting a button on your website or blog.
Kevin Henkes’s beautifully written and illustrated picture book, Old Bear, is featured in a new poster and bookmarks that remind us reading is always in season. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
After-School Success Stories
Time to Retool
Hennen’s Public Library Ratings
Read an HTML version of an adaptation of Sen. Barack Obama’s keynote address at the opening general session of ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23–29, 2005.
Dean of Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. USFSP seeks a dynamic leader with a deep understanding of the role of libraries in the modern academy and a clear and compelling vision for the future of academic libraries. The successful candidate will have major opportunities to shape the future of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and its associated support services such as distance learning and instructional technology....
As hundreds of libraries join ALA in the celebration of National Gaming Day on November 15, ALA President Jim Rettig will join families at the Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Library (above) in Chesapeake, Virginia, for a day filled with opportunities to read, learn, and play.
Digital Library of the Week
The New York Public Library Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 640,000 images digitized from NYPL’s vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, and photographs. A recently redesigned web interface offers more customizable options, fewer popup windows, and a completely CSS-driven page layout that will guarantee flexibility in future versions in displaying the site’s content on a variety of devices like PDAs and mobile phones. New images are highlighted weekly as Digital Gallery Picks. Choices in the item view are now arranged according to the things you might want to do: find related images, browse related sources, see more metadata, or interact with an image. Image metadata (in the Dublin Core format) is now embedded in each item page. There is also support for the CoolIris browser extension that allows the user to view any image search in the Digital Gallery as an immersive slideshow. In addition, the NYPL site features a video series showcasing Treasures of the New York Public Library, in which curators and librarians share their passion for the NYPL special collections.
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.
“In the library, Mrs. Pederson has the windows open. . . . She smells like the floor wax the janitor uses. Every day she wears a white blouse. The rest of her clothes are gray—the skirt, the jacket she buttons in the heat. Her gray hair is pulled back, pinned. In the heat, no one visits her. During working hours, she gossips on the party line. If I talk too loud, she says, ‘Quiet!’”
An immigrant boy’s recollections of a Wisconsin public library in 1952, in the Anthony Bukoski short story “A Guide to American Trees,” in the collection North of the Port (Southern Methodist University Press, 2008).
Molly Kleinman provides an overview of the Creative Commons copyright licenses and describes the Creative Commons workshops offered by the University of Michigan library in “The Beauty of ‘Some Rights Reserved,” in the November issue of College & Research Libraries News. And listen to a podcast interview with the author.
the ALA Librarian
Q. In the past I remember using a page on the ALA website that offered a wide variety of reading lists for children and adults, but when I went to search for it, I couldn’t find it. The page that I did find had a lot of broken links. Can you help me?
A. The page that you are thinking of is the ALA Library Recommended Reading web page. This page has been replaced with Library Fact Sheet #23: Recommended Reading. This fact sheet contains links to recent book lists in the news, books for children, young adults/teens, and adults. There are also links to lists for choosing reference books such as atlases and dictionaries, and for finding “read-alikes” for such topics as Harry Potter and Gossip Girl. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Do you have a cool teen program that cost your library less than $100? Tell YALSA about it by November 20 and you can have it included in a forthcoming publication, Cool Teen Programs for under $100. Submit descriptions via email to YALSA.
Ontario Library Association, Super Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Electronic Resources and Libraries, Los Angeles.
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Music Library Association, Annual Meeting, Chicago.
Reading the World XI, University of San Francisco.
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans.
Museums and the Web, Indianapolis.
Beatrix Potter Conference, Arne Nixon Center, California State University, Fresno.
Missouri Association of School Librarians, Spring Conference, Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach. “Passport to Treasures @ your library.”
Academic Library Advancement and Development Network, Annual Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia.
Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan.
Medical Library Association, Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ethics of Information Organization, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Canadian Association for Information Science, Annual Conference, Ottawa.
New York State Library Assistants’ Association, Annual Conference, Sage College, Troy.
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
Second International m-Libraries Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
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