Meryl Streep set to play librarian in Dewey film
Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep is reportedly slated to star in the big-screen adaptation of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Streep would portray Spencer (Iowa) Public Library Director Vicki Myron, who wrote the bestseller, along with Bret Witter, about the kitten that was adopted by the library staff after being abandoned in the book drop. The news came as Dewey topped the New York Times bestseller list for the second week in a row....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 14
Washington dad foils plan for school “librateria”
A parent has convinced officials of the Federal Way (Wash.) Public Schools that students who will attend a yet-to-be-built school could benefit from a dedicated space for a media center that is separate from the lunchroom. PTA member Dave Bomgardner coined the word “librateria” to describe the rejected joint-use proposal for the new Lakota Middle School. Bomgardner and other concerned parents have introduced the issue at a Lakota open house, testified before the school board, and persuaded officials to delay approving the architectural plans for two weeks....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 19
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is compiling its yearly list of most frequently challenged books. Although many challenges are never reported in the newspapers, OIF still strives to be as comprehensive as possible in its records. To report a challenge to be included in the 2008–2009 compilation, fill out the challenge form or email the information to Angela Maycock by December 31....
OIF Blog, Nov. 17
Proposals sought for Grassroots Programs
Do you have a great idea for an Annual Conference program but don’t belong to a committee or other group that can plan and produce a program? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives, you are invited to submit a proposal for a program to take place at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, July 9–15, in Chicago. Additional information and a submission form can be found online....
Traditional Cultural Expression conference
Leonard Kniffel writes: “It doesn’t take long before a dinner-table conversation about ‘traditional cultural expression’ gets into some really heavy stuff. That’s what happened November 12, when I sat at the table in Washington, D.C., with Wend Wendland (right), head of the Traditional Creativity, Cultural Expressions, and Cultural Heritage Section of the World Intellectual Property Organization, who’d come all the way from Geneva, Switzerland, to deliver the keynote address at a small invitational conference sponsored by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. Before you could say ‘copyright,’ we’d leaped from folk art to questions about who owns the rights to ancient human remains and to a definition of ‘genetic resources.’”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 13–16
Publicity tips from a veteran journalist
Veteran journalist Chris Kertesz offers tips on how to develop a state of your library report. He writes: “Libraries and librarians can draw on and localize an ALA resource—the annual State of America’s Libraries report—to inform their constituencies about developments relevant to their local libraries and reinforce your position as an important source of information for the media.”...
Visibility @ your library, Nov. 7, 18
Midwinter Forum on support staff certification
The ALA–Allied Professional Association is offering Midwinter Meeting attendees an opportunity on January 23 to provide feedback on the development of a national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Library Support Staff Certification Program is a partnership between ALA and the Western Council of State Libraries....
Collection development and management
ALA Editions has released a second edition of Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management. In this fully updated revision, expert instructor and librarian Peggy Johnson addresses the art of controlling and updating your library’s collection. Each chapter offers complete coverage of one aspect of collection development. Johnson also integrates electronic resources throughout the book....
Featured review: Adult books
Rakoff, Joanna Smith. A Fortunate Age. Apr. 2009. 416p. Scribner, hardcover (978-1-4165-9077-4).
Like the classic novel it so obviously pays homage to, Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Rakoff’s mesmerizing debut opens with a wedding and closes with a funeral. In between, the novel provides a pitch-perfect portrait of the generation that came of age in the 1990s as four ambitious Oberlin graduates arrive in New York City full of hopes and dreams. They include native New Yorker Sadie, a book editor who is the most emotionally stable member of the group; Emily, a talented actress who can’t catch a break; Lil, a brainy doctoral student given to intense bouts of insecurity; and Beth, still in love with her musician boyfriend from college....
Top 10 first novels
Brad Hooper writes: “The first novelists listed here, whose works were selected as the best first novels reviewed in Booklist over the past year, will undoubtedly become second novelists. In other words, these novels show talent above and beyond the usual first time out.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Tattered Cover Book Store
Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store is one of the largest independent bookstores in the United States. In 2000, the store resisted on First Amendment grounds a police search warrant for records related to purchases made by a customer suspected of manufacturing crystal meth. OIF Executive Director Judith Krug testified in the case and the Freedom to Read Foundation joined an amicus brief arguing in favor of customer rights to privacy. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Tattered Cover in 2002. The store is located near the Convention Center at 1628 16th Street....
Tattered Cover Book Store; Freedom to Read Foundation
ACRL launches first interest group
ACRL has created a Residency Interest Group, the first interest group approved by its board of directors. The RIG supports the creation, implementation, management, and promotion of library residency programs. It accomplishes this by providing a central location for information about program availability; the creation of core competencies, evaluation, and assessment standards; and the overall advancement of the quality of resident education....
Serving diverse teens
Learn how to best serve today’s teens, the most diverse generation in American history, by attending Reaching Today’s Diverse Teens, a pre-Midwinter Meeting Institute offered by YALSA. This full-day institute will take place 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., January 23, and includes lunch....
YALSA Tech Playground and mixer
Want to learn how to integrate traditional library activities like booktalking, teen programs, and marketing with a technological twist? Then come to the Tech Playground, hosted by YALSA at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, January 23. Attendees can sample fun technologies for teen library services while earning raffle tickets to win a Flip Video camera....
YALSA seeks blog manager
YALSA is looking for a new member manager for its YALSA Blog. The member manager must be a current member of the division. Applications are due December 31. The member manager will be responsible for the content and look of the blog and will work closely to recruit and oversee designated bloggers. For further information, contact Beth Yoke....
LITA names two Emerging Leaders
The LITA board of directors has selected Holly Tomren and Lisa Thomas to participate in the ALA 2009 Emerging Leaders Program. They will receive a $1,000 stipend to help offset the costs of attending the 2009 Midwinter Meeting and the 2009 Annual Conference. Tomren is electronic resources and metadata cataloger at the University of California, Irvine; Thomas is digital collections librarian at Yale University....
PLA National Conference program proposals
The deadline to submit a program proposal for the PLA 13th National Conference, scheduled for March 23–27, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, is quickly approaching. Program proposals may be submitted until November 30 through an online form....
Become a LLAMA mentor
The 10-month LLAMA mentoring program is designed to encourage and nurture leaders and to develop and promote outstanding management practices. Mentees in the program benefit from mentor experience in areas such as career planning, job assistance, shaping careers, and succession planning. Mentors provide training and guidance for mentees and share leadership skills and practices. Applications will be accepted through December 1....
Leads from LLAMA, Nov. 12
UIUC waives tuition for Spectrum Scholars
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS will waive tuition for all of its 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winners. The five scholars attending the university for the 2008–2009 school year—Harriet Elizabeth Green, Deana L. Greenfield, Hanna Lee, Laksamee Putnam, and Roy Saldaña Jr.—represent the largest number of Spectrum Scholars to attend the University of Illinois....
University of Oklahoma supports a Spectrum Scholar
The University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to George Gottschalk, a 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winner. Gottschalk is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Oklahoma....
RUSA Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel grant
The RUSA Business Reference and Services Section seeks applicants for the 2009 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award. Students enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school program are encouraged to apply (PDF file) for this travel grant—$1,000 to cover travel expenses to the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, July 9–15....
National Leadership Grant guidelines available
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting grant applications for the agency’s 2009 National Leadership Grant program. Applications, guidelines, and examples of successful proposals can be found on the agency’s website. The deadline for submitting applications is February 1. Libraries interested in submitting proposals can apply to one of two funding categories: Projects or Planning Grants....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 14
Curtis wins Zarrow Award
Newbery Medal–winning author Christopher Paul Curtis is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust’s 2009 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature.
Bursting on the literary scene with his first children’s book in 1995, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, Curtis received praise for combining factual and fictional events of an African-American family and the racism they encounter during a road trip from Flint, Michigan, to Alabama....
Tulsa (Okla.) World, Nov. 16
The Flying Troutmans wins Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Miriam Toews’s The Flying Troutmans, touted early on as a possible candidate for several major Canadian book prizes, ended up earning a single nomination. But the popular Winnipeg author’s bestselling novel made good on that one nod, claiming the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in Toronto November 16. The novel is a contemporary road yarn about a woman who leads her niece and nephew on a search for their estranged father....
Toronto Star, Nov. 17
2008 Governor General Literary Awards
The Canada Council for the Arts announced the Governor General’s Literary Awards November 18. The awards are given in the categories of fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, children’s literature (text and illustration), and translation, in English and in French. The fiction winners were Nino Ricci’s The Origin of Species (Doubleday Canada) and Marie-Claire Blais’s Naissance de Rebecca à l’ère des tourments (Les Éditions du Boréal)....
Canada Council for the Arts, Nov. 18
Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners
Booktrust announced the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners in London November 13: Ursula Jones’s The Witch’s Children Go to School (Orchard, 2008) and Andy Stanton’s Mr. Gum and the Dancing Bear (Egmont, 2008). The prize is split into two categories: books for children ages 6 and younger, and books for children ages 7–14. Each winner receives £2,500. The purpose of the Funny Prize is to honor Roald Dahl by focusing on humor in children’s books and to encourage family togetherness through reading funny books aloud....
Booktrust, Nov. 13
$60,000 history competition for high school students
ABC-CLIO has launched “History Uncovered,” a research competition for secondary school students. The reference publisher will award more than $60,000 in cash and prizes in this opportunity for teams of students, social studies teachers, and school library media specialists to participate in a meaningful competitive endeavor that emphasizes research skills along with historical and critical thinking. Teams should visit the competition website to register....
ABC-CLIO, Nov. 14
SAA’s Waldo Gifford Leland Award
The Society of American Archivists is accepting nominations for its Waldo Gifford Leland Award, an annual recognition for a monograph, finding aid, or documentary publication of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice. Periodical articles are ineligible. Nominations (PDF file) are due by February 28....
Society of American Archivists
Penguin book called “risky”
Officials at the East Elementary School in Ankeny, Iowa, where in late February Cindy and James Dacus’s kindergarten-age child discovered And Tango Makes Three, have denied the couple’s request to remove the book or move it to a parents-only section. The Dacuses’ appeal to the school board is expected to be acted on in December. Cindy Dacus told school board members November 3 that the book by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, about two male penguins hatching and parenting a baby chick, tries to normalize homosexuality to children too young to understand the “risky lifestyle.” Elsewhere, the Chico (Calif.) Unified School District decided to keep the book on its shelves....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Nov. 17; Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record, Nov. 13
TTYL removed from Texas middle school
A teen novel that stirred controversy when the parent of a Round Rock, Texas, student complained that it is obscene was removed from the district’s middle school libraries November 18. Round Rock Superintendent Jesus Chavez sent a letter to Wes and Sherry Jennings saying he had determined that while Lauren Myracle’s TTYL “may be appropriate for some students, it is not appropriate for all of our students in the middle school and should not be made generally available.”...
Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, Nov. 18
Me, Penelope causes a stir
David Myers brought the book Me, Penelope, by Lisa Jahn-Clough, to school board members November 10 and read a sexually explicit passage involving a 16-year-old girl. His daughter, a student at Tavares (Fla.) Middle School, checked the book out after getting permission from the librarian. Myers said the book was part of a collection students have to ask permission from the school librarian to check out. Board members were stunned by the revelation....
Leesburg (Fla.) Daily Commercial, Nov. 12
New York library supporters protest state cuts
About 450 librarians and library supporters rallied against budget cuts at the New York State Capitol in Albany November 18. Gov. David Paterson has proposed $20 million in cuts to libraries, which the New York Library Association says will reduce library aid for the state’s 73 library systems to a level not seen since 1993. State aid to libraries was flat between 1998 and 2006. Paterson called lawmakers into an emergency session to make mid-year budget cuts, but legislators did not take any action....
White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News, Nov. 18; New York Library Association
Philadelphia details rationale for branch closings
After 11 days of mounting outcry over its budget cuts, Mayor Nutter’s office November 17 tried to assuage critics with more detailed explanations for its decision to target 11 library branches for closing. Siobhan Reardon, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, told city council that it was her idea to shrink the library system to provide better service at existing libraries with fewer resources. Amy Dougherty, director of the Friends of the Free Library, called on Mayor Nutter to grant the library three to six months to develop a credible long-term solution. Meanwhile, library supporters staged protests (1:15)....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 18; Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 17; KWY-TV, Nov. 17
New Hampshire library seeks benefactor
The new library in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, has thousands of books, a handsome circulation desk, and plenty of chairs for quiet lounging. Now it needs a final, crucial component: a budget so it can open. A dogged group of volunteers raised enough money over a decade to build and furnish the library, an 18th-century barn that they took down, moved across the state in pieces, and reassembled (above). But so far, they have avoided asking for a local tax increase to cover the library’s annual operating budget....
New York Times, Nov. 17; Gilmanton (N.H.) Year-Round Library Association
Wildfire destroys California monastery and its library
The raging wildfire that destroyed more than 100 plush homes in the hills above Santa Barbara, Calif., on November 14 also claimed a hilltop oasis for thousands over the years, the Episcopalian Mount Calvary Monastery and Retreat House. The sprawling, Spanish-style complex had been filled with quiet reading rooms and endless shelves of books on myriad topics. All that remains are a couple of walls under a collapsed roof and the large metal cross in the courtyard. “The place was a treasure trove of antiques and rare books,” said Peter Rood, rector of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester, California....
USA Today, Nov. 15
Harvard professor takes on RIAA
The music industry’s courtroom campaign against people who share songs online is coming under counterattack. Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson has launched a constitutional assault against a federal copyright law at the heart of the Recording Industry Association of America’s aggressive strategy, which has wrung payments from thousands of song-swappers since 2003. Nesson has come to the defense of a Boston University graduate student targeted in one of the RIAA lawsuits and hopes to challenge the basis for the litigation....
Associated Press, Nov. 14; ZDNet, Oct. 29; Boston Globe, Nov. 18
Library helped Obama’s job search
As a reminder that local libraries offer extensive job-search resources, here’s how Barack Obama found his community-organizing job in Chicago after he graduated from Columbia University. In 2005, he told American Libraries magazine: “I probably would not be in Chicago were it not for the Manhattan public library, because I was looking for an organizing job and was having great trouble finding a job as a community organizer in New York.”...
New York Daily News, Nov. 9
Sex offender found living in UIUC undergrad library
A convicted sex offender was found to be sheltering himself at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Undergraduate Library. Police Lt. Roy Acree said Eric J. Kaminski, 21, was discovered in the library around 2:30 a.m. on November 13. Library security believes Kaminski, who was convicted of a sex crime in Michigan, had been living in the library behind movable bookshelves in the northeast corner of the building....
Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette, Nov. 14
Librarian’s widow settles lawsuit
The New Jersey State Board of Education has agreed to pay $32,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by the widow of a former librarian at Clifton Avenue Grade School in Lakewood, whom she said died partly because of harassment from his coworkers and superiors. Cheryl A. Watson claimed that teacher and librarian Roz Renner and other school officials discriminated against her late husband, George Watson Jr., because of his race and disabilities....
Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Nov. 18
1861 letter donated to Spartanburg County library
A nearly 150-year-old letter predicting the start of the Civil War—written by former mayor John A. Henneman, who was later fatally shot while in office—is an important piece of history that the Spartanburg County (S.C.) Public Library never even knew existed, let alone expected to receive in the mail. Ed Daugherty, a former history teacher living in Missouri, had sent the letter (postmarked February 25, 1861), explaining that he would like to donate a historical document to the library if the library was interested....
Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal, Nov. 17
Rare Champlain map sells for $250,000
A rare print of a 396-year-old map of Canada created by French explorer Samuel de Champlain has sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Britain for nearly $250,000 ($203,000 U.S.), triple the expected price. It was purchased November 13 by an unidentified collector. It was the first published map to show Montreal, Lake Champlain, and the Great Lakes as a chain of connected waterways....
Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 14
Five ways social media will change recorded history
Ben Parr writes: “History tends to remember only pivotal moments in time, discarding the day-to-day struggles. Even when the occasional diary survives, it only archives what one person does—it doesn’t track his or her interactions with others. But with social media, that information is readily available and archives how we interact with others over time. For the first time in human history, the day-to-day interactions between people are being permanently recorded and formatted in easily organizable segments of information.”...
Mashable, Nov. 18
Microsoft to offer free security suite
Microsoft on November 18 said it is changing its strategy for offering PC antivirus software, with plans to discontinue its subscription-based consumer security suite and instead offer individuals free software to protect their PCs.
Code-named Morro, the new offering will be available in the second half of 2009 and will protect against viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans....
CNET News, Nov. 18
When technology fails
Half (48%) of tech users need help from others in getting new devices and services to work, and many experience tech outages when there is a glitch with their home internet connection, computer, or cell phone, according to a Pew Internet and American Life study (PDF file). Coping with these failures is a hassle for many tech users and helps to distance them from technology use....
Pew Internet & American Life, Nov. 16
Why Google must die
John C. Dvorak writes: “It’s called SEO—search engine optimization—and it’s pretty much all anyone working with websites ever talks about nowadays. You may think it consists of ways to trick the search engines, Google in particular, into giving you higher than usual page rankings. But in fact, it centers around the idea that Google sucks so much that companies think they need to use SEO to get the results they deserve.”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 17
Emory and George Mason team up on Zotero project
Emory University Libraries and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University have entered a cooperative partnership on Zotero, the free, open-source bibliographic manager. A team of librarians, information technologists, and faculty members led by Connie Moon Sehat, Emory Libraries’ new director of digital scholarship initiatives, will extend the research capabilities of the software in collaboration with Zotero’s main development team....
Emory University, Nov. 14
For books, is Obama the new Oprah?
Motoko Rich writes: “When President-elect Barack Obama appeared on 60 Minutes November 16 in his first interview since winning the election, he mentioned having read ‘a new book out about FDR’s first 100 days’ without specifically naming a title or author. That tantalizing reference set off a scramble for the claim to First Reader rights the next day before a spokesman disclosed the president-elect was referring to two books: Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and Jean Edward Smith’s FDR (Random House, 2007).”...
New York Times, Nov. 18
Novels better at explaining world problems
Fiction—such as Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner or Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger—should be taken just as seriously as fact-based research, according to the team from Manchester University and the London School of Economics. Novels should be required reading because fiction “does not compromise on complexity, politics, or readability in the way that academic literature sometimes does,” said Dennis Rodgers from Manchester University’s Brooks World Poverty Institute....
The Telegraph (UK), Nov. 6
Five ways that Sandman changed the world
Graeme McMillan writes: “This week saw the 20th anniversary of the release of the first issue of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s now-classic fantasy series that rewrote the rules of mainstream comics more than once in its 75-issue run. Without Sandman, we may never have seen comics like Fables, Y: The Last Man, or The Invisibles. On the other hand, we probably wouldn’t have had to suffer through the CGI Beowulf movie, either. To celebrate Morpheus’s 20th birthday, we look at five ways in which entertainment is different because of comics’ favorite dream god.”...
io9, Nov. 15
Salina librarians compile local history photo book
It was just before Christmas 2007 when Judy Lilly, the Kansas librarian at the Salina (Kans.) Public Library, was contacted by Arcadia Publishing to put together a pictorial history book of Salina’s first 150 years. Adjacent to the library’s Campbell Room of Kansas Research sat 12 filing cabinet drawers with tens of thousands of photographs and documents that Lilly had taken years to archive. With the help of a library outreach coordinator, a former museum registrar, and a genealogical researcher, Lilly soon completed Salina, 1858–2008....
Salina (Kans.) Journal, Nov. 14
Enough with the sweet talk
Joe Queenan writes: “The same authors who mope and whine about a negative comment in a book review are only too glad to accept praise that is not warranted, kudos they do not deserve. But how often does an author ever come out and admit that the praise showered on his book was excessive, inappropriate, ill-considered, unseemly, or flat-out wrong? That’s the sort of thing that takes real moral fiber, real guts. You know, like admitting that H. L. Mencken wouldn’t have been caught dead beaming at your book.”...
New York Times, Nov. 14
Five things I learned about women from James Bond books
Elizabeth Weinbloom writes: “Did you know that James Bond has the power to turn lesbians straight? And that lesbians were only gay in the first place because they have the right to vote? We always knew the Bond movies were trashy exploitation fests, but it turns out they’re Gloria Steinem sit-ins compared to Ian Fleming’s original books. The books are a treasure trove of wisdom about female sexuality, explaining why women should only sleep around at the office, and why ‘No’ means ‘Take me now.’ What important lessons did those politically correct movies leave out? Here’s our list.”...
io9, Nov. 13
Draft of report on online threats to youth
danah boyd writes: “Online Threats to Youth: Solicitation, Harassment, and Problematic Content (PDF file) is a draft of the literature review that Andrew Schrock and I prepared for the Internet Safety Technical Task Force with the help of members of the Research Advisory Board. In January, the Task Force will publish a report documenting its findings. This literature review will be an appendix to that report. We are making an early draft available because we are seeking public feedback.”...
Apophenia, Nov. 16
Wii controls won’t make you violent
A new study suggests that games that feature motion-controlled violent actions, like the Wii version of Manhunt 2, don’t affect players any differently than traditional violent games. The study was conducted by Patrick Markey at Villanova University and examined participants with varying levels of psychoticism, gauging their “hostility and aggressive thoughts” while playing Manhunt 2 or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008. Manhunt 2 had earlier encountered criticism, particularly with claims that young children would be rehearsing violent moves and converting them into real physical violence....
Game | Life, Nov. 17
The Google agreement: A pact with the devil?
Karen Coyle writes: “The agreement between Google and the Association of American Publishers is of great significance for libraries. It is also very long, written in legalese, and contains the conclusions of a lengthy negotiation without revealing the nature of the discussion. This historic settlement has the potential to change the landscape on rights, digitization, and libraries. The clincher is that this agreement makes the assumption that if anyone sues Google for copyright infringement, the library will be a party to that suit.” Preliminary court approval was granted November 14 by federal Judge John Sprizzo in Manhattan. Attorney Jonathan Band outlines the settlement’s provisions, with special emphasis on those that apply directly to libraries, in A Guide for the Perplexed (PDF file)....
Coyle’s InFormation, Nov. 18; Associated Press, Nov. 17; District Dispatch, Nov. 13
Full draft of RDA available for comment
The full draft of Resource Description and Access (RDA) (PDF files) is now available. Drafts and proposals are not an official part of RDA until they have received final approval from the Joint Steering Committee and have been formally published. The deadline for constituency responses is February 2, to allow time for comments to be compiled for consideration by the JSC at its meeting in March. In the United States, commenters may use an online form. Comments from within the Library of Congress may be submitted to the LC representative to the JSC, Barbara Tillett....
Joint Steering Committee on the RDA, Nov. 17
Maelstrom over metadata
A debate is underway in the academic web, pitting those who defend libraries’ core mission of open access against the OCLC membership organization. Early this month, OCLC announced a policy change that would have placed a notice in each record to the effect that it is governed by WorldCat terms contained in an accompanying web address—terms that could presumably change over time. Some bloggers interpreted the change as a power grab. By the time news of the policy, which is to take effect in February, spread across the blogosphere, OCLC posted a new draft softening some of its requirements....
Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 14
Discovery platforms and MARC records
Laurel Tarulli writes: “Discovery platforms (like Encore and AquaBrowser) overlie a library’s existing catalog. They read our MARC records and extrapolate that information for use in the discovery tool overlay. Therefore, a discovery tool is only as good as your MARC records. Without full, descriptive records and appropriate subject headings, your tag clouds and refined search parameters are sloppy and inaccurate. Without uniformity, your tag cloud will assist in retrieving some items but not others.”...
The Cataloguing Librarian, Nov. 18
European online library launches
The British Library in London is among more than 1,000 cultural organizations making contributions to a European online library. The free multimedia venture, Europeana, will also see input from the European Commission and the Louvre Museum. Internet users will be able to access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archive documents, paintings, and films. These will be sourced from institutions across the EU’s member states....
BBC News, Nov. 19
Reference question of the week
Brian Herzog writes: “A patron walks up to the desk, slides me this piece of paper (right), and says, ‘I was walking in the woods behind my house and found a plaque with this written on it. Can you tell me what it says?’ He then elaborated, saying the plaque was made of stone and the characters were painted onto it and it looked like an ancient language so he went online and found Omniglot.com and by looking at the alphabets there decided they must be Runic characters and in front of the plaque was a little container which he didn’t open but he photographed the whole area.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Nov. 15
Drawing the reference-help line
Susanna Smith writes: “Two weeks ago I had a student come in and ask, ‘I have this assignment due, can you tell me what I’m supposed to do?’ A few days later, I had a student ask me how to do a sociology assignment. I am fine with helping students navigate websites or telling them what reference book they can use. But where is the line to be drawn? How do you handle students who want you to help them with everything, especially those things far outside your purview as a librarian?”...
ACRLog, Nov. 17
UNC at Chapel Hill school gets $1.1 million
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna who dedicated her life to education has left the UNC School of Information and Library Science more than $1 million for student scholarships. Jane Iris Crutchfield (right), who died December 10, 2006, at age 92, spent her career as a teacher and school librarian. She taught in the Danville (Va.) Public Schools and later in the Richmond (Va.) Public Schools. The $1.12-million gift will go to the Susan Grey Akers Scholarship Fund, named for a former school dean....
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SILS, Nov. 14
LC merges acquisitions and cataloging
As result of a reorganization at the Library of Congress, a book acquired as a copyright deposit, purchase, gift, or exchange will go to one division instead of several for centralized processing. “The new organizational structure—the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate—fully merges acquisitions and cataloging functions, streamlines workflows, and deploys staff to take advantage of their unique language and subject skills,” said ABA Director Beacher Wiggins....
Library of Congress, Nov. 13
Graphic novel collection grows at WIU
Western Illinois University’s Leslie F. Malpass Library has a growing collection of graphic novels, thanks in no small part to the library’s bindery manager, Greg Phelps (right), who has donated some 50 from his own collection. “Folks often have the perception that graphic novels are just about the superheroes in comic books, but the form has expanded much further, into a huge storytelling medium,” Phelps said. The collection, which currently numbers about 200 titles, is important because graphic novels are taught in several English Department courses....
Western Illinois University, Nov. 10
Ransom Center acquires Ezra Pound materials
A major collection of Ezra Pound (right) materials from Marcella Spann Booth, one of Pound’s close friends and collaborators late in his life, has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection fills 14 archival document boxes and includes more than 700 journal-like letters the poet wrote to Spann Booth, documenting his life and career from his hospitalization at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., to his later years in Italy....
Harry Ransom Center, Nov. 14
Science experiments: Reaching out to users
Convincing faculty and students in the sciences of the value of libraries and librarians can be a particularly hard sell as more and more of their primary journal literature becomes available online everywhere. Six science librarians from the University of Washington experimented with both traditional and unconventional ways to engage their users. They tried meeting in the users’ spaces, luring them into the library’s, and using creative initiatives that included blogs, giveaways, and geocaching....
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, no. 55 (Fall)
Museums inspire @ your library
Museums and libraries have always been places of inspiration. Six years ago This Century Art Gallery approached the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library to collaborate on a series of art appreciation programs. Housed in a turn-of-the century Sears, Roebuck and Co., the gallery didn’t have the space to accommodate a large group of art enthusiasts. However, the library, with a 268-seat auditorium, could....
Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library
Massachusetts libraries serve as disaster recovery centers
A pilot safety project is placing libraries in the center of disaster recovery efforts. Southeastern Massachusetts was chosen for the launch of the project—organized by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Library System—because of its vulnerability to hurricanes and northeasters. More than 75 libraries are participating, and the program will eventually expand statewide....
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Nov. 7
Talis interviews Jenny Levine
2008 Online Information Conference keynote speaker and ALA Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine explores the ways libraries should be more open to experimentation in this podcast (38:24). Much can be learned from the wider web, she says, and about simplicity and planning for a changing environment....
Panlibus, Nov. 18
The amazing power of Facebook
Sarah Ludwig writes: “When I learned that my new Facebook presence was going to be included in the library’s monthly e-newsletter, I realized it would be pretty embarrassing for someone to visit my profile and see that I didn’t actually have any friends from my community. So I took a plunge. I started friending kids. I included a note: You can do this on Facebook. And it worked! They accepted me. (Well, virtually. In real life it’s yet to be determined.)”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 19
It’s Geography Awareness Week
November 16–22 is Geography Awareness Week. During Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic Magazine and other organizations try to raise the awareness of the importance of geography education. Google for Educators has produced a special page with some exciting geo-tours for Google Earth. Here are some more websites you might want to check out if you want to inspire some kids with neo-geography....
Google Maps Mania, Nov. 18
WebJunction webinars in December
Interested in learning how to create local history documentaries to share online? Want to understand how libraries can better serve bilingual children? Curious how to create a laptop lab or how to improve your skills as a learning professional? Want to develop strategies to help your library plan for change in the tough economic times ahead? Check out these upcoming webinars from WebJunction....
BlogJunction, Nov. 17
Physical activity guidelines
The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has issued its first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans that describes the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans. Both the 61-page booklet (PDF file) and a toolkit are available from the recently redesigned Healthfinder.gov website, which provides information on a wide range of health topics selected from more than 1,600 government and nonprofit organizations. Libraries can link directly to the site by using its linking icons....
Culture, gender, and human rights
Development strategies that are sensitive to cultural values can reduce harmful practices against women and promote human rights, including gender equality and women’s empowerment, affirms a new State of World Population report from the United Nations Population Fund. Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender, and Human Rights, released November 12, reports that culture is a central component of successful development of poor countries and must be integrated into development policy and programming....
United Nations Population Fund, Nov. 12
How to annoy librarians: A one-act play
Steve Lawson has written a humorous script that discusses the hiring of the anonymous Annoyed Librarian blogger by Library Journal, as well as Annoyed’s writing of 10 articles (anonymously) in the current issue of the Journal of Access Services: “AL: But the great thing is the reaction by librarians. I can just feel the spittle gathering at the corners of their mouths as they write post after post and comment after comment about how this is going to ruin this journal in particular, library journals in general, peer review, and the library profession in general.” Apparently, at least one member of the JAS editorial board was taken by surprise....
See Also..., Nov. 17; The Distant Librarian, Nov. 15
The Edge: Topeka’s new teen center
On October 30, the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library hosted the grand opening of its new center dedicated to teen library users. Library staff worked with teen focus groups to identify what was important to them, the décor of the room, programs, and activities. Teens also named the new center “The Edge.” This video (1:43) offers a glimpse of the myriad of activities the center provides....
YouTube, Oct. 31
Western Illinois goes mascot a mascot at Game Nite
Western Illinois University’s Malpass Library in Macomb has already held three Game Nites during the fall semester, with another one slated for December 4. Their Rocky mascot recently got in on some gaming action and found a passion for the Wii Sports’ boxing game, where he took on Illinois State University’s Reggie Redbird. This video (3:15) was produced, directed, and filmed by Teresa Koltzenburg....
YouTube, Nov. 13
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28.
This year’s Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture will feature Jim Sheeler (above), whose stories about U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq War and their families were compiled in his Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives (Penguin, 2008). The lecture will take place January 24, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
The November issue of Book Links focuses on social studies. Features include “Can We Talk? Making Social Studies Topics Relevant,” by Lizabeth L. Deskins and Christina H. Dorr; “Exploring the Past through Time Travel,” by Gwenyth Swain; and “Our White House,” by Angela Leeper. NEW! From ALA Publishing.
After-School Success Stories
Time to Retool
Hennen’s Public Library Ratings
Sign up for Certified Public Library Administrator courses, scheduled through October 2009.
National Education Association Project Archivist, Gelman Library, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. The Special Collections Research Center is searching for an experienced archivist to process and describe the records of the National Education Association (NEA), ca. 1857–ca. 2006. The collection documents the history and functions of this organization and is approximately 1400 linear feet, including some audio and visual materials. The incumbent will be responsible for analysis of the collections, provision of intellectual control including finding aids in EAD format, and all processing activities according to national standards for treatment of special and archival materials. Incumbent will work closely with NEA and GW staff and will supervise a part-time assistant....
Digital Library of the Week
Life magazine’s Photo Archive, consisting of more than 10 million images, is now available on a new hosted image service from Google. Some 97% of the photographs have never been seen by the public. The collection contains some of the most iconic images of the 20th century, including works from photojournalists Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith. The images can be found when conducting a Google or Google Image search. Users can also search through the Life collection directly. All keywords are translated into 16 different languages. Life’s complete Photo Archive is available on Google free for personal and research purposes, but copyright and ownership of all images remains with Time Inc. The Photo Archive also includes the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; the Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; Hugo Jaeger images from Nazi-era Germany, 1937–1944; DMI red-carpet celebrity shots; Pix Inc. personalities; and the entire works left to the collection from Life photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen.
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.
“Reading is discovering that our roots encompass the world. It also means stepping outside of ourselves and reaching the Other. Reading allows us to find our truth and share it with all of humanity. We need to live to read and read to live.”
Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean, in announcing the 2008 Governor General Literary Awards, Nov. 18.
ALA awards and grants. Many awards and grants offered by ALA and its divisions have a deadline in December. Check out the awards and grants pages of the ALA website to see if there are any that you’d like to apply for or nominate someone for.
the ALA Librarian
Q. I was recently asked by a visitor from Ireland about coming to work in a library in the U.S. He wanted to know if his degree in Library Science would be acceptable here. I didn’t know what to tell him. Do you have a resource for this?
A. Yes, ALA has some resources to help answer this question. International credentials can be evaluated by various agencies here in the United States. Contact information for several larger non-profit firms can be found on the ALA Foreign Credentials Evaluation Assistance page. ALA also has two groups that may be of help for the international library worker. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Workshop on Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, Connecticut. Register by November 24.
Electronic Resources and Libraries, UCLA Covel Commons, Los Angeles. Ideas, trends, and technologies related to electronic resources and digital services.
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
An Introduction to Document and Photograph Preservation, National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
Lawyers for Libraries Training Institute, Westin Los Angeles Airport.
Educause, Southwest Regional Conference, Marriott Plaza San Antonio, Texas. “Balancing Acts: Making IT Work for Everyone.”
Reading the World XI, University of San Francisco.
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Museums and the Web, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Beatrix Potter Conference, Arne Nixon Center, California State University, Fresno.
Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan.
Using Court Records to Find Local and Family History, National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Library Association and subscribers.
American Libraries: email@example.com
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611