Critics revisit library incident that paints Palin as censor
Journalists and bloggers scrutinizing Sarah Palin’s record of public service have made national news out of a 1996 library incident in Wasilla, Alaska, where the Republican vice-presidential nominee was then mayor. The story that has emerged—in countless reports, from the blogosphere to the New York Times—paints Palin as a would-be censor and then–city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons as nearly losing her job for disagreeing....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 8, 10
J. K. Rowling wins copyright fight
A federal district court ruled September 8 that Michigan publisher RDR Books could not proceed with the print publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon, a 400-page reference work by former school librarian Steven Vander Ark based on the website he created in 2000. In addition to ordering a permanent injunction barring the book’s publication, Judge Robert P. Patterson awarded the minimum damages of $750 for each of the series’ seven novels and Rowling’s two companion books—a total of $6,750—to Rowling and Warner Brothers, which is in the midst of filming the final three movies based on the Potter series. The court did apply the fair-use test; Karen Donovan offers another take....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 10; TeleRead, Sept. 8; Condé Nast Portfolio, Sept. 9
Pennsylvania State Librarian to testify before Congress
Pennsylvania Commissioner for Libraries Mary Clare Zales is testifying September 11 before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities about how libraries are essential to the American public in the 21st century. Representing ALA, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Zales’s testimony highlights the variety of services that libraries provide to their patrons....
District Dispatch, Sept. 10
Book banning is alive and well in the United States
Are books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or the Harry Potter series available at your public or school library? According to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, due to book challenges, more than one book a day faces removal from public access in school and public libraries. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Judith Krug and Nathan Ritchie from the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum (above) discuss Banned Books Week 2008 on Chicago Access Network TV (27:33) August 27....
25 libraries selected to host “Pride and Passion” exhibit
The ALA Public Programs Office, in association with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced that 25 libraries have been selected to host “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience,” a traveling exhibition telling the story of black baseball players in the U.S. over the past century and a half. The National Endowment for the Humanities provided major funding for the traveling exhibition....
20 libraries selected for “John Adams Unbound”
The ALA Public Programs Office, in association with the Boston Public Library, announced that 20 libraries have been selected to host “John Adams Unbound,” a traveling exhibition based upon a larger exhibition of the same name recently on display at the Boston Public Library. Libraries selected for the tour will host the 1,000-square-foot exhibit for six weeks and receive a $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for attendance at an exhibit planning workshop and other exhibit-related expenses....
Daniel Kraus joins Booklist
American Libraries Associate Editor Daniel Kraus has joined Booklist as a Books for Youth associate editor, effective this week. A former librarian, Kraus brings a wealth of experience and talent to the magazine. His first novel for young adults, The Monster Variations (Random House), will be published next summer, and he is the creator of the critically acclaimed series of AL Focus videos. Gillian Engberg has assumed a new role as managing editor of Books for Youth....
CPLA graduates two more librarians
The Certified Public Library Administrator Program Certification Review Committee has granted certification to two more CPLA candidates. In addition, the committee approved eight new candidates and renewed seven program courses in its first Fall 2008 review. The program now has nine graduates and 112 candidates representing public libraries of all sizes across the nation....
Library Card Sign-Up Month in Second Life
Visitors to ALA Island in Second Life are encouraged to show their library card pride by taking a snapshot of their avatar holding an “@ your library” library card. Snapshots can be posted on the Constellation of Library Stars gallery. Virtual library cards are available at the ALA Main Stage, located at 128, 107, 29....
Featured review: Reference
S. George Philander, ed., Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change. 1,552p. Sage, hardcover (978-1-4129-5878-3).
Philander, a member of the geosciences faculty at Princeton University and research director of the African Centre for Climate and Earth System Science in Cape Town, South Africa, has gathered authors from fields as diverse as anthropology, chemistry, geography, and medicine to put together an encyclopedia of about 750 articles. The entries cover countries, climate models, atmospheric sciences, institutions studying climate change, and people studying the climate. Individual country entries highlight changes by country instead of by broad climatic regions and will help users understand global-warming issues in, say, Argentina or Tuvalu. Organizational entries are predominately focused on U.S. institutions and governmental entities. Although the preface notes that “scientific objectivity have been the watchwords” for the encyclopedia, entries provide a range of perspectives....
20 best bets for student researchers
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “As the new school year gets under way, our annual Best Bets list features new titles we reviewed in the past 12 months that are targeted specifically for students from the elementary through high-school levels. Also here are the latest editions of some library standards. For more good bets, check out the Encyclopedia Update coming up in the September 15 issue of Booklist.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Mirrorstone returns as Teen Read Week sponsor
Mirrorstone, an imprint of Wizards of the Coast, is a corporate sponsor of Teen Read Week for the second year in a row. Founded in 2004, Mirrorstone publishes fantasy fiction for children and teens, with the goal of turning reluctant readers into lifelong readers, which meshes well with TRW’s mission to encourage teens to read, just for the fun of it. Registration for Teen Read Week ends September 12....
New round of Great Stories CLUB grants
YALSA and the Public Programs Office are accepting applications for the latest round of Great Stories CLUB grants. Electronic applications will be accepted through November 14. Launched in 2005, the Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens, and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives....
Check out PLAspace
PLAspace is a new website designed to support the transition of PLA committees to Communities of Practice. In addition to CoPs, the site offers other interactive tools including blogs, forums, chats, an events calendar, a custom projects module, and file storage and archives. Nonmembers also are welcome....
PLA Blog, Sept. 8
Women’s Leadership Institute
ACRL is partnering with six higher education associations to offer the 2008 Women’s Leadership Institute, to be held December 7–10 in Amelia Island, Florida. Application materials are now available and are due by September 25. Be a part of this special institute for women seeking to become leaders in higher education administration....
ACRL Insider, Sept. 9
The Desk and Beyond podcast
In this podcast (29:27), College & Research Libraries News editor-in-chief David Free talks with Sarah Steiner and Leslie Madden of Georgia State University, editors of the ACRL publication The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Services. They are joined by chapter authors Meredith Farkas of Norwich University; Ross LaBaugh of California State University, Fresno; and Jerilyn Veldof of the University of Minnesota, to discuss the book along with current and future trends in reference services....
ACRL Insider, Sept. 5
ACRL seeks nominations for 2009 awards
ACRL is seeking nominations for its annual series of awards. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 5. With almost $37,000 donated annually by corporate sponsors, ACRL has and will continue to nominate, select, and honor the very best in academic librarianship....
Nominations sought for Kilgour Award
Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC and LITA. The award recognizes research relevant to the development of information technologies, in particular research that shows promise of having a substantive impact on any aspect of the publication, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information. The deadline is December 31....
National Leadership Grants awarded to 44 institutions
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced September 10 the 44 recipients of National Leadership Grants, totaling $18.2 million. The largest museum and library joint grant program administered by IMLS, National Leadership Grants support projects that will advance the ability of museums and libraries to preserve culture, heritage, and knowledge while enhancing learning....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 10
Pat Mora to receive Luis Leal Literature Award
Poet and author Pat Mora will receive the 2008 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival on September 27. The award is sponsored by the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Book Council. A champion of children’s literacy, Mora is the author of several award-winning children’s books and the forthcoming Wiggling Pockets/Los bolsillos se menean....
University of California, Santa Barbara, Sept. 4
Branch wins 2008 Dayton Literary Peace Prize
Taylor Branch, whose Pulitzer Prize–winning trilogy America in the King Years is widely considered the definitive history of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, will accept a special Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on September 28. The trilogy includes Parting the Waters (1988), which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Pillar of Fire (1998); and At Canaan’s Edge (2006)....
Dayton Literary Peace Prize
Kingston gets Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
The National Book Foundation will bestow its 2008 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on Maxine Hong Kingston in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a writer of fiction, memoir, and nonfiction. Born to Chinese immigrant parents in California, Kingston has employed a range of literary styles and stories in her work to create a startling new approach to immigrant memoir and fiction and influence two generations of American writers....
National Book Foundation, Sept. 10
Library clerk recognized for catching a thief
Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library Clerk Bradley Jaskula helped gather information that led to the arrest of a library patron who had stolen about $7,000 worth of materials last spring. Jaskula noted that Jermaine Smith had more than a dozen library cards issued to fictional children. For his efforts, Jaskula was given a “Goal Star” civic award and a letter of recognition from Mayor John Peyton....
(Fla.) Daily Record, Sept. 9
Groups criticize new copyright bill
A broad intellectual property enforcement bill introduced in July is slated for markup by the Senate Judiciary Committee September 11. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act (PDF file), sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), enacts a potpourri of measures long sought by content industries. In a letter sent to the committee September 10, ALA and other groups criticized the bill, warning that an “unbalanced approach to enforcement would lead to unintended harms” that could stifle innovation....
Ars Technica, Sept. 11
More details on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers release
Before the University of Illinois at Chicago released the records of an educational charity where Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and former radical and UIC education professor William Ayers played key roles, school officials talked with the charity’s former executive director about whether to withhold documents from the public, records released by the university show....
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 8
Bid to restore Charlotte school library jobs fails
A move to restore more than 100 school library jobs by pulling the money out of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools’ public relations department created strong debate before failing 6-3 September 9. Board member Ken Gjertsen’s motion came during the final sign-off on CMS’s $1.2-billion budget. Superintendent Peter Gorman had announced in July that he would eliminate jobs for 11 librarians and 93.5 library assistants because county commissioners didn’t approve all the money CMS had asked for....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Sept. 10
Bodleian Library expansion denied
A public inquiry has ruled against Oxford University’s plans for its world-famous Bodleian Library. The university, which hoped to build a £29-million depository at Osney Mead to house 8 million books, said the ruling was a “great disappointment.” The project was approved by councillors in a narrow vote last year, but it was put on hold when critics said the building would ruin Oxford’s skyline....
BBC News, Sept. 10
Minister pays Karkos’s library fine
On September 5, Rev. Doug Taylor paid the fine JoAn Karkos faced for taking It’s Perfectly Normal out of the Lewiston (Maine) Public Library and refusing to return it because she deemed it obscene. Taylor, who operates a Lewiston children’s ministry, said, “I think it would have been horrible if she had to go out and write a check for $100 after the stand that she took.”...
Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal, Sept. 6
Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library planned
Theodore Roosevelt lacks one thing that most modern-day presidents have: a presidential library. Dickinson (N. Dak.) State University is gearing up to change that and is planning a library, museum, meeting space, research center, and a comprehensive digital library, all in honor of the 26th president. DSU will incorporate a database of 600,000 digitized Theodore Roosevelt documents from the Library of Congress and Harvard University....
KFYR-TV, Dickinson, N. Dak., Sept. 8
California poised to scrub adult literacy program
Those who need help with basic reading and writing in their daily lives may be out of luck or, worse, forced to seek costly private tutoring if a state budget proposal by Republican senators goes unchecked during the ongoing and stalemated budget talks in Sacramento. “I don’t know what they’re thinking,” Solano County (Calif.) Library Services Assistant Director Bonnie Katz said of the proposal, the elimination of state matching funds for the California Library Literacy Service—money that supports 103 literacy programs in public libraries statewide....
Vacaville (Calif.) Reporter, Sept. 9; California Library Association
Long Beach library saved as budget adopted
The Long Beach, California, city council adopted a $3.1-billion city budget September 9 that keeps the once-threatened Main Library open and saves several other slated cuts. While the new proposal had called for the library to be closed Sunday and Monday, the council also voted to cushion the financial impact of the cuts by giving the library $258,000 more to work with. Eleanore Schmidt, director of library services, said that the library will at least be open 40 hours a week. Currently, it’s open seven days a week for 55 hours....
Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram, Sept. 9
Highsmith company to close
The Highsmith company in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, will close November 1, leaving 86 employees out of work. Lab Safety Supply of Janesville, which purchased Highsmith in July, has informed the Department of Workforce Development that it will close the Fort Atkinson facility. Highsmith, founded in 1956, is a distributor of supplies, furniture, and equipment to public, academic, school, and special libraries throughout the United States....
Madison (Wis.) Capital Times, Sept. 5
Stolen manuscript to be returned to Israel
A 215-year-old Jewish manuscript discovered missing a decade ago will be returned by the German library where it surfaced. Israeli Embassy officials are currently arranging the manuscript’s transfer from the German National Library in Berlin back to Israel, said Avigdor Levin, the top cultural official at the Tel Aviv municipality. A 1998 inventory check at the city’s Rambam Library revealed that the one-of-a-kind manuscript was missing. Titled The Book of the Levite’s Worship, it is a treatise on Jewish law written by Rabbi Sefer Avodot Halevi in 1793....
Associated Press, Sept. 9; Haaretz (Tel Aviv), Sept. 9
Highland Park’s McGregor Library could reopen
Nestled behind a wrought iron fence, surrounded by overgrown shrubbery, Highland Park, Michigan’s McGregor Library stands as a symbol of the city’s history, and soon, its future. For years, it served as a gathering place for this community, surrounded by Detroit, but the library was forced to close its doors in 2002. Now state and city officials aim to reopen the library early next year, thanks to a $25-million state grant....
Detroit Free Press, Sept. 7
Talking with Seattle Public Library architect Rem Koolhaas
Mark Rahner writes: “Four years after this once-controversial project’s completion, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his creation are a key part of the Seattle Public Library’s September 13 celebration of the conclusion to its decade-long ‘Libraries for All’ building program.” Koolhaas talked about the project, the controversy, and how he might have done a couple things differently....
Seattle Times, Sept. 9
Beethoven’s last piano piece discovered in Berlin library
Is this Beethoven’s last work for piano? Peter McCallum, associate professor in musicology at the University of Sydney, Australia, believes it is. The 32 bars of handwritten musical notation caught his eye when he was studying the composer’s last sketchbook in the Berlin State Library a couple of years ago. McCallum said he believed the piece was written in October 1826, a few months before Beethoven died in March 1827....
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, Sept. 5
Czech National Librarian fired over library design
Czech Culture Minister Václav Jehlicka dismissed National Library Director Vlastimil Jezek September 9 over the planned construction of a new library building (right) in Prague designed by Czech-born British architect Jan Kaplicky. Jezek was an avid supporter of the design, which critics have called a “blob” or an “octopus.” However, Jehlicka said that the plan was “at variance with the law” and could neither begin at the site chosen nor on time....
Prague Daily Monitor, Sept. 10; Radio Praha, Sept. 10
In last week’s story, Queens librarian donates hair, the Hollis branch librarian’s name should have been spelled Sueli Zaquem. AL Direct’s source had also spelled the name incorrectly.
New Apple products satisfy, but no surprises
Lance Ulanoff writes: “With a new iPod nano (right), an updated iPod touch, and an enhanced
iTunes 8, Apple and Steve Jobs delivered what everyone expected. In other words, there were no big surprises. Bummer. The new nano—all tall, thin, and curvy—turned out to be the industry’s worst kept secret, and the iPod touch’s updates are minor at best. While everyone’s excited about a better and shakable nano, the real stories at today’s event were about new software, mended partnerships, and a CEO who is still standing.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 9
How to copy a DVD
The movie and home video industries continue to search for what they deem to be acceptable ways to let consumers duplicate and watch DVD content on their computers.
The latest is RealDVD from RealNetworks, which lets users copy a DVD to their hard drive while keeping the menus, options, special features—and the encryption—intact. There are some free alternatives to this DRM-laden approach; however, using or distributing any of these programs in the USA is illegal under the DMCA. CSS encryption circumvention tools are illegal. In fact, Wired is on dangerous ground in even providing these links....
Wired How-To Wiki, Sept. 10; Wired, Sept. 8; Citizen Media Law Project, Sept. 10
Communicating with IT
Lisa A. Ennis writes: “Often in interactions between library folks and IT folks, I’ll suddenly find myself in the role of Capt. Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation as I try to get two very different delegations to see eye to eye on any number of topics. The delegations, like the alien cultures of Star Trek, have very different world views, belief systems, mores, and even languages—in short, the groups just have different ways of viewing the world. What I’m offering here is a recommendation for one book that has helped me the most and 10 tips to help you make your life with IT a bit easier.”...
Computers in Libraries 28, no. 8 (Sept.)
The best free video editors
Errol Pierre-Louis writes: “Whether you’re looking to create the next YouTube sensation or just a good-looking video, you need to do some editing or your clips won’t have the shine and polish they deserve. But not everyone needs (or can afford) a high-end video editor. You can actually save money and skip the hassle of learning complicated software by using one of these three free but surprisingly capable video-editing solutions.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 1
What’s the real speed of your computer?
J. Scott Gardner writes: “Even without delving into arcane microarchitectural details that define the inherent parallelism in a CPU core, there are a plethora of parameters that vary within the same processor family. We find ourselves comparing the number of cores, the number of threads-per-core, the sizes and speeds of various memories, and the speeds of the CPU pipeline, front-side bus, memory bus, and various I/O devices. As complex as this list may seem, things are about to get a lot more complicated.”...
Extreme Tech, Sept. 9
10 things that changed the face of computing
The history of computing is a fascinating one. Over the last 40 years or so computers have evolved from enormous and complex machines requiring specialized knowledge for operating, to small devices that most people can understand and operate in a few hours. This is a list of 10 software developments that have been the most revolutionary in the history of computing. Number 1? The Xerox Alto operating system (above)....
The List Universe, Sept. 2
Oddest book titles of the past 30 years
Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (Hellenic Philatelic Society of Great Britain, 1994) has been crowned the oddest book title of the past 30 years. In The Bookseller’s online poll in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, Derek Willan’s comprehensive record of a sector of Greece’s postal routes gained 13% of the public vote. Gary Leon Hill’s People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead (Weiser, 2005) finished second (11% of the public vote) and John W. Trimmer’s guide to avoiding maritime mishaps, How to Avoid Huge Ships (The author, 1982) finished third (10%)....
The Bookseller, Sept. 5
ProQuest and Google partner on newspaper archive
ProQuest has formed a partnership with Google that has the potential to bring millions of pages of newspaper content to the open web. Google launched the initiative September 8 in conjunction with ProQuest and Heritage. ProQuest will also supply from its microfilm vault newspaper content that can be delivered effectively in the less formal framework of the open web. The company currently holds more than 10,000 newspaper titles, most of which are pristine master film copies. Users can explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News. Over time, Google will begin blending these archives into its main search results....
ProQuest, Sept. 8; Official Google Blog, Sept. 8
New e-newspaper reader
The electronic newspaper, a large portable screen that is constantly updated with the latest news, has been a prop in science fiction for ages. It also figures in the dreams of newspaper publishers struggling with rising production and delivery costs, lower circulation, and decreased ad revenue from their paper product. While the dream device remains on the drawing board, Plastic Logic introduced September 8 its version of an electronic newspaper reader: a lightweight plastic screen that mimics the look—but not the feel—of a printed newspaper. Watch the demo (5:55). Will it be a Kindle killer?...
International Herald Tribune, Sept. 8; Engadget, Sept. 11
2008 Kansas Notable Book List
State Librarian Christie Brandau and Roy Bird, director of the Kansas Center for the Book at the State Library of Kansas, announced the 2008 Kansas Notable Book List September 2. Fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books all populate the list, which is considered to contain the best of the books published by Kansas authors or about Kansas in the preceding year. Number 2 is The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians (Peachtree, 2007), by Carla Morris and illustrated by Kansan Brad Sneed....
WIBW-TV, Topeka, Kans., Sept. 2
Report: U.S. must revamp education to be globally competitive
A new report (PDF file) by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills finds that the United States, in order to be globally competitive and for states to attract growth industries and create jobs, requires a fresh approach to education that recognizes the importance 21st-century skills play in the workplace. The report, 21st Century Skills, Education, and Competitiveness, notes that as the world continues to shift from an industrial economy to a service economy driven by information, knowledge, and innovation, cultivating 21st-century skills is vital to economic success....
Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Sept. 10
Visual literacy: An interview with NCTE’s Peter Gutiérrez
Organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of English have been examining ways to approach literacy to ensure that students learn both how to use and think critically about new media. Perhaps not coincidentally, NCTE has also been featuring an explosion of programming on the graphic format over the last couple of years. Diamond Bookshelf talked with comics and media literacy educator and NCTE spokesperson Peter Gutiérrez about how graphic novels fit into the discussion on new media and new literacies....
Diamond Bookshelf, Sept. 10
Information is power: Even when it’s wrong
Steven Bell writes: “This is a guest post from Amy Fry, a San Diego–based librarian with whom I’ve done some research on aggregated databases. She was struck by the way a sloppy mistake in handling information led to a plunge in a company’s stock prices—and what the implications might be for information literacy. If you’re low on energy and thinking a cup of strong coffee might wake you up—hang on; this post might just do the trick.”...
ACRLog, Sept. 11
America’s most dangerous librarians
Amy Goodman and David Goodman write: “They looked like they had walked off a film set, the two men standing at the door of the Library Connection in Windsor, Connecticut, as they ﬂashed FBI badges and asked to speak to the boss. Director George Christian courteously shepherded them into the office. One agent explained the bureau was demanding ‘any and all subscriber information, billing information, and access logs of any person or entity’ that had used computers on February 15, 2005. He handed Christian a document called a national security letter (NSL); it said the information was being sought ‘to protect against international terrorism.’”...
Mother Jones, Sept./Oct.
Evolution to revolution to chaos? Reference in transition
Stephen Abram writes: “User expectations are changing, permanently. This is a good thing, since libraries have always been about service and personal relationships with our users. The technology is just catching up with our service ethic! Now we just have to reintroduce ourselves into every aspect of the virtual world. What are the possible scenarios for the future of reference? Let’s explore a few.”...
Searcher 16, no. 8 (Sept.)
Libraries on postcards (PDF file)
Sjoerd Koopman, coordinator of professional activities for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions at The Hague, Netherlands, presented a paper at the IFLA Congress in Québec City in August on “Library Postcards: Historical Trends, Modern Applications, and Potential.” He presented a sampling of the 10,700 postcards in his collection, including this modern card (above) published by the University of Hannover, Germany. Koopman recently made his collection of U.S. library postcards available to the ALA Archives (see Digital Library of the Week in the sidebar)....
IFLA Library History Section, Aug.
David Lee King writes: “Brenda Hough asked me to come up with some presentation tips for both online and normal presentations, so I decided to post them. When I’m planning a presentation, I use a mind mapping program for an outline. I use Mindjet’s MindManager Pro, but any will do. I like the more visual way mind maps work—I can randomly come up with ideas around a topic, then easily arrange those ideas into points and sections as needed.”...
David Lee King, Sept. 5
World’s first telephone book sells for $170,500
In June, Christie’s auction house sold a 40-page telephone directory for New Haven, Connecticut, dating from November 1878 for $170,500. Part of the private collection of physician and amateur astronomer Richard Green, the directory listed only names—no phone numbers—for the first telephone exchange in the world. Watch the “Off the Hook Auction” video (3:27)....
New York Times, June 10; Christie’s; IEEE Spectrum
The distraction factor in library instruction
Steven Bell writes: “I wonder how many librarians are thinking about how they’ll deal with electronic distractions. Not only can students tune out a library instructor with their personal communication gadgets or a laptop, but in a hands-on computer lab setting, putting a student in front of a computer is akin to saying, ‘Please go ahead and surf the Web or IM your friends while I try to teach you something.’ Without a tight control on student access, texting, IMing, and surfing can quickly make a mockery of learning.”...
ACRLog, Sept. 5
National Mock Election Day, October 30
Students of all ages, from kindergarten through college, will be joining the National Student/Parent Mock Election to vote for their candidates of choice on October 30, five days before eligible students and the rest of America select the next President of the United States. This national voter-education program for students and their parents gives young Americans the chance to make their voices heard in the electoral process. Every U.S. student, parent, and educator is invited to participate free of charge....
National Student/Parent Mock Election, Sept. 8
Collections Emergency Response Team (PDF file)
The American Institute for Conservation is offering free emergency response assistance to cultural organizations. Help make sure that staff members of collecting institutions know how to contact the AIC Collections Emergency Response Team when a disaster—hurricane, flooding, earthquake, fire—has damaged collections. Call AIC’s 24-hour assistance number at (202) 661-8068 for advice or to arrange for a team to come to the site to complete damage assessments and help with salvage organization....
American Institute for Conservation, Sept. 9
Electric hand dryers vs. paper towels
Beth Filar Williams writes: “Which is really more environmentally friendly? The GreenStrides blog says, ‘95% of the time the electric hand dryer will be the greener choice.’ More information can be found at Slate’s Green Lantern site, which says hand dryers are better ‘not because they necessarily prevent deforestation, but because they actually use less energy once everything’s taken into account.’ In the end, the majority of times a hand dryer is a better choice, though not completely green in itself. The greenest method: Dry your hands on your pants or bring your own hand towel.” Technical confirmation here....
Going Green @ your library, Sept. 8; Go Green, Apr. 15
Laura and Jenna Bush to appear at National Book Festival
First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Jenna Bush, coauthors of Read All About It!, will join the authors and special guests presenting at the 2008 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and Mrs. Bush. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on September 27, rain or shine, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 3rd and 7th streets. The festival is free and open to the public....
Library of Congress, Sept. 8
75th anniversary of Northwestern’s Deering Library
To celebrate the semisesquicentennial of the Charles Deering Library, which served as Northwestern University’s main library from 1933 to 1970, the NU Archives is running an exhibition through December of historical photos, artifacts, and correspondence related to the building and the librarians who worked there. Northwestern University Press has also issued a commemorative book, edited by Nina Barrett, on Deering’s history and its magnificent architecture....
Northwestern University Library
University of Michigan library reading room, 1901
The old University of Michigan library (built 1881, removed 1918) sat on the southern side of what is now known as the “Diag” at the center of the campus, where the Hatcher Graduate Library is now. The statue in the center of the reading room, cast in plaster around 1886 by Randolph Rogers, was the Heroic Figure of Michigan, which eventually deteriorated due to poor storage conditions after the library was renovated in 1902....
Shorpy: The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog, Sept. 7
Google turns 20 (satire)
Philipp Lenssen writes: “This month, September 2018, marks the 20th anniversary of Google as a business—ever since in 1998, a Mr. Bechtolsheim signed a check for $100,000. We’ve come a long way since the happy days of the 10th anniversary, around a time when Google employees got together to mass-dance the sirtaki in Greece for a world record. People often ask, what was it that brought down the Google as we knew it? I think it wasn’t a single factor but many.”...
Google Blogoscoped, Sept. 9
The Hub at the University of Kentucky
Stacey Greenwell writes: “At the University of Kentucky, we just launched a video about our information commons, the Hub. As part of a group focused on student and faculty support, the video was a collaboration between the library and the teaching and academic support center. The video takes a humorous look at what the Hub has to offer students. We worked with student actors over the summer (I paid them in vending machine snacks—which also made great props).” They have both a short (0:31) and a long (3:24) version....
The Uncommon Commons, Sept. 3; blip.tv
Pennsylvania book cart drill team rocks you
The Cleve J. Fredericksen Library Book Cart Drill Team in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, likes to shake up the image of librarians as they twirl, dance, and rock the crowds at parades and other events. The team performed August 3 after the library’s fundraising Library Loop 5K Run & Fun Run/Walk. Their latest drill (2:45) started with prim, bespectacled librarians stamping books to the beat of “Marian the Librarian” and morphed into a crowd-pleasing rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”...
PennLive, Aug. 2; Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Aug. 3
Sing a song of library instruction
Jonny Dailey and his friends created three musical videos about learning to use the Manchester (Conn.) Community College Learning Resources Center. The first (2:56) shows the student (Jeffrey Goritz) getting a library card, guided by a friend (Andrea Sokolowski), and finding what he needs to succeed. Dailey says: “We wrote and produced the song on a Sunday afternoon using a very cheap microphone and some good ol’ imagination. The video was shot in one day on campus.” The third video (3:45) is also online and even features an EBSCOhost search....
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Exhibitors and attendees can download Midwinter logos here.
Tuesday is Lola’s favorite day because her mother takes
her to the library. Share Lola’s love of the library with this
mini-poster from illustrator Rosalind
Beardshaw, featuring Lola, from Anna McQuinn’s Lola at the Library. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
The Future of Privacy
A Privacy Victory in Vermont
ALA Award Winners
Cataloger, Asian Religions Collection (visiting project cataloger, one-year appointment), Florida State University, Tallahassee. This recently acquired collection contains approximately 25,000 volumes, mostly monographs. Under the direction of the associate director for technical services, the cataloger provides bibliographic access to the collection of Asian religions materials. Languages represented in this large collection include English, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The cataloger must be able to perform original cataloging and complex copy cataloging in a variety of formats and languages....
Digital Library of the Week
The Sjoerd Koopman Library Postcard Collection, 1900-2003. Sjoerd Koopman, coordinator of professional activities for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions at The Hague, Netherlands, recently made his collection of U.S. library postcards available to the ALA Archives, hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which has begun processing them as a digital collection on a state-by-state basis. Subjects include public libraries, private libraries, academic libraries, library interiors, reading rooms, and bookmobiles. The digital collection currently shows 388 postcards from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Wyoming; some 3,600 cards from other states will eventually be added.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.
“We are facing a great change in civilization, and the responsibility, I think, for what we do with our leisure time is a very great responsibility for all of us who have intellectual interests. . . . That is a challenge. We, here in this country, ought to know what to do with our time, if we have it. I do not know whether we are going to have it, but if we are going to have more leisure time, it is the library, and people who live in the libraries and work in libraries, who are going to lead the way, who are going to give other people the curiosity and the vision of useful things, and pleasant things, and amusing things which can be done in those hours in which we may not have to work in the ways in which we have worked before.”
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “What Libraries Mean to the Nation,” an address given at the District of Columbia Library Association Dinner, Carlton Hotel, Washington D.C., April 1, 1936.
the ALA Librarian
Q. With the publicity leading up to Banned Books Week and some recent political coverage, I’m getting questions about why our library keeps banned books in our collection. How do I respond?
A. This is a frequent question for us, too, not just now with Banned Books Week coming up (September 27–October 4). We consulted with ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for further information about Banned Books Week. First, it helps to explain the difference between a “banned book” and a “challenged book”: “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. The positive message of Banned Books Week (Free People Read Freely) is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students, and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.” Then, you want to focus on the key messages that libraries provide ideas and information across the spectrum of social and political views; libraries are one of our great democratic institutions, providing freedom of choice for all people; and parents are responsible for supervising their own children’s library use. The OIF site provides a wealth of guidance for helping you respond to challenges to library materials—or perhaps more importantly, steps you can take before there is a challenge! ALA President Jim Rettig recently released a statement on censorship. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Navy Pier, Chicago. “Libraries= Access: Provide, Promote, Protect.”
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Best Western Seven Seas, Mandan. “Libraries Under Construction: A Life of Continuous Education.”
South Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Chamberlain. “Your Passport to Success: Building Partnerships for Learning.”
Missouri Library Association, Annual Conference, Millennium Hotel St. Louis.
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Casper.
Kentucky Library Association/ Kentucky School Media Association/ Southeastern Library Association/ Association of Research Libraries, National Diversity in Libraries Joint Conference, Louisville. “Spectrum of the Future.”
Idaho Library Association, Annual Conference, Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls. “The Magic of Libraries.”
Georgia Council of Media Organizations, Annual Conference, The Classic Center, Athens.
Iowa Library Association, Annual Conference, Grand River Center, Dubuque. “Libraries: Anywhere, Any Way, Anytime.”
Nebraska Library Association/ Nebraska Educational Media Association, Annual Conference, Lincoln. “Nebraska Libraries: Vision for the Information Age.”
New England Library Association, Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel Manchester, New Hampshire. “Taking Charge of Change.”
South Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Greenville Hyatt. “Going Green.”
Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo. “Shaping Our Tomorrow.”
Mississippi Library Association, Annual Conference, Natchez Convention Center. “At the Center of Everything.”
Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, Williamsburg. “Libraries: Champions of Democracy.”
Hawaii Library Association, Annual Conference, Grand Wailea Hotel and Spa, Maui.
Wisconsin Library Association, Annual Conference, Madison Marriott West, Middleton. “Wisconsin Libraries: Building a Better Tomorrow.”
New York Library Association, Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs. “Connecting, Collaborating, Cooperating.”
Colorado Association of Libraries, Annual Conference, Marriott Denver Tech Center. “Communities and Libraries.”
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Valley Forge Convention Center/Scanticon Hotel, King of Prussia. “Pennsylvania Libraries: Leading For Life.”
California Library Association, Annual Conference, San Jose. “Leading the Way.”
Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Indianapolis. “Libraries Without Walls.”
Minnesota Library Association, Annual Conference, Sheraton Bloomington, Minneapolis.
West Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs.
Arizona Library Association, Annual Conference, Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa. “New Frontiers Moving Into The Future.”
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