Ohio principal judges magazine by its cover
Shortly after the 2008–09 school year began, Brian Sharosky, principal of the Cleveland Heights–University Heights (Ohio) City School District’s Roxboro Middle School, instructed school librarian Amy Bloomberg to pull the November 2008 issue of Nintendo Power magazine from the shelves of the school library. Sharosky said he objected to the cover, which showed what he characterized as a “violent figure”—a videogame-like rendering of woman holding a large handgun—to promote a feature about the release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The removal attracted the attention of the local teachers union and the ACLU, which sent a cautionary letter to the school board president....
American Libraries Direct, Mar. 27
New York City budget proposes major cuts to libraries
The three library systems that serve New York City face major cuts in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposed FY2010 budget (PDF file). Representatives from the libraries testified on the likely effects of the 17% funding reduction at a March 13 city council hearing. New York Public Library faces a reduction of $23.2 million. The effects of the cut would be exacerbated by a proposed reduction of $3 million, or 14%, in state funding and by expected downturns in private revenues of some $20 million....
American Libraries Online, Mar. 27
Concord mayor considers closing library
Library boosters in Concord, New Hampshire, are decrying reports that Mayor Jim Bouley has been talking about shuttering the city library to narrow Concord’s projected FY2010 budget deficit of up to $4.8 million by $1.7 million. The library is one of the few services funded by the city that is not mandated by law. “Everything is going to be affected—library, recreation, police, fire,” Mayor Bouley said....
American Libraries Online, Mar. 27
Stimulate your library
ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff writes: “Congress made history with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama February 17, and now libraries have their turn. ARRA will ultimately release an unprecedented level of federal spending—$787 billion—into the U.S. economy in an effort to put our nation back on track through saving or creating 3 million jobs; providing tax relief; and investing in needs such as health, energy, and education. Yet while these opportunities are available to libraries, they won’t be handed to them.”...
American Libraries 40, no. 5 (May 2009)
Figueroa named Office for Diversity director
Miguel A. Figueroa has been named the new director of the ALA Office for Diversity. Figueroa is currently the network services coordinator for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and will begin his new duties May 5. A former member of the American Libraries Advisory Committee, he has been a presenter at the ALA Spectrum Institute, the Emporia Diversity Initiative Leadership Institute, and the 6th Institute of the Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education....
Libraries showcase bilingual resources for El Día
As the nation’s population becomes more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services April 30 during national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). This year marks the 13th anniversary of the observance, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events....
Worlds connect @ your library
National Library Week (April 12–18) is just around the corner, and libraries across the country are gearing up to demonstrate how “Worlds Connect @ your library,” the 2009 theme. Libraries are encouraged to use sample materials, available in both English and Spanish, developed by the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries....
Countdown to National Library Legislative Day
The 2009 National Library Legislative Day is quickly approaching and will be held May 11–12 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. With a new administration and a new political climate in both the House and the Senate, this is a critical and exciting time for us to get our message out to Congress. Fill out the registration form (PDF file) and get it to your state coordinator by April 15. For more info, contact Kristin Murphy....
Attract students to your academic library
ALA Editions has released Marketing Today’s Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students by Brian Mathews. Most library marketing intended for undergraduates promotes the collection, reference and instructional services, and occasional events such as guest speakers or exhibits. Mathews’s guiding principle is that marketing should focus on the lifestyle of the user, showcasing how the library fits within the daily life of the student....
Transform your storytime
ALA Editions has released Storytime Magic: 400 Fingerplays, Flannelboards, and Other Activities by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker. A unique addition to the programming shelf, this treasure trove of storytime tools is designed to help veteran librarians refresh and enliven ongoing programs, while providing novice storytime planners what they need to get started....
Webcast on lifelong literacy
A panel of librarians and library practitioners—including ALA President Jim Rettig and National Institute for Literacy Acting Director Daniel J. Miller—will discuss the roles that libraries play in supporting lifelong literacy during a special webcast. “Literacy for All: Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy” will be held 1–2:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 7. Librarians from public, school, and academic libraries will discuss successful library literacy programs, innovative community partnerships, and effective advocacy....
Featured review: Media
Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust. Jan. 2009. 92 min. Koch Lorber, DVD (978-1-4172-0187-7).
Packed with film clips and commentary by Hollywood insiders including Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, and Rod Steiger, this stellar documentary mines newsreels and feature-film footage to tell the “unknown story of the 60-year relationship between the film industry and the atrocities of Nazi Germany.” Film historians, actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers explain how filmmakers tried to balance a fine line between exploitation and truth. Restricted by movie codes and harassed by German sympathizers, Hollywood initially “treated Nazism with kid gloves”: News clips and films portrayed the 1933 book burnings in Germany and escalating anti-Semitism with casualness and detachment. Surprisingly, Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 classic The Great Dictator and some low-budget films were exceptions to this practice....
Documenting the Holocaust
Candace Smith writes: “Although Hollywood initially ignored the Holocaust, documentary films continued to probe the horrific subject. These six films, reviewed previously in Booklist, artfully combine carefully selected archival footage with eyewitness accounts, contemporary interviews, and dramatic reenactments to present the Holocaust to new generations of viewers. To quote Imaginary Witness, the Holocaust is ‘a standard by which we judge evil and establish values.’ As one filmmaker succinctly states, ‘feature films and documentaries serve to tell the world how we died and that this should never happen again.’”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Welcome to Chicago
Chicago welcomes attendees and exhibitors to the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. While you are here, be sure to check out the best that Chicago has to offer. Fine dining, world-famous museums, and legendary entertainment are all at your fingertips. Let the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau website be your personal concierge to help you plan your visit....
Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
Annual Conference on the cheap
These tips are from seasoned conference goers—who have tried them all: If you have relatives or college friends in the conference city, invite yourself to stay with them. Share a room. Plan your stay around walking and public transportation. Eat only a couple of restaurant meals, if any....
Annual Conference wiki
If you’re tired of picking up the phone and calling half a dozen people every time you land at the ALA Annual Conference city to let them know you arrived OK, you might want to check out a new service called ArrivedOK. What ArrivedOK does is track your information and send out alerts to let people know when you’re safe and sound. You just visit the website, enter your flight information, and add a list of people you want to send email or SMS notifications to....
Download Squad, Mar. 25
Amalgamating for advocacy
ALTAFF Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed writes: “Tough financial times, combined with the exponential increase in demand for library services that they bring, spell perfect timing for the formation of a new ALA division that can rally the nation’s library lovers under the banner of the Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations—ALTAFF. But library aficionados did not unite overnight; that public support began many years ago.”...
American Libraries 40, no. 3 (Mar. 2009): 34–36
ALTAFF and Nordstrom to award Books for Babies grants
In partnership with Nordstrom, ALTAFF will award 20 grants of $500 each to match $1,000 raised by selected Friends groups, women’s groups, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations for purchasing Books for Babies kits from ALTAFF. Books for Babies is a national literacy program that acquaints parents of newborns with the important role books play in their children’s development. The deadline for applying for the first round of grants has been extended to April 15....
YALSA girlz and guys celebrate Support Teen Lit Day
Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive more than 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA celebrate the third annual Support Teen Literature Day April 16. In its second year, Operation Teen Book Drop puts books donated by 18 publishers into the hands of teens in need of escape, inspiration, and a sense of personal accomplishment....
YALSA offers Teens and Technology Institute
YALSA will offer a full-day institute on using technology to reach teens in libraries April 30 at the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association in Charlotte Hall. YALSA President-Elect Linda Braun will lead the institute. Participants will explore how reading, writing, and communicating are expanding and changing via technologies like chat, IM, blogs, text messaging, and wikis....
ACRL draws record-breaking participation
More than 4,300 library staff, exhibitors, speakers, and guests from every state and 22 countries met March 12–15 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle for the ACRL 14th National Conference. Combined with the more than 350 people participating online in the ACRL 2009 Virtual Conference, the Seattle conference boasted the highest participation ever. Ira Glass (right) of National Public Radio’s This American Life brought the conference to a close with a standing ovation after a presentation that demonstrated the power of personal narrative....
ACRL invites proposals for 2010 programs
ACRL invites proposal submissions for half- or full-day professional development programs to be held prior to the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting or the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. ACRL workshops at Midwinter will be held in Boston January 15. Preconferences at the Annual Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., June 25. Submissions will be accepted through May 4....
Get inspired with AASL’s school tours
Be sure to arrive early to the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5–8. The Wednesday and Thursday before conference will be dedicated to many networking events, including school tours. With four different tour options, including the Charlotte Country Day School and the Providence Day School, library media specialists are sure to find inspiration to bring back to their schools....
John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press winner
Patricia Oyler, associate dean and professor at Simmons College GSLIS, is the 2009 recipient of the ALA International Relations Committee’s John Ames/Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award. The award is given for significant contribution to international librarianship. Oyler received this award for her work in library development in Vietnam, including cataloging standards, modern services, and new technology applications....
Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year
A Practical Guide to Information Literacy Assessment for Academic Librarians is the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award. Written by Kent State University librarians Carolyn Radcliff, Mary Lee Jensen, Joseph A. Salem Jr., Kenneth J. Burhanna, and Julie A. Gedeon, the guide provides information on the evaluation of both students and library instruction programs....
ALA Information Today Library of the Future
The Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library is the 2009 winner of the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award. The award is presented annually to a library that demonstrates innovative planning and development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. The winning initiative was IMCPL’s “The Learning Curve @ Central Library” project, an outstanding programming space (both physical and virtual) that provides a high-tech, high-energy, hands-on information environment designed for today’s children....
2009 World Book/ALA Information Literacy Goal winners
The winners of the first-ever World Book/ALA Information Literacy Goal Award are the Brockport (N.Y.) Central School District, for its Information Literacy Continuum; and Troy (Mich.) Public Library, for its program, “Information Literacy for the Job Seeker.” This annual award, donated by World Book, seeks to promote exemplary information literacy programs in both public and school libraries....
Bogle-Pratt International Library Travel Fund
Jessica Brooks is the 2009 recipient of the ALA International Relations Committee’s Bogle-Pratt International Library Travel Fund. The Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science will provide a $1,000 cash award for Brooks to attend her first international conference, in Bologna, Italy. The award is in recognition of Sarah Comly Norris Bogle, a prominent U.S. librarian who made notable contributions to international library service....
Oddest Book Title of 2009
To those outside dairy (or container) circles, a book called The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais tends to provoke more questions than it resolves. But it has won the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, sponsored by The Bookseller magazine. The work is a statistical report written by Philip M. Parker, professor of marketing at the French campus of INSEAD, who uses econometric models to publish niche reports in the thousands....
New York Times, Mar. 27; The Bookseller, Mar. 9
2009 Orion Book Award winner
Amy Irvine has won the 2009 Orion Book Award for Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land (North Point, 2008). The award was founded in 2007 to recognize books that deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieve excellence in writing. Irvine will be presented with a prize of $3,000 at an April 15 celebration in New York City....
ABC-CLIO History Uncovered Award
Students from Cincinnati’s Northwest High School, working with library media specialist Bethany Miller, are the February winners of the monthly drawing for teams participating in the company’s History Uncovered annual research competition for secondary students. Meanwhile, teams of secondary students around the country are busy working on finishing their projects in time for the competition’s March 30 deadline....
ABC-CLIO, Mar. 25
Defense calls witnesses in Indianapolis fraud case
An engineering firm accused of fraudulent practices regarding the troubled Indianapolis Central Library project began presenting its witnesses March 31 as the trial reached its midpoint. A Boone County jury already has heard three weeks of testimony from witnesses called by the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library. The library is seeking $24 million, plus punitive damages, by pressing claims of fraud against New York–based Thornton Tomasetti and a managing principal....
Indianapolis Star, Apr. 1
Most Portland schools don’t have librarians
Seven Portland, Oregon, school campuses have no library staff. In 42 libraries, assistants or clerks run the show on their own. Only 28 campuses have librarians who can teach classes on research and library skills. Half of them are part-time. Superintendent Carole Smith wants to fix that. In her budget released in mid-March, Smith is requiring all traditional schools, about 75, to staff their libraries for at least 20 hours a week....
Portland Oregonian, Mar. 21
Spider-Man faces banishment in Omaha
A mother in southwest Omaha says she’s upset by a graphic novel that she considers sexually explicit in the library of Norris Elementary School, which her 6-year-old son attends. The novel, The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2: Revelations, by J. Michael Straczynski (Marvel, 2002), is part of a popular series. Donna Helvering, head librarian of the Millard School District, said it’s been in high demand. Physha Svendsen didn’t elaborate on the book’s literary elements that she found sexually inappropriate, but she plans to keep it while the district review process takes place....
KETV-TV, Omaha, Mar. 27; Comicbook.com Blog, Mar. 28
Hoops ruckus in Council Bluffs
Judi Wheeldon wants the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Community School District to ban the 1981 Walter Dean Myers book Hoops from all classrooms and libraries. “My kids can’t comprehend some of this stuff,” she told a committee March 30. “This stuff,” she said, includes the use of racial slurs as well as references to smoking a joint, overdosing on drugs, gambling, point shaving, violence, and sex. A reconsideration committee will meet for discussion April 13....
Council Bliffs (Iowa) Daily Nonpareil, Mar. 31
Memoir challenged in Deer Lodge
A patron has challenged a personal memoir and requested its removal from the William K. Kohrs Library in Deer Lodge, Montana. Greg Gerdes characterized Martin Gray’s For Those I Loved (Little, Brown, 1972), a personal account of the Treblinka concentration camp holocaust in occupied Poland, as untrue and anti-German hate propaganda. Gerdes said he would donate $5,000 to the library if anyone can prove there were graves at Treblinka. The board will decide the issue at an April 16 public meeting....
Butte Montana Standard, Mar. 31
Petition against YA books in West Bend
A concerned couple is circulating petitions asking the West Bend (Wis.) Community Memorial Library board to remove books they consider to be obscene or child pornography from a section designated for young adults. Ginny and Jim Maziarka want the books reclassified, labeled, and placed in a restricted area requiring parental approval. The Maziarkas object to “the overt indoctrination of the gay agenda into our community youth.”...
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Mar. 31
Future of presidential libraries examined
The George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas could be one of the last brick-and-mortar institutions of its kind. Congress is looking for ways to cut the expense of overseeing such buildings, and some researchers say the traditional library setup for keeping presidential documents is outdated in a digital world. Some alternative plans: Use a cave to store vital paper records, or get out of the museum business and let the president’s backers run that part of the library....
Dallas Morning News, Mar. 31
The art on the library walls
Over the last nine years the Robin Hood Foundation and New York City’s schools administration have built libraries in 62 schools in low-income neighborhoods. Some of the libraries, including those recently completed at three schools in the Bronx, have also come with the addition of permanent works by well-known artists. At P.S. 69, Christoph Niemann has created a mural that uses images of books serving as almost everything, all organized with Dewey Decimal System numbers (above)....
New York Times, Mar. 13
Malden challenges validity of ex-senator’s pension
The city of Malden, Massachusetts, is challenging the legal validity of the $22,000 annual pension paid to Beacon Hill lobbyist and former state senator John A. Brennan Jr. for years of volunteer service as a Malden Public Library trustee. City Attorney Katheryn M. Fallon told the city council March 31 that Brennan should not receive a pension based on library service because the library is a private corporation, not a branch of the city government. During his 19 years as a trustee, Brennan missed more than half of the meetings....
Boston Globe, Apr. 1
New challenges for Boston’s Amy Ryan
When Amy Ryan took over as the new president of the Boston Public Library in October 2008, she knew she had to make peace with City Hall following the tumultuous ousting of her predecessor, Bernard Margolis. She did not know about the budget crisis and tough decisions that would soon descend. Before she and her husband found a permanent place to settle on Beacon Hill, the economy tanked. The city’s budget deficit ballooned. Mayor Thomas Menino said that the library would need to shed $4 million from its $48-million budget for the next fiscal year....
Boston Globe, Mar. 29
Fresh hope for new Cedar Rapids library
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is likely to build a new public library downtown after a hard-won federal decision in mid-March. Board President Susan Corrigan said that means a relocation from its perilous site next to the Cedar River. The Federal Emergency Management Agency concluded that the June 2008 flood had damaged the library by more than 50% of its value (58% actually), which means the city can ask for FEMA funding to build the library elsewhere....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Mar. 20
Mormons to get new church history library
After nearly 15 years of planning and more than four years of construction, a new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church history library will open for public use in Salt Lake City after a June 20 dedication ceremony. The new library will hold more than 3.5 million manuscripts, 210,000 publications, 100,000 photographs, some 50,000 audiovisual records, and other items spanning the 179 years since the church’s founding by Joseph Smith in western New York....
Salt Lake Tribune, Mar. 26
Jamming at New Port Richey
They start straggling in a little after 3 p.m. when school’s out for the day. A few have guitars slung over their shoulders. Others simply bring their voices and an eagerness to share the stage with like-minded kids. Then, as soon as the clock strikes 4, the purple neon Open sign is flipped on outside the upstairs community room, and the Garage Jam session starts at the New Port Richey (Fla.) Library. The jam sessions are the brainchild of Youth Services Librarian Ghelder Arriaga....
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Mar. 25
War of words in Carol Stream library board race
The signs make it clear where the challenging candidates stand: “Stop library referendums and taxes.” The incumbents, and the Carol Stream (Ill.) Public Library staff, think that’s unfair and misleading. The library, in turn, is handing out a Facts About the Library sheet to all patrons that outlines past referendum questions and issues on property taxes. The fact sheet has raised the eyebrows of challengers, but the idea actually came from Library Director Ann Kennedy....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Mar. 27
Go back to the Top
Six technologies soon to affect education (registration required)
Collaborative environments, cloud computing, and “smart” objects are among the technologies that a group of experts believes will have a profound impact on K–12 education within the next five years or sooner. The New Media Consortium has come out with an annual report on emerging technologies in higher education for the last several years. This year, for the first time, NMC has issued a K–12 version. The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition groups these technologies according to their time-to-adoption horizon and outlines key trends and challenges associated with their adoption....
eSchool News, Mar. 26
OpenDNS protects against Conficker worm
Kevin Purdy writes: “On March 31 we offered up a guide to protecting your Windows PC from the Conficker worm, set to start doing something April 1. Free net service OpenDNS is another option for anyone concerned about the not-so-funny happening. Even if Conficker has made it onto your PC, or a PC somewhere in your house or office, OpenDNS will likely stop the worm from contacting the site that would tell it what to do.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 1
Saving your digital life
Jason Griffey writes: “I have three kinds of data that I’m worried about protecting in some way: working files, files that are important but replaceable, and files that I can’t afford to lose at all. So how do I handle all of this? With one piece of hardware (an external drive called a Drobo), a few pieces of software (Dropbox and either Mozy or Carbonite), and broadband.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Mar. 27
How to buy a cellular modem
Sascha Segan writes: “A cellular modem will let you and your laptop tap into the high-speed wireless 3G networks that blanket the U.S., so you can surf the web and download files at broadband speeds anywhere you can use your cell phone. Over the past couple of years, modems have become more compact, compatible, and flexible, but you do have to pay for the device itself along with cellular broadband service that’ll cost you from $40 to $60 a month. Still, if you want to get online with a fast network that’s more ubiquitous than Wi-Fi, here are some tips to keep in mind when picking a carrier and a device.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 27
Movement up in the cloud
Daniel Freeman writes: “The last few weeks have seen several interesting developments in the growing popularity of Cloud Computing. Slowly but surely, we are starting to see major corporate investment in this concept. PC World pointed out that, despite the troubled economy, revenue for cloud computing–related services is set to explode in 2009. Then, there was the release of the Open Cloud Manifesto (PDF file), a document aimed at explaining the significance of this new technology and setting direction for its widespread implementation.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Mar. 30
Top 10 utterly pointless USB devices
When it was developed almost 11 years ago, the USB port was envisioned as a way to make it easy for users to attach devices to their PCs. But budding designers took it as a new medium for any kind of wacky device they dreamed up. An increasing number of oddball peripherals have appeared in recent years, such as a USB fridge, a scan toaster (right), and hamster wheel....
Listverse, Mar. 26
Should you worry about data rot?
Dag Spicer, curator of the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, says: “Data rot refers mainly to problems with the medium on which information is stored. Over time, things like temperature, humidity, exposure to light, or being stored in not-very-good locations like moldy basements, make this information very difficult to read. The problem, strangely enough, is not so bad on the older stuff, but quite bad on the more recent stuff. So we can read tapes here at the museum that are 50 years old. With a CD or a DVD, if there’s an error, often it’s nonrecoverable, and you’ve just lost all your information.”...
New York Times, Mar. 26
Retro media: Memory (and memories) lost
The past 120 years have seen some of the most rapid changes in how we record, collect, and use audio, visual, and digital information. This pace creates a long list of obsolete technologies in its wake, some of which still exist, but for which equipment and storage technologies are not always available. This online exhibit, compiled by David J. Bertuca of the University at Buffalo’s Science and Engineering Library, displays a selection of recently departed media formats....
University at Buffalo Libraries, Mar. 19
Guardian moves to Twitter, after 188 years of print (satire)
Consolidating its position at the cutting edge of new media technology, The Guardian announced April 1 that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter. All news content will be tailored to fit the format of Twitter’s text messages, which are limited to 140 characters each. A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper’s archive in the form of tweets. Major stories already completed include: “OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more”; and “JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 1
It’s a Kindle 2 world: The great, the fair, and the bad
Matt Haughey writes: “Moments after I first saw a spy shot of the new Kindle 2, I placed an order for one. Now that I’ve used it for a month, I figured it’d probably be high time for a review. I wish it were cheaper and I wish there were open APIs to the device and tons of free book options, but it’s really simple to use, the screen works great for me, and I’m reading tons of books without having to send a UPS truck to my door several times a week.”...
A Whole Lotta Nothing, Mar. 28
The new Britannica
The venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica is preparing for the most radical overhaul in its 241-year history, and it’s recruiting its readers to do much of the work. It’s a bid by Britannica to remain relevant at a time when the world’s most popular encyclopedia, the eight-year-old Wikipedia, is written entirely by amateur experts. The new version of Britannica Online, set to debut this summer, will emulate the Wikipedia concept by letting subscribers make changes to any article, ranging from minor edits to near-total rewrites....
Boston Globe, Mar. 31
Microsoft Encarta dies
Microsoft delivered the coup de grâce March 30 to its dying Encarta encyclopedia, acknowledging what everyone else realized long ago: It just couldn’t compete with Wikipedia. Encarta can be embarrassingly outdated. The entry for Joseph R. Biden Jr., for example, identifies him as vice president–elect and a U.S. senator. The Encarta software will be removed from stores by June, and the affiliated worldwide websites will be closed by the end of October....
New York Times, Mar. 30
MIT faculty embraces open access
If there were any doubt that open access publishing was setting off a bit of a power struggle, a decision made in mid-March by the MIT faculty should put it to rest. The faculty unanimously voted to make any publications they produce open access. Ann Wolpert, who directs the MIT Libraries, said, “in the quest for higher profits, publishers have lost sight of the values of the academy.” Those are pretty clearly fighting words....
Ars Technica, Mar. 24
The passing of John Hope Franklin
American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “John Hope Franklin died March 25 at the age of 94. The Associated Press called him ‘a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation.’ He lived a remarkable life. His name is etched in my librarian memory because, in the 1970s when I began my career at the Detroit Public Library, his book From Slavery to Freedom was the most reliable source for black history that we had available.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Mar. 30
100 tips and apps for teachers on Twitter
The idea of writing small blog posts of 140 characters or less to a group of your followers is actually a revolutionary new way to bring communities together, learn from each other, and keep updated with all that is happening. Busy teachers may feel that taking the time to learn how to use Twitter isn’t worth the return for the students’ benefit, so that’s why this list is worth browsing....
Online College Degree, Mar. 19
U.S. congressman lent out as Living Book
The first Living Library in Michigan took place March 28 at Stair Public Library in Morenci. The 26 living book titles available included U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Jackson, right) as the “Politician” book and he was impressed with the experience. A total of 114 readers attended the event, which also included a Muslim, an Agnostic, a Blonde, a Cop, a Grease Monkey, a Conservative, a Liberal, and a Wiccan. Organizing librarian Colleen Leddy said, “The Muslim was constantly busy. We had to take him out of circulation just so he could grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.”...
Living Library, Mar. 28
Looking for a green speaker?
EcoSpeakers.com promotes speakers for conferences, meetings, training programs, and community, business, and university speaker series. It represents accomplished leaders, authors, and advocates who have inspired many with messages of hope and direction for the creation of a sustainable future. You can search by name or topic....
Will a bad economy wipe out Oregon history?
Floyd McKay writes: “Last week closed with nearly all of the research librarians and archivists at the 110-year-old Oregon Historical Society picking up their personal effects and exiting into the crisp March air. The newly unemployed staff were greeted by almost 100 Oregon historians and friends of the archives in a hastily organized protest across from the library in the Portland Park Blocks. In the crowd was Tom Vaughan, who directed the society for 35 years, beginning in 1954, and put together much of the research collection and museum.”...
Crosscut.com, Mar. 19
What does that have to do with libraries?
mk Eagle writes: “I returned triumphantly from Sex::Tech 2009, a conference focusing on youth, technology, and sexual health. Folks from all over the map in universities, nonprofits, and health departments came to share the exciting work that’s being done where sexual health and technology collide to serve teens. And guess what? Some of that work is happening in libraries. Here are some conference highlights.”...
YALSA Blog, Mar. 27
SLA opens certificate programs to nonmembers
The Special Libraries Association’s Click University certificate programs, previously available to SLA members only, are now open to nonmembers who wish to enhance their skills in the fields of knowledge management, competitive intelligence, or copyright management. Most SLA certificate courses are offered online through the association’s Click University and are taught by instructors who are thought leaders in their fields....
Special Libraries Association, Mar. 24
No public domain for Edison cylinders until 2067
A Library of Congress report indicates that the miscellany of state laws protecting pre-1972 sound recordings will extend copyright protection until 2067, creating a situation where some recordings dating to the 19th century are not available in public domain. The Council on Library and Information Resources report addresses the question of what libraries and archives are legally empowered to do to preserve and make accessible for research their pre-1972 sound recordings....
Library of Congress, Mar. 30
Rap lyrics, translated
Do you sometimes find yourself perplexed by rap music? Scratch your head in anxious confusion no longer! This just in: Discover UnderstandRap.com, which “lets people who don’t understand rap music submit confusing terms (parts of lyrics) used in rap songs for other people to explain”—often with Webster-like literalness....
Mind the Gap, Mar. 31
Get tattooed for National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month, and one way you can celebrate is by getting that literary tat you always wanted. It could be verse. At Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos, you can share your new body art, as Lisa did with this excerpt (right) from Thomas Carew’s “Ingrateful Beauty Threatened.”...
Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos, Mar. 10
Sounds good to me
Mary Burkey writes: “One challenge for both listeners and narrators of audiobooks is determining the correct pronunciation of words. Here are some quick tools to use when checking the accuracy of an audiobook narrator’s work—or for your own use.”...
Audiobooker, Mar. 31
Single serving sites
Brian Herzog writes: “The internet is endlessly innovative and entertaining. My current favorite phenomenon is the Single Serving Site—a website that does only one thing. Most of them can’t even be called websites because they consist of only one page—but, for a fraction of a minute, they serve a purpose.” Categorized by useful, weather, and silly sites....
Swiss Army Librarian, Mar. 31
Explore health careers
Reference librarians might find Explore Health Careers.org an excellent resource to alert job seekers who inquire about a career in the health-care system. The site is a joint initiative involving national foundations, professional associations, health career advisors, educational institutions, and college students. Its mission is twofold: Increase the under-representation of minorities in the workforce, and address the lack of health professionals in medically underserved communities....
Become an RDA tester
The three U.S. national libraries—Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and National Agricultural Library—agreed during the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver to make a joint decision on whether or not to implement Resource Description and Access, based on the results of a test of both RDA and the web product. The goal is to assure the operational, technical, and economic feasibility of RDA. Individuals and institutions interested in participating in the test should contact Susan Morris using the fill-in PDF form by April 13....
Library of Congress
The old Wisconsin railroad car library
Larry Nix writes: “A fellow library history buff made me aware of an image in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s digital collection that pictured a railroad car library. I came across an article in the October 30, 1938, issue of the Milwaukee Journal that told the story behind it. The library was located in Adams, Wisconsin, and the car was donated by the North Western Railroad at the request of the Adams Library Association (a membership library) in 1929. By 1937, the library had 2,088 books.”...
Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, Mar. 28
Google unleashes the Bodleian collections
Ben Bunnell writes: “In 2004, Google began a partnership with Oxford University Library to scan mostly 19th-century public domain books from its Bodleian library. Five years on, we’re delighted to announce the end of this phase of our scanning with Oxford, our first European partner. Together, we have digitized and made available on Google Book Search many hundreds of thousands of public domain books from the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries, representing the bulk of their available public domain content.”...
Inside Google Book Search, Mar. 26
Crunch books for British teens
The Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service in London, England, has released its eighth annual list of recommended books for teens. The 2009 list, entitled Crunch: Books with Bite (Word file) features 56 titles, all published in the last 12–15 months. All the books were reviewed by Tower Hamlets secondary school librarians, public library staff, and schools library service staff....
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service
YouTube creates new college section
More than 100 colleges have set up channels on YouTube, and in late March the popular video service unveiled a new YouTube EDU section that brings together all of that campus content in one area. It had been difficult to find college lectures on YouTube, since they are generally far less popular than the site’s humorous and outrageous clips, and so they do not show up in lists of the most viewed videos on the site. Currently one of the most popular is Purdue’s Compliment Guys (1:42, above)....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 27
The James J. Hill Collection
Early in 2008 the papers of legendary Minnesota businessman James J. Hill and several of his family members were transferred from the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul to the Minnesota Historical Society a few blocks away. In this video (4:47), learn about the history and contents of the collection and the reasons for the move, and catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the incredible process of relocating almost 2,500 boxes of valuable historical documents, photographs, books, and artifacts....
YouTube, Apr. 1
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. ALA will rock the Art Institute of Chicago for the 10th Anniversary Scholarship Bash, at 7:00 p.m., July 11. This is your chance to discover new works of art and visit your favorites without fighting the crowds. And the 5th Annual ERT Bookcart Drillteam World Championship will take place 4–5:30 p.m., July 12. The teams design creative costumes for themselves and their carts, so this event is always popular and exciting.
In Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library, retired middle- and high-school librarian Pat Scales uses her experience and expertise to offer an intellectual freedom guide tailored to the school library environment. Scales provides case studies, easy and motivating ways to prepare new hires for handling intellectual freedom issues, and sidebars that offer sample policies, definitions of key terms, and analysis of important statutes and decisions. NEW! From ALA Editions.
2009 Library Design Showcase
A Greener Library, A Greener You
Building Science 101
Meeting Students’ Need States
Manager of Web Development and Support, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System. This position will manage the development of web content and services. You will manage a web support team and have responsibility for the overall look, content, and usefulness of the library’s internet and intranet sites. You will provide long-term strategic vision of technical web enhancements that will increase responsiveness, efficiency, and value; monitor and report status and progress of project efforts; anticipate and identify issues that could inhibit achieving goals and objectives; and engage in usability testing and other assessments of the library’s website....
Digital Library of the Week
C. Szwedzicki: The North American Indian Works is a collection of 364 images and six texts hosted by the University of Cincinnati Libraries. Between 1929 and 1952 C. Szwedzicki, a publisher in Nice, France, produced six portfolios of North American Indian art. The publications were edited by American scholars Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Hartley Burr Alexander, and Kenneth Milton Chapman. Many of the images were published as pochoir prints, which are similar in appearance to silk-screen prints. These works represent original works by 20th-century American Indian artists. Important documentation of the Battle of the Little Big Horn is provided in the reproduction of the now lost ledger art of Amos Bad Heart Bull. The contents of this collection are drawn primarily from holdings of the Archives and Rare Books Library of the University of Cincinnati Libraries, but also include materials from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the Yale Collection of Western Americana. Users must allow Java and pop-ups for this collection site.
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.
“Librarie-Keepers, in most Universities that I know; nay indeed in all, their places are but Mercenarie, and their emploiment of little or no use further, then to look to the Books committed to their custodie, that they may not bee lost; or embezeled by those that use them: and this is all. . . . The proper charge then of the Honorarie Librarie-Keeper in a Universitie . . . is to keep the publick stock of Learning, which is in Books and Manuscripts to increas it, and to propose it to others in the waie which may bee most useful unto all; his work then is to bee a Factor and Trader for helps to Learning, and a Treasurer to keep them, and a dispenser to applie them to use, or to see them well used, or at least not abused.”
—John Dury, Calvinist minister and deputy keeper of the royal library of the recently executed Charles I, in The Reformed Librarie-Keeper (London: William Du-Gard, 1650).
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The Hong Kong Book Fair is offering a Free Pass Program for Librarians for its 20th Annual Fair, which will be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, July 22–28. The Fair will provide selected librarians from the U.S. and Canada who collect Chinese language materials four nights of hotel accommodation, free registration, and invitation to a cocktail reception. Apply by June 12.
the ALA Librarian
Q. I am looking for some resources on providing library instruction to students. Can you help?
A. There are many resources available for providing library instruction. ACRL has a bibliography for the instruction of diverse populations, such as those found at colleges. They also offer a research agenda for library instruction and information literacy, which covers learners, teaching, organizational context, and assessment tools. ALA also has a Library Instruction Round Table whose purpose is to advocate library instruction and information literacy as a part of lifelong learning. Several books on this topic may be found in the ALA Store. Here are some further resources on user education. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Upcoming ALA Annual Conferences
July 9–15, 2009: Chicago.
June 24–29, 2010:
June 23–28, 2011:
June 21–26, 2012:
June 27-July 2, 2013:
June 26-July 1, 2014:
Las Vegas, Nev.
June 25–30, 2015:
June 23–28, 2016:
June 22–27, 2017:
Upcoming ALA Midwinter Meetings
Jan. 15–19, 2010:
Jan. 7–11, 2011:
San Diego, Calif.
Jan. 20–24, 2012:
Jan. 25–29, 2013:
Jan. 24–28, 2014:
Jan. 23–27, 2015:
Jan. 22–26, 2016:
Jan. 20–24, 2017:
National Poetry Month.
Celebrate Diversity Month.
School Library Media Month.
International Children’s Book Day.
National Library Week.
National Library Workers Day.
Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Red Lion Hotel, Spokane. “Impact & Influence.”
Support Teen Literature Day.
Digital Dilemmas Symposium, William and Anita Newman Conference Center at Baruch College, City University of New York, New York City. “Challenges + Opportunities + Solutions.”
Arkansas Literary Festival, Little Rock.
Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association, Marriott at Metro Center Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Alabama Book Festival, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery.
Free Library Festival, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia.
London Book Fair, Earls Court, London.
From Transaction to Interaction: Transforming the User Experience, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Library, New York City.
Media in Transition 6, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, UCLA.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
Poem in Your Pocket Day, New York City.
Massachusetts Library Association, Annual Conference, Mass Mutual Center, Springfield. “Refresh, Renew, Sustain.”
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists, Annual Conference, Marriott Residence Inn, Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Setting Sail: Best Practices for the Next Decade.”
Small-Scale, High-Impact Renovations: Redesigning Library Spaces on a Budget, Inaugural Kathleen A. Zar Symposium, John Crerar Library, University of Chicago.
National Library Legislative Day.
Children’s Book Week.
Vermont Library Conference, Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, South Burlington. “Speaking Up! Advocacy for Libraries.”
Reading Is Fun Week.
Fourth Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative Forum, OCLC Conference Center, Dublin, Ohio.
Ann Arbor Book Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Medical Library Association, Annual Conference, Honolulu. “iFusions.”
Hawaii Book and Music Festival, Civic Grounds, Honolulu.
New Hampshire Library Association, Spring Conference, Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center, Bartlett.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Marriott Baltimore Waterfront. “Advancing Scholarly Communities in the Brave Now World.”
National Information Standards Organization, Assessment and Performance Measurement Forum, Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore, Maryland.
New York Book Festival, Tompkins Square Park, New York City.
Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, Printers Row, Chicago.
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, 54th Annual Meeting, sponsored by the Ibero-American Institute, Maritim Hotel Berlin, Germany. “Migrations and Connections: Latin America and Europe in the Modern World.”
Digital Libraries à la Carte, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
Society of American Archivists, Annual Meeting, Hilton Austin, Texas. “Sustainable Archives.”
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Days Hotel–Grand Dakota Lodge and Conference Center, Dickinson. “Evolution of the Library.”