Federal bills revisit NSLs, digital privacy
With the Patriot Act due to sunset at the end of 2009, Congress is considering several bills that would affect the ability of law enforcement to access, amass, and warehouse digital data about the activities of private citizens. On March 30, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the National Security Letters Reform Act of 2009 (PDF file), which would limit the issuance of an NSL. A month earlier, lawmakers in both the House and the Senate introduced internet safety legislation that would require all Wi-Fi providers and end users, including libraries, to retain for at least two years all records pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 3
Man gets life for raping child in library
Corey Deen Saunders was sentenced April 2 to life in prison for the 2008 rape of a 6-year-old boy in the magazine room of the New Bedford (Mass.) Public Library. As a result of the attack, library trustees have modified their patron behavior policy to prohibit adults from speaking to a minor inside the library....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 3
ALA Connect debuts
ALA is now providing its members a common virtual space to engage in ALA business and network with other members around issues and interests relevant to the profession. In the first phase of ALA Connect, every ALA group will have the ability to utilize posts, online docs, a group calendar, surveys, polls, chat rooms, and discussion forums. Members can log in using their regular ALA website username and password. Their records are automatically synchronized with the ALA membership database, so affiliations with committees, divisions, events, round tables, and sections are displayed. Project Manager Jenny Levine offers an overview of the site and writes: “I feel a little like Doctor Frankenstein—it’s aliiiiiive—but so far the patient is doing quite well.”...
National Library Week is at hand
The 2009 National Library Week theme is “Worlds Connect @ your library,” and all types of libraries—school, public, and academic—will celebrate with special programs, April 12–18. Use these resources from ALA to help carry the theme throughout the year. And be sure to check out these NLW events in Second Life....
Rev. Jackson to read to children during National Library Week
In recognition of the valuable contributions of our nation’s libraries, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., CEO and founder of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will participate in a reading event on April 11 to kick off the 2009 observance of National Library Week, April 12–18. During the coalition’s Saturday Morning Forum at 930 E. 50th Street, Chicago, at 10 a.m., Jackson and Fiels will discuss how libraries are an important community hub of literacy and learning....
Public awareness @ your library
Just in time for National Library Week, ALA will launch a new @ your library website April 9 aimed at raising public awareness. Focusing on what’s available at libraries for families, kids and teens, and jobseekers, this website is a pilot project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is the first website to aim ALA outreach directly at the public, a goal of the Campaign for America’s Libraries since its inception. The new site is also designed to complement the I Love Libraries public advocacy website....
AL Inside Scoop, Apr. 8
National Library Workers Day honors library staff
On April 14, thousands of communities will celebrate National Library Workers Day, a time when library staff, patrons, administrators, and Friends groups will recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. The ALA–Allied Professional Association is sponsoring the day, whose theme, “Libraries Work Because We Do!”, focuses on how library services depend on the important work done by every library staff member....
Peer reviewers needed
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics invites nominations for peer reviewers for the ALA Research Series that publishes annual quantitative and qualitative research and analysis addressing topics important to libraries, librarians, and education in the profession. In this initial establishment of the review panel, two members will serve two-year terms beginning this summer. The deadline for nominations (PDF file) is April 29....
U.S. celebrates School Library Media Month
Libraries are at the heart of the learning experience for almost 44 million elementary-, middle-, and high-school students. During the month of April, parents, students, and library media specialists celebrate the value of our nation’s school library media centers with School Library Media Month. From virtual homework help to wireless environments, school library media centers are dynamic places....
ALA: Spend stimulus funds on school libraries
As school leaders prepare to spend billions of dollars in federal stimulus money, ALA is urging that some of those dollars be used to keep school libraries up-to-date during hard economic times. Funding from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the Educational Technology State Grant can be used to prevent cutbacks, prevent layoffs, and modernize school libraries....
eSchool News, Apr. 7
A letter to President Obama
On March 18, ALA President Jim Rettig submitted a letter to President Obama (PDF file) to address the issues ALA members chose to share with the administration during a January 24 Town Hall Meeting during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver: “Libraries are perfectly positioned to disseminate information relevant to the issues and challenges that face us as a nation, the same key issues which your administration is seeking to address.”...
Librarianship and cultural heritage
Your feedback is needed on the draft document, Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect (PDF file), which represents librarian principles on the management and protection of traditional cultural expressions. Its purpose is to help librarians appreciate the unique nature of indigenous culture and to highlight ways that librarians can better manage traditional cultural expressions in their collections and share expertise with cultures that choose to self-manage their own cultural heritage. Ultimately the principles will be brought to ALA Council for endorsement as ALA policy....
District Dispatch, Apr. 6
Merola to discuss library advocacy
The next installment in the series of ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be an online discussion with Marci Merola, director of the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, scheduled for 2–3 p.m. Eastern time, April 17. Merola will discuss the various aspects of library advocacy, from the Seattle Moms to the economic crisis. OPAL Coordinator Tom Peters will begin the hour with an interview with Merola....
Featured review: Reference
Cinema Image Gallery, Jan. 2009. H. W. Wilson.
A case might be made that film is the art form that most uniquely defined the 20th century, and, of course, its impact continues. Researchers and fans wanting access to more than 152,000 high-quality film stills and related images copyright-cleared for educational use—as well as linked biographies and articles on actors, directors, films, and related topics—could do no better than Wilson’s Cinema Image Gallery. The images are a subset of the Kobal Collection, which contains more than a million images. Results display as thumbnails, and links to any related content are available from the record pages. This would make an excellent companion to Wilson’s Art Museum Image Gallery; together, the two databases would provide a comprehensive view of the visual arts in the 20th century and beyond....
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “Reference database publishers provided us with the following information about new products. Information is effective February 2009 through July 2009. Where no pricing information is given, contact the publisher.” Included are new offerings from Accessible Archives, Adam Matthew Digital, Alexander Street Press, Capstone, CQ, EBSCO, Gale, ProQuest, and many others....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
You’ll see more than just “The Bean”
Chicago’s Millennium Park, known for Anish Kapoor’s public sculpture Cloud Gate (which everyone calls “The Bean”), will soon sport two temporary pavilions by internationally renowned architects. Scheduled to open June 19, they will join with the Art Institute of Chicago’s soon-to-debut Modern Wing to give five-year-old Millennium Park a fresh shot of energy. Designed by Zaha Hadid of London and Ben van Berkel of Amsterdam, the privately funded pavilions will be the focal point of the region’s celebration of the 1909 Plan of Chicago, also known as the Burnham Plan....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 7
Real pirates at the Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History is hosting the exhibition, “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship,” through October. More than 200 artifacts recovered since 1984 from the wreck of the Whydah, the first fully authenticated pirate ship ever to be discovered in U.S. waters, are on display. On April 26, 1717, the perfect storm put an end to her pirating days, and the Whydah sank with most of her crew aboard—as well as the bounty from more than 50 captured ships....
Field Museum of Natural History
New ALSC executive director
Effective April 6, Aimee Strittmatter is the new ALSC Executive Director. She has been with the division since 2005 as deputy director, working specifically on continuing education, Annual Conference programs, preconferences, and special workshops. Prior to joining ALA, Strittmatter was children’s services supervisor at the William P. Faust Public Library in Westland, Michigan. She succeeds Diane Foote, who stepped down in March to spend more time with her family....
Brett Butler Award winner to present LITA Camp keynote
John Blyberg, 2009 recipient of the LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award, will present one of the keynote sessions at LITACamp, “The Everywhere Library: Creating, Communicating, Integrating,” May 7–8, in Dublin, Ohio. Blyberg received the award for his development of the Social OPAC application suite. Join library colleagues, along with Blyberg and fellow keynoter Joan Frye Williams, at LITACamp, LITA’s first-ever unconference....
Scholastic Library Publishing Award
ALA has named Kathleen T. Horning the recipient of the 2009 Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The honor, which will be presented during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, is bestowed on a librarian whose extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession. Horning is director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison....
RUSA distinguished ILL librarian
Barbara Coopey, head of interlibrary loan for Penn State University Libraries, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian award. The award, administered by RUSA, recognizes an individual for outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and significant contributions to the fields of interlibrary loan and document delivery....
African-American history tool wins RUSA award
Robert A. Aken II, web administration librarian, and Reinette F. Jones, diversity and multicultural activities librarian, both of the University of Kentucky Libraries, have won the 2009 Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services for the libraries’ Notable Kentucky African Americans Database. The award is administered by RUSA and is given to a library for development of an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs....
Award-winning project educates librarians about autism
“Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected,” a project developed by Margaret Kolaya, director of the Scotch Plains (N.J.) Public Library, and Daniel Weiss, director of the Fanwood (N.J.) Memorial Library, has been selected as the 2009 winner of the ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award. The award is sponsored by ASCLA, Keystone Library Automation Systems, and the National Organization on Disability. Winners are honored for innovative and well-organized projects that have successfully developed or expanded library services for people with disabilities....
We the People Bookshelf awards
The ALA Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities selected 4,000 school and public libraries throughout the country to receive the sixth annual We the People Bookshelf. Libraries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories will receive the collection of 17 books for young readers on the theme “Picturing America.” A full list of recipients will be available mid-April....
IFLA International Marketing Awards
The IFLA Section on Management and Marketing, in collaboration with Emerald, has announced the winners of the 7th IFLA International Marketing Award for 2009. First place was awarded to the National Library Board of Singapore, for its winning campaign “Go Library,” a multiplatform project that aims to entice customers to the library. Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales won second place, and the Alberta Library in Edmonton won third....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Apr. 2
2009 Manchester Book Award
The fourth annual Manchester Book Award, sponsored by the Manchester (U.K.) Library and Information Service and aimed at British youth aged 11–14, went to Sophie McKenzie’s Six Steps to a Girl (Simon and Schuster, 2007). Teens and preteens across the city voted for their favorites on the shortlist, with the winner announced March 11....
Manchester Book Award
Downturn puts new stresses on libraries
As the national economic crisis deepens and social services become casualties of budget cuts, libraries have come to fill a void for more people, particularly job-seekers and those who have fallen on hard times. Libraries across the country are seeing double-digit increases in patronage, often from 10% to 30% over previous years. Many librarians say they feel ill-equipped for the newfound demands of the job, the result of working with anxious and often depressed patrons who say they have nowhere else to go....
New York Times, Apr. 1
From librarian to career counselor
Southfield (Mich.) Public Library Adult Services Intern Eva
Gronowska writes: “The library as an institution has many roles, but as our country struggles through an economic crisis, I have watched the library where I work evolve into a career and business center, a community gathering place, and a bastion for hope. Things worsened in 2008, and in 2009 the economic crisis continues to suffocate Michigan. Interest in small businesses has remained high, but unemployment, the credit crunch, and foreclosures command our patrons’ attention and, consequently, ours.”...
Newsweek, Apr. 6
Earthquake damage in L’Aquila
The April 6 earthquake that centered on the medieval town of L’Aquila, Italy, has caused a significant amount of damage to the region’s cultural heritage. The third floor of the 16th-century castle that houses the National Museum of Abruzzo suffered a collapse on its third floor and is too dangerous to enter. The cupola of the 18th-century Baroque church of St. Augustine collapsed, flattening the prefecture that held L’Aquila’s state archives. And a primary-school library was destroyed in Goriano Sicoli....
Medieval News, Apr. 7; ANSA, Apr. 6; Corriere della Sera (Milan), Apr. 8
Schindler’s list found in Australian library
Workers at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney have rediscovered a carbon typescript copy of
the list of 801 Jews saved by German businessman Oskar Schindler that inspired the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark and the 1993 Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List. The 13-page document was found in the papers of the novel’s author, Thomas Keneally. Library co-curator Olwen Pryke described it as “one of the most powerful documents of the 20th century.” She said the library had no idea the list was among six boxes of material acquired in 1996....
Agence France Presse, Apr. 6
Mom: Give Gossip Girl the boot
Dixie Fechtel is in a tug of war with the Leesburg (Fla.) Public Library about what she calls questionable books in the young adult section and has asked library officials to pull them from the shelves. Her battle began in August when she read excerpts of two books her 13-year-old daughter had checked out: The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson and Only in Your Dreams: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar. Since then, Fechtel has had a series of back-and-forths with city and county leaders that has led nowhere....
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, Apr. 6
Arson repair to cost $160,000
Repairing the fire-damaged Charles M. Bailey Public Library (right) will cost an estimated $160,000, Winthrop, Maine, Town Manager Cornell Knight told councilors April 6. Investigators said the March 6 fire was intentionally set in the ground-floor boiler room. Zachary B. Lowe, 16, confessed to police he set the fire and is due to appear in court in mid-April. Winthrop police Officer John Hall received a plaque recognizing his role in discovering and reporting the fire....
Augusta (Maine) Kennebec Journal, Apr. 8
Google’s plan for orphan works
Millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States. But a growing chorus, including ALA, is expressing concern that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works....
New York Times, Apr. 3–4
It’s a plot!
John Kelly writes: “Most librarians are liberal, forward-thinking public servants, always pondering ways to do their job better. And for this, I hate them. You see, by the end of June, all public libraries in Montgomery County, Maryland, will have done away with the date-due stamp, the familiar feature perfected by no less a figure than that Edison of bibliotechnology, Melvil Dewey. In its place you will get a printed receipt. My Lovely Wife was pleased. Her sister’s a librarian, so I fear she may have been co-opted by the library-industrial complex.”...
Washington Post, Apr. 7
Sister-city librarians visit Fredericksburg
A visit to the special collections at the University of Mary Washington’s Simpson Library was one of dozens of stops Catherine Lecat and Christine Ortuno, both librarians from Fréjus, France, made during their visit to Fredericksburg, Virginia, in late March. The two cities have been sister cities for nearly 30 years, and plenty of residents—artists, archaeologists, teachers, students, and elected officials—have exchanged visits. But this was the first time librarians traveled from the ancient city along the Riviera to the historic city along the Rappahannock....
Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star, Apr. 6
Georgia plans a new special collections library
A snippet of Jefferson Davis’s hair, hundreds of old Georgia Bulldog football films, and Sen. Richard Russell’s political papers will get a new home, along with millions of other items now in the University of Georgia’s main library in Athens. A 110,000-square-foot building planned for Waddell Street as soon as 2011 will give librarians state-of-the art rooms to store and preserve UGA’s special collections—an ever-expanding vault of rare books, manuscripts, and films. Watch the video (4:46)....
Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, Feb. 2
Posen library board member charged with theft
A Posen (Ill.) Library District official has been indicted for stealing more than $135,000 from the Midlothian Public Library. Admitted gambling addict Susan Quirk faces charges of theft and official misconduct after she frittered away the stolen loot at riverboat casinos, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said April 2. Posen has no library, but taxpayers give MPL $90,000 a year in return for access to its book, music, and DVD collections. Quirk allegedly stole from the fund between 2001 and 2007....
Tinley Park (Ill.) Southtown Star, Apr. 3
Two men convicted for stolen books from Hayes Presidential Library
Two rare books that were stolen from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, in August 2008 were finally returned April 1. One of the books, Laws of the Territory of the United States North West of the Ohio, also known as the Maxwell Code (right), is the first book printed in what would become the state of Ohio. Printed in 1796, it is valued at more than $100,000. Investigators finished up their cases against the two people responsible for the thefts, Joshua McCarty and Zachary Scranton....
Fremont (Ohio) News-Messenger, Apr. 2
National Library of Sweden accused of distributing child porn
Two child-welfare organizations filed a report to Stockholm police April 6 accusing the Swedish National Library of possessing and distributing child pornography. The large collection at the library was built up in the years between 1971—when the possession, distribution, and display of child pornography was legalized in Sweden—and 1980, when the law was repealed. Hand in Hand and the Association of Relatives of Sexually Abused Children claim that the collection should be restricted to legitimate researchers....
The Local (Stockholm), Apr. 6
Go back to the Top
Web redesign on a dime
Karine Joly writes: “What can you do if your latest web redesign was done a few years ago and there’s no sign that the long-awaited budget to launch a major overhaul project will become a reality in the upcoming budget?
Compiled with the help and the suggestions of several web professionals working in universities and colleges across the country, the following list of inexpensive—and often free—resources can help an institution’s web team achieve great results on (or without) a budget during three key steps of a website redesign or realignment.”...
University Business, Apr.
A look at the best computer interfaces
Say goodbye to the mouse and hello to augmented reality, voice recognition, and geospatial tracking. Technology Review looks at computer input devices past and present, from the Linux command line and an early mouse to a gesture-sensing interface (right) from Oblong Industries and Microsoft’s multitouch screen....
Technology Review, Apr. 5
Combine your Google and Twitter searches
Ann Smarty writes: “No one says Twitter search is better than Google; instead, it is different. You can’t compare them, but you can combine them. This post looks into ways to check relevant Twitter updates while you are searching Google.”...
Search Engine Journal, Apr. 6
Five Windows tools to keep your digital life in sync
Ed Bott writes: “Keeping files, programs, bookmarks, and passwords in sync across two computers is a tricky task. It gets even tougher when I throw a third or fourth PC into the mix. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve built up an assortment of tools and techniques that help me keep track of files, bookmarks, passwords, RSS feeds, and other assorted data as I switch between PCs. In this post, I’ll share my favorite software, services, and shortcuts for keeping stuff in sync.”...
Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report, Apr. 5
One cell phone per child
Dan Costa writes: “Once upon a time, PCs were the primary tools for connecting to the internet. Globally, the mobile phone is now the primary communication tool. This shift has had a stunning impact on developing nations, the wireless industry, and even the internet itself. To get an understanding of the scale of the worldwide mobile revolution, consider that 4.1 billion people subscribe to a mobile phone service. For much of the developing world, wireless has leapfrogged landlines. There are only 1.27 billion fixed-line subscriptions globally.”...
PC Magazine, Apr. 2
Reading advocates protest disabled Kindle 2
The Reading Rights Coalition and the National Federation for the Blind, advocates for readers with print disabilities, staged a protest outside the Authors Guild’s New York offices April 7. Their complaint: The guild’s objections to the text-to-speech feature of Amazon’s Kindle 2 e-book reader disenfranchises people who have difficulty reading. Amazon, which introduced the feature in its second-generation Kindle in February, later backed off from the guild’s criticism and said it would allow authors and publishers to disable it for their own titles. See photos and a video (1:06)....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 7; Gizmodo, Apr. 7
More authors turn to web publishing
As the economy takes its toll on traditional publishing houses—HarperCollins dropped its Collins division in February, losing major executives and editors, and Random House continues with cutbacks—more authors are looking to online self-publishing companies. Companies like Author Solutions or Lulu.com allow budding authors to submit digital files of their manuscript on any subject matter. Unlike traditional publishing companies, these publishers only produce hard copies of the books when a customer buys one, a process known as print on demand....
CNN, Apr. 6
Richard Davies writes: “Things can always be worse, and you can rely on novelists to put that phrase into cold, hard words on the page. The method of worldwide destruction varies. Readers could encounter a plague, global nuclear war, biological weaponry, a comet collision, or a blinding meteor shower followed by flesh-eating plants. Many authors don’t explain in detail the nature of their book’s catastrophe, but in many ways that’s unimportant—the thoughts and actions of the survivors are what counts.” Here are 20 of the best....
Amazon customers boycotting e-books over $9.99
Nearly 250 Amazon customers have joined an informal boycott of digital books priced more than $9.99 at the popular online retailer—they have already tagged more than 770 books with a 9 99boycott tag. One Amazon reader summed up the boycott: “While you can reread the book, you cannot donate it to a library, sell it to a used bookstore, sell it on Amazon’s Used Marketplace, or trade it to a friend. The publisher does not need to pay for paper, glue, press time, press employees, insurance, ink, boxes, or shipping.”...
GalleyCat, Apr. 3
Six ideas for improving publishing
Cory Doctorow writes: “Michael Tamblyn, CEO of BookNet Canada, presents six technology initiatives that could radically alter the course of publishing for the better. It’s a refreshing presentation (28:49), focused on selling more paper books using better technology that improves workflow and marketing, while acknowledging that there’s lots of room for improvement in e-book readers as well.”...
Boing Boing, Apr. 5; BookNet Canada, Mar. 19
Gamers are readers
Lori Easterwood and Lindsey Patrick Wesson write: “Today’s video games are multifaceted experiences that feature cinematic visuals, well-defined characters, challenging puzzles, and a plot that is easy to delineate. We already use these criteria to recommend books and movies to patrons. Video games are just another medium that we can utilize in the same way by identifying characters, plot, and genre. For the purpose of reader’s advisory, you only need a familiarity with a few key genres to have the confidence to pair gamers with excellent books.”...
School Library Journal, Apr. 1
World Digital Library to launch April 21
On April 21, the Library of Congress, UNESCO, and 32 partner institutions will launch the World Digital Library, a website that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world. The brainchild of Librarian of Congress James Billington, the site will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, and prints and photographs—available unrestricted to the public and free of charge. The browseable, searchable site will function in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish)and offer content in dozens of others....
Library of Congress, Apr. 7
The Darien statements
On March 26, Darien (Conn.) Library hosted an event called “In the Foothills: A Not-Quite-Summit on the Future of Libraries” at which participants were instructed to “come prepared to help sketch out the role librarians should play in defining the future of libraries.” The two speakers, John Berry and Kathryn Greenhill, provoked a conversation among Kathryn, John Blyberg, and Cindi Trainor (above) that spilled out across the ensuing week. This is the document that resulted....
Blyberg.net, Apr. 3
Measuring ROI in libraries
Cory Lown and Hilary Davis write: “Return on investment (ROI) is how much you get back for what you put into something. ROI can be an integral part of the process for evaluating a library’s services, collections, staffing levels, planning for new services and resources, or measuring how valuable your library is to your community and stakeholders. Direct, individual benefits are easier to measure and quantify than indirect and collective benefits. This poses a challenge for libraries, as many of the benefits they provide are indirect and collective, such as the value of having a better-educated citizenry.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Apr. 1
Five best image-editing tools
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “Long gone are the days where snapshots came back from the photo lab and disappeared into albums and shoe boxes. Now, digital photos are tweaked, adjusted, and remixed in ways their analog counterparts couldn’t imagine. On April 2, we asked you to share your favorite image-editing tools. The votes have been tallied and now we’re back with the top five contenders for the crown of Best Image Editor.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 5
Five reasons URL shorteners are useful
Ben Parr writes: “URL shorteners take long URLs (which can be over 100 characters) and transform them into manageable links that almost never exceed 20 characters. URL shorteners are good for web culture and the growth of the internet. Here are my top five reasons for why URL shorteners are useful to the web.” And Danny Sullivan helps you choose which one to use....
Mashable, Apr. 5; Search Engine Land, Apr. 4
A few reasons URL shorteners are bad
Delicious creator Joshua Schachter writes: “URL-shortening services such as TinyURL have been around for a number of years. Their original purpose was to prevent cumbersome URLs from getting fragmented by broken email clients that felt the need to wrap everything to an 80-column screen. But it’s 2009 now, and this problem no longer exists. With URL shorteners in use, the long-term archivability of the hyperlink depends on the health of a third party.”...
joshua schachter’s blog, Apr. 3
Twitter, Facebook can improve work productivity
A study conducted in Australia found that people who engage in Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t. Workers who “surf the internet for fun at work—within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office—are more productive by about 9%,” according to the study’s author, University of Melbourne Professor of Management and Marketing Brent Coker....
Cnet News, Apr. 2
Alexander Street launches Music Online resource
Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press announced April 2 the launch of Music Online, a comprehensive resource for the study of classical, jazz, world, and American music. The resource can deliver audio recordings, video content, full-text reference materials, musical scores, liner notes, biographies, and images through a single interface. Every object in the collection is indexed for subjects, historical events, genres, people, cultural groups, places, time periods, and ensembles....
Alexander Street Press, Apr. 2
What are you doing for MayDay?
Libraries, museums, archives, and arts and historic preservation organizations across the nation are setting aside May 1 to participate in MayDay, a national effort to prepare for disasters. Sponsored by Heritage Preservation and other members of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, MayDay encourages organizations to take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, and historic sites they hold in trust....
Our Kids Count campaign
The National Center for Learning Disabilities launched a multiyear campaign April 7 to help struggling learners succeed. Our Kids Count aims to recruit new NCLD advocates and raise $20 million in an effort to provide resources to children with learning disabilities. Between now and April 22, new donations will be matched up to $200,000 by anonymous donors. Advocates will champion NCLD’s early literacy screening program and outreach to parents and educators....
National Center for Learning Disabilities, Apr. 7
Special collections in ARL libraries
The Association of Research Libraries Working Group on Special Collections, formed in 2007, has released a discussion report (PDF file) that identifies key issues in the management and exposure of special collections material in the 21st century. The group’s main focus was on 19th- and 20th-century materials, including emerging digital materials and media, but most of the report applies with equal force to collecting and caring for materials from previous centuries....
Association of Research Libraries, Apr. 6
Du Bois papers to be digitized
The W. E. B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will digitize an estimated 100,000 items from its Du Bois collection, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. The project will provide online access for the first time to original diaries, letters, photographs, and other material related to Du Bois (1868–1963), an influential African-American scholar and political activist. The two-year project, to start in July, will provide unprecedented access to his papers, more than 4,000 articles, essays, and books....
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Apr. 3
The Malagasy People’s Library Project
This video (10:32) was created for schools, churches, organizations, and anyone else who wishes to help provide educational materials to the people of Madagascar. Eleventh- and 12th-grade students in the Mid-East Career and Technology Centers digital media program created the presentation with information provided by Muskingum College Library Head of User Services Cherie Bronkar. The Malagasy People’s Library Project sent over 4,000 children’s books to the Madagascar Public Schools to support the addition of English-language skills being added to the curriculum in September 2008....
YouTube, Mar. 25
LC does YouTube
Matt Raymond writes: “The Library of Congress has been working for several months now so that we could ‘do YouTube right.’ When you are the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts, and sound recordings), nothing less would be expected of you, and our own YouTube channel has now gone public. We are starting with more than 70 videos, but this is just the beginning.”...
Library of Congress Blog, Apr. 7
Twitter be worried: Introducing Flutter
Is 140 characters too many for you? Check out Flutter (3:44), which promises to take Twitter’s microblogging to the next level, nanoblogging, with a limit of 26 characters per post, or Flap. “Plus, they’re coming out with Flutter Eyes!” Written, produced, and edited by Andy Bouvé for Slate V....
Slate V, Apr. 4
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Get one of the six buttons for your blog or website that says you are attending or recruiting or exhibiting.
Make your own READ posters featuring your patrons or local celebrities. The newly optimized READ CD Box Set contains everything you need for producing your own posters, bookmarks, and giveaways. The files have been reorganized on the disks and there are new file types available. Adobe Photoshop Elements comes included. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
2009 Library Design Showcase
A Greener Library, A Greener You
Building Science 101
Meeting Students’ Need States
Library Director, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Russia. Lead and supervise project for organization of the Business School Library including design, architecture, provision of books and subscription resources, and creation of general electronic database system. Strategic planning, budget preparation, and resources allocation....
Digital Library of the Week
The Aldo Leopold Archives, University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) is considered the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th century. He is most widely known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, one of the most respected books about the environment ever published. The Leopold Collection houses the raw materials that document not only his rise to prominence but also the history of conservation and the emergence of the field of ecology. The archive is augmented by correspondence and related materials carefully retained over the years by his mother, his wife, and other family members and professional associates; these span his entire life, but are most rich and voluminous for his early years. The Leopold Collection serves scholars, policy leaders, and the general public who look to Leopold for insight and inspiration in dealing with complex conservation challenges facing 21st-century society.
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.
“Book burning has never worked. Sooner or later, people find the books and the ideas they want.”
—David B. Offer, in an editorial on historical book burnings in the wake of the March 6 arson at the C. M. Bailey Public Library in Winthrop, Maine, Waterville (Maine) Morning Sentinel, Mar. 31.
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Still time to be a YALSA Editor
YALSA is seeking a Member Editor for its award-winning quarterly journal, Young Adult Library Services. The deadline for applications is April 10.
the ALA Librarian
Q. Are there wheelchair accessibility requirements for bookmobiles? If so, what are the requirements on a 28-foot bookmobile?
A. There are two parts to the answer. The first: Is physical accessibility required? The second: If physical accessibility is required, what are the parameters? For an answer to the first question, see the ADA Guide for Small Towns from the Department of Justice, which states: “If a library facility or building is not accessible, these services may be offered in a different accessible library facility, in another accessible facility nearby, or in an alternate manner.” Notice that the ADA Guide shows an example of an older, smaller bookmobile, which can be considered an “alternate manner.” There are newer, larger bookmobiles that are already compliant with the ADA requirements and include lifts for disabled patrons. For wheelchair accessibility, the usual ADA space requirements apply, including a minimum clear-aisle space of 36 inches (a minimum of 42 inches is preferred). From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
ALA periodicals, all in one list
This is a list of the newsletters, magazines, and journals published within ALA, including those which are only available online. A brief profile is offered of each title; it includes the name and email address of the editor(s), the ISSN, the publishing frequency per year, the subscription cost per year, and contact information for placing a subscription order. Availability of a website is indicated, as are the titles with advertising opportunities. Compiled by Valerie Hawkins of the ALA Library.
Marketing, Kansas City Metropolitan Library and Information Network, Missouri. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
From Transaction to Interaction: Transforming the User Experience, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Library, New York City.
Zena Sutherland Lecture, Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center. “Writer’s Soup,” by Christopher Paul Curtis.
National Library Legislative Day.
International Digital Publishing Forum, “Digital Book 2009: An eBook Stimulus Plan for Publishing,” McGraw-Hill Auditorium, New York City.
Fourth International Conference on ICT for Development, Education, and Training, Le Méridien Président, Dakar, Senegal.
BookExpo America, Jacob J. Javits Center, New York City.
Inspiration, Innovation, and Celebration: An Entrepreneurial Conference for Librarians, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Politics and Networking, Decatur (Ga.) Public Library. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
Serving Diverse Populations, Houston, Texas. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers, Annual Conference, Brugge and Oostende, Belgium. “Confluence of Ideas: Evolving to Meet the Challenges of Global Change.”
Nov. 11–14: Museum Computer Network, Annual Conference, Doubletree Hotel–Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon. “Museum Information, Museum Efficiency: Doing More with Less!”