OCLC challenges ILS vendors
In what clearly represents a challenge to the integrated library system industry, OCLC announced April 23 that it has created what it calls “the first web-scale cooperative library management service,” inviting member libraries to “take the first step to realizing this cooperative service model with a new, ‘quick start’ version of the OCLC WorldCat Local service.” The service expands WorldCat Local’s cataloging and discovery tools to include functions now performed in most libraries by a locally installed integrated library system. Andrew Pace, OCLC’s executive director for networked library services, explains why this service is a “sea change” in this exclusive interview....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 24
LSU library school to lose autonomy
At an April 14 faculty forum, Louisiana State University Chancellor Michael V. Martin announced major changes in the university’s organization that will affect the School of Library and Information Science. Effective July 1, the school is to be incorporated into a new and as-yet-unnamed college that will also include the current College of Education and School of Social Work. SLIS Dean Beth Paskoff said that the school would lose a certain amount of its autonomy as a result of the move, but its curriculum and faculty would not change....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 29
Providence board cedes control of branches to city
The nonprofit entity that has run the library system in Providence, Rhode Island, for the last century voted April 23 to transfer control of the city’s nine branch libraries to the city. The organization, Providence Public Library, will retain control of the downtown Central Library for now, but Mayor David M. Cicilline is likely to give a newly formed nonprofit group, Providence Community Library, control of the nine branches....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 28
Indianapolis library loses construction suit
A jury rejected claims by the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library that an engineering firm was responsible for $24.5 million in damages caused by defects in the concrete beams of an underground parking garage in its renovated downtown central library. The problems halted construction of the project and added $50 million to the eventual $150-million cost of the project, which opened last December, two years behind schedule....
American Libraries Online, Apr. 24
Woman’s Day initiative open through May 18
Libraries have until May 18 to promote an initiative sponsored by ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries and Woman’s Day magazine. The magazine is looking for stories on how readers have used the library to save money during tough economic times. Stories of 700 words or less can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Up to four of the submissions will be featured the March 2010 issue....
Protecting intellectual freedom
ALA Editions has released Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library by Pat R. Scales and Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Academic Library by Barbara M. Jones. Scales is a retired middle- and high-school librarian who is currently president of the ALSC and serves as a spokesperson for First Amendment issues as they relate to children and young adults. Jones has worked for intellectual freedom in a multitude of roles since the 1980s, most recently as the first chair of the ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee....
A mysterious way to acquaint patrons with their library
ALA Editions has just released Hosting a Library Mystery: A Programming Guide by Elizabeth M. Karle. Five thoroughly researched, original, sample mystery scripts serve as a starting point for librarians to acquaint different audiences with library services, staff, special collections, and research skills. Karle is collection management supervisor for the Cushwa-Leighton Library at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana....
Have you Connect-ed yet?
Jenny Levine writes: “Just a quick note to say how happy we are about the response to ALA Connect. We’ve received many positive emails, tweets, and more about the site, but even better—folks are checking it out and using it. This can be difficult to see, as many working groups are not posting their content publicly, but we’re only a couple of weeks into this new endeavor, so we expect content in the working groups and communities will continue to grow, especially going into Annual Conference. Here are some early numbers from the site’s first two weeks.”...
ALA Marginalia, Apr. 28
Groups submit comments in favor of access
ALA, ACRL, and the Association for Research Libraries jointly submitted comments (PDF file) to the U.S. Copyright Office April 28 on the topic of facilitating access to copyrighted works for the blind or persons with other disabilities. The associations believe they should be afforded the same access to materials as sighted persons. Currently, only about 5% of published books are available in accessible formats for the visually impaired. Some materials are not available at all, particularly scholarly journals, research materials, professional resources, and local history materials....
District Dispatch, Apr. 28
Congress supports National Library Week
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 336, a resolution in support of National Library Week, April 22. During the floor debate, Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) made statements highlighting the significant role libraries and librarians serve in communities across the country....
District Dispatch, Apr. 23
Best books and media committee chairs discuss their favorites
ALA’s book and media awards represent some of the best works of the year. In this video (3:41), the chairs of many of the committees charged with choosing the award winners discuss the winning books and why they were selected. For more information, see the accompanying “Read This Now” article in the May 2009 issue of American Libraries, as well as ALA’s main awards page....
Featured review: Media
Beaton, M. C. Death of a Witch. Read by Graeme Malcolm. Dec. 2008. 5.5 hr. BBC/Sound Library, CD (978-0-7927-5955-3).
Hamish Macbeth is back in this treat of a mystery set in his hometown of Lochdubh. The latest in the long-running series is a great example of Beaton’s wit and skill and ability to create crafty plots with dialogue and scenes that hold depth. The village and Highland landscape come alive as Hamish is drawn into an investigation of Catriona Beldame, a newly arrived inhabitant of the village, whispered to be a witch. Who is she? What exactly is she selling to the older men of the village? And why did she show up out of the blue? Her death, and that of three other women, draws Hamish into more than speculation about spells and serial killers as the clever plot unwinds. Malcolm’s lovely, rich voice carries the story well, offering a narration that flows over listeners, seducing and readying us to experience the story....
Interview with Avi
Legendary author Avi speaks (4:14) to Booklist reviewer Kay Weisman about Poppy and Ereth—his newest and most autobiographical book—as well as how he ended up with his famous name, how his lack of a distinctive style helps him as a writer, his thoughts on how the Newbery Award could improve, and which of his books is the “best.” Hint: It’s a trick question....
Likely Stories, Apr. 23
Top 10 crime fiction audiobooks
Karen Harris writes: “Murder and mayhem are hardly in short supply in this superb group of audiobook mysteries, including one nonfiction title. Felons are busy leaving bodies and destruction in their wake, and their pursuers, many familiar to mystery aficionados, are astute, determined, and generally successful.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Dorm housing at Annual Conference will be available at the University Center Conference Chicago, located at 525 S. State Street, between State and Congress. ALA will provide busing between the dorms and McCormick Place West, just as if you were staying in a hotel. Dorm amenities include a recreation area, fitness center, outdoor terrace, laundry room, and computer center. Reservations must be made by May 22. Use this form (PDF file) to send in with your payment. Only 200 spaces are available....
Pritzker Military Library
Just minutes away from the Water Tower and ALA Headquarters, the Pritzker Military Library at 610 N. Fairbanks Court is free and open to the public, with live events and a collection of books, posters, photographs, and other fascinating artifacts that tell the story of the citizen soldier in American military history. On July 9, the library will host a talk by Doug Stanton, the author of Horse Soldiers and In Harm’s Way....
Pritzker Military Library
A Chicago landmark, the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain is located in Grant Park along the shore of Lake Michigan. Every hour on the hour for 20 minutes, the fountain provides a major water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. The fountain opened in 1927 and was restored in 1994. Edward H. Bennett designed the fountain to represent the lake with four sea horses (built by Marcel Loyau) to symbolize the four states that touch the lake: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan....
Chicago Park District
Where to find out what to do
Time Out Chicago is a magazine and website that lists upcoming major events and recommends galleries, clubs, comedy venues, dance, film, restaurants, GLBT resources, museums, music, shopping, spas, sports, and theater around town. Also quite handy is the Metromix Chicago website, which also offers a calendar, reader reviews and editor picks, photo galleries, news, and videos....
El día de los niños/El día de los libros
ALSC Program Officer Linda Mays discusses El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), a national celebration of children, families, and reading, in this podcast (5:33). Held each April 30, Día is a national celebration that brings together children, books, languages, and cultures, emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds....
Visibility @ your library, Apr. 24
School library media programs in action
School Library Media Programs in Action is the latest in the “Best of KQ” series of publications that highlight articles from the highly respected print journal Knowledge Quest, published by AASL. The new publication includes topics addressing the big picture of civic engagement, equity, democracy, and social justice. Best practices are also highlighted....
Divisional intellectual freedom activities
Bryan Campbell writes: “Much of the great intellectual freedom work happening in ALA is done at the division level. Recently, OIF began to compile the divisional publications, resources, and activities, from AASL to YALSA. Take a look at this list to see some great programs planned for 2009 Annual Conference, and learn who the various IF contacts are in the divisions.”...
OIF Blog, Apr. 24
Intellectual freedom and youth (PDF file)
Annette Lamb writes: “Rather than viewing social-networking tools
as negative, school library media
specialists should investigate the value of online tools for furthering
intellectual freedom by promoting creative thought, communication,
and collaboration. How will these
technologies affect the school library
program? What’s the role of the
teacher librarian? Let’s explore
eight ways you can address key issues
related to intellectual freedom and
social technology for young people.”...
Knowledge Quest 36, no. 2 (Nov./Dec. 2007): 38–45
ACRL selects Scholarly Communication 101 Road Show hosts
The ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee has selected five sites to host the “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop this summer. ACRL is underwriting the costs of delivering the content by sending expert presenters on the road. The institutions selected are: ACRL Louisiana Chapter, Baton Rouge; Auraria Library, Denver; State University of New York at Buffalo Libraries; University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez; and Washington University in St. Louis....
Summer online education courses
School’s not out for the summer! ALSC is offering engaging online education courses that will enhance your skills and knowledge. The three summer courses being offered are: “Reading Instruction and Children’s Books,” “The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future,” and “Sharing Poetry with Children.” Registration opens May 18, and discounted rates are available for ALSC members. Courses begin the week of July 20. Detailed descriptions and course registration information are available online....
Great Ideas contest ends May 1
YALSA seeks members’ best ideas to help achieve the goals listed in the division’s new strategic plan for the new Great Ideas contest. The contest is open to all individual members as well as all YALSA committees, juries, task forces, discussion groups, interest groups, and advisory boards. The deadline to submit items to the contest is May 1. Entrants are asked to brainstorm and submit activities that will allow YALSA to achieve a specific goal or strategy in the plan. Entry forms can be downloaded (PDF file)....
Seas of change in Charlottesville
The ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section is offering its 50th anniversary preconference, “Seas of Change: Navigating the Cultural and Institutional Contexts of Special Collections,” June 17–20, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the site of the first RBMS preconference in 1959. Programming will take a broad look at how special collections librarianship has evolved over the past half century with respect to changes in social, cultural, technological, economic, and academic environments, and how we will need to respond to such changes in the future....
ACRL Insider, Apr. 27
PLA talk table proposals for 2010 conference
PLA is now accepting talk table proposals for its 12th National Conference, to be held March 23–27, 2010, in Portland, Oregon. Proposals may be submitted through an online form on the PLA National Conference website. Faxed or mailed proposals will not be accepted. Proposals may be created and updated until July 20. PLA will notify all successful applicants by September 1....
IRRT’s 60th anniversary endowment campaign
At the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the International Relations Round Table announced a “Sixty for Sixty” campaign to create an endowment to support ongoing programmatic activity. IRRT, which is marking the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1949, has established the endowment goal at $60,000, to be raised by the end of the year....
Great interactive software for kids
ALSC has selected eight items for its Spring 2009 list of Great Interactive Software for Kids, which recognizes high-quality computer programs and digital media for children 14 years of age and younger. An annotated list of the programs is on the ALSC website....
Ten libraries receive gaming and literacy grants
Ten libraries in 10 states from New York to Alaska will receive $5,000 grants as part of ALA’s Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming initiative, funded by the Verizon Foundation. The winners, representing a broad spectrum of libraries—seven public, two school, and one academic—will use the funds to develop and implement gaming and literacy programs that provide innovative gaming experiences for youths 10–18 years of age. The 10 libraries were selected out of 390 that applied for the grant....
Emily Dean Heilman Award winners
The International Relations Committee has awarded four LIS students in Turkey the Emily Dean Heilman Award for excellence in research that contributes to the progress and development of Turkish libraries. Winners are selected from the graduating class by a committee in Ankara....
2009 Caroline Hewins Scholarship winner (PDF file)
Amber Lansing, library specialist in the Avon (Conn.) Free Public Library children’s room, has been awarded a 2009 scholarship from the Caroline Hewins Scholarship Fund administered by the Hartford Public Library. The scholarship of $4,000 is awarded to those who plan to specialize in library work with children and who have applied to, or are participating in, a graduate library school program. Lansing is pursuing her degree at Southern Connecticut State University....
Avon (Conn.) Free Public Library
2009 Lyrasis NextGen Librarian Award winners
Lyrasis has announced five winners of its first annual NextGen Librarian Award, created to identify and celebrate rising leaders in the library community. The winners will attend the SAMM09 meeting May 14–15 in Atlanta. The award is a legacy SOLINET program that will be open to all Lyrasis members in 2010....
Lyrasis, Apr. 23
Ursula K. Le Guin wins sixth Nebula Award
Ursula K. Le Guin has added a sixth Nebula award to her trophy cabinet after winning the best novel prize at the April 25 ceremony. Le Guin picked up the award for her YA novel Powers, the third in her “Annals of the Western Shore” saga, which follows the adventures of a runaway young slave with amazing powers of memory. This year’s ceremony also saw Stainless Steel Rat creator Harry Harrison honored as a Grand Master for a career that spans more than 50 years and 62 novels....
The Guardian (U.K.), Apr. 28
2008 LA Times Book Awards
The 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were awarded April 24 in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building. Winners included Marilynne Robinson’s Home (fiction), Michael Koryta’s Envy the Night (mystery/thriller), Barton Gellman’s Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (current interest), and Paula J. Giddings’s Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching (biography)....
Los Angeles Times Book Awards
Antitrust inquiry into Google Books settlement
The Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service. Federal lawyers in recent weeks have been talking to groups opposed to the settlement, including the Internet Archive and Consumer Watchdog. More recently, Google and the Association of American Publishers were both notified that the feds were looking into antitrust issues. Meanwhile, Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has granted authors worldwide until September 4 to decide whether to join the settlement or opt out....
New York Times, Apr. 28; Cnet Digital Media, Apr. 28
German authors outraged at Google Book Search
German politicians have voiced their support for an appeal by 1,300 German authors who believe that the search-engine giant Google is violating copyright laws by allowing their works to be viewed online free of charge and without previous author approval. The appeal came in the form of a letter—known as the “Heidelberg Appeal”—sent in mid-April to German President Horst Köhler, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the heads of Germany’s 16 federal states....
Der Spiegel, Apr. 27
Benjamin Franklin letters found in British Library
A trove of Benjamin Franklin letters turned up recently in the British Library. Discovered by University of California–San Diego Political Science Professor Alan Houston, the letters are copies of correspondence that hasn’t been seen in more than 250 years. All dating from 1755, the 47 letters by, to, and about Franklin are in the hand of Thomas Birch (1706–1766), a British historian who compiled and transcribed many historical documents. The letters, which involve British General Edward Braddock’s attempt to capture Fort Duquesne, were published for the first time in the April issue of the William and Mary Quarterly....
University of California–San Diego, Apr. 23
Schulz donates $1 million to Ohio State cartoon library
Extending her support for the art form her late husband helped define, Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, has donated $1 million toward a new home for the Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus. Her donation will be spent toward an estimated $20.6-million renovation of Sullivant Hall that will make room for the collection’s more than 400,000 original cartoons and comic art, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings....
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, Apr. 24
Students maced at UTC library rave
Freshman Vanessa Parks didn’t know what to expect late April 23 when she decided to attend the rave at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Lupton Library, an event she had heard about from messages online. She saw hundreds of students gathered outside the building, dancing and jumping off the building. This (4:25) is what it looked like. According to UTC officials, the crowd began storming the library doors, chanting “Let us in!” and “Take the library” as they attempted to enter. Then the police responded by spraying Mace to disperse the crowd....
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press, Apr. 25; YouTube, Apr. 23; The Chattanoogan, Apr. 24
Smith College music library at risk
Music lovers are fretting over a proposal to close the Werner Josten Performing Arts Library at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. They call it a blow to music research in the area. The Josten Library boasts a generous collection of books, music scores, sound recordings, and videotapes. In a recent letter, President Carol T. Christ proposed consolidating the Josten into the Neilson Library, the college’s main library, as a cost-saving measure....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Apr. 26
Transsexual wins $500,000 lawsuit
A federal judge has awarded a former Army Special Forces commander nearly $500,000 because she was rejected from a job with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress while transitioning from a man to a woman. Diane Schroer applied for the terrorism analyst job while she was still a man named David Schroer. He was offered the job, but the offer was pulled after he told an official that he was having surgery to change his gender. U.S. District Judge James Robinson ruled April 28 that Schroer was entitled to $491,190 in back pay and damages because of sex discrimination....
Associated Press, Apr. 29
New Yorkers want the Donnell branch back
A group of library users and residents of Midtown Manhattan are fuming over what they are calling the inept and heartless handling of New York Public Library’s Donnell branch, which was known for its rich holdings of movies, music, foreign language materials, and children’s books until it closed in August 2008. Opened in 1955, the branch was closed as part of a decision to sell the building to Orient-Express Hotels for $59 million. But the deal fell apart in March with the hotel company backing out, citing the financial and credit crises....
New York Times, Apr. 23
Library credit-card audit in Lexington
Lexington (Ky.) Public Library CEO Kathleen Imhoff spent more than $134,000 in five years on national and international travel, scores of meals at upscale Lexington restaurants, gifts for employees and board members, and other items, mostly on her library credit card. Trustees defended Imhoff’s spending as appropriate for a high-profile businesswoman running a $15-million-a-year institution. City agencies are being scrutinized following a credit-card spending scandal at Blue Grass Airport that led to the resignations of top managers and a criminal investigation....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Apr. 26
Toxic lead levels in Seattle library books? Not so fast
“Toxic Levels of Lead Found in Children’s Books,” screams reporter Chris Halsne in this April 24 KIRO-TV story and video (3:02). What he never discusses is how this lead magically transfers from the book to a child’s bloodstream, which is where the danger point actually exists. Halsne says the two books they tested from the Seattle Public Library were Poems of Childhood and Japanese Children’s Stories. Neither title sounds like a toddler’s book, so it’s a bit disingenous to use test results for two books for older children and then talk about how toddlers suck on these books “all the time.” In an update, Halsne reports that librarians are confused about the proposed standards....
The Common Room, Apr. 24; KIRO-TV, Seattle, Apr. 24, 28
Youngstown library cancels talk by ex-con
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio, canceled an April 28 appearance at its Poland branch by Michael Swiger, who writes legal thrillers and mysteries, because of his criminal past. Swiger, who served 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and kidnapping in the murder of a Thiel College graduate in 1988, also said that he wanted to cancel the appearance when he found out the brother of victim Roger Pratt lives in the area....
Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator, Apr. 26
Black cat loves the Deal Library
Fidel, an 8-year-old black cat, has turned up at the public library in Deal, England, almost every day for the past two years while his owners are at work. He spends most of the day on his favorite blue chair, only leaving the building when he sees his owners arriving home. A spokeswoman for Kent County Council said Fidel was such a “dedicated customer” that he sometimes arrives before staff and can be found waiting at the front door....
BBC News, Apr. 27
Go back to the Top
GE unveils holographic disc breakthrough
Scientists at GE’s Global Research Center in upstate New York announced a breakthrough in the pursuit of holographic data storage. They have successfully demonstrated technology that can put 500 gigabytes onto a single DVD-sized disc. The process works by imprinting chemical changes in the form of patterns (holograms) within the disc. Those holograms are then read by lasers, similar to the ones in Blu-ray players. At 500GB, these holographic discs could offer 20 times the capacity of a single-layer Blu-ray disc. Watch the video (1:52)....
GE Reports, Apr. 27
Five best malware removal tools
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “The internet, unfortunately, isn’t a never-ending buffet of secure open source software and Bollywood-style musicals starring LOLcats. There are people and organizations that delight in stealing your personal data, hijacking your computer, and making a general nuisance of themselves through malicious software. This week we’re highlighting the top five tools for removing software with ill intentions from your PC.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 26
Google public data
Google has launched a search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data. For example, when comparing Santa Clara County data to the national unemployment rate, it becomes clear not only that Santa Clara’s peak during 2002–2003 was dramatic, but also that the recent increase is a bit more drastic than the national rate. If you enter terms like “unemployment rate” or “population” followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates. This first launch represents a small fraction of all the interesting public data available on the web....
Official Google Blog, Apr. 28
Picasa vs. Flickr
David K. Israel writes: “Okay shutterbugs, let’s see a show of comments: Who likes Flickr and why? Who likes Picasa and why? Who has a better alternative for photo sharing (Photobucket, Ovi, Pikeo)? I’m using both Flickr and Picasa and I find that each has its strengths and weaknesses. (And I use them both on my desktop and iPhone.) For those who don’t use either, or who don’t know much about these great, powerful sites, here’s some basics, plus my thumbnail review.”...
Mental Floss, Apr. 28
The coming Android invasion
Kate Greene writes: “Since last fall, T-Mobile’s G1 has been the only hardware running Android, Google’s Linux-based operating system. But soon we’ll see a new set of phones and even netbooks that showcase the capabilities of the open source OS. On April 27, Samsung unveiled a forthcoming Android phone (right), available in European countries in June. Some experts believe that the Linux-based Android could pose a real threat to Windows XP, which runs on the majority of netbooks, and to the forthcoming Windows 7.”...
Technology Review Editors blog, Apr. 28
Top 10 Ubuntu downloads
Kevin Purdy writes: “The reviews are in, and the just-released Ubuntu 9.04, i.e. Jaunty Jackalope, rates as a slick, fully formed Linux desktop. Looking to get started or upgrade your system? We’re recommending 10 downloads for everyone to try. We link to each application’s home page, but most of them (with exceptions noted) can be installed from Ubuntu’s repositories.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 25
Cloud-based free antivirus
With threats like Conficker fresh in the public’s mind, security remains a top concern for Windows users. Panda Cloud Antivirus beta bets that nearly three years of development can pay off into a better protection system for users. To that end, Panda’s willing to make the client free for personal use—even after it leaves beta testing. The program uses Panda’s proprietary cloud computing technology, which they call Collective Intelligence, to detect viruses, malware, rootkits, and heuristics....
The Download Blog, Apr. 29
Yahoo quietly pulls the plug on GeoCities
Not with a bang, but with a whimper, Yahoo is unceremoniously closing GeoCities, one of the original web-hosting services it acquired in 1999 for $2.87 billion. In a message on Yahoo’s help site, the company said that it would not be accepting any new customers. Existing customers will still be able to access GeoCities but Yahoo is encouraging them to upgrade to a paid web-hosting service....
TechCrunch, Apr. 23
Vintage is the best children’s read, say Laureates
Anne Frank is in there, as is Oliver Twist, the four March sisters, William, and the Famous Five. But a certain Hogwarts wizard was notable by his absence from the list when the five past UK Children’s Laureates were asked to hand-pick their “favorite ever” reads. Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, and current Laureate Michael Rosen have each selected seven works as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Children’s Laureate position....
The Independent (U.K.), Apr. 28
A challenge to Goliath
Mike Rossner writes: “Megapublishers obligate librarians to buy hundreds of journals they do not need in order to access the journals their constituents actually read. The time has come to challenge this business model, which is unsustainable for the libraries. What can publishers do to help librarians in these financially difficult times? Smaller publishers who do not have multiyear-subscription deals with librarians can help by keeping their subscription prices flat for 2010.”...
Journal of Experimental Medicine, Apr. 27
Is a book still a book on a Kindle?
The publishing world is all caught up in weighty questions about the Kindle and other such devices: Will they help or hurt book sales and authors’ advances? Cannibalize the industry? Galvanize it? Please, they’re overlooking the really important concern: How will the Kindle affect literary snobbism? The practice of judging people by the covers of their books is old and time-honored. And the Kindle, which looks kind of like a giant white calculator, is the technological equivalent of a plain brown wrapper....
New York Times, Apr. 24
Amazon acquires Lexcycle e-book reading software
Amazon has acquired Lexcycle, makers of the electronic book reader Stanza. Stanza is a desktop and iPhone application that allows users to download and read e-books in multiple formats, such as Adobe PDF, and EPUB. Of course, one of the features that would have attracted Amazon is Stanza’s ability to export PDFs, Word documents, and other e-books for the Kindle....
PC World, Apr. 27
U.S. News & World Report’s LIS rankings
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill library schools are tied for first place in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 rankings. The rankings are based solely on the results of a fall 2008 survey sent to the dean of each program, the program director, and a senior faculty member in each program. The questionnaires asked individuals to rate the academic quality of programs at each institution as outstanding (5), strong (4), good (3), adequate (2), or marginal (1). Rankings are also given for seven LIS specialty programs....
U.S. News & World Report, Apr. 22
Virginia tests video games as teaching tools
Virginia reportedly has become the first state to implement a pilot program using Tabula Digita’s DimensionM video games to help boost student test scores in mathematics and motivate students to learn. DimensionM is an immersive video-game world that engages students in learning pre-algebra and algebra objectives through a series of missions. After seeing some empirical research on the games’ efficacy as a teaching tool, Tammy McGraw, director of educational technology for the Virginia Department of Education, decided she wanted to find out more....
eSchool News, Apr. 28
Eight ARL libraries face major cuts
Charles W. Bailey Jr. writes: “Eight member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries are facing major planned or potential budget cuts: Cornell, Emory, MIT, UCLA, Tennessee, Washington, Florida, and Yale. These examples suggest that significant cuts may be widespread in ARL libraries.” Potentially one of the largest is at the University of Washington, which could range from $2.4 to $3.7 million in 2010....
DigitalKoans, Apr. 28
Six ways you should be using Twitter
Adam Pash writes: “Twitter has become a nationwide phenomenon, and like any phenom, all the Twitter talk grows quickly tiresome. But despite what you may think, Twitter isn’t just for narcissists; it’s actually insanely useful. Discounting Twitter altogether because you think it’s ridiculous that people tweet about what they had for breakfast is like claiming that email is useless because of forward chains. It’s a mistake, and you’d be missing out on a great tool if you let that put you off Twitter completely.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 21
The ultimate classroom library: The media center
Buffy Hamilton writes: “Over the last few weeks, conversations about classroom libraries and school library collections have been taking place in response to a blog post from teacher Donalyn Miller. Most educators agree that students of all ages need regular access to a diverse collection of books. Miller argues that stimulus money would be better spent on actual books rather than test-prep materials or reading-incentive programs. However, Miller would like to see the funds used for stocking classroom collections.”...
AASL Blog, Apr. 26; The Book Whisperer, Mar. 25
De Niro collection opens at Ransom Center
The Robert De Niro collection of film-related materials is now open to researchers and the public at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin. The materials, donated in 2006 by actor, director, and producer De Niro, document his professional career from the 1960s through 2005. The collection includes more than 1,300 boxes of papers, film, movie props, and costumes. Watch the video description....
Harry Ransom Center, Apr. 27
PLN bill of rights and responsibilities
Doug Johnson writes: “This week seems to have been the perfect storm of work. Hence, neglect of my Personal Learning Network has been pretty much complete. Are we in need of a Bill of Rights for PLN participants to help relieve some guilt and stress for the occasional need for a break or severe deceleration? Here’s a first stab at it.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Apr. 24
OCLC numbers as edition identifiers
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “In writing software to tie together disparate databases of bibliographic information, having unambiguous identifiers to represent an edition is crucial for making things work simply and reliably. We’re used to thinking of an OCLC number as identifying a particular WorldCat record, but that’s not the way I’m using them at all. For instance, Google Books will allow you to query on an OCLC number to see if it has a record matching that number. This is incredibly valuable. Of ISBN, LCCN, and OCLC number, the OCLC number has the greatest coverage.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Apr. 28
Simmons GSLIS gets $1 million for scholarships
The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science has received a $1 million gift that pays tribute to the late library science professor Allen Smith. Smith’s family made the gift from his estate to enhance a scholarship fund and create a visiting scholars program....
Simmons College, Apr. 23
New IFLA website
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions officially launched its new website April 22 when IFLA President Claudia Lux (right) pushed the button at the group’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, during a meeting of its governing board. The occasion was captured for all time in a YouTube video (0:33)....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Apr. 24
Writing for nonreaders in the postprint era (satire)
Robert Lanham writes: “As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. 21st-century literary genres are defining a new ‘Lost Generation’ of minimalists who would much rather watch Lost on their iPhones than toil over long-winded articles and short stories.”...
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Apr. 20
“Bob’s Angels” at the GCC Library
Using the theme from the 1970s Charlie’s Angels TV series, the staff of the Greenfield (Mass.) Community College Educational Technology Center springs into action in this promotional video (3:09) to aid a panicked student. No library patrons were injured during the production of this film (though several were annoyed). “Your library card provides you with access to billions of information resources that the wimpy internet just can’t get to.”...
YouTube, Apr. 27
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Job seekers can search online for jobs and employers can search online for job seekers before and during the Annual Conference. The Placement Center is located on the exhibit floor. Visit ALA Placement Services for more information.
Get into the Game—Read! Celebrate America’s favorite pastime with a poster from the New York Times–bestselling series Sluggers by Loren Long and Phil Bildners. In the critically acclaimed series about three kids, a mystery, and a magic baseball, readers join the adventure as the Travelin’ Nine move around the country playing baseball. Featuring original art created specifically for ALA Graphics. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
2009 Library Design Showcase
A Greener Library, A Greener You
Building Science 101
Meeting Students’ Need States
A Fund evening at Steppenwolf Theatre, July 10. The event includes a cocktail reception, tickets to 500 Clown and the Elephant Deal, and a talk-back with cast and creative staff following the performance. A limited number of tickets may be purchased for $100 as part of registration for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Proceeds will benefit the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.
Digital Projects Librarian, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, will work with Sandia library staff, the library IS Team, and library customers in order to identify, analyze, and address library technology needs and future direction. The librarian will also take a role in supporting access to e-resources, including implementing and managing electronic resource management applications including SFX, MetaLib, and Verde; collecting usage statistics and creating reports needed to manage and monitor electronic resource subscriptions; and implementing e-resource subscriptions troubleshooting access, maintenance, and other performance issues related to electronic resources....
Digital Library of the Week
The Printer’s Devices Database of the Library of the University of Barcelona, Spain, was launched in October 1998. The database covers the 16th through the 18th century and all of Europe, but mostly Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, and the Low Countries, reflecting the collection’s own personality. Each entry of the database includes information of the printers’ activity, the years and places in which they worked, and other remarkable biographical facts. The records also contain information about the marks they used, including a description of the mark, and the main keywords in Catalan, Spanish, and English. The database is updated on a monthly basis. In March 2009, it contained 1,372 printer files and 2,182 device images.
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.
The Spring 2009 edition of Prism, the ALA Office for Accreditation newsletter, covers recent accreditation actions and other news relating to ALA-accredited library science programs.
“I hate work. Libraries are a quite pleasant way of earning a living. Dismal prospects though! Jobs connected with books like publishing are not good for creative writing. That’s why libraries, all technical and administration, are so good.”
—British poet and University of Hull Librarian Philip Larkin (1922–1985) in a 1956 interview with journalist John Shakespeare, Times Literary Supplement, Apr. 1.
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the ALA Librarian
Q. With all of the news recently about swine flu, we’re working on a policy on infectious diseases and considering how the library might cope with with a flu pandemic. Does the ALA have information to help libraries on this subject?
A. As yet, ALA has not prepared detailed guidelines for a pandemic response, other than as part of general disaster-readiness guidelines. The reasons for this are that most libraries are part of another organization that may have plans to guide the broader community, and that our member groups, who write the guidelines, are focusing on their expertise: protecting the collections. See ALA Library Fact Sheet 10: Disaster Response: A Selected Annotated Bibliography for resources for developing a plan to protect collections from natural and other disasters. However, there are some topics to include in an individual library policy—after being sure these are consistent with the plans by the larger jurisdiction. See more at the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
ACRL OnPoint chat, “Seattle Green: Lessons learned from greening the ACRL 14th National Conference.”
El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros.
TechNet, Lockheed Martin Recreation Area, Fort Worth, Texas. “Technology is the Answer!”
LITACamp, Dublin, Ohio. The housing deadline is May 1.
National Library Legislative Day.
International Digital Publishing Forum, McGraw-Hill Auditorium, New York City. “Digital Book 2009: An eBook Stimulus Plan for Publishing.”
The Learning Commons: New Frontiers in Instruction, University of West Georgia, Carrollton. Hosted by the Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instrution Group.
National Information Standards Organization, Forum, Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore, Maryland. “Performance Measures and Assessment:
Critical Tools During Challenging Times.”
June 3–4: Inspiration, Innovation, and Celebration: An Entrepreneurial Conference for Librarians, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Semantic Technology Conference, The Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, California.
O’Reilly Open Source Convention, McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, California.
June 22–23: British Chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, University College London. “Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources.”
July 25–28: American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Planning and Management of Buildings, Saratoga Springs, New York. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
LITA National Forum, Salt Lake City, Utah. “Open and Mobile.”
Oct. 19–20: Marketing, Cleveland, Ohio. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
AASL National Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. “Rev Up Learning @ your library.”