Jessamine County reclassifies and reshelves
In response to concerns voiced in November to officials of the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library about sexually explicit drawings by illustrator Kevin O’Neill in author Alan Moore’s graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, JCPL’s senior staff and trustees have decided to reclassify the library’s entire graphic-novel collection and reshelve the titles in the young-adult and adult sections, respectively, as appropriate....
American Libraries Online, Dec. 9
State associations join call to end Patriot Act library provision
As the December 31 deadline for reauthorization of three provisions of the USA Patriot Act approached, more than 30 state library associations have passed resolutions calling for Congress to allow Section 215, which permits the Justice Department to conduct searches of library and bookstore records, to expire. As of mid-December, 34 state associations had approved resolutions condemning the provision; many also voiced opposition to Section 505, which gives the FBI authority to secretly issue national security letters to obtain records from libraries without prior judicial oversight....
American Libraries Online, Dec. 9
Imhoff responds to inflammatory audit report
Embattled former Lexington (Ky.) Public Library director Kathleen Imhoff (right) is scheduled to appear at a board meeting December 9 and present a detailed response to a report from city auditors that accuses her of, among other things, conflict of interest in her consulting work and using her library laptop to view “adult materials” on the internet. The results of the audit of the public library were published in detail by the Lexington Herald-Leader with a headline reading, “Audit finds adult materials on library CEO’s computers.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Dec. 9; Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Dec. 4; WKYT-TV, Lexington, Dec. 4
Reasons to go to the Midwinter Meeting
ALA members share the reasons (2:54) why they enjoy coming to Midwinter Meetings—networking, professional development, exhibits, new technology, committee work, programming, meet authors, reconnect with old friends, and much more....
AL Focus, Dec. 4
ALA Placement Center will help attendees search for jobs
During the 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 15–19, the ALA Placement Center will have a variety of activities scheduled to assist attendees, improve their skills, and prepare for a job search. The Placement Center will be located in the Convention Center, and will be open January 16–17. Included in these activities is free counseling by career development professional Caitlin Williams (right), an Open House, and free workshops ....
ALA Student Member Blog, Dec. 2
ALA urges FCC to consider role of libraries
In its December 4 filing (PDF file) to the Federal Communications Commission, ALA highlighted the vital role libraries play in communities by supporting workforce development, small business creation, lifelong education, and access to government resources through public-access computer terminals and broadband internet. The filing was a response to the FCC’s call for comments regarding the relationship between economic development and broadband and how broadband access spurs business productivity and growth....
District Dispatch, Dec. 7
Looking back on Banned Books Week
Rachel Yoke writes: “Banned Books Week 2009 gave libraries, librarians, and library patrons across the U.S. an opportunity to speak out against censorship and demonstrate the meaning of free speech. Events were held around the country in places as varied as Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Virginia (PDF file), and where displays exhibited challenged books, concerts supported the reading of banned books, and t-shirts proclaimed a need for free expression.”...
American Libraries Online, Dec. 4
Getting the word out with AL Direct
Sarah Long talks with George Eberhart (right), founding editor of American Libraries Direct, ALA’s weekly e-newsletter, in her weekly podcast (16:23). Eberhart reveals how the newsletter got started, where content comes from, and how he seeks to make each issue “informative, practical, and amusing at times.” He also explains plans for the newsletter and the AL website, as well as the impact AL Direct has had on the American Libraries magazine....
Longshots, Dec. 8
Treaty to ensure access for readers with disabilities
ALA, as a member of the Library Copyright Right Alliance, filed comments (PDF file) to the Library of Congress Copyright Office December 4 regarding access to copyrighted works for the blind or other persons with disabilities. The comments, which were filed jointly by the Library Copyright Alliance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Archive, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, called for a multilateral treaty to resolve issues of accessibility for the blind and visually impaired....
District Dispatch, Dec. 7
ALA Dollars for Scholars fundraiser
During the 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment will offer attendees an opportunity to help support the careers of a new generation of librarians. For a $10 donation, conference attendees can have two business cards laminated as luggage tags and be entered in a raffle for a free conference registration for the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the annual giving campaign for ALA general scholarship endowments....
RDA publication date
RDA: Resource Description and Access will be released in June 2010. The transition from the publication of AACR2 as a printed manual to the release of RDA as a web-based toolkit is a complex process with many interdependencies. The updated text of RDA incorporates recommendations from constituencies and other stakeholders approved at the JSC meeting earlier in 2009. Pricing and purchasing information will be available at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston....
RDA-L, Dec. 3
Gifts for library lovers
ALA Editions is making a special offer to help you with your holiday shopping for library professionals and anyone who loves books. Three popular titles are now available in multipacks, offering savings of up to 30% off the single copy price: The Librarian’s Book of Quotes, The Back Page, and The Library: An Illustrated History. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide....
Essential archives resources
ALA Editions is partnering with the Society of American Archivists to make select SAA titles, such as Film Preservation: Competing Definitions of Value, Use, and Practice (right) and College and University Archives: Readings in Theory and Practice, available for purchase through the ALA Store. Founded in 1936, SAA is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association....
Featured review: Environment
McKibben, Bill. Eaarth. Apr. 2010. 256p. Times, hardcover (978-0-8050-9056-7).
For 20 years McKibben has been writing with clarity and zeal about global warming, initially in the hope of staving it off and now in an effort to lessen its dire impact. With climate change under way, we now live on a far less hospitable planet than the one on which our civilizations coalesced for 10,000 years amidst resplendent biological diversity. McKibben postulates that because today’s planet is so much hotter, stormier, and more chaotic with droughts, vanishing ice, dying forests, encroaching deserts, acid oceans, increased wildfires, and diminishing food crops, it merits a new name: “Eaarth.” Although his meticulous chronicling of the current “cascading effects” of climate change is truly alarming, it isn’t utterly devastating. That’s because McKibben, reasonable and compassionate, reports with equal thoroughness on the innovations of proactive individuals and groups and explicates the benefits of ending our dependence on fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, and the unbalanced, unjust global economy....
Reading the screen: Thrillers, then and now
David Pitt writes: “John Godey’s 1973 novel, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, has been adapted for the big screen twice—with radically different results. The novel is a lean, efficient thriller: Four men hijack a New York City subway train and demand $1 million in exchange for the lives of the passengers. Tension runs high, and Godey’s cleverly orchestrated conclusion is full of surprises, including the unexpected fates of the hijackers. The first film version was released in 1974. Robert Shaw turns in a quiet, cold performance as Ryder, the mastermind, and Martin Balsam is perfect as Longman, the fatalistic ex-motorman with a score to settle. Director Joseph Sargent works with an almost military precision, and he clearly understands and respects the source material.” Pitt goes on to compare the second adaptation with the novel, and he compares other films with the thrillers they were based on: Hopscotch, Marathon Man, and The Boys from Brazil....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Don’t miss the opportunity to travel to this museum in Amherst January 17 and see examples of original art by Eric Carle and the artists of the Golden Books. Participants will hear presentations by Leonard S. Marcus and Norton Juster, as well as have time to enjoy the museum shop, galleries, art studio, and reading library. RSVP directly with the museum by January 8 by calling (413) 658-1155 or by email. The cost is $50....
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
The Great Midwinter Kids/YA Lit Tweet-Up
If you’re a tweeting librarian, author, illustrator, publisher, agent, editor, reviewer, blogger, or anyone interested in children’s and YA lit, join the Great Midwinter Kids/YA Lit Tweet-Up, January 16, 4–6 p.m., at the Birch Bar in the Westin Waterfront hotel. A few spots are left out of a total of 150. Talk social media, chat about books, share program ideas, meet the people you’ve been retweeting, listing, and following, see old friends....
Mitali Perkins and Deborah Sloan
The Rose Kennedy Greenway
When Boston’s Big Dig project plunged previously elevated roadways underground, the city found itself rich in prime urban land. Community leaders seized the opportunity to enhance Boston’s city life by providing additional parks and gardens. One of the most important public projects in Boston’s history, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a series of four parks extending approximately one mile through downtown Boston. To experience the entire Greenway on foot without retracing your steps, start at either Chinatown Park in the south or at the North End Parks (above)....
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
ALCTS launches National Preservation Week
Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, ALCTS will sponsor the first national Preservation Week, May 9–15. Preservation Week intends to raise awareness of libraries’ role in connecting the general public to preservation information and expertise. Events sponsored by libraries will increase preservation awareness by emphasizing the close relationships among personal, family, community, and public collections and their preservation. Preservation Week posters and bookmarks are available in the ALA Store....
YALSA’s 31 Days of Dollars and Sense
In December, YALSA is spotlighting 31 Days of Dollars and Sense on its blog. The division features daily posts on the economic difficulties libraries face and how to cope with them successfully as demand for services rises. Topics include grant writing, programming on a limited budget, finding free supplies, defending budgets, and keeping up morale. School and public librarians alike offer up their own success stories and expertise....
ASCLA summer event registration opens soon
The ASCLA Midwinter Institute, “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant,” has sold out, but registration for the next offering, scheduled for June 25 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference, will open on January 4. Seasoned consultants Nancy Bolt and Sara Laughlin will present an overview of library consulting....
ASCLA/COSLA reception offers desserts, networking
ASCLA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies invite Midwinter Meeting attendees to cap their day with dessert, networking and socializing at the ASCLA/COSLA reception, January 17, 8:30–11 p.m.
The event is open to all meeting participants who are current or potential members of ASCLA. Reception guests can take advantage of desserts, coffee, and a cash bar while catching up with old colleagues and meeting new ones....
Seats available for RUSA genealogy institute
Although advance registration has ended, there are still seats available for the upcoming RUSA Midwinter Institute, “The Genealogy Reference Desk: Where Everyone Knows Your Name,” a full-day workshop whose content will benefit public librarians, academic librarians, experienced genealogists, and those who are new to or have an interest in genealogy reference. The workshop will be held January 15 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in conjunction with the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting. Presentations will focus on New England genealogy resources and genealogy research techniques....
LITA seeks volunteer acquisitions editor
LITA invites applications for the member volunteer position of acquisitions editor to develop topics for LITA publications, solicit suggestions for publications, interact with authors to produce the publications in manuscript format, and coordinate the editorial review of manuscripts by members of the LITA Publications Committee. Applications are due to Kristin Antelman by December 31....
AASL’s winter tour of online courses
School library media specialists are encouraged to sign up for AASL’s winter tour of online courses. Designed to isolate problem areas, the four 4-week courses will help develop the skills and techniques to help school library media specialists bring their programs into the 21st century. Registration and course information are available online. Just for signing up, AASL is offering a free archived Learning4Life (L4L) webinar with every course registration....
AASL seeks proposals for webinars
AASL is currently seeking 60-minute webinar proposals for a Learning4Life (L4L) webinar series to be held Wednesdays in April 2010. Proposals should focus on one of the four chapters of AASL’s Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. More information, a PDF of the application, and submission details can be found on the AASL website. The deadline is January 4....
AASL Blog, Dec. 4
2009 I Love My Librarian Award
American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “New York City welcomed the 10 winners of the 2009 I Love My Librarian Award with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. At least the timing made it look that way, and some 750,000 extra people in the streets made it seem as if the entire city had turned out to welcome America’s favorite librarians to the December 3 award ceremony at the splendid New York Times building on Eighth Avenue. Sponsored by the Times and Carnegie Corporation of New York and administered by ALA, the award recognizes quality service and dedication by library professionals across the country.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Dec. 4
West Bend library receives 2009 Robert Downs Award
The West Bend (Wis.) Community Memorial Library has received the 2009 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The faculty voted overwhelmingly to give this year’s award to the West Bend Library for its steadfast advocacy on behalf of intellectual freedom in the face of a February 2009 library challenge that garnered national attention....
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS, Dec. 8
New ALA African-American literature award
A new ALA award recognizes outstanding African-American authors, illustrators, author/illustrators, and practitioners for lasting and significant contributions to youth or young adult literature. The inaugural Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement will be announced at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston, as part of the Youth Media Awards press conference on January 18. The award is named for children’s author Virginia Hamilton (1936–2002), recipient of the 1974 National Book Award and the 1975 John Newbery Medal....
YALSA names 2010 William C. Morris Award shortlist
YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2010 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2010 winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 18, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. More information on the finalists can be found on the YALSA website....
ALSC Great Web Sites for Kids
ALSC has added 20 recommended websites to its online resource containing hundreds of links to outstanding sites for children. Great Web Sites for Kids features links to websites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger, organized into diverse subject headings, from astronomy and space to zoos and aquariums, from games and entertainment to geography and maps....
FLA wins inaugural ALA Presidential Award for Advocacy
The Florida Library Association is the first recipient of a new ALA Presidential Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF.
FLA received the award for its work to save state funding in 2009. The ALA Presidential Award for Advocacy includes $1,500 to the winning state campaign for the further development of citizens across the state as advocates....
7th annual We the People Bookshelf grants
The ALA Public Programs Office is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities for the seventh We the People Bookshelf project. Part of the NEH We the People program, the Bookshelf encourages young people to read and understand great literature while exploring themes in American history. The theme for the 2009–2010 Bookshelf is “A More Perfect Union.” Public and school libraries are invited to apply online through January 29. Some 4,000 libraries will be selected to receive the materials....
Coming Up Taller Award nominations
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites nominations for the 2010 Coming Up Taller awards, which honor excellence in afterschool, out-of-school, and summer arts and humanities programs for underserved children and youth. Award recipients receive $10,000 each, an individualized plaque, and an invitation to attend the annual Coming Up Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference. Nominations (PDF file) are due by January 29....
John Berger picks up Golden PEN Award
English PEN presented John Berger with the Golden PEN Award, which celebrates an author whose “body of work has had a profound impact on readers.” The writer, who won the 1972 Booker Prize for his novel G., and whose most recent novel A-X was longlisted for the Booker in 2008, was awarded the £1,000 prize money and commemorative golden pen December 7 by fellow author Geoff Dyer....
The Bookseller, Dec. 8
Queensland Writers Centre 2010 Johnno Award
Jenny Stubbs, Australian librarian and founder of the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, was named the winner of the Queensland Writers Centre 2010 Johnno Award. Stubbs, who has more than 20 years experience in literacy programs for children, was recognized for her commitment to literacy and engagement through reading and writing, particularly in Queensland’s southwest rural and regional communities. Established in 2001, the Johnno Award is presented to an individual or group in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Queensland writers and writing....
Queensland Writers Centre, Dec. 3
2009 Middle East Book Awards
The Middle East Outreach Council has announced the three winners of its 2009 Middle East Book Awards. The titles are: The Butter Man by Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou for picture book, Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan for youth literature, and The Iranian Revolution by Brendan January for youth nonfiction. Established in 1999, the Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures....
Middle East Outreach Council
2009 Tower Hamlets Book Award
The winner of the 2009 Tower Hamlets Book Award was announced to a packed audience at the London borough’s flagship superlibrary, the Whitechapel Idea Store, December 4. By a clear margin, this year’s winner was Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Amulet, 2008). The award, now in its third year, is fast becoming recognized as one of London’s premier annual children’s book prizes and is aimed at the 9–12 age group....
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service, Dec. 4
Google adds live updates to search results
Unveiling significant changes to its search engine on December 7, Google said it would begin supplementing its search results with the updates posted each second to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. As part of its much-anticipated entrance into the field known as real-time search, Google said that over the next few days its users would begin seeing brand-new tweets, blog items, news articles, and social networking updates in results for certain topical searches. Previously it took a few minutes for updates from social networks and blogs to filter into Google’s results. Watch the demo video (1:14)....
New York Times, Dec. 7; YouTube, Dec. 7
Amazon.com fails to get judge to reject Google agreement
Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, failed to persuade a federal judge to withdraw his preliminary approval of a settlement between Google and groups of authors and publishers over a digital book library. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin rejected Amazon.com’s argument December 1 that the settlement is “doomed from the start and fails to satisfy even the low standard for preliminary approval.” He said Amazon can make its arguments during a February 18 hearing to determine if the agreement should be granted final approval....
Bloomberg, Dec. 2
Sharing a sense of history at the National Archives
David S. Ferriero is the first librarian in charge of the U.S. National Archives. He comes armed with the dry wit and sense of humility friends say he brings to one of the nation’s most hallowed government repositories. “I have 10 billion things I have to worry about,” he said, citing the archives’ estimated holdings. Ferriero, who looks as much like an amiable police detective as an academic, was nominated by President Obama on July 28 and confirmed by the Senate on November 6. His name rhymes with “stereo.”...
Washington Post, Dec. 7
New York cuts library funding for the fourth time
While New York schools were spared midyear cuts during the latest state deficit reduction efforts in early December, libraries will see a roughly 12% reduction in remaining funding—and library officials are worried it will affect services. Library funding has already been cut three times in the last 20 months, going from $102 million in 2007 to $99 million in 2008, to $91 million in April 2009, and now $87 million in this latest round—despite record increases in library usage. The $4.2-million cut brings Library Aid down to 1998 levels....
Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times, Dec. 6; New York Library Association, Dec. 4
Despite Ray Bradbury’s efforts, a Ventura library closes
Even author Ray Bradbury put up a fight, but it was not enough to save the H. P. Wright branch of the Ventura County (Calif.) Library, which closed November 30. The branch, like so many around the country, had fallen on hard times as city and state budgets tightened. Bradbury, a fierce advocate for public libraries, appeared at a fundraiser in June aimed at helping to save the ailing branch. While that helped the library hang on for a bit, the long-term picture was bleak, and a recent bond measure that would have helped close a $650,000 deficit sunk....
New York Times, Dec. 9
Aurora votes to close second-busiest branch
A bid to save the Mission Viejo branch of the Aurora (Colo.) Public Library from closing fell short December 7, after the city council voted overwhelmingly against revising its earlier decision to shutter the facility. A resolution proposed by Councilman Bob Broom would have saved the branch from permanent closure by putting it on limited hours. After the central branch, Mission Viejo is the city’s busiest library....
Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel, Dec. 8
Grad students find Jefferson letter at University of Delaware
Two University of Delaware graduate students working in archives recently acquired by the University of Delaware Library have discovered a February 24, 1808, letter written by Thomas Jefferson about the death of another prominent Colonial figure, John Dickinson. Graduate students Amanda Daddona and Matt Davis found the letter November 5 while processing the archives of the Rockwood Museum, which the library received as a gift from New Castle County earlier in 2009....
UDaily, Dec. 7
Judge backs student in file-sharing case
Four record companies that were awarded a total of $675,000 in damages after a Boston University graduate student illegally downloaded and shared music online have lost their bid to get a federal judge to order the student to stop promoting such activity. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner granted December 7 a request by the companies that she order Joel Tenenbaum to destroy the 30 songs that a federal jury found he downloaded and to not commit further copyright infringement. But she rebuffed their request to bar him from encouraging others to break the law....
Boston Globe, Dec. 8
Rave draws hundreds to JMU library
Hundreds of students at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, tried to cure their studying ills by throwing a rave December 6 in the lobby of the East Campus Library. The flash mob appeared about 9:35 p.m., with students arriving in the library in droves. It was quiet at first, but that changed after not even 10 minutes. A mass of students flooded the lobby, with shouts of assorted JMU cheers. Police locked the doors and did not let other students in, so hundreds stood at the doors while banging on the glass. Watch the video (3:31)....
James Madison University The Breeze, Dec. 7
Jersey City amnesty program reclaims 54-year-overdue book
Frank Lancellotti finally came clean and returned the Spanish-English dictionary he borrowed from the Jersey City (N.J.) Public Library on January 12, 1955. The $1,750 in fines will be forgiven under an amnesty program that runs for two weeks in December. Assistant Library Director Sonja Araujo said the library might put the book on display as part of an effort to encourage more people to return books....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Dec. 6
Chicago Public Library to start reduced hours
Keith Gage hadn’t been to the library in so long that he let his card lapse. Now unemployed, the Chicago resident recently rediscovered the Austin branch, where he searches online job sites for free. Gage was disappointed to learn the city’s library system will cut hours at its 76 neighborhood branches. On January 2, Chicago Public Library will shift to 48 hours per week from 64 at most branches. Even so, the system is building new libraries, experimenting with self-checkout, and setting up an outpost where patrons can read and pick up books....
Chicago Tribune, Dec. 4
West Linn censorship lesson backfires
A longtime West Linn–Wilsonville (Oreg.) School District program about censorship and banned books stirred controversy after an Athey Creek Middle School teacher used sexual vulgarity as a part of a classroom lesson. Teacher and librarian Michael Diltz wrote two vulgar words on the board in front of 8th-graders in early December as a part of a districtwide “Banned/Challenged Book” project that explores the limits of free speech. But at a December 7 school board meeting (above), parents objected to Diltz’s method....
Portland Oregonian, Dec. 8; NBC News Channel, Dec. 8
Woman wants sex book banned from Pataskala library
An area woman wants the Pataskala (Ohio) Public Library to toss out a book she considers obscene. The book in question is Eric Marlowe Garrison’s Mastering Multiple Position Sex, billed on its back cover as a lovemaking guide. Marti Shrigley said she saw the book on display while visiting the library and found it offensive. “This, to me, is porn, under the guise of a learning manual,” Shrigley said. She has checked out the book, saying she has no intention of giving it back to the library and will pay the overdue fines instead....
Newark (Ohio) Advocate, Dec. 3
Yale to make additional cuts
The Yale University Library will soon begin cutting back on some of its resources in the face of a third round of university budget cuts. In a December 1 statement, the library announced it will reduce duplication of materials and cut journal and database subscriptions, as well as purchases of books and other print materials, by 5%. Still, the library will try to minimize the impact on faculty activity. Electronic journal subscriptions will likely be prioritized over their print counterparts....
Yale Daily News, Dec. 3
Beauvoir library begins rebuilding
Bertram Hayes-Davis, the 61-year-old president of the Davis Family Association, was the keynote speaker at a December 6 groundbreaking ceremony in Biloxi, Mississippi, the first step in a $10.5-million project to rebuild the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged Beauvoir, the Confederate president’s home, and destroyed the library and museum also located on the beachfront property....
Associated Press, Dec. 6
Artist’s work “too negative” for Edinburgh University
An exhibition to mark the reopening of the Edinburgh University Library will feature a magnificent medieval psalter, dubbed Scotland’s Book of Kells—but it will go ahead without a new, minimalist work commissioned from Scottish artist Douglas Gordon. It was anticipated that the 1,000-year-old psalter would be shown in the library near a new work by Gordon, who had proposed to inscribe a wall of the library in gold lettering with the words: “Every time you turn a page, it dies a little.” But his proposal was frowned upon for not being positive enough, and he angrily pulled out of the project....
The Times (U.K.), Dec. 7
A monk saves threatened manuscripts (subscription only)
Fr. Columba Stewart, executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, is a historian of the early monastic period. He leads the museum’s ambitious and longstanding effort to find and digitize manuscripts held in monastic communities in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Since the 1960s, the museum has made a photographic record of more than 110,000 manuscripts, shifting from microfilm to digital imaging as the technology has evolved....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 29
Saving Africa’s precious written heritage
Across Timbuktu, in cupboards, rusting chests, private collections, and libraries, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of manuscripts bear witness to this legendary city’s remarkable intellectual history, and by extension, to Africa’s much overlooked precolonial heritage. Now, after several years of building and delays, the doors are finally about to open at the Ahmed Baba Institute’s new home in the Malian city—a 200-million rand ($26.8 million) project paid for by the South African government....
BBC News, Nov. 30
Go back to the Top
Top digital trends for 2010
Nuri Djavit and Paul Newnes write: “In 2009, digital marketing experienced some major shifts in marketing opportunities, budgets, and attitude. 2010 will see the hype calming around Facebook apps and Twitter campaigns and the development of ROI models around social media marketing. The following trends are based on thoughts we have shared with our clients and now share with DMB’s readers.”...
Digital Media Buzz, Dec. 3
No cancer risk from mobile phone use
Increased use of mobile phones since the late 1990s is not causing a rise in the frequency of brain tumors, a Scandinavian study has found. The survey of cancers reported among 16 million adults in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden found no related, observable change in the incidence of cases up until 2003. Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the research suggests that if there is any risk from regular use, it would take more than 5–10 years for the tumors to appear. But wearing a cell phone on your hip could lead to bone density problems....
The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 4; WebMD Health News, Oct. 27
Google Goggles for your mobile phone
Google Goggles, released to Android users December 7, allows you to search on your cell phone simply by snapping photos: You point your phone’s camera at a place or object, and it delivers detailed information to you within seconds. PC World has confirmed with Google that the Goggles app will indeed reach other platforms. However, you may not want to hold your breath for the Android exclusivity to end....
PC World, Dec. 7–8
Top 100 free apps for your smartphone
With 100,000 apps, the iPhone certainly has the most apps available, but there’s no lack of choice on other platforms. Google’s Android phones have more than 10,000. There are thousands for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian phones, and a couple hundred for the
Pixi. Even simple phones like the
can get into the app game. PC Magazine editors have sifted through a huge stack of apps to find the best free ones for almost every phone....
PC Magazine, Dec. 1
How to buy a gaming PC
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “For a truly connected and immersive gaming experience, desktop PCs reign supreme. They are more upgradable than laptops, and it’s still easier to install game expansion packages on PCs than on consoles. The new 120Hz monitors have heralded a new chapter in 3D gaming, and you simply can’t get all the new gaming bells and whistles unless you have a high-powered gaming machine. That said, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive desktop to play the most popular games.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 3
Sony goes berserk with future gaming controller
If you find many Wii Remote attachments (such as fishing rods and tennis rackets) unconventional, wait till you check out what Sony Computer Entertainment has detailed in its latest patent. The application documents an “expandable control device via hardware attachment” with the unmistakable square, triangle, circle, and cross buttons unique to all PlayStation game consoles. What makes this wand-like controller special, though, is its modular design for various configurations....
CNET News: Crave blog, Dec. 8
How HTML5 will change the way you use the web
Kevin Purdy writes: “Firefox and Safari partially support it, Google’s Wave and Chrome projects are banking on it, and most web developers are ecstatic about what it means. It’s HTML5, and if you’re not exactly sure what it is, here’s an explainer: HTML5 is a specification for how the web’s core language, HTML, should be formatted and utilized to deliver text, images, multimedia, web apps, search forms, and anything else you see in your browser. In some ways, it’s mostly a core set of standards that only web developers really need to know. In other ways, it’s a major revision to how the web is put together.”...
Lifehacker, Dec. 1
How to catch up
David Lee King writes: “I recently read ‘Is It Too Late to Catch Up?’ at Seth Godin’s blog. The post is great—it includes ideas on how to catch up if you haven’t really done much in the web and social media world for the last 14 years. One of Seth’s points is this: You need to create your web presence yourself. Especially if you want that web presence to reflect your library’s values, be truly dynamic on an ongoing basis, and be one of your major service points.”...
David Lee King, Dec. 5; Seth Godin’s Blog, Dec. 3
Baker & Taylor acquires Blackwell North America
Book distributor Baker & Taylor announced December 7 it has acquired Blackwell Book Services North America and Blackwell’s Australia-based James Bennett bookseller. As part of the deal, Blackwell U.K. will acquire Baker & Taylor’s Lindsay and Croft business in the U.K. The combination of B&T’s YBP Library Services and Blackwell’s North American and Australian businesses brings together two of the world’s largest academic and research library service providers....
Baker & Taylor, Dec. 7
NPR’s best YA fiction of 2009
Jonathan Hunt writes: “During the past decade young adult literature has seen a number of critical and commercial successes that have rejuvenated the genre, transforming it from the redheaded stepchild of the literary world into one of the most dynamic and exciting niches in publishing. The conventional problem novel, once a staple of YA fiction, is now complemented by a variety of genres and formats. These titles may be marketed to your teens and tweens, but beware: You’ll find yourself reading them just as compulsively.”...
National Public Radio, Dec. 8
Ramparts: Agent of change
Steven Heller writes: “Few American magazines are agents of change. Most are chroniclers of their time and place, lightning rods rather than lightning. Then came Ramparts in the mid-1960s. Ramparts was the clarion of new aesthetics, politics, and social mores. It exposed CIA involvement in American colleges and universities and reintroduced muckraking to American journalism. In providing alternatives to the dominant culture, Ramparts nurtured the New Left’s emerging sensibilities, which for better or worse helped foment the revolutionary spirit of the time.”...
Observatory: Design Observer, Nov. 30
Unconventional children’s books
Children’s books don’t just help our kids develop better reading skills, but they can be extremely important in shaping their values and helping them understand complicated issues. But there are a lot more books on the shelf (or Kindle library) than there were when we were kids. Covering topics like prison, drugs, and conservatism, there are some very unconventional children’s books out there today....
Favorite book covers of 2009, part 2
Joseph Sullivan writes: “Here’s the second of this year’s Favorite Covers of 2009 posts, chosen by some of the staff members of RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Some contributors chose to let the covers speak for themselves, others provided some words about their choices. Like Part 1, there is a poll.”...
Book Design Review, Dec. 6
White House unveils Open Government Directive
The Obama administration officially unveiled on December 8 its Open Government Directive (PDF file), a document that charges each federal agency with making high-value data publicly available and coming up quickly with formal open government plans. The directive requires executive departments and agencies to publish government information online, improve the quality of the information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government, and create an enabling framework for open government....
CNET News: Geek Gestalt, Dec. 8; District Dispatch, Dec. 8
It’s the content, stupid
Steven Escar Smith and Holly Mercer write: “Libraries and librarians have an important stake in the development of online scholarship. Many benefits will come from the growth of digital monographs and journals as well as the development of scholarly websites, online archives, blogs, wikis, and other outlets for research even farther afield from the traditional models. There are, however, many impediments to the digital transition, and as key stakeholders in this arena, librarians must understand the obstacles as well as the advantages.”...
American Libraries, Jan./Feb.
The real-time web may kill the radio star
Kent Anderson writes: “Can we go back to an age of publisher-centric content distribution? While the wishful thinking of news providers might be fulfilled by withholding content from the search engines and extracting revenue deals in exchange for crawling and indexing that content, the money will never materialize because access to news isn’t controllable in the modern information age. The real issue is this: The useful lifespan of proprietary news has decreased from days (pre-newspaper), to hours (newspaper and network news), minutes (cable news), and seconds (blogs, search, Twitter, Facebook).”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Dec. 7
First carbon-positive library in the United States
Anythink Brighton, a branch of the Rangeview Library District in Adams County, Colorado, has become the first carbon-positive library in the U.S. Through a combination of the library’s 108kW photovoltaic system (right), geothermal heating and cooling, sustainable building features, the purchase of carbon credits, and the collaborative spirit of the project, Anythink Brighton is offsetting 16% more carbon than it is using. Total energy savings for the district will be upwards of $30,000 per year....
Rangeview Library District, Dec. 8
PLCMC is now Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
The Public Library of Charlotte (N.C.) and Mecklenburg County is gradually shifting to its new, much shorter name—the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The century-old institution began using its new name in November after filing paperwork with the county and notifying the state librarian. However, very few visible signs of the change have been seen yet, due to a gradual rollout process geared toward saving resources in a tight budget year. Next steps will include using the new name on printed materials as supplies run out and switching the look and URL of the website in January...
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Nov. 30
Free We Shall Remain webinar
WGBH-Boston is hosting a free webinar for high school teachers and librarians on December 17, 4–5 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will focus on the library event kit developed for the We Shall Remain PBS television series. The presenters include former ALA President Loriene Roy and AASL President Cassandra Barnett. To participate, visit the WGBH website;
to listen by phone, call toll free (888) 394-8197,
participant passcode 757416....
Survey: Campus technology is underused
Fewer than half of college students responding to a national survey said their professors are using instructional technology, and educators worry that the technology gap between faculty and students might hinder campus learning. Students are using far more technology tools than their professors, according to CDW-G’s 21st Century Campus Report. Some 31% of students said they use an iPod for educational purposes, compared to 12% of faculty, and 52% of students use open-source tools like Google Apps, compared to 14% of faculty....
eCampus News, Dec. 8; CDW-G, Nov. 2
ARL Statistics, 2007–2008
The Association of Research Libraries has published ARL Statistics 2007–2008, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of ARL’s 123 member libraries. The complete data series from 1908 through the present represents the oldest, most comprehensive, continuing library statistical series in North America....
Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 7
How five trends will reshape the social sector
A new report (PDF file) commissioned by the James Irvine Foundation highlights five key trends and how their convergence will shape the social sector of the future. Based on extensive review of existing research and in-depth interviews with thought leaders and nonprofit leaders and activists, it explores the trends (demographic shifts, technological advances, networks enabling work to be organized in new ways, rising interest in civic engagement and volunteerism, and blurring of sector boundaries) and looks at the ways nonprofits can successfully navigate these changes....
James Irvine Foundation, Nov.
Displays on a dime
Karen Perry writes: “Displays can be so important in encouraging teens to read or to broaden their reading habits. And there is nothing more satisfying for a teen librarian than to have a book display emptied out by teen readers. So how do you accomplish these wonders? And how do you do it without spending money? It’s called the power of suggestion. Here are a few specific theme ideas for book displays using recycled, free, cheap, or borrowed materials to get your creative juices flowing.”...
YALSA Blog, Dec. 5
Larry Nix writes: “Fundraising and planning for the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which will be located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is well underway. The way presidential libraries are established and operated is dictated by federal law. The archives and artifacts of a president are administered by the National Archives. The first presidential library in which the archives of a president were deliberately housed at a single location was what is now referred to as the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Dec. 7
Durham in line to host the Lindisfarne Gospels
The Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the world’s great treasures, could be heading to Durham’s World Heritage Site in 2013. Durham is bidding to become the U.K.’s 2013 City of Culture and wishes to display the gospels during that year. The British Library has agreed to work with Durham University, Durham Cathedral, and Durham County Council towards a three-month loan of the gospels, subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month feasibility study....
Medieval News, Dec. 8
Green tips and gift ideas for the holidays
Beth Filar Williams writes: “Plant a tree in someone’s name from Eco-Libris. Make a wish list at a variety of online sites or email it to close friends or family. Give the gift of experiences or activities. Feed and hydrate your loved ones. Seeds: the gift that will continue to keep on giving. Honor your loved one with a donation in their name. Reuse papers to wrap gifts. Be creative with shipping containers and ways of packing the goodies.”...
Going Green @ your library, Dec. 6
Gift ideas for your book group
Neil Hollands writes: “Here’s a holiday dilemma: Do you buy presents for your book group? If you’re particularly well off or the member of a very small book group, this isn’t so difficult. But if you’re like me, making the big bucks in a job that pays like my library job does, even $8 a person for paperbacks might be a budget breaker. Never fear, there are inexpensive gifts to be had, enough to celebrate the season and show you care without denting that battered wallet or purse any further.”...
Book Group Buzz, Dec. 4
Librarian lump of coal gift guide
Travis Jonker writes: “In need of gift ideas for the insufferable librarian in your life? You’re in luck. With help from CafePress and Etsy, the 100 Scope Notes Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has you covered. For example, for librarians who can’t remember what their profession is: The appropriately named ‘Librarian Sweatshirt.’ This pairs nicely with pants that say ‘pants’ on them.”...
100 Scope Notes, Dec. 8
Win $2,500 for your library
Early Word is offering the opportunity for YA librarians to win $2,500 for their libraries by showing off what they do to make kids passionate about reading. Sponsored by Asset Based Thinking for Teens and James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read, the program will donate $2,500 to a library for creating a program that sparks the passion for reading in teens. Submit a program plan by December 31....
EarlyWord: The Publisher/Librarian Connection, Dec. 8
Scott Douglas writes: “There was nothing odd about a mentally challenged man having a borderline nervous breakdown in front of me screaming ‘Coffee!’ The mentally challenged are frequent visitors to the library, and frequent visitors to these dispatches. When something unusual happens in this regard, I usually take a deep breath and find the patron’s life coach. This day, however, the life coach was nowhere to be found, which made the man my problem.”...
Dispatches from a Public Librarian, no. 35 (Dec. 3)
Capistrano Cowgirls win book cart contest at CSLA
The Capistrano Cowgirls of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School library in San Juan Capistrano, California, were named grand champions at the California School Library Association’s Book Cart Drill Team Competition in Ontario November 19. The team, consisting of Karen Angus, Bonnie Bauer, Rosemary DeSa, and Library Director Darla Magaña, entered the arena with book carts decorated with steer heads, saddles, and wagon wheels, performing to the 1988 Escape Club hit, “Wild, Wild West.” Watch the video (2:56)....
St. Margaret’s Tartan Today, Nov. 23; YouTube, Dec. 1
Play “Who Wants to Be a Librarian?”
The telecommunications staff at the Bossier Parish (La.) Community College produced and acted in this quiz-show spoof (5:33) for the campus library as a way to promote its services. Written by Production Coordinator Jonathan Posey, who plays the game-show host....
YouTube, Dec. 2
Top five library videos on YouTube: TV commercial edition
Charlie Thomason writes: “Have you ever seen a television commercial for your local public library? Although not all libraries have them, some have created highly imaginative and entertaining ways of informing people about their services. For our biweekly series of YouTube library videos, we present to you five of the best library commercials on YouTube.” This video (above, 0:30) was the winner of a Gold Addy and the 2004 Ralph Gabbard Television Excellence award....
@ your library, Dec. 4
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19.
Cognotes is the daily paper of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This interactive issue offers a glimpse of the highlights of the Boston meeting.
The Library: An Illustrated History and The Librarian’s Book of Quotes are great gifts for the holidays for all who love reading and libraries. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Building Bridges between Students and Faculty
Buena Casa, Buena Brasa
Deployed to Iraq
Executive Director, Connecticut Library Consortium. CLC is a statewide membership collaborative serving all types of Connecticut libraries by initiating and facilitating cost-effective services to strengthen their ability to serve their users. Responsibilities: Establishing and coordinating organizational goals, program directions, and services; developing and cultivating partnerships with other statewide nonlibrary groups; monitoring actions of the state legislature that may impact upon CLC and serving as its advocate; engaging in budget planning and oversight; hiring and managing all staff and supervising all operations; coordinating membership communications; and marketing CLC to its constituencies....
Digital Library of the Week
The Government Comics Collection at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a database of more than 180 comic books and related items, such as congressional hearings dealing with comics. Through funding from UNL Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences and the Pepsi Foundation, Media Services Librarian Richard Graham worked from fall 2007 to spring 2009 to launch this collection, which continues to grow. Most of the materials he has gathered were created by governments and given to citizens or soldiers as a sort of crash course in foreign culture and relations during critical times, such as the onset of World War I. Included are documents from federal and state governments in the United States as well as comics created by the United Nations, European Union, Canada, and Ghana.
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.
“I see the web and everything it stands for as being an immense improvement over our old arrangements. It’s absurd to sit around sentimentalizing about the decline of the book in the face of the kind of knowledge that the web now gives us, and the research it allows us to do.”
—Terry Belanger, MacArthur Fellow and founder of the Rare Book School, in “The Book Mechanic,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 6.
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Washington, D.C., Dec. 14–15, at:
Mediabistro, E-book Summit, New York City, Dec. 15–16, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. Using several sources, both print and online, I’ve tracked down the type of art media used in many of the Caldecott Medal–winning books, but I haven’t been able to find some of the older ones, so my list is incomplete. Can ALA help with this? I just want the art media for the Caldecott winners, not the honor books, if that helps.
A. ALSC, which is responsible for the Caldecott and Newbery Medals, publishes a book every year that lists the winning titles, The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books. Starting with the 1991 edition, an article appeared by Christine Behrmann containing the art media information for each Caldecott title, both winners and honors, titled, “The Media Used in Caldecott Picture Books: Notes toward a Definitive List.” It originally appeared in the Winter 1988 issue of the Journal of Youth Services in Libraries and was reprinted every year in the back of the book, with changes, updates, and any needed corrections to keep the list up-to-date and accurate. The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: 2008 Edition was the last to reprint an updated version of Behrmann’s original article. Starting with the 2009 edition, the art media information now appears as part of the entry for the book entry itself. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Susan D. Herring, Robert R. Burkhardt, and Jennifer L. Wolfe discuss the Athens State University embedded librarian program, designed to bring the library to online students, in their article “Reaching Remote Students” in the December issue of College & Research Libraries News.
Do Nothing But Read Day. You must read more than one book, put on comfy clothing, wear no shoes, and consume beverages and snacks.
Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas Convention Center / Las Vegas Hilton and the Venetian.
Public Libraries and Access to Justice Training, Austin, Texas. The deadline for teams to apply is December 11.
International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, Hotel Sidi Saler, Valencia, Spain.
Bibliographical Society of America, New York City.
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Design Principles and Practices, University of Illinois, Chicago.
Pop Culture in Libraries, online course hosted by Simmons GSLIS.
Time Management for Librarians, live online course hosted by Lyrasis.
Museums Advocacy Day.
Council on East Asian Libraries, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, Joint Conference, Renaissance Grand Hotel, St. Louis.
Catholic Library Association, Annual Conference, Minneapolis. “Leadership, Direction, Service.”
New Mexico Library Association, the Lodge at Sierra Blanca, Ruidoso. “Evolve, Enrich, Empower: Libraries Transform!”
Computers in Libraries, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.
Texas Library Association, George R. Brown Convention Center, San Antonio.
Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual Conference, Boston. “Revolution and Innovation: At the Hub of Discovery.”
New Jersey Library Association, Ocean Place Resort, Long Branch.
International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists, IAALD 13th World Congress, Montpellier, France.
American Educational Research Association, Annual Meeting, Denver. “Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World.”
Preservation Week. Celebrate collecting and preservation in your community and highlight your institution as a source of preservation information.
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “The Conservation Continuum: Examining the Past, Envisioning the Future.”
Connections 2010, a conference for LIS doctoral students and candidates, University of Western Ontario, London.
Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Annual Conference, Chateau Bourbon, New Orleans.
BookExpo America, Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City.
Canadian Association for Information Science, Annual Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. “Information Science: Synergy through Diversity.”