Appeals court says Vamos can go
Plaintiffs are examining their legal options after a federal appeals court rejected February 5 their challenge of a 2006 order from the board of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools to remove a children’s book about contemporary life in Cuba. The three-judge panel instructed a district court to lift its preliminary injunction on the districtwide removal of Vamos a Cuba and its English-language translation A Visit to Cuba. The ACLU of Florida plans an appeal....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 11
State funding for many public libraries in decline
Forty-one percent of U.S. states report declining state funding for public libraries in fiscal year 2009, according to a survey of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies conducted in December 2008 by ALA. Of these, some 20% anticipate an additional reduction in the current fiscal year. The Southeast has been the hardest hit, with declines as large as 30% in South Carolina and 23.4% in Florida in FY09....
Celebrate Día 2009
Registration is open to request complimentary brochures featuring an exceptional book list with bilingual, Spanish-only, and English titles for children. “Celebrate! ¡Celebremos!” will be used by members of ALSC and Reforma, as well as by libraries across the country, in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on April 30. Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background....
Media interest in libraries the result of PIO’s persistence
The recent work of ALA’s Public Information Office has generated many stories on the role of libraries in tough economic times. Since August, more than 400 articles on the surge in library use have been published in magazines, newspapers, and on websites. PIO has developed publicity tools to help librarians tell their stories in their communities....
Woman’s Day seeks library stories
Woman’s Day magazine has announced a call for entries on a timely topic: using the library to help save money. From February 17 through May 18, women ages 18 and up are invited to send in stories in 700 words or less for a chance to be profiled in the March 2010 issue. Consult the official rules. Librarians can download free tools to help collect local stories from the Campaign for America’s Libraries website. Continuing an eight-year partnership with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries that has generated millions of dollars worth of editorial coverage for libraries, the March 2009 issue of Woman’s Day profiled four women (PDF file) who used the library to improve their health....
ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash
ALA will rock the Art Institute of Chicago for the 10th Anniversary Scholarship Bash, at 7:00 p.m., July 11, during ALA Annual Conference. This will be a fun, interactive evening with music, food, and the most acclaimed French Impressionist collection in the United States. Tickets ($40 in advance) may be purchased at registration or for $45 onsite. All proceeds go toward ALA scholarships, including the Spectrum Scholarships....
Free unconference at ALA Annual
Are you interested in attending a conference program where you have a hand in determining the topics discussed? Have you always wondered what really goes on at an unconference? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives, 75 conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a free unconference July 10 at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Experience cutting-edge theatre and support the CCF
Attendees of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago will have the opportunity to attend an evening of spectacular theater while supporting the ALA Cultural Communities Fund. Tickets are available for a dazzling evening July 10 at the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre. The evening includes a cocktail reception, tickets to 500 Clown and the Elephant Deal, and a talk-back with cast and creative staff following the performance....
Salary survey invitation
Library directors and human resources staff, check your mail. Nearly 4,000 public and academic libraries are being asked to participate in the 2009 ALA-Allied Professional Association Library Salary Survey. This year, the survey asks for salary data for six librarian titles. The deadline is February 27 for completing the web-based survey....
The ALA Committee on Accreditation has announced accreditation actions taken at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Continued accreditation status was granted to LIS programs at the Pratt Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Syracuse University....
ALA Connect update
ALA Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine writes: “The beta test for ALA Connect has ended, and we’re now working on the final issues list before soft-launching the site in March. Overall, the comments we received were positive and encouraging. To help lay further groundwork for the official launch, we’re releasing an official ALA Connect Roadmap (PDF file) to provide some context and outline the service’s potential future.”...
ITTS Update, Feb. 10
Members and their affiliations
Jenny Levine writes: “In working on our ALA Connect project, we learned that at the end of 2008, ALA members have an average of 2.1 participations, which are essentially affiliations with an official ALA group (committees, discussion groups, divisions, events, etc.). If we narrow down the scope to members who have at least one affiliation, 42,000 members have an average of 3.2 participations.”...
ALA Marginalia, Feb. 9
100 years of ALA in Chicago
Larry Nix writes: “ALA will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of its headquarters in the city of Chicago in September 2009. In 2011, it will celebrate the 135th anniversary of its founding. This online exhibit is my modest attempt to acknowledge those two significant milestones. (It would be wonderful, of course, if a major exhibit on the history of ALA could be assembled for ALA’s 135th anniversary.) The exhibit includes postal and other artifacts from my personal collection.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Feb. 9
Youth Media Awards winner calls
Before the Newbery, Caldecott, King, and the other prestigious Youth Media Awards were announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, selection committees crowded into tiny private rooms to call the honorees. This year, AL Focus was invited to capture some of those happy calls and reactions (3:43). See the full list of ALA’s Youth Media Award winners....
Stephanie Vance on advocacy
Stephanie Vance of AdvocacyGuru.com discusses (2:12) the three points ALA members need to keep in mind when advocating for libraries with the Obama administration. Vance talked with AL Focus after speaking at the Washington Office Update at ALA’s 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver....
ALA Council: Who, what, why, and how
Members of ALA Council discuss what the Council actually does and why you should consider getting involved. This video (3:44) features comments from Joseph Egan, Aaron Dobbs, Heidi Dolamore, Courtney Young, John DeSantis, Em Claire Knowles, Amy Harmon, Janet Swan Hill, Terri Kirk, and Nick Buron....
Steve Vander Ark on Harry Potter
American Libraries caught up with Steve Vander Ark, author of The Lexicon: An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction and Related Materials, and his coauthor Lisa Bunker, in the exhibit hall at the 2009 Midwinter Meeting for this video interview (1:52)....
Abraham Lincoln speaks
At a January 24 Scholastic reception during the Midwinter Meeting, President Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by Scholastic Director of Library and Educational Marketing John Mason) interviewed James L. Swanson, Lincoln assassination researcher and author of Manhunt and Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. In this video (3:23), a somewhat surprised Lincoln introduces himself to the crowd, discusses another famous bicentenarian, and comments on some other impressive presidential achievements....
Featured review: Adult books
Humes, Edward. Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionnaires Who Are Saving Our Planet. Mar. 2009. 368p. Ecco, hardcover (978-0-06-135029-0).
An eco baron is the opposite of a robber baron, using talent, gumption, and wealth not for personal gain but for environmental good. Award-winning journalist Humes brings a fluency in complex issues and a love of David-Goliath stories to this illuminating group portrait of embattled visionaries who “are showing the world that nature can be nurtured.” Douglas Tompkins, a Mayflower blueblood, dropped out of high school, cofounded the Esprit clothing empire, then abandoned corporate life to devote himself to preserving the wilds of Patagonia, in spite of vehement resistance. Roxanne Quimby, the artist who founded the company Burt’s Bees, faced vicious opposition to her efforts to preserve the Maine Woods....
New Bookends blog
Renowned middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan have chosen Booklist Online as the best permanent home for their popular blog, Bookends. Since the blog started in October 2008, its enthusiastic readers have enjoyed posts offering reviews, best practices, general advice, professional tips, personal notes, and a good dash of humor....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Award-winning authors at AASL conference
Laurie Halse Anderson, Charles R. Smith Jr., Linda Sue Park, and Richard Peck will appear at the author events planned for the AASL National Conference, “Rev up learning @ your library,” November 5–8 in Charlotte, North Carolina....
YALSA’s 28 days of advocacy
Sarah Debraski writes: “We’re only 10 days into the 28 Days of Advocacy and already you’ve read many inspiring posts in the YALSA Blog on how to be an advocate for libraries and teen services. I hope that many readers have emailed, phoned, or written an elected representative to seek support for libraries. However, I know that it can be intimidating to do those things. Fear not! There are other ways to be an advocate and you might already be doing them.”...
YALSA Blog, Feb. 10
Thom Barthelmess elected ALSC vice-president
Thom Barthelmess, youth services manager at the Austin (Tex.) Public Library, has been elected vice-president/president-elect of ALSC. The vice presidency became vacant in late January with the sudden death of Kate McClelland, who had been elected to the position last spring. ALSC Bylaws call for a vacancy in the office of vice president to be filled by a vote of the Board of Directors, electing from their membership someone in the second or third year of service....
BRASS preconference offers business know-how
“Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day,” a preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, will arm a wide variety of librarians with the know-how needed to address patrons’ basic business questions. Sponsored by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section, the full-day program will be held July 10....
Overcome reference service challenges
Come to the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and find solutions to your reference technology, staffing, collaboration, and assessment challenges in RUSA’s full-day, interactive preconference “Reinvented Reference V,” July 10....
How to find collaborative digitization funding
Seeking sustainable funding options for collaborative digitization projects? Look no further—you’ll get the scoop on where to find them at ASCLA’s full-day “After the Grant Runs Out” preconference, July 10, at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
ASCLA preconference on public service
What do libraries have in common with casinos? To succeed, each must keep their customers happy and keep them coming back. Library directors and management can learn how to cultivate happy customers by attending ASCLA’s half-day “Be My Guest: Customer Service from the Best” preconference, July 10, at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
PLA offers human resources workshop
PLA is offering public librarians an opportunity to learn practical skills and knowledge that will help them better manage their libraries’ staffing and human resources needs. The Strategic HR: Organization and Personnel Management workshop, is scheduled for April 29–30 in Saratoga Springs, New York....
PLA Spring Symposium offers certificates
PLA will provide Spring Symposium attendees with certificates of attendence. These certificates will include the name of the workshop attended as well as the number of hours the attendee spent in the program. Librarians can use these certificates to track continuing education contact hours....
Ray English wins 2009 Hugh C. Atkinson Award
Ray English, Azariah Smith Root director of libraries at Oberlin College, Ohio, has been named the 2009 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. The award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management. English was a primary founder of the ACRL scholarly communication program, serving as chair of the task force that led to the program and also as chair of the Scholarly Communication Committee from its inception until 2006....
Inaugural ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award
Bruce Connolly and Gail Golderman of the Union College Schaffer Library in Schenectady, New York, have been named the 2009 recipients of the ACRL College Libraries Section’s ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award. This annual award, presented for the first time in 2009, honors an ACRL member who has demonstrated a capacity for innovation in working with undergraduates, instructors, or the library community....
2009 EBSS Distinguished Librarian
Gary Lare, former head of the curriculum resources center at the University of Cincinnati (and ventriloquist, right), is the recipient of the 2009 ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section’s Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award. This award honors an academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution as an education or behavioral sciences librarian....
2009 Marta Lange CQ Press Award
Lynne M. Rudasill, associate professor of library administration and global studies librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named the 2009 recipient of the ACRL Law and Political Science Section’s Marta Lange CQ Press Award. The award honors an academic or law librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science....
2009 Oberly Award
The International Rice Research Institute’s Rice Database has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the ACRL Science and Technology Section Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences. The Rice Database (right) is a comprehensive bibliography of technical rice literature covering all aspects of rice research....
Moline Public Library wins Scholastic NLW Grant
The Moline (Ill.) Public Library is the winner of the 2009 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The $3,000 grant, sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by ALA’s Public Awareness Committee, is awarded annually for the best public awareness campaign in support of National Library Week. MPL’s campaign will be a community kaleidoscope of library programs to promote National Library Week, as well as the library’s entire year of programming and promotions....
2009 Notable Children’s Books
ALSC has selected its 2009 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity, and value to children 14 years of age and younger. An annotated list of all of the books is on the ALSC website....
2009 Notable Children’s Videos
ALSC has selected its 2009 list of Notable Children’s Videos. The list includes videos for children 14 years of age and younger that exhibit especially commendable quality, show respect for children’s intelligence and imagination, and reflect and encourage the interests of children in exemplary ways. An annotated list of the videos, including recommended age levels, is on the ALSC website....
2009 Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC has selected its 2009 list of Notable Children’s Recordings. The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. An annotated list of the recordings is on the ALSC website....
The 2009 Amelia Bloomer List
The Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table has announced this year’s Amelia Bloomer List, featuring books for young readers, ages birth through 18, that contain significant feminist content—not just cardboard “feisty” or “spunky” girls and women, but tales of those who have broken barriers and have fought to change their situations and their environment. These 68 books for children and youth comprise the best feminist books published in the last year and a half....
Amelia Bloomer Project, Feb. 10
The 2009 Rainbow List
Titles in the 2009 Rainbow List, a joint undertaking of ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table, were announced February 2. Featuring well-written and well-illustrated titles with authentic and significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, or questioning (GLBTQ) content for youth from birth through age 18, this year’s bibliography presents 34 outstanding titles, published in the last 18 months and representing a broad range of experience....
The Rainbow List, Feb. 2
2009 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens
Valerie H. Nicholson is the winner of YALSA’s 2009 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens. The award provides $500 to the recipient and $500 to the recipient’s library. Nicholson is the advisor for the Eva Perry Mock Printz Book Club (above) for Teens at the Eva Perry Regional branch of the Wake County (N.C.) Public Libraries....
2009 ALSC Distinguished Service Award
Jane Botham is the 2009 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award. A member of ALSC since 1957, she has served on numerous ALSC and ALA committees. Botham served as the ALSC president during a time of transition and helped to strengthen the organization with her strong leadership skills. In her retirement, Botham continues to act as a mentor and friend to younger librarians....
2009 Maureen Hayes Award winner
ALSC has awarded the 2009 Maureen Hayes Award to the Fair Oaks branch of the Redwood City (Calif.) Public Library, partnered with the Garfield Elementary Charter School. The award will provide funds for the library to host a visit from award-winning author Pam Muñoz Ryan....
2009 Penguin Young Readers Group Award
ALSC has awarded four children’s librarians with the 2009 Penguin Young Readers Group Award. The award consists of a $600 grant, sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, for winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference....
2009 BWI Summer Reading Grant
ALSC has awarded the Madison (Ohio) Public Library with the 2009 BWI Summer Reading Program Grant. The $3,000 grant, donated by Book Wholesalers, Inc., provides financial assistance to a public library for developing outstanding summer reading programs for children....
2009 Bechtel Fellowship winner
ALSC has awarded the 2009 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to library media specialist Linda Martin from Gainesville, Georgia. The fellowship is designed to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville....
2009 VOYA Frances Henne Research Grant
Amy Alessio, teen coordinator at the Schaumburg Township (Ill.) District Library, and Marc Aronson, editor and blogger for School Library Journal, are the 2009 recipients of YALSA’s Voice of Youth Advocates Frances Henne Research Grant. The grant provides $1,000 in seed money for small-scale projects that encourage research responding to the division’s research agenda....
PROSE Award winners
The Association of American Publishers has announced the winners of the 2008 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (the PROSE Awards). More than 35 awards, including the top prize, the R. R. Hawkins Award, were presented February 5 at the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The Hawkins Award went to Harvard University Press for The Race Between Education and Technology by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz....
Association of American Publishers, Feb. 5
Plainfield to keep its Homer another three years
The Plainfield (N.J.) Public Library dates to a gilded era when the grand mansions on the neighboring blocks were home to a concentration of wealth—tycoons, industrialists, financiers—almost unmatched in the state, and the walls were hung with the art they bequeathed to it. The library decided to auction an oil painting by artist Winslow Homer donated in 1931, but the bottom fell out of the art market when it went up for sale in 2008, and the painting failed to sell for the minimum price....
New York Times, Feb. 5
Stop me if you’ve heard this one
Ann Banks writes: “I was raised on Depression stories. Hearing them again and again, I became fascinated by the role that stories play during hard times—the way they seem to strengthen people, offering a bulwark against loneliness and feelings of personal failure. That is how I came to find myself spending a year in a dimly lit storage room in the Library of Congress, sorting through thousands of interviews with ordinary Americans telling of how they survived the Great Depression.”...
Newsweek, Feb. 16
DNA to be tested on Salt Lake library bomb
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has asked lawyers in the case of a man accused of setting off a small bomb at the downtown Salt Lake City library to negotiate how they want testing to be conducted on DNA residue found on the device. Defense lawyers for Thomas James Zajac, who stands accused of setting off the device in September 2006, want an independent laboratory to do the test, while prosecutors want the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to handle the matter....
Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 6
Digital archivists now in demand
The people entrusted to find a place for the wealth of digital information are known as digital asset managers, or sometimes digital archivists and digital preservation officers. Whatever they are called, demand for them is expanding. One of them is Jacob Nadal (right), the preservation officer at the University of California, Los Angeles....
New York Times, Feb. 7
Abe’s portrait in Post-It notes and on a Harley
Self-described “Post-it note artist” Chris Killham is using 16,200 of the 3-by-3-inch squares to create two portraits of Abraham Lincoln to be placed on both sides of the bridge connecting the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. The library has also unveiled a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that Dave Blanchette, communications manager for the library, had customized. Blanchette thought Lincoln’s days traveling on horse as an attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit could be represented by an “iron horse” to travel the PR route....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, Feb. 4, 10; WBBM-TV, Feb. 6
Bookstore and library join forces in Florida
It might seem odd for a private bookstore to team up to help a public library system, but some see it as a match made in heaven. The Barnes & Noble bookstore in Wesley Chapel, Florida, is only a few months old but has already opened its doors to host a February book fair on behalf of the Pasco County Library System. Proceeds raised during the event will benefit the Pasco Library Foundation, and library staff will host special events at the bookstore during the fair....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Feb. 7
Go back to the Top
Open source open letter to Obama
Ryan Paul writes: “A group of software vendors published an open letter February 10 to President Obama encouraging the new administration to adopt open source software in the government’s IT infrastructure. The letter says that open source software can reduce costs when implementing government technology initiatives in areas like health care and security. The fact that the letter has been authored by commercial open source software vendors, however, makes it seem a bit more like an advertisement than a sincere attempt to guide open source policy.”...
Ars Technica, Feb. 10
Windows 7 versions: What you need to know
Although Microsoft has yet to reveal the ship date of its Windows 7 operating system, the company did release the
first beta version in January. On February 3,
Microsoft revealed there would be six versions of Windows 7, but consumers will only be able to buy either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional at retail—and deliberately so; Microsoft wants to limit the confusion by only putting these two versions in front of consumers....
PC Magazine, Feb. 4
100 web tools to help you get organized
Alisa Miller writes: “Turn to these internet tools to help you with such tasks as note-taking, bookmarking websites, highlighting important text during online research, creating mind maps, tracking time, keeping up with appointments, collaborating with others, and managing projects.”...
Online College Blog
Stupid human tricks: Long URLs and tags
John C. Dvorak writes: “Search engine optimization has turned into a big business, and from what I can tell it’s the modern version of snake oil. Let’s start with my biggest beef. Long URLs are just crap and stupid. They are impossible to post anywhere or send in an email because they get concatenated. You have to know to snip them with tinyURL or snurl. This stinks. I am going to turn them off and mock anyone using them and anyone who tells me to use them.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 10
EBSCOhost Integrated Search
This spring, EBSCO Publishing plans to introduce a federated search feature that will allow users to search EBSCO databases as well as other database suppliers, OPACs, and publisher packages. EBSCOhost Integrated Search will also let librarians set up any database to be included, customize the user experience for external databases, and generate usage reports from all sources....
EBSCO Publishing, Jan. 22
New York Times opens Best Sellers API
Paul Robbins writes: “The New York Times Best Sellers API gives users quick access to current and past bestseller lists in 11 different categories, such as hardcover nonfiction and paperback mass-market fiction. The initial launch offers every weekly list since June 2008, and in the coming months, we plan to add data going back to the 1930s.” The API could be used by librarians in their OPACs or websites. Meanwhile, Reading Radar is a new mashup using Amazon and the New York Times Bestseller Lists....
New York Times, Jan. 27; Reading Radar
Google Book Search goes mobile
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “Google Book Search Mobile is a very handy new version of the Google site that lets users search through and read 1.5 million books on their phones’ browsers. The books are all scanned as images, but for the new mobile version Google has used OCR to grab the text on the pages.” This text-only feature will allow users to download printed material more quickly over wireless networks....
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 5; New York Times, Feb. 5
Kindle 2 slims down, adds muscle, and talks
Amazon released the second iteration of its Kindle e-book reader February 9, a device that will hold up to 1,500 books, boasts 25% better battery life, and includes a “talk to me” feature that reads books aloud. The $359 Kindle 2 will ship February 24. Amazon has added buttons to make it easier to flip pages, and a new five-way controller facilitates note-taking and highlighting text. Kindle 2 definitions, pulled from the New Oxford American Dictionary, appear instantly at the bottom of the page. Amazon announced its new product in the auditorium of New York City’s Morgan Library. Gizmodo has a hands-on analysis....
PC Magazine, Feb. 9; Ars Technica, Feb. 9; Gizmodo, Feb. 9
Librarians at New York Comic Con
Molly Phelan writes: “More public libraries have been adding manga and graphic novels to their collections, and in return those libraries have seen a boost in circulation rates. Every year, New York Comic Con welcomes librarians with programming geared just for them. Professionals register for free, which means librarians and educators can spend the first day of the Con attending workshops, seeing what’s new in the publishing world, picking up free loot on the floor for their library patrons, and gawking at the costumed fans.”...
PLA Blog, Feb. 4
UClick could make paper comics obsolete
Ray Wert writes: “It’s a bit of a stretch to say UClick wants to kill paper comic books, but after taking an in-depth look at their iPhone app, they might actually accomplish that. In a session here at New York Comic Con, we had a chance to hear a little bit more about this not-so-well-known comic distribution company. UClick works with comic creators to transfer the medium from a page-by-page format to a more iPhone-friendly panel-by-panel format, then creates and distributes the one-issue apps you can buy on iTunes.”...
io9, Feb. 8
BookExpo America moves shows to New York City
On February 10, BookExpo America announced that the annual book industry trade show will be held at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center through 2012. The show was previously scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and Las Vegas in 2011. Beginning in 2010, BEA will also feature a shortened, midweek schedule....
Bookselling This Week, Feb. 10
2009 Poetry Month poster
Each April, the Academy of American Poets creates and distributes—for free—almost 200,000 copies of the current National Poetry Month posters to U.S. schools, libraries, bookstores, and community centers to help promote the month-long celebration and to increase poetry awareness. This year’s poster was created by renowned illustrator and graphic designer Paul Sahre....
American Academy of Poets, Feb. 4
Top 10 most overrated novels
Shane Dayton writes: “There are many titles given to great literary works, and many awards to recognize truly great literature. This list concentrates on the other side of the board: those books that are considered classics, but are in fact heavily overrated. At least one book (see #10) is a good one and a fun read, but it’s rated way above the actual quality of writing. Here is the list.”...
The List Universe, Feb. 10
James Patterson is the UK’s most borrowed author
Prolific American thriller writer James Patterson has retained his position as the UK’s most borrowed author for
a second year. According to the annual figures on public library lending released by Public Lending
Right February 6, titles by Patterson circulated more than 1.5 million times between July 2007
and June 2008. The most popular individual title overall is J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly
London Evening Standard, Feb. 6
President Obama says it again
American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel writes: “You probably heard it for yourself, but President Barack Obama did it again February 9. He said ‘libraries.’ At his first prime-time press conference since taking office, he addressed a nervous nation about creating new jobs, adding, ‘They’ll be jobs creating the 21st-century classrooms, libraries, and labs for millions of children across America.’ ‘He hears us,’ I thought to myself, and he hears ALA.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Feb. 10
Benton Foundation: Broadband a necessity
As Congress debates an economic stimulus package that includes funding to boost the number of people in the United States with broadband internet access, at least one organization says access alone isn’t enough—and it’s urging the Obama administration to adopt strategies to stimulate broadband demand. The Benton Foundation issued its urgent call to action—Action Plan for America: Using Technology and Innovation to Address Our Nation’s Critical Challenges—in 2008 before Congress drafted its stimulus legislation....
eSchool News, Feb. 10
New York libraries serve as job centers
The New York Library Association announced the results February 9 of a recent survey showing that 80% of the libraries in the state have helped someone search for a job in the past three months. The poll also showed that 75% of libraries have helped a patron access a public assistance program during the same time period. However, Gov. David Paterson’s 2009–10 executive budget calls for reduced state funding for library services by 18%, which would reduce Library Aid to $80.5 million, a level not seen since 1993....
New York Library Association, Feb. 9
StumbleUpon hits 7 million users
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “What’s got a button to push, knows how to make money while changing the world, and is read all over? StumbleUpon! The social discovery network just passed 7 million users, according to its site. That’s about 50% bigger than Twitter, though Stumble is rarely talked about and never promoted. If you haven’t used StumbleUpon before, here’s how it works.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 6
Google and the future of books
Robert Darnton writes: “For the last four years, Google has been digitizing millions of books, including many covered by copyright, from the collections of major research libraries, and making the texts searchable online. After lengthy negotiations, the publishing community and Google agreed on a settlement that will have a profound effect on the way books reach readers for the foreseeable future. Those of us who are responsible for research libraries have a clear view of a common goal: We want to open up our collections and make them available to readers everywhere.”...
New York Review of Books, Feb. 12
A dirty little secret
Debra Lau Whelan writes: “When Barry Lyga finished writing his second YA novel, he knew there’d be trouble. After all, Boy Toy was about a 12-year-old who has sex with a beautiful teacher twice his age. Soon Lyga started hearing stories about librarians who loved the book but refused to recommend or buy it, just in case someone complained. Self-censorship. It’s a dirty secret that no one in the profession wants to talk about or admit practicing. Yet everyone knows some librarians bypass good books—those with literary merit or that fill a need in their collections—and it happens in more public and K–12 libraries than you think.”...
School Library Journal, Feb. 1
Blogs: Shiny toys or useful tools? (PDF file)
Walt Crawford writes: “We’re out of the shiny new toy phase for blogs (and
wikis). I’m guessing most libraries these days will only
start blogs after making reasonably certain the blogs
will serve real purposes and will be updated regularly.
I’m guessing very few library people start blogs in the
expectation of becoming rich and famous. With realistic expectations, blogs
can serve librarians and libraries well. I don’t see that
Cites & Insights 9, no. 3 (Feb.): 1–9
A cataloger’s guide to the OCLC website
Rich Stewart offers a brief guided tour of the varied content found on OCLC’s website in the Librarian’s Toolbox, including such tools as technical bulletins, system alerts, and authority record change requests....
Three Catalogers Walk into a Blog, Feb. 8
$60,000 history competition for students
High-school and middle-grades students have until March 30 to enter ABC-CLIO’s “History Uncovered” research competition. The reference publisher will award more than $60,000 in cash and prizes in this opportunity for teams of students, social studies teachers, and school library media specialists to participate in a meaningful competitive endeavor that emphasizes research skills along with historical and critical thinking. Teams should visit the competition website to register....
Civil War relic discovered at Providence Public Library
Rick Ring writes: “In a wooden crate, beneath a pile of books, we found an assortment of papers which have apparently not been touched for nearly a century. The most riveting item was in a small envelope, which bore the following words written in ink: ‘Piece of shirt collar worn by Maj. Sullivan Ballou when killed at Bull Run.’ Inside the envelope was a strip of cloth—the shirt collar in question.” Ballou was the letter-writer made famous in Ken Burns’s Civil War documentary....
Notes for Bibliophiles, Feb. 4
Springer launches free site to plot research trends
Springer Science+Business has launched AuthorMapper, a free analytical tool for discerning trends, patterns, and subject experts within scientific research. The tool searches over three million articles from Springer journals and delivers a variety of analyses of the search terms, including publication frequency by date, geographic location, and institution. Results are displayed in charts, a timeline graph, and a map powered by Google Maps....
Springer Science+Business, Feb. 2
ARL reviews its strategic plan
The Association of Research Libraries is reviewing its strategic plan in 2009. The process will guide ARL in setting priorities and organizing its activities for the next several years. Recently, ARL senior staff conducted an environmental scanning exercise to identify trends that will affect research libraries. The report, Transformational Times (PDF file), looks at the future of scholarly communication, public policies affecting research libraries, and the library’s role in research, teaching, and learning....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 5
SOLINET, PALINET merge to form Lyrasis (PDF file)
The voting representatives of SOLINET and PALINET approved a merger of the two organizations with a “yes” vote of more than 95%. The effective date of the merger is April 1. The name Lyrasis was inspired by the constellation of Lyra, host to one of the galaxy’s brightest stars (Vega); the suffix -sis can designate a process, often associated with change....
PALINET, Feb. 5
Michael Rosen defends British libraries
Children’s author Michael Rosen appeared on the BBC television show The Daily Politics January 27 to support public libraries in the United Kingdom. In this clip (2:07), Rosen says: “Libraries support our needs for information and they support our needs for the imagination. They are our treasure houses. We cannot let them go, but we need to do a lot of work to make books central to the way we live because it is through reading that we access higher forms of thought.”...
The Daily Politics, Jan. 27
What people in D.C. are searching for
The District of Columbia Public Library staff put together this video (1:34) that displays, word-cloud style, what patrons searched for in the public catalog over a four-day period. Created with Wordle, and with music by Stereolab. Another video (1:17) demonstrates five days of searching....
Vimeo, Jan. 28–29
Larry the Loud Librarian: Episode 1
Larry is the assistant librarian and intern supervisor. He cares much about his job and about the library. He works hard at making sure every aspect of the library runs smoothly. However, despite his great desire to run a successful library he has one great flaw. He is too loud. Episode 1 (1:19) was produced, written, and acted by the Wacky Canoe comedy troupe, with Ben Coles as Larry, and the Halton Hills (Ontario) Public Library as the library. And then, there is Episode 2....
YouTube, Jan. 28
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Auditorium Speakers will include James Van Praagh, Michael Connelly, Wanda Urbanska, Cokie Roberts, Junot Díaz, and Melba Pattillo Beals.
Reviews in Booklist Online Exclusives complement Booklist’s already extensive print coverage, allowing us to both review some subject areas in greater depth and weigh in more quickly on titles not released for review in advance of publication. Occasionally, we write new reviews of older books, too, to offer fresh perspective on a familiar work. These titles are recommended, with qualifications as noted, for purchase by public and school libraries; for further information, please consult the Booklist selection policy. See the February 9 issue here. NEW! From Booklist.
Protect library funding in the Economic Stimulus Package. The ALA Washington Office asks every single library supporter to start sending messages and calling congressional offices so that we can keep important library provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This week, the Senate and House versions of the economic stimulus package will go to conference to reconcile these pieces of legislation, and your calls and emails will help protect this funding. There are pros and cons of each version of the stimulus, and we need to protect the parts that benefit our communities.
Gaming @ your library
The Minneapolis-Hennepin merger
Testing the Web 2.0 waters
I Love My Librarian awards
The ALA Store is new and improved. Stop by for a visit to experience the new features and shop for ALA Graphics and ALA Editions products. An attractive new interface, a wishlist feature, and purchase order printing capabilities make the new ALA Store easier to navigate and use. The site features product descriptions for books with handy links to LibraryThing, WorldCat, and bookmarking sites like Delicious, as well as an RSS feed that alerts you to new products. Please note that accounts from the old ALA Store site are no longer valid; you will need to create a new user account for the new site.
Find a job in a Florida library with Florida Library Jobs.org. Search for jobs. Upload your résumé for future jobs. Florida Library Jobs, a service of the State Library and Archives of Florida, provides a searchable listing of job openings for library positions in Florida libraries that require a graduate degree from an ALA-accredited program. It also includes a résumé-posting service for persons with a master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program seeking positions in Florida’s libraries....
Digital Library of the Week
The Postcard Collection of J. Stewart Roberts Associates, Architects, of Somerville, Massachusetts, originated with Stewart Roberts, who began collecting cards depicting New England library buildings for which he had provided architectural services. Christian Schaller, an associate with the firm in Chicago, has added his own collection of Midwest library postcards. The collection has recently been expanded to include two more library postcard collections: The Nelle Webb Collection, of the Bloomington (Ill.) Public Library, includes 260 library postcards from 1900 to the 1930s; and the collection of Judith Holliday, a former Cornell University fine arts librarian who collected cards mailed from students during their travels. Parts of the Nelle Webb Collection are missing, and the firm is actively working to reassemble this collection, physically or at least virtually if images can be shared.
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 choose what I wear each morning by whether it will fuel someone’s dirty librarian fantasy.”
—From a postcard sent to PostSecret, an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard, Feb. 8.
AL on Twitter? Follow American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts on Twitter.
Laura Kohl and Maura Keating describe their adventures implementing a “Text a Librarian” reference service at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, in the February 2009 issue of ACRL’s College & Research Libraries News.
South Carolina Book Festival, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge, Arlington, Virginia.
Teen Tech Week. “Press Play @ your library.”
ACRL National Conference, Seattle, Washington. “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend.”
Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, The Coliseum, St. Petersburg.
Long Island Book and Ephemera Fair, Garden City Field House, Garden City, New York.
PLA Spring Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee. “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend.”
Albuquerque Antiquarian Book Fair, University of New Mexico Conference Center, Albuquerque.
New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York City.
Akron Antiquarian Book Fair, John S. Knight Center, Akron, Ohio.
National Library Week.
Sixth Annual Copyright Conference, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. “Star E-Wars.”
Vermont Antiquarian Spring Book Fair, Sheraton Hotel, South Burlington, Vermont.
El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros.
LITACamp, Dublin, Ohio.
National Library Legislative Day.
4th Annual International Conference on Open Repositories, Georgia Institute of Technology Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta.