Topeka board votes to restrict four titles
The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library board voted 5–3 February 19 to restrict minors’ access to four books about sex, although the trustees failed to specify just what that restriction would entail. The titles challenged by complainant Kim Borchers in November 2008 are The Joy of Sex, The Lesbian Kama Sutra, The Joy of Gay Sex, and Sex for Busy People: The Art of the Quickie for Lovers on the Go. Borchers, who represents a group called Kansans for Common Sense, had contended in her statement of concern that the materials were harmful to minors under state law....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 20
House rehashes bill blocking free access to research
The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, which would block free access to research conducted by taxpayer-funded organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, was introduced February 3 in the House by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). H.R. 801 duplicates word-for-word H.R. 6845, which was shelved at the end of 2008. The legislation essentially bars government agencies from requiring authors to transfer their copyright in order to receive public funding for their research....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 20
ALA thanks Obama for openness and transparency
ALA President Jim Rettig sent a letter (PDF file) to President Obama February 23, thanking him for his commitment to openness and transparency in government. Rettig’s letter states that librarians believe an informed citizenry is essential for a democratic form of government and access to government information is a public right. Libraries also serve as important local points of access for government information. ALA Council passed a resolution commending Obama during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver....
District Dispatch, Feb. 24
Nine dynamic authors to speak in Chicago
The Auditorium Speaker Series at Annual Conference in Chicago, July 9–15, will feature nine distinguished authors. This year’s lineup includes Gregory Maguire (right), James Van Praagh, Michael Connelly, Wanda Urbanska, Junot Díaz, Melba Pattillo Beals, Lisa Scottoline, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Cokie Roberts. Maguire, the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, and Wicked, will kick off the series the morning of July 11....
Copyright lessons for the digital age
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and AASL, along with the National Council of Teachers of English, have announced the rerelease of copyright lesson plans for middle school students, Grades 6–8. New features include models of collaborative teaching between classroom teachers and school library media specialists and connections to AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner. The lessons are available on the ReadWriteThink website....
District Dispatch, Feb. 25
Libraries to be highlighted on CNN Money
The efforts that libraries make to help patrons obtain accurate financial information will be highlighted on CNN Money, February 28, at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. ALA President Jim Rettig will appear. A longer web video version of the story as well as a CNN web article will be posted following the broadcast....
Next ALA Connections Salon: Marshall Breeding
The next installment in the series of ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be an online discussion with Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University Libraries. It will take place in OPAL on March 5....
Core competences defined
At the Midwinter Meeting in Denver, ALA Council passed a resolution (PDF file) defining the core competences of librarianship. The document defines the basic knowledge to be possessed by all persons graduating from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information studies....
Concern over Gaza conflict
ALA has called for the protection of libraries and archives in both the Gaza Strip and Israel. The Association urged the U.S. government to support the United States Committee of the Blue Shield in upholding the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and called on the administration to work for a permanent peace in the region....
Featured review: Books for youth
Lloyd, Saci. The Carbon Diaries 2015. Apr. 2009. 336p. Holiday, hardcover (978-0-8234-2190-9).
Laura Brown, a 16-year-old Londoner and punk rocker, documents a year in the very near future, 2015, in diary form. She refers to recent massive storms brought on by climate change that have ravaged the planet and led Britain to be the first country to try “carbon rationing.” Each person is allotted a prohibitively small measure of carbon points to be used each month, essentially obsoleting such luxuries as air travel or even heating one’s home. Laura navigates the increasingly punishing circumstances with a perfectly intoned half-bitter, half-astonished teenager’s voice, complete with strains of near-future slang, and punctuates her diary with newspaper clippings and other taped-in bits of cultural detritus. As she weathers staggering uncertainty, kill-me-now family crises, and a timelessly confusing dating scene, she finds a release valve in music and her mates....
Top 10 graphic novels for youth
Ian Chipman writes: “What a difference a year makes! While last year’s Top 10 list didn’t have a single title recommended for readers under Grade 6, this year’s list demonstrates the growing body of work available for emerging readers. Balancing those are some of the most innovative offerings we’ve seen yet for older readers. This truly all-ages list, representing the best comics reviewed within the past 12 months, has something for everyone.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
AASL Learning4Life training summit
AASL will host an all-day training summit, Learning4Life: Training4Trainers, on July 9 in Chicago prior to the ALA Annual Conference. The summit is designed to train state-level coordinators in the development of customized state-level implementation strategies for AASL’s standards and guidelines. The cost will be partially offset by a generous donation by Verizon Foundation/Thinkfinity.org....
AASL launches website redesign
AASL has launched a new website design to highlight its exceptional tools and resources for school library media specialists. New features of the website include two new sections—Standards and Guidelines, and Research and Statistics—that hold the division’s most sought-after tools, Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and results from the School Libraries Count! longitudinal study....
Download Teen Tech Week PSAs
Known as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, Tom Kenny lends his support to teens, libraries, and YALSA through downloadable public service announcements announcing Teen Tech Week, March 8–14. The PSAs are courtesy of Galaxy Press, a 2009 Teen Tech Week Promotional Partner....
ALCTS preconferences in Chicago
Five exciting and informative preconferences are being offered by ALCTS at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Topics include cataloging digital media, e-book formats, new cataloging concepts, XSLT for librarians, and metadata standards....
Two LITA workshops in Chicago
LITA is offering two full-day educational workshops July 10 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The topics cover creating mashups for library websites and taking better photos....
RUSA programs at Annual Conference
Librarians and library staff from all types of libraries will find a program of interest among the RUSA offerings at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. A comprehensive list of program descriptions, sponsoring groups, and speakers is available on the RUSA website....
ASCLA programs at Annual Conference
ASCLA programs at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference will address services to special populations, collaboration, and resource sharing. Specific topics include large print, multiple intelligences, hospice services, and the future of LSTA grants....
Research symposium to be held in Charlotte
The AASL Educators of Library Media Specialists Section
will present its first research symposium at the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition, November 5–8, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The topic for the symposium will be AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, released in 2007....
Libraries, literacy, and gaming grants
ALA will award ten $5,000 grants to libraries that demonstrate creativity, capacity, sustainability, and a strong commitment to literacy-related gaming services for youth. The winning libraries will receive ongoing support and technical assistance from a team of nationally recognized library gaming experts. Winners will be announced during National Library Week, April 12–18. The grant application is available online. The deadline to apply is March 20....
Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award winner
Trudi E. Jacobson, head of user education programs at the State University of New York at Albany, is the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. The honor recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment....
Women’s Studies Significant Achievement winner
Ken Middleton, user services librarian at Middle Tennessee State University, is the winner of the 2009 ACRL Women’s Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Woman’s Studies Librarianship. The award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, honors a significant or one-time contribution to women’s studies librarianship....
Community College Leadership Award winner
ACRL has selected Kenley Neufeld, library director at Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College, as the 2009 winner of the Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award. The award honors significant achievement in advocacy of learning resources, as well as leadership in professional organizations that support the missions of community, junior, and technical colleges....
Community College Program Award winner
ACRL has chosen Diana Fitzwater, reference librarian at the College of DuPage, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, to receive the 2009 Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Achievement Award. Fitzwater was praised for single-handedly taking on the role of information literacy expert on campus....
Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award winner
The ALCTS Acquisitions Section has selected Trisha Davis, head of serials, electronic resources, and rights management at Ohio State University, to receive the 2009 Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. The award is given to a librarian to recognize contributions and outstanding leadership in the field of acquisitions....
Banks/Harris Preservation Award winner
Barclay W. Ogden, head of the preservation department at the University of California Berkeley Library, is the recipient of the 2009 Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award. The award recognizes the contribution of a professional preservation specialist who has been active in the field of preservation or conservation for library or archival materials....
LBI Cunha/Swartzburg Award winner
Ann Russell, recently retired director of the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2009 LBI George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award. Russell is honored in recognition of her contributions to cooperative preservation during her 30-year tenure in the field of library preservation....
Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award winner
Cindy Hepfer, head of the electronic periodicals management department of the University at Buffalo, is the recipient of the 2009 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is sponsored by EBSCO Information Services and honors the recipient with $3,000....
Best of LRTS Award winners
Karen Schmidt, Wendy Allen Shelburne, and David Vess have been awarded the 2009 Best of LRTS Award for the article, “Approaches to Selection, Access, and Collection Development in the Web World,” published in Library Resources & Technical Services 52, no. 3 (2008): 184–191....
LITA Library Hi Tech Award winner
Meredith Farkas, head of instructional initiatives at Norwich University in Vermont, has been named the winner of the 2009 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating to educate practitioners in library and information technology....
PLA feature article contest winners
PLA has named Julie Scordato and James Keller the 2009 winners of its annual feature article contest. The contest awards cash prizes to the authors of the best feature articles written by public librarians and published in the previous year’s issues of Public Libraries magazine....
Samuel Lazerow Fellowship winner
Sara Marcus, electronic resource and web librarian at Queensborough Community College, has been selected to receive ACRL’s Samuel Lazerow Fellowship for Research in Technical Services or Acquisitions. Marcus was selected for her research project on the change of terms and terminology over several editions of the Sears List of Subject Headings....
Coutts Nijhoff International Study Grant winner
Gordon Bruce Anderson, Scandinavian and Slavic studies librarian at the University of Minnesota, has been selected to receive the ACRL Western European Studies Section’s Coutts Nijhoff International West European Specialist Study Grant. The grant provides $3,000 to support a research trip to Europe....
ALSC seeks host site for 2010 Arbuthnot Lecture
ALSC is making applications available to institutions interested in hosting the 2010 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, to be delivered by Kathleen T. Horning, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center. The deadline is May 1....
Get a ticket for Walter Dean Myers
Tickets to attend the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, featuring Walter Dean Myers, renowned author of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for children and young adults, are now available. The lecture, scheduled for April 18, is hosted this year by the Langston Hughes Library of the Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee....
Celebrating the Coretta Scott King awards
To celebrate Black History Month, the ALA Public Information Office and Campaign for America’s Libraries blog is highlighting the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and its 40th anniversary celebration. Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney, vice president and executive editor of Scholastic, calls the awards “40 and Fabulous,” in the February 1 issue of Booklist....
Visibility @ your library, Feb. 24
Winners of Teen Tech Week Mini Grants
YALSA has announced the winners of its 20 Teen Tech Week Mini Grants. The grants, funded by the Verizon Foundation, give each winning library $450 cash and $50 worth of official Teen Tech Week products to offer inventive activities, resources, and services to celebrate Teen Tech Week, March 8–14....
Great Books Giveaway winners
YALSA has named Lincoln County Public Libraries in Libby, Montana, the winner of its annual Great Books Giveaway. The library will receive one ton of books, audiobooks, and other materials from items publishers and producers donated to YALSA in 2008. There are also two runners-up....
Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifetime Learners
YALSA announced its 2009 Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifetime Learners list. Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for several audiences: students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians. The 2009 list offers titles in five categories: arts and humanities, history and cultures, literature and language arts, science and technology, and social sciences....
Matching Books for Babies grants
In partnership with department-store chain Nordstrom, ALTAFF will award 20 grants of $500 each to match $1,000 raised by selected Friends of the Library groups, women’s groups, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations for purchasing Books for Babies kits. Books for Babies is a national literacy program that acquaints parents of newborns with the important role they play in the development of their children. The deadline for the first round of grants is April 1....
Apply for a Gordon M. Conable Research Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation has opened applications for the 2009 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend ALA’s 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. The recipient will attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom programs at conference and write a report. The deadline for applications is March 20....
SirsiDynix ALA-APA Award winners
The ALA–Allied Professional Association has named the winners of the 2009 SirsiDynix ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. The winners are the Anderson County (Tenn.) Library Board; Lynn Sutton of Wake Forest University Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Mohamed Ismail of the Integrated Care Society in Cairo, Egypt....
A library volunteer since 1941
The Friends and trustees of the Williamson County Public Library in Franklin, Tennessee, recognized Marie Hardison Jordan on February 19 for her many years of public service. Jordan, 80, has been a volunteer at the library since she was 12 and Friends president from 1996 to 2008. State Sen. Jack Johnson read a House joint resolution signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to honor and recognize Jordan’s contributions, and County Mayor Rogers Anderson proclaimed February 19, 2009, as “Marie Jordan Day.”...
Nashville Tennessean, Feb. 20
ALISE/OCLC Research Grants
OCLC and the Association for Library and Information Science Education have awarded research grants to Kathryn La Barre and Carol Tilley of the University of Illinois, Michael Khoo of Drexel University, and Bill Kules of the Catholic University of America. The grants were presented in January at the ALISE awards reception in Denver. The grants support research that advances librarianship and information science....
OCLC, Feb. 23
South Carolina teen library user appears at Obama speech
Ty’Sheoma Bethea (right), the teenage girl invited by President Barack Obama to sit beside the first lady during his February 24 speech to Congress, went to the Dillon County (S.C.) Library earlier in the month to use a computer to compose a letter to the U.S. Congress in order to tell them how students today are committed to their education and determined to change the world. Inspired by a Chicago Tribune reporter profiling the deteriorating conditions at the J. V. Martin Junior High School that she attends, Bethea’s letter ultimately made its way to the White House. Obama read a portion of her letter to Congress, including her phrase, “We are not quitters.”...
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 25; District Dispatch, Feb. 25
Does social networking produce cognitive side effects?
British physiologist Susan Greenfield warns that social-network sites risk infantilizing the 21st-century mind, leaving it characterized by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize, and a shaky sense of identity. Greenfield, professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln College, told the House of Lords that children’s experiences on social-networking sites “are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Feb. 24
Broken sprinkler soaks art library
The University of Iowa’s art collection can’t catch a break, particularly from water. In 2008, floodwater devastated university buildings in Iowa City and forced the relocation of much of the art facilities and collection. Early on February 19, a frozen sprinkler head burst, soaking a collection of 2,400 art books in the Art Building West (above) for about three hours. The wet books are in the library on the second floor....
Iowa City Press-Citizen, Feb. 21
New law does not require book disposal
Diane Petryk Bloom writes: “No matter what you’ve heard, children’s books published before 1985 do not have to be destroyed [or quarantined]. There’s buzz all over the web giving this misinformation. Yes, a consumer protection law passed by Congress last summer cracks down on hazardous materials in children’s products, particularly lead and phthalates. But there is apparently good reason to fear that just tossing books printed in 1984 or earlier would deprive future generations of some great literature.”...
Chicago Examiner, Feb. 23; Nebraska City News-Press, Feb. 20
Parent wants war novel removed from school libraries
Shirley Waller has complained that the book her daughter got from the Reese Road Elementary School library in Columbus, Georgia, has too much profanity. She has asked that the book be removed from all school libraries in Muscogee County. In her formal complaint, Waller listed 19 terms she found objectionable (right) in My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, a novel about an Anglican family in colonial Connecticut....
Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, Feb. 20
Galbraith collection donated to Marlboro College
The private library of world-famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006) and his wife, Catherine, has been donated to Marlboro (Vt.) College by their three sons. In addition to many books authored by Galbraith, the 2,000 volumes include a collection of books on India, books on contemporary issues from World War II to the present, 19th-century German and French literature, and many prized art books. Library staff traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to pack up the personal library and bring it back to Vermont....
Rutland (Vt.) Herald, Feb. 23
Dartmouth Public Library doesn’t want to outsource
Dartmouth (Mass.) Public Library officials say hiring a private management firm is not in the library’s best interests and would result in the loss of state certification, state aid, and expanded borrowing privileges for residents. Board Chairwoman Kathy Murphy-Aisenberg said February 17 that circumstances do not warrant the libraries being run by Library Systems and Services LLC of Germantown, Maryland, the management company considered by some town officials as a less expensive alternative than town operation of the libraries....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Feb. 18
Haverhill to keep special collections open
After local historians complained that Mayor James Fiorentini’s cut to the Haverhill (Mass.) Public Library staff will make it difficult to review historic documents, Library Director Carol Verny devised a plan to keep the special collections room open by appointment three hours a week. Budget cuts had eliminated a part-time librarian who staffed the room two days a week. Historians are using the collection to locate and catalog area grave sites....
North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, Feb. 19–20
The library is no place to meditate
The Natrona County Public Library in Casper, Wyoming, canceled a program by a Buddhist monk scheduled for February 14 because it crossed the line between imparting information and advocating the religious practice of meditation. The talk by Kelsang Rinzin of the Heruka Buddhist Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, was not sponsored by the library. Director Bill Nelson said the county prohibits religious events on its properties....
Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, Feb. 10, 21
Holy books rise to the top shelf
Muslims in the U.K. have complained that the Koran is often displayed on the lower shelves in libraries, a practice deemed offensive. Now library officials in Leicester have been told by the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council to keep all holy books, including the Bible, on the top shelves in the interests of equality. See Appendix C of the council’s Guidance on the Management of Controversial Material in Public Libraries (PDF file), published February 17. But some Christian charities worry it will put the Bible out of the reach and sight of many users. The same report also singled out Leicester for unwittingly purchasing jihadist literature from a foreign-language supplier the library had turned to as a cost-cutting measure....
Daily Telegraph (U.K.), Feb. 18; Leicester Mercury, Feb. 23
Fresno State opens largest library in CSU system
The largest library in the 23-campus California State University system has opened for students and faculty at California State University, Fresno. State budget difficulties have delayed the library’s availability to the community, purchases of some of the building’s furniture, and the opening of one floor for university administrative offices. The new Henry Madden Library features an elliptical design entrance that the university says visually represents a Native American basket....
Stockton (Calif.) Central Valley Business Times, Feb. 20
Research librarian eschews personal book purchases for a year
Denver Post Research Librarian Barry Osborne writes: “There are several reasons I stopped buying books in 2008. With a young child at home, a car payment, and student loans, saving money was becoming more important to me than owning Zazie in the Metro or Tamerlane: Sword of Islam. As a librarian, I also saw a limit on book buying as an opportunity to enrich my professional life by experiencing the library more fully as a patron. Finally, part of me just wanted to see if I could do it. I came close.”...
Denver Post, Feb. 22
Pass Christian branch breaks ground
City and library officials broke ground February 20 on the first library branch rebuilt in Harrison County, Mississippi, since Hurricane Katrina. The 12,000-square-foot library will be part of a three-building complex housing City Hall and a meeting facility, all around a courtyard, in downtown Pass Christian. Mayor Chipper McDermott thanked the people of Naperville, Illinois, who have helped Pass Christian recover from Katrina by raising more than $1 million....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Feb. 20
Henderson mall branch set to open
The Henderson (Nev.) District Public Libraries will open a new branch February 27 inside the Galleria at Sunset mall. Strapped for cash and facing a rapidly growing number of users, the library district had to get creative in its expansion plans. In the mall, the district found a willing partner and was able to strike a deal to place a small branch in the shopping center for a low price....
Las Vegas Sun, Feb. 23
Library volunteers crack “book safe” case
Sorting through a box of donations recently, Hayward (Calif.) Public Library volunteer Muriel Sampson cracked open a curious-looking Clive Cussler novel and found more than the expected adventure tale.
Inside the copy of Sahara were compartments cut out to form a stealthy hiding spot for a grip of bracelets, a ring, and a lapel pin. Sampson asked the volunteers who accepted the donation whether they had gotten the name of the donor. Thus began a mystery....
Hayward (Calif.) Daily Review, Feb. 13
Go back to the Top
Why Kindle should embrace open standards
Tim OReilly writes: The Amazon Kindle has sparked huge media interest in e-books and has seemingly jump-started the market. Its instant wireless access to hundreds of thousands of e-books and seamless one-click purchasing process would seem to give it an enormous edge over other dedicated e-book platforms. Yet I have a bold prediction: Unless Amazon embraces open e-book standards like ePub, which allows readers to read books on a variety of devices, the Kindle will be gone within two or three years....
Forbes, Feb. 23
Multimedia in the Windows 7 beta
Dave Mathews writes: “For those with a life outside of computers, a codec
is software that provides your computer with the ability to read media files compressed using a particular format. Popular common codecs include PCM used by audio CDs, the MPEG-2 standard used by DVDs, and H.264 used for downloadable movies. Microsoft has not yet officially announced which will be included with Windows 7 when it ships. Here’s the bad news, though: DVD playback may not work at all, thanks to Microsoft including many DRM limitations.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 19
How to master PDFs in Firefox
Matt Asay writes: “Firefox, despite its great functionality, has long been a laggard when it comes to managing PDF content on the web.
Safari and Internet Explorer browsers both give users the option of reading PDFs within the browser, while Firefox forces users to navigate to PDFs through its Downloads window—not very convenient.
Leave it to Firefox’s online community, however, to remedy this failing. There are a range of Firefox plug-ins to help manage PDF documents. Two stand out for me.”...
WebWare, Feb. 20
Nine Adobe AIR apps for productivity
Elliott Kosmicki writes: “Adobe AIR came along and changed the application world overnight. Users all of a sudden had the ability to find desktop apps they loved and use them across all their systems in the exact same way.
With this new age of application neutrality, I wanted to take a brief look into some Adobe AIR apps focused on increasing productivity.”...
Mashable, Feb. 23
Bringing holistic awareness to web design
Joseph Selbie writes: “Gone, thankfully, are the days when user experience and user interface were an afterthought in the website design process. As web design has increasingly gained importance, it also became increasingly specialized: information design, user experience design, interaction design, user research, persona development, ethnographic user research, usability testing—the list goes on and on. Increased specialization, however, doesn’t always translate to increased user satisfaction.”...
Boxes and Arrows, Feb. 18
Chicago librarian writes murder mysteries
Frances McNamara, director of integrated library systems and administrative and desktop systems at the University of Chicago Libraries, is the author of Death at the Fair (BookSurge, Sept. 2008), which chronicles a fictitious murder mystery exposing the underbelly of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Inspired by Erik Larson’s best-selling Devil in the White City, McNamara’s book is the first in a trilogy of murder mysteries that take place at the turn of the 20th century. Death at Hull House debuts this spring....
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 22
“Censorship” confusion in Dubai
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood issued a mea culpa February 21, explaining that she may have been too hasty in canceling her appearance at the inaugural Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature in Dubai and declaring that a British novelist had been censored before fully understanding all the facts. Atwood had canceled her appearance February 17 after learning that a book by British author Geraldine Bedell, The Gulf Between Us, had allegedly been banned in the Emirates because one of its characters was a gay sheik. Apparently that was not exactly the case....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 23; Emirates Festival
Baboons and sieves vie for oddest title
The shortlist for the annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has been unveiled by The Bookseller. Six titles, with subjects ranging from fromage frais to strip knitting, make up the shortlist for the hotly contested award, now in its 31st year. Philip Stone, sales analyst at The Bookseller, said: “We received a huge number of entries this year and the debate was furious as to which would be included on the shortlist. Six seems such a cruelly low number given that such titles as Excrement in the Late Middle Ages and All Dogs Have ADHD were rejected.”...
The Bookseller, Feb. 22
Marianne Goss writes: “I decided there was an audience for a website that would help readers find fiction that’s both serious and upbeat. Thus Positively Good Reads was born. As I read a novel that was labeled upbeat by a reviewer, AllReaders.com, or an acquaintance, I write a short summary for this site. The upbeatness of some of the novels isn’t always apparent to me, but to keep the list growing and to let you decide for yourself, I’m not excluding anything for now.”...
Positively Good Reads
Make iTunes and iPod your classical companions
Randy A. Salas writes: “When I recently converted my largely orchestral CD collection to MP3s, several readers warned me that I would regret it. When it comes to classical music, iTunes misses a beat, they said. But with just a few tweaks and some tips, you can better organize your classical collection, find high-quality downloads online, and get music cheaply or even for free.”...
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb. 24
Evan Farber, 1922–2009
Evan Ira Farber, library director emeritus of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, died peacefully on the morning of February 12. A dominant figure in the academic library world, Farber developed a new concept of college libraries and college librarianship from the 1960s through the 1980s and encouraged hundreds of college students to enter the library profession. At Earlham, he became one of the country’s most articulate spokespersons for college librarianship and bibliographic instruction....
ARL calls on OCLC to revise its WorldCat policy
An Association of Research Libraries task force has issued a report (PDF file) that calls on OCLC to develop a new policy for the use and transfer of WorldCat records to replace the one it released in November 2008. The task force report includes a brief overview of the policy and the task force’s understanding of the policy’s intent....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 20
Visualizing world news
Andrew Vande Moere writes: Is there finally a news outlet that steps into the information design terrain? TimeSpace from the Washington Post is an interactive map that allows users to navigate articles, photos, video, and commentary from around the globe. One can discover news hot-spots where coverage is clustered, use the slider timeline to illustrate peaks in coverage, or customize news searches to a particular day or specific hour.”...
Information Aesthetics, Feb. 20
Boston University approves open-access plan
Boston University took a step towards greater access to academic research February 11 when the university council voted to support an open-access system (PDF file) that would make scholarly work of the faculty and staff available online to anyone, for free, as long as the authors are credited and the scholarship is not used for profit. The council vote also approved an initiative to establish an archive of BU faculty research and scholarship....
BU Today, Feb. 17
Kate Nevins talks about the SOLINET merger
Daniel A. Freeman writes: “Earlier this month, regional library cooperatives SOLINET and PALINET finalized and approved plans to merge to become one of the largest and most influential library cooperatives in the country. SOLINET Executive Director Kate Nevins was kind enough to agree to an email interview with us. She helps explain how this merger came to fruition, and what it will mean in terms of service, technology, and the reach of the new organization.”...
ALA TechSource, Feb. 23
Spotlight on the American Dental Association library
Jeannie Dilger-Hill writes: “The American Dental Association Library in Chicago was started in 1927 to provide resources and reference service to ADA members. The library has a staff of 14, including five professional librarians and a professional archivist. The staff answers questions on all sorts of topics in dentistry, including the effects of obesity on oral health, the relationship between dementia and tooth loss, and new dental techniques.”...
I Love Libraries
What libraries can learn from Facebook
Peter Bromberg writes: While looking at one end of the Facebook dustup (big corporation trampling on privacy rights) we might be missing some important lessons on the other end (big corporation letting customers control their own information in exchange for a highly engaging experience). Our choice to disallow customers’ control of their own information means that their needs for connection and social networking go unmet. Why aren’t libraries creating and offering these experiences?...
Library Garden, Feb. 19
Low self-esteem and the Z class
Steven Bell writes: “Aren’t we the gals and guys who formulated call number schemes? So how is it that in the LC classification, library science materials got tagged with Z? If librarians were in charge of this operation, wouldn’t it have been easy for them to just make librarianship A? It’s not like LC is based on a mnemonic scheme. So I have to chalk it up to this profession’s pure low self-esteem factor.”...
ACRLog, Feb. 19
School librarians talk about Second Life
The International Society for Technology in Education’s ISTE Eduverse Talks takes a look at how librarians are using social media and other tools like Second Life in their daily work. Host Kevin Jarrett talks with Chicago Public Schools Area Library Coordinator Lisa Perez (Elaine Tulip in SL), Springfield Township (Pa.) High School Librarian Joyce Valenza (Joyce Story in SL), and Johnson and Wales University Head of Reference Rhonda Trueman (Abbey Zenith in SL)....
ISTE Eduverse Talks, Feb. 17
International cataloging principles
The final version of the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (English PDF file) and its translations in major languages has been published on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions website. It is the result of a series of five regional IFLA Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code that took place from 2003 to 2007....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Feb. 24
Flash-mob catalogers at the Audubon Society
Eighteen flash-mob catalogers descended upon the Audubon Society of Rhode Island in Smithfield February 21 and left having cataloged a wonderful 2,500-book collection for LibraryThing. Tim Spalding writes: “The Audubon people were grateful, if a little stunned. Katya, who drove five hours to get there, floored them.” (She did all the hard cataloging, including two books not in WorldCat.)...
LibraryThing blog, Feb. 23
Academic archives thesaurus
Thesaurus for Use in College and University Archives, edited by Kate Bowers, is a set of 1,300 terms for use by any college or university archives in the United States for describing its holdings. The topical facets are academic affairs, administration, classes of persons, corporate culture, events, fields of study, history, infrastructure, sports, and student life. The included terms are generic and could apply to any college or university....
Society of American Archivists, Feb.
Bad news for OpenID
Sarah Perez writes: “Two-thirds of U.S. consumers use the same one or two passwords for all the websites they access, according to a new survey from Gartner Research. And they like it that way: Although people claim theyre concerned about security, they still tend to use unsafe password management techniques rather than exploring new methods—be that new hardware, software, or new authentication frameworks like OpenID.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 24
Watching local library news go viral
David Lee King writes: “We live in a new world, a world in which local decisions made by very small groups can go viral with social media tools and can even reach global and unintended audiences. I watched just this thing unfold last Thursday.” King used Twitter to broadcast a Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library board meeting regarding restricting access to four books in its collection. By the end of the evening, the board meeting was the 7th most popular trend on Twitter. The next day, the conversation went global, with news sources all over the world, including AL Online, reporting the decision....
David Lee King, Feb. 23
The anatomy of a good speech
Chris Brogan writes: “You might have an upcoming presentation, or you might be looking to speak more at events. I have a few ideas for you. I want to share with you my current thinking on presentations, such that I hope you feel equipped to do more with your own work. I’ve been thinking about the anatomy of presentations, and what we can do to improve how we’re doing what we do.”...
Chris Brogan, Feb. 23
Ruth Harrison, reference librarian
Ruth meets with the head of the library board, and does some hands-on research into love poems in this installment of “The Adventures of Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian,” from Prairie Home Companion. The episode (7:03) was recorded live at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on February 14. “Just came by to pick up the January usage report before the Board goes on its weekend retreat.” “The Library Board has been retreating for years, Mr. Anderson—why set aside one weekend?”...
Prairie Home Companion, Feb. 14
Bibliomaniacs in Paris
David Turecamo, known for his “Our Man in Paris” segments on CBS Sunday Morning, delivers an outstanding report (6:33) on book collectors and bouquinistes in France: “You are not a serious book collector or book dealer unless you’ve had one herniated disc and unless you’ve ruined your knees.”...
CBS Sunday Morning, Feb. 15
The Anonymity Project
The students of Kansas State University cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch created research proposals for his Spring 2009 class in digital ethnography. This video (5:54) is a mashup of all their proposals for a project entitled “The Fight for Significance in the Age of the Microcelebrity: Anonymity, Anonymous, Smart Mobs, Mad Mobs, Bot Mobs, and the Great American Poets.” (Could this be what Susan Greenfield is worried about?)...
Digital Ethnography, Feb. 16
Did you know?
This video (5:16) on the information explosion and technical trends has been around in several versions for a few months. It is said to have been adapted for use at a Sony executive conference in 2008. Created and researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman....
YouTube, Nov. 7, 2008
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15.
The 3rd Annual Bookmobile Sunday, July 12, 2–4 p.m., outside the South Building, will be one of the largest gatherings of mobile library vehicles to date. The bookmobiles will be on display for attendees to climb aboard, talk to the staff, and learn more about bookmobile outreach services.
The ALA Store is featuring a collection of posters, banners, bookmarks, buttons, and more for the purpose of advertising National Library Week, which celebrates the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians. All types of libraries—school, public, academic, and special—participate. This year’s theme is “Worlds connect @ your library,” created to promote the connection of all of a library’s resources to its patrons. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Gaming @ your library
The Minneapolis-Hennepin merger
Testing the Web 2.0 waters
I Love My Librarian awards
Call to action. Contact your U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Members to voice your opinion on H.R. 801—the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, recently reintroduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich). This bill would reverse the NIH Public Access Policy and make it impossible for other federal agencies put similar policies into place. All supporters of public access should take action no later than February 28. A draft letter can be found here.
Assistant Director, Library Experiences, Deschutes Public Library, Bend, Oregon. The position leads a system-wide commitment that results in innovative services, resources, partnerships, entertainment, and community engagement. This key leader is collaborative and plays a significant role in developing and implementing the library’s comprehensive vision and strategies for customer-focused public library services....
Digital Library of the Week
The Mississippi Digital Library is the cooperative digital library program for the state. It provides access to primary-source materials, covering a wide range of subject areas, from Mississippi museums, archives, libraries, and historical societies. These materials, physically located throughout the state, are brought virtually together on the library website. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the library began in December 2003 as a partnership between the University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, the University of Mississippi, Tougaloo College, Jackson State University, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The collaboration originally focused on materials associated with the Civil Rights era but now includes items from pre-Civil War to present.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.
“The amputation of a treasured library system’s branches has been called an ‘unintended consequence’ of the state property tax caps. If so, then legislators failed to properly study the law they passed. They’ve let down a steady stream of people, from all walks of life, who turned to those libraries for help, enlightenment, and recreation.”
—Editorial criticizing the Indiana legislature for passing limits on property taxes that led to the closing of the Meadows branch of the Vigo County (Ind.) Public Library, Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Feb. 21.
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the ALA Librarian
Q. Recently I had a patron come in asking about a book he had purchased with this library stamp on it: “American Library Association, Soldiers and Sailors Camp Library.” Do the words “Soldiers and Sailors Camp Library” give any clue as to where that library might have been? To what does this stamp refer?
A. The bookplate (sometimes a label) is one of several versions affixed to books furnished to sailors and soldiers by the American Library Association during World War I. In 1917, ALA established the Committee on Mobilization and War Service Plans (later the War Service Committee). ALA’s wartime program, known as the Library War Service, was directed by Herbert Putnam, Library of Congress, and later by Carl H. Milam. Between 1917 and 1920, ALA mounted two financial campaigns and raised $5 million from public donations; erected 36 camp libraries with Carnegie Corporation funds; distributed approximately 10 million books and magazines; and provided library collections to 5,000 locations. Continuing byproducts of this effort are the American Library in Paris and military libraries all over the country and the world. The work is carried on by librarians who are members of the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table. As libraries were dispersed or weeded over the years, some of these books have come into private hands—even though the label will often say something like “Property of the U.S.S. [name of ship] —Not to Be Taken Off Ship.” From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
IFLA’s 75th World Library and Information Congress will take place in Milan, Italy, August 23–27. The early registration deadline is May 15. ALA members wishing attend can register at a reduced rate through ALA’s membership in IFLA. The ALA member number is US-0002.
Teens and Technology, Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, Pennsylvania. YALSA Regional Institute.
Seattle Zine Librarian Unconference, ZAPP at Richard Hugo House, Seattle.
Open Access and Libraries Conference, Kellogg Center, Columbia University, New York City. The State of the Art of Open Access and Google Books Projects—What It All Means for Libraries, Library Users, and You.
Reading the World, School of Education, University of San Francisco. A conference celebrating multicultural literature for children and adults.
Marketing Basics for Libraries. Online course sponsored by RUSA.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives, Spring Conference, Holiday Inn Charleston House, Charleston, West Virginia. Surveying Archives: Wild and Wonderful.
Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan.
International Conference on Open Repositories, Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Marriott Baltimore Waterfront, Baltimore.
North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics / Human
Language Technologies, Annual Conference, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Politics and Networking,
Decatur (Ga.) Public Library. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
North American Serials Interest Group, Annual Conference, Asheville, North Carolina. Riding the Rapids Through a Mountain of Change.
New York State Library Assistants’ Association, Annual Conference, Sage College, Troy.
Next Library International Unconference, Aarhus, Denmark.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Annual Conference, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Fundraising, Kansas City, Missouri. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.