House passes presidential disclosure acts amid lawsuits
The first week of the 111th Congress saw the passage in the House of two bills that, if enacted, would ensure accessibility to the contents of presidential libraries and the identities of donors whose gifts funded their construction. The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009 (H.R. 35), approved by a vote of 359–58, and the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 36), which passed by 388–31, moved to the Senate in the waning days of the Bush administration, even as presidential papers and electronic files were being readied for transfer to a reportedly overwhelmed National Archives....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 14
South Carolina faces loss of PASCAL databases
Following a 90% reduction of its funding from the state, an innovative consortium of academic libraries in South Carolina has made drastic cuts in the resources and services it provides, with the prospect of the loss of all of its database subscriptions later this year. The Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) provides licensed databases and a rapid book-delivery service to more than 50 campuses statewide. After state funding for the consortium was slashed, PASCAL dropped its subscriptions to more than 800 online titles....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 14
Group seeks to take over Providence branches
In response to Providence (R.I.) Public Library’s recent proposal to close five of its branches, a newly formed nonprofit organization is seeking to take over all nine of the system’s branches. The Providence Community Library, a group comprised of area civic and business leaders, says it can run the branches with an operating budget of $4.8 million for fiscal 2010 without reducing services. Library trustees had voted December 18 to close five branches next summer in light of a $1.4-million operating deficit....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 9
Wi-Fi user viewed explicit sites near closed library
A man was arrested December 30 for allegedly using a Salem, New York, library’s wireless internet connection to view a sexually explicit video on his notebook computer. A police officer said that Ralph E. Holmes, 65, was observed outside the Bancroft Public Library accessing the online materials after the building had closed....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 9
Special edition of AL Direct next week
In a new podcast, American Libraries Direct Editor George Eberhart discusses a special edition that will mail Tuesday, January 20. The “Special Tough Economy Issue” will describe the many ways that ALA is involved in dealing with libraries in the current recession....
Visibility @ your library, Jan. 13
Midwinter Event Planner blues
AL Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “In what has become something of a tradition, the Midwinter Event Planner has been opened . . . and widely panned on the ALA Council email list and several library blogs. I spoke to ALA Senior Associate Executive Director of Member Programs and Services Mary Ghikas about the future of the planner and prospects for immediate change. In the long term, ALA intends to migrate the event planner to the Drupal-based ALA Connect online community software (currently testing). So where does that leave attendees this year?”...
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 12
Midwinter Meeting in Second Life
The 2009 Midwinter Meeting kicks off January 24 in Denver. You can get in on the virtual fun by visiting Second Life and attending the festivities there. All activities will take place on ALA Island, ALA’s virtual space. The Main Stage is located at 128, 107, 29. In Second Life, you can teleport there directly. Here is a list of events....
Children’s books and consumer product safety
In August 2008, following widespread reports about the dangers of children’s toys coming into the United States from China and other places, the 110th Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to protect children from exposure to lead. In January, ALA and other groups became concerned after seeing that the act intended to include books in the definition of “products to children” that must be certified as safe. However, ALA’s analysis is that neither the law nor the legislative history indicates any Congressional intention to include books or textbooks in the law....
District Dispatch, Jan. 9
Speaker chosen for King holiday celebration
Dwight D. Jones, Colorado commissioner of education, will be the featured speaker at the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, January 26, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending promptly at 7:30 a.m. Jones has earned statewide recognition for narrowing and eliminating the achievement gaps related to minority children and students of low socioeconomic means....
Effective multicultural communication
The Metropolitan Group, a leading strategic communication and resource development agency specializing in work with libraries, has published Increasing Relevance, Relationships, and Results: Principles and Practices for Effective Multicultural Communication—Library Edition (PDF file), in cooperation with ALA. The article defines eight principles and practices for effective multicultural communication, and highlights the important, integrated role multicultural communication plays in creating social change....
Thinkfinity @ your library
ALA has debuted a new collection of resources specifically for school library media specialists on Verizon’s Thinkfinity.org. This collection is a starting place for school library media specialists to explore Thinkfinity content. Using the Campaign for America’s Libraries @ your library brand, the collection features rotating librarian-specific content from ALA and library initiatives. At the Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Thinkfinity trainers will be on hand to demonstrate how librarians can use the collection....
Featured review: Reference
Vile, John R., and David L. Hudson, editors. Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. 1,464p. CQ, hardcover (978-0-87289-311-5).
Provocative, divisive, and sometimes even threatening, First Amendment issues have been at the forefront of civic discourse since the founding of the nation. Today is no different, with the U.S. Supreme Court hearing a challenge to the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to penalize television networks for airing “fleeting expletives,” churches testing IRS regulations prohibiting political campaigning, and states considering legislation to regulate cyberbullying by classmates. Encyclopedia of the First Amendment is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about broadcast regulation, the establishment of religion clause, students’ rights, or a myriad of other topics involving the First Amendment and its political, cultural, and legal significance. The 1,400 topical entries that form the core of the work appear in traditional A–Z format and range from 250 to 1,500 words depending on the significance or complexity of the subject. All entries are signed, include cross-references, and cite at least one primary or secondary source....
New: Booklist Online Exclusives
Booklist Online announces a new addition—Booklist Online Exclusives—to its growing family of free, content-driven e-newsletters, providing Booklist readers with even more reviews (600 in 2008 alone) and features at no additional cost. Every month, Booklist Online Exclusives will deliver the magazine’s web-only content as a bonus to anyone who signs up, expanding and complementing its extensive print coverage....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
American Libraries’ Denver restaurant guide
Sherry Spitsnaugle writes: “Denver’s restaurant scene is much like the city itself—friendly, forward-thinking, and fun-loving. And, in a city where the likable two-term mayor founded downtown’s first brewpub, eating and drinking well rank up there with spending time outdoors. Choices abound, from the über-hip, martini-mixing Corner Office (where clocks are always set at 5 p.m.) to the tried-and-true Dozens Café and the sophisticated casual ambience of Baur’s Ristorante (right).”...
“Denver Dishes,” American Libraries 40 (Jan./Feb. 2009): 66–70
Denver conference hotels (PDF file)
Download this handy map of Midwinter Meeting hotels for printing out (so you won’t have to tear a page out of your American Libraries)....
American Libraries 39 (Oct. 2008): 15
FOLUSA/ALTA Gala Author Tea
FOLUSA and ALTA welcome bestselling authors Jane Hamilton, Sandra Dallas (right), John Shors, Shana Abé, and Simon Van Booy for this popular event sponsored by ReferenceUSA. Tea will be served and a book signing will follow the event, January 26, 2–4 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Denver. Tickets are $35 ($30 for FOLUSA and ALTA members) through January 21, and $45 onsite....
ACRL Research Writer’s Workshops
The ACRL Research Program Committee is sponsoring Research Writer’s Workshops at the 14th National Conference in Seattle, March 12–15. Aimed at the new or inexperienced writer, these workshops will bring together small groups of two or three writers matched with an experienced writer or editor who will offer guidance and critique. New writers should apply by February 16 (experienced writers by February 9) to Ruth Vondracek....
ACRL Insider, Jan. 12
Travel grants for first-time AASL conference attendees
AASL is offering 30 grants for travel to its 14th National Conference and Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5–8. The grants for first-time attendees are sponsored by Bound To Stay Bound Books. Those interested in applying can download the application on the National Conference web pages. The deadline is March 2....
ALCTS forum topics at Midwinter
The upcoming Midwinter Forums presented by ALCTS in Denver offer a wide variety of hot topics. Join your colleagues for these important presentations and discussions on such topics as FRBR and RDA, e-serials holdings, OCLC record use policy, and free web resources. ALCTS interest groups also will hold a variety of entertaining Midwinter discussions....
Big savings on RUSA online course registration
Libraries and library systems interested in improving reference service delivery and bringing marketing skills to their library staff team can take advantage of discounted registration rates for groups of two or more participants for online courses offered by RUSA. Groups registering for a course will save 15% off the regular registration rates for their membership types....
Interactive presentations for Teen Tech Week
Librarians seeking inspiration for Teen Tech Week can find it in three new multimedia presentations created by YALSA. Teen Tech Week 2009 takes place March 8–14, with a theme of Press Play @ your library, encouraging teens to take advantage of the many technologies available to them, free of charge, at their libraries. Viewers can leave comments in text, video or audio form on each presentation. Registration is available online through February 8....
Teen Tech Week mini-grants
YALSA members can win $450 in cash and $50 in promotional products by applying for a 2009 Teen Tech Week mini-grant by January 19. Through funding from the Verizon Foundation, YALSA will grant up to 20 awards to members offering inventive activities, resources, and programming for Teen Tech Week, March 8–14....
You’ve got style, you’ve got class
Calling all library fashionistas! Join us for “What to Wear: The YALSA Happy Hour and Fashion Show,” hosted by Project Runway Season 4’s Steven Rosengard. We’re looking for librarians who can demonstrate how to dress professionally without spending a lot of money and while keeping a sense of personal style. Interested? Submit the What to Wear application (PDF file) or nominate someone you know by January 30. Questions? Contact Nichole Gilbert....
YALSA Blog, Dec. 5
ACRL updates its Scholarly Communication Toolkit
ACRL has released an updated version of its popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit in a new format and with updated content. The toolkit continues to provide context and background by summarizing key issues to offer quick, basic information on scholarly communication topics. It also links to examples of specific tools, including handouts, presentations, and videos for libraries to adapt and use on their own campuses....
Judith Krug wins Brennan Award
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced January 13 that Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, will receive the William J. Brennan Jr. Award, which honors a person or group for demonstrating a commitment to the principles of free expression. Krug is only the fifth recipient of the award since it was first given in 1993. She will receive formal recognition in Chicago on July 12 at the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 40th Anniversary Gala, which will be held in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago....
Don’t discount the Newbery
Author and librarian Susan Patron writes: “Early on January 26, a writer’s phone will ring. On the other end will be the 15 members of the ALSC Newbery Award Selection Committee, calling after a year of careful reading and deliberation to congratulate the winning author. The writer may be astonished at the announcement, as I was when I got the call in January 2007. And librarians and the general public may be more than surprised; some will even be dismayed.”...
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11
Wayne State supports a Spectrum scholar
The Wayne State Library and Information Science program will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Serena Vaquilar, a 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winner. Vaquilar is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Wayne State, which first offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information studies in 1998....
2009 Sydney Taylor Book Awards (PDF file)
The Sydney Taylor
Book Awards, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries, recognizes the publication of outstanding books for children that authentically portray the Jewish experience. This year’s winners include As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom, by Richard Michelson with illustrations by Raúl Colón (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008)....
Association of Jewish Libraries
Hadfield wins T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize
A relative newcomer to poetry who has been widely praised for her passion and awareness of the natural world won one of the genre’s grandest awards January 12—the T. S. Eliot prize for poetry. Shetland-based Jen Hadfield was given a check for £15,000 for Nigh-No-Place, her second book of poetry written in Shetland and also while travelling across Canada. It includes poems such as “Paternoster,” which is the Lord’s Prayer as spoken by a draft horse, and “Ten-Minute Break Haiku,” her response to working in a fish factory....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 12
Adults are reading more fiction
After years of bemoaning the decline of a literary culture in the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts reports that it now believes a quarter-century of precipitous decline in fiction reading has reversed. Released January 12, the report, Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy (PDF file), found that for the first time since 1982 the percentage of adults 18 and older who said they had read at least one novel, short story, poem, or play in the previous 12 months has risen. It increased most dramatically among 18-to-24-year-olds, who had previously shown the most significant declines....
New York Times, Jan. 12
More Philadelphia protests
In a lively bit of guerrilla theater that featured a pink-and-purple jester prosecuting a crowned and clueless “Emperor Nutter,” demonstrators protested branch library closings at City Hall January 13. Mayor Michael Nutter and Free Library Director Siobhan Reardon were declared “in contempt of the people’s court” by costumed members of the ad hoc Coalition to Save the Libraries. While the tone of the protest was light, the message was not. Demonstrators accused Nutter and Reardon of working counter to Common Pleas Court Judge Idee C. Fox’s order to keep the branches open....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 14
King papers accessible in Atlanta
A major portion of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s papers went public January 13, allowing researchers to access an important segment of civil rights history. Computer access to the documents is available in the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center. The papers represent more than 75% of a 10,000-item Morehouse College King Collection bought by a group of civic and business leaders in 2006 from King’s family....
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 13
Former Lincoln Library director pleads guilty
The former executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, pleaded guilty January 12 to stealing a $40 boxed set of DVDs from a Target store. Richard E. Beard’s plea came a day before his trial on the misdemeanor retail theft charge was scheduled to begin....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, Jan. 13
Accused First Folio thief admits shoplifting
Raymond Scott, the man at the center of the international probe into the theft of a £15-millon copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio from Durham University Library, on January 12 admitted stealing two books from Waterstones bookstone in Gateshead, England. Scott had pleaded not guilty to the September 21 theft of the books, but changed his plea to guilty on the day a trial was due to take place. On January 9, Scott lost a civil court claim to have the disputed First Folio returned to him so he could prove his innocence....
Newcastle (U.K.) Evening Chronicle, Jan. 12; Newcastle Sunday Sun, Jan. 11
Bunny Suicides remains in school
A controversial book of cartoons will remain, unrestricted, in the Central Linn High School Library in Halsey, Oregon, the school board has decided. Board members voted 5–1 January 12 to keep The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley on the shelf. The district organized a review committee after parent Taffey Anderson, whose 13-year-old son checked out the book this fall, said she was horrified by its content and threatened to burn it rather than bring it back....
Albany (Oreg.) Democrat Herald, Jan. 13
Report finds online threats overblown
A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem. The findings of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media. The report (PDF file) concluded that the problem of bullying among children, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults....
New York Times, Jan. 13
No successor for Dewey at Spencer Public Library
Even though Spencer (Iowa) Public Library officials have received numerous “offers, requests, and inquiries” about hosting another resident library cat to replace the now-famous Dewey Readmore Books who died in 2006, board members voted unanimously January 8 to establish a “permanent prohibition against having pets in residence at the library.” The primary reason was the danger of turning away patrons with cat allergies....
Spencer (Iowa) Daily Reporter, Jan. 9
Paddlethon funding allows for extra hours
The Friends of the Wareham (Mass.) Free Library voted to transfer $20,000 to a town account that will be used for workers’ salaries and allow the library to be open six more hours on Wednesday evenings. The group voted at a special January 2 meeting to transfer some of the money from an account established for donations from resident Dick Wheeler’s kayak Paddlethon effort. More than $55,000 was raised, thanks to Wheeler’s 1,000-mile paddle, which he completed last month....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Jan. 12
Oregon libraries plug into the do-Wii decimal system
Teen librarians in Tigard, Tualatin, and Beaverton say it’s a new stage for library activities. It’s a progression to keep up with a generation of “digital natives”—kids who have grown up in a world that has always been plugged into the internet. Nintendo’s interactive Wii gaming systems and Sony’s PlayStation 2 gaming consoles are now being played in libraries. Will teens finally take over the rest of the world with their preference for digital literacy?...
Portland (Oreg.) Tribune, Jan. 9
Clermont County library settles lawsuit
The Clermont County Public Library in Batavia, Ohio, has settled a lawsuit with a couple who were barred from holding a free financial planning seminar because they intended to quote the Bible. George and Cathy Vandergriff were paid $2, and the Institute for Principled Policy, which joined them in the suit, received $1. The library will pay $10,000 to attorneys for the Vandergriffs, who filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati in June. Prompted by the suit, the board voted to limit the use of meeting rooms to library-initiated programs....
Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan. 8
Salinas turns to library to curb gang violence
With five shooting deaths already in the books for the New Year, the city of Salinas, California, is now turning to libraries in the hopes of curbing gang violence. Mayor Dennis Donohue is pushing a literacy campaign that would make the city the first in the country to require every student to have a library card. For more than a year, Salinas Public Library Director Elizabeth Martinez has led the literacy campaign, which has already handed out 30,000 library cards....
KSBW-TV, Salinas, Jan. 7; Monterey County (Calif.) Herald, Jan. 13
Survival in the library
Charity Vogel writes:
“The cold has brought them in again. It happens every year. People, mostly men, who have no homes to sleep in at night, or marginal ones—in shelters or shared rental spaces with little in the way of heat or food. To them, the Central Library isn’t a temple of knowledge. It’s got a much more practical function: survival.”...
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Jan. 12
Bush Presidential Library update
A freedom institute that critics say could promote an overtly partisan agenda will be housed in the same building as the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and not in a separate building as originally planned, according to First Lady Laura Bush. The President said January 8 that he had no plans to scale back the $300-million project and repeated his opposition to identifying all donors to the library. The complex, expected to be built by 2013, will be designed to attract students “to come hang around,” Laura Bush said....
Dallas Morning News, Jan. 9–10
Librarians renamed “audience development officers”
People who work in libraries have been known as librarians since the first library was created in the Middle East around 2,700 years ago. But council chiefs in Edinburgh, Scotland, have decided that the job description needs to be updated. They want to rebrand librarians in the city network of 25 community libraries with the not very catchy title of “audience development officers” as part of an effort to bring the libraries into the 21st century....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Jan. 13
Go back to the Top
How to build a social media cheat sheet on any topic
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “You want to get up to speed on the social media activity on a specified topic, as fast as you can.
Is there any way to ramp up your knowledge of this field, quickly, other than the ‘Google and wander’ method? We think there is. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions, with screen shots, for the process we use when we want to get smart about a new field in a hurry.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Jan. 10
The history of the internet
This short film (8:09) by Melih Bilgil explains the history of online interactions from time-sharing to file-sharing and from Arpanet to Internet. The history is told using PICOL (Pictorial Communication Language) icons. It all began back in 1957, the same year as Sputnik. (Coincidence? Not really). Narrated by Steve Taylor and produced at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Mainz)....
Vimeo, Jan. 2
How to embed almost anything on your website
Amit Agarwal writes: “Learn how to embed almost anything in your HTML web pages, from Flash videos to spreadsheets to high-resolution photographs to static images from Google Maps to MP3 music to Picasa web albums to RSS feeds to YouTube videos to other fonts, or even another web page.”...
Digital Inspiration, Jan. 6
YouTube mutes videos with copyrighted music
Stan Schroeder writes: “YouTube has started muting videos that use unauthorized copyrighted music (and that pretty much means all user-created videos). You can see some examples here, here, and here. The official notice from YouTube under the video says the following: ‘This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by all copyright holders. The audio has been disabled.’ We’re talking about tens of thousands of fan-made videos, funny spoofs, remixes, and the like being pretty much destroyed.” Jessamyn West has some advice about this....
Mashable, Jan. 14; Librarian.net, Jan. 11
Mary Burkey writes: “Coming soon to a media player near you! What’s a Text Synchronized Audiobook? An audiobook that is synced to a page view or scrolling text on a display screen. Read this description of Phil Shapiro’s Text Synchronized Audiobook literacy mashup project using Maria Uther’s LibriVox recording of Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, and see (and hear!) a demo here. Interesting first steps.”...
Audiobooker, Jan. 12; Helen Keller Bio Project
Where are all the good female characters hiding?
Katie Davidson writes: “I often find it annoying that, while I’m searching for manga at the library, I overhear other patrons talking about just how awesome and thing-I-am-not-allowed-to-say-in-polite-company-kicking their favorite male characters are. As a girl otaku (manga and anime fan) I find this rather disappointing. I’m not saying that male characters are bad, but where’s the gender equality? In the early days of manga, Osamu Tezuka revolutionized the hero archetype with his comic Princess Knight (above), featuring a heroine who could handle a sword just as well as any man. Where’s that spirit in today’s comics, I ask?”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 9, 12
Required reading redone
Maggie Barbour writes: “Many teens do not appreciate, and may automatically reject, William Shakespeare’s plays as boring. So what do you do with teen patrons who are less than enthused about being assigned to read (and understand) a Shakespearean play for school? You present them with a colorful, exciting, and modern twist on the original: the graphic novel version. Here are three examples of series to which you can turn.”...
Alternative Teen Services, Jan. 11
From typewriter to bookstore: A publishing story
Ever wonder how a book travels from the author to the reader? Or how much work is involved in the publishing process? And is this whole internet thing just a fad, like pagers and Tamagotchis? The Digital Marketing Team at Macmillan USA explains the process in this enlightening video spoof (3:37) of the book publishing and marketing business....
YouTube, Jan. 12
What library websites can learn from publishers
John Dupuis writes: “One thing about library websites is that they tend to focus on concrete problem-solving behaviors: Find a book, find some data, find some articles. Some library websites are good at facilitating those activities, some not so much. As a result, library web presences can be a bit dry and static. How to spice things up a bit, content-wise? An interesting place to look is commercial web sites that are somewhat seriously intentioned but that are also engaging and entertaining.”...
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Jan. 13
The National Archives is 75
The National Archives announced January 8 a year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary. Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934, the legislation created a mechanism to preserve the permanently valuable papers of the federal government. Special activities and free public programs will be held throughout the year. Visit NARA’s 75th anniversary website....
National Archives and Records Administration, Jan. 8
Congress comes to YouTube
Steve Grove writes: “As the 111th Congress kicks into gear, many of your elected leaders are starting their own YouTube channels. They’re posting videos direct from their Washington offices, as well as clips of floor speeches and committee hearings alongside additional behind-the-scenes footage from Capitol Hill. YouTube is launching two new platforms that will help you access those channels: The Senate Hub and the House Hub.”...
YouTube Blog, Jan. 12
mk Eagle writes: “A few recently released studies on teens, sex, and technology have some folks all a-flutter. A nationwide survey, commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl, of teens and young adults found that one in five are using technology to send sexually explicit pictures of themselves to others. Two studies that appeared in the January issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, meanwhile, show that half of teens who are MySpace users have posted information about sexual behavior, substance abuse, or violence. So let’s break this down, shall we?”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 7
In praise of the internet: Shifting focus
Ellie Collier writes: “This is a call to arms to shift our attitude away from magnifying the perils of online research and towards examining the many types of useful information, along with how and when to use them; to shift our primary focus away from teaching how to find information and towards engaging critical thinking skills. Using more realistic examples in our instruction and explaining the positive aspects as well as the negative will help both the students and our image as information professionals.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Jan. 7
OCLC opens discussion on new sharing policy
The OCLC Members Council and trustees will convene a review board to discuss the principles and best practices for sharing library data. The group will discuss its proposed Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records with members and the library community. In November 2008, OCLC announced that it was implementing a new policy on the use of OCLC-derived records. In order to allow sufficient time for feedback and discussion, the policy will not go into effect until the third quarter of 2009....
OCLC, Jan. 13
If you’re a school librarian short on cash but in need of new technology, sign up on Digital Wish, a nonprofit online charity that helps educators modernize their classrooms with up-to-date resources that they ordinarily can’t afford. All K–12 media specialists in public schools are eligible to create a free wish list on the site and then describe how their students will benefit from it....
School Library Journal, Jan. 6
In case anyone asks: 49 incredible stats
Adam Singer writes: “As our digital and physical lives blur further, the internet has become the information hub where people spend a majority of their time learning, playing, and communicating with others globally. I thought it might be fun to take a step back and look at some interesting/amazing social media, Web 2.0, crowdsourcing, and internet statistics. I tried to find stats that are the most up-to-date as possible. For example: 900,000 = the average number of blog posts in a 24-hour period.”...
The Future Buzz, Jan. 12
The raven speaks
Carrie Hagen writes: “We rarely see homeless men, businessmen, and school girls gathering for a drink. But this past Saturday, over 100 people mingled on the main floor of the Free Library of Philadelphia, raised Dixie cups of 7-Up, and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Edgar Allan Poe. The library was marking the beginning of Philadelphia’s bicentennial commemoration of the author’s life.”...
The Phillyist, Jan. 13
Hard times for higher education
Steven Bell writes: “According to the biennial report titled Measuring Up 2008, from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the rising cost of college threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans. The public and legislators are calling for colleges and universities to hold down costs. Despite all the criticism heaped on the higher education industry in America, no one denies that our current population is earning fewer degrees, tomorrow’s citizens face reduced access to higher education, and the bottom line is that our global competitiveness itself is at stake.”...
ACRLog, Jan. 13
When times are tough, children’s librarians get tougher
Eva Mitnick writes: “We all know it’s going to be a Hard Year. Even as more folks rediscover the library—‘what, you mean I can read books and watch DVDs for free?’—our budgets are being cut. Libraries will have less money to buy books and other materials, to provide programming, and even to hire and maintain staff. But it’s not so bad, really. In fact, we have a golden opportunity to take a deep breath, look around, and then get back to basics.”...
ALSC Blog, Jan. 12
Developing early literacy
The National Institute for Literacy’s Developing Early Literacy (PDF file), a report by its National Early Literacy Panel, was released January 8. Some of the key findings reveal the best early predictors of literacy: alphabet knowledge, phonemic awareness, rapid naming skills, writing (such as writing one’s name), and short-term memory for words said aloud. Instruction on these skills may be especially helpful for children at risk for developing reading difficulties. More complex oral language skills also appear to be important....
National Institute for Literacy, January 8
Library blogs in the United States
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “Which came first, the librarian blog or the library blog? I would have to say that it was the librarian blog—we began sharing information with each other, and as more of us saw the power of the blogging medium, we began adopting the same techniques at work. Dates are uncertain, but in general, U.S. librarian blogs began to spring up in 2001 and library blogs began to appear in 2003. 2004 truly was the year of the blog with hundreds of libraries and librarians starting new sites.” For biblioblogs in other countries, see the LibWorld website....
Great art at the Prado on Google Earth
Armchair tourists who are used to travelling the globe with Google Earth can now use the same technology to crawl all over the masterpieces in one of the world’s most famous galleries: Madrid’s Prado. The museum and Google unveiled January 13 the first use of the mapping program to allow art lovers to get so close to their favorite paintings that even the brush strokes are visible....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 13
Global guide to Islamic art
Jonathan M. Bloom and Sheila S. Blair write: “Here is our list of major museums of Islamic art in the United States, Europe, and the Islamic lands. It is by no means exhaustive: One survey conducted in the 1990s found more than 300 collections worldwide, and the number has increased dramatically since then. Instead, we point to some of the world’s best, most accessible collections, and guide you to what you might expect to find in each.”...
Saudi Aramco World 60, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2009): 32–43
A new technique for photo identification
Scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles have developed a new method for authenticating historic photographs that will have broad implications for museum collections, art historians, collectors, and conservators. Each chemical printing process leaves behind a series of markers that collectively are as distinctive as a fingerprint. The GCI researchers have now identified the signatures associated with different photographic processes to provide a scientifically-based method for provenancing and authenticating a majority of 20th-century photographs....
Getty Conservation Institute, Jan. 8
The Minneapolis Public Library, ca. 1900
This 1884 Romanesque Revival building, designed by Long and Kees, was razed in the 1950s and is now a parking lot. From a Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. Commenters debate the old look versus the new one, which was designed by Argentine architect César Pelli....
Shorpy, Jan. 10
DNA could unlock some manuscript mysteries
Thousands of manuscripts produced in medieval Europe still exist today, but scholars have long struggled with questions about when and where many of them originated. Now a researcher at North Carolina State University is using modern advances in genetics to shed light on their origins. Assistant Professor of English Timothy Stinson is perfecting techniques for extracting and analyzing the DNA contained in the parchment pages in order to create a genetic database that can be used to establish the date and locale for particular manuscripts....
North Carolina State University, Jan. 12
Woodstock celebrates 100 years
The Carnegie Library in Woodstock, Ontario, celebrated (1:52) its centennial January 12 with bagpipes, historic displays, a ribbon-cutting, and visits from long-time patrons. Deputy Chief Librarian Susan Start describes the inspirational qualities of its 1909 architecture, and retiring Chief Librarian Stephen Nelson talks about the library’s future....
YouTube, Jan. 14
Bacon as a bookmark
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “Out in the blogosphere, there seems to be a lot of skepticism about the bacon bookmark meme—or urban legend, if you prefer. The most detailed discussion I could find, a 2006 essay on the aptly named BiblioBuffet site, mentions numerous sightings of errant breakfast meat in libraries from Florida to Nebraska (the earliest known bacon-in-books sighting was in an Omaha library) to Washington State and beyond, but no first-hand accounts from librarians, let alone testable lab samples of ‘book jerky.’”...
New York Times, Jan. 8; BiblioBuffet
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Job seekers can search online for jobs and employers can search online for job seekers before and during the Midwinter Meeting. Visit the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment website and click on “Placement Center” for more information. The Placement Center will be located on the Denver exhibit floor.
Celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial in 2009 with this wonderful addition to the History Lives series. This poster also serves as a great way to educate patrons of all ages about the U.S. electoral process during a presidential election. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
The Senate will soon consider two bills passed by the House: HR 35, which revokes President Bush’s Executive Order allowing limits on the release of Presidential records, and HR 36, which requires disclosure of donors to presidential libraries. Use the Legislative Action Center to contact your Senator on these measures.
Gaming @ your library
The Minneapolis-Hennepin merger
Testing the Web 2.0 waters
I Love My Librarian awards
Creativity Library Manager, University of Nebraska at Omaha. The university, in a joint venture with internationally renowned artist Jun Kaneko, invites applications for the position of Library Associate, Library for Creativity. This newly created position is responsible for developing and operating a unique, experimental library to support creativity in all fields of endeavor. The successful candidate will identify and select library materials that inspire new ways of thinking; assist users with materials and extensive, leading-edge technological resources; and provide outreach and promotional programming including exhibits, speaker programs, seminars, and workshops....
ALA presidential candidates Roberta Stevens and Kent Oliver invite Midwinter Meeting attendees to a joint reception, January 24, 5:30–7:30 p.m., in Ballroom 4 of the Hyatt Regency Denver. Members can meet both candidates and communicate their interests and concerns.
Digital Library of the Week
The Loyola Marymount University Digital Library Program was launched December 15 as the result of a 2007 LSTA grant from the California State Library. The grant funded the digitization of 200 postcards from the Werner Von Boltenstern collection in the university’s Von der Ahe Library in Los Angeles. This and other postcards in the special collections department make up “The Changing Face of Southern California: A History in Postcards.” A second online collection consists of photographs and other materials from the J. D. Black Papers, recording the American West in the Owens Valley of California from 1875 to 1930, including rare photos of the famous Owens Valley Water Controversy in the 1920s between the valley and Los Angeles over a key resource in the West, water. A third collection, “The Atrium: Iconic Images from Loyola Marymount University” is in the works.
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.
“A staple of comic romance movies (as well as even lower brow cinematic fare) is the dowdy librarian type who, with a new dress, contact lenses, and—literally —letting her hair down, becomes the ravishing belle of the ball. From Pygmalion to Cinderella, it’s an easy sell to a willing market. For many years Mercedes-Benz had a similarly frumpy reputation. Good, solid, well-built and dependable, but with the sex appeal of a German banker in a dark-blue double-breasted pin-striped suit. With a watch fob.”
Automotive Reviewer John Matras, comparing the old Mercedes-Benz image with the new 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550, “Mercedes’ Naughty Librarian,” Chicago Examiner, Dec. 31.
Harry Glazer, communications director of the Rutgers University Libraries, evaluates the Rutgers experience with Facebook in “Clever Outreach or Costly Diversion?” in the January issue of College & Research Libraries News. Catch a podcast interview (11:46) with the author here.
the ALA Librarian
Q. I am looking for this year’s winners of the children’s book awards and cannot find any information about them. I thought they were posted in early January last year. Where can I find this information?
A. The 2009 ALA Youth Media Awards announcement will take place on January 26 at 7:45 a.m. Mountain Time. A live webcast will be available through Unikron, as well as on Twitter. Access to information on the winners will also be available through a Facebook fan page, ALA Youth Media Awards. There will also be an encore presentation of the webcast in Second Life on ALA Island. Over the coming months, more information about ALA’s Media Awards, including historical data, application information, and how to find the acceptance speeches, will become available. The acceptance speeches are part of the ALA Annual Conference festivities. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, seminar at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. “A Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovisual Media.”
Teen Tech Week. “Press Play @ your library.”
ACRL National Conference, Seattle, Washington. “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend.”
Reading the World XI, University of San Francisco.
Computers in Libraries, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. “Creating Tomorrow: Spreading Ideas and Learning.”
PLA Spring Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee.
National Library Week.
2d Annual Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums Conference, Second Life. Although the conference will be held in the virtual world Second Life, presentation and paper proposals about LEM developments in other virtual worlds are encouraged.
El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros.
LITA Camp, Dublin, Ohio.
Using Court Records to Find Local and Family History, National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
National Library Legislative Day.
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