HAPLR rankings celebrate 10th anniversary
The 10th-anniversary edition of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, the annual ranking of over 9,000 libraries nationwide, was published June 30. Compiled by Thomas J. Hennen Jr., director of the Waukesha County (Wis.) Federated Library System, the index rates libraries using 15 factors—among them cost per circulation, visits per capita, and expenditures per capita—based on data gathered by the Federal-State Cooperative System and published by the National Center for Education Statistics....
American Libraries Online, July 1
Veto threatens support for Connecticut libraries
Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell followed through July 1 on her promise to veto the legislature’s June 26 budget for FY2009–11 that would have restored library funding to FY2008 levels. The governor’s original budget recommendation (PDF file) called for the elimination of some $5 million in state aid that libraries expected to receive, including the Department of Information Technology’s Connecticut Education Network, which subsidizes internet connections for schools and libraries statewide. Legislative leaders will be in talks with Gov. Rell over the summer to work on a final budget. ALA has urged Connecticut legislators to reject the governor’s plan....
American Libraries Online, June 26; Hartford (Conn.) Courant, July 1
Washington Supreme Court hears filtering case
The Washington State Supreme Court heard arguments June 23 in a challenge to the internet filtering policy of the North Central Regional Library, headquartered in Wenatchee. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in 2006 on behalf of three library users and the pro-firearm Second Amendment Foundation, seeking that the library be required to disable its filters when requested by an adult for research or other lawful purposes. Watch the video (48:52) of the proceedings....
American Libraries Online, June 25; TVW network, Olympia, Wash., June 23
Gates Foundation renews library-technology grant funding
ALA has received a $2-million, three-year grant renewal from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to continue its Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study. Office for Research and Statistics Director Denise Davis will remain as project director, and John Carlo Bertot, director of the University of Maryland Center for Library and Information Innovation, will continue to manage the Public Libraries and the Internet survey as part of the study. A comprehensive 2008–2009 report will be published in September....
New website helps library job seekers
Get a Job! offers library job seekers advice, resources, links, best practices, and real-life examples. Full of advice for finding a job in the current tough economy, it features information from a range of ALA divisions and units, as well as links to information about best job-seeking practices. ALA accelerated the website launch in response to the current economic conditions. The site is a work in progress....
ALA Connect Career Connections community
The Career Connections community is an initiative of ALA President Jim Rettig. Currently with 93 members, its main purpose is to provide all ALA members with an opportunity to have their résumés or CVs reviewed by colleagues and peers. Community organizers are looking for ALA members who might be interested in participating as reviewers....
Coalition building in a tough economy
Join ALA President Jim Rettig, moderator Jan Sanders, and others for “Coalition Building for All Libraries in a Tough Economy” July 11 during ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The program will focus on the value of building statewide coalitions during times of economic downturn, as well as the concept of the library ecosystem—how libraries of all types are interdependent....
Gaming Pavilion will showcase link between gaming and literacy
On July 11 to 14 at in the ALA Annual Conference Exhibits Hall, the Gaming Pavilion will showcase the latest format to support literacy in libraries—gaming. The pavilion, sponsored by Verizon, will feature game manufacturers, platform companies, and vendors offering electronic games, board games, card games, and other products and services used for curriculum-based teaching and recreation....
West Bend panel to share censorship stories
Meet the librarians and community members who are fighting to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wisconsin, July 13 at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. A panel, part of the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Issues Briefing, will feature West Bend Community Library Director Michael Tyree, Young Adult Librarian Kristin Pekoll, library board President Barbara Deters, former library board member Mary Reilly-Kliss, and community organizer Maria Hanrahan....
OIF to host Judith Krug memorial
The library world lost a great leader in April with the death of Judith Krug, long-time director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation. OIF will host a special memorial service at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago July 10 where family, friends, and colleagues can come together to honor her memory and her immense contributions to librarianship and First Amendment freedoms....
Join the Privacy Revolution at Annual
The Office for Intellectual Freedom invites you to take up personal-privacy issues and join with us as we kick off our year-long National Conversation on Privacy, an initiative that will culminate in Choose Privacy Week, May 2–8, 2010. “Privacy in an Era of Change: Privacy and Surveillance Under the New Administration,” on July 13, will feature Mary Ellen Callahan, David Sobel, and Jeff Jarvis....
OIF Blog, June 30
More than 1,000 librarians Step Up to the Plate
Since its spring kickoff, more than 1,000 public and school librarians from across the country have signed up for season four of Step Up to the Plate @ your library. For others interested in libraries and baseball, there is still time to register before September 1....
ALA volunteers to support Chicago school libraries
Volunteers from across the United States will gather July 10 at McCormick Place for “Libraries Build Communities,” a daylong community-service effort taking place at various school libraries throughout Chicago. Coordinated by the Chapter Relations Office, this volunteer event is in conjunction with the 2009 ALA Annual Conference....
New report on fiber-optic technology in libraries
The Office for Information Technology Policy has released a report on Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit from Using Fiber Optics for Their Broadband Internet Connections (PDF file), which articulates the benefits of fiber-optic technology for public libraries and strategies to obtain connectivity. The policy brief is intended to help applicants include “fiber to the library” in their federal broadband stimulus funding proposals under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act....
District Dispatch, June 29
OITP seeks cutting-edge technology practices
The Office for Information Technology Policy is soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology. Nominations should be submitted by mail or email by September 1....
District Dispatch, June 29
Meet Programming Librarian
The Public Programs Office will host demonstrations of its new online resource, Programming Librarian, during ALA Annual Conference in Chicago from July 11 through July 13 at the PPO Booth in the Exhibits Hall. The free demonstrations will explore this new resource, designed to assist librarians in bringing cultural and community programs, such as literature discussion series and author appearances, to their libraries....
The media blitz continues
The ALA Public Information Office continues to work with media outlets to obtain coverage about the surge in library usage during tough economic times. More than 900 placements on this topic have appeared on TV, radio, websites, and in print. More than 800 million people have seen, heard, or read stories about the surge since the fall of 2008, when PIO began its media outreach effort....
Transcripts now available
American Libraries Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “One of the earliest requests we had when we started AL Focus was to include transcripts of videos. We looked for an easy, elegant way to provide them, and didn’t find any. We did, eventually, find a more mundane way, thanks to John Chrastka, ALA’s director of membership development, and Molly Sasajima of ALA Conference Services, who actually did the transcribing work. As a result, all of the AL Focus videos now have transcripts.”...
AL Inside Scoop, June 29
Featured review: Reference
Latino America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia. Jan. 2009. 2 vols. 1,000p. Greenwood, hardcover (978-0-313-34116-8).
Educator (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Connecticut) and editor Overmyer-Velázquez’s Latino America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia is a relevant, one-of-a-kind, and “uniquely conceptualized” encyclopedia addressing “the historical significance of the growing” Latino population in the U.S. Written from a Latino cultural perspective and designed to be “more exploratory and suggestive” than comprehensive, the reference is a noteworthy work that successfully illustrates Latino contributions and struggles. A brief introduction—which examines the terms Latino/a and outlines the “critical role” Latinos play in shaping U.S. history—is followed by chapters covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia....
Off the Shelf: Reference Universe
Sue Polanka writes: “One of my favorite things about being a reference librarian is the reference collection. I love perusing the subject encyclopedias for unique content and enjoy watching my collection grow, both in print and e-book formats. However, I find it difficult to keep up with the resources in this valuable collection. Luckily, I found a tool that not only helps me remember these great titles but unlocks them for me, exposing articles and ideas I may not have considered. My tool is Reference Universe, from Paratext, an index to the articles inside the reference collection, providing access points not found in traditional title and subject headings of the OPAC.”...
We get questions
Barbara Bibel writes: “Questions keep us in business. I am sure that most of us became reference librarians because we love looking for answers. We would be excellent detectives if we ever decide to change careers. Our patrons expect us to find the answers and even hope that we will do their assignments, but there are some questions that don’t have answers. We love them dearly and do not laugh until the patron is gone. Here are some classics from my years on the desk.”...
Points of Reference, June 30
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Heading to the airport? Use this checklist
If you’ve booked an airline ticket for Annual Conference, heading to the airport may be an anxiety-inducing experience. Whether you’re an avid flyer or an infrequent one, there are a slew of fees to keep track of, plus security protocols that may seem overwhelming. Fear not. This handy to-do list will help you get to the airport, through security, and to your gate with ease....
Smarter Travel, June 29
Online help desks at conference
ALA is using two great services to help make your conference experience more effective. Help is never more than a text message away, and a fully searchable version of the program book is now available for your web-enabled phone. (1) Text-an-Ambassador places you in personal contact with ALA Ambassadors to get your questions about conference and Chicago answered by text message. (2) Boopsie is a downloadable application for web-enabled phones that makes the full searchable conference program immediately accessible....
The Chicago Office of Tourism is offering discount coupons on attractions, dining, entertainment, museums, and shopping. Get $2 off the Chicago History Museum, 15% off at Poster Plus, 2-for-1 admission at O’Leary’s Chicago Fire Truck Tours, a complimentary appetizer at the Berghoff Restaurant, and much more....
Chicago Office of Tourism
Birding at the Magic Hedge
Located in Lincoln Park, Montrose Point is a 15-acre bird sanctuary that attracts more than 300 different species of migratory birds. They stop here for rest, food, and shelter. East of the bathhouse is the Magic Hedge, a 150-yard stretch of shrubs and trees, so-called because it attracts a curiously high number of birds. In 2001, the Chicago Park District planted hundreds of bird-friendly native shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in the sanctuary....
Chicago Park District; 10,000 Birds
YALSA’s Ultimate Teen Bookshelf
YALSA has created the Ultimate Teen Bookshelf, a new download that highlights must-have teen materials. Developed in conjunction with the United We Serve initiative, the bookshelf is a list that includes 50 books, five magazines, and five audiobooks. While the featured materials have been selected for ages 12–18, the titles on this list span a broad range of reading and maturity levels....
Early bird registration for AASL National Conference
AASL encourages members planning to register for the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition to do so before the July 16 early bird registration deadline. On July 17, registration rates will be raised $50 and, after October 6, AASL members can expect to pay $100 more for registration. The conference will be held November 5–8 in Charlotte, North Carolina....
NEA to support Learning4Life
The National Education Association recently signed on to support the AASL national implementation plan for its standards and guidelines, Learning4Life. NEA joins several other state and national organizations that have pledged their support for L4L. The plan was created to support states, school systems, and individual schools in their efforts to implement the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs....
Kids! campaign features art by David Díaz
Phase two of the ALSC Kids! @ your library public awareness campaign features artwork created by award-winning children’s illustrator David Díaz produced especially for the campaign. Full-color, camera-ready PDFs of a miniposter and bookmarks will be available free online for librarians to download and print for displays and as giveaways. The kickoff of phase two will take place July 12 at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
ACRL’s frequent e-learner program
ACRL has launched an e-learning Frequent Learner Program to help academic and research librarians maximize their professional development dollars during these challenging economic times. Starting September 1, individuals or groups that register for three ACRL e-learning courses or webcasts will receive complimentary registration to one additional course or webcast of equal or lesser value to the lowest cost-paid e-Learning opportunity....
Desserts and auction items at ASCLA/COSLA reception
ASCLA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies invite you for a sweet ending to your evening at the ASCLA/COSLA dessert reception and silent auction July 12. Reception guests can take advantage of desserts, coffee, and a cash bar while participating in a silent auction to benefit the ASCLA Century Scholarship....
The Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table will present “Real-Life Forensics—Like on Numb3rs, CSI, and NCIS” on July 12 at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Learn how forensics librarians at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and other federal agencies help with investigations by providing information. Compare their real-world work to the cases you’ve watched on hit television shows....
She will swim the Hudson River for the Spectrum Scholarship
Miriam Tuliao, assistant director of central collection development collections strategy at the New York Public Library, will participate in the Little Red Lighthouse Swim on September 26 to raise awareness and funds for the ALA Spectrum Scholarship program. The event consists of a 5.85-mile race in New York’s Hudson River. Tuliao is a United States Masters Swimmer who has participated in several long-distance, open-water events....
Richard Bausch wins 2009 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award
Author Richard Bausch has been awarded the 2009 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction for his book
Peace, published by Knopf. The $5,000 award recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. The book chronicles the lives of an Army patrol in Italy during the bleak winter of 1944 and details their adventures and moral dilemmas....
2009 CALA President’s Recognition Award
Barbara J. Ford and Haipeng Li have won the Chinese American Librarians Association President’s Recognition Award for supporting and advancing CALA’s mission and goals in 2008–2009. Ford has held the post of director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois since 2003, and Li is associate director of the John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers University-Newark....
Chinese American Librarians Association, June 28
David H. Clift Scholarship
ALA has awarded Rachel Channer of Klamath Falls, Oregon, the 2009 David H. Clift Scholarship. The grant provides $3,000 to an individual pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. She plans on attending McGill University....
Mary V. Gaver Scholarship
ALA has awarded Laura Elena Ochoa Podell of Madison, Wisconsin, the 2009 Mary V. Gaver Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is awarded to an individual pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies, with a specialty in youth services. She is planning to attend Pratt Institute....
Christopher J. Hoy ERT Scholarship
ALA has awarded Jade Torres-Morrison of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Christopher J. Hoy ERT Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to an individual pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. She plans to attend San Jose State University....
Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship
Michelle Demeter of Tallahassee, Florida, has received the 2009 Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to individuals pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies with a focus on federal librarianship. Demeter attends Florida State University....
Tony B. Leisner Scholarship
ALA has awarded Justine M. Johnson of Easthampton, Massachusetts, the 2009 Tony B. Leisner Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is awarded to a library support staff member pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Johnson plans to attend North Carolina Central University....
Miriam L. Hornback Scholarship
ALA has awarded Janet E. Yost of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, the 2009 Miriam L. Hornback Scholarship. The $3,000 award is given to an ALA or library support staff member to help finance the pursuit of a master’s degree in library and information studies. She currently attends Drexel University....
Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship
ALA has awarded Carol Ann Geary of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, the 2009 Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is awarded to library support staff workers who wish to pursue a master’s degree in library and information studies. Geary will attend Southern Connecticut University....
Marshall Cavendish Scholarship
ALA has awarded Ryan David Stoops of Wichita, Kansas, the 2009 Marshall Cavendish Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is awarded to an individual pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Stoops will attend Emporia State University....
ASCLA Century Scholarship
The 2009 ASCLA Century Scholarship has been awarded to Amy Lynn Sonnie, a graduate student at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science. Sonnie will receive $2,500 to assist her in successfully completing her MLIS program....
2009 Locus Award winners
Winners of the 2009 Locus Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet June 27 in Seattle during the Science Fiction Awards Weekend. The awards honor the best science fiction and related books published in 2008, as voted by the general public. Neal Stephenson’s Anathem (Morrow) won for best science fiction novel, while Ursula K. Le Guin’s Lavinia (Harcourt) took the prize for best fantasy novel....
CILIP Carnegie Medal awarded to the late Siobhan Dowd
A novel completed just three months before she died made Siobhan Dowd on June 25 the first-ever posthumous winner of the UK’s most prestigious prize in children’s literature, the Carnegie medal. Bog Child, the story of a teenage boy who finds the body of a child in an Irish bog, was finished by Dowd in May 2007. She died of cancer that August at the age of 47, having only turned to writing in 2003. Illustrator Catherine Rayner won the Kate Greenaway Medal for her second title, Harris Finds His Feet. The medals are awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 25
2009 Dundee International Book Prize
Unpublished crime novelist Chris Longmuir has won the 2009 Dundee International Book Prize for her novel Dead Wood. The £10,000 ($16,500 U.S.) prize is one of the highest in the UK for an unpublished writer. The story revolves around a boy who becomes psychologically damaged as a result of discovering one of the bodies of the two girls in the real-life Templeton Woods, Dundee, murder case in 1978–1979....
Dundee Courier, June 27
Desmond Elliott Prize for New Fiction
Edward Hogan has won the
£10,000 ($16,500 U.S.) Desmond Elliott Prize for Blackmoor, published by Simon and Schuster. The prize, in its second year, honors a first novel published in the UK. Set in Hogan’s home county of Derbyshire, Blackmoor centers on a small mining community during the miners’ strikes....
Desmond Elliott Prize
East Sussex Children’s Book Award
Matt Haig has won the 2009 East Sussex Children’s Book Award for his novel Shadow Forest (Corgi). This annual award is aimed at and voted for by pupils age 9–11 in schools across the British county of East Sussex and the city of Brighton. The story involves a forest full of one-eyed trolls, the sinister huldre-folk, deadly Truth Pixies, and a witch who steals shadows....
East Sussex County Council
Tim Winton wins 2009 Miles Franklin Award
A novel about surfing has won Tim Winton his fourth Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s most important literary prize, 25 years after he picked up his first one. Breath, which traces a young man’s initiation into the dangerous worlds of surfing and sex, was named winner of the £20,000 ($32,900 U.S.) prize in Sydney, but Winton has shunned the awards ceremony since his first win in 1984. Winton said it had been “a strong year” for Australian novels....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 18
The Librarian wins a Saturn Award
The 2008 TV
movie The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice won a Saturn Award June 24 for best televised science fiction presentation. The film, the third in the series, follows librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle, right), an expert in linguistics, ancient customs, swordplay, and much more as he travels to New Orleans to stop a Russian ex-pat from giving his country the power of Vlad Dracul with the legendary Judas Chalice....
If Magazine, June 25; Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films
ISTE Media Specialist Technology Innovation Awards
Three New York schools have been named the winners of the second annual ISTE Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award, which recognizes collaborative technology innovation projects created by elementary, middle, and high school teachers and library media specialists. The award is sponsored by Follett Software Company, Linworth Publishing, and the International Society for Technology in Education’s SIG for Media Specialists. Each of the three winning teams will receive a $1,000 cash award for the school media center....
Follett Software Company, June 30
ARL Diverse Workforce stipends
The Association of Research Libraries is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce, a program designed to recruit LIS students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial backgrounds into careers in research libraries. The initiative includes a stipend up to $10,000, leadership and career development training, and a formal mentorship program. The deadline for applications is August 31....
Association of Research Libraries, June 25
Ohio legislature moves on interim budget
The Ohio Senate passed a continuing resolution and approved an interim budget June 29 in order to work out an impasse over how to fill a $3.2-billion hole in its $54-billion budget. The interim budget would run through July 7, giving legislators another week to balance the two-year spending plan that was to start July 1. The measure will fund state programs at 70% of the current level, a reduction that will not apply to library funding. The budget process is now in the negotiation stage....
Ohio Library Council, June 29
Harvard libraries cut jobs, hours
Harvard College Library has eliminated over 20 staff positions and cut hours for several other employees as part of the university-wide layoffs announced in late June. An all-staff meeting will be held later this summer to discuss plans in the wake of the recent reductions, according to Harvard College Librarian Nancy M. Cline. The library cuts come as a result of a projected $220-million annual deficit by fiscal year 2011....
Harvard Crimson, June 26
DOJ will not appeal LC transgender case
The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to appeal an April 29 federal court ruling awarding transgender veteran Diane Schroer (right) the maximum compensation for the discrimination she suffered after being refused a job with the Library of Congress. The deadline for seeking an appeal was June 30. The Obama administration’s decision whether to appeal the final ruling in the case has been closely watched in part because the Bush administration defended the case so vigorously, arguing that transgender Americans are not protected by any existing federal laws....
American Civil Liberties Union, July 1
Federal Research Public Access Act
On June 25, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 1373), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by 11 U.S. federal agencies. S. 1373 would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal....
Alliance for Taxpayer Access, June 26
KU library to offer public access to university research
The University of Kansas has become the first public university in the United States to offer open access to research by its faculty and staff online. The library announced June 26 that it has created KU ScholarWorks, a digital repository that will make scholarly articles and papers available to a wider audience....
Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, June 26
New San Diego library comes a step closer
After looking dead at several points in the past seven years, a proposed $185-million main library in downtown San Diego appears to have revived. With $20 million promised by the San Diego Unified School District, the city council will vote on it July 7. If the council moves forward, the city will be gambling nearly $150 million that private library boosters can raise an additional $37.5 million by 2012, in order to schedule a grand opening in July 2013....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, June 25
Library trucks bear literary ads
If delivery trucks driving around Johnson County, Kansas, emblazoned with ads for peculiar businesses prompt some double-takes, they’re doing their job. Kafka’s Pest Control? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s Pharmacy? Four literary-themed trucks are part of a new PR campaign for the Johnson County Library. The newly illustrated trucks have been transporting books among the system’s 13 libraries since late June....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, June 26
New cost estimates for Peoria construction
The Peoria (Ill.) Public Library’s building committee, now in weekly meeting mode, heard new numbers about human remains behind its Lincoln branch June 23 and new cost estimates to remove them, but took no action. With the job about 98% complete at the end of the third week of excavation at the site, where the library wants to build a 16,000-square-foot addition, archeologists have identified 230 separate indications of burial sites. The site was a public cemetery from 1842 to 1875....
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, June 25
Hancock County libraries fixing Katrina damage
The battered public library system in Hancock County, Mississippi, is still smarting from Hurricane Katrina’s punishment in 2005, but officials say things are looking up and moving ahead. A bid has been awarded to repair the headquarters library in Bay St. Louis, repairs are planned for the Kiln branch, and ground will soon be broken for a new Waveland library (above)....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, June 21
Stimulus funds will cool down Texas library
In an effort to pare down electricity bills, officials in League City, Texas, plan to use federal stimulus dollars to replace the Helen Hall Library’s 37-year-old air-conditioning system. The 1972 A/C unit is so obsolete that the manufacturer no longer makes parts for it. Earlier this year, the city found out it was slated to receive $598,000 in federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds; the new system would use up about one-third of that....
Galveston County (Tex.) Daily News, June 27
Top readers get a library yard sign
The Calcasieu Parish (La.) Public Library wants everyone to know how much their patrons love to read. Students who complete the requirements for the library’s summer reading program will be given a yard sign that says, “A library champion lives here.” Readers who complete their reading logs will receive a certificate of completion and yard sign and will be entered in the grand prize drawing....
Lake Charles (La.) American Press, June 27
Retirees take their coffee meetings elsewhere
A group of retirees has been asked to stop holding morning coffee meetings at a British public library for health and safety reasons—in case they spill hot drinks on children. Encouraged by the librarian, the seven members of the Over 50s coffee group began meeting every Tuesday four years ago at the Eye Library in Cambridgeshire. But council officials claim that toddlers from a nearby nursery could be injured. Members of the group say they are usually done by the time the kids arrive but have decided to meet at each others’ homes instead....
The Daily Mail (U.K.), June 28
Go back to the Top
Your friends are in the answer business
A new web service offered by Aardvark offers specific recommendations and advice from real people. Once signed up, you submit a question to Aardvark via an instant message or email, and its software looks among your Facebook friends, and friends of your friends, for volunteers to answer it. Those friends-of-friends may turn out to be a great fountain of hitherto untapped information....
New York Times, June 27
The best Firefox extension: AutoCopy
Seth Rosenblatt writes: “Hands-down, without a doubt, AutoCopy is the best Firefox extension. It may also be the best Firefox extension you’ve never heard of. Developed at Mozilla, AutoCopy is a lightweight, single-feature add-on that copies any text you highlight to your clipboard. No more hitting CTRL+C or using the context menu. But what makes this the must-have extension is that there’s practically no other reason to highlight text on a web page except to copy it to your clipboard.”...
The Download Blog, June 26
The top 10 Twitter SEO tips
Mike Dobbs writes: “With all the rumors suggesting that Google will soon offer real-time search capabilities that will index Tweets, now is a good time to take a closer look at your Twitter presence. Even now, Twitter pages and individual tweets have started appearing within Google search results. But you still have time to start optimizing your Twitter presence. By following these 10 Twitter tips, you can build up more prominent links in high places on the search engines.”...
Mashable, June 25
Take screenshots the easy way
Frederic Lardinois writes: “Aviary, which is known for its fully featured, browser-based image creation and manipulation tools, just released a new tool that makes it extremely easy to capture a copy of any web page by just adding ‘aviary.com/’ in front of a URL. Unlike most screen capture tools, Aviary is able to capture a complete website, even if it extends beyond the borders of your screen.”...
ReadWriteWeb, June 29
BagIt: Transferring content for digital preservation
The Library of Congress—with the California Digital Library and Stanford University—has developed BagIt, a specification that supports the reliable transfer of content in self-contained packages, or “bags,” as discussed in this video (3:14). Bags have a sparse, uncomplicated structure that transcends differences in institutional data, data architecture, formats, and practices. A bag’s minimal but essential metadata is machine-readable, which makes it easy to automate ingestion of the data....
Library of Congress Digital Preservation, June 24
Arizona State sued over Kindles
The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind filed suit June 25 against Arizona State University to prevent it from deploying Amazon’s Kindle DX e-reader to distribute electronic textbooks to its students because the device cannot be used by blind students. Darrell Shandrow, a blind ASU student, is also a named plaintiff in the action. Although the Kindle features text-to-speech technology that can read textbooks aloud, its menus are not accessible, making it impossible for a blind user to use the advanced reading functions....
National Federation of the Blind, June 25
50 books to read now, and why
No one needs another best-of list telling you how great The Great Gatsby is. What we do need, in a world with precious little time to read (and think), is to know which books—new or old, fiction or nonfiction—open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways. Which is why Newsweek would like you to sit down with Anthony Trollope and these 49 other remarkably trenchant voices....
Newsweek, June 27
How to know if you are reading a bad book
Shannan Palma writes: “Based on some of my recent fiction-reading travails, I am gaining a real expertise in badly written fiction, and I thought I would share some of the warning signs I’ve identified.” For example, “Are the characters’ names impossible to pronounce? Alternatively, when you pronounce them, do you realize that they are actually homonyms for scary-sounding English words? If the book is not written by Tolkien and is not a parody, it might be a Bad Book.”...
Feminist SF—The Blog, Jan. 22
Steven Harris writes: “The format of the newspaper wasn’t what made it pleasant or an effective means of gathering information. Nostalgia aside, it was kind of a crappy reading experience. There are certain activities that are enabled by the form and structure of a newspaper, but many characteristics of newspapers serve an economic rather than a reading purpose. I am no historian of newspapers, but their history, it seems, is a confluence of two goals: cheap distribution and quick reading.”...
Collections 2.0, June 26
OCLC withdraws WorldCat usage recommendations
OCLC formally withdrew June 26 a revised
policy for use and transfer of WorldCat records that it had proposed in November 2008. The decision came after the OCLC board of trustees received a June 22 final report (PDF file) by a review board convened to assess matters concerning shared data. A new group will soon be assembled to begin work to draft another policy with more input and participation from the OCLC membership....
OCLC, June 26
The role of libraries in an economic recovery
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (right) shares his views on volunteerism, No Child Left Behind, and reading readiness, in this exclusive June 22 conversation with American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel: “We want to spotlight libraries both for helping children and for helping families, and we see tremendous volunteer opportunities for teenagers or adults or senior citizens to come and help and volunteer at the library this summer.”...
American Libraries Online, June 30
Community spirit is just the ticket
American Libraries Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg writes: “On June 17, President Obama announced his nationwide United We Serve volunteer initiative, mentioning ‘reading to kids at your local library’ as an example of how individuals and groups can boost local efforts toward improving education and community renewal, among other worthwhile projects. The library community, of course, is no stranger to harnessing volunteer energy; in fact, quite a few libraries big and small have passionate bibliophiles to thank for their beginnings.”...
AL Inside Scoop, June 24
2007 Public Libraries Survey report
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has issued the Public Libraries Survey report for FY2007. This is the second report released since IMLS was given responsibility for the annual survey, which includes information on population of service areas, service outlets, library collections and services, library staff, and operating revenue and expenditures. New this year is trend data for 7–10 years, with graphs and maps on selected items....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 30
NCES public school library statistics, 2007–2008
The National Center for Education Statistics has issued a report (PDF file) on its 2007–2008 survey of public elementary- and secondary-school libraries in the United States. This is the first comprehensive report on school libraries issued by NCES since 1999–2000 (the 2003–2004 survey results were never issued in report form). Among the findings: 92% of the schools surveyed had a library, but only 62% had at least one full-time,
paid, state-certified library media center specialist....
National Center for Education Statistics, June 30
Teens, TV, and social media
Robin Wauters writes: “According to a June Nielsen report (PDF file), teenagers are far from abandoning TV for so-called new media. In fact, television viewing rates among U.S. teens have actually gone up 6% in the last five years. Sure, they browse the web a lot, but far less than you do. The average time spent browsing for an adult person in the United States comes down to about 29 hours and 15 minutes per month; for teens, make that 11 hours and 32 minutes per month.”...
TechCrunch, June 24
What not to do when applying for library jobs
Brett Bonfield writes: “Job hunting mistakes affect every librarian, whether you’ve got a job, you’re in the market, or you will begin looking five years down the road. This group post is our way of pulling together our collective experiences as both interviewees and interviewers and offering up some practical advice to readers.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, June 24
10 ways library schools should teach social media
Daniel Hooker writes: “A few days ago I came across a wonderful article on Mashable entitled 10 Ways Journalism Schools are teaching social media. The thought struck me about 30 seconds in: All these concepts should apply to library school, but why aren’t they being pushed and taught in the same way? So I thought I would break them down and attempt to explain the urgency with which LIS faculty need to be catching up in this area.”...
Socialibrarian, June 23
Satirical political maps, 1791–1900
PK offers a selection of cartoon political maps, from James Gillray’s comic map of England formed by an old woman seated in profile to the left on the back of a dolphin-like monster (1791), to Fred W. Rose’s “John Bull and His Friends” depicting the countries of Europe in 1900 (right), known as the Octopus Map from the brooding presence of the Russian Empire as a massive octopus whose tentacles stretch out towards Europe....
BibliOdyssey, June 30
Twitter Search in plain English
This video (3:37) uses the metaphor of “Twitterville” to illustrate opportunities to use Twitter’s search feature to find people and information, read news, and discover emerging information. Twitter Search creates new opportunities for business feedback, tracking news in real time, and discovering trends. For other Twitter search engines, see Rafe Needleman’s roundup....
Common Craft; YouTube, June 16; Webware, June 25
Google Book Search bibliography
Charles W. Bailey Jr. has put together a massive bibliography of English-language articles and other works that are useful in understanding Google Book Search. It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories....
Digital Scholarship, June 29
Green Dragon song contest
Libraries, along with kids and teens 8–14 years old, are welcome to enter the Green Dragon lyrics writing contest. Entrants will write lyrics set to the story of the Green Dragon, and the winning lyrics will then be set to music tied in with A Practical Guide to Dragons (Mirrorstone) and the books in the Dragon Codex series. Libraries must send in a Library Participation Form (PDF file). The contest is open through August 9....
10 ways to learn stuff while procrastinating online
Eric Johnson writes: “It’s Monday. You’ve had a nice, long, idle weekend, and—what’s this? Someone who says they’re your boss wants you to do work?! Well, we’ll have none of that, will we? Of course not—this is the internet. Here are 10 easy ways to put off whatever you’re supposed to be doing while also getting your knowledge fix.”...
Mental Floss, June 29
Catalog cards of Harvard
Larry Nix writes: “Allen Veaner, the former director of libraries at the University of California, Santa Barbara, became aware of my interest in library history and contacted me to see if I would be interested in a collection of catalog cards that he had salvaged from his time as a cataloger at the Widener Library of Harvard University. I, of course, said yes. The collection is of particular interest because of the role that Harvard played in the early adoption of the card catalog and by its use of a 2x3-inch card instead of the size that became a universal standard.”...
Library History Buff
Web Site Story
On the West Side of New York, Maria and Tony find each other using social-networking tools like Evite, and sing about it using the Leonard Bernstein score from West Side Story (4:28). Featuring songs like “I’m on Twitter, I’m on Twitter” and “I Just Found a Site Called Pandora.”...
College Humor, June 29
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. In addition to programs sponsored by divisions, round tables, and committees, this year’s conference features 10 Grassroots Programs dealing with current issues and selected by a jury of library school students and practitioners. The programs are part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s initiative to increase opportunities for members to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from their Association.
Seven-time NBA all-star Yao Ming is reading The Shawshank Redemption in this new Celebrity READ poster. An ambassador for the Special Olympics, Yao is also the founder of the Yao Ming Foundation, which supports rebuilding high-quality, earthquake-resistant schools in Sichuan province, China, following the devastating 2008 earthquake. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Summertime in Chicago
Prescription for Financial Recovery
Librarians As Writers
Licenses and Legalities
Director of Membership, American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
Cambridge, Massachusetts. The successful candidate must have an understanding of how knowledge is organized and have experience with state of the art systems for classifying the scholarly work of academics, professionals, and business leaders. She or he will oversee the confidential nomination and election process; will provide staff support to membership committees; will lead the effort to gather knowledge of current activities and research interests of Academy members; and will support other activities associated with Academy members.
The position calls for knowledge of advances and changes in the various scholarly disciplines, the arts, and the professions, and an understanding of current scholarly and policy issues. The position also requires strong writing skills, knowledge of and proficiency in information systems, and supervisory experience....
Digital Library of the Week
The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, includes over 7,600 photographs organized in 76 separate albums, scrapbooks, or loose collections, replicating how British collector Humphrey Winterton organized the collection. The photographs depict life, primarily in East Africa, between about 1860 and 1960. Assembled by Winterton over about 30 years, the collection depicts the breadth of African experience and also documents African life, European life in Africa in all its manifestations, and the African landscape, in particular as it changed over time. Included are photos showing the building of East Africa’s railways, the growth of its urban centers, and the development of European colonial administration. The photographs extensively document rural life as well as the travels and work of European colonial officials and private businessmen. There are outstanding examples of portraiture, some of which were taken by commercial studios. The Winterton Collection provides an unsurpassed resource for the study of the history of photography in East Africa.
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.
“If there is a heaven . . . I’d want a big library. The biggest library you’ve ever seen. One that’s opened all the time, not just half days. That’s what I hope heaven’s like.”
—Maudie Ferguson, in Cassandra King’s Making Waves (Hyperion, 2004), p. 93.
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the ALA Librarian
Q. Our library receives many questions about finding family history information. While the library offers a couple of basic classes on how to get started, these tend to focus either on locally available materials and online resources. Does ALA have any guidelines for the provision of genealogical services?
A. RUSA has a History Section that offers guidelines for genealogical collections and services, as well as a preconference at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. In addition, the ALA Library has gathered together a list of the most useful print and web resources for genealogical research. Included on this list are the RUSA guidelines, pathfinders, books, magazines, and free websites. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Granite State Book and Ephemera Fair, Event Center at C.R. Sparks, Bedford, New Hampshire.
Serving Diverse Populations, Houston, Texas. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.
Arkansas Book and Paper Show, Jacksonville.
Society of American Archivists / Council of State Archivists, Annual Meeting, Hilton Austin, Texas.
OCLC Digital Forum West, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. “Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery.”
Kentucky Library Association / Kentucky School Media Association, Annual Conference, Galt House Hotel and Suites, Louisville.
8th International Board on Books for Young People, Regional Conference, Q Center, St. Charles, Illinois. “Children’s Books: Where Worlds Meet.”
National Media Market, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort, Lexington, Kentucky.
Internet Research 10.0, Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Wisconsin. “Internet: Critical.”
Oct. 18 –21:
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Harrisburg Hotel, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mississippi Library Association, Annual Conference, Hattiesburg.
Wisconsin Library Association, Annual Conference, Appleton.
American Association of School Librarians, National Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. “Rev Up Learning @ your library.”
Brick and Click Libraries, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.
Museum Computer Network, Annual Conference, Doubletree Hotel–Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon. “Museum Information, Museum Efficiency: Doing More with Less!”