Fired Lexington PL Director Imhoff may sue board
The board of the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library fired Director Kathleen Imhoff July 15 after the five board members present (out of seven) voted unanimously to terminate her contract, which was set to run until June 2011. The action follows months of squabbling over the details of Imhoff’s expense accounts over the past five years. “I am still more than willing to mediate this situation,” Imhoff told American Libraries, “and would prefer not to go to litigation.”...
American Libraries Online, July 22
Hawaii board delays plan to close branches
Deferring a vote on Hawaii State Librarian Richard Burns’s (right) proposal to shut five public libraries, the Hawaii Board of Education has directed him to submit a new plan to address a $5.7-million cut in funding that does not include library closures. At its July 16 meeting, the board approved the rest of the proposal presented by Burns July 9, but passed motions protecting the five branches that had been targeted for closure....
American Libraries Online, July 21
Alphonse F. Trezza dies at 88
ALA Honorary Member Alphonse F. Trezza died July 15 at his home in Tallahassee, Florida. Trezza was professor emeritus at the Florida State University SLIS in Tallahassee, and formerly served as director of the Illinois State Library and director of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. He was chosen for ALA’s highest award as an Honorary Member in 2007 for his development of cooperative library systems....
Illinois State Library Newsletter 2, no. 29 (July 17)
25 libraries to host Lincoln traveling exhibit
The Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, has selected 25 libraries to host a new traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” One copy of the exhibition will travel to public, academic, and special libraries from mid-2009 through 2013. The selected libraries will host the 1,000-square-foot exhibit for six weeks and receive a $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for exhibit-related expenses....
Support staff certification program approved
The ALA Executive Board approved the establishment of a Library Support Staff Certification Program at its July 13 meeting in Chicago. The LSSC Program is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, it will now enter a testing phase in five library organizations across the United States....
COA announces accreditation actions
The Committee on Accreditation has announced accreditation actions taken at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Continued accreditation status was granted to the University of Iowa, University of South Florida, and University of Tennessee....
How has your library stepped up to the plate?
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is looking for stories about how libraries are promoting the fourth season of “Step Up to the Plate @ your library.” From now until August 18, libraries can submit stories, photos, and videos of their activities by email. Examples can include footage and photos from events, photos of signage, “Step Up to the Plate” PSAs, clips from local media, or scans of publicity materials....
Advocacy Day planned for Annual Conference 2010
In 2010, the ALA Washington Office will replace its annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., with an exciting, one-time opportunity—Library Advocacy Day—that combines a rally on Capitol Hill with participants’ traditional visits to Congressional offices. Set for June 28, the event will give the those attending the 2010 ALA Annual Conference, scheduled for June 24–30 in Washington, a chance to get involved in federal advocacy and encourage them to take part in future National Library Legislative Days....
District Dispatch, July 20
Sylvia Ivie at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards celebration
Sylvia Ivie, presenter of the first Coretta Scott King Book Awards, spoke to AL Focus at the 40th anniversary celebration about what the CSK Book Awards have developed into and why they are still necessary (2:02)....
Christie Hefner at the Opening General Session
Before her Opening General Session speech at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, American Libraries spoke (2:21) with former Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner about her message to librarians, her memories of Judith Krug and the important First Amendment battles they fought, and what helped her to succeed in what some would call a man’s job....
Wanda Urbanska at the Auditorium Speaker Series
At her presentation at Annual Conference, Wanda Urbanska discussed the “disease” of overconsumption and the idea of simplicity as a lifestyle, and offered suggestions for how to incorporate these ideas into libraries—and help the environment at the same time. This video of the complete presentation (53:47) includes a brief question-and-answer segment, which evolved into a discussion on how to advocate for environmentally friendly options....
Wanda Urbanska backstage
After her speech at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, Simple Living host Wanda Urbanska spoke (2:28) with American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel about her work with libraries and how librarians can advocate for green choices to administrators charged with monitoring the bottom line....
Paula Poundstone at Wait Wait...
AL Focus visited ALTAFF Spokesperson Paula Poundstone July 9 before a taping of National Public Radio’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! attended by 500 librarians. The conversation (3:21) covered Poundstone’s role as ALTAFF spokesperson, her kids’ reading habits, the Three Stooges, the dreaded acronym game, and the horrors of math. Transcript to come....
Carl Kasell at Wait Wait...
National Pubic Radio newscaster and official judge and scorekeeper for Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me! Carl Kasell spoke (2:17) to AL Focus before the July 9 taping of the show. Topics included the NPR library, the First Amendment, his use of libraries as a child, and Charles Kuralt....
Dan Kraus at the Live @ your library stage
AL Focus caught up with Dan Kraus, the founder of AL Focus, currently an editor with Booklist magazine, and author of the novel The Monster Variations, after his reading on the Live @ your library stage at ALA Annual Conference. Dan discusses (1:35) his new book as well as the experience of being on the other side of the AL Focus cameras....
NMRT résumé review service
Sarah Johnson, a reviewer for the New Members Round Table Résumé Review Service, discusses the program and how to participate in it (2:06), as well as some of the common résumé mistakes she sees. Librarians from all types of libraries, with various specializations, have volunteered to help you make your résumé shine. Transcript to come....
Featured review: Media
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. The Boy Who Dared. Read by David Ackroyd. Apr. 2009. 4hr. Listening Library, CD (978-0-7393-7407-8).
Bartoletti encountered the true story of Helmuth Hübener when researching the 2006 Newbery Honor title Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow (also available from Listening Library). In The Boy Who Dared, Bartoletti imagines 17-year-old Hübener’s thoughts as he awaits Nazi execution, tracing the German boy’s evolution from youthful Nazi supporter to teen resistance fighter through flashbacks. Ackroyd’s American accent, mature voice, and straightforward delivery establish a historical-documentary feel to the audio....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Southard heading southward
Greta K. Southard, longtime executive director of the Public Library Association has announced that she will resign her position as of August 31. She has been executive director of PLA since 1996. Southard was selected executive director of the Boone County (Ky.) Public Library from a nationwide pool of candidates. She will assume the post in September....
2009 PLDS statistical report now available
Designed to aid and enhance the public library planning and evaluation process, PLA’s Public Library Data Service Statistical Report 2009 is now available. The current edition will help library managers identify top-performing libraries, compare service levels and technology usage, and provide documentation for funding requests. Also included are the results of a special survey on library facilities. The data contained in this year’s report was collected from more than 800 public libraries. Available soon in the ALA Store....
Registration open for YALSA fall courses
YALSA will offer three online courses this fall: “AIMing at Tweens: Advising, Involving, Motivating,” taught by Teri Lesesne; “Graphic Novels and Teen Readers: The Basics and Beyond,” taught by Francisca Goldsmith; and “Reaching Teens with Gaming,” taught by Beth Gallaway. The first two both meet for four weeks; the last one meets for six weeks. All courses begin October 5. Registration for YALSA’s online courses is available now through October 2....
Taking a risk? Tell YALSA
Are you taking risks at your library? YALSA wants to hear about your experiences as part of YALSA President Linda Braun’s theme, “Risky Business.” Braun’s presidential advisory task force helped her develop the theme. Throughout the year, she plans to develop content that highlights the ways that YALSA, librarians, and teens manage risk effectively. Braun will discuss smart risk-taking in depth on August 5 during a YALSA online chat in ALA Connect....
L4L trainers ready to implement AASL standards
On July 9, AASL trained more than 60 state-level coordinators from 46 states in the development of customized implementation strategies for AASL’s standards and guidelines. The all-day summit, Training4Trainers, was part of Learning4Life, AASL’s plan for its Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs....
Still time for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge
Registration for the 2009–2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge will close July 31—teens and tweens at your library could win a trip to WrestleMania XXVI in Phoenix, and you could win $2,000 for your library. Just complete the Teen Read Week registration and say “yes” to the WrestleMania Reading Challenge by July 31...
YALSA Blog, July 20
Sr. Calavera goes to the Belpré celebration
The skeleton Señor Calavera receives an invitation to attend the ALA Pura Belpré book award ceremony. Now all he needs is to make it there in time!
This video (4:38) was shown at the ALSC Pura Belpré Celebración at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, where Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales received the Pura Belpré Medal for illustration and the Pura Belpré Honor for narrative. Morales was the puppeteer in the video....
YouTube, July 14
Lions and tigers and Best Books—oh my!
mk Eagle writes: “Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding one of YALSA’s best-known lists: the Best Books for Young Adults. Heck, you’d have to be ignoring Twitter, various journals, and the YALSA Blog to have not heard a peep about the kerfuffle. But what really happened?”...
YALSA Blog, July 20
Five outstanding Friends groups
ALTAFF and Baker and Taylor recognized five Friends of the Library groups during the division’s Gala Author Tea held recently during Annual Conference in Chicago. Each group received a $1,000 check and an engraved plaque to honor their achievements. The five Friends groups include Friends of the Florence County (S.C.) Library, Friends of the San Benito County (Calif.) Free Library, Friends of the Orangevale (Calif.) Library, Friends of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library, and Friends of Henderson (Nev.) Libraries....
Peter Lyman Memorial/SAGE Scholarship in New Media
The first scholarship winner has been selected for the newest ALA scholarship, the Peter Lyman Memorial/SAGE Scholarship in New Media. Stacy Kitsis, English teacher at Arlington (Mass.) High School, has been selected to receive the scholarship in memory of Peter Lyman, the former university librarian and professor emeritus of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Lyman was nationally known for his landmark study on information overload, “How Much Information?” coauthored with Hal Valerian....
2009 Diversity Research grants
ALA’s Office for Diversity has announced the recipients of the Diversity Research Grants for 2009. The grants consist of a one-time $2,000 annual award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at the ALA Annual Conference. The grants will go to Clayton Copeland (University of South Carolina), Diana Tedone (UCLA), and Stephanie Maatta Smith (University of South Florida)....
Coretta Scott King Award audio resources
TeachingBooks.net has launched the Coretta Scott King Book Award Curriculum Resource Center, a free, online site for educators and families that features more than 250 original recordings with the award-winning authors and illustrators, as well as hundreds of lesson plans. The center was developed to assemble teaching materials that connect the books to the curriculum in any classroom....
TeachingBooks.net, July 13
BWB/NCFL Libraries and Family Award
Better World Books and the National Center for Family Literacy have launched a Libraries and Family Award, which will recognize exceptional family programming in libraries around the country. Each year, three winning libraries will be awarded $10,000 in grants. The competition will be conducted through an online RFP process. Award criteria and an application will be available online by October 1....
National Center for Family Literacy
Montana database wins ESRI award
A program developed by the Montana State Library in Helena received a Special Achievement in GIS Award July 15 at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California. The Natural Resource Information System was selected from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide to receive the award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to our global society through GIS technology....
Montana State Library, July 15
The Dagger in the Library Award goes to Colin Cotterill
The U.K. Crime Writers’ Association has awarded mystery author Colin Cotterill the 2009 Dagger in the Library Award, which carries a prize of £1,500 ($2,480 U.S.) to the author, plus £300 ($500 U.S.) to a participating library’s readers’ group. The annual award is given to “the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to library users.” Authors are nominated by UK libraries and readers’ groups and judged by a panel of librarians....
Crime Writers’ Association, July 15
Best thrillers of 2009
Members of the International Thriller Writers gathered together July 13 to hand out awards at the awesomely named Thrillerfest in New York City. David Morrell, author of The Shimmer (2009) and Scavenger (2007), received the lifetime achievement “ThrillerMaster” Award. Brad Meltzer (The Book of Lies, 2008) took home the Silver Bullet Award for contributions to the advancement of literacy. Best Thriller of the Year went to Jeffery Deaver’s The Bodies Left Behind (2008)....
Likely Stories, July 15
2009 UKLA Children’s Book Awards
The United Kingdom Literacy Association announced the winners of the UKLA Children’s Book Awards July 9 at the University of Greenwich. The winner in the 12–16 age category was Siobhan Dowd’s Bog Child, while Archie’s War by Marcia Williams won in the 3–11 age group. Books are judged both on their content and the means of expression (challenging use of language, imaginative expression, illustration and other graphics)....
UK Literacy Association, July 9
2009 Branford Boase Award
Walker Books in London has awarded the 10th annual Branford Boase Award to The Traitor Game (Bloomsbury, 2008), written by Bridget R. Collins and edited by Emma Matthewson. The book explores the way boys create friendships and how fragile these relationships can be when dealing with issues of bullying, homosexuality, and peer pressure. The award is given annually to the author and editor of an outstanding novel for young people by a first-time writer....
Walker Books, July 9
European Union Prize for Literature
The names of 12 European authors to receive the first-ever European Union Prize for Literature were announced by the European Commission July 16. The prizes will be presented during a ceremony in Brussels on September 28. The aim of the prize is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature. The prize will be granted in three phases; by 2011, a winner will have been announced for each of the 34 countries participating in the EU Culture Programme....
EuroAlert.net, July 16
2008–2009 Research Library Awards (The Rellas)
Megan Kate Nelson spent last year reading and taking notes in many research libraries throughout the nation and came to appreciate all of their various delights, horrors, and quirks. These awards were determined after much musing about her own experiences and in consultation with other scholars. Among them are honors for Best Pencils at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Best Lunchtime Ritual at the Huntington Library....
AuntieQuarian, July 17
Libraries commemorate 1969 moon landing
The 40th anniversary of the first moon walk was celebrated July 20, but Massachusetts libraries are finding ways to commemorate the historic event all summer long. From stories and crafts that teach children about space to special presentations that all ages can enjoy, libraries are doing all they can to educate people about Apollo 11’s triumph on July 20, 1969, and the wonders of the universe. The West Bridgewater Public Library, for example, has landed samples of NASA moon rocks and meteorites....
Brockton (Mass.) Enterprise, July 17
Passport services help fund Flagler County library
Despite a down-and-out economy, the Flagler County (Fla.) Public Library has a new funding source that’s already produced enough cash to pay for some long-needed upgrades. Thanks to new passport services offered in the Palm Coast library, there is a newly renovated room for patrons to read library materials, surf the internet on laptops, and watch local government meetings on two state-of-the art televisions....
Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, July 18
TLA’s new Tattooed Ladies calendar
Former Texas Library Association President Gretchen Hoffman (right) has a starfish tattooed onto her left shoulder blade. She is one of 18 librarians showing off a different side of the profession in a new calendar featuring tattooed librarians from Texas. The TLA calendar, slated to come out in July and called The Tattooed Ladies of TLA, covers 18 months and will raise money for the association’s disaster-relief fund. Be sure to watch the KXAN video (2:05)....
KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas, July 14; Texas Library Association
New university computer policy sparks library arrest
A 25-year-old man was arrested July 15 in the University of Montana’s Mansfield Library for protesting a new policy that limits public access to most computers. Nicholas Stocks left the library in handcuffs after urging patrons to rebel against the change that requires student IDs for most computer use. The library has about 100 computers that previously did not require identification for use. However, as the library moves toward digital collections, users must now enter a student ID to log on to most computers....
The Missoulian, July 17; University of Montana, July 13
Rockford board delays action on shortfall
City officials surprised the Rockford (Ill.) Public Library board in early July by announcing that the city will no longer contribute $683,000 to its employees’ pension in 2010. On July 20, the board held off discussions in open and closed sessions about finding new revenue streams or the likelihood of library hours, staff, and services being reduced. Before the meeting, trustee President John Brien acknowledged the board “has to have discussions with the union before we do anything.”...
Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, July 21
Mount Prospect mural features wild animals
A near life-size mural in the Children’s Department at the Mount Prospect (Ill.) Public Library features elephants, giraffes, and monkeys interacting with fearless young readers, in a whimsical display by artist Greg Gove (right). The 40-foot mural stretches along the north wall of the department, interrupted by doors to the reading rooms, which double as tree trunks. The centerpiece is a giraffe, with a book on its head, and its owner, a little girl, about to climb a ladder to get it back....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, July 15
Dallas is poised to slash library funding
In September, the city of Dallas will adopt a new budget that shaves about $190 million from its planned $1.9-billion operating budget. Libraries will bear a significant part of that burden. According to a June briefing, the library budget will be slashed by a third to just under $22 million. Under a proposal that must be approved by the council, most branch libraries will open for 23 hours per week, less than half what they average now. The central library will also shave 28 hours a week from its current 68-hour schedule....
Dallas Morning News, July 20
Volunteers to play larger roles in libraries in Ohio...
Marilyn Welling spends several hours per week in the basement of the Wright Memorial Public Library in Oakwood, Ohio, cataloging dozens of books. She is one of hundreds of volunteers essential for services and summer programs at area libraries. But with state budget cuts looming, many volunteers might play an even bigger role in the daily operations and programs of libraries....
Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, July 19
...and in Santa Cruz County
After Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Library System leaders cut back on hours, staff, and programs at branches around the county in June to deal with a swelling deficit, the number of new library volunteers walking through his door jumped from four per week to 10. Volunteer Coordinator Ron D’Alessandro has received so many offers of assistance that for the first time he is asking potential volunteers for résumés so he can tailor their skills to the positions that need to be filled....
San José (Calif.) Mercury News, July 20
San Bernardino libraries struggle for funds
Cash-strapped libraries in San Bernardino, California, are trying to preserve basic services through cash gifts from a donor group, a state grant for online services, and a proposed infusion from a city cultural fund. Acting Library Director Millicent Price recommended using a proposed $200,000 transfer from the city cultural-development fund to pay the salaries of two program coordinators and part-time support staff and to preserve programs that include story readings, puppet shows, a chess club, and a monthly literary salon....
Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, July 18
Princeton tries out Redbox
Located near the driveway at the rear of the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library, the $1-a-night DVD-dispensing machine called Redbox contains 700 new DVDs, or some 25 movie titles. By not having to buy multiple copies of new movies, the library saves money to purchase more foreign-language films, indie productions, and TV series. In exchange for providing a location and power, the library gets three cents on every dollar spent on a Redbox DVD. PPL is one of 10 libraries piloting the Redbox machines, which are owned by Coinstar....
Princeton (N.J.) Town Topics, July 15
Grave excavation continues in Peoria
Three more burial sites yielded four more sets of human remains July 20, as a team of archaeologists continued to identify and remove them to build an addition behind Peoria (Ill.) Public Library’s Lincoln branch. “We’re looking at ways to investigate as few of the burial sites as possible,” Project Manager Roger Anderson said. “We’ve identified 84 sites that would fall beneath the footprint of the 12,000-square-foot addition, which is a lot less expensive than looking into all 303 of them.”...
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, July 20
Laura Bush praises new namesake library
Growing up in Midland, Texas, former first lady Laura Bush said she thought the library was the most important building in town. Bush, a longtime supporter of literacy and the arts, said she was honored that the newest branch of the Westbank Community Library District in Austin would be named for her. Hundreds of people gathered July 19 at “Laura’s Library” to hear Bush speak at the dedication of the $6-million building....
Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, July 20
Restore the noble purpose of libraries
William H. Wisner writes: “Libraries were once a sacred secular space of silence and reverence—a place where one automatically lowered one’s voice. As a direct heir to the Enlightenment, the establishment of libraries was a testament to the self-evident integrity of mankind, the belief that we all desire to find the truth through knowledge. Librarians once framed our mission in those terms—before libraries became the noisy computer labs they now are, with their jingle of ringtones, clattering keyboards, and unquenchable printers. And we reference librarians had a higher, more dignified calling than merely changing the printer paper.” Kelly Nuxoll follows up....
Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 21
Banned library trustee turns himself in
Randolph L. Hopp, a trustee of the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois, whose library-use privileges were revoked for one year, turned himself in to police in July on an unrelated outstanding arrest warrant. The warrant involved a 2005 incident in a bank in Carpentersville. Hopp’s library privileges were suspended June 30 following a closed-door board meeting under allegations that he harassed library staff....
Elgin (Ill.) Courier News, July 15
Many school libraries in China are neglected
Most schools in Chinese cities have a mini-library attached to them that is supposed to help children develop a lifelong love of books and literature. But a recent study found that many school libraries have failed to accomplish this and have even fallen into oblivion. Only seven out of 24 students say they frequented school libraries. Some did not even know when the libraries were open. Watch the video (3:18)....
China Central Television, July 9
Go back to the Top
Fly yourself to Google Moon
Forty years after Apollo 11, Google has released a Google Earth version of the Moon. All you need is Google Earth 5.0 (if you already have it, no upgrade is required). Just click the planet button on the top toolbar of Google Earth, and choose Moon. Each of the Apollo landing missions is chronicled in an immersive and interactive 3D environment through pictures and stories. The Human Artifacts layer contains locations and trivia on every robotic spacecraft that’s ever landed on or crashed into the moon....
Google Lat Long Blog, July 20
Troubleshoot a flaky internet connection
Gina Trapani writes: “You’re zooming down the information superhighway getting things done when your usually-trusty browser throws up the dreaded ‘Server not found’ message. Argh! Now what? Roll up your sleeves and get troubleshooting, that’s what. When your internet connection goes down or starts acting up, here’s what to do.”...
Lifehacker, July 22
Open source vs. proprietary library software
Brett Bonfield writes: “It’s interesting how many people don’t really understand the concept of open source. People often describe freeware as open source, or they’ll describe free web-based applications as open source, or applications with APIs that allow for mashups. There are articles all the time that recommend free software, but don’t distinguish programs the authors gives away for free from software that is actually open source. For a program to be open source, it has to meet two basic qualifications.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, July 22
How to choose the best web browser
Michael Muchmore writes: “The recent launch of
was just the latest in a crescendo of activity on the browser front over the past few months. We’ve seen Google tout speed with its bare-bones
Chrome 2. We’ve seen
Apple’s Safari 4
bring on both the speed and all the interface eye candy we’ve come to expect. Starting it all was that juggernaut Microsoft, coming out with
Internet Explorer 8, which the company claimed was more compliant with open web standards. Here are our takes and links to reviews of the top recent entries to help you make your choice.”...
PC Magazine, July 16
Students may not be as software-savvy as they think
Erica R. Hendry writes: “When it comes to basic computer applications, even members of the millennial generation may not know as much as they think they do. A study by North Carolina Central University (PDF file) found that most students overestimated their skill levels when they were asked how they perceived their ability to complete certain tasks and then tested on those tasks. Students correctly perceived their skill level only in PowerPoint, the study said.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 21
Catching spammers in the act
Robert Lemos writes: “Researchers have shed new light on the methods by which spammers harvest email addresses from the web and relay bulk messages through multiple computers. They say that findings could provide additional ammunition in the fight against junk email campaigns. Currently, more than 90% of the email messages traversing the internet appear to be spam.”...
Technology Review, July 15
Orwell books erased from Kindle
In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, on July 17 Amazon.com remotely deleted some digital editions of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them. Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them. Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea and said they would not delete e-books in the future under similar circumstances. But Farhad Manjoo advises, “Don’t put too much stock in that promise,” and Sam Jordison is worried....
New York Times, July 17; Slate, July 20; The Guardian (U.K.), July 21
Amazon to distribute Michigan’s digitized books
The University of Michigan will make thousands of books that are no longer in copyright available as reprints on demand under a new agreement with BookSurge, part of the Amazon.com group of companies. As individual copies are sold, BookSurge will print and bind the books in softcover form. Maria Bonn, director of the UM Library’s scholarly publishing office, said the reprint program includes books digitized both by the university and through its partnership with Google. The initial offering on Amazon will include more than 400,000 titles in more than 200 languages....
University of Michigan, July 21
Men, and books, on the Moon
Scott Laming writes: “Forty years ago, Neil Armstrong stepped on to the Moon and earned his place in history. The rivalry between America and Russia manifested both in the Cold War and in who could put someone on the Moon. During the Apollo missions, a dozen of the 38 astronauts who flew eventually walked on the moon.” Here are some of their books, along with the Moon in science fiction and some lunar-themed children’s books....
Does the book industry want to get Napstered?
Jack Shafer writes: “Book publishers are in the process of picking a fight with Amazon.com and other sellers over the pricing of e-books. If the publishers are lucky, they’ll lose. Here’s why.”...
Slate, July 15
Beers named after books and authors
Josh Christie writes: “Musing over a pint last night, Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout popped into mind. Surely that wasn’t the only brewery that took inspiration from the literary world? I’m a smart guy, but I certainly am not the first lover of brews and books. Wouldn’t you know it, there are tons of beers that draw inspiration from the world’s great literature. Some of the names are pretty obvious, others a bit more subtle.”...
Brews and Books, July 17
Why Scandinavians write the best crime novels
Larissa Kyzer writes: “Although the Scandinavian crime novel has enjoyed immense popularity in Europe for decades, it has become something of a sensation in the English-speaking world in recent years. Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Arnaldur Indriðason, Karin Fossum, Jo Nesbø, and myriad others from the Nordic climes have become staples in the diets of mystery aficionados in the U.S. and U.K., but not without a fair amount of bemusement on the part of their readers.”...
The L Magazine, July 17
Book Blogger Appreciation Week
Last year, more than 400 blogs came together to celebrate the art of book blogging during the first-ever Book Blogger Appreciation Week. This second annual celebration will take place September 14–18. Anyone who blogs about books is invited to participate. There will be special guest posts, daily blogging themes, and giveaways. Registration ensures your inclusion in the BBAW 09 Database of Book Bloggers and enters you into the drawing for the Grand Prize...
Book Blogger Appreciation Week
Ohio Library Council cancels 2009 convention
On July 17, the Ohio Library Council board of directors made the difficult decision to cancel the 2009 Convention and Expo, slated for October 21–23 in Cleveland. The decision was unanimously supported by Convention Chair Tom Adkins, as well as the Planning Committee chairs. OLC staff learned last week in a survey of library directors that very few libraries will have the funds to send their staff to this event, because of recent developments in the state’s public library funding....
Ohio Library Council, July 20
Little lyrics for librarians
Larry Nix writes: “Thanks to librariana collector extraordinaire Norman D. Stevens, I obtained a copy of a reprint of a wonderful little publication entitled Little Lyrics for Librarians by William Fitch Smyth (1857–1940). The reprint contains a foreword by Stevens which provides background information on Smyth and his small book of library-related poems. Smyth worked as an evening attendant in the general reference division of the Cleveland Public Library from 1904 until his death in 1940. The original booklet was published in 1910.”...
Library History Buff Blog, July 20
A day in the life of a reference librarian
Beth Goldman, outreach, IT, and reference librarian at Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts, writes: “Weekday, a.m. Library has not opened yet. Come in and walk up the stairs and turn on the Waiting List computer. Check to be sure Print Station is up. Uh-oh, strange message. That’s because the power went off last night during the thunder and lightning storm. Run upstairs to the computer server and check to be sure all is okay and restart program.”...
Norwood (Mass.) Daily News Transcript, July 20
A day in the life of a children’s librarian
Noel De Vries writes: “The truth is, life in the stacks has its share of adventure. A boy, about 12, came in with a list of Newbery Medal winners. I helped him locate several, recommending some over others. ‘Oh, these aren’t for me,’ he said. ‘I'm getting them for my grandma.’ ‘Okay,’ I replied. ‘But still, this one’s better than that one.’ ‘Eh,’ he shrugged, taking the book from my hands. ‘She’s just an old lady. She won’t care.’”...
Novel Journey, July 20
I want to be a librarian
Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly write: “Thanks to anonymous submitter for this wonderful relic from the past! Submitter says there is lots of information about the card catalog and finding good books. (I wonder if this counts as a good book?) I quickly breezed through the WorldCat holidings and a lot of public libraries are hanging on to this title. Please do the profession a favor and get something more current.”...
Awful Library Books, July 13
A galaxy of comicalities
Steven Lomazow writes: “One gem of American humor in my collection is a volume composed of the complete file of Galaxy of Comicalities, published weekly in Philadelphia in 1833–1834. The editor is not identified (nor is he/she in Sloane) but the contents reveal the spectrum of American humor in its day, including what appears to be the first introduction of magazine readers to America’s most important homespun hero, Davy Crockett.”...
Magazine History: A Collector’s Blog, July 19
How not to tweet
David Lee King writes: “Every once in awhile, a library follows me on Twitter. When they do, I usually check out their Twitter feed (but rarely follow them). And every once in awhile, I see something like this (right). This isn’t ‘Pick on MSJLibrary Day’—I’m sure they’re a fine library, and I commend them for jumping into Twitter to figure it out. But maybe this post will help other libraries as they work on figuring out social media sites like Twitter.”...
David Lee King, July 21
The people speak out on libraries at Gov Gab
Gov Gab, the U.S. government blog, posed the question: “When was the last time you used your local library and what are your favorite library resources and programs?” Only a few people (including IMLS Public Affairs Officer Jeannine Mjoseth) have answered so far. Kristine offers: “Public librarians are masters of doing more with less.”...
Gov Gab, July 20
On the pitfalls of social media:
The case of Clinical Reader
Peter E. Murray writes: “As libraries feel the need to join the social media landscape to meet a segment of their user population already there, it is useful to step back and get acclimated. There is a pace of information flow that is unlike anything else in the physical world, and a minor incident—be it an ill-advised policy decision or an unfortunate slip of the tongue—can quickly spiral out of your control. And that is probably the key word: control. You don’t, can’t, and won’t have it.” With some additional commentary....
Disruptive Library Technology Jester, July 19
Conference fashion tips for men
Doug Johnson writes: “It must be something that kicks in with geezerdom, but I’ve been bothered a lot more lately by people who are badly dressed who should know better. I am not complaining about kids (now defined as anyone under 30). I am addressing the grown-up guys I see at conferences, at church services, well, just generally in public. These pointers cost little or nothing and would make my environment much more attractive.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, July 19
NYPL’s new wireless reading room opens
The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts Edna Barnes Salomon Room is the home to a new wireless internet reading and study room that opened July 20 in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. In the setting of this striking room, seating is provided for 128 users who have access to work space and to free Wi-Fi. For the first time in the Fifth Avenue Library, users will also have access to laptops available for loan....
New York Public Library, July 20
NYPL in 1908
The Shorpy photo blog has this photo of the New York Public Library under construction circa 1908, some six years after groundbreaking and three years before it finally opened. Compare this with a similar photo from 1915 and see the number of cars that have appeared in just seven years. And what is that man doing on the roof? Taking a photo of the scene below?....
Shorpy, July 20
Rockin’ the Lancaster Library
Stewart Parsons is the music librarian at the Lancaster Library in the UK. After 20 years of doing the usual library gig he wanted to push boundaries a bit and created “Get It Loud in Libraries.” Founded in 2005, Get It Loud is a unique project that received the 2007 Love Libraries Award and is “designed to give people, especially young people who love music, a damn good time in a library.” Watch the 2007 video (5:36) by Shush Productions....
Book Patrol, July 17; YouTube, Mar. 13, 2007
New Jersey librarians go mobile in pilot program
Eight public libraries in New Jersey will join the New Jersey State Library, the NJSL Talking Book and Braille Center, and Gold Mobile in a six-month pilot program to determine the effectiveness of using text messaging and mobile communications to provide information to users. NJSL Director of Marketing Nancy Dowd said the program will concentrate on outreach to teens and the parents of younger children....
New Jersey State Library, July 15
Blended learning helps boost achievement
A new analysis of existing online-learning research by the U.S. Department of Education reveals that students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Most of the studies examined by researchers dealt with college-level courses, and officials cautioned against generalizing the report’s findings to the K–12 level. Still, the report (PDF file) could help educators as they seek to create effective learning environments for all students....
eSchool News, July 14
Vinland Map authentic, says Danish expert
The 15th-century Vinland Map, the earliest known map to show part of America before explorer Christopher Columbus landed on the continent, is almost certainly genuine, a Danish expert said July 17. Rene Larsen, rector of the School of Conservation at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, said his team carried out studies of the ink, writing, wormholes, and parchment of the map, which is housed at Yale University. American scholars have carbon-dated the map to about 1440....
Medieval News, July 19
Avery Index returns to Columbia University
The J. Paul Getty Trust has returned ownership of the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals to Columbia University effective July 1. One of the preeminent research tools in architecture, the index offers a comprehensive listing of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. For the past 26 years, the Avery Index has been a joint project between the Getty Trust and Columbia, with the Getty providing funding and technical support, while the university managed its production....
J. Paul Getty Trust, July 1
The catalogue raisonné
Craig Bunch writes: “The catalogue raisonné is a wonderful and specialized category of art reference source whose ideals include completeness and authority, but which invariably falls short of at least the former ideal. Publication brings to light a statement of what is known by an expert or team of experts about an artist’s works; at the same time, it is an invitation (reluctant, perhaps) for corrections, updating, and controversy.”...
Point of Reference, July 19
Duke puts historic TV ads on iTunes U
More than 1,500 historic TV commercials from the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History in the Duke University Special Collections Library are available on iTunes U in a collection called AdViews. These ads, mostly from the 1950s and 1960s, are part of the Hartman Center’s D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles advertising agency archive, which includes 12,000 commercials total. The library plans to make the remaining commercials available by the end of 2009....
Duke University, July 21
JISC’s Libraries of the Future documentary
The UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee has released a specially commissioned documentary (9:41) on its Libraries of the Future campaign. The campaign stimulated debate among librarians, information professionals, and academics on the issues surrounding technology’s impact on the emerging role of the academic library in the 21st century through a series of events, printed resources, and podcast interviews....
Joint Information Systems Committee, July 17
Keep it local, America
Tom Campbell and friends of the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina, have created a campy, fun, 1940s newsreel–style video (1:52) with a serious message: Shopping local is green. The spot uses archival and newly shot video to dramatize how a book shipped from an internet retailer rather than bought at a local bookstore raises the carbon load in the environment significantly. “How much fuel is required to make up the difference?” asks the video narrator. “Too much, chum!”...
Bookselling This Week, July 16; YouTube, July 9
Go back to the Top
Anna Dewdney’s adorable characters come to life in this new poster created exclusively for ALA Graphics. Featuring Llama Llama and Mama Llama, this poster illustrates the importance of parents and children reading—and discovering new things—together. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Summertime in Chicago
Prescription for Financial Recovery
Librarians As Writers
Licenses and Legalities
Coordinator of Library Systems, Texas Woman’s University, Denton. Performs responsible leadership and administers and supports daily operational requirements of the libraries’ information computer network system including hardware and software, online library system (ExLibris’ Voyager), and web-based technologies. Oversees installation of hardware, software, system upgrades, network security, web page design, interface and updates, planning and implementing a long-range automation plan, creating reports, and documentation....
Digital Library of the Week
On the Edge: The Hidden Art of Fore-Edge Book Painting highlights a special collection of more than 200 high-resolution images of fore-edge paintings housed in the Rare Books Department of the Boston Public Library. The books and images on the site can be explored in a variety of ways, either by wandering through the main gallery, or browsing the works by subject, book title, or painting title. The featured works section provides additional information about selected books, including detail shots and a video of the book as it is fanned to display the hidden artwork. Anywhere on the site, you may click on an image to view a larger version. A series of articles, written by leading experts in the field, provide historical and curatorial insight into fore-edge painting. A full-text search feature is also provided. This online collection was made possible by a generous gift from Anne and David Bromer. The website concept was developed by Tom Blake and Scot Colford. Website programming and design by Josh Boughey. High-resolution photography was done at the Boston Public Library’s digital-imaging studio. Descriptive information was captured and created by Jay Campbell and Leslie Burmeister.
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.
“As a kid, I spent every summer bent over a stack of books, obsessively writing detailed reports on each one. I fondly remember the scratchy couches and Freon-cooled bliss of the Lemont (Ill.) Public Library.”
—Author, screenwriter, and blogger Diablo Cody, in “Summer Sucks,” Entertainment Weekly, July 24.
AL on Twitter. Follow American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts on Twitter.
the ALA Librarian
Q. I work in a public library. With the downturn in the economy, the people who come into the library seem to be more stressed, and in turn take their stresses out on the librarians. This makes the library environment more stressful to be in, and my life more stressful as well. Do you have any suggestions for how the library staff can reduce their stress levels while still providing the best services to our patrons?
A. Increased stress in the workplace is not unique to libraries, nor did it start with this latest economic downturn. The ALA Library has put together a collection of resources that include articles both on generally applicable ways to reduce stress in the workplace and library-specific techniques. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
ALA is still accepting applications for the 2010 class of Emerging Leaders. For the first time since its establishment, the Emerging Leaders program will accept non-MLS library workers. The deadline for applications is July 31.
Search Engine Strategies, McEnery Convention Center, San José, California.
Balisage: The Markup Conference, Hotel Europa, Montréal, Quebec.
Best Practices Exchange, University at Albany, SUNY. “Tackling Technology Together.”
Dewey or Do We Not: Designing and Building a Merchandized Library, Association for Small and Rural Libraries, Preconference, Anna Porter Public Library, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
OCLC Digital Forum West, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. “Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery.”
EdUI Conference on Web Design, Usability and Accessibility, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. “Remaining <strong>.”
National Media Market, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort, Lexington, Kentucky.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Peoria.
North Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Greenville.
Georgia Library Association, Annual Conference, Columbus.
Open Access Week.
Theatre Library Association, Annual Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Theatre, Performance, and DestiNation.”
California School Library Association, Annual Conference, Doubletree Hotel, Ontario, California.
Partners for Success: Regional Solutions for Local Vitality, Nashville Public Library. Meeting organized by Urban Libraries Council.