The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 29,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Division News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

David S. Ferriero. Photo by Todd EberleObama to tap NYPL’s Ferriero as U.S. archivist
President Barack Obama announced July 28 that he intended to nominate David S. Ferriero to serve as archivist of the United States. The archivist heads the National Archives and Records Administration, which oversees the public release of presidential papers and other government documents. Ferriero is currently the Andrew W. Mellon director of the New York Public Libraries; he has also served as university librarian and vice provost for library affairs at Duke University, and for 31 years on the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies libraries....
American Libraries Online, July 29

Rules for broadband stimulus funds hinder libraries
The ALA Washington Office sent a letter (PDF file) to Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling July 23 stating that the first-round Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to implement the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program raises significant concerns and creates hurdles for libraries considering applying for broadband funding. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gives libraries, as anchor institutions, priority, but the NOFA in effect discourages libraries from applying for funding in a number of ways. Ars Technica goes into more detail....
District Dispatch, July 27; Ars Technica, July 29

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ALA News

Recent tweets about ALA Annual ConferenceAnnual Conference in Chicago: Online activity
Jenny Levine writes: “I think even we were surprised at just how much people came together on social media sites around this event and its sessions. Clearly there’s going to be a parallel event online for all future ALA conferences, one driven completely by people and not by planners. So here’s a benchmark for future measurements, because for the first time, we’ll have an archive we can refer back to, at least for Twitter, which was the most heavily used site during the conference. Here’s a summary I wrote for ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.”...
ALA Marginalia, July 29

Bob BocherOITP appoints Fellow
The Office for Information Technology Policy appointed Bob Bocher, library technology consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, as an OITP Fellow. Bocher will provide OITP with strategic advice on an array of networking issues from the technical, policy, and operational perspectives. He has worked with OITP in a number of areas over the past several years....

District Dispatch, July 28

Banner: "ALA Connect Notifications: on"Make ALA Connect work for you
Peter Bromberg writes: “The more I use ALA Connect, the more I realize that selectively turning on Email Notifications is key to integrating Connect into my professional life. This ensures that updates (the ones I want anyway) are pushed out to me. Help spread the word by posting this attractively designed and competitively-priced banner ad (in both border and nonborder stylings) on your blog, homepage, or social network of choice.”...
Library Garden, July 28

Masthead from first issue of Library NotesLibrary Notes: AL Direct’s predecessor
Larry Nix writes: “Library Notes was a quarterly ALA publication established by Melvil Dewey’s Library Bureau in 1886. A promotional flyer indicates that the publication will print only items of news likely to be directly useful to its readers. The very first issue of Library Notes can be found in Google Books.” Dewey describes it as “so practically useful and so low in price that every library would feel” compelled to subscribe to the “advance guard” of the “modern library spirit.”...
Library History Buff, July 26; Library Notes 1, no. 1 (June 1886)

Minors and internet interactivity
ALA Council passed a new interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights July 15 during ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Minors and Internet Interactivity defines the rights of minors to retrieve, interact with, and create information posted on the internet in schools and libraries as extensions of their First Amendment rights. Another new interpretation is on the Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom....

Cover of Tune Up to LiteracyMake literacy learning easy with songs and activities
ALA Editions has released Tune Up to Literacy: Original Songs and Activities for Kids by Al Balkin. The ASCAP award–winning composer and children’s educator shares his original songs and demonstrates how music encourages literacy. The book introduces and reinforces such crucial literacy concepts as the alphabet, vowels, consonants, nouns, verbs, adjectives, sentence construction, punctuation, sequence, and rhyming....

Cover of The Librarian's Book of QuotesInspiring quotes celebrate the love of libraries
ALA Editions is releasing The Librarian’s Book of Quotes compiled by Tatyana Eckstrand. A compendium of nearly 300 insightful, thought-provoking, and inspiring aphorisms, the book sings the praises of librarians’ skills and values and the institutions they support. Writers from Shakespeare to Ray Bradbury and librarians from John Cotton Dana to Nancy Pearl are among those quoted. Citations are provided to the original source material, and a handy biographical dictionary provides background information....

Cover of The Library PR HandbookNew strategies for library public relations
ALA Editions has released The Library PR Handbook, edited by Mark Gould, director of the ALA’s Public Information Office. Written by high-profile experts in the PR field, this new handbook aims to keep library personnel on top of this fast-paced, complex role. Gould is a veteran of 25 years in the communication field and has been the director of PIO since 2000....

AL Focus

Still from ALA Annual Conference overviewAnnual Conference 2009 overview
This is our grand overview (1:38) of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, including sights and sounds from the ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program, Laurie Halse Anderson, the Bookcart Drill Team World Championships, the Exhibit Hall, the ALA Presidential Inauguration, Cokie Roberts, and more....

One of the Warrior LibrariansBookcart Drill Team World Championships
A photo essay (1:00) from the Bookcart Drill Team World Championships, held at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, set to “Ride of the Valkyries,” the music played by the winning team, the Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library Warrior Librarians....

Still from Cokie Roberts interviewInterview with Cokie Roberts
Before her PLA President’s Program speech at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, journalist Cokie Roberts spoke (2:09) with AL Focus about the new revised and expanded edition of her book We Are Our Mother’s Daughters, as well as the state of libraries and the future of journalism....

Still from Tracy Kidder interviewInterview with Tracy Kidder
AL Focus catches up (1:57) with author Tracy Kidder before his Auditorium Speaker Series presentation at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. Kidder discusses his new book, Strength in What Remains, as well as his ideal vision for libraries—and you will want to hear what he calls libraries and librarians....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of a volume of Magill's Survey of World LiteratureFeatured review: Reference
Kellman, Steven G. (editor). Magill’s Survey of World Literature. 6 vols. Rev. ed. Feb. 2009. 3,000p. Salem, hardcover (978-1-58765-431-2).
This outstanding set is a revision of the 1993 Marshall Cavendish publication of the same name and its 1995 supplement. The 380 writers included are 87 more than in the previous edition and are said to be, in a publisher’s note, “at the heart of literary studies for middle- and high-school students and at the center of book discussions among library patrons.” New additions include Douglas Adams, Roberto Bolaño, Laura Esquivel, Gao Xingjian, Seamus Heaney, Haruki Murakami, J. K. Rowling, and Zadie Smith. Although there are entries as well for other contemporary authors, the tendency is much more toward canonical and classic authors going back to Aeschylus and Sappho. Relatively few of these authors are regularly studied or read for pleasure by high-school students, and fewer still by middle-schoolers. Nevertheless, these are authors who are worth knowing, and dipping into these volumes at random might make almost any avid reader want to dig deeper. The set makes a fine companion to Magill’s Survey of American Literature (2006). There is a very small overlap, in that each survey includes some Canadian authors....

Cover of The Back PageBooklist’s “Back Page” now in one entertaining package
Booklist editors don’t just review and recommend books; several write them, too. A new ALA Editions release, The Back Page by Booklist Publisher Bill Ott, offers a selected compendium of the author’s favorite “Back Page” columns from Booklist magazine: columns filled with humor and occasional defiance of the conventional, a peek into the publishing world. Ott’s “Back Page” (part readers’ advisory and part commentary on the world of books and literature, good and not so good) delights readers with anecdotes, stories, quizzes—almost impossible to answer without cheating—and a host of insights into what makes books what they are....

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

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Division News

YALSA seeks editor for new online journal
YALSA is accepting applications for a member editor for its new online research journal. The deadline for applications is September 30. Applicants must have editorial experience, excellent communications skills, the technical capacity to work in an electronic environment, and be YALSA members....


Apply now for 2010 National Library Week Grant
All types of libraries are invited to apply for the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The $3,000 grant will be awarded to a single library for the best public awareness campaign incorporating the 2010 National Library Week theme, “Communities Thrive @ your library.” The grant is administered by the ALA Public Awareness Committee. This year’s deadline is October 16....

Bryna CooninBRASS Emerald Research Award
Bryna Coonin, reference librarian at East Carolina University’s Joyner Library, has been selected as the second of two recipients of the 2009 Emerald Research Award. The award, administered by the RUSA Business Reference and Services Section, provides $5,000 to the winner in support of proposed research in the field of business reference. Coonin’s winning proposal focuses on open access publishing as it relates to business librarianship....

Cover of no. 1 (2005) of All Star Superman2009 Eisner Awards
The Eisner Awards, given for creative achievement in American comic books, were presented July 24 at the San Diego Comic-Con International. Among the winners was “Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (for best short story); All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (for best continuing series); and Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (for best publication for kids)....
San Diego Comic-Con International, July 24

Cover of A Novel About My WifeMontana New Zealand Book Awards
The winners of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2009 were congratulated July 27 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The awards, sponsored by Montana Wines, celebrate the best books written and illustrated by New Zealanders. The winner for best fiction was Novel About My Wife, by Emily Perkins; the award for best nonfiction went to Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life, by Jill Trevelyan....
Montana New Zealand Book Awards

Seen Online

House increases state library funding
The House of Representatives passed the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill (H.R. 3293) July 24, which includes an increase in funding for the LSTA Grants to State Library Agencies program. The program was allocated $172.6 million, approximately $1 million over the FY2009 level....
District Dispatch, July 27

Ohio library funding gets creative
After the Ohio Legislature recently approved an 11% reduction in funding, libraries in the state are hoping donations will help fill the gap. Debra Manley raised $5,000 for the Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green at a recent garage sale. With pants left over from the sale, she and three friends came up with a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fundraiser. They sewed extra pockets into the pants and are passing them around the community, asking recipients to fill a pocket with $100 and a note describing their first or most memorable experience at a public library....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, July 29

The Glosas Emilianenses are glosses added to this Latin codex that are now considered the first phrases written in the Castilian languageThe art and absurdity of marginalia
Daniel Kalder writes: “Last year I joined the library at the University of Texas at Austin and rediscovered a literary form—readers’ inscriptions in the margins of library books. The conventions of the genre are simple: You state something obvious in a fragmentary/declaratory style, adding a question mark, exclamation mark, or ellipsis according to the degree of confidence you have in your perceptions. What motivates readers to write such unnecessary, moronic comments in the margins?”...
The Guardian (U.K.), July 28

Iowa City considers sex-offender policy
A policy being considered by the Iowa City Public Library’s board of trustees would keep registered sex offenders out of the library but grant them the use of online resources and the ability to send a representative to check out material. The proposed policy is in response to a new Iowa law that went into effect July 1 prohibiting sex offenders who have been convicted of a crime against a minor from entering a public library without the written permission of the library administrator....
Iowa City (Iowa) Press-Citizen, July 23

Stephen WeinerMaynard library director is graphic novel proponent
Since 2001, Maynard (Mass.) Public Library Director Stephen Weiner has published eight books about graphic novels and has taught graphic-novel courses at Simmons College. When he tried to introduce graphic novels at the library in Somerville before he came to Maynard, Weiner got about 50 or 60 complaints from residents and even staff. He attributes the change in sentiment to two events in 2002: a graphic-novel event hosted by ALA and the release of the wildly popular Spider-Man movie....
Maynard (Mass.) Beacon-Villager, July 23

Advocates mobilize defense for Library of Michigan
Librarians and advocates across the state are mobilizing to defend the Library of Michigan, which could be dismantled and its collections scattered in a budget-cutting move. After a meeting on the lawn of the State Capitol on August 5, the Michigan Genealogical Council is planning a march to the library. The Michigan Library Association is urging Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the legislature to maintain the library system’s level of services, to keep state aid to public libraries at $10 million in 2009, and to retain the position of the state librarian....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, July 24

Lust in the British Library
Sathnam Sanghera writes: “All libraries are, of course, petri dishes of simmering lust, but the British Library is extreme. Its walls contain more erotic pressure than an oil rig, a North Sea fishing trawler, and several episodes of Mad Men combined. My preferred explanation is the silence. But when everyone is sitting around in silence, you can project what you like onto them and everyone remains a sexual possibility.”...
The Times (U.K.), July 28

Louise Brown and her librarian. Photo from the Daily TelegraphBritain’s most avid reader has borrowed 25,000 library books
Louise Brown (right), 91, has read up to a dozen books a week since 1946 without incurring a single fine for late returns. She borrows mainly large-print books because she is partially sighted, and has almost worked her way through her local library’s entire collection. The staff of the Stranraer Library in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, say Brown’s rapacious reading habits over the past 60 years could earn her a place in the record books....
Daily Telegraph (U.K.), July 29

Testimony begins in Sacramento library scam case
Check by check, a veteran accountant in Sacramento Superior Court on July 28 detailed the bank accounts that prosecutors hope will help them convict three people in the city’s library kickback scandal. Former Facilities Director Dennis Nilsson, former Security Director James Mayle, and his wife Janie Rankins-Mayle have been accused in an elaborate scheme that officials say cost taxpayers $800,000 in overpayments and tainted the Sacramento Public Library system so badly that its director, Anne Marie Gold, eventually resigned....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, July 29

Moline library worker files discrimination suit
The former operations manager for the Moline (Ill.) Public Library has filed a discrimination suit against the city, the library, and retiring Library Director Leslie Kee. Mary B. Clark filed the suit July 27 in U.S. District Court in Rock Island, alleging that her position was eliminated at the end of December in retaliation for her complaints about Kee....
Davenport (Iowa) Quad-City Times, July 28

Layoffs possible in Aurora
Some 40 Aurora (Colo.) Public Library employees could be laid off at the end of the year to make up a projected $8-million city budget shortfall in 2010. However, if a ballot measure to create a separate funding source for libraries passes in November, those jobs could be saved. The council will receive a preliminary 2010 budget in September and vote on the final version later in the fall....
Denver Post, July 25

The former Lakepointe Tech Center in Lewisville now holds the George W. Bush Presidential Library collectionArchivists catalog items for George W. Bush Library
Some 40,000 items make up the collection of documents, artifacts, and memorabilia that former President George W. Bush amassed during eight years in the White House. The entire collection, which includes 100 terabytes of digital files, was delivered to a warehouse (right) in Lewisville, Texas, after he left office. National Archives and Records Administration personnel have spent the past few months trying to inventory everything....
Dallas Morning News, July 27

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Tech Talk

OLE Project logoThe Open Library Environment final report
With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Library Environment project convened a multinational group of libraries to analyze library business processes and to define a next-generation library technology platform. The resulting OLE platform is predicated on service-oriented architecture and a community-source model of development and governance. Its draft final report (PDF file) describes a system for managing and delivering intellectual information designed by and for academic and research libraries....
OLE Project, July 26

Bing bannerYahoo to get Binged
A few months from now, Yahoo’s search engine will be “powered by Bing.” After months of back and forth between Microsoft and Yahoo, the two companies finally announced a deal July 29 that will bring Microsoft’s search engine to Yahoo’s properties, while Yahoo will become the sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers. Barring any roadblocks from industry and government regulators, this deal will grant Microsoft an exclusive license to Yahoo’s core search technologies for 10 years. Bing could prove a worthy competitor to Google....
ReadWriteWeb, July 29

Page Hunt logoMicrosoft game aims to improve search results
Researchers at Microsoft’s labs in Redmond, Washington, have released an online game to help fine-tune search results. Called Page Hunt, the game presents players with web pages and asks them to guess the queries that would produce the page within its first five results. Players score 100 points if the page is number 1 on the list, 90 points if it’s number 2, and so on. The idea is to gather useful information on user search habits which could be used to calibrate search algorithms and ranking scheme....
Technology Review Editors’ Blog, July 27

AddToAny logoSharing on Facebook more popular than email
Adam Ostrow writes: “AddToAny is the maker of one the most popular widgets that let content sites provide their readers with an easy way to share stories across multiple social media sites. According to AddToAny, Facebook now dominates sharing, with 24% of shares from the widget consisting of users posting items to the social network. That handily beats out email (11.1%) and Twitter (10.8%), making the world’s most popular social network also the most popular service for sharing content.”...
Mashable, July 20


Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove was number 38 on the list of best beach books100 best beach books ever
People talk a lot about the wisdom of crowds, but the truth is that large packs of people are better at judging some things than others. Almost 16,000 National Public Radio fans cast some 136,000 votes in NPR’s Best Beach Books Ever poll. Whether such a vote can determine literary quality, who can say? But there’s one thing a multitude of book-loving NPR types can most definitely do, and that’s pick a list of books that will appeal to . . . book-loving NPR types....
National Public Radio, July 29

Amazon faces a fight over its e-books
Civil libertarians and consumer advocates want to fundamentally alter its method for selling Kindles, lest it be forced one day by court order to change or recall books, or by a government deciding that a particular work is politically damaging or embarrassing. The Boston-based Free Software Foundation plans to petition Amazon to give up control over the books people load on their Kindles and to reconsider its use of digital-rights-management software....
New York Times, July 26

Cover of The New Yorker, Aug. 3, 2009Can the Kindle really improve on the book?
Nicholson Baker writes: “Here’s what you buy when you buy a Kindle book. You buy the right to display a grouping of words in front of your eyes for your private use with the aid of an electronic display device approved by Amazon. Kindle books aren’t transferable. You can’t give them away or lend them or sell them. You can’t print them. They are closed clumps of digital code that only one purchaser can own. A copy of a Kindle book dies with its possessor.”...
New Yorker, Aug. 3

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Actions & Answers

Live Roots logo101 best genealogy websites
This 10th annual roundup of noteworthy genealogy websites honors 10 categories of 10 noteworthy sites each (plus one to make 101). The Family Tree Magazine editors have tried to encompass more Web 2.0 sites that are paving the way for changes in online genealogy over the next 10 years. Sites that are mostly free but where you might still wind up pulling out your credit card for some purchase or other are marked with a $....
Family Tree Magazine

The Petrucci Music Library offers tens of thousands of public-domain sheet-music downloadsPC Magazine’s top 100 websites for 2009
Kyle Monson writes: “Deciding upon our list of 100 sites is a months-long process. We solicited website nominations from every corner of the web—PCMag and AppScout readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, our own staff, and more. A small committee of our own experts then evaluated each nominated site one by one, judging it according to its content quality, design, and originality, to arrive at our two lists of 50 websites.”...
PC Magazine, July 27

Library Day in the Life Project
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “It seems like the time is right, so July 27 begins the Second Annual Library Day in the Life project. It started last summer with this post suggesting that we blog what we do all day at work. Libraries are changing rapidly and we all know no one has time to read books, despite what the public may think. So how you participate? Go to the wiki, create a free account, and record on your blog what you do for a day or two, or an entire week.”...
Librarian by Day, July 22

Warning sign about asbestos contaminationMany public libraries face asbestos remediation
As the nation’s public libraries age, they face updates that result in closures, often because older buildings contain significant amounts of asbestos that represent a threat to public health. Asbestos was widely used in insulation, floor and roofing tiles, tile glues, and some ceiling panels until the 1970s, when health officials began to recognize it as the most common cause of respiratory disease, lung and digestive-system cancers, and mesothelioma. That more libraries, both public and academic, will face asbestos remediation of some kind in the near future is a given....
Mesothelioma News, July 27

Talking points on strong school media centers
On July 17, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signed legislation (Sec. 3306.10 of HB 1) that will phase in funding for licensed librarian and media specialists in Ohio’s schools, based upon school populations. The Ohio Educational Library Media Association has posted information on its website to help other states with their advocacy efforts, including a timeline with strategies, a wiki with talking points, a brief on why principals should support school libraries, and a fact sheet on strong school libraries....
Ohio Educational Library Media Association

Google Books Privacy graphicDon’t let Google ignore reader privacy
Hugh D’Andrade writes: “As Google expands its Google Book Search service, adding millions of titles, it will dramatically increase the public’s access to books. But Google may be leaving out the privacy we have come to expect, with systems that monitor the digital books you search, the pages you read, how long you spend on various pages, and even what you write down in the margins. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has written a letter (PDF file) to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, demanding that Google take specific steps to protect your freedom to read privately.”...
Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 23

How to read a privacy policy
Shirl Kennedy writes: “A July 17 report (PDF file) from the Common Data Project, a nonprofit based in New York City, analyzes the privacy policies of 10 major websites, as well as several start-ups. You need to read this because you use most or all of these websites—some of them on a daily basis—Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, Photobucket, NYT, WebMD, Ask, Cuil, and Ixquick. One intriguing visual shows how the various privacy policies stack up next to each other, literally, in terms of their length.”...
Resource Shelf, July 27; Common Data Project

Guidance for users of orphan works
Mary Minow writes: “The Society of American Archivists’ newly released 15-page Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices (PDF file) was put together by Peter Hirtle and others who work with orphans day in and day out. The statement helpfully reminds us to check first to see if the work may be in the public domain. Then it draws a sliding scale of effort required based on factors such as the likelihood of finding the rights holder, the age of the work, the status of the creator, and the proposed distribution of the work.”...
LibraryLaw Blog, July 22

The US Postal Service's Vitrual Box Simulator10 great government websites
Joab Jackson writes: “The days of a web presence being an optional component for agencies are long gone. For most citizens, the primary way of interacting with their government is through websites. Agencies have responded to that demand by creating richer, more interactive sites. Here are 10 websites that are meeting and exceeding the Obama administration’s goal of government transparency.”...
Government Computer News, July 27

Six things libraries should tweet
Andy Burkhardt writes: “David Lee King correctly pointed out some things you shouldn’t do on Twitter. He also said you should think about the big picture like, ‘What do you want to get out of it?’ But people often wonder, what sort of things should our library tweet about? Here’s a list.”...
Information Tyrannosaur, July 27

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell putting signatures in cement at Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., 1953. From the Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1953. Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA LibraryUCLA to document Los Angeles culture
The University of California, Los Angeles, Library has launched a project that will preserve and make accessible its collections that document the multiplicity of cultures and hidden histories of the Los Angeles region. “Collecting Los Angeles,” the first project funded by a recent gift from the Arcadia Fund, will build on the library’s existing strengths in this area, including special collections, photos, oral histories, maps, and circulating materials on local history, government, politics, literature, and the performing and visual arts....
UCLA, July 23

Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen SullivanGreatest movie misquotes
Tim Dirks writes: “Many oft-cited film lines or scenes are apocryphal or misquoted, but after many years of repetition by fans and in subsequent films, they have become part of the filmgoing public’s consciousness. Many of the following quotations were either commonly attributed wrongly or in fact were never actually spoken.” Some examples: James Cagney’s “You dirty rat!” and Johnny Weissmuller’s “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” With audioclips....
The Greatest Films

Wolfram Alpha can help you count carbs
Answer engine Wolfram Alpha’s nutrition and wellness data can be used to find vital food statistics. Whether you are interested in determining total fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, carbohydrates, or other nutrients, the database can provide information for an individual food item, a meal, or a comprehensive calculation of daily diet. In this post, the Wolfram Alpha Team demonstrates how to calculate and compare the nutritional values of two food items....
Wolfram Alpha Blog, July 27

International Year of Astronomy logoInternational Year of Astronomy opportunity
2009 has been designated the International Year of Astronomy. The Space Telescope Science Institute invites you to celebrate with NASA by holding a public event in your library featuring a special image taken by NASA’s space observatories. Libraries can apply for selection as a site for a national unveiling of a new multiwavelength image of the Galactic Center in November 2009. Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. Eastern time July 31....

In appreciation of library catalogers
David Badertscher writes: “For almost 40 years I have been in charge of law libraries. During that time I have acquired great appreciation and respect for the value and work of library catalogers. This posting is a small token of that respect and gratitude. A prominent information consultant told me some years ago that he liked to hire catalogers for applications development in database and web searching because he found their training and expertise to be so helpful and effective.”...
Criminal Law Library Blog, July 23

Johnson County (Kans.) LibraryDepository library spotlighted
Johnson County (Kans.) Library (right) is the first public library to be highlighted in the monthly Depository Library Spotlight on the Federal Depository Library Program website in July. Citing library staff for making government information relevant and available to users through “outreach and more outreach,” the article describes the library’s web resources, an annual GovFest for business owners and would-be entrepreneurs, and staff leadership in the GovDoc Kids Group that sponsors the annual Constitution Day Poster Contest....
Shawnee (Kans.) Dispatch, July 29; FDLP Desktop, July 1

Sample of Library HandLibrary handwriting
Melvil Dewey writes: “The fact remains that there is nothing that pays better for the time it costs the candidate for a position in a library, than to be able to write a satisfactory library-hand. In so many cases, superior mental abilities have been put to a great disadvantage in the competition for desirable places by this apparently trifling item, that it seems worth a special article pointing out why it is so important and the best way to attain the desired end. Even in libraries where writing machines [typewriters] are largely used, there remains all the writing on blank books and many other places where it is not practicable to use the machine.”...
Library Notes 1, no. 4 (March 1887): 273–282

Nawal TraboulsiLebanese librarians get proactive about reading
Two librarians in Lebanon have prepared a guidebook for teachers, written in both French and Arabic, titled 99 Recipes to Spice Up the Taste of Reading. The book, published by the Assabil Friends of Public Libraries Association in Beirut and written by Nawal Traboulsi (right) and Marie Rivière, addresses such topics as understanding the role of libraries, playing with language and writing, creating and analyzing images, finding information, thinking critically, working with groups and individuals, learning about other cultures, and learning new technologies....
Assabil Friends of Public Libraries Association

Rick English, Justine Randt, and Winny Lao from the Howard County (Md.) LibraryYou can be in the Library 101 video
Michael Porter writes: “You are officially invited to be in our new, inspiring, yet lovably goofy nerdcore music video Library 101. Getting into this video is actually really easy. Simply take and share a picture of you posing with a 0 and a 1. David Lee King and I even have a Flickr group where you can put your 101 pictures, and we’ve uploaded color 0s, 1s, 101s, and background to Flickr so people can start to get extra creative with their submissions.” The video will be unveiled at the Internet Librarian Conference in October....
Libraryman, July 25

7-year-old Dominic Philip on The Colbert ReportColbert nails public library crime
In this tongue-in-cheek episode of “Nailed ’Em,” comedian Steven Colbert uncovers the apparent theft of books from the Memorial Library of Nazareth (Pa.) and Vicinity by 7-year-old Dominic Philip (right), who was prevented from checking out library books when someone discovered he actually lived in Tatamy, a municipality that does not financially support the library. The episode (4:14) features Princeton (N.J.) Public Library Director Leslie Burger....
The Colbert Report, July 27

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Cover of July Library Technology Reports

Library gaming aficionado Jenny Levine helps you implement gaming programs that benefit your patrons with Gaming and Libraries: Learning Lessons from the Intersections, the latest issue of Library Technology Reports.  She has spotted emerging themes and illustrates them through five library case studies. NEW! From ALA TechSource.

In this issue
June/July 2009

Cover of June/July 2009 issue

Summertime in Chicago

Prescription for Financial Recovery

Librarians As Writers

Licenses and Legalities

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

University of Michigan logo

Associate University Librarian for Publishing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Directs the scholarly publishing activities at the University of Michigan by overseeing the University of Michigan Press, the Scholarly Publishing Office, the Library’s Institutional Repository Deep Blue, and the Library’s Copyright Office. Leads the development of content delivery through a financially sustainable publishing program, involving both print and electronic models, and will represent the University Library in national and international conversations about the future of scholarly publishing....

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Digital Library of the Week

Color photograph of damage to Bienville Hall, University of New Orleans Lakefront Campus following Hurricane Katrina, Sept. 14, 2005. Louisiana Hurricane Resources collection

The Louisiana Digital Library is an online library containing photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, oral histories, and more that document Louisiana’s history and culture. There are currently 19 participating libraries, archives, museums, and historical centers participating in the LDL. Each institution contributes the digital items and descriptive text for its collections. Selected collections include Louisiana Hurricane Resources, Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Jesuit Scrapbooks from the New Orleans Province, Louisiana Purchase and Louisiana Colonial History, and Mississippi River Flood of 1927 Photographs. The library can be browsed by subject, institution, media format, geographic focus, time period, and collection name. LOUIS: the Louisiana Library Network, provides technological support for the institutions who participate.

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.

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A refreshing read in the A/C is just what July requires sometimes. . . . That’s why I love you, Library. You are always thinking of others.”

—Columnist Gwenn Garland, showing thanks to her public library, in “Dear Wicomico Library: Why We Think You Are So Top Shelf,” Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times, May 28.

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Ask the ALA Librarian

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Q. I am writing a research paper on the Pacific Northwest Library Association and need to know what its affiliation is, if any, with the American Library Association?

A. The Pacific Northwest Library Association is a regional chapter of the American Library Association. See all of ALA’s state and regional chapters on the section of our website for our Chapter Relations Office. At the 1954 ALA Midwinter Meeting, it was decided that changes to Article V of the ALA Bylaws—which defines the very nature, purpose, and requirements of ALA chapters—meant that all previously established ALA chapters no longer existed as of February 4, 1954. Further, at the third Council session of the 1954 ALA Annual Conference, it was decided that existing chapters of ALA had to apply for formal redesignation no later than the 1956 ALA Midwinter Meeting. PNLA was redesignated as an ALA chapter on January 31, 1957, at the second Council session of the 1957 ALA Midwinter Meeting. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Library accessibility tipsheets

The ASCLA Library Accessibility–What You Need to Know set of 15 tipsheets was developed to help librarians in all types of libraries understand and manage access issues, including patrons who have cognitive, mental, or emotional illnesses; patrons with learning and/or developmental disabilities; patrons with service animals; patrons needing assistive technologies; and patrons with physical disabilities.


Aug. 13–16:
Gen Con Indy Gaming Convention, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis.

Aug. 23–23:
Papermania Plus Antiques Extravaganza,
XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut.

Sept. 16–17:
OCLC Digital Forum West,
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. “Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery.”

Sept. 17:
Ohio Preservation Council,
25th Anniversary Symposium, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio. “Celebrating Paper.”

Sept. 22–23:
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts,
Athenaeum of Philadelphia. “Focusing on Photographs: Identification and Preservation.”

Sept. 25:
Chicagoland Drupal4Lib BoF,
Metropolitan Library System, Chicago.

Oct. 2–3:
Santa Fe Antiquarian Book Show,
El Museo Cultural, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Oct. 2–4:
North Texas Book and Paper Show,
Amon G Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall, Fort Worth, Texas.

Oct. 4:
Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show,
Lansing Center, Lansing, Michigan.

Oct. 10–11:
Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair and Book Arts Show,
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

Oct. 18–20:
New England Library Association,
Annual Conference, Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. “It’s Happening in Hartford!”

Oct. 20–21:
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts,
Atlanta History Center. “A Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovidual Media.”

Oct. 30–
Nov. 1:

Liber Berlin,
antiquarian book fair, Schlüterhof des Zeughauses im DHM, Berlin, Germany.

Nov. 5:
Preconference, AASL National Conference,
Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina. “Law for School Librarians: Knowing Minors’ Rights.”

Nov. 5:
Preconference, AASL National Conference, Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina. “The Games Libraries Play,” and others.

Nov. 5:
OCLC Digital Forum East,
Arlington (Va.) Public Library.

Nov. 7:
Buckeye Book Fair, Fisher Auditorium, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster.

Jan. 20–21:
Atmospheric Science Librarians International,
13th Annual Conference, Atlanta. “Integrating Weather, Climate, and Social Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians.”

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