It’s pink-slip season for California school librarians
In what seems to have become an annual spring rite in the Golden State, school boards throughout California have been issuing layoff notices to school library media specialists, as well as other educators and support staff, to ensure that the districts meet the March 15 notification deadline mandated by the state education code. With an $8.4-billion drop in state support to K–12 schools and higher education through June 30, 2010, the California Teachers Association estimated in early March that some 17,800 preliminary layoff notices would be issued to its members; 10,000 were sent in 2008....
American Libraries Online, Mar. 11
Chattanooga library report calls for major reforms
The Chattanooga–Hamilton County (Tenn.) Bicentennial Library was slammed in a consultants’ report (PDF file) that said the library “lacks a clear vision for the future,” is underfunded in both its operating and capital budgets, has a problematic governance structure, has buildings that are unattractive and inadequate, and uses outdated technology. Consultants June Garcia and Susan Kent called the governance and funding structure of the library “problematic and confusing,” and faulted the library for not having a fundraising program or a strategic plan....
American Libraries Online, Mar. 9
Polls open March 17 for ALA election
ALA is holding its annual election for president, treasurer, and members-at-large for ALA Council.
Polls open March 17 and close at 11:59 p.m. Central Time, April 24. Broadcast emails, announcing polls’ opening and giving member number, pass code, and instructions, will be sent beginning March 17, with the last emails sent by 9 a.m., March 19. If you have not received your ballot by March 20, contact email@example.com....
New season of Step Up to the Plate @ your library
ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum have teamed up for Season Four of Step Up to the Plate @ your library, beginning National Library Week, April 12–18. This national program brings together two American classics—libraries and baseball—to promote information literacy and the library as an essential information resource. Visit the website to register for free promotional tools that include program logos in both English and Spanish and a toolkit that includes sample press materials and programming ideas....
2009 Diversity and Outreach Fair
ALA invites members from all types of libraries to participate in the Diversity and Outreach Fair, 3–5 p.m., July 11, during ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The fair will center on services to older adults. Sponsored by DEMCO, the fair is organized by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services as a way to celebrate examples of diversity in American libraries. Selected applicants will share their diversity initiatives in face-to-face presentations with conferees through poster sessions and conversations....
Traveling exhibit connects Harry Potter, real-world sciences
The ALA Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, announces a new small-format traveling exhibition for libraries: “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.” Public, academic, and medical libraries may apply to host the banner exhibition by downloading an application, due at ALA by May 1....
Certified Public Library Administrator Program open
Public library managers are invited to apply for the Certified Public Library Administrator Program. Candidates will learn about budgeting, personnel, building management, and grantwriting—the skills a manager needs in the 21st century. The application deadline is March 20....
Mayo to present 2009 Coleman Lecture
Kathleen Mayo, head of outreach services for the Lee County (Fla.) Library System, will present the 2009 Dr. Jean E. Coleman Outreach Lecture for the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services July 13 at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Her lecture, “The Challenges and Opportunities of Serving America’s Elders,” will look at the American population as it ages and how libraries are responding to the reality of lifelong learning....
Planning for Annual Conference
ALA Librarian Karen Muller writes: “The March issue of American Libraries is shrink-wrapped with the preliminary program (PDF file) for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. In between reference calls and staff questions, I’ve been paging through it. On the inside back cover is a short planning calendar—a handy place to note whatever catches my eye now so I can see if I can shoehorn in an extra activity. I also looked at the field trips being offered by Camp ALA, which kids always enjoy.”...
ALA Marginalia, Mar. 4
ALA student-to-staff program
Each year during Annual Conference, the Chapter Relations Office puts together a group of student volunteers from the student chapters to assist ALA staff. To qualify for the student-to-staff program, the student must be a current ALA member and a member of a student chapter, and cannot have previously participated in the program. Each school has its own selection process, and the chosen student’s name must be submitted to ALA by the group’s faculty adviser. Contact Don Wood for more information....
ALA Student Member Blog, Mar. 9
Children’s lit in Second Life
From 9:45 a.m. until noon Pacific Time on March 17, the ALA Recruitment Assembly will celebrate “Adventures in Children’s Literature: Careers for School, Public, and Academic Librarians” in Second Life. Come join the assembly on ALA Island and hear from public librarians, school librarians, and even academic librarians whose work involves promoting a love of reading in young people....
Interview with Ann Brashares
Booklist sat down with YA author Ann Brashares to talk about her new book 3 Willows and how it compares to her best-selling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. In this interview (3:41), Brashares opens up about the chances of the new book expanding into a series, how hard it is to let go of beloved characters, and how she likes to imagine her characters’ lives at age 4, 14, 40, and beyond....
Interview with Ingrid Law
Just one day before winning a Newbery Honor Award for her book Savvy, author Ingrid Law sat down with Booklist and spoke about the origin of the term, how she wanted to write a book about magic without the word “magic,” talking to children about their own secret powers, and how librarians inspire her (3:08). Bonus: Law also gives us a sneak peak of her next book, a Savvy sequel....
Featured review: Reference
J. Baird Callicott and Robert Frodeman, eds. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Oct. 2008. 585p. Macmillan, hardcover (978-0-02-866137-7).
It seems fitting that the two volumes in this set start with entries for Edward Abbey and Wes Jackson, men who spoke for appropriate and ethical interaction with nature. Abbey espoused the value of wildness for its own sake, and Jackson continues to work for agriculture that complements natural ecosystems. Here, they are the lead-ins to a wealth of information, both deep and broad. As stated in the introduction, “Environmental philosophy is bursting through conventional disciplinary boundaries,” and the encyclopedia reflects this “dedisciplining” by offering a wide range of perspectives. Entries include not only the topics one might expect (Aquifers, Bhopal, Ecotourism, Sierra Club) but other subjects, such as religion (Jainism) and art (Hudson River school). There are also brief biographies of poets (Robinson Jeffers), activists (Vandana Shiva), scientists (Paul Ehrlich), philosophers (Murray Bookchin), and others. The purpose is to provide “succinct accounts of the core values and issues surrounding humanity’s relationship to the natural world.” The 321 scholarly, accessible, and thought-provoking signed entries are the products of an impressive array of scholars....
In the March 15 issue
It’s high time for some good publishing news. The 2009 ALA notable and “best” lists may have only an indirect bearing on publishers’ bottom lines, but they certainly say something about the high quality of the books and media published in the last year. It’s easy to forget, at a time when economic news is dominating publishing-industry headlines, that there are more good books published every year than any of us has time to read. You’ll find an impressive number of those good books—and good audiobooks and videos—in the 11 best lists that begin this issue....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Art Institute president to speak in Chicago
ALCTS will present James Cuno, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, as the featured speaker for its President’s Program, July 13, at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Cuno’s recent book, Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage, published by Princeton University Press, will be the subject of his presentation....
Teens can vote for the 2010 Teen Tech Week theme
YALSA invites all teens to get out the vote for Teen Tech Week, March 8–14. Teens can vote for the 2010 Teen Tech Week theme (and answer a short survey about their use of technology) on the YALSA website. They can choose from three potential themes: TMI @ your library; FYI @ your library; and Create, Share, Learn @ your library. The poll will also survey teens on their tech habits, how they use technology at school or in their free time, and the availability of technology at their libraries....
Library technology unconference
Have you ever been “speed-geeking”? Struck by “lightning-talks”? Join keynoters Joan Frye Williams and John Blyberg at the first-ever LITACamp, “The Everywhere Library: Creating, Communicating, Integrating,” May 7–8, in Dublin, Ohio. Participants determine the topic and format of the sessions on-site, sign up for time slots, and pitch session ideas to all. Registration is accepted online (PDF file) and onsite. A special housing rate is available until April 10....
AASL April Learning4Life webinars
April is School Library Media Month. This year, AASL offers a webinar series designed for school library media specialists. The webinars are part of AASL’s Learning4Life, an initiative to implement Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (available in mid-April) nationally. The webinars will be held at 4:30 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays....
Educational tours during AASL conference
Attendees of the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5–8, are encouraged to sign up early for one of the educational tours offered Wednesday and Thursday before the conference. Tours include the Biltmore Estate (right), historic homes and neighborhoods of Charlotte, and the NASCAR Valley....
LLAMA preconferences in Chicago
LLAMA will offer a wide range of topics during seven preconferences at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. Preconferences will take place 9 a.m.–5 p.m., July 10. Registration is available through the ALA Annual Conference website. Topics include: An Inside Look at Leadership, Moving Your Library’s Collections, Green Library Interiors: Fact and Fiction, and Living the Balanced Scorecard....
ALCTS: How to present a webinar
ALCTS is committed to creating webinars on emerging issues in technical services areas and practical information. “How to Present a Webinar,” the first in a series of how-tos, will train potential presenters on developing and presenting a webinar. The webinar is presented by Keri Cascio, and will be presented live three times in March....
ALCTS webinars on institutional repositories
ALCTS is offering three webinars on institutional repositories beginning in April. Based on the successful IR symposium held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, the sessions introduce participants to the IR movement and provide tools for decision-making about implementation and maintenance. Future topics slated for fall 2009 include open access, intellectual property, copyright, consortial implementation, and using the IR as a publishing platform....
YALSA seeks editor for quarterly journal
YALSA is accepting applications for a member editor for its journal, Young Adult Library Services, a 2008 APEX Award honoree. The editor (PDF file) will be responsible for the textual and pictorial content of the quarterly publication. The deadline for applications is April 10....
Five new e-newsletters from Choice
ACRL’s Choice Reviews Online has launched five free monthly e-newsletters: Editors’ Picks, Hot Topics, ShelfLife, Forthcoming Titles, and Internet Resources. To sign up, visit Choice Reviews Online and hit the gray “Sign up for Our Email Newsletters” button....
Beverly P. Lynch receives 2009 Lippincott Award
Beverly P. Lynch, professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, is this year’s recipient of the Joseph W. Lippincott Award. The award, founded in 1938, is given annually to an individual for distinguished service to the profession of librarianship. Lynch served as ALA President in 1985–1986 and has made a remarkable personal commitment to providing widespread service to libraries, educational programs, and the profession at large....
Clara Bohrer receives 2009 Sullivan Award
Clara Nalli Bohrer, director of the West Bloomfield Township (Mich.) Public Library, is the 2009 winner of the Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children Award. Under Bohrer’s direction, the library has become a community center for early literacy and revolves around the principle of stimulating children’s minds by providing an environment where children, parents, and caregivers can interact in a meaningful learning environment....
2009 James Madison Award winner
Thomas M. Susman, director of the American Bar Association’s Government Affairs Office, has been named winner of the annual James Madison Award. The award was established by ALA in 1986 to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s “right to know” on the national level. Susman will be presented with the award March 13, during the Freedom Forum’s 11th Annual National Freedom of Information Day Conference....
2009 Kilgour Award winner
The winner of this year’s Frederick G. Kilgour Award is William H. Mischo, head of the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award, jointly sponsored by LITA and OCLC, is given for research relevant to the development of information technologies. The award committee chose Mischo from a strong field of nominated leaders and praised his three-decades-long work on the design of user-centered information retrieval tools and services....
LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award
John Blyberg is the 2009 recipient of the LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award for his development of the Social OPAC application suite, also known as SOPAC. SOPAC is a suite of open source software tools that brings the power of social computing and Web 2.0 to the library catalog. Blyberg developed and implemented the current version at the Darien Library in Connecticut....
Carole D. Fiore ALSC Leadership Fund
ALSC has established the Carole D. Fiore ALSC Leadership Fund, made possible by a generous donation from Carole D. Fiore, a past president of ALSC. The Fund is intended to enhance leadership development within ALSC by sponsoring activities to develop members who show an interest in ALSC and are committed to it as future leaders. Proceeds from the fund may be used to enhance programming at ALSC’s Division Leadership Meetings or provide other new opportunities for leadership development....
WWII Poster wins ACRL Innovation Award
The Bucknell University World War II Poster Project—developed by Bucknell University’s Abby Clobridge, librarian and digital initiatives group leader, and David Willson Del Testa, assistant professor of history—is the recipient of the 2009 ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award. Sponsored by Lexis-Nexis, the annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming....
Middleton wins another award
Ken Middleton, reference librarian at Middle Tennessee State University, will receive the 2009 ABC-CLIO Online History Award for his professional achievement in online historical reference highlighted by his development of Discovering American Women’s History Online, a web-based historical research tool. The award is administered by the RUSA History Section....
Donations sought for ASCLA auction
ASCLA seeks donations of goods and services for its upcoming silent auction at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. Vendors and individuals are encouraged to contribute to this important event, which will be held in conjunction with the ASCLA/COSLA reception. Proceeds from the auction directly benefit the ASCLA Century Scholarship fund and promote its long-term financial viability....
Best Book in Library Literature award
ALA has named Jean Preer’s Library Ethics (Libraries Unlimited, 2008) the winner of the 2009 Greenwood Publishing Group Award to honor the best book published in library literature. The awards commitee praised Preer’s comprehensive approach to an issue that pervades every aspect of modern library life. The awardee receives $5,000, donated by the Greenwood Publishing Group....
Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award
ALA has named Bringing Books to Life, an outstanding program of the Nashville Public Library, the 2009 winner of the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award. Bringing Books to Life, a preschool literacy initiative, brings the library’s award-winning literature-based puppet shows together with at-risk young children, their teachers, and their families....
H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant
The New York City Department of Education’s Office of Library Services has been awarded the H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant. The grant is presented annually to a library or library organization demonstrating the greatest need for a staff development program furthering the goals and objectives of library services. The office will use the grant to support professional development for the New Yorkers Read—Eight Million Reasons to Read Book Clubs....
San Francisco branch libraries win design award
The San Francisco Public Library was honored with a Special Achievement Award by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its innovative redesign of branch libraries throughout the city. The redesign efforts are part of San Francisco’s Branch Library Improvement Program, which calls for the renovation of 16 branch libraries and the construction of eight new library buildings....
AIA San Francisco Chapter
Canada Reads competition winner
Canada Reads is an annual “battle of the books” competition organized and broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. When The Book of Negroes (published in the United States as Someone Knows My Name) emerged March 6 as the winner of the 2009 Canada Reads showdown on CBC-Radio, it was but the latest in a series of triumphs for Canadian author Lawrence Hill’s 2007 bestseller. Set in the 18th century and involving the story of a young African girl who regains her freedom after being sold into slavery, the book also won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2008....
Toronto Star, Mar. 6
Academic libraries foster key skills
ACRL’s Betsy Wilson and Erika Linke write: “As students prepare for future careers that will demand top-notch research skills, critical thinking, and a savvy eye for finding information, academic librarians are stepping up to meet those needs. Library professionals are equipping the next generation of engineers, teachers, doctors—and jobs yet to be imagined—with the training and research tools needed to compete in the global marketplace. This is a vital contribution in today’s challenging economic times.”...
Seattle Times, Mar. 4
Her son, the press secretary
Nancy Gibbs doesn’t get many visits from her son Robert these days. But the head of acquisitions for Duke University Libraries isn’t complaining. She knows that her son, Robert L. Gibbs, is an extremely busy man in his job. That job is serving as President Barack Obama’s press secretary. She is extremely proud of Robert, whom she first exposed to politics through her work with the League of Women Voters....
Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun, Mar. 10
Antioch College library labors on
A visit to Antioch College, which closed last summer, is a bit like a Twilight Zone episode—the picturesque Yellow Springs, Ohio, campus has no students or faculty, but it does have a functioning library. The university allots the library a $300,000 annual budget. Its reduced staff of three keeps up some 1,500 periodical subscriptions and sends books upon request to other Ohio college libraries. Scott Sanders supervises the defunct college’s Antiochiana archives on the library’s second floor....
New York Times, Mar. 9
Free Library chief tries to stay focused
Faced with fallout from her plan to close 11 branches in response to the city’s budget crisis, Free Library of Philadelphia Director Siobhan Reardon can’t count on her library to offer a peaceful sanctuary. As controversial as the plan has been, Reardon has never shrunk from it. After residents reacted with boisterous demonstrations, angry blogs, and unflattering portrayals in guerrilla street theater, Reardon learned at her peril that Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 10
Pennsylvania State Library faces huge cut
The State Library of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin 263 years ago, has survived two wars and a catastrophic fire. Now, library advocates fear, its latest threat may be its most dire. In the face of a multibillion-dollar deficit, Gov. Ed Rendell wants to halve the state library budget—from $4.8 million to $2.3 million—which could all but wipe out the 56-person staff....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 5
Hamline branch closing could be delayed
The Hamline Midway branch of the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library could stay open through the end of the year and not close in the spring as previously proposed, Mayor Chris Coleman and Library Director Melanie Huggins announced March 10 to a crowd of anxious patrons. As many as 100 adults and children showed up to demand the branch stay open for good....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Mar. 10
Farmington panel says penguins can stay
A book about a same-sex penguin couple and the egg they hatch together will stay on the library shelves at Meadowview Elementary School in Farmington, Minnesota. A resource review panel met March 4 to discuss the book And Tango Makes Three, and to take comments from the public. The only residents to show up were Steve and Tammy VanWinkle, who filed a request last month to have the book moved somewhere students couldn’t get to it without a parent’s permission....
Farmington (Minn.) Independent, Mar. 6
Topeka library board under scrutiny
Members of Topeka Bible Church are encouraged to volunteer and serve the community. That helps explain why four current or former church members are on the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library board of trustees, which has generated criticism recently for restricting minors’ access to four sex-related books. Meanwhile, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the Freedom to Read Foundation joined with other groups to send a letter March 4 urging the board to restore the books to open shelves....
Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal, Mar. 2; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
The demise of VHS and films that are disappearing with it
Anthony Kaufman writes: “Costa-Gavras’s 1972 Uruguayan political thriller State of Siege is effectively extinct. While it survives in a few used VHS versions and presumably somewhere in 16mm or 35mm film prints, it is among hundreds of important and critically acclaimed films no longer readily accessible for home (or library) viewing. In the wake of video-store shutdowns and the move toward DVD-only subscription services modeled after Netflix and digital downloads, the nondigitized movie is becoming an endangered species.”...
Moving Image Source, Feb. 26
Library VHS collections are dwindling
Like video rental shops, retail stores, and movie buffs before them, libraries are hitting the eject button on VHS tapes. Public libraries in the Chicago suburbs are among those phasing out VHS collections in favor of more-popular DVDs. Patrons don’t seem to mind. Cook Memorial Public Library video customer Josephine Chang said she hadn’t even realized the Libertyville library’s VHS collection has disappeared....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Mar. 2
Sewickley librarian offers inspiration through video
Alone in a quiet meeting room, Young Adult Librarian Kelly Rottmund connects a laptop computer to a large flat-screen television at the Sewickley (Pa.) Public Library. The silence is broken as groups of teens and pre-teens enter the room, excited to get started. Rottmund has created a program, “Movie Stars @ the library,” that gives kids a chance to make films after school using the library’s video camera....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Mar. 5
Thibodaux librarian helps preserve Cajun culture
If Cajun music is in the air, Anke Tonn is likely there. Tonn, interlibrary loan librarian at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, can be found dancing the two-step at Tipitina’s in New Orleans most Sundays. That is, when she’s not dancing at whatever local festival is being held that week. She has also created 12 Zydeco festivals at Nicholls and is the driving force behind the school’s Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival, March 20–21....
Thibodaux (La.) Daily Comet, Mar. 9
Heinrich Böll papers lost in Köln archives collapse
For the best part of a decade, the heirs of German writer and Nobel Prize laureate Heinrich Böll (1917–1985) worked on hammering out a deal with the city of Köln over the transfer of his private papers to the archives. In February, officials held a special ceremony to mark the historic handover: For €800,000 ($1.01 million U.S.), the archives took possession of hundreds of boxes of scripts and unpublished works by Germany’s most popular postwar writer. But all these have been lost forever after the collapse of the archives building March 3. The theory now is that the collapse was caused by ground water seepage at a nearby construction site. More than 100 books from the medieval chronicles collection have been recovered undamaged so far....
The Guardian (U.K.), Mar. 6; Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Mar. 9; Medieval News, Mar. 8
Students teach lawmakers the value of technology
Students from four Georgia school districts were on Capitol Hill March 4 showing federal lawmakers how technology is being used to enhance teaching and learning in their classrooms—and why federal funding for school technology is important. Sixteen students from four Georgia counties participated in Capitol Hill Tech Day, pulling legislators aside to show them how they can listen to podcasts on iPods to hear lessons they missed when they were absent from school and how interactive whiteboards make class interesting....
eSchool News, Mar. 5
David Smith: NYPL’s librarian to the stars
David Smith has worked at the 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue branch of the New York Public Library for 30 years, starting as a clerk and eventually landing at the General Research Division. Currently he’s a supervising librarian (and librarian to the stars), a vault of information, and a teller of some fascinating stories. Recently he spoke about giving Werner Herzog an insider’s tour of the NYPL, how stacks run all under Bryant Park, and his friend Joey Goldstein (the New Yorker he most admired)....
The Gothamist, Mar. 6; New York Times, Dec. 31, 2007
Some doors a library card can’t open
A 34-year-old Sheboygan, Wisconsin, man was charged March 6 after allegedly leaving his library card behind while stealing beer from a Plymouth tavern. A bartender called police early February 22 after discovering lights on, a cooler open, and a window screen cut in the basement. She also found Kristopher Lehnhardt’s Mead Public Library card on the floor by a door, where it appeared to have been used in an attempt to pick the lock....
Sheboygan (Wis.) Press, Mar. 7
Flood closes Richmond Hill library
A flood at the Richmond Hill (Ont.) Central Library has the library closed for approximately two weeks. A leak originated in the building’s heating system early on March 1 and spread throughout the library, soaking through the third and second floors down to ground level. Library CEO Jane Horrocks said 28,000–30,000 books suffered water damage and have been put aside for freeze-drying in an attempt to salvage the material....
Richmond Hill (Ont.) Liberal, Mar. 5
Go back to the Top
Six best video-editing apps
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “You want to be the supreme ruler of your own virtual cutting room? Better break out the checkbook—your film-chopping powers aren’t going to come cheaply. We can’t promise cheap and open source, but we can promise that the contenders are—price tags and all—worthy of inclusion. A final note regarding pricing: Many of the video editors can only be purchased as part of a bundle of software.”...
Lifehacker, Mar. 8
Google Docs suffers privacy glitch
Jason Kincaid writes: “In a privacy error that underscores some of the biggest problems surrounding cloud-based services, Google has sent a notice to a number of users of its document and spreadsheet products stating that it may have inadvertently shared some of their documents with contacts who were never granted access to them. According to the notice, this sharing was limited to people ‘with whom you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document’—a vague statement that sounds like it could add up to quite a few people.”...
TechCrunch, Mar. 7
Browsers are changing to accommodate powerful applications
Erica Naone writes: “We’ve come a long way from the flat documents that made up the web in its early years. As internet access has expanded and bandwidth has increased, designers and programmers have figured out ways to build sophisticated, interactive applications that run in the browser. Nowadays, these programs include web-based word processors, photo-editing software, money-management tools, and much more. The next generation of HTML promises to make web applications work even better.”...
Technology Review, Mar. 10
11 nontraditional uses for WordPress
Steven Snell writes: “WordPress is probably the most popular blogging platform, and it can also be used as a CMS to power other types of websites. With some creativity and a growing number of available resources, WordPress seems to be expanding constantly.” This article gives an overview of 11 nontraditional uses for the software, including a membership directory, job board, and email newsletter manager....
Designm.ag, Mar. 1
Five sites for experiencing the web in real time
Frederic Lardinois writes: “One of the most interesting trends on the internet right now is a move toward a more real-time experience. We have seen a lot of discussion lately about how Twitter is leading the charge by creating a search engine for the real-time web, for example. However, there are also a good number of other services that already expose some of the promises of the real-time web.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Mar. 6
A one-stop spot for vital system stats
Tim Smith writes: “Windows comes packaged with many tools to show details about the current state of your system. There’s Task Manager for discovering the processes that are using your CPU, Resource Monitor for investigating your disk activity, and Explorer for showing the total usage of all your drives. Wouldn’t it be useful to have these stats all together in one handy, attractive application? What’s Going On? is a PC Magazine system utility that gives you a one-stop spot for all your system’s vital stats.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 26
Drupal for n00bs
Cindi Trainor writes: “Drupal Camp 2009 at Darien Library in Connecticut was my first unconference. Drupal is hard. It has its own vocabulary. But the way I see it, the fact that Drupal has a steep learning curve is no excuse for complacency. After attending Drupal Camp and hearing others talk about how they created modules and sites, I’d recommend these steps to other newbies.” Sarah Houghton-Jan lists some essential Drupal resources....
ALA TechSource blog, Mar. 9; Librarian in Black, Mar. 4
Digitizing microfilm (PDF file)
Derek Jenkins writes: “Image processing consists of two phases: real-time (scan-time)
enhancements, and post-scanning enhancements. Both are
important and must be considered for each job. In many cases,
the real-time enhancement delivers an acceptable image, but under some circumstances, a better result would have been
obtained if the images were post-processed.”...
Journal of Imaging Services 17, no. 3
10 websites for book lovers
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “At this point most everyone has heard of LibraryThing, the most popular social cataloging website online, and perhaps even of the Amazon-owned Shelfari, but here are a few websites for book lovers that you may not have heard about—including the Book Cover Archive, a collection of over 1,000 book covers categorized and browsable by designers, authors, titles, art directors, photographers, and illustrators.”...
iLibrarian, Mar. 4
Slumdog’s inspiration and 19 other Indian novels
Naturally there was a novel behind Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar-winning film. But Q & A, by Vikas Swarup, the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s acclaimed movie, is just one of the many recent examples of Indian literature to have a worldwide impact. Modern Indian authors and writers of Indian descent have been taking home literary awards for decades. The White Tiger, The Inheritance of Loss, In a Free State, and The God of Small Things all won the Man Booker Prize, and there are many more great novels to read....
On campus, vampires are besting the Beats
Ron Charles writes: “In 1969, when Alice Echols went to college, everybody she knew was reading Soul on Ice, Eldridge Cleaver’s new collection of essays. Forty years later, on today’s college campuses, you’re more likely to hear a werewolf howl than Allen Ginsberg, and Nin’s transgressive sexuality has been replaced by the fervent chastity of Bella Swan, the teenage heroine of Stephenie Meyer’s modern gothic Twilight series. It’s as though somebody stole Abbie Hoffman’s book—and a whole generation of radical lit along with it.”...
Washington Post, Mar. 8
Senate passes Omnibus Appropriations bill
After several days of squabbling, the Senate approved the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill March 10, which includes nine unfinished appropriations bills from last year. Overall, libraries of all types fared well (PDF file). The bill contains $171.5 million for the Grants to State Library Agencies program within the LSTA. This is an increase of over $10 million from last year....
District Dispatch, Mar. 11
Stimulus may come to the rescue of school libraries
With state funding for schools on the decline, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act could not have come at a more critical time for school libraries. ARRA includes $100 billion for education that can help school libraries ensure that students are prepared to enter a 21st-century workforce, prevent cutbacks and layoffs, and modernize our nation’s school libraries....
District Dispatch, Mar. 10
Stimulus includes grants for senior employment
One thing many may not know about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is that it includes a provision that can help senior citizens find jobs—by working at the local library. The ARRA contains additional funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides community service jobs to older Americans at nonprofit and public facilities, including libraries....
District Dispatch, Mar. 10
Schedule for education stimulus funding
Funds under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) and Title I, Part A, will be available in two stages. Funds from these very large programs are to be delivered by formula from the U.S. Department of Education to the states. The Department of Education will release 50% of Title I, Part A, before the end of March without requiring new state applications. Streamlined, user-friendly applications for the initial 67% of the SFSF will be available to governors by the end of March....
District Dispatch, Mar. 10
Broadband stimulus funding
At a March 10 public meeting, members of the Commerce Department, Department of Agriculture, and Federal Communications Commission gave an update on the $7.2-billion broadband funding provisions of the ARRA. They reiterated the purpose: to close the broadband gap in America; stimulate investment; create jobs; ensure that schools, libraries, hospitals, and other “community anchor institutions” have the connectivity they need; and encourage overall demand....
District Dispatch, Mar. 10
Folkways Collection podcasts
The Smithsonian’s Folkways Collection podcast series splits the remarkable story of Moses Asch’s label (home to Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger that was transferred to the Smithsonian after his death) into 24 one-hour podcasts, each featuring interviews and original recordings from the Folkways archive of 2,000-plus recordings. Folk music, children’s music, recordings of frogs, the tragic story of Phil Ochs, and examples of Allen Ginsberg’s ill-advised forays into the blues are all included. The series was produced by CKUA Radio Network in Alberta and originally aired in 1999....
Try the FunWorks
The FunWorks is a nationally acclaimed STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) career exploration website developed for and by youth aged 11 to 15. It provides interactive career experiences and makes use of music and sports to help teens explore potential careers. The site was produced by the nonprofit Education Development Center with funding from the National Science Foundation....
Thinkfinity @ your library
Have you checked out this new front door to explore Thinkfinity.org content yet? Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation’s online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K–12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided with many of the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations. Trainers from Thinkfinity.org were on hand during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, demonstrating how librarians can use the site....
Visibility @ your library, Mar. 9
Top auction sales of 2008
Ian McKay and P. Scott Brown write: “John Lennon’s scribbled lyrics to ‘Give Peace a Chance’ (right) sold for nearly $1 million last summer, which prompted a continuing discussion among Fine Books editors about what should make our list of the top auction sales. If you go by the highest prices paid for all things written, printed books drop down on the list. Take this past year: While three single-sheet fragments of the Qur’an sold for millions, only the first edition of Copernicus’s masterwork broke into seven figures.”...
Fine Books and Collections, Mar.
What drives people to steal rare books
Tim Richardson writes: “Every so often a high-profile example of book theft makes the news. The crime in question does not concern hard-up students helping themselves to textbooks. Rather it details cases of premeditated, often audacious, theft of beautiful and rare books. One day a few years ago, as the only other user present at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Library in Westminster, I had the dubious privilege of witnessing the arrest of notorious book thief William Jacques, alias Mr. Santoro or David Fletcher and sometimes dubbed the Tome Raider.”...
Financial Times, Mar. 6
Penny Arcade discovers the Book
Penny Arcade, a webcomic focused on video games and gaming culture written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik, debuted in 1998. On March 1, it won the category Best Webcomic in the fan-voted Project Fanboy Awards for 2008. In its March 9 strip, “Progress,” it takes on the discovery of an amazing retro format—the Book....
Penny Arcade, Mar. 9
North Carolina to help with job searches
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has announced a new program, the JobSearch Help Desk, which will train librarians to help patrons connect with employers and conduct job searches at public libraries. Beginning in March, the state library will conduct training sessions for librarians in nine locations. The workshops will focus on use of North Carolina’s statewide electronic database consortium NC LIVE plus print and online tools for skills such as résumé writing, job searching, and interviewing....
North Carolina Governor’s Office, Feb. 13
New York Public Library and today’s economic crisis
Ann Thornton writes: “Three weeks ago, we surveyed participants in public programs and training classes and found that more than one-third of them were unemployed and searching for jobs. In the last four months, we have documented an increase of 38% in unique users searching for and using job information on the library’s website. And from the front lines, staff members are reporting increasing questions from users about job-related topics, from unemployment insurance to résumé writing.”...
Blogging@NYPL, Mar. 3
Public libraries during the Great Depression
Charles A. Seavey writes: “The expansion of the American public library in the teeth of the Great Depression demonstrates very clearly the importance of the institution to American society. Any institution for which the American populace is willing to tax itself to support occupies an important place in the country. While the growth of the public library was not uniform across the country, it was, nonetheless, a nationwide phenomenon—every state started new libraries. And while some federal money was involved, it was local funds and local initiative that was largely responsible.”...
Based on a paper presented at the IFLA Conference in Glasgow, Aug. 20, 2002
Libraries to start lending money (satire)
In its latest bid to kick-start the nation’s ailing economy, the government has announced that public libraries will extend their current range of services to include the lending of money. From today, customers borrowing books will also be able to take out financial loans for a period of three weeks, though it may be possible to renew the terms of these agreements provided no other customer is waiting to borrow the cash....
NewsBiscuit, Mar. 3
Using Skype for reference
This episode of Chad Boeninger’s Monday Night Update (4:55) discusses and shows how the Ohio University Libraries’ Skype Reference Service works. The video shows the kiosk setup and discusses some of the issues with the service. The Skype kiosk rings a computer at the reference desk through the campus wireless network. Chad says: “It’s a free service and it’s kind of fun to mess with.”...
Library Voice, Mar. 3
Getting it out together
Peter Brantley writes: “We must tell stories for everyone, not just for ourselves. And for libraries, that means staying away from baroque library standards; weird metadata protocols and data exchange standards that no one else uses. It means taking only the best of what we’ve developed, the work that is most flexible and lightweight, such as OpenURL, OAI-PMH, and Dublin Core, and integrating it with RSS and ATOM; OAuth and OpenID; Sitemap and OpenSearch. Anything that is complicated must be left behind.”...
Peter Brantley’s Thoughts and Speculations, Mar. 1
100 tools to research the deep web
Alisa Miller writes: “Experts say that typical search engines like Yahoo! and Google only pick up about 1% of the information available on the internet. The rest of that information is considered to be hidden in the deep web, also referred to as the invisible web. So how can you find all the rest of this information? This list offers 100 tips and tools to help you get the most out of your searches.”...
Online College Blog
Chesapeake Poetry Festival
Jean Carideo writes:
“For the last 16 years, Russell Memorial Library has been the home of the Chesapeake (Va.) Poetry Festival. The first festival, held in 1993, was the result of a casual conversation between Norfolk attorney C. Edward Russell Jr. and Chesapeake Public Library Director Margaret Stillman. The idea began when Russell was taking a class in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University taught by his longtime friend and Poet Laureate of Portsmouth Dave Smith (above).”...
Virginia Libraries 54, no. 3–4
Get your news from the library
Douglas County (Colo.) Librarian Jamie LaRue writes: “Frankly, I’m worried about this trend: A lot of newspapers are in trouble, and that does not bode well for the well-researched, investigative journalism upon which an informed citizenry depends. More often than not, the content of blogs is opinion, not news. That leads me to a radical solution. If the business model of for-profit newspapers is broken, then maybe what we need them to do is merge with an obvious partner: the public library.”...
LaRue’s Views, Mar. 12
UCLA acquires Aldous Huxley archive
The UCLA Library has acquired the literary archive of the visionary novelist and essayist Aldous Huxley (1894–1963). The collection contains literary materials he created subsequent to a devastating 1961 fire that destroyed his Los Angeles home and much of his earlier archive; correspondence, photographs, and audiotapes; and typescripts and galley proofs retrieved from publishers after his death. Also included are the papers of his wife, Laura Huxley (1911–2007), an author and lay therapist, who chose UCLA as the home for the Aldous and Laura Huxley Collection shortly before her death....
University of California, Los Angeles, Mar. 6
Peter Mulvey live at Kalamazoo Public Library
Singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey entertained (9:46) a crowd of more than 150 at a special February 18 concert at the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library. Mulvey is the ninth musician featured in KPL’s popular Live Music concert series. The show featured Mulvey’s signature guitar style, humorous storytelling, and beautiful songs. Part 2 (10:40) is also online....
YouTube, Feb. 26
The Adventures of Stella Kos, Special Librarian, 2109
Cathy Carr, Kent State University library student and SLA Student Chapter member, contributed this video (2:00) for the Special Libraries Association Centennial video contest. Kos unravels the mystery of why the Chicago Cubs have never won the World Series since 1908. Watch other SLA centennial videos here....
YouTube, Feb. 23
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Plan your trip now by consulting the Preliminary Conference Program, now available online (PDF file).
Enriching and supplementing storytelling programs with fingerplays, flannelboards, and other props will be a cinch thanks to Storytime Magic, a generous sampling of 400 art and craft ideas, songs, and action rhymes by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Libraries and civic engagement
The return of Salinas Public Library
Amalgamating for advocacy
Midwinter Meeting conversations
U.S. Government Information and Law Librarian. The University of California, Santa Barbara, is seeking candidates for a temporary, two-year position. The successful candidate must be innovative, creative, energetic, self- motivated, and service-oriented. The librarian has responsibility for reference and research consultation, including electronic reference, teaching in the library’s instruction program, and collection development and management for United States government information and law. The librarian serves as the liaison to the U.S. Government Printing Office Federal Depository Library Program. Responsible for the development and maintenance of printed and electronic guides to library resources for the two disciplines....
Digital Library of the Week
Seattle Municipal Archives. Seattle’s digital-document libraries are a resource for teachers and students of Washington State history. They contain digital representations of primary-source documents on such topics as the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, unemployment and the WPA, and the World Trade Organization protests. Although the geographic focus is Seattle, the topics reflect events at the state and national levels. Both documents and images are included in the archives.
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.
“I didn’t even know we had a library. I wondered if that is something that should be included in the budget.”
—Steve Doerhoefer, at a Sharpsburg, Georgia, council meeting, asking about $2,450 in the town’s budget for the volunteer-staffed library’s supplies and materials, Newnan (Ga.) Times-Herald, Jan. 6.
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In the March 2009 issue of College and Research Libraries News, Peter Hernon and Robert E. Dugan discuss assessment and evaluation and provide useful working definitions of the terms as they relate to measuring student outcomes.
Open Access and Libraries, Columbia University, New York City.
American Association of Law Librarians Management Institute, Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. “Manage with Confidence.”
Collection Development / Resource Sharing Conference, Florida State University Alumni Center, Tallahassee.
Chicagoland Drupal4Lib, DePaul University Loop Campus, Chicago.
Expanding Literacy Studies, Ohio State University, Columbus.
Queens Library, Flushing Branch. “Innovation in Libraries by The Shanachies.” Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer (The Shanachies) are worldwide-recognized specialists in gaming, libraries, and innovation. Admission is free, but RSVPs are essential.
Apr. 15–18: Museums and the Web, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.
International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems, The Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, Boston.
American Society for Indexing, Annual Conference, Doubletree–Lloyd Center Hotel, Portland, Oregon. “Scaling the Heights.”
Amigos Library Services Member Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel North Dallas-Addison, Texas. “Navigating the Now.”
Pacific Northwest Library Association, Annual Conference, Missoula, Montana. “A Century of Cooperation, a Legacy of Leadership.”
African-American Genealogical Research, National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
British Chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, University College London. “Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources.”
National Diversity in Libraries Conference, Marriott Louisville Downtown, Kentucky, “Spectrum of the Future.”
Ohio Educational Library Media Association Conference, Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. “Educating 21st-Century Leaders.”