Cuts, freezes widespread in academic libraries
Many academic libraries are facing major planned or potential budget cuts as the nation’s economic meltdown plays itself out. Online reports and announcements from major U.S. universities show that significant budget cuts may be widespread among members of the Association of Research Libraries and other college and university libraries across the country....
American Libraries Online, May 13
DOJ looks into Google scanning settlement
The Department of Justice, as well as a group of state attorneys-general, is looking into whether Google’s proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging its Book Search project violates antitrust laws. The settlement, reached in October 2008, allows Google to scan copyrighted books and display up to 20% of the text to users at no charge. Google will sell online access to individual books; and libraries, universities, and other institutions can purchase online subscriptions to large collections....
American Libraries Online, May 8
Jim Rettig at National Press Club
ALA President Jim Rettig held a press conference (32:00) at the National Press Club in Washington May 11 as part of National Library Legislative Day. He spoke about key library issues, including the many ways libraries are assisting a growing number of individuals during this time of economic downturn and the importance of funding libraries so that they can continue to meet the needs of the American public....
District Dispatch, May 12; C-SPAN, May 11
Groups testify in support of DMCA exemption
On May 1 in Palo Alto, California, the Copyright Office began a series of hearings on the proposed DMCA anticircumvention exemptions. The hearings moved to the Library of Congress May 6, where Jonathan Band, testifying on behalf of ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries, offered evidence in support of the expansion of the exemption. Be sure to watch the surreal video (4:18, above) of members of the Motion Picture Association of America showing the Copyright Office how users should not be allowed to circumvent copy protections on DVDs because there is a viable alternative—making a videorecording of a TV set....
District Dispatch, May 7; Vimeo, May 6
Changes to the ALA website
ALA Librarian Karen Muller writes: “When we launched the current version of the ALA website in September 2008, we stressed that there would be ongoing usability assessment followed by reworkings to the site, both minor and visible, from time to time. One major change is a revamp of our Professional Resources page, which we have consolidated into a Topics A–Z format that serves somewhat as an index to the website.”...
ALA Marginalia, May 13
Librarians share Step Up to the Plate stories
Librarians interested in promoting Step Up to the Plate @ your library can now view success stories (login required) from two colleagues. Washington-Centerville (Ohio) Public Library Public Programs Coordinator Debra Dockins discusses how she teamed up with the local youth-baseball league, along with her local minor-league team to march in the local Americana Festival parade, attended by 70,000 spectators. Jeanne Rose of the Maplewood Junior/Senior High School library in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania, explains how promoting Step Up to the Plate alongside the spring Reading Is Fundamental book distribution helped bring in more entries than any other library....
Sustaining technology access in a tough economy
“Doing more with less” has become something of a mantra in the current economic climate, and libraries are no exception. Researchers will share tips and tools as part of the panel “More Demand, Less Money: Sustaining Technology Access in a Tight Economy,” July 11, at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Hear about strategies for maximizing a library’s limited resources from John Carlo Bertot, Linda Yoder, and Betsy Fowler....
ALA Connect usage on the rise
ALA Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine writes: “Last month, I highlighted some early statistics about ALA Connect, and I thought I’d post an update on those numbers. We do hope to see usage increase leading up to, and after, ALA Annual Conference in July. Until then, here are some aggregate figures for the site’s first five weeks.”...
ALA Marginalia, May 13
Panel to discuss education and recruitment
The next installment in the series of ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be an online discussion with Connie Paul, director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, and Julie Brewer, coordinator of personnel and staff development at the University of Delaware Library. Paul and Brewer will discuss recruitment and education for librarians. The discussion will take place 2–3 p.m. Eastern time, May 15....
ALA commends Hinchey and McHugh
ALA sent letters May 5 to U.S. Congressmen Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.-22) and John M. McHugh (N.Y.-23), thanking them for introducing the Preserving the American Historical Record Act, which will allow for the preservation of local and state historical documents in an accessible manner for the American public. The letter can be viewed online (PDF file)....
Cokie Roberts, Michael Connelly, James Van Praagh to speak at Annual
The ALA Auditorium Speaker Series, held throughout Annual Confernece, welcomes 10 distinguished speakers who double as authors, activists, and national newsmakers. Speakers include ABC News commentator Cokie Roberts (right), best-selling mystery author Michael Connelly, and survival-evidence medium James Van Praagh. For more information on the series and a complete list of participating speakers, visit the Annual Conference website....
Spotlight on poetry at Annual Conference
ALA Public Programs Office Project Manager Mary Davis Fournier writes: “This year’s LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage will showcase a truly impressive lineup of poets who cumulatively represent the landscape of American poetry today. Individually they are no less impressive. Check out this list and the links to these poets—most of the links have audio files that provide a preview of their reading.”...
Programming Librarian, May 8
Guadalajara Book Fair free pass program
ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 22nd Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from November 28 to December 6. The city of Los Angeles will be the Guest of Honor at FIL 2009. Free passes will be awarded to 150 librarians who work in the area of Spanish-language acquisitions or are working to build their Spanish-language collections. Applicants must be ALA personal members. The deadline to apply is August 17....
State library fact sheets
These updated fact sheets for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and and the Improving Learning Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program are helpful when communicating with your members of Congress as they craft the FY2010 budget....
District Dispatch, May 8
Featured review: Adult books
Theroux, Marcel. Far North. June 2009. 272p. Farrar, hardcover (978-0-374-15353-3).
Makepeace Hatfield patrols the empty town of Evangeline in Siberia, the act a mere ritual in a broken world where civilization is a thing barely remembered. But two events—the rescue of a slave named Ping and the sighting of a plane—prompt Makepeace to leave a sustainable but bleak existence in search of the place where fixing and fueling a plane is still possible. The journey, which lasts years, leads Makepeace through a brutal frontier of suspicion, superstition, and slavery. The popularity of post-apocalyptic books has given expression to fears plaguing our minds, and these books’ themes have evolved with the complicated times....
Dystopian fiction for youth
Ian Chipman writes: “Perhaps reflecting the unease in every society that something darker lurks beneath the veneer of civilization, a growing body of dystopian literature has recently dominated the YA science-fiction and fantasy genres. In the same spirit as Lois Lowry’s now-classic The Giver (1993), these books not only offer teens excellent escapist fare rife with survivalist adventure and grim imaginings of future worlds but also an opportunity to reflect on how the issues in their own lives and societies are mirrored in these worlds gone horribly wrong.”...
Adventures of a post-apocalyptic book reviewer
Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff
has written a short story, “The Read,” about what happens to a book reviewer after the apocalypse. It starts out like this: “In the dream he knelt beside a vast and craven crater. The crater filled with bookwrack. Boards. Paper. Words. The words unadhorn from the pages and falling to letters. Broken bookshelves. Card catalogs filled with dust. That not burned had been drowned. Stewy char. The shorelaps of the polluted waters a sickly susurrus. The world come unbooked and never to be read again. In the cold sclerotic dawn the book reviewer coughed himself awake. His coughs the sound of pamphlets ripping. Forgetting then remembering where he was. A branch library on the edge of the city. Its metal shelves like autopsy tables. Empty. Looted. The cold like a memory of heat forgotten.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Harold Washington Library Center
Chicago’s downtown library at 400 S. State Street will feature several exhibits during the ALA Annual Conference. “Tall Man of Destiny: Images of Abraham Lincoln” looks at a variety of images of Lincoln during his lifetime as well as representations of him from his death in 1865 to today. The images are drawn primarily from the library’s Grand Army of the Republic and Civil War collections. Other exhibits are on Charles Darwin and former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington....
Chicago Public Library
Telescopes at the Adler
The Adler Planetarium was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere (in 1930) and is the oldest in existence today. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the telescope, the Adler Planetarium has opened an exhibition on “Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass.” From Galileo’s first observations in the 17th century to the leading-edge technology employed by the Hubble Space Telescope, the exhibition shows how these amazing instruments have changed our concepts of the universe and of our place in it....
Museum of Contemporary Art
The MCA, at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, is hosting an “Elements of Photography” exhibition that presents photographic and video works from its collections with a focus on elemental materials of nature—light and water. With these elements, artists like Hiroshi Sugimoto, Luisa Lambri, Walead Beshty, and Adam Ekberg create ephemeral works that explore the foundation of the photographic image....
Museum of Contemporary Art
Academic librarian salary survey results
ACRL, in collaboration with the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, recently completed revisions to academic library position descriptions included in surveys covering salaries, benefits, and other benchmarks. Now, CUPA-HR has released the results of its 2009 Administrative Compensation and Mid-Level Salary surveys, with the first surveys conducted using the updated position descriptions. Survey results are available on the ACRL website....
Mosley, Gauvin named to ALTAFF leadership
Rose Mosley, board president of the Maywood (Ill.) Public Library, has been named 2009–2010 president of ALTAFF. Rod Gauvin, a senior vice president of ProQuest, has been named 2009–2010 vice president/president elect. They were named to their positions as part of the combining of the boards of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates, which merged to form ALTAFF on February 1....
YALSA chooses new journal editor
YALSA named Sarah Flowers as editor of Young Adult Library Services, its quarterly journal, starting fall 2009. Flowers previously served as guest editor in 2007. A longtime YALSA member who has served on ALA Council, the YALSA Board of Directors, and YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award Committee, Flowers is a regular contributor to School Library Journal and VOYA. She is the author of the forthcoming Young Adults Deserve the Best: Putting YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth in Action....
YALSA hosts author coffee, fashion show
Tickets are still available for the YALSA Happy Hour and Fashion Show July 10 and the Morris Award Presentation and YA Author Coffee Klatch July 12, both presented by YALSA at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The YALSA Happy Hour and Fashion Show, hosted by Steven Rosengard of Project Runway Season 4 fame, begins at 5 p.m. Stylish librarians will walk the runway, giving examples of how to be fashionable without breaking the bank. The fashion show will also feature makeovers and tips that attendees can take home. Tickets cost $10 and include a drink ticket, courtesy of event sponsor Disney-Hyperion Books....
Explore teen reading at YALSA preconference
YALSA will offer a preconference July 10 on connecting teens with reading materials using specific genres. Attendees will learn about new literacy activities and hear about sample programs based on teen books, as well as find out how to create a solid school or public library teen collection, even on a limited budget. Speakers include authors Holly Black (above), Cecil Castellucci, Patrick Jones, James Kennedy, David Lubar, and Dom Testa, as well as many teen literature experts. More details are available online at the YALSA wiki....
YALSA to honor literary award winners at Annual
YALSA will celebrate the winners of its literary awards with special events and programs July 9–15 at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Advanced registration ends May 22. Tickets are available for the YALSA Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon on July 11, the Morris Award Presentation and YA Authors Coffee Klatch on July 12, and the Michael L. Printz Award Program and Reception on July 13. YALSA will also highlight winners of its annual Alex Awards during a free program on July 12, and the Odyssey Award at a free reception on July 13. Information on all of YALSA’s events is available at the YALSA wiki....
Julie Corsaro elected ALSC president
Julie Corsaro, children’s literature consultant from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been elected president of ALSC. Corsaro received an MLS from the University of Chicago in 1985 and has been a member of ALSC for 23 years, serving on numerous committees. Most recently she has held the position of priority group consultant VI (book and media awards). She has also served on the Arbuthnot, Batchelder, Caldecott, Distinguished Service, International Relations, Newbery, and Sibert Committees....
American Masters screening at ALA
The ALA Video Round Table will host a special screening of films from the PBS American Masters series on July 12 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago. Commentators include American Masters series filmmakers who will discuss works on American authors Louisa May Alcott and Helen Keller. Tickets (PDF file) are $25 for VRT members and students and $30 for nonmembers....
Melvil Dewey Medal Award winner
James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, has been chosen to receive ALA’s 2009 Melvil Dewey Medal Award, sponsored by OCLC. This prestigious professional honor given in recognition of creative leadership of high order is named after Melvil Dewey who was actively interested in library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship; Neal’s career epitomizes these qualities....
Beta Phi Mu Award
Dr. C. James Schmidt, professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, has been selected as the recipient of ALA’s 2009 Beta Phi Mu Award. This annual award, donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society, is presented to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship....
Sara Jaffarian Award
The library of the Carroll Academy for International Studies in Houston is the winner of the 2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The award will be presented in July at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The library will receive a plaque recognizing the achievement, a cash award of $4,000, and inclusion of the winning program as a model in a national training session on library humanities programs....
2009 NSLMPY award winners
Livonia (N.Y.) Central School District, Robert E. Clow Elementary School in Naperville, Illinois, and Blue Valley North High School in Stillwater, Kansas, will be honored with the prestigious 2009 National School Library Media Program of the Year award at the AASL Awards Luncheon during the 2009 ALA Annual Conference....
Educators honored for offering alternatives for urban youth
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Library Media Specialist Maureen O’Neill and history teacher Dennis Jutras are the recipients of the AASL 2009 Collaborative School Library Media Award. They will be honored for their project, “Beyond National History Day.” In 2004, O’Neill and Jutras supported the participation of five BPI students in the Maryland and National History Day competitions. Because of the program’s success, the school made the participation in NHD a part of curriculum for all world history and AP history courses....
AASL honors 2009 information pathfinders
Jennifer Gorup, school library media specialist at Quail Run Elementary in Lawrence, Kansas, and Melanie Le Jeune, school library media specialist at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana, are the recipients of the AASL 2009 Information Technology Pathfinder Award. With a challenging budget, Gorup has managed to integrate technology into each grade level at Quail Run. At St. Louis, Le Jeune recently began a segment at the faculty meetings called “Technology Tidbits.”...
Distinguished School Administrators Award
Melanie Goffen Horowitz is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished School Administrators Award sponsored by ProQuest and AASL. Six years ago, during Horowitz’s interview for the position of principal of Central Elementary School, Barbara Ungar, school library media specialist, asked Horowitz what she saw as the primary purpose of the school library media center. She answered, “The library should be the hub and heart of the school.” That philosophy has led Central School’s library media program to become, as Ungar puts it, “the vanguard of what libraries have the potential to be in all schools.”...
SIRS/ProQuest State and Regional Achievement Award
“Celebrate the Freedom to Read” Oregon—a coalition made up of the ACLU of Oregon, the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Oregon Library Association, and the IFC of the Oregon Association of School Libraries—is the recipient of the SIRS/ProQuest State and Regional Achievement Award. Administered by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and funded by ProQuest, the award recognizes successful and effective intellectual freedom committees or coalitions....
2009 John Phillip Immroth Award
Karen MacPherson, children and youth services coordinator at Takoma Park Maryland Library, and Alanna Natanson, a middle-school student in Takoma Park, have been named recipients of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, presented by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table. The award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship....
White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce Award
Stephen Flynn, a student employee at the Mudd Library at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, is the winner of the 2009 White House Conference on Library and Information Services Award. The annual award, given to a non-librarian participating in National Library Legislative Day for the first time, is a $300 stipend granted to help reduce the cost of attending the event....
LC wins digital media award
The Library of Congress won the Best of Show Award May 6 at the KioskCom Self-Service Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, for its Library of Congress Experience exhibition. The honor was one of the Self-Service Excellence Awards cosponsored since 2002 by KioskCom and the Self-Service and Kiosk Association. LC Chief Operating Officer Jo Ann Jenkins was voted Deployer of the Year....
Kiosk Marketplace, May 7
2009 NYPL Helen Bernstein Award
Journalist and author Jane Mayer received the 2009 New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism this week for her recent book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday/Anchor) which chronicles the secret unconstitutional actions, including torture, taken by the Bush administration in the pursuit of terrorists. The award was presented by Library President Paul LeClerc at a May 6 reception....
New York Public Library, May 8
Irish Book Awards
The fourth annual Irish Book Awards, administered by the Irish Literary Academy, produced a stellar cast of category winners at its May 6 gala dinner in Dublin, among them novelist Sebastian Barry, whose Secret Scripture won both the Listeners’ Choice and the Novel of the Year awards. Winners in the children’s categories were Derek Landy’s Playing with Fire (in his “Skulduggery Pleasant” series) and Benji Bennett’s Before You Sleep....
Irish Book Awards
2009 Doug Wright Awards
The Doug Wright Awards were established in 2004 to honor the legacy of the late Doug Wright by recognizing the best in Canadian comics and graphic novels. This year’s awards were handed out May 9 at a ceremony hosted by Don McKellar at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. The Best Book award went to Skim by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (Groundwood Books)....
Doug Wright Awards
Gulf Coast school library recovery grants
The Laura Bush Foundation has announced that it will award Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative Grants in October. Gulf Coast schools that were damaged in the 2005 storms or schools being built to fill
gaps created by the storms are invited to apply. The deadline is September 8....
Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries
Oklahoma governor vetoes bill weakening school standards
Saying it would turn back the clock on decades of education reforms, Gov. Brad Henry May 8 vetoed Senate Bill 834, legislation that would have allowed local school administrators to ignore more rigorous state standards and create their own academic benchmarks and rules. Granting control to local districts with no strings attached could have led to making the school library, the library media specialist, and library funding optional....
Oklahoma Governor’s Office, May 8; Oklahoma Library Association
Bleak outlook for Butte County
The Butte County (Calif.) Supervisors will decide on May 18 whether to further reduce its public library budget by 50%, from $3.1 million annually to $1.5 million, effective in July. Staffing would be reduced from 39 to 13 countywide, giving it the worst ratio in the state, with one staff member per 17,000 residents. Hours would be cut in half, which means the Gridley branch would only open two days a week. All children’s programming (except one storytime per week) would be eliminated and no new materials could be purchased. The bookmobile has already stopped running....
Gridley (Calif.) Herald, May 8
Speaking out for New York Public Library
Facing a potential $28.2-million funding cut in Mayor Bloomberg’s budget, New York Public Library staff are protesting. Branches in Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island have set up tables—complete with sample letters—for library users to fire off missives to Bloomberg and the City Council, asking them to reconsider. “If we don’t get restoration,” said NYPL spokeswoman Deanna Lee, “we are looking at severe layoffs [as many as 435 staffers] and at having to cut up to 20 hours per week.”...
New York Post, May 11
No branch closures for Santa Cruz
While library leaders did not pinpoint exactly where they will cut more than $1 million from their $12.6-million budget, they did decide where they will not—branch closures. On a 6–3 vote, the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Public Libraries’ joint powers board on May 12 asked acting Director Susan Elgin to return with variations on a theme—how to trim about $1.3 million from the libraries’ current budget without closing any of the system’s 10 branches....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, May 12
OSU students and faculty protest weeding
Ohio State University can’t have a great library if it continues to dump hundreds of thousands of books and journals, a group of protesters said May 12. Nearly two dozen students and current and retired faculty members picketed in front of the OSU administration building in Columbus to protest the school’s move to more electronic books and journals. “There is more demand for e-books and e-journals than there is for print materials,” Library Director Joe Branin said....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, May 13
Tennessee using LSTA funds for job training centers
A half dozen libraries across Tennessee are receiving grant funds administered through the Secretary of State’s office for programs that help job-seekers find work. Libraries in Union City, Ardmore, Rogersville, Johnson City, Decatur, and Franklin will each receive $7,500 to set up job training centers. These centers will provide materials and professional services to teach new skills to displaced workers, provide information about career choices, and offer résumé writing and job application assistance....
Union City (Tenn.) Messenger, May 7
The next age of discovery
In a 21st-century version of the age of discovery, teams of computer scientists, conservationists, and scholars are fanning out across the globe in a race to digitize crumbling literary treasures. In the process, they’re uncovering unexpected troves of new finds, including never-before-seen versions of the Christian Gospels, fragments of Greek poetry, and commentaries on Aristotle. Improved technology allows researchers to scan ancient texts that were once unreadable....
Wall Street Journal, May 8
A new wrinkle at library book sales
Like prospectors sifting for gold, book dealers using electronic scanners comb through local library book sales for volumes to resell for profit on the internet. Worried that average library patrons are losing out to the high-tech bargain hunters, volunteer groups that run many of the used-book sales have begun debating whether to ban or limit the electronic devices. Minneapolis book scout Peter VonSien pays $40 a month for an up-to-date list of book resale values, stores the data on a handheld computer, and uses a bar-code scanner to read book bar codes into the computer to display the value....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 9
Wilmington to auction its Wyeths
The Wilmington (Del.) Public Library plans to pay for a new roof, heating, and air conditioning system and other repairs by selling 14 illustrations N. C. Wyeth painted for a 1920 edition of Robinson Crusoe. The large collection of Wyeth originals is expected to bring about $5 million when it’s auctioned piece by piece at Christie’s in New York on December 2. But some residents are upset the library didn’t try harder to keep the paintings in Delaware....
New Castle (Del.) News Journal, May 7, 9
Teen gun-law researcher interviewed by police
Someone at the Town of Pelham (N.Y.) Public Library informed on a teen researching gun carry-and-concealment laws, which led to the 11th grader being called into his high-school assistant principal’s office May 5 and being interviewed by police. “It is not our procedure to notify somebody” about the books people order, Library Director Patricia Perito said, adding that she would look into it. The boy is nervous about college, Officer Ken Campion said, and has heard about shootings on college campuses and was doing the research....
White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News, May 8
Recession hits joint U.S.–Canada library
The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is the only library that straddles an international border, built that way by its founder a little more than 100 years ago. The communities of Derby, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec, have not had to invest in the Haskell because of the endowment which at one point in 2007 approached $2.5 million. But the economic downturn has hit the library hard, with a $900,000 loss as of February 28....
St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Caledonian-Record, May 13
Bermuda launches early reader program
The Library Association of Bermuda is organizing an “Every Child Ready to Read” program, developed by ALA and aimed at children from birth to 5 years old. Workshops for parents, teachers, and librarians will be led by Susan Bard, an early-literacy consultant from Florida. Bard was in Bermuda in December 2008 to teach a similar ECRR workshop for teachers. This time, her previous students are returning for advanced training....
Royal Gazette (Bermuda), May 13; Bermuda Sun, Dec. 10, 2008
Go back to the Top
The hidden secrets of online quizzes
J. R. Raphael writes: “While web quizzes may be fun to take, they’re also a powerful tool for companies to collect your data and even your money—and often in ways you might not notice. We’ll get to the spooky stuff in a moment, but let’s start with the simplest method of quiz-based marketing: advertising. The very nature of a typical online quiz requires you to divulge all sorts of details about yourself. Those tidbits of info are like nuggets of gold for advertisers craving a way to connect with you.”...
PC World, May 12
A case study of enterprise wiki usage
Matthew C. Clarke writes: “There are a wide variety of uses for wikis and a level of interest in using them that’s matched by an extensive range of wiki software. The idea that anyone can contribute reflects an assumption that both content quantity and quality will arise out of the wisdom of the crowd. There are, however, negative effects of this extreme openness. In this article I describe one application of the wiki way to a common corporate process and extract some guidelines for the effective use of wikis in that context.”...
Boxes and Arrows, May 4
Install a minimal Ubuntu desktop
Kevin Purdy writes: “If you like the looks and features of Ubuntu, but want a lighter, swifter version, try this minimalist installation, which can knock memory usage down by up to 75%. First, install a core, bare-bones system from either the Ubuntu Server Edition CD or a Minimal CD; then, when you get access to a command prompt and you’re wired to the internet, use two or three commands to install enough features to get a working desktop with very few extra features that won’t be used day to day.” For an overview on using open source software on public terminals for greater efficiency and less energy cost, see the May issue of American Libraries....
Lifehacker, May 13; American Libraries 40, no. 5 (May): 35
Visitor Experience Optimization: Are you doing it?
Jeremy Martin writes: “One aspect of internet marketing that a lot of small and even large businesses fail at is creating a site that is appealing, useable, and interactive yet functional. With the short attention span that internet users have these days, you need to be ready because you never know when the traffic is going to start flooding in. Here are some Visitor Experience Optimization tips that will help take your site to the next level.”...
Search Engine Journal, May 6
Bargain hunt: Flash drives
Sean Ludwig writes: “Thumb-size flash drives offer many advantages over other portable storage devices. For starters, they’re compact and often weigh less than an ounce, so you can easily take them wherever you travel. They’re capable of storing more data, and they also have improved writing speeds and are durable in design. A reliable flash drive doesn’t have to come with a high price tag, either. You can snag one of the following three for as low as $27.”...
PC Magazine, May 7
The first bookplate
The Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections at Brandeis University has the distinction of holding an example of the earliest known bookplate, which comes from the collection of Brother Hildebrand (Hilpbrand) Brandenburg of Biberach. Scholars date the bookplate to the 1470s, and it must have been completed by 1480, at which time Hildebrand, a Carthusian monk, donated his collection, accompanied by these bookplates, to his monastery in Buxheim....
Brandeis Special Collections Spotlight, Apr. 30
Progressive librarians call on Elsevier to stop fake journals
Elsevier, which describes itself as the “world’s leading publisher of scientific and health information,” was partner to the efforts of Merck to promote a hazardous drug. Recently, Merck paid Excerpta Medica (a division of Elsevier), to publish a compilation of reprinted articles as a fake journal, the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, to appear as a legitimate, scholarly, peer-reviewed medical journal. The Progressive Librarians Guild believes it is the responsibility of librarians and their organizations to expose this conspiracy to distort medical research and subvert the peer-review process. Elsevier has now admitted to publishing six fake research journals....
Progressive Librarians Guild, May 12; Open Access News, May 11
Internet pirates go after books
Ursula K. Le Guin, the science fiction writer, was perusing the non-pirate website Scribd in April when she came across digital copies of some books that seemed quite familiar to her. No wonder. She wrote them, including a free-for-the-taking copy of one of her most enduring novels, The Left Hand of Darkness. Neither Le Guin nor her publisher had authorized the electronic editions. To Le Guin, it was a rude introduction to the quietly proliferating problem of digital piracy in the literary world. But as Kassia Krozser comments, “If this tells us anything, it’s that there is consumer demand for books that aren’t available digitally.”...
New York Times, May 11; Booksquare, May 12
Are novels too long for people’s brains?
John Keilman writes: “It’s a depressing realization for someone who once read the Russian masters for fun. I prided myself on my ability to conquer the longest, densest text—I devoured the 500,000-plus words of Les Miserables during two months of subway commutes—but those days are over. Too much surfing, scanning, and tweeting has given me the attention span of a gnat on Red Bull. Today it’s all Google, no Gogol. Some research suggests that the brain itself changes with the media it absorbs—becoming, in the case of the internet, more amenable to distraction and less capable of deep, sustained thought.”...
Chicago Tribune, May 8
Library service to homeless populations
Vikki C. Terrile writes: “Families with children are one of the fastest growing homeless populations in the United States, but are often left out of public library discussions of services to the homeless. This article looks at the role library programs and services for their parents can play in improving literacy skills within the family and examines model library services to children, teens, and families experiencing homelessness, gathered from librarians engaged in this work.”...
Urban Library Journal 15, no. 2 (May)
My mom, the librarian
Rocco Staino writes: “With Mother’s Day upon us, I started to wonder how many other big names had mothers who were librarians. With the help of Google and my colleagues on the school librarian discussion board LM_NET, I’ve come up with a varied collection of librarian moms with celebrity offspring. For example, Nancy Gunn, who helped establish the CIA library in Washington, D.C., is a big fan of Project Runway and her son, Tim Gunn (right).”...
School Library Journal, May 6
Reference tips for Second Life beginners
If you are new in the Second Life virtual world, you are probably still getting acclimated to your surroundings. Second Life is full of interesting people, groups, educational resources, and library-related projects. Linden Lab’s downloadable Quickstart Guide (PDF file) is designed to help you get the most out of your experience. One handy feature is an appendix of keyboard shortcuts....
Second Life Tips and Tricks blog, Apr. 28
How to mine Twitter for information
Dawn Foster writes: “Twitter’s built-in search engine is probably my favorite way to find information in Twitter. It’s great for quick searches to find specific pieces of information, watching trending topics, and persistent vanity searches for your name or company. While I do use the search engine to type in queries, the real power is in using RSS feeds for searches and running them through Yahoo Pipes for additional filtering.”...
Web Worker Daily, May 11
Howard Rheingold writes: “Twitter is one of a growing breed of part-technological, part-social communication media that require some skills to use productively. Sure, Twitter is banal and trivial, full of self-promotion and outright spam. So is the internet. The difference between seeing Twitter as a waste of time or as a powerful new community amplifier depends entirely on how you look at it—on knowing how to look at it.”...
City Brights, May 11
Cornell lifts restrictions on public-domain copying
In a dramatic change of practice, Cornell University Library has announced it will no longer require users to seek permission to publish public-domain items duplicated from its collections. Instead, users may now use reproductions of public-domain works made for them by the library or available via websites, without seeking any further permission. The immediate impetus for the new policy is Cornell’s donation of more than 70,000 digitized public domain books to the Internet Archive....
Cornell University Library, May 11
Copyright and special collections
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “At the May 4–6 Digital Library Federation forum, Melanie Schlosser gave a presentation showing that copyright statements on items in library digital collections were often misleading or outright inaccurate. She gave libraries the benefit of the doubt in suggesting that most of these errant copyright statements were inadvertant or due to lack of resources to assign accurate statements. But there’s one category where, in my opinion, libraries are actually fairly intentional about copyright misdirection.”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, May 11
Digital Dilemmas symposium
New technologies have quickened the pace of societal change, and Digital Dilemmas—a day-long symposium hosted by the Metropolitan New York Library Council on April 16—addressed some of the ways libraries might benefit from this changing landscape and deal with the challenges. The diverse perspectives of the speakers (including the Coalition for Networked Information’s Clifford Lynch, right) reinforced the notion that libraries are part of a larger ecosystem of digital information management. Post-symposium resources are available on the METRO website....
METRO, May 11
Metadata in the music world
Maribel Alvarez writes: “The creation of new musical formats has made it more difficult to represent music for searching and retrieval. The future will probably hold the full development of digitization, fully developed music metadata schemes, new and improved markup languages, fully functional speech-recognition search engines, and many other inconceivable metadata advances. Discoverability, searchability, and the relationship of multimedia and text files are areas for future research.”...
PNLA Quarterly 73, no. 3 (Spring)
Obama requests $265.5 million for IMLS
President Obama has requested $265.5 million for fiscal year 2010 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The request, which was transmitted to Congress today, represents an increase of $1.45 million over the FY 2009 enacted level for the institute’s programs and administration. The proposed budget will support museums and libraries as they provide unparalleled value to the public, fuel knowledge sharing, and energize our economy, creativity, and competitiveness....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, May 7
U.S. libraries on stamps
Larry Nix writes: “Libraries and library people have been infrequent subjects for postage stamps, especially in the United States. When they are depicted, it is often in recognition of something that has little to do with the role of libraries in our society. I have just completed a web page devoted to U.S. libraries on stamps. Collecting postage stamps related to libraries and librarians is one category of bibliophilately.”...
Library History Buff Blog, May 12
Open Book TV debuts
Open Book TV is a new weekly program that premiered May 11 on Link TV. Created and hosted by Ina Howard-Parker and directed by Diane Paragas, the series focuses on the writers and storytellers living and working in a different spot on the planet each week. The premiere featured writers and other artists—including actors and musicians—currently living and working in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The program will rebroadcast on Link TV on May 13 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time. In addition to the weekly half-hour broadcast, each guest segment will be released as an independent short film online through blogs, websites, and social media....
Open Book TV
Designing a premier group study experience
Brian Mathews writes: “‘I just hope you guys don’t screw it up.’ That is what a concerned student shared with me about an ongoing renovation in the Georgia Tech library. The construction crew is at it right now, tearing apart a very popular floor—an area that has largely been untouched for over 40 years. I hope we got it right too.”...
Designing Better Libraries, May 12
2008 census of library gaming programs
Scott Nicholson and the Library Game Lab of Syracuse are conducting a third annual survey of games in libraries. Nicholson is especially interested in gaming programs run in school libraries, given the strong school library response to the ALA Gaming and Literacy Grant. The survey is open through May 31....
Library Game Lab of Syracuse
The coolest bookstore on the planet
Michael Lieberman writes: “Kid’s Republic is a book haven for the children of Beijing. It opened in 2005 and was designed by Japanese architect Keiichiro Sako. It’s stocked with picture books from all over the world and has an activity room that hosts storytelling events and anime screenings. It also offers one of the coolest settings for both kids and grownups to interact with books.”...
Book Patrol, May 9
The FUNdamentals of book care in five lessons
This video (10:00), created for National Library Week by George Mason University Libraries, features a special guest appearance by Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Larranaga and provides informative lessons about preservation and proper book care. Framed in a lighthearted and whimsical manner, it also offers a special behind-the-scenes look at the GMU Preservation Lab and stars Instructional Design Librarian Jackie Sipes....
YouTube, Apr. 15
Unleash the users
User-driven innovation is on everyone’s mind. It’s about participatory design, workshops, questionnaires, social technologies, user-generated content, personas, scenarios, and observations.
This video (4:15) shows how the Aarhus Public Library in Denmark unleashed their users in 2007–2009 and tried various methods to increase their involvement in the libraries....
YouTube, May 12
Another rave, this one at Colorado State
To relieve the stress of finals week, hundreds of students flash raved for 10 minutes May 12 outside and in the lobby of the Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. CSU IT Technician Jennifer Kutzik said, “Our director of administrative services spoke with one student outside as he was leaving and he noted that it has been a long, hard semester; how everyone was affected by the economy and that this was a needed release.” Shorter videos are here and here....
YouTube, May 12
Memories of Dewey
Famed Spencer (Iowa) Public Library cat Dewey Readmore Books was interviewed (3:21) in 1998 by Morgan Halgren of Iowa Public Television. Now the subject of a best-selling book by former Spencer Library Director Vicki Myron, Dewey reveals in this news report how special he was to the library....
YouTube, Nov. 21, 2008
A big UC-Riverside library hug
The University of California American Federation of Teachers Local 1966 sponsored Hug the Library (1:40) on April 30 to show support for the UC Riverside library and its staff. Budget cuts of more than $1 million over the past two years have left everyone needing a hug. Some 300 faculty, staff, and students joined together for a big library hug and received educational material on the cuts and how they affect crucial library services....
YouTube, May 4; UCR Highlander, May 5
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. If you have a special physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this meeting, please contact Anne Weglewski at 800-545-2433, ext. 3220, as soon as possible before May 22. ALA will maintain a limited number of wheelchairs and scooters ($25 per day) on a first come, first served basis. See our accessibility page for more information.
In Marketing Today’s Academic Library, Brian Mathews uses his vast experience to speak directly to academic librarians about matching services with user needs. This book proposes new visions and ideas, challenging the traditional way of thinking and providing a framework to target users more precisely. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Judith Krug: The Freedom to Read
Book Groups the Way Boys Like ’Em
ALA Book and Media Award Winners
Director, Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus. The director of University Libraries provides administrative and operational leadership for the 16 libraries facilities on the Columbus campus, the six facilities on the university’s regional campuses, and their more than 400 staff members. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in library administration, resource management in a public university context, and a distinguished record of success in obtaining external funding from grants, contracts, and development initiatives. The successful candidate will be versed in the design and delivery of creative, integrated electronic information access capabilities....
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital National Library of Serbia offers thousands of Cyrillic books and manuscripts online through an English interface. Collections are divided into manuscripts, epic national poetry, old printed books, old and rare books, books, newspapers and magazines, cartographic materials, engravings and art material, photographs, posters, printed music and sound recordings, and miscellanea. One interesting collection is the graphics from the Mount Athos Monasteries of Chilandar, Vatoped, Simonopetra, and Kutlumuš. During the 1880s and 1890s, the National Library of Serbia, in cooperation with the monks from the Monastery Chilandar and Chilandar Council in Belgrade, started a project to reproduce the halographic original 18th- and 19th-century carved plates and copperplate engravings from Sveta Gora. All materials are housed in the National Library of Serbia in Belgrade.
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’m going to the library to see my librarian, who’ll send me home with 60 things (as if I could carry them, I’ll bring my red wagon). Passing out the picture books like my granny hands out food. ‘Leggi, leggi, take all of these. And you might like this one too.’ And my brain’s getting fat on stories and facts, and it feels like love. All the librarians, they say come follow me. They’re looking straight at me. They take me seriously.”
—Partial lyrics from the song “I Love My Library” by the South Carolina band Lunch Money (self-described as indie rock for the younger set) on their recent album Dizzy. Transcribed by Tony Tallent, Boulder (Colo.) Public Library.
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the ALA Librarian
Q. My library is looking for ways to save money, and the idea of outsourcing was mentioned. I’m trying to find out if you are aware of any outcomes (positive or negative) evidenced from outsourcing library services.
A. Most libraries outsource specific services and have been doing so for years. For example, bindery work is commonly outsourced because most libraries do not have the space or expertise to provide this service in-house. Before outsourcing any part of library services, make sure that you understand all of the costs involved, and review any potential contracts carefully. There are three planned sessions at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference that will touch upon outsourcing: RUSA CODES (Outsourcing Collection Development); LITA (Digital Library Hardware Showcase); and LRRT (Four Star Research). Please check the final program for dates and times. See more at the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
4th International Conference on Open Repositories, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.
Symposium on Teaching with Digital Collections in the Liberal Arts Curriculum, Reed College, Portland, Oregon.
BookExpo America, Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City.
Frye Leadership Institute, Emory University, Atlanta.
19th Annual Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video, Williamsburg Marriott, Virginia.
North American Serials Interest Group, 24th Annual Conference, Marriott Renaissance, Asheville, North Carolina. “Riding the Rapids through a Mountain of Change.”
12th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Bridging the Knowledge Divide.”
The Who, What, and How of 21st-century Skills: Getting the Big Picture, workshop sponsored by NILRC: Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges and National-Louis University Library, Chicago.
Book Blitz III, workshop, Northeast Florida Library Information Network Headquarters, Orange Park, Florida.
21st International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Pasdena (Calif.) Convention Center. “The Interdisciplinary Reach of Artificial Intelligence.”
Educause Institute Management Program, Hotel Boulderado, Boulder, Colorado.
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Monona Terrace, Madison, Wisconsin.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, Fiera Milano Convention Centre, Milan, Italy. “Libraries Create Futures: Building on Cultural Heritage.”