Levy landslides make history in Ohio
Election Day in Ohio reaped an unprecedented show of library support: Voters in Ohio approved 29 of the 37 library levies placed on ballots by cash-starved public libraries reeling from 11th-hour cuts to state aid for FY2010–12, with one more apparently passing but close enough to require a recount. The impressive display translates into a reprieve for 81% of the library systems that turned to Ohioans in the wake of an 11% loss in state aid. Coupled with declining state-tax revenues, libraries are enduring budget cuts of 20%–25%, the Ohio Library Council explained November 4....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 4
Tech services consolidation looms for Five Colleges
Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Five Colleges Incorporated—a nonprofit consortium composed of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst—is examining a consolidation of the schools’ library technical services, but the push for greater efficiency has left some librarians worried about their jobs. The Librarians Council spearheading the plan issued a statement November 2 calling for “further due diligence,” a cost-benefit analysis, and another report by the end of January 2010....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 4
It may cost too much to close libraries in Reading
Concerned citizens in Reading, Pennsylvania, have been brainstorming about how to keep the three branches of the Reading Public Library open ever since the board announced in late October that it had to close the three facilities at year’s end and lay off nine of the 20 branch library workers, leaving the city with one operating library. There seemed to be no other choice because the library was losing more than $650,000 in local and state aid from its original FY2010 operating budget of $2.7 million. Ironically, it could be the fiscal fallout of the closure itself that may ultimately avert the shutdown....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 4
ALA partially restores staff furlough loss
American Libraries Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels announced, at an October 30 all-staff meeting at ALA Headquarters in Chicago, that expense reductions during the last six months of FY2009 (which ended August 31) had exceeded target and resulted in a modest surplus that would be used to return about half of the money all ALA employees lost during a mandated week of unpaid furlough, which amounts to about $650 per employee.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 30
Newman and Willhoite headline FTRF Midwinter event
Lesléa Newman (Heather Has Two Mommies) and Michael Willhoite (Daddy’s Roommate) will discuss and sign copies of their groundbreaking books at the Freedom to Read Foundation’s fifth annual author event, to be held in conjunction with ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table Midwinter Social at the Midwinter Meeting January 17. The event will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street....
Updated public library technology data available
The Office for Research and Statistics is making available the most recent data published in the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study. The information provides up-to-date issues briefs related to public library technology and job-seeking, lifelong learning, and internet connectivity. Libraries are encouraged to use these briefing papers as educational tools with community stakeholders, including elected officials, funders, and program partners....
Running for Spectrum
Associate Executive Director for Finance Gregory L. Calloway joined approximately 45,000 Chicago Marathon runners October 11 in his fifth appearance to raise funds for ALA’s Spectrum program. Calloway is donating funds to the new Spectrum Presidential Initiative, which has as its goal to raise $1 million during the 2009–2010 campaign....
Unemployed? Special ALA member rates do exist
American Libraries Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “How do you maximize the value of membership in ALA during tough financial times? I’ve had several discussions with staff recently, prompted by communications I’ve received from nonmembers who are exasperated by the employment prospects in the field. Do you know that ALA has a special membership category at $46 for nonsalaried library employees, those who make less than $25,000 a year, or who are unemployed?”...
AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 29
ALA organizational members save big on FedEx
Organizational members of ALA can now save up to 20% on select FedEx Office copy and print services and 10% on other services at more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations. Enroll in the ALA FedEx Advantage Program to upload, print, and ship all in one place; enter passcode F5YF21....
Library materials get a move on
ALA Editions has released Moving Materials: Physical Delivery in Libraries, edited by Valerie Horton and Bruce Smith. Picking, packing, delivering, and returning library materials can be very time-consuming and expensive; yet it is one of the most important and least understood functions within a library. With contributions from 11 experts in the field of contemporary logistics management for libraries, this volume remedies the scarcity of collected information examining this multimillion-dollar function....
Board gaming, the library way
ALA Editions has released Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games by Brian Mayer and Christopher Harris. The high-profile topic of gaming in libraries gets thorough consideration from these two educator-librarians, who explain exactly how designer board games—which are worlds apart from games produced strictly for the educational market—can become curricular staples for students of all ages....
Featured review: Reference
Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila S. Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. May 2009. 3 vols. Oxford, hardcover (978-0-19-530991-1).
The value of a spin-off reference work lies in its updated content, lower cost, and depth of coverage appropriate for specialized collections. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture lends a new perspective to a discipline that has become critically important since the publication of its parent set, the 34-volume Dictionary of Art (1996). Bloom and Blair, Islam and central Asia editors for the parent set, used as their point of departure the Dictionary of Art’s 468-page article on Islamic art plus Islam-related content from other articles, including Arms and armor, Jewelry, and Papercuts. They define Islamic art as that “made by artists or artisans whose religion was Islam, for patrons who lived in predominantly Muslim lands, or for purposes that are restricted or peculiar to a Muslim population or a Muslim setting.” Within that framework, the encyclopedia encompasses “art and architecture in southern Europe, northern Africa, and west, central, and south Asia over 14 centuries.” The goal was to “make the relatively obscure field of Islamic art as accessible as possible to the widest possible audience” and to “encourage readers to explore other aspects of Islamic civilization and the interrelationships between Islamic art and other artistic traditions.”...
Reference on the Web: Performing arts
Carolyn Mulac writes: “The subject of performing arts is particularly suited to the internet. Online video and audio clips can offer a taste of a performance or a program in a way that still photographs and printed texts cannot. At the same time, those still photographs and printed texts can also be more widely disseminated through the wonders of digitization. Here is a list of free websites about the performing arts in general and sites devoted to individual performing art forms, including dance, theater, film, and television and radio.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Cambridge Public Library
Robert Campbell writes: “The new Cambridge (Mass.) Public Library by Boston architect William Rawn is one of the best recent pieces of architecture in the Boston area. And it’s one of the best pieces of old architecture, too, because Rawn’s glassy new library stands beside the original Cambridge library of 1888, a minor masterpiece by architects Van Brunt and Howe that’s been newly renovated by Ann Beha and Associates of Boston. The two buildings stand side by side, facing south in a green park, as if posing for a family photo.”...
Boston Globe, Nov. 1
Hemingway papers come to JFK Library
In a little-known nook of Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library lies a book-lined room with a lion-skin throw rug, a scrapbook with photographs of old fishermen, and a host of other odd relics from Cuba, all part of the 30-year-old Ernest Hemingway collection. The library announced this week that Cuba is sharing copies of 3,000 letters and documents from the Hemingway archives at the Cuban Ministry of Culture. The material fills a gap in the library’s collection, which purports to have the most comprehensive body of the Nobel Prize–winning author’s writings. Watch the video (1:13)....
Boston Globe, Oct. 29
Did he ever return?
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority offers discounts on subway passes, including the Day/Week Link Pass for $15 for 7 days with unlimited travel on the subway, local bus, commuter rail Zone 1A, and the Inner-Harbor Ferry. Boston has nurtured many forms of mass transportation, from 1631 right up to today’s sophisticated mass-transit vehicles, and its current system is the oldest and fourth largest in the nation. Read its history here....
Wikipedia; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
ACRL conferences: Peer revered
ACRL Professional Development Manager Margot Conahan writes: “To better reflect the nature of ACRL National Conferences, we have created a new brand and redesigned the conference website. Our new look will be officially unveiled for the ACRL 2011 National Conference, March 30–April 2, in Philadelphia, and the new tagline is ‘Peer Revered.’ It represents the respect we have for the knowledge gained from and shared by our peers.”...
ACRL Insider, Nov. 3
Divisions choose Emerging Leaders
Four divisions have chosen eight members to sponsor as 2010 ALA Emerging Leaders: Melanie Lyttle (ALSC); Hui-Fen Chang, Wendy Girven, and Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (ACRL); Melissa Ahart and Kara Smith (AASL); and Anna Koval and Amy Barr (YALSA). Each will receive $1,000 to attend the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, and they will join 100 of their peers as the fourth year of the program kicks off at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston....
L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award nominations
The Office for Information Technology Policy is calling for nominations for the 2010 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. This annual award honors individuals or groups who embody the spirit of the U.S. copyright law as voiced by the framers of our Constitution “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Send letters of nomination outlining a candidate’s qualifications for this award to Carrie Russell by January 15....
National Library Week grant deadline extended
The deadline for the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week grant has been extended to November 6. U.S. libraries of all types are invited to apply for a $3,000 grant that will be awarded to the best public-awareness campaign that promotes the theme “Communities thrive @ your library” during National Library Week, April 11–17, 2010....
Design a Tote Bag contest winners
The @ your library website has awarded the Grand Prize in its Design a Tote Bag contest to Amelia Brunskill of Pennsylvania. Her “Feed Your Mind” design (right) best represents the message of libraries as modern, friendly, and intellectually stimulating places. Amelia will be awarded $500 and will see her design on a limited-edition tote bag. Rick Mula of Tennessee was given the People’s Choice award....
@ your library, Oct. 29
Moline wins Frommer’s Library Display Contest
The Moline (Ill.) Public Library
won the grand prize in Wiley’s 2009 Frommer’s Library Display Contest. The library transformed itself into a train station, complete with a cardboard Arthur Frommer as the train conductor collecting tickets (right) and Pauline Frommer waiting next to the “Frommer’s Express” train. Watch the video (4:57)....
Wiley; YouTube, Sept. 25
2009 Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award
The Molesworth Institute has awarded the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award for 2009 to retired Wisconsin librarian Larry T. Nix. Molesworth Institute Director Norman D. Stevens announced that the award was made, in general, for Nix’s Library History Buff website, in particular for his coverage of the discovery of an original copy of the infamous Old Librarian’s Almanack in the Harvard University Library by one Steven D. Norman, a student working on the Google Book Project. Previous recipients of the award include Bengt Hjelmqvist, John V. Richardson Jr., and Jeanette C. Smith....
Library History Buff, Nov. 3
2009 Macavity Award winners
The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T. S. Eliot in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in four categories. This year the award for Best Mystery Novel went to Deborah Crombie for Where Memories Lie (Morrow, 2008). The Historical Mystery Award was given to Rhys Bowen’s A Royal Pain (Berkley, 2008)....
Mystery Readers International
Business Book of the Year
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (Penguin, 2009) by investment manager Liaquat Ahamed was named 2009 Business Book of the Year at the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs awards gala in London October 29. The book examines how the decisions of four central bankers brought about the biggest economic crisis of the 20th century. More than just an analysis of a historical crisis, Ahamed says there are parallels between the Great Depression and today’s economic woes....
CNN, Oct. 31
2009 World Fantasy Award
A dark and shocking tale by Australian author Margo Lanagan has won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. Lanagan’s YA title Tender Morsels (Knopf, 2008) was named joint winner of the best novel prize with Jeffrey Ford’s The Shadow Year. Tender Morsels has drawn praise and condemnation alike for its challenging opening, which sees the 15-year-old Liga go through gang rape, miscarriage, and sexual abuse at the hands of her father, before escaping to a dream world where she brings up her two children....
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 3
House reintroduces SKILLs Act
The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives October 26 with support from both sides of the aisle. This legislation is intended to ensure that all students will have the support and resources they need for a quality education by establishing a goal that all public school libraries employ no less than one highly qualified school library media specialist. The bill was introduced by Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.)....
District Dispatch, Oct. 30
LC stands by report on Honduras coup
The Law Library of Congress is rebuffing calls from the chairmen of the House and Senate foreign relations committees to retract a report (PDF file) on the June 28, 2009, military-backed coup in Honduras that the lawmakers charge is flawed. The request, by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), has sparked cries of censorship from Republicans who say the Democrats don’t like what the August report said: that the government of Honduras had the authority to remove deposed President Manuel Zelaya from office....
Miami Herald, Oct. 29
Omaha librarian dies of H1N1 virus
John V. Bernardi, 58, manager of Omaha Public Library’s Charles B. Washington branch, died October 31 from complications of H1N1. Bernardi was a 21-year veteran of the library system and the editor of the Nebraska Library Association Quarterly. His was the eighth death related to the H1N1 flu in Nebraska. His family said the symptoms hit while he was on vacation in Missouri and he was hospitalized October 25. Friends may sign his guest book. Another librarian, Debby Reynolds, also 58, died October 30 of complications from seasonal flu. She had worked as the librarian at Mountain View Elementary School in Purcellville, Virginia, for the last 35 years....
Omaha World-Herald, Nov. 3; KETV-TV, Omaha, Nov. 2; Roanoke (Va.) Times, Nov. 4
Tapping the online power of the local library
Once seen as a threat to the need for public libraries, the internet has proven the opposite, says Sari Feldman, PLA President and executive director of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library. “The web has instead generated new interest in public libraries,” she says. Web links to premium resources are just part of the draw. Most libraries also provide PCs and web access to those who don’t have them at home. In addition, libraries are teaching people how to use their computers and conduct web research....
U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 4
Students protest closed library at Lincoln University
The library at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has been closed for renovations since January 2008, and student Amelia Sherwood was frustrated with delays in obtaining library books. After learning that the renovation was dragging because the university did not get enough money from the state to proceed with the $17-million project—and after finding a moth in her salad in the cafeteria—she went on a hunger strike. When campus security tackled her for distributing flyers, other students joined the protest....
Philadelphia Daily News, Oct. 30
Massachusetts librarians plan November 4 rally
Librarians are heading to the State House in Boston November 4 to make some noise about proposed cuts to state aid to libraries. The latest budget proposed for the fiscal year that begins July 1 calls for an overall 16% cut to Massachusetts libraries. The rally is dubbed “Don’t Close the Books on Libraries” and is sponsored by the Massachusetts Library Association....
Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, Nov. 3
Another suicide at NYU’s Bobst Library
A New York University student leaped to his death November 3 from the 10th floor of the Bobst Library to the marble-floored atrium below. Andrew Williamson-Noble, 20, used an NYU-issued card to swipe himself into the library, where he committed suicide around 4:30 a.m. The library had installed six-foot plexiglass walls on the floors facing the atrium in 2003 after two other students killed themselves. NYU plans to reassess its safety protocol in the building....
New York Daily News, Nov. 3; Washington Square News, Nov. 4
Librarian forced to resign for waiving fees
Hundreds have signed a petition to support South Boston (Va.) Branch Manager Woodson Hughes (right), and on October 27, many people came out to the Halifax County–South Boston Regional Library System board meeting to show their support. A librarian for Halifax County for 22 years, Hughes says he was forced to resign in September after waiving some $1,400 in overdue fees over a three-month period. Library Director Rhonda Griffin said in a staff email that continuously waiving fines for one person was the same as embezzlement. Watch the video (2:30)....
WSET-TV, Lynchburg/Roanoke, Va., Oct. 28
Caged Bird not banned but restricted
A school district superintendent in Huntington Beach, California, decided November 3 to keep Maya Angelou’s autobiography in middle school libraries but added a restriction that parents must provide consent for a student to check out I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. “While the [review committee] agreed that the book may contain content that might be objectionable to some, it also reinforces . . . themes such as overcoming adversity,” Ocean View School District Superintendent Alan Rasmussen said....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Nov. 3
Montgomery County sues to regain workers comp damages
Montgomery County, Maryland, is suing a county librarian who won $5,500 in workers compensation for hurting herself while trying to retrieve a shampoo bottle from her car during her lunch break. Ginger Wilson said a gust of wind blew her car door into her while she was getting into her car at the Twinbrook branch in Rockville, causing her to fall and hurt her left arm, knee, and foot. The county has filed an appeal in Circuit Court seeking to overturn the commission’s decision....
Washington (D.C.) Examiner, Nov. 3
Local company donates town library and senior center
Nearly the whole town showed up October 31 for the dedication of the largest gift in Townsend, Massachusetts, history: a new town library, meeting hall, and senior center built by container manufacturer Sterilite Corporation. The company is the town’s largest employer. The town had been trying to build a new senior center and library for decades, but there was never enough money. Sterilite President Al Stone emphasized that the gift was from all the company employees, who wouldn’t settle for less than a top-notch facility....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette, Nov. 1
West Slope library puts wandering cat on hold
Staffers at the West Slope Community Library in Portland, Oregon, came across a 16-year-old house cat in an enclosed recycling area October 9. She was small and affectionate and seemed like a kitten, said Library Director Veronica Eden. And she wouldn’t leave. But the library put a photo of the cat on the library’s Facebook page and distributed fliers. On October 16, Children’s Librarian Kirsten Freeman-Benson got a call from a grateful family in nearby Montclair....
Portland Oregonian, Oct. 28
In China, objections to Google’s book scans
A long-running dispute over Google’s efforts to digitize books spread in October to China, where authors have banded together to demand that their works be protected from what they call unauthorized copying. Two Chinese writers’ groups claim that Google has scanned Chinese works into an electronic database in violation of international copyright standards. The organizations are urging China’s authors to step forward and defend their rights....
New York Times, Oct. 30
Reagan Library celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall
Twenty years ago on November 9, the Berlin Wall fell. To celebrate this historic moment, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, opened a new exhibit October 15 called “Fall of the Wall—The 20th Anniversary” that will run through February. Concurrently, the library is displaying a 32-foot-long replica of the wall, upon which both students and visitors can paint a message of freedom to represent the artwork put up by the people of West Berlin....
Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Acorn, Oct. 29
Toronto LIS students opt for street reference
Pedestrians passing by Bloor and Avenue Road October 24 had the chance to ask any question they liked to master’s students from the University of Toronto iSchool. The students collected donations for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. The project was part of a class assignment for a library sciences course taught by Professor Nadia Caidi. Equipped with laptops from the faculty of information, reference books, and coffee, the students fielded 63 questions....
The Varsity (University of Toronto), Oct. 26; Faculty of Information
Rare books as a travel destination
The Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri, is one of dozens of libraries that house dazzling special collections and often mount eccentric exhibitions that, unfortunately, largely remain unfamiliar to the public. The books are not just for scholars. They are also on view for the average visitor, albeit one with a decided interest in the sciences who makes a pilgrimage to, say, western Missouri. Sometimes a visitor is even allowed a peek behind the scenes....
New York Times, Nov. 1
Truck dumps grease into library storm drain
The Central Arkansas Library in Little Rock wants to know who dumped gallons of grease and sewage into a storm drain outside the main entrance. A surveillance video shows grease pouring out of a parked truck for at least five minutes into the drain and spilling out into the sidewalk. Two hours later, video captured a woman falling on the spilled grease after dropping off newspapers at the library. The library security office is offering a reward for information about the incident....
KLRT-TV, Little Rock, Oct. 29
Library board mulls privacy issues in police investigation
State police say they have pulled the plug on an investigation into the possible viewing of child pornography by a patron of Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose, New York, because the library board refuses to cooperate with them. However, Library Director M. Jill Davis said board members are reviewing the matter, have not made a decision, and insisted that the board is not stonewalling police....
White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News, Oct. 30
Go back to the Top
What is Google Wave anyway?
Charles Hamilton writes: “Tech writers Gina Trapani and Adam Pash have created an online preview of their forthcoming book, The Complete Guide to Google Wave, which does an excellent job of explaining what Google Wave is and how it can be used. The preview, available only in November, provides step-by-step instructions on how to get invited to the service, what to do when you get there, and how to make the most of it.”...
Web Worker Daily, Nov. 2
Sacred cows of library techies
Cindi Trainor writes: “I posed the question, ‘What are the sacred cows of library technology?’ in Google Wave. What followed was a discussion about digital technology among library technologists that generated many ideas and was a great way to try out this new communication tool. Some of the ideas offered up were sacred cows to those in the field, but others challenged ideas held more widely in librarianship.” Here are five, beginning with “Our users haven’t asked for that.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Nov. 2
Web addresses to use non-Latin scripts
By mid-2010, internet surfers will be allowed to use web addresses written completely in Chinese, Arabic, Korean, and other languages using non-Latin alphabets. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced (7:10) the decision in Seoul, South Korea, October 30, as one of the biggest changes in the web’s history. In some web addresses, non-Latin scripts are already used in the portion before the dot, but next year it will be possible to write an entire URL in a non-Latin alphabet. Yet the names carry risks for new security concerns and user confusion....
New York Times, Oct. 30; ICANN; PC World, Oct. 30
Twitter to translate Spanish
Caroline McCarthy writes: “So how do you say ‘fail whale’ en español? Twitter has launched a Spanish translation, according to a November 3 blog post (in Spanish) by cofounder Biz Stone. It’s the first of multiple volunteer-assisted translations for the microblogging site, the post explained. A look at Twitter’s public timeline will show that it is used in many languages across the world, but until this point, the Twitter site has been English only. Now, users can go into their settings to translate it into Spanish.”...
The Social, Nov. 3; Twitter Blog, Nov. 3
Audiocassette to MP3
The Ion Tape Express is simple and straightforward. Put your old cassette tape in, connect the device to your PC via the USB interface, and press “play.” Voilà. The tunes are instantly converted to MP3 format and can be taken into your iTunes library, your iPod or MP3 Player, and burned onto CD or virtually any other digital platform. And if you like to relive olden times, just listen to the music off the device, which also functions an ordinary Walkman....
Popgadget, Oct. 26
Creationists come to college
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Most of you may already have heard about the creationist edition of The Origin of Species that an evangelical Christian ministry will be passing out on college campuses in November. U.S. News & World Report has a pair of dueling blog posts from the creationist introduction writer Ray Comfort and the director of the National Center for Science Education. The book claims that Charles Darwin was a racist and didn’t like women; it also draws a Hitler connection. Another major fallacy is the false dichotomy of this creationist’s claims.”...
Academic Librarian, Nov. 1; U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 29–30
Literary Twitter chats
Jennifer Tribe writes: “Twitter chats are an excellent way to interact, learn, debate, and discuss with others in the publishing and writing community. Chats are public conversations that take place on Twitter at a scheduled date and time. Often a discussion topic is set beforehand, but sometimes the floor is open to whatever participants wish to talk about. Anyone can listen or contribute to a chat. Here are a number of regularly scheduled Twitter chats for writers, authors, and others in the book trade.”...
Highpoint, Oct. 27
A brief history of vampires in literature
Scott Laming writes: “Between Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels and Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries (also known as the Sookie Stackhouse or True Blood books), vampires are the hottest thing in literature these days. But this genre, where gothic horror often meets romance, is no johnny-come-lately; the vampire has a long, colorful history in literature. The first instances of vampire tales originally appeared in eastern European folklore.”...
10 books written by presidents
Stacy Conradt writes: “It's no secret that Barack Obama has penned a couple of books—they flew off of the shelves during his bid for the presidency. In fact, most presidents have ended up writing their memoirs at some point after leaving the White House. But some presidents have chosen to write about the things that really interest them—fly fishing, for instance. Here are 10 of those books (kind of refreshing, really, when a president chooses to not write about himself).”...
Mental Floss, Nov. 2
ProQuest offers 90 years of the Detroit Free Press
News from the Motor City—from before statehood to the American Civil War to the birth and growth of the automotive industry—is now available in ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Issues of the Detroit Free Press from 1831 to 1922 have been added to the database, providing comprehensive coverage of the social, political, and economic development of Detroit, Michigan, and the Midwest....
ProQuest, Nov. 2
LC releases report on bibliographic data
The Library of Congress released on October 30 the results of its analysis of the creation and distribution of bibliographic data in U.S. and Canadian libraries. LC commissioned R2 Consulting of Contoocook, New Hampshire, to search and describe the current marketplace for cataloging records in the MARC format, with a primary focus on the economics of current practices, including existing incentives and barriers to both contribution and availability....
Library of Congress, Oct. 30
AMA launches flu self-assessment program
To help patients and physicians better communicate and improve care coordination, the American Medical Association has launched a comprehensive, web-based, influenza health-assessment program for the public. AMA Flu Help walks patients through a series of questions to determine the severity of their symptoms, for both seasonal flu and H1N1, based upon the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. An FAQ (PDF file) explains the details....
American Medical Association, Oct. 22
International copyright restrictions could spell trouble
According to once-secret, now-leaked sections of the new, plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, global internet users and ISPs might be in for a world of hurt in the near future. A U.S.–drafted chapter on internet use would require ISPs to police user-generated content, cut off internet access for copyright violators, and remove content that is accused of copyright violation without any actual proof. The chapter also completely prohibits DRM workarounds, even for archiving or retrieving one’s own work. The Library Copyright Alliance has an issue brief (PDF file) on ACTA....
ReadWriteWeb, Nov. 3; Library Copyright Alliance, Oct. 15
FUNQ: What is a primary source?
Mary W. George writes: “I have the urge to address a perennial, insidious, and unnecessary condition that afflicts higher education in this country. It results from the most Frequently UNasked Question (by students) that is also the most Frequently UNanswered Question (by faculty): What is a primary source? The silence surrounding this question is deafening. Undergrads are oblivious to the issue, while faculty assume that students have grasped the difference between primary and secondary sources at about the same time, and with the same clarity, that they figured out sex.”...
Keywords from a Librarian, Nov. 1
Copyright and digitization
Cornell University Library has published
Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums to help cultural institutions legally use the internet to improve public access to the rich collections they hold. Based on a well-received Australian manual, the book was developed by Cornell’s senior policy advisor Peter B. Hirtle. As an experiment in open-access publishing, the library has made the work available in both print and free download formats....
Cornell University Library, Oct. 29
This blog’s for you
Elizabeth Bird writes: “A magazine article changed my life. Admittedly, that sounds like a bit of hyperbole, but it’s true. There I was in New York City, with my shiny new MLIS degree, working at my very first children’s librarian post. When I opened the August 1, 2005, issue of School Library Journal, I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary, and, indeed, the article that would rock my world wasn’t necessarily eye-catching: Eric Oatman’s feature ‘Blogomania!’” Which ultimately led to 10 Blogs You Can’t Live Without....
School Library Journal, Nov. 1
NYPL Library Lions gala honors Proulx, Knight, staffers
Each year, the New York Public Library’s black-tie Library Lions dinner honors several distinguished individuals who have made significant cultural achievements. This year’s, held November 2, honored Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Annie Proulx (far left, author of Brokeback Mountain) and illustrator Hilary Knight (far right, illustrator of the Eloise books), both of whom have donated their papers to the library. In addition, NYPL librarians Janice Moore-Smith, David Smith, and Julia Chang were honored. The party raised more that it ever has, with the cocktail and dinner portion pulling in $2.5 million, and the junior Young Lions dance raising nearly $220,000, which was 45% more than the target....
New York Public Library, Nov. 2; Vanity Fair, Nov. 3
The Library 101 Project
Michael Porter and David Lee King debuted their multimedia collaborative Library 101 Project at the Internet Librarian conference in late October. The project website includes a collection of 23 essays from leaders in the field, 101 resources of “need to know” technology, and a video (7:38) featuring Porter, King, and a huge cast of characters from libraries around the world....
Libraryman, Oct. 29; YouTube, Oct. 27
Read 4,800 tweets from Internet Librarian 2009
Gary Price of Resource Shelf was in attendance at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, California, October 26–28, and tested a free service named Twapper Keeper, which creates a permanent archive of public tweets based on a hashtag, in this case, #il2009. The site is updated every five minutes. You can review tweets in groups of various sizes, from 100 at a time to all of them on one page. Here is the page containing more than 4,800 Twitter tweets from #il2009....
Resource Shelf, Oct. 29
Ode to a Library Card
Waylon Lewis writes:
“I just saw this poem in my Boulder (Colo.) Public Library calendar—it’s by the great poet Anne Waldman, cofounder in 1974 (with Allen Ginsberg) of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute (now University). An inspired education, after all, is the key to the door to the American Dream.” An extract: “O library card / You connect us to outer space, / ancient histories, modern too.”...
Elephant Journal, Oct. 31
Glamorous ghost haunts Louisiana library
Nancy Mattoon writes: “A glamorous ghost haunts a Neo-Italianate mansion turned public library located on St. Charles Street in the Garden District of New Orleans. The Milton H. Latter Memorial branch of the New Orleans Public Library is distinguished not only for its lavish architecture but also for its celebrity ghost. The celestial being who haunts the halls is thought to be a former owner of the stately manor, silent film star Marguerite Clark.”...
Book Patrol, Oct. 30
Resources for beginning genealogists
Carolyn L. Barkley writes: “Today, genealogy has become a mainstream hobby, marked by advertisements for Ancestry.com appearing on television during prime time. Whatever your impetus to begin researching your family, it is important to begin well. Learning to conduct effective research is the foundation for success. Here is a highly selective list of six resources that will help you get started.”...
Genealogy and Family History, Oct. 29
U.S. Census goes interactive with Footnote.com
Footnote.com announced October 29 it will digitize and create a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. federal censuses, ranging from the first U.S. Census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930. Through its partnership with the National Archives, the company will add more than 9.5 million images featuring over half a billion names to its extensive online record collection....
Footnote Blog, Oct. 29
Bibliotheca Alexandrina: A digital revival
Noha Adly writes: “The International School of Information Science, a research institute affiliated with Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina, aims at furthering the library’s goals of being a leading institution in knowledge dissemination and, specifically, promoting research and development related to digital libraries. The library itself has built its own digital laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art technologies offering specialized digital services, and the Digital Assets Repository was developed at the BA to create and maintain digital library collections and to preserve them for future generations.”...
Educause Review 44, no. 6 (Nov./Dec.): 8–9
Magdeburg’s 24-hour library
KARO Architects of Leipzig, Germany, have created an alternative library in an industrial neighborhood of Magdeburg. A temporary facility was begun in 2005 with 1,000 empty beer crates and some donated books, but eventually the books were relocated to a more permanent home. The library, now funded by the German government and housing some 20,000 books, officially opened in June. The shelves are open 24 hours a day and operate on the honor system; readers can borrow a book and either bring it back or least supply another one. The modernist building blocks were salvaged from a condemned warehouse....
PSFK, Nov. 3
Motivate yourself while learning a second language
Dean Sherwin writes: “Learning a second language in an environment where you’re not immersed in it 24/7 throws up barrier after barrier. Recently I resumed learning French. But only a few months into my new endeavour, I’m currently halfway through a classic French novel called La Guerre des Boutons. How? I immersed myself in an environment filled with French—it’s called the internet. Here are my top three tips to help you with learning a second language online.”...
MakeUseOf, Nov. 1
Wisconsin libraries say “cheese”
Libraries across Wisconsin are taking part November 18 in a project by the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries (a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation) to remind people of the variety and wealth of resources, services, programs, and activities their library offers. A Flickr group will enable libraries to post photos showing their diverse users. Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! is modeled after a successful program of the New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey State Library’s Snapshot Day....
Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries
30 bundts in 30 days
Mary the Food Librarian, a Los Angeles–based librarian and baking aficionado, has vowed to prepare 30 different bundt cakes leading up to National Bundt Day on November 15. She has 11 to go. Highlights have included chocolate zucchini bundt, monkey bread in a bundt, candy corn jello bundt, and Nutella bundt. Recipe links are provided....
The Food Librarian, Oct. 17–Nov. 15
10 coolest bookends
Looking for a gift for your favorite bibliophile? Perhaps one of these bookends would be just the thing. In addition to the reading sophisticates bookends (right) from Wrapables, there are ones with Pinocchio, Anubis, Aliens vs. Predator, Voltron, fishbowls, and Star Wars trash compactor bookends....
Oddee, Oct. 31
Baseball and books: A great combination
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “Who’s on first? Hester Prynne is—at least in the fantasy baseball team fielded by Novel-T, a line of literary-themed T-shirts on view recently at the Brooklyn Book Festival. The shirts, created by David Bukszpan and Michael Kravetsky, are advertised as a way to ‘wear your read.’ Each features a vaguely symbolic number on the back and an insignia on the front—a tell-tale heart or raven for Edgar Allan Poe, or a patch of grass for Walt Whitman.” A dollar from the sale of each shirt is donated to Dave Eggers’s 826NYC project to help kids 6–18 work on their writing skills....
Paper Cuts Blog, Sept. 14
Protagonist scrolls intensely through microfilm (satire)
A headstrong young protagonist in way over her head visited the microfilm room of the New Haven (Conn.) Public Library Tuesday night in order to delve deeper into a riveting plotline that could put her career—and maybe even her life—on the line. According to sources, the plucky and determined woman worked late into the evening, whirring methodically through a reel of archived newspapers in search of information that could unlock a secret better left untouched....
The Onion, Oct. 24
Flashmob event in Irish library
This flashmob (5:24) in Tallaght Library in Ireland was organized as a part of Open House: Irish Architecture 2009. The piece is entitled “When Is a Library Not a Library?” and was designed to challenge people’s perceptions of what happens in a public space. It was directed by Tony Fegan of Tallaght Community Arts and dancer Louise Costelloe, in association with the South Dublin County Libraries....
YouTube, Oct. 27
Utah libraries share health resources
Good Health Information @ your library is a Utah-wide initiative encouraging people to come to the library for information about their health and medical issues. This PSA (0:32), airing statewide through December, was jointly produced by the Utah Women’s Health Information Network and Salt Lake County Library Services....
YouTube, Oct. 14
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. Free ALA shuttle buses, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, will operate between all participating hotels and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center during the meeting. Service will also be provided for attendees with disabilities (advance notice is required).
READ DVD Genres and Subjects allows you to make your very own customized READ posters. This latest addition to the READ Design Studio has been formatted to DVD to allow for more posters, bookmarks, and type treatments than ever before—all on one disc. Use Genres and Subjects on its own, or mix and match with art and backgrounds from READ CDs 1 and 2 to design hundreds of unique posters and bookmarks. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
ALA and Safeway grocery stores are partnering to feature library resources on the backs of selected cereal boxes. Topics include get rich (above), learn for a lifetime, great mysteries answered, discover the world, and discover your family tree @ your library.
Support Services Librarian I, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Award-winning public library serving 40,000 people in scenic central Wisconsin seeks librarian to assist in leading technical services and circulation staff. Under direction of head of support services, supervise technical services and shelving staff, link materials to shared online catalog, develop library computer services and website, and develop film series for adults. Some adult reference and readers’ advisory work required....
Digital Library of the Week
The Memory of the Netherlands portal includes a total of 650 Dutch Picture Books, 1810–1950 in this collection of digital books, which runs the gamut from Robinson Crusoe to Tielse Flipje (a cartoon mascot on De Betuwe jam-pot labels) and from old nursery rhymes to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Each successive Dutch generation grew up with its own specific children’s books, and each generation unconsciously adopted such moral standards and values as they contained. Children’s books serve as indispensable witnesses of an ever-changing society. In picture books, the images are just as important as the texts. The books are by no means intended exclusively for young children. Old picture books reflect the views people held about good and evil, poor and rich; about education, with examples of dutiful and bad behavior; about love for one’s own country and about people from foreign countries. The collection is a joint initiative of the National Library of the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Public Library, the Rotterdam Public Library, and the Deventer City Archives and Athenaeum Library.
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.
“The Library of Doom is dark. The stairways are silent. Cobwebs hang across the doors. The Library’s gardens are filled with weeds and creeping vines. Floors are covered with broken glass. Somewhere, boots crunch on the broken glass. A shadow walks through the hallways. It is the Librarian.”
—Michael Dahl, The Beast Beneath the Stairs (Stone Arch Books, 2007), pp. 5–6.
“The question once was, ‘What can a library be?’ Today the question is, ‘What can a library do?’ Formerly it was a question of resources, of number of books, of wealth, of material. Now, it is rather a question of effectiveness, of vitality, of influence in the community.”
—Springfield (Mass.) Public Library Director John Cotton Dana, 1898, in Chalmers Hadley, John Cotton Dana: A Sketch (Chicago: ALA, 1943), pp. 40–41.
AASL National Conference, Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 5–8, at #aasl2009.
Charleston Conference, Charleston, S.C., Nov. 4–7, at #chsconf09.
Educause Annual Conference, Denver, Nov. 3–6, at #educause09.
Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Lansing, Nov. 3–6, at #mla2009.
American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at amlibraries.
Colorado Association of Libraries, Annual Conference, Denver.
California School Library Association, Annual Conference, Ontario.
International Conference of Digital Archives and Digital Humanities, International Conference Hall, National Taiwan University Library, Taipei, Taiwan.
Ubiquitous Learning Conference, Northeastern University, Boston.
IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, Miami.
Arizona Library Association, Annual Conference, Renaissance Glendale Hotel, Glendale.
Search Engine Strategies, Conference and Expo, Hilton Chicago.
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Boston.
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston.
Code4Lib 2010, Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina.
Acquisitions Institute, Timberline Lodge, Oregon.