Board president denounces closing of Colton libraries
Five days after the abrupt November 12 decision to close the only two libraries in Colton, California, library board President Peter Carrasco was anticipating an outpouring of library support from disaffected area residents at the city council’s November 17 meeting. He got his wish: Some 100 people crowded into the council chambers to make their voices heard. Carrasco told American Libraries that the library board was “left completely out of the loop” by city management, which made the decision without first consulting with trustees. ALA President Camila Alire has issued a statement on the closings....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 18
Revised Google settlement tackles foreign titles, orphans
Shortly before a midnight deadline on November 13, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers filed a revised version (PDF file) of their proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging Google’s Book Search project. The original deal, reached in October 2008, drew criticism over antitrust concerns and treatment of orphan works and foreign publications, and an unfavorable September 18 filing by the Justice Department prompted the parties to modify the agreement....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 18
Children’s champion Effie Lee Morris dies
Effie Lee Morris, 88, children’s librarian extraordinaire and advocate for children’s literature and library service to youngsters with impaired vision, died of cancer November 10 at her home in San Francisco. Calling Morris the “Grand Dame of children’s librarianship,” Andrew P. Jackson, former president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, made the announcement on the BCALA discussion list. In 2008, Morris was named an ALA Honorary Member, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of “her vision, advocacy, and legacy to children’s services in public libraries.”...
American Libraries Online, Nov. 16
Supreme Court lets Miami-Dade’s Vamos ban stand
Intellectual-freedom advocates are expressing disappointment at the November 16 refusal of the Supreme Court to hear their appeal of ACLU of Florida v. Miami-Dade School Board. The decision lets stand a February appeals court ruling that permits the Miami-Dade School Board to keep Vamos a Cuba and its English-language translation A Visit to Cuba off media-center shelves districtwide. The original complainant had objected in 2006 to the book geared for 5–8-year-olds because, he said, it offers a deceptively idealistic view of modern Cuban life....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 18
Cheshire library retains murder book
The Cheshire (Conn.) Public Library Advisory Board voted 5–1 November 16 in favor of Director Ramona Harten’s decision to purchase two copies of Brian McDonald’s In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood for the collection. The library’s acquisition of the title drew controversy because the book depicts the 2007 murders of three members of a local family—Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters Hayley and Michaela Petit—from the perspective of one of the men awaiting trial for the crime....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 17
A library of hope
American Libraries Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “The state of Maharashtra in western India is the nation’s wealthiest and home to Mumbai, the country’s financial center. In the rural areas of the state, however, many children have no access to books until they begin their schooling. And with no preparation for school, many children drop out early in frustration or boredom. An organization called PaanPoee Vachanalaya was founded in 2003 to bring books to preschool children, but the project got a big boost in 2007 when Home of Hope, a San Francisco-based charity whose projects primarily focus on aiding children in India, began funding it.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 13
Gamers take over U.S. libraries
American Libraries Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “Children, teens, and adults showed up in droves November 14 to play board games and video games at the biggest National Gaming Day yet. Some 1,365 registered libraries participated in interlibrary, spontaneous gaming, easily doubling the number of participants from last year, NGD mastermind Jenny Levine told AL.
Libraries who participated in the nationwide, ALA-sponsored event received board games donated by Hasbro and also provided their own borad and video games.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 18
Research and stats on the ALA website
ALA members and other website visitors can now quickly locate library research and statistics with top-level navigation from the ALA home page. Library statistics are organized by type of library for easy access and include links to annual studies of library expenditures and services, state-level library data, library value studies (return on investment), opinion research from national household studies, and topical articles....
ILS webinar moderated by Marshall Breeding
Join ALA TechSource and WebJunction December 10 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time for a discussion of integrated library systems with systems expert Marshall Breeding and representatives from vendors in the field. They will discuss new features and capabilities available in the most modern library software, and what it really means for these tools to be customizable. The event coincides with the publication of Breeding’s November/December 2009 issue of Library Technology Reports, “Opening Up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA: Hype or Reality?”...
BlogJunction, Nov. 5
Library workplace wellness survey
The ALA–Allied Professional Association and the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment are asking library employees to participate in the 2009–2010 Library Workplace Wellness online survey. The survey is an opportunity for library employees to share information about the availability of, and employee participation in, worklife options in their libraries. The survey will be available through early 2010....
Books for sailors
Larry Nix writes: “I have an interest in libraries that served the military and have a collection of postcards on this topic. ALA took an active role in supplying books and magazines to sailors in World War I through its Library War Service. This postcard (right) shows sailors on a merchant marine vessel enjoying books from the ALA Library War Service. Another postcard shows a group of sailors in front of an ALA World War I Camp Library at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. Historical documents relating to U.S. Navy libraries are located on the Navy Department Library website.”...
Library History Buff, Nov. 16
Featured review: Religion
Glucklich, Ariel. Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers. Nov. 2009. 352p. HarperOne, hardcover (978-0-06-143081-7).
In this provocative book, theologian Glucklich tries to understand one of the most unsettling and disturbing behavioral trends of our time. What makes suicide bombers tick? he asks. To answer, he examines the impetus behind religion (why be religious?) and explains what happens when religious feelings lead to self-destruction. Throughout, he maintains that it is crucial that society take religion seriously—that is, to take a scientific approach to it—and avoid oversimplification, especially when it comes to vilifying that which we don’t understand....
The sacred and the profane
David Wright writes: “I’ve always enjoyed reading about faith, or, more accurately, I like to read about doubt. It’s the wrestling with doubt that makes most accounts of faith so compelling for all of us poor sinners. Something about combining the sacred and the profane adds relish to both. Idealistic young men often flirt with the idea of growing up to be a priest or a monk. For me, Thomas Merton’s Seven Story Mountain had me wondering about the straight and narrow path. I recall sitting up all night in a Safeway in Helena, Montana, devouring Merton’s spiritual struggles, galvanized by the suggestion that all that is necessary to be a saint is to want to be one. Here was a guy who had a life I’d have envied—drinking, sleeping around, and going to New York jazz clubs—and who chucked it all for silent contemplation with the Trappists.”...
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “ReaderGal has been pondering faith lately. Faith is frequently lost and found. It is sought, contemplated, and encouraged. It can be had, but can it be kept? ReaderGal looks for guidance from the following women who have struggled with the same questions. Anne Lamott reminds ReaderGal that faith builds slowly. It can be found in the mundane activities of daily life, where it’s typically dispensed in small doses. In the short vignettes that make up Traveling Mercies, Lamott writes about the trials of being a single parent to her son, Sam; the pain of watching a beloved friend succumb to cancer; and the moral conundrum she faces with Sam when they witness a man mistreat his dog.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Boston Athenaeum
Guarded by scarlet leather-bound doors and bordered inside with gilt-lettered books and marble busts at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, the Boston Athenaeum for decades was the province of the city’s elite families. The Cabots and the Adamses and the Coolidges all claimed membership in the private library on Beacon Hill, handing down their membership shares through the generations. During the Midwinter Meeting, tours are available on a limited basis on Tuesday and Thursday; contact the circulation desk in advance....
Boston Globe, Nov. 15; Boston Athenaeum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo surrounding an interior courtyard garden, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at 280 The Fenway houses a remarkable art collection that includes works by Rembrandt, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Degas, and Sargent. Special contemporary and historic exhibitions, America’s oldest museum music program, and an artist-in-residence program enrich the permanent collection and provide ongoing inspiration for visitors. In celebration of the museum’s founder, all visitors named “Isabella” are admitted free. A special exhibition on the art of Taro Shinoda will be on display during Midwinter....
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
AASL National Conference in Charlotte
At the AASL National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5–8, AASL President Cassandra Barnett and Conference Co-Chair Anne Marie Pipkin discuss the conference and the next one in Minneapolis in 2011, while ALA President Camila Alire talks about the importance of school libraries, the upcoming Frontline Advocacy toolkit, and how school librarians will be able to use it to advocate for their libraries (1:30)....
AL Focus, Nov. 18
AASL Conference reflections
Buffy Hamilton writes: “For a week, I have started and stumbled with this blog post—words just don’t seem sufficient to express the ultimate conference experience of my life and the pinnacle of flow. Every now and then, you are lucky enough to be in a time and place where amazing people, energy, camaraderie, and ideas converge. For me, AASL 2009 was four days of learning and play as espoused by Helene Blowers. I can’t quite yet articulate how transformative this experience is for me, but I want to share these reflections with you.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Nov. 16
danah boyd at AASL
After her keynote address at the AASL National Conference, American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela Goodes caught up with danah boyd, the high priestess of networked social media, to discuss the role that school librarians should be playing in their students’ social networking activities, how to cut through the red tape that may be preventing them from filling this role, and how Wikipedia can and should be used to teach students about information (3:11)....
AL Focus, Nov. 18
LLAMA preconferences in Boston
LLAMA will present two preconferences January 15 before the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Julie Todaro, an educator, trainer, and consultant with more than 30 years of experience in library and information environments, will present “Supervisory Training.” Bill Sannwald, faculty member of the Graduate School of Business at San Diego State University and a former director of the San Diego Public Library, will present “The Complex Edifice.”...
ALCTS New Members Interest Group inaugural meeting
The ALCTS New Members Interest Group will hold its inaugural meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston January 16 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. ALCTS encourages new members to come share their values, interests, and concerns, and discuss any topic brought to the table. Also, join the interest group’s ALA Connect space....
ALCTS Midwinter Symposium
Join your colleagues for “And Now for Something Completely Different: Our Future From Outside the Box,” an exciting and timely ALCTS symposium January 15, just before the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Cutting-edge thinkers will prepare short opinion pieces on future trends, issues, and developments that are likely to have an impact on research, instruction and scholarly communication. Sign up while space is available....
Seven AASL members on NBPTS committee
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has brought together leaders in education from across the country to comprise the NBPTS Library Media Standards Committee. Of the 12-person committee, seven are members of AASL, three of whom serve on the AASL Board of Directors....
Registration open for YALSA winter online courses
YALSA will offer two online courses this winter: “Booktalks Quick and Simple” by Nancy Keane, and “Power Programming for Teens” by Amy Alessio.
Both classes meet for four weeks and begin in February.
Four-week courses cost $135 for YALSA members and students, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for nonmembers....
ALSC online education courses
Bring something new to your library by taking an online course from ALSC. Starting February 1, the division will offer five timely courses to cure your winter blues and liven up your library. The course selections are: “Connecting with Tween Readers; Information Literacy—From Preschool to High School,” “The Newbery Medal: Past, Present, and Future,” “Reading Instruction and Children’s Books,” and “Series Programming for Elementary School Age.” Registration will open December 14....
Going to Annual on a Baker and Taylor grant
In this YALSA podcast (9:44), Seattle librarian Laurie Amster-Burton, a 2009 Baker and Taylor Conference Grant recipient, shares her experience at ALA Annual Conference, including attending events, going to the exhibits, and meeting teens and other YALSA members. In addition to the Baker and Taylor grants, YALSA offers more than $40,000 in grants and awards to its members each year. Apply by December 1....
YALSA Blog, Nov. 13
NMRT Online Discussion Forum
Brian McManus, a member of the 2009–2010 New Members Round Table Online Discussion Forum, is leading this month’s online discussion: “Open Access, Web 3.0: How Will Technology Continue to Change the Services of Libraries of the Near- and Long-term Future?” The discussion runs through December 14. Here are instructions on how to join in the discussion....
ALA Student Member Blog, Nov. 16
Nominations sought for the Madison awards
The ALA Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award celebrates an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level. The Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness of the importance of access to information. Nominations should be submitted no later than February 6....
LITA/Library Hi Tech award nominations
Nominations are being accepted for the 2010 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award, given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in continuing education in library and information technology. The award includes a $1,000 stipend provided by Emerald Press, publishers of Library Hi Tech. Nominations should be sent to Aimee Fifarek by December 1....
IF award deadlines on the horizon
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is seeking nominees for its three IF awards: the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, and the ProQuest/SIRS State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Award. Each one celebrates the achievements of librarians, writers, and citizens in their defense of our basic right to read and express ideas. The deadlines for each are December 1....
OIF Blog, Nov. 12
2009 Mora Award
Reforma has selected the San Francisco Public Library and the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library (right) to receive its 2009 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for commendable efforts in promoting El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros. The San Francisco Public Library hosted its 10th Día event that celebrated 10 years of bringing children, families, and books together in San Francisco. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library celebrated its fourth Día celebration April 30, with more than 550 participants attending the event; watch the video (2:30)....
2009 Sparky Awards
Three new sponsors—the New Media Consortium, the Center for Social Media, and the Open Video Alliance—have thrown their support behind the 2009 Sparky Awards, joining ACRL and others who believe in reinforcing the importance of new media and student voices in the global discussion on access to research. The Sparky Awards invite students to submit videos of two minutes or less that creatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of information. The deadline is December 6....
ACRL Insider, Nov. 17; SPARC
MLA names six Super Librarians
Freetown-Lakeville (Mass.) Middle School’s Laurie Belanger and five other librarians were awarded the Super Librarian Award at the Massachusetts School Library Association conference in October. This was the first year the MSLA presented the awards, which recognize members who are doing an outstanding job and are role models for their colleagues....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Nov. 12
Paul McCartney awarded third Gershwin Prize
On November 16, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named music legend Paul McCartney as the recipient of the third Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. An all-star tribute concert is planned for spring 2010. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin....
Library of Congress, Nov. 16
Time to apply for The Big Read
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, announces the 2010 deadline for The Big Read, a program to revitalize the role of literature in American culture. Organizations may apply for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 with the grant size determined by community population, number of activities planned, and artistic excellence and merit. The proposal deadline is February 2....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 13
Nonprofit group to support library innovation overseas
The nonprofit Electronic Information for Libraries has been awarded a three-year, $1.4-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote innovative library services using technology in developing countries. The Public Library Innovation Program will encourage public libraries to reach out to their communities by partnering with local government and business organizations to assess local needs and develop new services....
Electronic Information for Libraries, Nov. 16
2009 Roald Dahl Funny Prize
A “disgusting and horrible” story of a smelly man in an oddball town, Philip Ardagh’s Grubtown Tales: Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky, has won the 2009 Roald Dahl Funny Prize. It is one of the three Grubtown books he has published this year, which introduce younger readers to characters named Farflung Heaps, Constable Gelatine, Acrid Scorn, Mango Claptrap, and the repulsively stinky Manual Org whose breath smells of “two-thirds of a pickled raw herring, a pickled onion, eleven gherkins, and one jar of sandwich spread (one month past its sell-by date).”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 10
2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Veteran investigative reporter Linden MacIntyre scored a surprise upset November 10 by winning the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize for excellence in Canadian literature. MacIntyre’s novel about corruption in the Catholic church, The Bishop’s Man, beat four highly regarded literary titles to take the main prize. The novel chronicles the emerging crisis of conscience in a worldly priest who has been assigned to keep a lid on church-related sex scandals that are destroying the lives of the faithful in rural Cape Breton....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Nov. 10
Su Tong wins Man Asian literary prize
The story of a playboy Communist party official who castrates himself after he is banished to live on a river barge has won celebrated Chinese author Su Tong the Man Asian literary prize. Su, by far the best known of the five shortlisted authors, is the second Chinese writer to win the three-year-old prize, which is worth $10,000. Judges said his winning title, The Boat to Redemption, was “a picaresque novel of immense charm.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 17
Ames trustees to decide fate of Sex, Etc.
More than 100 parents have concerns over what teens could be reading about sex from a magazine at Ames (Iowa) Public Library. Joyce Bannantine presented a petition with 118 signatures to the library board of trustees in October objecting to the open display in the teen area and offering free copies of the magazine Sex, Etc., written for teens by teens under the oversight of Answer, a national sexuality organization at Rutgers University. The board will discuss its status November 19....
Ames (Iowa) Tribune, Nov. 18
Opposition to outsourcing mounts in Nevada County
Petition-signature gatherers have hit the streets in hopes of convincing the Nevada County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors against contracting operation of the public libraries to a private company. The petitions will eventually be presented to the board, according to Madelyn Helling, former county librarian who is working to keep the libraries under county management. Library Friends fear the outsourcing could drive off dedicated employees during a recession, and fear an out-of-area private company would not care about local needs....
Grass Valley (Calif.) Union, Nov. 18
Law librarian’s firing upheld by state court
A San Diego County (Calif.) Public Law Library employee’s free-speech rights weren’t violated when he was fired for blasting his superiors’ alleged “disgusting, degrading, and utterly unprofessional” conduct in an email, a California appeals court ruled (PDF file) November 10. In 2006, Michael Kaye had responded to his supervisor’s request for project ideas in an all-staff email expressing his opinion that the library’s management considers its librarians to be “disposable peons who are not genuinely valued.” Kaye was fired after a lengthy investigation, but he sued for wrongful termination....
Courthouse News Service, Nov. 13; Law.com, Nov. 13
Report outlines changes for Harvard libraries
Harvard University’s “labyrinthine” library system should be drastically restructured in the next few years, according to the Task Force on University Libraries’ report (PDF file) released November 12. In order to alleviate budgetary pressures, the report prescribes a series of solutions, among them the possibility of closing some of Harvard’s 73 libraries and reassessing the university’s ambitious, comprehensive collection strategy....
Harvard Crimson, Nov. 13
Greensboro tries out a “bandwidth shaper”
After 89 people were caught viewing pornography on public computers at the Central Library in the first six months of 2009, the Greensboro (N.C.) Public Library has taken action to make it more difficult to load porn sites. Library Director Sandy Neerman’s technical staff is testing a device called a “bandwidth shaper” designed to identify websites by categories—including pornography—and allow the library to throttle down the access. When the device finds a computer streaming video from a porn site, the bandwidth is slowed to 1 kilobit per second....
Greensboro (N.C.) News-Record, Nov. 15
Alabama school libraries struggle
Library media specialists in Alabama are seeking out new funding sources for books and other needs, or they are struggling to make do with what they have, after the state eliminated funding for school libraries this year. State funding, doled out to schools at $175 per teacher unit, totaled $8.5 million last year before proration, which reduced state funding by 11% across the board. That already was down from $200 per teacher unit, or $9.7 million, the year before....
Birmingham (Ala.) News, Nov. 16
Infants learn sign language at Florida library
Babies and their parents head to Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library in Venice, Florida, on Tuesdays for a fun-filled time of learning and interaction. The free, 45-minute Baby Rhyme and Sign Time, geared toward newborns to 2-and-a-half-year-olds, combines nursery rhymes, baby sign language, and music. The program was developed by youth librarians Sheila Kaufer and Anna Coleman. Signing is a way for young children to communicate before they can speak....
Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, Nov. 11
Laura Bush: Library not intended as a monument
The design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, formally unveiled November 18, is a showcase for exhibits, not a monument to the 43rd president, former First Lady Laura Bush said. Bush described an active year of planning the design for a 225,000-square-foot building to house her husband’s presidential papers. Bush said the library center, which will include a museum and a policy institute, will not be a shrine....
Dallas Morning News, Nov. 18
Five years in, Clinton Library is still a big draw
The number of visitors each year to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, has slipped only slightly in the library’s first five years, surpassing everyone’s expectations, its top administrator says. Terri Garner, director of the Clinton Library, said the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton have remained in the public eye has helped. The $165-million library, a part of the National Archives, contains 90,000 artifacts, 80 million pages of archived documents, and 18 million archived emails....
Arkansas News Bureau, Nov. 16
State officials join campaign to save Pittsburgh branches
State and local officials called on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh November 12 to keep all of its branches open. The officials also want the library to provide them with more complete financial information, host a forum for elected officials and the public, and commit to holding its December 14 board meeting in public. But only two of the 43 board members showed up for a November 14 tour organized by state Rep. Chelsa Wagner, whose neighborhood branch would close in February....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Nov. 13, 15
Stanford graduate students put dissertations online
Stanford doctoral students will now be able to post their dissertations on Google as the university replaces the traditional bound volumes of acid-free paper with e-files of scholarly work. Beginning in early November, students can file their dissertations by simply uploading them from their computers. “It doesn’t make sense anymore that the final medium for scholarship should still be paper,” said university Registrar Tom Black, one of the administrators behind the change....
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 16
Study-in at UC-Santa Cruz
More than 100 students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, conducted a 24-hour study-in November 13 at the Science and Engineering Library to protest budget cuts and the decision to close the library at 5 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturdays. Some students entered the building just before closing, allowing others to stream in despite having no clear authorization from university officials. Later in the evening, the administration agreed to allow the students to remain. In order to partially compensate library staff working overtime, students passed a hat around for donations....
Walnut Creek (Calif.) Contra Costa Times, Nov. 13; Santa Cruz Indymedia, Nov. 14
Salinas must cut $400,000 from budget
The city of Salinas, California, has asked its libraries to plan cuts of $400,000, or 10% of their budget, effective in July. Options for meeting that goal are about to become the subject of intense discussion. Library Director Elizabeth Martinez has said one option is closing the libraries on Fridays, or perhaps even two days a week. The three libraries have been on a seven-day schedule since 2008, when they returned to a level of service close to that existing before the Measure V crisis of 2005....
Salinas Californian, Nov. 14
Former mayoral candidate accused of intimidating librarian
Former Hamilton, Montana, mayoral candidate Michael Spreadbury is facing a felony intimidation charge for allegedly threatening a city librarian on November 4. Spreadbury allegedly threatened Nansu Roddy, public services librarian at the Bitterroot Public Library, in a parking lot adjoining the building. It wasn’t the first time that Spreadbury had a run-in with library staff members....
The Missoulian, Nov. 10
Collection of FDR papers to be made public
The last great archives of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency may soon be available to researchers and the public—14 boxes of handwritten notes, gifts, and correspondence, including a letter from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini congratulating him on his 1933 inauguration. The House approved a bill November 16 to clear the way for the memorabilia to be donated to Roosevelt’s presidential library and museum in Hyde Park, New York....
Associated Press, Nov. 16
Books returned 51 years late, along with $1,000
Two long-overdue library books were returned to Camelback High School in Phoenix November 3 by priority mail, along with an anonymous letter and a $1,000 money order to cover late fees. The titles, The Community of Living Things in Forest and Woodland (right) by Stephen Collins and The Community of Living Things in Field and Meadow by Etta Schneider Ress, were checked out in 1958. Librarian Georgette Bordine said she will use the money to buy new books....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Nov. 14
Prescott Valley finds a way around staff shortages
The Prescott Valley (Ariz.) Public Library is relying on employees on loan from other town departments. It has taken on five employees loaned for six months, as well as employees—ranging from clerical workers to Town Manager Larry Tarkowski—who will contribute several hours a day or a few days every week. Because of declining revenues, in October 2007 Tarkowski nixed plans to hire 17 additional library employees. By borrowing employees from other departments, the town is saving $600,000 a year....
Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier, Nov. 15
Flarf: The poetry of Googled search terms
If your Google search history could talk, would it recite a poem? The people behind a controversial movement known as “flarf” believe that phrases found on the internet and strung together into poetry provide a critical social commentary. Others think it’s worthless drivel. Kate Dawson didn’t realize she’d become a flarfist when she and her friend Ori Barbut started creating poems from their friends’ search histories....
Toronto Star, Nov. 17
Russian librarians visit Scituate
Librarians from St. Petersburg, Russia, met with Scituate (Mass.) Town Library Director Kathy Meeker October 31 to discuss the modern-day role of libraries in their respective countries. The Russian visitors toured several urban libraries, including Boston Public and Boston University, but were encouraged by Library Trustee Kevin Carleton to visit a successful suburban version of the book-filled buildings. The Russians came over through a private cultural exchange program started by Ludmilla Leibman....
Scituate (Mass.) Mariner, Nov. 12
Go back to the Top
How to create a photo gallery using the Flickr API
Paul Burgess writes: “Flickr is, without doubt, the biggest and best photography website on the internet. There are lots of widgets, badges, and plugins which allow you to display your latest Flickr photos on your website, but we’ll take it a step further by tapping straight into Flickr and integrating your photostream into your website, giving you a photo gallery that is a breeze to update.”...
Nettuts+, Nov. 12
Top 10 mobile applications of 2012
Sarah Perez writes: “Research firm Gartner has just put out a list of the top 10 mobile applications of the future. Well, not the distant future, but the far-off year of 2012. Nothing on the list is all that surprising or, in many cases, even all that new. Instead, the list includes the sorts of technologies that are just now coming into their own and haven’t yet seen widespread adoption as well as the already common technologies that are still experiencing growth.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Nov. 18; Gartner, Nov. 18
Best online backup tool: Dropbox
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “We asked readers to share their favorite online backup tools and then we rounded up the five most popular options for a vote. With nearly half the vote at 42%, Dropbox takes home the trophy for favorite online backup tool. It doesn’t offer the volume of storage or computer-wide backup that Mozy (21%) and Carbonite (11%) offer, but the ease-of-use factor is high and readers loved the simple file syncing.”...
Lifehacker, Nov. 17
Learning computers later in life
Brigid Cahalan writes: “As the old familiar formats become less available and more information and entertainment goes digital, those in their 50s, 60s, and beyond can become marginalized if they don’t pick up computer skills. They must learn! Public libraries have risen to the challenge; library-based computer classes are widespread and older adults make up the majority of the attendees.” Here are some books that will help get them up to speed....
Blogging@NYPL, Nov. 11
E-readers and accessibility
Joshua Kim writes: “Three cheers for the educators at Syracuse and University of Wisconsin–Madison for refusing to purchase new Kindles until the speech-to-text feature meets accessibility standards. It is beyond stupid that Amazon neglected to provide spoken menu options, therefore making it impossible for sight-impaired readers to access the speech-to-text feature. This is, as they say in our business, a ‘teachable moment.’”...
Technology and Learning, Nov. 12
USA Today tests digital edition at colleges
Penn State, Indiana, and Missouri universities are the first schools to participate in a USA Today initiative meant to test how students respond to electronic versions of printed newspapers. The e-Edition is free for students, faculty, and staff at the participating schools. USA Today says it’s identical to the newspaper’s print edition but with additional interactive and exclusive content. For instance, the Penn State edition includes a university-themed story selected and written by the school....
eSchool News, Nov. 17
Most Unfortunate Cover
Readers of the 100 Scope Notes blog have voted for their choice of Most Unfortunate Cover in children’s literature (a book that is held in high literary esteem, but features cover artwork that detracts from overall shelf appeal). The winner is Marion Dane Bauer’s On My Honor (Clarion, 1986). Travis Jonker writes: “Kids just aren’t persuaded to pick it up. A wonderful story. A story that deserves to be read. It’s just that the cover isn’t living up to its end of the bargain.” See the results here....
100 Scope Notes, Nov. 13
The unexpected art of science fiction book covers
Lauren Davis writes: “A single book can inspire a wide range of covers, and sometimes those covers can be works of art themselves. We look at some classic science fiction novels and the various covers they’ve worn throughout the years. The covers are sometimes surprisingly pulpy, others are elegantly minimalist, and still others are variations on the same theme. Some of these are actual covers from various editions of the books, and some are concept designs created by individuals.”...
io9, Nov. 17
Chart tracks Patriot Act amendment proposals
Confused by all the proposed changes to the Patriot Act ricocheting through the Capitol? The Center for Democracy and Technology put together this handy chart (PDF file) comparing the current law with the various amendments in the House and Senate. The chart compares proposed amendments to National Security Letters and the so-called “lone wolf” provisions of the Patriot Act. The proposals have only been passed by the judiciary committees, and face further amendments before they hit the full House and Senate for votes....
Threat Level, Nov. 16; Reason magazine, Oct. 5
Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service, 2009
Library Journal’s national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009, Round 2, identifies 258 star libraries. Created by Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons and based on 2007 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, it rates 7,268 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three stars. All included libraries can use their scores to learn from their peers, expand service to their communities, and improve library awareness and funding....
Library Journal, Nov. 15
California’s free public library law
Larry Nix writes: “2009 is the centennial of the free public library law in California. The law was based around the county unit of government. The California State Library under the overall leadership of State Librarian James Gillis took on the task of organizing county libraries. Harriet Gertrude Eddy (1876–1966) joined the staff in 1909 and was the person responsible for organizing county library service in 40 of California’s 58 counties in the next nine years.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Nov. 17
Public libraries and web technologies
The Colorado State Library’s Library Research Service has released a Closer Look Report, U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies (PDF file). In the spring of 2008, LRS visited the websites of nearly 600 public libraries in the United States, including all Colorado public libraries, looking for the presence of web technologies, including those identified as Web 2.0. This report details what public libraries are doing on the web, and the characteristics that early adopters share....
Library Research Service, Nov. 11
International copyright and libraries
The Library Copyright Alliance has released a series of issue briefs on current topics relating to international copyright and libraries. Written by Janice T. Pilch, Association of Research Libraries visiting program officer on international copyright, the five issue briefs address international copyright concerns (PDF file), the World International Property Organization (PDF file), traditional cultural expression (PDF file), access for reading-disabled persons (PDF file), and the anticounterfeiting agreement (PDF file)....
Library Copyright Alliance
Queens librarian elected to New York City Council
James G. Van Bramer, Queens Library’s chief external affairs officer, has been elected to the New York City Council. He will be sworn into office on January 1. Van Bramer said, “Advocating for your library is a balance between building relationships and active support from the grassroots on up to the highest levels of government. The same political skills that helped Queens Library obtain funding will help me be effective in my new role.”...
Queens Library, Nov. 16
Comics improve literacy
Carol L. Tilley, a professor of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that comics are just as sophisticated as other forms of literature, and children benefit from reading them at least as much as they do from reading other types of books. Although they have long embraced picture books as appropriate children’s literature, many adults—even teachers and librarians who willingly add comics to their collections—are too quick to dismiss the suitability of comics as texts for young readers, Tilley said....
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Nov. 5
Perks to be restricted, not banned
A controversial novel challenged by the parent of a high school student will not be banned, but Roanoke County, Virginia, school officials have chosen to restrict access to it. Three copies of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, a coming-of-age novel written from the perspective of a teenager and containing sexually explicit scenes, will be returned to the shelves of the libraries at William Byrd and Hidden Valley high schools. The decision, announced at the school board meeting November 12, came after a review by a panel of three librarians....
Roanoke (Va.) Times, Nov. 13
School libraries: Vital filter developers
Anne Collier writes: “Actually, the library is both a filter and a developer of the most effective filter there is—the software between students’ ears. It’s a great filter as the school’s nerve center of media competency and literacy (hopefully including new media as well as the traditional kind). As for the filter the library helps develop in students’ heads: If properly developed, it can guide and empower them the rest of their lives.”...
NetFamilyNews, Nov. 5
Moorland-Spingarn at risk?
One of the most important troves of African-American historical materials became the subject of national hand wringing in early November when the student newspaper at Howard University reported that the library’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center—a foremost repository of artifacts and manuscripts related to black history—could close due to an inadequate budget and a shortage of staff. The article prompted a stream of upset responses, as well as an email to the paper from Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Alvin Thornton emphasizing that the university has no plans to close the research center. Still, the center is in trouble....
Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 11; Howard University Hilltop, Nov. 6
African-American special collection in Las Vegas
When Barbara Coleman started the African-American special collection at the West Las Vegas branch of the Las Vegas–Clark County Public Library District in 1999, she wanted to hold onto local history. Ten years later, the collection is a little-known resource, but after recently finishing interviews with 20 figures in local black history, Coleman hopes to have a 90-minute, edited film from that oral history project ready to show the public in the coming months....
Las Vegas (Nev.) Sun, Nov. 17
Continuing furor over anti-gay blog post
Purdue University Government Information and Political Science Librarian Bert Chapman’s October 27 post on his Conservative Librarian blog argued that gay people were an economic drain. As word of the blog spread at Purdue, the campus has seen petitions and protests, with many calling for Chapman (who has tenure) to be fired. His critics say that what he writes is so hateful and inaccurate that it raises questions about his ability to do his job. But Purdue has rejected calls to fire him, and Chapman said he does not want to talk about the situation because he wants the controversy to die down....
Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 13
How to say it in Polish
Donna Pointkouski writes: “Over the years I’ve learned a few things about the Polish language with its different letters and consonant combinations, and I can usually figure out how a word is pronounced. But sometimes I get stumped. Fortunately, I discovered a website that allows you to hear Polish words pronounced by Polish speakers. So, how do you say Przybyszew? Click on this link to hear it. The site, Expressivo, is a text-to-speech program.”...
What’s Past Is Prologue, Nov. 12
Case law on Google Scholar
Starting November 17, Google Scholar will allow you to find and read full-text legal opinions from U.S. and state district, appellate, and supreme courts using Google Scholar. You can search for cases (Planned Parenthood v. Casey), topics (desegregation), or other keywords. If you try the query separate but equal, your search results will include links to such familiar cases as Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education, as well as opinions from less familiar cases. ResourceShelf has more details....
Official Google Blog, Nov. 17; ResourceShelf, Nov. 17
Local Book Search on LibraryThing
LibraryThing has released a feature called Local Book Search that allows you to find specific titles in a bookstore in a specific city or area. If you live in San Francisco and want a copy of Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down, Local Book Search will help you find half-a-dozen copies, new and used, in just seconds. Physical bookstores are still important in an online world; perhaps Local Book Search will be one of the things they need to survive and prosper....
LibraryThing Blog, Nov. 16
LCSH headings for video recordings
The Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress has published its decision regarding the final disposition of LCSH headings for video recordings (PDF file). The decisions include: Topical headings (MARC tag 150) denoting a genre or form of video recording will be retired in favor of film headings; and genre/form headings for internet videos, podcasts, and webisodes will be created....
Catalogablog, Nov. 16; Library of Congress, Nov. 6
Get thee to a quarto
The Shakespeare Quartos Archive was launched November 16 with a complete digital collection of rare early editions of Hamlet. For the first time, all 32 existing quarto copies of the play held by participating U.K. and U.S. institutions are freely available online in one place. This initiative is jointly led by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington through a joint transatlantic grant from JISC and the National Endowment for the Humanities....
Joint Information Systems Committee, Nov. 16
Looted Hebrew Bible returned to Vienna
A two-volume, 16th-century Bomberg/Pratensis Rabbinic Bible is back in the hands of its rightful owners 71 years after it was stolen by the Nazis. On November 9 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York returned the Bible to Vienna’s Jewish community, known as Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (IKG). During the annexation of Austria in 1938, Nazi soldiers confiscated the rare Bible from the IKG library....
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nov. 9
The sniff test as a preservation tool
In a report published in a recent issue of Analytical Chemistry, scientists in the United Kingdom and Slovenia describe a new test that can measure the degradation of old books and precious historical documents on the basis of their aroma. The well-known musty smell of an old book is the result of hundreds of volatile organic compounds released into the air from the paper. A new technique called “material degradomics” analyzes the gases emitted by old books and determines those in most need of care....
American Chemical Society, Nov. 10
North Texas digitizes JFK assassination files
Photographs taken by Dallas police and used as evidence in the criminal investigation following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are now available for public viewing. The University of North Texas Libraries Digital Projects unit placed the photographs in its Portal to Texas History, thanks to a grant from the Summerlee Foundation to digitize 404 images taken by the Dallas Police Department during the week following Kennedy’s assassination. One shows a young Lee Harvey Oswald with a friend in Russia (above)....
NBC Dallas–Fort Worth, Nov. 11; Dallas Morning News, Nov. 12
Columbia University’s new copyright website
The Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office has launched a fully revised and updated website of copyright issues and information. The new site is publicly accessible and offers expanded pages on copyright ownership, fair use in the context of scholarship and teaching, publication agreements, the Google Books Search settlement, and the creation of digital libraries and preservation initiatives at university libraries....
Columbia University Libraries, Nov. 11
Gift guide for book lovers
Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “Writing a gift guide for bibliophiles is a plum assignment. I browse boutiques, rummage around online, and peruse sumptuous catalogs in search of items that I would like to find under my tree. This year, 20 incredible products top my list. Here is a sampling from the Guide, published in the 2010 Fine Books and Collections compendium.” Included is this ancient lamp, suitable for reading the Loeb Classical Library...
Fine Books and Collections
Fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan has designed a series of 21 handbags that feature impeccable embroidered recreations of book covers from such first-edition novels as Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The collection is appropriately titled “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” and is inspired by Le-Tan’s affection for collecting old books....
The Jailbreak, Nov. 10
A board game for the bibliophile
Michael Lieberman writes: “Bookchase is billed as the world’s first board game about books. Here’s how it works. The first one to collect six books, one from each category, and get home wins. Of course, there are hazards along the way like dropping your books in the bath. You can collect books by answering questions, visiting the library, or landing on various other lucky spots on the board.”...
Book Patrol, Nov. 11
Awful Library Books librarians appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Mary Kelly (left) and Holly Hibner started the blog Awful Library Books in April to add some zing to a conference speech on the quality of collections in public libraries. The site now gets about 5,000 hits a day, is updated several times a week, and received an additional boost when the pair appeared on the November 11 Jimmy Kimmel Live! show (watch the video, 7:00). Kelly is adult services librarian with the Salem–South Lyon (Mich.) District Library, and Hibner is adult services coordinator for the Plymouth (Mich.) District Library....
Detroit Free Press, Nov. 13; YouTube, Nov. 12
Key scene in The Box filmed at Boston Public Library
In The Box, a film starring Cameron Diaz (right) released November 6, protagonists Arthur and Norma Lewis go from a disturbing wedding reception to a haunted library (filmed at Boston Public Library). Bloody noses abound and the lengthy scene leads to the film’s most unintentionally hilarious moment. Being followed like the pied piper through the corridors by a troupe of zombie-like drones (“employees” if you prefer), Arthur is directed to three watery portals. Choose the right one, the creepy librarian tells him, and you’ll find salvation. Choose the wrong one and, naturally, eternal damnation awaits. Watch the trailer (2:09)....
Rollins College Sandspur, Winter Park, Fla., Nov. 13; YouTube
The Tompkins Library vault
Cecelia Hui, of the Shortgrass Library System in Medicine Hat, Alberta, visited the Tompkins branch of the Chinook Regional Library in Saskatchewan during a fundraising drive. She took the opportunity to make a video (2:59) of the library and discover the secrets of its huge, walk-in, bullethole-spattered vault....
YouTube, Nov. 15
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. You will receive a free airport shuttle ticket from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to Logan International Airport on Monday, January 18, if you reserve a room in the ALA hotel block though Experient (ALA’s registration company). Sign up for the ride at the shuttle supervisor table located at the shuttle drop-off location at the convention center. Self parking is available at the convention center.
The Early Literacy Kit, put together by early literacy specialists Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting, contains everything storytime presenters for children from birth to age 5 and their parents or caregivers need to spread the word about school readiness skills. NEW! From ALA Editions.
The Zora Neale Hurston Award is given to an individual RUSA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. The winner receives funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial. Nomination materials should be submitted electronically to RUSA. The deadline is December 1.
Special Collections Librarian, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Virginia. Committed and experienced librarian will have responsibility for developing and assessing rare books, manuscripts, and other special collections; participating in donor outreach efforts and the identification and application for external, private funding opportunities; providing public service assistance to library users; and promoting awareness and use of special collections to researchers at Mount Vernon and beyond....
Digital Library of the Week
Ohio Memory is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Historical Society and the State Library of Ohio. Launched in 2000, the project includes
75,000 primary sources from 330 archives, historical societies, libraries, and museums that document Ohio’s past, from prehistory to the present. Specialized topics include archaeology, gay Ohio history, Ohio battle flags, Ohio governors, county atlases, state hospitals, and World War II oral histories.
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.
“There ya have it—four years of undergrad, two years of graduate school, and now you can spend your days picking blotter acid out of Phil Lesh’s underwear from the Blues for Allah tour.”
—The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on the master’s degree requirement for the UC–Santa Cruz Grateful Dead archivist position opening, Nov. 11 (watch the video).
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 18–21, at:
National Council of Teachers of English, Annual Convention, Philadelphia, Nov. 19–22, at:
California School Library Association, Annual Conference, Ontario, Nov. 19–22, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. I have seen a few articles in the press about libraries dropping Dewey for a genre-based system, more like a bookstore. Now my administration is asking me whether we should do the same at our school library. Can you help?
A. This is not something new. There have been questions and issues raised about using not only the Dewey Decimal system, but also about Library of Congress, Universal Decimal Classification, and many others. There is no perfect classification system that meets the needs of every library. “In theory, making an ideal classification system looks like a splendid idea. In real life, you can make a fine system . . . and employ it in your library. However, (when you are gone), the library will switch to a more standard system because it is much easier to use preclassified material than to try to classify everything in-house." (Betty G. Bengtson and Janet Swan Hill, Classification of Library Materials: Current and Future Potential for Providing Access. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1990, p. 21.) The ALA Library has collected several resources about cataloging and classification, and searched library literature and popular media for discussions and opinions about using genre-based systems. The ALA Public Information Office has also put together a set of talking points that address this issue. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
As the holiday shopping season approaches, remember that ALA members are eligible for discounts in more than 200 Books-A-Million stores and on their online store.
National Day of Listening, StoryCorps. Set aside one hour to record a conversation with someone important to you.
International Digital Curation Conference, Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, London. “Moving to Multi-Scale Science: Managing Complexity and Diversity.”
Urban Libraries Council, Partners for Success conference, Nashville Public Library. “Regional Solutions for Local Vitality.”
ACRL/NY Annual Symposium, Vertical Campus Conference Center, Baruch College, New York City. “Emerging Leadership in Academic Libraries.”
Arizona Library Association, Annual Conference, Glendale.
Human Rights Day, United Nations.
Institutional Copyright Policies. Online workshop by University of Maryland University College Center for Intellectual Property.
Atmospheric Science Librarians International, 13th Annual Conference, Atlanta. “Integrating Weather, Climate, and Social Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians.”
iSchools iConference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Chambaign.
Wikis in Libraries: Building Interactive Collections and Knowledge Repositories. Online workshop by Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
Off-Campus Library Services Conference, Cleveland Marriott Downtown.
DigCCurr Professional Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Curation Practices for the Digital Object Lifecycle.”