Guide to revised Google Books settlement
ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries have responded to the proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging Google’s Book Search project with a guide describing the major revisions, particularly those relevant to libraries. A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement (PDF file), written by legal consultant Jonathan Band, notes that the amended settlement agreement (PDF file) significantly reduces the scope of the settlement because it excludes most books published outside of the United States. More discussion here....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 25; eSchool News, Nov. 24
Kentuckians take sides on graphic nature of graphic novel
What began as a personnel matter in September involving the actions of two employees of the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library has grown into a local controversy about the artistic merit of Alan Moore’s graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier and whether the two circulation clerks should be applauded for taking the moral high road or decried for violating library policy by withholding the title from an 11-year-old girl who had reserved a copy for checkout. The library employees were fired for doing so....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 25
ALA: Libraries starved for bandwidth
America’s libraries make it a part of their mission to offer internet access to anyone in the community, but a severe bandwidth crunch is hobbling those efforts. That’s one of the conclusions reached in ALA’s response (PDF file) to the FCC’s call for comments on broadband needs, which says that 59.6% of public libraries “report their connectivity speed is inadequate some or all of the time to meet patrons’ needs,” despite help from the e-rate program....
Ars Technica, Nov. 24; District Dispatch, Nov. 23
New ALA Task Force on Social Media
In mid-November, a new ALA staff task force on the use of social media assembled, taking the first step toward moving the Association forward in the social media realm. The task force will address why and how staff should use social media to improve member engagement, promote products and services, manage the ALA brand, and better serve members, especially at conference....
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 24
National Gaming Day final numbers
American Libraries Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “Last week, I wrote that the November 14 National Gaming Day event had some outstanding participation, ‘easily doubling the number of participants from last year, NGD mastermind Jenny Levine told American Libraries.’ NGD has just released official counts, taken from survey results.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 24
Advocacy on the Front Lines
Join ALA President Camila Alire and others January 16 for “Advocacy on the Front Lines: How to Make a Difference from Where You Sit” during the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The panel discussion will focus on “Frontline Advocacy,” a unique initiative designed to motivate, encourage, and train librarians and library support staff to seize opportunities to promote the diverse professionals, resources, and services of public, school, academic, and special libraries....
ALA testifies on the role of libraries in improving literacy
ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff filed testimony (PDF file) November 19 in a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on improving literacy skills of children and young adults. She underscored the impact of school libraries on both traditional and technology literacy through school librarians who know the school’s curriculum and effective techniques necessary to cross disciplines....
Call for submissions: AL 2010 design showcase
Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “American Libraries is now accepting submissions for its annual Library Design Showcase, to be published in the April 2010 issue. This is a showcase of new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. Roughly 30 of the best construction projects of the year will be highlighed in this major AL feature. The deadline is February 1; to be eligible, projects must have been completed after October 1, 2008.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 19
Free webinar on Guide to Reference
Learn how to integrate this valuable online resource into your teaching to help provide practical job preparation for your students. Designed for LIS instructors, this free December 3 webinar will familiarize you with the major features and benefits of Guide to Reference so you can easily incorporate it into your own teaching—with free access. Register here....
Jamaica joins the Campaign
The Library and Information Association of Jamaica is the newest member of the Campaign for the World’s Libraries. Since its founding in 1949, LIAJA has worked to unite all Jamaicans engaged in or interested in library work, encourage cooperation between libraries, promote a high standard of education and training of library staff, and form an educated public opinion on libraries....
Featured review: Environment
Gore, Al. Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. Nov. 2009. 415p. Rodale, hardcover (978-1-59486-734-7).
Nobel laureate Gore is dedicated to one of the most important missions on the planet: educating humankind about the causes and consequences of global warming and offering solutions to the looming crises implicit in the changes to the earth’s climate and habitability that are already well under way. No one is more qualified than Gore to lead the collective movement beyond fossil fuels, given his command of the science and politics involved, his invaluable global connections and resources, and his sensitivity to our reluctance to face the “magnitude and gravity of the climate crisis.” As he did in An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Gore matches clear and ringing explanations and commentary with superb supporting diagrams and illustrations and striking photographs from around the world, documenting the dramatic impacts of human industry and climate change....
Featured review: Politics
Palin, Sarah. Going Rogue: An American Life. Nov. 2009. 432p. Harper, hardcover (978-0-06-193989-1).
No good deed goes unpunished. Just ask Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s campaign manager and the guy who pushed Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Now, in Palin’s much-hyped book, he’s just a fat, smoking bullet-head who told her to “stick to the script.” The feeling running through Going Rogue is that Palin has been bursting to take a whack at those she believes didn’t do right by her during the campaign. (Katie Couric, we’re looking at you!) Before readers get to that, however, there’s personal biography. We’re introduced to Sarah the reader—loved to read—the basketball player, hunter, wife, mother. Then lots and lots of Alaska politics, which will probably be a little hard even for people from Alaska to plow through. (Scores are settled here, too.) Once Palin gets into the 2008 campaign, the tone is folksy, but the knives are out....
Booklist Online Exclusives
Booklist Online Exclusives offers links to the full text of reviews and features published exclusively on Booklist Online. These reviews enhance Booklist’s already extensive print coverage and carry the same imprimatur as Booklist reviews. This free e-newsletter includes all web-exclusive content published on Booklist Online during the previous calendar month. You will receive 12 newsletters per year. Read the November 5 issue as a sample....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Treasures of the Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library was founded in 1848 as the first free municipal library in the United States. The exhibit “Cool and Collected: Treasures of the Boston Public Library” showcases the extraordinary and dedicated public investment by the citizens of Boston in supporting BPL as a flagship intellectual, historical, and cultural institution. The exhibit will be on display during the Midwinter Meeting and will feature a John James Audubon print, a Winslow Homer painting, a Sergei Prokofiev score, and much more....
Boston Public Library
The Boston HarborWalk
Boston’s HarborWalk winds through the city’s waterfront neighborhoods and downtown district, stretching from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River. This is a great and safe way (even in the winter) to walk along the water and see the city. The sections closest to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center are Fort Point Channel, South Boston, and Downtown/North End....
RMG Consultants’ 2010 Presidents’ Seminar
RMG Consultants will hold its 20th annual Presidents’ Seminar January 15, 2–5 p.m., at the Midwinter Meeting. The seminar will feature executives from library
automation companies and other experts, new-wave innovators,
and entrepreneurs who will discuss initiatives and trends in the library technology industry. Librarians and others are invited to attend and add their questions and comments to those of
the panelists and speakers....
RMG Consultants, Nov. 20
Flight delayed? Buy a one-day lounge pass
Many airlines have changed their policies and fees on bag checking, security, and other protocols since 2008. Even if you’re up to date, there’s always the chance your flight won’t leave on time. If you’re facing down a delayed or missed flight, buy a day pass for the airline lounge or club. The staffers in clubs are usually the airline’s most experienced agents and often the most helpful. It can be worth the cost of a day pass just to get someone to help you rebook....
Lifehacker, Nov. 25
LITA Emerging Leaders
The LITA Board of Directors is sponsoring Cody Hanson and Tara Lannen-Stanton to participate in the ALA 2009 Emerging Leaders Program. They will each receive a $1,000 stipend to help offset the costs of attending the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and the 2010 Annual Conference. They will also work on LITA projects and be mentored by the LITA leadership. Hanson is technology librarian at the University of Minnesota, and Lannen-Stanton is WorldLinQ coodinator in the Queens Library at Queens College Library....
ALSC selects participants for Bill Morris Seminar
ALSC has selected 28 members to take part in the second biennial “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” January 15, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. This invitational seminar honors William C. Morris’s dedication to connecting librarians and children with excellent children’s books and brings ALSC members with limited evaluation experience together with those who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees for training and mentorship....
AASL institute on 21st-century skills and standards
The AASL pre-Midwinter Institute January 15 will focus on helping school library media specialists align Standards for the 21st-Century Learner with the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills (P21) framework. “Bringin’ ’Em On! 21st-Century Skills Aligning with Standards” will guide attendees in best practices for infusing 21st-century skills into their school or district’s curriculum. Led by Pam Berger, this institute will be especially helpful for states that have signed on for P21 leadership. Online registration is now open....
LITA offers two workshops in Boston
LITA is offering two full-day educational workshops on January 15. Karen Coombs of the University of Houston will present “Creating Library Web Services: Mashups and APIs,” and Brenda Reeb of the University of Rochester will present “Writing for the Web.” Visit the ALA Midwinter Meeting registration page to register....
YALSA launches First Wednesdays program
YALSA will host informal online chats for its members on the first Wednesday of each month, 8–9 p.m. Eastern Time, in ALA Connect starting December 2. Members can find guidance for planning events on YALSA’s First Wednesdays tip sheet, which includes information on how to plan an event, connect with regional YALSA members, and choose potential activities....
YALSA’s Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition
Twitter, Facebook fan pages, book trailers: The world of teen librarianship is changing, and YALSA can help library workers learn how to incorporate these tools and other technologies at its pre-Midwinter Institute, “Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition,” in Boston, January 15. Hear keynote speaker Stacy Aldrich, noted futurist and acting California state librarian, and find out how Skype works as author Cory Doctorow uses it to talk to institute participants....
LLAMA mentors and mentees needed
The LLAMA Mentoring Committee is recruiting for mentors and mentees for its 2010–2011 year. The mentoring program pairs librarians who are currently in leadership positions with librarians who are interested in becoming leaders. For mentors, it is a chance to pass on your experience and knowledge by working one-on-one with an enthusiastic colleague who is ready to learn and benefit from your experience. For mentees, it is a great opportunity to learn from an accomplished leader. The deadline for applications is December 14....
RUSA’s investment program wins ASAE award
Smart investing @ your library, a grant program offered by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and RUSA, is one of 17 programs to receive an Award of Excellence from the 2009 Associations Advance America awards program, sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership. Now in its 19th year, the AAA awards program recognizes associations and industry partners that improve the quality of life in America....
YALSA awards deadlines approach
YALSA offers more than $40,000 in grants and awards each year to its members to travel to ALA conferences, support collection development, honor outstanding contributions to young adult librarianship, and conduct research. Applications are due for the 2010 grants and awards on December 1....
Nominations open for ASCLA disability services award
ASCLA seeks nominations for the 2010 ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award. Sponsored by ASCLA, the National Organization on Disability, and Keystone Systems, the award recognizes innovative and well-organized projects that successfully develop or expand services for persons with disabilities. The winner will receive $1,000 and a citation provided by Keystone Systems. Nomination forms (PDF file) are due by January 11....
ASCLA 2010 awards nominations
ASCLA is now accepting nominations for the Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, the Exceptional Service Award, and the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award for 2010.
These awards recognize accomplishments in the following areas: cooperative, consulting, multitype, and state library services; extension and outreach services; and service to ASCLA. Nomination forms (PDF file) are due by January 11....
Manuscripts sought for student writing award
LITA is offering an award for the best unpublished manuscript submitted by students enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program. The award consists of $1,000 and publication in LITA’s refereed journal Information Technology and Libraries. Manuscripts must follow the award guidelines. The deadline for submitting manuscripts is February 28....
Apply for a 2010 Google Policy Fellowship
The ALA Washington Office will be participating in the Google Policy Fellowship program for the summer of 2010. Google Policy Fellows work for 10 weeks during the summer at ALA Washington or other public interest organizations involved in debates on broadband and access policy, copyright reform, online privacy, and open government. Check out the FAQ. Applications are due December 28....
District Dispatch, Nov. 12
2009 National Book Awards
Colum McCann won the National Book Award for fiction November 18 for Let the Great World Spin, a novel featuring a sprawling cast of characters in 1970s New York City whose lives are touched by the mysterious tightrope walker who traverses a wire suspended between the Twin Towers one morning. The award for Young People’s Literature went to Phillip Hoose for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, a biography of the African-American teenager in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama, who refused to give up her seat on a bus nine months before Rosa Parks took the same stand....
New York Times, Nov. 18
Booktrust Teenage Prize
Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book has won the 2009 Booktrust Teenage Prize, which recognizes exemplary contemporary fiction written for young adults. Gaiman was presented with a check for £2,500 ($4,149 U.S.) at a November 18 ceremony in London. The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody “Bod” Owens, a child abandoned in a graveyard after the vicious murder of his parents and sister by The Man Jack....
A critical situation in California
“I’ve never seen such devastation in libraries,” said Jackie Griffin, head of Ventura County’s system. She recently returned from a meeting of Southern California library officials where more than half reported having to institute furloughs, layoffs, and other austerity measures. The bad times for libraries are coming just as more people are discovering how useful they can be. Kim Bui-Burton, president of the California Library Association, described conditions as “extraordinarily difficult.”...
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 19
Paul LeClerc to retire as NYPL head
After 16 years at the helm of one of the world’s largest library systems, Paul LeClerc announced November 18 that he would step down as president of the New York Public Library in the summer of 2011 to give the institution plenty of time to search for a replacement. LeClerc, 68, a scholar of French literature and the former president of Hunter College, presided over the library during a revolutionary period of change. When he first came to the position in December 1993, the library did not even have a website....
New York Times, Nov. 18
Pittsburgh casts libraries a lifeline
Pittsburgh city council gave its unanimous, initial approval November 23 to a transfer of $600,000 to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a first step in avoiding, through next year, the closure of the Lawrenceville, Hazelwood, Beechview, and West End branches and the merger of the Carrick and Knoxville branches. If the city or some other source comes through with another $600,000 next year, that will close the system’s $1.2-million gap for next year, said Library Director Barbara Mistick....
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 24
Connecticut libraries become centers for business help
Jennifer Keohane (right), Simsbury (Conn.) Public Library’s business outreach librarian, calls herself a “personal information shopper. When people come here, I can help them map out what they might need.” People ask her to look at their résumés. They ask her whether they should take a job for which they are overqualified. She taught a former vice president of a multinational company how to create a PowerPoint presentation; he had been laid off and no longer had a staff to create one, but needed it to land a job. Last summer she ran 35 workshops, almost all of them geared to job seekers....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Nov. 18
Crowd rallies against library outsourcing
With placards and grinning camaraderie, 100 protesters picketed the Nevada County (Calif.) Rood Center on November 24 to dissuade the board of supervisors from outsourcing management of the county’s six libraries. The crowd had gathered because of the supervisors’ October decision to consider outsourcing library management to avoid a $400,000 deficit for the current 2009–10 fiscal year....
Grass Valley (Calif.) Union, Nov. 25
Law libraries close in Connecticut, New Jersey
The Connecticut Judicial Branch is preparing to close six of its 16 law libraries, saying that budget cuts have forced the branch’s hand. Chief Court Administrator Judge Barbara Quinn testified November 18 before the Appropriations Committee that the state’s decision to cut $12.8 million from its budget goes “well beyond what is practical, sustainable, or possible.” Law libraries in superior courts in Morris (right) and Sussex County in New Jersey are expected to be closed in about six months. Courts Administrator Michael Arnold said use has been declining....
Connecticut Law Tribune, Nov. 23; Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Nov. 22
Jury awards $8 million to injured librarian
A Richmond jury awarded a research librarian at the Library of Virginia $8 million in damages November 18, the full amount sought by her lawyers after the woman was struck by a Greater Richmond Transit Company bus and severely injured. Meikiu Lo, now 34, suffered spinal and shoulder damage and multiple hip and pelvis fractures after a bus making a right turn struck her as she crossed a street beside the library in 2007....
Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Nov. 19
Sex, Etc. is ok for teens after all
A magazine about sex will stay where teens can find it at the Ames (Iowa) Public Library. Trustees voted 6–1 November 19 to support Director Art Weeks’s recommendation to continue openly displaying and offering free copies of Sex, Etc. in the teen section. Joyce and John Bannantine had presented a petition to the board in October with the signatures of 118 parents concerned about the topic of the magazine, which is written for teens by teens under the oversight of Answer, a national sexuality organization at Rutgers University....
Ames (Iowa) Tribune, Nov. 20
Librarians reflect on banned books
When Miss Please Everybody took over her new job at the library, she tried to do as her name implied. What she found was she soon had very few books in her library. First removed, the librarian said, were those books with “dirty words. Why, we trucked them right out to the dumpster.” Miss Please Everybody, portrayed by Webmaster Doris McKay, was the hostess for a banned-books tea for Rolling Prairie Library System in Decatur, Illinois....
Decatur (Ill.) Herald and Review, Nov. 15
Library rebuffs demands to remove public document
Leaders of the Metro Gang Strike Force and police union attorneys pressured the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, the Minnesota attorney general, and a commission that oversees the library to remove the 2008 Metro Gang Strike Force annual report from its website (PDF file). But Library Director Robbie LaFleur refused, saying she does not censor public documents. Police union lawyers argued that it should be removed because it lists names of officers still operating undercover....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nov. 23
Fresno students stage study-in
About 60 students stayed in the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno, as long as they could November 20 to protest the library’s reduced hours due to recent budget cuts. The library, which closed at 5 p.m., let students who were inside at closing time continue the study-in, but did not allow in anyone else. Inside the library, students gathered in the lobby holding signs and chanting along with others outside. Organizers of the event said current library hours were inadequate and showed the administration’s lack of shared governance with students....
Fresno (Calif.) Bee, Nov. 21; CSUF Collegian, Nov. 20
Decades-old pact may keep Aurora branch open
A decades-old agreement between the city and a now-defunct developer may keep the Mission Viejo branch of the Aurora (Colo.) Public Library from closing its doors for good. The Mission Viejo Homeowners Association has threatened to sue the city to keep the library open because of an agreement dating to 1973, in which the Mission Viejo Company agreed to give the city the land for a library, but it had to remain open for 50 years....
Denver Post, Nov. 25
School librarian banned from work in Vermont
A librarian from Mount Anthony Union Middle School in Bennington was recently banned from working in all Vermont schools for inappropriately using the internet. David Wohlsen, a pre-K–12 library media specialist, surrendered his teaching license to the state Department of Education in early November. The surrender has the same effect as a revocation and Wohlsen is banned from being an educator in Vermont schools....
Rutland (Vt.) Herald, Nov. 20
Oklahoma needs school librarians
For qualified media specialists, the state of Oklahoma is a boomtown—there are more positions available than librarians to fill them. As cities and states across the country are reducing their school librarian staff, cutting hours, and in some cases even physically shrinking the space devoted to school libraries, Oklahoma is desperate to fill their open spots. In fact, 42 schools were in violation for having points off their accreditation as of the last school year, by not having required librarians on site....
School Library Journal, Nov. 20
Kids craft artwork for new Johnson County branch
Using paint, tiles, and their imagination, almost 2,000 kids are vying to create a permanent part of the Leawood Pioneer branch of the Johnson County (Kans.) Library. The library, which recently reopened after renovations, will decorate part of the children’s area with 750 illustrated tiles created by youngsters themselves. So far, more than 1,500 have been entered in the project....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Nov. 24
Aussie librarians hit the highway
Rural libraries in New South Wales, Australia, were visited in early November by librarians who hit the highway like a battering ram on their silver and black Phantom motorbikes. A group of public librarians—from Campbelltown, Canberra, Gosford, and Manly—undertook a tour of rural towns as part of the 1000km Biblio Turismo 2009 “Bat out of Hell” motorcycle tour. Gosford Council Library Services Manager Alan Flores said that the event, held November 5–8, was a great way to break down the stereotype of librarians and raise awareness about the work public libraries do. More photos on Flickr....
Forbes (N.S.W.) Advocate, Nov. 24; Canowindra (N.S.W.) News, Nov. 11
Pike County to close branch
The Pike County (Pa.) Public Library board announced at its monthly meeting that its Lackawaxen branch will be closed indefinitely and specified reduced operating hours at its Milford and Dingman’s Ferry branches. The announcements came in response to a defeated referendum that called for a 1-mill county tax increase to cover the library’s operating expenses and an estimated $50,000 reduction in state subsidies....
Stroudsburg (Pa.) Pocono Record, Nov. 20
Suspended students come to the library to play
For three days straight, an Armstrong School District student came into the Worthington (Pa.) West Franklin Community Library during school hours, telling Library Director Timi Kost he was there because he was suspended from school. It has happened on numerous occasions, she said, but the students don’t come in to do school assignments: “No, they have come to play Rune and access Facebook.” Kost said she believes out-of-school suspension is pointless and wonders whether there is a better policy....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Nov. 19
Google to digitize Iraqi artifacts
Internet search giant Google will soon begin digitizing artifacts and documents at Iraq’s National Museum, its CEO said in Baghdad November 24. Eric Schmidt, on the last day of a three-day tour of the country, told reporters that some 14,000 digital images taken at the museum would be freely available online in early 2010. The museum once held one of the world’s most impressive Mesopotamian collections, but around 15,000 statues and valuable artifacts were looted when it was ransacked in April 2003 after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq....
Agence France Presse, Nov. 24
Go back to the Top
Chrome OS is coming
Jason Griffey writes: “On November 19, Google announced its next large software project, currently named Chrome OS. The announcement came in the form of a press conference and a question-and-answer session that included not only the lead engineers on the project, but Sergey Brinn himself. This is not to be confused with their Chrome browser, a successful project in its own right; rather it is a new operating system, designed by Google and focused around the Chrome browser. Yes, that’s a little confusing.” Watch the Google video (3:21)....
ALA TechSource Blog, Nov. 23; YouTube, Nov. 18
Does Chrome OS spell the end of desktops?
Matthew Murray writes: “Google made clear in its announcement that the Chrome OS has been designed from the code up for low-power computers, specifically netbooks. Requiring flash memory (no rotating hard drives allowed) for super-fast boot-up times and utilizing exclusively cloud-based apps, Chrome OS has almost no identifiable need for any but minimum amounts of local storage—or hardware that can do much more than just turn on. Google claims it’s seen the future, and it’s on the web.”...
ExtremeTech, Nov. 19
Seven tips to make your website mobile-friendly
Igor Faletski writes: “Congratulations. You’ve decided to embrace mobile, one of the fastest-growing segments on the web. The first thing you’ll notice is how diverse the mobile ecosystem is. Browsers, screen sizes, connection speeds—everything is different. The web community enjoyed a brief period of iPhone domination, when addressing one browser or screen resolution seemed sufficient. But now that Android devices (which come with a variety of screen sizes) are quickly gaining popularity, it’s important to once again think of the bigger picture.”...
Sitepoint, Nov. 18
Find movies playing nearby
Google Mobile Search now has a special section that lets you check out movie listings, with locations, trailers, ratings, posters, and upcoming showtimes. To try it out, fire up google.com on your iPhone, webOS, or Android device, search for “movies,” and click on the “More movies” link. You can also browse by theater, which will take you to a map displaying the theaters near your current location. Tapping any theater on the map will display a list of shows now playing. Watch the video (1:25)....
Mashable, Nov. 25; Google Mobile Blog, Nov. 24; YouTube, Nov. 23
Kindle gets longer battery life, PDF support
Just in time for the holidays and facing heavy competition from Barnes and Noble’s upcoming Nook e-book reader, Amazon has announced that it has improved the Kindle’s battery life when the wireless connection is turned on and will now be offering native PDF support for its e-book reader. Both the battery-life boost and native PDF support will be available to owners of new Kindles and some older models in a firmware upgrade....
Crave, Nov. 24
Digital music is great, but isn’t it a pity you can’t transfer your old records onto your computer? Well guess what? Now, thanks to the ingenious USB Turntables, you can put all your LPs, 12-inches, and singles straight into your digital library. Simply plug in either of these chic little turntables into the nearest USB port, fire up the idiot-proof Audacity software and start converting your collection. USB Turntables can handle both 33s and 45s....
Titles do make a difference
Steven Bell writes: “Not your job title—the title of that paper you’d like to get published or conference proposal you want to submit. Now that ACRL has announced the call for papers, panels, and more for its 2011 National Conference in Philadelphia, many academic librarians will begin thinking about submitting proposals. So you need an edge. Here’s my advice for you: Don’t underestimate the importance of the title you choose for your submission.”...
ACRLog, Nov. 24
Street lit hits home for teens
While fantasy, spearheaded by the Twilight series, remains in high demand at school libraries, many students are reading novels that focus on more harrowing issues—head-on collisions with abusive parents, hard drug use, and gang violence. It’s hardly diversionary fare, particularly for teenagers facing those realities. While some books pegged as street lit or ghetto fiction are read mostly by African-American females, darker subject matters resonate across ethnic and gender lines.”...
Mission Local, Nov. 24
Publishers plan online newsstand
A consortium of magazine publishers including Time Inc. and Condé Nast plan to jointly build an online newsstand for publications in multiple digital formats. The formation of a new company to run the online newsstand—sometimes characterized as an “iTunes for magazines”—may be announced in early December. Some newspaper owners have also expressed interest in the joint venture....
New York Times, Nov. 24
Librarians: A dog’s best friend
A handful of school librarians across the country are opening packages from Lerner Publishing to find a book from Elaine Landau’s Best Dogs Ever series dedicated to them. Landau typically doesn’t dedicate any of her books, but she’s decided to do so with nearly all of the titles in her new 12-book series by honoring a school, public, or academic librarian whom she personally knows. Sara Kelly Johns (Lake Placid High School in New York) and Carl Harvey (North Elementary School in Nobleville, Indiana) received copies....
School Library Journal, Nov. 24
Scholarly publishing leads the market for e-books
Michael Clarke writes: “The trade book industry’s foray into the e-book market trails the professional and scholarly publishing e-book market by a wide margin—and there is no evidence that will change in the foreseeable future. According to Fordham University Marketing Professor Al Greco, over the next four years, the scholarly e-book market will grow 94% from $1.33 billion to $2.6 billion.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Nov. 24
Greatest swashbuckling heroes from science fiction
Charlie Jane Anders writes:
“They swagger, they fight, they laugh in the face of danger. Science-fiction books have given us some of the greatest swashbuckling heroes, cutting a swathe through space and countless alternate timelines. A swashbuckling hero doesn’t necessarily need to pack a sword—although it certainly doesn’t hurt. Words starting with ‘D’ frequently come up, including dashing, debonair, defiant, dapper, and daring. Here are our favorite swashbuckling heroes from science-fiction books.”...
io9, Nov. 19
Paralysis does not slow down determined librarian
Just over two months after recovering from a paralyzing bicycle accident in August 2006, Annie Hayes (right) was back at work as library media specialist at the Berlin (N.Y.) Central School District libraries. Within weeks after her release from the hospital, she had learned to drive a car using hand controls. Her determination and pragmatic approach to her recovery and life inspired filmmaker Michael Sinopoli to create a documentary, You Take Yourself Wherever You Go: The Annie Hayes Story, scheduled for release in the fall of 2010. View the trailer (3:40)....
New York Teacher, Nov. 20
Virginia librarian composes a march for Semester at Sea
Semester at Sea, a study-abroad program managed by the Institute for Shipboard Education in Charlottesville, Virginia, is making its 100th voyage this fall and University of Virginia librarian and composer Fred O’Bryant has written a concert march to commemorate the occasion. The Charlottesville Municipal Band premiered “MV Explorer,” named for the Semester at Sea ship, at a November 22 concert. O’Bryant is applied sciences librarian at the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library and has never been on the ship....
University of Virginia, Nov. 19
Horizon Report 2010 preview
Buffy Hamilton writes: “The New Media Consortium recently released the Short List of Horizon Topics for 2010 (PDF file) and the Horizon Report 2010 Preview (PDF file). These documents, which you can also view by visiting the Horizon Report Wiki, are the result of the rounds of discussions and voting by the advisory board members. The final report will be officially released on January 20. The preview version of the report includes a section called Critical Challenges as well as a section for Key Trends.”...
AASL Blog, Nov. 23
The LJ Index and misbehaving data
Tom Hennen writes: “In its Index of Public Library Data Service 2009, why did Library Journal decide to use the ‘outlier’ numbers that caused the San Diego County (Calif.) Library to get a five-star rating that appears questionable? The library’s incredibly high score for public internet use (16.5 million sessions, or 889% above the group average) cancels relatively low scores for circulation, visits, and program attendance. Newer data on the California State Library website reports a more likely 1.4 million. Am I wrong that this single correction changes the scores of every other library in the group?”...
HAPLR Blog, Nov. 23
How our brains learned to read
Owen Flanagan writes: “Evidence suggests that reading—which depends on an alphabet, writing materials, papyrus, and such—is only about 5,000 years old. The brain in its modern form is about 200,000 years old, yet brain imaging shows that reading takes place in the same way and in the same place in all brains. To within a few millimeters, human brains share a reading hotspot, which Stanislas Dehaene in Reading in the Brain (Viking, 2009) calls the ‘letterbox,’ on the bottom of the left hemisphere.”...
New Scientist, Nov. 23
What is distinctive about LC (PDF file)
Library of Congress Reference Librarian Thomas Mann has released another white paper on the reaction to changes taking place at LC: “The Library cannot solve its space problems by adoption of a ‘digital strategy’ without seriously damaging our larger mission to promote scholarship of unusual scope and depth. If the Library’s own access to its own general book collection were to be dumbed down to only the levels of subject access provided by Google, Amazon, or internet search mechanisms, we would effectively be endorsing, and institutionalizing, the level of ignorance exemplified by the Six Blind Men of India.”...
Library of Congress Professional Guild, Nov. 6
Top 10 board and card games for 2010
Stacy Conradt writes: “With so many people gathered for Thanksgiving (and in a small town with not so much as a Wal-Mart), I have all kinds of opportunity to inflict board games on people. I can’t wait. If you’re the same way and looking for something new to throw in to the mix this year, check out the 10 top games for 2010 according to Games magazine (they do the top 100 every year, conveniently right before Christmas).”...
Mental Floss, Nov. 24; Games, Dec.
How to run a short story reading group
Dan Hubbs writes: “First, book a meeting room for successive months. Have a positive self-help kind of attitude that says, ‘I know lots of people are going to enjoy attending my short story reading group, so I’m going to book the room for the same time each month for an entire year, right out of the gate, just like that!’”...
Book Group Buzz, Nov. 17
Number crunching graphic-novel circ stats
Robin Brenner writes: “The circulation numbers for graphic novel collections have always been a selling point. Considering my circulations recently, the numbers are truly impressive. Case Closed, as a series, has circulated over 1200 times (with an average of 40 circulations per volume). If I look at the circulation of books to compare, popular graphic novels are as popular as titles from Meg Cabot, James Patterson, Anthony Horowitz, Rick Riordan, and Philip Pullman.”...
Good Comics for Kids, Nov. 21
Will digitization damper physical delivery?
Sarah Long talks with Valerie Horton, executive director of the Colorado Library Consortium, about her groundbreaking work in the field of library physical delivery in this podcast (16:50). Horton discusses the results of a recent national survey on delivery practices, including outsourcing, the motivation for the creation of the Moving Mountains Project, and her prediction that the digitization of books will cause delivery stats to skyrocket....
Longshots, no. 197, Nov. 23
Marketing to improve your reference services
Lynda M. Duke and Jean B. MacDonald write: “The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University has struggled in the recent past to maintain students’ interest in using reference services. To address this, we worked collaboratively with three marketing classes over two semesters.” The marketing students strongly advocated starting an IM reference service, strengthen email reference, offer walk-in workshops for students, and a change in reference-desk seating arrangements....
Marketing Library Services, Nov./Dec.
PC Magazine’s 50 favorite blogs
Brian Heater writes: “Blogs—everybody’s got one, and most of them are terrible. But we have put together a list of 50 favorites that include some of the best sites across a huge cross-section of subjects, including tech, science, fashion, comics, cars, animals, monsters, design, books, modding, music, art, sports, storytelling, and shopping. There are some blockbuster sites in the list, as well as some hidden gems.”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 23
The dirty dozen online job search mistakes
Susan P. Joyce identifies the 12 biggest mistakes you might make while hunting for a job online. Included are: Posting your résumé without worrying about privacy, limiting your job search to the internet, and depending on email as your only method of contact....
British Library’s new state-of-the-art storage facility
Reuters Television has an exclusive first look (2:17) at the high-density, oxygen-controlled facility built in Boston Spa to house 7 million items from the British Library’s collection. Featuring Steve Morris, British Library director of finance and corporate services, who warns, “If you put a book in the wrong box in this building, effectively you will never find it.” The project is expected to be completed by summer 2011....
YouTube, Nov. 24
Best library videos on YouTube: Librarian edition
Charlie Thomason writes: “Have you ever thought that librarians possess supernatural powers? Well, it’s true; librarians are incredibly powerful, though each is unique in his or her own way. Here are some of our favorite YouTube videos of librarians thinking outside the box.” Includes Ninja Librarian, Conan the Librarian, the Insulting Librarian, Erik the Librarian, and Monty Python’s famous Gorilla Librarian sketch (3:00, above)....
@ your library, Nov. 19
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19.
The Exhibits Opening Reception will be held 5:30–7:30 p.m., January 15, on the exhibit floor, and will feature food and music, as well as over 30 gifts (not limited to baskets anymore) to be given away by exhibitors. To register to win a gift, visit the exhibitors’ booths during the reception.
So . . . you’re a werewolf? Actor Taylor Lautner reads a copy of Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, a sequel to Twilight, in this new Celebrity READ poster. Lautner plays the shape-shifting Jacob Black in the movie, which premiered in theaters November 20. With over 53 million books in print, hundreds of fan sites, and numerous critical accolades and awards, Twilight has become a worldwide sensation. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Volunteer for a committee
Get involved in your Association and profession by volunteering to serve on an ALA or divisional committee. The deadline is December 4.
Executive Director, SEFLIN, Boca Raton, Florida. provides leadership for one of the most dynamic multi-type library consortia in North America. Membership includes major academic and public libraries in Southeast Florida. Major responsibilities include planning, financial administration, grantsmanship, organization and direction of services for members, and communication on many levels with staff, Board of Directors, committees, and professional and community organizations. The Executive Director is expected to maintain a posture of professional leadership....
Digital Library of the Week
Senator J. W. Fulbright Speaks. Fifty speeches delivered by Sen. James William Fulbright (1905–1995), one of the best-known Arkansans in the world, are now available on the University of Arkansas Libraries’ website. The digital library collection, titled “A Calm Voice in a Strident World: Senator J. W. Fulbright Speaks,” contains the text of selected speeches, ranging from comments he made regarding his dismissal as president of the University of Arkansas in 1941, to remarks censuring Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s far-ranging investigations, and criticisms of U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. The Fulbright speeches are part of the University Libraries’ digital library collections. The Special Collections Department digitized the speeches, which represent a small portion of the Fulbright Papers held by the department. Additional information on the website, including photographs, a biography, a detailed time line of Fulbright’s life, and a bibliography of materials both by and about Fulbright, provide historical context. The website also includes a link to the finding aid for the entire collection of Fulbright papers.
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 is no general card catalog at the Central Library anymore. Those cards are now used artistically to line the elevator shafts; the little drawers in banks in some parts of the building don’t open. Instead, I searched on the library’s computer. I typed in ‘Luddite,’ and it gave me a list of six books (six!) as well as links to Amazon reviews. I set out to find each book. . . .
“I spent three hours at the library and did not learn much about Luddites, but what I did find actually gave me chills. This is what I discovered: If you have a specific destination, the web is the place to go. If you just need to search, there is no place like the library.”
—Author Diana Wagman, on her quest for information about Luddites at the Los Angeles Public Library, “A Luddite in the Library,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 22.
Online Information 2009, Olympia Grand Hall, London, U.K., Dec. 1–3, at:
International Digital Curation Conference, Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, London, U.K., Dec. 2–4, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. Our community, like many others, is tightening its fiscal belt. As a result, we are looking at the idea of a joint-use library—one where other community services could also be offered under the library roof. How common are such arrangements?
A. Such arrangements are more common in such countries as Sweden and Australia, where they enable library service in thinly populated areas. Alan Bundy in his 2003 “Joint-Use Libraries: The Ultimate Form of Cooperation” sets the rate at 40% of libraries in Sweden. In the U.S., the number is much lower. Key to the success seems to be a well-planned agreement, covering issues as enumerated in the Report of The Standing Committee on Joint-Use Libraries (PDF file), prepared January 30, 1996, at Florida’s College Center for Library Automation. The Bundy article also has a checklist, as do the many other references on joint-use libraries gathered for the ALA Library Fact Sheet 20, Joint-Use Libraries: A Bibliography. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Philadelphia Marriott.
Using Social Bookmarking Services for Subject Guides, Course Reading Lists, and Reader Alerts. Online workshop hosted by Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Boston Park Plaza Hotel. “Creating a Culture of Collaboration.”
Educause, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. “Connect. Collaborate. Contribute.”
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, St. Louis Union Station Marriott, Missouri. “Creating the Future.”
The Bibliographical Society of America, Annual Meeting, New York City.
Digital Futures, Sydney, Australia. “From Digitization to Delivery.”
Information Without Borders, Dalhousie University School of Information Management, Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Portals, Pathways, and Peoples.”
Code4Lib, Renaissance Asheville Hotel, North Carolina.
Institute of Museum and Library Services WebWise Conference, University of Denver and Denver Art Museum.
Southwest Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting, Waco, Texas.
Evergreen International Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Libraries in the Digital Age, University of Zadar, Croatia.