Florida library to label YA books by age, not maturity
The city commission of Leesburg, Florida, has voted 4–1 to have the young adult literature section of Leesburg Public Library divided into physically separated age-appropriate groupings, creating a separate area for books targeted for high school students. “It will be based on reviews to determine the intended audience for a book, not the content,” Director Barbara Morse (above) told American Libraries. Each of these books will bear a “high school” label, and will be shelved in a space immediately outside the library’s young adult room....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 5
Angry patrons seek Gwinnett director’s ouster
The stakes have risen in an ongoing dispute between Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library officials and area residents served by the Dacula branch, despite the board having rescinded its August decision to close the three-year-old facility and shift the staff and collection. Although GCPL trustees agreed September 22 to keep the Dacula branch open after all, it would become a computer center instead of a full-service library in 2010—an action that has further inflamed the concerns of some community members, who are circulating a petition calling for the dismissal of GCPL Executive Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam (above)....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 7
Johns, Raphael seek ALA presidency
Sara Kelly Johns and Molly Raphael are candidates for the 2011–2012 ALA presidency. Johns is currently the school library media specialist for grades 6–12 at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School, a position she has held since 1999, supervising the Lake Placid elementary school library for the first two years. Raphael recently retired after six years as director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon; during her tenure, she passed a five-year, voter-approved operating levy (more than $176 million). Petition candidates for president, treasurer, and Council have until 9 a.m. Central Time on January 29, 2010, to enter the race....
Kornblau, Neal run for ALA treasurer
Alan Kornblau and James Neal are the 2011–2012 candidates for the office of ALA treasurer. Kornblau is the director of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library; he is the current treasurer of the Florida Library Association and has served on the PLA Legislation Committee. Neal is currently the vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University; previously, he has served as the dean of university libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University. Voting begins March 16, 2010....
Call for committee volunteers
ALA President-Elect Roberta Stevens is encouraging members to volunteer for ALA and Council committees during the 2010–2011 appointment process. She is chairing both the Committee on Appointments and Committee on Committees.
To volunteer for a committee, complete the online committee volunteer form by December 4....
Washington Office webinar: What Congress has in store for libraries
Kristin Murphy (ALA Washington Office) and Stephanie Vance (Advocacy Guru), offer insights into the end-of-the-year legislative madness in Washington, D.C., in this webinar (53:05). Although you’ve heard a great deal about health care reform, be assured that Washington is still abuzz with a range of other issues, including LSTA funding and, of course, ongoing Recovery Act work....
District Dispatch, Oct. 7; Vimeo, Oct. 7
Design a tote for @ your library and win $500
@ your library, the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries, is seeking an original, creative design for its first ever Design a Tote Bag contest. We want to see how your design can illustrate the spirit and importance of American libraries. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $500, and the People’s Choice Award Winner will receive $100. To enter the contest, submit a design before October 16....
Pioneering guide to graphic novels
ALA Editions has released The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels by Francisca Goldsmith. While graphic novels have found a place on library shelves, many librarians struggle to move this expanding body of intellectual, aesthetic, and entertaining literature into the mainstream of library materials. Goldsmith provides the first-ever guide to the genre aimed specifically at readers’ advisors, while presenting an abundance of resources useful to every librarian....
ALA turns 133 this week
On October 6, 1876 (three months after the Battle of the Little Bighorn), 103 men and women established the American Library Association. Now the event has a Facebook page, thanks to ALA Library Reference Specialist Valerie Hawkins....
Chicago’s own Book Bike
Attending the Banned Books Read-Out in Chicago on September 26 was Gabe Levinson (right), operator of the Book Bike. The concept is simple: Levinson travels around Chicago giving away books. He spoke to AL Focus (3:02) about his efforts and motivation....
Featured review: Books for youth
Dennis, Maj. Brian, Kirby Laron, and Mary Nethery. Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle. Nov. 2009. 48p. K–Grade 3. Little, Brown, hardcover (978-0-316-05318-1).
Major Brian Dennis wasn’t looking for a pet. In fact, for marines serving in Iraq, such a thing was against orders. As it turned out, nothing—not rules, not distance, not war—was going to keep them apart. Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery, authors of the cat-and-dog Hurricane Katrina survival story Two Bobbies (2008), pair with Dennis on this hugely inspirational true account of “Nubs” (so named because his ears had been cut off by an unknown perpetrator) and his devotion to the American soldier who befriended him. At first, Dennis only rubbed the dog’s belly and shared some rations before embarking on a two-month mission. But when Dennis returned, so did a cold and injured Nubs. Dennis was able to clean the animal’s wounds, but two more missions meant more abandonment. That’s when the unbelievable occurred....
Book Group Buzz partners with National Reading Group Month
The popular Booklist blog Book Group Buzz, which offers helpful information to reading groups, has again been selected as the official partner blog by the Women’s National Book Association for its National Reading Group Month this October. As a new initiative for National Reading Group Month in 2009, nine Great Group Reads (eight novels and a memoir) have been selected on the basis of their appeal to reading groups, covering timely and provocative topics. Reviews of the Great Group Reads are available free on the Booklist Online website....
Booklist Online welcomes Book Links
Keir Graff writes: “Beginning with the October 1 issue, now in readers’ hands, our sister publication, Book Links, will be published as a supplement to Booklist. What does this mean for Booklist Online users? Well, besides a smart new logo, you’ll notice some big changes, starting with a new landing page for Book Links, where Book Links content mingles with select Booklist and Booklist Online reviews that Books for Youth staff have deemed ‘Classroom Stars.’”...
Likely Stories, Oct. 2
Romance fiction webinar
Romance is hot . . . in the library, that is. Registration is now open for Booklist’s free webinar, “Sweet Talk: Romance Fiction in the Library,” 3–4 p.m. Central Time, November 12. Donna Seaman, Booklist’s romance fiction editor, and a stellar panel of librarians, authors, and publishers will discuss the state of the genre in public libraries and in the marketplace....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
25 free things to do around Boston
On a strict budget for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 15–19? Here are 25 things you can do in the city for absolutely no money down. Try the Coit Observatory, the Bunker Hill monument, or the Harvard Book Store (right)....
Where everybody knows your name
The Bull and Finch Pub in Beacon Hill was the inspiration for the hit television show Cheers. It’s a bit pricey for bar fare, but it’s an essential part of the Boston tourist experience. The original bar at 84 Beacon Street does not look much like the TV set, but there is a replica Cheers bar at Faneuil Hall Marketplace that looks more like where Norm and Cliff used to hang out....
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Tour the museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and relive the powerful story of the Kennedy years. Its three theaters, period settings, and 25 dramatic multimedia exhibits allow you to enter the recreated world of the Kennedy Presidency for a first-hand look at JFK’s life, legacy, and leadership. The library is located in the I. M. Pei building at Columbia Point on Boston’s waterfront. Special exhibits during the Midwinter Meeting include “JFK and Space Exploration” and “JFK’s Inaugural Address.”...
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
United Airlines offers checked-bag pass
United Airlines has launched a program that waives checked baggage charges in exchange for an annual subscription fee. The introductory price for Premier Baggage is $249 a year and allows a customer to check two standard bags without paying extra, which could be a boon for frequent travelers. It also covers bags for up to eight companions traveling under the same confirmation number. On U.S. and Canadian flights, United charges $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second if you check in online. At the airport, the fees rise to $20 for the first and $30 for the second....
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 5; United Airlines
LITA National Forum wrap-up
American Libraries Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “Over the weekend, I joined about 250 other librarians in Salt Lake City for the 2009 LITA National Forum. Jason Griffey, head of library information technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, kicked off the conference with one of two preconferences (archived live stream here, 3 hours). The conference theme was ‘Open and Mobile,’ and topics ranged from keynote speaker Joan Lippincott’s heavily research-based argument for libraries’ developing a mobile strategy, to a presentation on cloud computing, the one on the MS Surface, and keynote speaker David Weinberger’s engaging talk on Knowledge in the Age of Abundance. And the lightning talks were not to be missed.” Nor should you miss the best LITA tweets....
AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 3–6
YALSA responds to Carnegie report
YALSA President Linda W. Braun sent a response to Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Literacy for College and Career Success, published in September by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The response indicated disappointment that “libraries and librarians are excluded entirely from your plan to ensure our young adults have the literacy skills they need to succeed both in college and the 21st-century workplace.”...
YALSA’s new blog manager
mk Eagle started the job as YALSA blog manager October 1. Eagle is a school librarian in Massachusetts and has been a writer for the blog for the past couple of years. She writes about school librarianship, technology, trends, and more. And her posts are regularly highlighted in AL Direct....
YALSA Blog, Oct. 1
ACRL: Working Together
ACRL has published Working Together: Collaborative Information Practices for Organizational Learning by Mary M. Somerville. The book presents a framework for comprehensive redesign of library organizations. Somerville provides a context for library decision makers as they move their organizations and workforces into an increasingly collaborative future. In addition to a review of core literature, the title presents workplace examples illustrating the efficacy of collaborative information practices orchestrated by inclusive leadership principles....
Apply for ACRL’s Immersion ’10 program
ACRL is accepting applications for its Immersion ’10 program. Complete program details and application materials are online. The deadline is December 11. The program offers four-and-a-half days of intensive information literacy training and education for academic librarians, July 25–30, at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont....
RUSA institute on genealogy, New England history
Engaging speakers and informative presentations will abound at the upcoming RUSA Midwinter Institute “The Genealogy Reference Desk: Where Everyone Knows Your Name,” a full-day workshop focused on New England genealogy resources and genealogy research techniques and presented by the RUSA History Section. For institute-only registration using the online form (login required), select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only.”...
ALSC student sessions
Join ALSC once again this year to interact, network, and learn virtually though its online workshop series, ALSC Student Sessions. These one-hour programs, taking place in OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries), give students the opportunity to learn first-hand about hot library issues from ALSC members around the country. For more information, visit the ALSC website....
Fall Reference Interview online course
Registration is now open for the fall session “The Reference Interview,” one of RUSA’s online courses. This popular introductory course, which will be offered November 2 through December 18, is a comprehensive overview focused on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. Register online....
Threats to intellectual freedom in academia (PDF file)
At the ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee’s “Academic and Intellectual Freedom
Climate on Campus” program at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago,
Jim Neal of Columbia University presented a list of 24 threats to intellectual and academic freedom. The possibility that Institutional Review
Boards can “limit, alter, or undermine faculty
research” (#20) was met with doubt by
the audience, but Neal maintained that
there can be biases among IRB members....
Intellectual Freedom Round Table Report, no. 72 (Fall), pp. 8, 10
Five libraries win National Medal
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has selected five libraries and five museums to receive the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor. In addition to the Medal, each institution receives a $10,000 award. The libraries are the Braille Institute Library Services in Los Angeles; the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois; the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon; the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago (above); and the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oct. 6
Step Up to the Plate grand prize winner
Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Ann Bishop has a Baseball Hall of Fame connection—her neighbor is the widow of Hall of Famer and Chicago White Sox player Nellie Fox. Now Bishop is going to the Hall of Fame herself. Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (right) recently drew Bishop’s name as the grand-prize winner of the ALA Step Up to the Plate @ your library contest. The winner was randomly chosen from eligible contestants who correctly answered a series of baseball trivia questions developed by the Hall of Fame’s library staff....
Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award
RUSA is calling for nominations for its 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award. The citation honors a practicing librarian, researcher, educator, or retired librarian who has made a significant contribution to library adult services. Contributions may include exemplified leadership, introduction of creative and innovative concepts in adult services, measurable effectiveness of managed programs, and published works. Those interested in submitting a nomination by December 15 can download the nomination form (PDF file)....
John Sessions Memorial Award
RUSA seeks nominations for its 2010 John Sessions Memorial Award recognizing library contributions to the labor community. The award recognizes a library that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and has consequently brought recognition of the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Those interested in submitting a nomination by December 15 can download the nomination form (PDF file)....
Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
RUSA is seeking nominations of accomplished reference librarians for the 2010 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning. It presents a cash award of $5,000 and a citation to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. Nominations for the 2010 award should be submitted to Robert Kieft by December 15....
Zora Neale Hurston Award
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Zora Neale Hurston Award, a RUSA award presented annually to an individual RUSA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. The award is given to the nominee who has developed a project of outstanding quality and significance that promotes African-American literature and highlights its rich history and diversity. All nomination materials should be submitted electronically to Bergis Jules by December 1....
ALSC awards and grants
ALSC is offering libraries and librarians more than $85,000 in grants and funding through its 2010 professional awards and scholarships. Applications are available on the ALSC website; those for scholarships will be posted soon. All applications are due December 1, except for the Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship and the Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship, which are due March 1....
2009 Best Free Reference Websites
The RUSA Machine-Assisted Reference Section has selected these outstanding reference sites for its 11th annual list of Best Free Reference Websites. One of them is Online Conversion, which boasts that one can “convert just about anything to anything else,” including length, temperature, speed, volume, weight, measurements for women’s clothing sizes between countries, light-years, density, torque, horse height, meeting room size needed for attendees, gauge, and your weight on Mars....
Scholarship applications now available
ALA has more than $300,000 for students who are studying library science or school library media at the master’s degree level. Scholarships typically range from $1,500 to $7,000 per student per year. The application and instructions are online. The application deadline is March 1....
Four Spectrum scholars to attend AASL national conference
AASL will sponsor four Spectrum scholars to attend the AASL National Conference Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5–8. The sponsored scholars are Linda Collins, school library media specialist at the Annie Keller Regional Gifted Center of the Chicago Public Schools; Maia Daugherty, school library media specialist at Ke Kula ’o ’Ehunuikaimalino, a Hawaiian-language immersion school on the Big Island; Alicia Long, elementary teacher and graduate student from Bradenton, Florida; and Lauren Mabry, elementary teacher with Ratcliffe School in Richmond, Virginia....
School librarians need not apply
In May, Barry Crook (right) was named the 2009–2010 Teacher of the Year for the Kirkwood (Mo.) School District. As with past recipients, the honor meant that Crook would go on to apply for top teacher consideration at the state level. But much to the disappointment of Crook and his supporters, Kirkwood’s teacher of the year was told he was not eligible for consideration by the Show-Me State. You see, Barry Crook is a school library media specialist....
Webster-Kirkwood (Mo.) Times, Oct. 2
Wolf Hall wins the Man Booker Prize
The hottest favorite in the 40-year history of the Man Booker Prize edged home October 6 when Wolf Hall was named the winner in a secret ballot by three votes to two. The judges described Hilary Mantel’s 650-page doorstopper about political maneuvering at the court of Henry VIII as an “extraordinary piece of storytelling . . . a modern novel that happens to be set in the 16th century.” James Naughtie, the broadcaster who chaired the judges, said that Mantel’s book was the most towering achievement in a short list that resembled an alpine landscape of accomplishment....
The Times (U.K.), Oct. 6
Ian Frazier wins his second Thurber Prize
Ian Frazier, winner of the first Thurber Prize for American Humor in 1997, repeated the accomplishment October 5. He won the 2009 prize, presented by the Thurber House in New York’s Algonquin Hotel, becoming the first dual winner. Frazier won for his book, Lamentations of the Father, a collection of essays in which he uses the language of Deuteronomy to share a harried dad’s code of conduct for his young children, covering topics such as quiet time and sippy cups....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Oct. 5
James Cook Teen Book Award
The Ohio Library Council’s Young Adult Services Division has announced that Michael Harmon’s The Last Exit to Normal (Knopf, 2008) is the recipient of the 2009 James Cook Book Award for the teen book that celebrates diversity. Small town Montana is the setting for the novel, Harmon’s second, which focuses on the life of a 17-year-old grappling with his last chance to set his life on the right path after struggling with drugs, crime, and anger issues....
Ohio Library Council, Oct. 6
Connecting to Collections grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites proposals for the 2010 Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grants and the new Statewide Implementation Grants. Applications for these collaborative grants should address the recommendations published in the Heritage Health Index, which found that many collections held in the public trust by libraries, museums, and archives are at risk. The deadline to apply is December 15....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oct. 5
Johns Hopkins awarded grant to study data curation
The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $20 million from the National Science Foundation to build a data research infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital information created for teaching and research. Beginning with the life, earth, and social sciences, project members will develop a framework to more fully understand data practices currently in use and arrive at a model for curation that allows ease of access both within and across disciplines....
Johns Hopkins University, Oct. 2
2009 International Bookbinding Competition
Designer Bookbinders has announced the winners of its 2009 International Bookbinding Competition. Binders from around the world were invited to enter the event, which was organized in conjunction with the Bodleian Library. The first prize was awarded to Alain Taral of France for a binding made of pear wood covered by Karelian birch veneer (above)....
First Patriot Act revision session waters down protections
The first in what will likely be a series of markups of USA Patriot Act reauthorization legislation was held October 1 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hours before, a bill negotiated by Sens. Patrick Leahy (right, D-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was substituted in place of S. 1692, the USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009, introduced by Leahy on September 22. The substitute bill, still designated S. 1692, substantially weakens the reforms the library community has sought relevant to Sec. 215 and national security letters....
District Dispatch, Oct. 1; Threat Level, Oct. 1
Attorney slams Oak Brook library, 11-year-old girl
Telling her mother that she wanted to come to the aid of a library under attack, 11-year-old Sydney Sabbagha stood at the podium before the Oak Brook, Illinois, village board on September 22 (at 43:00 in the video). “I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book. Now there is no one to help me,” Sydney said solemnly. Then up stepped 69-year-old criminal attorney Constantine P. Xinos (right, at 54:50 in the video), who admonished, “Don’t cry crocodile tears about people who are making $100,000 a year wiping tables and putting the books back on the shelves,” Xinos smirked, referencing fired Director Meg Klinkow Hartmann....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Oct. 1; Village of Oak Brook, Illinois
First Amendment at risk again
Judy Platt writes: “U.S. v. Stevens, argued before the Supreme Court October 6, is the most important free speech case of the new century. Its outcome will influence the shape of First Amendment protection for a long time to come, because what the government wants to criminalize are not acts of animal cruelty, which are already illegal in all 50 states, but speech about those acts.” At the end of a vigorous hour of argument, it appears likely that the Supreme Court will strike down the 1999 federal law....
Huffington Post, Oct. 6; BLT: Blog of Legal Times, Oct. 6
First-sale doctrine applies to licensed software
Building on a prior ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has reaffirmed (PDF file) that a Seattle man was not infringing copyright law by reselling software he obtained from an Autodesk customer. The ruling is bound to frustrate the copyright industries, which have struggled for years to convince courts and their customers that the only thing you buy when you purchase software is a limited and temporary right to use that software under certain conditions. In other words, buyers aren’t owners....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 5
Michael Moore tips his hat to Ann Sparanese
Why did the iconic documentary filmmaker Michael Moore wear a red Rutgers University cap during a series of high-profile television appearances? For him, the Rutgers cap may also serve as a quiet symbol of free speech. He has previously worn the cap to honor Ann Sparanese, head of adult and YA services at the Englewood (N.J.) Public Library and a 1989 Rutgers graduate who stood up for Moore when HarperCollins balked at releasing his book, Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation, after the 9/11 attacks....
Rutgers Focus, Oct. 5
National Information Literacy Awareness Month
On October 1, President Obama issued a statement proclaiming October 2009 as National Information Literacy Awareness Month and calling “upon the people of the United States to recognize the important role information plays in our daily lives, and appreciate the need for a greater understanding of its impact.” ALA and AASL join the administration in promoting the skills all Americans need to effectively navigate the Information Age....
District Dispatch, Oct. 2; White House, Oct. 1
Pittsburgh to trim five branches in 2010
For the first time in its 114-year history, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will close five of its 19 branches next year to cover a projected $1.2 million budget deficit. The library will also trim its staff by 30 people and reduce operating hours 28% starting in January. Fees and fines will be increased as well. By 18–4, the library board of trustees voted October 5 to close the Lawrenceville, Beechview, West End (above), and Hazelwood branches, and merge the Knoxville and Carrick branches....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Oct. 7
No Perks at William Byrd High School
The Roanoke County (Va.) School System is examining whether Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower should be allowed in the William Byrd High School library, following a complaint from a parent about the book’s content. A teacher at the school gave the book to an 11th-grade student in her English class, and then that student shared the book with a friend who is a boy, whose father (John Davis, above) made a complaint to the principal, who had the library’s two copies removed for review....
WSLS-TV, Roanoke, Va., Oct. 6
Libraries are lifelines for the unemployed
Thousands of unemployed people in New Jersey have used the state’s public library system to look for jobs online, polish résumés with word processing software, research new careers, and ask web-savvy librarians for help with all of the above. The same is true around the country, as officials in Elkhart, Indiana, learned when they considered cutting back on branch hours, only to discover long lines of workers waiting to file unemployment claims online at the Pierre Moran branch of the Elkhart Public Library....
New York Times, Oct. 2; WSBT-TV, South Bend, Ind., Oct. 4
Career centers in Connecticut
In response to skyrocketing unemployment rates, more Connecticut libraries are adopting job training resources—from workshops to online databases. Kellie O’Donnell, coordinator of the job and career center of Hartford Public Library, said roughly 300 people a month attend workshops or use its career-searching computer workstation—triple the amount that were attending two years ago when the library began offering such education....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Oct. 4
New Mexico’s bookmobiles are unique
In a digital age where news comes on cell phones and readers download e-books, three bookmobiles chug along the back roads of New Mexico, bringing a library to people who otherwise live without one. The New Mexico State Library’s on-the-road program is unique. “There are no other state-run bookmobile programs that I am aware of,” said Michael Swendrowski. Nowadays, most are operated by cities, counties, or regions....
Associated Press, Oct. 3
School librarian changed a boy’s life
Olly Neal grew up in Arkansas during the 1950s. He didn’t care much for high school. One day during his senior year, he cut class and wandered into the school library. He stumbled onto a book written by African-American author Frank Yerby. And the discovery changed the life of a teenage boy who was, in Neal’s memory, “a rather troubled high school senior.”...
NPR Morning Edition, Oct. 2
School-library time rationed in Brooklyn
Students and parents at a Brooklyn middle school are fuming after they were pushed out of their newly spruced-up library by an expanding charter school. Junior High School 126 kids have severely limited access to the cozy, mural-painted reading spot this year so the three charters sharing the Greenpoint building can use the space for planning, meetings, and small classes. Access to the library for more than 400 middle schoolers will be restricted to one side of the space for less than two hours each day, with an extra hour on Wednesdays....
New York Daily News, Oct. 6
Library patron finds long-lost father
Some might think the library is only good for finding books, but Marquita Johnson knows different. Through the help of four employees at Bartow (Fla.) Public Library, she found her father, Earl V. Whipple (right), whom she had not seen since she was 6 years old—56 years ago. For 25 of those years, she thought he was dead, based on information from a police officer in Los Angeles. To her surprise, she found two public directory links and a military record....
Bartow Polk County (Fla.) Democrat, Sept. 30
Huntington receives Octavia Butler collection
Years ago, when Curator of Literary Manuscripts Sue Hodson first heard Octavia Butler speak at a Huntington Library women’s history seminar, she had never read anything by Pasadena’s famed science fiction writer. But she remembers being immediately struck by the “absolute brilliance” of Butler’s mind. Now, three years after Butler’s death at age 58, the Huntington has received 39 cartons and eight file cabinet drawers of materials accumulated by the African-American author....
Pasadena (Calif.) Star-News, Oct. 2
Harvard’s Dunster House defends barred stacks
Amid growing controversy surrounding the decision to place brass bars in front of the books in Harvard University’s Dunster House dormitory library, House Masters Roger and Ann Porter have taken steps to defend their decision, citing security concerns and new information about the collection’s value. When the Dunster House library opened September 27 for the first time this school year, residents discovered that their library’s collection had been rendered inaccessible, sparking a minor uproar....
Harvard Crimson, Oct. 2; Boston Globe, Sept. 30
Lexington’s legal spending under fire
Private lawyers billed the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library about $210,000 this year as it faced scrutiny over its spending from the local newspaper, city auditors, and its own board of trustees. On October 5, critics said they were surprised by the size of the legal bills and suggested the library board should have handled most of the duties it assigned to lawyers. One critic, State Auditor Crit Luallen, noted that the library is now dealing with a 2.6% budget cut....
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Oct. 6
27 jobs cut at Emory University libraries
In an effort to combat a budget shortfall of more than $1 million, Emory University Libraries in Atlanta terminated the employment of 27 full- and part-time staff and librarians on September 23. The library’s budget has been reduced by 4%, from $26.17 million to $25.13 million, as the library continues to reduce costs by cutting acquisitions and curtailing new hiring....
The Emory Wheel, Sept. 25
A digital hole in British libraries
Digital literature, online scientific research, and internet journalism that should have been saved in the UK’s main libraries over the past five years may have been lost because ministers have failed to give them the legal power to copy and archive websites. Senior executives at the British Library and the National Library of Scotland are dismayed that legislation giving them the right to collect online and digital material is still not in force, more than six years after it was passed by Parliament....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 4
Go back to the Top
SkyRiver to challenge OCLC
Marshall Breeding writes: “A new company called SkyRiver has launched a new bibliographic utility, directly challenging long-dominant OCLC. Over the last 18 years, strategic acquisitions by OCLC have narrowed competition, but SkyRiver—founded by Jerry Kline, the owner and cofounder of Innovative Interfaces—aims to expand the market and offer an alternative bibliographic utility for cataloging that could save libraries up to 40% off their expenditures for bibliographic services. SkyRiver is already fully operational, with a few libraries engaged as development partners. Its website will launch October 9.”...
Library Journal, Oct. 6
New ICANN agreement runs into criticism
A new agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the U.S. Department of Commerce that creates international oversight of the nonprofit operator of the internet’s domain name system may not provide enough accountability, some critics said. The agreement, announced September 30, seemed to enjoy widespread support, but some critics questioned how new review teams overseeing ICANN would be independent and whether the new agreement represented average internet users....
PC World, Oct. 1; ICANN, Sept. 30
Are we starting to get IT?
American Libraries Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “If I learned one thing at LITA Forum this year, it’s that if you put a bunch of techie librarians together in one hotel for a whole weekend, they’re going to spend a lot of time dishing on IT. No single session encompassed the overarching theme of the casual break-time conversations better than Kenning Arlitsch and Kristen Antelman’s talk, ‘The Future of Libraries Is IT (And Some People Just Don’t Get IT)’”....
AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 5
Relying on web services
David Bigwood writes: “Recently we have had two examples of trusted resources being off line for an extended time. A few weeks ago the GPO PURL server was down for several days. This meant that thousands of links in library catalogs around the globe were broken. Now the NASA Technical Reports Server is down. It went down September 24 (and was still down October 6). If we can’t trust NASA or the GPO to keep vital services up, who can we trust?”...
Catalogablog, Oct. 1
The University of Michigan Library’s Tech Deck
The Tech Deck is an enclosed facility housed on the busy first floor of the UM undergraduate library, with glass walls and a welcoming atmosphere. Generally staffed by two people during all hours it is open, there are 10 computers (both Apple and Windows) available with an array of software and hardware not commonly available on library workstations—Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, EndNote, web browsers, and scanning software—as well as access and support for online resources such as RefWorks, Flickr, and blogging software....
College & Research Libraries News 70, no. 9 (Oct.)
Five ways to print folder and directory contents
Saikat Basu writes: “Printing directory contents seems so mundane an activity that we forget it has very useful applications in our day-to-day usage—especially in a professional setting where you might be told to send over a list of so-and-so files about such-and-such subject. In a jiffy. If it’s a small bunch of files, then manually writing it down is not a problem. But what if it numbers a few dozen?” Here are five simple methods....
MakeUseOf.com, Oct. 4
NIST glossary of acronyms and abbreviations
The National Institute of Standards and Technology hopes to bring some order to the sometimes inconsistent and often confusing world of IT acronyms and abbreviations by publishing a glossary of commonly used terms. NIST Interagency Report 7581, System and Network Security Acronyms and Abbreviations (PDF file), runs the alphabetical gamut from A (address resource record type) to ZSK (zone signing key)....
Government Computer News, Oct. 5
The vooks are coming
The notion of the book is becoming increasingly elastic as publishers mash together text, video, and web features in a scramble to keep readers interested. Simon and Schuster is partnering with Vook, a multimedia company that produces video content for books, to release four digital titles in which links to short video segments are seamlessly interspersed throughout the text. These new editions, called “vooks,” can be viewed on any browser-based device such as a laptop, netbook, or desktop computer as well as the iPhone....
New York Times, Sept. 30
Amazon settles lawsuit over deleted Orwell novels
Eric Engleman writes: “Amazon.com caused a stir a few months ago when it remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from people’s Kindles. A Michigan high school student, Justin Gawronski, was so incensed that he sued the online retailer, alleging that Amazon essentially ate his homework when it removed his copy of 1984 and caused his ‘copious notes’ to disappear. Now Amazon has settled the lawsuit for $150,000. As part of the deal, which awaits court approval, Amazon said it ‘will not remotely delete or modify’ works on Kindles, with some exceptions.”...
TechFlash, Sept. 30
Will books be Napsterized?
Randall Stross writes: “Until now, few readers have preferred e-books to printed or audible versions, so the public availability of free-for-the-taking copies did not much matter. But e-book hardware is on the verge of going mainstream. With the new devices in hand, will book buyers avert their eyes from the free copies only a few clicks away that have been uploaded without the copyright holder’s permission?”...
New York Times, Oct. 3
Top 20 books of the 21st century
The Millions website conducted a poll of its regular contributors and 48 of its favorite writers, editors, and critics, asking a single question: “What are the best books of fiction of the millennium, so far?” Each panelist could name up to five books available in English with an original-language publication date no earlier than January 1, 2000. The results were robust, diverse, and surprising. Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001) made it to first place....
The Millions, Sept. 21
Eye-catching covers of the Weimar Republic
Will, an “amateur historian of forgotten literature,” has posted 25 book covers and posters from the out-of-print book Blickfang: Bucheinbände und Schutzumschläge Berliner Verlage 1919–1933 (Holstein, 2005), all of them published in Berlin prior to the Third Reich. He writes: “It’s an overwhelming visual feast summed up by my new favorite German word Blickfang—eye catcher.”...
A Journey Round My Skull, Oct. 4
An alternate universe reading guide
Grey Area writes: “Have we gone multiverse crazy? Iain Banks’s latest novel, Transition, is just the latest of a long line of sideways-traveling books, and this theme is more prevalent than ever. The idea of traveling between alternate realities is a common theme in speculative fiction. Multiverse stories are a logical extension of allohistory, and a close relative of that other grand old convention, time travel. Here are some of my favorites, with spoilers.”...
io9, Oct. 2
Blue-ribbon commission calls for broadband access
Warning of an erosion of democracy with the creation of second-class citizens in the digital age, on October 2 a blue-ribbon national commission called for universal broadband access to help meet the information needs of America’s communities. In Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age (PDF file), the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy offers 15 policy measures to help Americans meet their local information needs....
John S. and James L. Knight Commission, Oct. 2
The school librarian in the Digital Age
Cindy Long writes: “In an age where seemingly everything is available online, will school librarians soon go the way of the card catalogue? Absolutely not, says Terri Kirk, since their role goes far beyond managing the checking-in and checking-out of all things printed and bound. ‘We teach students how to think,’ she says. Kirk is the librarian at Reidland High School in Paducah, Kentucky, a position she’s held since the early 1990s.”...
NEA Today, Oct./Nov.
April Bunn writes: “Hopefully you aren’t trying to read this at a school computer because you’d probably have your ‘access denied’ with most of my links below. As a school library media specialist, I am all too familiar with a great teaching moment being ruined by a blocked website. As a result, we’ve (older students and teachers) resorted to bypassing and unblocking filters on our own. Most of the school librarians that I spoke to knew that these methods existed, but many had only used it once or twice, or were scared to be caught.”...
Library Garden, Sept. 28
Queens Public Library sues Sirsi
Marshall Breeding writes: “The Queens Borough Public Library has filed a major lawsuit against Sirsi Corporation, which currently does business as SirsiDynix. The lawsuit relates to the library’s procurement of the Horizon library automation system from Dynix Corporation, which was subsequently acquired by Sirsi Corporation. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on July 2. An initial conference is currently scheduled for November 2.”...
GuidePosts, Oct. 3
MonsterLibrarian’s Halloween Horrors
MonsterLibrarian.com, the brainchild of librarian Dylan Kowalewski, has launched its third annual “Halloween Horrors” book-review event to help librarians with reader’s advisory and collection development in horror fiction. Participating review websites are offering pages dedicated to reviews of horror-genre books. The site also includes a list of book recommendations that can be paired with horror movies to promote reading horror fiction....
It’s Snapshot Day in New Jersey
On October 7, libraries across New Jersey are participating in Snapshot Day, to collect photos and statistics of how they being used, the number of people using them, and how important they are to their communities. Sponsored by the New Jersey State Library, the New Jersey Library Association, and the and the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, this is a repeat of the state’s successful Snapshot Day held February 19....
New Jersey State Library, Oct. 7
New Google Search Options
Nundu Janakiram writes: “In May, Google launched Search Options, a side panel that lets you filter, refine, and generate different views of your search results. Today, we’re rolling out nine new Search Options tools: past hour, specific date range, more shopping sites, fewer shopping sites, visited pages, not yet visited, books, blogs, and news. You can try them by searching Google and clicking ‘Show options’ in the blue bar just under the logo.”...
Official Google Blog, Oct. 1
AIC conservation catalogs wiki
The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has launched a new wiki based on a digital version of its conservation catalog literature. The catalogs are a compendium of working knowledge on materials and techniques used to preserve and treat works of art and historic artifacts. The series, begun in 1985, was intended to be updated on an ongoing basis; the wiki format will allow easy and timely collaborative editing and also provide much broader access to these resources....
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Oct. 1
Call for BCALA proposals
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association extends an invitation to all information professionals to join them in presenting educational and thought-provoking programs and workshops at the 7th National Conference of African American Librarians in Birmingham, Alabama, August 4–8, 2010. The conference theme is “Culture Keeper VII: Bridging the Divide with Information Access, Activism, and Advocacy.” The submission deadline is November 20....
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
The library catalog wars
A Chronicle of Higher Education article on trends in library catalog software has touched off an online reader debate about who is to blame for patrons’ search frustrations and how to fix the situation. The article discussed how libraries are trying to out-Google Google with easy-to-use, online-catalog search software, while “pockets of resistance” in library circles feel the new products dumb down the research process....
The Wired Campus, Oct. 1; Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28
Mary Johnston writes: “Ahoy! To manage an undergraduate library while sailing around the world, you will need your well-honed library skills and a bit of an adventurous spirit. In this article, the University of Virginia librarians who have belayed their traditional landlubbing librarian jobs and successfully navigated a semester at sea present their ideas on the value of embarking upon such an adventure. Studying on a ship while sailing the globe—that’s Semester at Sea. Answering reference questions while standing on steady sea legs—that’s a Semester at Sea librarian.”...
Virginia Libraries 55, no. 2 (Apr.–June)
Journal pricing in hard times
Christina Pikas writes: “Science libraries are very much in financial trouble just as their parent institutions and other organizations are right now. There have been many calls for publishers to hold the line on price increases and some have done so. Some, like SPIE, have decreased prices—yay them! Others, like a chemistry database that was recently purchased by a large publisher, have given my parent institution a quote that raises our subscription price more than 40% over the period of the contract.”...
Christina’s LIS Rant, Oct. 2
More links for RDA
Karen Anderson came up with even more good links for information on RDA, FRBR, and FRAD to add to the collection posted earlier. At the top is the National Science Digital Library metadata list of registered RDA elements and vocabularies....
MARS Automation Services, Sept. 28
John D. Holt and David J. Miller write: “The technology of search has continued to evolve. A new stage in search evolution has arrived with the advent of entity-based searching. Entity search provides improvements in both precision and recall over traditional Boolean and relevance-ranked search techniques.”...
ASIS&T Bulletin, Oct./Nov.
The Bookworm reinterpreted
Kim Heijdenrijk writes: “The city library of Kortrijk, Belgium, had a photo contest over the summer. People were asked to take pictures of libraries in Belgium and outside the country. The contest has ended and the winners have been announced. I was particularly interested in the picture of Roos Debrabandere. She went to Poland and took a photo in a restaurant in Krakow. She named the photo, which won second place, ‘Eat first, read later.’ The mural is actually a clever reworking of the painting The Bookworm (1850) by German artist Carl Spitzweg.”...
Kimbooktu, Oct. 2
Archives on postage stamps
Larry Nix writes: “October is American Archives Month and National Stamp Collecting Month. One of the areas of postal librariana that I have been collecting for a number of years is archives and archivists on postage stamps. Hans Krol, a fellow collector, has assisted me in developing a list of these stamps.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Oct. 1
Ontario’s Fire Marshal librarian aggregates fire news
In this video (2:49), Martha Murphy, librarian for the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal, tells how she pulls together information from traditional news sources and gathers fire statistics and research to create a weekly newsletter for the province’s firefighters, Fire News. She tracks 250 keywords on various news feeds to get “today’s news, not yesterday’s news.”...
ITBusiness.ca, Sept. 28
Librarian + internet = better tomatoes
With the help of free internet in the local library, a village in Ukraine has doubled its tomato production. This video (4:43) was created for the launch of the Bibliomist Global Libraries program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the International Research and Exchanges Board. The featured library received computer equipment and training through the Library Electronic Access Project administered by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine....
YouTube, Oct. 1
Banned Books Week videos
Ohio State University student Sarah Kelly Wright (right) posed behind a pile of banned or challenged books for this tribute (1:14) to Banned Books Week. YouTube user Giovalelib put up a video showcase (3:14) of books challenged in 2008 and 2009. Last year, the Gottesman Libraries at the Teachers College of Columbia University posted a video (1:03) honoring the 100 most challenged books of 1990–2000....
YouTube, Sept. 23, Sept. 29; Sept. 18, 2008
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. Check out these institutes and optional events (PDF file) that will take place at Midwinter.
Inspired by a new generation of librarians and children, Virginia A. Walter in Twenty-First-Century Kids, Twenty-First-Century Librarians reconsiders the legacy passed on by the matriarchs of children’s services and examines more recent trends and challenges growing out of changes in educational philosophy and information technology. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Online LIS education
The Children We Serve
E-Readers in Action
Facebook à la Fulbright
Children’s Department Head, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, Columbus, Georgia. Responsible for the organization, management, supervision, and effective functioning of the Main Library’s Children’s Department. In addition, the successful candidate oversees children’s services and collections throughout the library system; chairs the Children’s Steering Committee; coordinates the selection of children’s materials ($130,000 budget); writes and manages grants; trains, motivates, and evaluates Children’s Department staff (5 FTEs); develops and presents programs to children ages birth to 11; and engages in collaborative outreach programs to promote the library within the community....
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital Library on American Slavery offers data on race and slavery extracted from 18th- and 19th-century documents that were processed over a period of 18 years. Launched October 1 by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the collection contains detailed information on about 150,000 individuals. The data were painstakingly extracted from 2,975 legislative petitions and 14,512 county court petitions, and from a wide range of related documents, including wills, inventories, deeds, bills of sale, depositions, court proceedings, and amended petitions. Buried in these documents are the names and other data on roughly 80,000 individual slaves, 8,000 free people of color, and 62,000 whites, both slaveowners and non-slaveowners. One of the unique aspects of the Digital Library is the information on individual slaves made available along with additional data on their owners; no other online database connects slaves with their owners in such a manner. Each set of documents is uniquely identified by an eight-digit PAR (Petition Analysis Record) number. The list of subjects reveals the variety of “causes” or “bills of complaint,” in the language of the courts, that petitioners brought, or defendants raised, in their civil suits. The general topics include slave ownership, slave management, freedom suits, crime and punishment, health, death, social and civic life, marriage, women, and family, among others.
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.
“If you think about it, public libraries were actually the birth of the information age
. . . in analog version.”
—Tweet by Helene Blowers, Digital Strategy Librarian, Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, Sept. 30.
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Registration is open for National Gaming Day @ your library, November 14. ALA invites libraries of all types to join in the celebration and take advantage of the many free publicity tools the ALA offers. The NGD2009 press toolkit is now available online, as is this poster that was created by ALA member Liz Danforth. All of these materials are free for you to download and use for promotional purposes.
National Forum on Information Literacy, 20th anniversary celebration, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Thriving on Diversity:
Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World.”
Digital Library Federation, Fall Forum, Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, California.
Cultural Heritage Online, International Conference, Florence, Italy. “Empowering Users: An Active Role for User Communities.”
Jan. 20–22: Atmospheric Science Librarians International, 13th Annual Conference, Atlanta. “Integrating Weather, Climate, and Social Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians.”
Catholic Library Association, Minneapolis. “Leadership, Direction, Service.”