The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 14,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Boston Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Queens Library sues SirsiDynix
It’s Queens Borough Public Library v. Dynix Corporation et al. in a lawsuit filed by the library in United States District Court in New York and scheduled for an initial conference November 2. The library seeks more than $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, alleging that the Sirsi and Dynix corporations, now combined into SirsiDynix, operated a “fraudulent bait-and-switch scheme” against the Queens Library during its procurement of the Horizon library automation system in 2005....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 14

Dominican University establishes doctoral LIS program
In a bold recession-bucking move, Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, has launched the first PhD program in library and information science in its 108-year history. The Doctorate of Philosophy in Library and Information Science, to be administered through the university’s accredited Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has accepted its first cohort of eight students for the fall 2009 semester....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 12

It’s not over till the final check clears
American Libraries Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg writes: “It’s autumn—that time of year when a library official’s fancy turns to thoughts of the next fiscal year. At least that’s what should happen, unless said library official is beleaguered by the spectre of revenue-projection shortfalls that could erode carefully laid plans for the current fiscal year. In at least three states—Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—one can’t help but wonder whether the legislative horse trading done to balance the budget will end before FY2010 does.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 14

ALA News

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman to chair National Library Week
Author Neil Gaiman, winner of this year’s Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book, has been named the 2010 Honorary Chair of National Library Week, April 11–17. As Honorary Chair, Gaiman will appear in both print and radio PSAs and a podcast and will participate in a NLW event developed by ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries. The PSAs will be available for customization in December. Other materials are currently available in both English and Spanish....

Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study logoPublic libraries urged to participate in national technology study
ALA is encouraging public libraries to participate in the 2009–2010 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information regarding their computer and internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training, and how they function as public access technology centers in their communities. The online survey will be available through November 6....

National Gaming Day logoHasbro sponsors 2009 National Gaming Day
The largest producer of board games in the world, Hasbro, will be the exclusive sponsor for ALA’s 2009 National Gaming Day @ your library to be held November 14. Through a generous donation from Hasbro, more than 16,700 public libraries in the United States will receive a box set of highly popular card games Monopoly Deal, Scrabble Slam, and Pictureka. Libraries are encouraged to register their participation in National Gaming Day....

Do You ALA videoDo you ALA? Why or why not?
Whether you’re an active, enthusiastic ALA member, or ALA participation sounds as painful as getting your teeth pulled, the Young Librarians Working Group wants to hear from you. What do you see as the Association’s benefits and drawbacks? Why do you participate, or why don’t you want to be involved? Post your one-minute video response to the YLWG YouTube group....
Young Librarians Working Group, Oct. 9

New LIS grads: Join FTRF one year for free
The Freedom to Read Foundation is offering free one-year memberships to students graduating from ALA-accredited LIS programs and from NCATE-recognized school library media programs. Students whose graduation date was August 1 or later can download and send in a membership form....

FTRF trustee nominations
Five positions on the Freedom to Read Foundation board of trustees will be filled in the election to be held April 1–May 1. Newly elected trustees will serve a two-year term on the board. Nominations should be sent by January 13....

AL Focus

Still from Wits & Wagers gaming tips video featuring Chris Harris and Brian MayerWits & Wagers gaming tips
Librarians Chris Harris and Brian Mayer discuss (8:30) the game “Wits & Wagers,” which is available as a free donation to libraries from North Star Games for National Gaming Day on November 14. Chris and Brian show how to play the game and provide tips for using it in public and school libraries. In another video (9:09), they offer tips on playing “Say Anything.”...

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Blessing's BeadFeatured review: First novel
Edwardson, Debby Dahl. Blessing’s Bead. Nov. 2009. 192p. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa, hardcover (978-0-374-30805-6).
Two narratives, one historical, one nearly contemporary, make up this beautiful first novel, set among Inupiat Eskimos in Alaska’s far northern territories. In 1917, Nutaaq is thrilled when Russian traders arrive on her Arctic island, and she describes in breathless detail the long evenings of shared stories and the games and races between visitors and villagers. The bittersweet joy she feels when her sister marries and moves to Russia with a trader becomes shocked grief after a flu epidemic decimates her village, leaving her as one of the few survivors. In 1989, Nutaaq’s great-granddaughter, Blessing, lives in Anchorage with her alcoholic mother, whose boyfriend’s abuse finally breaks the family apart. While her mother is “in treatment,” Blessing and her brother are sent to their grandmother’s northern village....

Top 10 first novels graphicTop 10 first novels
Brad Hooper writes: “Readers pick up a first novel with both excitement and trepidation. An untried author is always a reader’s gamble. But pick up the following first novels, all reviewed in Booklist over the past year, with no trepidation, only excitement.” For example, Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange, by Amanda Smyth (Crown/Shaye Areheart), who “evokes the lush language of the West Indies and the modest lives lived at the mercy of fate.”...

Top 10 first novels for youth
Gillian Engberg writes: “The settings and situations range across time and geography in these stand-out debut novels, all reviewed in Booklist during the past year, but readers will find lots of similarities, too: young characters who face their parents’ failings and unusually strong voices from writers to watch.” Check out The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly (Holt)....

New youth content, navigation
A new Book Links landing page and related feature content have been added to Booklist Online following the recent transition of Book Links from a standalone subscription magazine to a free quarterly supplement to Booklist. In addition, the “Browse Current Print Issue” feature is now visible from any page on the site in the left-hand navigational bar....

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Boston Update

Cover of Jonathan and His Mommy, by Irene SmallsLiteracise at the Boston Public Library
Children’s author Irene Smalls has teamed up with the Boston Public Library, State Street Corporation, architects from the Community Design Resource Center of Boston, Brandon Bird Design, and Lasell College to create a bilingual, interactive Literacise exhibit based on her book, Jonathan and His Mommy. Children (and Midwinter attendees) who visit the Literacise exhibit next to BPL’s Rey Children’s Room can zig-zag, bunny-hop, and giant-step their way through a kid-sized interactive book. The exhibit will be up through March....
Boston Public Library; Boston Globe, Oct. 3

Arthur M. Sackler MuseumThe Harvard Art Museum in Re-View
The Re-View exhibition is a survey of approximately 600 works from the Harvard Art Museum’s three museums—the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler—that have historically been shown in separate facilities. The exhibition is on long-term view at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at 485 Broadway in Cambridge and provides a selected, ongoing display of the collections while the Harvard Art Museum’s building at 32 Quincy Street—the former home of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger—is closed for renovation....
Harvard Art Museum

Photograph-worthy statue along Boston Freedom TrailPhotoWalks of Boston
Discover the secrets for taking amazing pictures of Boston. Guided walking tours are presented with historic commentary and creative photography tips, all year round. Tours cover Boston Public Garden, Freedom Trail, the waterfront, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill....

Division News

Get out the vote for Teen Read Week
YALSA invites all teens to help the division choose next year’s Teen Read Week theme. Teens can vote for their favorite of three choices October 18–24. The three potential themes are: Books with Beat @ your library, Deal with It @ your library, or Find an Alibi @ your library....

Registration open for YALSA pre-Midwinter events
YALSA will host two special events, including a full-day institute and a two-hour networking event, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. A pre-Midwinter Institute, “Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition,” will take place on January 15. This face-to-face seminar offers librarians insight into enhancing existing services using online tools for today’s teens—the 30 million youth known as digital natives....

AASL green form of National Conference logoAASL National Conference goes green
AASL promises to make this year’s National Conference, November 5–8, in Charlotte, North Carolina, its greenest conference yet. Signage will be made of recyclable materials and printed with eco-friendly inks, attendees will receive eco-friendly conference bags, and surplus promotional items and books from exhibitors will be donated to local charities....

b there logoAASL offers on-demand access to keynote address
“b there—Your Virtual Track Pass,” AASL’s virtual component to its National Conference in Charlotte, is revving up opportunities for registrants offering danah boyd’s keynote address on demand. The address will be posted just hours after she speaks and will be available to the “b there” community for one year after the conference. In addition, boyd will give an exclusive interview for the virtual community....

PLA 13th National Conference logoAn all-star lineup for PLA 2010
The lineup of speakers for PLA’s 13th National Conference will include several acclaimed authors. Nicholas D. Kristof, Scott Turow, Sue Grafton, and Sarah Vowell are among the speakers who will keynote author events and luncheons during the conference, to be held March 23–27 in Portland, Oregon....

RUSA Genealogy 101 online course
Register now through November 3 for the next offering of RUSA’s Genealogy 101, an online course designed to provide librarians and library staff with confidence and skill in assisting family history researchers. The course, offered November 9–December 23, is taught by RUSA member and genealogy expert Jack Simpson....

Round Table News

Entry-point map for Virtual Tourist siteNew maps and cartographic materials (PDF file)
David J. Bertuca writes: “One positive side to summer searching is that I have more time to visit map websites and publishers, as well as develop finding tools for our own materials and other online resources. Some neat stuff always pops up. Here are a few of the recent things I have seen.” Included in the roundup is Virtual Tourist, “a travel site, but its inclusion of detailed map tools makes it a great resource for map searches, satellite images, and more.”...
MAGERT base line 30, no. 4 (Aug.): 6–22


LITA Kilgour Award for Research
The deadline is December 31 for nominations for the 2010 LITA Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC. The award recognizes research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially research that promises a positive and substantive impact on the publication, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information....

Apply for the Loleta D. Fyan Grant
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics is accepting applications for the Loleta D. Fyan Grant. The grant, up to $5,000, is to be used for the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide. Applicants can include local, regional, or state libraries; associations or organizations, including units of ALA; library schools; or individuals. The deadline is December 1....

Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics is accepting applications for the Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant, given to librarians or library educators to conduct innovative research that could lead to an improvement in services to any specified group of people. The grant, up to $3,000, will be given to a project that aims to answer a question of vital importance to the library community. The deadline for applications is December 1....

RUSA conference travel grant for business librarians
Nominations are now being accepted for the RUSA Public Librarian Support Award, an Annual Conference travel grant in the amount of $1,000 for public librarians who provide business reference services. Nominations must be received by December 15....

Sharon K. EppsSharon Epps honored by Johns Hopkins University Press
Sharon K. Epps, a 2004 graduate of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware and a former staff member at the UD Library, is the winner of the 2009 Johns Hopkins University Press Award for the best article in the most recent volume of the journal portal: Libraries and the Academy. Her article, “African American Women Leaders in Academic Research Libraries,” appeared in July 2008. She is currently head of access services at the University of Maryland libraries....
UDaily, Oct. 7

Cover of The Land of Green PlumsHerta Müller wins 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature
Romanian-born German writer Herta Müller has won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. Announcing the award in Stockholm October 8, the Swedish Academy described Müller, “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.” Her novels include The Land of Green Plums and The Appointment....
New York Times, Oct. 8

Cover of ExposureGuardian Children’s Fiction Prize
A modern retelling of Othello, in which the Moor of Venice and his wife Desdemona are transformed into a South American soccer star and pop singer, has won the 2009 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Mal Peet’s Exposure came out ahead of such authors as Terry Pratchett to win the £1,500 ($2,370 U.S.) prize at the October 8 awards ceremony. The Guardian children’s fiction prize is the only award judged by children’s authors....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 8

Books Across America grants
In collaboration with the National Education Foundation, the NEA Foundation offers $1,000 in grants to public schools serving economically disadvantaged students to purchase books for school libraries. School librarians in eligible schools may apply. The deadline for submitting applications (PDF file) is November 20....
NEA Foundation

Seen Online

Education advocates push for net neutrality
Republican opposition is mounting as federal regulators prepare to vote this month on network neutrality rules, which would prohibit broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain types of internet traffic. Educators say a neutral internet is a key in developing and delivering online content to distance learners and students in rural areas, and an unregulated internet would create unfair advantages for large universities that could afford to pay more for faster, more efficient web service....
eSchool News, Oct. 12

Sen. Patrick LeahyLibrarians say Leahy let them down on Patriot Act
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is finding himself at odds with privacy-protecting librarians in the state—a group that usually has praise for their senior U.S. senator and has often worked with him in the past. On October 8, Leahy’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve an extension of the USA Patriot Act that does not do enough to restrict the federal government in its use of wiretapping and National Security Letters. It is unclear when the bill will go to the Senate floor for a final vote....
Barre Montpelier (Vt.) Times Argus, Oct. 12; District Dispatch, Oct. 13

Revised Google Books agreement due November 9
The parties to a Google book settlement that would allow the creation of a vast digital library outlined on October 7 an aggressive timeline for modifying the agreement to satisfy objections from the Justice Department and others. After a hearing in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Denny Chin set November 9 as the date by which Google and its partners must submit a revised settlement. Meanwhile, Google cofounder Sergei Brin took to the pages of the New York Times to defend his project, while others quickly deconstructed his argument....
New York Times, Oct. 7–8; AppScout, Oct. 9

Cover of Dragon Ball, vol. 2 (VIZBIG ed.)Wicomico library examines graphic novels
The 24 Dragon Ball manga books at the Wicomico Public Library in Salisbury, Maryland, have been pulled from the shelves. It’s not simply that they may contain nudity, but also because the library staff isn’t sure in which section to shelve them. Library Director Tom Hehman said his staff is conducting an “internal reconsideration” of the series of graphic novels after one discovered in the Pittsville Elementary and Middle School library by a 9-year-old student earlier this week was found to contain nudity and sexual innuendo....
Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times, Oct. 11

Cedar Rapids Public Library in downtown Cedar Rapids with flood waters during the flood of June 2008. Photo by Cedar Rapids Public LibraryFEMA says Cedar Rapids library must move
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has decided that Cedar Rapids, Iowa, must build its new downtown library on a site other than the site of flood-wrecked library on First Street along the Cedar River. City Council member and mayoral candidate Brian Fagan slipped the announcement of the FEMA decision into the mayoral debate October 13 at Coe College. Fagan said the FEMA decision would bring with it an extra $4 million in disaster payments for the library....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Oct. 14

UC Berkeley students stage library sit-in
Several hundred University of California Berkeley students took over the anthropology library for 24 hours October 9–10 to protest UC-wide budget cuts, in particular Saturday closures of small campus libraries that students use for studying and research. About 80 students spent the night in the library, some studying almost all night, others curled up to sleep in corners and between high bookcases. Thanks to a $30,000 donation from two UCB parents, Doe and Moffitt libraries will remain open 24 hours a day during the final exams period this academic year....
San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 11; UCBerkeley News, Oct. 9

Conrad Hilton on the cover of Time, July 19, 1963Houston helps Mad Men nail its history
Writers from the ultrastylish AMC series Mad Men called the University of Houston in February, looking for specifics on Conrad Hilton and his hotel chain, circa 1963. “They wanted to know, was Connie Hilton a milquetoast or was he charismatic and gregarious,” said Mark Young, who runs the Hospitality Industry Archives at the university’s Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Mad Men got its history right in more ways than one, Young said....
Houston Chronicle, Oct. 12

Sian BrannonTexas tattoo calendar selling well
Along with other members of the Texas Library Association, Denton librarians modeled their tattoos—most of which are usually hidden under clothing—and posed for an 18-month calendar to help raise money for the group’s disaster relief fund. So far, the group has sold 650 calendars and raised about $13,000. Denton Public Library Technical Services Manager Sian Brannon (right) said she usually wears long sleeves to cover the thistles growing up her arms and stars on her shoulders, but she enjoyed showing off her tattoos in the calendar as Ms. December 2010....
Denton (Tex.) Record-Chronicle, Oct. 11; Texas Library Association

Pegasus in the 2004 Salty Sea Days paradePegasus stars at the bookmobile conference
The world’s oldest bookmobile, Pegasus, was the star October 7–9 in Everett, Washington, at the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services conference. The 1920s-era Ford, owned by the Everett Public Library, sat out in front of the Holiday Inn where conference participants posed for photos with the old vehicle. Outreach Librarian Theresa Gemmer said she was proud to show off the modified Model T, which was the first of its kind in Washington State and the second in the West....
Everett (Wash.) Herald, Oct. 10; Everett Public Library

The earliest book in the collection, the Cordiale quattuor novissimorum, printed in 1479 by William Caxton, is one of only 11 known copiesUCLA’s Clark Library receives unique Shakespeare collection
The William Andrews Clark Library, one of UCLA’s major libraries for rare books and manuscripts, will receive a collection of 72 books related to William Shakespeare that includes a 1685 fourth-edition Folio, two histories that formed the basis of his plays, and a 1603 English translation of the essays of Michel de Montaigne. The books, published between 1479 and 1731, were collected by Paul Chrzanowski, 60, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories....
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 12; UCLA Newsroom, Oct. 12

The Doris Foley Library for Historical Research in Nevada City is one of the branches suggested for closingNevada City library faces privatization or closings
The survival of the Nevada County (Calif.) Library beyond June 2011 may require either privatization or crippling budget cuts that would close some branches, according to a report issued October 8 by County Executive Officer Rick Haffey. With finances going more than $400,000 into the red over the next 20 months, county supervisors voted October 13 to explore an outsourcing partnership to save money. Some library supporters expressed reservations about the proposal....
Grass Valley (Calif.) Union, Oct. 9, 14

Beauvoir library to be rebuilt
A new presidential library soon will sprout from the ground at Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi, with a statue of Jefferson Davis looking on where the former Confederate president wrote and reflected in the final years of his life. The statue used to stand in the Presidential Library that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Beauvoir Director Richard Forte said October 6 that a $10.4-million contract has been signed to rebuild the library with J. C. Duke and Associates of Mobile, Alabama....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, Oct. 7

Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library CenterC’mon, it’s not that bad
Blair Kamin writes: “Lists are the cotton candy of journalism—hard to resist, but not very nourishing. Travel and Leisure magazine has come out with such a list, which  purports to tell us the world’s 15 ugliest buildings. Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center, designed by Chicago architect Tom Beeby, is on it,” along with the National Library of Belarus. “For what it’s worth, the Harold Washington Library Center made the list of America’s Favorite Architecture when the American Institute of Architects published the results of a national poll in 2007.”...
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 14; Travel & Leisure, Oct.; AIA Archiblog, Feb. 6, 2007

This picture is the only original photograph of polar explorer Roald Amundsen's arrival at the South Pole in 1911. It was printed by a Hobart photographer. Courtesy National Library of AustraliaRare Amundsen photo found in Australian collection
The National Library of Australia in Canberra has uncovered a rare photo of the arrival of Roald Amundsen’s 1911 expedition at the South Pole. The image, part of a personal career-highlights album by photographer Edward Searle he called Tasmanian Views, was discovered by National Library of Norway curator Harald Ostgaard Lund while he was searching the NLA collection on the internet. It is the only print taken from the original negative of the event....
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Oct. 7; National Library of Australia

A Library of Congress web serverThe world’s largest digital library collection
The Library of Congress is well on the way to hosting the largest digital collection in the world. This is the library’s new look: blinking lights, lots of cables, and an ocean of digital information with more than 50 million individual files. So far, the library has a total of 700 terabytes of data. But because of copyright issues, only 200 of those are available on the web....
Voice of America News, Oct. 9

Legal treatise published in 1593 by Johannes BorcholtenDas Loot: WWII GI returns rare books
Robert E. Thomas, 83, breezed into the National Archives on October 6 with a smile on his face, a white hankie peeking out of his suit coat pocket, and an old briefcase containing the two rare 16th-century books he filched in Germany in 1945. He had blundered into one of the notorious salt mines where the Germans stashed their national treasures. And this one contained books. This year, the National Archives was delighted to facilitate the return. One book belonged to a museum in Paderborn, while the other was traced to a library in Bonn....
Washington Post, Oct. 8

The British library of the future
Margaret Hodge, UK minister of state for culture and tourism, said at the Public Library Authorities Conference in Bristol October 8 that a national review of British libraries was underway and would contain radical proposals for modernization. She said she was in favor of “pushing our thinking to the boundaries.” Among the proposals to be considered is a web-based lending service with home delivery and rewards cards that offer discounts from local businesses. The UK Booksellers Association is “very concerned” about another proposal that would allow libraries to sell books....
Local Government Chronicle, Oct. 9; The Guardian, Oct. 9

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

Why email no longer rules
Jessica E. Vascellaro writes: “We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the internet: logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.”...
Wall Street Journal, Oct. 12

Final Cut Express softwareThe complete guide to video blogging
Leah Betancourt writes: “Video blogging is nothing new—after all, video has existed on the web long before YouTube. But video equipment is now cheaper, post-production software more accessible, and online platforms on which to distribute video are easier to use than ever before. This guide will explore concepts behind video blogging and the tools for creating and distributing that content.”...
Mashable, Oct. 9

Consult the Dispute Finder
Rob Ennals, a research scientist at Intel Labs in Berkeley, California, has developed an online veracity alert system. The software, called Dispute Finder, sniffs through what you are reading online. If anything smells fishy—questionable poll results or references to “death panels”—the code blows a whistle and says, “This is disputed. Here’s the evidence.” Dispute Finder works as a Firefox extension....
Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 13

Evanced calendar used by Blue Hill (Maine) Public LibraryLibrary events calendar roundup
Brian Herzog writes: “An important function of the library is communicating our upcoming events to the community. There are lots of ways to do this, one of which is by having an online calendar. Since we each recently evaluated a number of different calendar options, Rich Boulet and I combined our notes, in the hopes of saving other libraries a bit of legwork when looking at calendars.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, Oct. 13

Five best Windows Task Manager alternatives
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “The Windows Task Manager is a functional but basic tool for keeping an eye on what your computer’s up to. If you want to go beyond the built-in tool and for more in-depth information and control, check out these five alternatives.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 11

Google Maps drops TeleAtlas
Greg Sterling writes: “Google Maps has decided to end its relationship (at least in the United States) with mapping data provider TeleAtlas. Many people have complained that TeleAtlas’s data in the U.S. was poor by comparison to its European coverage. Google now appears to be going it alone, with some combination of public (census) data and user-generated content, as well as information collected from Street View.”...
Search Engine Land, Oct. 12

Xerox Phaser 7500/DNHow to buy a printer
M. David Stone writes: “Picking the right printer can be tough, with so many variations in features available and individual printers with almost any possible combination of those variations. Here are some questions to help you home in on both the right type of printer, and the right printer within each type (purpose, use, and technology).”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 7

How to choose and use strong passwords
Larry Seltzer writes: “Acunetix analyzed the recently leaked list of compromised Hotmail passwords and found that many users use weak ones. The most popular password in the list (64 of them) was ‘123456’ which, after ‘password,’ is the all-time classic weak password. Interestingly there were 11 instances of ‘alejandra’ and lots of Spanish words and names, perhaps saying something about the phishing campaign used to obtain the accounts. How do you choose a strong password? Here are some guidelines.”...
PC Magazine, Oct. 8; Acunetix, Oct. 6

Canova Dual Touch Screen laptop10 of the coolest laptops
Gracie Murano writes: “Some of them are just concepts, others are old news. Meet 10 amazing laptops.” Included is this Dual Touch Screen Laptop from Canova (right), “an ultimate notebook design meant for the creative mind. The notebook features dual display with touch-sensitive screens, sketch pad, music score, graph paper, an electronic pen, and a dedicated hardware for its smooth functioning. Unfortunately, it’s only sold in Italy and Australia.”...
Oddee, Oct. 10


Cover of This Book Is Overdue!This Book Is Overdue!
Marilyn Johnson—a former staff writer for Life and editor at Esquire, Redbook, and Outside—has written This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, scheduled for publication by HarperCollins in February 2010. The book is about librarians as visionaries, technologists, information experts, and advocates of literacy, open access, and the freedom to read. If you can’t wait three months to read it, the publisher has made Chapter One available (PDF file)....

Opening Ceremony, 61st Frankfurt Book Fair, October 13. (left to right) Xi Jingping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prof. Dr. Honnefelder. Photo courtesy Frankfurt Book FairControversy as Frankfurt fêtes Beijing
China, which bans hundreds of books every year, was a controversial choice as the guest of honor at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. But some of the Chinese authors appearing at the fair, which began October 14, have managed to slip political works past the censors. Tie Ning, chair of the Chinese Writers’ Association, has apparently not heard of her country’s censorious acts. “Censorship?” she says. “What censorship? Artists enjoy great liberties in China.”...
Der Spiegel, Oct. 13

APA Style Guide, 6th ed.Correcting a style guide
Scholars turn to style manuals for guidance in authoring error-free manuscripts, but what happens when the manual itself is laden with errors? Users of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association are trying to answer that question now, after the APA last week released dozens of corrections to the first printing of the book’s sixth edition. In addition to being used in psychology, the manual is also used in sociology, economics, business, nursing, and justice administration, among other fields....
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 13

Cover of Eat This: It'll Make You Feel Better, by Dom DeLuiseTop 10 out-of-print cookbooks
Scott Laming writes: “Thousands of cookbooks are published each year. Even with so many varieties, the vast majority fall out of print within a few years of being published. The sad fact is that most of these out-of-print and forgotten cookbooks are actually very good. Real foodies know the best cookbooks are not necessarily the most recently published ones. We have compiled the top 10 bestselling out-of-print cookbooks—the authors range from the master of horror to an American comedy actor.”...

Esme Raji Codell reading to a class, as seen on The PlanetEsme PlanBook review sources
In addition to Booklist Online, its family of blogs, and Choice, there are many other online resources that review and comment on children’s and adult books. A few favorites are:
The PlanetEsme Plan
Story Siren headerAbby (the) Librarian
The Book Smugglers
The Story Siren
Librarian by Day
A Fuse #8 Production
Collecting Children’s Books
Guys Lit Wire
Stacked graphicStacked
Things Mean a Lot
A Striped Armchair
I’m Here I’m Queer What the Hell Do I Read?
and, of course, Awful Library Books.

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Actions & Answers

Chen shi Xiao er bing yuan fang lun, a work on children's diseases by Chen Wenzhong (fl. 1241-1252), in Harvard-Yenching Library's Chinese collectionHarvard and China embark on digitization project
One of the most extensive collections of rare Chinese books outside of China will be digitized and made freely available to scholars worldwide as part of a six-year cooperative project between Harvard College Library and the National Library of China. The project, formally launched October 9, will digitize Harvard-Yenching Library’s entire 51,500-volume Chinese rare book collection, the largest academic collection for East Asian research in the Western world....
Harvard College Library News, Oct. 9

Critics: National Archives lax in records enforcement
An October 2 update (PDF file) to 1980s rules on federal records management might not go far enough to ensure agencies safeguard electronic information, because of the National Archives’ lax enforcement, said records management specialists and transparency activists. Some critics said the problems that NARA and other agencies experience with storing and retrieving a growing number of e-records are due to a lack of policing, not an absence of rules....
Nextgov, Oct. 7

Recommended gay titles on West Bend library websiteDefending teens’ right to read in West Bend (PDF file)
Kristin Pekoll writes: “When the West Bend (Wis.) Community Memorial Library was initially contacted by a local family in opposition to the library’s website, I was shocked. The letter was blatant in its homophobia, as were many of the emails that the library received. I could not understand how a list of books (above) could generate such a vehement response. I felt bombarded by negativity. Three days later, the West Bend Daily News and a conservative Milwaukee radio talk-show host covered the complaints, and the opinions exploded.”...
Voice of Youth Advocates, Oct., pp. 284–287

Institutional sales of rare books
Chris Lowenstein writes: “On October 5, Terry Belanger, founder of the Rare Book School, gave a talk to the Book Club of California. The title of his talk was ‘Eating the Seed Corn: Reflections on Institutional Sales of Rare Books.’ Given the controversy over the University of San Francisco’s recent sale of a few of its treasures from the Gleeson Library, including a Dürer print of St. Jerome, I looked forward to what he had to say. He acknowledged that deaccessioning happens but that it needn’t have happened the way it did at USF.”...
Fine Books Blog, Oct. 12

Neil Gaiman's Twitter graphicTweet an audiobook with Neil Gaiman
Starting October 13, award-winning author Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) will launch a special round-robin interactive storytelling experience. He will tweet the first line of the story and then the rest is up to you. Login to your Twitter account to continue the story. Read the opening line of the story tweeted by Neil (or catch up with it in progress by visiting #bbcawdio) and then follow along at BBC Audiobooks America to post the next sentence. The resulting story, a combination of 140-character contributions from around the globe, will be recorded as an audiobook by an as-yet-unnamed narrator and distributed as a free download....
BBC Audiobooks America Blog, Oct. 12

28 Days Later logoNominate an African-American author
The Brown Bookshelf is accepting submissions for its third Annual 28 Days Later celebration in February. During the 28 days of Black History Month, the website will profile a different children’s or young adult author and children’s illustrator. Nominations will be accepted through November 1....
The Brown Bookshelf

William KamkwambaInterview with William Kamkwamba’s librarian
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind-Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope is the story of William Kamkwamba’s (right) struggle to change his life in Malawi. Using books from his local library and odds and ends from his family’s farm and a local scrapyard, this 14-year-old boy, too poor to continue with school, built a windmill that would bring electricity to his family’s home. On September 28, he appeared on Good Morning America (6:30). PLA staff member Brendan Dowling interviewed Kamkwamba’s village librarian, Edith Sikelo, via email....
PLA Blog, Oct. 13; ABC Good Morning America, Sept. 28

Income models for open-access journals
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) examines the issue of sustainability for current and prospective open-access publishers in a timely new guide, Income Models for Open Access: An Overview of Current Practice, by Raym Crow. The guide provides an overview of income models currently in use to support open-access journals, including a description of each model along with examples of journals currently employing it....
SPARC, Oct. 8

Columbia and Cornell are 2CUL
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $385,000 to the libraries at Columbia University in New York City and Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., to support the development of an innovative partnership dubbed “2CUL.” Starting this fall, Cornell and Columbia will plan significant partnerships in collaborative collection development, acquisitions, and processing. Initial work will focus on several global collecting areas, as well as collaborative funding and support of technical infrastructure....
Cornell University, Oct. 12 logoWhere to find obituaries online
Tami Glatz writes: “No matter how much great information an obituary contains, it’s important to remember that very often they are full of mistakes. Still, it’s worth the effort to locate an obituary when you can, and, as always, my favorite place to start looking is online. has quite an assortment of obituary indexes and newspaper archives available, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have a subscription. So I’ve tried to dig up as many free sources as I can.”...
Relatively Curious About Genealogy, Oct. 6

Librarian or “metator”?
Jim Ericson writes: “A reader named Boz had the best response to last week’s diatribe against corporate information disorganization that called for creating a titled role for a metadata editor or ‘metator’ to manage collaborative sharing of information. ‘So now everything comes full circle,’ wrote Boz. ‘This is the role the corporate librarian used to have in larger organizations.’ Boz had me with that comment right up until he added that our old corporate librarian was ‘not a gatekeeper, but an information management expert.’”...
Information Management Blog, Oct. 12

Dialog program supports laid-off librarians
Information resources company Dialog is coming to the aid of information professionals who have lost their jobs. The company is waiving standard Dialog start-up and service fees, offering free Dialindex, and throwing in a 10% discount on Dialog usage to librarians laid off since September 2008. The program will help them use the system’s resources to conduct job searches, retain and develop search skills, or do some independent consulting while they look for full employment....
Dialog, Oct. 7

Singing librarians at the 1934 CLA conference in PasadenaCLA 75 years ago (PDF file)
Cindy Mediavilla writes: “With their daily breakfast meetings and evening entertainment (banquets and musical acts), the California Library Association conferences of the 1930s might seem quaint to our 21st-century eyes. A careful reading of the conference proceedings, however, reveals an underlying commitment to improve not only the general library conditions in California, but also raise the professional caliber of library workers throughout the state. The 1933–34 CLA president Jasmine Britton reminded members that “[c]onditions have never been more serious for the continued maintenance of Libraries.”...
Clarion 5, no. 1 (Apr. 2009): 24–25

Atlanta's Central LibraryAtlanta’s Central Library becomes endangered
Scott Henry writes: “What does Atlanta’s much-maligned downtown central library—a building that’s been described as a giant cinderblock with windows—have in common with the ruins of Machu Picchu, Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, and Jordan Valley’s Damiya Dolmen Field? Well, they are all among the dozens of structures, historic sites, and geological formations included on the World Monuments Fund’s 2010 watch list of the planet’s most endangered places (PDF file).”...
Fresh Loaf, Oct. 7

The aftermath of the burning of the Abkhazian Research InstituteThe 1992 burning of the Abkhazian historical archives
On October 22, 1992, Georgian special forces in Sukhumi, Abkhazia (an autonomous republic within Georgia), burned down the Abkhazian Research Institute of History, Language, and Literature during a bloody war between the Georgian Armed Forces and Abkhazian separatists. Though help to restore the losses has come from institutions and private donors in Russia, no further assistance has been offered by the wider international community. This short video (7:43) was designed to alert the world to this cultural loss. Lyndon Allin has an update....
YouTube, Nov. 30, 2008; Scraps of Moscow, Oct. 10

Still from Alberta's libraries promotional videoMore libraries get creative on YouTube
Charlie Thomason writes: “Two weeks ago, we posted our top five favorite library-related videos on YouTube. Since then, our readers have sent us some more great YouTube creations. You might be surprised what a large catalog of library and librarian-type content there is on YouTube. The following five videos may vary in production quality, yet are all highly imaginative and somewhat hilarious.”...
@ your library, Oct. 9

Go back to the Top

Oakland Community College ad

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. Tips for finding funding to attend ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference.

Wild Things READ poster

Let your young library patrons’ imaginations run wild with this new READ poster featuring Spike Jonze’s cinematic adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Let the wild rumpus start! NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
Oct. 2009

Cover of Oct. 2009 issue

Online LIS education

The Children We Serve

E-Readers in Action

Facebook à la Fulbright

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Director of the Performing Arts Library, Roosevelt University, Chicago. Facilitate the research, performance, educational, and professional/scholarly activities of the students, faculty, and staff of the Chicago College of Performing Arts within the Performing Arts Library in the historic Auditorium Building. The director will have supervisory responsibility over the professional and support staff of the library, developing and managing the collections, providing reference and instruction, planning, organizing, and implementing exhibits and programs in the newly renovated library....

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Digital Library of the Week

Benin leopard mask

The Benin Empire Collection: Nigerian Sculpture 1440–1897 is one of the foremost art collections at the Broward County (Fla.) Library’s African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale. The library brings together a breathtaking collection of Royal Court Art from the ancient kingdom of Benin, located in Southern Nigeria. The Benin Kingdom, which flourished for 450 years, was founded in the early 14th century by the son of an exiled king from Ife (a nearby area approximately 100 miles southeast). The indigenous inhabitants of the Benin Kingdom, the Binis, created a thriving civilization, with museums, a well-organized military organization, efficient administration, and relative peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the kingdom.

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.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Taylor Mali performing "I'll Fight You for the Library"

“Academic instruction takes precedence over administrative meetings—period. That Dr. Blackstone, the dean of instruction, would even consider canceling one class’s library period in order to hold a meeting called ‘Facilities Utilization’ is so obtuse I am incapable of appreciating the irony.”

—Slam poet Taylor Mali, in “I’ll Fight You for the Library,” performed as part of the Page Meets Stage Series at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, April 29, 2009.

American Libraries on Twitter

AL on Twitter. Follow American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts on Twitter.

Ask the ALA Librarian

National Gaming Day logo

Q. Where can I get information about how to best present and suggest our library celebrating National Gaming Day?

A. As we said for our debut of National Gaming Day in November 2008: In the 21st century, libraries are about much more than books. National Gaming Day offers hundreds of libraries throughout the country the opportunity to showcase their gaming programs and services. National Gaming Day will have its second annual celebration nationwide on November 14. For talking points and research, see the Gaming @ your library Games and Gaming Resources wiki, especially the Advocacy and Gaming and Literacy pages. Additional resources include the Games and Gaming Community on ALA Connect open to both ALA members and nonmembers; the National Gaming Day page at I Love; the Gaming Lists and Activities by the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group on the YALSA wiki; and our own Videogames page. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Oct. 20:
ACRL OnPoint Chat,
1 p.m. Eastern Time. “H1N1 and the Library Response.”

Oct. 28–30:
South Carolina Library Association,
Annual Conference, Columbia.

Oct. 29–30:
Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Williamsburg.

Nov. 5:
OCLC Digital Forum East,
Arlington (Va.) Public Library.

Nov. 5–8:
American Association of School Librarians,
National Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. “Rev Up Learning @ your library.”

Nov. 10–11:
Cataloging Basics: Descriptions, online course hosted by Lyrasis.

Nov. 12:
Environmental Management: Stewardship and Sustainability for Cultural Collections, the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.

Nov. 12:
ACRL OnPoint Chat,
1 p.m. Eastern Time. “Getting Involved with ACRL.”

Nov. 16:
Grant Proposal Writing, Texas A&M University, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, College Station. Course hosted by the Society of American Archivists.

Dec. 1–4:
Cloud Computing Association, 1st International Conference on Cloud Computing, Beijing, China.

Dec. 14–15:
Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Membership Meeting, Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel.

Jan. 20–22:
Atmospheric Science Librarians International,
13th Annual Conference, Atlanta. “Integrating Weather, Climate, and Social Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians.”

Apr. 26–30:
World Wide Web Conference,
Raleigh Convention Center, North Carolina.

June 7–10:
Association of Christian Librarians,
54th Annual Conference, Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota. “True North: Illumination, Inspiration, Information.”

June 27–30:
International Society for Technology in Education,
Annual Conference, Colorado Convention Center, Denver.

@ More...

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