Philly dodges Doomsday; other Pennsylvania libraries in limbo
With less than a day to spare before layoff notices were to be sent to library staff, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a law September 17 that gives Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter the revenue to fund the Free Library of Philadelphia. Only a week earlier, library officials had posted a notice online as well as on building doors that lack of funds was forcing the indefinite closure of the entire 54-facility system as of October 2. Although the Philadelphia crisis has eased, other libraries have already begun tightening their belts in anticipation of hard times....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 18
Senate bill defends reader privacy by regulating surveillance
A bill introduced in the Senate September 17 would reform three provisions of the USA Patriot Act set to expire at the end of the year, as well as the FISA Amendments Act and other surveillance authorities, to safeguard the constitutional rights of Americans while also ensuring that the federal government has the necessary tools to fight terrorism. The JUSTICE Act (Judiciously Using Surveillance Tools in Counterterrorism Efforts), S.B. 1684 would reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act, often referred to as the “library provision,” but with additional checks and balances....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 18
Second Senate Patriot Act reform bill in a week
On September 22, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) introduced the USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009 (PDF file). The bill raises the legal standards to obtain a Section 215 order by requiring the government to show “relevance” for an authorized investigation....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 22
FCC head proposes rules supporting net neutrality
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced regulations September 21 that would prevent internet service providers from blocking or slowing web traffic over their networks. The rules make good on a campaign promise by President Barack Obama to support net neutrality—the concept that network providers should not discriminate regarding the sites or applications to which they provide access....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 23
Georgia town returns to its Carnegie Library roots
A week of festivities commemorated the September 15 rededication to its original mission of suburban Atlanta’s Newnan Carnegie Library after having relinquished its original role 22 years ago. “Newnan is probably the only Carnegie library anywhere to be transitioned to another purpose and reopened as a library,” Andrew Carnegie historian Glenn Walsh asserted at the ceremony, after which the Royal Scottish Country Dancers performed in honor of Carnegie’s ethnicity....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 22
Interview with Iraqi Parliament’s librarian
Mohammad Abbas talks about his role as head of the new Library Department of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, the nation’s parliament, in Baghdad. American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel interviewed Abbas August 24 during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions meeting in Milan, Italy, and by email in the days following....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 21
September savings on ALA 2010 conferences
ALA is offering bundled registration for the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference at a discounted price. Register for both conferences during the month of September and save more than 20% off the advance registration rate you would pay if you bought each event separately. The discount is only available until September 30. Register online by clicking on “Registration.”...
Book banning attempts continue
What do books from the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Little Red Riding Hood have in common? All have faced removal from library bookshelves in the United States. In many cases, it is only through public intervention that books are saved from confiscation or from being kept under lock and key. From coast to coast, libraries and bookstores will battle censorship and celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 26–October 3....
Oprah’s Book Club selection
ALA public, middle school, high school, and community college organizational members are eligible to receive the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection, Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan, chosen September 18. Current organizational members will receive 2–8 copies of the selection, depending on size. Little, Brown, and Company, the publisher, shipped the book in September. (ALA personal memberships do not qualify.)...
Gear up for National Gaming Day
Hundreds of libraries across the country will join ALA to celebrate the second annual National Gaming Day @ your library on November 14. During National Gaming Day, public, school, and academic libraries will offer a variety of in-person gaming activities, including a national video game tournament. Players of all ages and experience levels will be able to see how they rank on local, regional, and national leaderboards. Fill out this survey to register your library’s participation and qualify for materials....
October 3: Make It Matter Day
ALA has signed on as a sponsor of Make It Matter Day, an effort to encourage Americans to participate in literacy and education activities, organized by Reader’s Digest. Make It Matter Day will be held October 3. Earlier this year, Reader’s Digest editors asked readers to identify a cause that mattered most to them. The winner was literacy and education. The magazine is encouraging the public to participate in literacy events at local Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and libraries....
ALA becomes 2010 Census partner
ALA will be working with the Census Bureau to promote the value of accurate and complete census data and to create a positive impact on the 2010 questionnaire response rate. In February and March, the Census Bureau will begin mailing or delivering census questionnaires to households in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The Census Bureau has developed a wide array of downloadable free materials to promote participation....
Fiber to the library
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has released the official version of its policy brief, “Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit” (PDF file). The purpose of this paper is to assist libraries in understanding the benefits of fiber-optic technology and to suggest strategies they can consider when exploring how to obtain fiber connectivity. It also provides arguments that may be useful in library community applications to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program....
District Dispatch, Sept. 21
OIF videos from Annual Conference
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has four new videos on blip.tv featuring programs from the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. One is the popular panel discussion, “My, Those Novels Certainly Are . . . Graphic” (right), featuring Neil Gaiman, Terry Moore, and Craig Thompson....
OIF Blog, Sept. 22; blip.tv
In this Banned Books Week video (2:23) from the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Chad, Rustle, and Moon, the Crash Pad puppets, misinterpret the meaning of Banned Books Week, trying to throw some books with objectionable content—Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Joy of Cooking, and the phone book—out of the library, until Herb points out the error of their ways. Written and performed by Josh Zagoren and Andrew Marchetti....
2009 IFLA World Library and Information Congress, Milan
This video (2:03) includes scenes from the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Milan, Italy, including music from the Concert for IFLA, held August 25 in the Duomo, and interviews with Mexican delegate Jesus Lau, outgoing IFLA President Claudia Lux,
Paula Restrepo Duque (right) of the EPM Foundation,
Deborah Jacobs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, new IFLA President Ellen Tise, and U.S. delegate
Barbara Ford. Read more about the IFLA conference on AL Inside Scoop....
Keeping up with ALA Connect
This is one (2:49) in a series of introductory screencasts on using the ALA Connect website that was created by members of the ALA Emerging Leaders Group I. “There’s so much happening on ALA Connect, you may feel a bit overwhelmed trying to find your way. But with a few easy features, you can quickly put your finger on the pulse of ALA Connect.” Watch 11 other Connect videos on the AL Focus website....
Featured review: Reference
Salisbury, Joyce E. (ed.). Greenwood Encyclopedia of Global Medieval Life and Culture. Mar. 2009. 3v. 1,200p. Greenwood, hardcover (978-0-313-33801-4).
This set is a much-expanded version of the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life, Volume II (2004), which covered daily life in the Middle Ages in European, Viking, Chinese, Muslim, Byzantine, Mongol, and Polynesian societies. As its title suggests, the new set extends the coverage of medieval life around the globe. The work analyzes culture and life during the time period from 400 CE to 1400 CE, but coverage is extended to 1600 for the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia, and North Africa and the Middle East. What makes this excellent set so valuable are the topical essays, 8 to 10 pages in length, covering the history, religion, economy, arts, society, and science and technology in each area. Essays discussing “Global Ties” do an outstanding job of showing how each region was connected to other parts of the world....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
ALSC revises competencies document
ALSC has released a revised edition of its Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. The division recommends these core competencies to all children’s librarians and other library staff whose primary duties include delivering library service to and advocating library service for children from birth to age 14. As an added bonus to ALSC members, free downloadable versions of the competencies are also available to print for training and workshops....
RFP on the value of academic libraries
ACRL is seeking proposals from experienced researchers for the development and delivery of a comprehensive review of the quantitative and qualitative literature, methodologies and best practices currently in place for demonstrating the value of academic libraries. The request for proposals (PDF file) is available on the ACRL website. Responses are due by November 2....
ACRL Insider, Sept. 17
National Friends of Libraries Week, October 18–24
ALTAFF is coordinating the fourth annual national Friends of Libraries Week, October 18–24. The celebration offers an opportunity to honor library Friends by creatively showcasing your group in the community, raising awareness, and promoting membership. It is also an excellent opportunity for libraries and trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support....
RUSA Readers’ Advisory course now open
The RUSA online course, Readers’ Advisory 101, is now open for registration for the upcoming fall session. This popular course, offered October 26–December 7, is perfect for support staff, library technicians, and newly hired reference librarians looking to become more comfortable in providing readers’ advisory services. Register online or download the registration form (PDF file) to register by fax or mail....
Julie Walker elected to P21 Strategic Council
AASL Executive Director Julie Walker has been elected to serve as vice chair of the Strategic Council of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st-century skills into education....
Sign up for the 2009 AASL Bloggers’ Café
Are you attending the 2009 AASL National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina? If so, be a part of the bloggers’ café. Presentation equipment and an internet connection will be available. Host a discussion, create a Birds of a Feather session, or expand on your concurrent session. Sign up here....
AASL Blog, Sept. 20
AASL commends four reading and literacy programs
AASL formally commended the following programs because they align with the division’s learning standards, guidelines, and principles expressed in its mission and value statements: the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the William Allen White Children’s Book Awards program, No Book Left Unread, and Funds for Public Schools’ Library REACH. The AASL Affiliate Assembly presented these programs to the board at the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago....
ACRL/LLAMA Spring Virtual Institute
ACRL and LLAMA are now accepting proposals for their Spring Virtual Institute, “Doing Well by Doing Good: Entrepreneurial Leadership for Librarians,” April 21–22. Submissions for interactive webcasts and online poster sessions will be accepted through November 16. The institute will explore different models and aspects of leadership and management and their impact on academic librarianship in today’s challenged and flat economic environments....
Nominations for Sara Jaffarian Award
The ALA Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the 2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K–8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2008–2009 school year are eligible. Nominations and applications must be received by December 15....
RUSA literary awards
RUSA literary awards committees are seeking outstanding published works for consideration for a variety of 2010 reference awards and prestigious lists for the adult reader. Publishers are invited to submit titles for the Notable Books List, the Reading List, the Sophie Brody Medal, the Dartmouth Medal, and the Outstanding Reference Sources list. Send nominations to the section committee chairperson for each....
Iowa paper scientist named MacArthur Fellow
Timothy Barrett, founding director of the papermaking facilities at the University of Iowa Center for the Book—the only program in the United States that focuses on making Western- and Japanese-style paper by hand—was named one of 24 Fellows by the MacArthur Foundation September 22. Barrett is an internationally recognized master craftsman and paper historian who is preserving and enhancing the art of hand-papermaking through his work as a practitioner, scholar, and teacher....
MacArthur Foundation, Sept. 22
Tenopir wins 2009 ASIS&T Award of Merit
University of Tennessee School of Information Science Professor Carol Tenopir has been honored with the 2009 Award of Merit by the American Society for Information Science and Technology. The award is the society’s highest honor, bestowed annually on an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to the field of information science....
University of Tennessee, Sept. 18
Arlington library director honored by Muslim group
Local Muslims gathered at the Dallas–Fort Worth Islamic Educational Center in Arlington, Texas, September 17 and honored four public servants for their service to the Muslim community. One of those was Arlington Public Library Director Cary Ann Siegfried, who revoked the meeting-room privileges of the Grand Prairie chapter of ACT! for America in July because it was violating library rules about soliciting funds and allowing free access to meetings. The group was also invoking the threat of radical Islam in order to raise money....
Fort Worth (Tex.) Star-Telegram, Sept. 18
Excellence in digital storytelling
Seven New Jeresey libraries were recognized September 15 for excellence in digital storytelling by the New Jersey State Library at an Academy Award–like ceremony at the New Jersey State Museum Auditorium in Trenton. The first-place award in the library’s “Tell Us Your Story” video competition went to the Cape May County Library for its video, “Get Your Game On @ your library” (right, 2:24). Watch the winners here....
New Jersey State Library, Sept. 17
Skinner and Bausch win Dayton Literary Peace Prizes
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery (Free Press) by E. Benjamin Skinner, and Peace (Knopf) by Richard Bausch were named winners September 22 of the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction and fiction, respectively. The prize was founded in 2006 as an outgrowth of the Dayton Peace Prize, which commemorates the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords ending the war in Bosnia....
Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Sept. 22
2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books
The 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books was awarded September 15 to Richard Holmes for his book The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, which investigates how a fascination for science swept across Britain at the end of 18th century.The £10,000 prize ($16,225 U.S.) celebrates the best new popular-science writing for a general adult readership....
Royal Society, Sept. 15
2009 Award for Indexing Excellence
At its annual dinner September 12, the Society of Indexers presented the Wheatley Medal for an outstanding index to Rudy Hirschmann, representing the members of the Einstein Papers Project, for the indexes in volume 11 of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (edited by A. J. Kox, et al., Princeton University Press, 2009). The papers were published as 11 volumes, and the indexes are extremely comprehensive for such a massive work, exhibiting a high quality of indexing....
Society of Indexers, Sept. 16
Walkout called over UC budget cuts
Hundreds of faculty, students, and staff from the University of California’s 10 campuses are planning a systemwide walkout September 24 to protest UC’s handling of its budget crisis. The protest was sparked by UC President Mark Yudof’s recent proposal to raise student tuition by about 30% by fall 2010. The university says it is trying to close a budget shortfall of at least $753 million. The walkout has gotten the support of some 800 faculty members systemwide, as well as the UC Students Association (PDF file), the American Association of University Professors, and the University Professional and Technical Employees. Library employees are upset about layoffs and reduced hours....
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 23; Changing Universities; KGO-TV, San Francisco, Sept. 16
Google Books Settlement hearing delayed
After the Department of Justice recommended September 18 that a federal judge reject the Google Books settlement (see Karen Coyle’s analysis of the DOJ’s concerns), the parties involved in the Google Book Search settlement have asked a federal court to postpone an October 7 fairness hearing while they work out a new deal (PDF file). The court is expected to agree. Meanwhile, Google seems to be preparing for victory by purchasing reCAPTCHA and contracting with On Demand Books to let Espresso Book Machine owners print out and bind public-domain books from its database....
Relevant Results, Sept. 22; Coyle’s InFormation, Sept. 20; New York Times, Sept. 18, 20; Information Week, Sept. 16; Epicenter, Sept. 17
House bill includes initiatives for community college libraries
Community college libraries were included in the House-passed Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3221) in mid-September—a true victory for libraries, considering the original bill did not include them. ALA sought the opportunity to promote the role of community college library services by ensuring they were explicitly spelled out in Section 503 in the language titled “Grants to Eligible Entities for Community College Reform.”...
District Dispatch, Sept. 21
Anti-porn group demands filters in Owosso library
More than 50 area residents gathered September 21 to discuss ways to filter internet computers at Shiawassee District Library in Owosso, Michigan. The meeting, organized by Citizens for Filtering Shiawassee District Library Public Access Computers, comes two days before the library board meeting to discuss its internet policy. The group wants the board to require children 13 or younger to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when accessing the internet and to require children between the ages of 10 and 18 to have permission forms signed by a parent or guardian before they can access the internet....
Owosso (Mich.) Argus-Press, Sept. 22
Author talk canceled until school reviews her book
A visit by a best-selling author to Whittier Middle School in Norman, Oklahoma, was canceled after a parent questioned the content of one of the author’s books. Author Ellen Hopkins was scheduled to speak to 8th-graders September 22 about her career, writing process, and books. But she was notified that her visit was canceled because a parent at the school requested a review of her book Glass, the second in a series about a teen dealing with drug addiction. Hopkins said itís ironic her visit was canceled this week because the ALAís Banned Books Week begins September 26....
Oklahoma City Oklahoman, Sept. 22
Threatening notes at Eden Prairie branch
A man has been charged with leaving threatening notes with drawings of airplanes and references to 9/11 over three days at the Eden Prairie branch of the Hennepin County (Minn.) Library. When interviewed by police, Abdulahi Hassan Farah told officers that the United States was attacked by terrorists before and will be attacked again. The notes were left at the library service desk....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sept. 22
Vancouver library calls off assisted-suicide workshop
The Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library has refused permission for Exit International, an Australian assisted-suicide organization, to hold a workshop on suicide in its main downtown library. The organization had proposed holding the workshop September 10 in the central library, but City Librarian Paul Whitney canceled it after seeking legal advice. The seminar had included a private presentation for those over the age of 55 seeking information on methods of committing suicide. Whitney stands by his decision: “Freedom of speech and access to information are core values for us, but . . . the library was not prepared to be party to a probable criminal offense, which could result in the loss of life.”...
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, Sept. 22; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sept. 22
Gwinnett takes a regional approach
The Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library will be divided into a regional system, a move that will spare the Dacula branch (right) from closure. Trustees voted September 22 to restructure the system into three regional libraries, nine community libraries, and three library computer labs open fewer hours (of which Dacula will be one). The conversion is meant to offset a $4-million funding cut to the branches while allowing all 14 of them to remain open....
Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post, Sept. 23
Students donate books for Alabama Black Belt
University of Alabama students, faculty, and staff, and Tuscaloosa community members are taking part in “Books for the Alabama Black Belt,” a campaign designed to put a book in the hands of the more than 30,000 children in the Alabama Black Belt. The campaign is an effort to help children in the 12 Black Belt counties develop a passion for reading and learning at an early age. The program has been going on for the past three years....
University of Alabama Crimson White, Sept. 17
West Virginia library home to Bataan collection
When recounting the darkest events in American history, the 1942 Bataan Death March often is overlooked, according to Mary Kay Wallace. Wallace, director of the Brooke County (W.Va.) Public Library, believes that is a mistake. And with more than 100,000 books, documents, and artifacts related to the death march and American prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II, the library claims to have the world’s most extensive collection of materials on the topic....
Wheeling (W.Va.) Intelligencer, Sept. 22
Only 5% of UK web users would pay to read news
If Rupert Murdoch thinks readers will pay to read his websites, maybe he should think again. According to a Harris Interactive survey, if their favorite news site began charging for access to content, three quarters of people would simply switch to an alternative free news source, and only 5% of those readers would choose to pay to continue reading the site....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 21
Canadian libraries are in good health
Contrary to what you might have heard, Canadian libraries are not in a terminal state of decline, “they’re not even sick,” says Wendy Newman, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto faculty of information. Circulation was up 27% this summer across Ontario’s 330 systems and 1,000 branches. Toronto, already the largest system in the world with 99 branches, is expanding with two more. “We’re not intimidated by the future at all,” laughs Shelagh Paterson, executive director of the Ontario Library Association....
Toronto Star, Sept. 20
Go back to the Top
Turn a Twitter feed into an RSS feed
Eyal Sela writes: “Twitter is a great source for online content. Some might even argue that it has the potential to aggregate better content then an RSS reader because the aggregation is done by people, rather than previously chosen feeds. Readtwit is a 3-step service that seamlessly integrates this aggregation power of the people you follow—into your RSS reader.”...
MakeUseOf, Sept. 20
Twitter techniques for libraries
David Allen Kelly writes: “When we decided to start a Twitter feed in mid-2008, we started experimenting with different techniques. We’ve found some things that we like and that our customers seem to like as well. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list—just a jumping-off point for any libraries looking for ideas. If you feel pretty comfortable with Twitter, jump down to Tweet 5, since this is the biggest way I think most libraries are probably not taking advantage of Twitter.”...
kellydallen, July 29
Use WorldCat apps on Facebook pages
Bob Robertson-Boyd writes: “We’ve updated our CiteMe and WorldCat Facebook applications for use on organizational Facebook pages. Now your group, school, or library website can provide these services too. These instructions are written for the CiteMe application, but apply to the WorldCat application as well.”...
WorldCat blog, Sept. 21
300+ resources to make you a WordPress expert
Cameron Chapman writes: “WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms available today. It’s powerful enough to be a complete CMS, has every feature or function a blogger could dream of (either built in or available via plugins or custom functions), and it’s free and open source. Here are more than 300 resources to help you master WordPress, no matter what your skill level is.”...
Webdesigner Depot, Sept. 17
Make computers more senior-friendly
Seniors with reduced vision often encounter difficulties with computers because technology is still created for a younger audience. For example, screen resolutions have become enormous, providing more desktop space, and as a result smaller icons and text. Fortunately, Windows provides options to roll back these features and make computers more accessible. It also comes with tools that enhance visibility. Here are some of them....
MakeUseOf, Sept. 19
Surrealism improves learning skills
Reading Franz Kafka’s The Country Doctor or watching Blue Velvet by director David Lynch could make you smarter, according to research by psychologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia. Exposure to surrealism apparently enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The findings appear in an article published in the September issue of Psychological Science....
University of California, Santa Barbara, Sept. 15
The Wondermark steam-powered genre-fiction generator
Lauren Davis writes: “Need help on your chronopunk novel about a journeyman inventor in a post-apocalyptic Antarctica? Look no further than David Malki’s Genre-Fiction Generator, a simple flow chart that will have you concocting that perfect science-fiction story in no time.”...
io9, Sept. 22; Wondermark
A gallery of Slovak book covers
Will writes: “I came across these Slovak book covers while book hunting online. I have no memory of saving the images to my hard drive. Luckily I named the files (for once) and was therefore able to provide the names of the illustrators for most of the covers.” More covers are here. On the right, cover art for Klísata na harfě (1948) by Jaroslav Vojtěch....
A Journey Round My Skull, Aug. 12, Sept. 14
Literacy instruction: The key to education reform
A new report from Carnegie Corporation of New York pinpoints adolescent literacy as a cornerstone of the current education reform movement, upon which efforts such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must be built. The report, Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Success, recommends actions that point out important intersections with the Obama administration’s $4.35-billion Race to the Top competitive grant guidelines....
Carnegie Corporation of New York, Sept. 15
14 ways school librarians can teach social media
Joyce Valenza writes: “A school’s teacher-librarian is its chief information officer, but in a networked world, the position is more that of moderator or coach—the person who ensures that students and teachers can effectively interact with information and leverage it to create and share and make a difference in the community and beyond. There are at least 14 retooled learning strategies that teacher-librarians should be sharing with classroom teachers and learners in the 2009–2010 school year.”...
NeverEndingSearch, Sept. 21
School librarians are in short supply
Pamela Martineau writes: “If adequately supported, school librarians—or teacher-librarians as they are called in California—are vital educational leaders on campus who update educators’ and students’ research skills in an era of ever-changing technology. But many education policymakers don’t actually know what good teacher-librarians do, school library advocates claim, so library programs are especially vulnerable to budget cuts when the state backs cash-strapped schools into tight fiscal corners such as the ones they’re in now.”...
California Schools Magazine, Fall 2009
Target unveils 16 school library makeovers
Thousands of underserved elementary children across the country are returning to their schools this fall to find fully equipped and renovated eco-friendly media centers, thanks to the Target Volunteers School Library Makeover program, sponsored by the Heart of America Foundation. A program on September 10 unveiled one of 16 extreme library makeovers at New York City’s P.S. 76 Bennington School, which not only doubled the library’s size but also included an original mural by Disney artist Cecilia Washington Carr....
School Library Journal, Sept. 22; Target Corporation, Sept. 8
12 things academic libraries must do to survive
Steven Bell writes: “Newspapers are getting lots of advice for what they need to do to survive in the 21st century. How well might that advice work for academic libraries? I wanted to put that question to the test. Let’s take Vadim Lavrusik’s 12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive and see how well academic libraries could implement these recommendations.”...
ACRLog, Sept. 17; Mashable, Aug. 14
Support grows for access to publicly funded research
The presidents of 57 liberal arts colleges in the United States have declared their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 1373) in an open letter released September 23. The letter is the first from higher education administrators to be issued in support of the bill, which would require that journal articles stemming from publicly funded research be made available in an online repository no later than six months after publication....
Alliance for Taxpayer Access, Sept. 23
Lessons of good customer service
Amy Fry writes: “When I worked at Barnes and Noble, I learned about the ‘up-sell,’ wherein you try to sell an additional, related item to someone already making a purchase. A related concept is the ‘hand-sell,’ wherein I was to be personally committed to promoting a specific item during my shifts at the store. What would happen if I applied these concepts to the reference desk? What kind of academic library add-ons could I promote with each patron interaction?”...
Library Journal, Sept. 1
Herb and Dorothy Vogel
Herb and Dorothy will makes its TV debut October 13 on the PBS series Independent Lens: “He was a postal clerk. She was a librarian. With modest means, this couple managed to build one of the most important modern art collections in history. Meet Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, whose shared passion and commitment defied stereotypes and redefined what it means to be an art collector.” Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal will be this season’s host. Watch the trailer here....
Independent Lens; Beyond the Box Blog, Sept. 21; Herb & Dorothy
Teach a man to Google
mk Eagle writes: “I’ve been working at my new job for less than a month, but already I’m raising some eyebrows. And for once, it’s not the piercings or tattoos. So what am I doing that’s so controversial? Instruction. Direct instruction to students was a vital part of my GSLIS school library teacher program, but mention that I want to give bibliographic instruction, and you’d think I’d suggested kicking off the school year with a bonfire using Catcher in the Rye as kindling.”...
YALSA Blog, Sept. 22
StoryCorps launches Latino initiative
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress will be the repository for personal interviews with Latino Americans from across the United States as StoryCorps launches its “Historias” mobile booth. These contemporary personal narrative recordings of Latinos and Latinas will complement other Hispanic and Latin-American collections at the center. The national launch of StoryCorps Historias will be held September 24 at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C....
Library of Congress, Sept. 21
Topeka’s first podcamp
David Lee King writes: “On September 19, Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library cohosted (with WIBW Studios) its first podcamp, Podcamp Topeka. Don’t know what a podcamp is? It’s an unconference dedicated to Web 2.0 tools and social media. How did I organize this thing? The important planning revolves around how many people you hope to attract—you have to have enough space to accommodate them.”...
David Lee King, Sept. 21
Best links for RDA
Karen Anderson writes: “If you have anything to do with library services, you know that RDA has the world all a-buzz right now. But it can be difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on. For that reason, I asked our RDA Librarian to compile a list of her favorite places to get information. Here are links on RDA, FRBR, and FRAD that I have found very helpful and informative.”...
MARS Automation Services, Sept. 21
OSU cartoon library named for Columbus artist
Ohio State University trustees approved renaming the school’s renowned Cartoon Library and Museum after Billy Ireland, a cartoonist for the Columbus Dispatch from 1898 until his death in 1935. The library has moved to a temporary location in preparation for a $21-million rehab of its space in historic Sullivant Hall. The project got the go-ahead in large part because of a $7-million gift with naming rights from the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Charitable Trust, which manages Ireland’s estate....
Ohio State University, Sept. 18
Video games need more diversity
A recent survey reveals that males, adults, and white people are overrepresented in American video games. Females, black people, children, and the elderly are correspondingly underrepresented. Dmitri Williams at the University of Southern California and his colleagues say that this is the first research on the types of people represented by characters in video games—whose actions are claimed by some to act as role models for people’s behavior in the real world....
New Scientist, Sept. 22
Can you ask library users to leave if they have H1N1?
Attorney Grayson Barber writes: “Public officials cannot eject members of the public from a public library unless there’s a very good reason for doing so. If you suspect a customer has H1N1, and you ask them to leave for that reason, you are taking a huge risk if you guess wrong. The better approach would be to encourage the customer to comply with posted guidelines for protecting himself, herself, and the community.”...
LibraryLaw Blog, Sept. 20
Top 15 reasons people join volunteer boards
Patricia Martin writes: “It’s important to understand why people join boards and committees, in order to know what it will take to motivate and maintain members who are committed to the organization. Here are the top 15 reasons why people become involved on boards and committees.”...
Culture Scout Blog, Sept. 21
Pigeon for a day
Angela Reynolds writes: “One might not think that someone with a master’s degree would end up walking in a parade in a paint-covered hoodie with a cardboard bird body attached, but this, my friends, is the true calling of many a librarian. To hear a crowd of young parade watchers yell out ‘Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!’ is a joy indeed. Even adults, who probably have never read a Mo Willems book enjoyed the costume” crafted for the 26th annual Bridgetown (Nova Scotia) Ciderfest Parade September 12....
ALSC Blog, Sept. 17
Queens librarian dances the “chicken dance”
Susan Scatena, librarian at the Whitestone branch of the Queens (N.Y.) Library, challenged her summer readers: If they read 2,500 books, she would dress up as a chicken and do the chicken dance on the library steps. The youngsters were so anxious to see the spectacle, 355 of them read more than 5,800 books. Scatena was in fine feather September 10, and paid off her promise before a large audience....
Queens Library, Sept. 10
Children’s room, Brooklyn Public Library, 1941
This photo of the Children’s Room at the Brooklyn Public Library in Prospect Park Plaza was taken from the balcony on February 1, 1941. The original is a 5-by-7-inch safety negative by Sam Gottscho. Click through on the photo to see a larger image....
Shorpy, Sept. 22
Book necklaces and other old-leather book items
Margaux Kent, of TheBlackSpotBooks in Philadelphia, creates necklaces made out of specially manufactured, miniature, hand-sewn, leather-bound books. The mini-books, as well as her larger creations, are made of a “mix of antique and scrap leathers” (whatever Kent has found in antique stores) and the paper is lineless Strathmore artist paper—thick, hand-torn, acid-free pages that work perfectly with ink, pens, pencil, charcoal, and other media. Watch the video (2:09). ...
Dirty librarian chains
Perhaps you like your accessories to possess an edgy, understated, and yet slightly askew elegance that reflects your personal style? Check out “dirty librarian chains” by designer Susan Domelsmith. These chains are refitted from second-hand materials. A piece such as the Call Number Necklace incorporates 11 gold-and-silver-plated vintage chains and four vintage charms. Other selections include a Monograph Bracelet, Collation Earrings, a Dewey Sunglass Chain, and a Sudocs Chain....
Dirty Librarian Chains
A librarian looks like . . .
Eric Frierson writes: “I recently went out to do a library instruction session for a freshman-level U.S. government class at the University of Texas at Arlington—these kids were from all majors. Before saying my name or who I was, I asked them to take out a sheet of paper and draw a librarian, list things a librarian does, and list some things at the library.” Some of the other drawings are in this large PDF file....
Live Wire Librarian, Sept. 8
Ask a Librarian now includes marriage proposals
Paula Bagwell, a librarian at St. Petersburg College, was proposed to on Ask a Librarian, Florida’s virtual reference service managed by the Tampa Bay Library Consortium. In her own words: “My boyfriend of two years, Josh, just proposed to me via Ask a Librarian. I was covering virtual chat and he signed on and asked me to marry him. Then I learned he was actually at the Clearwater library and was using a computer in the lab. He got down on his knee and proposed to me in the middle of the library.”...
Ask a Librarian Blog, Sept. 23
The smartest card in North Carolina
For the fourth year in a row, the State Library of North Carolina is proving that the smartest card in North Carolina is a library card. For the latest edition of North Carolina’s Smartest Card campaign, the state library selected Gov. Bev Perdue as its spokesperson. “A public library card gives you access to a whole world of information and imagination,” said Gov. Perdue in a promotional video (2:02)....
ALA, Sept. 22; YouTube, Sept. 1
The library at Coventry University
Students at Coventry University in the U.K. are the best advocates for library services. In this video (5:33), they describe the helpful staff, extended hours during exams, self-service checkout, media services, the Centre for Academic Writing, the phone zone, laptop loan service, the resources shop, the learning lounge, and the café....
YouTube, Sept. 23
Can you spot the librarian?
Librarians at Marion County (Ky.) Public Library have much more to offer than “shhhh.” They are fun, clever, and extremely helpful people who are ready and willing to connect patrons with facts, technology, and fun events and programs. They are also willing to dress up in all sorts of costumes (2:04) in order to deliver information creatively, so “don’t judge the profession by its cover, or its perceived cover.”...
YouTube, Sept. 23
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19.
Bundled 2010 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference housing registration is open now through September 30. Midwinter Meeting housing alone will open October 1. Check out the Boston hotel map (PDF file) to see where you might want to stay. Also, consult these PDF maps for subway directions, walking directions, and area restaurants.
Reach out to the youth in your community with items that celebrate Teen Read Week, October 18–24. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Banned Books Week, September 26–October 3, is an annual event sponsored by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Resources to publicize local library activities are available. Free downloads, display ideas, activity ideas, PSA scripts, a letter to the editor and a proclamation are available here. Posters, bookmarks, buttons, and a BBW resource guide are available for purchase at the ALA Store.
Public Libraries: Necessities or Amenities?
Designing User Experiences
Sound Recording Collections
Learning with Blogs
Theodore Roosevelt Center Digital Library Coordinator/Archivist, Dickinson State University, North Dakota. Manage the acquisition and cataloging of materials to be included in the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library; maintain imaging and metadata standards for the project; provide support to contributing entities; and train and supervise volunteers to assist with the cataloging of the collection. The coordinator/archivist will be expected to explore and guide the implementation of new technologies, including Web 2.0; meet research and reference needs of patrons; manage project resources and establish processing priorities and oversee day-to-day production workflows....
Digital Library of the Week
Wisconsin Heritage Online is a collaborative project with contributions from public, special, and academic libraries, historical societies, and museums from all over the state. Initiated in 2004, the site continues to grow under a grant from the Nicholas Family Foundation, which supports staff who can travel across the state to help institutions get their treasures online. Teachers, students, genealogists, history buffs, and others who value Wisconsin and its wealth of digitized materials will enjoy finding interesting or useful material.
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.
“I’m doing exactly what I’ve always done: living within my means. Not a problem. No lifestyle change. Libraries are still free.”
—John Smith, of Vienna, Virginia, in response to the New York Times reader question, “What are your survival strategies? How are you getting by in the economic downturn?” Sept. 21. Smith’s response was recommended as helpful by the most readers.
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the ALA Librarian
Q. My library is in the process of creating its budget, and I have been asked to find out how much certain items and functions cost. Can you help?
A. ALA has several resources that can help libraries with budgeting, cost analysis, and the average cost of books. For a look at library operating expenditures, consult the ALA Library’s Fact Sheet #4, which provides an annotated bibliography. Specific information about budgeting for school libraries, including information about book prices, has also been gathered by the ALA Library. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Selling your products and services to the library market just got easier. The 2010 media kit (PDF file) for American Libraries, AL Direct, and AL Online is now available for advertisers. Learn how American Libraries publications can help your business grow.
NISO Forum: Library Resource Management Systems, Metro Meeting Center, Boston.
InfoCamp Seattle, user experience unconference, Cleveland High School.
Indiana Library Federation, Annual Conference, Fort Wayne.
Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Harrisburg Hilton.
Electrifying! An Evening with Special Libraries Association President Gloria Zamora at the National Electronics Museum, Linthicum, Maryland.
Arkansas Library Association, Annual Conference, Embassy Suites and Conference Center, Hot Springs.
Virginia Library Association, Annual Conference, Williamsburg Marriott.
Academic Library Association of Ohio, annual conference, Roberts Centre Holiday Inn, Wilmington. “At the Crossroads: Recharging, Redefining, and Realigning our Libraries.”
American Association of School Librarians National Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. “Rev Up Learning @ your library.”
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Vancouver, British Columbia. “Thriving on Diversity: Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World.”
International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society, Free University Berlin, Germany.
Public Library Association, annual conference, Oregon Convention Center, Portland.
Library Orientation Exchange, annual conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, Michigan. “Bridging and Beyond: Developing Librarian Infrastructure.”