|American Libraries Online
Libraries take disproportionate hit in New York mayor’s budget
New York City’s three library systems took a disproportionate hit in the $63.6-billion budget proposal released by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg January 28. In order to close a $4.9-billion deficit for FY2011, the plan makes $1.6 billion in reductions to city agencies. Of the 834 job cuts, 299—more than one-third—would come from library staff, prompting the New York Times to call libraries “the biggest loser” in the budget. Additionally, the plan calls for another 135 library jobs to be lost by attrition....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 29
Jobs Bill looming, but no support for librarians
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.Dak.) has indicated that he and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) plan to introduce the Senate’s $80-billion version of the Jobs for Main Street Act on February 4. This bill, also simply known as the “Jobs Bill,” is designed to get Americans back to work; but it does not include any money for libraries or librarians. The ALA Washington Office urges librarians to call their senators and urge them to include the hiring and retaining of librarians in the Senate version of this bill....
District Dispatch, Feb. 3
LSSI loses challenge to Florida rule mandating full-time directors
A judge has dismissed a legal challenge brought by Library Systems and Services (LSSI) against a proposed rule that would require Florida’s public library systems to be administered by a full-time librarian employed by the library’s governing body. Proposed by the Florida Division of Library and Information Services as an amendment to the State Aid to Libraries guidelines, the rule would require local governments to meet the requirement in order to receive a library operating grant from the state....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 3
Candidates for Lexington director made public
Leonard Kniffel writes: “Doug Tattershall, media relations coordinator for Lexington Public Library in Kentucky, sent American Libraries an email announcing that three finalists for the library’s vacant executive director position will be in Lexington interviewing for two days the first week of February. The chosen candidate will replace Kathleen Imhoff, whose controversial firing last July was the subject of much local media scutiny.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Feb. 1
Will’s World: I Blog, Therefore I Matter
Will Manley writes: “I find it fascinating that so many people try to put a sad face on retirement. Some of this negativity stems from our strong American work ethic, but much of it originates from fear. Take away work and you’re floating around in space with nothing to do. I decided that I wanted to fill up my time by writing a book so I got rid of my television, gave my cell phone to my 2-year-old grandson to play with, and disconnected the computer. This last decision was a mistake.” Will Manley is now blogging at Will Unwound....
American Libraries, Mar.; AL: Inside Scoop, Jan. 29
Inaugural Judith Krug Intellectual Freedom Panel
Angela Maycock writes: “Office for Intellectual Freedom staffers attending the 6th Annual State of the Net conference January 27 in Washington, D.C., were honored to witness the first iteration of the Judith Krug Memorial Intellectual Freedom Panel. The panel, moderated by David Weller of Wilmer Hale, was titled ‘Global Free Expression: Will the Internet Reign or Get Reigned In?’ and featured provocative speakers from a variety of perspectives.”...
OIF Blog, Feb. 2
New Flickr group: ALA in Second Life
In an attempt to gather together the various photos and photo sets on Flickr of ALA Island as well as of ALA members and staff at Second Life events under one umbrella, the ALA Library’s Valerie Hawkins created a new public Flickr group, ALA in Second Life. Anyone can join and then add photos to the group pool. And this is a place where participants of the upcoming “The Future is Now: Libraries and Museums in Virtual Worlds” conference, March 5–6, can post their pictures as well....
Virtual Presence, Feb. 2
@ your library website recommends resources
The @ your library website provides information and recommended resources that everyone can take advantage of at their local libraries—such as articles on how kids are learning how to make movies with the help of their local library, how librarians are helping job seekers prepare for job interviews, and lists of youth media award winners.
It is the website for ALA’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, which highlights the value of libraries and librarians and connects people to free resources....
ALA’s Committee on Accreditation has granted continued accreditation status to LIS programs at the University of Alabama, McGill University, North Carolina Central University, University of South Carolina, and Wayne State University. The next comprehensive review visit at each institution is scheduled to occur in 2016....
Updated measures of service quality for today’s libraries
ALA Editions has released Assessing Service Quality: Satisfying the Expectations of Library Customers, Second Edition, by Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman. This classic book, which was honored with the Highsmith Library Award when first published, is brought fully up to date as Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman integrate the use of technology into the customer experience. They offer solid, practical ideas for developing a customer service plan that meets the library’s customer-focused mission, vision, and goals....
The ins and outs of writing great book reviews
ALA Editions has released Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory, by Booklist Adult Books Editor Brad Hooper. Reviews are an important resource for readers’ advisory and collection development, as well as a helpful promotional tool, introducing patrons to what is new on the shelf. Hooper shows readers how to write succinct and effective reviews, and he includes different ways reviews can be used to promote your library....
Featured review: Music
Cohodas, Nadine. Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone. Feb. 2010. 464p. Pantheon, hardcover (978-0-375-42401-4).
Born in 1933, Eunice Waymon was a musical prodigy, amazing North Carolina churchgoers with her piano playing beginning at age 4. Serious, proud, and hardworking, she dreamed of becoming a classical pianist and only began performing her unique blend of classical, gospel, jazz, and pop when she took a nightclub gig to earn money for graduate school. Eunice’s spontaneous invention of her alter ego, Nina Simone, is evidence of her formidable capacity for improvisation, the lifeblood of her world-altering music and the skill that helped her survive the bloody turmoil of the civil-rights era. Cohodas infuses every scene with electrifying detail and penetrating insights into Simone’s struggles as an African American musician of phenomenal talent and exalted ambition....
Top 10 black history nonfiction books
Ray Olson writes: “Although 6 of the 10 best African American nonfiction books reviewed since the February 1, 2009, Spotlight on Black History aren’t biographies, only one may lack elements of that beloved-by-readers genre, making for a reading list, indeed.” You will have to click through to find out which one he is talking about, but the list includes three other musical memoirs to accompany Nina Simone’s biography, including books on Lena Horne, Little Richard, and Thelonious Monk....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Register for Teen Tech Week
Registration is open for YALSA’s Teen Tech Week through February 16. A national initiative aimed at teens, their parents, educators, and other concerned adults, Teen Tech Week will be celebrated at thousands of public and school libraries across the country March 7–13. The theme will be “Learn, Create, Share @ your library.”...
Two AASL preconferences
AASL will offer two preconferences prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.: “AASL’s Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning: Categories, Criteria, and Collaborative Strategies” and “Working with the Quirky Kids: Library Service for Children along the Autism Spectrum.” The half- and full-day preconferences will be held on June 25....
IFRT to meet Burning Man at Annual Conference (PDF file)
Lauren Christos writes: “Whether you are a dedicated
Burner, or totally new to the
temporary, intentional community
of radical self-expression
that is the Burning Man Project,
this year’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table program is one
you won’t want to miss. The program, titled ‘Burning
Man, Libraries, and the 21st
Century: The Intersection of
the Individual and Social Institutions,’ features Larry Harvey,
executive director of the Burning
Man Project, as
IFRT Report, no. 73 (Winter): 1, 6
Paula T. Kaufman wins the 2010 Hugh C. Atkinson Award
Paula T. Kaufman, dean of libraries and university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named the 2010 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research....
2010 Routledge Distance Learning award
Thomas E. Abbott, dean of libraries and distance learning at the University of Maine at Augusta, has been named the 2010 recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award. This annual award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group and administrated by the ACRL Distance Learning Section, honors an ACRL member working in the field of distance learning librarianship....
2010 ACRL Doctoral Dissertation Award
Christine Madsen, librarian and doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford, has been awarded the 2010 ACRL Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for her proposal “Library Futures: Building a New Knowledge Architecture in Academic Libraries.” The fellowship, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, fosters research in academic librarianship by encouraging and supporting dissertation research....
2010 Coutts Nijhoff Study Grant winner
Timothy Robert Shipe, assistant to the director for collections and scholarly communications at the University of Iowa Libraries, has been selected to receive the 2010 ACRL Western European Studies Section Coutts Nijhoff International West European Specialist Study Grant, for his proposal, “The Franco-Romanian Literary Avant-garde in Bucharest Libraries.” Sponsored by Coutts Information Services, the grant provides $3,000 to support a trip to Europe....
PLA 2010 award winners
PLA has announced the winners of nine awards and grants, honoring the best in public library service and innovation. PLA President Sari Feldman, along with the award sponsors, will recognize all of the award winners June 27 as part of the PLA President’s Program at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....
The 2010 Amelia Bloomer List
The Feminist Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table has announced this year’s Amelia Bloomer List, featuring books for young readers, ages birth through 18, that contain significant feminist content—tales of girls and women who have broken barriers and fought to change their situations and their environment. These 54 books for children and youth comprise the best feminist books published in the last year and a half....
Amelia Bloomer Project, Jan. 28
2010 Rainbow Project Bibliography
ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table released the 2010 Rainbow Project Bibliography of recommended titles for youth from birth to age 18 that contain significant and authentic gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning content. Of the 46 recommended titles in this year’s Rainbow Project Bibliography, four were recognized by the jury for their exceptional impact: How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity, edited by Michael Cart; Ash, by Malinda Lo; Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea; and Finlater, by Shawn Stewart Ruff....
Coretta Scott King book recommendations
During Black History Month in February, teachers, librarians, and parents are looking to ALA’s Coretta Scott King Book Awards as a guide to quality children’s literature that explores the African American experience.
The awards, which have encouraged the artistic expression of the African American experience for more than 40 years, honor the late Coretta Scott King, wife of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for her commitment to continue her husband’s work to foster peace and brotherhood among all races....
Submit nominations for Madison awards
The ALA Washington Office has extended the deadline to February 8 for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award celebrates an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level. The Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness....
District Dispatch, Feb. 2
BWI Collection Development Grant winners
Amy Young of the Chesterfield Township (Mich.) Public Library and Jessica Neiweem of the Park County (Wyo.) Library have won the 2010 BWI Collection Development Grant, administered by YALSA. Each receives a grant of $1,000, donated by BWI, for collection development. The grant supports YALSA members who represent a public library and who work directly with young adults ages 12–18....
National Library Week Grant winner
The Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins, Colorado, is the winner of the 2010 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant.
The $3,000 grant, sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by ALA’s Public Awareness Committee, is awarded annually for the best public awareness campaign in support of National Library Week, April 11–17. This year, libraries were asked to develop a proposal using the 2010 National Library Week theme, “Communities Thrive @ your library.”...
“The American Dream Starts @ your library” minigrants
In January, ALA received a two-year grant of $750,000 from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for “The American Dream Starts @ your library,” which makes it possible to fund 70 public libraries in Dollar General communities to develop literacy programs for adult English-language learners. Public libraries within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center, or corporate office are eligible to apply for a onetime $5,000 grant....
Apply for Diversity Research Grants
The ALA Office for Diversity seeks proposals for its Diversity Research Grant program. Applicants must be current ALA members, and 2010 proposals must address one of three identified topics: upward mobility of library leaders from underrepresented populations, information services and collections for diverse children and young adults, or libraries and the meaning of multiculturalism. The application deadline is April 30....
Scholarship for the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute
ACRL is offering a scholarship to support participation at the 2010 ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute August 1–6. It covers the cost of tuition ($2,600) and a $1,500 travel stipend, and is for individuals currently working in historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges or universities, or those employed at Hispanic-serving institutions. Apply by March 3....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 1
ProQuest, Thomson Reuters among CODiE winners
The Software and Information Industry Association, the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced the winners of the CODiE Awards for products and services January 27. Among the winners were a number of prominent library vendors, including ProQuest and Thomson Reuters....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 28
Philip Gross wins T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize
A university professor’s detailed and lyrical meditations on the ever-changing waters of the Severn estuary tonight won him the U.K.’s £15,000 ($24,000 U.S.) poetry prize January 18. Philip Gross was named winner of the 2009 T. S. Eliot Prize at a ceremony in London for The Water Table—a themed collection that is metaphysical and political and religious, but has at its heart the subject of water....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 18
Spoken Word Grammy winners
Mary Burkey writes: “Michael J. Fox’s Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist and Buck Howdy’s Aaaaah! Spooky, Scary Stories and Songs took home the audiobook gold at the 2010 Grammy Awards January 31. Here’s the complete list of winners and nominees, noting the title, narrator, and publisher. And don’t forget to take the survey Audiobooks as a Physical Format: Dead or Alive?”...
Audiobooker, Feb. 1
Native American library services enhancement grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the 2010 Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants program. Federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations may apply for these grants to improve existing library services or implement new services. The deadline is May 3....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 29
President’s FY2011 budget freezes library funding
President Obama released his budget proposal to Congress on February 1, calling for a freeze to federal library funding under the Library Services and Technology Act, the primary source of federal funding for libraries. Under the President’s plan, LSTA would be level-funded at $214 million out of a total of $266 million going to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The budget also included a $400-billion investment into education but did not include specific funds for school libraries. Compare allocations since FY2001 with this chart (PDF file). American Libraries Editor and Publisher Leonard Kniffel notes that the freeze is both oddly familiar and disappointing....
District Dispatch, Feb. 1; Institute of Museum and Library Services, Feb. 1; AL: Inside Scoop, Feb. 1
University endowments: Worst year since the Depression
The nation’s college and university endowments, struggling with declining gifts and massive investment losses, suffered their worst year since the Great Depression, sustaining an average loss of 18.7% in the year ending June 30, 2009, according to a new study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute. The downdraft hammered both public schools and privates, with Harvard and Yale the hardest hit....
Business Week, Jan. 28
Obama to seek sweeping change in No Child law
The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency. The proposals would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards, and other groups have found most objectionable....
New York Times, Jan. 31
Bankruptcy complicates deal for Roosevelt papers
When President Obama signed a law February 1 to clear the way for the largest privately held archive of papers relating to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be donated to Roosevelt’s presidential library, it was to be the culmination of a five-year effort to make the documents available. But that effort will have to wait at least a little while longer. The documents have been in legal limbo for years because of an ownership dispute involving the National Archives and Hollinger International, a now-bankrupt company formerly controlled by Canadian press baron Conrad M. Black, now serving a federal prison sentence in Florida on fraud charges....
New York Times, Feb. 2
Parent wants book removed from Fond du Lac school library
A popular young adult book in the Theisen Middle School Library in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is being challenged as inappropriate. Ann Wentworth issued a formal complaint with the school district, objecting to “sexual content too mature for 11- to 14-years-olds” in the book One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones. The complaint lists some examples of the inappropriate content from the book, including references to “losing your virginity,” condoms, and a stepmother being called a “controlling bitch.”...
Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter, Jan. 29
Tulsa school board backs Buster
A book that was challenged as inappropriate by the parents of a student in Tulsa’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School will remain on library shelves, the district’s Board of Education ruled January 27. The board voted 3–1 to keep the book, Buster’s Sugartime by Marc Brown, which the parents said was inappropriate because it alluded to a same-sex relationship. The book is a condensed version of a 2005 episode of the Postcards from Buster series that airs on PBS in which the anthropomorphic animated rabbit Buster visits Vermont during “Mud Season” to learn about the state and how maple syrup is made....
Tulsa (Okla.) World, Jan. 28
Dictionary back on the shelf at Menifee school
The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary will return to 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms at Oak Meadows Elementary School, a committee of Menifee (Calif.) Union School District parents, teachers, and administrators decided January 26. Parents can opt to have their kids use an alternative dictionary. School officials pulled the dictionaries from classrooms after a parent complained about a child stumbling across definitions of objectionable words....
Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, Jan. 26
Evanston branches to close for good
Evanston (Ill.) Public Library’s two branches will be permanently shutting their doors after the city council voted 6–3 on February 1 to cut funding in order to alleviate the $9.5-million budget deficit it needs to balance by February 9. Alderman Ann Rainey moved to accept City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz’s proposal to cease financing the libraries, saying the city has more pressing needs. Library supporters say they are shocked by the council’s decision....
Daily Northwestern, Feb. 2
Book banning in Texas prisons
Nearly 89,800 book and magazine titles have been reviewed by the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice over the years to determine if the reading material is suitable for its inmates. One thing is clear: Texas prisoners are missing out on some fine reading. Books by Pete Dexter, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, William T. Vollmann, Katherine Dunn, Barry Hannah, Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, John Updike, Pablo Neruda, André Gide, and Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat are all on the banned list....
Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, Jan. 30
Haitians fight to save historic archives
Patrick Tardieu (right) knows it is hard to think about crumpled paper at a time like this, when so many people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands have died. The 58-year-old archivist at La Bibliothèque Haitienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit was in his Port-au-Prince home when the magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12. But for Tardieu—now a visiting scholar at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence—and a group of librarians and historians in the Caribbean and abroad, it’s not just homes and lives that have been lost. It could be the country’s history. More news here about Haitian collections....
National Post (Canada), Feb. 1; Brown Daily Herald, Feb. 2; College Art Association, Feb. 1
Librarian loses hair for Haiti
Trina Zuyderduyn, teacher-librarian at the Glenrosa Middle School in Westbank, British Columbia, bet her hair that the school couldn’t raise $650 for the Haitian relief effort. She wanted to make the students more aware of what had happened in Haiti. They did, she lost, and January 27 over the lunch hour, she paid up. Dozens of students packed into the school library to watch Zuyderduyn get her head shaved. “We ended up with $1,160.75, almost double what I was hoping for,” said Zuyderduyn....
West Kelowna (B.C.) News, Jan. 27
Remember Haiti: Wear red and blue February 12
Students, faculty, and staff at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, are encouraging people throughout the United States to join them to remember the victims of the Haitian earthquake by wearing red and blue, the colors of Haiti, on February 12. A month after the earthquake, the school hopes this gesture will remind Americans to continue to donate to aid organizations and support those working to help Haiti recover....
Clinton School of Public Service Blog, Feb. 3
Grand reopening of Bay St. Louis library
The wait is over for patrons of the Bay St. Louis–Hancock County (Miss.) Library as the 18,000-square-foot headquarters branch was formally reopened January 29. The building, which suffered wind and water damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has undergone an extensive renovation. According to Library Executive Director Patty Furr, “This project has put our building back in tip-top shape, and we hope to get many good years of service from the beautiful new space.”...
Mississippi Library Association, Feb. 2
Too expensive? Build your own self-checkout kiosk
Myrna Brayton, director of the Kirkendall Public Library in Ankeny, Iowa, knew the library was in need of a self-checkout kiosk to relieve crowds at the circulation desk. The problem: Such a set-up would cost $23,000—money the library didn’t have readily available. But AV/Technical Support Librarian Eric Melton came up with an alternative and the price was right. Melton built the system with a touch screen, scanner, and printer for $1,500....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Feb. 2
Enoch Pratt, Topeka libraries on Foursquare
The Enoch Pratt library system in Baltimore is starting to use Foursquare, a mobile location-based network/game that allows users to “check in” to a spot, collect points and fun badges, and share tips and information about locations. They’re giving away prizes, too. Many think that Foursquare represents the next phase of the mobile web that could be a boon for nonprofits, such as libraries. David Lee King is also using it at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library....
Baltimore Sun: BaltTech, Feb. 3; David Lee King, Jan. 25
Warren library warns its branches may close
Library administrators for Michigan’s third-largest city say residents should prepare to do without the three branches of the Warren Public Library. They are out of money and expect closures before July 1. City council opted to take no action on a request for a special May election to ask voters to support a tax increase to keep the buildings open, and library administrators plan to ask residents to support a tax increase of 0.85 mills in August....
Detroit News, Jan. 31
KC library film vault grows richer with upgrades, additions
One of Kansas City’s cinematic gems just got polished. Since opening in 2007, the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault in the basement of the Kansas City (Mo.) Central Library has been one of the classiest hot spots on the local movie scene. Seating just 28, the film vault is not only an extremely cool environment—an unused vault in the basement of the former bank building was turned into a plush screening room—but it offers a regular stream of free films shown from DVDs in the library’s collection. So popular are these showings that library officials have had to convert a nearby storeroom into an auxiliary viewing area for overflow crowds....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Jan. 30
GLBT collection named after Saskatoon librarian
Neil Richards (right) may have retired five years ago, but he can still be found nearly every day in the special collections department in the University of Saskatchewan library in Saskatoon. And even on days when he’s not there, his name remains: The library’s collection of queer materials was recently named for him. The Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity is one of the largest collections of its kind in North America....
Saskatoon (Sask.) StarPhoenix, Jan. 31
Henderson, Nevada, experiments with Redbox
Two Henderson, Nevada, libraries now house Redbox movie kiosks as part of a nationwide trial by the company. Gayle Hornaday, assistant director for Henderson District Public Libraries, said waiting lists for movies is a chronic problem. The Redboxes are expected to alleviate the problem by providing more copies of popular films. Redbox has a waiting list of about 200 libraries across the country that want to become kiosk locations....
Las Vegas (Nev.) Sun, Jan. 27
Calgary library targets supermarket shoppers
The Calgary (Alberta) Public Library is trying to catch the attention of supermarket shoppers by placing advertisements right in with the bananas and pastrami. New library ads have made their way into the produce and deli departments of 10 Real Canadian Superstores across the city. The slogan for the campaign is “Everything you’re into,” and the advertisements feature such lines as “from barbecue to bull riding” and “from ham to Hamlet.”...
CBC News, Jan. 27
Student project leads to new library at Brockton school
When his class at Brockton (Mass.) Champion High School was assigned to do a community service project, Leroy Lynch Jr. realized he had to look no further than his own school for a good idea: The school had no library. Lynch suggested creating the library in a large room being used for storage. His fellow classmates, teachers, and school administrators all agreed. And after three months of work, Lynch got to see the results of his idea on January 29, as a new 3,000-title library opened....
Brockton (Mass.) Enterprise, Feb. 1
The library: Progress that makes sense
The Vermont Square branch of the Los Angeles Public Library floats like a little yellow ark on the big green empty lawn of a park in South Los Angeles. Kevin Harvey Sr., a 43-year-old ex-con and former gang member, goes there several days a week with his two daughters, ages 13 and 10. Each afternoon they spend between the stacks of young adult novels is a kind of promise that their lives won’t be like his....
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30
Bambi goes berserk in school library
Whether it was to do research or check out the latest Dr. Seuss book, a deer broke through a back-door window and into the library at Graham A. Barden Elementary School in Havelock, North Carolina, the morning of February 2. After Custodian Kelvin Becton discovered the broken window in the library, he noticed a small deer run into the library office and run out a few minutes later. Administrators plan to use the incident to educate students about the impact that humans have on wildlife....
Havelock (N.C.) News, Feb. 2
New Mattapan branch becomes a haven for teens
In 2009, residents of the Mattapan neighborhood got their wish, a sparkling, $17-million glass-and-marble branch of the Boston Public Library with an abundance of books, learning materials, and programming. But they also got an unexpected problem—throngs of young people who have daily overwhelmed the library’s staff of eight and created a hot spot for trouble....
Boston Globe, Jan. 30
Law librarian sues for defamation in false-alarm case
Sheila Ciemniecki, librarian at the law firm of Parker McCay in Evesham Township, New Jersey, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Camden December 23 for defamation of character. She claims that the firm wrongly accused her of setting off a false fire alarm in the building June 3, which led to her arrest. The Burlington County prosecutor later dropped all charges. Ciemniecki said her nine years at the firm were spotless until shortly before the incident when she had a falling out with her supervisor....
Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 30
A worldwide search for Yale’s rare books
Of the items she has obtained for Yale University’s library, Dorothy Woodson (right) is most fond of a set of campaign T-shirts for South African president Jacob Zuma, which she purchased while in South Africa this past summer. Or it might be a copy of the New Testament published in Vai, an indigenous language of Liberia. As the Africana Collections Curator for the Yale Library, Woodson has traveled from Johannesburg to Timbuktu in search of new materials....
Yale Daily News, Jan. 28
Lincoln University students upset about closed library
In her nearly three years at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Amelia Sherwood has only been able to access the campus library for a few months. The Langston Hughes Memorial Library closed in 2008 for a $17-million renovation, but it has been hampered by funding delays and will not reopen until 2011. Meanwhile, the school has set up a temporary facility in modular trailers, which allows students to request books a day in advance....
Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 31
Go back to the Top
What’s inside the iPad’s chip?
Christopher Mims writes: “Despite widespread speculation, nothing beyond what Steve Jobs announced January 27 is known about the A4 chip at the heart of the Apple iPad. Jobs described the chip with typical restraint during the unveiling of the iPad. ‘It’s powered by our own silicon—the one gigahertz Apple A4 chip—it screams,’ he said, adding that the A4 chip includes an integrated CPU and graphics core on a single system on a chip (SoC).”...
Technology Review, Feb. 2
How to clip, sort, and cite the entire web with Zotero
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “If you’re looking for a way to organize all the information you find and research you do online, and you’ve had enough with bookmarking, copying, and pasting, and cobbled-together techniques not cutting it, Zotero is a comprehensive information manager for Firefox. Zotero is, at its heart, a citation manager. It was designed to facilitate research and to make organizing and including that research in essays and publications pain free. As such, it’s an excellent tool for any scholar, researcher, or student to have in their toolbox.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 3
10 great digital photography downloads
Preston Gralla writes: “Have a digital camera and plenty of photos? Want some help with editing and managing them all? We’ve rounded up 10 downloads that will let you take control of your photos. Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line photo editor, a great photo manager, or nifty utilities to handle tasks such as finding duplicates, we have just the thing. And every program is free—not only to download but also to use.”...
PC World, Feb. 2
LC opens the door to open source software
The Library of Congress has established an internal process to create open source software. This will make it easier for software developers and sponsors within the library to produce software that can be freely redistributed to users worldwide. LC has been especially active in developing tools that support digital preservation processes, including the secure transfer of digital files....
Library of Congress, Jan. 14
Post-It notes for the Twitter generation
Mike Melanson writes: “While furiously trying to organize my digital life this past weekend, I found myself with an obscene number of tabs open at the same time while hopping from thought to thought. It was in the middle of this confusing mess that I came across list.it, the self-described ‘simple, free, open-source, note-keeping tool to help you manage the tons of little information bits you need to keep track of each day.’ List.it exists as a sort of frame on your browser that you can hide or show with a hotkey.” Watch the video (1:46)....
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 2
Readability makes web pages easy to read and print
Phil Bradley writes: “Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you’re reading. This is a work of minor genius. We all get faced with pages that are too small to read properly, or too dense, or covered with ads or other extraneous material. These same pages are also usually a real pain to print out. Along comes this tool, which is a simple add-on to your browser bar.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Jan. 29
Macmillan e-books will cost $15 on Amazon.com
After refusing to sell any Macmillan books or e-books for three days, Amazon.com gave in on January 31 to demands by the publisher that it start charging $12.99 to $14.99 for Macmillan e-books, rather than Amazon’s customary $9.99. In a statement, Amazon warned that customers might “rebel against such a high price for books that cost far less to distribute than physical books.” Publishers have long balked at Amazon’s price; however, for most bestsellers, Amazon has stood its ground until now. Read a good discussion on how content trumped distribution at Wired....
The Consumerist, Jan. 31; Wired: Epicenter, Feb. 1
E-reading’s future may not be iPad, but Blio
Despite the buzz about Apple’s iPad and how it could be useful for reading e-books, a new software program might hold even more promise for education. Blio, a free e-reader program expected in February, reportedly will allow users to read more than a million electronic books on nearly any device, with the ability to highlight and annotate text and hear the text read aloud. Blio was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is the brainchild of education-technology pioneer Ray Kurzweil....
eSchool News, Jan. 31
Librarian’s Library: Gilded Age
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “The phase ‘Gilded Age’ may conjure up visions of Newport mansions, but the era was a formative time for libraries. Librarianship in Gilded Age America: An Anthology of Writings, 1868–1901 compiles articles, letters, and other documents from familiar names in library history, among them Charles Ammi Cutter, Melvil Dewey, and John Cotton Dana. Also here are Andrew Carnegie’s explanation of why library philanthropy is a good use of surplus wealth and engineer Bernard R. Green’s description—delivered at the 1896 ALA Annual Conference—of the new Library of Congress building.”...
American Libraries, Mar.
The skinny on fat in fiction
Beth Carswell writes: “The world is obsessed with fat. If a fictional character is fat, it’s a struggle for them, and often the central theme of the book. It often goes hand-in-hand with unflattering character traits, such as laziness, sloppiness, or greed. Sometimes a writer will make a character fat as a political tool, in order to convey their own intended message, be it one of size acceptance, or tolerance. This seems most prevalent, logically, in children’s books.” Many readers responded to this post....
AbeBooks, Jan.; Reading Copy Books Blog, Feb. 2
Wendy Dembo writes: “The news of J. D. Salinger’s passing January 27 led us to Out of Print, a new company presenting the world’s greatest literature through book-cover T-shirts. Each seminal cover reproduced is often out-of-print and hard-to-find. The launch collection includes about 20 styles featuring the work of such design innovators such as George Salter, Alvin Lustig, Paul Bacon, Edward McKnight Kauffer, and Len Deighton. The company’s mission is to donate one book for each shirt sold to a community in need through its partner Books for Africa.”...
Cool Hunting, Jan. 29
10,000 rally online for Illinois library funding
In just over 24 hours, 10,000 Illinois library fans sent more than 20,000 emails January 20–22 to the offices of Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Daniel Hynes to save essential library services from the chopping block. Due to nonpayment of state funds, Illinois residents may soon lose full privileges they currently receive with their public library cards, including the ability to borrow materials from libraries other than their home library....
North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, Ill., Jan. 28
Critical thinking and information literacy
Heather Davis writes: “It is important to ask this question: Is it possible for critical thinking to take the place of information literacy in today’s digital information universe? In this post, I’ll be looking at information literacy and critical thinking as components of assessment. How is critical thinking and information literacy intertwined in the assessment of student learning? What other types of literacies are required for today’s student? Why is information literacy critical to student learning?”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Feb. 3
Nothing is the future
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Because someone has chosen to bombard RUSA listservs with notices of new iPhone apps and the like, I’ve been forced to see more statements about ‘the future’ recently. The kindest interpretation of such statements is that librarians are trying to create that future by speaking it. The less kind interpretation is that the authors are reducing a complex field to whatever marginal utility they’re focused on and claiming that this is the future. The most likely statement is that nothing is the future, period.”...
Academic Librarian, Feb. 1
Google lets kids design next logo
Google kicked off its third installment of Doodle 4 Google, a yearly nationwide art contest for students in grades K–12. Eligible students can submit their own “Google Doodles,” and the winning Doodle will appear on Google’s homepage for one day, May 27. The winner will also receive a $15,000 college scholarship, a laptop computer, and a $25,000 technology grant for his or her school. All doodles must be submitted by March 31....
Official Google Blog, Feb. 3
Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 for nonprofits
Heather Mansfield writes: “While there are a good number of tech-savvy hipsters out there that understand terms like static web, dynamic content, user-generated, cloud computing, and semantic web, the majority of nonprofits don’t talk or understand such tech speak. So, to simplify for the nonprofit masses, I here present and frame very simple definitions and interpretations of Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Jan. 28
10 steps to promote learning in your conference presentation
Peter Bromberg writes: “If the goal of a library conference is that attendees will learn, what do conference presentations have to look like to achieve that goal? I believe the goal of presenting should be to create a change in the listener—a change of behavior, thinking, and/or feeling. Any good teacher or trainer will tell you that to be effective in creating that change, you must begin with the learning objective(s) in mind, and work backwards from there to design the lesson or the talk.”...
ALA Learning, Feb. 2
Finding my tribe at Educause
Michael Stephens writes: “I surprised myself with the admission that I felt very at home with the attendees, speakers, and organizers of the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting in Austin in January. I had never been to the conference before and I was rather nervous about my invited presentation. This was a step away from presenting in the library world. I found folks doing and thinking the same things I am doing and thinking at Dominican GSLIS, but I didn’t find librarians.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Feb. 2
Reading skills and early-childhood residence: A correlation
A landmark study from the University of British Columbia finds that the neighborhoods in which children reside at kindergarten predict their reading comprehension skills seven years later. The study, published in the journal Health and Place, finds children who live in neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty show reduced scores on standardized tests seven years later—regardless of the child’s place of residence in Grade 7....
University of British Columbia, Jan. 14
Consider the library card
Jane Lynch writes: “There seem to be three types of library-card users: those who are loose-minded sports who will check out anything and everything that their card allows—fiction, nonfiction, history, new books, old—as long as it is a book; those who use their card in order to access the library in its rawest form as an academic and research institution; and those with equal severity who will use their card to check out only the newest and latest releases, and not much else. If I had to choose, I’d fall into the first category. We have more fun.”...
Los Angeles Metblogs, Jan. 29
Ideas you can use in book discussion groups
Angela Hanshaw writes: “Recently, Nancy Opalko, a children’s librarian at a public library who has paired with a local alternative school for the Great Stories CLUB, asked the program’s electronic discussion list two good questions: ‘How can I promote more interest in the book and get a discussion going?’ and ‘How do the rest of you handle disruptive behavior?’ Her questions immediately got a number of responses, many of which can be adapted and expanded beyond the Great Stories CLUB to work in your library.”...
Programming Librarian, Jan. 28
Reduce waste and build community
Laura Bruzas writes: “Twice a year, the staff person who maintains our periodicals weeds them to make room for new issues to be added to the collection. Instead of just tossing these magazines in the trash, the magazines being weeded are made available to our patrons gratis for an entire month. At the end of that month, we now also post the availability of any remaining issues on The Freecycle Network.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Jan. 29
Is the customer always right?
mk Eagle writes: “In my first few weeks as a full-time high school librarian, I was very conscious of the atmosphere I created (or encouraged) in the library. I was convinced that the success of my program depended in no small part on whether or not my students felt comfortable with me, both as a person and as a teacher. But now, at the start of the second semester, all I want is a custom T-shirt that reads, ‘I am not a doormat.’”...
YALSA Blog, Feb. 3
The world of forgotten information
Pete Weitzel writes: “There’s a fascinating world of all but hidden information out there waiting to be tapped. A growing number of news organizations are beginning to mine and manipulate that information, which in many instances rests in government records that, while public, are for practical purposes obscure. The conversion by government offices to electronic record keeping has not, in many instances, made it easier for the average reporter, let alone the average citizen, to get access to that information. And even when agencies post records online, the data is frequently difficult to find.” See the full article (PDF file)....
American Society of News Editors, Feb. 2
NLM to digitize more historical items
The National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, has been named a partner in a multicentered grant to digitize materials in the history of medicine. As one of five libraries participating in the digital Medical Heritage Project, NLM will receive $360,000 over the next two months to digitize items from its historical medical collections. The other grant recipients are the Harvard, Yale, and Columbia medical libraries, and New York Public Library....
National Library of Medicine, Jan. 29
Digital natives explore digital preservation
Today’s teenagers are part of the first generation to grow up immersed and fluent in the world of digital technologies. These digital natives depend on digital information for communication, education, and entertainment—but they may not know that this information can easily be lost. In a recent workshop, the Library of Congress asked a group of students for their thoughts on digital preservation. This video (3:48) summarizes their responses....
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Jan. 29
New optical lab brings LC into the 21st century
Donna Urschel writes: “In room 27 on the sub-basement level of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, fascinating details of our historical heritage are coming to light in the recently opened Optical Properties Laboratory. Operated by the library’s Preservation Research and Testing Division, the new lab enhances LC’s capability to use nondestructive analytical techniques to track changes in optical properties of materials, helping conservators, curators, and librarians extend the life of the collections.”...
Library of Congress Blog, Feb. 1
How to build a more beautiful blog
Matt Silverman writes: “Whether you’re blogging for business or pleasure, now is the time to take your little corner of the web to the next level. Social media makes your blog more visible and valuable than ever, and the amount of resources available to beautify and streamline your blog is enormous, and ever growing. The best part is, you don’t have to be a designer or a programmer to create a great-looking blog, but you should know where to find the right resources, and how to align your blog’s design with its purpose.”...
Mashable, Jan. 28
What has the internet done to us?
Heather Havrilesky writes: “I think it's finally safe to proclaim that the information age has officially arrived. The digital revolution has led us all to this: a gigantic, commercial, high-school reunion/mall filthy with insipid tabloid trivia, populated by perpetually distracted, texting, tweeting demi-humans. Yes, the information age truly is every bit as glorious and special as everyone predicted it would be! Apparently this digital dystopia is so bewildering that even internet theorist Douglas Rushkoff is reconsidering his unconditional love for new media.”...
Salon, Jan. 30
How to open a book
Chuck Whiting writes: “Cataloging books the other day, I came across an 1890s multivolume set called Messages and Papers of the Presidents. Inside one of the volumes was a slip of printed paper with a bookbinder’s message: ‘How to Open a Book.’ The Government Printing Office is the likely source of this piece of paper. Opening a book is not as easy as you might think. At least if you read these instructions and try to follow them.”...
Bibliophemera, Jan. 29
At the edges of libraries
Jessamyn West put together a shortlist of things that are not quite libraries, not just books, as guest blogger for Boing Boing. Included are shelf and ownership marks at the Princeton University library, the Oregon State Hospital’s Library of Dust, edible geography, fore-edge book painting, Brian Dettmer’s book art, and the Typo of the Day for Librarians blog....
Boing Boing, Jan. 31
Librarians do the “Thriller” dance
Erica Palan writes: “In her new book This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, Marilyn Johnson explores the relevance of librarians in the technological age. She also makes them seem like the coolest people on earth. In one chapter, she notes that readers wouldn’t believe how many videos of librarians dancing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ are available on YouTube. We scoped it out and Johnson was right. Here are some of the best,” including one (0:34, above) from ALA’s 2008 Book Cart Drill Team competition....
Mental Floss Blog, Jan. 28
British Library launches new virtual history timeline
Comparing the Peasants’ Revolt with the Punk Revolution or medieval astrology with the Apollo moon landings might appear unconnected at first, but the British Library’s new interactive timeline, launched January 28, allows students to get a sense of change, continuity, and chronology when studying historical events. Bringing together material from the library’s vast collections and using cutting-edge technology, users will now be able to discover historical connections and create links in an exciting multimedia experience....
British Library, Jan. 28
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Early bird registration is in effect through March 5.
Watch the Annual Conference Facebook event page. The official Twitter hashtag is #ala10.
Get the scoop on this year’s best Series Nonfiction March 16 at the next free webinar from Booklist. Books for Youth Associate Editor Daniel Kraus and representatives from select series publishers discuss what’s new for 2010 in this growing area of youth publishing. Register online. NEW! From Booklist.
Executive Director, Mid-Hudson Library System, Poughkeepsie, New York. Reports to the Board of Trustees and will provide oversight and leadership for the staff in developing these programs and services. Extensive communication and interaction with the Directors and Boards of the member libraries is required to determine the specific mix which will best meet the needs of the member libraries. Represents the system and member libraries at NYLA and in other professional venues. MHLS is a state-supported, cooperative, interdependent system of 66 large and small local libraries in a five-county region of the mid-Hudson River valley. 17 full-time and 8 part-time employees provide a wide range of catalogue, circulation, program, support, and technology services to the member libraries....
Digital Library of the Week
The Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library Digital Collection provides access to digital images of cultural and historical interest to Scottsdale residents and researchers. The collection showcases the history and growth of what has changed from a small farming community into a world-class city. At present, the collection’s time period spans the late 1800s to the mid-20th century and beyond. It contains digital versions of increasingly valuable, fragile, and hard-to-use originals of people, places, and things pertaining to the city.
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.
“[Having this library card is] like you’re carrying a postcard in your wallet every day. In front of the foothills, surrounded by palm trees, this card promises access to an oasis in the desert. A Hogwartsian oasis. You see, the brightness of the building there betrays the darkness inside. The beautiful, gorgeous darkness. Whereas the Santa Monica Public Library is open and airy, the Pasadena Public Library is like the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: high, high ceilings, cherry oak shelves, stained-glass windows. If this doesn’t make you want to be quiet and read a book, I don’t know what will.”
—Jane Lynch, in a meditative blog post on library cards, in Los Angeles Metblogs, Jan. 29.
ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, New York City, Feb. 3–6, at:
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Feb. 5, at:
ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Savannah, Georgia, Feb. 6–10, at:
Transliteracy Conference, Leicester, U.K., Feb. 9, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. Does ALA have any guidelines or sample policies for labeling books for the shelves?
A. Although ALA has established standards and guidelines for a range of library activities, none of these cover shelf preparation or physical processing of library materials. Consistent practices, which library users have become accustomed to, do exist nevertheless. Current technical processing management, however, frequently involves the specification of practices in order to contract for preprocessing from a vendor and the ongoing and iterative process of cost analysis, and the resources for those areas may be helpful for analyzing local practices. Many libraries have published their manuals on the web, and state libraries have also gathered sample policies on a variety of topics. These resources, plus those from the local system or cataloging vendor, are useful in defining local practice in this area. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Better World Books is now sponsoring book drives to support literacy and education initiatives in Haiti. You can help by donating books specifically for the Haiti rebuilding effort. Send them to: Better World Books, Attn: Rebuild Haiti, 55740 Currant Rd., Mishawaka, IN 46545. Please send only books in good condition. Note: Book donations are not tax deductible. You can also donate cash to the Red Cross or the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund.
43rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles.
Free Culture X Conference, Students for Free Culture, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, Marriott Marquis Times Square, New York City.
World Book Day, U.K. and Ireland.
National Information Standards Organization, Forum, Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta. “Discovery to Delivery: Creating a First-Class User Experience.”
Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association. List your library event on Kids-List.
ACRL/LLAMA Spring Virtual Institute, webcasts and online poster sessions.
Apr. 29–May 1:
38th Annual LOEX Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, Michigan. “Bridging and Beyond: Developing Librarian Infrastructure.”
May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, Kathleen T. Horning, “Can Children’s Books Save the World?” UCR Extension Center, Riverside, California.
Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Austin.