|American Libraries Online
Library doors shut after trustees fire director
The abrupt firing of the director of the Swanton (Vt.) Public Library, followed by the dismissal of the assistant director, has led to what initially appeared to be a walkout by the remainder of the staff and the subsequent closure of the library. The board of trustees terminated Director Marilyn Barney and Library Assistant Jody Martin January 4. The following day the rest of the staff left in what local media called a show of support for Barney, and the library has remained shut since then....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 12
Introducing Perpetual Beta
Jason Griffey writes: “Welcome to Perpetual Beta, a new blog by me and American Libraries. This space will be a place where you will read about the very edge of new technologies, as well as tips and tricks about doing interesting things with existing technologies. I will introduce technologies that libraries and librarians should be paying attention to and give you tips and tricks to make better use of the technologies that you may already be playing with. A few examples of the things that I’ll be covering: How to get any piece of text you want onto your e-reader, how to automate delivery of information to your staff and patrons, and how to set up your own media server for your library.”...
Perpetual Beta, Jan. 8
Internet Librarian: Info the woods
Joseph Janes writes: “As anyone who knows me well will testify, I am not by inclination the outdoorsy type. I was, however, induced to go camping this fall—sort of. I went to my first InfoCamp, an unconference founded and led by a couple of dynamos named Aaron Louie and Rachel Elkington. Unconferences are fascinating; for those of us used to highly structured, years-in-the-planning conclaves with elaborately prepared presentations, it’s quite bracing to experience an unconference’s unstructured, off-the-cuff nature, because nobody knows what’s going to happen.”...
American Libraries, Jan./Feb.
Youth Matters: Some of my favorite reads
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “What’s your favorite book? There’s the one that captures the mood you’re in, the one that pulls you out of the mood you’ve been in, the one with those charming turns of phrase, the one with the cunning plot turns, or the one with the better-than-you’d-hoped-for ending. Here, then, is a handful of current and enduring infatuations that my students might soon encounter.”...
Ameriacn Libraries, Jan./Feb.
Library Design Showcase submissions
With the updated American Libraries website, the address for submitting photos of new or renovated buildings for the Library Design Showcase in April broke, at least temporarily. The redirect should be in place now, but just in case, all information can be found on the new site. The deadline is February 1....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 8
Awards, Al Gore to highlight Midwinter in Boston
The important role libraries play during the economic downturn will be one of the key issues discussed during the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting, held January 15–19 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The prestigious Youth Media Awards will be announced on January 18, and former Vice President Al Gore will deliver the annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on January 16....
What’s happening at Midwinter 2010
Your Midwinter 2010 preplanning can go into overdrive—Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas’s traditional “What’s Happening” document (PDF file) is now available. It’s long (231 KB), so please think carefully before printing out the whole thing, but it is packed with information about the 2010 Midwinter Meeting (and ALA in general)....
Try out the Midwinter Tracker
The Midwinter Tracker, which gathers tweets and Flickr photos related to the Midwinter Meeting in Boston and displays them in one place, is now operational. The brainchild of Heather Devine, a computer scientist for Adobe Systems, the Midwinter Tracker currently includes materials that bear the hashtags #alamw10, #alamw, #alamwttt (for Top Tech Trends), and #totebag (for “ALA Midwinter Meeting Snark”). Users can view tweets and pictures by hashtag and by day, or display everything chronologically. The tracker also has a database component that will archive tweets for access long after they become unsearchable on Twitter....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 12
One approach to ALA Twitter accounts
Jenny Levine writes: “I’ve been mulling over this post for several weeks now, but a conversation that happened on Twitter prompted me to finally write and publish it. It started when Kenley Neufeld wrote about participating in ALA and tweeted the link. Cyndi E. engaged Kenley in a conversation about ALA following its members back on Twitter, which led Kenley to ask ALA’s Midwinter Meeting account what its follow policy is. ALA has no official social media policy, although there is an internal staff task force working on one. Given this recent conversation, I thought I’d share my approach and solicit feedback for what you think is and isn’t working.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Jan. 11
New report details library economic trends
A new report prepared by the ALA Office for Research and Statistics confirms that libraries of all types are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn while managing sky-high use. Compiled from a broad range of available sources, The Condition of Libraries: 1999–2009 (PDF file) summarizes trends in public, school, and academic libraries across several library measures, including expenditures, staffing, and services. The report also highlights trends in services provided to libraries by library cooperatives and consortia....
Call for increased public access to research
ALA and ACRL submitted comments to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy supporting increased public access to research funded by federal science and technology agencies. While greater access to publicly funded research has long been a high-priority issue for academic libraries, ACRL President Lori Goetsch, dean of libraries at Kansas State University, emphasized that now is the time for public and school librarians to tell their stories....
District Dispatch, Jan. 12
Library Advocacy Day
For one year only, Library Advocacy Day will replace National Library Legislative Day. On June 29, library advocates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will meet at Upper Senate Park on the U.S. Capitol grounds. The event, which will begin at 11 a.m., will feature guest speakers, photo ops, and a chance to advocate for libraries. This video (1:19) explains the basics....
AL Focus, Jan. 7
Get your Gaiman graphic
A new web graphic featuring author and Honorary Chair of National Library Week Neil Gaiman is available to librarians looking to increase visibility for National Library Week on their websites and blogs. The graphic was created in response to interest in the free downloadable public service announcement and requests for a web-based promotional tool....
Funding for new civic engagement program
The ALA Public Programs Office has received funding in the amount of $50,000 from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust and $54,500 from the Terra Foundation for American Art to support the development of “Picturing America through Civic Engagement,” a pilot program to engage young audiences in citizenship and the American electoral process through the visual arts. The program will target YA audiences in Chicago-area public libraries through partnerships between public libraries and local high schools....
Dollar General renews American Dream mini-grants
ALA has received a $750,000 two-year grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to continue “The American Dream Starts @ your library.” In 2007, ALA received a similar grant for resource development and library mini-grants. This new round of funding will help 70 public libraries in Dollar General communities expand their literacy services for adult English-language learners....
The ultimate handbook for library managers
ALA Editions has released a second edition of Fundamentals of Library Supervision by Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil. These two experienced library managers weave expert advice and commentary into an easy-to-use resource. This revised edition focuses on real-world, day-to-day practices. Guiding supervisors through the intricate process of managing others, this comprehensive handbook serves as a welcome refresher and reference for experienced managers facing new challenges....
Maddow and Myers join Celebrity READ campaign
Radio host Rachel Maddow and comedian Seth Meyers now appear on ALA Celebrity READ posters. Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and Air America Radio, covers an array of politics and pop culture through interviews and lively debates. Meyers brings comedy to his reporting as anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. The Celebrity READ posters are quality products that promote libraries, literacy, lifelong learning, and reading....
Focus on library metadata: A preview
Karen Coyle is putting finishing touches on the February issue of Library Technology Reports, titled “RDA Vocabularies for a Twenty-First-Century Data Environment.” In this excerpt, she addresses the difficulty that many librarians have in understanding the basic concepts of FRBR, and offers some diagrams as clarification. Though understanding FRBR may be tricky, she argues, it is essential to a transformation to a modern, workable data environment....
ALA TechSource Blog, Jan. 12
Become a portfolio evaluator for the LSSC Program
The Library Support Staff Certification Program will sponsor a training session for librarians who are interested in becoming evaluators for portfolios submitted by LSSC candidates to achieve Library Support Staff Certification. The information program will be held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, from 10:30 a.m.–noon on January 16, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 260....
Featured review: Thriller/suspense
Tolkien, Simon. The Inheritance. Apr. 2010. 336p. Minotaur, hardcover (978-0-312-53907-8).
The promotional material for former British criminal barrister Tolkien’s second novel (the first, The Final Witness, was published in 2002) shamelessly plays up the fact that the author is the grandson of J. R. R. Tolkien. Enough of this literary-pedigree nonsense. As Tolkien shows in both his mysteries, he does not need to have his DNA trumpeted; he is a first-rate writer in his own right. His latest thriller moves from a horrific crime perpetrated on a French family by two British soldiers during World War II and then straight into 1959, with the opening of a trial at the Old Bailey. Tolkien provides the kind of caustic portraits of judges and barristers and knowledge of the innermost cells of the Old Bailey that the late John Mortimer, also a barrister, delighted readers with in the Rumpole series. On trial is 22-year-old Stephen Cade, accused of shooting his estranged father in the head....
Top of the List: 2009
Every January, Booklist publishes Editors’ Choice lists of the best books, databases, video/DVDs, and audiobooks of the past year. From these lists, we further select what we call the Top of the List: the single best title in eight categories—Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Youth Fiction, Youth Nonfiction, Youth Picture Book, Video, Audio, and Reference Source....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
ALA’s Boston homecoming
When ALA meets in Boston this weekend it will be a homecoming for the Association. During the early years of ALA, the offices were wherever the unpaid elected secretary was located. From 1876 to 1890 this was Melvil Dewey. Dewey provided free space for the Association in his Library Bureau offices at 32 Hawley Street in Boston. On April 22, 1905, ALA opened an office at 10 1/2 Beacon Street in Boston. Edward C. Hovery was hired as the first paid executive officer....
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 12
Fun activities in Boston
Got your meetings planned but not your leisure time? Here is a handy list of places to go and food to eat....
Association for Library and Information Science Education
TripKick helps you select a hotel room
Christine Bulson writes: “If you don’t want to have a hotel room facing a building three feet away, look at TripKick.com. For selected hotels in major cities the site suggests rooms to request based on features that are important to you—quiet rooms, corner rooms, rooms with great bathrooms, and preferred views and floors. In Boston, TripKick includes 10 of the 14 conference hotels.”...
Points of Reference, Jan. 8
Why cell phones are banned on airplanes
Researchers and aircraft companies have found almost no direct evidence of cell phones or other electronic devices interfering with aircraft systems. However, the ban has a lot more to do with possible interference with cell phone towers on the ground. If you’re flying at 35,000 feet, your cell phone’s signals could reach hundreds of towers at once, and telcom companies are not set up to handle this type of roaming agreement....
Live Science, Dec. 21
Laurie Halse Anderson named School Library Media Month spokesperson
Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is the official spokesperson for AASL’s 2010 School Library Media Month celebration. Anderson’s first novel, Speak, was a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz honor book, a New York Times bestseller, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Visit the SLMM web pages regularly to find updated resources to help celebrate the event within your school and community....
Live coverage of LITA Top Tech Trends
Join the LITA Top Technology Trends Committee on January 17, 10:30 a.m.—12 noon Eastern Time on Cover It Live for a discussion of top technology trends in librarianship, with panelists Amanda Etches-Johnson, Jason Griffey, Joe Murphy, Lauren Pressley, and David Walker. The discussion will be moderated by Gregg Silvis. This event will also be broadcast via ustream.tv....
LITA Blog, Jan. 13
ACRL’s winter 2010 e-Learning schedule
ACRL is offering a wide variety of online learning opportunities in winter 2010 to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. Registration for all online seminars and webcasts qualifies for the ACRL Frequent Learner discount program. ACRL online seminars are asynchronous, multiweek courses delivered through Moodle....
Scholarly Communication 101 road shows
ACRL is taking scholarly communication on the road again in 2010 with “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics.” Recognizing that scholarly communication issues are central to the work of all academic librarians and all types of institutions, ACRL is offering a free half-day workshop to five libraries across the country. Institutions interested in hosting “Scholarly Communication 101” should apply by February 8....
Venue change for FTRF/GLBTRT author event
The location for the January 17 Freedom to Read Foundation author event and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Round Table Midwinter social has been moved to the Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library of Medicine at 10 Shattuck Street in Boston. Due to burst pipes at the Community Church of Boston, organizers of this exciting event had to find new digs—fortunately, the Countway opened its doors....
OIF Blog, Jan. 11
Smart Investing @ your library grants awarded
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation and RUSA have announced $1.5 million in grants to 19 recipients as a part of the Smart Investing @ your library initiative that will provide millions of library patrons with effective, unbiased financial-education resources. The grantees, which serve urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country, will receive one or two years of funding, as well as assistance with program marketing, outreach, and evaluation provided by ALA....
PPO and YALSA award 265 Great Stories CLUB grants
The ALA Public Programs Office and YALSA have selected 265 libraries to receive Great Stories CLUB grants, which will support book discussion programs targeting troubled teens. Among those selected to receive grants, 50 sites will additionally receive small cash grants to support program-related expenses. Funding was provided for this program by Oprah’s Angel Network. View the full list of selected libraries and their partner organizations....
AASL awards and grants
AASL offers more than $50,000 in awards and grants to its members. Visit the division’s website to search the awards and download application forms. The deadline to apply is February 1. Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....
2010 Charlotte Zolotow Award
What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla has won the 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. The award was announced January 11 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education. Published in 2009 by Tricycle Press, the book tells the story of a Mexican-American child’s delight with an ice pop on a hot summer day....
PBS Parents: Booklights, Jan. 11
2010 Scott O’Dell Award
The winner of the 2010 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction is Matt Phelan for The Storm in the Barn, published by Candlewick. The award, administered by Elizabeth Hall and judged by Hazel Rochman (chair), Ann Carlson, and Roger Sutton, is a cash prize of $5,000. The book is a graphic novel about life in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s....
Read Roger, Jan. 6
Dolly Gray Award winners
Siobhan Dowd, author of The London Eye Mystery (David Fickling Books), and Clarabelle van Niekerk and Liezl Venter, author/illustrators of Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome (Skeezel), will accept the sixth biennial Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Awards January 21 from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Development Disabilities. The awards recognize high quality fiction or biographical children’s books with positive portrayals of individuals with developmental disabilities....
Maui (Hawaii) News, Jan. 10; Council for Exceptional Children
Library news from Haiti
The worst earthquake to hit the Caribbean in two centuries destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, near the epicenter, when it hit January 12. Still uncertain are the fate of many libraries. One report indicates the library of the American University of the Caribbean on the Les Cayes campus has collapsed....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Jan. 13
Haiti earthquake maps
Google has released a KML file that can be viewed in Google Earth with new satellite imagery of Haiti that shows some of the damage caused by the earthquake. Ushahidi has produced a Google Maps mashup to track the latest news and incidents related to the earthquake. Mibazaar has put together a Twitter map that shows real-time tweets about the Haiti earthquake. He has also created a YouTube video map showing geotagged videos of news reports on the earthquake....
Google Maps Mania, Jan. 13; Google Lat Long Blog, Jan. 13
Google threatens to quit China
Google officials said January 12 that the company would stop cooperating with Chinese internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the web.” The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million web users. But analysts say that Google would still be at risk from attacks even if it did pull out....
New York Times, Jan. 12; Official Google Blog, Jan. 12; PC World, Jan. 13
Vancouver librarians asked to be Olympic shills
Librarians in Vancouver, British Columbia, are being warned to solicit only official Winter Olympics sponsors for any games-themed events they organize in February, and to cover up the names of any competitors—even slapping tape on offending logos found on AV equipment. The memo, written by Vancouver Public Library Marketing and Communications Manager Jean Kavanagh, tells staff to avoid such companies as Pepsi or Dairy Queen—neither of which is an official sponsor, unlike, say Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. The guidelines apply mainly to highly visible gatherings with 30 or more people....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Jan. 13; The Tyee, Jan. 12
Retired librarian donates Peace Clock to Windsor
Guided by a simple quest to “help make the downtown area a nicer place,” retired Windsor (Ontario) Public Library Director A. Aziz Chowdhury was cheered January 12 by a crowd of dignitaries and fellow members of the local South Asian community following dedication of the Bangladesh Peace Clock. Chowdhury donated $30,000 toward the $60,000 cost of the stylish timepiece as a gift to the city....
Windsor (Ont.) Star, Jan. 12
Library panel says no to outsourcing
One of three committees working on ways to save financially strapped libraries in Nevada County, California, will recommend the county bail itself out and not rely on an outside firm. The library system’s Citizens Oversight Committee voted unanimously January 13 to recommend a plan from the Truckee Friends of the Library that keeps all the libraries open....
Grass Valley (Calif.) Union, Jan. 13
Blindness organizations settle lawsuit over Kindle
In June, the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind jointly filed a discrimination lawsuit against Arizona State University to prevent it from deploying Amazon’s Kindle DX as a means of distributing electronic textbooks to students because the device cannot be used by blind students. The parties announced January 11 that they have reached a settlement agreement that vaguely promises improvements to and progress in the accessibility of e-book readers....
Washington Post, Jan. 11; National Federation of the Blind, Jan. 11
Denver library contractor shuts down after FBI raid
Krahl Construction, which has a $1.5-million contract for improvements at the Denver Public Library’s main branch, has stopped work on the project in the wake of a January 5 FBI search of its Chicago headquarters. Krahl sent out a letter to employees January 8 saying the company would be shutting down. An FBI official said the search was part of an “ongoing federal investigation” and that agents were “looking for evidence of a crime.” The work was being done as part of the “Building a Better Denver” bond initiative...
Denver Business Journal, Jan. 12
State budget cuts hit Indiana Free Library
Another state budget cut has forced the Indiana (Pa.) Free Library to trim its operating hours and lay off four employees.
Library Director Kate Geiger said that beginning in January the library would be closed on Fridays. Library employees were given the bad news January 5 that one full-time and three part-time staffers would be laid off.
The library’s annual state-aid grant was slashed by 22%....
Indiana (Pa.) Gazette, Jan. 6
Sugar Grove pushes library referendum, again
The Sugar Grove (Ill.) Library apparently holds the record for the most consecutive attempts to raise taxes.
On February 2, Sugar Grove voters for the 10th time will see a referendum on the election ballot to increase the tax rate for the library. Voters have rejected the request the last nine times.
That appears to be a record in Kane County....
Kane County (Ill.) Chronicle, Jan. 12
Paul LeClerc explains “What’s the deal” with NYPL
New York Public Library President and Chief Executive Officer Paul LeClerc explains to the media (1:46) why the library is a vibrant, necessary place in the age of Google searches, smartphones, and internet ubiquity: “The founders of the library believed that reading and learning and writing and knowledge are such important human activities that they deserve to take place in a grand and glorious space. That’s the core valuie of this place. It has to be free.”...
NBC New York, Dec. 3
The chill factor
Under a little-known contract provision titled “Extreme Temperature Procedures,” unionized workers at branches of the New York Public Library can accrue compensatory time when the temperature inside dips below 68 degrees for a couple of hours.
Officials with all three public library systems say they do not track the number of days awarded to chilled employees, but they estimate the clause is invoked only a few times each year because the heating systems at the branches are well maintained....
New York Times, Jan. 11
San Francisco social worker enforces behavior policy
The San Francisco Main Public Library has often received complaints about homeless persons who are said to curse loudly or threaten others. The bathrooms have been the focus of reports involving people doing drugs, bathing in the sinks, or having sex in the stalls. In a partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the library hired Leah Esguerra in January 2009. Esguerra is on hand five days a week handling complaints from staff and patrons about behavior that violates the library’s guidelines for use....
San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 11; San Francisco Public Library
Herrick District Library plays hardball
The Herrick District Library in Holland, Michigan, wants the state to butt out on how it contracts with neighboring municipalities. Library Director Tom Genson is notifying five townships—Fillmore, Heath, Olive, Overisel, and Port Sheldon—that its offerings to those locales will be discontinued in June if they don’t sign new contracts to pay for services. Herrick has been providing free services to those residents for more than three decades and initiated a lawsuit in October to require fees....
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press, Jan. 9
SMU, condo owner settle lawsuit over Bush Library
Southern Methodist University and a lone condo owner settled a bitter legal battle January 7, ending an expensive and politically volatile lawsuit that at one point threatened to personally involve former President George W. Bush. The settlement involved a payment from SMU to condo owner Gary Vodicka for an undisclosed sum. In exchange, SMU is now the undisputed owner of land that will be used for the landscaped grounds at the Bush Presidential Library. A timeline of events in the library land fight can be found here....
Dallas Morning News, Jan. 7–8
Go back to the Top
Consumer Electronics Show 2010
Jason Griffey writes: “My first assignment for Perpetual Beta was to cover the Consumer Electronics Show for libraries. I’ll be reporting over the next several weeks about my discoveries there, and will include audio and video interviews, demos, and anything else I can think of that might be interesting. I’ll have a series of videos coming in the next few days and weeks from my CES coverage, including a video (2:06) of the Nexus One in action, and a look (0:53) at the full-color Qualcomm Mirasol e-reader (above).”...
Perpetual Beta, Jan. 8–11
Intel Reader for the visually impaired
Jason Griffey writes: “Here are two videos of an incredible new text-to-speech device, the Intel Reader. A portable text-to-speech processor, it will take a photo of any text, OCR it, and then read it to you. It also saves each piece of this process, the photo, the text file, and the audio, and gives you access to it on your computer. I can see libraries of all types using these both internally for quick digitization, and for possible patron checkout.”...
Perpetual Beta, Jan. 13
McAfee to help Facebook clean up its site
Facebook has finally gotten fed up with all the viruses and spam that is plaguing the social network and ensnaring and embarrassing its 350 million members. The company announced a deal with McAfee, a leading maker of antivirus software, to give Facebook users a complimentary six-month subscription to McAfee’s Internet Security Suite. Facebook will also begin using a McAfee tool to scan the computer of any user whose account gets compromised by malware....
New York Times, Jan. 13
Access blocked sites with PHProxy
Kevin Purdy writes: “Got some web space you rent for a personal site? Good, then you can likely get around any restrictions your employer, school, or other eye-shielding authority has wrongly put in your way with a quick PHProxy installation. PHProxy is a free download that is easy to install on any web space that can run PHP scripts, which these days is most of them.”...
Lifehacker, Jan. 14
The children of cyberspace: Old fogies by their 20s
Brad Stone writes: “Researchers suspect that the ever-accelerating pace of technological change may be minting a series of mini-generation gaps, with each group of children uniquely influenced by the tech tools available in their formative stages of development. These mini-generation gaps are most visible in the communication and entertainment choices made by different age groups. Those born in the 1990s and 2000s will expect to share the minutiae of their lives online, stay connected to their friends at all times, buy virtual goods, and own one über-device that does it all.”...
New York Times, Jan. 9
LibraryThing iPhone app
LibraryThing, a major social-networking-through-books site, launched its first iPhone app January 6. Local Books is free and lists bookstores, libraries, and book-related events near you. There are public and academic libraries, chain bookstores and independent bookstores, and many include photos. As good as the venue listings are, the search function seems, in this iteration, a little creaky....
Los Angeles Times: Jacket Copy, Jan. 7; LibraryThing Blog, Jan. 6
Google’s 10 toughest rivals
Carolyn Duffy Marsan writes: “The biggest tech industry news story of the decade was undoubtedly the dramatic rise of Google. But will the search and online advertising juggernaut continue its dominance over the internet economy in 2010? Not if the tech companies on our list can help it. Until now, Google’s biggest frenemies were the traditional media. But as its portfolio has grown to encompass more than 150 products—including free, hosted versions of popular software applications—Google has attracted an array of tech industry competitors.”...
Computerworld, Jan. 6
Printers were sent from hell to make us miserable
Matthew Inman writes: “Printers, unlike other technologies, are remarkable in the fact that they are just as crappy and unreliable now as they were in 1995. It is my belief that they were sent here to inspire rage, loathing, and murder in the hearts of all mankind.”...
Library audiobook and e-book download stats from OverDrive
Electronic book supplier OverDrive has announced record downloads from library websites in 2009. Patrons at more than 10,000 OverDrive-powered libraries worldwide viewed 401 million downloaded website pages and checked out 8.7 million e-book, audiobook, music, and video titles, both of which are all-time highs. The company showed a 40% increase in new library users over 2008....
OverDrive, Jan. 13
30 beautiful old bird books
Beth Carswell writes: “From owls to ornithology, beaks to bills, our feathered friends show up on our most expensive lists with some frequency. The most expensive bird-book sale through AbeBooks in 2009 was Ootheca Wolleyana: An Illustrated Catalogue of the Collection of Birds’ Eggs (London: sold by R. H. Porter, 1864–1907), by John Wolley and Alfred Newton. Whatever your passion, be it artistic and colored plates of birds, ornithology, birdwatching, care of pet birds, or just books with beautiful, bird-themed covers, there are books out there to ruffle anyone’s feathers.”...
AbeBooks, Jan. 8
Why is English the language of science fiction?
Charlie Jane Anders writes: “Science fiction authors from France, Finland, and the Netherlands are all putting out books in English, notes Israeli author Lavie Tidhar (who’s also publishing a steampunk novel in English). Why is English the language of science fiction anyway? Tidhar’s novel, The Bookman, is a ‘steampunk adventure, and a book about books, and a mystery, and a love story,’ and it sounds as though Tidhar wrote it in English, despite also writing science fiction in Hebrew sometimes. Tidhar says this may be a trend.”...
io9, Jan. 6
Nixon-era materials released
On January 11, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened approximately 280,000 pages of textual materials, 12 hours of sound recordings, and 7,000 images from the personal collection of White House photographer Oliver F. Atkins at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, facility and at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California. The release includes 5,500 pages declassified, in whole or in part, as the result of mandatory review requests from individual researchers covering national security matters....
National Archives, Jan. 6
Is the White House backing away from Net neutrality?
Larry Downes writes: “The Obama administration and its allies at the FCC are retreating from a militant version of Net neutrality regulations first outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in September. That’s my reading of a number of recent developments, underscored by comments made by government speakers on a panel on the first day of a Tech Policy Summit held January 7–9 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.” A new report by NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, Free to Invest: The Economic Benefits of Preserving Net Neutrality (PDF file), underscores why Net neutrality would ensure that the internet remains free and open to content providers....
CNET News: Wireless, Jan. 8; Benton Foundation, Jan. 8
Not just DVDs and free internet
Seth Godin writes: “What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age? They can’t survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don’t want to own (or for reference books we can’t afford to own). More public librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That’s not a long-term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars. Here’s my proposal: Train people to take intellectual initiative.”...
Seth Godin’s Blog, Jan. 9
How to reach nonusers
Toby Greenwalt, visual services coordinator for Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, writes: “The people who do make use of library services love them, and for this we are eternally grateful. But there remains the question of those who don’t, and Seth Godin’s post (above) is a perfect illustration of this. We suffer from a major image problem, and it’s putting the profession at risk. So I put the question to you, Huffington Post readers: If you’re not a library user, how can we prove ourselves to you?”...
Huffington Post, Jan. 13
Top 100 health websites you can trust
The purpose of this Top 100 List is to provide Medical Library Association members and other librarians with a resource to use in their daily practice and teaching. Secondly, the MLA headquarters staff can refer individuals to a list of quality health websites. Our goal is to have a limited number of resources that meet the quality criteria for currency, credibility, content, and audience, as described on the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section website....
MLA Consumer and Patient Health Information Section
ACLU sues LC for curtailing free speech
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit January 8 against the Library of Congress on behalf of Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions, who was terminated from his job at the library’s Congressional Research Service because of opinion pieces he wrote about the military commissions system. The lawsuit charges that CRS violated Davis’s right to free speech and due process when it fired him for speaking as a private citizen....
ACLU, Jan. 8
Move your career and job search ahead
Career development consultant Caitlin Williams writes: “For a huge number of professionals, the current economic and workplace challenges have been overwhelming in terms of job opportunities and career advancement. Moving ahead professionally is no longer as straightforward as it has been in the past.” Williams also offers a podcast on how to handle being laid off, and she will present a workshop on the afternoon of January 16 in the ALA Placement Center during the Midwinter Meeting in Boston....
Get a Job!
Is your school library job on the line?
Doug Johnson writes: “I’m starting to get emails from school librarians who are at risk of losing their jobs due to budget cuts for the 2010–11 school year. Given the dire budget straits most states are finding themselves in this year, I expect this may be the most challenging year our profession has ever had in keeping positions. Here are some suggestions I’ve given to my own library folks.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Jan. 12
Indiana awarded Mellon grant to develop library software
A $2.38-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Indiana University will be used to develop software created specifically for the management of print and electronic collections for academic and research libraries. IU will lead the Kuali Open Library Environment project, a partnership of research libraries dedicated to managing digital resources and collections. Together, these libraries will develop “community source” software that will be made available to libraries worldwide....
Indiana University, Jan. 11
Win a school library makeover
Computer company Acer and chip manufacturer Intel are offering K–12 schools a chance to transform their libraries into a 21st-century learning lab—with technology furnished by Acer and Intel. Nominate the school of your choice by January 17 by completing an application and writing a short paragraph on what makes your school great and why it deserves to win a library makeover....
Library is front and center at Austin’s First Night celebration
Dawn Vogler writes: “Austin (Tex.) Public Library staffers, especially those book cart drill team competition stars, the Bibliophiles, came out strong once again at the city’s First Night event December 31. Due to budget cuts in city spending this year, activities and grants had to be cut, but you would never know that from the display APL staffers put on during the grand procession. Their bookmobile rounded the corner with its bold, pop-art graphics about finding the right answers, and I perked up.” More photos are here and here....
Library Developments, Jan. 7
Why Facebook is wrong: The age of privacy is not over
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (right) told a live audience January 8 that the world has changed, that it’s become more public and less private, and that the controversial new default and permanent settings reflect how the site would work if he were to create it today. Not everyone agrees with his move and its justification. Though there is a lot to be said for analysis of public data, I believe that Facebook is making a big mistake by moving away from its origins based on privacy for user data.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Jan. 9, 11
Say hi to @SteacieLibrary
John Dupuis writes: “Yes, my library has entered the Twitter age. I'll probably be the main tweeter but hopefully a couple of the other reference staff here will chip (chirp?) in from time to time. It took me a while to decide whether or not it’s worth it to join Twitter. The thing is, quite a few internal York University organizations and people are on Twitter and I think it’s probably at least as interesting to reach out and connect to them, hopefully raising the library’s profile on campus a bit.”...
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Jan. 12
Project Brand Yourself a Librarian
Justin Hoenke, teen librarian at Cape May County (N.J.) Library, writes: “It’s really simple. If you’re up for it, let’s all get tattoos to show our support for libraries and librarians. We are who we are. We are librarians. Let’s show the world how proud we are! Let’s get a library tattoo in Washington, D.C., at the ALA Annual Conference, June 24–29. If you’ve got ideas on a tattoo parlor, leave a comment. I’ll gladly be in charge of setting up appointments for everyone.”...
8bitlibrary.com, Jan. 13
You are a librarian, aren’t you?
Merry the Librarian writes: “Ah, the age-old question: ‘You are a librarian, aren’t you?’ What a wonderful question! Whenever librarians hear this one, we instantly realize that what the patron really means is: ‘You are all-knowing, aren’t you?’ Sorry to disappoint you, patrons, but sometimes your questions are too vague even for our advanced minds to answer.”...
Merry the Librarian, Jan. 10
Designing a rural library in Thailand
Sami Rintala of rintala eggertsson architects recently led a group of
architecture students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on a social project. They worked together to build a two-story library building
for an orphanage in Ban Tha Song Yan village in Thailand, near the Burmese border. The task was to utilize local materials to build a structure that integrated with the local environment....
Designboom, Dec. 28
Evanced Solutions contest (PDF file)
Library supplier Evanced Solutions is sponsoring a “We Love Evanced” video competition for its customers. The winner will
receive a scholarship for their library to help offset conference expenses for attending the 2010
ALA Annual Conference to be held June 24–30 in Washington, D.C.
Evanced is encouraging customers to create 3–5-minute videos explaining why they love Evanced
Solutions’ services and products. A winner will be
announced at the 2010 Public Library Association Conference, March 23–27, in Portland, Oregon....
Evanced Solutions, Jan. 6
NYU acquires Kathleen Hanna archive for Riot Grrrl Collection
Noted musician and feminist Kathleen Hanna has bequeathed her papers—zines, correspondence, and material pertaining to her career in Bikini Kill—to New York University’s Fales Special Collections Library. The archive includes documents from the Riot Grrrl movement spanning 1989 to 1996. The Kathleen Hanna Papers seem to be the first major acquisition for the library’s brand-new Riot Grrrrl Collection....
The L Magazine, Jan. 7
Litchfield library cat gets national attention
A year ago, the Litchfield (Ill.) Carnegie Public Library had a “mouse problem.” Today, thanks to Stacks the cat, the problem has been taken care of, and the library has gained a little national attention. The 2-year-old black cat that has lived at the Litchfield library for about a year is among felines billed as “45 Amazing Library Cats” in a story in the February issue of Cat Fancy magazine. Director Sara Zumwalt said that one of Stacks’s favorite activities is riding the library elevator....
Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register, Jan. 7
These libraries are going to the dogs
Nancy Mattoon writes: “Libraries across the country from Swampscott, Massachusetts, to San Jose, California, are making exceptions to that arcane ‘No Dogs Allowed’ rule for a program proven to help struggling young readers. The Reading Education Assistance Dogs program has been so successful in improving reading scores that it has spread nationwide, with more than 2,300 dog and trainer teams now helping reluctant readers become book lovers.”...
Book Patrol, Jan. 13
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. The ALA Store, located in the North Lobby of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, will be open for business Friday through Monday. ALA Graphics and Editions products and publications, in addition to those from many ALA divisions, will be available for purchase, as well as the official conference T-shirt, which is a heathered cranberry color and features the Midwinter Meeting logo.
The January 1 & 15 Booklist contains the Editors’ Choice 2009 roundup of popular titles.
Pick up your copy at the Midwinter Meeting. NEW! From Booklist.
Director of Library Services, University of North Alabama, Florence. Provides vision, leadership, and accountability through collaborative strategic planning and assessment, policy development and implementation, budget preparation and administration, integration of appropriate technology, supervision of faculty and staff, support for professional development, and consortia collaboration. In cooperation with the campus community, the Director of Library Services develops and guides initiatives that support the learning, teaching, research, service, and administrative goals of the university....
Digital Library of the Week
The Fort Collins History Connection is an online collaboration between the Fort Collins (Colo.) Museum and Discovery Science Center and the Poudre River Public Library District, incorporating historical resources from the library, the museum artifact collection, and the Fort Collins Local History Archive. The project was funded in part by a 1997–1998 LSTA grant. Fort Collins history is a microcosm of the development of the West. The settlement of the Cache La Poudre River Basin has now achieved national significance with the designation of the Cache La Poudre National Corridor. Searchable collections include historic photographs, maps, museum artifacts, city directories, oral histories, and building permits. Not all documents are available online.
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.
“The library had everything I wanted: a bathroom, a Toronto telephone book, all the morning’s newspapers, warmth, and friendly staff. Frequently in this space we critique the things the City of Toronto does wrong, so I just want to take a second to praise something that this city does right: Maintain 99 branches of the library, the biggest borrowing library system on the continent. It’s a beautiful thing.”
—Peter Kuitenbrouwer, writing in the Canadian National Post January 6 about his experience at the Ashdale branch of the Toronto Public Library, which came to the rescue when he wound up in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
American Library Association, Midwinter Meeting, Boston, Jan. 15–19, at:
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Annual Conference, Boston, Jan. 12–15, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. I am looking for this year’s winners of the children’s book awards (the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and others) and cannot find any information about them. I thought they were posted in early January. Where can I find the information?
A. The 2010 ALA Youth Media Awards announcement will take place on Monday, January 18, at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time, as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. A live webcast will be available through Unikron. Names of the winners will also be immediately available through the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page and also through the @ALAyma Twitter feed. There will also be an encore presentation of the webcast in Second Life. The information will be available as soon as possible in the ALA Awards Database. Over the coming months, more information about the awards, including historical data, application information, and how to find the acceptance speeches, will become available. The acceptance speeches are part of the upcoming ALA Annual Conference festivities in Washington, D.C. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
iSchools iConference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, New York City.
Online Northwest, CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Oregon State University,
Technology Essentials 2010, WebJunction online conference.
International Society for Knowlege Organization, Annual Conference, Sapienza University of Rome. “Paradigms and Conceptual Systems in KO.”
Selling Your Library Without Selling Out, online course by Amigos Library Services.
Picturing America in Our Nation’s Libraries, Hilton Hotel, New York City. A one-day conference for public and school librarians who have received the Picturing America collection.
International Association for Development of the Information Society, Annual Conference, Porto, Portugal. “Mobile Learning 2010.”
The Document Academy, Annual Conference, College of Information, University of North Texas, Denton.
1st Augmented Human International Conference, Megève, France.
Off-Campus Library Services Conference, Marriott Cleveland Downtown at Key Center, Ohio.