|American Libraries Online
Library community rallies to support Haiti
In the days following the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that all but toppled Haiti’s capital city and other population centers, news is slowly becoming available about how Haitian libraries and their staff members fared. The Université Caraïbe and most universities and schools in Port-au-Prince are completely destroyed. Miraculously, the National Library building has survived, although its shelving and holdings have shifted. The library community elsewhere is responding by starting multiple initiatives....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 18
Google settlement opponents ask Congress for nonprofit alternative
A month before the February 18 final fairness hearing for the proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging Google’s Book Search project, the Open Book Alliance called on Congress to instead help establish a digital book database operated by a neutral, nonprofit organization. In a January 19 letter (PDF file) sent to members of Congress and digitization advocates, OBA cofounder Peter Brantley asked the parties to the proposed settlement to join a “new inclusive process” to develop a comprehensive digital public library that would “foster competitive instead of exclusive markets.”...
American Libraries Online, Jan. 19
Al Gore delivers global warning
American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “The environmental threat facing the planet as a result of carbon-based fuel consumption makes all other efforts to improve the quality of human life seem futile—unless the global climate crisis is addressed, and soon. That was the message Al Gore delivered at the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture January 16 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston.” Watch a video excerpt (3:14) on the topic of solar energy....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 17
Advice for the working worried
AL Direct Editor George Eberhart writes: “Career development consultant Caitlin Williams (right) has been making herself available in the placement center at ALA conferences for nearly 10 years. On January 17 she took some time out from giving advice on résumé polishing and job search strategies to Midwinter attendees to talk to American Libraries about how librarians can best position themselves to handle the uncertainties of a tough economy.” Watch the video (2:19)....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 17
The extemporaneous Battledecks challenge
American Libraries Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “Participants in Battledecks (video, 2:06) gave impromptu five-minute presentations in the Uncommons area at Midwinter. The catch? They didn’t get their topic in advance, and they also didn’t have their slides in advance. The speakers had to weave together a disassembled car, an Allen wrench, and a cat with a lime peel on its head, among other things, into their discussions of technology. Battledecks immediately followed ‘Set Sail for Fail’ (video, 2:00).”...
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 17
Books, volunteers needed for Ethiopia Reads
“Librarians are the best human beings that I have known,” said Yohannes Gebregeorgis at the ALA President’s Program January 17. And he became a librarian himself just to prove his point. Using the experience he gained at the San Francisco Public Library, he founded Ethiopia Reads in 1998 to bring books and reading to children in his native land, where he and his colleagues have established 30 children’s libraries in schools in and around the capital, Addis Ababa, and the city of Awassa....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 19
Midwinter 2010: A photo essay
American Libraries student intern Rachel Yoke was busy in Boston, taking pictures of people, events, places, discussions, gaming, and the city skyline. Visit her daily photo essays on the activities at the Midwinter Meeting: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday....
Embracing change for continuous improvement
Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman write: “With information about customers—their characteristics and preferences—libraries can target marketing strategies to both present and potential customers. Patrons’ evaluations help libraries respond so that they can cultivate loyal customers who will rally support for bond issues or actively oppose threatened budget cuts. The payoff of learning about library customers and their requirements is their heavy use of materials and services and an enhancement of the library’s service and resource reputation.”...
American Libraries, Jan./Feb.
Second round of broadband funding prioritizes libraries
Changes made to the second round of funding for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) will expand the opportunities for libraries and other community anchor institutions to apply and receive funding. As with the first round of funding, the ALA Washington Office will support library applications by posting resources and information about this final round of funding. Sign up for a free Round Two webinar taking place January 22....
District Dispatch, Jan. 19
New survey: Public libraries in jeopardy
Half of U.S. states have reduced funding to public libraries and to state library agencies and nearly one-quarter of urban libraries have reduced open hours, according to a survey, “A Perfect Storm Brewing” (PDF file), conducted by ALA and the Center for Library and Information Innovation at the University of Maryland in fall 2009. At the same time, more than three-quarters of all public libraries reported increased use of their public internet computers over the past year, and 71% reported increased wireless use....
Midwinter Meeting highlights
Librarians gathered to discuss major issues affecting them—including budget cuts in tough economic times and how libraries provide services in a changing information environment—at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held January 15–19 in Boston. The final attendance was 11,095 (including 8,526 members and 2,569 exhibitors), beating last year’s total of 10,220 for the meeting in Denver (which drew 7,905 members and 2,315 exhibitors) but falling short of the 2008 tally of 13,601 (10,533 and 3,068) in Philadelphia....
Candidates for president, treasurer speak out
ALA immediate past president Jim Rettig emceed a Midwinter Meeting forum featuring the candidates who will be vying for the ALA president and treasurer posts in the forthcoming spring election. Some 150 people attended the forum. Watch the video (9:40) of the opening statements by presidential candidates Molly Raphael and Sara Kelly Johns, and continue with the rest of the Candidates’ Forum on AL Focus....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 16; AL Focus, Jan. 19
A new deal for privacy?
American Libraries Associate Editor Greg Landgraf writes: “‘We need a New Deal about privacy,’ said Hal Niedzviecki (right), author of The Peep Diaries, at the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Midwinter kickoff for Choose Privacy Week, which will be observed for the first time May 2–8. Niedzviecki discussed his flirtation with what he called ‘Peep Culture’—the willingness of people to share and consume the details of each other’s lives, be it on Facebook, personal blogs, Twitter, or wherever.” Watch the video (2:28)....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 16
ALA supports Haiti relief effort
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and ALA have announced a joint donation of $27,085 to directly support relief efforts in Haiti. The effort was set up in less than 24 hours by the two groups after the deadly earthquake on January 14. Donations were made by many of the attendees at the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston over the weekend, and were matched in kind by the MCCA. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-12th Suffolk), the second Haitian-American to be elected to state office in Massachusetts, received the donation on behalf of the local Haitian community....
Council tackles ALA business in record time
Treasurer Rodney Hersberger reported to Council at the Midwinter Meeting that the Association ended FY2009 with positive revenue over expenses of $683,102; due to cost cutting, eligible staff received a one‑time incentive payment of $800. Council defeated a measure asking for a report on the much-debated ALA Event Planner. Kevin Reynolds and J. Linda Williams were elected to the Executive Board....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 19
Turock family and Boston convention bureau donate to Spectrum
ALA Past President Betty J. Turock provided a gift of $100,000 to the Spectrum Presidential Initiative on behalf of the Turock family as part of the 2010 Spectrum Presidential Initiative. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau also presented a donation of $500 in support of the program to Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. The donations will go to the Spectrum Scholarship Program, ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of underrepresentation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession....
Tom Bruno writes: “ALA Midwinter has come and gone once again, and my head is spinning after meeting so many people, absorbing so many new ideas, and just generally having a great time. Yet, mindful of the Set Sail For Fail discussion I participated in on Sunday, I have the urge to examine my conference experience and see what wisdom I can offer for future ALA attendees.”...
The Jersey Exile, Jan. 18
Midwinter: What I saw and how I lied (in wait)
Betsy Bird writes: “When you’re at an ALA conference and you want to go to the exhibits floor, it may surprise you to learn that the floor isn’t really open until Saturday morning. But they open it up on Friday night. Yup. Friday at 5:30 I was present and accounted for as the masses patiently waited to enter the hall and reap the goodies. And since my Saturday was going to be too busy to do otherwise, I knew I’d really only have two days to leap upon the floor, galley-grabbing-wise. For this particular day, we turn our attention to the books and goodies on display throughout the exhibits floor.”...
A Fuse #8 Production, Jan. 16
Featured review: Nonfiction books for youth
Blair, Margaret Whitman. Liberty or Death: The Surprising Story of Runaway Slaves Who Sided with the British during the American Revolution. Jan. 2010. 64p. National Geographic, hardcover (978-1-4263-0590-0).
In too many American history books for young people, the role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War begins and ends with Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre. Blair provides a well-researched account of slaves in Virginia who, beginning in 1775, fled to the British. The royal governor of the colony hoped to put down the rebellion in part by offering freedom to slaves of rebels (but not of loyalists) who would flee their masters and fight for the British side. Foraging, fighting, spying, and working as laborers, they risked their lives for liberty, and many of them died. At the war’s end, the British transported some 3,000 former slaves to Nova Scotia, and later sent nearly half of those to a new settlement in Sierra Leone. Though told in a matter-of-fact tone, the story is often heart-wrenching: the slaves, offered freedom for strategic rather than moral reasons, died in great numbers, and those who survived were promised benefits that never fully materialized....
Interactive online reference
Sue Polanka writes: “Last November I attended the 2009 Charleston Conference: ‘Issues in Book and Serial Acquisitions.’ E-content, licensing, business models, and a host of other issues were discussed. There were several presentations on reference, one in particular titled ‘Interactive Reference,’ presented by Tom Beyer, director of publishing at iFactory, and myself. Part of the RDW Group, iFactory designs and engineers a variety of online products, including Sage Reference Online, Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness, and multiple Oxford products. During the presentation, Beyer discussed the state of online reference and the variety of interactive features that could be useful in the next-generation products. Beyer defined a reference product as ‘something that will answer our questions in a way that is authoritative, accurate, and comprehensible,’ and he suggested that ‘the reference platform should interact with us to do that job better.’ So just how should the reference platform interact with us? In any number of ways, but Beyer focused his discussion in two areas, content and the user.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Media specialist out, school librarian in
The AASL board of directors voted at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston on January 16 to officially adopt for the profession the title “school librarian.” A recent AASL survey indicated confusion, misperceptions, and inconsistencies about various job titles in the school librarian profession. The AASL Affiliate Assembly requested that the board choose a title for its professionals that is clear to other educators, administrators, and the public, and presents a common nomenclature for all publications and advocacy efforts....
Virtual PLA National Conference registration open
On March 25–26, PLA will share a condensed, live and online 13th National Conference with public librarians and public library workers who can’t make the trip to Portland, Oregon. The Virtual Conference will include many familiar elements of the live conference, including high-quality educational programming, poster sessions and networking opportunities with colleagues. Registration for the virtual conference closes on March 19....
Celebrating the freedom to read
The Freedom to Read Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table cosponsored a terrific event January 17 at Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library of Medicine. Authors Leslea Newman (Heather Has Two Mommies) and Michael Willhoite (Daddy’s Roommate) discussed the genesis of their books and the controversies that ensued. The panel was moderated by FTRF trustee John Horany, a Texas attorney who litigated a seminal case in Wichita Falls in which those same books were targeted for censorship in the city’s library....
ALA Member Blog, Jan. 18
From book to big screen
Authors Chuck Hogan, Julie Powell, Tracy Chevalier, and Eric Van Lustbader kicked off the exhibits opening Friday afternoon at the Exhibits Round Table Author Forum in conversation with Brad Hooper of Booklist, sharing impressions about what it’s like to have your book turned into a feature film. Powell said she had close to nothing to do with the adaptation of her book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, into a hit film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Van Lustbader talked about his close friendship with author Robert Ludlum, which led him to continue the Bourne series after Ludlum’s sudden death in 2001, confiding that he thought Matt Damon was the perfect actor for the title role—much better than Brad Pitt, whose prior film commitments prevented him from taking the role....
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 16
Youth Media Award winners
ALA announced the top books, audiobooks, and video for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, and Printz awards—January 18 at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The announcement was webcast for those who could not attend.
Newbery and Caldecott winners
Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me, and Jerry Pinkney, illustrator and author of The Lion and the Mouse, are the 2010 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals. The Newbery and Caldecott medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year. Watch Stead, Pinkney, and ALA President Camila Alire on the Today Show (2:12)....
López, Alvarez win Pura Belpré Awards
Rafael López, illustrator of Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day, and Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender, are the 2010 winners of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award and Author Award, which honor Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books....
Nelson, Smith win Coretta Scott King Awards
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, author of Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, and Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrator of Langston Hughes’s My People, are the winners of the 2010 Coretta Scott King Book Awards honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Kekla Magoon, illustrator of The Rock and the River, is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner....
Myers wins new CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award
Walter Dean Myers is the winner of the first-ever Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award is named in memory of distinguished and beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Myers is best known for creating vivid, unflinching stories that speak candidly of the lives of teens. For four decades, his characters have wrestled with life-changing decisions, romance, family relationships, and friendships....
Geoffrey Hayes wins Geisel Award
Author and illustrator Geoffrey Hayes is the 2010 winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for his graphic novel Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! Siblings Benny and Penny encounter trouble when curiosity about a mysterious neighbor leads them into unexpected adventures. The characters’ emotions are revealed in the rich artwork within each panel. The Geisel Award is given to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States....
Libba Bray wins Printz Award
Libba Bray, author of Going Bovine, published by Delacorte Press, has won the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. Libba Bray is the author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy. Going Bovine tells the story of Cameron, a 16-year-old slacker who sets off on a madcap road trip—along with a punk angel, a dwarf sidekick, a yard gnome, and a mad scientist—to save the world and perhaps his own life....
Jim Murphy honored with Edwards Award
Jim Murphy is the recipient of the 2010 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. The award was presented for his books An American Plague, Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America, The Great Fire, The Long Road to Gettysburg, and A Young Patriot. Murphy’s well-researched books bring history alive through multiple narratives involving young people....
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, by Deborah Heiligman, is the winner of the first-ever YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. After creating a list of pros and cons for marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin, embarking upon the most loving, creative, and intellectually important relationship of his life. Heiligman flawlessly integrates primary source research into intimate, novelistic prose....
Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press
Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, is the winner of the 2010 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a foreign language and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States. Originally published in Swedish in 1996 as En ö i havet, A Faraway Island was written by Annika Thor and translated by Linda Schenck....
Carnegie Medal goes to Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Paul R. Gagne and Mo Willems of Weston Woods, producers of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, are the 2010 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video. The video is an animated delight, as Pigeon tries to cajole his way into achieving his long-held dream of driving a bus. This energetic and wacky production takes a book that screams for interaction and provides it with the voices of children answering the pigeon’s plaintive cries to drive the bus....
Tanya Lee Stone wins 2010 Sibert Medal
Tanya Lee Stone, author of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, was named the winner of the 2010 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2009. The book tells the story of the women aviators and aspiring astronauts known as the Mercury 13, who in the early 1960s repeatedly proved themselves capable but could not overcome prevailing prejudices....
L. K. Madigan wins William C. Morris Award
Flash Burnout, written by L. K. Madigan, has been named winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a first-time, previously unpublished author. Blake’s life is way too complicated. He’s a sophomore with a girlfriend and a friend who is a girl. One loves him. One needs him. Can he please them both? The voices of the characters are accurate, evocative, and humorous, capturing the everyday adolescent stresses and misunderstandings that are so hard to live through....
2010 Alex Awards
YALSA has selected 10 adult books with special appeal to teen readers to receive the 2010 Alex Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Margaret Edwards Trust, will appear with full annotations in the March 1 issue of Booklist magazine....
YALSA rebrands its selected lists
The YALSA board approved a proposal (PDF file) January 16 to rename its Best Books for Young Adults List to Best Fiction for Young Adults, expand the Alex Awards for best adult books of interest to teens, and merge all of its top 10 lists annually into a Best of the Best for Young Adults list that will be published by the division. These changes are in direct response to feedback from members regarding the use and creation of these lists....
YALSA Blog, Jan. 17
Odyssey Award goes to Live Oak Media
Live Oak Media, producer of the audiobook Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, has won the third annual Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production. The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults. Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken was written by Kate DiCamillo and narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Whimsical sound effects, playful background music, and Rosenblat’s impressive repertoire of voices combine in this tour-de-force listening experience....
Schneider Family Book Award winners
Winners of the Schneider Family Book Award, which honors an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences, were announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Django, written and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen, is the winner in the young children’s category; Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the winner in the middle-school category; and Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork is the winner in the teen category....
Lois Lowry to deliver 2011 Arbuthnot Lecture
Lois Lowry, two-time winner of the Newbery Medal, will deliver the 2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Each year, an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature is chosen to write and deliver a lecture that will make a significant contribution to the world of children’s literature. The award is administered by ALSC....
Youth Media Awards: Behind the scenes
Did you think it was exciting just hearing the award winners announced at the Youth Media Awards presentation? Well, imagine the dizzying highs and crushing lows experienced by the fearless members of the award selection committees—the thrills (of judging each entry), the chills (of choosing between one excellent nominee and the next), or the ecstasy (of sharing your choices with the authors and publishers). Better yet, watch this video (4:18) and see how they did it....
ALA Member Blog, Jan. 19
Human rights encyclopedia wins Dartmouth Medal
Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Oxford University Press) is the recipient of the 2010 Dartmouth Medal, a prestigious award RUSA bestows annually on a reference work of outstanding quality and significance published in the previous calendar year. As a major contribution to the literature of human rights, this harrowing but important work chronicles the advances in the human rights movement from 1945 to the present....
2010 Outstanding Reference Sources
RUSA has announced its list of Outstanding Reference Sources for 2010. The list is compiled by a committee of RUSA members who are readers’ advisory and reference experts. They review publications and online reference resources released in the previous calendar year....
2010 Notable Books List
RUSA has announced the selections for the 2010 Notable Books List—a source for very good and very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for the nation’s adult readers. The winners were selected by the Notable Books Council, a group of RUSA members and readers’ advisory experts from around the country. Since 1944, the Notable Books Council has annually selected a list of 25 important books for adult readers....
2010 Sophie Brody Award
The RUSA Collection Development and Evaluation Section has selected The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six by Jonathon Keats for its 2010 Sophie Brody Award. The award is funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation and is given to encourage, recognize, and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Keats’s engaging book opens with a fictional scholar’s quest to understand the meaning behind a list of names found during the excavation of a German synagogue....
2010 Louis Shores ABC-CLIO Award
Heather McCormack, managing editor of Library Journal’s Book Review section, is the recipient of RUSA’s 2010 Louis Shores/ABC-CLIO award recognizing excellence in book reviewing. McCormack was selected for her innovative spirit demonstrated by her creation and editing of Book Smack!, a free bi-weekly online newsletter that covers topics and titles not typically included in other reviewing sources....
RUSA Blog, Jan. 17
RUSA’s 2010 Reading List showcases genre fiction
The RUSA Collection Development and Evaluation Section has made its choices for the 2010 Reading List of genre fiction titles. The list recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (which includes suspense, thriller, and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. When it was announced that Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine, won top honors in the women’s fiction category, she jumped up on stage to call her mother, a librarian. Watch the video (4:18)....
Burd, Francis, and Frank win Stonewall Book Awards
ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table has announced the winners of the 2010 Stonewall Book Awards. This year for the first time, GLBTRT has given an award for children and young adult literature; it went to The Vast Fields of Ordinary, by Nick Burd. Stray Dog Winter by David Francis is the winner of the Barbara Gittings Book Award in Literature, and Unfriendly Fire by Nathaniel Frank is the winner of the Israel Fishman Book Award for Nonfiction....
2009 Notable Videos for Adults
The ALA Video Round Table has selected 15 outstanding titles from among 56 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults. The winners include Waltz with Bashir (Sony Classic Video), in which an Israeli soldier explores his memory of the 1982 Lebanese War using a combination of animation and narrative; and Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley), a colorfully animated musical that tells of the turbulent love life of a Hindu goddess named Sita, whose story shares similarities with that of a modern-day American woman.....
2010 BCALA Literary Awards
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association announced the winners of the BCALA Literary Awards during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors published in 2009, including the work of a first novelist and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. The winner in the fiction category is Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young....
ALA Cognotes, Jan. 18, pp. 6, 8
2010 Sugarman Children’s Biography Award
Tonya Bolden is the winner of the Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award for George Washington Carver. The award is given biennially by the Cleveland Public Library to honor excellence in the field of biography for children. The designer organized this book in a format reminiscent of a family photo album, bringing Carver’s extraordinary accomplishments to life....
ALA Cognotes, Jan. 18, p. 14
2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners
April Halprin Wayland and Stephane Jorisch, author and illustrator of New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story; Robin Friedman, author of The Importance of Wings; and Margarita Engle, author of Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, are the 2010 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience....
Association of Jewish Libraries Blog, Jan. 11
Nominate a library for the National Medal
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is seeking nominations for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for exemplary museum and library community service. The medal winners will be the institutions that make the most extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. The medal includes prizes of $10,000 to each recipient and an awards ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. The deadline for nominations is February 16....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 12
Maine librarian dies in hiking accident
Longtime University of Maine librarian Francis Wihbey died January 12 in a fall on a hiking trail in San Diego. Wihbey, 65, had served as the government documents librarian for more than 30 years before his retirement last October. Wihbey appeared to have fallen at least 100 feet down a “crumbling” Torrey Pines trail and likely died of internal injuries....
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Jan. 15; San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Jan. 15
School districts decline Race to the Top
The Obama administration’s main school improvement initiative has spurred education policy changes in states across the nation, but it is meeting with some last-minute resistance as the first deadline for applications arrived January 19. Thousands of school districts in California, Ohio, and other states have declined to participate, and teachers’ unions in Michigan, Minnesota, and Florida have recommended that their local units not sign on to their states’ applications....
New York Times, Jan. 18
Washington State Library faces budget cuts
A big round of spending cuts is coming to the Washington State Library in Olympia, and agency leaders said it means 31 lost jobs and elimination of work to preserve many of the state’s oldest historic documents. The layoff notices will go out January 25 and take effect through the end of June. State librarian Jan Walsh said that some cuts must begin taking effect in February to meet the demands of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s supplemental budget plan....
Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune, Jan. 19
Evanston library branch closings proposed
Supporters of Evanston (Ill.) Public Library took to the streets January 18 to protest the city’s proposed closing of its two branches, asking city officials to hold off a year to explore alternatives, including the creation of a separate Public Library District. Hundreds of people gathered outside the North and South branches, hoisting signs and chanting “Save our library.” Supporters are asking city council members to hold off to allow time to explore a public-private partnership and grants, as well as conversion to a separate taxing body....
Evanston (Ill.) Review, Jan. 18
NARA’s new director
Until recently, David Ferriero’s favorite artifact at the National Archives was the canceled $7.2-million check—“an actual check!”—that was used to purchase the territory of Alaska in 1867. Then two weeks ago, the archives’ new director discovered an American Indian treaty, etched on parchment and festooned with ribbons and wampum. For the nation’s 10th archivist, the former Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, the discoveries come daily....
McClatchy Newspapers, Jan. 17
Boulder beefs up security in wake of disturbances
Police will conduct a sweeping review of security at the Boulder (Colo.) Public Library after officials said they are fed up with some patrons causing disturbances. Library Director Tony Tallent met with Police Chief Mark Beckner to express concerns about problematic visitors. Security at the main library branch has become an issue following a rash of complaints and incidents, not the least of which was the November 25 stabbing of an 18-year-old transient man outside the building....
Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Jan. 16
Martin Luther King painting dedicated in Tucson library
On January 14, just one day before what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 81st birthday, the Joel D. Valdez Main Library in Tucson, Arizona, hosted a dedication ceremony for a painting titled The Dream, depicting King and donated by local artist Andrew Polk. The roughly 6-by-8-foot painting was part of an April 2009 exhibition at the Davis Dominguez Gallery....
Tucson Arizona Daily Star, Jan. 17
Santa Clara County shoots for cardholder record
Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library aims to have the most library cardholders in the United States by 2013, an effort aided both by its own outreach campaign and by an increasing number of patrons signing up on their own initiative. The library adopted the plan in 2008 with an overarching goal of making its resources more convenient and easier to use. Part of that initiative requires wide-ranging publicity and marketing efforts to reach out to non-cardholders....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Jan. 15
Canadian Braille library in jeopardy
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind says it can no longer afford to run the nation’s largest bilingual library of Braille and accessible audio materials. CNIB has used donated money to run the library for more than 90 years, but the charity said January 19 that it can no longer sustain the $10-million annual operating cost of the service. The library lends Braille, audio materials, and software technology to people across Canada from its national office in Toronto. It has launched a Right to Read campaign urging Canadian governments to support its services....
CBC News, Jan. 19
Kafka estate may belong to Israel National Library
Documents indicating that author Franz Kafka’s literary estate was left to the Israel National Library have recently surfaced, raising suspicion that the two sisters who inherited the estates of Franz Kafka and Max Brod are not, in fact, the legal executors. The sisters Eva Hoffe and Ruti Wisler have kept the two Czech writers’ manuscripts in five secret vaults in various Tel Aviv banks. In December, the Tel Aviv Family Court gave them 15 days to reach an arrangement with National Library officials regarding the manuscripts....
Ha’aretz (Tel Aviv), Jan. 19
Go back to the Top
Why library automation systems are like bicycles
Eric Hellman writes: “For the last 20 years, library consultant Rob McGee has run a president’s panel at ALA Midwinter Meetings featuring the people who run the library automation industry. This year Andrew Pace (right) was on the panel, representing OCLC. He’s not been made president or anything, but he has been leading OCLC’s effort to produce cloud-based library management services. Andrew woke me from my Twitter-distracted slumber with a story about his bicycle.”...
Go to Hellman, Jan. 16
LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel
American Libraries Associate Editor Sean Fitzpatrick writes: “The LITA Top Tech Trends discussion January 17 at the Midwinter Meeting was interesting to me this year because its participants, while all formidable representatives of the world of cutting-edge library tech geeks, were all new to the panel. David Walker kicked off the discussion by talking about discovery layers, a top trend indeed.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 18
Apple Tablet due January 27
With Apple’s Tablet now assigned a formal due date—January 27—the speculation has started to stabilize, with the device now sounding more like what it first it sounded like: a giant iPod Touch. For business users, the Tablet should offer access to supersized versions of iPhone applications, which could drive corporate acceptance of both devices. iPhone 4.0 software, expected to be introduced as part of the Tablet package, will offer developers some new options. The Apple Tablet is also expected to compete with e-readers....
PC World, Jan. 19
Library Anywhere, a mobile catalog for everyone
Following on its recent announcement of Shelf Browse, LibraryThing is looking for library beta testers of a new mobile app called Library Anywhere. It is envisioned as a mobile catalog for any library, up and running in minutes, with mobile web and apps for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. It allows for catalog searches and placing holds, works with 90% of current OPACs, and comes with an "accessible version" that provides a fully Section 508–compliant version of your existing catalog....
Thingology, Jan. 16
Google Wave versus the rest, feature by feature
Gina Trapani writes: “We got a great response to our January 12 FAQ about Google Wave, and decided it’s worth expanding further on the differences between Wave and the current crop of web-based collaboration offerings. Wave combines features from email, instant messenger, Google Docs, wikis, and forums and throws its own spin on things. For a quick visual of its offerings versus similar tools, check out this feature-by-feature comparison table.”...
Lifehacker, Jan. 18
New York Times ready to charge online readers
New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website. After a year of sometimes-fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal–type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system....
New York: Daily Intel, Jan. 17
A field trip to the Midwinter exhibit floor
Brigid Alverson writes: “As you might expect, the ALA Midwinter Meeting is a fairly staid event, compared to, say, New York Comic-Con. The average age is older, the decibel level is lower, and there are no booth babes. On the plus side, there were graphic novels. Boom! Studios had a large booth with tables laden with their graphic novels, and at the Viz booth the staff was busy promoting an interesting array of recent releases.”...
Comic Book Resources: Robot 6, Jan. 19
Apple disrupts the e-book market
Mike Shatzkin writes: “Publishers may have used the entry of Apple into the e-book arena as an opportunity to change the entire paradigm of e-book distribution for major books. And while the great excitement about Apple and e-books has been based on hopes that the new Apple Tablet will add a lot of new e-book consumers, the change in the sales protocols will probably have a much more profound impact on the e-book market than the device. Or at least that’s how it looks from here.”...
The Shatzkin Files, Jan. 19; Galleycat, Jan. 19
EBSCO offers new full-text history resources (PDF file)
EBSCO Publishing now offers full-text access to the historical databases, America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts. In June 2007, EBSCO acquired the databases
from ABC-CLIO and since then has worked to create definitive full-text versions....
EBSCO, Jan. 15
George Eberhart writes: “Alexander Street Press held its always-interesting customer appreciation breakfast January 17 at the Boston Public Library. In anticipation of the launch of its new Ethnographic Video Online collection in February, the company presented Cynthia Close (right), executive director of Documentary Educational Resources, as its breakfast speaker. She provided an intriguing overview of filmmaker John Marshall’s work on the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Jan. 17
The comic book that changed a nation
Nancy Mattoon writes: “In December 1957, a comic book was published that really did threaten the future—at least the future of American segregationists. Carefully preserved in the special collections of several academic libraries, the 14-page comic book is credited with being one of the most influential teaching tools ever produced for the Civil Rights Movement. Published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, it tells the story of the successful 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and passive resistance.”...
Book Patrol, Jan. 18
Gustaf Tenggren and the genesis of the Little Golden Books style
Stephen Worth looks at the illustrations in Swedish-American artist Gustaf Tenggren’s 1942 book, The Tenggren Tell-It-Again Book, and shows how they served as an important transition between his work for Walt Disney (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, Bambi) and his art for the classic Little Golden Books series originally published by Simon and Schuster. He writes: “By going back to his roots and synthesizing his Swedish cultural upbringing, Tenggren invented a style that now seems to us to be quintessentially American.”...
ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, Jan. 19
From Android Karenina to Huckleberry Fang
Keir Graff writes: “And to think it all started with a plucky little mashup called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In her review, Mary Ellen Quinn asked, with tongue firmly in cheek, ‘What’s next? Wuthering Heights and Werewolves?’ Not a bad guess, but the next offering was actually Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Let’s assume this trend has legs. So, as a helpful service, the Booklist editors would like to offer the following contenders.”...
Likely Stories, Jan. 17
Horizon Report, 2010
The New Media Consortium officially released its Horizon Report for 2010 (PDF file) at the Educause Learning Initiative Conference January 19. The report, an annual effort that identifies emerging technologies that will affect higher education, identifies open content and mobile computing as trends that will enter mainstream learning this year. The authors see augmented reality entering the classroom around 2013 and gesture-based computing in 2015....
The Wired Campus, Jan. 14
Report to Congress on Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
The Consumer Product Safety Commission released its Report to Congress (PDF file) January 15 regarding difficulties encountered with enforcing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The report notes that used books have emerged as a particular problem due to the retroactive nature of the law, adding that the retroactive applicability of the lead limits creates problems for libraries....
District Dispatch, Jan. 19
Is privacy dead? Only when exploitation mixes with apathy
Kent Anderson writes: “Recently, pronouncements by online megaplayers (Google, Facebook) have been lighting up the boards as Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg particularly have made incendiary comments about the future and value of privacy. Schmidt can be perceived as a hypocrite and Zuckerberg comes off as a callow pseudointellectual. But both are focused on privacy for the same reason—they have to break down expectations of privacy for their businesses to thrive.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Jan. 18
Social media cards: Business cards 2.0
Erin Maassen writes: “Since we’ve already established trustworthy relationships with our patrons inside the library, it’s only natural that we use social media to enhance our relationships with patrons virtually. Enter social media cards, an official-sounding title for a simple invention. The size of a business card, the two-sided card is printed in-house. Each side represents a different brand: the librarian as a person (left) and the library as an institution (right).”...
The M Word: Marketing Libraries, Jan. 18
Guided homework help goes online
Jennifer Hillner writes: “Homework help is just a few clicks away, thanks to the New York Public Library’s groundbreaking new interactive Dial-A-Teacher Whiteboard. Four nights a week, the online program connects students and teachers in real time through a secure digital whiteboard, where they can chat about assignments and draw their responses on the shared board. It’s the first program of its kind in the United States, and here’s how it works.”...
Copyright term and public domain chart
Peter Hirtle has issued a 2010 update to his invaluable Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States chart. He has added the list of countries that have joined Berne or WTO after January 1, 1996, and tweaked the language of the Laos exceptions. He cautions: “My one worry is that the chart may contribute to an illusion of certainty when ambiguity is the reality.”...
Stanford University Libraries, Jan. 15
Digital cameras in special collections
OCLC has released the final draft of the report “Capture and Release”: Digital Cameras in the Reading Room (PDF file), billed as a “short report by an RLG group on advantages of allowing hand-held cameras in special collections. The report includes a modular, re-usable, pick-and-choose form that incorporates items from the many camera policies this group surveyed.”...
OCLC Research, Dec. 22
How to add captions to your YouTube videos
Samuel Axon writes: “Once you’ve uploaded a video to your YouTube account, you have two options for generating subtitles for the video: You can use the CaptionTube web app that Google has created, or you can upload a transcript you make yourself and use Google’s speech-recognition technology to automatically assign the right times to each caption. In either case, you’ll end up with a text file that you can edit to make corrections and viewers will be able to either read the captions in their native language or translate them on the fly when watching your video.”...
Mashable, Jan. 16
JSTOR now indexed in WorldCat
Over 4.5 million JSTOR article-level records from more than 1,000 journals, selected monographs, and other scholarly content are now indexed in OCLC’s WorldCat. Scholars and researchers using WorldCat can now identify content in JSTOR and connect to full text using the authorization provided by their library....
OCLC, Jan. 15
Chubby Checker promotes new twist in Medicare law
Rock’n’roll legend Chubby Checker is helping the Social Security Administration promote a new law taking effect that makes it easier for seniors to qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs. First, it eliminates the cash value of life insurance from counting as a resource. Second, it eliminates the assistance people receive from others to pay for household expenses, such as food, rent, mortgage, or utilities, from counting as income....
Social Security Administration, Jan. 8
Brooklyn’s Central Library, 1941
Young readers pose inside the new Art Deco central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, which opened February 1, 1941. This view of the librarian’s desk was taken on opening day. Commenters have noted that the girl with boots is most likely wearing them to cover leg braces, probably as a result of polio. For more photos of the facility, see Book Patrol....
Shorpy, Jan. 15; Book Patrol, Nov. 5
Georgia librarian raised $20,000 for Haiti
Cliff Landis, technology librarian at Valdosta (Ga.) State University’s Odum Library, offered to match up to $10,000 in funds donated for Haiti relief to Partners in Health. Within three days, more than 150 people gave $10,000 to the charity, which Landis matched. Even his mother handed him her grocery money. He thanks everyone in this video (2:58)....
clifflandis.net, Jan. 16; YouTube, Jan. 17
Go back to the Top
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19.
Visit the ALA YouTube channel to see video coverage of the Midwinter Meeting.
Check out the Midwinter Flickr photostream from American Libraries. Keep track of all Flickr photos and tweets tagged with #alamw10 at Midwinter Tracker.
Experienced library supervisors Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil explain how to create a productive workplace as they weave expert advice and commentary into an easy-to-use resource. This revised edition of Fundamentals of Library Supervision focuses on daily, real-world practices. NEW! From ALA Editions.
70 Dollar General mini-grants are now available for public libraries serving adult English-language learners. Apply by February 28.
Digital Repository Services Librarian, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. This position serves as head of the MARS (Mason Archival Repository Service) program at Mason. Duties include managing the service, handling associated technology and related administrative workflows, and leading audience-building efforts of University Libraries in support of the service. MARS employs DSpace to satisfy digital archiving needs as well as more traditional IR services. The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of current metadata schemas, standards, and protocols (such as Dublin Core, MODS, METS, and OAI-PMH); and experience with one or more digital content management systems....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of Houston Digital Library opened its virtual doors in November 2009 with the goal of documenting the history of the University of Houston, the city of Houston, and state of Texas, as well as other historically and culturally significant materials related to the university’s teaching and research mission. Featured collections include the scrapbooks of the Ewing Family that document the suffrage activtities of Mrs. Kittridge Ewing; letters of Mrs. Anson Jones, wife of the President of the Republic of Texas from 1844 to 1846; Marine Bombing Squadron photos from World War II; photos of the Galveston hurricane of 1915; historic Houston photographs; Houstonian yearbooks; photos of the 1947 Texas City disaster; and photos of University of Houston buildings and people.
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.
“We just got a two-minute warning on envisioning the future of ALA. Um . . . need more time, please?”
—Amy Harmon, Jan. 16, tweeting just after ALA Council broke up into small groups to fill out a worksheet for feedback on the proposed ALA Strategic Plan.
“Going to ALA is a lot like visiting Disney World—there is no way to ride every ride, see every show, and eat every churro.”
—Tom Bruno, in his Jersey Exile blog, Jan. 18.
“Vendor looked on with repulsion as two totebag-loving librarians swiped about 6 each from the hook and bolted. Sad really.”
—JanieH, tweeting in #totebag, Jan. 16.
Top tweets of the ALA Midwinter Meeting:
American Library Association, Midwinter Meeting, Boston, Jan. 15–19, at:
Educause Learning Initiative, Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, Jan. 19–21, at:
Software and Information Industry Association, Information Industry Summit, New York City, Jan. 26–27, at:
Special Libraries Association, Leadership Summit, St. Louis, Jan. 27–30, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. I attended one of the institutes at the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and was told the session’s slide presentations would be available afterwards on the ALA website. But where? Is there a certain place I can look?
A. As with Annual Conference (although there are considerably fewer programs and sessions), how handouts and other materials are disseminated varies from division to division, and from one program planner or speaker to another. Still, look first to ALA's Conference Materials Archive Wiki to find such materials, including handouts and slide presentations from Midwinter Meeting programs and sessions. In addition to searching the wiki, you can also use the 2010 Midwinter Meeting Program Book (large PDF file) to identify the sponsoring ALA division, office, or round table of the program and its exact title. Then go the section of the ALA website for the sponsoring ALA division, office, or round table to see if any of the materials are posted or linked from there instead. Should you still come up empty, contact the sponsoring ALA division, office, or round table (or its ALA staff liaison, if noted) directly for further assistance. There are additional search strategies listed at ALA Annual Conference handouts, etc. Feel free to contact the ALA Library for help, also. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
Electronic Resources and Libraries, AT&T Executive and Conference Center, Austin, Texas.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage.
Advanced Leadership Institute for Senior Academic Librarians, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Louisiana Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Capital Center, Baton Rouge.
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Memphis.
Public Library Association, National Conference, Oregon Convention Center, Portland.
Florida Library Association, Annual Conference, Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando.
Kansas Library Association, Annual Conference, Century II Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency, Wichita.
New Mexico Library Association, Annual Conference, Ruidoso Convention Center.
Montana Library Association, Annual Conference, Holiday Inn and Best Western GranTree Inn, Bozeman.
Computers in Libraries, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.
Alabama Library Association, Annual Convention, Embassy Suites Hotel and Von Braun Center,
Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio.
Connecticut Library Association, Annual Conference, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville.
Oklahoma Library Association / Mountain Plains Library Association, Joint Conference, Oklahoma City Renaissance Hotel and Cox Convention Center.
Maryland Library Association, Annual Conference, Clarion Resort, Ocean City.
New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Ocean Place, Long Branch.
Massachusetts Library Association, Annual Conference, Hyannis Resort and Conference Center.
Utah Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Garden Inn, St. George.
Colorado Academic Library Consortium, Summit 2010, Sheraton Denver West Hotel, Lakewood, Colorado. “Collaborate Like You Mean It!”
Vermont Library Association, Annual Conference, St. Michael’s College, Colchester.
Rhode Island Library Association, Annual Conference, Bryant Center, Bryant University, Smithfield.
Book Blogger Convention, NYC Seminar and Conference Center, New York City.