|American Libraries Online
EBSCO, Gale spar over exclusivity
Two major database companies are at loggerheads over exclusivity in the provision of periodical content. EBSCO published an open letter (PDF file) to the library community January 25 in response to an open letter published the week before by Gale Cengage Learning. At issue is what EBSCO calls mischaracterization of its actions and intentions by Gale, which had expressed concern over what it calls the practice of “locking up” a periodical publisher’s content with a single information provider....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 26
Newsmaker: Al Gore
American Libraries Editor and Publisher Leonard Kniffel caught up with former Vice President, Nobel Prize recipient, and Oscar winner Al Gore before the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston for an exclusive interview. His message: 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. For videos of Gore’s entire presentation, visit AL Focus....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 26; AL Focus, Jan. 25
Olympic sponsorship rules raise Vancouver’s eyebrows
As the city prepares for the upcoming Winter Olympics, local media—on the lookout for games-related malfeasance—pounced on a request from the Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library administration asking staff to adhere to the sponsorship rules of the Vancouver Organizing Committee when holding Olympics-related programming. A memo (Word file) sent to branch heads and supervisory staff last spring by Marketing and Communications Manager Jean Kavanagh instructs staff to “not have Pepsi or Dairy Queen sponsor your event. Coke and McDonald’s are the Olympic sponsors.”...
American Libraries Online, Jan. 27
Branch-closing threat galvanizes Northwestern University neighbors
The determination of grassroots activists in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois—home to Northwestern University—has motivated the city council to put off shuttering two beloved public library branches as of March 1, and to agree instead to study the efficacy of creating a third branch in an underserved part of town. Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz had proposed the branch closures as part of a plan to close a gap of $9 million in the $94-million general municipal fund....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 24
Change at American University
Brian Mathews writes:
“Bill Mayer, university librarian at American University in Washington, D.C., imagines a library without librarians. The way he sees it, his campus is filled with activity and he wants his librarians to be a part of the action. This vision opens up the library for new types of programming spaces, where the library is transformed into a series of living rooms and kitchens. This metaphor builds on the idea that at parties, people congregate around the food and comfortable sitting areas. Libraries in this manner would become a natural place for learners to mix and mingle.”...
AL: Next Steps, Jan. 25
The birth of a green libraries blog
Laura Bruzas writes: “Just about every time I enter a library, a new idea pops into my head about how it can be more eco-friendly. The great majority of these ideas would be easy to implement and cost next to nothing or nothing at all. So, it is with great appreciation that I have found a place to share these ideas. I hope you will join me for the journey.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Jan. 20
ALA establishes Haiti Library Relief Fund
ALA, acting on a resolution adopted by its Council on January 19 during the Midwinter Meeting in Boston, has created a Haiti Library Relief Fund to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating January 12 earthquake. Donations can be made by credit card or check. ALA will provide updates on the condition of libraries in Haiti and coordinate relief and rebuilding efforts with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, IFLA, and UNESCO....
Apply for Library Support Staff Certification
The ALA–Allied Professional Association is now accepting applications from potential candidates interested in obtaining Library Support Staff Certification. The LSSC Program helps support staff achieve recognition for current and new skills and abilities....
ALA-APA, Jan. 18
New myth-busting ALA community
SnopesALA is a community of people interested in validating or debunking ALA legends and rumors. They will do their best to generally unravel the mysteries of the Association. Initial topics include: “Myth: ALA checks your bank account to make sure you have $10,000 if you are running for president,” and “ALA has a new content management system.” David Vess came up with the concept. What’s your burning question?...
Register for virtual worlds conference
The ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group is sponsoring a conference (“The Future is Now: Libraries and Museums in Virtual Worlds”) to be held online (using OPAL webconferencing software) and in various virtual worlds, especially ALA Island in Second Life, March 5–6. Keynote speakers include Marilyn Johnson and Tom Atkinson, but there will also be tours, demonstrations, poster sessions, social gatherings, and other events. You need not be proficient in virtual worlds to participate. Watch the video announcement (1:55)....
National Library Week PSAs available
Two free, downloadable radio public service announcements are available to librarians looking to promote National Library Week (April 11–17) on local radio stations. The PSAs are available in both English and Spanish. Downloadable PSA scripts are also available for radio stations that do not accept pre-recorded PSAs....
ALA from far away
Sarah Thompson writes: “My first ALA conference was last year’s annual in Chicago and I was hooked, but for this year’s Midwinter in Boston, attendance just wasn’t possible. I’ve never been a big fan of Twitter, but after Midwinter, I think I’m addicted. I couldn’t get enough of following Midwinter attendees and reading their tweets about sessions they’d attended and what advance reading copies everyone was eager to get their hands on. I also read many blogs from librarians that were in attendance and made a giant wish list for the library.”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 25
Sullivan’s readers’ advisory for boys
ALA Editions has released Serving Boys through Readers’ Advisory by Michael Sullivan. Sullivan, a widely published author, has drawn on more than 20 years’ experience getting boys interested in reading to offer his first readers’ advisory volume. With an emphasis on nonfiction and the boy-friendly categories of genre fiction, the book offers a wealth of material including suggestions for how to booktalk one-on-one as well as in large groups....
History of the book arts
ALA Editions is reissuing Scribes, Script, and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance by Leila Avrin, originally published in 1991. Released as part of the ALA Classics series, this detailed volume chronicles the history of the handmade book. Avrin looks at the development of scripts and styles of illumination, the making of manuscripts, and the technological processes involved in papermaking and bookbinding. Readers will have a greater understanding of books and texts up through the Renaissance with more than 300 plates and illustrations....
From book to bookmark to big screen
Mythology comes to life in the Percy Jackson poster and bookmark, new from ALA Graphics. Featuring exclusive artwork by illustrator John Rocco, the poster and bookmark portray a cityscape constructed of tomes towering before Percy, the young protagonist from Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. In this first book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Percy discovers he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon. The film is scheduled for release February 12....
The good ship ALA
Larry Nix writes: “In recognition of its service in World War I, ALA was invited by the United States Shipbuilding Board to name one of the many merchant marine ships built under its auspices. ALA chose the very creative name of ‘ALA’ for its ship. Harry R. Skallerup wrote “The Steamship Named ALA,” the definitive article about the ship, in the Fall 2004 issue of Libraries and Culture. It was christened by Shirley Putnam, daughter of Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, on December 18, 1920, and sunk by a German submarine in 1941.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 24
Featured review: Historical fiction
Charyn, Jerome. The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson. Feb. 2010. 352p. Norton, hardcover (978-0-393-06856-6).
Versatile and puckish Charyn extends his rascally improvisations on American history, following the Revolutionary War–era Johnny One-Eye (2008) with an audacious take on the life and spirit of Emily Dickinson. In his author’s note, Charyn explains his fascination with the poet and, most importantly, her “fiercely imagined life.” In a voice as precise and unnerving as that of her revolutionary poems, Dickinson narrates with droll wit, bemused rhapsody, and acid fury, often mockingly describing her redheaded self as a bird, mouse, kangaroo, spinster, “Uncle Emily,” and the Queen Recluse. Now and then, she alludes to the inner lightning strikes that prompt her to write, but flinty Dickinson focuses most on her knotty relationship with her father, her adoration for her dog, infatuation with her volcanic sister-in-law, and abiding, impossible love for Tom, the tattooed handyman turned thief....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Will Shortz to keynote PLA program at Annual
Famed puzzle master Will Shortz will be the keynote speaker at PLA’s President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 27. Listeners to NPR’s Weekend Sunday Edition and readers of the New York Times are familiar with challenging style of Will Shortz, the world’s only academically accredited enigamatologist, a 14-letter word meaning “someone involved in the science of puzzles.”...
YALSA’s winter e-courses
Register by February 2 for two four-week online courses provided by YALSA on booktalks and power programming for teens. The instructors are Nancy Keane and Amy Alessio, and the courses run from February 8 to March 8. Discounts are available for group registrations....
RUSA to highlight D.C.–area genealogy resources
Librarians from all types of libraries will have the opportunity to uncover genealogy research treasure troves at the “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Our Capital’s Hidden Genealogy Gems,” a June 25 preconference at Annual Conference in Washington. Personal family history researchers interested in the resources presented at this workshop are also welcome to attend....
RUSA Literary Tastes Breakfast
All book lovers are invited to purchase tickets to the Literary Tastes Breakfast, an Annual Conference tradition hosted by the RUSA Collection Development and Evaluation Section. The breakfast, which will be held June 27, features authors from RUSA’s 2010 literary book award selections....
ASCLA Consulting Toolkit workshop
The workshop “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant,” which sold out at the 2010 Midwinter Meeting, will be offered again at the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The full-day preconference will be held on June 25....
Sullivan named ACRL Academic Librarian of the Year
Maureen Sullivan, owner of Maureen Sullivan Associates and professor in the Simmons College GSLIS Doctoral Program in Managerial Leadership, is the 2010 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic or research librarianship and library development....
ACRL Insider, Jan. 21
2010 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners
The winners of ACRL’s 2010 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award are Bucks County (Pa.) Community College Library, the A. C. Buehler Library (right) at Elmhurst (Ill.) College, and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution....
ACRL Insider, Jan. 21
Winners of the 2010 John Cotton Dana Award
Six libraries are winners of the 2010 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievements in library public relations. The John Cotton Dana honor is sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company, the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and LLAMA. The winners are Hackney Library at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina; King County (Wash.) Library System; New Jersey State Library; Pasco County (Fla.) Library System; San Francisco Public Library; and Westbank Community Library District in Austin, Texas....
Serve on the AIA/ALA Library Buildings Awards jury
The LLAMA Library Buildings Awards Committee is seeking nominations and applications for jurors for the 2011 Library Buildings Award competition. Jointly sponsored by ALA and the American Institute of Architects, the prestigious biennial awards recognize distinguished accomplishments in library architecture by American architects. Applications must be returned to the LLAMA office by April 17....
Leads from LLAMA, Jan. 25
Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award
New to the ALA Youth Media Awards in 2010 is the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for lifetime achievement. In this video (2:41), award committee chair Barbara Clark (right) discusses Virginia Hamilton’s contributions to literature, the award itself, and the inaugural winner, Walter Dean Myers....
AL Focus, Jan. 27
2010 Zora Neale Hurston Award
Anthony Loum of the Brooklyn Public Library has been selected as the 2010 winner of the Zora Neale Hurston Award. Loum was selected for his work in planning and ensuring the quality of programs delivered by the library in the 2009 Big Read for which Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God was the chosen book. The award recognizes a RUSA member’s significant efforts to promote African American writers and African American literature in their libraries....
National Friends of Libraries Week Awards
Five Friends groups were recognized for winning National Friends of Libraries Week Awards by ALTAFF during its Gala Author Tea, held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The honrees were Friends groups in San Pedro, California (right); Uniontown, Ohio; Conroe, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and New York State. Each group received a $250 check and a certificate....
2010 Service to Young Adults Achievement Award
The YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group’s Service to Young Adults Achievement Award was presented to critic, editor, and author Patty Campbell, based in Fallbrook, California. The $2,000 award, given every other year, recognizes a YALSA member who has demonstrated unique and sustained devotion to young adult services through substantial work in several initiatives....
2010 Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2010 list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list of 90 books recommended for those ages 12–18 meets the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction that reflects the diversity of the teen experience, nonfiction that brings to teens an awareness of the world they live in and its history, and fantastical stories told in both narrative and graphic formats. The complete list, including annotations, can be found on the YALSA website....
2010 Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2010 Fabulous Films for Young Adults list. The list offers 31 titles based on the theme “Outside In: Rebellion vs. Conformity.” The list includes films, both fiction and nonfiction, that display teens reacting to the society around them and how they learn to become who they are. The complete list, including annotations, is found on the YALSA website....
2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2010 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. This year’s PPYA committee produced four lists of titles arranged by the following topics: Bodies, Change Your World or Live to Regret It, Hard Knock Life, and Twists on the Tale. The complete list of 88 titles, including annotations, is found on the YALSA website....
2010 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2010 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list. The list for ages 12–18 is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases. The 2010 Amazing Audiobooks list features a wide range of recordings, with 21 fiction titles representing diverse genres and styles, including humor, horror, and historical fiction. The complete list of 23 titles, including annotations, is found on the YALSA website....
2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
YALSA has announced its 2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The Quick Picks list suggests books that teens, ages 12–18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read.
The complete list of 101 titles, including annotations, is found on the YALSA website....
2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA has announced its 2010 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list of 73 titles, drawn from 127 official nominations. The books, recommended for ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and appealing reading for teens. In addition, the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee created a Top Ten list of titles that exemplify the quality and range of graphic novels appropriate for teen audiences. The complete list, including annotations, is found on the YALSA website....
2010 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens
YALSA has named Susan Bohn the winner of the 2010 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens. The MAE Award provides $500 to the recipient and $500 to the recipient’s library and is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Bohn, a school librarian, implemented the Animania program at the Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, Illinois....
2010 Great Books Giveaway winners
YALSA has named Benjamin Banneker High School (right) in Atlanta the winner of its annual Great Books Giveaway. Its library will receive more than $20,000 in books, audiobooks, and other materials from items publishers and producers donated to YALSA. The two runners-up were Conley-Caraballo High School in Hayward, California, and the Farmington (N.M.) High School library....
Baker & Taylor Conference Grants
YALSA has awarded the 2010 Baker & Taylor Conference Grants to Barbara Kinast (Isaacs Bildersee Intermediate School in Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Carol Anne Geary (Sutton (Mass.) Free Public Library). The grants are awarded for first-time attendance at an Annual Conference. Each will receive up to $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....
2010 Frances Henne Research Grant
YALSA has awarded the 2010 Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant to Janice Newsum and Marcia Mardis. The $1,000 grant will provide seed money for Mardis and Newsum’s research project, “Are Boys Radically Changing? A Fresh Exploration of Boys’ Internet Use in Public Libraries.”...
2010 Loleta D. Fyan Grant awarded
Library consultant and author Pamela MacKellar, in partnership with the New Mexico State Library, has been awarded the 2010 Loleta D. Fyan Grant for a proposal entitled “Online Management Course for New Library Directors in New Mexico.” The project team will develop free online courses in management for new library directors without MLS degrees in local communities with 15,000 residents or less....
Diversity Office calls for Research Grant proposals
The Office for Diversity seeks proposals for its Diversity Research Grant program. Applicants must be current ALA members, and 2010 proposals must address one of three identified topics. The grants consist of a one-time $2,000 award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. The application deadline is April 30....
Picturing America program grants
The ALA Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities have announced a new grant opportunity for public libraries that received NEH’s Picturing America collection of American artwork. Grants of $2,000 will be distributed to 30 public libraries to support public programs that highlight the Picturing America collection. Applications will be accepted through March 31....
Ken Haycock wins ALISE award
Ken Haycock, director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University, received the 2010 Association for Library and Information Science Education Award for Professional Contribution to LIS Education. The award honors Haycock’s leadership in establishing the nation’s first Executive MLIS program, the first fully online Master of Archives and Records Administration degree program, and a unique international doctoral partnership with Queensland University of Technology—all accomplished over the last five years. See other ALISE awards and grants announced at the Midwinter Meeting....
San José State University SLIS, Jan. 19
Academic librarian receives Mankato Pathfinder Award
Rasmussen College Librarian Lisa Spieker received a Mankato Pathfinder Award January 6 for her work with the college’s diversity committee and her untiring devotion to educating the campus and community through displays, speaker panels, and open discussions. The annual citation by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board recognizes individuals and organizations that, in the spirit of King, are action takers in the struggle for equal treatment, human rights, and nonviolence....
Mankato (Minn.) Free Press, Jan. 6
American Indian Youth Literature Awards
The American Indian Library Association has selected A Coyote Solstice Tale, written by Thomas King and illustrated by Gary Clement; Meet Christopher: An Osage Indian Boy from Oklahoma, by Genevieve Simermeyer; and Between the Deep Blue Sea by Me, by Lurline Wailana McGregor as recipients of the third American Indian Youth Literature Award. The Awards are given in three categories: best picture book, best middle school book, and best young adult book....
A Scattering wins Costa Book of the Year award
An intensely personal and moving series of poems written as a tribute to his late wife won Christopher Reid one of the UK’s most important literary prizes. Reid is only the fourth poet to win the overall Costa Book of the Year award, picking up a £30,000 ($48,460 U.S.) prize and an incalculable increase in readership. A Scattering consists of four poetic sequences, the first written when his wife Lucinda Gane was alive and they were on vacation in Crete, and the other three after her death....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 26
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation minigrant proposals
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has issued a call for proposals for $500 minigrants to public libraries and public schools to support creative programming. The deadline for submission of proposals (PDF file) is September 15....
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Jan. 19
Better World Books literacy grant
After more than 27,000 people participated in the first-ever Reader’s Choice Literacy Grant in January, Better World Books has announced that Intermountain Therapy Animals’ Reading Education Assistance Dogs program has been voted the most deserving submission to receive the $20,000 grant. The R.E.A.D. grant proposal is to hold 10 new training workshops around the country and provide scholarships to train and qualify five additional instructors....
Better World Books, Jan. 22
Obama nominates three to NMLSB
President Barack Obama announced his intent January 19 to nominate three prominent librarians to the National Museum and Library Services Board, a body that advises the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services on public policy. The nominees are Carla D. Hayden, former ALA president and chief executive officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore; Winston Tabb, Sheridan dean of university libraries and museums at Johns Hopkins University and former associate librarian at the Library of Congress; and Robert Wedgeworth, founding president of ProLiteracy Worldwide and former ALA executive director....
White House, Jan. 19
USDA designates $100 million for rural libraries
The Secretary of Agriculture has allocated $100 million in United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facilities funding for public libraries to provide educational opportunities and improve public services in rural communities. The funding will be provided primarily through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve public libraries....
District Dispatch, Jan. 27
New standards would enhance library access in Indiana
Hoosiers will have more access to public library computers and holdings under a new set of standards adopted January 15 by the Indiana Library and Historical Board. Although many libraries already offer computers for use by the public, the new standards would require all branches statewide to do it. The governor and attorney general must approve the new standards before they go into effect January 1, 2011....
Indianapolis Star, Jan. 25
Libraries continue to pitch in for Haiti
Library workers are keeping their sleeves rolled up as they continue contributing to the international effort to provide moral and monetary aid to earthquake-stricken Haiti. The Deltona branch of the Volusia County (Fla.) Public Library has donated use of its new amphitheater for a January 30 concert organized by the Deltona Arts and Historical Society. Garwood (N.J.) Free Public Library is giving all overdue fines received through January 30 to Haiti relief efforts undertaken by UNICEF....
AL: Inside Scoop, Jan. 26
CMU students walk the labyrinth for Haiti
Michelle Bigard spent the afternoon of January 22 reflecting on the horror in Haiti. She did so by strolling around a dimly lit room on the fourth floor of the Charles V. Park Library at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Soft meditative music played in the background and a huge circular mat with a maze-like walking path covered the floor. Bigard was one of several people who participated in the Labyrinth Walk for Haitian Earthquake Recovery....
Central Michigan Life, Jan. 24
Palo Alto University names library after Afghan librarian
Omar Seddiqui, 85, has traveled the world, handled precious documents, and used to preside over the entire public library system in his homeland of Afghanistan. On January 20, the library at Palo Alto (Calif.) University—formerly the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology—was named the Omar Seddiqui Library at the suggestion of his son, Fred Seddiqui, who sits on the board of the university. Seddiqui came to the United States in 1982 and settled in San José....
San José (Calif.) Mercury News, Jan. 20
Largest book in the world goes on display
It takes six people to lift it and has been recorded as the largest book in the world, yet the splendid Klencke Atlas, presented to King Charles II on his restoration and now 350 years old, has never been publicly displayed with its pages open. That glaring omission is to be rectified, the British Library announced January 26, when it will be displayed as one of the stars of its big summer exhibition about maps....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 26
Book by special-needs students debuts at NYPL
Teen Tales, a book that eight Staten Island special-needs students wrote and illustrated, made its debut on the shelves at the St. George branch of the New York Public Library in late January. It tells the story of what they want to do with their lives, thanks to an arts program at the Hungerford School at New Dorp High School. At the beginning of their 10-session course in November, instructor Victoria Larimore took the students to the St. George library for inspiration....
New York Daily News, Jan. 27
Cornell seeks support for arXiv
Cornell Libraries announced January 21 that they will seek voluntary financial support to help pay for their repository site, arXiv.org. The library is responsible for the site’s operation, maintenance, and funding. ArXiv, created in 1991 by Physics Professor Paul Giunsparg, will remain free for users, but the library is seeking contributions from the institutions that use the site most. In order to ease the financial dependence of arXiv’s sustainability on Cornell, the library has developed a use-based business model, which can be viewed on the site....
Cornell Daily Sun, Jan. 25
Audit slams Niagara Falls library
The operation of two branches of the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Public Library has suffered from a lack of commitment from appointed board trustees and questionable financial oversight, according to an external audit released January 19 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office. Among the most notable findings was that some individuals on the five-member board failed to perform their official duties, resulting in “unscheduled or frequently canceled meetings, insufficient records, inaccurate financial reporting, and significant uncollected fines.”...
Niagara (N.Y.) Gazette, Jan. 19
School panel will review Merriam-Webster dictionary
The Menifee (Calif.) Union School District is forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned from the district’s classrooms. The 9,000-student K–8 district this week pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary after an Oak Meadows Elementary School parent complained about a child stumbling across definitions for “oral sex.” The decision was made without consultation with the district’s school board and has raised concerns among First Amendment experts and some parents....
Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, Jan. 22
Youth faces sentencing for threat against librarian
Sentencing is scheduled for February 19 in the case of a teenager who sent an email message October 15 threatening to murder Cortez (Colo.) Public Library Director Joanie Howland. The act was to take place at Library Libations, a November 7 event held at the Cortez Journal office. After his arrest, both the youth and his mother sent letters of apology to Howland, the library staff, and the newspaper regarding the threat....
Cortez (Colo.) Journal, Jan. 26
Man breaks into library, then jumps into lake
A man who tried to break into the Walton-DeFuniak Library in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, was arrested January 23 after being rescued from the cold waters of Lake DeFuniak. Police responded to the sound of breaking glass at the library shortly after midnight, but the suspect fled on foot before diving into the frigid lake water to avoid capture. After spending an hour trying to persuade him to leave the lake, officers took a boat to rescue Brian K. Eckert, who had become lethargic and hypothermic....
Fort Walton Beach Northwest Florida Daily News, Jan. 23
Will Italy censor YouTube?
A new front in the showdown between state power and internet freedom is opening in Italy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government is pushing through new measures that would give the state control over online video content and force anyone who regularly uploads videos to obtain a license from the Ministry of Communications. The new rules, which are unprecedented among Western democracies, would in effect force internet service providers to police their own content. Final Cabinet approval is expected on February 4 unless opposition parties are able to block them in court....
Time, Jan. 22
Thief returns painting to Edinburgh law library
The riddle over a painting stolen from the Signet Library in Edinburgh has taken a new twist—after it was found hanging outside on a railing January 21. The watercolor I Cannae Hear Ye (right) by the late Borders artist Tom Scott was thought to have been stolen on New Year’s Day when the library was hosting a highbrow debate about the legacy of John Knox. Auction houses and art dealers had been alerted to the theft. The library serves as the headquarters of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet, Scotland’s 500-year-old independent association for lawyers....
The Scotsman, Jan. 22
Three arrested over synagogue arson in Crete
Authorities on the Greek island of Crete arrested two Britons and a Greek January 22 after arson attacks on a 17th-century synagogue. The 24-year-old Greek confessed, while the Britons denied any involvement. The attacks on January 5 and 16 seriously damaged the Etz-Hayyim synagogue in the town of Chania. The director of the synagogue, Nikos Hanaan Stavroulakis, said 2,500 rare books were destroyed....
European Jewish Press, Jan. 23
Go back to the Top
Apple introduces iPad tablet device
The crowd at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco met Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPad with a roar of thunderous applause the morning of January 27. The iPad is a 10-inch touch-screen computer that resembles an oversized iPod Touch. It stands as the middle ground between a full-blown laptop computer and an iPhone, and it contains Apple’s App Store, so the many applications already available for the iPhone and iPod Touch will run on the tablet—scaled up to fit the bigger screen. Prices start at $499. Photos of the live event are on Popular Science, and live blogging took place at Mashable and PC World....
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 27; New York Times, Jan. 27; Popular Science, Jan. 27; Mashable, Jan. 27; PC World, Jan. 27
Free TechTrends webinar
Take a look back at the ALA Midwinter Meeting from a library technology perspective. ALA TechSource’s panel of experts will analyze and discuss what they learned and what trends stood out at the conference in a free webinar February 11, from 3 to 4 p.m. Central Time. On the panel are American Libraries Associate Editors Sean Fitzpatrick and Greg Landgraf, Perpetual Beta blogger Jason Griffey, and Bibliomation’s Open Source Implementation Coordinator Kate Sheehan....
13 ways to help your library save money on technology
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “These are my favorite options for libraries to use as alternatives to the expensive paid services and software that we use now, usually because our parent organizations or IT departments have gone along with the mainstream, bought the expensive stuff from the well-known companies, and never blinked. But now that we are all facing budget crunches the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades, we have a chance to show these alternatives to the decision-makers, save the organization some money, and support the open source movement at the same time.”...
Librarian in Black, Jan. 24
Lessons from the stupid
Jason Griffey writes: “I had the unfortunate luck late last week to contract a really terrible trojan/virus on my work computer called Vundo. OK, I admit, I should never have clicked on the email my father sent, but I had a moment of stupid, and boy did I pay for it. But this post isn’t actually about the hours of attempting to clean the infection, or the fact that it buried itself in the master boot record and would reinstall at every reboot. This post is about how cool it is to be able to do a complete reinstall of a computer these days and not worry about my data. I had all of my critical documents in Dropbox.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Jan. 26
Follow changes to any website in Google Reader
Brian Shih writes: “Feeds make it easy to follow updates to all kinds of webpages, from blogs to news sites to Craigslist queries. Unfortunately not all pages on the web have feeds. Today we are rolling out a change in Google Reader that lets you create a custom feed to track changes on pages that don’t have their own feed.”...
The Official Google Reader Blog, Jan. 25
Alan Lomax’s Haitian music collection
In 1937, American music archivist and historian Alan Lomax traveled to Haiti to capture that country’s music. He ended up recording more than 50 hours of music for the Library of Congress. These recordings were released in November on a 10-CD Alan Lomax in Haiti box set (video, 1:37), thanks to the work of University of Toronto musicologist Gage Averill, who had been chosen by Lomax’s daughter to bring the music to the public. Watch a CBC interview with Averill (7:13) and read a review of the set. The Alan Lomax estate is pledging $15 from each purchase of the box set to the Red Cross to aid in the Haiti disaster relief fund when purchased through Allegro Media Group....
The Haiti Box blog; YouTube, Nov. 17, Jan. 21; PopMatters, Nov. 24
Rare books on Haiti
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “In 1983, Robert Corbett, a philosophy professor at Webster University, and his wife, Jane, visited Haiti for the first time to do service work. By 2007, he had amassed a collection of 2,600 books and 5,000 journal articles on Haiti. He is currently in the process of selling the collection in its entirety. I asked Bob to share with Book Patrol readers his thoughts about the collection in general, Haiti, and his book collecting strategy.”...
Book Patrol, Jan. 21
Revelations of a bookplate
Chuck Whiting writes: “This is one of the more interesting bookplates I’ve come across in recent years. It depicts Haiti’s first military force, the Gendarmerie d’Haiti, which was established in 1915 during U.S. occupation and commanded and supported by U.S. Marines. Quite likely, the previous owner of the book—American Ballads and Folk Songs, by John A. and Alan Lomax—had been a U.S. Marine in the Gendarmerie d’Haiti during that time. I found the book at a Houston Public Library sale several years ago and bought it for the author’s inscription inside and because of my interest in the subject.”...
Bibliophemera, Jan. 25
Our boredom, ourselves
Jennifer Schuessler writes: “If you read a lot of book reviews, there are certain words that tend to crop up with comforting, or maybe it’s dismaying, regularity. Lyrical. Compelling. Moving. Intriguing. Absorbing. Frustrating. Uneven. Disappointing. But there is one word you seldom encounter: boring. And yet boredom is woven into the very fabric of the literary enterprise. We read, and write, in large part to avoid it. At the same time, few experiences carry more risk of active boredom than picking up a book.”...
New York Times, Jan. 21
The best free social media icon sets
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “I’ve recently been looking for sets of icons for all of the social websites that I belong to for my website, blog, and also print handouts. In the course of my research I’ve come across some excellent icon sets that designers are giving away for free. If you have a need for social media icons for your library website, personal website, or blog, here are a few resources that I found helpful.”...
iLibrarian, Jan. 22
The $100 recycling center, part 1
Laura Bruzas writes: “Does your library have a recycling program? If not, why not? Could it be that you feel establishing one would be a daunting task or that it would be cost-prohibitive? If that’s the case, I’m here to report that it’s not. Here is a step-by-step guide to establishing a recycling center in your library.” Read part 2....
AL: Green Your Library, Jan. 22, 27
Jessamyn West guestblogs at Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow writes: “Our next guestblogger is the incomparable activist geek librarian Jessamyn West, who, along with other library-hackers like ALA’s Jenny Levine, are part of a movement to redefine librarianship in the information age. I’ve been enjoying Jessamyn’s projects and thoughts for years and it’s a delight to have her here. And she coedited Revolting Librarians Redux, one of the most exciting books I’ve read in the past 10 years.”...
Boing Boing, Jan. 24
Subscription wars: You are bleeding to death
Brian Barrett writes: “You know what’s great? My smartphone puts the world in my pocket. Broadband puts 2,454,399 channels on my HDTV. I can access the internet from an airplane. You know what’s unsustainable? Paying for it all. The problem is that each service provider thinks within a bubble, without recognizing the larger ecosystem of payments we live in. It’s like those nights in high school when each teacher would assign you two hours of homework. There weren’t enough hours in the day then, and there’s not enough money in a paycheck now. And there shouldn’t have to be.”...
Gizmodo, Jan. 18
10 best songs about libraries and librarians
Caroline Stanley writes: “So you’re laid up in bed with the flu like everyone else, with nothing to do but chug Emergen-C, ride the NyQuil train, and gaze glassy-eyed at hours of DVRed shows that you’d usually let languish. It’s time for a new playlist! When even keeping your eyes open starts to hurt, queue up this nerdy mixtape and zonk out to the best in library-inspired jams.”...
Flavorwire, Jan. 25
Top 10 books written by librarians
Richard Davies suggests books authored by one-time librarians and library staffers Philip Larkin, Madeleine L’Engle, Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Berger, Alice Mary Norton, Per Petterson, Anne Tyler, Angus Wilson, Elizabeth Taylor (the novelist), and Wallace Breem....
Reading Copy Book Blog, Jan. 26
The most amazing libraries in the world
Amy Hertz and Jessie Kunhardt write: “Times are changing for libraries everywhere. But even as many libraries build their digital collections and amp up their technological offerings, we thought we’d take a step back and show our appreciation for the beauty of many of these vast collections of books. Here are some of the most amazingly beautiful libraries from around the world.”...
Huffington Post, Jan. 22
Maine School Librarian Handbook
The library at Lake Region High School in Naples, Maine, was a hive of activity on January 23. The Maine Association of School Libraries met to unveil and begin distribution of the Maine School Librarian Handbook, a complete rewrite of the original handbook that was created in 1984. The 750 handbooks will be distributed at no cost to all schools, public and private, in the state. A letter will be sent to school principals, encouraging them to meet with library staff to discuss the importance of the library in their schools....
Maine Association of School Libraries, Jan. 26
What does a good library tell you about a school?
Doug Johnson writes: “Had I any say in the decision, my grandsons would never attend a school that did not have a good library program. You can tell a lot about a school’s philosophy of education—in practice, not just in lip service—by what sort of library it supports. It’s in times of budget cuts that a school’s true values come starkly into focus. Libraries are a visible sign that a school is educating governors, not the governed.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Jan. 24
The BookBook hardcover carrying case
Michelle Kraft writes: “What better way for Mac-toting librarians to protect their laptops than the BookBook? The BookBook is a laptop case cleverly designed and disguised as an antique, distressed, leather-bound book. It comes in two colors, red and black and in 13″ and 15″ sizes. According to the TwelveSouth website, the ‘rigid leather hardback covers for a solid level of impact absorbing protection.’ The zippers for the case look like little leather bookmarks.”...
The Krafty Librarian, Jan. 22
Getting fit @ your library
With many Americans looking for alternatives to gym memberships, now is a great time to promote the fitness services at your library. Here are a few examples of how libraries across the country are promoting their programs. For example, Townsend (Mass.) Public Library has begun hosting Pilates Mat Class for the New Year @ your library....
Apply for second round of space artifacts
On January 19, NASA began offering a second round of free space artifacts to museums attended by the public and free libraries serving all residents of a community, district, state, or region. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is helping NASA reach out to eligible institutions that might be interested in acquiring one of the 2,500 free objects from the Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, or the Apollo, Mercury, or Gemini programs. The artifacts are free, but eligible recipients must cover shipping and special handling fees....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 21
Ukrainian scam targets Delray Beach Public Library
Brian Krebs writes: “January 7 was a typical sunny morning at the Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library, aside from one, ominous dark cloud on the horizon. None of the staff could figure out how or why nearly $160,000 had disappeared from their bank ledgers virtually overnight. The money was sent in sub-$10,000 chunks to some 16 phantom employees who had been added to the usual outgoing direct deposit payroll.”...
Krebs on Security, Jan. 22
Thoughts on online privacy
Jenny Levine writes: “I had some interesting conversations about privacy at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, which got me thinking about which companies probably know the most about me. I’ve thought about my own ‘walled garden’ a lot and worked through what I’ll share publicly, privately, and pretend privately. Overall, I’m more careful with specific things like location information. So which companies know the most about me? It’s been a thought-provoking exercise to come up with the following list.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Jan. 26
3-D secrets of the Book of Kells
The Book of Kells and similarly illustrated manuscripts of 7th- and 8th-century England and Ireland are known for their entrancingly intricate artwork—geometric designs so precise that in some places they contain lines less than half a millimeter apart and nearly perfectly reproduced in repeating patterns. Cornell University paleontologist John Cisne says that the monks evidently trained their eyes to cross above the plane of the manuscript so they could visually superimpose side-by-side elements of a replicated pattern, and thereby create 3-D images that magnified differences between the patterns up to 30 times....
Cornell Chronicle, Sept. 1
Month of Discoveries in the Netherlands (in Dutch)
Schools, public libraries, and the National Library of the Netherlands are participating in “Maand van het Vinden” (Month of Discoveries) April 7–28. Similar to the U.S. Information Literacy Month in October 2009, the initiative will promote libraries—both physical and online—as trustworthy sources of information....
Maand van het Vinden
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ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Early bird registration is in effect through March 5.
Get ready for Teen Tech Week, March 7–13, with these flyers, pamphlets, bookmarks, and posters. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Director, Chester County (S.C.) Public Library. The Board of Trustees is seeking an enthusiastic, energetic person to lead a team of professionals in a three-branch county library system. Knowledge of public library management, library automation, electronic services and resources, budgeting, and financial planning are needed. Strong leadership and public relations skills are essential. Must be eligible for SC Public Library Certification....
Digital Library of the Week
The J. León Helguera Collection of Colombiana provides access to unique primary sources on 19th-century Colombian history and culture. The result of a half-century of collecting on three continents, it is one of the largest and most wide-ranging in the United States. Materials are grouped into three separate types: broadsides, 1825–1972; pamphlets (including novenas), 1785–1969; and programas, 1819–1914. The site allows for easy browsing (by date, type, or subject), or detailed searching. The collection is curated by the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently only 66 documents are searchable, but the library hopes to expand the project.
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 is] one of the very few institutions on earth where any soul may walk through its doors free, and depart enriched.”
—Diane Asséo Griliches, Library: The Drama Within (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996), p. vii.
Ohio Educational Technology Conference, Columbus, Feb. 1–3, at:
International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, New York City, Feb. 3–6, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at: amlibraries
the ALA Librarian
Q. I’ve got a lot of books I don’t need any more. Is ALA collecting materials to send to the libraries damaged by the earthquake in Haiti?
A. The American Library Association is not collecting books or other materials. The first need of libraries in Haiti is money to rebuild. Therefore, ALA has created the Haiti Library Relief Fund to take in monetary donations. There are other possibilities for using your books in support of the libraries, however. First, consider organizing a book sale locally and donating the funds to the Haiti Library Relief Fund. Second, there are a number of organizations that do coordinate book donations; the ALA Library has developed a fact sheet on Book Donation Information. Internationally, relief work for libraries is being coordinated by the Blue Shield, the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. The International Committee of the Blue Shield, founded in 1996, includes representatives of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, of which ALA is a member. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.
View continuing education sessions and social events for librarians and other educators within the Second Life virtual world at the Google calendar of Librarian Second Life Events.
Social Networking for Libraries, online Trendy Topics workshop sponsored by Alliance Library Systems and TAP Information Services.
Technology Essentials 2010, WebJunction online conference.
TechTrends: Midwinter 2010, ALA TechSource webinar.
Handheld Librarian II, online conference, sponsored by Alliance Library System and LearningTimes.
ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Interest Group, OPAL webconference. “The Future Is Now: Libraries and Museums in Virtual Worlds.”
2010 Digital Book Printing Forum, New York Marriott Marquis.
Conference on College Composition and Communication, Marriott Downtown Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky.
UGame ULearn: The User Experience, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, Student Center, Kent (Ohio) State University. “New Horizons: The Next 25 Years.”
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference, Chania, Crete, Greece.