American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 7, 2010

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
D.C. Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers
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AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Wheaton (Ill.) Public Library. Photo by Rick RocheWheaton officials threaten cash-strapped library board
Outraged at the prospect of no library service on Fridays due to lack of funding, the city council of Wheaton, Illinois, is considering an ordinance to require its public library to remain open at least four hours per day for a six-day week during the summer and a seven-day week during the school year. The proposal is less a tribute by council members to the library’s indispensability than an indication of their displeasure that trustees chose this means to close a $300,000 budget gap....
American Libraries news, July 7

These readers are ready for a book discussion partyParty at your book discussions
Alan Jacobson writes: “An avid colleague once told me that facilitating a book discussion is the most fun we can have at work. She was right. Take a break from the intense work of readying for a book discussion—and keep your library’s focus on books—by making your next book discussion a reader party. Set up food and beverages, and then sit and relax. All you have to do is talk about your book—a book you want to read for once.”...
American Libraries feature

Internet Librarian: I’m sorry, you’re out
Joseph Janes writes: “I was part of a RUSA preconference in Washington, D.C., in June, and I offered a challenge as a small-group activity: Google buys every major search tool and is then shut down as a monopoly, and in the same week Wikipedia goes bankrupt. Choose three freely available websites as the best starting points for the widest possible range of inquiries. Some very good ideas emerged, especially with only 20 minutes to work on this.”...
American Libraries column, Aug.

Laser printerBefore you press the print button
Laura Bruzas writes: “I have to be honest. In years gone by, learning about printers and print ink has never been on my priority list. Then some good-to-know information came my way that changed my printing practices, making them more environmentally friendly. One such resource was a 2007 Lyra newsletter where I learned that printer hardware was expected to contribute 1 million tons of solid waste in this country alone that year.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 1

ALA News

Screen shot of Rep. Vern Ehlers at Library Advocacy DayLibrary Advocacy Day: The video
This AL Focus video (2:07) shows scenes from the Library Advocacy Day rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 29, including interviews with participants, and footage of U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)...
AL Focus, July 6

Accreditation actions
The Committee on Accreditation granted continuing accreditation status to master’s programs at the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto, released programs at the University of Rhode Island and Texas Woman’s University from conditional status, and granted conditional accreditation status to Southern Connecticut State University....
Office for Accreditation, June 30

PR Forum slideshowPR Forum slides available
Unable to attend this year’s PR Forum with Stephen Abram? Librarians interested in learning more about how to market and promote their libraries using new technologies can access Abram’s presentation, given at the ALA Annual Conference. The PowerPoint presentation is available on Slideshare....
Public Information Office, July 6

Cover of Web-Based Instruction for Libraries, 3rd ed.Web-based instruction for libraries
ALA Editions has released a third edition of Web-Based Instruction: A Guide for Libraries, by Susan Sharpless Smith. Expanding on the best-selling how-to guide for public, academic, school, and special libraries, technology expert Smith offers library instructors the confidence to take web-based instruction into their own hands. Smith includes new tools and trends, including current browsers, access methods, hardware, and software....
ALA Editions, July 6

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Monsters of MenFeatured review: Youth science fiction
Ness, Patrick. Monsters of Men. Sept. 2010. 608p. Candlewick, hardcover (978-0-7636-4751-3).
Ness, a forceful writer who chews through ideas at a blistering clip, takes on war, the heftiest of human follies, in the conclusion to his Chaos Walking trilogy. The genocidal tyrant Mayor Prentiss leads an army on one side, the terrorist healer Mistress Coyle heads a band of revolutionaries on another, and a massive legion of native Spackle threatens from a third. All three sides see only the complete annihilation of the others as the sole option for victory and survival, and they might be right, no matter how Todd and Viola use their formidable wills to advance peace as an influx of new colonists nears. It’s a thick book, approaching Russian-novel territory, but it rarely feels bloated; and readers invested in the story will likely concede that Ness has earned the space....

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

D.C. Update

Screen shot from Party in the ALA videoParty in the ALA
EasyBib partners with Gale Group, EBSCO, OCLC, and Credo Reference to present this paean to online search tools (2:55) at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in the style of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.” With a cameo by Demco’s Cat in the Hat, and lyrics by Eric Li, Marissa Biagioli, Neal Taparia, and Teresa Tran....
YouTube, July 1

Division News

WrestleMania 27 logoNew, improved WrestleMania 27 Reading Challenge
YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment announced plans for the WrestleMania 27 Reading Challenge, which will take place in the United States and Canada October 17–23. Superstars Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Hornswoggle, and WWE Diva Eve will serve as spokespersons. Teen author Joan Bauer will serve as the judge at the Finals, which will take place on April 2, 2011, in Atlanta. Register online by July 31....
YALSA, July 6

ASCLA seeks Interface editor
ASCLA seeks an editor for its quarterly online membership journal, Interface, which serves as the primary source of information between the division and the library and user communities. The deadline for applying is July 30; it is anticipated that a candidate will be selected by September 1....
ASCLA Blog, June 29

Round Table News

Troy University Dean of Libraries Henry Stewart (left) and Dr. Maurice Mikhail of October 6 University celebrate the signing of their sister library agreementState Department expands reach of IRRT program
Participants from 41 countries virtually joined a roomful of conference-goers in Washington, D.C., at a June 28 program cosponsored by the International Relations Round Table’s Connections and Sister Libraries Committees. The U.S. State Department streamed the program live to embassies and American corners worldwide. Four panelists spoke about the mechanics of starting international library exchanges and sister libraries, and a library cooperation agreement was ceremonially signed between October 6 University in Egypt and Troy University in Alabama (above)....
International Relations Round Table


Author Libba Bray's Printz award speechSpeeches by the 2010 Printz winners
Laura Tillotson writes: “Ah, the June 28 Michael L. Printz Reception at 2010 ALA Annual Conference. Another evening of good times and good memories, with speeches by this year’s honorees, Adam Rapp (Punkzilla), Deborah Heiligman (Charles and Emma), Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist), John Barnes (Tales of the Madman Underground), and Libba Bray (above, Going Bovine). Did budget cutbacks keep you from the festivities? Never fear, Booklist is here to help. Once again we filmed the Printz speeches in their entirety.”...
Booklist Video, July 6

Kathleen de la Peña McCook at the Coleman LectureMcCook presents 2010 Jean Coleman Lecture
University of South Florida SLIS Professor Kathleen de la Peña McCook presented the 2010 Dr. Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture on June 28 as part of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. In “Librarians and Human Rights,” McCook explored the philosophical basis of librarians’ commitment to human rights and human development as grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals....
USF School of Library and Information Science, June 29

Young Adult Library Services coverYALS wins third APEX Award in a row
For the third year in the row, Communications Concepts has chosen Young Adult Library Services, YALSA’s quarterly journal, to receive an Award of Excellence from the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. YALS was recognized in the category of Journals and Magazines over 32 pages. The journal won for issues from its seventh and eighth volumes, which were edited by Sarah Flowers....
YALSA, July 1

AASL Thinkfinity Zmuda Challenge
Verizon’s Thinkfinity digital learning platform is offering two $5,000 incentive awards for the two most innovative ideas on how school librarians can help students acquire 21st-century skills. School librarians can post ideas in reply to the Thinkfinity Community AASL Thinkfinity Zmuda Challenge discussion by July 15. The challenge was introduced during the AASL President’s Program at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Submissions will be reviewed by author Allison Zmuda and the AASL leadership....
Thinkfinity Community, June 28

2010 Diversity Research Grants
The Office for Diversity has announced four recipients of its 2010 Diversity Research Grants, one-time $2,000 awards for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at the ALA Annual Conference. The grantees are Elizabeth Friese (University of Georgia), Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Casey Rawson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and Jennifer K. Sweeney (Drexel University)....
Office for Diversity, June 23

2010 Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship
Megan Myers, of Crozet, Virginia, has received the 2010 Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship, sponsored by the Federal and Armed Forces Round Table. The scholarship is awarded to individuals pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies with a focus on federal librarianship. Myers attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill....
Human Resource Development and Recruitment, July 2

Simmons College supports Spectrum
The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston has raised more than $1,000 for the Spectrum Presidential Initiative through a recent dinner for Spectrum Scholars. Assistant Dean for Student Services Em Claire Knowles and Spectrum Scholars Miranda Rivers and Christina Thompson hosted the event....
Office for Diversity, July 1

Two El Paso students tell the All-America judges about Día de los NiñosLibrary’s program helps El Paso become All-America City
The National Civic League announced the 10 winners of the 61st annual All-America City award during a June 18 celebration at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City. El Paso, Texas, won one of the awards in part because it emphasized the public library’s Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros program during its presentation (23:50) to the judges....
El Paso (Tex.) Times, June 23; All-America City blog, June 21

John Lubans Jr.Lubans lands a Fulbright
John Lubans Jr., former deputy university librarian at Duke University, has received a Fulbright scholarship to teach for five months in Riga, Latvia, starting in February 2011. He will teach library leadership and management at the University of Latvia Department of Information and Library Studies and conduct research on how Latvian organizations work....
Leading from the Middle, May 9

HM Prison Edinburgh (Saughton)Scottish prison library changes lives
An Edinburgh prison library has won a prestigious award for its “life-changing” impact on inmates. Run by Kate King, a librarian with the City of Edinburgh Council, the library, which opened at Saughton Prison in November 2008, is the only one in Scotland with a waiting list. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals presented Saughton its Libraries Change Lives Award at a ceremony in London July 6, along with £5,000 ($7,570 U.S.) in prize money. The prisoners’ favorite books are noted here....
BBC News, July 6; Deadline Press and Picture Agency, July 6

Great reading room on the first floor of the proposed Ghent libraryBelgian architects design Library of the Future
Belgian architects Coussée & Goris teamed up with their Spanish colleagues RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta to win the design competition for a library in Ghent, Belgium. When 3D renderings and plans were presented in June, Belgian journalists nicknamed the new building “The Library of the Future” and gave it rave reviews, stating it would discreetly fit in the mid-19th century neighborhood....
Planet Vectorworks, July 6; De Waalse Krook

Cover of Little EarthquakesNew York Book Festival winners
The coming-of-age memoir County of Kings by Lemon Andersen is the grand prize winner of the 2010 New York Book Festival. Andersen was honored at a June 11 awards ceremony in New York City. Other winners included Hank O’Neal’s The Ghosts of Harlem for Nonfiction and Christeene Fraser’s chapbook Little Earthquakes for Poetry....
New York Book Festival

Cover of Nothing to EnvySamuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction
Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Barbara Demick has won the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction for Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea (Granta), which weaves together the stories of six ordinary people living in Chongjin, North Korea. The £20,000 ($30,240 U.S.) prize was announced at a July 1 ceremony at the Royal Institute for British Architects in London....
Samuel Johnson Prize, July 1

Cover of Too Big to FailSpear’s Book Awards 2010
The winners of the second annual Spear’s Book Awards (in association with Citi Private Bank) were announced July 5 in London. The awards celebrate the best of writing talent and the best books of the year in 10 categories from finance to fiction. Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail (Viking) won in the category of Best Financial Book of the Year, while William Trevor’s Love and Summer won for Best Novel....
Spear’s Book Awards

Cover of I Spy Pinhole Eye2010 Wales Book of the Year
A poet has won the English-language Wales Book of the Year prize for his collection of poems about photography. Philip Gross’s I Spy Pinhole Eye was one of the three shortlisted works for the £10,000 ($15,120 U.S.) prize. The book is described as a collaborative work between the poet and photographer Simon Denison, who used a pinhole camera to transform the footings of electrical pylons....
BBC News, June 30

Molly Ringle2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners
Since 1982, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The contest was inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), the originator of the first line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” in Paul Clifford (1830). The 2010 first-place winner is Seattle author Molly Ringle (above)....
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

Seen Online

Cover of Summer 2010 issue of Rethinking SchoolsA librarian in every school, books in every home
Bob Peterson writes: “This spring, within a week’s time, two things happened that made me angry. The first was the release of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress that showed African-American 4th-graders in Wisconsin (most of whom live in Milwaukee) had the lowest reading scores in the nation. The second was the district’s announcement of major cuts to local school budgets for next year. Most tellingly, there was not one mention in the media of libraries or librarians, or the need for children to have books in their homes.”...
Rethinking Schools, Summer

Chicago's Harold Washington Library CenterChicago’s Mary Dempsey responds to local Fox News report
Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey writes: “I am astounded at the lack of understanding of public libraries that your June 28 story, “Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?” revealed. Public libraries are more relevant and heavily used today than ever before, and public libraries are one of the better uses of the taxpayers’ dollars. Let me speak about the Chicago Public Library, which serves 12 million visitors per year. No other cultural, educational, entertainment, or athletic organization in Chicago can make that claim.”...
WFLD-TV, Chicago, June 28, July 2

Obama awards funds for broadband access
In an effort to expand broadband access and create jobs across the United States, President Obama has awarded $765 million in grants and loans to recipients that include colleges and public libraries. The money, distributed through the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture, will go to 66 projects (PDF file). Libraries in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee will receive funding. An award to create the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) is also expected to benefit many libraries....
Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus, July 2; District Dispatch, July 2

Finland makes broadband a legal right
Finland is now the first country in the world where every citizen is entitled to a 1Mbps (megabit-per-second) internet connection, starting July 1. A similar plan for the United States faces hurdles and will likely take years to come to fruition. Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015. In 2009, the average internet download speed in the United States was 5.1Mbps and the average upload speed was 1.1Mbps....
MSNBC: Tech and Gadgets, July 2; Speed Matters

What happened to studying?
New research, conducted by two California economics professors, shows that over the past five decades, the number of hours that the average college student studies each week has been steadily dropping. According to time-use surveys analyzed by professors Philip Babcock at UC Santa Barbara and Mindy Marks at UC Riverside, the average student at a four-year college in 1961 studied about 24 hours a week. Today’s average student hits the books for just 14 hours....
Boston Globe, July 4

Grand jury recommends filters in Sonoma County
A grand jury in Santa Rosa, California, has again addressed what it sees as problems of access to pornography in the Sonoma County Library, calling for filters to be installed on computers in the children’s section while their effectiveness is gauged. The grand jury’s report, released June 30, suggests that the filters may be more effective than the library commission believes. In 2009, the grand jury recommended the Central Library move its public access computers to a side wall and install filters, but the library staff claimed the filters were ineffective....
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, June 30

Eugene O'Neill in Provincetown, 1916The playwright and the Provincetown librarian
Pulitizer Prize–winning playwright Eugene O’Neill (right) was known for modeling characters in his plays after people in his own life. But what he did to a librarian in Provincetown, Massachusetts, proved that he could be a cruel and vindictive man. O’Neill’s first dust-up with Abbie Putnam was in 1917. As he sat in the reading room, she watched him closely and restricted the number of books that he could take out. Shortly afterwards, O’Neill drafted a play set in a coastal town that featured a deaf librarian with a homely face....
Barnstable (Mass.) Patriot, June 25

Teen faces charges in Orlando library attack
A 17-year-old accused of attacking a library employee at the South Creek branch of the Orange County Library in Orlando on July 5 was arrested on several charges, including attempted first-degree murder. Angel Luis Rios-Labrador will also be charged with burglary, theft, and possession of burglary tools. The employee, who has not been identified, found a man robbing the closed library when she came to empty the book drop. He attacked her with a knife and fled....
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, July 6

Chapter 3, "Naked Suicide Girl," of the first volume of GantzFlorida mom targets manga in the library
Manga has raised the ire of a mother whose teenage son found an adult specimen of the genre in the Crestview (Fla.) Public Library. Margaret Barbaree, founder of a citizens’ group called Protect Our Children, presented examples from a manga book to the city council June 28 that she described as “graphic” and “shocking.” Library Director Jean Lewis explained that there is a demand for manga, but they keep the adult comics separate from those for a teen audience....
Crestview (Fla.) News Bulletin, July 2; Comic Book Resources: Robot6, July 2

Los Angeles library cuts don’t add up
David Meyer is an accountant, not an activist. But there he was on June 30 at Los Angeles City Hall, protesting city budget cuts and trying to convince council members that millions in uncounted revenue had slipped by budget gurus—enough to pay the salaries of pink-slipped employees at the city’s libraries. Meyer spent weeks combing through financial reports, trying to figure out why projected parking revenue didn’t seem to include this year’s parking fee increases....
Los Angeles Times, July 3

Lurine Carter announces Books and Backpacks program at Detroit Public LibraryDetroit Public Library partners with McDonald’s
Using burgers and book bags as an enticement, McDonald’s and Detroit Public Library officials launched a partnership on June 30 to encourage city elementary school students to read more often. Called Books and Backpacks, the program offers children incentives to check out books at the Main Library or any of the 23 branches. The program, which will run through the end of the year, was announced at a kickoff event (9:28) at the Main Library....
Detroit Free Press, July 1; YouTube, July 3

Library summer camp
In Chicago neighborhoods like Austin and Englewood and suburban communities such as Chicago Heights and Zion, many libraries serve as makeshift summer camps. They’re a place where parents with limited means leave their kids for part of the day, and where children escape the streets. Many of these children spend the day at the library without the guidance of a parent; as a result, some librarians have developed informal regimens and systems for managing the daily influx of unsupervised kids....
Chicago Tribune, July 5

Siskiyou County scrambles to keep doors open
The $1,300 that Friends of the Fort Jones Library raised a couple months ago at an enchilada fundraiser is going to come in handy. Fort Jones and six other branches of Siskiyou County (Calif.) Library have until July 16 to come up with a plan to pay for someone to work at their libraries at least four hours a week. County Librarian Lisa Musgrove said that earlier in June the library budget was completely eliminated. Then on June 22, the county board of supervisors voted to give the libraries a six-month reprieve....
Redding (Calif.) Record-Searchlight, June 26

Jane Howell cuts the ribbon on Montana State's telephone boxRetiring MSU director donates red telephone box
The classic red British phone box practically glows in the dusky indoor illumination of Montana State University Billings library’s south wall. Retiring MSUB Library Director Jane Howell (right) bought the phone box at Christmas from a Billings Army-Navy surplus store and donated it to the university as a memento of her four decades at the library. Howell was born in England and moved to the United States in 1968. Watch the exciting installation (8:22) and June 30 ribbon-cutting (3:39)....
Billings (Mont.) Gazette, June 30

Jurors hear of Scott’s prior theft record
Raymond Scott, accused of stealing a Shakespeare First Folio from Durham University, has convictions for theft going back two decades. Jurors heard July 5 that Scott has more than a dozen arrests for dishonesty, all relating to shoplifting, with a first conviction in 1991. On July 1, Scott walked into the Peterlee police station and handed over a 1627 dictionary and told police that he had acquired the book in Cuba in January 2008 and did not know whether it had been stolen....
Durham Times (U.K.), July 2, 6

Memo from Presidential Assistant Daniel P. Moynihan to Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans, May 1, 1969, on changing the racial designation of White and Nonwhite in U.S. statistical reportsNixon Library releases more records
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, released nearly 100,000 pages of presidential records and 80 hours of video oral histories as part of its ongoing transformation into a modern research facility. Most of the documents are from the files of former New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who, though a Democrat, served in the Nixon administration in 1969 and 1970. The papers deal with his role in shaping policy on welfare reform, population control, civil rights, the environment, and drug control....
Los Angeles Times: L.A. Now, July 2; Richard Nixon Presidential Library, July 2

Website for the George Washington PapersGeorge Washington’s papers moving to Mount Vernon
A collection of about 135,000 documents belonging to George Washington and studied at the University of Virginia for more than four decades will be making its way to the home of the nation’s first president as the centerpiece of a new library. Scholars at the Charlottesville school have sifted through more than half of the 90 volumes of papers, issuing two volumes each year. About 15 years from now when the volumes are complete, the papers will become part of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon....
Washington Post, July 4

Jefferson's Declaration change revealedThomas Jefferson a closet royalist? Hardly
To usher in the Fourth of July weekend, the Library of Congress revealed hard evidence from high-resolution spectral imaging that Thomas Jefferson, on the third page of a “rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, wiped the word “subjects” off with his hand and meticulously etched the word “citizens” on top—perhaps the kind of brain-freeze that a modern writer quickly hits delete in order to send into the digital ether, but that Jefferson struggled mightily to erase in a section on British abuses of the colonists....
Christian Science Moniitor, July 3; Library of Congress, July 2

British alliance calls for librarian liberation
A newly formed alliance of grassroots library campaign groups in the United Kingdom launched a national Library Charter July 1 calling for the “liberation” of librarians to run their service based on what their communities want. The group said it would target councils with the worst library services with PR and marketing campaigns. A 12-point Charter for Change is the alliance’s opening salvo in its battle to improve the library service....
The Bookseller, July 1

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Tech Talk

Epson Stylus Photo R2880 printerHow to buy a photo printer
M. David Stone writes: “Whether you’re looking for a portable printer to provide your friends with snapshots or a machine capable of printing gallery-worthy photos, we examine the issues to help you make the right choice. True photo printers—in contrast to standard inkjets that manufacturers merely call photo printers—fall into two broad categories at the consumer level: dedicated and near-dedicated photo printers.”...
PC Magazine, July 1

USBcell's rechargeable batteriesBatteries that can recharge on a PC
We’ve all been there—rummaging through a drawer of junk trying to find new batteries for the TV remote only to realize there are none. But now you can avoid this frustration with new rechargeable batteries from USBcell. At first glance the battery looks like an ordinary AA battery, but peeling back the little green cap that crowns the top reveals a USB port that allows you to recharge the batteries using a computer’s USB port or USB adapter....
New York Times: Gadgetwise, June 28

Verizon ad

Cover of Public Library Services for the Poor

For many, the library is the only refuge for information, literacy, entertainment, language skills, employment help, free computer use, and even safety and shelter. In Public Library Services for the Poor, experts Leslie and Glen Holt, with decades of service to inner city communities between them, challenge librarians to do more for poor people. While recognizing the financial crunch libraries are under, the authors offer concrete advice about programs and support for this unique group. NEW! From ALA Editions.

New this week
in American Libraries

These readers are ready for a book discussion party

Book Discussions

Internet Librarian

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Green Your Library

Librarian’s Library

AL Focus

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Fletcher School logo

Reference Librarian, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. The Edwin Ginn Library of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University seeks an individual with outstanding reference, research, and instruction skills to join its reference team. This position represents a unique opportunity for an individual looking to work in a challenging and fast-paced environment. Ginn’s reference librarians work collaboratively to provide support to an active, international, and culturally diverse student and faculty population engaged in international relations research across a wide variety of subjects, including diplomacy, international law and organizations, international business and finance, human rights, economics and economic development, history and political science, international energy resources and environmental policy, international security and peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and migration, and conflict negotiation and resolution....

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Digital Library of the Week

Commonwealth College student body, Special Collections Department Picture Collection, #2898b

Commonwealth College Fortnightly is the 14-volume run of the newsletter of Commonwealth College, a controversial labor college that operated near Mena, Arkansas, from 1924 to 1940. Digitized by the Special Collections Department of the University of Arkansas Libraries, the newsletter affords an inside look at an institution devoted to cooperative living and labor education, for which the FBI investigated it, eventually cleared the college of promoting free love, Bolshevism, and Communism. Among its “Commoner” graduates was future six-term Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus, who fought the desegregration of Little Rock Central High in 1957.

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.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“The people who welcome us to the library are idealists who believe that accurate information leads to good decisions and that exposure to the intellectual riches of civilization leads to a better world. The next Abraham Lincoln could be sitting in their library, teaching himself all he needs to know to save the country. While they help us get online, employed, and informed, librarians don’t try to sell us anything. Nor do they turn around and broadcast our problems, send us spam, or keep a record of our interests and needs, because no matter how savvy this profession is at navigating the online world, it clings to that old-fashioned value, privacy. (A profession dedicated to privacy in charge of our public computers? That’s brilliant.) They represent the best civic value out there, an army of resourceful workers that can help us compete in the world.”

—Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book Is Overdue!, in “U.S. Public Libraries: We Lose Them at Our Peril,” editorial in Los Angeles Times, July 6.

@ More quotes...

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks



Association of Jewish Libraries, Annual Convention, Seattle, July 4–7, at:

American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:


July 4–
Aug. 4:

World eBook Fair.
Free public access for a month to 2 million e-books.

July 30:
2010 Collaboration UnConference,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library, Little Rock. Sponsored by the Arkansas Library Association Information Technology Roundtable.

Aug. 11–13:
Pacific Northwest Library Association / Washington Library Association,
Annual Conference, Victoria, B.C.

Sept. 19–24: Seventh International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects, Freihaus Building, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. Sponsored by Vienna University of Technology’s Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Austrian National Library, and Austrian Computer Society.

Sept. 23–25:
Association for Library Service to Children,
National Institute, Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta.

Sept. 30–Oct. 3:
Library and Information Technology Association,
National Forum, Hilton Downtown, Atlanta. “The Cloud and the Crowd.”

Oct. 1–2:
The Business of Children’s Publishing,
Annual Event, Hedberg Library, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sponsored by the Center for Children’s Literature.

Oct. 13–16: Access 2010, Hotel Fort Garry, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Sponsored by the Canadian Library Association’s Emerging Technology Interest Group.

Oct. 21–23:
Rabbit Hill Festival of Literature,
Westport, Connecticut.

Nov. 18–21:
National Council of Teachers of English,
Annual Convention, Orlando, Florida. “Teachers and Students: Living Literate Lives.”

@ More...

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Scholastic titles in ArabicScholastic’s Arabic translations
Children’s book publisher Scholastic is on a rare and delicate mission to translate and market books from America for a part of the world that often rails against American values. Its list of thousands of titles was first weeded down to 200 and later 80, avoiding words and images that might appear culturally imperialistic. But over the last three years, almost 17 million copies have been shipped from a plant in Missouri to elementary schools across the Middle East and North Africa....
Los Angeles Times, July 4

Cover of 20th Century Boys, by Naoki UrasawaThe best manga you’ve overlooked
Robin Brenner writes: “What manga titles have libraries overlooked? That was the question posed to a group of panelists, including myself, at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Here are my own takes, plus one mulligan, to borrow an idea from fellow panelist Brigid Alverson. To illustrate that these titles have indeed been overlooked by libraries, I’ve included at the end of each recommendation a note on how many libraries own each one according to WorldCat.”...
EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection, July 6

Cover of Year of the Horse, by Justin Allen12 uniquely American SF/fantasy novels and stories
John T. Ottinger writes: “Those mentioned here are only the most obvious, but many other science fiction and fantasy writers, both historical and current, have dealt with themes associated with America or Americana. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I would challenge you to list others in the comments that I might have forgotten, never read, or simply did not know about. Topping the list is, ironically, a book by a Brit.”...
Grasping for the Wind, July 4

Actions & Answers

Imagining the Internet survey logoThe future of online socializing
The social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade, according to experts consulted in the Pew Research Center’s fourth Future of the Internet survey (PDF file). They say this is because email, social networks, and other online tools offer “low friction” opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives. The highly engaged set of respondents to the online, opt-in survey included 895 technology stakeholders and critics....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, July 2

Portion of graph showing use of online tools among WebJunction library staffLibrary staff and online tools
Sharon Streams writes: “In a survey to a random sample of WebJunction members this spring, respondents answered a question on how frequently they used online tools, either in or outside of their professional life. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) use email discussion lists daily. One-third of the respondents (35%) use professional or social networking sites daily. When we separated the responses by library type, we saw some notable differences.”...
BlogJunction, July 6

Tennessee Home & Farm business card with social media12 social-media-friendly business cards
Erica Swallow writes: “While the traditional business card trend is still going strong, you may want to consider optimizing the space on that little piece of paper. A growing number of professionals are finding it useful to include social media links on their business cards. Including social links on your card not only showcases your progressive approach, but it also gives your contacts more choices in how they communicate with you.”...
Open Forum, July 6

In praise of slow reading
Malcolm Jones writes: “Thomas Newkirk, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire, says schools should encourage old-fashioned exercises such as reading aloud and memorization. He says that when he uses these exercises in his college-level classes, his students thank him and tell him that it helps them concentrate, unlike the surfing they do online. This may be a movement largely without leaders or organization, but it does not lack for heroes, and wouldn’t you know, they’re all writers.”...
Newsweek, June 23

At the Post Falls (Idaho) Public Library Japan Festival, participants tried kanji calligraphy, wore kimonos, trained in martial arts, and scooped for koiThe backroad librarian: Five forwards
Marcel LaFlamme writes: “In 2009, voters in communities of fewer than 10,000 people approved 85% of the library operating referenda that came up for a vote, as well as 55% of the building referenda. The fact that rural communities across the country continue to support their libraries, even in these grim economic times, speaks to the esteem rural communities hold for them. But for libraries to maintain this loyalty, they must position themselves as platforms for the civic activism and engagement that are needed to revitalize rural America. Here are five ways they can do it.”...
Daily Yonder, June 30; Library Journal, Mar. 15

Man at microphoneMicrophone tips for presenters
David Lee King writes: “I see lots of people give presentations and I hear lots of presenters with microphone problems. I know a little bit about microphones and how to get the most out of them, so here are five microphone tips for presenters. Number 1: Most mic and volume problems are solved if the presenter simply moves his or her head closer to the mic.”...
David Lee King, July 6

26 reasons why most brainstorming sessions suck
Mitch Ditkoff writes: “Whenever I ask my clients to tell me about the quality of brainstorming sessions in their company, they usually roll their eyes and grumble. Bottom line, most brainstorming sessions don’t work. Not because brainstorming, as a process, doesn’t work—but because they’re usually done poorly. Here are 26 reasons why, followed by 26 ways to turn these sessions around.”...
The Heart of Innovation, July 5

Marketing academic libraries in the 21st century
Shawn Hartman writes: “As libraries begin their frantic race through the 21st century, it becomes apparent that effective marketing strategies are imperative if they want to survive. A significant challenge is the sentiment that because of the internet libraries are becoming obsolete. What can libraries do to effectively market their services and prove they are indeed superior to the internet?”...
Library Management Today, July 1

W. S. MerwinLibrarian of Congress appoints William S. Merwin poet laureate
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of William S. Merwin July 1 as the library’s 17th poet laureate consultant in poetry for 2010–2011. Merwin will take up his duties in the fall, opening LC’s annual literary series on October 25 with a reading of his work. Merwin, 82, is a member of that generation of mostly male poets influenced by classical forms who emerged after World War II and published his first poetry in 1952, “A Mask for Janus.
Library of Congress, July 1; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 5

Google phrase searches with quotation marks
One of the very best blogs with a solid focus on Google is the Google Operating System blog. On July 4, the blog posted an article on phrase searching, aka searching for phrases using quotation marks. The item specifically points out that a “shortcut” that once worked is no longer available. Gary Price points out a few facts about using them in searches....
ResourceShelf, July 5; Google Operating System blog, July 4

On board the E/V Nautilus as two submersibles are in the water near Yalikavak on the Aegean coast of Turkey, July 6Oceanographer touts deep-sea web surfing
Bob Ballard, the explorer best known for the discovery of the Titanic and other wrecks, has not only made deep-sea exploration more accessible for K–12 and college students, but he’ll feed them updates through two of their favorite websites: Facebook and Twitter. Ballard visited the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut June 23 to introduce his new Nautilus Live Theater, along with a new website where people can watch his expeditions live....
eSchool News, July 2

1887 postal card from the first Register of Copyright, Thorvald SolbergHappy 140th birthday, LC copyright
Larry Nix writes: “On July 8, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law a bill centralizing all the functions of copyright in the Library of Congress. Since 1870, the Copyright Office has registered more than 33 million claims for copyright. The first Register of Copyrights was Thorvald Solberg (1852–1940), who mailed this postal card to a colleague on October 27, 1887, mentioning that he was sending a copy of his History of International Copyright in Congress.”...
Library History Buff Blog, July 6

Law librarians: An untapped resource
Law firm management and attorneys have often overlooked an untapped resource: the library. Law librarians bring skill, talent, creativity, and unconventional resources to the firm, all of which greatly assist in serving the needs of clients. As the legal landscape has changed, by developing innovative ways to find and gather intelligence and information, librarians have kept pace and provided a valuable resource to attorneys....
National Law Journal, July 6

Illustration of St. Luke from the Garima GospelsThe oldest illustrated gospels are in Ethiopia
Kept under lock and key in a bright-blue circular hut at the center of the Abba Garima Monastery in northern Ethiopia, the Garima Gospels are one of the Christian world’s oldest and most exquisite treasures. Until recently, scholars had always assumed that the two 10-inch-thick volumes, written on goat skin and brightly illustrated, dated back to the early 11th century. But recent carbon testing has proven that the books are the oldest illustrated gospels in existence....
The Independent (U.K.), July 6

Typist wearing mask, New York City, October 16, 1918. Record number 165-WW-269B-16The 1918 flu pandemic: An online exhibition
Nancy Mattoon writes: “A new online exhibition from the National Archives and Records Administration aims to show how the 1918 influenza pandemic changed life in this country. Some scientists believe this incredibly virulent strain of flu actually began its deadly journey across the globe at the army’s Camp Funston, part of Fort Riley, Kansas. In the early morning of March 11, 1918, Albert Mitchell, a company cook, reported to the infirmary complaining of a sore throat, headache, and muscle aches.”...
BookTryst, July 2

Screen shot from CML zombie videoThink of the zombies!
Jonathan Reed’s Bouncing Ferret Films produced this fundraiser video (1:02) for the Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library. As library branches close, the food supply (brains) for zombies becomes drastically reduced and the undead hordes are forced to rely on a lesser quality of food. Filmed at the library’s Matthews branch....
YouTube, June 15

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