|American Libraries Online
California groups oppose library privatization talks
Several nonprofits in San Joaquin County, California, are sounding the alarm as the county board of supervisors considers privatizing the management of Stockton–San Joaquin County Public Library. “People have a right to be informed about this quiet move toward privatizing the library,” asserted Severn Williams, spokesperson for the SSJCPL Friends as well as the Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton. Williams emailed American Libraries July 8 that the Board of Supervisors “has so far refused to share this information, noting that it is in closed-door negotiations with the applicant.”...
American Libraries news, July 14
W. S. Merwin named Poet Laureate
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced July 1 that W. S. Merwin has been appointed as the library’s 17th poet laureate consultant in poetry. Merwin will serve as poet laureate for 2010–2011 and is scheduled to open the Library of Congress’s annual literary series October 25 with a reading from his work....
American Libraries news, July 10
Books and literacy in the digital age
Ralph Raab writes: “I become so perplexed when I read articles or hear on the news that books are slowly and inexorably vanishing, that computers, handheld eReaders, and iPods will surely win out and force books out of our schools, our libraries, and ultimately, our lives. But before we can discuss how the new technology can be used side-by-side with books to promote literacy, it behooves us to first understand how we got to this point as well as the demographic that is sounding the death knell for printed matter.”...
American Libraries feature, Aug.
On My Mind: Signage—better none than bad
Leah L. White writes: “Poor visual communication can create a frustrating environment for users, but it’s a practice that librarians commonly cling to. People eating in your library? Tape a piece of paper to the wall with a picture of a burger that has a large red X through it and there you go, problem solved! Our desire to avoid confrontation and our inability to understand the user get in the way of providing the highest level of service.”...
American Libraries column, Aug.
Youth Matters: What came home from D.C.
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “All sorts of things made their way home with me: a signed collage by children’s book illustrator Melissa Sweet and my carefully chosen purchases from the idyllic New York Review of Books booth—Terrible, Horrible Edie among them. I can testify to librarians’ thunderous appreciation of authors and illustrators, whom they applauded like rock stars.”...
American Libraries column, Aug.
Shift to paperless notices keeps NYPL in the green zone
Laura Bruzas writes: “Like the vast majority of libraries across the country, the New York Public Library had been sending out paper notices to its patrons using the U.S. postal service for more than 100 years. These notices required thousands of pounds of paper, and drove up postage costs for the library. Starting August 1, this will change. The library will cease mailing out hold notices in an effort to help the environment while freeing up funds for additional programs, services, and new materials for its collection.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 9
Q. I can’t believe I’m asking this in this age of computers, but are there printed instructions for filing available? A. Absolutely! Even though our online catalogs have programming to arrange screen displays of search results and the software we use will arrange lists for us quickly, there are many times we still need rules for arranging words. Human resources departments still have paper files on staff members and fiction books are arranged on shelves by the authors’ last names....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, July 7
The switch should stay
Laura Bruzas writes: “As I sit typing today’s blog post, I am surrounded by light—too much light. It’s giving me a headache. Where am I? I am in a small conference room at a beautiful, newly renovated local library. The room has a gigantic window unadorned by drapes or blinds offering more than enough natural sunlight for me to work. Nonetheless, there are two 32-watt, five-foot-long fluorescent bulbs beaming overhead. I cannot turn them off as there is no light switch in the room.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 7
American Libraries webinar
Join leading researchers Denise M. Davis from the ALA Office for Research and Statistics and John Carlo Bertot from the University of Maryland as they share insights into the 2010 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study in this free one-hour webinar, July 26, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Sign up here.
Court decision could affect library lending rights
ALA, as a member of the Library Copyright Alliance, filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF file) with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of petitioner Costco Wholesale Corporation in Costco v. Omega. LCA believes this case could diminish the legal provision that allows libraries to lend books. The first-sale doctrine allows any purchaser of a legal copy of a book or other copyrighted work to sell or lend that copy. However, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the first-sale doctrine applies only to copies manufactured in the United States. Peter Hirtle explains why this is important....
Library Copyright Alliance, July 8; LibraryLaw Blog, July 12
ALA endorses e-rate changes
ALA’s comments (PDF file) to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the e-rate program—the program that provides schools and libraries with discounts on telecommunications services—urge the FCC to implement and build upon recommendations proposed in the National Broadband Plan. ALA wholeheartedly supports the FCC’s initiative to “maximize the utilization of broadband” and agrees “it is time to reexamine what is working well and what can be improved in the current program.”...
District Dispatch, July 12
Our Authors, Our Advocates
ALA President Roberta Stevens (right) introduces (3:41) her Our Authors, Our Advocates presidential initiative—which officially launched at her inauguration at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.—in an interview with American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela A. Goodes. Through the initiative, authors will lend their support for libraries through media interviews, podcasts, public service announcements, and other marketing opportunities....
AL Focus, July 14
Prisoners’ right to read
At the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., the Intellectual Freedom Committee presented the Prisoners’ Right to Read: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights to ALA Council for adoption. Council adopted the new interpretation during its final session on June 29....
OIF Blog, July 12
Council opposes elimination of LSU library school
ALA Council, on a recommendation of its Committee on Education, has adopted a resolution strongly opposing the elimination of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. ALA urges the LSU Board of Supervisors and Board of Regents to continue to support the school....
Office of ALA Governance, July 13
Council promotes summer reading programs
ALA Council has adopted a resolution urging library directors, trustees, school board members, and supervising government bodies to provide adequate funding to ensure the maintenance of summer reading programs. In adopting the resolution, ALA recognizes the role school and public librarians play in enhancing the reading development of children and teens....
Office of ALA Governance, July 13
A guide to RDA basics
ALA Editions has released Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics by Chris Oliver. Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the new cataloging standard that will replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2d ed. (AACR2). The 2010 release of RDA is not the release of a revised standard; it represents a shift in the understanding of the cataloging process. Oliver offers practical advice on how to make the transition....
ALA Editions, July 13
Risky change that pays off
ALA Editions has released Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens by Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart for YALSA. In this exploration of a topic rarely discussed in depth but central to YA services in school and public libraries today, the authors explain how to be smart about taking risks without shying away from them. They offer concrete advice for laying the groundwork for change in key areas such as collection building and programming....
ALA Editions, July 13
Exploring diverse cultures with tweens and teens
ALA Editions has released Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens, edited by Linda B. Alexander and Nahyun Kwon for YALSA. A flexible, one-stop resource that encourages children and young adults to explore different cultures, this book contains dozens of programming ideas that will help young adult librarians in public and school libraries choose a program specific to scheduling, budget, or age-group requirements....
ALA Editions, July 13
New Banned Books book
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has released the latest edition of Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read by Robert P. Doyle. Published annually from 1983 to 2001, and every third year since then, this new edition details incidents of book banning from 387 B.C. to 2010. Doyle is the executive director of the Illinois Library Association....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, July 13
Cognotes highlights issue available
The final issue of Cognotes, the Highlights issue, for the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., is now available online in Nxtbook, mobile, and accessible formats. Find out what you missed! With reports on Amy Sedaris, John Grisham, the Library Advocacy Day rally, Junot Diaz, Will Shortz, Dave Isay, and Marlo Thomas....
ALA Annual Conference 2010: The superlatives
Karen Schneider writes: “Hotter than blazes, but still a great venue, even after a major blister on one foot made me limp. Great discovery: the Circulator, which for $1 brought me from Georgetown (church with my stepmom) back to the CC in air-conditioned bliss.” Schneider gives her take on the best showcase, best program, best unofficial program, product hour, social hour, and more....
Free Range Librarian, July 9
Featured review: Business
Yeager, Jeff. The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily below Their Means. June 2010. 240p. Broadway, paperback (978-0-7679-3132-8).
Ah, yes, belt-tightening is the order of the day, from how giant businesses conduct themselves to managing one’s own personal finances. It is the latter aspect of conservative spending that the author of the popular Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches (2007) and of the blog Green Cheapskate addresses in this delightful—yes, delightful—guide for me, you, and everyone else. Personal finance is a is a topic that people need to know about but still shy away from. Yeager is here to draw you in and does so easily....
Top 10 business books: 2010
Brad Hooper writes: “Although there may be uncertainty about whether the economy is really picking up, one thing is for certain: Business publishers are still hard at it. Here are the 10 best business titles reviewed in Booklist since the last Spotlight on Business that are worthy of inclusion in any business collection.”...
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
PLA offers free advocacy training
PLA is now offering Turning the Page Online, an interactive advocacy training course, free of charge to all ALA members. This advocacy education, originally designed for public libraries participating in the Gates Foundation Opportunity Online hardware grants program, has benefited more than 3,500 librarians and library supporters across 32 states. The online course typically takes 4–5 hours to complete, but can be stopped and resumed as needed....
PLA, July 12
2010 PLDS report available
PLA’s 2010 Public Library Data Service Statistical Report is now available for purchase. The report presents timely and topical data to assist public library administrators in making informed management decisions. Published annually since 1988, the PLDS Statistical Report is compiled from voluntary surveys submitted by public libraries across the United States and Canada. In the 2010 edition, 987 public libraries have shared their data on finances, library resources, annual use figures, and technology....
PLA, July 12
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson at YALSA Symposium
Coretta Scott King Award–winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson will be the keynote speaker at the Bill Morris Memorial Author Luncheon at the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium in Albuquerque on November 5–7. Nelson, a New Mexico librarian who won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award for Bad News for Outlaws, plans to give symposium attendees a look through a window opened by a pioneer bookseller who changed the state of literary diversity....
YALSA, July 8
YALSA’s Great Ideas contest
YALSA is offering $250 in cash for great ideas that would help the division fulfill its strategic plan in the areas of advocacy, marketing, research, continuous learning, and member recruitment and engagement. All current YALSA members and official member groups are eligible to apply (Word file). The deadline for submissions is July 15....
Become a YALSA Friend
Pam Spencer Holley writes: “Since 2005 the Friends of YALSA donors have given more than $25,000 to support YALSA initiatives and services that help the profession and teens. They have sponsored Spectrum Scholars and Emerging Leaders, created advocacy materials for members to use, and sent five YALSA members to ALA’s Library Advocacy Day. At Annual Conference, Financial Advancement Committee members were easily spotted wearing their 2010 sparkly glasses (above) as they passed out information about becoming a FOY in addition to accepting donations.”...
YALSA Blog, July 12
New LITA officers
Colleen Cuddy (right), interim director of New York University Health Sciences Libraries, is the new LITA President. Cuddy has experience in programming, having served on the LITA National Forum Program Planning Committee, and in governance, having served as the Bylaws Committee chair and Board parliamentarian. Adriene Lim, associate university librarian at Portland (Oreg.) State University, began her term as LITA councilor....
LITA, July 13
ERT silent quilt auction winners
During ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., the Exhibits Round Table sponsored a silent quilt auction to raise money for its Christopher J. Hoy Scholarship. The ALA BiblioQuilters donated the quilts, and the winners were Lee Bennett Hopkins, Susan Cook, and Regina St. John. The quilts brought in $1,425 for the scholarship fund.
Exhibits Round Table
Graphic novels: Why baby needs a new ALA award
Betsy Bird writes: “Illustrated elements, when incorporated into a book’s structure, serve to increase the reader’s appreciation of the book itself. Unfortunately, by choosing to add such details the books are less likely to be serious contenders for awards like the Newbery and Caldecott. Why? Well, a Newbery Award has to go to the most distinguished work of American children’s ‘literature.’ A Caldecott must go to a ‘picture book for children’ with ‘distinguished’ illustrations. So it is that many a fine graphic novel is shot down in the course of award discussions each and every year.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, July 8
Reforma supports Spectrum
Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $10,000. In recognition of this gift, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program has named Nancy Gallegos as Reforma’s 2010 Spectrum Scholar. Gallegos is attending Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science....
Office for Diversity, July 12
ACRL funds Spectrum Scholar
As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, ACRL is supporting JaTara Barnes as its 2010–2011 Spectrum Scholar. Barnes will attend the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Following her studies, Barnes hopes to serve as a systems librarian in an academic library setting....
ACRL, July 12
CALA supports Spectrum
The Chinese American Librarians Association has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $6,500. In recognition of this gift, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program has named Christopher Kyauk as the 2010 CALA Spectrum Scholar. Kyauk is attending San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science....
Office for Diversity, July 13
University libraries dine for Spectrum
Librarians at the University of Michigan Library raised more than $1,000 and librarians at Drexel University Libraries and the Drexel iSchool raised more than $1,600 for the Spectrum Presidential Initiative through recent dinners for Spectrum Scholars. The UM dinner was organized and sponsored by Karen Downing, Helen Look, Martin Knott, Sue Wortman, and Shevon Desai. More than 40 guests attended the Michigan event, while more than two dozen attended Drexel’s June 10 event....
Office for Diversity, July 8
Nominate your Día
If your school or library hosted a fantastic celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), consider nominating it (PDF file) for Reforma’s 2010 Estela and Raúl Mora Award, which is presented annually to the most exemplary program celebrating Día. The deadline is August 15. The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents....
Google awards first grants for Google Books research
Google welcomed scholars into its virtual stacks July 14, announcing $479,000 for the start of a new digital humanities research program. The 12 university-based projects mark Google’s first foray into supporting humanities text-mining research on its corpus of more than 12 million digitized books. The grants are the first installment of nearly $1 million available over the two-year program....
Wired Campus, July 14
Big Read grants total $1 million
Kicking off the program’s fifth year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts have announced that 75 not-for-profits—including arts and cultural organizations, libraries, and universities—will receive grants totaling $1 million to host a Big Read project between September 2010 and June 2011. The Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from United States and world literature....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 10
2010 Campbell and Sturgeon Award winners
A dystopian novel about a near-future of energy shortages and bioengineering and a long satirical story that mixes the beginning of nuclear destruction with Japanese monster films have won the 2010 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards, which will be presented at the University of Kansas July 16 at the annual Campbell Conference. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year, and “Shambling Towards Hiroshima” by James Morrow won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best SF short story of the year....
Center for the Study of Science Fiction, July 9
2009 Shirley Jackson Awards
The 2009 Shirley Jackson Awards winners were announced July 11 at the Readercon 21 Conference on Imaginative Literature in Burlington, Massachusetts. The awards honor “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.” The winner in the Novel category was Victor LaValle’s Big Machine (Spiegel & Grau)....
Shirley Jackson Awards, July 11
2010 Mythopoeic Awards
The Mythopoeic Society has announced the winners of its 2010 Mythopoeic Awards, presented for the best in myth and fantasy writing and scholarship in the spirit of the Inklings. The winner for adult literature is Jo Walton’s Lifelode (NEFSA Press) and for children’s literature it is Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown)....
Mythopoeic Society, July 11
Dolman Travel Book of the Year
Ian Thomson’s insight into modern-day Jamaica has been awarded the 2010 Dolman Travel Book of the Year. The Dead Yard (Faber, May 2009), won Thomson the £2,500 ($3,755 U.S.) prize at a July 6 ceremony at the Arts Club in London. His title was chosen from more than 70 titles submitted to the prize. Yet this book is less a sunny travel narrative than a bleak look at the island’s history and culture....
The Bookseller, July 7; The Guardian (U.K.), May 16, 2009
2010 Bolton Children’s Book Award
The winner of one of Lancashire’s leading children’s literary prizes, the 2010 Bolton Children’s Book Award, was announced July 2 as Bang, Bang, You’re Dead by Narinder Dhami. Sponsored by the University of Bolton in Manchester, England, the award is aimed at 11–14-year-olds. The shortlist authors came to the university to answer young readers’ questions, and the following day the winner was announced at an awards ceremony....
University of Bolton, July 6
Civil Rights pioneers recall library sit-in
Four of the original “Greenville 8”—Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dorris Wright, Elaine Means, and Margaree Crosby—reunited at the Hughes Main Library in Greenville, South Carolina, July 11 to remember their 1960 sit-in at the whites-only Greenville Public Library. “In this place of hope, 50 years ago, we found rejection and degradation,” Jackson said. “We persevered—and now America is better off for it.” Two months after the eight African-American students were arrested, the library became an integrated facility....
WYFF-TV, Greenville, S.C., July 11
Artist’s videos raise preservation questions
The archives of the proto-Pop artist Larry Rivers (1923–2002), will arrive at New York University in a few weeks, filled with correspondence and other documents. But one part of the archive, which was purchased from the Larry Rivers Foundation for an undisclosed price, includes films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father. The daughters want the footage back. NYU Libraries Dean Carol Mandel is willing to consider “reasonable privacy issues.”...
New York Times, July 7
New Jersey library loans painting to the Met
The large oil painting donated by a prominent local family hung in the main reading room of the Dover (N.J.) Library for more than six decades. The gilded, plaster-framed artwork, Emigrant Train Attacked by Indians by Emanuel Leutze, valued at $2.5 million, shows pioneers crossing a prairie in covered wagons. On July 2, it was packaged and tucked into a large moving container to spend the next five years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City....
Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record, July 2
Los Angeles library parcel tax defeated
As expected, the Los Angeles City Council opted on July 13 not to put a parcel tax on the November 2010 ballot to restore library funding. It would have cost the city $4.2 million to place the measure on the ballot, which is money the city doesn’t have. Under the current budget, libraries have been cut to five-day service. LAPL Director Martín Gómez said he’d rather wait until November 2012, because polling experts have advised that the tax will need a high voter turnout to pass....
L.A. Weekly, July 13
LAPL a source for one Hollywood researcher
Although Christopher Nolan’s big-budget psychological action movie Inception was shot in six countries, art department researcher Dominique Arcadio found much of what she needed to do her job within the aisles of the Los Angeles Public Library. “For every film I’ve worked on, I’ve gotten at least 50 books out of the L.A. Public Library,” she said. For her, a day’s work can include collecting source images of rust to inspire the art department, looking into table etiquette circa A.D. 200, or interviewing employees of the U.S. Geological Survey....
Los Angeles Times, July 11
Seattle seeks alternative funding plan
In 2009, the Seattle Public Library cut its budget midyear. It slashed 5% more for 2010, then in June it cut another $1.2 million. With bleak revenue forecasts for Seattle, the library has been asked to plan for another 10–15% cutback next year. The system is running out of things to eliminate, so it has come up with seven different funding options that range from a local-option sales tax to a merger of the Seattle libraries into the King County Library System....
KUOW-FM, Seattle, July 9; Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Strange Bedfellows, July 9
Watsonville librarian skates in Santa Cruz roller derby
By day, Susan Nilsson is the children’s librarian at Watsonville (Calif.) Public Library, where her infectious energy and passion for literature have inspired many children to pick up books for the simple pleasure of reading. But at night, she dons roller skates, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet festooned with a “Reading Is Sexy” sticker and does her best to knock down other women as she blazes around a skating rink as Dewey Decibel....
Watsonville (Calif.) Register Pajaronian, July 10
Scott found guilty of handling stolen Folio
An eccentric would-be international playboy is facing a lengthy prison sentence, despite being cleared of stealing a priceless Shakespeare volume from Durham University. A jury at Newcastle Crown Court found self-styled rare book dealer Raymond Scott not guilty of stealing the Shakespeare First Folio from Palace Green Library in December 1998. But he was found guilty of handling stolen goods and smuggling stolen property. The folio has been returned to Durham. The Sunday Sun profiles Scott, described as a “spoiled child in a 53-year-old man’s body.”...
Darlington (U.K.) Northern Echo, July 10; Sunday Sun (U.K.), July 11
A Japanese graphic novel genre popular with teens has raised the ire of a mother whose teenage son read an adult manga book at the Crestview (Fla.) Public Library. Margaret Barbaree, founder of a citizens’ group called Protect Our Children, presented examples from a manga novel to the city council. “My son lost his mind when he found this,” Barbaree said. “Now he’s in a home for extensive therapy.”...
Walton (Fla.) Sun, July 7
Stanford Health Library helps the community
In the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, is a small space filled with books and people eager to help those who step inside. It is the Stanford Health Library, a vast collection of up-to-date resources and information that is free to the public and staffed with a team of almost 80 expert volunteers—including several retired doctors and nurses—offering research assistance....
San Francisco Chronicle, June 28
Mall locations aim for convenience
People streamed into a storefront on a recent summer day at an upscale Dallas mall, but they weren’t drawn to a heavy discount on designer clothes. It was story sing-a-long time for babies at one of the city library’s newest branches. PLA President Sari Feldman said putting libraries in malls is one of many efforts by public libraries to become more convenient. With about 5,000 items, the Bookmarks branch (above) in the NorthPark Center checks out as many items as branches eight times its size....
Associated Press, July 6
Library responds to Lexington’s shifting demographics
In the children’s section of the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, Massachusetts, near the Dr. Seusses and the Harry Potters, there is also Yi zhi hui kai qiang de shi zi, a Shel Silverstein book about a lion translated into Chinese. The library’s small but growing Chinese collection, and the addition of a few books in Bengali, reflects a town’s population in flux....
Boston Globe, July 8
Obama Africana at Northwestern University
Three years ago, the Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, embarked on a project to gather and categorize hundreds of artifacts and publications related to President Barack Obama from across Africa. The library continues to receive items each day, and is now one of the largest of its kind in the world. The growth and popularity of the Obama collection has spawned another collection at the library: World Cup items....
Voice of America News, July 10
A sign on the brick exterior of the Gardner branch of the Johnson County (Kans.) Library may read “No skateboarding allowed,” but inside, skaters are certainly welcome. A group of teens recently brushed acrylic paint onto wooden skateboard decks as part of the library’s “skateboard deck design contest.” Branch manager Terry Velasquez said the event was one of several recent attempts Gardner librarians have made to attract patrons of all ages and interests....
Olathe (Kans.) News, July 6
Libraries praised as info clearinghouses
Libraries such as the San Marcos branch of San Diego County (Calif.) Library are evolving to offer such services as free passes for museums, e-book loans, housing clinics, and live performances. Branch Manager Angelica Fortin (right), who carries around a paperback, downloads e-books into her laptop, and keeps audiobooks in her car, said, “If technology’s changing and the way people access information is changing, we have to change, too.”...
Escondido (Calif.) North County Times, July 10
Milwaukee inches back towards qualifying for federal grants
City officials have made significant headway toward easing state sanctions against the Milwaukee Public Library for city budget cuts. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction moved against the library in June after the city sliced $1.2 million in property tax support from the 2010 city budget. Because of the cuts, DPI officials barred the library from applying for certain federal library grants for 2011. But now it is back to 99.6% of the state target....
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 22, July 8
Controversy haunts proposed Arlen Specter library
A green light for $10 million in state aid to build the Arlen Specter Library at Philadelphia University is drawing unfavorable comparisons to a 9% cut in aid to libraries in the new Pennsylvania state budget. Funding for the Specter library and $10 million for the John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy in Johnstown were tapped by Gov. Ed Rendell for priority under the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Rendell said he wishes local libraries received more state aid, but a budget with revenue shortfalls and no tax hikes led to many program cuts. Specter himself will have an office in the library, which will be built in the historic Roxboro House (above)....
Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune, July 7; Philadelphia Inquirer, July 8
Raccoon reserves Brooklyn library basement
Maintenance workers for the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library’s central library were recently startled by the sight of a raccoon rustling around in the basement, where older materials that aren’t often in circulation are stored. BPL closed off the area to workers and the public for the time being even though the masked maurader hasn’t been seen since July 9. In the meantime, library spokesperson Malika Granville jokingly suggested, the raccoon might enjoy a copy of Raccoon’s Last Race by Joseph and James Bruchac....
New York Daily News, July 13
Go back to the Top
The top 100 free apps for your smartphone
Whatever brand you are toting, it’s the apps that make your smartphone brilliant. And the app scene is booming. The
iPhone still leads the app race with more than 225,000, but developers are churning out apps for other platforms as well.
Google’s Android Market now has over 60,000 apps. Here are the top free apps for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Symbian, and Windows platforms....
PC Magazine, July 14
Do-it-yourself Android apps
Got an idea for a smartphone app? If you have an Android phone, you might be able to build it yourself, thanks to App Inventor for Android, a new Google Labs program for Windows, OS X, and Linux that’s designed to make building Android programs as easy as piecing blocks together. Steve Lohr’s story in the New York Times makes it sound sensational. App Inventor is in closed beta at the moment, and Google says it will let folks in “soon”—you can sign up here. Some early glitches were noted. Meanwhile, watch the video (1:14)....
PC World, July 12; New York Times, July 11; Network World, July 12; YouTube, June 30
The iPad has a competitor
Mike Cane writes: “It’s not an iPad. Not even close to the smoothness and sleekness of one. However, consider these points: It’s less than half the price of the least expensive iPad; it’s Android—which you can now make your own apps for; it’s in the price point of a crappy eInk device—yet it combines the features of three of them; and it will be on sale all over the place. It’s called the Pandigital Novel.”...
Mike Cane’s iPad Test, July 12
The iPad for academics
Alex Golub writes: “After having used an iPad shortly since its release I can safely say that the device—or another one like it—deserves to become an important part of the academic’s arsenal of gadgets. Choosing to plop down the money for an iPad is like Ingrid Bergman’s regret over leaving Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart. You will do it: not today, not tomorrow, but soon—and for the rest of your life. The iPad is the long, long-awaited portable PDF reader that we have hoped for.”...
Inside Higher Ed, July 12
Top 10 iPad apps for librarians
Andy Burkhardt writes: “I’ve had an iPad for a number of weeks now and I find it’s really helping me organize information better. With the help of a few select apps I’ve downloaded, I’m able to connect from anywhere, catch up on videos and reading, and maintain a social media presence. It was really useful at ALA Annual Conference. These are a few of the apps that I think are essential for librarians.”...
Information Tyrannosaur, July 7
How to buy a desktop PC
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “Prices for desktop PCs start as low as $250 and range all the way up to $5,000, but most of us would be more than happy with an $800 box. You still need to make some choices when it comes to CPUs, memory, hard drive capacity and graphics technology, but the good news is your money has never gone further. And a PC you buy today could very well last you for four to six years.”...
PC Magazine, July 7
Picnik in Picasa
Ian Paul writes: “Google recently added some new features to Picasa Web Albums, the search giant’s photo-sharing site, thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of the photo-editing site Picnik. Picasa users can now tweak images right inside a web browser without leaving Picasa by using Picnik’s tools for functions like color correction, cropping, resizing, adjusting the exposure, and adding frames. Here is a look at some of the new things you can do inside Picasa Web Albums.”...
PC World, July 14
Schools save money with refurbished computers
At less than half the cost of purchasing new computers, buying high-quality refurbished machines is cheaper and more efficient, some education technology directors say—and that’s a big deal with school budgets stretched so thin. McNairy County Schools in Tennessee bought 300 used Dell laptops for its one-to-one computing initiative from CDI, Computer Dealers Inc., one of the largest computer resellers in North America. The district plans to buy 300 more from CDI when more funding comes....
eSchool News, July 13
A sure way to cool off this summer is to start thinking about the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011.
Recognize the important role of your Friends group and generate enthusiasm for new members with this Friend Your Library poster. The accompanying bookmark makes a great giveaway and reminds all patrons there are many ways they can support their local library. Developed in partnership with ALTAFF. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Katie Maier-O’Shea discovered some valuable lessons in collection management and a broader outlook on libraries and librarianship when she volunteered at a public library Saturday afternoons at the fiction desk. See the July/August issue of College & Research Libraries News, now online.
Reference Librarian, Charlotte School of Law Library, Charlotte, North Carolina. This position focuses on providing access to both print and electronic resource services, especially Law 2.0 resources. The library supports the teaching, research, and service activities of a new and growing school. Prospective candidate must be interested in engaging as an active partner with faculty and students in improving access to digital and scholarly resources. The incumbent will provide reference service to law students, faculty, and the legal community (includes evening and weekend hours), prepare print and electronic research guides and bibliographies, and occasionally teach basic and advanced legal research through guest lectures and workshops....
Digital Library of the Week
The University of South Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse offers Maps ETC—a collection of more than 5,000 historical maps that are available for free download and reuse by teachers and students. The collection is organized by continent and country. United States maps are further broken down by state and historical theme. A friendly license allows teachers and students to use up to 25 maps in noncommercial school projects without further permission. All maps are available as GIF or JPEG files for screen display as well as in PDF format for printing. Use the GIF or JPEG maps for classroom presentations and student websites. Use the PDF maps for displays, bulletin boards, and printed school reports.
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.
“If most people were asked what qualifications are necessary for a librarian, probably most of them would say a soft voice with which to say ‘Shhh.’”
—Priscilla Hendryx, “Librarians Must Know More Than How to Say ‘Shhh,’” Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Sept. 16, 1948.
“Pimps make the best librarians.”
—Opening line of Avi Steinberg’s Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (Nan A. Talese, Oct. 2010).
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Conference, Denver, July 10–13, at:
National Diversity in Libraries Conference, Princeton University, July 14–16, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Effective Partnerships Between the Public Workforce System and Libraries, webinar cosponsored by the U.S. Employment and Training Administration and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Church and Synagogue Library Association, Annual Conference, J. W. Marriott Hotel, Houston.
Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2010, webinar sponsored by American Libraries, 3 p.m. Eastern time.
The One Thing That Always Works in Getting Policymakers to Listen, webinar sponsored by the ALA Washington Office, 4 p.m. Eastern time.
Cape Town Book Fair, South Africa. “Where Books Mean Business.”
Eastern CONTENTdm, annual meeting, U.S. Military Academy Library, West Point, New York. Sponsored by OCLC, Lyrasis, and Nylink.
National Conference of African American Librarians, Sheraton Conference Center, Birmingham, Alabama. “Culture Keepers VII: Bridging the Divide with Information Access, Activism, and Advocacy.” Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the ALA.
World Library and Information Congress, 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Gothenburg, Sweden. “Open Access to Knowledge: Promoting Sustainable Progress.”
Society of American Archivists, Annual Conference, Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C. “Archives*Records.”
Pacific Northwest Library Association / Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Victoria, B.C.
Bogotá International Book Fair, Bogotá, Colombia.
São Paulo International Book Fair, São Paulo, Brazil.
Chicago Antiquarian Book Fair, Chicago Journeyman Plumber’s Union Building.
Nevada Library Association, Annual Conference, Green Valley Ranch Casino, Henderson. “Thinking Outside the Buck.”
Beijing International Book Fair, China.
Moscow International Book Fair, Russia.
Kentucky Library Association, Annual Conference, Louisville. “In These Extraordinary Times: Libraries Now More Than Ever.”
South Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Siouxland Libraries Main Library, Sioux Falls.
Ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point, a full-day virtual conference sponsored by Library Journal and School Library Journal.
Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries / Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, Joint Conference, Crowne Plaza Denver–Airport.
Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Cosponsored by Mead Public Library, University of Wisconsin in Sheboygan, and Bookworms Garden.
Internet Librarian Conference, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California. Sponsored by Information Today. “Insights, Imagination, and Info Pros: Adding Value.”
Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Centennial Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand. “At the Edge.”
American Libraries Direct
Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday
to personal members of the American
Library Association and subscribers.
American Libraries: firstname.lastname@example.org
advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles, email@example.com
links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes
only. Questions about the content of any external site should be
addressed to the administrator of that site.
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Graphic novels and libraries: A publisher’s perspective
Rich Johnson writes: “Over the years, a lot of hard work by many publishers went into establishing graphic novels in libraries: dozens of panels and meetings and discussions and account visits and the trade shows. There was a group of publisher representatives who banded together in spirit and worked together to expand into this new market. What I found sad at this year’s ALA Annual Conference was that DC Comics no longer exhibits; there was a graphic novel pavilion, but it seemed like it was quieter than in years past.”...
The Beat, July 8
Drowning in a flood of scholarly papers
Kent Anderson writes: “Scholarly publishing’s reputation is that it uses peer review and editorial judgment to separate the wheat from the chaff. The reputation authors garner by being published in a scholarly journal is that he or she has fit through the tight filter on scholarly communications, where only the best of the best gets published. But that reputation is no longer deserved. Scholarly publishing, under pressure to conform to a ‘publish or perish’ academic culture, is failing.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, July 8
NYPL’s e-book lending program
The New York Public Library offers 33,000 e-books, compared with roughly 4.8 million paper books. But the nation’s largest public library and the Brooklyn Public Library are helping write the book on the future of reading in the age of the iPad and Kindle. “I would not have thought, 10 years ago, that I would be comfortable with reading digital books,” said Anne Thornton, NYPL director of reference and research services. But e-book reader technology has advanced enough to pass her test of the “three B’s”—beach, bath, and bed....
New York Daily News, July 11
To Kill a Mockingbird: Enduring at 50 years
July 11 was the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the endearing and enduring story of racism and redemption and growing up in a small Southern town during the Depression. It is Lee’s only book and one of the handful that could earn the title of Great American Novel. “It has ‘book charisma,’ a term I rarely use,” said Karen MacPherson, children-and-teens librarian at the public library of Takoma Park, Maryland. The Westport (Conn.) Public Library celebrated with a showing of the film version....
USA Today, July 8; Westport (Conn.) Patch, July 12
Rebecca Rego Barry writes: “I could not pass up the opportunity to share this striking Image of the Week from ephemerastudies.org. (Sorry, I grew up in N.J., actually quite close to the city featured in this 1926 booklet, so I found it particularly amusing.) Ephemera Studies is a rather new website, curated by Saul Zalesch of Louisiana Tech University. He posts all kinds of amazing American ephemera. Take a gander at his gallery.”...
Fine Books Blog, July 12
Obscure tracts and pamphlets
Gilbert Alter-Gilbert writes: “Today, despite the inroads of rival media, pamphlets and tracts still make the rounds of shopping malls, parking lots, and other public concourses, because of the need to reach the man in the street. As a conveyance for exchanging animadversions, as a platform for socioeconomic argument, as a substitute for soapbox or pulpit, as a megaphone through which to decry the wreckage and carnage of civilization, as a conduit for sermon, sanction, gospel, grimoire, ad hoc credo, or instant ideology, the tract or pamphlet has no rival.” Here is a sampling, arranged by topic....
A Journey Round My Skull, July 12
Libraries must protect the freedom to read
Freedom to Read Foundation President Kent Oliver writes: “Attempts to censor books like J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye often focus on the issues of sexuality and profanity, about which young adults are apparently not supposed to read, despite the fact that we all live through those issues. Herein lies the dichotomy and absurdity of the censor’s viewpoint: While the First Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom of speech and press, the censor asserts an urgent need for protection from our own ideas about the very lives we live.”...
Forbes: Booked, July 8
We still need libraries in the digital age
Ian Clark writes: “With the government axing public services, librarians are being forced to defend their existence against accusations of irrelevance in modern society. As one advisor on Newsnight put it during the BBC’s recent mini-consultation on the proposed cuts: Why do we need libraries when everyone has broadband and can access information without recourse to a librarian? There are a number of problems with this argument.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), July 13; BBC News, June 8
Librarian enlivens research for American Indian students
Growing up, Paulita Aguilar developed a love for books and a reliance on librarians that she now grooms among American Indian and other college students who lacked the resources she had available. Aguilar is curator of the University of New Mexico’s Indigenous Nations Library Program, mandated to increase information literacy and research skills among tribal students, who make up 6% of the flagship campus in Albuquerque....
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, July 7
Seattle flash mob catches patrons by surprise
J. T. Oldfield writes: “There I was last week, on the third floor of the Seattle Public Library’s central location downtown, taking advantage of their subscription to OED.com and chatting with my husband online, when I look up and notice an inordinate amount of people hanging around. No sooner had I mentioned this to my husband than music comes on and a girl with purple streaks in her hair throws up some papers and starts dancing.” Watch the video (4:55)....
Bibliofreakblog, July 10; YouTube, July 3
Praise for Seattle Public Library architecture
Iván Meade writes: “Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Seattle Public Library for the first time. I was mesmerized by its supreme architecture and clever design. The simplicity of the materials and the complexity of its construction have made it an architectural icon in the United States. The library was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus. Next time you are in Seattle, this is a must-see building.”...
Meade Design Group blog, July 8
Library design inspired by pine cones
Serero Architects’ winning design for a library and auditorium for the University of Amiens in France incorporates a wooden “smart skin” that controls the internal space ambiance and frames views. The design responds to the sun in an effort to supply the most comfortable interior environment. The wooden façade, inspired by a pine cone, consists of wooden scales that open or close according to the level of humidity. The glass-curtain wall is protected by the wooden sun shading that can be adjusted thoughout the day....
Arch Daily, July 9
An old-fashioned bibliographer
Jennifer Howard writes: “On paper, R. Carter Hailey’s scholarship is exceptional. A leading expert on papermaking and early modern printing, Hailey (right) just spent a year as a research fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, studying the paper stocks used in early editions of Shakespeare. Yet Hailey hasn’t found a permanent job in academe, raising the question of whether bibliography is now judged too specialized or old-fashioned to be rewarded with tenure and promotion.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11
Helping job seekers
Barbara Bibel writes: “Public libraries are full of people looking for work. Many of them have few or no computer skills and there are too few of us to sit down and spend lots of time helping. www.indeed.com is a website that is easy to use. It provides access to over a million open positions culled from newspapers, company websites, job search sites, and associations. The home page has two boxes labeled ‘what’ and ‘where’ for users to enter job titles, keywords, or company names along with a city, state, or zip code.”...
Booklist Online: Points of Reference, July 13
7 ways to use Wikipedia as a movie search tool
Saikat Basu writes: “Do a Google search for a film and Wikipedia crops up just below IMDB.com in the top tier of results. It’s not only an encyclopedic reference point for films and movies but also a launching pad for much more. If you have the patience, Wikipedia links can take you into new waters. A Wikipedia search for movies can serve as a compass for film buffs, or you can just lose yourself and discover films that you never knew before.”...
MakeUseOf, July 12
Happy ending for Chicago Book Bike
Marcus Gilmer writes: “After all the drama last week over the fate of Gabriel Levinson’s Book Bike, cooler heads have prevailed and we now have a happy ending. The Chicago Public Library reached out to Gabriel and the two parties have now become partners, allowing Gabriel to continue doing what he’s been doing without having to pay any steep fees.”...
Chicagoist, July 6–7, 12
Survey on library blog use
Stewart Baker is conducting a survey on the use of blogs as a tool for professional development and sharing emerging library trends. He is offering a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate to one random participant. The survey will close on August 6....
ALA Connect, July 7
Students can explore the cosmos from a PC
In a project that aims to pull a new generation of students toward science and technology, Microsoft and NASA have teamed up to create Terapixel—the largest seamless, spherical map ever made of the night sky—as well as a true-color, high-resolution map of Mars (WWT|Mars) that users can explore on their computers in 3D. In studying photos of Mars taken by a NASA spacecraft, a group of 7th graders in California earlier this year discovered a previously unknown cave, as well as lava tubes that NASA scientists hadn’t noticed....
eSchool News, July 13; Space.com, June 21
Elementary library routines
Joyce Valenza writes: “The wonderful elementary librarians out there are getting very wiki. Elementary Library Routines is a new space for this particular community of practice to engage in knowledge sharing related to effective practice. The wiki already contains a wealth of practical wisdom that would be welcome to newbie professionals and veterans alike. Interestingly, one of the richest pages is not about routines at all; it is a collection of curricular resources.”...
School Library Journal: NeverEndingSearch, July 7
Is your library making milkshake mistakes?
Buffy J. Hamilton writes: “One of the most interesting ideas I’ve discovered so far in my reading of Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, is ‘milkshake mistakes.’ Shirky relates how McDonald’s wanted to improve the sales of its milkshakes; with the exception of Gerald Berstell, all of the researchers focused on the qualities and characteristics of the product itself. Berstell, however, chose to focus on studying the customers, observing who bought milkshakes, and the times of day in which they made their purchases.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, July 12
University libraries move to the mobile web
Alan W. Aldrich writes: “The commercial sector has taken the lead in creating mobile websites that leverage the capacities of smartphones, and the academic community has begun to follow suit. This study examines the mobile websites of large research universities and their libraries in the United States and Canada. The services available on different mobile websites are compared and contrasted with the literature identifying what mobile web users desire.”...
Educause Quarterly 33, no. 2
Sex and drugs and bibliothèques
Will Manley writes: “I get amused when I read what some library advocates give as solutions to our current funding problems. Here is Joan’s three-point plan to raise money for libraries: 1) tax online companies, 2) legalize marijuana and tax it like crazy at cigarette-level taxes, and 3) legalize prostitution and tax each person using the service. As much as I admire Joan’s courage and creativity, I disagree with her completely. Here is my rebuttal to Joan’s three points.”...
Will Unwound, July 13
The library: Not what you think
David Votta and Heidi Gustad of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, Michigan, did a short stand-up presentation (7:27) at Ignite Lansing! on March 5 to dispel eight myths about libraries and inform the community about how cool librarians are....
YouTube, Apr. 6
Old Spice guy talks about libraries
Former NFL player and current Old Spice commercial actor Isaiah Mustafa has a few words to say (0:34) about libraries, thanks to the efforts of librarian Andy Woodworth.
“Books are often composed of many many words. And words are the non-pictures that convey many things to other minds, [like] ‘Let’s eat peanut butter.’”...
YouTube, July 14
Go back to the Top