American Libraries Online
Take our survey: American Libraries digital editions
Starting this month, each new print edition of American Libraries will be accompanied by a digital edition. You can read the entire March issue in the easy-to-use flipbook format, or download it as a PDF for offline reading. Afterwards, please take our brief survey. Your input will help us move toward delivering the magazine in the format you prefer. Soon, we will be offering several years of magazine archives on our website....
AL: Inside Scoop, Mar. 9
Quake shatters Chile’s public library services
Carol Erickson writes: “Nearly two weeks after a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile, library officials in the Department of Public Libraries are still trying to determine the extent of the damage to the nation’s nearly 400 public libraries. Much of the effort to assess the damage to the country’s public library system comprehensively has been hindered by the difficulty with travel, not only because of the damaged infrastructure to roadways and communications systems, but also because many cities and towns are under a state of emergency, with curfews imposed.” Donate to ALA’s Chile Relief Fund....
American Libraries news, Mar. 10
Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar” targeted in New Jersey challenge
A reconsideration request regarding three anthologies in the collection of the Rancocas Valley Regional High School library in Mount Holly, New Jersey, may be part of a national campaign supported by a Burlington County group connected to Fox-TV personality Glenn Beck to get Kevin Jennings, director of DOE’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, ousted from the Obama administration. And learning how to evaluate the validity of such an assertion has become a teachable moment for students and faculty, thanks to Media Specialist Dee Venuto....
American Libraries news, Mar. 10
Managing digital projects
Ira Revels writes: “My experience in academic libraries for the past 10 years had been confined to digitization efforts or instructional design activities. However, I have come to learn that digital projects encompass myriad activities designed to address the preservation, access, and dissemination of information resources in an online environment. Managing digital projects requires the use of information and communications technologies and the application of basic project management skills and techniques. All projects share three common characteristics.”...
American Libraries feature
In Practice: Finding your voice
Meredith Farkas writes: “Having a professional online portfolio is a great way to show off your technology skills and provide additional information to potential employers that doesn’t fit into your résumé and cover letter. However, this alone won’t give them a strong sense of who you are, nor will it help you develop a professional network. Adding a blog to your professional presence provides you with a great way to network and distinguish yourself from the crowd.”...
American Libraries column, Mar. 8
Next Steps: Risk, failure, and yield
Brian Mathews writes: “Elisabeth Doucett is an entrepreneur. She has to be. As director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, one of her chief responsibilities is to raise funds for the collection. If she doesn’t, nothing new will be added to the shelves. What is most striking about this library is how it is helping a community in transition.”...
American Libraries column, Mar. 8
Youth Matters: The pixelated campus
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “Librarians are making use of the online information opportunities that abound in ever-greater numbers for their continuing education. Individuals, academic units, and associations are now in the business of offering an array of online learning opportunities. These sessions refresh old concepts and air new ideas for practitioners who cannot leave their libraries to commune with researchers and other experts. A few people who create web-based learning activities shared their perceptions of online continuing education with me.”...
American Libraries column, Mar. 9
When is a book a bag?
Laura Bruzas writes: “When It’s a BookBag, designed by law librarian Kathy Kelly. She has a 9-to-5 view that includes law books—lots of them. One day the contents of these massive volumes will be available exclusively in ecofriendly digital format. But for now, this law librarian makes the gently used covers of these books whole again in the form of unique BookBags.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Mar. 9
Moving a library
Q. My library will be moving into a new building next year. Does ALA have any resources that might help? A. You’re wise to begin planning early, as there may be some things you can do to prepare the collection in advance. ALA Editions published Moving Your Library: Getting the Collection from Here to There, by Steven Carl Fortriede, earlier this year. We’ve listed that book and additional resources from the library literature on our wiki, as well as ALA Library Fact Sheet 14: Moving Libraries....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Mar. 8
Polls open March 16 for ALA election
ALA urges its members to vote in the upcoming election for Association president and treasurer. The polls open March 16. As with last year’s election, the upcoming election will be held online, with one exception. Members with disabilities may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Watch AL Focus videos featuring candidates answering questions at this year’s Midwinter Meeting....
Public Information Office, Mar. 9
Critical action alerts
The Washington Office and AASL are asking librarians to call their legislators, media, and community organizations and advocate for upcoming legislation that is critical for school and public libraries: reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, $100 million in appropriations for Improving Literacy through Schools, and funding for the Library Services and Technology Act. See the links for further details....
AASL, Mar. 9; District Dispatch, Mar. 5, 9
ALA becomes a Center for Public Life
ALA and the Kettering Foundation have signed a research agreement to establish a Center for Public Life. The center will train librarians from different types of libraries to convene and moderate deliberative forums and frame issues of local and national concern, using National Issues Forums materials and processes. Unlike other such centers, ALA will provide training to members of a single profession: librarianship, in different locations around the country. During the first year, ALA will form an advisory committee and begin training moderators to convene and conduct local deliberative forums....
ALA Executive Office, Mar. 10
ALA’s Chile Relief Fund
On February 27, one of the most powerful earthquakes in history devastated a large part of Chile. The earthquake was centered 240 miles southwest of the capital of Santiago; the 150 aftershocks extended over six regions, affecting more than 2 million people and killing nearly 300. Many libraries have been damaged or destroyed. ALA’s International Relations Office has set up a Chile Relief Fund through its Development Office; libraries may make donations by credit card or by mail....
International Relations Office, Mar. 10; American Libraries news, Mar. 10
Check out the future
The Office for Information Technology Policy has released the first of several policy briefs to be published in 2010 on the revolution in information technology and its implications for the future of libraries. Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the Library Community on Information Technology and 21st-Century Libraries (PDF file) explores how many library professionals are driving adaptations designed to ensure that libraries remain an integral part of our society’s commitment to education, equity, and access to information....
District Dispatch, Mar. 10
ALA files comments on FCC’s Future of the Media project
ALA filed comments (PDF file) with the Federal Communications Commission in response to a public notice on the future of media and information needs of communities in a digital age. In late January 2010, the FCC launched an examination on the ability of the public to have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information. ALA’s comments bring attention the rapidly changing news environment and its impact on library collection practices....
District Dispatch, Mar. 9
Google Books March Madness diagram
ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries have released “GBS March Madness: Paths Forward for the Google Books Settlement” (PDF file). This diagram, developed by Jonathan Band, explores the many possible routes and outcomes of the Google Books Settlement, including avenues into the litigation and appeals process. The diagram shows that Judge Chin’s upcoming decision is only the next step in a very complex legal proceeding that could take a dozen more turns before reaching resolution....
District Dispatch, Mar. 4
Time to Step Up to the Plate
Season five of Step Up to the Plate @ your library is now open for registration. ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Step Up to the Plate program teams up two American classics—libraries and baseball—to promote information literacy and the library as an essential information resource. Start the spring training season by visiting the program’s website to register for free promotional tools. Step Up to the Plate launches on April 5....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Mar. 9
Interns focus on ALA website’s human interface
Three interns from the University of Michigan recently completed a one-week stint at ALA, where they wowed the staff Web Editorial Board with presentations of their projects related to improving the “human-computer interface” of the ALA website—“in other words, improving its usability and making its riches more accessible,” as Karen Muller, ALA Librarian and cochair of the WEB put it....
AL: Inside Scoop, Mar. 9
National Bookmobile Day is April 14
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services is calling all libraries participating in National Bookmobile Day to share the ways they are celebrating the event. Participants are encouraged to contribute to the National Bookmobile Day wiki, join in on the conversation on the ALA Connect community, or email ideas and stories. The inaugural National Bookmobile Day on April 14 celebrates the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the staff members who operate them....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Mar. 3
Connecting to the college library
ALA Editions has released Building Bridges: Connecting Faculty, Students, and the College Library by Monty L. McAdoo. A guide to managing the often complicated relationships between faculty and students when the library is in the middle, the book provides advice on working with both groups. It offers tips on developing successful assignments that integrate the college library’s resources and helping in establishing productive liaisons....
ALA Editions, Mar. 2
Decoding the mysteries of digital licensing
ALA Editions is offering its first eCourse: Digital Licensing Online, by Lesley Ellen Harris—an entirely self-directed, self-paced, continuing education course that uses an online interface. Harris has adapted her popular ALA Editions book, Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians, into this eCourse, designed to teach librarians how to read and understand a contract as well as how to negotiate with vendors....
ALA Editions, Mar. 9
Featured review: Graphic novel
Kim, Susan, and Laurence Klaven. City of Spies. Illustrated by Pascal Dizin. May 2010. 172p. Roaring Brook/First Second, paperback (978-1-59643-262-8).
With her mother gone and a father who has better things to do than be bothered raising a daughter, Evelyn is sent to live with her unconventional Aunt Lia in the bohemian art world of 1942 New York City. Lia isn’t shaping up to be much of a caretaker, but Evelyn spends much of her time in the company of imaginary superheroes, fouling up the plans of Nazi spies. Before long she finds an unlikely friend in the building superintendent’s son, Tony. Together, they negotiate the complexities of their different social strata and, always sniffing around for trouble, stumble upon an actual Nazi plot. With stupefying precision, Dizin’s art channels Hergé’s Tintin in tone, palette, and with the remarkable expressiveness of the clean, flexible figures....
2010 top 10 graphic novels for youth
Ian Chipman writes: “As the comics format evolves and matures at an increasingly rapid rate, the opportunity for innovation grows apace. Nowhere is this more evident than in these remarkable graphic novels, all reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months.” Titles include Bayou, The Color of Earth, Meanwhile, Mercury, and The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Join the PLA 2010 Virtual Conference
The final slate of programs for the PLA 2010 Virtual Conference is now confirmed. On March 25–26, PLA will share a condensed live and online 13th National Conference with public librarians and public library workers who can’t make the trip to Portland. The complete schedule as well as detailed program information can be found online....
PLA, Mar. 8
The visiting librarian’s guide to Portland
Local library school students offer a taste of things to do around Portland during the PLA National Conference in this video (6:36). For example, the Multnomah County Library, foodcarts on 5th and Alder, downtown Stumptown, Voodoo Doughnut, Floating World Comics, Powell’s, Reading Frenzy, Cupcake Jones (above), Bridgeport Ale House, and underground mini-golf....
YouTube, Mar. 4
AASL “School Libraries Count!” longitudinal study
AASL launched the fourth year of its longitudinal study on March 5. “School Libraries Count!” gathers basic data about the status of school library programs across the country. AASL will use this information to develop advocacy tools to support school library programs at the local, state, and national levels. All K–12 schools, public and private, are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. The last day to complete the survey is April 30....
AASL, Mar. 9
Get social during School Library Month
During April, school librarians are encouraged to participate in AASL’s social media channels, where library professionals will be sharing information about School Library Month activities happening in their school libraries. To become part of this thriving community, join the AASL networks on the AASL Blog, ALA Connect, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Use the tag slm2010 on blogs and community media areas and the hash tag #slm2010 on Twitter....
AASL, Mar. 9
School Library Month video contest deadline extended
The deadline for submitting videos to AASL’s School Library Month video contest is extended through March 18. School librarians are encouraged to submit videos supporting the School Library Month theme “Communities thrive @ your library” and detailing how they help their school community thrive....
AASL, Mar. 9
New AASL L4L webinar series
During School Library Month, AASL will offer a new series of webinars for school librarians to learn more about the implementation of the AASL program guidelines. The webinars are part of the national Learning4Life initiative to implement Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. The webinars will be held at 4:30 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays during the month of April....
AASL, Mar. 9
Updated competencies for youth librarians
YALSA has revised “Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Serving Youth,” a set of guidelines first published in 2004. The competencies were streamlined and updated to reflect changes in youth services over the past five years. They are available online....
YALSA, Mar. 4
Get involved with YALSA on March 31
Registration is now open for YALSA’s first webinar. YALSA President Linda W. Braun will lead a discussion on participating—from publishing to starting interest groups or joining a monthly online chat—in this free, hour-long webinar that will take place March 31 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time....
YALSA, Mar. 4
Teen Tech Week video
The 2010 Teen Tech Week (March 7–13) theme of “Learn Create Share @ your library” fosters teen creativity and positions the library as a physical and virtual place for safe exploration of the many types of technology available at libraries. Watch YALSA Communications Specialist Stephanie Kuenn explain the details of this popular initiative in this video (3:27)....
Visibility @ your library, Mar. 8
Scholarly Communication 101 Road Show hosts selected
The ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee has selected five sites from 40 applications to host the “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop this spring and summer. Led by two expert presenters, this structured interactive overview of the scholarly communication system supports individual or institutional strategic planning and action....
ACRL, Mar. 9
Gorman wins 2010 Haycock Award
ALA Past President Michael Gorman is the 2010 winner of the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. Gorman, university librarian emeritus at California State University, Fresno, has been promoting the profession for decades as an educator, activist, and writer. He is the 10th winner of this award, funded by Ken Haycock....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 10
2010 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award
Loida García-Febo, assistant coordinator of the New Americans Program and Special Services at the Queens (N.Y.) Library, is the 2010 recipient of the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. This award is given biennially to an individual for making positive changes in the profession of librarianship. In her current work at Queens and her past work in Puerto Rico, García-Febo develops programs and services for older adults, persons with disabilities, immigrants and other underserved populations....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 9
2010 Scholastic Library Publishing Award
ALA has named Joni Richards Bodart the recipient of the 2010 Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The honor is bestowed on a librarian whose extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession. Bodart is an assistant professor at the San Jose State University SLIS....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 9
ALSC seeks host site for 2011 Arbuthnot Lecture
Applications to host the 2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture are now available. The selected site will host Lois Lowry (right), internationally acclaimed author and two-time winner of the Newbery Medal, who will present a paper that will be considered a significant contribution to children’s literature. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a children’s library system may be considered. Completed applications are due May 1....
ALSC, Mar. 2
2010 Excellence in Business Librarianship award
Jennifer Boettcher, business reference librarian at Georgetown University, has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. The award is administered by the RUSA Business Reference and Services Section and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning. Boettcher has published extensively in the field, including the widely used reference book, Industry Research Using the Economic Census: How to Find It, How to Use It....
RUSA, Mar. 9
2010 Notable Children’s Books
ALSC has selected its 2010 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity, and value to children 14 years of age and younger. Details about the selected books can be found on the division’s website....
2010 Frederick G. Kilgour Award
John Willinsky, Khosla Family professor of education at Stanford University and founder of the Public Knowledge Project, has been named the 2010 winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology. The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of academic research....
LITA, Mar. 9
Deadline extended for LITA student writing award
LITA is offering an award for the best unpublished manuscript submitted by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program. Sponsored by Ex Libris, the award consists of $1,000, a certificate, and publication in Information Technology and Libraries. The deadline for submission of the manuscript has been extended to March 24....
LITA, Mar. 2
Baber Research Grant recipient named
Betsy Simpson is the winner of the 2010 Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant for the project, “Shifting Patterns: Examining the Impact of Hiring Non-MLS Librarians.” The $3,000 grant supports innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services to any specific group of people....
Office for Research and Statistics, Mar. 9
AILA supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative
The American Indian Library Association, an ALA affiliate, has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $2,500. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master’s-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program’s future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development....
Office for Diversity, Mar. 9
Apply for the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship
The Freedom to Read Foundation has opened applications for the 2010 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend ALA’s 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, housing, and a per diem. The recipient is expected to attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings. The deadline for applications is April 16....
Freedom to Read Foundation, Mar. 9
The Marian goes to the best at Rolling Prairie
The Marian is a small statuette, painted gold, that was designed by art teacher Heather McKay to serve as the symbol for the staff achievement awards at the Rolling Prairie Library System in Decatur, Illinois. McKay came up with the Marian (named after the librarian in The Music Man Broadway hit) when her mother Doris, webmaster at RPLS, asked her to create something substantial for the award winners. The statuette depicts a shushing librarian with her hair in a bun....
Decatur (Ill.) Herald and Review, Mar. 6
2010 Reforma Noche de Cuentos mini-grants
Reforma has announced the winners of the 2010 Noche de Cuentos / A Night of Stories Family Literacy Focus Mini-Grants. The program is part of ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Initiative. The five winning institutions will receive a $500 mini-grant to implement its family literacy program. Noche de Cuentos will be celebrated on the week of March 20–27 in conjunction with World Storytelling Day....
Reforma, Mar. 9
SLA names five 2010 Fellows
Five leading information professionals—Rebecca Jones, Dee Magnoni (right), James Manasco, Jill Strand, and Libby Trudell—have been named as the 2010 Class of SLA Fellows. Fellowship in SLA is bestowed annually on no more than five mid-career professionals in recognition of past, present, and future service to the association and the profession....
Special Libraries Association, Mar. 4
NFAIS names Lorcan Dempsey as 2010 Miles Conrad Lecturer
The National Federation of Advanced Information Services has named OCLC Chief Strategist Lorcan Dempsey as its 2010 Miles Duncan Memorial Lecturer. The objective of the lecture, established in 1965 in commemoration of NFAIS founder G. Miles Conrad, is to recognize and honor those members of the information community who have made significant contributions to the field of information science and to NFAIS....
OCLC, Mar. 5
2010 Ezra Jack Keats Awards
Author Tonya Hegamin and illustrator Taeeun Yoo are the winners of the 2010 Ezra Jack Keats Awards, which celebrate excellence in children’s literature by new authors and illustrators, who, in the spirit of the late author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, offer new and electrifying views of the multicultural world children inhabit today. Hegamin is the author of Most Loved in All the World (Houghton Mifflin) and Yoo is the illustrator for Only a Witch Can Fly (Macmillan)....
New York Public Library, Feb. 25
Mueenuddin wins the Story Prize
Daniyal Mueenuddin has won the Story Prize for his collection of connected stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, which centers around a feudal landowner in southern Pakistan. Founder Julie Lindsey presented him with the $20,000 award and an engraved silver bowl at an event that took place at the New School in New York City on March 4. The Story Prize is an annual book award for short story collections written in English....
TSP, Mar. 3
Emotions run high during debate over Boston branches
Passions ran high March 9 as nearly 400 people packed a lecture hall at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square for an emotional and at times raucous public meeting about the fate of the constellation of library branches that dot the city. A constant stream of people took turns at the podium, many denouncing a proposal by library officials to close up to 10 neighborhood branches to consolidate resources and change how they provide services in the face of a $3.6-million budget shortfall. BPL President Amy Ryan said the current crisis provides an opportunity to refashion the BPL system for the digital generation....
Boston Globe, Mar. 10; Universal Hub, Mar. 9
Rally against cuts to Massachusetts regional library services
Hundreds of librarians and supporters waved signs and listened to speakers outside the State House in Boston March 9 in a protest of Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed cuts to public libraries. D. Lynn Kleindiest of Granby, a retired librarian from Springfield Technical Community College, said it makes no sense to cut regional library services. “It’s a case of homicide of libraries,” she said....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Mar. 9
School’s reading video a hit on Oprah
Ocoee (Fla.) Middle School’s flash-mob YouTube video Gotta Keep Reading (5:07) landed a spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey said she was so impressed with the production that she interviewed some students via satellite on her March 5 show. Then she told the students she and Target were going to give their library a complete facelift, with 2,000 new books and brand-new computers....
Central Florida News 13, Mar. 6
Library supporters rally in Albany
Around 1,000 library advocates from around New York state filled the Capitol in Albany March 2 to lobby legislators and the governor’s staff against the fifth proposed cut in state funding to the public library system in two years. The successive cuts have totaled $18 million since April 2008, leaving libraries to operate with the same funding they had in 1998. Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal would take out an additional $2.4 million at a time when library use is higher than ever....
Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, Mar. 3
Location privacy goes to Washington
ReadWriteWeb, Mar. 8
A touch of wizardry supports the Hull Public Library
Sixth-grader Calliope Pina Parker is an avid user of libraries, so it came as a blow when budget cuts in Hull, Massachusetts, not only sheared the local library’s funding and hours but also cost the town its state certification in February. Wanting to do something about it, the 11-year-old organized an all-day Harry Potter readathon and bake sale, with wizardly cupcakes and “magic wand’’ frosted pretzel rods, to raise funds and awareness of the library’s situation....
Boston Globe, Mar. 7
No texting in the library, except to make donations
If you want to make a donation to the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, you can do it in a text message. This method of fundraising has helped recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, but officials believe it is the first time a library has given it a try. The text message donations are part of the library’s second annual Support Our Shelves campaign. The library hopes the campaign will raise at least $500,000 by May 31....
New York Times: City Room, Mar. 9
Chicago’s YOUMedia is a digital hotspot for teens
Yves Capitaine, 16, can be found daily on YOUMedia’s online community, posting his photography and freestyle poetry and delving into haiku battles with his sister. YOUMedia is the latest teen hangout and it’s housed on the main floor of Chicago’s Harold Washington Public Library in the Digital Space for Teens. The Digital Space offers eight desktop computers, 96 laptops, two PlayStation 3’s with a library of games, musical keyboards, and a recording studio so teenagers can create music, art, and poetry. Watch the YOUMedia spotlight video (7:01)....
Chicago Sun-Times, Mar. 6; Vimeo
New York City’s oldest library
Christopher Gray writes: “The oldest cultural institution in New York? It appears to be an obscure little organization on East 79th Street called the New York Society Library, established in 1754. The library claims to have been the first library of Congress, as congressmen borrowed its books when New York was the nation’s capital in 1789–1790. Anyone who can pay the $225 yearly household membership fee may climb what the architectural historian Henry Hope Reed described as ‘the only stairs in New York fit for a cardinal,’ to the main hall.”...
New York Times, Mar. 3
200 years of shared knowledge in Salem
The Salem (Mass.) Athenaeum celebrated its 200th anniversary March 6 with a fundraising event that featured food, drink, and dances of 1810. For two centuries, Salem-area residents have paid for subscriptions to the athenaeum—one of only about 16 membership libraries left in the United States—and have welcomed nonmembers to read free of charge. A 50,000-volume collection testifies to the membership’s evolving, idiosyncratic passions for topics from theology to botany and world travel....
Boston Globe, Mar. 4
The battle of Britain’s libraries
Stuart Jeffries writes: “Last week I spoke to Culture Minister Margaret Hodge. She told me that running a successful public library in the 21st century is tough. Technological advances and higher expectations of service mean that libraries must, in her glum progressivist phrase, ‘move with the times to stay part of the times.’ Hodge has spent the past six months in a consultation process that asks some unsettling questions. She declines to confirm what will be in the review, but she wants reforms that will revolutionize the library service without adding to the cost.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), Mar. 7
Go back to the Top
Google Apps becomes a platform
Ryan Paul writes: “At the Campfire One event March 9, Google launched the Google Apps Marketplace and demonstrated how external web applications from other vendors can be integrated into Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other services that are part of the search giant’s web-based productivity suite. With the launch of the new marketplace, Google Apps for domains is opening up and enabling external software to expose its own functionality directly.”...
Ars Technica, Mar. 10
Top 10 free travel apps
Sascha Segan writes: “I travel a lot. And as the mobile-phone guy, I’m never without a smartphone—whether it’s my
Nokia E72, the latest BlackBerry, a Google Android phone, or an
iPhone 3GS. A modern phone is pretty close to the ultimate travel gadget, letting you tap into all sorts of useful information on the road. Here are 10 travel apps that I use regularly when I’m out of town.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 10
How to buy an external hard drive
Joel Santo Domingo writes: “External hard drives promise almost unlimited storage: For under $100, you can add a terabyte of data to your PC or Mac, portable or desktop. That’s enough for more than 230 DVD-sized movies. Every computer out there, including compact nettops and
netbooks, can connect to at least one hard drive. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple input/output ports, you can hook up many more. Auxiliary storage allows you to back up your system files, in case your primary system goes kaput.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 3
How to save and share ridiculously large files
Josh Lowensohn writes: “A few years ago it was a big deal to find a place that would let you share 1 gigabyte of files. Things change, though. Bandwidth keeps growing, and the cost of web storage keeps shrinking. There are now a handful of free and paid services that make it easy to host these gigantic files and send them to a friend, family member, or business associate. The key thing to point out here is the individual file size limit.”...
CNET: Web Crawler, Mar. 9
Google could stop updating Street View in Europe
Greg Sterling writes: “For a non-European traveling to Europe, Google Street View is a great resource. But Street View has been controversial and unpopular with residents in some countries, mostly with the EU and European governments, which want Google to reduce the amount of time it retains Street View images (and other data). Google says it needs to retain an unblurred version of the photography for a year. If the EU continues to press Google on the issue the company may decide against any future updates.”...
Search Engine Land, Mar. 8
LibraryThing delivers mobile access to library catalogs
Marshall Breeding writes: “One of the most interesting mobile applications demonstrated at the ALA Midwinter Meeting came from outside the ILS vendors. LibaryThing, a company that has found a niche in adding value to existing library catalogs, has created a mobile app, LibraryAnywhere, that can be used with almost any of the major automation platforms, allowing a broad range of libraries to create a mobile presence at a very low price.”...
ALA TechSource Blog, Mar. 3
Pondering good faith in publishing
Motoko Rich writes: “In early March, Henry Holt stopped printing and selling The Last Train from Hiroshima because its author had relied on a fraudulent source for a portion of the book and possibly fabricated others. Publishers say that responsibility for errors and fabrications ultimately must lie with the author. But in many recent cases publishers did not seem to ask basic questions of authors, accepting their versions on almost blind faith.”...
New York Times, Mar. 8
Free access during Women’s History Month
Alexander Street Press has announced that one of its popular online resources, Women and Social Movements in the United States 1600–2000, Scholar’s Edition, will be freely accessible during the month of March so that librarians, students, and scholars can explore the site’s rich collection of primary materials and teaching tools without passwords or fees. Named an Outstanding Academic Title for the Year by Choice Academic Reviews, the database is one of the most heavily visited women’s studies sites online....
Alexander Street Press, Mar. 3
Letters capture grief for President Kennedy
More than a million people wrote to Jacqueline Kennedy in the months after her husband’s assassination in 1963. Many of the letters were destroyed—there were simply too many to keep—but thousands of others were stored at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, where they were rarely seen; even many of the writers forgot what they had said. Ellen Fitzpatrick, a historian, culled through the archives for her new book, Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation (HarperCollins)....
New York Times, Mar. 8
HighWire’s e-book survey (PDF file)
HighWire Press has released the full results of a fall 2009 survey of librarians (PDF file) on their attitudes and practices related to e-books. The results draw on the input of 138 librarians from 13 countries. The survey data was analyzed by Michael Newman, head librarian at Stanford University’s Falconer Biology Library, who found that ease of use seems more important than sophisticated end-user features, and users tend to discover e-books through both the library catalog and search engines....
HighWire Press, Mar. 4
Do free e-books drive print sales?
Kent Anderson writes: “A common bit of speculation, bolstered by Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Future of a Radical Price (right), is that providing free copies of books drives awareness and redounds in a commercially beneficial way. Various publishers, some in the scholarly space, have had success with this approach—but arguably always as part of a carefully constructed business model in which ‘free’ has a clear purpose. Even open access can be characterized as free output to spur paid input.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Mar. 9
Six months with an e-book reader
Brad Moon writes: “It’s been nearly six months since I first took the plunge and entered the world of e-books and e-book readers in a big way. As an avid reader and book collector (some would say hoarder), has the digital plunge been a game changer, or just another meh experience? My conclusion? Reading is all digital for me from now on. I feel very old-school when publishers send me dead-tree books for review. I read them, but I’ve come to prefer the e-book experience.”...
Wired: GeekDad, Mar. 9
How to design a book cover
The creative director of Orbit Books, Lauren Panepinto, has invited all to see her process for designing the cover of Blameless by Gail Carriger. This time-lapse video (1:55) takes us through intense Photoshop compositing and retouching, type tweaking in Illustrator, keyword image research, double-checking the cover brief form in Microsoft Word, and the painstaking revisions process....
design : related, Mar. 8
Naming our profession
Gary Hartzell writes: “This thing about what to call school librarians is—from my point of view—counterproductive. Terms like ‘school library media specialist’ don’t exactly dance on your tongue and there is a danger in using a metaphor like ‘information manager’ or ‘chief information officer.’ While metaphors help us gain insight into complex realities, they are not representations of the total reality. Metaphors only highlight certain characteristics of the items they describe.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Mar. 3
Final report on digital preservation
The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access has issued its final report (PDF file) on the critical economic challenges of preserving an ever-increasing amount of information in a world gone digital. Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information focuses on four distinct scenarios: scholarly discourse, research data, commercially owned cultural content (such as digital movies and music), and collectively produced web content (such as blogs)....
OCLC, Mar. 4
March is Women’s History Month
Broadcast journalist and television personality Hoda Kotb will deliver the keynote address for the Library of Congress’s month-long celebration of Women’s History Month in the James Madison Building on March 19. The library has also launched an online resource page that showcases its extensive holdings on women’s history and culture....
Library of Congress, Feb. 25
Win a visit from Katherine Paterson
LC’s new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2010–2011 is Katherine Paterson, author of The Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved. In 250 words, describe what kind of event your library would have if it were hosting a visit from Paterson and submit it by March 15. The Center for the Book, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader—sponsors of the National Ambassador program—will choose one winner....
Library of Congress, Mar. 8
Texas acquires the David Foster Wallace papers
The University of Texas Harry Ransom Center has acquired the archive of writer David Foster Wallace (1962–2008), author of Infinite Jest (1996), The Broom of the System (1987), Girl with Curious Hair (1988), and numerous collections of stories and essays. The archive contains manuscript materials for Wallace’s books, stories, and essays; research materials; Wallace’s college and graduate school writings; juvenilia, including poems, stories, and letters; teaching materials; and books. Read how the Ransom Center came to acquire it....
University of Texas, Mar. 9; Cultural Compass, Mar. 8
Report measures time reading job-related materials
Librarians spend an average 22 minutes a day reading print publications relating to their job and an average 10 minutes a day reading library-themed blogs, a survey has found. Primary Research Group surveyed 555 full-time academic librarians in the United States and Canada for the report. Librarians who were at least 60 years old spent the most time reading print publications, at 31 minutes a day. Academic librarians 30 or under spent the most time reading library-related blogs, at 19 minutes a day....
Wired Campus, Mar. 5
18 internet firsts
Zaheer Ahmed Khan writes: “In 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first email and also made use of the @ symbol in email addresses. Some systems were available before (in the early 1960s) but they were only used to exchange messages on mainframe computers. The current shape of email emerged in the 1970s. The internet didn’t even exist at that time but its ancestor ARPANET did. The first company to register a domain name was computer manufacturer Symbolics.”...
Tech Readers, Mar. 6
Charles Martel’s classification system
Larry Nix writes: “Charles Martel (1860–1945) was the architect of the Library of Congress Classification System. He began his career at the Library of Congress on December 1, 1897, shortly after the opening of the magnificent new building now known as the Thomas Jefferson Building, and worked under J. C. M. Hanson, head of the newly created Catalog Division. Martel and Hanson convinced Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam that a new subject classification system was needed.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Mar. 5
16 Facebook apps to boost your fan page
Wong Ching Ya writes: “More than 20 million people join as fans of Facebook fan pages daily. Boost the popularity of your fan page with the right Facebook applications. Quit feeling comfortable with the basic fan page layout. You are gathering supporters to form a community. Make your fans proud with a decent fan page and give first-timers something to talk about.”...
Social @ Blogging Tracker, Mar. 4
The Roseville Library renovation project
Since it opened in 1993, the Roseville branch of the Ramsey County (Minn.) Library had seen a 70% increase in circulation. In 2008, the county approved a $15.6-million budget to build a 30,000-square-foot second-story addition. This video (32:35) details the plans, decisions, and challenges that faced the library staff, architects Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle, and the interior designers during this 15-month project. The library is scheduled to reopen July 10....
Vimeo, Feb. 16
Murdered mill girl memorialized at Biddeford library
Nancy Mattoon writes: “A new online exhibit hosted by the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford, Maine, on the Maine Memory Network reveals the history of an 1850 murder case so sensational it inspired three books in the years immediately following the crime and another book more than 150 years later. The body of Mary Bean (right), a factory worker, was found bound to a board and floating in a stream near Saco, Maine. The exhibit paints a picture of a time when young women began to abandon their traditional roles and left home to become factory girls.”...
Book Patrol, Mar. 10
Job talk: Choose your references with care
Rebecca Sullivan writes: “Job applicants have many things to focus on. One thing that tends to fall by the wayside during preparation happens to be one of the most important: your references. While most people agree that what your references say to a potential employer has a significant impact on your being hired, choosing references and ensuring they are prepared to provide useful information about you often comes as an afterthought.”...
NMRT Footnotes 39, no. 3 (Feb.)
The National Library of Medicine’s contagious exhibit
Nancy Mattoon writes: “The Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Library of Medicine have teamed up to create an exhibit of 22 posters from around the globe, the creme de contagion culled from a collection of hundreds of compelling public-health commercials created to curtail communicable killers. “An Iconography of Contagion” proves that every trick in Madison Avenue’s persuasive playbook was purloined by medical professionals.”...
Book Patrol, Mar. 5
A marketer’s guide to the social landscape
From Facebook to YouTube to Digg and beyond, which media outlets will net the most bang for the buck in terms of customer communication, brand exposure, traffic, and search engine optimization? For an analysis of which social media tools are your best bet, CMO.com turned to 97th Floor, a social media firm. They came up with this handy guide (PDF file) to 10 social network choices and how they rate in each area....
CMO.com, Feb. 10
Act.ly for nonprofits
Heather Mansfield writes: “Act.ly brings a whole new spin to online activism. Online petitions and email advocacy have been around for almost a decade, and now there is a new tool to add to your nonprofit’s arsenal—Tweet-based petitions. Want to use Twitter to petition President @BarackObama to suspend ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’? Well get to it!” Lisa Layera of the Spokane Moms has one asking @WhiteHouse to support certified teacher-librarians trained in technology integration....
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Feb. 16; act.ly
Google Maps unveils bike directions
Google unveiled Bike Directions for Google Maps on March 10. This eagerly anticipated function gives turn-by-turn biking directions (currently in the United States only). To use them, you need to click on the “Get Directions” link in Google Maps and choose the Bicycling option from the drop-down menu. The map view then changes to show roads and paths that are suitable for biking. Bike paths with no cars are shown in dark green and roads with bike lanes are in light green. Watch the video (1:38)....
Google Maps Mania, Mar. 10
Best job in the world? Bookmobile driver in the Highlands of Scotland
Writer and editor Kirsten Campbell interviews her father Richard, who has driven a mobile library in northern Scotland for the past 18 years, in this series of podcasts. He tells how he had to get dressed up as a bear once, explains how he conducted a storytime reading of a Scandinavian fairy tale containing a graphic sex scene, and reveals that the most requested title in the Highlands is: The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer....
Bureauista, Mar. 7
New Bodleian Library plan unveiled
Oxford University announced March 4 a £78-million ($117.6-million U.S.) renovation plan for its world-famous Bodleian Library building. The project, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, has three aims: to create high-quality storage for its special collections, to develop the library’s facilities for the support of advanced research, and to expand public access by adding new exhibition galleries and other facilities. The library will reopen in 2015 as the Weston Library....
University of Oxford, Mar. 4
Go back to the Top
ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Advance registration is available through May 14. Accent on Children’s Arrangements has planned a great children’s activity center (Camp ALA) for conference attendees’ kids. The ALA JobLIST Placement Center will offer direct communication between job seekers and employers, as well as placement workshops.
Pass it on! Pass on great preservation tips to your patrons with this poster that features easy-to-follow guidelines for protecting personal treasures, family heirlooms, collectibles, and more. Celebrate Preservation Week, May 9–15, or year-round. Developed with ALCTS. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
Director of Information Services/Librarian, American Philatelic Society, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The director’s primary responsibility is to develop and implement a plan to improve access to and use of its unparalleled resources by members and stamp collectors throughout the world, most of whom use the library remotely. A successful plan includes enhancement of the online union catalog, development of finding aids, digitization of materials, recruitment and management of volunteers, and development of grant proposals/fundraising....
Digital Library of the Week
The Ulysses S. Grant Digital Collection at the Mississippi State University Libraries consists of 31 volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, political cartoons, and sheet music from the larger collection. Other materials will be added to the digital collection as processing continues. The physical collection contains some 15,000 linear feet of correspondence, research notes, artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia and includes information on Grant’s life and times. From this collection, the series of volumes edited by John Y. Simon, entitled The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant were chosen and published by the Southern Illinois University Press.
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.
“I may have robbed a bank, but I have never burned a book. And that’s what you do when you close a library branch, because they are never going to reopen.”
—John McGrath, ex-convict and former prison library assistant at the Cedar Junction Correctional Institution in Walpole, Massachusetts, on plans to close branches of the Boston Public Library, Boston Globe, Mar. 10.
“I’ve always told people they’re not the bun-toting shushers that we used to think of them as. They’re almost social workers in this place that has a cross-section of our community, and they navigate it all very well.”
—Comedian and ALTAFF National Spokesperson Paula Poundstone, on librarians, Macomb (Ill.) Daily, Mar. 5.
Louisiana Library Association, Annual Conference, Baton Rouge, Mar. 10–12, at:
National Council on Public History, Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 10–14, at:
Sunshine Week, Mar. 14–20, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
Sunshine Week, supporting the public’s right to know what its government is doing, and why.
Noche de Cuentos / A Night of Stories.
14th Off-Campus Library Services Conference, Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, Cleveland, Ohio.
Oregon Virtual Reference Summit, McMenamin’s Edgefield, Troutdale, Oregon.
The Tectonics of Digital Curation: A Symposium on the Shifting Preservation and Access Landscape, sponsored by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Ray and Maria Stata Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Society for Scholarly Publishing, Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco.
CIP Symposium, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. “Sustaining Culture in Copyright.”