|American Libraries Online
Unwavering support girds Virginia library construction
Despite the continued economic downturn, three significant construction projects in Virginia are continuing as originially proposed. Plans for a new downtown building for Norfolk Public Library are on schedule; the Petersburg Library Foundation says the city’s new library is expected to cost 25% less than expected because of lower costs for construction rather than any design cutbacks; and a new Appomattox Regional Library System branch is currently under construction in Prince George County....
American Libraries news, July 17
AL delves into Facebook
American Libraries now has its own Facebook page. This is a great way to keep up with the new features, columns, and blog posts that we are rolling out on a daily basis. We are excited to see how you “like” it, and we look forward to getting in on conversations surrounding the issues and topics important to libraries....
AL: Inside Scoop, July 12
Up, up, and away: Mission marketing
Donald H. Dyal and Kaley Daniel write: “Early in July 1982, Larry Walters (right) tied more than 40 weather balloons to his lawn chair and rose 16,000 feet above Los Angeles. He descended by shooting the balloons with a BB gun, eventually drifting some 20 miles, and ended up hanging from some power lines. Occasionally, one hears of library marketing campaigns launched with about as much forethought as Larry’s jaunt above L.A. Marketing needs a plan. Texas Tech University has that plan and truckloads of evidence that it works.”...
American Libraries feature
Raising a Reader program gets kids started early
Alicia Santamaria writes: “Every week, all year long, the children have borrowed bright red bags full of books from their classroom and have dutifully returned the bags. But today, all the children will get their very own blue bag to keep and use every time they visit the library. This ceremony marks the conclusion of the third successful year that Raising a Reader has collaborated with Seattle Public Library—and the third cohort of parents to learn the benefits of introducing their children to reading.”...
American Libraries feature
Good dog. Sit. Listen.
Anna Hartman writes: “Christopher, a bubbly 7-year-old, has come to the La Mesa branch of San Diego County (Calif.) Library to read to Sunny (right). With book in hand, Christopher sits down and begins. As he reads, he and Sunny cuddle together. Sunny and his handler Gloria Laube are a part of the Read to Your Breed program, which encourages and assists struggling readers. Over the course of five years, Sunny has been read to in English, Spanish, French, and Italian. Laube is such a strong believer that she has started a website dedicated to encouraging therapy dog reading programs.”...
American Libraries feature
Dispatches from the Field: Hope, hype, and VoIP
Char Booth writes: “After the initial hype is past, the real value of an emerging technology unfolds as librarians adopt, test, and learn from it on the ground. By understanding a tool’s practical library affordances and how they are adopted, adapted, and rejected, we can better evaluate its local promise critically, creatively, and with an eye toward sustainability. The long-term adoption cycle of one established tool, Voice over Internet Protocol, offers actionable insight into the library innovation process.”...
American Libraries column, August
Newsmaker: Thomas Frey on the future of libraries
Without consulting a crystal ball, Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, writes and speaks about a promising future for those libraries strongly connected to their communities and quickly adaptable to the changing world around them. Asked why he believes libraries are here to stay, Frey says: “There are very few people who don’t like libraries. The library-hater crowds are very small,” adding, “I’ve suggested libraries install ‘time capsule rooms’ as a way to help archive their communities and touch the hearts and minds of everyone they serve.”...
American Libraries column, August
ProQuest improves interface, expands access
At the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., ProQuest unveiled plans to roll out a completely redesigned platform this summer. The ground-up redesign promises to unify all ProQuest content into a single framework, while also connecting users to non-ProQuest databases. In a meeting with American Libraries, Chief Information Officer Bipin Patel explained the process behind the redesign as “cracking the code of mass customization.”...
American Libraries news, July 16
Reflect and discuss @ your library
Laura Bruzas writes: “Recently, I took a drive into the country and came upon a historic treasure—an oven that a man I now know as Uncle Bob built in the 1920s. Seeing it made me reflect on a time when life was simpler. Lively group discussions offer such opportunities as well. Thankfully, many libraries across the country offer space for their patrons to come together to discuss significant current events.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 15
Attention Warren Buffet
Laura Bruzas writes: “In a July 19 Chicago Tribune article, Warren Buffet was quoted as saying, ‘If past history were all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.’ It’s obvious that he has not visited his local library lately, for if he had, he would know that librarians do indeed live rich lives and that libraries hold not only valuable relics of the past but also many priceless, relevant-for-today resources for living a good life, including a place to learn, to grow, and to connect with community.”...
AL: Green Your Library, July 19
Volunteers in libraries
Q. We have demand for new programming, but there isn’t new funding in sight, so we’re thinking about expanding our volunteer program. Do you have any resources that might help us manage our library volunteer program better? A. Volunteers of all ages can be a valuable resource for a library—just as they are for many sectors. But there are some issues—including legal ones mentioned in various resources on using volunteers in libraries—to consider. Once you have your program planned, consider registering it at serve.gov....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, July 20
ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael
American Libraries Associate Editor Greg Landgraf interviews ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael about advocacy and diversity, her planned areas of focus during her presidential term, as well as ALA membership, elections, and the Association’s support of libraries and librarians. See other AL Focus interviews with ALA President Roberta Stevens and ALA Treasurer James Neal....
AL Focus, July 20
Libraries and community information
The Office for Information Technology Policy is working on a policy brief on the declining newspaper industry and the implications for libraries. What are libraries doing to foster improved access to community information in the context of these changes? Send specific examples in your communities to Sarah Roberts and Alan Inouye....
District Dispatch, July 19
ALA supports FCC’s Third Way
ALA filed comments (PDF file) July 15 with the Federal Communications Commission on its Notice of Inquiry on the Framework for Broadband Internet Service, commonly referred to as the “Third Way.” ALA has a strong track record of advocating for an open or neutral internet and sees the Third Way as the most appropriate level of oversight because it provides protections to ensure the public has equal access to the wide variety of online content readily available today....
District Dispatch, July 15
Save Our Library poster available
Montana artists Matt and Shawn Fillbach have created a poster that can be downloaded for use in communities where the public library is threatened with cuts or closure. There is room at the bottom of this “Please don’t let this happen to our library!” poster to add names and email addresses of government officials or library advocates that people can contact to lend their support....
District Dispatch, July 16
Discover Zayed University @ your library
“Discover,” “explore,” “learn,” and “read” are all key words in the library lexicon. Recently, the library at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, brought these words to life in a new poster series designed to showcase its services. Brightly colored posters encourage students to read in both English and Arabic. Bookmarks include quotations about the value of these concepts and the importance of libraries in education....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, July 20
Intellectual Freedom Manual, 8th ed.
ALA Editions has released the 8th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, edited by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Updated for the first time since 2005, this indispensable volume includes revised interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights along with key intellectual freedom guidelines and policies, including a new chapter on interactivity and the internet and an examination of intellectual freedom for disabled library patrons....
ALA Editions, July 20
Ramona welcomes everyone to the library
ALA Graphics will debut the Ramona and Friends poster and bookmark in the upcoming Fall 2010 Catalog. The original artwork by Tracy Dockray illustrates many of award-winning author Beverly Cleary’s most beloved characters at the library. Since 1950 Cleary, named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, has ignited a love for reading....
ALA Graphics, July 14
Featured review: Youth fiction
Willems, Mo. Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. October 2010. 52p. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, hardcover (978-0-0619-2957-1).
The saga of Knuffle Bunny concludes in this droll, observant, and seriously heartbreaking ode to growing up. Trixie’s a little older now, sporting a shorter haircut, a backpack, and, of course, ratty old Knuffle Bunny. Destination: Holland, the home of beloved grandparents Oma and Opa. Riding in a plane is exciting (watching Knuffle Bunny go through the X-ray machine is a little scary, though), and soon Trixie is sipping chocolate milk with her extended family. Well, you can guess what readers discover next: Knuffle Bunny has been left on the plane. What you might not guess is the poignancy and nuance of everything that follows....
Cory Doctorow and I narrate The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Keir Graff writes: “Before I headed off to Washington, D.C., for ALA’s Annual Conference, Mary Burkey, who calls herself an audiobook addict but is really an audiobook pusher, suggested that I stop by OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile and check out the ‘Lend Your Voice’ promotion. Random House Audio, in partnership with OverDrive, was recording a ‘community-sourced’ audiobook of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz using the vocal talents of everyday people. Given that they parked opposite the convention center, a fair number of librarians—and famous authors—stopped by.”...
Likely Stories, July 16
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
Registration open for 2010 LITA National Forum
Registration is now available for the 2010 LITA National Forum, “The Cloud and the Crowd,” to be held September 30–October 3, at the Hilton Downtown in Atlanta. Keynote sessions anchor the event and include speakers Amy Bruckman, Roy Tennant, and Ross Singer. More than 30 concurrent sessions and a dozen poster sessions will provide a wealth of practical information....
LITA, July 19
LITA offers web writing institute
A new regional institute: “Writing for the Web,” presented by Brenda Reeb of the University of Rochester, is now available from LITA. This full-day workshop presents best practices for writing for the web within the context of academic and public library websites. The format is lecture style, followed by critique sessions that examine how successful sites implement best practices....
LITA, July 19
YALSA opens CafePress store
YALSA has launched a new CafePress store that features t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, and beverage holders promoting libraries and reading. Proceeds from YALSA’s CafePress store will support the Friends of YALSA. The Friends of YALSA support YALSA initiatives and services that impact the profession and teens n five action areas: advocacy, continuous learning, planning for the future, research and teen literacy, and young adult literature....
YALSA, July 16
2010 best websites for teaching and learning
AASL announced its selections for the 2010 Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning. In its second year, the list of websites honors the top 25 internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. It is considered the “best of the best” by AASL. The sites were named so because they foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration....
AASL, July 16
Two new Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund grants
The Freedom to Read Foundation, through its Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, will provide two grants—one for $2,500 and one for $1,000—to two organizations to support “Read-Outs” celebrating Banned Books Week 2010. Applications for the grants will be accepted through August 27. This is the first announced project for the Judith Krug Memorial Fund, established after Krug’s death in April 2009....
OIF, July 20
AASL names 2010 Spectrum Scholar
As part of its commitment to furthering diversity in the school library profession, AASL has chosen Latanya Ingraham as its 2010–2011 Spectrum Scholar. Ingraham will attend the Clarion University School of Library Science. As a teacher in an underserved community, Ingraham recognizes firsthand what a dynamic school library program can offer underprivileged students....
AASL, July 16
Apply for an American Heritage Preservation grant
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have announced guidelines for the 2011 American Heritage Preservation Program. This public-private partnership will fund the preservation of endangered and fragile art works, rare books, scientific specimens, and historical documents held in small and medium-sized museums, archives, and libraries. The deadline to apply is September 15....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 16
Autism Society names N.C. librarian Professional of the Year
The Autism Society of North Carolina’s Professional of the Year Award was presented to Patricia Twarogowski (right), children’s services manager at the Matthews branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library. The honor was awarded during the Annual Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorder held in Raleigh on April 24. Twarogowski was cited for her program “Rhythm and Rhyme Story Time,” which was created with visuals, songs, movement, and tactile objects that appeal to children with autism....
Autism Society of North Carolina, Apr.; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Lower Macungie Library wins History contest
The History channel announced the winners of a special contest for libraries connected with its landmark 12-part series America, the Story of Us that aired in April and May. The Library Outreach Contest encouraged libraries to create themed exhibits and public programming about the role their communities played in the national story. Winner of the $15,000 Grand Prize was the Lower Macungie (Pa.) Library for its exhibit titled “Six Days in April, Forty Years Ago: The Story of Apollo 13.”...
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 20
UKLA Children’s Book Awards 2010
The United Kingdom Literacy Association announced the winners of its Children’s Book Awards on July 8. The winner in the category of books for children ages 3–11 was Morris Gleitzman’s Then, and in the 12–16-year-old category it was Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. The award is held in high esteem by teachers, who regard the shortlist as a reliable indicator of the best books of the year for inclusion in class and school collections....
United Kingdom Literacy Association, July 8
2010 Branford Boase Award
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher (Chicken House) was named the winner of the 2010 Branford Boase Award, given annually to an outstanding work of fiction for children by a first-time novelist. The book, set largely in the desolate Australian outback, tells the tense story of 16-year-old Gemma who was kidnapped from the Bangkok airport by a troubled young man....
Branford Boase Award, July 14
Staffordshire teens name their favorite book
More than 200 students gathered in Stafford July 6 to choose the winner of the Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Award for 2010. Brigands M.C. by Robert Muchamore was selected as the winner. The award, one of the few YA literary prizes in the U.K., is an important indicator of the reading tastes of British teens....
Staffordshire County Council, July 8
House bill renews internet privacy fight
A bill introduced July 19 by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) would levy fines of up to $5 million on businesses and individuals unless they abide by a complex set of new regulations to be administered by the Federal Trade Commission. A hearing is scheduled for July 22. Rush’s bill applies to any person or business that stores personal information, including someone’s name, mailing address, email address, and phone or tax number. That person must provide, if requested, access to information stored about others....
CNET News: Privacy Inc., July 20
L.A. libraries close on Sundays and Mondays
Libraries throughout Los Angeles were shuttered July 19 as service cuts made in response to the city’s budget woes took effect. The Los Angeles Public Library system started closing its doors Sundays and Mondays at the Central Library downtown, eight regional libraries, and 64 branches. Twenty full-time librarians were laid off three weeks ago. Library supporters gathered July 19 at the Central Library to protest the cuts. Los Angeles County libraries will also begin reduced hours on July 26....
Los Angeles Times, July 19; KABC-TV, Los Angeles, July 19; Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze, July 19
Camden library faces steep funding cut
The Camden (N.J.) Free Public Library stands to lose two-thirds of its city funding—a drop so steep, one board member predicted imminent closure of all three branches. In a written response to the library board’s annual budget request, Mayor Dana Redd said the city would provide $281,667 for the fiscal year that began this month—about a third of the amount the city allocated in FY 2010. “This could put us out of the library business,” said Board member Frank Fulbrook....
Camden (N.J.) Courier Post, July 20
Controller: Shelkrot not entitled to bonuses
Elliot Shelkrot, who served as both the director of the Free Library of Philadelphia and president of the nonprofit Free Library Foundation, might have to return the $236,535 he received in bonuses from 2001 to 2008. In an audit of the library released July 20, City Controller Alan Butkovitz found that Shelkrot had received bonuses from the library’s trust fund while working for both the city and the nonprofit foundation that raises private funds to support the library’s activities. Shelkrot’s response is in this news video (1:53)....
Philadelphia Daily News, July 21; WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, July 20
New USC library a treasure trove
The new Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia is cool—literally. The new building connected to the Thomas Cooper Library is a treasure trove that brings together various collections that were scattered throughout the USC campus in storage kept at a climate-controlled 60 degrees. Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a July 23 dedication ceremony for the $18-million, 50,000-square-foot facility. USC officials gave the media a preview tour on July 14. Here are some of the highlights. Watch the video (1:52)....
Columbia (S.C.) The State, July 15; YouTube, July 14
Preserve Pittsburgh’s legacy with library tourism
Karen Lillis writes: “Now that several of Pittsburgh’s historic library branches are on the chopping block, can we find a method to harness existing enthusiasm and save these city assets? What I’m proposing is library tourism: Perhaps if Pittsburgh were willing to recognize its public libraries on a grand scale, the public libraries can return that recognition (and tourist dollars) to Pittsburgh.” The Carnegie Library requested a 9.8% increase in funding July 19 from the Allegheny Regional Asset District....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette: The Next Page, July 18; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 20
Walnut Creek branch opens under budget
“This is the finest and most beautiful library in all of the State of California,” Walnut Creek Mayor Sue Rainey proclaimed to the crowd of 1,200 people gathered at the grand opening ceremony for Contra Costa County Library’s new branch July 17. The new two-story library was built on time and $6 million under budget, a welcome surprise for a city that in June laid off 30 employees due to a $20-million general fund shortfall. Watch the video (7:49)....
Walnut Creek (Calif.) Patch, July 17; San Francisco Chronicle, July 17
Library computers essential for job seekers
At the National Association of Counties annual conference in Reno, Nevada, a panel of librarians informed county officials about the value of libraries in supporting workers who have lost their jobs. ALA’s Larra Clark reported on the findings of the Public Library and Technology Access Study, and Susan Wolf Neilson, head of reference at the Wake County (N.C.) Public Library, spoke about her library’s experience with the unemployed....
Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, July 19
Charlotte seeks volunteers to expand service hours
Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library is putting out a call for volunteers to see if it can lessen the impact from the loss of millions of dollars in local government support. Volunteers are being sought, library officials say, so branches in Cornelius, Davidson, Matthews, and Mint Hill can remain open longer than the current 32-hour, four-day schedule that took effect July 6. The volunteer recruitment effort is part of an agreement reached with local towns that provided one-time library funding because of the fiscal crisis....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, July 20
Library cell-tower proposal draws fire
A request from T-Mobile representatives to erect a 90-foot cell tower on the Carol Stream (Ill.) Public Library property drew criticism July 19 from several residents. “Do you know what property values are going to do? They’ll go down like you wouldn’t believe,” resident John Kocol told library trustees. T-Mobile representatives would like to see the cell tower built on the library property to improve signal quality. Library officials could make a decision July 21....
Carol Stream (Ill.) Press, July 20
Mid-Columbia director fired after consulting an attorney
Danielle Krol, executive director of the Mid-Columbia Libraries in Kennewick, Washington, was fired May 17 after using the library district’s attorney to draw up a more lucrative contract for herself. Two board members declined to discuss why Krol was fired and would not say if the attorney expenses triggered her dismissal after six years on the job. Krol said she informed several board members about consulting the attorney as early as February, so it should not have been a surprise....
Kennewick (Wash.) Tri-City Herald, July 17
Internet Archive pushes DAISY
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive virtual library, has launched a worldwide campaign to double the number of books available for persons who are blind, dyslexic, or visually impaired in other ways. The Internet Archive now has more than one million books available in DAISY format, or Digital Accessible Information System, a means of creating talking books that can be downloaded to a handheld device. Unlike books on tape, the DAISY format allows print-disabled persons to speed up, slow down, or skip around from chapter to chapter....
USA Today, July 14
Lincoln document surfaces in California State Library
A document with handwriting by Abraham Lincoln that traveled in a carpetbag that went with the Donner Party expedition has been discovered in the James Frazier Reed Collection at the California State Library in Sacramento. Experts say the Lincoln document is an 1832 muster roll from a group of Illinois volunteers during the Black Hawk War. Reed was one of the organizers of the ill-fated Donner Party that became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in 1846. Watch the video (1:15)....
KCRA-TV, Sacramento, July 19; CNN, July 20
Digitizing the UIUC library
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has digitized more than 23,000 books through the library’s contract with the Internet Archive. UIUC is also part of a consortium of Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which has partnered with Google in efforts to digitize collections that will be available through Google Books. Not only books, but microfilm, photographs, newspapers, and government documents are part of the effort....
Daily Illini, July 15
Three Seattle branches celebrate 100th birthdays
Three of the Seattle Public Library branches are celebrating their centennials on July 24: West Seattle (right), University, and Green Lake. The West Seattle branch is a Carnegie-funded branch designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Joseph S. Coté. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The three branches all opened within a week of each other in July 1910....
West Seattle (Wash.) Herald, July 19
Library removes swastika-like stained glass
A stained-glass art piece hanging inside the Berkley (Mich.) Public Library was removed July 15 after a patron pointed out its resemblance to a swastika. The glass was donated to the library by a local artist a year and a half ago. Library Director Cecelia Morse said she has not had any complaints about it until now. The glass piece is said to have been made in imitation of a quilt block....
WDIV-TV, Detroit, July 14–15
The bookcase you’ll want to live in
Lucy Mangan writes: “I am in a free-standing, multistory wooden tower comprising a spiral staircase and walls composed of open shelves lined with 6,000 books. Designed and constructed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, it’s called The Ark and is part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces’ exhibition. Dagur Eggertsson himself likens it to ‘a gigantic Ikea bookcase’—but it is so much more.”...
The Guardian (U.K.), July 13
Tome Raider sentenced
A Cambridge graduate called the “Tome Raider” was sentenced July 20 for three and a half years for stealing rare library books. William Jacques has refused to reveal where he has hidden rare books worth £40,000 ($61,000 U.S.) that he stole from the Royal Horticultural Society Library. He was previously jailed in 2002 for rare-book theft. In sentencing him, Judge Michael Holland said Jacques was “relying on the reluctance of library staff to challenge people” when they were used to dealing with trusted members of the public. BBC News has more on how thieves target rare books....
The Guardian (U.K.), July 20; BBC News Magazine, July 21
Edmonton man gets two years for library arson
A 27-year-old man was sentenced July 19 to two years in prison for a 2007 arson fire that caused $3 million (Can.) in damage to the library of Edmonton, Alberta’s Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts. Clayton Mattice pleaded guilty to one count of arson for the fire, which blew out all the windows of the second-floor library...
Edmonton (Alberta) Journal, July 20
National Library of Scotland defends its independence
The charitable status of the National Library of Scotland and its ability to attract donations could be threatened by plans to hand powers to Scottish ministers to direct library policy. NLS officials have revealed fears that ministerial influence could threaten the library’s independence, which could dissuade donors from entrusting artifacts to its collection. However NLS stated its support for some facets of the reform, such as reducing the size of its board....
The Scotsman (Edinburgh), July 20; National Library of Scotland, June 18
National Library of Wales acquires last Dylan Thomas poem
Dylan Thomas’s last unfinished poem has been given a permanent home at the National Library of Wales after being bought from a collector. “Elegy” was bought as part of a collection of Thomas’s work. It was written during his time in America, just a few years before his death in 1953. Nia Daniel, head of the library’s manuscripts and visual images unit, said the collection could help change perceptions about the poet....
BBC News, July 20
Go back to the Top
Google acquires Metaweb to make search smarter
Google on July 16 announced that it had acquired Metaweb Technologies, a semantic database start-up founded in 2005 that operates the open, shared database called Freebase. Google intends to incorporate Metaweb’s data and semantic technology into its search service to understand search queries better and provide more comprehensive search results, even specific answers....
Information Week, July 19; Official Google Blog, July 16
Three easy ways to share network printers
Steven Campbell writes: “Setting up a network is the first step, but being able to print across it is another matter.
In this article, I am going to cover some of the easiest ways how to share a printer over a network, as well as some of the pros and cons of using each method. This way, you will be able to print from any machine in your network, no matter how many computers you have or how they are connected.”...
MakeUseOf, July 19
Hearing-impaired iPhone users get an app
Troy Dreier writes: “IWRelay just launched IWRelay VRS, the iPhone’s first mobile video relay app. With it, deaf or hearing-impaired people can connect with video relay interpreters using the iPhone’s new FaceTime feature; IWRelay is available for free download as part of the FCC’s Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund. The company says that product testers have been overwhelmingly positive.”...
AppScout, July 20
Let your fingertips do the writing on your iPad
Alan Henry writes: “If you’re fond of taking notes on your iPad while in classes, meetings, or a brainstorming session, more and more apps are popping up designed to help you get your thoughts onto paper and organized quickly. Note Taker HD 3.0 was released in June, and the new version added a wealth of features designed to help you stay organized, sketch quick diagrams and charts, quickly get your thoughts into the app, write with your fingertips instead of using the keyboard, and export files.” See the video demo (5:59)....
AppScout, July 20; YouTube, June 7
11 ways to speed up WordPress
Cyrus Patten writes: “WordPress is inherently fast, and that’s why so many professional bloggers call it their choice platform. Like many new bloggers, I used to think that I’d worry about the bandwidth and site speed later, when I had enough traffic to make a difference. But social media can drive an overwhelming amount of traffic in a very short period of time; you don’t want to get caught with a crashed site. Think positively and prepare your blog as though it’s going to be a huge success. To do that, here is a tutorial on how to speed up your WordPress site.”...
Mashable, July 19
Learn how to code
MakeUseOf, July 17
ToneCheck measures your innuendo
Robin Wauters writes: “Ever sent or received an email that was just screaming to be misunderstood? There’s a good chance you have, and if not, it will happen some day—just trust me on that one. Canadian startup Lymbix thinks it can help you avoid situations that come out of misinterpreted textual communication with the launch of a new service called ToneCheck. Think of it as an emotional spell-check application.”...
TechCrunch, July 20
How to reduce wind noise on smartphone recordings
Ian Rawes writes: “Anyone who’s been out and about recording with a smartphone has probably found that wind noise starts to intrude by 3 on the Beaufort Scale: Leaves and small twigs in constant motion. Not only is turbulence present in the airflow at large, but the rectangular shape of a smartphone produces miniscule eddies around itself. With care, wind noise can be reduced. Here are some tips on how to go about it.”...
Sound Recordings Blog, July 14
Three nice microphones
David Lee King writes: “A couple of people mentioned they liked the quality of the sound in my videos, and have asked what microphones I use for videos and screencasts. Currently I am using an Audio-Technica ATR3350 lavalier. I usually plug this lavalier mic into my Sanyo Xacti videocamera. When I’m making a screencast, I plug one of two other mics into my laptop via a USB cable.”...
David Lee King, July 20
Three ways to get infected with an email virus
Tina Sieber writes: “The sole purpose of any virus is to replicate and spread itself. Damage to the host system is a potential consequence. The most common way for a virus to enter a computer is via email. So how do people get infected by an email virus? There are three major ways; here is how you can avoid them.”...
MakeUseOf, July 20
ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, California, January 7–11, 2011. Find out some tips to get funding for traveling to the meeting.
Missed Booklist at ALA Annual Conference? Don’t worry, you can still take advantage of our Conference special and get 50% off of Booklist magazine through August 31. Now when you subscribe, you’ll also get Book Links too! Just click here to save. NEW! From Booklist.
Catalog Specialist, Woodrow Wilson Center–Cold War International History Project, Washington, D.C. The incumbent will work with CWIHP’s Digital Archive and the CWIHP collection of declassified archival documents from the former communist bloc to create, test, modify and/or implement the project’s digital accession procedures. Duties include: developing a collection catalog for the CWIHP document collection, in particular by following OAI-suggested standards; testing and modifying existing CWIHP cataloging data; implementing the cataloging standard for all new accessions to CWIHP’s digital and paper collections; and developing and implementing an appropriate workflow for accessioning new documents to the collection....
“I don’t know how to read anymore. I can only read 20 or 30 words at a time before taking out my iPhone and caressing it and snuggling with it.”
—Novelist Gary Shteyngart, in an interview in the New York Times Magazine, July 13.
“Advocacy has become an essential part of our jobs, as we worry about keeping those jobs and about keeping our service to the community intact. Why do people need to fight so hard for things that so plainly have a positive effect? Why do we?
. . . I want all of the people who are or could be involved in sustaining our libraries—city, county, and state representatives; Regional Asset District board members; private donors, possibly including you—to preserve one thing that unquestionably does a world of good. How often do those things come along? When they do, hold on to them.”
—Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarian Jude Vachon, in “A Day in the Life of a Library,” Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, July 18.
San Diego Comic-Con International, San Diego, July 22–25, at:
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, Providence, Rhode Island, July 23–27, at:
American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:
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.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden.
International Bibliography Congress, National Library of Russia, Saint Petersburg.
ALSC National Institute, Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta.
10th Annual National Book Festival, National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Arkansas Library Association / Southeastern Library Association, Joint Annual Conference, Peabody Hotel, Little Rock.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Navy Pier, Chicago. “Libraries Out Loud.”
Liber, 28th International Book Fair, Gran Via Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, Spain.
LITA National Forum, Hilton Downtown, Atlanta.
“The Clowd and the Crowd.”
10th Brick and Click Libraries, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.
YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium, Albuquerque Marriott, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Diversity, Literature, and Teens: Beyond Good Intentions.”
New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Annual Fall Conference, Ocean Place Resort, Long Branch. “School Libraries for Student Success.”
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Books vs. reviewers, in pictures
Yen Cheong writes: “One of a book publicist’s jobs is to get reviews for books. Which is tricky these days, what with the shrinking book sections and shrinking staffs. At the Dallas Morning News, book editor @mmerschel tweeted that he receives about 400 books a week. Which means that if he neglects shelving books for a couple weeks, this (right) is what happens. And then I found more photos. Reviewers, feel free to send me pictures of your ‘to be read’ piles, shelves, bins, or rooms and I will add them to the Flickr set.”...
Book Publicity Blog, July 20
E-books top dead-tree books at Amazon
Amazon.com announced July 19 that for the last three months, sales of books for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books. In that time, it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no Kindle edition. In the last four weeks, sales rose to 180 digital books for every 100 hardcover copies. But industrywide sales of hardcover books are up 22% this year, according to the American Publishers Association. Digital Book World puts the controversy into perspective....
New York Times, July 19; Digital Book World, July 20
Library catalogs do not cannibalize e-book sales
In June, OverDrive released its first white paper, “How eBook Catalogs at Public Libraries Drive Publishers’ Book Sales and Profits.” In it, the digital distributor sets the record straight on whether library catalogs cannibalize e-book sales. The answer is a resounding no. Research shows that most library visitors use e-book catalogs for research and discovery....
Digital Distribution Blog, July 15
The trouble with Amazon
Colin Robinson writes: “Expanding both internationally and across other products, Amazon’s global business has increased fifteenfold over the past decade, 28% last year alone. Amazon is today, by some margin, the largest bookseller in the world. But dig beneath the surface of the numbers and a more complex picture emerges, one suggesting that readers and writers may ultimately not be best served by Amazon’s race to become the biggest, cheapest, and most convenient bookseller around.” Watch Robinson’s video commentary (2:36)....
The Nation, July 14
Kafka manuscripts uncovered in Switzerland
Franz Kafka wanted all his manuscripts to be burned after his death, but his friend Max Brod disregarded the request, seeding a complex legal battle over an unknown number of manuscripts that has the literary world agog. That legal tussle took a new twist July 19 as four safety deposit boxes in a Zürich bank containing the manuscripts were opened. The boxes are believed to contain hundreds of pages by Kafka and Brod. Watch the BBC commentary (4:32)....
The Guardian (U.K.), July 19; Radio Prague, July 20; BBC Newsnight, July 20
Rousing Reads: Frankie catches a break
Bill Ott writes: “I recently finished reading James Kaplan’s Frank: The Voice, a wonderful new biography of Frank Sinatra from his birth in 1915 through 1954, when he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in From Here to Eternity. What impressed me most about the book—besides the account of Sinatra’s volcanic love affair with Ava Gardner (be still, my heart!)—was Kaplan’s detailing of the horrendous career slump that took the singer, in less than a decade, from being our first teen idol (a precursor to Elvis and the Beatles) to a showbiz laughingstock.”...
American Libraries column, August
The origin of obscenicons
Ben Zimmer writes: “Mark Liberman recently asked, ‘What was the earliest use of mixed typographical symbols (as opposed to uniform asterisks or underlining) to represent (part or all of) taboo words?’ The use of such symbols appears to have originated as a comic-strip convention. Comics fans, following Mort Walker’s Lexicon of Comicana, have often called these cursing characters grawlixes, though I prefer the term obscenicons. One early example is the September 3, 1911, installment of ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’” (above)....
Language Log, July 17
Books behind bars: The best jailbird books
Richard Davies writes: “With notorious rare-book thief William Jacques jailed once again, AbeBooks is showcasing some of the finest prison literature ever published. Both fiction and nonfiction writers have considered almost every aspect of imprisonment—the solitude of a life sentence, the culture and the contraband, the escapes, the torture, the miscarriages of justice and the innocent souls, the warders, the political and wartime prison camps, and the letters and visits. Our selection of 25 books highlights novels and real-life accounts where doing time is at the absolute heart of the story.”...
AbeBooks, July 20
Why the next big pop-culture wave after cupcakes might be libraries
Linda Holmes writes: “Call it a hunch, but it seems to me that the thing is in the air that happens right before something—families with a million kids, cupcakes, wedding coordinators—suddenly becomes the thing everyone wants to do happy-fuzzy pop-culture stories about. Why? Here are six reasons. Librarians: Prepare.”...
National Public Radio: Monkey See, July 20
10th Annual National Book Festival
Among the more than 70 authors slated to appear at the National Book Festival on September 25 are Ken Follett, Rae Armantrout, Julia Glass, Pat Mora, and Elizabeth Kostova. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be honorary chairs of the event, organized by the Library of Congress. In observance of its 10th anniversary—“A Decade of Words and Wonder”—the festival will feature several special events during the week preceding the festival day....
Library of Congress, July 15
Bookstores and libraries work well together
Sarah Rettger writes: “‘We’re not competitors. We supplement each other,’ said Skylight Books owner Kerry Slattery, describing her store’s relationship with the local branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Like Skylight, many independent bookstores have established working partnerships with local libraries that provide significant benefits to both sides. Events are one of the main opportunities for bookstores and libraries to combine their strengths.”...
Bookselling This Week, July 14
How to save wet books
The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has arrived and forecasters predict an “active to extremely active” year. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force has prepared resources to help cultural institutions prepare, respond, and recover. This series of videos, aimed at the general public, on saving wet books offers simple tips on how to salvage books damaged by flood waters....
Google revamps image search
Gary Price writes: “On July 20, Google announced and went live with a complete overhaul of image search. We’ll provide an overview by using a number of posts from various sources and do our best to provide you with an idea of what others say. The news release talks about Google’s ‘similar images’ and limiting by color, but these are not new features. The new features are: dense tiled layout, instant scrolling, results pages with larger thumbnail previews, and optimized keyboard navigation.”...
ResourceShelf, July 20; Official Google Blog, July 20
An information industry land grab
Christina Pikas writes: “EBSCO recently acquired Criminal Justice Abstracts and Communications Abstracts to add to its purchases of Ageline (it is now not available for free), NetLibrary, research databases from OCLC, Music Index Online, World Textiles, ExPub (ChemExpert) . . . oh and exclusive rights to some magazines. What we can expect from this is that those other databases will no longer be available on multiple platforms.”...
Christina’s LIS Rant, July 15; EBSCO, July 15; Book of Trogool, Jan. 20
No more “library orientations”
Rob Weir writes: “After years of frustration, last spring I gave up on the library orientation for my students. Instead, I decided to try making a library specialist an ongoing part of my writing seminar. I got in touch with Dave MacCourt at the University of Massachusetts library and we met for lunch. I don’t recall Dave’s exact words when I apologetically told him that I wanted to ditch the standard orientation for my writing class, but they were something to the effect that he had been waiting for years for someone to say that.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Career Advice, July 16
How libraries send mixed messages
Kathy Dempsey writes: “I’ve been ruminating on a really interesting presentation I heard back in April at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference. It was given by Wayne Disher, director of Hemet (Calif.) Public Library. For years, he has been studying, observing, and photographing libraries and signs and people, and he noted four major ways that libraries send mixed messages: attitude, facilities, policies, and signage.”....
The “M” Word: Marketing Libraries, July 19
Topeka library resuscitates 19th-century hospital cupola
Heather Kearns writes: “On July 6, final demolition of the Topeka (Kans.) State Hospital was starting. I grabbed the library’s video camera and headed out to film, along with Brea Black, special collections librarian and photographer. I asked David Bahm of Bahm Demolition if he’d consider parting with the cupola so future generations of library visitors could see a bit of physical history as they sift through the 19th-century building’s articles and photographs in our archive.” An exhibit is in the works....
Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, July 12
Reference desks at McMaster University gone
Jeffrey G. Trzeciak writes: “After much planning and hard work, the last of the reference desks at McMaster University Library in Hamilton, Ontario, is gone. Our library has completed the transition to ‘blended services’ where library assistants handle most of the transactions at combined service points (circulation, interlibrary loan, research help). Our business library was the first to go in this direction around one year ago, followed by our science/engineering library. I came in this morning to find that the last of our reference desks is now gone.”...
McMaster University Library, University Librarian, July 15
British Columbia Library Association on the G20 Summit
Marjorie Mitchell and Jon Scop of the British Columbia Library Association sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty about the arrests and squelching of protests at the G20 Summit in Toronto in June. They write, “Over the course of the G20 Summit, more than 1,000 people were arrested, more than any other event in Canada’s history,” and urge the government to to review the impact of Ontario Regulation 233/10 on intellectual freedom....
British Columbia Library Association, July 16
Notes on reading résumés
Brian Herzog writes: “We’ve received close to 50 résumés so far for a head of circulation, and I (and my coworkers) have spent a lot of time reading résumés in the past few days. I am certainly not a human resources professional, but I do have input on who will get interviewed and ultimately hired, so I thought I’d share some observations and trends I’ve been noticing.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, July 20
What libraries have to do with health care
Marya Zilberberg writes: “One pearl of our civic life in western Massachusetts is our libraries: They are so much more than a place to get a book. Libraries are what make our communities what they are. So, how ironic is it that the Massachusetts library system, the very system that is working remarkably well on a shoestring budget, is under the Damocles sword in the budget-planning process? The very system that ain’t broke is about to get quite a fix. And we, the citizens along with it.”...
KevinMD.com, July 19
An exhibit for libraries on a shoestring
Nancy Mattoon writes: “Presenting a traveling art exhibit is impossible for many libraries. The cost of packing, shipping, insurance, and security is just the tip of the iceberg. But what if exhibits could be downsized, along with budgets? Hui-Chu Ying, professor of printmaking at the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron, created an exhibit that ‘fits in one little box and weighs only one pound. To ship it by UPS is only $50. So for that little fee you can have a show.’”...
BookTryst, July 20
Creative Commons 101
Cindi Trainor writes: “Where U.S. Copyright law dictates how creative work cannot be used, Creative Commons licensing makes it clear how a work may or may not be used. Creative Commons licensing has several attributes, or conditions, each of which can be assigned independently: Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives, and Sharealike. These are the only things that are stipulated in a Creative Commons license.”...
ALA TechSource, July 20
The top film criticism sites: An annotated blog roll
Paul Brunick writes: “So where do we get off appointing ourselves the selection committee for the top film criticism sites? If that strikes you as a little presumptuous, you’re totally right. Though not ‘meaningless,’ the selections below are meaningful only in a contingent, puzzle-piece sort of way. The projects included here span a wide range of genres: digital film journals, multiwriter theme sites, side projects of film studies academics, digital outreach by professional print reviewers, and the personal blogs of unpaid enthusiasts.”...
Film Comment, July/Aug.
Should God come to the book group?
Neil Hollands writes: “A friend’s book group has been recruiting new members, and one such member arrived at a recent meeting. For most of the meeting her behavior was exemplary. The first difficulty came when discussion turned to future group selections, and the second came at the meeting’s conclusion, when she asked the group to pray.”...
Book Group Buzz, July 15
The American Library in Paris
Erik Heywood writes: “The American Library in Paris, located in the legendary 7th arrondissement, has a fascinating history. Founded in 1920 as a home for books sent by ALA’s Library War Service to American soldiers in France, the ALP has continued its mission unabated for 90 years. Director Charles Trueheart tells me all the library needs now is more members. In fact, a library card from the ALP can grace the wallets of every book-loving Francophile on this side of the Atlantic.”...
Forbes: Booked, July 19; Library History Buff
IFLA preregistration ends July 26
Preregistration for the August 10–15 World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, ends on July 26. If you have not already registered for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions general conference, then follow this link to register online....
IFLA, July 19
Oldest written document discovered
A tiny clay fragment dating from the 14th century B.C., found in excavations outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls, contains the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archives, further testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David....
Science Daily, July 12
Electronic home library, 1959
Matt Novak writes: “Remember 1959? You were just 9 years old, with not a care in the world (except maybe nuclear winter). You spread the Sunday paper out across the living room floor of your suburban Chicago home, and excitedly flipped to the funny pages: Closer Than We Think! Your favorite! This week, a home library of electronic media. What a weird futuristic world that would be!”...
Paleo-Future, July 14
Medieval multitasking: Did we ever focus?
Elizabeth Drescher writes: “Since the early 1990s, both medievalists and electronic media theorists have pointed to the hypertexted quality of medieval illuminated manuscripts in making complementary claims: medievalists to continuing cultural relevancy and electronic media theorists in continuity to literary tradition. The medieval books we admire so much today are distinguished by the remarkable visual images, in the body of a text and in the margins, that scholars have frequently compared to hypertexted images on internet pages.”...
Religion Dispatches, July 12
Reference question of the week
Brian Herzog writes: “A patron walked up to the desk and asked, ‘Can you look up some lottery numbers for me?’ Ever since the recession started, I keep hearing news reports about (and seeing first-hand) how libraries are helping unemployed people get back on their feet. In addition to job searching, résumé writing, networking, books, and databases, I guess we can also add ‘lottery number lookup’ to the list of resources we offer.”...
Swiss Army Librarian, July 17
Dear Twitter: It’s not you, it’s us
Leigh Anne Vrabel writes: “Dear Twitter: We’ve been seeing each other for about a year now, and there are a lot of things we really like about you. Lately, though, we’ve been thinking about our relationship with you, and as difficult as this is for us to say, we just don’t think it’s going to work out between us on a long-term basis. Put very simply, it’s not you, Twitter: It’s us, as a library. Here are some of the aspects of our relationship that just weren’t working.”...
Library Alchemy, July 20
The National Archivist’s top 10 YouTube videos
David S. Ferriero writes: “Since June 2009, the National Archives has made videos available on its YouTube Channel. We now have 292 videos available, which have been viewed more than 160,000 times. Most videos are from our archival collections, including some from presidential libraries. Other videos represent current lectures and educational events. Here are my 10 favorites. I hope you take some time to explore them.”...
AOTUS: Collector in Chief, July 14
Huffington Post’s funniest library videos
The Huffington Post recently selected nine library videos the editors thought were the funniest ever and asked readers to vote for their favorites. Some of these you may have seen featured in AL Direct. “Librarians Do Gaga” was picked (and currently #1), as well as Ghostbusters, Prangstgrup, and Conan. Somehow we missed the Markham (Ont.) Public Library’s “Roving Librarians” (3:56) from 2009 (above)—now there is a fun library!....
Huffington Post, July 16; YouTube, Mar. 16, 2009
How libraries came to Old Spice
Andy Woodworth writes: “This morning, I was reading another article on Mashable when I saw this link to a story about the Old Spice marketing people making custom videos to answer fans. With a little help from the Twitterverse, people were tweeting and retweeting about getting the Old Spice guy to say a few words for libraries. Within two hours of my first tweet (and apparently while I was eating lunch), there came a reply.”...
Agnostic, Maybe, July 15; Mashable, July 13
New Spice @ the BYU Library
Stephen Jones is a psychology student at Brigham Young University as well as a stand-up comedian at BYU’s popular comedy club, Humor U. Because he looks like Isaiah Mustafa from the Old Spice commercials, he has been performing under the name of New Spice. This video (0:55) promoting BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library was released on YouTube one day after the real Mustafa made his shirtless library statement. Created by Christopher Garcia, media manager at the Lee Library, and shot in one day on June 12, it now has more than 1.37 million YouTube views (more than six times as many as the Old Spice vid). See more of his comedy at Humor U....
YouTube, July 15; KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, July 19; Salt Lake Tribune, July 19
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